Luna’s First Birthday Party (On a Budget)

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Before having Luna, I swore I would not be one of those parents that goes stupidly nuts for a kid’s birthday parties. Don’t get me wrong, a love a good themed party, but I do not want to spend a silly amount of money on something she will never remember. Now, that I am a parent, and just planned the big first birthday party, I’ve got to be honest, it is hard not to go a little crazy. Planning an extravagant party is as fun as shopping for baby clothes and accessories, which is another problem I have. I am happy to say I managed to save A LOT of money and still have an amazing shindig for my baby girl.

The birthday girl wearing the outfit that her Aunt Zoey MADE her!
The birthday girl wearing the outfit that her Aunt Zoey MADE her!

I was slightly stressed out before the party. We had seven people staying at our house (not counting us), and lots of other people from out of town staying at other houses. The entire weekend was jam packed with plans and I did not know how I was going to get everything done for the party. I don’t know why I ever worried though… every person at our house pitched in, offered to help and basically did all the decorating for me without me ever even asking them to help. Our family and friends are the best and now I realize I couldn’t have gotten it all done if they had not all been staying at my house driving me nuts. Thanks guys.

birthday girl

Luna’s party was “Winter Onederland” themed. Of course, I got the idea from Pinterest. Where else? I wanted an inexpensive way to transform our house into a white glittery winter landscape and I figured out the perfect way to pull it off. Here’s what I did:

big eyes

1. I emailed everyone I live near and asked if I could have any [insert needed craft supplies] they no longer wanted. I figured everyone has random bits of construction paper, glitter, felt, ribbon, etc they want rid of and I was right.

2. I borrowed, borrowed, borrowed. I’d love to eventually own all white matching pretty serving trays and platters, but right now that’s just not possible. So, I borrowed them. I also borrowed lights and decorations. Luckily, several people decorate their house like winter wonderland for Christmas.

3. I shopped at Costco. We had brunchy type food (bagels, hummus, veggies, fruit, coffee, hot chocolate, biscotti, nuts and juice). It was easy to pick up almost all of this and disposable dishes in bulk at Costco.

4. I got crafty (and made all of our guests get crafty). We used all of those donated art supplies to create our own decorations. I just wish I had more pictures of the decor… We were so busy celebrating!

5. We had a relative make the cakes. Our Aunt Amy is an AMAZING baker. She made the most delicious tye dye cake for us and a healthy smashcake for Luna.

cakes

Clearly, Luna loved it... I did too!
Clearly, Luna loved it… I did too!
"Want a bite, Mommy?"
“Want a bite, Mommy?”

We ended up spending very little on the party. I may make all of Luna’s birthday parties winter themed…

The best part of the party planning was asking that no one brings gifts for Luna. We asked instead that our friends and family (who want to bring a gift), bring a toy to donate to the Renewal House (a residential recovery program for addicted women and their children) instead. We ended up with a nice collection of gifts for the Renewal House and are so excited to bring them their gifts! Luna is a lucky little girl, she needs nothing and we are so happy to give these toys to kids who really need them.

singing

Thank you all SO much for the many Birthday wishes and comments on the birthday blog and birthday video posted last week. Husband and I could not feel any luckier and our little girl couldn’t feel more loved.

our family

Oh, and if you’d like to make a donation to Renewal House, just click here!

ball pit

Cheers!

I Dressed Luna as a Rat

Luna’s first Halloween just happened, and it was just as cute as I hoped it would be. Husband and I have never dressed in themed costumes together, but this seemed like the right occasion to dress the whole family together. After months of brainstorming and Pinterest searching we decided to do Ratatouille!

pixar halloween2014

The costumes were super easy to put together. I (well mostly my Mom-in-law) made Luna’s costume by taking H&M baby clothing and sewing on a felt tail, felt ears and a felt belly. The whiskers were challenging to draw on a baby that never ever stops moving, but luckily, eyeliner is easily removed with a baby wipe. Good to know BTW.

mouse butt

man down!
man down!

Husband and I ordered our hats and chef coats from Amazon. I bought the leggings at Forever21, and we just threw in the wooden spoon and loaf of bread at the last minute. Tada! Ratatouille!

eyes

halloween

Now, I know I don’t look exactly like Colette, but I didn’t really want to wear a chef hat. Husband was irritated that I wouldn’t get an exact costume, but is it so wrong to prefer to look slightly cuter than the actual character? I also called Luna a “mouse” instead of “rat”. Mice sound much more appealing.

ratatouille

bread

Halloween for us and our 9 month old consisted of visiting some family, taking photos, walking around the mall and a fancy “masquerade” dinner out. It was a day full of treats, including a special “frankenfrap” from Starbucks.

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I look forward to the years Luna can excitedly tell me what she wants to be for Halloween, but until then I will thoroughly enjoy choosing a Disney character for her.

Bedtime!
Bedtime!

Cheers!

Project Dream Home: Nursery (Update!)

About 11 months ago, I wrote a blog describing my “dream nursery”. I described it as very neutral, timeless, white with a touch of Disney. We never wanted an all Disney decked out nursery because it’s just too much, but puh-lleeassse you know we can’t have a baby room without a bit of Disney magic. Finishing our nursery was quite a task, in fact, we still haven’t really finished it. Between Husband ripping out the closet and me having Luna three weeks early, the room was not even close to being done when Luna arrived. A lot has been done since then, and even though it’s not fully ready, I think we’ve done enough to share some of our work.

I should warn you; I am in no way a decorator. In fact, I kind of suck at decorating, but thankfully Pinterest exist and I am at least able to mimic some of the awesome ideas I’ve pinned. (Although, really, it never turns out quite like the pin.) The nursery is now my favorite room in the house. It’s bright, cheerful, clean (for now) and I spend a lot of time in there. I will share my favorite parts of the room with you!

Luna’s room has a loft (how cool, right?). When we bought the house there was an enormous heavy metal ladder leading up to the loft that stuck all the way out to middle of the room. It was ugly, bulky, dangerous and took up about a third of the space. Before Luna arrived, we removed the ladder and the railing with good plans and intentions to create newer nicer versions. As you can see, that task has been put on the back burner. However, I’m kind of okay with Luna not having a way up to her loft just yet. Her sleep sheep is a nice soft noise maker that we use religiously. It was a gift that came from Pottery Barn Kids. The Summer Infant baby monitor is the bomb! You can read about our fun games with it here.

loft

 

My good friend Sara made this magnet board for Luna and I love displaying all of Luna’s baby friends on it! Homemade gifts are the best!

magnet board

My Dad-in-law and I made this when I realized I had an obsession with baby headbands and nowhere to place them. I got the various knobs from my Grandma-in-law who seems to have just about everything I could ever possibly need. It took about ten minutes to make. SO simple.

headband

I LOVE everything on these shelves! The large letter “L” was used as a guest book at my Texas baby shower. I still let people who come visit write special notes to Luna on it. I love reading what people wrote for her. I have a gazillion children’s books collected from teaching elementary school. While organizing them recently I came across a vintage Cinderella book that I once picked up in a yard sale. It was falling apart, and I decided to use the cover as a framed picture in Luna’s room. I kept the rest and am just waiting for something creative to do with them. I snagged the vintage wooden blocks from the enormous Nashville annual flea market. The poem to the left was written by my Grandmother for her daughter (my Mom). My Mom actually found the poem after my Grandma passed away, and she knew it would be perfect hanging in Luna’s room. It’s a piece we will always have up.

4 shelves

We bought this Cinderella mobile on a whim at Babys R Us and it’s turned out to be one of Luna’s favorite things.

mobile

Here’s a different angle showing off Luna’s bay window. I keep some succulents in the window, which I have managed to keep alive for almost a year now! MIRACLE! The map is a vintage (not real vintage, but a new print of the vintage version) map of Disneyland when it first opened. The glider was also purchase from Babys R Us and I love it. It is absolutely the best piece of furniture we have ever purchased. I fit in it perfectly, it’s super comfortable, it glides, it rocks, it swivels and I have slept in it while rocking and nursing Luna in the wee hours of the night a hundred times. It’s a lifesaver. Then, there’s my Nook. My Nook keeps my company almost every night as Luna keeps me up.

glider

Another angle! In my “dream nursery” post I said we definitely wanted some vintage Disney posters. I found some online, but we ended up ordering the ones we wanted while visiting Disneyworld last fall. You can order them WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney and have them shipped to your house.  The rocking giraffe was bought by Peter’s Grandpa when Peter was born. It’s still in perfect condition and I cannot wait for Luna to be big enough to play on it.

ads

And, no nursery is complete without a bookshelf full of beautiful children’s books!

bookshelf

OH, and an adorable naked baby.

baby

What do you think? Am I missing anything? What does this nursery need to be complete (besides the ladder and railing for the loft!).

Cheers!

 

Adventures in Teething

We try to get out and do something fun or exciting everyday. We workout with a friend 5 mornings a week, hit up Starbucks a couple of times a week (where Luna is now known as a regular), we shop, visit friends, hike, swim, go to the park and look for adventures whenever possible, but some days we stay home. These days are “teething days” Luna has no teeth yet, but every few days she turns into an unhappy, fussy, drooly, chew-on-everything, impossible baby. It is not fun and not easily remedied.

Yep, that's how I feel about teething too.
Yep, that’s how I feel about teething too.

Lucky for our generation, we have an endless amount of resources and tips at our fingertips. After days of dealing with “the Grumpus”, I took to the Internet and Pinterest to find out how to make my baby happy. (Because nursing her for 12 hours straight is not a reasonable solution.) I don’t half-ass anything so I tried them ALL.

Teething toys– doesn’t want to hold for very long.

Ice cube in a sock– not interested

Amber healing necklace– made no difference

Orajel– no help

Teething jewelry (Chewbeads)– not a hit at first, but she’s a fan now

Rubbing her gums– helped temporarily

Chewing on our fingers– big hit

A sweating Starbucks cup- Loves it. This was an accident, but once she got her gums on it, she couldn’t get enough.

Wet/frozen washcloth– the best! OMG She could gnaw on a wet cloth for hours

nom nom nom nom
nom nom nom nom

Popsicles (breastmilk-cicles to be exact)– Awesome! These are the messiest things ever, but she ate them up (literally). These are so easy to make and watching her eat a popsicle is perhaps the cutest thing ever! Okay, fine, EVERYTHING is the cutest thing ever!

breastmilk cicles drooler all gone

Everyday is an adventure when you’re a Mom!

Cheers!

DIY Baby Barefoot Sandals

shoes

A few weeks ago I was feeling especially crafty and decided I wanted to be one of those special Pinterest moms who make everything from scratch. Of course, the first step was to search Pinterest for some not too tricky tutorials. I’ve been wanting the trendy baby barefoot sandals for Luna and found some tutorials that looked crazy easy.

I did a few different techniques before finding the one that worked best for me. Once I made the first pair and had all my materials ready it was so easy Luna could have made them herself…you know, if she had any sort of small motor skills.

Here’s what I did…

All can be found at Joanne's and lots of other fabric/crafty stores.
All can be found at Joanne’s and lots of other fabric/crafty stores.

1

Step 1 1/2: (because I forgot this one) glue the elastic you cut together in the figure eight shape you created.

2 3 4

Voila!

finished

I, of course, made a headband to match. It was seriously ridiculously easy. I’m assuming I saved money by making my own, but I didn’t pay any attention to how I much I spent on materials so I can’t know for sure.

all done

Anything else I should attempt making?

Cheers!

Baby headbands are VERY easy to Make

I’m a girly Mom of a girl which means I want lots of girly things for her. Especially if she’s anything like I was from age five to fourteen, she will hate all things girly. I’ve got to enjoy it while I still have control over her wardrobe. The only thing is that it’s kind of stupid to spend a lot of money on baby clothes and accessories. They grow so fast and they only wear the cute accessories for 15 minutes at a time. As much as I love finding matching bows, socks and headbands it’s a little hard to make myself cough up the money when she hardly wears it long enough to get it on Instagram. This is why I found a solution to this very silly problem.

Pinterest is full of easy tutorials for all things baby. Turns out it is crazy easy to make headbands, bows and barefoot sandals. I looked up a few of the easiest ones, ran to Joann’s, stalked up on crafty things and spent Saturday night being thrifty and crafty. It took me a about an hour, maybe two, to make 4 headbands and 2 pairs of barefoot sandals.  SO easy.

what you need

You can use any type of fabric flower. I grabbed lots of chiffon flowers and then some pretty fabric ones they had in the scrapbooking section.

step1

Okay, so technically the first step is to measure the elastic around your baby’s head.

step2

 

The chiffon flowers have a lot of extra material on the back you can trim off. For this headband I used one flower from each color.

step3

Obviously, I can’t cut perfect circles, but whatever.

step4 step5 step6 step7

 

Tada! I’ll post some more very easy tutorial soon, including how to make barefoot sandals!

Cheers!

DIY Chevron Table

I completed yet another Pinterest project and I must say, I am pretty darn impressed with myself. It is like pulling teeth to force myself to actually start a crafty project, but once I am going there’s no slowing down. I’m practically Martha Stewart and Super Woman rolled up into one nice package…modest too.

Here’s my latest project….

finished table

Looks good, right? Just don’t look too close. The yellow stripes smeared a bit, but you can only tell if you are sitting at the table looking for mistakes, so who cares?

I got this old iron table from my in-law’s storage. It was white at one point, but mostly dirt and rust when I rescued it. Here’s how I refurbished this cute café table.

before

-First I sanded every bit of metal.

There was A LOT of rust
There was A LOT of rust

-Once everything was smooth I washed off all the dust and dirt.

-Then I taped off the seats and covered them in plastic bags to keep them from getting sprayed with paint.

cusions

-Next, I spray painted everything white.

-Here’s the trickiest part. I used painters taper to create chevron stripes. This was by far the longest and most taxing step.

Green looks really good too...I was tempted to just leave the tape and call it a day.
Green looks really good too…I was tempted to just leave the tape and call it a day.

-Finally, I spray painted the top of the table yellow (my favorite color).

spray paint

-After the yellow was (mostly) dry, I removed the tape to reveal my pretty yellow stripes….which leaked out from under the tape and smeared in a few areas. So, if you try this either a)make sure your tape is pressed down really well. b) Use something other than painter’s tape, or c) expect some smudges and smears.

chevron

What do you think?

reveal party

Not sure what my next Pinterest project will be, but I’m hoping it’s something for the nursery!

Cheers!