Baby Shower En Blanc for the Andersons

About a month ago, we were honored to throw the Andersons a baby shower for their little one Austin {who joined the world on just a few weeks ago}! I offered to throw Jess a shower last fall, not totally realizing how much more work it would be to host a party with a brand-new baby, but I did all of the planning before Daphne was born and it worked out pretty well!

Jess had requested an “En Blanc” party, so the theme was super easy: white. I pinned lots of different things, but wanted to keep things simple, both décor and food. Most of the décor I got from Etsy, but everything is linked below for those who have asked. There were tons of babies and it was so wonderful to see so many friends.

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{Popcorn favors}

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{Guess how many candies in the jar & the winner gets the entire thing!}

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{Wishes for Baby Austin}

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{The dessert bar!}

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{Thanks to Cale, the father-to-be, for helping get this donut cake together!}

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{Eloise, Daphne, and Jaz before the party!}

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{These two girls had the BEST time!}

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{All of the MAMAS! Such an amazing group of women.}

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{All of the “new” Papas!}

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{Oh brother, those papas…}

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{The Andersons!}

{photos by Jess // Ready to Pop favor stickers: Kaspi Party Etsy Shop // small white picture frames: Michael’s // white clipboard frame: Target // art: Soeurette, my mama // lidded glass vase: Michael’s // small flower bouquets: Michael’s // Oh Boy banner: Ur Invited Too Etsy Shop // LOVE sign: Target (old) // Wishes for Baby cards: DIY // white balloons: Display and Costume // tissue tassels: DIY // menu card: DIY // Oh Boy cake topper: Foiled Prints // mini cupcakes: Trophy (vanilla-vanilla)}

Congratulations Jess, Cale, and big sister Jazmyne!

M

Pinterest Christmas {2016}: Teachers’ Presents.

Welcome back to week three of Pinterest Christmas! {See week one here and week two here.}

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This is the first year Eloise has had teachers and I wanted to be sure to do something special for them for the holiday since they are so wonderful. There are so, so many ideas on Pinterest (to the point of being overwhelming!) but I managed to find one that was super simple and fit with E’s teachers’ styles. I made the original DIY project even simpler by buying mugs that already had initials rather than painting a plain white mug.

gold initial mug gift

{original Pinterest link – Earnest Home Co. blog}

While I really liked the look of Anthro’s Gold Initial Mug, it really isn’t the style of Eloise’s teachers (who lean towards the hippy side!). So I found these beautiful Petal Palette Mugs instead which were perfect!

I found burlap at Jo-Ann’s (I used less than a quarter of a yard), small organic rosemary plants at Trader Joe’s, and small plastic cups in our party supply stash – easy peasy!

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I love that these gifts will last for some time – E’s teachers drink lots of tea and rosemary is super hardy, even I have trouble killing it! – plus they were super easy to put together. And, my kitchen smelled amazing after having re-potted that rosemary; the move from one pot to the cup must of activated the leaves or something!

Once I had everything in the mug, I placed them in Christmas-y paper bags and taped our family Christmas card to the front. Eloise was so excited to take them to school to her teachers last week!

And be sure to check out what Kendra’s up to all December long over on The Gilbertson Family! {Here’s her first Pinterest Christmas post!}

Do you make or buy teachers’ gifts for you kiddos for the holidays?

M

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This post contains affiliate links.

Pinterest Christmas {2016}: Toddler Ornaments.

Welcome back to week two of Pinterest Christmas! {See last week’s post here.}

Sidenote: Sorry guys, this post was supposed to go up last week and I apparently never posted it!

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Eloise does a lot of art projects at school, comes home covered in paint, and then we hang all of her creations on the front living room window. I love that she is doing art at school because it is one activity that this type-A mama can have trouble doing at home. But, I thought it would be fun to make a few simple Christmas ornaments for the tree this year with Eloise.

Cute button tree ornament for the kids to make

{original Pinterest link – Hands On As We Grow blog}

pom pom christmas tree craft

{original Pinterest link – Happy Hooligans blog}

I knew that I needed to keep things simple, so I kept the supply list short: felt, ribbon, buttons, pom poms, popcicle sticks, and glue.

I cut out the Christmas trees and wreaths out of felt and then had Eloise point to where she wanted to put either a button or a pom pom. Then I put a big drop of glue and she placed the button or pom pom down. It worked pretty well, although Eloise was much more interested in holding (and squeezing!) the bottle of glue… anyone know of toddler-friendly glue?

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By the time we were done decorating the trees and wreaths, Eloise had pretty much lost interest since I wouldn’t let her handle the glue, so the triangle popcicle stick ornaments are pretty bare. For those I just glued three sticks together on the ends to form a triangle and had Eloise place the pom poms. Once all of the ornaments were dry (overnight), I had Eloise pick out the ribbon color and I strung each ornament onto a piece of ribbon. She was excited to hang all of the ornaments on the tree which made all of it worth it!

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This was definitely a super-easy toddler craft and I am really glad we did it.

And be sure to check out what Kendra’s up to all December long over on The Gilbertson Family! {Here’s her first Pinterest Christmas post!}

Do you have homemade ornaments on your Christmas tree?

M

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Pinterest Christmas {2016}: Hanging Kitchen Wreaths.

Welcome back to Pinterest Christmas! This Pinterest Christmas blog series (in its sixth year!) started as a motivation to actually do some of the DIY projects we pinned on Pinterest & a way to share them with friends & family. Over the years other bloggers have joined & we have spent the month of December DIYing & sharing our Christmas projects. Sometimes the posts are tutorials with step-by-step instructions & other times it is simply sharing a completed project! We aren’t doing anything too formal this year, but did want to share a few festive things. You can check out past Pinterest Christmas projects here!

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I know that a lot of catalogs and magazines and blogs show Christmas décor all over the house, not just in the living room with the Christmas tree. I am mixed on whether I will ever have Christmas sheets and bathroom towels, but I have liked the idea of continuing the holiday cheer into the kitchen!

 

{original Pinterest link – Mini Wreaths}

This was the simplest DIY I think I have ever done. Seriously. I don’t even think it’s a true DIY. The hardest part was getting the ribbon to be the same length so that the wreaths were even on the doors. I hung a 3M Command hanger (not sponsored, they are just the best ones!) upside-down on the door (per the inspiration post), cut the ribbon, looped it around the wreath, and tied a knot. I sort of want to hang a wreath on every door we have now…

If you are interested, I used these faux boxwood wreaths from IKEA. {I wanted to use these faux spruce ones that I added to our dining room windows last year but they added some yellow ombre to the needles which I really didn’t like!} These wreaths are really inexpensive but are well-made (even for IKEA) since they don’t shed and have a pretty sturdy metal frame and don’t look too fake!

And here’s one more shot. It is super hard to photograph our kitchen since it is a pretty small space, so that explains why there are just the pantry doors.

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And be sure to check out what Kendra’s up to all December long over on The Gilbertson Family! {Here’s her first Pinterest Christmas post!}

Do you decorate your kitchen (or your doors) for the holidays?

M

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Pinterest Christmas: DIY Window Wreaths {Linky Party}.

Welcome to the last week of the Pinterest Christmas series for 2015! {See week one, two, & three here!}

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This last week I wanted to share a quick & easy wreath display. We have two huge picture windows in our living room, one in the front of the house & the other on the side. The front window always showcases our Christmas tree (though this year & for the foreseeable short term our tree will sit off to the side of the room to keep Eloise’s play area in tact). I have always wanted to do something fun & festive on the side window that sits behind our dining room table. Enter wreaths. I think I have pinned every single hanging in a window wreath picture!

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{original Pinterest link – Winter Wreath Windows}

Red and Green Give a red room even more holiday style by hanging green wreaths on every window. These have the added embellishment of decorative plates hung inside each wreath circle. Wide red ribbon decorates each wreath and loops them up in varying heights.:

{original Pinterest link – 12 Styles of Christmas}

tiny garland wreaths in the window. a simple and pretty holiday decoration.:

{original Pinterest link – Easy Christmas Wreaths}

Supplies:

  • Wreaths – I had every intention of making boxwood wreaths using this tutorial, but then I stumbled onto these Smycka wreaths at Ikea & I couldn’t resist at that price point! (I couldn’t have DIY-ed wreaths for less than $9 a piece.)
  • Ribbon – I chose wide red satin!
  • Hangers – I used small finishing nails

So, this isn’t really a DIY tutorial, as much as it is showing you how I hung three pre-made wreaths in my window… wah wah.

I had Aaron help me hammer in the nails at an angle into the top of the window trim (actually it was his idea to hang them this way!) since I am WAY too short to reach the top of the window.

Then I looped the ribbon around the wreath, pulled some slack, & tied a bow at the top. And repeat for the other two wreaths, changing the amount of slack if you want them at different heights. My wreaths twist a little bit from side-to-side because they have a bit of weight to them, but I adore the way they look!

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Thinking about making this project? Feel free to leave questions in the comments or link your own in the Linky Party below! Also be sure to check out Kendra’s Pinterest Christmas projects over at The Gilbertson Family.

Thanks for joining us in our annual Pinterest Christmas series! We had SO much fun & we can’t wait until next year! The Linky Party will be up the entire month of December, so be sure to check out the other linked projects & link your own up too!

Did you DIY any of your Christmas decorations this year?

M

Pinterest_Christmas_Logo_Edit

Here are the instructions if you are a new to linky-party:
•click on the blue button at the bottom of this post – the one with the frog
•add a link to your Pinterest Christmas blog post in the URL field (please do not link to your home page but the specific post page)
•for “name” write a short descriptive name for your post
•if you would like to put the Pinterest Christmas button on the bottom of your post, we would love to see it there!

Pinterest Christmas: DIY Gold & Glitter Ornaments {Linky Party}.

Welcome to week three of the Pinterest Christmas series for 2015! {See week one & two here!}

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This week I wanted to share a few ornaments that I made for our Christmas tree. The tree is one of my favorite parts of our holiday décor, & I always manage to make a few new ornaments each year.

Gold Dipped Ornaments - these easy-to-make balls have great impact, and add a chic look to the tree! - Suburble.com:

{original Pinterest link – Gold Dipped Ornaments}

75 Ways to Fill Clear Glass Ornaments {Homemade Christmas Ornaments} - Refunk My JunkRefunk My Junk:

{original Pinterest link – Glitter Ornaments}

Supplies:

  • Clear, round ornaments – I used both plastic & glass
  • Gold spray paint
  • Painter’s tape
  • Small Ziploc bag
  • Gold glitter
  • Egg carton (optional) – this helps to hold the ornaments up while painting
  • Drop cloth – I like the fabric ones with the plastic back because you can reuse them over & over for either craft projects or room painting
  • Ribbon – for hanging ornaments
  • Scissors

Even though I found tutorials to make (really similar) ornaments, I sort of just winged it since I wanted to keep things as simple as possible.

{Sidenote:the clear bulbs made it really hard to get in-focus pictures!}

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For the gold glitter ornament, I basically just took off the ornament top (be careful not to pull too hard because the metal is really soft!) & poured glitter inside, & swirled the glitter around the ornament. I found that the glitter stuck better to the sides of the plastic bulb; as soon as you started swirling the glass one, the glitter would slide off. Some similar tutorials on Pinterest use an adhesive to help the glitter stick to the sides. I think really chunky glitter would look cool too! To finish the ornaments, I cut a few inches of ribbon & tied a knot at the ends.

And for the gold painted ornament, I chose to just paint the bottoms of the bulbs & leave the top clear.

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I started by taping off a line around the middle of the bulb, but didn’t worry too much about it being perfect. The most important part was to get a really good seal, so I made sure to really rub the edge of the tape down so I could get the cleanest paint line possible. After taping my line completely around the bulb, I taped a small (sandwich) Ziploc bag over the top of the bulb to keep it from getting painted.

To paint, I spread my drop cloth out in our backyard, set out the egg cartons, & set the ornaments with the top (bag side) down. Then I sprayed a the bulbs to get a full first coat on. I am not the best spray-painter since I cannot control myself & always paint too thick, but I did my best to keep the coats thin & even. The paint I used was pretty quick drying, so I was able to get another coat or two within a couple of minutes (probably not recommended though). And then I left the bulbs to dry for 2 hours (as stated on the paint can) & went back out to check for coverage. I had to add another thin coat, & then waited for drying again. (Normally when I am painting walls with Painter’s tape, I pull the tape when the paint is still wet, but because of the plastic bag, I waited until the paint was dry on the ornaments to pull the tape). And, finally, I added a ribbon hanger (like above)!

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Thinking about making this project? Feel free to leave questions in the comments or link your own in the Linky Party below! Also be sure to check out Kendra’s Pinterest Christmas projects over at The Gilbertson Family.

Are you DIY-ing any ornaments for your tree this year?

M

Pinterest_Christmas_Logo_Edit

Here are the instructions if you are a new to linky-party:
•click on the blue button at the bottom of this post – the one with the frog
•add a link to your Pinterest Christmas blog post in the URL field (please do not link to your home page but the specific post page)
•for “name” write a short descriptive name for your post
•if you would like to put the Pinterest Christmas button on the bottom of your post, we would love to see it there!

Pinterest Christmas: Toddler Felt Christmas Tree {Linky Party}.

Welcome to week two of the Pinterest Christmas series for 2015! {See week one here!}

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This week I am sharing a felt Christmas tree I made for Eloise. Like most toddlers, Eloise is busy & curious, so a Christmas tree in the middle of the living room sort of seems like a disaster waiting to happen. The idea of not having a tree for these toddler years is out of the question (I LOVE having a tree!) so I thought I could make something to at least distract her a little bit. And who knows, maybe it will keep her from playing with our real tree? #wishfulthinking

{original Pinterest link – Felt Tree}

Supplies:

  • Felt (assorted, see details below)
    • 1 yard stiff felt (I bought dark green premium felt but it wasn’t stiff enough to completely hold the tree’s shape)
    • 1 yard fusible fabric stabilizer (to remedy my above problem; I used Pellon Pelted 71F Single-Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer)
    • 1 yard green felt
    • white
    • red
    • light brown (for Santa’s face, reindeer, etc.)
    • dark brown
    • blue
    • yellow
    • red
  • Scissors – fabric scissors work best on felt!
  • Sewing machine
  • Buttons – 28 + 4 assorted red buttons (I bought a package of assorted buttons at JoAnn’s)
  • Ribbon – thin ribbon (1/8 in.) works best for attaching to the tops of the ornaments
  • Elastic – thin elastic for securing the ends together (to form the tree)
  • Ornament templates – see here
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Iron

For this project, I basically followed the original tutorial. I had to tweak it a bit since the measurements were in metric, but for the most part it worked!

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First, I cut the felt for the tree. I opted to sew the two big pieces of felt together right away. It is cleaner if you follow the original tutorial & wait until all of the stitching is done on the top of the tree, but oh well. I also didn’t have super stiff felt for the underside of my tree.* I didn’t satin stitch the lines on the tree mostly because I didn’t have a double needle for my sewing machine (nor have I ever used one!). I opted to try out one of the fun stitches I have on my machine – the leaves were a nice touch I think!

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Next, I sewed on the buttons, 24 of them, all over the tree. I tried to scatter them around the tree & looked to the original tutorial for guidance on placement & distance. I also discovered, during this step, that my sewing machine sews on buttons! Yep, you read that right, buttons! And it is the absolute coolest thing I have ever done! Sewing buttons on by hand isn’t hard, but it is time-intensive (at least for me), so this saved me SO much time! Then I added the four buttons along the edge that will button up the tree. And finally I added four elastic loops to the opposite edge.

The final step was to make all of the felt ornaments. Not an easy task, but the entire point, right? I first printed out the ornaments (three pages) & cut them out. Next I traced each cut-out on the coordinating felt color (I looked to the original tutorial); I just used a pen, but in hindsight I would have tried a vanishing marker (they are sold in the sewing section). Then I cut out each piece of felt in the color that I needed for each ornament. I eye-balled the smaller pieces & didn’t worry about making anything perfect. I tried to machine sew as much of the ornaments as I could since I find it faster than hand sewing. I also attached the ribbon loop for the top of each ornament with a sewing machine (using a forward & backward stitch, repeated) with the ribbon ends sandwiched in-between the front & the back of each ornament piece.

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Eloise seems to like this tree, but isn’t super interested in it. She is, however, leaving our real tree alone, so I call that a win (& SUCH a surprise!). She is mostly just pointing & staring at the tree. When she does play with this little felt tree though it is awesome that the ornaments stick to the tree without having to be hung by the loops, because it will be a few years before she has the fine motor skills to hang those ornaments from the loops on the buttons! Her favorite thing is to take the star off & put it back on, so definitely include that if you make this for your toddler!

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*Sidenote: As I had mentioned above, I didn’t get stiff felt (the Joann’s I went to didn’t have it, at least in an obvious place), so I added the stabilizer to the back. The tree originally stood up on its own without the poster board, but it was dented & not very sturdy. In hindsight, I should have realized I needed to make an adjustment with the felt before I sewed on ALL of the buttons… it wasn’t awful to iron the stabilizer at the end, but be really careful because if the iron is hot enough to adhere the stabilizer, it is also hot enough to start melting buttons. Uh oh. Also, be sure to have water in your iron so it can steam – that makes the biggest difference when trying to adhere the stabilizer!

Thinking about making this project? Feel free to leave questions in the comments or link your own in the Linky Party below! Also be sure to check out Kendra’s Pinterest Christmas projects over at The Gilbertson Family.

Are you DIY-ing anything for your kiddos this year?

M

Pinterest_Christmas_Logo_Edit

Here are the instructions if you are a new to linky-party:
•click on the blue button at the bottom of this post – the one with the frog
•add a link to your Pinterest Christmas blog post in the URL field (please do not link to your home page but the specific post page)
•for “name” write a short descriptive name for your post
•if you would like to put the Pinterest Christmas button on the bottom of your post, we would love to see it there!