Monday, August 27, 2012

Diaper Wreath and Wishing Tree

Well, since we're in party mode, I thought I'd keep it rolling by posting on some of the baby showers I threw / helped throw while I was on my hiatus from blogging.

I've made a diaper cake before, and I've received a diaper cake before.  Let me tell ya, after unrolling a million itty bitty tiny diapers and trying desperately to make them flat so they'd lay in my diaper basket I had for Kalia, I really would be a happy camper if I never had to make one or unroll one ever again.  Those things are a pain!  They are super cute, but not so practical.  I mean, I guess they're practical, it just takes a.lot of work to get to your present!

But I know they're cute, and if nothing else, baby showers are supposed to be cute.  Sooo...I decided to make a diaper wreath instead!

Here's the materials you need :

All you do is take those little diapers, and tie a string around them until you fill up the wreath form.

This one was going on the front door of one of my girlfriends parents house on a tiny nail, so I didn't want it to be too heavy, so it just got filled with diapers.

This next one I hung in the mirror above my buffet in my laundry room and added in a few toys for the new baby boy.  I know when Kalia reached the age where she started wanting toys, I was so grateful that friends had gifted me with them, even though they weren't something I thought to register for.

And this last one was for a second time Momma.  She's got lots of toys, so I stuck with bath supplies to fill her diaper wreath with.  Her first one was also a large baby, so I skipped the newborn diapers and went with larger ones.  Much more practical when your baby outgrows newborns dipes before even leaving the hospital!

Another thing I did for all of these showers that was a big hit was a wishing tree.  For my girlfriend that was having a little girl, I took a branch, spray painted it white, then added in a tiny bit of silver spray paint to make it more girly and added in white rocks.

For all three baby showers, I used this cute little bird notepad and had people write their wishes for baby and Momma to be.  It's a cute way to do a personalized guest book.  I added these little buckets to hold the pens and paper in.

For the Momma's that were having boys, I stuck to bare branches and the yellow and brown rocks.

I also used baby bottles for vases, which I thought was a really cute touch.

Unfortunately, with a wee one in tow for all of these showers, I didn't snag as many pictures as I would've liked to.  Chris snagged this one of Kalia and I at the first is crazy how much she's changed (she was 5 months in this pic).  She looks so little here!! those dimples of hers so much!!!  Sorry, sorry, back to the post...

All of these babies the showers were thrown for have already been born, and I'm so glad I could help their Momma's get ready to celebrate their big days by throwing these showers for them.  I am, however, officially on a baby shower hiatus...for now anyways.  I'm actually onto wedding stuff (yay Jenny!).

Anyone else throwing a massive amount of baby showers, or got any fun ideas for bridal showers / bachelorette parties (that's not x rated!)?  I swear, something gets in the water around these seems like we go through spurts where everyone is pregnant!

Hope you guys had a great weekend!  Happy Monday!

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kalia's First Birthday Party

Hard to believe my little girl turned one over two months ago.  She grows so much every single day, sometimes it seems that if I blink, I miss some milestone that happened!

I tried telling myself I was going to keep Kalia's First Birthday party simple.  I didn't want to spend a ton of money on it, and I wanted the decorations to be for Kalia...after all, it was her party.  While I succeeded in making it so my decorations didn't cost a lot of moola, staying true to myself, the decor wasn't exactly simple...but Kalia loved all of them, so overall, it was a success!

Forwarning, this post is an overload of pictures (aren't most of my posts?!?!)!  Special thanks to Erin and Chris for photographing Kalia's big day so Chris and I could just enjoy and celebrate.  Kalia's first year was filled with so much more laughs, cries, tribulations, joys, and absolute amazement than I ever thought possible!

When you walked in the front door, this is pretty much what you saw.  We hung crepe streamers from the pendant, which looked really cool at night, sort of okay during the day.  Kalia thought it was amazing though, so that's what counted.

We blew up these balloons using our air compressor, and then threaded a needle through the bottom part of the balloon and pushed all of these along clear fishing wire.  We used clear tape (with no adverse affects) to tape where the balloons crossed.  Kalia would stare up at these balloons and say "ba! ba! ba!"  The girl loves her some balloons!

I also printed out the Happy Birthday Kalia banner, cut it out using my straight line cutter thing a ma bob (technical term for it!), used my hole punch to put holes on both sides of the letter, and then strung ribbon through it.  I taped the back of the ribbon to keep it all in place.  More than likely, you'll see that banner for future birthday parties as well!

Then, of course, there's the chalk wall with the window ledges we built and a bunch of our favorite pictures from Kalia's first year.

If you looked to the left of the front door when you walked in, you saw this :

You can see the gifts chalk sign I made letting guests know where to drop them off.  We blew up balloons and shoved them in-between the dining room chandelier and twisted crepe paper and hung it around the dining room.  Kalia loved this too.  Her eyes were drawn up for most of the week leading up to her party!  The entire cost to decorate both of these rooms was $12.  Not too bad, eh?

Here's a better look straight on :

The basket to the left (the table and basket don't normally live there) held the party favors for the wee ones.  

I took inexpensive frames, fabri-tacked the back of them with fabric (pink for the girls, blue for the boys), and wrote the kids name on them in either pink or blue (again, girl or boy).  For the most part, I actually had pictures of Kalia with the kiddo to put into the frames, but there were a few cases where the picture frame just held a blank sheet of photo paper with instructions on how to insert another picture in it's place.  I glued twine to one side of the fabric, and then just pushed the backing shut after punching a hole through the center of the picture.  Here's a blank one so you get the general idea.  Imagine Kalia + a kid named Blake on that blank sheet of photo paper though!


 The mammoth project of the entire birthday party was this giant number one.  I initially tried to tape pictures in the shape of a one on the wall, and got about three pictures in before Chris told me that was ridiculous and went out to the garage and made me a cutout from some old cardboard boxes we had lying around.  The bottom is actually taped on, but you wouldn't know with the pictures covering it.  The top left was the most recent pictures and it went all the way down to the very beginning days of having Kalia home.  This took a lot of time, but brought back so many fun memories.

To be 100% honest, this is still hanging in my dining room!  Kalia goes up to it all day long and points out "Daddy!", "Momma!" and "Kodi!".  I'll take it down and put these pictures in a photo album at some point, but probably not until I get to work on a project to replace it.  Which might not be until she's two.  Oh well, my house, I'm okay with it!  I actually love to look at it too.

If you remember from Kalia's invites, the only sort of "theme" I had going on was pictures.  I was successful at taking pictures every week of Kalia in her rocking chair with her pink pillow, and hung them around the pool deck in a clothes pin line.

It's amazing to me to look back at those weekly pictures and see how much change occured every.single.week.  When you're living in the moment, it seems like everything is the same, and then it's just...not...but documenting it week by week was something I'm really happy I can look back at.

 Kalia absolutely loves the water.  She's a little fish in there, so for activities, we just stuck to splashing around in the pool.  Kalia couldn't have been happier!

I think Chris might of had just as much fun as Kalia did!

 ...of course there were the chalk signs and fabric heart with Kalia's name on it too...

For the food, we kept it simple.  We did sandwiches on fancy bread/bun things, fruit, and numerous other side dishes that family brought (thanks awesome parents!!).

Of course there were desserts.  Anyone that knows me in real life knows that I can't bake worth a darn.  My wonderful sister-in-law made these amazing cake pops that were a huge hit!


Her amazing mother made these deliciously cute cupcakes (good baking must run in their family ... my Mom can bake, I'm a mess, she didn't pass that gene down to me!)...

...and my amazing mother in law made these scrumptious cookies.  Can you believe it was Chris's idea to stack them this way before people showed up?  Love that man!

Kalia, of course, had her smash cake.  I actually attempted to bake one the night before, but after you could throw it against the wall and put a dent in it, I called Publix and paid the $10 for a wee cake.  Kalia was initially overwhelmed at everyone singing to her...

...but quickly got over it and dug in.  She actually didn't like her cake though - she's not a fan of sugar just yet, and I plan to keep that up as long as possible!

Yay!  The party was a success!

I'll end on a family photo from the end of the party.  We had such a blast celebrating making it through the first year of Kalia's life.  Some days we were in survival mode, but every day I'm thankful for.  We are so blessed to have such a healthy, happy, and fun little girl.  I wouldn't change one single thing for the world!

Gah, love both of them so much!!!  So what do you guys think of the decor?  It was a little time intensive, but Kalia loved it, so it was definitely worth it!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Tutorial : Hanging Purse / Diaper Bag Rack

I was going to call this Hanging Coat Rack, but lets be real, it's like 100 degrees here in Florida, and there is not a coat in sight around this house!

I made my mail holder for my office almost two years ago.  It's held up great, and we use it all of the time, but there is one problem with it.

See that purse?  It's a wee bit small to fit all of Kalia's stuff in when we're heading out.  So the mail hanger has gotten to be quite crowded with all of our various bags we keep stalked up and ready to go around these parts.  We've got a Mommy bag, a Daddy bag, a gym bag, and a beach bag that we hang regularly, along with the bjorn, Kodi's leash, and few other miscellaneous things.  The hooks on the mail holder weren't cutting it anymore.  They work just fine, we just need more.

I saw this on One Kings Lane and immediately got inspired to do something about it.

Image courtesy of One Kings Lane

This was perfect, and with some left over scrap wood, I knew I'd be in business.

Here's how I recreated my own version.

First up, I got out my scrap wood.  My dimensions wound up being pretty close to the inspiration piece, although I think mine is a little bit taller.  It is 25" x 9".  The small boxes I cut into 5" squares.

After all of my little boxes were cut, I sanded with 150 grit sandpaper.  I sanded until my arm almost fell off the edges were round and pretty.

I used these three stains I had left over from my American Wall Art I did awhile back.

I stained the back board white, and here's what my little blocks against it looked like :

After that, I taped my little blocks and stained with the white...

...then the blue...

...and finally I taped,

and applied the red stain.

When I was done, I was left with this :

I gave it all a little bit of distressing with 200 grit sandpaper, focusing on the edges.

I purchased hooks at my local home improvement store, and traced out where I wanted the holes to go....

...and then pre-drilled out the holes prior to installing the hooks.

After that, I just installed the hooks and used wood glue to apply the blocks (using my laser level to make sure they were all even), and viola :

Storage solution fixed!   I hung it in our laundry room, which is the perfect place to drop off the bags as we come in and out of the garage.  Now we've got two storing options.  If we come and go out of the front door (which we do when we jog or bike down to the Y, Publix, or the park), we've got the trusty mail holder, and now when we come and go out of the garage, we've got this!

Most of the time at least one of these bags is in the office room on the mail holder, but I put up all of the bags we had sitting on top of the washer (which drives me bonkers), and snapped a quick pic before having to go rescue Kalia from doing some sort of suicidal trying to drown herself in the toilet!

So what do you guys think?  Anyone else have a million bags hanging around, or are we the only ones that like to switch it up constantly?

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Happy Monday!
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