February 26, 2013

Fun Weekend Away

This last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a conference in Dallas called DotMom. It was an amazing weekend and I have so much I want to share about it. Today I'm just going to share a recap in pictures, and then I'll do another post with some reflections on some of what I learned.

The conference was on Friday and Saturday, so Patrick wasn't able to keep the kids because of work. Luckily my wonderful mother agreed to watch them at my sister's house, which was only about 30 minutes from the hotel where the conference was. We decided to go down on Thursday night and stay at my sister's so we could get settled and not be rushed to get to the conference on Friday. And let me just say - I'm not sure how it was possible, but I KNOW Maeva knew I was about to leave her for the first time. She is not a huge cuddler, but by gosh, she wanted to do nothing BUT cuddle with me that night. Exhibit A: this picture taken sometime after midnight where she was wide awake and wanting to be held. It was pretty sweet, even though it left me awfully tired. :)

We went to the first few sessions on Friday afternoon, then headed out for some Mexican - for the 2nd time that day. Ridiculous, right? Wrong. Not when you're kid free. :) We even went to Cheesecake Factory around 11 that night for some dessert. This is the craziest I've lived in years.


Saturday morning I went back to my sister's house real quick to nurse MB. She had basically refused a bottle the day before - she had about 2 ounces total for the day. Luckily it was a close easy trip, and she was SO happy to see me! I was pretty thrilled to see her too. :)

Manny, however, was just annoyed that I was interrupting his playtime with his cousins. When I was telling him bye the first day, he just kept saying, "Go, mama...bye! Get in mama's carseat. Go. See you later!" and pushing my back out the door. It was really hard for him to see me leave. Clearly.

 
One of my favorite things about the weekend was spending time with friends. Megan was the one who asked me to go to the conference and I'm so glad she did. Aside from her loud gasps and constant questioning of my abilities to drive in Dallas traffic, we had so much fun together. She has become such a great friend of mine and I'm so thankful for our friendship. Backseat driving and all. :)


It was great to hang out with Hillary and Kelly, and I also met sweet Jill for the first time.


Elizabeth is one of Kelly's friends from church that came, and I had so much fun getting to know her! She is seriously one of the nicest people I've ever met.

This whole group of girls are definitely one of a kind. I seriously have not had that much fun with friends in a long time. If you read Kelly's blog, you've heard her say how blessed she is with good friends from church. And after hanging out with them this weekend, I totally get it now. They are each such amazing women and I loved the time spent getting to know them.

As I mentioned, I have more to share about the actual conference. Still processing all that but I will be sharing soon because it was such a blessing to me. Mom, I can't thank you enough for making it possible for me to go! Love you! 

February 25, 2013

DIY Gold Polka Dot Jewelry Tray

I have a really bad habit of piling stuff around my house. Like I move piles from room to room to make things seem cleaner. The problem is that my little piles soon become not so little. SO. I'm on the never ending quest to find solutions to clean up and organize things. One of these problem areas is my dresser. I tend to throw all my jewelry on my dresser and it just looks cluttered. I have a jewelry armoire, but there are some pieces that I wear more frequently that I don't like to put away in there every day. So I decided the solution would be to make a tiered jewelry tray out of dishes. I've made a few different versions of these before, typically by painting the whole plate. This time, I decided to take a different twist on them, basically because I'm obsessed with all things gold and polka dots!

What you Need:
--white plate & bowl (Dollar Tree)
--candlestick (Dollar Tree)
--Sharpie metallic gold paint pen (or color of your choice)
--spray paint

1. Spray paint the candlestick and allow to dry.

2. Place reinforcement labels on your dishes, distributing evenly to create the polka dot pattern you'd like. I got this idea from For Chic Sake, and thought it was genius to use those for a template! They just filled in the center of the circle for a gold dot for their project, and it was super cute. However, for this project I wanted a larger polka dot, so I also traced the outside of the reinforcement label. Then I took the label off the plate, and colored in the circle the rest of the way. You could also use just any circle shaped sticker. I already had the reinforcement labels, so that's what I used.

3. If you're like me and accidentally bought regular Sharpie metallic markers instead of paint pent markers, you'll find it doesn't cover quite as you'd hoped. And rather than wait and buy the correct supplies, you find what you have on hand to make this project work. In my case, I decided to use gold paint I already had to touch up the polka dots a little. I probably should've waited and just got paint pens, but it turned out fine...just took me a little longer to finish.

4. I don't know if this was really necessary, but I decided to put them in the oven to set the paint (I did not put the candlestick in since my jewelry won't be touching it). I read on Pinterest (so it can't be wrong, right?) to bake them at 350 for 20 minutes and that should set the paint on them. I figure it can't hurt things, but am not positive if it really makes a difference. We shall see!

5. After they cool, use E6000 glue to adhere the candlestick to the bowl and plate. I put the base of the candlestick on the top so it would leave more room on the bottom tray. Allow to dry for a couple of hours to fully set.

And there you have it - a fairly simple and fun jewelry stand for just over $3! I kind of love it. Makes me think a little of Kate Spade type style, but that could just be wishful thinking. :) Here's to hoping it actually helps me keep the top of my dresser cleaned off!

I'm sharing this at the following places:

February 21, 2013

A Fun Valentine's Party!

 
My friend Katie hosted the cutest Valentine's Day party and I just had to share some pictures of it. Katie is party-planner extraordinaire and went all out making this such a fun party!
The food spread was absolutely amazing. You can't tell well from the angle of this picture, but those fruit skewers were shaped like cupid arrows!
I love how she used scrapbook paper for the place settings. Such a cheap but fun touch.
Those cupcakes you see? They were actually little bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes and were absolutely delightful. The sugar cookies were amazing too. I did my part sampling everything.
She made the cutest backdrop of floating hearts where the kids had a little photo booth dress up fun.
Manny really wanted a pair of sunglasses and this was the only pair availabe...so he totally rocked them. He also loved the Mickey Mouse hands that were in the dress-up bin...it was funny to watch him walk around wearing them. I'm sad I didn't get a picture with Maeva or Katie but I just forgot with so much going on.
The strawberry lemonade was great, and she even had a special champagne treat for the mommas!
There was a craft table with supplies so the kiddos could make Valentine's, and it was SO well organized! Manny absolutely loved it. Isn't Katie's daughter Chloe such a doll? She's so sweet and sat there and colored for the longest time.
When I said Katie thought of every detail, I wasn't kidding. She even had a large blanket set up on the floor with a bunch of pillows and toys so the babies would have a place to hang out. The party was in her neighborhood clubhouse, which has tile floors, so I thought it was incredibly thoughtful of her to make sure to have a place for the babies so I didn't have to lug MB around the entire time.
And to top it off, she sent us all home with yummy favors: a sucker for Manny, a bag of some awesome puppy chow for Patrick & I, and a bag of puffs for Maeva that said "We pink puffy heart you for coming!" Seriously - how cute is that?? Thanks again Katie for throwing such a fun party and letting us be a part of it! :)

February 18, 2013

DIY Cheap Specialty Frames

I am a huge fan of the specialty shaped luxe frames that are all the craze right now. I am not, however, a huge fan of the hefty price tag that comes with them. I was thrilled to see Hobby Lobby start carrying a few types of the flourish shaped frames. They don't have a huge selection right now, but it's a start, and I'm certain it will continue to grow. In the meantime, I've come up with another option for an even cheaper alternative to the fun specialty shaped frames. I want to do a gallery wall in Maeva's nursery (will it still be called a nursery if she's 2 when I finish it??) so I decided to make a few for it. I was able to make these for less than $3 each and love the way they turned out!

What you need:
--wood plaques (I purchased all of mine at Hobby Lobby for $1-2 each on sale.)
--mini clothespins (Hobby Lobby or TomKat Studio)
--paint (I spray painted mine but craft paint would also work.)
--hot glue/glue gun
--sawtooth hangers & nails (I bought mine at Target for about $2.)

1. To begin, paint your plaques and clothespins. I laid all of mine out on a piece of cardboard in the garage and went to town with spray paint. I clipped my clothespins to the side of an old magazine because I think that's just the easiest way to paint clothespins. (picture here if you're not sure what I'm talking about.)

2. Once dry, grab your pack of sawtooth hangers and with the help of your handy assistant, nail the hangers on the back of your plaque. Be very careful not to turn your back on said handy assistant who has a tendency to get hammer happy.
 
3. Using a hot glue gun, run a strip of glue on the back of the clothespin, then press it down in place on the plaque. I went ahead and clipped a picture in the clothespin before I glued the clothespin down so I could position it accordingly. 
 
And there you have it! Some frames perfect for a gallery wall on a budget. I haven't actually put together said gallery wall, but now that I have these finished? Maybe that will happen in the next month or 6. I also added a piece of glitter cardstock (from Hobby Lobby) to one of the frames. You could do the same with patterned scrapbook paper for a different look. If it's regular scrapbook paper, I would probably Mod Podge it down. I just hot glued this piece of cardstock to the plaque because it's super thick and durable.

February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!





February 13, 2013

Valentine's Pictures

I think this picture of Maeva is one of my all-time favorites. I cannot look at it without laughing. :)
One of my sister-in-law's best friends recently started a photography business, and every time I see her pictures on Facebook I've wished she could take the kid's pictures. We're not in the same town as her, but it just so happened we were going to be up visiting my parents (somewhat near her) one weekend when she was doing Valentine's Mini Sessions, so I immediately signed up for a spot.
We actually stopped at her house on our way home that Sunday for the session, and both of the kids had been napping and weren't in the best of moods so I was curious to see if we'd even get any decent pictures. 
 I was beyond thrilled when I saw how many great ones she got!
Even though Manny mostly stuck to his fake smile, I still love these pictures. :)
If you're in need of a photographer in the Northeastern Oklahoma area, I highly recommend you check out Amanda Rice Photography. Her prices are ridiculously cheap - I keep telling her she needs to raise them! Not that I want her to, but it's just rare to find someone that does such great work for such a cheap price. I have a few more pictures I used for their Valentine's card, but I will wait and post those tomorrow since I don't think all of our family has received them yet. :)

February 12, 2013

The Proof is in the Pin {Volume 6}

Welcome to another edition of the Proof is in the Pin! The monthly link-up in which I share some pins I scurried around the night before to do completed the previous month in a quest to keep me accountable to stop being a pin-hoarder. Anybody is welcome to join. All you have to do is actually do something you've pinned, then write a post letting us know about it. Good outcome, bad outcome, doesn't matter. In my case, I'm working my way through my "Recipes" board one burnt cookie at a time. Moving right along!
Pin #1 - Holiday Prints in a Frame: I pinned this after I had already gotten Christmas gifts for Manny's teachers, and made a mental note to gift this to them for Valentine's Day. And in what I'd like to refer to as a post-Christmas miracle, I actually remembered I had a gift for them before I went and purchased something else! The girls at eighteen25 made 7 seasonal printables that you can change out based on the holiday, and one of them is generic for those in between times. Just buy a 4x6 frame (I got the teacher's at Dollar Tree), and print the photos (I did mine at SAM'S for 0.13/each.) Then I put them in a Ziploc bag and tied them to the back side of the frame. Simple, but also simply adorable.
I loved it so much I decided to add one to my mantle (my frame via Hobby Lobby). This will be fun to have this set to change out for easy seasonal decor. You can download all of the super cute printables from eighteen25 here.

Pin #2 - Leopard & Stripes: So a couple of months ago I discovered this blog called Pinterest Told Me To written by a cute girl named Sheaffer. Let me just say there isn't a time I visit without laughing. She had me at hello the first time I visited her blog with a tagline something to the effect of, "Because when Pinterest says jump, I do in colored skinnies and a statement necklace." I literally laughed out loud when I read that because that's SO me. And the 27 colors of bubble necklaces I own are a true testament to that. Anyway. She has started hosting a monthly link-up with two other bloggers: Mel from The Larson Lingo, whom I've been reading for quite some time and is so cute and creative, and Shay from The Mix & Match Family, who is adorable, an amazing cook, and the sister of the current Bachelor - how fun is that?!

So their link-up is a challenge to wear a Pinterest inspired outfit from clothes already in your closet. This is something I need to be better about so hope to start trying more of. This month I'm a little late to the party, plus it's my first time so I'm going to keep it simple. I saw this pin a long time ago and loved it. Mixing prints is fairly new to me but I'm totally embracing it. I loved the leopard & stripes combo so much I've even tried it out on Maeva. Let's be honest though. What I really need Pinterest to tell me is how to get a picture with both of my kids without one of us being a blur. And by one of us, I mean Manny or Maeva. I do a pretty good job of staying still unless I'm reacting to the force that is these 2 children. Anyway, hopefully by their link-up next month I'll have a few outfits to share. High hopes, but one never knows.

Pin #3 - Bib Organization: I saw this pin with a simple organizational tip that made me think - why didn't I think of that?! Simply stick a command hook on the back of your highchair and hang bibs there. Keeps them all in a nice convenient location but also hidden. Can't ever get enough good organizational tips.

That's all for today! If you've done anything lately you discovered via Pinterest, feel free to blog about it and link up below. Happy Tuesday! :)

February 11, 2013

DIY No-Sew Baby Legs

Blue Steel
Okay, so this is more of a post to show off some pictures of my kids, but I thought I'd share the reason for why I took these pictures to begin with. I'm a huge fan of Baby Legs. Maeva has tons of pairs, yet I find myself always wanting to buy more. The other day I was putting a pair on her that were gifted to us, and I noticed the bottoms weren't hemmed. Upon further inspection, I realized they were actually adult knee socks and the bottom had just been cut off. Who knew?! Not me, that's who. I'm sure the rest of you are shaking your head at my revelation of this old news...but in the event some of you were living under a rock with me? Welcome. I'm here to share this little tip with you.
Go buy yourself a few pairs of cute knee high socks. Target has a bunch of fun prints for $2.50. Then use a pair of scissors to cut them off just above the ankle. Since the fabric is knit, it just kind of rolls up naturally, especially after you wash them.
As you can see, they are not a clean, polished finish, but I don't mind them somewhat unfinished.

I suppose I could spray some No-Fray on the ends, that is if I ever find what I did with my can of that. I've got to get a better system for organizing my craft supplies. And by that, I mean I can't keep chunking stuff in the closet.
Actually I suppose if I was really ambitious (I'm not) I could try my hand at stitching the ends of these. But it literally probably would be my hand. I'm not so great at that kind of stuff. So for now, we'll stick with our no sew baby legs. MB seems to love them. :)

February 7, 2013

Valentine's Day Free Printables

I saw these cute bubble sticks at Target a couple of weeks ago. It was only $3 for a pack of 24, so I picked them up knowing they'd be perfect for Manny's class Valentine's, especially since he is obsessed with bubbles.
I made a little tag to tie to the bubbles. I got super original (sarcasm font) and went with the saying "Valentine, you blow me away!" Simple is best, right? I think these could also work with bubble gum, blow pops, balloons, and of course, just a regular container of bubbles.
You can download the file with them laid out 12 per page here. As always, please do not sale this item or claim this work as your own. Free for personal use only.

Also, I've had some emails lately asking for the I Love You Because printable I made last year. You can find the downloads for all of the colors on this page here.

A little late to the party, but I'm sharing this with the Dog Days of Winter Linky Party.

Happy Thursday! :)

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