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Monday, July 25, 2011

The Miracle of Life

One year ago today Roly Poly entered our lives.

It was no less than a miracle of God.

He was two weeks early.
My water broke at 1:30 AM that morning,
so we got up and made the 45 minute drive 
to drop Monster at Grandma's and go to the hospital.

The scheduled C-section was out the door
and we actually were confident that everything was going to go
far more smoothly this time,
and it did.

However, this day was truly a miracle because while I was patiently waiting 
to meet my son I heard the nurse say,
"Wow! Look at the umbilical cord."

This struck me because the FULL length of Monster's cord 
had been around his neck, 
so I wondered what could this kiddo have done to the cord.

Well . . . 
check this out
(warning: surgically graphic photo)

If you are wondering what you are supposed to be seeing,
it is a full knot in the umbilical cord.

How long was it there?
How did he do it?

Who knows.

All I know is that natural labor would have equaled 
bad mojo because that knot would have tightened.

God blessed us with my water breaking.
He coud see my son in the womb and knew how crafty he was.

We are so thankful that things went the way that the did
because Roly Poly is all smiles, love, and fun.


HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BABY BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Where Have I Been?

Well, I thought that I should just stop by and drop a line to all of my lovely readers.
I am sure that one or two of you are curious as to where I have been lately.

My posts became more and more sporatic and then non-existent.

Well, really I am just busy and tired.

Two birthday parties three weeks apart is a BIG challenge,
much larger than I ever anticipated.

Plus, I had to finish my couch, paint some in the house,
hang photos that should have been hung months ago.,
tie up some loose ends in the boys room before Roly Poly's party on Saturday.

And . . . while all of this is going on I am supposed to be mommy,
a fun, Summer loving, mommy.

You know the one who takes their kiddo to swim lessons and the park.
The one who plays in the backyard with the boys.

So, please hang in there and I will be back with some fun stuff.
I just don't have the time or energy at the moment to upload, edit,
and most importantly create a lovely post.

Thanks for the loyalty.

LOVES!!!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pirate PARRRTY

Pirates are super fun,
even though there was a time where I was pirated out.

Thank goodness right then Christian Bale came out with a cowboy movie
and gave me some space away from the pirates
allowing me to fall back in love with them.

Now  that I am a party planning mama,
I had an excuse to throw a Pirate Party.

Here is the banner that inspired it all.
I picked this up post Halloween last year.

I loved the colors.

To make this simple 
I am just going to show you some collage snap shots
with basic titles.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask.




THE INVITATION


INSIDE DECOR


OUTSIDE DECOR







THE PIRATES
Monster and Tia Niki (She was a phenomenal help!)
Yes it was 100 and she wore that. AWESOME!!!


THE FOOD




THE CAKE



THE FUN


HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONSTER




Okay, so that is it!
Thanks for letting me share with you.
Let me know what you think.


Next, an Owl party on the 23rd.
Have a wonderful weekend.

This party is linked to:
Visit thecsiproject.com


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

{What I Wore Wednesday} Patriotic Pirate

This year my Fourth of July outfit took some clever planning.
 I wanted something that was both festive and patriotic for Fourth of July, 
but also looked a bit Piratey for Monster's party.

I contemplated several looks.
Black and white stripes.
Linen pants.

Then Nina from Momma Go Round
linked to this photo of Cat Deeley on Facebook.

Way cute, right?

Well, I decided this was the look I was going to try to recreate.
I had red and white striped fabric,
so I thought I could try to make the skirt.
I did need to get an appropriately colored top though.

On Saturday I was able to run into Old Navy to get a top
and also to check the price on the skirt.

A top took about 10 seconds, literally, to find.
They were right when I walked in.

Then I saw what I thought was the skirt,
and it was.
However, it is NOT red and white.
NOPE!!!
 Orange and Cream.

Editing can REALLY change the colors.

So, I knew I was going to want to make my skirt,
not like a mom doesn't have a trillion other things to do the night before a party.

Pshhha . . .

So I sewed one at 1 AM on Saturday night
and we left our house for my MIL's at 8 AM the next morning.

Sleep total.
3 1/2 hours.

Totally enough.

Okay,
here's the look in action.


In the evening we went to a cousins house in a 
city that allows fireworks.

The boys get a bit crazy every year.
This was the first year though that 
Monster enjoyed them and wasn't either asleep or terrified.

Roly Poly was sleeping.

I decided to change into shorts so I could sit on the ground more easily.

Simple switch.
Oh yeah, then it rained for about 5 minutes.
SWEET!

Hope your holiday was fun too.
Check back in tomorrow,
hopefully,
for a full review of the Pirate Party.

It was pure awesomeness.



Saturday, July 2, 2011

Monster's Past Birthdays

Since Monster's Birthday is just around the corner; 
it's a BIG day, July Fourth; 
I thought that I would share with you 
how we have celebrated in the past.

Since he is only going to be THREE, 
there are two past parties to share.

For his first birthday I went with a Vintage Americana Theme.
I think it is fairly clear why I did this,
I mean his birthday is the most important, 
purely American holiday.
Here are some shots of what we did.
Buckets for Favors.
Liberty" D and 1 Cookies frosted in red and blue
America: Dick and Jane Flashcards in hand sewn bags made from red wagon fabric.
Birthday sign above the gift table
Yes, I know that the name is out now.


Year in Review Photo Gallery


Dessert Table
Red Wagon Smash Cake
Red Velvet and Vanilla Cupcakes from Sprinkles mixes
Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes (recipe found here)
D and 1 Cookies in Red and Blue

Red Wagon Pinata

 Wagon Decorating and Parade

 Loving the RED frosting from the cake


Last year, I wanted to simplify. 
I was prego and sicker than I even knew.

I did a weekday party, 
this is a great alternative if you want to save some moolah.

By virtue of the time of day less guests can come,
which equals less food needed.

Unfortunately, 
it also meant that daddy wan't here for the party.

However, 
he was of course there on the Fourth for fireworks.

We did Buzz lightyear.
It was mostly a glorified play date.
I found Buzz Lightyear Blaster water guns at Dollar Tree.
I also found the water balls.
For the center pieces I had green and purple buckets
with Toy Story Pin Wheels
I didn't get many photos of the party,
and not really any of anything that I did.
Sad.
Here's what I do have.

The main creative/crafty thing that I did was make these 
Buzz Lightyear Candies.

I did a few with all of the proper colors, 
and then just filled them in with solid colors.

I admire the ladies that take the time to do dozens of these. 
It is just not the craft for me.

I got purple and green paper bags for the favors 
and filled them with a ton of 
Toy Story stuff that I found at 
the 99 cent store and Dollar Tree.
I made star sugar cookies 
and frosted them in purple and green.
I was lazy sick and prego, 
so we went with the licensed stuff,
including a pretty decent cake from Super Target.


 


Friday, July 1, 2011

{Frugal Friday} Five Frugal Party Tips

Since parties are sort of the theme of the week,
today I am going to share with you five things that help 
me to stay on track while planning a party.

Parties in today's society can be a bit exorbitant and costly.

#1

Plan early. Plan often.

Yes, when I say early I mean EARLY!!!

Seriously early.

You should pretty much start thinking about the party
 a minimum of nine months ahead of time.
This allows you to catch deals when there are clearances 
andto spread out cost.
It allows you to not impact your budget with a 
$500 plus dent at all once.
Food clearly cannot be picked up early 
which is why it is important to pick up the other things early.
Food costs alone can be between $80-$200 depending on the 
number of guests and what is being served.

#2

Plan. Plan. Plan.
And when you think you have it all covered 
plan some more.

Plan a budget, 
both overall all and per item.


For example,
this year for Roly Poly's first birthday I knew 
that I wanted the invitations to have matching paper.


I will be making a majority of the decorations from this paper.
Thus, these two items will make up the majority of my budget.
I set an overall number for the party,
but then I set a separate number for what
 I would spend on this bulk order.
I was exactly within my budget and ordered three months early
so the cost is already done even though the party 
isn't until July 23rd.

It is also important to plan table cloths, silverware, etc early.
What games, prizes, favors will you be incorporated.

This allows you to make a Target run and see plasticware in the
 seasonal section on clearance and pick it up.
I did this for both parties this year.

Monster's decor was inspired by some items I picked up in the Halloween clearance at Target
and 
Roly Poly's silverware was purchased from this years Easter section at Target.

Pictures of both will come after the actual parties.

#3

Cut Costs!!!

Yes, in some ways this is easier said than done,
but it is truly feasible.

One simple area for cost cutting is drinks.
Limit the number of options that you serve.
You do not need to purchase a 12 pack of 5 different types of soda.

Instead, you can serve filtered water in a large decorative pitcher.
Make some Crystal Light or Lemonade in another decorative pitcher.
Then, you are free to have one or two soda choices (purchased on sale with a coupon)
for your guests who have this as their preference.

The way that I am incorporating this idea for Roly Poly's party
is by serving only IBC rootbeer 


because the color goes with the theme
and then I will have some other refreshments in dispensers.


In the past I have spent way too much on drinks
and been left with more left overs than any one family needs.

There are several other ways of cutting costs.
  • Sewing your own favor bags.
  • Reusing items from past parties (eg glassware for center pieces--this is what I am doing for Monster's Pirate Party)
  • Make your own cake/cupcakes/desserts
  • Skip the pinata for an alternative game
  • Avoid the bounce house trap at all cost (sorry if you are a bounce house lover. They are a cost though)
  • Borrow chairs and tables from friends who have them or ask your church
  • Serve only cake and ice cream, thus cutting your food costs astronomically.
  • Have a breakfast party where you serve fruit and cereal.


#4

Taper the guest list.

This can be a hard one, especially for a first birthday party.
Just know that sometimes you can't taper and others you can.
When you can taper the guest list,
there are several possible strategies.

  • You can throw a family ONLY party.
  • You can make it a gender only party.
  • When the child is old enough it can be a drop off party. No parents=less mouths to feed.
  • Have a destination party where your child invites one-three friends. This is clearly a choice reserved for older children, not infants or toddlers.
  • Make it at an inconvenient date or time. Seriously, this way you don't feel bad. Last year Monster's party was on a Thursday at 11. This pretty much excluded all extra dad mouths, including my husband's. This year his party is on his birthday, Fourth of July, at 10am. It is at my Mother-in-law's house 40 minutes from where we live. We limited it to family because we didn't want to obligate any of our friends to drive or cancel cooler plans. This wipes away any guilt. Everyone who is coming lives within 15 minutes of where the party will be. We are the only ones who do not live nearby.
#5

Don't be Embarrassed.

Be true to yourself. Be true to your budget.
People are they to have fun.
In the end people don't REALLY care how awesome your party was.
Instead, they just want to hang out, have good conversation, and love on your kid.
If you can't afford it or you just don't have time to manage it,
then just have a classic party like your mom threw you.

This was what I did last year.

I bought Little Caesar $5 pizzas,
a cheap but cute cake from Target,
simple favors, 
and that was that.

I was sick, pregnant, tired, hot, perturbed, and just a bit over it in general.
I still had fun. 
The kids were enamored with the day.

All was well.

Okay, so this post was mostly wordy, 
but I think that it is worth reading.

Lots o Love for this 
AWESOME< AMAZING< FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND!!!!




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