Thursday, October 31, 2013

Birthdays and Pinterest {Part 2}

This is the second segment to Little A turning 1. A look back over the last year and how quickly our little girl has grown from baby to a toddler.
When I started this blog it was my intention to write about all the hurdles and difficulties of going from a family of three to a family of four. I imagined adding a little newborn to our well-oiled routine would surely throw me for a major loop. I had fears before Little A was born of how difficult it would be to open my heart up more than it already was, that it would be impossible to love two little people equally without bias.

The truth is, it wasn't difficult at all. The truth is Little A made my heart burst - with more love than I could have ever imagined.

I didn't get around to writing as much as I had anticipated. For one, well, there honestly just isn't enough time. And two, somehow, amazingly enough, that well-oiled routine just kept on going. Don't get me wrong, that first month is pretty much a blur. The first month with any newborn is a blur. At least the second time around you know there is light at the end of the tunnel. It also helped tremendously that Big A was able to stay in daycare, so I was able to enjoy the time I had off from work bonding and getting to know our new little addition.

I think the biggest reason for not having as much to write about adapting to a family of four was that Little A just fit right in like she had been here all along. She is such a sweet and loving little thing. Even since she was still pretty little she loves giving hugs. She wraps her little chubby arms around you and pats you on the back. She's beautiful and bright eyed and happy. She's super ticklish and has the best little laugh. This crazy little girl actually toddles off to her bedroom for naptime and bedtime when you ask her if she's ready to go to bed. A phenomenon neither I nor her daycare provider can get over. In a nutshell, she makes our job as parents look easy.

The last year has gone by faster than the first time, and that has been harder. Especially since Husband and I are pretty sure that Little A is our last addition to the family. I ache for those first moments that I will never have again. But if I had to have them for the last time, Little A could not have been a better pick to have them with. She makes every moment magical.

I'm going to miss the baby year. Little A's sassiness is already coming through as we come in to the toddler years. But as I recall with Big A - it only gets funner.

And because everyone loves pictures way more than words, here's a quick wrap up of the last year of memories.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Birthdays and Pinterest {part one}

Honestly, how did we ever plan anything before Pinterest? I know we did. I know that somehow I managed to create a lovely first birthday party for my son without any assistance from Pinterest. I am a creative person, I have a design degree. Yet this does not seem to matter, I am drawn to Pinterest for inspiration, I need Pinterest. Okay, I'll admit it, I am obsessed with Pinterest. But from this obsession, a fabulous first birthday party was produced from my Little A.

This will be a two part post. First, the glorious details about the party and where I found my inspiration on Pinterest, and second, my feelings as I reminisce about the last year and the milestone of our baby girl turning one (can someone hand me a tissue please!).

So before I get too emotional let's dive into the party details. I'm not a huge fan of the commercial themed parties for first birthdays, I know too well that it will only be a short time before she is insisting on a (insert favorite cartoon here) party and the first and second birthday are really my only two opportunities to do something a little less commercialized. So I dived into Pinterest and searched First Birthdays to find some kind of inspiration. I came across several Sugar and Spice ideas and fell in love with the concept. The two most influential posts came from {here} and {here}.

Throw in a little shabby chic vintage inspiration (I apologize, this link is just an image, I don't know where the original came from) and I had a party plan.

I started gathering supplies for the fabric strip garland by scouring my moms craft bins and searching the thirft stores. Surprisingly, I did not have as much luck at the thrift stores as I thought I would. I did find one great full sheet that had all the colors I wanted in it and my mom came through with a ton of scrap fabric that tied everything together.

I knew I also wanted to make a sweet Tulle Wreath inspired by {this} post (which also happens to be my most popular re-pinned pin by far!). And if you're not feeling very crafty, she also has a link to buy her beautiful tulle wreaths. My wreath turned out a little different than the inspiration. I happened to have a grapevine wreath already in possession so I figured I would save money and just use it instead of buying a foam one. I like the way it turned out but I wish I would have bought more Tulle. I only bought two yards and it could have been a little fuller, but I didn't feel like going out and buying more so I left it as it was. I just used my daughters hair clips for the flowers. I purchased the A from Hobby Lobby and painted it with Big A's assistance.

Since Little A was born I have been taking monthly photos, inspired after seeing several other friends doing the same. I loved the idea of posing her in the same location and seeing how she changed. I printed these photos and used clothes pins to clip them to a pre-bought pennant that I hung over some more fabric garland. It was a fun layered look, the only oops was that the pennant had only ten triangles and I had 11 months, so I had to leave one month out.

I used a little wood table and chair that my mom already had for Little A to eat her cake. I wrapped a plastic table cloth around the bottom, ruffling it, an idea I got from {here}.

The last little detail was a chalk board sign from Hobby Lobby with the Sugar and Spice poem for the center piece of the table.

The best part of a Sugar and Spice them is the food! Most of the inspiration I found had sweets and spicy appetizers, but since our party was going to be set for late afternoon I decided to go for less heavy foods and a more snack style setup. For the Sugar I had Pink and White Marshmallows, Pink Wafer Cookies, and Strawberry Cake Cake Pops. I had two types of cupcakes - Sugar Cookie Cupcakes & Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes.

To round out the Spice side; Spicy Walnuts, Maple Spice Popcorn, and Spicy Mexican Fudge. All the food was amazing. The popcorn was a big hit, probably because there was so much sugar overload and it was the only less sugary option.

I had a great backdrop for the party, set up in my parents courtyard. It really completed the Shabby Chic look with the rustic fence and my mom's great old table for the centerpiece. We were also blessed with some absolutely amazing weather. It rained early in the morning but had cleared off and was sunny and beautiful by the time the party started. We could not have asked for a better day.

It was also my nieces 21ST Birthday, so we snapped a picture of them together with their own blocks, yet another idea seen on Pinterest. We realized we could recreate this picture every year as Little A turns 2 and she turns 22, etc. I love this idea and am looking forward to making it a tradition.

Little A was all smiles and loved all the attention. She dived into her cake like an old pro and I'm sure her sugar high kept her going for the rest of the day. We got to spend time with a lot of family and soaked up the last of the warm weather before Fall sets in.

                                                           Happy birthday sweet girl!!

For all my Pinterest Inspiration including recipes to all the yummy food we had you can find my board {here}