Thursday, June 11, 2015

Vintage Circus 1st Birthday Party

Can you believe my baby girl is 1 year old already?

These parties get harder and harder with 2 kids and working full time, but we pulled it off!  I could have done so much more, but I just had to draw the line somewhere for my own sanity.  The decorations came out super cute, the food was good, and everyone had a great time!

DIY party hats with a special one for the birthday girl

Let's just go right to her wearing it because it's too darn cute...she was so upset that she had to wait for cake!

The front hallway with her 12 month calendar photos, party blowers, and circus animal crackers as the balloon weights

Close-up of the party blowers

Front door sign

Back door leading to the backyard...
A couple hours before the party started, we ended up moving a lot of things outside because the weather was beautiful!

Happy Birthday banner in the kitchen

Party hats for the kids

Banner of monthly photos with her baby doll

Cards for the guests to write memories and advice for Caylee.  Everyone wrote the cutest messages for her! (I did this for Connor too, and I love that we can save them for him to look at when he gets older)

The snacks were also an important part of the vintage circus theme.  Everyone pigged out on circus peanuts, gummy bears, candy buttons, popcorn...

Cotton candy, Cracker Jack, animal crackers, etc...

We also had soft pretzels with cheese dip, hot dogs & turkey dogs, and some everyday food too.  Most of it got eaten before I got to take photos!

Caylee absolutely loved her first taste of cake and ended up with half in her tummy & half in her hair!

Connor was a great big brother and helped her blow out her birthday candle!

 It's so hard to believe it's been a year since she was born.  She's gone from a little newborn to a big girl in such a short time! But thank goodness this party is over now...I'm ready to enjoy the summer!

Friday, March 20, 2015

DIY Children's Art Drawing on a Pillow

Connor is turning into quite the little artist lately (swoon!) and I guess my love of art is rubbing off on him.  He started drawing these little faces

Connor is turning into quite the little artist lately (swoon!) and I guess my love of art is rubbing off on him.  He started drawing these little faces at daycare during art class and I'm obsessed with them.  I thought it might be fun to turn one of them into a little pillow for him.  We play "art class" at home, so I took a piece of fabric and ironed some pellon on the back of it to stiffen it up a little.  He used a fabric marker to draw the face on the fabric.

My little lefty hard at work!

I put fleece on the back side to make it a little softer for his bed and sewed the pillow closed.  He absolutely loves it!  He sleeps with it every night!  Best little project ever :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese

Another great mac & cheese recipe!  (Is there ever bad mac & cheese though?)  This one caught my eye because I could hide a lot of extra veggies in it for the husband and little guy.

Adapted from Finding Joy in my Kitchen

• 3 C milk
• 2 C al dente cooked pasta (I used veggie pasta made with carrots and squash)
• 1 tsp. salt
• 1 C canned sweet potato
• 6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
• 3 T Parmesan cheese
• salt & pepper

In a large saucepan on medium heat, combine the milk and cooked pasta with salt.
Slowly add the canned sweet potato to the pan and stir.  Keep stirring every minute or two until the mixture begins to boil.
Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan.
When the pasta is done (test a piece), remove the pan from the heat.

While the pasta is still hot, add in the parmesan and cheddar cheese and mix well to melt the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper. 


Monday, February 2, 2015

DIY Kids Despicable Me Minion Valentine's Day Crayon Wrap Gifts

Connor is currently obsessed with Despicable Me 2 and watches it at least a few times a week.  He calls it something like "Nin-yinks" instead of Minions, but it's cute!  For Valentine's Day, his daycare doesn't allow food to be brought in, so I thought it might be fun to do crayon Valentine's with Minions since they're his current favorite thing.

There's a lot of Minion printables floating around online right now, but none of them were quite right for what I needed.  I ended up resizing them to make them fit the crayon boxes I used, and then I added a little red note on the back.

I had to hide them from Connor until Valentine's Day so he doesn't destroy them, but I can't wait to see his face when he sees them!

Friday, January 16, 2015

DIY Baby Onesie Dress

One of the best parts about having a baby girl is all the stuff you can make her to wear.  However, I pretty much avoid making her clothes because she grows out of them so fast that it's not even worth the effort.  These dresses were pretty easy, so I did do a few of them (back when I still had time) during maternity leave.  She never even got a chance to wear them, but I did take photos of her in them before they got too small! 

I pretty much followed this tutorial by Prudent Baby with a few tweaks of my own to create this little dress for her.

It's really nice to have the onesie attached and then you can always add leggings or tights over it too.

Pretty girl!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Chickpea Chocolate Chip Blondies

I went to a New Years party where every family brought a dish.  Why bring regular brownies when you can sneak chickpeas into these blondies and shock everyone?  I put them out and didn't tell anyone there were chickpeas in them until after they ate them and loved them! :) 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

I'm always on that quest to find recipes with hidden veggies for my family to eat.  This recipe from Bethenny has been on my list for awhile, and I finally had time to try it.  Mac & cheese is a staple in our house and I know it's always going to be a hit, so why not add some extra veggies inside?

Adapted from Bethenny

• 12 oz. pasta shells
• 1 c. milk
• 3/4 c. Parmesan cheese
• 1 c. reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
• 1 c. frozen butternut squash, thawed (It took me forever to find this and I finally got some at Target in the freezer section)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon dry mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1/4 c. breadcrumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Boil pasta according to directions on the box.
3. In a small pot, combine milk, cheese and squash over medium heat until melted.  Add salt, mustard, pepper, and Worcestershire.
4. Drain the pasta when it's done.  Add the cheese sauce and mix.
5. Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan with cooking spray and pour the pasta in.
6.  Top with breadcrumbs and bake for about 20 minute or until the top starts to get golden brown.

Really good and a big hit with my family!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Easy Baby Hair Bow Hanging Closet Storage

Baby girl might have a few too many hair bows & headbands, but really, you can never have enough, right? She needs one to match every outfit and occasion!  Finally, I found the perfect solution to hold everything!  This closet organizer is double-sided so it actually holds twice as much as what I have here. 

I love that it fits perfectly in her closet so it doesn't take up a bunch of space in her room.
Brilliant! I'm so happy to have some organizing done for the new year!
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