Super Easy DIY Cardstock Bunting

0

4.17.2014

Hi! Just popping in quick to show you guys this super easy bunting I made out of plain, solid card stock for Ian's Christening party. Uhm, yes, it was back in November when he was 5 months...but the point is that you can make this for any occasion in any colors or patterns:) And you get a big bang for not a lot of buck! (Really what happened was that I left it up for our Christmas party because it was so versatile and then didn't get around to taking it down until just the other day and thought "Hmmm...maybe I should throw this up on the internet!")

I love metallics, so I opted for a lot of gold and silver mixed with whites (and green in the fresh flowers) for the party after his baptism. I've always been a fan of using paper to decorate with and I wanted to do something easy, cheap and simple using stuff I already had lying around. First I collected all the 8.5 x 11" metallic cardstock I had - in gold, silver, champagne and a sparkly white. The only thing I bought was a big spool of white yarn from Michaels (from the like knitting section) to hang the cardstock "flags" from. I wanted the least amount of work as possible, so I chose to do rectangular shaped flags that were exactly half the size of one piece of cardstock. So I only had to cut each 8/5 x 11" piece of paper once (directly down the center vertically) to get 2 flags. Then I simply folded them in half, ran the white yarn in between along the fold and dabbed some hot glue inside to hold it in place.

I could have alternated colors or created a pattern with the different tones of metallic paper, but I chose to do each bunting out of just one single color. Then I alternated those along the ceiling of our dining room (swagged in the middle near the chandelier) to sort of create stripes. It looked festive with the rest of the decor, like white and green flowers in mercury glass containers and lots of votives/hurricanes with white candles. (Excuse these horrible pics, it was dark and at the end of the party.)


You could do this easily for Easter with pastel colors or pretty stripes and floral scrapbook paper.  Garland and bunting and banners are so in now...but they don't always have to be super complicated or have words on them or involve lots of cutting:) Sometimes less is more... and then in this case...more - or lots of multiples of the same thing repeated over and over again - is more!

Have a great Easter weekend everyone!!!

Ian: 10 Months

1

4.10.2014

Somehow two months have gone by (since my last post like this) and my little guy is now 10 months!! (That means 1st birthday party planning has officially begun!) It also means that I'm getting sad again. This past almost-a-year has gone by way too quickly. He's just the best..I can't wait to see how he grows and what kind of little boy he becomes, but I really want to hold tight to this chubby, smooth-skinned, still wants me to pick him up all the time little angel. Guess that's why I'm writing these posts:)

{had to include this pic cause it just cracks me up! of course, Paul will probably kill me}
Here's the last two monthly elephant chair pics. These things are getting harder and harder to do because he will just not sit still. Even if he stays put for a second and smiles, by the time I scootch back on the floor and hold up the camera to take the shot, he is gone! Have had to resort to toys and for this time, yes, even the binkie (he just woke up from a nap, has his first real cold and I was losing light fast, have to go with it!).



Height (at 9 month check up): 29.5 inches
Weight (at 9 month check up): 20 lbs 3 oz.

{right after he gets out of the tubbie, I always pick him up in his towel and we look in the mirror, he loves it! excuse the arm flab, but I'm going to try and be more present in photos even if they are not perfect so that they know there mom was always there}
Sleeping Habits: This guy sleeps like a champ now. He has two consistent naps a day...one in the morning (usually around 10am) and one in the middle of the afternoon (say 3pm). His bedtime routine continues to be the same. We put him down around 8/8:30pm and most days he sleeps through the night until sometime around 7am. Thank you, Buddy!!!! Mama and Dada are so grateful:)


Eating Habits: Dude likes to eat! Not gonna lie. He goes to town on table food! His favorite thing though is real fruit...so far we have tried and he loves real bananas, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, grapes, pear, mango, and watermelon. He eats pancakes and waffles, blueberry and lemon poppy muffins, mac-n-cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, pizza, hot dogs, sloppy joes, peas, carrots, broccoli, cold cuts, cheese, all kinds of bread. We still give him a little bit of fruit or veggie mush or yogurt with each meal and he gets four bottles a day (the first when he wakes up in the morning, then one around noon after he wakes up from his morning nap, one late afternoon after he wakes up from his afternoon nap and one before bed) totalling about 22 ounces.


Developmental Milestones/First: pulls himself up to standing position, walks while pushing a walker toy, walks if you hold his fingers and walk with him, learned how to climb up the stairs, learned how to wave, first Valentine's Day, first St. Patrick's Day, first time sitting in the front of the shopping cart


Favorite Toys: Most of Ian's favorite toys are probably not ones he would be playing with if he didn't have a 3 year old big sister! Exhibit A (see below): he loooves Maura's Fisher Price Disney Princess Klip Klop Stable (the one where the horses really walk down the ramps on their own). Exhibit B: My Little Ponies (and all the other kinds of horses we have in this house)...enough said! He still loves our Melissa and Doug Wood Standard Unit Blocks, the V-Tech Sit to Stand Alphabet Train that he got for Christmas, and he's been having a lot of fun lately playing with our play kitchen, especially now that he can stand up at it and cook/bang things around.

{excuse the state of this room...playroom conversion in progress...this is with the old rug}

{with new rug}

 

Favorite Pastimes: eating!, taking a tubbie, going for walks or riding around the yard/driveway in Maura's old Push Around Buggy Car (similiar to this one), swinging on the swing set, his baby class at My Gym, standing at the train table and going all King Kong on it (there are not like 2 tracks connected together anymore, he just takes everything and smashes it), messing around with/crawling all over Maura, did I say eating?!


Least Favorite Pastimes: getting his diaper changed, getting his clothes changed, having his nose wiped, getting something taken away from him that he is trying to eat:)

And even though we have officially entered the open all the drawers in my dresser and throw all my clothes onto the floor, get into all the kitchen/bathroom/entertainment center cabinets and take everything out phase, how can you not love this guy/want to smoosh his face with kisses?!

Foyer Update: The New Painted Dresser

6

4.01.2014

The blue "Grantham" dresser that I bought from Danielle over at Finding Silver Pennies last week at the Duxbury Antique Show is here! And I'm in love:) Danielle and her husband Luke were super nice enough to drive it down to me on Saturday and I got a bit of time on Sunday to start putting some stuff in the drawers and get 'er styled. Its such a perfect fit here on the wall in the foyer and is providing some much needed "out of sight" storage.

{after with new dresser}
Here's how the wall looked before, with this Crate and Barrel glass and wood bookshelf. I still love this piece..we moved it upstairs to our guest room and filled it all with books (my complete set of Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" sci-fi/fantasy series, volumes 1 - 14, take up one whole self all on their own!!).

{before with tall bookcase}
The old bookcase did provide two functions which I needed to keep with this new set up. The first is the spot where Paul dumps his wallet and phone and other manly things when he gets home from work, etc. My mom had given him this monogrammed silver tray from Pottery Barn a while back so that needed to stay. We had also gotten very use to looking at the clock on the second shelf (a constant no matter how much the other accessories changed) to know the time. I thought it was a bit large for the top of the dresser, so instead I swapped it out with this PB Charleston Vintage Clock that I got for Christmas and was keeping on my nightstand. I love how the silver of each plays off the brass lion pulls on the dresser.



I have a couple of ideas for what I can hang above the dresser on the wall, but for now I just put up these leaning frames until I make up my mind. Have never met a botanical or bird illustration I didn't like...so these combined with my Wisteria fishing float and vintage glass bottle from the Brimfield Antique Show are saying spring to me. (If only mother nature would just get the message!)


Danielle did such an amazing job on this piece. The French Enamel from Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint line is such a pretty color in person and I love that the top is stained to coincidentally match our floors. Every time I walk through the foyer I am smiling now:) Here's how it looks with my hand-colored fish engravings from the 1800s (also a Brimfield find) that are flanking the front door:


and the view from our couch (which is now in a new spot due to the shift in rooms from adding a playroom):


So glad I went with my gut on this one! Thanks, Danielle!

PS. Linking up to Miss Mustard Seed herself's Furniture Feature Friday:)

Finds: "Finding Silver Pennies" booth at the Duxbury Antiques Show

6

3.27.2014

Do you guys know Danielle from "Finding Silver Pennies"? (or maybe you spotted her in the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens?!) She's a super sweet mom of 2 boys, a pro at painting furniture and hosts a DIY link up party every Sunday. She lives a few towns up from me along the coast here in Ma, but we had never met...until this past weekend:) She was exhibiting at the 33rd Annual Duxbury Antique Spring Show and I headed there on Saturday to see what I could find, show some support, and hopefully get a chance to talk to her in person. And I totally behaved like the dorky blog stalker that I am:) Chatted her ear off for like ever and she was so nice and helpful with lots of painting tips and advice. Thank you, Danielle!!!

{Danielle - on the right - and I...ugh, I look terrible here. Oh well, whatdya going to do?!}
Danielle shared a booth with very nice Dan from Gentleman and Daughter Antiques and their space was so lovely (definitely the best staged one at the show).The combination of his antique treasures with her painted pieces and nautical finds and crafts was really pretty...and perfect for imagining how one or more of their wares might look if you brought it home.


{isn't the color combination on this painted writing desk that Danielle did beautiful? I love the stencil too. Such a wonderful surprise when you open it up!}
I went home from the show with one of Danielle's hand-made driftwood sailboats. Isn't it so sweet? I almost went for that one in the background with the blue and white canvasy sail, but then I couldn't resist the smallest one with the red and white butchers twine and little map bunting. (I have a thing for maps if you didn't know...at least, Paul is always asking me "What's with you and maps?") I bought it thinking I would put it in Ian's nursery, but now I have it sitting on my entertainment center/bookcase where I can look at it all the time:)


While I was there, I also kinda fell in love with one of Danielle's pieces of painted furniture! I didn't go expecting to get anything big, but I couldn't help thinking about this Grantham dresser all the way home in the car and over the next few days. Isn't it gorgeous? Danielle used Miss Mustard Seed's French Enamel milk paint on the drawers and sides and sanded and stained the top in Minwax's Dark Walnut. This blue is such an awesome color in person, people! Here's Danielle's write up of the process she went through on this bad boy:)


Check out the original brass lion head pulls! So cool. Well, I pretty much convinced Paul that we needed this dresser...tons of storage!!...and so I just emailed Danielle to tell her I would like to buy him!!! Yay! I'm going to put him in the foyer in place of the Crate and Barrel wood and glass bookshelf we have had there since we moved in. (I'll move that upstairs where it can be more useful for actually holding books and other things.)


The only other things I wanted but didn't pull the trigger on were from a booth down the aisle, All Prints and Maps (from Essex, Ma.). I can't help it, I'm a sucker for anything paper-related that's old:) First I saw these super sweet vintage fairy illustrations that Maura would have loved:



But what I really wanted to do was take a bunch of these hand-colored wood engraving botanical prints (from a book published in 1597!!!) and run home and hang them up everywhere! (They were really nicely framed too...with a double mat in green and pretty gold molding.) Oh well, I'm going to have to save them for another time. The woman working the booth there, who owns the store with her husband, said that Main Street/Rt. 133 in Essex is a little mecca of antique shops (over 30 within walking distance of each other). Hmmm...maybe I'm going to have to hit that up sometime this summer!? Anyone ever been there?




So, what do you think about my new dresser?! I'm so excited! Can't wait to get it home. Thank you again, Danielle!!

Ps. Go here for Danielle's post about the highlights of the Duxbury show (and more pics).

Guest Collaborator: Throwing a Kids' Easter Party

4

3.23.2014

Hi! How are you guys? Hope you had a great weekend:)

Going to try something a little different today here on the old blog...handing the mic over to my new friend Sophie Miller of Napkins.com! We have something in common...we both like throwing parties:) Oh yeah, and we're both done with winter and ready for spring!! Bring it on! I'm so ready that I actually already have my Easter mantel up (pretty much looks almost the same as last year) and that is saying a lot...its still like a month away and I'm usually way behind on this sort of thing. But enough patting myself on the back, let's get to it. Sophie's here today to talk about hosting an Easter party for the kids. She's got ideas for everything - the invites, food, activities, favors. So fun! Thanks so much for joining us, Sophie!

*******

Easter is the time of year that feels like a series of new things to be excited about. Partially this comes from spring finally arriving and winter starting to fade in the rearview mirror, but the other part is about getting together and spending time with family on Easter Sunday. While your plans for the weekend might be set in stone based on family tradition, implementing another event on Easter weekend could be another way to spread extra joy around. Why not throw an Easter-themed party for your kids on Friday the 18th? It’s a great way to start off what will be a great weekend for everyone, and you’ll be dubbed as the ‘coolest parent ever’ – at least for a few hours. Here are some party ideas!

Invitation Extravaganza

For those into DIY and spending time crafting, coloring, cutting, and caring, making Easter-themed party invitation cards can be a fun little way to make use of the day. One relatively simple idea is to cut out cardstock paper into the shape of an egg. I generally go with light blue, yellow, light purple, light pink, light green and similar colors when choosing invitation card color. Decorate the card as you like with stickers, borders, and various designs. List all the party information on the reverse of the card, complete with party date, time, location/address, contact information, and any additional information you feel necessary.  

{or use these pre-cut cardstock egg shapes from Paper Source...pack of 20 for $8.50}

Dessert Delights 
 
It’s no secret that kids love sweets. With that being said we can still be health-conscious and make sure that the little ones don’t consume an excess of sugar. This is for long-term and short-term benefit. The long term is that these sweets don’t contribute to unhealthy habits. The short term benefit is that 30 minutes from now you don’t have a wild house of young devils fuelled by sugar highs and making messes throughout the house! Anyway here are some ideas that shouldn’t be too sweets-packed but still a yummy treat that all will enjoy:

  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries 
  •  Easter-themed sugar cookies
  • Glazed cupcakes
  • Dipped marshmallow pops
  • JELL-O eggs with vanilla frosting dabble
For some other Easter favorites, check out some of these delectable treats on the Betty Crocker website.
 
{Easter nest cookies from Betty Crocker}
Egg-straordinary!

What is an Easter party without some egg coloring? This can be the set-up event for the Easter egg hunt or for other games (egg toss perhaps?) later in the party. Depending on the number of kids attending the party will dictate how many eggs to buy and boil before the party begins. Just set the boiled eggs away in the refrigerator, and allow each kid to decorate and color 3 eggs. Set up an open table with all egg coloring and decorating supplies laid out. Don’t forget to cover the table with paper towels or disposable table cloth, because there will likely be some spills and messes made.

  

Party favors aren’t a big necessity since the kids should be taking home their three boiled eggs, but if you do feel the need to send the kids home with something extra, I remember PEP as my go-to. Pencils, erasers, and Peeps (the little marshmallow bird treats). Send them home with these in addition to their eggs and they will be happy little campers!

An Easter-themed kids’ party is a sure-fire way to bring kids, parents, and your community together to celebrate the onset of real spring weather (when it’s actually warm, not 40 degrees with rain). Since April 20th is still a little while away yet, start planning your Easter party now so all the preparation work will simply be following a bullet list on a sheet of paper. If you’ve got other ideas for an Easter party, go ahead and comment in the section below where we can collaborate together!

******* 

Awesome, Sophie! Thank you again for sharing all this with us. I know I personally have thought it would be so fun to have more exciting and unique play dates with Maura (and Ian) and their friends, but then I get stressed about all the details and how to get it all done in advance and tend to just go back to the same old thing (whoever is coming over grabs coffee and donuts on the way)! I'm definitely inspired now to go for it and really create some wonderful memories with my little ones. 

What about you guys? Any cool Easter kid ideas? Do you tend to get crazy with themed play dates or are you boring like me?

My Birthday Trip to London

5

3.11.2014

My birthday was at the end of February and I spent it in London...by myself...visiting my sister who has lived there for the last 3.5 years! It was an amazing trip!!! One of the coolest parts was that the whole thing was a surprise Christmas gift from Paul. On Christmas morning, I opened up one of his "presents", which was a bunch of pieces of paper all folded up. It took me a few tries of reading it to realize that it was a printed itinerary of a round trip flight to and from London. That's when I started crying because I was so shocked, happy, and grateful! So I spent 6 days (1 on each end traveling and 4 full days there) in London while Paul (and my parents and his parents and various other relatives) stayed home with Maura and Ian!! It is an awesome city and I really needed the me time to just relax and recharge. Best gift ever:)

Here's some, ok a lot, of photos from the trip. My sister and her (British) boyfriend just bought a row house south of the Thames, a victorian terrace over a hundred years old. I'll have pics for you in another upcoming post, so exciting!

{relaxing breakfast at "brew"}



{the Eye...various views}


 

{Big Ben/Houses of Parliament...various views}

{Westminster Abbey}
{buds poking through along the Flower Walk in Kensington Gardens, Albert Memorial in the background}




{Duck Island Cottage, St. James's Park}
{Pelicans in St. James's Park}
{view of Buckingham Palace and Queen Victoria Memorial from the Birdcage Walk, St. James's Park}
{Buckingham Palace gate}
{guards at Buckingham Palace...timing never worked out for me to see the changing}



{Changing of the Guards at Horse Guards Parade}
{St. Paul's Cathedral}

{in London I discovered cider! especially like the flavored ones}

{cool old sign inspiration at Borough Market}
{tried my first macaroon and liked it!}
{chalkboards were everywhere over there}
{the Tower Bridge}
{the guards at Stable Yard Road}
{so pretty the way the sunlight hit the side of this church}
{my sister's old stomping grounds...the Churchill Arms}
{stopping in for a quick tart at Jamie Oliver's Recipease}


{old, brass signs and fun, graphic pillows at Portabello Road)
{front gate detail at Kensington Palace...sadly we did not get a glimpse of Kate and William and little George!}
{back gate at the Sunken Garden Pond...Kensington Palace}
Such a beautiful city with so much to see and do! Can't wait to go back. Thanks for having me, Laura and Charlie:)

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