a 2nd birthday celebration

DSC_2172A few weeks ago, we celebrated M’s 2nd birthday with some of her buddies who also turned two within a few weeks of her. Three families all loaded up our cars with presents, cupcakes, bagels for breakfast and our swimwear for a night at Great Wolf Lodge. For M’s first birthday, we threw a huge party at our house. Although it was so special, I wasn’t up for a repeat of the house cleaning, cooking and hosting this year. So, a getaway to the indoor Disneyland of Washington was the solution. It ended up being a blast for the children and hassle free for the parents. Besides the car packing, all we did was follow our pack of twos around Great Wolf’s indoor water park and feed them a celebratory  pizza dinner. It was quite the second birthday bash!

photo 3 photo 2 DSC_2180These three have been taking trips to the zoo together this summer so we thought an animal theme was fitting.The cupcakes could not have been more perfect. My friend Kristen made these for us and they were a huge hit with the kiddos. M chose a bear, Gemma was a lion and Connor wanted the monkey. Oh’ and because I’m sure you are wondering, I also chose the bear. He was too cute to pass up.

photo 4 DSC_2174 DSC_2186I think this is the last birthday that I’ll get away with choosing the theme and having any say in the activities so I feel like we did it right. What a weekend!

Happy Friday & Enjoy!

Melissa

 

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two.

mother's day mini session-285mother's day mini session-292 mother's day mini session-290 mother's day mini session-302 mother's day mini session-295Today my girl turns two.

People tell you time flies when you have a child but if you would have asked me in the first year, I would have whole heartedly disagreed with them. I felt like every day was a new adventure. Life altering decisions were made hourly. Things that shaped the way you were forever going to raise your child were decided in every moment of that year. Now though, with another 12 months under our belts, I would tell you that time does fly with a little one by your side. It feels like days ago that I was planning M’s first birthday and writing about it. This year has been filled with less newness and more of a calm as a family of three. Don’t get me wrong, M has embraced toddlerhood with open arms and is about as opposite of calm as they come, but our family, this way of being, it’s become less frantic and more normal.

To document the shift from months to years with our babe, we had some photos taken last week. Turns out, M was into showing what two is going to mean for her. She wasn’t thrilled about having her picture taken, ran from the photographer, pulled her cute ponytail out and acted as if the flower crown was trying to kill her. It was the perfect moment to step back and watch her take on the world herself, have opinions and show them off wildly.

Looks like two is going to be a fun one.

Enjoy! Melissa

 

Photos by the talented Stacy Jacobsen

 

 

 

 

 

mothers day

DSC_0066A warm mothers day wish to all of you who are being celebrated today. Almost two years into this gig and I’m still taken back when people take the time to wish me a happy mothers day. One year I was the one celebrating and the next I was the celebrated. Strange how that works.

It took one day (I guess 9 months really) and a very special little girl to change the dynamics of Mothers Day. And, well, every day.

So, thanks M. Thanks for making me a mommy. Thanks for misbehaving at brunch like your usual self. And most of all, thanks for those sweet belly laughs before bed tonight. I needed that!

Happy Mothers Day.

 

Enjoy! Melissa

Decorating For SC

Favorite Christmas

Normally, I enforce the ‘one holiday at a time’ rule in our house. No decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Some of you may say bah humbug to that but I’m really not scroogy. It’s just that I love Thanksgiving (or not so much the actual day, more like I love the food) and I don’t want to breeze over it. I respect the person who tackles that Thanksgiving meal more then they’ll ever know and plan to NEVER let that duty fall in my lap (unless for some reason everyone would like cold, mistimed food and possible food poisoning…then OK) so lets raise our glasses to them and let Thanksgiving have it’s moment.

This year is different though. The season is shorter and we are heading out of town for a while to celebrate with family. So, this Sunday, it’s decorating day in my house. The lights are going up outside soon and we’ll be all ready to swing into full Christmas mode when we arrive home from our vaca. I thought I would share with you the things I’m most excited to be spending time with for the next month.

1. I bought this awesome print from Hen & Co this year and I am so excited to add it to my wall for the season. I’m finding that being able to change out prints seasonally is my favorite part of having gone through the pain of hanging a collage wall in my family room.  This little deer may sneak up a few days early as I’m being really impatient about getting to hang with him.

2. I’m a little (or a lot) crazy and insist that my Christmas tree only have matching ornaments. No mismatched pickles with sunglasses or dancing elephants on our tree. So, to allow for the fun ornaments, we have a small table top tree in our kitchen that gets all the mis-matchers. (I’m feeling like it sounds like the land of misfit toys, but I swear it’s not.) This year, we are adding our initials to the tree for a little sparkle.

3. In keeping with my crazy, I make a quick trip to Crate and Barrel every holiday season and pick up one or two new silver or gold ornaments for our big tree. These year, I’m into these! Clearly I’m into the silver and gold holiday theme but I think I would like to mix it up next year. What colors do you decorate with? Let me know if you have any recommendations!

4. Costco for the win on this one. I go every year and pick up a fresh garland for our mantel. Something about the fire underneath (burning with care obviously) and the stockings hanging just so make my house feel so cozy during the holidays. This year, I’ll also be stringing a paper garland from our pop-up-shop around the fresh garland for a pop of color.  (Reminder: Only 3 days left before the shop closes!!)

5. Most of the year I’m not a huge fan of personalized items. I just really don’t need to see my name everywhere but these stockings are so traditional that I have to do it. We each have one and Santa fills them along with a pair of pajamas on the side every Christmas Eve. (Thanks SC!)

6. I LOVE TO WRAP PRESENTS! I think it goes with my love for paper products but something about a well wrapped gift makes it that much better. Last year, I made salt dough gift tags  that could be used for ornaments (clearly not on your big tree, only on your misfits tree) as well. If you are looking for a fun punch on your gifts this year, I really recommend these.

 

Enjoy!

Melissa

 

M’s Very First Birthday

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I have been trying for days to write about M’s first birthday. Days. It’s just not happening. And now, now it’s way later then intended on staying up, on this night that I told myself I need to get to sleep early, because the words are still not coming. But, it’s just finally hit me and  I have finally figured out why every time I sit down with my fingers on the keyboard, I write and erase paragraph after paragraph…….There are no words. None!

No words substantial enough to describe how I feel about M officially leaving her baby days behind her and moving on to the big bad toddler world. I am so proud that we all made it through her first year with {most days} smiles on our faces, so sad to leave my squishy baby as a thing of the past, so excited about all the big girl things that are on the horizon and still so amazed that I’m a mama, Ky is a dada and M is our little girl.

So, I just have no words that will live up to such a milestone and I’m going to stop trying to find them. For now, I’m just going to enjoy that we celebrated in the best way we knew how, surrounded by friends and family and that M loved every single minute.

Welcome to the world of ‘one’ my beautiful girl! Here goes nothing….

Enjoy! Melissa

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Note|| Cake Plates: Vintage | Cupcakes & Cake: Made by my amazing friend Kristen | Wooden Forks: Sucre Shop  | Large Fringe: DIY with Instructions from Oh Happy Day | 12 Months of M Pictures: DIY hung with Washi Tape | Triangle Bunting: DIY || Please let me know if you need more information on any of these projects in the comments section.

DIY || Party Photo Station

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I was out a friends birthday last week and she had set up an awesome photo station. It reminded me of the photo booth I made for Little M’s Halloween party. We had 10 little one’s and their parents over to celebrate the holiday and the photo booth ended up being a great way to ensure I got pictures of all the little’s in costume. Even now, it’s fun to look back on a few months ago and smile at our little puppies, sharks and mermaids.

|| Materials ||

2 yards of white vinyl

1 large stamp

small to medium sized sponge brush

black acrylic paint

staple gun

window cling stickers

any props you would like

|| Steps ||

1. laid my vinyl out completely flat

2. applied the stickers to the vinyl

3. brushed the acrylic paint onto the stamp with a sponge brush {after each push onto the vinyl, more paint is needed depending on the look you are trying to achieve. you can see which stamps I applied the paint and which I didn’t.}

3. pushed the stamp in straight lines onto the vinyl leaving gaps at the stickers

4. let dry overnight

5. stapled the vinyl around the edges of a large painting I have hanging in my living room.

6. created some signs for props using construction paper and paint pens and also put out funny objects from around the house as props

And I know, I know there are no step by step photos. This booth was WIWODOPW {when I was only dreaming of Pretty Wednesday} so I wasn’t prepared.  Next photo booth will be properly documented, I promise!

Enjoy! Melissa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter || Part 2

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As promised Easter continues.

{After the grand discovery that the Easter bunny had in fact delivered a basket, we spent the morning playing with {the basket stuffing} all the new toys the bunny had dropped off.}

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{After a quick nap, we went on an Easter egg hunt. And by hunt, I mean, crawled between eggs clearly laid out in the yard. M took a long break between each one as she opened it and ate the puffs inside. Smart girl! And, it gave me time to sit in my {very north-westerner outfit where I dress like it’s 90 degrees when it’s only almost 70} yard and soak up the sun.}

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{The excitement of being an egg|puffs hunter was just too much for M. She squeezed those eggs until they popped open even after we declared victory over the hunt and went inside. She was so into it that we forgot about an afternoon nap and had to scramble to get into our Easter best and head over to M’s Grandparent’s for dinner. My little crazy girl had a great time digging into another Easter basket at her grandparents {sneaky bunny, he just leaves baskets all over} and hunting down more eggs so everyone could watch. What a ham!}

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Enjoy! Melissa

Easter || Part 1

Easter Collage

This was the most beautiful Easter I can remember in years. The sun was shining, the Easter Bunny found our house without getting lost even though it was his first time here, we hunted eggs, wore our Easter best and had a delicious dinner with family. Glorious times! So glorious that the tale of our Easter will continue tomorrow so check back for part two.

We started our day by finding the basket that the Easter Bunny had dropped off for Little M. Side note, I had to brush up on the Easter Bunny tradition. Did this bunny come in the night and just drop things off like Santa or did he allow mom and dad to take credit for the basket? From what I could figure out, he is a sneaky litte bunny and he drops his baskets off in the night to be found by children when they wake in the morning. He is mooching off of Santa’s ways if you ask me. Get your own jam Easter Bunny! Oh well….we followed the tradition so as not to confuse M. Imagine being the only one at school who’s parent’s bring the Easter baskets. Has tragedy written all over it.

But, I must say that that sneaky little bunny left Little M a mighty full basket this year. Even the basket that he left, which {I think} he picked up at Target was great. So great, that I’m sure he’ll leave the same basket next year but he may take it to have Little M’s name embroidered in it sometime before his 2014 drop off.

Inside the basket we found:

1. Kids Hair Clips from LolliPop Kids Boutique. They clip in perfectly with no tugging or pushing like we have had to experience with some other clips.

2. Circo Shorts. Cuffed shorts for babies. I mean, a must have obviously!

3. An EIO Glass Kids Cup. This is for 18+ months but Little M just keeps trying to drink out of my water glass so I thought we would give it a shot. We shall see.

4. A Sea Ship Blue Circo T-Shirt. Because who can resist something called ‘sea-ship blue’.

5. Melissa & Doug Caterpillar. Just so cute. Perfect car toy.

6. A book chalk full of 5-Minute Farm Tales from Costco. After a whole 10 months of gift giving with M it has become a tradition that every holiday must include a book in our house.

7. Little Hip Squeeks Headbands. Maybe the cutest thing I have ever seen. Little M threw one on right away. Her new favorite accessory for sure.

And, after checking out all these well thought out Easter basket essentials, Little M instead played with the packaging and the basket filling. Good thing the bunny spent so much time picking out  her presents. Typical!

Enjoy! Melissa

Easter Part 2 full of our little egg hunter and pictures a plenty will be up tomorrow.

Heart Day

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As I plan out Little M’s Easter basket, I got to thinking that her Valentines ‘basket’ might be fun to share. It was full of fun goodies and so far, she has loved them all. The Valentines bunny, or cupid or whoever leaves you presents on the day of love left Little M:

  • A super cute little knit hippo. This was one of those, ‘you probably won’t love it M but mama does so enjoy’ type of gifts. But, surprise! M has been snuggling this little guy in her crib and it’s so stinkin’ cute! 
  • A super sleek pink girl handle car . If there are any pretend people in this car, they are horrid drivers. M’s use of the handle generally ends in a crash but she’s learning and likes to push it around the hard wood floors. 
  • And on every holiday you must receive a book {because your mom gets so tired of reading the same books over and over} because it’s educational! Valentine’s Day called for Little Pea . Just adorable! 
  • To top it off, M got a stylish little Gap swimsuit.  She’s planning to show off this beaut at swim lessons and then again on vacation. 

And well, just because I was so proud of the card I got for Ky, I have to share that. I ordered it from Hen & Co., a sweet Etsy shop. I just want to order one of everything available. Kendra of Hen & Co. does an amazing job choosing fonts and hip prints on all of her merch. For this card, I was able to customize three lines. So fun! Ky knew which were straight from my crazy brain right away. {Umm, ice in my Pepsi….obviously}

Oh but side note, as I was putting out all these fun gifts, I glanced at myself in the early morning mirror. Sick. Just look at what I looked like when I delivered up these gifts I took so much time picking out. Get it together Melissa! Nobody wants a gift from a troll.

Now the trick will be to find some fun Easter items to live up!

Enjoy! Melissa

Round And Round We Go

Pinwheels!! They are such a cute addition to any celebration. I recently used about 200 pinwheels for a bridal shower. We decorated with large pinwheels, placed small sizes on the cake and in with the food and used medium pinwheels for the gift and drink tables.  I ordered these multicolored bits of fun from the amazing Paper Polaroid. They have worked with big name clients like Ralph Lauren and really were the most responsive and caring Etsy partner I have ever encountered. Check out her shop!