First Birthday

So after months of preparation and lots of hard work, here it is! The final results of Elaina's first birthday!

Here is the invitation that I designed on my design software. We took the pictures a few weeks ahead of time in her birthday outfit. Then I matched the invite to her her outfit and party decor. And I used Vistaprint for my printing services. Their prices are great and they really do have a 100% satisfaction guarantee.



Here was the main food table. I made the tableskirt, with help from my sister, from tulle and stretch ribbon about six months ago for a baby shower. I figured I would get a lot of use out of it. And I did! I was so glad I had it done. One less thing to do to prepare. The backdrop was made from yarn looping on more stretch ribbon. It took FOREVER to make!






I decided to go cheap on the cupcakes. I bought cupcakes from Sams Club and then added my own sprinkles! 




I baked a jumbo cupcake for the smash cake. It didn't exactly turn out the way I wanted it to, but I gave up on the icing!


We splurged on personalized cookies by Kookie Kutter Cookies. She did an amazing job. I was so happy with them and they matched the party perfectly!


Another fun and easy project was the popcorn cones. I made them from scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby. I picked a bunch of fun paper and got to rolling! :) I thought it worked out great!


For favors, we gave little baggies of juice boxes, fruit snacks, and other little fun items like little pads of paper, applesauce packets, etc. 


The Little Red Barn had a great fireplace that made the room look homey. So I framed it with balloons and our first family picture!


I bought this tulle skirt for Elaina's high chair.


I used mod podge and glitter to decorate these mason jars. It took awhile to tape off the areas. I used streamers down the middle of the tables and bought mini pink pom poms for "confetti" or "sprinkles!" We put pictures of Elaina on each table!




We had a cupcake decorating table for all the guests. There are tons of new flavors for icing. I bought the plain base frosting by Duncan Hines and then the flavor packets  that you add to the base. Lots of different flavors! I put different kinds of sprinkles on the table as well. The kids loved it!









Lastly, we had a scrapbook table. The kids all made their own page and put their pictures on them. They will go in the end of Elaina's First Year Baby Album.


It was a great party. We had a big turnout and lots of fun! I can't wait to start her Two Year Birthday!

Color Assignment

So here's a color assignment we were given recently. Pretty easy stuff. Just mixing colors and applying our knowledge of complementary, analogous, and monochromatic coloring. But I thought it was kind of fun to explore images on Google to see what I could find. Then I used an old paint color deck to match the colors. Just to give an extra view of the exact colors.





Color wheel

Just a silly art project. Definitely no where near perfect. But it was fun. :)


Projects

It's almost October and I'm officially swamped with projects that are all due By the end of October and early November. The phrase "bit off more than I can chew" comes to mind...
Elaina's One Year Birthday Party- Theme: Cupcakes!
Yeah, I know the theme is not quite so original. But I've been dying to throw a cupcake party for Elaina and I'm thinking that this is going to be the one birthday that I can. At least for several years. And cupcake decor is in right now. So it's easy to score cute extras. So far, I've just begun on the crafty decor. I'm posting a photo of a few sneak peeks! All I can say is that there will be tulle, yarn, and of course, CUPCAKES!
Elaina's Baby Book-
Along with Elaina's birthday, I'm really trying to finish her baby book so I can have it at her party. I'm still very unsure about this one. By the time I finish it, I have to buy the pages. And each page is a little over $3. So I'll be paying a hefty price there. I'm working on January 2012. And of course I'll be ending it on Elaina's birthday. From there, I'll begin our family scrapbooks from here on out.
Picture in a Picture-
We have started a tradition with the birth of Elaina. Every year, on Elaina's birthday we will take a picture while holding a big picture of us on her previous birthday. After you reach the third picture, it's pretty neat because you have all the birthday pictures in one big photo. So I have our picture from when Elaina was born. I just have to order it and find a frame at Hobby Lobby.
Halloween costume-
Yesterday, I finally decided on Elaina's first Halloween costume. I wanted it to be original and I wasn't planning on actually having to make it myself, but that's the way it worked out. :) No details here. I'm really gonna try to keep it underwraps until the big day just in case I can't pull it off. :)

And on top of all that, I have homework AND Christmas will be here before you know it! I've gotta start shopping!

"Elaina" style

So here is a post specifically on my favorite BABY clothing stores. Here are a couple of "Elaina" outfits to get us started!

Dress- 77kids    Headband- Me
I love love love this dress. I don't remember how much it was, but I (crazily) didn't care. Probably in the 20 or 30 dollar range. I knew she'd wear it for FOREVER. This is a great dress that is supposed to be worn rather loosely, but I think it'll still look good when it's a little more fitted. Up close, this dress has so much detail. If they had it in my size, I'd wear it for sure.

Onesie- Carters....   Tulle skirt- Me....    Headband- Me...
She would NEVER wear this outfit on a daily basis (just putting that out there). But it's a great skirt for a photo op! The skirt was rather simple. It took me a couple nights to make it, but I'll have it for forever! Total cost was probably only 10-15 bucks to make it too!

Shirt and Pink denim jeans- 77kids..... Pink Converse- Journeys.....  Headband- Me
This outfit is super cute! The tee is supposed to look big, but I think that even when it's more fitted, it'll look great. So she'll wear this one for a while! I rolled up the jeans here, but they are normally skinny jeans that go all the way to her feet.

I loved this outfit of Elaina's! It was a Christmas present from our cousins Gabe and Annie Hinkebein and family! Both the cardigan sweater and the bubble shorts and leggings came from babyGAP! I added the headband of course! I just love this outfit. She wore it a lot and it was perfect for winter. This outfit is in great shape and if we ever have another girl, she will most certainly wear it as well!

This is a really cute onesie by Ralph Lauren! I got it at TJ Maxx (They have awesome deals on RL, Calvin Klein, and so many of my favorite brands.) Then of course I made the headband. This outfit was a simple play time outfit!

Outfit- Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx... Headband- Me
Adorable outfit for playing on Easter day. I think this outfit was only $15!

Onesie- 77 kids.... Headband- Me...
Okay so you can't see this outfit very well but it's just another example of an outfit that Elaina will be able to wear for awhile!

Outfit- 77kids.... Headband- Me....
I love this outfit. I'm trying to find more like it for next summer!

This whole outfit is from Children's Place! Shoes and all. Except for the headband of course, which I made. I'm really not into a lot of animal prints anymore, but this is just cute. It'll be great for fall weather.

You can see that almost all of my favorite outfits are from 77 kids... I'm a little addicted... Though, right now, I haven't been able to find very much. I'm definitely always looking for a deal. So I don't tend to buy anything that's not on sale.. unless I know that it's worth it and that she can wear it for a long time.
Gap and Old Navy have some awesome stuff for this upcoming season. I really pick and choose from their selection, but overall. It's decent! And I love their stuff because it typically holds up nicely!
I haven't been to TJ Maxx in a couple months, but I'll go soon and look for winter stuff!
I seem to have to pick and choose at Children's place. Occasionally, I'll find an entire outfit there, like the one above, but I really like to mix and match. I think it's really cute on a baby! Elaina wears onesies throughout the day, but other than that, I really like to dress her in actual outfits with a little "Elaina" style if I can. It's hard, because most baby clothes are made in ready made outfits with stretchy onesies and cotton pants (Carters does this a lot). Or super specific colors. So 77kids tends to have a variety coloring that can work together to make different outfits.
Old Navy tends to have one or two REALLY great pieces for babies per season. So I sometimes buy stuff ahead of the season there.
I will sometimes find a piece or two on sale at Kohls, Macy's, or JCPenneys. But they really sell mostly Carters. Not that it's a bad thing. You can find some really cute Carters outfits. I just seem to be most interested in other brands.
For regular onesies. I really like Carters. Their onesies seem to fit Elaina best. And honestly, that's all I care to dress her in during the day while she's home. They get all kinds of foods and stains on them so there's no point in spending very much money on them. She's comfy and she doesn't have to watch out for her dresses or pants while she's crawling around.

 If you're a mom and you like clothes. Please, please join Zulily.com. They have tons of clothes on sale. I, personally have not found tons of clothes to buy on there, but I have recently found ADORABLE shoes for Elaina this fall and winter. I bought three pairs (two cute boots and some flats) for a little over 30 bucks with shipping! And occasionally they have neat toys, etc on sale.

Buying baby clothes can be overwhelming and EXPENSIVE if you like the styles I like. So I've found a trick that seems to help me. When shopping online (which is pretty much all I do for baby clothes), add as many items as you find and love to the shopping cart. When you think you are finished and ready to purchase. Put the computer away. Stay away from the online shopping cart for at least 24 hours. Come back and weed stuff out of your shopping cart that you know you can find cheaper or you can do without. I find that I impulse buy clothes if I buy it all right away. Again, I stay away from clothes that are full price. IT'S NOT WORTH IT... most of the time.

Also, headbands I've found are incredibly easy. Elaina wears a bow sometimes, but mostly we like these headbands. I have tons of different colors of rosettes and other pieces. And I buy my headband material online. It's so much cheaper than buying a headband and waiting for it to come in the mail. I just make them (sometimes that morning) to match. Elaina doesn't seem to mind them for the most part.

I have to say, I'm surprised at how much I'm not into frilly frilly pink girl stuff. I've found lots of cute clothes in a variety of colors. Sure there's some pink, but that's inevitable when you have a girl. I love the girly colors but I especially love them when they are used in a stylish baby outfit! :)

It's sooo much fun to dress girls. But I'd love a chance to dress a little boy too... :) Maybe someday... a long while from now! I have to buy clothes for my girl first!

Cardinal Red

It's been over a month since I've posted on this blog!... and I have a confession... I've been watching the entire Grey's Anatomy series before the new season starts. So any time I've had free the last month (i.e. Elaina sleeping, no homework, no work) I've been deep into the Hollywood medical world. :) I'm happy to say that I'm almost finished! I'm in the middle of the eighth season. I have no idea how I watched them that fast, but let's just say that I've had some late nights. My house and blogs have suffered. So hopefully when I'm finished, I can get back to my normal life. ;)
Today's blog is St. Louis Cardinal inspired!... Well, sort of... not really. But I felt the calling to wear red today. Continuing my red streak, I dressed Elaina too! Here's our red Sunday attire.
 
 
My outfit: Dress- Francesca's, Belt- Kohls, My "Elaina" necklace -Etsy, Shoes(not pictured, but my black and gold flats), Kohls
Elaina's outfit: Dress- 77kids, Cardigan- Children's Place, Shoes- Old Navy, Headband- handmade by ME!
 
I love this red dress I'm wearing. The top features lace detail. For work, you can pair this dress with a simple cardigan. Lots of colors work, but I've worn an off-white/cream color and a black quarter-length cardigan with this dress, and a cute statement belt over the two finishes it off. And then I keep my jewelry simple. My sister and I bought this one and a navy blue one at Francesca's in St. Louis to share since we are the same size! I shop online at 77kids a lot! I love their clothes. So far, I've had great luck with them. They all seem to be made well and Elaina has been able to wear the clothes longer!
 


Bubble Statement Necklace

This necklace is one of my newest accessories. It's actually a look-a-like (okay, knock-off) JCrew necklace. I scored this one on eBay for around $15. They have tons of different colors, but my favorite is the turquoise. This one looks super close to the $150 original. Suprisingly enough, I've found a lot of different outfits to pair it with. You can use it as a bold contrast, like I did by pairing it with a pinkish red shirt. Or you could use it to give more color to a neutral outfit.

Pinterest project!

These projects are perfect... Especially when you have a dad who loves to build stuff and loves his little girls! :) this project is underway right now! Will post the results when we are finished!!

Printed skirts

I love using skirts as an accent for an outfits. In fact, I don't think I own very many plain skirts. I found this skirt on Ruche.com a little while ago. :)


Pretty simple, but the skirt's print really makes the outfit pop!

July Birchbox

 


So this month, Birchbox teamed up with Glamour magazine to deliver a special kind of birchbox! The Five Senses!!

1. Alterna Bamboo UV + Color Protection Fade-Proof Fluide: This finishing gloss prevents UV rays from fading color while organic bamboo extracts keep hair strong and soft.

2. Birchbox Exclusive earbuds!

3. Oscar de la Renta / live in love: Smells amazing!

4. Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint: This lightweight award-winner is a daily shortcut to dewy skin that feels natural and looks gorgeous.

5. Stila lip glaze: This sparkly gloss from the limited edition It's Go Time Lip Glaze Trio combines sheer color with mega-watt shine.

6. Larabar/ uber: The latest addition to our snack drawer, these healthy and satisfying bars are packed with dried nuts and fruits.

Okay, so I have tried the perfume and the Larabar so far. Both great! The Larabar tastes pretty good and is super healthy for those of you who want to snack but don't want to feel bad about it. I obviously plan on trying everything. I actually have a smaller size of the Jouer tint. I think I've used it before and liked it. I can't wait to try the hair fluide though. Maybe tomorrow...
I thought that the earbuds were an adorable extra touch! I'm excited to have a cute pair of them!