How to make adorable snowmen Oreos!

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How to make adorable snowmen Oreos!

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How cute are these little guys?!

You will need:
•Oreos-double stuffed works best! I learned this the semi hard way & bought the regular kind…than spent an extra 10 min adding cream from other Oreos to make the stick stay haha!
•Candy/Lollipop sticks- Wilton has a bag of 50 for $2
•Melting candy coating
•Black icing
•Orange icing
•A spoon
•Parchment paper helps a lot but it’s not an absolute!

First you will want to assemble all your Oreos on their stick.

1. Open them up carefully and insert the stick.
1.5 If you didn’t buy the double stuffed, you will have to add a little extra of the inside from another cookie to get the stick to stay in there.

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Once you have all your Oreos all on their sticks, lay out your parchment paper and prepare your candy coating per the instructions. You want it to be extra melty (is that a word?!) so that is covers easier.

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3. Using your spoon & holding it by the stick, gently cover the top of the Oreo with the coating letting it run slightly down the sides.

4. Place it freshly candy coated side up to let it dry. When you put it down on the parchment paper, slightly drag it so that the excess coating “wipes” off.

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Once they are all finished, let them dry completely and then flip them over and do the other side.

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Once both sides are dry, if you want to remove some of the excess coating that may have dripped, just use a sharp knife and sorta chisel away. I had quite a few my first batch that did this (because I didn’t drag them on the parchment as soon as I set them down-live & learn…) & i got way into the chiseling & pretending I was making something uber cool like Legolas bow in LOTR …

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Ha! Whatever we all know that the Bow of Galadhon was gifted by Galadriel & I’m just a mere mortal. Sigh.

Sorry!

So now they look like this:

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Now i rarely buy store bought icing…like maybe twice my whole life. But I had so much other stuff to bake I picked these up specifically for this project. And it’s such a small amount that you use, the taste doesn’t really matter.

NOTE: if you want to add little hats, you can use buttercream icing to spread along the top & immediately add sprinkles. Do this before adding the facial features otherwise you know those sprinkles, they go everywhere! see my pic at the bottom of my baking fail haha

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5. If you’ve made your own icing or you’re using a store bought, you will want to dilute it (w/milk or karo syrup-water is okay too) til it has a thin but not runny consistency.
Practice first by dabbing it on a paper plate to see how your dots turn out…once it’s how you like it, using an extra lollipop stick, began with the eyes.

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I dipped the end of the stick into the black icing and quickly dotted two eyes into place, lifting straight up.
I found it easier to do all the eyes at once, then the noses, then the smiles. This way, you can adjust the smiles & the noses are a bit more centered.

For the noses, same thing, dot on with the orange. I made these a little larger by dotting once & adding a bit more icing as necessary.

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For the smile, you won’t want to do a full dot but almost just dab it on…just barely touching it so it’s a smaller little dot. But don’t worry; if you do add too much, you can always just make it a bigger smile. Some of mine ended up like that😉

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Lay them back down until they dry. The facial features will dry hard and shiny. Make sure they’re completely dried & you can stack them with parchment paper between for shipping.

I did make some with little hats…their baldness alarmed me at first so I used buttercream icing FIRST before applying any facial features and than immediately applied sprinkles. These were cute but I liked the baldies better so I continued on with those.

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Hats on or hats off, these little guys are too cute. Add a little bow around the stick & pop them into a little christmas jar and give away!

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Or eat them all while watching a LOTR marathon and contemplating this:

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Easy Cardboard Framed Chalkboard

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Easy Cardboard Framed Chalkboard

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perfect for Holiday cards!^

I ❤️ chalkboard frames! I’ve made several simple ones using chalkboard paint but none were the right colors for our Christmas pics. The only red one I made was HUGE (think Connor size tall) and didn’t look right at all in the picture.

So I looked around my place and spotted this cute frame that I had spray painted a while back. It was actually a tacky gold and I picked it up at Goodwill for $.50. Connor traced a bird shape onto cardboard & then we cut out different strips of paper from a magazine and pasted them on there within the outline with a glue stick.

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Problem was, I didn’t have anything to paint the chalkboard paint on…I decided to try painting it on a thick piece of cardboard and just see what happened…

Well, it worked! It may not last forever (I can certainly tell a difference in how the cardboard chalkboard erases then how it does when it’s painted over glass or wood) but it worked for what I needed it too.

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Supplies:
•Chalkboard paint (spray paint might work too but i haven’t tested it yet so I’m not sure)
•Paint brush
•Frame
•Heavy piece of cardboard that is non corrugated (hint: if you look at your cardboard on the side & it looks like this-
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/-it’s corrugated and won’t work!)
•Box cutter/Scissors/Xacto knife
•Chalk
•Chalkboard eraser/lightly damp rag

Total time:-includes drying time for two coats
20 min

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After you know what size frame it needs to fit, you may need to cut your cardboard to size. For a clean cut, a box cutter/Xacto knife is best but scissors def will work to!

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Once you have your cardboard cut to size the frame and your chalkboard paint is thoroughly mixed, just dip your brush in the paint and lightly apply the first layer. It’s helpful to add a piece of paper underneath (or something you don’t mind getting paint on) to catch any excess. I found it best to start in the center and sorta taper off my brush towards the end so that the ends didn’t end up “heavy” with excess paint.

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I used horizontal strokes and worked from the bottom up. It does dry relatively quickly so you even if you see streaks, don’t go back over them, you can get an opaque coverage with a second or third coat.

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one coat^

I let mine dry to the touch and then repainted a second coat for full coverage.

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I let the second coat dry and it looked like this:

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It did start to slight curve upwards but i figured the back of the frame plate would keep it down. So don’t worry if yours does this too😊

I then conditioned the chalkboard by lightly coating it with the side of a piece of chalk. If you don’t, the first time you write on it, the outline of the letters tend to stay even after you’ve wiped them away.

I took over 200 photos for all our Christmas cards (I had a happy & willing lil model!) and it erased wonderfully each time.

I’ve always bought dustless chalk (yes, it exists!) on Amazon and found it to work really well. It seems to last longer and it doesn’t create a huge mess like the regular kind does.

Here is a link to dustless chalk on Amazon that I like:

Melissa & Doug Dustless Chalk Bundle

That’s it! You now have made an easy, cheap and cute cardboard chalkboard!

Have fun personalizing it and using it in a creative way!

Easy Paper Christmas Garland

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Easy Paper Christmas Garland

This little craft is really easy and pretty quick too!

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Supplies:
•1-2 sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper
•A circle shape glass or cup to trace
•something to make the letters with-you can easily freehand these with a sharpie/marker if you don’t have anything on hand
•Pencil
•Hole punch
•string for hanging-a ribbon would work too!

Total time: 30 min

Grab the paper you’d like first.

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After you’ve decided on what paper you will use, simply find a cup or something that you can trace that fits the size you want your circles to be. I tried a few different sizes and picked the one I liked best.

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Trace your circles

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Then simply cut them out

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Once all your circles are complete, add your letters before making the hole punches. Again, you can free hand them, use stickers, cut them out from paper…I used these sponge letters I found at Goodwill that day.

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After all your letters are complete, then use the hole punch to make the holes. I hole punched on each side. Using your string or thread, thread from the top to the back and across the back and back out.

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You can use ribbon or whatever you have on hand. I found these spools of wool at Goodwill for $1 each and snapped them up intending to wrap presents with them too-yay!

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I knotted the first hole and the last hole
Of each word. I did try knotting each hole but it got kinda time consuming and so I just went with the 1st and last.

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Yay! Now you have made a quick and low cost Christmas paper garland! Cute for adding some holiday cheer around your place or use it in photos!

Easy Christmas Card Photo Backdrop

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Easy Christmas Card Photo Backdrop

As much as I love a natural organic picture, I really knew it wasn’t going to happen for this year’s Christmas picture. The snow is lovely but trying to get all the kids to smile while freezing doesn’t sound like an appealing time lol.

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happy lil model^

I made this simple background just because I didn’t really have a good spot in my place to take a picture. I also was in no mood to haul out the Christmas tree and decorate it just yet. I entertained the idea of adding other Christmas props in the pic but I really wanted to keep it simple and the focus on the kids.

Supplies:
•Foam, poster board/ large area of the wall if your going to tape paper directly to it
•wrapping paper
•tape
•blanket, rug, towel

Total time:
3 min to wrap board

I happened to have this giant foam board on hand (I know, I’m realizing I have a ridiculous amount of craft/project things all piled up in here & they’re often really odd things lol!).

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All I did was grab some wrapping paper (from goodwill haha-yes, I am THAT cheap) and wrap it up and tape it on the back. If you wanna be super cheap thrifty, make sure you don’t press too hard on the paper when wrapping so you can just untape when done and then use to wrap presents haha!

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I then used a blanket that was white and covered up my storage bench, propped the covered foam board behind it and snapped away.

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when editing, just make sure to crop right where the board ends^

And that’s it! Super easy, quick and cheap!

If I had planned this better, a beautiful metallic wrapped board would have looked fantastic! Oh well, maybe next year…❤️

Enjoy taking creative pics & remember, you can reuse your board as a backdrop for all sorts of stuff when taking pictures. It’s as simple as changing out the paper (or fabric).

Easy Mini Lace Notecards + Envelopes

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Easy Mini Lace Notecards + Envelopes

When I say these lil mini notecards + envelopes are easy to make, I’m not joking! I’ve been making quite a few for a Christmas present and it’s taken me less then an hour:)
Here’s a pic of what they look like:

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And here they are in a mason jar:

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I’ve decided to write inspirational notes on them, add some twine to the top and call it: Jar of Hope-I absolutely can’t wait to give this gift! You could also write little love notes for Valentines Day or for your anniversary, your favorite memories of your time together!

Supplies:
•12×12, 8×10 or even a small left over piece of scrap paper as long as you have enough to fold and cut on the top
{You can choose ANY print of paper-card stock and scrapbook paper both work equally well although cardstock is
sturdier, it’s also a bit harder to fold}
•Scissors (or you could just fold, retold, wet and separate)
•Gluestick

Total time: 2-3min per card

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You will want to fold whatever size paper you have into a full length strip. You can then fold, flip over & refold, wet and carefully separate it or just cut along the seam.

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I wanted to show you two different styles depending on how you fold your paper.
We will start with envelope A.

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You will want to take the bottom of the paper and fold it up onto the longer part {this will be your envelope part} leaving enough space to make an “X.” You will not need as much space at the top to make style A. From the bottom right of the “X”, you will cut diagonally until the paper falls off. Repeat on the other side and you will have a triangle. This is the flap of the envelope.
Now you will take your flap and fold it down, over the top. It should look like a little envelope now.

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Using your glue stick, run it completely along the sides but bearing in mind that the wider you go towards the inside with the glue, the less actual space you will have for your notecard.

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To make style B. is the same method except you will fold the paper into equal amounts. Style A. is taller with a shorter triangle folded over while Style B. has a wider triangle and is smaller.

Now you can embellish it however you want! You can use stickers, crystals, little buttons, ribbon…

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Following the method above, I made a tiny blue envelope. I had found a lace tablecloth at Goodwill for $.99 & knew I could cut it up and use it for projects! I hate tossing stuff, even small scraps and look-I’m glad I didn’t because months later, now I’m able to use it!

I found a piece of lace & used my glue stick to cover where I wanted the lace. I placed the lace over the glue, let it set until dry (a few minutes) and then just cut off the excess.

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I wanted to ensure that the lace would stay on so I just used a spouncer to add some glue, lightly dabbing here & there.
Then I just found some random little things and added them on along with stickers for the name. I always try to use on hand but if I had bought specifically for this, I think felted letters would be so neat.

Sometimes the envelope flap doesn’t like to stay down but I found that if you take a clothes pin (or a heavy book would work) and pin it down, let it stay like that for a bit and should stay down then.

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For the notecard, I just cut out a piece of paper to fit into the envelope. I also like to add a little sticker to seal it. Maybe it’s just me but I love the part about opening up a letter that has a seal. My ex husband always would seal his letters with sealing wax and I still think that was super neat.

These little cards can be used for so many things; on top of gifts, for gift cards and even in a pinch for a homemade birthday card. I have forgotten to get a card for a birthday party before and had one of the kids hurry up and draw something, write “happy birthday!” on it, make a quick envelope and write the kids name on it haha!

Have fun creating!

Here are some examples of them with different paper:

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Mini Notecards + Envelopes!

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Mini Notecards + Envelopes!

These are so cute; I’m obsessed!

Besides being adorable, they’re simple, cheap & fast to make. You can add embellishments if you’d like or leave them as they are.

Perfect for tops of presents, with a gift card tucked inside or to write little love notes on. Add some happiness by placing in your child’s lunch box or to include with your eBay packages to buyers to say “thanks!”

Lots of uses!

Check back tomorrow for the easy tutorial!

Mini envelopes:

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With notecards:

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Holiday ones:

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For gift cards:

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Easy Glittered Seashells!

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Easy Glittered Seashells!

Glittered seashells are super sparkly and gorgeous but best of all, they’re EASY!

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If your kids are anything like mine, they love collecting seashells. Which is fun until we come home and they get tossed in a drawer somewhere & forgotten about.

These were made for my daughter’s upcoming birthday party theme but there are quite a few ways I could think of to use these:
*Mermaid birthday party (Ariel or otherwise)
*Glued onto the edge of a frame
-you could make a wall gallery with framed beach photos & glue the shell from that beach onto the frame
*Placed inside a shadow box
-you could write the name of the beach the shell came from on the underside
*Used as embellishment on a gift
*Made into Christmas ornaments
*Strung onto string to create garland
*Casually displayed on a bookshelf or wall shelf
*Placed inside of a glass hurricane (perhaps with sand from that beach too)
*Spruce up an old outdated boring mirror

LOTS of things to do and who doesn’t love something easy, personalized custom created for FREE (or very cheap!)?

Let’s get started!

Supplies:
Seashells
Acrylic paint in your choice of colors
Paint brushes
Modgepodge (in a pinch, a clear nailpolish can work but I tried it & it wasn’t as smooth as the MP)
Loose glitter

Total time: (not including drying time)
I made a total of 11 small-medium size shells and it took me about 20 minutes

I chose these colors because they are the colors for Sophia’s birthday. These are SO many gorgeous colors with loose glitter; you can really pick and customize to fit your decor/project/party.

You may want to paint your seashells white to give them a uniformed look and create a smoother base. This is entirely optional but I chose to do it.

Next, taking your brush you will want to paint on a very thin layer of acrylic paint. Do not worry if it’s not uniformed yet, another coat will make it opaque. I’ve always found it best to start thin and add color then to do a thick coat & end up with a rough lumpy look.

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Once all the shells are the color you want and are opaque (uniformed in color with no undertones showing through), let them dry.

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When they are completely dry, it’s time to glitter them!

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I placed them onto a scrape piece of paper. Using a clean paint brush, dip it into your MP (you will just need a bit) & thinly yet completely cover the painted shell. Be careful not to make the bottom edge too thick as when they dry, they will dry and adhere to the paper.

Immediately, dust the loose glitter onto the shell. I found it helpful to use the paper to lift the shell and slightly move it around to get the edges and backside since you don’t want to touch it.

And that’s it!!! I left mine to dry and then picked them carefully off the paper & funneled the remaining glitter back into it’s container.

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I just LOVE them! I’ve always been a firm believer that the little details can really make or break something and these just do it for me!

After all, the big picture IS made up of thousands of little details!

These are super sparkly…even at night, they just glow!

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Enjoy making your seashells even more special and sparkly!

Party time-Sophia’s 2nd Birthday *Black+Pink+White*

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Party time-Sophia’s 2nd Birthday *Black+Pink+White*

Sophia’s second birthday was just a small party with our family and my parents in NC.

We had moved to NC only three weeks prior and in that three weeks, I had taken our blank & bare four bedroom house and completely painted the interior. Plus, we got 8,000lbs of our household goods delivered from Belgium, purchased all new furniture for every room of the house and had to get the boys adapted to their new school.

Oh, and for Thanksgiving, we made a 18 hour road trip up to MI, stayed a night & drove back down with my parents along.

So, I wasn’t really feeling a big party this year plus we knew no one yet.

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Which was a good thing since Sophia wasn’t in a party mode anyways.

The last time we had gone to the Eiffle Tower, I had ordered this adorable pettiskirt & shirt to take pictures of her in but it didn’t arrive in time for our trip. I was super disappointed! I decided to use this outfit and just build from there with black, white & pink items.

The pettiskirt I found on Etsy (a pettiskirt is much fuller then a tutu with more ruffled layers) & I had an iron on Eiffle Tower personalized for $3 (Etsy) and ironed it onto her shirt myself.

I knew it wasn’t going to be a big party at all so I kept it pretty simple.

I made a birthday banner for her & blew up balloons & hung them onto string to create garland. I also made one lame paper pom pom that hung there limply lol. Her birthday hat was made from scrapbook paper and was a damask print like the runner with a few crystals and ribbon. I just bought some fabric from Hobby Lobby for $5 and heated sealed the edges & used that for a runner. The tablecloth was actually a damask gray fabric shower curtain haha.

Her cake was just a simple stacked strawberry creme cake with layered strawberries and a cream cheese icing. I don’t even think she ate any!

From set up to when she had her meltdown was probably 10 minutes lol.

Still, i think it’s nice to have big fun parties but also small parties too!

Up next is her third birthday party…

Party time-Sophia’s 1st Birthday *Brown+Pink*

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Party time-Sophia’s 1st Birthday *Brown+Pink*

Another year has gone by in Sophia’s life and soon she will be four! Wow!

What a treat it was to look back on her past birthday parties.

This was her very first birthday party and while they’re all special, I will always hold her first birthday in a special place in my heart.

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This year, we are just having a small family only celebration. It naturally seems to happen that one year, we have a huge fancy party & the next is a small quiet family one.

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It is always my goal, whatever size, to do it as thrifty as possible while still having a lovely, attention to detail party. I always use what I have on hand, make items and if I purchase them, make sure that I can reuse them at another point. The boys have had some big birthday blowouts and I keep the same thrifty mentality with theirs too.

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Sophia was born in Brussels and we celebrated her first birthday there. I had to start planning months in advance to have all the items needed for her party which was good as it forced me to really focus.

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Sophia at two weeks (she was a big baby-she actually gained weight at the hospital & was up to 14lbs @ her one month checkup! A chunky breastfed baby indeed!):

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There was no “theme” for her first party but her colors were chocolate brown and blush pink. Her nursery was brown/pink damask so it seemed fitting to be able to go full circle with the same colors for her First Year celebration. It was also great because a lot of the decor from her nursery, I could use to decorate the party with!

I ordered her birthday invites from Vistaprint. Compared to Shutterfly, they had the better deal especially with coupons.

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I looked & looked for the perfect birthday dress for her. I knew I what I wanted, I just didn’t know if it exist lol. That tends to happen to me a lot haha where I have a clear idea of what I am looking for but it takes me a while to find it-I always have a lot of faith that I will find what I’m looming for and I almost alway do! Believe you can and you will!

I finally found it-
Gap 2010 Holiday Line:

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Absolutely divine! Layers of soft blush tulle with a satin upper and a darling little bow in the back.
I wanted the focus to be her dress so the rest was kept simple:

Gymboree fur stole (winter ballerina '09 line)
Gap cableknit tights
Primigi patent maryjanes
H&M crystal clips

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I made goody bags for her friends from white satin bags filled with bubbles, sweet treats, baby hair bows & headbands and nail polish. I just traced an Ikea cup to make a circle, printed out their names and added a quick ring of glitter & made a hole w/ a hole punch and attached them. I put them into her Moses basket for the girls moms to pick up on the way out. I also put her “thank you” cards in the goody bags so I wouldn’t have to mail them out later in case I got too lazy busy.

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Her birthday hat was made with card stock, grosgrain ribbon and part of a feather boa. For the guests, I just picked some up online where I bought her birthday banner and thank you cards.

Jackie and I traced a scallop shape from the computer onto card stock & cut out brown & pink letters to make her, “Happy Birthday, Sophia!” banner. We used different paper so some had cupcakes on them and some had sweet treats-then we just randomly stuck stickers on the individual circles before stringing them onto a brown ribbon and hanging it up.

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I also really like to label everything food wise. This helps me with pre setup just to get an idea of where I want what dish but it also keeps things simple for guests. Plus, if you’re busy & a guest has a question about what may be in it, they can see without having to track you down and ask you. I have a child with a food allergy and while he’s old enough now to know, I used to have to track down the hostess and ask exactly what was in certain dishes/desserts. So I find it’s just helpful to everyone to label.

The boys had two massive birthday parties earlier that year with over 60 people EACH party & I made all the food. It was chaos and I didn’t get to talk to a single person hardly or enjoy the party. I catered in Chinese food from one of our favorite spots and was so grateful to be able to enjoy stress free her party.

For dessert, Jackie and I made the cake along with her own baby smash cake (which she devoured). I completely forgot about a cake topper until 10 min before the party so I was rushing around trying to find a pic to stick on it and ended up cutting out the pic from her birthday invites haha! We also had French macaroons, sugar cookie lollipops, sprinkle sticks and the BEST homemade icecream ever! Seriously, if you’re ever in Brussels, Sofia @ Croccantino makes the icecream right out of her house. The line in the summer is ridiculous & the parking lot is always full.

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For Sophia’s party, we had Bon Bon & Apple Cream Cheese…delicious!

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For crafts, I set up two tables where the moms could decorate cupcake banks with paint and gems with their daughters and another table where they could make little namesake bracelets. I made sure each girl had her letters and laid them out as place settings.

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I also like to set up a “gift” table
& made a paper banner for it. When you’re busy rushing around, it’s always easier to have it all laid out simple for your guests so they can start mingling right away. She received many great gifts that we still have today but sweetest of all, was the baby pearl necklace & bracelet from her daddy. It’s much too small now but someday, she will
be able to give this to her daughter if she’d like.

I was so happy with how everything turned out for Sophia’s party especially doing it all without the aid of craft stores nearby! It just proved to me that with some planning and creativeness you really can have a lovely party on a budget.

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Xoxo