Friday, March 30, 2012

Miss K turns TWO!

Yikes!!!  Where has the last two years gone??!!  I cannot believe that just a few short days ago, my little princess turned TWO!!

Looking all adorable in her Birthday Party Dress!
Miss K had quite the "Birthday Weekend Extravaganza!" which undoubtedly makes her Aunt Mel very proud.  Nana FLEW down from Maryland to spend a long weekend with us, which in and of itself was the best birthday present for Miss K (and me!).  Nana got here pretty late on Wednesday so K didn't get to see her until first thing Thursday morning.  I had to wake her up early because we were headed to an early appointment so in her groggy state she said her usual "morning mommy," but when she finally realized that Nana was sitting at the end of her bed she woke right up, shouted "Hi NANA!" and jumped into her arms for a big giant bear hug.... so glad I got to witness that. :)

Even though her birthday wasn't until Monday, we had her party on Saturday.  We had many of our new Florida friends join us for the party and hubby's aunt even drove two hours down to enjoy the party too.  K was so excited even before the party started.  Her big treat from Mommy & Daddy was a playhouse to put on the back porch.  Daddy set it up after she went to bed Friday night and we surprised her with it Saturday morning.
Loving her new playhouse!

Her party was Zoo-themed to echo her love of animals (and the sounds they make).  Hubby made yummy chicken on the grill to go with salad and we also served "kid food" (pigs in blankets, tater tots, and mini corn-dogs).  Of course there were plenty of fruits, veggies, and chips too. :)  After was done eating, we took K out to the back porch to sing "Happy Birthday" which she LOVED, when everyone was done she clapped and blew out the candles like a pro!
Clapping after her friends sang "Happy Birthday"
Daddy enjoying his cupcake with Miss K
"YUM" face - much less messy at 2 than she was at 1!
 After cake, we let her open her presents.  She seemed to get the hang of the card thing - studying a few like they were books.  Tissue paper flew and she took out a few friends with her flying arms.  Of course she wanted to open each box and start playing then and there and she even attempted to put some of the clothes on that she got!
Friends gathered around watching Miss K open her presents
I LOVE this face!
Tissue Paper Play Break

All in all, the birthday party was a blast.  We really enjoyed celebrating the last two years with friends and even some family (although we missed the rest of you terribly!).  Miss K was successfully exhausted when the party was over and was down for a nap seconds after the last guest left.  I loved how excited she was and how much fun the kids all had playing and laughing.  Honestly I tried to soak in as much of that as I could because I know this time goes by oh-so-quickly!

By the way, I may have had a little too much fun putting together all the decorations, favors, etc... but can you blame me??!!  Below are some pictures of some of the details...
Goodie bags... All the "big kids" got a zoo animal goodie bag with a few animal fun items (bubbles, stamp, crayons, notepad, animal print bracelet) and a few tasty treats (fruit snacks and a bag of animal crackers).

I made the bags with just plain white gift bags from Michaels, and cut out the animal heads on my Cricut using the Animal Kingdom cartridge.  I didn't get a good picture of the back, but each animal has a tail attached to the back. :)

 For the babies of the bunch, they took home a little bag of cute zoo stuffed animals to play with, touch, and drool on. LOL

 I hung a banner over the gift table.  I used the Creative Memories Cricut cartridge "Traveler" for the font, the Celebrations cartridge for the pennants, and I free-handed the fringy green tops.  This was really fun to make.

 Animal cupcakes!  We had chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with green colored icing.  Nana put some fancy designs in the icing and I topped the cupcakes with these cute cupcake toppers.  Just like the goodie bags, I cut out the animal heads with my Cricut and used the "Animal Kingdom" cartridge.  Each animal head is hot-glued to a toothpick.

 This was my "Feed the Animals" game.  I painted large sides to a cardboard box to look like animal prints, and then cut out large circles (tracing a plate with razor blade - yes, I still have all my fingers in tact).  I put out little balls for the kids to "feed" the animals with.  It didn't get a whole lot of use at the party (the playhouse was the hit), but they're pretty nice, so I'm keeping them around for outside fun with friends on another day. :)

I couldn't help but add a little something to the front door, so I cut out a big #2 to hang on the door (and other for inside).  Again, I used my Cricut and used the CM "Traveler" cartridge to get my font.  I'll be saving at least one of these for the scrapbook!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Deck the Halls!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Since getting back from our trip back home for Thanksgiving, I have been gearing up for my favorite season of the year.  CHRISTMAS!!  I've been a little bit Pinterest-obsessed these last few weeks and have attempted to make a couple of the neat ideas I have found on there (makes the time feel a little less wasted - hahaha!).  So I thought I'd share some of the decorations we've put up so far.  I still have a few more things I want to make, and some cute craft ideas to do with Miss K.  Enjoy!

Miss K's very own Nativity Set - Fisher Price Little People

Our tree

Longaberger Hurricane full of beautiful ornaments (from the Dollar Store!!)

Christmas Ball Wreath - Pinterest Inspired - I made it!  
There are SEVERAL places you can go online to find information about making these Christmas Ball Wreaths.  This is the tutorial that I used. 
Close-up of the Christmas Ball Wreath

Miss K's Christmas Tree

Backwards Advent Calendar -- Each day of December it's my goal to do something Christmas with Miss K.  Then we keep track on the "ornaments" for this tree.  It's hung up on her Creative Memories Everyday Display Board.  I'm thinking future scrapbook page for this Christmas!

Subway Art hanging in the hallway.  I found it here.

Mantel decorations - "M E R R Y" are foam letters cut out with my Cricut and hung on 3M hooks.
It's Pinterest inspired from here.

More Christmas Longaberger - Interested in purchasing your own Longaberger products?
I'm a consultant!  Feel free to place and order with me!

The other side of the fireplace.  The first time I have ever had a mantel to hang my stockings!

Hutch decorations

Beautiful *LIVE* Christmas centerpiece from Mother-in-Law.  I love it!
Managed to keep last year's alive all season... here's hoping I can do it again!

The bulletin board half is just waiting for a new picture by Miss K!

Work in progress!
Love that sign from BFF - it says "WE BELIEVE Jesus is the reason for the Season"
I've got a couple things in the works to finish this up.

Ikea lantern with rusty bell ornaments stuffed inside & my favorite Longaberger Tree Trimming basket.

Nativity Set on the bookshelf.

Cute little sign from Kirklands thanks to my BFF.  Hanging on a kitchen cabinet door.
I love decorating for Christmas and Miss K has been a great help.  I've found some fun things for us to make and even though she's still little for crafts, she does like to paint and use glue.  If anything, it will be fun to play.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 30: Christmas Season

WHEW!  30 days already?  What a great challenge.  My eyes have been really opened to just how much I have to be thankful for a daily basis.  I feel like I've only scratched the surface in the last 30 days.  God is so good.

To finish off my last "Thankfulness" post, I'm going to bring in the next season - my FAVORITE season - The Christmas season!  I am so thankful for the Christmas season.  I love the music, the lights, the presents, the family time, the decorations, my list could go on and on.  It's really easy to get swept up in all of that, I'm super guilty of it, that's for sure.  The best part about Christmas though is the reminder of Jesus' birth.  Without that, Christmas would mean nothing, as would life.  My next challenge to myself is to enjoy this Christmas season, but to also take every opportunity to remind myself of what this season really is about. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 29: Our Thanksgiving Vacation

Today as I sift through the laundry, catch up on mail, and recover from a short but oh so long flight last night, I am extremely thankful for the past week and the great time that we had with family and friends during our Thanksgiving Vacation.  Instead of a recap of words, I've put together some pictures instead.  Enjoy!!

Chuck E Cheese night with friends of mine & K's.

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Thanksgiving Dinner at my Sister's!

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Family Time with Tim's family.

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Japanese Steakhouse dinner with BFF & our families.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 28: Child Safety Items..

Had a thought yesterday about how thankful I am for K's carseat.  It makes this mommy feel a tad better about driving down the road with all the other crazies out there, knowing that she's safer in it, than without it.

So then I started looking around and kept thinking of other child safety things out there that help to keep my baby girl even just a little bit safer.  Things like plug covers, baby gates for stairs, cabinet locks, closet blocks, corner covers... even the newer designs of cribs and changing tables.  I know that they didn't have all that stuff when I was a kid - and I turned out fine contrary to popular belief ;) - but still, if someone came up with it, there was probably some kid, somewhere that taught someone that we needed safety measures in place for all those things.  Honestly, I'm not happy those kids and parents had to go through that, but I'm glad that the safety items are in place now, to help me prevent it with my little bit.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 27: Tylenol...

I've got a bit of a headache tonight.  I've had a great day and have many things to be thankful for (Japanese Steakhouse, family & friends time, visiting my family church, giggles from my baby girl, etc etc)... but now that the day is over and I begin to think of the flight home, my head is starting to ache.  Could be the cold I'm fighting, my nerves for the upcoming travel, or the always ongoing list of things to do beginning to overflow.  Whatever's causing it really doesn't matter, and I'm just thankful that somebody, somewhere, a long time ago came up with Tylenol to make my headache go away.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 26: Photographs

I'm drawing near the end of my month of Thankfulness.  I'm pretty proud of myself for keeping up with this for so long.  I've really had to stop and think some days, but all in all, I have really come to realize just how much I have to be thankful.  I didn't even get into being thankful for food, clothes, and shelter (even though I really am very thankful for those as well!!).  This challenge has helped me to realize just how blessed we are.  I also want to challenge myself to be thankful everyday, not just because it's Thanksgiving, or the month leading up to it.

So today, while I was enjoying yet another family gathering and yummy food, I thought about how few times we get to do this now.  I grabbed my camera after dinner and tried to snap some pictures of my little K and her aunties and Gamma.  I realized, that aside from Skype and telephone, those photographs are going to be how we not only remember the fun times with family and friends, but also will be great for helping K get to know and recognize the people that mean so much to us. 

I also want to add how thankful I am for the great camera that my hubby gave me as an early Christmas present.  It takes such great pictures and I feel really blessed to have it.