Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thoughts on 30 & Little Friday Link-Up

Before I get into my post, I wanted to be sure to mention that today I am co-hosting Little Friday Link-Up up with one of my favorite blogs!  If you don't read Ashley's blog, The Grits, then you should probably start!  Thanks, Ashley!

Ash (Follow Here!) // Samantha (Follow Here!) //  Laura (Follow Here!)

Rules are there are no rules! 

Please link-up to whatever you like! 

All that we ask is, if you wish, please follow us via the links above and that you link back to this blog - so that other's can join in and mingle! 

Happy Little Friday Everyone!

The Grits Blog

Now, onto today's post....

So last week it happened… I turned the big 3-0! 

When I was little I remember thinking that 30 was freaking ancient.  Great.

I guess it really hasn't hit me yet that I am actually 30 and maybe that’s because I still feel like I’m 23!

The past decade was very good to me.  In the last 10 years I graduated college, got my first real job, switched jobs, got married, bought a house, started a family, bought a different house, etc, etc.  So I can’t help but wonder, is it all downhill from here like they say?    

Should I all of the sudden become sophisticated?  Hopefully turning 30 doesn't mean I now need to watch PBS to get my news (sorry dad), add more fiber to my diet, or pay attention to the stock market.  Let's be real, I don’t do any of those things.  Instead, I watch Pretty Little Liars on Netflix, eat Teddy Grahams as a snack, and get my financial advice from Dave Ramsey’s twitter feed. 

I refuse to think that turning 30 means I've reached my peak – no way!  In my mind, there's no sense in being sad or depressed over it - I'll save that for when I turn 40 :)   I say bring it on 30, I'm ready for you!

Cheers to anyone else turning 30 this year, too!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Rowen's Elephant Party!

Our sweet, silly, little girl turned two years old last Sunday! 

There is not much I love more in this world than a birthday party, especially a well-planned themed party!  For the past month I’ve been planning an elephant theme for her second birthday!  I wanted to incorporate some of Rowen’s favorite things at her party, which just happened to include elephants, cake, cookies, hot dogs, and swimming!

Here are a few shots of all the cuteness…

The invitations:  If you've been following my blog, you know that I also do a little graphic design on the side of my everyday job.  Well, this summer I have been slammed with weddings I am designing for and (as bad as it sounds) just didn't have the time to do Rowen’s invitations, too.  So instead, I thought I’d go online and give another designer a chance at some business!  Within minutes of looking, I found these adorable invitations and just couldn't pass them up! 

Party Location:  Unlike last year, we decided it would be much easier to host the party in our own home.  However, the main floor of our house wasn't big enough to comfortably hold 30+ people so we decided to cross our fingers for good weather and have the majority of the party outside in the backyard.  It was hot out that day, but luckily there was a good breeze to help keep everyone cool!

The Guests: The guest list included aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great grandparents and a few of Rowen’s little friends from daycare!

The Decor:  To keep it girly, I went with a teal, pink and gray color palate.  A majority of the decorations inside were focused on and around the cake table.  To start, I purchased cheap gray tablecloths and hung an adorable pink, gray and teal banner that read “Happy Birthday”.  I also utilized the chicken wire frame (a DIY project I did a few months ago) we have hanging on our dining room wall as the backdrop to display a “number 2” sign I made along with some recent pictures of the birthday girl!    

Scattered throughout the main floor of the house were teal, pink and gray balloons and few gray pom-poms.  I also hung this adorable elephant garland over the fireplace.

Outside in the front yard, the guests were greeted at door with this cute sign, which matched the invitations. 

Out back, where the majority of the party was being held, were a few tables decorated with gray tablecloths and a jar of peanuts as centerpieces.  We also hung a few paper lanterns, too!  For the kids at the party, we busted out the inflatable pool and filled it with lots of fun toys as entertainment – so easy!

The Food:  It was Ryan’s idea to do a hot dog bar!  I was originally just thinking of doing a grill out, but when Ryan suggested his idea, I was instantly on-board!  We had a variety of different toppings, which were a hit with the guests!   

For dessert there was cake, ice cream and chocolate chip cookies!  I ordered a simple marble flavored sheet cake designed to match her invitations…so cute!

The afternoon was spent eating, and opening gifts!

It was a great day shared with close family and a few of Ro's spunky little friends!  Rowen is truly a blessed little girl! 

Shared with:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rowen's turning 2!!

I cannot believe my little booger turns two years old this weekend!  This year has just flown by!  To kick off the celebration I thought I'd post her two year update...

Age: 24 Months

Stats: 26 lbs, 33 inches tall

Teeth: Still doesn't have them all.  Missing a few on the bottom and top.  Dentist again in the winter!

Clothes: 2T, shoes: 5.5

Favorite Foods:  
  • Mac N Cheese
  • Hot Dogs
  • Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Can count to twenty
  • Puts together 4-5 word sentences – talks non-stop!
  • Asking lots of questions
  • Knows all of the basic colors
  • Beginning to recognize her letters
  • Can spell half of her name out loud R-O-W
  • Knows her birth date (July 20)
  • Tells us when she has to go potty, but still has very little interest in actually using the potty (frustrating)
  • Becoming much more independent.  Wants to put on her own shoes, own clothes, and do everything on "rowen time".

Favorite Things:
  • Singing – she LOVES to sing and surprisingly sings in tune most of the time!
  • Dancing – Will randomly ask me to dance with her (asked me in grocery store last night)
  • Watching Leap Frog Videos, Daniel Tiger and her very favorite favorite, Sofia the First
  • iPad - Shes getting very good at it!
  • Swimming – She’s a little fish!
  • Screaming “my so sided” aka “I’m so excited” before we do something fun – I LOOOVE it when she says this!
  • Swinging on her swing set

Least Favorite Things:
  • Sharing -  She’s perfectly fine playing with other kids’ toys, but it’s a totally different story when her friends try to play with her toys.  We’re working on this!
  • Rice - not a fan
  • Chicken - not a fan

  • At Night - Full 8-10 hours each night.  Still sleeps in her crib, has not yet tried to climb out so we’re keeping her in there as long as possible.
  • Naps - One nap in the afternoon 1-2 hours in length

Recent Pics: 

We'll be celebrating her birthday with a low key party of friends at family at home!  Can't wait!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DIY Magnetic Chalk & Felt Board

So I’ve had quite a few requests and emails from people asking me to do a tutorial on the magnetic chalk & felt board that was featured in the playroom post I did last month.  So, to all of you who requested it, your wish has been granted!

I totally remember being in elementary school and playing with felt boards and magnet boards as a kid!  I suppose kids nowadays touch iPad screens instead, but regardless, I wanted something similar in Rowen’s playroom!  

immediately went online to buy a felt board and a magnetic chalkboard, but quickly realized that the good ones are EXPENSIVE.  So, with a little help from Pinterest, I set out to make my own…

Supplies Needed:
  • Extra-large oil drip pan (Walmart)
  • Chalkboard Paint (Walmart)
  • White fabric edging (Michaels)
  • ½ yard dark green felt (JoAnns Fabric)
  • ½ yard light blue felt
  • Paint Brush (not pictured)
  • Hot Glue Gun (not pictured)
  • Permanent Marker (not pictured)

1. Start by wiping off the drip pan with a wet paper towel, let dry

2. Paint the drip pan with chalkboard paint - you’ll probably need more than one coat of paint.  (Be sure to follow the instructions for the paint on the back of the can).

3. Once your board is fully dry, gently wipe it down with a wet paper towel.

4. Take a look at your drip pan - if it’s similar to mine, there are markings on one end of the pan.  You’ll want to use that end to create your felt board (those markings will make it hard to use as a magnetic/chalk board)

5. Measure the drip pan horizontally, and section it in half. 

6. Place the light blue felt ¾ of the way over one half of the board, leaving the bottom ¼ of the board without fabric (this will be the sky). 

7. Using a permanent marker, trace around the edges of the drip pan so you’ll know where you need to cut the felt.

8. Place the dark green felt along the bottom ¼ of the drip pan slightly overlapping the light blue felt at the top.

9.  Trace the green felt around the bottom edges of the pan so you know where to cut.

10. Cut both pieces of felt along the traced edges

11. Next, using a hot glue gun, glue the felt to the pan along the edges to secure it in place.  Use your fabric edging to create a separation barrier between the felt board and magnetic board.  Cut a strip of the edging fabric to fit the height of your board.  Hot glue it in place at each end (over the edge of the two pieces of felt) to create the separation barrier.

I then purchased (at Michaels) a few of these adorable felt sets made by Creatology to use on her felt board.  Love!

That’s it!  It’s a very simple project that can be used as an excellent learning tool for your little ones! 

Rowen absolutely loves hers!


Shared with:
Time for Mom

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Getting sick is the pits...

It’s been over a week since I last posted.  Why? Well…I got sick.  Like really sick.  Sicker than I think I’ve ever been before. 

Right after the 4th of July, Rowen came down with Hand Foot and Mouth.  She suffered a low grade fever for about a day and a half and then broke out in a few blisters on her feet.  That was it - nothing too bad.

Well, fast forward a week and BAM, it hit me like a frickin’ truck.  I got sick, too. 

It started with a two day fever of 102° – chills, aches and pains and a headache that wouldn't quit.  Then, after the fever had subsided, the blisters showed up…inside my mouth!  It seriously felt like someone had taken a razor blade to the back of my throat and just sliced their way through multiple times. 

This is pretty much how I felt...

It’s been five days now and I can still barely eat anything. I’m currently looking at a medium sized chocolate shake sitting on my desk, but the cold ice cream is almost too painful to consume.  The pain has been so bad that I was given meds to help handle it.  Ugh!

So forgive me for being absent.  I'm feeling a little better each day, and I have a few posts ready for the rest of the week, so stay tuned! 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Weekend Wrap Up: 4th of July

Whew!  What a busy yet FUN weekend!  I love everything about the Fourth of July, and this year was especially fun because Rowen was old enough to partake in all the festivities...

Friday morning I woke up bright and early and headed 30 miles west to my grandma's hometown.  Every year her town throws a big 4th of July party that starts with a 5K race!

It was my fourth year running the race and this year I ran my best time ever!  

After the race, we headed up the street to join the rest of my family for the parade.  It was Rowen's very first parade and it's safe to say she had a blast dancing in the street, "ooh-ing" and "awww-ing" at all the firetrucks, and collecting a ton of candy (for mom to eat, haha).

After the parade we headed over to the local park to grab some lunch and get ready for the Diaper Derby. My dad is the local pharmacist in town and every year his pharmacy puts on a race for kids known as the Diaper Derby.  Last year Rowen attempted to crawl in the race, and by "attempted" I mean she just sat there and looked around while all the other babies left her in the dust.  HA!  

This year I had high hopes.  She loves to run around in the yard so I thought she'd do great.  Right before the race, Rowen had tons of energy, so much in fact that I think she wore herself out!  By the time it was our turn at the start line she completely melted.  You know the - screaming at the top of her lungs, arms in the air, legs kicking - kind of meltdown (these pictures don't do it justice).  Oh, well, better luck next year I guess.

My little cousin Gabriele was also in the race and did wonderfully!  Last year she won the entire thing and this year she came close! 

Later that evening (after a much needed nap) we reconvened with my family for a BBQ featuring homemade ice cream, yard games and fireworks!

It was 11:30 before we made it home.  All three of us must have been exhausted because we ended up sleeping in until 10am!

Saturday afternoon, Ryan and Rowen headed out to his parents' lake house while I stayed back to do some cleaning and finish up a few design projects.  I met back up with them later that night for dinner at the lake only to find out that Rowen had developed a fever.  So instead of watching round two of fireworks as planned, Rowen and I headed home to bed while Ryan stayed and hung out with his family.  

So far today Rowen's fever is still sticking around.  We spent most of the day on the couch watching movies and napping.  Poor thing --- I hate when she's sick!  It'll be off to the doctor tomorrow if she's still not feeling well.  

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!