June 19, 2018

DIY // Welcome Sign

You know that feeling your local coffee shop gives you? The sense of what's on the other side is warm, inviting, and comfortable? You know that feeling?

That is the exact experience we strive for when others are invited into our home. So, 2 years ago, I started the tradition of personalizing a welcome sign to recreate that feeling for friends, neighbors and family. 

The Frame
We purchased our chalkboard from Amazon and although our exact frame is sold out. This one and this one are both very similar and also from Amazon. To give it a more polished look, I painted the frame white with two coats. 

The welcome sign needed to be clear, simple, and yet kid friendly as we were having 5 little girls attend. So, a quick step-by-step tutorial on how I created our welcome sign, is below (with pictures!).

Welcome Sign Tutorial

// 1 //

On your computer, create & organize your desired font. Then print it off. 

// 2 //
Next, using compressed graphite rub over the entire back of the your print out.

// 3 //
Place your print out on top of the chalk board so that the graphite side you just rubbed, is facing down and in direct contact with the chalk board. 

// 4 //
Using a pencil, trace the outside of your letters and or design. Then remove the paper. 

// 5 //
Now that your designed is transferred onto the chalkboard, go over it again with a chalk marker and fill in where needed. I used two colors for Abby's welcome sign (rose gold & white). 

// 6 //
To make the ice cream cone 3-D, cut in half a pink pom pom and glue gun it to a triangle card stock shape. (For me, I already had used this method in making her an ice cream garland. I just decided to take off one triangle from her garland. Lastly, use double sided tape to place your ice cream cone onto the chalkboard.

// 7 //
To complete the look, you can use double sided tape to place confetti around the ice cream cone. I used rose gold and pink blush confetti (again from Amazon) which I also used to sprinkle on the serving table inside.   

I really love ours! And I always have friends and family comment on it when they walk into our home. However what I love the most about it our sign is that it's quickly becoming a tradition!

Plus, summer is great time for paint & projects!!

I hope you have a great rest of your summer day eating ice cream out of one hand  sipping cold coffee in the other.  : )

                                                                    Warmly, Steph

June 8, 2018

2nd Birthday Party // Ice Cream

(Plus 4 Tips For Simplifying A Party)

Abby is TWO!

However, let's back up. Steve (my husband) and I pulled together a girly little pink ice cream party with five hours of prep time - the absolute quickest party I've ever thrown!

Back Story 

This was definitely done on purpose because we needed to be able to turn around four days later and head out of town for a long weekend (all three of us are in a wedding!!). So today I’m happy to give all of you a peak into a few quick details (as voted over in Instagram) and share four quick tips we did to simplify, and then simplify some more, without sacrificing the beauty of her pink ice cream theme party.

4 Key Things To Simplify A Birthday Party

// 1 // Guest List:
Last year we invited our friends, neighbors, and family. But this year, we decide to cut down the guest list and just invite family. We LOVE our friends! But we needed to make this year’s theme and size a bit more manageable before jetting out of town. 

// 2 // Self-Serve:
Having a party where your guests can pile up on the good stuff for themselves is not only fun, it’s preferred: it allows us more time to visit and actually enjoy the party.  Last year we BBQ’d, in an attempt to make it easy on ourselves. But we found that taking orders, cooking, and serving everyone ate up 1/3 of our party time.

// 3 // Decorations:
As much as I love Pinterest, I love the savvy KISS method: Keep It Simple, Sally. Too many Pinterest details can quickly make your weeks leading up to an event all about crafting. So, I’ve become a major fan of balloons! Just ask Steve and he’ll tell you almost every occasion in our family involves him going to pick up balloons. They really add a bit of magic to the room. Plus, I just loved how our balloons from our party really filled up the space with beautiful colors. 

// 4 // Details:
I picked three DIY projects and ended up doing four because of course, I would.  1) Welcome sign 2) ice cream garland 3) photo wall back drop and 4) ice cream balloon which I’ll share all about these very soon!

// 5 // Teamwork (BONUS!):

I’m very lucky to be a part of a great team (that thing we call marriage). Steve and I work hard to make sure we can get as much done the day before an event as possible. Truth bomb: you, he and I know I’m the main organizer and planner for all our parties, but we really work together to make sure things are getting checked off the list! Whoever your “team” is, treat them well. Give them compliments and remind them they are awesome! A little positivity can go a long way.

 Ok, now as promised, a photo dump.

//  The After Party  //

By giving you a peak into Abby's 2nd Birthday Ice Cream Party and our party prep ideas, I hope you feel like you can still make a birthday party fun, beautiful and yet also time management friendly

 If you need to save these ideas for later, go ahead and pin the image below.

      Warmly, Steph

May 31, 2018

6 Great Books For 1-2 Year Olds

There are so many great books out there for little ones! 

However, only a handful have made their way back to into our laps and across our finger tips.

Two years ago, almost to the day, my then co-workers (all educators) threw Abby and I a surprise "book” shower. It was truly a very sweet surprise! And because of them, we now have a great collection of short story books. 

Even though I’m no longer working beside them, I can say that Educators know the best of the best when it comes to making a great collection of books. Many of the ones they gave me have quickly become our favorites around here. 

With Abby turning 2 right around the corner (literally this weekend!) I thought it would be equally fun and helpful to let you in on what Abby has been loving this past year while going through the developmental stages of 1 to 2 years. 

Short stories like, Goodnight Moon and The Fancy Nancy series as I mentioned earlier on the blog here, seem to hold Abby's attention the best. All of them have colorful illustration and my goodness, how her vocabulary for a 23.9 month old amazes me!

We have a deep love for books these days, though these are our favorite short stories. 

1 //  2  //  3 //  4  //  5  //  

What about you and your little one? What books are you really loving lately? Any of you suggest one or two in which I didn't make above?