Friday, March 14, 2014

Belly Bump Update








I can't believe that there are less than 6 weeks left!  Yikes!  I better go register at the hospital & start this whole nesting thing soon!

Her name will be....

Preslee Ray
I realized that I never made it "blog official," but a month or so ago Lantz & I finally decided on a name for our sweet third daughter.  I LOVE it!  I feel like it is soft & feminine & yet spunky and strong all at the same time.  In case you missed my previous post about the great name debate, her middle name is after my dad, Michael Ray.  

To say that I'm excited about meeting this little angel would be an understatement.  Every day her little kicks mean more and more to me.  As I near the end of this pregnancy, it's all so special to me.  This will more than likely be my last pregnancy (unless God decides otherwise.... but probably not our last child-- we both have a HUGE heart for adoption), so I'm really trying to treasure each moment.  

This weekend we get to celebrate Preslee & I can't wait!  I have some super sweet friends at church that are hosting a shower for her, & I can't help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude. What a blessing to have sweet friends who want to share in our joy-- especially since this is not only our third child, but also our third daughter.  

At this point in time I'm just so incredibly thankful.  God is so good, and HE is so evident in our lives, and for that I have every reason to celebrate.  I can't wait to meet this little one that HE has been forming into HIS image.  I know she will be so beautiful and so wonderfully made that I will be in awe of HIM.  What a joy to know the love of the Father.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sawyer's 2 Year Portraits

After Sawyer's birthday party my sweet sister-in-law went with me to take Sawyer's 2 year pictures.  I was so happy to have a little help in trying to get Sawyer to smile.  I think I got a few good ones.  Here are some of them:















Well... of course there are more than a few, because she's my girl, & I love her, & I think each picture captures a different piece of her.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Valentines 2014


This year Valentines was a little more exciting than in the past.  Kennedie got to have her first Valentines exchange with the kids in her class at pre-school.  She was so excited to help me put together the little "Love Bug" Valentines with gummy bears for her friends.

Lantz and I decided several years ago that we would do a family Valentines gift.  We decided that we would put together a family photo book on Shutterfly each year to commemorate the previous year.  It has been a HUGE success for our family.  I can't tell you how many times my girls ask to get the books down to look at them.  They love reminiscing & pointing out previous memories.  It's so fun to walk down memory lane with them.  If you'd like to see this year's book you can click HERE.  After it pulls up just click on "View Book" to see the whole thing.  If you follow my blog, then most of it will all be familiar to you.

Lantz had another surprise in store this year for the girls.  He decided that he wanted to start a tradition of getting them each a bottle of nail polish for Valentines.  He went to the store, picked the color, and wrapped them all by himself.  I personally think it's an awesome tradition to start... especially since Lantz is more or less the "official" nail polisher in our family.  He paints the girls fingers and toes all the time.... it's so sweet.  Have I mentioned what an amazing dad he is? (Sorry I forgot to take pictures... we were in birthday party mode!)


Sawyer's 2 Year Stats


Weight: 28lbs (67%)
Length: 35" (79%)
Head Circum. : 19 & 1/2" (92%)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sawyer's Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Party

I really enjoy throwing parties for my girls.  I love that it's a whole day to celebrate them & who God created them to be.  Picking a party theme can be both fun & stressful.  It was kinda fun that Kennedie picked hers this year (Curious George party), but Sawyer is still so small it's hard for her to express what likes.  The way I see it is that I will probably get to decide on the one & two year parties and then after that the girls will want to make their own decisions-- which is awesome, because it's their special day.

For both of the girls one & two year parties I have tried to think of things that fit their personality and speak a little of what it appears they like at the time.  But I also pick something that I think would be fun to plan.

So when I was trying to decide on a theme for Sawyer, I knew I wanted to try to bring in a little "bling" factor.  Gold seems to be such a hot color right now & then you add in a little glittery sparkle & it just screams fun!  I went back and forth on what colors to tie in with the gold, but finally settled on pink because Sawyer is girlie & seems to be drawn to pink things like most girls.  I thought I'd just leave it at that since I couldn't really think of anything that stood out.  She is two, so she likes most things... hard to narrow in on one.

Then, one day we were singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," and Sawyer's face was beaming.  She would do the little hand motions and open & close her hands while I sang.  When I got to the "...above the world so high," she would raise her hands straight in the air with the biggest smile.  I knew right then that that would be her theme for her party, and it couldn't have fit any better with the gold glitter!

Next up was deciding what time of day we should have the party.  I tried to think of a specific food or meal that Sawyer just loved, but to be honest- she really loves it all!  For Kennedie's second birthday we did a brunch time party with a waffle bar {see party HERE} and that was loads of fun.  I was tempted to do the exact same think for Sawyer's party, but I decided I wanted to do something a little different.  We ended up deciding to do a brunch party again, but this time instead of waffles I decided I'd do a biscuit bar.  Sawyer loves biscuits (along with many other things), and it sounded fun, easy, and fairly inexpensive.

So bam.... I had the colors, the theme, & the food decided.  It was just a matter of putting it all together.

So here we go:

Of course by this point in time you've probably heard me rant and rave over my friend Natalie and her insanely awesome design talent.  You must check out her etsy store Topsy Turvy Print Shop  and go like her Facebook page so you can keep up with all her cuteness & be inspired.  Again, I'll tell you how amazing she is.... I sent over a few ideas I was rolling around in my head, & then boo-yah-- she came up with this awesome invite:

I LOVE it!  It totally set the mood of the party... sweet, sparkly, & all about Sawyer!

My front door greeted guests with a big gold star I got at Hobby Lobby for $1 in their Christmas clearance section (originally $20).  I just tied it with some pink tool & spray painted my "S" from Sawyer's party wreath last year & hung it from the star:

Moving on into the house guests quickly found their way to the food table.  I'll show you a  few pictures & then give you the break down:







Backdrop:
I knew I wanted a very inexpensive backdrop & while browsing Pinterest I found the perfect idea.  Super easy, & super cheap... right up my alley.  I found a tutorial showing how to make a fringe backdrop from those cheap plastic table cloths that they sell for $1 or it's like $1 for 2.  Either way... cheap.  You get two sets of fringe for one table cloth.  So I got 2 table cloths & ended up with 4 sets of fringe.  Click HERE for the Pinterest tutorial I used.  I love that you could use this for any party with any color.

I knew I wanted some gold glitter stars & "Twinkle Twinkle" over the fringe.  I'm not going to lie... have you priced gold glitter paper?  Ridiculous!  So expensive.  I think it was like $1.99 per sheet and I was only going to get one or two letters from each one, plus the stars.  Even using a coupon and going back over and over- it seemed a little crazy just for paper.  So, me being the cheap frugal person that I am I decided I'd just make my own.  Yep.  Very time consuming, but saved me some $$$.  I had white card stock already, so I printed off some stars & letters & then had Lantz spray paint them gold (my grandmother luckily had a can of gold spray paint so that was free).  When they dried I put modge-podge on them & sprinkled some gold glitter which I bought a huge thing of for dirt cheap with a coupon.  I would not recommend this process if you have the money to buy the expensive paper.  It was long and tedious, but it saved me $$$ which I'm all about.

The super large stars hanging at the  top were from my grandmother.  They are large hollow 3D ones that she had laying around at her house.  A little spray paint, modge-podge, and glitter and they were good to go.

Balloons:
I LOVE the big balloons!  Seriously!  I'm all about tissue paper pons... I mean I really like to tissue paper pom a party up.  They are cheap and easy to make.  But, I wanted something a little different.  I ordered the 2 pink 36" pink balloons from Amazon for $6 for both (free shipping).  I had originally wanted gold, but they were more money, so I went with the pink.  I had them blown up the morning of the party at Party City for a dollar or two each.  Can I tell you how much Sawyer LOVED these balloons?  I was worried about how long they would stay blown up, but they lasted almost a week (with some shrinkage in size though).  Both the girls loved playing with them & they doubled as a picture prop for her 2 year portraits (will blog those soon hopefully).  My super awesome mom came over one night a week before the party & followed the tutorial HERE that I found on Pinterest, on how to make tassel garland.  I was originally going to hang some of those up, but decided to hot glue them to the balloon string so that I had tassels hanging from the balloons.  I really love that extra little touch.

Curtains & Table Cloth:
My awesome mother-in-law had gold curtains that she brought with her and I borrowed the gold table cloth from a sweet lady at church.  Score!

Let's get close & personal now with the party.......



The cake & cupcakes were made by my super talented friend Andrea.  Again, you've heard me brag about her, but she truly is AWESOME!  Seriously.  If you live close you need to get her number from me.  Her stuff not only looks amazing, but it tastes amazing.

I made the cake toppers by just taking some of my stars (card stock, spray paint, modge-podge, glitter) and hot glueing them to skewers.  We stuck three in & then I used another Pinterest DIY and took one of those tacky white number candles & glittered out the number two and put it in front of the stars.  I found edible star glitter that Andrea sprinkled on the cake and cupcakes. And we poured gold sprinkles all around the bottom of the cake.  Love the look of the whole thing.

I was going to glitter out my cupcake wrappers, but I was afraid some of the glitter would fall off into the cupcakes, so I didn't.  In hind site I would have save the time making them & just bought gold cupcake liners.  They would have been brighter than my spray-painted ones I made.









FOOD:
One of the things that I loved were my home-made star biscuits.  I have a really awesome biscuit recipe, so I knew I wanted to get up early the day of the party and home-make them.  I decided to use a cookie cutter & cut them into little stars.  It was a sweet little touch if you ask me.

To go with the biscuits guests could choose sausage (for sausage & biscuits), gravy, honey, or different kinds of butters, jellies, and jams.  It was a fun way to let guests customize their food.  Sawyer likes honey with her biscuits & toast.

We also served some of Sawyer's favorite fruit: strawberries and pineapple.

We also had some little raisin boxes out for the little ones.  Of course they would have stuck out like a green thumb if I left them in their original packaging, so I covered them with pink paper with a typed "Raisins" and a gold glitter star.

I hand dipped little strawberry wafer cookies in some pink candy melts & added some pink sparkles.

I made some pink lemonade fudge that I cut out into little stars & sprinkled the gold edible star glitter on.

The plates you ask?  The gold circle ones are from Dollar Tree & I scored the square ones from Target for $1 also I think.









DECOR:
Empty Gold Frame: Had the frame, I just added a new coat of spray paint.

Vase with Stars: Had the vase. Added pink tulle for bow.  Added some skewer stars like the cake toppers.

White Frame: Frame from Ikea for $1.  Re-used from Kennedie's party.  Just added some pink paper & a gold star.

Clear Vase: Small gold Christmas balls in clearance section at Hobby Lobby for less than $1.  Gold stick for $1 from Hobby Lobby Christmas clearance.

Silverware Holders: Re-used from Kennedie's second birthday- just added gold stars to them. (Originally cans from canned food, with pink & white polka-dotted duct tape).

Gold Star Plates: Dollar Tree.  A package of 12 for $1.  Score!  Thanks to my sweet neighbor friend for tipping me off about these.

Gold Sparkle Mason Jar: We drink from Mason Jars.  One got a crack in the bottom.  Instead of throwing it away I used a Pinterest tutorial and put a glue mixture down, rolled glitter in it, & wha-la! I made the pink chocolate stars using candy melts, lolly-pop sticks, and a $1 mold.  Easy, easy, easy.  And again, just stuck in some more skewer stars.

Twinkle, Twinkle print: My awesome friend Natalie designed it for me again.  I just added some gold glitter to one of the stars on it & spray painted a Dollar Tree frame gold.

Gold # 2: Hobby Lobby cardboard number, spray painted gold, mode-podge, and gold glitter. I really loved this.  I wish I made it more of a center piece.  It was so cute & fun, & again we used it in her 2 year pictures.

Candy: We had a little candy out: some rolos (gold... duh), pink hershey kisses from Valentines, and pink star suckers that I scored in the dollar section at Target. They were like $1 for 5 or 6.






DRINK STATION:
Backdrop: I got the gold sparkle fringe from Party City.  It was super long & I just cut it and layered it like I did with the pink.  I made the stars and the the "Sawyer Sue" the same way I did the gold stars & "Twinkle Twinkle" at the party table.... just with pink.  The tissue poms are re-used for like the millionth time... originally from Kenendie's 2nd birthday party and re-used at tons of baby showers.

Drinks: Coffee (with different creams not pictured), orange juice, and chocolate milk & 2% milk.  I love the bottles for the milk.  I asked on Facebook if people drank the Starbucks drinks in those bottles to save the bottles for me.  I ended up with around 30.  I just cleaned the sticker off (which was an absolute PAIN), and then spray painted the lids.  I had more in a cooler to replace the ones in the pink tub as they ran out.  I love that I have the bottles & can easily re-use them at any parties, & I can just re-spray paint the lids.

Straws: Hobby Lobby.

Sign: My awesome friend Natalie made the print & I again just added some gold glitter to the star and spray painted a Dollar Tree frame gold.

Gold Table Runner: My mother-in-law happened to have it & so I borrowed it from her. Sweet!


PARTY FAVORS: I found these adorable little plush star pillows that said "Twinkle" on them at Dollar Tree. Can you believe it?  They even had a little button in them that you press & it played the song, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."  SO perfect.  I even sent the kids home with a box of raisins, chocolate stars on the sticks, and a pink star sucker.


And finally, I saved the best for last... my sweet little Sawyer:





ATTIRE:
Shirt: White shirt from Walmart for $3. I dyed it pink, bought some gold sequin material, cut out a star, and fabric glued it on.  I think I did it all for like $8.

Pants: My mom sewed the jean flairs for another outfit and she just wore them for the party.

Headband & Bow: Found the stretchy gold sequin headband at JoAnne's in the dollar section & the bow at Hobby Lobby for like $1.99.


All in all it was a very low key party that we were able to share with friends and family.  To check out all of our party guests & action you can look at my Facebook page.

Here is our family shot from the party:


I'll leave you with a few collages from the overall party scape:




I really can't believe that my little Sawyer is already two years old.  Wow!  Overall we had such a fun time celebrating her & I'm so happy with how the party turned out.  I love that since the party she has continued to point out any stars that she sees while we are out and about.  I'm so blessed to be have my little shining star..... and in honor of Pinterest: "She leaves a little sparkle wherever she goes."  Shine on!

(Oh, and if you are looking for information on how to plan a party for cheap check out this post HERE.)