I love to love things. Here are some things I love right now:

1) There's a strong possibility that I like the idea of these Crocs more than I actually like them. Regardless, they deserve a spot here because I've had them bookmarked for a few months and frequently check to see if they are still available. 85% chance that I don't buy them.

2) Remember my rosette headband? This newspaper canvas artwork is pretty neat and I think uses a similar wrapping technique as the rosettes. The only thing that irks me about taking on such a project is the mess. Ink hands like whoa.

3) I haven't had much (read: any) experience with taking group photos. So, I googled. And I love these tips and examples. I'm adding these ideas to my arsenal.

4) I looooooove this nursery. When am I going to stop obsessing over stripes?

5) Did you know that I love chocolate? I want to make this two ingredient chocolate mousse. It looks simple. Which is right up my alley these days.

6) Sweet Baby Daphne.

7) When Daphne is in school, I'd like to think I'll be thoughtful enough to show her teachers our appreciation. Some cute ideas.

Stay tuned for next installment.
(but don't hold your breath, it might be a while)


A Very Long Birthday Post

Gosh, I've been wanting to do this post for quite a while. And like it usually goes, I got busy. It already feels like Daphne's birthday was ages ago. I think I've also felt a bit overwhelmed by the idea of sharing the details of the party -- there is so much to show and say and that much writing scares me. Lists do not scare me. And so here goes:
  1. The party hat set up. I posted about these. Super easy to make, and good thing -- pretty much no one wore them. I wasn't trying to mess up my 'do. And apparently, neither was anyone else. That's okay though, they looked pretty on the wall rack. Also, do you see that little card with the pink border? I taped up random factoids about our princess all over the house. I figured if our party was super lame, it would give people something to do. 
  2. The party favors. Yeah, I know, a lot of people do bubbles. It was hard to come up with party favors for ages ranging from 8 months to 2.5 years. I bought the bubbles from Party City. After scouring the shelves, the only pink bubbles I could find had Hello Kitty labels on them. Nothing against Hello Kitty, it just wasn't the look I was going for. I knew I could easily remove the labels and stick on my own. Each of the bubbles had Daphne's face on them with the words "Thanks for coming, [insert name of baby/child]." I placed them by the door, and before anyone walked out, I shoved the bubbles in their faces and made them take their designated party favor. Like it or not.
  3. The decorated dining room. I designed a flag banner several months before Daphne's party. It's made from cardstock and ribbon. Each flag piece is two layers -- the top layer is either white or pink with the second layer being a grey striped background. I used hot glue to adhere each flag piece to the ribbon. Before purchasing ribbon, I measured the bay window area so I could determine how much ribbon I'd need. So not like me. You know, to do things the right way. I created the tissue pom-poms myself via Martha Stewart instructions. Hers look way prettier than mine, and it turns out you can actually buy her tissue pom-poms at Joanns. Also in the mix, white paper lanterns from Party City (they have a good assortment of colors). The day before the party, I started frantically cutting out dark pink, light pink, and grey circles to add into the decorations also. I cut out hundreds and hundreds of circles by the time it was all said and done. And now I permanently have scissor hand.
  4. The cupcake tree! I snagged the tree from Target for $20. I later learned this was a rip because you can buy disposable cardboard ones at Party City for much less. Now we aren't sure where to put this thing and it's been taking up residence on top of our fridge. It's driving me nuts -- I'll take it down and put it in the center of the dining room table hoping Brian will find a place for it and it always ends up back on top of the fridge. I'm sure we'll use it again though. I placed the tree on top of a mirror we had sitting around and tossed some of my colored circles as confetti around it.
  5. The cupcakes. Again. They couldn't all fit on the tree so the rejects sat on the sidelines. Because I'm a gluten-free girl, they were are GF vanilla with whipped cream frosting. I got fancy with an icing bag and tried to act all Cake Boss on them. I used even more of the circles I cut out and adhered them to toothpicks and stuck them right in the center of the cupcake. Because if you forgot whose party it was before you picked up your cupcake, the "D" would remind you.
  6. The smash cake. It's pretty ugly. I took it too far with the icing. I should have left it pink without the white globs. My head was getting pretty big after my cupcake success. Serves me right.
  7. Not much to say here. If your 1-year-old daughter goes digging in the beer bucket, I think it's always your responsibility to take a photo of it. Future Daphne: it's only cute now.
  8. The birthday girl. Shot right before guests started showing up. She never would have posed for this photo if people were over. She pretty much wanted nothing to do with us once the party started because she was having too much fun!
  9. Smash cake success. I decorated her highchair by covering it with old fabric (using safety pins to secure), plopping a tissue pom-pom on top of it, and securing yet another circle thing to the front. I knew there would be many photos taken in it, so I wanted it to look nice.
  10. The crash. This was the ultimate playdate of Daphne's life so far. She played and she ate a load of cake and other goodies. It was only a matter of time until this happened. And when it did, I snuck up to her room and placed the last circle I'd photograph for the day near her dear little head. I prayed the camera's shutter wouldn't wake her and snapped away.
The end. Happy 1st Birthday, little angel of ours!
Edited to add: Check out all of the photos here!


Kitchen Phases

We finally did it. The biggest home improvement item on my list since we moved in was to update the kitchen. It was my top item to be completed before Daphne's birthday party -- and wouldn't you know, we finished the job with one measly week left before her party. That's how we do, I guess. Maybe we were both dreading the cabinet paint job and subconsciously kept putting it off. Whatever the case, it's done. And what a long way this kitchen has come.

  • Phase 1: Border ripped down and tile backsplash covered with white contact paper. Remember this post?
  • Phase 2: (Temporary-ish) vinyl flooring added. Granite countertops and new sink installed, along with glass mosaic backsplash. That task was completed by the professionals.
  • Phase 3: Our turn. Cabinetry painted white. By us. It was not fun. In case you didn't know, we have a lot of cabinet doors. Job required toddler removal for the day. We are all fine and good with exposing ourselves to harmful chemicals, but not our Baby Angel Princess. She's too precious. Grandma took her for the day.
  • Phase 4: I should have mentioned the addition of knobs to the cabinet doors. That IS happening. The tile flooring and stainless steel appliances (hopefully) will happen at a later date. I just feel the need to make semi-frequent mentions of these coveted updates to ensure that Brian doesn't get too comfortable with what has been done. It does look good. But it is not over yet.
So that's it. Project-by-project, we are de-previousownerizing our house and making it feel completely ours. Still so much more to do in here...but I'm starting to realize that's how the story goes in the big fat book of homeownership.