Tuesday, August 7, 2012

{Homemade} Tip of the Day

For all you caffeine junkies out there who are just like me and need a morning, afternoon and occasional nighttime jolt to keep on going (with a smile on my face, that is) I decided to take charge of my usual watered down iced coffee.  Let's be serious, I have two kids under two, so who am I kidding that I'd actually be able to enjoy my iced coffee before it got watered down from all of the ice cubes?

Problem... aka DILEMMA... seriously watered down iced coffee

Solution (insert angels singing here)...

coffee ice cubes = no more watered down iced coffee

With leftover coffee from the morning I made coffee iced cubes!  Now when I make my afternoon iced coffee I just fill up the cup with the coffee iced cubes and voila!  This may not be earth shattering for many of you, but for those of who you understand my pain of watered down iced coffee this is amazing.  Now, no matter how long it takes me to finish my cup, it always has the coffee flavor :)

What's your favorite drink that satisfies you to push through the afternoon wall?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What's Up, Doc? {4 Months}

Rory - 4 Months 
Our baby boy is four months old, already?  Wow that's gone by too fast!  We had our 4-month checkup with Dr. Joe on Friday and everything went great :)  He's growing wonderfully, as it's obvious he doesn't miss many meals, and he's hitting his developmental milestones as expected.  What more could anyone ask for?  Healthy, check.  Happy, check.  Eats well, check.  Sleeps well, check.  

Growth Stats:
Height: 26.5" (94% percentile)
Weight: 16lbs 13oz (74% percentile)
HC: 41.75cm (54% percentile)

Nurses every few hours during the day... finally getting better taking a bottle. 
Solids: Eats cereal once a day... only every few days so far, we're still working on this.  

Takes 2-3 long naps during the day. 
Sleeps about 12 hours at night, but has a newfound desire to wake up once to eat.

Favorite Activities: 
Jumperoo fun and blowing raspberries

Photo Credit: Grandpop
Everyday is something new and so much fun :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pretty in Pink {Ruffles}

I recently helped organize a baby shower for my best friend who was expecting twin girls... I say "was" because the girls are now a month old, I've just taken forever in getting current with my craft projects!  

My inspiration for this project was a super cheap basket I got at Michael's in the outdoor clearance bins and this oh-so-pretty 2" pink ruffle ribbon, also on clearance!  When I making a list of everything I had and then needed to do for the party, I decided this basket would make a great prop to hold all of the thank you favors... chocolate covered pretzel rods, of course!  

I debated spray painting the basket a white or pink so it was a seamless project but time was against me, especially considering I did this in the middle of the night - you know basically feels like the middle of the day when you have a newborn as I did at the time.  

So I started with my basket and did a mockup by just pinning to the ribbon a couple different ways to see how I wanted to do final placement for the most aesthetically pleasing view.  Once I decided how much overlap I wanted each ribbon row to be I warmed up the hot glue gun and started wrapping away.  I used the glue gun because it was the best adhesive I could fine in my craft bins that would keep the ribbon attached to the basket; originally I wanted to be able to remove this ribbon and switch it up for various functions but thankfully it was a cost-effective project.

The one above looked too much like a ruffle skirt so I decided space them out further and only do three rows instead of four... much happier with the result below.

After we assembled the favor bags/tags/ribbons I filled the bottom with tissue paper to have a smooth even surface and we filled the basket with our chocolate covered pretzel favors.  Voila!  Pretty and function :)

Last minute change to the basket included adding a thinner polka-dotted ribbon around the handle.  It helped to have something on the handle so the whole basket coordinated and made sense rather than just decorating the bottom part.

At the restaurant, we decided to add frames to either side of where the basket was sitting.  The side facing the entrance was a copy of the shower invitation, and the other side was a note thanking our guests for celebrating the highly anticipated twins soon to arrive!

Invitation & Favor Tags: Baby Buns Designs, Etsy

Friday, August 3, 2012

{Homemade} Summer Baptism Celebration

I'm finally getting around to finalizing my post from Baby Boy's June Baptism festivities.  We hosted the luncheon reception at our home and somehow managed to have it on a day with high heat and humidity, even though it was low eighties for the week leading up to it... oh well, what are you gonna do.  It was an extra special day spent with loving family and friends, and we have to again thank you all for celebrating in our family's blessed day!

I tried very hard to channel my inner crafter (trust me, hidden far far away) and try to pull together so many great ideas I've found on pinterest.  What a great site to make you feel like absolutely any craft or project is do-able, however there wasn't enough for me to craft all of the things I wanted.  

I wanted to make sure to have special touches throughout the party so it felt like a special day and not just another backyard party we usually have.  I rented table linens for tables indoors and out, and also had a handful of tents to cover the dinner tables outside.   

The dessert table... my favorite part!  There were amazing desserts (most homemade by myself and our wonderful family) and decor to set the theme.  A rundown of the desserts...
  • Fondant Cake with Buttercream Frosting from Classic Cake
  • Chocolate covered pretzels rods using Merckens Super White Chocolate with Wilton's Blue Sprinkles (my new favorite treat to make!)
  • Red Velvet Cake Balls dipped in Merckens White Chocolate/blue colored (I have some trial and error to work through dipping these)
  • Super soft and delicious chocolate chip cookies
  • Cross shaped butter cookies with icing on top
  • Mini-cheesecakes variety platter - cinnamon, pineapple and strawberry!
  • Cheesecake stuffed strawberries
The Delicious Dessert Table
Fondant Cake with Buttercream Frosting from Classic Cake
Red Velvet Cakeballs with Merkin's Super White Chocolate Coating
This dessert 2-tier stand is actually part of an Easter decoration I have and was once lime green and has coordinating plates... but I needed it to be white, not green, for this party so I spray painted it using Krylon white satin spray paint to make it work for the day.  Those plates are my daily dishware that happened to fit perfectly!
Unfortunately dark because of the bright window... but my homemade "desserts" dot garland banner
Although the picture is dark, the window decor was a two part process.  The vertically hanging garland is Martha Stewart White Glitter Garland that I purchased from my local craft store and then cut into sections to accommodate the wide window.   

The "desserts" banner was a homemade creation - here's a photo of the banner from after the party so you can see its actual color scheme.  I attached it to fishing wire for a clean look and spaced each circle about 1.5" from the next.


The drink table turned into two drink tables due to excessive quantity of beverages - adult and child friendly of course!  I always have homemade unsweetened iced tea on hand, spring water, and a light fan favorite summer sangria.  I'm not a big fan of lots of water bottles, it seems like so many are wasted because we put them down and forget whose is where, so I opted for buying a 2.5 gallon jug of spring water and put in my drink dispenser.  Now, onto the good stuff, I've made this White Lemon-Strawberry Sangria (a pinterest find!) a few times and I think it gets better each time.  The directions say to let the rum & wine soaked fruit sit for a few hours, but I try to let it sit overnight for maximum infusion... and quite honestly I add an extra half to full cup of rum!  

Drink Table
The banner I made turned out well I thought but I should have assembled it prior to the party starting because I could have edited the crosses so they actually looked like crosses and not random x's.  Lesson learned.  The banner was assembled using 1/8" white sheer ribbon tied in a knot to connect the letters together.  Once we disassembled the party decor, I couldn't part with the name part of the banner so I hung it on the baby's bedroom door... corny but I like it.

Banner Turned Hallway Decor
Yet another pinterest find was the ribbon wrapped foam wreath door decor just to add a small touch.  I used the tutorial found here and although I didn't find it as easy to do as the creator, I was very happy with the final result!  Her tutorial didn't include how to make the pinwheel using paper but once I googled it I found a quick and easy tutorial.

Door Wreath
The food turned out delicious and thankfully was enough for everyone!  Some of my favorites were of course in the appetizer selection!

Nom Nom Nom
I used left over blue & white polka dotted scrap paper and decorative labels to make these food tents.  Although I was picked on for labeling my food, I'm quite happy with the result.  I, for one, like to know what I'm about to consume especially when it isn't so obvious as in the caprese salad skewers.  Not to mention, it's my party and I'll label if I want to!

The gift/favor table was an unintended surprise.  I spent a few nights making the chocolate crosses and then wrapping them for use as our favors so I wanted to make sure that our guests received one on their way out.  In order for me to remember, I placed them in a footed bowl (wrapped with 1.5" blue and white polka dotted ribbon) on our entry way table, along with a framed invitation for the days' celebration, so as I walked people out I would actually remember to give them one.  This then by chance also turned into the location for people to leave their generous and thoughtful gifts for the Little Man himself.

Gift & Favors Table
What a memorable day, and a huge thank you again for everyone who celebrated with us and those who contributed with their homemade goodness :)

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him."Psalm 127:3 (NLT)
What a proud moment for us

Godparents... Uncle Lee and Aunt Jamie

Getaway to Grammy's

In order to give Ryan some time to work on the bathroom remodel without the rest of us bothering him I decided to take the kids to Grammy's house for a few days earlier in the week.  It was such a treat for the kids and I to have a change of scenery and do some different activities :)  Besides lots of fun playing with Grammy and Pop, Reagan got to go swimming in the pool where she was fascinated with jumping off of the side into the water and even went under a bunch of times for fun!!!  And of course we had to take a trip to the Cape May County Zoo... we will definitely be going back there again soon!

Happy Happy Man

Taking a walk pointing out the cars

 You can't catch me!

Only at Grammy's!

Grammy sung Rory to sleep :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Vacuum... Friend or Foe?

I tried to upload this last month but for some reason had technological issues and therefore it didn't actually upload.  But anyway, this video is absolutely HYSTERICAL (if I do say so myself, and I do) and shows how Reagan loves to play around with anything Ryan and I use.  The vacuum included.  Thankfully Ryan was able to capture this on his iPhone and I don't think Reagan even had a clue that she was being recorded, which makes this true "reality tv".


Note:  The quality is poor, but I'm hoping to upload the higher quality copy soon!

Watch this video on You Tube

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Boy!

Someone woke up very happy from their nap today.... love this smile :)

Rory's first smile (not due to gas!) was back on Thursday, April 26th... 
he's taking it all in and loving life!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy (belated) Easter to all of our family and friends!  We hope you had a wonderful day celebrating with your loved ones!

Not a fan of the Easter Bunny

The Loves of Our Lives!

Rory's First Easter 
Our Pretty Princess

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

He's Here!

We are so proud to welcome

Photo courtesy of Grandpop


March 20, 2012 at 5:28pm
7lbs 8oz, 20.25in long
Virtua Voorhees Hospital

More to come as we adjust to life as a family of four!