Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spring fling

Spring fling
click on photo to view larger

Last year was a total fashion bust for me. I thought I was going to be one of those people who totally dressed their bump and rocked super cute outfits. But I just never got into it. Most of the time I just threw on a sun dress or my trusty pregnancy jean shorts and called it a day.

Recently I've been able to get out and about with the baby a little more and have been checking out all the amazing and fun Spring lines that are out. I've been re-invigorated and inspired to shop. shop. shop!

Here's my little Look Board for the Spring courtesy of one of my fave websites Polyvore. It's like Pinterest but I think it's better because instead of just pinning stuff to a board you get to arrange the items on a board (make them bigger, small, edit them), use templates or different backgrounds and add text! It automatically posts to your website, social media site or blog AND it lists every piece you used along with a link and price.

So fun but a total time suck! Just one more thing that sucks you in and spits you out hours later.

Click here for last year's Spring looks. I'm getting fancier... this time I added text. ;)  There's some really cool stuff you can do so that your boards look like they're straight outta a fashion mag! I'll get there...

Oasis belted dress
$75 - oasis-stores.com

Twist dress
$30 - shoptaintedkiss.com

Jo No Fui keyhole shirt
£179 - farfetch.com

Striped top
€30 - monki.com

Red Or Dead jumper shirt
£25 - bankfashion.co.uk

TIBI light weight jeans
$285 - net-a-porter.com

Short cargo shorts
$80 - witchery.com.au

Chloé platform wedge
$288 - theoutnet.com

Jimmy choo heels
€430 - montaignemarket.com

Serafini leather shoes
$105 - yoox.com

Nine west sandals
$30 - dsw.com

Diane von Fürstenberg double wrap belt
£173 - matchesfashion.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

A year ago today we found out I was pregnant! We were headed out to dinner when I thought that I should take a test just to make sure I was not pregnant because I planned on having a martini. I wasn't even really late at that point but I thought I'd take one just to be safe and it came out positive!

Now here we are a year later with our sweet little Valentine!

Last year I posted about the history behind the day and some fun Valentine's Day facts. Click here to read that post.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The scoop on poop and cloth diapers

Before I even got pregnant I planned on using cloth diapers. I did a ton of research and read a bunch of mommy/baby blogs (Young House Love is the one that really convinced me! Read their post here.) that chronicled their use of them and decided that it was definitely something I was going to do. Most of the blogs I read made it seem pretty easy and so I thought since I'd be staying home with the baby that it was something that I could easily manage.

Why you ask? Well, basically because they are earth friendly and I fancy myself somewhat of a tree hugger. Not a crazy, over the top, hippy dippy, make everyone feel bad, save the whales, seals and spotted owls kind of tree hugger (although I do fret over the endangered-ness of these animals) but just someone who tries their best to help out good ole Mother Earth.

The thought of putting thousands of diapers into a landfill somewhere just gives me anxiety. I don't know why. I realize millions of diapers are thrown away every day so my using cloth diapers won't really make that much of a difference but I just felt like even though it may not change the world at least I'm trying to do my part.

The plan was that since I was going to be a totally inexperienced new mom (read my anxiety ridden post about that here). I figured I'd wait until the baby was three months old to start using them. Most of the blogs said that the baby doesn't really fit into the cloth diapers until they're bigger anyway. I thought three months was enough time for me to get used to the whole diaper changing thing and then transition into the cloth diapers. I planned on using Bum Genius diapers. They seemed to have the most positive reviews and were rated the least leaky, easiest to use and clean. Plus they come in the cutest colors and patterns!

Cameron will be 4 months old this week and I have absolutely NO plans on switching over to cloth. In fact, I knew as soon as he was born and I changed that first diaper that there was no way I'd be doing cloth! Um, can you say instant reality check!

Sorry Earth. Sorry future generations of children and grandchildren. Sorry animals and trees and the atmosphere! But I can't. I-JUST-CAN'T!

I had no idea how nasty the poop was going to be. Really. Everyone (on my blogs) just made it seem like it was nothing. That you simply just sprayed it off into the toilet and called it a day. Ummm... NO! That stuff is just too yucky to even get that close too. And I'm not sure what other baby's put out but our little one makes some crazy stuff that would require a fire hose to spray off. (Sorry for the nasty visual.)

Isn't it enough that I just changed the diaper? Then I have to spend another half hour scraping/spraying the poop and then pre-rinsing and washing it? And then there's the thought of putting all the poopy diapers into my washing machine and then washing all of our other clothes in there afterwards. Gross. I tried, I mean I intended to try and then reality reared its ugly little head.

I give my cloth diaper mommy bloggers all the credit in the world! They are angels, saints, amazing super moms with incredible mommy powers not to mention strong stomachs and a high tolerance for awful smells! More power to 'em. I hope they influence more people to consider cloth diapers or even give them a try, I really truly do! Hopefully more people will be able to hack it unlike this new mama who sadly realized that she is but just a mere mortal, unable to conquer the Kryptonite effects that poop seems to have on her!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Baby footprints heart card- perfect for Valentine's Day!

January 2016
Hi everyone! Every year around this time this post gets the most views of any of my posts. So glad you guys like it! I just posted the Play Doh flower Valentine's Day cards I made last year and this year I made Salt Dough Glitter Heart Necklaces and Star Wars Light Saber Valentine's Day cards. Lots of unique, cute and easy card ideas so be sure to check them out!

For Christmas I had planned on making footprint ornaments of Cameron's feet to give to family. The kind where you smush your baby's foot into plaster and bake it. Unfortunately I waited too long and when I went to purchase the kits at the craft store they were all sold out. In fact every craft store in the area had long been sold out of them. Guess footprint ornaments are a popular gift during the holidays. Anyhoo.. I ended up coming across all kinds of inked footprint ideas. One in particular I loved- footprints overlapped at the heel to form a heart shape. Super cute!

For Valentine's Day I decided to make cards incorporating this idea. I knew I wanted them to have an old fashioned look so I went to Joann's Fabric and picked up a pack of red and white paper doilies found in the candy/cake making section. All the other materials needed I had at home.

First I needed to make the footprint hearts so I had to wait until Dave came home from work so he could help hold Cameron while I inked his foot and pressed the paper to it. (Turned out that Dave ended up holding Cameron, inking his foot AND pressing it to the paper while I just stood there. Oops.) You obviously need to work at fast as you can since baby's don't take kindly to their feet being held still for very long. After the first few Cameron figured out what was going on and started scrunching his toes or wiggling them when they were pressed to the paper so a few of them have smeared toes. One even has a tiny extra toe print! It really wasn't bad though and only took a few minutes. Cameron was more curious about the whole thing than annoyed with it.

Next I cut a template for the card making sure that it was large enough to cover all the holes in the lace detail of the doily but that it didn't stick out from behind it.

Then I chose the paper I wanted to use, cut it in half and then score the middle so that it would fold cleanly and easily.

Using the template cut the heart out of the paper making sure to leave a tab on the left hand side to keep the two heart sides connected so that it makes a card. Then use a glue stick to glue both doilies to the front and back taking care to perfectly align the hearts.

On the inside I used double stick tape to attach the footprint heart. I used tape because I feared using a glue stick would end up wrinkling or warping the paper. There were both red and white heart doilies in the pack. I ended up lining the inside of the white ones with pink paper because I wanted there to be contrast between the white paper footprint.

On the right hand side I wrote:
From the tips of my toes
to the bottom of my heart...
Happy Valentine's Day

Voila! Super easy, simple but personalized Valentine's Day card.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

An elegant modern wedding

All photos by Ron Shuller Creative Images Photography.

My sister-in-law Julie was married on October 1st in Cincinnati. (See the flip flop cupcakes I made for her wedding shower here.) Even though I was super, duper pregnant (due on October 16th) nothing short of my water breaking was going to keep me from going. We hit the road the day before in just enough time to make it to the rehearsal dinner. The nomally 5 hour drive turned into an 8 hour drive though when we realized after two hours on the road that we had left our wedding outfits (my dress and Dave's suit) at home! Asleep in the car I suddenly just sat up and screamed "Our clothes are in the closet!". Talk about serious Pregnancy Brain! We barely made it to the dinner, making it there just a minute or two before it started.

Julie and Joe were married at Alms Park in front of a pergola that framed an incredible view of the Ohio River. Weather in Ohio in October is very unpredictable to say the least. That day it was overcast and cold with rain threatening all day. When we arrived at the ceremony site it started to sprinkle and everyone started to worry that the sky would open up on us. More than ourselves though we were all really worried for Julie. We wanted her day to go off without a hitch, without a drop of rain on her parade! Just as I thought it was about to pour the ceremony started, everyone was distracted by the beautiful, glowing bride and then before you know it Joe was kissing the bride and it was all over before one drop even fell! Thank goodness!

Our nephews Cole and Jack were ushers and presented the rings during the ceremony. They looked so dapper in their tuxedos!

The reception was held at the Cincinnati Club. The club is a throw back to mens clubs of the past with an ornate staircase leading to the upstairs venue and decadent marble columns and floors. Elaborate lighting, decor and flowers transformed the cocktail and reception rooms into elegant spaces with a hip urban city vibe.

All the weddings I've ever been to have been during the summer. I was so excited for my first Fall wedding because I just love the rich, jewel tone hues that come with Fall and Winter weddings! (See my peacock inspired jewel toned wedding mood board here.) Julie's colors were dark gunmetal grey and a rich deep purple. So perfect! Dave and I dressed accordingly...

One thing that stood out as really unique and clever to me was the wedding cake. It was featured prominently in the middle of the floor at the beginning of the reception. After Joe and Julie were introduced they immediately did the whole "cutting the cake" scenario. I had never seen this done before and wondered why they decided to cut the cake right at the start of the night. Later I realized what a great idea it was when the cake was served promptly after dinner for dessert. Brilliant! Most weddings wait to cut the cake later in the night but at that point most people are too busy dancing, socializing or let's be honest too drunk to be interested in cake and it goes uneaten. I would definitely have done this at my wedding had I thought of  it!

Another really, really fab thing was the After Party held at a nearby martini bar! Oh how I wish I could have gone. Joe and Julie even went so far as to rent out part of the bar and have bottle service- so my thing! Julie and her friends even changed into cute party dresses. A martini bar, bottle service and an outfit change... so perfectly me, well me prior to having a baby anyway. Oh how times have changed! I thought maybe, just maybe I'd make it but who was I kidding? I barely made it past 9 pm, holding out just long enough to see the first dance and speeches. Ugh. I miss out on all the fun stuff. ;)

**Please vote for Julie and Joe's wedding to be featured in Venue Magazine, a Cincinnati focused lifestyle magazine! Simply go to the Venue Magazine Facebook page and click "Like" on her wedding album- Martin Maringer Wedding. Thank you!**

All photos by Ron Shuller Creative Images Photography.