niece or nephew?

This weekend we made another trek to Chicago for family time. Despite whiteout conditions along the shore and being stuck behind a terrible accident, we made it home safely. Pregnant sister and I just don’t have good luck with winter driving.

(Almost) our whole family was home this weekend, discussing family and the future full of new life and babies! After a four-year hiatus on babies, we welcomed little Juniper last June, and in just a few weeks we will welcome a new little niece or nephew. In November I got to throw my sister a shower, and now we’re just counting down days! My dear sister has been a rockstar as a pregnant mama, and I simply cannot wait to see her with this little pumpkin in her arms. I also cannot wait to get my hands on this little one, especially to dress him or her up!

For another shower this weekend, I made the baby a few options. For a boy (my guess!) I made a sweet little bow tie, and for a boy I made a great flower headband. I put the tutorials I used below. They’re both quite easy and perfect for any little ones!

Baby Bow Ties

This tutorial was pretty easy to follow. My only complaint is that I couldn’t figure out how to make the back more flat, which would have made a clasp easier to attach. I will continue messing with a few more bow ties to see if I can figure it out.
The clasp that I used was actually a clip-on earring backing. I bought the largest one I could find, and I think it will work out just fine! Just need to have a nephew to pin it on and see for sure! 🙂

http://www.kateanfinson.com/2013/03/22/tutorial-diy-no-sew-baby-bow-ties/

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Flower Headband
I can’t get enough of baby girls with big flower headbands on their heads. If this little baby turns out to be a girl, you better believe I will be putting plenty of these on her head!
I stood in the aisle at JoAnn fabrics for about 10 minutes, touching every spool of lace to see if it was stretchy. This is the one I found. There must be more, but this was about the thickness I wanted and a good amount of stretch.
I used the flower tutorial below to make a sufficiently big, fluffy, but soft flower for the headband. The bigger the flower, the better – in my opinion! I’m pretty excited about how it turned out. And I’m prepared to make more should baby be a girl.

http://emilys-little-world.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-make-t-shirt-fabric-flower.html

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welcoming the little pumpkin!

This weekend I had the privilege of throwing a baby shower for my sister. It went off without a hitch, and I had so much fun planning for it!

She is due in February, so I wanted to do the shower before the holiday madness and January (aka, month #9). I also wanted to give her a simple night of celebrating and being with her girlfriends, trying not to make it super “baby shower-y.” I went with a simple “autumn” theme – easy to come up with food options and decor.

For decor, I had a simple layout of autumn “go-to’s” – squash, pumpkins, corn. I went with burlap and lace for a banner and votive candle holders. I added a pop of “pom-poms” for a little flare. And I had Lindsay’s friend put together some fall floral arrangements that looked amazing!

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Not a great picture, but just a little something-something.

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Some of the florals – beautiful!!

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Welcome munchkin!!

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Table arrangement (on our new table! :))

For food I obviously went with squash, pumpkin, and sweet potato flavors.
I found a recipe for pumpkin pretzel sticks. They’re soft pretzels, made with pumpkin (which you couldn’t really taste but was a nice substitute for any oils). I had a cheese dip and a salted caramel dip to go with. (Sorry – forgot to get a picture there!)

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I also made a butternut squash and apple bruschetta. Found: http://tri2cook.blogspot.com/2012/01/butternut-apple-bruschetta.htmlImage 

The real hit were these stuffed sweet potato skins. Found: http://pinchofyum.com/healthy-sweet-potato-skins
These are delicious and fairly easy to make (just need a little time to put together). And they’re still good the next day!

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For dessert I made Lindsay’s request – vanilla cupcakes with Nutella frosting. I found this recipe this past summer and made them for Bryan’s birthday, and we couldn’t get enough of them! Found: http://www.krissys-creations.com/2011/11/vanilla-bean-buttermilk-cupcakes-with.html

We opened presents sipping on some mulled wine and apple cider. Linds got some great, necessary things – a great way to start off all of her showers!

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I just could not be more excited for this beautiful mama! My sister is one of my most favorite people in the whole world, and she is going to be such a WONDERFUL mama! I also can’t wait to have my own little munchkin just 4 blocks away. This baby is already so loved!

tis the season!

While many (probably most) disagree with me, once Halloween passes, I am ready for the Christmas season! It IS the most wonderful time of the year … why keep it contained to only three – four weeks of celebration??

And no, it does not negate celebrating Thanksgiving. I can still have my pumpkins and gourds out while listening to Christmas music. I can still burn my pumpkin candle while watching Love Actually – nothing wrong with some good smells and a handsome prime minister dancing to the Pointer Sisters!

In my combined celebration of seasons/holidays, I made this little number.

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I saw it on Etsy (via Pinterest, of course), but it was obviously something that could be made at home for $8, instead of bought for $38. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/195906652513888873/

We made a trip to Lowe’s, so I made a trip down to the lumber section. Bryan said that a 2×8 would be just right. I had them cut 2 pieces of 12in, 2 pieces of 10in, 2 piece of 8in. We already had some 4×4 at home to cut the middle piece.

I already had paint colors to use (or at least mix). So, I spent a few evenings watching Dexter (our new obsession), sanding the edges, and painting away.

I feel pretty good about how it turned out. And now my decor is ready for the next two months/seasons/holidays!

you’re invited.

i’ve been so excited to prepare for my sister’s baby shower! i love hosting. i love my sister. i love babies. this is a combination of all my favorite things!

i found some cute invites on pinterest to help inspire me. i happen to have two sisters-in-law who are graphic designers, but due to my being cheap and loving to make things myself, i took the ideas i found and put together these little gems.

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i love doilies. they’re delicate, beautiful, and versatile. i wanted to figure how to print on them, but due to their delicacy i had to play around a bit. i looked up some tutorials, just to make sure it was possible. it was. so i figured it out.

1. find the size that works on the cards (4″ doilies).
2. type out what will go on the doily. (if you have space for more than one doily, you can put the text in 3-4 different spots on the paper … you will be able to do 3-4 at a time!)
3. print your text off on a sheet of white paper.
4. place the doilies on the white paper (you should be able to see the text through the doily to get the placement just right).
5. tape down the doilies LIGHTLY. i used masking tape around the doily. you might need to play around with this part and figure out what is easiest for you, making sure that the tape is sufficient but that you will be able to peel it off once you print.
6. put the paper in the printer. i couldn’t figure out how to manually put paper in my printer, so i just figured out that i needed the paper face-down for it to print properly. again, this part you will need to mess around to figure out what is best for you and your printer.
7. print!!
8. peel off the tape. this part you have to take slowly and carefully. i probably ripped 1/3 of my doilies. i just had to print off a few more than expected.

all set! this really wasn’t that difficult. just took some messing around and some patience!

after printing my doilies, i printed off the rest of the information for the invite on the back, using the same process as the doilies.

once everything was printed, i put together the whole thing! i found some burlap ribbon at Hobby Lobby. i just used scrapbooking tape to put down the strip of burlap, put the doily on top, and voila! super cute invites – handmade and exactly what i wanted!