Monday, August 25, 2014

Harper's Country Fair Themed 1st Birthday Party

Wow, hard to believe my baby is a year old already. I have been so busy this past year, trying to find some balance between being a good mom, going back to work, keeping up with house stuff, it's been crazy. My husband is a huge help, and that I am grateful, but it's been challenging and amazing all at the same time. Harper is a wonderful, happy little girl, so I had to throw her a huge bash of course.

Since her birthday is August 23rd, I wanted to take advantage of being outside with family and friends, and utilizing our screened porch and backyard. I'm a December baby and never had a birthday party outside. I knew we were going to have a lot of little kids in attendance so I thought putting on a country fair with games they could play would be fun and it was a total success! Who needs a jumpy house when you can quickly create your own games from stuff you can find around your house, Dollar Tree store and free wood pallets.

First I searched on Pinterest and pinned a lot of great ideas other moms did for their kids' parties. Here's a list of the games we had:

"Bucket Ball" - My dad screwed $1 buckets onto a wood pallet I sourced for free from a lobster shack down at the shore. The owner let me take as many as I wanted and now my husband is using them for his own projects. The wiffle balls were free from my sister's boys.

"Ring Toss" - I cleaned 9 Sierra Nevada beer bottles my husband enjoyed and my dad glued them to a piece of plywood I sourced at Michaels for $4. I could have cut a piece of scrap wood but I was just running out of time. The rings were a pack of 5 glow in the dark bracelets from the Dollar Tree.

"Tin Can Alley" - I stacked two of the free wood pallets, used Ikea baskets as a base that I already had lying around our home and when Harper finished her "Graduate" puffs, I cleaned the can and used those as my tin cans. It was super cute.

"Gone Fishin'" - We filled up Harper's kiddie pool with water, and we bought two sets of little fishing pole & plastic fish at the party store. They were on sale for $1.99 per set since it was the end of the summer.

"Bean Bag Toss" - My friend let us borrow her bean bag toss tailgate game which was perfect

"Photo Booth" - we hung up a quilt between two trees, set up a bale of hay in front and my nephew helped me make a ton of masks I downloaded for free (search on google) and printed a photo booth sign (another pinterest find). I bought a few more fun dress up items at Dollar Tree.

Photo Booth sign printable -

As for décor, I wanted quilts everywhere, bales of hay and old vintage looking windows. I sourced the quilts from Mike's aunt who quilts and sent down 4 from Massachusettes, perfect! My father picked up two bales of hay one we used at the "Photo Booth" and another was out in the backyard as seating with a scrap piece of fabric that I had. Driving in our neighborhood one night I saw that my neighbor was replacing all his windows and had a stack of 6-pane wood windows he was going to trash. I knocked on his door and he let me take two of them. I printed all of Harper's monthly photos and set them in the window panes using masking tape and scrapbook paper.

Other photos on display were taken at a local farm by my sister. Its nice to have a photographer in the family. My sister had a "Smash the Cake" session with Harper which was super cute. Other décor items were 4 photo books I created on Shutterfly to document Harper's first year, mason jars with cute cut out tops (Amazon) and pink and white striped straws from Michael's, mini bale of hay from Jo-Ann Fabrics and quilts used as tablecloths really added a lot of color to the party. My girlfriend let us borrow her cotton candy and popcorn machine which was a huge hit. The kids and adults loved it. Overall it was a great party, one we will always remember.

If you want to see all my inspiration, follow me on Pinterest and you can source these same ideas.

sorry for the blurriness. Harper's Smash the Cake photos on display along with her 1st year photo books and goodie bags

Happy Birthday Harper banner I made with scrapbook paper and I printed out the letters using MS Word

Shutterfly photo books and goodie bags

Yummy dessert table. I made the chocolate cake (I'm not a baker) and we had cupcakes, fruit kabobs, blueberry pie and lollipops that were on display covering a cereal box with yellow paper and paper tickets. The plastic ware was from Dollar Tree along with the containers they were in. Rose Napkins were from Ikea for my Harper Rose.
table set-up with burlap runners and mason jars. You can see the game set up in the background
testing out the photo booth

singing Happy Birthday. The vintage high chair was my sister's. She uses it for photo shoots an I made the "one" banner in front with burlap, $1 ribbon from Michaels and painted wood letters from MIchaels that are $.49 each.

My little girl
my mom in disguise with my two nephews Jaxon and Wesley

Brooke and Maya playing with "Gone Fishin'"

Our good friends testing out the photo booth, Keri, Trevor, Mason, Blake and little Tess Rose

The kids loved the photo booth!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

DIY sunburst mirror

I know it's been awhile. I didn't realize how hard it would be to find time to blog and do DIY projects with a baby. Harper is five months now and she is just amazing. Amazing enough to nap for me so that I can share my latest DIY project with you. With the help of my very good friend Kristen of the blog "Hit Refresh" she posted easy directions to follow. This is what you'll need:

- hot glue gun
- package of bamboo skewers
- 7" diameter mirror (found at michael's)
- 7" needlepoint circle (found at michael's)
- 7" plywood circle for the back (found at michael's in unfinished wood projects aisle)
- metallic spray paint
- Sharpie and ruler
- command strips to mount

1. Align bamboo skewers around the back of the mirror. Stagger them at different lengths if you want. I used a marker and ruler to try and locate the center.

2. Start to glue down skewers
3. Glue plywood circle to enclose the skewers and create the back of the mirror

4. Cover the mirror with newspaper and spray paint.
5. Spray paint wooden needlepoint ring and dry.
6. Hot glue ring on top of mirror.
7. Mount with command strips

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our Little Bundle of Joy -Miss Harper Rose

Apologies for being MIA with blogging but I have good reason, our baby girl is here! On August 23 our baby girl graced us with her presence and she's amazing. As I blogged about earlier we didn't know what we were having and we are so thrilled that it's a little girl. Here are some photos of our little Harper Rose. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Room Reveal: Our Baby's Travel-themed Nursery

Our baby hasn't arrived yet but I'm excited to reveal his or her travel-themed nursery that I've been talking about for months. It's definitely been a labor of love because I really wanted everything just perfect and there were moments when I thought we wouldn't finish it. As I talked about in past blog posts, I needed to create a gender-neutral nursery based on our love for traveling. Mike and I want our baby to know of all the places we've been to and lived since we met in college 12 years ago. We also want our baby to know his or her roots. Roots that come from Peru, Greece, and Ireland, not just where we grew up in Connecticut and Massachusetts. 

The color palette derived from two prints we bought during our trip to Paris nearly two years ago. I knew that one day I would use them in our baby's nursery. I pulled a light blue green, pale yellow and brought in gray. I figured the room would be brought to life with other colors from the baby's toys and books. 

My good camera died on me (horrible timing) so I had to use my iPhone. Hopefully I can have my sister to take some professional photos once the baby arrives. Hope you like it! 

Paint: Benjamin Moore "Woodlawn blue"; Martha Stewart "popcorn" (white) and "haystack" (yellow)
Campaign dresser: $40 used furniture find we refinished in Benjamin Moore "kingswood gray"
Crib: Target
Crib skirt: DIY project, fabric from
Crib sheet: Target
Glass table lamps: Target
Book wall ledges: IKEA
Cubby shelf with baskets: IKEA
Cordless window shades: Babies R Us
Upholstered rocking chair:
Jute rug with yellow trim:
Connecticut pillow: DIY project using a dish towel from the CT Historical Museum gift shop
Graphic prints: DIY project using photoshop, frames from the Christmas Tree Shop
"My Roots Lie Here" map: