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Friday, September 14, 2012

First Day

Since the end of our long staycation, it's been quieter around the house. We no longer hear the jingle jangle of Mia's feet that made our hearts smile with every move she makes. Our baby girl's {Traditional Thai} anklets came off. L

At 2½ years old, we sent our little Mia Josephine off for her first day of pre-school/daycare! Her ankles look so naked!
Free printable sign from Frog Prince Paperie.

I could not resist this adorable backpack from etsy shop Butterfly Road. The backpack is well made and I love the coordinating fabrics, the piping and the outer pocket. It seems enormous on her, but we needed one bigger than her other toddler backpack {which we still love and use}.

Every day is different with its ups and downs. The curl of her lip, quiver in her voice and tears in her eyes clearly shows how she misses Mommy. But I'm sure that our freak of nature genius baby (as my friends call her) will get the hang of it soon.

Have a great weekend! For once, we've got nothing going on!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Circus in the Parks

Last weekend, we took Mia to one of Chicago's Circus in the Parks. Circus in the Parks is exactly that. A {small} circus under a tent at a neighborhood park. Although the circus didn't have elephants and lions like Doug thought there would be, the two hour high energy show (with a 15 minute intermission) held kids' attentions with its variety of singing, dancing, flipping, juggling, swinging acrobats, tight rope walkers, theatrics and tricks.
The best part of Circus in the Parks is that proceeds go to rebuilding the park where the circus takes place. Tickets are only $15 each, with weekend shows in various neighborhoods throughout October. It's money well spent for an entertaining afternoon out with your family, especially when your money goes right back into your community. There's plenty of shows left, you can still check it out!

Last weekend also marked four years that we've been in our urban cozy condo. We'll sure miss all of Chicago's fun activities when we move on to quiet suburban life a few years from now!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

DIY Good Night Chicago Book

It's been a fun summer around here and just recently we were able to finish our DIY Good Night Chicago book!  We turned Labor Day weekend into a long staycation by:

Taking Mia into the Loop on the El for her first train ride!

We saw Calder's Flamingo Statue in the Federal Plaza.
It's nice to see you, art.

Grabbed some Garrett's popcorn and hung out by Buckingham Fountain.
Hello, fantastic fountains.

Took Mia to her first Cubs game.
Good luck, Chicago sports teams. You can do it!

It was all smiles at first...

And she survived seven innings before the inevitable...

Later that night, we kicked off Chicago's Jazz Festival with a free outdoor concert in Millennium Park. It was a gorgeous summer night and you should already know I love relaxing on a blankie with some wine and music. It was like Ravinia, but way better because you can.not. beat Chicago's skyline!
Just listen to those blues and jazz musicians.

And that's it for our recreation of the Good Night Chicago book! Well, except the Lighthouse. But realistically, I'm not sure when Mia would ever get out to see that. Now I just have to design and order the actual book, ha. Let's see how long that takes me!

Check out the rest of our pages/pictures here:
Good morning, Lake Michigan. (There's a lot: May 2010, May 2011, July 2011, and many more not blogged about!)
Good morning, Chicago Harbor Lighthouse. Are we ready for a wonderful day? (Not sure this will ever happen.)
Goodnight Chicago, sleep tight. Thank you for a wonderful day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pink & Orange Balloon Party - Decorations Under $5!

If you recall, my friend's daughter, Jenelle, turned one back in July

But this little lady didn't get a full out birthday party until August. When her mom thought it'd be a good idea to buy a new house, paint, move in, have a house warming party and go back to school (as teachers) all in the same week! Crazy lady! 

When Jenelle's older sister, Maya, turned one, I decorated her first birthday party on a budget of ONE dollar. The second child always gets jipped, so I couldn't let Jenelle's big party go by undecorated. This time I upped the budget to a whopping $5. Mom wanted a pink and orange balloon themed party, so that's what I pulled off with $5 and two weeks notice.

1. DIY Tissue paper wreath inspired by A Blissful Nest. Used a paper plate with the middle cut out as a "wreath form".
2. Big faux balloons to let guests know where the party's at. Pool noodle {from Grandpa's pool} secured with toothpicks and tape, adorned with ribbon and ric rac.
3. Pink & orange flowers in a Target pitcher to double as party decor and a simple housewarming gift.

Decorate the outside of your party venue to let guests know where the party's at and to continue your theme. To line the sidewalk with the birthday girl's named I used paper plates, dry cleaning hangers, streamers, ribbon and letters printed from

Table centerpieces were inspired by a project made from napkins seen on the House of Smiths. Buckets were originally from Target's $1 bin, borrowed from Erin's party. Orange Cheez-its added to the color scheme and provided a snack for guests. Coloring page image found via Google and added wording in MS Word.

What's a first birthday party without a monthly banner showcasing how baby's grown over the year? Pom Pom Yarn leftover from Reese's MonSTAR party and itty bitty clothespins from my scrapbooking stash.

Free balloon printables from Pizzazzerie atop toothpicks and lollipop sticks. 

Pink & orange chevron birthday printables from the TomKat Studio on pink & orange straws for pink lemonade. Hostess note: don't mix M&M's and Reese's pieces at kid's parties! You never know who has a peanut allergy! Or at the very least, clearly label your food items!

Pink watermelon and orange cantaloupe prepped with a melon baller.

Big sister Maya showing her lil sis how to eat her smash cake. Mia liked the cake pops. J

Thanks Andrea, for letting me take on another budget decorating challenge! I think baby girl had a good time at her party!

If you shop around your house and think outside of the box, you can creatively decorate a party on a budget!
Party Budget:
Pool noodle - $0 for big "faux" balloons
Tissue paper - $0 for wreath
Paper plates - $0 for sidewalk and wreath
Wire Hangers - $0 for sidewalk
Streamers - $0 for sidewalk
Pink Napkins - $0 for centerpieces
Pink Buckets - $0 for centerpieces
Sweets table printables - $0
Coloring Pages - $0
Pom Pom Yarn - $0 for monthly picture banner
Clothespins - $0 for monthly picture banner
Ribbon - $1 for two spools
Cardstock - $1 for six sheets
Pictures - $3 for banner
Total = $5!

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