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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Choose happy.

While Doug gave Mia a bath the other day, I forget what they were talking about {those two talk a lot}. But I overheard my three year old say, "Because we choose happy. Right?" Hearing her sweet little voice remind my husband how we should decide to feel each day {and understand what it means} made me one proud mama.

In our tiring, busy daily lives, there are countless nit picky things that can upset us. But really, there are so so many overlooked blessings to be happy about...When changing out my birthday party decor, this free printable from Paper Coterie graced my inbox and it couldn't be more perfect. Mia's at a whiny age right now. Having a simple visual reminder for us to choose happy definitely minimizes her meltdowns and reminds me when to breathe and not sweat the little stuff.

99% of the time, she is one happy little lady. "Mommy take my picture here. I'm taking lots of pictures because I'm the flower girl!" Get other free printables here to add a fresh dose of springy sunshine to your day. Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

{Sandy} - 32 weeks

Before her two year old session, my niece Erin took an afternoon nap while I spent time with my sister-in-law. Since Sandy didn't do a maternity session before she had Erin, I asked if she wanted to do one this time around. After she told me she'd think about it, I told her why I think she should photograph her precious baby belly...which may have made her cry. Oopsies! I forgot about pregnancy hormones! But in the end, she agreed and I hope she's glad she did. See for yourself...

She doesn't even look pregnant, right?!

But, she's 32 weeks along...

What do you think? Did she make the right decision?  
Thank you Sandy, for letting me capture the beauty of you and your second child. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

{Erin} - 2 Years

March and April are busy birthday months! In March, my Grandma turned 90, nephew turned 2, I turned 30 and my niece also had a birthday. You've watched Erin grow from 2 weeks old... {click on each image to go to that post}

...and now here she is at 2 years! 

Along with jumping around on Mommy and Daddy's bed, Erin sure loves all her baby dolls. Erin even tried stealing all of Mia's dolls when they were over for Mia's birthday party! Erin held her baby doll's hand to play with her toys, show her the trees outside her window and even changed her diaper, complete with diaper cream!

Isn't Erin going to be such a good big sister? We'll see how she adjusts to having a real baby to live with in June. Check back tomorrow for my sister in law's maternity portraits!

So much can change in two years...

Friday, April 12, 2013

30th Birthday/Favorite Things Party {Pink, Gold & Glitter}

**Thank you for the full party feature, Hostess with the Mostess!**

To celebrate my 30th birthday, I didn't want to go to a bar {those days are long gone} or go to a restaurant where all night, you can only talk to the same four people sitting next to you. Since most of my girlfriends are also turning 30 this year, I thought it'd be fun to celebrate all of us with a Favorite Things Party! Click here to see my inspiration board.
These stemless wine glasses were vases at my previous two parties, but this time they were candle holders. Get the tutorial for the DIY tissue paper fringe backdrop here!

I embellished plain white gift bags so everyone could take their new favorite things home. Since the party was to celebrate all our birthdays, every bag included a simple {~$10} gift that I specifically picked out for each long-time friend.

Speaking of more wine, check out my wine & cheese birthday party here.

DIY tags and food tents/picks so we knew what appetizer, drink or dessert everyone brought.

Is it weird that this little bow tie around the napkins was my favorite detail of the entire party??

How a Favorite Things Party Works: Each person thought of a favorite thing that costs around $10. They brought 3 of that same item. Each person’s wine glass had a number at the bottom and I had numbers 1-12 folded up in a bowl. Daniela, my first guest who arrived at the party, had the honors of drawing a number first. Whoever’s number she drew, she received their favorite thing. Then that person went and drew a number and so forth. Everyone explained their gifts as they were given out. We repeated the drawing from 1-12 three times so everyone went home with three different favorite things!

I also requested everyone bring a favorite appetizer, drink or dessert. The twelve of us gathered 'round my dining table to enjoy a delicious spread of food while catching up since it's not often we all get together anymore.

After our bellies were full, it was time for a quick little game of Guess What Year?! I went through my photo albums from 8th grade on up (when I started organizing my own pictures) and found a picture of me and each guest. I love that I've known each of these girls anywhere from 9 to 27 years ago! Trying to guess the year of each photo and where we were was a perfect way to reminisce and retell stories from our younger, less than finer moments.

Thank you to every single one of my long-time friends who came to celebrate this milestone with me. Love you guys! Cheers to what the next 30 years will bring us! And let's not forget the most memorable words of wisdom for the wine in your Cheerios does not mean lower cholesterol!

Favorite Appetizers, Drinks or Desserts: Art of Pizza, Spinach Dip Crescent Rolls, Bacon Wrapped Dates, Filipino Eggrolls, Giordano's Salad, Great Beijing Spicy Chicken Wings, Rumchata,  Prosecco + Peach Bellinis, Polka Dot RieslingFrench Silk Pie, Chocolate Filled Strawberries and lots of cheeeese!

Favorite Things: Necklaces, HomeGoods Linen Spray + Mason Jar Candles, Nicholas Sparks DVD - 4 movies in 1, Loreal Shampoo and ConditionerStarbucks Giftcards, Vosges Haut Chocolat, Essie nail polishes + Clif Shot Energy Gel + Orbit Gum, Oregon Chai Tea + Biscotti, Bath & Body Works hand soaps and candles.

Party Styling & Photography - a {day} with lil mama – me!
Favorite Things Party - inspired by Inchmark and Day Dreaming and Sight Seeing via Kara's Party Ideas
Birthday Party Invitation – TinyPrints
Free Wine Printables – Hostess with the Mostess 
Free Gift Tag Printables - Ellinee 
DIY Fringe Backdrop - inspired by Shiny Happy Sprinkles
Square and Rectangle Appetizer Plates - World Market
Black & Gold Votives, Black Napkins - Party City
Gold Frame and Bowl - Target
Gold Glitter Tape - Shop Sweet Lulu

In the evening, Mia called me to say, "Mommy, I wish I could drive home to have fun at your party." Oh Mia, she sure loves girl talk with mommy and her friends. She also wondered, "Mommy, why are your decorations pink? Your favorite color is red." *sigh* love her!