Monday, September 26, 2011

The perfect (birth)day

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday.  I don’t know if it is having children or just getting older, but the last few years I haven’t felt like birthday celebrations for myself are quite as important as they used to be.  Don’t get me wrong, we usually do a little bit of celebrating on the special day and maybe I have taken some lessons from The Mad Hatter in celebrating some “Un-birthdays”—a pedicure here, a night out with the girls there.  But even though I didn’t have big plans for this particular birthday, it turned out to be just about the perfect day.  So here is a play by play of the day that could have been any perfect day, but just happened to be my birthday this year.

8:30 am – Wake up (a major sleep in for this mom of two)!

9:00 am – Coffee on the back deck, followed by my birthday present—a KitchenAid Mixer to go with my new kitchen! Good thing I just stocked up on personalized stationery from Love and Life Cards that can double as thank you notes!

10:00 am – A nice slow 4-mile run

11:00 am – Catching up with a few good friends via phone and email

12:00 pm – Lunch and a post lunch pumpkin cheesecake birthday cake… yum!

1:00 pm – A little rest/down time for all

3:00 pm – A trip to the playground with the kids for some playtime including a stop at a local coffee shop to pick up a latte for mom

5:00 pm – Home and dinner for little ones

6:00 pm – Getting the girls ready for bed and this mom ready for a night out

7:00 pm – Date night!

11:00 pm – Home and bed for this exhausted, but very happy lady!

What about you?  What would your perfect day include or not include?  Would you want a big party complete with Love and Life invitations and all or something a bit more low-key?  Do you do it up big for birthdays or is it just another day of the year?  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall is here!

The days are getting a little bit shorter and the nights are getting cooler.  Fall is here!  Well... it will be officially this Friday.  And to me, that means the season for baking begins. The timing works out perfectly since my kitchen renovation is finally coming to a close.  (We have been sans kitchen for two months and two days now, but who's counting?)  But back to baking.  Apple and pumpkin pies, muffins, breads, cookies... yum!  

This past weekend was my sister's wedding shower and with baking on the mind and their fall themed wedding coming up in October, we thought a recipe card would make the perfect favor.  First we designed this card with colors and designs from the couple's wedding stationery.  The sugar cookie recipe is my mom's.  I hope she doesn't mind me sharing it!

Next, we found these adorable little maple leaf cookie cutters at Sur la table. 

Then we used a hole punch to make a small hole in the upper corner of the recipe card and tied the cookie cutter to the card with rafia.  

We think these favors are fun, sweet, and uncomplicated just like the bride-to-be!

And here is a quick shot of the back of the recipe card with the initials of the bride and groom in a fall themed acorn.  We love to add a little extra personalization wherever we can!  

These were so simple and turned out so sweet, I think they would make a great little gift or used as place cards at Thanksgiving—feature your grandmother's famous stuffing recipe or your mom's pumpkin pie.  Or hand these out to friends and neighbors at Christmas with your own cookie recipe and a snowflake cookie cutter.  

Brrr... fall may be here, but I'm going to keep my kitchen warm and toasty with all this baking!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A crib transformation

We recently received an email from a friend telling us about this blog, A Little Learning for two, and the great project they recently DIYed when their youngest had outgrown the crib.  I find that I am always trying to find good places to donate toys and all things baby once we have finished with them.  I just hate to throw it all away.  So why not find new and different ways to repurpose old things—especially like drop side cribs which are no longer accepted for donations because of safety recalls.  This crib, turned worktable, is an easy and inexpensive conversion (and hey... easy conversion back to a crib if plans change!)

What do you do with your children's clothes, toys, and furniture when your family is done with them?  Do you have any great conversions like this one?  Do tell.

And read more about the details of this transformation at A Little Learning for two.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Well, it's that time of year again, the responsibility is yours to not only get yourself somewhere on time, but the future of your child's reputation in their new class depends on you!  We have tracked down a few tips to help us all get our kids to school on time, and oh yeah, maybe even make it a little less chaotic.  I know, I know, tip number one should be, prepare everything the night before, but let's be real, we all work better under pressure right?

Just say no to TV...try tunes instead
I'm sure I was pregnant with my first when I thought my unborn children weren't going to know what a Television was, but like always, reality hits and my youngest's first word was practically Mickey Mouse.  Great for when you have something to do like, hmm, take a shower? Not so great when you need your kids attention as the bus is pulling up outside!  Have your kids help put together a morning playlist and try dancing your way out the door.

Kids Cubbies
Don't run in and out of the house ten times tracking down coats, hats, sneakers, and back packs.  Make it a ritual to keep each child's things in their own cubby as soon as they walk in the door.  Imagine a life of walking out the door that first time in the morning and actually carrying on to your final destination!

End the "Great Clothes Debate"
Deciding what to wear can be a stressful and time consuming activity in the morning, especially when you don't particularly care for her selection and what she would like to wear is at the bottom of the laundry basket.  Try making a clothes buddy the night before.  Your child can lay out her clothes in the shape of a person, including underwear, socks, shoes and even accessories.  When they wake up, they put the clothes buddy clothes on and the arguments over stripey tights with a polka dot dress are a distant, (but fond), memory.

Set a final warning bell
Set a special alarm for 10 minutes before it's time to leave for the last minute scramble.  The bell will let everyone know that it's time to brush teeth, grab lunches and get your coats on...without you having to announce it - AGAIN!

Early Bird catches the worm
Top tip for moms is to be the first one up and ready before everyone else to at least curb some of the stress of the morning race.  I love the idea of getting ready without interruption but don't think I'm ready to have my alarm set for 5am everyday!

Send us your tips at cutting out the chaos in the morning - or at least trim it down a bit!