Archive of ‘Family’ category

A Pink Princess Tea Party

Baby Brownie turned 4 last month and we hosted a princess tea party for her. She (and every other 4-year-old girl I know) has really gotten into dressing up as a princess lately and I knew she would have so much fun with a super girly pink princess party.

It’s funny, when Baby Brownie was born I swore I wouldn’t buy into the princess thing, but I guess that has gone the way of so many other parenting resolutions! So I decided to embrace my feminine side, and I figured, if you’re gonna do a princess tea party, you might as well go whole hog.

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I ordered satin chair covers and tableclothes from Linentablecloth.com for a steal. I think the chair covers were less than $2 each on sale! Totally affordable. I tied them on to the chairs really tight and safety-pinned the tablecloth to the table legs to minimize any potential catastrophes.

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The milk glass vases I’ve collected over the years from thrift shops came in handy as centerpieces. I love those versatile bud vases — they are so sculptural, yet they go with everything. I found gorgeous multi-colored ranunculus at Trader Joe’s. They are my favorite spring flower and their season is so short, so I’m glad I got to use them!

The white ceramic tea cups were another budget find. They are espresso cups from World Market that come in a set of 6 and were the perfect child-sized teacups. I got two sets and used a $10 off coupon. The sparkly paper plates were from Target and the plastic rose-gold flatware was from Michaels. The flatware was a hit; multiple people picked them up and were astonished that they were plastic!

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We filled the drink dispenser with lemonade and set out a bowl of kettle corn for appetizers.

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The little princesses made a rainbow of color and it was the cutest thing watching them play together in their sweet dresses. This is a particularly mature bunch of kids who were able to sit still and drink “tea” (water or lemonade) without breaking anything!

As Brownie gets older, her birthday parties have increasingly become about the fun that she and her friends can have playing together. I know, it seems obvious, but this is the first year she has truly had a preference for who she wants to invite and what she wants to do.

I’m so proud of what a confident and independent little girl she has become. She is completely comfortable spending time by herself with her books and crayons, yet she is also willing and happy to socialize with her peers.

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I got to use my beloved thrifted brass server finally! See, I knew there was a reason I kept it around!

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I bought these paper crowns from Daiso and the kids had so much fun decorating them with stickers.

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Along with the crowns, I set up a craft table with princess coloring pages (downloaded from Crayola.com) and chunky crayons.

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Gratuitous shot of my little prince.

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Can you believe I ordered this ombre rosette cake from Albertsons? It was $35 for a 10-inch cake and it served all the kids and adults (we had about 15 adults and 10 kids). It was also delicious! Chocolate inside with strawberry filling.

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My little princess had a spectacular time and she said the cake was her favorite part.

We didn’t really do party favors — instead we hid Easter eggs all around the yard and the kids had a blast doing an Easter egg hunt and brought all the treats home in princess favor bags ($1 for 20 from Walmart).

These photos were taken by my good friend Rachel Chen, who is starting her own photography business! Contact her if you need an LA / Orange County photographer! Seriously, she is just starting out right now so book her now because in a year, she will be booked and much more expensive, I would wager!

Sharing at ABlissfulBee.com!

The new addition…

…to the family! And the reason I haven’t posted here in so long.

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My sweet little monkey has seriously been the light of our lives these past few months. He is a very sweet, smiley, and mellow baby. Brownie loves him to death and is constantly hugging and kissing him and saying, “He’s so CUUUUTE!”. I think she thinks of him as one of her stuffed animals, just an alive one.

He is tremendously cuddly… to the point that he wants to be with me constantly, so I spend most of each day wearing him in the carrier. This, as you might imagine, isn’t the most conducive to DIY. So I’ve just been enjoying the last few months of doing the bare minimum beyond caring for Brownie and snuggling with my new little Monkey.

Meanwhile, Chris has been doing lots of work on the house and I really need to get some pictures up. We finally finished the master bathroom and are now starting work on the loft guest suite. We are so excited to share the new rooms with you but first I have to find time to take photos and edit them.

Thank you for coming by and I hope you enjoy some of the older posts on the blog in the meantime. I’ll be back soon!

DIY Toddler’s Superhero Cape

Halloween is coming up fast (as is my baby’s due date, oh my), and I’m finally forcing myself to start thinking about a costume for my daughter. I’ve actually never been a huge fan of Halloween myself, but there is something about toddlers all dressed up in costumes that is so adorable, so I’m finding myself a little more enthusiastic about it this year.

I asked Brownie what she wanted to dress up as and she said “Super Brownie!” I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to make a superhero costume for her. This is what I’ve come up with so far:

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It was actually much easier than I thought. You just cut out the shape and from there on it’s just a matter of hemming really. My newly honed sewing skills (I recently made my very first quilt) helped.

Materials and Tools for Superhero Cape:
3/4 yard square of fabric
contrasting grosgrain ribbon
chalk
string
tape
sewing machine and thread
iron and ironing board
superhero logo
fabric glue

You start off with a square of fabric (mine was about 3/4 yard in width of a satin material I found in the remnant pile, just about perfect for a 2-3 year old).

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Then you rig up a little contraption by taping the end of a string to the floor and tying the other end to a piece of chalk. The string should measure the width of the fabric.

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Draw a quarter circle using the chalk and string (doesn’t have to be perfect).

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Draw another curve for the neckline. This one doesn’t have to be a quarter circle, just a slight curve will be fine (the more curved it is the harder it is to hem, just FYI!).

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Cut out your shape and you’ll have something like this above.

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Iron and sew a hem on all sides (on this side I doubled over the raw edge but on the selvage edge I just left the raw edge since it won’t fray. You can use hem tape or fabric glue if you don’t want to sew the hems. Oh and then trim your threads after (unlike me in the pic above).

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Sew on a length of ribbon to tie the cape on. (You can really see the sparkles in this pic. Love this fabric!)

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Use fabric glue to attach your choice of superhero logo. It could be made of felt or good ol’ fashioned paper. In my case I used a couple of foam hearts that I glued together. Or you could just tape it on so you can change the logo later.

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As you can see I did get a lot of puckering on my seams. I probably didn’t have the thread tension right…whatever that means…

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…But Brownie doesn’t care! She loves her superhero cape and asks to put it on every day. She especially loves the subtle little sparkles in the fabric. This was a fun and easy project that I cranked out in about an hour!

Now I have to get the rest of the superhero costume together. I’m thinking, a matching SuperGirl tutu and headband?

What is your kid (or you) going to be for Halloween? Do you like to make your own costume or is it just easier to buy?

Sharing at BlissfulBee, Think and Make Thursdays, Remodelaholic.

My First Strip Quilt!

I must be a sucker for punishment or something. We’re immersed in a gut bathroom reno, and our next child is due in less than 2 months which we have made NO preparations for, and somehow I decided I was going to attempt my very first quilt for my 2-year-old daughter. Luckily it turned out all right…

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I might even go so far as to say, it turned out much better than my expectations. (By the way, please don’t pay any attention to my very dusty floor. I’d like to blame my daughter’s chalkboard, which is right outside of the frame, but really, I’ve just been lax on vacuuming that corner.)

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at simple quilts and decided that simple straight strips of fabric would be the easiest, quickest, and most forgiving for my less-than-stellar sewing skills. (To be precise, I literally have to look up how to wind a bobbin every time I use the sewing machine.)

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All of the fabrics are scraps/remnants that I’ve picked up over the last couple years at Joanns. I always check their remnant pile for cute fabrics, which are always 50% off, and turned out just perfect for this project. The quilt back is an old fitted sheet that no longer fits any of the beds we own now.

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I made this quilt approx 40″ by 55″ so that even when Brownie outgrows it she’ll still be able to use it as a throw blanket to snuggle with. I bound it with store-bought bias tape, because after putting together the quilt top I was in no mood to cut and make my own bias tape (although it might have been cuter). The store-bought stuff is great! The filling is polyester, because I already had a piece of polyester batting in my stash, though next time (if there IS a next time) I’ll try cotton.

I quilted it “in the ditch” aka along the seams. Straight line quilting seemed the easiest to handle for me.

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There are far better tutorials than I could provide out on the Net (by people who actually know how to use their sewing machines), so I’ll just link to a few of them here.

How to sew a strip quilt top

How to baste and quilt your strip quilt

How to bind your finished quilt

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I feel that after sewing this quilt I have a much better idea of how to work my sewing machine. Next time I might attempt…dum dum dum…square blocks!

What do you think? Is quilting something you would attempt? Do you get intimidated by sewing in a straight line like I do?

Sharing at Thrifty Decor Chick, Tiny Sidekick, Remodelaholic!

Dollhouse Time (Part 1)!

Sorry for the months-long radio silence, folks! I’m expecting my second baby and the morning sickness hit early and lasted for a long time. Then, I was just tired and unmotivated to do any new projects. Finally, in the 2nd trimester, I’m feeling back to my old self (albeit a bit less limber) and back to tackling new projects!

Baby Brownie isn’t a baby anymore! She’s a beautiful 2.5-year old who talks a mile a minute and whose mind is filled with creative and original thoughts! This is such a great time, guys. She is always pretending to mix up Jello in her play kitchen, or talking to her stuffed animals, or dancing to her own singing. Imagination is starting to be a big part of her play, and to help her along, her loving parents decided to make her a dollhouse.

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After many weeks of Pinning, I decided to model our dollhouse after the one at Young House Love. I liked how simple and unfussy it was but still so cute. We did change the dimensions somewhat — our dollhouse is 10 inches deep instead of 8, and the pitch of the roof is steeper. We also tried to keep it to a 1:12 scale so the ceilings are a standard 8 feet (I mean 8 inches), so it wouldn’t get too ginormous.

I thought it would take longer to get Chris on board with the plan, but the idea catalyzed last Saturday when we saw some cute wooden dollhouses at a local toy store. Then later that same day, we were at Home Depot and saw these 4 foot long, 1×10″ boards for sale for $1.50 each! That’s right! The wood for this whole dollhouse cost $4.50!

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Then it was just a matter of measuring, cutting, gluing, and nailing. An easy peasy project for my handyman =p.

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We added doorways just for fun.

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I briefly debated leaving it pine, because it was really a lovely color, but thought better of it. The bare wood will get stained, discolored, and darken over time. Better to paint it all white.

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That’s where it is right now. We are going to add a back wall so the furniture has something to sit against (and um…wallpaper!), and I’m going to paint the roof and exterior.

Chris says really, the dollhouse is for me. It’s true that at this point I’m more excited about it than Brownie is…

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