Sunday, April 30, 2017

Airplane Party ~ Noah's First Birthday

My Oh My How Time Flies! My baby boy is going to be 2 this May *gasp!* and I am reminiscing about his airplane themed birthday party we threw last year.  We had only lived in our new house 1 month, and there were still boxes in plain sight and hardly any furniture, but we had a brand new house, and a 1 year old baby, so I wanted to do something special dangit!

I did this "hot air balloon" themed photoshoot a few weeks early to put as the background of the invitation. I then made the invitation like an airline tickets for "Allred Airlines Flight 1."

I found the vintage looking planes and number from Hobby Lobby. When I got the balloons into my house, I suddenly remembered Noah HATES balloons and big balls. Whoops. There were seriously 3 seconds in this whole photo shoot where he was smiling at all, and thankfully I captured them! Now that Noah is 2 he loves balls and throwing them, but he still hates big things coming towards his face that are unfamiliar (I guess don't we all?)

For his actual party, I did a few main decorations, and tried to keep the menu low-key.

Decorations were so fun! A few of the big ones I did were:

Photo Board: I went through all my photos of his first year of life and printed them all out! It's a fabulous idea to keep yourself updated with printed photos.  I found a piece of extra plywood in my garage and painted it red.  I bought washi tapes in some cute red white and blue designs, (and also used red ribbon when I ran out of washi tape.) Then I staped the pictures onto the ribbon and washi tape, then taped them onto the backside of the board.  My friend Christine wrote "Time Flies" and drew a little airplane in sharpie at the top.  This has been SUCH a cute decoration for his room (while it lasted.) I should have made sure it was out of reach of little hands because now there are always pictures of Noah flying around my upstairs.

Chalkboard: For the entry Christine also did a wet-erase chalkboard marker for the cute welcome sign, and we blew up a big balloon and made tissue paper tassels to hang on it.

Balloon Cloud: This was so fun, and people really noticed and loved it.  I bought three 18 inch inflatable airplanes on amazon (they can be found here) and a ton of white balloons for the cloud. I tied the balloons individually to a string, and made a few strings of probably 10 or so balloons, then taped them to my light fixture above the island in my kitchen.  We hung the airplanes from strings below, and one airplane fell down before the party, and the whole thing ended up being hard to photograph, but I promise it looked cool in person! We also wrote "Allred Airlines" in sharpie on the balloons because we're awesome like that. 

For Food I made Pioneer Woman's Chicken Salad and put them on Costco Croissants. We also had watermelon, grapes, and a veggie plate. And can't forget chips and soda! We made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids as well.  His birthday is in May, so I could conveniently find Red, White and Blue plates and napkins that fit the theme.  

Dessert was Costco cake, pre-decorated.  Costco cake is pretty dang good.  I've had better definitely, but to feed a birthday party crowd, this is the perfect option.   We home-made a little cake for his smash cake, and my friends decorated it with blue frosting and white clouds.  It was so cute, and so perfect! Noah went at it for like 10 minutes until he got really sad his hands were so dirty.  

We bought little model airplanes for party favors and I think they were a hit. A lot of them got opened before the party ended and we definitely had the airplane theme going on all around us. 

We also had a paper airplane making station AND airplane sugar cookie decorating! It was all a blast, and it was definitely a sweet day for me to celebrate my little boy and put on a fun party for my friends and family.  

Now Noah is going to be 2, and who knows if he'll even get a party this year haha! 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Walmart's Waverly Chalk Paint + Desk With Floating Shelves

We have this little nook in our hallway upstairs outside of all of our bedrooms, and I've thought of a few different ideas of what to do with it.  Reading nook? that would be awesome - some day. For now, we have had a little ikea table set up with our computer on it since we moved in, and so when I saw a free desk with actual storage come up from someone in my neighborhood, I snagged it and knew it would fit perfectly in my nook.  On a whim and since my sister is coming to visit next week, I picked up some chalk paint at Wal-mart so I could actually get a few cute things done around my house. The color I chose was "Moss" and I used white wax on top, and since then I have also painted a table Waverly's "Agave."

 I've only used Annie Sloan chalk paint before, so I definitely was comparing them as I painted my desk.  I haven't done projects in similar colors in each brand, so I won't be able review that, but overall quality and difference I can review.  

As far as wax for the two brands, the difference is night and day.  Annie Sloan's wax is just that - wax. It has the feel of petroleum jelly that you can literally scoop up and wipe around the piece. And ASCP's wax has that smell of chemicals - you know what I mean, the same smell varnish and polyurethane and other protective things have that are anti-water. 

With Waverly's their "wax" is liquid, not wax, and has no chemical smell. Sad. That smell to me tells me my furniture will be protected and the paint will stay in place.  I had to use a paint brush with Waverly and paint some wax on, then use a cloth to rub it all around.  Thankfully when I was all done with the wax of Waverly, it felt smooth and nice and waterproof just like with ASCP, but maybe not quite as nice.  Definitely don't use this wax on something that is going to have a lot of wear on it, or consider using a different top coat entirely. (polycrilic, polyurethane - google it for your particular use and piece)  

For the paint itself, I found them VERY similar.  In fact, Waverly's might have had an even thicker and better texture than Annie Sloan.  Waverly was thick and creamy and was actually enjoyable to paint because it was so easy and the coverage was so amazing.  Annie Sloan's was creamy, but not THAT creamy.  Still great coverage though.  Like both paints are going to give you at least 3 small projects use of just one quart. Don't quote me on that.  I still have to do 2 or 3 coats with each brand, but that's just pretty much par for the course with chalk paint. 

To add a little more storage, we got two 43 inch floating shelves from Ikea.  Normally, I hate open shelving because I have the worst organization skills known to mankind and I don't want that mess to be "open" to the world, but this is far enough out of the way, and we just installed a couple of legit cabinets in the laundry room a few weeks ago, and installing those is not for the faint of heart, which I definitely am, especially since I've been sick this week :/. 

Here's a look at my definitely staged cabinets, hopefully the actual organization will take place soon??? We got the boxes and faux purple plant from Ikea, Nick's Grandpa Allred made the white shelf (so darling) and I found the white framed art at Kirkland's and literally couldn't not buy it (double negative much?) Let me know if you like it and I'll love you forever. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

3 Dollar Easter Centerpiece + Dollar Store Easter Tablescape

Are you hosting Easter this year? We are having my sister and her family over, so I think this will be the first time I host an Easter dinner, yay! I have no idea what I am going to do for food, which is reason number 401 why I don't have a food blog.  However, I do know how to decorate for a party :)
I had this vague idea of doing a "Easter Tree" for an Easter centerpiece on my table, and have seen some really cute stuff on Pinterest, so when we came upon some crepe myrtle tree trimmings sitting in a friend's yard, I snatched a few up and put them in my trunk.  I knew that the Dollar Tree had some cute Easter stuff in the past, so we headed there to see if anything would work.  I found these bags of glitter eggs in three different shades, and my plan was "hatched" - get it?

I used my white pitcher from target that I purchased a few months back (they are still selling it and it's a great price if you've been wanting one) wrapped with some twine on it, arranged the limbs in it, and then hot glued the eggs on wherever I deemed fit. 

The centerpiece took me 10 minutes of work, and cost 3 dollars.  Boom.  Now that's the kind of project I love.  

As far as the other things in my Easter "tablescape," I purchased square pink plates as a pseudo charger/placemat (and to pile more food onto), and round "Happy Easter" plates to put on top.  

I also purchased 4 white hydrangea bushels and put two each into chalk-painted white mason jars and bought 2 yellow dollar chick centerpieces from the dollar tree too.  I put the extra glitter balls into one of my glass jars for looks and to try to keep them from being spread all over the house by my kids (unsuccessfully).

Happy Easter! Now....what to actually cook???

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Styling Freshly Picked Moccs with Spring Outfits

Our Freshly Picked Moccasins came! Wahoo! The two colors I got were "Flower Power" for Amelia and "Emerald" for Noah from Freshly Picked's new Flower Power line.

For Noah: I was worried Emerald moccs might be too girly, but I was wrong! They go perfectly with lots of his clothes. Also, I just love that Freshly Picked Moccs stay on his feet and that he will actually wear them because Noah LOVES to go shoe-less (second child syndrome).  For Noah's outfit, I headed to Old Navy and found a cute shirt, and then later when Noah hated his shirt we had bought there, we found a couple of t-shirts at Gymboree that we used one of, instead of the original one from Old Navy Noah had deemed uncomfortable. Here are the shirts we bought to add to Noah's wardrobe from Gymboree: (which is the only thing in his wardrobe that isn't a hand-me-down.)  The original shirt was the Chambray one we hoped he would like.

The pants for Noah came from Old Navy, and I love that they are soft! Is it just me or do girls usually get to wear comfy leggings and soft pants and baby boys clothes usually are really hard inflexible pants?  I'm so happy I found lots of stretchy pants somewhere that don't bother Noah. They are called Kangaroo-pocket Slub-knit pants for Toddler Boys, very specific! I also saw they go up to 5T, so I'm excited about that.    Just as a last note about Noah's outfit, I decided to stick to more muted boy colors since we went with such bright colored shoes.  As a general rule for boys, if I pick a color that's usually a color tending to be reserved for girls like say a pink polo shirt, then it's good to stick to mainly boy colors besides that so people don't mistake them for the wrong gender :)

Here's Noah's final look - 

For Amelia: I let her pick her own dress from anything in the store and THANKFULLY it went perfectly with her new Freshly Picked Moccasins! I made the mistake? of telling her that she had flower shoes coming in the mail since Noah's shoes came first, and she asked me 30 times a day if they were here yet for the few days in between our shoes getting here.  So no question she loves her new shoes so much, and it definitely doesn't hurt that they are so comfy.  I'm so glad she chose something that was a solid color so all the glory can go to her cute Flower Power shoes.  We also picked up a 3 dollar headband from Target's dollar section a couple of weeks ago in their Easter Decor/Basket section.

The dress is a little brighter in person and goes perfectly with the shoes. (PS this dress also comes in purple, perfect Easter Dress!) This dress is called Tutu Dress for Toddler Girls, and Amelia calls it her ballerina dress because she's smart like that.  

Here is Amelia in all her Flower Power Spring Glory: 

We went to UNC Charlotte Campus' botanical gardens to get these amazing backdrops in our photos.  When we got there, Amelia said she was "nervous" which is code for "I'm trying to get on your nerves" and refused to cooperate AT ALL! The first 50 shots I took she had a pouty look and was acting like a total 3 year old, so rude right? Finally, she started throwing little rocks into the pond right there and saying it was a sea monster.  I was able to get her to pretend to protect Noah from the sea monster (the hugging shots) and even put on her headband which she had been refusing to wear so she could be protected from this sea monster.  That sea monster was probably the best thing that ever happened to my photography! 

Now, more shots of them together saving each other from the sea monster!
Strong Arms!

Thank you Freshly Picked for helping my kids be so darn cute!