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Happy Valentine’s Day from the Nest

14 Feb

The Decor, the Game and the Favor Bags

8 Feb

I think this is my last baby shower post. Thanks for hanging in with me guys.

To recap:
For our Book Worm Baby Shower, there were invitations, there was food, there were onesies (not actually book worm-themed) and there were Hershey Kisses.

Today we’re going to take a look at the decor, plus reveal Katy’s fun game and cute favors.

First the decor. Back in early December when I scored those Hershey Kisses for 70 percent off, I also found this great Hanukkah banner on super sale. It was a semi-DIY kit – the ribbon, blue circles and white circles are all separate pieces. There were also felt letter that I discarded. I printed out new letters to spell out BABY and Jaimie and Dean’s last name (you’ll have to use your imagination on the image below since I had to block out the last name to respect their privacy).

Here’s a closer look:

The mantle also sports those cute little blue tissue paper puffs. Here’s a tutorial from Pinterest, or you can do what I did and buy the kit from Martha Stewart. When I first looked at a tutorial (I’m not sure if it was that one or another one), it seemed kind of confusing. Now that I have done it from the MS kit,  I know it’s actually pretty easy and if I ever have to do it again I will start from scratch (and make them bigger).

Here’s a look at the table centerpiece:

It’s pretty simply – just a couple of white flowers in a square-ish vase on top of a small pile of children’s books. I was inspired by the awesome book themed party I saw on Pinterest.

Now, on to the games and swag. Cooking and decor is a lot easier for me than games, so when Katy offered to pitch in I gladly took her up on the offer. As you may remember, Katy is herself a new mom (I couldn’t help but link here and above to different pictures of Katy’s cute little man).

Well, when it came to the party game, Katy rocked it! She came up with Kiddo Catch Phrase, a game in which (much like the real Catch Phrase) teams compete to see how long it takes them to guess 20 correct answers in a randomly assigned category. In keeping with our literary themed shower, Katy came up with appropriate categories like fairy tales and nursery rhymes (my team was assigned fairy tales). Katy started the timer and handed the first person a card, then you had to get your teammates to guess what was on the card without saying any of the words on it. So for example, one of my cards read “Puss in Boots” and I gave the clue, “It’s a cat who wears shoes.”

Some of them were so hard and I was really impressed with the teams who had super heroes and nursery rhymes. It was also funny to see who knew some of the more obscure things like “Wee Willy Winkie”. Katy’s mom is a recently retired librarian so I bet she was very proud of Katy for coming up with this game – especially since it required making something like 120 unique cards and knowing what all of those things were so she could help us out (which she did pretty liberally – thanks, Katy!).

Here’s the sign she made for the game:

Can you tell what the pictures are on the outside edges of the poster? They’re little cards / stickers depicting The Cat and the Fiddle nursery rhyme. Here’s a closer shot:

I think everyone really liked the game … and you just never know with this things. No one wants to smell and taste any more melted candy in baby diapers, right?

Katy also put together the darling little favor bags with our Hershey Kisses and these cute little notebooks that look like a library collection:

Yup. That pictures says it all: Thanks Katy!

Okay – back soon with actual adoption stuff.

Baby Shower Kisses

7 Feb

Jaimie loves Hershey Kisses. I knew I needed to have Hershey Kisses at her baby shower before I even knew she was pregnant.

As it turns out, Jaimie is having a boy and the shower is being held the first weekend of February. Can any bargain shoppers out there guess what that meant to me?

Yup, Hershey Kisses were on post holiday clearance. Specifically BLUE Kisses left over from Hanukkah promotions. I scored 5 bags of Kisses for  70 percent off the regular price. Yay me!

Thanks to my obsession with Pinterest, I learned that Avery makes a tiny round label that’s PERFECT for the bottom of Hershey Kisses. Here’s the original pin I found with the Hershey Kiss idea.

Jaimie’s shower was bookwormed-themed and the colors were blue and brown. Here are the labels I made on my trusty ink jet printer.

There are four kinds of labels – the bookworm (also used on the invitations and related materials), circles in brown and blue (also used on the invitations and related materials), LBJ (the baby’s fake name - it stands for Little Boy [and their last name]), and Jaimie & Dean’s Little Bookworm.

Here is an example of what the Kisses look like after they are stickered:

And here’s what they look  in little organza bags to be given away as party favors:

Do you love Hershey Kisses as much as Jaimie? What custom messages would you put on your Hershey Kisses?

UPDATE: Making your own custom Hershey Kisses? Use Avery 5408 labels. I understand they also work on the bottoms of mini-Reese’s cups.

Watch Me Grow Onesies (Free Printable)

6 Feb

** Free Printable included at bottom of post **

Here’s a look at the gift I made for Jaimie, Dean and their baby boy.

I know I personally will want to see pictures of this little muffin every day so I came up with a way for them to document his growth each month – custom onesies announcing his age.

They turned out so cute. Here’s how I did it.

Watch Me Grow Onesie Project:

Supplies -
12 white onesies (3 0-3 month, 3 3-6 month, 3 6-9 month, 3 12 month), washed in baby safe detergent
3 sheets of Iron-On Transfer paper (you can buy it at office supply stores and craft stores)
Color ink jet printer

Directions -

1. Wash the onesies in baby-friendly detergent like Ivory or Dreft – or use just baking soda.

1. Using PowerPoint I created 12 graphics depciting every month for the first year of baby’s life - each one with a different color or theme. A few of the onesies are very specific because I know his due date. For example, he will be seven months old in October so the seven month onesie is a pumpkin instead of a circle. This could obviously be done in Photoshop, but I was just using my little slow laptop that doesn’t have it AND since there was nothing fancy needed and no complicated layers, I didn’t see any need to use my Mac Mini.

2. I printed the graphics four per page onto iron-on transfer paper. I had to change the settings on our color ink jet printer to ‘mirror image’ so the text would read properly after I transferred it to the onesies. If you’re going to make these at home, don’t forget to check your printer settings like I did the first time.

Once printed (properly), I cut out and trimmed each individual graphic. Don’t leave too much white space around your graphic. Here’s what mine looked like after I cut and trimmed them.

3. Place the iron-on transfer and get ready to iron. Once you start there’s no correcting it so be sure you love the placement.

4. Very carefully iron them on. It requires constant, even pressure – and quite a bit of it. The cotton onesies are pretty delicate so there is a small amount of yellowing / browning on a few even though I was super careful.

5. Carefully peel backing away from transfer. I don’t have pictures of this step because it requires an even hand. Once you have peeled the backing away, your onesie will look like this:

6. Repeat 11 more times.

So cute and so easy. After I was done, I folded them up and put them into a seagrass basket.

And guess what? I made a pdf so that you print your own! I took out the graphics specific to how old this baby will be during certain months of the year so these will work for any new baby. Remember to make sure your ink jet printer is set to ‘mirror image’ when you print.

Have you made a special gift for a new mom or mom-to-be?  OR have you documented your baby’s growth in some photographic way?

Baby Shower Invitations

5 Feb

When my friends Jaimie and Dean first talked about decorating their nursery, they thought about going with a Winnie the Pooh theme. A few weeks later they decided on a Yankees theme. 

*sigh* I know, there’s no accounting for it. They are both from New York so it can’t be helped I guess. Don keeps alternating between saying he won’t babysit for them at the house because he won’t put the kid down in the Yankees room and saying that he wants to babysit so he can take down all the Yankees gear.

Anyway, when they ruled out the Pooh nursery theme I thought I would make the shower Pooh-themed instead. That’s why when I sent the Save the Date announcements way back in December, I used the little image of Pooh and Piglet and the quote that’s just perfect for a new baby:

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.

I was actually having a hard time coming up with stuff that really inspired me for a Winne the Pooh themed shower though, and it was not for a lack of pouring over Pinterest and the Interwebs looking for inspiration either. My poor mother-in-law was even dragged around on a fruitless shopping venture over the Christmas holiday.

By that time, Jaimie had mentioned to me that she would love for guests to bring a book to help grow a great children’s library for her little boy. An idea had been wiggling around in my brain, and finally I decided to change the whole shower theme to books.

I was shopping for supplies at Michael’s when I ran into our friend Karla. She’s just as excited about Jaimie and Dean’s bundle of joy as I am, and she very graciously and generously offered to buy the supplies for the invitations. Not only was that just so darn sweet, but it also allowed me to splurge on some fun matching envelopes AND make coordinating thank you cards. So, thank you Karla!

Here’s a look at the invitations and matching thank you cards.

The invitation itself is made of two pieces of paper glued together. The piece in the back is blue-, white- and brown-striped scrapbook paper and the piece on the top is white card stock. I printed the invitations on our ink jet printer, three per page. The little bookworm is just made from blue and brown circles – like the ones of the top and bottom of the cards. The text in the large blue circle explains the baby book idea. Here’s what it says:

Greeting cards are nice, but only get read once or twice.
So instead of a card to be put away,
please bring a children’s book to be enjoyed some other day. 

Our friend Katy offered to plan a game with prizes AND put together favor bags. So with those matters in capable hands and the invitations done, I just had to plan the bookworm menu and decor. Yup. I had a couple of fun book themed decor items, too. Stay tuned (I’ll also tell you about the super fun game Katy put together that matched our theme!).

Have you been to, planned or been honored with a themed baby shower ? What was it?

Sprucing Up the Nest, Part 1

16 Jan

Remember how we’re in the midst of a BIG renovation project upstairs? Well, it’s ALMOST done. We’re living upstairs now and while we still need some electrical work (there are no lights in bathroom) and some plumbing (one of our vanities arrived cracked, we need a piece of marble for the drop in tub and the shower door is not installed yet), it looks pretty good up there.

So good in fact, that we’re actually working on finishing touches – like hanging curtains and making art.

Here’s a really fun and simple art project I made for the one-day nursery.

First I picked up a mess of paint chips from the local Home Depot:

I hauled out my crafty hole punches:


And I punched circles out of the chips:


Once I had all the circles I needed in a variety of sizes (and then some), I was ready to begin:


Using paper glue, I created the some layers:

Then I made a design using all my layers (some of the glue is still wet in the picture):


After it was finished and dry, I put it into this Ikea frame / shadow box that I already had in the house:


I’m pretty excited about the result. I watched HGTV while I punched the circles and glued the layers, took a break and finished the project later in the day. The whole thing took two hours tops, probably less.

Oh – one more thing. I must give credit where credit it due. I was inspired by a craft project that I saw on Pinterest (originally from here):

The Holiday Season Begins at the Nest

27 Nov

This was probably a foolish decision, but despite the headaches of our renovations, the pain of my shingles and the anxiety of preparing all the necessary paperwork for our adoption, I decided to make our Christmas cards this year.

I’ve been inspired so many clever bird crafts on Pinterest of late (hmm, I wonder why?) and decided that it was absolutely necessary for me to make Sweet Little Nest holiday cards.

Tonight I made a cute bird template that I liked (in four sizes from large to small) and then traced them on cardboard and cut them out. I traced the two smallest shapes on to various Christmas-y papers and then set to work making the cards.

Each one is a little different. Obviously there are many patterns, but there are other differences, too. Like the use of rick rack. And the bird placement. Also, some of them are glued flat and some are raised off the page with glue tabs.

I really like how they turned out.

I finished 38 cards this evening – more than I expected, actually. Of course my back and neck are sore and I’m exhausted.  

Did you make your own cards this year, buy them at a store, or order online with family pictures perhaps?

UPDATE: There are now 67 cards made. I’m getting so close.