Friday Favorites- Haircut Edition

Friday, August 30, 2013
Happy Friday!  

TGIF.  Did anyone else think this was a long week?  

Still, I have some fun favorites this week, so let's get to it! 

New Favorite:

I've done it.  I have succumbed to the 'mom bob.'  

But, here's the irony: I didn't do it because it is easier than long hair, precisely the opposite.  My long hair was too easy to toss into a bun  My husband could probably count on one hand the number of times my hair has been down and styled for a full day... Not cute.  

So I found a new hairdresser, asked her to channel Giuliana Rancic's new mommy hair, and said bye-bye to 6 inches. 

Hello, mom bob. 

Baby's Favorite Outing: Petsmart

We have three furry babies that require frequent trips to Petsmart.  Fortunately, it has become the easiest errand to run with Lu.  Who needs a zoo when you can spend a few minutes by the fish, birds, and gross rodent creatures?  Free entertainment and I get to teach Lu animal sounds in front of strangers.

Here is Lu pointing out a big white bird.  

Fav New Drink: 

I hosted a little get together after the first day back for my teacher friends.  I threw together a pretty cocktail with what I had in the house, and it was pretty darn delicious!  In honor of the gathering, I'm calling it the Back-to-School-Tini:

Mix 2 tbsp simple syrup, 6 sliced strawberries, 1 sliced nectarine- let sit in a pitcher for one hour.  Add a good pour (3-4 ounces?) of Midori and 1 bottle sparkling wine (I used Cava).  

This would make an easy and refreshing addition to any Labor Day BBQ.  Enjoy! 

Back to School (at home) Basics

Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Can you believe it???  It is back to school season again.

Since I am a teacher-at-heart, I still have a soft spot for the first week of school.  The anticipation, excitement, and time spent planning that 'first day' outfit is special for both students and teachers.

I also tend to think of this time of year as the best time to re-evaluate organization at home.

Lu may not be heading off to school quite yet, but I have found a few things that can do double-duty, catering for the needs of a toddler now and a little scholar later on.

Back to School (at home) Basics

1. Sweater for the playground
2. Easel
3. Coat/Hat Rack
4. Chalk
5. Boys' Snakeskin Backpack
6. Girls' Retro Lunchbox
7. Magnetic Bamboo Organization Board

In my past life (which I haven't really talked about much since this is sparrow at home, not sparrow before home) I was a high school teacher.  I absolutely, truly love my profession and 100% plan to go back once the days of having a youngster at home are over.  That said, I feel incredibly fortunate to be home with Lu and wouldn't trade it for anything... but I digress! :)

Couch Facelift

Sunday, August 25, 2013
Or this post could easily be titled "why I should make new pillow covers every 3 months."  Honestly, I should, because it makes the room feel so fresh.  

Here is a look at my family room pillows for the last few years (ie. forever).   I like the mix of prints, but the golden paisley?  I'm over it. 

Remember when I scored some fabric sample squares on clearance at Joann's? Some of them were finally put to good use and I threw together some new pillow covers.  I had also found a geometric-tribal-esque print on clearance for $6 per yard.  I spent a total of $18 on fabric (and I didn't even use all of it!) and here is the before and after update:

I love using two complimentary fabrics for the two sides of a pillow because then you can flip it over for an easy change. 

Chenille chevron regularly $57 per yard... Muuuuch better than gold paisley. :)

Not surprisingly, the little one was eager to be in my 'after' shot.  

Friday Favorites- Girls Day in the Ci-Tay Edition

Friday, August 23, 2013
That's right, mama was out on the town earlier this week! :)  I spent a day with two amazing girlfriends in NYC, and practically everything about the day was perfect, so this week's favorite things are coming to you courtesy of the big apple.

Fav #1: behind-the-scenes TV experience

This was totally new to me- I've never been on the set of a tv show taping before.  We managed to get tickets to the VERY FIRST (!!!) taping of Bethenny Frankel's new talk show bethenny.  I can't say anything about the show, or the set, but I can say that it was eye-opening to see what goes on behind the camera.  I had no idea how many many many people would be running around on set!  Truly choreographed chaos. 

Here we are after the show outside the CBS Broadcast Center. 

You can get tickets too (they are free!) if you go Here.

Fav #2: Tuna Tartar Tacos at Stone Rose Lounge

I love raw tuna, but I love mexican food even more... why hadn't I thought of this?  

Yup, even more delicious than they look. 

The sangria and the view weren't bad either...

Fav #3: Baby in a beer tub

When mommy is away, the baby will play... in a beer party tub?

My wonderful husband worked from home and watched Lu while I was gone for the day.  Why bother setting up the blow-up baby pool when you have a beer party tub?  His thoughts exactly.  

Baby (and a lot of stuff) on Board

Monday, August 19, 2013
Two things baby-related happened in our car this weekend.  (Seriously, this just turned into a themed post without any effort!)

First, I changed over our baby car kit to better fit Lu's bigger clothing size and the impending cool weather.  

Baby car kit??  When Lu was an infant I had a fear of multiple diaper explosions happening while running errands, so I repeatedly stashed spare diapers and clothes in different spots in the car.  So not practical.  I got the Diono car organizer which has worked great to keep the baby stuff better contained in the car.  I can also switch it between cars in 3.2 seconds.  

Here is a look at what I keep in the car for our little one:

1 set clothes
1 hooded sweater
2 diapers
Travel-size pack of wipes
1/2 travel-size first aid kit (the other half is in the diaper bag)
Travel size boogie wipes, sunscreen, butt paste
1 new book
1 old favorite book
1 Snack bar (longtime fav is Ella's Kitchen)

All of this fits neatly into the Diono organizer.  

Much better than squirreling away stuff in the glove compartment! 

I also keep a plastic grocery bag and changing pad in the back of the car for emergency in-car diaper changes.  Because you never know...

Second car-related thing, we decided to turn Lu's car seat to forward-facing this weekend.  Yes, she just turned one...but she is the size of a two-year-old, which is the basic age (really weight) suggestion for turning the seat around.  She looked so cramped I don't think it was any safer to keep her rear-facing.  In case you are wondering, we have the Britax Marathon and I love love love it.

Lu's first ride turned around was into Boston, and she giggled for a good 15 minutes.  Apparently, the new view of our heads was hilarious! :)

While in Boston she also took her first selfie. 

More details on our weekend excursions in a bit!  Happy Monday! :)

Friday Favorites- First Birthday Edition

Friday, August 9, 2013
Happy Friday!

I cannot believe how quickly this week flew by- between pre/post/actual day birthday celebrations it has been a busy one!  But, busy can still include time for a little fun in the sun! 

Probably not a shocker that this week's favorites revolve around our beautiful baby's first birthday.  (Can I even call her a baby anymore?!)  Hope this shows how every last detail of this special week with Lu is being savored. :)

Favorite New Tradition:  The Birthday Book

You can find many variations on this idea on Pinterest and Etsy.  I knew I wanted one that wasn't too daunting (like her unfinished baby book...) that would be an easy way to take a snapshot of her at every age.  So I made my own using a blank journal I'd picked up while pregnant (that pregnancy diary idea? didn't happen.) and printed out the same fill-in-the-blank statements for 18 years to come.  Then I cut and pasted into the journal and Lu now has a birthday book!  Sure it could look more polished as a full-size scrapbook, but if I didn't put it together right.this.minute. it wouldn't happen.  Who's with me??

Here are the pages before I filled them in and added her invitation and a photo.   

Favorite Birthday Food:  Sprinkle Pancakes!

I might be starting another tradition here too.  ;)  For Lu's birthday breakfast I made sprinkle pancakes- so colorful and festive!  As always, she had no problem mowing fact, she basically spent the rest of the day eating.  

Loved every bite! 

Favorite DIY Birthday Nostalgia:

You know those monthly stickers that we all have and LOVE?  I used my monthly pictures to put together a big collage for the first birthday party.  

We've left it up all week because it is so amazing (heartwrenching/exciting) to look at how much Lu has changed over the last year.  Simple supplies: cardboard box tops, wrapping paper, ribbon, clothes pins, and photos.  

And a naked helper...

Do it- it is so much better than flipping through the photos on your iPhone screen. :)

And let's just finish with this- the day Lu becomes a toddler and she rips the sticker off... Here we go! 

First Birthday DIY wreath

Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The first DIY decoration I made for the little one's first birthday party was a wreath for our front door.  Aside from the mandatory balloons on the mailbox, a door decoration is the first glimpse of a party- better make it good! :)

I did some searching for inspiration on Pinterest, saw some cute ideas, but decided in the end I'd like something that I would be able to use later in the year either in her room or the playroom... Here is what I made! 


MDF floral wreath base
Hot glue gun
Large faux flowers (to match your color scheme)
Large monogram letter
"Happy Birthday" scrapbook sticker set

This is as basic (and inexpensive!) as the rest of my DIY projects- I promise! 

Start by wrapping your ribbon around the wreath base.  I planned to use 3 large faux flowers so I only wrapped 2/3 of the wreath.  Use a dab of hot glue to attach the ends of your ribbon to the base.  Attach the flowers using hot glue in an arrangement that you like. 

The glitter letter 'L' that I found at my local craft store was pre-drilled with a hole.  I used the hole to string a second piece of ribbon and tied it to the wreath.  Here is what it looked like as a simple monogram wreath:

Now, to birthday-ify the wreath, add some adhesive scrapbook stickers.  The adhesive is not permanent, so I plan to remove them after the birthday week and hang the plain monogram version on the door to Lu's room.  

You could change it up with a new hanging number each year instead of a monogram.  Hope this inspires you! 

First Birthday Bash

Monday, August 5, 2013
Happy Monday!  Our little Lu turns ONE on Wednesday so we celebrated with first birthday festivities on Saturday.  It was so much fun to see her surrounded by loving family and friends!  She was such a happy good girl and didn't get overwhelmed at all during the party- what more can you ask for?!

I used paper straws and this invitation for my purple & orange party scheme.  I didn't want a themey-theme for her first birthday.  

We wanted the party to be fun for kids and adults alike (isn't a first birthday really for the adults anyway?), and with a perfect weather forecast we planned for the festivities to all be outside.  Sand table, mini-badminton, and croquet made for a real collection of lawn games.  Here are a few pics of our relaxed backyard set-up:

I used minimal decorations- mainly flowers, balloons, tissue poms, and colorful tablecloths.  Why try to compete with the sunshiny natural decor? :)

I also added a few fun DIY details that I will share over the course of this week.  

The simplest one that Lu enjoyed the most was her "1" Smash Cake.  Her very own chocolate cake?!  Of course she was thrilled!

I made sure to take off her party dress before it got messy.

Needless to say, after a week of party prep and a long party day our Sunday at home looked like this... 

Hope you had an equally festive and fun weekend! 

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