Saturday, April 30, 2016

Party Planning: 4 Year Old Princess Birthday Party

I was so excited when my then three year old said she wanted to have a princess party for her fourth birthday!  I wanted it to me a fairy tale party for her.

Here is the invitation I designed.  The left side is one side of the invite, and the right side is the other side of the invite.  The combination of the colors, the font, and the carriage are just dreamy!

I used a pink striped tablecloth, with a gold runner down the middle.

This chandelier now hangs in her closet!

I placed a pair of dress up shoes on a gold charger I already had.  The favor bags were pink with ribbon attached to the front.  I included star magic wands and pink rock candy in them.  I don't remember what else I put in the bags, I wish I wrote it down!!

I pulled her Little People Castle out as a table decoration, and placed two princesses at the steps (to oversee the party, lol!) 

I think I always say this, but this is one of my favorite cakes!  I ordered it with the gold banner and roses, and then I added the horse and carriage to the top.  I served it on pink damask paper plates, with pink and gold napkins (similar and similar) a and purple ombre striped wooden forks.


Drinks were  pink lemonade and water.  Served in these purple striped paper cups.  The birthday girl had a special princess goblet.  Paper straws can be found here, milk bottles here, and yarn from the craft store.

Snacks were princess goldfish crackers, which I just happen to run across during a Target shopping trip.  I couldn't believe my luck!  Also, chocolate covered pretzels with sprinkles, and popcorn clusters.

Her birthday is in October, which is an iffy weather time.  Sometimes it can still be in the 100s, and sometimes it can be cold and rainy!  This year happened to be a comfortable temperature, so the kids were able to play outside.  That is always great, but the games we played were adaptable for inside, just in case.

My girls love to help with crafts.  They don't come out pinworthy, but I love that they participated in the creation of it.  I had them paint one foam board green, and another pink.  I then painted a frog prince on the green board, and a mirror handle with aluminum foil for the mirror on the other board.

I then printed lips and cut them out.

We played "Pin the Kiss on the Frog Prince".  Since the girls were so little, we did not blindfold anyone.

I cut a hole in the aluminum foil, and wrote, "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall..."  Each child stuck their face in, and I snapped a picture of it.  I used the pictures as their thank you cards!

Finally, we used a magic wand to play "hot potato".

This was a fun party, my princess really enjoyed herself!

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Birdhouse: Little Sister Big Girl Room

I recently took you on a tour of our middle child's new big girl bedroom.  Now I'm going to share the redesign of our youngest daughter's room into a big girl room.  Here is the Pinspiration board I put together for her room.  Her middle name is "Rose", so I went with a garden inspired room.  Please note that none of these are affiliate links.

The first piece I found for her room was the headboard.  I fell in love with this the second I laid eyes on it.  It reminds me of a gate leading to a secret garden.

Similar options here and here, and don't forget that you can always paint it to get the color that goes with your room!

Mr. Perfect found the bedding at Target.  I absolutely love the tiny flower print on the sheets!  Target does not have this bedding anymore, but I found some on eBay.

I could have easily made this piece.  A branch and some twine would work just fine!  There are handmade items on Etsy, and I found this one at Urban Outfitters.

I really dislike sliding closet doors.  I think they weigh down a room.  I removed the doors from both of their closets.  In this room I hung these gray curtains with rosettes, which adds a softness to the room.

I found this pillow cover here.  It adds great texture to her bedding.  And the string lights are from here.  The lights are a perfect soft glow for bedtime.  The only thing I dislike about the string lights is that they run on a battery, and the batteries run out quickly.  I have rechargeable batteries that I am going to try.

This nightstand is one of my favorite things in the room.  It is the perfect shade of gray, and I love the storage it offers.  We are able to keep undergarments, swimsuits, toys, and books in here!  The lamp brings in the wooden element of the garden inspiration.

The tray is from the Target Bullseye Playground.  Her clothes hamper was from Zulily, brand is rockpaperflower.  They bring this brand back, so keep an eye out for it!  I love the handles, it makes grabbing the bag and starting her laundry so easy, when my hands are probably already full!  She also has a matching smaller tote where we keep all of her toys.

I have had the frame, the butterflies, and the key for quite some time.  The gold frame is vintage.  I lined some cardboard with pink floral ribbon, that I actually had leftover from her first birthday party, which was themed Secret Garden!

I created the butterfly canvas based on these DIY instructions, inspired by this Pottery Barn wall art.

The wooden A was a gift from a friend.

The table and chair were a gift from her Great Grandmother.  I believe she found them at Home Goods.

I found this wire bird at Target, and the wire basket with flowers is from Hobby Lobby (similar).

The photo board is from the Target Bullseye Playground.  Like the one in the other room, I'm not a huge fan of the color.  I will paint it...eventually!

Finally, another favorite item, is this "Bloom where you're planted" banner.

I am going to do a canvas cross stitch of a rose that will also go in her room.  It is pretty far down on my list of things to do, and I was too excited, I had to share her room!  I will do a separate post on the artwork.

She loves that she has a big girl room, and her pride in her room makes me smile!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Affiliate Links and Sponsors

I try to mention when I put links in my blog posts that they are not affiliate links.  What is an affiliate link, you ask?  Good quest, time to Google!  It is a link that a blogger uses, and when you click on it, that click is recorded.  The blogger then has an agreement with the company that they either receive a small commission based on purchases made through that click, or they receive a certain amount per click.  Now, these amounts may be small (maybe $0.02 per click!), but if you have a lot of blog traffic, it can add up quickly.  Additionally, you aren't doing any extra work for that money.

What is a sponsor?  Someone who wants their product highlighted.  They may give a blogger a product for free, or pay a blogger to use their product.  Then the blogger reviews it, or links to their website (which may also be an affiliate link).

Some readers dislike both of these things.  They think they are not receiving authentic information, or they feel they are being spammed with ads.  Which is fair.  And they are free to not follow people who use affiliate links or sponsors.

Some readers don't care at all.  They follow the blogger because they like their fashion style, home design, or writing style.  Why not support that person by clicking on their links?  It doesn't cost the reader anything.

For some, it depends on who the blogger is.  If they feel they are getting a legitimate review of a product, then the information is appreciated.  If they feel the blogger is just doing it for the cash, then it can get annoying.

Then, there are the bloggers.  Some bloggers will review (and promote!) anything.  In their normal life, they may not actually believe in or use the product.  But the bills have to get paid!  Some bloggers only promote what they love and use.  Some are in between, they may try a product they wouldn't normally use, but provide an honest (not always positive) review.

Where do I stand on these issues?  Currently, I have no affiliate links or sponsors.  Why?  Because I haven't been approached, ha!  I don't have a hard line policy on this at this time, except for to always tell the truth.  I would definitely consider a sponsor to review a product, as well as use affiliate links.  However, if I don't like the product, I will let you know, and I will say why it doesn't work for me, so that you can make an educated decision.

If I ever have a sponsor or use affiliate links in the future, you will be the first to know about it.  I will lay it out up front at the beginning of the post.  Then you can decide if you want to continue reading.  I use A LOT of links in my posts, but for now, none of them get me any money.  They are all just products/blogs/information I use in my daily life.  I want to share that info with you, and also wanted to make sure you know the whole story.

Happy clicking!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mother's Day 2016 Gift Guide

Mother's Day is May 8th.  That is less than two weeks away, but still plenty of time to find the perfect gift.  Show your wife, mom, grandmother, aunt, daughter, best friend, etc. how much you love and appreciate them with one of these great gift ideas!  Please note, this is not a sponsored post, none of the links are affiliates, these are all just my own suggestions.

For the Fashion Mama

I love this scalloped mint tote by Kate Spade.  The color is perfect for Spring!  And if the Mama you know prefers a neutral, the black bag is a great alternative.  Great price, and still feminine.  Both have tons of room for all of the Mom essentials!


My girlfriend has me hooked on monograms, and I think if you gave your mom this necklace, she will be hooked as well!  Here is another cute option.

For the Tech Mama

I don't have this (yet!), but I hear amazing things about Alexa.  She can play music, answer questions, order items from Amazon, read books, report traffic and weather, provide sports info, control lights, thermostats, garage doors, etc.

Protect her phone, with all of those precious photos of her kids with an Otterbox!  The Otterbox has been a life saver for my phone, and it comes in some really cute designs.  They even partnered with Project Runway to create designs!

For the Girly Mama

Send her flowers!  But not any, dial an impersonal 800 number flowers.  Send her Bouqs.  These flowers are incredible.  They have the always classic roses and tulips, but they also have specialty bouquets.  Double your blooms for just $10 extra.  Right now you can use the code "MDAYWED" for 25% off of your order (delivery must be for Wednesday, May 4th), and their bouquets are selling out very quickly!

I love their peony arrangement, and the farm to table flower bouquets!

You can also get her this beautiful robe, and a lovely scent.  These are sure to make her feel appreciated.

For the Busy Mama

Help this girl get some down time!  Arrange for an Amazon Home Service for her.  Does she need a room painted, something fixed in her house, or help with moving?  I like the House Cleaning option.

Send her some prepped meals.  Freshly is a great service.  They have amazingly healthy, delicious (and all gluten free!) meals that are ready in just two minutes.  She might be able to still eat a hot meal with this kind of gift!

This mug will give her a little pep talk, while she waits for the caffeine to kick in to give her the energy she needs to get everything done.

For the Cooking Mama

This hand mixer is a great alternative if you just want to do a quick batch of whipped cream, or scrambled eggs.  No need to use the heavy duty mixer, although I definitely love that thing.  It also comes in a huge variety of colors!

This tool will make it quick and easy for Mom to made noodles out of a slew of veggies as a pasta alternative.  One of my favorites is zucchini noodles with alfredo sauce.  YUM!

For the Zen Mama

These would also be good for The Busy Mama!  A relaxing bath is the perfect way to unwind at the end of a long day.  Help her out by giving her a luxurious bath bomb or bubble bar from Lush.  These are my absolute favorite thing to add to my baths.  Tip:  you can cut the bubble bars into quarters to make them last for four baths!  They do not recommend this for the bath bombs, so I haven't tried it.

           Source                                                                               Source

While she soaks in her bath, she can read this book to discover her authentic self.  From the Amazon editorial review:  "Sample topics include gratitude, harmony, self-nurturing, positive body image...and many's hard to argue with Simple Abundance's earnest admonitions to appreciate life, in all its messy imperfect excellence."

For the Fit Mama

I had a friend who called yoga pants her "never seen yoga pants", and it makes me laugh every time!  Alo Yoga pants definitely inspire me to actually do yoga.  I'm partial to these - Goddess Legging!  They come in a variety of fun colors.

I carry this water bottle with me wherever I go!  I love it, and cannot wait to pick up a few more.  I love the Galaxy, Shimmer, and Wood Collections.  Target carries some cute designs, too!

I hope this helps you find the perfect gifts for the important moms in your life.  And if you're a mom, don't be afraid treat yo'self!  Happy Mother's Day!