Paper jewelry, and also another reason I love my job.

As I'm gearing up to post my first giveaway EVER (so excited!), I wanted to share the spoils of our last giveaway over at the TomKat Studio. One VERY lucky winner walked away with a $100 credit for Blush Envy, where she sells amazing jewelry made out of paper.

You heard me right. PAPER. 

I didn't believe it when I read that she made her pieces from such a fragile textile, BUT THEN. I went over to Kim's house last week and got this lovely PINK surprise that I haven't been able to take off my finger since!

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Check out that packaging- gorgeous! Many thanks to Brandy for thinking of me when she sent the lovely goodies over to Kim!

Hop on over to her shop and show her some love by purchasing one of her handmade treasures! Or feel free to pick a fave and put it on your wish list. Wouldn't these rings make lovely bridesmaid's gifts or a fun gift for a mom-to-be to make her feel pretty? No doubt my dainty and timeless piece will be handed down to LJ when she's old enough to know not to put it in her mouth or play with it in the mud. In other words, she can wear it on her wedding day 🙂

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Cloth Diapering: Peepoo edition.

Yes, I did just coin a new term. It means, "a slippery, runny, brown, stinky mixture typically found in a diaper; a hybrid of pee and poo." Genius, is it not?

And also, I KNOW! How very Sarah Palin of me. Or Shakespeare. Or whoever you want to credit with making up new words in the English language.

And yes, I still love my Fuzzibunz.

But I learned an important lesson when it comes to cloth diapering in one-size diapers: MAKE SURE THEY'RE PROPERLY ADJUSTED. If the leg holes are too big, you WILL eventually (deservedly) be punished with clothes covered in pee, poo, or any aforementioned combination of the two.

This happened to me yesterday while I was standing in line to check out at SAS Fabrics in Tempe. Which also happens to be one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon- crafty mamas, have you BEEN there yet?!- but I digress. My daughter disagrees wholeheartedly which apparently was why she decided to baptize me in her diarrhea. It came out of her diaper and ran down my shirt and into my shorts. YES, INTO MY SHORTS. She somehow managed to transfer her peepoo from her shorts to my shorts.

One would expect that if one would find human waste of any variety in her shorts, it better well be her human waste.

Don't say I didn't warn you, because apparently, this isn't always the case. How LJ accomplished that feat will forever remain a mystery, but let me assure you, I was in awe.

"You ate an entire wheel of cheese? I'm not even mad. I'm amazed." -Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

"You ate an entire jar of applesauce, and now your peepoo is no longer in your diaper, but is now in my shorts? I'm not even mad. I'm amazed." -Me, Real Life

That being said, I will forever remain an advocate for cloth diapering. This was not a cloth diaper fail; it was user error. This is the first time that anything of the sort has happened since we began cloth diapering, and I promise you that if LJ were still in disposable diapers that not only would I require a whole new wardrobe, this would have happened at least 8932754837603276980 times (as opposed to once), and peepoo comparable to the volume that shot out of her today would have left an EPIC mess. I still love our cloth diapers despite the fact that changing that diaper on the (leather) backseat of my Buick on a hot (and humid) Arizona afternoon in the dead of summer and having to keep it in the car the whole way home in rush hour traffic wasn't exactly a picnic (it wouldn't have been a big deal had I not forgotten the wet bag). Enduring the drive home in an outfit that made stripping down to my skivvies look like the better option in spite of the lack of tinting on my car's windows didn't even faze me. I would still advise any new parent to do it if they are weighing their options- I had the same reservations everyone has (namely THE POOP)- but it's so easy, and your wallet and your little one will be happier for it.

Anyway, lesson learned. Linnea isn't the only one who needs a spare change of clothes in the diaper bag. And when you are THAT mom in the store, with the shrieking kid on her hip wearing clothes freshly covered in diaper contents, you absolutely have to laugh at yourself.

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Our little chef.

Before Linnea was born, my mom and Amma and I went to this little craft fair at Hissyfits Resale in Central Phoenix (strangely, they don't have a Web site, but they do have a Facebook page) where we found a booth selling teeny, tiny newborn aprons. YES, I SAID NEWBORN APRONS. Because clearly every baby needs an apron. And every mom-to-be is going to be a sucker who absolutely has to have one.

This would be why.

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Linnea has been a rock star about eating her solids. So far, she loves her some sweet potatoes, pears and carrots, but more than stuffing her face with it, she loves to wear her food. The apron serves as a full-body bib- and goodness knows she needs one!

Happy 4th of July and a fun giveaway.

What a day we're celebrating today- the 234th birthday of the United States of America. Let us never forget those who are risking their lives to defend our freedoms- and let us never take those freedoms for granted or allow those in power to take them from us… no matter how hard they try. Whatever you do today and however you celebrate, be safe and have fun with your loved ones celebrating this wonderful country we live in! Proud to don some RW&B today!

On another note, Project Nursery is hosting an AWESOME giveaway on their site! TKS hosted a giveaway last week for the same nifty, crafty little machine, and I am so excited that I am eligible to enter at PN and may just get my excited little paws on the Silhouette! Check out what it can do:

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Sample designs

That's just the tip of the iceberg… the possibilities are literally endless! Its name isn't just a clever gimmick, either… it actually will cut silhouettes based on a photo you take! I LOVE THIS!

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So hop on over to Project Nursery for your chance to win- I'm entering in every form and fashion possible! I MUST have one!

My rainbow 30th birthday bash!

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In case this picture doesn't say it all…

I had a totally fabulous 30th birthday party! It was so wonderful having my family and many of my friends there to celebrate with me. It meant so much to have everyone there, and I missed everyone who couldn't make it.

It was a lot of fun putting together all the details! Because I have always loved rainbows, and my favorite collection at the TomKat Studio is the Rainbow Party theme, I researched colorful inspiration and decor, and here's what I came up with. I only had my point-and-shoot, so please pardon the less-than-worthy quality of these photos! 

The dessert table:

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Rainbow Twizzlers and the Cake Pops I made a la Bakerella. I switched up the red velvet for a rich devil's food instead.
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This is my Amma's wine cake: AMAZINGNESS ON A PLATE and my special request for my birthday. It's my favorite cake by far and it was a huge hit at the party! I dressed it up with a rainbow of handmade tissue paper flowers, a craft I found in the Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts:
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Inspired by Amy Atlas's InStyle feature– which was a super exciting time for us at TKS as it included some labels designed by Kim– as well as the 107-degree weather, I included a sundae bar on the dessert table. My favorite combo? Chocolate ice cream with caramel sauce and sea salt.
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I fell in love with this rainbow of glass bottles my mom and I found at HomeGoods:
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Made a whole rainbow of poms- these will come in handy for future parties as well! Have a color theme? There's a pom for that.
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Made a rainbow tutu for Linnea. Somehow it ended up on Hanalei halfway through the evening:
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I couldn't resist these silly moustaches… and neither could Ryan and Alex. How much do you love her skirt? We went on a little thrift shopping excursion a few weeks ago and she found it at Goodwill. It was originally a dress and she turned it into a skirt- fabulous!
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My goofy husband: who needs a moustache when you can have ridiculous eyebrows instead?
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My dad made it to my party. That made my whole night.
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We asked people to bring either their favorite beer or their favorite pot luck item, so we provided our family's all-time favorite sandwiches: Mum Mum's ham buns. It's a secret family recipe, so no, you can't have it! 😉
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The vuvuzelas… ha!
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And, of course, who can forget my favorite part of the entire party? Linnea dressed up in her rainbow tutu and bow! She couldn't possibly be any cuter, just FYI.
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Thanks to my hubby, my mom and my Amma for helping put everything together. And thanks to everyone who came from near and far. It was such a blessing getting to celebrate with you!

Now that the house is back to normal, I'll begin planning Cody and Linnea's birthday party… 99% sure I have the theme for that one picked out! But I have nearly six months to plan this one, so I think I'll relax for a little while 🙂

Silhouette.

Once of my favorite Etsy shops, Le Papier Studio, specializes in "Elegant Silhouette Creations" ranging from wall art to pillows and even necklaces. I'm still working on redecorating my office on a very slim budget, and have a bunch of frames from Goodwill that I plan to paint white and fill with family photos for a wall gallery. Then I came up with the idea to make my own silhouette of Linnea to add to the collection. I painted the frame and mat white, traced a photo of her that I took while she was sleeping, cut it out of black paper using an Xacto knife, and put it on a beautiful piece of pink damask scrapbook paper. It was a fun project that turned out beautifully, although if you want an expert to do it, head on over to the Le Papier Studio and request a custom order. I personally want a necklace! Mother's day gift, perhaps? (HINT, HINT.)

So I turned this (Awwww…):

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Into this!

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The office is still a work-in-progress, but I'm wrapping it up and will be posting pictures in the near future!

Easter dresses.

Having a baby girl is license to start wearing cute matching outfits again- something I used to love doing when I was little, and would probably still do if it wasn't completely ridiculous to do as an adult (as in two adults wearing matching outfits- and not because they're on the same sports team). A while back, I set out to make this shirt into a cute dress for Linnea:

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And it suddenly dawned on me that it must become her first Easter dress! And not only that, but it is imperative that we have matching dresses! 

Because I can. So what.

I dug through my fabric stash for the perfect springtime floral print, and happened upon a cute woven micro-floral in soft cotton with tiny blue, lavender and PINK (yay) flowers on it, one of many fabric cuts given to me by my dear Amma. I cut a pattern using a little dress Linnea already had, grabbed some black binding to match the tank top that would serve as the top of my dress, and voila! Matching mommy/baby Easter dresses!

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Please forgive the quality of the picture- it was a cell phone camera shot.

I had some leftover fabric from the tank top, which was perfect for a little headband to match her dress. I sewed on some fabric yoyos and satin-covered buttons for anthropologie-style detail. It was super easy, and although Linnea is growing so fast that she probably won't even wear the dress again, I can still rock mine and she can keep rocking the headband 🙂 Another great thing about making our own dresses? It didn't cost a penny!

Happy Easter, everyone! He is risen, indeed!

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p.s. I was laying on my parents' couch in a food-induced coma today when the ground started rockin' and rollin' beneath me. Trippy. Swinging chandeliers and everything. Never experienced an earthquake before so I thought it was kind of a big deal!