Sunday, July 20, 2014

Our Wedding At The Heritage Museum Of Orange County

This week Matt and I are celebrating our 6 year wedding anniversary! Since I've been lazy lately, and don't have any recipes or craft projects to post, I thought I'd take a little trip down memory lane and share some photos from our 2008 wedding at the Heritage Museum of Orange County

I had a lot of fun planning our "big day" and I swear that after it was over I went through wedding planning withdrawals! As an interior designer, I took it on the same way I would take on a design project and it felt very natural to me. I did pretty much everything from organizing the vendors and writing the day's timeline, to supervising the set-up on the morning of the wedding. And of course there were a few DIY projects thrown in there. To say the least, I was an extremely hands-on bride. I know not all brides would want the same experience, but I am a bit of a control freak and to be honest, I loved every minute of it! 

Luckily, my younger sister is getting married next summer and I will be Matron of Honor, so I will have a few chances to get my party planning fix! I am so excited for her and I have already started gathering ideas for a bridal shower and bachelorette party.  I have a feeling that this is the first of several wedding related posts to come in the next year. Enjoy the photos! At the bottom I included a vendor list in case anyone is interested. 


Resource/Vendor List

Transportation (1935 Rolls Royce): Classic Limos
Catering: Jay's Catering
Wedding Cake: Rossmoor Pastries
Major Rentals: Signature Party Rentals
Centerpiece Rentals: Baker Party Rentals
Florist: French Buckets
String Quartet: Angelica Strings
Event Planner/Designer/Coordinator: Me :)
Note: The wicker furniture used in the cocktail area was acquired from a various places and stored in my garage up until the wedding. Most of it was from yard sales or picked up for free and needed a lot of TLC. I had all the pieces painted and custom cushions and pillows made for each one. After the wedding I was actually able to sell most of it and make some money back.


Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baby Update 39 Weeks: Waiting For Our Watermelon

Well, I'm 39 weeks and the waiting game has officially begun. I am definitely ready for this baby boy to arrive soon. You can tell by the photos that I've pretty much blown up in the past two months and needless to say, this mini-watermelon is getting very heavy!


My hospital bag is packed and pre-registration is complete. I've been staying busy putting the finishing touches in the nursery and trying to keep up with Olivia, who is as active as ever. We spent this past week on the beach with my parents, which was super relaxing and a good way to distract me from the anticipation of having a new baby arrive.


Thanks for sticking with me through all these updates! Hopefully, next time, it will be with our baby boy in my arms. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Pregnant Lady's Summer Essentials + $500 Giveaway!

At 35 weeks pregnant, summer hasn't exactly been the most welcomed season this year. Olivia was born in May, so I got off fairly easy the first time around. This time is a little different and at times I feel like a hot and uncomfortable mess all day long. Here are a few life savors that are keeping me cool, calm, and comfortable in these stifling temperatures. 


1) Personal mini fan with water mister from Target  2) Ultra-long wearing toxin free nail polish by Zoya  3) Glade Hawaiian Breeze candle - makes you feel like you're on vacation even when you're not  4) To help you sleep - Lavender Chamomile lotion and body mist aromatherapy from Bath & Body Works  5) Quick & easy popsicles with the Zoku Popsicle Maker - because when it's hot, you need frozen treats and fast! 6) Simply Balanced naturally flavored fruit snacks - yum!  7) La Croix 100% natural sparkling water  8) Watermelon Smuggler T-shirt  - just cause it's cute  9) Light weight knit shorts with elastic waist band - these are really comfortable!


Now for a really great giveaway....


Welcome to the $500 Fun in the Sun Cash Giveaway!
We have joined forces with an amazing group of bloggers to bring you this great giveaway. One lucky person will win $500 cash.

Enter to win $500 cash via PayPal.
Complete the tasks below to earn entries into this giveaway.
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Ends at 11:59pm ET on July 15th, 2014.
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dear Olivia, You Are Extraordinary



With only a few weeks left to go, it’s been easy getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of preparing for our new addition. I'm guilty of being a bit of an over planner, so my mind has definitely been focused on making sure we have everything we need for baby number two’s arrival. Last week, while taking a break from decorating the nursery and cutting tags off dozens of newborn outfits, I sat outside and watched Olivia play with her little toy animals. 


She has grown particularly fond of her animals these days and it seems like they are all she wants to play with.  She loves to bring them everywhere we go, give them bubble baths, and line them up in long parades. I swear that between my husband and I, we help make at least 3 to 4 animal parades everyday around here! Lately she has started to engage in pretend play, and she makes her animals talk and sing to one another. It may seem like a really small thing, but it’s completely precious to watch. 


Sitting outside with her that day reminded that I need to take more breaks from planning and preparing. I can prepare for the new baby or plan a perfect play date all I want, but the really extraordinary moments are found in the simple daily activities we do together. It is amazing to see how Olivia is becoming her own little person. The fact that she is starting to make her opinions known and voice her preferences makes me appreciate her so much, and makes me that much more excited to get to know our next tiny bundle.


This month I partnered with Stanford Children's Health and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford to create a short video that celebrates a few of the things that make Olivia extraordinary. Stanford Children's Health and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford has been the top-ranked children's hospital in Northern California for over a decade and they too believe that what makes your kid extraordinary isn't just the epic stuff. It's the little things. The small moments that maybe only you see and quietly celebrate everyday.

I had a lot of fun creating this video of Olivia and you can check it out here. Stanford Children's Health and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford think that your kid is extraordinary too. Show them how much you enjoy every moment together by creating a special video of your own.

Thanks for reading! 
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

5 Good Books For A New Big Sister

Everyone keeps asking me if Olivia is ready to be a big sister and my short answer is always yes. But the truth is, I don't think she's gonna really understand what's happening until we actually bring her new brother home from the hospital.


In hopes of preparing her a little, we have been talking everyday about what it's going to be like having a baby brother around, and we've been reading a lot of books about becoming a big sister. Here are a few of my favorite books about getting ready for a new addition to the family. Some of these books can be applied to a big sister or a big brother and a lot of them have companions that are specifically written for a big brother as well.

I'm A New Big Sister is a cute story that will help a big sister understand all the different ways she can be a part of a new baby's life. It teaches what an important role being a big sister is and reminds her how special she is too. The last few pages of the book are written for parents and there are a few ideas on how to help a big sister adjust to having a new baby in the family. This book does have a version written for big brothers as well.






What to Expect When the New Baby Comes Home is a great reference book for little ones who are about to become a big sister or brother. This book doesn't really have a story but it does go page by page answering simple questions a child may have like, "What do new babies look like?", "What do new babies eat?", and "Why do new babies cry so much?" I would definitely recommend pre-reading this book before you read it aloud. Depending on the age of your child, you might choose to modify some of the text. I know that for Olivia (2 years old) a lot of the concepts are pretty advanced and it can be too much information. But the questions and illustrations give us a jumping off point to start a conversation. And then I can tell her the things that are appropriate for her age. 





Hello In There: A Big Sister's Book of Waiting is a fun lift the flap book about the excitement a soon to be big sister might feel while waiting for a new baby to arrive. In this adorable story big sister is so eager to start her new role that she is already sticking close to her mom so she can sing loudly for the baby to hear and tell baby about all the great things waiting outside. On each page you can lift a flap on mommy's belly and see cute illustrations of what baby is up to. 


You're A Big Sister is a rhyming book that will teach big sister what to expect when the new baby comes and reassure her that even though things will be changing, they will be changing for the better. This is one of Olivia's favorites from the list. It's simple, sweet and the illustrations are really charming. 



Baby On The Way not only talks about what life is going to be like as an older sibling, but also what to expect while mommy is pregnant. In addition, many of the pages have side notes with cute activity ideas a new big sister or brother can do to help mom out and welcome the new baby. I like that this book covers a little bit about what will happen when mom and dad are away in the hospital delivering the baby. Olivia will be staying with her grandparents for a few nights and that is also something I am trying to prepare her for. This is another book I would recommend looking over before you share it with your kids. There may be some text you choose to modify or leave out depending on the age of your child.



And One More Just for Fun...


I was almost ready to publish this post when my mom showed up with this adorable book. It's so cute I just couldn't leave it off this list. You're Getting A Baby Brother is a humorous and rhyming board book that explores the good and not so good (but totally realistic) aspects of having a baby brother. "Your brother will poop. He will spit. He will cry. And you'd better watch out or he'll pee in your eye!" The end is very sweet, and there is a special place in the back where you can add a few special thoughts and your own photo of big sister and baby brother. 

If you know of any other good books about becoming an older sibling let me know! I would love to check out a few others. After all, we still have 4 more weeks to prepare! 

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 2nd Birthday Party

It's been a month and I'm finally getting around to sharing a few photos from Olivia's 2nd birthday party. At 2 years old she is more active than ever and keeping her occupied, along with preparing for our new arrival, has taken top priority around here. We've been so busy that I wasn't even planning on having anything other than a small family gathering for Olivia's birthday, but a strong case of mommy guilt took over and I decided that we couldn't go without celebrating with some of our best friends as well.


Mickey and Minnie Mouse are very popular around here so a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse party seemed like a no brainer. I scoured Pinterest for ideas and then created her invitation using Picmonkey.


I kept it pretty simple, compared to my normal routine of constantly overdoing it. Most of the decorations were store bought just to keep it easy for me, but I did include a few of my own DIY creations, like this Mickey Mouse garland


And this glove balloon centerpiece, which I am planning on sharing a tutorial for very soon.


But the highlight for me was watching Olivia eat these adorable Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cupcakes that were made by Katella Deli & Bakery


As you can see, they were mm, mm good!


Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mommy & Me Activity: We Love Sportball

About six weeks ago, despite my ever growing belly and increasing immobility, I signed Olivia and myself up for a parent/toddler Sportball class. It was a pretty challenging third trimester activity for me, but I have to say that of all the "Mommy and Me" classes I've done with Olivia, so far Sportball has been my favorite. 


I signed up for Sportball through our community's park and recreation program. It seems to me that there aren't as many programs for kids under the age of three, so I was excited to see they offered a variety of classes for younger toddlers as well. 



Olivia and I participated in the Parent/Child Sportball Junior program which is a 45 minute class held once a week for six weeks. The activities are meant to introduce little ones to basic athletic skills and help them develop coordination and confidence in their abilities. Each week we focused on a different sport. We covered baseball, basketball, football, soccer, hockey, and volleyball.


Our coach, Coach Lori, was great and Olivia absolutely loved her! She was always really motivating and positive and it was clear that she had experience working with little kids. Olivia was the youngest in the class and some of the skills were challenging for her. Coach Lori was able to help modify the activities based on her ability. 

                                        

I like that Sportball is noncompetitive and focuses on building skills and self-assurance. Even though the class was only 45 minutes long, I think that Olivia got a lot out of the time. The Sportsball program is very structured and she benefited not only from learning some basic physical skills, but also from simply being asked to continually stay on task and follow directions. It was definitely a hands on class, so getting good photos was difficult. Most of the activities required my help. I managed to get a short video of Olivia chasing after a runaway hula hoop, one of the activities that the kids were asked to do on their own. 


Each class ended with circle time, which included learning a fun Sportball chant and receiving a much deserved sticker. At the end of our six week session Olivia got her very first ribbon for participation and completing the class. I can't lie. I was a proud mama!


With baby boy coming in just another month or so and temperatures reaching over 100 degrees this time of year, I doubt we will sign up for the Sportball summer session. However, I would love to participate in this program again in the future. Perhaps once I am settled with two kiddos I will be able to sign us up for the fall! Not every program is right for every child, but I would definitely recommend Sportball to anyone who has an active kid that likes to be outside and running around!

Have you participated in any Parent/Child classes with your kiddo? I'm curious about what has been working for you.

Thanks for reading!

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