Monday, November 30, 2009

Elmo & Cookie Monster Birthday Invitations

I wanted to wait until all of the guests had a chance to receive their invitations before I posted a picture of them on here... the party is a week away now! My sister helped me make these invitations using construction paper/cardstock, glue dots, and a bunch of various circle cutters and punches. They were lots of fun and pretty easy! The original idea is from a blog post by Couture Parties.
I plan to visit Canuck Amusements and a few dollar stores this week to pick up the decor and goodie bag stuff.
My mom helped me bake letter B and number 2 cookies today {this Sesame Street birthday party is brought to you by...}. My oh so helpful sister has offered to make the Elmo cake for me since I likely won't have the time {and don't have the skill either}. The rest of the menu will likely consist of platters from the grocery store since I want to enjoy the party rather than spend it in the kitchen!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Calgary's Next Top Event Planner

This will be a short post again today... my beautiful sister and I just discovered yesterday that there is a contest going on in Calgary called Calgary's Next Top Event Planner, so we are going to be focusing on a submission this weekend since the deadline is Monday!

Wish us luck!

Oh, and there are only 4 weeks left until Christmas today... just in case you wanted to add a little stress to your weekend as well! ;)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I know that Canadian Thanksgiving is long past now, but in honor of American Thanksgiving tomorrow {my dad was born in California, and I have family all over the US} I am going to list a few things I am thankful for today:

I am thankful that my family is healthy and safe.

I am thankful that I have good friends.

I am thankful that tonight is my last night of class for this semester, and I get seven weeks off before the next classes start. {Wish me luck with the verbal presentation I have to give tonight, I am not one to get up and speak in front of others often.}

And I am thankful that you have taken the time to read my blog, whether this is your first visit or you check in regularly!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Love You Too, Mommy!

I don't think there is anything more rewarding for a parent then when your little one expresses their love to you! This weekend Baby B's favourite thing to say was "I love you too!" So, of course, hubby and I capitalized on this by telling him that we loved him a million times a day just so we could hear his sweet little reply! C'mon, it won't be that far down the road before he will pull out the "I don't love you!" in response to us telling him that he can't have or do something that he wants {just like the little princess seated at the table next to us at the Keg last night yelled at her mommy}.

Of course, he also said "I love this song!" while we were driving in the car listening to the Black Eyed Peas, so I suppose he doesn't completely understand the meaning of the words he is saying yet. But, still, it is exciting to watch him comprehend the world around him, and his own emotions. In the last few weeks Baby B has also said, "I so happy," "Don't be sad, mommy," and the best one yet, "Calm down, mommy." {Guess I need to work on my road rage...} We have not only noticed that he is learning the words to express how he feels or thinks someone else is feeling, but he has also become increasingly sensitive and moody as well. The great big quivering lip has been showing up a lot more often, and the angry face has made a few appearances as well. Terrible Twos and Threes here we come!

Guess I need to work on toughening up a bit! My goodness it's hard to stay upset when they are putting on those too gosh darn cute faces, and throwing out their Kid's Say the Darndest Things worthy quips! I often melt into a fit of giggles while disciplining him....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Spotted at Hostess with the Mostess

It's no secret that I love planning parties, but truly Jenn Sbranti, founder of Hostess with the Mostess, is in a league of her own. I will forever aspire to catch up with her amazing ideas and trendy designs.

I love that Jenn writes about everything to do with entertaining, from menu planning to decorations. And she is uber talented ~ if you read her bio she has a graphic design background, which is probably why her site looks so fabulous!

Some of my favourite categories on the HWTM Blog are:

Real Parties {where Jenn highlights a real party that a real person like you and me planned}
Free Printables {where Jenn shares her incredible graphic design talents with her readers}***Check out the Free New Moon Printables {for the Twilight obsessed}
DIY {where Jenn gives tips and tutorials for the do-it-yourself fan}

Of course, you can't miss the Party Themes section of the wesbite either, where you will find some of the most creative, fun ideas I have ever seen. The Bedtime Story Baby Shower is adorable, and the Santa Baby Christmas party almost makes me wish it was my turn to host Christmas this year! I could get lost on this site for hours {if I had the time}!

Warning: You may become as addicted as I am to Hostess with the Mostess - don't say I didn't warn you! ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Because Girls Enjoy Shopping!

I don't know if things in your home are the same as mine, but in my family I am put in charge of most of the gift buying for holidays and birthdays throughout the year. I am under the impression that most often the wife {or female partner} is asked to perform this task!

Just because there is a stereotype that women enjoy shopping doesn't mean that this task comes easy to all women though. In fact, it can be a huge burden for some! So, I thought I would share a few Canadian online shopping websites, and gift guides to help those who, like me, struggle to find something for every person on their Christmas list! Of course, if you have something to add, please feel free to email me or comment below!

Online Shopping
For Baby/Toddler/Expectant Mother - Dear Born Baby or Mom & Baby Works
For Eco-Concious Friend/Wife/Mother - Lavish & Lime
For Grandma/Wife/Mother - Charming Mommy
For Grandpa/Dad/Husband - Canadian Tire
For Anyone - Sears or Etsy or Chapters/Indigo

I also just discovered {a little late} that you can shop at many stores through and collect Air Miles on your purchases! {Thanks Morgan!}

Gift Guides
Gifting Outside the Box
Parents Canada

Wishing you a stress-free shopping experience this year!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Big Boy Bed

This weekend we ordered a big boy bed for Baby B from Costco. To all you people that are waiting on a Baby #2 announcement, please note that I am NOT making such an announcement through the previous sentence. We are just eager to get started on planning Baby B's big boy bedroom, and, of course, the bedroom set is currently on sale, so we are taking advantage. I can't believe that he is going to be old enough to move out of his crib soon! Craziness! Time is passing too quickly... I am collecting images of decor and ideas for his toddler room inspiration board, and I will be sure to share it with you soon!

Another example of time passing much too fast: Yesterday afternoon, while doing my weekly grocery shopping trip, I ran into a friend of the family whom I hadn't seen in a while... a lovely lady named Bev. I asked her how her granddaughters ~ sweet twin girls that I used to babysit ~ were doing, to which she replied: "Good, they are turning 16 in December." AHHHH! How old does that make me? Anyone else starting to feel a real contradiction between their calendar age, and how old they feel inside?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Holiday Decorating

I have holiday decorating on my brain lately, probably because it's in every flyer and all over the internet already. However, I have promised myself never to put up Christmas decorations until after Baby B's birthday {December 8th} so that his birthday never blends with the holidays {no joint gifts either!}. So, I still have a few weeks to decide what I'm going to do this year.

We haven't collected much in the way of decorations in the almost 4 years we have been married, since we never really saw the point {we haven't hosted many gatherings in the past} but now that we have a little one, it's much more fun, and necessary, to decorate! We bought a new tree at Costco when they first came out, and I picked up some decorations last year when things were on clearance.

I am working towards a more sophisticated colour scheme since the majority of our decorations are blue and purple and were purchased from Ikea {nothing wrong with their stuff, some of my favourite white glass balls with ribbons are from there - we are just ready for a change}.

I am also coveting a gorgeous wreath from Pottery Barn. I love it's simplicity, and that it's not too traditional looking. I am hoping to collect a few other items this year as well, like a wooden or metal reindeer... maybe a trip to Pier 1 will be in my future!

I was totally blown away by a recent post by Centsational Girl, showcasing her handmade Manzanita Advent Tree! Simply amazing!

Where is your favourite place to shop for holiday decorations?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So Sew!

I have been really wishing that I knew how to sew these days... I had been wanting to get Baby B a card table playhouse from Etsy {missprettypretty}, but she has stopped taking orders already for Christmas. Super cute right? {I am assuming that you have clicked on the link by now.} But way too intermediate of a project for me, even if I did run out and buy a sewing machine this week.

I also wanted to get a play/splat/splash mat to use for crafty projects and play-dough playing with Baby B. Most are made out of an easily wipeable and washable fabric such as laminated cotton. The ones by Mimi the Sardine are adorable, but hard to find in Canada. So, I have requested that Great Grama {or GG as Baby B calls her} make us one for his birthday. She is amazing with a needle and thread, and would gladly teach me if I had the time to learn all of her secrets.

I was also super-impressed when I visited a friend's Facebook page and saw a picture of two of her beautiful kids dressed up in the sweetest Halloween costumes ~Dorothy and the Tin Man ~ which she made!! How fun it would be to be able to customize Baby B's Halloween costume next year, I thought. But, alas, knowing me the costume would never be done in time!

So, until I get really motivated to learn a new trick, I guess I will just have to keep admiring the work of others!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Baby B's 2nd Birthday Party

I have been collecting images and ideas from all over the internet whilst planning my son's 2nd Birthday Party, which is less than a month away now {sigh and a sniffle}. I found a simple {read: easy enough for a beginner like me} tool called Mosaic Maker for displaying the images in a collage, or what I have come to discover is known as an "inspiration board."

The theme for the party is "Sesame Street" because my son is obsessed with the show and characters right now. Unbeknownst to me until recently, it also coincides with the 40th anniversary of the beloved children's show {the Google homepages have been so cute this week, right?}!

I thought I would share my inspiration board with you today... and in the coming weeks I will try and share images of the stuff that I gather/make for the party as well. My wonderful sister spent her Saturday afternoon helping me put together the Elmo and Cookie Monster invitations and they are almost finished!

I am new to all of this stuff, and I now realize that I should have recorded where each image that I collected was from so that I could properly credit the site or individual who created it. My apologies for not doing so. If you know where one of these images is from please email me! I know that I found some of them on Hostess with the Mostess, Everyday Celebrating, Etsy, and Couture Parties, but that may not necessarily be where they originated.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Close to Home

Last night two houses burned down only a few blocks away from where we live. Due to the high winds the first house fire quickly jumped to the next house, and even damaged a third a bit. Needless to say, it's scary to think how easily it could be you in the situation that those poor families are now in, when it happens that close to home. Even if you are the type of person who is extra cautious about turning off your curling iron, everyone forgets sometimes, and if it's not you, it could easily be your neighbour.

While I was lying in bed waiting for sleep last night, I spent a lot of time thinking about the items that I would try and grab if I were ever staring down a fire at the house next door to mine {if it is mine that is already on fire, my only task will be to get myself, hubby and Baby B out safely obviously}. I started to realize how much of my stuff is irreplaceable and how even more is totally replaceable ~ if you have insurance of course {shameless plug for the industry that my husband works in}.

Hubby and I take extra care to back up all the pictures that we take on a separate external hard drive that he keeps at work, so I guess pictures are no longer at the top of my priority list. The albums we have from before the digital age would be sadly missed of course, but we keep them in such obscure places {closets} that they wouldn't be able to be saved likely.

Most of my jewelry doesn't have value aside from the sentiments associated with it, but I would probably want to try and grab my jewelry box if I could. However, I guess my priorities have changed since becoming a mother, because I found myself mostly thinking about trying to save my son's favourite toys, newborn booties, and his adorable little clothes. I thought more about how becoming homeless would affect Baby B... and didn't think much about even grabbing a coat {not even my fab gifted coat from hubby a few weeks ago} for myself before heading out the door. I guess it just shows how unconditional and immense my love is for my little guy... and how thankful I am that we are safe and healthy today! My thoughts are with my neighbours who lost everything last night.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mmmmm... Nana Bread!

My apologies for the afternoon posts of late... I have been busy working on an assignment for the Event Marketing class I am taking. But, I just finished the assignment {or rather decided I'd had enough of it is probably more accurate}, and things should go back to normal around here. My husband will be happy to hear this news since I have had to let a few areas of the house get untidy {not dirty, just cluttered} while I have been focusing on the assignment, and I will now be able to get things organized again!

I was able to distract him from the mess for the last couple days with the yummy banana bread {or mmmm... nana bread as Baby B calls it} I baked. Yes, another success for me... I was able to replicate the banana bread that my mom and aunts make that my husband loves, and lucky for me Baby B enjoys it as well! The recipe I used is for Best-Ever Banana Bread from the Best of Bridge in case you were wondering. My family chooses to leave out the blueberries though.

Hopefully now I can start to focus more on my son's upcoming 2nd birthday and, of course, Christmas! Monday I will try to post my inspiration board for my son's Sesame Street themed birthday party! Friday's post is still a suprise {even to me ;)}... see you then!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Birthday True Cuddles

I have been a fan of True Cuddles for a really long time now... I guess almost a year since they are celebrating their first birthday this week! In case you aren't familiar with them, True Cuddles is an online store {} that offers up one baby or toddler product for sale per week, usually at a very deep discount. I love their business model {one of those, "now, why didn't I think of that" moments}, and I am always excited to get my weekly email on Monday mornings to see what they have found next!

I had a little chat with one of the owners and creators of the company, Sarah Milne, over email a few months ago. Super nice lady, very driven and exceptionally talented. And, of course, a mom! Which is what makes the products that True Cuddles sells interesting and unique... they are often mom-made or designed, and always mom-approved. Some of my favourites have been the bugalug hair clips {of course since I have a boy I couldn't get some, at least not without my hubby freaking out}, changing mats by The Modern Baby Co. {I missed out on these}, and mittens by mimiTENS.

True Cuddles also features lots of mom-run companies and mompreneurs on their site, which I love. I am all about supporting other moms in business!

Be sure to check them out on Facebook as well as they are giving away great prizes this week in honor of their birthday! Happy shopping!