413c820bb21cd09a23535c140057f83729ced692af2597b84f .post-body img { max-width:1000px; height:auto; } Friday We're In Love Google

Tuesday, October 25

I'm on YouTube- Plus a Kitchen Organization Video

Have I ever mentioned I'm on YouTube? It was casual, it was not very frequent, and it was on my personal account. And then I made a few videos and I've been learning a lot lately, and posting more, and some people have come and subscribed- hooray! If you want to see more in video form come join me HERE.

Today I did more vlogging than blogging, so thought I'd mention that. And for anyone looking for a cool organization idea, I teamed up with Creative Options and now have my spice cabinet totally tamed! I'll embed it, but if you're reading from a viewer, here's the link:

I hope to see you on YouTube- if you head over leave me a comment and let me know you found me!

Monday, October 24

Donut Grow Up 1st Birthday Party

Sometimes you just need a party theme that encompasses your feelings perfectly. I've had a hard time swallowing the first year of my baby's life is already here, and as much as I've tried to slow down and enjoy every minute of it, the minutes have just seemed to evaporate. 

Maybe it was all the years we waited for and prayed for this miracle baby, but we felt a big push to invite our very large families over for a themed party to celebrate our special boy and the joy he's brought to our lives this past year. Even if his mom was in denial it was coming for about an entire month, we still embraced it eventually. What can I say, when you know your child may be your only baby if the fertility treatment cards don't fall your way again, you just try to bottle up their littleness and hold onto it for as long as you can! 

So Donut Grow Up was decided upon due to the cute factor and ease to throw this party together. I knew some balloons, cake stands, and an order to our local bakery would do the trick! 

Mylar balloons took center stage for easy decor. Here's what I bought to pull the party decor off:
- Gold foil letter balloons to spell DONUT GROW UP.
- Gold foil cursive ONE balloon
- Donut Shaped laytex balloon - purchased in white
- Craft acrylic paint, I used a bright pink, green, and turquoise
- Multi-color tissue paper, but into small rectangles
- Curling ribbon for donut balloons
- Helium tank (I just discovered these one-time use tanks- they are amazing!)

For the donut balloons I followed this tutorial, but decided to sprinkle the tissue paper sprinkles on while the paint was still wet and ditch tape. That worked like a charm!

I also had Sharpies on hand in hot pink, blue, and green, and we added some lines to the balloons to look like sprinkles. It was easy, looked great, and it took hardly any time!

Since we have so many nieces and nephews we decided it would be great to buy several packs of mini-donuts for their dessert. This was a big hit! I couldn't believe how happy they were to grab one of these favors and enjoy easy to eat smaller donuts! We also gave them out as favors at the end of the party.

My mom made the cake for the cake smash, and copied a sprinkle idea I had originally seen on Pinterest. So easy, so cute, and so perfect to go with the doughnut sprinkles!

 I have to admit I have a child who doesn't take after me and is bit of a clean freak; he likes to have food spills wiped up fast, diapers changed immediately if he doesn't make it to the toilet with infant potty training, and he shakes excess food off his hands while eating. I knew the cake smash would likely be tame, but I enjoyed watching his awe of the cake and poking around to figure out layers and textures.
 This was about as crazy as it got, taking a few bites right out of the cake. I'll take it, and I'm secretly pretty happy I have a fairly tidy boy!

His aunts and uncles and cousins were so sweet to show up and bring him some great presents. He's a bookworm through and through, and almost everyone brought him a book. It's just one more thing I am loving about this perfect one-year-old and this phase- reading and bringing me books. Add this to first steps, first words, and curiosity about the entire world, and I'm standing by this theme even more. Don't grow up little boy, I'd love to bottle you up and keep you in this darling phase forever!

*This post contains affiliate links 

Saturday, October 22

My Favorite Guy's Birthday

As I'm prepping to share the big 1st Birthday event we had for Mack on Monday, I'm sitting here with a tinge of guilt that I never shared a big post about my very favorite guy's birthday. My boys are only a week apart, and so far the birth of a child and first birthday have sadly over shadowed Jacob. Combine this with the fact we were traveling and catching a flight on his birthday, and I just felt like the worst wife ever having to delay any form of celebration.

The good news is, this chaotic day of travel lead to a lot of small moments of celebration, and in a way, I think that's more Jacob's style anyway!

Here's a few details of the big guy's celebrations:

1. We went up to Utah for a quick weekend. It's a religious time for us the first weekend of October, and sometimes we like to head up to our church headquarters. Jacob served a two year service mission after high school to Bolivia, and he really wanted to spend the weekend at a reunion with others who were there serving when he was taking place that very weekend. Jacob is the most loyal human alive, and he sure loves and cherishes friends no matter how much time has passed. I was happy to see fall leaves and give him a trip for his birthday instead of more presents.

And selfishly, I was really excited to see my great aunt who is more like a grandma to me. She was best friends with one of her siblings, who happens to be my great-grandpa and the man we named my son after. It was really special to let her meet little Mack and tell him how much she loved Big Mack while he was alive. I'm pretty sure I'll cherish this picture forever.

We spent a full weekend of quality time together, and I think at the end of the day, that's Jacob's favorite gift of all.

Of course I couldn't let us get back without taking him out to eat, and he kept it easy on me and chose Grimaldi's. They have the best pizza, and we adore the Brooklyn Bridge. If you didn't know, you can sign up to get a free pizza on your birthday at Grimaldi's, and here's the Grimaldi's birthday sign up. Bonus points for them for giving about a week and a half you can use it, so if you miss your actual birthday you can still go celebrate.
Grimaldi's Birthday Pizza Arizona

I also love to give Jacob a date, and at least one or two clothing items. His work dress code is business formal most of the time, so ties, shoes, dress socks, dress shirts, and belts are always a good idea. I went with this tie, and these socks.

I also had a really cool company reach out to me and ask if they could help me give Jacob something for his birthday. If you haven't heard of Mission Belts, you should check them out! Super high quality belts, very stylish, real leather, very affordable, and their name comes from the fact they are on a mission to give back a portion of every sale to fight poverty and hunger. I love that they do that, but I also love their design so you know you're getting a perfect fit. That's what sold me fast, I knew my tall skinny husband who wears a belt every day would love the adjustable high quality belt. It's something I would have bought myself, and I so glad I got to mention them and give my husband a gift he loves and now wears every single day!

And guys, we're teaming up to give one away over on Instagram today- it's running for the next week, so head on over and enter to get one excellent holiday gift!
belt C/O Mission Belts

So there's the low-key birthday. But Jacob, I promise next year you're going to get my normal mantra "If it's worth doing, it's worth over-doing" with an epic date night for the books :)

Friday, October 21

Mom and Me Date: Dedicated Reading Time with BabyLit

I received product in exchange for my opinions, but my love and son's obsession are all our own!

 Remember a few months ago when I wrote a post pledging to allow myself to be the kind of mom I want to be, at least one day a week? I'm trying hard to make sure there's quality mom and kid dates once a week with some very concentrated time doing things I know he'll enjoy and remember some day over just things overtaking my to-do list.

It's a good thing reading is his absolute favorite thing to do right now, and that he can sit for hours looking at the right books and rereading the same one over and over again. I've found when I just pledge to go to a reading nook or sit on the floor with an entire stack and invite him to sit on my lap, he'll get the cutest giddy smile and settle right in for his favorite time.

I reached out to BabyLit Books and asked if they'd like to team up for a post, because they are honestly Mack's favorites. I discovered them at a blog conference, found they sponsored swag at a few more blog conferences, and I had a few on hand before he arrived. I fell in love and purchased several more to gift him for Christmas last year. What I didn't expect was him to become completely obsessed with one and want to read it every single day at least 10 times a day. Don Quixote is on constant repeat and has been since we took to Spain with us. We've joked Mack feels the enjoyment of Spain through the book and just can't put it down!

We love BabyLit for a lot of reasons. I love that they intro classics while still being completely approachable as a children's book. Mack loves the illustrations. Honestly, they are some of the cutest illustrations you will ever see in a children's book! He points to details and makes his cute baby noises while I read most of the books. We're also big fans of how many different types of primers there are- from colors to emotions, numbers to language, sounds to fun silly things; there's just a lot of options for variety! You can't go wrong, but here's our 5 favorite that we both enjoy most:

1. Don Quixote
2. Sherlock Holmes
3. Moby Dick
4. Huckleberry Finn
5. All Aboard: Washington D.C.

And Jane Eyre gets an honorable mention since he loves it about every other week.

I also love that there's some seasonal options too. Dracula and Frankenstein are on repeat through October. Wuthering Heights (a weather primer) will be next up in November!

And I really love that they are always coming out new books. We just started learning some French with Les Miserables, I'm enjoying reading The Odyssey and talking about monsters with him, and he's loving the entire All Aboard series, which should come in handy since heaven knows we don't plan to quit traveling and bringing him along any time soon!

I'm learning more and more that not all children's books are created equal, and it's important to find books you both love. I can honestly say BabyLit are just that for us, and always create the perfect mother-son date. 

Photos by my dear friend Brooke


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