Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Two Simple DIY Baby Shower Crafts

My two best girlfriends and I have had a secret Pinterest board for my baby shower since almost the minute I found out I was pregnant. We've been having so much fun pinning decoration ideas, DIY crafts, games and activities, etc. We scoured the internet for the perfect invitations to set the theme of the party and I found these gorgeous feminine but not too girly invites at Tiny Pints. Instead of doing a specific theme,we've used some of the colors off the invite as our color palate and plan on using blues, greys, florals and some rustic details like the twine pictured above to decorate.

Hosting a baby shower is a lot of fun, but it also is a lot of work, and can be expensive so my lovely two hosts and I found a couple of simple DIY decoration projects to help cut down costs for them and add a personal touch to my shower. For a simple but fun place setting, we made bow-tie napkins to hold the silverware, and we also painted mason jars and added a bow made of twine around them and filled them with baby's breath for a pretty and simple centerpiece. 

Both of these DIY crafts were incredibly simple, even for the craft-challenged person like myself. We declared one Friday evening a girls night and ordered in Thai food and had over fifty napkins and eight mason jars folded, painted, and ready to go for the shower. 

For the napkins: 

Step One: Unfold a single paper napkin all the way and lay it out flat
Step Two: Fold the top and bottom pieces toward the middle.  
Step Three: Fold the two sides together towards the center. 
Step Four: Fold down the two corners of the top side of the napkin to prevent the ends from sticking out when the bow-tie is finished . 
Step Five: Turn your napkin over so the corners you folded are on the bottom side, and then just pinch the center of the bow-tie.  
Step Six: Fluff your bow-tie a bit until it looks how you want, and then wrap some twine (or ribbon or string or whatever you want) around the center. Then just stick your silverware inside the twine and you have the cutest little place settings!

For the Mason Jars:

We painted about eight mason jars with two little bottles of ceramic paint. This craft is so simple, you could do it with your toddler. (But, I will warn you that I managed to get blue paint on my beige rug because I have the ability of a toddler, so maybe do it over a non-carpeted area if you really do let your toddler help.)

Step One: Drop a few drops of paint into the bottom of the jar. Give yourself enough that it will swirl around and cover most of the jar as you tip it around and upside down, but not so much that it falls right out if you turn it upside down.
Step Two: Use a foam paint brush to spread the paint around, adding more paint if you need it.
Step Three: Turn the jars upside down over night to dry, and then turn them right side up the next day to finish.
Step Four: Tie twine or string or a ribbon around the top and add flowers. Ta-da! A gorgeous center piece for just a few dollars.

These are two simple ways to decorate and plan for a baby shower on a budget, and it was a fun way to spend an evening with my best girlfriends preparing. If you have a shower or another event to prepare for, make sure to check out Tiny Prints amazing selection of affordable invitations and give one of these DIY decorations a try for a personal touch. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Bumpdate // 29 Weeks

Happy Monday! I unfortunately did not wake up with the happiest of hearts on this Monday-I could have slept another ten hours I think! This morning I just wanted to give a quick life/pregnancy update. Obviously, baby boy is growing if the picture above is any indication. I am feeling large and in charge and the print on this dress doesn't do me any favors haha! I am just over 29 weeks now, and I go back and forth between feeling like my pregnancy is rapidly flying by to feeling like it will never ever end.

Size of the baby: About the size of a butternut squash

Gender: A little prince

Maternity clothes: I am basically living in maternity clothes, mixed in with a few non-maternity flowy tops from Aro & Company. My maternity jeans have started to get tight which is not promising, so whenever I can, I put on yoga pants or running shorts and an over sized t-shirt.

Movement: I feel him every day now, and Ronnie can feel him from the outside which is so much fun! Its nice to know he's doing okay in there, but sometimes those kicks can be so uncomfortable.

Sleep: I feel like I can never get enough sleep, but luckily I am sleeping pretty well, aside from waking up 1-2x a night to go to the bathroom.

Nursery: We've made a lot of progress but still have a lot of work to do as far as decor. The next big thing we need is the rocking chair so I am hoping to get that purchased by the end of the month.

Craving: Sugar anything. Its a real problem. I am trying to reign myself in but not doing an A+ job at that. Also, I am really into ice water lately and have been drinking it non-stop!

Symptoms: I was feeling so so exhausted the past few weeks I really was having trouble just functioning. No matter how much I slept, I still felt like I had been up for days. Turns out when my doctor called me to tell me I passed my glucose test, she also told me my iron levels were low and that is why I was probably so tired. So, I've started a supplement which I think is helping.

Exercise: Does a few walks a week count? Because that's about all I have been getting lately. #Fail

Ronnie is: Still not wanting to pick out a  name until baby boy is here. We have a couple names we both like but we haven't committed to one, much to my dismay.

Looking forward to:  A girls trip with my mom to Mexico this weekend, and then the week after we get back, one of my best friend is coming into town for the weekend!

Best moments: Ronnie and I had a low key Easter this year and after church yesterday, we came home and took a nice long afternoon nap and then went and got donuts. Its the little things that please me these days.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Wearing: Clothes that are stretchy and flowy. I have very few non-maternity pieces that still fit, so I am living in maxi dresses and maternity pants. I need to clean out my closet and put away all the winter stuff that doesn't fit me so I don't have to look at it til next year! 

Sipping: Ice water-I can't get enough of it lately. But desperately needing a cup of coffee. 

Wishlisting: My one wish every day is that I could have maternity leave before AND after the baby.I am so tired, friends. SO SO TIRED. This third trimester fatigue is way more intense than the first trimester for some reason. Every day is a struggle for me to stay awake at my desk, and I've had to get up and take a walk outside to try and get some energy. Will I ever not feel tired again? 

Writing: Lists, lots of lists. Packing lists for my girls trip to Mexico next weekend with my mom, to-do lists for work, lists of "must haves" and "would be nice" items for baby. 

Exploring: AirBnB's website! Have you ever used it to travel? We're thinking about taking a long weekend trip when I am on maternity leave and AirBnB seems like such a fun and inexpensive way to see new places. I also love that most places have the convenience of a kitchen, parking, etc. But, part of me is a little nervous about it so we're still tossing the idea around. If you have any good or bad experiences with it, I'd love to hear! 

I hope you're having a wonderful week! I have had a really busy and long week already, but each day is one day closer to a week on the beach with just my mom and I and that is helping me get through each long day!
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Monday, March 30, 2015

5 Card Games To Play With Your Spouse

Lately, Ronnie and I cannot get enough of playing card games. All weekend long, whenever we had free time, instead of watching Netflix or playing on our phone, we were playing card games together and it was so much fun! We've been playing the same game for awhile now but then I remembered a game I used to play with family at Christmas time, and after getting a refresher on some of the rules, I taught Ronnie and we've been playing it non-stop. It has been so nice to sit and play a game and talk and be present with each other, and such a nice change of pace from our usual routine. 
Here are five awesome games you can play with just two people if you want to do something a little different with your husbands tonight or on your next date night.

1. Gin Rummy-this is one that we've been playing non-stop this weekend! Its so fun, and it works with two people or six people, it doesn't matter! You use a standard deck of cards here and try and create sets or runs and get rid of your cards as quick as you can. Full set of instructions found here. One of our current favorites.

2. Bohnanza-This is another one of our favorite games to play lately. Its a specific game you purchase and can find on Amazon where you can plant, sell, and trade beans with other players. Players try to collect large sets of beans to sell for gold. There is limited growing space and always new beans to plant. It is really fun with just two people, so we've been playing it a lot but the more people you have the more intense and exciting it is in my opinion so the next time you have company, you definitely should play this one!

3. Speed-This is a classic game played with a standard deck of cards.the object of speed is to be the first one to get rid of all your cards, and the first person to get rid of all twenty of their card wins. Detailed instructions found here.

4. Skip-Bo-I played this so much as a kid and still love to play it today. Its super simple and somewhat similar to Solitare. You try and get rid of your cards in sequence while blocking your opponent from getting rid of theirs. You can find this game at any Target, Wal-Mart or on Amazon and its a classic!  You can find instructions here.

5. Crazy Eights- This is another classic game using a standard deck of cards that can be played with as few as two people, or you can play with more as well. Each player takes turns discarding their hand to match the suit on top of the discard pile, and eights are wild cards. The one to discard all of their cards first, wins. Specific instructions found here.

Game nights are such a fun way to spend quality time with your spouse, and it can be a nice break from the same routine of eating dinner and watching TV in the evenings. Do you have a favorite game you play with your husband? I'd love to hear!

I've also teamed up with some gorgeous bloggers to give away $125 in cash money! I am pretty sure all of you could put this to good use and treat yourself to something great. If $125 dollars cash doesn't turn your Monday around, I am not sure what will!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Letting My Husband Lead

There is always a moment in a conversation that turns the corner around adult conversation to arguing and accusing. I remember distinctly walking that line during a conversation with my husband last week, and I felt the tension and frustration in my own heart start to bubble to the surface. We were having the same discussion (that was quickly heading towards argument) that we have had at least ten times over the past few months and I knew that this was not going to be the time I finally convinced him to see my side or "won" the argument, but still, I chose to engage in the conversation and let my emotions dictate my thoughts and words. Distinctly, I heard a fleeting whisper in my heart to let it go, to let my husband lead. And my instant reaction of the flesh was to cringe and balk at the thought of giving up something that I wanted so desperately to control.

Real life: I struggle daily with letting my husband lead, and because of this, often times I don't show him the respect that God instructs wives to give their husbands. I often struggle with the "biblical submission" in the way that I am not quick to become passive or bite my tongue when I have an opinion. To be honest, I'm not sure that's what God is asking of me every time my husband and I don't agree, but certainly there are times when its painfully clear that He is asking me to let my husband lead, to show him that I trust him enough to make a decision that is best for our family. 

On my wedding day, I stood in a white lace dress, holding Ronnie's hands as my eyes threatened to spill over with happy tears and promised to follow him, to trust him, to respect him and honor him. I think sometimes, I fail at at least one of those things on a daily basis. I am strong-willed, I'm opinionated, I am competitive and I don't like to lose. (Trust me, you should see us play games together. Its not pretty!) But what I've realized is that when I do whatever it takes to win an argument, my marriage often loses. I never walk away from a disagreement with my husband that I've "won" feeling victorious, instead, I find myself with lingering feelings of discontent and shame.
In the moment I felt God's whisper to give up my need to "win" the argument, I had a choice to make. I could keep fighting for what I thought was right, or I could trust God with my marriage, with my circumstances, and my future and choose to respect my husband and his leadership. 

And so I did. I told him I would drop it, and not continue to engage in the same conversation over again, and I apologized. And honestly? It didn't feel good! Right in that moment, I still felt frustrated and it felt so very unnatural. But over the next few days and through a lot of prayer, God softened my heart and gave me peace about the situation. I feel lighter now that I've given up the need to control this situation that has been out of my control the entire time. Choosing to step back, give up the reigns, and let my husband lead in this one area has not only established a healthy pattern in our marriage, but its also shifted something in my heart. Choosing obedience to God in this area of my marriage has not only impacted our marriage, but it has allowed God to prune out the ugly weeds in my heart as well.

Is letting your husband lead a struggle for you at times like it is for me? How do you show your husband respect and trust when your opinions differ on a subject? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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