Celebrating Evelyn’s Birthday

So you guys might not remember this..but I just had a baby. Shocker I know. But I haven’t really felt like I had the energy to make a big birthday celebration happen for Evelyn this year, not like last year for sure.

So this year was just kind of chill and as a 2 year old, Evelyn still loved it. It was a two part birthday.

Part one was the Museum of Natural Curiosity on Tuesday. Evelyn was insistent on inviting her friend Zaydree (or dree dree as Evelyn says). They both had a blast! Evelyn was a little overwhelmed by all the people at first but when she warmed up to it she had so much fun!

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Her actual birthday was pretty chaotic. I had all these grand plans of how I would make the day special for Evelyn but then Remi decided to be the snottiest, whiniest baby ever and wouldn’t let me put him down. It was causing me an excessive amount of stress and disappointment and Evelyn didn’t know what having a birthday meant and was happy to sit and play while I glared at my crying baby (Don’t worry, we’ve since made up).

My knight in shining armor (Chris..duh) came and took Remi to work with him for the rest of the day and gave me a chance to give Evelyn some one on one time. We had a ton of fun at the splash pad, then picked up her cake and her dad and brother and headed back home for a little family celebrating.

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She loved each one of her presents and wanted to play with them as she opened them. I think next year one present will suffice. But her favorite thing was those silly little characters on top of the cake. She takes them everywhere! But she also loves her bike from Grammy and PeePaw too. She just needs to grow a couple inches so she can ride it.

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^^Everyone had to wear a party hat. Even Pooh!

All in all the day turned out well in the end. And I don’t have to plan another party until Remi’s 1st next June. Whew.

Packing List Printables

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I am a self proclaimed list maker. I make lists about EVERYTHING! Lately, my packing lists have been a little ridiculous. Last time I went to visit my parents my packing list was so detailed, I didn’t just list ‘5 shirts’ I listed the specific shirts, the specific jewelry and make-up, everything in my suitcase was on my list. Then I photocopied it and brought it with me so that on my way back home I made sure not to forget anything.

Yeah I know, it was a tad obsessive. But I really appreciated getting on the plane and knowing that I hadn’t forgotten anything going or coming.

For our trip to Maryland, I made my packing list a little cuter. Nothing motivates me to make a list more than a good pen and eye catching stationery.

Lucky for you, I want to share my disease of obsessive packing and list making so help yourself to these packing list printables!

I love having something I can print out every time I need to pack because it’s a good prompt of what to pack so I don’t forget anything. Plus, these are great because there are two check off boxes: one for the trip there and one for the trip back.

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How to use:

I’d recommend printing these back to back and printing one out for each person going on the trip.

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Snow White First Birthday Party

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Last Saturday was Evelyn’s Snow White first birthday party. It was so much fun and we had a great turnout. I am the first to admit that I may have gone a tad overboard for a one year old’s birthday party but I just had so much fun with it. I made all the decorations myself and I’m so pleased that it turned out exactly how I had envisioned…maybe even better.

I mixed and matched a lot of ideas from pinterest to create the final project. But you don’t want to hear about it, just take a look at the pictures.

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Adventures in Altering Jeans

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When I was in my early months of pregnancy, I visited my brother and his wife and got a bunch of hand-me-down clothes. I hadn’t gained much weight by that point, but enough that some of the clothes that enticed me, namely some pants, wouldn’t fit over my expanding hips. But they looked cute so I took them anyway. Once I lost my baby weight and was able to fit into the pants, I noticed something about 3 pair of seemingly cute BKE jeans: they all had a wide leg. Not super in style in our skinny jean generation. Heck, I’d even settle for bootcut.

So despite the cute, butt accentuating pockets, all three pair of jeans made it into the, “donate” pile and were safely stored in the garage until I found the energy to take them somewhere. A few months later I went to Arizona and stayed with my Grandma who helped me make a quilt for Evelyn. I had so much fun sewing that I was desperate to undertake another sewing project and decided that since I really had nothing to lose with the jeans that I was just going to give away, they would be my next trial project.

I am by no means a seamstress. Like seriously. I have sewn a little here and there but nothing very complicated and I always had help. So even though the rest of you may look at these jeans and say, “Yeah…so?”, I’m actually really proud of myself for how they turned out. I definitely see more sewing projects in my future.

Without further ado, I present, my adventures in altering jeans.

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For the first pair, I tried to pin them using another pair of skinny jeans as a guide. That didn’t work out so well. There was a bubble and in trying to fix them with the seam ripper, I ripped a hole in them.

So they turned out to be shorts. I used a brick on my concrete driveway to fray the bottoms and get rid of the dreaded straight edge. I ended up with some pretty cute cut offs.

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Seasonal Subway Art

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When I was a kid, I loved October first, December first, and the beginning of April because that’s when my mom would put out all our cute seasonal decorations signaling the start of the holiday season.

I loved the cobweb table cloth and the glass pumpkin candy dish, always full of candy corn. I had a blast finding a place for each of the nativities in my mom’s collection or setting out the adorable little bunny figurines and other pastel colored knick knacks. Thinking back, those decorations are my childhood.

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DIY Moby Wrap

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This tutorial is so simple, it feels wrong to spend an entire blog post explaining it. But here you go.

For those of you who don’t know, a moby wrap is an expensive baby wearing option. I’ve found it to be my favorite. But since I didn’t have $50 or so to spend on one I made my own. There are two steps.

001 Go to a fabric store of your choosing and buy 6 yards of stretchy knit fabric in the color of your choice.

4 yards wasn’t enough and I have 5 yards which works but I wish it was a little longer. So 6 should be safe.
002 Your fabric will be double the width that you need it to be, so carefully find the center and cut it in half. You should have two pieces of fabric, 6 yards long. Make sure you’re cutting the width in half and not the length.

That’s it. That’s all. You’re done.

Now you have two moby wraps for a fraction of the cost.

If you really want to you can sew a little tag in the exact center because you’ll need to know where that is when you tie it on every time but I just fold mine in half to find it.

To learn how to tie it and put your baby inside, just search on youtube for tutorials.

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DIY Cork Board Map Tutorial

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Before your tutorial, (If you wanna skip to the tutorial, scroll down to the pictures, but you’ll be missing a great story!) you get a little story, I call it

The Story of the Maps

So back last fall sometime, I had this brilliant plan to find a moderately sized map, adhere it to some cork board and make an awesome ‘where they’ve been, where they wanna go’ type deal. Skip ahead to late January right before my birthday party and the first time we really had anyone over to our basement house. I was stressing over making the house not look so basement-y and the biggest problem was this huge horrific white wall in the kitchen. To me it was this eye sore akin to someone having wiped fecal matter all over it. To anyone else it was non-noticeable because, hello it’s a white wall.

So I was desperate to come up with something adorable and clever to cover the wall and convinced Chris, in the middle of a blizzard, that we needed to go find a map and cork RIGHT NOW. And so he dutifully drove me to a map supply store, because where else do you go to find maps? Only problem is they didn’t exactly have the moderately sized map I had been dreaming of. The only one we could find was hugenormous. The good news was it would cover the ENTIRE white heinous wall. The bad news: it was like 30 bucks. And then we had to buy the cork to go behind it. Yeah that was gonna be a fortune so instead we just got some thick poster board. But the piece we bought was so huge that it wouldn’t fit in my teeny tiny bug (who needs a mom car?!) so we had to borrow a dull Xacto knife from the map supply store people and we sat on the floor and cut it up.

Long story short (you wish) the map ended up in a series of panels on the terrible horrible wall. Yay! Everyone loved it and continues to comment on it whenever they come over. Probably because it’s a hugenormous map taking up the whole wall. Then the weather changed and it got Utah-hot. So Chris hooked up the swamp cooler so we wouldn’t all die. Then it got not so hot so we turned off the swamp cooler. What does this have to do with the map? Well the swamp cooler is right next to the map, so the map soaked up some swampiness. Then when we turned it off it expelled said swampiness and started to bubble and whatnot and now basically it’s ruined. Yeah. I mean falling of the wall, peeling off the poster board ruined. There goes $50 or so down the drain.

 

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map 003^^Look how sad and bubbly it is

The moral? A white wall isn’t so bad. And if you can’t find the right thing…just wait until you do.The good news is I found the map I had wanted in the first place at a poster sale at BYU for 5 bucks so now I can make the project I had been planning to make all along.

So now for you (if you made it through the story of the maps) I present the awesome “Places you Wanna Go” Map.

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I love how the map can be separated because it’s on separate tiles. It can take up as little or as much room as you want. It’s perfect for someone who moves a lot (college student) because it’s not big and it can be stored easily.

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World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

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Before we moved to Hawaii, I was going through this phase where I liked eating cookie dough A LOT. But it wasn’t good enough to just buy it from the store. I liked my cookie dough minus the chocolate chips, so I had to make it.  And then one day I realized that I could leave out the eggs and not feel guilty that somewhere my mother just knew that I was breaking the rules. (Oh perhaps the reason she didn’t want me eating the dough is because why should anyone consume that much sugar and butter?!).

Unfortunately when I went to Hawaii I didn’t bring my cookie recipe and I could not find another one that was up to par. So I was cookie dough-less for almost a year. A tragedy I know. But besides making delicious dough, these cookies turn out perfect like every time. I get compliments on them every time I make them for other people and I’m over here like…what? They’re cookies.

So for all my friends who want the recipe and the rest of you who wish you’ve already tried my cookies, here you go. The recipe is originally from a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and I just tweaked it a tad.

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50+ DIY Mason Jar Ideas

I have this habit of saving mason jars. I’m not even sure why, but I do. I save baby food jars and pickle jars and pasta sauce jars. I am Jocelyn, (Hello Jocelyn) and I am a jar saver.

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So what in the world can I do with ALL THESE JARS? I figure it’s about time that I figure that out. So I scoured the internet and came up with 50+ uses for mason jars. Click on the links to find the tutorials. It’s like your own little mason jar encyclopedia.

001 Flower vase

002 A place to put change

003 Use as a glass

004 A place for a tea light candle

005 A cute light fixture

006 Paint the inside

007 A place to keep office supplies: paper clips, thumb tacs, pencils…

008 A rustic toothbrush holder (just add a decorative twine bow)

009 Hand soap dispenser

010 Container for a gift

011 To hold make-up and brushes

012 To hold cupcake liners

013 To store large spoons and spatulas in the kitchen

014 Put a cookie or cake mix in it as a gift

015 Hold bathroom essentials like cotton balls and q-tips

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5 Cheap or Free Gift ideas

gift 001Has anyone else noticed that Summer is the season of birthdays? It seems like every week is someone else’s birthday that I’ve forgotten…thanks a lot Facebook. Yeah, I’m pretty much a terrible friend and family member. But what I am pretty good at is the last minute throw together gift. Whether you have an hour before the party or a day to run to Walmart, I gotcha covered.

None of these are groundbreakingly brilliant ideas or anything. But generally when you’re in need of something clever that says, “Happy Birthday, I care about you so I made you a gift instead of buying one” instead of, “Happy Birthday, I bought this at the gas station on the way here,” people’s minds tend to go blank.

001 Make a card.

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This one is as by the book as it goes, but don’t let that keep you from trying it out. You can do something classic with construction paper and scissors or get silly and make something on the computer.  If you have a little extra time and money you can have your card printed at Walmart, same day.

002 Coupons.

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Another pretty typical one but the fun part is that you can make it totally personalized and hilarious. I made these for my little sister’s birthday. She just started college so you can see how these are fun. Also, go all out crazy with some fine print. Just for an extra giggle. I made these on picmonkey.

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