Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Hi all! Happy Easter! Just wanted to quick post about what I've been up to and Lily's Easter! So I've been super busy the past few days. Wedding dress shopping for my cousin, and baking like crazy on top of the usual holiday bustle. I made a cake for my cousins baby shower, made a generic birthday rosette cake, made egg shaped cookie sandwiches for Easter, am in the process of making my brothers birthday cake and wedding shower cupcakes!! Busy busy time! But it looks like a lot of people viewed the Easter party post so I'm super excited about that! Thank you all for reading and repinning and sharing! I'm so grateful! And also, I'm on my phone which means all of the pictures will be at the bottom. Sorry!!!

So first ill talk about the rosette cake. I use a wilton tip 1 and had a crazy easy time with it honestly.. the only tip (not frosting tip, pointer tip, lol) I really have is to be conscious of the sides. Don't worry too much about making the side rosettes the same size as the top rosettes. If they don't fit, they don't fit. Make bigger rosettes for the sides.

Next ill talk about the baby shower cake. I'd say I learned plain old not to use sugar sheets. They're so difficult and frustrated the crap out of me! They don't wrap around the cake as easily as youd think and even someone like me, who always finds a solution, struggled bad! I also purchased the baby mold for the top from a company called winbeckler who I could spend millions on! I didn't have color dust, so I painted the baby's hair with cinnamon. I also put the baby in diamond sugar around the baby which definitely gave the her a nice touch! Surprisingly, this cake has got more comments than any thus far, I think, and its not my favorite.

And last but certainly not least, Lilys basket!!! She found hers in her room and was very pleased!! She had hair bows, pjs, chalk, bubbles, big coloring book, a ball, brobee keychain (yo gabba gabba), shoes, hair elastics, shorts, a little wind up jumping bunny and a rubber duck. Very satisfied! Grandpa also got her some books. I did not give her any candy. She did an egg hunt at Adam's house and made out very well too!

Now I feel people are going kinda crazy with baskets. I don't think big gifts are necessary at all because its not a big gift holiday. Here's a list of basket stuffers for children under 3:
*puffs, yogurt drops, cheerios, cheddar bunnies or their favorite snack in eggs
*beach toys
*a small stuffed animal
*shaker eggs or an egg tambourine
*crayons (the fat ones are great for little hands)
*a large scale coloring book
*wind up toys
*bath toys
*a ball
*water shoes or flip flops
*anything you truly need to restock on (hair elastics for Lily)
*sun hat or baseball cap
*Melissa and Doug wooden puzzles
*mix up some pinterest baby finger paint if you're feeling brave
*a bathing suit
*fairy wand
*tball set
*Easter rubber duck (dollar store!)
*baby sun block (if you're going with beach theme)
*a soft photo album

See, I think its key to set a budget or an Easter basket size, because you don't need to get too much. We spent about 30$. They probably have plenty of toys and will get overwhelmed if there are too many things to look at. I think that interactive things like coloring and outdoor activities are great because you can prepare for summer! Don't buy something cute but useless, you'll be wasting money! Simplicity is key in everything with kids. You can also put things in the basket that your baby needs anways. They won't know at this age. When buying ask yourself, "Does my child need one of these?", "Will this stimulate a skill or growth?", "Will this be interactive for my child and I?". Those are the worth while presents. I mean how many toys do you have that sing the abcs, count and sing songs in Spanish and English?! Let them do the learning and exploring!

What did you put in your childs basket?! What was their favorite?

Thanks for reading :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Baby Easter Party!

Today, Lily had all of her baby friends over for an Easter party!! :) We all met at a group when the babies were about 2-4 months old. They're all born between November and January and all girls. Crazy weird! So my mom suggested this idea and I'm so glad she did and helped me shop. Thanks Mom! Here are the decorations:

I also put garlands in the the hide and seek room, a few ribbons around and a chick with eggs cut out. I made the garland and will never touch tissue balls again. Those things are the biggest pains, EVER! They do look cool though!

So for food, I saw some ideas on pinterest. The silverware carrot idea was from there as well as the bread bunny! Way too cute. I made everyone's favorite, peanut butter filled chocolate cupcakes and put little chocolate eggs on top. I dyed the frosting green and used a star tip to look like grass. I think the food labels are a super cute touch and easy for sure.

For 'goody bag's, I used beach buckets(dollar store) (mom's idea), so that they can re-use them again. But me, being me, bedazzled them with their names! Inside I put a little bit of grass (dollar store), bubbles (dollar store), crayons (dollar store), an egg tambourine (iparty), a pinwheel (dollar store) and a little stuffed animal (dollar store) for the top. I also made a little bucket for the mom's because they deserve a treat, too!

And last but not least, the activities! Now these babies are between 14 and 16 months, so over planning can be tiring and wasted efforts for a party planner. If you plan too much, you'll lose their interest and they probably won't do it all. Most of a baby party will be just playing and down time. So I stuck with one main activity and a mellow activity. We of course did an egg hunt, which the girls were amazing at! I bought these cute glittery paper bags with bunnies from Iparty for 30 cents a piece and used those for egg hunting. We did it in the living room because it was too cold outside, still snow on the ground. YUCK. I filled the eggs with baby puffs and yogurt drops. 

The girls checking out their loot

The egg hunt was first. I felt that while the girls were pumped up to see each other, they'd have the most energy and focus now. Next was lunch, landing right around noon, where we started at eleven. Finally, I set up an Easter themed sensory tub. This was nice because the girls could freely play (and destroy) and also play with other toys without being told to do something specific. You can only ask so much of a baby before they just want to do their own thing, you know? So in the tub I got three or four bags of Easter grass (dollar store), and also added bunny tails, which were last season's snowballs, but this seasons bunny tails! They're like sparkly, large cotton balls. I also put in a chirping chick and hopping bunny from the dollar store, and some rubber ducks that Lil already had, and some empty eggs. The girls loved it and happily threw the grass all over the living room!

So that concluded our party! We had so much fun and I think it was a great success! The idea of one big activity, food and a mellow activity is definitely the way to go with multiple babies. Also, I feel that parties are a lot nicer when you offer healthy food. I chose whole wheat organic pasta to serve because it's a healthy option for babies, alongside the side dish, that mothers can be comfortable with. Nothing is more awkward when you don't want to feed your baby someone's unhealthy food. The adults could have the finger sandwiches and everyone was satisfied and raving. Lily had so much fun with her friends, and we can't wait till we all get together again. This is the friends from last year (the first time we got together), to this year! Almost exactly a year later. Crazy how fast time flies with babies!

Do you guys know any fun activities for babies? What are you favorite Easter traditions with a little one? Thanks for reading :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Deals, deals, deals! Bargain Hunting for Baby Clothes

Today, I found the cutest dresses ever for Lily and you'll never guess where! I just wanted to do a quick post on where I find the best deals and also ask you guys, where do you find the best deals? So the dresses are below and they were 16.99 a piece at Cosco!!! Yes, cosco has such cute baby clothes at unbeatable prices! I bought three because we have a few events coming up, but these dresses are so beautiful. The brand was Jona Michelle. If you don't have a membership, which you need to shop, tag along someone who does! I don't have one but my parents do. Formula, wipes and diaps are all less expensive in bulk!

I often find great deals at Old Navy, too, for me and Lily both. They have large clearance sections and occasionally run a 15-20% off clearance items sale. Recently I went and bought tons of summer tanks that were around 40¢ a piece! Crazy cheap!! Check out the outfit I found there too, way too cute to leave on the rack!! (At the end, blue and white polka dots) They have the cutest stuff of all time for babies and toddlers and have a wide variety of jeans selection. Personally, I don't think anyone will know the clearance is last season ;)

Target has a super cheap clearance section, too. Their clothes are inexpensive to begin with, so the clearance is always good. But keep your eye on the 'was this price, now this price' tag. If its not a lot of money off of that first price, hold off if you think it'll still be there. It'll go down more! I'm a clearance snoot... I wait for mega low prices!

Believe it or not, gymboree, also. Their original prices are crazy for sure. They do have lots of clearance in the back. Also, check their site before you go in, because they always run 40% off the entire store sales. And definitely shop during gym bucks! You can earn gym bucks that'll be good in a few weeks earning you like 50$ worth for 25$ or 100$ for 50$. You get the point!

Occasionally, I find cheap prices at Children's Place. I honestly don't go in a lot, but when the season's change their stuff is super cheap!! I got Lily a hat and mittens set that matched her winter coat for 1.99 a piece originally 8$ or something!! I believe they also run 40% off entire store days, but I could be wrong.

I highly suggest checking out websites before you go in to stores. Always shop with coupons in hand! Now stores are letting you scan your phones and stuff, too, so make sure to be aware if you can save some dough!

An awesome time to shop is the changing of seasons in general. Especially the new year!!! I find the best sales in late December or early January. Even on etsy, I found Lil and her friend lace rompers for super cheap because the shop owner wanted all new inventory, as most stores do. Buy for next year if you can estimate your child's size. But make sure you have room to store the clothes!

As far as baby clothes go, check yard sales in the summer. If they're not stained or yucky, just wash and sanitize!! I hit some great yard sales last year and Lily always looks good if I do say so myself. ;)

I'm honestly not a big Walmart shopper for clothes for her. I bought her a dress there and it literally ripped in like 3 places on the first day. Yes, you get what you pay for, but if its clearance it was originally more!

Do you have any tips for shopping? Any deals or stores I should check out?! Let me know in a comment below!! Lil and I are shopaholics and would love to be pointed in a new direction!

Also, I appreciate your reads so much and am so beyond happy if you guys pin or repin my blog. It means a lot in all sincerity!!!

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

DIY Age Cake Topper

Hello! My feet are KILLING me cause I've been in the kitchen aaaaaaaaalllll day. A batch of cupcakes (2 flavors), and two cakes! Woo! Got a lot done, fixed some mishaps and am ready to show how I made my Cake topper from last posts cake, and one of my new cakes.
So here's the finished product on the cake:

So cute huh?! Perfect way to bedazzle a cake! This cake is Adam's great grandmother's, Lily's great great grandmother's! She was a St Patrick's Day baby and named Patricia in honor. She wants strictly St. Patrick's Day theme every birthday. Can't wait to present it tomorrow! Although it's kinda of funny.. I'm so proud of my work till it comes time for the "client" to get the cake. I get so nervous! I feel like a dog with my tail between my legs or something. Weird. OK!
I also used a hot glue gun! Oops! 
I find using my finger to spread the glue gets it totally all over so there are no empty spots. Then the best part:  Glitter!
Now, I do like three or so glitter sessions so that I get every part of the wooden number. 
Once the front and top dries, I move on to the back and bottom. Then last the middle. After this, I modpodged EVERY spot on the number. Be very sure to absolutely cover it. As much fun as glitter is, you truly don't want to eat it or have it rain on your cake. Then lastly, I hot glued it to my skewer, wooden pole thing. I bought a set of them at Michaels. The numbers took me FOREVER to find, and I traveled long and far to find them at the perfect size for cakes at AC Moore. I trimmed the skewer by holding it next to the finished cake and just snapped them. I filed the ends with a clean, new nail file to make sure there are no little splinters in my cake. 

You can do this with glitter, scrap book paper or anything your heart desires. If you check out my last blog, you'll notice I did a polka dot pattern on my 18 topper. I feel like it gives it more of a birthday feel where I don't usually actually write out happy birthday on my cakes anymore. Here are the rest of the pictures!

I am so proud of my guy's little beer! I hollowed out a pen and sawed it into a small round. Stuffed it with fondant, put a bit of frosting on top and added sugar pearls for bubbles! How awesome! The pot of gold is of course dusted with gold pearl dust. My leprechaun is full of tooth picks and built around a fat boba straw (which I also use for stacking my cakes). I used chocolate gold coins on the outside, too, and pasted those with frosting because they were so heavy! I think she's going to love it! Here's the other cake I made today: 

Things I learned this time around:

Don't even open the fondant till you're going to use it. (I tried to dye it ahead of time to save time.. nope. Don't do it, just wait and you'll get the desired consistency)

If you're coloring with food coloring (like the leprechaun's face or the star's faces) don't do it till it's already on the cake. 

Put moisturizing soap next to your sink. I washed my hands about 6,000 times today and are so dry from plain soap. Ouch! 

If you're building a sculpture that you want to stand, or sit on the cake, build around something that will hold it up. I learned this actually from the Harry Potter cake. "Impaling" your fondant will make it smush and bend a way that ruins your shape or creature.

Have a good playlist on hand. Tay Swift has stuck with me strong in all of my baking! 

So I hope you use this tutorial or enjoyed reading it anyway! Lily had a great day with her grandma. I had warned my mom much in advance that I'd needed her allllll day and I did. I was in the kitchen 10-6! I really hope everyone loves them because I know I'm going to wake up nervous as ever tomorrow morning. My next post will probably be of Lily's first party she's throwing. She's having four baby friends over for a one year old egg hunt! Should be lots of fun :)