Friday, April 20, 2012

Nick and Claudia's Bird Themed Baby Shower

I recently co-hosted a bird themed baby shower for a good friend. 

These were the invitations that Claudia picked out and our jumping off point for the party decorations (I've removed all personal information for all you stalkers out there).  I thought these invitations were just the CUTEST.  We went with a grey, yellow and white combination. 

Megan (my co-host) and I came up with our first idea of having a potted tree as our main focal decoration.  We found a couple of GREAT ideas on Pinterest for this.  If you're interested, here is my board:

Here is the original inspiration for the tree:

photo from

Of course, mine is bigger and not quite as cute since we cut the branches too early and the leaves started to wilt.  Oh well, live and learn.  AND I decided to go for a more natural look and not paint the branches white.  I think if I had it to do again, I'd go with a smaller version and probably paint it.  As you can see the tree completely overpowered the cute CUTE birds we made and the personalized pacifiers that had little Hanna's name on them.  My living room is so dark so most of the pictures I took are crappy.

Here is the inspiration for the birds we made. 

photo from

I went to this blogger's page and pretty much followed her instructions verbatim.  The part where she talks about the hooks was a little vague so I did make that part up.  Ours aren't QUITE as cute as hers, but I think they turned out pretty darn cute.

Claudia's mom took care of all the food so I didn't have to worry about that.  We took out my 2 folding tables thinking that would be plenty of room for her food and we nearly didn't have enough space!    Megan and I hung a onesie banner with Hanna's name spelled out and added some yellow pompoms.  Again, my living room is so dark that the pictures don't quite do it justice.

Megan made cupcakes for dessert and I ordered these really cute cake toppers off 

photo from Etsy Death By Cupcake

Here are our cupcakes.  I asked the Death By Cupcake owner if she could make them yellow instead of tan.  She did!  Again, my photo skills are crappy.  One day I'll learn how to do this better.

For flower arrangements, Megan and I found these really cute birdhouses on sale at Target for about a dollar a piece.  Megan picked up some white flowers the day of the shower, since I didn't want them wilting like the ornament tree, and we threw this together.  I think they turned out so stinking cute!

Party favors were M&Ms with Hanna Cate spelled out on them - yellow and gray of course!  We found these really cute glass containers at Party City. 

Claudia gave birth to Hanna Lillian on April 16th at 5:13pm.  Hanna weighed 5 pounds 10 ounces.  Momma and baby are fine!  Isn't she beautiful?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Updated Kitchen

I recently went on an organizing binge and finally got my kitchen under control. I thought I'd post my semi-before and after pictures so you can see how far we came from the very beginning (buying the house) to now.

I didn't get a picture before we painted the cabinets.  They look white here, but they are actually a creamy white.  The green tile HAD to go as did the peeling laminate counter tops.  We lived with the white appliances for a little while, but eventually switched them out.  The floor also had to go after we painted the cabinets because it made them look dirty!  Oh, and the tiles were popping up anyways.

This is what the cabinets looked like before we painted them.  The finish had worn off and there were a lot of scratches.  We STILL haven't painted these, but plan to in the near future.

Here is the finished product (as of today... Paul and I would still love to replace the counter tops with soap stone, butcher block or some other solid surface).  I took this with my camera phone, so the quality isn't great.

Aside from painting the cabinets, we did several things.  We (and by we, I mean Paul) tore up the crappy tile floor and re-tiled the floor with slate tiles.  We decided to tile the counter tops because it was less labor intensive and more affordable than granite, soap stone, etc.  We replaced all the appliances with stainless steel and I painted the walls a Khaki color (all by myself!).  Paul added undercounter lighting and basically did all the hard work.  I think the one thing I would do differently is use oil rubbed bronze knobs instead of the brushed nickel ones (but these were on sale).

I can't remember how much we actually spent on all this, but aside from the appliances I don't think we spent more than $600.00.  Not bad, eh?  (Sorry, too much HGTV Canada)

First Photo Shoot

Last Thursday some old friends came to town.  I worked with Dean Rowell in Tyler when I was wet and green behind the ears, right out of college.  I loved working with him for 2 main reasons (and lots of little ones)...  He knew a LOT and he was so relaxed all the time.  He once said to me, "I hate drivers who honk at you the millisecond you don't GO when the light changes.  Who needs to be in that big of a hurry!?"  I responded "that was probably me.  Get out of my way, I have people to see and places to be!"  I was joking of course, but he really is just like that... laid back and coooooool. 

His wife, Pam, is a photographer.  I'm not sure when she picked it up, but she's very good.  I was lucky enough to have them come to town on a job interview for Dean and schedule a photo shoot with the boys.  Paul and I have no professional pictures of the boys and I was super excited that she was available to schedule us.  Below are a couple of teasers she sent to me.  I'm so happy with them and can't wait to see the rest!

All photos courtesy of Pam Rowell, Photo_Graphics by Pam.