A shower made for a storybook

A shower made for a storybook

Do you have a favorite children’s book?

You know… that one you can recite from memory because you’ve read it so many times?

On Saturday morning, I hopped out of bed early with storybooks on my mind. I sorted through our shelves of books, pulling out all of the ones that were classics. I had teamed up with two of my friends, Jami and Sarah, to host a baby shower for our friend, Lindsay.

 

We had found tons of ideas for a storybook themed shower on Pinterest. Jami had planned out all of our themed foods, like a Hungry Caterpillar fruit salad, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs meatballs and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie cookie tray.

I designed and cut out banners with characters from classic children’s stories. And Sarah planned out some cute decorating touches…

 

But we needed just one thing more for our decor… books!

I set up children’s books all around the living room, entry and kitchen. When my kids saw them, they immediately sat down and started reading them to each other. I was amazed at what a flood of memories washed over me just looking through those books and hearing them read the words again.

Now that they are 17, 15, 13 and 8, and can read on their own, we don’t spend much time reading books together. But the words came right back, and I could recite many of them by heart.

My favorites:

  • Dinosaur Roar
  • Are You My Mother?
  • The Bear Snored On
  • Put Me in the Zoo

Oh, how I cherish those days of little kids snuggled up in my lap reading books together!

Anyway… Here are a few other details from the shower, which was SO fun to put together. I had been working super hard the month before to get ready for Easter at our church. (When you work for a church, Easter is pretty much the biggest day of the year!)

My husband saw me cutting and pasting together the banners and other decorations, and remarked at how happy I looked. There’s nothing like doing something creative to help me relax after a long few weeks! Somewhere in my secret dreamworld life, I imagine myself spending my days as a professional birthday party planner. (Is there such a thing?!?) I wonder if I would get bored designing and cutting out decorations for parties all day long.

Anywho…

I was in charge of creating the invitation for the shower. After searching the Internet for ideas, I came up with this one… an invitation designed to fold out like a little book. I Photoshopped characters from classic stories to create this simple, but cute invitation.

Jami did an amazing job planning out our spread of children’s book-themed food!

I used my Silhouette to print and cut the banners and signs for the food. Since I had already found a lot of storybook characters to create the invitations, it was easy to put together the other signs. I used the “registration” feature on my Silhouette to first print the characters on shiny cardstock, then cut out the circles on my Silhouette.

 

Sarah created this adorable wreath, using small books and stuffed animals she found in the $1 aisle at Target.

She added lots of other tassels and finishing touches…

We simply printed out one more themed cover for these little clipboard notebooks that we gave as party favors…

And then we added more books and quotes to finish off the decorating…

For our party games, we created a sheet with lines from classic children’s books and the guests had to guess which book they were from.

And then, we played the game, “Guess what’s in the diaper?” I loaded diapers with an assortment of candy, fruit and other foods, like melted cheese, mashed up Fig Newtons and my favorite, guacamole! I think this photo says it all!

As always, planning the party was almost as much fun as the party itself. But I especially loved my little stroll down memory lane through the pages of all of those books.

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So what about you? What’s your favorite children’s book?

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Getting ready for Valentine’s Day… minus all the red

Getting ready for Valentine’s Day… minus all the red

I subscribe to lots of blogs on fashion, lifestyle and home decor in my Bloglovin’ news feed, and everyone has been writing lately about Valentine’s Day. Of course, all of the posts about this heart-filled holiday are loaded with red. Red boots. Red sweaters. Red pillows. Red flowers.

I’m all for filling the world with love. But every year, I have to figure out how to do it without surrounding myself with the color red.

 

I guess you could say I have some strong feelings about color. I’m slightly obsessed with color, in general. I love, love, love organizing things in rainbow order and bringing as much color as possible into my world.

Just not red. I have a terrible relationship with red.

 

I think my bad feelings toward red started in college. I had a favorite sweater that was red. It fit me perfectly. I loved the length of the sweater, and it was super warm and cozy. But every time I wore it, people would say things to me like, “Are you feeling OK?” “You don’t look well.” “Are you getting sick?”

Inevitably, by late afternoon, I would come home and change clothes. After a day of wearing red, I actually WAS starting to feel a little ill.

Since then, my negative feelings about red have only increased.

My closet is arranged in order by color, but I don’t have one scrap of clothing from the red, orange and yellow end of the spectrum. I have discovered that I need to stick to the G BIV side of ROY G BIV to look my best. And, boy, do I LOVE green, blue, indigo and violet!

I think other people look GREAT in warm colors. In fact, I totally admire people who can wear red (or orange or yellow or pink for that matter). I, on the other hand, avoid even standing next to people wearing red. You couldn’t pay me enough money to take my photo in front of a red wall. Red scarves and boots are out.

Red clothing has become the gluten of my wardrobe.

When it comes to decorating, even at Valentine’s Day, you will find as little red as possible in my home.

The only red I have in my Valentine’s Day decor are these little hanging hearts. Even the Grinch of Valentine’s Day colors has to make at least one concession.

 

I do enjoy little hanging hearts enough that I can deal with their scarlet hue.

 

(It’s kind of hard to find hanging hearts in any color BUT red, so I cope.)

My Valentine’s decor has a very short lifespan in my home, so it’s mainly a transition from all of the winter white.

 

I like to bring in a little color before I get to go ALL SPRING. The hearts and LOVE letters are a sign that spring is coming, which makes me so, so happy!

 

 

In fact, I just noticed that the time will change in one month! Four more weeks until the darkness starts to recede, and we get our lives back!

 

For now, Valentine’s Day around here is mostly maroon and white, mixed with a little pink. It’s more of a subtle take on the love decor, but at least these colors don’t give me a headache like their evil sister on the color spectrum… RED!

**

So, how about you? Do you have strong feelings about color? Do you have a color that your can’t go near? Do you like to decorate for Valentine’s Day?

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What’s working for me in January

What’s working for me in January

How’s your January going so far? As much as I don’t like the cold weather months, I feel like January has been going as well as a super dark, freezing month in which the sun sets way too early and I barely ever go outside can possibly go.

We still have nearly two weeks left in this first month of the year, but I thought I would share a few things that are making it more bearable!

THE AUDIO BIBLE

Every year, I make the same resolution. And almost every single year, I fail to complete it.

I always start off the year with good intentions of reading the entire Bible in a year. Because of this, I have read the book of Genesis at least 35 more times than any other book of the Bible. 🙂 This year, I decided that maybe I need to take the same approach to reading the Bible that I take to other books. It’s very rare these days that I actually read a book. Instead, I listen to them! I actually listened to 17 books last year, which was good, considering my goal was 12.

I assumed that downloading the entire Bible on audiobook would be very expensive. I found the One Year Bible (NLT version) on Audible, and couldn’t believe that the entire thing was only one credit. (It downloads in seven parts.) In fact, to BUY the entire Bible as an Audible member, the price was (hold on to your seat): $5.95. WHAT?!? Can you believe it?

OK. So, I’m not pretending to be a major Bible scholar here. Listening to the Bible on audiobook is definitely not a deep Bible study. But I totally enjoy reading it this way. The reader is really engaging and I love how he adds drama to many of the stories. (Plus, I don’t have to ponder how to pronounce any names.) There have been several days when I have found myself reacting with, “What?!” or “You have to be kidding!” as he reads the Old Testament stories. I often “read” when I’m driving or putting on my make-up or walking or even emptying the dishwasher.

TV SHOWS

I’ve also been spending more time on the treadmill this year. As long as I’m feeling well, I either walk or do the Couch to 5K running app every day. In order to do this, I had to break my two-year television fast. Come on! There is no way you can withstand the treadmill without a good TV show.

I recently finished watching, “Travelers,” which I totally enjoyed. I’m so sad that it’s over. Right after Christmas, I also watched the third season of “Broadchurch.” Both shows were just the right mix of mystery and suspense, without it being so over the top that I want to stay up all night on a Netflix binge.

Now that I’ve finished Travelers, I’m desperately trying to find another show to fill the void and help me wrap up week four of the Couch to 5K. Please, pleeeeaaaase give a girl some suggestions! I’m finding NOTHING that I like. (Don’t say, “The Crown.” I’ve tried. I’ve tried. I’ve tried. Can’t.)

MONK FRUIT

I need to write a whole blog post on food. I keep thinking about this time last year when I was barely surviving as I tried to do Whole 30. It’s amazing that I basically did Whole 30 for an entire year! I definitely feel a ton better this year than I did last year!

I didn’t eat processed sugar in 2017 (MOST of the time), but starting last summer, I allowed myself to have raw honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar. This January, I decided to cut out those sweeteners, too, because my sweet tooth was getting out of control, and I gained a few pounds. A few weeks ago, I discovered monk fruit sweetener.

I’m still learning about monk fruit, but from what I’ve read so far, it’s supposed to be a zero-calorie sweetener that actually has health benefits. I don’t love it, but it’s nice to add a tiny bit of sweetener to things once in a while. Since it’s zero calorie, it’s working for me!

FLAVORED KOMBUCHA

Everyone I know has been posting on Facebook about how sick they have been this year with the flu. I know I absolutely should not post this, but so far, I haven’t been sick at all (other than from gluten). I am starting to think that drinking Kombucha everyday really is helping.

One of the health benefits of Kombucha is that it is supposed to improve your immune system. Some people even go so far as to say that it helps prevent cancer.

 

I’ve been brewing my own Kombucha for about nine months now, and I’ve really gotten the hang of it! I’ve been experimenting with new flavors using fruits and herbs during the second ferment, and the results have been amazing! Maybe I’ll write a whole blog post about this later.

QWIRKLE

A friend introduced us to the game, “Qwirkle” on New Year’s Eve, and I had to go buy one for our family. It’s one of those games that isn’t too long. It requires some strategy, but not TOO much thinking. It’s great for lots of ages. And we can play with our whole family. (I think the box says up to four players, but you can definitely play with six!)

NATURAL SKIN CARE

January is also the month when our skin takes a beating in the cold weather. I really focused in 2017 on transitioning to skin care products with natural ingredients. I have learned that just as I read the labels on the foods I eat, I also need to read the labels on the products I put ON my skin! I know a LOT of my friends sell all different kinds of skin care products, so I really don’t want to get into recommending anything here. But I’m just happy to have found some great all-natural products that make my skin feel great.

I’m also brushing my teeth with “My Magic Mud” toothpaste (you can use this link to search for it on Thrive), which is made of activated charcoal and bentonite clay. So, there’s that. The toothpaste doesn’t have any fluoride, which many people believe can damage your thyroid. Oh, and just a warning… the toothpaste is black.

If you are interested in learning more about why these things are important, I got a lot of info from the book, Younger by Sara Gottfried.

A FEW MORE THINGS

Other things I’m loving this month:

Matcha green tea lattes (search on Thrive market)

Soup

Pompoms

My bullet journal

 

Did I mention Thrive market? (My order came today!)

and the book, “Sensible Shoes.”

 

So, what about you? I would love to hear what’s working for you right now!

 

**

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product through a link you clicked on here, I receive a tiny portion of the sale at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting everydaymom!

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Winter decorating with… pompoms?

Winter decorating with… pompoms?

I probably get annoying with all of the blog posts I write about switching out my home decor for the seasons. The truth is, I really write these posts for myself. I often use my blog as a reference when I’m trying to remember what I used for decorating this time one year ago.

This is especially true with this year’s winter decor. I have a feeling that one year from now I’ll be trying to remember, “What was that weird obsession I had back at the beginning of 2018?!”

Oh, yeah… pompoms!

I started making pompoms last summer after a couple of friends told me how fun they are to make. I bought all of the supplies and tried to get my girls and their friends to hang out with me as we trimmed yarn into poof balls. The girls’ attention span for pompom making was short, so I put the craft away for another day.

This winter, I felt the urge to try making pompoms again. I found that it was a really quick, simple and fun craft to do while stuck inside for winter. As I was thinking about how to switch my home from Christmas to just plain, “winter,” I decided that pompoms could add some texture, fun and whimsy to my home decorating.

I really look forward to swapping out my Christmas decor for something more neutral. In fact, I can barely wait 24 hours to take the tree down once we have opened our gifts. I get tired of having a huge tree in the middle of my living room and constantly vacuuming pine needles. And then there’s my issue with the color red. I do not enjoy being around the color red, so by the time Christmas is over, I’m ready to wipe away the bright red and replace it with the calm of white.

This year, I had been busily making pompom bookmarks and even pompom animals in the days after Christmas. As I worked on adding touches of winter white to my decorating, I decided to whip up a few pompom accents for my decorating.

They give the feeling of falling snow. But instead of bringing in the cold feeling of real snow, I love how they add softness and warmth to my living room.

I also kept all of the snow globes from my Christmas decor

And I added this white cotton wreath, which I absolutely love!

And just a reminder… even if you don’t love winter, at least you can love the fact it brings spring, right?

So, what do you think? Have you ever made pompoms? Could you decorate with them? Do you love your Christmas decor or do you take it down as quickly as possible? Leave me a comment! I would love to know!

 

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It’s a rustic, snow-globe kind of Christmas

It’s a rustic, snow-globe kind of Christmas

Hey, there! I know it’s been a while since I updated the blog. The last few months have been really crazy around here, and my poor blog has been neglected. I’ve been working a lot more hours than usual… then we have the usual family stuff, plus that whole deal about me cooking every meal from scratch.

It’s always hard to know where to begin after I haven’t written anything for so long. So it seemed like the easiest place to start would be with the happy, light-hearted topic of Christmas decor! You already know that I’m not a big fan of winter. But thank goodness for the smell of pine and the cozy warmth of Christmas decor to get us at least part way through the long winter!

I’ve continue working on my rustic decorating style by adding some new signs that I’ve painted and other wood elements. This year, I also added my snow globes to the Christmas theme. I usually don’t bring them out until January, just to change things up. I’m really loving snow globes and enjoy buying myself a new one at Christmas time!

I found a random board in the garage and painted this “Merry & Bright” sign. It was so simple. I just stained the board a dark walnut. Then, I cut out the words with my Silhouette and placed them on the sign with adhesive vinyl. I painted over the vinyl with white paint. Then, I removed the vinyl to reveal the words. So fun!

Here’s the whole fireplace, with a blurry view of the “Christmas countdown” sign that I painted this year. It has a little wreath around the number “1” that we can move each day! Dec. 1 also is our youngest daughter’s birthday, so she has been super excited to see that number marked the past few weeks!

You already know how much I love chalkboards. Here are a few that I’ve updated for the Christmas season.

And, you might also know that I’m obsessed with fairy gardens. I made this little Christmas fairy garden in a jar, which I thought was cute with my snow globes.

And remember this photograph I took last year? It was fun to pull it out for a winter touch on my shelves in the kitchen.

You might remember that I used mod podge to adhere the photo to a piece of wood. I glazed it with mod podge, which makes it looks like a painting.

This is my new snow globe for this year.

And here’s one on the coffee bar and shelves that my husband built for me:

I’ve had this white mirror for as long as we’ve been home owners. It was one of the first decorations I ever bought. All of the glass is now broken from having lots of kids in the house, but I still love decorating it for the seasons.

 

I haven’t done a lot outside this year, and I think I might just keep it simple.

I made this set of ornaments a few years ago with a log from our River Birch tree. I still love them!

And Jayda made this little snow man last year in first grade. Isn’t it the cutest? I want to make a whole family of them to represent our family. That could be happening soon!!

So, what do you think about decorating for the holidays? Do you love it or hate it? Do you have a decorating style or a theme?

I would love to hear! Leave me a comment!

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