Monday, August 11, 2014

Oregon Coast

This summer is just sailing by...can't believe its already August. Due to our work schedules we haven't had much time to go on vacation - both of us are saving all our vacation/PTO days to use after baby #2 is here. Hubby is still working every weekend now and I'm feeling the burn out of never seeing my man (sad face) and the frustration of not having much time to chore/house project stuff done (things like weed whacking and overdue yard projects have piled up in the back burner). We've got a list a mile long and I'm in full blown nesting mode (only 8 weeks left til the little guy arrives!) and feeling the stress of getting everything done...but all I really want to do is lay around and lap up the sun while its still here and yes, I'm already reminiscing about our one vacation of the summer. (Yes finally getting around to posting photos!)

In June we took our new-to-us toy (a 15 year old Winnebago motor home! the Big W!) out for our first road trip and hit some of the beaches along the Oregon Coast.

It was so much fun seeing Allie's reaction to the sand and waves for the first time. She couldn't get enough of the water despite how freezing cold it was!

In typical us fashion we packed a little too many destinations into this trip - a good learning experience, next time we plan to go to less destinations and have more quality time at each place! Especially with a toddler in tow bouncing from a different town each night - naps got jacked up, a good nights sleep was harder to come by and her eating definitely got worse (already a daily struggle). So next time, less is more and quality over quantity.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip:

Our first stop - Cannon Beach, just in time for sunset.
 
 
One of my favorite pics - my two loves walking in the sunset <3
 
First time experiencing sand. She got it everywhere!  Loved seeing her delight and fascination at watching the sand slowly trickle out of her fingertips.

A stop at Tillamook (the fresh icecream there was so incredible!) and then we stayed in Newport to hit up the Oregon Coast Aquarium - an incredible aquarium!

 
We loved the underwater tunnels/exhibit at the Aquarium. Not to mention the otter exhibit! So impressed with the exhibits and the amount of space they give the animals compared to other aquariums we've been too.
 

 


Walking along the beach in Newport (near Yaquina Bay) at another sunset. Love our hiking backpack for adventures like this!

We found this little gem of a beach outside Coos Bay. A last minute change of plans had us arriving to the RV campgrounds late at night. When we woke up in the morning we were thrilled to see how close we were to the beach - and what a gorgeous beach it was. Definitely want to go back here! (Now if only I could remember what it was called!) That's Kevin running with Allie is his arms - and two little dogs running after them (their owner was walking them down the beach)

Allie and Kevin strolling along the beach. (Can you tell who the family photographer is? Got to get a little better about letting him/making him take pics)

She was ready to walk right into the waves and not come back. So much fun to see how excited she was....even though the water was cold and we had to pop her in a warm bath right after leaving the beach.

Wish we had more time to do another..... :) in the mean time back to the grind of projects going on at our house in our spare time:

*Clearing out our third bedroom which was our cluttery junky office to turn into the nursery
*Setting up the nursery and getting all the babies clothes washed and ready and the room decorated
*Moving the junky office downstairs into our dining room and figuring out a system that won't drive me crazy and will give me time to get artsy/crafty (finally!)
*Packing up Allie's clothes that don't fit her (so much for hand me downs this time around)
*Misc half-started projects around the house (like maybe time to finish painting the banister - its *only* been a year. cough.)







Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Kick-Off

I can't believe its already June! GAH! Where is time going?!

We've had a lot going on.....Kevin changed his schedule and is working every weekend. Very hard because not only are we unable to tag-time any major projects around the house and property but we also don't get to do any family fun outings together (or have much hubby/wife time either). Boo. But the plus side is we were able to pull little Squidge out of daycare so we could save some money! And she gets more one-on-one Daddy time!

And luckily....there is light at the end of the tunnel and we'll be able to spend more time together. Because in October - I will be quitting my job to be a stay-at-home mom! And here's the best part of it (and the main reason why)......we are expecting baby #2!

Yup, we're going to be a family of four and we just found out its a boy! So excited for our family to grow and for Allie to have a little buddy! Totally shocked its a boy - here I have a whole closet full of hand me downs ;) but we're very excited.

Like my first pregnancy the first few months I was very nauseous the whole time and super exhausted - which made doing any house projects or anything fun besides being with Allie pretty hard. Thankfully, the seasick feeling has subsided pretty much and I'm feeling less tired.

Allie also self-weaned about a month ago which I think helped with a lot of my fatigue! And man was I not prepared for the amount of emotion her weaning would bring on - I felt so sad and just heartbroken to lose that special time together. Even though nursing was getting super painful in a way I had never experienced, I still wasn't quite ready. My little baby had grown up. Waaaaaaaah. So many hormones and emotions.

Now I'm all about crossing things off our list to try and get ready for another baby - and all the mess and toys and gear that come with it! - in our house, getting our property a little more cleaned up. (It's a looooong way from being the manicured little farm I want it to be. So far we've sold/taken a lot of junk out that was left on the side of the barn from the previous owners and already its looking better. But the list is still pretty long!)

I've been purging lots of our stuff, selling unwanted things (YAY!), doing a private art lesson here and there to earn extra money (which always makes me lament that I don't have much time to do any art really), and starting to get our third bedroom cleaned out to turn into a boy's room. Busy busy!

And of course still having time for fun with this little cutie!
16 months, hanging out in her mini camping chair
 
We are kicking off the summer with a vacation in June down the Oregon coast - we can't wait! A much needed vacation and Allie's first trip to the Beach. Camping again in July and then hopefully in August. I don't have many vacation days, and Kevin is saving them all so he can take time off when Baby Boy gets here, so we'll have to make the most of our few days together.
 
So that's what's been happening in our casa lately!



Monday, April 28, 2014

5 Things I Learned This Weekend:

5 Things I Learned This Weekend:

1) In a house that is primarily hardwood floors, my a-hole cats will always, always choose to vomit on the rug.

Pretty sure it was this chubby guy. Dang it Thomas!
(Allie, age 7 months-ish?, with her favorite butterball buddy)


2) A 15 month old is definitely old enough to learn how to unscrew lids in a matter of seconds.

3) A whole bottle of lemon extract dumped on the floor will make your house smell really nice. (Thankfully it was the lemon extract and not the "smoke flavor" bottle she was playing with while I was making dinner. haha!)

4) It is physically possible to go over a year without a full night's sleep. But it is not fun and it does not make you look pretty. And it makes you kinda cranky. And very forgetful.

5) Crap. I had a 5th. Sigh, see above....

Oh well...I'm still crazy smitten, butterflies in my heart, so full of love for this little girl that I don't even care about the lack of sleep....much ;)

My little pumpkin with her Easter Basket!

How was your weekend? Any one else with one year olds still not sleeping well? Come join my club, let me buy you a drink! ;)

~ K

Friday, April 18, 2014

Foods to Fatten Your Teeny Tiny Toddler Up

Do you have a skinny mini toddler you are trying to get to gain weight? You hear about kids being picky, or only wanting to eat one particular food, but what do you do when your child just never wants to eat?! Its so frustrating! If you are in the same boat as us, I totally feel your pain - its super stressful and you feel so helpless at times!

Scouring pinterest I see tons of pins about getting toddlers to eat healthy or ideas of how to sneak vegetables into their diet, but not many options or ideas on what to feed toddlers to help them gain weight!

We finally went to the Growth & Development Clinic at Seattle Children's Hospital after a two month wait and we learned some great tips, adjustments to recipes and food ideas! So thought I would share what we learned with anybody who's looking for ways to help get their tiny toddler to fatten up!

The idea of "fattening up" seems so unhealthy and opposite of what we as adults consider a good diet doesn't it? But fat is so important for babies and kids, they need it not just for their physical growth but also for their brain development. So when Allie's weight really started to drop and she wasn't on the chart anymore we definitely got worried and a little panicked. Its been a very emotional few months :( feeling like a failure as a parent, feeling helpless when she pushes food away and clamps her mouth shut, feeling stressed over every meal, feeling frustrated with well-meaning family not understanding why we were concerned (after all skinny is good right? But not for developing babies!). It's been a huge source of stress so we were really happy to finally meet with specialists and see what they said.

I won't bore people with all the details of the 3 hour appointment (feel free to email me if it would be helpful to you!) - there were measurements, they watched us feed her, watched her physically eat, saw how we interacted with her, how we responded when she swatted the food away and shook her head no and did the "all done" sign. Luckily she doesn't have a motor or physical impairment affecting her eating (one of the things the specialists look for - chewing, swallowing functions, aversion to texture, etc.). With her its more a high metabolism, not much of an appetite and probably her genetic makeup is that she will be on the petite side. So they gave us some good tips to make the calories count since she doesn't have a big appetite. Thus we are cooking everything for her with full cream, extra olive oil, extra cheese, double the butter <insert Paula Dean butter diet joke here> you get the idea! You get so used to cooking "healthy" or cutting calories for you and your spouse that you forget food can be more made a lot more fattening.

(And yah, cooking separate meals? I know, add that to my delusional pre-baby "I will never" list. I famously told my mother, "I will never cook a separate meal for my kid. She will eat what I eat or go hungry." HA HA HA, oh how the fates are laughing at me. Yeah, except when your child's health and development is at stake and you are so desperate for them to eat you'll do anything!)

So here are some of the awesome food ideas that we got from the Growth & Development Clinic and some of the things that have worked best for us. This is the nutshell version, all the above food ideas and all sorts of nutrition info are available at Seattle Children's here:
http://www.seattlechildrens.org/clinics-programs/nutrition/resources/):


Make adjustments to your recipe aka cook like you're trying to cook for Paula Dean, Fat Bastard and the Ditka Super Fans...(obviously I was a teen in the 90's ;))
  • Add extra butter (don't just put a little bit of butter on the grilled cheese sandwich, SLATHER it on. Put more butter than a sane person would.)
  • Use whipping cream instead of milk in your recipes (best tip ever! whipping cream is calorie loaded. No wonder I love it on pie. mmmm.)
  • Add cream cheese (i.e. to things like box macaroni & cheese)
  • Add extra olive oil (add it to soup, double the amount in your recipe, etc)
  • Add extra egg to recipes where you can (i.e. french toast, sauces, etc)
  • Add cheese where you can.
  • Remember to buy full-fat wherever possible (i.e. yogurt, cottage cheese). SO easy to grab low-fat/skim when you're on autopilot at the store!  
  • Sneak meat in - ground beef/ham/chicken - into recipes where you can
My notes: most times I do go to the extra work to make her "full-fat" food separate from ours - only because I don't need to go up another jean size, ugh. Other times I make a normal recipe and then add the extra butter/oil to her dish only. So many of these are dairy related - obvious what I should be giving up if I want to lose weight ;)


Food ideas aka think of the most fattening foods you normally avoid that you'd like to eat:
  • Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!
  • Pasta! (fettuccine alfredo, macaroni-n-cheese, etc)
  • Mashed potatoes made with whipping cream, sour cream, cream cheese and butter. BAM! Fatty delight and my idea of heaven.
  • Peanut butter on toast (Allie is allergic, so this one doesn't work for us. Bummer)
  • Berries with whipping cream poured over them
  • Make smoothies (using all the good fat stuff - full fat yogurt, cream, fruit, etc)
  • Sliced avocado (Allie is not a fan)
  • Cottage cheese with fruit mixed in
  • Give them things to dip food in - hummus and pita bread, fruit into yogurt, apples into peanut butter, crackers in a cheese dip, etc. (Allie's not old enough to dip on her own yet)
  • Milkshakes (they told us not to be worried about sugar when you are desperate to get calories in them. Unfortunately Allie doesn't like these either. How is she my child?! ;) ha ha)
  • Banana or pumpkin bread slathered with butter
  • Serve vegetables slathered in butter and/or with grated cheese
  • Pizza! Cheesy bread! Rolls slathered with jam and butter! (Carbs with fat = yum)
  • Sweet potatoes with loads of butter and a sprinkling of brown sugar
  • Eggs - boiled, scrambled, fried, egg salad. Great source of protein!
  • Yogurt drinks for the non-milk drinkers*


Best high-calorie foods we have found that Allie likes best: (note a few things: we offer other food other than these, including just plain healthy food without "fatty add on's", these are just the ones we have found she liked the most. But even liking these the most, she still doesn't eat many bites of them - a good day is when she eats an entire ravioli at dinner. Then there's my friend who's 1 year old eats 6 raviolis. SIGH. So frustrating.)
  • Baby oatmeal made with whipping cream and baby food mixed in (berry and sweet potatoes are her favorite)
  • Scrambled eggs made with cream, lots of butter, and a little bit of grated cheese
  • Pasta tossed with butter, olive oil, pepper & salt & basil
  • Homemade macaroni-n-cheese using 100% cream, tons of cheese and butter
  • Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo knock-off recipe
  • Box macaroni (we like Annie's white cheddar) made with whipping cream, double butter and a little bit of cream cheese added
  • Mozzarella & spinach ravioli's that Costco sells, slathered with olive oil. This is the food she is most excited about.  
  • Papa Murphy's cheesy bread - she loves this stuff! So do I, thus why my pants are tight lately ;)
  • Raspberries served in cream
  • Peas slathered in butter with salt and pepper
  • Pita bread warmed with butter on it (the one they sell at Costco is sooo good!)
  • Colby cheese cut into thin slices
  • Yogurt
  • Cheesy rice casserole, baked spaghetti, etc. I add extra butter/oil of course
  • Gerber Graduates "Grabbers" Fruit & Yogurt - these are the highest calorie food pouches we could find and she loves them! They are our go-to food on bad eating days.

  • Smoothies and yogurt drinks*
*Allie hates whole milk and formula and only wants breast milk straight from the source - not from a bottle or cup, part of our feeding problem. Ugh. I've heard from other people they had luck getting their child to drink milk by starting with chocolate or strawberry milk, pediasure, Carnation Instant Breakfast, almond milk, etc. but none of that worked for her. We use organic milk cause I can't stand the taste of non-organic personally but that didn't help either. We've had slightly better success with yogurt drinks but still not great. She loves water and juice (we do watered down juice/100% juice only cause it can fill her up and its empty calories)

Eating spaghetti! Yum!

 My tips:
  • Offer different cheeses 'til you find what works - Allie went crazy for colby cheese way more than straight cheddar. She is not a huge meat eater and we worry about protein intake, cheese and eggs are our favorite go-to for that.
  • On "bad" eating days where she doesn't want to eat, sometimes I'll offer her favorite food - mandarin oranges - sometimes it will get her appetite kick started.
  • Sometimes she signs "all done" but then after I offer a drink she will eat a few more bites
  • We always accept/eat food she offers - even if you don't like it, don't want the calories, etc, make sure to eat it. We noticed she will eat more after she feeds mom/dad. (Kevin hates banana's, so I peversely love to watch her feed him those. bwwa ha ha ha, enjoy it honey!)
  • Offer drinks in a novelty cup. She will drink more smoothie from a straw than a sippy. It's more fun?
  • Try not to let them sense your stress. They can't enjoy their food when you're watching them like a hawk, so I try to eat alongside and not make a big deal about whether she's eating well or not. Easier said than done I know. Especially when she starts throwing all the food on the ground. grrrrrr.
  • We noticed she was really squirmy in her high chair so we switched high chairs and got her this one instead - The Fisher Price Deluxe Booster Chair. The tray hits her in a lower spot and she seems way more comfortable in it than it the giant padded one we had. This one's a fraction of the cost too, its on my list of baby recommendations to all my friends. And way easy to clean!
  • Sometimes she will eat more if we play picnic on the ground and I let her eat in my lap.
 Anyone else struggling with getting their toddler to eat? Have any great tips?


PS - Man, I wish I had a dollar for every time I wrote "butter" on this post!


*Remember, I'm not a specialist or doctor in anyway nor do I work for Seattle Children's Hospital. I'm just a mom sharing tips of what's worked for my child. If you are concerned about your child, see your pediatrician.*




Friday, March 21, 2014

Allie's First Birthday Party!

So only a little really late in posting a birthday recap. :)

We did a "carousel theme" because we went to the carousel at Christmas and she absolutely loved it and went crazy for it! When we left after two rides she cried and had her first "fit" - arching her back, arms out stretched crying - so cute /kinda sad. Since then we've hit up two other carousels and she thinks they are the coolest things ever. If I was a rich celebrity, I would totally have one in my mansion for her.  She wouldn't be spoiled at all. ;)
 
 
So a carousel theme it was. :) You can see part of her invite here:
 
This was where I left off blogging about her party, and miraculously I managed to get everything done in the nick of time YAY! (I may have been up til 2 am finishing up her "Birth to First Year" video and had terrible raccoon eyes the next day, but it got done! So I was super happy).
 
We had her birthday on January 25th and we were so happy that the weather ended up being great - cold but sunny skies! Amazing for the Seattle area that time of year!

I was so busy at the actual party I didn't take many photos :( (lesson learned - assign a photographer to capture the celebration!) so most of the photos I have are from right before the party or of the decorations.
 
The night before I painted a onesie for her to match a tutu. I used fabric paint with a small paintbrush and traced around it with a small puffy paint. (I've since washed the onesie and was pleased that the paint held on and didn't smear or fade.) I got the onesie at Old Navy for $7, and already had the fabric paint (*cough art supply hoarder cough*)
 
Some of the party decor details:  

*Carousel horse photo banner down our hallway from the front door:

I couldn't find any carousel themed decorations at the party store, so I made some out of some cardboard and painted them pink.


Another look at the photo banner. I used painters tape (rolling it to make it doublesided) and used one of those removable plastic hook thingys (that's the very technical name) to tie the ribbon to in the middle to help support the weight of the photos.










*A mock-chalkboard with some of our favorite photos and milestone "firsts".
I got the black posterboard at the dollar store

*Her "All About Me" mock chalkboard:
Black posterboard from dollar store. Balloons from dollar store too. "Norman" the white horse head was borrowed from my mom's house. I've yet to give him back, shhhh. 
 
I designed the blackboard layout first in PicMonkey (my fav online photo program) to help me get an idea of how I wanted to lay it out. You can tell (obviously) that I didn't follow it to a T or match the font exactly (I was getting tired/sloppy with my writing), but it was nice to have a general guide to glance out while working on it. If you wanted to be more diligent you could have reverse traced it on using a pencil. I was too lazy.

 

*Welcome sign on the door:


Super quick and easy using some chalkboard pens and adding some foo-foo stuff.  
 
Allie had fun playing with the sparkle tulle while I wrote on the sign a couples day before the party. She got covered in glitter though. Never mind the mess, I was totally afraid she'd scratch her cornea with glitter or something weird, so last time she got to play with that. (Can you tell I have new mom paranoia/over protectiveness?? ha ha)



*Shot of the dessert table with the quick and easy carousel cupcakes (animal cookies and little umbrellas)

The pink-n-white striped little boxes are from Party City, I found them in the favor section but used them to hold flowers and the forks and spoons by the food. The carousel horse is one of the three figurines I had as a kid, I spray painted their bases white to make them look a little brighter.


*Her "month 1" photo and little splashes of flowers and pink stripes everywhere. Here's one on the mantel. (Ignore the fact that we don't have a wood mantel above the brick yet. Another to-do on our house list)
 
*DIY poms. These were my first two attempts and they look  a little jacked up ha ha. Oh well. Real life.  

My wonky poms. "Happy Birthday" banner in the background
 
I hung them using those temporary adhesive hooks and fishing line. Another shot of the family room with the poms. I used dollar store flowers and table clothes on the banister just to add more flair to the room. My hubby went crazy buying balloons at the dollar store ("they are only $1 each!) so we have balloons everywhere which was so fun!


*The carousel-inspired bouncy horse. Our favorite part and Allie's favorite too. She loves riding this thing! I described how I painted this guy here.
 


We kept food simple and cheap(ish) with some grub from Costco: meatballs in a crockpot, Asian-chicken salad kit, fruit, chips-n-dip, some punch. A friend brought smoked salmon and cheese. Lots of family and close friends came. We laughed, talked, watched the video I made (I may have teared up watching it even though I'd already seen it a hundred times in the course of making it. A year goes by so fast!). Then it was present time and cupcakes!

She didn't like the cake much (we weren't surprised, she is not a big eater) but she loved it when we sang to her and especially the candle.
Who cares about cake? Where did the candle go?

The day before on her actual birthday we sang and blew out a candle too. I love this picture of her :) just seeing her little face glowing with glee makes my heart feel too big for my chest.

 
The party went by so quick but it was such a fun evening and we were so happy to spend it surrounded by friends and family. It was a great celebration of her first year and her milestones- and our first year surviving as parents!
 
At the very end of the night the last remaining few of us bundled up and we went outside and did sparklers while singing in a circle to her. Makes me tear up to remember it - it was such a beautiful moment that I will always cherish - my beautiful little girl just so happy to have everyone singing and swirling sparklers for her - just surrounded by so much love!
 
:)
 
Overall party recap: 
http://heartsyhome.blogspot.com/2014/03/allies-first-birthday-party.html
 
*Best $ saves: getting lots of decor at the dollar store like balloons, poster board, fake flowers, table clothes
 
*Most spendy: chalkboard pens! (they are $4 a pop! That added up quick when I bought so many colors. Someone said try metallic sharpies but I couldn't find them anywhere)
 
*Most successful DIY: the carousel wall banner and the cupcakes turned out pretty cute I thought
 
*Least successful improvise: the hanging poms. They were cheap and not too time consuming so a great party decor, unfortunately I needed to fluff them better and cut the petals less triangle-y and more petal-y. Better luck next time.
 
*Best part of the party: watching this little monkey having fun with all the people, her bouncy horse, her presents and her balloons (yes, we kept them around for a month after! ha ha)

Love you so much birthday girl!
 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hobby Horse Makeover

I need to post all the details from Allie's party still...I've been totally MIA from blogging but hope to have things slowing down soon. (ha, famous last words)

So first I wanted to share my DIY project that was my favorite part of the birthday decor and her birthday present: a princess hobby horse!

I found this guy for $20 on craiglist - it wasn't in too bad of shape but certainly not very girly or cute. Since her party was a carousel theme I decided I'd paint it to make it look more pretty. I made a few mistakes along the way, but the end result turned out pretty cute and she absolutely loves it. I painted it over the course of four nights after Allie went down for sleep and by the end of the week after staying up late, waking up with her multiple times (yes, she still doesn't sleep through the night) and getting up early for work I was so grumpy and exhausted. But it was worth it to see how excited she was on her birthday! :)

So here's my steps if you're interested in doing one of your own - including mistakes so you can learn from my stupidity. :)





How to makeover a Hobby Horse: 


1) First I wiped it down with a wet rag. I started to sandpaper it, but after about 3 seconds I was. done. screw it. I hate sandpapering. Especially in a cold, litterbox-smelling, no-Sherlock-on-tv-for-distraction garage.

2) I spraypainted the body white for a base layer. I used whatever it was we had on hand - I think semi-gloss. It took 2 coats. (Mistake #1 - it was freezing cold when I did this and I was in a rush since I was going against precious baby sleeping time, so I didn't pull out the space heater and I got a bit sloppy so there are a few drips on the body. Also, I ended up going back and painting the handles white, I don't know why I didn't do it at the time. Derrh)

 


3) I started painting the body color first using crafter's acrylic paints. Even though I had the base white I wanted it originally to look like a gray dapple horse.

And here is where I struggled and wasted a whole night of painting because I couldn't really decide what style I wanted to do. I started doing a dry-brush technique to make it look more vintage and like an old carousel horse, but it just wasn't working. It just started looking dirty. I tried painting the bridle a light pink to see if that would help hone my style but it just emphasized that it was crappy looking. I think on the right horse and with more time it might have turned out okay, but it was not working for what I had in mind.
(Cue my husband's lecture: If you wouldn't wait to the last minute for these aspirational projects, you wouldn't be stressed!)




4) Getting frustrated with the body color I started painting the halter, saddle and blanket. I went with a gold saddle and lots of jewel toned colors i.e. purples and blues to give it a real princessy look. The blue part is actually supposed to be part of the saddle, but I wanted it to look less like a Western-saddle and more like an medieval saddle. (At this stage I'm struggling with the rope - I ended up going with silver at the end, this was my pink attempt which wasn't working. You can also see how the body is more gray textured and just looks messy here, thus my frustration.)


 
5) Decided to take another approach so I ditched the mottling and dry-brushing and went to the craft store and bought dark gray, light gray, and white. I did the entire body white, and then used the light gray around the legs blending into the darker gray near the hooves. (Hallelujah, now we're jiving! Why didn't I just do this at the beginning!)
 
I used the light and dark gray for the mane and then gray around the mouth and eyes. So quick and easy and clean looking! I didn't get a pic of it at this stage unfortunately because my creative buzz was so euphoric I didn't want to stop.
 
6) The next night - this was my favorite part :) I hot glued plastic jewels onto the bridle, saddle and blanket. (I found an assorted colors and shapes pack at my local craft store that worked perfect. I tried to pry one off to make sure they weren't going to be a choking hazard for my baby in the future - and I could barely get one off using a knife and my super strenght, so I don't foresee it being a problem.) 
 
Then I used the same gold paint as the saddle and using a tiny paintbrush painted some swirly designs on the bridle and along the saddle blanket edge. I also painted gold on the raised design of the blue blanket, and did a second coat of gold on the horse shoes. I also emphasized the texture of the saddle blanket by doing a few gold lines on there as well. Turning out so pretty!
 


 


 
7) I painted the eyes black, giving it a little white highlight for "life", and eyelashes (of course!). And then finding this cool "pearl/iridescient" white paint I decided to paint the white parts of the body to give an extra pizzazz (or so I explained to my hubby while using jazz hands).
 
8) The night before the party, I dragged it back out into the garage and covered the body with garbage bags and then painted the green stand a matching gold. (Mistake #2 - I ran out of gold paint, so at some angles you can see hints of green. Oh well.)
 
9) Voila! It was dried and ready for our birthday girl to enjoy on her birthday and for the other kidlets to enjoy at her party!
 
 
It turned out pretty darn cute - I love the gold details, jewels and the shiny white coat. I think it will be something she will love to have for years to come.
 



For interested parties, the price breakdown ended up being less than $50.
It was roughly:
$20 for the horse from craigslist
$5 for the bag of fake jewels (dollar store might be the place to check next time!)
$8 for gold spraypaint (we already had the cans of white)
$10 on crafter's acrylic paint (various grays and a pink, I already had the colors and gold paint)

So that's my horse makeover! I hope to do another one soon but in a different style. (I also need to spray it with a sealant/shiny varnish and put a second coat of gold on the legs still)
 
Happy Horsin' Around!
 
xo
K
 
 
 
 




Monday, January 20, 2014

Party Planning!

Its been such a busy week - my sweet little kiddo came down with a nasty cold that landed us in the ER at 1 am last thursday. High fever, bad cough - turned out to be a respiratory virus (RSV), which sucks because there's no quick fix for it other than our usual cold comforts. (On top of that eating has become a real struggle for her/us which I didn't really want to detail on here but probably will later on. She's so tiny, dropping off the charts, so we've scheduled an appointment with a feeding and growth specialist at Seattle Children's Hospital. Can't wait to see what they say and what advice they give because we spent countless hours, foods, approaches, etc to get her to eat and its just not working). Hopefully she'll be on the mend soon!
sicky icky bicky bod
 
While juggling all that I've also been busy planning her first birthday party! I can't believe she will be one soon, my heart hurts to leave the sweet baby months behind but I'm also looking forward to some of the new experiences, adventures and memories we will make with her as a toddler (and hopefully more sleep!). This year has been a whirlwind of discovery and joy and a deep love that I never ever imagined. I can't wait to see what the next will bring!
 
Put back to the party dets...decided to go with a carousel theme! Wasn't hard to decide - she loves her rocking horse and went just crazy over the carousel at Christmas. I'm a sucker for vintagey, girly things and when she was 3 months old we went to an awesome carousel exhibit at the museum in Idaho Falls - so all the ideas came together, voila, carousel!
 
Of course I found some cute ideas on pinterest so I've been busy getting the details and decorations worked out.
 
 
 
I snapped this photo of her last week to use in the invite. The outfit is a little big so its hard to see that its a romper and not just a shirt. Oh well, still pretty darn cute!

 
And here is a peek at some of the birthday projects I've been working on every spare minute I get (thus not blogging much):
 
 
 I will post the final details/how-to's and party photos after the party!
 
Can't wait for it all to come together! (HOPE it all comes together!)
 
~ K