A) Play golf
B) Have a super fun date night last night (Y’all, I wore heels AND red lipstick!)
C) Work on Gracie’s big girl room
We’re moving Gracie over into a different bedroom because her current room gets so much direct sunlight that it is steamy hot all day in there. We figured we’d take this opportunity to set up her big girl room, including a toddler bed! I’ll post about it all when it’s finished and I have pictures to show you, but just know that it is super cute and garden themed. Chris is working his handy man skills once again and is hanging crown molding, painting stripes, building a window seat with storage, changing out her ceiling fan, and painting and installing a new door and doorknob. My mom is working her seamstress skills and is making Gracie’s duvet, curtains and throw pillows. I’m also waiting on two prints from one of my favorite Etsy shops, “The Wheat Field by Katie Daisy.” They were the inspiration for everything else in her room.
When it is finished, it is going to be beautiful! We’re hoping she will be able to officially move in next weekend. Fingers crossed!
While we’re working today, here are two fun things to keep you lovely people who are still working occupied:
1. Check out my interview over at Care.com about potty training. We are preparing for that with Gracie right now, and this interviews talks about what has worked for us with both kids and what hasn’t. Be sure to read some of the other interviews about potty training in their feature, “Tips for Potty Training Triumph.” They are from real moms who have real, practical advice about how to potty train.
2. Go get your inspiration and your shopping on at my friend, Lara’s, pretty new website. Lara is a huge inspiration to me, and as the owner of Southern Weddings Magazine, has given me quite a leg up professionally. I’m so proud of her for all her success, but mostly for her faithful heart. My favorite thing in her shop is a print that says, “Amen, Hallelujah, Thank You Lord!” I love that! I ordered it for my bedroom. I can’t think of a better thing to see when I wake up and when I lay down.
Wait, let me take that back. Chris and I love to entertain. We have fun when we do and we hope our guests have a good time, too. What I’m not so great at are the details that make so many parties and events really personal or memorable. You might remember having fun at my house, but I doubt very much that you’ll remember what my centerpiece looked like.
Probably because I forgot to get a centerpiece…
For Bean’s birthday, I decided that I was going to dedicate myself to the details, so I went to Etsy and Party City and bought a bunch of detailish decor. But then I got home and I lost my inspiration and devotion to details. The result was that my house looked themed, but not thoughtful. I say all of this as if I’m not happy with how Bean’s party looked, but that’s not true. Everything looked good and I was pleased. It’s just that I have decided I will never be one of those people who nails the details of her kids’ birthday parties. And I’m alright with that, I guess. As long as everyone has a good time, I can live with store bought birthday parties.
Having said all of that, there were some things I found that I really loved and that a lot of you have asked about. The most popular question I’ve gotten is where I got Bean’s birthday shirt. I found this in an Etsy shop called Rock Paper Sisters. And if you run over there really quick, they are having a Buy One, Get One 1/2 Off sale!
The Elmo, Cookie Monster, and #2 decorations came from an Etsy shop called, It’s My Party Day. They had a ton of really cute decorations and if I had a lot of money, I would have really gone crazy here. I especially loved their personalized birthday banners.
The customized Hershey Kiss labels for the goody bags and the Sesame Street cupcake toppers came from an Etsy shop called Creative Queen Bee. I also meant to order the sign for the front door that said, “This birthday party is brought to you by the letter M and the number 2,” but I forgot to add it to my order. (Minor detail…)
Another question I’ve been getting is what is in the gift buckets. I found these mini sand buckets at Party City. They were originally $1.00 each, but they were on clearance for 75% off, so I got them for 25 cents – what a steal! I stuffed them with yellow tissue paper and then put a little bag of personalized Hershey Kisses and another small plastic bag with two homemade chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were supposed to have Cookie Monster stickers on them, but I forgot to buy those. (Another minor detail…) Each bucket got a little thank you note from Bean that said, “Thank you for spending the day with me and for making my birthday so special. Love, Michael.” I think they turned out pretty cute!
The only other decorations I used were paper goods and helium balloons from Party City. Out of everything, I think those balloons were Bean’s favorite thing.
Overall, it was a pretty low key party with low key decorations. A few small personalized things here and there added just the right amount of detail for me. Of course, if I had a better memory and a lot more money, things would have been different.
I might have added golden eggs to the goody bags, for example. But I’m just thinking out loud here.
Last year we had a family photo shoot with the fabulous Jenn Hopkins, a fantastic photographer based out of Jacksonville, Florida.Â I loved our photos so much that we are having another photo shoot with Jenn once Baby Gracie arrives.Â Newborn and family photos!!Â I can’t wait!
When I first met Jenn, one of the first things I noticed about her was her awesome camera strap on her very expensive, very big girl camera.
When I asked her about it, she introduced me to The Broward Patch, an adorable Etsy shop that belongs to Jen (note the one “n” in her name, as opposed to two “n’s” in Jenn Hopkin’s name…Keep up, people!). Jen was kind enough to make me a custom strap for my camera and I love it! I get compliments on it all the time.
Isn’t it cute?!?!
Because I always have a piece of Jen literally around my neck, it sort of feels like she’s been part of the MC family for a long time already which is why I’m so happy to announce that Jen is our newest sponsor for the month of March, because that makes her, like, officially an MC family member!!
If you haven’t already checked out The Broward Patch on Etsy, head over there right now. But be prepared to spend some money because I dare you to check it out without ordering a strap. Or twelve.
They are so affordable and one of those practical indulgence type gifts that people may not necessarily think to buy themselves, but that anyone with any kind of camera would appreciate.
She also makes smaller wrist straps for smaller cameras…
And she makes keychains (which I will be adding to my keyring ASAP…).
Any of these make such fun gifts to give people. They are a perfect present to give – thoughtful, useful, and adorable!
And Jen will monogram anything for you, too!Â She also does custom orders, so if you see something that you want in a different pattern or print, just shoot her an email and she’ll work with you.Â Or if you want something you don’t see, just ask!
As if all that isn’t fun enough, she’s also offering a 15% discount to all MC readers! Just enter Confessions15 for the coupon code and shop on!
(P.S. Don’t you love this hummingbird strap?)
Special thanks to Jen and The Broward Patch for being such a fun sponsor this month!
If you’re interested in becoming a Marriage Confessions sponsor, send me an email at email@example.com for more information.
You know you’re a blogger when you hear about something cool and the first thing you think is, “I can’t wait to blog about that!”Â That’s totally what happened to me a couple months ago when my mom told me about this idea she had for an Etsy Shop.
If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, then you know that my mom is as creative and talented as it gets.Â In fact, I’m pretty certain the reason that I can’t do creative projects to save my life is because she kept all those genes for herself when I was born.Â Mom loves to crochet, knit, make ceramic pieces, and – more than all of that – sew.Â She loves doing these things so much that my sister and I each have huge collections of her arts.Â As in, if we get any more our closets and cabinets might explode.
Because we were so well stocked and because Mom still had the urge to create and because so many people have asked her to make things, she came up with this great idea.Â Â To open her own Esty shop.
And then she got another idea.Â An idea that just confirms I have the sweetest, most unselfish mom in the whole world.Â Mom decided that she was going to open this Etsy shop and sell baby products and then give 100% of the profit to orphanages who are in such desperate need of funding.Â She had been reading about these orphanages, mostly in Uganda, who are so under supplied.Â And when she found out how much good a little extra funding could do (namely buying diapers), then she decided without question that her should give all her profit to those little children.
Because that’s just the kind person that my mom is.
So, this week she finally opened her own Etsy shop, appropriately named, Sew Divine.
Sew Divine sells all of the cute, practical, unique baby products that my mom has made for Bean. Burp cloths (the best ones I’ve found, by the way), bibs, receiving blankets, slings, car seat coolers… All reasonably priced, all such great gift ideas, all such useful things, and all benefiting children all over the world.
I should actually be waiting to post about this for another week or so to give Mom time to get all her merchandise listed, but I’m too excited to wait any longer. So, what you see in her shop right now is only the beginning. Over the next few weeks, she’ll be adding all her inventory and as she adds, I’ll post on Facebook and Twitter to let you know the shop has been updated. Until then, be sure to stop by and see what she’s got up.
And do yourself a favor. Buy a burp cloth. Buy many burp cloths. Then buy the matching accessories. Then buy more burp cloths.
Each purchase you make will come with a little card telling you which orphanage your money will be donated to. So, shop happy knowing that you are giving just as much as you are getting. And that, like my mom, you are making a difference for children who aren’t as fortunate as our own.
I’m so proud of my mom and of the example she sets for my children and that she continues to set for me. She is proof that giving your gifts to serve others is such a blessing to those around you.
Today I am grateful for my mom and the good she is doing not just for those around her, but those around the world.