Saturday, May 26, 2012

{Free Invitation} Pirate Party

My birthday parties are probably in the top 10 most viewed posts on my blog.  I get more hits via Google searches for my Car's Party than for any other post.  Probably because of the free printables on there!  And if I take the time to make something, I want others to get some use out of it too!

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There are two ways to use this invite:

1) Print it and handwrite in any additional information.
2) Use any image editing software where you can add text and insert your own details.  (I've used Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paintshop Pro, etc.)  There are also websites you can use to add text!  If you want to use a matching font, the font I used was Treasure Map Deadhand (found here for free).

Here's an example of what it would look like to add your own info with another program.  My added info is in blue, but of course, you'll want to try to match the font color :)

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Here's a few other tips:

1) I just print on regular 8.5" x 11" cardstock on my computer.  Of course, higher quality printers will give you higher quality product :)

2) For this sized invite (~5" x 8"), I mail them in greeting card envelopes from Staples.  They come in a box of 50 and they are pretty darn cheap!

3) Mix it up!  Use different colored paper to print on...add some tea stains for making it look more antiqued (do this before printing or it will make your ink run!). 

Friday, May 25, 2012

{Instagram} Friday!

Wow.  What a crazy two weeks it's been.  One of my best friends delivered her precious baby boy who had some difficulties breathing and was rushed to the NICU.  He's doing amazing now, but more on that soon.   Matt has been working late lately.  We've had wedding showers, sleepovers, First communions, wedding receptions, and more. 

On to the Instagrams!

Layne and Grayson always take the time to tell their baby brother goodbye when I leave or goodnight at bedtime.  Here, Layne was talking to him and singing to him.  They both ask daily when he gets to come out.  This little boy is already so, so  loved.


The other night, I decided to use up some of my frozen pie crust stash and surprise my family with an Oreo Pie.  Boy, was it delish!  I think Matt and I loved it more than the kids did.

{Pillsbury Pie Shell baked, Big box Jello Oreo Pudding made using Pie Filling directions, Crushed up Oreos}

Layne really wanted daddy to play with her the other night.  And she wanted him to play Princess and Prince.  He got out his suit and put on the pants and jacket and she wore her Cinderella dress.  The Gray had to put on his tuxedo from my Brother-in-law's wedding last year.  In the end, it turned into a wedding with my babies marrying each other and daddy as the officiant.  Too cute!


Grayson had pre-school screening on Wednesday, so mommy had to take a vacation day!  Good news - I have one smart boy on my hands {which we already knew!}.  Bad news - He doesn't qualify for preschool and won't get to go to school with sissy.  Somehow, we ended up at the zoo afterwards. 

And it's Zoobabies at the Cincinnati Zoo.  This mama with her baby camel was so precious!


And here they are getting ready to see the gorillas.  And yes, Layne does have a black eye.  Grayson got a new Power Wheels Quad for his birthday and that thing has caused too many injuries already!  Gray was driving and Layne was on the back and he drove under the swing set making the teeter totter hit her eye.  Poor girl.  And this is Day 6 after it happened!

Side note since I didn't share on the blog, Grayson fell off on the day after his birthday and sliced his head open.  Blood everywhere...filling up a kitchen towel in minutes.  Long story short...he got two staples in his head.  I've got one tough boy too.  No tears at all through the whole process after the initial fall.  They pull bandaids out of his hair, scrubbed the wound, and put in the staples without one wimper or cry! 


And I already shared this one in my 30 week Baby Update, but here it is...the belly shot.


Linking up:
life rearranged

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baby Update {30 weeks}

Wow...time is flying by!  I can't believe that this little guy is due to be here in 10 short weeks.



We have a name!
It's official...well as official as it gets unless we change our mind.  Our baby boy is going to be Knox Hart.  Hart is a family middle name which my dad is appalled, but honored that we are using.  He hated having Hart for a middle name growing up.  We have had a handful of people who really LOVE the name {and a number of them have been blog friends!} and most everyone else says, "That's different."  And my mother-in-law laughed at it...love you, Shelly!  It's okay, we are totally used to people not liking our baby names.  We like it...and it's all that matters!

The baby bump
Well, between 26 and 27 weeks, the belly went through a huge transformation.  I went from..."I can't believe that you are that far along!" to "You must not have too much longer!"  I know I've said this in my previous pregnancies, but I can't imagine growing at this rate for another 10 weeks.

Holy nerve pain!
I've had tons of nerve pain in my thighs lately.  It shoots from my inner thigh all the way to my knee.  I was told when pregnant with Grayson that it's sciatica.  The pain intensity varies from annoying to extreme shocking pain.  I feel like a 90 year old because I have to get up so slowly and avoid any sudden movements.  I can deal though.  And I had felt soooo good for so many weeks that I figured something had to give eventually :)

Maternity Clothes
First, my summer maternity wardrobe has been found!  It was soooo nice to see these clothes again.  My selection of tops went from 5 shirts that I could wear (only 1 of them truly maternity clothes) to 18 shirts(and the maternity clothes fit so good!) .  I've been doing LOTS of sewing and refashions with my maternity clothes lately.  Chopping off unflattering pants to make cute capris, sewing a new maxi dress, and refashioning a XL men's tee into a cute top.  I can't wait to share all of these refashions and maternity sewing next month in my Dressing the Bump series!

Hypnobabies & Drug Free
I'm still doing my Hypnobabies Home Course nearly every single night.  I can see such an improvement with all of my practice.  It is so relaxing and soothing.  And I've been able to practice some of my techniques with my extreme nerve pain.

As I mentioned last time, I plan to go drug-free with this birth.  I have gotten tons of questions like "Why would you ever do this?  You don't get a metal at the end for not using drugs."  Let me try to explain myself.  First, I want to say that in no way would I ever put anyone down for using drugs!  I feel like I have to preface my discussion of why I want to go natural with this because so many women get defensive.  I'm doing it because I feel like this is what is best for me and my baby and will give me the best chance for another VBAC. Yes, I had a medicated VBAC last time, but it was a LONG labor and I feel like it could have been so much shorter had I been able to move around and labor in more effective positions.  I don't want to chance another c-section for failure to progress...only if I need it to save me or my baby :)  Additionally, I believe in a woman's body's ability to birth a baby!  And I believe that with the right techniques and relaxation that it can be a "pain-free" experience. It's unbelievable how much what I've read makes so much sense about why it's so painful and tramatic to most women in the US.

Baby Prep
Still no baby prep...eeep!  I REALLY need to get the kid's room going and then the nursery set up.  And then I can start to pull out the baby clothes, blankets, etc. and get them all washed and ready!  I can totally see doing this while I'm in labor this time :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

{Instagram} Friday!

I'm horrible at taking pictures frequently enough, but it's my goal to start doing better!  I did take a few over the past few weeks :)  I use Instagram on my iPhone....you can follow @Sarah_Thiscrazyblessedlife.

We did a picnic and playing at the park before Layne's first eye doctor appointment!  She did awesome and they were amazed at how easily she recognized her letters for her age.  Good news...no glasses yet.  Bad news...she'll probably have glasses in the next few years.  No surprise since Matt and I both had terrible eyes before we had Lasik Surgery about 7-8 years ago.
 

My chocolate faced boy after everyone left after his Pirate Party.  That was after his third or fourth cupcake...but who's counting?!? :)


Here's birthday boy again!  Blowing out his pirate candle again on his actual birthday!  Lucky boy got two parties!


Yummy dinner from Monday night.  Daddy and kiddies had Chicken Cordon Bleu calzones and mommy had a Chicken Spinach Dip Calzone.  They were delish!


I have the best husband ever!  I woke up this morning to a note on the shower door saying "Good Morning!  I love you!"  And then proceeded to find another note on the blow dryer, my steering wheel, and my vitamin bottle :)  My tank is officially full!


And a blurry picture of my big belly.  You can't tell here because of the shirt, but it's grown tons in the past two weeks!  I'm getting comments from strangers that I can't have much longer.  Little do they know, we still have three months!

Linking up:

life rearranged

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pirate Booty Bags {Tutorial}

While looking for party ideas on Pinterest, I came across a super cute Pirate Party.  And the party organizer pictured really cute "treat bags" that I basically copied and made with all materials that I had at home.  See our Pirate Party post here!

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And since the other blog didn't include instructions on how to make them, I thought I would!  I could totally see these bags with other themes too...palm trees or flowers for a Hawaiian Theme or really using cotton to match any them that you choose!

{Materials}
Burlap
Felt for the X {one 8x10 sheet was enough}
ribbon or string for draw string
sewing machine/thread/etc.

{Prepping Instructions}

Cut strips of burlap that were 8 inches wide by 20 inches long.
Cut X's from Felt.  I free-cutted mine...I was in a hurry! :)
Cut ribbon to desired length to use as drawstring on bag.

{Sewing Instructions}

Start by sewing all of your X's onto the bags.  I folded the burlap in half lengthwise to figure out where the place the X.  I centered it on the front of the bag and stitched all the way along the edges.

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Next, with right sides together {meaning your X is on the inside!}, sew ONE SIDE of the bag ONLY!

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Now, fold the top edge over about an inch {or wide enough to put your ribbon/string in} and sew all the way along both sides.  {P.S.  I put my ribbon in BEFORE sewing to simplify.  I was just careful not to sew through the ribbon}

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Lastly with bags still inside out, sew the other side, but STOP at the stitch line along the top.  You don't want to sew all the way up!

I also added a piece of folded white ribbon to this seam {with folded part on the inside of the bag and raw edges along the seam} to use as a tag to label the bags with each kid's name.  Name tags = less fights later over whose bags are whose!

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And you're done!  Repeat 12 more times!!!  Or how many pirate booty bags you need! :)

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Party Fit for Buccaneers!

Last weekend, we invited all of the Buccaneers & Scallywags that we know out for Gray's 3rd birthday!  This party was so much fun to plan!
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We started off by sending the invite below printed on tan card stock & addressed the invites to the different Pirate Crews (families) invited.  I struggled with finding a cute invite that I liked, so what does any DIYer do?  Make her own!  {with inspiration from here}

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I found this very pirate-like stretch knit at Hobby Lobby {with 40% off!}  I bought 3 yards and made 15 bandanas!  The girls loved wearing them as headbands....the boys took more convincing!

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I also had so much fun preparing a treasure hunt for the kids!  I had the hubby draw out a map showing the kids where to go and of course marked the spot with big red Xs.  Unfortunately, I failed to take a picture!  For their loot, they found pirate coins {each kid got 5-6}, pirate tattoos {which currently cover my son's body}, a sand bucket with candy bags, and Pirate Party Hats {found @ Party City}.  The kids had a blast with this!  And they each got a custom made loot bag {inspiration here & tutorial here}.

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We decorated {again...no picture because of slacker mom!} with twisted red and black streamers and a pirate banner.

And the birthday boy requested chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing.  The boat sail flags were printed from Cottage Industrialist {thank you Google!} and our pirate banner was also made from her printables!

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And this birthday boy loved being the center of attention.  He was in disbelief that it was his day.  He ate up all the attention!

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All of the party goers!  Pausing in eating their cupcakes for a posed group picture!

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And one more of my big three year old!  This kid really likes sports and our local sport teams, but his mom and dad are not sport fans.  Good thing his mamaw, papaw, and aunts and uncles are!!  He got a Cincinnati Reds hat & t-shirt & Kentucky Wildcats Championship t-shirt.  He's worn them as soon as they are clean every time.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April Showers Bring May Flowers...

What a busy month!  I'm excited about what May has to offer and I'm ready for summer :)

Our top viewed post this month was the Tiered Dress made from a vintage sheet that I made for Layne's Easter dress.

{You can click on the pictures to go to this post :)}

And I just shared my super, quick quilt pattern.

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This is my second month doing my budget and April was much more successful than May :) I shared my tips for building a budget for those of you who were clueless as to where to start like I was!


I also shared an awesome online shopping reward site that I use to get paid for shopping online!



On the family front, we had a beautiful trip to the zoo earlier this spring and had a great time celebrating Easter.


{Click pictures for full post}

I shared a baby update!  We are now 26 weeks!  It's going so fast :)

{Click picture for the post}

I'm so excited for the next few months!  I have a lot of fun things in store for you guys!!!

Upcoming Series!! Call for Guest Bloggers!!

I'm so excited to announce two upcoming series on the blog!

In June, we are having a whole week of tutorials and posts all about maternity clothes!

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And in July, we are having two weeks revolving around baby!

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I have a few guest post slots available.  Email me @ Rah1515@aol.com if you are interested!

Companies that do good things!

As I get older, one thing that I've grown more and more passionate about is charities and organizations that help others.  And if I find out that a company that I love {or one that I've never heard of!} does good things, it makes me love them that much more!

Some of my favorite examples are:






A new company that I just heard about is CampusBookRentals.com.  I would have loved to have known about this company when I was in college.  Text books were soooo expensive!



They offer so many cool perks!

- Free shipping both ways
- 40-90% off of bookstore prices {like here}
- Flexible renting periods
And what I love most is that they partner with Operation Smile and donate with every textbook that is rented.

Operation Smile performs live changing cleft lip surgeries to children who's families otherwise could never have afforded it.  And CampusBookRentals has committed to donating 1,000 surgeries...that's 1,000 lives changed!
If you are a college student, go check them out!!

What other companies do you love that partner with charities and humanitarian efforts?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Birthday Boy

Today, my baby turns three.  And what a blessing this boy is.  You can read about the day he was born here - he was my VBAC baby.

He's my surprise baby.  The baby that I never knew was missing from our family, but God did.  Who I didn't plan for, but God did.  And for some reason, it makes him just that much more special :)

He is fun. challenging. hilarious. frustrating. sweet. loving. stubborn. kind.

We started doing the "Birthday Questions" this year!  I can't wait to do this for years to come!

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We had our big pirate party on Saturday!  I can't wait to share the details later this week :)