This year, our children’s school has committed to being a part of +Works (pronounced Positive Thinking Works). I went to a meeting introducing it a few weeks ago and I was blown away. In fact, I’m still processing much of what was said. There are several schools that are joining in this movement and I couldn’t be more excited that our school is among them. The women who started this initiative are two experienced moms (and friends) Sarah Fisher and Trish Morille. As I listened to Sarah speak, I realized how desperately our society needs this thinking. In tumultuous times like this, we need so much more of this and the very best place to start is with the current generation of children. As we learn alongside them and strive to model this type of life for them, our world cannot help but be changed for the better.
Today, our school sent out the following poem from +Works. It struck me to my core as I read it. Tears filled my eyes and my heart was deeply convicted by these words. I thought you might be as well, so I wanted to share them with you. We all need to read this. Multiple times.
Again, these words are not my own, but I did want to share them with you because they are so important. For more resources like this, which I have found very helpful in my parenting journey!) or for information on their movement, please visit their website here or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
As a boy mom, I spend far too much time (and money!) on shoes. These boys grow so fast! We’ve gone through so many different brands and styles and have loved some and hated others (and loved a few styles, but hated the quality of them.) I think we’ve finally found our favorite shoes – and we get TONS of compliments on them!
They’re made by Native Shoes and they are absolutely adorable. They look like boat shoes, but are completely made of rubber, which means they hose down easily after a day at the beach, or digging in the dirt. And they come in so many cute colors! Each of my boys has several pair in various colors, because we wear them so often. They look just as good at the beach as they do in pajamas (see below) or going to church! They’re comfortable, breathable and easy to clean (which is key for a boy mom.)
Every time my boys wear them, we get compliments on them and I’m constantly telling people where to get them, since we mamas need to help one another out. And who has time to research cute kids’ shoes all the time? Not me! We’ve bought some on Zappos, which is my go-to for my kids’ shoe shopping, since they’re returns are SO easy and you have 365 days to do it. Shout out to them for such amazing customer service! You can also get them on the Native Shoes website if you’d like different color/size options.
And they’re even precious with dressy clothes on, making them super versatile!
We are SUPER into Legos in my house. My boys love them and they are entertained by building and rebuilding them for hours, which is wonderful! On our trip to NYC in December, my oldest and I had dinner with my gorgeous and crazy-talented cousin who lives there and we sat in a quaint French restaurant chatting and drinking wine while he built his Legos for 3.5 hours. It was a God-send for us. He was happy and content to be playing Legos quietly and we got to catch up and enjoy a delicious dinner. The only downside was when he would accidentally drop one of those tiny little pieces on the floor of the restaurant. (Don’t worry – he’s so adorable that the people at neighboring tables were more than happy to help us find them!)
Before our next trip, however, I resolved to find a solution for our problem. So, I took to Pinterest, which I love for the fabulous ideas that I find there (though I sometimes also lose that love temporarily when I realize how far the bar of expectations has been raised by all of those amazing ideas.) The other day, however, in researching travel lego solutions, I found a fabulous one and it worked just great, so I wanted to share it with you!
There were lots of Lego travel box solutions on Pinterest, with some using vintage-style lunch boxes, old diaper wipes containers, pencil boxes, etc. I really think that anything would work. Because I wanted to use ours for plane travel, I wanted it to be a little smaller and because my boys are so young, I wanted the latch on it to be pretty secure. I found all of the supplies for ours at Target (along with a few new small Lego sets to surprise the boys with on the trip, since new toys never hurt in keeping them busy!) but you can also find everything on Amazon and they will deliver it straight to your doorstep – amazing! You’ll need a Lego baseplate in your desired color (I went with green), a plastic container that latches closed (I went with this inexpensive Sterilite one with one divider inside), a hot glue gun and either an Exacto knife or a good pair of scissors for cutting the baseplate to fit.
The instructions for the style that I decided to go with is here on an adorable blog called Housewife Eclectic. Her instructions are fantastic, so hop over there and check them out. I will say that neither Gorilla Glue nor Super Glue works well on these types of plastic, so I suggest that you stick with her idea of a hot glue gun.
I decided to surprise the boys with them on the airplane and they were thrilled! We definitely still had some dropped Legos, but these helped a ton and were great for transporting them and for playing with them in the car!
We put one green rectangle on the top of the box and another inside, so that they can play with the box open or closed.
I’ve been designing and making jewelry for fifteen years now. There are both good and bad sides to being a creative. One of the good things is that a lack of ideas is never a problem. I literally have creative ideas all day long. When I sit down to design a collection, having enough ideas has yet to be an issue. One of the bad sides of being creative, however, is that a lack of ideas is never a problem. And that can be incredibly exhausting. It can also be frustrating when you don’t have the time, energy or resources to pursue every idea. And therein lies the crucial challenge of running a creative business – being able to weed through the clutter to the very best.
My sweet little baby boy is one year old today. I’m having a really hard time believing it, since I’m fairly certain that I brought him home from the hospital as a newborn just yesterday, but alas, he’s walking (along furniture) and talking (mama is still his favorite word, thankfully!) and even attempting to ride his big brothers’ scooters (unsuccessfully, thank goodness!)
When a creative mama who adores her little one sits down to plan his first birthday party, craziness ensues. I had so many ideas that had a really hard time reigning it in. (See above note about creative problems.) We decided on a family birthday party for him since he’s just one and we’ve got two “big boy” birthday parties coming up in the next few months. I’ve been doing quite a few jewelry shows lately, so I really needed to keep it simple. (Well, simple by my standards, anyway…)
I decided on a “mustache bash” for our little man’s big celebration and it was really fun. We did a Sunday brunch (which is, by far, my favorite meal) and it was wonderful having a smaller celebration with family. And the birthday boy had an absolute ball, which was the best part. When we started singing to him, he grinned from ear to ear, and by the end of the event, he (and his seersucker birthday outfit) were completely covered in chocolate, so I consider that a huge success!
I wanted to share a few of the photos from the event with you, in case you’re looking for ideas for an upcoming little boy’s birthday party (or a cute baby shower theme.) I’m all about sharing the creativity! Have questions about any of the items you see below? Let us know in the comments. If you’d like to know more about any of the DIY decorations, let us know that, too. We love sharing ideas. And please share your birthday party ideas, too – you can never have too many in the queue for the future!
How adorable is this mustache balloon? And the giant “one” is bigger than the birthday boy!
Baby Mum-Mums are a must at any one year old party! Our children have always loved them. They’re an easy way to entertain babies who are too little to eat with you at a restaurant, but also don’t want to feel left out – or to give to a baby as you’re fixing dinner when they’re unhappy with slow service! I buy them on Amazon Prime in bulk here.
I love to bake (which may be because I enjoy the fruits of my labor!) so making a birthday cake is really fun for me. This is the “smash cake” that I made for our little man. I used the recipe from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook, which is one of my absolute favorites and a must-own for anyone who loves to bake. I’ve been going to Magnolia Bakery in New York since the West Village was the only location and they’re cupcakes are still my very favorites – not to mention how adorable the place is!
Pink peonies are my absolute favorite flower and I recently found some at the grocery store down the street – yay! I’m also a huge fan of hydrangea and think that the two together are really lovely. I made a similar arrangement for a jewelry show that I had last week and got lots of compliments on it.
For the main centerpiece, I put hydrangeas and roses (always a classic combination) with snapdragons for a little pop!
I’m a big fan of puffs for the same reasons as Mum-Mums – their high entertainment value. Plus, what they lack in nutritional value, they make up for in hand-eye coordination training, right? I like this brand, which I also order on Amazon Prime because they bring it right to my doorstep with no shipping charge – which is crazy helpful for this busy mama. (If you haven’t yet tried Amazon Prime, they’re offering a free 30-day trial of the service and I’m pretty sure you’ll be hooked after that! Just click on the graphic at the bottom of this post to claim your trial.
This is the “big cake” I baked. (And it was SO yummy!)
Yay for first birthday gifts
Party favors. (Note the cute furry mustache stickers on the boys’ bags!)
I made these mustache milk bottle vases for table decorations, which
doubled as adult party favors!
I made these place holders using my new embossing tools that I found at Paper Source. After the sweet (and clearly rather smart) sales associate there made a bookmark for my oldest son when he asked what the embossing tool was as we were browsing in the store, I was hooked. I mean, how fun are these?!
The big boys using the multi-colored marbled heart-shaped crayons that I made for kids to play with during the party. (We also sent a few home in the party favor bags, too!)
One really cannot have too many flowers, right?
Chocolate-covered = success in my book!
The birthday boy!
I mean. Some days, this is EXACTLY how I feel…
Anybody with me?
Today, we took the boys to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Usually, when we go to the museum we hit the dinosaur exhibit. (Like, Every. Single. Time.) We have a membership (which is totally worth it, by the way!) so we go quite a bit. When we go, our boys beg for dinosaurs. Today, however, we convinced them to check out the butterfly exhibit. The Cockrell Butterfly Center is amazing! The plants are stunning, the butterflies are beautiful and although it is quite warm and humid in there, it’s totally worth it. (more…)
On Monday, I received an email from my son’s preschool. They are having a Valentine exchange on Friday and we’re supposed to send cards for each of the kids in his class if we want to participate. (Of course we do!) It is our first year of school, so although most parents might have seen this coming, I didn’t. Luckily, I’ve been on Pinterest a lot lately and had seen a few cute things pop up on there that caught my eye. I honestly love little projects like this because it reminds me to be creative with my sons. Its all too easy to get caught up in the mundane parts of life and when we can throw in a little art and creativity and a fun project together, it reminds me to stop and savor these sweet moments together – and to be a more fun mama! (more…)
Over the weekend, the boys and I decided to take on a little Valentine’s Day project for their grandmothers. I thought that it would be fun to give them a little piece of original artwork this year. My little bug is all about the art these days, thanks to his wonderful preschool and was really excited to paint something. I hit the craft store earlier this week and bought a few canvases and some inexpensive acrylic paint and brushes. For the project, I put a sticker down on the canvas, to keep that portion white and then let the boys go to town with their paint brushes all over the canvas. After letting them dry, I carefully peeled off the sticker and, voila – heart art!
On Friday night, we packed up the fam in warm clothes and a little rain gear and met some dear friends at the Houston Zoo for their holiday Zoo Lights event. Each evening through January 4th (except December 24th and 25th) from 6pm to 10pm, the Zoo opens up to show off the 1 million holiday lights they’ve put up all over the grounds. You can grab a cup of hot chocolate and wander through the old oak trees in the zoo, listening to holiday music and checking out the beautiful light displays. There’s even a cool map to guide you through, with descriptions and photos on the Houston Zoo app, which I downloaded on iTunes for free before we went. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door and kids under two are free. There are food and snacks throughout the zoo as well. (more…)
IT’S FALL Y’ALL!
That saying always cracks me up. Perhaps because it’s in part cheesy, perhaps a little cheeky. I mean, can’t you just hear it rolling off the tongues of every stereotypical, big hair, big drawl southern Texas lady? Or perhaps its just because it adds a little humor into a season that often proves stressful. If you are anything like me, Fall is blindingly busy. (I think we can now say that about every season.) But Fall tends to accelerate at a pace that seems faster than any other…most likely due to the fact that you now see Halloween and Christmas catalogues arriving by mail in summer, and holiday lights going up in September. Each season that arrives seems to focus on the next season. It becomes increasingly important for us, and for our families, to try and slow down. (more…)