Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happiness is...Making Straw Mustaches with Daddy

Nikon D80, Edited with Photoshop and PicMonkey
I'm pretty sure this was Ethan's idea. He thought it was hysterical. Loves to be silly. Sometimes it really is about the simple things.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Toddler Bike Wash (Small Space Edition)

Bike washes aren't unique. I washed my bike when I was a kid, and if you look on Pinterest, you'll probably see a ton of bike washes. 

Washing a bike is a great summertime activity, and a good excuse to play in some water and soap suds.

We did this bike wash activity at our old house where our space was limited and we didn't really have an outdoor hose. I filled up a container with water and a touch of dish soap (not having a driveway, we didn't have any car wash solution). Gave Ethan a sponge and a towel and let him go to town. We sang "This is the way we wash our bike" to the tune of "Here we go round the mulberry bush" which he thought was hysterical.

Instead of a hose, we rinsed off the bike using a squirt bottle. Just be careful, leaving soap on the bike could cause it to rust, so make sure you rinse well. The spray bottle is a great solution if you lived in an apartment, town home, or other small area like we did, or if you'd rather stay clear of the hose that day (yup, I can understand that...)

We had fun..and since our bike was a yard sale score, it was nice to see it all clean and looking "like new."

Do you bike wash? 

Thanks Dad for taking a great photo while my hands were wet! :)
PS- At our new house Ethan has found he loves to help wash the car too. What kid doesn't like to be in control of the hose?!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happiness is...being just like Dad

Nikon D80, edited Pixlr-o-matic and PicMonkey
Little dude can't get enough of his mower. He could care less if it has bubbles in it. His mowing is for real-- straight line passes working from the fence to the inside of the yard. Very serious work. This morning I was talking to his daddy about mowing the yard tonight and he says "Ethan mow too!" Love.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happiness Is...Never Letting Your Feet Hit the Ground

Taken on Android with Camera360, Edited in Instagram

Introducing my new photo series: "Happiness is..."

Let me give you a little background...

The project is also a good way for me to challenge myself creatively both for my personal mental status and for my professional life. I have been looking for a good creative spark and I'm hoping this project is a fit for me. I don't plan to make an entry every day. In fact, maybe I won't even hit once a week, but I just want it to be on-going and thoughtful. And if it falls flat, so be it...I'll still have the photographs! :)

I was inspired by Jennifer Borget's 365 Moments Project (in conjunction with Hallmark and Parenting). Absolutely love it.

I haven't thought about taking a photo series since college- a shame, because I really do enjoy them.

Have you ever taken a photo series?

Construction Truck Birthday Party

I've never claimed to be amazing at creating stunning party decorations, although I must admit that there are days that I wish it was my secret super-hero skill. 

What I am good at is some creative ways to pull things together in a pinch, and usually on a dime. I'm a firm believer that with some careful thought (you know, the kind you can do in the car when you're driving from work to daycare or from home to the "chicken nugget store") it can all come together quick, easy, and still fantastic.

This year's second birthday party was a construction theme. I had the party early in the day because frankly, that's when Ethan is at his best. 

Decorations included:
  • Small road cones- Dollar store find
  • "Working Hard" sign- major score from the Target dollar bin
  • Orange Pennant Banner- Oriental Trading $8.50 for 100ft!  (BTW, 100 ft is A LOT of banner!)

DIY decorations:
  • "Dig In" sign- Here's where I took a major short-cut. When I say I was pressed for time, I mean that even the idea of cutting construction paper into a perfect square seemed like it was going to take too long. To really speed up this process, I bought a pack of 6x6 scrapbook paper and used one of the yellow pieces to make the sign. Origami paper would have worked great too. The idea was to have paper that was already a perfect yellow square.  I also used vinyl lettering. All in all it wasn't the most cost-effective sign (although certainly not expensive), but it definitely was super quick!! 
  • Food labels- I found an awesome quick solution for these signs. There are new sticky notes that have adhesive over the entire back of the paper square. I wrote on them with Sharpie marker, cut an orange straw to size for the pick, and sandwiched them between two of the yellow sticky notes. Could not have been easier!

  • Bagels- Love that I can place an order for bagels and spreads and just pick them up. Versatile, easy, and cost effective.
  • Fruit Salad- I opted out of the fruit tray and cut fruit on my own to save a few bucks. This was probably the most time consuming preparation of the whole party, but at least it could be done the night before.
  • "Tires"- Chocolate donuts. BIG hit with the kids.
  • "Bricks"- Red Licorice bites.
  • "Logs"- Pretzel sticks.
  • Cupcakes- The cupcakes were excellent. We have a locally owned grocery store that makes fantastic cupcakes (at an awesome price). I got marble cupcakes with chocolate frosting and asked them to use Oreo cookie crumble to make it look like "dirt." I then topped some of the cupcakes with truck erasers from Oriental Trading ($5.25 for 12). The erasers looked awesome, although like a review on the merchant site said, they fall apart easily and aren't appropriate for kiddos who still put things in their mouths. The looked great for the price though!
  • Paper Goods- A good cost cutting tip is to buy plain paper goods in coordinating colors. The fun design plates, napkins, and tablecloths are just too expensive, and I find I like the solid colors better anyway. For this event I got orange plates, yellow and white striped napkins, and black table cloths. 
The invitation:
Got a great deal at Snapfish on the invitations! :)

So that's it in a nutshell! We had a great time, especially the little dude...and isn't that what matters?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Look Who's Two!

This week our little guy turned two. My goodness!
It's amazing how quickly that time goes by, yet sometimes it feels like he's been two forever.

Hoping that after all the birthday madness blows over that I can get back to sharing more regularly!

Until then, Happy Birthday Ethan! We love you! :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

We've Been on the Move!

It's been awhile...we've been "on the move."

I'd like to say that we're also "all moved in"...close...but not yet.

Stay tuned...


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