{oh hey friday!}

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up today with Amy and Karli for oh hey Friday!

{one} If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, stop what you’re doing and go buy this cashew butter! It is SO GOOD! The kids and I have been eating it on apples, but it’s delicious just by the spoonful. Yum!IMG_5218.JPG

{two} Now that I’m back to school, Will and Harper go to Nana’s each morning. Earlier in the week, Will was out helping Nana pick vegetables in her garden and brought home these goodies for mommy. How fun! I love that my kids are able to explore and play on a farm.IMG_5216.JPG

{three} Cousin fun! Last weekend when we went home to the state fair, we got to visit Will and Harper’s cousins. We played outside, took walks, and enjoyed a yummy dinner together. Although their cousins live in Kentucky, we have been able to visit them several times this summer at Mimi and Grandaddy’s house. IMG_5197.JPG{four} I usually always have pictures for each of my topics, but as I was uploading additional pictures for this post, I got a message saying that I had maxed out on my allotted space for wordpress. Uh oh. Fortunately, this summer my brother started helping me transition to a different site. Unfortunately, I have no clue what I’m doing, ha! Luckily, he does, but we’re having to communicate via texts since he’s in NC. 

{five} So I’m on the hunt for the perfect blog template. I’ve been browsing Etsy but there are just so many to choose from…it’s hard to narrow them down. Eventually, my new site will be harperandwill.com but in the meantime, my blog might be pretty quiet as I try to transition to the new site. Again, any suggestions/feedback on this would be most helpful!

Have a great weekend:)

 

Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 43-Creaseless Hair Ties

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Hello! I have a super quick and fun Pinterest project this week: creaseless hair ties! These cute, colorful hair ties seem to be all over Etsy but they are kind of pricey, especially considering how easy it is to make them.

For this project, you need some fold over elastic, which I found on Etsy from this seller. Plenty of shops on Etsy sell the elastic but I liked that I could get a variety of colors in small quantities from this particular seller. It cost .50 per yard and I bought four different colors.

In addition to the elastic, you need scissors, a piece of paper, and a lighter.

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Use the paper as a guide and cut pieces of the elastic (using the longer side of the paper).  Fold the elastic in half and tie a knot at the end of it.  Take the lighter and singe the ends.  That’s it! You now have a cute creaseless hair tie! I made several for Harper using the smaller side of paper, so we have matching hair ties! How fun!

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Will’s Fourth Birthday Party!

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We celebrated Will’s fourth birthday on Saturday! He doesn’t turn four until May 1st but this weekend worked out better for his party.  It was a small family and friends party, very similar to Harper’s second birthday party.  Mimi and grandaddy (my husband’s parents) came over Saturday morning and took Will and Harper out for a little. They had to leave soon after the party started, so they wanted to spend more time with the kiddos.  Mimi and grandaddy took them to Target and out to Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  It enabled me to do some last minute party prep without kiddos in the house…it’s amazing how productive I can be when the kiddos aren’t around, ha!

 

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Will’s first birthday party was a red wagon theme (he got a red wagon for his birthday that year) with colors of red and aqua.  For his second birthday, we had a train party with greens and blues.  His third birthday was all about Elmo and was blue, red, and orange. I decided to go with a Lego theme for his fourth birthday and incorporated the primary colors.  The decorations were a combination of DIY and purchased from Etsy.

I hung a birthday banner in the living room that had the number 4 and spelled out his name.

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I created this Lego decoration from an idea on Pinterest…it took about two minutes to create.

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A primary color circle banner above the buffet where the gifts were placed.  I joked that it was a Pufferbellies birthday since most of the gifts were from Pufferbellies, one of our favorite toy stores.

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Cupcake prep.  I’m getting better at frosting cupcakes thanks to this tutorial by Carolina Charm.

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Getting the food ready. I used a variety of Fiestaware plates (on top of white ramekins) to create some cake stands.  I love that I have so many Fiestware colors and can mix and match the plates and bowls for our parties.  For Harper’s party, I used blue, pink, and green plates. For his, I pulled out the primary colors to create a fun display.  I also made a Lego utensil holder (it took me about two minutes to make) for decoration.  I had some leftover blue plates and napkins as well as red forks from Will’s previous birthday parties that I used.

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I stopped by our local grocery store in the morning to pick up a half dozen balloons to create some centerpieces…another Pinterest idea! I had leftover circles from the banner and held onto them, just in case I could use them with something.  I sprinkled them around the Lego centerpiece for more color.

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Birthday party clothes for Will and Harper. The shirt was made by a local Etsy seller.

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Up close shot of the balloon Lego centerpieces (reusing the mason jars from Harper’s birthday!).

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Lego juice boxes that I created from an idea on…you guessed it, Pinterest!

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I bought yellow and green cups for the adults and put pieces of Lego washi tape on them for people to write their names.

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We kept it simple and just had chocolate cupcakes with whipped cream cheese frosting (so delicious) and ice cream. I had some extra candy cups and decided to put goldfish in for the kiddos.

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Lego cupcake toppers from Etsy. I really could have made these but ran out of time.

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Waiting for the guests to arrive.

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It was a beautiful day! We played outside before and after the party!

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Being silly!
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Opening gifts. The wrapping paper from Pufferbellies was so well made it was difficult to get the gifts open! Will asked for my help on several occasions.  Poor Miss Harper, she thought it was her birthday and wanted to open the gifts:(

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Oh mommy, I can’t get this open!

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The food display.

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Drink station. I made sweetened and unsweetened ice tea and bought lemonade at Trader Joe’s. We had Lego juice boxes for the kiddos.

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I love these candy cups and use them for every birthday party.  I pre-scoop ice cream in them and pop them back in the freezer until party time. It makes it so much easier, plus, they are super cute!

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The big four!

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Happy Birthday!

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Playing with his toys!

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Showing me how many four is.

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More playing.  Although it was a Lego themed birthday, Will got lots of Brio train pieces. He’s really into trains now and I would have created a train themed birthday party if I hadn’t already used that theme for his 2nd birthday (he really likes Legos though!).

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After the party, my parents and one of our friends stayed for dinner. I made some yummy oven baked chicken fajitas (so easy to make) and guacamole.

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We had a wonderful afternoon with our family and friends! Will was thrilled to be the center of attention for the day! We had two very exhausted (skipped naps) kiddos but everyone had a blast! I can’t believe that he is almost four…where has the time gone?! I’m trying hard to cherish and remember every single minute with Will and Harper.  They grow up too fast!

Birthday sources:

Lego cupcake toppers from 2 Cheeky Chicks on Etsy

Block name banner from a Touchof B on Etsy

Lego washi tape from la Zoie on Etsy

Rainbow striped candy cups from Pink Lemonade Party on Etsy

Rainbow cupcake liners from Sweet Estelle on Etsy

Building blocks birthday invitation from The Party Town on Etsy

Four birthday shirt custom made from Crafted in Grace on Etsy

Cups, napkins, plates, and utensils from Target

DIY Lego birthday party decorations

DIY Lego juice boxes

DIY primary color banner

 

 

 

Harper’s Second Birthday Party

We celebrated our sweet Harper’s second birthday party on Saturday! It was so much fun celebrating with our family and close friends! What a beautiful day as well-the temps were in the high 60s-so gorgeous!

I based Harper’s birthday theme loosely around mason jars and incorporated green, navy blue, and pink. I purchased this cute mason jar invite on Etsy to kick off the theme.  Sorry for the blacked out portions…when I started this blog and decided to use my kiddos’ middle names when referring to them, I never knew how difficult it would be and how careful I would need to be to make sure their first names or initials were not in any of the pictures I posted, ha!

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Our yearly family birthday pic! We started this when Will turned one-we make sure we snap a picture at each birthday party.

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The cupcake and ice cream spread! I decorated wooden spoons with washi tape and bought some cute flower cupcake toppers on Etsy.  For cake stands, I used several white ramekins and put colorful Fiestaware plates on top.  To save time, I always pre-scoop out the ice cream in individual candy cups and pop them back in the freezer. In this picture, the ice cream is in the white and blue chevron cups. It’s so easy for the guests to pick up a cupcake and a cup of ice cream.  Since I wanted to use my Lisa Leonard “Happy Birthday” topper, I made Miss Harper a mini cake.

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I created a display of Instagram prints that spanned from March 2013-March 2014 and organized them in chronological order with mini washi tape clothespins. In our dining room, I hung one of the displays and attached a few tissue paper tassels I made. Below the banner, our guests placed the gifts for Harper.

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Here’s the second Instagram display (this one was in the living room).

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On the buffet in the dining room, I spread out our mason jars with daisy lids.  I created the washi flags initially for guests to write their names on them but at the last minute, I decided it would be easier to stick a piece of washi tape on the cup where guests could more easily write their names.  Medium size cups for the adults and mini size mason jars for the kiddos. I’m loving the paper straws-so pretty! One downfall, however, is that they tend to get soggy.

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I used a mason jar decorated with washi tape to hold the wooden washi tape spoons and forks.

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Miss Harper snuggling with her Uncle E. We attempted to put her down for an early nap (her party was at 3), but our family started arriving around 1 and Harper was not about the miss the excitement! She’s playing peek-a-boo with me!

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Will playing hide-and-seek with Uncle E.  He loved it!

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Taking a little walk before the party started…it was so nice out, so we decided to visit Shadow and Isaac, our neighbor’s horse and donkey. Uncle E. and Aunt M. are the best! The kiddos love playing with them:)

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Snapping some pics before the party.

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Sibling love!

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Since both kiddos are young, their birthday parties are very casual and small.  We invited both of our parents, my brother and sister-in-law (who live in NC-we were so excited they drove up for the party!), Nana, Pops, Maw, Aunt Kathy (the kiddos’ extended “grandparents”-their babysitters), and our neighbor and her kiddos. Will and my mother-in-law helped Harper open up her gifts.  She had a blast, and so did Will! He wanted to open all of her gifts, ha!

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Modeling her new purse!

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Playing with her new tea set. Harper received so many nice gifts! An alphabet puzzle, two dresses, a summer outfit, several books, a tea set, purse, arts and craft supplies, and several other wonderful presents.

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Will sipping lemonade from a mason jar.

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We put the cake in front of Harper and tried to get her to  blow out the candle.  Instead, she wanted to put her finger in the flame.  Ouch!  I made an easy chocolate cake (family recipe) and some delicious whipped cream/cream cheese frosting. I watched this tutorial from Carolina Charm on how to frost a cupcake. Mine didn’t look as nice as hers, but they looked a lot better than in previous years!

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All of Harper’s babysitters:) She loves them so much!

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Enjoying cake and ice cream outside.
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Face-timing with Harper and Will’s cousins in Colorado. After the party was over, we had dinner for our immediate family. I made an easy chicken parmesan bake and my mom brought a yummy salad. My mother-in-law made a squash casserole and brought garlic knots. We enjoyed a great dinner and spent some time visiting later that evening.

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Sound asleep on Grammy-exhausted from the super fun day!
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We are so blessed to have amazing family and friends!  Harper had a wonderful 2nd birthday!

Birthday party sources:

Mason Jar Invitations from Cherry Berry Designs on Etsy

Mason Lemonade Jars, Daisy Cut Metal Lids, Blue Chevron Candy Cups, Plain Wooden Spoons, Green Paper Straws from Pink Lemonade Party on Etsy

Flower Cupcake Toppers from Scrappuchino on Etsy

Washi Tape from Silent Poetry Arts on Etsy

Harper’s Green Skirt from Laken and Lila on Etsy (I love her skirts and dresses! It’s been a tradition for Harper to wear a dress or skirt from Laken and Lila each year for her birthday).

Birthday Banner Cake Topper from Lisa Leonard Designs (we use this each year)

Pink paper straws, blue napkins, pink plates, birthday candle, and mason jars from Target

Instagram Prints from Printstagram

DIY Tissue Paper Tassels and Photo Display

DIY Washi Tape Spoons

DIY Washi Tape Flag Labels

DIY Washi Tape Clothespins

P.S. As you can see, I’m a little obsessed with Etsy and Target! Ha! They both have tons of great party supplies! Now it’s off to start working on Will’s 4th birthday party (Lego themed), which is coming up soon (at the end of April, yikes!)!

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for Five on Friday:)

{one} I’m so happy that it’s starting to seem more like spring! We got outside earlier this week and played.  I’m loving the 50-60 degree temps!  Our 14+ inches of snow has finally melted!  Now it’s off to stomp in the mud puddles:)

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{two} My friend made this taco soup from Carolina Charm (love this blog!) and I decided to try it. The soup turned out delicious, with wonderful flavors. It combines taco seasoning and a package of ranch dressing (which kind of sounds weird) but it was so yummy! My husband requested that I include this dish in our menu rotation.  I tend to make lots of new recipes and end up forgetting about them, ha! This will definitely be one I make again. It was also very easy:)

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{three} My friend and college roommate recently opened up an Etsy shop called “My Honey Bee Shop” and is selling natural lip balm. I bought some  and received it in the mail this week. It’s very nice lip balm-I like that it’s natural and made by someone I know. I love supporting sellers on Etsy, especially when I know them personally! I always dream about having my own Etsy shop–that would be so fun! (though I don’t know what I would sell, ha!).

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{four} I have been saying for months (maybe years) that I need to print some of the oodles of Instagram pictures I take, and I have finally gotten around to it!  I ordered 24 pictures from Prinstagram to use as a photo display of Miss Harper’s 2nd year (for her birthday party).  I tried to order a variety of pictures that shows how much she has grown in the past year! They turned out great!

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{five} Oh.my.goodness…go out and read this book, NOW! I love Jodi Picoult, and this was probably one of her best books ever! I started listening to it on CD in the car on my drive to and from work and finally finished it this week.  It’s about a young woman whose grandmother is a Holocaust survivor and becomes friends (not knowingly) with a Nazi SS guard.  The way Jodi Picoult intertwines the stories in this book is amazing, and listening to it on CD makes it even better with the different narrators.  I’m so sad that it’s over…I didn’t want the book to end.  Any recommendations on what to read next? My drive to and from work is now seeming really long since I don’t have a compelling novel to keep me entertained!

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Happy Friday:)

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Darci and friends for a fun Five on Friday!

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{one} Brrr…it’s been cold here in Virginia!! The overnight lows this week were around -12 with the windchill! So, so cold! We had a two hour delay twice this week due to the cold temps, which was nice. I love being able to sleep a little longer and spending more time with my kiddos in the morning before work. However, the delay schedules make for very hectic days at school.

With these cold temperatures, I’m trying to get creative with activities for Will and Harper. They love being outside, so being cooped up is difficult. Any suggestions on good inside activities?

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{two} I made some delicious banana muffins. These muffins are extra scrumptious, with Greek banana yogurt in the batter and sprinkles on top! I originally found the recipe on Darci’s blog. Will and Harper enjoyed these muffins as well:)

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{three} I have been working on organizing our closets. Here is the closet in our small laundry/mud room that I’m (still in the process of) rearranging. Will loves to do art projects, so I’m giving him several shelves in the closet where he has access to his materials.

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{four} I came across this beautiful dish mat on Etsy via this blog. What a great idea! Wouldn’t that mat look much prettier on your counter than the bulky dish drainer? It would save on space as well, since you could fold it up and tuck it away when the dishes were dry. I might just have to buy one!

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{five} What Does the Fox Say? I’m loving Miss Harper’s new fox pajamas from Old Navy! She got these for Christmas from her Grammy (my mom). Harper’s a little obsessed with her fox and her kitty jammies and throws a fit when we have to get dressed in the mornings, ha! Old Navy always has such cute pajamas for girls and boys. It’s our go to store for kids’ pjs! (*not compensated, just love their pjs!).

Stay warm, and have a great weekend:)

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5 on Friday!!

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Hello, Friday! It’s been a LONG week! It was my second week back at school (first week with kids). The week went well, but it was just long and stressful. I’m linking up with Darci from The Good Life Blog for Five on Friday. It’s such a fun blog link up!

~1~ I bought a chalkboard sign on Etsy from Delight Designs Vinyl to document Will’s first and last day of preschool. I found several on Etsy but liked this one since it was double sided with the first day and last day of school. I’d love to take a first day and last day of picture of Will and Harper from preschool through high school! We’ll see if this happens! I will be starting on September 5th when WIll starts preschool (yikes!).

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~2~My kids love to do artwork! Miss H. will play with markers for hours! She recently started playing with play dough (without eating it!). I need to find more crafty activities to do with my kids. This is one area that I don’t feel I do enough with-all the cute, crafty ideas I see on other blogs. I’d like to start doing more art projects with them. Any good preschool/toddler art activity suggestions?

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~3~I’m in search of fall outfits for our fall mini photo session in October. I tend to buy several outfits, keep the tags on, and then decide closer to the session what to wear, especially for Harper and Will. I found some really cute clothes at Target but I’m not sure which outfit I like best for Miss H. I always get their outfits selected first, then look in the closet for what my husband and I will wear. For the past several sessions, I’ve worn neutral colors with a bright scarf. I might find a purple scarf to go with the outfits I picked out for Will and Harper.

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~4~I’m really loving the color plum for this fall. Isn’t this skirt cute? Maybe I will have Miss H. wear this instead of the outfits I picked out above.  Hmm…decisions, decisions.

~5~I’ve been pinning yummy pumpkin recipes on Pinterest.  I might have to try this Starbucks copycat pumpkin pound cake recipe!  The only recipe that I made for dinner that my husband and I did not like was a pumpkin pasta recipe by Rachael Ray.  Never again will I make any savory dish using canned pumpkin.  It was disgusting!  So bad that we threw it out (this has never happened before).  Sometimes I will make a dish that’s only ok, but not to the point where we don’t even eat it.  It was quite gross.  I will be sticking to pumpkin dessert recipes, thank you!