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Thursday, August 23, 2012


It's been a while!  When I wrote my last post, Claire was not yet walking. She did that about a month later, at 13 months.

She turns 17 months tomorrow, and we have just signed up for her first soccer program. Time really flies!

Claire is at that age where she is running all over the place, loves balls (kicking & throwing them) and listening to a few directions as she plays probably wouldn't hurt her either ;-)

She needed a few soccer essentials before she hits the turf in September so these should be arriving at our doorstep from Zappos soon!

I'll be sure to post a pic of her once she hits the field.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Claire's Colorful 1st Birthday Party

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day for Claire's 1st Birthday! Our home was filled with family, friends and the cutest, newest one year-old around. Life is good.

The party came together over time. You might remember me pinning and purchasing a Freckles + Kitty dress for Claire from Zulily when she was merely 3 month old. It was the inspiration for the party, and I was praying that it fit since she jumped up from a 10th percentile peanut to a 90th percentile big girl in the course of the last 9 months.

And it did! Here she is in the dress, hanging out with Great Grandma Rose at her party:


Here are some photos of the party, and details of the DIY elements as well.

First the invites, designed by my talented Graphic Designer sister, Jessica:

Claire 1st Birthday Invitation No Contact

She also created these printable icons from the invite for me to use for cupcake toppers.
DIY Two-sides Cupcake Toppers How-To:
1. Cut out icons with a 1-inch circle punch
2. Cut brightly colored cardstock with a 1.5 inch scalloped circle punch
3. Use clear drying tacky/craft glue to adhere one icon to side one.
4. Use craft glue to adhere a colored toothpick to the side two, and cover with a second icon.
5. Let dry and have fun decorating!

Here are the homemade (from a box, don't get too excited) and hand-decorated cupcakes, with toppers on a Wilton 4-Tier Stacked Cupcake Tower.


The edible colored pearls are from etsy seller, CupcakeSocial. The frosting is simply store-bought whipped chocolate and whipped white frosting (whipped is key for ease and fluff) piped from a disposable Wilton cake decorating bag with star tip.


Next, we made Claire her own "smash cake" out of a giant cupcake mold. We topped it with a personalized cake banner using the same scalloped circles from above, silver alphabet stickers, some pink ribbon and two 6-inch bamboo skewers. The giant cupcake wrapper is lined with two coffee filters (to soak up any oil, etc), covered with pink tissue paper, and tied with an orange ribbon... complete with a #1 pink polka dot candle.



We also used the same colored cardstock to make a banner for her highchair:


And a close-up of her custom party hat from etsy seller, Dainty Couture:


Her gift from mommy and daddy, an orange Nod Chair and personalized growth chart:


We decorated our mantle with colorful polka dot fabric, a poster version of the invitation, colorful vases from her nursery, pinwheels (were going to be DIY but found them at Target around Valentine's Day instead) and we kept our Chicago/St. Louis decor in place to represent where she was born and where she now lives...




Her monthly photos were displayed in our china cabinet with a yarn-wrapped "C":



Coloring station for the bigger kids. Coloring books, stickers and pink bins all from Target's $1 aisle. We used our Crate & Barrel Table in a Bag (wedding gift) since it was perfect height for tiny tots:


We also lined our walkway leading to the front door with pinwheels:


And we had a favor table filled with grab bag goodies (this is an after photo, forgot to take a before):


Put on your party hats, it's time to open gifts:





And then there was cake...







What a fun day!



Saturday, March 24, 2012

birthday girls

Happy 1st Birthday to our beautiful, comical daughter, Claire... the light of our lives.


Happy 1st Birthday (+25) to my talented sister, Jessica...the designer behind this and so many, many more creative things.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Repurposed Vintage Milk Bottle Carrier Chandelier

That post title just rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it? But that is exactly what I have to share with you today, my Repurposed Vintage Milk Bottle Carrier Chandelier!

This is definitely a "look for less" story. A few months ago, I pinned a chandelier I found on knowing full well that I would never pay the $999 price tag. See below.

But I didn't forget about it either. It inspired me to hunt online for a vintage bottle carrier of my own to transform into a custom-made light for less.

I ended up winning this beauty on eBay back in early February for $37 +$12.50 for shipping (it's dang heavy!) for a grand total of $49.50.

Vintage Milk Carrier - Before 2

With my inspiration photo and my newly won rusty, metal carrier in hand, I enlisted the the help of my trusty friend Joe, who just happens to be an electrician, to execute my master plan.

I'm not up on all the technical/electrical lingo here, but from here all I know is that that he welded some things, wired some other things, added the chain and spray painted the rest for a total supply cost of around $80 including light bulbs.

That's right, we have an every-bit-as-good-if-not-better, chandelier for a grand total of $130. That's a savings of $869 if you are keeping track.

Of course, I did not let Joe's talents go unnoticed, but even with our token of appreciation to him, we still created a wonderful light for less than 1/4 of the retail price found online. Thanks, Joe, for helping bring my vision to light! I couldn't be more pleased; here are the results:

















About Me

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I'm a St. Louis native, but I have been living in Chicago since 2005 and am loving every windy minute of it. I enjoy cooking (more-so eating), home decorating and really anything creative. I'm a supporter of DIY & handmade goods, a fledgling foodie and a connoisseur of kitsch. I spend my days filling online shopping carts, emptying them and repeating the process all over again. Most of all I love spending time with my husband, Dave, our first child, Claire and my dog, Louie.

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