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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Your Main Event Prints!

When it comes to invitations and stationary, sometimes it's just easier to leave it to the professionals than DIY. One of the hard parts of party planning is finding the right invitation. It's the first thing that your guests are going to see in regards to the party and it sets the theme.

I've known for a few months that I was going for a mermaid theme for my daughter Layla's 6th birthday party. It was Layla's choice and one I knew I could definitely work with. After pinning a few ideas and jotting down some notes, it was time to get down to business on selecting the invites. One of my favorite places to shop online is on Etsy, so after poking around, I came across the most gorgeous mermaid birthday invitations from Your Main Event Prints

If you're not familiar with Your Main Event Prints, well then allow me to get you acquainted! They are an online shop that offers affordable and stylish party printables. From small gatherings to big events, they're there to help you celebrate with their fabulous selection of printable party invitations, cute party printables, announcements, party supplies, decorations, favors and more. 


I emailed the shop after settling on an invitation and we got to work. The owner Dannica was so easy to work with and I decided to go with a digital file and print them myself. The whole process was so easy! The turn around time was super fast and I was able to print them quickly by downloading the Fedex app on my phone and putting in an order. 24 hours later I had my invitations. I loved the way they came out! I definitely plan on using Your Main Event Prints again in November for Mariam's 5th birthday party. 

Isn't this mermaid invitation gorgeous?!


A few other mermaid printables...


Adorable baby shower invitation!


Shop all their gorgeous prints here!


Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

JLBR Class of 2017!

Maxi dress {Macy's}

My Junior League provisional graduation was this past Monday and it was so fun! Excited that I'm now an official active member. Our fall class put in tons of hours towards meetings, trainings, and community service. Joining the league was a great decision, and I'm grateful to have my husband's support all the times I had to be away and thankful for the friendships I've made through the league. We were supposed to wear red but my dress was more like coral. Oh well. It's ok to be different! A few of us got awards. I was given "groupie award". Apparently I attended the most meetings out of my class. #dedication lol.

I actually didn't have anything red I wanted to wear that day so I headed out to Macy's with the kids and found the perfect off the shoulder maxi dress on sale. Score! I just love a good deal and I didn't even have to hem it. That's a huge plus in my book.


Have a great Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Putting in the time....

{Pinboard: HomeGoods. Similar here}

So uh...I'm currently trying to write to you fine folks with my baby on my lap. I was hoping she'd stay sleeping once we got back from picking up her sister from school, but that was wishful thinking. This kid still hates sleeping I tell ya. Her sleeping habits actually have had an impact on my business since I brought her home from the hospital. The first few years when the business was in it's infancy, the majority of my work was done at night after the first 3 girls went to sleep. I'd stay up until midnight or 1:00 am, sometimes 2:00 am chugging away on my sewing machine and watching Netflix. Printing and packaging would take place at night too, along with lining up the next day's social media posts. During the day with the kids, I would answer emails and do whatever quick work I could do that involved my laptop and my phone, and wouldn't infringe on their time when I needed to be mom.  I have had a seamstress off and on throughout the years, and have help when I need it, but for the most part I like to do it all. It's the best quality control right? 

With the demands of a busy family and the organizations I'm involved in such as the Junior League, I'd say I'm in a good spot right now with my business that works for me. I still haven't been able to put in as much time as I used too the first few years, but because I worked so hard, I was able to establish my brand. In other words, I did my due diligence, I put my time in and orders still come in on their own--in which I am thankful for. I've also grown my brand to include several items besides baby bibs. That being said, I still work my butt off to maximize the time I do have for my business, the brand and my children. It's not easy and not for the faint of heart. You have to be a master multi-tasker for sure! I couldn't quit the business even if I tried though, It gives me great pride to construct something unique, functional and beautiful for my customers. Designing and making is my life. Stay tuned you never know what's coming next!




Friday, April 14, 2017

Beach Days


As much as I love going to the beach, it's getting a little difficult lugging the whole family these days. So much stuff! We really need one of those beach wheel barrows. Ava is still afraid of the sea so she's mostly in my arms or H's. It's actually a little easier when I go during the week early with just Ava and Mariam. Less stuff to bring. I usually stuff everything in my backpack and bring a small umbrella.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

DIY Mermaid Sign


Layla's party planning is well under way and I can't wait for her to see everything and enjoy her special day! Last year I did a fairy theme and this year it's all about the mermaids! We are having her party at the pool so the theme fits in perfectly. A few weeks ago I started pinning away ideas and one of the first things I wanted to do was a wooden sign. My neighbor is a talented woodworker and he whipped up the sign out of his leftover wood like in 10 minutes. I bought a paint sample at Home Depot (Glidden-Bermuda Bay) and then proceeded to find the perfect stencil online. I spent all this time trying to find a stencil but ended up just free-handing it. Any mistakes were painted over with the blue paint and a small brush. You can also buy stencils at Michael's or Hobby Lobby. really any craft store. 

For the actual sign, you can find something similar at Hobby Lobby in their wood section. The top portion anyways. It takes out having to build it yourself. If you want a stake, go to a Home Depot or Lowes and buy a stick. You can easily nail one in the back of the board you bought. 


After painting the sign, I started by writing out the letters in pencil first then went over it with white acrylic paint a few times. After that, I simply hot glued a star fish I bought from Michael's.


Have a great Wednesday!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My favorite rosemary pull-apart rolls



I tend not to buy fresh herbs very much because they always go bad before I'm done using them. I really need to just grow my own already. A few weeks back I was at the grocery store and rosemary was on sale. I bought a small package and imagined all the culinary projects I could do with it. Big shocker (not), but all I ended up doing with the rosemary was make rolls and then the rest went bad. 

I searched the internet for a tasty recipe for rosemary rolls and came across one on allrecipes.com. Since then, I've made them two more times and I'm definitely loving the recipe. It also comes with a video which really helps when you're second guessing yourself like I tend to do.


That's the hand of my 4 year old--before you start wondering why my hands are so tiny.


You know you're hand held mixer has gotten lot's of love when half of the "Hamilton Beach" logo is missing. By the way. It only took 1 year to figure out what that metal spiral thingie is. It's a dough hook and it calls for one in this recipe. 


Coming together quite nicely. Now it's time to put it aside and let it rise.


It has risen! Speaking of which, am I the only one that is always afraid that their dough isn't going to rise after letting it sit for 1+ hours and all the work that went into it?


Let's slather these bad boy's up with some butta...


Ta-da! Not too shabby for my first time. The second time I made them, they didn't come out quite as nice because I was in a hurry. I highly recommend watching the video at least at the very end to see the technique.



Here's what you need:

1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup of warm water
1 cup of milk
4 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 cup of all purpose flour (or as needed)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon of milk
Course sea salt to taste

Directions

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl. Set aside in a warm place until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, 10 to 15 minutes.
  1. Combine 1 cup milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until butter is melted, 3 to 4 minutes; remove pan from heat.
  2. Combine 2 cups flour, yeast mixture, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and milk mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; mix on low until no dry spots remain. Stir in 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue adding flour until a firm dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on medium until elastic and soft but still tacky, about 6 minutes. Transfer dough to a clean bowl and coat with olive oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  4. Transfer dough to a work surface and shape into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Cut into 36 equally-sized pieces. Form each piece into a ball, pinching the seams on the underside, creating a smooth, round top.
  5. Lightly beat egg with 1 teaspoon milk in a small bowl.
  6. Transfer dough balls to the prepared baking sheet in 3 rows of 12, placing them close together but not touching. Brush tops lightly with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sea salt. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled, 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.




Sunday, April 2, 2017

Ava oh Ava..


I haven't done one of these detailed posts on Ava since she was 11 months. I normally stop doing monthly updates once the girls reach 1 year and then update here and there. One thing I love about blogging is being able to look back at the past years and remember how the girls were. Treasured memories for sure. 

Weight
She hasn't gone for her 18 month checkup yet (she's 19 months now), so I'm not sure how much she weighs but I'm guessing around 23 to 25 pounds.

Health
She's been really well minus a little cold here and there. Her sister's had gotten the stomach bug around New Years and thankfully she was just fine. I feel really blessed that the girl's don't get sick very often minus common colds or upset stomach's. 


Sleep
Ava has always been a terrible sleeper. She's the worst one out of the four and pretty much drove the nail in the coffin that we don't want another child. I really want to sleep again one day. Her sleep has improved since my last update, but still to this day since she was a newborn, she has only slept through the night 5 times. 5 times! That's it! I weaned her four months ago to see if it would help her sleep. I would have nursed her till beyond 2 years old if I could have, but I really needed her to sleep better. While I was nursing she was waking up every 2-3 hours. It went on like this until I stopped nursing. Once I stopped, it really helped. Like immediately. I started putting her down with a bottle of organic almond milk (she's lactose sensitive) and she started only waking up twice a night. A couple months of that and she was up only once a night. It was glorious. Currently she's still waking up once, but she's really really sensitive towards anything like gas at night, or if she has a runny nose. If something is amiss with her body, she will be up 2-3 times a night. 

Clothes
She currently wears 18-24 month clothing. It really depends on the brand. Today she has a skirt on that's a 3T so just goes to show. 

Diet
She eats pretty much anything, but goes through these picky phases. She can handle a little bit of eggs and some dairy if it's in food like mashed potatoes, etc. For liquids she does strictly almond or an almond coconut blend. She also drinks water. No juices. She hates anything green so I still give her at least 1-2 baby food pouches that have the green vegetables mixed in. 


Milestones
She's done so much since I last updated. She's really so smart and seems to pick up things faster at this age then her other sisters. She can identify her body parts and when I call out an animal she'll make the sound of it. I've been trying to be better about working on some spanish and arabic words with her. She's also enjoying to be read too more and more. She is so sweet. I love seeing her head full of curly hair walking around everywhere. She could stand to not be so clingy sometimes and maybe let me eat in peace sometimes, but that's what babies do. As much as I get frustrated sometimes or stressed out, I know when I'm older I'm going to look back and wish for those days back. 

On being the baby of four
I've been enjoying seeing the girls interact with each other. Ava has started to want to do things just like her sister's and feel like a "big girl". With just Ava and Mariam my 4 year old at home in the morning's they've started to play with each other more and more--and even fight. It's been nice to see Mariam mature a little more and seeing what a good big sister she can be to Ava. 


Have a great Sunday!