We had Violet's third birthday party this past weekend. She was old enough this year to decide what kind of party she wanted, and she requested a blue and red princess party :) I wanted to keep things pretty simple this year since I knew I'd have a one month old on my hands, so we went with some balloons and tissue paper poms, a homemade cake, and some pipe cleaner crowns:
I also snagged a cardboard play castle on Zulily with some credit a while back and the kids has a blast with it! At first the boys were more into hunting for slugs in the dirt than playing princesses (surprise surprise) but when I handed out some magic wands, they all started playing a game of bad guys and princesses and it was hilariously cute. Violet passed out from pure exhaustion immediately after the last guest left, so I'd call that a whopping success! xo, Lauren
Update: I've gotten a few requests for sources already so here you go:
"YAY" Plates: Amazon
Polka Dot Napkins: Amazon
Castle: Purchased on Zulily but you can also buy on Amazon (it's reversible - white on one side, cardboard on the other)
Tissue Balls: Poppies for Grace
Cake Stand: Shop Sweet Lulu
Wooden Star Wands: Etsy Shop PaperPolaroid
Gold No. 3 Balloon: Purchased at our local party store, but you can also find them on Amazon
Rock Candy: Purchased at our local party store, but you can also find them on Amazon
Hope that helps!
If I could go back to the time before I was a mother myself and redo all of the gifts I've given new mamas I so would. They really don't need one more tiny outfit, as adorable as it might be. Instead I'd go with one of these ideas:
1. New mom snack box - I can't tell you how many times I skipped a meal with Violet because I just didn't have the time (or free hands). This snack box would have been sooo appreciated.
2. Something sentimental - this bracelet or this necklace with the new babe's name or initial would be perfect.
3. A hot meal - these have been a Godsend since we had Lucy. So many of our friends and family have sent over delicious homemade and restaurant meals for us this past month - it's been nice to have Kevin's hands free in the evenings to play with Violet or hold Lucy instead of slaving over a hot grill.
4. Time - My mom took Violet overnight for the first time since I had Lucy and it's been nice to have a little quiet time with Kevin and extra bonding time with Lucy. Sometimes with two kids I don't feel like I get to totally focus in on either one. Most new moms won't want to let you watch their newborns, but if they have an older child offer to take him or her to the park for an hour or so - it'll be the best gift they got guaranteed.
5. Run an Errand - Call before you come to visit the baby and ask if there's anything you can pick up or do to help out - we ran out of toilet paper the one day and my sister was a lifesaver when she picked some up for me.
What was your favorite/most helpful gift that you received as a new mom? I'd love to hear about it! Happy Friday :) xo, Lauren
For all of you mom's to be out there, I thought I'd share some of the things I can't live without these days:
1. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets - with Violet I kind of gave up on swaddling because all of the flannel blankets I had were almost immediately too small to swaddle her with. Plus she was a May baby, so I quickly felt that they were too warm for her. When I was pregnant with Lucy I hunted and hunted for swaddle blankets that we could actually use and fell in love with these gauzy dream blankets from Aden + Anais. The material is lightweight so it's perfect for a spring or summer baby, and they are the perfect size. I'm confident we'll be able to make use of these for quite some time. And the patterns are just gorgeous to boot.
2. Picci Moses Basket - Although we have the crib and co-sleeper upstairs, I like to have a cozy safe spot on our first floor to keep my sleeping babe close by during the day. With Violet we used a pack n play, but now that we have more furniture and kids' stuff around the house, we just don't have room for it. So this time I snatched up one of these Moses baskets by Picci with some Zulily credit, and I'm so happy that I did! She is super comfy in there, it doesn't take up too much space, and I can actually transport her from room to room while she's sleeping. A+
3. Cozy Comfort Pregnancy Pillow - When I was pregnant with Violet I suffered through without one of these ginormous pillows because a) they're kind of expensive and b) they take up a lot of space. But with this second pregnancy I reconsidered. Although this was another find I bought with credit on Zulily, I'd pay full price for it in a heartbeat today. So SO worth it. I can't tell you how much more sleep I was able to get while pregnant with this gem of a pillow, and it came in handy postpartum as well. After I came home from the hospital I was pretty sore and beat up and this helped me to be so much more comfortable. In fact I'm still using it because it keeps me super comfortable while I'm nursing at night. Kev has been a champ and hasn't complained about his reduction in bed space once. Love you honey!
4. Carter's Jumpsuits - It's so hard to find comfortable, affordable clothing for infants that doesn't have crazy animals or creepy sayings. After a lot of searching I'm so in love with these adorable jumpsuits from Carter's. I bought them in newborn size and liked them so much that I went ahead and purchased the next size up as well!
5. My Arm's Reach Co-sleeper - This is one thing on the list that I bought for Violet and am reusing with Lucy. I love having my babe right at my side at night - it makes night-time feedings a breeze and helped get me through that first week where you're constantly checking to see if your baby is still breathing! (Does anyone else do that?) I don't think they sell this particular model any more, but all of their co-sleepers are the same concept. It attaches to the bed (and detaches quite easily as well), one side drops down so that you can see right in to the baby, and it has storage underneath as well as little pockets on the side perfect for diapers, wipes, and a changing pad. I don't get out of bed at all at night and that's just the way I like it!
Stay tuned, I'll try to share a few of my favorite things each week. Hope this helps! xo, Lauren