Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gymboree Sale Alert

So I successfully avoided Gymboree this weekend for fear of going crazy and spending tons of money on oh so cute dresses that miss Genevieve would only wear once or twice. But I visited the site this morning "just to see what they have" and somehow could justify my purchases--it went something like this...


a) Genevieve is past the point where she has tons of clothes from gifts and grandmas. Dare I say she actually "needed" a few dresses for church?!


b) The prices were fantastic...not mindblowing (has to be under $10 to fall in that category for me), but still great!


c) New baby is a girl--can we say "hand me downs"?!


d) Who cares, it's all SO cute!!! (hey, just keepin it real)...


Check out what I purchased--all items were 12.99. This purchase would have rung up at a whopping $154.75 + S&H but I only paid about 40% of that. Plus I can return to the store so if I have buyers' remorse I can remedy it with a quick trip to the mall!!


Man, I love a good sale!! Head to the nearest store or gymboree.com now!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Genevieve's Big Girl Room

So remember the list, I posted in the New Year? Yeah, I kind of forgot about it too... I can't say I have marked anything off of it (guess this blog will never be younghouselove)! And the year is nearly half over. And I'm expecting baby # 2 in 97 days (but who's counting). [Insert deep breath here]. Well there's a saying: "do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do." I'm not huge into home improvement (I'd hire anyone and everyone I could if I was one of the real housewives of wherever), but of have vs. want, I'd say cleaning the garage, cleaning out the sunroom, and cleaning the basement--all things we actually have accomplished this year-- were on the have list, while re-decorating has fallen to the want list. I tell you all that by way of a long winded explanation. BUT the exciting part is, I get to start doing a little decorating now...and new baby's nursery and Genevieve's toddler room are where I intend to start. Since I can't make up my freakin mind on new baby's nursery, and am waiting for like 6 fabric swatches to help me do so, I'm focusing on Genevieve's big girl room right now. And it all started with the search for her big girl bed! I wanted something vintage modern (as usual), so of course I looked on CraigsList. I immediately found 3 beds I LOVED. Sadly one was really far away (and unfortunately I didn't save a picture of it to include in this post and the ad has long since been deleted), but the other two were right around the corner. Here they are:



I was so torn that I sent a desparate email out to a few friends (including my designer friend) for help but got differing advice; all good points--which one is sturdier, the brown one is more gender neutral, etc, etc.  In the end, I ended up going with the white one.  I just can't get away from the ultra girly style I'm accustomed to...although the Jenny Lind craze (more on that in a moment) and this amazing inspiration, nearly made me depart from my ultra feminine ways.  And the best part?  It was only $45!  Add to that the fact that new baby is a girl (no immediate need to go the gender neutral route) and that the guy who owned the spindle bed wouldn't negotiate to my satisfaction (obviously he didn't know that I am the bargain master and would totally walk away...yeah; I'm hard core) and the final decision ended up being an easy one.  I LOVE this bed and can't wait to paint it...you know what I'm going to say...don't pretend you don't...PINK. :)  A fun, super bright pink though.  And don't worry; her entire room won't be pink like her nursery.  I plan to layer it with gender neutral colors and modern accents that will grow with her...and Genevieve can pass it on to her sister when she's officially outgrown it!  So there you go-- a decision made and now on my way to planning and choosing fun and modern bedding, toy storage space, a cool wall color, and another dresser re-do.  This oughtta be fun!!

(This is kind of like 2 posts in one...enjoy). ;)
Now on to the Jenny Lind craze.  I am STILL a big fan and in my crazy, indecisive thoughts on new baby's nursery I have gone back and forth about ditching the $70 (from $270!) crib I got from Target and going with a cheap Jenny Lind crib like this one.  When I initially spotted the cribs, I thought they were too traditional...but since seeing them featured in many a nursery since then, I realized with the right decor, or color (if you're so daring to paint it!), it can look quite shabby chic, vintage, and even modern.  And it's really, really, hard to find a vintage crib or bed for less than 6 or 7 hundos, like pretty much impossible.  I love that the spindle style can be found in beds as well.  Take a look at these images, and the cool finds on craigslist that follow and let me know what you think!  Cool or lame?  Traditional or vintage? You be the judge!





Oh my...just seeing these all in one place is weakening my resolve NOT to take on another painting project!!




 


they come in kid sizes too!! How adorable are they?!  And just check out this amazingly creative, unique, modern yet vintage toddler room design board!  You can see it all come together here.

If you're inspired, Craigslist has it all from $20 to $200 (links at the end)!


This one is already freshly painted and only $50!! What a STEAL!



At $200 this is the priciest of the bunch but it's a "real" Jenny Lind.  They don't make em like this anymore! Check out the ad for the official JL stamp!


Cheap but adorable JL cribs...

And if you're too snobby to buy used, oops, I mean if you are particular about your purchases, ;) you can get a new Jenny Lind crib from here or a new Jenny Lind style toddler bed from here or here!

Lastly, Link Love:

Inspiration Pics: here, here, here, and here.

Craigslist finds: here, here, here, and here.


Love, Tiff

Friday, May 6, 2011

Baby's 1st Birthday: Party with the Princess


Recently my little princess turned 1 (obviously I am terrible at posting in real time.  Please don't be mad)! I began thinking about her birthday party somewhere around 8 weeks after she was born. ;) I knew I wanted to do something fun, girly, and unique. Well despite my intentions, I couldn't get 'princess party' out of my head even though that theme for a 1st birthday party is hardly unique. And of course, pink just naturally goes with princess!! In thinking about how to give it a little twist of my own however I realized that damask print has been a recurring them throughout her first year- It was used at my baby shower, in her nursery, and at her dedication luncheon. So I ended up settling on a vintage damask princess theme. Here are a few of the details:
Decor:
I knew the centerpiece would be the dessert buffet--a la Amy Atlas. I love using food as part of the decorations for a party--so fun and serves two purposes! I already had apothecary jars I'd purchased for my sister-in-law's shower and I have to say, I've used them at every party I've hosted since then!! I made sure to use vintage type dishes whenever I could (i.e. apothecary jars, and damask/crown/princess mugs, and homemade tiered trays).


I used damask table runners that I made with no sewing machine (stitch witchery baby!), and Disney princess curtains for the backdrop of the dessert buffet.


I made tulle poms and tissue poms to hang around the house. When a party is indoors, there's a lot of space to fill (why couldn't she have been born in June?!), so this is an easy and cheap way to do that.

The banner was my FAVE. In damask, black, and hot pink, it added to the theme. In addition to the banner Megan made food labels, and signage ("How Sweet it is to be Genevieve" for the dessert table was the cutest thing ever!) which in my OCDness I adorned with little gems. I love printables and think they can totally make a party. If you're not as lucky as I am to have fabulous Megan Ayers as a BFF, then for a small price you can get party printables from a number of sellers on etsy.


Ornate frames also added to the vintage feel. And pearls strung with photos of Genevieve from about 3 months to 1 year did the same.  I also bought a high chair off of craigslist and painted it pink both with her one year photos and this party in mind.


Food:
(sorry for the lack of photos...I promise it looked yummy :))

I wanted to feed a crowd...cheaply. I have to give myself a pat on the back for thinking of a mashed potato bar. My mother in law makes the best homemade mashed potatoes and I included cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, salt and pepper, jalapenos, and nacho cheese (ok, that's a lie. I was supposed to make nacho cheese but was running an hour behind and didn't get to it. I'm still getting this hostess gig down!). I also made spinach and pancetta grilled panini (mmmmmmmm), along with turkey avocado panini. My mom made the best Greek pasta salad ever and a tossed salad with candied walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese, as well.

I really didn't want to make all of the desserts from scratch but didn't want to use candy either (in my experience unless it's chocolate or there are a ton of kids no one eats the candy--it just sits there looking pretty which really isn't the point!). The dessert buffet included homemade peppermint patties, peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes, cherry cheesecake bars, cake pops, and a cake. Semi homemade included: dipped pretzels and chocolate covered strawberries. I used store bought yogurt dipped pretzels, powdered donuts, and strawberry wafers. I have to say the homemade peppermint patties were a pain but I got the most positive feedback from those! Figures right?! The cake pops were my FAVORITE to make and were so delicious. I liked [and ate] every single dessert on that table!!

Activities:

I'm not big on activities (can you tell I'm a first time mom?). So that, coupled with the fact that the sitters Megan used were unavailable, and most of the guests/kids were pretty young, I figured I could get away with not planning structured activities. Side note: I found these awesome paper castles kids can put together and decorate but el Cheapo (that's Joe) wouldn't let me buy them! BUT I did get knight's armor for the boys and princess tiaras and wands for the girls (and mini baby dolls and princess onesies for the baby girls), so I figured the kids could play with those toys. Besides, my mother in law has plenty of toys at her house to keep the kids occupied in a little hideaway refinished basement area, so I think the kids did ok. For future parties I definitely plan to follow Megan's lead and get sitters. I too think that was a genius idea!




All in all I think the party was a success! Of course I was a bit behind and there were certain details I missed but at the end of the day Genevieve was happy, full, and loved and that's what really matters.


Now, I only have 10 months until her 2nd birthday. I'd better start planning!!


PS: Check back later for some DIY guides for some of the homemade items mentioned...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Deal Alert! $40 off any $40 purchase from Paper Coterie

For a limited time, visit the Launch Party of the new site Paper Coterie and get a $40 credit to use towards anything you'd like!  You only pay shipping!! Just use the code OPENHOUSE when checking out.  What a great deal, and I promise you will fall in love with the adorable collection of customizable photo books, journals, posters, swatchbooks and more!  As for me, I'm finally going to make that recipe book I've been wanting!  The credit is good through tomorrow night, Friday, May 6th.  (However, on the home page there is a note that the Launch Party is extended through Sunday, May 8th... just not sure if that applies to the credit!)



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