Valentine’s Day Decorations

This year’s decorations were pretty simple.  Hopefully I can pull together a few other things for next year.



The shelves and the picture frames are from our local Goodwill store.  The frame on the left has a free printable which I found here and the frame on the left has a sheet of scrapbook paper.

I wanted to find some fun vintage Valentine’s to print online (or even at antique stores) but I didn’t have time to find any so I was excited when my mom brought these cute cutouts.  I remember these same ones hanging up when I was younger.


I filled a metal truck with some heart shaped blocks after seeing a similar idea on pintrest with heart shaped cookie cutters.  It’s also a fun decoration to have at Oliver’s level because it’s one he can take down and play with.


We found this calendar at an antique shop and used it as part of the decorations at our wedding. I usually leave it out set with our wedding date but it’s also fun to change to match the upcoming holidays.


A couple more of the cute cutouts from my Mom’s decorations are on the shelves on the other side of the TV.  I added a few toy envelopes next to the one on the right.

The bottom shelf has a tin sign that I found at our local Goodwill store and the Koala bear is from Hallmark.


For the table centerpiece I put out my usual year-round decorations along with these cute salt and pepper shakers that Shawn got me for Christmas a couple years ago.  The tin and plate are from my Nana’s kitchen and kettle is from my Mom’s play kitchen when she was younger. The ceramic strawberry is something my Mom painted several years ago for her Mom.


Christmas Decorations

I was especially excited to decorate for Christmas this year since last year at this time was when I first had the idea of putting these shelves on the wall for seasonal decorations and collecting the shelves.

I finally put them up in time for Fall and you can see more in the post: Fall Decor – Part 2

I decided to use the three shelves to the right to display our Nativity.  On top of the toy shelf I lined up some seasonal friends for Oliver to play with and I also hung up a felt advent tree that my great-aunt made.  Since Oliver is two this year I love having all of the decorations in reach something that he can play with – especially when they are on his toy shelf.  🙂


The nativity set is by Willow Tree and can be purchased here.  I have four sets from this group and have set it up a little different every year.

This free printable I found is one of my favorites and comes in four different color options which you can find and download here.


One of my favorite things about these shelves is that they make it easy to display decorative plates.   This plate was one that my mom had in her collection and I have used it as a dessert plate in the past.

I love this Rudolph figurine which Shawn got me for our first Christmas together.  This was made by Jim Shore and you can find a similar one here.


This acrylic sleigh is another thing that my mom gave me from her collection of Christmas decorations.  I love how it catches the light.  I have used it as a candy dish in the past but this year I decided to fill it with these mini ornaments that I found at Michaels.

The snow globe is from Caribou Coffee and was a gift last year.

This printable was perfect addition to this shelf and you can find and download it for free here.


This ceramic house is from my Nana’s Christmas decorations and was hand painted for her by my Mom before I was born.  It is fun to have in my collection now. 🙂

This JOY sign is from Hallmark last year but you can find a similar one at Target here.

I found these two deer at Goodwill last year and loved them.  It was after Christmas and my decorations were already put away but I was sure I could find a place for them this year!


The record player is one of my favorite year-round decorations and it even works!  I fell in love with it at a thrift store a few years ago and my in-laws surprised me and delivered it to our door. 🙂


On one end table I set up this adorable vintage looking sign from Hobby Lobby along with an ornament from my Mom.  Since Oliver likes Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood right now, he was excited to see Santa on a Trolley.


On the other end table I included another piece I got from Hobby Lobby on clearance a few years ago (Oliver calls it a horse) and this wood nativity from my Mom’s collection (which makes for a fun puzzle for Oliver).


Merry Christmas! 🙂

Fall Decor – Part 1

Confession: This is the first year I’ve actually put out fall decorations.   Usually I don’t think about it until October and then I’m already planning for Christmas.  I made sure to start in the first week of September this year so I wouldn’t forget. 🙂

Luckily our wedding was in fall colors so I had a good start!

I collected colored glass vases as well as a variety of candle holders.  My goal is to keep our decorations in neutral color tones with just a few accent tones. I love the variation of shapes and colors and every Goodwill store I’ve been to has always had a great selection.


I also used a couple of the Snapple bottle candles that we made for our wedding.  To see how we made them and to see how we used these in our wedding centerpieces, be sure to check out the post: here.


This wreath I found at Target on clearance after Christmas.  I loved the neutral tones and originally wanted to use it for our advent wreath but it was too big for the candle holder that we already had.  I’m sure we will find another use for it at Christmas time but right now it works great for fall and will tradition nicely into the Christmas decorations.


I took advantage of the Labor Day sale at Michaels to get some artificial flowers and this cute pumpkin.


I found a really cute table runner from Home Goods which was orange and grey with a fun fall print but I knew our grey table runner would help keep the decorations neutral.

I’m really happy with how it came out and it’s a fun way to dress up the table!


Next up… finishing the new gallery wall in the living room!  Here is a preview of one of the shelves… 🙂

*Click here to see the rest of the images in Part 2!



1st Birthday Party – Woodland Theme

I figured I should probably share this before we got to his second birthday. 🙂

Here’s a look at the details of our woodland themed birthday party.  Our budget was tight so we kept in simple.

The Happi Woodland Themed high chair decorations were purchased here on Amazon. The hat was from Party City and the streamers we found to match at Target.  Total for these items was under $15.

Here is a photo of the table.  We did a walking taco buffet to keep with the woodland/campus theme. 🙂

We made cucumber sandwiches shaped like pine trees.  These were easy to make – We used a Christmas Tree shaped cookie cutter to cut the slices of white sandwich bread and used a recipe from Pintrest.


The cupcakes were another idea we found on Pintrest.  They were called ‘Reindeer’ but look more like bears to me.  Either way, they fit the woodland theme. 🙂

You can find more details about how to make them here.  We found the eyes premade in the baking section at Target and used chocolate chips for the noses since we already had them.

My only recommendation is to not add the toppings until the day of the party.  The leftover ones ended up having soggy pretzels the next day.


To hold the bags of Doritos for the walking Tacos, I used this picnic basket that we already had which I originally found at Goodwill.  It worked perfectly and we even added a little woodland friend that we already had from his nursery.


We found several ideas for s’mores themed treats but this was by far the easiest to make – it was chocolate Teddy Grahams, Mini Marshmallows and Golden Grahams cereal.

Once again, this is another thing that you will not want to mix together until the day of the party.  The next day the marshmellows were hard and the cereal was soggy.


These Maple Leaf cookies were found at Trader Joes.  They were cute, they fix the theme and no prep work needed!


We also purchased Apple Cider from Trader Joes and the paper straws were from Target.  We purchased the orange ones on clearance from Halloween and the blue ones were left over from his baby shower. They sell them year round by the party supplies.


We purchased this banner kit several years ago from and turned around the pink letters to make them white so they matched the theme.


For his cake to smash, we used some of the cake batter from the cupcakes and made one in a large muffin pan.  This was cut in half to make a mini two layer cake.  The sprinkles and candle we already had.  I cut out a stencil to make a number ‘1’ and laid that on the top while adding the sprinkles.

I like how it turned out and it was quick and easy to make!


It was a lot of fun to make and now we already have to start thinking about what to do for his second birthday! 🙂

DIY – Onesie Extender

As Oliver is starting to move into the 3-6 month size, I’ve noticed that brands can run very differently in size.  A majority of his clothes are Carter’s brand and these seem to fit him the longest.  He is currently wearing some of his 0-3 month Carter’s onesies while his Gymboree & Baby Gap 3-6 month onesies are getting too short.

I have a couple outfits in those brands that I really like so I was sad to see that the onesie was too short on him once the matching jackets and pants finally fit.  I found some onesie extenders online but I did not want to pay $15 for three of them.  I could have gone out and bought fabric and snaps and measured to make sure they lined up with the onesies I needed them for but that sounded more time consuming than it needed to be.

I found out that there are three different size and pattens for the snaps between the different brands.  I went through his short sleeve onesies that he didn’t wear very often and found this Gerber brand one.  This one came in a multipack and I love all of the other ones but this one didn’t go with anything else that he had so I was okay with cutting it apart.

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I started by cutting the snaps off.  I kept them together on the strip of fabric so I wouldn’t have to re-measure them later.

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Next I cut straight across the bottom of the onesie through both the front and the back layers.

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I straightened out the edges and kept the width slightly longer than the length of the fabric with the snaps.

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Facing the patterned sides together, I used a sewing machine to stitch around three of the sides.  Next, I flipped the fabric right-side-out and sewed the third side.
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Instead of using the sewing machine to attach the snaps, I stitched them on with embroidery thread by hand.

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Using the embroidery thread, I sewed around the outer three sides to attach it.  I made sure the finished side was on the inside and used the embroidery thread to hide the unfinished edges on the outside as well as protect it from fraying.

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I did the same thing for the other side.  Here is the finished product:

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I tried it out on a couple on his outfits and it works well!  I’m so glad he will get to wear these outfits a little longer now. 🙂ADSC_3334 copy

Oliver’s First Photo Album

I made it a goal to start printing out Oliver’s photos and putting them in an album within the first month after he was born.  I am hoping that starting to get in this habit early will help me stay caught up on it later. 🙂

I love looking through the Creative Memory style scrapbooks that other people make but I knew it would not be realistic for me to keep one of those up.  My original idea was to do his album like I did for our wedding album and have each page be a sheet of scrapbook paper with photo corners holding each of the photos.  Since we are both photographers, we knew there would not be a shortage of photos.  After the first month I narrowed down his photos to 200 and then again to 100 before printing them.  It was not realistic for me to be buying and using photo corners for all of these pictures.

I found this album at Michaels during a week that their albums were all 50% off.

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I liked this one because it had the three ring binder on the inside so it holds more photos than a traditional album and made it easy to add and remove pages later.

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The pages I used are a mix of ones that hold (6) 4×6 photos on each side as well as the full 12×12 pocket page.  I figured the 4×6 photos would be a majority of what I would be printing and I would use the 12×12 pocket pages with scrapbook paper and photo corners for the photos from his formal infant photo sessions.  These pages are sold at Michaels, but since they were not on sale, I found a better deal on Amazon and purchased them there. 

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The scrapbook paper was left over from when I made our wedding album.  We found a good deal on this pad of paper from Stella & Rose (Pattern: My Mind’s Eye) on clearance at Joann Fabrics.  Michaels also has a good selection of pads of paper as well.  The one we purchased has 180 sheets and we have used it for our wedding album, in picture frames and to wrap small gifts.

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I’m looking forward to adding to this album in the months to come!

Refinished Highchair

I found this Eddie Bauer highchair at a garage sale for $10.  It had a few scratches on it and the cherry color didn’t match our dining room so we decided to refinish it.


We started out using the same Zinsser StripFast Spray-On Stripper that we used when we did the dining room chairs.  It didn’t work nearly as well as it did on the chairs so there was quite a bit of sanding that had to be done as well.


Once we were done sanding it, it was finished with two coats of stain. We used the same kind that we used on the dining room chairs which was the Minwax PolyShades with a satin finish in black.  On the dining room chair we only used one coat so you could still see some of the woodgrain and brown coloring but since we needed this chair to be easy to clean, we figured two coats would be best.  If we did this project again we would probably not use a stain & varnish 2-in-1 again.

In the end, we are happy with how it turned out and now our little guy will be able to use it in a couple more months!

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The Nursery

We are so excited to finally have the nursery put together and ready to welcome our baby boy any day!

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The ‘baby’ storage box was something my Mom and I found at Savers and is the perfect size for holding diapers!

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This rocking chair is the same one that was in Shawn’s nursery and the lamp was from mine.

The end table is from Target and used to be in our living room (we spray painted it yellow).  The pillow is from HomeGoods but we found it at a garage sale.

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This dresser is from my bedroom set when I was younger and is already full of clothes for our little guy!  The changing table pad cover is one we found on clearance at JCPenney before we knew if our little one was a boy or a girl.


The gallery wall is a collection of art work and frames that we have been collecting for years.  The three frames with the animals are frames that were collected throughout different thrift stores and garage sales.  We originally wanted to do a gallery wall of just these frames but then they stopped showing up when we were shopping.  The ‘It’s so good to walk with Jesus’ plaque was something we found a couple summers ago at a garage sale for 25 cents.  Both green frames are from Goodwill and were spray painted.  The empty frame will have our little one’s first initial in it after he’s born.  The other frame has a plaque in it that my Mom found at Savers.  Its the exact print that I found on Pinterest and have been looking everywhere for for months!  I kept seeing the version of the print with the girl so I was excited to finally have this one!  The lemonade stand artwork used to be hanging in our hallway and was another Goodwill find for just 49 cents. The last frame is from my Nana’s house and is filled with scrapbook paper.

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You can read more about the wall art in the Nursery from this post and the crib quilt from this post.

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The crib skirt we found at Goodwill before we knew if we were having a boy or a girl but knew yellow would be in the nursery color scheme.  The rug is one of the most recent things we found and we got that at a garage sale — it matches all of the colors perfectly!

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This owl we bought last fall at Pier1 before we were even expecting — it was too cute and we knew we would be having a baby soon so we bought it for the nursery and held on to it. 🙂


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This rocking chair I found several years ago at Goodwill for $2.99 and used it for multiple photo shoots.  I loved the natural wood color that it was but also knew it would be a cute addition to the nursery in green.

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Nursery Wall Art – DIY

I started collecting wall art for the nursery well before we were even expecting a baby and now we finally get to see it all come together!

I wanted to make a gallery wall over the dresser/changing table which is the opposite wall from the crib.  The rocking horse used to be in my older brother’s nursery and the two frames are from Goodwill and I got them for $1.50 each.

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A couple years ago I started finding the same picture frame at three different thrift stores and a then at a garage sale.  I went back to buy them from each place and was able to get all but one of the thrift stores.  I thought it would be neat to make a gallery wall of just these frames and it was also fun that they were different sizes.  I have kept my eye out for them but have had no luck since then so I decided to mix them in with a collage of other things.  In these frames I used a mix of scrapbook paper to add more color since I decided not to paint the actual frames.

The top left artwork I found at a garage sale a couple summers ago for $0.50 and the artwork on the bottom right was from Goodwill that I got for $0.49.  I originally had the lemonade stand plaque hanging in our hallway but replaced it with a floral piece after we found out we were having a boy so that I could use this one in the nursery.

The two plain wood frames were then spray painted green and I framed left over fabric from the quilt to the 8×10 frame.

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I decided to use the rocking horse on the opposite wall over the crib along with these letters.

The letters ‘A’ and ‘Y’ were both purchased from Goodwill.  These are another thing that kept showing up for a while and then I stopped seeing them once I started to collect them. 🙂  I originally decided to collect letters from thrift stores every time I found a letter I needed to spell out FAMILY.  I was going to paint them all the same color and hang them in our living room.  Once I saw how hard it was going to be to find all of the letters I decided to use them to spell out BABY instead.

The letter ‘A’ is from Pottery Barn and is one of their Mini Harper Painted Letters that is originally $29 each and the letter ‘Y’ is also originally from Pottery Barn and is one of their White Capital Letters for $10 each.  Both of these I found at a thrift store for a dollar each.  I thought about ordering two letter ‘B’s from their website in green so that they would be in the same font but then I decided spending almost $60 on two letters would undo all of the savings on the other two. 🙂

We ended up going to Michael’s to get the letter ‘B’ and found one that was between the two different size letters that we already have so it worked out perfectly.  These letters are originally $3.99 each and then we had a coupon for 40% off our entire purchase.

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I liked how the ‘A’ and the ‘Y’ were two different colors and knew I wanted the ‘B’s to both be the same color.  I used the same green color from the frames to paint these.

Along with the letters and the rocking horse (also spray painted green), I decided to make a small banner using the left over fabric from the crib quilt.

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Once we have the crib and make sure that all of the furniture is where we want it, we will start hanging these up on the wall.

Wedding – {Film Canister} Name Cards

Since we are both photographers, I thought it would be fun to customize our place cards with a photography-theme.
We came up with the idea of using film canisters.  Luckily, at the time we were planning our wedding I was working at one of the last photo labs in town that still processed film.  This meant that collecting 150 empty film canisters was no problem.
Next we picked out four different colored scrapbook papers that matched our wedding colors and would represent the four different meal choices: Kids Meal, Chicken, Pork, Veggie.
These were cut into pieces the same size as the label on the canister.
After testing a number of different adhesives, we found that rubber cement worked the best.
After we completed the first 25, we set them to dry to see how they would hold up.  A few of them popped off of the canister in the drying process.
My husband found they held up best when a thin even layer of rubber cement was applied to the entire piece of paper (instead of the canister itself) and then extra rubber cement to the short edges.  We also held them a little bit longer before setting them to dry.  This took a little extra patience but seemed to solve the problem. Rubber bands were needed on a few of them when they were drying as well.
Once they were all dry, my husband designed the inserts with each of the guests’ names. These were attached to the tab of film that was in the canister with tape and then carefully rolled into the canister.
Photo Credit: Viveria Photography
We wrote the table numbers on the bottom and then had then all lined up at the door to the reception for our guests to pick up.
We were originally going to cut the end of the tabs to look like the end of film but figured it would be tough and time consuming to get them all to match.  Instead we rounded off the corners.

Photo Credit: Viveria Photography
The inside of them had a message to thank our guests for coming and also included a few of our engagement photos.
 Photo Credit: Viveria Photography
After viewing the message, guests could then roll it back up using the knob on the top of the canister.
The fun colors also made for some neat ring shots.


Photo Credit: Viveria Photography