Modern Animal Nursery

I know I promised this blog wouldn’t become a kids blog– but this is my life currently (along with spit up and sleepless nights). I am working on my daughter’s second birthday coming up in March, so hopefully there will be some party updates coming soon.

Anyhoo, if you follow my on instagram you know that our baby boy was born in November. He’s a sweet little boy, our Rush Elias.

R- baby

As they say, we weren’t quite as organized with the second baby. For our daughter, her nursery was ready a month early. Rush’s nursery has just come together, 2.5 months after he was born.

When we found out we were having a boy, I figured the new baby would take over East’s room, so I brainstormed on how to use her arrow linens. In the middle of the night (when all the best ideas come) I decided on Woodland Animals. Turns out woodlands animals are out and safari animals are what’s trendy right now, so I had to be a bit flexible with my animal choices. It still turned out cute, I think!

R-crib

Don’t these animals look like these popular (and expensive) heads?  I looked all over for something that wouldn’t cost tons for shipping to HK and was able to find these on TaoBao (the Mainland China Amazon/Ebay). The site is only in Chinese, so my husband’s work colleague had to assist us– in return she saw them before I did! But we were able to save hundreds of dollars (and who knows– they could be the Chinese supplier of the fancy brand!).

Hong Kong isn’t always the most stroller friendly place, so we have tried nearly every baby carrier. We have quite the collection and I need somewhere to keep them organized and accessible. I loved this arrow hook panel from Target.

R- arrow

Aren’t those little animals cute? I did get some woodland creatures in, with this cute bowling set from Etsy. That sweet picture of my hubby as a chubby little babe, with his favorite bunny kills me every time. And who can resist an inspirational sign (also from Target)?

R- shelf

Even though the room has built in closets, I needed additional storage, particularly drawers. So we got IKEA dresssers (not our first choice– ah, the joys of living in a big city!) so I thought I’d customize them a bit with some washi tape. The blocks on top are from my baby shower with sweet messages from friends.

R- dresser

When we moved, my first purchase was a rocking chair for nursing. I used it a lot when I was pregnant due to being so uncomfortable, so we moved it to the living room. So now we have 2, one in each room. And who’s that sitting in the chair?! Right under a picture of himself, the cutie pie! (By the stuffed animal basket is a mat I use to lay him on for stretching and tummy time).

R- chair

And finally, here’s a pulled back picture of the room. I’m pretty happy with how it came together. What do you think?

R- full room

(It was a rainy dark day, so please forgive the dark pictures!)

Let’s Taco ‘Bout It!

This is the first birthday party that almost didn’t happen.

We planned really well, ordering fun items from the US in time to be hand carried by my Mother-in-Law who came to visit for East’s first birthday. She arrived the end of February. Not 2 days later, East started coughing and came down with a cold, so bad her chest was rattling. Then my Mother in Law fell ill. By the weekend, a week before the party, I succumbed. My husband held out, making me a short time believer in the flu shot. But we forged ahead planning, thinking we’d be better in a week.

We weren’t. My glands were still swollen a week later and I had no voice. East was probably the best, but she still had a cough. My Mother in Law was ill, and my husband was starting cough. But the real kicker was Friday afternoon, the day before the party, the cat got sick too. With running all over town, going to vet and the pediatrician, still not full recovered, we decided to postpone the party a week.

I’m glad we did– we ended up with more babies able to come in the end. We lost some people, gained some, and fun was had by all. My sweet MIL made 2 pinatas and supervised the food, I had a voice and could talk to guests and give instructions, my husband managed the drinks and the non-baby friends, and East was able to play and have fun. Some people may have thought it was a bit odd to have a taco and margarita party for a 1 year old– but I think it was just perfect for us.

I dreamed of having a park party– a common US kids’ party location– but the weather in Hong Kong is too variable. You don’t know when it might rain, or be cold or crazy hot. So we settled on the common rooms of our building (our apartment– and most apartments– are much too small). Thankfully this offered us flexibility in terms of the date– although not much of the decor. It’s what I call medieval Vegas– but there is a kids playroom, a kitchen, a bar, and a couple of sitting areas. We made it as festive as possible, with tons of papel picado, balloons, flowers, and pinatas.

When guests walked in: DSC_0134

You can just see the sitting area to the right, with the baby food (veggies and no salt food) to the right. And you may be able to make out the taco pillow! (These quesadillas were popular!)

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Also some fun hanging elements in this room. DSC_0142

This was outside the kids playroom, with the first pinata. DSC_0157

We put out mats for the little ones to crawl around. I also found taco and burrito felt toys to get the kids in the mood. (The birthday girl trying them out!)

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Heading the other way, towards the food, stopping at the bar is mandatory! DSC_0111

 

And chips, salsa and guacamole, of course. I love those pineapple plates!

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The obligatory letter balloon– which is still inflated! East loves playing with it!  You can also see the papel picado  and the cake in the background.

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We had an a regular full sugar cake (lemon with blueberry filling) as well as no sugar banana cupcakes for the babies. East ate a whole cupcake herself.

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The taco menu–

easts birthday party 2

Can you believe we didn’t end up with any pictures of the tacos?? What’s wrong with us?! But we do have a pic of the taco pinata!

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For activities, we had story time, read by my husband. Appropriately, Dragons Love Tacos. East loved it. easts birthday party

 

And we made maracas! Using just plastic eggs, beans, wooden spoons and tape, I think the kids (and parents!) had a good time. And it was a good take away.

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Lastly, cake time!

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And the next day we left for Perth!

Summer Lovin’

How’s your summer going? Can you believe July is nearly over? I’ve gotta get in my sunny days in while I can!

Here are some things I’m loving right now…

collage fav july

1. This baby shower tablecloth is so cute.

2. I must have this gold {temporary} tattoo.

3. Chocolate potato chips? Yes please!

4. I adore this 40th birthday. It gives me ideas for a future party for my hubby…

5. Tiny gift parade. {this has made the rounds, but I love gifts!}

6. Candy necklace napkin ring. So colorful and fun for summer.

What are you loving this summer?

A Little Girl’s Frozen Dream

One of my favorite followers on Twitter asked for some party ideas for her 3 year old’s birthday. This little lady loves Disney’s Frozen (I mean, really, who doesn’t?), so I put together a party that I’d like to attend!

collage frozen party

 

1. Some cute movie ticket invites {free printables!}

2. I like this marshmallow topiary. And naturally, styrofoam snowmen would be welcome.

3. These would be adorable give aways.

4. A plastic snow globe would be a fun and easy activity for little hands.

5. Flowers {and snowflakes} always add. {I’d probably use mums}

6. The name just asks for frozen treats– snow cones, popsicles, ice cream. As long as it’s blue!

7. These simple decorations {but still cute!} in the blue color story will allow you to create consistency, without being too theme-y.

 

Let us know how it goes!

Flower Obsession

Around Japan I saw little nosegays of flowers at every corner market, perfectly wrapped up. I’ve been eying them every since. I love the patterned paper with the colorful blooms. I’m definitely trying  this, as a small gift or decorations at a party.

collage flower cones 2

 

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How To: Polka Dot Party Tablecloth

Do you remember this awesome party? At Charlee’s 5th Birthday I painted this polka dot tablecloth, as well as some striped ones. Since the original post was lost, I thought I’d re-create it here.

balloon backdrop

 

I won’t lie– this is a time consuming process. It took me 2-3 times more time I expected. But the results are awesome– so colorful and fun. I was sad to see them go at the end of the party!

 

tablecloth how to.jpg

 

First I washed and dried the tablecloth (I got a blend, part cotton to make it a little stiffer) and laid it out on the floor, on paper.

Since I was working with so many colors, I marked bowls to lay out the color and the look, giving it that perfect, but not too perfect, randomization.

I made a circle stencil for each color, and used acrylic paint to make the dots. Pick up the stencil quickly, so it doesn’t dry to the tablecloth. Let the tablecloth dry overnight.

Drape it over a table and get ready for the compliments!