Baby Week: Homemade Gifts

Baby WeekAs I was taking pictures of all the homemade gifts our little one has received  I was completely blown away at the kindness of our family and friends. When I mentioned this to Ben his response was, “we are so incredibly blessed.” We really are! I can’t imagine the time, effort and love that went into these projects! So many of the other gifts we received were also incredibly thoughtful. We. are. blessed.

To start here are two special pieces that hang in our lil’ peanut’s nursery, each made by a cousin of mine. Cousin, Kaitlyn made the fingerprint artwork on the left and my cousin Noah made the hanging sign on the right. (click on the photos to enlarge them).

Art PiecesHere are some special hats for baby. One bought by Grandma Kelly, embroidered by Great-Grandma Judy and another made by my Grandma Judy’s friend, Joan.

HatsBaby also received an embroidered onesie to match the elephant hat above that says lil’ peanut on it and six geeked out onesies made by our friend, Lauren. 3 Harry Potter ones and 3 Star Wars ones with quotes like “Mischief Managed” and “The Force is Strong With This One.” Those are in a “big kid clothes” tote and I’ll be sure to show off those outfits when my model is wearing them!

Below are fabric cubes my mom made, my aunt made a few wash cloths all with a design inside, Ben’s mom made seven animal bibs and my aunt made four hooded towels (two infant ones and two toddler ones).

MiscBaby has received numerous special blankets! My mom crocheted one, Ben’s mom made a huge fleece quilt, my colleague’s wife made the softest, fluffiest blanket and my Grandma Judy embroidered one and gave it to me a few years ago.

Blankets 1

Mandy and my cousins surprised us with a beautiful embroidered Harry Potter blanket that Mandy’s friend made. We also got a the cutest dog blanket from Lance’s parents. Lance is one of our best friends and was Ben’s groomsmen. His mom made this quilt and the dogs ears move. Ben’s sister made a super soft and comfy fleece quilt that matches baby’s room so well!

Blankets 2

We can’t wait for our lil’ peanut to use all these special gifts!


Our Little Christmas

Ben and I had our own little Christmas. Ben brought home dinner from a local restaurant and after eating together we decided to have our Christmas. We opened a few gifts and enjoyed our evening together. We celebrated Christmas in a funny way this year. We opened one gift each week for three weeks! It was super fun. We were so impatient and pretty much exchanged gifts shortly after they were bought. We opened the last few gifts two days before Christmas Eve – the last night we had to ourselves before the craziness of Christmas began.

This was the aftermath!

IMG_3504And here are the goodies! This is what we exchanged over three weeks.
IMG_3505I gave Ben enough X-box points to get the expansion pack to one of his favorite games, Skyrim, his second brand new video game, Assassins Creed and a beer ornament. Baby gave daddy a Star Wars ABC book for them to read together. Ben gave me a Willow Tree pregnancy figure, a glass water bottle (that was the one gift I requested!), Fun. Some Nights CD and a pregnancy ornament.

Every year since we started dating in 2006 we have exchanged ornaments. We typically buy an ornament that represents the past year. Past ornaments include Mickey Mouse because I called Ben mouse before we started dating, a lime green lobster because I tried seafood for the first time, a tomato because we started our first little garden of three tomato plants and a teacher ornament the year I graduated college.

These are the ornaments that were exchanged this year.

IMG_3507We write the year and the reason for giving the ornament on the back of the ornament. The bottom of Ben’s ornament says Ben’s Brewery and represents Ben’s year of brewing multiple batches of beer and teaching numerous other people how to brew. My ornament has the year on the back and on the purse it says Best Present Ever.

We will continue this tradition with our children and buy them an ornament that reflects our past year together.

Ben came up with some pretty unique gift tags this year! I loved what he wrote!

IMG_3509 - Copy (2)I am part of a Facebook group with a group of women who are all due in April. A lot of abbreviations are used and DH is one of the most common ones. DH stands for Dear Husband. Ben picked up on this and used the abbreviation on a present. Totally made my day!

Ben has made me breakfast in bed before so I returned the favor the next morning and made him breakfast in bed. I attempted to make a few fun pancakes and while my talents aren’t up to par with Ben’s – at least you can tell what I attempted to make!

A heart, baby and ornament.. haha I tried! I will keep practicing!

That was how we spent our little Christmas together with our growing family! I can’t wait to see what our Christmas looks like together next year!

Homemade Body Scrub

On my quest to slowly move towards “green” living I decided to make my own body scrub. I was buying it but discovered making it was really easy and much cheaper.

Here is what you need:

* small container

* Vanilla extract (Ben made ours)

* sugar

* Coconut Oil

* Lavender

Lavender Vanilla Body Scrub

(with vague instructions, this doesn’t need to be perfect!)

1. Fill the container 3/4 full with sugar.

2. Put in a teaspoon of vanilla extract and lavender.

3. Mix in enough coconut oil to wet the sugar.

4. Put the container in the shower and use it to shave your legs, moisturize your body and exfoliate your skin! I absolutely love this stuff!

*Note* Depending on temperature the coconut oil may turn into a solid or liquid altering the look of your scrub.

I alter this recipe depending on what I am feeling at the moment. You see some ground coffee in the above pictures from a previous batch I made, a Vanilla Latte scrub.

This would make a unique Christmas gift!


Baby Goodies

Our baby is already so spoiled! Within hours of telling our loved ones about our little miracle gifts, cards and beautiful messages were received.

I didn’t photograph everything our lil’ peanut owns but here is a good portion of the gifts baby H received.


Top left: ducky outfit and toy from Uncle Jake, Aunty Wendy and Mikayla

Top right: outfit from Auntie Tia and Uncle Justin and handmade book from Grandpa and Grandpa K

Bottom left: onsies and two blankets from Aunty Mary, Uncle Ed and Great-Grandma Margaret

Bottom right: outfits from my parents


Top left/top right/ bottom left: outfits and blanket from Ben’s parents

Bottom left: an outfit for Mommy from Ben’s parents

I also got an adorable black cover up from my parents and super comfy yoga pants (that I practically live in!)

Our family and friends also sent us sweet cards and Facebook messages. We are so loved and so blessed! Ben and I have bought a few outfits for baby so the pile of baby goodies is growing!

Brief Date Night Jar Tutorial

The Date Night Jar I made in a previous post was quite simple and honestly I contemplated putting up this tutorial at all. But here it is! 

I looked at a few different places to get an idea that I liked. 

I liked this one because you could decide the price range for the date night. 

This was another fun one because you could use the couples wedding colors to decorate the jar. 

I choose to do a date night jar similar to the second one but still used the first one as inspiration. I grabbed a Mason jar from our kitchen (they are everywhere!)
Cut strips of colorful paper and added date ideas. I also googled “cheap date night ideas” and got some inspiration from there. Some date ideas included Iron Chef Challenge, geocaching, indoor picnic, lay under the stars and I also wrote, “Ben cooks” and “Carrie cooks” as a date night option! 
Then make a cover for the lid to explain the jars contents. Tape it on top!
Fold the strips of paper and toss them in the jar!
 I also made an instruction manual to better explain the Date Night jar. I encouraged the couple to pick one, two or three ideas if they so choose and to also include other couples on their date nights. Making this date night jar gave me some ideas and I am anxious to have some date nights with my hubby!

I also put this together.
Bought the frame and got the pictures from this flicker site.
Have fun!

I Do!

I love weddings! I love seeing the bride’s hard work come together. I get emotional watching the bride walking down the aisle to her groom. I enjoy meeting their family and friends and partying the night away with them. I love the colors, food, dresses, dessert, and sounds of the day. This past Saturday was a special day. My dear friend got married and Ben and I were there to watch the union of two terrific people! 

Before their wedding day I got crafty.

Date Night Jar
A mason jar filled with ideas for a date night.

Some goodies for date night. 

Everything was individually wrapped with an explanation included. 
Inside was candy, popcorn, cookie dough mix, and candles. 

I also got the images online and made this picture frame for the couple. 
Easy, fun, and unique gifts!

And of course a wedding post would not be complete without a few pictures from the big day. 

Ben and I before the wedding. 
(I was laughing.. whoops)

The head table

Each table was labeled with a place and an explanation about the importance of the location. 

The BEAUTIFUL bride and a few elementary education pals. 

Wedding Presents

I had a ton of fun gathering up gifts to give to Alyssa (and Bill too!).

The Bachelorette Gift will not be shown… but it was a fun game, Blow Pops and other “soon-to-be-married” goodies that your mind can probably come up with!

For the Bridal Shower I choose a Decorate Your Kitchen theme.

With the gift came, two yellow place mats and two green napkins. 

A frame that I spray painted to match the rest of the gift and created a wordle using kitchen terms. I added a border around the words. To find out more about wordles click here

I created a cookbook for Alyssa (again with the same color scheme). I included recipes that I have received or found. I added little phrases at the top of each page and included tips and variations of the recipes. 

For their wedding gift we choose a Date Night theme. Bill and Alyssa are not going on their honeymoon until October so we wanted to give them a mini-honeymoon for one evening. We added the fixings for spaghetti and chocolate chip cookies. Added a candle and movie! 

I made instructions for the Date Night!


In addition to the gifts and making the mini-cheese cakes for Alyssa’s bridal shower, I made thank you cards in her wedding colors. 

I had so much fun planning and preparing all the gifts!