Painting with a Toddler

We had the keys to our new home since Wednesday evening, and we’ve been hard at work. We have the luxury of having a few weeks before we have to move out of our rental, so we’re getting stuff done before we move in.

First on my list was painting the kitchen cabinets. They are nice cabinets, but in the ugly honey builder grade standard. I am so, so, so excited about these white cabinets. I’m also a complete monkey when it comes to home improvements. Heigh challenged be damned!

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We also got to work painting over the avocado green and banana yellow in the living rooms, not to mention the burnt orangey-red color in the master bathroom. Again, I didn’t let my shortness get in my way. Here’s my solution when a ladder just wasn’t cutting it.

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The pictures of the house paint don’t really do the color justice. It’s a light gray, and after the second coat I think the true color will come out. Right now it kind of looks white, but I promise in person it isn’t.

Piglet has been incredible during our weekend of DIY and home renovating. Here he is being absolutely adorable. Wouldn’t this be a great ad for paint? Just saying.

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Our secret to getting him to cooperate was a combination of lots of toys available, some extra video time, scheduled play date breaks, and just having an awesome kid. We also brought all his stuff (bed, stuffed animals, sound machine, monitor, the works) for nap time, and used those 2 hours to our full advantage each day. But we are also lucky that Piglet is a really good self entertainer, and not a destructive toddler.

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We still have so much to do, but I’m amazed at how much we were able to finish in just a few days. We are hoping to move next weekend! Ack, I can’t wait to be in our new home!

How to Have Your Unique Wedding on a Budget

Soon the lovely warm summer will be upon us, and that means one thing – wedding season. If you’re planning a wedding, you’ll know how much there is to do, and how much work it is. You want to make your wedding day your own, but do you sometimes think that everything starts to look, a bit, well, samey? After months of reading bridal magazines and going to wedding fairs, at times, it can all seem to seep into one big confetti shaped blur.

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So how do you add your own stamp to proceedings? If you like to be different and stand out from the crowd, an off the peg wedding is not going to be your ideal big day. Your wedding day is meant to represent the beginning of your new life together, so you should make it reflect you as a couple.

 

The thing is, getting married tends not to be cheap. It can cost a lot. Dresses, venue, food, it all adds up and can make a considerable dent in your wedding day budget. And if you want something that’s a bit quirky and not run of the mill, it tends to incur a premium. But it doesn’t have to. Here are some really awesome tips to help you save cash and be true to you on your big day!

If you’re not into the schmaltzy shop standard invitations, then why not have a go at making your own? Even if you’re not the most crafty of folk, you can cheat a little. Check out these clever DIY wedding invites by Pure Invitation. You can design your own invites with minimal skills – there’s no card cutting or scoring required. It’s so simple to do, and you can design something that you really love. They aren’t too expensive either so it’s great for saving a little bit of cash. Even better, you don’t have to sacrifice giving the impression you want.

When you’re looking for the dress, it can be daunting knowing even where to start. The choice can be overwhelming. And some dresses are so expensive. If you love vintage and retro clothing why not see if you can find something preloved? From eBay to local charity shops you’ll find fabulous wedding dresses for a fraction of the price you’d pay most other places. If you love the retro look but sizing is an issue, or you can’t find a dress you love, check out vintage style wedding dresses at Vivien of Holloway. Their reproduction styles are stunning and surprisingly affordable.

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When it comes to decorations for your wedding day, you can’t go wrong looking for inspiration on sites like Pinterest. I wish Pinterest had been around when I was planning my wedding! Some of the most stunning decorations are really simple, and can be cost effective. Black boards look great and can be used for a variety of purposes. Simple arrangements can be elegant and striking. Don’t forget to include elements that reflect all the things you love. If you aren’t that good at making things, why not enlist the help of crafty friends and make an evening of it? Not only will you have fun, but you might also find friends have hidden talents! You can buy all sorts of odds and ends on eBay to help give your decorations a professional touch.I had a lot of fun designing my guestbook tree, and it cost very little to make.

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It’s not difficult to stamp your own unique style on your wedding. Have you got any tips or tricks on how to keep your big day individual and save money? Drop by and let us know in the comments below!

 

My Gorgeous Farmhouse Dining Room Table

Since we moved into our new rental, I have been bugging Match about getting a new dining room table. The one we used to have before our move to Oregon was an old hand-me-down that had seen better days. I never liked the look of it, and we gave it back to the family member that loaned it to us. I wanted something more rustic, and I found the perfect table on Pinterest, from Ana White. Her plans were easy to follow, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. You can find the plans here.

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Isn’t it so pretty? My husband did a fantastic job, and it turned out even better than I could have hoped for. I am so in love with it! I can’t wait to have a big dinner party to try it out. Of course now that I know Match can build, his honey do list is never ending. 😉

Little Blue Truck 1st Birthday

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Piglet’s first birthday party was better than we could have hoped for. It was chaotic, loud, and so much fun. Piglet wouldn’t take more than a 20 minute afternoon nap, and we were so nervous that he’d be a fussy pants, but he was all smiles. We were so impressed with his ability to handle all the activity. It was like he couldn’t sleep beforehand because he just knew it was his party. He was too excited to sleep! The decorations all came together, and I’m so happy with how everything turned out.

We had the little blue truck and the dump truck, complete with felt animals that I hand stitched:

little blue truck & dump truck, www.dategirldiaries.com

little blue truck felt animals, www.dategirldiaries.com

There were blue frosted cupcakes, with homemade cupcake toppers:

Little Blue Truck Cupcake Toppers, www.dategirldiaries.com

I also made a chalkboard sign for Piglet. Guests said it was great because it answered questions they had about him!

www.dategirldiaries.com: chalkboard birthday sign, #littlebluetruckparty

The clothespin timeline was my favorite decoration piece. I love seeing how he’s changed throughout the year. Don’t mind the glare on the pictures. I am still learning how to take good photos!

www.dategirldiaries.com: clothespin timeline photo

Match was so helpful all day. He helped me put up streamers in the family room, and he cleaned up our patio and deck, and got everything guest ready. Then the guests started arriving, and it was party time!

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Match got really into the theme, and even coordinated his outfit to go along with Piglet’s. I love that he is such a good sport!

Little Blue Truck Pinata, www.dategirldiaries.com: #diypinata #littlebluetruck

The kids had a great time with the pinata. Unfortunately, Match made it a little too sturdy, and we ended up having to put it on the ground and let them just whack it to death. Either way, the kids had fun and the adults were thoroughly entertained!

Piglet did not mess around when it came time for his cupcake. He had been waiting a whole year for a sweet treat, and he did not want to miss out!

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The rest of the party was a blur of opening presents and visiting with guests. Piglet’s Godparents, Geeky and Fireguy, went all out with a Giraffe rider. It was the hit of the party!

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We had friends come from out of town, and Match got to see some of his academy buddies. Between the three guys, they have had four sons since graduating from Law Enforcement Academy. Pretty crazy! All the guests seemed to have fun mingling and playing together. partyguests

We are so blessed to have so many people that love our little man. Onward to year #2!

little blue truck 1st birthday sign, www.dategirldiaries.com DSC_0501

little blue truck 1st birthday, www.dategirldiaries.com

DIY Pinata

We are starting to get RSVPs for Piglet’s big first birthday, and it looks like there will be quite a few kids attending. I got some great advice from another mom, who suggested a pinata as the activity to keep kids entertained. Plus just think of the cute photo opp of Piglet swinging a bat!

I looked for a truck pinata, but they were all the wrong colors, and frankly they were all overpriced for something the kids are just going to whack apart with a bat. So I hopped on pinterest, and saw that it’s not so difficult to make your own pinata. Match decided to help me out, and basically did the entire thing by himself. He used old cardboard boxes, lots of masking and scotch tape, tissue paper I’ve saved over the years, and some aluminum foil. The entire project was 100% free!

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It was cute to see him get so into decorating. He had a lot of fun with it, and it turned out so cute! I almost don’t want to see the kids smash it.

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I don’t think the pictures do it justice. It turned out great, and I am so excited to see it hanging up for Piglet’s party~