Gift ideas you could do yourself, make or buy:
1. A door silencer might come in handy as not to wake the babe when checking on that sweet face.
2. An adorable, crumb-catching bib.
3. Spa in a jar for momma to have everything in one spot to pamper herself at home in those few silent moments.
5. OR a massage, facial, or spa treatment of any kind would be heavenly to relax tired, new parents.
5. A custom pillow with "Best Day Ever" and the little one's birth date would be an adorable gift to come home to. For less stress on yourself, make the pillow and stencil the wording ahead of time. Then add the date when the babe is born.
6. A bird house window box would make a super cool gift, a delight for even bitty babies and sleepy parents to watch the birds.
7. Decadent treats like these peanut butter no-bake marshmallow cheesecake bars would make any day better. Maybe I could use substitutes to make them vegan.
8. A cute, flowy top for momma to feel put-together and fabulous post-baby.
9. A day of house cleaning would be helpful to any parent. Do the dishes or laundry, tidy up the house, take out the garbage, etc. DIY or purchase a gift certificate from a cleaning service.
10. From my understanding, Sophie the giraffe teether is by far one of THE best kid things ever.
Whatever you choose, wrap it in a swaddling cloth, baby blanket or burp cloth. Even better, wrap a bottle of wine in one. And include a note that says "no need to respond" or "no thank you card needed" so the parents feel no pressure to keep up with more than what is already on their plate.
P.S. I pin ideas like this and more on Pinterest. Follow me!
Valentine's Day. In my life, it wraps up three months of celebrating various relationships in my life. Starting with my birthday, followed by Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, our anniversary (this is one of the photos we took celebrating our 5th anniversary), our date-iversary...and then Valentine's Day. I know for a lot of people it's a not fun day because it can cause unwanted stress on a young relationship or at the thought of being alone. Or it seems too Hallmark with its ability to become cheesy. But it doesn't have to be.
Our anniversary and date-iversary are the days for me and Matt, so Valentine's Day isn't about that relationship anymore, although at times I long for the sweetness of that early romance. It's a day about making all my relationships special and spreading love. If you're sour on Valentine's Day, think about it like that. Just be extra happy, extra nice, extra giving and thoughtful. Give valentines to your co-workers. Call or text family members out of the blue to say "I love you" and wish them a happy Valentine's Day. Give your pups or kitties extra love. Spend quality time with those closest to you. Buy yourself chocolate and flowers. Love yourself, your friends, your family, your co-workers, and all the other important people in our lives (and strangers if you so choose!). What's not to like? So whatever, with whomever you choose to spend this glorious, happy day, I hope it's wonderful.
A valentine for my one and only Valentine:
and the sunshine to my day.
You make everything better.
Happy Valentine's Day!
One of my dearest friends is expecting her little one in the next few weeks. She is a wonderfully creative woman, so we wanted to throw her a shower she would love. She enjoys traveling, even incorporating postcards into her wedding, and she talked about decorating their new home with maps. With the help of my co-host, the incredibly talented Katie, we came up with a "Welcome to the World" travel theme.
Her little one's nursery was going to be decorated like an English garden, so we tried to incorporate flowers into things she could reuse for the nursery. We covered cardboard letters with floral scrapbook paper. Then, using a leftover pallet board, we covered it with white-dotted craft paper and "Welcome to the World" vinyl letters cut with my Cricut. Katie put a few paper flowers here and there which added the perfect touch.
For the fireplace screen, we hung plain Gerber onesies printed with a "We Love Lucy" heart, pearls, "Welcome to the World" around a globe, "Birth: Nailed It," and "Keep Calm and Carry Me" using iron-on transfer paper. Throughout the room, we used vintage suitcases that Katie's momma collects (my favorite part of the decor!) and globes gathered and borrowed from our homes and friends.
Delightful bites were provided with the momma-to-be's dairy allergy in mind to include fruit cups, Daiya cheese sausage balls, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, vegan cupcakes, cucumber sandwiches, and vegetables and hummus. To sip, we served raspberry lemonade in mason jars with green-striped paper straws.
For games, I created three stacked cards as a "passport" for the evening. We asked each guest to bring a baby photo of themselves which we clipped to a memo board Katie made with chicken wire and fabric flowers for a "Guess the Baby" game. Meredith loves "Scattergories," so we had to play that of course, and then the classic "What's in Your Purse?"
To get out of our seats, we played "Tinkle in the Pot" which I found when searching for games online. Everyone divides into teams, and each person has a balloon (in our case, pink!) and a coin. With a tub or "pot" of some sort on the opposite side of the room, the teams relay 1) putting the coin between their knees 2) blowing up and tying the balloon 3) putting the balloon under their shirt 4) waddling to the cup keeping the coin between their knees and 5) dropping the coin in the pot with no hands. If you drop the coin or don't make it in the pot, you have to go back to the start. It may sound silly, but it was a lot of fun and got everyone moving and laughing!
Guests brought books instead of cards, and I absolutely loved the Downton Abbey-obsessed momma's reaction to a "Mouseton Abbey" book.
I sure do love these ladies. And so glad we were able to celebrate this amazing new part of our friend's life. Can't wait to meet you, Lucy!
P.S. These are the electronic invitations we created on Punchbowl with maps and pink accents. Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas.
First, we look at the prop bets they're making in Vegas. For example, one year, there was a bet on what color wig Madonna would first come out in during half-time. From the Vegas lists, we choose and write down 15 bets, including ones we create on our own, and designate a point value for the bet loosely based on its Vegas odds. This year, we brunched at Cracker Barrel and picked these bets:
At the end, whoever has the most points wins. Our stakes this year are winner's choice of one home-cooked gourmet meal, including dessert, and choice of date night. You could bet anything. Perhaps in a group, the loser has to wear the winner's choice of a temporary tattoo on their forehead or the loser goes on the winner's choice of food/drink run to be paid for by the loser. Copy and paste into a word document to print for your own use! It makes the less entertaining parts of watching the game more entertaining (like listening to the announcers), gives you an excuse to really pay attention, and adds a competitive edge with multiple ways to win instead of just your team winning or losing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Go Broncos!
P.S. Did you see that Philip Seymour Hoffman died today? So sad. He was truly a great actor. If you haven't seen Almost Famous in a while, go watch it. Matt had not seen it before, so we watched it earlier this month. It's still one of my favorites.
Labels: Alex, Dad, Family, Personal, Relationships, Throwback Thursday, Winter · Posted by Madelyne Rush at 8:00 AM
Last weekend, I sorted and organized my photos from the year to make a 2013 album. I love to look back over the year's photos and be reminded of those moments not so long ago. Where it requires a little nudge to escape from your memory but is not too far away, still filled with details. I don't take nearly as many photos as I used to, but it's amazing how all the little small moments add up, things you forgot about doing but recall fondly. I like to make an album much like I would a scrapbook---just a few photos from each moment throughout the year that perfectly capture the moment, in order. It feels like travelling back in time. :)
January is always a weird month for me. You go from the entire month before spent nearly non-stop with family and friends, filled with activities, to spending all your time cleaning, organizing, planning, and compiling tax information (boring!). Then all of a sudden it gets ridiculously cold, and everyone is burned out from all the togetherness. So you spend a lot of time at home alone and manage only simple routines. Pretty much everything about the month puts me in a weird mood (except our anniversary!), and as cold as it's been, hibernation seems like a better idea. (If you're from somewhere colder, I'm sorry. I just couldn't do it. I guess that really makes me a Southerner.)
Perhaps these are symptoms of cabin fever? I don't know, but between January being January and reminiscing through old photos, I miss my family! I've been thinking a lot about my brother in particular this week. For starters, he lives in downtown Atlanta, so there was the small concern of his fate in the Snowmageddon. (They were hoping to have the roads cleared of vehicles by this morning's commute, and it was almost three days ago!) Then there's that he's moving into a fancy new place this weekend. And his birthday is in a few weeks, so I've been trying to figure out what I want to give him.
This photo and the one at the top were taken at Carter's Lake where we used to go camping with our dad during spring and summer breaks. We have so many great stories from our time spent there. We made it a tradition despite some spring breaks being quite chilly to spend boat-in camping on the lake. I remember one time in particular when our stepmom's sleeping bag rolled down the bank into the lake, and Dad tried sleeping through the night without a sleeping bag, covered in as many layers as possible and with all the blankets we brought. Even then, it was so cold, he couldn't make it and spent the whole night by the fire!
P.S. Glad to know that people like this still exist in the world.