Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Detail Photos from McKinley's Sweet Shoppe 1st Birthday

My poor neglected blog. And, no it doesn't look like I'll be back anytime soon because we found out that #2 is due on July 4th. Two under 2! Yikes! Being a mom, wife and a working gal has kept me one busy lady so blogging and blog reading have been put on the back burner. However, once a week I try to find time for my newest addiction...Pinterest. Love this! I couldn't figure out any better way to post photos of McKinley's Sweet Shoppe 1st Birthday to my board than posting them here first.

All of the things you see below I designed myself so please do not copy any of them without giving me credit. The labels and tags are available for purchase and can be customized with any color/name/info. I will also custom make any banners or lollipop trees (minus the ceramic pots) if wanted. If you're interested in purchasing anything, e-mail me at brieblogs (at) optonline (dot) net.

"1" label used on water bottles and "lollipop" trees

Banner that hung above the sweets table. I cut out each triangle, punched a coordinating pink or green sheet of cardstock for the top strip, glittered chipboard letters and glued them to each triangle. I then used mini clothspins I had left from our wedding to attach them to ribbon that hung from 3M command hooks on the wall. A little time consuming, but well worth it!

"It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!"
The birthday girl was not happy about wearing the hat I made her, but we had to get at least one shot with it. I traced a party hat onto green cardstock and cut it out. The fringe at the bottom (and the top pouf) is crepe paper streamer, folded in half, cut with fringe and stapled to the bottom of the hat (staple it while unfolded and then fold the top half over to cover the staples). The pink circle background I picked up on clearance at Michael's and printed my custom designed "1" label to go on top of it.

I custom designed this cupcake and used it all over.
In this case, I used it on a label that was on the shirt McKinley wore and water bottles.

"Lollipop" trees - I printed custom labels on a swirled background to look like giant lollipops on cardstock. I sandwiched a wooden dowel in between, wrapped them in cellophane and stuck them in foam in a painted ceramic pot. Very cheap and very cute!

Monogram label used on water bottles and the "lollipop" trees

Close up of photo banner - print picture on photo paper with white border, mount to colored cardstock, print custom "month" label and attach to bottom center of picture. Hang with mini clothspins from garland

The photo banner - one picture for each month (and one from her birth)

"Smash" cake - vanilla cake with strawberry frosting
The gumballs around the bottom dissolved in your mouth immediately so they were not a choking hazard. It didn't matter anyway, though, because my little one stayed true to herself -  one lick of frosting and that was enough for this girl who has no sweet tooth but loves spicy food, fruit, veggies and meat.

Sweets table - each guest made up a bag to take home as a favor. Pink, green and white candy included: Jelly Beans, Peanut M&Ms, Good & Plenty, Starburst Reds, Tootsie Pops, Key Lime Salt Water Taffy, Gummy Watermelon Slices, Homemade White Chocolate Covered Pretzels and Pink & White Frosted Animal Crackers

Modified the cupcake label to be used as a "thank you" label on the bags for the sweets table

Customized store bought water bottles with shelf liner paper ($1/roll at Target) and custom printed labels

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father’s Day Gift Idea

Tomorrow is my hubby’s 1st Father’s Day and I’m so excited to celebrate how great of a dad he is to our little girl. I’m so excited in fact that I’ve stayed up way past my bedtime to prepare his gift.

See if you can figure out what he’s getting…

Father's Day Gift

Boxes are to be opened from the top down.
  Clue 1Clue #1 – The Venue

Clue 2
Clue #2 – The type of music

Clue 3 
Clue #3 – The tour

Clue 4
Clue #4 – A hint about the performer

Clue 5
Clue #5 – The performer’s name (Brad Paisley)

I’m very proud of myself that I have managed to keep this a secret for the past 2 weeks. Normally when I have something for someone I want to give it to them right away. I think he’s really going to be surprised tomorrow because he’s convinced it’s tickets to a Yankees game like I always get him when I ask him to reserve a date on his calendar for me.

Here’s a link to the tag I made to accompany the package. Feel free to use it for your own PERSONAL use if you like.

And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t wish a Happy Father’s Day to the best father a girl could ever have. I love you, Dad! Can’t wait to see you in July.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My little ballerina

I took McKinley to have her 6 month photos taken this past week. In my head I thought they’d be cute, but they’re even better than I imagined. I know I’m biased, but here is the cutest ballerina you’ll ever see:

6 months_profile 6 months_4 6 months_6 6 months_8 6 months_black looking sideways 6 months_black_ordered 6 months_ordered
I have to thank JC Penney for taking such cute photos of my little girl. The last two are the ones I ordered and I can’t wait for them to come in next week!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

6 months! Already?

Before you have kids people always tell you that they grow up fast. Problem is that you never really understand how fast until you have a child of your own.

I find it so hard to believe McKinley turns 6 months old today. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital. I have a feeling when she sees the doctor later this morning he’ll tell me she’s long enough that she needs to move into a bigger car seat.

Here is a brief summary of her short 6 months on earth:

  • She loves to stand if people hold her (she’s been doing this since 1.5 months) and has recently started wanting to climb on everything


  • Enjoys eating apples, pears, peas, carrots and sweet potatoes as supplements to breast milk. Rice cereal is tolerable but not her favorite. Also prefers to put the spoon in her mouth herself.
  • Learning to drink from a sippy cup


  • Puts her own nuk (pacifier) in her mouth
  • Loves to babble, smile and giggle


  • Rolls over
  • Has the backwards scoot down and is almost able to crawl forward – able to get up on all fours and rocks to try to move forward


  • Able to transfer things from one hand to another
  • Looks for things she drops
  • Has a great pincher grasp and grip
  • Loves blowing raspberries
  • Sits up by herself 
  • Really enjoys jumping in her jumperoo


  • Loves bathtime
    February 2011 017_edited
  • Turns on her aquarium in her crib if she wakes up in the middle of the night by turning and pushing the buttons with her feet
  • Almost sleeps through the night

April 2011 025

  • Her newest trick that daddy taught her yesterday is sticking her tongue out down to her chin and then laughing. Momma’s not too pleased about this trick, but oh well. She sure is cute when she does it!
  • She’s a fantastic traveler – she made a 12+ hour car trip to TN when she was less than 2 weeks old, a 12+ hour car trip to MI when she was 1 month old, a plane ride to CO when she was 2 months old, a plane ride to Seattle when she was 3 months old and a plane ride to MI when she was 5 months old. Whew! I need to sign her up for a frequent flyer program!
  • She wears size 3 diapers and is just growing in to the 6-9 month clothes even though she is in the 97% for height and 75% for weight and head size (as of her 4 month checkup).
  • She hardly ever cries, even when she attends the nursery at church or is held by numerous different people, and is a joy to everyone she meets

And here is one of my favorite pictures I have of McKinley from when she was around 3 months old and still coming to work with me:

McKinley in Purple

You are the best thing that ever happened to us McKinley. God has more than answered my prayers for a sweet and gentle spirited baby. Daddy and I are so honored to be  your parents.



Monday, May 30, 2011

Photos from Kinley’s Birth

I’m trying to catch up on everything I’ve missed posting on here in Kinley’s first 6 months of life. When I wrote about here birth, I didn’t have any photos from the hospital so here are the photos and you’ll have to read the story here if you’re interested.

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Waiting to get hooked up to all the monitors

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So happy to finally have my baby in my arms

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Spittin’ image of her father. Scary how much they look alike! In fact, my first words to her upon seeing her were “You look just like your dad!”

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Her proud daddy :)

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Her proud Grandma (my mom) holding her 3rd grandchild, but 1st granddaughter. [My poor dad had to leave the day before I was induced.]

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Her other proud grandparents holding their first grandchild.

McKinley’s Pink & Green Nursery

I forgot to post photos of the finished nursery, so here are pictures my mom took in no particular order:

Nov 2010 and Kinleys Birth 005

You can see on the floor the wreath I made from the crepe paper flowers I featured here. I’d like to say it’s now hanging on the wall, but almost 6 months later it still sits there on the floor.

Nov 2010 and Kinleys Birth 006

This is some art I made to hang above the crib. My mother-in-law had these paper dolls in old magazines so I cut them out to use. First I got modge-podged a piece of scrapbook paper to a flat canvas board I got at the craft store (3/pkg). Then I cut out a smaller white piece of paper to glue on top of the scrapbook paper. I framed that with green ribbon. Then I used foam dots to make each paper doll stand away from the paper. To hang, I made little bows out of green with a pink rose in the middle and glued them to thumb tacks. I then hot glued white ribbon to the back of each canvas and used a ribbon thumb tack to hang on the wall. Cheap and easy…my kind of art!

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This is the corner of her changing table/dresser. It has since been taken over by a jewelry box and more hair bows than you can imagine.

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This is a close up of the items on the nightstand by the rocker. One of the ladies who lives on the street I grew up on hand stitched this prayer that I sign to McKinley every night. I have also replaced the generic baby picture with one of her very own (I won’t admit how long it took me to do that, though!).

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The swing was moved downstairs and has since been packed up already (how do they grow so fast!?) and was quickly replaced with two large bins of clothes the spoiled loved little girl was given. I still have on my project list to paint the mirror frame white and actually hang it on the wall. One of Kinley’s favorite things, though, is to stand at the mirror and laugh at herself. Makes me smile each time she does it.

Nov 2010 and Kinleys Birth 004

This is another shot of the wall art I showed you how to make here. It’s so odd to me to look at these ultrasounds now and think of them not just as a little baby that was growing inside of me but that they are pictures of McKinley. Hard to believe how small she was just one year ago!

So, that’s the nursery. Not exactly how I pictured it in my head due to the fact I chose not to finish it seeing how we’re moving into our own place soon and I’d rather save my money for that. But, it’s still cute and she loves it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy 1 Week Birthday!

Well, I'm finally getting on here to make the big announcement...

McKinley Rae was born at 8:09pm on December 1st. She weighed 7lbs 9.6oz and was 20" long. We are so in love with our new daughter!

I ended up being induced because she was not coming on her own. I got to the hospital at 8am and my doctor started the pitocin at 10am. I was 1cm dialated when we started and by 2pm, I was only at 2-3cm, so she broke my water. I got the epidural around 3:45pm because I knew if I was like my mom, my labor would go fast once my water was broke. Pushing started shortly after 7pm and McKinley came into the world with her eyes wide open and looking all around at 8:09pm. So, I consider that all in all, I was only in labor 6 hours because I really didn't start to feel any contractions or anything until my water was broken at 2pm.

McKinley passed all her tests with flying colors...not a hint of jaundice or a funny shaped head from being born vaginally. I know I'm biased because I'm her mommy, but she is one of the most beautiful babies I've ever seen.

The hopsital has quite a money maker going on with the first photos of baby. Gone are the days of the baby with the hospital beanie hat and swaddling blanket. Instead, they have a professional photographer come in and take about 30 different pictures with all sorts of props at no cost. You're under no obligation to buy, but what parent is going to resist buying photos of their darling newborn baby?!

Here are McKinley's first photos from when she was less than a day old:

Be still my heart!

Her daddy has been AMAZING with her! The man who told me we could have kids as soon as I promise he'll never have to change a diaper completely took diaper and bathing duty upon himself after seeing all I went through during labor and delivery. I've changed maybe 10 diapers in her 1 week of life. He is completely wrapped around her little finger all ready. Guess it makes sense seeing how she is totally his mini-me.

We have been so blessed with McKinley. She has such a sweet and gentle spirit. She hardly cries...only when she's hungry. She sleeps a lot, even at night, and is a fabulous eater. So fabulous in fact that I've already lost 20 of the 30 pounds I gained during my pregnancy. God totally answered our prayers for our daughter.

And, for those who are wondering about her name...

We wanted to name our children after historical American figures, thus she's named after President McKinley and we'll call her Kinley for short. Her middle name is my middle name.

I'll probably be MIA again for a little bit as we're heading to Pigeon Forge on Friday for a week to celebrate an early Christmas with my family. To say that they're all a little eager to met her is an understatement!

And question for all you ladies out come you're quick to tell us all about what labor is like yet you forget to mention the awful pain you'll be in for the following week. Ouch! Thankfully I only had a small tear...couldn't imagine what it'd be like if I had a large tear or episiotomy!