Friday, June 29, 2012

Always Bloggy 2012 Blog Meet-Up!

Well guys, it's back. The success of the Always Bloggy in Philadelphia blog meet-up, with it's amazing friendships, the most fun you'll ever have being a tourist and crazy late-night shannanigans, has spurred us to have another meet-up. And of course, you're invited! But we've had enough cheesesteaks, so we're heading somewhere else...

Always Bloggy Boston will be a collaboration between myself and my partner in crime, Kate of Didn't I Tell You That this September. Kate is what you call, pardon my French, a goddamn riot, so I can guarantee that you've never seen Boston like we'll see it with her. So save the date and stay tuned for more info!

So what do you say, you in?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bottle Pop Parties: Kate Spade Inspired Birthday Bash

I'm sure you're all tired of hearing about this Kate Spade Inspired Birthday Bash that I've been planning for the past few months. Or maybe you're not. But I think you just want to see some pics, right?  Well you're in luck. The Kate Spade party was held in honor of Lizzie Beth, aka Amy aka LB aka my sasstastic blog-turned -real life friend. She wanted to have a big 31st birthday party. See, she was pretty darn pregnant when she turned 30 last year and since she's a lush like myself, she missed out on really celebrating. So she had a do-over.

She told me she wanted pink and gold and girly. I told her "um, yes!" and "How about we we plan the whole thing around this Kate Spade iphone cover?" She said "um, yes!"

So I planned...

and then the party happened! We focused on a cutesy cupcake stand, a fun photobooth and stylish food and drink stations. Gold dots were plastered on everything that stood still. Enjoy the pics!

The birthday girl was very happy and I was happy, once again, to have amazing clients that let me take over their house and go crazy all in the name of a cute party. Thanks LB!

If you feel like having a party and don't actually feel like doing any of the work, you too can call me! I would love to go overboard with fun details on whatever event you've got on your calendar. Be sure to go Like Bottle Pop Party Co. on Facebook and like the status updates to keep seeing sneak peeks and whatnot in your feed.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Paper Bag Flower Tutorial

So ever since my Mother's Day brunch guest post on Michael's blog, these paper flowers have become quite the hot commodity. Everyone wanted to know how to make them. So I finally got my shizz together and had John take pics of me making one. Hurray bags!

Now you're probably thinking, wait a minute Shan, these don't look nice and full like the ones pictured. Well you're right. This is the base. feel free to go around, repeating the process with a second bag, adding more petals or a bigger, twisted middle. It's hard to mess up. Just keeping adding layers until you're happy. 

 If you have any questions, leave them in the comments.

Have a great weekend kiddies!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

T Minus Two Months

Dear Gabe,

Holy crap dude...22 months?!? We don't even bother talking months anymore when anyone asks how old you are. It's like, oh he'll be two soon. Slow your roll! One, because I want you to be a tiny little dude forever and two, because you are just so awesome right now. You crack us up. You crack yourself up. You're all over the place, coming up with new words and facial expressions. We love it.  And in the past month, you...

- have exploded with the words again. You're stringing them together and even making sense! Who knew! My favorite little phrase of yours is "help peas!" It's the cutest.

- celebrated mama's birthday with her and made her day by repeating "Happy Birth Day mama"

- started requesting fist bumps. Like out of nowhere. Don't get me wrong, it's awesome and you're clearly cooler than your years, it's just random since we aren't exactly a fist-bumping family. Well your Uncle Josh is. So maybe you get it from him.

- speaking of Uncle Josh, you now call him Osh and associate him with lawnmowers. And speaking of uncles, you met your Uncle Shawn & his family! (more on this later)

- are really working on holding hands. We've been practicing walking through parking lots holding hands and you haven't done anything crazy yet, so good job. You dart out once from me, you're done for.

- just this week told us that you didn't want to wear your diaper. Like, you really insisted on it and acted like you wanted to use the little potty. You didn't of course, I think you just wanted to run around naked. Whatevs, that's cool too.

- continued your obsession with your Gigi. When she's not around, you associate her with the words God and Gum. She must talk about both pretty often with you, eh?

Well bud, another month down. We love you and love seeing every move you make! Keep on being awesome, okay?


Monday, June 18, 2012

Sick, Sad, Slacker Wife

I like to think that I'm a good planner. I mean, for things other than parties. So when Father's Day arrived yesterday at 6:45 am with Gabe's wake-up call, I was ready to get our day started. Gabe's wake up call sucks by the way. It's loud, pissed-off crying. There's no ignoring it for a few minutes hoping it will subside. Normally John grabs a glove and heads on in to get him on the weekends but nope, Father's Day meant he could sleep in a bit.  So I went in, got Gabe and headed downstairs.

I got him set up with his breakfast and cartoons and sat my ass on the couch with a cup of coffee. I didn't feel right. I felt tired and worn-down. Granted, I had planned Lizzie's Beth's 31'st birthday the day before so that was a lot more activity than I was used to, not to mention the 6 cups of sangria that I taste-tested while on the job. But I wasn't hungover and I gotten a full night's sleep. I knew it...I was getting sick.

It came on like gangbusters. One minute we were waking John up to cards and gifts, the next I was sacked out on the couch with a sore throat, a stuffy nose and old lady aches and pains. I basically slept the day away. No special lunches or dinners cooked for my baby daddy. No outings or activities. No seeing anyone else. Nothing. It sucked. 

But John, being the frigging awesome husband and father he is, hung with Gabe all day long with no complaint. He kept him fed, entertained and napped. I clawed my way back to life in the early evening, just in time to let him watch a little bit of golf. And I felt terrible. Mostly about John's day being so meh. I think he deserves a do-over. I'm thinking another weekend away? Anyone want to finance that?

So John, my most favorite dude on earth, favorite blog husband among many, nerd-extraordinaire and clearly the best dadadadada out there, I love you. I love that you consider hanging with your family to be an a-ok way to spend your day. And one of these days, when you don't even know it, we'll have a do-over. And it'll be awesome. Just like you.

Gabe loves a BIG DADDY HUG!!!
Most normal Father's day gifts don't apply to John. No ties, no weird beers, no golf balls, no nothing. But I did want to pick up something personalized for him from Gabe and figured a keychain would be something he'd actually use. Unfortch, I decided this last week. I went searching on etsy for stamped metal keychains and I had missed everyone's shipping deadline. Woops. Until I found One Eyed Fox.

 I emailed her to see if it could be done in time and it not only was, but I received it plenty early so I didn't have to wait around all nervous-like. Plus, it was very inexpensive which is pretty important on a SAHM's salary.Gabe pays zero in case you were wondering.  Anyway, I was very happy with the keychain and the customer service so yay for Miko from One Eyed Fox!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

We're Just Living In It


So I haven't done of these posts, one of these if you have a kid like Gabe, you need to own these sort of posts, in awhile. And now that Gabe has full fledged interests and whatnot, these things are basically essential to living with him. Most are vital to optimum Gabe-happiness, a few are bonuses and a few are just necessary. Recently, Gabe has gotten over whatever little funk-phase he was going through, or who knows maybe I just got used to him. He's literally fun to be around and for the most part, isn't throwing too many tantrums. As long as I'm prepared with any of the above (and snacks. Always snacks), we get along just fine. I always love seeing other tot recommendations so if you've got any for me, let me know! We're also starting to think about second birthday ideas, so if you've got any sure-fire toys, hook us up!

and FYI, I've recently signed up to be an Amazon affiliate, because let's face it, mama needs some spending money. So if I link things up to purchase, it'll probably be through Amazon. That's cool, right? Awesome.

Ok, so first up is the Fisher-Price Bubble Mower. Every day, we go outside and throw open the garage. We face the little car, the wagon, an airplane and a water table. Gabe chooses the mower every.single.time. He will push that thing around our property for hours. And it's really cute when John mows the lawn and Gabe follows after him with his own little mower. Parent fail: I've yet to put the actual bubbles in the mower. One thing at a time, geez.

#2 is actually a new addition to our repertoire, courtesy of his Gigi. It's called a Scramble Bug 360 Degree Toddler Ride on - Red and Orange Bug. But according to Gabe, it's his "cycle". It's basically a starter trike, without any wheels and it turns easily in every direction. It also folds up flat, which is unlike any other toy in this house. 

I have my friend Kate to thank for #3) Hot Wheels Cars. When she came down to visit for Craft Day, she hooked Gabe up with a couple of little cars. She was a big fan of them for her son Colin since they're cheap, small and easily stored. I wasn't sure how I had come this far without giving my son any Hot Wheels so thank God for Kate.  They're now a part of our Target routine. We enter, head back to the toy dept, pick out a car, unwrap it and proceed to have a pleasant shopping experience.

We've had the Melissa & Doug Noah's Ark Shape Sorter for awhile and it's helped Gabe learn not only his animals but to match them up (because there's two of every animal on the ark, donchaknow) and now that he like sorting things and putting them in different containers, this thing works wonders.

I picked #5, the Little Tikes Classic Table and Chairs Set up at the thrift store for 7 bucks. And I probably would have paid more. Just giving Gabe his own little table and chairs has gotten him to do things he wouldn't eat breakfast. Yeah, it sits in our living room and that's probably not great but hey, if it works, it works.

I'm also starting to relinquish control of my chalkboard wall to Gabe. I included #6, some  Egg Shape Chalk
in his Easter basket and am glad I did. He attacks the chalkboard wall like a little Piccaso, mostly drawing O's (read: bubbles) and the shape of the egg chalk makes it so easy for him to hold.  They also make for excellent trajectories. And other children.

Again, I have Kate to thank for Gabe's favorite book, # 7, the Little Blue Truck Book.  Like Colin, Gabe is obsessed with cars & trucks, and the story line for this one isn't annoying, the rhymes are fun and Gabe can't get enough.  There's also a sequel which is even better. Go buy them!

 If you have to buy a garden hose through a recommendation from me, I'm not sure how you've managed to get through life thus far. But if you need one, here get this Garden Hose. Hours of entertainment on a hot day. Minutes of mama-shrieking on a not-so-hot day when you aim it at her feet.

And finally, #9, we'd be lost without our Resolve Carpet Stain Remover.
We're not the strictest parents around (hello eating breakfast in the living room) so cleaning up messes is a normal thing. A quick shot of the ol' Resolve gets out yogurt, jello, 8 to 1 mix of juice and water and well...poop. True story.

So that's my life right now. How bout you guys?


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