Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Little Man" Baby Shower

I cannot believe that it has almost been a year since I became an aunt! I love my little nephew and it is fun to watch the two cousins learn to play together. Since he came earlier than expected, I got to throw a shower for him (and his lovely mother) after he arrived. Though he hadn't come home yet, we wanted to celebrate and I got a little carried away had a blast putting it all together. Its fun to remember so I thought I would re-post all the juicy details! :)

(Originally posted 3/28/12)
I am a brand new aunt! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. Almost as soon as I heard the announcement that my SIL was pregnant I asked her if I could throw her a baby shower. So yes, I've been stewing about it for almost 8 months... Thanks to the blog-o-sphere and Pinterest, I gathered some great ideas and made a few of my own for this particular "Little Man." I had so much fun creating this party and I am excited to share it!

Theme: "Little Man"
Colors: Red, Aqua, White, Black
Motifs: Neck ties, bow ties, and (you guessed it) Mustaches

The Invite:
We ended up emailing a digital copy of the invite to our guests because this "Little Mister" decided to come 7 weeks early... The party plans were changed and rushed a bit and we ran out of time to snail-mail the batch. (yes, I changed the information for the purpose of posting it here.) I think it turned out pretty cute.

The Food:
We had my favorite Corn and Potato Chowder served with the adorably fun Cornbread "pops" and honey butter. There was a spinach and bow-tie salad (made by a SIL), a fruit tray (provided by my MIL), and another SIL made the deserts. She made red velvet cake pops with blue sprinkles and eclair cake. After she swirled the chocolate on we decided it looked like a lot of mustaches...
The Food Table

Corn Bread "Pops"
A most delicious Eclair Cake

Little Man's Bow-tie Salad

"Wet Your Whiskers"- the straws were my favorite detail!

The Details:
I had the help of my other SILs (there's a lot of us...) in the decorating before the shindig. The youngest stuck mustaches on every surface she could find. I think it turned out great. I wish I had a better picture of the banner as it was my most prized detail. But its still hanging there to welcome the "Little Man" home when he comes.

The guestbook was another favorite. I looked up some "BroTips" on the Internet and found a few favorites. (there was a lot of junk so I had to choose a few good ones...) I typed them up and asked guests to write a note/message to either the parents or to the baby boy. Advice was encouraged.

I also set up little signs with mustache insignia on them. It took people a couple times before they found the humor in the quotes. It made them that much more funny.

Instead of games we did a diaper raffle. Guests were asked to bring 5 diapers for every ticket they wanted. This helps with the new mom's diaper supply and gets rid of the awkward "I'm not sure I want to play this game" moments...

Mustaches. Everywhere!

The "Welcome" banner. 

The Guestbook: BroTips for the Little Man

My other SIL made this adorable motorcycle out of diapers! How creative and cute! 

I made these to sit around the room.  It took people a little while to catch on at first...

The Favors:
These were my crowning glory! I was busy the day before making and creating the chocolate for these little jars. As soon as I knew I was throwing a baby shower I started saving up the baby food jars (just the fruit ones that weren't stained...) that we went through. These are the 6 oz "2nd" foods from Gerber (in case you are interested). I created a little label for them with custom Nutrition Facts, ingredients, etc. We painted the outside of the lids to cover up branding and stuck a "thank you for celebrating with us" on the top. Inside was homemade hot fudge sauce that is to die for. My one SIL found out that I was making this for the favors and she claimed any extras we had at the end. It is that good.

Included with the hot fudge, I wanted to give them something to enjoy now. So I found a mustache mold online and made chocolate mustache pops to take with them as well. I admit, I snitched enough to fill at least one mustache as I made them, the chocolate was goooood. :)

Little Man little delectables. 

All-in-all it turned out awesome! I am pleased with my hard work and I think everyone had a good time!
As I said, there's lots of us "Sis-in-laws..."

My "Little Man"

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A New Year Begins!

I believe I have a little drummer boy! He has taken a great interest in banging things with sticks recently. We found this at the local liquidation store. Little B. had a blast!

It has been snowing like crazy around here. Daddy got home from work and went straight out to shovel the driveway. As could be expected, our little mad wasn't too happy about being left behind. So we bundled up and headed out to help Dad with the driveway. 

Good Times!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

DIY Laundry Soap

With the economy the way it is everyone is trying to find all the ways they can save that are possible. At least me and my hubby are. We have done some research to figure out how to maybe shrink the expenses related to our grocery bill as this is naturally the second largest piece of our budget (after rent). There are plenty of programs, theories, and strategies that work for a lot of people but it can get a little overwhelming.

Aside from our little garden plot, we try our best to shop the deals, but always spend more than is comfortable... one of the biggest expenses for us is cleaning supplies. More specifically laundry detergent. I came across this tutorial on how to make your own laundry soap and was inspired to give it a shot. What would it hurt to give it a shot right? Turns out, it works great and it doesn't take much. I found a few tutorials via Pinterest and decided I'd try this one here.

3 Simple ingredients:
1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap

Grate soap in a bowl, add soda and Borax and mix well. It only takes about a tablespoon of this stuff for a rather large load. (If the load is really big I lean more toward the "heaping" tablespoon... just to be safe... not that I ever let my laundry pile up...)

Yes, I thought it looked like cheddar cheese too... but it smells great! 

We've been using it for a while now and we feel like it really works. There is a nice lemon-ey sent as it is put into the wash but it disappears before the rinse cycles. Clothes come out clean and NOT smelly. It has lasted us quite a while and we still have quite a bit left. The other bonus? The price for all three things is less than $10 and it makes like a trillion loads with the whole box of soda/borax. AND... we are helping the environment by not consuming as much chemically stuff... wow, I feel pretty green. 

Update Feb. 2013: Pregnancy sends my nose into disarray early in my first trimester. The smells make me nauseous, and they can stay around for days... I found with my first pregnancy that an unscented detergent worked pretty well. I could at least wear my clothes... but as the smells have returned (with a vengeance) , I can smell the detergent on my bedding (even though I have washed it several times since using it...) This soap is a miracle. My laundry smells clean without actually having a smell. This is a pretty big deal for me...  Success for DIY Laundry soap!