In my opinion, one of the best things about fall and the approaching holiday season is that it also means the beginning of holiday parties and get-togethers with good friends. Since party planning happens to be one of my favorite hobbies to indulge in, I've been entertaining the idea of throwing some sort of Halloween party in my head since our pool closed on Labor Day. 😜 With all of the different fall festivals and activities available on the weekend's and evenings here in Louisville, I got the idea to throw a party during the day so that it wouldn't conflict with all of the other events. Since everyone's husbands are gone at dental school during the daytime, this specific party was able to be put together completely for the benefit of all of the dental school baby & mama friends that Emery and I have come to love and appreciate so much over these past couple of years. Everyone came together for games and Halloween themed treats to celebrate the holiday and each other, and we had a "spook"-tacular time!
Since our dental school baby age range runs from a couple of months to 4 years old, I tried to keep the food and game options at a level that babies and toddler aged kids could really enjoy and get into. For food we had PB&J sandwiches cut into bat and pumpkin shapes (thus eliminating the gross crust AND making them fun to eat), mummy-wrapped applesauce pouches, string cheese ghosts, jack-o-lantern clementines, candy corn cupcakes, and a fun harvest Chex Mix that was equally adorable and delicious. I'd love to take credit for all of the cute food ideas, but found the majority of the food inspiration on Pinterest, so to give credit to the original creators of these fun lunch treats, links to the individual posts (with recipes & tutorials) are all included for your benefit! I was able to get a little more original with the Halloween games that we played, and included pumpkin painting (mini Trader Joe's pumpkins with Crayola washable, non-toxic finger paints), pin the bowtie on the skeleton, the classic "doughnut on a string" game but with miniature doughnuts for toddler-sized mouths, and a Halloween bowling game made from empty cans and acrylic paint on my part to make the pins look like classic Halloween characters. I also included a few store-bought games from Target like a Halloween matching game, monster face stickers on paper cups, a soft pumpkin toss game, and bubbles so that even the littlest of guests could participate and enjoy.
Overall the party was SO much fun, and I'm so so glad that so many of our sweet friends were able to make it out to celebrate with us (the picture below is missing a few mamas that had to leave early). I'm also EXTREMELY grateful for all of my sweet girlfriends that offered up help to make the party come together. The cupcakes, clementines, and Chex Mix were all made by a few of the sweet mamas below, and the day before/morning of the party I had a couple of my girlfriends over at my house sacrificing their alone time during their kiddo's naps to help me put together the rest of the last minute details. These amazing girls are what makes this dental school journey not only bearable but even enjoyable, and I know that these friendships are some that I'll cherish literally for the rest of my life. Thank you so much to all of those that came and especially all of those that helped! Em & I love & appreciate you all so much! ❤️
black onesie: amazon | play pearl necklace & tights: target | skirt: h&m
white bloomers: thrifted (originally a part of Em's summer wardrobe) | shoes: honeysuckle shoes
Remember last year when I went on and on about how holidays with a baby where seriously the best thing ever? Well this year I'm having to correct my previous self because it's turning out that holidays with a toddler are seriously SO MUCH FUN! This Halloween season Emery is actually old enough to get excited about what's going on around her, and I've been working hard to keep the festivities flowing freely to help her enjoy the holidays as much as possible! I have a family costume planned for us to wear for our bigger Halloween party with friends this year, but realized a couple of weeks ago that between Boo-at-the-Zoo, fall festivals, and a Halloween kid's party we're throwing later this week, that Emery needed a costume that could stand as it's own piece instead of having to be a part of the whole family gig. Last weekend Kyle and I were watching some classic Mickey Mouse Halloween shorts with Emery on Netflix, and the idea came to me that a Minnie Mouse costume for Emery would be pretty adorable and easy to pull together for a fairly inexpensive price. The only part of her costume I had to make was her ears and they cost me less than $3, and the rest of the costume was from items already in her closet or things that I bought but knew that she'd be able to wear with other outfits on a regular basis making it more worth the money! I'll link the details to her outfit (not sponsored, just giving ideas for where to go if you need any of the costume items ☺️ ) and of course include DIY instructions for her ears below, but hope that this post will help any mamas stressing about dressing up their toddler this year know that they can look to their own closets first before having to rush to the store to spend a bunch of money on a ready made costume. With a little creativity, a cute, simple, and inexpensive costume is easy to do, and adorable too!
DIY: Minnie Mouse Toddler/baby girl Costume
cost: $5 max | skill level: easy | total time: 30 minutes
How to Make it:
Happy DIY-ing this Halloween season! I can't wait to see everyone's fun costumes & creativity!
emery's bow: sweet little soul
So..... the past five days or so it has been literally freezing cold in Kentucky. Like chill you to the bone, too cold to breath or even think about going outside to even check the mail cold. I'm not really sure what the deal with the weather is since we had weather into the 60's all throughout February, but this last week of freezing temperatures put me a little out of spirits and made me a major hermit. I finally decided that I needed to get out of my rut, but since going outside obviously still wasn't an option, we decided to bring the fun indoors with some finger (or in Em's case full body 😉 ) painting! This was Emery's first time finger painting and I was soooo happy that she actually liked it and enjoyed getting into the paints! She was a little apprehensive at first, but I think that once she realized that it was okay for her to get messy in the paints she went to town on it and had a blast! We had a few of her baby friends over and had a blast with diapered babies and messy paints for a whole afternoon! The best part about these paints in that they are 110% safe for babies to use and are even edible! We made them straight from everything in our kitchen in less than 5 minutes and were having fun immediately after! I figured that I'd include a quick DIY in here so that if anyone reading is itching to have some fun you can give it a try! I hope you all enjoy! Happy DIY-ing!
skill level: easy | total time: 5 minutes | cost: free!
And that's it! Easy peasy and provides a ton of fun for you and your little one! Just as one last note, because the paints are made out of food, these definitely aren't the types of paintings that you'll be hanging up on the fridge once they're done (we just tossed the garbage bags and paper in the trash when done for quick cleanup) but it does make for a great sensory activity for babies and can also be great to work on colors with toddlers. Hope you all enjoy!
So, my No Spend New Year is coming to a close, and even though for the most part it's been a lot of fun, it hasn't been without it's temptations and challenges. One of said challenges has been Target's Dollar Spot, and this month it was especially hard to avoid because they had all of their Valentines decor up and it was seriously giving me a case of the love bug! I knew that I'd be so mad at myself if I broke my New Year's resolution on a $3 Valentine's decoration, so instead I set to work to create a fun little Valentine's craft/activity that I could do with H & Emery! I already had all of the supplies needed at home so it was completely free to do, and it makes for a fun little way to save my kid's artwork (or for H's mom to save his since she'll be getting his card soon 😉 ) . For me the biggest challenge was getting the right shaped heart cut out of the paper and free handing the "LOVE" on the front, so to make it easier for anyone reading that wanted to do this with your kids, I've also included a FREE card template that you can print at the bottom of the tutorial so that the hardest part is already completed for you!
skill level: easy | Total Time: 1 hour | Total Cost: FREE
And.... that's it! I know that it's not the most ingenious craft ever blogged about or created, but hopefully at the very least it'll provide a fun afternoon with the kiddos when it's too cold to go outside, or maybe even a cute, handcrafted Valentine to give to grandparents or moms/dads!
Hope you all enjoy! Thanks for reading & happy crafting!
Since getting married 3 1/2 years ago (and especially since having a baby), I've really come to appreciate what were once extremely undervalued date nights. After a long week of work/school there's nothing more exciting than knowing that I'll get to spend some quality planned out time with my favorite person doing something that we both enjoy. The funny thing about date nights though is that the older Kyle & I become, the harder time we have actually making date nights happen. We still spend plenty of time together, but especially since Emery has joined our crew we spend much less time together that could be considered an actual "date night", nor do we have tons of extra cash laying around for us to spend on traditional date night activities. Back when we were newlyweds we had a bit more time to each other but still no cash because we were trying to save up for dental school, so we had to get kind of creative when it came to figuring out fun date nights. I decided to resurrect that fun/frugal mindset for our no-spend new year, and set to work to tweak 10 of your "traditional" date night ideas into dates that are slightly less traditional, but still just as fun! An added bonus is that the majority of them are also baby friendly, so if anyone out there is like us where your baby joins you on the majority of your dates, you can know that there's still some fun options out there for you too. 😉
That sums up our date night alternatives! Are there any favorites that you and your significant other have that aren't on my list? If so drop them in a comment below or share your free date nights on Instagram with #nospendnewyear so that we can all share in your fun ideas! I hope that everyone is having a great start to the year! I'd be lying if I said this no spend new year hasn't had a few temptations/challenges that I've had to turn away from, but it feels great to be able to save for a rainy day and still have fun in the process! Here's to the rest of January!
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.