Thursday, October 27, 2016

7 tips for Planning a Gender Reveal Party (without breaking the bank)

When I was pregnant with Aiden we had a big Gender Reveal party where I may have gotten a little carried away. I had invitations, dinner, smores, yard games, etc. And don't get me wrong, I loved every second of it, but with Baby #2, I wanted something simpler and let's be honest, cheaper. (That will probably remain my motto with everything involving our second child, Haha. Sorry kiddo.)

So this time around I came up with 7 tips to help you plan a Gender Reveal party without breaking the bank...

1. Use your ultrasound pictures for an inexpensive decoration
You can make a banner with your pictures or just use decorative tape to hang them up like I did. I just asked the ultrasound tech if I could have extra pictures and she was happy to  oblige. Plus then you get more pictures of your baby! Win, win!
2. The Target and Michael's dollar bins are your friend
I didn't want to spend a lot of money, but I didn't have anything fun to put the ice cream toppings in. Enter the Michael's dollar bin. I bought cute little jars with chalkboard labels on them and they added a fun touch.

3. Don't spend money on the cutesy stuff like silverware 
Instead, buy the plain, boring silverware and jazz it up yourself. I used blue and pink washi tape to add some pops of color and it was extremely easy.

4. Serve dessert instead of a meal
We chose to do a Sundae party instead of plan out an entire meal. It saved me time, energy and money and it was just as fun. Who doesn't love to be fed dessert?

5. Keep the guest list small 
The first time around we invited our families plus our entire small group, friends, etc. We loved having everyone there, but this time we only invited our immediate family members. This meant we could have the party at our house and not spend a ton of money.

6. Focus on one area to decorate and keep it simple 
You could go crazy decorating with all the pink and blue items that are available, but my advice is to pick one area to focus on. Our focus was our dining room so I bought a cute tablecloth and focused on the table area where the ice cream and toppings were. I also made sure to have an area for people to take pictures as well. (Streamers are the best and cheapest way to do this, in my opinion)

7.  Be resourceful and ask to Borrow things! 
I could have gone out and bought extra Sundae dishes or ice cream scoops, but instead, I borrowed them. Think about what you have, what you can borrow and what you absolutely must buy. What can you re-use at a future party and what will you never use again that will simply take up storage space?

Happy party planning!
See more details from our Gender Reveal Party here.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Our first Murder Mystery Party {and why you should have one!}

A friend from the Mom's playgroup I am part of invited Drew and I to a Murder Mystery Party that she and her husband was hosting. Have you heard of these parties where everyone is assigned a character and you basically play Clue but the living version? Well, ever since I first heard of this concept about a year or so ago, I have been dying (I had to, guys) to see what these were all about. Well let's just say it did not disappoint. My friend got the scripts from this website if you are interested in looking in to hosting one yourself. Here are a few pictures from our evening: A Flapper Murder at the 1920's Speakeasy...

If you have any questions about how these work, leave a question in the comments or email me, but I highly recommend hosting one or bribing your friend to host one. I know many cities also host these. Our park system has Murder Mystery Dinners so that's another option. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Cincinnati Fall Festivities Round Up {Our favorite places to go}

Fall is hands down my favorite season, so when it comes to Fall activities I try to make it my business to know what is going on around my city and hit up all the best places. Here are a few of our family's favorite spots to go in the fall....

Blooms and Berries
Why we like it...It is a great spot for family photos as they have pumpkins and sunflowers. It is also free to go if you simply want to shop for fall flowers, a fall treat or pumpkins. However they have a kid friendly area with animals, hayrides, games, etc. that does cost money to enter, but if you go in September and NOT on a weekend it is much cheaper. *A tip for next year.

Sunflower Festival at Gorman Farm
Why we like it...There is plenty there to entertain the whole family. Hayrides, pick your own Sunflowers, pumpkins, animals, Food trucks, live music, booths, etc.

Iron's Fruit Farm
Why we like it...This has been Drew and I's go to spot every year since we started dating. We usually go to pick apples, which is always fun and they also have a hayride that takes you out to a pumpkin patch. They have a corn maze, animals and my favorite selection of fall baked goods. Their donuts and apple fritters are on my must have list every fall.

Shaw Farm
Why we like it...It is free! You just pay for activities if you choose to do them. They have pumpkins for sale, a hayride, animals and tons of spaces for kids to run around and play. If you want to take your child somewhere simply to play outside in the crisp fall air, this is it because it doesn't cost anything to get in. There are areas all over that encourage kids to use their imaginations and most of them incorporate pumpkins (pirate ship, little houses, barns, tractors, wagons, stage coach, etc.)
Some of Aiden's little playgroup buddies taking a lunch break.
Other Fall Fun:
HallZOOween at the Cincinnati Zoo 
Hamilton's Pumpkin Festival: Operation Pumpkin
City Flea at Washington Park (They usually have one in October)
Lebanon Apple Festival
Hiking at the Cincinnati Nature Center

Monday, October 3, 2016

Pregnancy Files 2: {The Bump Week 22}

*Check out my previous post for a chance to win $75 to PinkBlush
Giveaway ends tonight at Midnight!
Best Moment this week Month: Finding out that we were having another BOY! Drew and I are over the moon that Aiden is getting a brother and that we will be parents to two boys! (See our Gender Reveal Party details here).

Food cravings: Apples, Chipotle, Oreos (Up until now I haven't been craving sweets very much so now I'm in BIG trouble.)

Movement: Yes! The other night I had a sweet Starbucks drink and a fall treat and then went to the movies with a girlfriend. Baby went crazy with the sugar rush and then me being still for a full 2 hours. He was having a party in my belly. And Drew finally, finally felt him kick!

Symptoms: My back hurts a lot more this time around, probably because I'm carting around a toddler and growing a mini human at the same time. That kinda makes me sound like Superwoman, right?! I'm also feeling stretched, I wonder why? ;) And people finally know I'm pregnant just by looking at me now. More people have commented on my bump this week than throughout my entire pregnancy. I guess I have finally popped.

Nursery: Still decluttering, but I do have a nursery theme picked out and tons of ideas pinned...still no real progress though. We need to get on that.

Letter for Baby:
Dear Baby Boy,
Aiden and I got to hear your heartbeat today. It's just the best sound in the world. You are growing right on track and I love feeling you do flips in my belly. I know you can hear our voices now so in the time we have alone together I try to talk to only you.

Aiden now says your name and is getting excited about being a Big Brother. He points "you" aka the baby out in all our baby books that we have been reading and then points himself out as the Big Brother. I hope you two will be the best of friends. That is my prayer tonight.

Your Mama
Shirt from Declan+Crew
Week 16 Bumpdate

See my 22 week post with Aiden here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bump Style with PinkBlush Maternity + $75.00 GIVEAWAY

When I was dreaming up what to wear to a family member's engagement party on a dinner boat, PinkBlush was the first place I went looking because they have so many options for beautiful maternity dresses that can be styled for any occasion. The material of this maxi dress was amazing and was breathable too, which was a huge plus since the temperature when we first got on the boat was in the upper 80's. I was able to chase around my toddler without sweating through my dress and looking like a literal hot mess. Win, win.
PinkBlush has many maternity dresses to choose from, but they also have non-maternity clothing as well. I chose this dress because I can wear it throughout all stages of my pregnancy, while nursing and beyond. It is a great transitional dress for Mamas that you can wear and feel both pretty and comfortable in! 

PinkBlush has amazing prints and I love their bright and bold colors. I also love online shopping because who wants to cart a toddler around to try on their maternity clothes? Not this Mama. PinkBlush has many options for any of you ladies out there and the shipping was fast and prompt.
I will most definitely be shopping at PinkBlush again and want you to be able to shop there too. So PinkBlush has generously offered a 75 dollar credit to one of YOU!

You can enter the giveaway below. I will be verifying all entries. Winner will be chosen one week from today!

 Please note that if you have won a gift card to PinkBlush within the last 3 months, you are not eligible to enter to win again. 

*This post is sponsored by PinkBlush Maternity, but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ice Cream Sundae Gender Reveal Party

Ice Cream Gender Reveal
To reveal Baby #2's gender we had our families over for an Ice Cream Sundae party.
Here's a look at a few party details...
I used a piece of black butcher paper as a table runner and wrote on it using chalkboard markers and then had all the ice cream toppings out on the table. For the hot toppings, I used this Pinterest trick to melt the chocolate and caramel and keep them warm in my crock pot. It worked wonderfully!
We had all our family members make their Sundaes and top them with the color sprinkles that matched the gender they thought Baby #2 was going to be. Let's just say everyone at the party (minus my brother) topped their Sundaes with PINK sprinkles!
After everyone had gotten their ice cream, Drew, Aiden and I got ours and then it was time for the reveal. We got out a sprinkle container that I had already put the correct color of sprinkles in. Everyone watched as we dumped out BLUE sprinkles on top of our Sundaes. Surprise! Aiden is getting a BROTHER in January.
It was such a sweet day (in every sense of the word) and we can't wait for Aiden to be a brother!

Party Supply details:
Big Brother Shirt: The Blue Envelope
Rockin' the Bump Shirt: Declan + Crew
Pom Pom Banner: Tutorial found here
Polka dot Hanging Pom Poms: Hobby Lobby
Polka dot Table Cloth: Target
Napkins: Target
Scotch Glitter tape: Target
Chalkboard (Courtesy of my talented Sister in law)
Topping containers with chalkboard labels: Michael's dollar bin, Similar item found here
Galvanized bucket: gifted, Similar item found here)
Galvanized utensil holder: gifted, Similar item found here