Archive of ‘Home + Entertainment’ category

Candy-less Easter Basket Ideas


The Champagne Supernova- Easter Baskets Sans Candy

Easter Baskets

My kids need Easter candy like they need more clothes or “junque” to accumulate around the house: not at all. Like Valentine’s Day, it’s hard to figure out what to put in their Easter baskets when the stores are packed with candy: Puffs, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Robin’s Eggs, Lindt Chocolate Bunnies, and jelly beans. My three year old, Arden, loves sweets, but they have a tendency to set her off. She celebrated her birthday a couple weeks ago, and there’s nothing else she needs after she received tons of birthday presents (that she didn’t really need in the first place).

I decided to go Easter basket shopping on Saturday with my 10-month old while my husband was at Home Depot with Arden buying mulch and renting a chainsaw and pressure washer (we are considering putting our home on the market and these are necessary evils before sticking the ole sign in the front yard- whew, exciting little weekend we had over here!) Anyway, my wildest dreams came true because the baby fell asleep- and stayed asleep- and my shopping endeavor turned into a shopping spree. I don’t know the last time I had free reign at Target but, man, it was nice. (I also moseyed over to some stores to shop for myself just because I could. It was a matter of principle.) When I’m at Target, it’s usually with both kids in tow, so I make a little list… formula, check… wipes, check… detergent, check… hightail it outta there. This time was different.

Candles? Target sells candles? I probably sniffed every candle on the display wall.

Cards? Who do I know who needs a greeting card? Did anybody die? Who had a baby? Whose birthday is coming up? I’m going to sit here and read every greeting card. Because I can.

Scented lotions? Target carries scented lotions? I never get to go into any of the “fun” aisles with my kids. I rubbed so much lotion on my hands and arms that I became the human equivalent of the Exxon Valdez.

My point, and I do have one, is that I went home poor, but with a bunch of cool things for the girls’ Easter baskets:

Easter basket ideas from www.thechampagnesupernova.com

These adorable, Easter baskets were around $12.00 each and are lined in cute fabrics. Eat your heart out, Pottery Barn Kids!

Easter basket ideas from www.thechampagnesupernova.comFor our three year old, I purchased a cute Circo romper (that matches the one I purchased for her sister- twinning!), an Eos Lip Gloss set, The Story of Easter book, Annies organic Animal Cookies, a swirly straw cup, a Play-Doh Sparkle set (yes, I’m nuts), and I payed homage to my 1990s childhood with a Lisa Frank sticker set.

IMG_4264For our ten month old, I purchased a romper to match her sister, some sippy cups, the same Easter book (thought I could use an extra for Grammy’s house), a stuffed lamb toy, some Easter bunny socks, and a beach hatEaster basket ideas from www.thechampagnesupernova.com

Easter basket ideas from www.thechampagnesupernova.com

Easter basket ideas from www.thechampagnesupernova.com

Easter basket ideas from www.thechampagnesupernova.com

One thing this experience reminded me is that shopping can be exhausting.

What are your favorite Easter basket additions that do not involve candy? I’m always looking for good ideas for next year, so keep me posted.

Cheers everyone, and have a wonderful Easter.

    Regifting: Forgivable or Faux Pas?


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    I witnessed something happen at a bridal shower that was so mortifying that this is the first time I’ve told the story. It was so mortifying, in fact, that even writing about it is mortifying.

    It was 2007 and Shelby (whose name isn’t Shelby) was elated about her bridal shower, the first in a string of what would be fabulous events prior to her June wedding. There were around 40 guests at this shower, comprised of Shelby’s mother, grandmothers, future in-laws, great aunts, hometown girlfriends, and sorority sisters. After the cocktails were served, brunch was eaten, and games were played, everyone sat in a large circle around the bride-to-be as she opened gifts. Per custom, Shelby read each bridal shower card aloud and announced who the gift was from before she opened it. (Cue the oohs and aahs). The third gift was immediately recognizable, a large square blue box from Tiffany’s that was tied with a perfect white ribbon. Inside the box was a gorgeous crystal pitcher and Shelby’s friend, Caroline, beamed as Shelby read her bridal shower card and announced that it was from her. As this was happening, I thought to myself “Wow, Caroline is about to get married and finish grad school in a couple months, this is a generous shower gift!” Before Shelby moved onto the next gift, she stopped and said, “Wait… I see another card.” Tucked inside the pitcher was a tiny white envelope that was 2″ wide by 2″ tall. Shelby opened the envelope, and inside was a card that contained typewriter-style font, which Shelby read out loud: “Dear Caroline, wishing you and Bobby many years of love in your marriage. Jim and Patricia Perkins.”

    Nobody knew what to say. Nobody knew what to do or how to react. Everyone was speechless, including poor Shelby, who probably wished she never accidentally discovered the card to begin with. Caroline was silent and her cheeks were scarlet. She was just red-handedly caught regifting.

    We’ve all been victims of regifting. I have a girlfriend who received a used ceramic “vase” as  wedding gift, which we all swear was an urn. I think most of us have also been guilty of regifting, though not to the same extreme as poor Caroline. For example, you received two copies of Goodnight Moon for your baby shower, so you gave your extra copy to someone else at their baby shower.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with regifting. And so we are all on the same page, my definition of regifting is giving away a new, unused item, that somebody purchased for you to somebody else under the guise that you purchased it for them. Regifting, to me, is not giving a used hand-me-down as a gift. (I mean, I appreciate hand-me-downs, but just don’t wrap them and represent that the items are new). I realize it gets incredibly expensive and time consuming to routinely attend bridal showers, baby showers, weddings, and kids’ birthday parties. If Little Susie received two Sparkle Studio Barbies at her birthday party, I wouldn’t be offended if I found out that Susie’s mom wrapped one of them and gave it to my child as a gift at her birthday party. No harm, no foul. I think it’s nice that people take time out of their schedules to attend these events and don’t believe people should be fixated on the gifts they receive. (Unless, of course, we’re talking about a wedding and a guest doesn’t give a gift at all- not even a card- which I find despicable).

    Evidently, most Americans agree with my position on regifting. In 2012, The Huffington Post cited a survey initiated by CreditDonkey.com (sounds legit) where 83% of respondents said they wouldn’t mind receiving a resifted present. Further, about half of the 1,125 adult Americans polled in the survey said they suspected they had received a regift in the past. However, only 35% of survey respondents admitted to regifting something.

    Emily Post disagrees with my stance on regifting. According to her, it’s “not really” acceptable to pass along a gift you’ve received to someone else. She believes that gifts should be recycled rarely and only under the following circumstances: 1) You’re certain the gift is something the recipient would really like to receive; 2) The gift is brand new and comes with the original box and instructions; and 3) The gift isn’t one that the original giver took great care to select or make. In other words- you have to make sure you don’t hurt feelings, either the original giver’s or the recipient’s. (Emily Post is my go-to for scenarios when I am tempted to do something tacky, and you can purchase her most popular book here).

    What do you think? Is regifting a forgivable offense or a faux pas? Is it greedy and selfish to expect people to attend your event with a brand spanking new gift, let alone any gift at all?

      Plan a Baby or Bridal Shower in an Hour: It Can be Done!


      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      Bridal showers. You’ve been there. Your friend is getting married (or is pregnant) and you offered to host a shower- in addition to caring for your own family, killing it at the office (or at home with your kids), and honoring your expanding list of volunteer commitments that you wish you never signed up for in the first place.

      Shoot me.

      You need to get this planned, and fast! No worries, with the assistance of Tracie Domino of Tracie Domino Events, here are some tips on how to quickly plan a shower, with it looking you spent days making Pinterest projects. To illustrate this work-in-progress, I attached photographs of my sister’s recent bridal shower in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

      Set the Date and Time: This will help dictate the rest of the planning process. Work with the Guest of Honor to select a date and time that is convenient for her, usually 2-3 months before the baby is due or 2-3 months before the wedding. If you choose an evening event, you might want to include the father or groom-to-be and invite other men. Guys typically don’t like baby or bridal showers, but you can entice them with booze and good food.

      Pick a Venue: Hosting a shower at someone’s home is often the most cost effective, but if nobody has the space, there are other options. Private rooms at restaurants and clubs work great for this. Make sure you ask the venue about minimum fees for food and beverages so you don’t have a heart attack when you receive a ridiculous bill.

      Tiny Prints - 50% Off Expedited Shipping on Gifts

      Choose a Theme: The theme of the event should jive with the venue. Depending on the location, and the taste of the guest of honor, you might not need a theme. For Amanda’s shower, the hostess’ home was beautiful, and we didn’t want to spend money on decorations and ruin the flow of the home. Should you choose a theme, which is usually better for baby showers, you can order everything you need in one click on Etsy, and the decorations will usually arrive at your house pretty quickly. Etsy is a lazy person’s (a/k/a me!) manna from heaven.

      Choose the Menu: Don’t drive yourself nuts by committing to making food that requires massive preparation the day of the event. Either order everything from a local restaurant that delivers or make platters the night before. Costco or Sam’s Club will be your God. For my sister’s shower, we went to Costco and purchased three large tubs of chicken salad, two dozen croissants, two dozen dinner roles, kale salad that’s already bagged, and pre-cut fruit. All of those items were enough to feed around 25 people and cost only $110. The shower hostess already had beautiful serving bowls, so we put the food in those and it was picture perfect. We purchased a couple dozen white cupcakes from Publix and placed them on a three-tiered platter.

      What to Drink: One of the biggest mistakes people make at baby showers is not drinking because the Guest of Honor is pregnant. Absent religious or health reasons, don’t do that to your guests. With regard to bridal showers, alcohol is often expected. For my sister’s shower, we set up a bar that contained two signature cocktails: orange creamsicles and mimosas. With mimosas, you can use the inexpensive champagne, like my college preference of Andre, and nobody will ever know. Except when they wake up the next morning. But that’s their problem.

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      Play a Game: While shower games can be lame, they can be an ice breaker for your guests. Some of my favorites are here for a baby shower and here for a bridal shower. Most people like gambling for fun, so have everyone guess the date the baby will be born or it’s weight, gender, and length of the baby.  If it’s a bridal shower, have them bet on a “Newlywed Game” where the groom answers certain questions ahead of time and the bride is tasked with correctly guessing his responses. Regarding whether games will be played, leave it to the Guest of Honor. And please skip the “poop in the diaper” game if you’re throwing a baby shower. If you don’t know what game I’m talking about, then you’re lucky.

      Opening Gifts. Years ago, it was an absolute requirement to open gifts at a shower. This is no longer the case. If you have a huge invite list or you are inviting men, you might want to skip this altogether and let the couple open gifts after the shower. Trust me… with the exception of the Guest of Honor’s mom and some great-great aunts, nobody would mind. I recently attended a baby shower where all the guests sat in a large circle with each guest holding another guest’s gift. One by one, each guest introduced themselves, stated how they knew the Mother-to-Be, gave one piece of motherhood advice, and then opened the other guest’s gift and stated what the gift was. I loved this idea. It was a way for all the guests to interact, and spared the Mother-to-Be the trouble of opening tons of gifts in front of everyone. Cheers to that!

      Below are some photographs of my sister’s shower.

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      The bar featured mimosas and orange creamsickles, our “signature cocktail” for the bride-to-be and guests. The recipe is awesome because you don’t need to “measure” anything… just start pouring and tasting. Combine Liquor 43, vodka, orange juice, fat free, non dairy vanilla creamer, and a touch of vanilla extract (only if you’re using plain, non-flavored creamer). Blend it all together and you’re good to go.

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      The hostess rented tables and chairs, and decorated the place settings with a variety of winter-colored flowers. She used her own China and rented the linens. The China is Spode and was purchased in Stoke-on-Trent in the United Kingdom.

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

       

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      This table wear is so special that I couldn’t resist photographing it. The hostess purchased this in 1997 in London at “Bermondsey Fair” and it is dated around 1840.

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

       

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      The hostess made this shrimp salad and it was a hit. She took 6 lbs. of cooked, deveined, shelled and cooled shrimp, chopped celery, mayo, and Old Bay Seasoning to taste, and combined everything together. She then refrigerated it until it was ready to serve.

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      The cupcakes are from Publix, which supplied the heart-shaped toppers.

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

       

      Me and the Bride-to-Be.

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      The Mother-of-the-Bride, Mother-of-the-Groom, Bride-to-Be, and Me.

      How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

      Some of the awesome guests who helped to make the day so special for my sister.

      About Tracie Domino: Tracie is the Founder and Creative Director of her own company, Tracie Domino Events. Her stylish expertise and relatable sophistication have made her a trusted wedding planning consultant to business leaders, professional athletes, and high society since 2004. She and her team make fun, memorable weddings happen on the west coast of Florida, and are available to travel to destination weddings worldwide. She is a fan of beach vacations, Florida State football, Vegas casinos, guacamole, and one smart and sexy six-footer. Tracie can be reached at 813-810-0621 or via e-mail at Tracie@TracieDomino.com. Cheers!

       How to plan a baby or bridal shower in just an hour | The Champagne Supernova

        Valentines Gifts for the Slacker Parent


        Easy Valentine's Gifts | The Champagne Supernova http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2015/02/valentines-gifts-for-the-slacker-parent/

        Valentine’s Day at my kids’ school has been a repeated reminder of what a slacker I am. For the last two years, Arden has come home from school with intricate treasures from her classmates that look like they cost a lot of money to buy and a lot of time to make. This will be the first year I purchase Valentine’s gifts for my kids’ classmates. I mean, what could infants and toddlers possibly need for Valentine’s Day? At this point, spending a lot of time on a gift is fruitless for me because 1) I don’t have the time and 2) I wouldn’t do it even if I did have the time.

        With the help of some friends, I came up with a list of the best Valentine’s gifts that are not food, are gender neutral (the true slacker doesn’t want to have to get separate gifts for boys and girls, now do they?) and do not require a lot of time.

        Books. One of the moms in Arden’s infant class gave each child a cardboard Sesame Street book for Valentine’s day. It was gender neutral, probably cost around $2.00, and was a perfect “distractor” to put in the diaper bag for when we went out in public and were looking for ways to entertain our daughter. As an added bonus, it’s educational. This is the Curious George book I bought for my daughter for Valentine’s day. Don’t tell..

        George

        Bookmarks. These are free at hardware stores and all you need to purchase is a heart shaped hole punch and ribbon. Specific instructions on how to make these are on Old Town Home.

        Bookmarks

        Crayons. Encourage creativity and are inexpensive. Check out the off brand crayons at the dollar store. Picture taken from the Mother Nature Network. I recommend washable crayons. Crayons Lip Balm. With an added note that says “You’re the Balm!” I have a sick sense of humor but wish I could claim this was an original idea. And as we’re in the middle of winter, isn’t this perfect? Here’s an example from Jollymom, where they are offering the printable FREE. Tip: you could do something similar with small container of jelly with a note that says “You’re the Jam!” Heck, you could even pick up free samples of jelly from your local Cracker Barrel. (No, I wasn’t born during the Great Depression…) balm Animal Figurines. These are good for older kids who aren’t likely to choke on the toys. Had to add that disclaimer, I’m a lawyer. My two year old daughter loves playing farm animals, and these don’t contain sugar that will likely get other parents angry. Best of all, you can buy a huge package of farm toys for like 89 cents. Here’s a cute suggestion from Popsugar: zoo Bouncy Balls. These double as gifts for kids and their parents because they provide at least 10 straight minutes of distraction for the children. You can probably get them in bulk from the dollar store. Here’s a cute idea from PositivelySpendid. A friends suggested the adorable idea of enclosing a note with the ball that says “My Heart Bounces for You.” Love it! Bouncy balls

        Throwback Boxed Valentine’s Cards. You know, the ones we had in elementary school. Ideal for mini-hipsters. Here is some awesome FREE clip art from Vintage Holiday Crafts:

        Vintage Pic

        DIY Valentines that Come in a Kit: These incredible little smackaroos come straight to your front door in a kit with everything you already need. This provides good bonding time with your kids and, best of all, are only $10.95 per package. I love this from Kiwi Crate:

        ValentinesDay

        And for the teachers…

        Nail Polish: Inexpensive but still shows you thought about them. Who doesn’t like a nice bottle of nail polish? The gift tag is FREE from Gone Like Rainbows: nail polish

        Soap: These are inexpensive and smell nice. These are also perfect for washing your kids’ mouths out when they sass the teachers! (muahaha). Photo from Fun Holiday Crafts.

        soap

        Happy Valentine’s Day, Friends! Cheers.

          The Art of the Appropriate Hug


           

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          I recently had a humiliating hugging encounter at a Christmas party that left me sweating when it was over. While engaged in conversation with the hostess, I spotted a young woman  who my peripheral vision conned me into believing was the hostess’s sister, whom I’ve met several times. After my conversation with the hostess was over, I went in to hug the “sister” and realized, once it was too late, that it wasn’t the “sister,” and rather a girl I briefly met at the hostess’s baby shower a few months back and exchanged- maybe- two sentences with. She probably thought I was a lunatic and wondered why I was hugging her- she may not have even remembered me from the shower and figured I was just crazy and awkward. She politely proceeded with the hug, which was the one-armed-pat-on-the-back-no-frontal-contact-haphazard-hug and I desperately tried to play off the situation and pretend that hugging her was normal and intentional.

          Is hugging generally awkward? Not for me, because I love hugging. However, I occasionally forget that some people are finicky about not wanting weird people to touch them. Like me. To prevent future snafus, I contacted Myka Meier, an old college friend who founded and directs her own international etiquette company, Beaumont Etiquette.

          According to Myka, the key to determining how you should greet someone depends on the formality of your relationship. That being said, there are a few general etiquette rules to help the greeting process become [slightly] easier to manage:

          HACH: Social Code to Hugging (rated by formality level, with 4 being most formal occasion)

          Handshake – Right hand to right hand (4)

          Air Kiss – Right cheek to right cheek, but lips never actually touch the other person’s skin (avoid the lipstick smudge!) (3)

          Cheek Kiss – Right cheek to right cheek, however you may actually kiss lips to cheek (2)

          Hug – Full embrace (most intimate…not for everyone) (1)

          1. Social acquaintances (i.e. someone you have met a handful of times, but wouldn’t necessarily consider a friend). HACH LEVEL RATING 4/3 “When meeting an acquaintance for the first time, I would recommend shaking hands. After the initial meeting, for men, I typically advise they continue to shake hands with other men and give an air kiss to women. After a woman initially meets someone, an air kiss to either a man or woman is an elegant yet informal way to show recognition. If a woman puts out her hand to a social acquaintance after meeting them previously, it’s perceived that she does not recognize them (which is offensive) or does not care to be more than acquaintances (which is doubly offensive). If you felt a mutual (key word) connection (no matter the sex) or share close friends, after the first meeting a hug may feel most comfortable and is fully appropriate.”

          2. FriendsHACH LEVEL RATING 2/1 “A handshake might be perceived as cold and unfriendly to a person who you consider a friend. Therefore, a hug or cheek kiss is typically most appropriate. When greeting both friends and family, some prefer to give a “pat hug” or the “shake hug” which is a combination of a pat on the back and hug or handshake and hug…which show mutual affection while not being too intimate. All are appropriate, depending on comfort level.”

          3. Family membersHACH LEVEL RATING 1 “Hugs (and in some families, kisses) are considered the most common form of greeting family. That being said, determining whether to kiss may depend on the formality of the family situation or relationships.” [Note that is strictly the author’s personal opinion: if you are related to someone and opt to kiss them as a greeting, you definitely need to avoid this regardless of your gender, race, and culture].

          4. Professional colleaguesHACH LEVEL RATING 4/3 “Hugging at work is not recommended. If done, especially to someone of the opposite sex or between superiors and subordinates, it can cause many issues. I would advise to always stay formal and professional by greeting with a handshake. Pending the industry you work in (and if you know a colleague extremely well) and feel it would be awkward to shake hands, an air kiss may be more appropriate.”

          5. The bossHACH LEVEL RATING 4 “Generally speaking, you should remain respectful and professional by shaking hands. That being said, as a superior rule, always follow the lead of the person more senior or powerful. If your boss attempts to hug you, it would be awkward to put out your hand.”

          6. Your subordinate (i.e- your assistant). HACH LEVEL RATING 4 “No matter the sex of the subordinate, stay professional. Hugging subordinates can cause employees to undermine rank and therefore often respect, can cause the relationship to lose professionalism, and even be seen as sexual harassment.”

          Miscellaneous Considerations:

          Is it okay to hug some people and shake hands with others when greeting a group? “Yes. If there are two people you’ve met before and two you have not, I would still recommend shaking hands upon first meeting.”

          Is it okay to hug a client? “Treat the client the same as your boss. Always be respectful and professional, yet follow their lead.”

          Do the rules differ depending on the situation (ie- holiday party or running into them at a concert/ purely social function)? “The rules always stay the same. If you bump into your boss at a concert, there are many ways to make the greeting more casual while still maintaining appropriate measures. For instance, you can show warmth by smiling and verbalizing pleasure to see them “Hello XX, It’s so lovely to bump into you out of the office”… It will show you’re not in your normal professional bubble while still remaining in line with your position at work.”

          Is there any person who is always off limits to hug? “Yes. Royalty.”

          Caution: “When traveling, make sure you know the hugging/kissing customs in country you’re going to… i.e. London is two cheek kisses (one on each side) and Switzerland is three kisses: right, left, right; and in some countries the religion prohibits you from hugging.”

          Myka Meier is the Founder and Director of Beaumont Etiquette, a distinguished and modern consultancy that offers courses in British, Continental European, and American etiquette to adults and youth. She is accepting private and corporate bookings in Florida between March 23 and March 29, 2015. For more information, please contact Myka at info@beaumontetiquette.com.

          Myka

            The Lady Who Saved My Sanity: The Mother’s Helper


            How to find a mother's helper | The Champagne Supernova

            Our beloved Aba

            This is Josephine, but we call her “Aba,” short for Abuela, which means Grandmother in Spanish. She joined our family in August of 2014 and what followed included a heaping wad of sanity for all four of us.

            I could barely get myself dressed, out of the house, and to work on time when I had zero children. I definitely couldn’t do those things when I had one child. When I was pregnant with our second, I knew we needed to find someone to help get us out of the house in the morning. I didn’t want valuable after-work time with my kids to be consumed with the stress of coming home, getting unpacked, making dinner, doing laundry, cleaning up from dinner, washing bottles, and getting ready to do it all over again the next day. Enter Aba.

            Aba is what I call a “Mother’s Helper.” I definitely think I coined this phrase because Lord knows Google had no clue what I was looking for when I was on the internet frantically looking for one during my last few weeks of maternity leave. Aba arrives at our house each weekday morning at 7 am and leaves a couple hours later at 10. In that timeframe, she washes bottles, makes lunch for both girls, does our laundry, makes the beds, and has dinner ready and waiting for us when we arrive home.

            If I had to come home and do these things after working a full day, it would not be pretty. I’m positive I would be sobbing in a corner while rocking back and forth in fetal position, angry at the world.

            Lots of parents do this on their own, I get it. But this is my one “splurge” for myself.

            Not only is Aba helpful, but she is a joy to spend our mornings with and she treats my daughters like they are her own children. She genuinely cares for them and will often call or text to see how they are doing when they are sick.

            Best of all, she’s able to watch them for the day when they are too sick to go to school and my husband and I have obligations at work that are difficult to miss. Aba’s gotten us out of many a work bind, as we don’t have local family who can cover for us in an eleventh-hour emergency.

            Being a parent is really hard. It’s even harder when you’re keeping a ton of balls in the air- to include a marriage, career, hobbies, obligations, and friendships. This isn’t limited to working moms. I’ve (temporarily) experienced the struggle of staying home with kids and man, it’s exhausting. While having Aba has required us to sacrifice between buying fancy “stuff” or keeping her around, just knowing that I can come home from work and legitimately play with the girls without being taunted by the laundry demons makes her worth every red cent.

            What are things you’ve done to simplify your life in order to enjoy time with your children? Do you have any “outside the box” tips to share with busy moms who need extra help?

            Cheers to simplifying your life!

              A Mediterranean Slumber


              Without being obnoxiously mushy, finding out that our second child was going to be a girl was a proverbial dream come true. I always knew in my heart that I would be the mother of two girls. My sister, Amanda, and I are two years apart and inseparable (although it wasn’t always like that growing up when we were arguing over clothes and the phone). When my husband and I discovered we were having another girl, I felt excited that my daughters would be close in age and someday have the bond that Amanda and I are lucky to have.

              I love the colors and theme of our oldest daughter’s room, but wanted our second daughter’s room to be completely different, just as we want her one day to embrace the inner peace that comes with “marching to the beat” of her own drum.

              After running circles around Pinterest, poring over children’s magazines, and consulting with some fashion-savvy friends, here is the final product:

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              The pouf, bedding, and curtains are part of the Bazaar collection at the Land of Nod. The fauxidermy and framed wall art is from Z Gallerie. The burlap wreath is from Etsy and the diaper container on top of the changing table is from The Container Store. The night stand and changing table are from a local vintage furniture store. Last but not least, the rug, which is my favorite part of the nursery, is part of the Wyndham collection with Safavieh.

              As my “baby” is now seven months old, she has gotten a lot of use out of the nursery (we didn’t let her over-welcome her stay in our bedroom like we did with our first daughter). We have enjoyed watching the girls “play” together in the nursery and hope they realize, when they are someday teenagers and arguing over clothes and the phone, that they will ultimately be best friends.

               

                A Lilly Pulitzer-Inspired Nursery


                Lilly Pulitzer girls' nursery | The Champagne Supernova  http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2014/12/a-lilly-pulitzer-inspired-nursery/ ‎
                Like most first time moms, the pending arrival of our daughter in March of 2012 came with the anxiety of having the most.perfect.nursery.ever. I wanted her room to be different than the expected “explosion of pink” but feminine in a not-so-over the top way. I searched for ideas all over the internet before vowing I wouldn’t look at another web site and to be authentic about what I wanted to do. I’ve loved Lilly Pulitzer since college and wanted to go with a Lilly-inspired theme. Here’s what I came up with:
                Read about how I created a Lilly Pulitzer inspired baby nursery for my daughter, born March 2012. Read about how I created a Lilly Pulitzer inspired baby nursery for my daughter, born March 2012. Read about how I created a Lilly Pulitzer inspired baby nursery for my daughter, born March 2012. arden79 Read about how I created a Lilly Pulitzer inspired baby nursery for my daughter, born March 2012. arden82
                The bedding, curtains, and floral lamp are from Pottery Barn Kids. The wreath and pillows are from Etsy, and the green wall paint is “Green Goddess” from Valspar at Lowe’s.  I purchased the fashion form from Amazon and decorated it with faux pearls and a tutu from a kiosk at the mall. The hamper is from The Container Store and the furniture from JCPenney. I ordered the mix-and-match Lilly fabric from an Ebay seller and placed it inside large white frames from Pier One. Note: iron the fabric before taping it to the inside matting of the picture frame. The rocking chair is from a thrift store and the wicker stand was a hand-me-down from a friend. The photograph inside the frame on the wicker stand was a favorite baby shower gift from my great-Aunt Dolores. It contains a picture of my cousin, my mom, and my mom’s twin sister at a birthday party in the early 1960s. Do any of you have sentimental treasures that you incorporated into your home décor?

                 

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