Sisi's Bday Party- Update

Friday, December 30, 2011

A sweet shot Trista took one day when we were chilling at her house.
I am indeed throwing Siena a first birthday party.  It will take place the day after my (29th!!! Yikes!) birthday, at my humble home, and I will try to keep it low key.

I wanted to can the whole thing because I worried that I would obsess over the details and dish out too much money for a party Siena won't even care about.  I have the tendency to go a little overboard in an attempt to make things "blog-worthy". Then I get all tangled up in mixed motives, and these fun projects become a burden. The wedding biz can do that to ya.  Just being honest!

But I DO want to throw her a little shindig, mostly to thank our loved ones for their love, support, and patience as we navigated/stumbled through this first year of parenthood. Anyway, it turns out I'm co-hosting a baby shower for my best friend (the one who threw my incredible  "earth mama" shower) the very week before Siena's bday. That's a good thing! I won't have the time or energy to go buck wild on Sisi's party.

Here are the rules to keep me in check.
  • This is not a wedding, it's a little baby's birthday party.  I will not rent furniture, linens, or use real plates. I will not design letterpress invitations. I will send out an evite and use paper plates and plastic silverware like most average American folk.  (BTW, not judging people who go all out for parties- I LOVE attending extravagent soirees, I just don't have the means to throw one.)
  • But I have permission to make it pretty, using the myriad of craft supplies I already own.  Got that Kristin?  Don't buy anything. Work with what ya got.
  • The one exception to above rule- I bought a Sihouette Cameo cutter as a Christmas present to myself, which I'm sooo stoked about!!! I pledge to use the cameo for EVERYTHING- banners, garlands, stickers, signage. This party will be my Silhouette Cameo crash course.
  • It will be open house style, with drinks, appetizers, snacks, and desserts.  No gourmet food truck, no extravagant mini dessert bar, no signature cocktails.  I only say this because all these ideas ran through my mind until I smacked myself back into reality.  Repeat, this is a baby's birthday party.  
  • I will only serve food that I wouldn't feel guilty giving to Siena (not counting the alcohol).  It won't all be paleo, but it will be organic, real food.  Hope you guys still want to come :)
  • I will try to make this fun for Sisi.  That means scheduling it between her naps, making sure she has a "no-cheek-pinching" safe zone, and setting up a kid's play area in the backyard.
How do you guys feel about first birthday parties?  Are they worth the effort?  Any tips for me on what details are worth focusing on, or tips for throwing a smooth open house?  Parties scare me a little. Yup, I'm officially intimidated by this whole thing. 

I'll let you know the theme of the party soon!



Instafriday already? life rearranged

A week of Christmas merriment, crafting, and old fashioned frolicking.  Best of all, Joe's been able to accompany us on all our adventures (yay for government jobs with LOTS of days off! don't hate!)

 Sisi and I went exploring at the coolest handmade mall, OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa.   Tons of boutiques selling eco-friendly and locally made goods.
look at those peonies!
 The highlight of the OC Mart Mix- Portola Coffee Lab, where the baristas wear lab coats and use mad scientist-like machinery.  It's all very complicated looking.  Best iced mocha I've had in a long time (although I was a hyper chipmunk allllll night long, and even woke up hyper the next morning.)

 Christmas Day with the family, cuddling with my sis' cavalier.
Handbeaded holly.
 Joe's family always has a paper fight after presents.  It goes on for an awkwardly long time, and I just huddle in a corner trying to find a happy place.
 A gift from our paleo friends.  It's delicious and has a high heat tolerance, which makes it ideal for frying.
 Anxious dogs benefit from doggy massages...
 My husband's very ugly but adorable felt gift tags.  He tried!
 Leftover cooler ice- closest thing to a "snow day" we Californians get!
 Strolling in Laguna Beach.

 A good dose of vitamin D from the sun, and minerals from the sand she kept eating. 

 I call these "amaze-balls".  Styrofoam balls covered in thumb tacks, which will be painted bright colors.  Making a ton of these for a special event coming up!  (thumb tack ball tutorial at Landee See, Landee Do)


Siena Breakdances

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas was lovely, and it's still not over!  Siena fell asleep last night before we opened our stockings, so we still have that to look forward to.  How was your's?

I happened to capture a pretty special moment over the weekend...

It's quite a milestone when baby can entertain herself with nothing but her own movements. Movement for the sheer joy of it! 


Instafriday #3

Friday, December 23, 2011

life rearranged

Linking up with Life Rearranged for Instafriday.  Take a peek at my week!

 this is our 2 week egg supply, fresh from the farmer's market
my childhood best friend, from New York for a visit
 libraries are the BEST place to burn off energy before a car ride
 baby legs, just before a tubby
 beet lip gloss!

 yin and yang, cheek to cheek
This weekend, we're doing a Korean Christmas Eve with my family (Korean bbq and kimchi galore) and a traditional dinner with Joe's family on Christmas Day. This is one of those times I'm really grateful for my multicultural background- two turkey dinners in one weekend is just too much!

Merry Christmas- Glory to God in the highest! 


Siena at 11 Months

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Whoa, one more month until Sisi's birthday.  I'm seriously so weepy about it.  But technically, she's still a "baby" until her 2nd birthday, right?  I always told people I'm not a baby person, I'm a toddler person. But now I'm butt-crazy in love with THIS baby. 

The rest of her body has leaned up, but she's still got her chubby cheeks.
Sing it, Mariah Carey!


Yes, I'm tearing up right now just looking at these sweet images. Thank you Joe for taking these!

Siena at a glace: 
  • her 3rd word  is "li li" (lion).  
  • we've just made it out of the thick of Wonder Week 47- thank goodness!  Now we're seeing all the new things she can do, like...
  • open and close containers (even tricky twist tops)
  • change the dials on her play piano
  • offer us pieces of her food (usually the veggies that she doesn't want)
  • and help us dress her.  
  • she's still a fabulous eater, and now we're introducing bits of citrus fruit, coconut manna, stew meat, and bone marrow.
  • naps twice a day, puts herself to sleep by curling up in a ball, butt high in the air, and caressing her moo cow blanket.  
  • still not sleeping through the night but I'm having a hard time caring. i've come so far!
  • awesome at imitating sing-songy sounds, like "fa la la la la, la la la la." 
  • her top lateral incisors just poked through the other day.  So she has 6 teeth! 


Tiny Pig and Mouse

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I suppose I could wait to show you these when I do Sisi's 11 month post, but I just can't.  These little guys are just too cute.  Sisi wore them to the mall today, and we got all sorts of compliments.  Too bad the inspiration for these guys didn't hit earlier, since they would have been perfect stocking stuffers.  Next year! 

I was on a roll, so I whipped up a few nerdy mice with button glasses.

More animals in the works!  Find pig and mouse in the etsy shop!


How to transform a grocery store bouquet

Monday, December 19, 2011

Howdy! Real quick, stop by my Australian "pen pal" Lacey's blog, A Fruitful Life, to see me (in all my awkward glory) in a video tutorial about transforming a cheap grocery store bouquet into something more special.  It's my first vlog, and features a Siena cameo :) 


Instafriday #2

Friday, December 16, 2011

life rearrangedLinking up with Life Rearranged for instafriday, where I can unload my cell phone pics.  I have a droid by the way, and use Retro Camera not Instagram, but it still counts.

A weekend road trip to San Jose that was supposed to take just 7 hours ended up taking 13 hours, with all the stops. The key to keeping baby happy on a road trip is being strategic and plan ahead- Joe had an itinerary that included pit stops at parks, wineries, and this candy shop, where we let her run loose.  

 Yeah, it's nasty that we let her crawl on the floor, but oh well.  That's what tubbies are for!

 No more raw milk to make chai?  Ok, I'll just use heavy whipping cream instead.  Joe says it's good for me.

 The dogs love to go on walks with me and the baby, but I look like a hot mess trying to keep everyone in line.
 Let me sleep!
 Thankful that our neighbor's lemon tree keeps showering our property with lemons.

Because this is what our lemon tree looks like.  Our soil is cursed!!!


DIY Folded Fabric Necklace Tutorial

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ever since I learned to make kanzashi petals for my baby headbands, I thought the petals would be darling in a necklace. My first few attempts looked ridiculous, like Austin Power's crooked teeth.  But eventually I found a way to make the petals cooperate, and look all ladylike in a row.  I was so jazzed about this necklace, I whipped up this tutorial.  Thanks so much to my wonderful friend Trista Lerit for photographing the steps!

This would make a super special holiday gift, and you can scrounge up the materials from your own fabric and bauble stash. If you're not the DIY type or just can't be bothered, I recently listed two super cute fabric necklaces in the etsy shop.

  • 2 strands of rope, each about 2 feet long
  • 10 square fabric scraps around 3 to 4 inches in diameter
  • lace or tulle squares of the same size for layering (optional)
  • an extra 6" strip of scrap fabric
  • dental floss
  • needle
  • fabric glue

Note on choosing fabric: Thicker fabrics hold the petal shape best. If using thinner, silkier fabric, double it up.  For this necklace, I used squares cut from some soft woolen material and lace I had around the house. 
  1. Prepare rope ties by making a simple knot at the end with a small loop.  Prepare your needle and thread- we used waxed dental floss because it's super sturdy.  
  2. Fold the first square in half, corner to corner, forming a triangle.
  3. Fold the two sides of triangle up to the point.
  4. Turn it over, and fold the top point down 1/3 of the way. This step is really important, and makes the petal look a little different than the traditional kanzashi fold.