Summer Bucket List

Excited for Summer?  You’re not alone!  Here’s a little inspiration for your Summer fun.  What do you have planned this summer?  Any vacations, or adventures?

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Summer Bucket List @howsweetlifeis

I have really missed keeping up with my personal blog and am hoping to revive it this Summer.  Lately, I’ve been caught up in the hustle and bustle of trying to ‘do it all’ and ‘have it all’ and it hasn’t been effective, to be honest with you.  I often find myself juggling too many things at the same time and so much multi-tasking has taken a toll on me.  It’s so hard sometimes to find time to squeeze everything in.  Being an awesome mommy, loving wife, and ultimate boss lady while also finding time to take care of myself has been near impossible, most days.

If you know me, you already know I’m your classic Type A personality.  I like order, planning, and being in control.  I’m rarely spontaneous and don’t like to make decisions ‘on the fly’.  This usually results in days that are fully planned with little (or no) downtime, and I’m left feeling stretched thin and also not productive.

I’ve forgotten how to relax and enjoy the art of ‘doing nothing’.  I’ve been too busy doing things to truly enjoy living life, and I really want to commit to changing this.  I need to stop and smell the roses along the way, instead of simply grabbing them and placing them in a vase because they ‘look pretty’, and not take the time to enjoy the moment.

This Summer, I want to slow down and purposefully make time for what matters in my life – friends, family, and renewing my body and soul.  We only live this life once, and if we don’t slow down to enjoy it, what good is it all?

Join me this Summer as I cross things off my Summer Bucket List and slowly make the move to being less busy and enjoying life more.  No, I will not give up my to-do lists or stop planning my days, but I will intentionally leave more blank space in my planner to sit back and enjoy all the good Summer has to offer.

Hoping you stick around for more updates, and invite you to follow my sweet blog and share your comments.

xo

 

 

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{a freebie for you} advent cards for your sweetest ones…

Ok, I’ll admit, I’m a little late to the party this year.  Last year, I created a set of hand written advent cards with little messages and treats for my little ones, and I swear I saved them so I wouldn’t have to do it all over again…BUT we took out all the decorations for Christmas this weekend when we put our tree up, and they were NOWHERE to be found…

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Well, we did find Pepito, thankfully – our very own ‘elf on the shelf’, so I asked my husband to create a handwritten note for the kids on the first of December to kick off our advent tradition again, but it’s only the third day and we’ve already fallen behind.

I know it’s late, but hopefully my kids won’t notice.  I created these simple advent cards, using a place card template I use for weddings, which can be customized as needed for each day in advent.  It simply states the number of each day, with a short message “It’s time for…” which can be completed on the inside of the small tent card.  I simply didn’t have the energy right now to come up with 25 advent tokens, and thought it was best if I left it open to fill out as the month unfolds and so I could reuse them again in the future!

I’ve got some ideas I definitely want to reuse from last year, and hopefully you can draw inspiration from these too…

  • It’s time for a holiday sing-along party!
  • It’s time for ice cream sundaes
  • It’s time for a family movie night
  • It’s time for a fun Christmas craft activity
  • It’s time for you to find your new Christmas PJs
  • It’s time for us to bake holiday cookies

Well, if you are like me, and don’t mind being a bit behind with some traditions, I hope you enjoy the free printable –  Advent Cards (click the link to download the PDF).

Oh, yeah, and while I was at it, I also designed our family’s holiday cards, since (again) I fell behind on ordering these online this year and really didn’t think I could get these out on time unless I did them myself.  I hope to print these out soon, so I can get them out to those of you on my NICE list this year…stay tuned, as I’ll be happy to share the photo online once they’ve been mailed.

Until next time, Stay Sweet!

xoxo

Haydee

First Birthday Party {Easter Brunch}

Life moves fast…my little boy turned one not so long ago.  I posted photos on facebook, for friends and family, but barely had the time to share the birthday party on my blog.  There were so many cute details we prepared ourselves; I’m quite proud of how it all turned out, and the timing was perfect.  He turned one on Easter Sunday, so we hosted a Brunch to celebrate both occasions.

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the birthday boy, brought to you by the number one!

The projects included the following…all of which the hubby and I tackled on our own, and somewhat succeeded!

DIY Numero Uno

The yarn-wrapped number one shown above was a joint effort by my husband and I.  My husband carved it out of spare carton boxes, hot glued them to stay together, then I painstakingly wrapped it in an ombre yarn in blue, to give it this nice textured effect.  The yarn-wrapping took several days to complete, as some of the areas had to be done on smaller scraps of carton, then glued back onto the number one, since it was so tricky to really wrap yarn around the entire number.

Project Summary:  Tools Needed:  Hot Glue Gun and 3 – 4 Glue Sticks (for building number), One Ball of Yarn, One Elmer Glue Stick (for patching up scraps of yarn-wrapped carton) Cost:  $5 – $10 (depending on which craft tools you already have); time spent – 4 days

Easter Brunch Birthday Party Decor

Easter Brunch Birthday Party Decor

Twelve Month Photo Banner

This was such a cute project, and I hung it up in his nursery after the party, where it remains today.  This was an effort, because every month I tried to remember to take the similar picture of him in his crib, inspired by the newborn photo our photographer took of him when he was less than two weeks old.  I bought card stock in blue and yellow, to match the theme of the party, and mounted each photo onto card stock, alternating the colors, then punched out mini banners to use as labels for each month.  The tricky part was adhering them to the ribbon with double-sided tape, evenly spaced, and also it was a two-person job (three, if you count my husband guiding us to how it looked) to get it up on the wall.  It’s a good idea to press firmly on the sticky tape behind each photo to the wall so it doesn’t rely only on the tape at the ends, because trust me, it will start to fall off easily and quickly…

Project Summary:  Tools Needed:  Card Stock, Double Sided Tape, Craft Punch (or your imagination to make label badges), ribbon Cost:  $5 – $10 (depending on which craft tools you already have); time spent – 2 hours

*Note: I used the same craft punch and ribbon to make the mini banners for the cake.

Custom Printables by {howsweetlifeis}

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Birthday Boy Stats - Custom Printable by {howsweetlifeis}

Birthday Boy Stats – Custom Printable by {howsweetlifeis}

Custom Printable Set

This took me awhile to figure out.  I didn’t quite know what to create, that could be fitting for both Easter and a first birthday party for a little boy.  After many hours spent on pinterest and party blogs, I settled on keeping it simple and fresh, but adding a bit of fun to the theme with this cute little bunny image I found as a free clip art file on the web.  I added a fancy script font for the titles, and a nice seersucker blue diagonal pinstripe as the background for my custom printable collection.  It took a lot of patience to center things just right, and to make the little tent holders in the back, but I felt it was all worth it and was a nice finishing touch for the party.

Project Summary:  Tools Needed:  Creativity, Double Sided Tape and Stiff Paper or Card Stock to use as tent holders in the back Cost:  less than $5; time spent – 4 hours {I could have created invitations too, but used this cheeky bunny e-card from Paperless Post instead}

Brunch Drink Station

Brunch Drink Station

Brunch Drink Station

This one was easy, and a nice treat for the adults.  I mean, how can you have brunch, without a Mimosa or Bloody Mary?  The key was presentation.  We emptied out the juices into pitchers and served up fresh fruit and condiments to garnish the drinks in small plates.  Everything looked nice and neat, when set on a tray.  We set out the glasses too, for a self-serve bar.  Everyone loved this!!

Project Summary:  Tools Needed:  Sparkling Wine, Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, Fresh Berries, Vodka, V8, Olives, Lemon, Serving Glasses, Tray and dishes Cost:  $15 – $20 (depending on the quality of what you buy); time spent – 30 minutes

{sweets and decor}

{sweets and decor}

Sweets and Decor
I baked cupcakes and topped them with shredded coconut and saved the Easter eggs we dyed as crafts, for decor.  I nested jelly beans and robin egg chocolates in shredded coconut baskets as another touch of decor and sweet treat.  I bought striped and polka dot (or coconut! as my girls would say) straws and baking cups from the Tomkat Studio.
Project Summary:  Tools Needed:  Cupcakes (make or buy),  shredded coconut for garnish, easter candy and dyed eggs; paper items for decor (baking cups and straws), plastic bottles or mason jars Cost:  $15 – $20; time spent – 1 – 2 hours (depends on amount of baking)
{Homemade Birthday Cake}

{Homemade Birthday Cake}

Birthday Cake
Yeah, I made the cake too.  I made a quick recipe, just for show, because I wanted a cute cake for my baby boy to smash and get all nice and dirty in.  Well, he was pretty much terrified of the cake after we helped him blow out the candle, so that didn’t venture out too well.  Unplanned, we ended up serving it to everyone, and it was a big hit.  Well, it was all organic and from scratch, so that was a plus.  It was made sweeter by the coconut garnish and the mini banner made with scrap card stock.
Project Summary:  Tools Needed:  Cake (make or buy),  shredded coconut for garnish, card stock, ribbon and straws for mini banner Cost:  $5 – $10; time spent – 1 – 2 hours (depends on amount of baking)

 

{Happy Birthday to You!}

{Happy Birthday to You!}

All in all, it was a fun party and all the work put into planning and decorating was well worth it.  I’m happy the birthday boy enjoyed all the decor and fuss as much as I did, and not to mention the girls’ joy in helping him celebrate too!

{birthday boy, not wanting to get a little cake on him..}

{birthday boy, not wanting to get a little cake on him..}

I leave you with a photo of my squirming baby boy, squirmy and all, as a reaction to when we tried to get his little hands on his cake…

I hope you enjoyed this post, and that it was fun as well as informative.  Thank you all for following my blog.

{Have the sweetest day}

xoxo

Haydee

 

{lovely holiday gift guide} brought to you by the TomKat Studio

{the TomKat Studio 2012 Holiday Gift Guide}

It’s that time of the year already, and if you haven’t started shopping for Christmas gifts yet, you are in luck!  Of the many gift guides that are published during the holiday season, I have to admit my favorite one is the one that the lovely Kim Stoegbauer of the TomKat Studio puts together.  The TomKat Studio 2012 Holiday Gift Guide is just full of beautiful [and practical] gifts for every one on your list!

I haven’t had time to fully go through the guide yet, but at first glance I am really loving the gift suggestions for little girls and tech lovers.  I have to admit, though, my favorite part of the guide is the many FREE printable gift tags featured in the guide.

I hope you enjoy this sweet guide as much as I do.

{Happy Shopping!}

xo

~the sweetest mami~

host your own {wine tasting party}

FREE PRINTABLE SET CUSTOM DESIGNED BY HOW SWEET LIFE IS!

Wine Party Printable Set

Every year, we host a wine tasting party in December to kick off the holiday season.  I usually try to create a few custom menus and rating cards to use, and this year I created a coordinating set that I wanted to share with others interested in hosting their own wine party.

I hope you enjoy my first free printable party set, and I look forward to sharing photos with all of you after the party is over.

Here are a few previews of the FREE printables, along with links to download each item separately for your personal use.

{Happy Wine Tasting}

xo

~the sweetest mami~

You can download the FREE printable items following the instructions at the bottom of this post.

Bottle Labels (File Includes Labels 1 – 10)

Wine Pairing Suggestions

Wine Tasting Card (File Includes Up to 8 Wines)

Download your FREE printable items separately here, by clicking on the link, and saving to your computer as a PDF file.

Printing Instructions:  Make sure you set up your printer preferences accordingly to match the file size.  I suggest you print the bottle labels on plain printer paper and the rating card and menu card on heavy card stock.

You are my Sunshine

‘You are my Sunshine’ baby shower {by Haute Decor Designs}

Here is a design board featuring pictures from my Baby Shower, themed ‘You are my Sunshine’.  The custom prints were ordered from Etsy.com, and will be used in the nursery I’m currently decorating for our little one due this April.  I styled the baby shower to mirror the nursery design — neutral gray paired with sunny yellow and bright turqouise.  Stay tuned for photos of the finished nursery….

xo

{the sweetest mami}

ps I used free printable templates created by the Tomkat studio, featured on Pottery Barn Kids website.