blooms & custard

pwithflowers

did you know there are farms that allow you to pick your own flowers? i sure didn’t. i’m constantly looking for new and fun activities to do with penny and i found out about a flower picking farm in south windsor, ct from a mom’s group in my town. recently, i joined a mom’s group; i discovered this group through our town library and, not long ago, i saw the group on my instagram newsfeed. for an annual fee of $25/year, moms and their children participate in weekly activities, organized and spontaneous playgroups, monthly moms’ night out, and participate in board meetings.

it’s always great to meet other moms and provide our children more opportunities to socialize with other kids. the first activity i attended via the mom’s group was a music & dance playgroup at a local nursing & rehabilitation center. the children participate in organized activities during the hour-long playgroup and can interact with the residents if they choose. penny was shy at first because of all the people but she loosened up when she saw that the children were playing with big balloons. i thought that was a wonderful way to keep the kids preoccupied while waiting for the program to begin. some of the residents asked penny to hit the balloon to them so they could hit it back to her. it was really sweet to see how much joy the children brought to these people.

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this playgroup consisted of a sing-along, interactive reading, musical instruments, bubbles, parachute, and a snack. penny was engaged the entire time and was excited to move on to the next activity. although she really enjoyed everything, i could tell penny was particularly pleased with the cup of juice at snack time. we rarely let penny drink juice so it was a real treat for her especially since she was thirsty from all of the activity. overall, i was really pleased with the whole event and can’t wait to go back next week.

tuesday morning, the mom’s group went to petersen farm in south windsor to pick our own flowers. visitors can park right on the grass. the farm provides cutting tools, buckets, and water although it’s recommended you bring your own bucket to safely transport the flowers back home. flowers are $8/lb (which is an excellent deal) and i initially scoffed at the price thinking, “who gets a pound of flowers?” well, i ended up getting two. the flowers are all so gorgeous that you can’t help but want each one. i might have gotten a little scissor-happy.

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the only downside is that it was misting when we went so the grass was wet, soaking our sneakers. i had been thinking about purchasing rain boots for penny and now i have more of a reason to do that. fall is around the corner and they’ll be useful then, too.

we both enjoyed ourselves and i look forward to going back. fresh flowers certainly brighten up a room (and a mood!) and also smell divine.

tuesday was also “national custard day” so rita’s was having a .99 special for a kid’s size custard. i intended to meet some moms from the group around 3:30 but we didn’t end up arriving until after 4pm. i had to wake penny up from her nap because she was sleeping so much. ezra’s naps were off today because he’s been rolling over. since he was awake, we all went to rita’s.

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as for upcoming events and activities, there is a tolland 4-h fair this weekend so i’m thinking of bringing both kids to that.

celebrate good times

there have been many things to celebrate recently – two weddings and a first birthday party. although both weddings occurred in october i haven’t had the time nor energy (mostly energy) to organize and edit photos for a blog post.

the so family leaves for maryland tomorrow for a family vacation and that’ll be another post in itself when we return; so if i don’t post the wedding and birthday pictures i’ll never get around to them.

on october 15, we attended our friends’, alice and john’s, wedding. dennis was the best man and penny was the flower girl. we were nervous about penny walking down the aisle since she still is so young. i brought her lovey and lots of snacks to help coax her down the aisle, but in the end all it took was one cracker. i did try having her walk down by herself but she was understandably nervous with everyone’s eyes on her. in hindsight i wish i had walked ahead of her so i wasn’t in any of the photos. but we are just relieved she didn’t cry or run away.

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my friend, katie, captured us walking down the aisle

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matron of honor and best man 🙂

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traditional korean ceremony “paebaek”

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what’s a wedding without some photobooth fun?

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alice & john’s rehearsal dinner / ethan’s 100th day

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family photo

penny also only attended the ceremony. my mil took her back for her nap and dennis and i moved on to the reception. we were able to enjoy ourselves more not having to chase penny around, keep her entertained, and trying to feed her at the table. eternally grateful to have dennis’ parents nearby.

the next wedding was for esther and tony on october 29. they are our friends from church so john was in attendance too (two weeks after his own wedding!) but alice had to work. interestingly enough, both weddings we attended were morning weddings. i’m fairly certain i have never been to a morning wedding before. the best part about a morning wedding is you still have time to relax when you get home. in both cases actually dennis and i ended up passing out earlier than usual.

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16 weeks pregnant in this photo

it was lovely having an excuse to get dressed up and go out. dennis and i had been long overdue for a night out so those two weddings were a great way for us to enjoy time with friends without worrying about a baby. although we had fun, we were so tired that we just looked forward to going home!

many of my friends had babies in 2015 so there were a lot of first birthday parties this year. i attended the final one for this year this past sunday in massachusetts. thankfully, my mil was able to watch penny and i made the 1.5 hour drive each way to celebrate bowdin’s first year of life.

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cute touches by the crafty mama

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min MADE these forever cacti favors..

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she chose the stethoscope!

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dr. gianforti

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homemade cake along with felt flower toppers min made herself

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such a good idea to use pearls!

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yes, homemade cupcakes too

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the birthday party was fun and it was so cute to see all the of the special details my friend, min, put into it. best of all, it’s over! it’s always a relief when the first birthday is done and over with… all those months of planning..

min lives in maine so i rarely see her. the last time i saw her was at penny’s first birthday back in may. i hope someday we can make it work where our little girls can play while the mommies catch up. someday soon.

 

 

 

#AboutThatLife

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gotta love nap time. penny’s on her second nap so i’m trying to whip out a blog post while pumping (-_-) and hopefully will be able to grab a bite to eat.

there is a cute children’s book store called jack & allie’s in my town, and it’s about a 5-minute drive from our house. they have camps, classes, and a lot of fun activities for babies, toddlers, children, and parents. genie told me last night that she planned on bringing olivia to story time today. the time is perfect: 11:15-12:15 because penny usually wakes up from her first nap between 10:30-11:30am. i had to wake her up from her nap as usual and then drove us over to the bookstore.

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after hearing a story about martha, the talking dog (a funny story that i’ve read before), the children participated in a coloring activity. it was penny and olivia’s first attempt at coloring. penny didn’t color but i’m glad she didn’t stick the crayons in her mouth. olivia, however, did color a bit!

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she loved this rocking chair!

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penny was really excited to see other babies – she kept smiling and looking around – and she also loved exploring jack & allie’s. we had been there a few times before to purchase books but that was before she was mobile.

now that penny is nearing the toddler stage, life has become even more eventful and exhausting! she loves trying to walk but it’s hard on our backs since we have to hunch over to support her. stair-climbing is also another assisted activity that she loves. thankfully we have carpeted stairs and we stand behind her. since she’s moving around a lot more she actually gets tired faster. sometimes she wants to nap after only being awake for 2 hours or so and i stretch it out so she can make it close to the 3-hour mark.

penny’s schedule: 5/24/16

6:30am:  wake up/milk/play/eat/take a walk

9:30am – 10:58am: first nap (had to wake her)

11:15am-12:15pm: story hour @ jack & allie’s

12:30-1pm: lunch

1pm-1:30pm: walk outside

2pm-3:30pm: second nap (hopefully)

3:30-6:30pm: milk/play/take a walk/dinner/bath time

7:30pm: bedtime

this is what our typical day looks like. of course, the daily activities differ depending what we’re doing or where we’re going, but it’s great knowing what to expect. i hope she takes two naps for a while! usually babies transition from two naps to one anywhere between 14~18 months with a rare amount transitioning earlier.

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mealtimes have been tough as penny hates sitting still so we have to offer a variety of food. some days she’ll want to chomp on a banana and other days she won’t even take a bite! the temper tantrums are fierce! she wants everything her way…

these reusable pouches that i ordered from amazon are amazing. you can put basically anything in there. yogurt used to be our go-to food but she doesn’t really like it anymore. who knows why? i still offer it to her in the pouch and she’ll eat it that way, if at all. i also put in fruit and veggie purees… she doesn’t like being spoon-fed too much anymore so having her hold on to the pouches helps us too.

she also really loves pizza. we had pizza for dinner last night and didn’t pick up the pie until penny had already eaten dinner. then she saw us eating pizza and naturally wanted some. she ended up eating an entire slice sans the crust. o.O

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last saturday, i attended my childhood friend, christina’s wedding in providence, rhode island. it was held at roger williams botanical garden and the venue was gorgeous! dennis had to work last weekend so i drove up solo and my sister met me at the hotel. it was fun going as sisters and getting some bonding time in.

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we used to hang out often in middle school and high school because we grew up in the same church. it became few and far between once all of us were in college but we still usually got together during the holidays especially for a christmas eve dinner at christina’s, or yuge (her korean name is yujin), mom’s house. finally, she moved out to los angeles to pursue a career in the television industry. she’s made cameos and worked on shows like pretty little liars and night shift, and is currently an associate producer on the middle.

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yuge’s brother, justin

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yuge’s brother, justin

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congratulations to yuge & abi!

 

 

punta cana – destination wedding

we returned last week from vacation #2 without penny. our friends, mayra and evan, held their wedding in punta cana and, of course, we had to go!

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the beautiful bride and groom!

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the adorable flower girl – the bride’s niece

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the lovely bride and her father

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the bouquets

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dennis and i were much less worried about penny this time around due to the success of the vegas trip.. mil reassured us with lots of photos and updates via kakaotalk (a korean messaging app). however, this trip still wasn’t without a lot of headaches…

we were supposed to depart at 6am on friday, january 15th, and arrived at bradley airport a little after 4. after getting our boarding passes, we should have stood in the security line but we kept our friends company because one had left his passport in his mom’s car and was waiting for her to come back to the airport with it. we were with them, maybe, ten minutes tops but that time could have been spent waiting in the security line… because by the time we got there we realized just how insanely long that line was: it reached all the way to the other side of the airport! needless to say we missed our flight by MINUTES… the plane was still at the gate but they wouldn’t let us board the plane 😡 dennis and i debated driving down to newark, nj because that’s where our connecting flight was but with morning traffic and dennis’s dad having to come back to get us, we knew we wouldn’t make it. our luggage got on the flight so we had to hope that they wouldn’t get misplaced in newark since we now had to fly out a day later.

initially, i was angry about missing our flight but i got over it fairly quickly. dennis wasn’t that upset either. i guess it’s because there wasn’t anything else we could do, and it was just nice having that extra day spending it with penny. if this had happened even a year ago, i would have probably thrown a tantrum but after having a baby, i suppose i grew up a little, no? since dennis and i had been awake since 3:40am dennis’s mom stayed for the day and took care of penny while we napped.

after a lot of phone calls and being put on hold, orbitz agreed to let us stay an extra day in punta cana to make up for the day that we had lost. we also got the ‘okay’ from hard rock hotel to stay another night with no additional fees. success! 

everything was fine now, right? it was until we got to our hotel. upon checking in, the front desk said we would be charged for friday night because the room was “empty” and we were a “no-show”.. and no, we could not stay until wednesday. after explaining that this had been dealt with and getting orbitz on the phone, we finally got to our room and had an hour to get ready before the welcome dinner at 6pm.

we had a very enjoyable time in punta cana but the changes to our trip didn’t get resolved until monday – two days later – so until then we kept worrying that we would have to leave on tuesday. not something you want hanging over your heads.

pumping, this time, was less of a hassle than it was in vegas. i’ve been pumping every 4-5 hours lately so that gave me plenty of time to be on the beach and do other activities before heading back to the hotel room to pump. i’ve been renting the medela symphony pump (hospital-grade) because my ameda purely yours has been losing suction. i get a lot more output with the hospital pump. the only downside is that it’s so heavy and cumbersome, but i did bring it with me to punta cana. i brought back over 150 oz., or 9.3 lb., of milk! the milk was mostly the reason my luggage was over the weight limit by 10 lb so i had to put the milk into a different carry-on.

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pumping in the security room at the airport in punta cana

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our layover was in dc on the way home and that airport has nursing rooms!

it was so wonderful to get away from the cold and be able to relax. we got a tan from lounging on the beach, celebrated our friends’ beautiful wedding on the beach, and even swam with sharks and sting rays!

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i took this shot of people walking on the dock during our excursion

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last day in paradise

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sun and wine

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we’re on a boat!

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cerveza!

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cabana life

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dennis relaxing on a hammock

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dennis enjoying some meat at a brazilian joint

 

 

still, nothing beats home.. especially if you’re under the weather. most of the wedding party and guests caught a viral infection, and many were sick during the trip too – mostly diarrhea.. maybe from the ice in the drinks and brushing their teeth with tap water. i drank mostly beer so i wasn’t affected until i came home. dennis has had a really bad sore throat for over a week now. he got it checked out and it’s not strep so that’s a relief.

dennis goes back to work on thursday so we’ve been spending time together as a family, and taking turns sleeping in while the other tends to penny first thing in the morning. i wish every day was like this. i love my family!

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sunset during our first night

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our room was less than a minute’s walk to the beach

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the rooms have a spacious 2-person jacuzzi in the middle of the room. it was hard to get out of the tub, let me tell you!

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this arden b jumpsuit is perfect for the beach

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outfit for the wedding

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like many women, i fretted over what to wear to the wedding and ended up going to the mall twice to find an ensemble. i bought an off-the-shoulder forest green top from forever 21 for $12.90 and paired it with a gold maxi that i had already had!

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danielle, roberta & me

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the reception was held on the terrace – straight up gorgeous

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mother-and-son dance

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father-and-daughter dance

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cake cutting

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the flower girl and her daddy

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ct baby shower

baby P is currently 4.4 lb. which puts her in the 36th percentile – a little smaller than average but she’s healthy. My 32-week check-up was two days ago and I was told to come back today for an ultrasound because she seemed small. That was two long days filled with unease for me… thrilled and relieved about the good news.

All her other measurements such as her torso and leg were above average though so maybe she has a calling to be a model..? ha~

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it was tough getting a good picture of her because she kept moving and the placenta was just above her head

it has been a month since my last post. every day i thought of posting an update but i couldn’t bring myself to do it because of exhaustion from carrying a growing baby around on top of being on my feet all day with kindergarteners. all i ever want to do is just curl up on the couch, snack, and zone out while watching tv. it’s.so.hard to get myself out of bed in the morning especially since it’s dark when i wake up now due to daylight savings.

report card conferences are also next week so i’ve been scrambling to get work done and be prepared for that. just one thing after another… ok, enough ranting… i really wanted to share the lovely details from my ct baby shower that was held at my house on march 7th.

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i hadn’t pampered myself since… well, since my pre-pregnancy days. i wanted to feel good and look nice for photos so i got eyelash extensions and airbrush makeup for the shower. ladies, remember to treat yourself once in a while…

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group photo 🙂 missing is my friend, lauren, who had to leave early to check out a wedding venue

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it’s a tradition to do a “funny face photo” when i participate in group photos

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super cute easel that dennis purchased from ikea – only $15! the other side is a dry-erase board

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genie, liz, me, and mouy

this adorable shower would not have been possible without much assistance from my dear friends. btw, genie (on left) is 38 weeks along and mouy (on right) is 21 weeks 🙂

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dennis and me

and, of course… my amazing husband was so hands-on with the details and delegating tasks. he had food catered from black eyed sally’s in hartford which was mouthwateringly delicious – i am pretty certain everyone went back for second and third helpings. he also organized the rentals and purchased necessities like sparkling juice, wine, and tablecloths being a few.

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the set-up

i purchased scrapbooking paper from michaels and used those as placemats – a great idea that i got from pinterest.

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this cake might have been the star of the show. mouy’s friend bakes on the side and she whipped up this gorgeous cake. not only did it look wonderful, but it tasted fantastic as well. i saved the adorable fondant shoes.. they were too cute to eat.

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genie baked the cupcakes among other treats. the pink buttercream frosting is homemade and tasted like it came from a high-end cupcake shop. i thought peeps would be a cute touch.

all the little details were made by genie including the pink paper flower next to the cupcake stand and the paper fans next to the cake.

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phenomenal cake pops made by the cake baker as well… everything was perfect

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it’s all in the details. the first three onesies (l to r) are from my sister and the elephant dress is from liz – a souvenir from her trip to thailand.

i found these cute blocks on etsy (what don’t they have?) and had it custom made for my baby girl. the ones that say ’31 weeks’ will last a long time because wording can change from weeks, days, months, and years. they’ll be used in back-to-school and birthday photos for years to come.

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a fun activity for guests to partake in is the headband-making station. headband kits can be purchased online. make sure you provide directions and glue guns for guests. tags are also helpful so parents know the size of the headband and who made it. there were materials left over and i also purchased another kit for my boston shower this weekend.

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another great activity for guests to do is guess which date your baby will be born ~ my friend, liz, made the calendar and i’m also going to use the same one at my boston shower but guests will use a pink inkpad.

IMG_8481if you want, you can also award a prize to the person with the closest date. of course, you need to follow up on that and send it out after your baby is born 😉

IMG_8555last, but not least, custom made wish cards for penelope. after the guests leave and everything is cleaned up, it’s heartwarming to read these while relaxing on the couch which is exactly what i did. they’re wonderful keepsakes that i will put in a scrapbook and i can’t wait for penelope to be able to read them.

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always nice to see different groups of friends mingling and having a great time 🙂

IMG_8497my friend’s daughter, charlotte, enjoyed playing with gift wrap and tissue paper.

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a lamb rocker from pottery barn kids. you can choose to personalize these but i want penny’s future siblings to use them too

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with my mother-in-law and husband

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expecting ladies! from l to r: 21 weeks, 22 weeks, 33 weeks, and 38 weeks.

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this gorgeous two-tone dress is from asos’ maternity line. i purchased it online without trying it on but it fit like a glove.. the sleeves are a little long and loose but i love the dress! the thick material kept me warm as well. i love the two-tone look because it gives the illusion of a slimmer silhouette. at first glance, i thought it was see-through on the sides.

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can’t get enough of the cake ❤

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i had such a lovely time.. thanks to my husband and friends for organizing it, and i am very grateful for everyone that attended or sent gifts our way even though they couldn’t make it. looking forward to the boston shower this saturday!

diy decor

i hope everyone had a lovely weekend. today is my last day of a 4-day weekend. normally, i would’ve had a week-long february break but it was shortened to two days due to our district having 9 snow days last year. i’m pretty bummed to be returning to work tomorrow but  at least it’s three more days until the weekend again.

valentine’s day was very low-key for us this year. first of all, we got hit with another snowstorm albeit a much minor one compared to the ones we’ve had but still not ideal to be out driving. dennis had to work this past weekend anyway and we just wanted to hunker down at home where it’s warm and comfortable. we told each other we wouldn’t give each other presents so we can save money for the baby, but dennis surprised me with a beautiful bouquet and a much-coveted patriots pom hat.

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i’ve been trying to purchase this hat since december but it was out of stock everywhere. (unless you count the exorbitant marked-up prices on ebay.)

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close-up of the bouquet. i love how the roses are placed in the center of the hydrangeas.

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with two baby showers coming up in march (ct and boston), i’ve been preoccupied assisting with details especially since one of my friends organizing the ct one is 33 weeks pregnant. we hung out on sunday to make tissue paper garlands and flowers. both looked easy enough on pinterest but we found out just how time-consuming the projects are, particularly the garlands. i was cutting each tissue paper by hand and painstakingly rolling them to make the garland.

i ended up purchasing a garland cutter from michaels so i could slice 4 tissue papers at once. using the device is a little tricky at first because tissue paper is so delicate and rips easily. the directions recommend not using less than 4 sheets of tissue paper and also putting a piece of copy paper on top to help prevent the papers from snagging on the blades. i also stood up to apply even pressure when moving the blades and instead of slicing them in one go, i made little cutting movements to prevent tearing. they were okay for the most part but some did tear in places.

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the adorable gray-and-white dewey decimal organizing drawers are from land of nod. i love that store – they have a lot of cute toys and accessories for babies, children and even adults. i plan on using the drawers to store things like diaper rash cream, q-tips and other things for the nursery.

here are the directions

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lastly, these two are great finds from homegoods. we can’t wait to hang these up above the changing table in penelope’s nursery. they go with our color theme and fit our vision for a modern-elegant nursery. the one on the left is a canvas and the chandelier one is a mirror.

dream big, sweet pea.