Saturday, August 27, 2016

Take me out to the ball game. . . Our baseball gender reveal

It's a . . .


We've been making our family wait to find out whether we were having a boy or a girl so we could do a fun little gender reveal with them. We found an etsy shop that sells breakable baseballs (think like a Christmas tree ornament) filled with blue or pink chalk.

Kevin thought it would be really fun to hit a baseball and have it explode in a pink or blue cloud, revealing whether we were having a little boy or a girl. So we ordered the baseballs, and were so thrilled when they arrived in the mail a few days later.

Breakable baseballs filled with pink or blue chalk to reveal gender of baby

We decided to do the reveal when we visited my parents, so we successfully kept the secret from my family for over a week. That is, until the morning of the reveal when Emma happily told my sister what we were having. Emma!!! At least it was a surprise to the rest of the family...

We were actually visiting my family to cheer on my dad, sister and brother in a 5k they were running. (And... not to brag, but all 3 of them placed in their age categories! WOO HOO! Congratulations, guys!)

After the race, we walked to a nearby baseball field, and. . . well, I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. ;)

Here's the pitch...

It's up!

What's it going to be???

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!

The chalk cloud was pretty impressive!

We are SO happy to be adding another little girl to the family. I already can't wait to get out all of Emma's little newborn clothes and decorate a new nursery. (This baby will be upstairs with us in our newly renovated attic, so I have a blank canvas to work with!)

Take a look at the video to see how it all went down. But first, I have to say: I'm no baseball player. In fact, I was really, REALLY nervous that I wasn't going to be able to throw a good pitch, and this whole thing would be a bust.

Kevin assured me that, as long as I threw the ball SOMEWHERE near him, he would do his best to hit it. Even with those words of encouragement, the first pitch was a miss! Haha! It didn't break, though, so we tried again. This time, true to his word, Kevin hit the ball, even though it came at him right above head level. Good job, Kevin. :)

What did you think of the reveal? Let me know in the comments! And as always, thank you so much for following along. I couldn't do it without all of your support!

P.S. We've already picked out a name that I absolutely LOVE! We're going to be announcing it on Facebook sometime in the next week or so, so make sure that you've liked my page so you get to see that fun announcement! I can't wait for you all to hear it. ;)

Love it? Please share on Pinterest!

Its a girl! A baseball gender reveal. We used a breakable baseball filled with pink chalk to reveal to our family that we were pregnant with a little girl!

Monday, August 22, 2016

An organized art station for kids

If you saw my post 2 weeks ago on beautifully organized art stations for kids, then you know that I've had art supply organization on the brain.

Even as a one-year-old, Emma has accumulated quite the art supply collection, and I had absolutely no system to keep it organized. Everything was just in piles on our basement bar. So I finally got my act together and decided to transform a corner of our basement into a super-organized art supply station. I absolutely love the way it turned out. Take a look!

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Hobby Lobby antique wooden brown shelf with 12 slots

Ah... a place for everything, and everything in its (neatly labeled) place!

One of my big goals with this art station was to keep certain art supplies out of Emma's reach... and to have others that she would be able to access whenever she wanted to. I don't want her getting into the paint without supervision, for example. Crayons? Fair game. To solve this problem, enter: the adorable tin buckets!

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Hang metal buckets to easily store supplies such as crayons and markers

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Hang metal buckets for easy art supply storage

I found these gems at Target. (Skip to the bottom of the article to see a full source list of where I got everything.)

At her current height, Emma can't reach any of the buckets that are hanging up. I just unhook the buckets that I don't mind her using whenever she wants. Right now I keep the crayons, colored pencils, and magnetic alphabet letters on the desk at all times. Everything else, she has to ask my permission to use.

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Use tin buckets to easily label and store crayons and other art supplies

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Use metal buckets to easily store crayons and other supplies

The buckets fit perfectly on the top shelf of the desk, which was a $2 yard sale find. I don't have any before pictures because my enthusiastic husband sanded and repainted it the same day we bought it.(Hey... no complaints here!)

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Use metal buckets to easily label and store supplies

Emma LOVES her desk She can crawl up on the chair all by herself, which makes her feel really independent.

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Use metal buckets for easy supply storage

Right above the hanging buckets, I hung an organizer with two wire baskets. I labeled one for paper, and the other is for coloring books. 

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Use hanging metal buckets for easy pencil, crayon and marker storage

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Use tin buckets for easy supply storage

I kind of love this organizer. I found it at Hobby Lobby, and knew immediately that it would be perfect. 

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Use metal buckets for easy supply storage

Above the paper and coloring book folders is the 12-slot wooden shelf, where every other art supply fits quite comfortably. I love how easy it is to see exactly what we have. All the little cubbies also keep everything nice and neat.

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Hobby Lobby antique brown shelf with 12 wooden slots

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Hobby lobby antique brown wooden shelf with 12 slots

I love being able to take down one or two things at a time, which means that I never have to clean up EVERYTHING all at once. Once Emma can reach a little higher on her own, things might look a little different. ;) 

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Use tin buckets to store materials

Finally, to the right of the desk, we put Emma's easel.

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Desk, chair, easel, and hanging supply storage

The easel was a hand-me-down from a generous friend, and Emma is super into it right now. I love how versatile it is. The whiteboard side is great for dry erase and magnetic letters, but it also has a clip, which is perfect for hanging paper or giant coloring pages.

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Easel

The back is a chalkboard. Do you like my husband's artwork? ;)

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: easel

And probably the best part of the easel is... the painting! Emma and I paint about once a day, on average. It's so easy the way we have everything set up, and she loves it so much. Every time she asks, I think, "Why not?" :)

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Painting tips

I do have a little secret to make painting setup and cleanup a ton easier. I found a small metal trashcan at Ikea, and I keep an old sheet and a painting smock (one of my old Tshirts) along with a pack of wipes and some paper plates in there all the time.

Organized art station for kid's art and craft supplies: Use a small Ikea trash can to store a sheet and smock for easy painting setup and cleanup

When it's time to paint, I just spread out the sheet under our workspace, throw the smock on Emma, and we're all set.

An organized kids art station including a painting station with a trash can with sheet and smock for easy setup and cleanup

When we're done, I throw everything back in the trash can and tuck it off to the side.

I can't explain how good it feels to have all of Emma's art supplies cleaned up and off the bar. Well... except that now the bar is filled with the entire contents of our pantry because- surprise! we're already working on the next big organizing project. But that's another post for another day. For now- here's the source list- where I got everything for Emma's art station. If I forgot anything, just let me know.  And be sure to let me know what you think in the comments!

Source list 

Note: This list contains affiliate links

  • Desk: Repainted yard sale find
  • Paper/book holder: Hobby Lobby (I couldn't find the exact one I bought online, but it is similar to this one.)
  • Antique brown wooden shelf with 12 slots: Hobby Lobby
  • Crayola magnetic double-sided easel: Ours was given to us, but you can find them on Amazon.
  • Metal trash can with lid (4 gallon): Ikea
  • Metal pails with chalk labels: Target
  • Children's Chair: Ikea

Love it? Pin it! 

A perfectly organized art station for kids- great way to organized art supplies for easy set up and clean up of art or craft projects from toddler to elementary schoool age

Monday, August 15, 2016

10 classy pregnancy announcement ideas

10 classy and creative pregnancy photo announcement ideas. Want to let everyone know you're expecting a baby? Here's some great inspiration for you!
Most of you already saw my exciting baby news last week... so today I decided to share some of the great baby announcement photo ideas that inspired my own photo announcement. These are all classy and (fairly) simple ideas, so feel free to take one or two of them and try them out for your own pregnancy announcement. Have fun!


How fun is this photo? I love how sweet and simple it is. If you like this photo announcement idea, you can make your own onesie, or buy one here and save yourself the trouble.


Katie and Kurtis did a whole pregnancy announcement photo shoot- with some really adorable results. (Think little tiny winter boots in the snow.) This one is my absolute favorite, though. And take a second to read their story, while you're at it. It's a good one. :) 


Ashley and Mike used this photo to announce their pregnancy on Instagram over a year ago. This is probably my favorite version of the shoes + calendar photo announcement idea. I just think it's so elegant and classy. Nice job, guys. 


As Ashley says about this photo shoot, "Pinterest makes projects look one hundred thousand times easier {most of the time} than they actually are, and this balloon photo shoot was no exception." So be sure to check out her post for the details if you're going to try it yourself. These pictures had to have been worth the challenges, though. They turned out to be absolutely gorgeous! 


Holly was brave enough to let her one-year-old play with her own childhood china set for this photo announcement. Kudos to her- I have a little experience with photographing one-year-olds, and they're not always the most willing models. ;) The final photo announcement turned out great!


Isn't this sign adorable? You can make your own or buy a printable version here for your own photo shoot with big brother or sister. 


Ah, more balloons. I just can't get enough. Krupa and Varun also created a little video using these balloons to announce their pregnancy, so be sure to check that out as well! 


I love coat/hat/mitten pictures, and this one is no exception. The onesies and the date tell us everything we need to know. :) I love how well the white onesies contrast with the dark background. Picture-perfect!



It's simple. It's sweet. It includes tiny, little baby shoes: I love it! 


And of course I just had to re-share my own pregnancy announcement from last week! I knew I wanted to feature Emma in our announcement photo. (Let's face it, she's a whole lot cuter than I am!) I also wanted to keep it simple. So I took her out in the backyard and gave her the sonogram pictures to hold. And when she promptly threw them on the ground and ran away, I bribed her with Skittles. ;) After a couple dozen shots, we finally got this winner! 

Well, that's it! Which one is your favorite? Any that you'd be willing to try out yourself? Or do you have another photo idea that turned out phenomenally? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, August 8, 2016

An exciting announcement!

I am so excited to share with you guys that Kevin, Emma and I are expecting a BABY this December!!!

Baby announcement photo idea: big sister holding sonogram pictures with caption: baby brother or sister due this December

I'm about 18 weeks pregnant right now, and I feel great. Partially because I'm well into the 2nd trimester by now... but more likely because it's summer and my husband and I haven't worked in over a month (teacher perks...) It's amazing how good you feel when your #1 priority every day is to relax and have fun with your family.

Baby announcement photo idea: big sister looking at sonogram pictures with Daddy

Emma is very excited. She knows there's a baby in Mommy's tummy, and that the baby is kicking me (which she tries to demonstrate with her own little feet!) She likes to kiss my belly and tell me that she's kissing the baby. She also occasionally will tell me whether the baby is happy or sad- haha!

I hesitate to say that Emma will be a new big sister, because I still consider the baby that we lost to a miscarriage in February to be Baby #2. But since Emma won't actually get to meet that sibling until heaven, I cannot wait to see how she interacts with Baby #3 when he or she makes their arrival this winter.

Baby announcement photo idea: big sister holding sonogram pictures

My due date is December 29th, which I think is so fun. I asked Kevin if he would rather have the last baby in 2016 (for that tax break!) or have the first baby of 2017. He said, "First baby of 2017, no question. We'd be in the news!"

Which one would you prefer? :)

So, that's our big news- thanks for reading. And make sure that you follow me on Instagram, because I'll be posting lots of pictures of the new nursery (and, of course, the obligatory baby bump photo or two!) in the next few months. I'd love to have you join me along the journey. 

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