Posts Tagged ‘baby shower’

I like being creative as much as the next girl.  The process of creating something beautiful or fun or interesting gives me great satisfaction.  But I shall now take a moment to praise the heavens for Pinterest.  I mean that literally.  True, my boards are filled with projects and recipes that will never see the light of day but they also catalog the many ideas that I’ve actually acted on as well.  I love the instant sharing of ideas and trends and thoughts but mostly I love the efficiency of it all.  Click, click, there’s an idea at our fingertips complete with a tutorial and patterns and pictures to keep us successful.

This is why I’m singing hallelujah to Pinterest  these days.  With time filling up, I am working to balance all of the demands that being a woman brings while still trying to create beautiful things.  There is simply too much to do.  Something has got to give.  Therefore, I have no problem lifting ideas off of Pinterest.  And it comes with a printable?  Thank you!!!!  Bam.  Done.

Here’s what I’ve been PinLifting lately for a baby shower for our dear friend Amber and her new baby boy, Eli.

1.  PRINTABLE BANNER from shanty2chic.

I’m thankful for shanty2chic’s Thankful Banner printables.  And then I’m even more thankful that they added every letter (free downloads here) so we could welcome little Eli properly to the party.

2.  PAPER MACHE PHRASE from theletteredcottage.

I bet you loved the block letter “Give Thanks” made by just hot gluing paper mache letters together (found them at Hobby Lobby for $2.49 each).  I did the same thing for Eli but added a coat of navy blue paint over the whole thing, adding a few touches of light blue on the edges to define them just a bit.  Amber got to take home Eli’s name along with the “Welcome” banner to use in the nursery.

3.  CARAMEL TOFFEE DIP from iheartnaptime.

This dip sounded pretty good on it’s own but put it in a darling 1/2 pint mason jar with an apple on top and she had me hooked.  We piled them on the array of pedestals I made a couple years ago and they became the favors for each guest coming to the shower.  Seriously, they make you feel sophisticated and loved all at once.  We attached the recipe as the tag because we knew that everyone would ask for it – it’s that yummy.  And the apples came from our neighbor’s tree.  Luscious.

Note: We bought the jars at Walmart for $3.97 for a set of 4.  We used the 42 oz blocks of cream cheese from Costco and filled at least 12 jars from each block.  A regular-size bag of brown sugar was just the right amount to add to each block of cream cheese.  We measured out 4.5 cups per bag.  The toffee bits came already chopped up and we only used one bag for all 24 jars.  The thing we had to scour the cupboards for was vanilla – it’s quickly used up when you just have those fairly small bottles in your pantry so plan ahead.  Great gift idea and easy for mass production.


I copied myself on this one and pulled out a 5×7 version of this artwork I designed for Cole’s room back in the day.  Here is a link to my original post and both the girl as well as boy versions.  Amber got to take this home, too.


This one came from me but how can I not be inspired by all of the washi tape ideas floating around?  I love using real dishes at parties but didn’t have enough glasses for this crowd.  I solved that by mixing my crystal with my glass pieces so it looks like I meant to do it.  After adding a strip of washi tape for guests to write their names, the glasses look cohesive with a modern touch of shabby chic.  As one guest said, “It’s a great way to be able to use your nice glasses instead of a red Solo cup and a sharpie!”

Note: I used this same trick with my dessert plates because I really wanted to use my blue and white pieces but only had a dozen of them.  By mixing clear plates in between, it creates sense of purpose to using a variety of dishware.  And yes, those are cloth napkins.  They make me feel rich.  There, I said it.  So I use them as much as possible.  They are easy to wash and quick to iron so why not?   I wished I had just blue and green but I had to add some red ones in there to get the correct number.  By keeping my fall mums as part of the decor, it worked without being matchy-matchy.  I’m now watching for some interesting neutral napkins that I can add with any of my other colors to boost the numbers when needed.

The party was a hit – mostly because baby came early so he joined us!  It’s great to celebrate with the pregnant lady but how much better is it to pass around little bambino so we can all get our baby fix!  Baby Eli hardly made a peep and was the perfect charming gentleman.  Thank you for coming, little one.

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This week in the Silhouette store you will find my new Pop-Up Card series.  It seems a little confusing at first but after one look at these pics, you’ll be heading to download all 10 files.  Here’s how the 3 components work:

1.  CARD (outer card and inside pop-up card) – cut out both cards and simply fold them in half, popping out the strip that runs down the middle of the inside card, so that you can attach an embellishment to it.

2.  SENTIMENT SET (embellishment & phrase or 2 phrases) – one goes on the front of your card while the other attaches to the inside pop-up card.  You’ll notice I give you some extra embellishments to attach to the background of your card as well.  Hooray!  Any Sentiment Set will fit on any pop-up card.

3.  ENVELOPE – each envelope matches a different card design.  The flap is the same shape as the card but…wait for it…the envelope front has a fabulous matching design cut out of it for a little peek-a-boo fun before the card is even opened!

Here are some examples of how to put together the 3 components.  I am really in to using a white-on-white canvas right now.  It’s so fresh and clean and any color added really pops (pun intended.)  But you can use any color of cardstock to create your cards – contrasting colors look fabulous, too.

Click on the file name of each card to be sent directly to the correct files in my Silhouette store.  Mix and match Sentiment Sets with Cards & Envelopes for lots of different looks.  Enjoy!

Happy Birthday / Cupcake Sentiment Set
Scallop Pop-Up Card Set
Scallop Envelope

How to create this: Place washi tape strips vertically, overlapping the edges slightly.  Cover card base with washi tape at the top and bottom so cut-out shapes show through.  Wrap some ribbon around the whole base for a colorful surprise when the card opens.

It’s Your Day / Party Like a Rock Star Sentiment Set
Crown Pop-Up Card Set
Crown Envelope

How to create this: Ink the card base in the space where the pop-up card designs show through to give shapes a little color.  Use the “Party Like a” banner at the back of the pop-up card to tie the whole look together.  Place a strip of masking tape or painter’s tape vertically on the card front then ink within that space.  Remove tape for a clean edge of ink.  Add thin strips of ribbon to create stripes over the ink.

You’re My Favorite / Hedgehog Sentiment Set
Chevron Pop-Up Card Set
Chevron Envelope

How to create this:  Washi tape is our friend.  Place a few strips on the side of the front of your card.  I had a solid blue tape that I used with a green polka dot over the top of, creating a completely different pattern that perfectly coordinates.  One strip is hanging off the edge to create a tab.  For the pop-up portion, layer washi tape across the bottom portion to help the chevron pattern stand out.  Then use the banner files to create a banner on the back of the pop-up card.  I attached my baker’s twine with a thin line of Elmer’s Glue.  Who wouldn’t love a hedgehog today?

Welcome Little One / Elephant Sentiment Set
Chevron Pop-Up Card Set
Chevron Envelope

How to create this: This is the simplest design but my favorite card of all.  Here I kept the white-on-white and simply left the subtle pattern to stand on its own.  Attach the balloon to the background of the card and use baker’s twine to connect the balloon to the trunk of the elephant.  The interaction this creates between the embellishments is a sweet treat to find inside this darling card.  Then add a wide ribbon around the front of the card for a simple but lovely addition – just like the little one you are celebrating!  Package the whole thing in a coordinating envelope and you have the perfect little treasure.

Click here to see my whole store.  Happy Cutting!

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About a week ago I remember thinking, “What are all those people talking about when they say that the last trimester is miserable?  I feel great!  I could be pregnant forever and that would be fine.  That way I would have a little more time to get my list done…”

Fast forward to this week….I now understand what everyone meant.

I am moving more slowly than I am used to – just having a hard time getting going and everything is taking longer than I want it to.  My back is starting to get more sore as the days pass.  I feel a tiny bit nauseous.  But mostly, two nights ago I didn’t sleep at all due to insomnia – I’m not uncomfortable, really.  I’m just wide awake night after night.

I got up and tackled things on my to do list instead.  I feel very blessed.  It’s true that actually getting pregnant was high drama for us, but since then I have had a pretty easy go of it.  Now that I’m down to my last 4 weeks, I think it’s OK to assume that I should be starting to feel less than ideal.  To be honest, I can’t complain.  I know that many women out there feel worse a lot longer than I have – we are very blessed.

So, at 2 am I decided to work on Cole’s thank you notes.  I designed them a while ago but I needed another batch printed out (Bazzill Basics textured cardstock) and trimmed to fit the envelopes.  I used this last round of finished notes as my Project 365 of Gratitude photo for Monday.  I had a baby shower last week and this stack is for my friends and family that came to that.  I am so grateful for supportive people from over the years who are coming out of the woodwork to celebrate this baby.  It’s a miracle and everyone wants to share in the excitement.  (click here if you want to know more of the story about this long-awaited baby and here if you want Jason’s take on it all).

Cole Thanks

Cole's First Logo - January 12 Project 365 Photo

Therefore, on Monday I was grateful for the amazing support and love we feel from everyone in our lives – represented by this stack of thank you notes.

I am grateful for my life.  Here are a few photos from my Project 365 of Gratitude this last week.

I'm grateful for my brother Kent - he's the expert who put the crib together

January 9 - I'm grateful for my brother Kent - with 3 little ones & one on the way, he's the expert who put the crib together

I am sure that being grateful is not reliant on having lots of stuff for the baby.

January 8 - I'm grateful for the connections from various stages in my past that this baby has created - here's a friend from junior high, some from high school, & from our time in Connecticut - all together at the baby shower

I'm grateful that Jason finally got the pin out of his hand that had slipped and has been irritating

January 13 - I'm grateful that Jason finally got the pin out of his hand that had slipped and has been irritating him - just in time for it to heal before Cole comes (photo taken pre-surgery)

I'm grateful that we finally got my wireless printer working after the lightening strike a few months ago - "Yeah!"

January 14 - I'm grateful that we finally got my wireless printer working after the lightening strike a few months ago - "Yeah!"

Big things, little things, and everything in between.  My life is full right now.  I am definitely moving more slowly…but I am steady and sure of my gratitude for our many blessings.

Today, when it comes to gratitude, these things I am sure of:

I am sure that being grateful has little to do with things going perfectly and a lot to do with how I look at each moment.

I am sure that generosity and love abound and have made our little world a place of celebration of miracles.

I am sure that whether I am a mother or not, I have the choice to be happy and love my life.

I am sure that being grateful is not reliant on having lots of stuff for the baby (LOL).

I am sure that our lives will never be the same again and I relish the chance for that to happen.

Slow but sure – that’s how I feel today.



We are loving our experience so far with teaching our Big Picture Scrapbooking class “A Life Well Crafted.”  Thank you to all of you across the globe for being a part of it.  If you would still like to join us – there is plenty of time.  Just click here to register for the year long (discount price) option or here if you would like to register month to month.

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Added Note: I have received some emails lately asking where we are registered, what Cole’s room will look like, etc.  You can see all of our choices and check my registry at Pottery Barn Kids or Babies R Us.  That’s the fun part, right?!!  Enjoy!


Jason has spilled the beans regarding the name we’ve chosen for our little guy on his new blog – my maiden name is Coleman so we decided to go with Coleman Jason Hall (a little bit of both of us) and call him Cole.  We love it!

I told Jason that January was “nesting month” for Cole.  In order to give myself a maternity leave, I have been feverishly working on deadlines and getting ahead in work.  In my mind, I wasn’t going to worry about organizing for the baby till January.

Well, January is here.

Sooner than I expected, to be honest.

I still have deadlines to complete and have been feeling a little overwhelmed that we have passed the 6 week mark before my due date and still have quite a bit to do.  But this last weekend after our fabulous neighbors came over to help take down the tree,  I got the organizing adrenaline going full force.  Thank you Jones’ for the help with the Christmas decorations and for getting me going on the rest of my list!

Project 365 of Gratitude - January 3 Photo

Project 365 of Gratitude - January 3 Photo

We have a finished basement that we only use for Rock Band right now – but I need to move the upstairs guest room down there.  The room I am moving it to was half full of totes from our storage when we were living in our apartment.  Before I put it all into “real” storage in our house I wanted to go through it one more time.  I’m a tosser – and I knew that there would be things I could get rid of.

I looked at that pile and thought, “I bet I could do this today” and tackled it.  By the time Jason’s aide came to help him that night, I had piles of totes and boxes for him to help me move to their correct locations: charity, trash, long-term storage, etc.  Chadd handled it all in about 30 minutes and I was left with a spic-and-span room ready for the guest bed to be moved into and the peace of mind that the task I had been dreading was finished – and it was only January 3!  Talk about empowering!


My key to organizing anything: Try to have containers on hand for the stuff to keep so you can separate and re-store it immediately, labeling your boxes as you go.  But the real secret to success is: have a place for charity items and trash items and add to those piles liberally.  Toss, toss, toss – let it go, get rid of it, quit hanging on.  Between those two piles, I probably got rid of about half of my stuff – and trust me, I had done the same thing about 2 years ago with these same boxes.  Toss, toss, toss!

Project 365 of Gratitude - January 5 (My Charity Pile)

Project 365 of Gratitude - January 5 (My Charity Pile)

So, now I have a closet ready for Cole – even though as I neatly placed all of the gear we have received so far in there I wondered what some of it was for.  I think it’s safe to say that three months from now I will know what to do with it all but right now,  I’m just trusting all those moms who tell me we’ll need it!

It’s been a great weekend.  I can’t bend like I used to and I lose my breath going up and down the stairs but I feel more prepared than ever – ready to focus again on my deadlines without the organizing part hanging over my head.  Whenever this little guy comes – I will at least have our space ready for him.

Cole Closet

Cole Closet 2

CHALLENGE: What is a task or chore that you have been putting off but you know will liberate you once you complete?  Are you ready to tackle it?  Take the challenge and just dive in – go for it.  Now is the time to get that thing done!


Since January is “nesting month” for Cole and with some baby showers still to come for us over the next couple of weeks, I thought you might enjoy a quick printout for when you need a card attached to a baby gift.  Just trim and you’re ready to go – or you can add your own ribbon or embellishment to give it some dimension.



click on image to download pdf

click on image to download pdf

click on image to download pdf

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Like Ila

My Mom's Birthday Gift - Sneak Peek for A Life Well Crafted Workshop

My Mom's Birthday Celebration Project - a Sneak Peek into our Life Well Crafted workshop



We’ve been in celebration mode in our family for the last couple of weeks.  Jason’s sister Kendra got married this last weekend, I have been working on the countdown project for my mom’s birthday (you’ll get the whole project idea and more in our BPS class A Life Well Crafted – click here to register).

…and to beat the holiday rush, I’ve been given a baby shower (my first one was at Creative Escape – thank you, everyone!).

I have been so touched by the sense of excitement that is surrounding the arrival of this little guy to our lives.  People are coming out of the woodwork to celebrate with us.  I guess that’s what happens when you have a baby after 16 years of marriage!

The first shower was for all of my mom’s friends – she kind of thinks that since she had to attend one of our procedure days for the invitro process that this is her baby, too!

This shower was given by a woman who we knew when I was in high school.  Her name is Ila Kofford and she and her husband were empty-nesters who lived in our neighborhood.  Back when I was 17-years-old I started my first business.  I created handmade dolls that could be customized to match the recipient’s eye and hair color.  Plus, I made the clothes in their color choice as well.  I called my business “Kolette’s Collectables” and Ila ordered a doll for every girl in her family.

It might seem like a small gesture but it had a big impact.  She gave me the confidence to run a business and I truly believe that her influence is one of the reasons why it made sense to me years later to start my own scrapbooking and design company – she laid the foundation for that belief in myself as a business owner.

Ila Kofford

Now, twenty years after “Kolette’s Collectables” started, she found out about this new baby of ours and wanted to have a shower for me.  She is probably in her seventies by now and one of the amazing things about her and this shower is that she has recently had some severe back trouble and is unable to walk downstairs.  She didn’t tell me any of this, simply continued on with the shower plans.  She knew that if she told me, I would insist on changing the location of the event.  Because of the number of people who came, we had to have the shower downstairs in her home.  She couldn’t walk down to enjoy the party.  Instead, she answered the door with nothing but cheerfulness, sent everyone downstairs, and had her daughters serve the lunch.

My heart broke when I realized what was happening.  I love Ila for many reasons but her selfless service is such an example of a great woman.  I spent quite a bit of time with her after the shower, showing her the gifts and just being with her.  That was my favorite part of the whole day.

I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude for the sacrifice and love that she showed me that day.  Her example of joyful service and love is remarkable.

But after that day I know one thing for sure…I want to live my life more like Ila Kofford.

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