Cute as a Button 1st Birthday Party

26 Feb

We celebrated Kate’s 1st birthday with a “Cute as a Button” themed party over the weekend. It turned out even better than I had hoped! Here’s a look at the decorations.


The main feature was the streamer backdrop. At 15+ feet wide, it was a labor of love. To make it, I followed this tutorial and used about 16 rolls of streamers in peach, pink, ivory and seafoam green from The doily garland that drapes in front of the streamers is made from two different sized paper doilies that are folded over and glued onto twine.  Hanging on the front of the table is a burlap bunting which we painted “one” on and added pink buttons on the side pieces.


On the “sweets” table was two bunches of baby’s breath in light blue mason jars, a cardboard “K” decorated with glittery paper, a framed picture of Kate, some books, a candle, homemade pink chocolate-dipped marshmallows, strawberries and pretzels, plates, napkins (from Target), and store bought cupcakes decorated with homemade candy buttons.


The candy buttons I made using Wilton’s Candy Melt and this button candy mold. Everyone asked if they were real buttons.


I made a tissue paper tassel garland for her high chair using this tutorial.


Her smash cake I made using this tutorial. The rose decoration was surprisingly easy, you just make circles!


I made this button garland by cutting out circles from scrapbook paper and punching out four holes in the middle. Then I strung twine through each of the holes and together.

IMG_5470We made far too many paper buttons, so I stuck them to the fridge, too.


I also strung up her monthly photos above the fireplace using twine and clothespins.

IMG_5364For Kate’s special birthday outfit I purchased this gold glitter “one” onesie and this peachy-pink tutu and headband, all from Etsy. She looked so adorable.


You can see the busy board that we made for her in that photo. It has all kinds of fun trinkets on it including a desk bell, a light switch, a door knocker, an LED tap light, a door stop, a door bell, a few different types of locks, and a couple other misc items. So far, the bell is the big draw. I also made her a personalized board book with photos of her family members like this one.

Here’s a closer look at the busy board.


And lastly, here are the “Cute as a button” invitations that I ordered from Etsy.


The party was a huge success and I am so sad it’s over. I loved planning and working on everything for my special girl. She’s not going to remember it, but I know I always will.

Home Goals: How We Did & Goals for 2015

10 Jan

2014 was a year of major changes at 12 Oaks, most of which were on the exterior of our home. I shared our goals for the year in this blog post and I’m happy to report we got most of them done! Here’s the checklist on how much we accomplished.

Our 2014 home goals were to:

1) Build deck out back. Done! You can read about the building of the deck here. It has since been stained and a pergola is in progress.


2) Install retaining wall and landscape back yard. Retaining wall is complete and we did some landscaping. Still lots more to do though.


3) Replace rotten trim and paint the house. Done! A major game changer. You can read about that here.


4) Finish addition upstairs (master bathroom and closet). This is about 80% there and should be done by the end of January. I’ll have an update on it soon.

New Zealand 1035

5) Finish addition downstairs (powder room and laundry room). Done! You can read about both rooms here.

New Zealand 1028

6) Makeover the office/playroom, including a fireplace re-do. Didn’t get to this. We painted the fireplace but have since decided to cover it up since the room is going to be a playroom and it takes up too much room and is a hazard. This is at the top of our list for 2015 after the master bathroom/closet.

7) Blacktop driveway. Done! So nice. You can read about the driveway here.


8) Relocate master bedroom. We should be in the new master by the end of the month. Can’t wait!

9) Update living room built-ins. No progress made unfortunately.

10) Build a dining room table from native New Zealand wood. Nope.

11) Build out basement storage. Done! Ben built out new shelving down there. It needs organizing again though….

Overall pretty good considering we were also raising an infant.

For 2015 our goals are to:

  1. Finish master bathroom and closet and move in to our new master.
  2. Build out a playroom, including adding a wall and covering up a fireplace.
  3. Build mudroom cabinets on the opposite side of the new playroom wall.
  4. Renovate the final bathroom upstairs.
  5. Add window boxes to the front of the house.
  6. Landscape back yard.
  7. Finish pergola on the back deck.
  8. Build a fire pit.

Master Bathroom: Ready for Tile

12 Dec

Lots of progress and planning has been made on our future Master Bath over the last couple of months and now we’re all set to start tiling! The last time I showed you the room it was looking like this:

New Zealand 1038And now:


Ok it doesn’t look like much, but Ben laid all the Durock cement board on the floor and shower walls, laid the underfloor heating, poured the shower base, waterproofed the shower walls with RedGard, and poured self leveling underlayment on the floors.




We also purchased a vanity and all the tile. The vanity is the Cranbury by Home Decorators from Home Depot.


All the tile is Carrera Marble and was purchased from The Tile Shop and Floor & Decor. Here’s a peek at it:


Our original goal was to be in the new Master by the end of the year. That might be a little overzealous at this point, but it should be pretty close.

Driveway Surprise

6 Oct

The outdoor transformations keep on coming this year; we now have a new driveway!


I say it was a surprise because we weren’t planning on getting this done until next year, knowing we would want a nice surface for Kate to play on/ride bikes/use chalk, etc. Ben already had a quote priced out with his normal guy, but then we noticed our neighbor was getting their driveway done. Out of curiosity he walked over there to ask if they would cut us a deal on ours since they already had all the guys and machinery there. When they said yes, and they could do it for less than $2/square foot, we had to pull the trigger. Since they were already there, they started that same afternoon and were 100% finished the next day!



We love how much tidier the place is without the gravel. And Kate has already gotten to enjoy it, taking rides in her wagon.


Here are a few before and afters:



There is a ton of parking space. Here is the before/after view from the garage.



We love being able to run out to the car or onto the driveway without shoes on now.



Here is the before/after view toward the street.


IMG_4933It feels a like a park!

And lastly here is the before/after view toward the house from the street.



Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: