• Hello, friends. My name is Emory. I live on the Canadian prairies with my husband, daughter, and animals. Welcome!
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    Valentine's Day 🌷 from my ❤. Next weekend we will have a one year old. 😭💔
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1st birthday: tips for a successful party

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Hey guys. Prior to even thinking about throwing Remy a first birthday party, I researched several ways on how to throw a successful one. Small children can obviously be unpredictable, and so finding ways to increase their happiness and avoid things that might set them off is imperative. We are lucky in that Remy hasn’t yet thrown a tantrum. However, with her first birthday fast-approaching, I’m sure that they are just around the corner. Until then, I will include a list of surefire ways to have a (somewhat) successful party for a one year old! These are taken from what I have found online, in addition to my own knowledge as a new mother.

1. Keep it short. Babies can get overwhelmed quite quickly, so try to have the party run for no more than 2 hours.

2. Invite people that your children know and like, and not those who they make strange with or are guaranteed to cry around. However, this can’t always be avoided.

3. Avoid balloons and any other party favours that are choking hazards or are potentially dangerous.

4. Dress them in clothes that they are comfortable in. Remy hates anything on her head, so although I wanted to make her a feather crown to wear, I know that trying to keep one on her head would end in a disaster.

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5. Don’t go Pinterest crazy. If you’re going to DIY a lot yourself, make sure that it’s well in advance and things that are manageable to create.

6. Also, don’t go all Top Chef for the party. Buying ready-made food or desserts is a great way to eliminate stress for yourself. I ended up ordering cupcakes for Remy’s party nearly a month in advance, and we are serving chips as a light snack.

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7. Hire a photographer if possible. Just like Remy’s birth, I didn’t want to worry about capturing the perfect moments, nor about editing any photographs afterwards. I also wanted plenty of pictures of us as a family. We have hired someone to photograph her party.

8. Bring a few of their favourite toys along. Because we’re having her birthday in a rented room at the library, I’m going to set up an area for large blanket and several of her toys. This way, she will have a place to play that feels familiar, and the other children can easily join in.

9. Don’t try to set up everything by yourself. Because I’m planning on having Geoffrey watch Remy all morning, I’m going to enlist in the help from a few friends to come to the library and assist me in decorating the room.

10. Schedule the party around naps. This one is for obvious reasons.

11. Finally, if you’re feeling especially adventurous, include some fun details for your guests, such as a photo booth or colouring books!

That’s all that I can come up with. Do you have any tips to add? If so, please write them in the comment section.

<3

Emory

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1st birthday: activity books (diy)

Processed with VSCO with a4 presetLast week, I explained how I wanted to create a photo booth for Remy’s upcoming party as entertainment for the adults. Today, I’m going to show you what I made to ensure the children at the party wouldn’t get bored either. Also, let’s face it, adults can have fun with this DIY as well!

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-11-15-48-amscreen-shot-2017-02-07-at-11-15-29-amI created these activity books in Microsoft Word. After going online and finding clip art from the film Moonrise Kingdom, I saved the images that I thought would look best. I also made sure that they were in black and white, which makes colouring them in much easier. Then I opened a Word document, flipped the direction of the page to a landscape rather than a portrait, then added the images.

screen-shot-2017-02-07-at-11-15-15-amI created the first and last page from scratch. I chose a similar font to what is seen on the movie poster, and made a flag with the number 55 on it. On the back, I put the hashtag that I am hoping people will use for the party.

Processed with VSCO with a4 presetThese activity books were quite simple to make, and only took the better part of the morning to design, print, and staple them together. I’m going to put them in a crate on a table at the party, and put a mason jar of crayons beside them. I know that my nieces are obsessed with colouring, so I think that they will go over well with the older children there.

Happy Monday, all!

<3

Emory

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1st birthday: creating a photo booth

create-your-own-photo-boothRemy’s birthday party is scheduled to be two hours long. I had initially planned for three hours, given that we are renting a venue for it and I wanted to get our money’s worth. However, after reading a guide for a successful 1st birthday party, they recommended keeping any event closer to an hour long. So I compromised and made it two hours on the invitations.

That said, I thought that a two hour birthday for those people without children might get somewhat boring. I began to brainstorm ideas for fun ways to pass the time at a party. One thing that kept coming up over and over again on pinterest were photo booths. Photo booths are a great way to not only get the guests involved, but they also encourage them to play dress up for a few minutes, socialize with others, and help to increase the number of photographs shared on social media of an event.

All it takes to create your own photo booth is a simple backdrop, a few props, and a camera with a timer. Here is how I created my Moonrise Kingdom photo booth:

Supplies

Processed with VSCO with m3 presetComputer
Printer
Backdrop
Tape
Scissors
Camera
Tripod
Masks
Table
Wood crate

Steps

gbwbue1. The first step will be to decide on a theme. There are a plethora of themes out there, so it’s really up to you, depending on how much work you will want to put into your photo booth. I obviously chose a Wes Anderson-inspired one.

moonrisekingdomposter12. Next, you will need to create signage to indicate what section of the room is a photo booth, and as such, what the “rules” are. It’s important to be as clear as possible, as many people may never have used a photo booth before. I found four photographs of the film that I thought would work well. From there, I went to http://www.befunky.com, which is a great online editing program that lets you add text to pictures quite easily. I cropped the photos to 8″ x 10″, and added the text. The first sign reads, “What kind of bird are you?” It’s a line from the film, where Sam and Suzy meet for the first time. It’s also great for the photo booth given that Suzy herself was wearing a mask.

moonrisekingdomposter2-1The second sign is, “Photo booth instructions.”

moonrisekingdomposter3The third reads, “1. Choose a mask 2. Shoot it 3. Share it.”

moonrisekingdomposter4And finally, the last sign has the hashtag that I would like people to use at the party, so that I can search it later on social media. I thought that “#remysmoonrisekingdom” worked best.

3. After the signs are made, they can be printed out.

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset4. Next you will want to concentrate on hanging your backdrop. I chose a map, as maps were commonly seen throughout the movie. However, if you are going to create one from scratch, then there will be several more steps and supplies involved. Once the backdrop is hung, hang the signage on either side of it.

5. Place the masks and props on a table beside the photo booth. Choose a nice way to display them. I’m putting mine inside a small wooden crate.

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset6. Set up the camera and tripod in front of the backdrop. Make sure that the table and props aren’t in the camera’s view. Set the timer, and allow for a number of photos to be taken each time. Leave the camera on to ensure ease of use. However, encourage guests to use their cellphones as well.

Processed with VSCO with m3 presetThat’s all. There are quite a few steps, but in the end, creating a photo booth can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. This one was actually quite easy, but I think that it will look and work great at the party!

<3

Emory

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1st birthday: flags (diy)

moonrise-kingdom-flag-diy-10Today I’m going to show you how I made the first craft for Remy’s upcoming birthday party.

Flags were everywhere in the movie Moonrise Kingdom. Given that the main character Sam Shukusky was in Troop 55 of the Khaki Scouts, the number 55 can be seen on numerous flags throughout the film. So I knew that I had to incorporate them in some way.

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Many Moonrise Kingdom-inspired parties on pinterest had Camp Ivanhoe written on flags that were then hung above the main serving table. However, I could almost guarantee that if I chose to write that, only a small number of people would understand it’s significance. I therefore decided to use the flags, but to write the movie title instead.

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There are so many DIYs for flags. For instance, you can either create them out of fabric, paper, or plastic. I was originally going to make them from scratch out of construction paper, but after coming across pre-made flags from the party store in the exact colour scheme that I needed, I couldn’t pass them up. I bought two packs, and cut the flags so that I will have four strings. On two of them, I wrote the words ‘Moonrise Kingdom’. It’s pretty straight forward, but this is how I did it.

Moonrise Kingdom Flags:

moonrise-kingdom-flag-diy-22Supplies

1 pack of plastic flags
Computer
Printer
Computer paper
Sharpie
Scissors
Tape

moonrise-kingdom-flag-diy-23Steps

1. The first step is to find a stencil that you like. I chose to use Microsoft Word as I didn’t like the look of any of the stencils in the craft stores. Write out your desired word(s), increase the font, and print it out.

2. Cut out each individual letter. Once you have done so, place one letter on a flag, and trace it. Repeat for each letter, until you are finished.

moonrise-kingdom-flag-diy-213. After you have completed the writing, you can hang up your flags!

moonrise-kingdom-flag-diy-20There will be three large tables at the front of the room that I have rented for Remy’s party. I’m going to put one string of flags above either end table, and hang the two Moonrise Kingdom string of flags above the table in the center. I think that these turned out pretty great so far, so I’m really excited to see the final product.

<3

Emory

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11 months

remy-invitation-5Guys, Remy turned 11 months old yesterday. While I’m so happy that she’s growing and is happy and healthy, I’m also really sad that this is our last full month before she turns one year old. It’ll also bring an end to the monthly updates.

Let’s take a look at the extremely eventful previous month. It was what I like to call The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

remy-invitation-6The Good:

– she now talks! Her first word was “hi” and her second word was “choo-choo”
– she went through a growth spurt and now none of her clothes or pjs really fit her
– she can walk while only holding on with one hand
– she can climb steps

– she loves our cat and will play with him all day
– she makes the cutest lip smacking/tongue sucking sounds
– she’s now in 3 programs; swimming, Kindermusik, and Baby Talk
– she’s down to one nap a day

– she now sleeps 11 hours a night

remy-invitation-11The Bad:

– she won’t sleep in her crib longer than 2 hours, which means we now co-sleep
– she bites when she’s done nursing to signal that she’s done
– she hates to see me leave the room and will crawl and chase me around the house all day

remy-invitation-14The Ugly:

– she got sick for the second time in her life, which turned into roseola

remy-invitation-3Month 10 was the first time in quite awhile that I’m actually considering only having one child. Between her sleeping issues, sickness, and separation anxiety, it was a tough month. However, now that she sleeps with us, she’s getting a solid 11 hours per night, which is nice. She is also happy all day long, and reached a big milestone with talking. In the end, even with its challenges, it was an amazing month. I’m sure when we’re celebrating her birthday next month I’ll be crying for another baby. ;-)

remy-invitation-9I hope that you all enjoyed these updates. Next month Remy will officially be a toddler. Please pass the Kleenex!

<3

Emory

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