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I love a good holiday themed garland, especially when they are easy and cheap to make! My sister who is very crafty came up to visit and grabbed the supplies for two very cute and easy Easter decoration crafts. The list of items that you need and instructions are listed below.
Items you will need:
Card stock paper in the color of your choice (we used one sheet of each color to make six bunnies)
Large fluffy cotton ball( we got ours at Michael’s but you could also use a few cotton balls)
Glue ( we used hot glue but I sure any kind would work)
Cut out the bunny template and trace onto your card stock. We were able to get three bunnies out of each sheet of card stock so we had a few extra for Isabella to color in 🙂
We then cut out the holes in the ears to string the twine through and laid them on the floor to hot glue the tails onto them. After we measured the twine to the correct size of the mantel and the bunny tails dried we looped the twine through the bunnies and hung them up onto the mantel. We couldn’t believe how easy this was to make and it adds such a cute decoration for Easter 🙂
We also made this adorable board painting to hang out on the front door. This was a little more time consuming because we had to wait for the paint to dry but still very simple to make.
Items you will need:
A wood board ( I got mine at Michael’s but this would be a great project for some scrap wood you may have laying around)
I painted the entire front of this piece of wood white, it took two coats of craft acrylic white paint. My sister then used the same stencil that we used for the bunny garland and traced it onto the piece of wood. My husband then drilled two holes into the wood so that we could place the string through it. Looking back it would have been smarter to have him drill the holes before I painted it but it wasn’t too bad to have to touch up a few spots of the white paint.
Next we just filled in the stenciled area with our paint colors of choice and let them dry. Once the paint was dry we actually used a very dark blue to add the dots for the eyes and the noses. We waited for that to dry and then tied the string onto the board and hung it onto my front door.
I think these decorations came out so cute and they could easily be made in one day in case you need some last minute decorations for tomorrow 🙂 Happy Easter!
I loved everything about my February and March Boxes! Unfortunately I was still not as organized as I wanted to be and forgot to take a picture of my Birchboxes or any of the Graze boxes and Isabella tore into her February Citrus Lane Box. I do have some pictures of the PopSugar Boxes and the March Citrus Lane Box that I received, so I will do a quick review on those 🙂
My February PopSugar box did not disappoint! They went with a Valentine’s Day theme and I loved and have used everything in this box. The rocky road chocolate bar was delicious and I inhaled that sucker in about 2 minutes lol. The heart shaped cheese plate and knife was perfect for our Bachelor finale. Viewing party and the Rose bubble bath smells divine! I have been wanting to try the Tarte blush for awhile so I was very excited to get this in my box. I love it and have actually been wearing it more than my usual Nars blush, it is a great color and lasts for a long time 🙂 The lip balm and nail polish were great additions to the box and I love the adorable arrow necklace. The necklace is very dainty and has small fake diamonds on it. This box was just as good as the January PopSugar box if not better because it was all about romance and luxury which are two of my favorite things 😉
My March PopSugar also had a lot of great things but with a travel theme it was probably my least favorite of the 3 boxes, only because I am stuck on bed rest and won’t be traveling for awhile haha. In this box I received a great wet/dry brush that I love, it gets throught tangles without pain so it has been great for Isabella and me. I also recieved the cute hot pink pineapple bag that will be great to use in my pool/beach bag this summer. I cannot wait to get out in the warm weather and break this out! There is also a notepad with checklists about what to pack when traveling and a small bag of yummy popcorn was the food item for this month. I love the full size micro dermabrasion treatment from Bliss. It smells deliciously minty and makes my skin feel nice and soft. My skin is so super sensitive I was nervous to try this but so far it has been great! The Lemon and Cucumber Reed diffuser is adorable and has made my house smell amazing! There were two small sample additions in this box from Benefit and I have not tried the pore cream yet but the mascara is really nice. It can be a little clumpy so I will probably stick with my cheaper drugstore brand mascara but it was nice to try something new.
Isabella’s March Citrus Lane box was so cute! She got some delicious chocolate chip cookies, which we both loved as well as a new snack pack shaped like a bird, an adorable bow and a kit of magnetic animals from Melissa and Doug. The snack pack is great because it has a lid and it still has the spill proof inside so it has kept my car a little cleaner than the other ones 😉 The magnets have been a great toy to keep her entertained while we are in the kitchen and I am obsessed with putting cute bows in her hair so I was very excited to find this in the box.
I have had so much fun receiving and reviewing these boxes the past few months and am so thankful that my sweet husband thought to get them for me 🙂 They have been the perfect gift to look forward to each month and to try out all of the products have helped to make my time on bed rest pass by! After the three months I highly recommend all of the boxes that I have recieved, Birchbox, PopSugar Must Have box, Graze and Citrus Lane. I have gotten a lot of value out of each box each month and will definitely miss recieving them!
I can’t believe that I have made it to 30 weeks into this pregnancy! I honestly did not think that we would make it this far when I was first put on bed rest at 17 weeks into this pregnancy. I am so close to my original goal of 32 weeks and I can’t believe it, I am much more optimistic now that I might actually make it to 34 weeks when Isabella was born and would be BEYOND thrilled to make it further than that.
I have now been on bed rest for over 3 months and I am just over it. I am way beyond the point of trying to enjoy laying on the couch and just want to get out of here for a change of scenery at least! I was hoping that my Doctor would let me out to do some sitting activities, like go to a restaurant or one of my Moms groups but I did end up in Labor and Delivery for contractions 2 weeks ago so she said no 🙁 She did say that we could revisit the possibility of me getting out of the house for sitting activities around 35 weeks and I should be off of bed rest around 36/37 weeks if we make it that far. I am absolutely dying to go and get my hair cut and colored and to just be able to move my legs and walk around! This bed rest has definitely been the hardest thing I have ever had to do. It was so scary in the beginning thinking about going into labor so early and after 3 months I am so thankful that he is still cooking but I am getting very frustrated, annoyed, and stir crazy. The only thing that is helping me to stay positive now is that it is almost over! I have a feeling that if I make long enough to be released from my bed rest I will probably go into labor that night from being so excited to actually move 😉
As I mentioned in my last post about my bed rest my sister has been staying with us to help take care of Isabella, and we have been trying hard to keep her entertained. One of the most frustrating things for me has been the fact that I am not able to play with her or take her places like I normally would. Thankfully Isabella has been such a trooper and we have tried to keep her busy with play dates, visits to the children’s museum and lots of weekend visits to the grandparents 🙂
My friends have been so wonderful about bringing over dinners for us and coming over for play dates. Even though this bed rest has been so long and hard it has really made me appreciate our wonderful friends and family. I don’t know what we would have done without them!
Hopefully I will have another pregnancy update in a few weeks, it would amazing to have him stay in long enough to not be in the NICU. We are praying hard and keeping our fingers crossed!!
Side note: this post was written from my iPad so I hope that all of the pictures are formatted correctly 🙂
I was SO excited when my husband surprised me a Birchbox subscription and then told me that I could pick a few more out to try out while I am on bed rest. I have listed the boxes that I am getting in the order that I like them the most. I have only gotten one month of each so far but I will review my February boxes as well once I get those. Unfortunately I didn’t think ahead and take pictures of most of the boxes that I received but I will not make that mistake in February and will have better pictures of what I received.
1) PopSugar Must Have Box: This was my favorite box this month, of course it was also the most expensive. I got a 3 month subscription which cost around $36 per month but I definitely got my money’s worth with this box. I love the the glass coffee cup and that it is reusable and has a lid. While the glass part can get hot with the liquid if you hold the cup on the pink band it works out well. The cup alone retails for $24 and I know that I will use it often now and when I am on the couch breastfeeding the new baby. I am always so annoyed that reusable coffee cups end up leaking out of the lid after a few washes in the dishwasher but this one is supposed to hold up pretty well and was designed by Baristas so we will see 🙂 In this box I also got a full size lotion for sensitive skin, a yoga towel (for when I try to regain my muscle 😉 ) , a full size bag of delicious granola, cold eye patches, a hat and temporary tattoos. The only things that I won’t use are the temporary tattoos or the hat. The hat is really nice it is just not my style 🙂
2) Birchbox: Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of my Birchbox before I tore into it and tried out everything in the box. Since this box is different for everyone based on how you fill out the online profile I could not find any pictures of the one that I received online. I had gotten Birchbox before I had Isabella and loved it then so I was beyond excited when I found out that my husband got it for me 🙂 This box is only $10 a month and includes at least 4-5 samples. I loved everything in this box so much it was like they knew me when they picked it out lol. I received a travel size but still pretty large size jar of the Leave in conditioner that I use called “It’s a Ten” so I was really excited to get this. I also got a travel sized Lavender Shea butter hand lotion, BB cream, lip gloss and a face mask. This box was well worth the $10 and I can’t wait to see what I get from them next month, and I promise to take pictures then 🙂
3) Graze: This box sends 4 different healthy snacks every 2 weeks. They are single size servings and all of them were delicious! The cost for this box is $6.99 per box and since I get it twice a month I pay $14 per month. You can go onto their website and go through the different snacks that they have and click the ones that you are more interested in trying. I did this before this box was sent and they were spot on with the selections. I should get another one this week so I am excited to see what the 2nd box will be 🙂
4) Citrus Lane: This box is more focused to kids and was very cute for Isabella! I was nice to have something for her to have as new entertainment as we have spent more time in the house lately. Isabella received a very cute book, a wooden worm toy, a nice plate and hand sanitizer which is always good to have with kids. The book has been great but Isabella didn’t seem too interested in the toy, so we will see what is in next months box.
5) Happy Mommy Box: I also signed for the Happy Mommy Box this month and while I liked most of the items in the box I think that for the price it would be better to spend the extra money to get the PopSugar Must Have box. I felt that the quality of the items in the PopSugar box was better than the items in the Happy Mommy Box. This box cost $29 per month but they are actually ending the subscription service in March. In this box I got the paper calendar, printable, earrings, lollipops and a cute arrow necklace and workout headband as seen above. Instead of the hair ties I got a spice set which will be great to try when I am able to cook again. I will probably try this box again next month as I did really like the items in it, but if you are torn and can spend a few extra dollars, I would definitely recommend the PopSugar box over this one.
I hope that you enjoyed the review on the boxes, I will do another review next month 🙂
Unfortunately this pregnancy has not been going as smoothly as we had hoped. When I was 17 weeks pregnant I started having contractions and was quickly placed on modified bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy or until I am full term. I am now 23 weeks pregnant and luckily have not had anymore contractions since week 17 so we are hoping that it stays that way for a long time! Right now my goal is to make it to 32wks, since Isabella was born at 34wks I doubt that I will make it much further this time around but who knows. It would be great to make it full term but at this point I cant even think about that because it is still so far away. I am hoping to stay on modified bed rest at home for as long as I possibly can and it would be great to never have to go on strict bed rest or hospital bed rest but again we will see what happens.
I am still able to come downstairs in the morning and lay on the couch and Isabella keeps me entertained all day long 🙂 We also have gotten so lucky with timing in that my sister just graduated college in December and did not have a job lined up yet so she is now our live in Nanny during the week to take care of Isabella. She has been a lifesaver! I don’t know what we would have done without her!
The days have surprisingly been going very fast so far which is good considering I hopefully have 2-3 more months left. I am so grateful to all of the women that I have met in my Mom’s groups in the area! They have been so wonderful coming over for play dates and dropping off dinners. I am absolutely blown away by how kind and generous they have all been and it has made bed rest so much easier knowing that I have them visiting throughout the week 🙂 I have also been keeping “busy” by doing my nails often, eating lots of baked goods that my sister makes and catching up on lots and lots of reality tv. Bed rest was actually pretty awesome for about 3 weeks but it is getting very old and my hips and legs are getting very sore and I am antsy and frustrated that I cannot do much for myself. I absolutely cannot wait to just walk around like a normal person!
My sweet husband also surprised me with some box subscription services to help keep me entertained and give me something to look forward to each month. I will do a post this week about the ones that i have ordered and which ones I like the best.
I hope that everyone is having a wonderful new year and I will continue to update as often as I can from the couch 🙂
Also I can’t believe that I started this blog a year ago today with my post about Valentines Day decorations! Time really does fly 🙂
I have definitely missed writing in my blog the past few months but happily there is a good reason for my absence 😉 We are expecting baby #2!!
Unfortunately I have been much more sick this time around so I have been in survival mode the past 3 months trying to rest as much as I can while taking care of a toddler. I am definitely missing being able to lay in bed all weekend like I could when pregnant with Isabella!! Thankfully now that we are in our 2nd trimester I am feeling much better, just in time for Christmas 😉
The baby is due May 25th, 2015 and we are praying hard for a full term baby this time around! Isabella was born at 34wks 4 days after I started pre-term labor at 29 weeks and she ended up spending a week in the Nicu. I would definitely like to avoid the early contractions, hospital visits, bed rest, magnesium treatment and any Nicu stay this time around. We are going to keep our fingers crossed for an uneventful pregnancy! Although now that we have a toddler running around, a few days of bed rest doesn’t sound so bad 😉
We also found out that we are having a boy! We could not be more excited and I can’t wait to start shopping for little boy clothes and meet this little guy in May!
I have quite a few recipes and other posts that I will be sharing soon. I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving!
Photo Credit: (top 3 photos only) my wonderful friend and fabulous photographer Parker Slaton
I am definitely a planner when it comes to going on trips so I researched many different tips online before we headed down to Harry Potter World. Some of them were great and some of them were not good at all. I wanted to compile a list of what worked for us so that if you are considering visiting Harry Potter World you have a better idea of what to expect and hopefully I can use this list to go back again one day 🙂
The biggest challenge when visiting Harry Potter World were the massive crowds that were in both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Universal kept things very well organized and tried to minimize lines etc the best they could, but they could only do so much. Here are some things that we found that worked for us to make dealing with the crowds more bearable.
Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts
1) Between 2-5pm are when this ride has the lowest wait times. Weird I know as every tip I read said to go early in the morning or late at night, one of the employees recommended this to us and he was right! The first day we tried to ride this at 8pm (park closed at 10pm) and the ride was closed because the line had reached 2 1/2 hours, ugh. However we decided to try again early in the morning anyway, lining up at the entrance of the park around 8:30am (park opened at 9am) the line was already insane to get in and everyone was headed to Diagon Alley. When we got up to the line it was already a 2 1/2 hour wait time!! Later in the day between 2-5pm the time got down to 75 minutes so that was definitely the best time to ride this ride!
2). Ride the Single rider lines as much as possible. When we got up to the front of the line and the wait was 2 1/2 hours we hopped into the single rider line and were on the ride in a little over 30 minutes. We rode twice through the single rider and both times it was about a 30 minute wait time. We also rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden journey about 6 or 7 times with a 10 minute wait using the single rider line.
3) If you choose to go in the morning, hop onto the single rider line and then go explore the rest of Universal for a few hours. Diagon Alley was the first place that everyone went to, once we went on the ride we were able to explore the rest of Universal with virtually no wait times.
4)Once you have done everything that you could possibly want to do, if the wait time is 90 minutes or so than hop onto the regular line for Gringotts. It is still a long wait but you can grab a beer or butter beer while you wait outside. As with the Hogwarts ride the single rider line does skip some fun things. You will get to walk through the bank, get your picture taken for an “ID”, see the bank “offices” and meet a goblin. There is also a small ride in the elevator that is pretty fun. It is definitely not worth more than 2 hours to wait and see all of this but if you have done everything else you want to do in the park and the wait time is 90 minutes or less than it is a worthwhile experience.
Three Broomsticks and Leaky Cauldron
1) The food at both the Three Broomsticks and Leaky Cauldron was better than expected. It is traditional British food and we were pleasantly surprised that most dishes came with either a side salad or vegetables. Definitely stop by at either of these restaurants for the both the experience and the food, they will not dissapoint!
2) When dining at the Leaky Cauldron bring a sweater. It was so unbearably cold in this restaurant that we had goosebumps and could not wait to get out of there. They must have had the air set at 50 degrees. I am sure that they did this to keep people moving and it did work as the wait time at 12pm was only 15 minutes. If you do have room to bring a sweater than you will be able to sit and relax a little longer and actually enjoy the experience and food in this restaurant. The food was great so it was unfortunate that we could not wait to get out of there!
Diagon Alley vs. Hogsmeade
1) Visit Hogsmeade early in the morning or late at night, the wait times for the rides are shorter and there is less shade in Hogsmeade than in Diagon Alley making it VERY hot to walk around. We found that we spent most of our time in Diagon Alley during the day as it was much more shaded and has the air conditioned Knockturn Alley to hop into. We also went in August so it may not be as bad other times of the year.
1) If you have an American Express credit card than use it! American Express is the preferred card in Universal and they always have promotions going on. While we were there I was able to get 10% off of food in the restaurants and 10% off of some merchandise. I was able to save a few dollars but if you have a family of four it could save you quite a bit of money.
2) American Express Lounge: Universal also has a somewhat hidden lounge for American Express cardholders. We visited the lounge on our first day and it was a great break to be able to sit in Air conditioning, and grab some free bottled water and snacks. This is a great perk if you plan on spending the whole day at the park and need a break and don’t want to spend anymore money 😉 It is located across from the Shrek souvenir store but we still had to ask an employee where to find it as it was kind of hidden. Also make sure to purchase your Universal ticket with an American Express card because the concierge with check both your Amex card and ticket.
I hope that you enjoyed reading my recaps of Harry Potter World as well as the few tips that we found worked for us. Thanks for reading!
We have definitely been enjoying summer over here although I am ready for some cooler fall weather and pumpkin spice lattes 😉 This month Isabella spent a lot of time at my parents house as we went away on a few trips to live it up before Santi begins grad school. As I said before, she is obsessed with being outside so she has a great time in their backyard, pool and on their neighborhood beach 🙂
15 Month Stats (August 19th)
Height: 28 1/2 inches Weight: 19lbs 2 oz Clothing size: 12 month or 12-18 month Teeth: 2 bottom teeth, hoping for some new ones soon! New Skills: This isn’t really a new skill but we are completely done with breastfeeding! She hasn’t nursed in a month and weaning her actually went smoother than I expected, thank goodness! This month she is learning to sit on things by herself. She loved sitting on the rock at my parents house in the picture above or any small chairs she can find 🙂
Fun facts from this month: Her favorite thing is still being outside, which is why I am really looking forward to cooler and less humid weather! She also loves dogs or puppies and gets really excited when she sees them in real life or on tv or books. She also just started trying to “woof” like a dog whenever she sees them, it is too cute! Her language skills are also picking up, she now says around 15 or so different words that we can understand. It is nice to be able to know what she wants and to have her tell us. Except when she is constantly saying “outside” and we don’t want to take her out 😉 We love our sweet girl!
I have been trying to get this post out all week but have been having problems with WordPress, sorry for the delay!
We actually started off our trip at Hogsmeade, we knew that we needed to try to hop onto the ride in Hogwarts “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey”. While the wait time for the ride was 45 minutes long, as you wait in line you are walking through Hogwarts Castle so you get to see the classroom for Herbology, Defense against the Dark Arts, Dumbledore’s office and many other things. It makes the wait time fly by! We actually did the regular line twice for this ride and then rode it a few more times on the single rider line which was about a 10 minute wait but skipped all of the tour throughout Hogwarts.
They also had a hologram of Harry, Ron and Hermione that spoke during the tour in the Defense against the dark arts classroom so that was fun to see. The ride itself was incredible! I think that I liked the Gringott’s Bank ride a little bit more because it was more of a thriller but this ride is a very very close second and cannot be missed!
After we bee-lined it to the ride we then grabbed a butter beer and walked throughout Hogsmeade. We got to see the Frog Choir sing which was awesome, I took a few videos but forgot to take actual pictures of them! We then checked out all of the various shops and Hagrids House and had lunch at the Three Broomsticks. The food there was better and healthier than we expected which was nice 🙂
It was nice that they had Hogsmeade setup like it was winter time, because when we looked at the snow topped stores we could “almost” pretend that we were not in the 95 degree Florida sun 😉
After walking around Hogsmeade we headed onto the Hogwarts Express which was new and opened along with Diagon Alley this year. The train goes back and forth between Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley and we rode it back and forth several times throughout our trip. It is a great way to get between the two areas and is basically a fun ride in itself 🙂
They had the horseless carriage setup by the train station and it moved like an invisible horse was pulling it. Again they did such an incredible job with all of the details in this park!
The train ride was incredible, you sit in a train car just like in the movie and they have scenes playing outside of the window that make it look like you are actually riding from Hogsmeade to Kings Cross Station. Not only did they have the scenes playing outside of the window but they had shadowy scenes being acted outside of the door of each train car with things that happened in the book. It is kind of hard to explain but it was unreal how incredible and detailed it was. We rode the train both ways several times and the scenes and shadows are different each way, incredible!
When you ride the train from Kings Cross station they have you “walk through” a wall between station number 9 and 10 and to the people in the back of the line it looks like you are actually walking through a wall! The station itself is very cool and is setup like a modern London station and even has a snack cart in the waiting area.
This trip was so much fun! It was great to go with my sister who is also a big Harry Potter fan and to be able to visit the new Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express was great. We will definitely be back one day 🙂
I can’t believe that it has been so long since I have blogged, July just flew by! We have been trying to fit in as many fun things as we can before Santi starts grad school this fall. We went away for the weekend in DC to celebrate my 30th(!) birthday at the end of the July and we spent the rest of the month enjoying summer or battling sickness.
One of the fun trips that I was able to go on was to visit Harry Potter World this past weekend with my sister. We are big Harry Potter fans and have read all of the books and seen all of the movies so this is somewhere that we have wanted to visit for a long time. I have a ton of pictures so I will break up this trip into 3 different posts. One will be about Diagon Alley which just opened, the 2nd will be about Hogsmeade as well as Kings Cross Station/Hogwarts Express and a 3rd with some tips about visiting in case you are planning on going there. I also want to write a post about tips in case I get the opportunity to go back so that I can remember them 😉
Diagon Alley opened up about a month ago and it is beyond amazing! This picture is of the back end of the entrance to the Alley. The details that Universal put into all of Harry Potter world are just incredible. My sister and I stepped off the Hogwarts Express and could not figure where Diagon Alley was located. They have it behind a hidden wall in “downtown London” near the train station, just like in the book.
There are so many adorable little shops in Diagon Alley and they all look just like I would have pictured them from the books. My sister and I spent many hours just walking through the Alley looking at all of the shops and different details in the windows. They also had various shows that were performed on the stage in Diagon Alley and of course we drank quite a bit of Butter Beer, which was delicious and very refreshing in the 90 degree Florida sun 🙂
There is a cute little show that they do in Ollivander’s Wand Shop where Ollivander chooses someone out of the group and has a demonstration on how the wand chooses the “wizard”. It was cute to watch and while we did not get wands (I am 30 years old now haha) the park had several different spots throughout Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade where you could stand and wave your wand and it would make different things happen. Such as turning on the lights in a store front, squirt water out of a fountain, makes things move in storefront windows, they could also make an umbrella out front of the restrooms sprinkle water and many other different things. It was very very cute and these are some of the details that just made the park incredible.
Diagon Alley also has a separate Knockturn Alley which is very impressive to walk through and also air conditioned 🙂 In the books this part of the town is full of some seedy characters and holds several of the dark arts shops. They keep it dark in Knockturn Alley so my pictures didn’t come out great but it was very cool to visit.
Gringotts Bank was one of the major highlights of Diagon Alley, the Dragon blows fire every 15-20 minutes and the ride “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts” was probably the best ride I have ever been on. The wait for this ride is unreal, we saw it go up to a 3 hour wait at one point but I do have some tips on how to make the wait time shorter which I will include on my tips post.
Inside of the bank they had several Goblins working and they all looked different and so real and every now and then they would look at you. It was kind of creepy how realistic they were 🙂 There is also a separate small Gringotts bank where you are able to change money into Gringotts bank notes in denominations of $10 and you can spend them throughout Universal.
That is the quick summary of our time at Diagon Alley, it was way more incredible than I could have imagined. We were also able to stay until it was dark one night and it was so beautiful and magical with all the storefronts lit up. Universal did an amazing job with all of the different details throughout this part of the park and even if you are not a Harry Potter fan anyone would find this place magical and fun to visit!