Engagement Gifts

My husband and I have been married fir 5 years.  Majority of our friends are not married and only dating.   In the past 5 years, only three of our friends have gotten married.  This past month two of our friends have gotten engaged.  We couldn’t be more happy to help celebrate our friends engagement.

One of my closets friends got engaged on Christmas to her boyfriend of 3 years.  We could not be more excited for her.  When we met up after Christmas, I made an engagement basket with goodies for the newly engaged couple.  Inside the basket, I had a mug that said Mrs., two bridal magazines, Proseco and a frame to frame their first photo together as an engaged couple.   Below is a photo of the basket and what it looked like.

 

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Another one of our friends also got engaged this month.  For her, I made a bag filled with goodies as well.  Some of the goodies were two mugs that said Mrs and Mr, a frame and Proseco to toast their engagement.

It has been fun gifting our friends on their engagements.  Engagements are such a wonderful time in a couples life.  Its a celebration of their love and getting ready for the next big adventure that awaits them: marriage.   I hope these ideas help you create your own engagement gifts for a special friend.  Happy gifting.

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2nd Baby Gender Reveal

When my husband and I got pregnant the second time, we knew that we definitely wanted to know the sex of the baby.  We also wanted to make sure to reveal it to our family and friends. I definitely didn’t want to do something that people I know did.   A few people had done the cake where the inside the color of a boy or girl.  Others had done a box with balloons inside that are the color of a boy or girl.   I like to be different.  My husband and I were watching a Disney movie “Princess Diaries”, and when the character and her mother are throwing darts at balloons filled with paint, that was when I got the idea to do that as a gender reveal.

I picked up a science poster board and used letter cutouts to write the words. The middle part of the board had he or she and a question mark.  The sides had one for a boy and one for girl and our guests voted on what they thought our second baby was going to be.   When we went to the doctor to find out what the sex of the baby was, we picked up black balloons and the color paint.  We filled the balloon with the paint and placed it in the middle part.

Our guests came to a gender reveal BBQ.  We had BBQ food for our guests.  Before the dessert, we did our reveal.  We taped up the poster board on a door.  My husband took darts and threw them at the black balloon.  And surprise to everyone.  It was another boy.   We couldn’t be more happy to welcome a second boy into our family.

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Secret snowflake

This was the first secret snowflake event that I took part in at work.  It’s like secret santa.  We did the even for a week. The first 4 days we get gifts that are up to $3. The last day is up to $15.   I, of course, went to Pinterest to get ideas. I found a lot of great ideas. Below are the gifts that I got my secret snowflake.

Day 1- fudge mix

Day 2- extra gum

Day 3- a box of 6 hot chocolates mixes

Day 4- a whisk with Hershey kisses

Day 5- a winter hat, chapstick, sugar cookie mix and a spatula

My secret snowflake loved her gifts. I wanted to give her something that she could use. Hope this inspires you.

Christmas Lights

December is a great month because as the song goes “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.    People decorate both the inside and outside of the house with lights.  December is a very festive month.   Growing up, my parents would take us to look at all the decorations and how other people decorate their homes for the holidays.  People visit Manhattan during this month to visit the Rockfeller Center Tree and explore the city with their lights.   I always enjoyed this tradition with my parents.  It made it a lot of fun to take time out of our day to just walk around and enjoy the lights.

As we got older that stopped.   I did go into Manhattan to see the Rockfeller Center Tree but it was not always.  It was always something that I wanted to go back to.   I know that when I would come home from school or work in December, I would look at the lights around me.  It was beautiful.  The beautiful colors everywhere made it feel like a fairy tale.

This year was the first year that we started this lights tradition with our son.  Our son was too small the past year.  This year, we decided to walk around the neighborhood.  Something that my parents had done with me.  When we took our walk to look at all the lights, I have never seen a child more excited than him.   My son was saying “ohh” and “ahh” every time we pasted a house with new lights.  He was amazed at the simple experience of walking and looking at the lights.  I even took some photos of him and he would pose for the photos without any issues.   As my husband and I were walking with our boys, it made me realize how important it is to do simple things with your children.  My son has many toys and books to keep him entertained, but the simple idea of looking at Christmas lights was better than anything else.   This is just the start of a wonderful tradition to do with our boys. Start a tradition with your family that you can do yearly and make it special because those are the moments that you will remember forever.  The feeling of joy from the simple things.

Baby Sprinkle

What is proper ethic for having a party to honor your second born? Do you have a baby shower? Do you create a registry? Those were the questions that I had when we got pregnant with our second child.  Our second pregnancy was great because we found out that we were going to have another boy. Our son was going to be a big brother to his brother.

We did create a registry but it only had things that we really needed. It wasn’t much because I saved everything from my first pregnancy.  Having another boy also limited to what we really needed. We asked our guests to bring diapers and wipes because the reality of it is that you use a lot of diapers and wipes the first year.

My husband and I decided to have a baby Sprinkle which just showed how much we love the second  child. When you’re pregnant with the first, you get everything and then there’s nothing for the second. The baby Sprinkle was themed with ice cream and donuts. It was in the summer so it fit great. We had an ice cream bar with different kinds of ice cream as well as toppings. Everyone loved it.

 

We had plain blocks and asked our guests to create a block which our second son will use when he gets older.  Our favors were mason jars filled with sugar cookie mix and sprinkles. I created labels with the ingredients and directions to make the cookies. That was a huge hit. I hope this inspires you to create your own baby Sprinkle for your second bundle of joy. We can’t forget the second baby that comes into our lives. Happy creating!

Second Pregnancy

My husband and I started planning baby #2 in the winter.  We knew that we wanted to have more children.  Of course there’s a lot to think about when planning to extend you’re family.  Money is always the question. It is important to have that figured out.

I worried how my first born was going to handle being a sibling.  We made sure to let him know that he is special and important to us.  While pregnant with my second child, we made sure to read books to our first born.  We told him that he’s going to be a big brother.  We let him touch my belly and kiss it. It was amazing to see how he reacted to my baby bump.  Towards the end was when he would kiss my belly every day.  Every time there was a pampers commercial, we told him that he’s going to have a brother like that very soon.  I have to say that it worked.  When our second son was born, my first born reacted in a way that shocked all us.  The first day was rough at the hospital put that changed the second day.  The second day, when he came to the hospital, the first thing that he did was come over and give his brother a kiss. Everyone that was at the hospital was in complete shock. We never thought that a child of all most 2 years old, would react that way.

Things have changed but not too much.  My son still goes to his brother every day and kisses him often.  Every morning he sits on a chair and wants his brother to sit with him and then I have to take a photo of them.  It’s amazing to see this relationship start the way that it has. My only hope is that it never ends and they continue to love one another.

There are challenges of course. My husband works nights so I’m home with the boys.  It’s a challenge to bathe them.  The other most difficult challenge is making sure that my first born understands that we love him the same and nothing has changed.  We just have to give the newborn a little bit more attention. We try our best and we are learning as we go along.  I of course wouldn’t change this experience for anything. I love my boys so much and look forward to the next few years of amazing experiences and challenges that come our way.  I will blog about theses challenges and experiences.

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is a nice coastal place to visit.  I’ve always wanted to go to Maine and Portland was the closets to New York. Our hotel was the Hyatt and it was in Old Port. That’s where all the major places to visit are.  The Hyatt was nice.  Parking was either self which was $20 a night or valet which was $22 a night. The lot that they used was a block away.  We valeted because it was easier for us.  They had breakfast every morning which was nice. They had toast, English Muffins, cereal, eggs and so many other choices.  Our room had the view of the bay.  They also had a pool and fitness center. We used the pool. It was small up to 4 feet only.

The day that we arrived it was raining but we were able to get a few things done.  For lunch we went to Duck Fat which we had to wait 20 minutes because it is a popular spot.  When we sat down to eat, we had Beglian fries and pouting fries. They were very good. They were cooked twice in duck fat.  We all had sandwiches. Their menu is small because it’s a quick eats place. It still was a very nice place and the food was good.

When the rain stopped, we walked around the old port. We found some souvenir stores. I always enjoy looking for magnets and ornaments from places. The one place that I found all my souvenirs was in a place called The Blue Lobster.   We of course found a lot of ice cream places and had some ice cream before dinner.  Dinner was an adventure. We went to J’s Oysters and we were told  there was a 30 minute wait. We waited an hour to get seated. When we went inside there were empty tables. We were really upset about the service at J’s. I had a lobster pasta which was good.  The view was nice though.  See the photo below.

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The next day we visited Cape Elizabeth (see blog before this one).  We came back and then went to the Portland Science Center which had a special show in of Pirates. These were artifacts from a ship that was lost which was taken over by Sam Bellamy. It was really cool to learn about pirates life. I learned things that I didn’t know.  That was a nice experience.  We really enjoyed Portland, Maine. It’s a nice town to visit for a  few days.  Happy travels.