First Year Baby Scrapbook Album {GUEST POST}

Today may be the first time you’re hearing this guest poster’s words but you’re already familiar with her beautiful work. Elizabeth’s handmade creations have been featured on my blog for years now, always in the Handmade with Love series, as this woman is as thoughtful and crafty as they come. Her creative talents are endless, her heart is huge and I’m happy to call her a friend! Check out the adorable gift she made yet another lucky recipient!  

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

Hello SOTD Readers! Elizabeth here with today’s post … a fast and fun baby album … which seems only appropriate given that I’m guest posting for the reason of a new baby’s arrival. : )

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

I created this “First Year” album for the grandbaby of a dear friend of mine. It’s designed so that his mom can quickly add a monthly photo or two and some journaling highlights of the month’s accomplishments.

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

Ease of completion is crucial … since we all know that new moms have to get everything done one-handed and under the effects of extreme sleep-deprivation.

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

Speaking of completion ease … that’s also my mantra for making albums of this type. I like to formulate … well … a formula … so that I can put the pages together in an assembly line-like fashion.

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

For this album, both the title and ending pages follow a similar design structure and all the filler pages have a similar set-up as well. You’ll notice the repeating elements of matted squares, stars embellished with buttons, large numbers and month labels.

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

My inspiration for the color scheme and pattern paper choices came from the package of large number and label die cuts I found at my local crafts store.

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

I really like the spin on the traditional baby boy color combination … that lime green, teal and lemon yellow are fresh and yummy … just like new babies. : )

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

Not pictured are the filler pages that face the numbered month pages. They are made of simple pattern paper blocks and two mats for photo and journaling.

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

The last element I’ll call your attention to is the machine stitching. I. Love. Machine. Stitching. Can’t use it enough … it adds texture without bulk and lessens the need for adhesive.

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

Plus … I just adore how it finishes off the edges with a crisp border. Yep. It’s love. Truly. Madly. Deeply.

Baby's First Year Scrapbook Album Gift |

Well thanks SOTD readers for letting me share this quick baby album with you. I hope you find an element or two to use on your next album project. Happy creating!


Introducing the newest Spot of Tea Designs Contributor

One week ago I welcomed the newest and youngest Spot of Tea Designs contributor… my second daughter! For those who love to read a birth story, here’s the condensed timeline of a now popular date in our household:

Set up a tripod and use a remote shutter to capture an intimate family celebration, such as the blowing out of birthday candles |

After a fun day celebrating Brielle’s actual birthday, which included some water play fun and an ice cream cake, we put our officially two year old to bed to settle down for the night. That was 7pm. At 7:20pm, my 40 week and 4 day belly had its first contraction. By 10:30 they were at the 5-1-1 timeframe so we made the (uncomfortable) 20 minute trek to the hospital. Upon being checked in I was at 8cm and told I was probably not going to be an epidural. Crying, screaming and an unplanned unmedicated labor continues for me.

Announce a new baby's arrival with a custom name banner for the hospital crib #baby |

At 11:50pm Hailey made her entrance to the world, making it a shared birthday with her older sister! The girl just didn’t want to wait the extra ten minutes to make it a separate day. Everyone thinks it’s so special and cool but I’m not convinced. Yes, one birthday party when they’re young but I’m sure there will be issues on a shared date when they’re older. We shall see!

Meet Baby Hailey, the newest contributor for

Please excuse any lapse in communication or weak social media sharing over the next few days/weeks until we settle into a new routine as a family of four. Luckily I was able to schedule a few posts ahead of time and received help from some great family and friends who are sharing some fun content with my readers!


A New Fall Wardrobe with Osh Kosh B’Gosh #backtobgosh #ic #ad

Disclosure: I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for OshKosh B’Gosh. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. Know that I only promote items we use and enjoy! Read my disclosure policy here.

Review of the latest @OshKosh Fall Fashions #backtobgosh #boshjenuis #ic #ad |

When we were expecting Brielle we were luckily given lots of cute new clothes at my baby shower and useful hand me downs from family and friends. So much so that I didn’t really pick out her style for her first year! Now that she’s older that stock of gently used (and usually super cute clothes) has come to an end, so I’m now been able to pick out her wardrobe!

Review of the latest @OshKosh Fall Fashions #backtobgosh #boshjenuis #ic #ad |

Back in March I shared some new spring fashions we picked up and now I’m happy to showcase some new fall accessories she’ll be rocking in the near future! All of these fall clothes were courtesy of OshKosh B’gosh!

Review of the latest @OshKosh Fall Fashions #backtobgosh #boshjenuis #ic #ad |

Like most toddlers, Brielle can sometimes be a challenge to dress. Stretchy mix and match separates are a must for her wardrobe, like these tunic and legging combos.

Review of the latest @OshKosh Fall Fashions #backtobgosh #boshjenuis #ic #ad |

They look so comfy and allow her to move and be her active self. Some of the new designs have basic stripes with fun color combos like you see above but others include trendy typographic designs that appeal to this graphic designer’s heart.

Review of the latest @OshKosh Fall Fashions #backtobgosh #boshjenuis #ic #ad |

“Peace, Love & Glitter” is a great phrase for a daughter of a crafty mom, don’t you think? :)

Review of the latest @OshKosh Fall Fashions #backtobgosh #boshjenuis #ic #ad |

We all know that Osh Kosh is known for their quality blue jeans and world’s best overalls so I was excited to finally have one for her! I picked up this super cute JUMPERALL! Yes, it’s not overalls or a jumper but a JUMPERALL people! I didn’t know this fashion term existed and was educated on it during my shopping experience.

Review of the latest @OshKosh Fall Fashions #backtobgosh #boshjenuis #ic #ad |

And look how stinking cute and versatile it is, going with warmer weather combos or dressed up for the cooler fall.

Review of the latest @OshKosh Fall Fashions #backtobgosh #boshjenuis #ic #ad |

Brielle’s favorite part of the items I picked out from the new collection? These sparkly Mary Jane shoes, of course. She was obsessed with wearing them while we were trying on her clothes.

Review of the latest @OshKosh Fall Fashions #backtobgosh #boshjenuis #ic #ad |

While at checkout I was asked if I wanted to take part in the B’gosh Jeanius campaign, which is raising money and collecting jean donations to help kids in need via K.I.D.S/Fashion Delivers and All the jeans collected from now until September 16th will be delivered to local children in need and the cash donations will be dispersed to local locations. Even better, the Carters Charitable foundation will match all cash donations (up to $50K) and denim donations so there will be twice as many kids who will benefit from this campaign!

Review of the latest @OshKosh Fall Fashions #backtobgosh #boshjenuis #ic #ad |

The great folks at Osh Kosh B’Gosh wanted to make sure you didn’t break the bank to have your kids dressed cute this fall so they’ve generously given me a special coupon for you to use! To learn more about the fall styles at Osh Kosh B’Gosh this season, check out their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, You Tube or Instagram!


Two Years with Brielle: RECAP review of @Carters Spring Collection #SpringIntoCarters

Without Brielle, I wouldn’t be sharing all the parenting content I’ve learned over the past two years. Just as I did last August 21st, I’m celebrating my little miss’s birthday with a fun recap on how much she’s grown this past year with her many blog appearances!

Family Weekend at Dover International Speedway @Monster Mile #FedEx400 #ic #ad |

Brielle was outdoors often, enjoying traditional toddler activities in our backyard or family friendly events, like her first Nascar race this past May!

Easter Egg Garland Kids Craft using crayon resist and watercolor paint technique |

She expanded her artistic abilities trying out watercolors, salt dough ornaments, and yet more fingerpainting creations!

Toddler Craft Activity: #Disney Contact paper play |

She even introduced her cousins to the fun of sun catcher crafts and contact paper play!

#Pregnancy Reveal Announcement Cards from @TinyPrints featuring a handmade onesie shirt |

Maternity Photo Shoot for Baby #2. #photography #maternity |

She helped our family make a big announcement!

#DIY Strawberry #Halloween Costume for a Toddler |

She was the cutest little strawberry you ever saw this Halloween!

Why I treated my mom to a decadent dessert from @SharisBerries this #MothersDay |

She helped with many of our product testing opportunities, including modeling her Carters Spring wear, safely sleeping in her HALO Early Walker Sleepsack, and sampling the yummy Shari’s Berries on Mother’s Day!

Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party |

We’re so happy to have you in our life! Happy 2nd Birthday Brielle!


8 Steps to Planning and Decorating Your Nursery

8 Steps to Planning and Decorating your #Nursery |

For me, one of the most fun parts in expecting a little one was to plan and decorate their nursery. Here are the eight steps I follow in decorating these fun spaces, but really these tips can be used to decorate any space in your home.

Before going any further, mom-to-be, please read my Tips for Setting Up Your Nursery post which may call attention to some safety issues you may not have considered before. They won’t be immobile babies forever!

Create a room diagram showing furniture placement when planning a baby nursery |

  1. Measure the room and draw up a diagram. Measure each wall. Measure the heights and widths of windows for curtain decorations. Make sure to draw in any electric outlets and air vents so you know any limitations in those spaces. I went high tech with a digital design done in my graphics program but you can rock it old school with a simple pencil drawing too! Here’s the key takeaway: email yourself the final diagram so you always have it on hand if you’re out shopping!Under the Sea #Nursery Color Palette - @DecoArt_Inc Americana Acrylic Paint |
  2. Choose a theme and color palette. Consider these points: are the walls already painted a color you like? Do you have a childhood item, favorite textile pattern or wall art you want to use as inspiration? Does your family have a specific interest you’d like to pass onto your child (favorite sport/sports team), hobby (fishing), or destination (beach)? Hit up Pinterest and work up your secret board of nursery ideas!
  3. Paint the walls. If you’re doing something different than what was already there, now’s the time to paint the wall and get your blank space ready!Gender Neutral Sea Turtle Baby Nursery Reveal: Greens, creams and light browns |
  4. Buy the furniture. Start with the big ticket items that take up the most room and ask yourself “what furniture pieces will make the room functional?” Consider the basics like a crib, changing area, and chair for mom. If you have a larger room, you can also add things like toy chests and bookshelves.
  5. Once furniture has been purchased, tape it off in the room! There may be a delay in furniture shipment, but don’t let that stop you from moving forward in the creative planning process. Use your painter’s tape to lay out the shape of furniture on the floor/walls to get a better idea what you have to work with. The room will always feel tighter with furniture in it so this may stop you from overbuying!Gender Neutral Modern Animal #Nursery |
  6. Accessorize! After the bigger ticket items, you can focus on the fun stuff: the cute accessories! For textiles, consider a soft rug for baby to crawl on, curtains to block out light while they’re sleeping, crib sheet and crib skirt to decorate their bed space, and a coordinating changing pad cover. Add bookends, a garbage can, laundry basket or hamper, wall art items, or picture frames to complete your look! Tip: Just like my step # 5, use scrap paper cut to the size of any wall art and your painter’s tape to temporarily hang up any wall art before putting holes in the wall.


  7. Buy or DIY. If you’re a crafty mom, it’s time hand craft some items for little miss or mister. If you’d rather buy than DIY, get shopping! If you want that crafty look but don’t have the time/talent, consider shopping on etsy for custom handmade work to make the room complete! If desired, don’t forget to personalize their space with something stating their name or initial, much like the yarn wrapped letters I made for Brielle’s room.
  8. Assemble, accessorize, hang and prepare! All your hard work of researching, analyzing, pinning and buying is about to pay off! With all your temporary markings in place, go ahead and start nailing in the walls, assembling the furniture and washing those newly purchased sheets!

Now you’re on your way to a beautiful space for your little miss or mister!

Want to see more inspiring nurseries featured on this post? Check out Lauren & Frank’s Beach Themed Nursery, Allie & Tim’s Modern Animal Themed Room or Brielle’s Grey, Pink and White Nursery!



Sweet and Feminine Baby Shower {GUEST POST}

Sweet and Feminine Girl #BabyShower #Party |

A few weeks back I shared an EXPLOSIVE gender reveal party from Sara where she learned her daughter, Alyssa, was expecting a baby girl. Now that they knew the gender, a sweet pink and feminine filled baby shower was to follow!

After finding out my future grandchild was going to be a girl, I chose a theme of “butterflies and flowers” in a white and pink color palette for Alyssa’s baby shower. It was my intention to make everything as feminine as possible!


Sweet and Feminine Girl #BabyShower #Party Placecards |

As people entered the shower, they found their seat location via place cards with pink footprints. The picture decorating the table included the prospective parents holding the girl shoes displayed at the Gender Reveal party.

Sweet and Feminine Girl #BabyShower #Party Diaper Cake Decorations |

Diaper cake table centerpieces included nosegay and butterfly accents while picket fence baskets held balloons to give the decorations more height.


Sweet and Feminine Girl #BabyShower #Party Dessert Table |

The pink and feminine theme continued to the coordinated dessert table as well.

Sweet and Feminine Girl #BabyShower #Party Dessert Table Details |

The center included a yellow cake with ricotta filling that my girlfriend and I put together. The white and pink fondant covered cake included more nosegay, butterfly and floral accents. Cupcakes were displayed in fun floral cupcake wrappers found at the local craft store.

Sweet and Feminine Girl #BabyShower #Party Chocolate Covered Oreos |

Pink cake pops, white and pink chocolate dipped Oreos, and beautifully decorate butterfly cookies rounded out this sweet dessert display. White and floral platters, trays and cake stands continued the color palette and theme throughout the party.

Sweet and Feminine Girl #BabyShower #Party Dessert Table details |

A white vase was filled with “flowers” I made from baby washcloths and toothbrush stems.


Sweet and Feminine Girl #BabyShower #Party Guestbook |

Like most baby showers, we planned a few games and activities to entertain guests. As an alternative to a traditional guestbook, attendees were asked to write a message to the baby on punched circle shapes. After they were all filled out, these random pieces were put together to create a fun keepsake from the party. This picture hangs in the baby’s nursery today.

Sweet and Feminine Girl #BabyShower #Party Alphabet Book activity |

Guests also helped put together an “Alphabet Book” for the baby.  Everyone received a page with a letter on it, and they had to either write or draw as many items that began with that particular letter.  The pages were put into an album for the baby to “read” someday.

Besides these two creative activities, guests also played “Guess the Celebrity Baby Name” and a game where everyone had to guess the meaning of different names. For this second game, we actually created the list using names of all the attending guests!


Sweet and Feminine Girl #BabyShower #Party Guest Favors |

Each guest left with a bottle of pink nail polish to remember Alyssa’s special day. The gingham print “It’s a Girl Thing” tag included a small jewel to continue the sweet and feminine theme!


Use Your Stash Challenge: Sweet Treats Sticker

Use Your Stash Challenge: 3 handmade cards using 1 chocolate and cupcake themed sticker set |

The summer months bring about a few birthdays for some close friends, all women who of course all love chocolate and sweets!

Use Your Stash Challenge: 3 handmade cards using 1 chocolate and cupcake themed sticker set |

Since my stock of handmade birthday cards, I searched through my collection and pulled out one I LOVE that I’ve been hoarding lovingly been holding onto for the perfect use.

Use Your Stash Challenge: 3 handmade cards using 1 chocolate and cupcake themed sticker set |

I mean how cute are these cupcakes and sweet treat themed designs from K&Company?

Use Your Stash Challenge: 3 handmade cards using 1 chocolate and cupcake themed sticker set |

Pair them with some great stripes and textured patterned papers and I was good to go with a few new card designs for my dessert loving friends.

Happy Birthday Aimee, Allie and Vanessa!


Elmo Birthday Party: The Full Party Details

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links. Know that I only promote products I personally use and stand behind. To learn more about my affiliates, please review my disclosure policy here.
Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party |

Since I was due with baby #2 within days of Brielle’s actual 2nd birthday, we planned to have a party for her a few weeks earlier so she could have her special day. Elmo was the theme due to her recent obsession with the red haired monster. (Is he considered a “monster”?)


#DIY Elmo #SesameStreet #Party #Invitations using punched shapes |

As previously shared, I was able to quickly whip up these Elmo themed invites for the party using my collection of paper punches from my days at EK Success.


Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party - DIY Elmo Pom Pom decor |

It was a rather small party so no need for crazy amounts of centerpieces or decorations. I was, however, finally able to use these red tissue pom poms I’ve been holding onto for a while and turn them into Elmo designs to decorate and hang in our backyard space.

Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party - dessert table |

Like any Pinterest fan, I craved to have a cute coordinated dessert table for our party with a yellow, orange and red color palette. I used the high countertop space in our kitchen for my stage. Two Elmo pom poms hung from our pendant lights, which I turned into “party hats” with some wrapping paper. Again, my toddler LOVED that they were wearing hats.

Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party - handmade party banner |

In between I strung a “TWO” banner which was repurposed from the “One” high chair banner I used in last year’s Pinwheel First Birthday party.

Food and Drink:

Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party - dessert table including Elmo cupcakes |

The main meal consisted of the typical summer BBQ meal: hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad and baked beans. But dessert was where I got a little creative.

Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party - @Elmo cupcakes |

I did my best to make Elmo themed cupcakes, inspired by this design from Make it & Love It. They brought about our love of Oreos used in desserts and a different size of those Wilton Large Candy Eyeballs I had previously used for my Monster Pretzel Rods last Halloween! (Tip: I decorated these the night before and the black part of the sugar eyes bled a little bit, I think because they soaked up the dampness of the icing overnight! When I use these eyes in the future, I’ll apply them the morning of the party!)

Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party = Elmo cupcakes |

The kids LOVED them, not only for their likeness to Elmo, but also because they are made of CAKE!


With a summer birthday it can be expected that water play would be a big activity. This year I set up “Brielle’s water park” aka her Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Blossom Bright Sprinkler, Step 2 Water Table and many of the other accessories already showcased in my Favorite Backyard Toys for Toddlers post. The older boy cousins especially loved running around in the sprinkler.

Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party - craft activity |

Since we’re a crafty family I also made time for a quick and easy craft for the kids. I picked up these paint with water books from the dollar store and manned the table with little cups of water. Once they completed their “paintings” we hung them on the string to display their Elmo art. They were very proud. :)

Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party - Colored ice water activity for kids |

Knowing that all of these kids love ice and seeing what happens when you throw it in water (based on previous hang outs this summer), I picked up two cheap ice cube trays from the dollar store and made a few batches of colored ice for another party activity.

Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party - Outdoor ice play activity for kids |

We brought out this color ice array and let them have fun with plastic cups and serving utensils in and out of the water table and little pool. It was a HIT!


Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party - Elmo favor buckets |

Only our immediate family members were invited which gave a manageable total of 5 kids in attendance. AC Moore had these red beach buckets on sale which were easily turned into Elmo themed favor containers for all her first cousins using the same punch art technique I did on the invite. I designed Sesame Street sign inspired tags which included each child’s name (of course making sure Brielle got an “Elmo bucket” for herself). Each bucket included items like an Elmo coloring book and rainbow sidewalk chalk for the big kids and a pack of Happy Family Yogurt Melts for my four month old nephew.

Elmo 2nd #Birthday #Party |

Needless to say Brielle had a GREAT time with all her cousins and family in attendance and I was glad to squeeze in a celebration all about her before I popped with number two!