Christmas in July

Baby's First Christmas Two Page layout: family portrait |

I know it’s hard to remember with all this blistering heat of the summer, but we had a REALLY snowy, cold winter this year. Remember now? Lots and lots of consecutive snow days, even ones in really late winter after super warm days? I remember it well since Brielle was just a baby and we were itching to go for some stroller rides, but often stuck inside!

Baby's First Christmas Two Page layout |

Let’s take a little walk down memory lane with this scrapbook page from Brielle’s baby book about her first Christmas that I have yet to share here! It features a few of my favorite photos of that season, including her first picture with Santa, a family portrait from Christmas Day, a favorite shot of her from the Christmas Card photo shoot wearing the tutu and headband I made her, and one of her taken on Christmas morning with my brandy new lens I got minutes earlier!

Baby's First Christmas Two Page layout Doily accent |

I was excited that I FINALLY got to use a doily on a layout (something I’ve wanted to do for a while!)

Baby's First Christmas Two Page layout: Pocket for Family Christmas cards |

On the right side of the layout, I was able to include another pocket at the top, which includes a copy of the Christmas cards we sent out to family and friends.

Handmade Birthday Card Made from paper scraps |

And as you’ve seen time and time again, I used the left over scraps from this layout to create the birthday card to add to my stash of handmade cards!

Supplies: Patterned Paper: My Minds eye, EK Success Inspirables | Embellishments: K&Company, Wilton Doily, EK Success Disney Alphabets

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First Time Mom Advice: Tips For Life With A Newborn

** Content in this post originally appeared on, where I was a contributor

First Time Mom Advice: Tips for surviving the first days/weeks with a newborn #baby |

For the past few months, on Brielle’s monthly birthday, I’ve been sharing some advice and recommendations from my perspective as a first time mom (FTM).

I can’t believe that it’s almost been a year of this series! Yes, almost one year ago, we were first time parents of a newborn! Here are a few tips we learned that might help you or a family member survive those confusing and frustrating, yet sweet, first days and weeks with a newborn. I hope they will help at least one family have some sanity, sleep or comfort!

  • Keep A Notebook Nearby! Mommy brain is real people! With little sleep and a physically demanding day, your brain can easily turn to mush. Keep a notebook and pen nearby so you can jot down thoughts, to do lists, grocery lists, meal planning ideas or anything that comes to mind. These late night scribbles might also serve as amusing reads once your sanity is back in full swing! :)
  • Accept Outside Food! If someone offers to bring you homemade food, say YES PLEASE! Feeding yourself and your family gets pushed low on the priority list once the little one is near. Take the food offered and you’ll have one less thing to plan.

First time mom advice: Tips on surviving the first days/week with a newborn. Tip: accept help with chores |

  • Accept Outside Help! If anyone offers to come over and help you do something, give it long consideration and accept! A friend or family member can hold/watch/walk the baby while you nap/shower/eat. They can put in a load of laundry or put the dishes in the dishwasher. Tip: create a sign near your laundry on how you prefer to have it done so they don’t have to ask you a million questions but can follow what you’ve already outlined.
  • Create Mini Routines! The first few days and weeks are anything but routine but there are simple things you can do to help kick off a good flow. Each morning before work, my husband would check out stock of diapers by the changing table, high protein snacks near my spot on the couch and check with me on our plans for dinner in case anything needed to be defrosted. At night, while he got her settled and ready for bed, I’d clean the bottles or pumping equipment and empty the garbage pail. Repeat the same steps each day or night so things are somewhat in your predicted order when needed.

First time mom advice: Tips on surviving the first days/week with a newborn. Tip: babywear! |

  • Go Hands Free! There were two items that came in handy A LOT those first few days/weeks and now months: our Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper and our ERGObaby Original Baby Carrier. I was able to put Brielle down in the Rock n’ Play and bring her into the bathroom to take a shower, in the kitchen to make food or near the computer when uploading her latest cute photos. My husband and I both wore her in the baby carrier so we could have two hands to clean, go grocery shopping or hang out at a family function. Bonus: wearing babies also puts them to sleep!
  • Get a Video Monitor!  My daughter slept in a bassinette in our room the first six months, but we made use of the video monitor during daytime naps so I could get stuff done in the house. It’s now in full affect every night where she safely sleeps in her nursery. TIP: Get a second power cord for the monitor screen. While it does have a long battery life, in the case of the model we chose, if we left it plugged in, the screen would stay illuminated and I could easily glance over at the screen from across the room. Without being plugged in, the screen shuts off to save battery life and I’d always wonder if that little whimper was a cute dream or a call for mom.
  • Send Dad to bed early! While I stayed home taking care of our daughter, my husband continued to work a full time job. In the first few weeks, after dinner, I’d send him to bed, even if it was 7pm! If I needed him to take a turn with the baby at midnight, I knew he already had 5 good hours and could get more after she was back to sleep.

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.

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Scrapbooking: Brielle’s Baby Book Part VI

Brielle's #Baby #Scrapbook: see individual layouts that fill up her book |

Here are a few more pages from Brielle’s Baby Scrapbook:

#Baby #Scrapbook Month 5 |

Month 5 was a memorable one as it was Brielle’s first Christmas! Otherwise there weren’t too many milestones, just lots of fun days with family and practicing growing up!

Supplies: Patterned Paper, adhesive borders: K&Company Poppyseed | Felt Stickers: K&Company | Chipboard Letters: Heidi Swapp

Baby Book as Scrapbook: month 6 two page spread using K&Company paper collection |

Month 6 was mostly spent indoors due to a super cold and snowy winter! But we did lots of practicing on things we wanted to accomplish: sitting up, standing up, eating solid foods, taking naps in our crib and growing teeth!

Baby Book as Scrapbook: month 6 two page spread using K&Company paper collection |

For the scrapbook page, I went with that “project life” look that everyone’s been doing lately with all the color blocking squares and I love how it came out!

Supplies: Patterned Paper and stickers: K&Company

Baby Book as Scrapbook: Month 7 |

Month 7 included ALOT of BIG things! She had her first night away from home (which didn’t go as well as I had hoped but it was only the first attempt at a night away), she popped out TWO teeth at the same time one LONNNNNNNGGGGG night,

Baby Book as Scrapbook: Month 7 |

she went to her first parade (St. Patrick’s Day – which you can see above where Derek wore her in the ERGObaby Original Baby Carrier the whole time and she fell asleep), and she began crawling! All that practice of things the last month really paid off for a fun and memorable month!

Supplies: Patterned Paper: K&Company | Punches: EK Tools, Martha Stewart Crafts | Dot Stickers
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.

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Mommy’s Time Out Wine Gift {FREE PRINTABLE}

You may remember that my bestie, Allie, recently gave birth to her first son. I was very happy to have met the little guy recently on one of her visits up north. Since her birthday was near, I decided to give her a gift any mom needs…wine!

Mommy's Time Out Wine Gift: Before shot of the 4 pack of mini bottles |

Ok, before you jump down my throat, know that I am not advocating for moms to drink while nursing or solely watching their child. But let’s face it… moms need a time out too! They need a few minutes to themselves to do something they enjoy, to read a book, to paint their toenails or to just enjoy a glass of wine! So I made this an extra special set of wine — it’s Mommy’s Time Out Wine!

"Mommy's Time Out" Wine Gift with FREE #Printable |

These mini bottles containing one glass each and are the perfect gift for a new mom who shouldn’t be drinking a whole lot anyway.

Mommy's Time Out Wine Gift: Poem on back

I wrote a little poem that I added to the back of the box about how mom deserves a time out and added a few ribbons to accent!

"Mommy's Time Out" Wine Gift FREE #Printable |


If you know someone who needs a Mommy Time Out, then feel free to click the image above and download my free printable of this design!

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Sowdering About, the DIY Dreamer, JAQs Studio, Just A Girl And Her Blog, Craft Gawker, Cherished Bliss, Artsy Fartsy Mama, live Laugh Rowe, Creations by Kara, Place of my Taste, Blissful and Domestic, Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons, Thirty Handmade Days, Craft Dictator, Too Much Time On My Hands,

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Guest Post: Transportation Themed Baby Shower: Scenic Route Sherbert Punch


Meet Genny. She’s one of my fellow organizers from Allie’s Transportation Baby Shower!

Transportation Themed Baby Shower: Scenic Route Sherbert Punch recipe |

You may remember that she was the genius behind the “traffic light” drink arrangement and “Scenic Overlook” Sherbert Punch. Today she’s back to share a little more information on this yummy punch!  Take it away, Genny!

Transportation Themed Baby Shower: Scenic Route Sherbert Punch recipe |

Sherbert Punch: It has a sparkle and a fizz that just seems to make people happy at a party. How can you go wrong with something that sparkles and makes people’s eyes light up – especially, when you see them going back to the punch bowl for seconds, thirds, and well… frankly- fourths?!

Let me tell you, I used to be scared of trying this drink. I thought it looked like a science experiment; you know… that volcano explosion, but with sugar instead of vinegar? Then I met my current group of amazing girlfriends who seemed to always have a variation of this punch at a party. I finally gave in. I tried it… loved it… and thought I’d throw my hat in the ring.

Transportation Themed Baby Shower: Scenic Route Sherbert Punch recipe |

This punch was inspired by a woman who is always taking the most amazing trips around the world. Asia, Australia, South America, Africa, Europe… I think she is counting down the continents! She definitely takes the scenic-route, and her party deserved it’s own version.

Transportation Themed Baby Shower: Scenic Route Sherbert Punch recipe |


  • Punch bowl
  • Fresh Fruit from around the world (Tip: prepping can be done about an hour in advance as to not bruise the fruit):
    • 1/2 California pint blackberries
    • 1/2 Peruvian pint raspberries
    • 2 Californian star fruit, sliced for optimal starry-ness!
    • 1 Valencia orange, thinly sliced
    • 3 New Zealand kiwi fruits, de-fuzzed and sliced
    • 1 large Asian pear, rind removed and cut to chunks
    • 2 Turkish Apricots, sliced
    • 1 Golden Plum, sliced

Transportation Themed Baby Shower: Scenic Route Sherbert Punch recipe |

  • 2 quarts orange sherbert, partially thawed
  • 1 liter ginger ale, chilled
  • 1 liter pineapple juice, chilled

Transportation Themed Baby Shower: Scenic Route Sherbert Punch recipe |

Place fruit in the bowl and add the liquid parts. Once guests arrive, spoon sherbert on top and sip away!

Transportation Baby Shower Invitation Close Up |

Click on the image above to see more details on the transportation themed shower!

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To Love, Honor and Cherish Handmade Wedding Cards

Handmade #Engagement Card: To Love, Honor and Cherish |

Just when we thought we were done with the stack of weddings we were attending/in (if you remember, in 2012 I was a bridemade of honor and bridesmaid), the next round started up again!

Handmade #Wedding / #Engagement Cards |

While we were not able to attend Derek’s cousin Kelly’s wedding in Texas, we did send down a gift in a Love, Honor and Cherish handmade card.

Handmade #Wedding / #Engagement Cards |

Then Derek was also an usher in Casey and Courtney’s wedding a few weeks ago. I gifted her bridal shower gift with another one of these metallic wedding themed cards.

Handmade Wedding Card using Amy Butler patterned paper |

For Kelly’s big day, we sent them each a different, personalized creation. This first one uses some Amy Butler paper that I just love with a something blue theme!

Just Married Wedding handmade Card | spotofteadesigns.comFor Casey and Courtney’s big day, I made them this “Just Married” card using some old Jolee’s stickers I had in my stash. I was looking for my tallest groom sticker, as Casey is one tall guy, and this was the card I came up with!

Congrats to all the new couples!

To Love Honor and Cherish Card Supplies: Patterned Paper: Martha Stewart Crafts | Embellishments: Jolee’s Boutique Stickers, Jolee’s Parcel Border Stickers, Sticko Wedding Phrases

Just Married Card Supplies: Patterned Paper: Unknown | Embellishments: Jolee’s Boutique Stickers, Sticko Wedding Phrases

Wedding Day Supplies: Patterned Paper: Amy Butler | Embelishments: Jolee’s Boutique | Ribbon

Wedding Paper Divas Save the Date Card Sale

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Guest Post: Kristin’s Decorated Graduation Cap

You may remember a few years ago when I posted that it was hard to believe we still know people graduating things. That was two years ago and we still have family members graduating! Derek’s cousin (and Spot of Tea Designs reader), Kristin graduated with her associates degree in Applied Science in Radiography just a few months ago! I’m happy to report that she documented the process to her decorated graduation cap (a trend in 2014, don’t you know!) and is sharing it here at Spotofteadesigns! Take it away, Kristin!

"Rad to the Bone" Decorated Graduation Cap (for someone with a degree in Radiography) |

Two of my closest friends from x-ray school decided to make it a girl’s night with a couple bottles of wine and dinner while we decorated our caps! It was so much fun and definitely the best way to relax after FINALLY finishing x-ray school!


  • Graduation cap
  • 12” x 12” piece of scrap book paper (I used green glitter!)
  • Thin glitter ribbon (I used gold!)
  • Black glitter letters to spell out message
  • Skull and crossbones with pink bow scrapbooking stickers
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Bottle of wine! haha (optional, of course!)


"Rad to the Bone" Decorated Graduation Cap (for someone with a degree in Radiography) |

  • Measure the top of the cap and cut the glitter paper to fit. Tip: cut the paper slightly bigger then the measurement as you’ll need to make a hole for the button that the tassel attaches to in the center
  • Place the paper on top of the cap and make a mark where the button is in the center. Cut an “X” shape in this marked spot, fold back the little flaps then carefully trimmed the flaps off to make a hole for the button. Use a hot glue gun to secure the paper to the and allow to dry. After the glue dried, trim the excess paper around the border.

"Rad to the Bone" Decorated Graduation Cap (for someone with a degree in Radiography) |

  • Cut 4 strips of thing glitter ribbon and hot glue around the border.

"Rad to the Bone" Decorated Graduation Cap (for someone with a degree in Radiography) |

I have seen so many clever ideas on Pinterest like, “Keep calm and x-ray on”, “Let me palpate you”, and “Finally R.T. (R)” These letters stand for Radiologic Technologist, Radiography, which will be my credentials after I pass my boards. It’s the same thing that nurses have after their name R.N. except mine is for Radiology! I came up with my idea after hearing the song “Bad to the bone” by George Thorogood. I decided to change it to say “RAD to the BONE”.

  • Cut out the stickers from the sticker sheet (still attached to the backing) and arrange them on the cap. This will allow you to make sure they all fit before gluing. TIP: Know where the front and the back of your cap are so you don’t get glue them down upside down!
  • Once confirmed on placement, use the hot glue gun to secure them in place!

"Rad to the Bone" Decorated Graduation Cap (for someone with a degree in Radiography) |

Congrats again, Kristin!

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Mini Punched Garlands

#Baby #Scrapbook 2 page layout with photos of everyone meeting the baby |

Garlands, Pennants, Bunting. Is there really a different between all these things? I’ve seen the terms used so interchangeably. Anyway, I was recently working on this photo heavy two page spread from Brielle’s baby Scrapbook and needed to add a little something cute to it so I decided on a mini garland with punched hearts.

Use a label punch to create a fancy handmade mini garland on a card |

I didn’t want to do the typical pointed triangle or arrow shape, so I dug into my stash of craft punches and pulled out this journal plate design. With just a few snips and one fold, I was able to make a unique little shape, perfect for a garland.

#Baby #Scrapbook 2 page layout with photos of everyone meeting the baby |

I strung them across the top of the left page and front and center on the right. Underneath the title was a listing of all the visitors who came to meet Brielle in the first days/weeks/months. I have a similar page of me and all our friends/family that came to meet me when I was a baby!


And in typical crafting fashion, I made sure to use all those paper scraps from this spread to create a mini card. Here’s a little trick: since I knew I’d have a large journaling block in the center of the right page, I cut out the patterned paper behind it and saved it for my card!

Use a label punch to create a fancy handmade mini garland on a card |

It was just the right size for a little background accent for this “Hugs + Kisses” themed design!

Supplies: Patterned Paper: Martha Stewart Crafts | Punches: Martha Stewart Crafts and EK Tools | Stamp: Hero Arts (I think) | Alphabet Stickers: EK Success Bookworks

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