Tag Archives: winnie the pooh

Tessa’s Winnie the Pooh Themed Baby Shower

29 Jul

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Saturday was my daughter Tessa’s baby shower at Ethel Reds in Lemoore! I always knew that when I had a chance to produce offspring that their “Welcome to the World” party would be Winnie the Pooh themed. So this was an exciting bucket list achievement for me!

My amazing friend Bree hosted the party, and she let me go nuts with crafts and décor. She even encouraged and supported my obsessive nitpicking of the room, helping me to transform the little banquet room in Ethel Reds and purge it of every trace of ornamentation that was too overwhelmingly cowboy.

As I’ve said in previous posts, the theme was Classic Pooh with an emphasis on honey and honeybees. The colors we chose were yellow and tan. And the overall feel I was going for was Disneyland’s Critter Country. (I even compiled a playlist comprised mainly of the Disneyland Critter County soundtrack to be played at the party, haha!) I deemed the party décor a success once it felt like I was standing in line for Splash Mountain. Yes, I felt like a veritable Disney Imagineer of party planning, hehe.

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Since my form of nesting is apparently manifesting itself in the form of creating party decorations and theme setting, I’m going to outline all the steps we took to create our little party space. Here’s some of the special touches we added to the room:

– First, check out the Winnie the Pooh baby shower invitations that Bree and I made for the party.

– We hung up the fabric pennant banners my mom and I made from Winnie the Pooh print above the dessert / drink table and along the windows.

– We put yellow balloons around the room and tied to the backs of chairs. There was an 11×14 framed photo of an Indian on the back wall, and my friend Shauna hung up balloons in front of it, since I was trying to hide everything “cowboy”, haha. (I love my friends.)

– We put yellow silk flowers in vases and mini terra cotta pots all around the room to give the tables a bright, sunshiney feel.

– I printed out some original Classic Pooh artwork by E.H. Shepard and put them in little 4×6 Dollar Store frames, and had them sitting around the tables to lend some storybook Pooh imagery to the room.

– We brought along some goodies from home that will soon be decorations for Tessa’s nursery: a ceramic Classic Pooh figure, a stuffed Classic Pooh bear, and a Classic Pooh hunny pot lampshade. We also brought along a honeycomb pitcher for water with lemons.

– My mom had the creative idea to bring some Pooh Sticks – chocolate dipped pretzels in yellow honey pots. I thought it was a super cute idea, and they were tasty too!

– There was a HUGE 10 foot long framed cowboy mural along the main wall where we put our dessert / drink table that I insisted simply had to be covered. So my mum supplied the yellow floral print fabric to cover the painting, and we strung up a clothes line of some of Tessa’s Winnie the Pooh themed baby clothes to hide it!

– My favorite project and special touch to the party was the Hunny Pot centerpieces. Me, Shauna and my mom painted these pots the night before, and we had way too much fun sticking the bees among the fresh flowers.

– For dessert we had ordered a honeycomb cake with honey bees. We didn’t see the cake before ordering, so we were a little surprised when the bees came out looking like cartoon dookies with googly eyes, but it was still cute! It was still, in it’s own way, a “Pooh” cake. (Haha, get it?)

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The party itself was a blast! My lovely friend Eliza took the pictures of the party and made me step away from the camera after grabbing my pre-party shots. (She’s the lovely friend who took my maternity pictures!)

So! Party details! Bree put together the games which consisted of:

Baby Shower Gift Bingo – Bree insisted we play this, and I thought, “Yeah, okay, sure. Sounds fun I guess.” But I didn’t see the inherent genius in this game. It was a great party starter, as people took the blank cards and filled out the empty squares with potential gifts Tessa might receive. And so the part of the party that makes everyone slightly bored – the gift opening – became a fun group conversation and rivalry as people tried to Bingo over their gift predictions. And it’s a life saver if the gift receiver is awkward when it comes to accepting free stuff, like I am. I would be genuinely thrilled with a gift, and then would be able to relax and enjoy the present while everyone devolved into scribbling on Bingo cards and arguing over what constitutes a teething toy. This game NEEDS to be played at every baby shower!

Guess The Baby Food – Bree brought a number of baby foods, took the labels off, and had the jars on display with mini tasting spoons. Everyone was encouraged to guess the baby food, by either looking, smelling or tasting – whatever they were comfortable with! It was surprisingly competitive, and I didn’t expect so many of my friends to approach the tasting portion so thoroughly. (I will forever hold the gagging faces photos as blackmail material.)

Blindfolded Speed Diapering – One person was blindfolded, while another coached and guided the blind partner in diapering the Winnie the Pooh doll as fast as possible. We’d originally planned to have the diapering be on a baby doll, but we forgot to bring it. Which I think made the game that much more hilarious… Pooh was so chubby and the newborn diapers so small, that it required a bit of manhandling and punching down the fluff to get the diaper on. Which was kind of awesome. My beautiful friend Mikaela won with a blindfolded diapering job of just 16 seconds!!

Before we started in on the games, we all had a sit down steakhouse lunch. The food was all good Western style hearty comfort foods. Guests picked off of the select lunch menu choosing from dishes such as BBQ Bacon Burgers, Tri-Tip Sandwiches, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chicken Salads and more, served with French Fries and Onion Rings. Everyone ate their fill, and many had to take to-go boxes home! (That’s my kind of party!)

We were all extremely happy with our choice of venue. Ethel Reds was extraordinarily budget friendly, and accommodating beyond all expectations. They provided great service and were very helpful and flexible with requests from moving furniture to providing extra plates, condiments and dessert utensils. The only down side was that the banquet rooms air conditioner had recently quit working, and the room had to be cooled via fans, which were very noisy. And even with the fans we were all uncomfortably warm. But aside from that detail, I have absolutely no complaints with the location and service! I love the barn wood walls, the rustic atmosphere and the eclectic décor. It fit our Winnie the Pooh / Critter Country-esque theme perfectly!

I had so much fun at Tessa’s Baby Shower! I feel so very blessed to have the amazing friends and family that I have. I am floored by the gifts my little girl received (So many kitty cat themed clothing! And Winnie the Pooh goodies! I couldn’t fit them all into my car!) and I’m deeply touched by the overwhelming kindness and support from everyone that came to the baby shower. I will treasure the memories from this day my entire life. I truly do mean that. THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO MADE MY DAY SO SPECIAL!!!!

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Hunny Pots and Pooh Sticks – Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower Decorations

28 Jul

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So yesterday was my Winnie the Pooh themed Baby Shower for my daughter Tessa! Before the shower, I posted a DIY tutorial blog for the Fabric Pennant Banners my mum and I made for the event. I haven’t gotten a chance to even look at the photos taken of the shower itself, but I did get some pictures prior to the party of a couple of the other do it yourself projects / decorations we dreamed up for the event!

I am proud to say that these are both fairly original ideas. While trolling Pinterest and the web in general for Classic Pooh Baby Shower decorations, I was slightly disappointed at the repetitive and generic décor. I knew our theme was Winnie the Pooh, and the emphasis would be on honey bees and honey, with yellow and tan as the primary colors for decoration. I thought, hmmm, Hunny Pots as a centerpiece. With flowers? And honey bees? Yeah. Why not? After I ran with the idea I saw a couple of terra cotta pots with “HUNNY” scrawled on them being used for favors or centerpieces on the web, but not quite like my dripping honey / fresh flower / swarming bees creation. Yay originality! (I’m mostly thrilled because everything I “dream up” I find has been done to exhaustion on Pinterest already, haha!)

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The “Pooh Sticks” chocolate pretzels were entirely my mother’s idea. She thought, why not coat pretzels in white chocolate with yellow food coloring, and stick them in a honey pot? And it will look like they are honey coated sticks out of the honey pot? My bestie Shauna and my mum made these the night before the party (I was being pregnant and lazy and compiling a “Baby Shower Playlist” and letting them do all the work) and it was really fun to listen to. Apparently yellow food coloring can make chocolate seize up?? Or something? I don’t know. But the pretzels tasted REALLY GOOD! And they look super cute too.

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Anyway, we had a bunch of other small details and projects we tackled to make the Baby Shower unique and fantastic. My inner Disneyland imagineer comes out when I get to party planning. I’ll share the photos and details of the actual Baby Shower as soon as I get the photos onto my computer. I had an absolute blast and I can’t wait to share!

DIY Fabric Pennant Banner Tutorial

27 Jul

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I’ve been working on various crafts for my daughter Tessa’s Winnie the Pooh themed Baby Shower, and I decided that while I’m at it I may as well post a DIY tutorial or two. First up? DIY Fabric Pennant Banners!

(Special thanks to my mom for allowing me to kidnap her and make her demonstrate these steps point by point while I took photos. When we were done I was like, “Look what I… uh… I mean.. you made!” Hahaha!)

Anyhow, banners are the quintessential kiddie party / baby shower / old timey go-to decoration. And they are so easy to make! I was amazed to see that these bad boys sell for upwards of $30 per 9 feet of banner of generic print on Etsy. Are you serious?! These are so laughably easy to make. Do not spend money on fabric pennant banners!!! Just don’t. Do this instead:

To Make You Will Need:

1/4 yard of each different fabric

Piece of cardboard or stiff card stock

Pencil

Pinking shears

Sewing machine

Twine

Bodkin (or safety pin)

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1. Pick out the fabrics, length and size of your banner. (For my banner, I used pastel Winnie the Pooh prints from Hobby Lobby, and decided to alternate between the yellow honey bees and the tan Pooh story page print.) You can make your banner as long or as short as you want. Likewise, the individual flags can be as large or as small as you’d like, using as many different fabrics as you fancy. It’s all up to you and depends on the overall look you’re trying to go for. Decide how long and how wide you want your flag to be, and then trace out the triangle pennant shape onto your piece of cardboard or card stock. This will be the pattern for your flags! Mine were 8 inches wide by 10 inches long.

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2. Using the pattern, trace multiple pennant flags on your fabrics. I should probably advise you to use a fabric pen or tailors chalk or something, but I’m lazy and I’ve found that a regular pencil works just fine. Trace each triangle next to one another, alternating up and down, so you don’t waste any fabric.

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3. After tracing the flags onto your fabric, cut each pennant out with pinking shears. Pinking shears are scissors that have sawtoothed blades instead of straight – they leave a zigzag pattern instead of a straight edge cut. They prevent woven fabrics from fraying easily. They remind me of little old ladies quilting blocks. A lot of people like to sew a straight running stitch along the cut edge to insure that the banners don’t unravel even with the pinked edges, but I seriously doubt my occasional hanging of these decorations will result in any real wear and tear. So I’m keeping it simple and leaving the edges raw.

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4. Fold the very top of each flag over and iron it to make the banner casing. Leave just enough room to feed your twine through.

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5. Sew the folded edge down. Do this with each flag. Snip the overhang on the edges so the sides are even and you have a perfect flag shape.

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6. Take your twine and feed it through the back casing of the flags using either your bodkin or a safety pin attached to the end of the twine.

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And that’s it!! You’re done! There’s nothing left to do but hang your banner! You can leave as much or as little space between the flags, depending on the look you want and how you’d like your banner to drape. I’ll follow up with some pictures of these cuties at my Baby Shower which is in.. ummm.. a couple hours. Haha! Happy crafting!

Tessa’s Baby Shower Invitations

14 Jun

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I had so much fun working on the DIY invitations for my wedding, that I knew I had to do DIY invitations for Tessa’s baby shower as well.

While Bree is ready, willing and eager to take over all of the details of the baby shower, I kind of hijacked this task from her in a fit of crafting frenzy. And I’ll probably hijack some of the decoration crafts and tasks as well. (I’m sorry Bree!! I can’t help myseeeeelf!!)

For as long as I’ve known I could push a miniature human out of my hoo-haw, I’ve planned on having Classic Winnie the Pooh be the theme for my future childs nursery and baby shower. Since the Pooh genre has become so broad and muddied with Disney offshoots and side stories, I’ve decided to narrow the theme down a bit to make décor and color scheme a bit more cohesive. So I’m going with a rustic Classic Pooh theme with an emphasis on honey bees using a yellow, brown, black and tan color palette.

We’ve picked a local steakhouse – Ethel Reds in Lemoore – as the location for the baby shower, because the homespun country decor will go along nicely with our theme… not to mention the food there is amazing, with prices to match! I have a couple of decoration ideas and special touches for the party brewing in the back of my mind, and will most likely be blogging about them in the future. But in the meantime, check out our invites!

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For the invitations I got all of my materials and supplies on sale from Hobby Lobby for around $20 – that includes the envelopes, rubber bee stamp, stamp pad, paper, twine, and tags. Hobby Lobby is a company that I have come to adore, and not just for their amazing selection and prices.

These baby shower invitations are crazy simple while still allowing the textures, colors and E.H. Shepard illustrations to convey the theme and the tone of baby Tessa’s party.

I drew the invite up on Photoshop, and printed them out on heavy parchment quality resume paper. Then I glued the invites to a heavier linen textured parchment as a matte backing. Next, we punched holes on the sides, threaded through some rough jute twine, added a rustic brown tag with a honey bee stamp on it, and then tied it off with a bow! The envelopes are plain and rustic brown to match the tags. So, what do you think? ^_^

Winnie the Pooh Bedtime Stories

23 May

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For the last few weeks Jonathan has been reading Winnie the Pooh to Tessa at night. Winnie the Pooh has been my “future baby” theme / obsession since I was a kid. Since most of our books are still in storage, my bazillion antique / collectors / random copies of A.A. Milne’s works are out of reach, so Jon had been reading the books off of his phone. But I finally insisted that we raid the local thrift stores to find some actual, physical, “these are the first books we read to you” books. I was adamant that whatever we find we need, need, NEED to make sure we get her some old school Winnie the Pooh, and as a close second, some Alice in Wonderland books. And guess what we found?

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Reading to a baby bump is so very, very important. Babies begin to hear around 18 weeks in the womb, and from that point on they are listening and learning and remembering during the pregnancy. Their brains do not wait for birth to start absorbing information.

Bonding with your baby doesn’t begin the day that he or she is born, it can (and should) begin way before that. While it’s no secret that baby will know moms voice at birth (being constantly surrounded by the ominous rumbling thunder of Mom-God voice), but research has shown that babies whose father’s talked to them constantly while they were in the womb were immediately responsive to the father’s voice at birth as well.

I really don’t understand why dads are cut out of so much regarding pregnancy and birth and child-rearing. Our society is experiencing an epidemic in deadbeat dads, and when there are some amazing guys out there (like my sexy-pants Jonathan) who desperately WANT to be involved in their childs life, they are often overlooked or made to feel that it’s not their place by women who see an almost sacred monopolization on the parent-child bond. I saw a whole discussion on a mommy forum where the majority of women were scoffing at the idea of prenatal bonding between daddy and baby. WTF?!

Research has proven that babies can distinguish between their parents and strangers voices while in the womb – a newborn with an involved father WILL recognize her father’s voice. With recognition comes built in attachment, and when there’s a healthy attachment between baby and parent, the baby comes to believe that the world is a safe place. This is the beginning of the establishment of trust, which is vital to personality development. Hur hur hur baby-hogging feminazis – daddies can and should be building healthy relationships with their budding spawn, too!

Anyway, one of the most upsetting aspects about Jonathan leaving in less than two weeks is that he’s going to miss out on 9 weeks of late 2nd trimester and early 3rd trimester bonding with Tessa. But then we had a rather brilliant idea. My friend Salena had given me her Lullabelly band, which she swears by. The Lullabelly band is basically a fuzzy belly belt with speakers that is iPod compatible. It matches the decibels of a normal conversational voice volume at 60-80 decibels. (See where this is going?)

So we have started recording Jonathan reading bedtime stories to be played on the Lullabelly while he is gone! That way Tessa can hear his voice every night. And we know she hears and enjoys his voice, because just a couple of days ago, while speaking to my belly, Tessa wiggled closer to his lips and started wiggling up against his face. He could even see little twitches outside of my belly where she was wiggling to get closer to him. It was so precious! (And yes, the cats are already getting jealous of the tummy time… they are beginning to treat my bump in the same way they treat books and computers – something to be sat on to intercept our attention and get ALL DA LOVES!)

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In addition to keeping up bedtime stories with poppa every night via Lullabelly band, I am also planning on playing music (mostly classical and Baby Einstein) to Tessa. There is no definite measurable scientific proof of just how much music benefits babies in the womb, but the research done thus far points to the fact that the efforts are positive and certainly don’t hurt.

We know, for instance, that children exposed to classical music in the womb are more apt to have increased positive physical and mental development after birth. When studied at six months, the babies exposed to classical music were more advanced in terms of motor, linguistic and intellectual development than babies who received no musical stimulus during pregnancy.

Scientists explain that with every event a baby experiences – including listening to music or its parents voices – it triggers neural impulses which strengthen intercellular connections in the brain. Babies have also been proven to show signs of recognition of songs played in utero, and to be soothed and calmed faster by familiar melodies and rhythms.

As a future homeschool mom, I plan on giving my kids every opportunity to learn and grow, and to do all within my power to make their environment one in which they can thrive. And in my opinion, that responsibility begins in the womb. Along with bedtime and music with the Lullabelly, I plan on chatting with Tessa throughout the pregnancy and being the crazy lady at the supermarket discussing how sometimes potatoes look so sad to my belly. 😉