Parker is so into school buses right now, so when we were thinking of ideas for his 2nd birthday party, I knew that a school bus theme would be perfect. He always does the sign language for more whenever we pass one on the street, and is so excited when they drive by our house! There are literally days when I plan to leave the house at certain times so that we can see the school buses leaving the nearby school on our way to run errands. : )
I didn't really have a vision, I just started looking on Etsy and found some really cute invitations and from there the inspiration just started to flow. After seeing a couple of bus tables on Pinterest, like these, I decided that our 9' long dining room table would be the perfect thing to morph into a big school bus. It is at the center of our home, so it's a great spot to create a statement & also use as the entertaining hub for all the food, drinks and other decor. I placed a bunch of orders before we left for our trip to Florida, and when we got home I started getting to work for the party a few days later. The bus took WAYYY longer than I ever thought it would, but I am so happy with the way it turned out! The perfectionist in me wanted to do about 100 more things to it, but I had to just call it quits at some point. Scroll all the way down for a step-by-step on how I made it and the materials.
Invitations - these were an instant download, so I had to go to an Office Depot nearby and print them on thick card stock and hand slice them. They also came with cute, matching thank you notes.
Party favors, yellow bubbles wrapped in ribbon that coordinated with the theme. I then used the extra invites I had and cut out little buses to cover up the label on the bubbles.
I made the speed limit 2 sign out of adhesive letters from Michael's and construction paper. I hand cut the "2".
I had Amy's Cupcake Shoppe, here in the Minneapolis area, do the cake and bus cookies. I love how the cake has Parker's name in the starts sticking out, such a darling detail. The vanilla cupcakes were from Wuollet's Bakery - their frosting is SO good!
I tried to incorporate orange and yellow elements, like clementines, oranges & lemons in the water, goldfish snacks, etc to play into the theme's color scheme. I loved the bus cups with the striped straws.
I handmade the banner out of construction paper, hot glue and this striped ribbon. I just cut little triangles in yellow and white and hot glued them to the ribbon.
Once I picked the school bus party theme, I got a little carried away! I had to find a little sweater for P to wear to match.
Below are the materials I used to create the bus, and also some of the party decor that I'm still waiting for in the mail that I ordered. I ordered these cute cupcake toppers and school bus banner, but am bummed we never got to use them because they didn't arrive on time. SUCH a bummer!! If you order any of these from Etsy make sure to give yourself tons of lead time so they make it on time for your party.
How I made the bus...
I used this yellow corrugate to create each side of the bus.
Windows & Doors
Okay I think that's it! The only other thing I'd say is that I used clear packing tape to adhere the corrugate to our table and to the other corrugate pieces and I HATE that you could see the tape. I originally was going to take it down after I had built it and fix all of that but it would've been a lot of work, so I just had to deal with the fact that you could see the tape. So if you're like me and this will bug you, account for that when you are making it.
If any of you make a bus based on this, please send it to me or tag me, I would LOVE to see it!! Here are some more pictures of the bus while it was in progress, hopefully those help!
And lastly...We rented a real bus for a ride!
It snowed, so our eyes are totally squinty and shut, but it was the only picture we got! We took the whole party on the bus for a short 10 minute ride and P was a little apprehensive but when it was all over he kept pointing outside saying he wanted more bus.
I can't believe baby Walt is already two months old. These past two months have just flown by... with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and all the hustle & bustle that goes on during the holiday season, it feels like just yesterday he was born. But it also feels like he's always been a part of our family. He's brought so much joy to us and it's been so wonderful watching Parker become a big brother.
I'm so excited to share all of my newborn favorites with my readers today! This is one of my favorite blog posts, because I love products that help us new mamas in any way during this wonderful yet transitional time, and want to share all of my favorites in hopes they'll help others too! Let me know if you have any questions about any of these products, I'd love to chat about any of them with you. (Robe & Bow Swaddle)
My most important priority, haha! For us, we have loved using the HALO bassinest. I love the convenience of having it at the same height as our bed so when Walt wakes up I can just scoop him out of it (the side retracts down), feed him, change him and put him back in there, all without getting out of bed. I also put the Dockatot in the HALO so that it feels more snug for Walt. I put him in a HALO sleep sack as well.
When he wakes in the night for a feeding, I use this gummy bear light. When I was taking my Amma Mama new Mama class with Parker, they said that red is the only light color that doesn't impact your circadian rhythm, so we started using it for night feedings and I really liked it. I'm not a huge fan of how it looks, but I love the functionality. It lights the room just enough to see everything, but doesn't wake up you like a bright light does, and it has a 60 minute timer on it. So by the time Walt is up, I feed him, change him and put him back in the bassinet and then need to pop his pacifier in and go to sleep the light usually turns off automatically. We also have blackout blinds by Hunter Douglas & a SUPER loud fan, I love this one.
I feel so grateful that breastfeeding has gone so well for us this time around. Walt had a tongue tie that we addressed right away once we left the hospital and I am so so happy that it was discovered and taken care of quickly. Parker has a tongue tie that was missed and I think that was a big part of the reason we had so much trouble with breastfeeding. If you're having any trouble with nursing, I'd definitely look into this as a potential cause. Anyway, here are a few of my favorite things related to breastfeeding & pumping. I would also recommend getting a milk catcher for the first few weeks while your body is regulating your supply. I "caught" SO much milk that helped me jump start a nice freezer stash without even pumping. I really only pumped to relieve discomfort when I was overly full or engorged. Below are my favorite things related to feeding.
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
I love dressing Walt in super soft onesies with hand coverings. I will keep him in these for the most part for the first several months. I really love Kickee Pants (make sure to get the ones with zippers) & plain Gerber onesies. I don't like dealing with two piece outfits - they are always so cute, but functionality-wise they are a pain because the top always creeps up and needs to be pulled down.
I usually have him wrapped in swaddle blankets during the day, and love these because they are super soft but also act as a burp cloth for any spit ups. This knit blanket is my absolute favorite blanket, we got it when Parker was a baby. I usually put it on him when we are on the go in the stroller or car seat. We were also gifted a blanket that was personalized with Walt's name on it that is so darling!
I bought a trendy nook that I see a lot on Instagram, the Ryan & Rose Pat Pat, but Walt didn't like it. It almost seemed too heavy for him to suck on, too. It just kept falling out of his mouth. I do like their paci clip though and we use that. I also tried the Wubba Nub and Walt wasn't a fan. I ended up trying a traditional nook, like the Avent 0-6m one and he loves it, it has made our lives so much easier when he's fussing and tired. He takes his nook and just goes right to sleep, it's wonderful. My advice would be to try a few different kinds. If your little one doesn't like one brand, try a couple of others before giving up. Having Walt take a nook has been such a blessing! At night if he wakes up I can pop in his nook and he'll go right back to sleep. It's amazing.
I bought a new backpack diaper bag this time around that has room for both boys' things. I loved my Fawn look alike for one babe, but for two, this one is perfect and so stylish.
STROLLER & CAR SEAT
We reused the same infant car seat that we did for Parker, which was the Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30. It's nice and lightweight, but I wish I had had the opportunity to try the Nuna Pippa too because I hear great things about that one.
My favorite single stroller is the Bugaboo - it's SO light weight and can be configured so many different ways, I just love it. I so wish they made a tandem double stroller, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I actually just got Parker the wheeled comfort board so I can use the Bugaboo stroller vs. our double stroller when I want to.
The double stroller we got is the City Select Lux and the second seat. I like it, but it's BIG and heavy and a little challenging to maneuver compared to the Bugaboo. Also a bit heavy to handle getting in and out of the car post c-section. The clips also took me a little getting used to.
LOUNGERS & PLAY MATS
I love this bouncer because it's so portable & easy to move around the house, and Walt can just chill in it happy as a clam. Parker loved it too. We also love the Boppy Lounger pillow for the same reasons. Lastly, this is the activity gym that we use with Walt that P had too. I'm a big fan! We used this plush elephant playmat too.
And last but not least, personalized thank you notes for all of those sweet gifts you get. I chose ones that said from the nursery of Baby Walt with little baby feet and I just adore them!
My hope is to share a few gift guides with you all this holiday season, and I decided to start with one for the hostess as holiday party season is upon us! I've compiled a few of my favorite things - including personalized stationery & my favorite desktop calendar. For hostess gifts, I always try to think of the things that you don't typically spend money on yourself, like a nice candle. Below are a few of my favorites! When in doubt, or if you're in need of something quick - I always like to bring a bottle of wine. I love PEJU & Duckhorn for a splurge, or Josh brand for something a little more affordable.
Before we welcomed Walt, I had wanted to make Parker a cute, DIY advent calendar. Many years ago Anthropologie put their gift cards in these tiny little red knit mittens, and I went on the hunt for 25 of them, because that's what I wanted to use for each day, and I couldn't find anything like it out there. Then I walked into one of my favorite home decor stores and I found a garland with these little stockings on them and decided they'd be a great substitute! I bought two garlands and cut off the stockings from them. I actually created this calendar twice, the first time I hung burlap strings on butcher paper (see picture below from my IG story), and hung the little stockings from mini gold clothespins from the burlap strings. It turned out cute, but I felt like it needed a frame or something around it because it looked a little unfinished.
Then, I went shopping again and found this amazing whitewash wood tree, and recreated the advent calendar on it, and it turned out way cuter! All I did was use a hot glue gun adhere the clothespins and then hung the stockings - super simple! Then I filled each stocking with mini M&M's and I plan to print a bible verse and stick it in each one, too. I love how this turned out - and there are so many ways to customize it to make it your own. You can literally buy anything you like and hang it from the clothespins, and then you can add stickers for the numbers - I used gold but also tried colored ones from the dollar section at Target. The possibilities are endless! If you decide to make one, tag me on Instagram so I can see! :)
UPDATE: Here's a link to the advent calendar that I am printing and putting in each day!
View of the advent calendar without any numbers on it.
Option using colorful numbers. These stickers were from the dollar spot at Target.
SHOP THE POST
Click on any of the images below to shop the products used in this calendar.
My original idea below - butcher paper with burlap string. Bummed I didn't take a picture of it all together, it was cute, too, but I like the wooden tree version a little better.
My brother, who lives in California and rarely comes to visit, decided to make a quick 24 hour trip home with his girlfriend this past weekend. My mom thought it would be fun if we did an early Thanksgiving family celebration together, since both my sister and I usually celebrate with our in-laws. We hosted the meal at our home, and Todd did most of the cooking (thank goodness, cooking a turkey intimidates me!) and I did the decorating. I did make my favorite cranberry pomegranate recipe though, SO good if you love cranberries! It was a lovely night filled with lots of family, fun & full bellies. I loved seeing Parker and my brother hang out together, they'd only met one time before. It was really sweet!
Here are some pictures of our Thanksgiving table & the kids table, too. I loved that the kids table was covered in butcher paper so they could color on it and it made clean up super simple! Happy early Thanksgiving from our family!
I found the idea to spray paint leaves and hand letter them on Pinterest. I didn't have the best marker for hand lettering, but I still like how they turned out.
HOW TO SAVE WHILE DECORATING
I'm all about finding ways to keep things inexpensive when decorating. The eucalyptus is from Trader Joes for $2.99 a bundle, and the real mini pumpkins were only $.69! These fake pumpkins were from the Target dollar bins and the sage green one with the gold stem was also in their seasonal bins for $3. The wheat stems were freshly cut from our grasses in our landscaping. The burlap runner and tree stump platter were from other events I've hosted.
Our silver is a family heirloom from my husbands side. I always debate whether I should polish it, but I kind of love the tarnished finish that can read both silver & gold.
A simple way to create a more decorative look, put some ribbon around the silverware and napkin.
To shop any of the products featured in our table, click on the images below!
THE KIDS TABLE
I really wanted to make the kids table a place where it could get messy, and where they could have fun - so I put butcher paper on the table that they could draw on (or spill on) and it wouldn't matter because I'd just throw it away at the end of the night.
I hand lettered mini white pumpkins and put these little turkeys on top for fun. They were from a craft kit at Michael's. Super quick and easy!
I had to do something fun with Parker's high chair in case he didn't do well sitting at the kids table - so I decorated it like a little turkey! I rough cut construction paper and taped it to the back. So simple!
Hi, welcome to my blog! I started my blog as a way to channel my creativity and document our life happenings. From the pretty, styled shots to the real, raw experiences, too, like our journey to start our family. I love to share about my faith, my personal style for interior decorating, holidays and entertaining & for our little guys. too. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your support. XO, Lindsay