First Birthday Recap Part 1

Evelyn’s birthday definitely snuck up on me since it’s just over two weeks after Christmas. I knew I had wanted a pink and gold color theme since there is no shortage of supplies and decorations in those colors. I added the cat element because Evie loves our two cats and what is cuter than a cat cake and cat cookies? I am taking full advantage of having a girl and went all out with the pink and gold glitter decorations. I would have painted the walls pink if my husband had let me. I’m so happy to share part one of her party, which is all the decor and food! I have always loved throwing parties and hosting events at our house. I even get excited when I host small playgroups because it gives me an excuse to set out food platters and mini coffee bars. buy cozaar online https://cpff.ca/wp-content/languages/new/cozaar.html no prescription
The dessert table is a must for any party. This one consisted of the kitty cake, her tiny smash cake, regular and mini size cupcakes and also custom made cookies (cat faces and gold glitter number 1’s). The cookies were the biggest hit and were gone before anything else. Having pink in the color scheme was perfect since most stores have Valentine’s Day decor and baked goods out. The mini pink cupcakes were from Target and the other cupcakes and smash cake were from Kroger. I didn’t even need to request anything special since there was an abundance of pink frosted cakes everywhere. The kitty cake was made by Publix and I was so impressed! Normally I use a bake shop but since this cake was so simple, I figured I would give them a try. Another bonus? It was only $29. By far the cheapest custom cake I have ever purchased.
Since the party was at 10am I opted for a waffle bar and mimosa bar, which were very easy to set up. I did all the chopping of the fruit ahead of time so that the morning of, all that needed to be done was bake the waffles in the oven (which only took 20 minutes) set out the juice, fixings and champagne. I found the Mimosa printable sign here and she created the Waffle file for me at no additional charge!  I got them both printed at my local target. The frames are wooden from Hobby Lobby (I bought the cheapest they had) and then I spray painted them a metallic gold. The mini carafes that held the syrup have been purchased throughout the years. Target always has them in their dollar spot and I’ve seen them at Five Below too. For fruit for the mimosa’s, I stuck with peaches, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. The waffle bar had topping choices of mini chocolate chips, colored sprinkles, blueberries, bananas and strawberries. Syrup options were raspberry, blueberry and maple. buy premarin online https://cpff.ca/wp-content/languages/new/premarin.html no prescription
I know hosting parties or large groups at your house can seem daunting, but for me I love it because I can set up ahead of time and work on things at any time of day. I’m not packing the car with food, drinks and crafts and I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything. Most rental places with party rooms only give you 30 minutes prior to set up for a birthday which is definitely not enough time. I started my set up the week of her party during nap and in the evenings. We have minimal furniture in our front room and always use that for parties which is ideal. It’s the first room people see when they walk into our house and gets plenty of daylight. It’ll be a bummer if I ever really decide to furnish it! buy singulair online https://cpff.ca/wp-content/languages/new/singulair.html no prescription
If you’re short on time or don’t want to stress too much about decor, I always recommend choosing a theme that has ample supplies in stores and online. {Amazon Prime will be your best friend!} Try to pick a theme a few months prior to the event, start a pinterest board for ideas and slowly start to collect items for the party. If hosting at your home, set up a few days prior to the party if possible. Anything that can be done ahead of time really takes stress off of you since the day of or the day prior is always filled with cake & balloon pick ups, preparing and setting out food, cleaning the house and getting ready. I prepped goody bags, made crafts, chopped fruit, picked up the cake, cookies and balloons all before the day of. You’d be surprised how many last minute things can sneak up on you the day of your party, so prepping prior to your event is my number one piece of advice. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing more details on the goody bags, crafts and the best part of all: Evelyn 🙂 Below is a vendor list for the party room, sorted by table.


Kids Table:
Pink Table Cover: Party City
Gold Glitter Boxes: Hobby Lobby
Polka Dot Treat Cups: Amazon
Gold Table Runner: Target {wrapping paper}
Linen & Gold Table Runner: Target Dollar Spot, Valentines Decor
Polka Dotted Plates: Amazon
Mini Milk Bottles: Shop Sweet Lulu
Sweets Table:
Cat Cake: Publix
Cupcakes: Target & Kroger
Cake + Cupcake Toppers: New Way Kids
Paper Plates: Shop Sweet Lulu
Cat Pillow: H&M
ONE Glitter Letters: Hobby Lobby {plain wood letter spray painted with gold glitter paint}
Memory Board: Sugarboo & Co.
Blush Pink & Gold Tassel Garland: Peachy Details
Table Cover: Party City
Gold Glitter Runner: Paper Source {wrapping paper}
Pink Paper Garlands: Oh Happy Day Shop
Mimosa/Waffle Bar Table:
Glass Carafes: Ikea
Gold Champagne Flutes: Party City
Mimosa/Waffle Bar Printable: Paper Canoe Printables 
Pink Table Cover: Party City
Gold Glitter Runner: Paper Source
Gold + Pink Foil Banners: Amazon here & here
Gold Polka Dot Plates: Party City
Pink Paper Garlands: Oh Happy Day Shop
White & Gold Bowls: Target Dollar Spot, Valentine’s Decor


Evelyn turns One

Dear Sweet Little Evie –
Today you are ONE! You have been mine for 365 days and they have been some of the best of my life. Your first year went by faster than Henry’s. I guess that’s to be expected when momma is chasing around your wild + energetic brother while also trying to enjoy your baby phase. When I was younger I would dream about having a little girl but as I grew into my twenties that changed and I thought I only wanted boys. That rang even truer once your brother was born. I totally wanted to be a boy mom, with a houseful of little guys running around wrestling each other and being the best of brothers. When I became pregnant with you, I even hoped you would be a boy. I found out you were not a boy when I had your 13 week ultrasound. I had no idea gender could be revealed that soon so I innocently asked the doctor if she “knew what it was.” Once I heard her say ‘it’s a girl!’ all those boy feelings immediately went away and were filled with bows, dresses and cute pink shoes. The excitement was overwhelming and I could not stop smiling. The first thing I did when I got home was pull out your brothers clothes I had saved and see if there were any gender neutral things I had. Thoughts of how I would decorate your nursery, the coming home outfit you would wear and other girly things filled my mind. I couldn’t wait to meet you. buy celexa online https://cpff.ca/wp-content/languages/new/celexa.html no prescription


The two favorite moments in my entire life was when I first met you and your brother. If I could go back in time to any day and relive it, those are the two days I would pick. There is no greater feeling than seeing your baby and hearing them cry for the first time. If there was one gift I could give to people, that would be it. No matter how many amazing places you have traveled or fun things you have experienced, I guarantee meeting your children tops them all. Even my wedding day is second to when I saw you and Henry for the first time. I hope you get to experience that one day. buy zoloft online https://cpff.ca/wp-content/languages/new/zoloft.html no prescription


You treated me pretty well while you were in my belly, until the very last few weeks when you lodged your little body so high that you dislocated some cartilage from my rib cage. I spent time in the emergency room and slept sitting up for the last week. When you finally came {read about Evelyn’s birth story here} I felt like I was watching a movie in slow motion. It was nearly midnight, you came early, fast and unexpected. I had never experienced my water breaking and rushing to the hospital so the whole night was a whirlwind. Once the doctors brought you to me, I could not believe I had a daughter! You were the sweetest baby girl I had ever seen (totally biased I know) with the best demeanor. As you grew into your little self, your personality started to really shine. You totally go with the flow and let your brother take the lead. You love watching him talk and play and even let him chase you around sometimes. He is working on playing nice with you and you’ve been so patient while he learns to share and be gentle. I know you two are going to have such a great relationship. I think the reason walking has come so easily to you is because you want to keep up with Henry. You mastered walking before you were 10 months old. No falls, bruises or bumped heads. Pretty soon you will be chasing him around! buy fluoxetine online https://cpff.ca/wp-content/languages/new/fluoxetine.html no prescription


Last night when I laid your baby self down to sleep, I was flooded with emotions thinking of all the memories from this past year. How did all of these 365 days go by so fast? Why can’t I remember every second I have spent with you? If I could relive this year with you I would. I’d try to slow down time and treasure every moment we’ve shared. While I was pregnant with you I was worried I wouldn’t love you as much as I loved Henry. How could I possibly give love to another baby when your brother took up my whole heart? It’s safe to say that I never had trouble loving you. From the moment I first held you I fell in love. You have brought sweetness and balance to our family. Thank you for everything you have given us in your first year. It’s been such an honor being your mother.
“If I could give you one thing in life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes, only then would you realize how special you are to me. “

9 month Update

Just like that NINE months have come and gone with our Evelyn Mae. She is still the sweetest baby ever and unless it’s her witching hours, she is happy + smiley. She loves people and is not shy in the least. Her two bottom teeth popped through a few weeks ago (her first ones) so she has been chewing on everything from my toes to the dog and her brothers legos.

{bonnet // romper // cardigan: carter’s in store}
I’ve mentioned this a thousand times but damn baby girls are so fun to dress. I had a blast, and still do, dressing Henry but girls take it to a whole other level. Bonnets are her my favorite. Since she is still 99% bald I have to put bows and hats on her or she looks like a boy or her brother. buy nolvadex online http://padstyle.com/wp-content/languages/new/nolvadex.html no prescription
Sleeping: She’s still a champion sleeper. She takes 2-3 naps a day and sleeps for 13 hours at night straight through. She wakes up around 7am goes back down by 8:30, wakes up by 10am, back down from 1-3:30 and asleep for the night at 6pm. Sometimes she snoozes for 30-45 minutes in the afternoon which is nice because that’s when I tidy the house before my husband gets home.
Movement/Play: Crawling, standing and pulling up all day long. I suspect she will start walking within the next month because she is cruising all over the walls and furniture. Her brother took his first steps at 9 1/2 months and I see her doing the same. She loves to chew on most of her brothers legos (not the small kind) and trains but doesn’t have a favorite baby toy. She will play with whatever I toss at her while I am tending to her brothers tantrums. buy rimonabant online http://padstyle.com/wp-content/languages/new/rimonabant.html no prescription
Eating: This kid loves food. She would eat like she was going to the chair if I let her. She drinks four, 6 ounce bottles a day and has two meals around 4-6 ounces each plus some snacks throughout the day when she’s fussy (frozen bananas in a mesh bag, puffs, strawberries, ground turkey, etc). Finger foods have been a hit around here the past month and are perfect for her witching hours. She is starting to get the hang of drinking water from a sippy cup. buy cymbalta online http://padstyle.com/wp-content/languages/new/cymbalta.html no prescription
Speech: Her favorite word is mama of course and she babbles it all day long. She talks to herself while playing, when she’s happy, sad, pissed off and tired. And it’s always the same “mama” sound. Which basically means she has issues and is associating me with every emotion she’s feeling.
Size: 3 diapers, 6-12 month clothing in Gap and 9 month in almost every other brand. Size 3 shoes. We have her check up in a few weeks so until then I won’t have her exact size but my back knows she is over 20 pounds.
Likes: being held, food, our cat Dolly, her brother
Dislikes: when her bottle is finished or the bowl of food is empty.
I can’t believe we only have three more months left of her first year. These past two months have really been the most fun with her, as they were with Henry. I have already started planning her birthday … How will I have a ONE year old right after Christmas. This year has flown by even faster than Henry’s first year. If I could pick an age to keep her at so far, it would definitely be 9 months. <3
by the way … is there anything cuter than a baby turban???


Monday O.O.T.D.

It’s no secret that dressing a baby girl is probably more fun than dressing yourself. While I pretty much always have my hair in a top knot and leggings on, I try to make sure my kids are well dressed whenever we go out. Lately I have been trying to buy fewer pieces for the kids that are well made and can last us longer throughout the year. For Henry that means fun graphic tees that he can wear in summer or with a button up in fall and for Evelyn its rompers and leggings that are versatile for nearly any season with a little layering. 
The playsuits from June & January are super lightweight and can easily transition from spring/summer into fall by adding a carding and leggings or tights. They are also extremely well made (in the USA!) and I love the material. The pilot caps from Hanna Anderson are a staple piece for us and we own them in just about every color. Perfect for the beach and fall breezes. Lastly, who can resist socks with cat faces? My husband always jokes that if we were not married I would be living in an apartment with a ton of cats. I actually do not take that as an insult since I am a proud cat lady 🙂 
Playsuit: June & January // Pilot Cap: Hanna Anderson // Cat Socks: Gap Kids  

Monday’s are hard for everyone, sweet Evie <3

Evelyn 6 Month Update

Evelyn turned 6 months old on July 10 but didn’t have her check up until this past Thursday. How has (over) half a year flown by so quickly? I can’t believe how much she has changed in this short time. I think with your second baby you really appreciate how fast and how quickly they grow up, especially when you have a 3 year old running around having actual conversations with you and your Time Hop app is constantly reminding you of how little they used to be. 
She is fully sitting up now and still trying her best to crawl. She can get up on all fours and rock herself forward so much to the point where she falls on her face and cries. Poor girl, still working on moving the arms. I imagine she will be crawling just in time for us to go to California in September when she stays with my mom and her 5 flights of stairs.
Size: The pediatrician said she is the size of a 9 month old (insert 100 sad emoticons here). 18 lbs 4 ounces and 27.5 inches long. These stats were taken on the 23rd, so she was almost 6.5 months. 
Features: Her hair is getting a tad lighter but still brown. Eyes are a dark blue and skin tone almost matches her brothers exactly. Still no teeth, which is fine by me. Gummy bald babies are the best. 
Sleeping/Eating: Sleeping through the night without waking up for a feeding but sometimes cries out for her paci. Her naps are very frequent, sometimes 3 or 4 a day. She drinks a 6 ounce bottle 5 times a day and began solids at five months.  There hasn’t been one food she hasn’t liked. Sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, bananas, blueberries etc. and most recently yogurt. She can down four ounces of food like nobody’s business. 
Stats: Wearing size 3 diapers and 6 month clothes. A lot of the 3-6 month still fit her which is surprising considering what the doctor said. Very well because she still has a ton of clothes in that size. 
Favorite Things: Sophie the giraffe, rolling all over the living room, watching our dog lick himself and laughing at her brother pretending to take her to jail with his firetruck (more on Henry’s three year shenanigans later). 
Here are some of my her favorite looks over the past few weeks. Dressing her has been so much fun! I wish she knew how obsessed we all are with her. She is so smiley, loving and happy. I rarely catch her without a huge smile on her face. 

Newborn Essentials … Part 1

Being a new mom can be so overwhelming. Especially if you are the first out of your group of friends to have a baby, like I was when I had Henry. There are so many devices, gadgets, toys, etc out there to choose from that it can make your head spin. Thankfully, if you do the right looking around, you can save some money with Best For Mums on some of the most vital and sought after baby products out there. When we first registered while pregnant with Henry, our list was insane. Now that I have Evelyn, I realize that we hardly bought any newborn items this go round and quite a few were left over from when Henry was a baby. (there are still a few things that we have never used).
Aside from bottles, breast pumps and formula, here is my absolute must haves for newborns to get you through the first 12 weeks.

Baby Carrier – We love the Solly Baby Wrap. I never wore Henry for a few reasons: I had no idea these wraps existed until after he was too big to wear and since he was my first I wasn’t chasing after a toddler or multitasking as much so my hands were always free. I am baby wearing a lot with little girl since she will probably be my last baby (sad face) and I want to cuddle her as much as possible. There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to carriers, and whether you have a single baby or twins, you can always find which double carrier Baby Monitor Town recommends or a guide on which sling wrap is right for your baby. Plus I can still type on the computer, fill a sippy cup and change a diaper all while having her close to me.

Bibs/Pacifier – These bibs are the most practical on the market. They are super soft, neutral colored and easily velcro in the back. My favorite part is the dribble catcher at the neck to catch any milk that likes to drip down into the babies neck, which is disgusting and smelly. As far as pacifiers go, get a few and see whatever one your baby takes to but do yourself a favor and GET A PACIFIER. It is a lifesaver.

Boppy Lounger – This is the #1 must have that I recommend to all first time mothers, and even 2nd time moms. Henry took almost every nap in there and would lie there in bed with us while just hanging out. (Evelyn does the same). It’s the perfect little pillowy bed for brand new babies and Henry used his until 8 months.

Velcro Swaddles – More secure than regular swaddle blanket which means no little hands and feet get out at night. This has been a godsend for us for both babies. We use it only at night so she knows it’s time to sleep for more than a few hours.

Blankets, Blankets and more Blankets – This is pretty self explanatory. We use blankets so much around here and they are constantly being dropped on the ground during walks, left in the car seat, used to wipe spit up, and being loved on by my toddler. Needless to say there are more in the hamper and washing machine then in the closet.

Rock N Play – Perfect for babies who have reflux and spit up a lot (like my newborn). The design also makes the baby feel like they are being hugged and held upright. It’s also light enough to carry easily from room to room. We keep ours in the master bedroom and I can move into the bathroom when I need to shower and also put next to my bed during nap time.

Swing – This isn’t really a shocker. Everyone will tell you that you need one. We actually have three in our house 🙂

Sound Machine – Henry still sleeps with this same sound machine on the white noise setting and so do we at night (since Evelyn is in our room, she hears it as well). It’s cheap, portable and durable. There are other sounds too but we only play it on white noise. I also recommend getting the Pure White Noise CD Sampler from iTunes so there are tracks on your phone for car rides and when you’re out and about. The hair dryer and vacuum cleaner are baby magic. Don’t bother investing in a white noise app because you won’t be able to do other things on your phone and still have it running.

{a little throwback to her first few weeks of life in two of her favorite apparatuses}
Now here are a few items that I think are a complete waste of money (speaking from my own experience of course. These may come in handy for others).
Bassinet – Henry slept in our room until he was 6.5 months old. By then our pediatrician said he was old enough for cry it out and he could also roll over both ways, so I felt confidant in moving him into his crib. While he was in our room, he slept in a bassinet next to me until he grew out of it within a few months. We then switched to a pack n play with the bottom raised up. That is one of the best features of the pack n play. Your baby is high enough for you to reach and he also has room to grow and move around. I also don’t know a single mother out there who doesn’t own one or hasn’t registered for one. So please don’t spend $100 + dollars on a pretty bassinet that you’ll use for 3 months. Evelyn is 10 weeks and has been sleeping in the pack n play next to me since her first night home.
Wipe Warmer – we used this for baby #1 because we thought “wow what a cool idea!” like many first time parents, strolling through the isles at Buy Buy Baby. However Henry didn’t notice the difference and it was just another clunky item taking up space on the changing table. Evelyn doesn’t mind getting her diaper changed so the warm wipe would probably just relax her more and she would wind up peeing all over the changing pad.
Dreft Laundry Detergent – Ridiculous. Baby clothes don’t need baby laundry detergent. Besides, the makers of Dreft don’t even list the ingredients on the bottle or their website. How sketchy is that? Wouldn’t you like to know what is washing the clothes going on your brand new babies skin? (You can find them online here, click under “The Bad Stuff”). EWG also gives them an F score. Wash baby clothes in the same detergent you already use, it’ll save time since you can combine loads.
Bottle Sanitizer – One more bulky item taking up room in your already cluttered kitchen. Sanitize bottles and parts in the dishwasher.
Fancy Burp Cloths – I’m sorry new moms, but please do not spend $30 on a piece of fabric with hearts on it that your baby is going to throw up all over! Get a pack of the Gerber cloth diapers. They last longer, are cheaper and you can bleach them if need be.

I hope these lists help some new moms out there 🙂

Two Months

Happy TWO months to my favorite girl! These past eight weeks have gone by in a literal blink of an eye. I am sad to leave her when my maternity leave is up next month. All I want is to spend my days just holding her and cuddling. I wish babies could stay small longer. (Side-note: how do I bottle that newborn baby head smell??) It’s so bittersweet knowing that each day is the oldest and youngest she has ever been. 
Size: She is still in newborn diapers but we are almost out of our last pack so she will move up to size 1 by next week I’m sure. We made it 6 weeks in newborn clothes, although there are a few random things she can still fit in (or that I force her in). She is wearing some 0-3 months but most are still a little big. She is kind of at an in between size: too big for newborn and too small for most 0-3. Carters make the best jammies and the 3 month fit her nicely so we kind of just live in those unless we have company or we leave the house. If you follow me on Instagram (@chanelvanreenen) you can see all of her outfits which she insists I put her in. Click the hashtag #eviemaeootd to see them all.

Features: She has dark blue eyes and dark brown hair (like her mommy). However her eyebrows have some red in them … a friend of mine told me that you can foresee their hair color with the color of the eyebrows. I would love a red headed little girl (and then my grandma’s red hair would have finally been passed along to someone in our family). I still do not see Jan or myself in her … but she does look like her big brother when he was a baby. I think it may be too early to really tell. 

Sleeping/Eating: Just like her brother, she has shown to be an excellent sleeper. Ever since 4 weeks she’s been going for 6 hour stretches at night and mostly still sleeping during the day. Knock on wood! (or my Ikea particle board bed which is the closest thing to me now). We started putting her in a swaddle at night just before four weeks and that helped tremendously with her nighttime stretch. She is eating a 100 ML cocktail of breast milk, formula and rice cereal every 3-4 hours. This was to help with her spitting up and weight gain but she occasionally still spit ups (and actually the past 24 hours she has thrown up every bottle. WHAT.THE.F.)
Stats: Her 2 month check up isn’t until next week but I know she has grown in height especially. Her little feet are already hanging over the boppy lounger. 
Favorite Things: her paci, drinking milk, spitting up milk, looking at faces, cooing, sleeping, bath time, snuggling, kisses and her mommy. this girl is a huge mama’s girl (but I feel like most newborns are since we’re their primary care giver and spend the most time with them). 
Least Favorite Things: her paci (they have a love/hate relationship), tummy time, the hiccups, her gassy nature. 
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past month. I mentioned this before but I had no idea what I was missing out on when it came to dressing baby girls. I cannot believe the abundance of hats, bows, head wraps, booties, etc that there are available out there. It has been so much fun. Although dressing baby boys and now a toddler boy is still as exciting. Now they can compliment each other at holidays 🙂 

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