You guys… what a year! And what in the time warp? My daughter, Aria, turned one and I can hardly believe the transformation that she’s made in just that short a time. I know people say time flies but I literally just gave birth to her yesterday. How is she already a year old? Well, over the year, as you know, I’ve given here a different career every month to encourage her to imagine, play and dream big. Here’s that year in review.
Twelve Months Old – Service – Firefighter, Police Officer, Marine
Thank you for watching her journey and encouraging her for greatness. Even though the picture series is over, cultivating her imagination never is. Always tell your kids how great they are and that nothing is impossible.
My daughter loves to explore everything around her. She is a virtual sponge, even at 4-months old. She is so alert and attentive, I’m always so shocked that her attention span is greater than 30 seconds.
So for our family activity, we decided to go to the Cockrell Butterfly Center in Houston. To let her see the butterflies and see if they might like her enough to try to land on her. If they did, I would hope that she wouldn’t try to eat one. These days everything is hand to mouth. Luckily, they only flew nearby and we never had to have a butterfly emergency. Tiny meltdown, yes. Eaten butterflies, no.
She got all the compliments. There was even another baby there that lost quick interest in the butterflies and only had eyes for her. Step back little Romeo… no boys allowed until she’s 45. Her bow looked like a butterfly and so she fit right in. Join us on our journey.
Don’t you love it when you pass by Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel and you see those beautifully set tables. I do. I always think to myself, I want my table to look like that. So one day I did it. Here’s how:
The first thing is I decided what theme I wanted. Since it’s warm out, I wanted something bright and pretty. So I decided on a pastel floral theme. And I’m obsessed with this gold flatware that we got as a wedding gift from Crate and Barrel – so I knew I would be incorporating that. I think Target (pronounced Targé) has a less expensive version in their home section, so if you’re pinching the pennies, go for that.
This is what you have to do:
Decide your theme. Already discussed… moving right along.
Check around your house. Chances are you already have most of the elements that you need sitting around the house. Those fake flowers sitting on the coffee table that are gathering dust, grab those. The birthday party decorations that you shoved in the attic that you wondered what you would do with after the party, yep, go through that too. Check out these cool Ikea lanterns that we had leftover from our engagement party nearly three years ago.
Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose. Use unconventional containers as accents and other decorative elements. For example, my flower display sits on one of my cake stands.
Use color and cool patterns! I can’t stress this one enough. Color draws the eye and just makes everything so much prettier. The patterns make them interesting. I used color from the flowers and bowls and patterns from the plates and chargers. I also threw in a little texture from my glasses.
Use candles. The soft glow can’t be beat! Again, I repurposed some fake ones that we had from our engagement party. I prefer real ones, but these old tealights were handy. If you do use real one, just remember to keep them out of the way of the kiddos and to blow them out when you’re done.
Use cool placemats and napkins. I had to buy mine. But they were el-cheapo from Targé. Also, don’t foget to add tiny touches and personal details. I wrote sweet little messages and stuck them inside butterfly placecard holders.
Arrange it all together and you have your very own fancy tablescape – on a dime!!!
So, full disclosure, this isn’t my backyard – although I surely wish that it was. This is a little stroll my pixie and I took through the McGovern Centennial Gardens in Houston’s Hermann Park district. It’s easy to forget all that your city has to offer. After a while you tend to overlook things that you see everyday. Here’s a reminder to stop and smell the roses and remember that every city has something(s) special to offer.
I have to admit that Houston definitely has some gems if you look out for them. This is one. With beautifully manicured grounds and the perfect place for a picnic – I’d recommend it for a summer stroll with your family and loved ones.
There’s only one caveat, it’s mostly open without a lot of tree cover for shade (there’s some on the side) so bring lots of water and a hat because the Houston sun can be brutal.Right when you enter, you will immediately see the beauty of the property. There are plants and flowers everywhere in pretty much every shade. The focal point is this massive water fountain that you can take a short walk to the top of and catch views of the entire gardens and some of the park on the outside.
My peanut and I did a quick photo shoot, even though the sun was beaming and we were sweltering in the heat. Everywhere you turn makes a great backdrop for photos and selfies. These pics don’t do these red and yellow flowers any justice though. Forgive me for the terrible shots, the sun made it extremely hard to see what I was shooting.
Time to stop for a quick refreshing beverage. Remember I told you to bring water. Well she had the delicious “boob juice” and mommy, well I wasn’t smart. I had none. I’ll know better next time. She lit up my life with those cute flowers in her hair and bow.
Check us out, soaking up the sun. Make sure you protect yourself with sunscreen when you’re out. Sunburn makes for a not-so-happy person. Also, no worries, baby Aria was only in the sun long enough for me to take a quick snap and then she was covered right back under her trusty Pipa shade. I’m paranoid about the sun.
After a nice day in the park, my little pixie was finished. Time for a nap.
What are some of your favorite places to go that are in your backyard? Perhaps Aria and I will visit them. Let us know your family moments and summer traditions too! See you later.