First Birthday

Little B is a year old! How time flies. It seems like not too long ago that I was getting up from the hospital bed and painfully walking over to the NICU to visit my new baby. She finally came home with us 11 days after she was born. Back then Little B was so fragile and helpless. A far cry from the independent, energetic, talkative but incoherent, curious and sweet baby she’s turned into in just a year.

And so, to celebrate a year of love, immense joy and poopy diapers, we threw her a small party. There weren’t any other children, because they had prior engagements, but our closest friends and family came.

I made a tutu and stenciled a onesie for her to wear. She toddled around, holding up one finger whenever asked how old she was.

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I’m One!

I DIY-ed the decorations, with the help of some Etsy purchases.

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We practiced blowing out a candle the day before the party, to no avail. And of course a few days later she started blowing on her own.

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She had her first taste of icing, which she loved. I dipped her finger into the icing and put it in her mouth. She didn’t need much encouragement after that!

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I suppose it was more for me and the Coach than it was for her, because we ended the party way past Little B’s bedtime!

Party Clothes

Little B’s first birthday came and went, but before that I had a birthday party to plan for.  Pinterest put all these party ideas in my head but I only got to use a few of them.

I had planned on a milk and cookies theme, but decided on a pink party instead.  I always said my little girl would never wear  one of those cutesy tutus, but that’s exactly what I made for her to wear for her party. As I said, I saw it on Pinterest and thought it would be fantastic if I could make one for Little B. I could just imagine her toddling around wearing her fluffy skirt. What to wear aside from the tutu though? I stenciled a onesie as well. Tissue paper pom poms? Check. Banners and buntings? Done. But in this post, I’ll focus on the outfit I made for her.

I looked up how to make tutus and found one site that made it seem so simple – Treasures for Tots. Next step was to buy the materials I needed to make the skirt. Unfortunately, in Manila, tulle doesn’t come in 6-inch width rolls so I estimated I needed maybe 3 yards each of 60-inch width tulle. Turns out, I ended up using only half the amount. I chose pink, fuchsia and lilac (with glitter). I also bought 18 inches of white ribbon to attach the tulle strips to.

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I alternated 3 strips of fuchsia, 3 strips of pink and 3 strips of lilac. After loads of cutting and knotting (with country music playing on my laptop – for some reason that’s what I felt like listening to that afternoon), this is what I had.

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Pretty, isn’t it? It looks better worn though. For the full how-to, visit Treasure for Tots.

Next up, the onesie. I made the design using Photoshop then I printed it out on sticker paper. Every blog I looked at said to use freezer paper but again, in Manila we don’t have that. But thanks to a post I saw online, I found out I could substitute sticker paper instead. After printing it, I cut out the design with something like an X-acto knife .

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I removed the paper backing and carefully placed the stencil onto a plain white sleeveless onesie. Then I used fabric paint to paint the design.

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It took a bit of work and a lot of waiting but here’s how it turned out:

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The lettering didn’t turn out so good. The sticker paper didn’t adhere well to the already-painted portion, so there was a bit of color bleeding that happened. But, I keep telling myself, not too bad for a first-timer.

Next post: the party!

DIY Bookshelves

A few posts ago, I was talking about a DIY project I was working on for Little B’s room. Well, I finally finished it! Actually, I installed the shelves about a month ago and am just posting this late.

Here’s what they looked like before I fixed them up:
And here’s what they look like now:
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I had to give them a second (or was that a third?) coating of white spray paint then I ran over it with sandpaper to give it a bit of a distressed look.
One night, I screwed the l-bars onto the shelves by hand. It took me a few more days to quit procrastinating and install them in Little B’s room. But first I had to make sure the shelves were installed evenly. So I took a piece of string, tied something to the end, and taped it to the wall. Using the string, I was able to line up the shelves. I also had to use a leveler (?) to ensure the shelves were, well, leveled. J had to teach me how to use the electric drill so I could screw the l-bars onto the walls. Thank goodness the wall I decided to put the shelves on was made of wood! I don’t know if I could have done it on my own on a concrete wall.
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I’m pretty proud of myself for doing it mostly on my own, and I hope Little B will like it when she’s old enough to appreciate it.

Pat on the back

I’ve FINALLY finished one of the projects I did, using the leftover plywood from the cabinet and bookcase we had made. Funnily, it was the most difficult one but the bookshelves for Bea and the hanging rack for behind the bathroom door are still waiting to be completed.

We keep the gas tank between the counter and the oven, and it’s a bit of an eye sore. So I came up with a solution – a cover for the gas tank (and trash can) and an extension for our counter.

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I’m so proud of myself. I did this all on my own! Measured the space, cut the wood, nailed it together, painted it. Who knew I had it in me? My husband just sat back and watched. I did ask him for help at one point, to screw an L-bar in. But other than that, that’s all me. It’s very simple, absolutely no frills – I wouldn’t be able to handle it otherwise.

Now, my problem is how to waterproof the top! I need to protect it from oil splatters and liquid spills. I bought polyurethane earlier today. I hope brushing it on helps.

DIY Stress

I have always wanted to be a DIY-er. DIY pins on Pinterest are saved in my bookmarks folder, for when I have the time to finally get started. The cabinet and bookcase are done, and there’s loads of wood left over. I figured, now is as good a time as any. I pulled up a DIY link that I thought would be a good first project.
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Image taken from Shanty 2 Chic
It sure seemed easy enough. $20 shelves ANYONE can build. Actually, I started this last weekend.  I ran out of nails so had to buy more and I thought, maybe I can use wood moulding. It took me a while to find a nice-looking one and was only able to finish today. To be fair, I couldn’t continue it during the week as I had to be at work.
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As it turns out, I’m not anyone. The shelves didn’t turn out the way I thought they would. Originally, I wood-stained them but they didn’t look too good (or maybe I didn’t stain it properly) so I decided to spray paint them white. I’m just waiting for them to dry before I add the hanging mechanism and install them as bookshelves in my daughter’s room. I made another project, to hang behind the bathroom door. J has been wanting to replace the hooks we have there now but we haven’t been able to find what we’re looking for. I thought I might as well make it too!
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Still didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. I wonder what I can do to jazz it up a bit?  It just might be better for me to give up my illusions of DIY-ing.