This year wasn’t Em’s turn for a party, but I still wanted to do something simple and fun for her 4th birthday. I decided we would just have some of her girl friends over one morning for donuts! I also love fostering her little girl friends, as she doesn’t have a sister. Girl friends are so important, aren’t they?!
Anyways, I want to share a few pictures and talk about how easy it was to have this donut party!
I went to set the table and kept pulling things out of my craft closet and … this happened! The pink table cloth is from the dollar store (I did put a white cotton one under it, as it is see through), the table runner is wrapping paper I found in our closet (after Christmas sale at target last year), the “placemats” are pieces of construction paper I already had, the pink straws were from target’s party section, the plates and napkins are just basic ones you can get anywhere, and the castle party favor boxes and crowns I got at TJ Maxx a few months ago. For the centerpiece I used my new macrame placemates from Home Goods , some extra felt balls I had in my closet from Hello Maypole, and some star twinkle lights from good ol Target.
The day before the party I used some fresh flowers and eucalyptus as the actual centerpiece, but on the day of the party I decided to replace it with the donut cake.
And lets talk about this donut cake for a second…
It was the easiest.cake.ever. Obviously! lol. I just stacked them up and added some faux greenery and a flower. I know homemade is the best, but there are times its just not worth the stress. This saved a lot of time, and I’m pretty sure the girls loved it just the same! We served milk and also had cheese, crackers and grapes for an extra snack! For the moms I baked some quiches from Costco and cut donuts into quarters so we didn’t have to commit to a whole one 😉 On a side note, I think I always eat more when I cut them. It’s “just” a bite here and there…and then another when I walk by..and then here and there again. 🙄
As far as decorating the fireplace mantel, I just hung a few target banners and layered paper fans! Its a little busy, but, I wanted festive.
What REALLY made the party was all of Emi’s sweet friends. She’s a blessed little girl.
Emi got a lot of nail polish, makeup, and jewelry from her friends. My favorite part of the day was after she opened her gifts. Her friends took her into her room and played beauty shop with her. They painted her nails, her toes, but on some lip stick, and put allll the hair accessories in her hair. I think she really did feel like a princess!
Happy Birthday, our sweet Emi girl!
Please let me know if you have any questions about this girly party! xoxo, Danielle
For various reasons the past few weeks have seemed extra busy. I constantly just feel like I’m a step behind and can’t quite catch up. Whenever I feel this way I like to pause for a minute and make sure I’m saying “no” to the things I can be. My time on earth is too short and sweet to let busyness invade my life and rob me of special moments and joy!
I need down time to recharge and feel refreshed. Time to be still and focus my thoughts. When the days go flying by and we are here and there, I feel overwhelmed, behind, frustrated and worn down. My kids are still little so they are dependent on momma for a lot of things. I have to be conscious of not wearing myself too thin. I have found that I like 2-3 days during the week with no set plans. I’ll go out with the kids to do errands or fun things, but we go at our own pace. When my weeks become too full I feel like I’m just herding my little pack around, always rushing everyone around leaving me feeling like a scatter brained drill sargent. Its hard for me to stay up on laundry, housework, our garden, and my quiet time. When the busyness creeps in I feel like I miss out on special little moments with my kids, and those moments can be so important! I am to nurture my children, and nurturing calls for those teachable and lovable moments.
As I reflect on the busyness of the past few weeks, and the upcoming weeks, I realize there’s not much I can do about it. There always seems to be seasons where the calendar is full and there is really no way around it. So what do I need to do during this time? I need to adjust for this season based on how I know I function. I need to make sure I squeeze in a few minutes of down time daily. I need to be conscious of saying “no” to all the things I can. If there happens to be a free day, I need to work at keeping it that way. I need to aim at having a good attitude if the laundry is piled higher than normal and the house isn’t as clean as I want. Its a busy season and something has to give! I also need to make sure this season doesn’t go on for too long and our family doesn’t reach burnout!
As wives and/or mothers it is our job to set boundaries and protect busyness from invading. We are the keeper of the calendar.
I realize everyone is different, some thrive with being on the go, where others like myself may need a little more down time. I encourage you to take a step back though and assess where you are and where you want to be. Figure out ways you can adjust. What do you need and what does your family need? Are you burnt out? Do you need to be saying “no” more? Time is valuable and life is short. Let’s make sure we are being good keepers of the calendar and stewards of our time!
Now that the closet is purged, its time to start filling in the gaps by adding basic pieces.
It is important to key in on your own style and what works for you!
So, what makes you feel comfortable? I personally don’t like tight or restrictive tops, rather more flowy basic shirts that allow me to feel comfortable when I’m doing my “mom job”. And when I wear heels, I feel like an alien from mars and will probably end up with a broken leg so…definitely no to heels or wedges for me. I mean, I will if it’s an important event… like I’m meeting the president or something. Maybe you like wearing heels to the store and it makes you feel like you can conquer the world! By all means, wear those heals! I will admire you. Just figure out what works for you 🙂
Now, let’s talk color palette for a moment. I don’t think this should be complicated. I didn’t even plan mine, it just happened! Pick your favorite shirts from your closet and see what majority rules. There may be 3-4 colors that seem to stand out. Maybe they are bright, or more neutral like mine, but just stick with your colors so outfits will match. If that doesn’t work, start pining outfits you like on Pinterest and try to figure out what your favorites are! Below are a few palettes I like with similar colors in my closet:
Now I’m going to take you through my closet to show you what I have and how many I have to give you an idea. But remember, just figure out what works for you!
«s h i r t s»
For tops I tend to go plain, with a little flair. Like an oversized baggy pocket, a high-low (longer in back), or your good ol’ v-neck. Its just what I gravitate to and makes me feel comfortable! Plus, they go with a lot. So how many do I have? About 12 spring/summer shirts and tanks hanging in my capsule section. I also have my comfy, around the house shirts…which I will talk about another time.
The picture below is a more realistic view of what my shirt section looks like. I did, however, leave some long sleeve shirts in the mix since we haven’t quite reached summer yet.
So, does my shirt section surprise you? Did you think you could only have 5? Maybe I’m not a strict capsule follower in the capsule world, but this works for me right now! I’m sure I’ll be tweaking it even more. I’d also like to add that I kept a few more in the mix because I still have young kiddos that get me dirty. So if one gray top gets dirty, I’ll just grab another gray top! Another reason why its nice when the color scheme stays similar. One winter day I was wearing black skinny jeans and a chambray top and both were spilled on…so I went to my closet and put on the exact same outfit! I love not thinking about what I’m going to wear. There’s too many other things to think about!
«s h o r t s»
These are my shorts for the capsule. I do have a few others from the past, just in case. (See, its hard to let go!!) We live in the middle of sunny california, so we reach many over 100 degree days. H O T. The green and pink shorts fit well and were on the longer side for short shorts so…I bought two colors. The top jean shorts I made from an old pair of flair jeans. Reuse and recycle 😉 I think this will be a good base for summer (those times I’m not splashing in the pool with the kids)…and the colors go with a lot!
«f a n c y»
As I was purging my closet I realized all my skirts were super outdated. And honestly, I don’t really know what skirts are in style now, so I decided to stick with dresses. For churches, weddings, or…if I meet the president of course. When I got rid of my 100+ pieces of clothes, I found a few dresses I had forgotten about! Another reason to keep the closet clean.
«S h o e s»
These sandals are my staple. Thank you Marshalls. I mean, its these 85% of the time and other than that its my rainbow sandals or my workout shoes. I do have high heels stored under the bed (for when I meet el presidente). I think its good to have 2 capsule shoes for the season, but I just have one for now. Guess I better go shopping 🙂
I will say, while the weather is cooler in spring, I will still where one of my two staple winter shoes…these Lucky brand lace up booties. They go with everything! Thank you Marshalls, again.
«A c c e s s o r i e s»
This is my capsule necklace. It is simple and goes with everything. I think I paid $3 for it at Forever 21! I do have more necklaces hanging in my closet, but honestly, a lot were gifts and I don’t want to get rid of them! I decided because they don’t take up much room, I’ll let myself keep them;) But when I’m in a rush and need a necklace, this is “the one”.
«C a r d i g a n s»
I usually don’t need a sweater with the kind of summers we have, but I like to keep my lighter cardigans out. For those few cool summer nights or when buildings crank up the A.C! I ended up with 6 because a few are very light and 3/4 sleeves and a few are long sleeve and a little heavier.
«Mix & Match»
Here are a few examples of outfits I can make with my capsule clothes!
So….what about the non-capsule items? This would include comfy clothes, work out clothes, and pajamas. I have downsized a lot in all of these areas and try to keep it simple. I decided to go all black bottoms for work out clothes and buy tops that match black. I chose about 5 or 6 of my favorite comfy shirts to keep around. I mean, comfy clothes ARE my staple;) There are no rules, but just be mindful with everything you keep!
In summary, chose quality over quantity. Be strategic when you make a purchase and be sure it will match with what you have. If you put a new item in your closet, look carefully through what is already in there and see if an item or two can be removed.
If we can do this with our wardrobe we are one step closer to simplifying life.
And a simple life gives us more time with things that really matter. I think we are all about that, right?! Thanks for reading my little capsule series! If you missed the first and second post, click them to read!
Below I did a little shopping for you with (similar) items in my wardrobe..just click on the photo and it will take you to the link where you can purchase them!
There are beautiful messes within the home. Messes that are left by our loved ones living in it…making sweet memories.
Then there was my closet. Not such a beautiful mess.
The past year or so I’ve become more aware of trying to make life more simple. The first few years of motherhood were a survival blur, and things accumulated. We moved into our 1400 sq ft home with 3 people, and then there were 5. More clothes, more shoes, more toys, more food, and just more stuff. I also let my closet accumulate. I had high school clothes, college clothes, maternity clothes, post partum clothes, nursing clothes, and then whatever other things I would randomly snag when I was out shopping. You know, those impulse buys that you make, hoping that it will make your post partum self feel better.
I have a normal sliding door closet and I found myself wishing a had a big beautiful walk- in closet. Well, I could dream away but no walk-in closet would magically appear. Then I kept hearing about… The Capsule Wardrobe. My sister and sister in law started dabbling in it and there were a lot of pinterest articles about it. Hey! Maybe that would solve my lack of a walk-in closet…I could just get rid of some clothes! Genius. Not only would it solve my space problem, but it would solve the “having so much to wear, yet nothing to wear” problem.
Never in a million years would my husband have been able to pick out an outfit for me. This shirt wouldn’t work with those pants…and those pants definitely wouldn’t work with that shirt! And with this problem, it also took time to pick outfits to wear. But I didn’t want to spend extra time trying to figure out what to wear. My babies were (are!) growing every time I blink.
I wanted to free more time and space for things that really matter. Simplify life. Sigh. Sounded life a breath of fresh air.
So, the whole capsule wardrobe intrigued me and I decided to give it a try. I was a little nervous, picturing myself only have 5 shirts. Could I do it? But with further thought and research, I realized it wasn’t about numbers. I could own more than 5 shirts. Phew. I just wanted quality over quantity. And to be mindful of what I keep in my closet.
Myquillian Smith (The Nester) talks about how we are home curators. She says, “My job isn’t so much an organizer of clutter, but a curator of things we need and love and a get-ridder of things that no longer serve us.” We have things for seasons, but then need to let them go.
“There is more joy to be found in owning less than can ever be found in organizing more.”
-Joshua Becker, (Clutterfree with kids)
My heart’s desire is to have a peaceful home. I don’t want it to be filled to the brim with stuff that I have to spend time organizing and re-organizing. I want to be mindful of what I keep and what I get rid of. I want to be an example to my children that memories are more important than things. I’m still a work in progress, so please don’t open my junk drawer…or guest closet.
What do you think? If you haven’t already done this, are you willing to give it a try? I think we have to determine what kind of life we want to live, and then we can feel more committed when we choose to do things like downsize our wardrobe.
In my next posts I will talking about the purges, yes multiple, I did over a few months and how I reached my final capsule result (and how you can too)! Click here to read about the next step, how to downsize your wardrobe, and click here to read the last post!
Please leave any comments with questions or ideas you may have!
Children really help teach patience. They help you learn what things in life are really important and what things can wait, they teach you how to give up your own interests for the sake of others (your family), and…did I say patience?! I’ve had to scale back in life recently to deal with attitudes. For some reason we are in a season where on some mornings, by 8:30 am, I’ve dealt with more attitudes and meltdowns than I should have all day. I was getting so burnt out and frustrated. Then I realized I just needed to scale back on life. I needed to allow myself to be more available to my children to deal with the attitudes on hand.
I haven’t been scheduling play dates or planning a lot of extra things, I haven’t been as focused on Instagram or planning what to post next, I haven’t been on my phone as much… and when I do have down time, I try to fill myself up. I’m in the Word, listening to relaxing music, working out, and staying on top of the house so I’m not stressed about that. And you know, its helped so much. Just letting go of things and focusing my attention on my children. The ridiculous meltdowns and tantrums aren’t as stressful and I’m able to collect myself and face them head on, with more patience. Well, sometimes I want to walk head on into the wall and repeatedly bang my head on it…but, not as often as before. (May I add, I still lose my patience, daily.) Its so easy to get too busy and forget that we are raising little sinners who needs to be taught, disciplined, loved, and reminded of things over and over again…and again..and then one more time. But thats our job, our calling. So, sometimes things in life need to wait, and we need to put all our energy and effort into the most important things…our littles!
So, speaking of trying to fill myself up, I decided to bake on this rainy afternoon while the kids were napping. I turned up the tunes and got to whisking! Here’s what I whipped up…they were pretty tasty!
I used a recipe from Pinterest, and my own modifications are in parentheses.
Maple- Sweetened Banana Muffins
⅓ cup melted coconut oil or (extra-virgin olive oil, because my coconut oil was expired 😯 )
½ cup maple syrup or honey (I used honey)
2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
¼ cup milk of choice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
1¾ cups whole wheat flour (I did 1 cup whole wheat and 3/4 cup almond flour)
⅓ cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon turbinado (raw) sugar or other granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius). If necessary, grease 11 cups of your muffin tin with butter or non-stick cooking spray (my pan is non-stick and didn’t require any grease).
In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup or honey together with a whisk. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.
Divide the batter evenly between the 11 muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon), followed by a light sprinkling of sugar (about 1 teaspoon). Bake muffins for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan. Enjoy muffins as is or with a spread of nut butter or regular butter.
I hope you’re able to make them and sit down with some coffee for a little “recharge” time! Thanks for reading, friends!
I’m just going to do a quick recap of Levi’s 4th birthday. Read here if you missed the post about our firstborn, Levi!
We talked before hand about what he wanted and let him plan out the day! He woke up to 4 super hero’s looking at his morning spot on the couch. Thankfully he slept, because the day before he wasn’t sure if he would be able to since “he was so excited it was going to be his birthday!” 😉
A few days before his birthday I was at the store with all the kids and that was my chance to grab a few things for his big day. I brought a re-usable shopping bag so I could hide things in the bag when he wasn’t looking. I got a pack of super hero masks, balloons, streamers, and super hero plates. I’m not really into the “character” thing, but it was fast, easy and I knew HE would love it, and thats what matters, right?!
After the rest of the crew woke up we had eggs and fruit….
…before we headed off to the donut shop for a special treat. He wanted to eat in the car though so “he didn’t have to unbuckle, buckle, unbuckle…”. So we had a donut and milk picnic in the car.
We then headed off to the store for him to pick out his birthday present. As most kids, he loves the times he is able to pick something out when we go to the store (usually for $1), so we knew he would love being able to pick out a bigger toy! And…he loved it. He was so excited and had a sweet attitude about it 🙂 I don’t want our kids to have a “give me” attitude and expect all these big great things for their birthdays and holidays, but it sure is fun to see their face light up when they get a new toy! There’s a balance in everything.
This was his choice. I think it was a good one.
Then we came home and swam with some neighborhood friends. He didn’t want a lot of people over, but it was fun to have a few friends over to swim with us!
After swimming we had a picnic lunch in the shade of the tree.
The kids were worn out from playing with friends in the sun so they got a treat and watched part of a movie before nap time!
After naps we went to Nonna & Vovo’s house (my parents) for a BBQ, per his request. His dinner choice was steak 🙂 We swam, had dinner, and enjoyed an ice cream cookie cake! I guess I was enjoying the evening too much to take more pictures!
There was nothing fancy about this day. In fact, as his birthday approached I felt a little guilty that I wasn’t having a big party, inspired by all these pinterest ideas. I was worried the day wouldn’t be special. Instead of a pinterest perfect party I bought some cheap decorations last minute and put them up at 10pm the night before. I got a few snacks that he likes and I didn’t even have a gift prepared for him (but that was on purpose)! To my surprise, it was the best birthday we’ve had for one of our kids!!! I loved that I was able to be present with him and enjoy HIM. We had a great time as a family, he felt special, and I wasn’t stressed. It was a win-win and a very special day with our big 4 year old.
Disclaimer: I am not against big parties! I have a few friends that always throw an amazing “Pinterest Party” and I’m always in awe of how great it looks. I will probably have a <smaller> party at the end of next month for our youngest who is turning 1! What we did for Levi was perfect for what he wanted and how busy we are right now. Special doesn’t have to be big 🙂
What do you like to do for birthdays?! Would love to hear your ideas!
I’ve been reading about people setting “Summer Goals” and it seemed a little overwhelming to do that. Well honestly, I’m afraid I’ll end up feeling like a failure at the end if I don’t accomplish them! So I decided to just write out 5 things…that doesn’t seem too daunting! Its nothing crazy, but I think its good to set goals for ourselves, because time goes by so quickly. Setting goals can help us consciously make the time to do things that are important to us or things that will help better ourselves. I’ve written out goals before in how I want to be as a mother, or how to encourage my family & friends, etc., but its been a while so I think its time to set some new ones in all areas of my life!
Here are my “Summer 5”:
Read Having a Martha Home the Mary Way (Which also involves a cleaning schedule to help simplifying and declutter your home)
Take a family trip to the beach
Invite a family over once a week for a BBQ and swimming (read about hospitality!)
Overnight trip with my hubby
Lots of Berry picking with the kiddos!
I’m thinking next summer I’ll have the kids give their input 🙂 At the end of August I’ll let you know how these goals went. Do you set goals for yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it! Also, any ideas or suggestions on summer goals?!
P.S. We WILL be swimming every day, if not twice a day. Thats a given 😉
Happy Mothers day! I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your mothers, being a mother, or memories of someone!
“This leads to something else I’ve become better at over the years of parenting. Making time for myself. I used to think this sounded selfish…when people said I need “ME” time. But now I realize it is crucial in being a good mom. I like to think of it more as “recharge” time though…to recharge spiritually and emotionally to keep persevering in our important role of being a mother! I used to feel guilty when doing this, it was hard for me to stop and sit when there was so much to do! But now I realize I’m always a better mom after.
In the book “Mission of Motherhood” I read, Sally Clarkson suggested doing something which I have found so helpful. She said to make a list of things that help keep your sanity- 15 minutes daily, an hour or two weekly, and a weekend refreshment at least once every 6 months (well, the weekend away is a good goal at least 😉 ). For my 15 minutes daily it’s (usually with coffee) gardening, looking at a magazine, reading an easy read book, working out, crafting, etc…. something refreshing and something I enjoy. At times when I only have a few minuets I have turned on some worship music and sat on the couch with my eyes close and feet up. It helps me relax, clear my head of the chaos, and gives me a little more energy to hang on to as I finish out the day! On the weekend when my hubby is home I try to to do a “fun errand”…like browse the stores for clearance clothes that I can store away for next season for my kids. This doesn’t always happen, and I know it can’t for some, but please, just carve out a few minutes here and there to take care of your sweet spirit. Motherhood is a lot of giving to our little loves, and I think we can do it with a happier heart if we make a little time……And remember, if you feel overwhelmed on this motherhood journey, all God needs is a faithful and willing heart and He will help with the rest!”
I hesitated sharing this because I don’t want it to sound selfish. I know as moms we tend to put our family before ourselves, and thats how it should be. But I also know, as I have done it many times, I reach burn out…and then I just collapse and can’t do anything. I’m learning ways to help prevent those burn outs coming as often…and I hope this little exercise I learned from Sally Clarkson helps you too! What things help you feel refreshed?!
In honor of Mother’s day approaching I want to share with you the first of a 3 part “mini series” on motherhood. One of my best childhood friends recently became a mom (yah!), and while she was expecting her sweet boy I wrote her a letter about a few things I’ve learned on my motherhood journey. Being a mom is so extremely hard at times, but brings a joy and love you can’t describe! I’ve divided the letter into 3 parts so that each part is just a few paragraphs and makes for an easy read!
….”As you begin on the this journey of motherhood you have a sweet little newborn, who needs you 24/7. And although “lack of sleep” can sometimes be a laughing matter when talking to a new mom…it.is.hard. I have a very supportive and hands on husband, however, in the beginning I would find myself annoyed at him. Annoyed that he would wake up after a solid 6 hours of sleep and would yawn and say “I’m tired”. Really? Really. You’re tired?! Must be nice to get more than 2-3 hours in a row! And although things get better the older they get…there is teething, sickness, early risers, scary dreams, more kids… It used to be really hard for me mentally. I would want to sulk on days I felt exhausted from not getting a good night’s sleep. Over the years though I’ve learned that that’s just part of parenting and I need to stop dwelling on it…or to stop dwelling on the fact that some peoples kids sleep actually do sleep a solid 12 hours at night (because I’ve dwelt on that). I just read something I wrote in my “motherhood journal” recently:
Today I write this feeling exhausted. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in, I don’t know how long. Recently there have been nights I’m up 8 times between all the kids. I’m trying not to focus on the lack of sleep and just enjoy the days we have together as a family…however, I think I’m almost at a breaking point.
There are times & seasons (sickness!) when you really do just need sleep, so get some help and take a nap! But I’m talking about the normal, day to day sleep deprivation. Something that has motivated me to get up before the kids when I just really want to hit snooze, or when I’m just tired and don’t feel like serving my family, is striving to be like the Proverbs 31 woman. Proverbs 31:15 says “She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household”, and verse 27, “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.” The virtuous woman here rises early and works hard because of her concern for others. She gives of herself to care for her family..she was a servant leader. What a great example for me.
The scary thing is that as woman, we set the tone for the home. Titus 2 talks about how the older women need to teach the younger women “…to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home.” Our husbands are called to be the leaders of their family, but we are the overseer who can plan, organize, manage the creativity, and set the tone for the home. My attitude greatly affects my family, so I need to stop dragging my feet around whining that I haven’t had a good night’s sleep.
This leads to the next thing I’ve discovered about being a mom, it’s really hard to keep a good attitude and have patience when you’re tired and its complete mayhem…”
**Please check back for part 2 of the letter that talks about the hardest thing for me as a mom, patience!** Proverbs 31 has been a great reminder for me as I take care of my home and my family, and I hope it is for you to!