Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer Bucket List | swim lessons

Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List | swim lessons
I asked Aria what kind of class she wanted to try this summer. She picked dance classes right away, but soon changed her mind to swim lessons. I was a tiny bit bummed about missing out on those dance moves, but swimming is a great choice with her love of being in water. Plus, she can still take dance classes another time!

We don't have a pool, but her godfather does and we pop over there frequently to go swimming. Aria enjoyed jumping in but not much past that. She was content to float around with mom and dad or her floatie. Nothing we said seemed to click with her. But, as soon as she had her first swim lesson she was an entirely different kid. She listened to her teacher and tried out all the things Chris and I had been trying to get her to do for years. She loved it. Loved it!

There was slight setback when her second class had a substitute teacher fill in. The teacher either taught older kids or just didn't provide enough enthusiasm but Aria almost didn't want to go back to the third lesson. Thank goodness her regular teacher returned and after coaxing Aria to get in the water she was back to being amazing. Kicking her legs, using her arms, dunking her head under the water, and figuring out how to float. The float was probably her most problematic. She was just not a fan, but when it clicked she was so proud. Mom and dad too. There was such a difference between her pre-lessons and that third lesson that I started to tear up watching her. Chris and I were just blown away at all the great progress she has made.

We've got four lessons under our belts now, and signed up for another four. And, every single day she asks if it is swim lessons day and when can she go see Miss Kaitlyn. She thinks the sun and moon of her teacher, which I'm so happy about. It was her first student teacher type situation, and I was pretty nervous about it on that first day. But, clearly listening to a stranger is much more fun than listening to mom and dad =)
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List | swim lessons

Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List | swim lessons
Check out the rest of our Summer Bucket List:

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thoughts on Giant Gold Pull-String Pinatas!

Thoughts on Giant Gold Pull-String Pinatas!

One of the first things that I had my little heart set on when we found out we were expecting baby #2 was a gender reveal party. We had one with Aria, and it was so fun to share that way that I couldn't resist doing it again. This time around though we wanted to find out as a family. But, because Aria would never have been able to hold her tongue for a few days let alone a few hours we decided to have our ultrasound technician write down if baby #2 was a little girl or a little boy. That way everybody would find out at the same time. Even us.

Then I started thinking about how we were going to do the reveal. Since I didn't know myself I couldn't order anything in a specific color. With Aria I made a double layer cookie cake and frosted pink between the layers with a few circles of white around the edge to hide the big reveal. It was definitely a whole new ballgame thinking of a reveal that I could DIY without needing to know if it was a boy or a girl.

Finally I came across this giant gold pinata filled with pink confetti. It was perfect! The blogger made it herself and cut out both blue and pink confetti. She wanted to capture the big moment with their photographer, so she brought it all along to her photo shoot.  Then she had her photographer stuff the correct color of confetti inside for them.

I originally thought I would take a bunch of pictures of the process, but I ended up doing all of it after Aria went to bed in my poorly lit bedroom. Since those would be the worst pictures in the world I didn't even bother. But, I thought I would share with you the DIY I followed along with a few pieces of advice I have now that I am on the other side of making it.

So, first things first. This is the how to I found and used to make our gold pull string pinata.

It all starts with a paper lantern. She didn't specify what size paper lantern she used, just that it was the largest she could find at Ikea. I ordered a 24" paper lantern and it was definitely gigantic. I'm pretty sure it was bigger than hers so it made some of the steps different between hers and mine. I wanted it large and in charge but I think going down a size would have been both large and easier. Hindsight.

To make the lantern gold you hot glue on gold fringe. She said she used long door fringe and just cut it shorter. I'm not sure how many packs of that stuff she needed to buy, but when I priced it out it would have been ridiculously expensive. Instead I found some gold metallic foil paper on amazon. I cut out long strips 3 inches tall and then just hand cut the fringe. I ended up not buying enough so I took a quick trip to Walmart to see if I could find some gold metallic wrapping paper, I didn't have enough time to wait for the amazon shipping at that point. (Life lesson: don't procrastinate DIY things, they always take 47 times longer than you think) I did end up finding some and it was cheaper. Yay! When I finished hot gluing all my hand fringed gold strips to my lantern I realized that cheaper is definitely not better. Boo. The difference in thickness meant that the more expensive paper stayed hanging down while the cheaper paper all curled upwards. I could have cried, but there was nothing I could do about it at that point.

By my calculations I would have needed 4 rolls of the foil paper from amazon for my 24" lantern. I didn't even think to attempt the math before I ordered 1 roll. But, hopefully you can learn from my errors if you are in going to make your own gold pinata!  And, probably double check my math because it is not my strongest attribute.

I'd also recommend getting the paper lantern with even ribbing because it provided a super convenient hot gluing guide for the fringe. I just followed it up and around the whole lantern. It probably took me 10 hours to glue that whole thing. Such a slow process. I'm sorry if you burn your knuckles off as well, I still have the scars. 

The internal structure with the oatmeal can worked the same. I used a really large oatmeal container and a ton of tape. When in doubt add some more tape. I accidentally poked a few holes in the paper lantern, but since it is all getting covered up anyway it didn't really matter.

In the end, I handed a friend a giant gold pinata, a bag of pink confetti and a bag of blue confetti (I cut my own so it was nice and big), and an envelope with our ultrasound results written down. She stuffed it with the correct color right before our BBQ, and as soon as everybody showed up we went outside to do the reveal. There's no waiting at a gender reveal party in my opinion! And, even though the curling up fringe made me scream internally it was still magical when Aria pulled the string and all this blue confetti came pouring out.

Thoughts on Giant Gold Pull-String Pinatas!

In summary...
- Start your project early.
- Go for an 18 to 20 inch paper lantern.
- Buy the more expensive gold metallic foil paper.
- Enjoy finding out if your confetti is blue or pink!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

22 Weeks (Baby #2)


How far along - 22 weeks, due November 30th.

Gender - A little gentleman.

Cravings - Red grapes and apples still. Easy, cold, and refreshing.

Aversions - Fish.

Best moment - Not baby related, but Aria had a great swim lesson. Every time she finished a move she'd find me on the sidelines with a huge smile. I'd give her a thumbs up and she'd give me a pointer finger up, which is her version of a thumbs up.

Looking forward to - Finding a name. Eventually. Before he is born, hopefully. It took ages to land on Aria's name as well.

Miss anything - Nothing comes to mind this week!

Movement - Yes. I even saw one kick from the outside. Nobody else has had good timing with feeling him yet though. It's still pretty light.

Other pregnancy symptoms - It's been a pleasant week. Just some back pain and exhaustion.

Aria's thoughts - After celebrating Christmas in July Aria has been extra excited for Halloween. We were talking about costumes at breakfast the other morning and she asked what the baby was going to be. I told her he wouldn't be here yet by Halloween so we will have to wait until next year to get him a costume. Sweet that she is always thinking about him!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

July 24th

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!

Merry Christmas in July, guys!

Elizabeth, Jamie, and I got together to host this year's Christmas in July gift exchange. And, today is the big reveal day.

This year I was matched with Ashley from Perks of Ponder and her little guy Jack, who is right around Aria's age so that is always fun.

Here is what they sent.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!
Aria has her shoes on because she was out the door with dad to play with the train at Barnes and Noble, but when she saw a box and realized it was for her there was no convincing her to wait until she got back home to open it. She plopped herself right down in the living room and ripped her way through everything.

Her favorite was probably the pineapple cup. She badgered me to wash it daily until my lazy self got around to it. She's been having her water in it since then. Although, she lost the green fluff on top almost immediately. The color foam was a big hit too. I'd never seen it before but for such a simple thing it totally entertained her for two days until she used it up. This arrived a few days before our BBQ Gender Reveal Party so we used the summery plates and napkins right away. How convenient.

Thanks, Ashley for sending all sorts of fun summery goodies for us!

Ashley and Jack also happened to be whom Aria and I sent our package off to, so head over to her blog to check what we sent out.

Sweet Turtle Soup


If you participated in the exchange this year please link up your Christmas in July boxes below! Feel free to use #xmasinjulygiftexchange to share on instagram as well.