William Turns Two

We celebrated William’s second birthday on Sunday. For his first birthday a year ago, we had, as many parents do, sent out invitations to our friends and hosted a party at our house which included a cake smash and lots of new toys. I think first birthdays are more for the parents than anyone else– a celebration of making it through the first year with a baby and still having friends and enough sanity left to host a decent party… not to mention a good excuse to finally clean your house after a year of spit-up on the couch and other baby messes.

Will’s second birthday party was, in contrast, pretty low-key. I look at toddler birthdays as opportunities to practice my cake making and party decorating skills before William starts to want to invite friends to his birthday parties. I’m pretty happy with the way Sunday turned out. It’s nothing you would see going viral on Pinterest, but it was colorful and bright and happy.

I had been pretty sick the day before, so Will had spent the night with Garrett’s parents. When he came in the door on Sunday, the first thing he saw was the little pile of presents. So that’s what we did first. (Actually the first thing he saw was the bright colored tissue paper garlands hanging from the ceilings all throughout the common areas of the house, which he called “birthday rainbow”.)

William's 2nd birthdayChristmas wrapping paper. It’s what we had.

My sister sent this epic fort that even has it’s own little ball pit. She and I both agree that it would’ve been awesome to have something like this when we were kids. Will loved it, the cat loved it, the dog would too if we let her, and Garrett and I love that it folds up completely flat and comes with storage containers!

William's 2nd birthdayWilliam's 2nd birthdayGarrett and I gave him a sturdy little cover for the iPad. More and more lately, Will has become the main user of our tablet, so we figured it was time to case it in something a bit more rugged and toddler-friendly. This one seemed to fit the bill. We also rearranged the apps so that all of his are right up front on the first screen and the “grown-up” apps are on subsequent screens. When he opened this one, the birthday celebrations nearly came to a halt as he suddenly decided he’d rather watch Paw Patrol than have a birthday.

Will seemed to absolutely love every gift that he got, but certainly the showstopper gift of the day was the balance bike from Garrett’s parents.

William's 2nd birthday William's 2nd birthdayAfter presents, it was time for lunch and then, of course, CAKE!! I made a chocolate cake with cream cheese filling (I dyed it orange to make it look something like lava) and dark chocolate ganache on top, and then topped it with a couple of candles and a toy dinosaur.

William's 2nd birthdayThe Christmas wrapping paper made another appearance, this time in the form of a hastily made tiny dinosaur birthday hat– though you really can’t tell.

William's 2nd birthdayWilliam's 2nd birthdayAfter cake, we took Will outside to take his new bike for a spin. At first he really struggled with the whole concept of sitting on the seat and just kind of walked with it between his legs. He’s starting to get the hang of it, though, and I’m confident he’ll be cruising on that thing in no time.

William's 2nd birthday William's 2nd birthday William's 2nd birthdayAfter that, Will was more than ready for a nap, so that pretty much concluded the festivities.

Now that William is two, I’m trying to counteract some of the terrible-ness with “You’re two now, which means you’re not a baby– you’re a boy so…..” sit at the table, eat what mom and dad eat, pretty much do whatever we say, etc. Hah. We’ll see how it goes.


Craft Lake City DIY Festival Finds

If a whole bunch of the coolest shops on Etsy got together with some bands, some beer and wine, and some local food and formed a shanty town, it would be called Craft Lake City. And it would probably look a lot like Craft Lake City’s annual DIY Festival.

Craft Lake City is an organization in Salt Lake City that promotes creative culture throughout Utah through workshops, exhibits, their blog, and their annyal DIY Festival held in downtown SLC. I spent a good chunk of time at the festival this past weekend, and today I’m sharing with you the details of my little haul.

Craft Lake City DIY Fest Favorites

The Goodies:

1. Decorative arrows from Mineral and MatterI plan to mount these lovely hand-painted arrows on the wall in Will’s room. Mineral and Matter shared their booth at the DIY Festival with The Land of Salt which sells some absolutely beautiful jewelry. The two shops will be opening a co-op in downtown SLC on August 27!

2. Earrings from Most AdoringlyThis was the single purchase I made without kids or babies in mind. They’re just pretty, and they’re just for me.

3. Bibs from VinyliciousThese adorable bibs look like leather, but they’re actually made out of vinyl. They can easily be wiped clean after each use, and when they get really gross, they can be thrown in the top rack of the dishwasher for more of a deep clean! I’ve been using them with Will ever since I brought them home, and after half a dozen meals with one, I decided to put it in the dishwasher for a deep clean. I probably could have gone a little longer though. It’s so much easier than washing cloth bibs every single day! Vinylicious also makes journal covers, bags, and wallets, all of which can be cleaned in the same easy way– great news if you’re prone to messes… or messy kids!

4. Natural body products from Root and Rise BotanicalsThis stuff is AMAZING! Shop owner Amy Menzel creates natural products for mamas, babies, and anyone else that wants to pamper themselves with some lovely botanicals. I purchased 3 products from her shop:

  • ALL HEAL BALM healing ointmentIt can be used on anything from diaper rash to bug bites to chapped lips, and it smells wonderful! It will be living in my purse, as I plan to take it with me everywhere I go!
  • RECOVER new mama sprayThis spray is for *ahem* down there…after you have a baby. It’s made from a combination of healing and soothing botanicals infused in witch hazel. ‘Nuf said!
  • BREATHE decongestant balmI suffer from horrible pregnancy congestion, so I have been rubbing this under my nose every night since I brought it home. It works a lot like Vicks or Mentholatum, but a lot milder (and still super effective) and can even be used on stuffy little babies. My favorite part is the clove oil. This unexpected ingredient not only does wonders for one’s nasal passages, but the sweet and soothing smell of cloves makes me feel so cozy and pampered– just the thing a stuffy, pregnant, tired mama needs!!

5. Brighham City peaches and fresh apple cider from The Press Sweet CideryLocal produce is the best!

6. Double Layer Linen Ring Sling from WildbirdI did some babywearing with Will in our Infantino flip carrier, but mostly just for shopping and outings because it wasn’t super comfortable to wear him in the carrier long-term around the house. When the new baby comes, though, I want to be able to wear her around the house more– especially since I’ll be a stay-at-home mom with a toddler this time! The hardest thing about babywearing, though, is that every body is different, and the carrier that works for one mama may not work for another. So when I stopped by Wildbird’s shop at the DIY fest and actually got to try the thing on and test it with my own son, I felt like I had struck babywearing gold! The ring sling felt so much more secure than I ever imagined. Where back/frontpack style carriers put the pressure on the meaty soft part of your shoulders, the ring sling squeezes your shoulder cap for support, and distributes the weight more broadly across your whole shoulder, so it doesn’t pull down so much. I’ve been practicing the hip carry with Will, but he hasn’t been in a carrier for quite a while, so he doesn’t put up with it for long. I can’t wait to do some serious babywearing with the next little one!

p.s. Tayler, owner of Wildbird, has the most gorgeous Instagram account. You should check it out!

7. Souvenir tote bag screen printed by Spilt Ink and featuring the artwork of Laura FriskThis was a festival freebie, and I love it! A knitter can never have too many knitting bags! Laura also sells adorable hand woodblock printed pillows in her shop. And according to a recent post on Instagram, she has a whole bunch of pillows leftover from the festival and will be having a flash sale on Instagram and posting the rest on her shop with steep discounts. Woot!


Later I’ll be sharing some more of my favorite shops from the Craft Lake City DIY Festival– shops where I didn’t make any purchases, but that have excellent products nonetheless, and deserve to be mentioned!