One Small Child’s Newest Member: Bethany

My name is Bethany and I am so excited to be a part of the One Small Child team! I will be assisting with social media to spread new products, projects, any and everything baby and most importantly inspiration from other moms.

I am still a “new” mom, I have 3 littles that I adore. My oldest is a boy who is 4 years old, my daughter is 3 years old and my newest is a sweet boy just 8 weeks old today! I call myself new because I still have so much to learn and experience with my children that it’s almost overwhelming to think about. And I have been blessed to be able to work from home but it can be easy to work when my children need me, even if they didn’t tell me they did.

S0 I have come to realize that slowing down in life is not a bad thing. Yes, work, activities and adventures are also necessary to learn, grow and enjoy life but I have learned that too much can leave us feeling drained. I want to lead an intentional life with my little family and it starts with me and how I set the tone for my household. My example is what my children learn from, good and bad. For example, our sweet baby boy at just 13 days old had open heart surgery to save his life. We were so blessed with everything and everyone involved. I could have panicked more than necessary though but I didn’t. I wanted my older two to see and understand that being sad, worried and scared was okay but that we had to be positive and keep going. So when Mommy and Daddy were gone for 10 days at the hospital, they were okay. They didn’t worry. Now they love to tell people how baby brother “got his heart fixed by the doctor” and then roll into what they did at school, dance class or story time at the library. I would say  for today it’s a win.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be a part of this great company and blog and look forward to interacting with all of you!

Easy Costume Ideas in a Pinch

Halloween for children is one of the most exciting times of the year. They can be their favorite superhero, princess or whatever their little hearts can dream up. The best way to use their imagination! But with that imagination comes a project for you. And as busy as we are it can be the last minute before we come up with something worthy of leaving the house.

Following are easy DIY costumes that we loved because many of the materials are things you already have. Making a smaller trip to the store and helping your wallet.

Happy Halloween! And here’s hoping you get at least one good piece of candy out of your kids’ bucket before they notice. You deserve it!

21 Easy Homemade Costumes

A couple of favorites from the link:

A Gnome! Having made this one personally in the past I can with confidence say how cute it is!

Little Gnome - Homemade costumes for babies

Tinkerbell, every little girl wants to be her, or just some kind of fairy. You can find wings at the dollar store and making the tutu is super easy. Here is a link just to show you how easy it is:
Easy tulle tutu tutorial

Tinkerbell - Homemade costumes for babies

And last but not least, a bowl of spaghetti. Because if your kids are anything like mine, they look like this anytime they eat it anyway.

http://photos.costume-works.com/full/spaghetti_and_meatballs9.jpg

Fave Fall Christening Gowns 2014: Jessa

  fall-christening-gowns-2014

We love autumn Christening events! With all the rich colors, and crisp, cool air-what’s not to love? However, the transitional weather can call for a versatile wardrobe choice. We’ve go you covered! Our Jessa dress is our favorite of all our fall Christening gowns! Why? Made from a lightweight silk fabric-and lots of it-this dress is breathable but not drafty. Ruching and ruffles are always gorgeously feminine! The cotton slip provides an extra layer for comfort. Pink or white braided trim adds just the right floral finish. We recommend adding a blanket to any fall outfit-just in case. Our Jessa blanket is a perfect match! Make sure those little toes warm and cozy with our Jessa slippers! Now you’re prepared for whatever weather! Check out our other fall Christening gowns!

Kids and Technology: Mom Talk

Mom Talk: Kids and Technology | One Small Child

No doubt about it, the relationship between kids and technology is something every mom needs to consider. Here are our thoughts, what are yours?

Samantha | One Small Child Mom Talk Samantha: Mindful Media Use in the Infant Stage

There has been a lot of talk lately about technology, and the effects it has on children. We’ve learned it’s important to limit and monitor children’s usage time. Research suggests technology under 24 months can interfere with social development. So we implemented the policy of no tv/technology until 2 years old. We feel our baby girl’s social development is worth any added effort or inconvenience this may cause.

But what about my own technology use? Especially around my little one? When my baby was a few months old, I began to find myself busy ‘doing nothing’ on my phone or laptop when I should have been engaged as a mom. I was missing out on moments I wanted to cherish.

I don’t want memories of my phone. I want memories of my daughter. More importantly, I want her to have good memories of her mother. I now set aside time after the little one is fast asleep to browse pinterest and other social media. And I’m all the happier for it.

Do you notice a difference when you unplug yourself and focus on you kids? Would you be willing to put away the social media to make a few good memories?

 

Audrey | One Small Child Mom Talk Audrey: Finding the Balance

The subject of kids and technology use is absolutely a part of everyday life, and it’s here to stay. I think we can all agree that the omnipresence of our favorite digital devices is a double-edged sword: the tools we have at our fingertips are invaluable, while creating and maintaining healthy habits around these tools can be tricky. For me, it’s important to accept that figuring it all out is going to be an ongoing process.

On any given day, I’m in love with the fact that I have so many ways to accomplish my job and connect with others…and ten minutes later, I’m frustrated at the intrusive distractions that work their way into my family’s life. Some days we keep things in balance, some days we don’t. Bottom line, we’re working on it as we go, and that’s okay.

Here’s what works for me:
-Take care of personal, family, school, and household responsibilities before plugging in.
-Limiting the amount of time spent in front of a screen makes every one of us more pleasant to be around! (Unlimited screen time has the exact opposite effect)

Here’s what I’m still figuring out:
-The optimal amount of time to allow.
-Consistency…no two days are the same, I need to build more flexibility into the plan so it doesn’t run completely off track when things are crazy busy.

Here are some great resources for considering and creating your own technology game plan:

Rethinking the Screen Time Battle – Power of Moms (I love this one…it’s definitely going to be built into future iterations of my plan)
How to Make A Family Media Use Plan – American Academy of Pediatrics
Friday Q&A: Facebook & Social Media – 71toes

Now Available: 2014 Baby Holiday Outfits

2014-baby-holiday-outfits

The holidays are just around the corner! We’re excited to present our 2014 baby holiday outfits today! They are now available for purchase, so snag yours before the season slips away!

Lyla-dress-2014-baby-holiday-outfits

Ladies first: Our Lyla is a pretty A-line dress with puffed sleeves. A red carnation adds just the right touch of color to the modern houndstooth fabric. An adorable ruffle diaper cover peeks out underneath. Complete her holiday look with our opaque baby tights in black and our leather ballet moccasins in red! Don’t forget our warm and comfy camisole bodysuit!

baby-holiday-outfits

Our handsome Ludlow boys sport coat is made to match the Lyla dress. Three shiny buttons and faux pockets decorate the houndstooth suit jacket. A clean-cut white bodyshirt and simple black pants support the sharp style. The red bow tie adds a pop of color to complete his dapper look. These four pieces are all included to make holiday outfit shopping easy for you!

babys-first-christmas-ornaments

Looking for a great baby’s first Christmas gift? These sweet silver bells are engraved with baby’s name. This high-quality ornament is the perfect way to commemorate baby’s first holiday season!

Biplane Press Christening Invitations: A Giveaway

Christening Invitations by Biplane Press

We’re huge fans of these elegant letterpress Christening invitations by Biplane Press–in fact, we love them so much we included them in our Vintage Christening Party!

Pia Townsend is the artisan behind this design studio & letterpress shop located in the UK. Her invitations and stationery are individually pressed on a 100-year-old cast iron printing press, using this gorgeously thick textured paper that creates a product you can’t help but run your fingers over. Pia’s design aesthetic is a beautiful mix of vintage and modern that lends itself to the heirloom nature of her offerings, and is sure to set the tone for your baby’s special event.

Christening Invitations by Biplane Press | One Small Child Giveaway

Pia has graciously offered to provide invitations for one of our readers, a $225 value! This prize includes 25 one-sided invitations printed in one color, with recycled fleck kraft envelopes (rounded corners are not included). Keep in mind, you are not limited to Christening invitations–you can tailor any of these styles to suit your needs: birth announcements, baptisms, birthdays, weddings.

In addition, any of our readers choosing to order invitations from Biplane Press can enjoy a free upgrade to rounded corners and colored envelopes through the end of October, all you have to do is mention that you saw this offer at One Small Child when you’re ordering.

Biplane Press Christening Invitations Giveaway

{How to Enter this Giveaway}

To enter to win, hop over to her etsy store to see her offerings, then come back here and share your favorite design in a comment on this post. You can also drop by our Facebook page and share your favorite invitation design on the giveaway post pinned to the top of our timeline to earn an additional entry! This giveaway will end on Wednesday, October 15 at 11:59 p.m. MDST. The winner will be announced on our Facebook page and/or via email.

Fall Christening Portrait Ideas: Pinterest Roundup

Fall Christening Portrait Ideas

Let’s talk about Fall Christening portrait ideas:

When you’re planning your Fall Christening, one of the most important things to plan for is a photo shoot. You’ll want to document her beautiful Christening gown; his handsome smile. These precious photographs will be proudly displayed throughout baby’s entire life. So, when you plan your event, don’t forget the Christening portrait ideas! Want to include a great prop? For a girl try lace or large floral bouquets. For your little man, we love wagons or trikes. Use leaves, pumpkins, hay bales, apple barrels, or brown baskets. Barns, trees or pumpkin patches make great outdoor backdrops. It’s fun to show the season of baby’s event with a great photo!

Fall Christening Portrait Ideas-One Love Photography

{We love this adorable father-daughter Christening photo by One Love Photography!}

Fall Christening Portrait Ideas

{Here’s one of our portraits from our Fall 2013 photo shoot.}

Fall Christening Portrait Ideas-Lexi-Bella Photography 2

{Beautiful fall family portrait idea from Lexi-Bella Photography.}

Fall Christening Portrait Ideas

{Our Tallie Christening Dress is adorable for fall!}

Fall Christening Portrait Ideas-Image is Everything Studio

{How adorable is this indoor fall photo shoot from Image is Everything Studio?}

Fall Christening Portrait Ideas

{Thankful.}

Fall Christening Portrait Ideas-Lexi Bella Photography

{Great gown detail shot from Lexi-Bella Photography.}

Fall-Christening-Photography-Details

{Don’t forget to show off all the details!}

Pinterest is a great place to find Christening portrait ideas. Check out our Fall Christenings and Pretty Christening Portraits pin boards for more! Browse your favorites, and share what you have in mind with your photographer.

How to Make a Painted Feather Garland {in 3 Easy Steps}

How to Make a Painted Feather Garland | Christening Party Decorations

We came up with this pretty painted feather garland for our Vintage Christening Party shoot, and love how it turned out! Also: it’s seriously easy to put together, and the options are endless. Here’s how we did it:

Easy Painted Feather Garland Tutorial | Christening Party Decorations

Painted Feather Garland Tutorial

Supplies Needed:

  • Feathers (any size, color will do, it’s all up to you–we used various sizes of white feathers for this garland)
  • Masking Tape
  • Spray Paint
  • String/Rope/Ribbon/Lace to hang your feathers on (we used jute twine & lace)
  • Floral Wire
  • Scissors

Step 1:

Find a surface you can adhere the feathers to, in a well-ventilated space where you can safely spray paint. Grab a feather and place masking tape over the area you want to remain the natural feather color. You can do any pattern: we did some of ours in a chevron shape, others with diagonal or horizontal stripes. Your imagination is the limit!

Step 2:

Spray the feathers with the spray paint. We liked ours with a heavy coat towards the bottom fading to a lighter coat towards the top. Again, it’s all up to your imagination. Just play with it and see what you like best–there’s no right or wrong way! Let the paint dry. It should take just a few minutes (this will depend on how heavily the paint is applied, just be sure it’s dry to the touch) and remove the tape.

Step 3:

Attach the feathers to your string with floral wire by wrapping a bit of wire around the feather and the string. Space the feathers as desired along the string, then hang the garland and ENJOY!

Painted Feather Garland | Christening Party Decorations

Mom Talk: Balancing Career with Family Life

As mothers, our number one priority is our children. Yet, our careers require much of our time and attention. Both are very important. Here are our strategies for balancing career with family life:

Samantha

I work from home. So, I’m on the computer several hours a day while Josie is around. Needless to say, she doesn’t like the competition for mom’s attention. Not to mention it’s insulting that she can’t play with mom’s toy! It took a while to figure out how to juggle working from home and being an engaged mom.

At first, I tried to get all my work done in the mornings. That way I could play with baby girl all afternoon. Good strategy, right? Well, after I would push her away and ignore her to finish my work all morning long, she was grumpy and frustrated with me. I finally decided I would work strictly while she was sleeping. This meant before she woke up in the morning, during her naps and usually a little after she went to bed. This worked wonders in building our relationship back up. It was tough to resist enjoying some much needed “me time” during those quiet hours. But, I guess being a mom is about sacrifice.

Josie is becoming more independent now, and I’m able to work a little while she plays next to me. It’s been a challenge to learn to work from home. But it has been so worth the effort! As she grows to each new stage, I’ll just keep adjusting to find whatever works best for all of us.

Audrey:

Balancing family and career has been high on my radar for the past thirteen years. (That went fast!)

My career is a huge part of my life, and was there long before babies arrived. It has always occupied a good chunk of my attention, both on and off-duty. I love what I do, love the products we create, love the people I work with and the customers we serve.

But my children. They are pieces of *me*. Always on my mind, in my heart, always needy. They always will be. When I look to the future, it’s my family I see. I love them with every part of my soul.

So how do I balance? It’s more complicated than I’d like it to be. When school is in session, it’s fairly easy to compartmentalize my days. They go to school, and I go to work. When they get home, I am home. When school is out, I am home (I’m fortunate to be able to do much of my work from home when the need arises). This is a double-edged sword, however. Some days it is difficult to be able to focus entirely on one or the other, and my attention bounces back and forth. Some days I am able to keep firm boundaries on what absolutely must be accomplished, and we get it all done. I love those days!

Mostly, as time goes by I’m finding that it’s crucial to simplify: to choose to participate in fewer activities (only the most important ones!), to make time for looking my kiddos in the eye and really listening to what they have to share, to focus on here and now and let the rest go.

With that, here is my quick and dirty list of tips for balancing family and career:

1-know what’s most important
2-keep a schedule
3-make lists
4-focus on being present
5-allow for margin
6-don’t over-commit
7-be okay with less than perfection

Fresh ideas are always welcome! What are your strategies for balancing career and family life?

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe

Paradise Sugar Cookie Recipes

We made these delightful cookies for our Vintage Inspired Christening Party, and have to share: they are THAT good. The cookie is more like a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread than a traditional soft sugar cookie, and it is over-the-top delicious with the fluffy frosting. The recipe was found on this cooking blog via Pinterest, it’s touted as a copycat mish-mash of Paradise Bakery’s cookie and Magnolia Bakery’s buttercream frosting. Props to the unknown original creator, as it is downright yummy!

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe  | Ingredients

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe | Make the Dough

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe | How to Bake

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe  | Frosting

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cookie Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375°.
2) In a medium bowl, cream together the sugars and shortening using an electric mixer.
3) Mix on slow speed 30 seconds, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
4) Increase speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes.
5) Slowly add vanilla and beaten egg while mixing.
6) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl, mixing on slow speed until just blended. Do not overmix.
7) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to chill for a few minutes (if you’re going to roll it out to cut into shapes, chill for at least two hours).
8) Scoop dough with an ice-cream scoop, roll with your hands into uniform balls.
9) Place directly on cookie sheet.
10) Bake at 375° for 9-10 minutes. Cookies are done when small cracks appear and are pale golden. Ideally, the edges do not brown.

Frosting Directions:

1) Place the butter in a large mixing bowl.
2) Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla.
3) On medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
4) Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. (You may not need to add all of the sugar.)
5) If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly.
6) Use and store the icing at room temperature because it will set if chilled. Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Paradise Sugar Cookies Recipe

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