Wednesday, April 29, 2020

April Budget

I share my clothing budget here every month. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some people or a little to others, but for me feels just right. I include all of my clothes, coats, shoes, and accessories in that budget, but not athletic gear, pajamas, or intimates.

End of a full month of quarantine, yaaaaaaay!!!

After spending a TON on sale items in March, I really pulled back in April! Not really on purpose, it's just hard to feel like you really *need* something when I know we won't be going anywhere until at least June.

My favorite purchase has to be these comfy lounge pants - they're so soft!! I usually don't include loungewear in my budget posts, but I feel like with the right top and shoes, they could turn into everyday pants too.

Here's what I bought in April:

LOFT Striped Sweater - originally $49.50, on sale $24.75. This sweater is one I'm not sure I'd recommend. It's a super thin material that's not soft, and it's definitely sparklier in person than I realized (the tan and grey stripes are "shimmer"). I'm still keeping it and plan to wear it with white jeans or shorts.
Madewell White Jeans - originally $128, on sale $75. I finally made good on that promise to buy some non-skinny jeans! These fit like a cropped flare, and are skinny on the top and flare out below the knee. I've been having a tricky time with Madewell's sizing lately, went down a size in these and am very happy I did so they stay fitted through the thigh and knees - just a liiiiittle tight in the waist. That may be COVID alcohol & cookie consumption related though ;) I wore them here.
Daily Ritual Coulottes - $31.45. I've been wearing these nonstop, as pajamas and as regular clothes. I love the cropped length and wide leg, it makes them comfier than leggings and avoids the awkward length that most full length pajama pants are on me (read: several inches too short). I wore these here.
LOFT Kimono Wrap - originally $69.50, on sale $34.75. Wearing this as I type! It's a really pretty mix of pastel colors, cute and soft. I've been tossing this over tee shirts to feel a little more put together for work calls. I wore it here.
LOFT Floral Dress - originally $90, on sale $45. This was my Easter dress! I think the pattern is adorable in person, and I love the fluttery hem. I did size down in this per another dress I have that's the same cut, and it was a bad move. Definitely stay at your regular size. Also don't wear this one on a windy day! I wore it here.

Total spent: $210.95

Like I said, I'm not really looking for a ton right now. I did just empty out a bunch of old spring/summer tops from my closet (while Mia emptied my underwear drawer and marched all of my shoes out of my closet - thanks girl!) so some new ones (that all allow for wearing with a regular bra please - what was up with all those off the shoulder tops hmm?!) are probably in order. Should I put more words into parentheses?

Did you shop this month, or have you been tightening the purse strings?

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Monday, April 27, 2020

How We're Grocery Shopping for Two Weeks at a Time

Helloooooo pandemic! How are you holding up?

One of our strategies for staying home, staying safe, and doing our part in keeping other people healthy is limiting our in-store shopping. I haven't been to a store besides the grocery store (not even Target!) since the beginning of March, and I've only been going to the grocery store every two weeks.  I'm the only one who goes to the store, partially to limit exposure, and partially because I know better what substitutions can be made if things are out of stock.

I know, it might sound impossible to only grocery shop every two weeks, but I swear if I can do it, you can do it! You just have to be a little strategic and really plan ahead. I've actually done grocery shopping like this before for the long-term. When I first moved to Chicago, my roommate and I used to have to walk over a mile to the grocery store, so we'd only go every 2-3 weeks! I am shopping for a lot more food now than 23 year old single Kristina was, between Jeff and the human garbage disposal in our home more commonly known as Mia. (I swear, I think she eats more calories than me in a day now, for breakfast yesterday she ate a whole banana, two strawberries, yogurt, and cereal!) Everything I buy can fit in one cart at the store, and into our small city kitchen - no pantries or extra fridges/freezers!

Heading to the store three weeks ago! I now use a fabric mask and skip the gloves. 

Using Grocery Delivery Services during the Pandemic

Just a note, that you may think grocery delivery services or pickup services are the answer here. I personally am avoiding those as much as possible to leave spots open for people who really need them, like the elderly, pregnant women, and people who are immunocompromised. Just a personal choice here, they may be something that feels right for your circumstances.

While I'm not using grocery delivery services, I am ordering certain things online. Diapers, wipes, household supplies, and my chai latte mix are all flying my way right now. That way I can save room in my cart for food!

Our Sample Menu 

When I went to the store last week, I was shopping for general staples as well as for a few specific meals, a fancy cocktail, and a snack:

- Ham & Bean Soup (to use some of our leftover ham from Easter)
- Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches (but with not homemade biscuits)
- Lemony Cacio e Pepe (added to use the leftover arugula from the breakfast sandwiches!)
- Fried Burrata
- BBQ Chicken (no recipe here, just grill chicken, add bbq sauce!) with Smashed Potatoes
- Soy Glazed Pork Chops with Buttery Zucchini
- Rosé Watermelon Margaritas

In addition to these meals, we do a lot of eggs, sandwiches, and plan to order in or pick up 2-3 dinners. Mia eats three meals a day plus a snack, but Jeff and I are sort of doing intermittent fasting so we typically only eat lunch and dinner.

Our Grocery List

Jeff and I track this using the AnyList app, but I've been writing it on paper lately before I go so I don't have to touch my phone at the store. I only get what can fit in one cart. Just a note, I changed a few things after I made the list which is why they don't match exactly!


We strategically keep some of these things in the fridge for the first week so they don't ripen too fast, like a whole cantaloupe and avocados. Other things last in the fridge really well, like broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, apples, oranges, clementines, etc. I actually didn't need oranges this trip because we still had some from the last time! 

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts 
  • Baby arugula 
  • Bagged salad mixes (our grocery store does an Asian one that's SO FREAKING GOOD!)
  • Jalapeno 
  • Zucchini
  • Apples
  • Bell Pepper
  • Carrots 
  • Avocado 
  • Garlic 
  • Shallot
  • Tomato (for sandwiches) 
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Watermelon juice
  • Cantaloupe 
  • Lemons
  • Limes 
  • Carrot, onion, celery pre-chopped mix 
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Baby potatoes 
  • Yellow onions
  • Red onion 
  • Strawberries


  • Rosé wine
  • White wine 


  • French bread


  • Pork chops 
  • Bone-in chicken thighs 
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts (I poach these for Mia) 
  • Bacon 
  • (I usually get lunch meat, but skipped it this time since we still have leftover ham) 


(I'm not sure what to call this section - it's fancy meats & cheeses plus dips, which is why hummus goes under Italian 😅) 

  • Burrata 
  • Fresh mozzarella 
  • Parmesan cheese 
  • Pancetta 
  • Hummus 

Dry Goods 

  • BBQ sauce
  • Peanut butter 
  • Cannelli beans 
  • Canned tuna
  • Tortillas
  • Saffron Goya packets
  • Spaghetti
  • Ditallini (we give this to Mia so it's one less thing to cut!) 
  • Wild rice 
  • Annie's mac and cheese 
  • Olive oil 
  • White wine vinegar 
  • Chicken stock 
  • Cheerios 
  • Lemon juice 
  • Fruit cups (another way we stretch our produce into a second week) 
  • Ritz crackers 
  • Oreos 

Household Supplies 

  • Aluminum foil 
  • Shower cleaner
  • Paper towels (our store weirdly was out of paper towels but had toilet paper this week?!) 

Dairy & Refridgerated

  • 2 gallons whole milk (for Mia!)
  • 1/2 gallon skim milk (for me! This runs out around day 9 and then I steal from Mia)
  • Eggs
  • Biscuits 
  • Shredded cheese
  • Block of cheddar cheese 
  • Fresh marinara sauce
  • Plain yogurt


  • Frozen pizza 
  • Frozen fruit (for smoothies and to mix in with yogurt)
  • Frozen peas, green beans, mixed vegetables (extends our produce in week 2!)
  • Ice cream 


  • Yogurt Bites 
  • Puffs 
  • Food pouches 
  • Teething biscuits


  • Tortilla chips 
  • Salsa


  • Bubly water
  • Soda (Jeff allows himself one at lunch - weirdly sold out this week!)

How we're handling groceries once we get home

I know a lot of people are washing produce and wiping down boxes right now. I personally do not have time for that, I usually am rushing to get groceries put away to get to my desk and work. Instead, I just wipe down anything we need that day. I put everything else away and try not to touch it until the next day to give any germs time to die. I'll then wash my hands and use Lysol spray on any surfaces the food touched while I was putting it away, as well as cabinet and fridge door handles. 

Oh hey, are you still there? Congrats on making it to the end!! What have you been doing to adapt to grocery shopping right now? I'd love to hear! 

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Friday Finds

one / two / three / four / five

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Sephora Sale Open to Everyone: What I Bought

Don't mind me, I'm just over here casually spending all of my money on skincare!

I strategize my beauty shopping around Sephora's sales every year, and buy multiples of my favorites while they're on sale. And then I try not to shop again until the next sale comes around!

The spring savings event gets you 20% off for Rouge members, 15% off for VIB, and 10% off for all beauty insiders (simply sign up through their site to become one). It's running through 4/27 for all beauty insiders, 4/29 for VIB, and 5/1 for Rouge. Some of their more popular items do tend to sell out, so if there's something you want don't wait too long!

My favorites have changed a little since my last Sephora sale post, so I thought I'd share what I bought this time around:

IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara: My current favorite mascara, it gives me amazing volume and length!! And it doesn't flake off either. You do have to be a little careful with the brush though, it's slightly angled to make it easier to put on, but that means it comes out of the tube messy. I usually wipe the excess before I put it on so it doesn't get clumpy.

Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Face Mask and Eye Mask: This was my crazy purchase of the sale. I've been wanting to add retinol back into my skin routine since I stopped breastfeeding last month. (Also, don't forget to ask me about how stopping breastfeeding at the beginning of a pandemic is a bad idea.) Anyway, I was mostly excited about the concept of an overnight eye mask. I'll let you know how it goes!

Urban Decay Subversion Eyelash Primer: Still my go-to, years later. It makes any mascara you use it with (including drugstore) look a thousand times better.

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm: I forgot how much I love these, I had one sitting on my new work from home desk (read: makeup table) and put it on so much I ran out! I just got the clear one, I've found that the colors tend to smear off of my mouth (and onto my teeth, face, cups, baby...) too easily.

Sephora Collection Blush Brush: I've had the same blush brush for years and years and I finally realized that it doesn't distribute blush very well and I end up with two smallish circles on my face. Not so natural! I've had success with the Sephora collection brushes before, and this one appears to work well for putting blush on the apples of your cheeks (vs angling on your cheekbones) which is what I like.

Kiehl's Cleansing Oil: I've been using this for probably two years now to remove makeup and cleanse my face. I tried a bunch of other oil cleansers too, and this is the only one that gets all of my mascara off without irritating my eyes.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask: I first bought this in December when I was having major problems with my lips being extremely dry, cracked, flakey, which has NEVER happened to me before thanks to my chapstick addiction. I can only assume it's because I was focusing too much on baby and not enough on lip moisturization. Anyway, this stuff saved me, and I love it so much I still put it on every night before bed. I use it daily and am only about halfway through my little tub so it lasts.

L'Occitane Hand Cream Minis: The best hand cream ever!! I always order a few of these so I can keep one in every purse.

Kerastase Elixir Ultime Oil Serum: I've used this on my hair for like 10 years now. The bottles are expensive but I've been using the same one for probably 2 years now.  I put it on my hair when it's wet from about mid-shaft to the bottom. It makes my hair so shiny and helps combat the damage I do to it.

Kiehl's Dry Body Oil: This was something I picked up when I was having skin issues last spring. I love how soft it makes my skin feel! I usually skip lotion after the shower now and put this on instead.

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

I'm Using Quarantine to Try Natural Deodorant

Have you made the switch to natural deodorant? I've always wanted to try, but I was too scared that I would stink during the transition! Apparently it takes a while for your body to get used to the change, plus you have to sweat out all of the toxins from the regular deodorant before it will work. Yuck!

Well quarantine seems like the perfect time to give it a go, considering we'll be here for at least a few more weeks! No one will experience the stink besides Jeff and Mia, and they have to love me no matter what. Plus I have the opportunity to hop in the shower as often as necessary.

I started with Tom's of Maine in Wild Lavender, which I bought a while ago from the drugstore. I didn't love it, so I decided to order a stick to try from Native. Native get's amazing reviews, plus their email marketing was hilarious to me (as a marketer, that's the kind of thing that always gets me ;) I'm trying out the Jasmine & Cherry Blossom sensitive scent, as I once got eczema in my armpits when I tried a new deodorant and I do NOT want to ever experience that again! Sensitive formulas all the way!!

I've only been using it for a few days so far, so I'll report back once I decide if it's working or not. But right off the bat I'm loving the cute packaging and the pretty scent.

P.S. My cute photo assistant was very opinionated about this shoot.

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Monday, April 20, 2020

How To Dye Your Hair at Home

Hi, my name is Kristina, and I've been dyeing my hair myself for twelve years. What?! Sometimes even I forget, but I'm not really a redhead. Freaky.

I started off dyeing my hair myself in college (oh no, I just aged myself) and initially chose box dye because I'd seen friends have issues with brighter colors fading really quickly after going to the salon. And, let's be honest, I could barely afford my life even working two jobs in college, there's no way I was paying to have someone color my hair.

I wanted to share some tips for doing hair dye at home in case you are starting to get desperate after 6 weeks of quarantine. 

Before we dive in, my main tip is DON'T DYE YOUR HAIR AT HOME. Especially if you usually go to a salon. At-home hair dye is completely different than salon dye, and your hair can have weird reactions when you go back to the salon after using a box kit at home. I've heard horror stories about terrible hair breakage and weird, unexpected colors. At home hair dye is also much more damaging to your hair, and after twelve years of using it, my hair won't grow more than a few inches past my collarbone.

I know you're desperate, but might it be better to just throw your hair in a ponytail for the next month?

Okay, now that my PSA is out of the way, here are my top tips for coloring your hair at home: 

1. Choose a realistic color

With at-home dye, there just is no way you're going to make a drastic color change. You can go a few shades darker, or maybe one or two lighter. Now is not the time to try something crazy. Yes, I dye my hair red and it works, but my natural hair color has red tones so the color "sticks" better according to my hair stylist. By the way, this is the box dye that I have used for years! I use color C74, Power Copper. Definitely don't use this if you plan to go back to the salon, a stylist specifically told me that I'll have to use henna for a while to wean my hair off of the chemicals in it before trying to dye it in a salon. (EDIT: another stylist reached out to me and said DON'T USE HENNA!!! It's the only thing they can't dye over in the salon.) 

2. Prep your hair correctly 

If your hair has any product in it, the color may not stick correctly. Any product is blocking the hair shaft from fully absorbing the color. Also, since the dye is so damaging, you don't want to apply it to a squeaky clean scalp - a little oil is better for protecting those strands! When I know I'm going to be dyeing my hair, I try to wash my hair at least 24 hours in advance, and I don't apply any products to it. I also try to let it air dry to give it a break from damage!

3. Protect your bathroom

Hair dye is no joke. I got a drop on the vanity in my parents' bathroom years and years ago and they still haven't managed to get the stain out! Seriously think about how porous / susceptible to stains the surfaces in your bathroom are, and cover anything that could stain with an old towel. And definitely move any rugs or towels out of the dye zone (you'd be amazed how far the splatters can go!). When I lived with roommates, I designated one shirt to wear every time I dyed my hair so I wouldn't ruin all of my clothes, but now I usually am just naked to avoid any issues.

4. Follow the directions to the T, and think about back-up plans

Do NOT go over the amount of time you're supposed to leave dye in your hair. If you aren't good about remembering things, set a timer when you start the dye so you don't leave it in too long. Add the ingredients to the dye in the correct order, and don't leave the dye in a sealed container or it could explode! 

Think about plan b too. I always have a second box of dye on hand just in case I make a huge mistake (like the time I left a brown line all the way around my head) or in case one box isn't enough for your hair. It might also be handy to think about what you might do if your water gets cut off. This is a long shot, but once my aunt put dye in her hair, and when she went to rinse it out it turned off she didn't have any water! Long story short, she had to put her head in the toilet. Yikes! 

5. Avoid shampooing as long as you can! 

Box dye needs a long time to "set" in your hair, even after you rinse it out. I've noticed before that if I shampoo too soon, the color at my roots fades a lot faster than the rest of my hair. I try to let my hair rest without shampooing for at least three days after I dye it to make sure the color really sticks. Thanks to quarantine, I managed to go a full week without shampooing the last time I colored my hair! 

Are you dyeing your hair at home? Good luck! 

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Friday Finds

Friday Finds... on a Saturday?! Lol I literally forgot to publish this yesterday, thought I would get it up after work, and then the weekend took over ;)

How are you coping with the stay-at-home orders? I was on a video chat this week where we all talked about our coping mechanisms. There were a lot of people who were walking and running, and obviously some alcohol usage. I said walking initially, but it's really all of the Facetiming and video chats that are getting me through. I Facetime with my mom almost every afternoon, and end up in a group video chat through Facebook Messenger with my immediate family almost every night (we use Messenger because my brother's family is in Japan). We also have been calling either Jeff's grandma or his parents every day. It's more family time than we usually get when we aren't quarantined, and I'm loving it!

Here are my finds for the week. I just ordered the slippers and I almost feel bad about it because they were such a steal. LOFT is running a promotion where you can get 70% off one full-price item, and 50% off (almost) everything else. The cute striped tank (it has little ruffles along the edges!) is also 40% off and somehow found its way into my shopping cart ;)

one / two / three / four / five

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Cutest Black Sweater

Sweater - Loft / Jeans - J.Crew / Mules - Sam Edelman / Bag - Tory Burch / Earrings - gifted so I'm not sure where they're from, but here are a few with a similar vibe: one, two, three, four

What, an outfit post? Did I ::gasp:: GO OUTSIDE?!??!

Lol these pictures are actually from the last weekend before quarantine (BQ) when we went out to brunch with a bunch of friends as a late birthday celebration for me. I was sitting on the pictures, thinking it was weird to post them in quarantine, but as that was now FIVE WEEKS ago I'm feeling like it's now or never. How long until it's cool to go outside again? 

This sweater though. This sweater! It just makes me feel cool. I love the puff sleeves. I love the pointelle pattern. I love it so much I bought it in white too (worn here)! It's just a sweater that feels very now. I actually couldn't find the jeans I wanted to pair it with here (they were hiding in my workout clothes drawer for two weeks, if that gives you any idea of how much I work out), but dark wash skinnies really go with everything, am I right? A washed black jean though feels super fresh with them. I'm thinking this style of sweater will be fun moving into spring too paired with distressed shorts. 

Just a note that this sweater is completely see through, in case you couldn't tell. I'm wearing a nude cami underneath it. I would actually recommend a tank with a higher neckline after seeing these pictures! 

That's all I've got for you for today - stay healthy out there!!

Sweater - Loft / Jeans - J.Crew / Mules - Sam Edelman / Bag - Tory Burch / Earrings - gifted so I'm not sure where they're from, but here are a few with a similar vibe: onetwothreefour

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Monday, April 13, 2020

A few Easter Photos

Welcome back to that work week. Yikes. Jeff is taking a mental health day today and I'm so jealous. I know everyone is in a different boat with the quarantine, but with a baby at home and full-time job mine has been verrrrry busy!!

Anyway, I wanted to pop in and share a couple of photos from our Easter celebration yesterday! We actually had a really nice day. Mia slept in and then let me dress her up, we made cinnamon rolls (from a can, of course ;) and watched our church service live stream. After church we had some mimosas, the rest of us got dressed up, and we watched The Sound of Music while making a small feast for dinner. While we missed our families, we ended up Facetiming with just about everyone. Here are a few of our pictures!

(Oh and P.S., my dress, my sandals, Mia's dress, Mia's sweater, Mia's shoes, Mia's hairbow)

Not into it hahahahaaaaaaa

 Oh and want some tips on how to take family photos at home? Check out my post here!

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Friday Finds

How are you doing this week?

I've found that the further we get into quarantine, the more normal it starts to feel and the more okay I am with our world being turned upside down. I'm sleeping much better than I was at the beginning (it helps that I've stopped scrolling my phone before bedtime!) and dealing with less anxiety, we're getting out for daily walks to get some fresh air and exercise, and Mia is starting to realize that we aren't abandoning her every time we leave the room. Jeff and I are getting our balance down better in terms of when we're each in charge of Mia, when we're off getting work done or having alone time, and figuring out how to actually have time together.

I hope you're staying healthy, you have a rad cloth mask (my mom is supposed to drop one off for me this weekend - thanks Mom!), and you're managing to find the positive.

Here are the finds for this week:

one / two / three / four / five

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Monday, April 6, 2020

Mia in ONEderland: Mia's First Birthday Party

Oh hi! How many pictures of my daughter's first birthday party were you hoping to see today? Oh a million okay cool! 

(PSA: No babies were put at risk for this photo, you can just barely make out that Jeff and my mom were both behind the table holding her!)

We threw a Mia in ONEderland theme party for Mia's first birthday party, and it was so, so fun to put together. If you're looking for some party inspiration, or maybe just some cute photos of a baby tasting frosting for the first time, then this is the post for you! 

I've been putting off writing this post because I knew how much work was going to go into it. But, since I waited, it's already incredible to look back. The party was on March 1st, and I didn't think twice about having thirty people over to our house. I'm so glad we were able to have the party before the pandemic hit the US and we started social distancing. I know it's such a little thing when there are so many more sacrifices being made in the world right now, but the party brought me (and hopefully Mia!) so much joy. 

I first started really thinking about Mia's first birthday party the week after Christmas when we were staying at my in-law's house. I was up with Mia waaaaaay before everyone else, so I hit up Pinterest to start looking for ideas. I wasn't actually setting out to have a true theme, I was really planning on just doing some pretty pink whimsical decorations and calling it a day. But the idea of an "Alice in ONE-derland" theme party was so fun it just stuck with me! Alice in Wonderland is such a fun theme because there is SO much content from the book and movies that you can really take it in a lot of directions and incorporate little touches everywhere. 

I started with the idea for the greenery backdrop. One thing that always bothers me when I host parties is that I don't have a great staging area. My photos always end up with my giant bookcase in the background, which I usually love but ends up taking away from things. My initial thought was to just take everything off the bookshelf and decorate it with Alice in Wonderland themed items, but then I realized I could just cover everything up! I bought this green topiary backdrop, which is basically just a super-lightweight sheet, and draped it over the bookcase. (It was literally attached with packing tape after I kept neglecting to buy zip ties, whoops!) 

The "Mia in ONEderland" words are just cut from cardstock on my Cricut. You can find them here if you want to download. Sorry, it isn't editable for you to be able to pop in another name - I don't own the font or I would! I'm happy to quickly edit the file for you if you shoot me an email. 

For the display table, I mostly just shopped my house to find things that would work on top of this moss table runner. Some ideas of things you could use would be pretty jars and containers, cake stands, tea pots/cups (I bought this toy set on Amazon and planned for it to be one of Mia's presents), keys, anything rabbit-related, clocks, watches, top hats, etc. I added some "eat me" signs that were made with removable vinyl on my Cricut, the file to download is here. I added Easter candy (timing worked out pretty well for me!) but you could also order pastel candy online, as well as frozen macaroons from Trader Joe's. Yes, that is a thing, and yes, they were delicious!! 

The cakes were by my friend Laura at Butter Cream Flour. (Cakes because yes, I did get a separate smash cake. I figured, if I was going to go for it, I should really go for it.) I wanted something that looked like the cake in the Disney movie, and she delivered! Laura is actually just starting doing custom bakery here in Chicago and is incredible, everyone was raving that it was the best cake they'd ever had. If you're looking for a custom cake or other dessert (her Reese's cheesecake was honestly one of the best things I've ever had and I don't usually even like cheesecake) be sure to hit her up

The one thing I really knew about planning a first birthday party ahead of time (besides letting the baby eat some cake!) was that it was your chance to put all of those month-by-month photos on display! 

I took photos in Mia's crib every month using the same sheet and similar outfits (all with some pink!) so they'd feel consistent. If I were to do it over again, I might also try to figure out how to get consistent lighting, as I just used natural lighting which was dramatically different in every picture and took some (pretty poor) Photoshop editing to attempt to correct. 

Anyway, I got all of the photos printed as 4x6 prints, used a hole punch on the top corners, and then mod-podged month numbers on them. I used this gold glitter paper, and cut them out using my Cricut. You can download the month numbers file here

The hanging flowers on the fireplace were an impulse buy from Michael's, they're just faux-floral garlands (not available online but here is something similar). I had Jeff hang them using little command hooks. They're so pretty, they're actually still up. Don't judge me, I swear I took down the rest of the decorations! 

Another fun idea I had was to print out a bunch of photos of Mia from throughout the year, trying to get as many extended family members in with her as possible. I hung them on our little display board, and added an extra floral garland around the frame with more Command hooks. 

For Mia's outfit, I wanted to find something that resembled Alice's outfit from the movie but wasn't a costume. This dress is so cute and easy (and the cake washed right out too!!) and could work for a number of occasions, but with the black hair ribbon, white tights, and black shoes, it was definitely a nod to Alice. 

For beverages, I used a big drink dispenser with a "drink me" sign that was more removable vinyl that I printed with my Cricut - get the file here. I used this punch recipe, but since there were a bunch of kids on the invite list I left the alcohol on the side. 

I made a couple of other things on the Cricut too, including This Way/That Way signs (vinyl stickers on construction paper) that I had lining the staircase as you enter our unit, "Recycle Me" and "Toss Me" removable vinyl on our trash and recycling bins, tea cup cutouts on one of the walls, little Cheshire Cat window clings around the room, a Cheshire Cat smile on the bathroom mirror to freak people out, and the "every adventure requires a first step" window cling on the mirror in our entryway. Here is a zip file with all of the free SVG files you can print yourself! 

I designed the invites too, but ended up sending out a Paperless Post so the one in the pictures is one I printed at the last minute before the party. 


Party Supplies 

Cricut Supplies

General Furniture / Home Goods 

Mia's Outfit

And now, in case you're here for the photos, here are approximately one thousand more:

Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!