Hailey’s Happy Half- A Confetti Carnival Half Birthday Party

On March 28, Hailey officially became 6 months old! I truly cannot believe how quickly time flew by, but it’s true! I love a good party (surprise surprise!) so I decided to throw Hailey a small (but adorable) half birthday party to mark the occasion. I knew the party had to be cheap, because our budget is a little tight these days. I also knew it had to be simple so my husband wouldn’t get annoyed at me for having an unnecessary party. And I knew it had to be cute, because IT’S ME and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The result was an adorable little party on a budget that any mom can throw for their baby!

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Picking a Half Birthday Party Theme 

The first thing I had to do was pick a theme for the party. I was a bit stumped at first, but I knew I wanted something colorful and maybe with confetti. I browsed Pinterest for ideas, then I looked up the silly holidays and found that March 28 is food on a stick day. My mind instantly went to carnival food like corn dogs, and that’s how the confetti carnival theme came about! I created a mood board for the party (more on that coming to the blog soon!) and I began planning my purchases and menu. 

One of my goals for this party was to not generate a ton of trash afterwards. So, I purchased reusable supplies like the honeycombs instead of balloons. I decided not to use cute patterned paper/plastic plates because we had enough everyday plates for the guests. I also used our turquoise footed glass goblets that we never get to use with company and regular silverware. The only plates I got where these half circle plates because they just fit with the theme wayyyy too well, and I knew there was no way I’d find that affordably for a reusable set. I skipped paper straws altogether because no one really uses them anyway. 

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Carnival Party Crafts 

The good news is that all the fun DIYs that I did will be coming to the blog soon! I wanted to get this party post up before Hailey turned 9 months (or 9 years!) old. Like I said, I kept it simple and only did a few diy projects. I made Hailey a crown to wear with a 1/2 on it which at first seemed a little big but looked pretty cute overall. She wore it comfortably for most of the party! Then, I made a 1/2 cake topper. I had big plans for it with hanging ribbons but it looked funny, and 9pm the night before means you just gotta move on. I kept it simple with just glitter paper and a skewer stick. And lastly, I really wanted to display the photos I’ve been taking of Hailey each month so I made some picture holders! I picked my favorite photo from each month plus one from when she was first born.  It was really amazing being able to capture her growth each month because I can’t believe how big she’s gotten already and it hasn’t even been a year yet! I think I’m going to look back at these with such appreciation.

Psst- I made a baby photography course so that you can learn how to take better baby photos too! Learn more about Dreamy Baby Photography here.

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Carnival Party Decor

I knew I wanted to make a tent (even though it’s more circus than carnival) so I raided my fabric stash and found some tulle that I had bought for my veil, but it was too narrow. I would have preferred something bolder but hey, sometimes you just gotta move on! I also knew I wanted to have balloon animals, so I used these figures I had and put them around the house. Finally, I wanted to add some pizzazz to the party area so I purchased a set of tassel garlands and a pack of honeycombs and lanterns. I made some of the garland tassels thicker and some thinner (2 pieces of tissue paper vs 4) so I was able to make a ton of tassels and hang them up around the party area. I also used the tassels and the honeycombs to decorate the tent and give it more of a carnival feel. I also added my DIY cotton candy garland which is so fun and complimented the theme!

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Carnival Party Menu

You can’t have a party without food! Well, you can but it wouldn’t be as good haha. We decided to keep the menu really simple (and cheap!) with traditional carnival fare. 

Popcorn chicken
Corn dogs
Mexican street corn (elote)
Loaded tot kabobs (recipe here)
Cotton candy
Cake pops
Popcorn
Buffalo wings (brought by family)
Spinach pies (common at Greek fairs!)

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Rainbow Layer Cake 

I decided that I wanted to do a layer cake and make it rainbow. I’ve never made a layer cake before nor a rainbow cake so I was a little worried. But it came out soooo cute! Since it was her half birthday I cut the cake in half, which left the layers out for everyone to see. The cake was actually really easy to make but in case you want a “tutorial”, here’s what I did. I used 2 white cake mix boxes and dyed them using neon McCormick dye. I sprayed the pans with flour spray which helped the cake not to stick to the pan. After they baked and cooled, I took them out of the pans and cut them flat using a long sharp knife. Then, I cut them in half and assembled the cake with a layer of frosting in between. Hailey was too young to eat the cake, but we took some pretty cute photos of her with the cake!

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I mean…. look at that rainbow gorgeous goodness! Not bad for my first attempt at rainbow cake and a layer cake. I served the cake on the half circle plates, because what better to eat half a cake on than half a plate?! Once the cake and dessert was served, Hailey opened a few gifts from my mom. We requested no gifts but she said she had purchased the items months ago and since my parents were moving, she didn’t want to lose them. Fair enough! Most of those toys ended up being some of her favorites.

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Such a fun and simple way to celebrate Hailey’s Half Birthday! Most of those decorations are still up, 2 months later. I love how festive the honeycomb balls and lanterns are! Even the circus tent is still up, although that’s probably due to laziness more than anything else. It’s hard to believe that in less than 4 months, we’ll be celebrating her first birthday. Seriously, where has the time gone and how do I stop it?!

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Well, that’s all folks! I’ve got the individual DIY projects for this party (including the crown and photo holders!) coming to the blog soon, as well as Hailey’s monthly updates. It’s been a little busy around here and sadly I’m slacking on those! Part of me was thinking maybe I shouldn’t bother with them anymore but I think someday I’m going to look back at them longingly so I’m going to keep going! Keep an eye out for the DIY projects and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes plus reminders for new posts!

The Dreamy Baby Photography Course is LIVE!

If you’ve been trying to take better photos of your baby…. have I got the perfect thing for you! I’m creating a baby photography course and it’s now available for pre-sale! I’ve been wanting to launch this for several months now and I am so excited that it’s happening! I’ve been working on baby photography since Hailey was born and I know all mommas want better photos of their babes, so I’ve been taking notes so I can teach my ways to you! I’ll also be answering some FAQ below.

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Why did you create this DIY baby photography course?

Great question! When we took Hailey for her newborn photoshoot, it left a lot to be desired. I decided that I wanted to take better photos of her and I wanted to take them more often than just the milestones. So, I started learning more about photography and applying these new skills to taking pictures of the baby!

Will I learn how to take my own newborn photos?

Yes! There’s a module all about newborn photos! I’ll teach you what I learned from taking photos of Hailey plus another newborn session I did! They’re only that tiny once, so it’s important to capture those little details and to do it right the first time.

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Do I need a fancy camera, or can I just use my cell phone?

No matter what equipment you’re using, I’ll show you the basic principles that will take your photography to the next level! If you’re using a fancy camera, I’ll teach you how to get off automatic mode so that you can get the very best pictures possible.

Can I get this for a mother’s day or baby shower gift?

Yes! You can either use the person’s email address to send them the course right away, or use yours and update it once you’re ready to give them the gift. It’s really easy to change the email address by going to your account and updating it.

I’m so busy- will I even have time to learn this stuff?

Yes! One of the very first lessons will show you how to find time to watch these videos. Plus, my system is quick and easy so that you’re only taking a few minutes to set up plus how to find the perfect time of day for ideal lighting. Then, you snap pictures for as long as you want! Editing is quick and easy with my method, which I’ll teach you step by step.

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That picture up there? It’s a cell phone picture I snapped of Hailey in the moment! Nothing fancy was done when I took it- she just looked cute so I snapped a pic. Then I edited it so that it was well-lit and dreamy. Which picture would you rather have- dark and dreary or bright and airy?! I’ll also add that this course will teach you how to edit your photos WITHOUT those fancy presets that get advertised. Instead of putting a band-aid over your photos, I’ll be teaching you how to take better photos AND how to edit all of them to look amazing.

So, don’t dawdle! Head over now to enroll in the course and start taking better photos of your baby today! The course is affordable and for every sale, I’ll be donating $1 to March of Dimes. If you have any other questions, pop them below and I’ll be sure to answer them ASAP!


Hailey's 3 Month Update

Little Hailey is now 3 months old! She changes so much week to week, and I am loving the tiny person she’s becoming. I feel so lucky to be her momma, and to still be on maternity leave soaking up every second with her. It’s a dream. Let’s take a look at all the ways Hailey has changed this month, shall we?!

Hailey is now 3 months old!! Click through for the full monthly update and photos.

At three months old, Hailey is 13 lbs 2 oz and 23 inches tall. She’s wearing size 3 months clothes. She’s been quite the fashionista lately, letting me dress her up in fun clothes every day!

Hailey is now 3 months old!! Click through for the full monthly update and photos.

Watching TV

OK, Hailey’s been watching tv for a while now, but lately she’s REALLY into the TV! She whines when she’s not facing it and we are, haha. I guess she’s becoming a zombie like us. She doesn’t get much screen time besides when we’re watching tv, and we only watch adult shows so I think she just likes the lights. Either way, it’s really stinking cute when she “watches” Disney or Christmas movies!

Hailey is now 3 months old!! Click through for the full monthly update and photos.

Singing songs

Hailey loves our little sing-alongs. I have the worst singing voice ever (and a pretty annoying normal voice, some would argue!) so I find it hilarious that she likes when I sing. She’s been loving Christmas songs, especially the slow soulful ones like my acapella rendition of Please Come Home For Christmas by the Eagles. I can’t hit any of the notes, but for some reason she loves it haha. 

Hailey is now 3 months old!! Click through for the full monthly update and photos.

Faces

Hailey is noticing faces more and more, and loves when you smile at her! She smiles back and likes to study people. She also hates when she can’t see you nowadays, so I tend to keep her in the kitchen with me when I’m cooking so she doesn’t start wailing. 

Hailey is now 3 months old!! Click through for the full monthly update and photos.

Smiling more

Hailey is such a happy, smiley girl! She loves singing, light fixtures, faces… pretty much everything except toys, haha. Everything makes her smile, and I am LOVING it. I spend all day trying to get those smiles and I can’t seem to get enough.

Hailey is now 3 months old!! Click through for the full monthly update and photos.

Singing and sounds

Hailey is making so many sounds these days! She’s even been singing little songs to me, and I die every time. We also have “conversations” and she loves to tell me about her poops as I change her diaper, haha! She knows John reacts when she does a little high pitched squeal, so she does that when he’s around. It’s pretty insane how smart she is.

Hailey is now 3 months old!! Click through for the full monthly update and photos.

Sitting upright

So, little miss Hailey is a big girl. She loves to sit upright and whines now when you hold her like a little baby. She also does “sit ups” on her boppy pillow, where she holds my thumbs and pulls herself up. She sticks out her little tongue and smiles at me as I cheer her on. Then when she’s upright, she bobbles around trying to get her balance. She’s getting really good on it, and she’ll probably be sitting up on her own soon!

Hailey is now 3 months old!! Click through for the full monthly update and photos.

First Christmas 

That’s right, this Little Miss had her first Christmas! I couldn’t handle it, we wore Christmas pajamas every day for the 2 weeks before, and I sang her Christmas Carols all month long. I was super bummed on Christmas when I realized I forgot to take a photo of us together. My hubby (and tripod) came to the rescue though, because we took some great shots of us in front of the tree and Hailey even smiled in the one with me! It took some of the blues away. 

Hailey is now 3 months old!! Click through for the full monthly update and photos.

Baby Fists

Hailey learned how to make a fist and chew on it this month, so she spends a lot of time sucking on her hand. Then, she also discovered her thumb and started sucking that too! It’s mostly when she’s hungry or feels uncomfortable, but it’s pretty funny for some reason. She also grabbed her toe the other day when doing her sit-ups and I thought that was pretty great too. I had to snap a photo for memories, even though I’m sure she’ll be grabbing her foot all day long soon enough.

Hailey is now 3 months old!! Click through for the full monthly update and photos.

I can’t believe another month came and went, but luckily we seem to be getting into a rhythm lately. Hoping I can get more blog posts done in 2019- we may have the grandmas coming to babysit while I work! Until then, I’m a naptime hustler trying to enjoy every second she’s awake.

PS- Can we talk about how she’s not only getting cuter every month, but my photos are improving too? I’m gonna be a pro by 12 months!

Hailey's 2 Month Update

I can’t believe another month has gone by! My little girl is getting so big and while I’m loving all the new parts of her personality, I’m missing my teeny baby. However, I wouldn’t change these new smiles I’m getting for anything!

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

At two months old, Hailey is 10 lbs 6 oz and 22 3/4 inches tall. She’s wearing size 0-3 months clothes. She hates onesies going over her head, so we’re mostly wearing sleepers and dressing up occasionally when she goes out. She’s officially my new best friend, and I ain’t even mad that she poops her pants. 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Wonder Week Nightmare

The first week I spent home alone was ROUGH. Hailey was up all night, eating every hour and not letting me sleep at all. Every night was like a slumber party I didn’t agree to attend. I’d catch up on sleep in the morning, when she usually slept from about 6am to 10am or so. Luckily, by the end of the month Hailey was sleeping through the night. This momma is super happy about that! 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Smiles

I’m so happy to say that we’re getting more and more smiles from Hailey! Lately she’s been smiling because we are smiling. She loves being held, talked to, or even having her diaper changed if you smile at her while doing so! She also does this almost-laugh where she smiles big and makes a cooing sound. I’m pretty much in love with it and will do almost anything to make her laugh! 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.
Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Look Who’s Talking

Ok, so they’re not actual words but Hailey just started making sounds and “responding” to us when we talk to her. Whether it’s with some noises or a smile, conversations don’t seem so one-sided anymore! She also discovered her tongue this month. She would stick it out and play with it, lick things (like a blanket touching her lips) and even would copy me when I’d stick my tongue out!

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Songs

Hailey’s getting into the holiday spirit! She loves when I play Christmas songs for her, and loves it even more when I sing them to her! She even seems to anticipate it and immediately calms down when she hears the music start up. Then she starts to smile and breaks into a big grin when I start full on singing to her! She melts my heart, I swear. I’m like Olaf near the fireplace. Some people are worth melting for, and she’s definitely one of them!

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.
Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.


My Favorite Things

Still a big fan of the boobie. Hailey also loves attention/smiling, Christmas songs, and playing Mommy Watch Me Poop. She loves sleeping and lounging on the boppy, and hearing me sing “head and shoulders, knees and toes” plus the Winnie the Pooh song. 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Nicknames

I’m still calling Hailey Little Bird and Little Chirp Chirp (from her cooking sounds she makes when she stretches). I call her an animal when she’s trying to find the boobie and cheese foot, because her owlet makes her foot kinda sweaty and stinky haha! 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

Fitness Star

Hailey is a master at pulling things. She loves my hair, John’s chest hair, and my mom’s cross. She’s also starting to do sit-ups! She’ll grab my thumbs with her entire tiny fist and use them to pull herself up into a sitting position. 

Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.
Hailey is now 2 months old!! Click through for the full update.

I’m amazed by how much Hailey is growing and changing everyday. She’s my little BFF and I love every day and every minute I spend with her! Even diaper changes make me happy, mostly because she’s smiling the ENTIRE time!

Hailey’s 1 Month Update

I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! I’m starting to understand why my parents would always say it seems like just yesterday they brought me home from the hospital. This month really flew by, and while I’m loving that she’s awake more, I miss how teeny tiny she was. I really wanted to do a fun, themed photo shoot each month with a number made out of items or something, but there just wasn't time. I took her first set of photos on Halloween in her costume with the sign, then did another photoshoot when she was looking cute a couple days later. It turns out, I accidentally did a theme because they’re both unicorns! So, I guess I can do something like this for the other months.

I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.

At one month old, Hailey is 8 lbs 6 oz and 21 inches tall. She’s still wearing newborn size clothes. She loves to wear sleeper pajamas, although her fashion item of choice is a diaper and nothing else!

I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.

Sleeping Beauty

The first few weeks were pretty interesting. Hailey was a really sleepy baby, and didn’t really want to eat. She would often cluster feed then sleep for long periods of time. She’s a night owl, so we took care of her in shifts. John got the overnight shift and I took the early morning one. We basically slept on the couch, because Hailey didn’t like her bassinet and preferred to be in our arms. We’d watch tv or movies and every couple of hours I’d feed her. 

Trying to get her to wake up was pretty comical. We’d strip her down to a diaper, change her, poke her, sing to her, “yell” at her to wake up, put our cold hands on her... basically anything we could to wake her up. It usually didn’t work. She’s open one eye, or look like she might wake up, but she’d just fall right back asleep again as if nothing happened. She reminds everyone of me when they try to wake me up! I’m a very heavy sleeper haha. 

I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.
I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.

Jaundice 

Because Hailey had a different blood type than I did, and because she didn’t really eat very often, she ended up becoming jaundice. We had to take her to the doctor every few days to track it, including a lab where they had to take blood work. It was so sad seeing her get pricked when she was so so tiny. We also had to make sure we woke her up every few hours to feed her, because that’s the best way to flush it out.  Luckily, within a couple of weeks it went away and she’s perfectly healthy now. 

I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.
I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.

Snack Time

She loves mommy’s boobies, but isn’t a fan of the formula we’re supplementing. She’s an aggressive little eater, but it’s the cutest thing watching her. I have scratch marks from her nails and a big bruise on my nipple but hey, as long as she’s fed! Breastfeeding was a struggle at first (blog post coming soon!) but we’ve gotten the hang of it and we have a rhythm now. Hailey eats more than I can provide, so we supplement formula. At first she didn’t care either way, but she’s definitely preferring the “boobie” over the formula now. She even prefers it fresh from the boobie over getting it from a bottle of pumped milk. 

I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.
I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.

Smiles

Hailey’s only given us a few short smiles, and we get so excited to see them! She smiles in her sleep mostly (a reflex) so if you watch her you can catch one! (There’s also a video of it on my Instagram stories). 

I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.

Songs

I like to sing “Row Your Boat” and “the wheels on the bus” to Hailey. I also looove Disney songs, so I sing them to her as lullabied, or I play a Disney playlist while doing bicycle legs with her. 

I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.

My Favorite Things

Like most babies, Hailey likes ceiling fans- she spends a lot of time laying down, and they’re the only thing up there. She likes car rides and mommy and daddy. She loves to snuggle and obviously, sleeping! Her very favorite thing is probably mommy’s boobies- they do feed her, after all! 

I can’t believe it- Hailey is already a month old!! Click through for the full update.

All in all, we love our little Hailey and we are so excited to see her grow even more!