Wonderland Birthday Tea Party

It’s been almost a year since my baby’s first birthday.  But I wanted to share a few photos from her party before she turns two next month.  I am not really a “theme” type person and I don’t really care for all the fluffy kid’s cartoon stuff.  So, I chose to do a whimsical tea party, Wonderland inspired. I designed her invitation and many of the printed details on the food table. A big thanks to my sister and mother for helping me put the final touches together.

June's 1st Bday-01
Tea Party spread
Tea Party detail
tea and sugar

June open presents
June playing
June cake
June new toy




Baby Invitation – Travel / Old World theme

Hello – I’m just popping in quickly to interrupt all these Advent designs with a baby-shower post. I recently had the pleasure of designing some old world themed baby shower invitations for my sister-in-law.  The design is also up in my shop as of today for those of you who don’t want sports theme or elephants.
Baby Invite Travel Front-01Baby Invite Travel Back-01
I also designed a few different printables for games that we played at the shower. I’m giving one away as a free download if anyone is planning a shower and wants to use this! It was fun to see how many people guessed correctly! Click the image below and it will open in a new window, you can then click to save to your computer. Happy shower-ing.
MarenLayneDesign Matching Game-01Answer key to matching game: from top to bottom: French, Hawaiian, Chinese, Dutch, Russian, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Japanese

Source of game

The Difference a Year Makes

Thought this was kind of a fun comparison to post — how much a baby changes in the first year. The photo on the left was taken when June was 6 days old.  The photo on the right was taken on June’s 1st birthday (which reminds me, I still need to post about that!).

June Year Comparison
Some noteworthy changes and characteristics are:
– her eye color changed from dark blue to hazel
– her dark hair lightened up to a strawberry-light-brown
– she now has 4 bottom teeth, 2 top teeth, and 2 currently pushing through
– she loves to feed herself finger food and dislikes being spoon-fed
– her favorite and most used words are “kitty” and “cheese”
– she is getting close to walking, but is currently satisfied with cruising along furniture
– she gives high fives, claps her hands, waves, and sticks out her tongue on command

I’ll spare you from more mom brags and just say goodbye for now. I will be back soon!

The Prettiest Thing I’ve Created Yet

I can’t help but think my daughter is the prettiest thing I’ve ever created. Probably since I had help. June turned 2 months old this past week and my friend and Minneapolis photographer, Amber of Amber Lianne Photography, captured some beautiful photos of her. She’s wearing a Dalida family heirloom passed down from her Auntie Faith. To see more photos or to check out Amber’s photography, visit her blog or facebook page!

My “Handmade” Budget Nursery

Baby is due in less than a week and the nursery is finally (almost) done! I actually have two more DIY projects left to do and will share those in the next few weeks. But, I was anxious to get some photos up now that it’s mostly finished. Since I was on a budget, I recycled a lot of things, made a lot of things, found a lot of things second hand, and had help from my mom and dad in making a few things.

Rocking Chair: found on Craigslist, recovered by me, vintage bed sheet
Wicker Side Table: hand-me-down
Curtains: Made by me, fabric purchased on Etsy.com
Lamp: Target
Little Bear Print: Etsy.com, stretched on frame by me, frame made by my dad
Floral Wall Art: made by me, old bed sheet, frame made by my dad
Fabric Bins: Target
Crib & Changing Table: Amazon.com
Bear Painting: done by my brother and gifted to us
Quilt: handmade by my mother, fabric purchased on Etsy.com

DIY: Pretty Burp Cloths

I’ve seen these before and have wanted to make some, but just didn’t take the time to figure out the specifics until now. My friend, Rachel, over at birdy blue, gifted me these beautifully hand crafted burp cloths for my little one on-the-way. I have a ton of pre-fold diaper cloths that I plan on spiffing up in these last few weeks leading up to baby’s birth. Something like this is perfect for the nesting-mode mom, or for a special gift to give to your expectant friends. So, using Rachel’s finished product as my guide, here’s a little DIY.

What you’ll need:
– Pre-fold diaper (I used) OR Terry Cloth/Flannel Fabric (as I expect Rachel used) – cut into 12×16 inch rectangle
– Pretty patterned fabric of your choice – cut into 12×16 inch rectangle
– Pins, Ruler, Scissors, Sewing Machine, Iron
How to DIY:
1. Place your two fabric pieces face to face (wrong side on wrong side). Pin around circumference. Sew along edges, leaving enough space for your hand to fit through to turn inside-out.
2. Turn inside-out. Stick your hand inside to push along the seams, making a crisp edge before ironing.
3. Iron along the edges, including where your gap is, so it looks closed when flattened.
4. Sew along the circumference again (this time right side out), making sure that the gap gets sewed closed.
5. Now that it looks finished, add 2 seams down the longest portion of the cloth. If you are using a pre-fold, there are already lines you can follow. If you chose to cut from your own fabric, make them about 4 inches apart, dividing the cloth in thirds.
6. This is what your finished project should look like – with the edging and middle seams.

Hope this was helpful! I always love to hear your comments! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.


It’s been six months of self control. Up until recently, I hadn’t bought a thing for the baby. Maybe it was easy to abstain from shopping before we knew her gender. Or maybe it was the morning sickness that kept me locked up inside and glued to the couch. Or maybe I was just busy with our big move. At any rate, I was being good.

The past month I have been hitting up my local thrift stores and finding some fun treasures! These two gems were added to my bounty recently. My babe is going to be quite the retro girl. I hope she grows up to appreciate the past eras as much as the hubs and I do.

The nursery planning is underway too, but I still have to be patient. We don’t have any furniture yet, and my mom is making a few key items that will shape the look and feel of the room. So, until I have those things, I am trying to be patient. I think the “nesting” part of being pregnant has arrived early for me.

I have a list of projects I want to get done before baby arrives. Some of them include sewing. I picked up the fabrics pictured above for half price at the fabric outlet. I can picture some clothes and a big cushion made out of these. I’ve also got a painting project in my head. Check back for some fun project details soon!