HARRY POTTER VALENTINES CARD (FREE PRINTABLE)

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll enjoy this. If you’ve never read the books or seen the movies… um why not? Better get on that. I wanted to share the Valentine’s Day card I made for my husband this year (and hope he’s not reading this post!). You could totally use this for your kid’s class valentines too!
1. Click HERE to buy the glasses
2. Click HERE for the printable.
3. Print on card stock- you can find single sheets of red and gold at most craft stores, or purchase white card stock HERE
4. Cut using our fav easy cutting board HERE

5. Cut out holes as shown in the photo below with an x-acto knife or simply tape with washi tape.

And if you’re really feeling nerdy, grab our Harry Potter tattoos HERE and Harry Potter nail tattoos HERE!
 Cut 2 rectangles to poke the glasses through. I printed on a scrap piece of paper first to fiddle with where to cut. Below is what the back will look like.
If you don’t have glasses for the card, use THIS printable.
 I did mine in Gryffindor colors naturally, but just red works well for Valentine’s Day too!

 

Want to see what huge HP nerds my husband and I are? Here’s the costume I made for our then one-year-old, Ari! I cannot wait to start reading the books together (in about 6 years!).
Details about this costume and more DIY baby Halloween costumes HERE.
Anyone else LOVE Harry Potter as much as I do? I’m trying to get Jenni on the Hogwarts Express Harry Potter train! Won’t she love the books??
-L

WHAT I WORE

I woke up today, and checked the temp on my phone, which read 11 degrees. 11 degrees people!!! I know our Canadian friends are giving me a big “whatev” right now, but that is super cold for us here in Tennessee. I don’t know how the Northerners do it!?!
Today, we got out and ran a few errands to prep for this little beach trip of ours. My daughter wanted to go on a the slide at the park (even in the painful wind chill), and since I am about to leave her…. she gets whatever she wants until I leave. I am telling you…. I am not ready!! 🙁 It is truly the most bittersweet emotion I have felt to date. 
Here is what I wore……

^^ Amara likes to sit at the top of the slide and just “take it in” It takes so much time for her to crawl up there, I suppose she has to take a breather. This is me rushing her to slide down …. and we’re slidiiiiing…. ^^
Baseball hat / Old sweater, but similar HERE / Denim vest, similar HERE / Leather leggings, similar HERE) / Converse / Backpack, similar HERE / bangle / watch / Coat
Enjoy your weekend Friends!!! Much love to you all!
-J

WHAT I AM PACKING….

My husband and I are going to Jamaica next week for 5 day relaxation fest! I have such a mix of emotions as one half of me is so excited to get away to warm weather and no responsibility, but then my other half has quite a bit of anxiety over leaving my baby girl for the longest we have ever left her. I get a pit in my stomach thinking about how much I will miss her! It will be good, though…..right!? 
I have been packing a little here and there, and these are the things that are definitely coming with me!
It is kind of surreal that we are getting the opportunity to go. I always seem to be the one reading OTHER bloggers’ packing guides. So grateful!!

1 Panama Hat – I never splurged on one last summer, and wished I had. Gotta keep cool!
2 NARS Multiple – Great color for eyes and cheeks to give you that “beachy glow”
3 Marc Jacobs Peplum suit – I got this at the end of summer, and absolutely love this suit! Sold out, but similar HERE
4 Sunglasses – My favorite pair from Target!
5 Kaftan – This is going to be my best friend at the beach!
6 Saltwater sandals – love my saltwaters, and how if they get wet, they only get more comfortable!
7 Book & Picture bookmark – remember I said, I planned on reading a book this year? ha! I will start with humor. There is no better way to mark my pages than with a pic of my little.
8 – I am not planning on taking jewelry because we really will just be lounging. However, my Maya Brenner necklace is delicate enough to wear every day, and make me feel girly.
9 Nivea – I love a good ole drugstore lip balm. The Nivea sticks are my favorite!!
10 Nutrogena Sunscreen – my skin breaks out easily, and I have had great luck with this break-out free lotion. Very lightweight!
 Are you planning a vacation any time soon? What are your must haves?
-J

VALENTINE’S DAY PROJECT FOR THE LITTLES

Ari and Amara looooved this Valentine’s Day candy necklace project! They both got into it and surprisingly only ate the treats after their necklaces were finished. We loved how hard the kids concentrated stringing on the cereal and candy. This is a great play date activity – fine motor skills trump sugar, right? Candy necklaces taste best served with pink strawberry milk. Have fun! 

We found it was easiest to tape one end of the string to the table. 
Take a much deserved strawberry milk break.
Eat your beautiful creations before this happens…
Cheers!

VALENTINE’S DAY LUNCH

Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to go nuts with pink and red. Those are probably not favorite colors of the special man in your life, so we thought a girls lunch (break) would be a fun way to kick off the month of February. We found these amazing vintage stamps which sparked the idea for the theme “signed, sealed, delivered”. Also, due to Leah’s hoarder tendencies, we still had a few of these gable boxes on hand to pack the lunches. This would be a perfect, easy get together to host during the week as a “lunch break” party during the work hours!

BALLOON VALENTINES FOR KIDS (FREE PRINTABLE)

My three-year-old, Ari, loves balloons. We play catch with them (really good practice for spazzy toddler coordination), we draw funny faces on them, whenever there’s a holiday we have tons and tons of balloons, so I thought it would be fun for him to hand them out to his little friends at preschool this year. After I designed this I thought… does this make sense? You make my heart pop? Whatever, the kids will just be excited about the balloon, right? I printed my cards on kraft paper, but you could certainly print it on white or red paper.
1. Download free printable HERE
2. Cut using our fav cutting board HERE
3. Attach balloon with washi tape HERE
Do you know how hard it is to photograph a toddler and a balloon? Exercise for the week day- check.
-L

STICKER VALENTINES FOR KIDS (FREE PRINTABLE)

Yippee! A free printable for your littles on Valentine’s Day. Ari gave his friends at preschool these packets of stickers last year- all kids love stickers!
PRINTABLE: download HERE
CUTTING BOARD: THIS is our fav!
BAGS: You can purchase clear bags at any craft stores or buy HERE in size 3″ x 5″.
STRING: HERE
 Found these great foam stickers at Target
Ooooh I love when Ari writes his name! I helped on the “r” but he did the rest himself!
Hope your littles have fun with these goodies!
-L

A “TRIP AROUND THE WORLD” THEMED BABY SHOWER

We are going on a little “trip around the world” on this lovely Friday! We wanted to share a sweet shower that is just too cute to keep to ourselves. We love big over the top celebrations just as much as the next party enthusiast, but honestly swoon over small, charming celebrations such as this one. All of the little details are so perfect and sentimental. 
Sara is awaiting the arrival of her baby boy, and her sister, Beth, was the creative mind behind all of this perfection. Even her home is stunning and full of charming details.
Beth’s blurb:
It took me a while to come up with a theme for the shower.  I didn’t want to use cheesy baby blue bottles and the generic “it’s a boy” banner.  Sara was obsessed with maps growing up and I think still is, and I knew she was using a globe in her nursery, so I thought it would be a fitting theme.  It all fit – Welcoming baby into the world, had Sara’s personality, prepping baby for all the travels and experiences he’ll have in life, and it wasn’t a cheesy landscape.  So, with the globe idea, I scoured pinterest for ideas.  I found a cardstock book of travel theme scrapbooking paper and went to work! I made bunting with leftover twine and my hot glue gun.  I had extra old wooden boxes left over from my wedding, so I used those for different levels of display.  The wreath and framed welcome sign were made from paper of an atlas and I just freehanded the words in silver sharpie, and outlined them with black sharpie. My husband made most of the food, with the exception of the cake pops.  Those were a trial and error process as they were the first ones I had made.  I used blue candy melts from Joanns and gold sprinkles to give them a “globe” look and stuck them in styrofoam for stability and covered it with white rocks to continue the travel/world theme. Everything else just kinda fell together.  All of the little touches were completed last minute by things I had laying around my house.  The birds, books, extra globes, etc. were just extra items I use in my everyday decor. 

Sara’s blurb:
I loved that beth tied items I love into the decor – maps, vintage plates, globes for the decor. In one of the wood crates on the mantle, she had vintage Nebraska and Pennsylvania state plates – the states my husband, Brad, and I were born in.  I also loved that she had the Dr. Suess “oh, the places you will go” book and used it as a guest book. it fit the theme perfectly and I’ll treasure that with the written notes inside from my girls!
Thank you SO much Sara and Beth for sharing your photos with us!! Enjoy your weekend friends! When we are not posting here, we are Instagramming….. keep up with us here!

ARI’S THIRD BIRTHDAY PARTY

We LOVE to throw parties here at Love & Lion and wanted to share some past parties with you as sort of a #TBT kinda thing 🙂 So this Throw Back Thursday, it’s Ari’s third birthday party. 
At this point in time I had just had Max, so a major party with lots of details (like Jenni and I normally do) was out of the question. I held the party at an indoor play place and brought in minimal decorations and food – just enough to make the party look personal and cute. When you’re not in your own space it can be a challenge to make it look the way you want (like trying to cover up a cheesy mural on the wall!). My advice is stick to a simple theme like colors or patterns and weave them into each aspect- decor, food table, invites, and favors. I went with black and white with a yellow accent and the slogan “Yippee Ari is 3!” 
I think the biggest transformation of the room was covering the tables with this chevron wrapping paper found at Hobby Lobby.
The theme all began with invites designed by none other than Lauren of Rock Paper Scissors.
 I just did very simple food – pizza, pretzel chips, hummus, veggies, fruit squeezies, and cupcakes.
 For favor bags I printed on paper lunch sacks and sealed with yellow washi tape.

Here you can see 36 months of (well worth) torture. When I told Ari it was time to take his chair picture last month he replied, “Oooh boy. That’s gonna be hard. I move around a lot.”

 I covered store bought party hats with patterned paper to match the theme.

Ari’s number 3 shirt from our favorite kids store, Tweed.
And here’s my favorite picture from the day. That would be my husband dropping a LIT cupcake on Amara while everyone sang “Happy Birthday”. Classic. Amara was unfazed and Ari asked if he could another cupcake. My reaction was so scarily slow you can literally see my brain trying to process what just happened. Sorry, Amara! 
That’s it! Super simple but considering I had just had a child, I was very happy with how it turned out. Can you say, control freak? Ha! Hope this gives you a few ideas for when you throw a party not in your own space
-L

AMARA’S SIMPLE WHITE TODDLER ROOM

I just recently did a wall of gold dot decals from urban decals. I am totally in love with all of their designs. The customer service is awesome as well! (my product plug for the day! 😉 Moving on…. 
This is not the room we started with when my daughter was born. She was in a different room in our house, there was a lot of pink, a chevron wall, and it was right at the top of our staircase with two french doors. As Amara grew, I realized it wasn’t the most practical room to have her in. So, I decided to start fresh in a new room with white paint (Glidden’s parchment white color matched in Behr). It is the “perfect” white. I even have it as my dining room color. I love fresh white walls with pops of color.
Overall, I just wanted to create a simple, sleek space for her. It is one of my favorite rooms to be in!
^The kitchen was a DIY gift from our dear friends for Amara’s first birthday! I fell in love with Vivi’s kitchen from Lay Baby Lay , so that is what they mimicked! Amara loves it!!! ^

Gotta have a place for tea parties 😉
^ There is no really great shot of the curtains due to the lighting in this room, but they were my first real sewing project that I did on. my. own! I splurged on some of the most beautiful white linen fabric and some seafoam pom pom trim. I even lined them with a blackout liner. I followed this tutorial if you are ever interested in giving it a try. Take it from me…I can’t even sew a straight line. You might surprise yourself! There is no way I could have afforded the curtains that my little beginner skills made me. ^
^ These wooden photos from Picture Bungalow are one of my favorite things in the room. I love these photos so much, and was so happy with the print quality! ^
^ I found a pedant shade at West Elm for $15 dollars. I knew I wanted something yellow against all of that white, and I scooped it right up. My husband installed it using a light kit and I simply wrapped the cord in fuschia pink yarn! ^
^ I ordered a pack of felt balls and strung them myself to create this garland. Easy Peasy, and half the price if you do it yourself. I don’t remember who I got them from, but they are allllll over Etsy! ^
^ Amara’s first piece of artwork she created at the top is my favorite! ^
^ I saw this idea on Pinterest and totally copied it! 😉 I just cut some little plastic animals in half, spray painted them, hot glued them to card stock and voila! ^
^ I wanted something with Amara’s birth details on it, and I found this cute little alphabet print (you can customize your colors) on Etsy! ^

^ Found this old french provencial looking dresser on Craigslist. I painted it gray and added my own handles. I lined the drawers with Snow & Graham wrapping paper from Rock Paper Scissors ^
^ Hooks for hanging and a toddler height mirror, which I found at Goodwill and spray painted! ^

-J

OUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

1. If you know me at all, you know that I have the worst memory in the entire world. Not an exaggeration. I could go to the store specifically for diapers and come back with everything BUT diapers. Anyway, I want to document my life more. Little things that Ari says, or Max’s milestones, or concerts we see, or how I’m feeling that day. This is the BEST journal! It documents five whole years in just one little book, and it’s not overwhelming at all. You literally just write one or two sentences per day. The journal starts January 1st (you fill in the year) so get on that amazon prime, people!
2. Going on more date nights is a shared resolution for Jeffrey and me. We get so wrapped up between the kids, work, travel, etc. that sometimes we forget about spending quality time with each other, besides the 2 or 3 hours after the boys are asleep when eat dinner and watch our shows. So we’ve talked about getting a regular babysitter and going out to dinner or a movie or a concert twice a month! Even if it’s grabbing sushi and talking about our week, it’ll be nice to get back to the point of just being a married couple. That’s romance to me!
3. Must. Lose. Baby weight. Ugh. The only way to motivate a couch potato like me is to get some cute kicks and flattering workout clothes! Wondering if I’ll keep up with the fitbit? Anyone tried it? 
Good luck with your resolutions, friends! Happy New Year!
-L
1. Yep, you saw correctly. Read AAAAAA book! I am not a reader, unless it is an article in a magazine or a recipe. I do good to read my devotional at night. However, I always envy those who can find their “happy place” in a book. I don’t understand them, but I DO envy them. I would love to read all three of these books, but I want to be realistic here people!
2. I really want to take better care of myself and be pickier about what I am putting into my body in general, but I DEFINITELY want to drink more water. I notice a huge difference in my skin (since I have struggled with breakouts since birth), and as much as I love a good soda with a burger, it just isn’t worth it….well, it kind of it, but I am going to be better 🙂
3. Unplug! The irony of this one is amazing considering we just started a blog, and all I want to do is be on my computer sharing ideas and communicating with you all. However, I do think there is a balance there and I want to be “present” with my husband and my little girl. I wouldn’t say that it is a struggle now (being that Leah texted me the other day to see if I was okay since I had not responded to her early am texts and it was midnight…she is the best I tell ya), but I just want to be consistent and scheduled with my time on the gadgets.
Happy New Year everyone!! It’s going to be a good one! 
-J

DIY CONFETTI PACK AND THE PERFECT PARTY FAVOR!

We are doing a little NYE project over here to get ready for the festivities tonight! What is a NYE celebration without some confetti? I put together mini confetti packs and taped them to card stock that I printed little phrases on with my ol’ epson printer. Haha! Super easy project, and so fun to hand out to any party guests, host/hostess, or just keep in your bag for your own mini celebration when the clock strikes midnight.
Confetti can be made out of ANYTHING (that doesn’t give you a head injury). I used a lot of leftover materials from Christmas like metallic chip board letters, twine that I shredded, striped straws, gold ribbon, teal and white card stock, and aqua and pink crepe paper. Have fun with it!
This “kiss me under the confetti” card is my favorite! Lucky me, I get two kisses tonight! 😉

Just look at that confetti goodness… sigh…
 Champagne is definitely my drink of choice for a night such as this, but my husband prefers White Russians. Champagne is not always the manliest drink, so I get it. I put together a hostess gift for the couple hosting us tonight. I collected some mini shakers from the Target dollar section along with some chalkboard tags they had. Then, I added the mini drinks with a striped straw. It would also just make a great party favor for any party. You could even buy these items in a normal size and gift it. Confetti and cocktails….yes, please!!
I tied a chalkboard tag onto the mini shaker that read “Just add cream….Cheers!”

Cheers!! Please have a happy and SAFE New Year friends!! Have some of that responsible kind of fun!! 
{cue noise makers now}
-J