Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Easy Birthday Banner

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Have I mentioned to you guys before that my oldest and youngest daughters' birthdays are only one day apart?  So I'm trying to plan a First Birthday party for the baby and another party for my oldest and trying to make sure neither is overshadowed by the other.  And it tax season...
So I'm not above taking a short cut or two...that's where this super easy banner comes in!
I was perusing the aisles of Target when I noticed this blank banner in the birthday section.  I think it was around $4 or $5.   And it happened to be gold (one of the colors for the First Birthday party) so I took it as a sign and snatched it up!

I pulled out the old (literally) cricut and starting cutting letters away!  It seems like everyone and their brother has a silohette these days but I'm still chilling with my Cricut on the rare chance that I get to do any paper crafting.  I set the size at 3" for the letters and the pressure at 4 since I was using cardstock (leftover from Avery's birth announcements ironically).  I cut the "st" for 1st at 1 1/4".

Then I pulled out the Kindergarten grade glue stick and stuck a letter on each one.

I love the iridescence of the paper and that it came already hole punched with string included!  The 25 pieces were enough to do a "Happy 1st Birthday" banner and a "ONE" banner.

p.s. I'm linking up to Home Stories A to Z, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Sugar Bee Crafts, DIY Showoff and Tatertots and Jello.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Easy Crown Headband Tutorial

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Sweet girl has a first birthday coming up!  Can you believe it?  I don't even know how that happened.  We have 1 year pictures coming up and I wanted a cute headband/crown combo for her to wear so I decided to make one.
Here's what you'll need... 
  1. The crown - I found this one on clearance after Christmas at Target.  It was an ornament that I bought on a whim but knew I could use it for something with three little princesses running around. 
  2. Black or White felt - white would have been better but I only had black so that's what I used
  3. White Boa - I found this one at Michaels
  4. A regular baby headband (it won't be damaged in the making of the headband so you can use a good one)
  5. A couple of hair clips.  (I used an alligator clip from a broken hairbow and a plain hair clip.)
  6. Hot Glue Gun

I used a pair of pliers to bend the hanger part of the ornament down.

Then I cut a piece of felt slightly larger than the base of the crown for it to sit on.  I thought the bottom of the crown itself might be too hard for my little princess (plus is was an additional place to glue the feathers).

I hot-glued the crown to the felt.

Then I glued the feathers to the felt base of the crown by slowly wrapping it around as I glued.

Finally, I took two clips and hot-glued them to the bottom of the felt so that I could attach it to the headband without messing the original headband up.

Lastly, I attached the headband to the crown and tried it on my little princess!  Mine ended up a little top heavy due to the weight of the crown but she does pretty well with it.  How cute is she?  She definitely has our hearts.  I cannot wait to see how her first birthday pictures turn out!

p.s.  I'm linking up to Home Stories A to Z, Tatertots and Jello, Sugar Bee Crafts,  My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, and DIY Showoff!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Pink Spring Mantle

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Spring had sprung for a few days on the Bay Bush but we're supposed to plunge back into the 30s tonight!  (Those of you where it gets really cold have my sympathy!)  At least the Bay Bush is decorated for spring even if it doesn't feel much like it.

I got wild and crazy this weekend and rearranged a few pieces of furniture in the living room and threw together a Spring Mantle from things I had around the house or printed online.  I've fiddled and fiddled with it and have finally thrown in the towel.  It wasn't exactly what I had in mind but it's growing on me.

You can find the Lilly Bunting here at Dixie Delights (there are several patterns to choose from!) and the frame is one of my favorite DIYs ever! You can find it here.  I received the milk glass vase from a Vintage Swap hosted by The Pink Clutch. My partner Mary Beth sent it to me all the way from Chicago!  I've had everything else for ages.

I added one of the daisies to a votive in the tray on the coffee table to bring a little pop of pink to the rest of the room.

Now if I can just figure out a way to keep the baby from pulling everything on the coffee table into the floor...suggestions are welcome!  Hope you like my Pink Spring Mantle!

p.s. I'm linking up to Home Stories A to Z, Tatertots & Jello , My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and Sugar Bee Crafts.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Two More Mouths to Feed...

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Our brood has grown again!  

We recently had a cat show up around our house. She was so cute and really sweet and Chad started feeding her. I wasn't really sure if she belonged to a neighbor and was just coming over for snacks or if she needed a home.  After a couple of weeks we noticed she was getting rather round through the middle (aren't we all?). She got bigger and bigger and then disappeared for two days. The next time I saw her she was slimmer and acted like she was really hungry but I couldn't find the kittens.  The next morning I found them on my front porch in the corner.   They were so tiny that they looked like little mice.

Luckily there are only two of them. I have never been much of an animal person but I already find myself getting attached to these little guys.

I fixed a little bed for them using a cardboard box and an old towel and they seem to be doing okay.  I keep reminding myself that the Mama cat knows what to do without any help from me but I still worry whether they're okay or not.

They are so sweet together. They are always touching one another or one is laying across the other one.  They are right next to the window into my dining room so we can check on them really easily. 

Have you ever had kittens before?  What else should I be doing?  Any name suggestions?  We started calling the Mama Kit-Kat a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


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We had a positively precious Easter. It's so much fun to celebrate all the "first" with Miranda like we did with the older girls.

We met Mr. Easter Bunny a couple of weeks ago!
On the day before Easter we celebrated with an Easter Egg hunt at church. How cute are those little bunny ear clips?
Miss Avery racked up on eggs and candy!

I was in charge of the devotion before the egg hunt and I used this one from Pinterest.  It's a wonderful one to tie eggs filled with candy to the true meaning of Easter...that Jesus is ALIVE!

Avery alerted our household at 3:30am on Sunday that the Easter Bunny had visited is and begged me to get up and see the loot. I managed to hold her off until 7am.

A photo posted by @amandaatthebaybush on

A photo posted by @amandaatthebaybush on

We snapped a couple of pictures before church of the girls and I.  This was (unfortunately) before I was able to "put my face on" as my Grandmother would say.

Side note: Who is the sassy tweenager and where is my eight year old?!?

And we snapped this one after church so we would have one with Daddy Chaddy (he does exist).

Most days I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I am truly blessed! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring Table Setting

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I'm in the throws of tax season but I did find a few moments to dress up my dining room tables for Easter!  Here's a little peek!

I've said it before but my formal dining room is my favorite room in the house because it's the only one that always stays clean.  And staying clean with little to no effort on my part is a fast track to a special place in my heart.

I've had these placemats and napkins since the first year we were married and I still love them!  I usually use them in the kitchen but I decided to let them bring a little pop of color to the formal dining room.
I keep my table set all the time and I'm not exactly sure why since we never eat in there.  I guess its because it's too pretty to keep boxed up all the time and it just makes me happy!
And here is a look at the kitchen table...I added a few chick placemats and my DIY Easter Centerpiece from last year and called it a day.

It's a fun and casual addition to the kitchen.

p.s.  I'm linking up to Home Stories A to Z, Tatertots and Jello and My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


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I am so smitten with Chatbooks right now!  It's an app that takes your Instagram photos and prints them into a little book.  Once you hit 60 photos in your book they send you a little email and you have 3 days to edit it and make any changes before it is printed and automatically mailed to you!

You can edit your captions and exclude any photos that you don't want in the book.  Each photo has the date it was posted in the top corner so you have a rolling scrapbook with zero effort. 

You can also customize the spine of the book and choose the cover photo. 

Want to give it a try?  Here's a coupon code to get your first book for free!  After that, they are $8 each including the shipping to you.  (It also gives me a $1 credit on my next book when you use the coupon code.)  So give it a try!  You have nothing to lose!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


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Have you guys tried Krome?  It's an app that edits photographs for you.

I'd seen mixed reviews of examples on Facebook but I decided to give it a try with pictures of the girls.

Here is the original I used.  I left instructions for them to make the basket look like it was floating in the sky, color correct, center the baby/basket in the photo and to add more balloons. (One of ours made its exit into the real sky before I could take the pictures.)

And here's the "Kromed" product...
I was so tickled with this one that I did a photo shoot with Avery inside the house and had them edit it in the same way.  It turned out equally cute!  (McKenna was having no part of my photo shoot antics.  She's growing up entirely too fast but that's a sob story for another day!)
Tips for using Krome:
  • Be as specific and clear as possible.
  • If you want a specific look or background, you can upload those too so you get exactly what you want!
  • One free re-edit is included so don't be afraid to try again if it doesn't come out like you want.
  • Normally they can turn the edit around within 24 hours but I've heard it takes longer during the Holidays when everyone is trying to get their Christmas cards done.
  • Your first picture is only $ .99!  After that you can share it up to three times to get $3 off your next purchase.  They also offer coupon codes.  Full price is based on what you request but it appeared to range between $5-$8.
I will definitely use Krome again.  What about you?  Have you tried it?  Will you?
*Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Krome Studios and received no compensation for this review.  I just tried the product, liked it and wanted to share it with you guys!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Maternity Leave & Makeovers

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I was tempted to title this post "I'm back!" but if I had a dollar for every post on the Bay Bush entitled "I'm back"...then I'd have enough money for a Big Mac Meal.

So Maternity Leave and Makeovers it is!

I've been busy with my three little sweethearts.

And boy do they know how to keep me busy!  So I've been enjoying an extended leave from the blog to take care of these three.  But I'm going to try it again and see if I can fit it into my schedule on the regular.

And...the Bay Bush has had a makeover!  Did you notice?  I'm still playing with the design a little but I love it so far!

Now - who's watching the Series Finale of Downton tonight? I'm beside myself with anticipation and I've been watching the Downton Abbey marathon on PBS all afternoon.  I'm so sad for it to end.  I need a new series to take its place.  Any suggestions?

And in honor of the series finale...I'm just going to leave these right here.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Universal Orlando {Vacay Day 6}

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We finished up our trip at Universal Orlando.  Avery got to meet Diego right as we walked in the park and was giddy with excitement.  McKenna wouldn't deign to have her picture made with him. 
While Avery was meeting Diego, Chad set off to buy gloves for all of us.  It was so cold and the wind was blowing.
If Avery wasn't already on cloud 9 after meeting Diego, her life was about to be made when we met Scooby and Shaggy next to the...wait for it...Mystery Machine!!! 

As if things couldn't get better...we made our way around to the Curious George play area.  None of the water stuff was on while we were there because it was so cold but the girls still had a ball.
Actually, they had about a million balls...some of them shot at through air hoses and the like.

And they met one of my childhood favorites, Woody Woodpecker. 

And Curious George!

We literally had to drag Avery away from the Curious George area and made our way around to the Simpsons.  We really aren't big Simpsons fans but we did have doughnuts from the Lard Doughnut shop there and they were delicious!  Chad proclaimed them the "best theme park food ever."

We had limited time because we were going to start driving back home that day so we went straight to Diagon Alley.
Want to take a ride on the Night Bus?
Diagon Alley was as crowded as Hogsmeade.  We wandered through and went in a few of the shops and the girls used their wands in a few places.

But it was really so crowded that we just looked around and headed for the Hogwarts Express. This was the SOLE reason we bought the park-to-park passes for Universal.

We loved the ride and I wish we could have done the one from Hogsmeade to London as I'm told its a different experience.

The train takes you to the other park so we made our way back through Seuss Landing.

Caught a little show... 

Met some more characters...

And then made our way out of the park. 
We met my college roommate for dinner.  My girls loved seeing her girls again!  I never would have thought that we would have 5 (and now 6!) girls between the two of us.

We left dinner and headed north.  We made it all the way to Savannah that night and then drove the rest of the way home the next day.

A few thoughts on Universal Orlando...
  • The Universal Orlando park seemed to have more attractions that were age appropriate for my girls (ages 7 and 5 at the time) than Islands of Adventure.
  • We took the girls on the ET ride and they had no clue who ET was.  I wish I had let them watch the movie before our trip.
  • It was really cold in January.  If you're going then...bring your gloves from home!  They were ridiculously expensive there.
  • The only way to ride the Hogwarts Express is to have the park to park tickets.  Otherwise, we would have purchased the single day tickets instead.
  • Bring your autograph books!  I didn't expect many characters to be there but we were pleasantly surprised to get almost as many signatures there as we did in the Disney Parks. 
  • Diagon Alley was crowded but there was hardly any wait throughout the rest of the park on the day we were there.
  • I bought our tickets through Undercovertourist.  They seemed to have the best prices when we went.
Have any questions or other tips?  Feel free to post in the comments below!

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