friday’s favorites


My favorite things this week…


wool pompom garland (spotted at Hobby Lobby)


birthday dinner at J Alexander’s with two of my best friends…love this tradition of ours


fun coordinating fabrics from IKEA


new letters and images for my Heidi Swapp lightbox


going on the 4th grade field trip to Fossil Park

Happy weekend!

friday’s favorites


My favorite things this week…



this adorable (and yummy…the triple berry was my favorite) cobbler bar that was featured at our friend’s centennial celebration of their home


lunch with a friend at a new neighborhood restaurant


being surprised by a friend with a bouquet of flowers


new boots for Claire…click here for details


lunch at Fowl & Fodder with my friend, neighbor, and fellow blogger Lori from Giggle Living

Speaking of Lori, we are hosting a Pop up Party Shop next Thursday, September 22 from 5:00-8:00…if you are local, stop by and check out our previously used (but gently used) party products, props, and in general all things party!

Happy weekend!

college care package


With my oldest daughter off to college, I find myself sending care packages to her about once a week…after all, being a college freshman can be a big adjustment at first!  And receiving a box filled with goodies in the mail can brighten anyone’s day!


I had some fun assembling her latest care package, and I thought I’d share it today…since hopefully, she has received it by now and I won’t spoil the surprise!



Most teenagers and college kids enjoy the preppy clothing sold at Vineyard Vines.  You know that store…the one with the pink whale emblem and the “every day should feel this good” slogan.  It is one of my daughter’s favorite places to shop!

So I used the preppy pink whale idea to decorate the box…


With a few simple supplies…white alphabet stickers, blue gingham checked paper, glue dots, pink and blue tissue paper, shredded paper (pink, blue, and white), and the Vineyard Vines pink whale stickers…I was able to create a fun box in which to place some goodies.


First, I cut the blue checked paper to the size of the top flaps of the box.  I adhered the paper to the four sides of the box top with the glue dots.



The next step was to add the white sticker letters to the box flaps to write the message…









Then I added the whale stickers to each side of the box.  Adorable, right?

Now it’s time to fill the box!  Place some of the shredded paper in the bottom of the box.  Then wrap the contents of the box in the tissue paper and pack it neatly inside.  Add some more shredded paper on top, and you are ready to seal the box with packaging tape.




I added a bit more of that blue gingham paper and a pink card stock whale to the outside of the box for more whimsy.


I wish I could be there to see her open it!  I’m sure she will enjoy the contents of the box, and hopefully the box itself!

happy birthday…to me

friday's favorites | polka dots and picket fences

So today is my birthday…not such a big deal once you pass the 21 year milestone.  And I am WELL past my 21st birthday.

I’m turning 47 today.  F O R T Y – S E V E N….

Forty-seven…that means I’m even closer to fifty.  Although, I would prefer to “round down” to 45…math was never my strength, but I’m fairly sure it doesn’t work like that.

As my birthday approached this week, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting.  Most people look at their lives in decades…the 20’s, the 30’s, the 40’s, etc.  For me, my new “decade” usually starts with the “7’s.”

I started college at the young age of 17.  The next 10 years involved college, graduation, getting married, starting my teaching career, buying our first home…basically becoming an independent adult.

By the time I was 27, I was pregnant with our first child and another transition began…motherhood.  I became a full-time mom and stayed home to raise our two young daughters.

My life was turned quite upside down as I turned 37.  Our daughters were nine and six, and we learned we were being blessed with another baby girl.  So another “decade” began in my life…having kids of various ages is fun, but it can be challenging!  I was often asked by strangers if it was a second marriage.  I guess bra shopping with the oldest while I have a baby in the stroller was a bit strange.

So today I turn 47.  I remember turning 37 and being seven months pregnant with Claire, and thinking…”in ten years, I will have a daughter in college, another one turning 16, and this baby will be ten.”

And here I am (in the blink of an eye)…I’m looking forward to all the things this next “decade” in my life will bring!


***I know this isn’t my typical blog post of crafting, party planning, and cooking.  As always, thank you for reading my written word and providing feedback.  Check the blog tomorrow for a post on something a little lighter…college care packages.

friday’s favorites


My favorite things this week…


chicken and asparagus risotto


having her home for the weekend to celebrate her birthday


this shirt…yes, I’ve been wearing it every other day (I wash it on the off days)…I love it THAT much


trying a new recipe that everyone enjoyed…garlic shrimp and quinoa


new pillows (from Home Goods) for the room we are “fixing up”

Happy weekend!

sweet sixteen birthday bash (part ii)


My middle daughter, Grace, turned sixteen a few weeks ago…of course, we had a celebration for her!  Yesterday, I shared the decorations, the party props, and the table decor for the fun and eclectic event (click here in case you missed the post).


Today, I’m sharing more about the entertainment and the food that was served at the party.

The guests were greeted by the adorable Bubble Tea bike from a local favorite, Balance Grille, as they entered the backyard.  There were two flavors of teas from which to choose…whatever and strawberry.  As it was a warm evening, the oh-so-trendy beverages were quite the hit!




Balance Grille also catered some of the food…Pan-Asian favorites such as fried rice, brown rice, steamed vegetables, chicken, various sauces, and edamame.  The guests created their own concoctions and sat around the wood pallet table to eat, talk, and laugh.





There was also a yogurt bar…the girls could fill coconuts that had been cracked in half with either Greek or regular vanilla yogurt, and then top them with fruit, granola, and honey.





In between bites of food, the guests had henna tattoos applied by a henna artist.  It was interesting to see the different designs everyone chose.  There was also a table set up with supplies for anyone who wanted to apply more temporary tattoos…which they did!






Grace did NOT want a cake for her birthday…instead, she wanted cotton candy!

It was the SWEET part of the sweet sixteen, and it made for some fun (if not sticky) pictures!!




As the sun set, the guests settled in on blankets, pillows, rugs, and in those cute teepees to watch an outdoor movie…Sixteen Candles (very appropriate for the occasion, I thought).

One final treat included roasting marshmallows and making s’mores around the fire pit.  I know Grace said NO cake, but I created one with the supplies for the s’mores…marshmallows, chocolate bars, peanut butter cups, and graham crackers.  Some candles were added, the birthday song was sung, and I think she liked this kind of “cake.”



As I mentioned previously, the party was eclectic and had a bit of everything…but I think the most important element it had was FUN!

Such sweet memories of turning sixteen…

sweet sixteen birthday bash (part i)


Grace turned 16 years old a few weeks ago, and we couldn’t let the milestone occasion pass without a celebration!

If you know me or have been a reader of my blog for a while, you know I am all about theme parties.  Give me a theme, and ‘a party planning I’ll go!’  Well, Grace isn’t really into themes…she’s more of my eclectic girl.

So….this sweet sixteen birthday bash had a bit of everything!


Today I’m sharing the party decorations and some of the fun she and her guests had that evening…

The focal point of the decor was a table that we created out of wood pallets.  Colorful blankets, rugs, and pillows provided lots of comfy seating on the ground for the guests.





Grace loves cacti, so we found these cacti plates and napkins that we layered over bamboo plates as place settings for each of the girls.  Bamboo utensils tied together with natural ribbon completed the look.


Cacti wrapped in burlap and tied with the same ribbon were placed down the center of the wood pallet table.


Glass candle votive holders in various colors were hung in the trees above the table.


Remember those flower crowns I shared a DIY post about a few weeks ago (click here for the directions)…well, they made an appearance at the party.  I used an old window frame to hang the flower crowns on until the guests arrived and chose the one they wanted.  It made a pretty background propped behind the table, even after the flower crowns were removed.




The other side of the backyard was more of a “hang out” area for after dinner.  There is a fire pit with more seating for late night s’mores making.


More lounge areas were added to the backyard with these small teepees that I created (well, I did have some help with the construction of these from my husband).  They were perfect for crawling into and watching an outdoor movie once the sun went down.  The movie of choice…Sixteen Candles!





The party decor definitely set the mood for this fun and eclectic celebration for Grace and her friends!

But wait there’s more…the food and more activities and entertainment!

Check back tomorrow for part ii of the sweet sixteen birthday bash…