Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My First Baby Shower

Thanks for joining in for Baby Shower Week! The first shower I want to share is actually the very first shower I ever did. It was for one of my bridesmaids, Jessica. She was pregnant with her very first little girl.  During this time, we had just purchased our home and were in the process of renovating it. Thanks to my lovely friend Becca for opening up her home. 

Theme: We went with a pink and orange color theme to be bright and fun. Once you land on a specific theme or color, planning should flow pretty well from there. Typically, I try to do something close to what the mom-to-be is doing in the nursery. This way, any decor items can be recycled in the baby's room.

I grabbed these blocks from Michael's and painted them to go with the theme. Always sign up to receive any local craft store coupons. Most stores will even take competitors coupons as well. No reason to pay full price when getting coupons is so easy. I am a huge fan of the Apps you can download and have the coupons right on your phone. 

I was able to borrow a few things from a friend who just so happened to have a orange and pink wedding.  Paper lanterns are a favorite of mine since they are super cheap and can be so versatile. You can hang them up, or just scatter them around wherever you need a little extra something. My friend Julie made these sugar cookies as favors. She used a cookie cutter to cut out the onsie shape, and then decorated them with icing. Sticking them in tiny plastic bags with ribbon finished them off. 

A beverage container has been one of the best $20 I ever spent. It can hold a ton, looks pretty with colored drinks and some fruit added, and keeps the drinks cool since it has a place for ice. I have purchased many elegant glass ones, and each and every one has leaked. So, I purchased the plastic one and never looked back. Now I don't have to worry about it leaking or breaking.

Paper plates and napkins are a perfect place to add color for your event. I am all for keeping it classy and having a place setting for each person, which I am able to do with a smaller event with a smaller guest list. Most of the time it is just not in the budget to pull that off for a baby shower with a larger guest list. Paper products also make it much easier on you to be able to toss after the event. 

Clearly my cupcake icing needed some work! But, I did love these little cupcake toppers. I had purchased a circle punch, scrapbook paper and lollipop sticks to pull these off. the mom-to-be was keeping the name a secret, so we incorporated some other sayings to make it fun. Cupcakes are a great statement, when you are able to incorporate fun cupcake wrappers, and toppers. You can also get creative with the way you display them.  

My lovely friend Kristen helped by baking this adorable cake! I showed her a picture of one I liked, and she went to town. 
These are one of my favorites. Oreo balls. I will be sharing how I make these in the future. My fabulous MIL taught me the ropes and they are typically a go-to for me when it comes to showers. it was also a good way for me to incorporate color.

I also made bruschetta and stuffed mushrooms and spinach dip. I always like a mix of sweet and savory.  On the table I had veggies with dip, along with fruit with a sweet fruit dip. Anything small to snack on is a great option.

These paper umbrellas were also from the wedding decor  but are available online for super cheap. Again you see the paper lanterns were placed around to tie in the color. 
For activities, we grabbed some fun colored bibs and some paint pens. 
We had the ladies decorate some bibs for Baby G, this is an inexpensive fun activity that is useful to the mom after the shower! 
My friend Julie found this game and it was so much fun to play with a group of girls! Since I wasn't on Pinterest at this time, Google was a huge help to us in finding some fun activities. 

-Some things I learned from this shower- 

 If you can't have it at your own place, be prepared to spend a good chunk of time packing up decor items and transferring food. I made a few trips back and fourth making sure I had everything I needed. 

While I was grateful to have a space to host the shower, It wasn't my own, and more importantly was someone else home.  I was cautious of what I did, and didn't do. I didn't want to move personal items or make any holes in the walls. I would have done more if it was in the comfort of my own home, or an empty space.

Food prep takes it out of you. I felt like I had been working on this shower for ever and had nothing to show for it, but in reality preparing the food will be one of the biggest items on your to-do list. This always takes more time than I expect. Always.   

This particular weekend was super rushed for me. I was gone practically all of it on top of trying to get a baby shower together. As a result, some things didn't go according to plan (aka the cupcakes looking a hot mess). And that's okay.. the only thing it hurt was my pride.. oh well! 

Typically showers are held on a weekend during the day. This shower had to happen on a Monday night due to the mom-to-be coming in from out of town. This is completely fine, sometimes you just have to go with the flow of things! What was most important was that people were there to celebrate with the mom-to-be! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Baby Shower Week

It is no secret that I love a good shower. Getting to celebrate the momentous occasions of those you love most! Good food, presents, and one of my favorite parts, the decor. It is so cool to see an idea come to life. I have had the privileged of hosting a few baby showers for some wonderful friends. Join me this week while I share some of my favorites, along with some tips I have learned along the way. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

How I Organized My Bathroom

I finally did it, I took action and organized my bathroom. Be sure to check out the before pictures here. I have learned for me personally, the key to organization is to simply do it. Taking action is the best step you can take! Here is a look at how I regained control over my bathroom.

Step one.

Take everything out of the drawers & cabinets.

This is where I have gone wrong in the past. I would try to go through the items while still in the drawer. Leaving me with a half done job all. the. time. By taking everything out of the drawers, I'm starting with a clean slate, and forcing myself to finish the job.

Step two.

Clean the bathroom.

You are more motivated to get stuff back in there once its all nice and clean. And lets be honest, you don't see the bottom of your drawers very often, so ya might as well do it now.

Step three.

Divide your items into piles.

I had a few different categories. Trash, garage sale, hair, make-up, medicine, and a relocate pile. Once my items were into piles, I then went through each and decided what to keep and what to toss.

Step four.

Go to the dollar store.... and Target.  No doubt the Dollar sSore fits my budget. Not the cutest thing ever.. so some spray paint to the rescue.

I found these cuties on an end cap in target for $1.50 each and just had to have them! 

All the fun, bright colored bins the Dollar Store currently has to offer.

What I brought home from the Dollar Store, the yellow containers are smaller, they came in four per pack. The rolls are contact paper I decided last minute to add to the bottom of the drawers. I did this since our vanity is way old, and felt more comfortable with this. If you have a brand new bathroom, you can totally skip this step.

I had to throw in some gold spray paint to hide the non matching colors!

My favorite spray paint right now is Krylon Satin Caramel Latte. Yes Please!

And just for fun, target has some adorable bins, I sadly came home with none.

Step five.

Look at your space and decide which items you use most, and which can be placed more out of reach.  Also look at what items fit best where. Some of my taller hairsprays wouldn't fit well in the white cabinet by my sink, so they had to go in an alternate cabinet.

Step six.

Put everything in its place.

This cabinet holds lotion and larger products, and lady stuff.

Top drawer- I used the spray painted bins to hold hair ties, hair clips, and most used tools. Basically, everything I use on a daily basis is here.

I put all my hair accessories and other hair products in this bin.

My hair tools such as dryer, straightener, curling iron, brushes and mirror are in these bins that I can easily grab.

All medicine, band aids, etc. are in one drawer.

Make up I don't use  daily is in my second drawer.

I threw all my travel size items in a bag so they are ready to go the next time I have a trip.

I then layered everything under the cabinet starting with the things I use least in the back.

I put the items I use most in the cabinet closest to the sink, face wash, perfume, deodorant, hair spray.

 I feel much better now. I plan on finishing up some projects in here as well. Those projects consist of a curtain for the window, as well as some shelves to go above our laundry basket. For me, this has made a huge difference in my day to day life. I no longer get frustrated trying to untangle my straightener from under the great abyss. What area of your home are you needing to take control over?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What I'm Listening To

Uhhh. I promise to have an updated organized bathroom post for you soon!

In the meantime, I figured I would share what I am listening to. Because, quite frankly I'm really enjoying it! Music at work is a must. My desk is in the front to greet any visitors at the church. So, it helps to provide an inviting atmosphere  as well as help mask any conversations. It also keeps me sane during the crazy busy days! I totally get excited when I come across albums that I can listen to at work. They need to be positive, fun, but not too crazy.  Jay-Z unfortunately doesn't make the cut!

So, right now I am completely loving John Mark McMillan. I am a big fan of the vibe  Economy and The Medicine give. I have been listening to both albums non-stop for the last week and have yet to grow tired of them. 

My favorite songs so far are "Chemicals", "Reckoning Day" and "Carolina Tide", obviously! It's also a plus that he is from Charlotte, NC! 
I totally recommend jumping on Itunes, Spotify, Pandora, whatever you have to do to get some of this in your life! 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Unorganized Bathroom

I will be honest. My bathroom has been unorganized for way too long. I had the things I used most often in reach, but all the drawers were a complete mess with things I never used. Story of my life. I have a hard time designating time to organize, and an even harder time getting rid of things. I always think I will use something. Reality check. I haven't used it in a year, and it is way overdue on a trip to the trash can. So i decided to take action. Last weekend I went to town and got rid of the awfulness you are about to see.  It's about to get real. Here is a peek at what I have been workin' with...

This cabinet held all my larger products.

This is the worst. drawer. ever.
Anything I didn't want on the counter got swept into the abyss.

The second drawer wasn't so bad, just a poor use of space.

Okay, this is bad... Under the counter...
This photo doesn't capture the true mess that is within.

These pictures don't even do the mess justice. So take what you see and multiply it by at least ten, maybe 15. Check back to see how I turned this mess into something I can actually live with.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A New Season

Easter was by far a great time growing up. However, I believe I like it more as an adult than I did as a child. That may have something to do with the fact that I have the worst. memory. ever. Anyways, before getting married,  Easter consisted of some of my favorite things. A new dress, who doesn't love a good excuse to get a little something new added to the closet. Hidden Easter baskets, along with an intense egg hunt for grown adults. We don't play when it comes to money hidden in the eggs!  Throw in some ribs, seven layer salad and the best weather NC has and you have a perfect day.

Mostly I love Easter for the newness it brings. A new season (debatable when you live in Florida)  both in the weather and in life. It was a great time of reflecting on what happened so many years ago. I am eternally grateful for the price that was paid for my sins. There is nothing too big that can separate us from God's grace. What a overwhelming thought.

Now that Zane and I are married, and live in FL with no family, we celebrate Easter with our friends. It was such a nice day filled with a 5 course meal. Yes, 5 courses, all served to us by my lovely friends Becca & Cheryl. They went above and beyond to create an adorable Easter event. We followed it up with the traditional three legged race, egg toss, and kickball.

These ladies went all out with paper roses and twigs at each place setting

Course 1: Apple Spinach Salad

Course 2: Strawberry Bisque

Course 3: Raspberry Sorbet

Main course: Easter Ham, Glazed Carrots, and Au Gratin Potatoes.

Our classic egg toss

I also got the chance to snap a few pictures of my best friends baby.
Becket has for sure stolen my heart.

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter, and that y'all are still enjoying the newness Spring has to offer.