Thursday, May 30, 2013

Happy Heart Thursday

Today has not been my day. I got deodorant all over my black shirt, completely dropped the ball on a flower delivery, and just NOW spilled yogurt on the shirt I changed into. But its okay.. mainly because my fabulous husband Zane came to the rescue and went to pick up the flowers. And you really can't tell about the yogurt!

These are all the more reasons to participate in Happy Heart Thursday. I may not be the happiest camper right now, but I think sharing some of my highs from the week will serve as the perfect pick-me-up!

1. Zane's family came into town Monday night and we got to spend two great days with them! Most of my highs will revolve around their visit :) Just like all the fantastic food we downed!

2. Seeing The Great Gatsby again for the second time. I absolutely love this movie!

3. Shopping! I'm a huge fan of shopping, and it is even a greater time with my mother in law, Leslie! Its so nice to have someone tell you when an item looks great, and be honest with you when it doesn't! After breaking my last two pairs of sunglasses, I am happy to have another pair, minus a crack in the lens... for now! 

4. Pretty Things! 
Peonies at Whole Foods

Patio lights

Mason jar light at one of our favorite restaurants

I have some fun stuff planned to share with you next week. Including a photo session and hopefully some pictures from this weekends festivities of a bridal shower and first birthday party! Hope your Thursday is going better than mine, however I am feeling better already. 
Happy Thursday everyone!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy Heart Thursday!

Hey y'all! I hope you guys are having a fabulous Thursday so far. This week has been a bit on the heavy side as far as my schedule is concerned. None the less, these little things have kept me smiling!

Bike Riding Weather

The weather has been oh so lovely in the evenings that I just HAD to do something outdoorsy. We used this same bike at our wedding, bringing me on a trip down memory lane!

Turquoise love

This one doesn't need much of an explanation. Wearing anything in this color family makes my heart happy!

Pool Days

Living in Florida  it is a must to get in some pool time. It is even sweeter going with the love of my life, and our fabulous friends.

Moving Forward

We did a lot of work to our house when we first moved in. I still do DIY projects whenever I can, but I'm itching to keep the list going and knock out some major projects. On the list are picking out exterior paint colors, and getting some plans together for a kitchen face-lift! Hoping these things get rolling soon!

Party Planning

I am knee deep in some serious party planning! This stuff seriously keeps my blood pumping! I love any excuse to throw some glitter around. Zane would highly disagree, since it ends up everywhere :)

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Without Vision

Proverbs 29 has been teaching me some things recently. Specifically Proverbs 29:18

Without vision, people perish.

This verse is speaking into absolutely every single aspect of my life. My marriage. My job. My Life group. My blog. My relationships. 

Without vision, people perish.

Let that sink in. 

All of us are leaders in some way or another. Whether it is your friendships, your household, whatever it may be... make sure you are spending time seeking the specific vision God has laid on your heart.  Are you leading with vision, or just fulfilling a need? 

I know that if I lack vision in one of these areas in my life, then I will be going in circles. I can feel it, I can feel when these substantial areas are just going around and around instead of moving forward. They may still be moving, but not forward. There is a difference.

 Don't let your passion, lack clear vision! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Happy Heart Thursday!

Thursdays are bi-polar days for me. Since our office is closed Fridays, Thursday has adapted the Friday mentality for me. However, it is also one of the busiest work days, running around trying to get all my ducks in a row for the weekend services. So, I figured I would share some of the fun things that are making me happy this week. 

Ice Cream!!!
 My favorite is vanilla with butterscotch mixed in. If it is in the house, I literally can't go a meal without it!

New Phone
I wasn't planning on getting a new phone, my iPhone 4 was quite alright for me. Until it decided to play a cat with nine lives, cutting in and out of consciousness! Sooo, i decided it was time and upgraded to the iPhone 5. It is safe to say I am in love!

Chick-fil-a Dates!

I love Chick-fil-a, okay.. I love food in general, but Chick-fil-a is just up there in my book! I got the chance to take a friend of mine to lunch who has been struggling. It was so good to connect, and be able to encourage someone who needed it! If you see an opportunity, take it! P.s. their peach milkshakes are a favorite of mine!!

My Tripod Came!!

Ever since I made the decision to invest in a  digital SLR camera, I knew I would need a tripod to accompany it. I'm so excited to set this bad boy up and learn how to take better photos!

Killer's Tickets 

This one tops them all!! Going to see The Killers in concert has been at the top of our bucket list for a long time now. Whenever they would even be remotely close, they would be playing in larger festivals, and that's just not how we wanted to see them. I'm thrilled to tell you they are coming to Orlando in August and a group of our friends are going to see them! Best. News. Ever! Now I get extremely excited / loud when they come on my Pandora station!! 

Hope you all are having a fabulous Thursday, and that your weekend is even better! Got any exciting plans?!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Note To My Mother

"Never could it be possible for any man to estimate what he owes to a godly mother." -Charles Spurgeon

I wish I could even begin to put into words how much my mom means to me. Unfortunately, there are none that come to mind that seem to adequately explain the depth of our relationship.  

Looking back on my childhood, I was blessed with a mother who put her children first in every decision, but never used us as an excuse.  My mom has been a shining example of the woman I want to be when I grow up. Yes, I am thankful for the mother she was to me while little. However, I am much more thankful for her wisdom and guidance she offers to me today. I can pick up the phone at any minute and ask her just about anything, or simply empty my thoughts that have been spinning in my head. I know she will understand just how I feel. Better yet, she is without a doubt my best friend. All of my likes, passions and hobbies somehow stem from her. From a young age, she would take me along to garage sales, flea markets and thrift stores. We still do today when she is in town. Living so far away is not easy, and we look forward to the day where we can live in the same town again. 

I am thankful for her support day in and day out no matter what new goal I am after! Her encouragement is what keeps me going in the valleys. I'm thankful for her godly example in my life. The way she taught me what is right not by telling me, but by showing me. 

As I stated here, We are not quite ready for kids. But when that day comes, I know she will be the most amazing Lolli to them, just as she is to my niece. 

It is clear that I would not be the person I am today if it was not for her influence, guidance and love in my life. Thank you for the unconditional love you show to me. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dance In The Rain

My husband and I are in a stage of our lives where we could see ourselves starting a family, but aren't quite there yet. Our sleep is still outweighing our readiness to start a family at the moment. I am however, surrounded with tons of sweet friends that have started families of their own.
 I can't help but take mental notes of do's and don'ts of parenting that seem to stick out. At the moment, the don'ts seem to come to mind more than the do's. I believe this is human nature really, we seem to find the negatives far easier than we recognize the good. I find myself saying, I hope I never do that when I am a parent, or I hope I value this more, etc. I say these things as if I know exactly what my life will be like as a new mom. The reality is, I have no Idea. And I can only hope that I don't eat my words, but if I do, I believe it will be for good reason. The reason that everyone is different, and each family is different.

 I do know one thing. I hope I get the chance to dance in the rain with a sweet child of mine. We have the privilege of sharing our home with our very best friends. Kurt and Carrie and adorable Bradli are staying while they search for a home to call their own. Carrie and I had gone to the grocery store together, which was so much better than going alone, when it started to rain. we tried to dodge the drops as best we could. When we were all done, Carrie grabbed her little girl, and stood in the rain, then danced and splashed around. I quickly ran to grab my camera. As I was trying my best to capture the moment, I realized that I wanted to be the type of mom I saw before me. The type that sees an opportunity, and seizes it. Regardless of the wet hair and laundry that would follow, she knew how happy it would make little Bradli. So here's to putting aside my mental note of do's and don'ts and seizing the opportunities ahead. 

“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.”
― Vivian Greene

If you haven't visited Carrie's blog, I recommend doing so right now!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rustic Barn Baby Shower

Thanks for joining us for Baby Shower Week!
The last shower I want to share with you is the most recent one I did along with a team of ladies.
This one we decided to do at a friends barn. Luckily it was all decked out for their daughters lovely wedding. This shower was the first one I did with a team, as well as in such a large space.
We went with a mix of rustic and vintage. Rachel was doing Nash's nursery in yellow, grey and chevron. Some of the highlights were the adorable cake, mimosa bar, and a long table.
Note: It is completely okay to do a theme that may be more on the feminine side, even if the mom-to-be is having a boy. This shower is to celebrate HER, and the baby inside won't have much say;)... yet!
The shower planning started with the single idea to do one long table with lots of decorations down the middle. We grabbed every single vase, nick knack and candle stick we could find. Tip- once we were actually ready to set this table up, we started by pulling all the larger items, and then filled in with the smaller.



One of my favorite things about this shower is the mixture of patterns and textures. Seeing clear glass mixed with mercury and milk glass and chevron with maps! Speaking of maps, the pinwheels were super easy to make! They were the perfect addition among the fresh flowers.

  Tissue paper poms are a great way to add a big impact on a small budget. Hanging them over the food table really helped anchor the space since the ceilings were so tall.  They are also super easy to make! The banner was also made by yours truly! Note- If you plan on hanging them, be sure to allow plenty of time to do so! This task wasn't difficult, I just recommend doing it in advance! Can't hang them? They still look great placed around.
For the menu, we came together to provide two breakfast casseroles, one sweet (French toast) and one savory (ham and cheese). Both were so delish! We made individual fruit cups, These were great and super easy to do! Just buy small plastic cups and fill with frozen fruit, or fresh! We had croissants with jam as well as spinach dip with cucumbers, pita chips and bread. Note- If you or any of your friends have a Costco/ Sam's club membership, we would definitely recommend using it for the food! They had tons of pre-made brunch items such as muffins, pastries, and also frozen foods. Not to mention its in bulk!

 For the desserts, Rachel's mom ordered an adorable cake that matched perfectly with the theme. The first layer was the mom's favorite, carrot cake. The second was a lemon cake with raspberry filling. Soo good!! I made my MIL's Oreo balls and ordered some doughnut holes! Ordering a cake that matches your theme is such a great way to add a big impact!
For the mimosa bar, we used the dollar store chalkboard labels, my trusty beverage dispensers, and some galvanized tubes and buckets!

 The chalkboard is another item from my home. This was a DIY project I did a year ago. I found the frame at a thrift store for six dollars and had a board cut to fit. Then added some chalkboard paint and we were in business. Note- Chalkboard paint is seriously my best friend. It can go on practically anything! This is great to make your own food labels. As you can see from the mimosa bar, I purchased dollar store frames, and painted the glass with chalkboard paint. I then spray paint the frames to match whatever event is taking place!

These blocks were order online and were a great addition to the shower. Guest were able to paint ones for Nash's nursery!
 Since the space was so big, we wanted to spread out the different areas. This was our photo booth / present spot. The yellow chair was a yard sale find that resides in our master bedroom.  Our areas included the following:
Welcome station
Cake table
Food table
Main table
Gift table
Photo area
Block station
Mimosa bar
Now clearly you don't need to have all of these areas, but while planning, you will want to think through all the spaces you will need. Will drinks be on the same table with the food? Do you have a specialty bar? Think ahead to make sure you have enough space for all those items!


 -What I Learned From This Shower-

Are you planning with a group? Be clear from the beginning who is responsible for what items. About a week before, be sure to go over a detailed list of who is doing/ bringing what.  It is easy for things to be forgotten when there are many hands working!

Working with a large space? Try to space out your areas to make the space not feel ginormous. Regardless of the size of the space, I usually make up a mock floor plan to make sure I like the layout, and to make sure I'm not forgetting anything.

One of my all time favorite things is to see furniture used in outdoor spaces, or where you wouldn't expect it. One of my fav's from this shower is the yellow chair and side table. The map helped anchor this area as well. Try to use items like this you already have in your home for an unexpected twist to your event.

Once again, the food prep for this shower took forever. Most of the items were already prepared, like everything was. But it seriously took so long to get all the items out of the containers and into the dishes, and water bottles in the tub, and the mimosa bar set up. No matter how much you prepare, food set up always takes forever. If you can plan out which dishes will house which food item along with the location on the food table ahead of time, you will save time the day of!

In the same vein, if you are doing the event at a different location, really put thought into as many details as possible. There were a few items we forgot, such as smaller spoons for all the jams and fruit and plastic wrap to line the buckets for the mimosa bar.

Always consider the weather while planning your event. We got lucky with a not so super hot day in Florida. However it still go a little toasty, so we opened up another bay door in the barn to let some air flow in. The last thing you want is a hot, pregnant guest of honor!

It's always nice to include a personal item that the mom-to-be can take home with her.  The girls wanted to include the book, Where the Wild Tings Are, for guest to sign. This book is one of the parent's favorites!  

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Elephant Themed Baby Shower

Thanks for joining me for Baby Shower Week!
The second shower I am going to show you was for my very best friend, Kristen! Wow, this one looks totally different from the first one I did!

 I went with the colors of her nursery and did a navy blue and teal color scheme with some elephants thrown in. Who doesn't love a cute elephant?! This one was at my home, and we did a brunch menu. 

These photos were taken by my lovely friend Becca at Sebrie Images Photography

Sam, Kristen's husband was kind enough to design the invites for us!
 Here we have the drink station. A banner in coordinating colors goes a long way. Mason jars with some fun straws and a ribbon to tie it together! You can also see my trusty beverage containers! 
 Here we have the food spread. I always try to layer the heights of the items-  this helps add space, as well as looks nice. You can add height by using different cake stands as well as wooden boxes. The white boxes came from home goods. 
For the menu, I did spinach dip with veggies, pancake bites (anything made miniature is usually adorable). Croissants, French toast cut cups. Fruit pizza cookies ( sugar cookies with a variety of fruit cut up along with icing, this is assembled by the person). I also did some of the frozen pinwheel roll ups as well as the mini quiches. We also ordered some doughnut holes to add to the sweet side!
As i stated with my first shower, plates and napkins add color and help tie everything in. It is also so easy to add in some fun patterns as well! 
This was the first thing the guest saw, it held our games, and advice station. 

This table held clothes pins I spray painted orange to play the ever so popular word game. If anyone said the word "baby" they had their pin removed. The guest with the most pins at the end won a prize. 
 I had everyone write a little bit of advice for the mommy to be. I used my silhouette machine to cut out little white onesies. 
A mantel is a great place to throw up some decor  I always like to incorporate the name when possible. These white blocks were from Joanne's. Using fruit is always fun as well. Circle garland is another one of my go-to. I use a circle punch with coordinating scrapbook paper, and sew them together. Super easy! The lower one is baby tissue paper poms I threaded onto some string. I actually used some orange napkins I had lying around!

 This area was used for the cake/ dessert table, as well as an area to decorate onesies for baby Becket. 
This was one of my favorite areas. Who doesn't love a good candy bar?! I used milkshake glasses from target for the smaller candy. I grabbed these larger apothecary jars from HomeGoods and filled with gum balls purchased from party city. I will explain about the cake at the end, and also about the Oreo balls.  Pulling this area together was very cost effective  and was really a focal point to the event. 
I used this space in my kitchen to display the prizes. You will also see lots of fresh flowers. Flowers are always one of the easiest ways to take your shower to the next level!

-What I learned from this shower-

This shower I was able to do in the comfort of my own home. This meant I had all the time in the world to set things up as I wanted them! This took a big stress factor out since I could layout one area at a time, at my own pace. 

Think outside the box: I really wanted a nice cake. ya know, the amazing ones you see on Pinterest! However, it was just not even remotely in my cheap budget to pull that off. So, I improvised  The cake you see on the candy bar is actually a Styrofoam cylinder, covered in icing. I then ordered a plain cake from one of my favorite local bakeries, and sliced it in the back to serve.  

I kinda did the same thing with the Oreo balls. You saw them last time without sticks. I wanted to have something look a little more put together, so I just added the lollipop sticks to make them look like cake pops, but without the work of a cake pop. 

It is the little details that go such a long way. I cut out little elephant shapes to go on the candy bar bags. The tiny flag bunting on my fake cake, spray painting the clothes pins orange so they tied in. That reminds me... when you do land on your colors, head straight to Walmart and purchase spray paint in those colors. You will be amazed at how many things can be spray painted! Notice those wooden crates in the center of the food table, those were purchased from Joanne's, then spray painted! I have used those same bins over and over, just spray painted to match the theme!

Use what you have! get creative! That teal "picture" on the mantel is actually a piece of board left over from a chalkboard project that I taped fabric too, along with the same elephant shape cut out with my silhouette machine. I usually go "shopping" in all the rooms of my house and grab anything that is the same colors, or could work!

When you start to plan, don't forget about the outside of your space. I take a visual "walk through" basically from my mailbox to the back room of my house. I placed balloons on the mailbox so guest would know which home to come to. I had shepherds hooks with mason jars and baby's breath lining the walk way. My front porch got a mini makeover with some tissue paper poms in the wreath and my giant chalkboard welcoming guest!

*Note- you will see this same grape vine wreath on my door all year long, I just change out the decor to go with the season!

This has been hands down my favorite shower to plan! Now Becket is almost a year old! Wow, how time flies! Kristen, it's time for another ;)