Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beautiful Christmas giveaway...

The amazingly talented Kristen over at Kristen's Creations is having an awesome giveaway!  I don't normally post about giveaways, but this one is too good not to.  She is a very talented floral decorator, and is giving away one of her gorgeous creations, along with some other treats - shown below:

Click here to enter the giveaway - but hurry, it ends soon!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving today!  I have so much to be thankful for, but what I am most thankful for is the health and well-being of my family, and a husband who loves me despite my flaws.  I love my family so very much!

(one of the pictures from our Christmas card photo shoot this week - more to come soon!)

Since my mom and mother-in-law do all of the Thanksgiving cooking, I got off easy this year - I made this turkey cheeseball (inspiration via Pinterest from Brandy's blog Gluesticks here).  I think my turkey head/neck was too big, but in my defense I was making it as we were running out the door!  The cheeseball recipe was YUMMY though.  Emily made the most ADORABLE place cards for everyone using my scrap ribbons.

 We had some DELICOUS food - including my mother in law's famous fried okra, which I could eat all day, every day, and never have enough!  My mom's dressing (in the South we call it dressing, not stuffing, just so you know!) was out of this world, too!  We were so stuffed.

A rare picture of four out of our five kids (Will had to work today so we went downtown and took him out to dinner).  Thanks for smiling, Zach =)

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stay at Home Mom???

Whoever invented the term "stay at home mom" clearly was NOT a "stay at home mom."  I have so many crazy days as a mom, but I think today may have been one for the record books.  I am sure this will be interesting to no one but myself (ha!) but I wanted to document all the craziness that is my life right now.

Here is my day today:

6:20 - alarm goes off
6:30 - finally roll out of bed, get Emily up
6:30 - 7:05 - fix Emily's breakfast, pack her backpack, supervise hair and teeth brushing
7:05 - wake Lindsey up
7:10 - get Emily and hubby out the door to school and work
7:10 - 7:30 - fix Lindsey's breakfast, keep her moving in getting ready, Carter wakes up so get him out of the bed and get my morning snuggle
7:30 - 8:30 -  Carter dressed/changed/fed, help Lindsey straighten hair, get myself ready
8:30 - 9:00 - drive to orthodontist appointment - half way there, find out that there is a MAJOR traffic jam and have to turn around and go the opposite direction - barely make it there in time
9:00 - 9:30 - control and entertain Carter while Lindsey is getting her adjustment
9:30 - take Lindsey to get a flu shot at the grocery store pharmacy - have to walk around for 15 minutes before we can leave, per the pharmacist.  Pick up a few items for dinner while we are there.
10:00 - take Lindsey to school
10:15 - 11:45 - come home, clean kitchen, laundry, deal with MAJOR Carter meltdown (I don't think he feels well - he has a stuffy nose), answer important emails, pack a lunch for Carter
11:45 - 12:15 - meet Hubby for lunch (a VERY rare treat!)
12:15 - 1:15 - get convinced by Carter to take him to the toy store to look for a new engine that he wants and has been asking for no less than 40,000 times today.  Halfway there figure out there is yet another major traffic jam but this time there is no other way to go so we have to just sit there.
1:15 - 1:45 - drive all the way back to my mom's house (pass our house to get there) to drop Emily's dance clothes and shoes off (my mom takes her to dance for me on Tuesdays, thank goodness!)
1:45 - 3:30 - bring Carter home, more laundry, more cleaning up, work on shipping eight ebay packages that HAVE to go out today.  Put Carter down for nap.
3:30 - 4:30 - research a company that I am applying for a part time job at, and try to contact the hiring manager but have to leave voice mail.  Try to get into "professional" mode from "mommy" mode before calling.  This job would be part time and from home, so I am PRAYING that it works out!
4:30 - 4:45 - Lindsey gets off bus - talk to her for a few minutes before I have to go pick Emmy up from dance.  Carter still napping so leave him with Lindsey.
4:45 - 5:30 - pick Emily up, go by my mom's house to get Emily's backpack, then head to grocery store to order cupcakes for Lindsey's joint birthday party with her BFF this weekend (the party that has 60 - yes SIXTY - people coming to it, almost half of which are BOYS!  Lord help me!).
5:30 - 6:45 - fix Emily a quick dinner because she has to to BACK to dance at 6:45.  Help her with homework as I start the rest of the family's dinner.  Wonder when third grade homework got so hard.  Carter wakes up from nap (thankfully in a great mood!).
6:45 - drive Emily to her lyrical class with Carter in tow. leaving Lindsey at home to do her homework (or text and talk on the phone, ha!).  Have to go in to talk to the woman at the front desk about Emily's class. 
7:00 - 7:30 - get back home, finish up dinner, by this time hubby and stepson are there.  Everyone eats (but Carter) and then I have to go back to the dance school to pick Emily up.  Instruct hubby to bathe Carter while I am out.
7:45 - pick Emily up and realize that I still need to get diapers and Lindsey wants me to get her something "soft" to eat because her teeth hurt really badly from her braces adjustment earlier in the day.  Stop by the store on the way home.
8:15 - get home and Emily wants to eat again so fix her a plate of food, do dishes, get Carter and Emily ready for bed (after dosing Emily up on Benadryl and honey for a terrible cough she has), then remember that I never got the shipping labels off the printer for the ebay packages.  Go pick them up off the printer and tape them to the packages.
9:15 - 9:40 - Sit down to type this and realize that Emily's cough is getting worse.  For the past half hour, I've been calling the pharmacist, getting her more medicine, making her sit in the steamy shower bathroom and filling the vaporizer to put in her room.

And with that...I'm headed to bed!  Oh, after I check on Lindsey and make sure she is finishing her homework, and put one more load of laundry in, and send yet another email I forgot to send regarding room mom stuff...oh and write down about six things I need to remember to do tomorrow...

So yeah - "stay at home mom" - not so much!!!  Life is so crazy these days, but I know I am doing what God wants me to do right now, and boy do I ever LOVE these kids of mine!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Shirt to Fall Artwork Refashion

Over the years, my kids have had several items of clothing that I have been very sentimental about.  I save so many of their clothes, but unfortunately I can't keep everything.  I have gotten better about getting rid of things, so I sell a lot of their outgrown clothes on Ebay.  This year as I was going through some old clothes to list, I ran across a shirt of Emily's that I just loved, mainly because it had an owl on it.  This is the shirt (purchased from Gymboree several years ago):

As I was looking at the shirt, I saw that there was a stain on it that I hadn't noticed before, so I couldn't list it on Ebay.  Since I liked the little owl so much, I decided to frame him!  I had a frame that I purchased from Goodwill (I think) and I simply cut the shirt apart, stuck it over the glass in the frame, and I had a cute little bit of Fall decor - for free.

Five minutes, and free - can't beat that!

I am itching to get out the fall decor, but for some reason I just can't bring myself to do it.  Maybe I am just needing some cooler weather to get in the mood!  I have been pinning some pretty fall stuff on Pinterest - you can see my fall and Halloween board here.

Sharing this project here:



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sprucing up the top of a hutch

Sort of a random post, but I always love when I see how others decorate certain areas of their homes.  I have a really hard time figuring out how to decorate several things, like the tops of armoires, book shelves, and my entry chest/console.  I change things all the time because I am seriously never happy with how they look.  It seems so effortless to some people to make these pretty vignettes, but for me it seems to be a never ending process. 

Today, I found an old urn in my mom's basement, and I brought it home with me (with her permission, of course!).  I thought it might look good on top of the armoire in our newly painted office.  Once I had it up there, I decided it needed more "stuff" so I shopped around my house and this is what I came up with:

I am so crazy when it comes to decorating - sometimes I love little vignettes like this one, and sometimes I take it all down because a lot of "stuff" drives me crazy and I think it looks messy.  I kind of like this one - what do you think?

Other than the urn, I placed a Pottery Barn wooden tray, some picture frames, some old books and a cute iron bird cage that I bought earlier this year from Michael's.  I love this bird cage.

The green photo frame is one I've had forever - the picture is of my TWELVE year old daughter, Lindsey.  Can't believe she isn't still that tiny baby sometimes.

This was a kind of boring frame that I added a pretty green ribbon to.  This color green is the accent color I want to use in the room.  I was thinking of painting a small table this color (please don't tell my husband!) but I can't decide - anyone have any thoughts on how that might look?

You may notice that I am not showing pictures of the whole room - there's a reason for that.  The main reason is that the office is a MESS right now, with Carter's Thomas train table taking up half the room!  The desk is messy and disorganized - a future project that needs to be taken care of sooner rather than later.  I do have a picture of a corner of the room that I like (well, that I mostly like - not sure what direction I want to go with those pillows).

That's all I am sharing for now - but hopefully soon there will be a BIG reveal of my super organized office!!!  Wishful thinking, perhaps, but I can dare to dream, right?!?!?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Party planning on a budget

I was SO honored when Jillian of asked me to write a short article on how I planned Emily's Parisian party on a budget of less than $75.  I'd love it if you'd check it out and leave me a comment over there =)  Here is the link: CATCH MY PARTY

Thanks for letting me share!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Random thoughts...

Things have been so busy around our household for the past few weeks!  I am really just trying to keep up.  I have so many random thoughts - so I figured I'd just put them into one blog post =)

  • If you have been following "So You Think You Can Dance," you know that the AMAZING Melanie Moore won.  Well, guess what?  We KNOW Melanie!  She graduated from my daughters' dance school just last year.  There was a huge pep rally/viewing party at the high school she graduated from, and the girls and I were there to see her win.  SOOOO exciting!!!!

On a (not so) funny side note, right as they were getting ready to announce the winner, like seconds before, the live feed we had went out!  Literally, they said, "And the winner is...." and then the feed was gone!  It was SOO stressful!  Once it came back on, we saw Melanie crying, and it took a second for us to realize that she had won!  Craziness!!!!

This past weekend, there was a meet and greet with Melane at our dance school.  I think Carter was more excited than anyone.  He has been watching Melanie all these weeks and totally knows who she is.  He saw her across the room while we were waiting to talk to her, and he said, "There's Mewanie!!!!"  Then he said, "She's CUTE!!!"  Haha!  When we got up to her, he was a little shy, but as you can see in the picture below, he was all smiles.  We are just SO PROUD of Melanie - she is so humble and sweet, not to mention an amazing dancer!  We are going to see the SYTYCD tour when it comes to Atlanta.  Can't wait!!!

  • I have been listing on ebay like a madwoman!!!  I have 50 auctions up.  I am exhausted, but I sure do need the money so I keep plugging away!  If you want to take a peek at what I have listed, you can go here.

Part of what I have listed - so much stuff!!!
  • I can't figure out HOW to store all of these tissue poms I made for Emmy's party.  I really don't want to get rid of them, but what the heck do I do with them?  Any ideas?  I really need them OUT of my dining room.  My poor husband.

  • We started school a week ago, and I sure do miss my girls - but not nearly as much as Carter misses them!  I wish it was summer again.  Boo.

  • Speaking of school, it's back to packing lunches again!  Not my favorite job, I will admit.  Mainly because I feel like I pack the same things over and over again.  I am sure my kids are sick of sandwiches!  I would love some new ideas for lunches - if you have any for me, please leave me a comment.  Emily loves for me to send her notes to school.  I decided to find some silly jokes to put in her lunch box, instead of the usual boring "Have a good day!" notes I had been sending.  I wrote out a few today to put in her lunch this week. 
  • I am about 80% done with Lindsey's room.  We are redoing it in an aqua/pink/black color scheme.  It's turning out REALLY cute!  This is about the time with every project that I start slacking off.  I don't know what's wrong with me - I think I get overwhelmed or something.  The only things I have left to do are pretty labor-intensive, so I guess I just keep doing other things and avoiding getting it done.  I am going to try REALLY hard to get some things done this week!  I can't wait to share it.

  • My mom is a collector of all things vingtage Raggedy Ann.  She has an AMAZING collection!  She is trying to downsize a little bit, so she wants me to help her sell some of her stuff.  I am pretty overwhelmed by this task!  I am going to try to list on ebay, but do you think I'd do better on Etsy?  Thoughts???

If you know anyone who collects vintage Raggedy Ann items, please send them my way!!!
  • Am I the only one who has laundry draped all over my house every day?  I hope not.  There are not enough hours in the day.

  • Dance starts today for both Emily and Lindsey.  They are both in the Performing Company this year.  Things are about to get real busy, real fast!

That's all I've got for today - if you've made it this far, thank you!!!  Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Emily's Pink Parisian Patisserie Party!

Well, we survived it - all the last minute planning, running around, and late nights were worth it.  Emily had an absolute BLAST at her Pink Parisian Patisserie Party!  This was such a fun theme to put together.  Honestly, I wish I'd had a few more weeks months to plan it, because I had about a zillion more ideas that I didn't have time for.  This was truly the very latest I've ever planned a party.  I'd been pinning ideas for a little while, but since our summer has been so crazy busy with dance for both girls, I ran out of time to do all of my usual DIY touches.  Still, I think it turned out very cute, and several girls said it was the best party they'd ever been to, so that made me feel good.  Of course Emily loved it and thanked me a million times - she is such a sweet girl!!!!  (Side note - I apologize for some of the pictures - my photography skills are seriously lacking sometimes, and I couldn't get the lighting right for many of these.  My dream is to have a professional photographer come to one of my parties so I won't have to stress out about it!).

Click on collage to make it larger

First up - my BEAUTIFUL eight year old birthday girl - Emily June! 

I mentioned that we were doing things last minute - well, the day before the party, I realized that Emily had nothing to wear (I know - the horror!).  We were able to find the pink sparkly skirt, but then needed a top.  I didn't have high hopes as we went into GAP Kids, when all of a sudden Emily shouted, "There's a poodle!"  It couldn't have been more perfect for our party!

We welcomed our guests with a pink shabby chic birdcage tied with balloons (which popped because it was almost 100 degrees here in Georgia - ugh!) and a door bucket filled with silk flowers from the Dollar Tree - total cost - $5.  Not bad!

I have to back up, and start this party with the cookies - because they were truly the most labor intensive part of the WHOLE party!  I had never made decorated sugar cookies like this before (of course I've made them, but not with royal icing and not this intricate), so I enlisted the help of my friend Jessica - who is the cookie QUEEN!  Just check out her cookies on her blog - and she taught herself and has only been doing it for a short while!  Amazing!!!!! Anyway, I wanted to throw in the towel MANY times, but Jessica talked me through it and encouraged me.  They were not perfect (far from!) but I got a lot of compliments on them, and best of all Emily loved them!

This theme was made much easier to pull together at the last minute because probably 90% of what I used were things that we already had.  The girls' bathroom (that I've been "working on" for about three years - no that is not a typo) has a very cute pink and black Parisian theme, so I snatched a bunch of items from the decor in there.  Also, Lindsey's room has many pink and black elements, so I borrowed a few things from her room as well.

{Napkins from Sur la Table}

Some specifics about the dessert table - the table cloth was the same one I used for Emily's "Night Owl Pajama Party" birthday (click here to see pictures from that).  The pink hatbox was one we have had forever, and I thought it would be perfect to display marshmallow pops designed to look like little cupcakes.

Cupcakes were mom-made, and from a mix - my trick is to pipe the icing on with a piping tip and they look much more professional ;)

In addition to the cupcakes and marshmallow pops, we had some macarons from Trader Joes.  They come frozen, in a pack with half vanilla and half chocolate.  Unfortunately the vanilla ones were all broken, but the chocolate ones were delicious and very "Parisian!"

We also had a little bit of candy - rock candy and Sixlets.  Did you know that they sell Sixlets at Party City in a variety of solid colors, to match your party?  I didn't know until I saw them last week!  Perfect when you are looking for a difficult color to match your theme.  The tags on the jars came from a fabulous Etsy seller, Sirius Fun (here).  They were absolutely adorable!  I used them several places throughout the decor.

I used the Starbucks Frappucino bottles (purchased at Target) for the drinks, with paper straws from Etsy purchased here.  Emily requested Shirley Temples to drink, so my hubby obliged by mixing up individual drinks (and later that night, I caught him drinking one too - haha!!!).

I guess this is a good time to mention the printables - I purchased them on Etsy from Stockberry Studio (here) and I loved them.  They made all the difference in tying everything together.

Speaking of printables, once again my mom was on banner duty - she took the printable banner I purchased and glammed it up - BIG TIME!  It was GORGEOUS!!!  My mom is so talented.

My mom also helped me make a bunch of tissue poms - they were gorgeous and I don't want to take them down, even now!

Talk about using what you've got - the temporary "curtains" are simply an extra shower curtain I had, that I decided to just cut in half (major props to  my mom who watched me do that and didn't say a word when I plopped down on the kitchen floor and cut a perfectly good shower curtain in half - she knows I'm prone to doing crazy things for a party).  I wanted to cover the ugly outdated wallpaper and make the background look more "Parisian" so the curtains did the trick!

The girls ate their cupcakes in the dining room, which I decorated to go along with our theme as well.

Favors were fabric hair flowers, which Emily helped me with - she was a master at covering buttons by the time we got done - and more marshmallow pops.

I mentioned in my first post about the party that we had a little "twist" in mind when planning this.  Well, Emily absolutely loves books - and she loves writing stories.  So, her original idea was to have a "dance party/cupcake party/book party" - and I had to think about how to pull that one off for quite awhile!  Finally, we decided together that we would write a story, about a little girl in France who had seven sisters (there were seven girls at the party) and who wanted to open their own Patisserie.  In order to do that, they had to learn to make the "best cupcakes in all of France," so they consulted an old woman in a nearby village.  Long (LONG) story short, the woman had them do a series of activities to learn how to have the best cupcakes - they had to take care of an abandoned poodle (we "found" them and then decorated their beds with lots of rhinestones), they had to learn to decorate beautiful cupcakes (we had a cupcake decorating contest), they had to do something "fun" to relax a bit (they played BINGO with Parisian themed bingo cards) and when it was over they had a fun dance party to celebrate!  I know this all sounds a bit random, but trust me - the story tied it all together.  And best of all, Emily and I wrote it together, and planned out every detail together - what wonderful memories =)  Here are a few pictures from the activities:

Of course, they also got to take home their poodle and poodle bed, along with their decorated cupcakes.

If you've made it this far, you must really like reading about parties - haha!  I know this was long, but there were so many details and I wanted to document all of them.  I hope Emily reads this someday and realizes how lucky I feel to be her mom, and how much fun we had planning parties together.  She is definitely my partner in crime as far as parties go, and I LOVE spending time with her!

Happy birthday, sweet Emily June!  I love you to the moon and back!!!

Sharing this party here:

The CSI Project


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