Friday, April 27, 2012

A Personalized Party

A couple of months ago my mom & dad, aunties & uncles and myself collaborated to celebrate my grandfathers 80th birthday! We had (almost) the entire family on my mothers side together--quite the task with such a large family!! 


We rented out a banquet space at Sonoma Chicken Coop (yum!) and threw in lots of personal touch to represent the family and of course the guest of honor--Grandpa! Grandpa encourages all of us (and everyone else he knows/happens to run into!) with Spirit Filled Munchies--acronyms using every day words to remind us to trust in the Lord. He is blessed with multiple encouraging thoughts every day, and sends us all emails quite often! His encouragement became a theme for the party (and his love for dessert was represented quite heavily as well).

Just for fun, a collection of words from the family for Grandpa to create acronyms with!

Newspaper from Grandpa's birth-date, his baptism certificate & a couple of family photos.

ASAP (All Sins Are Pardoned)

OK (Opportunity Knocking)

SMOG (Seeking Myself Or God?)

These and many other of his Munchies were printed & wrapped around candles. Each table also had little bowls of red candy, who doesn't like to much while waiting for everyone to arrive? ;)

I also put an old photo of Grandpa (most with at least one of his 6 kids!) on the tables. I purchased the frames from Ikea and enlarged/copied photos to avoid losing or damaging the real ones.

Never underestimate the power of balloons (for decoration and entertainment)! Oh, and dollar store balloons are just as good as the ones purchased from 'real' party stores.

Most everyone brought a dessert (with an emphasis on pie for the special you-know-who!).

Picking a color theme helps too, we used lots of red & metallic hues. Overall it was a great day of family celebration. I am so blessed to have been placed into this family. And thanks to AshWhitePhotography we have lots of great updated family photos to last us until the next big shebang!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Awkward but Functional

My funky little blanket project is coming along and making its mark on the world in its own unique way! Also known as--its awkward, but its warm and colorful so I still like it. It's been a nice little busy bee project to ease my periodic panics over house hunting. And keeps me off my laptop all evening searching for that diamond in rough, clicking refresh every five mintes is just plain un-healthy. So I will repeatedly say--crochet away! :)

Still bunchy in the middle, but its not noticable when its on my lap. Thankfully. I'm just baaaarely able to push my OCD aside and not unravel the whole thing. But like I said, its good for me to have busy-bee project right now! (More on this blanket saga here & here)

So tell me, what projects have you worked on when you're stressed? Do you crochet/knit/sew/fillintheblank to pass the time in stressful situations?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mother's Day Pampering

Mother's Day is coming up!! I'm struggling to come up with a fun little something to give this year. Although, as usual, I'm probably totally over thinking it. Last year I gave out a DIY'd Sugar Scrub, and it was a big hit. My mom has been reminding me that she is out for like at least six months...So I know that would be acceptable again! Maybe with another scent (used vanilla last year)? Orrr maybe salt scrub instead? Debating. Thoughts? And because no post is complete without pictures, here are some lovely mason jars which make great sugar/salt scrub containers.

party favors in mason jars...(homemade laundry detergent)

Cute hand made gifts

little jar wraps

chalkboard jar tops, idea for party favors or just for in the home

Such an adorable DIY makeover for old jars!

Check out a bajillion other options on my Pinterest page dedicated to the Mason Jar if you need s'more!

So now I need you to cast your vote, salty or sweet??

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Clearance Couture: Anchored by Stripes

Picked up a(nother) fun striped top--with a giftcard!--from Old Navy. Cost me a whole $3.98! Kind of a lot of photos here, but since my full length shots just weren't quite right, this is what you get!  :)

I love the two tones of striping on this shirt, and I paired it with a few favorite gold necklaces (anchor necklace again!) and my diy'd button earrings/hairpin. My Target moccasin slippers seemed to fit the bill with a pair of super dark blue jeans.  I can't remember what I spent on the jeans & slippers since I've had them for so long, but you can rest assured I got a good deal on them!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Goodwill Housewares

I'm starting to think Target runs in my blood! Visited the Goodwill (again...suprise, suprise!) and it seemed like lots of the items which grabbed my attention were Target brands (like this dress). But just to show some variety, here are some of the non-Target items that caught my eye.

$0.99 Coca-cola glasses (which also runs in my blood).

A large, blue striped, china set from $0.99 to $3.99 each!

And a ridiculous mug! There'sTONS of healthy ways to add flavor!

And then this Target pillow came along. I've mentioned before that Goodwill receives donations from Target, and I was totally stoked to find this baby--brand new (i.e. still had the Target tag). I only paid $5.99 for this pillow, now I just need a couch to put it on! And a house to put the couch in. Hopefully I will have good news to share soon on our house hunt!!!

So in the meantime, what's the quirkiest item you've seen (or even bought!) at Goodwill?

P.S. As of this morning my blog reached 10,000 all-time page views! So cool! Thank you so much for reading & following my site! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

House Dreamin'

Found another one. Another picture of perfection in color and textures for the home. Love, love, love.

ooohhh <3 the colors right here....

Lemons, yellow, greige-ness, blue, green, pop of red, rustic wood tabletop and a book on flowers. The feel of this photo in combination with this previous photo of perfection make me even more anxious (if that's humanly possible) for my own house! I am really so excited to have a space for Cody and I to work on and tweak and make 'us'. I have a crazy amount of clippings and notes (and then there's Pinterest) that it could be quite a challenge for me to narrow down which ideas to use, but I'm sure Cody will keep me on track!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rice, Rice Baby!

I'm a big fan of quick and easy weeknight meals (like Black Bean Soup & Lemon Chicken). One of my favorites is Taco Bar night. Basically I just cook the meat, rice & beans and the rest is chopping veggies for everyone to assemble tacos/burritos/salad their own way. And while this not an original meal, I wanted to share a little flavoring combo I've been using for rice. We could all use a little change now and then with something as simple as rice, right? First, I prefer to toast my rice in a saucepan with olive (or whatever) oil. Once it gets nice and brown I turn down the heat and pour water in equal to two times the amount of rice used (1/2 cup of rice = 1 cup of water needed). 

Then I heap on some herbs (you should know by now I hardly ever measure), in this case Mexican Seasoning and lime juice. This combo was quite good mixed into shredded chicken too. I also enjoy tomato bullion or thyme in the rice (have yet to try those two together...).

Let the rice simmer a while (20-30 min), and you have a great fluffy but not sticky rice consistency. I will usually start the rice first and then cook my taco meat (chicken or ground beef), chop veggies (tomatoes, onion, lettuce, avocado) and warm up the tortillas and black beans.

Wow, I didn't realize how multi-tasking that meal is till now. It really doesn't feel so bad once you get going though--I promise!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Clearance Couture: Easter Polka Dots

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter yesterday, and that you all especially reflected on the hope we have been given through Christ's sacrafice! Thanks to sunshine we were blessed with, I found it fitting to break out this recent purchase:

Blue, white & polka dots, Eastery dontcha think?

Had to throw in a little nautical touch for my love for the beach too!

Dress: Jason Wu by Target (bought at Goodwill)//Jewelry: Lia Sophia & Target//Heels: Payless

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Fresh, New Look!

Thanks to my geniusly talented sister-like friends, I have a pretty awesome looking blog to share with you today.

BIG shout-out to Katy for designing my logo, header & background (not to mention coming up with TONS of variety for me to look through & walking me through applying them)!

And we can't forget Ashley, of AshWhite Photography, for capturing my header & profile photos (along with a bajillion others, which may still be used around here someplace)!

Still waiting for the two of them to create their own blogs since they're quite the creative and talented ladies on their own! But as soon as they DO IT (like get on that would ya please?!), I will link them up so you can enjoy all their creative goodness too. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Patience, Iago

You all remember Iago the parrot in Aladdin, right? For some reason whenever I tell myself to be patient, I visualize that parrot. Well, we've had three days off from the rain, and seeing the sunshine again makes me crave summer BBQs. I picked 20 of these cute re-usable fish shaped plates from Michaels for 50 cents each! (And this doesn't count towards my $20 per month clothing/accessory limit!!)

And I found some fun pieces to along with these patriotic colors at World Market. Can't quite call them mine........yet. But they would look quite nice all together!

Red Ceramic Barrel Dispenser | World Market
Ceramic Beverage Dispenser 

Burger Baskets, Set of 6 | World Market

Basket Liners, 24-Count | World Market
Burger Baskets & Checkered Liners

All I need now is the food. And the yard. A house would be nice too. A tan. And a bit higher temperature. 

Patience, Iago.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Not Quite Right

This blanket is just not quite working out the way I hoped...

See how its all bunchy in the middle? Totally buggin me that this doesn't lay flat. I'm thinking its because my stitches in the middle  are much more loose then the borders around it. But now if I undo the whole thing and start over, my colors won't line up right...In a pickle. I'm thinking about trying to tighten up that middle sqare some-how, a little tug here and there? I've been trying to stretch out my borders, but I think the fact that those stitches are going in the opposite direction is working against me too. Bummers. Now what?!  Anyone experienced this?