July 26, 2019

Painty By A Girl

We finally hung up a piece of artwork in our living room! You may recall that one of my goals this year was to hang up artwork and photos. And one of my goals last year was to create a piece of artwork for our home. I guess I can't really take full credit for this one, because the art was made by our three-year-old. 

She has been begging to paint on her easel so I finally dragged out an old canvas that I had basically ruined when I tried to start a painting last year. I gave it a fresh coat of gray paint one night and put it out for her the next morning. She was thrilled! The colors she used were pretty limited since I have mostly neutrals, but I mixed up a little bit of red and blue paint that I have left over from one of her birthday parties and made a muted pink and a bluish gray. A few days later, when she was itching to paint again, I brought the same canvas out and let her layer on some more colors. The original painting had a LOT more pink and blue on it, but she decided to cover a lot of it the second time. 

Since it was our daughter's artwork, we let her decide where to hang it. She scoped out some blank walls in our house and decided on this one for her masterpiece. It sits directly across from our front door, on a small wall between our living room bookcases and the hallway and the opening to our dining room. It's so cheerful to be greeted by her painting when we come home and she is just tickled to have contributed to the decorations in our home. Best of all, when we asked her to name her painting, she immediately announced, "It's called Painty By A Girl." Love it. 

July 22, 2019

19 for 2019 Progress

Halfway into the year and I'm excited to share my progress so far on my 19 for 2019 list! I know it technically isn't the halfway point in the year, but today is my birthday, which I always consider the mile marker for the halfway point in the year! So, Happy Birthday to me and let's see what I've been up to this year...

1. Be the ultimate villain
I did it! I've beat my hubby with all the villains! Earlier this year, we also got the expansion pack and I've already mastered 2 of them! Woohoo! This was has been lots of fun and I'm glad to have included a fun challenge again this year.
progress: DONE!

2. Get a mani/pedi
So I didn't actually go to a nail salon to get mani/pedi, but I did my own fingers and toes using ColorStreet (one of my dear friends is a Stylist). I think that counts!
progress: DONE!

3. Replace clothing basics
Recently when I was in the dressing room with my mom, she poked fun at my unraveling undershirt... So I guess this was one that was overdue. Haha! This weekend, my hubby took us out shopping with the main intention of buying basics and I'm happy to report that we found some stuff that I like!
progress: DONE!

4. Make a capsule wardrobe
My plan for the summer is to figure out what I need to add for a functional wardrobe. I just need to spend some time with this.
progress: 0%

5. Read 6 new books
6. Find a planner I like and use it
Last week, when Target had their teacher discount for school supplies, I picked up some different planners to try out. Of course, I got some other fun planning supplies :) Can't wait to play with them!
progress: 10%

7. Make a home binder
My home binder is coming along...
progress: 60%

8. Fix or replace something old in our house
We desperately need to replace the sliding glass door in our dining room. Last week, I bugged my hubby enough to go out and start window shopping. Literally. LOL
progress: 10%

9. Sell some stuff on ebay

10. Get a new plant
At the end of the school year, I acquired a plant from one of my friends as she was cleaning her classroom for the summer. Though this wasn't quite what I had in mind, I was happy to adopt her plant, so technically, I would say I completed this one! LOL. 
progress: DONE!

11. Decorate the play room
My brain has been working on this one... I'm super excited to start planning!
progress: 0%

12. Hang up artwork and photos
We're working on this one!
progress: 25%

13. Organize photos
Making very slow progress here too. I've gathered all the photos in one central location (our bedroom closet) and I want to try to pull out a small stack each night to sort. I just haven't quite made a habit of it yet.
progress: 5% 

14. Make 2018 photo books
Earlier this year, our daughter discovered our past photo books and has been really enjoying them. It was just the inspiration I needed! I made our photo book from our Disney trip along with a couple others from past years, including our Japan trip in 2017, and we are loving them! I think we are just going to make one more for the year and then we'll be done for 2018!
progress: 50%

15. Update our family blog
I'm pretty pleased with the updates I've made and am happy to say that I'm done!
progress: DONE!

16. Make a quilt
I've been working on this one! I spent a LOT of time planning the design on the quilt and collecting the fabrics that I wanted to use. Everything is cut and pinned and I'm ready to start sewing! Now I just need to set up my sewing machine...
progress: 50%

17. Try a no spend challenge
Back in May, Hubby and I tried a no spend challenge. I honestly thought that it would just be a silly little experiment since we are pretty frugal people. Our total spending for the month of May ended up being $700 less than our average monthly spending! Holy smokes. I still have no idea where we managed to save $700! I actually did the math several times because I couldn't believe it was right. It's made us become a lot more mindful of our spending for sure! I actually think I want to do it again.
progress: DONE!

18. Save an extra $500
DONE x 2!

19. Take a vacation
We're going in September! WOOHOO! Hubby just renewed his passport and our itinerary is planned. We've started gathering what we need for the LONG day of travel and making lists of all the cool stuff we plan to buy. We're getting excited!
progress: 25%

I'm pretty pleased with the amount of progress I've made so far... Here's to a busy summer!

July 19, 2019

Thanks a Bunch

I did it! I finally made a card! It seriously took me about three days to make, but I did it! I even snapped a quick photo so that I can share. 

As I've been cleaning, decluttering, organizing, and relaxing over the summer, I've been itching to get crafty. I had a little basket of goodies that my friend, Naki, sent to me last year when I declared that I would try to make 12 cards in 2018 (I only made 3). One of those goodies was the Paper Smooches Best Buds stamp set with this cute jar of blossoms. My original plan was to go vibrant and whimsical, but Naki suggested I try a metallic embossing powder with light watercolors. Boy, was she right! Thanks, Naki for your insight and advice! :)

I'm finally entering a challenge as well, which is something I haven't done in FOREVER! Paper Smooches has an Anything Goes challenge this month which makes it super easy and super fun to play along! 

The DEEtails:

Paper: Artist's Loft 140# Watercolor Paper, In Color 2014-2016 DSP, Lost Lagoon cardstock, Sahara Sand cardstock, White Vellum cardstock
Stamps: Best Buds (Paper Smooches)
Ink: VersaMark
Embellishments: Winnie's Sparkly Shaker Selection (Little Things from Lucy's Cards), DMC thread, Copper Stampin' Emboss Powder
Tools: Kuretake Gansai Tambi, Many Thanks Die-namics (MFT)

July 12, 2019

Summer To Do List

I finally did it! I sat in my office (crammed in a tiny corner) and made something!

I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm not a big fan of the phrase "bucket list"... call it what you will, but this is our Summer To Do List, our Summer Fun List, or our Summer Wish List. I was inspired by this project that I found on Pinterest and was determined to make one for our family.

My little girl requested a floral pattern/theme, despite my gentle push towards some other summery patterns and prints. We sat down together as a family and brainstormed some fun activities and then I made them into tags. It took me a while and I was actually a little worried for a bit that the summer would be over before I even had a chance to finish, photograph, and post this project, but here we are!

I dug through all my supplies and gathered whatever I could find to create these little tags. It's been such a long time since I've sat down in my craft space that I honestly didn't even remember a lot of what I had! I've been weeding through my stamps and supplies and selling things on e-bay little by little, but I still manage to have TONS of stuff!

The tags that we have are as follows:
  • blow bubbles
  • pick berries
  • make ice cream
  • swim
  • board game
  • pick flowers
  • tea party
  • have a picnic
  • visit a museum
  • visit the library
  • ride bikes
  • fireworks
  • paint
  • catch bugs
Now we just have to go do all these things before the summer is over! Thankfully we were able to knock off a few during our recent trip to visit family. I'll be posting some pics soon!

July 9, 2019

Currently... July 2019

Hi there! We were out of town last week so I'm a little behind on blogging... I'm officially on summer vacation and loving every moment! Here's what we have going on around here...

WATCHING: Music???
LOL. We are so behind the times around here when it comes to media and technology... After a big storm, the sound on our TV cut out, so we ended up getting a new one a few weeks ago. We aren't big TV watchers, but our little one loves to watch Disney movies and hubby plays games at night, so a working TV is helpful. A TV with sound is also a plus. We got a smart TV this time around and linked our Pandora account to it and our little girl is constantly requesting to "watch songs on the TV." She literally plunks down in front of the TV to watch it flash the album cover of her favorite Disney songs. What a silly girl!

I just finished this awesome book. I absolutely HATE doing things out of order, and I was frustrated with myself when I realized that I accidentally got the sequel to Hands Free Mama before I read the first one. But quite honestly, I couldn't make myself stop. It took me a long time to read the entire book, mostly because I just wanted to sit with each story and let it resonate. I finally finished it last night. I just loved it and I can't wait to read the first book now.

LISTENING: to The Greatest Showman Soundtrack
I haven't seen the movie, but the songs have been stuck in my head. I think the kids at my school were singing them and they just kind of got stuck in my head since school let out. Anyway, I sort of became obsessed and now I'm listening to the soundtrack. non. stop. Sorry, Hubby. ;)

EATING: giant marshmallows (*I don't know if these are the actual ones we got)
That's right. You may remember back in May, our daughter was on a mini marshmallow kick. Well folks, we have upgraded to GIANT marshmallows! LOL. They are still a "special treat" for days that she has good table manners and the thought of them make her so giddy. Love that little girly! 

DRINKING: lots of water... again!
So long ago, I only drank water. It has been so inspiring watching our daughter truly love "fresh, cold water." Recently we decided to buy a large Brita water dispenser and start filtering water from our tap. We used to drink only bottled water, because I just didn't care for the taste of our water. We started to take an extra step in boiling our water before filtering and I can honestly say that our water is delicious. Plus our daughter loves that she can dispense "fresh, cold water" whenever she wants. 

WEARING: this sleeveless jersey swing dress
I've talked about how I got a few of these sleeveless jersey swing dresses from Old Navy last summer and they've become a staple for me again this summer. They are simple, comfortable and cool to wear. I usually pair it with a fun necklace and am good to go! I am such a black dress girl, but there are lots of fun patterns and prints if you want more variety! I'm also eyeing this one to add to my closet...

MAKING: progress on my 19 for 2019 list!
I'll be sharing details soon. I'm excited to report that I'm about halfway done with my list, which is pretty fitting since we are halfway through the year!

PLANNING: our trip to Japan
(The photo above is from our visit in 2017 to Tokyo Disneyland - my FAVORITE place on Earth)
We'll be heading to Japan in the fall and I'm so excited! I'm slowly starting to plan... rounding up my shopping wish list, putting aside things to that I need to pack, buying a few necessities... On our itinerary so far is Meiji Temple for Shichi-Go-San (the reason we are going to Japan), Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea (reason #2 & #3 LOL), and Arashiyama Monkey Park (have I told you our daughter is obsessed with monkeys?!?) 

TRYING: to clean up my office
I know... I know... I keep saying that I'm working on my office and really, I am! It's just always difficult because it easily becomes the dumping ground for anything and everything we don't want little toddler hands to get into! I am really making an effort to get it craft-ready because I'm really itching to craft!

WANTING: a new desk??? 
I don't know if this is a move in the right direction, but I'm wondering if a new desk will help make my office space more productive. It might make it feel more like an office space and less like a dumping ground... Hmmm... I'm on the hunt!

FEELING: relaxed
After a busy and stressful school year, I'm glad to be having the time off and am feeling a bit more relaxed. 

ENJOYING: summer!
We just got back from a visit with family and it has been such a nice way to start off our summer. Our daughter is at such a fun age and I am really trying to soak it all in!

May 13, 2019

Roses Again

Our daughter received a fun little paint with water set for Easter. I mentioned before how she has been enjoying doing little "art projects." Painting is sometimes one of the things she chooses to do. She has inspired me to get out my watercolors too and I recently sat down to paint some roses. 

I scrolled through some old photos on my phone to find just the right inspiration and came across this one again. You may recall that the same photo inspired me to make a card last year. Apparently I still love this photo. I think that may have also been the last time I brought out my water colors. 

Our roses just started blooming last week and we have been thoroughly enjoying the hint of pink in the morning and the heavenly scents. We have been loving having fresh flowers from our garden in our home. Our little girl has even been asking for her own roses for her bedroom and requested to take two small vases of flowers to her teachers last week.

I am no gardener and will be the first to confess that I have killed many a cactus in my lifetime. It was my hubby's idea to plant three pale pink rose bushes to celebrate the birth of our sweet baby girl three years ago. I never expected for them to be so gorgeous and bring such happiness to our home. It is extra sweet to see our daughter so joyful about our roses that we planted just for her. 

May 6, 2019

Currently... May 2019

Hi there! Has 2019 been flying by for you? Last month was a blur, especially because I spent half of the month sick - I honestly can't remember what was happening while I was so out of sorts. I'm feeling better and trying to get back into the groove of things. Here's what is going on with me (at least for now!)

Cars 2 Poster.jpg

I've told you before how our daughter loves Cars. For her birthday, she asked for Cars 2 and Cars 3 (we had been watching Cars 3 on Netflix and the original Cars on DVD, but had never seen the second movie). Let me tell you, Cars 2 was a winner! She loves the fact that they travel, especially when they go to Japan, and loves the spy movie action. It's a favorite around our house. 

READING: Little People Big Dreams Board Books
Our daughter loves to read. She takes two books to bed with her every night and "reads" in bed until we tell her lights out. We've collected a few books from the Little People Big Dreams board book series and they are currently her favorites. She asks us to read them to her constantly, offers to read them to us, and always has two of them stacked next to her bed. The illustrations are mesmerizing and the stories are engaging. They have been a huge hit around here and we are excited to add to our collection!


LISTENING: to Young House Love has a Podcast
I've been a long-time fan of YHL; in fact, I used to read their blog back when they were "This Young House!" I always enjoy their podcast antics and love hearing what they are up to. 

EATING: mini marshmallows
Somehow our daughter is convinced that mini marshmallows are a "special treat" so we munch on them as dessert after dinner on days that she has good table manners. They are so special to her that they are on front and center display in our glass cabinet. Being three must be so joyful!

DRINKING: various teas
I finished off my favorite English Rose Tea that I shared with you previously and now am on the hunt for a new favorite. I've just been trying out whatever sparks my interest, but haven't found anything quite as lovely yet.
WEARING: a lot of black
You know I love black. I've been reading The Curated Closet, which has encouraged me to feel even more comfortable wearing what I love. 

MAKING: wedding signs
I've been working on some weddings programs, menus, signs, and more for a good friend who will be married at the end of the month. I am so loving how everything is turning out so far!

PLANNING: to fix up the blog
I know this blog is due for some major updates. Now that I'm sort-of back to blogging regularly, I think I really need to get to it!

OK For Kids
TRYING: essential oils
I really have no idea what I am doing, but we have recently started trying this OK for Kids essential oil line and our daughter just loves it. She loves to put "beach on her feet" as part of her after-bath routine. 

WANTING: to write some better posts
I may be being hard on myself, but I honestly haven't had many blog-worthy moments. I'm trying to get back into the groove of things so that I can share some of my life but it's honestly just as exciting as I've been able to share. Haha. I've been cleaning out some photos and such and found some stuff that I never had a chance to blog about, so I'm hoping to find time to share some blasts from the past. Stay tuned :)

FEELING: curious...
I've started to become more and more interested in Instagram. I don't really do any social media, but I keep getting drawn to various IG accounts. I'm thinking I should join at the very least so that I can follow some of my favorites... What do you think? Should I make the plunge? Or is it too dangerous? Will I never look up from my phone again? LOL!

ENJOYING: "art projects" with our girly
Recently, our daughter has been carrying armloads of papers, stickers, and all sorts of other goodies, and says "Are you ready to do an art project?!" They mostly consist of drawing something, adding stickers,and taping pieces or paper (or sometimes whole notepads) together. I love her spirit and she inspires me to want to do REAL art projects with her soon!

Hope your year has been enjoyable so far. I still can't believe it is May already! What's new with you? Do share!

April 22, 2019

Six Books

Hello! I promise that I haven't gone missing... I've just been sick for the past couple of weeks and it has been kicking my butt! We are finally on Spring Break and I've been able to rest a bit. I'm back today with an update on my 19 for 2019.

It doesn't seem too long ago that I posted about finally finishing my 4 books for my 18 for 2018 project. This year, I challenged myself to read 6 books. And I'm done!

Remember when I told you I wasn't really a reader? Guess what! I've become a reader! Granted, I mostly read kids books, but I'm reading... In fact, I finished one of these books in 3 days. THREE days! It used to take me an eternity to finish a book. And here I am a quarter of the way into the year, having read 6 (actually 9) books.

Here's what I've read so far:

Book 1. 
by Marie Kondo

I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of Marie Kondo. I decided to read the manga version earlier in the year. It was a fun and quick read. From a marketing standpoint, it's pretty brilliant, since you can basically understand the whole method without reading the full book. 

Book 2.
by Liz Braswell

I can't tell you enough how much I love this series. I'm sorry if you're tired of hearing it. What amazes me is that each book is written in its own unique way. I can't explain. You'll have to pick them up and read them for yourselves!

Book 3. 
by Myquillyn Smith

I got this from the library on a whim. I wanted something to read while I figured out what I wanted to read next. I used to follow The Nester's blog when we lived in our apartment and always enjoyed her outlook of looking for temporary fixes in our temporary home. I really like the way she talks about the order of making a room in this book. I've always wanted a rug in my space, but now I'm desperately needing one in our home! 

Book 4.
by Neil Patrick Harris

I like Neil Patrick Harris and was curious to see what his book would entail. It is exactly what I would expect from him - the magic, the humor - it's all very him. Hahaha.

Book 5. 
by Serena Valentino

You know I love a good twisted fairy tale, so I was excited to read this one. It was more of a pre-quel and a glimpse into the life of the villain. This one had me on an emotional roller coaster in an unexpected way!

Book 6.
Better than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits
by Gretchen Rubin

I'm a fan of Gretchen Rubin's podcast, Happier, which prompted me to read her book, The Happiness Project, last year. My hubby actually gifted me with The Four Tendencies for Christmas, but I wanted to read Better than Before first.

Other Books I've Read:
These are other books that I've read cover to cover. I just didn't include them in my official list because of the format of the book. Clearly I'm into home organization and decorating right now!

by Toni Hammersly

The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals
by Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin

The Adventures of Robin Hood
by Roger Lancelyn Green

So this is a real novel, but the reason why it didn't make my official list is because I didn't read it for myself. Most evenings, we read a few pages from a classic novel to our daughter. She is amazingly interested and our novel collection is growing. We love these Puffin Classics because they look so beautiful on our bookshelf.

So there you have it!

The six, no, NINE books I've read so far this year. Perhaps I will be back again with an update of even more books... What have you been reading and loving lately?

April 1, 2019

19 for 2019 Progress

It's April, which means it's time for me to share my progress on my 19 for 2019 list!

1. Be the ultimate villain
I'm making good progress on this one! I only have 2 more villains to go - Captain Hook & Jafar. But did you see that there is an expansion pack?!? So excited for more villain goodness...
progress: 67%

2. Get a mani/pedi
I'm currently working on growing out my nails. They were kind of a mess and kept splitting during the winter months. They are finally growing again!
progress: 0%

3. Replace clothing basics
I haven't quite started this yet, although I've kind of started to mentally take inventory of what I need to replace
progress: 1%?

4. Make a capsule wardrobe
I mentioned that I've done a lot of purging of my closet and I'm living with just a handful of favorites right now, but it's not an official capsule wardrobe. Recently while we are in the middle of weird spring weather (you know the days that are cold, but not so cold that you need all the layers) I sometimes feel like I don't have enough clothes... I might have to rethink some of my options here.
progress: 0%

5. Read 6 new books
I've been on a reading frenzy lately and am already halfway through my sixth book!
progress: 83%

6. Find a planner I like and use it
I've been super busy at work so I haven't had a chance to even think about this. For now, I'm still using Office365 and using it the best that I can.
progress: 0%

7. Make a home binder
I've actually started putting things together in a binder. I'm still trying to test things out and then need to finish labeling stuff. So far it has been really nice keeping everything together!
progress: 50%

8. Fix or replace something old in our house
Nothing yet...
progress: 0%

9. Sell some stuff on ebay
My hubby and I have been working on this and we have already sold some items and we're still going strong! Since I set my bar low and the goal was just to sell SOME stuff, I'm happy to announce that I've officially checked this one off my list!

10. Get a new plant
progress: 0%

11. Decorate the play room

While we're still in the midst of selling stuff on ebay, we've been using the play room area as a sort of sorting and staging area... Eventually we'll be able to take back the play room and decorate it!
progress: 0%

12. Hang up artwork and photos
I made a little print for my husband for our anniversary and we hung it up right away. Other than that, we haven't hung up anything else, although we have some plans...
progress: 10%

13. Organize photos
Nothing yet...
progress: 0%

14. Make 2018 photo books
I'm about halfway done with one of them, so hooray for progress! Not sure how many photo books I had intended to make, but I'm going to go with two - one for the year and one for our Disney trip.
progress: 20%??

15. Update our family blog
I recently went on there and updated the format of the blog. I think I'm liking it...? More updates will be made soon!
progress: 50%ish

16. Make a quilt
I haven't touched it yet!
progress: 0%

17. Try a no spend challenge
Hmm... I should start thinking about this one soon...
progress: 0%

18. Save an extra $500
Since selling stuff on ebay, I'm happy to say we've put the extra money in the bank already!

19. Take a vacation
We just bought our tickets for our trip to Japan, so it's official!
progress: Can I count that as 25%?

So there you have it! My progress so far this year. I feel like I'm leaps and bounds ahead of where I was last year. How is your list coming along?

March 25, 2019

Spring Things

Today I thought I'd share a few spring things that we've been collecting for our little girls' Easter basket along with a few wish list items... She is three and is extremely practical. She doesn't usually ask for a lot, so we sometimes have trouble figuring out what to get her! These are the things she is loving right now.

Llama Llama Easter Egg & I Spy Little Bunnies
Our daughter LOVES to read! She takes two books with her to bed every night and will lay in bed "reading" until we tell her lights out. Some of her favorites are the Llama Llama board book series and the I Spy Little Series. These were no brainers for us.

Yum Earth Gummy Fruits
She received some of these Yum Earth gummy fruits from a friend for Valentine's day and has been wanting them ever since. We found a big bag of bunny shaped ones and thought they were perfect!

We love a cute little suit like this one. We'll probably gift her some swim lessons too.

Our daughter adores "zippy jammas," as she calls them. I adore the way these short sleeve ones look like a little rash guard swim suit. 

Our girl has wild hair that falls right into her face. I haven't tried these Ryan and Wren clips yet, but I've heard good things about them and they look so well made. We got her a few of her favorite colors.

Piggy Paint
"Painty nails" has been frequently requested around our house. This will be our first brave attempt at trying out nail polish!

Jump rope
Our little girl recently told us she wants to jump rope and then proceeded to use my husband's belt to attempt to show us how. We're not sure where she picked this up, but we're game for a simple toy, especially if it keeps her from whipping dad's belt around. Yikes.

Disney Princess Band-Aids
Because what three-year-old doesn't love Band-aids?
PS. If your child ever puts bandages on a stuffed animal friend and it gets completely stuck in their fur, rub lotion in it to get it off then wash as directed. Trust me. We've tried it and it works!

What are you adding into your Easter Basket? I'd love to hear!

March 18, 2019

A Practically Perfect Party

How embarrassing... I never posted this LAST YEAR!!! Oops!
I guess it's better late (really late) than never!
Back in January of 2018, we celebrated our sweet daughter's second birthday with a little party.

We were all pretty excited, since this would actually be her first birthday party... Two years ago, we had a fun "One-derland" themed party prepared and hubby and I both started throwing up the night before the party. Yuck! So when she turned two, we were determined to celebrate! We loved our "One-derland" theme, but wanted something different for her second birthday. I still managed to re-purpose quite a bit from the party that never was...

Being the crazy Disney fanatic that I am, we chose Mary Poppins as our theme. Hubby and I like to choose a theme that is meaningful to us, but has a bit of Disney whimsy. Every evening at our house, we read a little bit of classic children's literature and the story by P.L. Travers was one that we read last year. We love combining Disney and the original classic (which is what sparked the theme for the first birthday as well). 

This easel was a birthday gift from my parents. I decided to add a bit of chalk art and a nod to Bert's chalk paintings.

We served a spread of tasty desserts for her "Spoonful of Sugar" celebration:
Admiral Boom's Cannon Balls - melon balls
Mrs. Brill's Vegetables - veggie tray
Spoonfuls of Sugar - chocolate spoons dipped in sprinkles
Bert's Chimney Sweeps - chocolate dipped marshmallows on sticks
Mrs. Cory's Stars - shortbread cookies
Michael's Strawberry Ice - Italian ice
East Wind Jell-o - blue Jell-o with whipped topping, topped with an umbrella
Jolly Holiday Penguins - penguin shaped gummies
Mary Poppins Corn - kettle corn
Cheese Umbrellas - Babybel Cheese with straw umbrella handles
Uncle Albert's Cherry Cheesecakes - mini cheesecakes
Jane's Lemon-Lime Tarts - mini lemon and lime desserts

The funny thing is that our daughter didn't even eat sweets at the time! But we sure enjoyed sugaring up all the other kids! Hahaha!

Above the drink station were some adorable paper kites, but I completely forgot to get a photo of them! The fun labels say "Something is Brewing," "Rum Punch (but without the rum, so just plain punch)" and "Barley Water". The glass bottles and straws are from my dedication to Starbucks coffee, and recycled from the first party. My mom tied a different red bow to each bottle so people could keep track of their drinks. We also brought out an assortment of beautiful and dainty tea cups that my grandmother passed down to our daughter.

For dessert, my hubby made Merry-Go-Round cupcakes and a special cake for the Birthday Girl.
I re-purposed some of the giant flowers from the "One-derland" party and added some daisies in the spirit of Mary Poppins.

This cake stand belongs to my dear friend. It's actually one of those three-tiered cupcake stands. I took it apart, and configured it to use just the bottom and top tiers, then added some paper and ribbon embellishments. 

I'm not sure what we were thinking when we decided to have black icing for our daughter's first bite of cake, but she did really well with it - she's a very neat little eater! Also, are we evil parents for depriving her of sugar for so long?! It wasn't even a real cake - it's banana bread under there. My hubby added chocolate covered blueberries and a candy daisy in the fashion of the famous hat.

Other decorations included a giant silhouette of our daughter in our entryway. It sat above the present table alongside framed silhouettes from our trips to Disneyland at 8 months old and Tokyo Disneyland when she was 18 months old. We may be crazy for taking an 18 month old on a 24 hour trip to Japan, but that's a story for another day...

We set out a little mailbox where guests could write a birthday wish for our little girl. These adorable cards were from a time capsule gift from a sweet friend of mine for her first birthday. We didn't make much use of it for the original intention, but the bird cards were perfect for this theme! 

Also, I am so terrible about taking photos and forgot to take a photo of our hallway lined with a city skyline to resemble the rooftops of London. Or the frame on the bathroom mirror to resemble Mary constantly checking out her reflection. I love adding little details in unexpected places!

I made this mini hat headband for the birthday girl, with some random supplies I had in my craft room. She was pretty excited when I let her wear it! It was so fun to make... I secretly wish I could make tiny hats for tons of other occasions too!

I also re-created the famous parrot umbrella! I used a dowel rod, handkerchief, felt, ribbon, paint, and hot glue. It sat in our window with the cardboard carpet bag that I saved from my first trip to New York when I went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway many years ago (scroll to the top to see)!

For favors, I had these berry baskets, leftover from the first party, and added some tuppence (chocolate coins), a handmade bird feeder ornament, since our daughter loves birds, some sidewalk chalk, and a giant balloon, all references to either the original story or the Disney version. Of course I forgot to photograph the final product... (this is the lame, late night photo I took when I was asking my friend, Naki what else I should add to the baskets!)

I hope you enjoyed this very belated post and the very haphazard photos. I never claimed to be a photographer! Haha. I'm hoping to be back soon with details from this year's party! 
TTFN (ta ta for now!)

March 11, 2019


I did it! Finally!

It's not very exciting, but I promised to post an update, so here it is...

One of my goals last year was to complete an ASCA U course. I told you that I was still working on completing my 18 for 2018 list (see #13) and I've kept my word. 

The truth is, I'm a little embarrassed to tell you that what I started last year actually expired (Eeks!) and I had to start from the beginning again. But I did it! I hunkered down and completed the training! I am now an official Trauma and Crisis Management Specialist. Sounds fancy, doesn't it?

Feels good to have another thing checked off the list! 

The crazy thing is now that I completed one of these, I kind of want to do another one... Hmm... It's interesting how these lists are making me want to accomplish more! 

How about you? Is there anything that you've been wanting to do? Today is the day to start! I'm cheering you on!

March 4, 2019

Currently... March 2019

How have you been, friend? Here's what's new with me!

WATCHING: Ralph Breaks the Internet
As you may know, we are huge Disney fans around here. Our daughter was so excited to see this movie because she wanted to see the princesses in different clothes. She cracks us up. I'll have to admit that there are some parts that I wasn't sure about for her, but she loved it all the same. I'm still in awe that Disney was able to figure out a way to animate what the internet is like on the inside! 

READING: As Old as Time by Liz Braswell
I recently shared that I'm reading the third book in the Twisted Tales series. I just finished it and loved it! What should I read next?

LISTENING: to Cultivate a Good Life
I only just discovered this podcast and am just a few episodes in. You guys, it is SO good. It has given me much to think about. My favorite episodes so far? Episode 004: Kids + Technology and Episode 006: Check Your Marriage Temperature.

EATING: waffles
My daughter gifted my her daddy a mini waffle maker for Christmas (she makes me laugh so much) and he has been spoiling us with waffles on special mornings. At first he thought it was a totally lame gift, but I think he secretly loves it. It makes her smile to get waffles, which she claims is one of her favorite foods (along with donuts and soup) and it makes him smile to see her eat her breakfast with such enthusiasm. 

I shared this just last week that I'm enjoying tea in the evenings to relax after a long day of work. Currently, I'm enjoying this English Rose Tea from Republic of Tea.

WEARING: Dr. Seuss inspired outfits
Last week our school celebrated Read Across America and we have been wearing some fun outfits. I love spirit weeks. It seems strange to think of it this way, but it is kind of a no-brainer for when it comes to outfit planning if it is spirit week. The photo above is my fellow school counselor and I twinning on Thing 1 Thing 2 day.

MAKING: time to read
I just recently blogged about how I'm not a reader... Since then, I've been reading up a storm! I've already finished 3 books within two months and am halfway into another! I think I'm going to try out these Villains books next...

PLANNING: a trip to Japan
We're heading to Japan this fall and we are so excited. We are going to celebrate the Shichi-Go-San festival with our daughter. I know it's a while away, but we are starting to make our plans!

TRYING: to keep up with blogging! 
I know I haven't been very good at blogging (for several years...) and I'm trying to get back into the habit. I hope that one day I will have more inspiring and encouraging content for you... For now, I'm just trying to keep up with my life!

WANTING: a good night's sleep
Our little girl has recently been waking up a lot in the middle of the night. We're trying to figure out the best formula to get her to sleep soundly through the night. 

FEELING: a little tired...
see above

ENJOYING: lots of puzzles
Our daughter is on a huge puzzle kick right now and we are having so much fun! We recently got this 4 in 1 box of Thomas Kinkade Disney puzzles. After completing a 750 Dumbo puzzle, these smaller ones seem much more do-able! 

So... what's new with you?