Monday, July 30, 2012

Birthday Tea Party

I love birthdays!! I especially love that they bring friends and family together and it’s an excuse to plan and do something fun – and maybe out of the ordinary! This year I’ll actually be doing a few things for my birthday. I just went to the OC Fair with some friends to see Tenth Avenue North {one of my favorite bands} and in a couple weeks I’ll be going Zip Lining!! {I’ll definitely let you know how that goes! I’m excited and nervous for it!} And this weekend I celebrated with a tea party at a local Tea House by the beach!

Recognize this milk jug from my antique shopping day?

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Those cookies above were made using the famous recipe by Jen at Delightful Deets!

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I made these lemon muffins, too. They are topped with butter cream frosting and lemon and orange fruit snacks! My friend and birthday buddy, Shaina, also brought sandwiches, fresh fruit and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes! (Please add GOOD FOOD to the list of things I like about birthdays!) :)

The Lavender Lounge:

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I love this sign!! I wish I could show up to work at “10ish” lol!

Here is the full table set up; the employee asked us if we could please decorate the tea lounge for her every day! ;-)

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I thought the Tea Lounge had some unique décor on it’s own – which is one of the reasons my friend chose this location - that AND it's close to the beach! (I especially liked the hard wood floors, beams and that little tea cup napkin holder shown below!)

PicMonkey Collage

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Each person’s seat had a little goodie bag with chocolate covered almonds (put together by Shaina!) and Tangerine Orange flavored tea, wrapped like a little bow (my contribution):

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And then we just enjoyed each others company and catching up with some new and old friends we hadn’t seen in a while!

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One of the things I love about my birthday is that it is very close to that of one of my best friends! Every year we usually try to do something together and this year, it was this Tea Party!!


The official birthday cupcake


Make a wish!


Another favorite part of the day – everyone writing us birthday notes on these signs! What a special memory to take home with us from a really fun day!!


And the icing on the cake (ha!) to make it an even MORE full day – that night we went to a concert in the park to see a Beatles cover band! {It was actually REALLY fun!!!}

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And there may have been dancing…

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But there was definitely good company:

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Good friends creating fun memories. That’s what it’s all about. Thanks for reading about my special day! How about you? Do you like celebrating birthdays as much as I do? :)


Sunday, July 22, 2012

if you really knew me.


If you really knew me…

You would know that I love the Lord and love my neighbor.

You would know that I love the smell of cookies and sweet bread baking…
that I love chocolate and tulips but if you really want to make my day, write me a letter or sing me a song.

You would know that reading a good book with my toes in the sand will put a smile on my face any day of the week
and that someone lying to me will take it away just as fast.

You would know that I love my family and adore my kids.

You would know that I once read a story about a parent living in regret over their child’s death, because the last words they said to each other were something mean and that after reading that story, I make sure every time I leave my kids, 
the last words I say are something nice, 
and always, 
I love you.

If you really knew me..

You would know that I was once a good dancer
And that I still dance – even when no one is watching.

You would know that I am a weak person and that it’s only God that makes me strong.

You would know that I’m a perfectionist
and that I make mistakes.
Sometimes a lot of them.

You would know that thanks to a college professor I now have a fascination with Mt. Everest.
If you knew me, you would know that I have a lot of dreams
and that I keep reaching for them
even when I fall.

If you knew me
you would know that I can’t watch scary movies late at night
and, if I do, I have to watch a funny movie right afterward, before I can go to sleep.

You would know that I like a clean house but I don’t like to clean.
Dishes are my least favorite; doing laundry is calming.

You would know that I love to laugh

I love surprises

And making up silly songs.

If you really, really knew me, you would know that today is my birthday

and that all I want is my life to make a difference.

That I am passionate

and imperfect

and that’s okay.

How about you?



Friday, July 20, 2012

Map it! Wall Art

Do you have a blah space in your house? A space that just needs some TLC and you don’t know what to do? Well, I have had one for 3 years. It’s this little landing ledge at the top of my stairs. It’s just small enough not to have a purpose and just large enough not to ignore.

The blah:


I slapped some pictures on the ledge and the added this canvas (below) on sale at Home Goods just because it said ‘Beach’ on it and I like the beach.

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No, the canvas didn’t help much. But, three years later, the space was what it was. UNTIL…
I was cleaning out my garage and I found these Thomas Guides!

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Pause: If you’ve been driving less that 10 years or so – ahem, Thomas Guides are these archaic map-like objects made out of paper. They did not move or know your location. They could not tell you where the closest Starbucks was, but they could show you a confusing freeway matrix should you ever get lost and need to pull over to the side of the road, search through your trunk for this book and thumb through the pages until you found where you were looking for or just gave up and went back home.

I myself had to learn how to use a Thomas Guide because I got lost wherever I went. TRUE STORY: I got lost so many times, my parents punished me by making me study these Thomas Guide maps for a half hour every day for weeks.
But I digress…

Finding these map books in my garage gave me an epiphany for my blah stair space. Both books were from the county where I was born (LA) and where my kids were born (SD). So, I quickly found the pages that I wanted and tore them out.

Ready for the fun part? I also had 4 foam 8 1/2 by 11 foam core boards waiting for a project. So, a little mod podge later and I had myself some new wall art!


Here is what you’ll need to make your own map art:

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  • Old Thomas Guide books or old maps
  • 8x10x.19 inch foam board sheets (or any size you need)
  • scissors
  • mod podge
  • foam brush

I carefully cut my maps to size, put a layer of mod podge on the foam board first, smoothed out my maps and added a layer of mod podge on top of the map to seal it:

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I did this step for each foam board and map (a total of 4)– and even cut out a Map Scale (above) to add more detail to one of the maps!

Want to know another cool thing I added? WELL, the pages I tore out of each Thomas Guide included the street that I grew up on and the hospital where I was born AND the streets where both boys were born and the hospitals where THEY were born! Coincidentally all the houses we lived in were just minutes from the hospitals – so they are on the same page/picture!
Another added detail – using clippings from the Thomas Guide maps, I added all our birthdates to each map that showed where we were born:


This took a fun project and suddenly made it really personal.

I then took the four foam boards and mounted them on a canvas. (Remember that bad beachy canvas from way above?) I covered it in burlap and mounted on the four foam maps! You can mount them with push pins from behind, glue dots or a staple gun, depending on how heavy your foam boards are. Mine were very light.


The last touch was to stencil the word HOME on top of the canvas, since each map shows our HOME town:


Now, instead of a blah space:


I have a very personal “tah-dah!” space that I love!


Maybe this will make me want to climb up my stairs more! What would you do with old maps?

Sharing at Tatertots and Jellos and 504 Main


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I Wore: New York City

Hello friends! I’m back from my trip with a fresh What I Wore post! This summer I went to New York City to visit my sister. We spent most of our time eating at wonderful restaurants, playing with my 10 month old nephew and walking around Central Park and the city!

My favorite memory was having a picnic in Central Park and checking out all the beautiful lakes!

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Dress: Kohls
Belt: Kohls

This dress is very comfortable and light – perfect or the 90 degree weather I brought with me to New York from California!  ;-) In fact, I even ended up wearing this outfit to go on a row boat with my sister!

(Guess who ended up rowing the boat?) lol




I was all about the dresses on this trip I guess. Here is another outfit I wore as we walked the city:

Hat: Old Navy
Dress: Ruche
Shoes: Roxy Flip Flops

This picture is particularly special because it is taken in front of the house where my grandma grew up! We walked through all her old stomping grounds and then had lunch at THE BEST Italian food restaurant in NY city:


Do I have any followers from New York who can vouch for this? Because, this California girl thought it was reeeeeally good!!

Come back soon - I’ll be posting more pictures from my trip to New York – including the best places to eat! Yum!

pleated poppy

God Bless!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Getting to Know You: Siblings

"Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters." {Singing that song from White Christmas!} Do you know it? My sister and I love that movie - and that part! :)

Thanks to Nay at Cover to Cover and Everything in Between for hostessing a "Getting to Know You" Series, starting with: SIBLINGS! This was perfect timing too since I just returned from a visit to New York to see my little sister! So, here are my answers! I know I have welcomed a lot of knew friends to this blog recently as well, so I hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit more about me {and my sisters!}

1) How many siblings do you have and what are their names?

I have two sisters. Katrina is the oldest and Laura is the youngest. That puts me in the middle. Awesome sauce.

2) What is the age range among the children in your family?

My sister Katrina, Trina or Tree depending on my mood, ;-) is 5 years older than me and my little sister, Laura, is 18 months younger. I would say I am closer to my younger sister, since we are so close in age and went through most of school together.

3) In what ways are you like your siblings?

  We all have similar senses of humor  and we are most alike in looks – oh, and we all have awesome fashion sense as the picture below so beautifully displays:

4) In what ways are you different from your siblings?

  I am definitely the most girly girl out of all of my sisters. Even though all of us have some athletic/tom boy in us I got the dressing up, doing hair, crafty, girly gene. Although sometimes I wrangled my sister in the dressing up fun...

      {That's me on the far left, my little sister in the middle and a friend on the right.} Even though I was older, people used to think my little sister and I were twins ALL THE TIME because we were the same height most of our lives. It didn't help that my mom often dressed us alike as well. It used to bother me a lot. However, my sister stopped growing in 8th grade and I kept going. She's now 5'3" and I'm 5'7". {Ah, vindication!}                


      5) What is the craziest sibling story you've got?
      Crazy sibling story? Hmmm… Really, the most crazy stories involve me rescuing my sister out of some trouble she got into (Yes, I was the goodie two shoes – GOOD one!!) But the rest of our stories involve cars – usually getting stuck on the side of the road somewhere or some sort of misadventure.  For example, one time our family decided to take our old VW bus on a road trip. Remember the movie “Little Miss Sunshine?” Well, we had that EXACT VW bus. Curtains and all. We even had to do the running push start sometimes! Our VW bus was old, vintage, beat up and kind of broken down, so naturally my parents thought it would be a GREAT idea to drive it from Los Angeles all the way up to Washington State to see our cousins. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to guess how this story is going to end. Yep, we made it about a third of the way before something broke and we got stuck on the side of the road.  That was it. Two week vacation over in less than one day. We got our car patched up and hobbled home. The nice ending to this sad story is that when we got home some friends from church had rented us a car!! We so desperately wanted to hop right in and go back to our vacation, but my parents said we needed to pay to fix our car. So, it became a stay-cation.  At least this misadventure gave us a story to tell! 
    6) Any treasured memories or routines you shared with your siblings?
      Even after that story my favorite memories with my sisters are still family vacations and our annual family camp and camping trips with church! Most of these vacations were in our local mountains, so we didn't have too many car worries on these trips!

     7) What are your siblings' best talents? 
 My older sister can sing really well. My younger sister – is being super smart a talent? I swear that girl collects college degrees! She is also a new mommy and wonderful at it!

     8) You and your sibling get to share one perfect meal.  What is on the table?

      Mexican or Italian!! My little sis and I both love to cook, so she or I would probably make the meal and I would make dessert. When I visited her in New York she took me to some of her favorite restaurants!! We even went on a dessert tour! Yum! But, as long as we're together, any food would be delicious!

     To join in the getting to know you link party or read other bloggers sibling stories, click the button below!!

Getting To Know You


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

July 4th is one of my favorite holidays! I love that it stands for our freedom, I love the fireworks, I love the red, white and blue, and it kicks off my birthday month {woo hoo!}
July {5th} is also this little man’s half birthday!

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Since both my boy’s birthdays fall within weeks of Christmas, we celebrate half birthdays here. When it’s your half birthday you get to pick the dinner, dessert AND pick out a toy from the store. It is YOUR day! Little man decided we should all eat at Farrell’s. It’s an ice cream parlor style restaurant, that is actually quite patriotic in it’s décor. Good choice little man!
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The staff at Farrell’s was also extremely nice – they sang their birthday song and gave him that delicious treat above and treated him like it was his ACTUAL birthday day! They made him feel so special! Thanks Farrell’s!

Then it was back home to get ready for more 4th of July fun! We made these delicious treats that my friend Elizabeth showed us how to make. I, of course, had to use patriotic colors for the M and M’s!

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Does this look like an American flag? Even a little??

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We also enjoyed a bbq at a friend’s house near our local fireworks show - just a short walk to the lake by her house!

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Hello – is this child really mine? He looks way too big…

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Here we are waiting for the show to start!!

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{They have some pretty mad skills with the glow sticks!}

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Happy 4th of July!! I look back on days like this and am reminded how truly blessed I am in my life. God has truly surrounded me with people that give me lots of love and encouragement. My big guy even said "Best 4th of July ever!" Not an easy quote to get from a preteen! I hope you enjoyed the day with your families as much as we did!! God Bless! xo
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