Thursday, December 23, 2010

Warm Holiday Wishes

I know I've been really hit or miss lately with my blogging. So much going on...

  • IVF (find out tomorrow if the first round was a success)

  • Mama moved to town and we're busy working on her "new" 80 year old home (will post pics very soon - so cute!)

And, of course the holidays...

  • Getting ready for four parties - one already down, three more to go (of course, pics will come soon of the parties too)

If I'm not able to post before Christmas or the New Year I wanted to send Warm Holiday Wishes to everyone. Since it's freezing cold with snow all around in my neck of the woods, I look at this picture; featuring my favorite view, with the sand sugaring my toes and I smile. This is where I was last Christmas. No matter where you are this holiday season, I hope everyone is safe and very happy this time of year!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Goodies from Germany!

Sorry for the delay in posting. The IVF is under way so the last couple weeks have been eventful. Today was transfer day - fingers and toes crossed!

Thursday I received two boxes of chocolate and gummy (or gummi as the Germans say) goodness from a good friend living I'm Germany. As you can see it was a candy extravagana. One box I "ordered" to share for Christmas. The chocolate and gummies in Germany are unbelievable. Some of the brands you will see are available in the US, but many aren't the same formulation as straight from Germany.

The second bx was a special surprise that she had already sent out as a Christmas gift befor I placed my "order". Hubby and I had a ball going through the goodies. I had to snap a few quick pick with my iphone. Don't worry - we'll be sharing! Can you believe all this sugary loot?!

She recommended these Happy Hippos for the kiddos in our life. She said that the kids over there go crazy for them. We can see why! These might be the single best confection I've ever put in my mouth. Like an ice cream cone with chocoalte ganache and a vanilla cream cheese type ganache inside. They are so addictive...not sure if any will make it to the kids:) Do a search to see if you can import some in. They are Happy Hippos by Kinder.

My husband has been calling them Hungry Hippos rather than Happy Hippos. Cute!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wrapping Christmas Gifts...ALREADY!

Can you believe that Christmas is only 4 weeks away? Life goes by so quickly! With various parties and celerating with family on all sides, Christmas day is literally going to be here in no time flat. Let's try to slow down and enjoy all the season has to offer and all of the special people in our lives!

So, I've mentioned a time or two how much I love to wrap gifts. I snapped a quick shot with my iPhone of my first special packages of the season. Paper by Heidi. Read more about her here. "S" gift tags/labels by me:)

Every year I use an ornament on one gift for this special friend - either as a gift tag with her initial or name painted on it - or just as embellishment like above...this year it's a simple white star with green raffia ribbon. It's a fun way to jazz up a gift (and doesn't have to cost much at all - got this for about $1.50 at most).


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this blog I talk a lot about "things" or "stuff", but I wanted to take the time to say that my favorite things in life aren't things at all.

I AM BLESSED...with a wonderful husband and marriage that people dream of...the most wonderful family and extended family anyone could ask for...very special friends...a career that I love and enjoy...a great team of coworkers...good health....

There is so much in life to be thankful for that doesn't include "things". I don't talk a lot about personal stuff here on this blog - maybe I should do more of that? On this special day and every day, simply...I am blessed. I am so appreciative for the wonderful life I get to live and the amazing people that I get to live it with.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. You have to check out this Thanksgiving dinner by Claire Robinson of Five Ingredient Fix. It looks super easy, delicious and gives tips on things you can make a head. I'm not cooking dinner this year, so I'm not making any of these recipes yet, but you better bet I will be making them for Christmas...or just because. Check it out...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby Shower 4 - The Whole Shebang, Vendor List and THE END!

Ok, you're probably getting sick of hearing about this darn shower aren't you? I realized tonight that I'm getting pretty sick of talking about it. It was so much fun, but it's time to move on. There will be other parties, but I promise not to wear you out with the next one!

There were a few things to improve on for next time - like my backdrop fabric FIASCO (hence the ugly seam down the middle); I printed the bunting circles a little too small and hung them a little high for the scale of the table; and the pictures...oh the pictures. They didn't come out great...again! I've decided to sacrifice my photos for a while longer though since hubby and I are now going through IVF. (For now I have come to terms with the fact that she is much happier in natural light and gets a little dark inside without the sunshine...much like her owner:)

All in all everything turned out great. Most importantly it was a wonderful time, spent with awesome friends to celebrate a special time...and we had so much fun! As much as I'd love for every party to be perfect, at the end of the day sometimes we just have to roll with the punches, let go a little and relax!

I hope you enjoy a glimpse into R & L's shower!

Invites and coordinating party supplies by good frau. I could go on and on about her. She was great to work with and had no problem bringing my creative (or crazy) ideas to fruition.

A few new serving dishes were surprising finds at Kohls (and some are just a part of my collection). I don't shop there much, but when I found out that they had a whole line of Food Network items, let's just say I went a little crazy. I'm such a sucker for Food Network and I was so excited to find some durable, timeless pieces for affordable prices.

Cupcakes...oh cupcakes! If ever downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, you must check out Abby Girl Sweets. I was going to make cupcakes myself, but decided it was just too much work. All of the cupcakes I tried were de-licious (yea, I tried a few). My surprising favorite was a banana cupcake (think a-hmmm-what-is-that? hint of REAL banana) with Madagascar vanilla bean butter cream frosting. Crave-worthy! Cookies by Better bit of Butter. Read more here and here. White cake pedestals by Martha Stewart and from Macys. I was shocked to see that they are still available online. Get them while they're hot...and on super sale! Great look that goes well with modern or traditional decor. I can't believe how hard it is to find cake stands. Just have to keep your eye out here and there. I got the paper from Michaels for cupcake wrappers above. The orange wrappers were made by Paper Circus. She was really easy to work with and I got my package very quickly. She even did a custom edging for me. I made custom labels for some of my favorite, citrus, cream lotion to give as favors.

TV image by good frau. Wanted to hide the dark black box a little...or at least put it to work for me:) Drink station.

I lucked upon these cute little owl wine bottle toppers at Pier One. "Girlfriends Favorite" (and super affordable) white wines from Cupcake Vineyards.

Classic baby shower punch - Orange Dream Punch.

I shared my easy Strawberry Lemonade recipe here.

These frozen baby cubes were hilarious. I got the babies at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I love the cubes produced by Perfect Cube Ice Trays from Sur La Table.
Match the Celebrity baby to the Celebrity game.

Custom onesies and burp cloths from Mac and Me. Read more about her here.

Have I ever told you that I LOVE to wrap gifts!? Runner fabric underneath gift by Kalla. Read about her here and here.

Love this cute little bowl from Crate & Barrel. Complete random, but lucky find! Orange, Amy Butler fabric, coasters from Love My Coasters. Fun!
I had so much fun putting this party together for my pals, but again, the best part of all was sharing this special time together. Hope you enjoyed the party!
PS - Party held in our walkout basement...i.e. hubby's mancave:)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Baby Shower Part 3 - Custom Fabric, Cups and It's a Boy Straws

Check out the amazing, custom dyed fabric on the runner above. I'm so excited at how this turned out. The fabric was hand dyed by Hitomi Kimura of KALLA textile designs. I told you all about her here back in August.

The cup below served as a color and design inspiration for the shower. I told you all about these here. I sent Hitomi a picture of the cup and she matched the color to a "T". I am in love with this graphic design and was in awe of how she brought it to life on fabric. She is a true artist, such a pleasure to work with...and fast. I received the fabric in no time and she is in Japan!!!

Check out my fun little "It's a Boy!" straw flags. I found the orange straws at Michaels. So fun!

Stay tuned for more fun pics from the shower...and a FULL vendor list coming soon.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baby Shower Part 2 - Mac and Me Custom Onesies & Burp Cloths

How adorable are these custom owl onesies and burp cloths from Mac and Me? I found her by chance from an adorable giraffe baby shower I saw on the Dimple Prints blog. I loved this shower and was thinking about the giraffe theme for R & L's shower as well. I contacted Mac and Me right away and she was so great. She helped me while I was working through my color scheme and theme and mentioned this adorable owl fabric she had. Since I was really leaning toward turquoise and orange as the colors, the owl became the obvious choice - and, of course, the theme for the big day. She used her own Amy Butler orange polka dot fabric for one burp cloth and I sent her a few turquoise/teal fabrics for the second cloth. I can't tell you how awesome Mac and Me is. She is a doll to work with, does amazing work, uses high quality materials and is willing to customize your order. I received the order so quickly and we are on opposite sides of the country. I highly recommend her if you want to create a special, one-of-a-kind shower gift or if you want to go with one of her adorable, pre-made sets. The girls were blown away by this special gift.