Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Li'l Blog Lovin'

I'm out in the weather with my fam but I just thought you'd like to know that some of my blogging boos are hosting a fabulous Blog Hop! 

Hop on over, tell 'em I sent you and link up your fabulous blogs!


I just LOVE spreading the blog lovin' around!

Stay cool!


Friday, June 29, 2012

Away Message - Family Time.

Happy Friday, Islanders!

I mentioned the party at my house this weekend, right?

UPDATE: The basement is OFFICIALLY party prepped:

... You probably can't see Darren in his red shirt (on the right) and Hubbs in his gray (on the left) BUT rest assured they BOTH are there.  Hubbs is becoming more and more my grumpy old man, lol.  You know, the one who agrees to a party then wonders why you're moving his stuff for the party? The one who changes the lock on his master bedroom and, all the while, complains about the party that he agreed could occur at his house.  The one who restricts the party to the basement and has to be convinced to allow people to use the bathroom on the main level... We won't mention his movies moment over the weekend because you get the point... That one.  Yes, THAT one.  I am married to that old man.

Hubbs decided, in an effort to ensure our responsible and quiet baby bro has a nice time, he we can't be there. 

Enter FAMILY TIME stage right. 
O and no, I haven't shared these family photos taken back in December so bear with me... they're just too warm-n-fuzzy :)

We're going to do some walking(amusement park? shopping mall? playground? museum?IDK.):

We might have a family dance party because THAT's how we roll:

Munch and I might have a kiss daddy battle (which is like every morning when he's not on my one little good nerve I have left).  What's the battle? Well, here's how my morning went today:

Me (about to walk out the door with Munchface for camp):  O wait, we didn't say bye to daddy...

The kid pushes past me and takes off running for the stairs. Instinctively, I chase after her (I run when other people run.  It's weird, I know.  Don't ask.).

Munch (yelling over her shoulder): Last time, he gave me 3 kisses and you ONLY got 1.

Me: WHAT?! NOT TODAY, little homie!

Hubbs(tucking in his shirt): WHAT THE -
Munch wraps her arms around his thigh and proceeds to kiss his side several times. I start counting the kisses.
Me: 11, 12, 13.

I lean over her and kiss daddy on his neck (aww sookie now) and his cheek a bunch of times. He gives me the side-eye and asks, "whatchu startin'?"

Hubbs leans down and kisses the kid once.  He leans over and kisses me 3 times (Forehead. Nose. Lips. My FAVE combo).

::stomps::eye rolls::arms crossed::

Munch (walking away): NO. FAIR. I'm not tall enough!
Me (following her and cutting my eyes at Hubbs): You won last time... We all get a turn.

Hubbs (from upstairs): Z, come here, I need you to help me carry my sneakers.

The kid sticks out her tongue and takes off running.  I chase because I'm weird to CONFIRM no more kisses because, after all, I WON.

Munch (proudly following me down the stairs with smelly sneakers in hand): You got more kisses TODAY but I got to carry his shoes.

UH, no thanks.  You got it, boo. 

I think it's cute how Munch is everybody's baby. 

A mommy's girl:

AND a daddy's princess:

Pop-Pop's baby, Grandma's diva, her Uncles' buddy... There seems to be enough of her to go around, lol. 


Maybe we'll have time for our favorite activity, family hamster pile naps, lol:


You know those naps when you're not sure where you end and someone else begins?  Well, those are *like* what we do:

Whatever our weekend holds, I'm sure it'll be fun.  Consider this my AWAY message. 

"The blogger you are trying to reach is unavailable at this time... and she's loving it... you should try it! Please write your comment after the beep."

Got anything goin' on?  Want to share recommendations of things to do? 

Feel free to share in the comments!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

1 Month Away: The Shower Countdown

We are OFFICIALLY one month away from God baby's shower.  We've discussed the theme and outlined the plan... Now, it's time to put the finishing touches on the Ruffles&Bows shower details. I mentioned in this post about some upcoming lists, one of which, is the baby shower to-do list.

Here goes:

Things to Do
Which is probably going to grow like 500 times before the event!
- Entryway ruffle wreath
- Small pennant banner for the fireplace wreath
- Purchase thrift store vases
- Container for photobooth props
- Photobooth backdrop
- Buffet labels (blank)
- Dessert buffet labels
- Floral arrangements
- Poms (fold/prep)
- Straw flags
- Drink Station Signs
- Favors (finalize bags and tags)
- Purchase game supplies
- Purchase prizes
- Create bow holder (large frame)
- Finalize cake design
- Embellish clothespins
- Fold napkin bows
- Finalize space layout
- Finalize schedule
- Finalize dessert list for display
- Order linen 
- Finalize guest book (or bank or art display)
- Spray paint frames for pictures/signs
- Make bathroom sign
- Purchase Make-A-Bow station supplies
- Purchase mason jars
- Purchase cutlery/plates
- Ruffle mobile
- Mom/Dad-to-be pins
- Finalize kids' area
- Finalize menu

This post will become a living document.  As I update, I'll cross things off or link to future posts for DIY tips... I am getting SO excited... and already feeling the good-nerves and stress of making this party a fabulous one.

Stay tuned for some sneak peeks and DIY details!
Happy celebrating, islanders!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Celebration Participation

You won't believe what I'm about to tell you!

Shocker #1 - I had a normal weekend.
Shocker #2 - Hubbs had an old man moment at the movies
Shocker #3 - Munch can write in block letters (better than she writes normally but I would NEVER say that, you hear me?)
Shocker #4 - I attended a baby shower
Shocker #5 - I was in a liquor store for an hour

Crazy, right?!

I know! Read on for more info on the aforementioned Keese Family HOT TOPICS!


It felt good to wake up (when I wanted) Saturday and go for breakfast with the fam.  I sat across from my sun-kissed Munch and learned she writes awesome block letters.  She scribbled (like it was no big deal) and we just sat amazed that we could read what she was writing, lol.  Sometimes, I think she's the cutest...

After breakfast, we planned to see the new Disney movie, "Brave."  That was until Hubbs heard the $40 price for 3D! 

Hubbs: Wait, WHAT?! *looks around to confirm someone else heard it* It costs what?! Wait.  WHAT?! Isn't noon the matinee time? It would cost how much?? O no. Not today.  Not for that.  I could see if it was a movie-movie but for that? WHAT?!

He promised we'd go back at a later time (for the regular movie) so instead, we enjoyed some shopping.

Munch has a new obsession with costume glasses so when we saw this Hello Kitty pair, we HAD to buy them.  What can I say? The kid has swag (which IS a cool word).

We spent the evening hanging out with Chazzy and her mommy registering for god baby's shower. Then headed home to prep for church.


On Sunday, I was a guest - you heard it, a GUEST.  I showed up to a dear friend's baby shower with a gift.  You heard it, just a GIFT.  I didn't have to DO anything and I loved it.  When you're the party planner in your circle you really appreciate those events where you just show up and have fun.

This shower was a surprise for the pretty mommy-to-be so we arrived and waited (me, her other friends AND her chair):

I just love her face in that pic.  I forgot my fancy camera so consider this another instance when cell phone pics prevail! I love taking pretty pictures and I'm glad my phone does not disappoint, lol.

Things I loved:  This was a kid-friendly event!  Now, I like to have a onesie buffet but I LOVED the idea of keeping the kiddies busy with the task of decorating a onesie outside and away from shower activities.  They all lined up and, one-by-one, they presented their onesie to the mommy-to-be. 


Big bro, with his gorgeous green eyes like mommy, made a onesie with his name on it, in his favorite color and with his favorite character.  We all got the giggles - he's already letting baby sis know who's boss!

It was a great time! 

Did I mention that I didn't have to do anything?


Yesterday, June 26, I volunteered to go with my sweet not-so-little brother-in-law for his 21st birthday alcohol purchase.  I don't drink and couldn't recommend anything but he let me share the big moment.

I almost barfed peed fainted at the experience of watching him shop and buy bottles for his party WHICH is going to be hosted at my place on Friday... NO, I won't be there (Hubbs has arranged for us to go on a family weekend) but if you would like to randomly stop by and report back the happenings, let me know!  I'll GLADLY send my address, lol.



Just me... Being a regular person... No big events... No need to rush... No need to stress... Yep.  It's me.  Present and happy to participate in my loved ones' celebrations.

I leave you with a picture of Munch.  In her shades.  With her sassy-McSasster face on.  Swag (my cool word of the day, maybe year) in full effect.

 I hope you're keeping as "cool" as we are this summer!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cake. Cups. Curtains.

What do cake, tea cups and curtains all have in common?

They're all new products we've tried within the last week!  Here are some product reviews...

Pillsbury Pink Lemonade Cake Mix

Back in my day, when you wanted Pink Lemonade cupcakes, you either made lemon cake with strawberry icing (or flipped the flavors) or you dumped lemonade Kool-Aid mix into strawberry cake batter.  Well, that was before our recent visit to Target where I stumbled upon a PINK LEMONADE flavored cake/cookie mix and frosting.  So much for the secret recipes and tricks of the good ol' days...
 I bought it.  Munch and I baked it.  Have I mentioned that everything since her kindergarten promotion has been,

"Mommy is this for my graduation? Is this my graduation bow? Are these my graduation socks?  Is this my GRADUATION cake?"

It wasn't.  No, really.  It was my bikini-bodies-can-go-suck-a-lemon cake but O well. I guess it IS her cake now, huh?  After following the box instructions, frosting it and allowing Munch to assign sprinkles a location atop the bikini bustin' baked treat, we tasted it.


It was delish!  The perfect blend of strawberry and lemon - not too much of either flavor.  Everyone who came to my home (we had house guests all weekend, btw) agreed.  I wouldn't tell them the flavor but after 1 bite everyone guessed it.

"Is that -- PINK LEMONADE?! WOW.  That is goooood."

If you happen to try it and like it, you might want to pick up a few boxes. Not only did my Target sell out BUT I was told that it might be a seasonal flavor... 

How perfect is PINK LEMONADE for a summer or a sunshine-themed event? LOVE IT.

Lakeside Collection Oven-Safe Tea Cups

These were a must for Munch's birthday party:

I ordered them from Lakeside Collection (which offers a host of affordable gifts and gadgets for next-to-nothing).  This 8-piece set was only $4.95!

I was so excited when they arrived! Though, I have to say, the quality was slightly disappointing.  The cups were all mis-shaped (very flimsy) and I'm kinda scared to bake in them.  PLUS, they are very small... Probably perfect for Munch's little hands but for the other events I was thinking about (like the tea party baby shower coming up)?  They might get lost in translation.

Despite their small size and quality, they'll be fabulous additions to the place settings at Munch's party.  Maybe I'll test them and let you know more later? IDK.

Extra-Wide Patio Door Curtain

I ordered this curtain in ivory (which totally looks white to me):
I've held a grudge against the plastic vertical blinds that, in Hubbs' words, served us just fine for a few years.  I know, it's not good to hold grudges but the sound they make is SO annoying... Not to mention the swinging effect once they move makes me nauseous.  THEY HAD TO GO. 

When I saw this deal, I couldn't pass it up!  I wasn't sure of the quality so I only ordered 1 panel.

I love it. Check it out:

You see my fancy wine rack? I love that thing. Best birthday gift to:me love:me from a few years ago.

It lets just the right amount of light in AND the grommet top makes sliding on the curtain rod so much easier - PERFECT!


As I try new things I'll be sure to let you know.  Not that it matters but you can trust me to give an honest opinion of the products we try.  I'd like to encourage you to leave a comment if you've tried a new product that rocks (is that even a cool word? IDK). 

Speaking of healthy exchanges of information, anybody know of burn-proof crock pot recipes? I had to throw my crock pot away... I promise it was burning my food (not me or my 12 hour cook times, lol).

Hope your day is sizzlin' hot like my crock pot (RIP)!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Frugal Friday: FREE Printable Chore Charts

All of yesterday's chore talk got me to thinkin' about tracking chore completion. I've told you before that I'm a list person... Something about crossing off to-do items just makes me happy.  WHY? I really don't know BUT sometimes, when I make my lists, I'll intentionally jot things down I've already completed just to CROSS them off, lol.  Don't tell me you don't do that either... You're missing out!

Some island lists to expect soon are the Home Goals 2012 update, the birthday party update, the shower update and the big girl room design.

Speaking of lists, yesterday I gave you a list of Munchface's chores.  I'm still thinking about a fun way to track them BUT, during my research, I found some amazing free printables I thought I'd share. 




Morning Cards, how cute!

I really love this idea of a responsibility station and we might tweak it to create something similar for Munch:

Amazing post about responsibility and the above station!
So, there you have it. My favorite chore charts are FREE and I love them.  Perfect way to round out the week if you ask me - frugal and fabulous!

Don't you love when you don't have to invent the wheel?


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Big Girl Status: CHORES

When Munch was a baby, she LOVED to help clean... I'd be in the kitchen cooking or cleaning and, rather than have her get into cabinets and such, I'd hand her a damp cloth for her to help mommy. The simple task of wiping things down made for hours of baby entertainment.  I've used this technique with other people's kids too; it totally works! 

As she's gotten older, Munch enjoys helping with dishes, dusting, cleaning our glass door and even laundry (when I do it... because I do do it...sometimes).

However, all of the aforementioned chores are "enjoyed" on her terms... ONLY when the stars align and she's had a snack, lol.  Well, with her 6th birthday around the corner and first grade on the horizon, the Keese family is officially making big girl preparations! Last night, we conducted our first summer family meeting.  Topic?  Chores.  Big girls have those, ya know.

We defined chores as,

"Everybody doing their part to keep our home nice."

Look, if I have to deal with the kid getting older, I might as well reap the benefits of it, right?! 

Far too often, the kid has gone to bed, Hubbs is watching (or playing) a game and I'm still (in my work clothes) cleaning after I've run myself ragged preparing for the next day (cooking, bathing the kid, ironing clothes, packing lunches, etc.).  Something had to give so... Mama had a moment. The CHORE moment where I identified how Munch can help out and tossed a few dirty looks in Hubbs' direction too.

Munch's Chore List

- Make her bed
- Clear/clean the dining table
- Wipe her bathroom counters
- Be a Princess (not a queen - as there is but 1 in THIS house, not a jester, not a monster... just a princess)

Hubbs tried to add 1 minute of scratching his back to the list and I considered adding a foot rub but the memories of my dad coming home and removing his socks so I can massage his feet came rushing to my mind (bleh).  Needless to say, I thought better of it.

ANYHOO, I'm thinking of a cool way to track her completion of each task so when the school year starts we'll be ready.  Free chore printables are coming tomorrow and I'll figure out tracking and report back in the near future.

Dear, Islanders...  I leave you with a picture of my loves getting their scrub on after the big girl CHORE family meeting/moment:

The family that cleans together keeps mama from blacking out, lol.

Happy (is-it-ever-too-late-to-start?) SPRING cleaning!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mama Rambles: Whatever Goes Wednesday

It's beginning to feel like summer!

Munch is loving her summer camp.

Swinging at 8:00 a.m. can only happen at camp! Taken from my car and NOT from the bushes, lol.
  Man, is it wearing her out!
5 minutes after she got in the car, lol.
Our cousin Jayla is visiting from NC for the next 30 days so we're excited for play dates and lots of fun!

Munch's big girl room design is underway. First purchase? This fabulous ruffle bed skirt for ONLY $25!  More info on that in the room update (coming soon).

 The favor bags for god baby's shower arrived and I'm o-so excited to show you what I've been working on :)

 We said goodbye to Pee Puppy.  I kinda miss the pissy pitter patter of his little paws (...only a little...sometimes... well, 1 time).  It's better for him and he's not going far at all (just to my parents' house) so we can still visit him often.
I got his summer cut before he left. OF COURSE he looks adorable... when he's NOT peeing.
 We found a restaurant in our neighborhood that serves fresh seafood right on the water (like take your shoes off and eat in the sand kinda on the water).  It's literally at the back of our neighborhood and felt like we were on vacation again... We may have a new date night place. Look at the view from our table:

Makes me love our neighborhood a little more.  Hmm, if only we had the 'cookout yard' a single family home offers, we might stay, lol.

It's already shaping up to be an awesome time!

How is your summer shaping up?

What have you been up to?


Goodwill Finds: The Magnolia Wreath

Happy Friday, Islanders. I wanted to share a thrifty find from a while back.  Ugh, I love my local Goodwill Outlet.  Oh, and yes, you saw ...

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