Friday, May 31, 2013

Mrs.-To-Be Masquerade: The Plan.

Deborah teetered on the idea of having a bridal shower.  She wanted to avoid being a financial and emotional burden on those around her.  She also worried the expense of having her ceremony guests fly out to Vegas was gift enough for the couple.

It wasn't until 2 weeks before the *tentatively* scheduled event that I had a final nod to proceed with planning her bridal shower.  I had very little time to collect my thoughts.  I knew I wanted to use her wedding colors to create a fun-filled and pretty event.
Here's what I came up with:
Colors: Red & Turquoise
Theme: Masquerade
Details: Feather poms, crafty chandelier of poms and lanterns, mask decorating, artwork guest book, photo-op area
I needed to send the word out QUICKLY. So, off to etsy I went.  I found a designer (check her out here)who offered a digital file for print at an affordable price.  I made a few minor tweaks and loved how they turned out!!  They really set the tone for a fabulous event:
With this plan and a few sketches of my ideas, I was all set.
- I got word to proceed the week we were scheduled to close on the new house.  I packed and planned simultaneously
- The event occurred the weekend after we moved into the new house.  I unpacked what we needed to survive and left the rest until after I crafted, planned, lost sleep and hosted the bridal shower
- The event was hosted at the Mother-of-the-Groom's home.  She wanted to give her dining room a fresh coat of paint to make it presentable for guests.  I painted her dining room the weekend and day before the shower.  WHAT?! When people are kind enough to offer their home, I make it as easy as possible on them :)
As you can see, life got crazy but rest assured it all worked out ;)
Stay tuned for the event breakdown.  It's going to be fun!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

WW: Mom, What Is That?!

Wordless Wednesdays: It dropped in through the sunroof!!!
An inch worm, Munch.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Flowers: Keeping Them Alive.

Hello, Islanders!  This is my last post about the house for a week or so. 
Well, because I'm finally ready to share the Vegas Wedding's events (bridal shower, wedding, reception, etc.).  That's why.
Saturday was a great day; my peonies bloomed!
We've discussed how I don't have a green thumb on either hand (check out that post here).  I would, however, like to announce that I do know how to maintain fresh cut flowers.  It may sound crazy to hear but I'm good at caring for flowers that will inevitably die... OK, I admit it felt weird to type it... but trust me.
1. Use warm water.  It helps your flowers continue to fully bloom before dying
2. Cut the base of the stems at an angle.  Rather than cutting straight across, angle your scissors upward.  It helps the stems continue to absorb the water after being cut
3.  Trim 1-2 inches off the bottom of your stems before placing them in water.  If your stems are long enough to spare, trim an inch off the bottom every 2 days
4. Place flowers in areas with indirect sunlight
5.  Use a hydrating solution (see my recipe below)
3 Steps to Long Lasting Floral Arrangements
Combine the following into your vase, cup or jar:
- Equal parts water and 7Up
- Teaspoon of bleach
Follow these tips and your cut flowers will last 1-3 weeks.  I know and you're welcome.
I am so excited to enjoy the blooms I've inherited in our 30 yr old gardens.  As the seasons change, I love having such gorgeous flowers (peonies, roses, tulips, hydrangea, lilies and so many more)!!  What makes it even better is that I don't have to really work at it; God scheduled when the flowers will bloom.  Another miracle I am grateful for (especially with those cicadas buzzing around).
Check out my latest arrangement on the family room coffee table (well, before I moved 10 times and finally decided on the the kitchen table).
Aren't peonies just lovely?!
I hope you have a beautiful day blooming with happiness!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Coming Up: The Reception!

Tomorrow, my dear friends, Deb and Chaz, will celebrate their union with an intimate reception.  I'm helping the bride execute her vision.  Some of my tasks include: creating a unique dessert display, crystal floral pom centerpieces, a few signs and banners and

With all of my tasks for the reception, I needed to find ways to save time. 
Don't you love the sign?  Guess what? It's FREE!!!
Download yours here.
I can't wait to share the other ideas we came up with.  This reception should be loads of fun!
 Hope you enjoy your weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

House Update - Family Room

By now, you know I'm a slacker about unpacking my clothes in the new house.  However, despite some crazy life happenings, I did unpack 1 bag this weekend.  One bag?!
I've been speaking of the house more often here lately so I figured it's about time that I provide you guys with an official house update.
But first...
Rewind: In our last home, I rushed to furnish and to decorate.  I wanted to fill the space with décor.  I bought pictures and tchotchke and painted and... Honestly, I changed my mind all the time.  I had to realize I was buying things for everyone but our little family.  Somewhere deep inside, I worried with impressing visitors and wanted the magazine-worthy house.  Reality check, Tabitha:

1. I'll never have that magazine-worthy budget.

2. It doesn't suit my family's style. 

Long story short, because my purchases never made me happy, I was never satisfied.  I thought my lack of satisfaction was just a result of a search for my décor style. As a result, I bought more.  I've had every décor style at some point over the last 10 years - from Asian-inspired to shabby chic. I've been a little country, a little rock-n-roll, a little modern, a little traditional, a little cottage...
In this house, I'm taking my time.  I'm calculating my every move.  I'm thinking about how I want the space to look before I proceed to buy.
I think it's working.

We were in the new house for 6 weeks before I put my first holes in the walls.  Seriously, we had nothing on the walls and no décor out until I was ready

Ready for what?  Well, ready to answer 2 very important questions for every room:
1.  What is this room's purpose for my family?
2.  What colors make sense for the space?
In the family room, I wanted colors that made me happy (spring green and cheery yellow) to be balanced with the comfort of soft gray and tried-and-true blue.
I didn't see this combination before I started decorating; the room just evolved.  Our family room is a place where we relax, have fun, enjoy each other... It's the place where we spread Uno cards and puzzle pieces on the floor.
I want it to be perfect. For us.
The UpdateIn a recent Ross shopping trip, I found pillows that were comfortable yet structured and brought the sunshine in.  I found some cute artwork that had a little meaning and would fill the space over the loveseat perfectly.  I bought it all and excitedly started to shape the design of the family room.
It's coming together nicely.
These colors make me happy.  They also brighten the space and give it a casual comfortable feel.  I know it's working because, as I've settled into this room, I notice others gravitate there also.
My family room is welcoming?  Mission accomplished.
Now, sure, I haven't purchased curtains yet and I have a lot of walls to cover and the t.v. isn't mounted over the fireplace but I'm excited at the possibilities.  I'm enjoying it's imperfectness because I know it's potential.
I've got plans for this room - BIG time-consuming and intimidating plans.  I'm embracing the idea that taking my time doesn't mean I'm not productive.  It simply means I care enough to do it right.  The first time.  Well, for now.
In the meanwhile, I'll just enjoy my little pillows and pictures.  Not only because they look great but because they make me feel great.
What colors make you feel great?
Have you incorporated them into your décor?

I'll be sure to post pics of the family room soon enough.  Sorry!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WW: Happy Color Palette

Wordless Wednesdays: this color palette makes me happy. Stay tuned to see where I'm using it in the new house!

Monday, May 13, 2013

iPod?! iCant.

While waiting on my flight in the Vegas airport, I received an iMessage.
"Dear Mommy, I hope you had fun at the wedding."
I responded:
"Did Munch write that?"
The response I received was a major shocker for me:
"Yes mommy I did.  Pop-Pop bought me an iPod."
WAIT.  He did WHAT?! An iPod?! 

Now, back in MY day, my father would NEVER purchase me an iPod. I got my first MP3 player as a High School Senior.  She is 6.  MESSAGING ME?
Again, back in MY day, the ONLY thing an iPod did was play music and maybe a movie.  Sure, one could easily change the views of how the information was sorted (by title, by artist, by type, etc.) but now?  The iPod does everything the iPhone and iPad do EXCEPT make phone calls (though, it does FaceTime AND, with the Skype app, you can make phone calls).
At first, I gave Pop-Pop a side eye (Seriously?! 6?! With an iPod?).  Then, she told me he did it because he's the BEST Pop-Pop in the world and she loves him I watched her sound out her words before she texted her Tati.  I answered her questions about how to spell bigger words and I was happy to see those same words spelled correctly in her school stories.  The iPod has reading apps, math practice, phonics lessons and brings our Munch smiles.
It's very funny.  She facetimes me all the time.  She will get up and run out of the room into the next one JUST to call and chat... About nothing.
The iPod enables communication between Munch and me (now the bathroom REALLY isn't an escape)...
Once, she was laying beside me and Facetimed me to ask,
"Mommy, who is that next to you?"
"GIRL, it's you!!"
"O" *giggles*
Even the iMessages have brought many laughs.  

The Scene: We arrive to her before-school care facility and I'm waiting on her to get out of the car.  She tosses her iPod into the cup holder and hops out.  When I returned to my car, I had THIS waiting for me on my cell: 

LOL.  She had the nerve to look annoyed that afternoon and when I hadn't responded.

The iPod is bringing her great joy.  Seeing her smile brings me great joy.

Have the grandparents (or aunts or god parents or friends) purchased a toy you THOUGHT would be a problem and it's turned out to be a GREAT investment?

I gotta go.  My kid is iMessaging me.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Matters of My Heart.


This past Tuesday, my life was interrupted.


I received a phone call from Patient First that my mommy:

 ... was rushed to the hospital.
That's about all the information they could give.
I needed more.
Which hospital? 
What happened?
Who was there with her?
Panic.  My lack of knowledge sent my mind into a whirlwind of questions and worry.  It all came to a head when I finally heard her voice.  I just sobbed and fussed that I was "WORRIED SICK ABOUT [HER] AND COULDN'T FIND [HER] AND DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON AND--"
"Aww, Tabby.  I'm okay."
The past few days have been scary.
We kept our spirits high.  We prayed.  Shoot, I sounded the alarm to our church family and other prayer warriors to do the same.  
Islanders, I am happy to report that my mom is home.
Yep, home.
...With her pups, her comfortable arm chairs, her junky closet, Dad (her personal chef and fussy doctor)...
Yep, she's home and just in time for Mother's Day.
My mommy gave me the best Mother's Day gift ever. 
She survived.  We survived.
Reminder: this Sunday, May 12, is Mother's Day. 
Can I make some special requests?
If you pray, when you pray, can you send one up for my sweet mommy's heart?  Also, can you join me in praying for those who do not have the opportunity to shower their mom with love this holiday?
You can?!
Consider the uncertainty of tomorrow reason enough to disconnect your electronics to reconnect with the people who matter most!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Umbrella Sharing - A Love Story Continued.

Islanders, I have another sweet story from the life of my sweet parents.

Mom worked with Hubbs to surprise Dad with the car he's always wanted. 

On May 1, we all had our missions.  I was tasked with procuring the big red bow:

And putting the car in position:
Dad heard about a new restaurant, Bistro Bethem.  Hubbs, Munch and I walked in the new restaurant (unsure of whether we should crash the dinner).  When I saw how intimate the place was I ducked, snatching the kid, I ran out of the restaurant.  

It was official, we crashed their anniversary.
Shh! They didn't see us.  Hubbs spoke to the manager.  The manager walked over the table and told Mom she had a phone call.
Disclaimer: Dad's been yelping (learn more here).  He writes reviews for everything.  Apparently, when the manager said someone called, Dad thought it was because his yelping was having a huge impact.  Matter of fact, he announced it to the restaurant staff and those at neighboring tables.

Mom returned to the table and told him that Brian and I were fussing; we needed to talk to him right now.
He came out as if to diffuse a situation...
"Hey guys, what's going on?"
Me: Have you seen the new car he got?
Dad: Yea, it's a nice car, son.
Hubbs: Man, walk with me...
Hubbs: She's mad that I got this car ... and you got that one *points to the new car*
Do you see his face?  He definitely stood like that (eyes closed, tears falling, lip puckered) for a FULL minute.
Then he stood like this:

Then, he backed up... Speechless.
Mom took the keys from Brian and said, "I got it for you, honey.  I got the car for you... Happy anniversary!"
Still, no words from Dad.
Then, FINALLY, he had words.  

The man said he would... uh... return the favor later... With "quality time."
Back to silence...
It was a sweet moment enjoyed by all of the staff, the patrons, passers by and, luckily, my little family.
I've never seen my Dad sob.  My mom has never been able to surprise Dad.  He just knows too much.  Once again, however, I learned something from my parents.
In this instance, I learned romance should not be the responsibility of one party in any relationship; it's okay to surprise the guy sometimes. 
My parents don't live a life without storms.  They have, however, chosen to share the same umbrella during the storms.

I love love.
FYI - I also love a good laugh so, yes, I did send this picture with this face to the entire family.  I just can't stop giggling at that lip pucker! We got him SO good!
I needed that smile.

Have a LOVE-filled Thursday :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Quick and Affordable Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

I hold teachers in the highest regard.  They are up there with law enforcement, first responders, medical professionals, etc.
While I think teachers are super heroes, there is NOTHING like the dedication of a called teacher.  What do I mean by called?  Some people teach for the career of teaching while others have a calling to teach.  It's what they love.
Munch's teacher is called.  She is informative, honest, responsive, caring...  She checks on us, the parents, to ensure we work to help Munch understand concepts she's learning in class.  She emails every Friday with details of what the class has covered in each subject.  She writes notes in Munch's agenda several times a week specific to her progress.  She encourages my daughter in such a way that makes Munch rush home to announce things like, "Ms. Hopper said I read beautifully."
To show our thanks for everything Ms. Hopper does, we made a quick and easy treat.  Munch gave me the low down.
Ms. Hopper likes chocolate (and loves fudge).
Ms. Hopper likes coffee (and loves Starbucks).
Ms. Hopper's favorite color is purple.
We baked Ghiradelli double chocolate brownies:
We bought a Starbucks gift card and the new Starbucks reusable cup (only $1)!
We baked the brownies according to package directions.  After the brownies cooled, I used the Pam spray top and used it to cut circles in the brownie pan.  I know it sounds weird but the Pam top was the perfect size for the brownies to fit in the cup and the flexible plastic top made it easy to wiggle the brownie out.
I placed two brownie circles per cupcake wrapper and stacked them before placing them in the cup like so:
I then put a wrapper on top to ensure they didn't dry out overnight.
Munch painted a picture (using craft paint and Q-tips), I used one of my scrap wedding invitations and I think it turned out really cute.
A picture, a thank you painting and a Starbucks gift card... Perfect! We tied it up pretty:
Bagged up the treats:
It was ready to go!
Munchface was so excited to take our gifts to her amazing teacher, Ms. Hopper.
Do you know a teacher?  Has someone taught you something?  THANK THEM TODAY.
So, how are you showing appreciation for the hard work of teachers?  Need other ideas?  Check out my post from last year here.

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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