Friday, January 31, 2014

Olivia's Winter ONEderland Party


I've mentioned my birthday twin, Olivia, on a number of occasions.  Today, we'll begin her birthday series.

 

 
You can tell from the photo above that MyHoney (that's what I call her) was tickled pink with her party.
 
By way of background, Sheena did not originally plan to host a party.  Shortly after having Olivia, Sheena informed me that a first birthday party just wasn't in the future.
 
About six months out, however, Sheena decided to have a simple cake and ice cream social to celebrate with close family and friends.  It would be a ONEderful event... The primary focus would be on a photo-op for the area behind Olivia's high chair, a fabulous cake (and smash cake) and simple decorations.
 
About a month into planning, however, Sheena's baby and her vision for the event grew.  Olivia was coming into her own - personality, voice, opinion and more.  Olivia had a blast at birthday parties with her little friends and she was far too active for us to not plan activities at the social... maybe a moon bounce at the house for little ones?  Possibly three games?  Wait, are we talking little ones?  Like party guests?  O, we need an outfit and favors and... well... party things.
 
I remember when Sheena contacted me with the news that our sweet little simple party had evolved into a real big girl party.  I just kept repeating that I wasn't ready.
 
I wasn't.
 
I get it.  DatMyHoney has friends. She plays... she laughs and giggles.  She loves to play echo and to climb and to slide...  she is a full-time ball of energy. 
 
While I was coming to terms with the fact that we were planning to celebrate DatMyHoney's first birthday, Sheena was focused.
 
She left no sparkle confetti stone unturned.  She found her inspiration photos and devised a plan to tweak them for her event.
 
I had my tasks.
 
3-dimensional Snowflakes.
 
Statement Wreath.
 
Cake Table Birthday Banner.
 
We'll talk some of the party deets (venue, attire, details, and more).
 
OMG! I can't wait to share the details of this party... It's going to be so sweet and fun!  Reminds me of a little someone I know :)
 
 
Come back soon!
 
 
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Mic Check 1-2: Can Anybody SEE me?

Howdy, Islanders!


It was brought to my attention that my blog hasn't been sending its usual 2:00 a.m. emails to my subscribers.  At first, I was in denial about it... that is, until I received the following email:
 
I don't know WHY the email sent 14 posts for the month of January in ONE single email.
 
Just so you know, I've been blogging... almost daily this month.  Don't believe me?  Visit the blog:
 
 
Yep, add it to your favorites to check back and get your fix (in my mind, you actually noticed you hadn't received any updates).
 
While I figure out the email alerts (with the Blogger support team), I've changed the blog email alerts to publish posts immediately. 
 
THIS IS A TEST!
 
Did you get the email?  Can you SEE me?
 
*fingers crossed*
 
I have a lot of updates (party 1, party 2, big girl room, family room and more) so we need to get this fixed ASAP!
 
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Friday, January 24, 2014

31 - The Family Celebration

 
Birthdays of the Past
 
23 - Pregnant. Hubbs hosted a surprise dinner at our apartment.  It was for me and my close friends. It was a beautiful night!
 
24 - A Girls Night Out.
 
24 - Fondue dinner with my boo.
 
25 - Surprise party.
 
25 - He is always in on the surprise.
 
26 - Surprise party.
 
26 - Bday trip to Atlantic City.
 
27 - Surprise bday lunch
 
28 - Surprise bday dinner.
 
29 - Surprise trip to Jamaica from my parents.
 
30 - Cruise to the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Virgin Islands with my parents and friends.
 
31 - Family dinner with my birthday twin, Olivia.
 
...
 
As you can probably imagine from the pics, my birthdays are always pretty awesome.  It's weird, though.  I've never asked or expected to have a major birthday *thing* each year.  Since my 21st surprise birthday party and, as long as I've been with Hubbs, he (and my fab friends) has gone out of his way to MAKE my birthdays awesome.  
 
As a matter of fact, I'd come to the point that when people would ask for my birthday plans, I would say I wanted to do NOTHING.
 
No party. No get-together. No stress on the people I love.
 
This year, for the first time in my adult life, I decided to get my own birthday ball rolling.  I'm 30 - 1 and I can make my own stress-free birthday plans.
 
Step 1 - reach out to Mom and put in my requests.
 
Growing up, we didn't have a lot.  Don't get me wrong - it was always more than enough but, thinking back, we didn't have a lot by any means.
 
When it was your birthday, you had two options - a party or money ($10/year).  After my tenth party extravaganza, I chose the money every year and my greedy copycat little brothers followed suit.
 
In addition to the birthday funds, we got a family birthday dinner where the birthday guest of honor chose the menu.  My birthday menu every year?
 
Lasagna.  Egg rolls.  Mom's cake (any cake because my mommy can bake her buns off - get it? BUNS? hee hee).
 
For my birthday this year, I called my mom and put in my request for lasagna and egg rolls.  I also added my favorite childhood desserts - orange truffles (or orange balls) and cornflake chews (or corn flake balls).
 
I sent out a text to my nearest and dearest.
 
I purchased a simple but fab little dress.
 
I threw on my Christmas 2013 Louboutins.
 
I made my hair appointment and BOOM!  Party.
 
Dad made his famous egg rolls:
 
 
Homemade pizzas:
 
 
Italian Wedding Soup:
 
 
My brudder, Mike, made lasagna.  I was skeptical but it was really good:
 
 
Mom made grown-up s'mores (graham crackers with homemade toffee/caramel spread and various yummy toppings) and orange truffles:
 
She put them in her pretty serveware I purchased from the Goodwill still in the BRAND NEW IZAAC MIZRAHI box for $2.99!  Thrifting Pros, toldya.
 
Corn Flake chews:
 
 
And my parents set it all up for a great casual eat-n-chat atmosphere:
 
While we're on the subject of food, can we talk about my birthday cake?
 
 
Misty came to my home to deliver Olivia's birthday cake (more on that coming next week) and asked for some ideas for my birthday cake design.  I told her whatever she came up with would be fab and to send me the invoice (Hubbs was responsible for the cake).
 
I called Misty before the lunch and reminded her to send the invoice with Sheena (who was picking up the cake).  She said she would.  Imagine my surprise when Sheena walks in with a beautiful cake and tells me my invoice is HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
 
I just love Misty.  Great vendors make great friends.
 
I know what you're thinking and, while I love them, my favorite part isn't the fabulous boobies that Misty put on the sunbathing cake topper me:
 
 
My favorite part of her design is near and dear to my heart; it's based upon MY BLOG LOGO/DESIGN!!!
 
 

 

 
The flowers, the colors, the anchor, the -- EVERYTHING.
 
I just love it.
 
I shared my birthday with Olivia and we had a photo-op to show our ONE-ness:
 
 
Whenever someone would ask, "Olivia, how old are you?"  This would be her response:

 
I remember practicing ones with Z...
 
From Munchface's first birthday party. More to come in a throwback post soon.

 
It was an awesome birthday surrounded by awesome people :)
 
 
The little ones had mini fashion shows and giggled all over the house.  The men enjoyed drinks by the fire.  The women were chatting and hanging out in the kitchen.  Man, after the birthday song, everyone came up to the main level and the sounds of birthday hit me.
 
There was noise and laughter, food and fun, first-time meetings and cake... It was officially a birthday party.  Mike pulled out his video camera, Mom turned on the Beyoncé and the wiggling commenced. 
 

The Dance Contest

They both won $3
 
As folks packed up, my mom washed dishes while my dad flirted and wiggled around the kitchen; it was like birthdays of my past... Our family may have grown but its quintessence still remains - food, fun and LOVE are what makes my birthdays complete!
...
 
We headed home and, almost immediately upon our arrival, I got a text that Munch's school was closed.  I was officially snowed in with the Hubbs and the Munchface.
 
While chilling in the birthday aftermath with the snow coming down, my doorbell rang.
 
Two little people holding two little cupcakes arrived.
 
 
It was 'Queda and her little sweeties, Junie and Gilly.  She came to uphold our running tradition to take a shot of tequila on my birthday.  The grumpy 31 year old within me was shocked and busy and slightly annoyed and trying to clean and on a teleconference and working on a serious deadline but... After a moment, I was good.  I relaxed and realized I needed to enjoy this thoughtful surprise :)

 
Shots - done.  Breakfast?

 
Done.
 
A fabulous birthday spent with the people who matter most in my life?
 
Done. Done. DONE!
 
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WW: My Blog-Inspired Birthday Cake

Wordless Wednesdays
 
 
 
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

30+1

It's here.  It's finally here.  31.

I'm 31.

As in, 30 plus one years old.

As if that wasn't enough to rock my world, my birthday twin, Olivia, is 1.

While I acknowledge I still have several outstanding goals and things I want to improve about myself, being 30+1 feels great.

I don't have anything to prove to anyone. I feel accomplished.  I feel complete. I feel at peace.

Confident.

Loved.

WOW!  30+1 is a great place to be.

Yesterday, I celebrated with family.  It was a good time with those people I hold dear to my heart.  YAY for being another year older, wiser and greater :)


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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mama Clicks - The Brown Maternity Shoot


I don't believe I ever shared the images I captured during the Brown Family Maternity Photo Shoot.
You may recall the peek of some images from the Made In Paris baby shower gallery wall (read more here):
I took these photos when Sheena was nearly full-term.  She was glowing.  Her stomach was flawless and we all were really excited.
ENJOY!






Even the outtakes were cute:




My friends were fabulous from head:


To toe:


Aren't their shoes adorable?!



 My goal for this photo shoot was to showcase that my friends, their love, her belly and, NOW, even our not-so-much-anymore baby are:

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Meet The New Pup.

Well, if you follow me on Instagram, you already e-met our new dog.  That ball of naps and fat rolls photographed above chose his ow...

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