Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

Mother's Day is an awesome day, isn't it? Although it's a day that fills our homes and hearts with happiness and love, it also can be a day of remembrance and/or pain for others. Some have lost their mothers, some are yearning to be mothers and some just don't have a relationship with their mother. Being a mom is a choice. It's a sacrifice. It's the most worrisome, most stressful, most imperfect, lowest paying salaried job a woman can have. But at the same time it can be the most rewarding, most fulfilling life achievement. At one point in my life I didn't think my mom knew anything, now I know she knew everything. It's looking at my children and appreciating what my mother did and what her mother did. Understanding that life isn't perfect and there will be storms but that mothers can provide the shelter we need to get through those storms. Motherhood is messy, sticky and beautiful. 

I always like to treat mom on Mother's Day, she deserves it! My mother-in-law too! Without these two ladies our family would be most incomplete. 

I wanted to do something easy so that we could all enjoy the day without having a lot of planning to do so I decided on a flatbread pizza party! I asked my girls what we should have to eat and they said, 'pizza!'(definitely my children with that answer). I thought, we could easily pull that off! 

We gathered all of our favorite toppings and daddy and Laila took orders and made pizzas!



We had a Mom-osa bar with sparkling, raspberry mimosa's! 


The table was set with little photo frames filled with photos from our Mother's Day photo shoot; a gift given by my hubby. 



I took the day off from baking to enjoy some family time but that didn't mean we didn't have dessert! Thanks to Nothing Bundt Cakes we enjoyed a magnificently, tasty strawberries and cream bundt cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert! I had to dress it up a bit with flowers to match our centerpiece, of course. 


However you spent your Mother's Day, I hope that you had a little bit of peace and an over abundance of happiness and love fill your heart, as I did. 


Thank you mom for being the strongest, most loving and most supportive mom a girl could ask for. You prepared me to be a mom and I continue to look up to you and strive to be more like you every day. Maybe someday.


Thank you hubby for always making me feel so special. I will treasure these memories forever. 


"As a mother my job is take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible." 
~Ruth Bell Graham


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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

ATTENTION SHOPPERS! Laila turned 5!


In the blink of an eye, we have a 5 year old! And she's loving every minute of it. It was her coldest birthday to date but we didn't let that slow us down one bit!





Laila was set on a Shopkins theme for her birthday this year. What exactly ARE these things? Cute, little, rubbery, plastic grocery store items with eyes and personalities and they're strung from one end of my house to the other; that's all I know.
They're the craze, the rage, the coolest and you must collect them all!!

We had all of Laila's favorite things...

Cheese Pizza! 

Mom's Cookies!


And Coloring! 

We also had chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing - of course! And two kinds of cheddar 'poppy corn'. 






Laila helped put together a cup full of Shopkins goodies for each of her friends. They contained markers, a notepad, a pencil, an eraser and tattoos! They had fun sharing and using the markers. 



We had to break out the pinata! It was super fun for kids this age so I would highly recommend it at your next kiddo party. All of the kids LOVED hitting it and it's funny how serious and determined children can be when they know there is candy involved! Hilarious!



We used Shopkins photo props so that Laila could take pictures with some of her friends!  Aren't they adorable?



These two are so cute! 



And these two couldn't have been more excited!



Laila loves purple so I threw together mostly purple flowers with a pop of yellow and placed them in little shopping baskets on the tables. We were ignoring the 29 degree weather! 


It was a great day and Laila had tons of fun spending her birthday and making memories with friends and family that she loves. She's becoming a little lady that loves to read and color and she has a creative imagination and a love for dance. She's polite and dare I say, wise beyond her years. Kindergarten registration is scheduled so let the fun (and tears) begin! I know she's going to kill it. 

Happy Birthday to my very first everything!
 I'm definitely the lucky one. 







Friday, December 30, 2016

And....That's A Wrap! And A Holiday Drink Recipe!

As we approach the last day of 2016, how was it? Was it a great year? A terrible year? Either way, I hope Santa found his way to you this year. 



It was a good year! It was a year of bumps in the road and hard lessons learned but I think it was also a year of growth as well. And by growth I don't mean that I lost and gained 10 pounds because I sample buttercream on the reg. Not that kind of growth! Growth in spirit, marriage and family. Sometimes in the midst of our daily, busy routines it's hard to stop, relish in the moment of life, and be thankful for the blessings God has provided. Next year, as I make a resolution to not make a resolution, I promise myself to be better at not taking simple, everyday blessings for granted.  Please tell me you'll include yourself in this as well! 

The 'bakery' was created this year as a fun, side adventure to my full time job and full time family and it took off like a bullet! I have enjoyed creating treats that I had no idea I could make. Thanks to my customers each order is like opening a new gift - surprise! I had a lot of fun creating holiday cookies and continuing traditions with the girls as we decorated and prepared for all of the holiday festivities. It's also fun to see their little minds go off into creativity land and watch them pile on all of their favorites and then some! I made some snowman shaped cupcakes and put out some fun toppings for them to use. The more 'stuff' the better to them.






Some of my favorites from this season were the Santa faces. I did a couple of different versions and I'm happy to say that most were sad when these were gone! Yum! 



And of course we can't forget the cake for  baby Jesus. This is what it's about for me; not all of the crazy hoop-la that the holidays bring each year. Christmas for me is about the birth of our Lord and Savior; not about what gifts you're buying for uncle Paulie whom you haven't seen since last Christmas. Anyone with me? 

This year I made a white cake with a cranberry filling and iced it with orange buttercream and topped it with sugared cranberries and rosemary leaves. 



It was delicious! The tastes were subtle, not strong and perfect for the holiday season. 

We also tried some chocolate sugar cookies - so good! The consistency is a bit different but we loved them in our house, perfectly sweet! 


To wash all of these cookies down we had Cranberry Orange Holiday punch! A few of you have asked me what the recipe is so I posted it below. It's perfect for any pre and/or post holiday get together! 



Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups cranberry juice
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • ⅓ cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • ⅓ cup Agave In The Raw
  • 2 cups club soda
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 7 orange wedges
  • 7 cinnamon sticks

Instructions: 
Mix together the first five ingredients. You can add the ice to the punch or just add it to each, individual glass so it's not watered down. Throw in some cranberries, apples, oranges and a cinnamon stick!

      Enjoy and...spike it if you'd like!

                That's a wrap!

Thank you for following along this year! A clean slate is coming your way so wipe it clean and start again. Enjoy each day and celebration as the blessing that it is. Cherish your true friends and family and the memories you're about to make in 2017! 

Happy New Year from my family to yours!
xo










Sunday, November 6, 2016

Oink, Cluck, Moo!



Lena is Two!


 It's a Barnyard Brunch! Or as we called it, Barnhart Barnyard Brunch...too much? Any way you say it, my baby is 2! To be completely honest, this one was tough for me. My BABY, who is really not so much a baby now is NOT a baby. I.just.can't! I fought off tears the day before and the day of her birthday; any other mom's with me on this or am I just a special crazy? Am I going to be that mom crying and clawing herself away from the school bus when my baby starts school too? Ok, enough! 



Ever since we realized that Lena really likes animals I've been planning her barnyard brunch.  She loves to make all the animal noises and she shows interest and compassion towards real life animals. I love this about her because I too like animals but her big sis is just not the animal lover, bless her heart.  

Since we couldn't use our real barn for the party we just brought the barn to our house which was almost just as fun. I had a vision for what I wanted our porch to look like and once I shared a little direction to some family members they made it happen - thank you fam! We added mums and pumpkins and items from our barn such as a pitch fork, and an old horse saddle. It was easy to use our own resources to make this happen. 









For the menu I kept it a farm brunch theme with chicken n' waffles, a vegetable garden, fresh fruit, mini assorted quiche and 'chick' deviled eggs and of course, pigs n' a blanket. I thought it would be nice to have a variety of different juices, chocolate and strawberry milk as well as a 'watering hole' and coffee. 





And last but not ever least, dessert! I've had this little recipe burning a hole in my brain for a while now; just waiting for the perfect event to make them for - cornbread cupcakes with honey buttercream! These were delicious and I'll be making these again for sure. They would be excellent for a barbecue themed party as well. I would be lying if I said they didn't melt in your mouth.


 Circleville is known for their pumpkin donuts and since it was a brunch I thought donuts would make a perfect cake so a pumpkin donut cake it was! Everyone loves these donuts, especially family members who traveled since they can't enjoy them at any time like we can. I threw in some fun donuts for the girls because everything is better with rainbow sprinkles, right? And a birthday is just not a birthday without sugar cookies! Chicks, cows, horses and pigs completed the dessert table. 





Guests left with their choice of cow tale - MOO! 



We had lots of fun and couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day in November to have a birthday party! This old horse saddle came in handy too; we got lots of good pictures with it. I cannot resist this one, sorry honey! It's so sweet. 


 Little Lena has been a complete joy to our family. She can be stubborn and spike a temper but she is so sweet and loving. She makes every day a lot funnier and a lot less serious. Her life is precious to me and I thank God for his continued blessings upon our family. 

Happy Birthday, my sweet, sweet girl.