Monday, November 6, 2017

Lena Turns 3!

Another year has flown by!
Hold on to your horses, Lena is 3! 

Lena is now in preschool learning all the important life lessons! She's hard-headed but sweet as pie and definitely marches to the beat of her very own drum. In fact, she may have her own band for all we know! She's the comedian in the family and when she gets on a roll we just sit and laugh which encourages her to keep up the entertainment. She loves to tell you how it is (or isn't) just as much as she loves to give you a kiss and hug and make sure that you're happy and that you're loving life as much as she is!

We couldn't decide on one party theme because Lena loves everything from Dora, to Princess' to Barbie to Captain Underpants and Professor Poopy Pants! But, one thing that she really does love are horses and if you know her, you know well that she is wild! Also, if you ask Lena how old she is now she'll tell you she's 'FREE'! So that's how I decided on 'Young Wild and 'FREE' (Three) for her party theme. 

We decided to use our family's barn so we made couches out of bails of straw for seating and added tables and chairs (we may have been watching the Buckeyes lose too, unfortunately). Thank you to my awesome family for always embracing my crazy party planning ideas; they really do all of the hard work! I'm thankful to have family that loves to be involved and works diligently to bring these visions to life for our girls. It always turns out way better than I imagine. 

Meet Albie and Rebel! 

All of the kids loved visiting with the horses and the horses love the attention...and the apples!

I purchased hobby horses for the girls to race with; Lena named them 'Abigail' and 'Spirit'. I can't tell you how much fun we had with these! I ordered the sewn heads and then assembled them myself with some poly fill, hot glue and a dowel rod stick - super easy and endless fun! 

They also decorated funny horse masks with colored pencils and stickers; always good to have a craft on hand! And everything I bought was stick-on so no glue or tape needed - bonus!

Take home trail mix! 

And for the cake! I made a vanilla, confetti cake just to be fun! I even put cookies on sticks to top it off! I think Lena really enjoyed her cake; especially the part where everyone sings to her. How cute is that horse balloon? I wish I would've gotten ten more of those!

I worried just a little throughout the week about the weather and it couldn't have been further from what they were forecasting for the day, it was PERFECT weather. The sun came out, no rain in sight and we were able to spend most of the whole day outside. We taught Lena and her friends how to make smore's and I'm pretty sure they loved them and loved eating the chocolate that goes on them too(sorry parents)! 

It's always tough to catch moments on such a busy day but we were able to quickly snap one of the fam! 

And the proud big sis, Laila, who is always such a big helper to me and loves to plan parties as much as I do!

Thank you to friends here and to family that drove hours just to spend the day with us. We love making memories with all of you that will last us and the girls a lifetime.
To Lena, my baby, may you always be
'Young, Wild and FREE!'
You set our hearts on fire, kid. 


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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


Tuesday, March 14, 2017


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! 


  • 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

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!