Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Over the Moon! Our Hot Air Balloon Baby Shower.

Hello friends!  Long time, I know.  Believe me, I KNOW.  I have been drowning in a sea of children, the type of sea that happens when you have 4 children in 5 years.  It has been quite the experience and I plan to come back and blog about it....but today I am here to share with you pictures and thoughts about the most fun baby shower I have ever thrown!  (So sad it's over!!)

It all started about 8 months ago when my dear friend Tammy divulged to me and our good friend, Lissi, that she was expecting her first baby.  Excitement filled our (Lissi and Joy) souls: A. because Tammy was having a BABY (!!!) and B. because at 30 years old I don't have many opportunities to throw a good friend her BIG baby know, the one that comes with having your first baby?  Yeah, it had been awhile for both Lissi and I.  It was ON!

We started plotting.  Yes, even before the gender was announced, Lissi and I were scouring Pinterest (world's best invention, why didn't I think of that!?) for ideas.  Finally the day came, we were told it was a boy, and the real planning began.  Believe me when I tell you that this shower was months in the making, and for that reason I am resurecting my blog from the depths of blogger so that I can post pictures and links to the goodness.  

We decided on a 'hot air balloon' theme.  After wracking our brains we came up with an idea for the invitation and I set out to make it in photoshop.  I used these balloon elements for the balloon and some clouds I had in my digital scrapbooking archive.  This is what I came up with.  Once it came alive on screen, I KNEW I was going to have to have it press printed, and I am so glad we did!!!  It was gorgeous in person, I wish you could reach out and touch it through your computer screen.  Yummy!!!

Next came the decorations, and I must say they turned out pretty darn cute.  I sewed some circle banners together in the colors we had chosen for the theme of the shower.  I made some flat hot air balloons that I also sewed in banner form to hang from the middle of the chandelier.

We found the cutest hot air balloon centerpiece on pinterest from the Basic Grey blog that we recreated in our theme colors.  It turned out absolutely adorable!  (Side note, do not use your teeth as a third hand when trying to build hot air balloon centerpieces.  You might end up chipping said teeth and look like a hillbilly.  Fair warning.)

We were in the living room for a lot of the time so I made another circle banner and also a banner made from rain clouds.

Back in the dining room, I covered my family picture wall with coordinating scrapbook papers to the theme of the shower (geometric and hot air balloon.)  It worked really well and added that little something extra!

Our menu consisted of Croissant Ham Sandwiches, Yogurt and Berry Parfaits, Egg Tartlets, Fruit, Cinnamon Danish, and Nutella Danish.  Let me just say...YUM!!!   Everything turned out amazing, which was lucky since I hadn't made some of them until that shower.  We also had a yummy punch that Lissi brought that rounded it off so well.

Yeah, let's see that Nutella Danish up close again....It was AMAZING!!!

So, instead of the typical baby shower games, we decided to make onsies for Tammy in all different sizes so her little guy would be sporting duds made by all the women who already love him.  We had all different fabrics and shapes to choose from, and just ironed on the shapes.  It was a really fun activity and the onsies turned out super cute!

I just realized I forgot to get pictures of our parting gift!!!  I can't believe it.  I will have to search through my images again tomorrow to be sure.

I am bummed because I didn't get any pictures of Tammy, Lissi, and I together or I would post it.  I have lots of candids of the shower but since this is a public blog I will refrain from posting them to respect the guest's privacy.

Thanks for looking!  If you have any questions on how we did anything, let me know.  :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Been Awhile....

I haven't blogged in a really long time. I have been asked a few times if I am watching the Bachelorette, which OF COURSE I am, and, as always, I have strong opinions about it! Unfortunately, I just have not had the energy to blog. Why???
Yep, number four is on the way. Don't worry, number 3 is only 8 months old, so we are looking at a 14 month age gap. Heaven help me!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


So, who else is completely addicted to the show Extreme Couponing on TLC? I have to admit that not only am I addicted....I am obsessed! Sure, in the past I have seen the occasional Facebook post from a friend, attaching a picture of groceries and boasting about how little they spent on them. Yes, I was intrigued, but after seeking information online, I quickly wrote off the whole 'coupon game'.

Until now.

Thanks to a good friend's advice and a renewed sense of I-can-do-this-ness, I have re-entered the land of the coupon...and IT. IS. ADDICTIVE.

Now, I am not nearly as skilled as those extreme couponers you see on television- remember, I am just a baby at the coupon game. But I am excited to say that in just one day of couponing, I scored some awesome deals! Seriously, getting these items for free or dirt cheap gave me a high like you would not believe. I literally had to make myself stay home tonight and not continue bouncing around the town's grocery stores, flaunting my new coupon skills. Check. Me. Out!

Store One: Target
Total Spent: $3.26

grocery 1

This was my first attempt at going in and using some 'killer deal' coupons. I had a coupon for more than the worth of the floss, so that was FREE! (Husband had to hear my squawk about the free floss all night, I was so proud.) The next killer deal- the Lysol Wipes. They were already on a great sale at $1.89, combined with a coupon for $1.50 off made them 39 CENTS! EACH! Dying!! Lastly the Dishwasher Powerballs. These weren't as cheap as the others, but still a fabulous deal. They started at $2.99 and I had a $1.75 coupon making them $1.24 a piece. These are de-lux, so I am happy about that!

Next up: Kroger
Total Spent: $11.15

grocery 3

Kroger is having a KILLER DEAL on General Mills cereal right now, buy 4 boxes, get a $5 gift card to Kroger. On top of that, there were a few cereals that were also on sale during the promotion- making it almost like a buy one, get one free deal. Combined with a coupon....dang good deal! I ended up spending about $1.15 a box. I have never paid so little for cereal before- including generic! LOOK at those huge boxes of cheerios! Can you tell I am puffed up in pride?

Last but not least, CVS.
Total Spent: $0.97

grocery 2

First I would just like to apologize to CVS for my past ignorance of their awesomeness. You can definitely score some incredible deals there, and they love to accept coupons. They give you coupons the moment you walk in, and also easy care bucks to come back and shop again. Combined with amazing sales and coupons...easy place to score a deal.

I got all of this (see that free floss again?) for 97 CENTS!!! Beaming! Love it! The toothbrushes were a dollar a piece (on sale from 5) and I had a buy 2, get $2 off coupon. So they were free. The dressings were the only thing I paid for, and they were about 38 cents a piece after a coupon.

I am really getting into the coupon thing.

Now, tell me. Are you a couponer? Do you love it? What sites do you love?

I still have some questions about coupons. My main ones are:

What is the difference in the newspaper inserts SS and RP compaired to the online SS and RP? Are they different?

On the show, how do people buy 100's of an item at one time? Every coupon I see says 'limit one per transaction'. Is this not a real concern?

I saw the advice that I need to look for the 'rock bottom prices' on the things I buy and never buy above that again. Are there any good sites that maybe have already compiled a list of sale prices?? Can you share?

Thanks for letting me have a moment. To say I was giddy about my savings is a total understatement. After seeing my cereal stash, my husband informed me that, "There is a fine line between an extreme couponer and a hoarder."

That's probably true.

Monday, April 11, 2011


So. We are moving.

We aren't moving far, but still, we are moving. Most of you that can relate to the stress that accompanies a move. Please pardon my looooong blog absence.

Over the next few months I will be coming here, pleading for opinions, as we basically have to start over with home furnishings. I am also going to attempts some 'do it yourself' projects (eep!), and I will come here to share. I am nervous but excited!!!

Anyhow, my first question comes in the form of TABLES. Dining room tables, to be exact. We need a large table for our dining room, but it can't be too formal (we will eat there every night), and it must be large enough to seat 6-8. Have you seen one you love? Have one you love? I have been mulling over the look of Farmhouse tables....thoughts?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Goodbye Little Dreamers.

For those of you who digi scrap, like I used-to-but-haven't-since-I-started-photography-but-still-totally-buy-digiscrap-products-with-the-hope-that-someday-I-will-start-again, you were probably mourning the loss of Little Dreamers Designs with me. That was my all time favorite place to shop for digiscrap supplies, I thought they had the cutest things. I will just go ahead and admit that I am a Michelle Coleman junkie, and it is NOT okay with me that she is quitting. ;)

Anyway. You can still buy her products until April 15th, so hurry over and stock up before it's too late.

Also, she sent a nice email to her customers with a link to a NEW shop in 'town', named Digital Dandelions. I haven't had time to scour their site, but I did skim and it looks pretty cute. So perhaps there is hope. Perhaps tonight I need not drown my digiscrap sorrows in a big piece of delicious chocolate cake.....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dear Emily...

Since I have about .3 seconds before my baby starts to cry (he is currently doing 'tummy time' on the floor and NOT thrilled about it) let me just skip through all the mundane details leading up to the final rose last night. Brad picked Emily, and the whole world rejoiced. Poor, 'widowed', single-mom Emily finally has her fairytale coming true! Brad made her (and our room full of girls) cry when he professed his devotion to her and her daughter-even after she had given him the 3rd degree about being a dad and beaten the dead cat into the ground about how NOT fun that is...
Chantel made a very classy exit, uttering heartbreaking words about how she could have been so wrong about him ever loving her at all....sigh....

Then came After The Final Rose where it all fell apart. WHAT in the WORLD has gotten into Emily? Poised, classy Emily turned into the Ice Princess. She was cold...stand-off-ish, and just...SO uncomfortable to watch. Does she love Brad? Do you think she is happy to be the final one standing? What about his temper? What about HER temper??? I can't believe that she is falling apart while watching the episodes, that is as annoying as when girls who are on the show complain about him dating other women. Seriously? Her whole demeanor was killing me. Her 'I love yous' seemed shallow and empty. I felt really sad. Sad for Brad.

When the final episode ended, I felt like Brad had made the right choice choosing Emily.
When After the Rose ended, I felt like he had definitely made the wrong choice.

What do you think?

In other news, I had a little gathering at my house to watch the finale, and each of us brought a little treat to share. There were some YUMMY foods consumed (especially by this stress-eater right here!) and I thought I would share my treat since it turned out so yummy.

So if any of you have ever heard of Popcorn Indiana popcorn company, they make delicious popcorn in all flavors....and my friend, Amber, turned me on to their cinnamon sugar kettle corn.

It is ADDICTIVE!!! So yesterday as I passed it in the store, I thought to myself, "Hey, I can make it at home!" So I pulled out my Whirly Pop and gave it a go....and it turned out SO good!

Here is the recipe:

Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn

1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup cinnamon/sugar mixture
3/4 teaspoon salt

Pour oil and popcorn kernels into popper, spin them around until you hear the first kernels popping. Lift lid and pour in 1/2 cup sugar. Continue to spin until popping stops (this happens all at once and can be crazy loud there for a minute!)

Carefully pour into a bowl and then IMMEDIATELY sprinkle salt and cinnamon/sugar mixture over the popcorn. I found it works best to pour onto a shallow wide bowl instead of a deep bowl in order to get the salt/cinnamon/sugar mixture evenly on there.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Where to Begin?

I feel like a broken record when I say that, once again, I have totally neglected this blog for too long. I come with excuses!

First, we took a FABULOUS trip to the Bahamas. We stayed at Atlantis and it. was. amazing. I would recommend it to anyone, is the PERFECT family vacation spot. Tons of pools, water slides, lazy river, CRAZY river, beach, sand, ocean....we never ran out of things to do or got bored. The whole resort is one HUGE aquarium, it is a visual feast where ever you go. Our kids 'oohed and aahed' over the fish every single day. The food was wonderful, the people were SO nice and willing to help us in any was the best trip. We are going to be talking about this one for a long, long time!

After we returned, however, my baby boy came down with a nasty cough which landed him an overnight stay in the hospital. I wasn't SUPER worried, just felt really bad for him and his misery. Luckily he is doing better, on some medication, inhalers, etc, and on the road to recovery. I hope to recover from my extreme lack of sleep soon.

Lastly, we have been in the process of buying a new home. I am SO thrilled with the prospect of adding more space to our lives. Since the boy was born, we have felt the walls of our town home become more and more cramped, and we are definitely ready to move on. We have been consumed with loans, furniture, fences, appliances...all the fun things that come with a new space. I will definitely be coming here to ask for thoughts and opinions on decor- I think we MIGHT just attempt to put up a picture rail on our own...and a little wainscoting? Maybe??

Throughout all this, I have been, of course, keeping up with my precious Bachelor. I am SO EXCITED for the finale next week, I just can't wait for him to make his choice! I watched the Women Tell All while I was in the hospital, and I was really surprised how nuts Jackie went on Michelle. Why she was taking it SO personally, I do not know. I am glad Brad stuck up for Michelle, I believe that she probably was just being sarcastic. As much as she annoyed me, if she hadn't been there, I probably wouldn't have been nearly as entertained!