Friday, May 30, 2014

Jonah's 2nd Birthday Invites

Today I'm (finally) sharing Jonah's second birthday invitations. Y'all. I whipped these up waaay back before I went to China and sent them to print before I left. You could say that I like to be prepared?? (Okay, too prepared sometimes!?)

I created these in Photoshop and had them printed at Overnight Prints (love the quality of their matte cardboard!). I snagged the die cuts on Etsy along with the twine and made my own Cookie Monster attachment. I purchase the kraft envelopes in bulk at Hobby Lobby (for half price, no less). They're a steal.

I'm so excited to celebrate Jonah turning TWO with our friends and family. He loves, loves his Cookie so this is a really special party to me. I think his preppy invites turned out so adorably!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cookie Monster turns TWO {Party Planning Essentials}

It was inevitable, y'all. This Cookie birthday party has been a long time coming. Jonah totes his little blue friend to breakfast, to school, to the mailbox, to restaurants, the park, he goes shopping with us, and even into the bathroom for bath time (where I have a strict little talk about Cookie not liking the water) so he waits for Jonah to finish up on the bathroom counter. And, of course, he goes to sleep with Jonah.

They're the very best of friends. Jonah and his "took-ie".

I love to plan and list, so I thought it would be fun to share how I plan his parties and allow you follow along with all of the birthday planning fun. 

Step 1: Determine your color scheme. 

Cookie is blue. Duh. So naturally we're going with Cookie Royal Blue, and I've decided to add Navy, Turquoise and Kelly green. I added additional colors to make it feel more festive and summery (and not as Cookie cutesy!!).

Step 2: Find a style of party decor that you're inspired by. Focus on patterns you like and an overall feel.

I intentionally choose a preppy color scheme for this Cookie party. A plain Cookie party isn't really my style, so I had to make it feel more "me", if that makes sense? There's nothing more classic than Kelly Green and Navy, right? So I was intentional about that because I know I want to use classic canopy stripes and polka dots throughout the party decor. 

Here are a few photos I was inspired by + the details I like about each:

I made Jonah a fabric ribbon garland last year, and really like the one above with chunky strips. The table decor is not my favorite.

Stripes and polka dots. Preppy colors. I'm using this photo to get an idea of what our colors look like together. It makes planning simple when you can find an image that has the color scheme you're planning around. 

This is an adorable idea for an outdoor drink station!

Jonah loves fruit- I like this colorful fruit pizza. It would be super easy to make and these are always a party hit!

Cookie Monster party hat. I mean. Is that not the cutest ever?!

Step 3: Party Venue/Location & Time

We are having a morning park party for Jonah's second birthday. He loves to slide and play. A park does make decorating a little tricky so I'm sticking with easy party decor, nothing over the top or complicated. Just sweet and simple. I'll probably have one food table (with his cake) that looks cute and cover the rest with plain Kraft paper. 

I went back and forth debating a party time for Jonah's park party. I ultimately decided on a 10AM time because I think it will be cooler outside than a mid-day or afternoon party. Nobody likes to be hot and cranky. Texas heat is just brutal, y'all.

As far as food goes, I'm still thinking about that one. 10 AM is really brunch-ish so I'm going to brainstorm a few ideas and see what I can find that's filling and also appropriate for the time.

Step 4: Invitations

Choose an invite that gives guest an idea of what the party will be like. Fun, whimsical, themed, etc.. Honestly, I could be the pickiest person ever about party invites. I like them to be special, unique and printed on high quality paper. I have an insane love of paper goods, so I will be designing Jonah's invite (although Etsy has TONS of great options).

This year I printed Jonah's invites from a new source I found- Overnight Prints. I am so pleased with the quality of the paper and printing! Check them out if you want to print your own (also, their prices are really reasonable!).


How do you plan your parties? Any special tips? Let's dish.

Also, I'll be sharing the party crafts over the next couple of weeks, so check back often!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Key Lime Mousse Pie

As soon as summer rolls around, or it starts getting warm outside I start craving Key Lime Pie. It's probably my favorite pie of all time. Period. It's tangy and sweet. Perfect for a warm summer day. Or, perfect for a holiday!

In my opinion chocolate makes Key Lime Pie even better. In Seaside, FL there's a cute little dessert shop that sells Key Lime Pie on a stick, DIPPED in the most delicious dark chocolate. I mean. Really. I dream about that dessert. So I decided to search for and make a layered version that included a dark chocolate.

I found this recipe online- Key Lime Mousse Pie, and modified it to suit my needs (a 9x13 casserole dish with a lid, for handy travel purposes!). I used this recipe for the larger graham cracker crust I needed. Then, just doubled the mousse from the first recipe. You guy. It turned out amazing. This one is definitely a keeper!!

So. Stinking. YUM.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park- Hill Country, Canyon Lake TX

You guys. We had so, SO, so much fun on our long weekend camping trip. We headed out Friday evening to Canyon Lake near Austin. From Houston it was a full 3.5 hour drive for us. Jonah did great with a little Blue Bell treat mid-way and once we got to the cabin was full speed ahead for a couple more hours. This trip was so fun because he is old enough to get excited about things now. It's the coolest to watch.

We made a meal plan before we left, and purchased groceries accordingly. Some of the things we made were- eggs benedict (YUM!!), breakfast tacos, homemade Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream (y'all, this was crazy delicious), and we grilled burgers and boudin. We ate SO good you guys. We had the best time hanging out on the front porch of Cabin 36. The park has planned activities every hour or so. The little guys aren't old enough for a lot of it, but we did participate in the evening glow stick hey-hey rides, and made great use of the splash pad and pool. They also have a huge bouncy pillow that the Dads liked more than the little guys. The boys LOVED the weekend. They roamed around the park and played so well together (of course their favorite thing to say is still, "MINE"!). We stayed outside most of the weekend, laughing, talking, eating and making the very best memories.

If you've ever considered "roughing it" but don't want to stay in a tent- I highly recommend Jellystone Park's cabins. Our deluxe cabin had two nice sized bedrooms with a queen bed and a bunk in each room. The bedrooms also have their own bathroom with a good size tub/shower combo. Our cabin had a full kitchen which was so nice because we prepared a ton of our meals there. We didn't really "rough it" at all, but were still able to camp out with our little dudes. The cabins were really, really clean and much nicer than I even expected inside. The park has golf carts available for rental, as well as bicycles. When Jonah and Carter get bigger they will be able to participate in the camp activities like arts & crafts, laser tag, scavenger hunts and tons of other things.

We will definitely be making lots of future trips to Jellystone with our guys. It was such a fun experience and the best Memorial Day weekend!

I hope you guys had a great one as well! I'll be back soon to begin posting about Jonah's SECOND Birthday which is exactly ONE MONTH AWAY. Insert tears. How can he already be two?!!......

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Memorial Day! {Weekending}

We're headed out this afternoon on a family camping trip. I am BEYOND excited!! We're taking pillows and blankets, even our towels and food! It's completely legit. We rented a two bedroom cabin and I can't wait to make some memories!!

The park is Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park (near Canyon Lake) if you want to look it up. It's totally geared towards kiddos. They have events each weekend, we can't wait to take part in the ice cream social, Memorial Day Parade (you better believe we're decorating our campsite and the boys wagons!!), outdoor movies and even hay rides & water balloon fights.

Follow me on instgram to follow along with our weekend adventures!


How are you guys celebrating the long weekend? Whatever it may be, I hope you enjoy the time with those you love the most!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Itty Bitty Polka Dot Bikini

Probably not. Not that itty bitty part. But, I do love me some polka dots. I'm personally on the hunt for a classic, flirty one-piece (that is flattering). I haven't exactly had an easy time with it, so I thought it would be fun to discuss swimsuits and what a challenge it has been to find something that fits correctly AND I feel confident in. Why is swimsuit shopping so painful?!

Here's my wishlist:
1. Flattering cut
2. Flirty color, or style
3. Leg opening that doesn't squeeze the life out of my thighs
4. A top that stays put so I can play with Jonah
5. Comfortable
6. Vintage style would be preferable

We have several summer trips quickly approaching and I've been on the hunt for a cute suit. I am a huge fan of one-pieces (and was pre-Jonah as well). I love a vintage feel and modest coverage. But not your grandma's swim dress type suit. No ma'am. I don't hate the two piece. I have several and will wear them at times but I ROCK a one-piece. Just love the classic look of a tank.

My list sounds easy, right? Right. Except it's been really, really painful. Really. I'm going to review several suits that I tried and give you the dirty details. And, y'all. I would LOVE to hear your feedback on this topic. Anyone else having any problems finding a fantastic fit in ALL areas?!

Exhibit A: The JCrew Ruched Femme Tank, $98 

CONS: I was reeeeally excited about this one. I googled for reviews and it got great reviews, plus I think it's adorable. I found one NWT on Ebay for $35 so I snagged it for much less than retail. I got it in this week and discovered several things I didn't like. The material is high(er) quality and that's fine, but the ruching is kind of weird. It's thick and feels cumbersome to me. And, the chest area was SO not flattering on me. I felt very old lady wearing it. The straps up top should be thinner or something?? It was just not my favorite when I got it on. At all!

PROS: The leg holes were great, stretchy and flattering. They didn't squeeze the life out of my thighs. That's always a good thing in my book. And, like I said- you can tell the material/fabric is of good quality.

Exhibit B: JCrew Ruched Halter Tank, $98

DETAILS: I'm normally a halter girl. I like feeling secure and have always worn a halter tie top. However, the last couple of years I've switched to strapless (with strap option) so I don't have lines. I'm not a huge fan of swim suit lines so I like being able to add the straps if I want, or keep it strapless if I'm getting some sun. BUT, the reality of this now is- I rarely get sun. I'm chasing Jonah. Keeping him from running on the wet concrete. Pushing him around in a float. You know. The good stuff. So sunning is the least of my concern.

CONS: Same goes with this suit. The ruching was okay, but was just too thick in my opinion. Also, I ordered a D-cup and apparently I over estimated my size, or the sizing was off on the suit they sent me (probably more the case). The cup started ABOVE my chest. Not gonna work, JCrew. Just weird. Maybe it was a long torso labeled as a regular? I don't know. I sent that puppy back.

PROS: Same as above. And, I think if the cup would have fit me properly I would have really liked the overall fit. Also, a great thing about JCrew is they allow you to try on and return anything that doesn't fit you. Hassle free swim shopping.

Link to the suit.

Exhibit C: Merona Strapless Suit, $40 

DETAILS: This suit was reeeeeally close to being the "one" that I bought. But, I was discouraged by the tiny de-tachable straps. I know that's pretty picky of me. But I had already found a suit that I liked better. If I hadn't tried another on first, I would have picked this one. The fabric of the Merona suits is slinkier than the JCrew fabric. It actually lays better in my opinion. I understand that the quality is probably different, but I like the feel better (AND the price point!). It was very flattering on and the leg opening wasn't tight either. So, if you're looking for a cute suit I urge you to check this one out.
(In fact, I might go ahead and buy it as a back up!)

Link to the suit.

Exhibit D: Merona Striped Padded Cup Suit, $35

CONS: This one had a cute fit, but I hated the padded cups. I am not a padded cup kinda girl. But the great fit almost won me over!

PROS: Overall the fit was great. It was really, really flattering on (probably the most flattering due to the ruched panel in the center which had a slimming effect), but I couldn't get past the above. I did like the preppy stripe and the vintage feel of the top. Definitely give it a try-on shot if you're in Target and looking for a cute, flattering one piece!

Exhibit E: THE WINNER! Merona Halter, $35

DETAILS: This one was the winner for me. The color is perfect. The fit is great, and the feel of the fabric is nice. I like that I can tie the straps around my neck like a halter, OR I can tie it in a big center bow if I just so happen to have a moment to lay out in the sun. I like my options. Also, the top of the suit has the sticky bang that makes it secure and stay up above your chest. It's a cute suit and fit me well! Let me know your thoughts if you try it on. (I know every body-type is different.)

Other One-Piece Options:

This one looks cute (padded cups again). It's online but was sold out at my Target. 
Who doesn't love polka dots?!

And, if I was going to spend pretty pennies on suits- this pretty floral one.
Or this coral maillot. Love it.
And my dream one-piece. Right here. Bam.

Also I tried on several suits at Old Navy but YELCH. I didn't like anything about them. The fit was totally funky on me!! BUT- they did have something I loved. I'm a huge fan of rashguards. This option from Old Navy fits really well and is so cute on. 

What do y'all think of these?


Okay you guys. Let's dish. What have you found that worked? Or, didn't work? Would love to hear feedback on this particular topic. Anyone else HATE trying suits on in dressing rooms? Yuck...

Also- other brands? Where do you go to find a cute suit?? Do you like to try them on at home or in store? Let me hear from y'all...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fabric Garland + Balloon Wreath {Birthday Crafternoons}

Jonah's second birthday is right around the corner so I'm revisiting a few fun birthday crafts that I worked on last year and re-sharing my easy peasy tutorials with you.

First up is the cute "ONE" banner and fabric/ribbon garland:

And, who can forget the BEST craft ever- a birthday balloon wreath. It is hands down my favorite and I'm going to use it every single year!!

You can visit the original posts here for more details and specific step-by-step instructions:


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Second Birthday {Celebration Tree}

You guys.

Jonah's second birthday is right around the corner (insert me crying at random times during the day because my baby is getting so big) so I pulled out his party decor last night and started the festivities.

Each year I plan to add photos from his parties. Since he's obviously only had one other birthday I focused on that. I printed his first birthday pics and also pulled out his last sonogram photo as well as the print I made the day I found out our baby's gender. It's so special to me! I clearly remember standing on the bridge at Trinity Hospital holding the paper with the "boy" box checked and feeling SO elated and proud. Jeremy was bursting to tell the entire world at that point. I remember him jumping up from his chair when the tech told us, "you're having a little boy!" and fist pumping the air. It was so cute.

Never in a million years could I have imaged the feeling of BEING a Mom. What a joy it truly is. I'm just so thankful.

I added Jonah's birthday plate to the mix. I painted it for him last year before his big ONE and put his little hand print in there to remember how small he was. I can't wait until he's older and it becomes a special part of his birthday. I fully intend to make him birthday pancakes and serve them to him- complete with sprinkles, whipped cream and candles!

He doesn't really understand yet, and that's okay. He does like to look at photos and point out "Momma", "Daddy" and "No-nah". I told him this morning that his birthday was coming, and we're working on learning how to hold up two fingers when we ask how old he is. He's really at the cutest age. 

{{When I first met my late sister-in-law, Stephanie, what totally inspired me (and still does today) about her Celebration Tree was the birthday editions for Kelsey and Jordan. Every year she added a special birthday photo (one photo for each year of their life) and toootally decked it out with balloons, cupcakes and ribbon. I remember how proud they were of it- eager to show me the photos and decor. It was THEIR birthday month, and it was to be celebrated in a BIG way. Every holiday (big or small) was celebrated. Steph showed such love through her decor. That's exactly what I want to achieve with my decorations for Jonah. To show him how much I love him, just like Steph loved her babies!! It was a gift that she had- making everyone feel special. This week marked the fourth anniversary of her passing. I remembered her on the day. I miss her most every day. Her complete joy for life and her crazy free spirit. I wish that she could be here for Kelsey's graduation next month. And more than anything I wish that I could introduce her to my Jonah. I know she would love him to the moon. I will forever miss my sister.}}

And, since I'm sharing the fabric garland and balloon wreath I thought it would be fun to revisit those crafts on the blog this week.

How do you celebrate birthdays? What traditions or things do you do to make the day special for your babies? I'd love to hear...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monogrammed Hooks {World Market}

I was browsing the intry-net last night and came across a big surprise. It really shouldn't be that big of a surprise to me because World Market has totally begun to step up their home decor game in the last year or so. Anyhow, I stumbled upon these monogrammed letter hooks:

The very (exact!!) same hooks that I've owned for six years now. The ones that I bought from Anthropologie for $14 each. You guys remember these?!

I had them here in our Birmingham house-

And, here they live now, in our apartment-

They were well worth the money I paid because we've used them every single day for the last six years, but they would ESPECIALLY be worth the $7.99 price tag at World Market. That's right. Same product. Less than half the price. 

If you need hooks for your things- these are perfectly cute. Vintage feel and really sturdy. I promise that I've given them a HECK of a workout with our belongings and they're still going strong. (The only difference I see between mine and the WM hooks are the ceramic tip on mine.)

Happy Tuesday, y'all!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Cute Kicks + Play Dresses for Moms

Hi you guys. I'm back from China and haven't missed a step. Literally. Zero jet lag and it feels wonderful.

If you follow me on Instagram I've been living in my polka dot converse. They're so comfy + cute with summer dresses and a cap. Completely my style. I've worn them so much lately I've been on the hunt for other comfy and casual kicks to add to my wardrobe. While searching for a few summer essentials last week I came across the cutest pair from Old Navy of all places. And they're practically a steal of a deal, y'all. I think I got them for $12.80 with a discount coupon. Whattt!? Bright and fun + inexpensive? I'll take two pair!!

I did the hard work for you guys and rounded up the cutest kicks on the block. (These can all be found online at the site I listed by the shoes). Delight in them-

How are you guys mixing + matching your summer wardrobe this year? I'm pairing cute, feminine dresses with sporty spice (Jeremy's favorite thing to call me) shoes and a ball cap. Something so easy and casual about it. Summery.

Also, have you guys heard of Sonnet James? They are play dresses for Moms. It's the coolest idea in my opinion. I love to run and play with Jonah AND be comfy!! Ashley, a dear friend of mine that I met in Birmingham introduced me to the brand several years ago when it was starting out on Kickstarter. I loved it then, and I love it now. The brand has completely blossomed and just about every blogger I follow is obsessed. With good reason-

Right?? Cutest ever?? Yep.
All images from Sonnet James website. Take a peek at the lookbook. I'm totally, totally digging them.

What's new, y'all? Let me hear from you in the comments...