Monday, January 25, 2010

A Blue Birthday

By Blue, I mean the color, not the mood....

My Sweet Grandma (yes Sweet. She's the traditional "Grandma" in every sense of the word!) just turned 75! For this big milestone my parents flew her over to be with all of us as a surprise! I hosted her party at my home sweet home. The theme was ALL BLUE and flowers! My Grandma has 3 definite favorite things: the color blue, flowers, and Mexican food! It was simple to combine all three for a custom 75th party just for her!

The centerpiece BEFORE the table was set in the stillness
and before our house was buzzing with family.

And set for a birthday celebration!

The table was set with Mikasa china, (a gift from my awesome hubs)
and some vintage white napkins, given to me by my dear neighbor.

I took a plain white tablecloth and bunched it equally in 4 parts
tying it off with blue and white ribbon and bows.
This made billows of snowy white for a winter table!

I put Epsom salt in wine glasses turned candle holders
and covered the candles also in Epsom salt to give a snowy January look.

For some flair, I filled various shaped glass jars with blue beads.
When filling jars, fill them 1/2 to 3/4 of the way to add more style
and to display the shape and size of the jar better.
This works better than filling them all the way to the brim....
You can see examples above and below.

Also, I used scrapbook paper for easy placemats!
And I tied the flatware with thin ribbon
to change it up from the traditional stiff lineup that is customary.

I wanted the flowers to make a big statement since my Grandma adores flowers. However, blue flowers aren't an easy find!
I spray painted
these WHITE roses, carnations, and baby's breath BLUE with a soft floral paint!

I used my favorite Chalk Ink to turn the glasses into name place cards.

Here I posted "Grandma's Favorite Menu".
Our home was filled with the warm smell of fresh Mexican food for her special night.

To set it apart from boring taco dinners, I went alllll homemade!
-Homemade fresh guacamole
-2 different kinds of homemade salsas
-homemade carne asada
-homemade cilantro rice
-homemade (and fat free!) refried beans.

Taco Bell has nothing on this, yo! ;)

Freshy, fresh...

And to stay in the BLUE THEME, even our tortilla chips were BLUE.

The dessert area is full of blue flowers too.
I searched for blue candy to fill a candy jar.
She was able to take the candy home as a gift.
I chose a square cake to coordinate with the square dessert plates.

And some extra info:
Those 2 matching blue and white creamers I used as vases
are from my dear Great Grandma Henderson, straight from Germany.
I treasure them.

Even the ice cream was blue!
How cool is that?!

Thank you for the love,
thank you for the giggles,
thank you for the sincere hugs that come straight from your heart.
We celebrate YOU!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Meal of the Moment: Cheesy Ham Snuggles

It's been awhile since I've done a MEAL OF THE MOMENT post. To find out what Meal of the Moment is click here. Basically, this is for all of us who don't like to waste food! These posts are creative ideas to use up your Leftovers!

Cheesy Ham Snuggles

This time I needed to use up some leftover buttermilk and some deli sliced ham. I bought a TON of ham on sale and we were all bored with ham sandwiches so these packs were my alternative. My youngest, Titus, helped me out!

- Basically I made up some homemade dough using buttermilk. It was super soft and smooth.
- We rolled it out and brushed it with butter
- And rolled a pizza slicer across it to make slices
- Titus dropped cut up pieces of Velveeta cheese and sprinkled it on our dough.
- We added the ham slices and rolled them up, pinching the edges together.
- Bake and eat

If you have leftover broccoli or anything else...put it in!

For a healthier option, brush with Smart Balance instead of butter and use Laughing Cow Cheese or 2% cheddar cheese instead of Velveeta.

Click here for more Meal of the Moment Posts!

This post is linked to Foodie Friday, DIY Day, Works for Me Wednesday

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Winter White & a Fresh Start

Why, in January, do we have the confidence that we can improve and attain a better life?

Why do we all practice this cycle every year, ambitiously seeking change, and steadfastly declaring our resolutions?

Most of us do this because, deep within, we want a chance to start over, to get a second chance.

We each truly want the best out of life and each of us has unique talent to offer this spinning world.

We all mess up constantly and are painfully aware of our highlighted mistakes.

We want a chance to BE AGAIN:
a new chance to be that gentle parent,
a new chance to be the exciting lover,
a new chance to try for that job promotion,
a new chance to win a race,
a new chance to make good grades,
a new chance to be the best we believe we are.

If we STOP trying again each January, we STOP believing in ourselves. As long as we boldly make an ambitious resolution then we still believe that WE CAN DO IT... we still believe that we can be the us we always wanted.

So if you make goals this year, if you're eager to strive for improvement, then you are alive, ready for 2010.

Because we all long for a "do over", a 2nd chance....or even a 10th chance. And January seems to offer us that.

Now, about that winter white...

This gorgeous photo shows the stunning talent of Tracey at French Larkspur. Every time I visit I feel motivated and peaceful...all at the same time! She has decorating talent that energizes me! I would love to imitate this photo in my own home sometime in 2010. I can't get enough of this picture!! It is PERFECT! Yes, it makes me giddy.

Since white represents new, clean, and fresh, I wanted to share some of the WHITE that is in my home sweet cozy home this season.

*Jack*Frost* visited our backyard

Dakotah (my middle son) and I gathered nature outside
and we spray-painted it all WHITE
for this winter centerpiece.

I actually used a winter SCARF for the table runner,
flannel and all.

Because cable knit sweaters can be worn by candles too!
White SWEATER candles (!!!!)

from the always inspiring Anthropologie.
...also one of my FAVORITE Christmas gifts this year!

Absolutely in love with these candles!
And in love STILL with these worn ruffles found on
etsy at the Shabby Chic Cottage.

Personally, I'm a big pen-to paper goal girl! Since our first year of marriage, my husband and I have a tradition of making a categorized WRITTEN LIST of goals for us with several different categories. We still have our lists from previous years. It's incredible how much making these lists have helped us reach our dreams!

We set aside a set time to meet together and discuss the goals of the New Year.
This year I have a white little **table for two** set
for a special dinner
and a "Goals Meeting" to follow.

Antiqued ice skates and
the trendy faux mercury
are used for the January centerpiece.

I started collecting a set of fine china when I got married.
It's rarely used but I pulled out 2 settings **just for fun**
for us to use with this dinner!

Having a meal from fine china is one of life's little delights....

My china is Noritake White Scapes Whitecliff Platinum
for all the tablescape buffs! ;)
The napkins are vintage whites
given to my by my extra kind neighbor.

And that's about all the white I have in my home right now!

Enjoy the white season and the newness of January
and press on to reach YOUR full potential.

This post is linked to DIY Day, Works for Me Wednesday, Show and Tell, Tablescape Thursday, Inspired Room

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Thorn in My Side

"for I was given a thorn in my flesh but I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer...for when I am weak, then I am strong."
-2 Corinthians 2:7-10
(loosely quoted)

(Image courtesy of google search)

When we look ourselves in the mirror and can admit our weakness and troubles and seek out wisdom from loved ones is when our weakness has the ability to turn into strength.

I have a beautiful life.

Truly, I do.

I delight in creating each blog post that shows the joys of my daily life,
each and every beautiful and exciting detail.

BUT...Picture this! You are all familiar with the simple program Microsoft Paint, right? So I'm going to paint a heart using this program. This heart is my life and represents all the happiness that my life is!

Uh oh...can you see that little gap in the heart?
Of course my life is full of problems and frustrations, but overall, my life is happy.
Annnd what about that gap?

Maybe it's not a big deal.
The heart still looks nice.
It.Just. May. Work.

Or not...because you all know that when we are using MS Paint and we try to color in the heart a pretty blue using the handy paint pail....

That the paint will bleed right through that gap and ruin the entire picture, filling in every space on the page INSTEAD of just the heart, which was the intended space.

like this:
So even though I thought that little tiny gap wouldn't make a difference, it MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE! In fact, I couldn't even finish my picture in the way I imaged it to because of that little gap. It didn't matter that the heart was pretty as is. Until the gap was closed and corrected, the picture was left unable to be finished.

My little, adorable life has a terrible thorn, an injury that is extremely personal and damaging to me. Self inflicted pain is unhealthy and destructive.

I am a little person inside just like each one of you.
With a little heart,
and little feelings,
trying to live in a big world.
Past hurts have clung to me
and even though the sun shines so brightly in my life now
I am a prisoner to my own made disease.

In these last few weeks I have learned that the first steps to healing is acknowledging the issue, opening up to receive wisdom, and accepting the reality. Because I really want my life's heart to have no injured gaps so my mission on earth can be fulfilled!
Me 2010

Do you still nurse past pain? Do you struggle with current hurts? The best way to find the deep strength to overcome is to surrender it first...."for when we are weak, then we are strong."
Me 2010

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” Isaiah 43:2-3a

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Cozy Textures of Winter

Winter brings such a variety of heavy and soft textures. Unlike summer when our toes play in the sunlight with our flip flops on, winter twirls us in cozy fabrics up to our necks!

I thrive on being cozy.

It rates up there with food and water.

I have some treasures to share today that are all about THE COZY!

Most of your are aware of my Ugg obsession so I won't be too {extra} repetitive! You can read THIS POST if you need a refresher! So obviously I recommend placing a pair of Uggs by your doorstep before you step outside! The real deal, please no knock offs this time.

And remember this pillow I had on my Ugg wishlist? A dreamy thing happened, because it is now nestled softly in the corner of my couch instead of my list! I highly recommend snagging one.

My Ugg Pillow
It's better than a warm fire.

Just a little bit more about the Uggs...but I promise, you'll be forever comfy if you try even just one of the three Ugg goodies...The Ugg purse. It's old, been toting it around for a few years, so it's seen better days, but it is so fun and lined with sheepskin! My money is so cozy it doesn't want to leave my purse, and that's a good thing, right?

I have a pink one too, but this one is my favorite.

Totally opposite of my OLD one above, this one is BRAND New compliments of Christmas 2009 baby!

I am in total lust love with it!

Next is this delicious brown blanket. I bought it for my sweet baby (my husband) as a gift a couple of years ago. You see, I was admiring it in a Restoration Hardware store one day and found the IDEAL way to justify getting it for moi (that's me in French...I'm learning this stuff!).

I say to myself...
"Self, Buy it for Chris."

So sweet of me to think of him.
That was a smart decision to buy it for him.
I don't regret it...

I make everyone touch it that visits our house.
Yes, I really do. I'm a nerd like that.

My Chris' blanket from Restoration Hardware is TRULY the softest and smoothest blanket I've EVER felt!

(And you can find out more about my adorable quilt in this photo by clicking here! of the first blog posts I ever did)

And the last comfy cozy recommendation I have
are these down feather slippers from Restoration Hardware! We all know about down pillows BUT can you believe they stuff these SLIPPERS with down feathers to snuggle around our ankles?! I've had these for a few winters and they are one of my favorite things about turning the calender to the colder months.

My Restoration Hardware Down-filled Slippers
waiting for me by our front door!

Slippers. Check.
Blanket. Check.
Now all I need is the little bear!

(photo property of Restoration Hardware online)

Share your cozy secrets with me.
What Cant Live Without products carry you through the winter?

Oh, and please use extra lotion this winter.
Our poor skin is begging for it!

P.S. My Spy Party was featured on Design Dazzle today and I am honored and extremely excited about it! (This is a BIG deal to me!) Head on over to read about it. This website is incredible!

And my spy party was also featured right before Christmas on Creative Party Place. It puts me on Cloud 9 when this happens!

This post is linked to The Inspired Room, Works for Me Wednesday