Friday, December 31, 2010

Bring it 2011!

I am not usually one to look back on a year and think "Wow! I sure am glad to see that one go." But I must admit that the year 2010 has not been a personal fave of mine. However, it sometimes takes the not-so-fab moments in life to bring out your personal best. We are determined to find the good in all these rather common yet difficult experiences.

We (Shan & I) felt many personal strains this year...emotionally, physically, and financially. We weathered an almost-layoff, but by the grace of God, Shannon found a great job in just the nick of time. With a job change and this DREADFUL economy we have learned to manage our money differently and "Dave Ramsey says" is the most frequently spoken phrase in our home. I suffered from (still am) some very annoying and sometimes debilitating health issues. I am hopeful that we can resolve those or at least get some relief in the new year. I have also had some personal struggles that I shared with all of you through my blog(s).

I was on a quest to get organized (still am) and even devoted an entire blog to it. That was WAY too much for me to keep up with. So I am learning that for me, organization is a state of mind. It's little steps everyday that keep me organized, not a few weekends or late nights of major tasks.

I have struggled with returning to work to not only help financially, but to use my $$education$$. We decided to continue making sacrifices to allow me to be at home with my boys. We also decided to focus on my home-based business for extra income and for a creative outlet. i have gained many new clients and loved serving my returning clients who continue to support me.

I had many worries about family members who were dealing with life changing issues. I am in the process of handing those worries to the only one who can truly handle them. I realized that sometimes problems are much bigger than we are and that's all we CAN do.

Don't get me wrong, there was lots of good in 2010, but the not-so-good was extremely prevalent and seemed to be the headliner of this year. Having to deal with all of these pesky issues has caused a great deal of frustration and anxiety in our house. BUT we are learning to trust God more than ever and listen to our hearts. Through fighting all this anxiety, we are praying more and counting all our blessings. We have leaned on our amazing families, realized who our true friends are, and have grown closer as a family. Also, in blogging about all this over the year I have met some fantastic "blog friends" who have also been super supportive. I just love this community!

We are going into the new year with positive attitudes and hope for a better year. We pray that all of you have a happy and safe new year's eve and that 2011 brings you much joy!

from What's Bakin'?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Merry!!!

The What's Bakin'? Christmas Card 2010

We hope you all have had a MAGICAL morning and continue to have a blessed day!

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Magical Night

Doesn't Christmas Eve seem magical?

It seems surreal and magical to me when I think about...

  • An event which took place over two-thousand years ago that changed the world forever
  • The amount of faith the parents of this precious baby must have had on their journey
  • The feeling of being humbled when I listen to the Gospel at church (Luke 2)
  • The lyrics to the hymns we sing in church- ESPECIALLY, Hark the Herald and Away in a Manger
  • The beautiful glow and coziness of our sweet church
  • The quietness of the usually bustling streets
  • The overwhelming feeling of gratitude I have for the things that really matter
  • The AMAZING behavior of my children, which makes me wish every day was December 24th
  • How no matter what my level of anxiety is, the second I walk into my parents home I feel like a care-free child again on Christmas Eve
  • How giddy my boys get when I read "South Carolina Night before Christmas"
  • How paralyzed with anticipation they get when I read "T'was the Night before Christmas"
  • How awe-struck and solemn they become when I read the The Christmas Story from their children's Bible
  • How blessed I feel to be sharing the Santa experience with my best friend of 18 years
  • The bizarre feeling of comfort I get from hearing the voice of James Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life
  • The feelings of relief and appreciation I have when I look under the tree and see that we were blessed enough to be able to provide for our loved ones yet another Christmas
I'm so thankful that we had a relaxing evening and yummy dinner at mom's tonight after church. I'm looking forward to spending Christmas day with my boys in the morning and my mom's side of the family at mom and dad's tomorrow for dinner. And we had a great night at the lake with Shannon's family last night. But most of all, I absolutely cannot wait to see the excitement on my boys' faces tomorrow morning, as they experience some of the same magic!!!
So, here's to wishing your Christmas is as magical as it should be!
Christmas Eve dinner with Muzzy and Boppa (and the reindeer???)
At the lake with the Baker cousins

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Just in time for the holidays...Ollie has a new 'do!
And a new nickname!
We're not really sure how it gets like this through out the day. It's understandable when he's been in his car seat a while, but it randomly ends up like this sometimes.
It has a nice crest to it, like a plume of feathers.
It also resembles a nest.
And no, I don't typically use my bathroom as a backdrop for photos, nor do I let my kids eat in the bathroom. But ya know---when the opportunity arises, you must take full advantage. Right?
It's a good thing we're Gamecock fans!
Any who...we now call him "Rooster".
It's so hair-larious!

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like...


The boys and I have been hard at work the last few days. We have been doing all our prep-work for the holidays. Our holiday punch list is gettin' done!

Biscottis- A family holiday tradition started by my great-grandmother (Nana), Sadie Tronco. We made our 1st of 3 batches Wednesday night. Muzzy joined us to help "knit" the dough (as Nana would say in her Italian accent). The boys rolled, twisted, and shaped their biscotti pros! As usual, they turned out beautifully and very tasty.

The Candy Cottage- We do gingerbread houses every year, but this year... we have THE CANDY COTTAGE! It's the plastic concept of a gingerbread house, only this one you can wash it off after decorating and use it over and over again. You can even use it for other seasons. To me this all makes perfect sense because let's admit it...the best part of eating a gingerbread house is the candy! A PLUS was that Boppa came over to help!

Teacher Gifts- Because the Biscottis get rave reviews every year, that is what the teachers received from the boys again this year. They're also getting a delicious bag of the Christmas Blend coffee from the Fresh Market to enjoy with their cookies. Having been a teacher in both a very wealthy private school and a very rural public school, I have to say my favorite gifts were the homemade goodies. I know they were prepared specifically with the receiver in mind and they also came in handy when having holiday visitors drop by. I always had something yummy to offer them. So, I choose to do the same and share a little of our family tradition with our wonderful teachers.

Christmas Play- The boys have been so precious running around singing their songs to practice for their school play. We were so excited to go see our boys in action last night. I loved it! In addition to the adorable story line and cute songs, there was another very special twist to the play. My friend blogged a sweet story about the should read it.

Christmas Cards- CHRISTMAS CAAAAAAAAAAAAAARDS! It's that time of year. My busiest season for Letter Bugz. I think because I design cards and I look at thousands Christmas Cards each year, our personal family cards get put on the back burner. By the time I get to ours my creative juices have somewhat dwindled. I feel so much pressure to make mine look good and I frequently think they're the worst. I get emails, texts, and facebook messages from friends saying... "I can't wait to see what you come up with" and "I know you'll have the cutest card." Uhhhhhhg! NO! I don't...for several reasons. 1) Facebook has stolen the thunder from it because I post all our good pics. So, that leads me to having to take one in front of the tree...which truly makes me want to fall on a sharp object. Trying to get 3 BOYS to sit still and pose is a nightmare. 2) I use all my good ideas on my customers...especially the special orders and theme related cards. 3) I'm always racing to do it at the last minute and I don't take my time. I have sent out cards with errors in previous years...because I didn't proof my own card!!! But any who... 150 cards will be sent out today, cute or not. Buuuuuut. I'm still taking last minute orders until TOMORROW, December 18th. I'm hoping to get all current orders out the door by then too.
And better late than never...the boys officially wrote their letters to Santa!

Reading Christmas stories aren't officially on our "punch list" but I thought this was cute!

So I'm feeling a tad accomplished today, knowing all of that is D.O.N.E! (Still have more biscottis to make but that's ok. so put in your request now, 'cause I'm headed to da sto).

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NEW favorite blogger

Today, I came upon this blog from a link that a friend posted on Facebook. I love this girl! Amy Morrison of The Pregnant Chicken had me in stitches. My mom, Shannon, and I laughed so hard that we cried...several times. Those of us who have ever been pregnant (and our spouses who went through it with us) can so appreciate where she's coming from. She writes the things we all think and puts it in the words we'd love to be able to reel off! She's my new favorite blogger! Even though we have now moved beyond having babies, I can't wait to read her next posts!

A few favorite posts so far are:

Awkward Pregnancy Photos ---WARNING: Have tissues and depends undergarments handy

About Me ---I LOOOOOOVE honest people

Boobie Beenie ---Absolutely Priceless

The Fourth Trimester ---You know you've thought all of this

Any who...Just wanted to introduce you to Amy (a.k.a. The Pregnant Chicken)

Happy reading!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Music...Questionable

As I was puttering around town today, I was enjoying watching the shoppers rushing "home with their treasures". I had my radio tuned into a non-stop holiday station. And in between "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Little Drummer Boy" the most depressing songs were played. One Last Christmas and Christmas Shoes. HOLY COW! They truly made me contemplate becoming a self-made homeless person and giving up everything or even worse, just driving into a tree, as I was filled with guilt, sorrow, and hopelessness. I was so distraught after listening to the songs! There is NO WAY they motivate anyone, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, or prepare our children for a celebration! When I heard these songs I counted my blessings and thanked the Lord, but I don't know how in the world these can be considered Christmas songs.

The Christmas season should be a time of joy, generosity, and preparation for the celebration of Jesus's birthday! RIGHT??? Shouldn't the song lyrics reflect that???

I am a music lover (all kinds)! I am a Christian who just loves being in the true spirit of Christmas and celebrating the greatest gift we've ever been given. I feel the above credentials make me qualified to give this critique. I mean, seriously!!! Don't we want people to be moved in a positive way? Not blubbering down Forest Drive, sad and depressed because you can't change these pitiful situations, and you can't help everyone. If you want sappy Christmas songs, that's fine! I actually like several sappy tunes. But there are plenty that have great seasonal messages. They're beautiful, you can sing along, they send chills down your spine, and you feel uplifted after hearing them. A few of my sappy faves are:
  • Here with Us by Joy Williams (Those of you who have been following me over the years know that I post it every year at this time) which tells the story of the birth of our Savior
  • Happy Christmas by the amazing John Lenon which promotes peace and love for others
  • I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day by Casting Crowns sending another message of peace and change of heart
  • Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant is the a beautiful song telling the story of Mary
  • Welcome to Our World by various artists is a simple and sweet song about the anticipation of Jesus's birth and a message of hope
I am so not trying to be a Scrooge. Nor, do I want to devalue the plights of others. I enjoy helping and giving to others. If I can't physically or financially help, I ALWAYS lift those people in prayer. However, on the flipside I try to stay uplifted, hopeful, and festive myself for my own little family. And some of the popular tunes just ain't cuttin' it for me.
Any who...for what it's worth. Merry Christmas and for your listening pleasure I have posted my playlist with my Christmas favorites! Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


It's the event you've all been waiting for... (or at least I have been.) It's the 25th Annual Jr. League of Columbia's Holiday Market !!!!

Our Holiday Market committee has been working ever so hard to make this another memorable market. If you're in the great metropolis of Columbia or it's surrounding areas I encourage you to come out and do a little shopping with our many wonderful merchants and attend an event or two! There is truly something for everyone in the family at the market.

All the market times and events are listed on the website, as well as ticket info.

I hope to see you at the market!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Simply Thankful

Last week I did this little project with the boys. It's simple. It makes me happy. It says it ALL!

We're not the family with the ocean-front vacation home. We don't live in a gated community. We don't have the fancy cars. We don't have the designer wardrobes. All these things used to bother me. I would often find it easy to get caught up in what we don't have or what we aren't.

Well we are what we are and we have lots for which we should be thankful. I am simplifying! And through my simplification process I am really enjoying learning to be thankful for the simplicity in my life.

I am thankful for:

  1. The Lord our God who understands me
  2. The husband who will wear a John-John
  3. The little hands that helped me make the banner
  4. My Sambo who has a true love for the Lord and compassion for others
  5. My Fu-Fu who has the happiest spirit I've ever seen and who makes me smile...constantly
  6. My yummy little Ollie-bird who is so incredibly edible and a sweet baby
  7. The creative mom who lives only a mile and a half away
  8. The familiar whistle I hear when my dad walks through the door
  9. The mother-in-law who has been coming to help with the boys almost every Thursday since Sam was born
  10. The father-in-law who will make me anything I ask for
  11. The brothers and brother-in-law who add color to my life
  12. The sisters-in-law who take care of those brothers
  13. The nieces and nephew who love my boys
  14. The Grandfather who celebrated his 92nd birthday today
  15. Our little dogs who have been oh so loyal for almost 15 years
  16. The once-a-month therapy sessions at Bunco from Allison, Ansley, Darby, Ellen, Jen, Leigh, Marie, Mason, Shannon H., Shannon K.
  17. "Oprah's" JLC Underground and of course My Sidekick..."Gayle"
  18. The church that helped me establish some of the best friendships I've ever had
  19. The Aunts who are like Fairy Godmothers to me and my children
  20. The neighbors who know my business
  21. The sound of the dryer running because we have one and
  22. The clothes to put in it
  23. The sound of the heater that just came on
  24. The job my husband has
  25. My little business that allows me to use my creativity and stay at home in
  26. The "yellow house with white columns"
  27. The schools my boys attend and
  28. The teachers who teach them
  29. The MACY'S Thanksgiving Day Parade that I can live vicariously through tomorrow morning
  30. The VERY infrequent and well-deserved date nights with Shan
  31. The shampoo I can still smell in my hair
  32. The beautiful turkey picture that Fulton brought home from school
  33. My manicure in a pretty fall color by moi!
  34. The trips to target and the grocery store...solo and
  35. The $ to pay for what's in the cart
  36. NOT just being thankful tomorrow but being able to give thanks everyday because God continues to bless us in so many ways!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! from What's Bakin'?

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

new package, same great product

for the purpose of simplifying, i have decided to start using my what's bakin'? blog as my primary blog. i love doing practically put and will continue to write posts similar in nature. however, i originally started practically put with intentions of simplifying and organizing my chaotic life. i can blog about my organizational journey here, the same as i could there, and still blog about our family...all in one place. it was getting a tad difficult trying to keep a business blog, a personal blog, and a family blog. quite frankly...i was doing a lousy job.

so here i am. back at what's bakin'?. wholeheartedly.

for those of you new to what's bakin'?...welcome!

for those of you who have been stopping by since 2002 at our first what's bakin'? geocities site...thanks for continuing to share in our lives.

we hope you enjoy our new look and new links to the right. i hope you will check them out and come back to visit often.


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Halloween 2010

you know by now (or maybe you don't) that i am a HALLOWEEN JUNKIE! it's my favorite time of year and i truly love all the festivities... the decorating, the parties, the weather, the pumpkin patches and pumpkin carving, the kiddies in costumes, and most of all creating our halloween ensembles!

we were fortunate to do all of the above again this year.

 the wild west in SC at the pine island carnival
 the cutest pony...ever
 ride 'em cowboys!!!
fulton actually stayed on for a VERY long time.
 sam was giggling so hard, he had a tough time hangin' in there. but it was a great laugh
 the spooky hayride (look at s's eyes)
they have people dressed up popping out of coffins, running through the woods with dry ice and spooky music. it's great. sam wouldn't quit looking over his shoulder long enough to take a picture!
 yum! a carnival isn't complete without cotton candy.
 halloween night...time to trick or treat. first stop...muzzy's!
i loooooove the single file line, all in order.
the southern children
(nothin' says sexy like a 6'2" man in a jon-jon)
and don't let him fool you...he loves dressing up as much as i do (almost). i actually got a number of complements on my homemade ensemble, especially my homemade puddle jumpers.
i told shan---dang! we would have had a cute little girl.
 the fam

 the precious trick-or-treators at the halloween party
 the most precious trick-or-treator of all.
 the couple from the 80's (love the authenticity)

i'm already looking forward to next year!

i'd love to hear about what you and yours did for halloween!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waste Not Wednesday

Whether it's trash to treasures or day old bread, I am finding great pleasure in re-purposing things these day. I recently had a conversation with one of the world's greatest Aunt Laynie. My how I *heart* her! We were talking about the soon to be over-ripe borderline rotten bananas in the fruit basket on my kitchen counter. We had also been talking about the cost of feeding 2 big boys and 1 quickly growing toddler. She suggested turning those over-ripe bananas into a yummy snack for the boys. No, I am not going to give you a recipe for banana bread (which I personally DO NOT care for). This is even better because it involves God's gift to women...CHOCOLATE!!!! When I was little and I'd go visit her, she'd make the coolest breakfasts, most special lunches and snacks, and gourmet dinners that would make an 8-year-old little girl with glasses "wanna slap her momma". She still proves to have the best ideas for jazzing up food...even rotten bananas.

She reminded me that for a snack, she would roll bananas in chocolate and sprinkle nuts or something crunchy on top.Then she'd put them in the freezer for a tasty frozen treat. So I did just that!
  • I took my almost rotten bananas and grabbed some chocolate morsels out of the cabinet.
  • I peeled the bananas, cut them in half, and put them on parchment paper
  • I melted the morsels in a micro safe bowl at 15 second intervals, stirring in between. I even added a splash of milk to thin it just a tad.
  • I drizzled and rolled the bananas in the the chocolate until they were good and coated
  • I skipped the nuts part because MM2 is allergic...but you could use crushed toffee of rice krispies---I was just fresh out of those two things
  • I put them back on the parchment paper and put them in the freezer.
  • And what a yummy treat we had a couple of hours later...YUM!!!
Try it...I promise you won't be disappointed and you won't feel sorry for your uneaten bananas that get thrown away and you won't pay an arm and a leg for the ones in the freezer section at the store!


Practically Yours,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


One can always hope and pray that they are raising COGNIZANT, THOUGHTFUL, CONSIDERATE, SOCIALLY "AWARE", EMPATHETIC, and SYMPATHETIC children. I look for teaching moments constantly by discussing feelings (good or bad) and asking them "how would you feel if...?"  I mean, don't they learn by example? Don't they pick up on awkward things that maybe they should let someone know? You know...things that a person can fix, like ketchup on their face, a zipper that's down, etc.  I wouldn't let them go to school or church with their pants on backwards or to school with 2 different shoes on. I know S & F are still young and I cut them a lot of slack, but I do expect them to recognize obvious things.

Well, the other day, we had been to the doctor and gotten the "you're so brave" sticker. Oliver chose a Thomas the Train sticker. I quickly removed the paper and stuck it right on his chest. He was wearing it with pride! We ran several more errands and I had to get Ollie in and out of his car seat. I went in Hobby Lobby, Target, and Walgreen's with all 3 in tow. Their behavior is not always the best, especially, after a few "boring" errands. So after some pleading, (Yes, I did it) I bribed them with a Yumilicious yogurt stop. We went in so they could claim their bribe...


Wait for it..

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

I was wearing the Thomas sticker on my left boob!!!!
(And I was sportin' my JLC t-shirt loud and proud. So if the organization gets labeled as a bunch of "flakes" can blame me!)

And for how long???...who knew???

When I noticed, I said, "HOLY COW!!!" And asked, "Guys, how long has mommy had this sticker on her chest?" Fulton nonchalantly said, "Oh, for a really long time, Mommy."

Mortified, I asked, "WHAT??? Like how long is a long time?"

Sam said, "since you put Ollie in the buggy at Hobby Lobby."

Did it not look a little odd to them?

Are they totally clueless?

Or am I totally failing at my job?

Or am I flawless to them?

Discuss (and laugh) amongst yourselves.

Practically Yours,

Friday, October 15, 2010


Before we say "goodnight", The Shan and I take about 5-10 minutes to do a devotional for couples. The one for last night was on living by a "non-negotiable list" and praying on how to apply each one. This is the list posted on the devotional:

1. Seek God, not sin.

2. Fear God, not man.

3. Love God, not the world.

4. Believe God, not the deceiver.

5. Obey God, not your appetites.

6. Serve God, not self.

7. Worship God, not comfort.

I haven't blogged in several days because it seems that the "volunteer bus" ran slam over me!!! Soooo, when I read this last night, the one that slapped me in the face the most was #6 -Serve God, not self.

I love volunteering and helping others, BUT-----I feel like sometimes when I sign up to "help", I'm not really serving God or others. I say yes to the task because I worry that I will hurt someone's feelings or they will think ill of me if I say no. So, ultimately I am serving myself and trying to justify myself!

When I agree to voulnteer, I quickly forget all the strain it puts on the other aspects of my life; scheduled meetings which take me away from my family, busy-work during the day which causes me to neglect my home and spend less time with my children. I wind up feeling out-of-sorts, guilty, and not so justified, afterall. And all of this because I didn't want to let someone down (...which in a nutshell, is where I am and how I've been for a couple of months now.)

Don't get me wrong! I LOVE a good cause, contributing to my church, and lending a helping hand to my children's school, but none of those things really justify or define who I am in God's sight. I am not justified or serving God at all just because my daily agenda is maxed. It only means I'm over-committed from trying to serve myself and have others justify me.

I have been thinking a lot recently about what defines me and how I am justified. And really, I should look no further for justification than our Lord! I am quite good enough for Him and that is what truly matters. Nothing else should matter. I am now commited to only serving others when I feel I am also serving God. I have no intentions to put all my current commitments to rest. I will gladly finish all that I have started. I will continue to participate in the ones that don't leave me to be justified by someone/thing else. However, in the future, I will NOT say yes immediately, nor will I justify myself by being the girl who always says "yes" and I will only "serve" if it means I'll be serving God!

Practical Tip- (see #6 list above)
Practically Put- But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
-Joshua 24:15

Practically Yours,

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

E-mealz meets Coupons!!

Just in...a post about using coupons with the e-mealz service.
It's a great plan and well worth it.
To subscribe to e-mealz click the link below or to the left and it'll take you there!!!

I <3 Emealz

Practically Yours,

Monday, October 04, 2010

Why I Love October.

If you've read my "About Me" page you know I love October. There are so many reasons why I feel it is superior to any other month. So in my opinion...
October is AWESOME because of some obvious reasons that most people can appreciate...
  • leaves are changing colors
  • cooler temps
  • short sleeves by day, snugglie sweater by night
  • football season is in full swing
  • the world series begins
  • HALLOWEEN and seeing our precious little peeps in their get-ups
  • pumpkin patches are billowing with those gorgeous orange gourds
However, in addition to those, I have my own personal list...
  • have you ever noticed the color of the October sky? A-MA-ZING.
  • it's my BIRTHMONTH! (a shout out to my fellow October birthday friends...Holla!) and in my family, we seem to celebrate all month long
  • it's MM1's birthmonth, as well as several other family members who I love dearly
  • the SC State Fair (yes, I admit, I am a sucker for the fair)
  • it's the month the Yard Man and I celebrate our anniversary of being together
  • so many great theme parties to be had (I'm torn between 3 & 4 for this year)
    • costume parties for adults
    • costume parties for kids
    • Halloween brunch complete with a Bloody Mary bar and Mimosas
    • a pumpkin carving party
    • a Harvest supper with friends (which could also be done in November)
    • tailgate parties
    • chili cook-offs
    • and the list goes on...
  • our visit to the pumpkin patch where we try to find the ugliest pumpkin and where the MM's pick out our "family"
  • the Pine Island fall carnival and costume contest that my in-laws have been taking us to for years
  • costume making with my uber talented mom
  • I love to decorate for Halloween and fall in general and drag out my old trusty-rusty Halloween decor that the MM's love. I devoted a post to it several years ago.
  • and finding new inspiration for projects, such as:
    • my friend Shannon over at Bunco Belle who has some great links to ideas for pumpkin decorating
    • a fall mantel---some awesome ideas from readers of The Nesting Place can be found here
    • these great burlap wreaths by at Confessions of a Plate Addict and Loola-bee Simplicity (See pics below)
    • making a fall outfit for MM3
  • time change...there's something so so comforting about the sun setting early on cool crisp night and settling down with my sweet boys
  • Boo at the Zoo
  • Corn Mazes
I could probably think of a million other reasons why I love October so much but that's just an idea. So in the meantime, y'all check out the links and if you'd like, add to my list of reasons. I'd love to hear more!

Practically Yours,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let's get this Pawty Stawted!!!

As I stated earlier...I love planning my children's parties! Fulton has requested an ice cream social. So I got my wheels turning and went to my favorite place for some inspiration...the Internet! I created my inspiration board from some other great blogs and websites.

Ice Cream Social Inspiration Board

Photo credits:
Red and Blue Tissue Poms, Balloons, Invitations and Toppings, Tablescape, Take-Home Treats, Cupcake Toppers, Ice Cream Tent

I was blessed with S and F being born right smack dab in the middle of college football season. So we either have to do parties on "off" days or Sundays. So we chose the Sunday following F's birthday. I used my Mom Agenda planning section to get me started.

The Details
Date: 9/12
Time: 2:30-4:00
Where: Our house
Menu: Cupcakes, Ice Cream Sundaes, Toppings- sprinkles, jimmies, cherries, crushed oreos, chocolate chips, gummies, m&m's, sugar wafers, cherries, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, whipped cream, Beverages- bottled water, red and blue kool-aid
The Decoration Ideas
Color scheme: Red, white, light blue, and brown- fabric/tablecloths, paper pinwheels, tissue pom-poms, napkins, bowls, spoons
Games and Favor Ideas:
Pin the cherry on the sundae, cherry on the spoon relay; ice cream scoop, ice cream foam pop-gun, or rice krispie pop
(We actually decided against games because it was forcasted to be very hot and it was a shorter party. And party favors...Sometimes I think parents throw away plastic toy party favors as soon as the child goes to sleep and it ends up being a waste of money. So we went with the rice krispie treat pops.)

Ice Cream Social Event Board

(Click photo for larger view)
Left to right: cupcake tree, autograph mat (Each MM has one from every birthday. They are my favorite mementos and I hope they'll be theirs too.), treat basket and treat, personalized water bottles and kool-aid on ice, toppings, wagon with gifts, invitation by Letter Bugz, blowing out #5, cupcake toppers and ice cream tags, paper pin wheels lining the walk to greet guests, tissue pom-poms suspended from ice cream tent.

This is what we ended up with! F loved it and was so excited when he walked outside to see the staging. He said. "Wow! This is MY party!" I was very pleased with how it all came together.
Practically Yours,

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

An update

A simple equation for my readers:

I am a speech therapist by trade and a stay at home mom by the grace of God, the hard work of The Yard Man, and the little sacrifices we make as a family. In an earlier post I was struggling with how I could use my degree and still be at home with my MM's. I also want to still be able to use my talents and keep my creative juices flowing. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?!?!

Which leads me to my update on a few things...

# 1- So I have been researching part-time speech therapy prospects and have a couple "in my pocket goin' jing-a-ling-a-ling". (Go on...I hear ya...sing it sista.---I loved that song.) The extra cashola sure would be nice and it would keep my foot in the do' for future speech gigs. Not to mention with these particular prospects I would be available for my little MM's. I just gotta keep praying one of them will work out.

# 2- I have been trying to revamp my business website Letter Bugz Social Stationery! I have decided to move away from stationery and focus more on my themed invitations with coordinating thank you notes, favor labels, and address labels, as well as photo cards. I will also be adding children's birthday party services soon. These will include a variety of services such as; custom invitation packages, inspiration boards, handmade decor, and full-service party planning for a WIDE range of budgets! I have been praying for a while now for God to help me use my talents in a way that others may also benefit and the LORD knows how much I love planning fun parties and entertaining! So, I am going to give this a shot and I am hoping He will give me the strength and knowledge I need to get this up and running. Word of mouth is the best advertisement, so I also hope I can count on your support and prayers as I dive in to something new.

# 3- On an organizational note: Daily I think about how much I enjoy planning parties and celebrating birthdays. But at least three times a year I am reminded exactly how much I LOOOOOOOVE it! Well it's one of those times of the year. Tomorrow, September 9th, is MM2's 5th birthday. I can't believe it! About a month or so ago, I asked MM2 what kind of party he'd like. He said he wanted an Ice Cream social! So I have been hard at work shopping around for specials on supplies for DIY decorations and all the party necessities! Details to come!!!
 I have been plundering through photos of the past 5 years to include in MM2's celebration of life presentation at school. This reminded me that back in the summer I began organizing all my printed photos from 1974 to present and got stuck somewhere in the early 2000's. I need to get on it again! I was on a mission and I have fallen off the wagon. But Hobby Lobby and Target have great stylish photo boxes for storage and I bought a few last time they were on sale. Organizing photos makes projects like this very easy...only MM2 was born in 2005 and I didn't make it that far in "operation photo organization".

Any who...just an update.

Practical Tip- I am trusting in the Lord. He knows me best of all and it will work out the way it is supposed to!

Practically Put- Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6

Practically yours,