Days 3 and 4 of Love

If your little one’s grandparents are anything like Peanut’s, then you know they just cannot get enough of their grandchildren.  They are addicted to the sheer cuteness of our little tater tots.  Knowing this, and that both sets of grandparents live out of state, we knew the next Day of Love needed to be focused around them! 


Day Two – DIY Toddler I Love You This Much Cards

With Face Time, email, Facebook, and all the other myriad of ways to stay connected these days, I can honestly say we do a fairly good job of keeping our Peanut connected with her extended family.  Yet, no matter how often you call someone, it doesn’t compare to the feeling one gets when they open their mailbox and find a handwritten note inside.  It is a warm and loving feeling that stems from knowing this person took valuable time out of their day to think about you.  It is different from the instant gratification of a phone call or email and tends to slow things down.

I have been writing I Love You This Much cards as long as I can remember.  My mom used to slide them into my lunch.  Back then it was just a stick figure with arms stretched out as wide as the page.  This turned into notes for my husband later in life so why not take it to the next generation and bring it full circle? 

I saw this example of what I was imagining and decided to use it as a guide.  I made a few variations but all in all the same idea!  Once we saw how cute the card ended up, we made two more for Peanut’s Aunts.  Get your scissors ready because your going to need them.

First, you want to get all the items you will need ready.  Working with little kids, I like to have everything set up in advance so they can get in and out for their part with as little hassle as possible. You will need:

  1. Cardstock in you chosen colors.  We opted for bright colors.
  2. Tape or Glue
  3. Scissors
  4. Markers/Colored Pencils/Pens/Sharpies (We used Sharpies)
  5. Letter Stickers (optional)

Once you have everything set up you can bring in the baby.  We wanted to do everything we would need her for first.  So we had her draw scribble on one side of the pages.  (one for each card)  Then we traced her hand onto cardstock.  You can do this once and use it as a template to cute two individual handprints.  If you do it this way your handprints will match up perfectly when aligned back to back.  We actually preferred to trace each hand so they would be her exact hands.  Just keep in mind these will NOT match up perfectly.  From this point on, your little one is all done.

Next you will want to cut the handprints out.  We chose to then draw a border around the handprint with Sharpie.  On the front side of the handprint write “I Love You” or use letter stickers if you want a specific font. 

Next we took the cardstock we had Peanut scribble on and cut a long thin strip.  You want it long enough to write “THIS MUCH!” across without crowding.  Once they are cut, fold them accordion style and place one letter in each box.  This makes the front say “THIS MUCH!” and the back will be the little one’s doodles.

All that is left is to either tape or glue the inside to the two handprints.  We went one step farther and wrote a handwritten adult note to each family member to accompany our Peanut’s handmade card. 

The hardest part of this was waiting to hear they had been received through the mail!! 


Day THREE – KRISPY KREME DOUHNUTS

We decided to do something nice for our work family.  We thought it best to let Krispy Kreme do the thanking for us with these yummie doughnuts!  Delicious!

 

Missed Day One of Love?  Not to worry.  Check it out here!  Interested in other Toddler Craft Projects?  Give this painting project a try!

XOXOXOXO!



14 Days of Love

Are you looking for a way to show the people in your life how much you love them?  Then look no further because I’ve got you covered.  This is the countdown of all countdowns!  14 days of love to be exact. 

I first saw this idea over at Pink Pistachio and thought it was a great idea.  I knew almost instantly that my family would be doing our very own countdown to Valentine’s Day.  I know what you are thinking, Valentine’s Day is over, right?  Well, right you are.  However, I just have to share this countdown with you because my husband and I still talk about it and how we need to implement more things like this into our lives.  So much so that when we were discussing anniversary ideas, the hubs eagerly blurted out, “Why don’t we do another countdown of love?”  This got me thinking…you don’t have to reserve this idea for Valentine’s Day.  There are so many reasons and opportunities to show those special people in our lives what they mean to us that you can pick any one of them to celebrate with these Days of Love.  Heck, you could even do it for no particular reason at all!

Now that you know why I am sharing this sweet celebration of love with you all, let me give you the scoop on why my family loved it so much.  Sometimes I can get so wrapped up in my own daily life that I forget to set aside time to show others how much I appreciate them.  The general idea behind 14 Days of Love is each day you set aside some time to specifically show someone you appreciate them.  You can do this in any way you choose, whether it be a small gift, a date night, a love letter, volunteering, or even sending a card through the snail mail. 



Sneak Peak at Day Two of Love’s DIY Project
And the nice thing is there is no limit to who you can shower with this affection.  We knew we wanted to do this as a family and include our little peanut.  We also knew we wanted to do some things for family members who lived far away and also for people in our community.  It was a lot of fun brainstorming ideas with my husband and coming up with fun family activities.  We decided early on we wanted most things to be activities as opposed to gifts so we were sharing in experiences as a family.  We also decided we would have one date night and have a few days we kept a secret from one another.  Just thinking back on these 14 days makes me giddy.   It was such a great way to reconnect with my family.

Without further ado, our family’s 14 Days of Love.


DAY 1

We got things going on the right foot for Day One with a family trip to the local park.  We packed everyone up, including our fur baby, for a fun-filled day of slides, swings, and sand!  I honestly don’t know which one of us had more fun. 

This also happened to be Super Bowl Sunday so dressing in our team gear was a definite MUST!  Since we are a house divided, my husband and I went 20 rounds debating over which team name our Peanut would be wearing.  I am guessing he let me win since it was the first day of love!  I am totally okay with that!  Go EAGLES!

One of my favorite memories from this trip is discovering what a little dare devil we have on our hands.  Our little Peanut refused to go feet first down the slide and only wanted to go head first all by herself.  I swear we must have watched her torpedo down that slide 100 times! 

 

Check back for the rest of the countdown!  Next up, DIY Toddler I Love You Cards.  You don’t want to miss this cuteness!!



Baby On Board: Nautical Themed Baby Shower

Ahoy, it’s a boy!  And what a better way to celebrate a new addition to a family then with a nautical themed baby shower.  When my dear friend, Jenni, told me she was throwing this maritime baby shower I knew I needed to get up close and personal with all her coastal details.  

After determining her guest list, she decided on this great theme to keep in tradition with the mommy-to-be’s first baby shower, which was also nautical in nature.  She selected a red, white, and blue color scheme and threw in a few seafaring accents like this wooden anchor, wooden buoy centerpieces, and a ship steering wheel. 

The guests signed words of encouragement that will later be added to a scrapbook for the mommy, along with pictures from the shower and throughout her pregnancy.  Another idea for a guestbook is to have each guest sign a book for the little half pint (wink wink – I just found out that half pint is a nautical phrase meaning child so I just couldn’t resist!).  Little Tug by Stephen Savage is one of Peanut’s favorites.  However, anything that fits your theme would be great! 

At each table the hostess placed a simple floral arrangement to accompany the buoy centerpiece.  My favorite touch was the rolled onsie placed at each seat for the guests to showcase their creative side once they finished up their lovely brunch.  Here were a few favorites from the shower.

The favor for each guest was simple and sweet.  Throw some Lifesavers into a plastic bag and staple on a label to the top and you have the perfect favor that is cute and practical following a brunch baby shower!

The only game played throughout the shower was a welcomed change of pace from the typical Guess the Baby Food and How Big is Mommy’s Tummy games.   We were not sure the exact name of this game so we are going to call it the Brown Bag Mommy Challenge.  The best part of this game is it is interactive for all guests and can be a cute way to slip in a few extra gifts for the expectant mom if you choose. 

**Money Saving Tip – Have some guests at the party bring a few items each and then return them after the party.  No extra spending needed.

All you need to pull off this game are:

  • Brown Paper Lunch Bags (You want to use as many guests as you have at the party. For example, she had 12 guests so she used 12 bags.)
  • A Sharpie or pen to label each bag.  And a pen for each guest.  (they can also share)
  • A cheat sheet.  (An index card or piece of paper to keep track of what is in each bag.)
  • One sheet of paper or index card for each guest.  Label it 1-12 (or number of guests at shower) 
  • Random assortment of baby items that can fit inside of your brown paper bag.  (She used twelve items because you want an item for each guest at the party.)

Number each bag 1 through however many guests you have.  Feel free to decorate the bags in any way you like to match your overall theme.  Place one baby themed item in each bag and then fold the top of the paper bag over and staple it closed.  Place all the bags in one location until the game is ready to begin. 

**Remember to keep track of what you placed in each bag on your cheat sheet.

When you are ready to start the game, pass out one bag to each guest and one sheet of paper for them to record their answers.  I found that index cards work better for this since there will be no need to pass out something to lean on while writing.  Each person can feel, squish, shake, and try everything short of opening the bag to guess what is inside.  Each guest then records the item on their index card and then passes their bag clockwise.  Repeat this process until each bag has made it through every guest. 

Then have each guest open the bag they have and see who guessed correctly.  Tally up the scores and see who won!  At this point you can give the expectant mother all the items used or set them aside to return to their owners.  Here are a few ideas of what to put in the paper bags:

  • Binky
  • Baby Nose Sucker
  • Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder (My daughter loved this thing!)
  • Baby Shoes (This was by far the hardest one to guess at the party.  The hostess used soft shoes so it stumped everyone. Sneaky sneaky!)
  • Baby Teether
  • Teething Necklace
  • Newborn mittens
  • Toys
  • Bottle Brush
  • Cute closet dividers – I am sure you could even find some that match the theme of the shower or the nursery!
  • Binky Clip
  • Soft Plush Book
  • Baby toothbrush (The banana shaped one would be especially difficult to guess.)
  • Rattle
  • Picture Frame

The possibilities are endless.  Just think about what the mother might need or try and think of things that might stump the guests!  Either way, everyone is sure to have a blast.  
   



Toddler Crafts

I am just over the moon to show you my latest craft project.  This one is particularly special because it is Peanut’s first craft project.  Get ready to have tons of fun and piles of smiles because this project is going to make your week! 

**Have your camera ready because you are going to want pictures of this one.

This project could not be any easier.  The only supplies are:

  • A toddler
  • Paint (you can make your own paint or buy nontoxic paint for babies)
  • Canvas
  • Peel and stick letters
  • Drop cloth (anything that keeps your work area clean. you could also just do this outdoors)
  • apron for parent (optional)

I stock up on canvases from Michaels when they are on super clearance (like they are RIGHT NOW).  However, you can always get them from the dollar store for a few dollars.

I like to get various sizes and I am glad I did because I have made this project for a few different people and needed different sizes due to the varying length in their names.  The canvas pictured is the smallest rectangle available since the name of my friend is Brie.  I made another one for my good friend Lindsay so it was a size bigger.  (On that project, I added a handprint under her name since there was extra space on the canvas.)

Once you have all your supplies, you will want to prep the canvas before you get your toddler involved.  I have used painter’s tape and peel and stick letters from Michaels and the peel and stick seemed to be the best option.  The tape kept lifting when Peanut was in the middle of painting yet I didn’t seem to have that problem with the letters.  The letters also allow you more font options. 

All you need to do is spell out the name of the person who is receiving this toddler swag, stick the letters to the canvas in the spacing desired, and let it sit for a minute.  Just for extra security, I laid a book on top of the letters for a few minutes while I prepped my little one.

Next, you want to lay down your cloth and ready the paint colors you want to use.  All that is left is to get your toddler down to their diaper and you are off.  Help them dip their hand and attempt to do more painting then eating.  I really like the textured look that would appear when she made streaks.  However, I think her favorite was pounding her hand down repeatedly. 

Don’t forget to have them paint the sides if it is a wrap around canvas.  A few minutes and a bunch of giggles later, you will have a toddler masterpiece!  Take your little one to the tub for even more play time shenanigans while your artwork dries.  By the time they are all cleaned up, you will likely have a dry canvas so you can now pull up all the letters and have the white from the canvas pop against the paint colors. 

This canvas was hung in a friend’s office and made for a great birthday present.  You could also create this toddler artwork for mother’s day, father’s day, grandparents, valentines day, or anything that tickles your fancy.

If you want to make your gift even more special, throw a picture in a card from the painting process.  It is sure to be a big hit!

 Now go get messy!!!



~So Lucky You’re Mine~

 

In our house, St. Patrick’s Day falls smack in the middle of mine and my husband’s birthdays.  As you can imagine this usually means it comes and goes with very little fan fare.  A pinch of green added to the wardrobe and a Guinness at the end of the night about sums it up.  Knowing that my Nanny, who makes the best – most amazing- mouth watering Irish soda bread in the universe, might be extremely disappointed in my lack of pride for my heritage on this day of all days, I decided to step up my game this year!

My husby, who is decidedly NOT Irish, doesn’t know it yet but he is about to get a whole lot of green to take with him to the office tomorrow.  I wanted to show him how lucky I am to have him in my life.  What better way to do that than showering him with little goodies to last him the next few weeks on those long days at the office?

I literally went to the store and scoured for all things green.  Some things I knew he was not a fan of so I skipped over them.  However, they may work perfectly for your family!  Here are a few examples of the goodies I went with and a few I did not:

  • Lifesavers
  • Granola Bars – Nature Valley has the green box!
  • Sour Skittles
  • Mike and Ikes
  • Sour Cream and Onion Pringles
  • Gum (various flavors)
  • Blow Pops
  • Sour Punch Bites
  • Peppermint Patties
  • Starburst Green Apple Candle with Green Lighter

I topped the goodies off with a green necklace just in case he forgets to dawn his obligatory green attire that way he can ward of all those PINCHES.

When hunting for the perfect saying to tie everything together, I found these over at eighteen25.  I opted for So Lucky You’re Mine but there are a few variations so you can tailor your green gift to your beau, friend, neighbor, or even teacher.

I think I am most looking forward to an Irish dinner of Shepard’s Pie and what’s to follow!  Instead of doing a typical dessert, I am going to make some delicious Shamrock Punch!  For those of you who have never had this, you are missing out.  It is the simplest of recipes yet the most deliciously refreshing beverage you can find.  Just throw together some slightly melted Lime Sherbet with some ginger ale and there you have it!  You can thank me later.

My wonderful friend, Brie, is an amazing artist and doodled up this drawing.  I can’t wait to give my little Peanut a blank copy to color for her first St. Patrick’s Day where she is old enough to participate in the fun!  While she channels her inner Van Gough, her daddy and I are going to take on the Limerick Challenge and come up with some festive poems to wrap up the night! 

**UPDATE – We had a lot of fun with our Limerick Challenge.  I used this printable from theclassroomcreative.com.  We decided our theme should be our little Peanut and her new trike since she just learned how to ride her new tricycle.  What do you think? 
 

Now, go tell that special person in your life how lucky you are to have them!



Pi Day of the Century

Scratch Bakery

As a woman with an insatiable sweet tooth, I have always loved sharing my birthday with all kinds of Pi Day shenanigans.  My favorite type of dessert is literally ANY pie or cobbler (check out my pie pops if your tastes are like mine!), so it’s no coincidence I was born on March 14th!!

However, this year is truly the Pi Day of the Century.  This year’s Pi Day is a huge milestone because it hit the tenth digit in Pi, which will not happen again until 2115!  What were you doing on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 in the morning?  My wonderful husband started my birthday morning off right with this amazing new shirt that says it all.  I dawned my new pi day swag, threw on my running shoes, and headed out the door for the best race ever invented…Pi Day Pie K!

 

This genius idea is a race dreamed up by Scratch Bakery.  Participants run 3.14 kilometers (just under 2 miles) and get a individual fresh baked pie at the end!  Now that is a reason to run!!  And these pies were no joke.  Runners got their choice between apple or chocolate but could also go into Scratch after and sample any of their other delicious flavors.  In celebration of Pi Day, all pie slices were only $3.14.  You better believe I stopped off for seconds.  Mmmmmm…..

 
Scratch Bakery

 My husband could not get enough of these delicious balls of dough!  I was more into daydreaming of my next visit where I tackle something off of their Brunch or lunch menu!  What a way to kick start my birthday!



Scratch Bakery


3rd Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience

It’s that time of year again!  Bust out the balloons and cake because it is time to celebrate!  Another year older means another year wiser – right? 

This year my husband and I decided we were not going to buy each other individual gifts for our birthdays this year.  Now before you think I am crazy for passing up a new birthday gift, you should know we still DID get each other a joint gift.  While we were throwing out ideas of possible gift ideas we realized our top two choices pretty quickly; something for our house or an experience that we could both share together.  Since we are constantly doing things for the house, we thought the experience might be more special and settled on the 3rd Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience as soon as we heard about it!



BullCityExperience.com

Our birthdays are exactly one week apart in March so this event was perfect to capitalize on both our special days being that it was held on March 8th, 2015.  We were excited to go to something in our local community that we had never been to before.  Sharing new experiences is one of our favorite things to do together and always makes us feel closer to one another.  The hubs and I have been to our fair share of beer festivals, food truck rodeos, BBQ festivals, and everything else you can think of related to tasty beverages and yummy treats.   Basically, we live to eat!  What I want you to know about this event is it truly is an “experience” and an amazing one at that!



www.bullcityexperience.com

This experience was held at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) in Durham, North Carolina and presented by Sam’s Quickshop and Tyler’s Taproom.  With 34 local restaurants and 56 breweries participating, it was the biggest and best Bull City Food and Brew Experience yet!  Two of my personal favorite aspects of the event were the live bluegrass music from the Barefoot Movement and the Special NC Brewers Guild Onstage Experience.  Checkout how the Barefoot Movement plays without any shoes!! 

Both of these were held on the actual stage of the DPAC and gave you a new perspective of the performance venue.  There was also plenty of space to stretch out as all of the seating throughout the DPAC was up for dibs.  We grabbed a beer, some amazing pork belly from Tyler’s Taproom, and popped a squat in the first row to listen to some great tunes. 



Tyler’s Taproom Pork with a Chutney and Cheerwine Reduction
On Stage Experience
 

Everything about this event was well planned out and executed to perfection.  Let’s break it down to why this is a MUST DO:

LINES
Anyone who has ever purchased a ticket to a beerfest that runs for 4 hours and spends 30 of those minutes waiting in line just to get through the door, knows this can be one of the most frustrating starts to your day.  You are excited and eager to get started at the first brewery yet all you can do is wait and watch the clock tic onward.  Hurry up and wait.

Well, at the Bull City Food and Beer Experience, this could not be farther from the case.  There was literally no line for us.  We walked up and walked right through the door.  We were immediately handed our souvenir tasting glass, which was actually glass, and a layout of the participating breweries and restaurants.  Seconds later we had our first pour and scrumptious tacos in our bellies from Nanas Taco.  Oh, did I not mention there were no lines for food or beer?  Yeah, I could not believe it either but I swear it is true.  The longest I waited for anything was maybe one or two people in front of me.

Chocolate Croissants

Let’s not forget another line that is killer at events like these…the bathroom line.  Normally, this is something I dread; leaving my place in the line up of breweries to make the trek to the port-a-potty, stand in line for 20 minutes, and all the while knowing you will have to do it all over again in an hour.  Well, since this was held at the DPAC, there were more than enough restrooms for everyone and I never once waited in a line. 

FOOD AND BOOZE
Durham is rapidly becoming one of the best foodie cities in the nation and this event is no exception.  The best of the best showed up in full force.  (A complete list of participating restaurants and breweries can be found here.)

These guys didn’t just show up and provide us with great food, they worked together with one another to really showcase what they can do and provide us with the best experience possible. 

www.bullcityexperience.com

Part of this is in how the event was set up.  Each brewery was teamed up with a restaurant.  They worked together ahead of time so the food would pair well and compliment the beers brought by the brewery. 

Most of the time there was at least two menu samplings (and please don’t let sampling trick you into thinking they were small) and each one paired to a specific beer.  The knowledgeable staff and owners were great at explaining the subtleties and complexities in the pairing of flavors that may have otherwise gone unappreciated.  They also were welcoming with offers to their establishments (which we have already taken them up on since the event). 

 

NO LIMITATIONS
Another great feature (there really are too many to keep track) is that there was no limit to the number of samples in which you could partake.  We must have stood at the new England clam chowder with chorizo area for five minutes and eaten just as many servings.  And if that is not reason enough to brag about this event, how about unlimited pours?  That’s right!  First, they fill your glass to the tippity top.  Then, you can just stand there and refill if you like that particular beer!  Unlike any other event by far!!

If you are not local to this area, I would definitely recommend the Bull City Food and Beer Experience for a weekend away or a special occasion.  You will not be disappointed.   It was the perfect way for us to celebrate our birthdays and may even become a yearly tradition.  I am already looking forward to next year!

 



Chinese New Year Dinner Party

Who doesn’t like a reason to celebrate?  That’s right folks.  Hold on to your chopsticks because it’s Chinese New Year!!

New Year’s Eve may have past a couple months ago but I can never pass up another opportunity to gather with friends and ring in another year together.  A few trips to the Asian market and my first Chinese New Year Dinner Party was born.

Planning any dinner party does not need to be a huge ordeal or a painstaking process that consumes the week leading up to the event.  From my experience, I can say it is all about the guests.  My friends and I like to say, “We bring the fun!”  And it couldn’t be more true.  When you get a great group of people together, you are bound to have a fabulous time no matter what happens.

Once you have figured out the guest list, you can start planning the rest of the night.  For me, this is the food.  I want my guests leaving stuffed to the brim and with sore cheeks from laughing so hard.  I wanted this menu to be delicious and simple so I turned to one of my favorites for convenience and ease – Rachel Ray.  In her February issue of Rachel Ray magazine, she did an entire spread on throwing a Chines New Year party; complete with printables, favors, and zodiac wheels.  SOLD!

Pancetta Fried Rice

I added one or two family favorites (like Damn Delicious’ Pancetta Fried Rice and Julia’s Crunchy Asian Salad with Peanut Dressing) and decided on a few appetizers.  The tricky thing for this dinner party were the dietary restrictions for some of the guests.  We had vegetarians and gluten free guests that needed to be taken into consideration.  With a few tweaks to the menu, we were all set.

 

This Crab Rangoon dip was a huge hit.  I opted for the dip over the rolls since it not only is easier to make but is also gluten free.  I baked up some wantons to serve with the dip, along with some cut up veggies.  In addition, I made some gluten free vegetarian spring rolls that were amazing.  How can you not love mint, basil, and cilantro all wrapped up?  I also made a few with shrimp for those of us that enjoy the extra protein.

Most of the main dishes could be made or at least started ahead of time.  This makes things run a lot more smoothly on the day of your party!  We made Rachel Ray’s pork scallion dumplings with her edamame dumplings as a vegetarian alternative.  Some lettuce wraps, spicy sesame noodles, and pork spare ribs really brought the meal together.  Our local Asian market sells the most delicious beef noodle soup I have ever had so I knew I had to share this with my friends.  I bought two orders of it and served them in small rice bowls I picked up from the market for $0.99 each!  You seriously have to check out your local market because you can really stretch your money and get some great finds.

I kept dessert simple with just some almond cookies and fortune cookies for all.  I wanted the main event to be the meal itself.  I served everything family style at the table which made everyone interact right from the beginning.  My absolute favorite detail from the entire party is my husband’s brain child.  When I told asked him about having a Chinese New Year dinner party, the only thing he said was, “Well, then I need to build a giant lazy susan.”  You see my husband travels to China and Japan quite frequently for business and he loves how every table has a giant lazy susan or conveyer belt to distribute the food.  So he made a quick trip to the hardware store and with 30 minutes had transformed an old table into a giant lazy susan!  I bought a yard or so of Chinese fabric and there you have it.  The most fun you could have with 13 people around a dining table! 

I knew I wanted to have a simple favor at each place setting to add to the fun of the evening.  So I purchased a pack of Chinese Red Envelopes from World Market the weekend before the party and got them drastically on sale.  Instead of putting money into each envelope, I put a scratch-off lottery ticket and an old Chinese currency coin in each.  I couldn’t believe how excited everyone when they realized what was instead their envelopes!

I kept the décor simple since I thought the money would be better spent on some Asian beer and cocktails.  A few flowers, tangerines for good luck, red candles, and a Chinese fan were all I did to set the mood.

Once we all got seated around the table, I pulled out a few fun games.  First, I had everyone grab and then read their fortune from the Chinese Fortune Sticks from World Market.  Then we played a game where each guest pulls a slip of red paper out of a bowl and reads it to the table.  They then have to answer it in front of everyone no matter how hilariously inappropriate!  If you are interested, comment below and I would be happy to share the questions I came up with!!!

I love all these reasons for parties and socializing with friends and family.  What is your favorite reason to celebrate or throw a party?



Welcome, New Friends!

Our Little Family

Hi there.  Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my blog.  I am so excited to start this journey and share a part of my life with each and every one of you.  I do hope you will consider us friends.

Great!  And now that we are all friends here, I can skip the formalities and jump right into the juicy stuff like I do when I invite a girlfriend over for a glass or two of wine and some serious gossiping catching up!

This tiny corner of the universe may be small but I plan to fill it with all of the splendid little things that mean the most to me and fill my life with passion.  I am one lucky girl to have such a supportive husband, Adam, who doesn’t think I am crazy (or at least keeps it to himself!) for filling his weekends with never ending DIY projects and home improvement lists.  If it wasn’t for him, I am certain those lists would never have anything checked off of them.  Our little daughter, loving referred to as Peanut for her entire one year of existence, has kept me grounded to what is really important and how to cherish those fleeting moments that can make my entire week.

Like how Peanut helps Mommie with the laundry!

It really is funny how you can love something so small, so incredibly much!  As much focus as we put into our family life, we try and also put into our individual growth and passions.  I think it is important to set aside time to spend not only as a family and as a couple but also as individuals.  Keeping myself happy and fulfilled, by doing the things that make me feel challenged in my life, ensures my family gets the best possible version of me in their lives.  And let’s be real…when momma isn’t happy, nobody is happy!

True Love

Don’t get me wrong, I am still a girl who loves fashion and any reason to throw on a pair of high heels but I have spent a large portion of this last year learning about myself and what works and what doesn’t work for our family.  Sometimes I feel like my life is one big trial and error; always changing with the ever growing needs of our family and lifestyle.   If any of my successes or failures can help you (or provide you with a good laugh), then I consider it a job well done!

So, let’s just say this is a lifestyle blog.  I say this so I can get away with posting about anything that tickles my fancy at the time.  However, my absolute favorite things that comprise most of my free time tend to be:



Sneak Peak of My Chinese New Year Dinner Party

  • Hosting fabulous parties – I am a sucker for anything themed! Checkout my Chinese New Year Dinner Party here.
  • Home Improvement Projects
  • Pinterest Successes and Pinterest Fails – seriously, who doesn’t love to see a good Pinterest FAIL?!  Don’t worry, I will share mine with you!!
  • DIY – NOT!!  I literally have not met a DIY project (big or small) that I haven’t loved.
  • New Recipes – I am currently on an Asian food kick but my tastes change as quickly as the tide.
  • New and Creative Ways to Get Organized
  • Fitness
  • Planning Activities for the Seasons
  • Discovering my own local backyard (North Carolina) and stumbling across hidden gems!

Hopefully, you have gotten to know me just a little bit better.  If you are interested in anything in particular, drop me a line or leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you! 

Have a splendidly smitten day!

XOXO,
Max