Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Goals Revisited...

At the beginning of 2010, I made a list of goals.  Since there are only about 3 hours left in the year, I figure that I need to revisit the list to see how I measured up.   This isn't gonna be pretty...

  1. Read More - My goal is to read 50 books by the end of the year. Yeah... That definitely didn't happen.  I did read more in 2010 than in previous years, but no where close to the 50 that I was shooting for.  I think the final number was closer to 13. 
  2. Blog more - Technically, this one happened, if you base it strictly on numbers... but it wasn't a whole lot more.  I didn't complete the series that I wanted to, and blogging fell by the wayside, yet again.  
  3. Get organized - Things are still a mess in some areas... in others they are better... not anywhere close to where I hopped to be. 
  4. Kick the Tupperware business into another gear - Truth is, I didn't do a whole lot with Tupperware this year.  I'm still kinda on the fence about the whole thing. 
  5. Throw my sister an awesome Baby Shower. This one was definitely accomplished!  A lot of planning went into the shower and I think we pulled it off beautifully
  6. Be a great Aunt, and spoil my Niece or Nephew. Definitely the easiest goal to accomplish this year... Even before Parker arrived, he was being spoiled!  
  7. Pay off all credit cards and stop using them. Not quite successful on this one totally, but I did pay off 2 cards and canceled the account.  One more left to go. 
  8. Here's the BIG one - Go back to school.  This didn't happen either.  I did go meet with the Admissions Counselors to discuss my options about returning to school.  After hearing what they suggested, I decided that it was best to sit out another year and get more of a "fresh start" in 2011.  So, in August 2011, I will be returning to ECU.  
Overall, not a lot was 100% successful, but some progress was definitely made in some areas.  I'll post a list of goals for 2011 sometime soon. 

REWIND: September - December 2010

My lack of blogging is just unacceptable.  I'm sure that everyone has been waiting with baited breath for my next post to pop up in your google reader...who am I kidding?

Instead of doing a separate post for the last four months of the year, you get a summary of them all lumped together because it all seems to be somewhat of a blur to me. Here is my attempt at a "catch up" post...

  • At the end of August, the school semester started, and this is where the work load really kicked up.  The beginning of the semester is normally busy, but this semester, I just felt like it never really slowed up.  A lot of changes went on in the office and I feel like I spent way too much time there.  Some responsibilities were added to what I already do, and it was a lot to juggle. There were weeks when I felt like work totally consumed my being.  For the first time, I was asked to work football games, and while I didn't mind, and it was a good "change of pace," they started off a little rocky.  Once I got the hang of everything, the season went by smoothly.  (Wish I could say the same thing about the Pirate's record.)  Another big event this semester was a themed dinner that our dining hall was responsible for doing.  Each year, we plan these over the top events to enter into competition. This year, a lot of the planning fell on me.  I was so stressed out over every little detail, and when the night finally came, and the event went smoothly, I was so relieved!  Before I knew it, it was time for shut down, and let me tell you, I was never so ready for a 2 week vacation! 
  • Towards the beginning of September, I went out with a guy that I had a couple of dates with about a year and a half ago... it was nothing special, and the 2nd time confirmed my reservations about the whole thing from the beginning.  Other than that, the "love" life has been nonexistent to say the very least. Part of me just wants to give up... 
  • I am loving being an Aunt... but of course, having the cutest nephew ever helps that a lot!  I cannot believe that Parker is 6 months old already!  It seems like just yesterday that my sister told us that she was pregnant.  Having a little one around is so different, but its hard to remember what life was like before him.  So many memories have already been made... so many "firsts" for him.  I look forward to the years to come! 
  • The weekend before Thanksgiving, we took our annual trip to the Mountains.  It was nice to get away for a few days.  This year there was a total of fourteen of our family that went... including 3 babies that were 5 months old at the time.  We had a good time... I look forward to this trip every year. 
  • I've been stuck in this place of "needing change" for a while.  I thought that some of that would finally come... but no such luck. 
  • The Holidays were a little better this year for me, probably because of Parker.  Having him around makes those times a little more special.  I'm kind of ready for 2011. 
I'm sure there are a lot of little details that I missed... but those were basically the highlights.  Nothing too fantastic... a lot of work... a little bit of money to pay the bills...  I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and that your New Year is a happy one! 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

REWIND: August 2010

I know this blog is extremely late... I mean it is almost the end of September!! I seriously need to get better at this blogging thing... I know I keep saying that I am going to work on it, but every time I think of something to write, I never have a minute to sit down and do it.  This one will be short, but hopefully it will get me back in the routine of blogging.  I'm sure that no one really reads this thing anyway... but I'm gonna keep on truckin'...

The first part of August was pretty much like July.  Working only part time, and keeping Jenna... trying to spend as much time with Parker as possible.... but then school started.  Most of you know that I work at a University, so my work schedule is pretty much dependent on the school schedule. When school started, work got very busy.  It was all that I could do not to get overtime... Great for my bank account... bad for my stress level.  But... I have a job, and a lot of people don't... so that's a plus.

During August, I also worked a couple of local festivals with a Tupperware booth.  It was a great way to get my name out there... and to sell off a lot of the back stock that I've accumulated over the past 3 years.  It got the extra stuff out of my house and some extra cash in my pocket.  That's always a nice thing.

Time is flying by!  Hopefully, I won't be almost a month late next time!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

REWIND: July 2010

Seriously?  Its already (past) time for another monthly rewind? Because not much is happening, this post will be short... I promise that I will work harder at keeping this thing updated more... June and July were kinda slack around here...

July over all was pretty much the same as June... Still working some... keeping the little cousin in between time... and spending AS MUCH time with my nephew as possible.

Parker was only 5 days old when we celebrated his first 4th of July.  He was so cute dressed in his red white and blue.  He has changed so much over the last month, and I swear, every time I see him, he has grown and has gotten even cuter!

Hopefully August will be more 'exciting' so that I will actually have something to write about...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Accidental Artist

I'm always looking for new things to do in Greenville... I get kinda bored just staying in the house all of the time.  I'd heard a while ago that a place called The Accidental Artist had opened.  It is a Paint Your Own Pottery studio.  One day while I was keeping the munchkin, we decided to check it out, because it was something that we could both do together.  I LOVE it!  I've been back several times since that first day to complete the projects that I started.

The Staff is super friendly and so willing to help you with whatever techniques you want to use.  I love that anyone can go in and create a masterpiece.  No matter your skill level, there is something for you to paint, and if you need help or ideas, you can get it.  People in Greenville seem to be catching on, because every time I've been in there, the place has been packed.  Last Friday night, they had "Paint Til You Drop".  They stayed open until Midnight  and you could paint until your heart was content.  There were actually people sitting on the floor waiting for a table to work at! 

Here are my first two pieces:
Piggy Bank... for Parker
Customized it with his name... other side has Birthday and Stats

My sister wanted a Piggy Bank for Parker... but she wanted one that actually looked like a Pig and kinda matched his room... I decided to go ahead and paint one for him so that it could be personalized.  I love the way it turned out!

Picture Frame

I saw this saying on another picture frame online and decided that Parker needed one.  This was a really simple project... I got to blow paint bubbles... it was a lot of fun!

So, if you're looking for something fun to do in Greenville, with kids or other adults... check out the Accidental Artist!  They do birthday parties and showers too!

Monday, July 5, 2010

REWIND: June 2010

Coming off of a whirlwind May, I was ready for things to slow down a little bit. I needed a little bit of a break.  The first couple weeks of June were just that.  The month started out slow, but once things started happening, the month was over before I knew it.  June 2010 will definitely be a month I will never forget.

  • I started back to work, but on a very limited basis.  With summer camps coming in, there is a little bit of work for me, but it is still not enough.  I'm currently at a very frustrated point with my job, and I keep hoping for a change. 
  • I got my hopes up to visit a friend, but for some reason, that I'm still not sure of, that didn't work out.  I hate losing touch with people.  I always wonder what would be different if things didn't change. 
  • I started babysitting my little cousin while she is out of school.  I'm juggling my work time around keeping her, but it is a little extra money coming in. 
  • The BEST thing that happened in June is that I became an Aunt!  My nephew made his arrival Monday, June 28 at 6:46pm.  He is too cute!  He is such a loved little boy already! 

 Can't believe that half of the year is over!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quote of the Week

"I'm not afraid of heights, I'm afraid of falling. I'm not scared of the dark, I'm scared of what's in it. I'm not afraid of love, I'm afraid of not being loved back."
And its the not being loved back that hurts so much...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Last One...

As I finished typing that last post, I looked at the date, and realized that it is June 7.  If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know that this was the date that I was supposed to get married, 2 years ago.  So, today would have been my 2 year anniversary.  When I realized this, I didn't get upset.  My emotional state, regarding this situation, is in a MUCH better place than I've ever been.  So, this will be the last blog post that I write on the subject.

If I had married Will, I'm not so sure that we would have even made it to a 2 year Anniversary.  I'm still coping with being single, but I can honestly say that I don't miss Will anymore.  The only time I think about him, or talk about him is when I'm thinking about what a horrible person he was to me.

So, here is to retiring the "Broken Engagement" Label and moving on.   Better things ahead!  (Maybe even this week... fingers crossed...)

Quote of the Week

I love Quotes... I always have.  Usually, I can always find a quote to fit a certain situation that I'm going through.  So, I've decided to start posting a "Quote of the Week."  Not really for anyone else, but mainly for me, to serve as a reminder that I need this quote this week.  Here is the first installment.
It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return, but what is the most painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let the person know how you feel.
Perfect for this week.  I need to find the courage.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

REWIND: May 2010

May was such a busy month! I knew going into it that there were so many things going on that it would fly by... and boy did it!  A lot got done, but there were things that I wanted to happen that didn't... Here are a few highlights.

  • Work ended for a little while.  Since we are super slow during the summer, a lot of us go on lay off.  I love having time off, but it does put quite a strain on the checking account. 
  • Relay for Life - We had a great year for Relay.  Our church's team raised over $20,000 for the American Cancer Society.  We work at it all year.  I'm getting a little too old to stay up all night though... 
  • Mother's Day went well... I cooked dinner for my mom and my whole family... no one died, so that was a success..
  • As you can tell by previous blog posts, a lot of my time during the first few weeks went into making my sister's Baby Shower great.  When it was all said and done, it was a big success, and everyone said everything looked great.  I've had several people tell me that I should open an event planning business... I'm just not sure I'm ready to take that step yet... 
  • The Shift Conference finally took place.  I was so excited about this event!  I will write a more detailed blog post about it.  
  • I turned Twenty Five
  • As you can see, I read a lot more... trying to catch up on that goal. 
  • Ended the month with a girl's night with my sister and cousin, Megan.  We went and got Pedicures, went to Olive Garden to eat and then out to see Sex and the City 2.  We had fun and the movie was too funny! 
Over all, it was a good month, but one that was jam packed with events.  June isn't as packed, but the major event will be the birth of my nephew, Parker!  I'm so excited! 

Book Review -- "Savor the Moment" by Nora Roberts

"Savor the Moment" is the third book in the "Bride Quartet" by Nora Roberts. After reading the first two, there was no doubt that I had to read this one. 

Continuing the story of the life-long friends that started Vows, a wedding planning business, this book focuses on Laurel McBane, the pastry chef.  For her whole life, she has been in love with Delaney Brown, brother of her friend, and business partner, Parker.  However, she has never acted on her feelings because of their close relationship.  

Del views all of the girls at Vows as his sisters.  He has a very "take care of things" nature.  He feels that he needs to look after all of them, like he does his own sister.  This is a big conflict between he and Laurel.  She feels that she doesn't need to be taken care of and that he doesn't have to view her as his sister, so one night during an argument, she gives into impulse and kisses him.  

That kiss opened up a whole lot of feelings, between both of them, and through the course of a couple of months, they figure out that they are right for each other.  Laurel believes that she's always known that Del is "the one." 

Again, I loved this book.  I'm looking forward to the last installment in this series, but it won't be released until November, so I guess I will just have to wait until then! 

Monday, May 31, 2010

Baby Shower Post 6 - The Favors

When I started thinking about what to do for favors, I knew that I wanted to do something edible, because I think that they make the best favors.  One day when I was in the new AC Moore, I saw molds for chocolate lollipops.  They looked easy enough, so I bought some in shapes that were baby related items.  I bought the melt and mold chocolate disks in blue, yellow, green and white and all the supplies to make the lollipops.  They were super easy to do and turned out great!

I found a poem online and typed it on paper that matched the invitation and tied it on the lollipop with the same blue gingham ribbon.  For display, I got 3 sizes of Styrofoam and covered them with matching tissue paper and stuck the lollipops in it, to give them some height.   Here is the poem:


They were a huge hit! 

Quarter Century

So on Friday, May 28, I turned the Big Two Five...  Its so hard to believe that I am 25 years old.  It seems like only yesterday that I was waiting to turn 13 so that I would be a teenager, or 16 so that I could drive.  Back then, everything seemed so simple, and being a "grownup" seemed like a lot of fun. Everything was so innocent and the biggest worry I had was making a good grade on a test.

Boy have times changed.  In the weeks before my 25th birthday, I kind of had a mini meltdown about turning 25.  It seems like at this age you should have things figured out, and life should be pretty much in place.  Reality is quite the opposite.  I feel like nothing is in place and I have no clue what I am doing with life.  So many plans have come undone and that 13 year old teenager wouldn't even recognize my 25 year old self.  I've come to learn that being a grownup isn't fun... its actually a lot of work.  Every day it seems a new worry, with much more importance than a good grade is added to the never ending list of things that fill my mind.

I've written about birthdays here before, and how I like for them to be special.  This year, I spent my birthday with some of the same people from last year.  I was invited to speak at a Social Media Conference, City Shift.  It turned out to be a great event, and I had a lot of fun.  One of the guys bought me a pink glittery tiara that said "Diva," because he calls me the Twitter Diva.  I wore it during my presentation :)

After the Conference was over, some of us headed out to Dolce Vita Wine and Beer, a local wine and beer shop, to enjoy some music and wine.  When I went in, there was a sign wishing me a Happy Birthday.  Good people and great wine, no better way to end the night.

Here's to being 25... so far, being a quarter century old isn't that bad...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baby Shower Post 5 - Banner

As I've mentioned before, every aspect of the Baby Shower related back to the invitation in some way.  Some of them were less obvious, like using round tables to replicate the round images on the invite, and some were easily spotted.  One of the ones that I think was easy to see was the banner that I made.  Using the same patterned papers that I used for the invitation, I made letters that spelled out "Welcome Parker."  I also used the same frog, snail and puppy dog from the invitation to break up the words.  To tie it all together, I used the blue and white gingham ribbon from the centerpieces to replicate the gingham ribbon detail on the invitation.  It was the perfect personalized touch to add to the gift table!

I'm wondering how many posts this baby shower will end up having... At least 10 I think... 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Baby Shower Post 4 - Baby Diaper Snack Cups

I know that I've been slow getting some of the Baby Shower details up... but things have been a little busy.

When I started planning my sister's baby shower, one thing that I knew I wanted to make was these baby diaper snack cups. You fill them with chocolate covered peanuts (or you can use raisins) and they are really cute. One reason that I wanted to do them is because when I think back (a while ago) to the Baby Showers that my grandma used to help host, these were always there. So I knew that we could not skip them for my sister's shower.

They are super easy to make and they turn out really cute. Here is a picture of the platter of them on the food table at the shower.

And because I am a visual learner, I decided to make a short video to demonstrate how to make them! Maybe someone will be able to use it. (Video is low quality... sorry for that... )

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Enter this Giveaway - Modern Bird Studios

Over at All Things G&D right now, she's doing a giveaway for a piece of art from Modern Bird Studios.  I looked at their site and was blown away with how beautiful their artwork is.  I love the modern feel, and that it can be truly customized.  So head on over to Dusty's blog and enter her giveaway!

Book Review -- "Bed of Roses" by Nora Roberts

"Bed of Roses" is the second of four books in the "Bride Quartet" by Nora Roberts.  After reading the first, "Vision in White,"  I couldn't wait to begin reading the second book.  While the first book focused on Mac, the second was the love story of Emma, the florist at Vows.

Emma grew up and always dreamed of romance.  She was the little girl who always dreamed of dancing in the moonlight with the man that she loved.  Being a beautiful woman, a mix of her Mexican mother and American father, she had no problem attracting men.  While she had no trouble attracting them, she did have a problem finding one that gave her that romanticized feeling of "love" that she had dreamed of having for so long.

Jack Cooke had been a good friend to the girls at Vows for over a decade.  Having been a college buddy of Parker Brown's older brother, he had become more like a brother to all of the girls.  While he found himself attracted to Emma, he thought that he could never have anything with her because of the prior friendship.  Whenever the thought of her crossed his mind, he simply brushed it off.

However, after sharing a kiss in a back stairwell during a Wedding that the Vows team was orchestrating, Jack and Emma began to explore their feelings for each other.  With bumps along the way, and dealing with left over feelings stemming from the divorce of Jack's parents, in the end, Emma finds her man to dance with in the moonlight.

This book was just as good as the first. I stated in my review of "Vision in White" that Nora Roberts did an amazing job of describing a love scene, and this book affirmed that belief.  There is more passion and more "lust" in this book than the first, but overall, it was great!  I love that this book dealt with the conflict of being in love with someone who you shared a friendship with previously.  Can friends really become lovers?

Simply put, this is a good book... I've already started on the third!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Three Years

It is simply amazing how fast time flies.  May 23 marks three years since my sister and I closed on our townhouse.  So many things have happened in that time span.  Buying a house is a very liberating experience.  At the time, we were 19 and 21.  Buying a house at that age is something that most people aren't thinking about.  We decided that it was time to leave "home" and wanted to buy, rather than waste money renting.

Over the years, relationships change, financial situations change, and you have to wonder if buying a house was really the best thing to do.  As I look back on it now, if I had to do it over again, knowing what I know now, I think that renting may have been a better option for us.  That being said, I don't think that it is a decision that I regret.  Live and Learn right?

A lot of growing up has taken place over the last three years, and with all of the changes that have occurred, some of that growing up had to take place very fast.  There have been times that I wanted to get out of it... try to sell the house and move.  Right now, is one of those times.  Money is kind of tight with the type of work that I do, but even more than that, I hate living alone.  I've been living on my own for over a year and a half now, and it sucks!  I've thought about renting out rooms to people, but honestly, I don't know who I would want to live with.

Being alone in the house makes me sad... and I don't need more sadness in my life right now...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Review -- "Vision in White" by Nora Roberts

One day, I was in Walmart and wandered into their small book section.  I decided to look around and see if they had anything that piqued my interests.  On their New Releases shelf was a Book titled "Savor the Moment" that caught my eye because on the cover was a gorgeous wedding cake.  I picked it up and realized that it was Book 3 in "The Bride Quartet" by Nora Roberts.  I looked around and found the first book in the series, "Vision in White."  I decided to purchase it, and read the first book to see if I liked it, before getting the others.

When I started reading the book, I knew instantly that I was going to like it.  The main characters are four lifelong friends, who as children could often be found in the back yard of the Browns, playing a game they called "Wedding Day."  Later in life, the same group of friends form a Wedding Planning Business, simply called "Vows."

Each of the girls handle a different aspect of making sure that a bride's wedding day is everything that she has ever dreamed.  Parker Brown, who inherited the Brown Estate after her parents died in a tragic accident, is the business woman who has worked very hard to turn Vows into one of the top Wedding Planning businesses in Connecticut.  Emma Grant specializes in creating beautiful floral arrangements and bouquets that add personal touches to each and every wedding.  Stunning wedding cakes, created by Laurel McBane, are showpieces at receptions.  The fourth and final member of the Vows team is Mackenzie "Mac" Elliot.  Her expertise is photography.  Her photographs capture the moments that make a wedding day so special, and allow these moments to live on forever.

Mac's life is a little unorganized, with a mother who just ended her third marriage and relies on Mac to always be there to pick up the pieces, so to speak.  The mother, Linda, regularly calls on Mac for financial support after her romantic life falls apart.  Despite that, Mac has made a very successful name for herself as a Wedding Photographer.  She is seemingly content with the direction in which her life is headed, and really isn't looking for love, until it literally walks in her door.

Carter McGuire, PhD, former Yale Professor, teaches English at a local Private High School.  He is your typical "nerd."  He wears tweed, and spends most nights grading papers alone in his apartment, kept company by his three legged cat, Tripod.  His sister is recently engaged, and drags him to a consultation with the ladies at Vows.  He shows up in the wrong place, and finds Mac, topless, in her studio.  When he sees her, his High School crush resurfaces, and he falls in love with Mac all over again.

"Vision in White" is the love story of Mac and Carter.  While Mac's mother's love life has skewed her view of love and marriage, over time, she learns to accept that some things in life you cannot control, and that some times, even though you may not have it all together, all that you need is staring you in the face.

This was the first Nora Roberts book that I've read, and I loved it!  I love the concept of these friends working together on the productions that are weddings.  Having once thought about being a wedding planner, and seeing a lot of myself in the Parker character, reading this book, with all of the wedding acronyms (MOB, FOG, etc.) made me feel like I was in my "element."  It was a quick read for me.  I'd start reading, and before I knew it, I was 100 pages in.  Roberts seems to write great romance stories, and the way she describes a love scene is amazing.

I'm really glad that this is the first of four books.  I can't wait to read the rest of them.  Three are currently available, and the fourth is slated to come out later this year.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baby Shower Post 3 - The Centerpieces

I mentioned in the post about the Baby Bouquet that I made that I was doing a scaled down version of the project for my Sister's Baby Shower.  I found little blue buckets at Target during Easter in their $1 section, and they already had bows tied on the sides.  I knew these would be perfect to serve as containers for the centerpieces.  I bought gingham ribbon to match the ribbon detail on the invitation and replaced the ribbon that came on the buckets, just for that little extra attention to detail.  I got a bunch of baby socks that matched the colors (blues, greens, whites) and started rolling!

Since the shower was floating, and everyone was not eating all at the same time, I only had 3 tables set up, with lots of extra chairs around.  Each table was designated with one of the animals that were used on the invitation.  I made a decision early on in the planning process that most everything we decorated with would be something that could be used once the baby arrived.  To add some color to the tables, I used receiving blankets as overlays.  In the center was one of the buckets of sock "flowers" and a toy frog, snail or puppy.  I was able to find the perfect baby toys at a local toy store, RoundTable Toys. They turned out so cute!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Baby Shower Post 2 - The Diaper Cake

Last Diaper Cake post for a while.  I promise!  In keeping with the "Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails" theme for my sister's baby shower, I knew the diaper cake should follow the same theme.  I wanted to use it as a centerpiece on the food table, and I wanted it to be BIG.  I decided that for the shower, any form of a frog, snail or puppy would be appropriate.  I found some stuffed animals that Parker can play with later, and decided those would be on the cake.  Also, there would be a layer for each of the animals, and coordinating receiving blankets would decorate them. I found some wood cut outs at AC Moore that were just too cute to pass up.

Here is the finished product:

The cake was a total of 9 layers (the 4 bottom layers were doubles).  It contained 320 Pampers, ranging from size Newborn to Size 3 and 5 receiving blankets.  It stood 3 feet tall.   It was perfect for the centerpiece on the food table.  The table was long, so the height of the diaper cake was perfect.  Here are some closer detail shots. 

I had some issues with transporting it, but once I got everything on, it turned out great! 

Baby Shower Post 1 - The Invitation

Since I had such a huge part in my sister's baby shower, I have decided to break it up into multiple posts.  Each post will focus on an element that I feel is important.  There may be some tutorials along the way, as the majority of the things for the shower we created.

Today's post focuses on the invitation.  I believe that the invitation to any event should set the tone for the event as a whole.  If your event is formal, a more formal invitation should be sent.  If it is a casual event, then a more casual invitation is acceptable.  When a guest receives an invitation, they should have a good idea of what to expect upon arrival at the event.  I also feel that if your event has a "theme" that your invitation should represent that.

When my sister found out that she was expecting a boy, the first thing I thought of was "Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails... That's What Little Boys Are Made Of..."  I did some quick research online and found that other people had used this as a Baby Shower Theme for a boy, so I decided that I would run with it.  My mind was swirling with ideas.

I knew that I wanted to design the invitation, and that the details would fall into place from there.  I began searching for invitation ideas, and ran into several problems.  There was nothing that I liked.  I did a generic search for baby shower invitations, and found that a popular style looks like a mini scrapbook page.  Scrapbooking-- I can do that!

I looked for digital scrapbooking kits, and found a site, Shabby Princess, that had free downloads.  The kit that I decided to go with had lots of blues, greens and yellows... prefect for a little boy's baby shower!  I downloaded the Sweet Serenity Kit and got to work.

I also used a free design program called  This is a program that has been compared to Photo Shop, but it is simple to use like Microsoft Paint.  The thing that I like about this program is that is has the option of using layers, which was really helpful when designing the invitation, or any form of digital scrapbooking, really.  Once I finished the design, I ordered them from VistaPrint.  This is their Oversized Post Card, and you can order envelopes as well.

I was so happy with the way that the invitations turned out! I've gotten a lot of compliments on them.  Here is the finished version... with all of the important details blurred out. (Click for a larger view)

Having a great invitation really made the rest of the planning a breeze.  Stay tuned this week for more Baby Shower Updates.  The details are what really made it great!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Photo Shoot with Memory Weaver Photography

I've been wanting to get some photos done for a while. Its been a long time since I had quality photos of myself. I also feel like my online presence is growing, by having various accounts across the Internet, and it is important that the images I use as profile pictures are consistent.

A friend of mine, Crystal Weaver, has just started a photography business called Memory Weaver Photography, and she agreed to do a shoot with me. Once the weather warmed up, we picked a beautiful day and headed out to do the shoot. Outside of Greenville, out in the country parts of Pitt County, there are a lot of old abandoned houses that served as a great backdrop to get some modern photos with a vintage feel. We chose a couple of spots that are located on a stretch of highway that I travel often, and we had a lot of fun.

I LOVE the way that these photos turned out. She started posting some of them on Facebook and I was blown away with how good they were. Today she gave me the disk with all of the edited pictures, and here are a few of my favorites.


Some are serious, and some are not so serious... Crystal totally got what I was looking for, and did a great job! Here's the one that I chose for my standard "profile picture." It is perfect for what I wanted!


So, if you are local, and looking for a great photographer, look up Crystal at Memory Weaver Photography. You will be as satisfied as I am!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Perfectly Pooh Diaper Cake

One of my mom's friends is also expecting her first grandchild around the same time that my sister is due. My mom wanted me to make a diaper cake, and she said she wanted it to be elaborate... well when I hear that word, the gears start turning. I knew that "elaborate" did not mean the same size as the diaper cakes that I have been making recently. She told me that the nursery was being decorated with a Pooh theme and that they did not know the gender of the baby.

So, I went to the store and found some really cute Pooh stuff, and then tried to figure out how I was going to put it all together on the diaper cake. Here is the end result:

This diaper cake contains 151 diapers. It has 5 tiers, and Pampers that range from size 1 to 3. It stands 28.5 inches high. It is definitely the most "elaborate" diaper cake I have made to date. Here are some detail shots.

A Pooh piggy bank tops the cake. I just took the stopper in the bottom off and hid it in one of the layers, so that there is some support with the dowel rod that goes through the whole cake. The top tier is size 1 diapers.

I thought this fleece blanket was just too cute. When I saw the scene on it, I knew that I had to include the whole thing. Because of the height, I had to make 2 tiers of diapers so that you could see the whole thing and nothing would be cut off. I really like how this is a focal point in the center of the diaper cake. Those 2 tiers, and the one below it have size 1-2 diapers.

Attached to the 4th tier, and resting on the bottom one is this cute pillow that the parents to be can personalize once their baby arrives. The bottom tier has size 3 diapers. You can't really tell from the pictures, but the bottom two tiers also have receiving blankets.

I was really happy with the way that this one turned out! The next one that I make will be for my sister, and I have big plans for that one! It will be used as a centerpiece at her shower.

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