Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Friend Feature

How many of us have a friend with amazing abilities to craft, decorate, bake, or design???  You know what I mean!  Those ladies who seem to turn every simple occasion into something completely spectacular just by tuning into "their skills!"  I have chosen to dedicate Fridays {from time to time} to featuring those "superwomen!"  It is my blogging vision, if you will, to honor one of these talented chicas a month {on a Friday, of course!}  As you know, I am a teacher and the school year is about to we shall see how that blogging vision really unfolds.... 
Nonetheless, today marks the first ever Happy Hearted Hostess Friday Friend Feature!!!

The first "superwoman" I have chosen to feature is named Rhianna.  She is actually one of my own besties, my cousin, and was the matron of honor in my wedding!  So, of course, she gets to be the first!  Rhianna is incredibly talented and very creative.  Of all of the many things she does well, I think the most blog worthy are her sugar cookie centerpieces!  They are nothing short of brilliant!!!  You will wonder why you didn't think of it first! 

Rhianna says that she makes these for everything from birthday parties to bridal showers.  They are adorable on the center of a table and {I can tell you from experience}...they are delish!!! 

When asking her about these yummy creations, Rhianna said, "I can't take credit for the idea.  I have a friend who used to do it as a small business and she let me in on the secret!"  This, my readers, is what the Friday Friend Feature is all about!  Friends sharing and inspiring each other because really....Behind every superwoman is a superwoman friend!!!  I know, by now, you must be hoping I will let you in on the secret.  Your wish has been granted!  Read on, happy hearted readers!! 

Make the dough and let it chill overnight!  Roll and cut the cookies. Place the sticks in and bake them.  Let them cool before you put on the base coat of icing.  Pipe the outline and let it dry.  Bag the cookies and decorate, decorate, decorate! 

Rhianna, thank you for sharing your savvy {and oh, so cute!} culinary skills with us!  Readers, if you have been inspired by Rhianna's cookie centerpieces, I would love to see your very own cookie creations!  Please email pics of your finished products to me at

Do you have a crafter, baker, designer, hostess, party planner, or decorator "superwoman"
pal that you would like to see featured on the Friday Friend Feature?  I will be choosing many more friends to come!  Simply email me your friend's amazing ideas, tips, and pictures of finished products!  Can't wait to hear from you, readers!!  Have a wonderful weekend and spread some joy today!  Love to you all!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Whale Decor and More!

Happy Wednesday!  If you have been following the blog the last few days, you have likely read the first two posts about the whale-themed baby shower I hosted this past weekend!
Today's post will show some of my favorite decorations from the shower!  Really, we had too much fun with this one!

The "Welcome Baby Banner" was displayed
above the lunch buffet tables!

This banner read, "Brady" and set the tone
for the punch table's blue and green decor!

Do you rememeber the "whale" faucet cover that I bought for Baby Brady from yesterday's post?  {It held the white cakepops on the dessert table.}  This is the matching toy caddy that we bought to lend to Brady's bathtime adventures!  While it will probably hold toy boats and rubber ducks in the future, I used it on the buffet to hold napkins and forks!  It was the perfect size!!!  Once again...a functional present doubles as a stylish table decoration....always nice!

The prizes for our two {very funny} shower games were blue and green colored antibacterial soaps from Bath and Body Works! I am always finding a way to fight those germs away... ha, ha!  Just kidding...though I do love these soaps!

Yesterday's post covered the dessert table, so I am not sharing much about it today...but this is the banner that was displayed at the front of the table.  It read, "Sweet Baby."  Get it?  Sweet...dessert table...???

Check out these sweet baby socks with tiny little whales!!!  Precious!  I added these to the dessert table display.

Ribbon topiaries added to the color scheme and the table decor!  I made ribbon topiaries for a week...5 small for {every other} guest table and 2 large topiaries
for the edges of the dessert table!   

 I alternated the ribbon topiaries on the guest tables with these decorative pick centerpieces...a staple in my etsy shop...if ever you are in need!!!

Notice the ribbon backdrop on the dessert table!   Maybe you saw it yesterday but I thought it deserved it's own shout out, today!  See more about the dessert table in yesterday's post!

I truly enjoyed hosting this whale-themed baby shower!  It was a special day full of special people!  Now I am ready to meet Baby Brady!!!  We just can't wait to hold him! 
Have a wonderful Wednesday, readers!  I hope you are blessed and find opportunities to be a blessing to those around you!  Spread a little joy today!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Whale-Themed Dessert Table

I've heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child.  Perhaps that is true.  Many special people take part in the nurturing and education of our sweet babies in those early years!  Along with parents there are: grandparents and other significant family members, friends, teachers, caregivers, church families, and often many others willing  to walk with us as we raise the tiny lives that God has graciously  entrusted us with.  How true is that saying?!
I suppose it is no wonder that it took a village to throw this baby shower!  Amy is much loved by friends, family, and church members.  A multitude of folks {seriously... many, many people} asked me if they could help in some way in this celebration for Amy and Baby Brady!  I worked with a great team of friends and family members to plan this shower!
What a party it was!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yesterday's post introduced the Mommy-to-be behind today's post!  This whale themed shower was a "splash" of fun to style and to host!  There is simply too much fun to share in one post, so today I am going to focus on my favorite aspect of Baby Brady's shower!  Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you to The Dessert Table!!! 

This was one of my projects for the shower and I had a "whale of a time!"  Ha, ha, ha!  {Not a good joke???}
I enlisted Kaleigh from Lotte Lu and Brother Too to design and bake these incredible whale sugar cookies!  She did not dissapoint!!!  They were exactly what I had hoped for.  She's so talented!  Check out her blog to see what she can do.  You're in for a treat...I assure you!!!!

 I had to show the cookies as they were when I picked them up on this little platter and tied in tulle!  How cute are they??
Kaleigh took the pictures I sent her of the color scheme, the vision I had for these cookies, and totally ran with the idea!
She made whales, a "B" for Brady, and various other shapes and designs to match the ribbon I was using.  They tasted incredible, as well!  These cookies completely rocked out the whale theme!!!  Shout out {and a huge thanks} to Kaleigh!

The cake was too sweet as well!  B's Cakes Bakery did a fabulous job making my dreams for the shower cake come true!!!  Shout out {and a special thanks} to B's Cakes!  Brandy of B's Cakes was creative and wonderful to work with!  Thank you, thank you, thank you
for this darling whale creation!!!

The cake is shown here with the cake topper I made!  The cake and cupcake toppers read, "Sweet Baby Brady." 

The cakepops for the shower were from my very own kitchen!  {Though they would not have made an appearance had I not pulled a crazy college-like all-nighter Thursday into Friday morning!} Safe to say that I won't forget these cakpops anytime soon!!!  They aren't perfect...but I've said it before...I'm very humble about my culinary skills for a reason!  Ha, ha, ha!
 My favorite detail of the whole shower....drumroll, please...
Look at the whale below {actually a faucet cover that we bought for Baby Brady} with the white cake pops coming from them!  What's that you say?  Functional  baby gift meets stylish shower detail?  I think so!!!

 The rock candy was a big hit with the little girls at the shower!  Rock candy...who would have thought?  They loved it and kept coming back for more!!!  Kids are funny!

I think that sums up the dessert table!  It was a wonderfully fun summer project for a very sweet Baby!
  I'll share more about the details of the shower {decorations,etc...} on the next post!!!  Have a wonderful Tuesday!  Spread a little happy today...everywhere you go!  Love to you!!! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Time to Celebrate!

To everything there is a season and
a purpose under Heaven.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Saturday, I was able to throw a baby shower for one of the most incredible women I have ever known!  I have anxiously awaited the day we could celebrate in her honor and it was{for me, at least} absolute blast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amy with her husband, Austin at a Bulls game this past winter
You see, I have been truly blessed with good in-laws.   Each of them is special to me in their own way and I recognize that some people are(how should I put this???)...well...not as fond of their spouse's family!  I am very fortunate and I don't take that for granted.  Today, however, I am writing about my hubby's older sister...who is undoubtedly 
one of my best friends!

Amy and I at the baby shower she threw for me {Gavin} a few years ago
I did not have a sister growing up.  I had a few close cousins who were much like sisters...but no one to share shoes with, you know?  I consider it no coincidence that God gave me a sister-in-law with the same taste in clothing and the same shoe size.  Maybe that sounds silly to you.  To me, it is just another example of God's divine timing in our lives...because my sister-in-law is a truly special person.

"Aunt Amy" and Gavin always make a good team for board games!

Amy is the kind of woman that is loved by all!  She is compassionate, giving of herself, strong, and resilient!  So, while I do love to throw a good party...this shower was completely for her...her turn to be celebrated!!!

And boy...did we celebrate!  I am going to spread out the various details of this shower over a few posts.  Stay tuned and watch the party unfold!  Happy Monday, sweet readers!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Apple Green...Ooh, La, La!!!

Are you enjoying your Monday afternoon, friends??  I certainly hope you are!  I just completed a custom order that I am so excited about!  The customer asked me to create a door sign and centerpiece picks for a bridal shower with an apple green and black and white damask color scheme!  She told me that this bride loves unique details.  For example, the flower girl will be wearing an apple green tu-tu down the aisle!  CUTE!!!
This is the door hanger/sign.... and...

Here you have the centerpiece picks!  It was so much fun to design these for a customer that is so very special to me!  I wish her the best as she continues to plan this very fun and unique bridal shower!  Have a wonderful week, readers!  I hope you are blessed each day with friendship and sunshine!  Spread some joy today...and everyday!  Big hugs to you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Trivia Night

Who doesn't love a great trivia night???  Okay...maybe I'm not the biggest fan of trivia in general...but I do love the social scene and the great snacks!  {Once in a while, I know a little something that I can contribute to the happens!}

This particular project was actually for my husband.  He is the music minister at our church and organized this trivia night for our choir members and their spouses!  Very fun!
These treat boxes held popcorn and doubled as table numbers for the teams!  Our friends make the best {seriously it's movie-theater amazing} popcorn ever!!!  They were gracious enough to fix plenty...some for each table....yum!

Trivia-goers brought snacks to share!  Check out this terrific table full of appetizers...We had everything from spinach and artichoke dip to home-made fudge!  These people know how to party!
The prize table had mason jars {find them at Walmart} tagged with the names of each prize!  Guests got to put their names in their prizes of choice to be drawn at the end of each round!
Shout out to my husband...(does he actually read this blog regularly...hmmm???)...anyway Hubby, I would love to own a copy of the book Crazy Love myself!  Just throwing that out there since my birthday is next month, you know! 
Our church has a soda fountain these days!  {It's the new beloved summer addition to our church family!}  I am going to be honest.  The next picture is really only posted because the brigthly colored lids on the soda pitchers makes me smile!
The trivia night was a blast because we have the best church family!  Truly, they are wonderful people...and it turns out, they really know some trivial things!  Impressive! Who knew??? 
Thank you to our friends who came early to pop the very delish popcorn!  Thank you to the
trivia-goers who brought those fabulous appetizers!  Your culinary skills amaze me!!  ...and a very special thank you to the nursery workers who watched many little ones for the party!  We love you all!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Friends, Family, and Fireworks!

What a blessed day we had yesterday!  We invited some of our friends and family over for some old-fashioned summer fun! 

Kids ran through the sprinkler, played on a slip 'n' slide, and jumped {the bigger ones literally jumped} in the baby pool!  Barbecue, lawn chairs, and homemade side dishes added to the July festivities!  Our friends, all parents of children under the age of 5, sat on blankets with their toddlers eating blueberries and strawberries. 

 It was truly refreshing to be in such good company!  I wish I had more pictures...
but I may have had to dry my camera off for a while after getting Kaden out of the baby pool...oops!
Yesterday's party was simple but infused with red, white, and blue!  From the sweet little girls' hair bows to Americana themed goodies and treats, we enjoyed the 4th of July the way it is meant to be celebrated!

You can find the directions for these yummy strawberries at Grin and Bake It!  {I thought these looked a bit cuter in person...I don't exactly pride myself in my culinary skills, though.}  Still...a fun treat!
Our holiday was so reminiscent of the simple summer gatherings of my childhood!  We are blessed to have such wonderful friends for our children to grow up with!  When you look past elaborate decorations and beautiful appetizers {the kinds of details I typically love and adore}, the company you share an event with is really all that matters...and all that our young children will remember twenty years from now! 

 May you be blessed with friendship, family, a good sprinkler to run through on summer days, laughter in your backyard, and a friend who always remembers to pack sunscreen and bug spray for your children when you forget!  May you enjoy summer days
under a shade tree with your best friends!
May there always be a blue popsicle to enjoy during fireworks...and some good laundry detergent to follow the blue popsicle!  All my love to you, readers! 
Spread some happy today!