Monday, October 29, 2012

less blogging. more secrets...

Yup. You’ve guessed it, my absence in blogging = ONE HUGE SECRET!!!

So, I promise this is it for awhile, so maybe I can actually get back to blogging on a somewhat regular basis. Without further ado…


Baby number 2 will be here at the beginning of May…again! Ya’ll think I go overboard with birthday parties for Kate? What on EARTH am I going to do now! 2 parties, 2 kiddos. Oh man. Maybe 1 BIG party with lots of cake and sprinkles? That should do it.

We are just over the moon excited for this little one to arrive. Now that my lovely morning sickness has calmed down a tiny bit and my energy has returned a little bit, I can be even more excited. You might be wondering how Kate’s reaction was to the news? I’m pleased to present Kate’s YouTube debut.

HA! As an update, she’s super excited now, talks about the baby ALL THE TIME and asks me on a daily basis if it’s here yet. Perhaps we should have waited to tell her the news?

Next obstacle will be putting up Kate’s crib in the baby’s room. She loved her crib and every now and then still talks about it. Then the real test…first week of December, gender reveal. She won’t talk of a baby brother. No boys allowed, just girls. Oh geez. We may have bad reaction to baby - part 2 - to video tape. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kate's birthday party feature!

Because we allllll know I can't keep secrets, I've been negligent in blogging because I've been keeping a little secret of my own :)  Last Friday, Hostess with the Mostess (my mostess favorite party blog!) did a full length feature of Kate's Schoolhouse birthday party!!!  I've known for a few weeks now that the feature would be live sometime in August.  Trust me,it was hard to not spill the beans!  So, without further ado, run on over to Hostess with the Mostess and see the full run down of the party deets and beautiful pictures!!

Click on the picture to be directed to HWTM!!! 
I also wanted to share a few pictures with you of sweet baby L.  My bestie, Misty and her husband welcomed him into the world on July 20th.  He is absolute perfection! AND he seriously is the most advanced baby ever!  Look at that smile!  Pop over to Misty's blog to see even more adorable pictures!

I just realized I promised a DIY that I was going to share with you.  I'm going to blame my being over 30 and say I have no idea what DIY I was going to do.  Maybe I already did it for a project over at Stockpiling Moms?  I'm losing it folks.  If so, then make sure you pop over and see all of the DIY projects that are posted every Friday by yours truly! 

Over the weekend we finished painting our bedroom and master bath.  I need a few more things to complete a wall vignette and after that's complete, I'll be sure to post pictures! 

Hope everyone is enjoying what's left of summer and gearing up for back to school! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Last week we continued the birthday celebrations of not only myself, but my brother and his life long pal, Ryan, in Destin, FL. There were a grand total of 18 of us between 2 condos and a beach house. We did dodge a tropical storm, but it only rained on our parade for 1 day. Life was pretty darn good for the rest of the week on a beautiful white sand beach and crystal clear water :) Here are some of my favorite pics from the week. Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! I'm working on a DIY this weekend and can't wait to finish it up. I'll share more next week...until then enjoy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Thirty means I'm no longer in my 20's.  Thirty means I've gained some perspective on my life.  Thirty means I'm comfortable with myself.  Cheers to thirty.  I think I'm going to like this decade :) 

Monday, June 18, 2012

finishing up the list

Lots of pictures in this post.  Tomorrow I will be 30.  My 20's will be gone and I will be left with lots of sweet memories of way too much fun and reflections of a decade of personal growth. 

I might not have conquered everything on my list, but I'm looking forward to my 30's to continue setting goals for myself. 

Findlay Market

Saturday morning on the 9th we loaded up and headed to Findlay Market.  It was a beautiful and HOT day.  I was fighting some kind of stomach bug so our trip was short which makes me sad.  But, we did manage to get some awesomely delicious asparagus and a sweet watermelon.  Kate enjoyed the sights and really enjoyed her orange soft drink :)  We'll be back again Findlay!


Family Photos

Humidity is NOT a girls' best friend.  Especially if your name is Kate, you are 3 and happen to have ENORMOUS curly hair.  When Brittany of Brittany Brown Photography sent me a text with a preview of our shoot, I almost fell off of my chair from laughing so hard.  Her hair was SO BIG!  Ha!!!  But, nonetheless, the pictures were perfection. Brittany really captured our family.  We laughed a lot that day, like we do everyday.  She captured the sweetness of Kate, and the craziness too.  I still am having a hard time believe that this adorable little thing is 3 years old already.  We love you our sweet Kate. 

P.S. I also want to wish my love a very happy anniversary.  Kate and I love you so much!  It's been an amazing 7 years and I look forward to many, many more anniversaries with you!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

mimi's baby shower

I want to share with you some of the details from Misty's (aka Mimi in "Kate speak"!) baby shower that I hosted a few weekend ago. 

I had sent the info over to my pal, Jessica, at Pen n Paperflowers who has a beautiful blog and is so crazy talented it hurts my head sometimes.  I shared with her Misty's story (with Misty's permission) and Jessica was anxious to share Misty's story with the world. 

Her post was so incredibly touching, elegantly written and inspiring!  Go straight over there to view her post.

While I'll let Jessica and Misty share those details, I wanted to share some other details about some good friends who stepped in to help me make this day as special as possible for Misty.

I finally got to meet this lovely, lovely lady, Deanna, at the Birds of a Feather Fair.  She was one of our vendors and I wish I could have stayed all day and chatted with her.  She is so super talented and creative and awesome.  As I began making my email rounds letting our vendors know that we would be holding off on the Fair while Misty recovered, Deanna emailed me back asking what she could do to help.  I had told her that I would love for some of the vendors from the Fair to help me with some items for Misty for the baby shower and she offered to create the printables (invitations, signage, etc.).  We ran with some ideas based on Misty's bedding she had picked out.  Deanna is so easy and fun to work with!  So next time you need invitations or party printables head on over to Mirabelle Creations!  To Deanna, thank you over and over again for helping me make this day so special!

I also wanted to send a special shout out and thank you to Cristin of Hazelnut Designs.  I also met Cristin via a craft show that Misty and I did a few years ago.  We've stayed in contact and she's always my go-to girl for my sewing needs!  I'm sure everytime she gets an email from me she cringes because I've always got some crazy project up my sleeve :)  She produces gorgeous work and she shares my love for the bunting banner.  You know, a real quality I look for in a friend! Ha!  I sent the bedding Misty had picked out and of course Cristin knew exactly who the designer was and even had scraps to make a bunting banner that matched!  Misty was SO excited about the banner to put in the baby's nursery!  To Cristin, thank you so very much for your unwavering support for me AND Misty through the Fair and now through this.  I really hope someday soon when you are visiting your sis that we can spend some more time together! 

This is Cristin with her stash of fabric. Raise your hand if you are jealous.  **both hands raised**
I have a couple more post lined up before my birthday on Tuesday!  We finally got to Findlay Market and got some family pictures/Kate's 3 year pictures taken over the weekend.  I only had 1 entire year to get this stuff done :) 

Monday, June 11, 2012


I did it!  It was almost a year ago that I told myself sometime within this next year, get your butt up and get outside.  I had told myself from the beginning I didn't care if I walked all of it, ran all of it, or a combination of both.  Just do a 5k.  So, last weekend that's exactly what my friend Jill and I did.

I'm NOT a morning person by any stretch of the imagination.  Unless its A) Christmas morning, B) the morning of a party, or C) an awesome yard sale you will find me still yawning and carrying on until probably close to 11:00 am.  But, Saturday the 2nd, I was up with the birds.  Even up before my hubby and Kate were up.  I snuck out of the house to meet up with my friend. 

Jill's 5k attire (sunglasses and iphone case) compliments of her teenage sister!  Ha! 
Let me tell you about my friend/5k buddy Jill.  She is this BURST of sunshine and energy.  The funniest person I've ever met in my entire life.  She can have me doubled over in stitches laughing and crying and unable to breath from laughing so hard within seconds of seeing her.  Sometimes even just thinking about some of the crazy stuff we've done together makes me laugh out loud.  She's just one of those kinds of people that just make your day when you see them or talk to them.  Now my funny little friend Jill has worked her @#$ off this past year and has really accomplished some AMAZING fitness goals that I only wish I could/had the motivation to do!  She is a total 5k pro.  I couldn't have asked for a better person to have my first 5k experience with! 

We headed across the river to Cincinnati to our 5k destination.  This particular 5k was in honor off a little gal named Becca.  (More on that in a bit)

It wasn't a huge 5k, but just enough people that I didn't feel overwhelmed or super intimidated.  They already had burgers cooking for the after party and that certainly motivated me to get back there as quickly as possible! 

We started with the walkers and headed on our way.  The course winded through a lovely, lovely neighborhood.  We had almost as much fun talking about the houses we saw along the way as we did walking!  We walked fast and ran some.  My friend beat her personal best time, so for me that was a win! 

At certain markers in the course, like at every .5 miles, they had yard signs with encouraging messages to the 5k participants.  They also had some statistics about Becca's fight with Leukemia.  Heart breaking to see the numbers on what that brave little girl went through and made you pick up your pace and take your mind off of your feet pounding the pavement. 

It was a fun morning and Jill and I were proud to support childhood cancer research here locally at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital.  You can watch Channel 5's story on the event here.  Race For Cure Inspired By Young Cancer Patient | WLWT Home - WLWT Home

I thought a lot about Misty that day too.  I hosted her baby shower that evening. Finishing that 5k couldn't have been a more perfect way to begin the day with helping raise money to find a cure for cancer and to end the day with such a fun celebration with Misty! 
Only 9 more days in my 20's!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dear Pottery Barn: anything you can do, we can do better :)

Are you singing the song in your head right now? Ha! 

Pottery Barn - $149
It's been a part of our DIY to-do lists for probably going on 2 years now.  In a push to get some things around the house crossed off our list before Misty's baby shower (which is Saturday!) the hubby finally got going on making this fixture a reality. 

I purchased the white cords from IKEA, I think in the same trip as the farmhouse sink, so as you'll remember that was well over a year ago.  Joey make the wooden box from scrap materials he has lying around.  I give him so much grief for keeping every piece of scrap wood, so I will admit it, it came in handy this one time.  We stained it to resemble our kitchen table and countertops.  I love the little beadboard detail that he threw in there too. 

Our previous builder grade light fixture had 5 arms and produced plenty of light so I figured that we didn't need to add another 11 lights like this PB fixture.  You would have to wear your sunglasses at the dinner table! 

After some intense moments holding it up while standing on top of the dining room table we got it put into place and the power turned back on and PRESTO!  Our glorious shining mason jar light fixture is operational.  It gives off ample light and i think maybe even makes the room look a little bigger.  I just love it!

Another project that has been on my to-do list for a long time is the wooden ruler growth chart.  We bought the wood for this project back in February and it's been sitting in the basement for several months.  I don't know why I wait so long to do stuff like this because it really was a quick project.  I stained the wood with Aged Oak, let dry overnight.  The next evening with the help of my math superstar husband we got to work on the ruler portion.  I was a little scared, okay a lot scared, of messing it up.  But, with this nifty gadget, square level thingy it was pretty easy.  I used a sharpie marker so there was no dry time involved here! 

Online the ruler sells for $59 and the mason jar fixture $149.  The 16 jar fixture sells for $399!!!  We tried to figure up how much we saved and we figured between the wood for the ruler (probably about $10, already had stain on hand and a sharpie marker) and the cords for the light fixture (maybe $20 total?, already had wood and stain) and I did buy new mason jars so they would be nice and clean (less than $10) we saved at the VERY least $168 and really more like $418 because our fixture is more like the $399 version!  I wish someone would give me the $418 because think how much I could do in our house for that much! 

In other house news, Joey is currently working on building a small deck that will eventually step down to a stone patio.  I'm narrowing down paint colors for K's room.  I picked about 5 different shades similar to the kitchen island and the laundry room and when I got them all home and held them against the laundry room wall I realized they were all almost identical.  I guess that means I like that color?  When the deck is complete we are going to get started on the screen door for the laundry room. 

In other, other news, I am FINALLY completing the 5K off my 29th year bucket list.  This Saturday, the morning of Misty's shower, because you know, why not?  I will be the first  to admit I am nowhere near ready to run it, but I know I can walk it.  I can't believe it, just another 20 days left in my 20's!  But, ready for a fun party and then ready for vacation! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

the benefit

It's taken me a week to finally get my thoughts together on the wonderful, marvelous night I experienced last Thursday.  So glad to finally be writing these down. 

I haven't give you much of an update on my bestie, Misty and her journey with cancer as she enters her last trimester of pregnancy.  I hope that you have been keeping up with her blog too.  If you haven't stopped over yet, do it right now! 

For a brief update, Misty and baby boy are doing well.  She's almost 2 months away from getting to meet his sweet little chunky face.  I can't wait.  I want to kiss his face and just tell him how much I love him and his mommy.  EK! 

I'm hosting Misty's baby shower next weekend.  Misty requested an evening shower in an effort for it to resemble more of a girls night and I was more than happy to oblige!  It's going to be a super fun and chill evening with lots of good food, laughter and lots of sweet memories made. 

So, back to last Thursday.  It was a night I'll never forget.  Along with about 12 other girlfriends, we hosted a benefit in honor of Misty.  The purpose was to raise some funds to give directly to Misty to help with her medical expenses.  Our little planning committee only met twice, we had about a month to prepare, and together hosted probably the best damn benefit EVER! 

This awesome tavern in Covington, Blinkers, so graciously offered for us to take over their entire restaurant for the evening.  They donated a portion of their beverage and food sales directly to Misty.  Over 200 people packed that tiny little tavern and spilled out onto the sidewalk all the way down the block. 

We gathered the most incredible raffle items ever.  People were going crazy buying tickets.  My dear friend Beth made us girls who were selling tickets the most adorable aprons ever to wear that evening to hold the money from the raffle sales.  I had so much money in my apron I could barely get my hand in there to get it all out.  Times that by 12 girls with aprons. 

The outpouring of love that was shown to Misty was incredible.  The friends who drove hours to be there for Misty on a Thursday night was incredible.  The random people who didn't know Misty from anybody that came anyway to support her was incredible.  The waitress who emptied her pockets of her tip money for Misty was incredible.  I don't think I can say it enough, it was just an unbelievably touching experience to be in that restaurant with so many wonderful people. 

Misty was able to be at the benefit for a few hours.  She looked radiant.  And so happy. 

The benefit was for Misty.  It was to honor her as our courageous friend. On that night, it wasn't about cancer.  Cancer didn't even get an invitation to the party.  This benefit was a celebration of her friendship to all of us.  It was created for her because each of us know that if we were ever in need she would have done the exact same thing for us and even better! 

We sold (are are still selling) bracelets with the words Peace. Love. Hope.  I wear this bracelet everyday with my watch.  Every time I look at my watch I see those words and say a silent prayer of peace, love and hope for my best friend.  I pray that she will find peace with her diagnosis someday.  I pray that she feels the love of all of her friends and family around her all the time.  I pray that she finds hope in something everyday. 

A special shout out and thank you to my momma too.  Your unwavering support of me and Misty throughout the years in the numerous "big ideas" that we've concocted means more to me than you'll ever know. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

cross it off the list - 2012 Kentucky Derby!

As I inch ever so close to the big 3-0 birthday, I'm also inching closer to finishing off my bucket list items.  One big one was to attend the Derby, hat and all.  This past Saturday, May 5, 2012 I did just that.  It was fun, crazy and HOT.  We made lots of memories that day and it was a day I won't soon forget!  

Our chariot picked up our crowd of around 30 in the parking lot of a furniture store at 8am.  I actually had to get up earlier than I do on a normal work day.  Funny how I sprung out of bed this day, but can barely get it together to get out the door to work...

Anyway, we picked our seats on the bus, got cozy with some nutritious breakfast.  Yup, that would be a sprinkled donut and a giant coke from McD's.  What? Weight Watchers?  Not TODAY!  

Remember, another reason for this trip is my friend from high school who is married to one of my hubby's friends from high school was turning 30.  And it was Cinco De Mayo.  The trifecta of celebrations.  
The birthday girl!

The "fillies"
We arrived at Papa John's stadium after 10am.  We would park the charter bus here and then take a short shuttle ride to Churchill Downs.  I had heard this is where a lot of the college kids go to "tailgate" before the Derby.  Oh. My. Gosh. Tailgate they did.  I still think of myself as a spring chick, but man did the sight of those college kids make me feel old.  And apparently they thought we were celebrities.  They swarmed our group.  We were definitely the most dressed up group in the lot.  And probably the oldest, like by 8-10 years.  And they COULD NOT get over the idea that most of us had kids.  But, nevertheless, it was fun to hang out there and thank my lucky stars that I'm no longer in college and that I can afford the finer things in life, like cold beverages in bottles and clothing that does not include cut off overalls.  

This girl.  Cut off overalls.  Tiny sombrero hat.  Hot. Mess.
After heading into Churchill Downs we found our way to the paddock area soaked in the sights.  We attempted to find Joey's brother and sister in law who made the trip from Miami, Florida.  But, if you've ever been to the Derby you know that cell phone service is spotty at best and we never could connect with him.  We even went as far as searching the infield for nearly 2 hours in the muddy disaster looking for a blue pop up tent with no avail.  BUT, we did run into my friend from college in the tunnel leading to the infield!  

My friend, Alex!

We left the infield and joined back up with our group we traveled with and spent the rest of the day enjoying the Derby.  We had a front row seat to the parade of owners and handlers as they made their way through the paddock area and to Millionaire's Row.  

It was a loooooooooong day, my feet were throbbing, but I wouldn't trade that day for anything!  We had SO much fun with our friends who we never get to do this kind of stuff with.  To Nikki, you did 30 proud!  Thanks for having a birthday and thanks to your awesome husband for getting it all together! 

So what's left on the ol' to-do list?  

Run/walk 5K - scheduled for June 2nd!  Have I started training?
Take some video with my 8mm app.  - can't believe I still haven't done that.  
Try a yoga class.
Get to the Findlay Market 
Get some kiss my 20's goodbye pictures taken. - I'm chickening out, these might turn into family portraits :)  

And yet again, my 30th birthday party is being taken down another notch.  Life just got BUSY.  I am headed to my favorite restaurant on Sunday to check out their party room.  Let's face it, this way I won't have to clean up!  HA!  

Hope ya'll had a fun Cinco de DERBY weekend!