1 Year Old!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

 Sawyer turned one this week and we celebrated with a party this past weekend (details to come). It's been one crazy year, but I wouldn't do it any different. I drew out his chalkboard this morning and immediately thought what I could do for next year? I already have a few ideas up my sleeve. It's been fun to see the transformation from baby into toddler. I love that we have all Sawyer's big moments documented. This year has been a blur and I definitely would not remember all the month-to-month happenings if I didn't write them down.

I bought this felt mini crown for Sawyer's birthday party. I imagined him wearing it while he smashed his fists in some cake! Of course, he had other plans. He was not having it and I ended taking it off. I still managed to squeeze in a mini photo session when he was in a more cooperative mood.

Last, but certainly not least...a year of chalkboards. Love you Sawyer! You are now officially a toddler. I can't wait to see what this year will bring!

Backyard Beer Tasting

Monday, July 28, 2014

For my husband's 40th birthday I planned a special party to celebrate with close friends. I came up with the idea of a backyard beer tasting. I bought four types of beer in pint size bottles. They ranged from light to dark and created a well rounded flight. You could also do a tasting of beers from around the world, a single country, same brewery, or the same type of brew (e.g. IPA, blond, etc.). The possibilities are endless. I wanted to appeal to the masses so I picked a variety to satisfy everyone's taste buds. To my surprise the hit of the night was the peanut butter stout. Who knew?

The idea was to keep the tasting as a self serve process. This way I was free to mix, mingle and be a good hostess. I setup up a chalkboard with a couple of easy steps. I wrote down the order and name of each beer along with a little about what it would taste like. I had guests grab a paper plate (I know very glam, but who are we kidding I was going for easy clean up!), then they loaded it up with 2.5 ounce tasting cups (aka Jello shot cups) and poured a flight. It was really fun to watch guests taste and interact. A great icebreaker and way to get the party started!

My DIY chalkboard consisted of an old door and a lot of chalkboard paint.

I used a flower pouf to hide the large hole where the doorknob would otherwise go.

I added a hint of a Mexican/Spanish theme throughout the party. I used burlap and chalkboard as my accents along with bright pops of color. Glass juice bottles filled with water and pinto beans served as vases. I bought three small bouquets of flowers at the grocery store and mixed the colors to make centerpieces on the dining tables.

I hired a taco guy to cook and serve dinner. The best money I ever spent. It smelt and tasted heavenly.

I used my DIY tassels to add pops of color to my decor. I'm selling this set of 3 handmade tassels here. This is a one time shop item and once it's's gone!

I carried on the Mexican/Spanish theme with this framed chalkboard print adored with mini tassels. I also added a fun chalkboard Keep Calm sign next to the bar.

Lots of succulents already in my garden, but moved around to add some natural accents.

I wanted to create a special backdrop for a dessert bar. I bought peg board and two shades of yarn to create an ombre banner. I crossed stitched the numbers 4 and 0 using a basic pattern found on Pinterest.

This was a super time consuming project, but really made an impact. I marked out the grid using painters tape. This really helped me stay on track. I finished the backdrop by tying black and white pictures of my husband growing up over the years. It was a really fun conversation piece.

I was super lucky to have help on this project from Sawyer. He's a crafter in training!

My husband's favorite meal of the day is definitely dessert. I decided to have all of his favorite things lined up on a dessert bar. At one end of the table I had a gourmet s'mores station. I included a fun menu with made up concoctions like the great white (marshmallow, white chocolate, and coconut sandwiched between two graham crackers.) This menu is part of a Smore's Kit on my shop. Guests roasted the marshmallows over our outdoor fire pit.

When I asked Derek what kind of cake he wanted he told me Sprinkles cupcakes. Um, I said cake not cupcakes! The birthday boy is always right so I ordered an customized mini sprinkles cupcakes. I wanted to keep everything small so guests could try more then one dessert.

I found fun little chalkboard signs at Target and labeled each of the flavors.

Since I spent a small fortune on cupcakes I made a cake for Derek. I found this super simple recipe Pioneer Woman. Instead of using Cool Whip I used vanilla frosting. I was afraid the Cool Whip would melt outside. When I was making the cake my layers starting sliding off so froze the whole darn cake over night and crossed my fingers. It totally worked out in my favor! I topped the cake with a custom 40th birthday banner. I snagged this printable here.

Last, but certainly not least the donut portion of the table. I had three layers: powered donuts bought at the grocery store, homemade donut shaped sugar cookies, and dounut holes.

I added some fun donut sayings for a bit of whimsy and two actual donuts to add to the look.

When I saw this donut pillow I had to have it! I will be the first to admit that I overpaid. I spotted it at the mall when I was shopping with Sawyer. I had him hold it while I browsed the store and it totally kept him entertained. SCORE!

Décor for the party, toy for Sawyer, and the cutest photo prop EVER!

What a great party and way to celebrate my amazing husband!

30 Day Challenge - 10 Day Progess Report

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Today marks 10 days of consistently working out for 30 minutes. What? What? Jumping up and down! I'm not going to's been a challenge. I read it takes 21 days to form a new habit, 11 to go!

Tips that work for me:

1. Posting pictures on Instagram holds me accountable. It also provides instant encouragement. Thank you for the likes and positive comments!

2. Reminding myself 30 minutes is a short amount of time and I deserve "me" time.

3. Staying flexible with workout times. Whatever it takes to fit it in, e.g., working out before everyone wakes up, on my lunch break at work, late at night after the baby goes to sleep.

4. Switch up your workouts. Not only will this keep things interesting, but also it will help with flexibility. Envision your day and what you need to get done. Where can you fit in working out? If you can't find time then take one must do activity and turn it into a workout. I had to go to the craft store and instead of driving I rode my bike. It took longer, but I accomplished two things at once.

5. Focusing on consistency. Pushing a stroller around town or stepping on my Wii means I'm MOVING! For now that's my only goal. Later I can amp up my workouts.

Use #30minexercise hashtag and join me in the challenge by posting your photos. Or keep following along to see my progress.


10 & 11 Months

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sawyer will be 1 years old at the end of the month. I swear it feels like I just had him (minus the extreme lack of sleep). I can hardly believe it's almost 12 months! I'm a little late on posting, but here are Sawyer's 10 and 11 month photos.

It took about a bunch of tries to get this photo. All Sawyer wanted to do was crawl...really, really fast.

This has to be one of my favorite photos (that little tush!). With Sawyer on the move it's been increasingly challenging to get these pictures, but not this time. He stood right up and was all about grabbing at the door knob. I am so proud of this little guy.

30 Day Challenge

Monday, July 14, 2014

For the next 30 days I am making a commitment to workout 30 minutes a day. I remember sitting in a doctor's office years ago telling him how I wanted to lose weight. He told me a story about a weight loss study. There was an ad in the paper that said something along the lines of "Lose weight and eat what you want!". To participate in the study applicants had to commit to working out 30 minutes a day. It did not matter what you did, but you had to be consistent. If you failed to complete the 30 minutes you were out of the study. Over a years time people who stuck with the 30 minute goal lost an average of 30 pounds of weight.

Personally, I find it difficult to make time for myself. Maybe it's the baby, maybe I work too much, or maybe I just don't let myself have time to do the things that are really important. Of course I would love to lose weight, but more importantly I want to be healthy and have more energy. So, now is the time to do something for me!

Who's with me? Use #30minexercise hashtag and join me in the challenge by posting your photos. Or simply follow along and see how it goes. I will be posting daily photos on Instagram. It's going to be a challenge, but I'm ready for it!


Our Fourth (& Fifth) of July + 1 recipe

Monday, July 7, 2014

Since the fourth of July landed on a Friday this year we ended up with two days of celebration! Sawyer had three outfit changes, his first dip in the pool, and tasted my famous macaroni salad. Here are some of my favorite pics from the fourth...and fifth.

I was gifted this cute hand-me-down romper when Sawyer was born. It remained in his closet just waiting for the fourth. Well, I should have checked the size before I dressed him. I was able to get it on, but when it came time I could not get it off! My mom held him while I cut him out of it. He was perfectly happy during the process thank goodness!

A flag to some...just another toy to others.

Muscle Tee//Shorts//Shoes

Baby Float (Similar)

Since we were attending two back-to-back parties I doubled one delicious recipe and brought it to both shindigs. This is seriously my favorite macaroni salad. It's loaded with veggies, not mayo heavy, and has a really fun name! It's the perfect side dish to bring to any summer party.

Fleetwood Macaroni Salad
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni (I use 1/2 a pound. This will boost the serving size.)
1 cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cucumber, peeled (I leave the peel on), seeded and cut into quarters
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley (reserve a little for garnish)
1/4 cup chopped chives or green onions
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup vegan mayonnaise (You can use the regular stuff, but Vegenaise is seriously some tasty stuff!)
1 1/2 tsp salt (This cookbook is salt heavy. I would suggest salting to taste...don't just dump it in!)
1/2 tsp pepper

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Sprinkle with parsley to garnish.

I found the recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook. Native Foods is a growing chain of healthy "fast food". I had major cravings for this place when I was pregnant. Although I eat meat it repulsed me at the time. A couple of my favorite things on the menu are the Scorpion Burger, Soul Bowl, and I love the Watermelon Fresca. Check it out if you have a restaurant in your area and if not you can always pickup the cookbook.

If the Shoe Fits

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The winner is....

It's a three-way tie! I couldn't pick just one pair. A boy needs his options. Thank you so much for all the responses on the blog and Instagram. They were so much fun to read and see everyone share in our joy!

Last week Sawyer received his first prosthetic. The prosthetist put Sawyer's little leg on and had me stand him up, hold his arms, and help Sawyer take his first steps. It was such a happy and unforgettable moment. At the end of his walk Sawyer started bouncing up and down with excitement. He was so proud of himself.

Side note: for parents of a child with a prosthetic looking for shoes. Although it would seem velcro would be the way to go for a baby or child they actually proved much more complicated then laces. Sawyer's prosthetic foot is very basic. It's only meant to help stabilize and allow him to get around. It's a bit bulky so most shoes with velcro are very difficult to close. Laces allow the shoe to form around his foot. This will all change as Sawyer grows and his prosthetic gets more advanced.

We are so excited for what the coming months will bring. I can hardly wait for Sawyer to start walking. On second thought, maybe I can. I really need to get on baby proofing our entire home...stat!