Monday, April 29, 2013

1st Birthday!

I had no idea a year could go by so quickly!
Sweet baby Asher turned one this past week.
It has been so fun to watch his year of firsts. 
Sitting up, rolling over, crawling, eating, clapping, and so much more!

For his gift I decided to make him an 'I Spy' quilt.
His nursery is yellow and grey and mom loves chevron...when I found this wrapping paper I knew it was perfect.

I think the quilt label might be my favorite part- I love hand embroidery and it was fun to make the little elephant.

I had been collecting fabrics for the I Spy squares for a long time. 
I went to a quilt shop back in February and found the green and white chevron.
Since there was so much chevron pattern in the middle I went with polka dots for the two outer borders. The binding is a small grey pattern.

There are two of each square, when he gets older he can find the matching squares and play I Spy.

Picking out the fabrics was so much fun!

Loved this states fabric- the mom is from Kentucky so I put her state on there!

The matching square is Georgia!

 You can see the quilting here- various sizes of circles. It was a fun balance with the chevron pattern.

The elephants are the backing, really fun colors.

How pretty is this cake? Kristen did such a good job making the topper, it spells out his name.

The cake was delicious!

Sweetest face ever.
He is such a little man, he looked adorable in his outfit.

Playing on his new quilt.

Cake time!

He was the cutest birthday boy.
I feel so blessed to know him and be able to spend time with him.

We ended the celebration with dinner at Figo, it was perfect.
I can't believe how fast a baby grows up, the first year is an amazing thing to watch.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bestie Birthday Brunch

Blake and I have been friends for ages....she is my oldest and greatest friend.
Some of our best times together involve food, okay we always have food when we are together. SO- it was a no brainer that to celebrate her birthday I was going to have her over for brunch.

The Menu:
Roasted Strawberry Parfaits
Banana Cream Cheese stuffed French Toast
Breakfast Potatoes
Champagne with Peach Nectar

I had never roasted strawberries might be my new favorite thing to do.
So simple and makes a big difference. 
Quarter strawberries and toss with a little brown sugar on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes on 425. I used it to layer in the parfaits but would be so good as an ice cream topping, on angel food cake, and more!
Let the roasted strawberries cool and then layer with greek yogurt that has been mixed with honey.

I added a little granola between layers.
Serve in mason jars! Can keep in fridge till ready to serve.
I had a leftover one for breakfast the next day, easy, mostly healthy, and delicious.
Roasting the strawberries brings out the juices and a sweet flavor.

 Next up I prepared the banana cream cheese stuffed french toast.
Melt some butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a pan and add in cut up bananas. Cook till the sauce is thick and the bananas are soft.
Once the bananas are cooked I let them cool and then mixed them with cream cheese.

The best part of this recipe was that you soak it in the usual egg wash (+ rum extract) and then you bake it for 25 minutes, so easy!

While the french toast was baking I could chop and boil the white and sweet potatoes.

Cooked some bacon for the potatoes and of course used the bacon grease to cook the potatoes in....

Add in some garlic, onion, salt, and pepper and you have the perfect breakfast potatoes.

The table had to be festive for the birthday girl.

The birthday girl got the special seat.

I ordered Blake this journal from May Designs, they make the cutest stuff. 
You also can't have a celebration without Doritos, right?!?

It was a lovely morning with my best friend.
Looking forward to many more celebrations with her in the future!


 The Spanish teacher at work asked me to make her a banner for Cinco de Mayo.
I went back and forth with spelling that out or just having the colors....I ended up putting the word 'Fiesta' because I felt like she could use the banner more with that phrase.
I don't decorate my house for Cinco de Mayo so it was fun to make this for a friend.

I knew the colors should be red, green, and yellow but I couldn't find the right colored paper to work with this project. I pulled a lot of paper but felt like it looked like a circus on paper.
As I was walking out of the store I saw the cutest roll of wrapping paper. Never used that material before but I decided to give it a go!

I knew I wanted some fun colorful fringe to hang the banner with, luckily I found it!
The colors in the paper are a little more fun and colorful than I first planned but I think it makes the banner cheerful!

For the maracas I made them out of felt and ric rac.

I cut the letters out on my cricut and attached them with 3d stickers so that they stood out from the background paper.

Hopefully this will bring some cheer to her house for Cinco de Mayo!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Blessings

Easter snuck up on me this year. I volunteered to host the family this year and was so excited to decorate, plan the meal, and see everyone.
Before the holiday arrived I had to finish off a week at school and it happened to be the week leading up to Spring Break so it dragged on....and on.
Friday was a half day for us, we started the morning off with an Easter play by the 1st graders.
It was a wonderful experience. I was so emotional throughout the entire performance; there is something about seeing young children share the good news of God that reminds me of God's grace and many blessings. I found myself holding back crocodile tears watching the proud parents smile as they saw their children sing and recite scripture. I am so amazed by the pride and love that shines from parents while they watch their children. 
I think as I enter into the next phase of my life and see my friends having babies and becoming an aunt has made me realize the great joy in children. 
Lately as I go through my daily activities of being a teacher I also have many thoughts of teaching these children to be wonderful humans with remarkable character traits. School is not just about academics and after school sports, it is a place to be nurtured and challenged emotionally and socially. I am so thankful that God has given me the job of teaching and I pray that it helps me to become a wonderful mom one day. 
Easter should not be the one day that I reflect on God's love for us and the sacrifices....I have been guilty of focusing on my life, my plans, my wishes, I am thankful for those precious 1st graders that pushed me to think more and challenge myself.

One of the greatest blessings on Easter was spending the day with my sweet niece Letty. My husband spent some quality time with her, it was adorable.

She was chatting away to him.

Spring frames in the entry way.

Dining room table with fresh flowers.

I knew I had to find lots of fresh tulips for the vases, my favorite flowers.

Tulips, mums, and ranunculus.

Hyacinth, lavender, and honeysuckle plant.
I love filling in with free plants from my yard!

This little frame was my last minute-night before Easter- project.
Saw it on pinterest and made it work with what I had!
Emptied out a frame. Covered clothes pins in various washi tape. Picked out patterned letters to go on chipboard. Added wire to frame and hung them up!

Coffee table flowers

This mantle is all new! I don't normally decorate for Easter but I had to get it all fixed up for hosting this year!
The bunny butt banner has to be my favorite by far.

Found this carrot wreath at Von Maur, of all places, in the home section on sale.

Printed off template from pinterest, went around with black sharpie. Cut tails out on cricut, brushed them with ink to look distressed, and attached them with 3-d stickers so the tails would stand up from the paper.

I loved using various papers that were white, cream, and patterned!

Felt eggs from Target years ago.

These little guys are my other favorite new addition! I made them a few weeks ago and just can't get enough of their little bushy tails.

They are made out of felt, I chose fun colors for the inside to look like spring!
Embroidery floss was used to make the eyes, nose, and whiskers! The tails are made out of yarn and sewn on. They are little finger puppets but I stuffed them with cotton balls so they could stand alone.

These foam flowers are also from Target this year. The leaves on them were originally green felt, they looked cheap so I knew they needed a makeover. I used spray adhesive and added various pieces of green fabric. Once attached I hand sewed with embroidery thread around the leaves so they would look more detailed and stay put for years! 

Filled the vase with moss balls because jelly beans are by far the most expensive candy and I couldn't imagine filling that vase up!

The kitchen flowers also had sunflowers.

Letty got a new toy in her Easter basket and it was the highlight of the party. Andy and I played with it for hours with Letty.

Letty mostly chewed it...

She knows to pose for a camera! 

She loves her Uncle Andy.

My sweet niece. She is a blessing.

She left happily with her new book!

Easter was a success, I may or may not be snacking on leftovers right now....
This week I am home for a staycation for Spring Break. It is so nice to not have to set an alarm and to stay in pajamas all day! 

Happy Easter!