Just another Birthday

I wanted to share a quick post about some fun Birthday celebrating we did for me yesterday. Yes it was another wonderful 25th (hehe) birthday. I wanted to try to make a super cute cake for myself… I did actually think about ordering one but decided I liked the challenge. I combined a couple different ideas from pinterest to make the cake itself. I was soooo proud of how well it turned out. I thought I would share what I found and made for anyone thinking of taking on a baking challenge themselves. Really it wasn’t to hard to make… just a bit challenging with all my “helpers”.20180118_184341I wanted to decorate it in a pink (my favorite color) and snowflakes (I love snow) theme for my birthday cake. I found this Cookies and Cream cake on Pinterest and used the cake part and Oreo butter cream part. I skipped the chocolate ganache. I actually doubled the amount of Oreos in the cake and halved the amount of buttercream icing they made. I didn’t want a ton of icing on the cake since I wanted to make a strawberry ganache drizzle. The cake was not had to make at all. I used this recipe I found on pinterest as well for the Strawberry Ganache. I added a little bit of hot pink food coloring to boost the pink color since everyone needs more pink in their life. 🙂 I also got a little excited and drizzled a bit much of the strawberry ganache but it still looked pretty and tasted fantastic! I finally added a rose because its pretty, my sugar snowflakes, some whip cream “snow”, and a couple extra strawberries. TAA DAA!20180118_18434420180118_18435520180118_190149

My birthday wish helpers. ❤

Last week we all got the flu… booooo… so we were also very happy to get outside and play in the snow too. I was so excited that Liam finally decided he likes playing in the snow… the best birthday present! All my snow babies! ❤ 20180112_09464020180112_09552320180115_12565620180115_125231

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my cake making… although it is not quite as fun as the cake eating. That was very yummy! Here’s how I finished out the evening…20180118_210935Happy Birthday Cheers to another blessed year!

Until next week…XOXO

Hello 2018

It is a frigid start to 2018 here in Indiana. I do have to say I really don’t mind the cold… you might even say… “the cold never bothered me anyway”. But along with some of my personal goals for the new year, I thought I’d share some warmer Florida Christmas Beach pics. We traveled down to Florida to see family for Christmas and although I know many people love to escape the cold, it never really ever feels like Christmas there. We had a challenging trip with crazy kids and everyone getting sick, but mostly had a great time seeing friends and family. We are happy to be back home even if it’s really cold. We spent Christmas morning walking along Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. It was our first Christmas beach trip.

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Goal #1: Save More Money… not a lot to say on this one. I really love clothes and sometimes I get too excited. This year I am making a much bigger effort to cut down my spending. There are alot of clothes and makeup and shoes and jewelry I would love to have but I guess I don’t really need. This one will def be the most challenging for me but I am hoping it will pay off in the future.

Goal #2 Get Working on my Paintings… Now that we are more settled and in a routine I should be able to spend a few hours a week on my personal paintings. It is something I am passionate about but has fallen to the back burner the past couple years. The biggest challenge of this one will be the lack of studio space in my house.

Goal #3 Get our New Indiana House Updated… It is a very nice house but totally off from my personal decorating taste. There are alot of projects with this goal and I plan on sharing more home project we do. I enjoy them and I am hoping you, my readers, will to.

Goal #4 Stay in Shape… I have worked very hard this past year getting healthy and in shape. I am finally very happy with how I look and feel which is really hard to get to. I want to continue my personal workout plan and increase my healthy eating even more to maintain my fitness and weight. Just today I decided add to my fitness goals and to run a half marathon with one of my bffs in October. Having a goal buddy will really help us both. Long term goal but I have never run one and would really like to. Purdue half marathon here we come!

Goal #5 Stay Positive… Sometimes when things do not go the way I planned, I tend to get upset and sad. I want to work on staying up beat and positive about my life. I think this will help me be a better person in general and I know this is a major weakness of mine.

What are your personal goals for 2018? I am hoping to make this a great year ahead for myself and my little family. It does seem to help me to share with others to make my goals seem more concrete and achievable.

Until next week, XOXO.

Cookies for Santa

On our list of many preparations before Santa comes down the chimney is always baking some sugar cookies and decorating them for Santa. When I was growing up, we made a big deal of this every year. I always remember being so excited to decorate cookies. Many wonderful memories were made along with many very creative Christmas cookies. Since this was one of my favorite traditions, I wanted to continue to do it with my boys. This was the first year Jake could really do anything. Liam is still young but enjoyed helping bake and then eat quite a few cookies… hey its Christmas; it’s ok to indulge. At least thats what I tell myself. I saw and tried this new Velvety Soft Sugar Cookie recipe. OMG is it good! Delicious.

The boys always love helping me cook anything so the baking part was pretty fun as well.IMG_9324IMG_9336IMG_9348

 

Then its the cookie cutter time which Liam enjoyed throwing them on the floor but Jake really liked cutting the cookies out. IMG_9401IMG_9402And finally the decorating…IMG_9413IMG_9419IMG_9420

 

We only had the patience to decorate maybe a third of the cookies but thats is ok . They are delicious just plain too. Here are Santa’s cookie plate cookies as well as some other awesome cookies.IMG_9424IMG_9425IMG_9426IMG_9427It is an awesome activity for little guys even if it’s not Christmas. This Dump Truck and this Bulldozer cookie cutters could make for a fun cold and snowy January afternoon I am thinking.  And I definitely recommend trying this sugar cookie recipe. I am eating one right now! haha.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all around. Until next week, XOXO.

Hot Cocoa and Family Jammies

My best friend threw a Christmas Pajama themed Friendsmas party and I was sooo excited to get all my boys matching Christmas jammies. There were tons of cute family pajamas everywhere but I really love the classic buffalo plaid look so I got us these. They turned out so cute all together. We even got Emma a little doggy bandana… sorry Tiny cat but I didn’t see any matching cat shirts. IMG_9171IMG_9176IMG_9182IMG_9186I was a little sad after these festive pictures turned out so well that I already made and sent out Christmas cards. I will just have to remember this when doing Christmas cards next year.

I had made some snowflake marshmallows for some winter hot cocoa too. It seemed like a perfect thing to sit in front of the fireplace and sip hot cocoa in pajamas. The boys loved it. It was just a small thing to do that seemed so fun and special to them. I used this Martha Stewart recipe I found and they turned out really cute. While the marshmallows where sitting, I sprinkled some christmas sprinkles on some of them to make a little extra fun.IMG_9213IMG_9201IMG_9205

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IMG_9313It was very fitting that we had a hot cocoa day since this past Wednesday was national hot chocolate day. We just had so much fun. Today we are working on making some cookies for Santa and planning a fun week before Christmas full of Christmas activities. Cheers some hot cocoa and snuggle someone you love while relaxing and remembering the Spirit of Christmas this coming week.

Now where is my snow??!

Until next week, XOXO!

Winterlights at Newfields

This past weekend we visited the Indianapolis Museum of Art or what is now called Newfields (a little has changed since I last lived in Indy). They are showing a pretty awesome exhibit called Winterlights which we loved! Some very amazing decorations hard to capture in photographs. Everyone loved the over 1.2 million lights that made up the exhibit.  If you are in the Indy area, I totally recommend checking it out but make sure to buy tickets ahead of time online. Especially on weekends as they have been selling out. I have read that Santa is there on Tuesday evenings for the little ones or us forever kids as well as free cocoa and cider for kids. 20171203_20024720171203_19482720171203_19323920171203_19310520171203_19181120171203_191856Not only were the lights amazing that night, but it was a beautiful full moon too.20171203_195433^No not Christmas lights, but the moon!^20171203_19245420171203_192858The best of the family shots we could get…20171203_19394220171203_19385020171203_19381220171203_19381820171203_193751A couple selfie shots because why not.

They had this crazy cool giant tree made out of recycled plastic toys such as kiddie pools, sleds, etc. I personally thought that was so awesome since I have worked with repurposing used materials into artwork.

Throughout the lovely stroll through the lighted garden, are hot chocolate stations and girl scouts with smores at the end. Jake somehow heard about smores and demanded smores the whole time. He did not take a nap earlier that day and was Mr. Super Grump at Winterlights… you just can’t win them all. He did really enjoy it overall though.

Yummy!20171203_201349-220171203_201349I think these floating trees with the dangly snowflakes were my most favorite. How cool are those??!! Total Christmas Tree goals right there for me. Love it! Winterlights is such an amazing exhibit and lights display incase you haven’t realized how much I enjoyed it by now. I know I was way more excited to go then the boys… hopefully it’s an yearly event!

I have just been in heaven with all the fun festive Christmas events going on. Hoping to check off a Santa visit here soon and some Zoo lights too. Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season too. Until next week, XOXO.

*Meanwhile I am the one person praying for snow 😉 *

Happy Thanksgiving!

In celebration of Thanksgiving and the end of fall… as all things Christmas will start this weekend (we started this morning with some Kidz Bop Christmas music), I thought I would share our fall/Christmas card pictures. I took them with my tripod and camera on the Monon Trail by our house. I just love walking on the trail with the boys. It is so pretty and they love it too. Sadly I was unable to get Emma in the picture this year. She was very sick and it was something that couldn’t wait too much longer to do. (She is doing much better and back to 100% now) I promise we don’t forget about her.IMG_8865-2IMG_8867-2IMG_8876-2IMG_8878-2IMG_8880IMG_8889IMG_8892IMG_8903IMG_8926IMG_8937IMG_8941I am hoping to play around/ experiment with photoshop to add in a bit of snow. I would just love to have a snowy Christmas card picture sometime. I’ll let you know how it goes if I get a chance to try. If you guys have any suggestions, tips, or advice on a tutorial for snow in photoshop, please comment! Every year I have done a picture Christmas card, I have used Shutterfly or Tiny Prints (which is shutterfly too) and I have always been very happy with how they turn out. They have a 40% off sale right now so its a good time to order your Christmas cards!

Until next week, XOXO!

Thanksgiving…Thankful and Blessed

This Thanksgiving I feel so thankful for all the wonderful family and friends in my life. I am thankful to be close to most of them now and in a wonderful area to raise my boys. It has been a year of change (although isn’t every year?) and I will be missing my Grandfather this Holiday season, but I am thankful he is no longer in pain and depressed but up in heaven. I am blessed everyday with my wonderful boys and hubby. Sometimes I wonder when I am going to wake up from the dream because I certainly do not deserve them. I am thankful to be able to host a big family Thanksgiving this year. I love to host parties and I am just beyond excited. I have the decorations set, menu planned and boys outfits picked out 😉 … always important to me. I hope everyone is as excited as me to get all together. Family is everything.

I did a little mini trial of my place settings to make sure my chalkboard placemat craft looked as cute as the idea in my mind. I can’t wait to see it all together now. I thought I’d share some of the pics and a few other Thanksgiving ideas that I love. (I did forget to put silverware in my mini trial but you guys get the idea)IMG_8948I used these placemats I found on amazon and these chalkboard markers also from amazon to design the placemat boarder. IMG_8950IMG_8953IMG_8957Simple, easy and cute!

Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving ideas I have seen that I maybe planning on doing as well.

This Thankful Tree decoration.5213117410_789aba8b48_o

This incredible looking appetizer tray.1448293915-cdc346866f73dbc781c27cf0933cabae

and this boy’s Thanksgiving tee.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and a chance to reflect on all we have to be thankful for. Until next week, XOXO.

Halloween Time!

20171017_165739-2Down the street from our house are the most adorable wooden Pumpkin decorations on the fence. I love it! What an awesome Halloween decorating display. Everyday that I had driven past them this month I had been thinking how cute it would be to walk down and take some festive Halloween pics. They even have a cute black cat right in the middle. (I did not get a picture of the whole set up unfortunately.) So of course, one very nice afternoon we walked down to take some pictures in our matching Halloween shirts. It was the perfect back drop. 20171017_165616-220171017_165617-2

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It is so hard to get them to cooperate for pictures sometimes but I do love these fun crazy pictures. It’s pretty much the most accurate depiction of my life. haha

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As many of my readers already know, I love Halloween! I don’t think I will ever outgrow the excitement of getting to dress up as a character I enjoy. We did Game of Thrones last year but we didn’t get much of a chance to show off our costumes so this year we decided to do it again (and get daddy to go along too)… and hopefully more people will be as excited as I am!

^such adorable little dragons 🙂 ^
20171027_191254^Family Hayride!^

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I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe time Treat-or-Treating or whatever Halloween evening activities you have planned. I am currently enjoying a bit of Stranger Things binging while writing this post 🙂 . Until next week, XOXO.

Wild Man Birthday Party

After getting a tiny bit settled into our new house, we threw a birthday party for the boys. We wanted to see all our friends that we haven’t gotten to see in a long time. It was so much fun having so many so close again. My boys are adventurous wild men as I call them. Always getting dirty, climbing things, loving nature and being outside. So I wanted a Wild Man theme. I have seen on pinterest Wild One parties for a first birthday and Young, Wild and Three for third birthdays, so I combined the two into one giant Wild Man birthday party. I had two smash cakes made and cupcakes for the rest of the party people. The Flying Cupcake Bakery did the most wonderful job interpreting my theme into the cupcakes and cakes. I found some shops on etsy for the super cute banners and made my own Wild One cake topper for Liam. I just glued, with wood glue, some wooden letters together from a craft store and let them dry. Then painted them with sparkly golden paint. It was super easy. I think I’ll make custom cake toppers for every birthday cake!20171006_221818

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For the Wild Men and their friends, we got a bouncy house and it was a TON of fun! Even us moms and dads wore ourselves out in the bouncy house. Our only family picture we got was not in front of the cute decorations that I planned but instead in the bounce house which was much more fitting to remember this day.

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We wanted to thank everyone that came out to celebrate with us. We had so much fun! This week we have been busy with tons of Halloween and fall fun. I cannot wait to share all our new Indiana adventures with you all.

Until next week, XOXO.

All Seasons Orchard

While we were waiting to be able to move into our new house, we stayed with my in-laws up in northern Illinois. We took a day to go with some friends to All Seasons Orchard in Woodstock Illinois. It was fabulous. They had so many fun activities for the kiddos and us adults had a great time too. It was the perfect family day. We picked a ton of delicious apple crisp apples but unfortunately I never got around to making an apple pie or crisp because everyone ate them. I think this weekend I will just buy some from the store to make one. I have been craving it so much!20170916_10415720170916_111222^One of my bbf’s little girl. She just looked so adorable in her red dress picking apples. Makes me think of Snow White.^20170916_111503^Jake took his picking job very seriously. 🙂 ^20170916_11160920170916_11173720170916_111818Then they all discovered the apple eating!

There was ALOT of apple eating…20170916_11183920170916_11203920170916_11304420170916_11305420170916_113829And just alot more fun apple picking pictures because you all know I love pictures.

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The rest of the farm had tons of fun activities, food and even a little petting zoo! I was super excited to find a pink tractor… who wouldn’t be!?20170916_13042620170916_130526The boys just love any tractor they see.20170916_11583420170916_12524020170916_12524120170916_134254^Some super super tired little men at the end of the day.^

Hope you all enjoyed my tons of Apple picking pictures. Until next week. XOXO.