kristen's bridal shower

well hello, guys and gals! it has been a nice little break from blogging, but i have kind of missed the motivation of the picture project from last year. i'm thinking i need to come up with some sort of regular feature again. until i think of something fabulous (or not), i should have plenty of renovation posts in the coming months.

but this is just a quick peek into a bridal shower i helped host for my sister, kristen, who is getting married at the end of this month. i teamed up with one of her bridesmaids, kate, to throw a vintage valentine theme party a few weeks ago and we had a lot of fun planning. kate came up with the theme, and we surfed the webs for ideas. we found this post from a google search, and we used tons and tons of ideas from it (it's a really fun site, so check it out! lots of fun party ideas for kids). i followed the tutorial for the cupcake-liner pom poms on the mantel, which ben happens to like a lot. so they are staying for a bit. and kate found a ton of old valentines on etsy, which were fun to use in our decorating!

the menu was pretty simple: chicken salad sandwiches, bread with cilantro-cumin butter, fruit, and red punch. for dessert i made cupcakes and kate made whoopie pies with strawberry filling.

the one thing i wanted was a picture of me, my sister, and my mom, but i completely forgot. but i do have this awesome picture of my sister from a game we played. (no, that is not what she came wearing. but she was a good sport and put it on——blindfolded, while we laughed at her.)

a big thank you to everyone who came and to kate for hosting with me. kristen, i am so looking forward to your wedding. praying for you and tyler!

signing off again

sorry i don't have much for you this week in terms of creative output. just more thoughts and updates:

:: pretty sure i am feeling baby move for the first time as i write this. wow.
:: would you believe we are traveling again? yup, in just a few hours we will be at the airport with a final destination of fresno, california. we'll spend the weekend visiting my grandpa and enjoying the warmer weather (and hopefully, some in-n-out burgers). here's a post from our last visit. i lOVe california (i was born there) and Lord willing, ben and i will get to visit the southern part of the state in april. can't wait!
:: i lied when i said that the first step of our upstairs reno is ripping out carpet. the real first step is clearing out the rooms, closets, bathroom, etc. the rooms are full of old papers, books, magazines, clothes, sewing supplies, random furniture, and other goodies. i spent some time up there this week, and ended up with the first of a few batches of donations, i'm sure.

i'll be back next week! have a wonderful weekend!

back to reality

wow, what a week. we had perfect weather on sanibel island (high 70s/low 80s and mostly sunny every day) and the trip was a blast. what a blessing to be able to take a week away and spend quality time relaxing with family. but as fun as it was, i'm very happy to be home on this monday morning with laundry going and a rare cup of decaf. i'm a homebody and a routine girl. plus, coming back to 30-degree weather doesn't hurt!

this post is just a handful of thoughts and updates.

:: i am 17 weeks along and feeling great. i think yesterday was the first day when i really felt like i was showing——like my tummy looks like a pregnant tummy instead of just a poochy tummy. :)
:: two weeks from today, Lord willing, we will find out if baby is a boy or a girl. i kind of think boy, but i really have no idea.
:: my six-month-old nephew isaac is really cute (and big). most of the pictures i took in florida were of him. the waiters at the restaurants kept asking if maggie wanted food or juice for him, and she kept saying "he's not as old as he looks!"

:: my sister is getting married in less than two months. i'm cohosting a shower for her in a few weeks, and it has been a blast to plan. the shower will be at our house and i'm really excited to start working on the decorations.
:: speaking of our house . . . ben and i have been praying, thinking, and planning, and we have decided to tackle the upstairs renovations before baby comes in july. it will involve minor work to two big bedrooms and a few closets, but a full bathroom reno. yikes. it's now or never, though. first step is tearing up the carpet. stay tuned for more——i hope you like renovation posts!
:: in other news, i'm learning how to coupon. my friend alissa sat down with me for a few hours and showed me the ropes. we use the pocket your dollars method. i'm weaning myself off of my devotion to supertarget and scoring free items along the way, including floss and a few boxes of mac and cheese. and a big tub of baby wipes for 50 cents doesn't hurt, either.

i think that is it for now. until the future!