Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ashley Sorbello Photography Giveaway!!

So the amazing Ashley Sorbello of Ashley Sorbello Photography is having a huge giveaway.  She made it to 1,000 fans...yay!!!  Check out the info for her giveaway here!  Ashley is really great!!  She did my maternity photos and then newborn photos for when Reese was born!

Monday, June 13, 2011

She's about to...POP!!

So I know it has been like over a month since the last time I blogged but I have been putting a lot of my creativity into my brother and future sister in laws baby shower.  The shower was this weekend and everything turned out great.  

There are so many great ideas for baby showers and lots of directions I could have went in.  They found out they were having a girl and she is due in August so that helped me decide on my color scheme.  We went with pink, yellow, orange, and green.  But for the theme I was inspired by one of my girlfriends daughter's birthday party.  She did a polka dot party and I thought the idea was really cute so I searched online for ideas that would coordinate with the dot theme.  I found the cutest idea...She's about to...POP! After I looked around I found a blog that had just featured a baby shower with the same theme.  So I went with some of the ideas that they used.  Here is how everything turned out!!

The invitations were P.I.Y. (print-it-yourself) from Pen n' PaperFlowers Studio & Design on Etsy.  She had a similar design and I just asked if she could change the colors for me and here is how they turned out!

Here are some pictures of decorations and little pops of color that we had through out the hall where we had the shower.  

My bubble collage on the wall, made of extra plates that we had.  I made three collages through out the hall.  They turned out really well and added some color and POP to the hall!

 Here is the lollipop tree/plant I made.  I bought a styrofoam ball and dum dums, then painted the ball pink and stuck all the lollipops in and voila!!

I made labels for the soda bottles that said Soda Pop, 
Diet Soda Pop, Dr. Soda Pop and Lemon-Lime Soda Pop!

 The favors that we gave to our guests were little jars of bubble bath, tied with It's a Girl ribbon and then I printed stickers to place on the top of the jars.

Included with the invitations we asked the guests to bring items for Tina's wishing well.  I purchased a couple of baskets and totes for the baby and then used them as the wishing well.  Another idea that I had thought about was putting the baby's pack n play out and we would put everything inside that, you could also use a piece of furniture that will be going in the babies room and have all the wishing well items placed in the drawers and shelves of the furniture.  

You may have noticed all the daisies on the tables.  We used daisies for two reasons; one they are Tina's favorite flower and two they were her grandmothers favorite flower as well.  In memory of her grandmother we placed them on all the tables.  They added a fresh feeling to the room as well as a personal touch for Tina and her family.  

I love diaper cakes and other decorations that can be made from baby essentials.  So in addition to the real cake I made two diaper cakes and a few lollipops made from washcloths, stockings, and onesies.  

I used Gerber daisies to decorate the cake with because they are Tina's favorite.  


I made cupcakes for the shower that did not turn out how I wanted at all.  I made homemade icing and since it was so hot it wouldn't thicken.  They tasted great but were not that pretty.  (Red velvet and cream cheese frosting)

I made labels for all the food using the same theme idea of popcorn, cheese pop-ems, spinach strawberry poppyseed salad, etc.  We tried to have items with the word POP in them.  

I had to add a picture of my baby girl who was an angel during the shower!

And here is the mama to be and some of her goodies!!

The shower was great and everything turned out the way we had imagined.  Planning the shower was a lot of fun and now I have more ideas for other showers and parties.  I'll definitely be using them in the future and if you need help maybe I have some ideas to help you out.  All you need is a little inspiration and you can make anything work.  


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chocolate Cinnamon Biscotti

So the other day I was watching Giada on the Food Network and she made savory biscotti that looked amazing.  Since it is such a nasty rainy day I decided to make some biscotti of my own.  I didn't have the seasoning that Giada used so I decided to go with a sweeter version; plus I love to dip biscotti in my coffee or tea so this works better for me anyway.

Chocolate Cinnamon Biscotti
1/2 cup of butter (softened)
2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs (room temp)
1 3/4 cup flour
white baking chocolate

Preheat oven to 375.  Blend butter until creamy, about 30 seconds.  Then add cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, and baking powder.  Blend til well mixed.  Beat eggs into mixture.  Then slowly add your flour and chocolate chips or baking chocolate.  The ingredients will form a dough.  On a greased cookie sheet mold your dough like shown below or if you like smaller pieces of biscotti you can form two smaller loaves.  Bake for 20-25 min. (check with a toothpick to make sure it is done)

 Let the biscotti cool on a cooling rack for one hour.  Then slice with a serated knife. 
Once sliced put back into oven on an ungreased cookie sheet at 325 for 8 min on each side. 

And voila you have yummy biscotti!!  This recipe was super easy to make and other then baking and cooling time it was quick to make too! It is also super easy to add and remove ingredients like the chocolate and cinnamon and add savory ingredients to go with dinner or a nice salad.  I hope you enjoy this and feel inpsired to try some on your own!!


Birds Nest Sugar Cookies

For Easter I made these adorable cookies that I just had to share with you!

Birds Nest Sugar Cookies

What you need:
Sugar Cookie Mix
Flaked Coconut
Food Coloring
Jelly Beans/Peanut M&M's/or anything that looks like a bird egg

These festive cookies are so easy to make and decorate!  They would be fun for kids to make too!
Just make the cookies as marked on the package, (I pressed the cookies down with a glass to make sure they were flat) then after cooled icing them with an icing of your choice.  I used vanilla whipped frosting then added a little orange zest and fresh orange juice to add flavor.  Then get your coconut out and you can toast it in the oven or just add a few drops of food coloring (any color), mix well and top your cookies.  For the bird eggs I used jelly beans but any oval shaped candy would work.  

These cookies were a big hit for Easter but could also be used for a baby shower or kids birthday party. 


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Coupon Crazy!!

Okay so last week I watched the new show on TLC "Extreme Couponing" and I cannot understand how these women/families do it.  Like seriously how do you go the grocery store, rack up a $1900 shopping cart, and walk away paying just over $100.  In the last few months I have really started looking for good coupons to cut out and help save some money. I would use a few on my shopping trips but never really thought more than that.  After seeing previews for this show it peeked my interest and over the last couple weeks I have really started cutting out and printing coupons. Once I have them cut out I put them in my little accordian file folder...


So I sit and I plan my shopping trips; I look over the circulars and online deals to see what is the best deal and where.  While doing this I manage to find great deals on items that of course I DON'T need!!! I put my list together, gather all my "great" coupons and head out for my big Extreme Couponing Trip!  On my last few trips I have managed to save close to $100 each time with using coupons and instore savings.  Now to me saving $100 is great but these women on this show are saving double triple, even ten times the amount that I am saving.  So my question is how they do it?  Another question is why they need to stock up so much that their stock piles of grocery items take over bedrooms, closets, basements and entire homes.  I know that stocking up on certain things is nice because if you happen to run out of something you can just go into your pantry (or whereever) and get it rather then heading to the store.  However, buying 32 containers of Maalox and 62 bottles of French's Mustard is WOW crazy!!! 

I have been looking around at different blogs and coupon sites to find tips and tricks that will help with this new hobby.  For now here are helpful websites and blogs off the TLC website that I found a bit helpful.  I don't really need stock piles like the ones above but I would love to save on things that I use everyday and keep to my monthly budget. 

Get Tips from TLC's Extreme Couponers

Calling all couponers! Wonder how they do it?! Visit the websites of the extreme couponers from the show and get their tips.

Couponing & Shopping on TLC Family

Here's everything you'll need to know to leave the store with the best savings for you and your family. Check out a few TLC Family articles below.
If anyone reading has any thoughts on this new frenzie send me a comment or email at !!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Coupons and Sales

click here for instore coupon

I'm not going to use this so I figured I'd share so someone would get to use it!

Here is 30% off at Juicy Couture

Check out JC Penney's for big doorbuster sales!

If you have never checked out Zulily click here to take advantage of up to 70% savings on things for you, the kids, your house, as well as great gift ideas.  Here are some of the sales going on now:

                                                         Skechers Shoes                                                 BabyLegs

                                                       nuLOOM  (rugs)                                    Harper Collins (picture books)

Lately I am all about the coupons and saving a buck here and there....why pay full price when you can get it for next to nothing!!  If you are up for saving here and there check out The Krazy Coupon Lady!!! 

Well there are my saving tips for the day! Now go and shop, but be sure to check out some of these sites so you are getting the best deals you can!! 



ps. be sure to share deals that you have too I would love to here what other savings are out there!!