Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wish me luck!

I entered the "color palette" contest on Style Me Pretty's Blog. Basically, you pick a photo that inspires you and then you put together an idea board of other coordinating wedding photos. Fun! Of course, I had to do pink and green! I'm glad I finally finished, though, because I've been spending WAY too much time on wedding blogs. I had no idea there were so many...and so many awesome ones! Not to mention photographers, floral designers and wedding coordinators that also have blogs. You could literally spend all day (I almost did) and not see a fraction of what's out there.

Here's my idea board...

The pink and green mum in the top left corner was my "inspiration" photo. I would love to do about ten more but I'm going to New York tomorrow to visit my brother and the contest ends Friday. Bummer!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Indiana Jones Birthday Party

Wow! We had BabyBoy's 6th birthday party yesterday and it was a blast! The weather was not so poured down rain for the first hour or so and sprinkled the rest of the time. Of course, the sun did make an appearance...just as all the parents were coming to pick their kids up!

I had tons of fun planning this party. BabyBoy originally wanted a Lego Indiana Jones party. I finally managed to convince him that 14 boys sitting around a table fighting over legos for two hours might not be that much fun. So, we planned a super fun afternoon filled with action.

I dug through the cobwebs of my old stationery stash and made these invitations:



Basically, I took an image I got from googling "Indiana Jones" and copied and pasted it into the stationery program that I use. I stretched it to fit the size card I wanted to make. I added the text box using the Fedora Font. I then printed these out and burned the edges and glued them to a cardstock backing. For the reverse side, I used scrapbooking paper that looked like an old map. I printed the text onto the paper, burned the edges again, and taped them to the other side of the cardstock. They were really very easy to make and ended up looking pretty cool!

Our friend Andrew agreed to dress up as Indiana Jones for the party. I knew he would be perfect. He's a "semi-retired" high school principal who is now a stay at home Dad to Jack, 8, and twins Alice and Clara, 4. He's totally creative and over the top and he loves to get into characters and mess around with the kids. We went to Disney with them a couple years ago and I swear he had more fun than the kids.

As the children arrived (running inside to avoid the freaking monsoon that was outside) we sent them to the basement. They hung out there watching the first Indiana Jones movie while we waited for Andrew and his wife Christy and their kids. And waited, and waited. It was really only about 15 minutes but it seemed like a lifetime with 12 little boys, one hyper ass little girl (that would be my sweet BabyGirl) and four grandparents trying to corral them all. Finally, Andrew arrived. And he didn't disappoint!

I started the Indiana Jones theme song on the boombox and he came bounding down the basement steps with whip in hand. It was hilarious.

He explained to the kids that Belloq, his nemesis, had stolen his treasure and he needed their help to get it back. If they were successful in their search for the treasure, they would get to share it with him. He passed out the first clue to the kids:

I then passed out some little shoulder satchels that I found at the Dollar Tree. Each child got a bag to put their clues in and to fill with treasure at the end.

We headed to the Mummy Gallery (also known as the garage) and wrapped the kids up like mummies. It was so funny. They did require a lot of grown up help, so this might be an activity for older kids.

Inside their toilet paper rolls they found their next clue:

They headed out to the Snake Pit (our playset draped in fisherman's netting with snakes and clues scattered about)

There they found their next clue:

They headed out to Crocodile Creek (a babypool filled with water and random dirt and reeds. We put the clues inside ziploc bags and weighed them down with river rocks. We also had some rubber crocs and turtles in the water). I had kind of expected the kids to reach INTO the pool but as it turns out they all just jumped right in!

They fished through the water to find their next clue:

They headed over to a table we had set up with Chilled Monkey Brains (cold jello), Beetle Guts (cold spaghetti) and Eyeball Soup (grapes). They had to reach their hands into the boxes and feel around for clues. Too funny. They all loved the jello. I should say, they loved flinging that jello at one another. The girls were totally grossed out.

Inside the boxes of "food" they found their last clue:

They headed to the Airport Hangar (the garage) to find the treasure. Andrew (Indy) had helped them all throughout the treasure hunt and was there with the treasure. He did this elaborate skit about booby traps and spirits and then finally unveiled the treasure box. It was a big wooden box that I use in the basement to store my workout videos. We had just turned it upside down and I taped some pictures of old travel stickers on it as well as the Property of Indiana Jones label. It looked really cool. We then lifted up the box to reveal a huge pot of candy. Of course, at that point all hell broke loose and the kids dove on top of the pot. We had to pry them off and dump the candy all over the floor. I had to drop the camera to break up the kids...thus no pictures of the candy. Oh, well. You've seen one wild swarm of sugar dependent kids diving carelessly for a pile of candy, you've seen them all.

After the kids filled up their little sacks with candy we did the cake and ice cream thing. Andrew sung Happy Birthday to the tune of the Indiana Jones theme music, which we'd had playing all during the party.

The cake was originally an Army cake from Ukrops. They have the best cakes. Unfortunately, they didn't have an Indiana Jones theme cake. So, I just ordered the Army cake, took off the plastic tank, and added BabyBoy's Indiana Jones truck dragging Indy behind it. Big hit.

One of the most adorable parts of the party was BabyBoy's friend Brody. He actually thought Andrew was the REAL Indiana Jones. He stuck to him like glue throughout the entire party. Asked for his autograph (which he got on the back of a party plate) and asked "Indy" to tell him about some of his "adventwars". It was so, so adorable.

And here we have the whole crew:

The favor bags were pretty basic: Indiana Jones coloring books from the Dollar Tree, a plastic compass, a chinese yo yo made to look like an Indiana Jones whip and some plastic snakes. We had also given each kid a paper fedora at the beginning of the party. They were pretty flimsy, so if you're planning a party like this I would definitely forego the hats.

Overall, it was a great party. Putting the clues together was not difficult; it took me about an hour the morning of and then my stepmom helped me roll them up and put them in the plastic bags, etc. The background of the clues was a graphic I found by googling "old maps". I just added a text box on top of it in a font that's part of an old scrapbooking program I have.

BabyBoy got tons of neat gifts. I'm pretty sure his favorite is the Nintendo DS Lite that he got from my father in law and stepmother in law. He got the Lego Indiana Jones game and the Lego Star Wars game. He totally wasn't expecting it but had been begging for one for months. So far, he's cleaned his room, his sister's room and the playroom in an effort to earn "free time" on top of the one hour per day I've allowed him to play the thing. This is working out pretty well for me so far! I wonder if he'll do windows?

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Just when you thought it couldn't get any better over at How Fast They Grow, they've come up with adorable new templates. They're from a company called Pincushion and they are so creative and colorful! They're all renderings of hand embroidered scenes that have been transformed into beautiful scrapbooking pages for you to fill with all of your favorite photos. A truly timeless way to chronicle the lives of your children and your entire family. Here are a few samples:

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Newest Form of Crack

No, it's not my behind sitting in a chair at the pool. Atleast...I hope not. It's these amazingly delicious fantastically savory Flatbread Melts from Lean Cuisine. I'm telling you, these do NOT taste like a frozen meal and they certainly don't taste like Lean Cuisine. They really hit the jackpot with these. Even the bread is soft and moist after it's cooked, which is unusual for a microwaved bread. My favorites are the Pesto Chicken and the Chophouse Steak, but they are all delightfully good. You might be taken aback by the fat content (8-9 grams) or the calories (around 300-400) but they are very filling and they're only 6 Weight Watchers Points. Plus, they have 20% of your daily fiber recommendation, which is something I'm in tuned to. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday BabyBoy!

I can't believe it's been 6 years since we first saw your sweet little face. I can't believe we all survived this long! We love you so much. We love your kind heart, your determination, your tenacity, your quick sense of humor, your intensity and your empathetic nature. You've been a handful, that's for sure, but we wouldn't trade it for the world. You've made our lives so special. We can't wait to watch you grow and learn and experience the world.

Happy Birthday BabyBoy!

Tagged...All about me from A-Z

I was tagged my Insight, Insanity, Imagination and I thought this was a cute little meme.

A. Attached or Single? Attached

B. Best Friend? Liz

C. Cake or pie? Definitely pie. Preferably rhubarb.

D. Day of choice? Monday. New beginnings, Dr. Daddy's off to work (not that we don't LOVE having him around, but I love my freedom around the house, too!), kids off to school. Good stuff.

E. Essential item? Gin

F. Favorite color? Green. Love most shades of it.

G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears. No contest.

H. Home town? I'm an Army Brat, so home is wherever I live at the time. Now, it's Roanoke. My family's hometown is Richmond, VA.

I. Favorite indulgence? Gin. Do we see a pattern here?

J. January or July? That's a tough one. I love January because it's usually the month I decide to start redecorating. I also love to ski and we usually take a trip that month. July is great, too! Love hanging out at the pool and not having to get up early for school.

K. Kids? The Towheads. 6 an 4.

L. Life isn't complete without? My family.

M. Marriage date? July 15 - 2000

N. Number of brothers and sisters? 3 brothers...I'm the oldest by eight years.

O. Oranges or Apples? Neither, really.

P. Phobias? Heights. This is a new phenomenon for me. Only since I had kids am I terrified of heights.

Q. Quotes? Get over it, bite me, work it out, I'm just sayin, whateva...Oh, you mean other people's quotes? I not usually that cerebral.

R. Reasons to smile? I'm here, I'm healthy, as is my family. Can't beat that.

S. Season of choice? Spring

T. Tag 5 people: Nah, if ya'll like the meme, go on and do it!

U. Unknown fact about me? I can be very hermit like at times. I also get wicked PMS (although I'm guessing those that know me well probably know that by now!)

V. Vegetable? Asparagus

W. Worst habit? Starting sewing projects and not finishing them forever.

X. Xray or Ultrasound? Hmmm, up till recently it would be ultrasounds since I had about a zillion when I was pregnant (no complications, just curious and had a really accomodating OB). Now, however, it would have to be Xrays, since BabyBoy just had two yesterday!

Y. Your favorite food? This is so bad. I think I have to admit that my favorite food is McDonald's french fries.

Z. Zodiac sign? Aries

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Of course I'm aware this is an addiction...

So, I'm back again from the J.Crew Clearance center. Just can't seem to keep away!!! I actually found some REALLY adorable things yesterday and I've listed them HERE on ebay. I picked up this adorable little girl's dress in a size M (4-5). I couldn't resist. It retails on the website for $248!!! I would love to just keep it for BabyGirl but yellow is just NOT her color. So, for any of you out there with brunette babies (or even blondies who look good in yellow...lucky ducks!) have to have this dress!

I also got these adorable shorts:

And this gorgeous dress in yellow and pink:

I've also got several bathing suits and pairs of shoes listed that I didn't get to list last time. Happy shopping!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Bead Me Up!

I'm in love with this jewelry designer. I found the Fandangle website through Preppy Wedding's blog. I love their stuff and I can't believe how affordable it is! I actually have two of their necklaces already that I wear all the time.

I love these as well:

They're all only around $60. These would make great bridesmaids gifts. The pearl or crystal necklaces would be perfect for a wedding!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Good Times at Kiawah

I've finally finished putting together all the pictures from our trip to Kiawah Island last week. What a great time we had! Our friends the Grahams were our hosts. They bought a house on the island a couple years ago and this was the first time we'd had a chance to visit.

After a LONG 8 hour drive we arrived around 9pm. The ride wasn't HORRIBLE but I will say it was the first time since buying my Volvo station wagon that I intermittently wished I'd had a bigger car. The kids just could not leave each other alone! It was partially my fault...I forgot to charge the batteries to the DVD players and my 12 Volt plug in is on the fritz. We had to resort to counting license plates and buying up every possible form of entertainment at Cracker Barrel. Let the vacation spending begin!

The Graham's home is lovely. Our first full day was spent at the neighborhood pool. We went to the pool and then ventured over to the beach. It was a great day but I'm embarrassed to say that we all got sunburned. Damn spray on sunscreen! Why did I think it would work to use it with the WIND BLOWING? Duh. Here are some pictures from the beach...

On Monday we decided to drive to Charleston, which is a 30 minute drive. Scratch SHOULD be a 30 minute drive. Unfortunately, my girlfriend's husband didn't accompany us for the trip (I'm still trying to figure out how he got himself out of that one). My girlfriend didn't really know how to get around but wasn't exactly willing to admit it. SOOOO, we drove around a bit trying to find a place to eat. Dr. Daddy was following us in my car and we were in her Range Rover. By the time we parked and got to a little deli I thought the kids were going to have a mutiny. Not to mention Dr. Daddy, who really had to pee and was none to happy that I was enjoying my ride in the Rover while he slummed it up in the station wagon.

We ate, the kids enjoyed some ice cream, and then we set off to walk to the Children's Museum. My girlfriend assured us it was about four blocks away. Hah! Try 15 blocks in the miserable heat carrying the kids who didn't want to walk. To make matters worse, we got there and they were CLOSED. The girls all grabbed some rickshaws and rode back to the parking garage. Dr. Daddy and BabyBoy decided to walk. Of course, they got lost. 45 minutes later, they finally found us. BabyBoy had been riding on Dr. Daddy's shoulders the whole time and had apparently exprienced some sciatic nerve compression. When Dr. Daddy put him down, he crumpled to the sidewalk. "I can't feel my legs", he screamed in absolute panic. He was totally freaked out and of course we were laughing hysterically at his theatrics.
At that point we could have just packed it in and driven back to Kiawah. But, being the resilient crew that we are (let's just put it this way: I INSISTED that if we had gone through ALL OF THAT then we had damn well better have some FUN) we headed off to Patriot's Point to visit the aircraft carrier there.

As it turns out, the kids had a fantastic time. Dr. Daddy has a ridiculous fund of knowledge regarding ships, carriers and planes. His Dad was a Navy pilot and as a youngster he was obsessed with all of that stuff. He had a great time explaining all the planes and details to the kids. As we were walking through the carrier I noticed a man who I swore I recognized. I then realized it was the Dad of my twin friends Anna and Liz who I graduated from high school with. We only went to school together for a year because they came our senior year so I wasn't really sure if he would remember me. I introduced myself and (thank goodness) he seemed to remember me. Funny enough, he is the executive director of Patriot's Point. Even was his first day on the job!

I must say, I don't think we'll be able to go back to Kiawah without the Grahams. We were so spoiled! They have a membership at the (to die for) Kiawah Island Club. The Cassique Club House (pictured below) is a beautiful structure. We ate dinner there one night. Tom Colicchio (of Craftsteak and Top Chef fame) is the head consulting chef. I had the tasting menu and it was fantastic. Who knew fern shoots could taste so good?

We played tennis at the Cassique tennis courts. They were beautiful...but not at all practical. The fence surrounding the courts wasn't tall enough, so we kept losing balls.

We had super fun one night at the oyster roast at Mingo Point. If you're ever in Kiawah you have to do this. The kids LOVED it. They had oysters, barbeque, dancing and all sorts of activities for the kids.

Our last day was spent at the beach club. WOW! The fried oyster ceasar salad was divine, as were the rum runners. The kids had tons of fun in the pool and we even saw Andie McDowell.

Our last night at Kiawah was spent at Freshfields Village. They have tons of great shopping and every Wednesday night they have an outdoor movie playing. The kids had a great time eating ice cream and playing in the grass waiting for the movie.

I think my favorite part about Kiawah is the fact that it is so family oriented. All over the place you see people bike riding, jogging, playing and spending time together. The beaches are huge and the water was surprisingly warm. There's always the kid's club at The Sanctuary if you want to unload the kids and have some grown up time. We also met some great young people working at the bike rental shop who were happy to babysit if needed.

It was also nice to be on vacation with such great friends. Our kids have literally grown up together since birth and love playing together. It was the first vacation that we haven't taken a sitter with us and we've still been totally relaxed and laid back.

If you want to see individual can view them here.