Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trying to Put things to good use!

So, what do you do with all of last year's Christmas cards? 

Yah, I didn't know what to do either.  So I put them away for a year so I could figure it out. 

That's when I came up with this:

I trimmed up all of the cards we had from 2010, punched a whole in the top, and tied them to a string of ribbon.  Boom!  Instant garland! 

It was inexpensive (I already had scissors and a spool of ribbon) and sentimental.  I made sure to write who sent us the card and 2010 on the back of each cut out, so that next year I'll have a new one with new people and a new year to hang and I can tell the two apart. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

3rd Annual Cookie Exchange!!!

I attended my first "Cookie Exchange" in 2010, and I'm lucky enough that my dear friend, Shannon, has decided to continue her tradition for the third year in a row!  So Saturday evening, I packed up five dozen of my favorite home made chocolate chip cookies and a wrapped ornament and set off for Shannon's home. 

Upon arrival, we played a few party games and ate some delicious soup!  It was such a wonderful mixture of friends, both new and old, that time absolutely flew by!  There was also a selection of various snacks and beverages, including a delightful "Poinsetta Punch" which was a coctail made with vodka, cranberry juice, and a sparkling wine.  It was so good! 

Following dinner, we had an ornament exchange structured like a "White Elephant" exchange.  The rules allowed each ornament to be opened, and stolen up to three times and allowing it to rest with the fourth person.  This provided for quite a few laughs as we all recalled which ornament was so highly covetted last year: a glass pickle!  Well there was a glass pickle again this year, as well as wine glass ornaments, high heel ornaments, a reindeer, a sparkling snowflake, and even a whale! 

After everyone settled in with their new ornaments, we all began the cookie portion of our evening.  Everyone's cookies had been arranged around the main table, and each person was given an adorable platter (that our lovely hostess picked up for us) to fill with their own choice of delicious baked goods! 

There were so many choices, but the lovely part was that you didn't have to choose!  You filled your platter and tasted whichever cookies or bars you liked, and when you were satisfied you simply wrapped your platter up with plastic wrap and you were able to take it home with you to take with friends and family! 

So next year, I highly suggest you gather your lady friends together for a cookie exchange.  Tell them recipe cards are highly suggested, buy a bunch of cookie platters, and party away! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Traditional Toilets!

So most of you as you move out of your parents' house grabbed a few sentimental items, right?  You took a photo, a pillow, a blanket, or something that as you were headed out the door just screamed "HEY!  THIS IS HOME!" 

For me, it was holiday items.  I love the holidays.  The smell, the feeling, the weather.  I could go on and on.  But probably one of the most important things I took from my parents house is also one of the most odd.  Well, Big Mike thinks it is definitely odd.  It's the santa toilet seat cover that someone made for my parents. 

It's odd. 

I'll prove it. 

I know, I know.  It's sort of creepy.  But come on, Santa hides his face when the lid is up!  He's not looking!  Ha ha!  I love this thing! 

So happy holidays, and remember, SANTA'S WATCHING!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I Can't Get Enough of This!

Two months ago, I had the incredible honor of serving as a bridesmaid for a most dear friend of mine.  Before the wedding we discussed every detail: shoes, hair, dress, food, wine, and most importantly, music. 

You see, each and every friend of mine has a special bond with me.  We share love of certain foods, a drink, a book, a moment in time, well you get the point.   This friend and I happen to share music.  I remember a time in my life after a break up when I hopped in her car for a night out and she said, "I've got this album, and it might be sort of weird, but this is what I think is going on between you and him." 

As she played it, she was right, and to be completely honest, that album and her friendship brought me through that break up.  (For the record, the album was Miranda Lambert's Kerosene album, and the song in particular was "What About Georgia?")

So when we talked about her wedding, and the music, and the people, it came down to two songs: the first dance and the father-daughter dance.  Now, in my head I've already got my father-daughter dance music picked, so I'm not going to steal this one.  However, I have to share hers with you all.  I love the words.  I love the tempo.  I love her.  I love her father.  I just love this song and the special meaning it now has to me.  I love that I cried just hearing it from my table during the dances. 

So enjoy, share it, share this love and blessing with those that you love.  I know I will! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photo Bomb!

I've been asked lately why I haven't been blogging, and I suppose the real answer is that I've just taken a cyber break.  I've been favoring the real relationships I have with people in my life instead of the online versions.  Too often I have found that people will say things online that they generally are too scared to say to your face, and it has been tiring to my mind. 

But I'm back!  With a photo bomb!  I'm sure the rest of these will go up on the Fairy Godmother Site in a few days, but for now, this will have to do. 

Here he is, the most amazing Godson I could have asked for.  He's riding the ponies at a local Christmas tree farm and before you know it, the pony handler PHOTO BOMBED HIM!  Too funny!  If it wasn't funny, I'd actually be mad because I really like this photo of him! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Brotherly Outtakes

About 2 weeks ago, I got the chance to photograph the two sons of some of my longest running friends.  Yah, longest running, not oldest.  If they're old friends, that makes me old, and I'm not old.  So there. 

Here's a little background on these amazing folks:  M and I met at birth.  Pretty much.  She was born 17 days before me at the same hospital, our parents were both members of the same church, we were dedicated by Pastor Gordon, we went to the same nursery, elementary school, junior high school, and high school.  You could say we've known eachother for a while.  In fact, when were in the fourth grade, our parents decided to put us both into an accellerated summer school and we both skipped (or fast forwarded through) the same grade. 

Her husband, A, came along when we were all in the first grade.  Yah, first grade.  No, they weren't sweethearts back then.  He had cooties, duh! 

So fast forward a few years, my first act as a bridesmaid was at their wedding. 

Then I visited them at their home near Coronado in San Diego. 

After a few years, they started adding to their family.  I had the pleasure of photographing their two boys 2 weeks ago.  While I'm waiting until they have the photos in their hands to share the good ones with you, I have to show you a series of outtakes from the shoot. 

Meet E, 4 years old, and N, 2 years old. 

E decided to tell me a story while N wandered around aimlessly doing everything in his power to avoid me.  It was so funny! 

E to me: "So are we gonna have chicken hamburgers for lunch?" 
Me to E: "What's a chicken hamburger?" 
Then his mom told me that it's Chick-Fil-A.  Genius. 
Then N says: "Whoa!"  (Almost falling over)
E to me: "I don't like In 'N Out."
Me to E: "I don't like it either." 
E to me: "Oh wait, I like it now." 
Then E did a little dance.  It cracked me up! 

I hope you laughed like I did!  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Where were you when __________?

Every single American newspaper relays the same thing today: Osama Bin Laden has been killed at the hands of United State's Special Forces. 

That is the statement that American's have been waiting for.  Just 4 months before we will mourn the 10 year anniversary of the attacks on our country, we have murdered the man that lead Al Qaueda to our door. 

As I watched the Today show on NBC this morning, they sent Matt Lauer to ground zero.  Hundreds of New York citizens were stopping at the edge of the fence on their way to work or play.  Now this was poignant in itself, until you realize that ground zero is simply a huge construction site.  We are rebuilding.  We are growing.  We are healing.  However, the hundreds of people cheering, praying, blowing kisses, and shedding tears prove to me that we will never forget. 

And then I cried. 

I cried because this man was an icon of my lifetime.  I cried because my military friends and family have been fighting the war on terror.  I cried because I was relieved. 

That relief was short lived when I realized that killing this man did not kill the entire sect of people that hate America.  I cried when I realized that some one else will probably take his place.  I cried when I remembered that my cousin will be headed to Afghanistan this fall. 

So as we enter into a time of celebration, I ask you all to please keep praying for our millitary and their families.  The war against terror isn't over just because we killed this man, in fact I'm afraid it's only getting started. 

Love you shrimp. 

"But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries."
Exodus 23:23

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Let's Talk About "THE WEDDING"

I'll admit it, I watched the Royal wedding.  I figured if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.  So I recorded the wedding on BBC America.  Not an American channel, a British one.  This was important since I need the "accents" to get in the mood. 

Here are some moments that caught my eye and what I imagined was going on. 

When Catherine arrived at the church (or the Abbey, whatever) and the gentleman opened her door, she motioned for him to lean down so she could tell him something before she exited the coach.  Here's how I imagine that going:
Catherine: "Excuse me?"
Nice man openeing the door: "Uhm.  Yes mumm?"
Catherine:  "Well you see, I'm about to get married to the Prince, and I've got a whole lotta dress in this back seat with me and my pop.  So the thing about it is, please don't let me trip and fall on this dress because it might be the only thing people remember about today." 
Door man:  "You got it sister." 

Next up, she had a little conversation with the fellow that was going to lead her down the aisle.  Now I sort of imagined that was the run of the mill stuff.  You know, "Nice day" "Lovely weather we're having" and of course "So, is the Prince here yet?" 

Then, Prince Harry turned around and saw Catherine coming down the aisle.  He then turned to his brother and whispered something.  Now this article says that his words were "Right, here she is now."  I like to think it was more like, "Yup, you scored the pretty one."  Or maybe, "Last chance, we could hop in that 1902 horse drawn carriage right now and bolt outta here.  Or maybe we'd just better go on foot." 

So then, the ceremony.  I was baffled.  No kiss?  Only a ring for her?  And why were there only men and boys in the choir?  Do British women avoid singing?  No really, these were things I was asking myself in between sips of coffee and wondering what in the heck all the stuff on the Prince's coats meant.  Plus, I was looking forward to them writing their own vows, and unfortunately they didn't do that.  They did, however, write a very beautiful prayer that closed out the ceremony.  I enjoyed it, every word of it. 

Then they showed people in the audience.  I only knew one of them, Elton John.  Then I got all teary-eyed because I remember him singing Candle in the Wind at Princess Diana's funeral in that very same location.  I remember the song and I remember crying.  It was a very odd sensation. 

Then the panned around, and I looked at hats.  Camilla (or Cruella as I always seem to call her) was wearing a hat that looked like a doughnut to me.  Yup, a doughnut.  Fergie's daughters looked like a parody of British fashion, so I won't be surprised to see those outfits show up on Saturday Night Live or something. 

Finally, Mrs. Middleton.  Did anyone catch a good look at her?  Quite a looker.  The legs on that lady?  The perfect silhouette?  The simple powder blue suit and hat?  Man, I know the Prince's took one look at her and said "If that's what Pippa and Kate are going to look like when they get older, then SIGN ME UP!" 

I also learned that we stole the music from God Save the Queen for our own song, My Country Tis of Thee.  Yah, I'm way behind on the times. 

Finally the kiss.  Loved it.  I loved the rejoicing.  I loved the whole family out on the balcony with them.  The show of solidarity.  Then, this.  The little girl that will forever be known as the "kiss hater."  Cracks me up. 

Well I'm no fashion expert, for that I turn to my friends.  But I will say this, Catherine knocked it out of the park yesterday.  Two dresses, both elegant and classic.  Polished look, nothing over the top.  Very safe, very endearing, and very beautiful.  Prince William is a lucky man. 

For the record, Pippa's look was my absolute favorite.  She complemented her sister perfectly, while still maintaining an idividual look. 

So go check out all of the links in this post, and share some of your favorites in the comments section! 

Oh, and for those of you that noticed, I drank coffee during the wedding.  Not tea.  Take that! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My (slightly) Green Thumb

It's been about 2 weeks since we started collecting things for our garden, and I haven't killed anything (yet). 

The snapdragons and Ranunculus I mentioned previously are still alive, although there are a couple that could use some perking up.  My lemon tree is just itching to grow some lemons (I hope).  And the herbs, well the herbs are doing well and getting some house renovations! 

First, let's recap. 

There are 6 spots in the herb trays. 

6 herbs I decided that I really couldn't live without.  Okay, I ended up with 5 because frankly I don't know what I can and can't live without just yet. 

I know I needed rosemary. 

Rosemary in bread is a staple.  I love it.  However, I don't love that the rosemary sort of looks like one of those little Bonsai trees.  Sort of creeps me out. 

Next up, basil. 

Everyon needs basil, if for no other reason then to layer it with mozzarella and tomatoes and sprinkle it with balsamic vinegar for a quick salad or snack.  I love caprese. 

Our following guest is a test, frankly I just liked how green and soft these things are.  I don't know if I'll get much use out of them.  Chives. 

I'm not a big garnish person, but I imagine the chive will be used for garnish and baked potatoes in our house. 


I don't know how to cook with peppermint, but I intend to try.  I know I like the scent.  I know it looked like a hearty plant I'd have a hard time killing.  That's all I know for now.  Maybe I'll put it into tea or something?  Who knows? 

From last year, oregano has held up. 

Although, I suppose it's seen better days.  It's a little brown around the edges, and so I'm going to keep it watered to try to save it.  Overall, I bought it almost a year ago and I haven't used it much.  If it dies, I might replace it with something else. 

And a new and very prized addition to my herb garden: raspberries!  I know, I know, it isn't an herb.  But until it grows up big and strong, it's staying in here with a trellis behind it. 

It's a gift from my co-worker and the parent plant it came from is several feet tall and climbing a full size arch trellis.  Quite impressive.  I have high hopes for this little guy. 

So that's my mini-garden.  I have to go look for recipes to use this stuff in now.  If you have any, please share! 

Good luck gardening! 


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

Okay, I'll admit it, my priorities have changed a little over the past 12 months.  Last week, Mike & I celebrated our first year in our first home.  Well, we celebrated a lot of things because it was actually my birthday and Mr. Beans' birthday as well. 

How did we celebrate our first year here?  We planted.  Again. 

I've tried to plant several things over the past year, and I've learned a few things about what I can and cannot grow.  Daisies don't survive.  Our first round of sod got moldy.  Herbs, I can do herbs.  Pepper plants are evil. 

Here's what I can report.  We bought a Dwarf Meyer Lemon tree a few months ago.  It gave a few lemons, stopped, and now it's flowering again! 

My Rosemary and Oregano (or is it Thyme?) from my first attempt at herbs are still thriving!  I love using them!  So I've added in Basil (again), Mint, and Chives.  I can't wait to get to use all of these more!  I love fresh herbs in dishes. 

Mike bought me an entire flat of Snap Dragons.  I.  Love.  Snapdragons.  Ever since I was a little girl, I made it a point to stop anywhere they were and play with them.  They are part toy, and part flower.  What else can a girl ask for? 

Finally, we bought two Ranunculus.  Mike liked the name and he keeps calling them "redunkulous" and I loved the pom-pon looking poofs that are their flowers.  They were less than $2 each at Lowe's, so if they die I won't be too sad.  Just my pride will hurt, not my wallet. 

So that's what is in my garden, what is in yours? 

Plant happy,


Friday, March 18, 2011

It's that time again!!!

I've talked about weddings before, in fact, I love talking about weddings.  Just a few months back on my blog, I talked about my friends weddings and being their bridesmaid.  I've been a bridesmaid four times.  I have a champagne colored dress, a bright pink dress, and two black dresses in my arsenal of dresses I can wear again. 

And also, because I forgot to mention it, I was a reader for my dear little sister Holly's wedding.  I cannot believe I forgot that one, mainly because she planned that thing so well that I cannot imagine a better wedding!  She had a candy table, wonderful wine, cute little frogs, a thumbprint tree instead of a guest book, and a basket full of flip flops for ladies whose feet were tired of heels!  It was fantastic.  Dreamy. 

But the unmarried friends are dwindling, in fact there are almost none of us left.  I suppose this is what happens as one nears the age of 30, right?  Right. 

Well the time has come, and I'm so flippin' excited that I can barely control myself, but my best friend is getting married!  That's right folks!  I've been blessed, beyond belief to watch from the front row as four amazing women in my life have married their best friends, and now I get to do it one more (and maybe last?) time. 

But the best part of it is, the way she asked me.  You see, we've always been artsy-fartsy type girls.  I scrapbook, she's a teacher, and we both love anything and everything at Michael's.  So when she called me on Wednesday to ask if I'd checked my mail recently, well I knew she'd sent me some sort of hand made card.  (Actually, I thought it was a save the date card.  I'm slow.) 

When I arrived home, I was so incredibly giddy that I had to snap pictures and share it with you. 

First glance, adorable! 

Adorable poem, and before the end I was in tears!  Mike was standing in the garage giving me the "what's wrong with you" look. 

Now it's time to unfold the dolls!!! 

Maid of Honor




Matron of Honor

Can I just start out by saying, this is one absolutely amazing bridal party!  These girls are awesome and each one of them is smart, beautiful, talented, and fun.  I'm honored to be sharing my duties with these ladies, and I thought I'd throw together a few pictures of us throughout the years.  Enjoy!