Thursday, December 6, 2012

"Pretty in Pink" Bridal Shower

I have this thing for throwing parties. I will jump at the chance and then stress over it until its over and done with. It is fun and a great creative outlet for me to dabble in! I admit, I have a dream to do this professionally someday... but for now I get to celebrate with my family and friends!

My brother-in-law is engaged to the most adorable future bride! We are so excited for them to start their life in love together! Naturally, where there is a bride there will be a bridal shower! It was fun for me to create this with my SILs,

"Pretty in Pink" Bridal Shower
(Rustic Elegance)
Colors: (rose)pink, brown, teal/blue, silver
Motifs: lace, sparkle, burlap

 The Invitation: The color combination just spoke to me and so I went for it! I love how it turned out. This was the springboard for our decorations as we used these colors to tie the party together.

The Food: 
A party at 11:00 means you should feed your guests lunch. That is exactly what we did! We didn't want the traditional "chicken salad on a croissant" for our shower. Not there is anything wrong with a good chicken salad on a croissant... I'm usually the first in line. But it was the weekend of Thanksgiving, it was cold outside, and we just wanted something a little different. So we went with (one of my all-time-favorites) Chicken Roll-ups instead.

My SIL made her (now famous) Strawberry and Spinach salad, I had a request for the Grape Salad, my other SIL brought us a pasta salad too! We also had fruit to keep everything extra colorful and fresh. We had a choice of flavored waters (Raspberry Mint, and Lemon) and a delicious array of cupcakes! 

The Details:
My SILs and I had fun creating the decoration for this one. We decorated the fresh Christmas tree with pink lace bows, pearl beads, and white organza ribbon. I wish I had better pictures of the tree but it turned out pretty cute. We used the tree to be the gift location (that is what trees are for right?).

We covered the window/doors with burlap and lace. Its difficult to see in the pictures here, but it was just the touch it needed to help us tie it all together from one end of the room to the food table... Our other little SIL made the large pink flowers with crepe paper and glue. How creative and they were the perfect size for the doors!

My pet project for the decor this time was the "Love" Banner we hung above the Bride-to-be's chair. I am very proud of how cute it turned out! (Despite the terrible picture of it... but at least you can see the cute Bride!)

We passed around a little notebook for all the guests to write a congratulations, and a little advice for the newlyweds. 

The Games:
Game #1: He Said/She Said 
Little details about the bride and groom (and their relationship) as they said it. I then made up a cute little worksheet. Everyone had to guess which one said each detail and circle the mustache, the lips or both. It was a great way to get to know the bride a little better. 
Game #2: The purse game.
My SIL found a  great list of items that can be found in a woman's purse. Then there were point values assigned to each item. Something fairly common (like lip gloss) was one point, but a diaper got 25 points. Its always a good one! 

Game #3: Guess the Spice
This one took a little time for me to make up, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. The jars are filled with various spices and everyone has to guess which one it is by look and smell. I then gave the spices to the bride to start her off. 

The Favors:
What is better than a little pampering? Not much. But I made these little personal peppermint sugar scrubs and they turned out to be perfect!  

It was a great shower! Best wishes to those adorable lovebirds! 

Monday, December 3, 2012


Life has caught me underfoot and has swept me off my feet. In an attempt to gain control of my life again, I am taking a break from the busy world of social media. I am going to unplug for a while and give myself some time to focus on my house, my child, my husband, and my health. Not to mention preparing for the wonderful festivities of Christmas!.

Its time to re-evaluate my priorities, get things in order, and de-clutter my life. I need respite from the overwhelming noise that all these seemingly important obligations (that are not actually Facebook updates) constantly bombard me and my life.

Look for me soon. And wish me luck.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 9: The Roadrunner

We call our little blue car "The Roadrunner". Its blue, and its horn sounds a lot like the Warner Brother's cartoon. I put it to the test this morning as we embarked on our trek over the mountains to celebrate my Mother-in-law's birthday, and my Sis-in-law's opening weekend in the school play.

The storm blew in as we left. It was rainy, and I admit, a tad scary. But after we made it through the first canyon, we traveled ahead of the storm. It was slightly wet, but no more scary weather. But I am thankful for nice tires, a car that runs well, and God's protection. I am also grateful for the wonderful company I had for this trip. I am glad I had my sis-in-law to talk/giggle with. I just pray I can get back home...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 8: The Seasons

Ok, so this might sound random, but I LOVE the changing seasons. Especially the autumn. I love to feel that things are changing. It helps to motivate me to make changes in my life, for the better. The beauty of the world around me is stunning with each season. I love the flowering blossoms of spring, the green grass of summer, the colored mountainside in the fall, and the sparkling snow falling in winter. What an incredible gift, to enjoy all kinds of beauty that is constantly changing! Today I am thankful for crunchy leaves, crisp autumn air, and the faint whisper that winter is coming!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 7: Freedom

The miracle of the American Experiment is being tested and tried in the biggest election year, ever. What an amazing blessing to be able to have a say in how the government runs. I have the freedom to follow my dreams, change my mind, and think for myself. I can worship God in the way I choose, and   I have the right to believe the way I want. Freedom is an incredible gift. I am seriously so blessed.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 6: My Last Name + the People I Share it With.

Alright. So I feel that I may come off as a little brown-noser as I continue in my gratitude list. I felt it was a little too easy to say that I am grateful for my family. Family is the most important thing to me, as they help me to be the person I am and hope to be. There is so much to say about how grateful I am  to have the family I have. This includes my wonderful in-laws. 

I couldn't ask for a better family to marry into. They welcomed me with open arms, took me in as if I were a daughter of their own... as if I have been around the whole time.

I give a lot of credit to my mother-in-law who told my husband "not to give up on that Jessica girl" before we started dating. I was doing my best, but thanks to mother intuition my husband gave me another shot. So thanks, Mom. She always seems to have her head on straight, even when things are utter chaos around her. With 7 children, chaos happens more often than not... She is such a wonderful example to me. I have had only a short time to get to know her thus far, and I am so grateful for the times I have had to to get to know her on a one-on-one basis. She is an incredible woman and I hope that I can be more like her.

Papa LeBaron is so much fun to be around. He likes to have fun, make jokes, and keep everyone happy. He radiates love with all the tenderness of a big lovable teddy bear. He is so genuine, and kind though he will tease you if you aren't careful. I can't express how much his welcoming hug and "hello, pretty lady" mean to me when we come to visit. I am one of his daughters and he'll take me as I am. I am so grateful to him for that.

Man it is fun to have sisters! (I count the other married sis-in-laws with them.) I love to shop, talk, and craft with these fine young ladies. I the juicy details, the fashion advice, the homemade manicures. They welcomed me with open arms and let me in on the fun! I am grateful to feel that I belong, it means a lot to me.

The boys will be boys... and I wouldn't change that. They make the family gatherings fun, exciting, and entertaining... to say the least. Its is hard to describe how comforting it is having so many brothers around... They can take care of the bad guys. And I know they will.

I know, another wedding picture... don't judge me. Its hard to get this many people to stay still for a photo... 

PS. I have a really cute nephew too! I am grateful to have him to squeeze those little cheeks like good aunts do. (Its my duty. I think he would be disappointed if I didn't...)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 5: "Little" Brother

My brother and I have been pretty good friends all our lives... ok, so pretty much all our lives... there was that phase I went through that I wanted a cat instead, but it eventually passed...

What would I do without him? We have spent so much time in the car on our family trips, on our evening walks around the block with the dog... I missed him a lot this past summer when he was working away, even though we don't talk every day like we used to... I still missed him terribly.

I am so proud of him and the things he is doing! He is so talented at music, he is smart, funny, and genuine. He is a good guy, who is learning who he wants to be. I see great potential and promise in him. I hope he does too.

I wish I was more eloquent in describing just how important he is to me... So to him (if he reads this... or this could be a little awkward...) I am so grateful that you stuck around with me. I am grateful for the life-long friend I have by my side. Even though you are WAY taller than me... I love you, bro. Please, always remember that. :)

PS. I look totally ridiculous in this picture. But I like this one of my brother... :)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 4: Pork Chops + Pea Gravy

One of the best meals there is. YUM! And we got to eat it tonight! I am grateful for the meal that I got to share with my family, and for the yummy-ness that was shared, but this post isn't exactly about pork chops... despite them being oh-so-delicious...

I have the best parents in the world. I know some people might beg to differ... but I seriously do not know how you can possibly do better than mine. They may tell me later that I am their daughter, so I have to say nice things... but it is true. They will have to see reason some day.

My mother is one of the strongest women I know. She is a worrier, and she tends to worry about other people and their needs. She wants this life to be the best it can be for everyone around her, and she tries not to make a fuss when attention is turned to her. (She may be mad at me later for this...) She took on a lot to take care of her own mother. I watched her as she tried to juggle work, taking care of Grandma, and taking care of Dad. She worried about her sisters too. My mom is a rock, she is dependable, loving, and likes to spoil her only grandson. *wink* She takes care of me and does her best to make sure I have my needs met. I don't know what I would do without her in my life. I love and adore her. I want to be like her.

My father is... nothing short of absolutely amazing. I couldn't ask for a better man to be so involved in my life. He has a heart of gold, a sense of humor, and a way of writing that makes everything right with the world. He raised my brother and I on the classics. Rocky Raccoon, Jeremiah was a Bullfrog, American Pie... our bedtime songs literally rocked. I have fond memories of road trips to and from Kanab listening to the "Caffeine" CD and answering the "who sings this song?" question. (Which by the way, is a trick question... he usually asked when it was actually Who singing...) My dad is a super hero. He knows what to say, when to say it, and how to take control of a situation to make it better. He is so strong, so kind, so happy. I know everything is going to be alright when he is around... even when it might not be...

It is difficult to put into words the love and admiration I have for my dear parents. I am grateful to have them as a major part of my life, even now, as my own family begins and grows. I would have it no other way! So to them I say: I am grateful that you are you, that you are my parents, and that I can have you around for many more adventures! I love you!

PS. I know its a picture of my wedding day... surprisingly I don't have many pictures with them both in it... that will have to be fixed...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3: Little Man

It would not be right for anything but my Little Man to come next in my list of things I am grateful for. He is my whole world. He brings such joy in to the lives of those around him. He is such a good kid. He doesn't fuss much (when other people are around), he has such a happy disposition, and a cute little personality to go along with such a cute little guy!

Being a mother is better than I ever thought it could be. Even on the days when I call my mom apologizing for screaming at her all day... the love I have for my Little Man cannot be matched by anything. Nothing can deter me from caring about his every wish. I see it as a glimpse into the love that God has for me... and it humbles me to feel it only strengthen.

Pound it Mom! 

I am so grateful for my Little Man. May we have all sorts of adventures together!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Day 2: True Love

I married a perfect fit. We compliment each other in ways I never thought possible before I met him. How did I get along without him for so long? It has only been 3 years, and yet I find it difficult to remember life before him...

He is my Superman. He is kind, friendly, and patient. He loves me on the days that are less-than-the-best... He is a hard worker, a faithful priesthood holder, and he is always up for a good laugh. He is strong, gentile, and willing to help me in any way he can. 

He supports me in my duties as wife and mother, in my dreams and ambitions, and in my personal issues. He encourages me to improve myself and really believes that I am beautiful. A girl can get spoiled... 

He is a great father. I love to watch him play and interact with the Little Man. He is the fun one, we all know it. I love it. 

To the love of my life. I am so grateful you are with me! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 1: Testimony

November is the month of gratitude. I wanted to celebrate this year by recording something I am grateful for each day. Today I am grateful for my testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It brings strength and comfort to me in all aspects of my life, and never fails me when times get tough.

I believe that God speaks to his living prophets today. We can learn from them and consider the words they say to be directly from God. I am grateful to have living prophets.

I believe that God speaks to me through revelation and his holy spirit in regards to  my own personal life. I am a child of God, and I am known personally by him. He loves me and cares enough about me that I can address things in my life and he will listen, and he will answer my questions. I am grateful for revelation and for prayers.

I believe in a life after death. Those we lose in this life have only stepped beyond the veil to continue on their eternal journey. We will be reunited with our loved ones again someday. The mourning we have here for our deceased friends and family is sad, only because we miss them. They are not lost, but waiting. We shall all live together again. This is possible through the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am grateful for this knowledge.

I believe that family is forever. I am sealed to my husband for eternity. I can continue to progress throughout the rest of time... It is through the blessings received through temple ordinances that this perspective is possible. I am grateful for temples, for an eternal perspective, and for the knowledge and comfort this can (and has) brought to my life.

I am grateful for the values and standards that I have committed to. I am a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For this, I am grateful.

Just for Me.

I have spent far too much time and effort attempting to please everyone else. I have found that I am not true to my own voice because I worry too much about what people think of my writing, my posts, my pictures... It has made writing a chore and keeping up my blog is no longer fun for me. That is why I have created this blog. Just for me. My goal is to not lose sight in what is really important to me. I want to create, experience, and love life without having to worry about what others think.

I guess I could start out with a little self-discovery... a little creative writing... how about a poetic combination of both?

I am Me.

I am my family. Without them, I would be lost, confused, and miserable. I would not trade them for the world. I have the most wonderful husband in the world, and one adorable little boy who is my entire world.

I am a student with a thirst for knowledge.
I am a chef.
I am a domestic goddess.
I am beautiful.
I am crazy. I am fun. I am smart.
I am a daughter of God.
I am me. Life is not a contest. No racing, no beauty pageants... just a journey that is meant to be enjoyed. I intend to not waste any more time competing for an imaginary trophy. I can do my best and hope that God fills in the rest.

And there you have it. The beginning of a new and happy relationship between blog and blogger.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Party 2012

As per tradition, our party usually occurs the Saturday before Halloween. We compete with a lot of other things and this year was definitely no exception. Between the neighborhood party, and the other various events going on around the valley, I am so grateful to everyone who showed up! It was a lot of fun and I am very excited about the turn out.

We went as Medieval Royalty and a little dragon this year.

My decorations were simple this year. My collection of old books were watching as our guests arrived.  Draping the furniture with white sheets adds an instant feel of Halloween for cheap!

We had food and costume contests again too. These "Dirty Q-tips" won the creepiest food hands down! And I have proof that I ate some. They were actually pretty tasty. There's nothing wrong with marshmallows dipped in melted butterscotch... except for the dirty earwax part...

The Costumes this year were creative and so much fun! Thanks for participating Everyone!

Emma Swan

I loved the Shark! Can't see the other one...

Mary + Bert

Cutest Farm Family ever!

Where is Waldo? in the Kitchen.

My pet project this year was the trophies for the contest winners. I saw some ideas on Pinterest and decided that they were going to be at my party this year too!

We all voted and finished the night off watching Wait Until Dark. A great ending to an awesome party!  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

To: A Dear Friend

Dear FHA (Fun has Arrived),
You have been like a second father to me. You had an answer for everything. Its not fair that you think you can leave us all behind to figure the rest out on our own... You are a wonderful man, you have a wonderful family, your influence has reached so many people. The world will be missing a huge part of it. But I love you and will miss you. I look forward to seeing you again. Thanks for all you did for me.


P.S. Please remember to come get Max...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Witch's Dinner Party 2012

I have been plotting this party since mid-August. Each detail proved a perfect piece to the masterpiece. Thanks to those lovely girls who attended this year. It was so much fun! I can hardly wait until next year!

Don't pay attention to the smudge on the frame...How did I miss that?
Theme: Black and Purple with Silver accents.

Appetizer: Ghostly Greens
Main Dish: Bat Wings and Monster Mashed Potatoes
Dessert: Sinful Delight
Drinks: Mulled Cranberry-Blackberry Cider Spritzers

We ate dinner in candle light. It added to the creepy ambiance and created a fun atmosphere. The pictures don't do it justice, but it also helped that you couldn't see the full horror of the bat wings... 

Homemade, Halloween-shaped croutons.

Bat wings. Garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes.
No-bake Nutella Cheesecakes. mmm...

Recipes for this devious dinner can be found here (Ghostly Croutons), here(Bat Wings)here(Potatoes)here(Cider Spritzers), and here (Cheesecakes)

We had some fun entries for our food contest. Congrats to the ladies who won. :) It was all delicious and so fun to see the creativity. 

I especially loved the Witch costumes worn this year. I couldn't be happier with the turn out. Our "Best Dressed Witch" was... electrifying. Her hat was wired with lights! Again, the picture doesn't do this lovely lady justice... but it had to be taken in the dark for full effect. 

Each lovely lady got to take home her very own vial of homemade lavender sugar scrub. And their contest prizes. The dead flower bouquet (in the first picture) also went to the Best Dressed Witch. 

The details for the next party are already underway. *wink, wink*