Winter Wonderland Baby Shower

My sisters and I knew the instant we heard the news from our baby sister that she was expecting her first baby that we were definitely going to throw her a baby shower.  It was such exciting and great news for our family and we were all so happy for them.  Since the five of us live here in California, we knew that it would be a lot of work to throw a baby shower, especially out of state but I think we were all prepared to do the work ;).

About six months before the date of the baby shower, we talked theme and colors.  Kang, our baby sister, chose penguins and the colors: pink, silver and white.  She wanted a winter wonderland feel to her shower and we were more than happy to oblige since her shower was in Minnesota during the winter! Isn’t it so fitting? The only major hiccup that we encountered during the whole planning was that Kang had baby Alexis earlier than expected.  We knew we were going to have a shower but the date was up in the air since we weren’t sure whether or not baby and mommy would be discharged.  We ended up with the original date and hence the picture where my sister does not look pregnant at all.

It was hard throwing a shower out of state but we managed to pull it through.  The venue that we chose was nice.  The indoor decoration that we had planned on I had to cross off at the last minute because the ceilings were arched and there was no way I could pull off doing the decoration that we had planned.  So I worked with what I had.

Dessert Table

For the dessert table, my sister, May made the cake balls.  She had planned on mini cupcakes and some other sweets but remember what I said about how hard it is to throw a shower out of state? Well, one of the problems we ran into was the difference in ovens.  The cupcakes in Minnesota came out flat and we had to scratch them out as well.  My niece, Makayla made some delicious macarons for the dessert table.  She made two flavors, strawberry and coconut.  We also had a hot chocolate bar.

dessert table

Party Favors

In planning the party favors, we knew we were going to get Bath & Body Works lotions so we hit up their sale.  We got two different lotions: Frosted Wonderland and Winter Candy Apple.  I made tags that said, “What an elotional time!”, get it? I can’t take credit for that one though…it would have to go to my husband.  I then tied a charm that said, “Thank you”, along with the tags with baker’s twine.  The other party we had was snowflake sugar cookies also made by May but designed by all five of us girls.

baby shower party favors


We played four games.  We played a candy bar memory game, The Price is Right, Nursery Rhyme Guessing Game and My Water Broke.  Kang, wanted to do a Mommy advice/Wishes for Baby tree so we did that as well.  And we had a frame for guests to sign their names on.

baby shower candy bar game

The shower turned out great! The only thing was that I didn’t get to do was hold my niece!! I was sick/getting over a cold and I didn’t want to risk getting her sick too especially with her little lungs still growing.  My California butt had been gone waaayyyy too long!! It was soo cold!!! There were many times in the last nine to ten years since I moved away from Minnesota that I have thought about how much I missed having a white Christmas but my mind has been changed.  Snow is pretty when it is falling but it only lasts so long.  I am a true California girl and I will stay a California girl!

I also want to give a special shout out to all my nieces: Makayla, May, Catalina, Natalie and Priscilla for helping us with everything.  I know we sent you guys out to do A LOT of last minute shopping but we couldn’t have pulled it off without your help! Oh, and many thanks to Tiger and Brandon too for being our photographers as well :)!

The Shower

wishes for baby red velvet cake balls snowflake sugar cookies my water broke game baby shower sweets baby shower signature frame baby shower favors baby shower frame baby shower dessert table winter baby shower penguin cake opening gifts photo booth fun balloon fun baby shower sisters group picture



Cake Balls: Baker’s Mini




Turning 31!

It has been a while since my last blog post considering that one of my goals this new year was to write more blog posts! I can’t make any excuses except that life has been hectic! Let’s see what has happened since my last post.  My sister had her baby girl! I am such a proud auntie!

What else? I got a job at a local school.  I have to find a way to support my “extracurricular” activities until my extracurricular activities can support me you know ;).  By extracurricular activities, I mean the blog and my party planning business.  The job has been going well…I get to make up my own schedule since I am only a sub.

Saving the best news for last, I turned 31 last week!!! I’ve never been one who got too excited about my birthdays considering that I am a party planner.  I don’t know, I’ve never liked being the center of attention but I don’t mind making you the center of attention (shameless plug)! Hahaha! It could be that while growing up we never celebrated our birthdays.  I don’t think it was because that my parents didn’t care.  I think it was more of the fact that my parents are immigrants and celebrating birthdays, the tooth fairy and all the great American traditions were not part of the culture that they grew up with.  Anyways suffice it to say, that I was very disappointed when I wished and wished for money from the tooth fairy and money was not left under  my my pillow!

For the next week or so I am planning Dylan’s birthday party.  It’s so last minute because we weren’t going to do a party and invite friends but I didn’t want him to miss out on these important childhood memories so we changed our minds.  I apologize for this short post!



Thanksgiving, the forgotten holiday!

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only FIFTEEN days away! It’s crazy!! I feel as though the days after Halloween are always a blur….time just seems to go by so fast! It will be a new year before we all know it.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are my most favorite holidays, especially, Thanksgiving!

So, we have a rule in our house.  Well, my husband and I have decided that we will not put up our Christmas tree or do any Christmas decorating until after Thanksgiving.  It’s important for us to show our son and hopefully his future sibling about the importance of family and Thanksgiving.  I honestly think that Thanksgiving is being brushed over and Christmas has taken over the Fall and Winter holidays! For instance, we stopped at Hobby Lobby to pick up a few things for my little sister’s baby shower and I would say half of the store was dedicated to Christmas decor!

Here’s a look at just one of the aisles!

hobby lobby

Dylan would love for us to put up the tree and he has asked us to and we have told him we will wait until after Thanksgiving.  He hasn’t complained or whined about not putting it up now.  I think every opportunity that we have as parents to teach or show values that are important to us, we should take it.  Thanksgiving is an important holiday to us so we are trying to show him why.  He can make the decision to carry on our tradition when he’s an adult.  Until then, we have a responsibility here! Thanksgiving, it’s more than just eating turkey and all of the fixings.  It’s about family, love, memories, and being grateful for all the things that we do have. Of course, we want to make him happy and have him enjoy Christmas as long as he can and he will, after Thanksgiving :).


thanksgiving appetizers       Thanksgiving buffet

I love Christmas just like everyone else but there is just something significant about Thanksgiving.  There’s no stress of making sure you’re gift giving list is complete…just enjoying a meal together with family! What are your thoughts?


Pumpkin Patch

One of my not so favorite Fall time tradition is going to the Pumpkin Patch.  Don’t kill me…let me explain.  For the last couple of years, it has been hot! Sweat and dirt just doesn’t scream FUN to me so even though I don’t necessarily enjoy going, we do end up going every year.  Dylan gets to hang out and have a blast with his cousins and I get the satisfaction of knowing that he will have great memories of his childhood! Well, at least that is my hope….whether or not he actually does, we will have to find out!


Family pumpkin patch

This past weekend, the weather was perfect!!! It was cool, sunny and breezy….the perfect Pumpkin Patch weather!!  I was so looking forward to going just because I knew that I wouldn’t be sweating and irritated while waiting in line for the most famous attraction, the jumping pillow! (Sorry, I didn’t snap any pictures of this!)

pumpkin patch groupracing pyramid

hay pyramid 2

hay ride


After the pumpkin patch, we gathered at my sister’s house to plan our little sister’s baby shower.  Oh, I can’t wait to share the things we are planning on doing.  This is so right up my ally….it’s part of the reason why I started this whole blog…to be able to share my love for crafts and party planning.


Distressed Halloween Mason Jars

It’s the most beautiful time of the year! It’s Fall!!! I just wish it would feel like Fall…except it hasn’t felt like Fall at all.  It’s  been in the mid nineties the last couple of days here in sunny California and the warm weather does not do me any good.  I long for the crisp Fall air! Once upon a time, I lived in Minnesota and even though I love California, I just want to experience all four seasons.  So I thought that if maybe I started decorating our apartment in Fall decor, that maybe..just maybe..the crisp Fall air will knock on my door.

I have been wanting to make some distressed mason jars for awhile now and I wanted tie it into Halloween, somehow.  And this is what I came up with!

distressed mason jars

The things you will need:

  • Mason jars
  • White and black Martha Stewart Satin Paint
  • Foam brushes
  • Extra Fine Glitter
  • Mod Podge
  • Sand paper ( I used 220 grade)
  • small paint brush (to paint the letters)
  • Ribbon (if you want to add a little pizzazz to your work)

I started out by printing the letters on regular paper and cutting them out with my handy dandy X acto knife.


I then traced them onto card stock and then cut them out of the cardstock and traced them onto the mason jars with a Sharpie pen.

letters cutouts

b jar

Now that I am writing this post, I just thought “why didn’t I print the letters on the cardstock in the first place?”.  Because I like to create more work for myself, that’s why! I wish I was fancy and had a nice little machine like a Silhouette Cameo to help me out but I had to go back to the days when such things did not exist because it doesn’t in my house ;).

After I did all that, I painted the mason jars with the white paint avoiding the letters and ghost.

painted b

painted jars

I then painted the letters and the ghost with the black paint.  After an hour or so of letting the first coat dry, I started on the second coat of white paint.  I did not do a second coat of the black paint because I will be putting glitter over it. Once the second coat dried (after another hour), I then cured the paint.  I place the jars on a cookie sheet and turned on the oven to 350 degrees.  Once it reached 350 degrees, I let it cure in the oven for 30 minutes.  After the 30 minutes, turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven until it completely cools.

distressed jars

To create the distressed look, sand the corners and anywhere where it would look worn down naturally over time.  To add the glitter, use a foam brush to apply the mod podge and then sprinkle on the glitter! Voila! Let it dry and you are done.  I really hope you enjoy this and let me know what you created!

Mod O


glitter scary

boo jars

I let it dry for an hour or so and then painted the second coat.  I then let it dry for another hour.  I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did.  Be creative and let me know you came up with too!



Best Spaghetti Sauce, Ever!

Trying to figure out something to eat in my family is always a hassle! We each have our own preferences and finding something to satisfy each person’s taste buds can be exhausting.  My husband is a steak and potatoes type of guy.  My son has four dishes in rotation (that he won’t put up a fight and eat) and I will pretty much eat anything.   So even though I knew my son would not step foot near this dish, I just couldn’t pass up on this amazing recipe from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.

This sauce is not what you would expect from a jar.  It is a very meaty sauce that is definitely restaurant quality! So here we go!

I started out by chopping up my onion and bell pepper.  When I first saw that there was diced bell peppers, I honestly thought, “really, bell pepper in spaghetti sauce”? But I have to say I learned that I should take the advice I give to my son all the time and, just try it! Hahaha.

bellpepper onion

I then browned the meat.  The only thing that I changed from the original recipe was I added sausage meat in addition to the ground beef.


After browning the meat, I removed the meat from my pot and started cooking the onion, bell pepper and garlic.



After a couple of minutes, I added beef broth.  We don’t drink wine and I didn’t want to spend extra money on a bottle of wine to only toss it out eventually. Plus, I don’t think it would have made a huge difference.  The sauce still ended up, delish!!!

broth with onion

After a couple of minutes, I added the rest of the ingredients minus the Parmesan cheese.  Covered the pot and let it simmer for an hour.



After the hour, I added the Parmesan cheese and let it cook for another 45 minutes because the dang wedge of cheese just would not completely melt.  Too much cheese, you think? :)



I cooked some noodles and it was all I thought it would be! Delicious! Thank you, Pioneer Woman!


Here’s the recipe!

Spaghetti recipe card

I hope you try it and let me know what you thought of it also!


Another Summer Comes To An End

It’s Labor Day weekend and another summer has come to an end.  Oh how time just passes by so quickly.  I think it’s more of a realization that I am getting older as each minute passes me by that makes me so sad.  I know, thinking too much won’t help.  I think about how fast my son is growing.  I think about what other people think of me….oh the list can go on and on! So, as I sit here writing this blog post while my son watches Indian Jones, I thought I would reflect on what we did this summer and share it with you.

My husband started a new job position right before the school year ended for Dylan, so going on a vacation of any sort was out of the question.  New job means new probation time.  Plus, a vacation was out of the budget so we had a stay-cation instead! We enjoyed each other’s company while we drove each other crazy.  I love my boy but sometimes it would be nice to hear myself think! Lol!

We went on walks around town.


Had a lemonade stand with friends.  I asked my husband to build this awesome lemonade stand and he happily obliged! I did help, of course! I painted each wood piece.  The lemonade sign is on hooks so that I can interchange the signs and use it for different occasions.  Very creative on the different signs, don’t you think? I was inspired by after seeing Lil’ Luna‘s vintage lemonade stand.

It was so hot that day that they became their own customers ;)!

dylan & friends

Here is Dylan helping a customer out…not too sure what he’s looking at though.

dylan lemon

They also had to work for their money! There are seriously some generous folks out there! We had a guy who paid $5 for a lemonade and gave a $20 tip!!

dylan with sign

Went to Funderland with friends and cousin, Ivana.  Oh, the pure joy of happiness on this handsome face!



Went swimming! He’s starting to venture out past the steps of the pool! Baby steps!

dylan swimming

Went to the State Fair! We couldn’t resist being a farmer and a cow now, could we?


And we made sure this year to NOT go on Kids’s Day because it can very crowded and the lines very long! I’m not a fan of large crowds.  One thing that I miss about Minnesota, is the state fair! I am sorry to say this but California State Fair just doesn’t compare.  Sorry! Don’t hate me! Dylan has been counting down the days since last year so we had to take him.  Otherwise, we wouldn’t have gone.  The things we do for our kids :)!

state fair ride

And we went back to school! Well, Dylan went back to school.  I was looking forward to this day all summer but when the day came, I was feeling quite sad.  I was noticing this summer how much he has changed.  His skin doesn’t have that soft baby feel anymore, he’s more than half my height (I’m 5’8″), and he’s getting smarter every day.

first day

So even though we didn’t go anywhere far…we still made a lot of memories! That my friends is what’s important! I hope you also created special memories this summer.