Archive for August 2010 | Monthly archive page

This past weekend we had the pleasure of going to our dear friends’ wedding! We’ve known Dustin and Kristen since Jackson was born (about 3-1/2 years). Dustin is one of Lincoln’s co-workers and he has become a wonderful friend to both of us. We were so happy when he proposed to Kristen last summer. We are always encouraging all of our single friends to get married and start families of their own!

We had such a wonderful time at the wedding. It was at the Crystal Spring Rhododendron Garden in south east Portland. The location was absolutely beautiful and they also have taken event insurance wedding just in case. There was a beautiful path that we had to run down (The road we were suppose to use was closed and we had to take a detour.) to get to the ceremony. If one wants to know how to manage their business better, Andy Defrancesco is the one to look up to.

The ceremony began. . . the bride was stunning, the groom was handsome, and everyone was enjoying the exchanging of vows. The minister was giving his closing blessing just before the climactic first kiss and BOOM the sprinklers went on. It was like something out of a movie. I’m serious, the SPRINKLERS went on!!! People were getting soaked, screaming, stunned at what just happened. Thankfully, several people, including the wedding photographer and my husband went and stepped on the sprinklers so they couldn’t spray anyone else until the park representative could shut them off.

Everyone was in shock! Seriously, who would have thought?

Hey, what a way to start your marriage? Kristen and Dustin handled it with class and dignity. They didn’t let it bug them at all. Once the sprinklers went off, it was back to business. The minister finished the blessing and they kissed. Yay! Everyone blew bubbles that were attached to the program. This was so fun. The boys went around guest to guest and collected all the extra bubbles. It was so cute watching them ask each guest for their bubbles. At one point, Skyler had 23 tubes of bubbles.

There was a ton of DIY decorations from the names on the bride and grooms chair, to the votive candle holders, and the super cool guest book. Here are some of the photos of the venue and decorations.

Here are the cute votive candle holder wrappers that Kristen did. They looked awesome. I know Skyler doesn’t have anything to do with candles, but this photo was too cute not to include. We were trying to talk him into dancing. He was refusing. Once he got started though, we couldn’t stop him. He kept saying, ‘I was dancing up a storm.’

I made matching vinyl lettering to add to the dance floor. It was a nice simple touch that tied it all together!

I love it when guests wrap presents that match. Now, I haven’t asked her yet, but I bet this was Laura and John’s present to Dustin and Kristen. I just have a sneaky suspicion based on the incredible wrap job!!!! Also, here is photo of the program. They were really nicely done too and they had bubbles attached to them, before my children took them all, that is!

Kristen was also super considerate and totally SMART!!! She put together goodie/activity bags for the boys! They were the youngest kids there and Kristen was concerned about them getting bored. She put together bags with crayons, a coloring book, and stickers. She also put in a piece of paper that instructed the kids to draw a photo of their wedding. What a great idea and I am sure it was super affordable. Kristen is going to be a great Mom. She’s already prepared and thinking ahead! That’s half the battle, wouldn’t you agree?

Instead of your traditional guest book or signing mat, Kristen and Dustin had a canvas that had a tree painted on it with two blue birds. Each guest was instructed to add their thumb print in either shade of green ink and then add their name below. This was so creative and a wonderful way to remember their wedding day!

Check out their amazing and equally delicious wedding cake. It was so good. You all know that dessert is my favorite part of every meal. The cake was lemon with marionberry filling and chocolate with chocolate filling.

I love these photos of Kristen and Dustin feeding each other cake. There is some saying that goes something like this, “Start your marriage off as you plan to go on (imply to start it with kindness)” or something like. I love the looks on their faces, you can totally see how much they love each other!

This may not be the best photo, but I love how happy they look. Remember how happy you were at this very moment and don’t forget it you guys!!!

Dancing is something that I love to do. There’s nothing like your first dance together as a married couple. If nothing else, this is one of the first times you are “alone” together and can talk and whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ear. Look how beautiful her dress was.

I had to throw these in. Jack insisted on wearing pink to the wedding, which happens to be his favorite color right now. In fact, he was taking a nap before the wedding. I had laid all of his cloths out on the railing upstairs. It was time to go and we had to wake him up and dress him. Well, little did we know, he snuck out during nap time and fully dressed himself and was sleeping and sweating, I might add, in his wedding duds! Oh, how I adore you Jackson!

Here he is with Kristen! He had been talking about her wedding for weeks!

Next up, Laura and John exactly, 364 more days guys (from Dustin and Kristen’s wedding day, that is)! Jackson was sitting on Laura’s lap having the best time!

It was a fun night full of dining, drinking, dancing, and tons of laughs. We had such a wonderful time. I’d like to wish Dustin and Kristen a wonderful marriage full of love and laughter! Just wait you guys, this will be your life soon. . . seven years and a handful of days later you’ll be sitting there with three kids in tow more in love each day!

How do you get to the internet? Do you use Internet Explorer? What about Firefox? Maybe Safari? Or do you use my favorite web browser Google Chrome? I’m a busy Mom and an avid web surfer. I spend the majority of my time on the internet either checking emails, facebook, updating my etsy shop (okay, so not a ton of time, but I am getting better), following other blogs, shopping, blogging, etc. Like many of you, I don’t have a ton of time. I don’t have the patience to wait either.

Well, I have the perfect solution for you. Use Google Chrome to do all of your internet browsing. You’ll never have to wait for a web page to load again. It’s really fast! Did I mention how fast it is? Everything loads really fast, even my blog that often has many photos. It’s really easy to use. It has a simple clean interface. Oh, it’s fast too.

One of my favorite features is that the address bar is also a search engine (google). Just type something in and away you go. In addition, it’s really secure. What more could you ask for in a web browser? What does your web browser do for you? I am guessing most of you have never thought about your web browser and are unaware that there are options out there? Am I right?

So, here is my challenge to you. . . stop using your old, slow, unsecure web browser. Switch today to Google Chrome. You’ll wonder why someone hadn’t told you about Google Chrome sooner. You will be showering me with thank you gifts that you were able to purchase more quickly and easily, since you switched to a fast web browser! It will change your life (okay, maybe just your internet experience). Bottom line, you will LOVE it! Hurry up, go get it!!!

That’s all for now,


PS- This was not a paid advertisement, just a public service announcement!

***Warning!!!! Many photos to follow. May not be suitable to be viewed on your portable electronic devices. Hope you enjoy all the little details!***

Let’s start at the beginning. A month or so ago, I decided that I MUST throw my adorable husband a surprise 30th birthday party! He was less than excited about turning 30. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s just 30! We had attended one of his friends surprise parties a year or so ago and he mentioned that he never thought I could throw him a surprise party. I’m not sure why, but you know me. I am always up for a challenge! Que surprise party step one. The invitation. Here it is!

I decided to go with a cassette tape theme which was very reminiscent of the 1980’s. I remember mixed tapes so fondly. In fact, I think Lincoln even made me a mixed tape. Maybe I have that backwards? At any rate, I thought a tape in orange and teal would be a great theme for me to run with.

Here is a photo of the birthday boy himself! Happy Birthday Honey!

Without further ado, here are more photos from my husband’s 30th Surprise Birthday Party! I have a ton of photos, but here are the ones that I think are worthy. Check out the food. . .

**So many people have asked for the modern cheese ball recipe. Here it is: Modern Cheese Ball Recipe. I made it with goat cheese, and I must confess, it wasn’t very good. Anyone know of another soft cheese that you could substitute it for? I think they would be better with another cheese. This recipe and several other ideas came from In Style Parties (The Complete Guide to Easy, Elegant Entertaining). Also, the recipe for the Sweet and Spicy Mac and Cheese is one of my all time favorites. It’s super easy to make and feeds a crowd. Here is the recipe for the Paninis in Paper. There are three different varieties and they are so yummy. This wonderful recipe came from Fabulous Parties: Food and Flowers for Elegant Entertaining.**

Doesn’t that all look so good? You can’t have good food without good drinks!!

You know my favorite thing to make is dessert. There was plenty of dessert there from candy to cookies. The cookies were designed by me and printed by Hello Frosting. The amazingly yummy Oreo Pops were done by Kim with Sweeties by Kim, another fellow etsy seller.

We had guests write messages to the birthday boy. An easy idea that is so fun and decorative too.

I made this cute little dessert stand from the dollar tree. Check out this tutorial for more instructions (thanks Julie for the great find). I don’t like it when things are all the same size, so I did my own variation. Super cheap and it added a nice touch. Who knew you could spray paint glass?

Here are some up close photos of the cookies. Always a good choice. . .

My awesome cousin Jena packaged up some cookies for our guests to enjoy at home (if they even made it home and were not devoured in the car).

Here’s a closer look at the Personalize Oreo Pops. They were also ready for the guest to grab-and-go! What a tasty treat and a great way to remember the fun times that were had by everyone.

Here are some other details and some behind the scene photos that you might like to see.

Laura and Kristen were nice enough to help out. Thank you guys so much!!! They were preparing Paninis in the garage!!! Hey, you do what you’ve got to do, right?

A Surprise Party wouldn’t be much of a party without guests, right? Well, there were plenty of people who attended Lincoln’s party. In fact, we even had some of our dear friends, Dan, Heather, and their adorable daughter Skylar, drive out from Utah to surprise Lincoln. You will never know how much that meant to both of us. Thank you guys so much. Thank you to all the guests who attended both near and far. All of you are very dear or our hearts.

Oh! My Laura! Isn’t she cute? If you follow my blog, you probably remember her from the engagement photo cookie post. Thank you for all of your help from planning, to the execution and set up, and for letting me borrow your fabulous party planning books where many of these wonderful ideas came from. You’re the best.

Lincoln also received many amazing gifts for his birthday!! Sorry we don’t have a photo of those, but you are just going to have to trust me on this one! However, my gift to Lincoln was also a surprise and didn’t come until a few days later. Sorry, it was the best I could do. Here is his cute, overjoyed, face!!!

I found a PERFECT matching case on etsy too. It was destiny!

Now, here I am post surprise! I’m so happy that I was able to pull it off and he literally had NO CLUE! Hahaha! I got you honey!! I don’t ever want to throw another surprise party again!! It was so much work and really hard to keep my big mouth shut.

*My headband was courtesy of Mia at Dolce Vita Mia. Check out all of her amazing headbands. I’d love to work with Mia on a giveaway soon. What do you think Mia???


I couldn’t have done it without so many incredible people. Since this is my blog, I am going to take the opportunity to thank them all now! First to my wonderful parents for providing us with the perfect place to have the party. Thank you Mom and Dad for all of your help and hard work to get the house ready! Jamie, thank you for spending countless hours helping me get ready for the party! You really saved me this time!! Laura, you’re the best. I will totally be paying you back helping get ready for your wedding next summer. Jena, thank you for shopping with me and helping me set up! You’re a life saver. Dan, Heather, and Skylar too. Thank you so much for driving all night to come to Linc’s party. Dan, thank you for dipping all the pretzels, picking up the balloons, and everything else you did for me that day! Heather, thank you for helping wrap all the napkins, put together the sucker container, and all the other millions of things I demanded that you do. You were so great! Skylar, thank you for loaning your Mommy and Daddy to me and for putting up with the long car ride. Nancy, thank you for keeping the boys so we could set up in peace. Kristen, thank you for helping make paninis, watching the boys, and everything else you did to help! Ryan, thank you for dipping the orange slices in chocolate. I am pretty sure I ate the majority of them. Tiffany, thank you for taking many of these photos and making the awesome “mixed tapes.” Thank you to anyone else I may of forgotten! Really, I appreciated all the help that I received. I really could not have done it with out you guys and I know that Lincoln was so thankful that you all donated your time and energy for him!! We love you all!!!