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Yesterday was Skyler’s first day of Kindergarten. Can you even believe it? Well, maybe you can, but I can’t! How did my little 5 pound, 5 ounce baby boy turn into a handsome, intelligent kindergartener? It’s like it happened overnight. It seriously feels that way. I can vividly remember bringing him home from the hospital. Where does time go? That’s the one thing I wish I could harness and slow down sometimes.

Skyler is our oldest son. Sending a child off to school is totally new to me. I didn’t want to miss any moments of his first day. He was complaining that I was taking so many photos of him, but I warned him that I would never be able to get this day back and I wanted to make sure it was well documented. Poor kid. It’s not his fault he was born into a family with a crazy Mom. I promise, no children were harmed while these photos were taken. I shot these all without a flash! Hahaha! I kid. I kid!

I took a ton of photos of Skyler. I am planning on taking photos of all the boys on their first day of school each year. I remember going through the same torture when I was little. Actually, my Mom was really good. She didn’t take nearly the amount of photos we take today. That’s the blessing (or the curse if you are a little kid) of digital cameras!

Here are some photos of my handsome, adorable, incredibly old looking little man! It’s funny that he suddenly looks so much older just because he’s in kindergarten. Try not to look too close at these. They will melt your heart!

Everyone had to get in on the photo taking. Can you tell we went with a camo first day of school theme? All the boys had some camo on!!! I just love camo.

Skyler and Jackson were both super excited about waiting for the bus. My boys just love school buses. Everyone time we see one they have to point it out. Look at how patiently they were waiting. . .

Once Skyler got on the bus, my heart sank a bit. My little boy is on the bus. By himself. Oh, I want to cry just thinking about it. Is he even old enough to ride the bus? I had to set aside my apprehensions and let him go out to explore the world. It’s his time to learn. To make new friends. To gain independence. To thrive. Skyler, don’t forget about me. Remember me? I’m your mama. Make sure you come and visit me every once in awhile. Call to check in. Oh, what? He’s just going to Kindergarten you say? Well thank goodness because I am not ready for anything more than that right now!

I missed him so much, I met him at school. Okay, I’m not a psycho parent. I really just wanted to get some photos of him in his classroom. I didn’t hang out for very long. I just wanted to make sure he made it to his classroom safely. He was instructed to write his name. Then he had to complete a few more tasks before he could go and play on the rug. That’s where I left him. . .

We were so excited for Skyler to get home that we arrived at the bus stop 10 minutes early. Jackson was entertaining himself and being silly like normal.

Note to self: Three year olds aren’t super patient. Next time we won’t go so early. Look how focused he was. . .

It’s seems like this day snuck up on me. I mean, I’ve only had five and a half years to prepare for it. I’m not sure why I wasn’t more organized. I really wanted his first day of school to be special. I wanted to start some new traditions since he’s my first baby to go to school. I contacted an adorable client of mine who has a first grader and asked her what she does. Thanks Leslie for all the help and great ideas. I had this cute blue tub in my office. I always pick these up from the dollar section at Target. They are normally $2.50 and they make excellent “gift bags.” I usually vinyl the child’s name on it or a cute design. Thankfully, I had this on hand. It was perfect to hold all of Skyler’s favorite goodies. We have been saying “Kindergarten Rocks” the whole summer. I saw an awesome decal at JoAnn’s and I was going to make Skyler a shirt with that on it. Unfortunately, when I went back to get it, it was gone, but I thought it was so cute that I keep using that message. Kindergarten does ROCK!!! This was waiting for Skyler when he got off of the bus.

I also read a post on FUN First Day of School Traditions and loved the idea of a big cookie. You know that I love to bake and I can pretty much create an excuse. Since I wasn’t prepared, let’s just say the cookie tasted great, but the frosting was just slopped on. Next year, I will take my time to pipe on a beautiful message. Skyler was so excited this cookie was all for him. He was kind enough to share though!!!

Well, there you have it. A recap of Sky’s first day! We survived without a tear shed from anyone. I’m so excited for him and proud. He’s going to be a force to reckoned with. If you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he simple says “An engineer” (of course this was encouraged by his Daddy). You can be anything you want to be! Go get ’em Skyler!

I hit the mother-in-law jackpot! I happen to have two mother-in-laws and both of their names are Nancy! How lucky am I?

For the sake of keeping this easy, I’ll name them Nancy #1 and Nancy #2. Not because one is better than the other, but because one came first. Nancy number 1 is Lincoln’s Mom. She happens to be a graphic designer. I love that I can bounce ideas off of her. She just started a digital scrap booking site that deserves it’s own blog post. Stay tuned for that post!

This post, however, happens to be dedicated to Nancy #2. Nancy number two is Lincoln’s stepmom. She happens to have amazing taste! For as long as I’ve know her, she’s bought and sold antiques. Currently, she is doing Estate Sales and Liquidations.

Regent Estates is the company that she works for. She asked me to print more business cards for them and letterhead. Regent Estates already had a logo of sorts. After looking at their current logo, I was inspired to create something new. The concept was perfect and I just put my own spin on it.

A company’s logo is a reflection of the company’s image, style, product, etc. A good logo can help a company sell their product. A well branded company sets that company apart from their competitors. I personally buy products based on a company’s logo or packaging. Branding is one of the most important aspects of a business and is commonly overlooked. With that being said, I will show you the comparison of the before and after.

Here is the before of both their business card and letterhead:

Here is what I came up with. I think it gives their company a very different feel. What do you think? See for yourself. . .

It’s much cleaner, crisper, elegant, and it totally makes a statement. Here is the letterhead too!

These are the signs I designed for them. We had them printed by Impact Sign Company. We stayed consistent with their corporate branding. These signs were super easy to spot and lead me right to the estate sale.

If you live in the area and would like to check out one of Regent Estates’ Sales, take a look at Estate Sale Finder. Click on the Estate Sales button on the left hand side. Look for Regent Estates. It looks like they will have a sale coming really soon. They also advertise in the Oregonian, so look for their logo.

I went to their last sale and had a blast. I am going to start going to these more often. Here is the vintage stroller/buggy that I fell in love with at the last sale. If I was a photographer, I would have bought this and used it for a fabulous photo prop!!! Oh, I’m always thinking! Isn’t this beautiful?

**Please excuse these photos. The lighting was all over the place. I was shooting inside at 7pm. Not the best light for photos. Sorry. Carry on with your reading enjoyment. Thank you!**

Hello. My name is Jessica. I am a member of a wine club. I don’t like wine. Okay, I feel better now that I’ve confessed. What’s a girl to do when it’s her turn to host wine club and she doesn’t even like wine?? Naturally, I hosted the party! Since my favorite thing to make are desserts, I thought that would be an appropriate “menu” of sorts. I have little knowledge of wine, but did know there are dessert wines and told everyone to bring a bottle.

I had a ton of yellow and orange decor left over from Linc’s Surprise 30th Birthday Party. I thought I could somehow incorporate all the items into my wine club night. I added hot pink to the color palette and was ready to start planning!! Yay! My favorite part of party planning is doing the research and finding as many inspiration boards/ideas as I can. I love the planning!! I know, I know. I am a total nerd. What can I say?

Before every party I throw, I get some ideas and sketch them out on a sheet of paper. Yes, I really draw them out and label them. Someday I will include my awesome little sketches. Did I mention that I can’t draw at all?? Then I make a ton of lists. Without lists, I wouldn’t be able to function or keep anything straight. I wouldn’t be able to sleep either. All my ideas keep me awake at night if I don’t organize them! Stop bugging me ideas, I’m trying to sleep!

I also created a “logo” that I included on all of my party decor. What? Did you expect something else? Planning. . . check. Paper decor. . . check. Now, onto baking!

I spent a few days baking and dipping various items into chocolate. It was like a chocolate lovers haven. I don’t really love chocolate either, but it sure looks pretty. Okay, I take that back. I do like chocolate a lot more now! Plus, anything is better if it’s dipped in chocolate, right?

Here are some photos of the dessert table! Enjoy. . .

A dessert party wouldn’t be complete without cupcakes now would it? I made these Pink Champagne Cupcakes (thanks Jen for the tip on the recipe). I thought they were fitting. I found this cute cupcake “paper” at Paper Zone. I couldn’t resist it!

I also made cream filled macaroons, brownie pops, marshmallow pops, peanut butter bon bons (get these at Costco around the holidays. No baking required and they are like heaven rolled up in a ball. Unless you are allergic to peanuts and then they are like little balls of death.), chocolate covered strawberries and more. See for yourself.

I tried my hand at Double Stuffed Oreo Pops. Let’s just say, I will probably leave this one up to Kim at Sweeties By Kim. They tasted good, but they didn’t look very pretty!

I saw this awesome idea in one of the party planning books. We did this for Lincoln’s party too, but didn’t get a photo of it. You put cupcake liners in your muffin pan, pre-scoop the ice cream, and leave it in the freezer until you are ready to serve it. Genius. Isn’t that the best idea ever? Then there is no waiting while you are dishing it up! Just grab a muffin liner full of ice cream and eat away. I also made homemade cake batter ice cream. Yummy!

You’ll notice that the oranges are “recycled” decor from Lincoln’s party!

It was a super warm day and I figured that we could always use some non-alcoholic drinks on hand. This was the first time I’ve made water bottle labels. They were so easy and I think it was a wonderful touch. This is going to be a must at my future events.

I saw these adorable Chinese-style take out boxes at Paper Zone and I’ve been dying to incorporate them into one of my parties. I always make way too much food and if I had to-go boxes ready for my guests then I wouldn’t be stuck eating all of this yummy food, right? Well, that plan worked out better than I had expected and my guests cleaned me out! I have pictures to prove it. Thankfully, they left the kitchen sink 🙂 I put different labels on the boxes. It was my attempt at humor.

Okay, you’d think these people had never eaten before. They were like hungry animals. This is how they left the place. Maybe to-go boxes were a bad idea? I kid, I kid! It was a great idea!!!

Off to bed I go. I’ll be dreaming of all of these yummy treats and gaining weight while I sleep!


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!