Thursday, July 18, 2013

Heaven help me . . .

. . . if I don't have a granddaughter. The dress-up trunks in my attic are bursting at the seams with peignoir sets from the '50s, prom dresses from the '80s, and enough high-heels and mink stoles to clothe a girls boarding school. And this little apron, found thrifting last Friday, is sure to make an appearance when I'm babysitting one day, and my favorite little gal and I decide to bake something fun. This piece might work with a grandson, but I think my future son-in-law will draw the line at the pink peau de soie peep-toe heels.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Nautical Baby Shower — The Prepping

Stay tuned for a big honkin' posting after the August 4 baby shower I was hired to design! It's a boy! And the hostesses asked for a nautical-themed shower to match the baby's nursery. My design presentation included lots of personal touches and will incorporate some fantastic nautical pieces that the family has in their home. It is so stinkin' fun to work on this event, I can't even begin to tell ya.

Here are two items that I "staged" for my presentation. The invite list was over 50 gals, and we expect 30-some in attendance. With a group that large, nametags are nice not only for the guests but for the hostesses, so I encouraged having them. The hostesses, Lee Ann and Dawn, were all for it and asked that I do ones for the guests and something different for the mom-to-be and the grandmothers-to-be. I handcrafted the fabric flowers as the special tags. Each will be in a different fabric. Lee Ann and Dawn asked that I use nautical buttons for the flower centers instead of the crocheted button pictured here. The names are stamped on a piece of card stock and hung from the center of the flower using baker's twine. Post-shower, the twine can be cut and the name card removed, so the flower pin can be used again.

The guests will get the wooden nametags. I found the painted wooden boat and anchor at a craft store. Embellished the anchor with red and white silk rope ribbon and wrote the name on with a fine-point Sharpie. For the boat, I made the bunting using baker's twine and paper pennants. Also added the paper banner flag at the top of the mast. The name is written using a fine-point Sharpie paint pen.

With social media taking event documentation to a whole new level, I like posting a hashtag and the mom-to-be user name. This blackboard will be designed a bit differently for the actual event, but I did this for my presentation, giving Lee Ann and Dawn an idea of what it will be like. The board will hang near the mom as she's opening gifts, a place where everyone can see it.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I was home this past week on what I had branded a "staycation." 
I should have looked up the word before using that particular word to label my week-off at home.
I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off (happily), 
doted on my daughter (pretending I was a stay-at-home mom), 
began work on a grand-scale baby shower (hired, through recommendation, by a woman and her sister who loved my design presentation and 
gave me the go-ahead on nearly all that I had created and brainstormed!),
and cooked and baked for 8 college boys (tried new recipes 
and loved having a houseful of grateful, hungry men).

It was a great week, but I never cracked a book, took a nap, watched mindless TV,
got tan lines, had a cocktail at 4:00 in the afternoon, or worked on a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
In other words, it was no week at the beach.

Here are some images from the week. 
Back to work on Monday, grateful for the time to nest, something that I do 
with great gusto and always a fulfilling outcome.

Harleigh and Kasey headed out this evening to a wedding.
I love her dress. A cute evening dress is even smarter when it has pockets.
Better posing options for sure.

Lots of quality time with this guy over the week.

My front garden is happy with Shasta Daisies. Every room in the house has a vase.

The 4th of July was such a dud this year because of the rain. 
But my front door succulent wreath was sunny with little flags.

Made dinner Thursday night for Kasey and 7 of his camp counselors. 
Poppy seed chicken, steamed broccoli, crockpot mac and cheese. . . . . . 
and for dessert — dark chocolate and bacon cupcakes 
with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache icing and bacon decoration 
AND these salty and sweet ice cream truffles 
(vanilla ice cream balls rolled in crushed Lay's potato chips). 
Cooking for college boys is heaven!!!

The cupcakes were good, but not worth the effort.
I was looking for more bacon flavor.
But my first stab at making ganache was the silver lining in this recipe.
Ganache, I love you. Will you marry me?

8 college boys at the house, polite ones who take their shoes off without even asking. 
They ate an entire 5-quart crockpot filled to the top with homemade mac and cheese. Amazing.
And before the boys left, Harleigh called to ask if a bunch of girls could come over
for a sleepover. I love that our house, even though it's small, is a place where kids want to hangout, where they feel special and pampered. I am one happy mom.

For the boys' Bible study time, they went up to the treehouse. 

The end of the week ended with a treat.
A day of thrifting with Karen, Kasey's mom, before heading to assembly at camp
(where Harleigh and Kasey work), then the four of us having dinner.
I saw this at one of the thrift stores. With a $30 price tag, I'm assuming the doll has some value,
not the hand-knitted body suit he's wearing. What the heck!?!?

And this, this is what makes a week off at home feel special even if there is no sand between my toes. 
Chateau Gahan hugs me with contentment, appreciation, and love.

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