Goodbye May, Hello June!

Goodbye May, Hello June!

June! My most favorite month. June represents so many great things in my life. This month I get to celebrate my husband on both his birthday and Father's Day. It's the kickoff of summer, my birthday, and the start of summer Friday's at work. The temps here in Florida do begin to rise into the high 90's but with a pool or beach close by, that's not a problem. 

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Friendsgiving 2017

Friendsgiving 2017

Another successful Friendsgiving is in the books and the day did not disappoint. I feel a little dramatic when I say that Friendsgiving is one of my favorite nights of the year but I'm being totally honest. I love hosting parties at my house, I love Thanksgiving, and I love seeing all of my friends eating, drinking, and enjoying each other's company.

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Friendsgiving 2016

Hello Again! I posted last week on some tips for hosting your own Friendsgiving dinner and thought I'd follow up with a post from our event this past weekend. It turned out great and we had a blast. Here are some of the highlights.

For the first time I attempted a charcuterie platter (it's French for meat platter). I used store bought hummus, four different cheeses, crackers, mini toasts, olives, candied almonds, raspberry preserves. dried apricots, and various meats. You really could use any combination of meats and cheeses. I read a few different pins and articles to compile a mix that I thought would work best for us. It was surprisingly a hit and I definitely will be trying again next year. 

In addition to this platter I made rolls with pumpkin butter, sausage stuffed mushrooms, turkey, and pumpkin pie rice krispie treats. everyone else brought the traditional Thanksgiving sides. I didn't get a picture of the food as it was quite chaotic at this point. (side note---I tried these and they were a fail, very dry and crumbly)

For decorations, I used kraft paper and practiced my hand lettering to give it a special little flair. I got the coasters from Hobby Lobby and the napkins from Target.

I also used the kraft paper as an accent for the drink table. I got the chalk wood slice from Target. I made white and red sangria. Both were wine plus apple cider, fruit, and cinnamon sticks.

For the kids I made a pink lemonade punch which they loved, I'm not sure if they liked the juice more or the fact that they could get their own from the dispenser. Even the littles were going over and placing their cups under the spout.

I bought the jars that the sangria was in from Weck years ago for a shower I hosted. I love bringing these out for parties, I think it gives the perfect bit of character over typical pitchers.

Kids table: As I went to write the kids' names on the table I was informed by Henley to "not make the names all crazy" so block lettering it was. I had a bucket of crayons on the table but Macie stole it and ran, not before decorating it though.

Believe it or not, even with ten kids, we were all able to sit down at once and eat. I really was a great night and the kids have as much fun as the adults. 

Until next year...

Are you planning to host Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving? Any tips or stories to share? I'd love to hear about it. 

::Me:: What I've Learned...About Myself

I’m 34. It’s so weird to see that number because I don’t feel how I thought 34 would feel, in reality I don’t know what 34 should feel like. So much about life is different from what we expect it to be.

Time flies by. I know that is such a common saying but everyone says it because it’s so true!

I recently found myself referring to someone that is 26 as “about my age”. That’s not true obviously. Someone that is 26 is eight years younger than me but that’s honestly what it feels like. However looking back it does make sense that I’m 34. I’ve been out of college and in the working world for over ten years. I have been a mom for four years. I have been with my husband for nineteen years and we’ve been married for ten of those years. Not to mention the countless life lessons I’ve learned about the world and also about myself.

I am a procrastinator. I never really gave myself that label before but over time I realize that I push everything down to the wire. If there is no deadline, I accomplish most of my goals eventually but if there is a deadline, I’m usually working right up to that moment, maybe a few hours before. My work day usually begins with catching up on Facebook and the news rather than knocking out my list and using any free time at the end of the day to catch-up.

I am introverted. I’m friendly, chatty even at times but for the most part I want to keep to my world (my friends, my family, my turf). I make plans with good intentions but usually have thoughts to cancel. If I don’t cancel, I usually do have fun but sometimes in the moments leading up to it, I have second thoughts and regret committing.

I love Pinot Noir and I love knowing which wines I love. I also love that I know which wines I like best with which foods.

I value friends but I’ve learned I can break-up with a friend if it’s in the best interest of both of us and that’s ok. Friendships are needed in those moments you just need a reprieve; whether it be a break from work, kids, or real life, friends are there. Friendships are easy and natural and for the friendships that are not these things, it’s ok if they are no more. Life is too short; time and energy too limited to be expended on friendships that aren’t enjoyable.

I love Target, like LOVE. I love that I can redecorate my patio while picking up wipes and yogurt. I love that I live three miles from one. I love that I can peruse the aisles with a Starbucks tea and a cake pop. I love that my girls love Target as much as I do. ::keep up the good work Target::

I find peace in a good book and I’ve learned that a bath can heal almost anything.

I value people. I will not put others down to make myself look better and I will not step on someone to get higher. I put family above work at all times. I know I only get 18 or so years with my girls and no job or promotion is worth missing out on any moment with them.

I do not have a poker face. I wear my thoughts and emotions and it’s felt in my demeanor. I do not play games and I am genuine.

I am capable of more love than I could have ever fathomed 15 years ago. I love my husband more every day. I love my girls each so much. I love my family and my friends. I love this life I have built with them.

I am so blessed to have all I do. Who knows where I’ll be in another ten years but based on the last ten, I look forward to seeing it.

::Baby G:: Shower with Friends!

I've been super lucky in my life to be surrounded by great friends and family that are always there for me. It seems that Henley is going to be as lucky as I am because we are having three showers thrown for us. Today was my first shower thrown by my friends Nicole and Shanna. They did such a perfect job and it was the little details that made this day totally perfect!

Bestie Heather and I

Bottle racing game

Mary won! Check out that technique---having a six month old must be the key!

Great hostesses - Nicole and Shanna

Present time!

I love this dress!! It's adorable!

The crew----love you all!

All of the pregos! 

Today was such a great day, I can't say it enough! We got all kinds of good stuff. I just want to take it all out and get everything all set up. I know it's too early to start all of the washing and laundering but I want to do it so bad!! :-)  (this must be the "nesting" everyone talks about). Can't wait for Henley and thanks to tons of great friends, she is going to have some great things to help get settled in!

Happy weekend!

Mere :-)

::Craftie:: Fall Pinterest Party

This weekend I hosted my very first Pinterest Party. For those of you not quite sure what this is, it's a party where you and a bunch of friends get together, eat some great food from recipes found on Pinterest, and make crafts or other ideas from...yep you guess it...Pinterest!

I have been working on so many baby crafts lately that I thought a Fall themed party would be a great opportunity to branch out from my baby bubble. 

I made finger foods from recipes that I found on Pinterest (praying they didn't bomb since most were being made for the first time). I thought I would share if any of you were interested in your own Fall themed party.

I was thinking of using this pin to make mini caramel apples but then I saw this idea from this blog to make a DIY Caramel Apple Bar!
I bought bagged, pre-sliced apples for this since I knew the apples would be sitting out while everyone grazed and I didn't want them to brown. I skewered each slice and set out mini chocolate chips, coconut, mini marshmallows and candy corn for everyone to make their own caramel slices. My favorite combination was the chocolate chips with coconut. This was a really fun alternative to caramel apples and everyone was able to make their own variations and try different combinations.

Nothing exciting here, just hummus with carrots, cucumbers, and pretzels.

There have been many recipes (here, here, and here) for various fall trail mixes floating around Pinterest and I took a little something from each of these and came up with this yummy mix.
Fall trail mix: Cheezits, pretzels, Reese's Pieces, candy corn, chocolate chips, and salted peanuts

Pigs in a blanket are always a yummy, quick treat. I attempted to make them "mummy" pigs in a blanket but it wasn't working out so we just settled on the norm.
This recipe for stuffed mushrooms got tons of great reviews but didn't really seem to have much substance, various reviews altered it by adding sausage or crab. I added chicken Italian sausage to the mix and dipped the mushrooms, once stuffed, in bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese prior to baking.

This dip is delicious! It's a pumpkin dip with cool whip and was light and airy while still quite tasty. 
The creator of this used Nilla Wafers and apples as dippers, the apples were my favorite.

Decor from Jo-Ann's and everything fall was 40% off.

My father-in-law brought tables over that I put end to end on the balcony since our inside space is quite limited. Thankfully the weather wasn't too hot or humid once the sun set.
Fall table cloths also from Jo-Ann's. 

I didn't get pictures of anyone's crafts before they left but here is what I made based on this pin. I printed out the letters on legal paper and used an exacto knife to cut them out. Then I taped the outline of the letters to this foam pumpkin and traced the letters with pencil. Using acrylic paint in brown and a teeny paint brush I filled in the letters and topped it off with a brown polka dot bow. It's in our foyer as a cute way to greet guests.
It was a pretty quick and easy craft which I recommend for these kind of parties since you don't want anything too complicated.

This party was pretty fun and was one friend even suggested we make it a seasonal thing. Have any of you attended a Pinterest Party? What do you think?

Monday is over friends---one step closer to the weekend!

Mere :-)

::Fun:: I'm 30!

Last week marked the end of a decade in my life, I said goodbye to my twenties. While I anticipated it being sad/upsetting/::insert depressing adjective here::, I realized that I am so excited to enter this new stage of my life.

My mom, husband, and sister put together a little dinner/party with some close friends at a Mexican Restaurant in town. It was a great night being surrounded but those I love!

Even the mariachi band joined in!

Thanks to my family and hubs for celebrating and helping me enter this next stage of my life smiling!

:-) Mere

::Fun:: Line Dancing

You read that correctly---Line Dancing! A new club/bar opened in town about 8 months ago and they play mostly Country Music, their focus is Line Dancing. I have been dying to go but haven't really had the chance so a couple weeks ago, we finally made it.

My sister and her friends go pretty regularly, so they were able to meet before we went to teach me a couple awesome dances. Everyone pretty much wears boots and shorts so of course I followed suit. Here are some pictures from the night.

This was such a good time that we are planning on going again soon. Any line dancers out there?? Trust me, it's way more fun than it sounds.

:-) Mere