Wednesday, April 24, 2013



What does one do when you have a brand spankin' new baby, a toddler, a farmer husband who has hit his busy season at work, and an eight year old who really wants (and deserves) a birthday party? (To be more specific, and dolphin themed party).  You call on little sister and in this case that would be ME. My older sister is more than capable of throwing a party that would make her a regular guest on Martha Stewart, but as I mentioned she was a tad busy.  So here are the pictures of what I came up with.
CAKE:  Raley's is my go to for last minuet cakes... or any cake when  I am too lazy to bake. They were able to take the picture from her invitation and apply to the cake... technology in the baking world has come a long way.


TABLE BACK DROP: If you want to make your own birthday banners time and time again you must have a Big Shot from Stampin Up! The paper is a combination of scraps from my craft room, and sparkling paper I found a Michael's. Ribbon was used to look like some sort of underwater plant (at least that was what I was going for).
BALLOONS:  Grabbed this idea from Pinterest. Using fishing string and a needle I threaded the balloons together. If you decorate parties of any kind and you do not have fishing string I don't know how you get anything done. Fishing string was used for the banner, the balloons, and the bubble circles behind the banner.
TABLES: I took a few mason jars from my hoard (I never throw away jelly or pasta sauce jars) and  filled them with seashells (from Aptos, CA to be exact).
Glad to share some ideas with you all.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Well it has been a while since I have posted. I can't think of any reasons why my time has been so limited. It must be the new nephew I am expecting any day now, the new baby I am now carrying in my large belly, and perhaps the greatest reason is my oldest just started school. Who knew packing a lunch could be so mentally exhausting?

Crafting has taken a slight break from me... Until now. I have discovered Martha Stewart Craftstudio for my Ipad. Martha has really done it. This app has the tools to create greeting cards, scrap booking, customized party menus, and I am sure there are opportunities I have yet to explore. Oh don't worry I will continue my handiwork as a papercrafter, but this app has momentarily stolen me. Above is a preview of my niece's invitation to her birthday party that will take place later on in October. Thank you Martha! I will be posting her party decor which I am very excited to make my move on.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


How often do you get to experience finding out the sex of a baby at the same time as the expecting parents? This is a rare and very special event that is bound to become the norm. My sister's gender reveal party was so special. The excitement and emotion was more than I could have ever anticipated. The anxious parents waited 2 months with "The Envelope" containing the sex of their baby hidden away in a secret place. The day before the party my niece and I took the sealed parcel down to the local party store and handed them a huge cardboard box. With raised eyebrows they waited for us to explain; "Here is a very special envelope, please open it when we are gone. Once you read the contents please fill our box with pink balloons for a girl or blue balloons for a boy." The excitement of the staff really moved me. I guess we all love to have a part in welcoming a new life into this world.

This party was a huge success. All of our guests came into the party with the look of children on Christmas morning. I have never been in a room with this many excited people. Each guest told me this was the first time ever attending a gender reveal party.

Now for the details you all want to know about. Of course the decorations were all crafted. This time I used a combination of the computer, chalkboard paint, and Stampin' Up supplies. The only things I had to purchase were the flowers, and the blue lanterns. The tent, chairs, table clothes, and serving dishes were borrowed. This was a very cost effective party.

In case anyone is wondering why the photos for this post are suddenly so wonderful, it is because they are not mine. Kristina Alustiza from Embracing Portraits did all of the photos for the event.

You can't pull off any party without the help of your friends and family. Family members did food preparation, husbands faced the heat of the afternoon to set up the backyard, and babysitters helped with my little rascals. It always gives me the mushy gushy feelings when people come together to throw an event for others. We are always willing to work hard for those we love. This is something inside all of us.

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions..." 1 John 3:18






Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lemonade Cake. Happy Birthday Mom

On every occasion where a gift is required I find myself in a frenzy over what I will bestow on the special people in my life. I have 20 close family members whom will receive a perfect parcel from me every year on their birthday. When I add Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, First Communions, Anniversaries, Baby Showers, Wedding Showers, Graduations, Get Well Soon, Happy Retirement, Valentines Day, House Warming Parties, Dance Recitals, Fourth of July, Flag Day, First Day of School, First Day of Work, and First Time on the Potty it is no wonder that I am so grey at such a young age... have I gone overboard? Luckily my wonderful mother still likes to have something made by the hands of those who love her (and a little something from Tiffany's bought by the hands of those who love her).

This year my sister and I teamed up on a cake that won her heart. Even in our 30's we can still win our mother over by presenting a hand made dessert with a paper sign.  The sign was my creation. For the letters I used my Stampin' Up Big Shot (a Big Shot in my simple definition is a crafty type thing that cuts out letters and stuff). I used a Stpampin' Up paper punch for the tiny squares and glued them to the letters.  I punched  itty bitty holes on each corner of the squares and ran thin twine through the entire thing. I found some stray BBQ skewers in the bottom of my sister's cupboard, tied the banner to it and stuck it in the cake! So easy. My sister was responsible for the cake. I can't really describe the yummniess of this cake so I will just say it was even ingested for breakfast the next morning.
The recipe is as follows:
For the CAKE:
cupbutter (soft)
2 1/4
cupsall-purpose flour
teaspoonbaking powder
teaspoonbaking soda
1 1/3
cupfrozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 1/4
cupsbuttermilk or sour milk
Yellow food coloring (optional)

Mix the dry ingredients, Mix the wet ingredients. Bake in a greased baking dish at 350 for 30-35 minuets.
cupsoftened butter
cuppowdered sugar
cupfrozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
cupspowdered sugar
1 - 2
teaspoonsfrozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

In order beat it all together.

Thin lemon slices (for the decoration or garnish on indiviual serving)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM. I tell you the truth when I say you have not aged one tiny bit! But that is not the reason we love you. You are so giving and thoughtful. You are so encouraging and calming. You are so fun and joyful. You are so YOU.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What Will it Bee? baby shower theme

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth." Psalm 139:13-15.
I would never be able to withstand the anticipation of finding out the sex of my baby for the entire 40 weeks of gestation. But for my sister and brother-in-law it seems to be no problem. It was a wonderful treat to help throw this "What Will it Bee?" shower for Morgan.  I had the pleasure of working with my sister-in-law Melissa, and Morgan's sister Jami. Together  we came up with some really cool DIY details. Every decoration was hand made, including the tiles for the centerpieces. From the cake pop stand (made by Melissa from a grocery store sucker display that she acquired for FREE) to the water bottle labels, everything was from the mind of my fellow crafters and myself. But of course no shower is complete without a few men to help! We all have some wonderful husbands who did yard work, tent setting up, and of course cleaning. Not to mention the enthusiastic effort of my husband as he took the roll as my assistant for the diaper cake.  My favorite picture of the day of course is the mom and dad to bee holding their baby pictures that we used for the game and centerpieces.  Whoever this new baby is, he or she will be filled with love. It is always an honor to celebrate a new life. A new creation of our Most High King.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Flowers: A Heavenly Message

Spring is here and everyone should have flowers in their backyard. Some of the best blossoms in my yard grow along my fence and thrive without much help from me.

A long time ago someone very wise told me they had a wonderful dream. I could never retell her vision in a way that would give it justice but I will give it my best shot. Somewhere in this mind there is a small amount of creative writing.... or perhaps not.  Either way it is a lovely dream, and a dream with a message I want EVERYONE to know. So here it is, not in the exact way she told me, but my interpretation of it (and pretty darn close I think):

I was walking down a path in no particular place that I was familiar with however, it was a very lovely path. Along each side of me stretched a great accumulation of flowers as far as I could see. The flowers surrounded me, on vines, in the ground, on bushes, and on trees. I was in a true heavenly garden. When considering the fact that my allergies have banned me from all forms of flower enjoyment, including sniffing, there was no doubt I was in a holy place, for I felt the desire to sample the scent of one of the blossoms. I dipped low to take in the fragrance of a certain pink flower that I found was brighter and more fragrant than the rest in my immediate view. The species of this particular beauty was unknown to me, I had never even seen a picture of one in all my travels. Oh the aroma was more wonderful than I could ever describe to you Kristen dear. Just as I stood the flower brightened in color. I looked around and instinctively said; "Yes Lord?" and the flower grew brighter drawing my attention back to it. Brighter and brighter the flower became. So again I inquired;"What Lord? What?" I bent lower to examine this extraordinary event, and the flower was now glowing with light. It was so bright I had to squint. "What is it Lord? What are you trying to tell me? What does this mean Lord? I am listening."


..and flowers are just that. Aren't they Kristen dear? God's reminder that he loves us.

Thank you Auntie JuJu for always sharing your faith with me.

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:16

Thursday, April 5, 2012

John 3:16 Happy Easter

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17

I wont waste much time explaining this little Easter craft here. There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to make paper pinwheels. I want to leave you all with a little TRUTH instead.

"Peniel, put out your hand. I brought a gift for you, from my mother's garden." Yeshua placed a single bud of lavender in Peniel's palm.
"A gift for me?"
"One of many. There is always a gift to meet every need."
Peniel raised it to his nose and breathed in. "Very fine. Very, very... extraordinary. There's a word. Never smelled anything quite like it! Better than the herb seller's in Yerushalayim. One grain. More potent than his entire bushel basket. His whole cartload!"
"Ah well, Peniel. That fellow used to mix colored sand in with the buds and cheat his customers."
"Sand! Who would think it!"
"Each grain in a man's heart is weighed and counted and known by Adonai."
"But he seemed like such an honest and friendly sort."
"Liars and thieves usually do. Often they appear to be the most honest, most friendly, and sometimes the most religious. At least they are religious about pointing out what is wrong with everyone else."
"Point taken. I'm finding that out. It's a hard lesson. No one is what they appear to be."
"Where I come from a bud of lavender is lavender."
"Where is that? I mean, where are you from really? I didn't know flowers grew in such a place."
"No flowers?" Yeshua said in an amused one. "There's a lot you don't know, Peniel. But I'm not talking about gardens. Not entirely. You know that, eh?"
"Point taken. Well spoken. I suppose we're talking about what's true and what's not true."
"That's it. Yes. Truth. The Word, the Promise of Adonai."
"I'm listening. All right, here I am. Lavender bud in my hand. I wont lose it."
"Well then, Peniel. Place this one bud of truth, this gift, given to you by Adonai  onto the scale. On the other side heap up a bushel basket of some-truth, half-truth, near-truth, and lies. Which has more weight?"
"Judging by the lavender bud that you brought I'd say truth."
"And which do you say is worth more?"
"Well, it depends. I reckon in the market all the people would look at the colored sand and say the larger heap was worth more, if you know what I mean."
"But you, Peniel. What do you say? You, as you are. Which would you rather receive and hold on to? One true grain of lavender or a basket of colored sand?"
"Me? You know me. I'm Peniel. I travel light. Take only what I need. I'll take one  bud that's real, potent! One bud that'll drive out the stink of everything rotten around me and in me! Carry it with me for the rest of my life. It's last forever, won't it? I'm for the one true grain of lavender over the whole big basket of colored sand."
"Well reasoned. I thought you'd say that."
Peniel grinned and sniffed the bud again. "Hard to miss the metaphor when it smells so good. I'd be a fool if I didn't get it, wouldn't I?"
"Peniel, what sort of fool would you be if, after you had the truth in your grasp, you forgot it was there?"
(A.D. Chronicles Third Watch. Bodie and Brock Thoene. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2004)

"Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee; 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" Luke 24:4-7

Come on! I've been waiting for you! Exiles. Wanderers! Lost sheep of Israel! Come into my camp and rest! All you whose souls toss like the restless sea! Like waves, breaking, breaking, breaking, lap the shores of eternity. In the firmness of heaven! Know that the world that waits ahead for you is tangible and safe! Fear not! Be warm! Stretch out your hands! Comfort yourself and rest awhile beside the fire kindled with wood I bore on my own shoulders. Come on! I'm waiting!" (A.D. Chronicles Third Watch. Bodie and Brock Thoene. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2004)