Sunday, May 19, 2013

We're Back!

After over a month of no internet, we are finally back on.
New post soon!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thank You cards- Check

I just ordered Finn's Thank You cards, check em out.


 In Portrait 5x7 folded card
Shutterfly offers custom St. Patrick's Day cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Party Tip: For Finn's Thank You cards I used a picture of the chalkboard sign I made for the party. To make the sign all you need is a chalkboard and wet erase markers, they are so neat and easy to use. I had a lot of fun making this! You can find the markers at any craft store and they have all colors.
I thought it was a little different than using a traditional picture for the Thank You cards like you always see.
Try it! :)

Our Mexico Wedding

A few years ago Luke and I went to a destination wedding in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We had a great time and the wedding was perfect. We decided then that,when the day came we also wanted to do a destination wedding. So,  that day is now and the pressure is on. I know most brides get stressed when it comes to the wedding planning, I however feel like it is my duty to pick the best resort for all of our friends and family (because they are paying so much to go). I need to pick one that is affordable for all the people closest to us. I am also gambling with the rooms, food, and other amenities. Let me tell you what, I have looked and looked at ALL the resorts in Mexico. I have researched TripAdvisor, travel magazines, and with the help of our travel agent I finally picked the one! 
It was a toss up between two, one being the resort we went to before, and the other being the Now Sapphire. I really wanted to get married on the beach, sanding in the sand and the Now Sapphire had beach weddings (the other did not )so we went with the Sapphire. We are going the first part of June 2014 and will stay a week. I can't wait, it is going to be a blast.

I decided to post a few pictures of our trip from 2 years ago so I could reminisce a little. :)


 This picture does not do it justice, it was absolutely beautiful.

These two gals are planning on going with us this time too!
Now we just have to.....
plan the reception,
find bridesmaid dresses,
figure out what Luke is going to wear,
buy our rings,
and pay for everything!
I am sure there is more to do than that, but I will just start here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

Last year I did not celebrate much for St. Patrick's Day, Luke and I had just welcomed our new baby boy Finnegan to the world. My parents came to visit from Hollister, Missouri for the delivery of their 1st grandchild last year. This started a tradition, as they came to visit again this year. Saturday we celebrated Finn's Birthday and Sunday we celebrated St. Patrick's Day by listening to some good music, eating corned beef & cabbage and of course a few of us drank beer. My fiancee, Luke (it is weird calling him my "Fiancee") owns a bar in the town we live in. It is what I like to call a "towney bar". He has his "regulars" which drink their "regular" drinks on a fairly "regular" basis. Don't get me wrong, I love it and so does Luke. We started date not long after he bought the bar in early 2009. We have made many friends and have more memories there as a couple than im sure anywhere else. I worked there while in college and ocassionally drop behind the bar to bartend, now that Finn is a little older and I don't feel as guilty leaving him home with a babysitter. Anyway, enough rambling, Luke has live music a few time a month at the bar and on St. Patrick's Day he had one of our favorites. Everyone enjoyed the music, including my parents, and Finn!

This is Frank, he sings and plays harmonica the band. He didn't want me to take his picture, he requested I edit the wrinkles off......  :)
You can't tell in these pictures, but we are dancing! Finn loved the music, he has a few signature dance moves these days, one being "the sway" . He will sway his hips and head back and forth at the same time, it is so stinkin cute!

"Kiss me I'm Finnegan"
Luke & Finn are twinkies, Luke dresses him every morning. ( I have to go in to work earlier than he does). I am always excited to see what he is wearing when I pick him up from daycare, its funny how often they are dressed alike.  

Cael playing his harmonica.

My mom and good friend Tammy.

Friends enjoying their St. Patrick's Day

Luke's parents also came out to listen to the music. He had quite the crowd.

So Sunday was the last day my parents were visiting, they had to leave early to miss our little snow storm we had yesterday. I had such a great time with them and they were both a lot of help with Finn's Party. Sunday was a nice relaxing way to end a great weekend with family.
Side Note: Today Luke & I decided on a resort in Mexico to get married as well as a date. More on the wedding planning tomorrow.  :)

Mama’s 1st Post & Finn’s 1st Birthday

Well I am officially starting a blog, I have been thinking about doing it since Finn was born (a year ago!). So here goes.

I have been thinking about posting all day, at work it was all I could think about. So tonight I got on Blogspot and what do you know, my blog was deleted and marked as spam. Now it has to be reviewed by who knows who to determine if I am a computer or a person. I decided to go ahead and write up what I was going to put on my blog and save it for tomorrow.

Last Thursday, March 14th was my only son Finnegan’s 1st birthday. Wow how this year has flown by.  For the past few months or so I have been planning his big birthday party. I work full time so I don’t have a lot of extra time but since the weather here in Iowa has been cold I have been spending lots of time indoors, planning.

First I had to pick a theme or something to start with. I decided to go primary colors and do a circus themed party.  Luke, my future hubby was also up for the challenge and helped me along the way.  My vision had lots of balloons, streamers, sprinkles, corn dogs, sweets, cotton candy, lemonade and my special little guy. I don’t have a good program on my computer for creating the invites so I found some on Etsy.  I bought the rights to the personalized invites and then had them printed at Copyworks. They turned out so good, I was extremely pleased. 

This is the link to the Esty Shop I order them from.
They were very quick and were emailed to me the day after I ordered them!
I believe they were only $10 and I paid $.20/ invited to have them printed. I cut them myself to save some money.

Now I am not a baker what so ever but I felt it was my duty as a mother to bake my son’s cake/cupcakes for his 1st birthday. I considered it a challenge. The rest of the party planning was so easy and came natural, except for this. I spent many hours on the Internet researching recipes, I asked baker friends for advice and even spent an hour in the baking section at Half Priced Books, scouring the shelves for the perfect recipe book.  I tried 4 different recipes, 2 of which were not edible and NOTHING was good enough. I was especially looking for a white/yellow cake recipe, chocolate is easier and I had a family recipe I used for the chocolate. Finally I found the “Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe” from, they turned out so moist with the perfect sweetness.

This is my new go to blog for sweets!

The chocolate cake recipe was my Grandma Standlee’s Crazy Cake recipe. Luke’s Grandma and Mom also make crazy cake. Crazy Cake was popular during the depression because it does not have milk or eggs in it. This recipe is for a 9 x 13 inch cake but worked perfect for these cupcakes.

3 c. all purpose flour, 2 c. white sugar, 2 t. baking soda, 1 t. salt, ½ c. unsweetened cocoa, ¾ c. vegetable oil, 2 T. distilled white vinegar, 2 t. vanilla extract, & 2 c. cold water.

1.       Sift flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa together in ungreased cake pan. Make three wells, pour oil in one, vinegar in one and vanilla in one. Pour cold water over and stir well. For the cupcakes I mixed in bowl first then poured in to cups.

2.       Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 min for cupcakes or 30-40 min for cake.

I found this awesome butter cream frosting almost a year ago on the web as this is one of the blogs I follow, CookingClassy

I made it a few times before the party for different occasions and everyone loved it. You can also add some cocoa to this to make a good chocolate butter cream. This is now my go to frosting, I could seriously eat it with a spoon.
Finn loved his cupcake. I was a little worried he would want anything to do with it, as we have been practicing a lot and he never seemed to interested in it. In fact he was deathly afraid of  on of the "test cakes" and screamed if it was in the room with him.
My mom found this cute bunting for his highchair. Isn't it cute?
Our family friend and Finn’s uncle’s sister (if that makes any sense at all) Shawna, made Finn’s birthday shirt. She has an Etsy Shop and we are so lucky that she is always making shirts for us.  She also picked up photography as a hobby and has taken family pictures for us over the past year. She is taking Finn’s year pictures this weekend. I wish her luck he is on the go.
All of Finn’s friends and family had a great time at his party. Finn's cousin, Gavin told me “It was the best party EVER!”
Here are some more pictures of the party. I had so much fun planning this party. I guess I need to start thinking about next year... :)
Luke's nephews Gavin & Sawyer.
Grandma King got Finn a life jacket so he can go on the boat this summer.
Pointing at the Balloons
These three loved the cotton candy. The two little girls are Shawna's girls.
Clown Cake Pops
Chalkboard with Chalkboard markers, they are so neat.
This was the fishing game I painted. We also had a Can Knock Down game, a Pick the Duck game, and a Bag Toss. The kids really enjoyed the games and prizes, especially Sawyer.
 Sophie, isn't she adorable?

The dads even had a good time 


Finn did a great job opening his gifts, with the help of his friends.

Finn's babysitter got him this car. She has one at her house and he loves it!

Can Knock Down game I used formula cans and wrapped them with scrapbooking paper. I thought they turned out cute. 
Sawyer was awesome at the game.
Grandma King was coaching
See ya next time.