Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cupcakes!

Smile girls!
 Five of the cutest smiling cupcakes with piping bags in hand(s).
And... back to work! I mean, this cupcake decorating is serious business!

Welll... maybe not so serious - more like loads of fun! Look at their creations!
 Sprinkles, candy corn, jelly beans and even more sprinkles... oh, the girls had so much fun!
Oh, I love the colors the girls whipped up.

The girls had a blast frosting cupcakes and I had a blast watching them!

Cupcake decorating at a 12 year old girls birthday party - yep, I would definitely recommend!

The girls did a couple crafts that I thought I'd share with you today... but, I'm tired... and they'll keep for another day.

Other related posts:
Party Food!
More Buckets! Red and Brown Buckets!
Fall Candy Buffet
Fall Beverage Station

Hope you're all having a fabulous week-end! Today's the last day of the soccer season for us... I have mixed emotions about it. Loved seeing my girl improve as the season went on (one day she even said she was having more fun than reading! now, that's serious fun for her!), loved the soccer mom chats on the sidelines (really going to miss those!) on the other hand, I like that our schedule is clearing up a bit and we get to spend Saturdays at home! Until the next sport starts that is...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Party food!

Party time!

Beverage station in use. Two Italian sodas coming right up!
Kept it simple with the party food. Veggies, chips and dip, apples and dip and pizza!
Oh yeah, I got to use my new platter - my new $2.50 platter. It worked perfectly for apples and caramel dip!
Sweet girls. Enjoying their sweet drinks.
Unfrosted cupcakes.

Thought I'd let the girls decorate them, I knew they'd have fun doing it that - and really, it had nothing to do with me being lazy. Nothing at all.

Cupcake frosting and party crafts still to come...

Other related posts:
More buckets! Red and Brown buckets!
Fall Candy Buffet
Fall Beverage Station


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More Buckets! Brown and Red Buckets!

Buckets of all shapes, sizes and colors are welcome in my house!
I picked these beauties up at Target the other day. Being the thrifter that I am, they were sooo in my price range at $2.50 each! Yeah, I grabbed a few of them! The proportion is hard to tell here, but they actually hold a full bag of chips. And they would be really cute for centerpieces or holding rolls for Thanksgiving dinner... oh, the possibilities are endless.
Look how cute these red buckets look with the brown one. Oh, they're just so warm and cozy!
I got those cute little red buckets at The Dollar Tree - yeah, for $1.00 each! Brown ones were $2.50 at Target. Merry Christmas to me!

If you live in the PacNW and go out looking for the little red buckets - well, they've been a hot item. It seems that each store only had about 8 of each color and it seems that there were other people besides me that saw them and snatched them all up! I think I've been to about 6 Dollar Tree stores in Oregon and they were either all gone, or I grabbed the last ones. A seriously cheap, adorable addition to my entertaining collection. Love them. Can't wait to use them over and over again!

More party fun to come...

Other related posts:
Fall Beverage Station
Fall Candy Buffet

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Candy Buffet


Here's the candy (and nut) buffet I set up for my little girls birthday party.

Most of this is leftover from the Executive Event, and some of it... well, some of it was thoroughly enjoyed by family and friends and needed to be replenished. And, well I may have helped with the dark chocolate, but I'll never tell.

Other event related post:
Fall Beverage Station
More Buckets! Red and Brown Buckets!


The sun is peeking out here in my neck of the woods, I may even leave my cocoon today.
Or, maybe not - it's cozy and warm in here. And bright and drippy out there.
Oh, maybe I'll just admire the brightness from right here, sitting on the couch looking out my window.

Have a sweet and warm day!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Beverage Station

Good things come to those who wait... or something like that...

Life has been full and time for a birthday party has been short. So, I finally found a moment to plan a little birthday party for my super flexible 12 year old girl. She's so flexible that we skipped pinks and purples (we made up for it in the party crafts) and went with a fall-colored theme for the party.
Here's the beverage station. Water bottles, hot cocoa and Italian sodas all in lovely galvanized tubs and feed pans/serving trays.

And they're all sitting in front of the fall quilt I made... last year, I think. I still haven't gotten it quilted, but it doesn't seem to mind. It comes out for a month or so at a time and then is so very kind to take up very little space on the shelf for the rest of the year.

To spruce them up, I quickly slapped on pieces of fall colored scrapbook paper on the water bottles.
My new feed pan is filled with teas, sugar, stevia, stir straws, candy stir sticks, big chunky straws, hot cups with lids and cold cups with lids. Oh, I got such a kick out of getting the cups with lids from Cash & Carry. It's those little touches that totally make me giggle.
Oh, so much fall colored beverage goodness. 

Man, I'm thirsty.

More party photos to come...


Other party related posts:
More buckets! Red and Brown Buckets!
Fall Candy Buffet


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thrift Store Jackpot!

I had about a hundred errands to run in The Dalles the other day and I was hoping I could get them all done just so I would have enough time to stop in at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. It's amazing how efficient I can be when I have a thrift store opportunity motivating me.  It had been quite awhile since I'd been to this store and I was not disappointed.
First I saw this! I immediately snatched it and carefully put it in my cart. It's so gigantic and white and ceramic. The price said $10.00 and I really didn't need it but I really liked it... so, I decided to push it around, mull it over and browse some more.
While browsing, I happened upon this gem. This shellacked (square) dog bone shaped game board for 99 cents! It's a bit tacky but I have a feeling that it'll grow on me. I mean, I'm already in love with the price! Oh, I knew it had to come home with me. I have quite a collection of gameboards that I'm falling in love with (again). Actually, I'm in the middle of trying to figure out how to display them, when I get it figured out I'll have to show you.
Oh, and then I stumbled upon the book section - I usually steer clear of the books, I'm more of a magazine reader myself. But my 12 year old girl has requested animal books for her (belated) birthday. "You know, the kinds that Veterinarians would read and study, not just cute animal stories." Uh... a bit out of my element here. But I was thrilled when I found these, because I knew she would love them. One had a price tag of $10.00 and the other wasn't marked, so I hefted them into the cart and debated as I strolled through the store a bit more.

I picked up a few more items.
A few more vases, a salad dressing container (seemed like a good idea - we'll see if I ever use it) and a couple more stackable glasses. Yeah, I'm still on the hunt for more drinking glasses - only a few more and my glass cupboard will be replenished - well, since they stack so well, I actually have room for more than I thought. Oh, who am I kidding - I'll forever be searching for drinking glasses, if my cupboard gets full, I'll just upgrade (via the thrift store, of course).

Oh, right - I said I hit the thrift store jackpot... here's what happened:
I pushed all of these items around the store, unsure that I would buy anything, I mean nothing was a necessity. I browsed and browsed some more until I realized my blissful thrifting trip should come to an end so I wheeled my cart to the register.

While shopping, I had heard a fellow customer say something about a certain color of a tag having an even greater reduced price, I think she said it was blue. Not many blue tags in my cart so I didn't pay much attention.

When I got to the check out I asked how much the giant vet books were and he said, "they're a pink sticker and all of the pink stickers are 75% off". What? I had never heard of such a great reduction, typically they have a sticker that's 50 % off, but I don't really pay that much attention because we're already talking thrift store prices here. But seriously, 75% off! Ooh, my indecisive shopping came to a quick end. I had to have it all!
This platter had a pink sticker that said $9.99. I would guess it's probably at least a $30.00 platter for which I paid $2.50.  The vet books were also $2.50. Major score!
And this little bitty vase, well it had a pink sticker of $.49. Ha! They practically paid me to take it!

I was greatly surprised by the bit of a thrift store jackpot, I got some nice items, some essentials, but mostly just fun items! My thrift store shopping list is long and I plan to enjoy every moment while I search and find the items that I wish to have. It's a game. It's a love. And I'm addicted.

One of errands I ran earlier in the day was a quick stop at the Coastal Farm and Ranch store. The store is so new and big - it was really fun to browse around in.
I ended up with some yummy black licorice, some treats for the dogs and another beautiful galvanized feed pan. I also used the coupon that Coastal Farm and Ranch created for me to share with all of you on my blog. It was so cool to use! I felt so important. And now I appreciate my feed pan even more now that I saved a dollar on it! The coupon is good until the 30th, so if you're in the market for a galvanized bucket or pail - help yourself, print out the coupon and enjoy your 10% off!

But... just so you know - there's an even better sale this Saturday, like almost everything in the store is 20% off and anything with a red sticker is an additional 25% off. I almost wish I would've waited to buy my Bogs ( my latest obsession - I love them, I love warm, dry toes)... I've been shopping around and this would have been the best deal! The Dalles Coastal store has some blue and purple Bogs already marked down 50% (red sticker) and on Saturday, they will be another 25% off. Oh, so tempting to go... but, I just ordered Bogs for the kids and my schedule is jam packed on Saturday... oh, maybe someone else will go and get a tremendous deal and I can be so excited for them! Anyone?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What I found on my camera...

Here’s a bit of what I found on my camera over the last week or so...

I've been cleaning and re-organizing and amongst my mess I found a new home for my milk glass vases. This makes me happy. And I think they're much happier here too.
And this cute little quilty one that's sitting at an angle was a sweet find at a sketchy looking thrift store, so sketchy you wonder if you should stop, and when you do, you plan to come back because you find such a pretty quilty milk glass vase for $1.00. Maybe it's not so sketchy afterall.
I bought Christmas tree lights, because I can. They're selling them, so I shall buy them.
And, well... last year, I was kind of left in the dark... if you happen to be a late tree decorator and you need to buy an extra strand or two... you might discover that all the good lights are gone and you're left buying lights that say they're white and they're not. So, I stocked up. Whew! Couldn't let that near catastrophe happen again.
My little girly and I picked up this tiny little picnic basket at the local antique store. I love the basket. And the store. I'm mean, look at it, there are loads of treasures to be found! It's been a fun stop on a few soccer-saturday's.
I've been trying to decorate a bit for fall. Some of these are from last fall and I've added a few more. I'm not really sure what to call them, I've been calling them pinwheels, but really they're not... paper medallions? Will that work? I think yes. Anyways, I've made a few more of these paper medallions and I have plans to make more. I like them. 
Oh, and this... this makes me really happy! Wal-mart and Dollar Tree, you have made me really happy - they both had items in the same color red at Wal-mart and Dollar Tree prices! Isn't this color scheme dreamy for fall? Kraft paper brown and a raspberry-ish/cranberry-ish red! Actually, it's the color scheme for an event I'm working on with some of my favorite people. It's going to be so much fun, I can hardly wait!

Well, that's what I found on my camera. What it doesn't show you is that I'm in the midst of about 15 organization projects, I'm shifting bedrooms about, I've painted a little, I've been discarding tons of stuff, I've got a birthday party coming up and for the last 4 days, at least one person in my family has been under the weather. We're climbing out of it and soon life will return to the busy schedule of soccer, dentists, dr.'s, running here, running there... oh, I kind of like my hunkered down week with most of my family surrounding me at any given moment. Except that they've been sick. Blech.
 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Executive Event Day!

Yay! I'm so excited that I finally get to show you the photos from the big day!

Erik and I arrived early, in the dark and scurried around to get things ready for a full day event. Executive meetings, presentations, special speaker, lots of food and great conversation were to be had, all at this big beautiful barn!

Breakfast!
Breakfast was catered by Boda's Kitchen in Hood River. Oh, these were amazing. Greek yogurt, homemade granola, fresh blueberries, raspberries, salmon berries and huckleberries. Oh yum. I wish I had some for breakfast today. And everyday.
Quiche! Sirota of Boda's Kitchen made such a great variety of quiche's! They were fabulous, the executives were raving about the entire breakfast; the quiche's, the yogurt parfaits and the incredibly flavorful sausage. The food was flawless.

Just a peek at the meeting from my perch back in the kitchen.
They're rolling up the garage doors, taking in a bit more of the scenery.
Can't blame them. It's stunning. Although, you can't see Mt. Hood (because it's hiding behind all of the wildfire smoke).
Lunch will be served outdoors. I wish I could eat my lunch here. Every. Day.
Oh, I brought along my pretty bowl and Rene (Erik's co-worker) brought along some pretty fruit to put in it. Rene and I hung out most of the day, she ran food back and forth, we made coffee (from Hood River Coffee) and tried to keep all things looking pretty. We even found a few minutes to have a lovely visit. I don't know how I would've done everything without her. Her help (and her company) was amazingly lovely.
Oh, here's just another shot of galvanized goodness - in case you've haven't had your fill of it yet!
And the napkins and plates all sitting pretty on a wine barrel. I think I'm in love with these new square Chinet plates. I think I need them for every executive picnic-like event that I do!

Lunch!
Lunch was catered by the Thai House in Hood River. It was spectacular! Panang, massaman, pad thai and all sorts of other Thai goodness!
"Yep, it's there. The mountain is really there. It starts here and ends there... you can kind of see it... if you... " 
While they were all eating lunch...
I decided to snap a picture of their meeting table. All the busy-ness of the business makes me smile.
I love those garage doors. I mean really, I love the whole space, I still kinda want to move in.
Here's the outside of the three garage doors.  There's a really pretty space above the garage too.
You walk up a pretty rock-lined staircase to get to this bridge that takes you to the space upstairs. Oh, it's so dreamy.
And this is the view from the upstairs of the barn (taken earlier in the week). You can see more of the vineyards and I have proof that Mt. Hood really is there! My photo is still smokey, but if you look on the event site - Gorge Crest's webpage, you can see tons of gorgeous photography! And lots of weddings, which is what Gorge Crest is primarily used for. John and Rhonda were gracious enough to let Erik have his meeting here. The executives were stunned by the beauty. It certainly made for an exceptional day.
 
And... back to the meeting.
I snuck this photo from the little kitchen area outside...  I guess I wasn't as sneaky as I thought. 
They saw me and called me in and I stood (red-faced) in front of them all and they lovingly expressed their gratitude in a standing and clapping sort of way. It was so very kind and honoring. In a red-faced kind of way. 
At the conclusion of the meeting they were treated with a wine tasting of local wines (courtesy of gorge.net owner Dan Bubb) and some yummy wine tasting food from Boda's. There were all sorts of yummy olives, cheeses, fruits, nuts, crackers and meats with names I'm sure I couldn't pronounce.
The executives mingled, sipped wine and ate yummy wine tasting food while my photo taking habits dwindled tremendously as fatigue was starting to set in.
Oh, I found one more photo of executives sipping wine at the lovely Gorge Crest barn. Ahh... I want to go back there and stay. Forever.
Whew! We did it. Erik and I, (in my team gorge.net shirt) weary and tired after the long and fabulous day. I'm so glad I got to be there to share the experience with him. It was kind of a big day for him. He looks forward to his meetings every month and he was honored to have the opportunity to bring everyone out to the gorge. And it's possible, someone may have even said, "best meeting ever!" He may have dazzled them a bit. It's possible, but I'll never tell.

Oh, there were so many special moments throughout the day.

I grinned and grinned as I secretly noticed people commenting and noticing the little touches throughout the event. I think it was the (event-planner) confidence builder that I didn't know I needed. I guess I wasn't sure that my "entertaining skills" were at "executive caliber", I was graciously assured that they were.

And my husband, it was pretty cool to do this with him. It sort of re-awakened the realization in me that entertaining is something that we BOTH love to do! He's more about the food experience and loves to try new recipes, I'm more about making people feel welcome and making a cozy setting. A perfect match, I'd say!

When I got home that night, Elena came running to the car to meet me, "how did it go, Mommy, how did it go?" This might be my favorite moment. I got to tell her it was UH-MAY-ZING, and how much they all loved it! Oh, she was so excited (with me) that she was just beaming! It was just precious. She helped me haul everything in and she asked me loads of questions, "what did they say about this?" "how did Daddy's presentation go?" She wanted to know it all. Oh, she melted me. I love that girl of mine.

Well, that's what happened when I got home. When Erik got home he sat down and was asleep within 10 minutes. Long day. Wonderful day. The end.
 
And if you haven't had enough, here are all of the other posts leading up to this post:
10% off Galvanized Tubs and Pails at Coastal Farm
Last minute prep!
It's a gorge.net candy buffet!
Galvanized love!
Centerpieces
Crazy, good day!
Oh, Little Girl!
Event prep...
Galvanized fun!
Event planning...