Friday, April 29, 2011

Create A Moment

It is both refreshing and revitalizing to create a quiet moment for yourself or those you love. Whether it's taking a hot bath with a good bar of soap...

 Or stopping to light a candle and drink a good cup of coffee....

Or reading a chapter of a book, making a warm cup of tea, sitting outside for five minutes with morning breeze in your face, taking a few moments to watch the sun go down, going for a walk through your neighborhood, reading a Psalm, meditating on a Scripture, or sitting in the car until your favorite worship song ends instead of rushing right into the house.  You may have to find the moment because the moment doesn't always find you.  You may have to fight the guilt you may feel when you put your feet up.  You may have to relinquish control and rest your busy mind.  If you have little ones you may have to sneak away, lock the door, or find that moment when they are tucked in bed for the night or before they have woken up in the morning!

But stop.  Slow down. Take a break.  Breathe deeply.  Exhale slowly. Do something small but significant to add a sense of calm to your day.  Be quiet.  Be still.  Know He is God, and let the peace that stems from that awareness rule your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 107:29 
"He calms the storm, So that its waves are still."

Handy Dandy

Was anyone else reminded on Easter how delectable deviled eggs are?  It had been so long since I had eaten them, and I was craving some more today so I made a batch. I put them in my handy, dandy....

...deviled egg carrier! (Some of you moms of little ones thought I was going to say notebook, didn't you?!)  This is the niftiest little carrier from Martha Stewart Living.  It's such a great way to store and transport eggs, and if you take out the inserts it can be used to transport small sandwiches, tarts, or other small treats.

Another handy item in my life is my scarf hanger.

My mom put this in my stocking at Christmas and it is the perfect way to store scarves year round!

I've also been loving my portable insulated cups.

I am huge water drinker.  Before I sing I usually like to drink room temperature water from bottles, and for years have been in the habit of keeping a bottle of water with me all the time.  But bottled water can get pretty hot when you are running around in the Florida heat and I have been loving how cold these cups keep my water, even in the hot car!  Though I have heard there are other cups out there that do the same job but don't I just may try out a Tervis Tumbler or something like it someday soon.  Because a sweat free insulated cup sounds really handy!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Evening In Paris!

Here are some snapshots from our Parisian celebration of Madison's 6th birthday.  Enjoy!

Paris accents everywhere.  One of my favorite finds was this soap to put in the guest bath.

Grammie and Paw Paw's gift came in the perfect bag...

French Milled soaps for the girls who helped me.

Favors for the little ladies.  A monogrammed cookie, a change purse, and a set of gloves.

Mini chalkboards from the Michael's $1 section served as place cards tied to the chairs.

Our Boutique.  Those little boxes were filled with rings, bracelets, necklaces, sunglasses, and more!

Our Cafe.

A quiet reading corner, per Madi's request.

Madeline and Fancy Nancy books to go with our French theme.

The craft table where the girls made masquerade masks, postcards, and bookmarks to their hearts content.

Our Patisserie.  We used Madi's dollhouse for the occasion.

The absolutely lovely cake, thanks to my mom. 

I made fondue, both cheese and chocolate, and served it with tasty dippers.

We also had fruit, cheese, Brie, sandwiches, and lots of yummy treats.

After they ate, the girls dove into the dress up boxes and got themselves accessorized.

Then they had some fun in our Photo Booth.

When in Paris....

My sweet friend gave each girl a manicure in our Salon.

And two more sweet girls did each girl's hair.  The little girls were so mesmerized by their makeovers!

Present time!  Madi was blessed with many thoughtful gifts.

She even got a gorgeous Paris dress, one to match her best friend!

What an amazing "Evening In Paris" we spent celebrating our special girl with such wonderful friends and family!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Minnie Mouse Birthday Breakfast!

A couple of years ago I started making birthday breakfasts in our home a big deal, and it is a tradition that has stuck big time!  The kids now look so forward to seeing what will be on the table when they wake up on their birthday, and I admit I have a ball picking a theme and staying up late the night before preparing for the morning's surprises!  This year was our first birthday breakfast where we had to rush out to school, so I did much of the prep work the night before, even making the baked oatmeal so all I had to do was reheat it in the oven in the morning.  And of course we had our traditional cinnamon rolls (from a can as always, thank you Pillsbury!) with candles in them.  The kids would not think a birthday breakfast was the same without canned cinnamon rolls!!  

Since Madi has enjoyed Disney so much this year and is very into Minnie, I went with a Minnie Mouse themed breakfast.  Party City had a good deal on the paper goods, and I found darling little paper lanterns at the dollar store.  My big splurge was the cake, which we ate later in the day...this was the first cake I have ever bought for anyone!  I usually just bake cupcakes or make my own simple cakes!  But when I went to our local bakery with my mom who was ordering a lovely cake for Madi's Paris Party, I saw this Minnie Mouse cake sitting on the shelf waiting for pick up and  Without asking the size, I just pointed to it and said I want that one!  With chocolate cake and cookies and cream filling, please.  It looked and tasted amazing, but little did I know that 10 inch cake could have probably served 35 people!  Oops!  Well, somehow we finished it.  Someone in this house has a serious taste for chocolate cake.  I won't reveal who.  I just know she writes some blog about coffee and chaos. Ahem.

Here is Madi's breakfast table in the early morning, ready for the birthday girl to come out!

What cheer those $1 lanterns added!  I'm in love with lanterns these days.

The absolutely gorgeous and amazingly delicious (not that I would know) Minnie Mouse cake.  My spontaneous whim made the centerpiece, and I must admit, it was perfect.  Such a sweet, pretty cake for my sweet, pretty girl.

Most of her gifts were small trinkets from Disney.  I put all of them in a new tote bag for her, and left the France Minnie Mouse that she had been dying for hanging out of the top, as well as a Minnie birthday ribbon for to wear on her field trip that day!  Just little gifts but she adored every one.

I've said it many times and I'll say it again.  Birthdays matter in our home because people matter in our home.  Birthdays are worth celebrating because people are worth celebrating.  What fun we had this day, starting with our lantern lit breakfast!

Live. Enjoy. Love. Celebrate.

Life is a gift from God.

Dawn's Early Light

Psalm 27:1

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear? 
The LORD is the strength of my life; 
Of whom shall I be afraid?

Lamentations 3:22-23

 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, 
for His compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning
great is Your faithfulness.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Empire Strikes Back

I spent yesterday evening with two beautiful treasures in in my life, relaxing and having conversation at The Melting Pot.  I had to smile when we all met up to leave though, because there was a common theme in our outfits...we were all wearing empire waist style dresses!  Loose and comfy in the front.  Okay, so maybe Stephanie is expecting Baby #2 and has an actual legitimate excuse, blah, blah, blah.  But it's like some unwritten female pearl of wisdom.  When you are going to spend a few hours dipping every.single.bite you put in your mouth in cheese and chocolate, go with the empire waist dress.  Preferably in a dark color. 

And all the ladies said, "Amen."

The best thing about my dress?  Got it from the Target clearance rack a few months ago for $5.48.  Can I get a whooop from my girls out there??!!

The best thing about these girls? They are absolutely priceless.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Apron Couture

I've told you before about my thoughtful friend Laurie.  She reminds me of my mom in that she always seems to find the perfect little treats that remind you that you are loved, that someone knows you and your interests matter to them, and that you are thought of.  She is a fellow gift love language gal, and her thoughtfulness is a deep well of encouragement to me and my family!

My kids adore her, so when a package arrived the other day from Miss "Waurie" (as Trevor calls her), they pretty much started freaking out and begging to open it.  In it were a few Easter treats for them, as usual the perfect little things!  She had included some fun craft supplies, a magazine for each of them, and a couple fun candy treats.

But let me tell you about one of the things she sent me!

Knowing my love for aprons, she sent me one in the most adorable vintage bunny print.  I immediately fell in love with its subdued toile beauty.

It deserved a place of honor, so I moved the bust that my mom got to use at Madi's Paris Party and a future ladies event at church into the kitchen and dressed her in my new frock.  I think I am going to name her Lillian, simply because I love that name, or perhaps Adelaide.  Hmmm, two of my favorites, that's a tough decision.  Either way, my friend looked lovely standing in the corner showing off her fancy new apron and wearing a string of pearls.  She and I have a lot in common actually, with the whole short torso/curvy hip thing going on (not to mention our love of fashion and a good set of faux pearls).

What a fun treat from a dear friend!  Oh and I mentioned the Paris Party...I will try to share some snapshots from our celebration real soon!  I would do it tonight but I had the privilege of sharing an evening at Melting Pot with some treasured girls in my life and I am full, happy, and ready to curl up in my bed with a book!

Good night loves.  Dream sweet!