Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Let the Party Planning Begin!

So far this year, I will be hosting {maybe co-hosting a few} showers at my house for some very good friends and family….not to mention the birthday party for that special three year old that will be taking place in May. Nearly every month after that is booked with a shower for at least one weekend of the month.

Then, I will be in not one, not two, but THREE weddings in October. I’m either well-liked or crazy {there is a possibility of the last one for sure}. Seriously though, I couldn’t be happier to be in those three weddings, but it may be likely it will make the month a very stressful one. On a positive note, I will be in my second year of teaching, so school will be a little bit easier then. That’s a huge stress reliever in itself.

I figured I would do a few segments on some party ideas that I’m considering for all of these lovely ladies who are near and dear to my heart.

To begin, I’m going to start with my friend, Andrea.

julie cottrell photography 120 

Photo by Julie Cottrell Photography

Isn’t she stunningly beautiful? Andrea and I became friends way back in 2nd grade. Through the years we have been nearly inseparable and best friends {with a few bumps in the road, of course}, but we love each other dearly now. That’s what matters anyway!

She’s also marrying a sweet guy, Whitney, whom I’ve known since sometime in middle school. I knew of him in elementary school, but we were never in the same class. I’m so grateful that Whit and Andrea’s friendship grew to be much more….so much more. They couldn’t have picked anyone better for themselves.


Boy, this is from the good ole days!!!

On to the purpose of this post….

I am planning Andrea a Monograms and Mimosas shower. I got the idea from my sister-in-law, Abby. She and her FAB friends have had several of these showers for many of the ones of the group who have gotten married.

Seeing as how Andrea L-O-V-E-S monograms with every ounce of her being, I thought this would be perfect.

If you’re not familiar with this type of shower, the guests shower the bride-to-be with gifts that have her monogram or the couple’s monogram on it. I am a sucker for personalized gifts, and this type of shower breaks up the monotony of your typical shower.

Here are some photos I’m getting inspiration from…


Monogrammed cake is a definite! It may not be this size, but I do like what a substantial statement it makes.


Cute and re-usable!


Instead of the cake, this is another option I’m considering. It would be much easier and has an equal amount of cuteness!

Flower Arrangements

Simple flower arrangement

Sign for Front Door

How cute would this be on the front door! Heck, I might just want one of these for my house myself {ahem….Laurie}.


White dishes, simple vases, white candles…always a lovely combination!

To top it off, my brother-in-law, Judd, will be doing a custom design for the invitations. It just doesn’t get any better!

What are your opinions? Do you have any other fabulous ideas? I would love to hear them. Have you found a website with lovely ideas? Send them on over!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Out with the Old

That’s the purpose of burning grass if you didn’t know. You burn your grass, so it will grow again much healthier than before. It rids the area of all of the underbrush, weed seedlings, and it prevents diseases or layers of mold from developing on the grass.

For me though, I just enjoy watching it. I suppose that’s how you feel when you’re married to a firefighter. I’m not some weird pyromaniac or anything, but I do see the benefits of fire.

A) It keeps you warm in the winter.
B) It helps make your grass look better and keeps it healthy.

Both are pluses in my book!

We also had a sweet black dog to help us keep an eye on things. He pretty much just enjoyed being able to run around, lay around, and hang out with his family. Oh, how we love Cole Train!


I wasn’t much help to the boys. I, of course, had to monitor things and keep an eye on Cole. I practiced some with my camera. Lord, do I still have SO MUCH to learn! I do love learning more about it though and practicing is the way I learn best.

Today is my first day of the work week {thank you President’s Day}. I hope you all are having a fabulous week and are enjoying the spring feeling weather =)

Disclaimer: I am certainly not a professional in grass knowledge, so if you disagree with my claims, I blame my internet research.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Candy Shoppe Birthday Plans

I mentioned quite briefly before that there were birthday plans for a special little {almost} three year old. My sister chose the Candy Shoppe theme, and I have came up with some great ideas for the party {especially since it is gong to be at my house}.

A party to me is so much fun, and I always look forward to planning it and all of the little details that make them so much fun and memorable. So, here’s a peek into what we’re thinking for Aly’s Candy Shoppe!


Welcome Sign




party hats

poof balls





Cup labels



party favors

That’s a lot of inspiration to create the perfect birthday party! If you want to learn more about the games to be played and food to be served, you can check out the few website that provided me with these ideas.

Urbanity Studios

Thoughtfully Simple


I can’t wait for it to be May! We’ve already started picking up supplies we’re going to need, including the favors, which are available right now at the Dollar Tree. One of the most creative people I know will be helping make this a success {she knows who she is}. What is really great about this is that another friend of mine is going to re-use the stuff for her daughter’s birthday, which makes me feel a lot better knowing all of this won’t just have to be used on one day only.

What’s the best birthday party you have thrown? Do you have any out of the ordinary birthday ideas?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shopping 101: Shop Around

As I said in the previous post about coupon codes, I like to get a great deal. When I’m decorating my house, I want to make sure it has a sense of warmth and feel like home. I want items to create character in my home.

To me, that doesn’t mean I have to buy everything right out of the Pottery Barn catalog that I may or may not look through nearly every day. To be quite honest though, when I do occasionally look through it, I am inspired with some great ideas on how to use vintage items in my home.

Those of you who are frequent admirers also know that Pottery Barn is pretty pricey. I’m willing to pay their price on some things, but when it comes to vintage items, I simply refuse.

Here is an example:

coasters pottery barn

Pottery Barn Silver Plated Coasters (4) for $29.95


Antique Store Silver Plated Coasters (6) for $1.50

The difference is mine aren’t brand new, and they need a little cleaning up. The above picture is just how I bought them. I haven’t done a thing to them. They’re not perfect, but after a trip to the cleaners {for a cheap price} with a few other finds, it will be worth the $1.50 I paid for them.

I’m not anti-Pottery Barn by no means, but I do encourage you to get out to those antique stores and shop around. Another tip is to find some of the stores that have people who rent booths. You will likely find cheaper prices there than places who have only one owner.

Strawberry Trifle


For as long as I can remember, my great aunt has been making this dessert and has brought it to countless church lunches. It was always such a hit that if you wanted any of it you would have to get a bowl of it when you went through the line for your other food. It went FAST!

As I was looking for a great dessert dish to for my Christmas party, I had my mom look up the recipe since she’s made it a few times herself. I just knew it would be a hit, and I couldn’t have been more right.

Now, I will say that after making it the first time, I corrected a few mistakes I made along the way, and it was exceptionally better on the second go around. Some of you who have eaten it have asked for the recipe, and some of you will by dying to make it once you see how easy and how terrific it looks.

Here’s what you’re going to need….


1 carton of strawberries, diced


16 oz. tub of Cool Whip


Large packet of Vanilla Jell-o Pudding Mix


Sara Lee Pound Cake

And these additional ingredients….

14 oz. can Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups cold water


Cut up pound cake into small chunks.


Step Two:

Mix the water, sweetened condensed milk, and pudding mix together.

Chill in the refrigerator for NO MORE, NO LESS than 5 minutes.

Step Three:

Fold in whipping cream to mixture made in step two.

Step Four:

Strawberry Trifle Collage

Step Five:

Add diced strawberries on top for garnish.


Step Six:

Refrigerate for at least two hours….the longer, the better.

I hope you all enjoy this terrific dessert. I guess it’s a little late for the beloved Valentine’s Day, but it is definitely worth sticking back in a file for next year.

And now for a quick subject change……..

How do you like the new header? Good? Bad? I need feedback!

Hope you all are doing great on this 2nd day of the work week!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Perfect Weekend


I don’t think I could have wished for a better weekend than this one. The weather was AMAZING for it to be February. It’s the kind of weather I’ve been hoping for each and every day. It gave me a taste of how wonderful spring is going to be this year.


Yesterday, I joined Colby to take a trip out to the farm to feed the cows.


I know that may not sound like fun to some of you, but to me it was just what I needed. I have been needing sunshine and wide open spaces. Being in the classroom for the most of hours during the week brings down a girl’s spirit, especially for someone who survives on sunshine and water.


Name this movie. “I’ll live off sunshine and water.”


Colby gave the cows some hay, and I took pictures of everything I could. After all, the only way you get better with the contraption is to try it out and give it a go.


Geez, I love this man! And, I’m really hating that we’re not going to be able to spend V-day together, but every day is wonderful with him.


We took a stroll down to this little creek, and I do believe I could have put my lawn chair out and stayed there all day. You could just hear the water moving so smoothly, and there was perfect mixture of sunlight and shade. I could definitely live this life!

When I got home, I prepared for school, watched the Grammys, and made these….


I’ll share a tutorial later. Nothing to it!

Everyone enjoy time with your loves today! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Oh, and the movie quote is from “Uptown Girls”.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Night Before Valentine’s Day

…is what it is! For all of you moms and dads out there or even for those of you who just appreciate a wholesome children’s book, there is a book you must go out and get for all of the little ones in your life. What I love most about this book is that it expresses the way Valentine’s Day was once like in our schools instead of what it is now with the Power Rangers Valentine’s cards that are sealed with a heart sticker.

What happened to the old Valentine’s cards that were put in envelopes and personalized by each child? So this is for all of you that agree with me on that….enjoy!




Funny, right?





And that’s the wish I have for all of you on this night before Valentine’s day! You all are so wonderful to read my blog and read about the craziness we call life around her at the Langham household even if you don’t comment on here to let me know I’m not writing for only myself.

So this is to you….


Happy Valentine’s Day!