Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A 1st Birthday Ladybug Bash!

Hello friends! I hope you all had a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving. Sorry I was M.I.A. last week. This lady was taking care of 2 sick babies (pink eye, ear infections and a wicked cough) AND lets just say diligently preparing for the 1st Birthday of our favorite little gal.

We had an AMAZING holiday weekend, the kids recovered and we enjoyed lots of family time! We relaxed and did TONS of prep for the birthday fun! Thanksgiving will now forever be a double bonus for this family as it marks the birth of our little lady! Last year (2010), my water broke at 3:00 AM on black Friday. It was an interesting day to be giving birth but we couldn't be more thankful for our little Thanksgiving treat!

We celebrated her 1st birthday Saturday with family and friends and had a wonderful time. Q was her ADORABLE little self! She REALLY seemed to understand that the festivities were for her and enjoyed being the center of attention as we all expected! We had lots of fun making her day extra special with a ladybug theme that I probably took a little too far.... but when else can you be ridiculous with a theme if not at a 1 year old's birthday EXTRAVAGANZA!!!

Here is a little of the fun in review:

A BIG ladybug cake

Her special birthday outfit (I'm so happy with how it turned out)! A shirt with ladybugs crawling on the shoulder and a big bedazzled blue 1 and the CUTEST bubble hem layered TUTU!! (can you believe I found that fabric!! and at 40% OFF!!)

Q and her friends had a blast playing pin-the-dot on the ladybug, she honestly LOVED playing this game, we left it up and she has been non-stop sticking and unsticking all the dots.

A little ladybug cake too, just for the birthday girl. Along with SCRUMPTIOUS ladybug chocolate covered pretzels!

Some special decorations, made by the best biggest brother around (and lots of help from Momma).

LETS GET MESSY!!! The red frosting was interesting, looked a little gory but still ADORABLE! She dove right in!

AWESOME gifts from our loved ones. We are so blessed!

What a great day! We are SO thankful for our little spunky, go-getter, firecracker girl!

STAY TUNED: later this week I will give you the how-to for the cakes, pretzels, t-shirt and tutu!

That's my Shiny ~


Sunday, November 20, 2011

REAL DEAL: Love Loft

Do you have one of those stores that you walk into and almost always relax IMMEDIATELY and think YUP, I could wear EVERYTHING in this store! For me, for the last few years has been Ann Taylor Loft. I love the sophistication, classic appeal with a little current trend or edge thrown in. It is EXACTLY my style.

The even better news is that in the last year and a half or so Loft has been having HUGE sales regularly. Not only do they offer MANY opportunities for 40% off your ENTIRE purchase (no exclusions) they also run a regular sale 50% off ALL sale items! Which means I have been living off of these sales. Honestly, I have purchased at least 6 plus sweaters all for LESS than $15 EACH since last Christmas. I have also found a few amazing tops and pants too! 

This week the FAB store is having a $35 and under sale, ALONG with an additional 50% all sale and clearance items. YIPPEEE!!

Here are some of my fav Super Sale Picks:

Like the Look and the Price:

Slouchy Pocket Top

$19.88 PLUS 50% off = $9.94

Flutter Sleeve Top
$16.88 PLUS 50% off = $8.44

Knife Pleat Shell
$19.99 PLUS 50% off = $9.99

Faux Fur Collar Ponte Bomber Jacket
$89.99 PLUS 50% off = $44.99

Ruffle Bib 3/4 Sleeve Top
34.99 PLUS 50% off = $17.50

Printed Ruffle Front Sleeveless Dress
$24.88 PLUS 50% off = $12.44

Tall Modern Flare Leg Pants in Stretch Twill
$48.99 PLUS 50% off = $24.50

Shirred Shoulder Cardigan
NOW $25

Modern Flare Fine Wale Corduroy Pants
NOW $35.00

Striped Short Sleeve Sweater Dress
NOW $35.00

Happy Shopping! Not every size and color are available but the AMAZING deals are worth looking through to find some awesome stuff. On top of their GREAT deals the quality of clothing from the Loft is SUPERB!

That's my Shiny ~


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shiny of the Week: SNOW!

We've had an awesome week, including our first snow!! This was a GREAT first snow too! Not only did it snow, it stuck around long enough for us to play in! 

It was fitting because me and my Mr. spent ALL DAY last Saturday Christmas shopping and we found winter gear for the ENTIRE fam! Pretty awesome. So the kiddos and I got all decked out in our new gear and played in the (melting) snow. It was FANTASTIC!

My favorite part of the first snow, C's take on it: "Mom I want to lay in the snow and do this" as he was laying on the floor moving his arms and legs, making snow angel motions.  So sweet! The BEST comment "Mom I want to feel the snow on my lips" while sweetly touching his lips and looking out the window. LOVE that kid!

That's my Shiny ~


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


For those of you that are madly in LURVE with Pintrest like I am, this post is for you (or if you just like some DIY and good food). Yes, Pintrest can be addicting and time consuming HOWEVER, the inspiration (or pinSPIRATION) it provides and the access to so many great ideas has actually seemed to make me MORE productive! Double bonus! With all this pinning and creating, I thought you all might be interested in some of the pinSPIRATION going on around here!

Pinned Image
Yarn covered ombre lamp shade, by Vintage Revivals.
Pinned Image
Beautiful yarn covered letters, sold here on Etsy.


A cute little ombre yarn covered letter or what I like to call fruit striped letter. I am REALLY happy with how it turned out. It adds a little texture to her room and lots of color and pattern. Oh, and if you are wondering about the AMAZING print next to the Q, well that is a wonderful wood cut print, made by my good friend at Box64Studios, you can buy it here on Etsy (she is VERY talented and she has LOTS of great stuff at her shop).

I bought the letter a while ago because it was on clearance, I love the letter Q and I thought it would be a cute addition to my Q's bedroom. first I thought I was going to paint it but hadn't come up with anything special enough. So when I read this post on Vintage Revivals and saw this AWESOME lamp shade I thought about my little waiting letter. I had also seen a yarn wrapped letters floating around on pintrest (like these beauties available on Etsy) so it seemed like the PERFECT option. Once I went to Michael's checked out the yarn and found what I was looking for, my PinSPIRATIONs became a creation!
This project was easy and VERY inexpensive. I bought the letter at Hobby Lobby for $1.50 and the multi-colored ombre yarn at Michael's for $1.25. Total project cost $2.75. NOT SHABBY! The longest part of the process was untangling the yarn, I should have unwound and rewound the yarn before starting, lesson for next time. It also took a bit to figure out how to wrap the bottom portion of the Q, but once I worked through that it was smooth sailing. I probably spent a total of an 1 1/2 hours on this project and did it while watching some TV with a snoozing family upstairs. It was quite relaxing and enjoyable!

Bonus! PinSPIRATION Recipe:
Pinned Image

I made this recipe this week. It was VERY good. A great spin on tex-mex but sans some of the traditional flavors (tomato and chili powder). So if you are like my family and REALLY like tex-mex, it is always good to forgo something like tomatoes and add something like beer (don't worry it cooks out) to mix up the flavs a bit so you don't get tired of the same old tastes. 

I did mix it up a bit and added ground sirloin, which was a great addition! We are carnivores in this house. We try veg only dishes but the Hubs is in the pantry an hour later, veggies just don't quite fill us up. 

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart.com, found via Pintrest

  • 5 flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 ounces beer, or 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Sour Cream


  1. Preheat oven to 425  degrees. Use a large spring form pan or a round glass baking casserole dish such as Corning ware
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned.
  3. Add beans and beer, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in corn and scallions, and remove from heat. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  4. Fit a tortilla in bottom of  dish; layer with 1/4 of the beans and 1/2 cup of cheese. Repeat three times, using remaining  cheese on top layer. Bake until cheese melts, 15 -20 minutes. To serve, slice into wedges. Top each slice with sour cream and avocados.

YUMMY! This was a great all in one dish packed with protein! Both kids REALLY liked it too.

That's my Shiny ~


If you haven't checked it out yet, these awesome ladies are having a Pintrest Challenge where you can find LOTS of amazing pinSPIRATION to creation going on!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Real Deal: Cozy Texture

Adding texture and pattern to a room immediately adds coziness and warmth to the space. Check out these textural beauties and bargains to cozy up your abode! 

Like the Look:

West Elm 8x10 expresso chevron rug: $479.00

Crate and Barrel green leather chair: $1,999.00

Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover - Pastels
West Elm Amethyst Lamb Wool Pillow: $54.00
Total: $2,532.00

Like the Price:

Overstock.com Espresso Chevron Rug: $154.99

Moss Marcus Bonded Leather Chair | World Market
World Market Chair: $199.99 plus 25% off (that's $150.00)!!!

Light Purple Mongolian Wool Pillow
Pier One Wool Pillow: $19.88


One of the hottest patterns right now is chevron. A great way to incorporate this bold texture into a space is with a rug in neutral colors, I like the contrast of the choclate and cream tones of these rugs. These handsome green leather chairs would add a classic and masculine element to any room. The green color provides character but acts as a pseudo neutral. For a hint of whimsy and feminine throw a fuzzy wool pillow in lavendar on the chair to compliment the heavier green tone. 

Now this is some texture I could really snuggle into. Wouldn't this create such a fantastic reading corner?!

That's my Shiny ~


P.S. I am seriously considering purchasing the World Market green leather chair. I made a trip to World Market last week and the chair is a beauty in person and quite comfy too!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween in Review

After Monday's AMAZIMNG Halloween antics it was hard to peel myself out of bed yesterday morning, it was a busy day but we had so much fun! The day consisted of a special Halloween play-date, our first trick-or-treating visit at Daddy's work, a nap for the kiddos, our second visit at a friends house, then Gram came over for dinner and pictures, trick-or-treating in our neighborhood, walking to a near by neighborhood to meet friends and their kiddos to finish the trick-or-treating fun! WHAT A DAY!

Here is a little of the fun in review:

The cutest Pebbles and Bam-Bam around. I had lots of fun making their costumes. I'd provide a tutorial, but really have no idea what I did, sorry friends. This was very much a "wing-it" type project.

Our big man is growing up! Monday night was an eye opening experience realizing that our oldest is not really a toddler anymore, he is growing up and doing it FAST! He loved every minute of knocking on doors, shouting trick-or-treat and holding out his bag. He was also so polite, he said thank you at EVERY house! So proud.

A little more than CRAZY is to think of Halloween last year, our little lady wasn't even here yet! Oh how fast the year has gone and gosh how things have changed! It is REALLY amazing to think that we now can't picture life without our littlest feisty chick!

A few extras from the week:

Halloween Treats, courtesy of pintrest via Taste of Home. These peanut butter crunch treats are delicious, inexpensive, a cinch to make and FESTIVE!

Painted pumpkins with friends.

Made our own big Jack-o-Lantern with leaves we collected and glue. Great way for C to help without knives, the yucky center or a rotting pumpkin, just a couple cute sticky fingers.

Paper plate Halloween masks, we made for my October book club last week (we had a fun contest). C was a great helper with both masks. He also had his very own mask to make but was too preoccupied playing SUPERHERO to get beyond one long orange doodle across the front before flying around the house.

Happy Halloween!

That's my Shiny ~ J