Foodie Faves

A Reason to Celebrate

A little long while ago I shared with you a tutorial on how I made a wreath for my niece’s birthday party. We did a lot more for the party so I thought I would share with you some party pics today. It was a fabulous modern shabby chic party. These are the invitations I designed.

Shower Invitations-001

We coordinated a few other things with the invitation. Like the stickers on the cups and the ice cream dishes/cups and on the favor bags. It was difficult to find cups that were grey rather than silver but my friend, Amber was out shopping and found some lacy grey ones. She also won the hero of the month award for that and a shameless plug for her cookie business, A Cookie Family. Seriously, check it out. Girl has talent! Now, back to this party. Those little chevron bags are from Cute Tape and they have sugar cookies in them

Misc Edits-001

No shabby chic party would be complete without some doilies right? Well, they were on the favor bags for the kids and on the clear plastic plates

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic PartyThen there is lace. Lace is a must too, don’t ya think? Maybe some lace on the utensils?

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

The tablecloth was lace layered over a white tablecloth. And what about that absolutely adorable little birthday girl?

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

And I absolutely adore this lacy little bird that I found right before the party

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

We were going to make lace wrappers for the cupcakes, but I found some lacy looking cupcake liners that didn’t require sewing a bunch of lace so we went with those. That little grey owl was a bonus for my niece who has an owl room.

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

It was difficult to find the smokey purple color in a lot of things, so we improvised. We created some yarn balls/lanterns and hung them from the trees outside. And by “we” I mean my parents/Evalee’s grandparents, of course.

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

We used two colors of grey and that fab smokey purple. I also used those same colors of yarn to make a yarn pom tree for the table

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

In addition to this wreath that I made,


I also used the fabric strips to make a rag banner. I had to do a lot of shopping to find the right purples for this banner. It was a tough mission, but I took one for the team.

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

I found some cardstock in the right color so I made a pennant banner for Miss E complete with jute string and little clothespins. Post party, Evalee got to hang her name up in her room

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

I used the same cardstock for the labels on the beverages that were tied on with more of those fabric scraps

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

The fabric strips also proved useful for making the cans of whipped cream for the pancake bar look less like, well, cans of whipped cream. First they were wrapped in fabric and then Evalee chose the strips to tie around the middle. Don’t be concerned about the pancakes. They are supposed to look like that. We added purple sprinkles to the pancakes. It’s in the details right? I also bribed my mom into making little heart shaped pats of butter. I really need to just make a bunch of those and put them in my freezer.

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

The other food was apple slices with fruit dip and then there is my SIL’s absolutely famous tater tot casserole. When I say famous, I mean famous. It’s all over Pinterest. Seriously, I pinned this recipe a couple years ago and occasionally I still find it showing up being pinned by people I follow. So crazy that it’s still making the rounds! She usually makes it in a 9×13 pan and then a couple years ago, I started making it in a muffin pan because I have a love affair with my muffin pan. I suggested this for the party and Jenna loved it, so that’s what she did. My recommendation is that if you are going to make them this way use foil lined cupcake liners or no liners at all.

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

That’s the short of the party. It was absolutely adorable.Just like the birthday girl

Vintage Modern Shabby Chic Party

A couple weeks before Evalee’s birthday, she had an allergic reaction to her dog. Then she had one to her cat. The first reaction was a shock. They didn’t know she was allergic to the animals, but knowing the signs of anaphylaxis, Jenna gave her an epi shot and after a trip in the ambulance to the hospital she went home that night. Fast forward and she reacted to Jazmyn also. Another epi shot and Bailey and Jazmyn got new homes. Bailey, the dog, is now living with my aunt and if you follow me on Instagram you may be able to deduce that Jazmyn now lives with us. It’s sobering to think that if my brother and sister-in-law weren’t educated advocates for their daughter, we may not have been celebrating Evalee’s fifth birthday with her. It’s also a reminder that each day is precious and a gift. It’s up to us to make it count!






Categories: Everyone Loves a Party, Foodie Faves, It's Our Life, The Road to Understanding | Leave a comment

A Paint Shower – Part 1

I painted a lot of stuff for my SIL’s bridal shower. Generally speaking I’m a laid back easy going type of person. The exception to this rule is party planning. I seriously go all type A and it can get ugly if I don’t get exactly what I want. The colors have to be right. The mood has to be right. It just has to be right. The theme for Lindsee’s shower was a garden brunch. It was at a local park in a pavilion and it was cute! The colors were pink and green so everything had to be pink and green. I searched and searched for just the right platters for the food (I told you it was a problem) and couldn’t find anything. If you’re on Pinterest you’ve probably seen the candlestick and plate make a cupcake stand thing. I was at Dollar Tree and decided to check out their candlestick and glass plate situation. Score! I also finally braved taking my phone into Dollar Tree again to take this picture. Every time I go in there since the cashier stole my last one, I leave it in the car. But I knew I was going to want Kristen’s opinion on this one so I braved it.

We had four things that were going to go on platters and instead of refilling while people were standing there, we wanted to do switch outs so I picked up eight plates and eight candlesticks.

I could have left them the way they were, but decided that they needed some paint. Something to go with the ombre obsession perhaps? I think so. Fortunately I only had to buy one can of paint. Either I was thinking ahead or I just have too much paint. Let’s go with the first one.

Step one was to peel off all the stickers and clean the surface. Then I pulled out my new drop cloth that probably can’t be classified as new with all the paint that it has on it now. I laid out all the plates face down on the drop cloth.

Time for paint. Thin even coats. Always, thin even coats.

Then the candlesticks. Same treatment

I wanted to be able to put food straight onto the platters so I didn’t paint the tops. They may have been okay, but poisoning people at a bridal shower with paint chips and chemicals was not something I was interested in doing or a chance I was willing to take.

If you visited our house in the midst of this chaos you would have had to walk by this scene on our deck. I promise the other thing I painted is coming soon – maybe later today depending on my ambition level.

Here’s my favorite picture of them, courtesy of my Instagram addiction. So for some of you this picture may be a repeat. (psst – if you’re not following me on Instagram my user name is thisDIYlife. Really original aren’t I?)

I could have glued them together but decided to just try balancing because I wanted to be able to store them easily. Balancing worked well for the most part. Only one person almost dumped the platter. I call that a win. They matched the colors of the shower and they were classy and fun. They got used for the wedding too.

Price breakdown?

  • Glass plate – $1 at Dollar Tree
  • Candlestck – $1 at Dollar Tree
  • Spray paint – $4 at Menards – I think you could easily paint 8-10 of these in one can of paint if you weren’t ombre obsessed like me.
  •     Total – $6

So, that’s part two of the bridal shower and part one of the stuff I painted for it.

Categories: Everyone Loves a Party, Foodie Faves, Projects | Tags: | Leave a comment

Watching the Corn Grow

I went to college in North Carolina. Most of my friends would tease me about being from Iowa. “What do y’all do there? Watch potatoes grow?” No. That is not was we do in Iowa. Perhaps in Idaho they watch potatoes grow. “In Iowa, we watch corn grow and go through giant corn mazes.” True story. Keep in mind that this was in 1997 before the corn maze craze spread out of Iowa. Anyway, did you know that there is an actual webcam sitting in an an Iowa field where you can watch the corn grow? It’s like watching paint dry only not as exciting. Or in my case, it’s like watching baby’s breath grow.

That’s right, it’s time for another installment in the saga. In case you’ve been missing out on my whining, you can find the other installments here, here and here. This is last week’s picture

You’ll notice that the sprinkler is missing from today’s picture. It’s been making the rounds in the yard and I’ve decided to start watering this by hand with some MiracleGro Bloom Booster.

It looks like it might be helping some. I hope that it’s not too little too late.

Something kind of exciting and unexpected happened at our house last week. After still not being able to find a job, I decided that maybe it was time to push a restart button on my career. I’m a bit of a “go big or go home” type of person so I signed up for four online classes through our local community college.

Quite frankly, I’m not sure what I have gotten myself into, but I know it will be interesting. You might not be able to guess from those book titles, but my official major is interior design. Is anyone surprised? I think the classes I’m taking this summer will help me write better blog posts. Let me know if I get too technical and I need to throw in an Amy-ism like using ORB as a verb.

So I know I keep telling you to check me out (not like that) on Instagram. Being so busy with my brother & SILTB’s wedding and the bridal shower and now throwing school into the mix, sometimes there just isn’t time to write a blog post, but I’ll Instagram a picture like this one. A Mint S’moreo that was inspired by a Strawberry S’moreo pin that my dear friend enabler Kristen made me aware of.

I also ate my first hot dog in over 18 years (no exaggeration)

Kristen has also introduced me to Postagram. Can I tell you how fun it is to send random postcards for no reason other than I felt like it? I took my nephew Landon out for ice cream last week at ColdStone then sent him a postcard thanking him for not making me eat alone.

If you don’t have Instagram, I share all the pictures on Twitter and if I can ever figure out how to get them to post to my facebook page instead of my personal facebook timeline, they will be there too. Anyone know how I can change that? Or add it. Somehow I don’t think it will be covered in my Intro to Computers class…that I’m taking online. Is that strange to just me? Anyway, earlier today I shared this picture on Instagram with the caption”Peas and paint. It’s an interesting afternoon in our house…or rather on our deck.”

I’m off to finish off the peas. I recommend not eating the peas if you come to our house.

Categories: Best Laid Plans, Foodie Faves, It's Our Life, Projects | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Scary S’mores

I know, I know, another s’more post. But this one is a little bit different…promise. As soon as I saw a s’more idea for trick-or-treaters on Pinterest (here) I knew that our neighborhood kids would be getting them! I also thought it was the perfect way for us to make sure that it would be peanut free and I could add a tag that let people know that too. I wanted to share this with you today just in case you wanted a weekend project.

It was easy to find printed bags, but how would people see the cute little ghost in there with that? The Peeps and Hershey bars I got at Target and I got some treat bags at Hobby Lobby.

I took one graham cracker and broke it in half and put it in the bag.Then I put the Peep in and then the Hershey bar. I know that might seem like it’s pretty basic, but the order of Peep then chocolate will save you some headaches. I was putting the Hershey bar in first then the Peep and when you tear apart the Peeps it leaves a little bit of sticky marshmallowy goodness that is very attracted to Hershey bar wrappers. When I put the Peep in first then the chocolate my ghosts started looking less like blobby melted snowmen.

How to seal them? The original post had ribbon and I bought some black ribbon after a series of texts with my friend Kristen aka the North Carolina version of me…or I’m the Iowa version of her, depending on which one of us you knew first. She had the cutest idea of adding googly eyes to the ribbon to make them look like bats. Awesome right? I ran out of ribbon but did have some black tulle laying around, so some of these will be batty and some just have black tulle and some will have batty ribbons

Then there was the tag. I haven’t settled on what it’s going to look like yet, but I’m thinking it will be something like this

How cute are my babies in their Halloween costumes? Can you tell that Bella is a butterfly and Bristol is a blowfish? Do you know how difficult it is to get pictures of two cats sitting still in their Halloween costumes? This was my plan. I took the orange cushions from our deck chair and put them on the floor in the well lit three seasons porch. With some help from my trusty friend duct tape I put up some black polka dot fabric I had sitting around. Bristol would be on the left and Bella on the right. Easy schmeezy right?

Me: “Here Bella…mommy will give you some treats to put your costume on”

Little Miss Independent was done and took off. No amount of chicken and cheese treats was going to get her to stay there any longer.

Maybe I can photoshop the two of them together? Bristol’s turn for the bribes

Somehow he was able to just walk out of his costume…sneaky, sneaky

When we go reverse trick-or-treating on Monday, I hope they stay in their costumes better than they did for the photo shoot. Reverse trick-or-treating you ask? We dress up the kids and take them to other people and give them treats. This year we’ll be going to see their doctor and all the wonderful people at Marion Animal Hospital. We want to thank them for taking such good care of our whole family this year through some very rough times with Beau and Brady. They are just amazing and all of us think they deserve some great treats.

What are y’all doing to get ready for Halloween? Are you dressing up? Share pictures of your Halloween night on our facebook page!

Categories: Foodie Faves, Projects | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Nummy Nummy

Part of being a DIYer (for me anyway) is cooking at home instead of going out to eat. As I was making one of my favorite meals last weekend, I decided I wanted to share it with someone. Of course I chose y’all! It’s so cheap and easy so it left me more time for painting and isn’t that the DIYer’s true goal?

A few years ago I joined a cooking website called Group Recipes. It’s kinda like a Pinterest for Cooks. You can follow people (see my page here) and the recipes they add and comment and rate them and if you’re looking for a dish with a certain ingredient you can search that way. This recipewas one of the first that I added and I thought I would share some of the comments that this has gotten

  • My family loved this! I have two picky boys and a picky husband. It’s not often they all rave about a meal. I did not have to tweek this recipe. It made it’s own gravy and we served them over garlic mashed potatoes. Egg noodles would probably work too. Super fast to make. I threw this together before we went off to church in less than 2 minutes.
  • This roast is fantastic! Lovely flavour a hit at my house!
  • OMG, this was the best ever pot roast I have made.

I took some pictures for you, but I must warn you that the lighting in my kitchen is terrible and I’m no food photographer. This recipe has only five ingredients and one of them is water! Awesome right?!?! If you’re ready for the absolute best roast you’ve ever had then keep reading. One condition, if you try it, you have to let me know what you think.

The five things you’ll need are

  • 1 package ranch dressing Mix
  • 1 package brown gravy mix
  • 1 package Italian dressing mix
  • beef roast that will fit in your crock pot
  • 1 cup water

Combine all of the mixes and the water together. I use this handy dandy little dressing mixer from Pampered Chef to make sure they are all mixed well

Put your roast in the crock pot and pour the mixture over the top of the roast

Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 hours. For the last 1-2 hours, this is going to smell so good that you won’t want to let it finish cooking. This is the only way we make roast in our house now – it’s perfect!

I hope you’ll enjoy this easy dish in the crock pot this fall and winter. Why not try it this weekend? Don’t forget to let me know if you try it. Inquiring minds want to know!



Categories: Foodie Faves | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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