The Road to Understanding

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

Especially for You

A few weeks ago I was able to spend some quality time with my mom and Cora (my step-mom) and 15,860 of our closest friends. We took part in the Especially for You Race Against Breast Cancer

This year was my fourth year in the race and participating in this is one of my favorite things to do each year. If you don’t live around us, chances are that you don’t know what this is and what it’s for…other than what I just told you. A local hospital has a fund that provides breast health screenings for uninsured and under-insured women in our area. There are three main reasons I participate in this walk.

I walk in memory of my cousin Ren. Ten years ago Ren went home after a battle with breast cancer. Here’s a picture of Ren and her family. Ren made all the dresses for the girls and for their dolls. Ren was my dad’s first cousin and she lived a few hours away from us, so I didn’t know her well. But two things that I know about Ren that left a huge impression on my life are that she loved her God and she loved her family.

I also walk in memory of my Aunt Irene. Aunt Irene was at every single family gathering we ever had. She taught me to take advantage of the time that I have with my family and cherish each moment I have with them.

It wasn’t long ago that I found myself in a situation where I needed that fund. Just before Christmas about six years ago I found a lump, which is frightening enough on it’s own and when you don’t have insurance it’s even more so. I went to Mercy Medical Center and thanks to Especially For You, I was able to get the care I needed even without the insurance. Now that we are able, we love being able to give back to something that was such a help to us in a time when we needed it. The first year I participated (2008) I walked the 5K by myself. The next year, Michael and I did it together because that’s what we wanted to do for our anniversary.

Last year was the 20th annual race and I donned my pink shirt and went for a walk again

This year my mom and Cora joined me for the walk. At some point, all three of us have worked (and Cora still does) with a very special lady named Sandy who is now a breast cancer survivor

When we heard there was going to be a team Sandy we were right there to sign up so we could support her and an organization that does so much for early detection in our community.

At 8:00 on a Sunday morning, we were off and racing against breast cancer

Thanks for walking with me Mom and Cora

I have no idea how long it took us to walk the 3.2 miles, but I’m sure glad we did it. Next year I’m going to try to talk my sisters into doing it with us and make a girls’ day out of it.

Have you done anything for Breast Cancer Awareness this month?

Categories: It's Our Life, The Road to Understanding | Tags: | 1 Comment


My grandma’s a quilter and a little over a week ago she had some of her quilts on display at a quilt show so my uncle and I took a little trip to go see them. I had never been to a quilt show, so it was fun to just go and I really enjoyed seeing Grandma’s quilts on display. If you didn’t make it to the quilt show, I thought I would share with you a few of my favorites. These are some of my grandma’s quilts…cause you know they are my favorites. I have to warn you, if you are a quilter, you may know the name of these patterns like Grandma does, but I do not. Maybe Grandma will let us all know what they are

Grandma had a few others, but my pictures didn’t turn out that great. I will show you one more of hers in a little bit. First, here are some from the featured quilters

Two others that caught my eye. I love the colors in this one!

I had to take a picture of this quilt for my dear friend Kristen

Have I ever told you that I used to work in a chocolate shop? One day when the boss was away the mice ladies did play.

Does that look familiar? Maybe a little like this part of that quilt?

I also stopped at one of the vendor booths¬† when I was walking by and saw some fabric that was designed by my high school BFF Melissa. It’s part of her Wildwood collection and I’m so excited to use it. Maybe in our second floor hallway with some curtain lining fabric? The brown in it goes perfect with the mocha color on the walls. Melissa’s blog is always on my sidebar in the blogroll, but you can check it out here.

Lastly, the piece de la resitance from the quilt show. Grandma used thousands of little pieces of OPS (other people’s scraps) to make this quilt. The pieces represent the thousands of people dealing with Alzheimer’s. After the quilt show, she donated the quilt to the Alzheimer’s Association. Here she is with the quilt she made

Continuing with my I-can’t-expect-people-to-understand-if-I’m-not-willing-to-help-educate philosophy (see the infertility post here and the severe allergy and anaphylaxis post here) I wanted to share with you about Alzheimer’s. My grandpa passed away in 2000 after living with Alzheimer’s and Grandma cared for him full time. To learn more about Alzheimer’s please visit the Alzheimer’s Association website. There you can find out what it is and the ten warning signs to watch for.

I can’t wait to go to another quilt show since I had to leave this one early. Have you ever been to a quilt show? Did you love it? Would you love to go to one? Wanna go with me?

Categories: Meet and Greet, Projects, The Road to Understanding | Tags: | 2 Comments

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