Baby shower for a friend (Part 2)

As you read yesterday, I threw a baby shower for two friends this past weekend. I decided to stick with their theme for the baby’s room, which is jungle, and get decorations to match. What better place to go for personalized, adorable jungle themed decorations than Etsy!

First, I searched for invitations. There were so many out there to choose from. They were all cute, but it was the wording of the final invitation that caught my attention.

Invitation Edited

Photo courtesy of shop owner.

Seriously though, how cute! Thanks to Designs by DVB for designing these adorable invitations. It was very easy to work with the shop owner. She responded to messages in a timely manner, and had the invitations ready to go and shopped in just a few days. The parents-to-be loved them and immediately placed their copy in the baby’s book.

Sticking with the jungle theme I found these adorable diaper cakes on Etsy that I decided to place around the room.

Diaper cakes 0

Photo courtesy of shop owner.

I messaged the store owner (Diapercake4Less) and quickly found out she would be closing her shop for a couple of weeks to celebrate her son’s birthday. No worries! There was plenty of time to get them ordered at the beginning of July and have them in time for the shower. To my amazement, when I contacted the shop owner on July 2 (per her instructions) she had already completed the diaper cakes! She informed me that she would send them out the following Monday, which she did, and I had should have them just a few days later, which I did. They were a perfect addition to the shower. I added the balloons to make them a little bigger since the room was so large (the rec room at my apartment complex was the venue).

Diaper cakes 1 Diaper cakes 2In addition to the diaper cakes I found this great banner on Etsy by NiuDesigns. The shop owner was wonderful to work with, and even though this was one of the last things I ordered for the shower it arrived in plenty of time. I positioned it on the gift table where everyone would see it as the parents opened up their gifts. Another great addition to the shower.

Its a boy bannerThe parents loved the sign, as well as the diaper cakes, and they couldn’t wait to take them home and incorporate them into the baby’s room.

One thing I didn’t take pictures of was “Wishes for the Baby” wall. I found a printable documents that guests could fill out for the baby. For example, one of the wishes said, “I hope you learn…” Guests filled these out and then hung them on ribbon using these adorable clothes pins on Etsy (TinyLittleCharms)

Tiny little charms clothes pins

Photo courtesy of shop owner.

I ordered the monkey, elephant, lion and giraffe. The parents loved this! They couldn’t wait to take them home and share the wishes with their little boy one day.

Thanks to The Party Stork for supplying the wishes cards, wild guesses card (when the baby will be born and how big he’ll be), and our two games (match the adult animal to the baby animal and old wives tales – does it predict a boy or a girl). They were both a hit!

Of course the most important question is, what was on the menu?! I put together a menu that was easy, and included mom-to-be’s favorite foods. I found theme matching food cards at The Storks Shop on Etsy that I put with each item so people knew what they were eating.

Appetizers: Hummus and veggies & Salsa and chips

Side dishes: BLT Pasta Salad (gluten and dairy free), Quinoa Salad with asparagus, sundried tomatoes and feta cheese & Fruit Salad

Main dishes: Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers, Chicken marinated in Italian dressing & Brats

Dessert: Funfeti cupcakes & a Candy Bar (Gummy Bears from Sprouts (best gummy bears), Jordan Almonds and Homemade Cookie Dough Bites)

I took pictures of some of the food, but got so distracted I didn’t get pictures of all the food.

SaladsDessert BarCandyI had a blast putting together this baby shower for my friends. It’s a lot of work prepping, cooking and setting up, but it’s something I love to do! I love planning parties and executing them. It makes it that much more enjoyable when it’s for family and friends. Here we are three days later and I’m still recovering. 🙂 At the end of the day, it was a blast and the parents-to-be were very pleased.

Baby Shower for a friend (part 1)

Note: This is a two-part blog.

This past weekend I threw a baby shower for two friends of mine. The father-to-be is best friend’s with my boyfriend, and the mom-to-be has become a friend of mine. A few months ago they were preparing to go to a doctor’s appointment to learn the gender of their baby. At first they wanted to know and share the news with friends at a baby gender reveal party (this is definitely a new trend), but then they changed their minds and decided they wanted to find out together with all their friends. Did I mention that I offered to bake the cake that revealed the gender? Oh the pressure to keep a secret – from everyone!

Two days before I moved into my new place and got the little piece of paper telling me whether or not my friend’s were having a boy or a girl, I had a really crazy dream. Let me preface by saying, I’ve had deja vu moments, but I’ve never had dreams where I’ve talked to someone who has passed or dreamt something that ends up coming true. Well, Wednesday night I went to bed and had the following dream – I’m in the kitchen baking a cake for the baby reveal party. As I start to fill the middle of the cake with frosting there is a knock on my door. I open the door to find the parents-to-be. The mom-to-be says, “Why are you filling that with blue frosting?” To which I replied, “It’s blue because you’re having a boy.” The mom-to-be asked how it was possible I knew they were having a boy since they hadn’t given me the piece of paper. I looked at her and said, “I just know!” I woke up not thinking much of it.

That Friday while I was moving the parents-to-be came over with the piece of paper inside a sealed envelope. After they handed it to me and left, I stood there staring at the envelope. I was nervous to open it! I knew they wanted a girl, and was hoping they wouldn’t be disappointed if the paper said boy. Well, I opened the envelope and the piece of paper read, “Baby Boy!” Ugh! My heart sank. For a brief moment I felt bad for them because I knew they wanted a girl. Then I quickly turned my attitude around and thought, the most important thing is that they have a healthy baby.

Saturday morning I woke up and baked the cake along with 2 dozen cupcakes with blue frosting in the center. Chocolate cake per the mom’s request and funfeti cupcakes for everyone else:

Chocolate cake before adding the frosting:

Cake before

Chocolate cake after the frosting is complete:

Cake after

Cupcakes with blue frosting!

Cupcakes with blue frosting

Here we are a few months later and we just celebrated the parents-to-be this past weekend with a shower. I had a fun time picking out invitations and decorations, along with planning the menu. The theme of the nursery is jungle – so that was theme for the baby shower. More to come tomorrow! 🙂

Focus T25 – Days 38-40, Plus My Weekend

Y’all I don’t even know what day of the week it is anymore. Thankfully last week went by quick (first full week back since the holidays) because I was so busy, which is good thing. I finished off the week with some great workouts and a girls night on Friday night.

T25 still challenges me on a daily basis. It’s a solid 25 minutes of cardio, with the occasional weight thrown in with circuit training during the Beta phase (month 2). My favorite part is that it’s only 25 minutes and I’m getting in a great workout. I know though that I would have better results if I was eating better. This is something I’m focusing on this week.

Last Tuesday, my workout was Upper Focus – a lot of push ups, upper cuts and vertical jumps. I know that I’ve gotten stronger because I can do all the push ups regular versus bending my knees. It’s a great feeling for sure!

Day 37 T25_1 Day 37 T25_2 Day 37 T25_3

Wednesday’s workout was Speed 2.0. I like 2.0 better than 1.0 because you are challenged to really give it your all. You do one set of moves three times; each time getting faster. You then do another set of moves three times, with each round going a little faster. Finally, you complete the workout with 3 rounds of all the moves combined. This workout goes so fast, and you’re dripping in sweat by the end of the 25 minutes. It’s awesome!

Day 38 T25_1 Day 38 T25_2

Rip’T Circuit on Thursday brought on the weights & lots of core action. I’ve been using 7.5 pounds, and was thinking about increasing it to 10 pounds this week, but can’t for reasons I’ll explain in a minute. Pretty bummed. Happy I got in a great workout last week though with the weights.

Day 39 T25_1 Day 39 T25_2 Day 39 T25_3 Day 39 T25_4

Friday, Friday, never looked so good! Woke up ready to rumble. Today was double workout of Dynamic Core & Speed 2.0. My first workout was great & went so well. I started Speed 2.0 and was not feeling the workout. I have no idea what was wrong, but I just couldn’t get moving. Has that ever happened to you during a workout?

Day 40 T25_1 Day 40 T25_2

I told myself I was going to do it when I got home, but I didn’t. I won’t make excuses because I could have made those 25 minutes work, but I didn’t. Instead I started cooking dinner for my girlfriend’s that came over for a girls night. I made roasted tomatoes stuffed with gluten-free bread crumbs and blue cheese; green bean, mushroom, kale and onion cassarole; and white fish with sauteed leeks and shallots. For dessert I made a gluten-free raspberry pound cake with homemade whipped cream.

Dinner on Friday

It was a pretty amazing dinner. The dishes were full of flavor and pretty healthy. I was a happy camper 🙂 I think my guests liked it too! We had such a great time. Nothing like a night with good friends!

Saturday the boy and I went and grabbed lunch. I enjoyed this gluten-free open sandwich of fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and vegan pesto. AMAZING!

Saturday Lunch

On Sunday, I planned out my meals for the week and went to the grocery store. Later that night I decided to prepare what I could for the week and watch the Golden Globes. I prepared three salads, cooked two spaghetti squash and one butternut squash, and made protein pancakes from Tone It Up. I was on such a role until I had a bit of an argument with my immersion blender. I won’t get into details (I still have my whole finger), but I did have to make a visit to the Emergency Room Center on South Lamar. The boy and the staff at this center were my heroes for the night. I’m so crazy that I went home after being at the ER and remade the protein pancakes that were ruined the first time around.

Weekly meal prep 2  Weekly meal prepWeekly meal prep 3

Yesterday morning I wasn’t disappointed. I enjoyed protein pancakes with fresh strawberries and a little maple syrup. Last night I needed to eat something in order to take my antibiotics, so I enjoyed a grapefruit and raspberry pound cake mini muffins (I had extra batter on Friday so I made mini muffins).

Clean eating

I didn’t get in a workout yesterday due to doctor instructions, which is probably a good thing because the workout was Rip’T Circuit. Not sure if I should be lifting with my finger situation. I’m going to try and do it tonight and modify the moves (shifting all my workouts this week one day). Here’s to a quick recovery for my finger!!!

Question: In all my years of life I have never had stitches or injured myself in the kitchen until Sunday. I made it 30 years, and killed two birds with one stone. Have you ever injured yourself in the kitchen & how? Also, have you ever had to get stitched & why?

Hello, yeah, it’s been a while…

Hello friends! I took a little break from social media to enjoy family and friends this holiday season. It was a much needed break, but I’m happy to be back. How was everyone’s Christmas? Was Santa good to you?

For the 8th year in a row I spent Christmas in New Jersey with two great high school friends of mine. They are a brother and sister (the brother and I were in the same grade), and we started this tradition the year their father passed. I’m thankful for the tradition we start, even under the very terrible circumstance. This family has become like a second family to me, and I’m always grateful for the time I get to spend with them.

It was weird flying to New Jersey for Christmas. The last 7 years I drove because I was just in Maryland. This year was different for a couple reasons – 1) I had been to NJ since March, 2) I was flying home for the holidays, and 3) I brought the boy with me. 🙂 He was definitely more ready for this than I was. I was nervous about him fitting in and about what everyone would think. I should have known better that he would be just fine. He’s a social butterfly and will talk to anyone.

A favorite Christmas tradition of mine is pub caroling the eve before Christmas eve. It’s a time when all their good friends gather together at the local pub drink lots, donate monies to a great cause, and sing lots of carols. It’s a really special time. Here are a few pictures from the evening

Pub caroling

Christmas eve’s tradition means lots of kids running around having fun, playing with toys and eating lots of food. This year there were 16 kids and 25 adults…yep you read that correctly. It was pure chaos and everything I love about Christmas and the holidays.

I got these fun new kicks for Christmas

New kicks

My eating wasn’t the best while I was gone, but I was fairly under control considering I couldn’t eat cookies (none of them were gluten-free) or most of Christmas eve dinner because it was Italian. Don’t get me wrong I did NOT go hungry. I was very fortunate that my friends’ sister and brother-in-law brought the three gluten-free people gluten-free PF Changs. It was delicious and made me chuckle a little – a Jew eating Chinese food on Christmas. Haha! Good times.

I am happy to report that I kept up with my workouts while I was on, and even started phase 2 Beta last week. I’ll fill you in tomorrow on the workouts. Hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Focus T25 – Days 15 & 16

I don’t want to get too far behind on my week, so I’m doing a double edition Tuesday!

Let me start off by saying I had THE MOST incredible birthday weekend and birthday on Sunday. I was surrounded by three of my favorite things – friends, football and food; sorry I was so busy cooking I didn’t take any pictures. Sorry!

Friday I got my workout in first thing

Focus T25 Day 15_1 Focus T25 Day 15_2

The hours at the office on Friday seemed to tick slower than normal. I was so excited about dinner that I couldn’t sit still.

Speaking of, I was a lucky girl who got to celebrate my birthday Friday night at one of my favorite restaurants, Uncle Julio’s. I was surrounded by amazing people and had a lot of laughs. One of my closest friends came into town from Houston with his wife. We never took a picture, but I’ll always remember that they were there. Thanks to the boy for the gluten-free carrot cake!

Birthday Celebration Friday Night

Saturday I enjoyed brunch with friends, went to the grocery store, took a little nap because I wasn’t feeling well, and then spent hours cooking. Saturday night I went to a holiday party. It was so much fun! Lots of laughs, great food, and fun games.

Holiday Party

Sunday was my birthday! I woke up to breakfast in bed from the boy. I told him it was the only thing I wanted for my birthday. He said he made my breakfast into a smiley face “because [I] make [him] smile every day.” Super sweet!

Sunday Funday Birthday

The picture of me with “The Dirty 30”  sunglasses is from Friday night. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures on Sunday, but it’s because I was cooking, watching football and enjoying my friends who came to hang. It was a great day! Here’s to a great year and some of the best years of my life ahead! Happy birthday to me!

Yesterday morning I was NOT in the mood to get up and workout, BUT I did it anyway! I actually had a great workout and was so glad I got up.

Focus T25 Day 16_1Focus T25 Day 16_2 Focus T25 Day 16_3

I was ready for what I thought would be a good day. Unfortunately, something at lunch I ate (I’m pretty sure it was the soup) did NOT sit well. I was down for the count the rest of the day, next to no appetite, so I forced myself to eat chicken noodle soup that I made.

Monday Lunch and Dinner

Here’s to a better Tuesday!

100 posts!

Happy 100 post to me! I’m excited to have start the post, and even more thrilled to have readers join me on this journey. Here’s a quick recap of all that has been going on:

Last week we continued to work on rolling out our new product line of gluten-free frozen topped pizzas and pizza crusts. We’re excited about what’s to come in 2014, and look forward to the product being on shelves nationwide. Over the weekend we went to our last show of the year. It was a good show; lots of positive feedback. We were even told by several people we were the talk of the show.

SFF Last event

Last week I had a mixture of clean eating, comfort food and some yummy gluten-free pizza (had to get it in since I won’t be able to enjoy it for 3 weeks; more to come on this tomorrow!)

My go to breakfast last week was oatmeal with almond milk, a banana or apple, peanut butter, cinnamon and honey. It’s really good, and so easy to make. Also, if you heat up the apples while making the oatmeal it makes it even better.

Oatmeal and peanut butter

Monday night the boy made dinner – grilled cheese on gluten-free bread and tomato soup. Comfort food on a rainy day = heaven!

Comfort food

Tuesday night I made the boy lobster. I lost a bet a few months back so I was living up to my word. Lobster with sauteed snow peas & squash, and garlic mashed potatoes. SOOO GOOD!

Lobster dinner

Wednesday night was another night of Via 313; hey I said I had to get it in 🙂 I also discovered Crispin Cider Georgia that they make in Bourbon barrels. It has great flavor and isn’t too sweet. If you’re gluten-free or just like cider, I highly recommend checking out along with their other Barrel Aged Limited Releases.

Via 313 Monday Night New cider

Oh and I ran into this friend on the way to dinner. It started going after my car. Not cool dude or dudette!

Bird on the use

Last week I found this fun trick-or-treat bag…magical

Mickey Mouse Ears

I got my order from Erin Condren – a 2014 planner and an address book. I love that I can personalize both of these, and they keep me very organized. Check our Erin’s stuff here: https://www.erincondren.com/. She has great stuff that can be personalized, and what better time than now with the holidays coming up (stationery, stickers, calendars, notepads, invitations, etc.)

New calendar for 2014

Last week was a good week. Stay tuned tomorrow to hear all about a 21-day reset I’m doing. Getting ready for the holidays and my sister’s wedding!

 

Heart’s Full!

I had a ridiculously awesome weekend!

Friday night I went to karaoke.

Karaoke

I didn’t have the courage to get up there and sing, but I did sing-along from my chair. It was so much fun!

Saturday was filled with quality time with the boy, errands, a girl’s afternoon with my friend Mary, a little cooking, and pizza and a lazy Saturday night.

After spending time with the boy and running errands, I met up with my friend Mary at Zach Theater where we saw Les Miserables. It was incredible! We had amazing seats too; 7 rows back, smack in the middle.

Les Miserables

I ended up walking to a from the theatre because it is only a mile from my place and the weather was INCREDIBLE this weekend. Sunny and low 70s. LOVED every second of it.

After the place I went back to my place and made some hummus for football the next day. My friend Sarah was coming and it was her one request. I ended up making a plain hummus and then split it into three bowls and made a sundried tomato hummus and an olive hummus. It’s so easy and simple to make hummus, it makes buying it seem silly and expensive.

Hummus

Saturday night I went to Via 313 for dinner. I had been craving it since one of my friends brought it up. If you’re in Austin, or visiting Austin, you MUST try Via 313 pizza. I know I’ve talk about it before, but it seriously is amazing. Two brothers from Detroit started the company a few years ago. They had moved to Austin with hopes of opening up a restaurant. Unfortunately that wasn’t in the cards for them at the time so they opened a food trailer. Since then they have found so much success with their pizzas that they have two trailers and I think are gearing up to open that restaurant. I enjoyed The Cadillac (gluten-free of course!). Via 313 uses our pizza blend to make the gluten-free crusts. It’s out of this world.

Via 313 Pizza

Sunday was full of cooking, football and friends. On top of the hummus I made spinach and artichoke dip and chili. It was SOOOOOOOO good! I would have to say that yesterday was my favorite day. I love hanging out with friends, watching football and eating good food. Seriously, nothing beats it. The bonus to the day was my team actually won! Maybe they’re turning things around 🙂

Hope y’all had a wonderful weekend! Looking forward to a fun, busy week!

Question: What was your favorite part of your weekend?