Monday, September 30, 2013

Here's to the right side of the bed

Usually around 6:30 or 7:00 I start to hear little baby sounds emanating from the room across the hall.  Thats my cue, but sometimes I can get away with a few more minutes of sleep before I get her up for the day. She kicks and coos and entertains herself while I wake myself up. She is like a tiny, happy snooze button.  When I finally get in there to pick her up, she looks you right in the eyes and give you the most sincere, and gummy, little smile.  Good morning indeed.

Sometimes she gets super excited about it all and her legs start to pump and her arms start to wave. She greets the day with everything she's got.  If your whole body isn't joyfully flailing about, I gotta say, I think you're doing mornings wrong. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Baby Shower for Freya! {Vintage Woodland Baby Shower}

A few weeks ago we threw a baby shower for Freya. Freya has had a hand in planning at least 15 baby showers for other people over the past few years, so we really tried to make hers something special. This was one of my most favorite parties ever. We love you, Freya! Hurry up November, so we can meet baby Lily!

We didn't want it to be a super "themed" shower, but we definitely wanted the overall feel of the party to be vintage, pretty, floral, and woodsy. Vintage Woodland? Is that a thing? 

We held the shower at the sweetest little cottage at Lichgate park here in Tallahassee (the place featured in Freya's baby announcement photo shoot). The whole place feels like the most wonderful secret garden, hidden in the middle of town. I'm convinced there couldn't have been a more perfect venue in the entire world. 

The party activities were kept to a minimum, but we did have guests self address envelopes for Freya's thank you notes, make a wish/leave their wisdom on a note card, and play the Gauge their Age game with Freya and Brett's cute baby pictures. It was nice to have a few little things to do, but we mostly ate and talked and enjoyed ourselves. It felt just right.

Anyway, I'll let the pictures do the talking now. Source list at the bottom!

Hostess shot! Tanya, Kendal, Freya, me, & Kristen

Printed on: Rifle Paper Co. Antoinette Stationary
Fonts used in design: Corneria Script Demo, Ecuyer DAX, & Bergamont Ornaments

Baked Potato Soup
Black Bean & Quinoa Soup
Crusty bread for dipping
Arugula & Spinach Green Salad
Various Garnishes (Cheese, sour cream, oyster crackers, etc.)

Chocolate Chip cookies (Publix bakery)
Fudgey Brownie Bites (Publix bakery)
Old fashioned Cake Donuts (Publix bakery)
Cran-Apple Crisp (recipe from, baked in Mason 4 oz. Jelly jars)
Chocolate Cake & Orange Cloud Icing (by Melissa at OneDayWeekends)
French Vanilla Cake & Strawberry Icing(by Melissa at OneDayWeekends)
White Moon Cake & Lemon Glow Icing (by Melissa at OneDayWeekends)

Paper Goods:
Soup Cups (Sweet Party Shop on Etsy)
Wooden disposable flatware (
Dessert Plates (Party City)
Dinner Plates (Party City)
Ripple paper cups (
Printed paper straws (

Boxwood Garland (Michaels)
Dried Billy Ball (Craspedia) Flowers (Hammelmans LLC)
Tassel Garland Tutorial
Tree Stump Label Holders (Vermont Branch Co. on Etsy)
HoneyComb Paper Balls (Devra Party Corp)

Candles in Baby food jars
Candle wicks from
Tutorial on recycling old candles

Friday, September 20, 2013

Ready to Pop: A Baby Shower {DIY Soda Pop Bar}

A few weeks ago we decided to put together a little diaper shower for two of our lovely friends, Alisha and Margaret. We went with a "Ready to POP!" theme, and boy did we go with it. We may have stretched it a bit too far, but who's to say? 

We had a little popcorn bar, lots of balloons, all the food on skewers because then it's a "pop", home made pop tarts,  Hop on Pop books for the guests to sign, blow pop party favors, and my favorite part (okay, the part I was in charge of) a cream soda pop bar. 

The mamas got lots of diapers and cute little outfits, and we all had a good time chatting with each other. Let's do it again soon, shall we?

Notes on the Soda Pop bar:

The measurements I listed work best for 18 oz. cups. We had a little shortage with our club soda at the last minute, so we had to use smaller cups, but honestly the smaller size was a little better. We just halved all the measurements listed in the instruction and it tasted just fine. The smaller size left you wanting more so you could try all the flavors.

We used Torani Syrup, which I found at World Market for $7.99 per bottle. You can also order it online from the Torani shop directly, or on You could use other brands of flavoring syrup, and there were lots to choose from in the liquor aisles at the grocery store. I soaked the original labels off the bottles and made my own (printed on sticker paper).

Paper straws. I found the gray ones at Michael's in their wedding dept. I didn't realize it at the time, but they were $7.99! For 24 straws, that is a huge rip off. Hobby Lobby sells packs of 24 striped paper straws for $2.99. And you can find almost any color online almost anywhere for waaaay less. So, lesson learned.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Allen Family Beach Vacation 2013

We spent the last week of summer at St. George Island. Cory was in the middle of a big project deadline at work (his first big project!) so he had to stay behind for the majority of the trip, but Amelia and I were more than happy to pack up and spend a few days soaking up the sun with the family. And, I might have had too much fun shopping for a teeny tiny baby bathing suit. While I was at it I couldn't resist a little pair of sunglasses. They were too big, but I still don't regret that purchase.

We stayed in a family friend's new beach house and it was beautiful. There was a little boardwalk that led straight out to the beach and we got to know it very well.

Yea. One of those things is not like the other. Namely: Terrifying. Apparently it wasn't an aggressive breed of shark but, I would argue that any amount of shark on the beach is too much for my liking. We took a break from the water after they released him.

 One morning we drove down the road to Apalachicola. Just a tiny little beach town with fancy shops, local art, and sea sponge for sale. 

There was a very, very cute little chocolate/pastry/gelato shop that sold chocolate covered oysters. We didn't buy one the first time we went, but when Cory came for the weekend, I took him back and told him we had to get one. I just couldn't live with myself knowing I passed up an opportunity to eat something that sounds so disgusting. Everyone tried to talk me out of it. The shop owner even gave me a laundry list of rules I had to follow if I was going to buy it (I can't eat it in the shop, I can't chew it,  I  have to have a napkin ready for when I spit it out...) but I decided to buy one anyways. That's how I live my life. You guys. If you ever get the chance to try one, take it. And thats all I'll say about that.

When Cory and I took a little date to Apalachicola (he wanted to look at the alligator heads and I needed to buy that chocolate covered oyster--we're pretty romantic) we found a tiny bookstore tucked in a corner. We went in and oohed and awed over pretty books, and bought one for Amelia. Perhaps we'll make book buying on vacations a tradition? Perhaps if we do this we should actually buy books that relate to the vacation we took? We shall see.

Every morning Craig, Amelia and I were the first ones up. Amelia loved to snuggle and watch the sunrise with Grandpa, and I didn't hear any complaints from Grandpa so I let them be. And by letting them be, I mean I took sneaky pictures out the window, obviously.

On our last night there, we had a surprise party for Grandpa. The big 50 this year. It was really surprising because his birthday wasn't for a another two weeks, but by then everyone would be off to school so we partied early. 

So long sweet summer. We miss you already.