A Hiatus And A Promise

HELLO!!! I hope you did not lose faith in me. I am SO sorry it has been so long since I’ve written. As you know, I broke my phone during the holidays. This paired with AT&T’s ridiculous $200 insurance deductible (what is the POINT of buying insurance?!) and a chance to buy a new phone for $199 in February (I have my eye on that Galaxy S), well, I am left with an old blackberry with a broken camera until Feb.

As you can imagine, the death of TONS of photos I had hoped to blog about put me pretty behind on my blogging. All of this, combined with a few virus’ (ear then stomach) and a CRAZY work schedule has lead me to take a hiatus from blogging – in an effort to get myself organized and prepared for inspired posts (I don’t want to bore you).

Don’t worry, I have QUITE a few things I am already preparing…as a teaser here are a few pins that have inspired me the last few weeks:

add molding to the top of the front door to create a totally custom look

Check out what I like about this photo here: http://meandjilly.blogspot.com/2011/05/front-door-miracle.html

Cake idea for beer tasting party...and snack bar!

I cannot WAIT to share what this is for!

My promise is to be back and blogging before the end of the month. And a promise to blog at LEAST once a week! I hope to inspire as much as all of you have inspired me!

A little shout out to Charlotte for a recent text message that lead to inspiring me to post again. Thank you for reading dear readers!

XO, Karen

1st Doggie Birthday – A Reason for Celebration!

Our little one, yes, OK, YES, she is a dog, but she is a REASON to celebrate! A REASON to get together. And, really, she is just fabulous. She has brought months of joy – oh and challenges, frustration and many chewed up rugs – but joy, yes, JOY, happiness and LOVE to Mr. Darcy and my life. She has made us less selfish, patient and brings a smile to my face PRETTY often…I also laugh at her quite often.

From her fancy little hops off the end of our back deck to her toothy smile when we get home (creepy to others, but hilarious and sweet to us), she has pushed us into a new part of our lives together as a married couple. I love her and ALL of her little quirks. SO, tonight, WE CELEBRATE!

And, as promised in my earlier post, here are photos of the bash! I kept the decorations minimal…

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A HAPPY BIRTHDAY BANNER to decorate and a few Balloons and I called it a day – because at the end of the day, our little one could CARE LESS!

BUT since it is Fall and I have it, I pulled out my china and all of my fun Fall table decor so we can eat our Pizza dinner in style – we even got a lil crazy and pulled out my Waterford glasses!

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A table set for a queen…or our little queen! Tip for workin’ ladies: Set the table the night before – you can add more the day of – especially if you have a puppy that might pull things off of it!

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Since my table is a bit fancy for a dog-party, I had to DOG-IT-Up a bit…I love me some flameless candles!

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Looks pretty cute if you ask me! Since Pinterest has images of basically EVERYTHING in candle holders, why can’t I put doggie toys in there?! I scoured the 2/$5 bin at PETCO!

I KEPT THE FOOD EASY: Salad and Pizza and had fun trying out some Pinterest inspired recipes – I have some reviews coming for those people…they may or may not be good…I know you are on the edge of your seats – I kid.

The human guests enjoyed wonderful conversation and the doggie guests enjoyed grass wrestling…AND A LITTLE BIT OF HOUSE TIME…Hard to get a non-moving photo:

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In the end, a good time was had by all AND Mr. Darcy and I have a TIRED puppy dog…Oh and we thoroughly enjoyed a little get together with our good friends.

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Everyone got to take home a “Good Girl” Treat!

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Rice Krispie Treats for the Humans and Homemade Doggie Treats for the 4-legged guests

We love you little one! HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY HARPER!*

I love you, Mom

*Yes, Harper is her real name. Her full name is Harper Hermoine. She was named after Harper Lee and Hermoine Granger…yep, book freaks!?! Maybe.

A BARKthday Celebration

Ok, some of you may think it is CRAZY to host a party for your pet. But let me tell you why this is not crazy:

  • One, Mr. Darcy and I do not have children, nor do many of our friends…but we have pets.
  • Two, life is crazy, so why shouldn’t we come up with a reason to get together and celebrate?
  • Lastly, dogs bring so much to our lives – I’m TOTALLY celebrating her and spoiling her for a night!!!

SO, as you may have read yesterday, last night was my first attempt at baking treats for the four-legged guests attending our birthday celebration – our little one NOMMED down TWO cookies! #SUCCESS! Now I just need to organize my thoughts on the party and I’d LOVE your thoughts, suggestions and tips for a doggie-friendly party:

FOOD:

APPETIZERS – I am going to do a cheese platter. My sister pinned the coolest blog post the other day and I’m TOTALLY going to do a fun cheese platter. Check out the pin for “5 Tips For Creating The Perfect Cheese Platter”: http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2012/06/5-tips-for-creating-the-perfect-cheese-platter.html

DINNER – PIZZA & SALAD: I do not want to disappoint my loving readers by not doing a home cooked meal for our guests. HOWEVER, let’s be real…A full time job does not allow for a home cooked meal every night, especially if you are having MULTIPLE people over for dinner (although I’m still throwing around the idea of doing a slow cooker thing. I should be getting my replacement pot in the mail tonight – our little one accidentally pulled it down off of the counter one night, shattering it into two pieces – so there is still a home cooked meal opportunity). If I do not get my slow cooker up and running, well, pizza & salad it is!!! I’ll definitely get one with lots of meat on it, in honor of our meat eating little one.

DESSERT – Since I made pumpkin cookies for our doggie-guests, I figured I’d make PUMPKIN Cupcakes…and why not try out this awesome weight watchers one (TWO INGREDIENTS – Classic Yellow Cake and Pumpkin): http://sweet-verbena.blogspot.com/2011/08/pumpkin-muffins.html

I am a bit skeptical of a two ingredient dish so I will most likely make cookies as well – Mr. Darcy is also not a huge fan of pumpkin. So if I make cookies, I will just cut them out with the fancy pumpkin cookie cutter to keep with the FALL theme of the party.

ENTERTAINMENT:

Our little one is going to be overly stimulated by the guests so I think a fresh new Frisbee and ball will be plenty of entertainment. However, once her cousin gets there, no human will matter. They will entertain one another. SO, for the human guests, I might actually pull out the old board games (Catch A Phrase is a crowd pleaser). The guest list is pretty much our closest friends – who are equally as dorky as I am – so board games, a good movie on in the background AND talk of sports (for the men) and the upcoming holidays (for Elizabeth and I) make for a perfect Thursday Night party. Did I mention the party is actually on our little one’s birthday? I figured no one would want to give up a weekend night for a dog’s party – BUT a fun little get together after a long day of work…PERFECT!

DÉCOR:

Since I don’t host Thanksgiving BUT I just bought a pretty Fall colored tablecloth and want to use it, I’m going to do a fancy Fall theme (gold chargers and all)…BUT to make it more doggie-appropriate I will:

Pick up a few new toys and treats for our little one. AND, since she won’t need ADDITIONAL entertainment, I will just use them as a centerpiece (instead of coffee beans, I’ll throw some toys in my candle holder for a colorful centerpiece):

Doggie toys for coffee beans (Maybe I’ll put a faux candle in…no one wants to smell warmed plastic and rubber 😉 ).

And, instead of Goody Bags, I’ll give everyone a “GOOD Girl” Treat – doggie friendly ones for our four legged guests and Pumpkin shaped rice krispie treats with chocolate drizzled on top for our two legged guests. I’ll add this little tag I just created in Microsoft PAINT to the bags and display them in a cute basket for an additional party décor!

OK, not as cute as I would have liked, BUT they will do 😉

More to come about this party, but any other ideas are GREATLY appreciated!!! Please to share! 😉

WOOF, WOOF…

XO, Karen

Our little one at only 6 weeks…still love her little butt

S’More Bar – GREAT AFTER PARTY SNACK

If you haven’t picked up on this news yet, I thought I’d remind everyone that it is officially my BIRTHDAY MONTH!! WAHOO!!!

My sister and I are spread-sheeting it up and are knocking out as many birthday party to-dos as possible. We have been planning for this party like it is a wedding, haha. I’ve been pinning and repinning ideas for my 30th birthday party from wedding websites and wedding BOARDS – I swear I don’t think my 30th is as important as someone’s wedding day, but damn near close, hahaha, I kid, I kid.

One idea becoming super popular with weddings that I definitely plan on incorporating into my 30th is blown out dessert options AND after party snacks – My girlfriend had an In-And-Out truck come to her wedding so you literally grabbed a burger on the way out…big kid snacks after a night of heavy drinking – PRICELESS (although, I’m sure that it was NOT price-less). Anyhoo, in addition to a birthday cake and full dessert table, Mr. Darcy and I are going to create a S’More Bar for party attendees who end up staying after my party’s open house hours. Inspired by Eat Drink Pretty’s Engagement Party dessert, we are going to set up our smokey joe and give our friends an interactive late night snack:

Click this link for the original post with TONS of adorable party ideas and how to make this “bar” happen: http://www.eatdrinkpretty.com/2010/10/real-party-fall-inspired-engagement.html

HOW CUTE is this idea?! I’ve already created little Fiesta themed food tent cards that I will use to label each food item (i.e. Mr. Darcy’s Crema, Karen’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, Godmom’s Nacho Cheese, etc.) so I will use that same fiesta design to create the “marshmallow,” “chocolate” and “Graham cracker” labels. SO FUN…and delicious. Did I mention that we have already rented a jumping house and margarita machine for this party?! Oh yeah, people are going to NEED some snacks after jumping and drinking for hours ;-o.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONTH TO ME AND ALL OF THE OTHER OCTOBER LIBRAS OUT THERE!!!

XOXO, Karen