Don’t Eat Your Heart Out, Valentine!

Valentine’s Day is almost 2 weeks away!

I guess everyone is preparing to get their Valentines together to give out to their friends, significant others, secret admirees…I’m so excited! I’ve been planning the hubby’s day for a while now. I can’t go into detail just yet because he actually reads my blog (one of the many reasons I heart him) so I’ll have to stick with sharing some other ideas…

This post is dedicated to non-foodie ideas for the younger peeps. I love sweets and such, but with the health problems that plague our nation and the dismay I’ve begun to feel towards the cookie cutter Valentines-in-a-box, I thought this might be worthwhile to share.

Am I the only person that felt a little gipped when I got the same Batman card from 4 different classmates?

Anyway…I perused the ‘net to see what was out there and found some of the neatest ideas! None of these are mine, but it wouldn’t hurt to round them up for folks that don’t have a lot of time to search for some sugar-free coolness, right? Also, I’m sure the teachers wouldn’t miss the sugar rush…

1. I “Wheelie” Like You. This is cute, but I’m advocating it sans Blow Pops. These little cars can be found anywhere. And if you give out just the cars, you can just attach a tag to the package. Bonus!


2. A simple heart felt bookmark. Did you see what I did there? Ha! As a self-proclaimed nerd and book lover, this is just awesome.


3. “You’re Out of This World Valentine!” Fabulous! Also, they will likely disassemble this Valentine and proceed to validate the theory of high bounce balls. Maaaybe, reserve this one for 4th grade and up…


4. “Love is a Battlefield!” I was also a tomboy growing up and loved these things. Mom wanted me to play with dolls. To this day, I can name more GI Joes than Barbies… You can buy them here.


5. “You Light Up My Life!” Really nice for a special Valentine who also has a February birthday. Just a thought… *ahem* Dollar Tree or a local grocery store can hook you up.


6. “You’re Just Write for Me!” One to do your kid’s teacher proud. Unless the pencil break game is still popular in school. Do they still do that? I sucked at that game. Hey parents, remember these?


7. “You Rule!” Please see guidelines for #6. These would be pretty nice and pull double duty for the group learning their alphabet, you think?


8. “You’re A-Maze-ing!” These are pretty cool and can keep kids occupied for a while. Adults too. If you like this simple idea, they’re currently available at Oriental Trading or Michael’s, depending on how many you need. This is clearance week at Michael’s, so they don’t have a store coupon, but you can use one competitor’s coupon per transaction. Hope that helps!


9. “You Make My Heart Glow!” Who doesn’t love glow sticks! I’ve seen these at our local Dollar Tree, but if you can find them in bulk, you’re totally winning.


10. “I Am Bubbling with Excitement that You’re My Friend!” Bubbles will always be awesome. Unless of course you’re playing with them on a floor made of anything tiled and you proceed to try and walk out of said room. Check out your local dollar store for this find.


11. “I Can’t Smile Without You!” I don’t think I know of a better gift to earn brownie points with your dentist. They might even be willing to dip into their stash to help you out with this one. If not, yep, dollar store.


12. “Blow Me a Kiss Valentine!” Ahh, noisemakers. Always a judgment call.


13. Animal puns. I really like the “You’re Sweet and I’m Not Lion!” Michael’s has a variety of plastic animals available for $1. I think the Dollar Tree does as well. You can also order some here.


14. “Not Loving You Would Be a Mistake!” and “Dropping Down to Wish You a Happy Valentine’s Day!” Please see comments #2 and #4 to understand why I genuinely am fascinated by these. Seriously. If someone gave me the paratrooper, my boss would come in to find me throwing him off the top part of my desk…

vday boy

These are just some of the ideas I came across. Head over to my Pinterest board and follow me there, to see more of the ideas, find the printables that go with them and to meet the amazing people that inspired these ideas; I’ll be adding to the board as I find more. I’ve got the hubby’s gift worked out, but that certainly won’t stop me from looking for more great ideas. Who knows, I may have to help the nephew and niece be the cool kids in school, so I must continue to research!

Make It Awesome!


Double Trouble

At the end of December, I had the pleasure of hosting a double birthday party for my nephew and niece. He turned 7 on the 6th and she turned 5 on the 26th. Of course they wanted completely different themes…Spiderman and Barbie Princess. We scheduled the parties for the 21st…and then I caught the flu. We rescheduled for the 28th. Then other people caught the flu. Turnout wasn’t the best, but I planned to do something for the kids anyway. It really wasn’t their fault that their favorite aunt ended up battling contagion.

So here are some of the pics from the party. Again, special shout out to the hubby and my cousin who turned our garage into a wall from New York City and a scene from the Amazing Spiderman…

A month later, our garage still looks like this. I can't take it down...

A month later, our garage still looks like this. I can’t bring myself to take it down…

These were the invitations. I also learned to wake up first, as I left these on the floor when I was done and the following morning almost destroyed them all…

spidey invites

Gift bags FULL of Spidey stuff…silly string, puzzles, Spiderman tattoos, superhero bracelets, those grow-in-water Spiderman towels, coloring books, candy…


I think the pasta was my favorite just because it turned out so vibrantly!


And the cake!



Barbie Princess Meaghan got to have all of her pink stuff. I love that little girl. The color pink, not so much.


The girls even got their royal goblets. Those were a hit, even with my dad who wasn’t supposed to have one.



That’s not the birthday girl in the middle…

All in all, it was a nice time. The kids that were able to make it out had a good time and I think the adults might have more fun than them. Next year, I’ll get my flu shot on time *sigh*

Make It Awesome!

Sugar and Spice, and Everything Nice…

The pictures are in!

In early December 2012, I had the honor of hosting a co-ed baby shower for parents expecting a sweet little girl. The theme was Sugar and Spice; the colors were pink, bronze, and chocolate; mom, aunt-to-be, and almost everyone there are members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. I was just thankful they didn’t opt for pink and green… 🙂 Mom’s style is very simple and minimalistic and I was thrilled that she loved the way that everything was set up. It was a small challenge for me, only because I like a lot of stuff and for things to be full and busy, but she was very pleased. The best compliment was that the shower guests walked in and said they immediately recognized her taste and style.


We had close to 80 guests and I must admit, despite all the pink, I had a blast! The guests were wonderful to attend to and we enjoyed hours of laughter. The shower was held at the Westin Beale Street. We played some of the traditional games and threw some newer ones in the mix, just for the guys…

The Westin catered the shower and the guests enjoyed 4 types of spicy chicken drummettes, coconut shrimp with peach mango salsa, ginger chicken salad on crisp wonton, BBQ shrimp shooters, and pulled pork and chicken nachos.



So the games…

The running games of the day were the traditional Don’t Say Baby, Guess the Celebrity, and Guess the Number of Candy Hearts. Instead of using clothespins, all the guests were asked to wear pink pearls as an homage to one of the sorority’s traditions.


The celebrity’s baby pictures were set up for the guests to postulate over. Can you guess who any of them are? I had to look them up again before the shower and I put the thing together…I counted the candy by hand and learned a very important lesson in the process: use bigger candy.


The first active game on deck was Shake Your Groove Thang. The object of the game was to be the first person to get all of the golf balls out of the box. Pure hilarity ensued. The dad-to-be had some moves on him, but he didn’t win. The guys were such good sports about participating and I really appreciated that. My husband told me later that men don’t like coming to showers because women have a tendency to make them play silly games. Oops. I just wish I had a copy of the video…


Next we played the traditional shower games…match the baby animals, unscramble the baby related words. One lady knocked it out of the park! We also found out that she was a new mom, and she graciously proceeded to school myself and the audience on exactly what a layette is. I shall henceforth refrain from calling it the footie pajama body suit thing…

This table was busted for

This was not the table was busted for Googling answers…lol

We also played the game where you had to bring out your inner artist by drawing your most fabulous rendition of a baby. On a paper plate. Whilst said plate is atop your head. I played this game at a bridal shower and rocked it! I didn’t even bother to submit my attempt to the mom-to-be…I left it to the real artists.


A true pack of Picasso’s I tell ya!

After all these games concluded and the prizes were awarded for the guessing games, the guests got into the dessert station and prepared to watch parents-to-be open the gifts. The dessert station consisted of a candy bar and cupcakes made by myself: chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, banana with honey cinnamon frosting, apple spice, pumpkin spice, cinnamon spice with butter cream frosting, and ginger spice; I can assure you that it was no easy feat making sure all of them made it to the shower.


There were so many gifts. They and their baby girl are blessed to have so many people to love, care for, and support them…we ran out of room on 12’ worth of tables!


That little girl doesn’t even know she hit the shower jackpot!

All in all, everyone had a great time. I truly enjoyed working with this family and wish them all the blessings they can handle with their little girl, who made her way into the world on December 28th. Welcome to the world baby girl!


And I extend a special and truly sincere thank you to the wonderful photography team of Lyndsi Metz Photography. They are truly an amazing and supportive couple! It’s not everyday that the photographer volunteers to shake his groove thang in front of strangers!

As always, I have to thank the hubby who was there to support me and decided to have a little fun himself and agreed to bust out some baby shower mood music. I really love that guy 🙂

Make It Awesome!

I Make No Promises

Good Motivational Monday Morning!

I’ve been making a conscientious effort to not beat myself up for not making resolutions for 2013. It seems that everyone around me has done so, and I’m feeling a little guilty about not jumping onto the bandwagon as it rolled by.

In all honesty, I decided years ago to stop making resolutions, because I’m just lying to myself and others around me.

That sounds bad, but in my brain, “resolution” sounds a lot like “diet.” I think the people who have to fight the gym surge the first month or so of the year know exactly what I mean. To me making a resolution is just something I know I will give up on, given enough time and demotivation. I’m a sad case. I am not alone.

So as I thought about what I wanted to do for myself and my family, we did instead make goals. Things that we want to do to improve our lives, not just a list of things influenced by the peer pressure of the season and changing of the date.

Same thing? Maybe.

Different outcome? Possibly.

Either way, worth the effort? Absolutely.

For me personally, I know I need to work on showing a bit more grace and compassion to others, which has been mercifully and sacrificially extended to me. There are some things that we need to get rid of, personally and as a community as a whole…

These things are bad, m'kay?

These things are bad, m’kay?

Things we need to…Stop! In the name of love! Now you are Diana Ross 🙂

Whether you made resolutions or not, please take a moment to think about what you really want to do this year to make yourself a better person…and to be the change you want to want to see in the world!

Make It Awesome!


Happy New Year!

I hope that the transition from 2012 to 2013 was a great one, full of love, happiness and good times. We had a blast last night with our # (hashtag) themed New Years party…details to follow…

Part of the party last night involved gifts for our guests and I just wanted to take a moment to share this with you.

2012 is gone. We’ve survived the end of the world, yet again. Everyday is what you make of it, and each one is not promised to us. Dwell on the positive, forgive the negative, make it an awesomely epic year!