Monday, October 27, 2008


Last night was our church's 8th Annual Trunk-or-Treat and the kids had a blast!  It's so cute- the cars park in the parking lot and the kids go "Trunk-or-Treating" from car to car.  They also played some fun games, and ate hot dogs and mac & cheese, and did a cake walk.  Here's some pics from the festivities...

Creative Cakery

I started my cake decorating class this week at a local party supply store.  For it being my first time (in a while) I have to say, it wasn't too bad.  Although I forgot just how messy it is!  We have to make our own cakes AND buttercream frosting (yes, with the lard!).  I underestimated just how long this process takes, and for your sake I only included a picture of the finished product.  Trust me, you didn't want to see my kitchen before or during!  Matt is being very patient with me during all of this, too.  You all know how he can get with messes...  Nevertheless, I'm hoping this class will teach me a thing or two (or 10) about making cakes for the kids so we can stop paying so much money for them!!  

And by the way, it actually tasted decent!! (Thanks to my teacher's semi-homemade recipe! :)

Autumn Adventure

Last week we had a trip to Irvine Park Railroad to visit the pumpkin patch. I went with my MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers) group that I belong to. Blake and I went (poor Ty was sick), along with my sis Amy & Nolan, and my friend Amy and her son Riley. It was a lot of fun, I just wish that the weather went wit the season! 90 degrees isn't really 'fall' weather.

We all got to go for a train ride around the park. It was really pretty! 
(A little loud for Riley, though!)

Blakey loved to pull himself up and stand next to the pumpkins. 
He fits right in- cute little punkin!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Fairy BEST Party!

The 'Fairy Tea Party" was a great success!  I can say that now that it is all over...  It really was a fun time for everyone (so I hear), and I really did have a great time planning it all.  Thank God I only have ONE girl, though!  Just a small warning: there are 13 images of the festivities to follow. (I couldn't NOT include everything!) 

Welcome to our Fairy Tea... 

The kids were greeted with fairy wings, crowns, wands and skirts.
(And, yes, a fairy dog too!)

The outdoor setup

Place setting

The kids got 'fairy food'- tiny fruit tarts, chips in flower cups, flower PB & Js, & mini gourmet hotdogs.  Their "tea" was strawberry lemonade. (I thought they would like that better :)

There was a table set up for decorating their fairy wands. (Crowns for the boys, of course!)

The birthday girl... Isn't she the most beautiful fairy?

The game of the day- Musical Flowers

Cake table

"Happy Birthday, dear Camryn..."

A close up of the Toadstool cupcakes (home made of course :)

The Fairy Bunch!
I think the kids had a great time.  Thank you to all who helped and came!  
Here's to the next party!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Only the Fairy best

Our little girl is turning 6 this weekend, and I cannot believe it.  It seems like just yesterday she came into our lives.  With all the hype of little girls aging themselves faster than necessary, I opted to do a fancy party for Cami while she still is young enough to let me!  She pondered, and finally decided she wanted a Tinkerbell themed party.  Of course, me needing to put a twist on things, I convinced her to do a 'Fairy Tea Party'.  I have always wanted to do a tea party for her and I just fear the window of opportunity is slowly shrinking.  So... here's to another full-blown party in the works (you know I LOVE it)!

We sent out invitations, thanks to my friend Amy, telling her little friends to come for tea & to "reserve their toadstool" as soon as possible.  They came out so cute!! Plenty of pixie dust included, of course!

I made fairy headbands and doctored up store-bought (Dollar Tree!) fairy wings for all the little girls.  They came out pretty cute, I think.  I also found little fairy skirts to match the wings. 

I'm going to be renting a canopy to cover the tea party tables, and inside will be mounds and mounds of pink tulle (thanks to Amy, again) along with these super cute tissue paper pom-poms I found at Michaels.  Of course I used my 50% off coupon- what a steal!  I also found different colored daisies at the 99 cent store that we'll be attaching to the tulle.  

These are the inspiration I found for the toadstool cupcakes I'll be making.  Except I found pastel colored round candies instead of the red hots.  I'm going to do a practice round on Friday, so we'll see how they actually turn out. :)  Wish me luck and I'll be sure to include pics of the real deal!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Turning the big 3-0!

I was so blessed last week, with it being my 30th birthday and all, to have so many great times with so many great people.  On Wednesday, Matt's parents had us over for dinner for my birthday.  Linda made taco bar fixings and we had my favorite for dessert- brownies!  On Thursday I went to dinner with my good friend Amy to a favorite spot- Roman Cucina, YUM! We had a great time, NO KIDS! :)  THEN... on Friday I went to a day spa all day with my sis, Amy.  We had lunch, massages, then went shopping.  My idea of a great day!  SOOOO, then we pull up to my house and I see my shutters closed TIGHTLY in my front window, open the door and SURPRISE!!!  Everybody is standing in MY living room, in MY house (which was nothing near clean when I left at 11 am)!!  It was such a surprise to see all of my friends & family there to celebrate ME!  I just want to tell all of you who were there, or helped plan- THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.  That meant so much to me, to have you all there with me to start another decade of my life.  So here's to my next 30!! (Or 40, or 50, or whatever!) I love you all!

Matt & my sister planned an evening of 'Cupcakes & Cocktails'. Everything was so cute! All the little details, from the invites, to cupcakes (my fav), to centerpieces! They know me so well...

Everyone waiting for me...

"Oh my gosh, you scared the crap out of me!" I believe were my exact words.

Everything looked so cute. I was so proud of my hubby! 

They even had a pasta bar for dinner. It was amazing!
Thank you, again to you all.  Even the ones who couldn't make it... Love ya lots!!

Elevators are for wimps

So on September 26th, Matt and his firefighter buddies did a "Stair Climb to the Top" competition put on by a local Los Angeles YMCA.  It was at the US Bank building in Downtown L.A., the "tallest office building west of the Mississippi" (according to Matt :).  They had to climb up 75 flights of stairs (ouch), donning their 50+ pounds of firefighting gear!  I made Matt take a camera along to document it (and so I could have some cool content for the blog, of course!).  I think he really wanted me to include him, too.  :) So here's some fun pics from his journey up...

The US Bank building- 75 floors tall!
Matt & some of his buddies BEFORE...
A beautiful view from the top.
Matt trying to catch his breath... DONE!!
Matt & the dudes, AFTER! Elevators are for wimps, baby!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


So tonight Matt and I had a date night with our friends Cory and Amy.  We had a blast at Yard House and then ventured over to the theater to catch a flick.  After talking briefly with my mom today, we took her recommendation to see the movie 'Fireproof'.  We hadn't heard much about it, except it was about a fireman (actually Matt was making fun of it).  Let me just tell you, I don't think I have cried that much in a movie in a REALLY long time.  It was such a reality for us.  So many aspects of the movie were exactly like our life.  Scary.  

I can't tell you how many times recently I have felt God intervening in our lives.  I am usually not the one who pays attention to stuff like that either.  I don't know if I have been ignoring it, or I have just really needed it lately.  This movie was definitely a spiritual intervention for us. After we went home we looked up the website ( to find that there is a whole study and books that go along with the movie.  It was amazing to see that a portion of this website was devoted to firefighters' and 'first-responders' marriages.  They had some pretty shocking statistics about firefighters and marriage. Like how the divorce rate among them has gotten to almost 75%!!  

Needless to say, we ordered the study and books and I can't wait to get them.  Both Matt and I are adamant about putting each other first and, as they put it on the website "never leaving your partner behind".  

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I realize that I haven't blogged in a very long time (as some of you have pointed out), so I thought I would just do a day of 'ketchup'. I needed to because we've got plenty of things going on soon that I will need to tell you about!

So have fun 'ketchin up'!

Howdy Y'All!

So last week, my sis and I had our trip to the 'Lone Star State' to visit our dad and stepmom, Diane. We had a blast with them! They are two of the most mellow and funny people, and I so enjoy visiting with them. Makes me realize just how much I miss them!  We went to some really beautiful parts of the country out there, and had plenty of food. I can't tell you how much we ate, and I don't feel guilty one bit!

Dad & Diane at a beautiful restaurant we went to in a little old town called Gruene (pronounced "green"). Super cute historical, rustic town. It was great! 

Amy, Blake & I at the same restaurant.

I asked Dad where we could get a good "Texas" burger. I think the name speaks for itself. It WAS a good burger!

Here's some pics from this 'dive' we went to called the Tip Top Cafe. It was featured on the Food Network on the show "Diners, Drive Ins & Dives". We all love that show, so we decided to go see if it was THAT good. The picture below shows just how GOOD it was. I got the special of the night, Chicken Fried Steak, and it was SO GOOD!! Definitely something I will only eat in Texas! We left there feeling pretty full, to say the least.

Another idea from 'Diners, Drive Ins & Dives'- Captain Crunch French Toast. But instead of driving to Baltimore where they served this, we decided to make it ourselves. Let me just say, it was the best french toast I've ever had, and will definitely make this one at home. 
Way to go Diane!

We were fortunate enough to be there for Dad's company picnic- Texas style. And do I mean it! Here's a picture of one of the armadillos from the races they had. They are gross little things. They also had a mini rodeo for the kids, casino tables, mechanical bull, and to top it all off, plenty of barbeque to fill us up for days! 

This is a view of the Guadalupe river that runs through San Antonio. It was so beautiful and relaxing. I wanted so bad to rent a "toob" and just float down the river...

One of the most amazing things we did was visit some underground caverns near Dad's house. We went on about an hour tour that goes 180 feet below the surface to see the most beautiful caverns in the world! It was so stuffy and humid down there, but worth every minute!

Thank you so much Dad & Diane for such a wonderful time. I had so much fun, and can't wait to see you guys again soon, I hope. Love you both!

(And for those of who have never been to Texas- yes, everything is bigger in Texas, and yes, they really DO say "y'all" all the time! :)


So on Sept. 20th, we had una grande fiesta!  It was my Aunt Thelma & Sandy's BIG 5-0, and we sure made it big! We had all kinds of people in from out of town, from Oakland to Phoenix! Matt and I enjoyed hosting everyone at our house. (And you all know how I love to party plan! Ok, so I get a little crazy!)  Anyways, I think everyone had a good time, even with a little drama going on (wouldn't be my fam unless there was a little!). So here's a recap of some of the night... Ole!!

Uncle Bill (from AZ) and Gillian

Uncle (Cousin) Tony and Camryn
Cousin Andrea and her beau, Chad. You guys are too cute!

One of the festive centerpieces, my fav...

Party on peeps!

One of the birthday girls, Aunt Sandy, and Uncle Bill.

The other birthday girl Auntie Thelma & Jasmine. Beautiful girls!

I hope you all had a good a time as we did. I had a wonderful time planning for you guys. My Aunties are so special to me, & I hope you guys felt that. Love you & happy 50 to two wonderful and loving women!!