Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monkeying Around (Cooper's 2nd Birthday)!

The girls and me with our Birthday Boy!
I mentioned in a blog post long, long ago that I had already determined the theme for Cooper's 2nd Birthday - Sock Monkeys - and I stuck with that and had a great little party for my not-so-baby-anymore boy.  His birthday was almost a month ago and with the move I am obviously behind on blogging, but I still wanted to share the details and photos.

First of all, a little background on sock monkeys in my life.  Anyone that knows me well knows how close I was to my Grandma and how much I absolutely and completely adored her.  She was such a huge part of my life growing up and so many of my childhood (and even adulthood) memories include her.  We spent a lot of time at her house and my sister and cousins and I loved every minute of it.  My Grandma had lots of chintzy little things around her house and lots of old toys and such, and a few sock monkeys were among those items.  I don't know where they came from or how old they were, but they were always there and we all loved to play with them.

So sock monkeys became one of a handful of items that represented Grandma's House to me.  When I was searching the internet for birthday party themes and ideas I came across some sock monkey parties and knew that I had to go with it.  Sock monkey are not only cute, classic and fun, but also have a special place in my heart thanks to my Grandma.

Since most traditional sock monkeys of the classic variety are red and brown those were the obvious choices for the color scheme.  Etsy is always a 1st choice for me when looking for specific/custom items so I checked there for a birthday shirt and printable party package and found both (of course!).

I also looked to some of my favorite blogs for party planning tips and photos and found tons of useful info.  Turns out that the sock monkey theme is quite popular these days for birthday parties and baby showers.

Here are some photos of the party:

Dessert and take home treat table with printable party package from Cupcake Express on Etsy.
Treats were all red and brown candy and other sweet things - Tootsie Pops, Whoppers, Tootsie Rolls, Twizzlers and Flipz chocolate covered pretzels.
Homemade cupcakes made even cuter with cupcake wrappers and toppers (part of the printable package shown above).

Cardboard gift boxes added height and miniature sock monkeys added a playful touch to the table.
I  bought the "C" at Hobby Lobby and painted it red to match the scheme.

Another perfect cake from Edible Art (Charlotte).

I found these fun "party balls" at Party City and used them as favors.
The guests filled them with sweet treats from the take home treat table.  

The food!
Nugget tray from Chick-fil-a, fruit bowl, snack mix and banana creme pudding cups.

The Birthday Boy!
The shirt was another Etsy purchase from  Whimsical Stitches.

Monday, December 5, 2011

These Boots Were Made For Walking (in the rain)!

So I can't believe that I'm going to admit this, but I have never owned a pair of rain boots.  I mean, not since I was like 5 or something.  As an adult they have just never been on the top of my shopping list.  In fact, up until recently I wasn't really sure how I felt about adults wearing rain boots.  I have contemplated buying myself a pair many times but always decided against it for one reason or another - I don't really need them, they might look dorky, will I ever actually wear them, we had a drought, they might not be comfortable, etc.

Now that we are living in Iowa I feel that most of those excuses are void.  It has rained here a lot in the short time that we have been here and the snow is bound to be coming sooner rather than later (I won't get started on how I feel about snow).  I don't think that I can bring myself to wear snow boots, so my rain boots will have to do double duty and act as snow boots too.  The dilemma that I'm having now is finding a pair that I like.  And that are not $200+.  No matter how much I might like them, I simply cannot justify paying that much money for a pair of boots that are going to be worn in rain, snow, mush and muck.  Even if I could justify, it I cannot afford it.  End of story.

I have an idea of what I want but can't seem to find the exact pair that is just right.  I'm starting to think that I am either very picky or just not with the current trends these days because I have been looking for a few months (in anticipation of the move I started searching while we were still in NC) and still have not found the perfect pair of rain boots.

Here are some options (of course my top choices are either sold out or too pricey!):
Aqua Stop "Grace" from Kohl's

Chooka Canvas Stripe (I think these look black but apparently they are navy)

Chooka Premium Stripe

Kate Spade New York Randi (one of my faves but also $100)

Missoni for Target (no longer available!)

Target Polka Dot

Target Retro Birdie

Target Union Stripe (one of my faves and sold out of course!)

Target Wedge Heel

Tory Burch Rubber Logo (another fave but $150)

So, what's a girl to do?  The snow will be here soon and I need my feet to stay warm and dry!

Blogging Back Up

I just realized that I haven't blogged since Oct. 19th!  Trust me when I say that this is not due to a lack of topics, but rather a lack of time and energy!

I was a single parent for about 5 weeks while Matt came up here to Iowa and started his job, and that may have been the most exhausting 5 weeks of my life.  Halloween and Cooper's 2nd birthday fell during that time period along with the everyday tasks of keeping up with 3 children.  I was also still chairing the Parent Teacher Committee at Addyson's preschool and had to plan the Fall Festival there (for a mere almost 400 people).  And of course, there was prepping for the move - researching schools here for both girls, checking the area out via the internet (making sure there were decent places to eat and shop!), and spending time with and saying good-bye to all of our Charlotte area friends.  Lots of good-byes!

Then of course there was getting here.  A 2 day road trip through 6 states with 3 kids followed by a 3 day stay with my parents while we waited for the movers to deliver our belongings.  And then the most dreaded part - unpacking.  I nearly buried myself alive numerous times but I was determined to have everything unpacked and put away in record time.  I hate clutter and being unorganized makes me feel out of control so I had to get it all done - fast.  And I did.

Rylee started her new school last week and is transitioning well, and we finally found a preschool for Addyson to attend, although she hasn't started yet because I am currently working on completing the 5 million pages of paperwork that is required.

And amidst all of that there is also Christmas planning and prepping!  We took the kids to a real tree farm here, out in the country - just like the Griswold's do on the Christmas vacation movie:)  So our tree is up and decorated, the stockings are hung on the mantle, and the outside lights and wreaths are in place.  I'm not doing the full-on Christmas decor this year - I've done enough unpacking for awhile and I can't bring myself to take any more "stuff" out of boxes and bins - so we stuck to the basics and did only the big things this year.

Finally life is returning to normal and I'm finding myself with a wee bit of free time each day.  Actually, that "free" time could and probably should be spent more wisely - cleaning, doing the never ending loads of laundry that we seem to accumulate, continuing to decorate our new home (you know, the important stuff) - but what would life be without the internet - Facebook, blogging, Pinterest, e-mail and Google?  Americans waste too much time on the internet - it's our way of life.  I heard that on the radio the other day and I couldn't agree more.  But I thoroughly enjoy my time wasters!

So, I have yet to post about my Farewell Tour of Charlotte (I managed to make a pretty good dent in my list but wish I had more time to hit all of my favorite spots!) and Cooper's Sock Monkey birthday party.  And I have a list of Christmas post ideas that I was hoping to get out of my head and on here but I don't know how many of those will make it to the blog world.  I also have some posts about decorating our new home (remember the yellow and gray color scheme?) and life in Iowa.  And of course, I never stop wishing and wanting so Wednesday's Wish List and the Designer Spotlight posts will return at some point.  I have lots to share!  So much that you will probably tire of hearing from me but I hope not:)