Friday, September 30, 2011

Insta Friday: SoCal Edition

It has been a crazy busy week.

Super fast.

Time is flying.

That is one of the perks of taking Monday off.

The four day work week.

The overlooked and underrated perk of the 3 day weekend.

Or in my case, 3.5 day weekend.

Friday I took a half day, to head South to celebrate Margaret's Birthday!

Followed by Saturday through Monday in Orange County for Blog Sugar!

Here are some pre-Sugar, during Sugar, and post Sugar Insta's.



First Row we have: The gorgeous sky at work on Friday Morning, bags are packed and ready to roll, and when I picked up Jessica I discovered they are officially raising nerds - a telescope? Really? Thankfully, nerds run Google, or so I was told by Dave (Jessica's husband) in response to the nerd comment.

Second Row we have: My sister giving Kobi a pep talk. Is your dog low on self-esteem? Are you going out of town and your pooch is getting mopey?  Call Laura - she is a miracle worker. On the road - Highway 5, endless. But actually gorgeous on the drive down. And we may have done a Highway 5 food crawl - that is a Chocolate Dipped Foster's Freeze Oreo Twist.
Otherwise known as diabetes in a cup.
Delicious.

And Third Row we have: The gorgeous southern california sky, the welcome sign for the spanish speaking Pastor's convention taking place at our hotel, and the other gift bag options I found at World Market.
Oh, I know.
Run.
Don't walk.


We met up with the Blog Sugar girls, and had lunch at Cafe Rio - my very first C-Rio experience. And I had the barbacoa. Should have taken a picture of that. And I just googled locations. None up north.
RUDE, Cafe Rio, RUDE.

Any way. Post Rio we hit up Coffee Bean. Which I have only been to twice before. (Yeah I know!) But we only have two locations around here - and they aren't exactly close! I had a Japanese Cherry Iced Tea. LOVED IT.

At the Sugar we had Donut Topped Mocha Cupcakes. Whose brilliant idea was that? Seriously. I think my sister and Ashley both would have had those at their weddings had they known that was an option.

And I loved the very appropriate verse. The Lord IS good. Seriously. {Note: My instafeed was quite donut happy on Sunday night - I'm guessing InstaFriday is gonna need a serious sugar detox over the weekend}

Earlier in the day I had given Julie's little guy a pre-blog sugar snuggle pep talk, and from what I hear he was a rockstar, you're welcome Julie. Sunday night he and I got caught up on our day. We shared our highlights, and well, one of us was WORN. OUT. The good news is, both of us liked to cuddle.



And then it was back to real life, where fall has arrived.
Although, I'm not sure the weather has gotten the memo.
But the grocery store did.
I LOVE all of the funky squash that shows up.
I love the turban squash in the middle.
And I think I need to go get myself a blue pumpkin again this year - they are my fav!

And then I was attacked by a "leaf bug" - which is what I so unaffectionately named this ugly creature that Coworker Cary discovered on me. She once discovered a "spider bee" on me. Both experiences were quite traumatic. And involved letter openers and staple removers as tactical defense weapons.
My staple remover has been renamed the Multi-Purpose tool.
I can MacGuyver anything with that sucker.

And lastly, my dad makes my mom her lunch everyday. Well, two lunches since she works twelves. This is the start: Diet Coke, Diet Snapple, Pink Snowballs, and Cranberry Sauce.
Yeah, weird, I know.
Right after I took this picture she made herself a snackbowl: Grapes, Pretzels, and Cheetos.
Yep.


Linking up with my {new} real life friend Jeannett - as always!!!
life rearranged


Also, do you love linky parties?
Starting in October - my friend Jessica is hosting the
PinterTest Kitchen!
Click on the button and head on over and check it out,
and be sure to link up next Thursday!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Forever...errr FINALLY 21!

Sometimes things work out just perfectly!
Back in March, Jessica and I got tickets for Blog Sugar - when I went to put it into my calendar, I realized it was the same weekend as the birthday of my dear friend Margaret - who attends school in Southern California. Margaret's birthday was Saturday, and Blog Sugar was Sunday. CA-CHING!

Combining the two events for one fabulous weekend was a no brainer.

Jess, Laura and I drove down Friday afternoon - checked into our hotel in Valencia - and Betsy and Margaret joined us. We got all gussied up and ready to leave, and our other friend Hannah {also attending college in SoCal} arrived!



It was a gorgeous warm Southern California night, complete with crazy awesome clouds - and a sky full of lightening {which I did not see myself, but apparently there was a lot}.


We had a hilariously fun dinner at BJ's celebrating Margaret's 21st.
Betsy provided the crown.
I provided the awesome.
Standard.
Just Kidding.
Or am I?



She is an RA and is on a No Alcohol Contract through May of 2012.
So I hit up Cost Plus World Market and Sephora for some 21 themed, non-alcoholic gifts - including Margarita Body Wash, Cocktail Cupcake Mix, and Mocktail Mojito.

The Mocktail Mojito comes in a wine bottle shape - so I wanted to find a fun wine bag to present it in.
When I was at Cost Plus, I found that the gift bag section was even more awesome than I imagined.


Yes, that is Michael Jackson as a Chihuahua in gift bag form.
You're welcome, Margaret.

The rest of the table did not seem impressed.
But one of the BJ's waiters stopped dead in his tracks and nearly fell over laughing.
That was the reaction I was waiting for.

And just for comparison - "normal gift bag" and "MJ gift bag"


I mean, which would you rather have? A boring birthday angel, or the Canine King of Pop?
Obvious answer, right?

(They also have Lady Gaga, Snoop Dog, and Audrey Hepburn, all as animals, in case you are needing appropriate gift wrap).


And what would BJ's be with out a little Pizookie?
And crazy friend making faces at you while you blow out your candles?


Twenty-One looks good on you Margaret!



After dinner we hit up the hotel pool - which rudely kicked us out at 10pm - followed by dessert at the hotel restaurant to ring in Margaret's new year!



A night of beauty rest and we were up and continuing the party, after all, a birthday isn't a birthday if you don't celebrate for at LEAST two days....or a month. Whatevs.


Margaret allowed Laura (resident iPhone hater) to play with her latest apps.  She'll convert, it's just a matter of time.

We headed to the mall across the street - seriously, this hotel is in a fab location - and continued to celebrate Marge with her favorite activity - SHOPPING. And of course hit up the Photobooth.
Because what is a milestone birthday without a photobooth?

My sister is ridiculous.
Margaret had to be censored with a teal unicorn.
Jessica makes one mean fish face.
Betsy barely fit in the frame.
And I discovered food in my teeth in the last picture.


So FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY Margaret is 21! Welcome to the big girls club lady!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Cuppa Sugar: Blog Sugar 2011 Recap

What a fun weekend.

And when I say fun, I mean EFF YOO ENN.

FUN.

Jessica, my sister and I headed south along Highway 5 to Valencia on Friday afternoon - to celebrate my dear friend Margaret's 21st Birthday {more on that to come!}.

And Saturday afternoon we headed southward to pick up Emily & Hayden and to meet up with our hostess with the mostess, Julie, along with a handful of other bloggity bloggers.

And by handful, I mean a giant ice cream scoopful.

{Is that even a description?}

My point is, we met up with some awesome people. Some who I had met before, and some others who I hadn't.

And I introduced myself as Kim. What I learned was, I should have introduced myself as "Cuppa Kim" - as I found out, in this whole bloggy meet up world, people really do know you by your blog or twitter name. Which I think is fun.  They also recognize you by your twitter and bloggy avatar - which means if you are rocking the curly hair in those, you should probably rock the curly hair when you meet up. {Sorry for the confusion!}

Anyway, I didn't take any pictures Saturday afternoon, except this one, of the beautiful room that Julie assigned to Jessica and I.


I may have seen that bed posted on a blog before. And like, became obsessed with it.
I apologized to a lot of you bloggers for being a geeky fan.
I should have apologized to the bed too. Because I totally was a geeky fan of it as well.
{See, I even took its picture, just like I took yours.}

And it totally lived up to the hype. I slept like a ROCK.

Anyway, Julie 100% for sure has been given the spiritual gift of hospitality, she was the most incredible host thinking of everything to make sure her guests were comfortable. Her house truly was a home. And she did it all with a huge smile on her face, and joy radiating from her heart. It was evident that she truly loves people.

Sunday morning, a few of us girls gathered around this table and sipped our coffee {or ice water} while we chatted carboloaded. After all, we had a BIG day ahead.


Like, getting pampered at The Dry Bar.
Which is basically my favorite kind of bar.

I ordered a Southern Comfort mixed with a Cosmopolitan.
Yeah. I know, right?

And then I had a Mimosa.



(Erin, Mel, Heather, Emily & Hayden, and Jess)

We killed a little more time at the mall, and then it was time for a serious Sugar Rush.

Outside, I finally got to meet my dearest blogging buddy, Hannah Singer. All the way from North Dakota.
Do you have any friends in North Dakota? Because I totally do. You can be jeal. 
Isn't she fun?





She is a little bit Southern.
And a little bit Northern.
She also is a little bit Eastern.

I think all the Sugar Bloggers are working hard to make her a little bit Western!!

Inside, this is what we found...


Yes, those are donuts on top of cupcakes.
Genius.

At this point, it was time to mix and mingle {to a jingling beat}. Which to me, translates as "do not let the crazy come out. do not be awkward. stay calm".

Hopefully, I maintained some of my composure.

After mix-y time, we had our first speaker. I listened to the lovely {literally} Heather Hamilton of Life Made Lovely. She shared about telling your story - the story that God is writing in your life. She has an incredible one, and let's just say that tears were in no short supply.

Then dinner. A lot of hugging.
And a lot of taking pictures with my bloggy friends.

Second session was with Lindsey of The Pleated Poppy - about the Juggling Act.

and my third was with Jeannett of Life Rearranged and Julie of Joy's Hope on using your blog for good.

These girls preached it.
They live, and BLOG the Gospel.



Jeannett challenged us, HARD.

When we meet God, what will we have to say when He asks us what we did with that whole "blog thing". Which goes for everything - what did you do with that Twitter, that Facebook, that person you met in the grocery store, that job, that difficult moment. Did you let it be God's? Or did you squander it?

Tough.
Good.

Then we went back to our tables, where we listened to Meg, who shared what was almost a mix of the three sessions I had gone to today. Blogging her story, how she goes about blogging, and how she has learned to use her blog for God's glory and not her own.



Afterward, I got to hug, and squeeze, and meet so many amazing women who have granted me a little glimpse into their lives and what the Lord is doing there through their blogs. Daily, I receive encouragement, from all of them.

They graciously let me pretend like I was at Disneyland asking Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck to take a picture with me. {Is swapping blog cards the grown up version of getting your autograph book signed? I think, YES.}

(From Top: Danielle of Take Heart, Ruthanne of Eclectic Whatnot, Jami of Call Me Blessed, Katie of Minivan Diva, Keri of Forever Folding Laundry, Erin of Bringing Up Burns, Heather of Angel Face Designs, April of Funky Vintage Lovely, Kate of Songs Kate Sang, Denise of Victory Road and Kristen of IdahoMom, Julie of Joy's Hope, and Jeannett of Life Rearranged)

And of course, Meg.


And slightly more less importantly, I wore Meg's shoes.
Is that weird?


Meg, if you think that is weird, I cannot let you know who said it totally wasn't. It most definitely was not your friend Kimberlee {who is awesome and spells her name the same way I do, which is obviously the best way}.  She would never encourage such weird shoe behavior. And she most definitely would not be the one who took a picture of this craziness.

No, definitely not her:



After a long exhausting yet day, we returned to Julie's, where I held the sweetest little sleeping baby boy for a few hours, while a few of us sat around that table and talked and talked (and did a little more carboloading, after all we had such a long day) until none of our eyelids would stay open any longer.


A huge heartfelt thank you to Rachel for being both a dreamer and a doer - making Blog Sugar happen - which in turn is an incredible blessing to myself and so many others.

Super encouraged, and linking up with Jami today:

Friday, September 23, 2011

InstaFriday: Blog Sugar or BUST Edition

Good Morning!
Happy Friday!
I will be Southern California bound in a few short hours...
Kind of excited.
KIND of REALLY excited.

okay

REALLY REALLY REALLY EXCITED (no kind of at all).


Last week, I Insta'd my Euro pics, which means, I actually have two weeks of Insta's to share.

Sunday night, "Chipotle" (and I use that term loosely, since it was more of a BYOD) Sunday was hosted by the Skeigers (Ellen, Cindy, and Jamie) - and Ellen gave me part two of my birthday gifts - a Geocaching Travel Bug. Do you know what Geocaching is? More info HERE if you are interested. It's really fun! And there is even an iPhone app - which makes doing it super easy - and super fun for us iPhone app loving types!


Monday morning, I was running some errands for church, including a trip to Kinkos.
And inside of Kinkos was a Schnoodle.
Which is a Schnauzer Poodle mix.
Same as Mylie.
This little guy's name was Yo-Yo.
And he definitely lived up to his own hype.

On Friday, coworker Cary won free Chipotle for our office.
You fill out your order on their form, and fax it in.
Yet my order came back so, so wrong.
I don't understand how when I'm using THEIR form,
they still can't make the order right.
(Total first world problem, especially since it was  FREE meal)
But we have been having some problems with this on a regular Chipotle Sunday basis.
Hence the new BYOD policy.
Also, I had a crazy busy week. 
So my dad had to drop off some bridal shower supplies to me. 
Twine and Lemons. Obvs.
Only one broken ice maker.
And one melted plastic tray.
Two casualties, I call that a win.

The favors/decorations were my favorite.
Baked Brie & Cheesey Artichoke Dip - they are my appetizer power house.
And I had uhh...ALL of the lemons leftover...
Tried to pawn them off at church.
Speaking of church...
I noticed that I am kind of a Sunday insta-bomber.
Especially when I'm with the kiddos.
Which I was this Sunday.
Pastor Dave was out of town - so Jason took the up front roll. 
He rocked it. Plenty of cheesey jokes. 
The kids did my favorite sunday school song - "Making Melodies"
It's like a modern version of Father Abraham. 
You get some goofy moves going and a lot of giggles.
We blew a LOT of bubbles.
And afterwards, I snuggled with her super duper cute baby.


Sunday afternoon I made a pilgramage to Anthro.
I found a really cute outfit on clearance.
Combine that with a birthday gift card.
And I think I found my blog sugar outfit.
I also found (but didn't get) this.
A teacup on a mug?
How mug swap awesome would this have been?

I also got a new toy - I used birthday money and birthday gift cards to treat myself to it.
Nespresso Citiz.
It's a bit pricey, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
I made my first Latte.
And second. 
I also kinda laughed at my tea calendar - a gift from Cindy.
My sister also went to the original Starbucks (but she says it's an imposter).
And got me the perfect mug for lattes.
I love it.
Come over and I will make you one.
You will love it too.
I even have fun syrups to make them extra tasty!

So that is kind of my week(s).
Chipotle.
Bridal Shower.
Kids.
Coffee.

The weekend ahead?
Southern California.
Friends.
Sunshine.
Shopping.
Eating.
Photog-ing.
Cupcaking

and
Sugar-Blogging

And a few other fun things....

By the time you are reading this I may very well be on my way!
See you there!

Linking up with, meeting, and finally getting to hang out with Jeannett:

life rearranged

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: This is Croatia

I am in the {very} beginning stages of sorting my pictures...
While doing this yesterday on my lunch break - this picture popped up. The very first one I took in Croatia.
I just have to share.

Croatia may be one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen.

You might agree...


SOOC:
(Or Straight out of camera)





Monday, September 19, 2011

A Vintage Bridal Shower for a Modern Bride

This weekend I had the privilege of throwing my dear friend Cari a bridal shower.
A few months back, Jessica bought a cute "Call Me Mrs." vintage bride guide from etsy.
Which offered the perfect inspiration for the shower!

With all that is Etsy, and Pinterest, and especially blogs - there was plenty available to make it a success.

First, the invites...



I am the kind of person who loves anything that serves a dual purpose.
When searching for "vintage bridal shower favors" I ended up surfing the vintage section of Etsy.
No specific favors or ideas came up - but I found a lot of vintage handkerchiefs.
Which made the light bulb go on!
Favors and decorations!

I love the way they looked clothespinned to some twine strung across the room.
It was super simple, and had a bit of a bigger impact than I anticipated.
And hardly cost anything!
Win. Win.



And sometimes, trying to get the shot you want takes a little creativity.
And co-hosts making fun of your gymnastical furniture climbing.
And taking mocking pictures of you while laughing hysterically.
Followed by them copying your exact move...
because they know it's a great shot.
You're welcome ladies.


A few more of the details...
The tag says "To catch your tears of joy on the big day"

I also got 1/2 gallon mason jars from Michaels ($3.49 each, woop woop!) - and put a few lemons from my parents tree mixed with some pink tulle inside of them.

The Food.
Fruit salad. Broccoli Salad. Trader Joe's Appetizers.
Baked Brie & Cheesey Artichoke Dip.

Betsy made the most amazing lemon cupcakes. With lemon cream cheese frosting.
I think everybody had two. Maybe three.
They were that good.


Set up was complete.
And the bride, a vision in white, arrived with her mama.


And so did her guests....



And of course a shot of the bride and her Maid of Honor.
I love these girls.


We played one quick game. A mad lib, based on the 1955 Housekeeping Monthly.
Followed by a few little advice cards for the bride...who may be known for baking with booze. ;)


A sweet time of prayer.
Lifting up the bride to be and her groom to Jesus!
{my favorite part of the shower!}

And of course - a shower isn't a shower, if the bride isn't showered with gifts!




All in all, I think it was a success. Keeping things simple was the way to go!
That way, the bride truly got to be the center of attention!




A lovely day, for a lovely girl.



Linking up with Heather:

And Mique:
Thirty Hand Made Days
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