September 29, 2014

Everybody's Waiting For The Next Surprise...

If you've read my 'About Me' page, then you know that if I were to change careers tomorrow that I would go into event planning. I love everything about party planning - It's fun and stressful all at the same time, and I absolutely love putting all the little details together. Unfortunately the fact that I currently don't have my own home means playing hostess doesn't happen very often (I'll eventually host my own favourite things party, I swear!)

When Toni started talking early in September about the girls upcoming birthdays and their party she mentioned having a Nightmare Before Christmas themed party. I'm a HUGE fan of the movie (its in my top five favourites of all time!) and since Toni usually passes the decorating aspect of the girls parties onto me (or I make her, whatever...), I took the idea and ran with it, pinning tons of ideas and constantly googling for more inspiration. However, the craziness that has been September with both my personal and professional life just meant that it was the night before the party and I had yet to do one of the ideas that I had pinned for the party (yikes...)

Luckily for me it was super easy to pull off this party theme with just a few touches here and there. A permanent marker and my mediocre drawing capabilities were really all that were necessary to pull the party theme off

Jack Skellington cups and Deadly Night Shade punch

I wanted to use white cups but didn't get into 'the city' anytime before the party and Toni forgot her white cups at home the morning of the party.  I quickly slapped on 18 different Jack Skellington faces and voilĂ ! Easy peasy lemon squeezy

Jack Skellington party favours

I used white paper bags and drew Jack's face with a permanent marker. Again, SO easy! Toni had purchased a bunch of treats and some pumpkin bags and into the Jack bags they went 

Jack Skellington balloons

Again, just a white balloon and a permanent marker and the balloon went from drab to fab (sorry for that terrible analogy - I'm running on very little sleep!).  I  originally planned to have the balloons on the table as decoration but it was crazy windy (enough to knock part of our neighbour's fence over!) so they just ended up being played with by the party guests and birthday girls 

Lock, Shock, and Barrel's Dirt N' Worms

When we used to have Halloween parties at school Scooby's mom would always make the whole class Dirt N Worms and I loved that tradition. I couldn't not have them at a Halloween themed party 

Oogie Boogie Guts and Sally's Hair Strings

Just slap a different name on some candy and you've got yourself a themed party food. I made all the food signs in PicMonkey - my favourite editing site

 Zero Kibble 

You've probably noticed my Jack Skellington and Mayor plushies  - I bought them at the Disney Store in Vegas years ago and desperately want to add to my collection (I own so many Halloween decorations its ridiculous). Zero is my favourite but they never have anything of him - if you know of any Zero decorations hook me up!

The original plan had been to put Jack's face on the cupcakes using icing. However, that epically failed so it's a good thing I had a back up plan. I printed off some of characters, cut them out, and Toni taped them to toothpicks, transforming them into cupcake toppers!

Didn't want to post pictures of Graycie' friends without their parents permission  so I had to get a little creative with my editing. I love my Graycie girls face in this one!

So there you have it - an easy, inexpensive, yet awesome way to celebrate someone's birthday with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme. Would I have liked to incorporate more elements of the movie? Of course. But I feel pretty happy with myself for being able to pull it off with the little time I had, and the fact that I haven't left O-town in over a month (eeeek). Also - the decorations and party supplies cost $30 MAX. I definitely call that a win!

September 23, 2014

Birthday Girl (Round Two)...

On Sunday September 21st Graycie Bear turned 4 years old. When the reality of her turning 4 sunk in all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and cry that 'my' baby is growing up on me

I was at the hospital the night Graycie was born. In fact, I drove Toni to the hospital to deliver her. 45 minutes with someone in hardcore labour in your backseat is not fun, trust me! Toni had worked that very day, and later that night I went to her house to drag the bassinet up from the basement for her since she was having some back pain and wanted to be prepared. Thank goodness I went because just a few hours later I was on my way to 'the city' with my Mama and Toni and less than two hours after we arrived at the hospital Graycie made her appearance

Graycie Bear and Grandma just minutes after she was born

I met Graycie when she was only minutes old. I was there when she was weighed and measured, when she had her first bath, and when the nurse put the tiny little dressing gown on her. I played photographer and have over 100 pictures just from the first few hours of her life. I remember all of the events of that night as if it were yesterday and not 4 years ago (like the fact that my Mama almost missed Graycie's birth because we ran out for coffee - never trust a nurse when she says you aren't ready to push!)

It took Toni the two full days she was in the hospital to decide on a name for Graycie, thus the reason she had the nickname McBaby for the longest time. She's known to Graycie or Graycie Bear to most - she usually only hears Kenley-Grayce when she's in trouble

Don't let the curly hair and innocent smile fool you - she is the most spirited child I have ever encountered (and I work in the early childhood profession!), but I wouldn't have it any other way

Happy 4th Birthday Kenley-Grayce Bryn!


September 16, 2014

10 Things...

I've seen a ton of people posting on IG lately about their '10 Things That Make Me Happy'. When I started thinking about it myself I had a list a mile long; however, I'll spare you that long ass post and keep it to only 10 things. Some of them overlap with some of the items I listed in my 'things that make me smile' post but I love them so must I just had to list them twice!

Krickit snuggles
She may take up more of the bed than any dog that size should, but when she cuddles up to me at night it is the sweetest thing 

I was asked three different times over the weekend where I had my next trip planned for. It made me a super sad panda to have to say that I currently don't have a single trip planned. Stupid budget...

I had the stomach flu over the weekend and the worst part about it was not being able to drink coffee #coffee addict. Give me some french vanilla creamer and some Caribou Blend and I'm happy as a clam. Also, I would literally sell my first born child (not Krickit...) for a Caramel Brulee latte from Starbucks right now . Is it red cup season yet?!

Road trips
Last summer I road tripped with Scooby to Oyen, AB for my college best friends wedding. We sang along to Backstreet Boys, SClub7, the Spice Girls, etc. and it was like we were back in high school again, cruising around all night without a care in the world

My BFF's Moscato & Sweet Red
What would I do without those two? I mean, Moscato is even included in my blog button...

Specifically Halloween/Christmas. Now that summer is (almost) over I am so ready for the holidays! Let the decorating and crafting begin! 

Weekend getaways
I don't have any of these planned either thanks to my budget but I love a nice little weekend getaway to the city to escape small town life for a little bit

Last week it was miserably cold - to the point I was ready to bring out the winter coat and mitts. But this week it has warmed up, the AC and flip flops are back on, and I'm going to soak up the rest of this sunshine and enjoy it before the Winter blues set in

Sending/receiving snail mail
I may be horrible at actually getting the mail into the mail box but I'm working on getting better. If you want to receive some snail mail from me just email me your address - Let's be 'pen pals'!

We may have won the Banjo Bowl but in the process we lost our starting QB for what looks like the rest of the season :( BUT I have faith in the rest of my team that we can make it to playoffs anyways - we got this!

What makes YOU happy?

September 15, 2014

Birthday Girl...

Eight years ago in the wee hours of September 15th my cell phone rang. Heart pounding, woken from a dead sleep, I answered. Most of the time when the phone rings in the middle of the night you expect the worst; however, this was the call I had been waiting on for what seemed like forever. I was finally, officially, an auntie. The first words my Dad said to me were 'Hi Auntie'. The rest of our conversation was a complete blur - I couldn't even remember it 2 minutes after hanging up, let alone 8 years later. I do remember thinking that I should go back to sleep because I had a class early that morning but I was too anxious and excited. At the time I was living 6 hours away from home, attending my first year of College

I first met her when she was one week old (silly school for getting in the way). The 6 hour drive home took forever - I just couldn't get home fast enough to see her. At the time there was no Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. I'd had to hound my brother relentlessly (and get my Mama on his case) to email me pictures of my newborn niece

The first time I held her I never wanted to let go. She's been such a huge part of my life for the past 8 years and will always hold such a special place in my heart. She's full of spunk, which sometimes means we don't always see eye to eye on everything, but I wouldn't change her for anything

Happy 8th Birthday Audie-Rae Lynn!

ChiTown Girl: Just haven't been in a very bloggy place...

September 9, 2014

September Goals...

Well if everyone's IG pictures of pumpkin spice everything, boots and scarves, and warm coffee didn't scream FALL the 2 degree weather that we're currently experiencing definitely does. There may technically be 13 days left of Summer but it sure doesn't seem like it! 

I really slacked at accomplishing my monthly goals this Summer - mostly due to the fact that it was a whirlwind of a Summer and I had an extensive Summer Bucket List to work on. I'm hanging my head in shame over my lack of progress on my August Goals (below)

Original August Goals post here

1. Send out 4 forms of snail mail. I'm giving myself this one even though they are currently sitting in my purse waiting to be taken to the post office. I had the letters written in August, they just didn't make it out in August

2. Hold an engagement party for Kenton and KelsAt this point I'm thinking their actual wedding is going to double as their engagement party...

3. Stick to my new budget. I was doing really good, only making necessary purchases and purging and selling a lot of things around the house. And then Krickit's $550 trip to the vet happened...

4. Complete (at least) 5 more things off of my Summer Bucket List. DONE. Did another 5K, made s'mores on a campfire, saw fireworks, watched a movie at the drive-in, took the girls to the zoo AND took a picture everyday in July and August

5. Focus on my fitness goals and complete the 30 Day Fitness Challenge with Kels & KirstinI think I made it to about Day 13. Whooops

6. Do something spontaneous. Well if I did I certainly don't remember it!

7. Give Eleanor a 'bath'. (Eleanor being my SUV). Nope. Didn't happen. And I think she's mad at me for it

8. Teach Krickit two 'commands'. At this point I'm just focused on her health. Once we get her test results back and see  if it is Addison's Disease and we can get it managed then we will concentrate on commands

9. Do 10 'projects' from my Pinterest boards. I'm laughing at myself for even thinking this was a possibility

10. Hit publish on my #10daysinTexas vacation recap. Coming to a blog near you this Thursday (This blog, obviously)

11. Order all my photos from Texas via Shutterfly. Done. Wasn't exactly in the budget either but needed to be done

12. Try 5 new recipes this month. The most I cooked in August was bagel bites and noodles from a package... Oh, and copious amounts of caesar salad

13. Complete (at least) 2 months in my 2011 & 2012 Project Life albums. I did about two pages in each - but its better than nothing!

Due to the fact that I only completed 3 out of 13 goals for August I am going to limit myself to only 6 goals for September since this month is almost already half over and its one of the busiest months of the year for me. Is it October yet?!

1. Hit publish on my #10daysinTexas vacation recap

2. Complete my Summer Bucket List

3. Do five projects from my Pinterest boards

4. Complete at least 1 month in my 2011 & 2012 Project Life albums

5. Give Eleanor a 'bath'

6. Try four new recipes this month

What are your September goals?

September 5, 2014

Friday Five...

1// I'm missing those views.  Toni, the girls and I headed up to Lake Metigoshe, MB, where my aunt and uncle have a cabin,  to spend the night last Saturday. We pontooned, drank fishbowls, relaxed, and even got to see some fireworks. I love lake life and wish we would have went earlier in the year to visit!

2// My jam packed weekend (plus the 'excitement' from Wednesday - see #5) has completely wiped me out. I'm looking forward to a low key weekend of relaxation before the craziness starts back up with the girls birthdays coming up 

3// Monday was Labour Day so both Toni and I were off work. She still had some (very) last minute school shopping to do so I headed to Minot with her and the girls. We did some shopping then hit up the zoo. I had went early in August on a rainy day so not many animals were out and about. This time there was lots of excitement - one of the lions kept roaring at everyone, the wolves were howling and playing around with each other, and there was even a baby giraffe 

4// This tiny human started Grade THREE on Tuesday. I swear it was just yesterday I got the call from my Dad in the wee hours of the morning to say that she had finally arrived and now she's basically College bound. Slow down time!

5// The decision to get a puppy of my very own was not a spur of the moment decision. I thought about it for a long time, weighed the pros and cons, and then decided that no time was going to be the perfect time, but that I was ready. I picked this little nugget up on the official first day of Summer and it was love at first sight. She was perfect. But then two weeks after picking her up, she got sick and had to be rushed to the vet. She had made a full recovery... so we thought. Then on Wednesday, as I was accomplishing tasks off my to do list on my day off, she got sick again. Very sick. I once again had to rush her to the vet. Three and a half hours at the vets office, blood tests, urine tests, and IV's, and I still have no definitive answers about what is happening to my baby. I left her at 4:30 at the vets office for an overnight stay and went home still wondering what was happening. At 8:00 I got a text from the vet that she was doing much better and I my heart was so happy. Then at almost 10:30 at night my phone rang. It was the vet. My heart instantly started pounding and my stomach was a bundle of nerves. However, the news was good. Krickit was doing so good that she was super hyper and would not settle down for them. I hopped into the truck and drove 20 minutes in the pouring rain to go get my baby. She has been doing great ever since, but goes back to the vet on Monday morning for additional testing. At this point they believe she has Addison's Disease, a manageable disease, but still scary nonetheless. I'm hoping for good news on Monday and this weekend will be spent snuggling and spoiling my baby

September 4, 2014

If You Knew Me In High School....

I mentioned in my post yesterday that today I would be posting about my September goals; however, last night while scrolling through Twitter I was reminded of the 'If You Knew Me In High School' link up that Morgan and Libby  are hosting today that I wanted to link up for, so my September Goals post has been pushed to Tuesday of next week. That's what I get for not having my posts written in my planner!

A few weeks ago I got a Facebook notification that my TEN YEAR high school reunion is next August, just a week before Kenton and Kels' wedding. After the initial shock of realizing I graduated almost TEN years ago wore off I started thinking about high school and all the good (and bad!) memories. I remember graduation as if it were yesterday - not so much all of the little details about the day because I was so drunk that it's all kind of a blur - but the overwhelming feeling of finally graduating and knowing that my adult life was about to start and there would be no turning back

I graduated from Oxbow Prairie Heights School in 2005, with a class of around 35 people, most of whom I had started Kindergarten with and most of whom still live in our tiny hometown to this day. If you knew me in high school you would know...

That I worked at the Bow Manor Hotel as a waitress and (sometimes) cook's helper and spent almost all of my free time at work because that is where most of my close friends worked as well.  I skipped at least one class every day (if not more - sorry mama) to go to the restaurant to have coffee with friends. You would also know that Jayden and I got 'fired' from the restaurant a few months before graduation after telling off the new owners when they wanted us to serve moldy steaks and food that was on the floor (True story!)

If you knew me in high school you would know...
That I didn't hang out with very many people from OPHS. Millz, Toni, Jayben, Scooby, Angie and Becca were really the only people I associated with at school. You probably would have thought that I was really shy and quiet, until you got to know me better and realize that that was entirely not the case. You also might have thought that I was a brainiac because you didn't see me around very often, but that was because we spent most of our time in Carnduff hanging out with boys from CEC

Subtract the person to my left in the picture and add in Toni
If you knew me in high school you would know...
That I slacked off so much in Grade 12 that I wasn't sure if I was going to have enough credits to graduate. (I still have nightmares that I didn't graduate high school and when I wake up have to remind myself that I wouldn't have graduated from college if I hadn't finished high school). In hindsight I probably should have spent more time in class than at the Bow... Oh, and  you would also know that I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life after graduation so I took a year off to figure it out

If you knew me in high school you would know...
That Jayden and I only took the same classes as each other and left Scooby on her own to take the boring classes like Chem30 and Physics 30 while we took extra spares or distance classes that we never even opened the books for. You would also know that I aced classes like History, Law, and English but failed epically at all the maths and sciences

Friends since Kindergarten
If you knew me in high school you would...
Most likely have found me at whatever bush party or house party was happening on the weekend, usually with the cheapest 26 of vodka that I could get my hands on, that I would drink straight until it was empty

Pre -drinking at my house before a bush party
If you knew me in high school you would know...
That my parents bought me a 97' Ford Taurus when I was 15, but that I didn't even go for my license until after I graduated. You would also know that a silly little thing like a license didn't stop me from driving the car that was affectionately named 'Tonto'...

If you knew me in high school you would know...
That I was so drunk at my high school graduation that I could barely walk a straight line down the aisle to the stage to get my diploma

If you knew me in high school you would know...
That my trip to Europe in Grade Ten is what sparked my love of traveling. You would also know that I saved all my babysitting money for almost a year for spending money for Vegas and that I lived on such a tight budget leading up to the trip

All the Grade 10 students who went on Europe Trip 2003

Believe in the Sparks

September 3, 2014

Summer Bucket List Update...

Happy humpday y'all! Can you believe it's already September?! I swear it was just the beginning of June and I was writing out my Summer Bucket List and day dreaming about Summer and now its already three days into September! I had big plans for this Summer and am ridiculously sad that its almost over. I haven't finished everything that I wanted to yet, but I'll let you look at my progress below to see for yourself


*Go Mini Golfing   Completed August 10th 

*Eat mini donuts and drink frozen lemonade at the Fair   Completed June 18th 

*Re-read all the Harry Potter books (ordered them off Amazon on Tuesday!) Completed June 19th

*See fireworks  Completed August 30th 

*Spend my birthday weekend in Vegas with one of my best friends from school  Completed July 24th-28th

*Get a blow out at the Blow Dry Bar in the Mall of America Completed July 13th 

*Watch a movie at the Drive-In  Completed August 17th 

*Visit the Red Barn in Kenosee  Completed August 10th

*Get lunch from a food truck (Twin Cities?)  Completed August 10th at the Red Barn

*Run a 5K (July 13th Colour Run in the Twin Cities again this year!) Completed July 13th AND August 23rd

*Take the girls to the Zoo Completed Sept 1st

*Take a picture every day in July & August Completed August 31st

In Progress

*Help Kelsey work her way through my  'Must Watch Movies' list for her Watched 'She's All That'

*Watch all of the Harry Potter movies (I've only ever seen 1!) Planning to watch the fourth movie tonight

*Make s'mores and pizza sandwiches over a campfire S'mores completed August 30th 

*Read 50 books. Preferably poolside 

*De-clutter and re-organize my life

*Complete 5 things off my 30 X 30 list

To Be Completed 

*Make a copycat version of Applebee's Berry Sangria

*Go to a Farmers Market

*Spend a day at the Beach

*Make lemonade from scratch and help the girls set up a lemonade stand

*Host a Favourite Things party

*Try 5 new recipes

*Do 27 Acts of Kindness for my 27th Birthday 

*Make this Paradise drink and enjoy it all Summer long

*Learn to shoot a gun (maybe in Vegas? Gotta get Scooby on board for that one...)

*Go on a camping trip 

*Listen to 'Pontoon' on repeat while on the pontoon

*Have a Family Game Night 

*Re-watch my favourite movies while in bed on a rainy day 

*Practice yoga outside

*Have supper and drinks on a patio

*Make homemade ice cream

*Have an outdoor movie night

*Eat dessert for Supper

*Find a brunch spot with unlimited Mimosas. Never leave 

*Watch a Rider Game at Mosaic Stadium

I've been going back and updating my original post with my progress and I thought I was making really good progress on my list. BUT now that I've re-listed them out as completed, in progress, and completed I've realized just how many things I need to complete still. And with only 19 days left - eeeek!  

And with that, I'm off to de-clutter and re-organize my life. Pray for me