Monday, March 23, 2015

Bearing with One Another

Looking up with eyes of laughter,
Holding out their tiny hands;
Bless these little ones, oh, Master!
Precious children of all lands!
~ Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

Will you join me in prayer this morning for little Bennett? This precious 4-year-old boy is having brain surgery this morning for Chiari Malformation Type I. And let's lift up his sweet family during these trying hours, as well as in the weeks following during Bennett's recovery.

I am hoping that this little gift basket will offer comfort to Bennett. Included with a snuggly teddy bear is a collection of Little Golden Books.

Before Carson was born, I purchased a well-loved copy of Good Night, Little Bear
in an antiques store. I have such fond recollections of my father reading this beloved bedtime story to me during my childhood, and I couldn't wait to share it my my own babies. I read it so often to my boys when they were little, so I hope Bennett will love it, too.

I'm praying that Bennett's mommy will be able to hold and cuddle her Baby Bear soon.

Do you have a favorite Little Golden Book -- or another cherished bedtime classic that evokes happy memories?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Emma's Ice-Skating Party

For her 9th birthday, Emma had her heart set on an ice-skating party. Here are some of the creative details that made her celebration a bright, happy day with friends.

Custom-designed invitations from Sand in My Shoes Designs set the tone with the birthday girl's favorite pattern -- chevron -- in her favorite color -- pink.

This dress form has served as a centerpiece at many of our celebrations through the years. A borrowed scarf and new skates made perfect additions.

I found these American Girl Doll-sized shoes at Michaels.

At the rink where we hosted the party, we could only take cake or cupcakes. I made Emma's cake but purchased some mini cupcakes, just in case we needed extra nibbles.

For our tables, I used wrapping-paper runners from Dollar Tree and tableware from Party City. We had about 20 minutes to set up our party room, and the kids were great help in decorating our tablescapes. The scalloped plates were too pretty to discard, so I saved those to use again.

Emma's cake suited her vivacious personality. I found the idea for the design in a book that recently came across my desk. I plan to share more details in an upcoming post.

Pink roses were the focal point of this cake. I had planned to place an ice skate in the center, but the scale wasn't right. In the end, I loved the flowers!

Water bottles wrapped in labels from Pink Pickle Parties provided refreshment after skating.

Along with candy sticks from Party City.

Little buckets from Target held our party favors.

Treats included gloves from Target, bubbles from Michaels and candy from Party City.

In the end, Emma's party was a simple yet fun celebration that she will always remember.

I will be heading to Kentucky this weekend to speak for a ladies day at the Elizabethtown Church of Christ. If you live nearby, I hope you will join us Saturday!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Remembering Mary Ashley's Ice-Skating Party

We recently celebrated Emma's 9th birthday with an ice-skating party. Since we did figure eights for Mary Ashley's 8th birthday a few years ago, I wasn't too keen on repeating the theme, but Emma had her heart set on having her own day on the ice. Here is a peek at some of my favorite elements from the gathering we hosted at our house before heading to the rink in 2012.

This frosty blue-and-pink theme suited Mary Ashley perfectly. Find helpful links, tutorials and recipes from her party here.

Emma's party turned out to be a lot of fun, so look for a festival of color in my next post!

Friday, March 13, 2015

All That Pizazz: Emma at 9

"Wherever you go, no matter the weather, always bring your own sunshine." ~ Anthony J. D'Angelo

A few days ago, just before bedtime, Emma mentioned, "This is Pizazz Week."

"Oh, yeah?" Joe asked. "What does that mean?"

"Well, it means I will be dressing up and curling my hair every day -- that kind of thing," she replied.

"Is this something your class is doing?" I inquired. "Or your school?"

"No," she explained. "Just me."

Emma let me take a few pictures of her Saturday, and these are a few of my favorite sweet and sassy images.

(Cardigan, tutu skirt and leggings from The White Company.)

Oh, how I love this little light of mine.

We celebrated Emma's 9th birthday over the weekend, so I will be sharing party photos next week!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mini Coconut Almond Macaroons from The Simply Real Health Cookbook

I recently discovered nutrition expert Sarah Adler, the vivacious and instantly likable food blogger behind Simply Real Health. Previewing her new cookbook was a distinct privilege, as it is a visual feast! Sarah's passion for healthy living comes through each page, with delicious recipes, helpful tips and vibrant photography. This recipe for Mini Coconut Almond Macaroons caught my eye as an ideal teatime treat -- a sweet yet healthy indulgence perfect to share with friends over a pot of tea. Sarah's recipe follows, along with a link to her beautiful new book. 

Learn more about The Simply Real Health Cookbook by Sarah Adler here.

We celebrated daughter Emma's birthday over the weekend, so I will be back Friday with pictures of our sweet and sassy 9-year-old girl. Look for photos from the party next week!

Images from The Simply Real Health Cookbook by Sarah Adler. Used with permission.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Housewarming Gift Baskets

Two members of our Victoria team have just bought their first houses -- what a happy milestone! Seeing their excitement takes me back to the first little cottage Joe and I purchased. We spent our first days there painting, and I remember running my hand over the walls in awe, thinking, I can't believe these are our walls!

To celebrate my co-workers' good news, I put together a housewarming gift for each one. Tucked into rustic baskets lined with flour sack towels, I hope these goodies will be used for years to come.

Nothing makes a house more cozy and inviting than the scent of something scrumptious baking in the oven, so I'm hoping the cookbook above will yield some inspiration for sweet treats.

This romantic Adelaide teacup and saucer looked perfect for my friend who first fell in love with her new home's wraparound porch and claw-foot tub. Find more of this china collection here.

And for my other friend, whose journey to the ideal house took many months, a pristine white teapot and wishes for many cups of tea in her new haven.

Little notes and bouquets of fresh tulips complete these baskets of good cheer.

Packed with prayers for many happy years in their new abodes, these gifts whisper ...

Welcome Home!

"Home, the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest."
~ Robert Montgomery

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