DIY: fun personalized gift wrapping

I pulled my brother's girlfriend's name for our Not-So-Secret Santa this year. 
She has a very vibrant, fun, girly personality so I wanted to do something that suited her.

I picked up some candy wrapping paper & colorful ribbon at Target. 
(If you need to remember how to wrap gifts, check out this site, you'll be a pro in no time).

I printed Shalyn's name in a font that I liked (in size 250!)
and cut it out. <--That took the longest! 
Then I glued the letters to card stock and cut them out using some of my fun scissors.

I already had the pink polka dot card stock
(any card stock that matched your theme will do.)

I searched around online and played with ideas until I came up with fun ways I wanted to tie the ribbon 
and voila!


Thing 1 & 2 Birthday Party

My sister and I love to do joint parties with our sons, so a Thing 1 & 2 theme seemed like the perfect fit. Even though it rained all day (boo) we still had a ton of silly fun!! Enjoy!

We used the Cat in the Hat book as a guest book.

Obviously, we needed somewhere fun to put the gifts!

Hats for the boys (Target), handmade hair bows for the girls.

My adorable niece, who made the perfect "Sally"

My sister and I with our Thing 1 & Thing 2 cupcakes

I made a 'Pin the Hat on the Cat' board!

Gift boxes had markers, coloring sheets, glow-sticks and stickers. (All from the dollar section at Target) 


good advice.

"Just do what gives you joy — a joyful mommy is the best mommy.
It is godly to be joyful.  It is godly to be at peace.
God wants you to have joy.  God wants you to have peace.
Don’t do what robs you of joy.
Don’t do what robs you of peace."


Joplin Tornado 5-22-11

These are photographs taken during my trip down to Joplin, MO after the EF5 tornado on May 22, 2011 leveled much of this beautiful town.
My mom and I took a road trip to help some friends of ours whose home was destroyed during this storm. We were not prepared for what we saw. These pictures do not do the destruction, heartache,  love, and hope of this town justice. 
Joplin, and it's lovely people, will forever have a piece of my heart.

A photo looking down our friend's street. Not far to the left is where the hospital was hit.

A neighbor of our friend.

A house still standing, across the street from the one that is no longer there. Surreal. 


10 things I would tell my 12-year-old self...

After spending the whole weekend going through old pics and reliving my childhood it seemed like fate that I ran into Jill's blog on The Stir today. I just couldn't resist.

  1. Posters of 'N Sync as wallpaper? Really??
  2. One day you'll wish you were as "fat" as you are now.
  3. You better stop picking on your little brother. Soon he'll be 6' and 210 lbs. Haha.
  4. Just because you sometimes look older doesn't mean you can tell guys you're 16...cheese & rice!
  5. God is the only Father you need. A lesson you will soon learn when your dad decides it's easier to not be a dad. :/
  7. Mom's right, you CAN be exasperating. Relax a little, you're 12 not 30!
  8. Your sister is your best friend and you'll regret fighting all the time.
  9. Middle/high school is nothin' compared to college, so for now, just focus on your education. ;)
  10. Be nice to your mom...she's pretty great. When you have kids, you'll try to be just like her.


Easter Crafts!

cotton ball painted eggs & mr. bunny

thumbprint chicks


Simple Easter Decor

I just love this candle, I always have to dress it up with something.
I tied a blue ribbon around it and stuck some bunny suckers from the dollar store around it.

Cute planters on the shelves in my kitchen that I have yet to fill.
I used some leftover eggs (and scotch tape) to decorate them.

Absolutely LOVE this
Easter Egg Garland idea I got from Nap Time Journal. The eggs came with holes on both ends so I strung fishing line through each of them and added bows in between. SO cute.

date night at home

It's hard for us to plan a date night in general, let alone some fancy dinner-&-a-movie-deal. It's no easy task finding a babysitter for My Little Ninja last minute and honestly, it's frustrating having to budget babysitting fees with the cost to spend a night out in Chicago. I mean, don't get me wrong, we do splurge every now and then on an expensive date night, but I've come to realize it's the simple, in-home ones that mean the most. At first, this bugged me a lot, I really like dressing up and getting out of this dang apartment. I'm a stay-at-home-mom and I'm here ALL day, but Miguel isn't. In fact, he works 6 days a week and is home late most nights. On Sunday, we're an hour north for church and the rest of the day is filled with visiting family and football practice. He rarely gets to spend time with the family at home and he's not a huge fan of getting dressed for a date after he's been in a suit all day. (Miguel is Mr. Casual, first stop when he gets home is the closet to put on a sports t-shirt and some basketball shorts.) Compromise is key-we both want to spend more time together at home so we've found a way that works for us! He wants to be comfy and I like to look pretty when he's around...so that's what we do. In the morning on date-night days, I'm walking around like a zombie with crazy hair & no makeup and he's dressed to the nines in a business suit. At night he gets all comfy and I'll be looking a little cuter than the last time he saw me, we both get our fill of the dressier version of each other, doesn't matter to us if it's at opposite times of the day. We definitely have more in-home date nights now and it's working for us. Either way, I think it's good to consider the fact that you can have a fun, romantic, fulfilling night with your spouse in the comfort of your own home.

Miguel and I have discovered 3 important things about our romantic home dates: we actually have a date night, we talk more during the date (I REALLY like that part), and (Miguel's personal favorite) spend less money...sometimes, no money.

(BONUS: Don't forget, the bedroom is conveniently located just a few steps away!)

This particular night we got sushi from Jewel and play rummy 500-we used to play it in college all the time

Sushi from Jewel (it was pretty good and only $12)

My man.

I was ready to eat! I love me some sushi!
(PS bought the japanese plates & chopsticks-set of 4-at ALDI for $10!)

Rummy time! 

I'm VERY picky about score sheets... 

Dessert time: yummy cantaloupe. :)

Oh yeah, mama won!
Good game, babe.


abc's of me :)

Age: 26
Bed Size: king
Chore you hate: dishes
Dogs: the dog of my life, a rottweiler named goliath RIP
Essential start of your day: a hug from my little man and some coffee...stat!
Favorite Color:  turquoise
Gold or silver:  varies, usually rings are silver
Height: 5' 7"
Instruments I play (or have played): nada. not musically inclined.
Job Title: stay at home mommy
Kids: 1 boy
Live: chicago, il
Mom's Name: nancy
Nickname:  meagh, meaghy
Overnight hospital stays: only when i was in labor
Pet Peeve: lying
Quote from a movie:  "What's with today today?"
Right or left handed: right
Siblings: 5 sisters, 1 bother...poor kid
Time you wake up: when my kid gets up...anywhere between 7 & 8
Underwear: underwear? what underwear? haha! seriously, i like boxer briefs for women
Vegetables you dislike: not a huge fan of broccoli
What makes you run late: my kid, my husband, life. lol
X-rays you've had done: knee, ankle
Yummy food you make: cuban food for my babe. :) 
Zoo animal:  snow leopard


Cute Spring Wreath

Earlier Alex and I made Handprint Bunnies and Footprint Ducklings from Moments of Mommyhood along with some cutesy butterflies. Then, I used the basic guidelines for the tissue paper wreath from Activity Village and attached our earlier crafts. YAY! I love it, I think it turned out pretty cute. :)