Kid’s Spring Table Setting

Happy spring! Here in SoCal, we have had the weirdest weather! We had a surprisingly cold and wet winter. Then all of a sudden it got super hot. Like 90+ hot and we were all swimming and breaking out our shorts and flip-flops. Now, today its cloudy and will be raining all week. Wacky!!!

So, even though last week felt like summer…this week definitely feels like spring and I am excited. I love decorating for spring. It brings so much color and life into my home. I decided to put together a kid’s picnic table. It could also be used for a fun girl’s lunch table setting or even used as an Easter table setting! I hope it inspires you to break out all of your spring decor and set a cute table!

 

Spring Kid's Table
I have a thing for bunnies! They are so adorable. I thought the kid’s would enjoy them as well so, I incorporated them as much as possible. I found the cute bunny ear napkin rings in the Target Dollar Spot. I added beautiful satin pink napkins from Efovormart.com.

 

Spring Kid's Table
How cute are these little bunny place cards? Also, from Target…shocking…as well as the mini cupcake stands! I added a little moss for the bunny to rest on and then filled out each guests’ name on the place card.

 

Spring Kid's Table
I promise not everything is from the Target Dollar Spot! A good amount is though because Target makes some cute stuff! I did find these white pom-poms at Target as well and immediately thought bunny tails! I wasn’t sure where I was going to use them, but when I decided to make some strawberry milk, I knew the kids would get a kick out of having them on their glasses.

 

Kid's Spring Table
I already had all of these items lying around from previous years and thought they added some cute spring vibes. I took a terra-cotta planter and base, added some moss and then sprinkled felt eggs around. The felt eggs are absolutely precious. I found similar ones here and here.

 

I added a few more items for a bit of a different look. I think the previous table setting is a bit more girly with the pink napkins. Being that I only have a boy… I wanted to do a setting for him as well. I added a blue and white gingham lunch box(technically a suitcase) and added a few little animals to the table that all the kids would enjoy. Those carrots are from the Target Dollar Spot last year. They don’t have the exact ones again this year, but have some cute cloth carrots, if you are interested. I love the whimsy of the sweet duckling and lamb!
Kid's Spring Table
For lunch we had sandwiches wrapped in brown paper and finished off with wash tape. Some yogurt and a fruit roll up. I had to get fancy and add a gold spoon but any utensil would do. The strawberry milk finished it all off. If you don’t have these lunch boxes you could always use a brown paper bag and seal it up with wash tape and even add a white pom-pom for a bunny tail! The options are endless.

I hope this gave you a few ideas for your spring or Easter table this year! If you were wondering that beautiful centerpiece was from The Hubs and what really inspired me to do this table! Happy spring!

Summer

New Orleans:Favorite Spots to Eat

As many of you know by now, my husband and I traveled to New Orleans last week! I prepared myself by making some Jambalaya and Beignet’s a few weeks prior. This was also the first trip I have been on that I really planned out my outfits and makeup/skincare. I did have a few items I didn’t wear but, overall I did pretty well in the packing department.

Now that we are back I wanted to share my experience and hope it helps you plan your trip to New Orleans.

New Orleans is like Las Vegas of the South… only prettier. I think we all know what happens on Bourbon street. Much like Vegas, New Orleans does not sleep. There is always a bar open and people are always walking around…no matter what time it is. Now, if you don’t know me let me try to explain why this didn’t work out so well for me. I don’t drink that much and I don’t party. I know…why would I go to New Orleans??? Let me assure you there is plenty more to do though. New Orleans is filled with so much history. The beauty of the architecture on every street in the French Quarter is breathtaking. We stayed at the Marriott on Canal street in the French Quarter. Plan on walking every where. You can get an Uber ride quickly or a taxi but, there are so many people walking, it takes just as long to drive as it does to walk.

I was on my own for the first few days, as my husband was there for a conference. I have to say being alone there doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies. New Orleans is full of beauty but it is also very dirty and there are many beggars everywhere you go. I prayed for that city so much while I was there! It has gone through so much. There were quite a few questionable characters about. There were also a lot of drunk tourists. So, imagine shy blondie female walking alone. Thankfully, no one said a word to me and left me alone. I could hear them screaming at others but they left me alone. I survived!

So, now that I have the negative out of the way let me tell you of all the positives!!! When I think of New Orleans I think of two things: food and music. Boy did we get our fair share of both! Our first stop after we landed was Palace Cafe, it was actually the first restaurant we saw, as it was right next door to our hotel. We loved it so much we went back for lunch the next day and then dinner! I was beginning to think we would not go anywhere else. The character of the building was gorgeous! There was an open kitchen so you could watch the chefs cook(which I always love). If I could recommend only one item it would be the Crawfish and Brie Au Gratin. Holy moly…slap yo mama good! They pretty much recommend you put crawfish in everything and we did!

 

Another place we loved was Galatoire’s 33 on Bourbon street. It was amazing how many high end restaurants there were in the French Quarter and particularly Bourbon Street. They have a dress code on one side and then a more casual dining restaurant on the other side. *Side note-many restaurants do have strict dress codes so be sure to call ahead or look online before you show up. We chose the more casual dining side which was just as nice and less boujee. My husband and I are pretty adventurous so we ordered the escargot(I actually said no at first but then decided to live a little). It was amazing! Not your typical escargot drenched in butter, it had more of a cream sauce. I tried the roasted duck l’Orange for my entree. It was amazing as well! Service here was the best of all the restaurants. Good service was a little hard to come by at many restaurants, but it was wonderful at Galattoire’s 33.

 

I could go on and on about all the yummy places we ate but I just wanted to give a few reviews. It really is overwhelming the amount of choices you have. I really wanted to try Lüke, John Besh’s restaurant and also Emeril’s but didn’t make it.

I couldn’t do a review of New Orleans food without talking about beignets! My first stop was a place I stumbled on when I was on an adventure by myself. I went to Cafe Beignet. I assumed they had to have some good beignets, being it was in their name and they sure did! It is a cute cafe…again as you can tell from the name. You can sit inside or outside. They had a few different locations but I went to the one on Royal street. You get three to an order and believe me you will eat at least two!

 

 

 

Of course, you cannot leave New Orleans without going to Cafe Du Monde! There will be a huge line if you go in the morning or day time but it goes pretty quickly. We got an insider tip to go to the take out line(which is always shorter) and  order there and then head to the river nearby and eat your beignets there. It only took us about 20 minutes to get our beignets in the late afternoon but not having a table to eat them at was no bueno. We had powdered sugar all over and of course we were wearing all black…when in New Orleans!

 

 

 

I hope that helps you if you plan to travel to New Orleans in the future. You can’t beat the food and there is no way you will go hungry. I highly suggest taking any tours of the French Quarter. The guides there are so knowledgable and you can see they truly love their city. There is so much history that fills New Orleans and I am so glad they have preserved as much as they could. Thanks for the memories New Orleans!

Summer

Who am I? 

If I were to ask you who to describe who you are in just a few sentences or even a few words, could you? Do you have a clear idea of who you are?

Also, if you were to answer, would it be prefaced by I wish I was like this or I hope people see me this way. 

I have to admit I have spent a good majority of my life not knowing how to answer those questions. I could maybe give you one word…shy. I was pretty wrapped up in that identity. I think many of you could relate. Maybe not shy but you could fill in the blank with your own adjectives. Many times it isn’t something positive but maybe if you have a clear idea it could be something you or the world sees as positive like, successful or a leader. 

If you struggle with your identity I have another question for ya! Do you base it on your own feelings of yourself or what others would think of you? If yes then may I suggest you STOP IT! Feelings are not always trustworthy. The identity others give you can also be clouded by their own feelings of you, based on certain experiences they have had with you or what they have heard of you from others, but they don’t know the real you. 

So, that brings me to my last question and the only one that really matters: Who are you in Christ? Are you looking to Jesus as your role model or someone else? Are you trying to keep up with The Joneses or with Jesus? Ok…that was more than one question but they all are basically the same question. Who are you striving to be like? 

As I am finishing up this post International Women’s Day is almost over. Which is what got me on this whole identity train. I don’t understand many of the claims that women who run these marches and protests are fighting against/for. But then I have to remember they may not find their identity in Christ. When we try to search for our identity in people or things that are not full of trust and righteousness we become uncertain of who we are. It’s like grabbing at something with no substance or weight. It may hold us for awhile but then we are left trying to grab at anything on the way down until we hit the bottom. It can only hold you for so long, but God has a firm grip. He can carry the weight and he will not waiver. So, if we continue to try to grasp at all ideas of who we are through things, feelings or people that are not trustworthy, we can still feel empty and worthless. 

I read something today on www.fiercemarriage.com about our identity in Christ that was so perfect for this post. Ryan Frederick was talking about comparison and our identity. He spoke about looking to Jesus for the answer…obviously…but also mentioned this little bit that I just love:

“…we must rely on his perfect righteousness for our ultimate worth, value and security. ”

I believe that is the core problem with many women today Christian or not. They feel worthless. They do not feel valued and they do not have security or they look for it in things or from others that can not give it to them. 

I look to my husband for these things and he tries his hardest to provide these things for me, but ultimately he fails(sorry babe). I have to look to God to fill in where my husband can not. So, again when we look to Christ and find our identity in him we do not need the validation from others. We don’t need to keep up with others or feel bad that Jennifer is way better at meal prepping and making healthy meals…while your child has eaten 3 out of 5 days at the school cafeteria. Or maybe Emily has already done three different crafts with her 5 children this week….meanwhile you realize your only child is almost 8 and doesn’t really know how to tie his shoes(totally not talking about myself…just a good story line). 

Comparison steals that joy right from you. You have been created by a loving father who has such great plans for you. Your identity is found in Him. Not who your mom wants you to be, or your bff or even your husband. If you feel less than or that you are not valued as a woman today on International Women’s Day or any day of the year…look to Jesus. Remember who you are is wrapped up in whose you are. 

Summer

What’s in my Makeup Bag:New Orleans Edition

I shared earlier this week about the clothing items and accessories that I will be bringing in my suitcase on my trip to New Orleans. I had tons of fun putting that together and of course shopping for some new pieces. Now, I need to start thinking about my makeup and skincare items that I will bring with me. This is my favorite part of packing. I am a crazy makeup person and bring most of my makeup with me on the plane. I would much rather have the airlines lose my clothes than my makeup. Probably because I spend more on my makeup and skincare than my clothes…true story. I rounded up all my makeup and skincare favorites. I also picked up a few new items because…well…I have issues!

 

What's in my makeup bag:skincare

Body Shop Tea Tree Toner/Botanics Cleansing Balm/Ever Youthful/Ever Remedy/Body Shop Tea Tree Oil/Nourish Eye Cream/Nourish Face Serum/Garnier Micellar Water

The Body Shops Tea Tree line is amazing. Tea Tree or Melaleuca is great for blemishes! I use the toner all over after I cleanse my skin and the oil as a spot treatment.

I recently fell in love with the brand Ever. They are Stella and Dot’s skincare line. Youthful can be used all over the face and brings life back to your face…amazing. Remedy is another spot treatment I use and it also helps with dark spots. Ever is also a very healthy skincare line. Free of all the garbage.

Another great brand is Nourish Organic. The past few years I have really tried to use more organic and natural products. I love their eye cream because it has a smooth metal applicator that stays cool and gets rid of any swelling…yaaaas! I also use their face serum. I have replaced my cream moisturizers with oils and am loving it. I have dry skin so my skin drinks it up.

I added Garnier’s Micellar water because it has been great when I’m not wearing a whole lot of makeup and just want to quickly remove my makeup. It leaves my skin moisturized as well.

Last but not least, my current obsession, Botanics cleansing balm! I wanted to pick up a balm, as I knew it would be easier during travel. It is not a liquid so I won’t have to worry about it leaking and I won’t have issues getting it on the plane. If you have not used a cleansing balm before I have to tell you it is amazing. I have normal/dry skin. It adds so much moisture as it is a solidified oil. It reminds me of a softer coconut oil. You only need a small amount and apply it to dry skin. It dissolves any makeup or impurities on your face. This particular balm came with a cleansing cloth. The directions say to use warm water to remove and then follow with cool water after you have removed your makeup, in order to close those pores! I could go on and on, as I already have. Let me know if you already try a cleansing balm or if you end up trying this one.

what's in my makeup bag

Juice Beauty Eyeliner/Juice Beauty Concealer/Neutrogena Foundation/Pixi Corrector/LORAC Lipstick/Z Palette/Makeup Geek Eyeshadow

I wanted to share just a few things I’ll be adding to my makeup bag. This task is always so hard for me because I love my makeup! I wanted to really pair down what I bring. I don’t need to bring 5 different eyeshadow palettes(I mean…I could…but I really shouldn’t). My favorite item I listed is actually more of a makeup accessory. It is my ZPalette. I love this option because it is a magnetic case that I use to put in different eyeshadow pots. I can mix and match different looks without having to bring a ton of different larger palettes. I added a few of my favorite shadows from Makeup Geek that fit in this palette perfectly.

My eyes are very sensitive and I have been looking for a new eyeliner that would not cause an allergic reaction. I decided to use Juice Beauty’s eye pencil. It has not irritated my eyes at all! It also has not smudged throughout the day. I already use Juice Beauty’s concealer (Gwenyth Paltrow’s company). It is in a pot and is great for travel.

I also am loving Pixi’s corrector. It is a peach corrector that will brighten up my eyes after a long day of travel or a long night out. It is also in a cute little pot…can you see a theme?

The Lorac lipstick I included is on my wish list. I don’t really need another nude lipstick but I’m thinking this might get thrown in my bag!

Last but not least, Neutrogena has a new foundation called Hydro Boost. If you are looking for a light coverage foundation this is awesome! I think this will be great on the plane as it is also super hydrating.

Whew! That was a lot of information but I couldn’t keep all these great funds to myself. Let me know what your favorite makeup and skincare items are when you travel.

Summer

What’s in my Suitcase: New Orleans Edition

New Orleans Look Book

Utility Jacket/Tassel Earrings/Floral Blouse/Floral Dress/Soft Twill Top/Lace Top/Crossbody Purse

Did ya’ll know I am going to New Orleans? If you haven’t noticed I am just a little excited. I shared last week a recipe I adapted a bit from the original French Quarter favorite. It was a healthier version of Jambalaya. It did not lack any of those amazing flavors found in a traditional Creole Jambalaya. I also tried out beignets for the first time and it was just as dreamy as I imagine. I have a feeling it will be even more dreamy as I sit in a little cafe enjoying the sounds of a jazz band in New Orleans.

So, today I am sharing what I am going to be packing(might need to throw in a few pairs of stretchy pants). I have a few conferences that I will be attending and a formal event. The rest of the time I will be exploring all that Louisiana has to offer! I gathered all the clothing and accessories I will be packing and taking with me. Some items I already have and others are on my wish list. We will see if they make it into my shopping cart and then into my suitcase!

Continue reading

Summer