Friday, August 31, 2012

All My Happy Endings, Guest Blogger!!

Well, if you've been following along you would know that I was a guest blogger over at All My Happy Endings, hosted by Mandi.  Today she is happily returning the favor for me!!

On the post I did for her I gushed all about her.  She also gushed all about me.  Well, she kind of does that again (thank you) with this post.  I'll save you all the other sappy things I could say about her and just tell you that she is a very sweet person and you should get to know her.  I'd like to know her more myself.

Without further ado, here she is, the one and only, unmistakable, MANDI!!!!!!


My name is Mandi and I blog over on All My Happy Endings.  Natalia invited me (yes ME!) to guest blog on Natalia’s Cake Creations and my heart fluttered. Goosebumps. All. Over. My. Body. You see, she’s someone I greatly respect in so many ways. Natalia is a phenom baker (we all know that), but she is also a stay-at-home-mom (and we all know this too). But that, right there, in itself, is a much more demanding job than the rest of us attempt outside the home. All the while, exuding a loving spirit, something I call the Christian walk…’put life before money, people before things, and actions before reactions.’ This is Natalia. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by countless amazing people who aren’t necessarily my closest chums, but their examples really have an impact on my life!
With that, thank you for having me as a guest. I have no interesting business or skill to advertise, so I’m not going to try and sell you on anything. I’m simply a blogger who writes because it’s something I enjoy doing. I’m not a poetic author. I don’t hypnotize anyone with my prose. I’m pretty much bare bones. There's not much here on my blog that constitutes artistry.  No flowing of words trance you with their splendor.


I tell stories. About me. About my life. About being a mother. A wife. A friend. A working woman. A voter. A product consumer. A wannabe photographer.
Ah ha… [I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to go with this post]…speaking of photography, Instagram is my new found obsession. I've always loved photography but I've never been patient enough to learn how to use Lightroom or PhotoShop, so only lately have I become proud of my photos.

You don't need to know anything about shutter speed or apertures or whatever other fancy camera terms you can come up with because so much can be edited after the fact. You can crop your photos and edit them with different tints and hues. You can turn a relatively simple and plain photo into something beautiful and interesting. Photo editing is my new favorite waiting-in-line activity. Basically, it’s replaced Angry Birds.


Actually, I’ve been using Instagram for quite a while now, but it was a private account and it was mostly for personal use, personal memories. Once in a while I manually share an Instagram picture here on my blog or Facebook + twitter. But finally (FINALLY!) I’ve set up an account for the purpose of social media.

I would love for you to follow me on Instagram. Anyone is invited. My username is mandi411.

If you’ve only heard about Instagram but you’re not really familiar with what it’s about, I love this snippet from their website: Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever. We’re building Instagram to allow you to experience moments in your friends’ lives through pictures as they happen. We imagine a world more connected through photos.

Indeed. I, too, imagine a world more connected through photos.  


Did you know that you can Instagram (yes, I’m using it as a verb) photos that aren’t necessarily taken on your iPhone? True story. I figured this out accidentally a few months ago and it’s just one of those things you iPhoneographers must know! You can get any image from your computer to your phone with syncing … or you can email the image to yourself then save the image to your photo library and there it is! All ready to be instagrammed.  : )

PS: The baby is actually NOT my most favored child, but he is the one who doesn’t have much opinion about whether or not he is photographed and uploaded to social networking sites with startling regularity.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

All My Happy Endings - Guest Post

I'd like to tell you of a lovely friend that asked me to guest post for her on her blog.  Her name is Mandi and she's a Woodlands mom like me.  She posted it today and here's the link...

I hope you pop on over and take a look at her great blog and enjoy the post that I shared there!  

I'll leave you with a picture of what we (my boys and me) did today.  Can you guess what/who it is?

As blessed, thanks for stopping by and leave some love!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guest Posts and Birthdays

Hey friends!  I have been asked to do a guest post over on All My Happy Endings blog by a sweet friend Mandi.  I'm not sure when it'll be up so I'll keep you posted.  Until then I'd love to share with you all that it is my eldest's 10th birthday today!

Happy Birthday Love!!

You captured mommy's heart the day you were born and have held it captive ever since!  I am amazed at your intellect, understanding, ability to draw, to make me laugh, your loving spirit, kind heart and giving soul.  You are filled with emotions and not afraid to express them.  Don't ever let that change.  I love you my son and I am so proud of the young man you are becoming! 

Love, Mommy

Here's an old video I made several years back.  I think it's time to add to it. :-)
With music by none other than MuteMath

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pencil Sugar Cookie's...How did you...?

It's the start of a new school year!  The kids went back to school and it was great!  They were glad to go back and see all their friends.  They are happy with their teachers...whew!  One less drama to deal with.

You know those pencil cookies I showed you on my last post?  Well, today I'm gonna show you how I did them and what I learned that I would do differently next time.  Remember I'm still fairly new cookie decorating so don't hold me too close to the fire.
I did the pencils in the school's colors so that's why they are only red and blue.  Like I mentioned in my previous post I decided to make these after I saw Georgeanne's pencil cookies on her blog, LilaLoa.  Her's are adorable!!

Yes, I made apples too and some circles to write messages on.  The cookie cutter I used was actually a candle that I found at Sur la Table on clearance for $0.49!!

That's why the sides are bumpy and I didn't bother smoothing them out.  I used my go to Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe from LilaLoa's blog.  It's so yummy and bakes beautifully... when you remember to take them out in time. :-\

I followed her steps on outlining them but used a #1 tip which made it a little difficult for me and I think I had my royal icing a bit too thick.  Next time I'll use a #2 and thin it just a little more.  I did add cocoa to my icing to help achieve the black color and I gotta say I LOVED it!  It smelled soooo good!

After they dried a few minutes I started filling in the areas .  Starting with the "metal" bands, then the eraser, the "wooden" tips and lastly the body.  As you can see I did the outside lines first.
 I let them dry for about 20 min. then filled in the middles.  The blue pencils I did the same way.

I'm not sure if you can tell but I added some silver luster dust to the "metal" bands to give it a bit of a shimmer.  I had a lot of fun and  learned a lot making them.  Here are all of the finished cookies!!

 I delivered these last week to the teachers for them to enjoy and they all were saying how much they loved them!  I am really grateful for the wonderful teachers at our school and all the effort they put forth to care for and teach the students!  Have a great school year!!!

As blessed, thanks for stopping by and leave some love!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back to School

It's that time again!  Summer's over, though the weather says otherwise and all the frantic running about to get school clothes and supplies commences.  Sigh.  I'm not really sad summer's over because I'm actually glad to get my boys out of the house and back to a more structured schedule.  What I am sad about is having to get up.  Early.  Every day.  I've been enjoying my late mornings although I don't really think I've gotten any more sleep because I've been staying up all hours of the night working on these babies to take to school!!

I have found the wee hours of the night to be the most peaceful lately.  I know you can relate.  During the day it can get so hectic, noisy and frustrating...yes, frustrating, when you just finished cleaning up from making lunch for them and sit down to try to start something and not 30 seconds later you get a, "maaaahhhhhmmm!!!" You know, in that sing songy voice.  You get up to go see what else they need only to be asked if they can have some apple sauce. "NO!  You just had lunch!  Kitchen is closed.  Go play outside for a bit."  "But it's haaahhht! and that's boring!" "Well, if you're bored you can go clean the bathrooms." "Nooo!!!" "Then please find something else to do for a little while." "Like what?"  See what I mean?  This conversation can go on forEVER!

So.  I've resigned myself to the nights to get my stuff done.  They're in bed, all is quite and I can actually sit down for more than a few minutes and complete something!  That is a good feeling.  (Except when your hubby is in the room trying to get your attention dancing to some great new music he's found!  Just kidding sweetheart. :-))  I'm sure I'll hear about this one.

I'll leave you with one of the songs that my love has been listening too lately.  Needless to say my boys love it too!  They like to do their robot/dubstep/breakdance moves to it.  "What is dubstep?" you ask?  That's for another post. :-)  Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cupcake Sugar Cookies

There are a lot of things happening these next few weeks.  For instance, I'm making cookies for a sweet friend's 2 year old, then making cookies for the teachers at school during their work week before kids go back.  I also have several meetings for various things like The Woodlands Marathon, PTO, spanish church and planning my sister-n-law's wedding shower.  Oh!...then there's my monthly girls' night out on Friday and my boys will be going back to school next week!  See, I told you....a LOT!!'s not more than this mama can handle cuz "...all things are possible...".

Here's are a few pics of what I've been working on so far...
Birthday Cookies

 Teacher Cookies

I'll post more pics when they are finished.  I got the pencil cookie idea from Georgeanne of LilaLoa's blog.  I think she's super witty and I stalk her blog all the time looking for cookies of awesomeness.  Which I find...always!  To cut out the pencil I actually used a candle cookie cutter I got for $0.50 at Sur la table!  Score! 

That's all for now.  I'll post more pics when I finish them.  Until next time!

As blessed, thanks for stopping by and leave some love!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

White and Black Lace Lingerie Shower

Here are a few pictures from my sister-in-law's lingerie party this weekend. 
 I created the desserts which included a vanilla cake with swiss meringue buttercream, chocolate cupcakes with smbc, almond and peppermint marshmallows and "lingerie" sugar cookies.  All were dairy-free except for the cupcakes.  I added the cupcake toppers that I embellished with glitter.  My other sister-in-law created the "R" with coffee filters and we used sheets for the backdrop.

We were so glad with how everything came together and we had such a great time doing it!

Another hostess with the mostess and an incredible smile!

The food table had 3 salads, grilled chicken breast strips, hummus with pita chips, fruit with caramel, rolls and a veggie tray which was provided by the other hostesses.  Thank you ladies!  We had more than enough and it was ALL delicious!!  I cut out the "R", painted it and added a lace flower.

Now all we have left to plan is a wedding shower, a bachelorette party and the wedding!  So exciting!

As blessed, thanks for stopping by and leave some love!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sneak Peek...

It's been a week since my last post but I assure you that just because I haven't posted does NOT mean I'm not busy.  I have totally been busy planning, creating and pulling together some things for a lingerie shower next weekend!  It's been a lot of fun and I really enjoy being creative...seeing if an idea works or if a Pinterest project turns out the way it says.  So far so good!

Now I can't reveal everything to you about the shower yet but I can give you a few ideas.  We (myself and the other hostesses) have pulled together elements from several other parties to create the look we are going for.  Here are a few and they can all be found on my Pinterest board as well.



Cute right!!!

Now, that's all I can give you for now and I probably won't post again until after the shower.  So, that will give you another week without me...sad, I know.  I'm such a bad blogger friend.

On another semi-related note there might be a hurricane heading our way to Texas next week and I'm hoping that's it's just a lot of hype and won't turn into anything serious.  That might ruin our shower plans!!  So I'll be keeping an eye on this Ernesto.  I mean who does he think he is scaring us helpless party planning gals into thinking we might not get to see out dreams come to fruition after all this planning and preparing.  Seriously, that is totally rude.  What makes it's worse is that he seems so indifferent to our plans, like he has no choice in the path his winds and rain take him. Pfft!  Rude!

I hope he comes to his senses and reconsiders the path he's choosing.

As always...God bless, thanks for stopping by and leave some love!