Tied Ribbon

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Favorite Things Birthday Giveaway

I wanted to share a few details from the little birthday party that I threw for my son's 5th birthday.  I had 2 ideas for it...simple & swim party.  I came up with the idea to do a "favorite things" party, but mostly just adapted that to the favor bags.  
Since the party was small & would be mostly in the pool, I kept myself from doing anything else extravagant or not worth the effort for 5 year olds!  For our invitations, I wrote on some french fry containers from Hobby Lobby, to share the details of the party.
I threw in some favorite color blue paper & stuffed it full of french fries...another favorite!
So we swam, ate ice cream sandwiches, opened presents & swam some more!  Easy, the kids loved it & I was stress free!  The favor bag items were handpicked by the birthday boy himself.
The blue paper bags had a tag attached that read, "Blue paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of Clayton's favorite things".  I threw on some tickets & bakers twine for cute decor purposes!

Picking out the items was a fun event in itself, and made my son even more excited for his party.  A whoopee cushion, a coloring book pack (each one was different), slinky, Lego packs (from Target), M&M's, Z-bar, and of course blue bubbles.
This may have been the simplest party I've ever thrown and I did have to control myself a LOT, but I think it turned out awesome!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Fresh Quinoa Summer Salad

I've adjusted and adapted this recipe from one that my sister-in-law made a few years ago at a family gathering & I still love making it to keep in my fridge and eat over a few days.
I basically just eyeball this whole thing and adjust to my tastes, which is one of my favorite things about this salad.  Cook between 1/2-1  cup of raw quinoa, depending on how many you're making it for. Then prep: 
red bell pepper
golden raisins
red onion
sunflower seeds
Dressing: 1/2 Tblsp. balsamic vinegar & 2 Tblsp. lime juice
 Like I said, I really just adjust to taste. Just a little red onion, and cilantro, a lot of edamame, golden raisins and sunflower seeds and a handful of red pepper.  slowly add the dressing while you mix, a little goes a long way.
 Some people don't like coconut, but I think adding UNsweetened shredded coconut gives it a little something extra to this deliciousness.

Refrigerate until serving, or eat right away! Enjoy, friends!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Birthday Giveaway!

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!  And before you ask, I'm old enough to have a 5 year old son, that's how old I am. (I'm having a hard time dealing with getting older, okay?!) So on this wonderful day, I wanted to give you the chance to win some of MY favorite things!  I wish I could do so much more, but things like chocolate and greek yogurt just don't ship well.
These aren't sponsored or given to me and I'm not being paid to tell you about them.  I just super love these products and thought it'd be a fun way for you to celebrate with me! 
What exactly will one of you win? Well I'm glad you asked! Here we go...
Want to win? Enter below & celebrate with me!! (be sure to read the fine print, for terms & conditions)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Fourth of July Decor

I was being my normal self this week and waited until the last minute to take pictures of my Fourth of July decor,  so of course the storms rolled in and kept things nice and overcast.  Which helps keeps the temperature under triple digits, but it doesn't help take indoor photos.  
Lesson learned....but nonetheless, here are a few shots of the patriotic decor I put up this year!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Take A Trip: Woods Canyon Lake, AZ

A few weeks ago, we headed North to cooler weather and greener scenery.  We stayed in Forest Lakes and took a trip to Woods Canyon Lake.  There's quite a few other lakes/streams to stop on the way with plenty of campsites to stay at.
The drive up was beautiful to slowly watch the cactus disappear and the trees take over. It was about a 2 hour drive up from Gilbert, located between Payson & Heber.

There's plenty of opportunity for fishing and hiking around.  We tried our hand at catching crawdads at the edge of the lake we took a little walk to from where we parked.  
It wasn't too hot or hard for our 4 year old to walk on his own.

One of my other favorite parts was the vista points they had on the way into the lakes & campsites from the highway. There's a reason they have these view points, SO gorgeous.  It was a bright clear day and you can see the green trees for miles! It was so nice to get into the woods for a few days.  I love the air up there and the cooler nights, it was a great chance to make family memories!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Getting Real: Parenting a Child with a Speech Delay

After a roller-coaster week of Summer Kindergarten Transition, I decided to finally write down some thoughts I've been having all school year long. I'm adding this to my series of "getting real".
Clayton will be 5 in July & we've know for almost 2 years that he's been speech delayed.  He was tested through the state and started in pre-school and let me tell you- we were blessed with an amazing team from his teacher, his aides, and his therapists.  He came so far from being in pre-school with specialists around him. But there's still room for improvement...and that's where the frustration and disheartenment creeps in.  Let me preface this by saying, Clayton is the sweetest most loving boy I've ever known, and I'm not saying that just because I'm his Mom!  He will compliment you, thank you, call or sir or ma'am and hug you goodbye all meeting you for the first time.  He makes me so extremely happy every single day.  
Having a child who is delayed, in whatever area it may be, can pull at your motherly emotions whenever you you think about where they should be.  After Clayton was first analyzed/observed, I remember crying feeling like I had failed as a mother.  Here was the only job I had to do, and I hadn't even done it correctly and needed other's help.  Lots of help.  Help with things I don't know how to do.  And honestly, the feelings have never really disappeared. They're just now accompanied by hope, motivation and pride.  
Does it sound like a roller coaster? Probably because it is.  Sometimes it's a daily one, other times I can stay at a the high point for days or weeks. One of the things that most often makes my heart ache is hearing other kids Clayton's age having conversations with their parents or trying to have conversations with him. Because they're normal conversations, and complete sentences versus Clayton needing prompting to "fill in" words between his main idea words.
But you know what?  He is so happy.  He is full of life and energy.  He is social and active and has no physical limitations.  Sometimes things beyond our capabilities happen with no fault of our own.  Clayton loves with a fierceness, and I instilled that in him.  I have helped him develop so many other incredible qualities.  So for now, I try to focus on those high points of this roller coaster.  Because, "this too shall pass".  There IS so much constant improvement and development that I need to remind myself that many others aren't doing.  
And so to you mothers, who maybe feel like you didn't or aren't doing it right...you are because you are loving them with a strong, fierce love that is irreplaceable.  You may shed some tears after you put them to bed, or sneak a piece of chocolate to help get you through your day, and that's okay.  Without the lows, we wouldn't appreciate the highs.  And boy, are there so many amazing high points!!  They will never stop needing you, and being there for them is the greatest challenge we may ever be blessed with.

image sources: one // two // three

Friday, June 10, 2016

4th of July Watercolor Printables

WARNING: This post may cause you to break out singing GOD BLESS AMERICA! in Whitney Houston style.  (Just me? ....okay)
Deck those halls in the name of independence! I love decorating for this holiday. I love this holiday.  I just love America! My parents (especially my dad) instilled in us at a very young age the respect of country and the important of patriotism and love for democracy.  Not a day goes by that I'm not grateful for the freedom I am blessed with in this amazing country and those who work so diligently and selflessly to protect it. 

 So let's decorate immedietely, to give the US of A it's proper celebration time!  Get started with these fun and bright and patriotic printables!
 Download all the printables HERE