such a special day

I am delighted to share a few photos from the beautiful wedding Jamie, Jay and I got to be a part of last weekend. On Friday the 4th Jamie’s cousin married her long time boyfriend Josh in what can only be described as the perfect day! The weather was beautiful, the bride was even more so, the details were thoughtful and springy and the whole day was just so full of love and joy! Maggie and Josh, we truly couldn’t be happier for the two of you and were so honored to be a part of your special day.

While there were SO many things and moments that I would have loved the opportunity to photograph at this wedding I simply didn’t get the chance. It has been so long since I have attended, much less participated in, a wedding that I didn’t photograph! However, I did get a handful of photos that I love. So please excuse the ridiculous amount of photos I am about to share. I really had way too many favorites to narrow it down any further than I did!

First up- Bridesmaids’ luncheon and mani/pedis
Maggie and Josh- bridesmaids

Maggie and Josh- MOB and the bride

Maggie and Josh- the Bridesmaids with Maggie

the rehearsal dinner
Jay has a hard time not making a silly face these days
Maggie and Josh- me with Jay at the rehearsal dinner

Maggie and Josh- Jenna and Holly

Maggie and Josh- Kenny, Holly and Jenna


The wedding day!

Maggie and Josh- Jenna and Hannah getting ready for the big day!

Maggie and Josh- Uncle Mark prepping for the big event

Maggie and Josh- shennanigans from the day

Maggie and Josh- fancy bride!

Maggie and Josh- Maggie with her parents before the ceremony

Maggie and Josh- the beautiful bride

Maggie and Josh- something borrowed, old and blue

Maggie and Josh- gorgeous flowers!!

Maggie and Josh- beautiful flowers

Maggie and Josh- a few details

Maggie and Josh- Jamie and Luc

Maggie and Josh- an attempt at a family shot

Maggie and Josh- sweet Charlie with my boquet

Maggie and Josh- November cool dudes

Maggie and Josh- two of my cool dudes

Maggie and Josh - a few details

Maggie and Josh- the happy couple

Maggie and Josh- kisses

Maggie and Josh-

Maggie and Josh- Kenny and Jenna

Maggie and Josh- KENNY!

Maggie and Josh- Holly and Jamie

Maggie and Josh- me and Jamie

Maggie and Josh- the flowers

Maggie and Josh- silly parents of the Bride

Maggie and Josh- silly Aunt Holly the great and Uncle Mark

Maggie and Josh- Jamie and his mom

Maggie and Josh- Nicole and Jeremiah

Maggie and Josh- Mary Beth and Michael

Maggie and Josh- more flowers

Maggie and Josh- more flowers

Maggie and Josh- with Grandma

party animal

These are old, from Jay’s party, but I never got a chance to post them and I wanted to so here they are. All this sweet three year old wanted for his birthday party was to have cupcakes (with blue icing specifically) and chips (tortilla chips, the “diamond shaped ones”). We also added an ice cream sundae bar at the last minute because really who needs an excuse for ice cream? Not this girl, that’s for sure ;)

So here it is, nothing fancy but every bit as celebrated!

chalkboard birthday stats

the table

the ice cream selections

cupcakes with blue icing

happy birthday to you... happy birthday to you...

he loved having people sing to him



Charlie liked them too ;)

one year in flash (take two)

When I started thinking about Charlie’s first birthday party I was having a really hard time picking a theme that suited our family as well as Jay’s One Year in a Flash Party (original idea from here). And after thinking about it for a bit I realized that I could just do it again and I am so happy that I did- I really enjoy going through our photos to find a years worth of memories. We threw a One Year in a Flash Hot Dog Party (Hot Dog Party courtesy of one of my favorite blogs, recipe for crazy) and loved it.

Here are a few of the details from the party along with links to where I got things.

The invitation- I used Artboard to design his invitation, nothing special just a few cute photos of my sweet little boy and some party details.  We also did a time capsule for Charlie like we did for Jay and that info was sent along with the invite too.

 The drink table- We served sodas, the perfect complement to a hot dog in my opinion, and water. I used mason jars since I always have a ton hanging around instead of cups and got the paper straws from TJMaxx and amazon along with these really cute paper trays that we used instead of paper plates. We have a ton left over so I see them making an appearance at the next shrimp boil ;)

I used our big chalkboard to show off some of our month by month photos- I LOVE looking at these and seeing just how much they change in one year!

I saw a few chalkboard stats online (pintrest, etsy etc) and decided to doodle one for Charlie. I loved it so much that it’s actually still up but I will have to take it down soon…

I printed a bunch of photos using a coupon code at shutterfly to get all of these photos. I am pretty sure I only paid shipping for these which was like $4- yay!

The only other decorations that we had up were a one-year-old banner which I forgot to take a real photo of but here is one from my phone along with some framed photos. I printed the photos from mpix (my favorite photo printer) and used some frames that we had in the storage room to frame them.

Party favors- my go-to sugar cookies (I like edible favors since I don’t want to give someone something that they don’t really want anyway)

I printed the favor tags on my own, designed using Artboard (a Mac design program) and used the camera image that Nan designed for Jay’s party- thanks again Nan! (Check out her Etsy shop)

I wanted some chalkboard signs pretty desperately but I didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for them so my lovely husband cut a bunch of shapes out of mdf for me (I drew what I wanted on the board for him) and I then I just painted them with chalkboard paint :)
here’s a phone photo of the progress and then one of the table where one was used

the food table… I used brown wrapping paper along with striped wrapping paper on the table (which was great to clean up) and made the cones for the popcorn out of the same paper. Our menu was hot dogs with all kinds of different toppings, including a Tulsa Dog and SoCal Dog, Mac and Cheese Bites, Strawberries, Caramel Corn (my Grandma’s recipe- it’s FANTASTIC!), and the best vanilla cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream Icing.

It was a great party, many thanks to all that came. We can’t thank you enough for celebrating our guys with us!

shrimp boil 2012

I am not sure how many years now the annual Shrimp Boil has been going on… I would venture a guess that Jamie has been hosting it with his Dad for a good 10 years and then George probably hosted it on his own prior to that for another 10. This is my fourth year of joining the festivities and I must say I look forward to it EVERY year! I mean what is not to like- good food, good drink and good people. What more could you ask for on a sunny Saturday afternoon?

Since having the kiddos I find myself not as “free” to shoot as much of these events as I would like (putting sleeping babies down, getting not sleeping big brothers up, etc can really eat up some time). However, I did manage to grab a few photos of the day… although none of the pouring and unfortunately very few of anyone other than family… Either way, documented or not, there were family, many great friends and a wonderful assortment of colleagues that joined us in bellying up to the table. Thanks to all that came, it was great seeing you, and for those of you who couldn’t make it- you were missed but there is always next year ;)

pretty flowers compliments of Publix… I really do love me a mason jar ;)

banana pudding bites, check out a recipe here

Pepere and Charlie- prepping the water ;)

I was trying to get a photo of me and Jay but he was way too distracted with all of the people in the backyard to smile… not even tickling really worked

Charlie hanging on the blanket

enjoying some delicious corn- purchasing it fresh was definitely the way to go!

Aunt Jamie- silly girl

Uncle Mark

Josh- by the way Jay adores him and rightfully so… he is wonderful to him, they are ‘briends’

three cheers for the chef

more cheers for more chefs…



enjoying the shade

couldn’t resist posting this one of little miss Avery- check out those baby blues!!

on your mark, get set- go!

As I have said before Jay is obsessed with cars right now.  He plays with them morning, noon and night and we always have at least a few with us.  So what better theme than cars for Jay’s second party, right?  Right!  While not near as much time went into this party as it did for Jay’s 1st birthday bash, I still had fun coming up with (and finding) ideas for his party.  Here’s a few of the details…

I have been playing around with a program called Artboard lately, it’s a design tool that allows me to make graphics etc. I am by no means great at it but I am really having fun and that is the most important part. The weekend that Jamie was in Jacksonville I put together this invite for his party.

I didn’t put up a whole lot of decorations for this party; however, earlier in the week I did let Jay paint some small wooden cars that we had out on the tables. He also painted and put stickers all over some paper cars that we had (and after the party I used the back of those cars as thank you notes- yay for double duty projects!).

Here’s our “Refueling Station”… we served pulled chicken sandwiches both BBQ and buffalo style from crockpots that we set up in the kitchen (this was super easy and I would recommend it to anyone who would like an easy party meal). Along with the sandwiches we had apple and grape cars, stoplight sugar cookies (this is the best sugar cookie recipe btw), chips, carrots and cake. I baked a vanilla bean cake, frosted it with this delicious buttercream icing recipe and then decorated it like a track. I considered putting some cars on the track but Jamie vetoed that idea and it probably wouldn’t have been a great idea since Jay was within arms reach of the cake.

drinks table- it shows a few of the hand painted car decorations

The only other thing that I did for his party was to make a masking tape racetrack on the office floor (although this wasn’t really done for his party but as rainy day entertainment from earlier in the week-we kept it up for the party) and I built him a cardboard box car. I had seen a Lightning McQueen cardboard box car on pintrest and decided to give it a whirl. I loved how it turned out and Jay has had fun playing with it too.

and yes, the lights really do work- they are tap lights ;)
my favorite photo from the day :)
this is pretty much how Jay looked as soon as his guests arrived... non- stop motion (btw- he is wearing his self decorated birthday hat)
cake! or should I say frosting...

more from Canada- party day

The big event for our trip was the 85th birthday party celebrating my Grandma.  It was such a wonderful event that celebrated an equally wonderful lady; we ate, caught up with family I haven’t seen for a while , watched a video that had wedding footage from when my grandparents got married, looked through old photos and just enjoyed the afternoon.  It was such a nice afternoon and I am so thankful for my Aunts and Uncle who worked so hard to make it happen, they are great!

my cousin Riley
my Grandma and two of her siblings

the birthday girl :)
my Grandma and her four children- Doug, Trish, Deb and Trudy
duplo and a few cars to keep this little one entertained
my great Aunt and cousin- Auntie Florence and Barb

Scott and Frannie- my brother and sister-in-law

Jay's first juice box :)
letting the balloons free after the party

another of my Grandma and her kids
Auntie Trish and two of her three kiddos- Amy and Riley
my Grandma and her grandkids (by birth and marriage) and great grandson

These are a couple from my Auntie Deb’s camera, I rarely get photos with me in them…

me and the birthday girl

keep the love cookin’

Nicole and Jeremiah are getting married!!!  I have been wanting to post congrats for the longest time, but waited a little bit so they could be the first to share the news and then well time got away from me- what else is new these days?  Their wedding is in the works for October of this year and I couldn’t be more happy for the two of them.  Here’s a photo of the happy couple from our beach trip…

The Saturday before heading down to Anna Maria Island I had the pleasure of hosting a shower Nicole.  She (unfortunately) lives in Asheville so we don’t get to see her as often as we would like and had to be creative about when we could celebrate but the stars aligned and it was a good time!

I went for a cooking theme since Nicole’s husband to be is a chef and the love to cook together.  Guests brought recipes that were mailed with the invite.  I am putting those recipes together, along with a few other family recipes that I wanted to share with them, in a family cookbook. I decorated with a bunch of beautiful cookbooks that I borrowed from family members, floating candles in mason jars, and a few other random kitchen items here and there.  For games, I had Jeremiah answer a bunch of questions about Nicole and we played our version or the “Newly Wed Game”, we had a-name-that-spice-game and also a memory game where guests had to remember the kitchen items that were on an apron that Nicole was wearing when everyone first arrived.  I gave guests fresh herbs that Jamie and I got the week before at the farmers market (Jamie helped me plant them in cute pots) for winning the games.  Along with the invites that I made, I made some wedding advice Mad Libs that made for great conversation over lunch.

I honestly wasn’t able to take as many photos as I would have liked to but here are a few from the ones I got…

The invite that I made, it's not a Nan Knight design, but it still makes me smile. Especially for being my first time playing around with anything like this.
the mad lib
party favors

the table all set and ready- the herbs were centerpieces and prizes
cookbooks and strawberry bruschetta
recipe book in the making
group photo
the bride and her Momma (my awesome mother-in-law)

Oh yeah- here’s the menu and links to some of the food that we had if you want to try any of the recipes!

Becky’s Yummy Punch- no recipe here just a great recommendation from a good friend

Strawberry Bruschetta

Eggplant Marinara Flatbread

Tomato Herb Flatbread

Salted Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats– so much better than regular rice crispy treats and definitely worth the extra effort in my opinion

Mini Raspberry Fruit Tarts- I don’t have a recipe for these either, sorry they are just one of my made up concoctions :)

Cream Cheese Sugar Mints

party mugs

LOVE is what I have for these photo booth pictures!  I am so happy we ended up doing the photo booth and after taking a look at these I am sure you can probably see why, they are so much fun :-)

By the way, this would be a great post to use the new “slideshow-ish” feature if you wanted- there is a crazy amount of pictures since I couldn’t narrow them down at all.  Just click on the first image below and take a look!

one year old in a flash- the details

As promised here are a few details from Jay’s One Year Old in a Flash Party.  Let me just say this before going any further- the rest of this post might bore some of you.  If you are not a detail person or if you don’t care about party planning, feel free to breeze through the rest of this post or just drool over the yummy food pictures :-)  If however, you like the details or would like the links to some of the recipes that I used feel free to keep reading because I am going to keep writing- I happen to like this stuff and it’s my blog now isn’t it ;-)


Nan designed the invitation for me; she is amazing and I can’t repay her for all of the design stuff she does for me!!  I gave her a few pictures, the wording, date and colors that I planned on decorating with and she sent me the most adorable invite and the time capsule card  along with some other digital files that I used to make the rest of the decorations that we used. Having all of the digital flies was so amazing since I got to personalize Jay’s party AND I didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg to do it- thanks so much Nan!


The decorations consisted of pictures, pictures and more pictures.  We had one wall that showcased some of Jay’s firsts and another that had his month by month pictures.

Aside from pictures I had a few balloon boquets made up and placed them around the house.  Jay loves balloons right now so this was for him more than anything.  I made the balloon weights out of some scraps of fabric that I had around the house, some spare ribbon and navy beans that I am using for a bean bag project.  I think they turned out pretty cute and I loved that I didn’t have to worry about Jay smashing them and having sand pour out everywhere in the house.

this is the balloon wreath that I hung on the door- I didn't make it with the party colors so that I could use it all year anytime a birthday rolls around

I also (with the help of Jamie) made a happy birthday banner (picture of the banner is farther down) that I patterned after this one to hang in the kitchen.

Time Capsule

I thought that it would be fun to have all of our guests and some out-of-towners that weren’t going to make the party contribute to a Time Capsule for Jay.  Nan made a card that I included with the invitation asking guests to contribute along with a bunch of suggestions.  It has been fun to take a look at what was contributed.  I am sure that Jay will love looking at it on his 18th birthday, we only have to wait until 2028- wowzers!!


I usually have a difficult time trying to decide what kind of food to serve when we are throwing a shin-dig like this… We knew that we would be expecting a fairly large crowd and planning food for that many people is always daunting.  So I was really happy when I decided not to try and feed people but to have a dessert buffet instead.  I got to bake up a storm (yippee) and we saved a buck or two by doing this!  I went fairly simple with everything, including drinks, that we choose and did most of it ahead of time which made the set up on Saturday easy peasy.  We had chocolate chip cookies, salted brown butter rice crispy treats, gooey-sweet pretzel melts, sugar cookies, mint-chocolate cookies (I used this recipe for the cookie part but winged it for the filling), homemade Almond Joys, cupcakes, and blueberries- Jay’s favorite sweet.

dessert buffet
camera and dot sugar cookies
vanilla bean cupcakes
chocolate chip cookies
sweet and gooey pretzel melts
mint chocolate cookies
almond joy's and blueberries

For drinks we had homemade Lemonade, coffee punch (a friend’s recipe that is amazing!!) and water.  Notice that even though you can’t really read it you can see the banner in the background.  It says “Happy Birthday JAY!”


These were baked as well.  I used my new favorite sugar cookie recipe to make teal and green camera cookies.  I didn’t have a cookie cutter for the camera bodies (I used a circle cutter that I had for the lens) so I ended up printing one of the cameras that Nan had sent me and used a knife to cut them out instead- it worked great!  I will have to remember this for next time that I am without a certain cookie cutter.  Attached to each cookie was this little saying…

I am no longer a baby,
now that I am ONE!
Glad you came to my party,
Hope you had fun!
Waving bye-bye
Now that it’s through
And giving out kisses from me to you!

making of the camera cookies- step 2, outlining after baking
making the camera cookies- step 4 or 5 (?) letting the icing dry

Photo Booth

We set up a photo booth for the party- yippee!  For months now I have wanted a reason to have a photo booth but I haven’t had quite the right excuse.  Enter photo themed party and voila excuse made!  Honestly, the closer I got to the party the less I felt like going to the trouble of setting it up but at the last minute I choose to anyway.  Man, am I ever glad that I did!  I love the pictures that we got from it and I think that it gave people something to do at the party.  I had most of the props done already (I wanted to have one at Christmas so I had already painted empty frames and made chalkboard thought bubbles) which made my last minute decision to have the photo booth much more feasible. I purchased 3 yards of fabric and some white duct tape which I used for my backdrop.  We have a wall outside that worked really well to hang the back drop from (it’s shaded but still has great natural light).   Then I just put my props in a bin that we already had, set up our camera on a tri-pod, adjusted the settings so it was set and ready to go, Jamie set up the remote so that people could use that instead of having to push the button (I think there are some kinks here that could be worked out for next time- it didn’t always work) and then just let people have at it.  The pictures are really cute- I’ll try and get those up soon- and I am going to add them along with a few other things from Jay’s party to his time capsule.

photo booth- the whole set up
photo booth props- chalk board bubbles, empty frames, silly glasses, etc

All together I spent a little over $100 for all the decorations and food with my biggest expenses being printing and postage for the invitations, the balloons and some of the baking supplies.  Most everything else was put together from stuff we already had and I used some coupons for prints so I didn’t pay anything for the pictures!  Not bad for a party with 35 guests…

Thanks for everyone that came- we loved having you!!

one year old in a flash

On the 27th of January Jay turned one year old!  It is crazy to think of how much our lives have changed over the past year and to see how much Jay has grown.  We didn’t want to let this momentous occasion pass us by so we celebrated in style with a “One Year Old in a Flash” birthday party.  I was super excited a few months back when I ran across the theme idea here– with all of the pictures that we had taken of Jay this year, it was a perfect theme!  Jamie and I decided quite early on that we were going to have one combined (family and friends) party for Jay; so once I had a theme I just kind of ran with it.  I loved every minute of the planning, baking and prep- it’s just so much fun!  I know, I am a dork!

Nan (who is wonderful) made the invitations along with a bunch of other digital files that I used to make printables and help decorate the house- thanks Nan!  We had a photobooth set up outside (I’ll try to get some of those pictures up within the week) to entertain people at the party, balloons in every corner of the house (one of Jay’s favorite “toys” right now), an area for people to leave contributions to his time capsule, drinks in the kitchen and a dessert buffet for our guests to enjoy.  It was so much fun and we are so glad that we had so many people here to celebrate with us.  Enjoy a handful of the pictures!

pre-party lunch

a few party goers- I didn’t have enough time to get anywhere near everyone documented!

the birthday boy waiting his turn for the photo booth
Jay's "cakes"- one vanilla bean cupcake and a fruit pizza topped with kiwi and blueberries
making a wish

a family picture

some of his spectators

fruit pizza time!
walkin' like a big boy
presents- he was spoiled rotten!

I will post some of the details tomorrow- there was no way I could get all of the pictures into one post!