Thursday, October 20, 2011

Things I'd tell my 17 year old self...

1.  Don't be so self-critical... the opinions of those you think matter now really don't at all.

2.  Don't be afraid to speak your mind, as you get older it gets easier to do, but a head start would have been nice.

3. Spend more time outside soaking up the fresh air & smelling Grandma's lillies... Your life will get too busy to slow down & just relax & the smell of those yellow lillies will get harder to remember.

4. I promise you that it seems to matter so much now... but the boys that break your heart won't matter when you're 28.

5. Never forget your first kiss or your first heartbreak... you'll learn LOTS from both.

6. The age/color/model of the car that picks you up from school doesn't matter... the person driving it is priceless... cherish those car rides now.

7.  Ask her how to cook saurkraut... I know you think it's gross, but it's a heritage thing & you'll wish you knew so you could teach your kids.

8.  Those "friends" that aren't that loyal now will grow up to be just as un-loyal later in life, so don't waste energy or emotion... it'll save you a lot of time & heart ache.

9. Don't be so heartbroken on Mother/Daughter or Father/Daughter functions... You'll be a parent that makes up for it in the end.

10.  Instead of pouting because you get drug along to ANOTHER ANTIQUE STORE... relish it.  The stories, smell & history will be fond memories later.

11. Don't be so aggrivated at your little sister... she looks up to you... be a role model.

12. You're going to meet a sweet & handsome guy soon on a blind date... don't let your ages scare you... he's "the one", you just lucked out & found him earlier than most:)

13. Pay more attention at football, soccer & baseball games... you're going to have a son & you're going to need to know the rules.

14. Don't ever call yourself chubby or tolerate anyone else doing it either... You'll reach an age where you realize your body is capable of carrying a child & becoming a mother... You'll appreciate the body you had "back then".

15. Close your eyes & memorize the smell of black coffee... you'll smell it when you think of your Grandpa.

16. Be appreciative of your first car... Yes it is a boy's truck, but it does the job.

17. Take more pictures... you'll wish you would have later.

18.  Spend more time in the garden with her... you'll want to plat a garden later but think you have a "black thumb".

19.  I know you hate math... but try harder, it doesn't get any easier in college.

20. Value those that value you now... They're still going to be around when you're 28... so treat them well.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Le Papier Studio

There is nothing more classic than a silhouette... Vana Chupp, owner of Le Papier Studio has taken the timelss art of silhouettes & given them a modern twist.  I was lucky enough to have her create the custom silhouette of {Aidan Grace} when the re-branding was started.  I am in love with it & could not have asked for anything that captured my Kaleb Aidan & Emma-Grace more perfectly!

Professionally trained as an architect, Vana Chupp has always been artistically inspired by the sweet and simple moments in life.  Her craft was born with the birth of her beautiful boy Nikolas. Documenting her son's milestones by cleverly capturing his personality, emotion, playfulness and essence, she began using silhouettes to tell her own life story.  It's a love story - continuing to blossom, with Nikolas as her muse. Coming full circle, Vana was able to combine her passion and artistic expressions and share it all with you!

In 2008 Vana launched her dream job; Le Papier Studio, a small woman-owned business that expresses creativity and inspiration, all the while giving her time to fulfill her most important job; being a mom.  Le Papier Studio specializes in illustrating unique custom silhouettes. Vana's charming and intimate custom silhouettes will capture your heart and symbolize your treasured memories for years to come. We work with you to design and illustrate the people, pets, and special moments in your life using your photographs. From invitation and stationery sets to birthday gifts and valentine ideas, Le Papier Studio would love the opportunity to transform the apples of your eye into artistic heirlooms.

Vana offers a wide variety of precious pre-created silhouettes as well as does them as a custom piece.  With the holidays fast approaching you need to hop on over to her website (Le Papier Studio) & check out all she has to offer!  My favorite is her new silhouette jewelry...  

As well as her website, you can find her on etsy (Le Papier Studio on ETSY) or pick up her published book...

 Don't be jealous... I DO own a signed copy!

I know I'm going to be ordering my share for Christmas... so take those photos & contact Vana today for your custom item.  I hope you all love her work as much as me!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Luv-Me-Knot Boutique

My first "Mom-preneur Monday" features my sweet friend Ariane Macnevin, the creative mind behind Luv-Me-Knot Boutique.  I can vouch for Ariane's work... she is nothing short of amazing & so creative!  Her business is booming & I think I'm pretty lucky to call her a friend.  Luv-Me-Knot offers gorgeous bows & clothing... Please take some time to check her out here...  Luv-Me-Knot Botuique (website), here... Luv-Me-Knot Boutique (facebook) & her etsy/read to ship here... Luv-Me-Knot (etsy)!

She just made her NEW Christmas items available, so you better order while you can!  How cute is this?!?

You can order the Snowman Monogram Top & Bow HERE!

If you're interested in being featured please e-mail me at I would love to learn more about you & your business!

Friday, September 23, 2011

{Mom-preneur Monday} Intro

Hey ya'll! 

Yesterday on my sewing break, aka, lunch I thought of a brilliant idea & want to share it with you.  First off let me say that in 2007 when I gave birth to my second child, my daughter, Emma-Grace I desperately wanted to find a way to stay home & for us as a family to still be financially stable.  My pregnacy was followed by a job change for my hubby & my "part time/ hobby" gig quickly became a necessity.  When I made my first craft supply shopping trip I had no clue that just a couple short years later I would be contacted by Southern Lady Magazine's editor.  She was impressed with my work & I was selected to be featured in the Mother's Day Edition 2010.  What an amazing opportunity!

When you start a business as a hobby & it grows quicker than you ever imagined, it's an amazing feeling knowing that every day that you go to "work" you're building your own dreams... what you do or don't do directly effects your aspirations & your family.  I was blessed to have a supportive & understanding family that backed me 100%... they still do!  My business was grown on late nights after my baby went to sleep, and I wasn't alone... that's how a lot of Mom's start their business... it's late nights, sacrifice, & asking yourself a LOT of hard questions.  Being a WAHM still comes at a cost, the benefits are great, but you have to put in the work & time.  

During my growth as Diaper Diva Boutique I realized that this business is full of all kinds of women.  I have made some true friendships; some with women that live states away, but I can pick up the phone & call to vent to or run an idea across... and I can trust them 100%  We all started somewhere... that's what this is about.  

In 2011 Diaper Diva Boutique officially grew into Aidan Grace Boutique... it hasn't been an easy change, and it's kind of like starting from scratch again.  That being said, I have slowed down & realized that a lot of female business owners reach a point where they forget where they started... their ego gets ahead of their talent & the connection with other Moms gets lost along the way.  I was a Mom who started just like every other successful "Mom-preneur" has & I want to help inspire & encourage other women who put in those late nights & long hours... all in the dreams that they will "make it" one day too.  {Mom-preneur Mondays} will be a mix of stories of how businesses started, dreams were set in motion & where they are now.  Some up & coming "new" WAHMs will be introduced & hopefully we can all connect & share.  After 3+ years in business I have a list of great, sweet women I will be introducing you to over the next few Mondays, but I would love to hear from you as well.  Maybe you're starting out, or maybe you've been around a while & want to share your story & some tips... please e-mail me at with the subject {Mom-preneur Monday} & look forward to hearing from you!

My first {Mom-preneur Monday} post will be this Monday, September 26th!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sangria anyone?

Peach Sangria anyone?

OK... I am newly addicted to Pinterest & stumbled across two recipes for homemade Sangria.
This one: Peach Sangria via 'The Boston Day Book'

& this one: White Sangria Sparkler via 'Linda Wagner'

Well, I read & re-read both recipes & decided I was going to have a go at it but change it up.  Here is my recipe & I won't lie... it's YUMMY, YUMMY, YUMMY!

You'll need:
1 bottle of white wine
1 cup *not pictured* peach (or flavor of your choice) schnapps
1 lemonade concentrate
1 liter of club soda *chilled
fresh fruit of your choice
*I used a white peach, regular peach, strawberries, kiwi & grapes

I used a gallon plastic pitcher to store mine in over night & a fancier glass pitcher for serving at the party the next day.
Wash & cut your fruit & add to your storage pitcher, then add your bottle of white wine, cup of schnapps, & lemonade concentrate.  Stir.  Then pop your lid on & store in the fridge overnight (or at least a few hours).

I used this wine:

Partly because I think the label is cute... not that "versed" on wine, but a fan of anything cutesy.  And it turned out delicious... so I lucked out!  Come on... it's too cute!  PS, found it at HEB.

When you're ready to serve simply pour your mixture into your fancier pitcher if another is being used & then pour your club soda & stir again.


WARNING: I do NOT drink hardly ever & two glasses made me have to sit down.  I may or may not be a wimp, but the other ladies who tried it gave it two thumbs up & said it had a kick.  In my opinion, it had a delicious fruity taste & the club soda add just enough fizz.  This would be a PERFECT summer party drink... for some reason I keep thinking Baby Shower, but that would be no fun for Mom-To-Be, although I'm sure you could use your noggin & adapt it to be a "Virgin" cocktail.
Hope you all give it a whirl while it's still HOT outside... call your girlfriends over, lay by the pool & bottoms up!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

{Some Lovely Advice}

Life is not always easy, & believe me... it's not always perfect.  There are days that go amazingly according to plan & days when it goes completely off course.  But all in all, it's a great thing to be reminded of a few things.  Who knows... maybe today is one of those days for you, where it's going completely off course & this may be just what you needed to hear.


1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E’s - Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Play more games.
6. Read more books than you did in 2010.
7. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
8. Sleep for 7 hours.
9. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.


1. Don't compare yourself to others, you have no idea what their journey is about.
2. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
3. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
6. Dream more while you are awake.
7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
8. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
10. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
13. Smile and laugh more.
14. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


1. Call your family often.
2. Each day give something good to others.
3. Forgive everyone for everything.
4. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
5. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
6. What other people think of you is none of your business.
7. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


1. Do the right thing!
2. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
3. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
4. The best is yet to come.
5. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

{My Personal Mantra}

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

{Bloom Lamp}

Well, working on the house has been an ongoing project & prbably will be for a while.  I am a big beliver in letting the room & time help decorate, meaning I don't run out & buy everything needed & throw it together.  I start with a piece of two that inspire the room idea, then paint & furniture placement, followed by leaning pictures & decor against the wall & moving it around before ever tapping a nail with a hammer.  I move around & change things often before they find a home.  Besides it's your home, as Oprah & Nate say it's needs to rise up & greet you when you come in as well as reflect who you are. 

The kid's rooms have been the focus over the last few weeks.  They are both lacking window treatments & pillows, but the machine has been taken up with {Aidan Grace} orders here recently.  I believe next week I'll be able to get some projects of my own done for the house & the kiddo's upcoming birthday party.  Emma needs her dance bag finished before that starts up in August too.  But all in good time.  After refinishing a dresser & an armoire her room is really coming together.  Her room may be my favorite room in the house... I may just move in:)  Anyway, I thought about doing this lamp shade a while back & it was an easy project so I thought I would share.  Here goes:

You will need:

A lamp of your choice (this was in Kaleb's nursery, we've had it forever) & a plain shade ($5 at Wal Mart).  I would suggest a solid color just because bits of it are inevetably going to peek through, so you don't want some crazy pattern showing.

Some artifical flowers.  These are two pregrouped bouqets from Hobby Lobby, origionally $16 each, on sale half price.  I selected one that has peach tones & one that has pink.  I also bought two small tea rose stems .98 each to fill in any bare spaces at the end.  You will want to use nippers (*shown next) to trim the flowers off of the stems.

LOTS of glue sticks... I used all of these plus ended up grabbing two more from the Sewing Room before I was done & wire nippers or a pair of sharp scissors.

Now you're ready to create your shade:

  I suggest placing your largest flowers first & working your way down in size.  I stuck my little pink tea roses on at the very end to cover up any "bare space" left.  The end result is a super fabulous flower covered {Bloom Lamp}. 

 I think it would be cute done in just petals as well.  But this really just added a little wow factor to Emma's room.  Look how sweet when it was all finished & in her room...

One of my favorite pics of my two munchkins... That's Emma at one week old & Kaleb is feeding her a bottle... he's been in love with her from day one... for the most part:)

Here's a pic of it lit, I love how the light bounces off of the varnished diamonds.

Here are a couple pics of her room with the new armoir done, the dresser is done to match as well, but I will share more pics as I move on with her room.  Her little side table... should I paint it a dark pink or leave it cream... decision, decisions!

Monday, July 18, 2011


Are these cute or what?!?  I made 'em!

OK, I like to brag as much as the next girl... especially when it's a project and it turns out FABULOUS!!!  Friends of mine may know I really enjoy baking & I like learning new things... so when hubby came home with the Bakerella Cake Pops book  I was excited & frozen with fear a bit.  I had followed her blog & had added the Fan Page on Facebook... but aside from the regualr ol' cake balls I hadn't attempted anything crazy.  Here's Bakerella's 'Cow Pops'

Well, hubby's office decided to do something special for the boss man's birthday & boss man likes cows & hay & all that fun stuff.  My husband being the comic he is... thinks he is, thought it would be comical for me to come up with "cow patty" cookies as well.  So, the end result were Bakerella's Cow Pops & my own little cow patty cookies, or smooshed cake balls covered in chocolate & covered in toasted marshmellows & toffee crunch:)

Here's the final product... not too shabby, & believe it or not, they weren't SUPER hard, they were just plain hard, but completely do-able!  *I couldn't find pink M&M's as Bakerella suggests using so I just colored some fondont & made my own little noses;)

And lastly, the "cow patty" cookies lol!

When I'm not swamped with Aidan Grace {A Children's Botuique} work I tend to bake... well, honestly, baking calms me, so occassionally I need to take a "baking break" just to keep me sane. 

Make sure to check out {Bakerella} for some fabulous ideas &/or get the hubby to get you this book:

PS, If you look at her site, there's a 'Bakerella' shirt & I admit to wearing that too... only to bed... ok, annnnd grocery shopping, yard work, date night, j/k... no date night:)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Lately, it dawned on me that only a few people know the "real me"... I think a lot of people think they know me, but they'd be surprised. 
I love daylilies... They are so simple... Just perfect.  And you have to get up early to appreciate them.

I've always loved baking, even if some of the time what I create you wouldn't want to eat.  The process is super fun;)

I don't like The Jonas Brothers, but I will sing along loudly in a very mature manner to Miley Cyrus or 'Barbie Girl'.  On another extreme I LOVE Dixie Chicks & Johnny Cash... Cowboy Take Me Away... lalala!

I don't think people who constantly post Christian songs or post bible versus make them Christians... The way in which they live their lives & treat those around them should reflect that.

My favorite book of all time is White Oleander by Janet Fitch... Shows how the blood you call family really doesn't have to define who you are.  You can choose to live a different life.

I could eat Ramen Noodle everyday... that is until while away at college I HAD to eat it everyday... now I have to be in the "mood" for it.

My favorite color has always been pink... always will be too.  But now I'm a grown up, so I tone it down;)

I would love to be super wealthy... not Oprah wealthy... but wealthy enough to where we would never have to "want" for anything... that being said, the things money can't buy are my most prized posessions.

Growing up I always longed for a family... now I realize that's just what I had... just didn't know it.

My sister was my best friend growing up & now that we're grown I think we're more strangers... breaks my heart.

I still have the same best friend that I had in 4th Grade... I LOVE her!

I would love to buy an old Southern Farmhouse & completely restore it & have a cow & some chickens... I already have names picked out... "Loretta Hen", "Wyonona", "Naomi", & a couple roosters... "Dwight Yolk-um" & "Earl".  I would sit on my front porch swing & drink sweet tea from my Mason Jar.

I can try to be "healthy" & watch what I eat for a period of time, but I have an addiciton to Dr. Pepper that always comes back to get me!

I know Nate Burkus is gay, but he sure is yummy:)

I LOVE antiques, but hate things that smell "old"...

I am guilty of brainstorming up projects that take up more time than I really have... so I have a good bit of fabric & crafting supplies to keep me busy on a rainy day.

I love my children & want a big family... but I would prefer them to marry orphans... I do not want to share my Grandkids or Holidays.  Just kidding!  But seriously, that would be nice wouldn't it? :)

I LOVE decorating & LOVE photography... neither of which I will ever do professionally but I really enjoy both!

Paula Deen is my idol!  That woman makes you want to cook everything in butter & not even think twice about it.  Think I may be her for Halloween.

I never thought at 17 I would go on a blind date with a handsome guy that worked dairy & produce & end up marrying him at 18... oh young love!

I LOVE the fact that I wear my Great Grandmother's wedding ring set... it's over 100 years old & everytime I look down at my ring finger it reminds me that I do have some history & at how similar my taste is to hers... good taste runs in the family:)

I think my husband is pretty amazing... he goes above & beyond... & seeing him with our kiddos makes my heart smile.

 The days I gave birth to my two kids were the most amazing days... they are the most prized possesions of mine, even though I know some day they will grow up & not need me so much.  They make me so proud & amaze me daily with their wit & humor.

What are your confessions?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend

Ok, so we've been pretty busy with getting settled into the new house & I've been busy at trying to run errands etc. while NOT getting lost in a new area.  On that note... Thank God for my iPhone & Google Maps!

The first weekend we had the keys (and no kids) we decided to tackle painting & heavy cleaning.  This house needed both pretty bad.  Aside from cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom, all 1800+ square feet recieved a fresh coat of paint.  The entire house besides the laundry, bathrooms & Emma's room got a coat of Glidden's Whispering Wheat; it's a perfect neutral beige & it really warmed the whole place up. 
(HAR photo)


Wow!  What a little bit of paint can do!

We wanted to add a little personality to the kiddo's rooms with one wall each done special & decided on red baseball stripes for Kaleb's (since his room is Astros) and a girly pink (Glidden's Cream Rose) for Emma.  Just pink was a tad boring so I flipped through my "Dream House" binder & decided on diamonds.  The idea came from a photo of a bathroom with the walls finished in white & yellow diamonds.  I thought why not try varnish?  I was shooting for just a subtle distinction between a flat enamel & some gloss.  What I got was flat enamel & then some...  The varnish dried with a hint of yellow/golden tones  but it had a handpainted finish to it.  Hard to explain... but goregous!!  It was a big project to tackle... I had done my research & passed it along to my hubby.  But hubby did what hubbys do best... he ignored the blog links I had e-mailed him & decided he'd figure it out & it "couldn't be that hard".  
With blue painter's tape in hand & on the wing of a prayer we dove in head first.  Our... eehemm, his first attempt was to use a straight edge & start from one corner.  Problem there was you would easily see pencil marks through the varnish when finished & if we erased the pencil before painting, we might as well just wing the whole thing.  So, attempt #2 was to measure the wall dimensions & divide evenly then tape off... well about half way through that we discovered that you can NOT tape off all diamonds because there will most definitely be a 1" or whatever size tape you use, mark between all diamonds.  So third time is the charm?  Attempt #3 yielded hubby sitting for 20 minutes or so drawing out a detailed sketch of where to tape (above or below our measured dots)  and which diamonds to paint in which order.  
By about 3 am we had diamond wall round one of two painted... we crawled in bed & the next morning I nervously peeled the tape off... Knowing I would have to follow the dots mentioned above & the already painted diamonds to create the second (every other diamond) round of diamonds to paint.  Hallejuiah, it worked!  
{Round 1 Painted}
{Round 2 Taped & Paitned}
{The wall finished}
{One more pic just because}

I have carefully packed this little sheet of paper away for any future projects involving diamonds!

My tips:

-Meausre well & find your center point
-Helps to divide your wall space in half & then divide in half again etc. instead of measuring & starting from one side... NO WALLS are ever square, so this hides the imperfections well.
-Decide how many rows of diamonds you want, I chose 3 & where you want the point of interest to fall.  I decided on a diamond right above Emma's headboard.
-After taping & before painting stand back & think it over... pay attention.  If we would have painted after our first taping I would have trashed the whole idea!!
-If your super sweet, amazing hubby decides to tackle this with or for you... be prepared for the "you owe me so big's"  Because hubby says next time I want diamonds, he'd rather buy me some;)

* I found this blog to be really helpful!  I just changed it up & didn't do argyle.

We have not taken on decorating their rooms too much just yet. But when I get that part done I will post some pics.  I am working on weeding through what I have to work with to see what will be used & what will be 'Garage Sale' items.  Emma needs new bedding, I have a dresser I need to re-do & Kaleb has a bed that his Daddy built for him we need to move in.  But we are still sleeping on his mattress.  I repeat the mantra:  "All in good time"... Emma's room is a good bit smaller than Kaleb's but has a good amount of character & Kaleb's room has a window seat that runs the entire length of one of his longest walls... still thinking about what to do there.  Blinds are slowly being replaced upstairs because the ones that are here are damaged & dirty beyond just cleaning them.

Still have a LOT of projects on the horizon:

Purchase a couch & make slip cover for my seatee
Hang curtains we brought from the old house
Decorate Emma's Room
Decorate Kaleb's Room
Re-do 2 dressers
Make curtains
Make window seat cushion
Build our new bed
Decorate our room
Find kitchen table 
Do trim work in laundry room & bathroom
Do something about carpet in powder room downstairs (why oh why put carpet in a bathroom?!?)
and the list goes on...

I will be taking pictures & sharing the experience as we go.  But I thought this was a pretty good first project to share:) 

With moving to a new area, the Summer home with the kiddos & some spare time, we'll see how much we get done!

Diamonds are a girl's best friend... but a husband's worst nigtmare... literally!  :) LOL!