Thursday, March 22, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends. This week FLEW by.  I’m so happy it’s Friday!!  I’m actually working a lot this weekend because I’m coordinating a leadership conference on campus.  Sunday Graig and I have a full day of worked planned around our house to get ready for our summer baseball renters. Today I’m linking up to ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites.

1.  My absolute favorite from this week is Ava’s birthday!   Her birthday was on Monday and she got her drivers permit. She has been driving all week.  It’s crazy to think we are going to have another driver in our family!  We celebrated by having a quiet dinner at home. 

2.  Next week Ava is on spring break and she and grandma Jan are headed to Arizona to see Brock!  I know they are going to have the best time and I’m so happy they get to go and see him.

3.  I love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and last weekend we did a few fun things to celebrate the holiday.  Friday night my students and I volunteered at a mother/son dance called the Shamrock Swing.  I was on the committee that planned it and my business Branch and Bloom did the centerpieces.  My students helped by making popcorn and cotton candy and they made treat bags for each of the kids.  There were 300 people at the event.  It was a great night!

Saturday morning Ava and I went to the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Utica with my friends Sabrina and Rachael.  It was a fun morning but it was freezing cold!! The good news is we got our picture taken with St.Patrick 😉

4.  I’m in a women’s community service organization in our town  and this week we put together 40 cancer care kits for people in chemotherpy.  In the kits we included a blanket (handmade by my students), a journal, lotion, lip balm, hand sanitizer and a water bottle.  I am so glad we did this project.  These kits will help so many people!  It’s a favorite from this week for sure ❤️

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Crafty Wednesday {March Craft Class}

I own a small craft business called Branch and Bloom with my friend Rachael.   Once a month we have a craft class and teach people to make a craft.  We try and choose crafts that take about an hour to complete.  People come with their friends and have a good time while creating a craft to take home.  We provide all of the supplies and give them step by step instructions at our class so they can make a beautiful craft.  

Here are some of our past craft nights

This month we created reversible signs one side says Hey Spring and the other side says Hello Summer.  This class was also a fundraiser for an animal rescue group in our town so $10 from each person's ticket went to the animal rescue group.  We were so happy to be able to raise some money for them!!

We got our wood at Lowe's and had the boards cut down from 15 feet to 5 feet lengths.  I swear the Lowe's employees hide when they see us coming.  We are always needing wood cut.  Rachael and I both have saws that we can use at home but it's so much easier for us if they cut the wood for us!!  This picture is from our February craft night but it shows you how much we need for our classes.  

The first thing we had people do when they came to class in March was to brush white paint on their board.  We wanted these to look old and distressed so we had them brush it off with a paper towel to give the wood a distressed look.

The next step was to have each person cut out their stencils for the craft.  We printed SPRING and SUMMER on individual sheets of paper and then had each person cut out their own stencils.  We thought about emailing this to everyone ahead of time but decided just to have them cut them out in class.  We did SPRING in Georgia font size 640 and we did SUMMER in Mongolian Baiti size 500.

After they were cut out everyone added their stencils to the sign with a little tape on the back and traced the letters with pencil.  After the traced their letters in stencil they painted their letters with black paint.    They did one side in class and then took the other stencils home so their side would have time to dry before they flipped it and did the other side.

We printed out Hey and Hello in vinyl lettering using my silhouette machine.  

It was a great night!!  It is STILL snowing in NY but we hope everyone can use their Hello Spring signs soon.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Ava is 16!!

Yesterday was our Ava's 16th birthday!!!  I can't believe our girl is 16.  I know everyone says this but our sweet girl has grown up so fast.  I am amazed at the young woman she is becoming.  I am so proud of her and I'm so happy to be her Mom.  

Yesterday Graig took her to get her permit.  She can officially drive with an adult in the car.  In NY at 16 1/2 you can get your full license. She was so happy to get her permit and drove three times yesterday.  Once with Graig, once with me and one time with her Grandma Jan.  I left work to pick Ava up after school she drove us to do some errands.  My car is a stick shift (she is still learning to drive a stick shift) so we took Graig's truck which is an automatic so it was easier for her to drive.

At the Mardi Gras Gala I won a catered dinner for four people at the silent auction.  My friend Heather is a chef and donated the meal to the silent auction.  I thought last night would be the perfect night to have it!  At Ava's request she made us chicken parm, pasta, salad, homemade bread and an amazing ice cream cake.  It was amazing.  Grandma Jan came over to eat with us.  We all loved the meal and were SO stuffed after eating.

Here is the delicious ice cream cake Heather made for us. 

And here is Ava with Grandma Jan.  

She had a great birthday!  Here are links to some of her past birthday celebrations.

Ava's 7th birthday

Ava's 8th birthday

Ava's 9th birthday

Ava's 9th birthday party

Ava's 10th birthday

Ava's 14th birthday

Ava's 14th birthday part two

Ava's 15th birthday

We had a great day celebrating our Ava!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday friends.  This week FLEW by.  I’m so happy it’s Friday!!   Today I’m linking up to ErikaNarci and Andrea to share my Friday Favorites.

 1.  Our Ava is turning 16 on Monday!!!!  I can’t believe our baby girl will be 16.  We are going to celebrate this weekend and have a nice dinner together in Monday.

2.  Last week I went to the Philadelphia flower show with my friend Jenn.  It’s the oldest flower show in the country we had a great time looking at all the exhibits.  It is one of my very favorite things to do in the spring.

3.  Last Friday we had our monthly craft class for Branch and Bloom.  We made reversible signs that said SPRING on one side and SUMMER on the other.  It was a fun project!  Our craft night was also fundraiser for an animal rescue organization and I’m happy to report that we raised $160 for it.

4. Saturday I went to an outdoor winter festival in our town. It’s called snowmegang and it’s held every March.  It was a fun afternoon. And yes it’s still snowing here.

5.  My students are volunteering tomorrow at a mother/son dance in our town called the Shamrock Swing.  On Monday we got pizza for dinner and made 300 party favors for he moms and their sons.  Tomorrow night at the party they will be making cotton candy and popcorn and putting temporary tattoos on the kids.  It should be a fun night!!

6.Sunday night I got together with my friends Vicki and Rachael  and we had a cooking class together and Vicki taught us to make homemade shrimp scampi and homemade Caesar salad.  Both were amazing and I’m going to post the recipes next week.  

This weekend we are going to celebrate St. Patrick’s day and Ava’s birthday!!  

Happy Friday❤️

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Happy Things {February}

Here's my happy things post for February.  Each night I write down one thing I'm happy about or one good thing that happened during the day.  I write down one thing before bed each night and it's a fun little excercise in gratitute.  I have SO much to be thankful for and I want to remember those fun little moments. 

Here are my past Happy Things posts


2017 ( I quit doing this in September I don't know just got too busy!)


February 2018
1 Amazing yoga class and then a  meeting for the annual Mardi Gras gala 
2 Cooking class in Albany
3 Boot camp and made sesame chicken with Ava
4 Snowed in for the Superbowl
6-lunch with my dear friend Donna
8 sick-ugh
9 sick-ugh
10 sick-ugh
11 I'm finally feeling better!!
12 Full day-work, family, friends, volunteer stuff.  I love days like these!!
13 Watched Ladybird movie with my friend Inez
14 Valentine's dinner and a movie with G and My Dad's birthday!
15 Bookclub-good meal and conversation
16 Breakfast out and plant shopping with my friend Jenn  at a greenhouse and sushi lunch with friends  
17 Brunch with girls
18 Pitch party with friends
19 Make up party
20 Nice dinner together as a family
21 Got new glasses!
22 Took a lovely nap
23 Watched Get Out (my 6th Oscar nominated film!)
24 Shopping day in Albany and went to a basketball game together as a family
25 Made chicken pad thai with Ava
26 Bookclub
27 Watched Graig ref a playoff game in basketball
28 It was so nice outside I got to take a walk at lunch and then girls night out

Happy Thursday!


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Mardi Gras Gala

Last Saturday night was the second annual Gala for the Boys and Girls club in our town. You can see pictures from last year here.   I love the Boys and Girls club both of our kids spent years going there.  They have SO many activities for kids.  .  A couple of years ago I was talking with the Director (and one of my dear friends!) about fundraising ideas for the club and then she formed a committee and we had a few brainstorming sessions we came up with the idea for a Mardi Gras gala.  

It's the only Mardi Gras event in our town and everyone loves it!  It's a fun excuse to get dressed up and have a fun night out.  Graig hates events like these so he stayed home and I went with my girlfriends and had a blast!

My favorite part of this event is the decorations.  I am on the committee that plans this event and we were able to re-use a lot of our decorations from last year which was so great!  We added a few new things this year and the gym was transformed into a dreamy Mardi Gras night.

We had several seating nooks for people to sit on.  We used outdoor furniture and plants from our houses to transform the gym into a warm Mardi Gras night. 

My friend Rachael and I donated this vintage picnic basket from Branch and Bloom  filled with wine and a gift certificate to one of our craft classes. It sold for $95 at the silent auction.  

Two of my talented friends made mask cookies for the dessert table.  They were so delicious!!

We had casino tables and college soccer players were the dealers. I spent most of the night playing Craps.  It was a blast!

Here is a picture of the committee that planned the event.  We have a big group and worked SO hard to make sure this event was a success.  

I can't wait for next year. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Oscars 2018

My friend Amy hosted the Oscar party this year. I hosted last year and it was so fun but this year Amy wanted to host and I’m so glad she did.  It was a great night!  Amy did a pajama theme and it was perfect because Saturday night a lot of us went to the annual Mardi Gras gala to benefit the Boys and Girls Club so we were tired Sunday.  

To make it easy for Amy we each brought a snack.  I brought Feta Dip.  It was so easy!   I’ll post the recipe for my Saturday Snack this week.

Amy also had a few signature cocktails to go along with the Oscar theme.  They were so fun!  The Oscar-tini was champagne and cranberry juice the Missouri Mule was a re-named Moscow Mule and  a nod to Three Billboards.   She also had printed ballots and we each put in $5 and voted on our favorites. I won the Oscar Ballot contest!   We got SO excited when our nominees won.  

This year I watched 8 out of the 9 Best Picture movies.  I was so thrilled that The Shape of Water won best picture.  I thought that was the best movie of the bunch.  Graig, Brock and I watched it on Christmas day in Arizona.  It was an artsy film and it was full of action and it was also a love story. It was so good!!

Graig and I also loved Three Billboards and I'm glad that film got a lot of love at the Oscars last night.  I also loved Get Out, The Post, Dunkirk and Darkest Hour.  I did not like Phantom Thread or Lady Bird.  

I always love Oscar night and I had so much fun at the party.