May 31, 2013

coffee date // praise the lord for kids that sleep in

Happy glorious Friday everyone!

Linking up again with Rags to Stitches for another coffee date!

couple things to note:
I think I like the word awesome, as I used it quite a bit during this video.

i am using a quiet voice as my kids were still sleeping when i filmed this. turn up the volume.

enjoy!

May 30, 2013

weekends are for taking advantage of.

yes they are.

for soaking up, taking it all in.

enjoying it.

we enjoyed our long weekend as a family with friends. let me share it with you. If you follow me on Instagram you've already seen these. (@photosbyandrea)

Friday night we attended a 30th anniversary party for some friends. My husband sang a special first dance song for them. We had a really fun night with friends.


Ava and her friend danced their little hearts out. It was so much fun watching them. 


Saturday we attended our first summer BBQ! I'm sure there will be many more in our summer. 

It was a perfect day for swimming and hanging out with friends. 


 Sunday after church we headed to the McCormick Ranch Railroad park after church. If you live locally in Phoenix you must hit this place up often. It's located in Scottsdale. They have train rides for the kids, a carousel, park for the kids to play. There's a train museum too, and top it all off at the local ice cream shop on site at the end of the day. We brought a picnic lunch and then rode the trains.




love my girl.


sharing some ice cream at the end of our day.

ava's was pink & bubble gum of coarse. 

mine coffee, naturally.





Monday was a relaxing day. We slept in, all of us. Yay!

had a big breakfast. 


Monday, I worked on some crafting projects for our home. 

i pulled out my sewing machine for the first time in months. 

felt good to be creating again. 


we marinated this pork roast all night, shredded it the next day and let it soak in sauce. yum. 

i made crispy shoe string fries and corn on the cob for our memorial day meal.

it was good. 

we finished off the day with a family movie night. 

thankful for weekends and family time together. 

thankful for our freedom and those who fight for it.

how did you spend your long weekend?

May 29, 2013

5 Questions: Sara from Clever Pink Pirate


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I met Sara through other local bloggers, she lives here in Phoenix! I've been so luck to connect with a few local AZ blogger and I'm so glad she's one of them. Meet Sara from Clever Pink Pirate!

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Visit Sara on her blog here, on Facebook here, and Instagram here.

May 27, 2013

a perspective shift on mothering.

I've had some really hard weeks these past few months. Days when I for sure thought I was going to lose my mind, days when I felt like giving up on this whole parenting thing.

Pretty sure I wasn't doing a good job.

Pretty sure I wasn't getting through at all to my toddler who seems to test my will more than ever these days.


Days when I've sat and cried for a few minutes while they are tucked in their beds for nap time. A few times that I've snuck into the pantry alone and sat there for a few small moments reminding myself to breath, and come out with a smile on my face.

Wouldn't it be awesome if there was a definitive handbook on how to raise children? A handbook that told you exactly every single scenario that was going to happen and how to handle it? Yup, that would be awesome sometimes.

And just when I'm sure my child hates me, and doesn't like me at all she says something that forever changes my perspective on mothering and parenting.

My husband knows just how much of a hard time I've been having lately and does a great job of checking in on me throughout the day.


Sunday night (mother's day) my husband did the bed time routine with Ava while I was doing my best to calm my screaming 4 month old.

He came down after tucking her in and told me this story;

He was reading Ava a book before bedtime and it was about friendship and best friends. He asked Ava at the end;

"Ava, who's your best friend?"

Ava replied; "Mommy is."

This little two second conversation to me has completely changed my perspective. I realized that how I see myself as a parent my failures, my short comings, etc. Isn't how my child sees me at all. To her I'm her best friend!


Even though I discipline her, and loose my patience sometimes, and cry over the fact that she isn't listening and think about how hard this parenting gig is she doesn't see that at all.

Now matter how many times we mess up or think we fail, or feel like we just can't do another day remind yourself as a mom that your children think you're amazing, you're their hero and they love you so much.


I will repeat this to myself when she's tired and cranky.

When she's being disobedient and needing me to teach her.

When we have hard days.

When I have a hard day.

Sometimes all we need is a little perspective shift and a little encouragement to get us back on track.

May 24, 2013

coffee date // early risers, breaking my water cup & a challenging post.

Happy Friday friends! Let's have coffee together.

ps- I don't know why the screen shot is sideways, but I assure you it will go back once you press play.

:)


IMG 3117 from Andrea Worley on Vimeo.

this is the post I mentioned at the end of the video.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend friends!

May 22, 2013

Ava's Pink & Gold 3rd Birthday Party

Today I'm excited to share with you Ava's 3rd Birthday Party. It was featured a couple weeks ago on Pizzazzerie, you can see the feature here, but I wanted to share it here as well with my readers. 

I start all my parties by dreaming up a theme and picking out the perfect invites. For me invites set the tone of any party. I found these great invites by Design on Paper on Etsy. We worked together to design this invite based on some of the other designs I saw from her site. 

Pink is Ava's favorite color, and the sparkly touches of silver and gold were the perfect touch to add to this party. 


I love putting together dessert tables for my parties, they are so fun and a great focal point for any party. 


I put together this dessert table made up of cupcakes {made by me}, cake pops and cookies. Along with some fun touches. I made the tissue paper tassels myself, {tutorial here}. 


These glass bottles have been such a great investment, actually they are Starbucks frap bottles that I cleaned, washed and saved for occasions such as this. Add some fun stripey straws and you have instant fun drinks for your parties. I got the straws from The TomKat Studio shop.

Simple Princess Pink Punch {equal parts pink lemonade + sprite} make a great drink for any party. Everyone loves it, and it's so simple to make. All the light pink plates and napkins are from the Dollar Tree, and the gold dot napkins are from Target.


Since we just moved a few months prior most of our guests have never been to our house, I thought it would be fun signify to our guests that "the party is here." So I bought a giant 36'' pink balloon from The TomKat Studio and placed it outside on our porch. I also made an additional strand of tassels to wrap around the balloon for something fun. 


Oh, how I love a good cake pop! Don't you?! My friend Heather is a local baker here in Phoenix and she makes the best desserts. She made these awesome cake pops and tied golden bows on them and they were a perfect addition to our dessert table. If you live in Phoenix please message me if you'd like to work with Heather.


I made the cupcakes myself, and placed them inside white & pink stripe baking cups from The TomKat Studio, and topped them with gold and silver flags from Target.


I whipped up a simple centerpiece for the table with these gold glitter jars, {tutorial here} and placed pink roses and babies breath inside. The flowers are from a local shop here in Phoenix called Blooming Mill.


{My Birthday Girl!}


I kept the food pretty simple since the party was taking place after lunch and a couple hours before dinner. I made chicken salad sandwiches, fruit salad, and a veggie tray to go along with our dessert table.



This year I wanted to do something a little different and special for the party. I love using local people to help with my parties so when I came across Melissa's work with cookies I knew I wanted her to do something for Ava's party. Melissa makes the most amazing cookies you've ever seen, they are little works of art. I almost didn't want to eat them, but I'm so glad that I did because not only are they pretty they are delish! Visit Melissa's website here, she ships all over the US.


photography + styling: worley house
ava's skirt: zulily
ava's shirt: old navy
baking cups + straws + balloon: The TomKat Studio
flags + gold dot napkins: Target
pink paper plates + pink napkins: Dollar Tree
*contains an affiliate link

May 21, 2013

Kate Spade Saturday Collection

Have you heard of Kate Spade Saturday?

It's like the CB2 of Kate Spade. A little hipper, more edgy fun accessories, clothing and home decor from Kate Spade. I'm loving a lot of this collection and I thought I'd share my picks today with you.

Kate Spade Saturday Collection



Long dress / Long skirt / Real leather handbag / Tech accessory / Accessories - Saturday.com / Golf bag travel case / Days of the Week Pencils / Small Notebook Set

Aren't those pencils awesome! And, I really love those little notebooks, and small gold stud earrings.

Do you share a love for Ms. Spade like I do, what's your favorite?

May 20, 2013

UNBLOGGER by Darrell Vesterfelt E-Book Release


Happy Monday friends! Thank you for your honest and sincere feed back from last Wednesday's post, I really appreciate you as readers, thank you for sharing letting me share my heart. Today I have a fun treat for you today that goes along with my post and what has been stirring in my heart as of late. 

Let me introduce you to my friend Darrell Vesterfelt author of UNBLOGGER. I met Darrell through my husband back in college, they were roommates in college together. Darrel has been a much needed voice in the blogging and social media world. I appreciate his approach and honesty in a world that can be so self consuming. 

A little bit more about Darrell; 

Darrell Vesterfelt is the author of UNBLOGGER: Discovering the Power of Story in a 'How-To' World. He is also the co-founder of Prodigal Press and Prodigal Magazine. You can connect with him on Twitter at @dvest or on his blog DarrellVesterfelt.com

His e-book UNBLOGGER releases today on Amazon, and is free for you to download and read for this week only. I was able to read an advanced copy of UNBLOGGER, and I'm so glad that I did. As a blogger I was challenged by what I read, and walked away once again re evaluating my blog and making sure the voice of my blog matched my heart. I know you will love it too and be challenged in some way as well with your blogging. 

I thought it would be fun to do a little question/answer with Darrel to find out more about the release of UNBLOGGER. 



What inspired you to write UNBLOGGER?

I wrote UNBLOGGER because I was seeing a growing frustration in the blogging community. There were so many voices, and they all seemed to be saying the same thing. I know that it was always easy for me to fall into the trap of blogging for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to write an eBook, really a manifesto of sorts, to remind those of us who blog that we can do it for the right reasons. And that when we do blog for the right reasons, we will find a lot more meaning in our work.



What is one thing you hope people will take away from reading UNBLOGGER?

I hope people will asses their motives behind their blogging efforts. I think it is easy for us to let these motives go unchecked, and that can turn into a dangerous thing. If we can sit back and ask ourselves the hard questions today, we will save ourselves a lot of trouble in future. Bad motives turn into action, and those kinds of actions lead us into a really unfulfilling and meaningless place. 



Since you shut down your blog, do you ever see yourself opening up another blog and sharing in that space?

Yes I do. In fact, I just launched a new blog this week! You can check it out at DarrellVesterfelt.com. Being an UNBLOGGER doesn't mean that we should all quit blogging, but it does mean that we need to start blogging for the right reasons. I hope this will be my expression of blogging for the right reasons.

This week only to celebrate the release of UNBLOGGER Darrell is offering it to you for FREE, please go here to purchase your free copy of UNBLOGGER. 

May 15, 2013

hitting the pause button on blogging for a sec.

The past few weeks I've been feeling a stirring in my heart about blogging, I'm constantly reevaluating what I'm putting out into the blogosphere, the words I write I want them to mean something not only to me first, but also to the person who reads this.

I remember the first blog I ever read and got hooked on, what hooked me wasn't the crafts, or pictures, it was the words. It was the way she told a story, and opened up even the smallest parts of her life. Showed you the beautiful along with the messy real life stuff. It's what inspired me to start my own blog and share life with each other.

To build a community. To connect to people.


I've been blogging for some time now, (5 years) this past February. Some really great friendships and connections have come from blogging, for that I am so thankful. Some of the purest moments and stories I've shared in this space.

I didn't even know what a sponsored post was until I was blogging for about 3 years, I didn't even know you could make money off your blog until around the same time. I didn't even make any money off my blog until just a year ago. Do I make money off my blog? Short answer, yes. Do I make a lot? No. Do I make a part time income? No.



There are sponsored posts written. There are ads on this blog, way at the bottom. Do I make enough to treat my family to dinner, yes. Do I make money and buy things for our home or pay my bills? Yes. Every time I've been approached to do this, I always run the opportunity through a check list in my mind.

Would it be something that I would normally like or write about on my blog?

Would I really do that in real life?

Do I even like the product/service, etc?

Does it fit with my readers?



I won't pretend that from time to time you might see sponsored content on this blog, because you will and you have. But I will make sure that it's authentic every time.

But more than sponsored content I want to share life with this online community. I still comment on every. single. blog I take the time to read.

I still read a lot of blogs with a lot of different content than my own.

I read this post today, and then this post which furthered in my heart what it was already stirring.


Everyone measures success in a different way, and so do bloggers. I don't know what your measure of success is but I'm thankful for the emails and comments from readers that I get that are so honest and encouraging.

More so than page views. I know I get passed up for a lot because I don't pull in the page views and numbers like others, but I'm honestly ok with that. I am thankful for the opportunities that have come my way, like writing for Modern Mom in which I got to write about something I'm passionate about.

I want blogging to be about sharing a story, even if I'm crafting in that post, or sharing pictures, or cooking. Whatever, there's a story behind it. There's a story that I want to share. I started the 5 Questions series because there's some amazing bloggers out there that I love and I wanted to share them with you.

I don't have awesome page views, and I don't have the thousands of followers like a lot of blogs I read. But I've gotten to the point where that doesn't matter. I want to write because I love it. I craft because I love it, and I love making my home and space to reflect myself and my family. I cook because I love doing it for my family, and every once in a while a recipe is worth sharing.



It's my desire for this space to be as authentic as it can be. That I reflects myself, and where I'm at in this season of life. At the end of the day I'm:

a Christ follower, wife, mother, creative thinker with a passion for family, friendship and people. I want to share that here.



My challenge for myself and for you today if you're a blogger is to remember why you started blogging in the first place, why you fell in love with it.

If you're a reader and don't have a blog, I challenge you to really jump in and be apart of a community. The true community that I believe this can be.

5 Questions: Andrea from J and A & Co.

Today's 5 Questions comes from one of my favorite bloggers, I don't even really remember how I found Andrea's blog but I'm glad I did. I know I started reading it when I was pregnant with Ava and I instantly fell in love with her honesty about motherhood, and her great wisdom about parenthood.

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Visit her blog here, and find her on Pinterest here.

May 13, 2013

Perfect Summer Tote Bags

I love a good functional and fun bag! Purses and totes are a weakness for me. Now that summer is upon us every lady needs a good bag to get them through summer play dates, trips to the park & beach with ease.

The requirements: big enough to fit your normal essentials (keys, wallet, phone, etc.) plus snacks for your kids, your ipad and whatever else you may need. Also it needs to come in a fun color or fun pattern.

I've rounded up a few of my faves below, perfect for anyone and any budget!



Summer Tote Bags


Old Navy tote / Canvas tote / Canvas tote / Poppie Jones jelly tote / Gap tote / H&M straw handbag, $15 / Merona pink tote / Poppie Jones handbag / Gap tote

May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day.

For some of you today is a happy and sad day all at the same time. 

Some of you are holding your babies close tonight.

Some of you are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a little one.

Some of you have lost babies.

Some of you are missing your mamas that are no longer here.

Some of you are single mothers who don't have any help, who are just trying to make it.

To all the women out there; holding your babies, waiting for your babies to arrive, missing the ones you lost, or have yet to come you matter, you are special, you are brave, you are a warrior, you are amazing! 

Today, my heart is praying for you. 

Happy Mother's Day!


These little ones, I have to really say thank you. Thank you for making me a mama. 

This year, I didn't want any gifts. All I wanted was a couple hours to myself. To run errands by myself. 

I gloriously walked around Target for an hour today. Ran some errands, and sat in my driveway in my car after coming home enjoying a coke zero. Seriously. 

The day before I enjoyed a nap, a nice long nap. Then we all went out to dinner together to celebrate. 

I had dessert, which I haven't had in a month. It was awesome. 

Then I pulled into the driveway today after my stint out today, and came through into the garage only to hear Zane screaming his head off. When I walked in the door my husband told me he'd been crying like that off and on for the 3 hours I was gone. 

Back to reality. For realz.

Happy Mother's Day to you all. 

Hope your day was beautiful.

May 10, 2013

Coffee Date // 5.9.13

Hello friends, Happy Friday!

It's been a while since we had a coffee date, I'm excited to be having coffee with you today, enjoy!


Linking up with Alissa today at Rags to Stitches. 

May 8, 2013

brother & sister.

these two, they have my heart. 

i love that ava calls zane her baby. 

i love that when he smiles at her, she says "he loves me."


my prayer, is that they grown to love each other and have a special relationship.

i have two brothers, they are quite a bit younger than me (6 and 8 years) but still we have a special relationship.

i love watching these two play together, and i'm starting to see that relationship. 


morning snuggles.

morning laughter.

sharing of the toys and making sure "the baby" is ok during the day are some of my faves that she's expressing these days.

these two, man! those smiles, these faces.

i just love them to bits.

May 6, 2013

he's done.

the last year and a half hubby has been working hard.

hard towards a goal.

this weekend he completed that goal.

graduating with his masters degree.



right before our 4th wedding anniversary he started his first class, we didn't really know how life was going to change.

we knew there were going to have to be sacrifices made so he could make school work.

but we did it, he did it.



my husband he works so hard, and has been working so hard at school these last few years. I'm so proud of him and couldn't be happier for him and a new chapter that starts now.

my husband is the first in his family to graduate college. and now the first to graduate with a masters degree.


he shows me over and over again that circumstances do not matter.

determination does.

goals do.

spirit and strength do.

and the will of God.

he makes me so proud.

he works so very hard for all of us. and he never asks for anything, ever.



he's truly one of the most selfless people i know.

so, today we celebrate him. we clap for him.



i'm thankful that God blessed me with such an amazing gift in my husband.

i'm thankful for him.

congrats Orion, we love you.

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