Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday's Foot Fetish: Alegria

As an event planner, we spend 12 or more hours standing while on show site. When you have a desk job and suddenly stand that much, you need really good shoes! Alegria is my new favorite onsite shoe!
These are a thick soled shoe which is great for long dress pants. The toe part is angled up helping reduce the impact of so much walking on your knees and lower back. And, they are super duper cushioned inside. I love them!

Plus, Zappos has them in tons of fun colors and prints!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Lure of Office Supplies

I love office supplies. I loved back to school shopping when I was younger. I remember being very sad when I thought I had bought my last new notebook for school. Little did I know how many adult uses I could find for a new notebook! Becoming a Work-from-Home Mom meant starting my own business in the land of IRS, so it also means paying more attention to my taxes and keeping receipts (in a cute folder of course!).

Then it hit me... my office supplies are now a tax deduction. They are part of my business expenses and maybe just maybe, my love of shopping for them will result in giving away less green next April.

Here are a few of my favorites- all from See Jane Work.

I didn't buy everything above or even most of it, but I did purchase some file boxes, file hangers, sticky tabs and le pens this past week. I'm excited to use them in my very own home office!

I also have learned that my beloved Parsons chair from Ballard Designs isn't the right height for extensive laptop time. It is intended to be an office or dining chair, but my "desk" is really a dining room table and the height difference is enough to cause my back to hurt. So, I bought a new office chair that is adjustable to solve my problem. I loved all the chairs on PB Teen, but got a much better deal on Comfort First for the bankers chair. I think the white, with a cute bright cushion from PB Teen, will look great and work better for me!

If anyone in the Austin area is interested in the Parsons Chair, email me at annajenk AT yahoo dot com and I'll be happy to sell it to you. It is going on Craig's List soon. $50 and it is yours! Pictures of the chair are here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Minted Watermelon Salad

I read one that adding fresh mint to fruit salad really enhances the taste of the fruits, so I sought out a mint salad recently. Knowing how much my family loves watermelon, I took my chances with this one.... and, it was a winner! It is really sweet and you can subtly taste each of the ingredients in each bite.
Recipe courtesy of Weight Watchers magazine

1 1/2 cups watermelon and cantaloupe
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint, minced
1 tablespoon honey

Combine all ingredients and enjoy cold!

This was just as good the second day which I always appreciate with a big fruit salad.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday's Foot Fetish: Navy Sandals

I think navy shoes are the most difficult to find. I love these! Bernardo is my favorite brand of summer sandals- I actually own these in a bronze color. If you have a wide foot like I do- the best thing about these shoes is that they have a wide bottom so it helps minimize your own feet. No pinky toe dangling!
They are on sale on Zappos right now and I recommend you go up 1/2 a size.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Great Coastal Design

My family recently spent a weekend on the Texas coast- in Corpus Christi. A hotel on Shoreline Drive was kind enough to host us for the weekend to show off their renovations. I love the coastal style they created.

It all plays off this view so nicely!
I stay in a lot of hotels and everyone has moved to the all white linens which I like. Nobody in my opinion has put this amount of color back into the bed. I love the aqua blanket at the foot of the bed and the corals with turquoise in the throw pillow.
The sink has been recovered in an aqua blue glass which matches the aqua coral patterned pillow on the khaki linen chair. They also kept it coastal with a sunburst mirror on the wall.

The elevator lobby on each floor featured these framed rope patterns. This would be such an easy DIY project for a beach house or a party theme.
Tell me- am I the only person inspired by hotel design?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ribbon Wreath For Any Holiday

I fell in love with this wreath at Tatertots and Jello ages ago and sat it aside until my Mom (and her sewing machine) were visiting and we didn't have another project lined up. The weekend before 4th of July was it and after church we bought lots of red, white and blue ribbon to get the project going!
Here tutorial will give you step-by-step directions. You basically buy lots of ribbon. You want various widths, a couple with wire, and all different prints. You then cut the ribbon until strips around 4.5 inches. Then, you sew them into loops.
Those hundreds of loops are then attached to a ribbon covered wreath form. T&J recommends gorilla glue, but that didn't work for me AT ALL. It made a big mess. So, I used straight pins. It secured the ribbon perfectly and went into the styrofoam wreath easily. Don't worry if it looks funky when you first get started. The more you push in the better it starts to look!
T&J's Halloween wreath had a big 31 attached- I went with a patriotic pinwheel instead. I love pinwheels right now and thought it would be a fun addition. Without a 4 on there, I think this could be out for Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day!
If you are loving pinwheels right now too, here are a few more favorites:

I still think I have to make an orange, black, white, purple and lime green version of this wreath in the fall. It was easy, looks cute, and will last for years.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday's Foot Fetish: Shiny and Neutral

I love these shoes- the detail of the embellishment is big and bold!
Guess Piombo on Zappos

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pinterest and Polyvore

I have two new favorite websites- Pinterest and Polyvore. Both are major time killers, but lots of fun for creative minds! Let me tell you more....

Polyvore was created to help you make design boards. I've seen these on professional bloggers sites and always thought they were using Photoshop. Oh no- they were using the free site Polyvore!

Here is my first design- I created a fun outfit I'd wear on vacation. In the Polyvore world, we have no budgets or stretch marks! You just shop through the many pictures on their site and drag onto your inspiration board. Connected to the pictures are links to the sites with prices in case you really want to buy the items in your board. Again, there are no budgets in the land of Polyvore!
It can be fashion or home furnishings. Just create an account and start building. You can publish your boards to Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Now, let's talk about Pinterest. I am learning more as I play on this site, but I love the photo library it creates. I have categorized my photos (into boards) into areas like cute haircuts, future parties, crafts, holidays, blog headers, Christmas gifts. Once you create an account, you have a "Pin It" link on your desktop and when you see something you like, you simply Pin It and it resides on your Pinterest page.

People can follow each other and you'll see what others are pinning each time you log on. I love seeing my creative friends finds! You can also repin easily when you see something that you like. In no time you'll create a cookbook, birthday party, to do list, and must have list.

And, to make life easier, I created boards for Your Little Birdie- you can see my favorite foods, crafts, and parties from this blog all in one place. No more scrolling back on the blog to find that cake recipe or party photo.

Leave me a comment if you are on Pinterest with a link to your page so we can Pin together! Follow me at

Monday, July 11, 2011

New Cake Ball Flavors

I made cake balls this past weekend for 4th of July parties and while they tasted fabulous, they didn't look pretty!
I made red velvet with cream cheese icing and french vanilla with caramel icing and sea salt. I opted to use candy melts from Wilton this time around instead of dipping chocolate and it made them much smoother and with such vivid colors!

Here is my issue- how do you get them evenly covered? You can see lots of caramel cake shining through the white ones. I dipped the balls using small tongs, rolled them around and then sat them on wax paper. I don't want to use the sticks and make them cake pops.

Suggestions? How do you dip and roll your cake balls for good coverage?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Citrus Puppy Chow

I love Puppy Chow- the rice chex snack made with peanut butter and powdered sugar. But, with a nut allergy child it isn't practical to make for just us. When I saw a citrus version online, I had to make it. And then, I had to get it out of the house and share it with someone other than my hips!
This is wonderful, easy to make, and fun to share! Enjoy!

This recipe was found at Eat @ Home Cooks.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday's Foot Fetish: Tassels

Boden is having a big sale right now- I love their clothes. I don't own many things from them, but the few pieces I have are well made and last!
Check out their cute red tassel sandals on sale for $63 right now!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Goodies for Mother's Day Out

A friend of a friend and blog reader April emailed me this week asking for Mother's Day Out advice for her daughter. She has her new school chosen for the fall and is ready to purchase all the fun back to school supplies required by enrolling your child in such a program. We decided it would make a good blog post for everyone!

Nobody paid me or asked me to share their products. I just have them and love them!


Good washable labels on all of your child's lunchtime supplies is important. I've read great things on other blogs about the labels on the left and we have and love the cute ones on the right. You get so many in one order that they last forever!
I have raved about the Inchbug rubber labels before- we have 8 of them and they've been invaluable on keeping Abby's stuff with Abby! You even get to build your own- pick colors, name and cute little icons!
Inchbug is just a really cool site overall- I love their allergy labels. I have been discussing we need some of these for Abby Lu to wear at parties, field trips, etc. She has a very severe peanut allergy. I didn't take peanut allergies seriously until she had one. Wow!


Most programs require that you bring your child's lunch and most of the time, it sits in a cubby or hangs on a hook all morning. A good insulated lunchbox is important!

While in Savannah we bought Abby the owl lunchbox below. This Skip Hop line of animals is just the cutest! The lunchbox is great for snacks or small meals. It doesn't hold a whole lot- a thermos would take up most of the room, unfortunately! I like this size to pack cheese, fruits and vegetables when we go out to dinner. Abby often eats the main meats we are eating and we pack the extras. It saves money and is often much healthy that the fries offered with all kids meals.

This is Abby's new lunchbox and I can't wait for her to use it. Pottery Barn Kids has so many cute options and this one is a good size. I love a good monogram! They are on sale, too!
I also love this seersucker one from The Monogram Chick and the old school metal boxes from The Pink Giraffe.


I am a sucker for a new purse and I've transferred that to a love of cute bags for Abby. We are at the point where a diaper bag isn't really necessary, but we need a little bag for necessities, toys, medicine, etc. They are good for MDO if you are bringing a change of clothes, swimming gear for special days, extra diapers or wipes, etc.

We have the Vera Bradley on the left- I bought it on ebay super cheap. Many of my friends have the middle backpack- it is perfect for monogramming big on top. I love all of my Lands End totes- they are super durable! We use the large one for our pool towels, toys, sunscreen, etc. and it still looks brand new. The small and medium would make great toddler bags, especially for boys!
I gave Lands End totes as gifts for a good year straight. They would go on sale and I would buy the next 3 or 4 birthdays. I did them for Christmas also!

We also have the bumble bee bag on the left. It is so stinkin cute! Santa Claus brought it to Abby. We keep it packed with a change of clothes, bibs, playdough, Epi Pens, benadryl, wipes, etc. It goes everywhere with us!
Having just quit my job to be home with Abby more and do MDO twice per week, I had my own shopping spree recently. Thanks April for the great post idea!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Weekend Collage

Our weekend has been filled with popsicles, washing towels, planting flowers, sprinkled cookies, fresh fruit, red white and blue, swimming, pasta salad, washing towels, cake balls, hot dogs, a birthday party, a BBQ with friends, washing towels, and hosting friends for backyard fun!
I have loved this weekend and this summer! It is such a joy to look back at your pictures after a busy weekend and know you made great memories!

Happy Independence Day

Blessed is the nation whose God is Lord.- Psalm 33:12

Friday, July 1, 2011

July Desktop

I love the month of July- I've adjusted to the heat of summer, 4th of July is a favorite holiday, and my wedding anniversary ends the month. I hope you enjoy the fun that July brings!
Click on the photo above and save to your computer as your desktop background.

This kit was made using All American Summer.

Also, thanks to everyone who voted in the poll. I love that you want to see more parties, crafts, shopping and cooking! I'll start working more on diversifying the blog!

Friday's Foot Fetish: for the Rich Tacky Folk

Good heavens- these shoes are over the top in looks and in price!
These FOAM wedges with a whole lot of rhinestones can be yours for only $410! Seriously? I was thinking $29.95!

Looking for the July desktop? It is coming later today- I promise!