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Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I was blessed enough to be able to watch this movie before it has even been released while at my adoption conference this past weekend. (Hold tight for an entry solely on that...It was LIFE CHANGING. I am not the same. God spoke to my heart in immeasurable ways and for that, I need time to process, share with Lee and then I can share with you what God has said. I'll tell you this much...We are RIGHT in God's will, and I feel He told me and other adoptive mamas who shared with me that our baby is CLOSE. And to get ready!) This movie is a reality check. Our international adoption system is broken and unfortunately, the conventions the US has instituted have only worsened the brokenness. There are millions of orphans "Stuck" in the system. This documentary is SO WELL DONE and I encourage you to watch it, whether or not you are adopting, just to educate yourself. You won't be the same! I PROMISE! The images you will see of little ones languishing in orphanages, craving stimulation and suffering with no answers to their cries. They give up and can't attach and don't know how to be loved. IT WILL RUIN YOU! Please take 2 minutes to watch this trailer. I encourage you to support this wonderful organization "Both Ends Burning" who are here to promote a culture of adoption in the world. Sign the petitition so our government can get involved to fix the errors they have made. Watch the stories of the families who waited years to bring their babies home (the single African American woman with her little girl from Ethiopia is from our agency and you can see OUR transition home where we'll go get our kiddo, and see our drivers, staff and nannies too! AMAZING they chose our adoption agency to be highlighted! Also "DUNI" the firecracker, gorgeous Ethiopian attorney who fights for these children, she worked for our agency! AMAZING FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH IN ETHIOPIA!) Support this film by finding the tour release dates in your area! Go and watch it in the theater to support it! Get your friends to go! Download it online and have a viewing party. PLEASE HELP MEND A BROKEN SYSTEM!!! THANK YOU. The little ones will thank you too...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cupcake Themed Party!

Several of my friends suggested that I post my ideas for decorating for Macie's birthday party on the Pinster (aka Pinterest).  I don't think it was anything spectacular and with a big room it was hard to fill it with decorations (even though it seemed I worked for weeks on them!) but I'll oblige. :)  I searched Pinterest for ideas and wasn't able to find just what I wanted so I put several together and made up my own.  Again, not in the same ballpark as Martha Stewart, but what the hey, crafty for me...
When I first found out I was pregnant, my friend at work called Macie the "little cupcake"  and ultimately "cuppy"and predicted that she was indeed, a girl.  She said she wanted me to have a cupcake themed first birthday party!  I loved that idea and since this is probably the only birthday I'll get to plan without her input, I went for it!  Cupcake liners became my central focus!
I'll give you some tips on how I did it, but here's an overview...
Month by Month photos, using cupcake liners and cupcake paper for labels
The sweet treat table.  Note the sign above, using layered cupcake liners and letters spelling "Happy Birthday Macie"  This was totally my idea, no pinster...just came to me! :)  I was rather proud. :) 
The other treats were all pink and purple, with to-go cupcake bags for taking treats home.
More month by month
The table with gourmet cupcakes from a wedding bakery (YUM!)
Cupcake liner "One"  For this I simply layered cupcake liners and hot glued them together.  Then, I cut out a "1" with cardboard and glued the liner "flowers" to the board.  I did get this idea from Pinterest, though I added more layers (what I found only had one layer of liners)
The "ONE" banner I made.  I used a tulle tutu and I inked some clothespins pink to attach the letters.  The letter background paper is cupcake themed and of course I stuck with the cupcake flower theme.  I found letter stencil/patterns online and cut out "O", "N" "E" and just put it all together. 
A close up of the "Happy Birthday Banner"
Found the pretty cupcake liners at Hobby Lobby.  Then used regular liners and cardstock to make the words.  I used stampads to ink the clothespins in pink inked to attach to a cupcake themed ribbon and hung in the room.
This was the beautiful smash cake that I got from the bakery!  Oh my was my favorite part of the day!  The cupcake liner was fondant and the rest was buttercream.  OMG!  I wanted to demolish it!
Ok, so this was my favorite thing I did!  Online I found all of these different ideas with foam balls.  Most were rosettes and tissue paper.  But I came up with the idea to do cupcake liner flowers on it!  I simply layered liners to make flowers (scrunching them a little as I went) and hot glued the together (you should have seen the assembly line I had going!  It took HOURS to make enough of these! I wanted to make more balls, but I was over it after two! LOL)  I simply glued the flowers onto the balls.  My hubby used paperclips and ribbon to attach them to the ceiling in the room.  LOVE THESE!
A close up of a photo.  Simply made cardstock background paper and again, used a cupcake liner and cupcake scrapbook paper to label. 
Our favors were rubber duckys (since it was a swimming party and my baby girl loves her baths and swimming and her duckies!!!), a cupcake eraser and cupcake crayons.  The cupcake crayons are easy.  Take some crayon nubbins (or break new ones up) and melt in the oven for 10-20 minutes at 250 in cupcake liners.  They write rainbow colors!  Our label said "Thank you for helping Macie celebrate the big ONE! Sweet of you to come!" (since it was a sweet treat and cupcake party!)
I got this cupcake holder at Zurcher's party store
I added a couple of games, a cupcake ring toss and cupcake "sitck the candle on the cupcake" game.  I can't believe how well this all worked out.  I had already picked the colors of pink, lavender and yellow and there was a first birthday set of coordinating games, plates, napkins, and decorations at Zurchers in a cupcake theme that said "First birthday girl!"  It was perfect!
I also made Martha Stewart flowers out of tissue paper and framed photos of Macie in various color coordinated frames.
Purty colors!
More stuff.  Table cloths, cupcake liners, cupcake treat bags,  Martha Stewart tissue paper flower, photos, and cupcake photo holder (from Zurchers)
Flower balls in process
I picked up this hat at Hobby Lobby and although she barely left it on, it was beautiful! :)
The Start of the flower ball. :) 
Sweet treat table.  Sign says "Please take some treats home" and used cupcake cardstock
"1" on the wall
Gift table (table cloth from Zurchers)
Favors up close
Cupcake crayon with ducky and eraser
Hanging cupcake liner flower balls on the ceiling!
Thanks for letting me post my how-to.  Now I'll remember how I did it if I ever need to again! :)  It was beautiful... I just LOVE having a baby girl!!!