Zeylah’s Pumpkin Spice Fall themed Birthday

I can still remember how overwhelmed with joy I was when I received the phone call with the wonderful news that I was going to be an Aunt. I can’t believe I now had the pleasure of helping to plan my Niece’s 1st Birthday.

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I love October’s. The beautiful fall colors, delicious scents, and of course the cool weather. Most of all I love October because it is the Month that has blessed my other half and I with our  handsome nephew Nicholas and our beautiful niece Zeylah. We are so obsessed and so in love with them both. Nicholas is such a character. He knows & loves his Tio (uncle), Tia (Aunt), and his Primo (cousin) DeShaun. He’s such a happy little boy and what a pleasure it has been watching him learn and grow so much these past two years. Although we are miles apart we really enjoy spoiling Zeylah through the distance and love watching videos of her daily. One of my favorite times of the day is when I get to video chat with my little Zey.

When my sister told me her plans to throw Zeylah a Fall/Autumn themed party I was beyond excited. I instantly took on the task of making the decorations and Zeylah’s 1st Birthday outfit.

My first project was the Birthday Banner. I headed to Michael’s where I found the scrapbook paper on sale 4 for $1. I was lucky to find some fall colored cut out letters in the $1.50 bins which were perfect for this project. After I completed the banner I decided it was missing something and head to Wal-Mart for some doilies.
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I then decided to make a tissue paper Tassel garland for the front of the table. I used Orange, white, gold, and brown which looked like more of a tan color to me.

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I also took a Frappuccino bottle and painted it gold then added some twine to the top half. It somewhat looks like an acorn. I wanted to use it as a vase for some sunflowers on the table but in the rush never used it at all. So I left it for my sister to keep and add to the bottle collection I have made for her in the past.

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Finally I took on the task of putting together my Niece’s first birthday outfit. I decided I would make her a fall inspired fabric tutu. So I headed to find the perfect colors and patterns. On a quick trip to Wal-Mart I decided to hit the fabric section and after a while I found just the right match of fabrics. I am soooo obsessed and happy with the results and how adorable she looked in her tutu. The shirt was also purchased at Wal-Mart and her tights and boots are from target.

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I also downloaded and printed some free fall printables I found on Pinterest. My sister and I then purchased some frames at the dollar tree and used them to frame the printables and studio pics of my niece to display on the cake table. The table-cloth was purchased at target and I scattered different size doilies across the middle of the table to make a runner.

Why spend money on a cake when at home, made from scratch cakes are always so yummy. We found the idea for a pumpkin shaped bundtcake on pinterest and my sister took the challenge of baking it. She used a pumpkin spice recipe and made her own cream cheese icing. The cake was such a hit and not to mention such an adorable focal point on the cake table. Of course such an adorable cake needed a matching cake stand to complement it. I made my sister her very own cake stand using a pretty flowered plate found at target for $2.99 and a simple white metal candle holder from the dollar tree. She now has her own custom cake stand for just $4.00.
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As far as food my sister choose to keep it simple being the party was after church for my Niece’s dedication service. My sister decided to serve pumpkin shaped Apple butter turkey sandwiches cut into pumpkin shapes, tangerines with celery pieces in the middle to look like little pumpkins, pretzel sticks, and veggie chips. For drinks we had small bottled waters, apple cider, and a crock pot pumpkin spice latte.
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Since it was a party for a one year old, I love my sister’s idea of doing a story time. She created her own felt board and made the pieces to read the book Chicka Chicka 1 2 3  along with few other books. She also played songs for them and made instruments out of recycled materials. The children and parents all seemed engaged and enjoyed their story time. Another cute Idea my sister had was using Christian books found at the Dollar Tree as Thank you Gift for each of the children who attended the party.

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For me simplicity is the Key. This small, cozy, intimate, Fall inspired party had all the perfect touches from the handmade decor, the homemade cake, the simple food, to the fun activity of a story time.

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Birthday in a Box featuring #TastyKakeMiniWins

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    The other day I received an other Influenster Voxbox.  I am so excited about this one because my boys just love Tastykakes. I would love to tell you how I really enjoyed these sweet treats but I can’t. You see the day I received them I took a picture, gave the boys each a pack, separated 2 packs for my project ( tell you more about that in a bit) and put the box away. A few days later I finally decided to give them a try and to my surprise all I found was an Empty box. Haha seems like the boys really loved them and didn’t even save me some. It must of been the deliciousness of the Hershey’s Cocoa. I like how it is 3 individual cupcakes per pack. You can satisfy a sweet tooth with one mini cupcake and save the other two for another time, you can also share with friends, or even be real greedy and just enjoy the whole pack. They smell so delicious and feel light and fluffy. They boys send they loved the richness of the add Hershey’s as they enjoyed them after dinner with a cold glass of milk. These Tastykake minis also come in Reese’s Peanut Butter and Coffee cake flavors.I can’t wait to try them both.

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OK now to tell you about my little project which was inspired by my Tastykakes Voxbox. I have always had the pleasure of celebrating my mom’s birthday with her. The past 3 years have been a bit rough for us being so far away from each other. This year I decided to send her a little birthday surprise a birthday in a box. The idea was to add all the essentials needed for a celebration in the box.

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To start with I picked up a box at the post office. I figured the small priority box would work well. First I decorated the inside of the box by gluing yellow construction paper to the inside lid of the box and using a small Happy Birthday Banner from a cake topper found at target to the lid. Then I lined the box with tissue paper and added some easter grass and lots of confetti.

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I then gathered everything I need for the box. Here is where my voxbox came in.To be honest this voxbox was the inspiration for this Idea. No birthday is complete with out cake and since I can’t ship her a cake these TastyKakes minis were perfect for the occasion and just for good measure I added two individual packs. Next I needed a candle because every one needs to make a wish on their birthday. I hot clued the candle to a small piece of Card stock and wrote  “Make a Wish” on it. Then I made her a construction paper party hat using my Tastykakes hat at a model. No party is complete without balloons (which I filled with a bit of confetti ) so I tied 3 left over balloons and added them to the box. Lastly a Birthday Card of course.

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It was a bit last min and if I had more time it could have been a whole lot better and cuter but I really love this idea. You can send a bigger box if need or use a small box like I did. It’s the perfect way to dress up a gift card. Even without the gift card it’s a nice way to brighten someone’s day and make them smile on their birthday. As for my mom she really enjoyed her little surprise but had one complaint ” Why didn’t you send my more of those Little cupcakes? ” ha ha ha. Yup now off to purchase some for myself to enjoy.

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For those of you not familiar with Influenster is a social media community where you sign up and receive free products in exchange for your reviews on social media platforms. I received these Tastycakes products free to test and review all opinions are my own. If you are interested in joining Influenster check them out here: http://www.influenster.com/r/322428.

To learn more about Tastykakes and their oh so yummy products you can check them out here:

https://www.facebook.com/Tastykake

https://www.instagram.com/Tastykake

Now I’m off to the next project. Happy Sunday!!!

Karly Baby ❤

Happy 1 year Blogiversary to me!!!

They say time really flies when you are having fun! Last week I hit the one year mark. I have been dealing with so much lately I read my email, dismissed it and then almost forgot. Tonight it finally hit me. I can’t believe it has been a year now since I decided to start my own blog.

It all started to post reviews for sites like influenster and BzzAgent. I really wasn’t sure what I was doing or how to even begin. Let’s be honest I’m still learning here.

Along the way I’ve decided that while yes I love reviewing products and will continue  to do so, I want this blog to be about me. My love for couponing, a way to display my creativity and love for all things crafting and DIY, a place to show off my family, friends and my love for hosting and gatherings with them all , a place to share and vent about my Hypothyroid & and my journey trying to regain my health, a place where I can share my thoughts and opinions, some where to share my life and passion as a Mother, Wife, and Homemaker. I hope to entertain, relate and engage with my readers.

I am still learning, growing, and deciding my direction and what’s next to come in both life and my blogging journey. Thank you to those who have read and even commented. I’m very excited to see what’s next and even more excited to keep things going. I may not keep up as often as I would like but I’ll start doing my best to post more frequently. I appreciate every view, every comment, every like, and every share. I am looking forward to welcoming new followers and more importantly to hearing from and meeting more of my followers. I truly hope some of you out there are enjoying my blog.

Who knows maybe I’ll even celebrate with a giveaway next week. I’ll  keep you all posted. Once again Thank you for reading.

KarlyBaby ❤

Black white and Gold 60th Birthday Surprise Party

My Mother in Law’s Birthday was around the corner and I decided an intamite Surprise party would be perfect.

Ofcourse I took to pinterest for party ideas. I loved the classy look of black and white and added gold for a sophisticated golden 60th.

My first project was making a gumball machine candy holder. I used Terra cotta pot and saucerfrom walmart, painted it black, glued a Dollar Tree bowl to the top, used the saucer as a lid and added a small wooden ball to glue to the top. Then painted a wing nut and washer gold and glued them. I used a small doilie under it to make it stand out from the table. Finally filled it with gold Hershey’s kisses.

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The next project was her name. I purchased wooden letters. Painted all the trims black and the fronts in gold. Then decided to personalize the letter M with family pictures. My sister in law printed the pics for me in black and white on regular paper. We laid out the pics where we wanted them then I carefully lifted them and glued the with craft glue. I then used the same glued to brush on top twice for a glossy look. Finally I used an exacto knife to cute the edges of the pics to the shape of the M.

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Another quick project was the glitter vase. I wrapped the top half of the vase with newspaper and taped it. I then sprayed the bottom of the vase with a spray can glue and poured gold glitter on it all over. Make sure you do this over newspaper. I repeated the process till the vase was covered evenly all over to my liking. Then wrapped a black ribbon around the top of the glitter for a more completed look. I was going to use white roses but settled on Sunflowers and baby’s breath and I could not be any happier with the look.

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The backdrop consisted of a black banner purchased at Micheal’s. It is regular black paper. Had I known this I would have saved myself the money and made it myself but with not much time I used it anyway. We used Chalk to write with and replaced the black ribbon with Jute. My sister in law then helped me to make a Tissue paper Tassel garland. Which is was very cost effective but time consuming to make. To finish off the look I cut different  size circles out of cardstock from Micheal’s  and hot glued them to some jute. I taped them going down to cover the wall.

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For the table I used a black and white stripped plastic table cover from Walmart online and folded a regular black plastic table cover to use as a  center runner.
I purchased a gold charger and tray at Micheal’s to use for sweets. I also found a cardboard colored tray in the office section at Target which I then painted with gold acrylic paint to use as a drink tray. I found a glass Jar at the one spot for $1 and made her, her very own signature punch. I also purchased  Pina Colada and Strawberry Daiquri Welch’s mocktails.  I can’t forget the cutest napkins reading “Eat more Cake and Celebrate” which I fell in love with and had to include.

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Lastly and most importantly the Homemade Coconut cake. To make it easier on me I used boxed cake mix following a pinterest recipe to make it More like from scratch cake. I poked the cake with a fork while hot and poured a mixture of lopez Coconut cream and a bit of condensed milk over it. I then let it cool and made a coconut pudding to spread between the 2 layers. Then covered it in a homemade cool whip cream cheese icing and topped it with coconut shavings. My sister in law ordered the cake topper on Amazon and I purchased the gold candles at target. I just love the look of simple cakes.

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I found indoor outdoor string lights at Target and strung them on my living room mirror to set a soft ambience for her to walk into and be surprised. I loved how everything cane together and looked with the soft lighting.

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I was going to use balloons but decided they took away from the classy sophisticated look I was going for so instead of using helium I blew some up and scattered them on the floor and love love love how it looked.

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A weeks worth of running around, a weekend of crafting and cooking, I was exausted but it was all worth it knowing she enjoyed it and most importantly that the hubby felt very proud and happy to have made her day.

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Karly Baby ❤

Goodbye my sweet Teddy Baby

Dear Teddy Baby

Growing up I was an animal lover. Always finding strays and bring them home trying to convince my parents to let me keep them. I have also always been daddy’s little girl. Feb of 2000 Pops went to work and found a stray had left behind the runt of her litter under a garbage bin. Pops didn’t hesitate to bring you home to me. That day our 15 year journey began.
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I instantly fell so in love with you. Who could resist? You were Almost 2 months old, I was 17 yrs old. You were so tiny and helpless. Pops and I took you to the vet. My little mangy flea infested mutt. Vet bills were insane for such a little guy but every single cent was so worth it. A chow chow / German Shepard mix so fluffy, so adorable, with that spotted purple tongue it was only fitting to name you Teddy Bear Herrera.

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Grandma didn’t want a dog. She was so mad at Pops for bringing you home. I would sneak you in when every one was gone or asleep. I stuffed a towel in my messenger bag and took you everywhere with me because I hated leaving you alone. The Cutest little teddy bear I have ever seen grew into such a bad boy, a rambunctious teen and who ran the streets and neighborhood of Coral Gates. Always quick to run off at any chance you got but always making sure to find your way back home. Grandma couldn’t help but fall in love with you. Listening to her baby talk to you was always hysterical yet so heartwarming.

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2002 you became a big brother. You and Dee were inseparable. Dee used to sit by your dog food and fed you one by one (and ate some himself). He used you as a head rest while laying on the floor to watch his cartoons. You seemed more then happy to be his head rest. From day one you protected him from everyone who got to close to his stroller on our daily walks. You loved children. All the children I’ve had in my care all these years, they hugged you, rode you, pulled your tail and you just loved them all so much. You were so great in fact that every single one of them asks about you when they see me.

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The move to GA was a big move for all of us. You adjusted well. Ga has been good to you. We shared our first snow together, although you hated it you did love and enjoy the cold weather. Walks with your beloved Whody must have been your favorite moments. Roaming those Ga back roads were your past time. as always you never failed to find your way back home.  So obedient, so well behaved and quiet that no one ever knew we had a dog until they actually saw you.

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The end of your life was lived out happily with your Grandma and Whody. A grumpy old man just like your Pops and just wanting to be left alone. The last time I visited was a memorable one for me. I swear you cried of happiness to see me. A moment I will never forget. A phone call from Pops telling me you missed me broke my little heart. You visited Pops and after your walk you waited and barked at the door of my old apartment expecting me to be there. What a let down that must have been. I truly wish I was there to open that door and let you in.

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My first baby boy. I have missed you greatly the 3 years I have been away. I have wished and wanted nothing more then to have you here with me. I am so sorry I was not there with you. Yesterdays phone call was the worst for me. My greatest comfort is knowing Grandma was by your side all day. No one better then Grandma to make anyone feel better when they are ill.

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My heart is so heavy today. Mostly because I have missed you and will continue to always miss you and partly because of the guilt. The guilt of leaving you behind, the guilt of not being there to care for you in the end. I knew this time would come, I even knew how near it was already but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for this moment. I spent the night crying looking through picture and remembering 15 years of beautiful memories.

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Teddy baby I can’t thank you enough for the 15 wonderful years you have given this family. You were more then “just a dog”, you were a very important part of this family. So loyal, so loving, and most importantly so forgiving. You taught us all the true meaning of unconditional love. Your love and loyalty towards every single one of us (even your grumpy old pops) was so amazing and so inspiring.

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I have hated every moment of being away from you. I have missed you and thought of you daily. Mommy will forever carry you in her heart. I love you forever my Teddy Baby. Goodbye and may you rest in peace.

Feb 2000 – Aug 2015

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My thyroid hates me!

I’ve been dealing with having Hypothyroidism for over 5 yrs now. Not only am I obsessive compulsive about cleaning and well almost everything, but I’m also a very big control freak. My thyroid is nothing I can control and this drives me insane. I’m struggling with Doctors and actually being heard. After initially finding out my doctor was great at listening and for some time things started to get better. I finally felt normal and back in control. Is it crazy to say I really miss her? Since my move I have changed doctors 3 times. Feeling awful, out of control, and so un heard. I am a mother and a wife and no matter what I manage to keep moving. Caring for My family and home will always be top priority. No matter how awful I feel, the needs of my family and home will always come first. People have no idea my everyday struggle, they only see the side affects, mostly they sure do see and notice the uncontrolled weight gain. Today another doctors visit. This time if I am not happy then it’s time for another Doc change. Ugh.. I really dread these days…
Good Morning and great Tuesday to you all.

Celebrating the Big 13

I’m a bit late on posting again but things have been a bit stressful around here lately. So I am now trying to catch up on all that’s needs to be done. So here we go…

You are never to old for a themed party. So in true Hostess with the Mostess fashion I had to come up with a good themed party that was nice and subtle enough for my now Teen who of course is too cool for everything.

My son wanted to spend the day with family so I wanted to give him just that. In light of our Birthday trip to Universal and Islands of Adventure I decided a comic book/superhero theme would be a great idea. Now to make it happen on a budget.

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First there is nothing like a delicious homemade cake. When it comes to cakes I love simplicity. I decided to make a layered vanilla cake with white cream cheese frosting. I used card stock to make the 13. Then covered the numbers in glitter and painted over them in black to tone the shine down a bit, when dry I hot glued them to wooden skewers. He picked out blue candles. The cake was a hit. It was gone so quick I never even got to try it.

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As far as the food I tried to keep it simple Hot dogs, Hamburgers, sausages, chips, a delicious chilli dip (made by yours truly), and sodas. We have a “bring your own beer” policy around here so that’s one cost i never have yo worry about. To keep the cost down of course I couponed what I could. As always our Grill Master and proud father did his part on the day of the party.

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Dollar tree gift bag.

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Gift bag up cycled to centerpiece.

I had to be subtle and try hard not to go over board. I also did not want to spend to much money. So I always try to work with what I already have at home first. On my father’s day post I showed you all the gifts from my son to his father. Those gifts were in a black comic book themed dollar store gift bag. I decided to repurpose it and get the most out of my dollar. 🙂 Cut out the words hot glued them to wooden skewers, used blue tissue paper and mason jars I had on hand and two lovely centers pieces were born. Placed one at the food table in the kitchen and the other in the living room on the Ottoman tray.

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Comicbook themed backdrop

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Target Marquee Letter

I then rearranged my living room to make more room for everyone and to set up the cake table and photo wall. I wanted a city back drop on my trip to target for some poster board I found the perfect comic themed table-cloth, and fell on love with their room essentials Marquee letters I had to purchase the D. As we walked around the store I came across a city themed plastic shower curtain for $9.99 and with a cart-wheel offer of 20 % off it saved me the trouble of tracing and cutting. It was perfect. I also pick up some black and grey latex balloons and a cute colorful felt Happy Birthday banner.

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Marvel Poster

I hung the shower curtain as a backdrop. Hung the Birthday banner on the very top. Strung the balloons on some $1 jute also found at target. Flanked the balloons on either side of the backdrop. Used my round black placemats as a table runner. Printed a recent picture of my son in black and white and used a silver chevron picture frame I already had ($1 also from target clearance). Placed the Marquee D on a cake stand and pulled out a red lantern I found for $.50 at target during the 4th of July clearance. I then covered my mirror with a Marvel poster from target, strung some cute $3 colorful string lights from the target one spot and lastly added some lighting cut outs left over from the dollar tree gift bag.
I was so happy because I stayed under budget and also because it all turned out so cute. The key is always simplicity. My son loved it all but most importantly he had a wonderful time celebrating with all of our wonderful family.
Hope you all love the theme, decorations and pictures.
Enjoy..
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