Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Taco Tuesday!!

It's Tuesday and what goes best with Tuesday??
It's true!  They're the stuff dreams are made of.
If fact, they're so dreamy that one of the first meals I made for my hubby when we were dating was tacos.  With both of his parents being from Mexico and his affinity for authentic Mexican cuisine I KNEW he would be more than a little impressed with my mad south-of-the-border culinary skills.
Or so I thought.
Apparently, unbeknownst to me, the tacos I grew up eating (your classic ground beef, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, olives, etc.) were a little more 'American' than my mom (and that cute little Chihuahua) had led me to believe. 
I'll never forget the moment when I proudly presented my future husband with his taco dinner.  He looked at it, looked at me (trying to and failing at not grinning), looked back at the plate and then said, with brutal honesty -- ahem, loving support, those are not tacos. 
Say whaaaaaa?!?!
Yep.  It's true.  My tacos weren't actually authentic at all.  I was missing some major key ingredients. 
All of them.
Flour tortilla  Corn tortilla
Ground beef  Carne Asada, pork or chicken
Lettuce  Cabbage
Cheese  Cilantro
Olives  Salt
Sour Cream  Chile (aka homemade salsa)
Tomatoes  Lime juice
As much as I hate being wrong (although in this case I think it's fair to say I had been receiving years of misinformation, basically brainwashed), I have to admit that the 'tacos' I was making don't come close to the real thing. 
This one's for you babe. 
In writing.
I'll admit.
You were right.
(Were. This once. Simmer down).
Now onto the good stuff, a seriously delicious Taco Fiesta!  Kelly over at Studio DIY threw the most AMAZING Taco Piñata Workshop Party!  Just look at all these maravilloso images from her event!
This shot is everything.

LOVE El Pato, it's the real deal!  And using the can as a planter?!  Pure genius.



Just when you thought it couldn't get any better....
Tacos, crafting AND a swag bag!
For more pics and all the details click here!
Ok amigos, that's all for now!  Happy (Taco) Tuesday!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

It's A Bug's Life

Hey there all you beautiful readers, followers and friends.  We've made it to hump day and man, did I wanna keep sleeping when that dreaded alarm went off.  So I'm feeling pretty accomplished in only hitting the snooze 3 times.
(That's all it lets me snooze.  Dang smart phone).
The other day I was looking for some photos of a past event.  I grabbed the SD card out of the camera and plugged that baby into the computer.
My fears were true.  The only images I had of the adorable Bubble themed party I did for a client were on my phone.
The silver lining was finding photos of not just one, but TWO other parties I had done.  All of which made me realize I really suck at getting party photos posted.
Here's the deal.
After spending umpteen-million man-hours conceptualizing, planning, creating, procuring and putting it all together, the last thing I want to do is be the photographer, spending a millennia editing my mediocre photos.  When I've got a pro to shoot an event, it's like Christmas getting those photos back and I can't post them fast enough, but Jessica the photographer (that's me) isn't as eager to showcase her photographic work. 
Well, I'm gonna get over that.
So I'm no Annie Leibovitz.
Big deal.
I'm not letting a few less-than-stellar photos keep me from sharing all the fun details with you.    
Now, let's get to the goods.
A few months ago I put together A Bug's Life 5th birthday party for Sally, the cutest-curliest-haired-little-girl!  This party was especially fun because much of my inspiration came from the happiest place on earth!!  If you've ever been to A Bug's Land in Disneyland you know that everything is supersized, making you feel extra buggy, and that's how I wanted the party décor to feel. 
Take a look!









Here's a list of the items I custom made for this event (which was held at the MAC in downtown PDX):
Faux Grass Backdrop
Giant Pencils
Wood Round Cake Stand
Watermelon Prop
Leaf Welcome Bunting
Sally's Birthday Leaf Sign
Bug's Life Character Cut-Outs
Waterbottle Labels
Animal Cracker Box Centerpieces
Napkin Wraps
Bug w/ Rock Candy Party Favor
That wasn't so hard.
I hope you enjoyed my 'unprofessional' photos ;) and maybe even found a little inspiration for your next party!

Monday, August 8, 2016

30th Birthday Inspiration

How did that happen?
I refuse to think about summer ending, especially while I sit here in my comfies working on my second cup of coffee listening to my jammie-clad littles cheering on Team USA.  Summer is just too short, there's no denying it.  It's not the weather that I'll miss the most come fall, but more, it's the mornings spent like this and the absence of the gloomy homework cloud hanging over our heads.  Just as the weather season in too short, so is this season of life.  With the girls getting older and my business continuing to grow, our summers have definitely have evolved, much like life itself.
We'll sleep in for 10 more minutes tomorrow and stay in our jammies just a little bit longer today as we soak up what's left of our break.
Let's switch gears and talk about something that never changes, shall we? - My obsession for a good party.  And this 30th birthday party from Urban Palate is great.  The venue, the décor, the cuisine, it's all perfection.



Check out the full post here!
Well, sweet readers, time for a coffee refill before a conference call with this weekend's bride.  Soak up all the sun and family time you can these last few weeks of summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Personalized Teacher's Gift

We did it.
We made it through yet another school year.
{Although this year flew by, sparing us the pain and agony of
the always dreaded slow-moving year}.
I hope your school year is coming to a close and you can enjoy all that summer has to offer.  Late nights, late mornings, bra optional days, Netflix marathons, day drinking - just kidding {not really}, at least those are a few of the things I look forward to when summer break rolls around.
A week or so ago I passed on some cute teacher's gifts ideas to all you fine folks with the promise to share what I put together for our teachers {whom we LOVE}. 
I had an idea in mind and looked on Etsy, Pinterest, Google, etc. to see if anyone else had done something similar, but came up empty-handed.  No biggie, this wasn't rocket science so I got to work.  I picked up three 8" by 8" canvases at Michaels then hopped on Photoshop to design the graphic. 
My inspiration was the periodic table.
I wanted to make each teacher a sign that looked like an element from the periodic table, using their name/initials, the grade they teach and the school year.  I even came up with a cute {cheesy} little saying to put on the card! 



So what'd ya think?!  Didn't the canvases turn out great?  
I hope our teachers love them and know how much we appreciate all they do!
Have a great day and thanks for reading!!
XOXO, Jessica

Monday, May 16, 2016

End-Of-Year Teacher's Gifts

Less than two hours and I can kiss this Monday goodbye.
(I'm not a fan of Mondays).
What's even better is that after tomorrow morning we only have 5 school mornings left (because let's face it, the hardest part of the day is getting out of bed and out the door) before ......
That being said, I have yet to put together this year's teacher's gifts (although I do have something in mind).  All that got me thinking that maybe some of you are in the same boat and so I figured I'd pass along some of the great ideas that I've come across.  Ok, here we go!

1.  If you're teacher is a coffee lover/drinker, than this would be so cute!  Maybe add a bag of some yummy coffee beans or a gift card to a local coffee shop.
Click here for more info!
2.  An apple for teacher.  This sign is ADORABLE and would look soooo cute on your favorite teacher's desk, heck, it'd look cute on anyone's desk!
Click here for more info!
3.  Do you DIY??  This project would be super fun and I think it's so dang cute (plus really economical if you've got lots of teachers to get gifts for).
Sorry, no link.
The image is from Hobby Lobby and the link only sent
me to their site to purchase the jars. :(
4.  Succulents rule!  And so does this darling little plant holder made from some rulers!  Another fun, easy and inexpensive gift!  Now that's an A++
Click here for more info!
5.  This one is so easy, and us busy mamas love it when things are easy, right?!  Oh, and did I mention this printable is FREE?!  Yep!  Just print, frame and voila - teacher's got a new pet!!
Click here for more info!
6.  Yeah, I know this is another mug, but come one, how cute is it?  Plus if you're teacher is a tea drinker then the other one doesn't work as well as this one, right?? ;)
Click here for more info!
7.  This last one is a bit of a wildcard.  This image is from Country Living Magazine and, for the life of me, I can't find the source of this table runner.  HOWEVER if you're crafty (or know someone who is and has some free time) you could easily make (or bribe them to make) this! 
Alright my dears, I hope that gives you some inspiration for your end-of-year teacher's gifts!  I can't wait to share mine with you soon!  Have a great week and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cute Farmhouse Makeover

Happy belated Mother's Day to all you amazing moms everywhere.  Being a mom is often times a thankless, difficult, unforgiving and exhausting 'job', but please don't ever forget that all your hard work doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated.  So, THANK YOU, for all you do each and every day.  The world truly is a better place because of you.
Last week this mama got to tackle the kind of project that takes me to my happy place.  I was asked to get a local property ready to go on the market.  This time around it wasn't just a quick one day staging job either.  Nope, it was a whirlwind of picking new paint, new flooring, updating lighting, adding some curb appeal and staging nearly all of the 1300 sq. feet, but don't worry, I had a whole week to do it. ;)  Yep, chaos is my happy place.  I've got issues.  
Thankfully, this time around, I was of sound mind and remembered to take before pics!  Yay!  Usually I'm so anxious to get the party started that I jump right into a project and forget the important part of capturing what it was like before, and I'm a huge fan of before and afters, so why I always forget that part I'll never know. 
For this project I had to tackle the kitchen, dining room, living room, powder bath, entryway, master bedroom, master bath, laundry room and guest bathroom. 

Let's get the tour started shall we??

Here are the before shots.....

Living Room/Entryway

Dining Room/Kitchen
 Dining Room


  Hall Bathroom (at the top of the stairs)

Laundry Room


Master Bedroom
 Master Bathroom

And now for the AFTERS!!
Living Room/Entryway
Here's what we did:  The dated vinyl in the entryway was replaced with beautiful new laminate flooring.  The fireplace mantel received some character by simply adding molding to the face.  A fresh coat of gray paint replaced the harsh yellow, and we painted the mantel white to really make it pop.  Window treatments, neutral furnishings and hand-picked accessories completed the space.


Dining Room
Here's what we did:  Again the dated vinyl was replaced with the same laminate flooring as in the entryway and the walls received a fresh coat of gray paint.  The recess cans were changed out to these farmhouse pendants, allowing them to be centered over the dining room table.  I refinished this second hand farmhouse table and bench, then added some upholstered dining chairs and a jute rug.  Dishes, some plants and wall art finished it all off.

Here's what we did:  The cabinets were in great shape so we just freshened up the walls with some new paint, added some modern bar stools, cute countertop accessories, a wall clock, vintage sign and a fun patterned rug.

Powder Bath
Here's what we did:  Fresh paint on the walls, replaced the globes on the existing light fixture and added some simple wall art.

Hall Bathroom (at the top of the stairs)
Here's what we did:  We neutralized the bright blue with a fresh coat of paint, put new globes on the light fixture, updated the accessories, added some greenery and a super cute striped shower curtain to give this bathroom a total transformation.

Laundry Room
 Here's what we did:   A fresh coat of gray paint brightened up the space and the added shelf, clock, wood hangers, cute laundry basket and small accessories really give this room some added charm. 


Master Bedroom
Here's what we did:  Not a lot was needed cosmetically in this room.  The carpet is in great shape (as it is in the rest of the house), so we just changed the wall color and added some farmhouse style furnishings and accessories.  That bed frame was my grandparents and is from the 40's!  How cool is that?! Long, flowy window treatments, bedside tables and lamps, a chippy dresser and a rustic bench pulled everything together.

Master Bathroom 
Here's what we did:  Another space that was in great shape, just a little too neutral.  Fresh paint, new globes on the existing light fixture, updated accessories and some modern towels brought everything up to date.
How about some side-by-side comparisons??



Doesn't it look cute?  I couldn't be happier with how it turned out and really hope that the new owners enjoy it! 

Thanks for reading :)