Shabby Chic Tea Party

Shabby Chic needs flowers and in this case roses and hydrangea.

My lovely niece, Taylor-Anne, just celebrated her Sweet 16 on April 6, 2013.  She and her mom, my sister, Tyanne, came to me and asked me to help.  I jumped at the chance.  My niece had a very clear vision and I wanted to help make it a reality.

The desserts were artfully arranged by my niece and her helpful friends.

The desserts were artfully arranged by my niece and her helpful friends.

The girls had a a beautiful table under a pop-up canopy.  The flowers were my favorite part of this event.  I had never done such extension floral arrangements and I was proud of how they turned out.  The flowers were delivered right to my door from Global Roses and  just asking to be arranged beautifully in the extra teacups and teapots.

Beautiful little sweets made the spread feel opulent.

Beautiful little sweets made the spread feel opulent.

I ordered many of the goodies from Etsy.  What I love most about Etsy sellers is the amount of care and talent they put into their creations.  The spread just wouldn’t have been the same without these wonderful finds from Stolen Spoon Sweet Shop, Butter Blossoms, Sweet on Hearts, Nicole Lee Fine Chocolates, and Happy Loris Baking.

The birthday girl's place setting.

The birthday girl’s place setting.

A small box of pastel candies acted as place settings.  The placemat and charger are simply scrapbook paper and 10″ paper doilies.  A salad plate are perfect for the finger foods.  Each guest got to take home their tea cup with each contained a bags of Madelienes and a rose.  The table runner was made of pages from books and glued down on craft paper.

The photo backdrop or step and repeat gave the girls a chance to be stars in front of the camera.

The photo backdrop or step and repeat gave the girls a chance to be stars in front of the camera.

The photo backdrop was created using four ruffled curtain panels and paper rosettes with medallions made to fit the theme.

What's a birthday party without the cake?!

What’s a birthday party without the cake?!

The beautiful cake was provided by a local bakery, Little Fatties.  The two tier yellow cake with ruffled strawberry frosting and coordinating cupcakes were adorned with hand-made cupcake toppers and a mini bunting.  Each piece was made by me using paper flowers, vintage buttons, and scrapbook papers.

A close-up of the cupcakes.

A close-up of the cupcakes.

When I plan a events the details are so important to me.  It’s often the little things that get overlooked during planning and end up making the biggest impact on your guests.

Paper straws and straw tags.

Paper straws and straw tags.

Speaking of details, some of the first things I made for this party were the straw tags. What better way to sip pink lemonade than through a decorated straw?

Me and my baby love.

Me and my baby love.

My sweet little man had a fun time helping us set up but he was more interested in all the pretty young ladies… I am in for a world of trouble when he gets older!

Tyanne & Taylor-Anne

Tyanne & Taylor-Anne

My beautiful sister and niece!

More pictures below:

Celebrate Life!

April 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm 1 comment

Greyson’s 2nd Birthday

Wow!  I haven’t posted here in forever!  But I wanted a place to show off all the hard work I’ve been putting in recently.  I fancy myself an amateur event planner so I thought I should share all my recent parties here.  I’ve planned countless parties over the years.  I am a hostess at heart.  It makes me happy to make others happy and it’s also a great outlet for my pent-up creativity.  Here’s a look at Greyson’s Elmo-Themed 2nd Birthday held on March 2, 2013!

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This party took me about 2 months to plan and out together.  During that time Amazon, Etsy, and various craft stores became my daily haunts.  Seeing his little face light up when we all sang “Happy Birthday” to him made all the work worth it.

I will be happy to share any details if you have questions.  Just ask!  =)


April 7, 2013 at 10:23 pm 1 comment

One Tiny Person

I keep a private journal that I write in every night.  It’s my way of letting the day’s ups and downs go so that I can rest easy… well, easy-ish.  I have always been a person whose brain just cannot shut off and if I do not commit to nighttime rituals it is impossible for me to fall asleep.  I have a feeling Greyson may end up being the same way if his current anti-sleep campaign is any indication.  Much of my nightly writings have revolved around the tiny boy that keeping me up at night.

Having a child has been the most profound experience of my life.  As soon as I held him in my arms, I became a different person.  Instantly, I had an intense understanding about what is truly important in life.  After the first week of baby blues went away I found myself smiling more and letting go of things that pre-baby drove me crazy.  He has softened me.  He’s made my world brighter.  Sure, it sounds trite but it also true.

One week old. He was sooo tiny! Look at those scrawny legs!

In his (almost) 5 months in this world he has changed so much in my life.  And I don’t mean the little things like being sleep-deprived, the complete inability to do anything more than 30-45 minutes at a time, or becoming a master diaper changer.  No, he’s done much more than that.

Showing off those mad Gonzalez keyboard skillz. =P

His birth created a family.  Ramses and I have always been partners and best friends but now we are a real family.  He made me a Mommy and he made Ramses a Daddy.  He’s become a bridge for several relationships that we felt had, maybe, run their course.  He’s taught me to get out of my head and open my heart.  He well never really understand the profound effect he’s had on our lives until maybe he has children of his own.  But that’s OK, his only job right now is to be a kid for as long as he can.

July 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm 1 comment

Conversations with a 4 Month Old

I have never been a “baby person.”  I had some experience with babies before my little one came along since I have been an Auntie since I was 8 years old but I never went goo goo gaga over babies.  Once Greyson arrived I totally got it.  I understand why people become “baby people.”  It took my own child to awaken that fondness in my heart.  Now, I love babies!  I love seeing baby pictures and being around babies.  Now, I am talking about babies not little, ill-mannered kids.  Well-behaved kids?   Sure.  But the kids that their parents let run wild I can do without. =P

There is something about babies that is truly magically.  They see the world with completely fresh eyes and everything is new and wonderful to them.  Greyson is starting to understand the rhythm of conversation and allows us to speak to him, waits for a pause, and fills that pause with his own babbles and raspberries.  If you have never had a conversation with I 4 month old, I highly suggest you do.  You will never feel more interesting.  Another thing he does and has done since birth is “give eyebrows.”  I remember when I gave him his first bottle in the hospital his little eyebrows raised in surprise.  Now when he’s babbling sweetly to me he’ll raise one eyebrow for emphasis.  He is such a little flirt, girls are going to be powerless against him!

I plan on taking these photos every month to chart his growth.

This age is so much fun.  He is starting to really take interest in the world around  him.  His personality is starting to shine.  He is reaching for everything and whatever he gets his hands on goes right in his month.  He doesn’t quite understand that not everything gives him milk.  This can cause him quite a bit of frustration at times.

Ah nom, nom, nom.

I think another reason he puts everything in his mouth is because he’s starting to teethe.  He started drooling at 3 months and hasn’t stopped yet!  He’s had a few rough nights but no teeth poking through yet.  It is still early but my mom has told me that all her kids were all early teethers.  Also, solids will be coming up soon!  I’ve been reading my baby cookbooks and am all stocked up and ready to start making my own baby food and freezing it.  Yay!  I am getting excited to start this next step.  I’ve read that solids can start between 4 and 6 months old.  I am going to discuss the possibility of starting now with his doctor this Wednesday.

He loves his jumperoo!

My next purchase is going to be a book on baby sleep.  He’s been a fantastic sleeper until recently.  He turned 4 months old and decided sleep is just not for him.  He fights me so much at bedtime and is waking up a lot during the night.  I read a little on something called “4 month sleep regression.”  Any moms out there have experience with this?  Time to really hit the books again because Momma needs her shut-eye!

July 18, 2011 at 2:33 pm 3 comments

Funny Faces

Things have been pretty hectic in my world these days.  Work have been a maelstrom.  So much so I, embarrassingly, was brought to tears on the phone with a jerk client last week.  I had just reached my breaking point.  I’ve been juggling so much between an office in the midst of an audit, insurance compliance issues, new projects, and overly-demanding clients.  A home that has a never-ending to-do list and a major flooring project underway.  And not to mention, oh, I don’t know… being a (first-time!) Mommy to a 4 month old.  It’s hard to be everything to everyone, especially when my heart is wanting nothing more than to cuddle with my baby all day long.   I know I can strike the balance, it’s just going to take longer than 4 months.

Greyson demonstrating how I felt about last week.

The weekend and the relative rest it brought was much-needed.  Ramses started demoing the formal living room floor and laid the first planks of our new flooring.  I cannot tell you how long I have been wanting wood floors in the house.   During the design of our house we wanted to add the flooring badly but our budget was limited so we opted for upgrading the cabinets, fireplace, and stairs.  This August will be 6 years of homeownership and the floors are truly our first really big project.  While Ramses got his manual labor on, Greyson and I spent the day bonding and laughing together.  His little face is enough to erase every crappy thing that’s on my mind.

The many faces of adorable.

Sunday morning we took a break from the flooring to play some games with Matt & Robert.  It was really nice to spend time with friends and I am looking forward to making these get-togethers a weekly thing, our Church of the Breakfast Table, if you will.  Having a social life and devoting time to just have fun is really important when the majority of our time is spent working.  It is amazing how different my time is divided now and if I do not make time for certain things, they may never actually happen.  Having a child is a joy and the sacrifice of personal time is worth it but I am a firm believer that I can have it all.  It just takes some fancy, acrobatic scheduling and a little bargaining. Last night,  I actually cracked a book that wasn’t a parenting or baby book for the first time in, gosh… 6 months?!  By the way, book one of Fablehaven is excellent so far.  I loves me some kid’s fantasy books. =)

Ramses pulling some double duty.

I just had to share the picture above.  I asked Ramses if he could take a break so I could go switch out a load of laundry and I came downstairs to find this.  I guess he was on a roll and a break wasn’t in the cards.  Greyson LOVES to watch his Daddy.  No one can make him laugh more than Ramses.  They are simpatico.  I think that Grey will have Ramses’ sense of humor which makes me so happy.  I am looking forward to watching their relationship as he grows up.  I makes me so happy that Ramses has taken so easily to being a father.  Greyson is truly lucky to have him.  And I am pretty sure that he already knows that…

The precious sight I woke up to this morning.

July 12, 2011 at 2:56 pm 5 comments

*rake, rake*

I can hardly believe that it’s been a year since I tended to the Leaves & Branches!  And what a year I have had!  About five weeks after my last entry I found out I was pregnant.  The year that followed has been a whirlwind.  Fast forward to today and you will find a very tired, very happy new Mommy.  My son, Greyson, will be 4 months old on the Fourth of July.

"Hello, World! It's me, Greyson... prepare to be conquered!"

Life doesn’t slow down once a baby enters the picture but I am finding ways to make the most of my sporadic chunks of free time.  I am hoping that blogging can make it’s way back into my routine.  I have been weighing the benefits of getting back behind the keyboard for this blog for about a month now.  Since my time is such a precious commodity these days prioritizing is more important than ever.  Obviously, you can see that I have, indeed, decided to try and start posting again.  The number one reason why I decided to try is because my little boy is already growing up so fast and I wanted a place to hold all my thoughts, my photos, and my memories.  And this, I feel, is the best place for it.  It’s also a plus to be able to share what it means for me to me a new Mom.

3 1/2 months old and chillin' in his Jumperoo.

Now, don’t worry not every post will be about the boy.  I will probably share the same types of things I have in the past as well as the countless home improvement projects that we always seem to have on the docket.

I started “nesting” somewhere around my 7th month of pregnancy.  The result?  Converting our loft into a nursery.  Converting our spare room into a craft room.  A complete bedroom re-do.  A refresh of our mantle and new holiday décor for every major holiday to decorate it with (gotta make everything special for the boy after all.)  A hall family photo gallery.  A new theme in my home office.  And those are just the completed projects.  So, what’s in the future?  New laminate flooring throughout.  A complete exterior refresh including painting our front door and shutters black.  New sectional sofa for our family room which will most likely result in some new paint.  New landscaping in our side planters and the front.  And a list of other half-thought-out projects.  Whew!  My poor husband.

So, check back every now and then, or subscribe in whatever your preferred method may be, or even check on Facebook I’ll be posting there when I update.

June 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm 2 comments


We got a new point and shoot camera over the weekend and I just love it!  Here it is, if you’re interested.  There is so much natural beauty around my office so I decided to take a few snapshots.

The gladiola bloom in late May every year.  They only last a few weeks but they worth the wait.

I am not sure what these red flowers are but I love how wispy they are.  They remind me of wildflowers.

This sunflower is so big that it towered over me!  It toppled over during the holiday weekend but it’s still beautiful nonetheless.

June 1, 2010 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Where I’ve Been

Well, the to do list above isn’t technically correct but in regards to my blogging it is.  The last month has been pretty crazy for me.  I’ve been taking care of some health issues (which I will be addressing at My Mount Everest), my littlest chihuahua had surgery for an abscess, and work has been insanely busy– between tax time and out-of-state proposals my regular slack-off/blogging time has been filled with *gasp* work.

I was doing so well with the blog this year:   Six straight weeks of weekday blogs!  That is a record for me.  I intend to get back to it but I can’t guarantee the consistency I was posting with in January and the beginning of February.  I am in the process of some big changes in my life so I am working out my priorities.  While I love my blog in the big picture it’s not ranked near the top.

So, readers (all three of you) be patient with me.  Once things settle down and new routines fall into place I may find a way to post here more often.

March 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm 1 comment

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day weekend!  Remember to give your sweetie lots of extra love.  No sweetie?  No worries!  It’s Radical Self Love month over at Gala Darling.  So, here’s to making Valentine’s Day about LOVE and not chocolate and flowers!  Love yourself, love others, love life.  XoXo!


February 12, 2010 at 1:00 am 1 comment

Alice Week at L&B


I was inspired by my earlier Alice in Wonderland postings this week. So, I decided that this week’s things I love will be all Alice! =)

alice kirkwood heels

pinkheart Nicholas Kirkwood Alice-inspired shoes. These shoes are amazing! There were created by Nicholas Kirkwood using the March Hare as his inspiration. So great! Of course, these belong in a display case and not on anyone’s feet!


pinkheartThe new Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland leather bound classic at Barnes & Noble! I love the Barnes & Noble leather bound collection and already own seven of them, including The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll. But I instantly fell in love when I saw this book. I currently own three different copies of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass but I would love to add this one to the collection. Now if I could only convince my husband what a good idea it is. It’s pink! Valentine’s Day is coming up, sweetie… and it’s less than $20! =)

pop up alice

pinkheartAlice in pop-up form. I got this book used over a year ago along with The Wizard of Oz pop-up. After a couple of pieces of tape both books were like new. Alice in Wonderland lends itself to the whimsy that is pop-up books. My favorite page aside from the one pictured above is when Alice is falling down the rabbit hole, the effect is awesome! You much find this book and take a peek, it’s guaranteed to delight!


pinkheartAlice in Waterland by Elena Kalis. I have stumbled on several of Elena Kalis’ photos other the last few months and each time I am left in awe of her vision. It’s truly wonderful.


pinkheartThe Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. I picked up the first book a few years ago at Wizard Con in Long Beach, CA. Beddor’s take on Wonderland is insightful, interesting, and unique. I recently watched Alice on the SyFy channel and was so disappointed in their take on the mythos. It really gave me a deeper appreciation for what Beddor created. In his world, Alice is actually Princess Alyss Heart who flew through the Pool of Tears in an effort to escape her murderous Aunt Redd. Hatter Madigan goes on a search for the lost princess in order to have her retake the throne of Wonderland from her evil Aunt. I truly enjoyed this series. You can get the whole trilogy at Amazon for less than $10!


pinkheartHatter M by Frank Beddor. These are the graphic novels based on the same world as The Looking Glass Wars but it follows Hatter M on his search for the lost princess. I never envisioned the Mad Hatter is be a kick-ass royal guard who uses his hat as a weapon. It’s also illustrated by Ben Templesmith, one of my favorite comic artists. Really inspired stuff.


February 11, 2010 at 1:00 am 4 comments

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I am passionate about many things. I am drawn to all things cute, cupcakes, chandeliers, and shiny things in general. I can be a super girlie-girl, a huge geek, or a little of both depending on my mood. I have a great appreciation for people with creative minds. And what I love most in this world are my husband, my son, my dogs, and writing. If you want to know more just click on the "About Me" tab at the top of the page. kthxbye!


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