Thursday, June 12, 2014


Today is the start of summer for us in this neck of the woods.  My baby, my oldest, my first born is done with Kindergarten.  How did that happen??  I am so proud of her and all that she has accomplished this year.  I am also mad at her for the fact that she continues to grow and get bigger...I mean really, how dare she?  I want to keep my babies little and squishy and innocent.  Under my wing is where they belong!

This year was an incredible year of academic growth and I wonder if there is any other year that will compare to this.  She started Kindergarten knowing how to write her name.  Now she writes words...READS really does boggle my mind when I start to think about it.  She made friends.  Had her feelings hurt.  Made decisions for herself.  Learned responsibility.  Got frustrated.  Excelled.  LOVED her teacher.  Was just the sweet, smiling girl that she always is.  And, most importantly, she had tons of fun.

I have a tendency to be an emotional mess and this time of year is hard for me.  I cried just as much as Taelyn did today.  Do other mom's do that?  Will it get easier as she gets older or am I at the top of a slippery slope now only to continue to be drug down to the depths of...dare I say it...high school graduation?  Does it bother anyone else that I am already worrying about that?

Happy Summer everyone!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I have to admit that I am a bit too lazy to make cut-out cookies.  But...I can make cake mix cookies until the cows come home!  I figured that the pink frosting and gold sprinkles make up for the fact that they are not shaped like hearts.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Deciphering Laundry Symbols...

Is it just me, or are the instructional pictures on clothing tags confusing? 

Maybe I've just been getting too many things at H&M lately?  I'm not sure.  All I know is that clothing manufacturers are starting to lean more towards symbols to explain how to care for an item instead of words.  So...rather than stand in front of the washer and dryer wondering whether or not I can dry a shirt or wash a pair of pants on warm without shrinking them, I searched the good 'ole internet and found this great resource to decode the piles of laundry that seem to snicker at me from every corner of the utility room.  It is not a complete list, but it does break down the basics and will give you a general understanding of what most of the symbols mean.  Plus, you can print it out and keep it handy near those pesky washers and dryers:)

Happy Laundry Doing!

Friday, January 3, 2014


Happy New Year!

I'm not usually one to make New Year resolutions but I'm feeling differently this year.  There are some things that I need to be made accountable for.  Things that I want to accomplish.  Things that I should be doing that I feel guilty for not doing.  You catch my drift?  There is a very good chance that I will fail to a certain extent, but at least by writing it down I will have a guideline and a reminder to look back on.

one.  Take a picture a day. 
 In high school I was the designated picture-taker.  To the point that I got made fun of.  I've always been pretty good about documenting randomness, but I have to say that as life has gotten busier (ie. a husband and 2 kids), I tend to slack in that department.  This is one of those guilt things because I wish I was capturing all of those little moments with the girls that will be fun to look back on 10 years from now when this phase of life is long gone.  I have no excuses.  I have a DSLR and an iPhone.  This is just a kick in the butt to use them more often!
two.  Step out of my comfort zone more often.
This covers a variety of items in my life.  This blog for starters. I created it back in the summer and have hardly written on it.  I blame lack of confidence. My invitation business is another one.  I have remained pretty low profile and need to step out and try to capture more of an audience.  I would also like to try my hand at an Etsy shop.  I have some ideas and I just need to go for it.  Easier said than done.
I'm not sure where my life went wrong here.  I have always been a neat freak, but somewhere between moving into this house a few years ago and having another baby, I lost my rhythm.  My laundry room/craft room is a complete disaster and I don't even use my office any more because it is in total disarray.  There are other areas that I want to work on too, but those are the ones that need it the most.  Hoping to have this somewhat under control in the next few months.
That's it.  In a nutshell I just want to be a bit more on top of things and allow myself to be present instead of having a constant nagging feeling about the stuff that I want to be doing but am not.  A clear mind is a productive mind.
Cheers to a successful 2014!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's the little things...

Call my crazy, but I get excited about some of the littlest things.  It is in my nature and I look at it as a positive because, let's face it, I'm easily entertained:)  So, here are a few things that I've been cray-cray for lately...
~The Apple Orchard~
This is just a given.  We probably go there more than an average family should, but oh well.  Nothing says fall like a warm cinnamon donut and cider!
~Dark nail polish~
No idea why this makes me smile considering I have never (and I mean NEVER) worn it.  I'm usually a nice soft pink kind of girl.  A dark pedi, yes, but never a dark mani.  My fall spirit is in overdrive!  Loving Essie's devil's advocate and smokin' hot.  And because of this new obsession, I am getting a little bit better at painting my nails.  I actually suck at it, but practice makes perfect, right?
~This toddler dress from Gap~
Swooning over this thing.  So soft and girly!  I can envision this as my 2 year old's next birthday outfit, but I will have to respectfully decline considering the price tag.  Sooooo pretty though.
~These totally fun, girly totes from Target~
I consider myself a well rounded Target customer.  I know where things are and am usually up-to-date on what goes on...except in this case.  Either these cuties just came out or I have been living under a rock.  We need to do some toy de-cluttering and organizing and these would be so perfectly cute to do that with.
~Martha Stewart Discbound Notebook~
I have seen reviews from other bloggers about this system and everyone raves about it.  I checked it out myself at Staples and I am in love (see, I told you it doesn't take much).  I am a sucker for anything paper related...cute and functional all in one!
And last, but not least....
~Anything GOLD~
No explanation needed.

Now I'm off to organize my checkbook and bills....seriously.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A One Year Old's Birthday Party...over a year ago.

So...I've mentioned that I like to throw a party, right?  For me, throwing the party isn't necessarily all about the food and drink.  I prefer to dabble with the invitations, decorations and ambiance, if you will.

My youngest turned 2 at the end of August and we had a nice little get-together for her.  I loved her first birthday party and really wanted to make her second one as memorable (I'm currently in love with anything gold right now, so that was the direction I went in.  If you would have asked me a year ago if gold was on my color spectrum I would have laughed in your face, but I digress.)

Anyway, it got me to thinking about last years party and I wanted to share some of those details while I get my ducks in a row and upload all the pictures from this year's party (yes, it was almost a month ago at this point and no, I have yet to get the thank you notes written). 

I went with a shabby chic theme and fell completely in love with it.  I wanted to create an invitation using fabric to pull the theme in, so this is what I created and it became my jumping off point:

Once I started thinking about how I was going to decorate for the party, the ideas started flowing.  I am a girly girl and when it comes to pretty fabric and flowers I can't be stopped.  I decided to start with some lattice panels that my husband had made for our old house and used them as "walls" that could be decorated.  I made a tea stained coffee filter wreath that hung on the main one and decorated around it with tulle lights and tulle poofs.  Baby's Breath was the flower of choice (obviously!) and I stuck it in whatever vessel I could find...mostly mason jars which you will see in a minute.  

One of my favorite things that I did was create a guest book for everyone to sign.  I used chip board album pages that I covered with scrapbook paper and fabric and inserted one picture for each month of my daughter's first year.  Everyone at the party wrote a little note for her and I am so glad that I have this to treasure now.

The second lattice wall was used at the drink station.  I covered that one with tulle lights and poofs as well.  I also added a tied fabric banner and embroidery hoops using the leftover fabric from the invitations.  And it wouldn't be a shabby chic party without mason jar drink glasses and paper straws!

I had multiple tables set up across the yard and rather then have plain party tables sitting there, I dressed them up with a variety of curtain panels and sheets that I had laying around the house.  I didn't have any actual tablecloths, but I have used the shabby chic design in my house often enough that I had plenty of things to go around.  I also added a giant mason jar filled with Baby's Breath to the center of each table.  I utilized that leftover fabric again and wrapped a piece around each jar and accented it with lace and twine.  Simple and pretty!

And the cake...Oh. My. Goody. Goodness!  I can't take the credit for this one (shout out to Vito's Bakery).  We get all of our cakes from our local bakery and even though they are a classic Italian establishment, they are up-to-date with their designs and can basically create anything that you want them to.  I know this because I constantly take pictures/invitations/ideas in to them and they execute the cakes perfectly!  Every time!  I heart Vito's!  I told them the theme, colors and general idea and they created this beautiful cake.  It was so sweet and girly...just look at the sparkles on the flowers.

One other fun little thing I did was create a "kids corner" at the back of the yard.  I set-up a blanket and pillows, table and chairs, sand table, play tea set and a bowling game to give the kids something to do.  It helped give them a designated area to run around in.

And here are a few more random pics...



It was a lot of "work" (if you can even call it that) but oh so worth it!  This year's party wasn't as elaborate, but it was still sweet and fun for my little boogs!  I'll be sure to get my act together and share it soon:)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Welcome!  Let me start by introducing myself.  My name is Samara and I am a wife to a wonderful husband and a momma to two little girls.  They are my "realities" and what I focus my energies on daily.

I'm going to try to blog about "life" here.  That may be a DIY project, a party that I'm creating or just random thoughts here and there.  I'm one of those people that usually has a mess of things circulating in my head and has big plans for all of them.  Then life happens.  I think we are going to have to let the cards fall where they may on this one.

Let's start with a little background info, shall we?

I've introduced myself to blogs over the past year or so.  I honestly didn't realize the extent of them prior to that.  I really like the learning/sharing/camaraderie associated with them and decided that I wanted to become a part of that community.  It's part of the "branching out" promise I made to myself.  Every experience offers the ability to grow and I need a little bit of growth in my life right now.

If I could describe myself as an extra-curricular activity, I would say 100% that I am a DIY'er.  I have been since I was a kid (although then it was referred to as being "crafty").  There was the cross-stitch phase and the latch hook rug making days of the 80's intermixed with friendship bracelets and strategically ripped jeans with colorful threaded detailing...and I can't look back on my childhood without touching base on all the baking that I did.  Loosely translated, I'm referring to my infamous banana bread and Chex mix (seriously the only two things that I make REALLY well).  I could have hosted the first Food Network show on making banana bread using only my mother's kitchen and a tape recorder.  I was that good.  I've since graduated to coffee filter wreaths and fabric buntings, and my baking skills are more about the presentation than the actual "baking".  It's all about evolution.

I enjoy making my family's surroundings pretty and fun.  By no means does my house look like a page from a magazine or anything (because it is a far cry from being magazine worthy-think circa 1960's with a pink bathroom and room-to-room wallpaper), but I do enjoy decorating for holidays and making the place homey.  The big stuff (such as the de-pinking process) will come in time.  My hubs and I have already re-trimmed, re-painted, get the idea...our starter home.  We basically had just gotten it to where we wanted it and ended up selling out it for more space.  Baby #2 was going to require more room than what our 900 square foot ranch was able to provide.  So, here we sit in all of our wallpaper glory trying to muster up the energy to tackle the "forever" home.

More recently I have become a fan of sewing.  I'm not good, but I like to dabble.  I've held my own with a few blankets and a handful of burp cloths to date.  I've had material for a pillow case dress and skirt for months but haven't actually sat down to do it (see...ideas galore but no execution).

I have a deep rooted love for designing/planning/organizing a good party.  My biggest time investment right now is on a small business that I am developing that stems from this addiction.  Beautiful Realities Paperie.  I create custom invitations ranging from children's birthday parties to weddings.  It is small and slow going, but I'm determined to make something out of it because I enjoy doing it that much.  I have always wanted to do something that I both love and can make money at (don't we all), so I really, really want it to succeed in some form.  I just want to have fun doing something that makes people smile.

Well, that sums it up...a little bit.  This is going to be an interesting journey.  I hope I'm up to the challenge.

Oh, two more things.  I have a slight Pinterest obsession and my 1 year old is running around in footy pajamas with her sister's underwear on over the top of them.  Just keeping it real.

Until next time...Cheers!