Wednesday, May 26, 2010

taking a break.

image from skippy designs

Yesterday was the last day of school. It's officially summer here in Colorado. After a lot of thought, I have decided to take a blogging break. I need this time to spend with my kids and give them 100% of my time and attention. They are only little once. I'll be back though so don't worry.

For an email notice of my return to blogging, please send an email titled "return" to

Until then… Happy Summer!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I've had some requests for an update, I'm sorry I didn't get to it sooner, there is not a lot of leisure time (if any) and by the time you get back to your room at 7:30 you are ready to crash.

The days are all structured very similarly. On the first day they sent everyone on hikes and the guides evaluated the members that were hiking with them. You were then assigned a van based on your fitness level. We got the perfect group.

our hiking group

I have to say I am not a huge fan of hiking, but every day I love it! I can not even believe the things we have climbed. It is CRAZY! I have officially started looking forward to the hikes every morning.

at the top of the stair mistress

After you hike for 2.5+ hours, you return for your 300 calorie breakfast. The food has continued to be amazingly delicious, the presentation beautiful and 100% filling. There is no food I miss. Truly.

We have had multiple lectures and classes that are educational and beyond valuable. I feel so well educated. I never could have imagined I would learn so much in just four short days.

We typically have one class in the morning after breakfast and lecture. It could be circuit training, stretch, open gym etc.

We then head to lunch, 400 calories

After lunch there is usually another lecture or cooking demonstration

Then the fun begins. 3 hours of the trainers working you to death. Seriously. You are exhausted. They make sure it is fun and motivational and there hasn't been a class that I haven't given my all, all because of the amazing trainers. In the 3 hour block there is always a class in the pool, a class in the gym (with machines and equipment) and a class in the aerobics room.

After the three hours of intense classes is dinner and dessert, 500 calories.

Then a nutritionist comes in for an hour long lecture. She is extremely knowledgeable and so great.

Then you go to bed. Seriously. You are so tired.

Now, today something so exciting happened. I couldn't believe my eyes when at the end of our gym class the door swung open and there stood Tara from season 7 (she was in town for a speaking engagement and only here for an hour). My favorite biggest loser ever. I was freaking out. In this picture is Eric (winner of season 3), he is so nice and totally hilarious, also Tara, and the girl in the middle was the one Daris chose from the 5k in Dallas this season to come for a week. How cool is that. It totally made my week.

This has been one of the best weeks (so far) of my life. I have enjoyed every moment of it. If you have thought about coming here I would absolutely say, DO IT! You will not regret it. It is absolutely worth the investment in yourself.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

oh baby dear

*This is not a birthday, but it is a brilliant bash! As always, I'd love to see the parties you've thrown. Send them my way and I'll try my best to feature you. Happy Wednesday and update #2 from our stay here will come later today.

Hi! I'm April from Funky Vintage Kitchen and I am so excited to share with you a baby shower I planned for a dear friend!

My friend has a love for anything hip, modern and vintage so I wanted to incorporate all of those things into her first baby shower. My inspiration was a sweet mommy/baby vintage style deer that I had seen at an antique store, but I only had a picture of it in my head. I also wanted to use the color theme of her nursery for her shower. I emailed my friend, Lyndsay, who is an amazing designer and she brought to life exactly what I imagined in my head for the invitation. She has been so gracious to include a downloadable file for you all to enjoy and use for personal use only! Here is the invite and pictures from the evening of the baby shower.

Here is the link to the downloadable file, with two different versions and crop marks.

Thank you, thank you, Lyndsay!

Now on to the rest of the party.
Pom pom tissue paper balls in orange, blue and green greeted guests at the front door with little jelly jar candles tied with coordinating ribbons.

I used the deer clip art theme throughout the whole shower. I made coasters out of thick card stock, cropped them to squares and then rounded the corners.

Keeping with the color theme, I wrapped all the water bottles with the same clip art in white, orange and blue and also served izze's in mandarin orange.

Handmade oh baby dear banner.

More tissue paper balls inside the house.

And, more jelly/mason jars, ribbon & tulips.

The buffet table draped in the perfect baby blue and white seersucker tablecloth borrowed from a local event planner.

I had seen cupcake liners used in banners, but at the buffet table I really wanted a mobile type decoration for the baby shower. I gathered a few extra coasters, twine and cupcake liners in baby blue and strung the twine through the cupcake liners, tying them off at different intervals.

The food was perfect for the party and for the most part....all finger foods.

Caesar salad cups, veggie platter, caramelized bacon wraps & prosciutto wrapped asparagus. The salad cups are so easy....just place dressing at the bottom of the cup with a few leafs of romaine lettuce, some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top of the dressing and a toasted cheese stick topping it off. So easy to just pick up and dip.

....and more food thanks to a great group of friends!

Hawaiian meatballs, pulled pork sandwiches & caramelized onion cheese puffs.

We played just two games.

The first was the "estimated time of delivery" game.

Little plastic babies were frozen in ice cubes the day before the shower. when a guest entered the party, they received an ice-cube in a cup and had to write on the cup their estimated time of delivery. {if the guest gets the ice-cube at 6:30pm and she thinks it will deliver in 15 minutes, she should write down 6:45 on her cup.} it is important that each guest get their baby upon arrival and not all at the same time. they need to look at the clock and guess what the actual time will be when they deliver the baby from the ice-cube. the person closest to the estimated time of delivery wins!

We also used little play-dohs to make babies. the mommy-to-be was the judge and there was a time limit for creating a baby from the play-doh. This one was complete with bottle and toys with baby sitting and sucking his thumb. So sweet. And, speaking of sweet......

After presents it was time for dessert. All different mini desserts. So yummy.

The baby shower was so sweet and perfect and I was thrilled that it all came together exactly how I imagined it. How often does that happen....really?! Thank you, Brittany, for letting me share my Oh Baby Dear baby shower. What a treat!



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I'm here.

After a very very long day of travel, my mom and I arrived here. I didn't know if I was going to blog about it, but there is no way I can't, it is just way too amazing.

Yesterday we started the day with a 6:30 am hike, do you know how many calories I burned 1267. You did read that right. Holy amazing!!

We had a breakfast of 267 calories, followed by a lecture on emotional eating. We then went to the most killer swim class I have ever been too.

We had a small break and then lunch. They served a massive bowl of delicious chili and some cornbread. No one could eat the whole thing. Total calories 417.

After lunch another lecture on budget as in calorie budget, not money.

Then three hours of grueling workouts. We started with circuit training, then step and puke.. I mean pump, and finally finished with total body hydration, meaning in the deep end the entire time.

Do you know who was in my class with me? One of the winners from the real Biggest Loser. He is HILARIOUS!!

Dinner was purple potatoes, asparagus and chicken, with grilled pineapple for dessert, total calories 383.

Final Calorie count for the day 1125 (with two pieces of fruit on the hike), final calories burned for the day nearly 4000.

We fell into bed exhausted and if you can believe it, I am incredibly excited to do it all over again today. This may be the "funnest" trip I've ever been on.

See you tomorrow with an amazing baby shower and hopefully an update.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

on my way..

Thursday morning 10:45 am, I decided to ignore all responsibility and jump on a plane to Portland. I had to leave the house by 11:15, have my kids squared away and my bag packed. It was a crazy morning.

The end result, a perfect evening with friends and family. Just what I've been needing. I flew home a short 18 hours after landing.

Today I am sitting in the Las Vegas airport. I am waiting for my mom who is flying in from Portland. Once she arrives we will get on a shuttle and make our way to St. George, Utah.

I'd love to hear what crazy sporadic things you've been up to..

*posting may be spotty depending on conditions once we arrive. I'm hoping to be able to blog, it should be an amazing and life changing week.

Where are my mom and I heading? I guess you'll have to wait and see :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

sweet paul mag.

The amazing sweet paul blog, now has a magazine. It is filled to the brim with delicious looking recipes and eye candy like the amazing cake above. It was love on every single page. Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

charlotte in wonderland party!

Hello fabulous T&T people!

I'm elizabeth. I'm a Mom of 4, photographer and blogger @ {a thousand words}. I'm also really happy to be here on a Wednesday to share my daughter's recent birthday party!

The theme for this 4 year old was "Charlotte in Wonderland". This Alice theme is SO 2010, don't you think? I fully embraced the popularity of Alice in Wonderland and found lots of inspiration around the internet.

{the invite. printed on white cardstock with a stamped "open me" tag on the envelope}

{the birthday girl}
Dress by etsy seller Little Shepsters.

{paper banner "charlotte in wonderland"}
The Entry:
Guests walked up our front path passing a "This Way" sign & an oversized balloon. Also on the path were large tissue flowers attached to garden stakes. No photos, sorry. I forgot those!

The Photo Booth:
In my entry way, I set up a simple photo booth. Ikea fabric pinned to the wall adjacent to the front door. Each of the guests had their portrait taken with Charlotte as they arrived. I'll send a copy of each child's photo along with their thank you note.
The Craft:
While we waited for everyone to arrive, I had a craft table set up to make Mad Hatter hats. I spray painted grocery bags to create the base. The kids used foam stickers & dot painting pens to decorate. I would have liked more elaborate hat decor (glitter, feathers, etc.), but I was catering to a 3-4 year old crowd!

The Lunch:
No Wonderland party would be complete without a tea party! I had the most fun decorating this table. Lanterns are Luna Bazaar. Mini tea sets are Ikea.

The Activities:
Instead of a cake walk we had a "Cheshire Cat Walk". Everyone eventually won a dollar spot prize. We also played a simple "Pin the Clock on the White Rabbit" game. Lastly, during the last 10 minutes of the party, we watched a few clips from Disney's Alice in Wonderland DVD.

The Favor:
On their way out, each guest took home a little box with a button Alice necklace.
Necklaces from etsy seller SnappyPendants.

hello hanna.

I love opening my mailbox and finding things from hello hanna in there. These sweet stands are to die for! I love them so much I want to plan a party just to use them. How cute are they? The possibilities are dancing in my brain. I fall asleep thinking about them.

Also new from Hello Hanna are their hello books. Be sure to check them out. They're good for hours of self entertainment. Truly!

downeast swim {winner!}

Congratulations! Please email me ( by Thursday morning to claim your prize.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I had the perfect weekend.
An afternoon tea with Lily and a Friday night dinner party,
A Saturday morning brunch and then dinner with new friends,
A Sunday celebrating motherhood and our little family.

Tonight, I am thankful to all the women in my life (mothers or not) who
have had a profound impact on me and my children.

I'd love to hear about your weekend celebrations.

*winner of downeast swim giveaway will be announced tomorrow AM.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

downeast swim {giveaway!}

I don't know a lot of people that look forward to swimsuit shopping, but I do know that I look forward to seeing Downeast's swimwear line every year. They recently launched their 2010 line-up and it's pretty great.

With multiple mix and match tops and bottoms, as well as a few ruffly skirts to hide those trouble spots, I think there is something for everyone.

I had a hard time deciding which suit to choose. In the end I had them send me the Mediterranean tank and bottoms. The suit is lined with supportive cups that actually work, and the nylon/spandex was the perfect blend for holding you in in all the right places.

Today Downeast is giving away one suit of your choice. Which suit will you be putting in your basket?

Would you love to win? be sure to:
*comment on this post - with your name
*answer question above
*giveaway will be open until Monday (5/10)
*winner will be announced Tuesday morning (5/11)

*extra entries will be granted for facebook/twitter/blog posts etc. Just leave a link back in the comments for each extra entry.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Stella: Fairy Party.

Once upon a time
In the land of Fairies…

Lived a beautiful birthday fairy,
who was very determined to plan the perfect fairy party,
and plan she did.

All Stella wanted for her birthday was a fairy party. She was so excited about it, there was no talking her out of it. So we set the table in pink and purple (fairy colors according to Stella)

and prepared the chairs to take flight ,
(having the wings on the back of the chairs was Stella's idea.
I thought it was the perfect addition to the party decor!)

We prepared food fit for Fairies,

and made pink and chocolate cupcakes,

but the cupcakes needed purple too, so Stella chose butterflies to stick in the top of each cupcake.

The party girls earned each piece of their fairy set throughout the party. By the end they were equipped with a skirt, wings, head piece and wand.

We hunted for fairy houses and things to decorate our fairy houses with, we applied fairy shimmer and wrote fairy messages in sidewalk chalk. We had fairy dancing, colored wooden fairies, and played pin the fairy on the flower.

At the end they graduated from Fairy school and became "real" fairies.
Stella thought she planned the perfect party.
I did too.
(with a lot of help from grandma)

*I'm always looking for fun parties to feature and I'd love to feature one of yours. (
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