Friday, November 18, 2016

My Tried & True Thanksgiving Guide

Tried & True Thanksgiving Guide

I wasn't sure if I could get into the Thanksgiving spirit after this crazy election, but as the holiday nears and we prepare to leave for San Francisco tomorrow, I'm feeling the thankful vibes again.  The truth is life won't always go your way and we have to stay focused and remember the good things right now.  These years will go by oh-so quickly and I don't want to remember that 2016 was bitter and sad for me.  I want to look back and see my kids laughing and smiling while everyone gets bloated on good food!!!  Fat pants and a crazy family are worth not hiding at home!  ;)  I posted this guide a few years ago right after Hurricane Sandy.  If I can host an awesome Thanksgiving after that mess, we can all host one after this election.  Thanksgiving on people!!! 

Thanksgiving Table Setting

Mason Jars with twine
Straws from Shop Sweet LULU
Window Breakfast Nook with Pillows
Cappuccino Napkins from Target (last year)
Buckets filled with pumpkins and leaves from Pottery Barn

The Recipes


The hubby does the turkey every year and I do the sides. He always does it deep fried and I can't imagine ever going back. It's amazing!! 

2) Pumpkin Pie Macaroons



3) Pumpkin Cheese Ball






5)Paula Deen's Texas Brisket RECIPE

6 & 7)


 We hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving and remember... focus on the family and the memories and leave the rest outside. XOXO

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Amazing Last Minute Halloween Costumes for the Kiddos

Amazing Last Minute Halloween Costumes for the Kiddos ...

Halloween is on Monday and if your family is anything like ours... it totally came out of nowhere!  With our first kid, I had costumes and activities planned months in advance.  Halloween was smooth, fun and easy.  With the addition of our second kid... I haven't been on time for anything yet!  Hahaha!

Here are some costumes ideas to make sure your Halloween is still fun and stress-free, even if you're scrambling to put your outfits together at the last minute.  ;)  Now, get to it!!!

Sweet Little Ghost- This mask is so easy to make at home ! Here is a great-> print out ghost mask from netmoms that you can easily trace onto to felt fabric and add string. Pair it with a white dress and tights ... you are ready to go!

photo credit- oppositeoffar

- Box of Crayons- Group Costume-  This costume idea is so fun and easy if you need a quick idea for a large family or if you and your friend's kids want to do something together. It's brilliant and the tutorial is right here and ready for you at -->  THE HOUSE THAT LARS BUILT .

photo credit- the house that built lars

- Moth Costume- This is one amazing creative costume. I may do this one myself!!

All you need is feathers, a fur coat, large circle sunglasses, an old sheet, and a tie died kit. You can easily put this together in a weekend and no one will EVER think you did this last minute. So amazing!
photo credit- Oh happy Day

- Little Artist-  This one is quick, easy, cheap and most of us creative types have this stuff just laying around. It may not be the most unique but let the kiddos have a painting session before heading out to trick or treat and they will most likely leave with their own little crazy creation ... paint in hair, on skin and clothes... come on let them have lots of messy fun with this one ;)

photo credit- Kelle Hamptom

- Amelie-  One of my all time favorite movies ( check it out if you haven't watched it) ... I'm dying over this one. I think I may have Sienna's costume already figured out for next year or even mine!! Love love LOVE this one! All you need is a Beret, short black wig ,  cardigan, vintage dress, black mask, and a red umbrella

photo credit- oh happy day

- Voting Poll-  Which the election just around the corner, this is a PERFECT Halloween costume for you parents that are super talented with the cardboard box. All you need is a cardboard box, lots of paint, and lots of passion!! I really hope someone does this!!!!

Well there you have it .... our last minute Halloween suggestions. We are currently working on ours today but it's a secret ;-)  See you on Halloween!!!

The Pyros~

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Portland Oregon 

Many visitors to Portland, Oregon find that the city offers such a great variety of attractions, food, and activities, they could see themselves calling it home.  Within an hour of our arrival in PDX, that was all it took to make me feel the same way!  From the fantastic array of yummy food trucks and sinful doughnut/coffee shops to an awesome selection of outdoor fun, the City of Roses offers a laid-back vibe that is sure to draw you to its charm.  My kids loved walking the streets and mingling with the eccentric and quirky Portlanders.  Even my husband, a true and true New Yorker, said he could live there.  The icing on the Voodoo Doughnut is that my mom lives a short drive away across the California border (five hours is a short drive out west).  There is truly something for everyone.  Portland, we love you!

1) blue star donuts

The staff is super friendly and the donuts are said to be the best in town. My favorite- The Mexican Hot Chocolate!! 

2) Tidbit food farm and garden
Tidbit Food Farm and Garden- this place was perfect for our family. Open farm and play for the kids who wanted to be loud and crazy and not told to be quiet inside over and over. Finding this awesome spot took a lot of stress off my family for dinner time. We sat at a picnic table while live music played and we drank home brewed beers while the kids ate healthy food that they picked out themselves. Perfect!!!! There were many healthy options for every food taste. I can't express enough how much this place is perfect for my followers. You guys are going to love it!! 

3) ace hotel

If you follow my blog then you know we tend to stay at the Ace hotel if there is one in the city we are in... they never fail. Always a favorite ( check out our all time favorite Ace location in Palm Springs) and always fun! The Portland Ace is super hip as promised and our favorite part was the bike rentals and photo booth in the lobby. Jax and I spent an hour doing the photobooth. Those pics are on the fridge now and brings back such happy memories. 

4) vista house at crown point
Vista House At Crown Point-  A little drive outside the city if you are up for an adventure day. Parking is a little difficult on a crowded day so maybe avoid visiting on a weekend if you can. Amazing views and the perfect picture spot for of you social media travel pic happy people;-) Inside there are bathrooms and cute gift shops where the kiddos will cry for the super cute stuffed animals ( we left with two adorable stuffed dogs that we named River and Bently.  Just a warning;) ha 

Some of our other favorites include Stumptown Coffee Roasters Downtown, Keller Fountain Park , 

Thanks to my super amazing family for always going with me on all of my adventures with enthusiasm and joy in their hearts. I love my crazy crew!!!! =) 

if you like this post check out our other kid friendly vacations..


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sienna-Irene's First Birthday- A Wild One Carousel Party.

Sienna-Irene's First Birthday- A Wild One Carousel Party
    At Jane's Carousel in Dumbo Brooklyn

It's no secret that I love to throw a great party.  From planning out the details to making it come alive, I enjoy the many aspects of decorating, preparing delicious food, and bringing family and friends from many different circles together.  But Sienna's first birthday party was super special to me because as joyous as her first year was, it was also a tough one for me.  Not only was I dealing with the grief of my grandmother passing away before getting to meet my daughter but I was more than a tad overwhelmed by this two-kid lifestyle.  It took some time to get it down and work out a routine while my sweet baby girl waited patiently.  Along the way, we may have missed documenting a few milestones in the craziness and many days were spent making sure my son was coping with such a huge change.  In addition to not being the baby anymore, we had recently moved from friendly Hotlanta to freezing NYC.  One day during the cold of winter we decided we couldn't take it anymore and had to get outside. We were walking around Dumbo and all of a sudden it started to snow and rain like crazy!  We ran into the nearest open door and ended up inside Jane's Carousel.  We were the only ones there and the silence was as magical as the scenery was stunning. I looked down at Sienna's smile... it was as big and bright as the attraction in front of us and I could almost hear her thinking, "Everything is going to be OK, Mom."  And it was.  At that moment, I fell even more in love with her and the city we live in.  I booked the carousel for her party the very next day.   =-)

We set up the party inside the carousel and because it had been raining on and off that day, they had the glass down for us. As soon as everything was set up and people started arriving, the sun came out and shined down during the entire party!

For the drinks and food we served cucumber water, sweet tea, and a pink virgin punch ( We did bring Vodka for anyone who wanted to spike their punch=DUH;)) We also had Honest juice boxes for the kids... get these in bulk at Costco! My husband made Italian sandwiches and Ham and cheese and even spent hours tying bows and paper around them for me. He is amazing! I served up my pasta salad recipe that passed down to me from my Mamaw Nan... I bring it to every party. I can't get enough of it! We had individual carrots and ranch dressing to try and fit the horse theme;) What seemed to be our biggest hit was the mini chicken and waffles with maple syrup on the side. 

This party was a mix of family, long time friends and new mommy friends that I made this year. It was incredibly special to me to have everyone come together !!! =-)=-) Heart Full!

The kiddos got to ride over and over again on the carousel and as much as I thought they would tire of it, they all were sad during the last ride. For anyone thinking of doing a carousel party... Go for it!

For dessert ... the birthday cake was strawberry icing, yellow cake, and strawberry Jam in the middle topped with a little toy horse and copper topper.  The mini pies were apple caramel and topped with tiny copper horses. I bought the favor bags at Ikea and then decorated them with stamps and pom poms. Inside there were all of Sienna's favorites... sunglasses, goldfish, hair clips, bouncy balls, and star wands.

 Last but not least ... I had a jar out for everyone to fill with what they think Sienna will be when she grows up on a piece of paper. I plan to give her on her 18th birthday=-)  I can't wait too what amazing things she will grow up and do!!=)

Thanks to everyone that came to the party and celebrated with us!! We truly adore each and every one of you!!!


Sienna's Dress- TUTU DU MONDE // MY DRESS- Auguste the Label
Sienna's Crown- Love Crush Bowtique// Mini Pies- Pie Corps in Brooklyn
Favor Bags - bags from Ikea and stamps from Paper Source in Brooklyn
Signage done by Dimity in Byron Bay, AUS and myself (added tassels and flowers)

Let me know if there is anything else you want to know!! I would be happy to help!!!
 I should just be a party planner... I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!