Elizabeth’s 12 Month Update

Elizabeth at 12 MonthsForgive me while I shed a tear.

I’m not normally a sentimental girl. My husband is more likely to save every card he’s ever received, and all of his report cards from school.

But the last few weeks I’ve been all nostalgic, remembering this last year.

I’m sure every new parent says this, but this last year has gone so fast!

Elizabeth turned 1 a few weeks ago. It was such a delightful time spent with family and friends!

Elizabeth at 12 Months

Anyway (I’ve gone all sniffely over here!), instead of my typical one month review, I thought I’d just share some pictures.

But first, some of the things she’s done this month!

  • She is now standing and cruising furniture rather fast. She’s not standing yet without pulling up on something.
  • For whatever reason, her monkey toy is her new favorite, but ONLY if it’s wrapped in a blanket like a baby. It’s pretty precious.
  • Elizabeth enjoys playing in her play room all by herself.
  • She also has become a book lover – she hands me books and wants me to read them to her.
  • Elizabeth is such a gabby girl! (When she’s in the mood for it, anyway)
  • She is also now saying “mama” beyond a whiny “help me!” mode. So that’s nice 🙂

Her schedule hasn’t changed a whole lot from her 11 month update. I thought she was dropping her first nap, but that turned out to be a hoax. 🙂

Look at how much she’s changed!! Here are her monthly pictures from the last year!

Elizabeth monthly pictures Month 1-6

Elizabeth monthly pictures Month 7-12

And finally, here are a few of my favorite pictures from this last year.

Pictures from 1st year volume 1

Pictures from 1st year volume 2

Pictures from 1st year volume 3

That should probably last you a lifetime for baby pictures 🙂 Thank you for indulging me!!

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Menu Monday #26


How’s it going? Hope you had a lovely, Fall weekend! We sure did! I am so excited for nice, beautiful Fall weather down here in Durham.

When the weather turns cooler, it always gets me in the mood for comfort foods. I have one of my favorite baked pasta dishes on the menu for tonight. This recipe is originally from Cook’s Illustrated, and it makes a HUGE pan! When I make it, we have pasta for days. Instead, this time I’ll be splitting it up and taking one half to a friend who has just had a baby.

I’ve also got our favorite enchiladas on the menu, but since I’ve got a slew of taco shells that need used up, we’ll have them taco style instead 🙂

I’ve got one “new to me” recipe on the menu this week – a vegetarian shepherd’s pie! I love shepherd’s pie (when I have a hankering for real meat, which I do occasionally indulge in) but this version looks pretty darn tasty.

Finally, I was really craving a hearty soup for our Friday Soup night! I went digging through my saved recipes and remembered this Wild Rice and Mushroom soup from Cook’s Illustrated. It’s many steps, but oh so delicious! (In case you’re wondering, Cook’s Illustrated is sneaky and stingy with sharing their recipes on the website. THANKFULLY some people cook them, and post the recipe on other sites!)

That was a lot more food chatter than I was expecting! So let’s get cracking!

For more information on how I menu plan, look at this. But if this is your first time reading a Menu Monday post, this is where I post what we’ve got on our dinner menu for the week. And, as always, I have links to as many recipes as I can reference. Some, though, are just “open a can” or “microwave that”. You know what I’m saying??

Baked Penne Pasta

Our favorite Black Bean and Butternut Squash Enchiladas
but in taco form 🙂

Pumpkin Ravioli from Trader Joe’s
with a Walnut Brown Butter Sauce & Balsamic Drizzle

Eggplant Parm Casserole
(Helps use up ingredients from our penne pasta!)

Friday (Soup Night):
Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup

Lazy Vegetarian Sheperd’s Pie

Grilled Cheese Roll ups with Tomato Soup
(I’ve been dying to try those roll ups!)

Need more ideas for dinner?  Follow my Pinterest board – it’s where I save all of my dinner ideas!

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Linking up at Menu Monday with Org Junkie

Hey Hey! It’s Friday!

Another week, another Friday! Mercy me!


1. This week flew by! I’m still recovering from the party last week, but at least the house is back to normal!

2. I still can’t believe I have a One Year Old! And I feel like this week Elizabeth has been doing silly, new things! For example, I was down on the floor wiping up the schmuk under her high chair (sigh… my least favorite task). I looked over at Elizabeth, and she had grabbed a section of the paper towel and was wiping the floor too! Adorable! So naturally I had to go to the Dollar Store to buy some things for her very own cleaning kit! (Train ’em young!)

Cleaning up at Cup of Tea

3. It’s finally feeling a little cooler consistently around here! I managed to squeeze in a few walks in the afternoons! Joy!

4. There’s nothing wrong with wearing a dark, berry lip just around the house, right? Is that too much? I hope not, because I’m doing it. I’ve mentioned over and over again that I love the Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in #127. You can see me wearing it MANY times in my recent 30 Outfits in 30 Days post. (Yikes! That was a lot of links!)

5. And then, yay! Remember the giveaway with Tif from Bright on a Budget and Della from Della Devoted? Did you enter? Well we have a winner! Click here to see if you’ve won! If you are the lucky winner,  email me at ktcupoftea(at)gmail.com and I’ll hook you up! Thanks for participating! It was such fun!!!!

Falling Into Basics Giveaway

Let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments below!  Have a great weekend!

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30 Outfits 30 Days Challenge Fall Edition | Days 7 – 12 Recap

30 Outfits 30 Days Challenge Fall Edition | Days 7-12 on Cup of Tea

View the other 30 Outfits 30 Days Challenge Posts | Summer Edition | Fall Edition KickOff  | Days 1-6

Another six outfits done for the 30 Outfits in 30 Days Challenge!  If you’re not sure what’s up, you can read more here.  But, long story short: I chose 30 items from my closet, and challenged myself to make 30 unique outfits for the next 30 days!

I will apologize now for missing two Instagram/Twitter posts this last week! We were right in the middle of the Party Weekend! So something had to give. And this week I’ve been dealing with a tired, clingy baby (or is she still a baby now that she’s 1??)

Hard to take pictures! Cup of Tea blog

Here are my thoughts from this week’s outfits.

Most Worn Item | This week it was my skinny Rockstar jeans from Old Navy. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that the most worn item is a pair of pants…. you could also count that Rimmel Long Lasting Finish Lipstick in shade 127 that I raved about in my Fall Haul!

Favorite Outfit | Easy – Day 6!! It was a rainy day, so it made sense to wear my boots and a jacket for running errands.

Least Favorite Outfit | I hate to do this again for the second week in a row, but seriously, I liked them all! I would wear every outfit again. And each outfit had something that was new to it!

This Week’s Surprise | Day 4! I actually posted the outfit on Instagram and said it may have been too much polka dot. But seems like I’m not the only polka dot fan!

Hardest Thing About This Week | As with last week, it’s all about finding the time amidst the party planning. But that’s done now! So this week should be smoother.  Also, I was rereading the last challenge’s 7-12 Outfit Recap post, and I was in the same mental place – it’s going to be so hard to keep finding outfits!! That’s how I’m feeling right now. But, somehow, by the end of the summer challenge, I was still finding amazing outfits. Hoping I hit that soon.

*FYI – no affiliate links in this post. I’m just not that cool.

Outfits Days 7-12 with Cup of Tea

Day 1 | Top, Cardigan (similar), Jeans, Necklace (similar), Shoes (similar)

Day 2 | Striped Top, Chambray Top (similar), Knit Pants, Necklace (similar), Shoes (similar)

Day 3 | TopJeans, Shoes (similar), Scarf (similar)

Day 4 | Top, Cardigan (similar), Jeans, Necklace (similar), Watch (similar), Shoes (similar)

Day 5 | Top, Jeans, Necklace (similar), Shoes (similar)

Day 6 | TopKnit Pants, Jacket, Necklace, Boots, Diaper Bag (looks like it may soon be discontinued!)

It’s a good thing I take pictures of everything! This will help me remember what to wear NEXT Fall when I pull out my cooler weather clothes.

Stay tuned next Thursday for another 6 day recap!

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Linked up with: Style SessionsWhat I Wore Wednesday, Three-Fer Thursday

Elizabeth’s First Birthday!!

Elizabeth's 12 Month Picture from Cup of Tea

Mercy. I have a One year old.

You have been hearing all about the party planning and prep for several weeks now! So I thought I would share some pictures of the day itself, and some of the decorating touches.

One of the tricky parts of being in serious party planning mode is that you may forget to take pictures yourself. So I had to rely on a few Grandpa “shaky hand” pictures 🙂

But you’ll get the idea!!

Since we had all the family in town for Elizabeth’s birthday, we decided we would also have Elizabeth’s dedication at our church that same day. It was such a beautiful time, celebrating Elizabeth and dedicating her to God, as well as my husband and I, as her parents, who are charged with guiding her. So sweet.

Elizabeth did enjoy the Children’s Story, and peeking over at Grandpa!

Elizabeth at Church from Cup of Tea

On to the party that afternoon! The birthday girl actually slept through 1 whole hour of her party! I had to wake her up to do the cake 🙂

But once she was up and about, she loved cruising from room to room in our house, chatting with the guests.Chatting with the Birthday Girl from Cup of Tea

We had quite the housefull!! We had over 40 people there, with 15 kids under 3! Crazy! But we all had such a blast!!Lots of friends for the birthday!

Thank goodness for our finished playroom in the front of the house. It was constantly full of kids AND adults.Play Time from Cup of TeaPlay Time! From Cup of Tea

Elizabeth’s face when everyone started singing Happy Birthday was priceless! She looked so pleased! She started clapping, too. But she was a dainty cake eater (thank goodness!). She took little bites, and only managed to eat a quarter of cake.

Cake Time! From Cup of Tea

On Sunday morning, we went back to the playroom to open gifts!!

Presents Time in the playroom!

It was such a fun time with family and friends! Elizabeth is so loved, and it was such a blast having everyone together to shower her with love!

Since our theme was basically “Autumn”, I got to take advantage of my typical Fall decorations, and then kick it up a tiny notch. Here’s what I did!

For the front porch, I bought tons of mums! I thought one bright yellow mum at the corner, by the driveway, would be cheerful and a nice greeting. I tucked some raffia inside the pot to dress it up a little.

Mums touches from Cup of Tea

I loved the way the front porch came together!

Front porch decoration from Cup of Tea

On the front porch steps, I stacked various sizes of pumpkins and mums on the stairs. I decided again to tuck in raffia to tie it all together.

Gourds and Raffia from Cup of Tea

My urn planter still has some summer flowers in it. I didn’t want to replant it, so I decided that mini pumpkins and raffia would make it look on theme.

Refresh an urn from Cup of Tea

I jazzed up my usual raffia wreath with a simple chalkboard hung from it. I picked up the chalk board in the dollar section at Target.Raffia Wreath with a Twist from Cup of Tea

Moving inside, besides the typical decorations of faux pumpkins in cabinets and wreaths on doors, I did a few other touches.

In the playroom, we hung up some burlap twine and hung some pictures from Elizabeth’s first year.

Picture wire from Cup of Tea

We also did something similar near the food table. I printed off Elizabeth’s monthly pictures and just simply taped them up on the wall with some glittery gold washi tape.

Monthy pictures from Cup of Tea

The color is poor, BUT my mom borrowed a felt flower garland from a friend of hers. In fact, the garland got used at my sister’s wedding as well. It’s made the rounds at our family events 🙂 This bay window is our eat in kitchen area, behind our kitchen table, where we had all the food staged. It helped dress up the area.

Felt Garland from Cup of Tea

I forgot to snap a picture of the table fully set, but you get an idea of what we did! I found a brown plaid blanket at Ikea on my August trip. We casually placed it on the table, and used some boxes underneath to raise up a few platters.

Planning the food table at the Cup of Tea blog

On the mantle, I added in a faux door swag inside my large lantern. For height (it’s a HUGE built in TV nook over our fireplace, but we don’t have a TV!) I wanted an arrangement in my hurricane urn. My mom literally just walked out to my front yard, snipped some branches, and came in and arranged it. I think it looks amazing!

Fall Mantle from the Cup of Tea

I wish I had some more pictures to share! I kicked myself after it was all said and done that I didn’t take pictures myself.

There may be better pictures floating out there that family and friends took, but I hated to wait!! If there are real gems, I’ll keep you posted 🙂

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