Hey Hey! It’s Friday!

I’m not ready for Friday…. I’m still mentally on Wednesday! But it has been an action packed few weeks! Can we catch up a little?

1. Since I neglected to say hi last Friday (still in a Thanksgiving food coma), I’ll just quickly say we had a lovely, but fast Thanksgiving. We drove up to my in laws on Wednesday, and drove back home Friday night. We all had obligations over the weekend, so Thanksgiving was cut short. But it was a delightful time!

I taught Elizabeth how to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade!

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Cup of Tea

And she managed to see Santa – he waved at her.

Santa says hi on the Cup of Tea blog

We also went to the aquarium, which Elizabeth loves!

Visiting the Aquarium on Cup of Tea

2. My big goal Sunday was to get the outdoor lights done. So I picked up some new lights (do you know how hard it is to find plain, white lights?) and got to work during nap time. I got one half of the house done when I ran out of lights. I used up 260 feet! So I quickly rearranged.

Dusk fell, and the lights kicked on. And I hated them. I don’t even have a picture to show you… they were LED cool white lights, so they looked blue.

So Monday I spent the day taken the LED lights down and putting regular white lights up instead. I was so glad to get it done, and it looks spiffy!

3. I mentioned Wednesday that I wasn’t feeling particularly festive or ready for Christmas… I tried to help that with two things. First, I wrote a post about my favorite Christmas Traditions! Head on over there and let me know what your favorite traditions are.

Second, Elizabeth and I headed out to the yard to snip various greenery. I had a little DIY decorating project I wanted to tackle. We had a nice time rolling her car through the yard!

Cruising the yard for greenery on the Cup of Tea blog

4. Wednesday evening was so nice that we decided to head out on a neighborhood walk to look at the lights. We had a great time! And Elizabeth had fun pointing out the moon every step of the way.

5. Yesterday my goal was to get the tree up, and I managed to do that! Elizabeth just loves sitting at the base of the tree and staring up at the lights. Thankfully, I have a healthy supply of plastic ornaments, which I placed within her grasp. 🙂

*I just noticed that in every picture, Elizabeth looks bored… ha! Hope that doesn’t sum up her week!

So this weekend I’m pushing to get all the rest of the house decorated, and then get those storage bins and boxes put away. I can do it!!!

Hope you had a nice week, and have fun or relaxing plans for the weekend. Let me know what you’ll be up to down in the comments below!

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Linking up with:

 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png  photo FFaves_zps6c1a013e.pngTHE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Houston, We Have a Problem…

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Do you see this sweet, sleeping little cherub?

She’s so cute, isn’t she?

Well, this little cutie crawled off with my wireless camera shutter clicker thingy. I use it to take pictures of myself in my #ootd outfits for the 30 Outfits in 30 Days Challenge.

And I’m missing ONE photo from this last week. I didn’t get a chance to snap the picture that day, but I thought “Don’t worry, Katie. You’ll have time!”

Until your little one hides your remote.

Grr….

I’m hoping to find it today so I can include the outfit in this week’s recap. If I can’t, you may have to use your imaginations.

I’m blaming my sweet little cherub.

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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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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My Favorite Blogs (That I Hope Become Your Favs!)

My Favorite Blogs at Cup of Tea

Ever since I started blogging, I’ve had the best time getting to know other bloggers! It’s just such a hoot swapping stories, getting inspiration, and sharing ideas.

I was featured by Tif over at Bright on a Budget for Tour Around Blogland. Basically, it’s a chance to share some of my favorite bloggers! (Others have also talked about their blog process, but I’m shaking things up!)

I’ve been an avid blog reader for several years now (I actually prefer reading blogs over reading magazines!) and I love being a part of the community, even though I am on a relatively small scale. And when it’s nap time, and a rainy day (like it is today), one of my favorite things is curling up with the lap top and cruising Blog Lovin’ and do a little reading.

So here are a few of my favorite bloggers at the moment!

Bright on a Budget | If you love fashion and beauty, but aren’t willing to break the bank for it, then Tif at Bright on a Budget is your girl! I am always SHOCKED at the amazing deals she scores. My favorite posts are her Wardrobe Re-Wear features, like this one. So clever, that one! She is a serious bargain shopper, but love her every day life posts as well. We will be hosting a giveaway together soon, so stay tuned!

Come Home for Comfort | Whitney at Come Home for Comfort features amazing recipes, clever organizational tips (like this!), and all around good cheer. Every time I read a post of hers, it feels like I should be curled up on her couch, under a cozy blanket, sipping some tea and just chatting. And she’s from the MidWest, so bonus! 🙂

In Residence | I don’t remember exactly when I stumbled on Anne’s blog, but I loved it the moment I did! First, she’s married to a resident, so we have those fun years of supporting our doctor husbands during their medical training. Second, our kiddos are only a few weeks apart!  Third, and most importantly, her content is so awesome! I especially love her style posts, but her recipes always look delicious. Plus, she always recommends some good reads (in the book form, not blog form).

But First, Coffee | So if you like beauty reviews and makeup tutorials, style, and recipes all with a touch of sarcasm, Kallie is your girl! She was also the host of that fun Mug Swap I mentioned a few weeks back. But, seriously, I love her writing style. I have had tea coming close to shooting out of my nose on several occasions, which is something you don’t expect from reading a mascara review post. While I love reading her posts, her 60 second review videos (like this one) are pretty stellar! Plus, she’s a hot drink fan. That should be enough of an endorsement right there!

Here are a few other favs, grouped by category:

Beauty/Hair/Style:
The Small Things Blog
Lauren Elizabeth
Designer Bags & Dirty Diapers
Lily Pebbles
Un-Fancy
Life with Emily
Vivianna Does Makeup
A Spoonful of Style
Coffee With Caitlin
Polka-Dotty Place
For All Things Lovely

Mommy & Baby:
Hello Bee
The Stir Crazy Moms’ Guide to Durham (if you’re local!)

Food/Cooking:
Cookie and Kate (vegetarian)
Lemon Jelly Cake (she writes about other topics too, but her baking recipes are to die for!)

Organization & DIY:
I Heart Planners
I Heart Arts & Crafts

A bit of a round up for you! Hope you take some time to visit a few new blogs!
Do you have any current favorite blogs? Let me know down below!

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