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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Hey Hey! It’s Friday!

Hello hello! Anyone else shocked it’s Friday? I am!

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week!

1. I be draggin’. I’m pooped. Elizabeth’s First Birthday tomorrow can not come soon enough. But it’s been a fun week so far preparing and having family in town! The rest of the family comes tonight and the high events begin tomorrow!

2. Speaking of party planning, I am having a blast planning with my mom. She is amazing! I haven’t had so much fun before “shopping” my house for things to use for our party. We also fussed with my kitchen table, which will be the food area for the party. Here’s our working plan.

Planning the food table at the Cup of Tea blog

3. My mom also managed to just throw together the arrangement over my fireplace. You should have seen what my attempt was first.

Fall arrangement at Cup of Tea

4. I managed to squeek out a few fun blog-related things! I’m teaming up with Tif at Bright on a Budget and Della at Della Devoted to do TWO giveaways! My particular favorite is the Naked2 Basics Pallet. You know you want one! Check out the post for details on how to win. (If you’re reading this now because of the giveaway, then hi!! Excited you’re here!)

Falling for Neutrals Giveaway

5. I did my first 6 day recap for the 30 Outfits in 30 Days. I basically loved every single outfit, but this is how I felt about that awesome striped shirt with gold collar!

Love that striped shirt!

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

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Menu Monday!


Hey y’all! Did anyone else have a whirlwind of a weekend? All my carefully laid plans for some serious 1st birthday planning fell apart. So I have a feeling there will be many late nights and early mornings in my future this week.

First, last week I mentioned that I was trying out this new Italian Orzo Spinach Soup recipe. It was so tasty! Even my husband, who dislikes any soup that has a “delicate flavor” declared it was tasty! So a winner!

This week’s menu is going to be extra intense. I’m not writing it down to say “Wow! Look at all that food!”. It’s more like it’s therapeutic for me to write all this out. This week, starting Tuesday, family is rolling into town for Elizabeth’s big 1st Birthday party on Saturday. So I need to plan out breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the whole week, to feed more adults than I’m used to.

The birthday party menu is also listed below, if you’re curious!

For more information on how I menu plan, look at this.

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal (blog post coming soon!)
Dinner: Pumpkin Ravioli from Trader Joe’s with a Walnut Brown Butter Sauce & Balsamic Drizzle

Breakfast: Cereal and sausage patties
Dinner: Kale, Black Bean and Avocado Burrito Bowls

Breakfast: Oatmeal (my mom likes oatmeal!)
Dinner: Pizzas from Trader Joe’s and a Salad

Breakfast: Egg & Potato Breakfast Skillet, Fruit
Dinner: Potstickers with Fried Rice, Salad

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal
Dinner: Build-Your-Own Taco Salads
(Yes, baked oatmeal again. It’s so easy, plus I’m hoping someone will take pity on me and say “let’s go out!”)

Breakfast: Out to Eat
Birthday Party Day!
Cheese Platter, Crackers and Honey Rosemary Roasted Walnuts
ini Cornbreads
Spinach & Goat Cheese Mini Bites
Veggies & Dip platter
Smash Cake (for Elizabeth)
Pumpkin Dip & Gingersnap cookies

Breakfast at our House:
Spinach & Cheese Strata
Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread
Hash Browns
Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits

Lunches will be a variety of salads, hummus, pitas and ready-made soups. Encouraging the grazing 🙂

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

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Hey Hey! It’s Friday!

Hello hello! Hope you all had a glorious week!


1. Man… can these weeks please slow down? I seriously need to pull an all-nighter just to catch up.  And it seems like it’s been that way for weeks! Mercy.

2. Elizabeth’s 1 year birthday is next week! I haven’t done A THING to plan for it, except discuss plans with my mom. Haven’t even ordered a cake yet. But, yesterday, I tried to take her final 1 year monthly picture. I put her in her little birthday outfit she’ll wear for the party. And this was basically how it all went. No sitting and smiling.

Elizabeth 12 Month Blooper Photo in Cup of Tea

3. It was a crazy week with nothing done, but at least it was a good blog week! I got up my Fall Haul video and launched the 30 Outfits in 30 Days Challenge! I picked 30 items in my wardrobe and am committing to wearing only those items for the next 30 days. So excited! I’ll be posting daily OOTD pics on Instagram and Twitter starting today!

4. I also put up a vlog in anticipation of the challenge! It’s a behind the scenes look at me picking the items, purging out my closet, and wrangling Elizabeth. It was so fun to do!

5. Can we just talk about Fall again?? Even though I had a mountain of apples to eat here at home, I still bought 3 Honeycrisp apples. And they were delicious! Favorite apple of all time! Which, of course, means I have to go to Costco and see if they have their massive flats of Honeycrisps.

Honeycrisp and Tea on Cup of Tea Blog

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

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