Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crappy Crossfitter?

I've been doing Crossfit for about two weeks now. I must say that it's a love/hate relationship. I hate the workout while I'm doing it, but I love how I feel afterwards. I really think that I'm already getting stronger, at least in my upper body and I'm no longer as sore as I was after the first workout.

That being said I kind of had a bad moment yesterday after our workout. Our workout of the day was Nancy and for those who don't know it involves 5 rounds of running 400 meters followed by 15 overhead squats. I'm not a runner anyway and I'm especially not a runner after I've been doing overhead squats. The first couple of laps I was slower, but fine. The last three laps I had to walk about 30 feet and then continued running. My time wasn't horrible and I wasn't the last one to finish the workout, but afterwards the guy who is leading these classes pulled me aside to tell me he thought I wasn't pushing myself hard enough. I'll admit, I probably could have ran a little more on the workout yesterday, but that's the only workout we've done that I felt like I didn't do as much as I could have.

Afterwards I felt kind of bad about it. I didn't know whether I should feel good that he thought I wasn't living up to my potential and talked to me because of that or if I should feel bad because he thinks I'm just a craptasic Crossfitter. No one else got the motivational speech that I did, which made me feel even worse. Anyone else experienced this in Crossfit?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Question of the Day

A slightly unusual Question of the Day, but one that was inspired by a recent debate on a forum I'm part of.

Do you find it disrespectful if an adult couple married or not, is intimate while staying over at a family members' home?  For example, you and your signifcant other go to your parents' home for Christmas. Are you intimate? Or do you think that's disrespecting your family?

Just for the record I mean you're being discreet, no yelling/headboard hitting the walls.

I'm curious to hear your answers.

Friday, June 24, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In

I haven't participated in awhile, so I thought I would this week. Join in over at Wife of a Sailor!

1.Are you a different person than you were five years ago?
I'm not hugely different. I've grown-up a lot (or at least I like to think I have). Five years ago I was fresh out of college and thought the next few years would be a big adventure, with me working at some National Park in another state and living the single life. I was right about the next few years being an adventure, but that's about it.

2.If you could go on Amazing Race, who would you take with you as your partner and why?
Hmm...not Sean because he doesn't even like the show, so I can't see him even wanting to be on it. Probably my friend Brittni. She's very outgoing and I think she'd be great on a lot of the different tasks. Plus she's very city-savvy, so that's a plus.

3.Does Facebook or Twitter actually bring more stress or good in to your life?
I rarely use Twitter, so that's never a problem for me. Sometimes Facebook just feels like a big drama fest, but normally I just put those people on ignore.

4.June is National Soul Food Month- what’s your soul food?
My mom's potato casserole. It's seriously one of my very favorite foods. Going hand-in-hand with that would be my Grandma's homemade mashed potatoes. They taste like heaven!

5.If you could live in any other era than the current, which one would it be & why?
The 1970's. Because I love the music and I think it would have been AWESOME to go see all those artists at their peak at concerts.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crossfit: Day One

I've been curious about Crossfit ever since I met my friend Sara several years ago.  She used to blog about it regularly and although I wanted to give it a try, I never got the chance to work out with her.

Then we moved to Italy and there was no Crossfit class here. So, I just put it on the backburner and watched as several of my other military wife friends around the world got into Crossfit. Finally last year on our Vicenza gym website an airman posted that he was coming to Vicenza and was Crossfit certified, did we have any classes.

Lo and behold the airman is here and is now doing a two month beginner Crossfit class three times a week.  I immediately said I was interested and yesterday was our first class.

I must admit I was nervous going into it. I know what Crossfit workouts are like and I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to make it through one.  Well, the workout was intense, but I made it through it. Even though I alternated feeling like I wanted to drop to the ground with exhaustion and wanting to yak.

Our workout was:

400 meter run
21-15-9 (in other words 3 rounds) of squats, push-ups and dead-lifts
Finish it off with another 400 meter run

I'll admit that I had to walk part of the last 400 run. I was EXHAUSTED. But I finished, even though my total time wasn't that great, but it was my first time so I'm just wanting it to improve.

I was really pleased with how encouraging everyone was, it made things that much easier and I really liked knowing that my form was right when I did deadlifts (I can attribute that to Sara). I was a little surprised by some of the girls there though, one admitted that she'd never lifted weights. I was shocked honestly, I can't imagine NOT lifting weights, but to each their own.

I'm super sore today even though I've tried to stay active and even took a long walk and did stretches. Tomorrow is my next class so I'm hoping I'm not too sore.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Birthday Wish List

I hope to do some trip reports of my recent travels soon, but in the meantime I have a few other posts planned.

My birthday is coming up in about a month and I've been contemplating what I want to put on my wish list. So far, I've come up with a few items.

First up? I'm a huge fan of The Sound of Music and used to watch the VHS version all the time as a kid. However, I need my own copy now and the 45th Anniversary set came out a couple of years ago. I think it's high time I added it to my collection.

I'm always looking to add items for my future photography business. This is one of the next lenses that I'm considering to add to my collection. Perfect for portraits!

In the same spirit of helping out my photography business, I'm really considering Adobe Lightroom 3. I already have Adobe Photoshop Elements, but I feel like Lightroom would be a valuable resource for me and I've heard the noise reduction is well worth the price.

I think I'd also be open to a new purse from Niccoli or even a small weekend trip, say to Croatia or the Dolomites.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Checking-In and Catching Up

So much has been going on these past few weeks that I don't even know where to start!

First of all I'd like to say a big thank you to all my guest bloggers. I really appreciate each and every one of you taking the time to fill-in for me while I was gone on vacation.

Now on to what's being going on. Most of you will remember that I went to Germany with Sean for his doctor's appointment last month. He was told that he did have the option of back surgery, but it came with a big list of if's and warnings about what could go wrong.  Right now it seems like he's thinking about getting the surgery done, however the doctor he saw last time is new and wants more tests done on Sean's back, specifically his nerves, so Sean is heading to Germany yet again next week to start that.

My family came in a couple of weeks ago and we were pretty much non-stop sight-seeing once they got here. We did Tuscany (Montalcino, Pisa and Montepulciano) Austria/Germany (Salzburg, Reutte, Dachau and the King Ludwig Castles) and London for four days. They left on Monday and needless to say, I was pretty sad. It seemed so empty without them here.

We had a bit of an incident the day we came back from Austria. Sean called when I was almost home and told me he'd been rear-ended on his way home from work.  Luckily both he and the lady who ran into him were ok. His car needs a new bumper, but her car was totalled. Thankfully his car is still driveable, we're just waiting on the insurance claim to go through.

Sean had his wisdom teeth removed yesterday, so I've been playing nurse for him the last couple of days. He's determined to go back to work this week, but we'll see if that happens or not.

Last, but not least, I'm working on a new fitness plan for myself. I've really been slacking off the past few months and I can tell when I put on my clothes. I start Crossfit class next week and I'm also throwing in some early morning runs, spin class and a yoga class once a week. I'm determined to look more toned and be stronger by the end of the summer.

I hope to get back to my regular blogging and commenting more on all of your blogs!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Guest Post: Soul Mates

First of all, I want to thank Melissa for allowing me the chance to guest blog for her. She is a great blogger, and it is truly an honor that I get to be one of her “guesties.” I haven’t done this too many times, so I appreciate her confidence in me. Thanks, Melissa!

Well, as a first time guest blogger, I had to rack my brain for what to write about. Back in May of 2010, I said “I do” to the wonderful “J” of the J loves K of my blog! We decided to take a delayed honeymoon somewhere warm when winter came in order to escape the winter blues. We just got back, and yes, it was amazing! But, it got me thinking of how crazy it was that Joel and I actually met.
I never believed in soul mates growing up. That was just in the movies and things like that don’t really happen in real life. But, meeting Joel made me change my view on that. I know, it does sound cheesy, but stay with me here.

I am a Midwesterner from Indiana whose entire life consisted of staying in the Midwest. Big family vacations included Nashville, Cincinnati, Louisville, and the fancy city of Chicago! No one in my family ever left the state for good. My mother fully intended that I will always live within a 10 minute drive from her, as our house growing up was only two blocks down from her mother’s house. That is just how her side of the family was. But, I had different plans. When I was 20 and still in college, I got a rare opportunity to move and live abroad. So, with two suitcases and my dog in hand, we flew (by ourselves) all the way to Germany. I have been here for six years now and I love it!

Joel, who is four years older than me, grew up in Oregon. His dad was retired Air Force, and after he graduated for college, decided during his job hunt that he would follow in those some footsteps and commissioned the same year that I moved to Germany. In the amount of time I have been here, he has been stationed all over, from Japan to Turkey. In 2009, he received orders for Spangdahlem Air Base, about an hour from me, and a place I have only been to a handful of times. At the last minute, his orders switched him to Ramstein, the base next door to where I work.

It just so happened that when he moved to Germany in June 2009, we had a mutual friend. The very first week he was here, she invited him to a movie night that I was putting together. I happened to be on a kind of date that night. But, he was very nice and a friend of a friend, so he tagged along. While it took me a little while to notice him in “that way,” Joel tells me that that night, he just knew that he had to get to know me more. There was something about me that spoke to him, and he wiggled his way in my circle of friends. After a little while of flirting, he finally admitted his crush and I knew, then, that I was crushing back pretty hard, too. The first date was it for us. I knew I wanted to get to know him more, and he said that he fell in love with me that night. (Of course he didn’t tell me that night. Then this story may not have happened!)

Of course, our circumstances make it totally possible that we never should have met and our paths never should have crossed. But they did. And we fell in love hard and fast. When people say someone completes them, I get that with Joel. He really does. And so is the story of how this Hoosier met her Beaver. Thanks for letting me share.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Guest Post: Determination

Hi there!!! I’m J over at It’s a Dog Tag Wife Life. I’m a fairly new military bride, we were married on 1/1/11, cool huh? The hunny (my husband) is active duty and a busy, busy fella, so I spend a lot of time with the other Dog Tags in my life, Little D & Little Girl, our crazy black lab mutt pups. I write about recipes (on Tasty Tuesday, although recently I’ve been slacking), my experimentations with creating bath & body products, life as a newlywed, and anything else that comes along.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen. And not with food. I’ve always wanted to make something with my hands, but I’m not super creative, or artistically gifted. I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. So recently, I decided to experiment with bath & body products. You can read all about it over at my blog, I won’t bore you with it here.
What I WILL bore you with is how determination has to go into anything you want to do. I’ve been trying to find something I’m good at for a long. I’m a fairly good baker, but I just like to give that away. I’m ok at sewing, but it takes forever! I’ve tried drawing, painting, quilting, crocheting, writing music, writing poetry, writing stories, and the list goes on and on. The point is, I haven’t given up on finding my craft. I may fail at some things, but at least I tried.
I was determined to find something I was good at and I wasn’t going to quit. While some may call it hard-headed, I like to call it determined. I don’t like to settle. You shouldn’t either. If there’s something you want to do, go after it! Look at all the amazing women and men who have put their mind to something and achieved because they wouldn’t give up. To name a few who failed or who rose from a meager beginning before succeeding: Oprah (born into poverty), Edison (thousands of lightbulbs before one worked), Stephen Hawking (Motor Neurone Disease), Nancy Brinker, Founder of Susan G. Komen (Susan was her sister who she lost to cancer), Susan B Anthony (civil rights leader) and many more.
If there’s something you want, go after it (well, unless it’s terribly illegal or unethical or harmful, ya know). But if you want to sew a whole quilt by hand do it. You want to get a story published, write something that you’re proud of and get your name out there. Want to have the best marriage on the block, first make sure your hubby is on board, and do everything you can to make it be that way. There will always be someone cheering you on. And for those that said you couldn’t do it, smile triumphantly when you’ve achieved your goal.
To finish, I want to tell you a story. There’s a girl. She has dyslexia and dyscalculia (number dyslexia). Growing up, there were always people who told her she wouldn’t be able to achieve much. If she graduated high school, it would be a big feat. Well, she graduated high school, she even earned college credits by taking night courses. When she got to college, because of the disability, she was unable to pass the teachers exam. There was nothing more that she wanted than to be a teacher. So she moved to social work to help kids who’ve been told “they’d never make it”. She graduated college. She got her master’s degree. Landed a job and has been promoted at least 4 times since taking that job and is now the Autism director at her school and soon is about to be the Autism Director for her whole company (many private schools). No, this is not me. This is my best friend. She went from being told she can’t to being able to speak for all those kids. Her story amazes and inspires me. She was told she can’t and she achieved more than anyone ever thought she would. Just remember that next time you want to give up after a failure.

As Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Guest Post: 5 Tips for Flying With Young Kids

Damsel lives the crazy life of a military spouse, married to her Army soldier husband, whom she affectionately calls her Knight in Shining Armor. They have two children – Jet, their six-year-old son, and Songbird, their two-year-old daughter - who like to throw their hands in the air and scream as they careen together through the ups, downs, twists, turns and loops of the military roller coaster. She writes a family blog at Damsel and Family, and runs a freelance writing business under “real” name, Rachel M. Perez. Her family will PCS to Italy this summer, and they plan to do plenty of traveling once they get here!
Many thanks to Melissa for allowing me to guest post for her today! Her blog was one of the first I found during the initial frantic Googling of Italy after we got wind of our possible orders. (You do that, too, right? Right?!?) I’ve enjoyed reading about her travels, and hope to follow in her footsteps soon!
Military spouses get really, really good at traveling. With all of the PCSing, traveling to see family and sight-seeing in the areas where we’re stationed, we become experts quick, fast and in a hurry. Here are the top five things that I’ve learned to do to make flying easier for our kids our family me.
1. Take the stroller into the airport. Most airlines allow us to gate check a stroller, which means that we can corral our toddler right up to the door of the plane. Upon arrival, or if we have a layover, they will bring the stroller up to the jetway for us as we get off the plane. Call the airline ahead of time to be sure - I call before I even book the ticket!
2. Pack extra clothes, for everybody. Songbird was three months old the first time I flew with her, and she spit up on my shirt. I had two or three extra outfits for her, but nothing for me. The next trip, I packed myself a clean shirt… and her diaper leaked on my pants. Now, I pack entire outfits, including underpants and socks, in a gallon-size Ziploc bag for each person. I squish all the air out, and it lives in the bottom of its owner’s backpack for the duration of the trip. The Ziploc bag is handy for carrying dirties when the new outfit becomes necessary. It’s also nice to know that we all have at least one change of clothing if our luggage doesn’t make it!
3. Take baby wipes. I don’t care how old your kids are! Once Jet stopped wearing diapers, I stopped carrying baby wipes. When we had Songbird and I started carrying them again, I couldn’t figure out why I’d stopped! They’re perfect for messes or just getting rid of the airplane ickies. I use them to wipe down the seat-back tray tables before (and usually after) we eat. Plus, our toddler thinks wipes are so! fun! I give her one and she goes to town, wiping down everything in sight, and buying us at least fifteen minutes of (relative) quiet.
4. Pack distractions - small, quiet toys, snacks and favorite loveys - in the carryon bags. Books, matchbox cars, crayons and coloring books, and portable DVD players (with headphones) all make great entertainment for flights. I usually buy one or two new toys or movies per kid and stash them in my backpack… but I don’t give them out until things seem to be hitting rock-bottom! I also pack lollipops – they’re a rare treat and they’re good for helping little ears during take-off and landing.
5. Remember that you’ll never see these people again. I’m talking about anybody and everybody you lay eyes on from the moment you set foot in the airport until you’re back home in your own bed. If your kids behave themselves, great! If not, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. I’ve mastered the art of tossing an apologetic glance at someone and mumbling a quick, “Sorry ‘bout that”, while not really giving a flip about their opinion. I mean, I do feel bad that my kid kicked the back of your seat for the three-thousandth time, but I also know I’m doing my best to make this trip go smoothly for everyone concerned. Other travelers forgive quite a bit when you look at least look like you’re trying.
Safe travels… maybe I’ll see you around!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Guest Post: Family is Everything

Well, how cool is this
my first Guest Blogging experience!
and who better to blog for than Melissa?!
I love this blog!
So thanks for having me!

I’m 18 years old, and I work as a mechanic for a major company.
Oh, and I live in southern England.
I started my own blog as a way of journaling my thoughts and feelings as I entered adulthood and the army wife life, but unfortunately now it’s just about the curveballs my life throws at me!
I toyed with what to write for so long.
I’ve read many blogs, with many guest bloggers, and still, I do not know what to say!
Then I came across one, that really made me stop and think about my life, what motivates me and what upsets me, inspires me etc.
I decided I would try and post about saviours, and the little recognition a Good Samaritan gets.
For those that don’t know me, I ramble, so please bare with me!

Over my short eighteen years on this planet, I have been through quite a lot, happy and sad.
Birth, death, alcoholism, violence, domestic abuse both verbal and physical, suicide, hearth ache, riches, eating disorder..
I could go on, but I won’t bore you!
The point is, I’ve had a lot thrown at me, as I’m sure everyone else has also!
Through it all, my support network has been my rock.
My brother D, in particular.
We really are thick as thieves, and so close.
He kept me going when I thought I didn’t have a reason to want to.
After I recovered from some of said events,
He entered my life.
I guess we could say that was the beginning of my end.
My life became consumed with this American Soldier. He was my life.
I was thrown into wedding planning and removal-company quotes.
I was running myself into the ground sorting things in time for his homecoming, not sleeping properly waiting up till ungodly hours of the night to see if he was trying to contact me.
I was feeling more like a secretary than a fiancé!
Until one day it stopped.
He ended things with me, while he was still in Afghanistan!
As you might imagine, this knocked me for six, and I went on a bit of a downward spiral. I resorted back to my e.d. tendencies, stopped caring about how people perceived me, stopped caring about everything.

That is when I had what some would call an epiphany.
My brother stepped in and said something that will haunt me forever

“Who are you, and where is my older little sister?
The one with so much spark and enthusiasm.
The one who moans at me because my music isn’t loud enough!
The one who lets me finish her burger,
(because she thinks im still a baby that needs feeding.)
The one who is a perfect leaning-post height.
The one I can laugh with and shout at and say sorry too.
My sister.”

That is what caught me. Over all this time, I had been focusing on my hurt and suffering and the pain that had been inflicted upon my heart.
I didn’t even think for one second, the kind of hurt I was harbouring on the ones around me.
That hurt me all over again.
I had to change.
Albeit only a few months ago, I will forever thank my brother’s moaning for saving me.
His little rant is what kicked my arse into gear. It’s what I needed to stop moping and start living again.
Now I’m a happier person, with a reason to keep breathing.
I have family and friends who love me.
I have a job that, sometimes I hate, but is all-in-all good fun.
And I have a wonderful blogging community to rant to, to help keep me sane and away from the despair I can sometimes feel.
I know this has been some major rambling post, and I know there are so many worse things going on in this world than me being jilted and feeling upset, but there is a moral to this post;

No matter how in love you are,
how busy you are,
how much money one earns,
what part of the country one lives in,
ones life plans or career goals…
None of this is worth anything if you don’t have the support of your loved ones.
If you don’t have that rock.
Family is everything.
And so I dedicate this post to my rock,
my brother Daniel, thank you for saving me.

p.s – this photograph was taken at Christmas 2009, hence why we look so young!

p.p.s – when I mention me being his older little sister, it’s a family joke thing.
I'm 18 and only just 5ft6.,He is 17 and 6ft5. Hence the older little sister! J

Friday, June 3, 2011

Guest Post: Be Prepared!

Hi everyone! I'm Cat from : the C.W. : I'm a Navy wife, a road tripper, and an escapee of cubicle life. I'm also working on my ‘bucket list’ while trying to figure all of this ‘domestic’ stuff. But I'm not gonna talk about any of that today. Instead, let's take a step back to my days in Scouting. Yes, this post is about being prepared.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fire, earthquakes, blizzards, ice storms, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It seems like every time I turn on the news, another area has been hit by a natural disaster.
Have you ever given any thought to where you would go if your city got evacuated? Or what you would do if your power was out for days on end? I feel like with all the moving around we do nowadays (especially if you're a military family), this often gets overlooked. The Navy now has my husband and I stationed in Pensacola, FL, which as you may know is on the Gulf Coast and very prone to hurricanes. Back when we lived in Virginia, I didn't give much thought to disaster preparedness because nothing major had really hit there in a while. In fact, we had a minor tropical storm coming through my first summer there, so I called my aunt down in central Florida who had made it through Hurricane Andrew among other nasty storms. She knew it was minor, so when I asked her what I should have on hand to be prepared, her only response was "a bag of M&M's." Luckily for me, she was right, and the bag of M&M's was all I needed.
I've been on much higher alert now that we're down here on the Gulf Coast, especially after listening to the locals here tell tales about their losses from Hurricane Ivan in 2004. I've already attended two different hurricane preparedness trainings offered on base here, and I think the tips I learned are worth sharing to prepare you for almost any disaster.
Essentially, you need to have two plans in place: one for staying put and one for evacuating. Here are just a few very basic tips.
Be ready to stay put:
* Be prepared for 3 days’ worth of no power or water. The Gulf Coast motto is "The first 72 are on you" (meaning the first 72 hours after a storm)
* Have enough potable water for those 3 days--the guideline is 1 gallon per person per day. We have 6 gallons for the two of us. To make it frugal, I just cleaned out our milk and juice cartons and filled them with tap water.
* Have a crank-powered or battery-powered radio (with extra batteries), so you can stay in the know. * has a pretty thorough list of everything to put in your emergency kit. Don’t forget a flashlight.
Be ready to evacuate:
* Have a bag ready per person with stuff you need if there's a mandatory evacuation. At the very least, make a checklist so you don't forget something important. Remember, it may not be there when you get back. Have your important documents in a large Ziploc bag. Also include a utility bill or some proof of residence so you can get back into your house without question.
* Have at least $100 cash on hand somewhere in your house. If the power goes down all over town, credit card readers and ATMs will be out of service.
* Keep your gas tank at least half-full all the time. If an evacuation is announced, gas prices will rise due to the increased demand and then they might even run out. (Anyone remember Katrina? What a nightmare!)
* Have a plan for your pets. You'll probably be taking them with you, so make sure you have food and essentials. You may want to look up pet-friendly hotels now so you won't be panicking later. Pets generally are not welcome at disaster shelters.
Good news for military families:
* If your area has a mandatory evacuation, the government will reimburse you for the hotel and per diem. That means you can head somewhere safer and have a mini-vacation of sorts. Your evacuation destination shouldn't be farther than 350 miles (a 6-7 hour drive) from your home because you'll need to be back within 24 hours of the evacuation lift and get back to work. * The Relief Society for your branch probably can help you. Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society will offer interest-free pre-evacuation loans in the event of an evacuation. Also, afterward, they can help you with loans to assist with other issues. Here are the links for the other branches: Army Emergency Relief; Air Force Aid Society; Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. Feel free to call your local branch and ask them questions. (I'm currently a NMCRS volunteer, by the way.)
Know your area and what affects it most so that you can prepare based on that. Earthquakes and tornadoes come with little warning, whereas hurricanes give a pretty good advanced warning. You also may want to check your renter's/homeowner's insurance policy to see what it covers. If a hurricane hits here, our place will most likely flood, which is not covered on our renter's policy!
I know I probably sound like a total Debbie-downer, but having a plan in place can give you such a peace of mind. Hopefully you'll never have to use your emergency kit, but it's always good to BE PREPARED!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guest Post: Tea Party

Hello everyone! Thanks, Melissa, for giving me this opportunity to do my FIRST guest post! I’ve been cooking for years now, and it wasn’t until recently my friends and family convinced me to do a blog so they could see what I’m cooking. So that’s when I started Cookin’ for my Captain. Me and my husband have been married for 8 years and we have 2 beautiful (and red-headed) children. My husband is in the Army and we’re currently stationed in Missouri, my “home” state. I’m a SAHM (Stay-at-home-mom) but stay really busy with sports, parties and my army-wife things. I don’t have “professional” culinary educational background, but I learn quickly through just going straight in. I don’t do step-by-step pictures, it’s hard enough just to cook, but I always try to get a beautiful picture of the finished product. And sometimes, it’s just not “pretty” at all…and I’ll save the horror of the picture, but let ya know it’s still wonderful.

I had to really think what I wanted to “guest blog” about since Melissa just said anything. So I decided to write about my tea-parties. For Mother’s day, I invited a few of my close friends over for “tea and crumpets.” This was also my “dry-run” for my daughters (her idea) “Butterfly Birthday Tea-Party.”
There are so many ways to do this, but I’ll show you what works for me.


FOOD: Cookie bits, chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry scones. Tea cups with saucers and a tea pot, preferably on a warmer. Spoons for stirring. Cups of sugar and creamer. Have a variety of teas to choose from.

DÉCOR: Lace, lace, and more lace. I found antique items and big candles. Old jewelry box with pearls, rings and pendants and sea shells also add a bit of detail that ties everything together.

TREATS: Decorate derby hats—feathers, silk flowers, tulle, safety pins, straight pins, lace ribbon
~Keep in mind your background. My back porch is cornered between the house and shed, so I hung lace tablecloths over and around to camouflage them. Always think about what’s in the background of you pictures!
~My husband bought me a “plant” for Mother’s Day. It was a pot full of lavender, peppermint and pineapple mint. Bundle a few leaves together and put it in a tea steeper—fresh tea just for you! It also impresses the guests!
~The recipes can be found on my blog, except the chocolate covered strawberries (pretty simple to figure out)
~I’ve been collecting tea cups and saucers for a while now. Every time I go into a goodwill or thrift store and see what I can find. This is better than trying to find all matching ones. It really comes together in the end, giving it a very eclectic look. Not to mention it’s cheaper that way. You could always have your guests bring one, but I think it’s more fun when you provide.


For my daughter’s birthday party, the girls are going to decorate their own hats. Make sure you have an adult to handle the hot glue or pins. Keep it simple for the girls, or they might lose interest. Also do this first, so they can wear the hats during the party. It always helps having a few examples for them to see.

This is my hat I put together. It was a bunch of fun to make!

So have a wonderful tea-party! Most important thing: stay calm and relaxed. It’s supposed to be fun, for your guests AND you. Be prepared as well. Have an extra tea cup set just in case one breaks, safety pins for an accidently clothing malfunction, or whatever you foresee that might happen.
Please stop by my blog and leave me a message if you have any questions on what I did or if you need more ideas.
Love, Carolyn