How To Plan A Birthday Party {Adult style}…

We {insert: society} can get engrossed with planning children’s birthday parties.  So much so that we tend to forget all about our birthday {or friends, spouse, parents, etc}.  Well, I think we all secretly love our birthdays.  It is no secret that I absolutely LOVE my birthday. 🙂

I hope this post inspires you to plan your own birthday shindig or just as fabulous of one for your friends or spouse.  😉

HOW TO PLAN A BIRTHDAY PARTY {ADULT STYLE}

  • Mail invitations.  Yes – MAIL THEM! 🙂  I love receiving cute invitations in the mail!  We are a little too techie these days.  Lets take it back old school style with snail mail!
  • Add a childhood photo of the guest of honor to the invitation.  This might take some secret digging if you are planning for someone other than yourself.  
  • Ask guests to RSVP (duh)….with a song that reminds them of the person you will be toasting.  
    • Example: If said party was for me, all my friends would reply with “______”.  Go ahead ladies, leave it in the replies.  Lets see if Im right! 😉
    • The songs will become the party playlist. 
  • Have a cake made or catered for the event.  Not a sheet cake people! Go to a local bakery and find out what their specialty is.  
  • Serve a signature cocktail.  My personal faves: sangria and/or champagne.  Find out if there is a special drink that your guest of honor prefers.  Make that! 
    • Set up a cocktail area.  No Solo cups!  This is adult style, not cheap.  😉 
  • Add some flowers and balloons.  Keep it simple with a color scheme.  Blue, Yellow, Cream.    Pink, Black, White.   Turquoise, Coral, Cream.  You get what Im sayin…
  • Say cheese.  Photo booths are SO much fun!  Either (A) hire a local photographer or (B) set up a booth on your own.  I prefer the photographer route. 🙂
    • If you do it yourself… Gather a few playful props, tri-pod, camera, and lightweight bedspread or sheet to use as a backdrop.  
    • Two photographers that I :
  • Serve some delicious food.  I like “shower style” food.  It looks pretty and (if done right) is very yummy!
  • Gifts:  Im a fan of leaving the gifts at the store, and gift a “fun time”.  Memories are worth far more than any sweater or gift card. 🙂 
  • Have a good time! 🙂  
Drop a line with your fave party ideas!
Until next time…

25 Things…

1. I hate Hobby Lobby.

2.  I thought something was wrong with me.

3.  All my friends love that store!

4.  Then I went on a shopping excursion there …. today.

5.  Seriously, I might be in love.

6. Yes, with Hobby Lobby.

7.  Can you actually love a store?

8.  I know people who have an obsession. 😉  ♥ you Katy

9. Now I am not crafty.

10. Not a crafty bone in my body.

11. However…

12. Pinterest has changed my mind.

13.  Im trying.

14. You should see my apartment.

15. Hot.Mess.

16. Did you know that you cannot drill through fabric?

17. How about … you must make several trips to the home improvement store when working on a project.

18.  Totally not ideal.

19. If these projects dont turn out….

20.  I will be SO furious.

21. Yes I said projects.

22.  Up to 4 now.

23. At one time.

24. PS..crafting is expensive!

25.  I need some craft stuff organizing. 🙂

Until next time…

{Update} 3M…

Happy Monday everyone! 🙂  How was your weekend?  Hopefully wonderful!  I spent the weekend organizing a closet.  Round 1 complete. Round 2: customize shelving.  So exciting.  So much so that I wore myself out and decided to take today off.  Yea right, I spent hours combing stores for organizing ideas. 🙂

Well some have asked, so I thought it was time to give an update on the 3M commercial.

*Drum roll……*

Ha. 🙂  I came in 2nd place.  *Tambourine shing* As much as I should have been elated over the idea that I was picked as runner up in a national commercial spot where I competed with hundreds of other women and men — I wasnt.  I spent the evening crying.  And yall know how I like to cry. 😉  Now I know how the runner up in Miss America feels.

Thank you all so much for the nicest and kindest of words and support throughout the whole thing!  Your encouragement and comments made the whole experience …. how do I put this …. simply amazing.  THANK YOU! 🙂

I got even more hooks today in the mail from 3M.  Guess they want me to use their stuff. 😉

Until next time…

Foodie Fridays {Burgers}…

Sorry for the late post!  It has been a full day of meeting a great family and working on the website!

So today’s post is all about burgers!  Burgers are probably my favorite meal, after tacos, and after chips and salsa.  Okay, third favorite meal! 😉

BURGERS … JENNIFER STYLE

  • (1 lb) ground beef, extra lean (96/4)
  • (1/2) green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • (2) garlic cloves, minced
  • Eyeball {Roughly 1 Tbsp} of each:
    • Minced Onion (dried spice)
    • Onion Powder
    • Garlic Powder
    • Basil (this was Raymond’s idea)
    • Chili Flakes
    • McCormick Grillmates Hamburger Seasoning
    • Salt
    • Pepper
  • (1 Tbsp) Oil (I use canola)
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Divide meat according to how many patties you would like.  We made 7 burgers out of 1 lb of meat.  Adding green pepper helps bulk it up.
  2. Grill or broil.
  3. If broil – 5-6 minutes.
  4. Serve on whole wheat hamburger buns, sandwich flats, or english muffins.
  5. We topped ours with smoked gouda cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onions, lettuce, and tomato.

They were delicious! 🙂  Enjoy!

Until next time…

 

A Few Of My Favorite Things {IKEA}…

Im thinking of starting a new series {yes another}. 😉 I’m often asked which organizing product(s) that I recommend for <insert problem>.  Or which company that I recommend for totes, bins, hooks, you name it.  So – here it is – a few of my favorite things organized by brand! 🙂  Enjoy!

Kid’s Toys & Closets

Trofast Storage Combination ($87.98)

Another way to use it:

For crafts (beads, jewelry), office supplies (paper clips, rubber bands), or kitchen supplies (dried beans, sugar, flour)

Burken Jar ($2.99). Available in 3 different sizes.

For Shoes (High Heels)

Fintorp Rail ($7.99).

See the rail in action (I couldnt grab the picture so Im linking). 

Love the shoe organizer on the left page as well!

For shoes (boots, flats, heels, anything really)

Billy Bookcase ($79.99).

Bookcase in action:

For arts & craft supplies (brushes, paint, gluesticks, pens), or kitchen supplies (forks, knives, small utensils)

Grundtal System. Caddy ($5.99), Rail ($8.99)

See it in action. Pg. 248

If you click on the pictures, then it should take you to the IKEA website.

Until next time…

 

When Life Hands You Lemons…

LEMONADE FOR THE NEIGHBORS! 🙂

LIfe is full of surprises.  Some good and some not so good.  I was inspired by an article I read about how to bounce back when life throws you a curve ball.

We all have a “curve ball” story.  My life curve ball was being laid off at 23.  I had just graduated college, secured a pretty good job, and was just getting settled in to what “corporate life” was all about, when I got the news.  Two weeks notice — guess that is fair. Either way I was stunned.  It was so hard not to take it personally, and to anyone who has ever been laid off, you know how hard that is.  All this happened before the economy took a nosedive by the way — my friends all had great jobs with good salaries and bonuses.  I just got the axe at a company that I actually liked (or so I told myself).

HOW TO BOUNCE BACK FROM ANYTHING

Phone A Friend 

  • Create a mini support group.
  • Dont bottle your feelings up.  Reach out and talk about it.

Forget The What If’s

  • Your mind can be like a snowball.  One bad thought leads to another one.  This makes you feel less in control.
  • Divide a piece of paper into 3 columns:
  • Worst Case — write down all of those things that are in your head.
  • Best Case — ask yourself to generate equally unlikely outcomes.
  • Most Likely — think about what, realistically, you need to confront and how you will deal with it.

Focus Forward

  • Ask yourself, “How can I move forward?”, “Why am I a better person for this?”
  • You are a student of life.  Not a victim of it.

Melt “Icebergs”

  • Icebergs:  undermining, beneath-the-surface thoughts and beliefs that get passed down from our parents and grandparents like an ugly lamp.
  • Redefine your perception of your life.  What is acceptable and what is not acceptable to you.

Know It Won’t Last

Lend A Hand

  • When life hands you lemons … you know the rest! 🙂  Lemonade for the neighbors! 🙂
  • Doing something positive for others helps you stop obsessing, because you are tuning into someone else’s needs

Regain Control

  • To calm your nerves and anxiety, focus on the things within your control.
  • When you take action (like, cleaning out a closet), it lowers your anxiety level and puts you in a place mentally where you take on bigger hurdles. *Cough*Cough* 😉

Face Your Fears

What are your life curve balls?

Until next time…

25 Things of Randomness…

1.  So I cry when I listen to songs as well.

2.  Adele “Someone LIke You” is an appropriate cry baby song.

3.  Dido “White Flag” is not.

4.  In case you have no idea what song that is:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-fWDrZSiZs

5.  I sure do love what I do.

6.  I have received so many wonderful emails saying that I inspire.

7.  Wow!  Me?! 🙂 That is amazing!

8.  BTW–that is the whole reason why I do what I do.

9.  Hands down — worst part of Charlotte is the traffic.

10.  Because of that reason, Im glad I dont work a typical 9-5.

11.  But *sigh* I still see the crazies every day.

12.  Dont run red lights.  You will get pulled over.

13.  Not me! … Silly 🙂

14. I drive like a granny.

15.  And proud of it!

16.  Blacked out state trooper SUV.

17.  Got him one today.

18.  Right in front of me too.

19.  *Woop*Woop*

20.  That is the sound that police cars make. 🙂

21. I almost said “po po makes”

22. It didnt look as good typed.

23.  Still funny though.

24. Reminds me of Madea…you know…Tyler Perry.

25. “Call the Po Po hoe”  Sorry if that is offensive!  It was rather funny in the movie. 🙂

Until next time…

Inside The Organizer’s Home {Purses}…

Hello! Happy Happy Monday! 🙂  I’m slightly weird in that I actually enjoy Mondays!  This was my second weekend “off”…in a row mind you.  Two days off does a Jennifer good. 🙂

Okay…second edition of Inside The Organizer’s Home!  Today’s topic:  Purses!  You get a little surprise too…a shot of my closet. 🙂

Disclaimer:  I have since purged a few things since taking these pictures.  So the closet actually looks a little better!

PURSES

I don’t own a lot of purses.  Truthfully, I don’t own a lot of any “one” thing, but I think displaying stuff is the best way to organize it.  Remember last week’s post about jewelry?  Showcase those earrings!  I honestly feel that way about most anything you own.  If you liked it enough to buy it, then you should like it enough to display it.

Examples: earrings, necklaces, purses, shoes.  Make getting ready in the morning more fun!

Okay — back to the topic.  I personally organize my purses by hanging them from a tension rod.

Organizing purses using a shower curtain rod

I bought a shower curtain rod from Target along with a few shower curtain hooks.  Voila!  This method will not work if you have more than 10 purses {the rod will fall}.  How do you organize your purses?

Bonus:  shot of my closet. 🙂

An organized closet

More to come next week!

Until next time…

Life’s Handbook…

My mom emailed me a list titled “Life’s Handbook”.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and wanted to share {a condensed version}. 🙂

Health:

1.       Drink plenty of water.

2.       Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.

3.       Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants & has to be killed, bled, cured, aged, smoked, fried, or frozen

4.       Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.

5.       Make time to pray.

6.       Play more games. Feed the birds. Plant flowers or vegetables- even in a pot.

7.       Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

8.       Sleep for 7 hours.

Personality: 

9.    Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Each person has their place in the scheme of life.

10.    Don’t have negative thoughts of things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment – do what you can to make the world around you better.

11.    Don’t overdo. Keep your limits. Physically, spiritually, financially or emotionally.

12.    Don’t take yourself too seriously.  No one else does.

13.    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

14.    Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past.  Don’t blame your parents for every problem you have. That will ruin your present. We choose actions & reactions when we become adults.

Happiness

15.    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present. Yesterday is gone and you have a limited number of tomorrows.

16.    No one is in charge of your happiness except you. It’s your choice to feel happy or miserable, anger or joy, frustration or acceptance, jealousy or peace, shame or pride.

17.    Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

18.    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Society:

19.    Each day give something good to others.

20.    Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6

21.    What other people think of you is none of your business.

Life:

22.    Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

23.    God heals everything.

24.    However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

25.    No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

26.    The best is yet to come.

27.    When you awake alive in the morning, thank God for it.

Until next time…

Foodie Friday {Organic vs. the other stuff}…

My nickname, designated by my grandparents, is “Ms. Organic”.  Cute, right? 😉 Well the name came about because I am a religious Trader Joes shopper, and they think Trader Joes is 100% organic.  That isnt so, but still super cute so I don’t correct them. However, I am pretty picky about what I eat.  No pork (blech), extra lean ground beef, lots of veggies and fruits, Stevia or sugar only, no sugar substitutes.  Well the pickiness just went up a notch, thanks to a cooking lesson I attended earlier this week!  The hostess displayed two raw chickens.  One organic and one not.  I almost threw up at the non organic chicken.  (I tried to take a picture but the organic one went into the oven before I got the camera ready!  Yes, I think about my blog posts constantly! :)) Yep – only organic, free range for this girl!

Great article on why you should buy organic chicken!

ORGANIC CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

By: Sharon Johnston, nutrionist

  • 3 chicken breasts (ideally, organic)
  • (1 Tbsp) cumin
  • (1 Tbsp) oregano
  • 1 onion (chopped)

Place all ingredients in crock pot.  Cook on LOW for 4 hours (or until shreds easily).  The chicken can be frozen when placed in crock pot.

Enchilada Sauce

  • (2 cups) tomato sauce (organic – the other stuff has MSG and lots of sodium)
  • (2 Tsp) cayenne pepper
  • (1/4 Tbsp) ground cumin
  • (1 Tsp) chili powder

Add all ingredients to saucepan.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Filling

  • Shredded, cooked chicken (from above)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • (1 Cup) black beans
  • (1 Tsp) chili powder
  • (1 Tsp) ground cumin
  • (1 Cup) diced green chiles
  • Salt
  • Pepper

In bowl, mix chicken, spices, beans, green chiles, and 1/2 enchilada sauce.

Layers

  • 8-10 corn tortillas
  • (2 Cups) grass fed sharp cheddar cheese
  • (1 Can) black olives
  • (1/2 Pint) sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease bottom of large baking dish.
  3. Layer 3 Tbsp enchilada sauce on bottom, top with 4 tortillas.
  4. Spoon filling, cheese, olives, and sour cream.  Repeat.
  5. End with layer of tortillas.  Add sauce, cover with cheese.
  6. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the cover last 5 minutes to brown top.

Sounds like a lot of work, but it was pretty easy and very tasty! 🙂

Until next time…