Tuesday, October 6, 2015


This past weekend was a GREAT one!  I have been secretly planning a surprise party for Kacey for a few weeks....and it was GREAT!!!!!  Her birthday is really in July, but she wanted to wait until the pool was ready, so that she could have a pool party sleepover!  

I decided that she had waited long enough...so I might as well surprise her with the party!  I had asked her questions for weeks as to what she wanted to do when we FINALLY had a free weekend for her party.  She originally wanted a "Beach Party" theme with all bright colors.....so I went and purchased all of the odds and ends to pull off her vision.  NOT EVEN TWO DAYS LATER.....she came home from school and said that she thinks it would be super fun to have a Halloween pool party because this is the only time she will ever get to celebrate her birthday in October....DONE!  I don't even think I waited a full hour before I packed up all the goodies I had purchased and exchanged them all of Halloween theme!!!!! 

Surprising an 11 year old is NOT easy!  She asked DAILY, "mom...when can we sit down and plan out my party?!?!" and I just wanted to scream, "DON'T ASK AGAIN....I AM PLANNING SOMETHING!"  I also had to invite all of her friends by getting in touch with their moms and telling them to please NOT tell the girls about the party until the day of. (GIRLS CAN NOT KEEP SURPRISES!!!!! :)  

IT TOTALLY WORKED!!!!!!!!! I took away her iPad the morning of the party, knowing that her friends were all finding out about it, dropped her off at her friend's house to entertain her while I set up the house! Chad and Collin were at baseball, so I just turned up my music and went crazy lady style all over the house! 

I have had these cute little vinyl faces for years, and I just add them to random places each year.  They crack me up!!!!! 

I didn't go overboard decorating because I really didn't have much time with her out of the house, but I put up orange lights, added light up balloons to the pool, and made some fun and festive foods!  I wanted to make caramel apples, popcorn balls, and all of the foods that you would typically think of.....BUT Kacey has braces and that would just be awful if she couldn't enjoy any of the goodies at her own party! Instead I made chocolate covered pretzel rods with sprinkles, cut up apples with carmel dipping sauce, a make your own sub station (HER FAVORITE FOOD EVER!), bags and bags of chips, cookies, and instead of a cake.....I made little parfaits with brownies, pudding, oreos, and cool whip!  I felt like it was the perfect amount of food because they were able to sneak downstairs all night and snack, and I wasn't left with leftovers! SUCCESS!!!

I had her friends show up at 4;30 and we hid in the backyard with every camera and video camera ready! I sent a message to her friend's mom and said to come on over.......and ask Kacey to show you the pool in the yard!!! They walked out and we had her favorite song playing (ironically it's FAVORITE SONG by O.A.R), and we SCREAMED SURPRISE!!!!!! It was EVERYTHING I wanted for her! She was honestly shocked and surprised....and PRICELESS!

She ran right over to me and gave me the biggest hug ever and in that moment my whole world was made! 

This was the first party I have ever done where I didn't have ANY crafts or activities planned! It kind of made me sad, but I just wanted Kacey to be able to do what she wanted with her friends!  They swam, did handstand contests (a fave around here), ate, giggled, told jokes, and just had a great time spending time together! SUCH A JOY to watch your daughter have such an awesome bond with a group of girls that she has known for years!  It makes my mom heart so happy!!!!! 

It is safe to say that Kacey had a BLAST with her friends, and Chad and I just sat back and let them be kids and enjoy all of the silly things that kids do!  Just sitting back and listening to them is absolutely HILARIOUS!  

If you have thought about surprising your kids for a bday party.....DO IT!!!!!!!! The amount of hugs, Thank You talks, and smiles that have come from this make me want to do it every year!!!!

Roxy was also totally part of the party!  She stood up there the entire time and barked at the balloons.....jumped in the pool.....swam to the stairs...and repeat! It cracks me up every single time! I swear this pool has made her act like a puppy again and I couldn't love it more!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

My Favorite Room In My Home

My backyard has basically been a mud/dirt/dead grass pit since the end of July, and I have been dreaming of the day that we could jump into the pool and actually enjoy it! WELL THAT TIME HAS COME! (although the outside pool area is not 100% and contractors are still randomly in my yard) 

I have to say.....I was excited and nervous about having a pool.....and it turns out I am still excited and nervous!  I just want it to be a fun, safe, relaxing place for us and our kids and our friends.  I also want it to be pretty...and this stresses me out!  

Decorating inside of my home comes easy to me because I just purchase things that I LOVE and then make them work within my space.  I feel like decorating a patio is a lot harder because you have to find something you love.....that your dogs won't destroy.....and that can handle the Florida sun.....and rain.....and will not need to be replaced every year.  It has been difficult for me to commit to anything!  

Tile (in Lake Blue) / Sectional / Pillows / Fan

 This is the vibe that my patio has....I guess I would consider it beachy, boho, and blue.  I love all things blue because it is easy to add pops of black for halloween, red and green for Christmas, and yellow for summer. I think blue is the easiest color to transition the entire year.  

I picked these tiles out and was beyond excited about them! I LOVE THEM!!!!!! They set the tone for the backyard and make a statement without having to add anything else.  THEY MAKE ME HAPPY!  We went with gray multi pavers because our home is a grayish blue and it was a good match.   The ONLY regret I have with the decisions we have made, is our coping tiles (the tiles on the edge of the pool)! They are a cream, and I have to say that I don't LOVE them!  They would be perfect if I didn't have kids, dogs, and any grass or dirt in my yard....BUT I have all of the above and it shows little paw prints at all times.  Bummer! 

I purchased the pillows from the store and they were on clearance for $5-$10 each.  They only had one out of the showroom and when I asked them if they had more in the back, they literally brought out bags full of outdoor clearance pillows! Worth a shot to check out in your store if you are in the market for outdoor pillows! I feel a little less nervous about them getting ruined when I buy them dirt cheap! 

I have been dragging my feet on purchasing a couch/sectional for the patio because I just can't commit.  (this is an issue for me with furniture!) I LOVE this one, and it is a great price, and would fit perfectly.....I just can't pull the trigger! I can, however, pull the trigger on this hammock! ESPECIALLY since I received my birthday coupon code just the other day! (it was a sign!)

Last but not least...the fan! I LOVE it! Fans are basically the only way you can spend your days on a patio in Florida!  We have a covered patio, and has nice shade after 1pm, but a fan is ALWAYS needed! (even if it is just to push the mosquitos around!) I also love the wood planks on the ceiling in the pic, and can not WAIT to do that on our ceiling!  I feel like it just makes the outdoors sort of feel like an indoor living space...which is EXACTLY what I want! 

Basically....the pool is ready....we swim in it daily and LOVE every single second of it!  I have become a master judge of handstands, flips, dives, and counting how long my kids can hold their breath!  I have watched our 14 year old Jack Russell freak out when her brother is underwater and jump in to save him, while our other (huge) dog is terrified of swimming stays within two feet of the water at all times!  

We still have so much work to do....planting palms, bushes, and grass....BUT there is an end in sight and at least after a long day of planting, we can jump in the nice cool pool to relax!  
I hope to share more pics once it is "finished". (because the truth is....it will always be a work in progress!)

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