Mar 30, 2013

Four Years Old

Happy Birthday Little.
You make everyday so much fun. We find ourselves in 
constant laughter and awe of your cuteness.

You are super affectionate and kind.
You have the funniest facial expressions.

This last year you experienced:
The arrival of a new baby brother.
Swimming lessons.
Starting preschool.
Developing a lazy eye.
Getting glasses.
Rocking said glasses.

We are blessed to have you in our lives, and can't imagine a day without
you in it. We wait for your small and genuine "I love you" every day, never
disappointed you say it happily.

For at least a month you have been thanking Heavenly Father
that your birthday is almost here. 

I hope your birthday answers your sweet little prayer and we showed you
how special you are to all of us.

Mar 27, 2013

A Pinteresting Wednesday: Pinata Letters

Welcome to A Pinteresting Wednesday here at Just Another Day in Paradise.

I love Pinterest.

Who doesn't.

I especially love Pinterest for planning parties. I have a whole board for general party ideas. I also make a new board for every party that I have coming up.

The most recent party--A Turning Uno Mexican Fiesta

I referenced my Mexican Fiesta Party board quite a lot for ideas and jumping off inspiration.

Quite a few of the ideas I used were from a Mexican Cinco de Mayo wedding posted on Ruffled.

I pretty much loved every detail. E.V.E.R.Y. detail.

One of the details I loved the most were the pinata letters. The idea seemed so simple and I loved how they looked.

So I set out to make a set of Pinata Letters.

I bought letters at a craft store.

I bought tissue paper in all the right Fiesta colors.

I unfolded individual sheets of tissue paper and cut strips following the fold lines.

I folded all the strips in half lengthwise and ran a gluestick across the top to stick the top together.

Repeat with all the colors.

Cut little strips at the folded edge, 2/3 the way down towards the bottom.

Once you have cut all the strips it is time to glue the strips to the letters. Start at the bottom. Glue and wrap one layer at a time. Then layer another one so the ruffle is just above the bottom ruffle.

I did two layers of each color.

Repeat until the letter is completely covered. I used five colors total. Sometimes you have to wrap creatively. Once I got to the top I wrapped over the excess edge like a birthday present and glued it down.

One letter down...

...a few more to go.

Hubby said I should give a disclaimer that this project might take a little time. Eh...nothing a few episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond can't take care of.

Gotta say, it was totally worth the time.

Do you use Pinterest to help plan your parties? Man it is such a great place for PINspiration.

Don't forget to get your fashion on and
enter the GIVEAWAY to win a voucher for a pair of 
Firmoo designer prescprition OR
non prescription glasses.

Mar 26, 2013

First Birthday Fiesta


Happy Birthday I mean Feliz Cupleanos!

We had a First Birthday Fiesta in celebration of Bean turning I mean uno.

It was quite the fiesta with friends and family.

There are a lot few pictures. It is rumored that I have a tendency to take too many pictures. I just love sharing all the little details. So I will try to be brief with the wordage and descriptions of Bean's Fiesta.

There are rustic touches with tons and tons of colors.

Occasionally there were cacti thrown into the mix...did you like how I used the proper plural of cactus?

There were also plenty of pinata details (I will have a little how-to on these Pinata Letters tomorrow).

While the decorations are fun, the best part of a Mexican Fiesta is of course the food.

I have several recipes to share with you on Recipe Thursday and Slow Cooker Saturday.

Good Food. Good Friends. Sweet Treats.

And one sweet Birthday Boy.

Sweet even though he was the recipient of four shots and a heel prick earlier that day. No, I had not planned that. Some unfortunate scheduling on my part.

There were plenty of people to love and hug on him whilst he enjoyed his fiesta. At least while he enjoyed most of it. Not so much the cupcake.

My very last first birthday done.

I know I went a little overboard, but it sure was fun to put everything together and it was fun to celebrate a very special Little Man.

Don't forget to get your fashion on and
enter the GIVEAWAY to win a voucher for a pair of 
Firmoo designer prescprition OR
non prescription glasses.

Linking Here:
Your Homebased Mom

Mar 25, 2013

Firmoo Glasses Review (and GIVEAWAY)


A great pair of glasses is simply scrumptious, but first things first...

I need to announce the winner of the Shabby Apple Giftcard giveaway.

The winner is Jessica Williams-Boling. 
Congrats Jessica!! 

Back to scrumptious glasses.

I have been wearing glasses, more or less, since I was about nine. I say more or less because I really didn't have to wear those glasses a lot until recently. Seriously my first several pair of glasses were completely hideous. I hated wearing them.

So I...uh...didn't...

I could get away with it because my young slightly impaired eye (yes I spoke in the singular, I only had one poorly-seeing eye...and I wonder how Little came upon his glasses situation) wasn't really too bad and my good eye totally made up the difference.

So my ugly glasses hardly "saw" the light of day...hahahaha.

Now my slightly less young problematic eye has been joined by the other less young eye and I have a pair of not so great eyes, slightly special eyes.

I have to wear my glasses a whole lot more in order to actually see with my special eyes. Which means I totally have to have a great pair of glasses.

Glasses are so much cooler now than they were when I was nine.

A great pair of glasses doesn't just have to be for function, but it can also be a fabulous accessory. Firmoo is an online store with a HUGE selection of frames which include prescription and non prescription frames and sunglasses.In fact it is so vast and glorious that I poured over the online catalog and it took me a full day to decided which pair I wanted most.  I was a little nervous to order glasses online. Normally when you order things online you can't ensure they are going to fit or look right. Firmoo helps you know the glasses will look great with their virtual try-on system. You simply uploaded a picture of your face and you can see how the glasses will actually look on your face.

I chose this pair. I super duper love them. They aren't quite as Tortoise shell as I had thought they would be, but they are totally Classy Librarian which is what I had wanted. They fit perfectly on my face too.

They came super fast. They are fun. They are sturdy and I don't worry about them being snapped by teeny-tiny-glasses-grabbers.

They are classy. I feel smarter the minute I put them on. Do you need me to find you a book? 

I am pretty sure Hubby agrees that I am one classy Librarian.

Someone around here needs to be classy...the assistant photographer seems to only be able to talk about boogers and crusties.

That is low. No one wants a picture of them rearing back and laughing...At least I still look classy in my new glasses.

Seriously you know you want a pair of your own glasses. You too can be a classy Librarian. Or a hipster. Or a super duper hottie Mommy.

Firmoo has just launched a first pair free program. You can get your first pair free (pay shipping only). To top it off if you are unsatisfied with your glasses they are easily exchanged or refunded. Free stylish glasses? Who wouldn't want that.

"No free glasses for me", SAID NO ONE EVER.

Now I am pretty sure I mentioned something about a giveaway. Firmoo is offering $30 dollar vouchers to a few of Just Another Day in Paradise readers to use towards ordering a pair of designer glasses. So basically you can get your first pair free AND you could win a voucher to go toward another pair of designer glasses. 

Enter to win the giveaway by following the Rafflecopter options below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mar 21, 2013

Frosted Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

Whenever we get a bunch of bananas my boys always immediately request banana bread. I have to remind them that I have to have really ripe bananas...aka old and make yummy banana bread.

They then insist that they won't eat them so that they can get old.

Then less than 48 hours later, barely enough time for the bananas to grow accustom to their new surroundings, they are all gone.


Long gone.

When I remind them of the banana bread, I am met with sheepish, yet satisfied, banana-eating grins.

"We will definitely not eat the next bunch!"

Well I have heard that before...and before...and before...

So imagine my shock and surprise when we got down to the last three bananas and they were starting to look just about ripe enough for bread. They had probably a good half a day till they were just perfect, but hey that was pretty good for my Little Men.

Then imagine even more surprise when as I went to cut up a banana for Bean, I was met with two, "NO!"s

The older two then explained that I needed to save the last bananas for bread. They hadn't eaten them so the bananas would get ripe.

So I set them aside and told the boys I would make banana bread.

Then I woke up the next day and was not in a banana bread mood. I mean my go-to banana bread recipe is delightful, but I still wasn't feeling it.

You know what I was feeling...


I really wanted some banana bars. I found an old recipe for banana bars, frosted banana bars at that, among my paper recipes. They were totally calling out to me.

You might think that I would be freaked out by food calling my name, but you would be wrong. I tend to like when baked goods call out my name. It makes me feel like we are friends and that they, in all their sugary goodness, are not going to make me fat. 'Cause what kind of friend is that, right?

With the addition of dark chocolate chips, this recipe went from enjoy a largish serving on a pretty plate with a cool class of milk to eat a row straight out of the pan and emptying said pan in 24 hours.

The Little Men were not disappointed to find these babies instead of their beloved banana bread. In fact, they had a helping and proceeded to beg for more. I being the health conscious mom that I am promptly told them no and then the next day let them have a bit after a good lunch...and then a bit more after a good dinner...and then a bit more after the next's days lunch.

People if it hadn't been them eating them... would have been me.

No one needs a sheet pan of banana bars to themselves, no matter how badly you want them. Sharing was requisite.

If your bananas make it to the day they are old and freckled, try this lovely little recipe out. Then promptly plan on taking a plate to your neighbor or you might wake up from a sugar coma finding you have eaten the entire pan.

You have been warned.

Happy baking!

But most importantly, Happy Eating!

Frosted Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

Printable Recipe

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 medium or 2 large)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup of dark (or milk) chocolate chips

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1-8 oz package cream cheese, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a jelly roll pan and set aside.

In a bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, bananas, and vanilla. Combine the flour, soda, and salt in a small bowl. Then add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture. Mix until well combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour into greased pan and smooth out to cover entire pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the bars are golden and test done with a toothpick.

Cool completely.

Make the frosting by creaming the butter and cream cheese. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat well. Spread the frosting over the cooled bars.

Cut. Serve. Devour.


Mar 20, 2013

Simple Easter Decorations

I finally put up some Easter decorations.

I love these blue/green colors. I also love the simple pop of pink.


I was inspired by the new line of paper and elements by American Crafts, Dear Lizzie Fifth & Frolic (now available at JoAnn's). The line features refreshing and crisp blues, greens (which I obviously LOVED), pinks and yellows.

There is also absolutely delightful glitter paper.

The paper inspired several projects, including some much needed Easter decorations.

I used my Silhouette to cut out a lot of bunnies in the blues and greens and one in pink.

With the help of Mr. Elmer, I attached my bunnies to a blank canvas.

I spaced them out "evenly", or as "evenly" as I could eye ball. 'Cause that is how I roll.

I also cut out some 1/2" strips.

I glued them to a piece of cardstock paper.

On the back of the cardstock I drew an Easter egg shape.

Then I cut it out. I flipped it over and it gave me a lovely stripped egg.

I put it in a handy dandy frame from Ikea.

I had some leftover scraps of the strips, so I started punching out circles from the scraps and from another piece of pink paper.

I sewed them all together to make a little banner.

Now I have a little spot befitting a little Spring festiveness.

I have another project using this paper that I am excited to show you next week sometime if I can get my act together between two birthday parties and Easter. A sweet and lovely girly project. The kind of project I don't often get to do in this house full of boys.

Thanks for reading!
Have a fabulous day.


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