Joyce's Graduation

This past Saturday morning we attended the graduation ceremony of this beautiful girl, my daughter in love, Joyce!

 Joyce Gail Baughman

Joyce Gail Baughman

The timing couldn't have been more perfect.  It was the day after my daughter Jessica's wedding which meant our extended family was in town and were able to be a part of Joyce's graduation and lei ceremony.

The giving and receiving of flower lei's is one of my most favorite traditions here in Hawaii.  I love flower leis, especially fragrant ones.  I remember seeing my first lei ceremony here and thinking how I would like to go back to school just so I could experience this beautiful tradition at graduation.  My husband, however, surprised me at my 40th birthday with a lei ceremony as I walked into a birthday party!  So I guess that saved us some money on school tuition had I gone back!  Haha!

We are very proud of Joyce and were all excited to be a part of her special day.  We didn't go in the actual ceremony but instead watched it online.  We were all together and cheered very loudly when her name was announced and she walked across the stage to receive her diploma.  

 Baughman Family celebrates with Joyce

Baughman Family celebrates with Joyce

We waited outside for her to arrive and when she did, the ceremony began.  Her family and friends gathered and began to adorn her with many celebratory leis and other things such as this cute frog floatation device that Brett and Jess signed for her.

 Congratulations Joyce

Congratulations Joyce

It was fun to watch as family and friends covered her with leis and to see how happy she was to celebrate this huge accomplishment.

 Joyce Gail Baughman

Joyce Gail Baughman

When putting a card together for Joyce I decided to scan her graduation announcement because I loved the photo on the front of it.  I then adhered her graduation photo to a folded card stock.  I added a thin strip of embossed gold foil and the word "congratulations" to the front of the card.

 Joyce's Graduation Card

Joyce's Graduation Card

I folded the card stock so that this card could be used as a stand up photo frame.  Here is how the card looked from the side.

 Joyce's Graduation Card

Joyce's Graduation Card

I popped up the inside sentiment with a dimensional so that the folded front of the card could latch behind it so this card could proudly display this stunning photo of our beautiful graduate Joyce!

 Joyce's Graduation Card

Joyce's Graduation Card

We are all so thankful to celebrate Joyce on this very special occasion.  We know God has great things in store for her life and we are excited to see His plan and purpose revealed as she continues to put her hope and trust in Him.

Congratulations Joyce Gail!  We wish you happiness and joy on your special day!

Taco Bout A Party!

When I asked my daughter what kind of bridal shower she would like to have, she said "How about a Mexican themed one".  This made me so happy because I love themed events and one of my most favorite parties I've ever thrown was my son's high school graduation fiesta.  I knew that there would be so many fun ideas we could put together to make this event special for Jess.

I co-hosted this event with Jessica's Auntie Cindy as well as Jessica's Maid of honor Carrie and her Matron of honor, Kayla.

Let me begin with the invitation.

 Fiesta Bridal Shower Invitation

Fiesta Bridal Shower Invitation

This card was created with Stampin' Up!'s Birthday Fiesta stamp set and coordinating framelits.  This set retired a couple years ago and sadly I no longer had it.  Thankfully, I was able to borrow it from my friend Mary who even had just enough of the Festive Birthday Designer Series Paper that coordinated with this suite for us to use too.

The front of this card featured a cactus because Jessica LOVES cactus.  Cactus are really "in" right now so we had no problem finding an abundance of cute items to incorporate into this themed celebration.

When the guests arrived at the door they were greeted by this beautiful sign that Kayla made.  Behind the sign was a life size photo of Brett (Jessica's finance) dressed as a Mariachi player, welcoming everyone with a smile.

 Fiesta Bridal Shower Welcome Sign - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Fiesta Bridal Shower Welcome Sign - www.stampedwithaloha.com

We hung white paper picado flags everywhere!  In and out of the house and in multiple rooms.  They were so delicate and beautiful and really added a nice touch to the decor.  

One of the first elements waiting for our guests was this game.  Pin the mustache on the groom where a photoshopped picture of Brett wearing a sombrero hung next to a bowl full of paper mustaches that I had made with a Stampin' Up! retired mustache framelit.

 Bridal Fiesta Game - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Bridal Fiesta Game - www.stampedwithaloha.com

We let the bride play first!  As you can see, it was not as easy as it looks when you are blindfolded..

 Pin the mustache on the groom game - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Pin the mustache on the groom game - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The center of the room featured a large Taco card box made from a piñata.  As well as some over-the- top, fabulous pinata cookies that my very talented friend Cindy made.  I'll tell you a little bit more about the cookies in a little bit.  Believe me, its worth the wait!

Next to the piñata cookies was this beautiful plant that my friend Teri gave to me when I was at her house the week prior.  Her yard was FULL of these beautiful Aloe plants and she helped me to pick just the right one for our party decor.  

 Fiesta Bridal Shower - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Fiesta Bridal Shower - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Many of the tables had these three cactus containers that we had found at Target.  We used this for decor as well as door prizes.  

 Jessica's Bridal Fiesta Decor and Prizes - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Jessica's Bridal Fiesta Decor and Prizes - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This table also featured a photo of the Bride and Groom to be from their engagement photo shoot.

Over the dining area we hung a fun sign made out of balloons and below the sign another life size cut out of the groom holding maracas.

 Bridal Fiesta Balloons - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Bridal Fiesta Balloons - www.stampedwithaloha.com

We had a taco bar, carnitas, beans, rice, mexican street corn salad and a below is a photo of our salsa bar for all to enjoy.

 Salsa Bar - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Salsa Bar - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The salsa bar had two different types of salsa made by my friend Linda who sells her salsa at many different grocery stores and specialty shops here in Hawaii.  The brand name is Island Salsa.   We had Mild Salsa and Mango Salsa.  I also made one of the largest batches of home made guacamole I have ever made.

When you stepped outside the house we had a large tent that was adorned with more paper flags and small pinatas.

 Bridal Fiesta Flags - www.stampdwithaloha.com

Bridal Fiesta Flags - www.stampdwithaloha.com

The outdoor dining area also had clusters of cactus.  There were ceramic ones as well as actual live cactus plants.  There were also a couple of tiny pinatas used as centerpieces here as well.   

 Fiesta Bridal Shower - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Fiesta Bridal Shower - www.stampedwithaloha.com

There was another game set up in the family room.   It was a guess how many "heart" tamales game.  Whichever guest made the closest guess would take home this jar of  heart shaped hot tamale candies in a cute jar.

 Heart Tamale game - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Heart Tamale game - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The kitchen table had a display of desserts.  In addition to the Tres Leches cake I made, I ordered cupcakes from my friend Corren of Charneys Cupcakes.  Corren made Mexican Chocolate cupcakes with Horchata frosting.  We also served vanilla ice cream cups with Dulce De Leche on top!  Yum!

In between my Pampered Chef three tiered stands I added two small inflatable cactus that were stuck together and had photos of Brett and Jess on them.  I added a heart that said, "Stuck On You".

 Charney's Cupcakes - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Charney's Cupcakes - www.stampedwithaloha.com

 I topped each cupcake with a double sided stamped image cupcake topper I made with the Birthday Fiesta stamp set.  I added a rhinestone to the center of each flower.

 Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Horchata Frosting

Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Horchata Frosting

In this photo you can see that the cupcakes were sprinkled with a tiny bit of cinnamon, the perfect finishing touch!

When our guests stepped into my stamp studio they saw hundreds of paper flowers all displayed in large cans.  There was a sign that read, Jessica's Flower Mercado hanging above this paper garden as well as more paper picado flags.  

This garden was special because many people helped to make these colorful flowers.  Even my friend Lynsay and her daughter Emily who came to visit over spring break made several.  Putting all of the special touches of this party together was definitely a labor of love!

 Bridal Fiesta Flower Garden - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Bridal Fiesta Flower Garden - www.stampedwithaloha.com

In this same room we also had a photo booth set up.  The large inflatables were things we already had and use in our pool.  In fact Brett gave Jess the cactus one for Christmas this past year.  

On the table we had props and a sign that read, "Grab a Prop and say, Queso".

 Bridal Fiesta Photo Booth - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Bridal Fiesta Photo Booth - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I had an instamax camera out for people to use and many people took photos with their own cameras.  It was fun to capture such colorful and fun moments.

 Brida Fiesta Photo Booth Fun - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Brida Fiesta Photo Booth Fun - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Of course many of the guests, including Jessica's Aunties wanted to take photos with the bride to be!

 Carrie and Jessica

Carrie and Jessica

I love this photo of Jessica and her Maid of Honor Carrie.  Carrie and her mom Julie flew all the way from Oregon to be a part of this special day for Jessica.   Carrie's family is like a second family to Jess!  They took such great care of her while she was away at college! It was such a blessing to have them visit at this special time.

At the photo booth, I had a display of cards I made with the Birthday Fiesta products.  I had little clips on each card so people could clip their photo to a card after they took them so they'd have a little momento from the party to take home.

 Bridal Fiesta Photo Favors - www.stampediwthaloha.com

Bridal Fiesta Photo Favors - www.stampediwthaloha.com

When the photos were added to the cards, this is how they looked.

 Bridal Fiesta Fun - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Bridal Fiesta Fun - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Everyone's photos came out so cute!

 Bridal Fiesta Photo Cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Bridal Fiesta Photo Cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Oh my goodness... do you see that cookie?  Wait until I tell you more about it.  I promise you'll be amazed.  So keep reading!!!  

One of my favorite things at this party was the way we served drinks.  We made a virgin margarita punch and served it in a cactus mason jar.  This was another momento we had for our guest to take home.

 Cactus Cups - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Cactus Cups - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The punch had margarita mix, limeade, lemon lime soda, lime slices and lots of ice.  It was very cool and refreshing.

One thing I'm not sure everyone at the party even noticed was the hot sauce bottle.  We made a custom label with the grooms photo on it.   The front label read, "Brettatio, Salsa Finance", Hot Stuff.  

 Customized  Hot Sauce Bottle - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Customized  Hot Sauce Bottle - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The label had all kinds of fun information about the groom written on all sides.  

 Custom Hot Sauce Label - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Custom Hot Sauce Label - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Although the bride didn't know any of the party details, I did ask for her help with this project since she is such a wiz at photo shop!

We played some games, gave out prizes and then as everyone left we handed them one of these cookies my friend Cindy of Zoe Hawaii made.  So with the couple of "sneak peeks" I gave you above, you may have thought that it was a super cute cookie, so colorful and festive.  But did you realize that it was a "shaker" cookie?

 Piñata Cookies - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Piñata Cookies - www.stampedwithaloha.com

When you picked this cookie up, you could gently shake it and hear that something was inside.

 Pinion Cookies by Zoe Hawaii

Pinion Cookies by Zoe Hawaii

Can you see that this cookie is actually made up of 4 cookies and carefully constructed so that only the outer layers have extended ears?

Of course every piñata has to be filled with colorful candies so this piñata did not disappoint!  Here is what is looks like when you crack it open, that is if you had the heart to break this amazing cookie!

 Piñata Cookies by Zoe, Hawaii - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Piñata Cookies by Zoe, Hawaii - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Not only did it look incredible but it tasted amazing as all of Cindy's cookies do!  

We are all so grateful to Aunty Cindy for the amount of time and effort it took to create these incredibly creative and beautiful cookies.  I think of all the cookies and sweet treats Cindy has made, this cookie will go down as one of my favorites of all time!   Passing these out to our guests was such a sweet way to create a perfect ending to such a fun and festive fiesta bridal shower.

Jessica was so happy with everything we put together for her.  She couldn't stop smiling!   I'm glad we kept all of these details a surprise.  Even on the day of the shower, Brett led her out of the house blindfolded so she wouldn't see what we were up to.

 Hiding the bride!

Hiding the bride!

I am glad Jessica felt so loved and so blessed on her special day!  She is so beautiful inside and out and truly an inspiration to me.  As a Mother, you hope to teach your children valuable life lessons but I feel like I have learned so much from her by the way she loves God and loves others so sacrificially!

 Jessica's Bridal Fiesta

Jessica's Bridal Fiesta

I had a few extra supplies after the party, so I used them to create thank you cards out of our Stampin' Up! note cards.  For this card below, I took one of the extra cupcake toppers and adhered it to the top of one of the extra photo cards.

 Bridal Fiesta Thank You Cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Bridal Fiesta Thank You Cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I then used my Labeler Alphabet stamp set to stamp the word "gracias" and I adhered it under the word "Fiesta" to make a quick and simple thank you card for Jess to send out.

 Jessica's Briday Fiesta - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Jessica's Briday Fiesta - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I am so grateful for everyone who worked so hard to make this day so special for Jess.  It was truly a blessed and memorable event.

We all had such a great time and we made many lasting memories of this very special time for our family. 

I hope you enjoyed hearing about this very festive and fun Fiesta Bridal Shower.  Oh, and Happy Cinco De Mayo today!  Probably the best day I could have picked to share all this Fiesta Fun with you!

Until next time!  Adios!

Cindy

World's Best Brother

I am the youngest child in my family and the only girl.  I have two older brothers who both live far away.  My brother Gordon lives in Michigan and my brother Glen lives in New York City.   If you ask my Mom who is her favorite of the three of us she will probably say she loves us all the same.   However, we all know that Mom has a favorite!  It is the "golden" middle child, Gordon.  

This past weekend it was my brother Glen's birthday.   Since Glen lives in New York City, I rarely get to spend time with him.  

 Cindy and Glen in NYC - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Cindy and Glen in NYC - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Whenever I do I can count on one thing.....I will laugh until I cry.

 Fun with Glen - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Fun with Glen - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Glen is hysterical, the life of the party and so much fun to be around.   Glen has an infectious laugh.  Even though the photo about is blurry it is one of my favorites!  It just shows that the person taking the picture was probably laughing too because of something Glen said.

So my goal for his birthday card was to send him something that would make him laugh!  I thought about our "Mom's Favorite" sibling situation and decided to make him a card using the World's Best Trophy stamp set.

This stamp set is great because you can combine many different stamps to create personalized trophies to celebrate the ones you love.  Here is the personalized creation I made for Glen.

 World's Best Brother Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

World's Best Brother Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This card uses Designer Paper from our True Gentleman Suite.  I personalized this card by stamping the word "brother" under the stamp that said, "World's Greatest".  I added a gold foil paper border to give this card a shiny look that would resemble a golden trophy.

If you look closely at the background design on the top it was made by stamping Night of Navy ink on Night of Navy card stock.  Here is a close up of the stamps I used.

Over and over again, I stamped the words, "you're number one".  

Well, I can just see it now.  My brother Glen, holding this card, seeing the trophy and reading the words "world's greatest brother".  I bet he smiled and said out loud, "Awwwwwwwww".

Then when he opened up the card, this is what he saw......

 Gordon, the Golden Child - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Gordon, the Golden Child - www.stampedwithaloha.com

A picture of Gordon, the Golden Child, with a "popped up" sentiment that declares something we all are well aware of.  He is the favorite child.

I signed Glen's' card, "Happy Birthday, from someone who knows what it is like to not be Mom's favorite!!!"

Glen contacted me after he received this card and told me how funny he thought it was.  I know when Gordon see's it he will say that this is the most accurate card I have ever created.  He will probably request I make this same card for him when its his birthday!

Favorite or not, I am blessed to come from such a loving family and I am thankful we can have fun with each other like this!!  I am also thankful to to have such wonderful Stampin' Up! products to work with that allow me to make personalized creations to bless the lives of those I love.

With Heartfelt Sympathy

Today's post is dedicated to the memory of my sweet friend and stampin' sister Sarina.  On Friday, April 6th she unexpectedly passed away after suffering complications from a stroke.

Sarina was a full time care giver for her mom, Rosita.  Both of these lovely ladies came into my life a couple of years ago and have been such a blessing not only to me but to the other guests at my classes and events.

 Rosita and Sarina

Rosita and Sarina

Sarina had such a giving heart, she was always thinking of ways to bless others.  In this photo above she and her mom are passing out little post it note holders that they had made for everyone who came to class that day.

 Sarina and Rosita

Sarina and Rosita

Here they are again during a Christmas event.  I remember them waiting outside and then making a surprise grand entrance as Santa and Mrs. Claus!  Everyone was so surprised and delighted.  

In this photo they are also holding a gift they had made for me.  It was small Christmas tree made with a coat hanger, tinsel and it even had working Christmas lights on it.   

After stamping with me for a little while, Sarina decided to become a demonstrator.  Sarina joined Stampin' Up! and my team Stamped With Aloha and our group was never the same!  Whether it be at classes, Inspiration Night or other stamping events Sarina had a way of making everyone laugh.  

 Sarina and Terry

Sarina and Terry

Her smile was infectious and her positive attitude so strong.  Sarina was so encouraging to all of us.  Whether it be about life of stamping she knew just what to say to make us feel affirmed and inspired.  

One of my favorite photos of her is this one with a group of my downline whom she was especially close to.

 Roxy, Sarina, Lori and Charlene at Inspiration Night

Roxy, Sarina, Lori and Charlene at Inspiration Night

I'm pretty certain its because of something funny she said that all of these lovely ladies have such bright smiles.

 Charlene and Sarina

Charlene and Sarina

Although I only had the blessing of knowing her for a couple of years she made an impact on my life from day one.

 Rosita and Sarina

Rosita and Sarina

Both she and her Mom Rosita have taught me about strength, perseverance, selflessness and love.  

Next month we will celebrate her life.  I worked on a card I will give to her Mom at the memorial service.  As I created this card I thought of Sarina.  

 Heartfelt Sympathy Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Heartfelt Sympathy Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The base of the card is Old Olive because green was her favorite color.  The roses on the card are yellow to represent the blessing of friendship we shared.  The words come from the set Heartfelt Sympathy.  The words beautifully express what I want to communicate to Rosita during this very difficult time.  Sarina truly was someone so special.

 Sarina and Charlene

Sarina and Charlene

In this photo Sarina is wearing one of our Stamped With Aloha shirts.  The back says, "stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside".  Sarina represented that motto so well.

Sarina knew I loved pineapples so she was often suprising me with pineapple things she would make or find.  One of her last gifts to me was this pineapple air plant.  I remember how joyful she was when she gave it to me in February.  It was something she had seen on pinterest and took the time to create as a gift for me.

 Pineapple Pine Cone from Sarina

Pineapple Pine Cone from Sarina

What a creative and thoughtful gift from my beautiful sister and friend.  

I am truly thankful for the honor and blessing of knowing someone so special.  

Sarina was taken from us very unexpectedly and it reminds me that we never know when that time will come for us or our loved ones.  

Is there someone in your life that you are thankful for, have you told them that recently?  How about someone you love.  Do they know how much you love them??  How I wish I had one more opportunity to tell Sarina how much she meant to me. 

 We can all learn from the life of Sarina to be strong, giving, caring, encouraging and inspiring with each day we are blessed to live on this earth.

Rest in Peace my sweet friend Sarina, you are loved and will be dearly missed.