Happy Birfday Ryan

That's how he used to say birthday - "birfday".
Sigh. I miss those days when it was so cute when they would mispronounce words.

My little guy, my middle child, has turned seven.
They say that mom's don't have a favorite child, but we all know they do. And Ryan is mine.
I knew that night you came into my life seven years ago, and watching you sleep under the jaundice lights, that you were something special.

And I was right.

Happy Birfday Ryan!


Face Painting for C.H.O.C.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to do face painting for C.H.O.C.'S (Children's Hospital of Orange County) Holiday Party for their neuro patients and families.

I wasn't sure if my friend Regina would show up since she is in chemo treatment, but sure enough - the trooper that she is, was there! I was so excited to look up from painting someones face to see her mom and Regina standing there in line!

For those of you who read my blog may recall of Regina's Princess Tea Party that I did for her this past summer.

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Regina is so girly-girl, as she wanted purple snowflakes!

So here is my Purple Winter Princess:

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Here she is with mom and her brother:

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To view the rest of the darling faces from this event on my gallery, Click Here.


A ParTea Photo Shoot!

I don't know where to begin. What a whirlwind it has been the past two - no few - weeks.

There was Thanksgiving. Then my son's 9th birthday party last Friday which was supposed to be a "camping" theme and I had a real camp site reserved and everything. But then the forecast predicted rain so I had to change everything within a couple days. So we ended up having pizza at a Round Table then took them all to see Fred Clause at the theater across the street. And it did rain, so I'm glad we were able to make Plan B happen. But I have never had to deal with 14 nine year old boys all at once. WHEW! I was exhausted. Even though I'm a professional party planner I like to do planning and design. You know. Fluff. NOT be an activities director....

And then yesterday was it. The photo shoot for Tea Time Magazine. I can't really divulge any details, and honestly and am too pooped from it all and am recovering. But I must give some credit, some cyber hugs and show my peeps how grateful and sincere I am for pulling it all off (in about a week's notice).

First off, I'd like to thank....hey wait a minute. This feels like I should be holding a golden teapot or something, like I won an Oscar.

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Ok, I'm serious now. I really appreciate Mari Robeson from Mari Robeson Home for creating a beautiful, perfect, and ever-so-darling custom hand painted banner. We became acquaintances from blogging, and she had offered to make one for me a while back just out of the generosity of her big heart. When I found out about the photo shoot I thought it would be such a unique idea to have one in our set-up. So when I found out we had a quick deadline, I emailed her if she could do it. Poor thing stayed up really uber late to get it done and shipped to me in time! I was so excited to see it delivered on my porch! And when I opened it, I was so inspired by her color choices that I ended up adding a color to my table scape (which Amanda -see below- told me to have in the first place, but I balked). Which meant the NIGHT BEFORE the photo shoot I was high-tailing it up to Joann's to buy fabric to make a runner and get that color ribbon. Crazy. So thank you Mari, from the bottom of my tea lovin' heart for making such a work of art for me!

I have to thank my friend and florist, Amanda of Fantasy Floral Designs. She put up with all my annoying calls for wanting her input. She's the ying to my yang. She likes to do things a little *off* - a little askew, where I am so matchy-matchy and *safe*. So we meet in the middle and have created some very cool events. Thanks Amanda for creating gorgeous florals and adding your fab midas touch to the shoot!

She said she would forward the link by tonight, so I am anxiously awaiting to view the photos taken by my friend and professional photographer, Stephanie Warner. We spoke earlier today, and she said some of the shots were just *insert heavenly choir sound* awwwwwwwhhhhh! So thank you Steph for providing your professional services, for helping with unloading the mountain of stuff out of the van and for helping me feel at ease during the actual shoot. Your encouraging words "lemmee see that sparkle in your eyes" while shooting was comforting (especially during such an out-of-body experience). I can't WAIT to see the images!

Thank you to Dayna, she is the representative and coordinator at Occasions at Laguna Village where we did the shoot. Even though she injured her foot and had a foot brace on, she was still schlepping up and down the stairs bringing the food down. And then she helped out with some of the piddly stuff that needed to be done, when I felt pulled in a hundred directions and having her help out was such a relief. Thank you so much Dayna for your help and patience. I'm sorry we went over the time limit and you couldn't be in the shoot! sad face :(

I want to thank my mother and daughter "models" Kathy & Maggie (and baby Jake) for coming down and providing us with their beautiful smiles and sense of humor as we played pretend tea party. Because the setting-up and styling took a lot longer than anticipated, they had to wait around which is no small feat when you have a baby to attend to, on-site. But they were most gracious and since Kathy is originally from the South, she wouldn't of complained. At least not out loud.....wink. Thank you ladies for your time, and for rearranging your schedules at the last minute to make yourselves available for me!

There is no way, NO WAY I could have made it without Rebecca. Our friendship is kinda odd, because in a way she is my direct competition since she stared her own tea party business a few months ago. But we have gotten close and have such a camaraderie. In a heartbeat she offered to come down and help me out. Man, she was a work horse! And she was there when I was barking out requests for this and that. And because she is a perfectionist herself, she understood my pickiness and all. So I have no idea how I would have been able to get it all done had I not had her there helping out. Shudder to think. So thank you so much Becs for being there - physically, emotionally and encouraging me all the while.

Well, someone has to watch the rugrats while mommy is running around crazy doing a photo shoot. So a huge thanks to my mom and dad for staying with my kids and taking care of them while I fulfill a dream. A sorry to my children who only heard for the past 10 days "No, mom is busy, I can't". Thank you for understanding and letting me get things done. And lastly, to my dear hubby. For helping me find stuff. For moving stuff. For trying to be comforting when I broke the saucer and had the melt down. For accepting drive-thru food for dinner. A lot. And a thank you in advance for having to enter in all the receipts in Quicken and tying to make sense of all this business stuff from my self-diagnosed ADD.

So again thank you so much to everyone for bringing your talents and/or support to this project which means so me.

Here is a snippet, as I can't show any photos yet! The feature will be in the March/April issue (fingers crossed). Can't wait to hear what the editors decide to use!
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