Featured Posts

Skippyjon Jones Birthday Party

I am so excited to share todays Skippyjon Jones Birthday Party with you! We missed having a 3rd birthday for Asa (since my preggo belly was about to explode at any moment) so I started planning his 4th almost right away. After I got the pictures (from the lovely Courtney Miller), I knew I wanted to submit the party to Amy Atlas for a feature. (But first I had to get the guts to send it in!) So I finally did and now that she has featured it, I can post the details!

A few years ago, a good friend of mine (hi Gloriane!) told me about a sweet little book called, “Skippyjon Jones”. It’s a funny little story about a siamese cat that thinks he’s a Chihuahua. We knew Asa (the animal lover) would enjoy it so we bought him two of the adventures to get him started. For Christmas last year we added two more to the collection, and my mom completed it with the last two for his birthday.

I knew after we got Asa the first book, we were going to throw him a “Skippyjon Jones” birthday party. Since Mason’s birthday is two days later (and we had just gotten back from a cruise), we decided to combine their birthdays and have a massive fiesta! Coincidentally, around March I saw Brittany from Grey Grey Designs had the same inspiration I did! She threw a fabulous “Fouresta” birthday for her little boy who turned four. I guess great minds think alike! Thank you for the heads up on the fabulous party printables from Piggy Bank Parties Brittany!

If you haven’t read, “Skippyjon Jones” you need to go to your nearest bookstore or library right away! It is such a fun story. The first book in particular lends itself to a great party.  In the book Skippyjon gets sent to his room, bounces on his big boy bed, and flying past his mirror he sees his reflection and realizes he’s not a siamese cat, but a Chihuahua!

* Unless otherwise noted, all pictures are by Courtney Miller Photography.

I decided we needed to bring Skippyjon Jones to life and staged his room in our driveway. My husband temporarily installed a door to the backyard that acted as the closet. Guests were greeted with a real life version of Skippyjons room and entered his imagination through his closet door.

We used quotes from the book, as well as items found in the books to add details to the party.

Guests were greeted as they moved further into the imagination of Skippyjon with characters from the book. Shout out to my girl Jess for the drawings and dessert table backdrop!

After coming in, we had all kinds of fun for kids and adults alike! We had a fajita bar, Margaritas (adults only), beer for the dudes who wanted it, water and lemonade for the kids. We also had a small bouncey house set up for the kiddos and they invaded the swing set.

First, we had a fiesta!

Then we had a siesta.

We had the kids sit down and read them the story they were a part of. We handed out swords and masks at party gifts that they got to wear/use during the story.

Then it was time to face the great Bumblebeeto!

After defeating him and getting all the beans (candy and jelly beans that is)…

It was time for dessert.

We served Cactus Treats, Jelly Bean Cookies, Cupcakes, Sweet Like the Jello Cups, Mice Cream and Cake.

Oh the cake. It was divine. I have to share it with it’s own section because it was crazy cool. Back in January I saw an amazing cake created by the Meringue Bake Shop on Cupcakes and Cutlery called a “Whacky Cake” and KNEW that I wanted one for the boys birthday. Unfortunately, we don’t live in the OC and wouldn’t be able to have Kristin at the Meringue Bake Shop make one for us. So what do you do in a time of need? Call MY go to cake girl- Kim Garcia! She is crazy talented and figured out how to make the cake for us! Thanks girl! (If you need a cake in Albuquerque she’s great!)

There were two tiers set separately. One had a “4” for Asa, and one had a “1” for Mason (that was his 1 year smash cake). Kim made a cake pop to look like Skippyjons ride on mouse and also included a scene from the book on edible paper. The dinosaur coming out of the closet door is from another Skippyjon adventure and was put there to help appease Asa (he changed his mind a thousand times about what kind of party he wanted. Little did he know I had already decided 🙂

And now, for the Whacky Cake!

Filling the cake with jelly beans fit perfectly with the book. It was awesome.

Images by Parties and Potty Training

Mason getting his smash cake on!

Images by Parties and Potty Training

Well, I think that’s about it. Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the party! I know we did.

Vendor Credits:

Photography (unless otherwise noted): Courtney Miller Photography

Printables: Piggy Bank Parties

Cake: Kim Garcia

Inspiration: Skippyjon Jones

Awesome Backdrop and character art: Jessica Jonkman




A Little Bit of a Rant


Image Credit

Sometimes I think I should have been born on the East coast. Up until recently (within the last 3 or so years), I didn’t know what made my heart sing in terms of home decor. Don’t get me wrong, I could look through catalogs and home decor magazines and see a lot of inspiring pictures, but I wasn’t able to pinpoint what it was that I loved.

Enter in Pottery Barn and Pinterest. Pottery Barn has great stylists. Their catalogs are carefully crafted to make you want to buy an entire room- even if you don’t have the room for it. But they have this feel in the rooms that I just love. A classy, comfortable, stylish room that I can see myself cuddling up with a good book in. It feels relaxing. It feels like home.

With Pinterest coming onto the scene last year, it opened up an entirely new way of organizing home decor ideas. With that, I have finally gotten a better understanding of what home details I love and what home decor I want to bring in. I still love other styles, but the one that makes my heart sing time and time again are farmhouse chic/beach cottage/french colonial/craftsman homes. Sounds like a weird mix to some I am sure, but I love the details of a Craftsman home. I love lots of windows for light, blue/grays/greens/whites, a comfortable beachy feel and woods brought in throughout the house to make it feel warm.

Now what does this have to do with a rant you ask? New Mexico has virtually no Craftsman style homes (and the ones it does have are a pretty penny to be sure). It’s like a dark cloud settled over The Land of Enchantment and kept away front porches, decks, crown moulding, thick baseboards, window casing and wood floors. It’s depressing really. What happened to giving homes character? It seems like there are cookie cutter houses or ranch style homes. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bagging on anyones house. The most important thing is that YOU love it.) There are lovely homes in the 505 for sure, but just not what make my heart sing.

So we go back to my opening statement. I should have been born on the East coast. My understanding is that the houses I love abound east of the Mississippi. But since Greg let me know we will not be moving east (that we know of), we will have to bring the east to us! I’m looking forward to finding a house that will work for our family again but also one that will make our hearts sing (with a modern office space for Greg!).

What type of house/home decor makes your heart sing?

A little bit of news

I wrote this back in August and it’s already October! I can’t believe it! I’ve decided to post it anyway because it will be good to catch you guys up. I realized earlier this morning I really miss blogging so I’m going to try and get back in the habit.  Anyway, Hopefully I can catch up on the list of blog posts I have soon!

I love fall and have a ton of great family pictures to share soon! Anyway, enjoy the post you were supposed to read in August! 🙂 PS In case you didn’t hear, we are expecting Qualls 3.0 in May! Yay!

I can’t believe it is already August! It’s a little surreal.  It seems like just yesterday I was looking forward to summer so we could get away from the crazy cold January that felt like it lasted a year.

Did you know January is probably my least favorite month of the year? Yup. I pretty much loath it. Think about it. February is the shortest month of the year so even though it’s cold, you know it will be over soon. My anniversary and birthday are in March so that is always fun. April (though oftentimes windy) brings warmer weather and buds on the trees (and sometimes Easter if it’s not in March). May finishes school and kicks off the summer. June and July are packed with fun things to do. August is fun and school starts again. September brings the State Fair (I love me some Cowboy fries!) October has the Balloon Fiesta, McCall’s Pumpkin Patch and Halloween (ushering in the holiday season), November is like a short month (and sometimes still warm) with the four day weekend and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. December of course is full of merriness, holiday parties, holiday lights, and Christmas! Nothing like celebrating the birth of our Savior and eating good food! Then you get to January and it’s a downer. Cold, long, and boring. It’s the Debbie Downer of the year (though I will say I know some pretty awesome kiddos born in January so it does have a redeeming quality).

Is it bad that I want to slow time down so we can enjoy our family and friends more before I have to deal with January again?

Anyway, sorry I’ve been MIA. Like I said in the last post, we sold the house! Yup. It was awesome. Totally a God thing. We ended up renting (as I’ve told a few people, we know God told us to sell, He just didn’t promise a huge profit) so we can save up over the next year. Totally a blessing! Since we downsized (from almost 2000 sq ft to like 1450-1500) we had to have a MASSIVE garage sale. Organizing and unpacking that took up about half of July and the other half just seemed to fly by.

I know I keep promising new posts, and I even have one half finished, but I have just been swamped with trying to settle into a new house and figure out a new routine. Moving to a new side of town (even though I grew up on this side) has brought some challenges. Since I do about 90% of my shopping at Trader Joe’s (and there is not currently one on the Westside), I have had to work through a new shopping schedule. On the plus side, I discovered that the Farmer’s Market I shopped at on the Eastside has a Westside location!

The other reason I haven’t posted many new recipes is because I’m trying to learn how to use my camera. I have a program that I really want to use, but since we are saving, I have to wait until there is a little wiggle room in the budget. It’s all good though. You should have the recipes soon enough! (I’m excited though, I have a few I think you will REALLY like!)

Anyway, off to get ready for the day. Hope yours is blessed!

Another Cochlear Update

Last week I had an appointment with my “right ear” audiologist (I have one for my hearing aid ear and one for my bionic cochlear ear).

It went well.  Not as great as I had hoped, but the news was positive for someone that has failed to do their homework. (I’m supposed to practice listening with just my right ear, but in order to do that I have to completely block the noise out of my left ear. To do that I have to put an earplug in it then hold my ear flap down over it.  It’s painful after about 10 minutes.)

So I forget. Sort of.

I suck.

Anywho….back to the test results.  So my right ear audiologist, she likes to test me a little more then other people (or so she says). I don’t know if it’s because she likes me more, or because I’m difficult.  I’m going with the first since it’s nicer. 😉

The first half of our session was spent catching up and having her check my sound levels.  After she made a few adjustments, she took me back to the booth (that’s where the magic happens). She then proceeded to run a battery of tests on my ear.  First we tested without my hearing aid.  She placed an earphone in that ear and added static to mask out sound that might come in.  We then went through lists of words, sentences and word cards.  Sounds exhausting- I know. It is.

The results that we got on those were pretty much where I was in March. Epic Fail (on my part- I really need to do my homework!)

The last test we did involved my hearing aid and the cochlear. She played a cd and I had to repeat the words that I heard back.

When I did this test before the implant, I scored something like 28% word understanding.  After getting activated and wearing the implant for a month, I think my score was around 44%. After my testing in March it jumped to like 62%.

Well my friends, after my last testing in June, I scored 84 whopping %! That’s right folks! I heard and repeated back CORRECTLY 84% of the WORDS (not sentence’s). Who needs homework now! (Just kidding, I know I do). But considering where we were a mere six months ago, I’m pretty stoked with the progress! My audiologist seemed pretty pleased too.  She said that it shows my ears are really starting to work together.

I still have a long road ahead and would cherish your prayers and accountability encouragement with my homework. Jesus has definitely been working a miracle!

In other news, my hair is growing out…It’s just a little weird…


Crazy Whirlwind Month

May flew by.

I mean FLEW.

Asa finished preschool, we packed and prepared for our Disney Cruise, went on said cruise, came home (after the LONGEST day at the airport EV-ER),  had the boys 1st and 4th birthday party, and then sold our house.



So I know I have been promising the rest of the house picks, some more showers and some more recipes, but I kindly ask for your patience.  I’m still working out my summer routine and throwing in packing and moving to the mix is just a little nutso.

What I can say:

1. Alaska is beautiful and the cruise was fun. It was a little different then I expected, but it was fun to get to see family and Asa LOVED it (pictures, details, and tips will all be forthcoming).

2. The boys birthday party was a “smashing” success.  I can’t wait to share it with you! I’m just waiting for pictures).


3. Our house sold!



Our cruise began a little stressful because we got an offer right before we left. Having that in the air coupled with VERY expensive and spotty internet access was brutal to say the least. We ended up not working out a deal with the couple, but another person made an offer last Tuesday, we countered and he accepted! Now we are just praying for the inspection and appraisal to work out. Would you join us in prayer?

Hope you enjoyed the quick update on what has been happening with us.  Tomorrow I have another Cochlear appointment so I will hopefully have more news on that front as well!

Featured on Knock Off Decor!

Hey guys! I promise I will be back to posting semi-regularly soon.  There is so much happening that I am so excited to tell you about, but I just have been tied up.  To help tide you over though, here is some exciting news! Becky from Knock off Decor has featured Mason’s room!  Yay! How cool is that.  You can see her post here.  Don’t forget to follow her in your reader, there are constantly awesome ideas from all over the web!