Sara's Beautiful (& Inexpensive) Baby Shower!

I had the honor of hosting a baby shower for my sassy friend, Sara, this past weekend. Sara loves all things quirky & whimsical (see here & here), so I wanted throw her a party that was uniquely her.

For the months leading up to it, I scoured the secondhand stores for brightly colored knick-knacks & vintage pretties. Seeing it all come together at the end was just as exciting for me as it was for Sara—and she loved it!!

On the menu, I bought a bulk jar of Caramel Cashew mix ($10) from Target and separated them into these little nut cups ($3) from Hobby Lobby. This worked out great for the guests in that all the little pieces weren't sliding around their dessert plates.

The little girl in the background is one half of a set of vintage bookends I scored from Goodwill ($4), which I included as one of my gifts for the mama-to-be. This actually worked out perfect since books for baby girl's library were requested in lieu of cards.

My pink lemonade cupcakes didn't look as amazing as I hoped, but the mini flags ($2) from Hobby Lobby most certainly redeemed them.

And would you believe I scored that lovely 3-tiered serving tray for $3 at a thrift store? If you know me, I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise;)

Some of the additional mini flags I used as labels for my cheese tray. I took the easy route and purchased a pre-cut selection ($4) from Aldi's. We've been doing a lot more grocery shopping there and have been pleasantly surprised by the savings we've made as a result of it.

The table runner is actually a piece of vintage scrap fabric I found for less than $1. I am so looking forward to what Sara crafts out of it someday!

Mama Sara by the entire spread. We also snacked on crackers, bing cherries, blueberries, cantaloupe, and fresh cut pineapple. The flowers in the thrifted milk glass vases were picked from a Trader Joe's summer bouquet ($4). The pink pom pom banner was from a kit I also purchased at Hobby Lobby ($5). It took a little while to assemble, but the finished product looked so pretty and I'll be using it again this week for Ruby's 3rd Birthday (!).

I didn't get a great pic of our drink station, but the ladies sipped on strawberry/ rosemary/ lemonade mocktails through pink striped paper straws ($3). We also played the same corny shower games that were featured at my sister-in-law Nicole's baby shower.

Overall, I thought the party was a success! Sara received lots of wonderful things for "Lil B" & I got the impression that everyone was having a nice time (if not, they did a great job faking it).

Throwing a baby shower can feel like a bit of an overwhelming task when you factor in the details & cost of every little thing (especially as a one income family), so I wanted to share how easy & inexpensive it was to put together something thoughtful & pretty.

Also, you may have noticed that the interior of our home got a face-lift since the last time you checked in (Hello, gray walls!). I'm planning on a living room/ dining room remodel post, that is, if I can keep it clean long enough to photograph it! Someday...


And the Winner is...

Congratulations to CARA COBBLE TRANTHAM on winning the Kaliko necklace from Vi Bella! To claim your prize, please email the address you would like the necklace sent to: sozealous[at]gmail.com

Thanks to everyone who entered and for helping spread the word about this beautiful organization!

[Image via lovedreamswishes.]


Storytime at J.Crew!

Now that summer is in full swing, we are developing a regular rotation of kids activities that we switch up throughout the week (dependent on the weather, of course). It's always fun to try something new though, so we attended a special storytime this week at one of our favorite stores, J.Crew!

Local children's author, Billy Dohrmann, was in attendance to read from his book, Boxes for Billy. There were balloons, juice boxes, and delicious cookies from Brookie's Bakery. How amazing is that frosting job on those treats?!

Clearly, my kids don't want to miss out on anything. They were pretty much the only ones getting all up in Billy's space during the reading!

Ruby, Sterling, & I would like to thank our friends at J.Crew for inviting us to this Crewcuts event. It was a real treat:) Be sure to bug the lovely ladies at Jordan Creek to host another one of these storytimes in the future!


soZealous for Vi Bella Giveaway!!

Happy Giveaway Day!! I know I've been hyping this up all week, but I'm pretty excited about it! As I mentioned before, the lovely folks from Vi Bella Jewelry provided some beautiful, hand-crafted baubles for me to style in a blog post. With our Black Hills vacation set and cluster of gorgeous ladies at my disposal, I knew the wooded landscapes would provide the perfect backdrop for our shoot.

Vi Bella Jewelry is an organization that seeks to transform the lives at at-risk women in Haiti & Mexico by providing sustainable jobs and share the love of Christ with them. Each piece is assembled by a special woman who otherwise might not be able to earn an income in a safe environment to provide for her & her family. Vi Bella is also making a positive impact on the environment by having their artisans use discarded plastic and glass bottles, metal bottle caps, old paper and even oil drums to craft unique handmade pieces.

I am SO inspired by the work that Vi Bella is doing and am honored to share their products & mission with my readers:) You can read the full Vi Bella story here.

Penelope necklace & earring set. 

Korie Bracelet

Vi Bella even has a line for little girls! Here Ruby is wearing the Emery necklace & bracelet.

Kristen, my sister, is wearing the necklace, earrings, & bracelet from the Jennifer Lee collection. 

Kira, my soon to be sister-in-law, is wearing the Olive necklace and Jovie earrings. The Olive necklace, one of Vi Bella's signature recycled pieces, is constructed from old newspaper. 

Mary, my beautiful 89 years young Grandmother, is wearing the Mayla necklace & bracelet. The Mayla necklace is also constructed from recycled newspaper.

My sister, Amy, is wearing the necklace, earrings, & bracelet from the Willow collection. 

Kaliko necklace & earring set.  

You ready for it?? I'm giving away this beautiful Kaliko necklace to one lucky reader! And each person has up to 3 chances to win. To enter, you can do one (or all) of the following:

1) Leave a me a blog comment stating what your favorite piece of jewelry from the Vi Bella website is.

2) Tweet about this giveaway using the hashtag #soZealousforViBella

3) Instagram about this giveaway using the hashtag #soZealousforViBella

Contest ends Wednesday, June 25th, at midnight. Winner will be announced here on Friday, June 27th.

Thanks again to Vi Bella and may the odds be ever in your favor:)

**This is a sponsored post brought to you by Vi Bella. The opinions are completely my own based on my own experience. 


High Country Rollers Pt.4

Dinosaur Park, Rapid City, SD. Our last stop before rolling out of the Black Hills. I get a little sentimental looking at these photos. The months leading up to the trip were hard. So. Very. Hard. And in a blink, it was over. I had never needed a vacation more in my life and I have never been so sad to see one come to an end. I'm still a little bummed to be back home.

The Dinosaur Park might not have been so special on an average day. The sculptures (only 7 of them) were quirky and imperfect. They were constructed in the 1930's as part of the Works Progress Administration, a New Deal initiative to employ unskilled Americans with public works projects. I thought about the people being filled with a new sense of hope as they were hired on to construct these concrete monsters. And I guess it just kind of hit me. [Sidenote: I've been listening to The National while editing these photos, so I've had a perpetual lump in the back of my throat].

If you do ever visit the Dinosaur Park, and you should, be sure to stop in the gift shop. The employees were very kind and their concession food was super cheap.

Ok, one last stop, for real this time. Badlands National Park. This place is like a Tatooine landscape. A complete heart attack for parents with little ones. If you aren't stressed enough about ensuring your toddler doesn't tumble down a crevice, then there's rattlesnakes to be thwarted. But it sure is beautiful.

The last time I was in the Black Hills, I remember thinking how totally uncool it was. There is one particular photo I can think of where I'm not even smiling. My family didn't go on exotic vacations since there were four kids and our mom stayed at home. Returning to this land as a parent has brought a lot of perspective. I guess you could say it was a full circle trip for me. Redemptive, almost.

This has been one of my favorite vacations, probably ever. And I've been a lot of places. Everyone I loved was together and everything felt ok for a few days. Sorry so emo. Blame it on The National.

But it was good (heart emoticon).

Hopefully you enjoyed riding along through these blog posts or on our official Instagram hashtag (#highcountryrollers - check it). Don't forget to be back here TOMORROW for a very special giveaway with Vi Bella—you're not going to want to miss it!!


High Country Rollers Pt.3

Deadwood Day! This might actually have been the highlight of my trip, mainly because the kids had such a blast. Which only proves that I am a Mom. But seriously, SUCH a blast. I learned that cowboys are way cooler than wild bears being inches from your car, according to the wee ones.

We headed into town for the Main Street Shootout, an 8 minute show that was slightly underwhelming and incredibly loud. At least Ruby's ears were covered for the gun battle...(what?).

Here I am wearing the stylish Kaliko necklace & earrings from Vi Bella. You like? Well, maybe you'll get an opportunity to win one of those pieces. Like, maybe this Friday (wink, wink).

Sometimes you think you know your kid & other times they totally surprise you. Ruby is an affable girl, however, I wasn't expecting her to have a dance-off with this Calamity Jane character. It was pretty awesome. Her gumption scored the littles in our crew some rather nice "Deadwood Deputy" badges.

I never thought I'd purchase a toy gun for my daughter. But it was hard to say no when she pointed out a pink one and said, "It's just my color!" Oh, Ruby girl. We were all feeling that Wild, Wild, Midwest spirit.

Thanks for the good times, Deadwood! I didn't get a chance to indulge in your penny slots, but I guess you've got to leave something to come back for...
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