Category Archives: Fun With Friends

A Baby Shower

I had my baby shower a couple of weekends ago. It was hosted by the BFF, she really went all out for this one. She turned her home into an Alice In Wonderland inspired vintage tea party. Every detail was well thought out and executed perfectly. I can’t say enough about the ladies in attendance and the generosity of their gifts and wise wisdom. shower_01 shower_02 shower_03 shower_04

Seriously, how gorgeous is the tablescape? I just loved the napkin bows, flowers, vintage clocks & doilies on the table. There were about 10-12 different types of tea to choose from and warm scones served before lunch.

For lunch we had 3 different types of salad, and 4 different types of tea sandwiches. The desert bar was complete with chocolate covered strawberries, dipped marshmallows, & cupcakes.

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One of my favorite activities from the shower was the “make a onesie or bib” station. Everyone who painted an item for me was very creative. I can’t wait to share with you how great they all came out.

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Here are just a few more detail shots from the party! I just loved the gold painted mason jars used for the flower vases and the quotes from Alice In Wonderland around the room.

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As a parting gift, all the ladies were given a shade of pink nail polish.

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Here is a picture of me sporting the pearls that I lost during the first minute of being at the shower for saying the word “baby”. I always lose that game, this time I just couldn’t help it, obviously! Most everyone came with their tea hats too! I borrowed mine from Miss Terrie who pretty much has everything you would ever need in life! A lot of the decorations came from her home. On the right is a copy of the invitation that I made for the shower. I honed in on my previous graphic design skills and created these custom invitations.

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Thanks again to Kelly B. for hosting! It was definitely a day to remember. I just enjoyed every minute with my friends and family who came. We are so thankful to all of you and can’t wait for baby girl to arrive soon!

*Kelly

My 2012 Library Review

Well, I finally accomplished one New Year’s Resolution! I set a goal in 2012 to read 35 books throughout the year. I actually read 36, not including the quick children’s story books, when I was nannying for Weston.

I am currently involved in 2 book clubs. One of the groups meets in person, once a month at a member’s home to review the book selection and enjoy some home made food and girly chit-chat. The other club is an open forum style book club on Facebook. The members vote on a primary and secondary book once a month and it’s your choice to read one or the other or both.

I have really enjoyed both book clubs and have bulked up my Goodreads.com reading shelf with a ton of books that I am looking forward to reading eventually. Here is what I read in 2012.

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Most of the books were read for book club, although I did branch out and read a few pregnancy books and I read Charlotte’s Web to the baby each night for a few months. All of the books were enjoyable, some more than others. Some were pure guilty pleasures or fast reads. Some I had read before but loved reading again.

The top 5 books that I read this year were:

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

3. Mentor: The Kid & The CEO by Tom Pace

4. Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

5. A Discovery of Witches by Debroah Harkness

My goal for 2013 is to read 25 books. I had to step it down a notch because I’m not sure I can keep up the reading of novels with a newborn baby in the home. We shall see how this all pans out. Wish me luck!

What are your 2013 reading goals?

*Kelly

31 Weeks Pregnant

This pregnancy is flying by…,

I can’t believe it is already 2013! This year will bring many exciting adventures to the Team Caspardo household. We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our little bundle of joy, due to arrive in 9 more weeks. Domenic and I are so excited to finally meet her and we just can’t wait to have her in our lives.

At 31 weeks pregnant I can assure you that even though I feel great most of the day, I still have some minor pregnancy symptoms. Mostly, overeating of sweets (tis the season). I guess the holidays are a great time to be pregnant. All in all I have had a fairly normal pregnancy with some minor aches and pains, nothing too serious. A few weeks back I had my gallbladder checked out due to some pain that I was having on my right ribcage. Apparently everything looked great on the ultrasound and I have no infection or stones on my gallbladder. The pain has minimized and I am still going to the gym regularly. Sleeping through the night is a luxury now and I can’t even remember what that feels like. I wake up a million times a night with my arm or hip going numb. Then there is the 2 times a night bathroom break. I guess I’m gearing up for all of the late night feedings and crying. Thank God for naps!!!

This past week we went with some friends up to San Francisco for a quick visit. Below is a picture of my gal pal Amanda and me. We are both expecting baby girls, due the same weekend. I think I’m looking quite a bit bigger around then she is…

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We had a fun few days in the city and visited some new places. We strolled through Golden Gate Park one morning. The weather was chilly but the sun was shining bright! We ate at a charming cafe on Haight Street near Ashbury called Squat and Gobble. Later in the day we made it to Ocean Beach and walked around the bluffs to snap this picture. After our “hike”, the two pregnant gals needed a recharge so we headed to Mitchell’s Ice Cream Parlor for a sweet treat.

My favorite new experience on the trip was eating our last fancy dinner before the baby comes. Sean and Amanda treated us to dinner at Prospect Restaurant, which is the sister restaurant to Boulevard. The creator is a female chef by the name of Nancy Oakes. The food is super fresh, found from local farms and inspiring. The first courses are on the small side, but the flavors are decadent and Earthy. All the main courses are worth the price, portion size. They are extremely rich and flavorful, cooked to perfection, and leave a lasting impression. I was especially fond of the atmosphere of the restaurant and the design quality. I will be going back here some day!

Overall, we had a blast in my most favorite of all cities in the world.

*Kelly

Thanksgiving: Our First Friendsgiving…

I know it was almost a month ago, but I wanted to share what we did for Thanksgiving this year! The holidays are always a little bit wacky for me. Lots of emotions and feelings are brought to the surface, reflecting upon old traditions, and creating new ones. This year was a little bit different for us, we decided to meet up with some of our favorite friends for turkey day! We had our very first “Friends-giving” feast this year at Sean & Amanda’s. thanksgiving_12_01

The tablescape was set up for our version of fine dining. It looked lovely with Amanda’s wedding china and the daises. We each made some yummy things to share for the feast.

 

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For starters, we had hummus and mixed veggies for dipping. A nice healthy alternative to all of the bread and chip options.

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Sean was busy tending to the meat on the bbq. He made a lamb roast for our main course, which was cooked perfectly. It was very tender and moist, perfect on the inside and out. Very flavorful and quite delicious.

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For side dishes we had pumpkin corn bread, mashed sweet potatoes, cranberry nut stuffing, green bean & mushroom casserole, with artichoke & cheesy scalloped potatoes. Each side was so rich and flavorful. We went back for seconds on everything because it was all so good.

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Here is my first round plate with all I could fit on it. We had so much food for the 4 of us, we had to take some extras home, which were eaten for a few days after! Not complaining here though because it was all so tasty.

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No champagne for the pregnant girls, so we sipped on some sparking cider.

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For dessert, I made some pumpkin whoopie pies that I found a recipe for on one of my favorite blogs. It was so easy to make from scratch and they tasted amazing. The filling was made from scratch too using a lot of powdered sugar and marshmallow creme.

I just can’t wait until next year for our second annual Friends-giving. Whether we partake in it on turkey day or not, it doesn’t matter. We have started a tradition! Next year we will both be able to share it with out lovely little baby girls. Sharing the holidays with friends that you consider your family is such a great blessing for me and Domenic, we love knowing that we can be a part of other people’s families when ours is so small.

*Kelly

Pumpkin Carving

Phew… Halloween just flew right on by didn’t it? I had a long but great weekend celebrating all of the festivities with our friends and all of their kids. The Caspardos went to two different pumpkin carving celebrations and I went to an additional Halloween themed birthday party for my pal Ryder.

On Saturday night we stopped by Katie and Jeff’s house for a pumpkin carving extravaganza. Katie made 3 different kinds of tasty chili for dinner with all the fixings complete with warm corn bread on the side. There were about 14 adults and 12-15 kids there throughout the night. The Caspardos were definitely overstimulated to say the least…

 

Of course we waited until it was dark to carve the pumpkins, you know with optimal light, crammed into a small area. All the kids were super anxious to begin the carving of their pumpkins. Each child had a different idea of what design they wanted. As you can see, the kids and parents dove right on in… After about 10 minutes, the adults took over and all the kids were eating candy and running around the house while their parents finished up their pumpkins.

On Tuesday night, we headed over to Kel and Ray’s house for our annual night before Halloween pumpkin carving. Kel made her amazingly delicious, award-winning, Italian Chili for dinner and I slaved away making Tastefully Simple Chocolate Brownies for dessert.

 

Here is Kel adding teeth into her fairytale pumpkin. She always gets the gross bumpy ones from the pumpkin patch and ends up making something creative and unique. Also, notice the floor of her kitchen lined with trash bags for easy clean up and less mess.

 

This is what our pumpkins turned out to be by the end of the night. Mine is on the left, looking a little bit like Jack Skellington and Dom’s is on the right looking a little too cute!

Always such a fun time of year to kick off the holiday season. We can’t wait until next year when we can share it with our little girly.

*Kelly

 

A dinner party

It is always fun to get together with friends for a pot luck dinner. Especially during the start of the busy holiday season. Last week, we met at the Bambadji’s for a Mexican fiesta dinner. It was another warm day in Southern California, not really feeling like Fall so much but that didn’t stop us from having a good time. We made sure the dinner party felt that the brink of the holidays are upon us. We had a lovely table setting decked out with fall centerpieces and Halloween place mats.

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You can just see the peeking out of the spider webs underneath the plates.

 

For dinner, we had a Mexican fiesta themed pot-luck. Lots of fresh veggies went into the enchilada bake that the hostess made. I made re-fried black beans as a side dish with lots of garlic and green onions. We also had a chopped salad and Spanish rice. The best part was the super rich, yet extremely decadent chocolate cake for dessert. YUM!

Another great evening filled with many laughs, stories, and memories. Domenic and I laughed and laughed all night long, even on the way home in the car. It is always special to share a hot meal, wine (apple cider for me), and laughs with good friends. Can’t wait until the next party, I guess it’s my turn to host soon.

Kelly

 

The big 6-0!

My mother in law, Martha, turned 60 this October and we had a rockin backyard bbq to celebrate. We were fortunate enough to still be enjoying the lovely weather here in Southern California, aka summer in October! All of Martha’s family from Arizona made the trek to celebrate the big day! Her sister Mary is on the left looking like her twin sister in this photo as they laugh at a surprise phone call.

 

Here is the bartender, aka, my father in law, Rick looking suave behind the bar. Mr. Lombardo senior here always has a smile on his face, especially while entertaining guests. On the right is the birthday girl enjoying a chit-chat with a friend. My in-laws love to throw parties at their home and this one was one to remember. I think the birthday girl sure had a great time celebrating with friends and family this year!

The Lombardos sure know how to throw a fun outdoor BBQ party. Here is Domenic with his uncle enjoying a private moment! AWE, so cute boys…

Thanks to both Martha and Rick hosting the party. We sure had a wonderful evening and it was great to see everyone and celebrate!

Kelly

 

Disneyland Halloween Time

Yay! Last weekend I went to Disneyland with my 2 BFF’s. Kel & Weston took me to Disneyland’s Halloween time for my birthday and my favorite time of year. I love everything about fall, even though last weekend it was over 90 degrees in sunny Southern California. We made the best of it by riding all the rides we could fit in due to the heat and the crowds. The Haunted Mansion is always great this time of year, decked out in Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. I think you’ll see we had a pretty fun time.

          Weston is having fun on the horse! Zooming along on the King Arthur’s Carrousel.  What a great day. Doesn’t the castle look stunning at night? I love me some Disneyland Halloween Time. What’s your favorite time to go?

Kelly