Next hint! ... am I sounding like a lush yet? I promise there will be some non-cocktail related clues coming next! :)
I picked up some super secret samples today and cannot WAIT to share it ALL with you... but until then, here's one more hint as to what has been cooking (or mixing) up over here!
Hello, old friend! It's been too long! I have had a wonderfully relaxing year adding to our family another wonderful baby boy, William Harding "Duke" Radasky, and being able to focus on family has left me refreshed, renewed, and creatively craving an outlet. I was able to dabble in an ah-ma-zing wedding, doing mostly design consulting, which was a great experience and came together as the most beautiful event (pictures to come!), and brainstorm on a few projects that I had been too timid to fully commit my creativity and effort to in the past. Lets just say I am BEYOND excited about what I have up my sleeve. Apparently Mercury is retrograding right now, so I'm holding my tongue for a few more weeks... but I can't wait to share it ALL!
Here's ONE hint as to what I've been up to...
Welp, I wrote a really long post about our special, magical Easter weekend, and it was promptly erased, soooo here are a lot of pictures that sort of capture the events. Time Warner internet, we are officially at war.
Our playgroup meets every week and we have done fun little holiday parties for Christmas, Halloween, Valentines Day, and now Easter! It's a great excuse to get organized and do something fun for the kiddos' holidays. I hosted the Easter party last week and made up some little baskets a la Target for the boys and girls. I stuffed eggs with confetti, goldfish, and M&Ms (the favorite- obviously!) and they had so much fun shaking and opening the eggs! I added some bunny ears and a pinwheel--not totally child safe, but really entertaining!-- and a big rabbit for the moms. It was my first time making an Easter basket, and I loved how they turned out. Bonus, the babes had a blast destroying them and getting into their goodies!
Press and I made Valentines for his playgroup buddies, and I love how they turned out! I had him color on a piece of paper with some a few different widths of markers, then I scanned his little doodle and blew it up to make a Valentine's card! (I also replaced the red/pinks with blues and framed some pieces for our kitchen- love looking at his "artwork" every day!) I printed YOU ROCK! on the front of the doodled cards and threw some red/pink rock candy in some cello bags I had laying around, added gold & white crinkle, cardstock hearts I cut out quickly, and then used red/white kitchen twine to tie on little cards from Paper Source. Pretty easy and definitely satisfying!
Dinners a la Ina Garten to prove to my husband that I in fact can cook! Everything was DELICIOUS and I might have gotten myself a full-time gig as the resident chef. Whoops.
Monday: Chicken with (Basil) Herbed Goat Cheese. Roasted Tomato and Garlic Salad.
Wednesday: Lemon Fusilli with Arugula
Friday: Pizza delivery (not Ina) and wine (obviously)
I came across this stunning wedding yesterday and literally had to take deep breaths to not hyperventilate and die. I want to divorce Marc and marry him all over again just so I can have these flowers in our wedding. Ours were similar- we stuck with a green and white palette, and nothing was too structured or typical "wedding" flower-ish, but this one totally nails it. I LOVE the massive ivy trailing down from the bride's bouquet, and how they really committed to make it a major statement. Similarly obsessed with the simple and striking bridesmaids' bouquets (and their dresses and hair and how does someone have THAT many attractive friends? Wowza.) The dinner tables are amazing with height and runners and the candle light and simple tableware completely complements the color palette and style of the florals. I think this wedding design does a great job of joining classic elements with ethereal and organic beauty. Dying.
Photos from Town & Country
The Radaskys took our FIRST family vacation (sans grandparents aka helpers) after Christmas this year. We went back to the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande, and it was literally the perfect vacation in every way. Now, mind you, I'm not saying Press didn't run around without his diaper on and constantly pee on the porch of our cottage (tile floors are so easy to clean!), or that Marc didn't have a head cold the whole time from waiting in the most ungodly long baggage check line at the Kansas City airport in 10 degree weather. I'm not saying Press napped like an angel (he napped during peak sun hours, cut to me laying out in a coverup in our front lawn like a freaking hill billy listening to the Serial podcast). I'm just saying, it was PERFECT. We had a week of stress free family time at a beautiful hotel on a beautiful beach. We ate great food, walked around, enjoyed the water, and caught up with friends down there (and made some great new ones!). It was so nice to be together, and be focused every day on what we were going to do as a family. Save for a couple of round of golf :)
We have been down there before but it was so different going with a kiddo. The last time we went I was pregnant, and it was awesome, but this time I enjoyed everything with a new perspective. Also wine. The town is picturesque, "Old Florida" and beachy. We walked to a darling bakery every morning to get coffee and croissants, and enjoyed our cute cottage. We went to the pool and beach every day and either ate at the Beach Club, or headed South Beach for a change of scenery (spoiler alert, 2 miles down the beach is still ah-ma-zing) or Newlin's for the BEST lobster roll I've ever had. (Sorry Watch Hill). Marc played golf, Press and I took walks, shopped, and just enjoyed being outside without layers of coats. We were so lucky to have some friends down there at the same time, and they invited us to join their friends for New Years, so we had a fabulous NYE at the Inn, and got to catch up with some other family friends over cocktails the night we before we left. BZ's at the Inn is possibly one of my favorite bars on the planet, and definitely my favorite place to play backgammon, but after hitting it up 3 nights in a row, we decided to mix it up a bit and threw an impromptu cocktail party at our cottage one night. One couple brought their baby and he and Press boogied down while we munched on cheese and crackers Marc had picked up from Newlins. Our "dinnerware" in our cottage was a little plain, so I picked some leaves and flowers and it actually looked like we knew what we were doing! All things considered, my favorite part was how much Press LOVED LOVED LOVED the ocean, and swimming in the pool with the "big kids" (he's obsessed). Also a really cute Turkish T coverup I found at the shop. (I'm obsessed).
Getting back to the cold (and a family full of colds/fevers) was no fun, but the trip seriously couldn't have been better. It got my head in a great place and put me in a focused mindset to start 2015!
A gallery of the whole trip below:
We had a great Christmas with our families to close out the CRAZIEST holiday season on personal record. I swear there was one week that we had an event every. single. night. And I'm talking 7 day week, not 5 day. I literally had to mirror talk myself into remembering that it was a BLESSING to have so many wonderful friends and things in our lives to celebrate, because between the hangovers and hairwashings, on the daily, I was NOT digging it. I think the chaos of work was adding to my stress level, and I could not have been happier when we loaded up and went to my parents' house for Christmas Eve. My mom always makes breakfast for dinner: sausage and biscuits with gravy and steamed cinnamon apples. Sounds super tranquil and easy, but it usually ends up with a lot of burnt/cold food (yes, burnt and cold is possible at the same time) post mother-meltdown because my brother and I refuse to participate in the cooking and usually come up with some way to actually inhibit her progress. LUCKILY (you're welcome, entire family) I married a man of many talents, and Marc loves to cook. He walked right in, threw on an apron, and we all had the best meal we've ever had. Bonus: I got to drink champagne and play with Press the whole time. I think I might have walked around the table at one point, pretending to pour/straighten/clean something...
On Christmas we have both sets of parents and my brother to our house to open gifts and have Christmas brunch. Tenderloin sandwiches (again, a la Marc, they were FABULOUS), shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce, and cheesy hashbrown casserole. Oh, and a salad. Spinach, mandarin oranges, red onion, and capers. It is seriously yummy and balances out all of the carbs so there is plenty of room to unbalance with these Christmas M&M Chocolate Chip cookies.
We opened gifts, Marc watched his favorite Christmas movie, Die Hard (do not EVEN GET ME STARTED) and everyone just snuggled around the entire day. Heaven.
I changed my blog over to my website because 1) I hate Wordpress and do NOT understand it at all and 2) I wanted a fresh start. Unfortunately, I am technologically challenged in the greatest sense of the phrase and so I wasn't able to simply "transfer" the page here. So! I am sad that I lost a lot of content and followers, but wanted to bring one of my favorite posts from last year over, and will be blasting this new blog address to everyone soon!
Our little man is ONE! I can't believe it's already been a year since he was born. I can't believe how much more wonderful and blessed our lives are every day with him. I won't get sappy here (but I did create a coffee table book with pictures from his first year and pretty much bawl every time I read the intro page... that I wrote. Who am I?) Anyway! We threw Press a fall themed first birthday party, and totally lucked out with a beautiful November day! It was such a special morning filled with friends and family... and lots of kiddos to keep it lively.
I couldn't think of a really "theme" for the party, so we just stuck with general fall. Lots of mums, pumpkins, hay bales, and a navy/brown/gold color palette. We had an amazing photographer capture all of the details and I'm kinda completely obsessing over all the photos and reliving the special day!
Lon Lane's Inspired Occasions catered for us and took my basic idea of "BBQ, mac & cheese, & brussel sprouts" to the next level with root beer pulled pork sliders, a mac & cheese bar with toppings, and an amazing roasted brussel sprout, mushroom and tomato dish. We had some apple squeezies, rice cobs and Pirate's Booty out for quick snacks for kids. We also did a Caramel Apple Bar, with slices to drizzle with caramel, chocolate and seasalt, and little applesauce "shooters" so babies could partake in the fun, too! For cocktails, we had cider beers and some other specialty brews, and a special apple sangria cocktail with prosecco, cognac, apple cider, and pomegranate. For the kiddos we did apple juice boxes and apple cider. We put out lots of toys to keep everyone entertained, and at the last minute I found some edible markers (Gourmet Writers) and set up a cookie decorating bar outside for the older kids--MAJOR hit and I highly recommend for parties! (Click through the gallery below for more photos!)
We asked guests to bring diapers as a donation instead of gifts, and are excited to take Press with us to drop them off this week at Children's Mercy Hospital. (UPDATE: We dropped them off, and they were SO IMPRESSED with the amount--two pallets!-- and generosity of all our friends! THANK YOU!)
And last but not least- the cake! Press isn't much of a sugar guy (he prefers hot sauce, lemons, and any kind of meat...bizarre) but he LOVED his cake from 3 Women and an Oven! I made the little cake toppers to complement all the banners I had made for each room, and laid out cupcakes from Judie's Bakery in the same triangle pattern. Add some balloons and a little fire (candle) and we had one happy one year old! I know he had as much fun as we did celebrating the first of many birthdays with such amazing friends!
He was SUCH a ham the entire day... Not that he usually keeps to himself or holds back on smiles, but I swear he knew it was all about him and he. was. loving it.
Here is my favorite picture our amazing photographer took right when he was waking up from his morning nap before the party. I mean, this is probably my favorite picture EVER. In the history of the world.
Enjoy your second birthday in the basement of Chuckie Cheese, buddy! We love you!
Photos by Alea Lovely
I am so excited about 2015. I have literally NEVER been a huge fan of/believer in/acknowledger of a new year bringing a fresh start and blah blah blah. To me it usually just signifies the beginning of three to six months of forgetting what year it is when I write checks, but for some reason this year is positively SINGING to me. I don't know if it is maturity, or my appreciation of every minute I'm given on this planet with my wonderful friends, family, and life, or a cosmic shift that is motivating me to make some real changes. I read this quote recently, and it hit me like a truck (in a good way):
“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.” -Iain Thomas
I have been CRAVING (if there is a stronger word for that, insert it here) these words for the last few years. Prioritizing is not one of my strengths, and neither is saying no. Enter a life full of things I am passionate about but don't have enough time to embrace, and 5% of myself and effort going into everything, and 100% of myself feeling lost and like I can't keep up. So this year, I am stopping. I am breathing. I am slowing down and doing things simply. I always have an ongoing lists of "need to do" and "want to do", and a mental argument with myself over habits to break and habits to start, and I finally found a way to tackle all of them at once. Focus on what matters most, first. How freaking simple is that?! How has it taken me this long to understand that? Everything is suddenly so clear, and I'm excited to see if I am able to keep up this clarity of mind. I'm not in a rush to accomplish, start or stop anything. January 1 wasn't the end-all-be-all moment that I needed to be perfect, but it started a master work plan for the year. I won't be kicking myself if everything isn't accomplished immediately, because as long as I have God's grace and time, I know it will all fall into place at the right moment, as long as I keep working and keep my core passion and values at the forefront of my daily purpose. I feel like this is the end of a chapter of my life but more importantly, the beginning of the next, and I could NOT be happier. All this being said, I am still running around like a chicken with its head cut off some days, but those days are fewer and farther between than they used to be, and they don't seem to have the same importance or control that they used to. These are my "keywords" for this year and moving forward:
GOD + SPIRIT
LOVE + JOY
BALANCE BALANCE BALANCE
HOME + NURTURE
Here's to a New Year full of simplicity, gratitude, blessings, family, love, and laughter.