post-it notes wall art

last friday my little man turned nine! his birthday decor theme was neon + neutrals, so i used brown kraft paper + washi tape + post-it notes to decorate his bedroom door.

come back later today to see more neon + neutrals from his family breakfast birthday party!

{pictures by me, via instagram. if you’d like to follow along on our instagram adventures, i am @see_jane and husband is @drocksox.}


spring table setting

happy may day! for many of you mommas, your kids will be out of school this month! i’m so jealous – i love summer vacation, but now that we live in new england – school doesn’t get out till the middle of June! and, it could be worse, the school district expected to have the school year end June 20th, but because we didn’t use ANY of our snow days this year our kiddos will be done June 13th. snow day credit – – – thank goodness for an easy winter!

last week i decorated these tables for a dinner celebrating the 170th birthday of this phenomenal organization. i made utensil pouches out of brown kraft paper card stock + filled mini glassine bags with rock salt & pepper and stapled these on the inside. also included: paper towel, fork, knife, spoon, and straw!  tied all together with a little yarn bow…

pink gingham plastic coated fabric from ikea.
table runner: brown kraft paper.
16″ white balloons via iparty {i filled these myself with mini helium tanks at home.}
water bottle labels: made by moi.
centerpieces: 4″ ikea pots + a variety of succulents. each guest left with a plant.

do you have any spring/summer hosting events you are preparing for???


{photos by me.}


♥ + chalkboard oilcloth

kiana’s birthday was yesterday. she’s 14.  i can’t wait till she’s sixteen, because we really need another driver in our family.  i feel like kiana has always been years ahead of her age, so she should be twenty.  yet, the idea that i only get her at home for four more years just breaks my heart. so, i’m happy to accept fourteen and the fact that it looks really good on her.

to celebrate, i planned a simple family breakfast. i realized as i downloaded the pictures i was obviously obsessed with the decor because i didn’t take any pictures of the food or our family, minus two pictures of kiana. for breakfast we had whole wheat crepes, omelets, bacon, fruit, juice, and coffee – it was quite the spread and an amazing accomplishment to get that much food cooked in our before school morning routine!

for the decorations, i used lace, ribbon, and chalkboard oilcloth* as a tablecloth. why give birthday cards when you can write and draw all your greetings right across the table?!?

{please forgive my poor lighting on these photos. the sun was just coming up when we celebrated at 6:30am}

i had more fun than you can imagine doodling all-over this oilcloth for my sweet teenager. i easily could have stayed up all night dancing around the kitchen to pandora with chalk in my hand, drawing happiness.

my absolute favorite right now is brown kraft products + lace.

pretty bearzy opening her gifts — i love this girl.

for the most part, a successful fourteenth birthday morning. our big girls still drove to school with big papi fighting all the way over who should be sitting in the front seat.


*using/caring for the oilcloth: i used regular crayola white chalk + very inexpensive {we’re talking dollar store} sidewalk chalk. the sidewalk chalk proved to be softer & worked much better than typical chalk. the typical chalk didn’t always work. also, when cleaning the oilcloth, it wipes perfectly clean with a moist paper towel. after sela spent the day coloring on the oilcloth, i simply wiped the entire thing clean, rolled it up & stored it till our next chalk-coloring session. voila!

the best part of the chalkboard oilcloth is how versatile it is – after i cleaned up breakfast, and sela came home from preschool, we moved the oilcloth into our home office – ta-da! inside sidewalk chalk!

are you obsessing over this chalkboard oilcloth? thinking of the bajillion things you can make out of chalkboard oilcloth?!? placemats. kids chalk quiet books. the list goes on and on, right? i purchased my oilcloth here, i bought 3 yards at $10.50/yard – you can find it at other places/sites. if you find it cheaper, i’d love to know. and, lots of ideas/products on etsy!

{all photos by me. this is not a sponsored post.}


{utah} blogger meet ‘n greet

good-monday-morning seejaneblog readers!
all weekend i have been so excited to share this news:event with you!
on february 22nd, from 6:30-8pm, soel boutique and i will be co-hosting a {utah} bloggers meet ‘n greet! lookie, lookie:

come one, come all!  bloggers can meet bloggers; bloggers can meet their readers… the best of both worlds, really.

and lucky for everyone… soel boutique is offering 20% off one item during the event + i will be giving door prizes to the first 50 guests + we will have giveaways all evening + refreshing goodies + drinks + a photo booth + a free make ‘n take! {you can learn how to make yarn balls from elsa bags!} + it’s the perfect reason to enjoy an evening out to mingle!

head on over to all these sites to check out the goodness that will be there! {happy clicking!}

♥ sponsored by ♥
becky kimball * soel * see jane blog * milkglass and honey *
elsa bags * armelle * freshly picked * cotton & curls
modern palm * annily green * fifth and hazel * sycamore street press
zupas * {collected} * gatehouse no.1 * heirloom restaurant group
mer mag * the Alison show * the house of Smith’s * Studio 5

this is next week! i hope to see you + i’d be tickled pink if you could help us spread the news!

♥ my dear friends, we will also be collecting donations for a sweet momma, kelly during the meet ‘n greet. kelly is the best esthetician and a  genuine friend to many of the bloggers in utah county who had a major tragedy hit her life in december. if everyone can contribute just a little… together, we can make a big difference. you can read her story here.

happy monday!

{image created by milk glass & honey}


a web of love.

thank you for the birthday greetings & wishes! my day was filled with family, friends, and lots of good food!

to my surprise, i woke up* to our bedroom filled with a web of streamers! check this out:

the streamers & balloons were my daughters idea – but husband had to do the work! he worked 12:30-2:30am to get this all done! on instagram he said,

here’s some friendly advice:
1) putting tons of streamers up in pitch dark is extremely hard and probably quite amusing to someone watching! #decoratingfordummies
and 2) DON’T start by putting your lowest streamer up first #soreback

the tiara was sela’s idea!

two of my kiddos confused mother’s day with my birthday on my homemade cards – i loved it!

the after-party! these two munchkins jumped from the top of my headboard & flew through the streames to tear them down!

it was a beautiful day, my heart is still swelling with all the love.

* are you curious as to how husband did all those steamers without waking me up?  the evening before, he brought me a tall glass of water + tylenol PM.  he said, “i just want you to sleep really good. sleep-in, don’t wake up early with the kids – I’ll get them to school/etc/etc.”  that alone, was the BEST GIFT EVER!  but…  that’s how he did it.  drugged me! ha!


99 red balloons…

did you like this song when you were growing up? i loved it. and, i’m still a fan. crank it up & maybe it will put a good little groove in your day.

another peek at myla’s red & peach birthday morning surprise —
there were 99 red balloons & 51 peach!

i like the german version too!

{photos by me.}


thanksgiving table settings…

this past week, i taught a mini class on three different styles you could use to set your table for thanksgiving…
the nice part of this, i’m totally prepared now!

a little re-cap:

• start by choosing a table cloth or table runner. try using fabric, sheets, paper, or gift wrap in place of traditional tablecloths – it gives you more variety to choose from & is usually less expensive!
• next, plan a centerpiece. This can be traditional, or an activity for the guests. Your guests will feel extra welcomed if they are aware that you have thought about them beforehand. This includes the place cards! Keep in mind: you don’t have to put names on the place cards, you can use a greeting, or topics/questions for conversation.

i used christmas lights wrapped under tulle down the center of the table for fun festive lighting.  the flowers were all from costco & i re-arranged them in to small square glass vases.

• Lighting. Using candles, lanterns, or xmas lights instantly creates an inviting, warm atmosphere.
• favors – I prefer to incorporate something that will remind your guests long after they leave what a special evening they had – for example: a polaroid photo, a printed recipe card of a dish being served., a treat. Keep it simple & thoughtful.

this look can be very affordable, since many of your supplies can be found on a walk in nature!
the ‘rustic wood place card holders’ {i’m still dying over these!} can be found here. burlap table runners, here.

• Need more ideas? Check out pinterest for endless ideas, here. If you are new to pinterest, it is an online virtual pinboard. that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the great WWW. People use pinboards to plan weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. Not sure where to start? Feel free to check out my boards here.
• Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to create the extra special touches, or you are not “creative” enough to put together all the special touches? Not to worry! Check out this. new to etsy? It is an online handmade/vintage market featuring thousands of artists who can help! Go on etsy, and search for “Christmas placecards” or whatever you may be looking for and you will find endless options to fit almost any budget. Also, like pinterest, etsy is a great resource for ideas!

this look is a fun, darling twist on the traditional look.  the paper mustache place cards can be found here.  the stache straws, here.
i also had my polaroid camera sitting at this table, so guests could use the stache straws as a fun photo op!

and, last but not least! {the kids table!}
i love the look of brown kraft paper, and try to use it whenever possible…

kids turkey place cards, right here!

cheers to memorable dining!


selabration #5

this year, we are having our-family-only birthday parties. which is a brand-new party philosophy for us rhodes. each kiddo will get to help plan their special day, and i hope each one chooses something unique for our first year here in boston. sela’s original request – the american girl store. we didn’t have this store in utah, so i truly dodged it with my older girls. i never even let them know it existed. however, they were fans of build-a-bear which is somewhat of a trade. but, our last child – sel-bels – she is a doll lover. so, it’s totally appropriate we cave for her. ::smiles:: and, our new local mall, which i swear is the best mall on the planet, it really has EVERYTHING, an american girl store included, approximately eight minutes from our home.

with that said, sela~bella’s requests:

family brunch
barbie cake
purple & mustard decorations
a visit to the all-american girl store
a special dinner.

her wishes all came true!

i have a fetish for paper chains, and i’m trying to re-invent them whenever possible.
however, i do tend to forget how time consuming it is to create such a simple craft.
hours were invested for these little links of love, but it was totally worth it because i loved the finished look
—a little perk that our dining room is already purple!

for brunch, we had:
palis verdis eggs
barbie cake
and ice cream!

when the taylor’s were visiting & we stopped by our incredible mall, shannon pulled me in to “lush,” i had never heard of this shop/brand before, but shannon had shopped at lush in hawaii… the taylor’s bought me my first bath-bomb, and i was instantly hooked! have you been? have you tried? the shop is awesome!

…it’s handmade cosmetics, but their main item is bath bombs that come in a variety of shapes/colors/scents – you put one in your bath with you & they foam, bubble, color the water, smell delicious! it’s divine if you are a bath-er like me! so, for sela’s little brunch, we chose a variety of bath bombs for everyone to enjoy as party favors. you can see kj’s in the photo on the right, sela chose a robot & blue/green ball bombs for him- i also love that there are boy/girl choices, because sometimes when planning party favors it’s difficult to find something for everyone. {this is a GREAT gift idea, if you are starting your holiday shopping!}

{notice the joggers going by outside – ha!}

hoodsie ice cream!
giving the sox some love during our brunch, their season ended way too early…

everyone likes to help the baby of the family. sela had three assistants/siblings to help her decide what american girl to choose, what clothes/accessories to pick out for her…

then they helped her instantly put her new doll together during dinner!

sela is a very good momma to her “dolly tess”,
nicknamed: bootylicious, because she doesn’t seem to keep her pants up very well –
we see a lot of her booty!

it’s all i can do to refrain from kissing those perfect little round cheeks, constantly.
does she not have the most adorable expressions? ohhh, this girlie has my heart.

the entire day, i kept snuggling up with husband and thinking,
“i’m so happy to be here. life is so good.”

where has five years gone? a big chunk of those years i felt like i’d have a toddler, forever.
and now… now, this little one will be in kindergarten next year, and before i know it,
all four of my munchkins will be in school all day. it’s such a sad thought, welcomed with a love of where we are.

with those thoughts in mind, we used every opportunity on sunday to celebrate this little one.

she has always been my perfect little sidekick, such a little lady.

sela & her tess’s matching pj’s were the perfect ending to a perfect fifth birthday.

cheers to five years, baby girl.


the end of something beautiful.

i have claimed utah as my home since i was thirteen. the same age as my oldest daughter, this very summer. i have lived in-and-out of utah for twenty-two years. i was born in alaska & “grew-up” in a small northwest town on the coast of washington state, but have spent most of my time in the shadows of what is known as the wasatch front.

so, without knowing how long i am bidding farewell to all that i love along the wasatch front, i made sure to take every possible chance to say farewell to those we love, before leaving…


summer’s birthday lunch – there have been four babies born to four besties at home since i’ve left… i have this dillusion that life is on hold there & it’s hard to believe some of the babies are already 1 month+ old now. i have already been gone for seven weeks. gasp!

summer’s baby boy – ‘graham allen’ was born on sara staker’s birthday this week, welcome to the world baby boy!

bex’s birthday lunch + lunch with lu + lunch with kelli {a girlfriend from college who popped into town before we left!}…

daphne & susan’s combined birthday lunch —

date nights with the stakers & blands…

sunday dinner with our dear dear neighbors, the duckworth family.

our sweet friends, the brown’s – brought us the most delicious hawaiian meal when we were almost ready to move. omgosh, there were these coconut milk rolls – i had never had them before – A-MAZ-ING!!! in fact, i think those rolls started my summer weight gain… ::smiles::

Bex planned an awesome night out with these fancy ladies for me – {wiping tears. i really miss all of them!} she made personal-sized pinatas as the party favors that were the most adorable things EVAH! she slaved over these beauties & i really want to make them for something soon, too!

every woman needs to be surrounded by amazing women, because the inspiration, support, and friendship can truly change your life.

sarah, in the long striped skirt has a little boy & was pregnant & did not know what she was having… a girl was her surprise! and, she named her “pepper,” so cute. amy, on the far right has two girls & had a BOY! “Lewis.” little louie is now the charm of their home.

ohhhhh, congratulations dear ladies. i would love to be there & hold & sniff your yummy smelling newborns. nothing better than a freshly bathed baby all bundled up.

group date night – a final dinner with our buddies—
the child’s, taylor’s, birchall’s, us, and danny.

a little book club/play date swim party – i hope gygi will forgive me for posting this picture, but is she not beautiful?!? love that belly. this momma taught yoga till it was almost her due date! her little ‘lulu’ has come into the world since i left & after two boys – she has a girl! blessed.

bex was a trooper this afternoon – myla asked her for 30 minutes to go down our pool slide as many times as she did – bex did it!

a baby shower for gygi –

the momma-to-be & i were wearing the same shoes – and, again, love that belly!

check out the watermelon-baby-stroller that gygi’s mom made! a great idea if anyone is planning a baby shower soon!


all of these farewells bid hello to an exciting future path. i cannot help but be a bit saddened as i sit here, knowing we are separated by our loved ones by so many miles. however, my soul has always thrived on change and adventure – so, we say adieu to the end of something beautiful, yet i know the good of our past will line our future with the same beauty.

*cheers* to creating your own life – {exactly how you want it – or, at least, very very close} wherever you go.




myla-moosey’s party!!!

the four amigos. cason – 12, kj – 8, brevin – almost 10, and myla – 11-and-a-half. you would think they would be buddies by the oldest two and the younger two… but, no. cason – twelve hangs out with kj – eight because they are the gamers… and brevin – 10 hangs out with myla – almost 12, because they are the quirky little athletes. i cherish these cuties.

{myla & kayman}


myla’s party quickly moved from the pool to the sand volleyball pit.

this sand pit {fyi – it’s FOUR feet deep with sand!} is just as loved as our swimming pool, i might miss it the most out of our entire home – all the fun volleyball memories…


swim party.

each of our kids had a swimming-going-away-party at our home with their friends. we used a color-theme for each party, and kept things really simple. kj wanted his party to have lots of color + a swim theme, so we made mini-gummy-candy-kabobs using swedish fish, and orange peach circles as floaties + beachy cupcakes + pizza + colorful popsicles… it turned out really cute & was so quick to prepare for.

these boys were crazy! i lined them up for this picture & without me knowing they planned to all jump in the pool on “2” when i said, “ok, 1…2…3… say cheese!” everyone jumped in the pool on 2! so, we did a re-take and they were good! {i have a very strong feeling that trevan staker was the master-mind behind their little plan!} ::hehe::

kj has such good friends. the mommas {most of my besties.} came to hang-out with me in the sun, too!

shannon/mckenna/moi/suz/becky/summer – who is 7 months pregnant {she wants this to be mentioned – in case you mistake her belly for chubs. ::smiles}

and – after kj’s party… sela, kj, and myla were invited to sleepover at suz’s house. {one of their favorite places on the planet.} this was sela’s FIRST sleep-over! she was officially over-the-moon-with-excitement, leave it to suz to make this little girl the happiest four year old ever!

{lots more farewell-party-posts coming this week!}


diy: goodie bags

i will be doing this. because- isn’t this idea adorably brilliant and affordable!?!

if it wasn’t so late, and i wasn’t in the middle of packing… i would start making some right now!

and, think of all the possibilities…

recycled newspaper
wrapping paper
brown kraft paper

so many darling ways these could be done!

however. i would recommend putting the treats in plastic, or a zip-lock bags before the paper goodie bags.
for sanitary reasons.

has anyone ever made these? do you have pictures?

i’m thinking these could be cute for so many holidays & parties!

{idea & images via babyccino kids.}


diy: napkin bows

while perusing pinterest, i spotted this darling napkin bow. so, for easter dinner i tried them out! miss thirteen was my assistant, and after we figured out one, she made the rest for me! {i love having older kids who help!}



1. cut paper strips that are 8″ long, one-and-a-half inches wide. you can trim them shorter at the end, if you want a tighter center ring. fold the right side of the napkin in towards the center, leaving one inch of space.

2. continue by folding the left side in, leaving about one inch of space from the center. then fold the top and bottom inwards about three inches.

3. fold the top and bottom sides in, one more time.

4. flip the napkin over, and wrap the strip of paper around the center.

5. flip to the back, and use a small piece of tape to hold the paper ring in place.


other purposes —

have you joined pinterest? i know i’ve mentioned it here before — but, people… i LOVE it. i could sit and pin for hours. i would happily trade sleep for pinning! {you are welcome to follow me, here.}

so, what do you think of the napkin bow? do you plan on trying it? i think it would be darling for so many parties – girls lunches, tea parties, wedding brunches, picnics, the list goes on and on! i love the bow-trend.

happy hosting!

{all photos by me. this is not a sponsored post.}


confetti invitations

jordan ferney has completely blown my mind again with her creativity! this time, it was with her confetti invitations. i used this tutorial, and created these for kj’s upcoming birthday party…

we have been planning the party with the colors navy blue & turquoise, and stripes, and chevron-designs! kj was so excited to deliver these invites, he couldn’t wait for his friends to twist them open for the little tubes to shoot out the surprise invitation!

i started with these party poppers that jordan recommended-

they were so easy to take apart. we {meaning: kj happily helped, he kept telling me…”mom this is so much fun!”} removed the top circle/lid, carefully pulled out the original confetti, and peeled off the outside wrapper. all of this was easy-peasy.

the only thing i altered in comparison to jordan’s tutorial, is we did not disassemble the poppers. there was no need to, and all of the poppers we tested were a success! {kj loved testing them…!}

next, we filled the tubes with our color-themed confetti, but not very much because there was more to fit in there…

i cut 1-1/2″ circles for matted fronts, and the backs of the string-of-invitation-information…

i typed the information in word, and printed the info. on these labels. next, i cut them in to strips to make it easier to punch them out with a 1″ hole puncher. using this style of hole puncher made it possible to gauge where to cut the circles.

i applied the small information circles to one larger turquoise circle, this was quick because they are already sticky. then stuck them together with a dot of glue, with the string going between. then, i stacked up the invitation string, and tucked them into the tubes, seen here –

{come join the fun & gamers…}

almost finished…

i created new labels. before wrapping them on the tube, i cut 1-1/2″ circles for the tops of the tubes as a lid. i simply sat this on the tube, and held it in place while i wrapped on the new labels. i placed the labels with about 1/4″ hanging over the top to press down and hold the paper lid in place. it worked out so great!

if you’d like to use/print the labels i designed, click here for a free download, print jordan’s here, or design your own!

{all photos by me}


diy: cupcake/cake/donut mini flags + pennant garland cake topper.

preparations for kj’s birthday party this week are underway…

our little man is going to be 8!

here’s some easy steps to create flag cupcake/cake/donut {whatever you want to top!} mini toppers + a pennant garland for the top of a cake. kj has requested texas cake and mini donuts for his birthday. i truly believe texas cake is america’s original chocolate cake. and we are fans.

to make the mini toothpick sized flags, fold cardstock in half and cut triangles. i created one i liked, then used it as a stencil to make sure they all turned out the same size…

using two dots of glue in each flag, insert the toothpick and seal. to help the flags stick together while they dried, i stuck them in a large book for just a few minutes each. worked like magic. otherwise, your flags might continually pop open while the glue is wet.

we are going to be using these for each guests individual pieces of cake, and on the mini donuts…


to create the pennant garland:

cut triangles to your desired size, and amount. kj requested 8, since he is turning 8!

leave 6-10 inches of thread to work with before you start sewing the flags. the more you leave, the easier it is to wrap the thread around the sticks on the next step and tie a knot.

then just sew the flags together, one after another as seen below. when you are finished, leave another 10 inches of thread at the end to tie on the sticks. do not do any reverse stitching.

wrap the thread around the stick a few times, and tie in a knot to hold in place.

ta-da, the finished product!

i’ll be sharing more from his party later this week! tune in!


mini cake donuts.

have you heard? the donut, especially the mini-donut is supposed to take-over the cupcake craze and be the latest-greatest new thing!

so, while preparing for kj’s upcoming birthday we have decided it would be fun to make mini donuts & let the kids decorate them at the party…

we are searching for the world’s best cake-donut recipe! this past weekend, we tried our first one. i found mini donut pans here, and we used the recipe below. it was good, it was really fun to decorate the donuts – the kids loved it! but, i think there might be a better recipe out there… if you have suggestions, please leave a comment & let me know!

we have a couple more weeks to find the best one before the party!

cake donuts:

you will need:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

preheat oven to 325 degrees, lightly spray donut pant with cooking oil. in bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking power, salt. add butter, eggs, milk, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. beat until well blended. fill each donut hole 2/3 full. baking 8 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. cool. removed from pan and dip into glaze. decorate with sprinkles, nuts, powdered sugar, chocolate shavings, coconut – whatever you desire! donuts may also be dipped into cinnamon and sugar instead of the glaze. yields approximately 36 mini donuts. we used a bit too much batter in our holes, so we had 24 donuts. next time we’ll use less so the donuts appear better, without muffin tops as an end result!

1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp HOT water


i don’t think i’ve ever…

had more fun with a disposable camera.

while in vegas, kiana and i spotted these at u.o.
we stocked up on a few for vday, her birthday, and daily life.


the education of little tree.

on thursday evening, i hosted a book club at my home. {i think we could also be dubbed, “eating club.” lol!} this past month we read, ‘the education of little tree‘ by forrest carter which was my book choice. the book itself offers a perspective of life as a cherokee indian boy {named – little tree} being raised by his grandparents during the depression. i tend to be drawn to books that offer any perspective i haven’t considered – be it cultural, a different time period, etc.

most everyone liked the book – we just need to do a little research now to find out which events/happenings are based on fact & what is fictional…

i feel very fortunate to be constantly surrounded by such beautiful, inspiring, brilliant, ambitious, talented, and successful women. such an honor.

“surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – oprah. {she is a wise woman!}

she also said, “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” ohhhh, love that – can i get an a-men?!?


there are two local utah county restaurants that i adore – pizzeria 712 & communal. well, listen to this…i recently discovered that the same owners of these two divine places have a catering co.!!! omgosh, it’s just brilliant!

the heirloom catering co. catered this event for me, i had a hard time narrowing down my menu choices, but finally went with two soups + house made rolls and bread + two desserts. they were all just as beautiful as they were delicious!

my little trees – which served as decor & favors are from nurserymen. i was planning along the lines of the books theme + wanted to keep things green with st. patrick’s day around the corner.


have you read any good books lately? what types of books do you like to read?
i always love suggestions!

{this is not a sponsored post, it is strictly all places & products i truly dote on. including the people! photos by me.}


sushi dinner party

our daughter’s party was saturday night & on sunday evening we hosted a dinner party sushi-style to celebrate danny’s big 4-0. needless to say, it was one big weekend full of party love!

who is danny? well, if you are new-er reader to this blog… he is “our” bff. quite often known as “the howell boys,” because he has three handsome sons. these three boys are like three marvelous big brothers to kj. the howell boys even have a label, over ‘on the blog’ list because they are a very frequent visitor in our life.

have you seen the movie ‘you, me, & dupree?” well. yeah. that sums it up.

you, me, and danny.

husband brought home these beautiful seashell lantern lights for me on his last trip to the philippines. he hand-carried them for 20+ hours to make sure they arrived safely {that’s true love.} we plan on hanging them in trees in our backyard this summer. so, it was fun to use them pre-warm weather for this event—

our sushi chef, kaya – he was incredible. for lack of a much better word.

have you {or your kids} tried ramune’ drinks? they are another fun asian beverage. at the top of the bottle is a little cap you remove, then press a marble down in to the bottle which activates the carbonation. you can order them at the local ‘happy sumo,’ and purchase them at most foreign food markets. kiana also used them here, for school birthday treats a while back.

are you a fan of edamame? we all love it, in our family.

a new little thing we like to do to add amazing flavor:
after you steam it, add some bacon & bacon oil {i fried the bacon earlier in the day to be ready & saved some of the bacon oil too, then also cut the bacon into smaller chunks.}

quickly stir-fry the edamame with the bacon & oil. just long enough to heat them together & serve…

{you’re gonna looove it! if you’re a fan of bacon…}

{danny: the walrus—}

crazy-big pocky… this is a treat i have liked long before all the time i spent in asia… have you ever tried pocky? typically, they are much smaller than this.

after our typical busy weekdays, i love how time slows down on the weekends. even with two big events this past weekend, we had time to chill & hang out in sweats while preparing for the next fun plans. hours pass so smoothly, kids lounge & relax, we focus a tad more on family and friends. we sat around our kitchen table for hours with kids coming and going during the sushi party. my cheeks were so sore at the end of the evening, from laughing.

it’s like we make memorable deposits in to life’s account, and after this past weekend, our account grew richer. happy 40 danny. xo.


♥ a teen-y party ♥

ohhh, where to begin…

let me start a few months back. i had explained to kiana for months previous to her birthday, that we were simplifying everything this year – meaning: honey, you’re old enough that we can downsize with your birthday party. and, being the mature young woman that she is, she was totally content with that. she didn’t expect anything.

then, about a month ago, i told her:
ok, we will plan a fun afternoon with some of your besties. and that’s it.

and, she was ecstatic. couldn’t wait!

we made these invitations, she delivered them to eight friends & the plan was dinner & a movie.

the closer it got to the party, we didn’t have a movie that was a great pick for the whole group, so we decided to eat at sammy’s, and then go to the new provo beach resort for a few hours. then head back to our house for cake etc. and, of course, i would deck the house with cute decorations. because, after all, i am a party-loving-momma who couldn’t resist some good party decor.

the girls all met at our house & the fun afternoon began—
{and i resisted my urges to wardrobe the entire party…i only chose half of kiana’s outfit. wink!}

then, after a very delicious late lunch, and fun times at the provo beach resort…

we all headed back home {in the snow storm} to have cake, open presents, and all the party essentials— just a note: i love it when it snows and we are hosting a party. it is a charming contrast to the warm celebration.


before we go on, let me divulge…

kiana had no idea that i’ve been undercover to plan a little surprise. a little surprise that was definitely not simplifying…because, after all, my girl was becoming a teenager this year! {think Bar mitzvah – utah style!} we had reason to celebrate! i had about ten secret agents {most of her closest friends} who i was in touch with via texts, facebook messages, phone calls, etc., and they were helping me plan this little secret…

my secret agents were so successful. each had 10-30 business-card size invites that were the same design as the one we used on her real invitations, but these other invites started with, “shhh…it’s a surprise,” and had other details to follow… these were handed out one day before the party around the neighborhood, at school, dance – one secret agent said she almost got caught! they were at school & kiana saw her handing something out & casually asked, “hey! what’s that? and my agent was like, “oh. it’s a science card…” science card??? good work, milan girl!

the details included meeting at our house, no later than 7pm – for a big surprise bash.

here’s a glimpse at a few of those unexpected {50+!!!} guests…
this photo was taken literally seconds before kiana walked in -

fyi: at this moment, i was in a complete state of excite/panic, my heart was beating a thousands beats a second – i actually locked her out of the house because we weren’t quite ready, she was pounding on the door {that is never locked via the garage}

this is the first-surprise-party i have ever planned or tried to execute.

my heart, that was about to explode, did a skip at that moment…the one where {kiana,} the guest of honor walks in and everyone yelled “Surprise!!!

…and her hand grasped her gaping mouth as she ran to hug as many bodies as she could.

or, in her case…she ran to her besties for them to absorb her shock.

oh. that was a good moment. concentrated happiness.

see for yourself—

we sang happy birthday, she blew-out thirteen candles, and the entire party moved down to our basement — to where a fun evening {also part of the surprise} awaited…


DIY sequin banners.

i had the vision for these banners, and asked tregan to help me make them a reality -

we used spools of sequins for the actual banner string, then cut random shapes of rectangles + tied tulle around the sequined rope in knots—

tregan came through & they had the perfect sequinny-glitzzy feel i was hoping for…

the highlight of the evening was most definitely the mock*tails bar. we hired a friend to be the bartender, and he whipped up shirley temples {topped with cotton candy} + virgin pina coladas + virgin strawberry daiquiri’s. i also had a water bar, to keep everyone hydrated between all the karaoke, and ‘just dance’ that was going on! to keep costs down, i purchased all of the mock*tails glasses at a local dollar store.

just before the party started, i had the thought that the drinks could easily get mixed-up all night if they were set on the table…with 50+ guests. so, i decided everyone could design their own paper coasters to keep their drinks on. the guests seemed to love it – and the drinks were organized all evening. ta-da!

in the middle of the party, or mob of celebrating, i was sitting right in the middle of the brilliant chaos. mock*tails, 15 pizzas, 3 cakes devoured, there were at least 25 teens rockin’ out to abba on karaoke. others were playing billiards, air hockey, arcade games, polaroid cameras were snapping pictures. i was taking a moment to chill and soak in everything that was going on.

and, ten seconds later i was fighting tears. no surprise here – my emotional soul.

i don’t wear my spirituality on my sleeve so to speak, but it’s deep down inside. and my blog is not the place for the details, except to say that if there is a god – and if i could have him hear and feel my gratitude. i hope he did at that moment.

because for what ever reason that i am worthy of so much good. for what ever reason i am blessed with this daughter who is full of life and love, she is one answer to my lonely soul that longs for more family. i was given her. and three other children that i can’t explain my enormous love for, and a husband… you get where i’m going…

my heart and mind can not fathom the answers.

but, i am grateful. fiercely grateful.

and… the party continued on — with me wiping those happy tears away. and singing, “don’t go wasting your emotion…lay all your love on me!!!” the karaoke was vivacious!

at almost-midnight, and the party was coming to a close:
our chalkboard wall was covered with love, a collage of greetings for miss thirteen

and, a close-up of the adorable party favors. my friend ann made these bows. each guest could choose from a paper clip {book mark}, pin, or hair clip. or chocolates. they were a huge hit -check out ann’s shop here. she is a talented genius with felt, and when i’m perusing her shop – i really wish money grew on trees.

{i had a really hard time parting with these, i easily could have kept them all!}

{all photos by me}

there it is. a teen-y party, with a big surprise! ♥♥♥

thank you to everyone who participated in any way. the planning + my secret agents + all those teenagers who kept my secret {so impressive!} + husband {who is the ultimate teen party host!} + my nannies who i adore + the bartender + bex + the howell boys. thank you, thank you, thank you.


the party details: white martha stewart garland here, papel picado banners here, gold/silver streamers on clearance at pier 1 imports {.48 cents! run, don’t walk – to your local store!}, silver cake stands & silver serving tray also on clearance at pier 1 imports, grey/bronze/cream tassel garland – confetti systems here – plan to spend some time browsing that site…it’s a-MAZ-ing – i also used their garlands for kiana’s party last year, silver happy birthday sign from local old navy, grey/white striped straws here, gold/peach cake from ‘pink peach cakes’ {looove her -she also did my birthday cake, seen here and here}, two white cakes – kitty katrina’s {kiana’s fav-or-ite cake} from ‘the chocolate’ bakery here. all little stripey signs designed & framed by me.


p.s. i have a teenager! and, i will admit, strangely, i don’t feel old at all. i feel very very proud.

p.s.s. we really will downsize & simplify her party, next year… {wink.}


balloon invitations.

some big plans are underway for my oldest daughter this weekend.
she is going from twelve —-to—-thirteen!

we are going to have a teenager!!!

very soon.

using inspiration from ‘On Hand + Modern’ here,
i put together these balloon invitations with kiana’s assistance,
and she delivered them last week.

i designed a business-card size invitation, and had them printed on the pearl paper i am obsessed with. we are planning her party with a color theme…

the colors are: gold, silver {grey}, cream, and peach. and bows. and stripes.
we have found it’s hard to actually find peach. and not orange.

with jordan’s advice from oh happy day, we used 5″ balloons in place of water balloons, and it worked great!

we used our own helium tank at home. filled the balloons prior to delivering the invitations to make sure the balloons would still float-out-of-the-box-when-opened for full effect. also, we only used white thread to tie to the balloons so there was not a weighty-string attached.

the balloons were simply tied to the little invite for a weight to keep them from floating away…

because, as we learned, they can float away. during this process, my art room had a ceiling covered in little balloons. however, you do have to over-fill the 5″ balloons somewhat, to make them really float. otherwise, they hover.

stay tuned, for the party details! {i’m so excited!}

{photos by me.}


flashback friday…

once upon a time, we celebrated husbands birthday at a bed & breakfast
{here} with close friend couples…

we rented the entire place, to ourselves!

this is how it worked…

we brought tons of food,
played tons of games and at the end of the night,
the couples who had won the most games/etc etc
got to choose what rooms they slept in.

it was a battle!

the couple who lost the most games,
was stuck with the last room available.

it was a riot!

here’s a run-down of just a few games we played…

the first game,
you place a card table in the middle of the room,
and one person has a list of items they are going to announce,
for example, they will say, “keys!”
and whoever sets their keys on the table first, wins a point.

the list goes on and on…

credit card

$20 bill




…you get the idea, right?

of course…


here’s me, {pregnant!} trying to get my bra off – down my sleeve…
dying of laughter…

i got the point! {my competetive side can come out…}

a very fierce games of spoons…

while on the subject have you heard of super-spoons?!?

it’s crazy!

kiana plays it with her friends on the weekends in our home…

you play spoons, but put the spoons in a different room
or on a different floor like upstairs or in the basement,

so as soon as someone takes off for the spoons,
you have to ALL go running to get one!

omgosh, it’s insanity!

the pictures below…
all the women sat in a circle,
and the guys took off their shoes/socks,
the guys had to walk around the circle,
letting each woman feel their foot to try and
recognize if it was their husband or not!

{GROSS! ewww, ewww, ewww, i totally opted out of this game!}

we also played catch phrase, which is standard in our group of friends.
we laugh till we’re deaf and our cheeks are sore from smiling!

and lastly, we had costco-cake!

…i was five months pregnant, with kj.

husbands 32nd birthday.

…there will be many more of these birthday parties in the rhodes family.
because there is much life to celebrate.

© 2014 jane rhodes.