Category Archives: Family & Life

A Winter Bridal Shower

This past December, I hosted a bridal shower for my sister-in-law, Holly. (Yes, it’s taken me four months to write a post to share with you all, haha.)

This bridal shower was the first one I have ever planned, and will probably be one of the most memorable showers ever! It was an outdoor event, with 0% chance of rain expected until the day before the shower, when it increased to 10%. We woke up, and it was raining! Drizzling showers came and went all day, and pushed back our time to set everything up. A rainbow even came out and filled us with the hope that a downpour would miss us.


Hopeful that it wouldn’t rain, we set everything up and waited for the guests to come. Holly’s brothers, Gino (my husband) and Ryan, served as waiters and escorted the guests to the party, which was held in a dear friend’s beautiful backyard. The guests would arrive just before sundown, and we made luminaries to light the path.




The shower started at 5 pm, and almost exactly at that time, the heavens opened up. To be honest, I practically had a meltdown. Everyone raced inside and we tried to salvage as much as we could (but forget my cute hairstyle!).


After about 45 minutes, the rain had passed, and tablecloths were thrown into a dryer and everything was rearranged. It wasn’t the most stress-free event I’ve been a part of, but by far, I learned a lot about myself and others in this whole ordeal. The bride, Holly, was absolutely in love with everything- even when it was wet. My mom and the rest of our amazing family and friends helped put everything back together. I am blessed with some pretty incredible women in my life. Thank you to everyone who helped make it a magical evening, and the warmest congratulations and love to our bride.

See below for pictures of the event and some information on the things I DIY’ed.

Beverage Station: Sangria, Fruit-Infused Water, and Hot Chocolate!

We set up a Beverage Station which had Sangria, Fruit-infused Water and Hot Chocolate. I bought the coffee cups from Party City and decorated them with little gold hearts. I used tiny double-sided sticky foam mounting squares (from Michael’s) and attached little gold hearts that I punched from scrapbook paper with a heart-shaped hole punch. The hot chocolate was a life-saver after the rain since the temperature dropped. It was a lovely, cool night!


Holly loves all things girly and pink, so I decided to use a lot of gold glitter & pink wherever I could! I painted candlestick holders (from the dollar store), tea light holders & mason jars (from Walmart) with Mod-Podge and sprinkled gold glitter over and let dry. The “H &M” initials were bought from Michael’s and I used gold spray-paint to fancy them up a bit.

Cupcakes and Cookies

My mom made the sugar cookies for favors and the (delicious!!!!) cupcakes for dessert. For the cupcake toppers, she ordered little deer from Etsy and we painted them gold. We also used pink glitter scrapbook paper and that handy heart-shaped hole punch again! We glued a toothpick in between two pink glitter hearts for easy, cute cupcake toppers.

And our finishing touch was fresh flowers! We used pink roses and baby’s breath. It was romantic and sweet with the candlelit dinner, laughing and loving guests, and a beautiful Florida breeze in the air. It was a wonderful evening!


Letters and Games


Here is the beautiful bride, Holly!

yard tree

Since the bridal shower, the lovely bride has already tied the knot! Congratulations to my sister and brother: Mr. & Mrs. Del Villar.

The Newlyweds

Signature - Kaela

Take THAT Black Friday!!

Black Friday

So here I sit writing this post this morning on the ever so famous, dare I say “holiday”, Black Friday. No I’m not in a tent waiting to buy another television I don’t need, or standing in line like an Olympic sprinter waiting to bust through the doors when they open. Nope. Just me and the dogs on the couch in my p.j.’s.

I received a newspaper in the driveway yesterday (which I don’t even subscribe to) and I could swear every store in town had an advertisement in there. I didn’t order that paper but I was going to get it whether I wanted it or not. This time of year makes me very sad when so much focus is put on buy, buy, buy! The public is bombarded with sales pitches like a political campaign. Do we REALLY need to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day just so we can save 50% on socks? Ask the sales clerk at the store and I’ll bet you’ll get your answer.

Thanksgiving in our home has become quite the affair over the years. I’d say we have a pretty big family already having 4 children, and then when you add their spouses and my parents etc. it can be quite the crowd. But every year our family numbers get added to as we invite friends, co-workers, room-mates. I love that my children know our policy is that anyone is welcome and they invite freely. This year we topped out at 24 – oh and don’t forget the 5 dogs. It was a beautiful mess! People think we are crazy when we move all of our living room furniture outside and set up a sea of tables and chairs in the house making our house look like a small restaurant.

Thanksgiving is about loving on people, not fighting them to buy a stinking toaster.

Thanksgiving Collage

To accomodate our big family’s holiday schedules, we celebrated this year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving leaving us with no real plans on Thanksgiving Day, so our daughter Nicole said she was coming over and was going to cook US dinner. To my fellow parents out there, I know you can appreciate what an amazing feeling it is when your kids want to do something for you. Our kids are all adults now, but I was just as excited as when they were 7 and wanted to make me a lumpy pancake breakfast in bed.

Nicole's Thanksgiving

Well let me just say dinner was amazing! London broil, twice baked potatoes, squash-zucchini au gratin, roasted asparagus and sweet potato casserole.

Nicole took this photo and posted it with the caption, “Nothing makes me happier than making food for the people I love. ❤️ happy thanksgiving!!!” I gotta say, I would have loved it just as much if she made those same lumpy pancakes.

Family Thanksgiving

As we transition from Thanksgiving and into Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up in the shopping craze and want to put ourselves in debt to buy that perfect gift. (I have yet to get a Lexus with a enormous red bow on it in my driveway.) Taking a stroll through the mall will verify that the love of “stuff” is all around us. We are encouraged to buy more, drink more, do more regardless or our financial situations. This subliminal message of consumption can bring about undo stress and anxiety for many and can rob us of the true joy we should be feeling. I don’t want to sound like a bah-humbug, I’m not suggesting you go burn all your wrapping paper on the front lawn and boycott Christmas. I am suggesting however, that this year we all think outside the box. Let’s think of ways to show love for each other that doesn’t always come wrapped up with a little bow. Let’s enjoy this season stress free, debt free and full of love and lumpy pancakes.