Friday, November 27, 2015

Men's Health Month

As some of you may already know, November is men's health month, which I feel like often gets overshadowed by October, it's preceding Breast Cancer awareness counterpart. Organizations like Movember have helped shed a light on many men's health issues, like prostate cancer, testicular cancer and even poor mental health and physical inactivity.

I was recently contacted by Tommy John who have partnered up with the Testicular Cancer Foundation for the month of Novembert to help them raise awareness of testicular cancer.

Did you know...

Early detection is so important making self-exams crucial. Click here to get a self-exam shower card for yourself or the man in your life. 

So how is Tommy John helping?
-They are giving 5% of all sales coming from their limited edition "Mustache and Ball" collection
-They are contributing $10 for each purchase made by new customers who were referred by someone else. 
-They are donation $1 for each entry in their Instagram contest up to $1000
How can YOU help?
-Encourage the men in your life to to be pro-active!
-Check out Tommy John's #SupportYourBalls page where you can find their "Mustache and Ball" collection. 
-Refer a friend and Tommy John makes a $10 donation to the Testicular Cancer Foundation
-And lastly, don't forget to enter the Tommy John "Share a pair win a pair" Instagram contest. To enter, take a picture of any pair of round objects and tag them on Instagram with the #SupportYourBalls, and follow @TommyJohnWear and @TesticularCancerFoundation for a change to win a pair of Tommy John underwear, which also adds to the Tommy John donation amount!

Happy Men's Health Month and don't forgot to #SupportYourBalls!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

National Adoption Day

Happy National Adoption Day!

Being that I am adopted myself, I of course am very pro-adoption! And since today is National Adoption Day I wanted to share some information with you.

National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting to find permanent, loving families. A coalition of national partners – Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, The Alliance for Children’s Rights and Children’s Action Network – sponsor National Adoption Day.

Did you know...
More than 100,000 children in the U.S. are waiting in foster care for an adoptive family.

The average wait for a foster child to be adopted is nearly 4 years.

And most devastating of all... More than 23,000 foster children age out of the system every year with no family or permanent home.

Thanks to National Adoption Day...
4,500 children were adopted by their forever families during the 15th annual National Adoption day in 2014

400 cities participated across the United States in 2014.

Since its inception it 2000 National Adoption Day has helped move nearly 54,500 children from foster care to forever families.

I encourage you to check out for more information about adoption and ways to get involved in your area.

(*All information and statistics provided by:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Adios Amigos!

I can't believe it but, on Sunday Sam and will have been married a year! And to celebrate we are finally going on our honeymoon. The wedding was so all-consuming (both of time and money) that we decided to hold off on the O'Quinn-Moon.

Today we leave for Tulum, on Mexico's Carribean Coast and I couldn't be more excited. All inclusive. Adults only. Aka Heaven.

See you soon!

Monday, November 9, 2015

How Can I be Upset Over Something I Never Had...

I recently discovered that my birth mom had passed away.

The feeling of loss was not something I had ever prepared myself for. In all honesty, I always imagined her and I would have reconnected at some point. The sting was even worse considering just the weekend prior to finding out, I had had a heart to heart with friend discussing my desire to seek her out. My friend had convinced me "if not now, when?" to which I agreed and decided I was going to finally reach out to her, little did I know she had passed away just two weeks prior. I think the timing of it all is what is the most unsettling to me. If I had just come to this realization days earlier I could have maybe had the closure I had always hoped for.

Now, everyone's adoption journey is different, and mine is no exception. Unlike some adoption stories I've heard about, I've never yearned for a relationship with my birthmother. Don't get me wrong, I've fantasized about what she was like, if she had my sense of humor, my temper, my crooked right pinkie, but I never felt that my life was missing a mother because it wasn't. My adoptive mom is my mother. But, when I found out she was gone... there was a sense of loss. Oddly enough (well not that oddly, if you know me), one of the first things that came to mind was a scene from Friends, where Phoebe plays a trick on Rachel when she finds out she's pregnant. Originally Phoebe tells Rachel that she isn't pregnant (when in fact, *spoiler alert* she is) and Rachel is upset and says the line "How can I be upset over something I never had".

That perfectly described what I was feeling. Did I know my birthmother? No. Did I have a relationship with her? No. Had I even seen her since I was a toddler? No. But I was still upset... over something I never had. Something I had always brushed off as something I would do "some day". Now, more than ever, I am reminded that we shouldn't put things off that we really want to do. I had been saying since I was a kid that when I turned 18, I would seek her out. Eighteen came and went... and so did over ten more years after that. Then I said I would invite her to my college graduation... and then my wedding. I did neither. And here I am, never having known my birthmom and now, never even having the chance. It's a bitter pill to swallow because there is nothing I can do about it.

This sense of regret is what prompted me to be bold. It's no surprise that the internet has made finding information and people easier than ever. Through the power of the internet I had previously found a potential half-sister of mine. I had also found that my birthmom's memorial hadn't yet happened. I had to reach out, like my friend said "if not now, when?" And that's exactly what I did. With the help of  Danica I constructed a Facebook message. It took some motivation from Danica... but I hit send. And she responded. She was warm and friendly and apparently had known about me all along! I couldn't help myself... I asked if it would be alright if I attend the memorial, and she extended the warmest of welcomes.

And so... I went, with my mom riding shotgun, we made the hour and a half drive to Victorville and I attended my birthmoms memorial. Just typing about it now, the anxiousness fills me again. I walked in and froze. Thank god my mom went with me or I probably would have walked right back out of the door. After a couple minutes my half sister and I make eye contact... from there everything is sort of a blur and I swear I even blacked out a couple of times but we exchanged a hug and said our first in-person "hello"s. I couldn't stop staring at her. The whole thing was so surreal. She asked me how I wanted to be introduced to people and I had no idea. I didn't know who knew what and just how much they knew. But before long I was being introduced to people, to be honest, I couldn't tell you how she introduced me but the most impactful was meeting my birthmoms husband of 24 years. He told me that my birthmom talked about me often and even cried on my birthday. It was hard to hear and yet, at the same time, somewhat comforting. I was so warmly welcomed by everyone that I met, almost all of whom, already knew who I was. On the drive home I told my mom "That really couldn't have gone any better". Obviously, not knowing my birthmom personally will forever be a regret of mine, but getting to know the people that knew her best is the next best thing and I'm so glad that I did it.

Afterward I got lunch with my half sister and we talked about my birthmom and our lives in general. The sense of relief I felt knowing that I wasn't some dirty little secret, and not only did everyone know about me... they knew me by name. Do I wish I had gotten the chance to actually meet and talk to her in person? Of course, but I can't help but think that things happened the way they did for a reason, a reason that I maybe don't understand now and maybe never will, but I'm sure there is a reason.

November is National Adoption Month with National Adoption Day falling on November 21st. Adoption is a wonderful thing and I consider myself lucky to have an adoption journey of my own. It has made me who I am today and I am so grateful for it. As always, I am an open book as far as my adoption goes, if anyone reading this has any questions or would like to discuss my adoption further or just adoption in general, I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Shea + Sam // Sand Acre Estate Wedding

We received our wedding highlight reel last week just slightly shy of our one year anniversary. It took some time but it was so worth the wait.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fresh Look Friday!

Danica and I moved into the house that my husband and I call home five years ago this summer. It's crazy to think about because it feels like only yesterday and yet, in those five years so much has happened! Not long after moving in, we invited our friend Stefana to also move in. Danica eventually got engaged and married and moved out. We got another roommate who also eventually moved out. I got engaged and Sam moved in. Then when Sam and I got married Stefana moved out. 

Being that it is now our home as the little family that we now are, we have been making little changes and improvements to make it more "us" (who am I kidding, I'm just making it more "me" and he's living with it, haha.). 

The latest of these endeavors has been the garage, which, as most know, is lovingly referred to as the "craft cave". For years I have wanted a dream work space to make all of my sewing, hot glue guning and Cricuting dreams come true. I have found, on my search for the perfect space that generally creative spaces are one of two things either beautiful or functional. There are some that are GORGEOUS but everything is so impeccably neat that you really couldn't be creative in the space. Then there is the opposite, where craft supplies are everywhere but its a complete and utter disaster. Why is it so hard for a space to be both? So that became my mission. A space that was both beautiful AND functional. Jen over at Something Turquoise managed to do it, and so would I!

My inspiration was this wallpaper from Anthrolopogy. I've been drooling over it for months (along with many other admirers I'm sure). 
Obviously, at $148.00 per roll, it wasn't something I was going to be splurging on anytime soon, HOWEVER, I could still use it as inspiration, right?

First, was finding the perfect wall color. I knew I wanted to find a muted mint color, (after my wedding colors, is it any surprise?) and came across Mischievous by Behr (and who can resist that name, right?). 
I only wanted to use the color on one wall so I chose my "display wall". 
The way the "craft cave" was built, it was actually added on to an existing two car garage so technically, the wall we painted, at one time, was the exterior wall to the original garage. We didn't know how the stucco would take the paint but the final product ended up actually better than we imagined. (Side note: when I say "we", I am referring to me and my kick ass mom who LOVES a project. She has been my motivator/slave driver through this whole process.)
Before Paint
And After
It's just a slight and yet impactful change. 
(Hutch was a $60 Craigslist find.... love me some Craigslist)
While I was doing some sewing my mom styled the hutch for me with some of my wedding decor, it's still a work in progress but loving the direction it's heading in.

At the end of the day it IS still a garage so making it totally beautiful might never be entirely possible, but I'm hopeful. 

The next project we tackled after the mint wall was the red shelving on the opposite wall. I'm kicking myself for not getting a good before photo but I dug this one out of the archives from when Danica, my mom and myself very first went to look at the  house before we moved in to see if it was something Danica and I were interested in. 
Yes, five years ago I had short blonde hair, but more importantly, there is the red shelving. 
I had been using it as a catch all for all things garage, like Christmas decorations, old paint, etc. 

Since pegboard is an extremely versatile and functional use of space we decided to keep it and mirror the mint wall by painting the pegboard mint as well. 

Then it was time for the shelving. Now, the shelving wasn't just wood that was painted red... it was laminate. Red, plastic, laminate. We weren't about to attempt to rip it all off so paint it was the option we opted for. 
The Rust-Oleum Universal claims to cover wood, metal, plastic and masonry so it was our best bet. To prevent paint from going everywhere we spent a good chunk of time basically tenting off the paint zone. Now, I haven't seen E.T. probably in over two decades but I feel like it vaguely looked like that scene from the end of the movie where the house was essentially quarantined. If you've ever used spray paint before you know why this was necessary and if you haven't... well, just trust me on this. 
Here was the final product. The paint seemed to cover well, we will see how it lasts. A few scratches have already been made and some red has shown through but... it's better than the whole thing being red. Visiting 5 different Walmart's in one day is how I found my collection of storage bins, but wouldn't you know, the right side is an inch smaller than the left, so the hunt for properly sized bins for that side continues. See the white on the ground... yeah... that is where the the plastic didn't quite cover... I'm telling you, spray paint is no joke. Speaking of... because I was in a confined space with the paint, we took major precautions to make sure I wasn't just in a tent of toxic fumes. 
 I had decided to make curtains to hide the storage and, using my Anthropology inspiration, I found a fun floral pattern that had punches of coral, pastel pink, and of course... GOLD. 
Because the floor is uneven, getting the curtains flush just isn't possible, but I'm happy with the way they sit. 

It's still a work in progress, but the progress so far has been awesome!
 Next on the to-do list:
                                   Paint the rest of the garage (white)
                                   Possibly paint the floor
                                   Clean and organize all of my craft supplies
                                   Utilize as much of the pegboard as possible
                                   Get back to CRAFTING!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Newest Newon! (Photo HEAVY)

About a week ago I had the privilege of throwing a baby shower for my best friend Danica. It's no secret that I love planning events. After my wedding was over, while I did have a sigh of relief, I also was sad thinking that I would no longer have an event to plan or a reason to spend time in my craft cave. Well, shortly after our wedding, Danica told me that she was expecting and the baby shower planning began!

Her and her husband chose not to find out the sex of their baby and while that has been driving me crazy, it gave me an excuse to throw a shower simply celebrating the mommy to be. Instead of a pink or blue theme, or a baby everything theme, I decided to go with a grown up, girly theme with touches of dogs (more specifically Danica's dogs George and Sophie). You'll see what I mean later...

For the color scheme, I decided to go with navy, hues of peach and (of course) gold. 
From there my friend Erin created these UH-MAZING invites:
She kills it every time. (If you missed it she also created my fabulous wedding invites.)
The enclosure and printing was done by Cards & Pockets.

Because gold was also a primary color used in my wedding, I already had TONS of wonderful gold items to use for the shower AND since I am a lover of all things gold, I didn't mind picking up a few extra things along the way. 

Lets just get to the photos shall we??
As always my Cricut Explore was my best friend for most of my projects, like this "Oh Baby" sign that I hung from the gate that guests entered through.
I re-used some gold photo frames from my wedding and also spray painted some little dog figurines (gold of course). 
I created a custom "Guest Book" using silhouettes of Danica's dogs and some pre cut balloon shapes for each guest to sign to latter be added. 
Here is what the final product ended up looking like.
And here are the models themselves :)
The "Mom"osa Bar was complete with champagne, juice, and lemonade and water as well. 
I had guests choose what they thought the baby was by choosing a drink stir that was also made out of silhouette of Danicas dogs, George for a boy and Sophie for a girl. 
My Cricut of course helped me to create these custom juice labels (carafes from Ikea)
That gold polka dot drink dispenser was a Marshall's find that I just couldn't pass up. (Similar)
I don't think I got a good photo of them but I also made custom water bottle wraps that you can kind of see in this photo. 
The final set up. 
My wedding florist LeeLina went above and BEYOND what I expected with florals. I mean come on... how gorgeous, right?
The shower favor was a succulent (with, of course, another doggy silhouette) in a gold pot no less. (Sorry the photo is kind of blurry)
The flowers tho... I meeeeean...

Quite possibly my favorite detail of the whole shower was this chair. I added a "Baby Mama" banner (one of Danica and I's favorite movies) and LeeLina added the extra little flower and ribbon detail and it just looked amazing. 
And if you know me, you know a photo backdrop is a necessity and this event of course was no exception. 
Baby alphabet book station. 
Another favorite part of the shower... the flower crown station. Not sure where I got the idea but from the beginning of the shower planning process a flower crown station was a MUST. 
Before I made my crown. Danicas was made by LeeLina and was absolutely gorgeous (as expected).
Party host Me ;)
Aren't the flower crowns just such an awesome touch??


Isn't the chair just amazing?
Some girls enjoying the Baby Alphabet Book station. 
We, obviously, had our own photoshoot...

The somewhat inappropriate gift I gave to Danica. 
Cutting into the delicious cake (with, of course, a custom cake topper made by me and my Cricut). 

Sadly I didn't get a great photo of most of the desserts... but here are a couple...
Strawberry Shortcake shooters (whip cream was added later). 
Hitting the timer button and running back and trying to crouch for the photo clearly didn't do much for my posing but, you get the idea. 
My favorite Baby Mama <3

I'd say the shower was a success (aside from the fact it felt like we were on the sun for most of it, but seeing as how it rained the weekend before, I'd rather have the heat)! We all had so much fun and it was exactly what Danica wanted, a relaxed environment, a small group, no pressure, no games, just hanging out and having fun and celebrating the mama to be! 

Now... all thats left is the arrival of the Newest Newon!

Vendor Love: Invitations // Florist // Rentals // Design + Planning // Cake