Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a White {Wreath??}

We live in Virginia which means we rarely see snow... but a girl can dream, right? And as I had visions of snowflakes dancing in my head, I decided to bring the snow to me (even if it is faux snow. Plastic snow to be exact.)

I was tired of last year's wreath. It was very traditional. I wanted something fun... funky... and even something that could hang around through the winter, instead of being forced out shortly after we say "au revoir" to 2011.  

So I hit up The Dollar Store and Michaels (Where else? Hold your tongue if you are one of the lucky few that get to experience the greatness that is Hobby Lobby.) 

After a couple hours of quality time with my trusty hot glue gun, I was left with this:
(Please excuse the cruddy picture quality. I took them with my phone)

This project was so easy and so quick that I was able to get two wreaths done in one evening.

So here's how the wreath making went down.  
You'll need 
  • 1- styrofoam circle- Dollar Store or Michaels. 
  • 4- packs of Large Dollar Store plastic snowflakes. They come three per pack for $1
  • A bunch of small/medium plastic snowflakes. They come 6 per pack for $1

Using your hot glue gun, put the 12 large Snowflakes on first, in two rows.  This will act as a foundation.

After that, glue on rows upon rows of the medium snowflakes  (approx. six rows but just eye it and keep stacking until you are satisfied with how it looks.)
Then slap on a bow and it's ready to adorn your door. 

I'll snap a pic of the wreath on my front door tomorrow, if I get home before it gets dark.

Happy wreath making!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's National Adoption Month: And We Were Scammed

Hi Friends,

It has been awhile (3 months to be exact) since I checked in with you.  Life got overwhelming, and unfortunately, blogging, which is one of the things I enjoy and find relaxing, just seemed like too much of a task when the whirlwind of life swept in.  I should have checked in and told you that I'd be back in a bit, but it really wasn't an intentional break. It just happened.

Here's why life became a bit overwhelming:

  1. It all began with the absence of the hubs.  He was gone for 3 1/2 weeks visiting his parents and family.  
  2. The hubby's absence spanned the timeframe of Hurricane Irene's visitation.  We all thought the storm was going to be detrimental to Hampton Roads.  It took a lot of prep work to get the house ready before I camped out at my parents house for a few days.  Luckily, there was no damage and the storm didn't live up to the anticipation (thank goodness!)
  3. Work! For two months, I was the busiest I have ever been at work. In October, CBN celebrated their 50th broadcast anniversary and I was very involved in that celebratory weekend... in addition to my normal producing schedule. 
  4. Brandon got into Physician Assistant school.  He begins school the first week of January 2012... so that means BIG changes for The Cozy Cape Couple. I'll be back later this week with those details. 
And Adoption...
Now for the main reason for this post.  As if ALL of that wasn't enough to overwhelm even the strongest of people, we went through a pretty devastating and trying time regarding a potential adoption last month.

The short of the situation was that we were promised this baby through a private adoption...

but we never got him.  In fact, baby Jeremiah doesn't exist.

The birth mother, who at the time used the name DeAmber Dotson (we later found out her real name is DaVanna Dotson), told our attorney that she lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  DaVanna said that her aunt in Oklahoma had helped her set up a private adoption with another couple.... but when she got to Oklahoma to visit her aunt and give  up Jeremiah, she wasn't happy with the potential adoptive parents.  It was at that point that she said she needed some money for gas, formula, diapers, and a car seat so she could return to Virginia Beach and give us custody of Jeremiah when we went through the adoption process.  At first, none of this raised any red flags in our minds because it is fairly normal protocol to cover travel expenses when a private adoption arrangements are being made.

Well, after a crazy two days of texts with DaVanna and friends ripping apart our guest room to make way for a nursery, I began to get suspicious. DaVanna avoided contact with my attorney... the same attorney DaVanna had contacted originally to set up the adoption; Davanna asked for more money, which I refused to give to her; and DaVanna avoided answering specifics on her location even though she claimed she was in the midst of the long drive from Oklahoma to Virginia.

In the end, there was no baby, no private adoption potential and DaVanna had never left the state of Oklahoma.  I knew that if she had pulled the scam on us, she must be preying on the emotions of other couples wanting a child, so I went to the Oklahoma News Channel 6 in hopes that other couples would come forward.  Well, the story aired and 7 other couples, plus us, came forward and are willing to testify.  DaVanna was arrested and is awaiting trial.

Here is DaVanna being arrested:

And here is her mugshot:

Authorities believe there are many more couples that have been scammed by Davanna so CBN News told our story in hopes that the national exposure will build an even stronger case.

Here's the CBN News story:

If you or anyone you know has been scammed by DaVanna, please contact Detective Lynn Hamlin at 918-680-3114.  November is National Adoption Month.  Please help spread the word so authorities can build a very strong case.

I have amazing friends that were with me every step of the way.  They got angry with me... they got sad with me... and they tracked this girl down with me.  Most people aren't that lucky, so I say thank you to my friends... you know who you are!

We will be parents one day.  I'm just sitting back and waiting to see what God has in store for us.

P.S. If you want to see the News Channel Six story that helped put DaVanna behind bars, follow this Adoption Fraud link (the embed code isn't working).

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baby Shower: "Sugar, and Spice and Everything Nice"

Hi Friends,

Last Saturday I had the joy of throwing a baby shower for a dear friend.  She and I met through unfortunate shared circumstances: infertility (see my story here). A group of us met through a mutual friend that knew all of us felt alone and needed a support system... and so friendships were formed.
That's why this shower was such an exciting one to plan. 
Take that infertility!

So here's the scoop.   
Four of us pulled together to plan a "Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice" shower complete with a cookie bar...
Guests were welcomed with a drink bar stocked with iced tea, lemonade and a peach punch

  and guests drank from mason jars with hard plastic straws from Party City.
 The jars were decorated with jute twine and tags made by yours truly.  
The wording on the tags: "Baby, you're the milk to my cookies."

I hung an "OH BABY" burlap banner above the drink bar.
I made the banner out of burlap and paint that I already had at the house. 
Gotta' love free!

Up next, we had an appetizer bar chalked full of fruit, cheese and a chocolate fountain.

I made a sign to don the table.  
(I love signs!  They just add the extra-special punch that takes a party to the next level)
The wording:  "Enjoy the food for a treat...Take it to the fountain to make it sweet)

Then we had more food, most of which was catered by a friend's coworker.  

The centerpiece is an antique baby doll carriage. 
A year ago I saw it when I was antique shopping and just knew I had to have it.  When I was younger my dad bought this same carriage for me to push around my cabbage patch doll so it brought back fond childhood memories. 

(You've probably noticed the faux flowers.  Mom-to-be is allergic to flowers, so we had to be "faux sure" we didn't have a flower induced asthma attack during our celebration)

We wrapped the silverware in napkins and I dressed it up with ribbon and another homemade tag.
The wording:  "Grab a fork... eatin' for two."
Plates, napkins and silverware were displayed in a bike shaped planter that I snagged for 1/2 off at Michael's five years ago.  This bike has been worth the money! I use it every party I throw!

One of the few dishes not catered was the chocolate covered popcorn.
We drizzled pink and brown chocolate on microwaved popcorn and served it up in handmade paper cones and a vintage milk crate.
(more on the vintage crate here)

Once the guests made the loop around the table they looked to their left where where we set-up a cookies and milk bar.
All the cookies were homemade...
and we went old school with vintage-inspired glass milk jugs from Wal-mart, filled with regular, strawberry and chocolate milk. 
I couldn't believe it when I laid eyes on those jugs! 
And for less than $5 bucks each. 
I carried the "Baby, you're the milk to my cookies" theme to the Cookie Bar sign.

 The fun didn't stop with the cookies!
You didn't think we forgot the cake, did you?  
We had raspberry filled cupcakes displayed on my vintage whisky barrel (more on the barrel here)

I made a "BABY" sign with white wooden letters from Michael's, my hot glue gun and pink and white polka-dot ribbon that I had at the house.
And I added another sign that I whipped up in Word.
The wording:  "Oh Baby!  Mama's got a little cookie baking in the oven!")

And while I'm not a huge fan of shower games we did include a few activities.
1) Guess the spices...

to go with our sugar and spice theme
2) and don't say "baby" game:

As things wrapped up, guests were sent off with a cookie kit.
I assembled the ingredients in 1 quart mason jars and attached a tag with cooking instructions along with a cookie cutter.

Hope you had as much fun checking out my party as we did at the party!
Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. In the next week, I'll do a tutorial on the cookie kit jars and the peach punch.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Big Barrel of Rustic Goodness

Hi Friends,

If you haven't figured it out by now, I love anything with a rustic or vintage look.  When I laid eyes on this beauty, he had me at hello.

Would you look at those curves?  That weathered wood?  Ahhh.... another aged beauty to add to my collection.  Remember the vintage crate I snagged for $9.99 from E-bay?
So here's the story with my whisky barrel.  As I planned the hubby's 30th, I knew that I needed the perfect spot to display his cake.  I thought... I searched... I tried to find something perfect that I already owned, but the picture I had in my head wasn't lining up with anything that was currently at The Cozy Cape.

During an impromptu thrift store shopping spree with my friend Ashley from It Rocks To Be A Knox, I mentioned to her that I had barrel envy. You see, her in laws gave her an old whisky barrel as a wedding gift.  She entertains a lot and her barrel always steals the show.
Here it is:

I told her to keep her eyes peeled for a barrel that could come live in the Boyd casa... preferably one that wasn't $300 bucks.  Let me tell you, Ashley can find a deal!  And she didn't let me down this time. 24 hours later Ashley called to say she spotted an old barrel on the side of her in-laws home.  Her in-laws had bought a barrel for their friends but said friends never came and picked it up. So Ashley quickly got on the phone to see if they'd be up for selling their barrel.  Well, they said YES (it sounds like a marriage proposal)!  One day later, I was the proud owner of a rustic barrel.  And all for the low price of $50 dollars.  That price is unheard of!  And even if you could find one online for that price, shipping is at least another $100 dollars.  Thanks Ash!

But the deal finding doesn't end there.  I knew I wanted to get a piece of round glass cut to place on top of the barrel to make it more table-esque.  Well, when I called a local glass cutting shop, they wanted $60 buckaroos.  Um... No thank you.  So with all of my fingers and toes crossed, I ran into the Habitat for Humanity store five minutes before they closed, with high hopes they'd have a piece of round glass big enough to don the top of my new old barrel.  Well, they did! I snagged the perfect piece of glass for less than $10 dollars.  Take a peek of it doin' it's job at two parties.

But wait, there's more (I feel like a bad infomercial!).  While I was at the Habitat store, something caught my eye.  One aisle over from the round glass, there was a mini barrel sitting all by its lonesome.  It was $5.99. Sold! And  I hunted down a square piece of glass for $2.99. Sold!

I used the mini barrel as a favor display for both parties last week.   

The moral of the story here is ask and you shall receive. 

P.S.  Posts to come this week:
1)  Party details for both the 30th birthday bash
2) Party details for the surprise baby shower
3) A post on some more kitchen updates

Also, don't forget to like The Cozy Cape on Facebook!  I'd love to see your smiling faces!