Chiso is ONE!


who's Chiso? our son! his full name is Munachiso which means 'God and I are accompanying each other'.

however he's not getting another party until he's 5.  joking:)  i really did have fun and tried to be as creative as possible. i had no idea how i was going to pull this off 'alone', and i was completely intimidated from the jump.  all i knew was that i wanted it to look and be amazing...  just had no clue how to do that and it literally haunted me.  yes. a party for a 1 yr old sometimes kept me up at night.

first things first- a gigantic THANK YOU to my vendors: God, my mom and aunt Hazel, Parchment by Dami,   jvincentphotography,  Yongs Bakery,,  Oriental Trading, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Party City, Pinterest, and good ol' Google.  a heartfelt thank you to all who joined us on Chiso's big day. read on!


let's give it up for Dami!! *whistles* all bias aside, these 3-D invitations are incredibly cool and original.  after filling her in on my theme, i sat back and let her do her thing like i knew she would.  i was uber pleased and got so much great, positive feedback on these puppies.  look!

she used 3 different safari animals for the front cover.

inside the invite:

she then wrapped each one in giraffe printed ribbon paper and tied it with raffia.

she is simply excellent at what she does.  Parchment by Dami - you NEED her.


my and oriental trading stuff  (water labels, cupcake wrappers, cupcake toppers, banners, etc.) arrived two weeks before party time and guess what- i started setting up two weeks before party time. yes, i did.  Sonny hit me with the 'are you really about to have the house lookin' crazy for the next two weeks' face when he got home from work that day.

*themed table*

here is a really, really rough draft shot of the table.  ground zero.  rock bottom.  no direction whatsoever.  i.e. 'now what?'

this was a true PROCESS!  trial and error at it's finest.  however, i was pretty satisfied with the end result.

proud moment: putting on the finishing touches about 30 min. before go time.  Sonny told me i could do it myself and i gave him so much crap about purposely not helping me.  darn you Sonny and your reverse psychology!!!! seriously though, thank you.  we're still not friends.

the french fries were in the oven at this point- that's the only thing missing (see the empty shot glasses on the right).  here are a few close-ups though:

jungle animal plates. apparently these have been at Walmart for forever.  never knew!  they were perfect though.

party agua.

mothers cookies. i happened to walk right by them in Walmart and the word safari caught my eye. or was it jungle? idk,  but they were shaped like wild animals. delicious, sweet, crispy wild animals.

fast food fries. kids love fries.

i made sure to have something for everybody. the little bitty babies and the toddlers munched on Gerber Graduate snacks and goldfish.

skewered rainbow fruit.

cupcakes from Yong's Bakery.  some were buttercream cake/icing and some were chocolate by special request;)  my zebra cakes would NOT stay put...they kept sliding down the skewers cause they were too heavy.  the show must go on!

 i saw 50 bajillion cupcake toppers on and went with these.

remember these from our super bowl party?  buffalo chicken bites (or poppers) were in the house and back by popular demand.  i only used Captain Crunch cereal this time though, no Corn Flakes.  the sweetness just works better.

mini pizzas- kids love pizza.

veggie shots! i hope people had as much fun eating these as i did making them.  i did half humus and half ranch for dipping and used a combo of sugar snap peas, carrots, and red/yellow bell pepper.  ignore that 'happy easter' egg plate back there, hahahahaha

side shot.

there was more stuff in the kitchen- the adult food, (shrimp fried rice and grilled chicken wings courtesy of my dear mother-in-law:), drinks and snacks.

'diabetes in a cup', smh. also known as, Jungle Juice.  no idea where my tent card went though, oh well.

kettle corn! i made the holders from zebra and giraffe printed scrap-book paper from hobby lobby.  i then wrapped this big styrofoam box that our sprinklers came in with dressing paper and poked holes in it so they would stand on their own.

thanks for the idea, Dami- she is overflowing with them!!

who knows or cares where this recipe originated, but kudos to Pinterest for these cake batter rice krispy treats. too sweet for anybody's good but you just can't stop eating them, grrrrrrrrrr

'thanks for going wild with me!'


jungle sucker favors.almost cut up my debit card after visiting  yes, everything MUST  match!!! try not to get crazy though.  promise me.

activities for the kids... blank jungle animal masks to color and wear,  bubble sticks,  and frisbees.

we also had a 'spiderman' *side-eye* moonwalk outside.


 (i had to change Chiso's clothes cause things got a little crazy after the smash cake part)

speaking of smash cake- that's the moment  i we were all waiting for!!!!

i'll say it again- this is the BEST buttercream cake/icing combo on this earth.  waiting for someone to prove me wrong!  unfortunately i accept all challenges.

Chiso loved the cake and threw a small fit once we took it away.

one last family shot and this is the best we could do! you parents know how it can be...they never smile or look right when ya need them too;)

remember we headed out to Austin the next day, so i packed up the last of his cake so we he could enjoy some on his actual bday!

can we count this as a 'preggo' post? i haven't done one in a while LOL.

hope you enjoyed reading as much as i enjoyed sharing.


tears to the weekend

i sure did hate to see this past weekend go!

 are you still running?? the 5 and 10ks have not stopped and neither should you.  the weather is getting warmer and warmer, so stay hydrated out there.  i'm doing a 10k at the end of this month (look for it over there in the sidebar) with my buddy Kara; i'm excited about our running date!

weekend recap:

 i started my saturday with my fav class- 1 hr of total conditioning @ lifetime.  my hubby usually goes to play basketball for his workout, but for some reason everybody took this past saturday off as there were no hoopers in sight according to him!  so, he hit me up for a brunch date right after i finished up.  we tried a new place this time, Otto's Deluxe Grill.  unfortunately, we won't be back as Sonny felt he could have made his meal himself, at home. touche!  kudos to us for trying something different though, right!?

pretty cut and dry, eh? i got their sampler breakfast- scrambled egg whites, ham, one pancake, and hash browns.  ham was the only option other than pork sausage and bacon.  that really is a blueberry pancake.  ultimately, the hash browns were the highlight of the meal for me.

moving on, my east coast boos were in town for a friend's wedding!!

i've never met a woman more giving than Ijeoma (r). as the saying goes 'you can't please everybody',  but this girl sure does try!  i am so honored to be her friend.  she looks amazing, as usual!

this is my fellow blogger, crazy talented, close friend Dami  and i having a grand time @ the wedding.  you MUST check her out (Parchment by Dami) as she is simply incredible at what she does.  she made the invitations for my co-ed baby shower last year, and she is currently working on the invites for my little man's first birthday party next month!

plantain was on the menu so i was super happy. Dams loves me so much she gave me all of hers.  ok i asked first.. she was taking too long O_o

jellof rice, stewed goat, hen, fish, plantains, and a green salad was also served.  Sonny always hints for me to add more Nigerian dishes to my repertoire... workin on that ;)

 i didn't get any of that beautiful cake cause i had to head out early, bummer.

i started my Sunday off with taking Dams back to the airport :( we headed to church when i returned, and then on to celebrate my husband's 10 year reunion with his fraternity (line) brothers and their wives @ Brio.

i stated with their field greens salad that came with tomatoes, gorgonzola, and pine nuts, and balsamic dressing (on the siiiiide)

the shrimp and crab crepes sounded SCRUMPTIOUS so i tried them...very good!

 Sonny sent his plate back after one bite! it was just a fritatta, but that creamy sauce was prolly what did it for him.  he ended up playing it safe and trading it for a tilapia and spinach dish. ( as if we don't eat that enough @ home lol)

i knew our little guy would catch a nice long nap since we had been out all day, and he did just that on our way home.   so i went straight to the gym and got in an hr of cardio while my window of opp was wide open! we ended the evening with some tv and lounging.

ok back to today!  i'm trying a different recipe for dinner tonight so i'll let you know how it goes.  i'm hoping after it sits for a few hours and the flavors marry that it will turn out pretty tasty.  i'll call it a soup for now, we'll see..

sweet jerk soup  (haha)

the stuff:

  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • jerk or any type of seasoning you like, to taste
  • 1 carton low sodium chicken stock/broth
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 bag frozen okra
  • 1 med sweet potato
  • bunch of fresh cilantro
  • 1 bag frozen spinach
  • 1 med shallot
  • 1 yellow onion

do this:

chop up the shallots and onions and cook them until translucent (2-3 min).  add your chopped chicken breasts and cook until there is no more pink.

can be found in the bulk aisle @ HEB - thanks, Nkechi!

then, add in your fresh cilantro and jerk seasoning.

go ahead and pretty much add in everything else. your chopped sweet potatoes, tomatoes, okra, spinach,

 and more jerk seasoning.


once combined, add in your box of low sodium chicken broth.

put the top on and let it simmer for a good 20 minutes.

so far, it's really sweet.  the only thing i'd do different next time is either use another seasoning OR use less sweet potato. the combo of them both is too much.  i'm gonna make some brown rice to serve it with.  have a great night and enjoy your dinner!!