life in general


Here we are, a beautiful day to set off a new week.  There has been a lot of goings-on here in the Circus Berry household, a lot of challenges for me, even still, and some more changes that I will be sharing in detail with you at the end of this post.  I don’t usually get to personal or wordy here, so I am saving it for last.  First…

Happy Dyngus Day. Oh wait, you don’t know what Dygus Day is? Well, I didn’t either, until I moved to Buffalo, NY. It just happens to be the biggest Polish Celebration around and the biggest happens right here in Buffalo.  Although I am not Polish, and have never taken part in the festivities, I do find them mildly amusing.  You should check it out here.  Anderson Cooper even gave it some recognition one year CNN!  Granted, he was laughing at the big celebration, but national recognition nonetheless.  Watch for a good laugh yourself!

Ok, onto another favorite holiday.  Cinco de Mayo.  My reason for drinking homemade margaritas and Mexican beer, and eating tacos.  Since there are no ‘ritas or Coronas for me this year, I started the Mexican celebration early with some homemade Mexican Brownies, courtesy of Aaron Sanchez.  So good!


My little man has been fighting croup all week.  We seem to be in the clear now, but you know how it is when your babies are sick!


So there was some art at home.


Can’t keep a good guy down.


I finally made it to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que with the Mr.  It was so, SO yummy and worth the heartburn I had after.  If you don’t know, you should…Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.


“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”


Rabbit food.  Miss Moira loved her plating of the Easter Bunny’s treat so much she wanted to photograph it.  Blogger’s daughter.


We have a little hairstylist on our hands.  Thank you, Easter Bunny, for the dolly hair stylist set.


There is a little friend nesting in one of our trees out front.  I am so excited to see how this progresses!


So, now that I have highlighted the fun, I will get down to some business and housekeeping…you may have noticed that posting the past 2 weeks has been a little more sporadic.  I set out months ago to share inspiration for celebrating, every day, and while I still have lots of ideas and fun to share, the “every day” part has started become harder and harder to attain.  You see–at the present moment Circus Berry is a one-woman show.  (Okay, one woman plus her extremely supportive family and friends!)  I am eager to get to a spot where I have regular help up in here, it just hasn’t come to be yet.  I am okay with that.  So given some circumstances that I am ready to share a bit about, you will see some changes in the posting schedule.  It will be less than every day but still lots of times throughout the week.

I mentioned in a post recently that I have returned back to some Fee-for-Service work as an SLP, which has been both wonderful and chaotic.  I am full time for the next two weeks and then will be doing a little here and there.  I am excited about the chance to keep my hand in the Speech-Language Pathology field…I was missing it, honestly…but recognize that Circus Berry has turned into my other love.  I am fortunate to be able to do both really and will continue to do so as long as I am able.  That being said–some days I will be an SLP in addition to blogger and in an effort not to spread myself to thin and sacrifice my work ethic, values, and quality of work I put out, I will be dividing up my time more reasonably between the two…


Oh, wait!  I am a wife and mom too!?!?!  So I take that back.  Dividing my time up between the…two, three, four…oh, you get it!  Besides a new baby arriving in July sometime, some other discoveries have come to light in the Circus Berry household that have made me rethink how I spend the various parts of my day, week, weekends, holidays, and the like.

Let me break it down like this.  I had a minor emotional meltdown on Friday about some things that are happening and made the very difficult decision to take the weekend off…from everything except family and home.  The result?  At 26 weeks pregnant, I helped Mr. CB get through some serious yard work and together we dreamed of what exciting things we will do in our backyard.  All while the kids played, climbed, rolled, ran, twirled, chased, (fought), dreamed, and planned with us.  I left my phone indoors.  I only took out the computer to plan a weekend getaway and research backyard play sets…

Magellan Explorer Play Set via Backyard Adventures

Magellan Explorer Play Set via Backyard Adventures

Ain’t she a beauty?  Anyway, it was pretty uncharacteristic of me.  I usually do some work on weekend mornings, but it was a much needed break and a wake-up call that I am one woman, not superwoman.  Sometimes I can’t do it all.  Sometimes I have to Let it Go.  Sometimes life throws a curve ball and I have to bend…(wow, I have come a long way to admit that publicly).

I have made the decision, though, and I will be trying not to do it all, all of the time.  This  is me trying to Let it Go.  This is me bending.  I know that we all have things that require our attention in all areas of our lives either due to choice or chance.  I am announcing my decision, (That is supposed to help, right?  Saying it out loud?  Telling everyone you know?) that I will be more actively and fully engaged in those areas of my life..for me and my sanity, for my family, for my friends, for happiness and peace, and for you my reader.

I promise that will keep on inspiring you to celebrate, and sharing my love of all things food, drink, craft, life, decor, parties, and fun her on Circus Berry.  I am not going anywhere, just changing it up a bit.  Thank you for stopping by and I hope you keep coming to visit!



ruffled barrettes {diy}


Happy Thursday.  Today I am sharing another hair pretty idea for you.  Anyone who has come to visit Circus Berry regularly knows of my ongoing attempts to keep my daughter’s hair in place, in style.  It never fails that I get the hair done and within minutes it is undone.  I can’t blame the girl, she has my wild hair.  Nevertheless, we still try.  And I still make all sorts of pretties to try with.  The latest…


The newest challenge–getting the hair pretties that go to school in the hair to come back home again.  Our supply is dwindling by the day!  I did, however, find a barrette that works to keep everything in place, at least for most of the day, and is a little harder to come out of the hair.  Naturally, I had to dress them up, right?!?!


To make your own ruffled barrettes, you’ll need:

  • hair clips
  • ribbon
  • needle & thread
  • hot glue


Ruffle your ribbon using the needle and thread.   Once you have the length you need, hot glue it to the length of the barrette.  That’s it!


You can do a very neat and organized ruffle, or a random ruffle that points this way and that.  Either way, ti adds some fun to little girls’ hair.  Enjoy!


And if you are looking for some other fun hair accessories, check out some of these projects:

pink-feather-barretteFelt Feather Hair Clips

studded-hairbandsStudded Hairbands

scrappy-hair-tieScrappy Hair tie


burlap covered bulletin board {diy}


Did you happen to see all of the burlap covered canvases out there in the art/craft supply stores?  I did and immediately thought one would make a fabulous bulletin board.  Then I saw the price tag and I just couldn’t justify it.  Naturally, I decided I would make my own, complete with an awesome, DIY nailhead trim.


I took a canvas that I had in the basement and up cycled it with some scrap burlap.  I used two layers…both to make sure I didn’t see the print underneath and to give it some added thickness for the pins to go through.  I used a staple gun to keep it all together, pulling and stretching the fabric around as I stapled to keep it tight.


I used thumbtacks around the edge for the nailhead trim look.


All done, looking great in the pantry, and practically nothing spent.  I think that makes it even more awesome-er.


And how about that artwork?  I had an eager little artist ready to hang something on our new board.

Have a great day!


life in general


Happy Monday.  I feel like Spring is in fact finally here, which makes day to day life so much more cheerful.  The days are getting longer, the windows can stay open longer without us freezing, and the sunset is still streaming in a few windows a little when the kids go to bed at night.  As for the early, early morning (which I have been up for each day to go to the new job)…when it looks like this, it makes me just as cheery.


Getting crafty with therapy materials.  I have a basement full of bins of homemade therapy materials, yet still I make more…


Little Miss has a new accessory.  She has been such a good sport about it!


It’s that time of the year.  Brooklyn Summer is one of my favorite hot-weather, cook-out, front porch beverages.  I know I have to wait another 4 months to enjoy this part…the anticipation!


Going out for frozen yogurt in your PJs is awesome.  Getting to put whatever you want on frozen yogurt is awesome.  Gummy worms, Capn’ Crunch, marshmallow…


I found some fabulous geometric, shiny eggs at Target.  I love them.  I mean, I LOVE them.


Happy Spring feelings, all around.  What made you happy this week?


chicken & peppers with black beans over rice


One skillet meals are the very best kind for a busy night, don’t you think?  They are even better when they are full of veggies, protein, and fiber.   This dish is one of my favorites that my mother has made several times.  It was actually a little tricky to post about it, because usually it is an “a little of this, a little of that” sort of dish.


The main components–peppers, onions, chicken, black beans, and tomatoes.  At the end you top it with some fresh cilantro and shredded cheddar cheese.  It tastes so fresh that it is perfect just as is.  However, if you want to be adventurous, you could probably add some heat in the form of chipotles in Adobo, jalapeños, or even just a sprinkling of chili powder.


Chicken & Peppers with Black Beans over Rice

1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 each red and green pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Brown Rice, cooked according to package directions

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, red and green peppers, and garlic. Sauté about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the seasoned chicken pieces to the pan, stirring to combine.  Continue to cook on medium until the chicken is no longer pink inside, about another 5 minutes.  Continue to stir the mixture frequently.  Stir in the black beans and tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat and continue to simmer until everything is heated through and the vegetables are soft.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat.  Serve over rice.  Top with chopped cilantro and shredded cheese.  Enjoy!


This dish makes awesome leftovers too, so go ahead and double it up…as long as you have a large pan to accommodate it!  Throw it on top of nachos, in a flour tortilla, or again over rice.    Dinner is served.  And then served again!


bow ties & cotton tails garland


Isn’t it funny how at Christmastime, there is an endless amount of songs being sung about the holiday? Then we get to Easter and there is…one, maybe two!?!? We all know the one thought, right? “Here comes Peter Cotton Tail, hopping down the bunny trail…” Today I pay homage to that song. I remember my Grandmother sining it at Easter time to me when I was little. And now, when I think of that Peter Cotton Tail, I see a dapper bunny dressed in a bow tie, hopping along with his fluffy tail following behind. Inspiration for some Easter decor is what I call it.


This Easter Bow Ties & Cotton Tails Garland is too cute not to add to your decor.  It isn’t quite as obviously Easter as, say, eggs would be…but anyone who knows the song will get it.


You’ll need a bag of jumbo cotton balls and a spool of your ribbon color.  I ended up going with the turquoise.  Shocker.  You will also need a hot glue gun and needle and thread.


Make your bows by cutting a length of ribbon, attaching the ends to make a loop, then wrapping the center with a shorter length of ribbon.  Secure the whole thing with glue.


Then just string your cotton and bow ties  onto your thread, working right through the center of the bow.


I apologize if you now have “Peter Cotton Tail” stuck in your head for the rest of the day.  But isn’t this garland so stink in’ cute?  Have a great weekend!


Linking it Up:
Link Party Palooza
Super Saturday Link Party
Serenity Now
Pinworthy Projects Link Party
The Party Bunch

planning a mother’s day breakfast in bed @ Organize & Decorate Everything


Hey there. Maybe I am jumping the gun, or maybe I am just partial, but I don’t think it is ever too early to start planning out some pampering for the Mommas out there on Mother’s Day. Today I am over at Organize & Decorate Everything, sharing some great ideas for planning a Mother’s Day Breakfast in Bed. Because Mom would love it.


Stop over and check out some of the deets on how to put your own breakfast in bed together. I will be sure to please!


doodled easter eggs


Today’s project comes to you as a result of me wanting to do something fast, something fun, something untypical of Easter Eggs, DIY, super simple, and something that matched my colors in almost any room of my house.  It all came down to doodling.


There is something totally relaxing about doodling, and at the end of the day when I was zoning out to some prime time television, I doodled away.  No particular plan in mind really, just a couple of lines, shapes, and patterns.  I kept it minimal and simple this time but am already thinking about some more elaborate doodles.


All you need is some plastic Easter eggs and permanent marker, like a Sharpie.  I did white eggs, but any color to match your style or decor could be fun.  If I trusted myself to be gentle, I might even use blown eggs.  I am not gentle.  I can already hear the string of curse words as I break egg after egg trying to ‘gently’ doodle.  If you are not-so-careful, or even not-so-lucky, like me then go with plastic!


Now that I think of it, I may just dig out the bright & pastel eggs to draw on next, just because.  That was fun!


life in general


Happy Monday.  There have been a lot of changes here at the CB household this past week, the biggest being me returning to a Speech-Language Pathologist position.  That’s right–I’m using my SLP brain after a year off.  It has made for a hectic week and I have some adjusting to do for sure.  It’s amazing though–I feel slightly more on task and have made a little more time in my day to do non-work sorts of things.   Like leisure reading.

WHAT?  I never read for pleasure anymore.  This week I finished two books I had started months (even a year) ago and started two new ones.  Look out.  And what goes better with a good book?  Ice cream.


We enjoyed some of the warmer weather.  The kids have been WAITING to ride bikes.


I committed blasphemy by buying a can of store-bought frosting.  Short on time means go with what’s easy.  And color it green while you’re at it.


I have come full-circle, returning back to the place where I started my career as an SLP.


I found a new favorite candy bar.  I want to buy these in bulk and eat them every day.


The long and the short of it.  There is all sorts of excitement coming.  And the weather is getting warmer.  THANK GOODNESS!  Have a great week!


easter party inspiration


Easter is only a couple of weeks away but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw together a fun little soiree with the kiddies in a pinch to celebrate the day.  Maybe it’s an Easter Egg Hunt, maybe it’s an Easter Brunch, or maybe it’s just an afternoon playdate with some snacks.  I personally would take any of those as a fun excuse to party!  Whatever your pleasure is, check out some of these ideas to get the creativity flowing.


Here I have highlighted some of my favorite details, but I encourage you to check out the full event for some fabulous inspiration.

easter grass runner

Bring the egg hunt theme to the table by bringing in the grass.  In this party, you can find Spring grass incorporated into the centerpieces, table runner, and favors.  So fresh! (via Kara’s Party Ideas)

pastel easter

I love the use of egg cartons and holders to display the treats in this pastel party. (via Amy Atlas)

How about the food!  Carrot juice, carrot cake…

easter party foods

…not to mention some sweet little ‘bird’s nest’ treats filled with candy eggs. (via Amy’s Party Ideas)

easter drinks

These darling little strawberry milk drinks would fit perfectly with the pastels. (via Project Nursery)

egg cake pops

I love the treats in this Mod Easter Party.  The cookies are a work of art and I am sort of obsessed with the way the cake pops are made to look like Easter Eggs! (via Hostess with the Mostess)

Now, decorating your table can be as carefree or elaborate as you’d like…

shabby chic easter

If you don’t have matching decor or serverware, no fear!  This Shabby Chic Easter Party has all of the colors and style of Easter and Springtime, all together in one awesome display. (via Double the Fun Parties)

peter rabbit

I am a fan of books and book-themed parties.  Peter Rabbit would be a perfect match for the season. (via Hello Naomi)

jewel tone and metallic easter party

Bold jewel tones and metallics make quite a statement.  This party has “I didn’t hold back” written all over it. (via Hostess with the Mostess)

pastel easter celebration

Pastels are traditional and beautiful when displayed up against a solid white background like  in this sweet celebration. (via Pizzazzerie)

ribbon backdrop

Speaking of backgrounds!  This curly ribbon background is amazing!  What an impact a bunch of ribbon can have! (via A to Zebra Celebrations)

sparkle backdrop

How about a solid white backdrop.  This one is just as easy, just as frugal, and just as “WOW”! (via Kojo Designs)

bunny bunting

Whatever your dessert, consider a fun topper that fits your theme–like this bunny bunting.  So stinkin’ sweet! (via The Path Less Traveled on Etsy)

treat bags

Don’t forget to send some goodies home.  Whether it is chocolate eggs, some jelly beans, or a little toy, a little bag stenciled with a bunny would be perfect…and easy! (via Four R Designs on Etsy)

I hope you have some great ideas for your Spring or Easter celebration now.  Enjoy your party planning!


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