Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I heart Tiny Sprouts

I love hand embroidery! So much so that my dear friend Heidi bought me an embroidery how-to book this past year for my birthday. Sadly I've done nothing more than look at the pretty pictures, but I have plans for at least learning the basics in 2009, yup along with that photography class we're taking :)

Which brings me to...Tiny Sprouts!!! I big puffy heart Tiny Sprouts. Tracey, the creative genius behind Tiny Sprouts is such a sweetheart and in this day and age of mass-produced merchandise, I love that she hand-dyes all the cotton herself. One of my favorite pictures of Grace is from Fall 2007 and she was wearing the cutest little wheat cord dress from Tiny Sprouts. So if you're in the market for some unique gifts from newborn to toddlers, check out Tiny Sprouts. Everything in their site is 20% off right now, so you're bound to find some great deals! I just ordered the sweetest itty bitty newborn set as a baby shower gift and I can't wait to see it in person. I even had to skip the eco-friendly gift wrap just so I could ogle over it before giving it away :)

Here are some of my current favorites:

Cotton Candy Pique Dress with Bubble Gum Ric Rac (I'm thinking...add wellies and a cute umbrella and sing your little heart out in the rain!) Itty Bitty Apron (you know I had to throw a little apron in there ;) Milk Pique Dress with Bubble Gum Ric Rac (such cute names, don't you think?!) Pique shortalls (this adorable little guy reminds me so much of Grace when she was that age...same blue eyes, same chubby cheeks, same sweet smile...ahhh) So check out Tiny Sprouts and Have Yourself a Fun New Year! I'm off to organize my disaster of a wallet (one of my 2009 goals) into the cute mustard yellow one I just got :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Am...

So first, my disclosure: I am not good at following through on tags, email quizzes, or any other sort of chains. So, if you send me one and I don't do it, please don't take offense. I do like to read others' answers though! He, he, he

Anyhow, with it being the end of the year and all, I thought a little self-reflection would do me good, so here it goes...

I am: IT...again!
I have: no idea why I'm doing this rather than being in bed trying to fall asleep.
I had no idea: that pregnancy the second time around would kick my behind so badly.

I Am: tired but not sleepy
I Think: about things and projects way too much
I Know: that my loved ones know how much I love them

I Want: to not feel queasy the rest of this pregnancy
I Have: so much to do before new baby comes this June
I Dislike: waiting in line or in traffic

I Miss: being able to just go away for the weekend at a moment's notice

I Fear: losing my loved ones
I Feel: blessed
I Smell: like the new vanilla almond lotion I received for Christmas
I Crave: big buttery pretzels with cheese dipping sauce, fuji apples, corn pops, mandarin oranges, ginger ale, spicy spicy Chinese food (gotta love those pregnancy cravings!)

I Cry: watching St. Jude infomercials and anything else concerning children these days
I Usually: go grocery shopping on mondays

I Search: for affirmation that I'm following the right path
I Wonder: what I'll think of my life when I look back 50 years from now
I Regret: not taking that trip to Europe senior year

I Love: seeing Grace's smile first thing in the morning

I Care: to raise Grace (and New Baby) to be kind, caring, compassionate, polite, confident, trustworthy and trusting, God-loving individuals
I Always: make sure to kiss, hug, and tell Grace I love her everyday
I Worry: about something happening to me that would prevent me from being there for my family
I Am Not: very patient or good at sewing (hmmm...somehow I think these two must be related)

I Remember: the sound of my grandpa's laughter and the gentleness of my grandma's touch
I Believe: in keeping my promises
I Dance: with Grace to the Sesame Street and Dora tunes
I Sing: mostly in the car and in the shower
I Don't Always: make good use of my time
I Argue: with myself most of all (yikes! this makes me sound delusional :O)

I Write: to give my brain a chance to slow down
I Win: at thumb wrestling with Lance (although he says I cheat by "creating new rules")

I Lose: my keys way too much

I Wish: I could bottle up Grace's squishiness factor forever

I Listen: to my mom
I Don't Understand: how people hurt innocent children every day

I Can Usually Be Found: in Grace's playroom or at target
I Am Scared: of people hurting my family
I Need: to go to bed
I Forget: to water plants

I Am Happy: that God loves me with all my imperfections
I hope: to be as good a mom as my mom and grandma have always been

Here's to 2009, a New Year full of possibilities!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, Noonie and Papa A.J. came over to celebrate with us. After going to Mass, it was time for delicious food and opening presents!

Having just seen the wagon, Grace was not into posing for a photo :)

I'm ready!! Who needs wheels anyway?? We had quite the little helper this year :) Of course after our pretend baking session, we had to make the real deal for Santa, so on Christmas Eve, with Noonie's help, we made sugar cookies and decorated them BEAUTIFULLY :) for the jolly old fella.

Rolling out the dough Carefully placing our cookie cutters Learning all about frosting (yes, we cheated with the ready-to-go icing in a can) Oooh, I like that! Grace do it! Grace do it! Let's add sprinkles, LOTS of them! Yummy!! Our masterpiece (aren't they gorgeous?? He, he, he) All the while, the guys were busy doing this so the little pumpkin could enjoy one last ride before calling it a night (not happy to be buckled in). And then it was time for the wee one to get snuggly in bed so old St. Nick would soon come her way. Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night!

Christmas Morning

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus!!! Cheesy pj's and morning faces! A certain little dollie was quite the hit. It went EVERYWHERE with Grace! Thanks, Angel!!! Opening her gift from Santa Checking out the Princess Castle Our attempt to get a family photo - YIKES!

Christmas at Mimi & Pop's

Grace had a lot of fun at Mimi & Pop's seeing lots of family members and playing with her cousin Jade. The present opening festivities were a little wild and I had a bad migraine so I didn't get as many good pics as I would have liked.

Here's Grace helping Pop open a present Getting a little help from Aunt Lexi Opening a favorite present wrapped in Dora paper Checking out the shiny ornaments (and rearranging just a few) And finally, sneaking away with lots of tasty treats from one of Mimi's candy bowls Thanks for a fun time, Mimi & Pop!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baking Cookies with Santa

Grace had a blast baking cookies with Santa. The mini marshmallows were a big hit - she must have eaten over 20 of them, but hey whatever works for a smile, right?! And so long as Santa didn't talk to her she was alright! He could hang out right next to her, but as soon as Santa tried to talk to her...Waaaaaa!!!

Here she is checking out all the goodies

A little taste test Oooooh, it's Santa!!! Here Santa, this is how you do it: you put LOTS of sprinkles in! Just Santa and me And tomorrow we'll be baking and decorating real cookies for Santa!!!

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Merry SPARKLY Christmas!!!

Oh, how I love PINK & RED!

Yup, I've got pink and red on the in, Valentine's Day pink and red...and yes, I know it's still two days until Christmas :) I love valentine's day and all the cheesiness (is that even a word?) of the so-called "hallmark holiday". Maybe it's because for me it involves making homemade crafts with Grace and baking as many heart-shaped tasty treats as I can come up with. While cleaning out a closet, my mom came across a shoebox full of old cards people had given me when I was little and some I had stashed away to give to others - talk about a trip down memory lane! The best part was there were some sweet vintage valentines in there from the late 70s and early 80s. Then I was attempting to clean out a hall closet (now HOW does that thing get so messy so quickly?!?!?!) and I found an unopened package of vintage-inspired valentine treat bags, which will be perfect for Grace's little class party in February!!! So's the little things for me I tell ya!

Anyhow, I've been searching for pink and red and came across this sweet little lounge set for Grace in one of my all-time favorite dottie fabrics And then I found this sweet little number... and you know how much I love aprons!!! This one is for moms - perfect!! except I don't think it'll really work with the baby bump and all :) And finally, these yummy fabrics that just make me think spring, fruit stands, and running around barefoot in a farm (never mind that we don't have a farm to run around in). Aren't these gorgeous together??? I settled for a little twirly longsleeve dress from Josiekat's Trunk in these fabrics for Grace so she can wear it for Valentine's, along with these which are some of our old-time favorites! Did you know Puddle Jumpers is coming out with a line of boots in January?? So cute! By the way, Josiekat's Trunk is having a sale on items from their website, including their markdowns and overstock items (lots of size 4/5) and free shipping on orders of $50 or more. Our first experience with their products was a Halloween dress I bought on eBay and I must say the quality of their dresses is top-notch! The knit tops on their dresses are very thick cotton and so soft - perfect for tee dresses. So check them out if you have a little princess who loves to wear dresses.

Grace likes to play with my jewelry, wearing my beaded necklaces all while telling me she's "stylish". And she's recently developed an obsession with ears and earrings - likes to pull my hair back while sitting on my lap and tells me "mama's earrings so pretty...Grace no earrings" complete with puppy dog eyes - boy, oh, boy are we in trouble!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

decorating help!

In January, we will begin the transformation of our guest room into Grace's big girl room with the hopes of moving her in for her second birthday in March and allowing three months or so for the adjustment period before the new baby comes in June (hoping that way she won't feel "evicted" from her nursery by Baby).

The room is on the smallish side and so after much thought I've decided to get rid of the full size bed that's in there and go with a twin to make the room feel bigger. I also decided to wait on the aqua blue/red/cream room I had my mind set to (see this post) until she's a bit older and we move into a bigger house.

Back in the Spring, I fell in love with this bedding from Pottery Barn and purchased the quilt, sham, sheets, owl decorative pillow, and that sweet little pink owl friend, so this will be the bedding in her new room. I purchased it in a twin size, so in hindsight maybe I was already thinking twin instead of full size bed... I don't normally like to purchase bedding in a set, prefering the mix-n-match, collected-over-time vintage look, so I even surprised myself with this purchase.

The bed will most likely be a vintage find from 8 years ago - a sweet little European single that I had cut down to twin size, added wooden appliques, painted a minty green shade, and distressed. I don't have a picture of it and it's in storage right now so you'll have to use your imagination, but it has a headboard and footboard similar to the one in the PBK picture above and some cute old casters that lock into place.

So here's where I need help! Should I paint the bed light pink, creamy white, or some other shade to go with the bedding? What color for the walls? The room has a big, tall window so it gets a lot of natural light, which I love. What type of curtains? And what about a bedskirt? Style, fabric colors, etc. I didn't buy the one in the picture 'cause it wasn't my favorite.

If new baby is a girl, then I'll need to purchase and refinish a dresser, since we would then leave Grace's nursery furniture in there for the Baby, including the antique armoire in the post below. If new baby is a boy, then I'll move the dresser (see below) into Grace's room, as well as the armoire. And I definitely want this sweet sentiment in there Okay, have I confused you enough? Seriously, I'd love your suggestions and creative ideas :)