Friday, January 29, 2010

party inspiration

You know how we love BAKING around here...

Aren't these the cutest things ever?!!

CuPcaKE LiNEr CoRsaGes!!! with step by step instructions in this sweet magazine I stumbled upon this magazine at Barnes & Noble sometime this past Fall and I LOVE it! Look at the eye candy spreads That one makes me think of Easter egg hunts and all things pastel, spring, and dainty.

Like these from my collection The little pumpkin's birthday this year is truly a collaboration of love.

Thank you Angel & Jenn for helping to make it extra sweet for Grace!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Little Pony

Don't you love how all the 80's toys are making a comeback???

Grace loves My LiTTle pOnieS. Especially the tiny little ones.

She took this one to school this week for show & tell. He's so tiny I'm surprised he even made it back home in her backpack. I was sure he would get left behind.

And how about that "valentine" wreath? I was so excited to find it when we cleared out our storage facility a couple of months ago. We had two and they hung on the doors to the church the day we got married.

Sweet memories...perfect for V-day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

what a week!

It's been crazy busy around here. We've been going in a million different directions but getting a lot done. Most importantly we registered Grace for preK! Yipee!!! So we at least know where she'll be going this Fall. Huge. weight. off. my. shoulders. PreK-3. Wow, I can't believe how fast these three years have flown by. The little pumpkin will turn 3 in six short weeks! How I love my little girl!

We had a lovely weekend. Noonie had some things to take care of in Dallas and so the munchkins and I went with her and made a weekend of it. Lance had a chance to enjoy a quiet weekend at home and when we got back he had reorganized our garage! For Christmas, Noonie and Papa J gave us a garage "re-do", complete with some amazing shelves Papa J built himself. Thank you Noonie & Papa J and thank you Lance! It looks WONDERFUL! I'm so excited!

A few pics from our weekend (all with my old camera so sorry they're not so great)...

Lunch at a wonderful little tearoom

Hudson sitting in a restaurant high chair for the first time (and **gasp** no highchair cover! My, how things change for baby #2!)

Doesn't he look handsome in that little vest??? Love it! Thanks so much Herman, Heather, Emerson & Marshall!!! This little boy LOVES to eat! Grace showing me how to sit like a lady, hands gently crossed on her lap, feet crossed :) Incidentally, she also started calling me "my mama" and not just mama, and "my noonie" and not just noonie this weekend. Everyone is now "my ..." So sweet. Of course, everywhere we go, the little pumpkin's request is for Chuck E. Cheese. She was such a great traveler we just had to oblige :) This was also Grace's first trip pull-up free!!!!!!!!!! Yea!!!!!!!! We had reverted back to using pull-ups, but once and for all we threw them out the window. She's been accident free for over a week! And going on her own without having to be reminded. We still have a few kinks to work out, but it's big girl underwear for this little pumpkin - even to school. Yea! This time, Hudson was able to join in on the action! His first ride!!! He loved it! First time at IKEA. Not sure why we've never been to the actual store, but we loved it! Even had lunch there. Who knew IKEA had a great, kid-friendly lunch menu?! The little pumpkin loved this pink bed! And just for fun...check out Hudson's new trick...he likes to scrunch his nose/face like a little old man! HA, HA, HA And now that the school dilemma is over, I'm enjoying some fun Strawberry Shortcake birthday planning. Even found enough SS vintage birthday invitations to send out. So excited about that! More to come!

Friday, January 22, 2010


No, not the kind you're thinking! I've been MIA all week and it's because of a little symptom I'd like to call "Preschool Madness Syndrome". Yup it sneaks up on you full force and makes you lose all sensibility. that I think about it, it does have a lot in common with the well known moniker!

Your days consist of visiting schools, attending open houses, filling out apps, debating in your head the advantages of 3 day/5 day/full day/half day, traditional/faith-based/montessori, drop off & pick up times, enrichments, certified teachers, uniforms, admissions testing, tuition equivalent to a mortgage...ok luxury car payment, but you get the picture!

It's no wonder I've slept 4 or less hours every night for the past week. I go to bed praying for clarity on our school decision for the little pumpkin. I wake up with a new front runner every morning :)

There's even a camp out. Yes, a camp out. I used to laugh at the ridiculousness (is that even a word?) of it all. That is, until it was MY little preschooler, and then all of a sudden pitching a tent for 24 hrs - yes 24 hrs - in a parking lot on a Sunday in February seemed "necessary". That quickly passed. I think the justification was due to the lack of sleep.

Being the self-diagnosed OCD person I am {only partially kidding}, I made a nice little chart to compare all the schools, except the list keeps changing and now I need 11x17" paper to fit them all in.

Even my poor hubby has schools on the brain. Seems to be our main topic of conversation these days. Except he told me my chart was Information Overload {shhhh...he's right}. Seems so frivolous when you think about Haiti and all the suffering they have endured.

Whatever happened to kids staying at home until first grade? Or at least kindie?

But we're close. Really close. We're down to two. We both agree on our choices. Our minds are finally made up....I think.

I love it when God throws you what I like to call a little "God-wink". You know a little unexpected joy in the middle of a stressful time. An affirmation as if to say "I've heard your prayers, you need not fret any more". Like the sweetest little voice yesterday belonging to an almost three year old singing "He's got the whole world in His hands" soon followed by an even sweeter request for a Gorilla Bar (granola bar) just to keep it in perspective, you know :)

An unexpected block of free time today allowed for a visit to a school that wasn't even on our original list but quickly became one of our top choices. After all, what could be better than sweet teachers you can immediately tell love children in a nurturing Christian environment? No Open House needed here, just warm people full of hospitality. And then a God-wink to seal the deal. After inquiring about their schedule the kind lady told me that for next year they are changing their school days to the half-days that SPECIFICALLY match our ideal school days for Grace. We can even register next week if we want and pick the teacher that I really liked from today's visit. Wow!

So it looks like P.M.S. will soon be over. THANK YOU to all of you who have helped us in this process! And thank goodness for a little weekend getaway. If I owe you an email, I'm so sorry I'm you know why :) I'll be catching up early next week!

Monday, January 18, 2010

mama, I want a juicy cake

It all started with me asking the little pumpkin what type of birthday party she wanted to have.  She thought about it for a while and came back with, "Mama, I want a BIG juicy strawberry cake.  A PINK juicy cake."

Let the party planning begin...
Cupcake liners and wire stands from Bake It Pretty

And then just to keep things interesting, she said...."I want George cupcakes too" :)  Hmm...okay.  The little pumpkin LOVES birthdays.  A girl after my own heart :)

From time to time she'll surprise me by recalling one of her little friends' birthdays and telling me all about it - the birthday kid's name, the theme, what they did, and of course how much fun she had.

So Strawberry Shortcake it is.  Even better, Vintage Strawberry Shortcake I LoVE it!  But most of all I love that little pumpkin!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Noonie's Birthday and 911

You're probably wondering what those two have in common right? Well, read on!

Friday was Noonie's birthday. I took her to Olive Garden for lunch - YUM! Grace was too excited to wait until Noonie's party on Saturday so we gave Noonie our gifts early. Grace gathered a bunch of little trinkets from her Playroom and presented them to Noonie - too sweet! The little pumpkin is such a giving child. She really doesn't hold back. Sweetness. Saturday, Papa J hosted the most wonderful dinner party for Noonie. He did all the planning, cooking, arranging and everything was just FaBUloUs! Check out the gorgeous flowers...Way to go Papa J! Noonie loved Grace & Hudson's card for her. Grace had so much fun making that cupcake card with mini pom poms for sprinkles and of course, glitter :) Papa J and Hudson enjoying the party. My contribution - Tres Leches Cake from the Pioneer Woman's recipe. So super yum. Find the recipe HERE. And right before this: THIS HAPPENED: As we were clearing the table for dessert and chit chatting, the little pumpkin made her way to the phone where she proceeded to call 911. Yes, 911. Noonie taught her how to dial it a while back just in case of an emergency. Well Noonie, she really learned! None of us realized what she'd done since she hung up right away. But just seconds later, the lady from 911 called back to make sure we were ok. So embarassing! Apparently Grace talked to her and everything :O That little one, she keeps us on our toes, I tell ya!

Here's to many more FUN birthdays, Noonie!

Friday, January 15, 2010

this little piggy went to the market...

...and wouldn't that piggy have looked even cuter wearing this: Sorry piggy, but I know who will look CuTE and have LOtS of fun wearing that sweet apron!

And no, I didn't make that one. It's baby steps around here folks, baby steps! Found it at Quaint & Quirky, a tiny little shop on etsy.

I heart aprons. And you know what else I heart? This: Which makes me think of my mama since today is her birthday and she's been eyeing one of these. They come in all sorts of fun colors. Which is your favorite? HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AN AMAZING WOMAN I AM BLESSED TO CALL MOM. I LOVE YOU! ...and yes, your Tres Leches Cake is on its way! :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help for Haiti

By now we've all heard of the devastation to the people of Haiti. My heart goes out to them and I join with millions around the world in praying for them.

When I was little, I think around 5-6, my mom traveled to Haiti to be the guest speaker at a medical symposium. To this day, I still clearly remember how she described to me the conditions in Haiti and the level of poverty that she witnessed firsthand.

We've been blessed with so much in our country, especially readily available disaster relief help. It's our turn to PAY IT FORWARD.

There are many ways to give. One simple way is via text message from your phone:

You can text "Haiti" to 90999 to give $10 to the Red Cross. You will be billed on your next phone bill. You can also visit the Red Cross website to learn more.

You can text "disaster" to 90999 to give $10 to Compassion's disaster relief program. You will be billed on your next phone bill. Find out more about it HERE and HERE.

Kelly of Kelly's Korner is matching donations by giving $1 per person who donates (regardless of what organization you donate through) and leaves a comment on her post HERE up to $1000.

It's our turn to help others in need. Let's all join together in lifting the people of Haiti in prayer. Imagine how much assistance we can provide if each of us donates just $10. Won't you join me?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

free canvas!

So speaking of needing to order a canvas...or two...or go over Hudson's crib, I stumbled upon this great offer from Canvas People. You can get a FREE 8x10 (you do have to pay shipping $14.95) or $55 off their other sizes which means you could get a fun 11x11 square for $8.99 or an 11x14 for $13.95!!! Not sure how long the promotion will last, but grab yours today by going HERE.

Maybe it's those clean stretched sides or the fact that there is no frame to distract from the image, but I LOVE photo canvases! When I first saw this photo I knew it was destined to become a canvas. I'm thinking I should have ordered a bigger size (it's 16x20), but I love how it looks right above our mantle. So get yours today...after all Valentine's Day is right around the corner and I bet a loved one would be thrilled to receive some canvas photo love. Gotta run...a fun little canvas is calling my name!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1/2 year birthday

I'm a little late posting Hudson's 6 month update (December 22nd), but WOW, what a half year it's been! This little guy has completely stolen my heart and perfectly made his way into our family. He's all boy. 100%. And I'm loving exploring this new world right alongside him. I this picture!!! And you know what Hudson loves? He loves that airplane!!! ...and the car...and the truck that came in the set. His first set of wooden "boy toys". Super big THANK YOU Thomas, Julie & Preston for that sweet gift. It's a keeper and I know one day Hudson will love passing this on to his son...or daughter :)

You know, being the second child he too often gets his sister's hand-me-down toys, especially all the baby toys because there's not much difference between boy/girl in all those wooden blocks, activity cubes, and bright colored gadgety toys. Even a lot of the early books...although we've started buying a few "boy books" because there seems to be an overabundance of glittery pink princess books around our home :) So all that to say, I L-O-V-E that wooden transportation set. His. And only his.

And......................that sweet picture set off a lightbulb in my head!! I've been searching and searching for something to hang above his crib. But nothing. I've run countless ideas through my head but come up blank. I'm picky, I fully admit it.

I want something besides his name, typical art print or matchy-matchy nursery stuff. Plus I want it to be light and airy / no glass / no sharp corners in case it comes crashing down by way of curious little hands. Finally, just the other day as I was rocking him to sleep, it hit me. Canvas. I'm going to enlarge that photo above and two others (in color) into 11x14 stretch canvas and hang them above his bed. He'll love looking at "that cute baby" playing with his toys and I'll love seeing that sweet chunky monkey staring back at me. So excited!!!!!!

So finally for posterity...
Hudson, what are you up to at 6 months?

* You weigh 19 lbs. 2 oz. and you're 26 3/4 inches tall.

* You wear size 3 diapers.

* You've started eating veggies and you love them, esp. green beans.

* You can now sit unsupported and play. You LoVE the new view!

* You've started "rocking" on all fours and you've even moved your hand forward once as if to take off, but then stopped. It won't be long 'till you're crawling all over the place!

* You still just have the two little bottom teeth, but you drool like there is something else trying to cut through so who knows?

* Your favorite book is Dr. Seuss' Mr. Brown can Moo! Can you? You love all the sounds in this book and we read it to you every day. Even Grace. She has it memorized and tries to get you to do the sounds with her. You think she's pretty funny.

* You're starting to "talk" more. And you're starting to get LOUDER!

* You go to sleep around 7pm and wake once to eat, then sleep till about 6-7am, REALLY prefer mama & daddy's bed. Yup, you like to sleep sandwiched in between the two of us. We put you to bed in your own crib every night, but once you wake up, you don't want your bed anymore. Believe me, we've tried. And by then, we're often too tired to keep on trying, so we bring you to our bed and you snuggle up and go right back to sleep. Bad habit I know! We'll soon be working on this. SOON. Just not tonight :)

* And finally, you have this little trick... You LOVE to roll your tongue sideways. You look too funny doing this!

We love you so much, Hudson!!!
Daddy, Mama, & Grace

Sunday, January 10, 2010

love bug

We took advantage of our "Snow Day" and worked on some valentines for the grandparents (the grandmas are reading so I can't show you those yet though *wink*), but I can show you some of our other v-day projects from this weekend. I've collected quite a bit of valentine themed art supplies over the years which makes it fun for the little pumpkin. Mostly, I try to buy everything AFTER the holiday at deep discounts and save it for the next year. This year I also bought lots of red/white chenille stems for 25¢/pack after Christmas since I knew we could use them for valentines. Here's the before: Oh, and on our snow day since we were in full on valentine mode, even our "Lunch in PJ's" was heart themed. How about some heart shaped tortillas to go with our make-your-own-taco buffet. It really doesn't take much effort to make it fun for the little ones. Grace just loves this kind of stuff! And you know what else she loves: "Stoplight Peppers" - red, green, & yellow peppers cut into strips with ranch dressing. Anything to get her to eat those veggies! Alright, so our first project was "Butterfly Kisses". For this one all you need are pom poms (we used three big ones, one medium one, and two little ones), pink cardstock (or any color you choose, but around here it's PINK, PINK, PINK), a chenille stem/pipe cleaner, a couple of googly eyes, and Elmer's glue (or if you're like me and realize at the last minute that you are out of Elmer's, you can use a hot glue gun but be verrrrry careful around the little ones!) By the way, Michael's has a valentine craft pack right now for $4.99 ($2.99 if you use their 40% coupon) that has most of these supplies in there. So just cut two hearts out of your cardstock (the wings) and cut and bend the chenille stem into hearts to fit your wings. Glue the pom poms together, three big ones and a medium one for the tail. Glue the googly eyes to the "head". Cut your antennas out of the remaining chenille stem or a different color altogether and glue on the little pom poms to the antennas. Of course, Grace wanted to add glitter, so we made our antennas extra sparkly ;) And there you have it, your very own Valentine Butterfly. Isn't she cute? You can even write a sweet valentine message on the wings. Next, we have "Love Bug". Same supplies - easy peasy! And same directions, just cut, glue and enjoy. In just a few minutes, you'll have your very own Love Bug! Grace kept calling hers a spider, hence why she insisted we add 8 legs instead of the caterpillar's 6, but she wanted the caterpillar's body. Whatever works, after all it's a "Love Bug" and who knows what that really looks like anyway! One thing's for sure, the Love Bug is silly, silly :) and sure to bring out the giggles! Thinking about it now, it may make more sense to make the Love Bug first and then Buttefly Kisses. A cute and fitting book to tie it all in for the preschool set is Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer . You can find it HERE.
Grace still loves playing with the coiled spring that makes up the caterpillar's body in this cute book.

And a simple little switcheroo that made ME smile I found that frame while cleaning this weekend. It's from Target, two years ago I think, and I just framed one of the valentines from LAST YEAR. Love how it looks as part of my table centerpiece!

Can you tell we Valentine's Day around here?

Friday, January 8, 2010


I learned to sew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry for the 20+ year wait mom! And you still hung in there with me! You ARE the most patient teacher EVER!

Prior to tackling this project I'd only sewn 2 burp pads (took me something like 2 hours) and a pillowcase dress at a "sew-easy 2 hour class" (I was there for 5 hours, they gently asked me to come back another day to finish it :). Even back when I sold vintage pillowcase dresses and baby hats, I only did the designing part and had a sweet lady sew for me. I'm so proud I finally learned to do it myself!

Remember these pretty fabrics?

They are now these: That's right, three sWeeT LiTTle mATcHing ApROns for my dear friend Heidi and my two goddaughters Madeline and Ella Kate.

This year we decided instead of store bought gifts we would exchange something homemade after Christmas. And to throw a little curveball, it had to be something for the whole family (Brian~ you get the yummy food Heidi will cook while wearing her apron - HA, HA). I L-O-V-E what Heidi made for is perfect!...a whole other post on that later.

Heidi is an excellent cook but she has NO APRONS {GASP}, so I set out to remedy that. A while back she mentioned wanting me to go shopping with her for a cute apron and I've been sneakily (is that a word?) avoiding the request just so I could surprise her with the aprons.

Here's a close-up of hers: I sewed every last little stitch on all of them. They're even fully lined so they can wear them on both sides. My favorite is the pocket. I'm a pocket person :) And isn't this tiny little thing just the cutest? At just 8 1/2 x 9 1/2" it's almost doll-size! But then again Ella Kate is only 16 months! Yea, she's starting young with her own custom apron HE, HE, HE ;)

I'm so happy I tackled this project. Thank you mom for teaching me...and for NOT helping me sew any parts when I asked for help! That really made me learn how to do it myself.

And thank you sewing machine for messing up 6 times on my last top stitch...sorry for the not-so-nice the end I'm glad you gave me trouble ---> you really made me learn how to check the tension, change the bobbin, and how to thread and re-thread. It's all good...we're friends now.

I'm so excited! 2010 has been good to me so far. One week in and I've been able to check off two of my "to do's". There's all kinds of things I want to make next. I so need a craft room!