Thursday, April 28, 2011

Smiles for the Weekend

Happy Friday, blog readers!

I thought I would share some joy for the upcoming weekend. Someone has discovered his tongue, and he sure does like to show it off!

I hope you have a great weekend! We're looking forward to spending some time with this cute little fellow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Someday, A Kitchen

I have been inspired lately to bake. I want to make a beautiful cake, sit on the couch and eat it. Or share.. Or just eat up it as fast as I can.

I just can't look at a picture like this one and not want to make (or eat) something delicious!


Or this one:

A few weeks ago, I found this blog, I Am Baker, written by Amanda, who makes some delicious looking cakes and desserts. I've really enjoyed seeing some of her creations. It's inspiring, and makes me want to try out her techniques.

The problem is my kitchen. It's so small!

We have approximately 7 feet of counter space, but most of it is covered - by things like our microwave and coffee pot, a bread box, and our set of knives. Our cabinets are full to over-flowing, so there's not much room for me to reorganize and make more counter space.

It's really not a problem most of the time - just an inconvenience. However, when I want to bake, I just don't have enough room to spread out and take up some space. I end up taking up the entire kitchen, plus the entire dining room.... but it can be done:

Like I've mentioned before, David and I have plans eventually to buy a house, but it really will be eventually - not anytime in the next few months. So, I'll make do with what I have and  dream of someday having a wonderfully large kitchen:

I really like this dark kitchen. It's a little modern for what I like, but look at that big island - I could roll out so much fondant on there!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this white kitchen! (Minus the bar stools... not my style) I love the white cabinets and all the trim, and look at the hood over the oven/stove. Beautiful! The floors - very pretty. The only thing I would change besides the bar stools is the counter top - I'd do granite... This is my dream of course, so there's no cost factor involved!

Last, take a look at this kitchen:


I love the granite - and especially the backsplash. Beautiful, beautiful kitchen.

Maybe someday I'll have a beautiful kitchen like one of these. If not, I'll just have to keep making cakes like these ones in our small kitchen, spreading all throughout the house.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Bought A Turtle At A Garage Sale

Since he was born, David and I have both referred to Micah as our little turtle. He just resembles a turtle a little bit at times, and the nickname stuck.

This morning, my mom and dad and I went to a few garage sales, and I had a great find for $2 - a turtle costume! The tag said size 0-3 months, which Micah grew out of about 7 months ago, but it looked really big for the size, and I thought it might fit him right now.

Well, it did fit. Barely. It'll never fit on him again, but at least we got a couple of cute pictures!

And that's what I love about garage sales - you never know what you're going to find!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Diddy Does the Dishes

We all love getting something for nothing. Maybe that's why I dream of going on Wheel of Fortune some day...

ME: (Spin and land on $1000) "D!"

PAT: "There are 12 D's in the puzzle, giving you $12,000"

ME: "I'll solve, Pat. 'DID DADDY DO THE DISHES OR DID DIDDY?' (No, this would never be the puzzle... but I needed 12 D's so I could win $12,000)"

And then I'd go on to the bonus round and win the fancy schmancy new car! It would be great, and everyone would see how great I am with letters and puzzles!

I think it's safe to say it would be Daddy who did the dishes... can you imagine Diddy doing them?

Probably won't ever happen - and I've never seen them put 12 of the same letter in one puzzle... but a girl can dream, right?

I did win something this week, though! Not $12,000 on Wheel of Fortune, but a pretty fun prize! My friend Roo over at NiceGirlNotes did a giveaway for $20 at Two Poodle Press, and I won!! Woot! Woot!

If you haven't checked out Roo's blog, do it! She's really funny, and I always laugh out loud reading what she says.

So I got to do a little fun, free shopping this week. Free shopping is always the best! Here's what I chose:

Bicycle Print 5x7
 This print is going to go into a frame, and then on the wall in our kitchen. David thinks I'm silly for wanting a picture of a bicycle, but I love it! It's vintage-y and really cute. I'm going for a blue/grey and brown theme in the kitchen, so this will be perfect!
20 Personalized Recipe Cards
I also got these recipe cards. I've been wanting to organize my favorite recipes, and was planning to make recipe cards, but these will already be personalized with my name on them! So cute!

Sissy from Two Poodle is really great! I highly recommend that you check out her Etsy shops, Two Poodle Press and Two Poodle Prints, and of course also check out Roo at Nice Girl Notes!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Baby Shower Power

I had the privilege of hosting a baby shower for my wonderful sister-in-law and soon-to-be niece Anna last Saturday. It was a very nice event, and a bunch of our good friends were able to make it. Marci seemed to enjoy it, and it really was a special time spent celebrating the fact that little Anna will be here soon!

Marci and Me - reminds me of Marley and Me... anyway, does it look like we're related? We're not.

Marci, Kara, and Ali - they're all pregnant together!

Marci got a lot of cute little girl clothes for Anna. Girl clothes are just so cute, with all of their ruffles and bows! It kind of makes me want a little girl... someday. Not yet. A niece will do for now.

I made little bows out of fabric for each guest to wear. Some had hair clips and others had bar pins, so they could choose whether to put them in their hair or pin onto their clothes. The color scheme was pink, purple, brown and green, and I used an assortment of fabrics. You may have seen these before:

To drink, we had blueberry-strawberry lemonade... in mini mason jars! (Marci and I both enjoy drinking out of jars... so what, who cares!? <--- the first one to name this line in the comments section can have a free something...)

One of my favorite little creations for the shower was the cupcake stand that my sister, Steph, and I whipped up the morning of the shower. We used some hot glue, plates, and drinking glasses, I mean mason jars, and this is how it turned out:

Also, that girl saved my sanity! She baked the cupcakes (carrot cake and red velvet) for me when I was at training for the soon-to-be-opened (more info on that later) Pregnancy Care Services. Thank you Steph! We should have gotten a picture together...

Thank you to everyone who helped with the shower! Here are some more pictures of the very yummy food:

And the great diaper cake made by Kara

It was such a fun day! I'm glad to have a great sister-in-law like Marci, and it's an honor to be able to celebrate that little life she carries with her!

Winner, Winner!

We have a winner from the 100th post and one-year blog-iversary giveaway!

And that winner is....


I'm sending you an email as soon as I post this, so let me know if you'd rather have the $15 to Starbucks to $20 to my shop.

For those of you that entered but didn't win, thank you! I appreciate you!

Next post coming soon... I had quite a busy week, so I've been a little less bloggy than I would like. Micah's been getting most of my extra attention though, which is the important thing.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Boy and His Dog

I have recently re-discovered our video camera. I don't know what happened, but there was a period of about two months where I rarely took video of Micah. (Probably because the battery was dead and I didn't get around to re-charging it.) However, just last week I plugged that sucker in and started videoing him again. He's such a cute little guy! The world, or at least my teeny tiny little corner of it, needs to see how cute he is.

Also, Micah LOVES Maverick. I can't say that enough. He watches him walk around the house, he tries to chew on his ears, and he loves when Mav licks his face. I try to discourage the licking, mostly because it's just gross, but sometimes I can't stop them before Maverick gets in a good lick. And Micah's usually as happy as a little clam, sticking out his tongue.

Like I said, it's gross.

Thanks for watching! Isn't he just so cute?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

100th Post, and One Year Blog-iversary Means...

I'm doing a giveaway!

The year has gone by quickly, and our lives have changed more than I imagined possible last April. It has been a great year for us, and I appreciate everyone who has been reading this silly little blog of mine.

You can win  either a $15 gift card to one of my favorite places...


OR you can win a $20 credit to my Etsy store (with free shipping, of course!), where I really am hoping to have some new products within the next couple of weeks. Maybe some more things like this:

And maybe, just maybe, some of these:

What you have to do is:

* Leave me a comment about a previous post - tell me what you enjoyed, thought was interesting, or disagreed with me about.

You can enter more than once, so to get extra entries, you can:

* Be a follower of this blog.  New or old followers, leave me a comment that you follow, for an entry.
* Comment on another older post (I'll keep track) - but only one entry for this.
* Post about this giveaway on Facebook - and leave a comment that you did.
*Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter - and leave a comment that you did.

So, you can have five entries!

Family and friends are included in this giveaway, of course. You all were the first people to read this blog, and the only ones that I knew were reading it for a long time, and I appreciate you!

I will determine the winner using, next Monday, April 18 - the anniversary of my blog! Good luck!

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Little Preview

I'm having a lot of fun right now planning a baby shower for my little niece, Anna.

I wanted to share a little preview of what's to come:

More pictures will be coming after the shower, which is next weekend.

*Many thanks to Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for the tutorial on these! I got excited this afternoon, and spent an hour this evening making some little bows out of scraps I had on hand. :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Think It's Here

Spring, that is.

I've been looking forward to it for so long. I thought maybe it would come early this year, and then one day in February I woke up to this:

But now, in April, I think it's really here. The weather forecast is saying mid-60's for the foreseeable future.

I can handle that.

Last weekend I took a little risk and bought some flowers for the pots on my front porch. I just couldn't stop myself.

It might be a little early, but I don't really care. They haven't died yet of being too cold, so I'm hoping that it's just not going to happen.

We had very nice weather last Friday - it felt like it was about 75 degrees! Micah and I went for a little walk in his stroller during lunch.

Micah and I spent a few minutes in the front yard today, enjoying some sunshine.

He loves grass!

The sun was pretty bright, so I couldn't really get him to look at me.

This is pretty much what he did the entire time.

Spring, I'm glad you're here. I hope you'll stay forever.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Happy Chatty Tuesday

Micah has really been figuring out how to make different sounds lately. He now has two teeth - the bottom ones - and he's starting to look so much like a little boy instead of a baby! I wanted to share this cute video from this afternoon, for those of you who don't get to see him often - and you who do!

Okay, and another video... I just can't stop myself - he's so cute!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Some Good News

** This may be a little controversial. I understand that every parent has different methods for establishing good sleeping habits with their child. This is what I feel is right, and it's really worked for us and our method of parenting. :) **

I've mentioned my frustration with Micah's sleeping habits before on this old blog of mine, like here for example. It's been a bit of a struggle to figure out the best way to get him to go to sleep and stay asleep, without me having to nurse him until he's knocked out. A lot of times, I would set him into his crib as gently as I could, fearing he would wake up. Then he would do just that and cry and cry until I picked him up and we started all over.

Well, I have some good news! I finally feel like we've established good sleeping habits (or at least, much better than before)!

A few weeks ago I was reading "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby," and I was really feeling guilty. The author, Dr. Weisbluth, tells that children don't just grow out of bad sleep habits, they continue on into adolescence and adulthood. This is why it's so important to establish good habits early on. He recommended (this is a paraphrase, of course) following a bed-time and nap-time routine, then putting the drowsy baby into the crib, saying "Good night" and leaving. And not going back in.

For naps, he says you should let the baby cry for an hour! I can't do that. At first I could only let him cry for about 5-10 minutes. Then we would go in and try to calm him down, but I always ended up picking him up. (That was the problem... me or David going into his room got him all riled up!)

I finally decided we were just going to do it. I was getting miserable because Micah wasn't getting good naps, he was always tired, and I was frustrated and feeling like I couldn't figure out how to get him to sleep! David and I talked about it and decided we were just going to go for it.

only five days old, sleeping

I tried it first at nap time. I laid a sleepy Micah down and let him cry for a while. After about 15 minutes, I was starting to get anxious, and I told myself that if he was still crying in 5 minutes I'd go pick him up. Then, just before I was going to go in, he stopped crying.... I looked in and he was asleep! He slept for over an hour and a half, which was much longer than his usual naps at this time. Plus, he woke up happy.

So, we tried it that evening. Same situation; same response. Sleepy Micah went down for bedtime with a kiss and a "Good night." He cried pretty hard. After 15 minutes I was having a hard time letting him cry. David stopped me from going in and reminded me that all of his needs were met - he wasn't hungry, didn't need a diaper change, didn't have a fever. He was just tired. So we waited, and at the 20 minute mark, he was asleep.

Not every nap time and bed-time have been perfect since we started this, but I've definitely noticed a change in all of us. I don't dread bed-time. Once Micah's sleepy, I feed him and then put him into his bed awake but drowsy. Sometimes he cries for a minute, but not usually longer than 30 seconds or so. Tonight he just rolled over onto his tummy and went to sleep - which is now a pretty common occurance. The same goes for naps!

The best part of this is that now, Micah can self-soothe! He can wake up and go back to sleep on his own, without needing to be held, cuddled, or fed. When we put him into his crib, if he's sleepy, he will go to sleep!

at 7.5 months, sleeping
Thanks to all of you family and friends who offered your advice and support. It really has helped knowing that other parents have gone through the same things as we're going through right now. It's also really nice to know that we can come across challenges as parents and emerge on the other side victorious!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Getting Organized - Household Binder Finished!

I've been struggling for a while to get all of our mail and important papers organized. I hadn't been able to find a place that I can put papers so they won't get lost, but also remember where they are. I've been wanting to have an organized way to keep our coupons, cards, invitations, and other papers so they don't all have to be on the refrigerator or in piles on the counter.

Well, with some inspiration from Jen over at iHeart Organizing, I did it! Here are a couple of pictures of our new family binder:

I got this binder at Target - very pretty! It's really full, as you can tell, which is why it won't stay closed.

I used Jen's coversheet for the binder, and in Excel I changed some of the colors to suit my style a little more - and of course, made it customized to our family... And we can't forget about our pets!

Her free documents were really helpful in making this binder! She still has them up on her blog for free until next Friday (April 9?), so if you're in need of some organization, I recommend checking them out. Click here to look at them! (The free documents are in the right sidebar, pretty close to the top)

If you've never noticed, we love our pets, so I had to make sure to have a section for them. I held onto this note to our house-sitter, and this way I can use it again. Jen actually has a great pet instruction sheet too, I'm planning to print it off and include it here for more thorough instructions.

 Each subject is on a divider that has a pocket, like this one for coupons, so I can insert papers and keep track of important things.

A look at some of the categories in the binder. After I wrote them I realized that it would have been a good idea to organize them alphabetically as I wrote them out... too late now. I might still alphabetize them, but I love how the tabs go down the sides of the pages... It might drive me crazy if they're all over the place. I also would have liked to have a label maker in doing this, but hand-written had to do.

Not only has Jen's blog helped me to be inspired to organize papers, but I recently read another post about laundry room organization that's gotten me ready to organize our laundry! Wish me luck - I'll be back sometime soon to let you know more about this project!

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Happy Hunger Games!"

I swear I've said this to David at least twenty times in the last week.

On the trip home from my parents' house on Sunday we started listening to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and I'm hooked. We're only 40% through the book, as we started it with only three hours of our trip left, and had to pause it when Micah was fussy. (I can't handle too many different noises at once - it makes me feel really anxious... kind of like wrinkly sheets) Since then we've only listened to it when we're together in the car, so only on the way to work in the mornings. I guess this is one benefit of our second car dying... we have to ride together, so we get to listen to the story.

Anyway, I really am enjoying the story so far, and I recommend it. Here's a brief synopsis from the back cover of the book:
Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.
Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

You should read this book - or listen to it in audiobook format. I'm loving audiobooks right now - they really make car rides more fun. Especially if you're with somebody really boring... which is never my problem.

There are three books in this series, so we're in for lots of time spent hearing about Katniss and her struggle to stay alive! I hear they're also making a movie of the story, which is supposed to come out sometime next year. I'm already looking forward to it.