Monday, May 31, 2010

You Know It's Finally Summer When...

There are adorable, wet, shirtless babies squealing in the backyard!  Hope everyone is enjoying this long weekend with your families.  I know we are soaking up every minute of it. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Bun

Simon has developed quite the little personality these days.  He loves to run through the house at full speed while Ava laughs hysterically.  He likes chewing on things, mainly pillows.  Ugh!  After he has run himself ragged, he finds the closest air vent and flops over on it.  He usually lays on the vent in Ava's room after he has drug out all of her little people.  He makes just as big of a mess with toys as Ava does.

Some of Ava's favorite things to tell Simon are...
"Get down, Bunny!"
"No, no, Bunny!!"
"Bunny fast!"

Apparently I scold Simon a lot because those are the phrases Ava has picked up on.  I just keep telling myself he is still a youngster and he will calm down.  I think I was just so used to Sweet Pea who would go back in her cage when you told her too and didn't want to chew on everything in sight.  Even with all the bun antics in our house, we love him dearly. 

Have a great weekend all and remember those who have served our country.
 God Bless You All!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Life as Normal?

The past day and a half has been rough.  My father-in-law went in for surgery yesterday to remove cancer from his body.  When the surgeon got in he realized it was much worse than he thought and removing it would cause more damage.  How do you deal with that?!  We were and are optimistic but that was devastating news.  My FIL is still young (57), active and feels great so all of this was surprising and shocking. 

I just want to cry and yell and be mad on my husband's behalf because he is trying to be so strong for his mom.  He's not letting his emotions get the better of him in front of her and I know that is not easy all the time. 

This morning I woke up tired and sad and angry all over again.  Steve got up and went to work feeling emotionally drained.  I fed Ava her breakfast, read her books, and have done everything like normal but somehow acting normal just doesn't feel right.  Sometimes life just sucks and there's nothing we can do about it.  It just sucks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Swooning for Ribbons

Into the Woods at Lilla Lotta

Summer Ferns at Rainy Day Ribbons

Little Red Riding Hood at Chickadee Supplies

How great are these tapes and ribbons?  The gears are turning as to how to work them into some future project.  Any ideas??

Monday, May 24, 2010

Poor Baby Stella

Meet Stella.  She's soft, cuddly, cute as a button and always naked.  It's a darn good thing it's been 90+ degrees here because Baby Stella would otherwise be cold.  I don't know what it is with kiddos and their babies but the babies never seem to have clothes on.  Ava adores Baby Stella...naked.  I can dress that baby 20 times a day and Ava will immediately remove all her clothes.  I finally just stopped dressing her except for when company comes over :o)  If you are looking for the perfect baby for a little lady, I would highly recommend her.  We're thinking of getting another one with a little more hair to be the big sister for Stella.  I'm sure she'll be naked right along with Stella.

Friday, May 21, 2010

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who entered and Jenn K., just let me know which bag you would like and I'll get it in the mail for you with the Target gift card, too! 

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  The sun is finally supposed to make an appearance here...I hope!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Once a month our playgroup tries to do a "field trip" with our wee ones.  Only 2 of us could make it this time but we still had a blast at MoBOT.  I warned you yesterday that there were lots of pictures and I wasn't kidding.  Get ready!!

The Children's Garden was fun for Ava but crowded and stressful for me!

Ava probably crawled through this little log 20 times and would not have stopped unless I made her move on to something else.

The 3 wee ones on top of what looks like a mulch pile but it was rubber.  Only one is semi-smiling and not looking at the camera and the other 2 aren't smiling...oh well!

Out of the Children's Garden and both mommies could relax a little. The regular garden was so much less crowded and peaceful.

Ava stomping through the rose garden.  At least it looks like she's stomping, ha!

The kids found this fountain while wandering the paths.  Look how happy Caeleigh looks playing in the water.  So cute!!

This was by far our favorite spot in the garden.  The 3 kiddos could play freely through the trimmed scrubs, we could see them at all times and there was rarely anyone else in this area.  There were several fountains to ohhh and ahhh over, too. 

Pretty pansies,

pretty baby,

and one pretty awesome day!

Don't forget the winner of the snack bag and Target gift card will be announced tomorrow at noon.  Yippeee!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Peony Obsession

I have kind of an unhealthy obsession with peonies.  So much so that I bought this peony perfume from L'Occitane when we were on our Vegas trip a little while back.  That's huge for me because I have worn Clinique's Happy for as long as I can remember.  I am very particular about smells and there's not a lot that I like enough to wear.  I've also started picking out different varieties that I want to plant this fall in our yard.  I can't wait to plant and see the beauties bloom the following spring!!

This morning we headed to the Missouri Botanical Gardens for a whopping 4 hour playdate and had a blast.  This mommy is thoroughly exhausted and way to tired too edit pics for the blog.  The one I did get to was the peony above.  Gorgeous, right?  I'll post loads of pictures tomorrow of our super fun play date.  I'm already looking forward to our next visit. 

Don't forget you have until Friday to leave a comment and enter the drawing for the Snack bag and Target gift card.  At this point your chances are really good!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

1st Blogiversary

I, frankly, can not believe it's been a year since I started this little blog.  It has definitely morphed into something different than it first was.  It started as a way to share pictures of Ava.  I then started to post recipes and craft ideas simply because it's what I like.  I have made some blog friends and learned a lot in the last year.  I am looking forward to what happens here in the next year for sure!

Now for the giveaway!! 

Leave a comment on this post about where your favorite place to vacation is and why you like it.  You can earn another entry if you're a follower, so leave that little tid bit in a seperate comment.  I'll have Ava pick a winner on Friday at noon.

What do you win???  Your choice of one of the reusable snack bags above and a $10 gift card to Target.  I know that the snack bags are not that exciting, so I threw in the Target card because really, who doesn't love Target?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Club: House Rules by Jody Picoult

*Don't click to look inside...the pic is from Amazon :o)

Our monthly book club meeting was last Thursday and as always I was not disappointed.  Our selection for last month was House Rules by Jodi Picoult.  Let me start by saying that I have only read one other of her books, My Sister's Keeper, which I did like.  Some of the other ladies in the group have read several of Picoult's books and found this one to be not one of her best books.

This book involves an 18 year old boy who is diagnosed with Asperger's, a form of autism.  Jacob is high functioning and is very intelligent.  He is very interested in forensic science and will show up at crime scenes to "help" the police officers.  He is accused of murdering his social skills tutor who is his only friend in life besides his mother. 

This book was not as suspenseful as I was hoping it would be considering there was a murder.  I had it figured out really early on as did most of our book club.  This book brought about many great conversations about autism.  Our group has a lot of teachers or moms who used to teach as I did.  Between all 8 of us there that night, combined we have taught a lot of autistic kiddos.  Autism is such a hot topic as far as vaccines are concerned and that is brought up a couple times throughout the book.  I would recommend this book especially to a book club because we didn't stop talking for 2 hours about the book.  We usually talk that much but we tend to get off topic ;o)

Next up, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak and I'm really looking forward to this one! 

Don't forget to check in tomorrow for the 1st ever
Blogiversary Give-Away...yay!!! 
It will be worth your click to stop on over. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yay! It's Friday!

I had plans to tell you all about our book from this month, House Rules, but I'm just not in the mood.  I do however want to tell you that next Tuesday is my 1 year blogiversary.  Yahoo!  In honor of that, there will be a fun giveaway for you all.  Make sure to check back next week and spread the word.  Have a great weekend!

By the way, the above picture is just for random cuteness.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Artistic vs. Crafty

The above pieces of artwork from Corid makes my heart hurt a little and I'm not quite sure why.  They are beautiful, creative and imaginative.  I don't know if it's the colors, the expressions on their faces or the mixed media but they evoke that feeling from me.  That being said, I'm trying to figure out where to put them in my  I love them!

I have always been crafty but never artistic.  I can not draw to save my life.  I have tried to draw, paint, chalk, etc. and it's just not something God wants me to do, I guess.  I have to say I am in awe of people who are able to do what they love for a living, especially artists.  I'm definitely a little lot jealous.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Recipe: Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies

The cookies to be sampled by the official taste tester...
Sampling the goodies...
And we have a winner folks! 

Definitely go check out Annie's Eats.  There are so many recipes there on my to make list.  Now I can cross off the Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies.  They are officially in my binder of go to recipes.  These cookies are so yummy and springy.  That is if you are into the citrus thing.  On Mother's Day, everyone gobbled them up and I was even asked for the recipe, so they were a hit in our house! 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Screensaver Freebie

*Photo from Real Simple website, Craig Cutler

I have this clock as my screensaver, and I love it!  How About Orange blogged about it a little while ago and I read it about it in Real Simple.  It's a great idea so I thought I would pass it along.  Go check out her blog (if you haven't already).  She has lovely taste and always passes along good finds and great ideas.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pulled Pork: Recipe for a Crowd

*Photo from because I forgot to take a pic!

Yesterday we hosted my husband's side of the family over here for Mother's Day.  Being that is was "my day" I didn't want to work my rear off in the kitchen.  This pulled pork recipe is cheap, easy, you can make it the day ahead and it feeds a crowd.  Here's what you need:

5-10 lb. pork shoulder roast or pork butt roast
1 can beef broth
1/4 -1/2 cup brewed coffee
BBQ sauce of your choice

Salt and pepper your roast then place in your crock pot.  Pour in broth and coffee.  Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  Remove meat from crock pot and let cool.  Shred with a couple forks or clean fingers.  Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid and get rid of the rest.  If your meat looks a little dry, add some of the reserved liquid back to the shredded meat.  Here is where you have a choice.  You can add sauce to the entire pot o' meat or serve it "dry" and let people put on their own sauce.  I like to have 3-4 different types of sauce and people can put on their own as well as jalapenos and pickles.  Put out some yummy rolls and watch it disappear! 

I cooked a 10 pound roast and it fed 17 people.  There are a lot of young guys in the family who eat a lot so take that as you will.  Luckily, I had just the right amount of meat and there were plenty of awesome side dishes brought as well.

For dessert, I made blackberry cobbler from this recipe.  Sooo yummy with vanilla ice cream!

Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Some glittery stickers from Michael's picked out by Miss Ava...
Black and white photos of the little dear...
Some crayons and cardstock...
Careful placement of stickers...
And HOORAY!  A handmade Mother's Day card for the grandmas and great-grandmas!
Yes, I did about 75% of the work on these but she did a great job coloring the back and placing the stickers all by herself.  You can tell by the smile on her face just how much she loves stickers. She was quite proud of these when she finished which made my part in the cards totally worth it!

*The font is called Red Star.  Not quite sure were I found it otherwise I would link to it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tutorial: "Green" Snack Bags

This project started with an urgent email from a friend (Hi Valerie!) about making some party favors for her two adorable sons.  She knew she wanted some hot/cold packs made out of dino print and something else that would ship well and not weigh a ton because it was going to London.  I had seen these here and here and thought they were adorable.  They went on my to-make list and I just hadn't gotten around to them yet.  Here was my chance. 

~These are very easy to make in assembly style fashion so keep that in mind and make more than you think you need.  There are so many uses for these little cuties!!~

cotton fabric
unbleached muslin for the lining
sew on velcro

Cut your fabrics into 12 x 7 rectangles. I was able to double my fabric and cut 2 panels out at a time with my rotary cutter.  Cut your velcro into 5 1/2 inch strips.  Use whatever width velcro you like.  I choose a skinny one so little hands could easily get it open.  If you can only get your hands on the wider stuff then just cut it in half.

With your fabrics facing right sides together, pin and sew both 7 inch sides using 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Press your seams to the patterned side.  Then turn you fabric the right side out and press again.

With your nicely pressed rectangle in front of you muslin side up, place your velcro on each side of the 7 inch side.  Velcro was a booger to pin through so I used used a large paper clip to hold it in place and it worked out great.  Just eyeball where it should be.  I decided to use a zigzag stitch to secure the velcro because I was using skinny pieces.  If you are using wider velcro you would want to opt for sewing around the edges of the velcro.  I also changed my needle to something a little heavier to plow through that velcro.

I ended up really liking how the stitch looked on the outside of the bags.

Fold your fabric right sides together again and pin along the sides.  Sew along the sides to close up your little bag.

To keep the fabric from fraying, sew a zigzag stich along the sides.  Trim away any stray fibers.  You can see there is still a stray on my photo...whoops!

Turn right side out and ta-da!!  You now have the cutest little velcro bag.

See the little dino packs too.  So cute and easy to make as well.

You can make these in any size and use them for any purpose other than snacks. 

~Make one to throw in your purse to hold your lip gloss and chapstick.
~Put your little guys cars in it to take to a friends house.
~Tote around crayons and stickers to keep your little one busy at the doctor's office.
~Throw out the bulky puzzle boxes and store the pieces in one of these little guys instead.
~I loved Emily's idea of putting M&Ms in it to take to the movies.

With so many cute fabrics you can go nuts making these.  I'd love to hear your ideas of what you would use these pouches for. 

Happy Sewing!