Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

There are so many things in my life to be thankful for but by far these two are at the top of my list. Enjoy every minute with your families over this holiday break!!

Bookmark Freebie

Sharon Rowan has an adorable Etsy shop and a great blog too. I found these on her website and thought they were too cute not to share. They would be a perfect gift with a great book for the reader in your life. Get the *FREE* download here.

She also has a great desktop calendar too. Check it out too!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Calm Before the Storm

We've been very low key around here lately. To be honest, it almost worries me a little. Ava hadn't been sleeping well and was crabby a lot. We went to her 15 month check up and after talking with the doctor it was what I had assumed. The kid wasn't getting enough sleep. We started putting her to bed at 7 instead of 8 and she still sleeps until 7 the next morning. Since she cut out her morning nap, she is taking about an hour and a half nap in the afternoon. That extra hour of sleep gave me back my happy baby. As a bonus, Steve and I get an extra hour together without the wee one too. Life has been back to normal...calm.

This holiday season is shaping up to be a busy one as always. I love this time of year and want to savor every moment. However, I'm trying to enjoy these last few days of laziness and do nothingness but stick around the house because those days end on Thursday. Thursday we are going to 2 Thanksgiving meals in two different states. Friday, I'm hitting up the Black Friday sales for the first time with one of my friends at 4am. Then I have to come home and do the whole Thanksgiving meal here at our house for my family. Let the craziness BEGIN!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

One Bowl Banana Muffins

"I see you oh yummy banana muffin."

"You look so perfectly golden on the outside."

"I am going to enjoy every bite of you without using my hands.
That is how much I want to savor you!"

"Okay...the no hands things was taking too long and you are
sooooo yummy! I will use my hands!"

My daughter loves bananas so we always have them in the house. Sometimes they start to turn a little too brown for my liking so that's where this super easy recipe comes into play.

Banana Muffins

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup veggie oil
2 mashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a good sized bowl. Stir in egg, milk, oil, bananas, and nuts or chocolate chips (if you're using them). Mix until just moist. Scoop into greased muffin tin or you can also use muffin liners. Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

These freeze great after they are baked. Then you can just thaw them out on the counter. You can also make a loaf out of this as well. Bake the loaf for about an hour. I haven't been adding nuts or chocolate because they are usually for Ava. Definitely a crowd pleaser with the little people in my life.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crazy Good Ideas

I am a sucker for a good party. Not just how great it is to get people together and mingle and catch up but the actual party planning. I know that might be a little weird but I enjoy planning the menu and coming up with table decorations and flower arrangements. I like to make sure all the little things count too. I like to plan how the food will be arranged and what font I will print my food labels out I said, yes, I know that is a little obsessive and weird. I *love* it though. I do have to truly watch what a spend and now that is part of the planning too. Being down to one income does pose a bit of a challenge at times. As I have been planning my little Thanksgiving get together, I wanted to share a site that I have a blog crush on. If you haven't visited The Party Dress please make a stop over there for some great eye candy and photography as you can see above. She covers everything from kids parties to weddings. Love her!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Bunny Cart

Ava has been playing a lot with her shopping cart. You know, loading it full of all kinds of random things like stuffed animals, puzzle pieces, books, and the occasional piece of Tupperware. But why stop there!! I had the bright idea to put Sweet Pea in the cart and let her push her around. I lined the cart with a towel and gingerly lowered SP into the cart. I was fully expecting her to hop immediately out but no...she sat calmly looking at us like, "What now?" Ava walks up and attempts to push the cart. If you look closely at the first picture you can see that SP is sitting up and has her paws out the front of the cart. For those of you who have met our darling bunny you know just how fluffy she is. I say fluffy but Steve just says she's fat. Anywoo, as Ava started to push SP, the cart was a little to front heavy and it started to go tumbling down. Hence the second pic where I am trying to save SP from crashing to the floor as the cart topples forward. Needless to say, SP was done with the whole cart experience. Ava however was not. She chased SP around the house for the next 15 minutes trying to pick her up and get her back in the cart. Moments like these make being a mommy so worth it and so hilarious!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Holiday Paper Love

Snow bird cards from Ave 9 River

Nine Tiny Reindeer from Wit and Whistle

Printable Peppermint and Gumdrop gift tags
from Little Paper Dog (only $4!!)

I am a sucker for all things lovely and paper. I have so many sets of cards and stationary just waiting to be used. These are a few of my faves at the moment. I especially love the idea of printable gift tags. You can print as many as you want and use them year after year too. So clever and economical!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Technology Queen

Obsessed with all things electronic...she is definitely her dad's little girl. Anytime a phone, remote, or Steve's iTouch or Blackberry are within reach you better believe she is pushing every button she can. She has called people accidentally (luckily it's been family only) and started searching the Internet on our phones. We didn't realize some of it until we started getting billed for it! Little stinker!

See that second picture and the poor pitiful face. When she gets caught and she knows it, she quickly hands off whatever the "no-no" is and looks all sad and innocent. That face is not going to work on me...very often :o)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

RIP Morning Nap

Oh how I will miss you, Morning Nap. We were such great friends. I could get my blog posted during the nap, clean up the kitchen, start some laundry, and so many other things that needed to be done for the day. But, alas, our time is over. Now I have to rely more on your brother, Afternoon Nap. I sure hope he can pull through for me!

Now morning nap time is filled with Ava taking out and putting away EVERYTHING she can get her hands on. I guess the good news is she does put things away but it is still a mess because it's a 15 month old putting her clothes back in the drawer or the diapers back in the basket. Today, after her room was sufficiently a wreck, she proceeded to bring me book after book to read to her. She does love her books. Her way of loving books is getting out every book she owns and surrounding herself in them. Then she will carefully pick out the one she wants me to read and brings it to me. She hasn't caught on to putting books away yet but we are working on it.

She's a great baby and I love spending all my time with her but naps are great too! All I can say is that I run around like a mad woman during her afternoon nap trying to get everything done. Those afternoon naps need to stick around for a while!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy 40th Sesame Street

Oscar iPhone cozy at Chocolate Mint

Cookie Monster Party Pack at Typewink

Elmo cupcake toppers at Peas and Thank You

You just gotta love all those furry monsters and animals on Sesame Street. I'm so glad that they are still around for my daughter to laugh and learn from. She's in love with all the characters and her little eyes light up when she hears the music from the show. Her favorite books at home are Sesame Street too. I definitely see a Sesame Street themed party in our future. Happy Birthday Sesame Street, and I hope our furry friends are around for another 40 years!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lady on the Go

It has been absolutely gorgeous here, so we tried to take full advantage of the weather. Friday Ava and I went to Faust Park to play outside for a while. Faust is great because they have a great playground and the Butterfly House is on the grounds, too. We didn't go in but wandered over to look at the lake and big caterpillar. Then again on Sunday we went back to the park with Steve and Uncle Greg too. Ava's gets the biggest kick out of watching people throw a ball. Needless to say she was so thrilled with the football and Frisbee. Sunday we were in shorts and t-shirts and it's November!! What's next?

I must admit that Ava is so unafraid that it scares me. She was off and going from the second we got to the park both days. She says hi to everyone and just runs from place to place seeing all that she can see. I hate that she is growing up so fast. I also find it interesting how different she is from me. I am shy and not outgoing. I have gotten better the older I've gotten but I'm still not the person I want to be. I'm hoping that Ava will stick with her outgoingness because I wish a could come out of my shell more. It's funny to say that I'm learning from my 15 month old daughter!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

If Only They Knew They Were Friends

We had another fun and fulfilling play date yesterday. If only the kids realized they can play with each other!! It's so funny because they just go about their business with the occasional book or toy snatching. These 4 are actually really good about not taking things from each far. I'm sure that will change once they get a little older. Overall, though, they are 4 of the sweetest kids. All are low key and good natured. Of course the fact that they are mine and my friends' kiddos has nothing to do with that statement :o) I look forward to the day when they hopefully do become friends. My friends are good parents and raising good kids. Sometimes that can be hard to come by. I only hope that they stay friends as they grow up. In the meantime, we're just having fun hanging out and watching them watch each other. Good times that are going way too fast.

On a side note, we're looking for somewhere in the St. Louis area to take the kiddos for a play date. Someplace other than the Magic House, Zoo, Science Center, etc. Do you know of any different or unusual places in the area? I'd love to hear about them!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Adorable Hair Adornments

I have been having a very blech few days. I can't put my finger on what it is but I'm just not myself. In order to cheer myself up, I went "window" shopping on the Internet. That is after I cleaned out our pantry which desperately needed it. Didn't buy a thing, just swooned over a few items that I would love to own. I noticed I was drawn towards hair accessories. I have been trying to grow out my hair since Miss A was born last August and 14 months later I still don't have the long flowing hair I was hoping for. It is long enough for a pony tail though, and I am so tempted to by some of these cute little flowers and headbands for myself. Part of me can totally see myself wearing these and then the other part says, "Who are you kidding?!" I am thoroughly thinking over the first tiny buds and could probably wear them without looking like I'm trying too hard. Can't though...saving up for some Christmas presents for the fam, and they need to come first! Still these are just cute, cute, and cute!!

Mini rosebud pins from Heart of Light

Golden Swirly Headband from Jennifer Birge

Vintage Peacock Hair Plume from Neva Plume

Monday, November 2, 2009

Coming Down from the Weekend

We had a very busy weekend, busy but good. Friday we went to Trunk or Treat at my parent's church which was a lot of fun. There was a campfire to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, trunks decorated handing out candy, caramel apples, a mad scientists lab, a bounce house, pumpkin carving and lots of other fun to be had. Saturday we had a family birthday party and then trick or treating in the neighborhood. Ava did really well and walked to about 10 houses with Steve while I held down the fort at home. That's a lot of walking for a little flower! Then Sunday was 8:30 church (due to the time change and us being up so early) and then a friend's daughters 2nd birthday. Busy, busy, busy! Today I'm just getting the house in order and Ava back on her regular schedule.

Fall is always such a busy time for us. It seems like we go non-stop from October to December. I like being busy though. I tend to get a lot more done when my plate is full. Our plates are definitely full every weekend until the end of the year. I'm not going to know what to do with myself when January hits and we're not busy. I have so much that I want to do with the house, myself, relationships with friends and family, Ava, etc. I want to start a business but that's a topic for another day. I've been putting off organizing the closets in the house, and they desperately need it. That's one of those things that makes it on my to do list every week and some how *mysteriously* never gets done...same with cleaning the shower. Today is a day I'm not swamped and therefore should do those 2 things. I'll let you know how it goes ;o)