Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year's (Eve)!

Have  I mentioned  how silly I think  New Year's Eve is? I mean, really, can you think of any holiday more anticlimatic? You sit around  all evening waiting for the "big  moment" and then 10 seconds later after a quick shout of "Happy New Year" and maybe a kiss it's all over. Lame. LOL

Needless to say this "holiday" doesn't excite me! So Lee is going out for a little bit  later on with my brother and I offered to babysit all the munchkins (my mom came down  with a flu bug today and she was the original sitter). Looking forward to them all in bed while I relax on the couch! And maybe I'll shout Happy New Year tomorrow....you know, at a decent hour with a full night's rest...like a normal person :-P

Still, it *is* fun to think about the  year gone by and get excited for the year to come! I'd say overall  2011 was a great year for our family! New baby, new house, health and happiness....what more can I  ask for?!

So here's my official year end recap--enjoy!

January 2011 started off with a very pregnant Shawna....anxiously awaiting Brielle's arrival!

I  do not miss that belly one bit!
Then January brought Miss Brielle's arrival on 1-11-11! We spent the month getting to know the new member of our family :-)

(Click to enlarge all  these collages)
February brought with it a continued adjustment period, but we survived! We also celebrated Valentine's Day.


By  March  we were getting into the swing of things with 2 kids under  age 2! I also bought my first  ever sewing machine--yay!


April was very exciting! Raya's first time dying easter eggs, her  first solo egg hunt, her  first haircut (I  was her beauty stylist), and the start of wedding season (and matching dresses :-)


May was  the start of warm weather and playing outside, Raya's first time being a flower girl, a vacation to visit our  friend Bryn, and Raya's 2nd  birthday!


With  June came lots  of  sunshine! Brielle started eating solids and Baby Bop became a member of our family :-P


July 4th  was exciting this  year, as Raya  was old enough for sparklers! We also visited the river museum and my  trusty camera broke and died (but not before taking some really weirdly tinted photos!)


August was my favorite photography  month--Brielle was at the  perfect age for being a great model, and looking back through my pictures that month I had so many great ones I couldn't  narrow them  down! :-)


In September we went to Illinois for  Lee's big family  reunion---and we got to see Lee's brother and wife from Ohio, which is always exciting!


In October  we packed up our boxes (and babies!) and MOVED! This was a very exciting month. We also had lots of pumpkin patch  and Halloween fun.


November was our first (and only!) snowfall of the  year. Raya almost died choking on a peanut butter sandwich. We celebrated Brielle's first Thanksgiving.


December was filled with  travel!  We visited our  new nephew/cousin in Ohio for the first time, we visited friends in Illinois, and we attend many Christmas parties! Santa was good  to Raya, and Brielle made it through her first Christmas! (even if she  was under  the weather)


So goodbye 2011--thanks for the memories! (and for baby Brielle hehe :-) ....and hello 2012! I can only  hope that  this year will  be as awesome as the last.

And what is the New Year  without a couple New Year's resolutions? lol. My goal is to keep them for at least 1 week ;-P I decided to make one housekeeping related one and a parenting related one.

1) I will  (try to) do one load of laundry every day --that includes folding and putting away! Laundry is my most hated chore and I'm always behind.

2) I will turn off the TV for one hour every day and just play with the girls! I'm someone who likes the "noise" of the TV on in the background and even though we're often playing and not paying attention to the TV I think Raya is becoming reliant on it being on in the background too. She throws a fit if I turn off her shows, even if she isn't watching. We both need to learn to not have it on from time to time!

What are *your* new year's resolutions?

See you all next year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fashion Friday--Pumpkin Patch brand

Who's totally excited  for my second installment of Fashion Friday?! :-P Up this week we have Pumpkin Patch -- this brand originated  in New Zealand and I  feel like  it  does have that  sort of flare. I don't  know of any actual stores near me, but your higher end department stores (Von Maur, probably Macys, etc.) carry it. Anyways, it's a pricier  brand, but  if you watch  for sales you can find stuff for under $20. Or just splurge :-) They actually are  having  a sale online right now  and it's free shipping until  midnight tonight, so go check  it out!

Although Pumpkin Patch sells all sorts of shirts, dresses, pants, etc. I  personally love their sweaters best. I feel  like their sweaters do stand out from the run of the mill sweaters, and they are always SO SOFT. I'd swear their sweaters are dry clean only  if I didn't  know any better....they feel too delicate to wash, even though you can. That's my favorite thing about them. So for Christmas I stumbled  across this Pumpkin Patch sweater on clearance and I just had to get it for Brielle--I knew the blue would look  so good on her, and I was right!


I  have  found that their stuff (sweaters at least) run big, so  don't size up. Brielle  is wearing a 12-18 month here, and it's pretty big. I wanted it to fit for  awhile though so  it works! The other  sweaters I've  had in this brand ran large too.

You can feel  the quality people :-)



And just  for good measure, remember when my girls and niece Harper all had their  matching sweaters last Easter? Yeah, those  were Pumpkin Patch too!

Click to enlarge

So there's my  plug for  this  Friday! Hey, maybe some day my blog will be super  famous and I'll have kid's clothing companies contacting me to do reviews of free products! Ya know, my girls *are* awesome spokeschildren--hint hint ;-)

Now for some misc pictures....here is my girl just loving  a photoshoot w ith  Mama




And it's nothing fancy, but  Raya  did enjoy  wearing her  run of the mill Target outfit t he other  day!




On to my next fashion related plug, check out some more cute  models of my Etsy shop creations! I was sent this adorable picture of a brother/sister pair wearing their Christmas shirts...


And my bloggy friend over  at Mrs Mommy had her daughter's one year pics taken in her snowman outfit--can you say stinkin' adorable?!


She was also nice enough to send me a picture  of Kyla and her nieces wearing their matching tree shirts...so fun!


Ok, next up is a PS to last week's Fashion Friday--Raya modeling another of her Naartjie outfits! Check out last Friday's post for Naartjie details :-) Love love lovin' this  outfit people!

The deer is  covered in sparkly gems and the shirt ruffle wrap around...oh yeah :-) You can't  see the little ruffles on the  side of the ankles...Raya wasn't modeling very well  today unfortunately







I <3 Fashion Fridays :-)

And to end, a bunch of random pictures lol. First, the  headboard  is finished! Well, we still need  to get some white wood filler to cover the nail holes, but otherwise it's done. I think I'm going to maybe get vinyl lettering to put their  names above their  headboards eventually....but I"m loving the way the headboad came out and when Brielle's gets put up the tree is going to be sitting proudly inbetween and it's just  going to be perfect!

Some day  we'll get  around to painting the bedside table LOL

I'm glad  we introduced brown to the color scheme with the tree trunk  too, b/c now  Mr. Owl doesn't
look so outta place! And guess what  Brielle is getting for her birthday?! Yep! A brown monkey pillow
exactly like Raya's owl one!
Brielle is so super  excited  to get bigger and  old enough to move into  the room with  Raya!


Tonight  Raya  had  fun helping Daddy play  with his remote control helicopter Christmas gift. He  was launching it  from the top of her head and she just loved  it! She kept saying "more dada, more!"







Goodnight  everyone :-)




Thursday, December 29, 2011

A productive day!

My mom watched  the girls  today so  that  Lee  and I  could go  into  town and complete more of the honey  do list hehe. We got a ton done! And Lee got me many additional Christmas gifts today too :-P Here is a sampling of my new goodies!

First  up, I  found this  adorable tree decal at Target that was simply made to be in my girls' room. For real, all  the same colors, and a birdie theme! And it was super easy to apply and sticks to the wall  so well....much easier to apply than the alphabet decals I bought on Etsy for the old house's playroom---and much cheaper too! (It's really hard to see  in the photo, but there are two pink butterflies, two blue birdies, and then the tree is brown with white polkadots and lots of the leaves have polkadots too!)


The reason it's placed there is  because soon Brielle's bed will  be on the other side of the rug....so the tree is going to be right in the middle of the two beds. Then you can kinda see the white bedside table there---we have two of those that my dad picked up at a garage sale or something---we are painting them white. The one in the pic is just primer right now, but I was trying to figure out how high to put the tree so I set it there for the  time being :-)

Close up--


Then we ran out of time and didn't  get the headboard on the wall today---but it's  ready to go! This is hard  to see in the picture too, but you get the idea. It's beadboard (is  that what it's called?) that  Lee framed out today with trim pieces....and he'll mount it to the wall  above the bed. It's going to be so cute!


Then we also bought  and hung this  organizer in our mud room/laundry room. This was a funny story because first we  opened it and there was a crack...but  I decided to just  use black  marker  to cover the crack  and I figured it wasn't that big of deal....it's just to organize mail and stuff.  Well then we discovered the hook to hang the keys from were pretty crooked, the predrilled holes for the drawers were too small, and after we hung the thing on the wall we discovered the drawers themselves are complete unlevel LOL. Basically it's a poorly constructed peice of crap :-P But after we had gotten so much of it put together and hung etc.  I decided I didn't care enough to return it. It does the job!


Then in super  exciting news,  we finally have stools at our kitchen counter!!! I really wanted rectangular ones because I felt they'd slide up under  the counter the nicest. And Lee wanted backs on them, but I was adament that they wouldn't have backs because I didn't want chair backs sticking up and blocking my view from the kitchen :-P So after  I won that battle we had to decide wood tone, etc. Today we found these and I love them! The wood tone is darker than our cabinets, but it matches our dining room table right next to it, and that's exactly what I had in mind. I wanted to tie that wood table in with the kitchen cabinets and not be too matchy matchy. I originally hadn't planned on the stools being cushioned though, but my butt convined me otherwise---these were just too comfy to pass up! And actually they are nice  and dark which ties in the black  on our appliances and the bronze light fixtures, etc....so in the end I think they  are perfect!

You'll just have  to trust me that  the  dining room table matches this wood tone :-P
Doesn't your  butt  really want to sit here? :-)


And lastly, who is dying for a sneak peek at Fashion Friday?! Ok, ok, you twisted my arm....here ya go:

My order from Naartjie came today!! Is she not the cutest bear you've  ever seen?! Everything seems to fit great---except this outfit does run narrow, which I  had read online but was worried it'd be too long if I sized up. However  it toally fits her still---you just might see a little more baby belly poking out than normal :-P And heads up, I heard Naartjie is having  an end of the year sale now! I believe these dresses are now on sale for like $6 instead of the $9 I paid---bummer for me, good for you!

You'll  have  to stay tuned to  see the other outfits :-P

Raya loves the new kitchen stools!
And fashion sneak peek #2, is Brielle going to be the cutest birthday girl or what?! :-)



And I stumbled across this store bought bib (Skip Hop brand) the other day and decided it was destined to be Brielle's  birthday bib! Seriously, can you picture her digging into  her cake in this? We're all  going to die from the cuteness


I'm still working on the ruffle  pants to go with this....the pants are the polkadot  material....and then I'm planning to add the red  monkey  fabric as a ruffle on the bottom of the pant legs. I'll share when I finish them up! The outfit is far from technically perfect, but I'm really proud of it and happy with how it's turning out. Considering I'm just making it up completely and not following any pattern or tutorial I'm surprised it's ever wearable, let alone this cute haha :-P

PPS, I  know some of my readers are wishing they could sew, planning to start sewing, etc.....so I wanted to share this website. It's one of my favs! Make it and love it   ....she posts *the* best, cutest, modern and cool sewing tutorials ever. I've pinned  about 100 of them haha. Anyways, she knows a lot of people  got  sewing machines for xmas etc. so she's sharing a bunch of beginner tips and the link above is her first "beginner" entry. Check it out! I'm really excited to read her tips too, even though I can kinda/sorta sew.