Wednesday, March 30, 2011

{wordless wednesday}: Park Days

{Spring time = park time} 
and few things are better than park days with my boys! :)

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{Blogmania}

Blogmania is coming up soon!!
Are you getting excited?
I am sooo ready!
There are some AWESOME giveaways lined up!

If you haven't participated in one of these huge events ...
be ready!
{because basically, they rock!}
You have the chance to hop from Blog to Blog ...
entering giveaways! 
while discovering some amazing blogs! 

Oh - and I have some AMAZING sponsors!!
My theme is "summer lovin" ... 

and I've got a little bit of everything -
to make your summer fabulous!

Swim suits. nautical tote bag. jewelry.
sea salt for glowing skin.
and a few things for baby! :) 

You don't want to miss out!! 
Check back all next for Sponsor Spotlights!

Monday, March 28, 2011

{Where I've been}

I've seen these "where I've been" posts on several blogs,
and I thought it was such a fun idea!
So I decided to do one too!

I absolutely LOVE traveling!
unfortunately, I haven't seen nearly as much of the US as I hope too!
{I've mainly done the NE, South & Texas}


but I dream of traveling the west.
maybe in a big RV. or Subaru. with my boys.
and big monster dog.
just us - route 66 - and run down gas stations.
Mount Rushmore. Yellowstone.
Big scary Bears. camp fires.
Everything cliche about a trip out west.

My 4 favorite places are:
1. South Carolina - The Lowcountry (Charleston & Beaufort)
2. New York - what's not to love about NYC! :)
3. Washington, DC - it's where I met the hubs! <3 
4. Texas - San Antonio & the Hill country

BUT to make up for my lack of traveling in the US --
I've done quite a bit of international travel!
I'll try to keep this part short, haha. 



I was given the opportunity to study abroad in high school
with an organization called Rotary.
They have the MOST AMAZING Youth Exchange Program.
If you have high schoolers (10th/11th grade) - SIGN THEM UP!
I spent a year in Switzerland, living with 3 different families!
I learned German. learned the culture. made lasting friends.
oh, and I also got to travel Europe - A LOT.
at the ripe old age of 16 ...
it's an experience I will NEVER forget!

That year in Switzerland really gave me a taste for Europe.
and all its wonderfulness.
I went back every summer - just my big backpack and a train pass.

Then I spent my junior year of College in Austria,
studying business at an International Management School in Innsbruck.
I spent my weekends taking the train wherever I could.
Italy, Spain, France, CROATIA.

Oh Croatia ... be still my beating heart.
It's my absolute favorite place on earth.


ok - or maybe Cinque Terra is - in Italy.
But now it's becoming "too touristy", so I'm still going with Croatia.


Then there were my 4 months in South America after college ...
Argentina, Bolivia, Peru & Chile!

All are amazing --
but Argentina, ohhhh Argentina!
The wine, the people, the Tango, the FOOD!

climbing Machu Pichu in Peru.
swimming with piranhas & anacondas down the amazon in Bolivia.


All these travel experiences have made me who I am.
they've impacted the way I see the world.
What I want to do & who I want to be.

So what about you?
Where is your FAVORITE place?
Where do I HAVE to go?

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Friday, March 25, 2011

{Random Thoughts}

I've been a busy little bee around here!
ok so most of my house is still a disaster ...  
but my car is clean & organized - pics coming soon.
and my craft room is still considerably neat 
(esp. considering how much crafting I've accomplished) 

See? Still Neat. The hubs is SOO impressed.
I even catch him walking by and opening the door to take a peak!!


I've turned several long sleeve shirts into shirts perfect for summer.
AMAZINGLY easy!
Tutorial coming soon!

I'm working on Easter outfits.
{because we MUST coordinate perfectly}
and bow ties are SUPER fun to sew! :) 

I made a dress -- tutorial coming soon.

 There is also a MAJOR baby Boom going on, 
{lots of winter romancing apparently}
and I've been sewing more baby gifts than I can count! 

but here are a few of my faves --

This one is for a very special little Texan!

oh and preppy John Deere fabric?
Perfect for some country folk I know! ;)


Super Soft Minky Blankets & Taggies make an 
awesome addition to any gift!

oh and I finally got to sew some ruffles!!
for a sweet little girly girl!


oh - and today at Michael's I saw these vintage Carnival things in the dollar bin.
and I had to have them. had.to.  


 so it looks like one of the monkey boys will be 
having a circus themed party next year.
Am I the only one that does this stuff? 
Seriously - look how cute they are. and $1. I had.to. 
Am I hoarder? Oh dear, sign me up for the show! 

Oh - and of course I played with this little monkey!

So this weekend --
we're taking it easy!
The hubs has lots of studying - 
and we're leaving for a 2 week trip on Wednesday!

Happy weekend!  

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

{The Craft Closet}

So remember these pictures?
The ones of my junk craft closet ...

It was BAAADDDD.
Well, we've officially lived here 2+ months
and it's FINALLY unpacked, organized & usable.
{I'm blaming it on the horrible first trimester rather my laziness}

Ready to see what it looks like now?
 well - don't get too excited, it's nothing fancy.

One day I'll have a craft room like this ..

Country Living
or maybe more fun & funky -- like this ....
Allsorts

Either way ... my room looks NOTHING like those!
but I used what I had on hand ...
and a LOT of labels!
(costing me less than $10, score!)

So at least now I can find stuff & walk in there.
It's usable. and practical.
what more can you want, right? :)

Ready to see some pics?

Here's the before one more time ...

and here's the after:
I had no idea I had so much space! :)

Oh hello there lovely organization ...


and my quaint little place to sew ...

Thanks to my label maker and tubs from the Dollar Tree,
this was very easy & very cheap!

I wonder how long it will stay this nice!?
The hubs gave it a week.

I can't wait for the monster to nap, so I can start sewing!!

and on a side note - while i was taking these pictures this AM,
the monster emptied a bottle of blue tide on my new white carpet.
and then emptied three tubs of wipes all over the floor.

man, he's quick.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Whiny Wednesday: {The Great Bottle Debate}

Yes, My 13.5 month old STILL has a bottle.
cringe. gasp. shake your head in disbelief.
I know!

Those are the reactions I've been getting lately...
Sometimes its much more direct --
"wow, he still drinks out of a bottle? how old is he?".

Yup - he sure does!
and he LOOOVEEESSSS it. 
He drags it around ALL day long!
(even when its empty!)
You've never seen a kid smile bigger over something so silly!

We've tried switching him to the sippy cup, 
we've bought every one they sell Target & Walmart. 
But he doesn't like him.
He'll drink his juice or water from them ...
but milk? no way -- milk comes from the bottle!
duh.
{how dare I even think otherwise, right?}
silly mom.

The bottle is also very new to him! :) 
I nursed exclusively for 12 months - 
so he's really only had his bottle for 1.5 months!

Maybe it's his "security"?
He doesn't have a paci, no "lovey", no thumb sucking.
and he doesn't take it to bed with him...

I've done lots of "research" and like everything - 
everyone has their opinions!
My doctor said 15 months, so we've got some time! 

But this is my question to you --
when did your child give up the bottle??
What worked for you???

and am I the only parent that thinks sometimes we freak out about silly things!?? Things that don't really matter? Like maybe we just be thrilled that we live in a place where we have TIME and energy to worry about when to stop giving him the bottle ... rather than having to worry about when he'll even get his next bottle of milk.

ok maybe that was a bit dramatic ...
but you get my point, right?
Obviously he won't be 14 still drinking a bottle ... 
 So does it really matter that he still has the bottle at 13 months?

 My vote is no. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

{Ruffle Embellished Tee}

I love clothes and fashion and all things preppy!
{duh - i'm the preppy mom!}
Ann Taylor Loft and JCrew are two of my favorites!
but I don't always love the price tags ...
(and the hubs NEVER loves the price tag! haha)

I've seen tons of amazing DIY shirts out there in blogland --
They find these $3 shirts & make them look like $50! :)
Welcome to the Good Life is one of my favorites!
She is amazing!!
and I really wanted to give embellishment a go!

so for my first try -- 
{I think it turned out pretty cute!}
(excuse the HORRIBLE lighting)

I found these two shirts on clearance at Target.
I think they were $3-$4.

I bought one large shirt (I normally wear a M, but I'm pregnant so I went up a size).
and then I bought one XL - just for more fabric! :)

 1. Take your XL shirt and begin cutting strips. First cut off the hem. Then I cut my strips about 3.5" inches wide. I used a rotary cutter to cut through both the front and back so that I had a tube of fabric.

 I cut three strips. (I'll save the rest for another project)

Now this is where I went slack on the pictures!
The camera & supplies were in one room and the sewing machine in the other...
But I'll tell you what did.
Take your strip and cut the tube on one side
(so that you have one long strip)
Then fold it in half - hotdog style.

Now it's time to sew.
Sew a basting stitch (loose stitch) on the unfinished ends.
I set my machine on highest tension and longest stitch.
This created a nice ruffle.
If yours doesn't ruffle, just gently pull the stop string to create more gathers.
This is what one of the strips will look like when you are done ...
(did that make any sense? Tutorials are NOT my thing!}


Once you've ruffled all three strips, begin pinning them in place.
This is all trial and error my friends.


Make sure you try your shirt on before you sew....
I thought this was the design I wanted - until I tried it on.
and then it hit the girls really awkward -
like a giant cyclops ruffle boob. 
not cute. not at all.


So I switched it up a little! :)
Here's the final result!!



Oh and do you see the Ruched sides?
Since I bought a size larger than I normally wear -
this made it more fitted and perfect for my growing belly! 



This was my first time sewing with knit.
It can be tricky -- but I just set my stitch to 4.0.
That seemed to work perfectly!
Go slowly and make sure it doesn't pull.
It's not perfect, not even close but I LOVE it!
I can't wait to grow into it. :)
yayyy new baby boy!!

So what do you think?
Did I achieve my Preppy Look on a Poor Man's budget?

Monday, March 21, 2011

{Pom Pom Shoe Clip Tutorial}

It's officially spring!!
and the weather here in FL is in agreement! 
Spring makes me want to "freshen up" everything I own!! :)

So I'm starting with some old flats ... 
I'm seeing shoe clips EVERYWHERE! 
They are so trendy!
It's the perfect way to spice up old bland shoes!

I can never seem to find the blank "shoe clips" at any craft stores.
{and i'm WAY too impatient to order them online}
So I just decided to come up with my own version!

Mine are inexpensive, super simple & very adorable.
What more could you want?

The Preppy Mom in me is LOVING seersucker!!

Want to make your own?


What you need:
- 2 Bobby Pins
- Hot Glue & Glue Sticks
- 10-12 Fabric Circles
- 2 Felt Circles

Now I cheated and used my Sizzix to cut out the circles (love.that.thing!) but you can definitely do them by hand, it will just take longer. My circles are about 2.5" in Diameter.
-

*edited: mext time I will trim the TOP part of the bobby pin -
so that it doesn't accidently show.You need the bottom the full length.







p.s. I found these flats for $3.99 at Goodwill.
They still had the Target tags! SCORE! 


So simple, right? :)
This whole project took about 10 minutes start to finish!
I can't wait to make all different kinds & colors!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

{What would I be doing?}

A lot of times I ask myself that question.
"What would I be doing if I weren't staying home with my sweet little monster Monkey Man?".

Don't get me wrong --
{I'm sooo blessed to be able to stay home}
Believe me, I know that! 

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be able to always be there.
To catch every "first", to take him to appointments, to paint with pudding, to go for play dates with friends.
and sometimes I feel so ungrateful complaining.

But this is my blog - about my life.
and this is my life. :) 
and I'm keeping it real.
and for some reason - I think a lot of people can relate.
because we ALL had lives before babies! :)

but sometimes -- just sometimes - 
when I'm having one of those days ... 
one of those days where the hubs is SO busy studying he can't help at all -
when monkey man won't stop fussing ...
when he needs my CONSTANT attention 24/7 ...
when he wants to be held the WHOLE day --
when he's broken a million things around the house ...
when the house is filthy, dinner needs to be cooked --
and the piles of laundry are taller than my 5'7 body....

{Those kinda days ...}
(we all know those days, right?)

I think to myself ---
"man, I need a job and he's going to daycare!".
{like immediately ... as in tomorrow morning}

You see, I NEVER planned on being a "stay at home mom".
NO WAY! 
I had HUGE plans for my life.
with my almost perfect GPA
and dual degree in International Business & German ...
I was going to be a big time business woman.
Fitted pinstriped skirt suits, briefcases, Blackberries...
My dream job was the Diplomatic Program with the State Dept.
Or perhaps investment banking.
I wanted to travel the world with my take no prisoners attitude.

So after college - I moved to DC.
(after a wild 4-month stint backpacking in South America)
to pursue my dreams ... these HUGE dreams I had.

But then I met the boy.
The one who ROCKED my world.
and that is an understatement. 

We were engaged after 58 days!

Married after 7 months ...


and had Monkey Man 10 months later.


It was a whirlwind.
Oh and somewhere in between all of that - 
we moved from DC to Texas.
The hubs joined the Navy.
Got accepted to Flight School.
Left for Officer Candidate School (3 months).
The babe and I moved back to DC while he was gone.
and then we all moved to Florida, (where we are now).
{for about 2 more months ... then the Navy will have its way with us!}

so you see?
I haven't really had the time to follow those dreams ...
and sometimes I miss work & school & being around ADULTS.
(thank goodness for play dates - they keep me sane!!)

But then I look in those BIG, beautiful eyes of that sweet little boy.
and he needs me.
he loves me. 
and somehow - I forget about everything I "wanted" to do pre-babies.
Because I know that I'm right where I'm supposed to be ...
doing EXACTLY what I want to be doing!
and there isn't a place I'd rather be....
Big time diplomat, Investment Banker or mom!?
{I'd rather be MOMMY any day!}

until I have one of "those days" --
and then I dream of sitting in an Embassy,
somewhere foreign and probably dangerous...
working my butt off - but probably way too busy for a family.
and that. makes. me. sad.
because I can't imagine a world without the hubs & monkey.
They make everything worth it ...
all the sacrifice and the 24/7 job as "mom".

oh - but you better believe, the minute these kids leave the house.
I'll be a working girl.
Fo sho. 

Am I alone?
Am I the only one who feels this way sometimes? :)

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

{Blue, Blue, Blue}

No, I'm not feeling down ...
{get it, blue?} ok. nevermind. 

but ...
{IT'S A BOY}

 We found out yesterday and we are SOO excited!
you see - we wanted a boy!
(well, we really just wanted a healthy baby
and ruffles & pink would have been great too!)
but deep down --- we both wanted another crazy little boy!! 

When I picture what the future holds, I see ... 
wooden bunk beds ...
 in a shared bedroom ...

and a train table that turns into a lego table ...
(that I will make myself of course, because that's how I roll)

and them being best buds forever ...
and dress up days where they are every super hero under the sun. 
and sports practices.
and boy scouts.
and nature trail walks where we look for frogs & other "boy" things.
and camping trips.
and sailing with daddy.
and girlfriends that I probably won't think are good enough. 

It'll be just me and my boys!
{all three of them}
*four if you count the dog*
I love the sound of that.

It's going to be fabulous!

and I think we've even picked a name. 
(which for my husband & I to agree is nearly impossible)

Life is good!
{We are feeling very blessed} 

and now I'm off for some shopping on this beautiful Saturday.
What a waste, I know.
But Gap, Banana & Old Navy are offering 30% off...
(and you know I can't pass up a sale/coupon)

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