Monday, December 31, 2012

makin' it monday // DIY patterned pants

i am SO excited about this week's project! it came out so much better than i hoped, i'm considering doing it to more pieces in norah's (and maybe my) closet!

let's get started:

for the triangle pants:
1. rip small pieces of tape (about 1 1/2 inches) and arrange them in a random way on the front of the pants. 
2. with your fabric paint of choice, paint inside your shapes using a small foam brush. 
3. let sit for a few hours until completely dry, flip over, and repeat steps 1 & 2 on the back.
4. wait 24 hours and wear!

- - -

for the heart "knee-patch" pants:
1. using a cookie cutter (or stencil, whatever you've got), lightly trace your shape onto the pants using a pencil. before doing this i stuck a piece of cardboard in the pants so it would be easier to write.

2. very carefully, paint your stenciled shape onto the pants
3. wait 24 hours and wear!

- - -

the finished products plus BONUS: bunny sweatshirt!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

happy weekend!

- - - - -

the last weekend of 2012, what are you going to do with it? we're still pooped from christmas - ha! i have a few DIY projects i'd like to get done plus some party planning for norah's birthday (still in shock!!). we're also hoping to go look at a house or two! i also have a little blog-makeover in the works. hoping to have that done for a fresh start in 2013. whatever you do, enjoy the last moments of this year. looking forward to a new beginning on tuesday!

- birthday doughnuts

- fabric scrap houses! adorable.

- love this animal gift wrap.

- what a cool tattoo idea for sisters/siblings.

- dreamy.

- cute valentine's cards.

- 5 ways to grow more with less. good ideas!

- quirky kids' parties. love the lumberjack theme :)

- sweet heart gloves.

- and a great idea for updating old gloves.

- cutest socks i ever saw.

- new year's resolutions for families.

christmas photo dump

warning: picture heavy post! 

"hi, santa! hi, mrs santa!"

in the frosty zone

playing "jinga bells"

funny faces with uncle joe

love him

Thursday, December 27, 2012

someone's turning two!

little mouse's 2nd birthday is in 20 DAYS! i cannot believe it. i will be totally cliche and say that it feels like i just got done planning her 1st birthday but it really does. especially since the holiday season always flies by! but now that christmas is over i am in full-on party planning mode.

the most fun part of birthdays (for me) is present-giving! we try to keep christmas simple so that we can spoil norah a little more on her birthday. after all, her birthday IS about HER and christmas is not. here are a few things i've had my eye on and that i know she would love:

4. wheely cow (large)
7. rabbit and raccoon puppets

while we don't have the means to get her all of these things (and even if we did, i wouldn't get it all. as much as i love to buy things for norah i just can't justify going too crazy.) a few people had asked me for ideas on what to get her. if you're out there reading - just pick off this list! ;)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

happy weekend!

santa drove by on the firetrucks last night! norah said "dats too loud, mommy!" 

- - - - -

can you believe Christmas is next week already? this weekend we hope to get a ride on the "santa train" that runs through allaire park. i also have lots of cooking and baking to do in preparations for the holiday. mark has off on monday so we're thinking of going out just the three of us and finding something fun to do. i'd LOVE to go see the tree at rockefeller center but it's probably not the best idea to do that on Christmas Eve ;). I'm sure we'll think of something. Have a great weekend!

- treehouse wedding!

- ok, this is freaking me out.

- adorable clay ornaments.

- and an adorable painted ukelele!

- great ideas for random acts of kindness.

- merry christmas, ya filthy animal!

- gorgeous business cards.

- i'd like this for dinner.

- and this for dessert. mmmm....

- lovely quilts. the 2nd one is my favorite!

- DIY feather tee...cute!

- great quote.

P.S. if you could take a minute to vote for our christmas card picture HERE (#47) i would greatly appreciate it! :)

christmas cookie baking and delivery

two nights ago we made a whole lot of sugar and peanut butter blossom cookies (the ones with hershey kisses in the middle!). then yesterday morning we packaged them up, added a christmas card and delivered them to our neighbors. norah was a good helper with the delivery part, but she definitely enjoyed the cookie baking more ;)

so excited

i do it mommy

i was actually very impressed with how well she did with the cookie cutters. most of them came out ok with just a missing limb or a crooked head ;)

my two favorite shapes of norah's, and the cookie that she sprinkled all by herself 


half the batch

packaged and ready to go // my little delivery girl

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hopefully we brightened some peoples day!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

thrifting thursday // v. 11

The parts for Norah's "big" Christmas gift this year all came from thrifting in some form! I'm really excited with everything we got and even more excited about the money we saved by buying second hand. 

Because we were able to save so much, we were able to help out two separate families this holiday season by sending them gifts for their children who otherwise wouldn't have had anything to open on Christmas morning. And THAT is what Christmas is about right? (At least part of it.) I'd much rather help others who need it more than buy for my family who doesn't need a single thing this year. True joy is found in giving and that's what I hope to teach Norah. 

We decided as a family to keep Norah's Christmas gifts on the small side. She will get 3 gifts from Santa, as Jesus got 3 gifts, plus some small stocking stuffers. I don't want her to grow up thinking Christmas is all about her and all the new toys she might get, but I also don't want to rob her of the excitement of opening presents on Christmas morning. By limiting her gifts we're doing good on her part and we're also doing good for others. Win-win in my book.

Anyway, I'm rambling and I've yet to share my thrifting scores! Here we go:

I found both these wooden pieces from the same consignment shop on different days. The high chair was already white so we simply painted the cradle to match!

The cabbage patch doll and the mini granny square quilt were each from separate thrift stores. 

Total cost: $24

The dress that the cabbage patch doll was wearing was hideous, so after searching around on ebay for a new one, I came across a listing for all of these (handmade!) doll dresses, plus the one she's wearing in the first picture. I ended up winning the auction and I'm even happier with these than I thought I'd be. They are so cute in person!

Total cost: $5.50

I can't wait to see Norah's face on Tuesday morning. She has been really interested in her one baby doll lately and I'm so happy to be able to add to her "collection" of baby things. She's quite the little mommy! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

please donate

all day friday i was glued to my TV, anxiously waiting to hear more information on the tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. i paced the floor like my own child was involved, my heart breaking over and over again for each innocent victim.

when norah woke up from her nap i held her and cried, both with happiness that she was in my arms and with a heavy heart knowing that there are parents who cannot hold their child anymore like i can hold mine. i don't feel right even talking about it though, because there is no way in the world i can have any idea of what those parents are going through right now.

because i have no idea what else to do, here is the link to United Way of Western Connecticut. please, make a donation if you can.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

our christmas cards!

Sarah over at In the Moment hosted a Shutterfly giveaway a couple of weeks ago and I was the lucky winner!! Woooooo! Here's what we went with this year:

Thanks Sarah and Shutterfly for our amazing cards. I love them!

Monday, December 10, 2012

makin' it monday // green and glittery salt dough ornaments

being a cheap and easy craft, salt dough ornaments are pretty popular for Christmas. i put our own little twist on a basic recipe to get these beauties; hand-glittered by Norah.

i started with this recipe:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup water

and then just added green food coloring! super easy.

mix the ingredients together and knead for a few minutes. add small amounts of extra flour as needed until dough doesn't stick to your hands.

roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter to get your shapes. i couldn't decide if i wanted to do red dough shaped like stockings or green shaped like christmas trees so i had norah choose for me :)

line your dough shapes on a non-stick pan. using a straw, poke a hole near the top of your ornament for the string to go through.

bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours

after the ornaments have cooled completely they are safe to decorate! i left ours on the baking sheet to make clean up much easier.

i gave norah a paint brush and elmer's glue, a few tubes of glitter and some gold stars. with some direction and an extra hand norah made these "all by herself!" ;) grandparents, if you're reading this, act surprised when she gives these to you as gifts! :)


after the glue and glitter dried i ran some baker's twine through the hole in the top so the ornaments can be hung. any string or yarn would do!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

thrifting thursday // v. 10

thrift stores this year are FULL of awesome (and tacky. so yea, awesome) Christmas decor! it's extremely hard for me to resist buying everything i see. it just doesn't make sense this year when i don't have my own space to decorate :(

however we were in need of some new, unique stockings so i've had my eye out for the perfect set.

today my local thrift store - which, by the way is continually proving to me that they are my favorite shop every single time i go - was having a HALF-OFF Christmas sale! whaaaaaat!

and i saw these:

only $2 for all three!!

Mark can be Santa, I get the deer, and Norah picked out her own - a smaller sized stocking with a kitten on it. PERFECT! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

norah, what do you want to do today?

{{ wordless wednesday }}

"cheerios? togethers?"

"play-doh with friends!"

"watch ELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"see trains!"

"color circles, mommy"

"go see SANTA!"

i think she enjoyed our day :)

linked with:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas traditions

Growing up we had some family traditions and I always appreciated them but at times they seemed boring and I just didn't care (typical teenager, right? ;)). Some we didn't even do every year, others were changed or tweeked over time. I always loved them, but after having a family of my own, traditions became more important than ever. Norah is still pretty young to understand but we can still have fun preparing and getting ready. 

Here are some of the Christmas traditions we've started:

-We, plus my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nephew, went to Historic Smithville (NJ) to see the lights show. We've all decided that instead of getting presents for all the cousins we would take them all out together to do something fun. This year they are still very small so we chose to do something easy. In the coming years we hope to try Storybook Land, Sesame Place, Rockefeller Center and even Hershey Park!

-Norah's Elf on the Shelf was "delivered" on December 1st. I don't like the whole "Elf-is-watching-you-and-reporting-back-to-Santa-so-you'd-better-be-good" bit AT ALL so our Elf is just a funny and playful little dude who gets himself into silly situations. It's mostly just fun for Norah to find him in a different place each morning. As she gets older I have a few ideas on how I will use the elf to teach her about giving and grace. 

-On December 1st we also started our "advent" calendar, which is just an idea I stole off Pinterest. It's just 25 books wrapped up and labeled with a number. Every day (or we do at night before bed) we open up a book and read it together as a family. 

-We bought Norah a dinky $5 (literally) Christmas tree from Home Depot for her to keep in her room. I wrapped a small strand of lights and we gave her some felt and plastic ornaments to hang. She LOVES this one! All day long she'll play with the "orn-mens" and ask me to turn on the lights :)

-I hand-make an ornament for each sub-family in our big giant family on my husband's side. I plan on including Norah with me this year, and each family will now be receiving two ornaments: one from me and one from her.

-We are sticking to this rule when gift giving to our kid(s): 3 gifts were given to Jesus so 3 gifts will be given to them. I don't include stocking-stuffers in the 3 since they are so little anyway - coloring books, crayons, a piece of candy, etc. $10 max. Christmas has turned into a giant shopping event and a battle to see who could spend the most money. We would like to keep the focus on the 'reason for the season' so to say and not on who gets the most stuff. We are going to keep Santa in the picture for now but that is for another post on another day.


-Cinnamon buns on Christmas morning. This is a tradition that Mark grew up with so when we got married I promised that I'd continue it for him.

-Baking lots of goodies and giving them all away to neighbors, co-workers, mailmen, librarians, etc.

And some that I hope to start in the future:

-I would love love love to have a "handmade" Christmas. Pretty self-explanatory, but instead of buying gifts, you make everything for everyone! Of course buying supplies would be ok. Handmade presents are just so special and make me happier than anything store-bought. 

-Hosting Christmas Eve/Christmas Day dinner has always been something I've looked forward to. ONE DAY! We just need our own house ;)

-Cutting down our own tree. Again, something we need our own place for.

-Awhile back I read somewhere that a family had a "Christmas Quilt." Basically a family member (maybe the mother or grandmother, I don't remember) would knit or crochet a granny square each Christmas. After a certain number of years, the squares were all stitched together to form a Christmas quilt. I thought this was very sweet, and could make a wonderful wedding gift, or a Christmas gift for newlyweds. I like to think that Norah would love to receive a quilt like that in 20 years or so (OR MORE! maybe 30 years! 40!). Since I completely forget how to knit AND crochet I would have to re-learn, but this seems pretty do-able even for me! If we ever have more kids I would just make that many squares per Christmas for multiple quilts.

-Volunteering on Christmas Day. I would love to wake up in the morning, have our own little Christmas celebration, and then go out and do something for someone else. It seems so much more beautiful to give ourselves on that day than to sit back and receive gifts and stuff our faces. There really isn't a reason why this one has to wait, it's just not one we've ever done before. More so, I would love to invite someone or even a whole family who is in need to our table on Christmas Day. 

-Another idea on giving back/volunteering: I read that a family had a paper chain hung in their house with 25 links. Each link had a "deed of the day" written on it. The deeds were "easy" towards the beginning of the month (i.e. be nice to my sister today) and got more self-sacrificial towards Christmas Day (i.e. donate $, volunteer time, etc.). This would be a great way to involve Norah in teaching her about giving to others. After all, we are celebrating the day that God gave us the greatest gift we could ever know, the gift of a Savior. 

So, do you have any special family traditions? I would love to hear them! 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

a little announcement...

my vintage children's shop is now OPEN! i'm sorry for the lack of posts this week but I have been super busy getting everything together for the grand opening. I have been wanting to open a shop for the longest time and I finally did it :) 

all throughout december enjoy 20% off your first order using the code FIRST20!