Friday, August 31, 2012

happy weekend!

haha i don't even know

- - - - -

it's finally labor day weekend! YES i said finally...haven't you been listening to me talk about fall fall fall?? i'm so happy september is almost here. (only 8 more hours! not like i'm counting or anything.) to say goodbye to summer, we are heading to two different family bbqs on sunday and then spending the night at mom-mom and pop-pop's house sunday night into monday. i can't wait to spend some time with them! what are your plans for your long weekend? enjoy!

- genius gift idea for a tired mama!

- polaroid coasters. love this idea, will definitely be trying it.

- things you might not know about lead poisoning. thanks for all the great info melissa!

- i love this little sticker! it comes in print form too.

- cute shop.

- i want to see this movie!

- DIY color blocked shoes. i'll definitely be trying this one too. i have the perfect pair of flats to use.

- interested in montessori? here's some intro activites from randalin over at harvesting kale.

- so what if i want this book just because i like the cover?

- bacon hearts!

- lovely words.

- the coziest outfit i ever did see.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

currently, plus playing in a plant

so the other day my mom was watering the plants. she spilled some water on the floor, walked away to get a towel, and when she came back, found this:

little booger ;) of course i let her play in it, because why not it's just water. it obviously required an outfit change but oh well. anything really fun probably will!

- - - - -

and since it's almost the end of the month i thought i would do another currently post! i like these, and i think i'll be doing them once a month from now on. it will be nice to look back and remember a little about what was going on in our world at the time. here goes:

LOVING: that my little blog is growing! for the longest time i put off starting my own because i was scared to take a chance on it. i loved (and still love) reading other blogs and i always thought it could be the coolest job in the world. only i was afraid that no one would like what i had to say, or worse, no one would even care. eventually i decided that enough was enough. i was home all day with norah and i had the time to work on it so 2 1/2 months ago i just went for it. i figured i would write it for me, as a creative outlet, and if people liked it, GREAT and if people didn't oh well. i needed to do something for me, if nothing else. to my delight, it started to grow! slowly, but surely! i would LOVE to see this keep growing and eventually become my job.

READING: i've got two books on my nightstand right now. the first is a million little pieces by james frey. i've actually already read this one a long time ago, but the last time i was at the library it caught my eye so i grabbed it. i remember loving it the first time around, but this time it's taking me a really long time to get through. i've had it for almost two weeks now and i'm only half way in. i guess it's because it's not as relevant to me now as it was 5 or 6 years ago when i first read it. the other book is the book of new family traditions by meg cox. i'm really liking this one! family traditions are really important to me. we sort of had some growing up, but they were never consistent. now that i have a family of my own i'd like to continue some traditions while starting some new ones. we have already established a few: cinnamon buns on christmas morning, all three of us watching a movie in a fort and then sleeping in it when it's one of our birthday, and saying our prayers together before norah goes to bed. these are great, but i'd like to have even more and this book is giving me some great ideas! 

WATCHING: weeds and breaking bad still! both are almost over already so i'll have to find something else. i've also started watching the current season of project runway. i absolutely LOVE this show!! i can't get enough! do any of you guys watch? i am totally on team melissa this season. i like sonjia too, but if i had to pick i would go with melissa! 

THINKING ABOUT: going back to work. i can't even believe i'm saying that. i absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE being home with norah; it's not about her at all. but right now mark and i are trying to save up for a house and i'm dying to get out of here. if i go back to work, even part time, it will help us save more money faster and then we can buy sooner. living with your parents is one thing, but moving back in with them when you are married with a toddler is extremely hard. we've only been here for 5 months but i'm already ready to be in our own space again! actually, i was ready after about a week haha but now....i'm really ready.

ANTICIPATING: "fall fall fall fall FALL! don't get me wrong, i love summer and it's carefree style, tan skin, and warm nights but fall is my absolute favorite season. i live for it's cool sweater weather, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING and the gorgeous colors all around. it's so close!" - i'm not even going to change this answer from last month ;) i can't believe september is only a couple of days away! yayyy!

LISTENING TO: a bit of everything! lately whenever i'm in the car i just put my ipod on shuffle. norah always asks for the same song over and over (the middle east - blood) so i'm trying to find more songs that she likes. i love the middle east too, but i just can't listen to that song 400 times in a row like she could. i also HATE playing "baby" songs in the car. i have a couple of kids dancey sing a long cds in my car but i never play them. i think they are kind of annoying actually. i'd rather her listen to real music!

WORKING ON: getting back on a healthy track. for awhile i was doing really well: running 3-4 days a week and doing something low impact (usually the bike or sometimes elliptical) 1-2 days a week. i was eating clean almost 100% of the time and i was feeling GREAT. i even lost 17 pounds in just a couple of months! last month when we stayed at mark's parents' house i wasn't working out and i was cheating on my diet. then we went to LBI and the same thing happened. so for 2 - 2 1/2 weeks i was off track and i never really got back on. i have definitely been feeling the effects: not only did i gain a couple of pounds back, but i just don't feel as great as i did before! i'm tired a lot and i've been breaking out way more than normal. i'm letting myself slide for the next couple of days and i've decided that september 1st i'm turning it back around! back to at least 90% clean eating, and i'm also thinking of doing jillian michael's 30-day shred. has anyone tried it? i've heard great things!

WISHING: "we were back in south jersey. this move has been pretty tough on us in more ways than one, and we're really missing our home. i know that we'll be back i just hope that it's sooner and not later! though i have to say that being able to stay home with norah for the past four months has been such a blessing. i've wanted this time with her since the day she was born. better late than never!" - gonna leave this one here too.

Harvesting Kale

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a little act of kindness

norah has always loved her books. lately, she is even starting to "read" them (i.e. when she sees the boy sitting on his potty in this book, she knows to say "what's that?" - because we've read that book 19,000 times) and point out familiar things in the pictures instead of just flipping through the pages. 

this past spring, i introduced her to our local library and she fell head over heels in love. they have story time 3 days per week and there were some weeks where we went for all three! they usually have a craft or play time afterwards, and norah gets a chance to be social while i get to read a magazine in peace. every morning i ask her, "what do you want to do today?" and she almost always asks for "ly-barry?" ("swings" is a very close second).

the librarians all know her name, too. it's not hard to know when she's coming for a visit, since as soon as we walk in the door she yells up to the dome ceiling to hear her echo, announcing to everyone inside that she has arrived. she likes to check out her own books: she helps me put the books on the counter and then hands them my library card. they humor her, and let her "do it herself."

i wanted to do something for them as a thank you for their kindness and hard work, so last week we brought cookies and a thank you card with us to storytime.

but i wasn't prepared for the reaction we got! 

at the check out counter, i lifted norah up and instead of handing over books, she handed the librarian this container of cookies and a folded up piece of paper. she looked confused, so i chimed in, "these are for you, for everyone here. we just wanted to say thank you for everything. norah loves coming here so we just wanted to do something nice." (i probably stammered a lot in there. i'm not good at this kind of thing).

she looked at me a little funnily, like she didn't believe me, then down at norah (who was still holding the cookies) and said "THANK YOU!" with the biggest smile on her face and happily accepted the gift. she opened the paper and saw the drawing scribbles, then called over two more librarians who were standing nearby. the three of them were making such a fuss that two MORE librarians came over to see what was going on. they were all talking at once, saying things like "oh they brought cookies" "how nice" "how sweet" "what a pretty picture you drew, norah" and so on and so on. 

all of the women were so happy from such a seemingly small (in my eyes) gesture that I couldn't help but feel like we were the only ones in the world to ever show appreciation at that library. i'm sure (i hope) that that is not true but their reactions told otherwise. norah got lots of hugs and big smiles from everyone. as we left, we waved goodbye and said "thank you, again! see you next time!" 

i was so happy that we were able to bring a smile to those women's faces that day. i really didn't think that what we did was going to be such a big deal to them. i figured people did that kind of thing all the time. maybe i'm wrong, or maybe i'm not and others have shown thanks before. i don't really know. all i know is that we seemed to make their day.

it got me thinking about other people in our lives who could use a smile. i've seen things on pinterest, like random acts of kindness to do with kids or the birthday project and it's all making me think about what we can do to make even a small difference in our little part of the world.

i am definitely inspired to do some good and to teach norah that everyone she encounters in life deserves kindness, respect, and love. a little act of kindness goes a long way!

Monday, August 27, 2012

makin' it monday // mod podge canvas art

so this weeks project is a combination of a couple ideas i found on pinterest, then modified based off what i already had in the house. i'm trying to decorate norah's room a bit with handmade pieces without spending a ton of money on supplies. i decided to paint a couple of shel silverstein quotes onto canvas and then add a few paper circles to give it some color. here's what i did:

you will need: canvas, acrylic paint, paint brush, mod podge, scrapbook paper, hole punch, and foam brush. i had all of these supplies on hand from previous projects, but anything here can be purchased at a craft store for a reasonable price!

lightly pencil your quote onto the canvas. you can write out the entire thing or only the first couple of words (or none at all!). i just did the first few in order to keep myself semi-straight. i wanted a hand written/home made look but i also didn't want my words all over the page. 

trace/free hand paint your quote onto the canvas.

while the paint is drying, punch holes in your scrapbook paper. i used a circle punch, but there is a wide variety of shapes available. 

arrange the shapes onto the canvas as you choose. with the foam brush, lightly paint with the mod podge over the entire canvas. this will hold the paper down and give the whole thing a nice finish.

and you're done! i'm not as happy with the one on the right but i don't think norah will mind it too much. the words are a little too bunched for my OCD so i'm going to hang that one on the wall facing away from her door. that way i don't have to see it everytime i walk in her room (HA!). i love both of these quotes so much and i think she will too (when she learns how to read)! :)

- - - - -

as a reward for reading this far you get to see what else i did with mod podge and scrapbook paper this week:

first, get some cardboard letters from hobby lobby

next, trace the letters onto scrapbook paper

then mod podge the paper onto the letters and...


i've had these letters since norah's 1st birthday party (january!) and they've been hanging plainly on her wall for months. finally i decided to spruce them up. again using supplies i already had, i just mod podged some pretty paper to the front to give it a nicer look. 

both of these projects were super easy (and cheap! cheap as in free!) and fun to make. after little mouse gets up from her nap i'll post some pictures of them hanging on her wall :) happy makin' it!

Sew Chatty

toastie studio
here are the finished products hanging up:
these are in the corner (where her crib was last week) hanging over the rocking chair where norah and her daddy have story time every night before bed.

i had to take down the ribbon bunting since her crib is now up against a wall instead of in a corner. i kept the smaller piece and hung it underneath her name. i'll find a home for the longer piece somewhere :)

the 'top left' corner of her room (if you were to look at it from the door). hopefully soon her room will finally be finished and i can post pictures of the rest of the mess space!

Friday, August 24, 2012

happy weekend!

can't get her out of this seat :)

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weekend time! what are you guys up to? we have bbqs tomorrow and sunday so we've got nothing planned but eating and playing alllllll day :). i can't believe next weekend is labor day weekend already! so now we have to get as much bbq in as possible before it gets too cold. personally i cannot wait for fall! bring on that cool sweater weather! whatever you're doing i hope it's great. see you on monday!

- an entire board on pinterest dedicated to the zombie apocalypse. i kid you not.

- i love this little fox! so sad that he's sold. check out jen's shop for more.

- even more foxy love!

- this little blogger is only 13 but she's already way cooler than me! check her out. (we emailed back and forth a bit - not only is she adorable, she's super sweet! love her attitude.)

- how to sew the perfect corner.

- this is the worst. i'm speechless!

- SO going to do this with norah.

- pumpkin fro-yo? say whaaaaaaaat??

- not sure how i feel about this necklace but i LOVE her outfit.

- more mustard yellow goodness.

- norah is obsessed with pandas lately so i'm thinking of dressing her as one for halloween. found this cute costume but i'm thinking i can make my own version instead. it's ok to start thinking about halloween in august, right? 

- hahaha. i need to do this.

watermark watermark watermark!

i've seen several posts on other blogs this past week talking about the importance of watermarking your photos. Jess first brought the issue to my attention and then Chelsey put up a picture on instagram yesterday that broke my heart.

apparently the "chalk crown boy"'s picture from Jess's link (this is the source of the 'real' boy. imposter chalk crown boys are all over pinterest) is being printed on t-shirts without the mother's credit or even consent. that is really scary! i post TONS of pictures of norah all over the place, facebook, instagram, twitter, and now this blog. my personal facebook page is private but everything else is very much public. i never thought to watermark before. i mean who would steal my pictures, right? but now it's a totally different story. photo theft can happen to anyone! it makes my stomach hurt just to think about someone stealing norah's pictures and claiming them (and HER) as their own.

from now on, this blog will only post watermarked pictures (same goes for instagram and twitter. i'm not concerned about fb just because it's so private and i'm only 'friends' with family and real-life friends on there. i doubt any of those people would steal norah's pictures but who knows, i might make that next step too). i hope, if you aren't doing so already, you will start watermarking too! the internet can be a crazy scary place.

here's a great how-to from mandy on watermarking. and here's her reaction to finding out her son's picture was stolen and being passed off as another woman's OWN CHILD. so very sad.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

thrifting thursday // v.6

you guys....i love thrifting. i love bargains. i love cheap treasures. but... i think i love it all a little TOO much. after mandy talked about "detoxing" her high on thrifting posts it made me think about my own thrifting habits. i definitely go just because i feel like it most of the time. not because there's anything specific that i'm looking for or anything that i really need, but just because it's fun and gives me something to do. even though i'm getting everything super cheap, i'm still accumulating way more stuff than we actually need.

mandy decided to stop blogging about thrifting all together. i'm not going to do THAT. at least not yet- i just started! plus i think it's fun to showcase the amazing deals you can find. i also think it's great to bring a positive light to shopping second hand because i know a lot of people think it's weird, or even gross! but i am going to start spacing out these posts instead of writing one a week. i'll post as i find something truly awesome and worth talking about so don't worry, there WILL be more! i just don't know when the next one will be. 

with that said, here is the find of the week (year??):

mark and i found this cozy coupe (i think that's what they're called) at a yard sale last weekend for only $10. the guy had SIX of them to start with. by the time we got there there were three left. we picked the one with the least amount of cracked wheels ;)

we each had this little car when we were little (who didn't?!) so we've been searching craigslist for one for norah for the past couple of months but with no luck. finally, we drove past this yard sale and scored one!

we're definitely happy with our find and i think it's obvious that she is too!

until next time...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

sponsor little mouse?

i am a brand new baby sized blog and so not ready to start advertising for real ... but i like the idea of offering a free sponsor swap on my page. it'll help me, it'll help you, it will be a grand old time for us all, right?

so, if you are interested, visit my sponsor page and use the promo code LITTLEMOUSE at checkout to receive FREE advertising on my blog! all i ask is that you grab my button and put it on your sidebar to share the love :)

feel free to email me with any questions!

xo allie

atlantic farms

{{ wordless wednesday }}

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012


every once in awhile, norah absolutely 100% REFUSES to take a nap. obviously, this is no fun for me. i lay her down, leave the room, hear her playing, go back in her room, pat her back for a minute, leave the room, hear her playing, go back in her room and so on and so on forever and ever until the end of time. eventually i give up and get her out but by that time comes we're both miserable. she's clearly exhausted and i'm getting more and more annoyed as the day goes on. 

i'll admit, it throws my game off when she does this. i use her morning nap for "me" time. i get dressed and ready for our day, and then drink my coffee slowly while browsing my favorite blogs and answering emails. sometimes i'll do a few chores, though i usually reserve that for her afternoon nap. so when i spend her entire nap time going in and out of her room i clearly am unable to get anything done that i wanted.

so now i'm irritated, norah is tired and cranky, and we still have things to do. after i finally got her out of her crib we went downstairs for lunch. she ate 1/300th of it, stuffed some under her legs (??) and threw the rest on the floor. lovely. i get her cleaned up and ready to go to the park. then mark calls: he won't be home with the car (and carseat) until 5:00. lovely. ok no problem, let's go for a walk instead. i'm just hoping to tire her out at this point. she runs too close to the street so i have to chase her. then when we get halfway down the block she sits and refuses to walk. lovely. i give in and pick her up because now i just want to go home.

we're walking and i'm angry and she's just looking around being a 19-month old and then she gets me. she lays her head on my shoulder and nuzzles into my neck. i melt. i realize what a butthole (yea i said it) i was being all morning. she's a baby! MY baby! i had no reason at all to get so angry with her. yes, it is SUPER ANNOYING when she won't go down for a nap. but no matter how she's acting, she's still mine and i'm still her mama and i still have to try. 

she caught me taking pictures of her. usually she pulls away but for whatever reason today she found it funny. so i took more. we made faces and i tickled her and we laughed and laughed. the bad mood cloud that hung over my head all morning was gone. i looked at her, kissed her, said i'm sorry baby and i love you.

she looked back at me and gave me a kiss. i died. she wrapped her pudgy little arms around my neck and squeezed me tight. i died again.

we got back to the house and i asked her "are you tired?" she said "nap? ok!" (i rejoiced in my head). upstairs in her room she nursed for a bit and fell asleep almost immediately. i stayed in the room for fear that she wasn't totally asleep yet so i pulled out my phone and looked back at the pictures we took.

and i died a third time.

this sweet little thing. my sweet baby girl. even though she has a butthole for a mama she stills loves the heck out of me. no matter what kind of a mood i'm in or how bad of a day we're having she knows just how to make me smile again. but it made me a little sad. i'm supposed to be the one to make her happy. i'm supposed to be the one to lighten the mood. i'm supposed to be the one always smiling, even when i'm tired, even when things aren't going my way, even when my kid is going nuts and there's nothing i can do about it. i'm supposed to be an example for her

but norah... she loves on me UNCONDITIONALLY. buttholiness and all! i'm so thankful for her. thankful that i realized how i was acting before it was too late. thankful that now i can try and be different. thankful that she is still so young, and that i probably (i hope) have not screwed her up too badly already. 

of course i love her unconditionally. she could be throwing her own poo at me and i would still love her. but do i always SHOW her love? no. i am human and with many flaws. but as a follower of Jesus i am supposed to love my neighbor as myself. how can i do that if i can't even show love to my own daughter all the time!? i realize that by letting my emotions take control that i am not showing norah (or anyone) the love of God. 

i'm not saying we won't have another day like today. i know we will, i just hope they are few and far between. but the next time norah is bouncing around her crib during her nap time, or throwing her food, or doing whatever angelic thing that she's doing i will remember today. i will remember that she is my baby, she is a child of God, and she deserves to be shown love. unconditionally. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

makin' it monday // ribbon bunting

remember this spool of leftover fabric ribbon i found thrifting?

now it's living as pretty bunting in norah's room! this was by far the easiest DIY project i've ever done and i LOVE how it turned out. this was the best $.25 i've ever spent! :) here's how i did it:

all you need is a spool of fabric ribbon, scissors, and a ruler. (seriously.)

i made the flags 2" wide but you can make them as thin or wide as you'd like. starting at the end of your ribbon, measure out the desired width and cut. i stopped my cut at about 1/8-1/4" from the top.

next, cut a 3/4" slit right in the middle of each flag (about 1" in from each side). you can measure if you'd like, but i was able to eyeball it pretty well and thus i was able to move much more quickly on this. measuring out each little flag will take longer. i put my OCD aside and did the best i could. all the flags are probably a little bit off but i'm ok with that.

now cut two lines from the bottom corners of the flag to the top of the slit you just made to form little triangles.

repeat until you get to the end of the spool of ribbon. (seriously, it's that easy!)

once you get to the end of your spool, hang up the bunting wherever you please! i cut the spool so i would have two strands to hang. then i just used thumbtacks and pinned them right to her wall.

ta-da! easy peasy.

now i just need to figure out what's missing from that corner....any ideas?

toastie studio

Sew Chatty

toastie studio