Happy New Year!

So yeah, I’m feeling like trying the whole blogging thing again for a bit.  Let’s see how this goes.

A lot has happened in the past 8 months since I posted anything.  The biggest thing, is that in November we welcomed our newest member to the family.  Charlotte Rose arrived the week before Thanksgiving.  She’s been such a wonderful baby, we love her so much.  Her big sisters are doing great with her.  They just wish she would grow up a bit so that they can play with her. 🙂

Charlotte

All is well in our household and we are looking forward to see what 2014 has in store for us.

I have a few projects that I’m going to attempt again this year.  Hopefully, I can finish at least one of them.  My big thing is to continue my Project Life album.  I’m currently working on going back and filling in the blanks from my 2013 album and coming up with my plan for how I can stay on track this year.  Today, I came across a post/video about an app that might help me keep things organized and on track.  It’s called Capture, and you can use it to organize your photos, take notes, set reminders, etc.  Learn about it here, where I did, in this blog post at This and That.  I downloaded it (and upgraded to the full version for only $1.99) and got myself caught up for this year.  I’m planning on keeping my photos organized on here then placing a monthly order at Persnickety Prints for my photos (they print 3×4!).  I’m currently uploading about 250 photos to print from last year.  Can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Other than my Project Life album, I’m also hoping to get the girls’ albums caught up and maintained.  This is a big project!  At least I’m getting my photos taken – even if I have been slow (bad) about printing and recording them.

Anyway, more to come soon!

My Little Crafter

The other day, my oldest daughter, NK, (she’s 4) came to me and asked if she could help me work on my book.  My book being my Project Life album.  “Well, of course!” I told her.  We didn’t get around to working on it that night (it was already almost bedtime) but we did finally get around to it today.

She likes to help with the corner punch on the photos and to put everything in the page protectors.

This morning when I was getting my photos printed out, I handed the girls each one of the blank 3×4 cards that I had and told them to draw something and it could go in my book this week.  Sadly, they did not take this opportunity to do one of their really creative drawings (maybe next time), but they did both want to add some glitter to their drawings, so I finally let them get out the messy glitter and sparkle up their drawings.  (Look for close ups of this when I finally get my project life layouts posted in the next day or so)

Of course, after we got a little bit done on my book, NK wanted to be creative and make something new for her walls.  I’ve got some stickers that I don’t mind her using, as well as lots of stamps so I let her have at it.  She’s surprisingly good with the stamps, and even tries to clean the ink off when she’s done (I’m teaching her well).

Me being me, couldn’t pass up this opportunity to snap a few photos of her working.

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choosing her stamp, I believe she went with the crown shape

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inking the stamp, a beautiful “lellow” of course – it is a crown

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and stamping her paper

Here’s her finished artwork…
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some random letters, chosen simply because she liked the colors, and she wanted some sparkle 🙂 LOVE it!

I absolutely LOVE how she’s enjoying getting crafty with me.  And as long as I can get her to understand how to take care of my supplies then I’ll happily share with her.  So far, so good.

Wonder what little sis was up to while all of this was going on?

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I plan to be back tomorrow with an update of my Project Life pages.

Malea

Better Late than Never!

I LOVE sending out Christmas Cards, it’s one of the few times each year that I get to send real mail. This year I’ve actually had my cards in hand since before Thanksgiving but they are only now getting out in the mail. Bad me.

Here’s this year’s card, courtesy Tiny Prints and Caught You on Camera.

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If you are on my Christmas Card list, be looking for your card soon… Even though it might not make it till after Christmas.

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Cookie Day part 2

After 6 years of marriage, I was invited to join in on cookie making day with the women of my husband’s family.  To be fair, they did invite me last year but I couldn’t go.

Anyway, we had a full day and it was lots of fun!

SQ and I left the house early and stopped by the grocery store to pick up the last bit of our ingredients that we needed.  Then picked up Grandma and Aunt Sam.  Next, we stopped to pick up donuts and coffee then found Cousin Anna’s house and picked her up too.  Finally we made it all the way out to Aunt Debbie’s house (it’s kinda far away).

We got everything unloaded and set up then got to work mixing up our cookies.

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I was one of the only ones who did not carry my Kitchenaid mixer from home, so I did a lot of mixing by hand.  It was tough with the Oatmeal Butterscotch cookies, but not impossible.  Plus, they turned out really well… so it worked out.

SQ did really good behaving herself.  She kinda helped with the pretzel/Hershey Kiss/M&M things… that top right photo is where she got bored.  She got Aunt Debbie to put in a movie for her and cozied right up on the couch – of course that didn’t last too long either.  I think her favorite part about the movies was that she got to climb the stairs to go pick out a new one (we don’t have stairs at our house).

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SQ also very much enjoyed Aunt Debbie’s little Christmas Village.  Even though she wasn’t supposed to touch, she could hardly stand to keep her hands off it.

We had a large variety of cookies made, lost of new recipes rather than just the usual favorites.

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SQ even got curious again, and came back in to help.  She rolled dough for the Mexican Wedding Cookies that Uncle Alan had requested and had a lot of fun with it.  It was to the point that it was like playing with PlayDough and she really enjoys that 🙂

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At the end of the day, we were all very tired and just ready to go home.  SQ was asleep by the time we were out of Aunt Debbie’s neighborhood so that gave her plenty of time to rest on the way back home.

As the girls get older each year, I hope to be able to include them both more and more.  I think it’s definitely something they will both look forward to each year.  Hopefully I’ll have a bigger house one day and I might even be able to host the whole thing.

There are a few more things I’d like to make this year, and am hoping to get the chance to this week.  We’ll see.

I Love Photo Books!

I love making photo books, I rarely actually do them but I do love them. They are a great way to quickly save some memories for future generations. I especially like how I can print multiple copies so that my children can each have their own copy when they get older.

Here’s the most recent photo book I created on Shutterfly with our family photos from this fall. Photos were taken by my sister Whitney at Caught You on Camera.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Start your own Shutterfly Photo Book today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s 6am on Thanksgiving Day. I’ve been up an hour already for no real reason. Not sure why I haven’t been able to sleep well lately. Oh well.

I’m looking forward to spending the day with family. Going to do a little cooking with my Mother in Law and Sister in Law. I’m making the sweet potato casserole and macaroni and cheese. I’m trying new recipes that I found on Pinterest (surprise!) So far, they look great… but I guess we’ll find out later.

Here are the ones I’m trying:
Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese from Budget Savvy Diva

and Sweet Potato Casserole from Saveur.com

Photo Credit: André Baranowski

Last night I cooked my sweet potatoes and mixed up the mixture.  It’s now sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be carried to the in-law’s house to be cooked later.  All that is left to do is chop up the cashew mixture (I plan to add pecans too) and then plop a few hand fulls of marshmallows down on top then bake it.

P.S. I discovered that peeling sweet potatoes is actually kinda fun!  If this goes well, I may volunteer to make it every year.

As for the macaroni and cheese, well… I haven’t started anything with it yet.  I forgot to put the cheddar cheese soup on the grocery list so now I’m waiting to see if there’s anything open so I can stop and get some or if I just need to add extra cheese.  Either way, it will require minimum stovetop time in the kitchen, then I can mix it all in the crock pot and let it do it’s thing.

I figured the crockpot part would be helpful so that other large kitchen appliances were available for other things.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

A Girly Dinosaur Party

Yes, I’ve warned you before… I’m completely random around here and things often get out of order.  It’s because I rarely get a chance to get to my actual computer to write a post… It’s so much easier to write from a real computer (desktop or laptop) rather than my iPad.  Sometimes I just take what I can get though (as my laptop has been acting up lately).

Anyway…

Last Saturday, my youngest daughter turned 3!  And so for the next 3 weeks, I will have two 3 year olds!  (yes, if you didn’t know already, my children are only 10 months, 3 weeks and 5 days apart).

Little SQ wanted a dinosaur party!  I’m not sure what her obsession with dinosaurs has been lately, but it’s fun, so why not?  The only real problem is that I was planning this party on short notice (I’m a slacker), and anything dinosaur that you find is often very boy-ish and more on the scary side.  While that doesn’t normally bother me, she is a 3 year old little girl, and she needed at least a semi-girlish themed party.

I of course, scoured the internet for ideas and found lots of cute things on Etsy – but I didn’t have much time to order anything, so I had to make it work myself.  I think the party turned out great!  And so did SQ!  Here are a few pics from the day.

See, lots of fun!  SQ really enjoyed having all her friends come play and enjoy the day with her.

After the party, my girls wanted to stay outside and play in the bounce house – and so they did… until it got dark.  BEST INVESTMENT EVER!  Yep, we bought the bounce house shown in the photos above.  Why not really?  For the cost of purchasing this one, we could have rented one twice.  This way, we can use it whenever we want and keep the kids occupied for as long as possible – plus, it’s something that they can do outside and keep them active.

I’d definitely call the day a success!  Now, on to plan a princess themed birthday party for the next one (could my kids be any more different?  :))

Playing catch up a bit

It’s been FOREVER it seems since I actually sat down at my desktop computer at home and worked on much of anything. Lately when I get on here it’s for a quick 5 minutes while the husband bathes the kids. Blogging from my iPad just doesn’t work well for me because usually I want to add great photos that I took and are saved on my big computer. So yeah, that’s my excuse for not posting anything for the past few weeks.

Let’s see what happened…

I realized that I took pics of the girls for 3 weeks straight, and thought “Hey, I can count this as a Porject 52 in the making!”… then I didn’t take pics for week 4. It’s still not entirely too late – if I get some new ones tonight. We’ll see how that goes. Either way, I got some sweet new pics of my girls for the start of 2012.

Wanna see? I know you do 🙂
I already posted the first ones. Below are the next two weeks…

Confection Shrug

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That one with SQ in her cute little yellow shrug? I made that shrug 🙂 (She doesn’t like it because it doesn’t close in the front – says it’s too small)

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This second set, both girls were sick. I was off work for MLK Jr. Day and we spent the entire day inside.

And because I couldn’t resist…

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Nothing’s sweeter than a sleeping baby 🙂

Let’s see what else… I’ve got several knitting projects going on all at once (surprise surprise!)  I’m knitting a vest for Mom which is going slowly but I plan to have it done by her birthday in March.  I finished my very first sweater for me, and it’s awesome – but too big.  The pattern is a keeper, I’ll definitely make another one – just next time much smaller.  I still haven’t taken pics of m new sweater, but you can be sure I’ll share when I do.  I’m also halfway through a pair of wristers, which are actually kinda large on me too.  And I’m actively working on a sweet little ribbed beanie for my friend’s new nephew who was born this week.

Ok, I guess that’s it for my boring little piece of the world… our house has been fighting off illness all month and it’s been too wet and rainy outside for 90% of the month for the kids to be able to get out and play so we are all starting to go a bit stir-crazy.

My Babies First Haircuts

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Yes, you read that correctly. Their FIRST haircuts. Yes, they are 2 & 3 years old.

I had been dreading taking the girls for their first haircuts… I was afraid that all those wonderful curls would start to disappear.  But eventually, it just had to happen.

Nora’s hair was scraggly, wouldn’t do much but frizz up most of the time, and it was pretty much all the way down to her waistline.  It could be really cute when it’s fixed, but I’m the only one who ever seems to fix it.

Sarah’s hair was just fine in length, but her bangs were falling all in her eyes, and it just looked horrible.

I was also a little worried about taking Sarah somewhere and her pitching a fit.  She’s never done to well around strangers and tends to pitch a fit… luckily, we didn’t have that problem.  She definitely got quiet, and wasn’t super friendly or anything but she did not yell, scream and cry when it was time to get her hair done… so I’m a happy Momma!

Nora did great, as you can see from her picture above, she is quite a ham. She loved watching the girl cut her hair in the mirror and could barely take her eyes off herself when she first sat in the chair so that I could get a before picture.

Anyway, it was a super success!

 

December Daily 2010 & a Plan

Yes… that says 2010.

Lately I’ve been thinking about this year’s December Daily album.  I have attempted to do one for the past 3 years and have never really gotten very far with it.  I have great intentions – then only get part way through the month.

Well today I started looking through my box with all my December Daily stuff from last year.  I picked up my album and found that I had made it through 15 whole days!  I really couldn’t remember doing any days, so this was quite a surprise!  I got through day 7 of actually putting the pages together too.  See, it turns out that I did my pages digitally, then had them printed to add to a bigger embellished page in the actual album.

I just finished actually putting the pages in the album posts and sticking the extra printed pages in so that I can go back and glue them to the bigger page.  Hopefully I can do that in the next day or so. Humm…

Yet another unfinished album to add to the stack…  I’m not doing so well with this tradition am I?

Sooo… this year I am thinking I need a different approach.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Put my album pages together as I normally would (ahead of time) – basically build an empty album with pages ready to be filled.
  • Sometime around Thanksgiving, I’ll start taking photos and gathering stories.  We like to put up our tree and decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving, so this will help show a little more of what we do at our house.
  • I won’t worry so much about getting something for each and every day, but focus more on capturing everything that we do.  Some days may be filled with multiple events while others are just basic “go to work, come home, feed kids, put them to bed, relax” kind of days.  (Not that those aren’t worth documenting, but I don’t really need to do that for 20 days of the month and feel like I’ve got to skimp on some of the times that we actually DO something, you know?)
  • Hopefully by the time New Years rolls around, I’ll have a full Holiday album for 2011.

Have you ever done a December Daily album?  Ever lost your motivation part way through the month?  What are your tips for staying on track?  Have you modified your December Daily album to better fit your lifestyle?

Tell me about it…  🙂