Wednesday, April 29, 2015

[Crafty Lady] Mimi's Mother's Day Gift

Okay, I don't know about your moms, but mine probably sends me links (via facebook) of children's crafts or children related articles a handful of times a week.  She's actually sent me either the same or similar link for this footprint butterfly craft on multiple occasions.  Hint noted.

Last year, I had Ashlynn make the grandmas flower pots with her handprints and little flowers made from her finger prints.  She had just turned two, and the thought of doing the footprints, made me there was no way, they would turn out right.  This year, I knew she was ready.  My mom loves gardening, flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, lady bugs, you name it.  I mean, the woman retired in Woodstock goodness sake! So this was truly the perfect (overly requested) gift for her.

I originally wanted to get a slate tile or stone, but decided to use a wood slice from Michaels.  It was cheaper (coupon!) and I figured she could display it inside or outside.  Since she was visiting last week and we won't being seeing each other for Mother's Day, I thought she might have more fun participating in making her gift with Ashlynn, instead of just receiving it in the mail.

I definitely get my crafty gene from my mom.  I asked her if she wanted to try to paint the bottoms of Ashlynn's feet like a butterfly wings.  I rolled out some paper to contain the mess and let the girls at it.




The first print, didn't transfer as planned.  Between Ashlynn's high arches and my mom taking too much time to paint her masterpiece, the acrylic paint must have begun to dry.




She moved faster on the second foot, but we still needed to fill in some gaps to make it look like a butterfly.  My mom used her artistic eye to create her colorful little masterpiece.  We wrote Ashlynn's name and some vines at the bottom and finished with a polyacrylic sealer to protect it.


As you can see, I think the experience they shared together was greater than the parting gift.  Well, the experience and the birthday cake.



Are you planning any other Mother's Day crafts?  Share them, I got three other grands to surprise!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ashlynn at Three

I had half of this post drafted and somehow lost it.  Trying to get it all back down, probably a bit more bullet point, but just a lot of info mostly for the baby books.



Height: 35"
Weight: 29lb 2oz
Clothes: 3T all around, size 7 shoes


Pre-School Skills

Gross Motor
 - Jumps, runs, gallops (her version of skipping), forward roll, walks the balance beam.

Fine Motor
 -  Can draw lines and circles.  Attempts to write As, but look more like Hs.  Colors specific objects - Elmo red, his nose orange, Pluto yellow, Minnie's bow pink.  Loves to paint.  Plays with legos.  Appears left handed.

Self Help
 - Dresses herself, just needs help with tying shoes and zipping her jacket.  Potty trained. Drinks from a glass. Brushes teeth.




Favorites

Books
- Look and Find, Dragons Love Tacos, Daisy and Josephine, Frozen, Green Eggs and Ham,

TV Shows 
 - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins, Sesame Street, Sofia the First, Curious George

Movies
 - Frozen, Tangled

Music
 -  Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, and of course, Frozen and Disney songs.

Foods
- Yogurt and fruit (she'd live off of both if I let her). Annie's macaroni and cheese, cheddar bunnies, cereal, quesadillas, peanut butter and fluff.

Toys
 - Dress up, MagiClip princesses, puzzles (loves this 48 piece one), indoor slide and trampoline, blocks and Duplo ice cream set.




Personality

Likes
 Gymnastics.
 Screen time - tv or "games" (educational apps) on the kindle fire
 Stuffed animals (bunnies).
 Playing outside, climbing and slides.
 All things girly - painting nails, accessories, and chapstick.


Dislikes 
 Bugs, she's bordering on a full on phobia.
 Never wants to take a bath, but doesn't mind once in.
 Rarely eats any animal protein.
 Going to bed.
 Naps. Doesn't take them.


Funny Quotes/Stories

- We love olives, so one evening when we we eating a few before dinner, Ashlynn asked what it was and wanted to try.  She spat it out and said "I don't like olives" and we told her "maybe when you're older."   Now she says "maybe when I'm older" to anything she doesn't like - buffalo sauce,

- She used to love spinach, but after trying salad once, she saw spinach in her veggie lasagna, picked it out and said "I don't like salad".

- "I just already went to the bathroom"... pretty much, "just already" to anything she's done.

- Once she was brushing my hair and saw my tiny hoop earring at the top of my ear (it's been there for years and I seriously can not remove it, needs to be cut, but I'm afraid the cartilage won't close).  She asked what it was and I told her an earring, she said she wanted earrings.  I told her maybe when she was older and she said ".. like olives".

-  A few weeks ago I tried teaching her how to interrupt politely instead of just trying to talk over whomever I am talking to.  I told her she needs to come over and touch my arm and that I'll know she wants to talk.  I told her to ask, "may I speak, please?" She started coming over and grabbing my cheeks and bringing my face to hers asking "may I please speak?".  I've gotten her to stop grabbing my face, but now she just asks "may I speak?" every time she wants to say something when other people are around, conversation or not.



Our sweet Ashie, while she's loving testing limits and pushing buttons, she's as sweet as they come.  She uses manners, saying please and thank you at the table and when in public, and the whole "may I speak" thing above.  She's generally shy around new people, but warms up quickly if they are friendly and engaging.  Her teacher has said she's really come out of her shell, interacting and participating in class. She's a good listener and generally follows the rules, always holds my hand in parking lots and has a good sense of right and wrong.  She's starting to have more imaginative play, more being creative with objects and less role playing with dolls.  She has an amazing memory.  Still talks about Santa, when she gave up her binky, and just today she talked about a dress she wore to her grandparents' house on Father's Day, last year.

Aside from the annoying wanting whatever toy her sister is holding and trying to grab it, she's learning to ask "Sissy, when you are done, may I have a turn?" almost always ends with Kenley just handing over whatever it is instead of the crying, fighting, pulling, and pushing. She's also just a great big sister.  Which probably is super cliche, but she genuinely loves her sister.  She always comes in on her own, when I'm getting Kenley ready for bed to give her hugs and kisses.  She tries to comfort her when she's upset, and plays tattletale lookout for me when K is getting into trouble behind my back.  Aside from pushing buttons and doing things she's knows she's not allowed, like jumping on the couch so her sister will join in (monkey see, monkey do is strong over here), she generally tries to teach her sister good habits.  Or bosses her around, whichever way you want to take it.

Aside from cleaning up her toys, she's very neat and get's upset if things aren't where they are supposed to be, or if we do things out of order.  She wants to do everything she can by herself, and if you try to help tears usually ensue.

I can't believe three years have gone by.  I love watching her personality develop and seeing her experience things for the first time.  I feel incredibly blessed to be this sweet girl's mom.  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fives

ONE

The last few days Mimi was in town and we had a blast celebrating Ashlynn's birthday all over again. We had more cake, broke out the paints, and just basically let all the sillies out.


This bird house was first purple, then light blue, now mostly dark blue.  Although, we had a happy and mostly quiet kiddo for a solid 40 minutes.  We did another Mother's Day craft, I'll share next week after I upload the pictures.


TWO

While Ashlynn was at school yesterday morning, we went out did some shopping with Kenley in tow.  We scoured HomeGoods, then headed over to a local bookstore.  It's a great little shop and I love browsing all the kids books while the kids play with some of the toys.  I always find such cute books, but as terrible as it is, I rarely buy them at the store when I know shopping Amazon will come through with a significant discount.  I know, horrible. I love supporting small business, and local business, but I'm also a sucker for a discount and saving money.



Anyway, I saw this brand new book "Bunny Roo, I Love You" and of course was smitten with the bunnies and gorgeous illustrations.  I saw the illustrator was Teagan White and couldn't place where I knew her until I got home, she created a line a fabric that fell for back when I was making teepees and even have some yardage of one of the prints.



THREE

Speaking of adorable bunnies, I'm obsessed with this handmade one.  I really think I need a handmade bunny intervention, Mira and Juliette, really don't need another wheel.  (Who's the kid again?)



FOUR

I loved this post on Project Nursery earlier in the week.  My mom lives in Woodstock, and is the quintessential garden loving hippie lady.  Kenley is a bit too little this year, but I think I'm going to try to collect the supplies over the next year, so the girls can make these gardens with her next year.  I can see it becoming a spring tradition of planting flowers in their little fairy gardens with their Mimi.  So cute.




FIVE


A few weeks back I hosted a giveaway to BoomBoom Prints, a company that allows graphic designers to simply upload their artwork to the site and they turn it into beautiful products for young families like wall prints, onesies, baby bibs, and more. The best part? All the artwork is family-friendly and perfect for kids rooms, playrooms, and nurseries.  I recently was made aware that they are running a $1,000 Mother's Day Shopping Spree,  with one lucky winner receiving a $500 gift card to BoomBoom Prints and a $500 Visa gift card!


You can enter the giveaway below (or here) until May 9th.   Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy Friday, Friends!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Stitch Fix #6

It was time.  Finally a Stitch Fix, I was a little less than pleased with.  I guess there were a few early on, but my current stylist has been on the mark.  Although, while she really didn't miss my style this time, I just had more issues with quality and fit.

I had requested chambray top, since I still need a new one and that request wasn't fulfilled in the last fix because they were out.  I also requested SAHM (washable) appropriate tops for Spring/Summer.  I also said, I frequently wear shorts in the summer, so if she had a pair that she thought I might like that I would be open to trying that too.

In my note from my stylist, Rachel, she noted they still didn't have a chambray top in stock and that she didn't feel any of the shorts fit my style.  She used my Pinterest board for inspiration and even checked out my blog.

Merch Blog



First item was the THML Mishka Embroidered Top ($58).  She selected this top because I had it pinned.  She noted that it runs small, so she sent me a size up.  When I looked over the items in the note this was the first one I was immediately drawn towards.  However, when I tried it on I couldn't really get a firm grasp on if I actually liked it enough.  I love the red embroidery, how it pops and the detail it gives.  It's definitely a shirt that's my style and perfect for playdates, running errands, or just weekend outings, etc.  Effortless.  I was/am a bit hung up on the fit.  I think it's mostly the neckline.  I think I'm so used to v-neck or button up blouses that draw the eye down and create length.  I think I would need to wear my hair down.  It's cute, nice and lightweight cotton, I'm just not sure about the fit.  Need to try on one last time.




Verdict: Undecided


Merch Blog

Next up was the THML Margate Mix Material Top ($48). While I love the navy and white strips and v-neck, it's just otherwise a miss.  Especially for $48.  The bottom orange strips are cheap polyester and the top part a stretch jersey knit, the fit isn't flattering.  Again, it's something I would wear if the fit and quality were better, but I have a nice stock of v-neck tees from J.Crew Factory for a fraction of the price.




Verdict:  Sent Back


Honestly, at this point I looked at the rest of the items on the styling card and figured it was a bust.  The Sweet Rain Toledo V-Neck Blouse ($38) was the cheapest item in the fix.  Again, I wasn't pleased with the length, I felt it hit me a tad too short and I wasn't a fan of the Aztec print.  It was 100% polyester and felt close to the same as some of the girls princess dresses.  Not to mention, regardless of it being a tank, poly does not breathe in the summer.  This is the one item I felt was a big fail.  Looking back at my pinterest board, while I would love a tank in this cut (just differently material), the print itself just isn't my style.  I gravitate towards florals, cool colors, and preppy patterns.  Just was off the mark.




Verdict:  Sent Back


Rachel said she included the next item, the Mystree Braden Sweater ($68), because it "reminded her of some of the textures on my pinterest board.  The open weave makes it a great springtime look." Yes, I do have quite a bit of textured sweaters pinned.  Generally, I love wearing lightweight sweaters with shorts - like that would be my uniform if I lived in an environment that was always 50-70degress. But again, I wasn't impressed with the quality and felt it was a snag risk waiting to happen.   And while, I've been a huge fan of the three previous sweaters I've kept from Stitch Fix (as in, wear them all, all. the. time.) I'm just not looking to spend money on another sweater as we enter the humid summer.



Verdict:  Sent Back

Merch Blog

Lastly, the Market & Spruce Chaplin Hooded Anorak Cargo Jacket ($88).  Seriously, I almost didn't try this on.  Not only, do I not need a jacket, I rarely wear one.  Unless it's below freezing, I usually throw on a vest if it's cool, or just wear a sweater or cardigan if breezy.   I decided to try it on so I could share it on here.  I actually do like the anorak style and feel it would fit my needs as a SAHM, meaning it's a casual jacket, as opposed to a trench or something I would wear to work.  Of course, once on, I liked it.  I like the coral contrasting zipper and just the details in general.  Rachel said she included it for cooler days in my "suburban philly town".  I'm impressed she checked our weather, but the thing about the northeast, our Spring season, is usually about 6 weeks, tops. We go from cold fronts and extreme winds to humidity and over 80 degree days in no time flat.  Which is why I wrote off the jacket in the first place.


Now I wasn't sure.  I usually like to keep at least one item so I'm not stuck paying the $20 fee.  I know it doesn't make sense to spend more than $20 on an item I might not love, but I like to feel I paid for something tangible and losing the $20 instead of spending more and getting something is just worse in my opinion.  And I did have a styling credit, so that would help bring down the cost of anything I kept.  I started thinking, while I would usually nix the highest priced item, especially if it wasn't something I needed.  Then I started thinking.  I actually haven't gotten a new jacket in years.  All my coats are from when I was working pre-kids. And that it's hood and canvas (yet, not being a heavy coat) would make it the perfect raincoat. I have an old Michael Kors trench that I bought close to ten years ago and hasn't been worn in close to five.  The jacket would also be great for Fall.

Verdict:  Undecided.

I'm going to try the top and jacket back on and see which I can see myself wearing more.  Of course, now both are growing on me.   What are your thoughts?

Want to try Stitch Fix, sign up here!(referral link)


Previous Fixes

Monday, April 20, 2015

THREE

Ashlynn's birthday was Saturday, but we celebrated all weekend long.  However, there were no pinterest parties or themed meals, just quality time spent with people who love her making her feel as special as can be.  Don't get me wrong, I love a pinnable party and crafts that come with them, but with all the current house projects going on and just living life I didn't have the motivation to pull that all together.  Not to mention, those parties are for me.  My three year could not care less about minor details, she just wants love and attention.... and some presents and cake.


So that's what we gave her.  And all day long the look of pure joy never left her face, and the feeling of stress never came to mine.


On Friday night, she had a daddy daughter date night for tacos.  I scored Dragons Love Tacos last weekend when it was $5.33 and they had been reading it at bedtime all week.  After breakfast on Saturday, dad took the girls to the playground as I headed to Wegmans to grab the goods for ice cream sundaes and pick up a bouquet of Frozen balloons.  The gift that keeps on giving as the girls are currently tossing the half deflated latex balloons around as I type this up.  Afterwards, Sis took a nap and I took Ashlynn out on a mommy daughter date to a girls salon.  She got a mani/pedi complete with glitter polish and rings and an a updo (elsa hair) with glitter hairspray.  Then we walked over to the cupcake shop where she picked out a carrot cake cupcake all on her own.  We came home and rested a little before the grandparents and our playdate friends came over to celebrate.  Pizza and ice cream, nothing fancy, but the kids were too busy playing and enjoying the beautiful weather to care.





She finished the big day with her first night in her brand new big girl bed.  A few books with dad in her new favorite nightgown, and it was time to turn out the lights.  Thankfully she was was exhausted and fell asleep easily and hasn't seemed too bothered by being in a new room.  


I'll gush more about her at three years in another post for the memory books.  But she really is such a joy.  Trying on some days as she's definitely more of a threenager than a terrible two, but she's really is so sweet natured, polite, curious, and caring. Happy Birthday, sweet girl!







Tuesday, April 14, 2015

[Bookworm] Children's Books on MEGA Sale

Just a friendly PSA that the following children's book are currently marked WAY WAY down.  Since they are listed on Amazon, these prices are subject to change at any time and I've already seen a few jump from around $5 to $7 over the past few days, but I thought I'd share this find while they last!

Of course, you can always check the price history at Camel Camel Camel.





These classic board books are all under $5 each!





And these Sandra Boynton books are currently out of stock, but are over 50% Off and will ship when available.





And lastly, a little something for yourself....  The Skinnytaste Cookbook is only $9.99 (it retails for $30).   Any great deals you've seen lately?? I love a good sale swap!

[Child Style] Up Sizing

Ashlynn is finally growing out of the last of her 2T clothing.  I started sizing up last Fall for winter clothes, but now that the temps are getting warmer all her warm weather clothes are too small.  I've had two merchandise credits sitting my wallet for months to Carter's and to Osh Kosh, so when I received an email from ebates (sign up here!) that they were having a 50% Off everything sale + 25% Off and Free Shipping last week, I put them to use.

I first stocked up on some spring/summer jammies.  Almost all of Ashlynn's jammies are too short and the rest have already been moved to Kenley's dresser.   I love the mix and match sets and she's so excited to have a nightgown after seeing me wear one of mine a few months ago.


Then I added some clothes for school and play.  Things that I won't mind getting stained and are easily washable. I also grabbed a new pair of slip on sneakers that won't require socks, these were probably the biggest hit, she loves the hot pink - go figure. Although, I do vividly remember having a similar pair of hot pink Keds in about the third grade.  I was dying to get these sandals, but they were sold out in her size.




Lastly, I picked up another bathing suit and some "gym clothes" for her to wear to gymnastics.  They aren't required to wear leotards in her class, but I'd like her to be dressed comfortably.  And seriously, the little running shorts were too cute to pass on!





I love when I save more than I spend.  Girlfriend lucked out with the restocking of her closet, now just to paint it and put it all together!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Stencil's on the Wall

Okay friends, I need your help.  I think I have made a decision, but I would love to hear some second opinions.  Like Kenley's closet, I want to add character to Ashlynn's.  Her last closet was a single door with stacked wire shelving.  Now that she's getting bigger, her clothes only fit on the lowest bar, it's half the reason we are moving her room.  The other half is that her current room, is the smallest (although I still admit it's a pretty generous size), and the other is at the end of the hall next to Kenley's.  We always assumed the girls would have the rooms there since they are biggest and have the best closets - we assume they'll appreciate that decision in the teenage years.

So, since her room room is painted in BM Classic Gray (in my defense, she did request gray and white room), and it looks fairly mature for a three year old, I want to add in some fun with other items.  I want the closet to pop and make a statement.  I was originally just going to paint it Pantone Radiant Orchid, which I know is so last year, but it's the perfect shade of bright pinky purple that she loves.   

However, I love Kenley's closet so much, I wanted Ashlynn's to have just as much character.  So now I am deciding on a stencil.  These are my top choices, let me know your thoughts below!




So which is your favorite?  I'm hoping to get it done as soon as it arrives, so hopefully the reveal isn't too far away!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Recent(ish) Buys

Most of these purchases are for Ashlynn's room, since that's what we are focusing on at the moment.  However, the first one was a pick up for Kenley's room.  Pretty sure her room is now totally complete until she moves into a big girl bed.

This Nate Berkus accent table I scoreded at 50% off when Target was rolling out the previous seasons collections and bringing in the new.  I always try to wait until markdowns happen and then pounce.  For $29, I now have a table for Kenley's room.  I had been wanting a table to place next to the chair since we started decorating her room.  This matches perfect and is perfect for a stack of bedtime books .



I also picked up a nightstand for Ashlynn when Target had a 20% Circo furniture cartwheel offer.  I wasn't sure if I wanted to go with a Jenny Lind style, but I really love the look in her room and it fits the space perfect.  Not to mention, it was a good $130 less than it's Land of Nod doppelgänger.


Continuing my basic suburban mom Target addiction, I also grabbed this bunny night light for the bunny room.  It's already a hit. 


I had ordered this matching lamp shade when I purchased A's bedding, but still needed to get an actual lamp.  The table lamp in her room now is teal, so that will stay there.  I picked up this simple one because I figured it's footprint on the nightstand would be minimal and the height would hopefully keep other things she might place there from knocking it over.  It was also only $19.99.  We will see how that goes in reality. 

There was also a 20% off any item deal at PBTeen, so I decided to grab this pom pom pillow cover for Ashlynn's bed, since it had free shipping too.   Aside from the carpet, we need to hang her curtains and do her closet.  We are converting her closet just like we did Kenley's.  Removing the doors and putting in new shelving and bars, we already threw out the sticky existing wire shelving.  


And of course we purchased her bed.  Thankfully I was able to cover the cost with all the baby items I sold at the Just Between Friends consignment sale last month, so that was a nice perk since a new mattress, box spring, and bed frame definitely weren't keeping the costs down on the room makeover. 


Anyone else getting sucked into the Target vortex lately?