Monday, December 31

Bring it, 2013! (& a discount)

Wowza. I can't believe 2013 is right around the corner. My husband & I went out to celebrate our anniversary (#5! What?!) a couple days ago and spent a good chunk of time reflecting on 2012 and dreaming about 2013. And, you know, eating ice cream. It was our anniversary after all. :) Here were some of our highlights (& lowlights):

  • #1 Observation: The year we really started learning to be parents. And holy cow, it is hard. We feel totally put through the ringer and Baby isn't even 2 yet. Heaven help us in the teenage years. 
  • Baby B turned one.
  • Baby B discovered camping, and was totally ga-ga for it. We definitely have to do this every year. 
  • Baby B was ring-bearer in his Uncle's wedding. Though he didn't bear any rings or even walk down the aisle. Did we mention he did awesome in rehearsal?
  • We got new bikes and a bike cart, and had a blast with them!
  • We were tired. Always. Baby B didn't sleep through the night until very, very recently, and not at all when he was sick. It was exhausting.
  • It's... different... to be a husband/wife with a baby in the family. We both are still getting used to the family dynamic. It's a hard change, but we know it will be good.
  • The blog kind of took off a little because of this post (which hit over 100,000 pins on Pinterest), and we spent months working on our big October series.  
  • We were tired. I said that already? We were really tired.
  • It was hard to get anything else done while raising a baby. Especially when we collapse on the couch when he finally goes to sleep. Dishes? Meh. Laundry? It's fine. Shower? Tomorrow. Let's just watch Harry Potter and fall asleep on the couch. A lot of things fell through the cracks and went unfinished this year, but it was all we could manage during this phase of our lives. 
  • In Summary: We have no idea what we're doing over here, and (despite some fun times and wonderful memories) 2012 is one year we are glad to say goodbye too. Which is a little sad, because we've never felt that way about a year before! 
  • Finally finish our almost-done-for-months-now kitchen! Shallow? Maybe. But good gravy I just want it done.
  • N will finish his qualifications for the CPA exam - which will hopefully open up all kinds of new job opportunities for him!
  • Find our groove again and make life happen. 
  • Unveil the major addition to the website that N has been working on.
  • Lots of quality time with Baby B! We're so excited that he is getting old enough to do fun activities. We're scoping out the museum free days and thinking about getting a zoo pass! Not to mention lots of bike rides & splashing in the pool this summer. 
  • Start doing family devotions.
  • Just wait and see what God has in store for us! He's been faithful through all our highs and lows, and we know he's got big plans for our 2013.
Here's to an amazing new year!

And to kick off the new year, we have a special deal for you! For the month of January, get 15% off ANYTHING in our shop! Just use the code NEW2013 at the checkout. Ring in the new year with some fun new accessories! :)

We have some new bags & purses listed, several of our awesome wooden pendant necklaces, and be sure to check out our clearance section! I'm hoping to get some diapers added in the next couple weeks as well. I'll keep you posted.

So how about you? How was your 2012? Any plans or goals for 2013?

Sunday, December 30

Nifty Gifties

Last year I wrapped my presents in a combo of brown craft paper and old newspaper with red & green ribbons. It turned out pretty much fantastic.

This year I decided to try something a little different. I guess having Baby B around made me want to try something more fun & colorful. Wanna see?

I picked up some wrapping paper on clearance last year that was still brown, but had lots of color mixed in, too. It seemed like a good balance.

Then I just tied them up with fun ribbons (also from clearance last year) and the salt dough gift tags I made a few weeks ago.

The verdict? I like last year's SOOO much better. Oh well, this is how we learn! :)

And there's good news! N's wrapping skillz seem to have greatly improved. This was my birthday gift:

He told me "We have a new nightstand. You're not allowed to touch it." I touched it. :) And while we're on gifts, I made just one homemade gift this year and, seriously, I barely pulled it off. I think I need to start tomorrow if I'm making any gifts for 2013. But in they end it turned out great! It was a set of shopping bags for a friend. The pattern is here. I almost couldn't give them away, they turned out so pretty! I need to get some of that fabric for myself. :)

What was your favorite gift this year? How did you wrap your presents? Did you make any homemade presents?

Saturday, December 29

The Christams Boy

Well guys, I think it's safe to say my blog has been a little... lazy lately. Oops. I had all this great Christmas stuff planned and even took lots of pictures. Then I spent so much time on the projects and Christmas fun and, you know, napping, that I never even got them on the computer. Double oops. But they're here now! So I hope your ready for some Christmas goodies in January... and I apologize for the super-lateness. :) While I'm sorting through the pictures and projects, here are a TON of pictures of Baby B's 2nd Christmas. Enjoy, Grandma! ;)

Putting up the tree!

We put all the "unbreakable" ornaments on the bottom of the tree. Ha.

This Elvis sings, which was his downfall. After his 3rd emergency surgery, he decided to live on the counter instead.

And a talking "I Love Lucy" that also lives on the counter now. We greatly underestimated his ornament breaking skillz.

Making salt dough gift tags.

He's such a careful helper!

Learning it's yucky... but still smiling!

Walking down the block with Dada to check out the big inflatables. I unfortunately did not get a picture of Baby B charging the inflatables and the Dada dragging him away. ;)

Fort building!

And the walls came a tumblin' down....

Angel hair pasta. Best lunch ever.

Baby B was up to the challenge.

His less successful attempt.

Lip extension is directly proportional to pasta eating success. Win.

Christmas! Well, we did our Christmas a few days early before we went to visit family. I realized way too late my camera settings were all wonky. So let's just be thankful I have any pictures!

Baby B's first Bible. :)

Wooden tool set... we almost didn't give him the other present. He was having so much fun! That hammer is his new favorite thing. He likes to bang on my bedroom door and yell "mama! MAMA!"

And a train set - another big winner!

Sledding with the aunties. First time in snow and first time on a sled! His auntie B is going to pull him to the hill.

"AAAHH! What's this stuff on my glove?!?"

He was not crazy about the sled.

First trip down!

Telling Auntie B in no uncertain terms to get up and go back up the hill. He has a bossy streak. But he makes up for it with cuteness and big blue eyes. :)

One of these things is not like the other. One of these things... isn't sure he's having fun.


This was his face for every trip. Until he decided he didn't like it and started crying if we even took him near a sled. Poor guy. But there was a playground nearby so he still ended up having a fun time!

So there's a peek at Baby B's Christmas #2. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23

Hot Chocolate Station

I am not a winter girl. I love summer and sun and heat. So one of my favorite things about winter is staying tucked inside my warm house with a cozy blanket and a hot drink! Emphasis on the "hot drink" part. So I decided this year to make getting those hot drinks even easier. I made a hot chocolate station!

A hot drink station, really, I also love a good cup of tea. :) It's just a simple tray that I painted and stocked with mugs, spoons, and all kinds of drink options. Now everything is in one handy place on the counter. Want to make your own? Here's how....

I started by grabbing this old tray that we haven't used in months. I wanted to give it a more wintery/Christmas feel so I decided to paint over the mod podge fabric in the bottom. I painted it a light grayish, using plain acrylic paints (no pic, sorry!).

Then I drew up a design I liked in photoshop (comfort and joy - two things I get from hot drinks!) and printing it out. I made a pdf of the design that you are welcome to use if you want! Just print it out and tape the two pages together.

Print the Comfort & Joy pdf - Page 1, Page 2

I flipped it over and used a pencil to color the outline of the letters.

Then I laid the image right-side-up in the tray and centered it.

I used a pen to trace around all the letters...

... which left light pencil lines behind!

Then I just filled in the letter outlines. I used white for "comfort" and "joy" and gray for the "&".

After the paint dried I used a coat of mod podge to seal it. And I really love how it turned out!

Of course, then I loaded it up with cups and drink mixes so I can't even really see it anymore. :) But it still makes me smile. And I get a little peek every time I make up a cup of tea.

I think I'll go make one now. This was really a fast project. The longest part was of course painting the letters, but it's pretty fun too!

After I made my tray, I still had time to deep clean the floors in the nursery for the first time in *mumble*. This involved throwing lots of cushions and pillows and toys onto the bed to keep them out of the way. Baby B immediately declared it his throne. I think we'll do it again tomorrow. Just for fun. :)

What's your favorite hot drink? I pretty much like everything except coffee. :)