Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Etsy Faves - ornaments!

Some creative ornaments to adorn your tree!


Wood snowflake - so ornate!


Personalized house ornament - I might get this to memorialize our first Christmas in our new house.


Felted acorns - woodsy!


Wooden initials - I think this is cute - and would make a good gift for newlyweds!



Quilled snowflake - how pretty!




Golden Girls - for that special lover of Golden Girls.



















Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Flashback


My husband keeps this picture of me on his desk. It was taken in college. I was such a skinny thang!



Monday, November 28, 2011

Sickies, be gone!!


Sickie central

The girls have been ill for what seems like a month now! I *think* we're nearing the end. Gawsh, I hope so!  Their sickies started out as colds ... and they seemed to last foooooorever. After two weeks of the snots and coughing, I took them to the doctor last Monday. Lydia had a sinus infection, and Arlene had a double ear infection and needed a breathing treatment because she was wheezing. Since being on antibiotics Arlene has been feeling much better but Lydia wasn't getting much better. Last night, Lydia started coughing about 10 p.m. and never really stopped. Her cough was like a bark and she couldn't catch her breath. It was scary! I don't think she got more than four hours of sleep. I kept her home from school today and took her back to the doctor - she has croup! The doc gave her a new antibiotic so hopefully that'll kick on. I'm hoping we all can sleep tonight and that the sickies are leaving our house for good!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Whoops

I'm part of the blogging-once-a-day challenge and I failed because I didn't blog yesterday. Whoops. We were too busy. We bought a new car!  It took forever. By the time we got home I was exhausted. Oh, well.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Counting my blessings


This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for the bounty of blessings that are in my life; so many so that I have a hard time keeping track. To count my blessings it to make my heart explode with joy and happiness.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Etsy Favorites Wednesday

Hello and welcome to another edition of Etsy Favorites Wednesday, where I pick five of my current faves from Etsy and feature them here. This week's edition is just a smattering of stuff that I like. I sold a doll in my shop so I've got Etsy money burning a whole in my pocket. I want to buy one (or all!) of these things:


Stems painting - this would go really good in my kitchen or great room.


Moustache booties - I believe every baby in America should be decked out in a moustache. Because babies with moustaches are funny.


Doll legs - I know it's weird but I like these doll legs. Just by themselves.


Owls - aren't they sweet?


Christmas angel - I really love these a lot.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Under a spell



At the beginning of summer, I had the idea that I'd re-read ALL of the Harry Potter books. I'm happy to say that I finally finished them!  {To backtrack, I actually never read all of the books ... I never read Deathly Hallows.} It was so much fun reading the books again, from the beginning. They kept my attention for five months!  I read them slowly because I read in bed at night - and usually I read only a few pages before nodding off to sleep. But there were some nights when I read late into the night because exciting things were happening! Harry Potter got me through living in our terrible apartment and moving out of it, then living with family which was ah-hem, worse than a Avada Kedavra curse! and I finished the books in our new house!  

Overall?  The books are excellent and I cannot wait until the girls are old enough to read the series. I was SO SAD when Dumbledore died! I was happy when Snape died - and glad that he redeemed himself. I'm glad Ron and Hermoine realized they liked each other, and how cute is it that Harry and Ginny end up together?! I was slightly unimpressed with the final fight scene with Lord V. I thought it would be more fighting and curse throwing, when really it was just Harry talking to Lord V. Oh well. At least Lord V is gone for good!

Now, I'm watching all of the movies ... I've seen through Order of the Phoenix. This weekend we're going to watch Half Blood Prince and the two Deathy Hallows, yay!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas craft idea OVERLOAD!

I will admit that I'm getting into Christmas. Gaaaasp!  I usually hold out Scrooge style and refuse to even discuss or think about Christmas until way after Thanksgiving. But, this year, I've already purchased the supplies to make a door wreath, and I plan on making it tonight and actually hanging it up BEFORE Thanksgiving!  What?!  Yes, I'm into it this year. 

I've been seeing so, so many Christmas DIY ideas on Pinterest that my head is spinning. I told myself that I need to reign it in and make a list of what I want to make and give myself a reasonable timeline to get it all made. Here's some ideas that I really like: {each project is linked}


Snowflake - since I'm already making a wreath for my door, I thought these would look neat hanging on the walls, either inside or out. And they appear pretty simple to make.


Fabric coasters - these would be cool to make for friends and family. And it would be a good way to get into quilting/piecing fabric together, which I've been wanting to do.


Potholders - I think these are just too cute!  I want to make some for myself, but would also be good in a handmade basket of home goods for friends/family?  


Stockings - I'm making new stocking for us this year - I like this tutorial.


Lipgloss - these would be fun to make and would be good stocking stuffers!


Doily trees - I *need* to make these. 


Pom pom garland - I'm going to have two trees this year and I'm thinking I'm going to make some ornaments and garland for both trees. I like the idea of yarn pom pom garland.


Rice hot bags - These could go along with a handmade basket ... I used to have a rice bag similar to this and I loved it. 


Pine cone garland - another garland idea. Would be inexpensive!


Gumdrop wreath - I have always wanted to try to make one of these gumdrop wreaths!


Felt garland - what can I say, I've got a thing for garland. 


So, yeah, that's quite a list ... I doubt I'll get to all of it, but I want to try!

What are you planning to make for Christmas - any crafty/sewing projects or decorations? 


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Free hugs PSA

I love the message in this - pay attention to the very last few seconds:





Ummmmm ....

I saw this (singing?) (screaming?) (blowing bubbles?) lady at the store and I was skeeeered. The photo doesn't do her justice. She's about four feet tall!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Think what you will, I love Edward

We saw Breaking Dawn tonight and it was FANTASTIC!  I love the whole franchise, the books, the movies, and my little plastic Edward. Yes, he went with us. Yes, I'm 33 and have an Edward doll. It's all in good fun.


It's a bit bright out here, ma'am. I may start to sparkle.


We went to Carrabba's before the movie. Eddie didn't want to dazzle anyone too much so he stayed in my purse. He escaped once, got a whiff of garlic, and went back under cover.

Edward by some pretty flowers. Awwwww.


In all seriousness, the movie, in my opinion, was the best in the series. There's a stupid part where the wolves are "talking" and it sounds a bit Darth Vader-ish, but, other than that, A+ in my book. Bella gets knocked up and is really gross looking toward the end. The director did a good job at that. Their wedding was beautiful. I am not ashamed to admit that I got a tear in my eye. The honeymoon? Oh boy. Steamy.

I'm putting Edward back into his hiding spot* now, fun's over. See you later for Breaking Dawn Part 2 Eddie!

*He's actually not hiding, he is in my glass-fronted display cabinet in my kitchen. Peering out. Sparkling now and then.



Friday, November 18, 2011

Quack quack reading!

Yesterday I wrote about Arlene reading her sight words. As promised, here is a video of Lydia reading her book from school. It's the first time she has read the book, and she didn't have to stop and ask about any words! Go Lydia! 



(This video is too skinny - I think I need to flip my phone horizontal when taking video! Duh!)


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Traffic light sight words

My girls are becoming really good readers and spellers. First grade has been a lot of fun so far! They have spelling tests every week and my favorite part of the evening is testing them on their spelling words. It just gives me joy!  Is that weird?  Anyway, they also are doing a lot of reading too. Arlene has to read five books a night! Lydia only has to read one book from school but she usually ends up reading a book or two that we have at home, too.

Arlene's newest activity is called "traffic light sight words" - she has a whole slew of sight words. If she knows the words right away, by sight, they go on the green part of the traffic light. If she hesitates but gets it, they go on the yellow part. If she has trouble and can't sound it out, they go on the red part. Last night was the first time we played. She did great!  

I was so surprised at the words she knew already! 


She knew "something" right away! Whoah!

This was her traffic light when we were finished - she had a lot more in the green than in yellow or red, which is the goal!

I took a video of her trying to read a few words: (the video is skinny for some reason!)



Tomorrow I'll post a video of Lydia reading!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Etsy Favorites Wednesday - a guest favor-er

This week's Etsy Favorites Wednesday list was curated by my pal Amber! Thanks Amber! Enjoy her finds!


BB {Amber's son} has always loved books. Like, LOVED books. He reads first thing in the morning, throughout the day and last thing at night. Lately, he's taken to reading to himself and reading to us. He starts every page with, 'One upon a time', it's adorable. So, I present a book-themed Etsy Favorites Wednesday on this fall day. 'Cause I don't know about you, but reading is one of the best ways to spend days like today.


A good read -  This is totally what I look like when I am into a book.


Linen Bookmark - Bookmarks are kinda going by the wayside, thanks to Kindles and the like, but I love them. Sometimes, the story they tell is as good as the book they're in. That strawberry Starburst wrapper still tucked in an old Stephen King book? Totally from a boy I liked in high school.



Book bag - BB loves going to the library (like his mom!), but he doesn't have a library book ... bag! I could totally make this! (I think.)



Book journal  - Back in the day, I used to read A LOT. Two, three, four books a week sometimes. At least a hundred a year. So to keep them straight, I wrote them down. If I went to the library without my list, I always brought home at least one book I had already read.


Back in the day - Not only is this is a great quote, it's from the best movie ever!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nurturing a positive self image

Image Credit
If there's one thing I'm most scared of in raising girls it's the responsibility of nurturing their positive body image. I want them to be happy with themselves and who they are and what they look like, no matter what. And it scares me, because I see little glimpses now of things they're starting to think about.

One day, my 7-year-old Arlene weighed herself, and she asked me, "Mommy, am I fat? Because I weighed myself and I weigh more than the last time I weighed myself. It says I weigh 43 pounds." Uhhhh, I replied, "NO! You are not fat! You weigh more because you're growing, your arms are getting longer, your legs are getting longer and your head is filling up with all sorts of smarts!"  She said, "OK!" and skipped along. But it scared me. It's not that I think she's concerned, because I don't, it just scares me for what might be to come as the girls get older.

I try so very hard to emulate happiness with myself and my body shape and my face and my hair because I've got two little girls that mimic me in many ways. It's daunting. They're concerned about their hair (it has to look perfect every day for school!) and I let them wear eye shadow sometimes if we're just hanging out around the house or going to the grocery store, and they looove to get their nails painted. I'm not a girly girl to begin with, but I've become more girly with the girls. I'm a confident woman, most of the time. I try to convey that to them. But the truth? I'm not completely happy with my body shape as it is right now, but, I'm happy as a person. I had twins, I'm getting older, and I'm choosing to eat popcorn on the couch in the evening while watching TV instead of going outside and going for a walk. So, I'm heavier than I used to be, but, life has happened, and if I'm wearing the extra pounds of life, then I can't complain much because life has been pretty good. While I'm not always happy with myself, I try to not let that show to the girls. I want to teach the girls to be happy with themselves, no matter what their jeans size.

It scares me what sort of images will invade the girls' brains as they grow older and how those images will shape their own body image. They don't watch a lot of TV, but they are aware of popular culture figures. They play with dolls, they like the Disney princesses, and they play with Barbies.

Unattainable Beauty




Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that media images of female beauty are unattainable for all but a very small number of women. Researchers generating a computer model of a woman with Barbie-doll proportions, for example, found that her back would be too weak to support the weight of her upper body, and her body would be too narrow to contain more than half a liver and a few centimeters of bowel. A real woman built that way would suffer from chronic diarrhea and eventually die from malnutrition. Jill Barad president of Mattel (which manufactures Barbie) estimated that 99% of girls aged 3 to 10 years old own at least one Barbie doll.
That came from this web site, which discusses media and the impact it has on shaping young girls' images. {It's an older article, but it's a good read.} Isn't that scary about Barbie? I played with Barbie when I was young, and I don't think I consciously tried to look like Barbie, but I do remember thinking that Barbie was lucky because she had huge boobs, and I was a late bloomer. Arlene used to really like the princess mermaid Ariel, because she liked that Ariel had boobies and wore a bikini top! Lydia likes the princesses that have beautiful hair and beautiful singing voices. What if, when she gets older, her singing voice isn't the best? What if her hair (which IS beautiful!) loses it's luster and she dislikes it? Will the girls compare themselves to the imagery of the princesses that they liked so much? I'm not going to shelter them from playing with their princess dolls or from watching the princess movies, but, it does make me wonder what sort of body images those princesses are subconsciously telling them are "beautiful."

That same web site also quotes that the average model weighs 23 percent LESS than the average woman. Yet those super skinny women are what we see everywhere. It scares me! What can I do to teach my girls that super skinny is not healthy?

I want to do it right, to teach my girls to love themselves and their bodies. I have to keep reminding myself to not bemoan my own insecurities in front of them. To be happy with myself, inside and out, and to keep reminding them that no matter what, they are beautiful, inside and out.

If you have daughters, what advice can you give me?  Is this also an issue with young boys?

Monday, November 14, 2011

My fall soundtrack

I really, really love Radiohead. I first got into them (very late) when their Kid A album came out. I got the album in October 2000 when it came out, and I burned through that CD, listening to it over and over. No matter what time of year I listen to it, it reminds me of fall. 

{Image credit: this is a print by artist The Big Harumph on Etsy. I have been eyeing it for awhile and just bought it!}

Radiohead's first song on the album, called "Everything's in its right place" is really resonating with me now too. Life is just grand right now. Everything is right. We're settled into our house, the girls are happy in school and just learning so, so much, I love my job and my husband's happy at his. Life is just good. It's pretty darn great, in fact. 

Here's the song:


"Everything's in its right place. Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon." Yup - pretty much sums it up. I was always so sad and pissed about our living situation - when we couldn't sell our house and then when we did and lived in that stupid apartment, and then with in-laws which was not a fun time, and now, it's all just RIGHT. We're in our dream house.

I really like Radiohead's newer album, The King of Limbs, too. It's more dancy and faster-paced and just gets me going. I like to listen to it in the car on the way to work. I especially like the song, Lotus Flower. Check it out: 




It makes me smile - I love Thom York and his funky dance moves. He's so fantastically weird.

What's your favorite album, or, an album that reminds you of a certain place or place in time?  


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Timeline photos

For an assignment at school the girls needed to bring in timeline photos of themselves - them as a baby, toddler and now. It was really fun looking through old photos!  Aren't they just precious?! 







Saturday, November 12, 2011

This makes me want to start stitchin'

I think it would be really neat to tag a public place with knitting or crochet work. Who's with me?!


Friday, November 11, 2011

The cutest chair completes the room

We ordered new furniture for our living room and it's been coming in at different stages. First our entertainment came in about six weeks ago then our couches and end tables came two weeks ago, and today, our chair and ottoman arrived. We had that pair custom made. I love it! 

I also bought some artwork for the room. We've got an autumnal theme going on.


I will have to take pictures of the rest of the room soon!