Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow!

We don't get much of the white stuff here in the south, so when the forecast called for snow I certainly didn't believe it.  But, on Tuesday, right before lunch, it started to snow just like predicted.

It kept snowing and pretty soon there were about 2 inches on the ground.

The snow didn't stop and R was let out of school early.

Businesses were closing early all over and it took my husband 4 hours to come home, usually it is a 45 minute trip with traffic.  We were lucky though, some kids were stuck on buses or spent the night at school because their parents couldn't get to them.  There were motorists that spent the night in their cars.  I'm thankful that we were able to enjoy the snow from our cozy home.

 On Wednesday it was chilly but sunny, the kids played out in the snow all day.

Yay for snow!

It's warmer today and the sun in still shining, the snow is melting, but it was fun while it lasted.

xoxo
crissy

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Chilly Celebration...Frozen!

Last week Miss B turned 3!  I asked her what  kind of party she wanted and she immediately answered with an enthusiastic "Frozen!"  I was happy to oblige for three reasons: one - we loved the movie so much we've seen it twice, two - glitter is the best and three - blue is my favorite color!  Selfish reasons, I know.

We didn't want a character party (Sorry, Elsa and Anna).  So, we focused on the colors and the sparkly magic of winter.

Decorations: I started with snowflakes, a step up from the coffee filter kind of my childhood, Martha has a great tutorial.  If you had time, these could become pretty intricate with thinner paper, an xacto knife and a cutting mat.  Time is something that I lack, so I opted for the simple route and used scissors and regular paper.  I hot glued several snowflakes to a length of yarn to create a garland and then hung the rest on silver branches.  I added lights along with the snowflake garland for extra sparkle. 

The light blue cones (trees) in the above picture are made from glittery card stock formed into a cone shape.  I thought that would be easier/faster than using styrofoam cones and covering them in glitter.

Of course my Snowflake Pyrex had to make a guest appearance since it fit the theme perfectly.  I didn't have anything to put in it, so it was flipped upside down and used as a stand for extra cupcakes. Yay, Pyrex!

I made three tissue "poofs" to hang from the ceiling alongside the balloons and I liked them so much they are going up as permanent decor in my craft room.

n
Activities: we painted sparkly pictures with epsom salts and the kids played pin the nose on Olaf.  I didn't get any pictures of the Olaf game, I must have been busy with the baby.

Party favors: I made crowns from glitter foam and used pipe cleaners to form the back of the crown.  I glued some shiny rhinestones to each crown to make them extra fancy.  


Each snow princess got a ribbon wand and a snowflake inspired hair clip.

Snacks: fun and simple, doughnut hole "snowmen" with orange starburst noses.  Christoph's "ice cubes" Blue Raspberry Jello-o.  Marshmallows on sticks dipped in blue sprinkles.  I put them on sticks so they could be dipped in hot cocoa.  We also served star shaped cheese and crackers and kettle corn.

Desserts:  Of course I made cake pops and cupcakes, I found a new favorite vanilla cupcake recipe here.  The butter cream frosting turned out a lovely shade of Tiffany blue, my favorite!

Thanks to my wonderful sister-in-law for hosting, cooking the meal and helping with everything else, I think it turned out wonderful and we had a bunch of little girls who didn't want the magic to end!

 "Let it go, let it go..."

Inspiration found here, here and here.

xoxo
crissy


Thursday, January 23, 2014

3, can it be?

Three years ago today I was holding a brand new baby girl in my arms.  In the midst of life with a 7 year old, a 2 year old and finishing my college degree, I took a quick 6 hour break to have a baby.  We had a midwife and were planning a home birth, but decided (thanks to a tiny rental home), about halfway through the pregnancy, to give birth in the free standing birth center.  Bella's birth was my first experience out of a hospital.  It was AMAZING.  Yeah, it hurt, but it was manageable and quick.  The difference in the care I received from a midwife, compared to my previous two hospital births, wow, it was a world of difference.  And, you just can't beat going home three hours after giving birth.  There's nothing like the comfy-ness of your own bed after a life changing event.

Back to the birthday. 


 This sweet little baby was born three years ago. 


A year passed too quickly and then she was one, oh the chub, I love it!  

Last year she was just getting over the ickies when her birthday rolled around and was a little moody.  

This year she is three, I can't believe it.  Three years old.  My sweet Bella Boo.  

Thank you for the joy you bring us, thank you for your hugs and kisses.  I love your spirit, I love your spunk and even when you are a challenge, I love you.  You are a joy, you are so sweet one minute and then completely sassy and grouchy the next.  Your little lisp is the best and those big brown eyes, I get lost in them daily.  Don't ever change.  You will always be my little girl.

xoxo
crissy

Sunday, January 19, 2014

birthday party inspiration.

I hope y'all are having a wonderful weekend!  We have beautiful weather here in GA, but it is so cold!  It makes it hard to wander outside and enjoy the sunshine.  

All this cold weather is making it easy to prep for Miss B's "Frozen" birthday party next weekend.  I can't wait to share it.  I hope everything turns out as glittery and snowy as I have imagined. 

I'm gathering ideas from pinterest, of course.  You can follow my parties board here.  The pictures below are not mine, please follow the link below each picture for their original source.

Here are my favorite ideas so far:

Snowflakes galore.  Original link here.

Delightfully frozen cupcakes.  Found here.

 Jell-o "ice" cubes.  Found here.


Glittery cake pops, just lovely!  Found here.

 Cute cupcakes, with snowflake fondant.  Found here.

This was my favorite sweets table, in all it's glory, it is beautiful!  Found here.

Stay warm, friends!

xoxo
crissy

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cookies.

So, I've found a new foodie blog that I really enjoy and have been following since early summer.  100 Days of Real Food is co-authored by a couple who came from distinctly different "food" backgrounds but now have the same goals of finding "real" food options in a world that is so focused on the quick, the easy, and the processed.  I have to admit that I have been a label reading Nazi for quite some time, so finding a blog that shared my label reading passions was great!

Our world is so full of processed food that it can be cumbersome finding the time and energy to make healthy meals with whole foods.  100 Days provides you with meal plans, recipes, and even pledges for taking processed food out of your diet.  I think best of all, Lisa posts "real" food school lunches for her kids!  How awesome is that?!  For me, it's pretty awesome, since I've got one school-aged kiddo and we are always trying to find creative lunch options that are healthy and that R will actually eat.

As healthy as I would like to be, I've also got a sweet tooth, so when the girls wanted to make cookies the other day of course I obliged.  I found this recipe on 100 Days and OMaGarsh, these cookies are SO good.  I've made them twice since baking them up the first time.  Who knew whole wheat flour could make such a fluffy cookie?

 My little helpers eagerly awaited while I creamed the butter and added an egg.

 Brown sugar first!

 Now the white stuff.

 Isn't it pretty?  Add a few other ingredients, mix it all up, pop them in the oven and then...

 You've got heaven, in cookie form!

 Yumm.

 "Mama, can I have another?"

What is your favorite cookie recipe?

xoxo
crissy

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 Goals.

I've come to realize that I love to keep lists, I love crossing items off a list.  It feels so good to see something with a line scratched through it.  Complete.  Sometimes I even write down something that's already done, or almost done, just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing it out (i can't believe I just admitted that).

For 2014, I have a list a mile long of crafty goals, things I plan on painting, sewing or creating.  Instead of listing all of those here, I thought it would be better to chose 6 simple overall life goals and stick with those.  If I get everything else accomplished, those will be like bonuses.

1.  Be present with my kids - This has been a hard one for me since I started working.  I would come home from work exhausted with no energy to do anything else but sit on the couch.  After the baby was born and I was able to work from home, I would spend hours in front of my laptop trying to catch up, even after the office was closed.  I feel like I missed so much, I don't want that anymore.  I want to be present in my children's lives.

2.  Plan meals - another thing I wasn't able to do while working was plan meals.  I would work into dinner time, I didn't have time to grocery shop.  Dinner was usually an after thought.  Nuggets and macaroni again?  That is changing this year.  I am going back to my meal plans and organized grocery lists.  They save our family both time and money, plus I just love to cook.  :)

3.  Blog - I've been terrible with blogging these past two years, I haven't had time.  I thought I should give it up all together and I tried to, but I can't completely let it go.  I am giving it another go around this year.  Let's hope for the best!

4.  Date Nights - With four kids, date nights don't happen very often.  I want to make a point to get out with my man at least once a month.  That probably sounds ridiculous to some, but we really don't ever go on dates.  I want that to change this year.  Even if it's just a quick dinner date, it's still out and without kids to distract us.

5.  Keep up on photo albums.  This one is hard.  I had decided to give up on scrapbooking, but then Project Life came along and I now have an easier alternative to the albums I used to create.  I am starting with Miss L's baby album (only 4 years after the fact) and we shall see how this goes.

6.  Be Happy - Sometimes I get caught up in everything I can't do or can't have.  Instead, I need to focus on what I can do and what I do have.  I need to focus on the happy, instead of the sad.  I need to focus on the smiles instead of the tears.  I need to be happy.


This guy is truly happy.  There is nothing better than a happy baby.

A bonus goal, which really shouldn't be a goal, it should just be what we do, is going to church EVERY Sunday.  We were getting pretty good about it before Thanksgiving and then December happened, Christmas happened, After Christmas travel happened and then we all got sick.  I really want to make this a focus of our weekends, no matter what!

As a side note (a very HAPPY one), I am no longer employed, at a desk job, as of yesterday.  I am so thankful for the opportunity my company gave me.  They were so accommodating and really took care of me, they believed in me.  I met wonderful people who I really care about and who really cared about me.  I really thought I would work there for a very long time, but then baby B came along and surprised us.  After he arrived, everything changed and I just couldn't put all of my energy into a career anymore.  It took months to come to this decision, because I really didn't want to disappoint them after everything they did for me.  But we finally decided it was time for me to stay home and be with our kids.  They are only going to be little once, I can always go back to work when they are older.  Right now, they need their mama, more than any job ever could.

What are your goals this year?


xoxo
crissy

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Snow!

No, no snow here in Atlanta.  But we did see some snow recently, we just had to drive 750 miles to see it.  We made the long trek up to South Western Michigan for my husband's grandma's 90th birthday.  We left the day after Christmas and it is a 12ish hour drive from Atlanta.  We only stayed for a long weekend so it was a whirlwind trip.  We figured the chance that the kids see snow in Atlanta is pretty much zero.  Snow in Michigan, though?  That's pretty much a guarantee!

 Miss L is a snow eating machine.  She would start munching on the dirty stuff thinking no one was looking and I would tell her to stop.  Her response: "but, Mama, it's not yellow so it's ok!"  Ha, very funny.

This was Miss B's first time in the snow that she can remember.  She wandered around taking it all in.  Taking a taste here and there.  She had enough after being blasted in the face with a snow puff by her brother.

Here's the culprit, taking aim at me.  He loves throwing snowballs, but what boy doesn't??


Sunsets over this Great Lake are amazing.  Although, I have to be honest, I like the summer version of this view better than winter.

I rented a 135mm lens to use while we were there and I used it in the top three pictures.  Oh my, the bokeh is so smooth and heavenly.  I love prime lenses and this was the first time I had used a 135L, it definitely deserves its ranking as one of the "holy trinity" of Canon primes.  Someday I'll have one of my own, along with a 50L and a 85L.  :)  What is your favorite lens?


xoxo
crissy

Monday, January 13, 2014

Badminton.

Fun fact, I actually used to play badminton quite often (just for fun).  So many great memories, running around with birdies and whacking them as hard as I could with those weird, lightweight rackets.  Lazy summer days as a kid were so much fun.

When I played badminton, I didn't usually wear a dress, but my girls like dresses more than I ever did...so, I made them two Oliver + s Badminton Dresses (view c)!  They can run around playing badminton just like I did, only they will do it in style!


These dresses have so many cute details, I love them.


The fabric is from Joann's, it's part of the Spring 2012 collection from Little Lisette.  It's a nice study cotton, so smooth and not flimsy at all.  Yes, it was sitting in my stash for over a year before I used it.  That's pretty typical for me these days, nothing creative gets done quickly with a job and four kids.


Hooray for finally buying some size tags!  No more guessing on sizes. 


I "turned and stitched" all the seams for a neat, finished look.  I'm all about creative ways of finishing seams lately.  I think that trend started because my serger died.  The hem facing is a contrasting yellow plaid that I picked up at Joann's, I also used it for the trim on the front.  I sewed a size 2 and 4 for the girls, they are a roomy fit so these can be worn next year, too.  This was the last time my girls can both wear a dress made from the same pattern set.  So sad!  Sad because they are growing and sad because I have to spend twice as much on two set of patterns.


If sewn with flannel, these would make adorable nightgowns, don't you think?


xoxo
crissy

Sunday, January 12, 2014

10 years.

10 years ago today, I became a mother.  My life was forever changed by an adorable baby boy.  The circumstances weren't the greatest, but looking back, it was all meant to be.  I am so thankful for that baby.  He's grown into such a wonderful boy, he's kind-hearted, giving, loving, compassionate and pretty darn funny.  It's amazing how he can light up a room with his smile.  

Having a older child that I can really connect with is pretty great.  We have some deep, heart-felt talks lately and I really, really love it.  As he gets older though, I can't help but think about how our days together are numbered.  He's 10 now, only 3 more years until he is a teenager, only 6 more years until he is driving, and only 8 more years until he is an "adult."  Really?  How can that be?


It seems only yesterday he was a tiny baby, making soft newborn noises as he slept next to my bed in his bassinet.

Now he's so big, smart and such a fun kid to be around.  He still gives the best hugs, I hope that never changes.

Happy Birthday, R, I love you.


xoxo
crissy

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A very happy un-birthday party dress.

This little number was sewn up a few summers ago and never made it on the blog. The fabric is vintage from my stash and the lovely, yellow kona cotton is from Joann's. The pattern is the Birthday Party Dress pattern, view B (Oliver + s, of course).  It was one of those, sew-it-up-for-no-reason dresses, which is why I called it an un-birthday dress. 

I made this dress for Miss L and last summer it was a staple for Miss B. I'm afraid that this summer it will fit no one. So bittersweet when the littles grow out of handmade items. I'm glad they both were able to wear it.




This pattern was my very first Oliver + s pattern that I sewed up back in 2010 (whoa!) my how time flies.

All of the summer dresses I've been sharing are making me miss summer.  I think I was over winter before it even started.  Sunshine, please!

xoxo
crissy

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Double scoop.

Now that Christmas has passed and the New Year is upon us, I thought I would combat the gray with a little sewing that I did over the summer.  I am referring to the summer that happened BEFORE this past summer, more specifically, the summer of 2012.

I sewed these up on the morning of my graduation.  You know, because normal people sew like a maniac right before donning a cap and gown and prancing down the aisle to get a diploma, right?  But who said I was normal??

Please pardon the pictures below, they are grainy.  My old camera didn't do well in low light and we had a pretty cloudy June and July which I guess is pretty weird for Georgia.

Anyway, please enjoy a double scoop of the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress.

 A 3T and an 18-24 months.  Here's the front - I love the pockets.

I found the print at Joann's, it reminded me of a vintage suitcase.  The mint is just a plain old quilting cotton probably from Joann's too.  Nick said they look like a mumu.  I tried not to be offended by that comment...

xoxo
crissy