Friday, December 31, 2010

What Went Down & What's Going Out...

I'm not gonna lie, 2010 hasn't been the easiest year, but we still have much to be thankful for. And easy isn't really what life is all about is it? Life is about struggles and how you deal with them and the decisions you make in the process. And often times in between or even in the midst of the struggles the Lord chooses to bless you or perhaps just make you more aware of the ways in which He has already blessed you. For me this past year has really been about learning to be content in the now even if it isn't the now you had mapped out in your mind. I wanted to make a list for myself so that when i look back at 2010 i won't just remember the difficulties, as we have a tendency to do, but appreciate the blessings and be thankful for what we have.
This year:

I lost my grandma at the age of 92.
This was a huge loss, but I was lucky to have had her for so long. But i still miss her. a lot. of all my grandparents she is the one i felt the closest to. She was an unselfish servant, a prayer warrior and the best little italian cook you ever met. That and she buttered an english muffin to perfection. This is a fact.

We moved. Again. Third move in six years.
We swear this is our last move until we buy a house, which will hopefully occur in some time in the next decade. We found the right place at the right time, pay less rent no longer live on a main road.

We got a roommate.
Daniel's sister Amanda moved back to Cali and now lives with us. She is a huge part of what afforded us the opportunity to move into a nicer place. This transistion went even better than i could have hoped for and i'm so glad we all decided to go for it. Ruby LOVES having her Onnie at "her house" and i love having a partner in crime for my numerous ColdStone runs.

Daniel got a new job.
After almost exactly two years of praying for a new opportunity, he was hired on as a captain at STA Jets. PRAISE THE LORD!

My dream came true.
For as long as i can remember when people asked me what i wanted to do when i grew up, my answer was always the same; "get married and have kids." Let me say it hasn't always gone like i had hoped and planned for, but the Lord has given me my greatest desire, to be a stay at home mom. I would love to have quit my job the minute i found out i was pregnant, but it wasn't in the cards until April of 2010, two months short of Ruby's second birthday. I will be eternally grateful to Daniel who has taken this huge leap of faith and carried the burden of being the sole provider for our family. I am SO blessed to be able to watch my daughter grow and learn each and every day and i never want to take that for granted.

I started a new hobby.
I didn't get too far, but i have started learning how to sew. My mother in law has been a patient teacher and my first projects include crayon rolls for Ruby's birthday party favors and a cute little cupcake for her halloween costume. I hope to do more and more as each year passes.

So now that you know what i'm thankful for i thought i'd also share with you my resolutions for 2011. I am typically not one for New Year's Resolutions. I'd like to say that's because i have it so together, but alas, if you have known me for longer than 5minutes, you know that is not the case. Truth be told i don't make them because i know i won't keep them. it's almost as if i'm beating myself to the punch and choosing not to set myself up for failure. What kind of screwed up type of thinking is that, i mean is it any less of a failure if i opt not to put it down on paper or even worse, on the blog for the world (i use that term loosely, {5 faithful followers}) to see? Of course not!

Realistically i am not going to hold to all, or even just one of my resolutions 100%, but that isn't the point. The point is to try and learn, grow and become a better person for the next 365 days. Even if that's just a slight improvement from where i stand today, it's still an improvement right? So with that said, i'm putting my resolutions out there, for you to read so that you can help hold me accountable. Without further adieu, here we go!

To read my Bible, more consistently.

To spend more QUALITY time with my Ru Bear Pie

Patience. i'm already sorry that i put this one out there, need i say more?

Complain less.

Contain my anger in the car and keep my road rage limited to internal dialogue, rather than subject my poor unsuspecting passengers to the crazy!

To cook at least 3 meals a week.

Indulge in more spontaneity and let go of rigidity. (is that a word?)

Obviously there are in depth personal details that go along with each of those, but i'll spare you the gory details. I really look forward to having goals in the New Year, it seems rather ridiculous to have opted out of this tradition in hindsight, after all i have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Here's to doing my best and not giving up even after i fall short. Are you making any resolutions? What will you do better in 2011?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sew Sweet!

In keeping with last year's chicken costume, we decided to continue on with the food theme, and this year Ru went as a a cupcake. More specifically a "pink cake with spinkles." Seems quite fitting seeing as how, a) I often refer to her as my little cupcake and b) she LOVES making AND eating them. This years inspiration was courtesy of Pottery Barn Kids. Besides the fact I wasn't about to spend $59- on something that gets worn once, I would like to maintain the tradition of homemade costumes as long as possible. It really is a fun process, even if it doesn't turn out exactly like the picture. Ommie Sandy and I had a fun time experimenting on this costume seeing as how we had no pattern to follow. Although I left all the tricky parts up to Ommie, I am quite proud of the fact that I sewed the mini cupcake she wore in her hair
by myself, entirely by hand.

Prior to this, I has never sewn anything by hand other than a button! This little project has definitely motivated me to continue sewing on a regular basis and increase my needle know how. Despite the fact Ru didn't really like wearing the cake on her head due to the wobble factor it had going on, she did really enjoy serving it with her "afternoon tea" prior to me sewing it into her hairband. I think it would be fun to create some more faux food to go with the kitchen set my little cupcake will be getting for Christmas. Shhhh, don't let the cat out of the bag. Oh, who am I kidding ? I've already told her if she is a good girl, Santa might bring her her very own pink kitchen. No...we're not excited for Christmas around here at all!

This door looks awful familiar...

Where's daddy bear?

Not the best picture I know, but this face just cracks me up!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sneak Peak

This was last year's costume sneak peak...and in case you missed this post,
no she wasn't a sumo, she was a chicken.

And here we have this years not so sneak peak...can you guess what she is going to be? Cuz if not, that's a bad sign seeing as how the costume is nearly complete. Ommy Sandy came through yet again. This year we didn't have the advantage of a pattern, all we had to go on was a picture. So stay tuned for the finished product. I'm off to attempt my first softie creation today, I'm hoping it will be the icing on the cake. ; )

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bye Baby Bunting...

Mommas gone a hunting, trying to decide just where to hang her most recent sewing project! So i leave it up to you dear readers {yup, all three of who's feeling special?} I can't quite decide where to hang my Halloween you like it better on the mirror, or hanging from the mantel. I seem to be leaning towards the mantle, mostly because you get to see all of the flags... but what do you think? I apologize in advance for the less than superior photos,but a) this momma really needs a new camera & b) taking pictures in front of a mirror with recessed lighting is quite a challenge!

This was such a fun little project, and super easy. If you feel like you might be up for a little sewing, all you have to do is google "bunting tutorial". The only materials you need are a selection of cute fabrics and double sided bias tape in the coordinating color of choice. You do not need to be an expert seamstress to pull this off, it was actually very good practice for sewing in a straight line! I do however recommend experimenting with the size and shape triangles you want to use. The particular tutorial i found had a template, but i found it to be a little too large and a little too "perfect" so i just made my own. I have a feeling i will be making one of these babies for each of the upcoming holidays. A good excuse to buy some cute fabric and spruce up the fireplace i think! This one actually coordinates with the tablecloth i sewed for Ruby's little table, & by sewing i mean hemmed. : )

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Come And Sit A Spell...

I have been excited for Christmas since we first moved into our new excited to finally have a fireplace; a place to hang our stockings and set up my ever growing collection of bottle brush trees, not to mention a cozy place to sip hot coco while enjoying a crackling fire. And while Christmas will have to wait awhile longer, the first holiday we will spend here is Halloween and so I decided to decorate a little more than I have in years past. Partially because i just love any excuse to decorate and partially to tide me over until Christmas...which will appear immediately after Thanksgiving has past...if I can make it that long...
I. Love. Christmas.

I'm really not into the spooky side of Halloween, which might confuse some of you after viewing my photos. I am however very into Dia De Los Muertos. My large bride and groom paper mache skeletons (or Mr. & Mrs. Skullybones as Ruby calls them) were actually Christmas presents from my parents last year. Yup, skeletons for Christmas, that's how i roll. I fell in love with them at the flea market and told my mom i'd be the happiest girl in long beach if she would be gracious enough to buy them for my birthday.

You have no idea how excited i was when she actually said yes, despite the fact i was going to have to wait several months before actually getting to enjoy them. I consider these beauties to be the finest pieces of Day Of The Dead art that i own. They are even more impressive in person with glitter embellishments, paper flowers and hand painted details. I can totally understand that they aren't for everyone, but, I. Love. Them. And if you're confused by the fact that i asked for them as a birthday present but received them on Christmas, that's because my mom is a sneaky girl. She found a way to make a gift i chose myself a complete surprise by giving them to me before i was expecting them. : )

As for the rest of the decor, all of the smaller trees in shades of Halloween are part of my larger Christmas collection. The owl and smaller paper mache skeleton are from Roger's Gardens last year and the black cat is from Michael's. I also had fun with my cute little ghost pumpkins which i could have easily gotten carried away with. Fortunately my "thrifty" husband was with me on our trip to the pumpkin patch to keep me in check! ; )



a glowing witch's brew...

on our coffee table...

i heart candy corn...mmmmm...

yet another ghost pumpkin...

From a different angle...

So that's it, hope you enjoyed our little Halloween e-open house. All i have left to do is sew my halloween bunting...all my triangles are cut, just have to hem them all up. I'll post pictures when it's finished. How do you decorate for fall? Got anything spooky up your sleeves?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Colorful Affair {Picture Perfect Birthday}

So here are the long over due pictures of Ruby's Second Birthday that I promised a hundred years ago. Long story short, I had to wait for my sister/photographer extraordinaire to mail the disc to me and by the time it came my computer was out of commission and in for repairs. When it finally came back it took me awhile to find our software to reinstall. So there you have on to the good stuff. Be warned, I am posting a LOT of photos. But when your sister takes over a hundred pictures, it's very hard to narrow it down to just a few. So this is what you get!

So the first picture is of a cast iron sign i bought at the flea market. It came with this hideous sign that someone had painted. My plan was to give it a little makeover by means of chalkboard paint. As soon as i laid eyes on it, i envisioned using it for parties and Ruby's was the perfect first event to break it in. I intended to paint it in time for Ru's party (the night before), but it turns out chalkboard paint has to cure for 24 hours before you can write on not pleased with myself for waiting till the last minute. Alas, no time to sulk, had to figure out a creative alternative. The metal sheet that my dad cut to replace the old sign was magnetic so i put the old refrigerator alphabet to use...actually turned out kinda cute i think!

The birthday girls grand entrance...

Tissue paper pom poms and kids seating...

The party favors (on top) ...crayon rolls hand crafted
by Ommie Sandy and myself...

Personalized Composition Notebooks for the kids to color on....

The theme we decided to go with was "COLOR", plain and started off with the idea to do bright colored tissue paper pom-poms that i stole from who else, my old friend Martha. You can steal them too by going here. I was trying to figure out what to do for party favors when i remembered this great tutorial for crayon rolls i found on this super creative blog. I always prefer handmade to store bought, and i have a mother in law who is always up for my overzealous endeavors, so i decided to go for it. They came out super cute, unfortunately i didn't take any photos of them open for display...another post i suppose. I used Alexander Henry fabric which i adore and could spend a lifetime looking for projects/excuses to buy more of it. I had originally planned to put loose paper out for the kids to color on when i came across these colorful composition notebooks at Target (much cuter than the traditional black & white) and then thought of the idea to personalize them for each kiddo. I had my sister in law write up the names and then i decoupaged them onto the notebooks. I was pretty happy with how they turned out.

PB Kids umbrellas and cute little tablecloths....
AND table runners...of course...

I wanted to have pint sized seating for the littles, and i wanted it to go with the rest of the decor. So, we sewed mini tablecloths and table runners for all three kids tables. For centerpieces i put tiny flower arrangements and little bowls of goldfish crackers along with mason jars of chubby crayons for the kids to color with.

We didn't really have any planned activities as most of our guests were two and under...just coloring, sidewalk chalk and of course a bounce house. Let me tell you how much my kid LOVES to bounce...i would swear to you that she dreams about it at night. And in the day time she substitutes our bed and or sofa in lieu of a bouncer. Eighty bucks well spent i tell you. She bounced with EVERYone at one time or another, until they took that sucker away, at eight pm, and then she was sad. : )

Coca de Mexico....

I spy with my little eye...pigs n' a blanket, pb n' j & mac n' cheese

Love all the color in this photo.

Bouncing with Ommie

Jeremy & Josh

Can you tell my sister was a hit with the kids?

Too cute...

Naila and her Momma

Mrs. Parks & Rec...AKA PB&J Maker Extraordinaire

Coloring is serious business!

Of course when it came to the cake we had to keep our theme going...I made a six inch cake for Ruby and rainbow cupcakes for everyone to eat. The kids loved picking which color cupcake to eat and i loved not having to cut cake!

Mini-cake with her Josef doll...

Rainbow "cakes"... to go with our COLOR theme

She of course chose a pink cake...

Clara decided to go with purple...

The lineup... : )

I really enjoy planning parties and i'm SO lucky to have such great family and friends to help turn my visions into realities. Talk about a group effort! My mother in law Sandy helped me with all the sewing projects & my mom came over the night before to help bake all those cupcakes and iron the many tablecloths. My sister in law Amanda helped with the Pom-Poms and anything that had to do with writing. My friend Jen came early to help me with food prep while my dad helped out on the grill and my sister Michelle was kind enough to take all the beautiful pictures you just looked at. Unfortunately Daniel had to go out of town at the last minute and wasn't able to be there for the actual party, so i don't know what i would have done without all the help. A HUGE thankyou to everyone for donating their time and talents to make Ruby's Second Birthday such a special day!

My sissies Lynne & opposite order. Michelle & Lynne just doesn't sound right!