Tuesday, June 24

Summer!

Well, the weather has finally been consistently warm the past couple weeks.  It's hard to believe that July is almost here!  We've crammed in a lot of stuff so far this summer, and I only anticipate it getting even busier with the new pool opening in a couple weeks and swimming lessons starting, on top of summer school.  Even though it's hectic and a lot of running around, I do enjoy it.  It gets easier every year, especially now that the kids can buckle/unbuckle themselves (or help the younger two if they need it).

He wanted a picture with his Avengers cup  :)

His usual spot...in front of the computer playing League of Legends or WoW

Hanging out at the cabin

Giving Elly kisses

Posing for pictures!

Loves his new life jacket.  Fits so much better!

Ernie.  (Chris thinks he bears a striking resemblance to Ike from South Park)

Hogging the bed...

Riding the teacups together at the festival

Playing baseball at Mimi and Grampi's house

She loves getting her picture taken  :)

Wearing her Twirly Skort and Reversible Tunic.  

Saturday, June 14

Filles a Maman Marc Pattern

I was given the opportunity to test the Marc Shirt by Filles a Maman.  From now until Monday night (June 30th) the pattern is only $7.  After that, it will go up to the full price of $9.  It is the "brother" shirt to the Mimi pattern by her, which I also got to test.


As you can see, it's a little long, but it's the same length as his other size 5 shirts.
It has its similarities to the Mimi (side collar, stitching the facing down, curved hem), but it also adds it's own little personality (straight collar, two buttons with a placket).  I really like it and couldn't be happier with it.  The collar facing was a little finicky to get right (when attaching a woven to a knit, there's bound to be a little bit of finagling to get it to attach correctly without stretching it), but it all worked out perfectly in the end (even though I poked myself a few times from using so many pins!).  It's a unique twist on a collared shirt and Casey really liked it and wore it all day (and a few times since then).  Of course, I think it helped that green is his favorite color!

I love the stitching!
The collar and shoulders both use woven fabric.
Had to add green buttons, of course!

Friday, May 23

Filles a Maman Mimi Pattern

I was given the opportunity to test out the new Mimi shirt/dress pattern by Filles a Maman a few weeks ago.  It turned out so cute!  I love that it has a collar option so that I was able to make Belle one for school (and she's worn it at least a handful of times so far, so it's obviously a hit with her!).




I also made her a long-sleeve without the collar, which she has also worn.  She has already requested another short-sleeve, and since they are such a quick sew (I can get it done in one night), I am more than happy to oblige.  I just need to stop being lazy and get it done!



Besides the collar, I love the hemline and the keyhole up by the neck.  And I also love the stitching on the outside that lines the facing on the inside.  It adds a nice decorative touch to the shirt.  Mel (the pattern designer) did tweak the final product a little bit, but the tester was already pretty darn close to perfect so not much changed.  It goes from 12 months all the way up to 14, so I'll be getting a lot of use out of this one pattern.



Tuesday, March 11

Disney World

We had so much fun at Disney World!  Not going I didn't realize all the stuff we were missing.  Now that we went, I want to go every year!  

For a 'value' resort, this was a pretty awesome place to stay.  I don't have a single complaint about it.
After countless hours in the car, we finally arrived at our hotel.
The kids got a second wind in the lobby.  :)

The safari ride was a big hit with everyone at the Animal Kingdom.

Hanging out at the hotel for a little bit.

My favorite ride!  And Addy's favorite song.
She still sings it at least once a day.  :)

This is what 99% of our family photos look like.


#DisneySide Celebration

For 2014, Disney's theme is Show Your Disney Side.  So when MomSelect asked if I would be willing to host a party to show my #DisneySide, I gladly signed up!  I am quite the lover of Disney things, although most are packed away now so I don't bug my husband with Disney paraphernalia all over the house.  I do have a few select items in my sewing room though!  

When I received the box full of Disney party items, it couldn't have been better timing.  Grahm's birthday was just around the corner!  His cousin was going to be in town, so my mother-in-law offered to have a joint birthday party for the two boys.  What better way to show our #Disneyside than with a birthday party!  



While waiting for the food, the kids passed the time watching some Disney shows and also played Disney Scene It a couple times.  


I had more things planned, but wasn't able to put it together in time since I was sick and had a hard time finding any motivation to do anything.  We had gotten back from Disney World a few weeks prior, so thankfully we weren't sick then!  I am so thankful for all the items I received.  It really made it easy to throw together a party, even when you're sick!





I was selected to host a DisneySide @Home Celebration and received a #DisneySide Home Celebration Kit from MomSelect and Disney to host a party and to write a blog post.  

Wednesday, October 10

No Training Wheels!

And no hands holding her steady!


Monday, September 10

Mabel's Labels Review

Well, summer has come to an end and school has begun.  It sure went by quick this year.  The kiddos are enjoying being back in school, though.  And already, in the first week, they have forgotten their lunch box and a sweater.  But I have gotten both of them back!  And I didn't even know one of the kids was missing their sweater until two came back in their backpack on Friday.  (Hey, it's hard trying to keep track of everything that comes home!)  Thankfully, I was given a set of Back to School labels from Mabel's Labels to review, otherwise that sweater would've ended up in the 'lost and found' pile waiting for me to remember it.




Unlike Grahm and Casey in 5K and 4K (where the teacher buys all the supplies and we pay her back), Belle has to buy her own supplies and write her name on everything.  I cannot tell you how nice it was to have labels (and cute ones at that!) to just stick on her supplies and be done.  Last year I had to label her things with a pen, and it was a pain and time consuming.  Having labels definitely cut down on the time.  And also, Belle was able to help me.  She probably could have labeled all her supplies on her own, but then I think she would've gone a little crazy with them.  It was actually fun to put the labels on, just because they are fun to look at.  The Ultimate Back to School combo is $42.  Ouch, I know, but it is actually a really good deal because you get quite a few labels.  You get 40 skinny-minis (these are for supplies, thermos, etc.), 50 tag mates (these are for clothing), 16 shoe labels, and 2 teeny tags.  Even after labeling all her supplies and some clothes and shoes, she still has some labels left over.  I have even put one on her thermos and lunch box.  Really, the sky is the limit!  The only complaint I have with this combo is that it doesn't include a bag tag.  You would really think that including a tag for the backpack would be a given with an "ultimate" school combo.  Yes, I could use one of the teeny tags, but they are too small for such a big object that you don't even notice it.  I tried.

I was also given some really cute Preschool Shoe Labels from Mabel's Labels.  These are $21 for 12 sets of labels.  Yes, they do make shoe labels for older kids, but these ones are made specifically for little ones that don't know their left from right.  I think these are so great!  Really smart, actually.  Put together, the labels form one complete picture, making it easier to see which shoe goes where.  I keep going back and forth wanting to get some for Casey, because goodness, could he ever benefit from these (poor little guy is always putting his shoes on the wrong feet!).  But I keep waiting to see if they will make a preschool combo

Overall, they are a really high quality product.  They aren't flimsy little stickers or anything.  They feel sturdy (if that makes any sense) and adhere quite well.  It's nice that I can throw things in the dishwasher or washing machine, and know that the tag won't start peeling off or fading.  Oh, and I want to mention that if you spend $100 (before taxes, shipping, and discounts), you get a free pack of their new "write-away" labels.  They look really cute, and I think they would be nice for big families so that you can just erase the name and write a different name if they share items.


*I was given the Ultimate Back to School Combo and Preschool Shoe Labels from Mabel's Labels in exchange for an honest review.*

Tuesday, September 4

First Day of School

The kids were very excited to start today.  Belle changed her outfit a couple times this morning, despite the fact that she had picked an outfit out a week ago.  Grahm was super excited, as you can probably tell from the ninja moves.  :)  Casey was pretty excited to be going to school, although it doesn't really look like it.  Belle and Grahm were no problem dropping off, but Casey was a little nervous once we got to his class.  After I dropped him off and turned around to help Grahm put his stuff away, Casey came back out to the hallway and clung to my leg.  After a few more minutes with him in his room, this time waiting for him to feel a little more comfortable (I think all the hullabaloo going on got him a little scared), I was able to leave with him smiling.  No tears from anyone today!  :)

It's been really weird driving around with just Addy in the van.  She doesn't chat back and forth like Casey used to last year when the older two were in school.  It's been super quiet in the house, but Addy and I have been having fun.  





Wednesday, August 29

Creativity for Kids Review

MomSelect and Creativity for Kids generously gave me supplies to host an in-home party.  It was perfect timing for Isabelle's 7th birthday party, so I was pretty excited when the boxes came.  We were given a bunch of fun items for the party: Fashion Headbands, Fashion Bracelets, Pop Art Necklaces, Artivity Books, Fashion Totes, and Trinket Boxes.  I was also given Deluxe Glitter Art and Pop-up Books as a hostess gift.

Their headbands I cannot rave enough about.  Belle had actually gotten the same set last year when she came home from the hospital and couldn't do anything but lay down.  The ones she made last year are still holding strong and none of the ribbons or little jewels have come off.  She has a lot of headbands, but the ones that she made herself, are the ones that get the most wear.  And really, I don't think a girl can never have enough headbands.

Headbands and bracelets
The bracelets were really cute and came with both the chunky plastic bracelets and the thinner wire kind.  The thinner ones were a little harder to decorate for the girls, but they had a lot of fun with the thicker bracelets.  Both of these kits (headbands and bracelets) came with everything you can imagine to decorate with: ribbons, feathers, jewels, etc., and even the glue.  It is so nice to be able to open the box and know that I don't have to worry about having to dig for the glue or any other item because it's already included!  I have no creative side what-so-ever, so it's nice that Creativity for Kids takes care of everything for me.

There wasn't a thing that the girls didn't enjoy making.  Even the totes, which they got to decorate with stickers, were a hit.  I had planned the party for two hours, but really, I wish I had made it longer.  It was hard to do it all in just two hours.  I felt kind of rushed, although the girls all seemed happy.  I only had to help them occasionally, so they were truly allowed to express their creativity.  I loved how different every girl made their project.  I really wish I had taken pictures of the headbands that the girls decorated.  They were so cute!

Pop Art Necklaces
Coloring the stickers to put in the necklaces
The ONLY complaint I have out of all of the items was that the necklaces didn't stay together very well.  The little hook that connects the pop top to the string/necklace kept coming out of the hole.  Which was really a shame because the girls absolutely loved the necklaces and thought sticking on the clear bauble to make it 'pop' was "awesome" and "cool".

Bag decorating!



Their finished bags with the 'goodies' in them (Artivity book and Trinket Box)

Having fun!


*Disclosure: MomSelect and Creativity for Kids provided the above products in return for an honest review.  All opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

Thursday, July 26

our summer so far...

watching a parade

taking naps when mom's not looking

taking part in a play for summer school

spending time with cousins


tubing

spending time at the park




turning 2!

learning how to play the guitar

playing with legos...lots and lots of legos

swimming lessons!


hanging out at the beach

jumping off boats

spending time with another cousin

trying to take family pictures

getting buried in the sand


hanging out at a cousin's cabin

and of course, eating cheese  :)