Wednesday, August 27

Mabel's Labels Review

It's hard to believe that school is right around the corner.  One week to be exact!  While summer was fun, it was a little chaotic at times going from summer school, to home, to swimming lessons, back home, and back again to summer school.  The kids seem ready to get back to their friends, and I am ready for some organization.



Mabel's Labels was kind enough to send me a pack of their new Stylish Scholar back to school labels.  I chose the Faux Bois design.  They have a more grown up design, so even I used them for some of our items around the house, like our iPad charger.  Just being able to put a sticker on, rather than write my children's names on everything, makes the process of labeling everything faster and more enjoyable.

They are $42 (with free shipping); and while I know that seems high, they are an excellent quality of labels.  I am a big supporter of Mabel's Labels (I have been getting them for 3 years now), and they really do hold up extremely well.  The labels on their clothes never come off after being washed countless times, but they peel off easily when I need to change the name to a sibling when the clothes get handed down.  (Although I've gotten smart now and just got labels with our last name only!)  I still have labels leftover from previous years even (I have never gone through a whole pack of them in one year).

Tuesday, August 26

School is just around the corner!

Wow, I can't believe summer is almost over.  Only a few more days of freedom and sleeping in before the kids start school again (or in Addy's case, for the first time) and I go to work for the first time in almost 9 years!  Eek!  I loved being a stay-at-home mom, and I wouldn't have traded that time for anything.  I am very lucky to have such a supportive husband who was all for letting me stay home when Belle was only 3 months old.

The summer really flew by, especially now that we have a new aquatic center, which is where we spent most of our summer.  It was nice to have a new activity to go to.


I didn't get nearly as much sewing done as I thought I would; and the nights I did sew, I stayed up until midnight most of those nights wanting to finish because I didn't know if I would find the motivation to finish it the next day.  Summer just brings out the laziness in me, I guess!  ;)

Gracie Shirt pattern by Monkeysbug
Pink Dress and Tunic pattern by Lily Bird (she made the cover photo on the listing!)
& Essential Leggings pattern by Stitchwerx
Aviator Pants pattern by Winter Wear Designs
Elisa Halter pattern by Filles a Maman
We went to the movies three or four times this summer, which is a big deal considering we usually only go once a year.  Maleficent was definitely my favorite, which shocked me because I am not a fan of Angelina Jolie at all.  I went in not expecting to like it, and I left loving it!

My brother and nephew also came to visit us for a week this summer.  My nephew is the same age as Casey, so they really hit it off.  It helps that they like most of the same things, like the Avengers and legos.  It was so nice having them here.  :)



We have one last hoorah up at the cabin before summer ends, and then we are back to homework and schedules...and snow, which I know will be here before I know it.

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.