Tuesday, September 29, 2009

If you have a daughter. . .

Yesterday, I stumbled across a new blog via another blog. . .well, you know how the blog trail goes. I love it so much that not only did I add it to my BlogReader, I really wanted to share it with you too.

50 Pieces of Prudent Advice for my Baby Daughter
(click above to go to her website)

I currently write a journal to each of my girls sharing special events with them, thoughts or feelings that I have or words of wisdom that I will someday give them when the moment is right. (SHH! Don't tell them about it though. It's a secret.) But I really like the way she just has an ongoing list of sometimes simple, and sometimes quite profound little nuggets of truth to help her daughter navigate life. For example:

#173 When you're driving and someone lets you into their lane, thank them with a hand wave.

#48 When something tragic happens to someone you care about, make sure not to ignore them just because you don't know what to say.

And there are more. . .so many more. So just get over there and be prepared to stay awhile—and wish you had written the list yourself. Who knows, maybe you'll start a list or a journal for your own little one.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yummy Soup

I must be more ready for fall than I'd like to admit because I have been craving soup for the last few weeks. So this weekend, I pulled out the giant stock pot and made some very yummy soup.


If you make one soup this fall, this really should be it! It's a slightly spicy chicken noodle soup and definitely worth the effort.



5 celery ribs
4 medium carrots, peeled
1 large yellow onion
2 medium potatoes, peeled
1 (14 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 (5 lb.) chicken, washed and cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
24 cups (6 quarts) water
creole seasoning (I like to use Tony Cachere's Famous Creole Seasoning) to taste (this gives the soup it's kick! Don't be afraid to use quite a bit!)
salt & pepper, to taste

1. chop celery, carrots, & potatoes (into 1/4 inch pieces if you will not be following step 9. If you are, they can be bigger)

2. chop tomatoes—save all juice

3. put vegetables, tomatoes & juice, parsley, garlic and chicken pieces into a 10-quart stock pot

4. Add water, season with salt, pepper & creole seasoning

5. Bring to a boil over medium heat

6. Skim off foam that rises to the top; may have to skim 2 or 3 times

7. Partially cover and simmer for 2 hours

8. When soup is finished, remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.

9. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in blender. With the pulse function, chop the veggies to very small pieces. Add back into broth.

10. When chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove skin and bones and return meat to soup.

11. Notes: Soup is best when served the next day. Refrigerate and remove fat that collects at the top. Serve soup with small stubby pasta such as ditalini. Add freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

This makes a lot, so be prepared to eat if for every meal for the next week, have a lot of people over or freeze some.



Friday, September 25, 2009

You know what I'm horrible at. . .

Thank you cards.


I'm embarrassed by my inability to get the silly things out the door.

I think about them a ton. I have even purchased cards this time around to send notes out from Little Sister's party. But now I can't find them.

This time I have an excuse—we started painting floors and rearranging EVERYTHING the day after the party so home life has been insanely chaotic. But really, that's just an excuse.

I'm so grateful for all the things are family and friends do for us. It's so lame of me not to be able to follow through and tell them that! Plus I spend so much time planning the party or event, why can't I keep it together long enough to send out a thank you card???

While this is NOT a replacement for a thank you card, I do want you to know that if you did give Little Sister a birthday present: We love the gift & we love you! We are truly blessed to have you in our lives. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Now I'll try to find, write and mail those cards this weekend. . .


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shiny (& completed!!!) Floors

This weekend I was able to finally get to painting the girls' floor—sanding, priming, painting and putting down a couple coats of poly.


This means that everything from there room has been residing in our living room. AHHHH!!! They have too much stuff!

But tonight, they will be moving back up to their room as the floors are now finished and cured!!! You have no idea how excited I am!


I love them too! I was a little nervous about the whole thing going in, but the results are amazing. So shiny and bright.

Now the BIG QUESTION is: How long will they stay that way?


Our checklist for the house is slowly getting ticked off. . .I might not be embarrassed to show photos of it soon! Nate—the construction project manager that he is—has worked out a schedule for us and has us set to finish in February. . .stay tuned to see if we make it!! Haha!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Picture day & New dresses

Today is picture day at school for the girls and I wanted them to wear the dresses I made for them.

One problem.

Big Sister's dress still lacked button holes and I lacked the equipment to complete them.

What's a girl to do?

Go to Target, buy a sewing machine, carefully note how it was packaged, sew the button hole, repackage the machine and return the thing the next day. Maybe not the most correct thing to do, but sometimes you just have to get things done!! (And Jenny, thanks for you're offer and I may take you up on it sometime between now and when I get my new machine, but I just didn't have time to make it to your house!!)


Turned out pretty cute! I've made a few adjustments from the last dress and we'll give this one a few wears before I call the design complete.


I made the skirt even fuller, because really, there is no such thing as a too-full skirt. As a child I was a firm believer that dresses were for twirling and if the skirt didn't fly up properly then the dress was pretty worthless. So basically, I'm trying to fulfill my childhood dreams of the perfect dress. Hopefully, the Sisters and little girls everywhere will appreciate my efforts!!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Such a bad Mom. . .

This morning could have been the easiest of all mornings.


It's pajama day at school.

The good Moms all woke their kids up, changed diapers and had potty time with their toddlers, put their shoes on and headed out the door. (Breakfast is served at school)


Well, I forgot it's pajama day. So I had to hunt down pants, convince Big Sister to wear her dress, track down shoes that we had in our hands 5 minutes earlier, and because all of this took so long, figure out something for them to eat for breakfast as we had missed breakfast at school. Then we got to school and Big Sister is one of a very small handful in her class that are fully dressed (at least I'm not the only bad Mom).

So I feel like I've let me kid down, hope she doesn't notice and won't feel left out AND could have had a breeze of a morning.


Will I ever get it together?


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rain, rain. . .

I love it when it rains. . .

There is too much of a good thing of course, but generally speaking I have to smile a little when I hear it pitter-pattering on my windows.

For me, it's permission to slow down & ponder. To enjoy simple things like a warm blanket, a cup of coffee and a good book or jumping in puddles with little girls as they scream in delight.

And lucky me! I don't work in a multi-level office building. I work in a converted warehouse, so I get to enjoy the rhythm of the rain all day. (Not quite as good as the book & blanket thing, but not too shabby way to spend your day either)

Hope you find time to dance in the rain today.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Meet Sullivan

This weekend was supposed to be filled with prepping floors, priming and painting.

Instead, we got a dog.


The plan was to get him next weekend, but Saturday morning, we got a call from the breeder saying that she was leaving town and if we wanted him to come and get him.

So Nate made an impromptu 8 or 9 hour trip and brought us this little fuzz-ball.
His name is Sullivan, but he will probably never get called that. Just Sully, unless he's in trouble.
So far, so good though. This guy came to us potty trained!!! How often does that happen? (never, just so you know)
He's not 100%—he is a baby after all, but he gets what he's supposed to do and as long as you give him the opportunity to pee outside, he won't pee inside.


And he's pretty chill. Likes to play, but doesn't go crazy if you're not able to play. He goes to sleep instead. I like that in a dog. Big change from the 2 Boxers we had before. (I love Boxers by the way, but we just don't have the time for that high energy of a dog these days)


The girls LOVE him too. The first night he was here Big Sister kept getting out of bed and going to her sleeping Daddy and whispering "Daddy, where's Sully?" "He's asleep" (Then Sully would hear them and start whining) "Doggy Awake!!"

Too cute, all around.


*******Seems I forgot to mention, Sully is a Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrior. Think Sandy on Little Orphan Annie. ********

Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm stuck

During the week leading up to Little Sister's Birthday festivities, my sewing machine died.


No hope.

It was cheap, I got it at Target. It's internal parts were made of plastic, so really what did I expect. It was a good machine for me while it lasted though. (Mainly because it was cheap :) )

So in the meantime, I'm borrowing an older machine from my Mother-in-law who is the maven of finding amazing thrift store deals. The machine I'm using is a Brother MV757 that she picked up for $15.
I really don't know how she does it! I never find anything when I hit thrift stores.

Anyway, the machine works great! I almost wouldn't mind keeping it in fact. There's just this one little thing.

I can't get it to make nice button holes.

I've messed with the tension and stitch length, etc, but just can't get it sorted. So I have a dress all done for Big Sister that she can't wear because it needs button holes for the straps.


(it's really cute too! So I'd really like for her to wear it.)

So until I get a new machine I'm really not sure what to do. And no idea when I'll be getting a new machine. Maybe I'll just keep sewing and anything that needs a button hole will sit on a pile waiting for the new machine.

Or maybe I can convince my husband that I really need one now. . .and a serger while we're at it. . .


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And you think your morning was bad. . .

This morning was a bit. . .trying.

Last night I didn't sleep even though I was in bed, lights off at 11:30 (as I mentioned in the previous post). So I'm tired. And I don't feel too great. Scratchy throat.

Getting the girls into the car was not as easy and seamless as I'd like it to be. Big Sister climbed into the driver seat while I was putting Little Sis into her car seat. No big deal, right? Well, she was honking the horn incessantly. Neighbors were coming to their doors to see what was going on.

At daycare, both girls cried when I left which isn't normal.

Then I got to work. I grabbed my purse and thought, hmm. . .I should have something else.

I had left it on the roof of my car. . . .might it still be there??

Of course not.

So I'm freaking out a little bit. I mean, what are you supposed to tell your boss when something like this happens?

So I'm praying that in some crazy miraculous turn of events I'll find it safely sitting in the grass next to my drive way.

I didn't.

So I start to retrace my drive back to work. At this point, I'm just hoping to find the stupid machine. As I'm turning onto the on-ramp Briley Parkway I see it, laying in the middle of the road. I quickly pull over, rush out into traffic—OK, not really but it sounds better—and pick up the laptop in it's bag. I can already tell the bag has some holes in it, but overall, it doesn't look too awful.

I open it up and to find this:

All four corners were smashed up and it kept trying to eject an imaginary disc, but it still works even though I can't open it all the way. Whew! (sort of. . .)

My IT guy said he's going to get me a new one with a briefcase and handcuff attachment. And maybe ratchet straps to tie it down to the top of my car.

So I guess, it's turned out OK. I'm not fired. People are laughing. And I have a new haircut.

(although if you get a new haircut, I do advice that you don't do something that trumps the haircut—unless you don't want all the attention a new haircut brings.)

Hope your morning is going well!!


Thanks for all your help

Thank you to all of you who weighed in on the logo/name stuff. It may not be customary to give you such options, but as I am created this business (someday) for you (and me. . .) I figure I might as well hear what you have to say on the matter.

You gave me more to think about and brought up issues I've already thought through, as well. In the end, I'm confident with my choice (for now at least!! We'll see how I feel in a few months!) and am sticking with my original design with Grey & Reese. Hopefully, that was the one you liked.

If not, well, I hope you're not too disappointed and will soon be won over by the amazing dresses themselves! Besides, I'm the design professional—or so says the degree sitting in my filing cabinet. :) Perhaps I should do something else with that. . .Hang it on the wall? Seems so. . .boring. Very un-designery. (I'm completely making up words here—that's what happens at 2:30 in the morning!!)

Yes, I'm blogging at 2:30 in the morning. Can't sleep and was up with Big Sister just a little bit ago as well. She has taken to pulling off her used pull-ups when she soils them at night and then sometimes soils the bed as well . . .had to get new sheets.

Daytime potty training was easy, but this nighttime stuff is beyond me!! Ideas?


Sunday, September 6, 2009

You Pick

OK, OK, OK—Maybe you won't actually pick. But you will greatly influence which one I pick. (and maybe we'll both pick the same one!)

Afterall, it is because of your comments that I'm even showing you another round, so your opinion does matter!!

I took into consideration some of the things that were said either on here, or on Facebook, and thought I'd look at the logo again to see if it works to reverse the order of the names. To be honest, I don't care. One doesn't sound incredibly better to me than the other. What's more important to me is the way they look on the page. I guess that's why I'm a designer and not a writer!!

So once again, here's Grey & Reese:

and newly crafted, Reese & Grey:
Reese & Grey_Final

So let me know which one you like better. . .and why. Why always helps.


Friday, September 4, 2009

I need your help

I've been working on a little something. . .OK, potentially a big something.
For me anyway.

See, I'd like to start my own business. I want to design and make fun, bold, whimsical dresses (perfect for twirling!!) and clothing for your little girls. Right now it is in the very infant stages. . .mostly in my head. But that's the way I work. I've been mulling and planning for awhile. And now, I'm taking baby steps.

This is where you come in.

I'm working on a logo. I mean after all, you can't have a business without a logo!!! I was wondering if you could give me some feedback and tell me what you think of it at this point. Love it? Hate it? Could care less?


Oh, and the name. That's the sister's middle names. Charlie Reese & Peyton Grey. I love making dresses for my two little munchkins and seeing them happily twirling (well, just Charlie for now. we'll give Peyton just a little more time.) in the dresses I created just for them.

I hope to give that to your girls as well. And make them incredibly cute in the process!!!!

I've been designing clothing my whole life. To some degree. . .

When I was a little girl I made dresses out of socks for my Barbie dolls. In junior high and high school I designed books and books of ice skating costumes and wedding dresses—and then gave them to classmates to color. I've been sewing since my Grandma taught me when I was about 12. And I rarely use patterns or stick to them when I do.

Granted, at this point you might be thinking "I really haven't seen to many children's dresses on this blog" and you're right. And you might not for awhile. I sort of have this house to finish remodeling and a full time job and such. But you will see more. And one day you just might find yourself buying a dress for your little one from me.

I hope that day comes sooner rather than later!!

But please let me know what you think of the logo. Even if you've never left a comment before, I'd love to hear your opinion.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Yellow Birthday Party—eat cake

I made Peyton her very own little yellow cake. Not as elaborate as I had originally planned, but I excepted defeat early on the mini-bee cake and realized I just didn't have the correct supplies to pull if off.

Really, you should be proud of me. I don't usually take this route. Normally, I would forge on, stress out, cry, stress out everyone around me, and then realize there was no hope. So see, progress.

IMG_6743 copy_1_1

But actually, I really like the simply yellow cake. So sometimes it works out.

Now of course, the VERY first thing a one year old is going to do when you put a cake with a lit candle in front of her is try and grab the flame.


Luckily Papa was to the rescue!

However, after the collective gasp/scream from the spectators, Little Sister was feeling a little uneasy about the whole thing!


But she did warm up to it.


Big Sister helped with the candle.

(I think she likes it!)

I wish I was allowed to eat cake with such abandon! Oh well, I guess I had my chance almost 30 years ago. . .


Yellow Birthday Party —The guests

For this sunny affair, I imposed a dress code. You had to wear yellow. And surprisingly, everyone did!! (Yes, I had my doubts!!) I even had to purchase a shirt to follow my own rules. But I think that it was a lot of fun and hope that our guests agree!

You can decide for yourself:

The birthday girl in all her yellow splendor. Notice the matching yellow bruise on her forehead? Proof that she is just mastering walking—but not yet fully!

My Mom (YiaYia to the Sisters) and Grandma—the force behind the party. I planned, they implemented. Wouldn't have gotten everything done without them! Or I wouldn't have slept. . .or both!






(I think if you look around at the other pictures you can guess who this little man belongs to!)


Somehow, the silly felt bow tie worked for him . . .



Aww. . .Sweet cousins.

I had considered setting up a "photo booth" but then thought that no one would really get into it. And while I'm glad I didn't get too crazy with that I idea, I do regret not getting photos of everyone. I thought I'd manage to catch each person somewhere in my candid shots, but that was not the case.

What I wish I would have done, and will probably start doing, is set aside an area to take pictures that is decorated in some manner that goes with the theme. Then either take family pictures or random group shots to be sure that I don't miss anyone. I don't want it to be formal, but I am regretting that I don't see myself or Nate, Papa Rob, Aunt Kristin or Jenny in any of these photos but they were such a big part of the day.

If there were only a way to go back . . .

So, would you have worn yellow?


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yellow Birthday Party; pt. 1

Peyton had her first birthday this past Saturday. I can't believe it, but it's true. My baby isn't so much of a baby anymore. (You saw her shoes, right?) To celebrate, I thought I would keep it simple and go with an easy theme like a color. After all, she's one, right?

Well, sort of.

I went a little all-out.









I have 4 of these frames and there was supposed to be pictures of Peyton in them. . .but the Snapfish to Walgreen's 1 hour photo service took 4 days instead. (I don't recommend SnapFish) Not happy, but I think they still look cute.

More to come!!!



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