Nov 28, 2011

Family Gift Swap - Baltimore, MD - November 2011

I can't believe I'm already thinking about Christmas gifts.  reason number one is that it's in the 60's out side and I didn't even wear a coat today.  Reason number two is, if it's almost Christmas than I have less than 3 months till we meet this sweet baby! Yay!

After doing the family Christmas crazy dance last year, my siblings and I chattered about potentially doing a name swap this year so that we could concentrate more on the season rather than the mad dash to be sure you'd gotten everyone a gift.  So a few weeks ago I reintroduced the idea and everyone was still game to give it a go, so I volunteered to organize.

First off, I found this website which made it super easy to randomly generate the swap.  It allows you to set exceptions so that you don't draw your spouse or the same person you drew last year.

Second, I wanted to find a cute way to let my family know who they'd drawn. Yes, e-mail is "easy" but a cute card in the mail is WAY more fun!!!

I got these great "I Am Thankful For" cards from this Jones Design Company post.  This isn't how she used the cards, but I thought they were perfect for what I'm calling "Swap Cards".

I found these colorful blank cards at Target and stuck the "thankfulness" cards to the blank cards 
This is the finished product. 
(NOTE: The lower "eat-drink-be merry" card was from this JDC Free Christmas goodies post and I used it to communicate the "swap" details.)

I sent them to each family member with instructions to include the card with a message when they gave their gift.  This may sound silly to some, but this year more than ever I'm really feeling the need to stay connected to my family as we aren't going to be able to return to Tennessee for Christmas and both of my younger siblings could very likely be deployed fighting for our country next Christmas.

It was my goal to make it as easy as possible for each of us to know how much we are loved and to know that each of us hold a VERY special place in our family.
I miss and love them like crazy!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage

Nov 21, 2011

A Ponytail FINALLY!!! - Baltimore, MD - November 2011

I was mentioning to the Hub last night while playing with the Monkey's hair that I really thought it might FINALLY be long enough for a ponytail. I don't quite remember what his response was, but I'm sure it was something like,  "okay?".

Anyway, this morning, at her first peep, I rushed into her room, scooped her up and said something like "guess what today is? It's your FIRST PONYTAIL DAY!!!"

I must say, by far, I was the most excited about this milestone... 
Is this not the cutest, tiniest, little ponytail you've ever seen!

(NOTE TO READER: Those cute barrettes came out just after I took the pictures, as they're small enough to end up in her mouth, which I'm SURE would be the first place they'd go.)

I've been asked by SEVERAL people how I keep her still long enough to fix her hair?
That would be... iPhone Bribery! =)  Just kidding!

The truth is for the most part she sits pretty still and "reads" books, but as I said in my pig tail post, this has been  a bit of a process and my suggestion to mama's of little girls is, "START EARLY"!!!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Nov 15, 2011

A Thanksgiving Craft C/O JDC Monthly - Baltimore, MD - November 2011

I joined JDC Monthly's printables a couple of months ago and have really enjoyed the cute calendars and note cards.  Another fun part is that she does a really cute DIY craft each month.  The first month she made her own envelopes.  Mine didn't turn out nearly as cute as hers.  The corners were all wonky  and none of my lines were straight (probably because I can't make a straight line to save my life) but I'm sure I just need more practice.

Each month generally has a theme, and this month had a hint of Thanksgiving.  I LOVED how cute it turned out in her house, so I decided to give it  a whirl.

So, after last year's whirl wind of putting up and taking down Christmas decorations with an infant under foot and only really getting to enjoy them for a few weeks, i decided that this year I'd start decorating after Halloween.  By doing this, our home would look festive and beautiful all the way through the holiday season.  So I started with our fireplace.

Before craft: This garland came from Sams Club last year and the "PEACE" letters were an after Christmas bargain 5 years ago from HomeGoods
 Craft in progress: I printed and cut out the letters from heavy card stock, then glittered the fronts...
 and backs of each letter.

 I used spray glu and fine glitter.

(I started using a glue stick, but the glitter didn't stick very well at all.)

 After letting everything dry for about an hour I punched two holes in the top of each letter and  threaded some twine through the holes to connect the letters.

FIRST LESSEN LEARNED: I think I'll let the glitter dry a little more if I do this again, because there was a little more glitter lost than I would have liked when I threaded the twine through the holes.

SECOND LESSEN LEARNED: When possible, do all gluing and glittering OUTSIDE!!!  Even after vacuming 3 times there is still glitter in places that I didn't even know existed.

After all the glitter settled, I hung the letters from the hooks that will eventually hold our stockings
Definitely don't needs stockings before Thanksgiving! =)

(And it is note worthy to say that the Hub actually said it looked really good and he REALLY liked it too! YAY!!!)

Another (LESS SPARKLY) Thanksgiving craft coming soon!

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!

Nov 4, 2011

Candy... STAT!!! - Baltimore, MD - October 2011

Last year, for Halloween, even though we didn't go door to door trick-or-treting, I couldn't resist dressing our little monkey up for the occasion.  She had two costumes...

A Monkey...

 I LOVE the tail!

And a Frog!

I LOVE both costumes and she wore them both from when they swallowed her up, until she was literally about to pop out of them.  I can't wait for "Little Sticks" to be able to wear them.  Dressed up babies are too cute!

This year she was a doctor.

When I was little we always went to our church's carnival for Halloween so I've never actually done door to door trick-or-treating, so we were really excited that Daddy was able to join us for our first trick-or-treating adventure!

It was really funny how quickly she caught on to knocking, saying "thank you"...

And then checking her bag for goodies,

She was great at sharing!

When we got home and dumped out the candy she was very cautious about if it all was hers, as I don't think she's ever even seen that much candy all in one place.

Daddy inspected all her candy and after going back and forth between Reese's Pieces and a candy bar, she finally decided that her first Halloween candy treat would be a Hershey's Cookies & Cream mini. 

Our little girl has good taste!  What a fun time!  Who knows what she'll be next year...

Till next time,
Bon Voyage!