Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Have a spooky, eerie, scary (and most importantly, safe!) HALLOWEEN!!!

If you're looking for a last-minute Halloween treat, I made this cake last night and it turned out pretty cute (even though the picture doesn't show that very well, haha).

All I did was make a cake out of chocolate cake mix and covered it with chocolate frosting. The tombstones are Hershey's tombstone-shaped cookies-and-cream candy. I used green sprinkles as grass to kinda make it look like freshly dug graves. (This looks better with less tombstones, but I made this particular one for hubby's work so wanted to make enough individual pieces.) If you have Oreo cookies or something like that lying around you could crumble those up and put beneath the tombstones to make it look like freshly turned up dirt. Anyway, it was a super quick and easy last minute dessert!

Tonight will be the first time we take Baby Girl out trick-or-treating. She was 1 month old last Halloween so we just stayed home. Have fun tonight!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Book Fan Friday

The weekend is almost here! And that means Halloween is tomorrow! I didn't have a Halloween themed book to read to Baby Girl but I made it work. She just got a new book the other day. Blue's Clues A Visit to the Firehouse by Lauryn Silverhardt.

I've always thought Blue's Clues was one of the cutest children's programs. Baby Girl has a DVD (we don't have Noggin' or anything here that plays it) and now this book. It teaches kids about what a fireman does. It is a little advanced for Baby Girl, of course, but she loves the pictures (she really likes Blue's Clues) and I know she'll like it more and more as she gets older. And I never knew Blue had a brother, so we both learned something. lol

Since this book had nothing to do with Halloween, I got online and looked for a picture for her to color. She just started actually coloring instead of trying to eat the crayons. :) It is very exciting to watch her scribble. I got down on the floor and colored with her. She would hand me different colors to use and she'd change her crayon all the time. It was too sweet.

You're darn right it's up on our fridge right now. :) I'm so proud of all those little scribbles. We colored for a little while until she felt the picture was done and crawled away.

As always, if you have found a great book, children's or otherwise, I would love to see what it is and what you thought about it! I will leave the link-up open all week so feel free to join in at any time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Getting in the Halloween "Spirit"! (Get it? Spirit? *ahem* Moving On...)

I'm finally starting to feel like Halloween is near! We were so busy this month with our trip back to the states and all that we didn't do much to get ready. But just in the past couple of days we did some decorating and some baking. Monday I baked some sugar cookies, cut them out into spooky shapes, dusted them with purple sprinkles, and used some chocolate chips (regular for the pumpkins and ghosts and mini chips for the cats and bats). They were really good and hubby took some to work. I hear they all liked them, too.

I am also going to be baking another Halloween treat tomorrow, so stay tuned for pictures of that. :)

While we were in the states I got some spiced pecan and pumpkin pancake mix from Williams Sonoma and was so excited to try it out. I made them this morning and they were really super good. Baby Girl liked them, too. I would have saved them for Halloween morning, but hubby works the mornings all weekend, so this morning had to do. I wasn't too sad that I didn't have to wait a few more days. :) Next time you wander by a Williams Sonoma I really recommend grabbing a can of this mix. We got similar pumpkin bread mix, too, but we're going to save that for Thanksgiving. I could spend a fortune in that store, but anyway...

We bought four pumpkins for Halloween this year. Two stayed just pumpkins and two were transformed!

I saw this next idea over at Living Locurto. She has awesome ideas so definitely check out the rest of her site, too. I turned a small pumpkin into a vampire bat!

I traced some wings onto cardboard and black construction paper, glued them together, and glued that onto the back of my pumpkin. Some googly eyes (my craft item of choice at the moment) and a black Sharpie mouth later and voila! A cute little vampire bat.

We carved our first jack-o-lantern as a couple this year! Only took us 4 years. :) We found a stencil book that gives you two stencils per pumpkin. The back carving casts a shadow onto the wall and it just looks really cool. We chose the rats with a cat shadow. I am so excited about it.

I will be taking pictures of the front of our house on Halloween night and will definitely share those, too!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Baby Girl won "Cutest Costume" at the Fall Festival this past Saturday!

For more Wordless Wednesday, please visit 5 Minutes For Mom.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Ramblings

When you first become a mom, those who have already had kids tell you to enjoy these moments now because they'll just grow up way too quickly and before you know it, they'll be running around and talking back. :) I've always heard people tell other people that (and then me when I got pregnant) but for some reason it doesn't really hit you until your precious baby starts hitting their milestones.

Baby Girl was born with (very mild) hip displasia so she had to wear a brace for the first few months of her life and then for a few months after that she had to wear a nightly brace. I think all this caused her to get used to just staying on her back and she didn't really roll over ever. She could, she just was content on her back. Many times I would worry and just wish she would start rolling over because, well, isn't that what babies are supposed to do? I even brought it up to the pediatrician and he assured me that since she is crawling, cruising, walking while holding onto our hands, she is doing just fine. She just doesn't really care about rolling over. Okay, well, that made me feel better.

While we were in the states, we let Baby Girl crawl around on the hotel bed, but wouldn't put her down on the floor (let her crawl around on a NavyLodge hotel floor? No thank you!). We let her crawl around at the Disney hotel room because, well, I'm sure it's cleaner and we couldn't just not let her roam around for a whole week. Gross, I know, but oh well. Moving on....

She would roll over all the time on the beds because there was more give and she could grab the blankets and pull herself over. Well, I guess that helped her really realize that rolling over gets her what she wants quicker than waiting for us. That's all well and good, and I know I wanted that, but now she rolls over and pulls herself up in her crib all the time even when she's super tired. I know most kids do this way before they are 1, but like I said I think she was just so used to being stuck in her brace on her back for at least half of her life she was just fine staying that way. I was excited for her until she started doing it at bedtime and not going to sleep. And then waking up at 5am, still sleepy, but can't fall back asleep because she has pulled herself up.

But you know what? I may not like waking up to a little girl who is so cranky because she wants to sleep but thinks rolling over and standing up is the coolest thing ever, but walking into her room and seeing her standing there as she raises her arms up for mama to pick her up is just the sweetest thing ever. It warms my heart and you bet I am going to cherish these moments and enjoy every minute.

What sweet family moment has come your way recently?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - Halloween

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

I was pretty darned excited about this week's MTM theme ~ HALLOWEEN!!! I didn't go all out like I would have liked to. I'm still doing the last little bit of laundry and unpacking from our trip, Baby Girl is trying to get back on a good schedule (which she seems to be doing pretty quickly, thankfully!), and I'm kinda worn out. haha I'm also hoping that I can find some cute Halloween tins and accessories on sale after Halloween day. I love doing that.... buying decorations for any occasion when they are on sale and use them the following year. Anyway, you came for MTM, not random ramblings of a tired (and putting off laundry as long as possible) mama! :)

This week Baby Girl had a ooey, gooey, spooky pb&j bat, pumpkin and pear witch's stew (baby food - which I'm starting to give her less and less of but we're finishing up the rest of what's in the cupboard), ghost juice (milk), and a last minute addition of baby ghosts (mini marshmallows - totally stole the idea from my friend over at Momma's Playground!).

Go check out all the really cool tins that others did for this Fall Harvest/Halloween theme over at Her Cup Overfloweth. And please go vote for Baby Girl as The Cutest Fall Baby of 2009 over at Mama's Notes (she is picture #1).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My First Award! Wow!

When I came back from vacation, I learned that this blog had received its first award! How exciting! Thank you so much to Julia from Everyday Mom Ideas.

Now, the rules to accept the award are simple:
1.) Post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.
2.) Pass the award to 5 other blogs that you have recently discovered and think are great!
3.) Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

It was hard to pick just 5 great blogs to give this award to! But the following 5 fabulous blogs always give me inspiration to do something fun and creative. I definitely recommend stopping by and checking them out. Congrats to...

Momma's Playground
It's A Good Day
Making the Most of Being at Home

Living with Fairies

Cupcakes Kisses 'n' Crumbs

Friday, October 23, 2009

Book Fan Friday

Hello! I may be off spending time with my hubby and Baby Girl, but I made sure to write up a Book Fan Friday post before I left so we could still keep up with what everyone is reading this week. In the spirit of going to Disney World, I read Baby Girl another book from the Enchanted Moments series. Since we are going to go see Cinderella's Castle, I felt the perfect story would be Cinderella.

A wonderful story that I have always absolutely loved. :) I always get excited to share with Baby Girl different stories and characters that I loved as a child (and still love!).

As always, if you have found a great book, children's or otherwise, I would love to see what it is and what you thought about it! I will leave the link-up open all week so feel free to join in at any time.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Cards

I've seen quite a few sites that show putting paint on your child's hands and putting handprints on a pumpkin to make it look like a spider. Well, craft paint isn't sold on island but I thought the spiders were just too cute. I love finding new crafts to do with Baby Girl. So I figured I could use paper and make Halloween cards to send to family instead!

First I traced Baby Girl's cute little hand (minus the thumb) on black construction paper and cut it out.

Then I used that as my stencil and made a whole bunch of them!

Then just take two of them and overlap the palms. Tape/glue/whatever them together. I used photo squares because, well, that's what I had lying around and they are quicker than glue. :)

Put some googly eyes on them and you have a cute little spider!

I put them on a plain white card (again, just worked with what I had) and wrote "The itsy, bitsy spider crawled up the water spout..." On the inside it says "... to wish you a Happy Halloween!"

I also made an extra spider that we can use to decorate from year to year and I plan on adding a new spider each year to show how much she's grown. I'm not sure how I'm going to display them yet, though.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - No Theme

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Happy Monday! At first I really wanted to do a Disney theme this week since there is no theme for MTM. But then I thought to myself... I said, self, you are about to go to WDW where there is a whole Disney kitchen store! So I decided that next no theme week will be Disney themed in our household after I've had a chance to get stuff like Disney cookie cutters, Mickey-shaped pasta, and probably a bunch of other stuff (kitchen-related and non-kitchen related) that I don't need but at the moment I won't be able to imagine how I will live my life without it. I get like that sometimes in certain stores. :)

Anyway, so today is "cleaning out the fridge day!" Hubby and I had already designated today as that when we were planning our meals (which we at least try to do before we go grocery shopping) since we are getting on the plane tomorrow. So Baby Girl's muffin tin consists of leftovers. Exciting, huh? I put some of her leftover spaghetti and leftover sweet potatoes in some muffin liners (less dishes!) and that was her lunch. I didn't take a picture because, well, baby food looks gross. haha

Head on over to Her Cup Overfloweth to see what others did for MTM this week.

I will be gone, but I have a couple things set up to post this week. A craft on Wednesday and Book Fan Friday on, well, Friday! Have a fabulous week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mouse-Keeping Envelopes

I was feeling a little crafty and definitely was in the Disney mood so I decided to decorate a couple of envelopes to put Mouse-keeping's (housekeeping) tips in so they know it is for them and not just money we left sitting out for some reason. We have so much going on these next few days on TOP of getting ready for the trip so they aren't the "end all, be all" of cute envelopes, but I like them. :)

The first one I made was Mickey and his colors (red & yellow):

And the other one was Donald and his colors (blue & red):

I would have loved to print it right onto the envelope, but I was really in a hurry so just printed the images and cut and paste, so to speak. But we like them, hope the Mouse-keepers like them, and they are waiting in our travel folder to be used in just a few short days!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kohl's Cares For Kids - Great Deal on Books

My friend over at Momma's Playground posted about Kohl's Cares For Kids and I had to let you know about it, too!

So Kohl's is selling 4 books from the wonderful If You Give... series written by Laura Numeroff for $5 each.

Awesome deal! I've featured two of her books for Book Fan Friday before. We love this series. There are also 4 plush toys (that match the main character in each book) for $5 each. 100% of the net profit received from purchases of Kohl's Cares For Kids items is donated to supporting children's heath and education initiatives. How cool!

I ordered each book and two of the plush toys for Baby Girl. I was tempted to go ahead and buy the other two plush toys as well, but maybe I'll grab them up a little later. This promotion is going through the end of the year, so it's perfect for Christmas time! And what's better than giving some great classic children's books? Knowing that the money goes to a wonderful cause. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Book Fan Friday

Happy Friday everyone! This week we are super busy getting ready for our trip off island so I had to make our library trip pretty short. I grabbed the first book that caught my eye. I picked up Nonsense by Sally Kahler Phillips.

It has wonderfully colorful illustrations that really kept Baby Girl's attention. She loved pointing to everything and just telling me her own little story. :) I'm looking forward to her learning more and more words so I can find out what is going on in that mind of hers! The story ends with a great message about being proud of who you are and not listening to those who may say you aren't good enough.

As always, if you have found a great book, children's or otherwise, I would love to see what it is and what you thought about it! I will leave the link-up open all week so feel free to join in at any time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What a FABULOUS morning!

*sigh* I am a lucky woman. This morning has been absolutely perfect. Baby Girl slept in until 7am! Trust me, that is pretty good for a girl who likes to wake me up between 6 and 6:30 every morning. My own internal clock actually woke me up for the first time in a very long time. It felt good to be able to at least go to the restroom before changing and feeding a one-year-old.

Now she's been playing and having fun and every now and then taking a break to come over and give me a hug and kiss. How sweet is that?

On top of all that, the weather in Lake Buena Vista and crowd reports for WDW during the time we will be there are predicted to be absolutely perfect. All of the above is what perfect days are made of. :)

What special family moments have come your way recently?

** Right after I wrote this I found out my dad will be losing his job due to lack of work/loss of business. Please pray for him. We know that God has something even better planned for him! Thank you. **

Monday, October 12, 2009

Getting Ready For DisneyWorld!

We are going to DisneyWorld very soon. Since the promotion this year is "What Will You Celebrate?" they asked over the phone and I said that we are celebrating Baby Girl's 1st birthday. I wanted to make her a super cute t-shirt but 2 things were standing in my way... 1) I wasn't sure the NEX would sell something like iron transfer paper and 2) I am not yet very proficient with PhotoShop or any program like that. I say yet because I would love to get better at it. The next time I have a little extra time (probably after the holidays! haha) I would love messing around with designing more. I also took a trip to the NEX and, lo and behold, they had some iron transfer paper! Shock, surprise, but mostly, YAY!

Anyway, so instead of making just a simple little thing that I may or may not have liked, I went on the DIS Discussion Boards. Namely the Creative DISigns forum. The people on that forum create some incredible stuff! I found one person that I knew could make something perfect for Baby Girl so I decided to make a request. I am so glad I did! Here is what she made:

On the top it says "The only place for a princess to turn 1!" I printed it out right away and ironed it onto a plain pink onesie that was hanging in Baby Girl's closet. It turned out ridiculously perfect! Hubby and I LOVE it and I can't wait to see her in it in 9 days! :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Book Fan Friday

Happy Friday! Quite awhile ago we started making plans to take another vacation to Walt Disney World. This week we have started planning more of the details and getting psyched up for the trip. So this week I decided to start reading Baby Girl some of the Disney books we have. Keeping in the theme of yesterday's post, I read her The Little Mermaid.

This particular book is part of the Enchanted Moments collection that includes books with the stories of Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. What's really cool about this collection is when you put them next to each other in order, there is a picture of Cinderella's Castle on the binding. A definite must-have if you, uh, I mean your little one is a Disney princess fan. :)

As always, if you have found a great book, children's or otherwise, I would love to see what it is and what you thought about it! I will leave the link-up open all week so feel free to join in at any time.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Life Is The Bubbles

Okay, well, I have a confession to make. There is a little secret about me.... I'm obsessed with Disney. Whew, glad to have that off my chest! I made the same revelation on my family blog but no one was surprised at all. Hmmm, I guess I don't really keep it hidden. :) Anyway, I think my obsession rubs off on my family.

So who is familiar with The Little Mermaid? A show of hands? Okay, good, then get ready to have a couple of songs stuck in your head for awhile. Anyway, so there is a song in the movie called "Les Poissons" (means "the fishes" in French). Hubby had put croissants in the oven to go with dinner and he started singing "les.... croi.... ssants, les croissants, how I love les croissants" so I immediately had to watch The Little Mermaid! (He always finds a way to make me love him even more than I already do.) So anyway, we put it on and Baby Girl crawled over to the computer and started watching it. She started dancing, laughing, and clapping when "Under the Sea" came on. It was too cute and just reminded me what a sweet little family I have! What precious moments have occurred for you lately?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Toffee Bit Cookies

Last night my hubby asked if I would make some cookies for the class that he's teaching today. I said well, of course I will! So I ran off a list of different chips and stuff we have and we decided on toffee bit cookies. I just used my basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and put in Heath chocolate toffee bits instead of just chocolate.

Hubby is an MA in the Navy and today is teaching a DUI class to teach other MA's how to administer all those field sobriety tests and whatnot. So I came up with the idea to pipe on some chocolate "drunk" faces. He loved the idea so we both sketched some faces. I tried a few different ones on some cookies, but none really looked right. But this is what I did:

I thought they turned out pretty cute! And they were very yummy. I'm hoping all the people at the class will like them, too!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday - All About Me!

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

Welcome to a new week! This week's MTM theme is All About Me... well, all about Baby Girl. I have been having more and more fun coming up with her muffin tins. Usually she has a breakfast tin, but we were super busy this morning so she got a lunch tin!

I made some food picks to spell out "Ashlyn." Then she got two tins of "A"pples (A for Ashlyn!), two tins of goldfish (one of her favorites and she's, usually, a smiley little girl), and two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the shape of Cuba (she was born on the naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba). This was the first time she has had pb&j sandwiches and she LOVED it! Her Daddy cut them out and they turned out super cute. He's such a good Daddy and hubby. :)

To see what others made for MTM, head on over to Her Cup Overfloweth.

Super Cute Halloween Craft

I have another cute Halloween project for all of you! This one is from Amanda's blog over at Funny Days with Mommy and Maddie. These Halloween felt puppets are so cute and what makes them even better is I feel like they aren't completely beyond my crafting ability. Have you ever gotten frustrated by crafts that look really nice but you just know you would completely screw it up and give up before you even try? Hmmm, maybe that's just me. But Amanda makes these seem super easy and just look at how happy her daughter looks with them! :)

I am totally ordering some felt online (or grabbing up some next time I'm in the states) and making these for Baby Girl!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday Picture Surprise

This week's random picture is from December 2007, picture # 62.

This picture was taken in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Christmas Eve. Yep, we are able to go swimming in the ocean on Christmas Eve around here. The weather is absolutely perfect during the winter time. It will be weird living somewhere else in a couple of years where we might actually be chilly!!

Check out what others were taking pictures of in December 2007 at From Pigpen To Paradise.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Book Fan Friday

Happy Friday! This week I wanted to read Baby Girl one of my favorite stories from when I was a kid. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

The book I have has this story as well as a few others like Pinocchio and Thumbelina. I really want to get a book that is just The Velveteen Rabbit and has more illustrations eventually. Maybe on our next trip back to the states. :) It is a beautiful story about a toy bunny who becomes real because his boy loved him so much. I read it to Baby Girl for the first time when she was probably a few weeks old and both hubby and I teared up.

Please visit my Amazon store to purchase this or any other books featured on Book Fan Friday! And if you have found a great book, children's or otherwise, I would love to see what it is and what you thought about it! I will leave the link-up open all week so feel free to join in at any time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mini Pumpkin Pies

In my last post I mentioned wanting to make the way too cute mini pumpkin pies on Bakerella's website. It was so easy and so good! I didn't use the pie recipe she has up, though. We had some leftover evaporated milk from a quiche we made for dinner the other night and we wanted to go ahead and use it up (waste not, want not!) so we just picked up some pumpkin pie mix and went even simpler. I really want to try out her recipe one day, though.

I wasn't sure whether or not to do the little chocolate faces at first. I knew they were just too adorable, but I didn't know if hubby and I would like the chocolate on it. But I couldn't not try it out, right? It is definitely not enough chocolate to even taste. It just makes them look even more irresistible! We absolutely love them and can't wait to share them with friends!

Halloween is Coming Fast!

I can't believe it is October already! Hubby and I are going to be starting to decorate today. I'm so excited to get everything out of storage! We also have some leftover evaporated milk so I am going to be making some mini pumpkin pies, as seen on Bakerella (and if you've been around my blog at all, you know I just adore the things she makes!), to get us in the Halloween mood! I'm going to be switching my blog to a Halloween theme, also, and will feature lots of Halloween crafts I do or see around the internet. So please pardon any construction you may see. :)