Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays '11!!!

It was that time of year again, photo shoot time! It was kind of easier this time, however I still didn't get a super great picture. I'm hoping next year will be THE year I get a good one. Having a 1 year old and 3 year old pose was hard. So I tried to make it fast and painless. Here is our card this year, and some outakes...


Thursday, December 8, 2011

November in Review

I know we're more than a week into Decmeber, but November was a crazy, but fun month for me. I haven't had a month like that in a long time, and it made time go by so fast. I had quite a few things to look forward to like Thanksgiving. However, I also went to the midnight showing of Breaking Dawn Part 1. It's become sort of a tradition. I've been to 3 out of the 4, so far. And you can bet I'll be there at midnight next year. Thankfully, it's my niece (and her friend) who spends hours waiting in line for us. I don't know if I'd be able to do it. Alas, next year will be that last time we'll be waiting 'til midnight :( But the movie was amazing. I read the book to compare and I do have to say, of all the movies, this one was the closest to the book. There were few details left out. It was sooo good that I actually saw it twice in theaters. Something I very rarely do with any movie. I had to see it again. So, if you're holding off on seeing it, don't! It's a good movie!

I also had the chance to see Katy Perry in concert! She had a pretty awesome show. It was the last show of her California Dreams tour, and it ended here in LA. She is no Mariah Carey and no Britney Spears but she can put on a show. It was cute, whimsical, and fun! And, a few days later we celebrated Thanksgiving. That weekend was so much fun. I was out and about the whole week. And my mom's Turkey dinner was delicious! Yum. However, the month of November also brought along some sadness when a very close family member passed away :( She was very sick and in pain but now she is at rest.

So, as you can see it was a crazy packed month, only to be out done by December, possibly. This month is going to fly, and I've already got one of my Christmas gifts! An iPhone 4S. I. Am. In. Love. This thing runs circles around my old Blackberry which was two years old and hanging on by a thread. Seriously. That thing was DONE. Oh, but how I adore my new phone. She's so pretty, and fast! LOVE. Love. love.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

{DIY} Play Kitchen Progess 2

I'm sooo glad I gave myself a few months to complete this project! And now that it's December I can see the end in sight. Thank goodness! I'm done with the main body of the kitchen and now it's on to the details. Which, to me, is the most fun part! I found a fabric that I love, and I've got most of the other little details sorted out. Now to just put them all together. I canNOT wait til this thing is completed! But, for now, here's a sneak peek...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

{DIY} Easy Advent Calendar

This is super duper easy! I really wanted to do an advent calendar this year since Jacob is now aware of Christmas and Santa. I actually wanted a nice advent calendar made of felt or fabric, and I'd found a few, but I didn't have the time to make one. So, I made the next best thing. I found my lovely little advent calendar idea on Pinterest! Are you surprised? However, the blog I found them on had the directions for the calendar in Italian, so I just used her pictures to get an idea. For my calendar, I found a Santa face that I liked (Googled it) and I manipulated it in PSE 9. I enlarged Santa to the size I wanted, and I removed his existing beard. I then made my own U shaped beard and added in the numbers. Now, everyday, starting with December 1st, I'll cut off each corresponding number. And when Santa has no beard left it'll be Christmas!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gobble! Gobble!

I hope everyone has a fab day filled with family, friends, food, and fun! This year, and every year, I'm thankful for my wonderful family and everything that I have. So let us not forget today, and everyday, to be thankful for ALL that we have in our lives.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

{Click, Click} Photography Class

I've always wanted to take a photography class to learn my DSLR, but there was no way in heck I was going to pay more than $100! No, thanks. Well, come in Groupon. Yup, I bought a voucher for a beginner's photography class! And guess what?! It was only $50! (Regularly $130) It was through a vendor I highly respect, and love his work, so I was stoked, kind of. Thing is, the class was kind of far for me. A 40 minute drive, so I put off the class for a while. It took me a good 6 months to finally use it. But I'm so glad I finally did cause I really liked it. I would love to take the next level, but we'll see. Anywho, the class was made up of 8 students. The first hour was spent in studio with a lecture followed by a one hour field trip on location. The location we went to was an old theater. It was fun, but there was a lot of information to remember. The best part was the tips and tricks the instructor taught us. I feel that was more of what I needed. Where as the beginner class, was to learn the buttons of the camera. I know the buttons, and I know what they do, but I need to learn how to use them to get more desirable and interesting pictures. Like I said, I would love to go to another class!

Here are some of my pics...


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bella's 1st Manicure & A Weekend Recap

Over the weekend my niece wanted to paint Isabella's finger nails, but instead, I did it. Actually, what happened was, my niece held Bella while I painted her nails real quick before she could squirm, but I did such a bad job that my niece did them again. However, Isabella was fine with her nails being painted that my niece was able to do a way better job than me. They are a true pink! I think it's sooo cute, but Isabella is a true girly girl. She loves scarfs, purses, and chapstick (no lipstick just yet). And I think she'll love dress-up. I can't wait!

And I haven't done a weekend recap in ages! But I had a very fun weekend. It was a 3 dayer, Friday we stood home just relaxing since it was a cloudy day, and Saturday was our girls' night. I had so much fun, and I haven't laughed like that in a long time. My therapy. It was a small group and we had appetizers to munch on and dessert. Oh, and couldn't forget the wine. Yum. I love Moscato. A very good time was had by all. I can say that with assurance. Finally, Sunday, I attended a photography class, but more on that next time. And it looks like November is turning out to be a fun but busy month for me. Turkey day is around the corner and I can't wait!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

{DIY} Play Kitchen Progress

I've started on the kids' play kitchen! I thought I might lag on it, but I've actually started. I do have to say it's slow going. I've only been working on it one day a week. But luckily, my dad and my hubby have been very helpful. So far, I've taken the drawers out and apart, and my hubby sanded it down for me. My dad help me make the hole for the sink, and now I'm waiting on the faucet. I actually had quite a few to choose from (thanks to my dad), but I want just the right one. It's actually coming from my sister's house. She's changing out a sink faucet and I want the old one! I'm kind of struggling on the colors. I thought I had it but I changed my mind, so I'm going to visit Joann's to see what kind of fabric they have and pull from that. I still have a color scheme in mind, but I hope I can find a fabric that will work. My other problem is that I want it to be unisex, so no flowers, hearts, or pink. But I'm so glad it's coming along. I will keep you updated, and at the end I will do one big summary including cost.

Here it is now...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

This year I decided to coordinate the kids' costumes. At first, I wanted Isabella to be a ladybug, but I had no idea what Jacob was going to be. We started deciding in August, and I would ask him what he wanted to be. He had no clue. But around his birthday, he got really into Peter Pan and fell in love with Captain Hook, and the tic-toc (crocodile). Initially, he wanted to be a crocodile, but it was too close to what he was last year (dragon). So, we went with Captain Hook. And then it was only fitting that Bella be Tinker Bell. For Jacob's costume, we used a hand-me-down from my nephew who is now 15 years old. I bought the hat at the Disney Store and the hook from the Dollar Tree. With Bella, I searched high and low for a Tink costume I liked, but they were all so basic and simple, and each was around $25 and up. No thanks. So, I made hers. Well, my mom helped. I made the pink tutu and the poofs on her slippers. My mom made the green leaf skirt and the slippers. I picked up the wings at the Dollar Tree. I didn't mean for their costumes to be so inexpensive but hey, I can't complain. I think they came out cute!

This year for Halloween, we did the same thing we do every year. We trick or treated around our neighborhood. The kids lasted about an hour and a half. We got a decent haul, but the kids don't eat candy. So it's my haul? Jacob adored it ALL. He would walk up and in his little voice say, "Trick or treat!" And when they gave him candy he would tell them, "I'm Captain Hook!" It was so cute. Bella just enjoyed going along for the ride. It was perfect, but too bad it was on a Monday. Boo. I can't wait to see what they're going to be next year!

Lastly, we carved our pumpkins a week before Halloween. Big mistake. They were yucky for Halloween. Oh well. Next year, we need to do them a little closer to Halloween. And it was only fitting to carve a Captain Hook pumpkin and  Tink one. I think they came out okay.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Oreo Mummies

Jacob had his Halloween party at school last week, and I signed up to take turkey sandwiches. But I also wanted to give them a little treat. So, I don't remember how I found this idea, but it's everywhere! Oreo mummies, or Oreo pops, are popular and easy to do. However, the ones that I found called for the Oreos to be dipped in white chocolate and then drizzled again with more chocolate. Uh, hello! That's a lot of chocolate! Well, not for me, but especially for preschoolers, so I tried to lighten it up. Here's what I did/used:

2 1/2 packages of Halloween themed Oreos (yields 40 mummies)
1 - 24 oz bag of White chocolate chips (make as directed)
80 Button Candies for the eyes (or mini chocolate chips, candy googly eyes, M & Ms, Skittles)
Wax Paper
Cookie Sheet
Sandwich bags

The first thing I did was line a cookie sheet with wax paper. I then placed the Oreos on the sheet leaving about a 1.5 inch distance between each cookie. I then poured myself a small bowl of white chips microwaving them according to the directions on the bag (for me, this meant using Crisco shortening). Once melted, I poured the chocolate into a sandwich bag, and snipped off a tiny corner of the bag. I then pipped chocolate for the eyes, and placed the candy buttons on the cookies. I let them set for a little bit, and got started on making more chocolate, following the directions on the bag. Once the chocolate was heated, I poured it into a new sandwich bag, and started drizzling the chocolate over the cookies. After I was done pipping, I let them set up in the fridge for a bit. After about 15 minutes, I placed them in little cello bags and attached a tag! That was it! Easy, cute, and tasty!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Current Project

So, for the last couple of years, DIY play kitchens have become quite huge. And my first glimpse of them was through Pinterest. I saw one that was made out of an old entertainment center, and I wanted to jump on Craigslist and buy up the very first one I saw, until my sister woke me up. She made me realize that I'd have no room for an entertainment center in my little house. Ugh. She was right. My dreams were dashed, for a few minutes until I saw that they use nightstands too! Hello! I could totally do a nightstand. That would definitely fit in our house. So, I began my search for the perfect nightstand. I would search Craigslist once a week. My goal was to find a nightstand that was cheap, in good condition, a decent size, and close by. It took a good month for me to find the right one. My area is overpriced ( Hello, OC!) so I looked in neighboring counties. I found one that met all my criteria except one, it wasn't close by. But my brother lived in the area, and on a visit to his house, I snatched it up. It's currently sitting outside waiting for me to get started on it. I need to gather all my supplies first, and a game plan. I've decided on a color scheme already, but we'll see if it changes when I get to painting it. But, I'm super excited to start tackling it. My goal is to finish it before Christmas since this will be the kids' gift. I think 2 months is fair, since this is my first major project. Wish me luck! Maybe I'll post progress reports, or maybe just before and after shots. Ahhh, we'll see!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Canvas4Life {Review}

I recently had the opportunity to receive and review a photo canvas from Canvas4Life! I was sooo excited to give it a try because I've always wanted to try them out, but was hesitant about the actual quality of the print. I thought it would come out blurry, and the frame would be cheap and weak. However, I can assure you, the canvas prints from Canvas4Life are AWESOME! We ordered a 16 x 20 color print, and the colors were so vibrant on the canvas and the quality was amazing. They're very well-made and sturdy. And, I must say, the ordering process was so easy! I did it in less than 10 minutes. It only took 3 easy steps: upload your photo, customize it in real time, and place your order. They walk you through each and every step. Love that! Shipping was super fast too. I had my order within a week's time. Exceptionally fast for canvas printing. All in all, I was very pleased with the whole process and outcome. Jacob loved it too. He says it's his picture! I've gotten a ton of compliments on it, and my sister wants to try it too! I told her go for it! And if you're thinking about getting your photos onto canvas, I say go for it. You won't regret it! They make great gifts too! I'm already contemplating my next order!

And to make gift giving a little easier, or to get one for yourself, Canvas4Life is offering a special 10% off promo code for my readers. Just enter the code "simplelife" at checkout. They're also having an awesome Halloween sale right now, so head on over to Canvas4Life ASAP! Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: In doing this review,  I was provided a canvas free of charge. However, all opinions are my own.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our 4th Anniversary!

Four years ago today, my hubby and I joined together in holy matrimony. I can't believe it's only been four years, it feels like forever, but a good forever. I should mention that hubby and I have been together a total of 13 years now too. So, maybe it has been a awhile, but there's no one else I'd rather be with. He's a perfect partner, husband, and father. He puts up with a lot of my crazy ideas and shenanigans. He loves me. What can I say I'm a lucky girl! So, here's to many more years of craziness and love to me and the hubs. Wow, 5 years next year!