Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This Is Me: End of Challenge

I can't believe I have been doing this challenge with Emily for 30 days now. I have had to do a few days together but sometimes life gets in the way.

Day 28: Hairstyles

I have had a lot of hair styles in my days. I have been blonde, brown, reddish and just back in May I had Pink tips, which I loved but they washed out so quickly. I have tried long hair and it is just not me, I am a short hair gal all the way. I have had this style of cut for about two years now and I like it,

Day 29: Things that make me smile
Violet of course.
Disney
My new nephew, Oliver
Chocolate, Diet Coke, A Clean House are things that make me smile too.
Day 30: Looking forward....(finish this sentence)
Looking forward to watching Violet & Oliver become best friends.
 
I am so proud of myself for finishing! Yay! Thank you Emily for hosting such a great challenge.
 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Co-Hosting Return the Favor Hop

Welcome back this week for another round of the GFC hop!

Please note that this week will be the last round of the RTF hop, for now anyways.
It is difficult to commit to every week as I get closer to summer and work is busier.
Sorry for any inconvenience but be sure to link up for this last round!

 


Follow your host & co-hosts

Share the hop with others, whether it be via Twitter, Facebook, your blog, etc!
Come link up with @chelseaoliviaxo for the GFC hop to find new friends! http://www.yourstrulyblog.com/2012/10/last-week-of-return-favor-hop.html

Take a couple minutes to visit some other people who have linked up and let them know you stopped by from the Return The Favor hop - and hopefully they will return the favor!




Chelsea from Yours Truly
Myranda from Pretty Living PDX
Megan from Shaping Up To Be A Mom
Niki from Glossy Blonde
Whitney from Sippy Cups and Pearls
Kaitlyn from Wifessionals
Leslie from Violet Imperfection
Sharee from Mom Fitting It All In



 

Fort Building 101

Living in Massachusetts we were right in the path of Hurricane Sandy. Marc was able to get out of work a few hours early and we lost power about 10 minutes before he arrived home.

 

Here is a fun fact, I am one of the least patient people ever. Ever. We lose power and I become a crazed person, crazy cakes Leslie full force. I try to be patient and wait out like a normal person. Never happens.

 

So I found myself at 4PM with no power, a baby to entertain and no end in sight. I jokingly suggested to Marc that we should make a fort in the living room, thinking it might help pass the time and make me less crazed. Well he embraced it with enthusiasm and before I knew it we had a living room fort.

This picture of Miss V is how I felt. Let me out if here!!!!!!!!

Marc's Fort Building Supplies

  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Structure - he used baby safety gates, three chairs and a piece of cardboard
  • Zip ties
  • Flashlights or light projector
  • Center support - he used the handle to our swiffer
I will admit I was impressed. Marc said he wants to teach Violet to make such good forts that all the kids in school will be impressed. Isn't that the sweetest? Makes my heart melt.

We brought down Violet's turtle that projects starts so that was neat. We had to use the flash to get pictures so you don't really get a good idea of the darkness.

Here is a pic without the flash, you can see the turtle in the back and our swiffer pole support beam.

 

Violet didn't know what to think about the fort but she soon embraced the fun. I think she liked having Mama and Dada laying down on the floor with her.
We had a lot of fun and I can see this becoming a power outage tradition for our family. The best part? I stayed relatively calm and the power came back around 9PM....early enough to get an episode of Sons of Anarchy in. Really good show, we are on season 3.

Do you have storm or power outage traditions?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cara Box Swap - Fall Fun

The lovely Kaitlyn at Wifessionals hosted this lovely idea called Cara box. We were partnered up and given the task to get to know your partner and give them a box of Fall Fun. 

My awesome partner was SEL at Growing, Laughing and Loving in Life. I loved getting to know her, she is awesome. Plus her little girl wears bows and you know how much I love bows.


She sent me such a thoughtful box of Fall Fun. I apologize for not getting a picture of everything together, in my excitement I started using the items.

I can't begin to express how much I love this "L" letter. I may have squealed, I had just finished my Fantel and this was the perfect touch for my Halloween decorations. Not only is the L for Leslie but it is my last name too. Love it! As you can see, my spider likes it too.

This Mommy needs a sippy cup and I won't lie, I have drank some of my diet coke out of it, I swear it tasted better. Delicious smelling pumpkin spice coffee too, smells sooooo good. I can't wait to smell it brewing,
The funny thing about the placemats and dishrags is that I have been eyeing some Halloween ones and she sent them. Mind reader.
Last but certainly not least, this awesome handmade leaf candle, I love it and it is going to look fantastic on the Thanksgiving Fantel I have planned.
This was a really duping experience and I am sure I will be signing up again. The Cara box will be going on monthly so head over to Wifessionals and sig up for the next round!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tinted Mason Jars

Do you ever feel like an idiot? I do multiple times a day. The Pinterest craft I made for I Love You More Than Carrots That's Pin-tastic party this week made me felt like an idiot.

 

The Pin I tried is from Momtastic and her tinted mason jars. Like the rest of the population I am all about mason jars. With my sister-in-law due any day I figured flowers in a tinted mason jar would be beautiful. Do you see where this is going?

Supplies:

  • Mason Jars
  • Food coloring
  • Mod Podge
  • Parchment or wax paper
  • Water
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Mixing Bowl & Small Bowls
#1. To start you want to mix your food coloring with a tablespoon of water in one of the small bowls. Depending how much food coloring you use, you may want to start mixing smaller amounts of water in to start.

#2. Add a few tablespoons of Mod Podge to your mason jar.
#3. Put your Mason Jar in the larger bowl. Mix in your food coloring, make sure you mix quite well to avoid white streaks.
This is where I was surprised...the mixture was runnier than I expected and I had my lightbulb moment. Duh. Would I even be able to put water and fresh flowers when I finished these jars? My frustration was mounting.
#4. Pick up your jar and swirl the mixture over your bowl. Trust me on this one.
Sigh. I continued swirling and let me tell you, it was a giant pain in the you know what. Messy, not easy and good luck not swirling it all over the rim which you don't want the mixture on.
When you are done coating the jar, dump out all the extra contents into your large bowl.
Pretty. Now you want to turn your jars upside down and let them dry on a paper bag, parchment paper, whatever you have on hand. Mine were still dripping so I had to wipe their rims a few times so they wouldn't stick to the paper.
I let mine dry for about 45 minutes. I was apprehensive at this point, wondering if they were going to work. Now the direction in the pin said to bake them upside down on parchment paper for 10 minutes in a warm oven. Then you flip them over for another 20 to 30 minutes until most of the streaks are gone. Mine took a bit longer which leads me to believe that my coating was too thin.
I checked mine often, I had visions of glass jars exploding in my oven.
Mine were still streaky in parts but I was liking the look. I let them sit overnight before the ultimate test. Would they be able to be used for live flowers....
That was a big ol' negative. I put the water in and the jar sides started to get milky, these jars are for looking and really I should have known better. I don't know why I thought Mod Podge and water would work well together. The middle jar is the one I tried the water in.
I do like how they turned out, I think battery operated tea lights would work well in them and they look nice on my window sill.
Please tell me I am not the only one who has duh moments in crafting....
 

 

I'm Topsy Turvy

Co- Hosting Marvelous Mondays

Good evening, everyone! Welcome to Marvelous Mondays week 17! I hope you all have had a great weekend. This week's co-hosts are:

Julie from This Gal Cooks (HOST)
Tess from The Framed Lady
Leslie from Violet Imperfection
Sara from Milwaukee Kitchen

Be sure to stop by these wonderful blogs and say hello! We cannot wait to see what you have to share this week! Did you miss last week's features? Have no fear; you can check them out right here!
If you are interested in co-hosting, please contact me (thisgalcooks@gmail.com) and let me know when you would like to co-host.)

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Rules:
1. A follow of your hosts via Google Friend Connect, Twitter, Blog Lovin, Facebook or RSS Feed is greatly appreciated. 
2  Check out your fellow bloggers' projects. Leave them some wonderful comments to let them know that you stopped by.
3. Link up your recipes, crafts or DIY projects. No giveaways or shops, please.
4. Grab a button. It's not mandatory but it helps get the word out about the party.

Raising Imperfection #1

A word from Leslie ~ Host of {Im}perfect Sundays:
I hinted on Friday there would be changes coming to {Im}perfect Sundays. I am happy to announce that Lanaya, from Raising Reagan, and I are joining together to host a brand new linky party called Raising Imperfection. Raising Imperfection is the same concept as before and still on Sundays but with two awesome hosts instead of one. What does this mean for you? More exposure for the posts that you link up and twice the fun! I am in love with our new name; combining both blog names is darn near perfect for us imperfect mamas. We both have daughters and share the nothing is perfect philosophy that we want to teach Reagan and Violet as they grow. SO with that...

Welcome to Week #1 of Raising Imperfection!
A weekly blog hop that links up your favorite blog posts of the week!
You can link your funny stories, best recipes, parenting successes, parenting fails, DIY projects and tips, photo bomb posts and more! We want to learn more about the people we connect with daily. Then...come back for Feature Fridays! Leslie and I choose our favorite links from the link up and feature them on our blogs!
Please grab our button and help this link up grow :)
So join us...your hosts, Leslie from Violet Imperfection & Lanaya from Raising Reagan, every Sunday for Raising Imperfection!
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Blog Hop Rules:
1. Please follow your hosts Raising Reagan and Violet Imperfection via Facebook and/or Twitter
If you are new to the hop, please leave us a comment so we know to follow you back!
2. Please follow your co-hosts ~
This week's awesome co-host is: Tori from Lil' Mrs. Tori
3. Link up your DIY projects, cooking disasters, parenting successes and fails, funny stories, kid photo bombs, etc.
Please DO NOT link up your main blog page, giveaways or other link ups
4. Visit some of the other blogs in the link-up and even follow them!
{comments are always recommended and appreciated}
5. Tweet about the Raising Imperfection Blog Hop to help spread the word!
6. Come back and visit us throughout the week as we are always getting new links --> And be sure to visit for Feature Fridays to see if your post was picked to be featured!
**Stay tuned for fun giveaways that include being a cohost!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Impromptu DIY Photo Shoot

I was feeling adventurous this morning after Violet and I had finished our morning routine. I decided to have a little fun and do a photo shoot.

 

Just recently I have had to enlist Marc's help to get Violet's weekly photos done. She is just too squirmy wormy now. I was breaking out in a sweat between baby wrangling, fabric smoothing, prop supervising and taking pictures. Now Marc does the baby wrangling and I can focus on the other tasks.

I was feeling brave and decided to tackle an impromptu photo shoot on my own. I am going to show you all the pictures I took and what I did to make this work.

First off was getting Miss V dressed. I have had this zebra print pettiskirt for a bit now and wanted to see how it photographed. The whole outfit except the onesie, from headband to legwarmers is from thehairbowcompany.com, love their stuff.

I decided to take the pictures in her grey nursery chair as it offers a somewhat neutral background, I can sit on the ottoman to get to her level and I can contain her easily in a small area. The downside is the lighting bites so these are not the best quality but I am still happy with them.

These first pictures were messed up by her shade being open, I soon closed it and turned on the flash, the expression in the first photo is priceless though blurry it may be.

I just snapped over and over. I am a firm believer that with kids you just have to click away. If you wait for the perfect shot it won't happen. Sometimes those goofy shots become my favorite as it shows the little ones personalities.

I captured some cute ones and then we were a little squirmy, she needed a few "drags" off her pacifier, we call it her Nene a la Toddlers & Tiaras. Don't hate, I was on bed rest for 8 weeks, I was bored.
The second picture cracks me up, she was feeling her teeth with her tongue. In the third one she tried to nose dive off the chair. Mama caught her and a picture offer closet doors.

I didn't really pose her, just sat her up every few shots. She moved about on her own quite a bit.

And there you have it, all the pictures I took. I did not delete a single one. I think I was able to capture a few good ones even though they aren't perfect.
I played around with a few and I love the softer antique look of this one. It takes the focus away from the lamp on the left side.
I love the edit on this one too. I could play around with photos all day long.
I just don't have the money for expensive professional photos. We get as professional as The Picture People groupons which are worth every penny.
Pull out those cameras Mamas and show me what you capture!
 

Friday, October 26, 2012

This is Me Catchup --- Again

I am a slacker....I can't help it having a little girl who thinks she is older than her 7 months is exhausting. She is pulling herself up,in everything, eating carpet fuzz...yes I said carpet fuzz, oh and cat food. It's been a fun week. 

Day 24 - Least favorite chores

Can I say all of them? Cleaning the shower, I hate it. Followed closely by switching the laundry over. I don't mind starting, I don't mind taking it out of the dryer but switching it? Hate.

 

Day 25 - Would you have any do overs?

Nope. I like where life has brought me.

 

Day 26 - Most memorable/favorite childhood toys

Cabbage Patch dolls and the little plastic figurines. I could play with those figurines for hours making them houses out of blocks, my magic nursery baby doll. The calico critters - the little animal families, they had a cartoon too. Strawberry Shortcake toys. Skip it, loved that silly thing. I also have a teddy bear named Gumdrops that was with me when I was first born in the hospital and I still have him. We are best buds.

 

Day 27 - If I could change one thing it would be that I didn't struggle with my weight. Since having Violet I am struggling. I put on 70lbs

of the 100lbs I lost before I was pregnant. It depresses me.

 

 

Friday Features

It's that time again! Time for Friday Features!

Buuuuut before we get to the features I have a little teaser for you. {Im}Perfect Sundays are going to be changing a bit. I will announce more on Sunday when you come link up! Very good things are coming.

First up Mel from Mellywood's Mansion linked up this adorable Sesame Street Dorothy nightlight. I think it is genius. I knew immediately that this was Elmo's pal Dorothy, Violet has a bit of an Elmo crush.

Next my lovely co-host Lanaya from Raising Reagan picked Laura's What a Mess post from Storybook Reality. She is reminding us all to not worry about the messy house, dishes in the sink, the everyday chores and spending time with her little ones. We all need those just being a mama days.
I don't know about you but I love just about any type of chowder so when I saw Julie's Spicy Crab and Corn Chowder from This Gal Cooks, I knew I had to put the ingredients on my shopping list. I swear I can almost smell the chowder through the picture....yummmm.

Make sure you grab a button if you were featured and I hope to see all of you back on Sunday for the exciting changes!