We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Introducing Little Man

Here's our littlest sweetheart born April 25, 2011.

God has been so good! After several complications including low amniotic fluid, me getting put on bed rest, and having to go in twice a week for a month and a half to monitor baby's heart rate and brain activity, our son was born perfectly healthy!

We're so in love with our newest little one and Baby Boy is a huge help and is always loving up on his little brother.

Huge thanks to my sis who came out and spoiled Baby Boy while we were in the hospital :)

And to Hubby, my love, who is proving to me all over again why he's a wonderful man. I couldn't have begun recovery without him taking care of the boys and me 24/7. I love this man so much!

Praise the Lord for our two boys- such beautiful blessings!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter 2011 Baskets

Hubby's and Baby Boy's Easter baskets. 
Baby Boy is going to love that huge thing of bubble mix and then he's going to flip over the green round thing in the back of his basket. Oh yeah, it's a gigantic bubble wand :)

Lots of candy for my sweetie.
If you noticed the makeup wipes and lipstick I threw in for myself, you're one smart sugar cookie ;-)

Bubbles, books, ink stamps, candy, stickers and toys for our big boy.
The toys include the bubble wand, some new cars, an airplane, a truck, a small ball that looks like an Easter egg, a rake and shovel set so he can help Mama with the plants (We already know this is going to be one of his favorite things. He LOVES helping outside), and a kaleidoscope.

Then I had fun putting together my sister's Easter basket. Girly stuff is always more fun :)
She arrives soon and Baby Boy is all in a tizzy about presenting her with her Easter basket because he knows he doesn't get his until she gets here ;-)

I decided to make a sweet girly spring break survival kit for her. I just thought it would be fun since she's coming here for her spring break and the weather's finally warming up around here.

Girly Spring Break Survival Kit
Cute girly travel bag
3 oz refillable travel bottles
A photo of her cute nephew
Chapstick in smoothie flavors. Yum!
Antibacterial gel
On the go makeup cleansing wipes
Peeps marshmallows
Cute bright colored flip flops
Shower poof
Mini manicure set

Top it off with some Easter candy and voila! A grown up girl version of the traditional basket.

The women in my family are crazy great about having some kind of a welcome basket for extended stay guests (and I'm one of the worst ones! I usually forget because I'm too busy last minute cleaning, but I always appreciate the thought when I visit their homes). So here I sit feeling decidedly more welcoming and housewife-ish :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spa Night: How I Cut My Hair

I've been doing my own layered cut for several years now. Yes, at HOME. I know I seem very cheap sometimes, but this is not all about the money. I got so tired of going to a professional salon and telling the stylist exactly what I wanted (A trim. Keep the length and add layers everywhere with lots of layers framing my face from the chin up) and leaving a little less richer and with LOTS less hair! They would always chop off at least 4 inches from the bottom and I would leave unhappy. Well, several years ago I searched online for an at home alternative. I can't find that original video, but the one below is exactly how I cut my own layers. I don't do the really short layers and bangs near the face, but I do everything else, including cutting upwards on the pieces of hair combed forward from the crown of the head.

Every now and then I break down and get a professional cut, but I always come home disappointed. So I vow to keep doing it myself... until the next time I'm sucked in by a great deal.

So give it a try if you dare :) I'm definitely happier with my hair when I cut it at home!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chocolate Biscotti

I made chocolate biscotti for the first time last week. It was fabulously easy with this recipe my SIL posted a while back. Hope you get to try it! It's ridiculously scrumptious with coffee or tea...

This was a part of Hubby's gifts during his birthday week :) We're enjoying the excuse to sit down with a cuppa more often so we can have some biscotti. Yum.

Today I'm out on the balcony potting plants in the gorgeous warm weather. It's about time Spring decided to stick around and Baby Boy and I are loving being outside! We spend lots of time out there during the warm months. With the typical apartment lack of a yard, it's the perfect relaxing spot for me and play space for Baby Boy.

I'll be taking some time to work on my hair (still haven't dyed it yet...procrastinator) and hopefully get a foot soak in this evening. Hope you choose to pamper yourself a little today... You deserve some guilt free relaxation. Happy Spa Night, Beauties!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Homemade Interchangeable Flipflop Bling

So the other day I was in a boutique and saw a thing called Switchflops, which are basically flip flops that have a metal snap where you can place decorative flowers or faux jewels on your flip flops depending on your outfit. Well, I thought I just had to have some, but wasn't going to pay $20 and up for them. I've racked my brain until I came up with a homemade solution and now I cannot wait until the warm weather sticks around so I can show them off! Also, I've got visions of flip flop bling made out of fashion jewelry... but I'm getting ahead of myself.

If you've already done this for yourself, my cheap creative heart salutes you. And why didn't you tell me???
;-) Here you go homemade divas. Enjoy the endless possibilities to prettify your flip flops and show off your pedicure this spring and summer!

Here's the type of glue I use for all my projects. It's amazing! Once it dries it's permanent, waterproof but flexible. Perfect for hair or flipflop bling :)

I started out with 2 pairs of plain flip flops. They're on sale everywhere! Big Lots has them for $2 a pair and Old Navy is selling tons of colors and sizes for $2.50 a pair if you buy 2. I can't get them at WalMart because I have a latex allergy and theirs always seem to make me break out in hives, but anyway.....

Place a line of glue on the underside of the straps in this area.
Let the glue cure for 1 or 2 minutes until it becomes tacky.

Measure and cut a 2 1/2 piece of ribbon. This will work for larger feet which I *ahem* have. You can measure and figure out what length you need once you see what it's for.
You'll need 2 precut pieces of ribbon for each flip flop.
So I cut 8 for my two pairs of flip flops.

Place one piece of ribbon on the underside. Be sure only half the ribbon is glued to the underside. The other half will need to wrap over to the top.

Here's how it should look from the top after you apply the ribbon to the glue underneath.

Place a dab of glue on the end of the ribbon...

And fold it over the top. Press firmly into place. Repeat on other side so ribbons overlap each other.
You'll have a ribbon X with ends glued down and no glue in the center. We need the top center to stay glue free so you can add your bling.

Clamp into place with clothespins or whatever you have. I used alligator hair clips because I have a ton.
Let cure for 24 hours for best results and then remove clamps.

I made a few 2 inch flowers to personalize my flip flops. They're attached to alligator clips. I'd like to find smaller clips than these next time, but it's what I had.

Place the bottom of your clip through the unglued loop we created with the ribbon pieces.

Oh the pretty frilly girly possibilities!

So yeah... now I'm on the lookout for brooches and clip on earrings in the clearance sections to add more bling to my flip flops!

Hope you are inspired to make some pretties for yourselves, Beauties! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spa Night: False Lashes Daydreaming

I LOVE false eyelashes. Or I used to. Now I love the idea of them and daydream about those good old days when I used to wear them. Here's a quick history about me and falsies.

No falsies, Baby Boy was 3 months old.

Me lately looking at my funny boy in the mirror. No falsies. I miss 'em!

The following photos are all of me wearing natural looking false lashes. I worked very hard (trimming, careful application, etc) to make it look inconspicuous and eventually wore them almost every day because with all that practice, it took me no time at all to apply them. I wanted to wear them for Hubby and my anniversary dinner last year and was frustrated to find that I'd lost the knack! Well, after over 2 years of not wearing them, I guess that's normal. My girly heart was sad, though. Anyway, here's a short collection of some falsie pics. And it's no coincidence that they are all pre-baby :)

Wedding day. I was absolutely wearing them that day! Here I have a mix of soft black and brown lashes with a sheer golden shadow on my eyes. I was really happy with how the brown lashes and gold shadow made my baby browns pop. Plus, we had a great photographer who I'm sure helped me along in the editing department *wink*

Married nearly a year. Very subtle top lash falsies in black.

Pregnant with Baby Boy! Black falsies on the outer corners of my top lids.

7 months pregnant with Baby Boy. Black falsies on my lower lids. They don't just belong on the top! I loved changing it up with wearing some only on the bottom lid sometimes.
I'm with my niece Dianna. Isn't she beautiful?

So... all that to say, I know I'm about to have a child in the next 4 weeks and will probably have even less time to get prettified in the mornings, but I want to wear falsies again! I just bought 10 pair on ebay for about 14 cents each. Ooh yeah. Gotta love buying in bulk from across the pond :) Anyway, I figure when I have the time I won't feel guilty about messing them up while I practice.

For tonight's spa night I'm doing a foot soak, repairing one of my finger nails (yes! I broke one already! So soon after my spa visit. grrrr) and dyeing my hair. Oh hush, it's ammonia free dye and temporary, so don't get all worried for Baby Belly. I'm just trying out a slightly lighter shade of brunette.

What will you do to pamper yourself this week? Take the time... you won't regret it and your family will appreciate not dealing with Mama bear all week :) Have a fabulous Spa Night, Beauties!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Trip to the Spa

I've been needing some stress free time and have been really wanting a pedicure for some time now. I can no longer do my at home pedicure this far along in pregnancy and the sight of my non-pampered feet was kind of driving me nuts. Yesterday was Hubby's day off so I eagerly looked over a menu of spa services and was excited with the idea of a 60 minute pedicure. Then my wonderful man told me to go ahead and get a few more services I've been wanting. Woohoo! One phone call later and I was booked for a 60 min pedicure, 60 min manicure and 30 min prenatal massage :) I couldn't wait!

When my appointment time rolled around, the boys dropped me off (I didn't want to drive afterward and risk messing up my nails. Ha!). And of course, I took my camera :) This documented trip's for you, Mom! I missed you so much while I was soaking up all the relaxation. You would've loved it! We so have to go there the next time you're in town.

Arriving at Oasis....

In the spa area... Pick a robe and some sandals and head to the changing room.

Time to choose a locker and get changed.

In my locker. Buh-bye cell phone! I'll be ignoring you for the next three hours. 

So if feet in general gross you out, just look away.  But my mama had to see the state my poor feet were in :) 
Before. A sad remnant of my last at home pedicure.....

Ready to get my spa on :). 
Of course, they didn't have maternity robes. So glad I took a swimsuit cover up just in case! I used the robe tie to accent my preggo belly so I wouldn't look like a blob and just kept the too small robe open over my cover up dress. I got lots of compliments from the workers there and several of my fellow spa goers in their tied up robes told me "I didn't know we could wear a cute cover up under the robe! I'm doing that next time." Also much commented on were my gray Old Navy flip flops, of which customers also said they didn't know you could bring your own. But I'm paranoid of much used public spaces and sharing shoes. Yuck! 

Spa waiting area. There was a juice and coffee bar on the other wall, but my photo didn't turn out.

Loved waiting in this dimly lit cozy area.

Private massage room. That pregnancy pillow was amazing! No strain on my back and I could lie on my belly without smashing Baby Belly. I'm sure he appreciated it. I was off in happy land for 30 minutes while I had the stress worked out of me as I listened to artfully arranged rainforest and beach noises over the room speakers. 

The massage ended all too soon, but it was heavenly! My back hurt once I got up from the table, but in a few minutes my joints all snapped back into place and I felt like all the stress I had been carrying just melted away. I could have honestly curled up on that table and fallen asleep right there. But my masseuse gently guided me down the hall to meet my nail technician. I had to laugh later. The masseuse must have lots of experience herding sleepy guests from the massage rooms!

After the 60 minute manicure, which included a yummy smelling sugar scrub & lovely hand/arm massage, I felt so amazingly relaxed. I walked in a dream like state to my cushy pedicure throne where my technician had a warm foot bath, some magazines and water waiting for me. Oh my word! I wanted to move in there :)
I couldn't get a good shot of my manicure. The gray days here make the light tricky for the almost sheer polish. But here's a swatch of the exact shade I have on my finger nails. Pink, of course :)

Another 60 minutes later.
Happier feet! Freshly soaked, scrubbed, lotioned, trimmed, buffed and polished. Yeah, baby! 
The bubbling soak and foot/calf massage while I sat in the heated auto massage chair had me falling asleep. 
Ooh, I LOVE hot pink polish for toes.

I don't want to leave.....!!!! Hahaaa.. Apparently, there's a hot tub and steam room that is complimentary for any guest having any spa service done. Will have to remember to pack a swim suit for that for next time. Oh yes, there will definitely be a next time.

My boys picked me up and took me to dinner. Yum. Here's the apple dumpling dessert Hubby and I shared.

Yes, we're wimps. We couldn't even finish it!

My lovely handsome wonderful family.

It was a beautifully relaxing day.

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