Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Me:

Me:

Wednesday, February 29

Last Day of February! One More Little Contest:

It's Leap Day! Rare, unique, random.... PERFECT.

I tried to explain the idea of Leap Year and Leap Day to Noah this morning on the way to preschool. I don't think he got it.

That's okay. The next time it comes around, he'll be 8, and he'll likely be totally enchanted with the concept by then. And we can do crazy things to celebrate, like make a frog cake ('cause they leap, get it?) and have jumping contests and other fun things.

For now though, we'll just keep it low-key. I'll just host my last little "Let's Fight the Winter Blahs" contest.

Up for grabs today, a cute little painting/collage I created awhile back, one of a series of them I did as Christmas gifts for loved ones (and for myself, because lets be honest, if it's cute enough to make as a gift, then I want one or six for myself. I'm kinda selfish that way.)

This particular painting encourages everyone in your household to do something we should all do more of:

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Eat your veggies. 

I mean, I EAT my veggies. I love them. But I surely don't eat as many of them as I really should to make my body ecstatic and powerful.

This little cute painting is small-- 6" by 8", and is a 3D amalgamation of stretched canvas and actual fake carrot, with hand-inked/cut letters on watercolor paper. Around the border of the painting there are additional words, stating, "To get your vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong..."

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Kinda a cute little thing.

Okay, I do need to confess--- this little project was one that I came up with EONS ago... 
and painted EONS ago. Like, 2003. Note the artist signature:

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Maiden name. Year. Yeah. 

But listen-- this little painting is NOT just some junk I'm trying to ditch. I had this and its twin packed carefully away in a box of things I wanted to save as The Perfect Gift Someday. And I'm a "special things" hoarder (if you know me at all from this blog, you know this. I hoard gift cards for AGES, waiting for the ideal Perfect Moment to use them. I hoard special photos for ages til the Perfect Day comes to share them on my blog. It's weird. I don't know why I do it. I just keep Special Things far too long, waiting for Perfect Moments.)

So. Here are these twin Eat Your Veggies paintings, wrapped and preserved and NOT BEING ENJOYED. For NINE years. ???!

So I took one of them and hung it in my kitchen. Happy!! 

And I decided I needed to let the other one go, and send it into the blogosphere. Someone out there might love it as much as I do. Right???

Thinking back to the whole series of these paintings I did for that Christmas, I remember doing a tomato one with the words, "To-MAY-to, to-MAH-to, Let's call the whole thing off.." behind it. I did a corn one that went with the "eat your veggies" series. I did a bowl of oatmeal (painted, not 3D) with the phrase "oatmeal days", an homage to Robert Fulghum's essay on Winter Blahs. I did a few others I can't remember... But I LOVED doing them. I loved it. 

It's been ages since I've painted. 

Hm...

ANYway. 

Here's the deal. If you guys can forgive that this is an ancient piece of my art, I'd love to offer it to a commenter on this post. To enter, just:

1. Leave a comment (anonymous is okay, if you leave your name/email in the actual comment)
2. Tell me something on your to-do list for Spring
3. Tell me one thing you enjoy about this blog o' mine (I could use some feedback, since some changes are on the horizon!)

And on Friday morning, at 10:00am, I will choose a random entry as the winner. Winner will get this Eat Your Veggies painting and a bag of Cadbury MiniEggs. (because clearly that supports the message to eat veggies. Right? RIGHT???? Or because they're my favorite candy, and spring= Cadbury MiniEggs in my world.)

So.

How 'bout it?

Monday, February 27

White Chocolate Popcorn, Yum.

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Just a small bowl of the best snack EVER, introduced to me by my dear friend Melanie. We got a big bag of this from her for Christmas the other year, and since then, Joe and I are COMPLETELY converted. Joe gets so excited when I get motivated enough to make a batch. 

And really, it's not hard. I just have to remember to actually DO it once in  awhile. 

Quick, here's how:

WHITE CHOCOLATE POPCORN

Pop 1-2 bags of popcorn. Doesn't really matter what specific kind-- 
just use what you have on hand. 

Get one bag of white melting chocolate wafers or one bag of 
white chocolate chips.

Melt the chocolate via microwave or double boiler. (If in the microwave,
 do it in 30-second intervals, stirring after each one, to keep 
track of the melting process.)

Use a spatula/scraper to get all the melted chocolate out of your bowl 
and into the bowl of popped popcorn. 

Stir/toss/coat the popcorn. Spread the coated popcorn onto a wax-paper 
or foil-lined cookie sheet so it can dry evenly.

And then, for fun, get your favorite color of sugar sprinkles and shake 
all over your finished batch of coated popcorn.

Other ideas: Add M&Ms or Craisins or mini marshmallows or nuts or other kinds of sprinkles or candy corns or WHATEVER to the mix before you put it on the cookie sheet.

Last tip: Bag some up to share with friends, otherwise you'll eat it all yourself. Trust me. 


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Saturday, February 25

Guess Who Turned 10 Months Old?

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*
(to see the original idea for these monthly photos, click here.
And Month 9. Month 8. Month 7. Month 6. Month 5. Month 4. Month 3. Month 2.)

The pink bow-style headband in these photos is from a tutorial written by my friend Jaime of Sew She Sews, here
*
So, somehow in the daily routines and rhythms of February, my sweet baby girl slipped from nine months old to ten months old while we weren't looking.
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There we were, just doing what we always do--

~ breakfasts of cereal and nutella toast
~ baby food and pretzel snacks
~ preschool walks and trying not to be late for preschool pickups
~ me playing one of a dozen characters assigned by Noah, while he played the never-changing Bumblebee the Transformer
~  sometimes a good dinner on the table... sometimes just Taco Bell or mac and cheese
~ a thousand hugs, a thousand kisses ("spit kisses" if you're participating with Noah)
~ sometimes a trip to a park, sometimes a visit from a loved one, sometimes one more cartoon...

And before I knew it, my baby had slowly crept into new territories--- figuratively AND literally. Between nine and ten months, Lucy slowly, gruntingly figured out how to get mobile. Her first painstaking movements were to spin in 180-degree circles on her tummy, finding she could get to new toys by turning like she was on an upright axle. From there, she'd REACH and GRUNT and WHINE to get to things just past her fingertips, but there just wasn't any movement. No getting up on hands and knees and rocking.

And then one day, while on her tummy, she pushed. And her whole body inched backwards. She immediately did it again, and within minutes, she had gotten herself fifteen feet away from us, across our hardwood bedroom floor. And she looked excited and a little mad. Because she didn't WANT to go BACKWARDS. But she was moving, and that felt goooood.

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Since then, this baby girl has managed to get her little body to go FORWARD--- but she's still not up on her knees. She moves herself with a combo of "inchworming" (hiking her hips and bum UP and DOWN to get her body to go forward) and dry-land "swimming"--- kicking those poor feet and pushing with them frantically until she gains an inch or two. She's not really using her arms in the army-crawl style, and she's DEFINITELY not officially crawling, but she's getting places. And she is DELIGHTED.

Along with this major milestone, Lucy has also:

1.  Gotten really smooth at getting from sitting to tummy in order to get moving
2. Grown out of the Puffs stage. She is so bored by them, and would rather have a cracker or a pretzel.
3. Gotten more and more exposure to table food, and is LOVING eating like a big girl.  But she still adores her purees, too, so we are still going with that.
4. **I might need to whisper this one** has begun sleeping through the night most nights. This has been going on for over a week now, with 7 out of 8 days seeing her go from 7:00pm-6:00 or 7:00am without waking long enough for us to need to go in and feed her a bottle. AMAZING! Noah didn't get to this point til 14 months, so I was prepared for that. Not this.
5. Continued to grow her blonde hair like crazy. She now really NEEDS a headband or barrette to keep her from looking like a total ragamuffin.
6. Started waving "hi!" to herself in the mirror consistently. She is a bit less consistent with "hi" and "bye bye" to us and others, but she sure loves that baby in the mirror!
7. Learned to shake her head "no no no" when we play a "yes yes! no no!" game with her. Thankfully, she's not been shaking her head "no" at us for actual rebellious reasons yet.
8. Been "singing" along with me for a couple of months now--- but most recently is actually sometimes matching my pitch a bit! Just "la la la", and not tunes, but still... She is another musical baby! Woot!
9. Weathered her second cold since birth... this one has been a goopy, snotty MESS, and is still going on, after almost two weeks. Seriously- how can a creature this small make SO MUCH SNOT??
10. Learned how to use her finger to flip her bottom lip down to do the "buh-buh-buh-buh" trick we all know how to do with our lips. (I don't know how else to describe it!!) And she'll also get our mouths to do it, too.
11. Started "dancing" a bit more to the music coming from her toys. Bopping her torso up and down, chanting along with the music... Cute!
12. NOT grown any more teeth after her first two. But just a few days ago, I noticed that the top middle ones and the ones just to the sides of the middle are CLOSE. One is nearly broken through, and the others look to be not far behind. This might be contributing to some of her snot problems, but is shockingly NOT messing with her sleep (yet!!).
13. Is showing interest in Baby Signs finally.... She'll attempt a couple of them, but is NOT distinguishing between signs, so she'll do the same thing for many words... So I'm not sure how much she actually "gets" yet, but she's getting interested. She can do the "bird" tweeting and her 'bye bye" looks like "milk" and she's used it when I sign "diaper", so she has the skill... Just needs to get it in context.
14. Is still the sweetest, most content, happy baby EVER (since her 5-month-old-personality switch)... and still the apple of my eye. And Joe's eye. And Noah's eye. We ADORE this girl!

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(I love that third photo above--- she's been doing that with her bottom teeth for a couple of weeks now, since her bottom two teeth have gotten so long. She loves to feel her upper lip with them, fascinated by these crazy new things in her mouth. Just wait, Lucy--- you're REALLY in for a shock when those giant upper teeth come in!)

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A few more notes--

Lucy loves:
her Bunny Bunny, books, Noah's antics, Joe coming home from work, Mom and Noah coming in to get her when she wakes from naps, her purple lotion bottle and her tubes of diaper cream (as chew toys when she's getting her diaper changed), baths with Noah, going outside, being pushed in the baby swings on playgrounds, riding in her carseat and listening to music, riding in the stroller, rolling around on our bed as her playground, eating my necklaces, being propped up to look out the window above our bed, the song "Old MacDonald", looking at herself in the mirror, being in the Moby wrap facing forward, drinking water from sippy cups.

I love:
her blonde fluff hair-- always, holding her at our round window to say "night night" to the sky/trees/cards/houses before sleep time, the way she presses her face to mine when I sing to her before bed, the way she's taken to shoving her Bunny in my face while she drinks her bottles, or the way she'll sometimes find my nostril and get her finger all the way in. On purpose. The way she kicks like crazy when she's on her back in the bathtub, how happy she is when she wakes up-- often able to entertain herself for a long time in her crib before she fusses to be gotten. I love feeding her meals. I love how happy she is in a shopping cart at the store--- makes that errand so much nicer! I love her little squirmy warm body in fresh jammies, and the way her hair curls after a bath... I love how she smells. I love that she loves me so very much, not yet aware I'm imperfect.

*

(Those were more for me than anything. I am so desperate not to forget. She is so amazing right this minute. I want to remember her as a 10-month old. A nine-month-old. An 8-month-old. But I know I'll forget.... Maybe if I write enough details, some of it will stick. )

Tuesday, February 21

Winner, Dinner, and Funny Things.

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Ding ding ding! Joe picked #13 out of 15... (omit my sister Julina's comment, since she said she doesn't need a set of squirrel ears [why ever not?? Don't 30-somethings need squirrel ears sometimes?] and omit the second comment of Amelia's) which gives us..... 

KELLY! 

Winner, Miss Kelly!

I happen to know your mailing address, Kelly, since we've worked together before, so I'll get this ready to mail to you, and you'll have a treat for your kiddos to play with. Maybe we can even use them in your upcoming session in April! :)

Thanks, guys, for playing. It was just as fun this time around to get the blog comment pings. I still have one more giveaway to do before February ends, so keep an eye out. 

And a few of you mentioned you'd actually use a tutorial on the squirrel ears (bear ears, beaver ears-- you can make them be whatever you want. Heck, you could make them pointy and/or use different furs and make all KINDS of animals!  So I'll whip up a tutorial for you guys soon. 

Ramblings for the moment:
I am TERRIBLE at consistently making dinners for my family. TERRRRRIBLE. It just hasn't yet become a habit to plan far enough ahead in my life to be PREPARED to get to work come 4:30pm or so. So 4:30pm hits and I'm like:



 It's bad news, y'all.

But this week, I made myself sit down and explore my Pinterest board of savory foods and find a few new recipes to try, then I got a few of my staple recipes and added them in, and I MADE A PLAN. A two-week menu. And I created a new board, my "Current Menu" board, where I pinned the few new recipes I want to try in the next two weeks. It'll be handy to go right there to find the recipes again, and as I use them , I'll delete them and then refill the board again in my next two-week plan.

So. I feel like I'm on top of it, for once. I am even a little excited to actually get to work on some of the million amazing recipes I've seen cross my boards on Pinterest. Tonight? Gonna make Martha Stewart's 30-minute chicken gumbo in honor of Mardi Gras. It's a bit pricey (for me), because it involves a full rotisserie chicken ($7) and precooked Andouille sausage (I could only find it in a 14oz pkg for $4, when I only need 8 oz.) and some frozen okra ($2), all of which are NOT staples in my pantry.... But heck-- for the complete easiness of this recipe, I'll trade some financial cost. 

In other news, I am excited that I still have:

a new episode of Vampire Diaries to watch
the last episode of Downton Abbey II to watch

But not excited that I really need to edit two sessions in a completely different room than my DVR this week, so both those episodes I'm so excited for will have to wait. Waa.

Two hilarious moments in my parenting adventures today:

1. Noah was having a blast today, in the 55-degree weather, tossing his toys straight up in the air so they'd "blast off into space". Until:


 Oops. 

After contemplating the situation for awhile, Noah said, "Maybe you can throw me like a bullet" to get it down. 

I laughed and laughed. And then I used the rake Noah found on the side of our house to knock Bumblebee loose from his precarious perch. No harm, no foul. and no throwing Noah like a bullet, despite the cleverness of that suggested solution.

2. Lucy has has the Snotty Nose to End All Snotty Noses... So when I plopped her down in our yard today and she went to work eating dry leaves (such a good mama am I), I looked over and saw this:


 LucyHitler. 



My gosh, having kids is funny crap sometimes. 

Okay. I have barely any time left before the kiddos wake from naps, so I'm going to try to get maybe 10-15 minutes of Downton Abbey watched. It's better than nothing. 

Here's to lovely temperatures outside, good friends who leave sweet blog comments, TV shows I can look forward to, consistent work coming to me, ridiculously cute, hilarious kids, (who happen to nap at the same time most afternoons, hooray!) and GUMBO for dinner, made by me. Life's not too shabby, eh?

Friday, February 17

Encouraging Outdoor Time In Winter + Another Giveaway!

It's still February, despite the 55-degree weather we were graced with today. And as the winter comes to a close, I've been meaning to talk about wintertime and trying to shift my mindset about time spent outside even in chilly temperatures.

The thing is, I've been musing on that idea for two or three winters now, and I really like it. I like the idea of encouraging my children (and myself) to get outside and learn to find magic in nature, even when it is grey, dreary, chilly, and wet. There are adventures to be had if you look for them, even if we'd all rather they happen in 75-degree sunshiney days in fields of rich green grass. I want my kids to experience nature in all its incarnations.

So it's been a goal of mine to get outside, even in the winter. There's a book I got as a gift this year that has been lovely to read because it has validated all the above ideas I'd already been having, and helped flesh out the concept a bit further. Called, 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect With Your Kids by Rebecca P. Cohen, this book is EXACTLY what I've been trying to get my head around-- the idea that encouraging my kids to connect with the outdoors will be something that stays with them, shapes them, for their entire lives.

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And so--- this winter my children and I have been on dozens of walks... Explored parks... Talked about North, South, East and West while Noah chooses which way we'll turn next.

We've learned about milkweed pods and seen their magic when they dry out all throughout the late fall and prepare to crack open and let their fluffy confetti go in the late winter.

We've trekked through puddles, mud, snow, and rain.

Noah and I each got a new pair of rain boots, compliments of Grandma Vicki. And we've worn them lots.

Lucy got two snowsuits for Christmas and Noah got snow pants.

When asked what we might want for Christmas this year, I encouraged outdoor equipment, and Noah got a fantastic set of portable soccer goals and a pair of roller skates.

During Noah's November birthday party, we made all the kids spend the majority of the party outside, running and playing.

And through books and with the help of his preschool, Noah has been learning about hibernation, migration, and what animals do in the wintertime.

Which brings me to my little crafty project, and the subject of my next blog giveaway contest.

The one animal around our house that we've come to depend upon for nonstop action, even in the dead of winter, is the hardy, stubborn, brave SQUIRREL.

 (not my image! Thanks, Google.)

I know--- he's not the most romanticized animal in the world... He's pesky, he's a scavenger, and he's noisy when he runs along our rain gutters in the morning. But he is here. And he is the epitome of a creature unafraid to embrace winter and be outside in the worst of it.

So I decided to make a pair of squirrel ears for Noah. And a sock acorn. I figured we could get outside and play imagination games and pretend to be winter animals. I figured he could learn a bit about the squirrels and come to relate a bit with them. At the very least, I thought he'd be stinkin' cute in a pair of fuzzy grey-brown squirrel ears.

Confession: This idea came to me TWO YEARS AGO. And I made the squirrel ears TWO YEARS AGO. And I intended to blog them and do a giveaway TWO YEAR AGO. Oops. Ha. Here, as evidence, is Noah, TWO YEARS AGO, in his new squirrel ears:

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And here, just yesterday, using my dinky cell phone, is Noah in the same squirrel ears...Just him, his Old Mai, a sock acorn, and a random woodsy pine tree leftover from Christmas.

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Showing that a good idea can stay a good idea for a good long while, and it's never too late to follow through on a brainstorm that hatched TWO YEARS AGO. It's also evidence that this idea of embracing winter with my kids has been brewing for a good long while.

And sidenote: I love my Noah. Just had to throw that out there. Even in rinky-dink cell phone photos, his amazing soul shines through. He is my sweet love.

ANYway.

The time is now, and I still have a darn cute pair of squirrel ears, sized for a kiddo from about 2 years of age to about 4-5 years of age, and a sock acorn with a wool felt top.

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Along with the squirrel ears and acorn, I'll include a little note that gives you some fun ideas on how to play games with the acorn--- just simple twists on old classics like "Hot Potato" and  "Boolah Boolah"... games like that.

I'm going to tuck all of this into the mail to one random blog commenter at the end of the day on Monday, February 20, so that gives you all weekend to remember to get over here and post a comment. I'll stop counting comments after 10:00pm CST on Monday, and will let Joe pick a number between 1 and whatever comment we make it to, and that will be the winner.

To grease up your dusty brains as to what to post in your comment, riddle me this: what is one of your favorite "make-believe" games you played as a kid? My siblings and I played My Little Ponies, He-Man, and many other imagination games based off of Saturday morning cartoons. I could go on for hours about the minutiae of those old games, but.... I've been writing this post forEVER and I really just want to sign off and go snuggle with my hubby in front of a TV show. So ha. No more. 

Leave a comment. Enter to win. And GET OUTSIDE even when its crappy. Your soul still needs it, even if its NOT sunny and 75 degrees. 

That's all for tonight.

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P.S. Would anyone be interested in a tutorial on either of the above items? I can do one, but only if there's interest. Lemme know...

Thursday, February 16

A Quick Prayer

Dear Lord, 

I am grateful this moment for the sunshine.
I am grateful for this little corner of our hallway with the round window that floods with light at this time of day.
I am grateful for the sweet little bundle of blonde fluff asleep just in the next room, snuggly and soft in her fleecy sleep sack, hugging her Bunny Bunny. 
I am gratefule for the bits of fabric that make up her bird mobile, and the way that mobile gently spins in the flow of air from her vent.
I am grateful for the boy asleep in the other room, one lamby lovey on either side of his face, his face still and silent for the first time all day. 
I am grateful for all the stories and games and ideas that flow from him when he is not asleep.
I am grateful for the time to fold laundry, quietly, with steady rhythm, the tidy piles growing as the messy pile shrinks. 
I am grateful for this small home, our home... 
I am grateful for my health, and the health of my family, where only a cold has passed through all season. 
I am grateful for the pink and white book I've had for 11 years, Simple Abundance, that continues to inspire me and center me when I make time to pick it up. 
I am grateful for happy mail and friendships that grow deeper over the years. 
I am grateful for daily text messages that brighten my day. 
I am grateful for a man that tells me he loves me with no hesitation, and always rubs my back for a moment before he heads to bed. 
I am simply, deeply grateful for this life of mine. 

Thank you--

Amen. 

Wednesday, February 15

Hey, Good Lookin', Whatcha Got Cookin'?

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Something sweet is cookin' in mama's kitchen!

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Looks like Chef Lucy has been working on her baking skills...And from the looks of the next photo, she's been working on her opera skills, too:


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For fun, I included my favorite cookie recipe-- easy as can be. Named "Katie's Cookies" because Katie was the one who first tipped me off to this recipe.The rule is, whoever gives you the recipe becomes the new name to the cookie. So if you've not made these before, you now have a new recipe called "Emily's Cookies". Sound like a plan?

And how about a few outtakes? To show you that my perfect little model isn't ALWAYS camera-ready?

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(She was not a fan of the chilly metal pot, even with fabric lining the inside.It took some serious clowning around on my part to distract her and get her to cheer up and forget she was inside a cooking pot. Geez, Mom. So mean!)

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Random notes: 

1. I got the idea for this little shoot here, at Lemondrop Stop Backdrops' website. It is, for the moment, a shot in their opening slideshow. My backdrop is from this company.

2. I made my own chef hat. It was ridiculously easy. 

3. I made the flour sack using a free printable and the freezer paper printing method, read about here.

4. I love my baby. 

5. It's 12:44am and I should not be still here, blogging.

Tuesday, February 14

Sweet Cupid:

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Happy Valentine's Day!

(Vintage Valentine poem found here.)
(To see my sweet Noah as a Cupid two years ago, click.)

Saturday, February 11

Contest Winner and Cupcake Parties

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Number 6 in the comments is Cherie,who looks like she'd be a fabulous friend in real life, based on her cute blogger profile. I've emailed you, Cherie! Claim your goodies and Happy Valentine's Day, early!

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Meanwhile, I've been LOVING your comments! Funnily enough, two of you mentioned cookie dough cupcakes as the flavor you'd bring, and that was exactly what I had made for my contribution to the cupcake party! Yellow cake mix, a blob of cookie dough in the center, and a vanilla buttercream frosting with mini chocolate chips and a teeny chocolate chip cookie on top as garnish. Cute!

The party was loud, boisterous, and oh so sweet-- a perfect distraction from the February Blahs. I recommend all of you go host one immediately:

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It is guaranteed to make your friends' days to be invited, and who doesn't need a few cupcakes in their life? 

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Also, I have hit upon another perfect distraction from the February Blahs, quite by accident: I need to keep having little contests/giveaways! I tell you what--- in the middle of this insane week, filled with dentist crap, PMS, computer woes, and work backlog, nothing perked me up faster than hearing the little "ping" from my phone, telling me I'd gotten another blog comment. Woot!! I felt warm! Loved! Happy! Sure, sure--- you guys are just using me for my giveaways... But hey-- I'll take it! It was so much fun!

So look for another little crafty giveaway SOON. I have at least two more up my sleeve to keep this February fun. Hooray! 

Til then, Happy Weekend and thanks for playing!

Friday, February 10

Valentine's Day Banner + Giveaway!

I've been limping along, trying to get my life back together as we slowly set up this new computer. I tell you what-- once it is completely set up, I will be in heaven. This thing is FASSSST! Heaven!

But until then, it's like trying to manage your regular home life without electricity. You can do most things you did before, but might have to come up with a creative way to make it happen. Creative= slow. Example-- without electricity to heat your water, you could still take a bath by boiling water, one pot at a time. In my case, I don't have my Photoshop and all of my workflow actions in place yet. So to get photos ready for this blog post, I had to "boil water", i.e. dig into Photoshop Elements 2.0 (ay yi yi!!) and try to figure out a few things there just to get things prepared.

Needless to say, I am a bit stunted by the Elements program, so I can't promise any "wow" images for a few days yet...But it'll do.

ANYWAY.

Big day today. I had my third dentist appointment in as many weeks. Boy, that drill sound is awesome, isn't it? And if anyone appreciates a good bit of irony, my afternoon ahead will be filled with cupcakes as I host a Cupcake Party. (Hey, they might be pure sugar, but at least they'll be soft on my poor teeth, right??)

But that's MY life. Its a big day for you guys, too, because I'm having a GIVEAWAY! Today! Right this minute!! Woot!

The other week I saw the cutest, EASIEST project featured on a sweet little blog called Finley and Oliver. She shows how to make a simple little Valentine's Banner, HERE, and I had to make one right away. (Oh my gosh! I just saw her most recent post. Aren't THESE the cutest things ever??!?? Making some!)

ANYWAY. (Got distracted). Point is, I MADE a Valentine's banner. And then I made another one. Because I figured one of you guys needed this banner, too.

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Simple. Timeless. And cute. Right? Well, who wants it? 

In my perfect world, this blog post and giveaway would have happened last weekend. PLENTY of time for posting your entry, plenty of time to get it mailed to you by Valentine's Day. But then my computer crashed, I was left without access to these images, and well... that's life. So. 

This will be a FAST contest. Like, by midnight tonight, I'll pick a winner, and I'll throw this at the mailman TOMORROW. With a lot of prayers, it might get to you ON Valentine's Day. Maybe. 

So to keep it simple, just leave a blog comment. Tell me what you do to survive February, or survive technological setbacks. Or tell me what kind of cupcakes you'd bring to my cupcake party if you could come. 

And at midnight, only 11 hours from now, I'll random.org a winner and get your address and send it along. Easy!!

*
Lastly, in my perfect world, pre-computer-crash, I was going to finally un-hoarde the special photos I have of my Lucy with myself that my dear BFF Katie took last August.... Because you can see a sneak peek of that session up on the mantle photo above. It would have been a lovely little segueway into talking about that session and sharing the photos. But, well... you know. Photoshop Elements TWO and all that jazz. Boiling water for a simple bath. Just not gonna happen here today, folks. 

So I'll keep hoarding. For now. Soon, I promise, a feast of Lucy images. Like crazy FEAST. It'll be cuteness overload. 

Til then, post a comment. Enter to win! Have a grand day! And so on....


Wednesday, February 8

Technical Difficulties...

Ay yi yi! 

a little under a week ago, I had one last run-in with my desktop computer that left me in tears: Too clogged up, too old, too overworked, too EVERYTHING, and it finally ground to a near-halt. I managed maybe THREE things in a full hour of working, and that means ONE email, ONE upload, ONE photo order.... Three things that should've taken me 5 minutes, not 60. 

So. We retired it. 

It is not in the budget, but it is necessary. 

Joe went out and did some research that very day, and came home with a new tower that promises to be at least twice the computer our old one was. 

But....

Switching computers always takes time, especially if all of your critical software is buried in boxes in the basement from when you moved two years ago... 

So. 

We've been hobbling all week... keeping in touch and in business via iTouch and laptop. And needless to say, with all my files and basic programs inaccessible for the moment, there is NOT a lot of blogging going on. 
Or editing. 

Or emailing. 

Or basically MOST of what I do most days. 

So.... if anyone is expecting something from me, I promise we are close. I hope to be back in business by tomorrow evening.... of course, just in time to have to divert all of my energy elsewhere, since I have a major dental visit on Friday morning, a million things to do to get the house and myself prepared for a Cupcake Party on Friday, and a session to get ready for on Saturday. 

ACK! 

For all of my attempts to simplify my life, this week hasn't felt very simple. Oh well. Next week I go back to ZERO items on the calendar, so I think if I can get through this weekend, I can begin to dig out of the computer hole from this whole past week. 

Meanwhile, I'm using my low-tech time away from the computer to work on a scrapbook project (first in 4 years, SQUEE!! I didn't know how much I missed it til I started planning this little project. AH!) and catch up on DVR'ed stuff... As well as some much-needed housekeeping and home projects.

I'm kinda liking the away time. 

Anyhoo... That's me. 

Someone comment and tell me what YOU'RE up to this week? I'll respond in comments if anyone asks a question or anything. Might be fun!