Wednesday, December 28, 2011

trips, parties, and new beginnings...

Tomorrow, we leave for Milwaukee. We are celebrating Ada Louise's 1st birthday at my parents' house with a few relatives and friends. I can't wait to see how it turns out....I haven't started any of the crafts, decorations or recipes...but I have a sneaking suspicion that it is going to turn out amazingly. I need to run a few quick errands before the party to find some goodies at the dollar store and some thrift stores to make the party complete. Here are some of my inspirations, thus far...

While in Wisconsin, we are also celebrating NYE in Madison with many dear Chicago friends. I really can't wait! I found this amaze-balls dress on clearance at Francesca's for $30! I can't wait to wear it with some thick black tights and platform black heels! My lady friends and I decided to all wear this will be an extra sparkly NYE for us!

I am feeling nervous and excited for the new year. I am dedicating myself to a major personal overhaul...mentally and physically. My hubby and I have decided to try our hand at being vegetarians for the year. I have been a vegetarian before (for many years..) and felt that this was the right time to ease back into it...or, rather, leap blindly back into it. I have about 50 gazillion things I want to accomplish this year, a) because I feel that this is the year to do major things, b) I am turning 30 this year and I guess that is what people do when they hit that milestone. Here are a few things on my "to do" list:
1) Write a children's book...even if it is only in a journal and is horribly awful.
2) Practice yoga at least once a just makes me a better person.
3) Start painting, really is my favorite thing to do, other than yoga.
4) Start and end my day with positivity...that is hard for me...somehow I have turned into the world's biggest pessimist.
5) Be brave. Be brave. Be brave. I second guess everything I do. I don't do things for fear of what people will think or how things will look or that what I do might not be good enough. I want to stop all of that nonsense this year.

Here's to a happy new year. I will see you in 2012...the year of luck, love, and possibilities!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Adieu, Christmas...

I hope everyone had a splendid holiday! Ours was jam packed with fun...late night Cranium that went on for hours, LOTS of tasty food, mimosas and martinis, dog sleepover pals for Olivia and Phil...a Newfoundland named Dante and a Basset Hound named Winston. My whole immediate family drove from Minnesota and Wisconsin to spend Christmas with us. It really was a good time! We saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie, which I definitely recommend, made large, elaborate meals, and generally, enjoyed each others company. Christmas morning was a bit of a present explosion...with 9 people and 4 dogs in the house, there were gazillions of presents to be passed.

Ada Louise thought the mad gift rush was fun at first, and then started to melt down into over-stimulation mode. She is just loving all the new treasures she received...well, all but the giant stuffed animal Pug I bought for her. I thought it was the perfect gift since she LOVES dogs...everyone else thought it was a bit scary. As you can see from my previous post, Olivia the Pug felt a kinship with this stuffed Pug and has decided to show her the ropes of the house.

Overall, 2011 Christmas was wildly successful! It was great to have my family come and visit our new digs and explore our new town with us. It was also fantastic for my brothers to spend some time with Ada Louise, since we don't get to see each other that often. I think Ada Louise really loved all the people around. She had a great Christmas....I can't wait to see how much she will change before next Christmas and how much more she will understand and partake in the holiday. Having children really changes Christmas, in a good way! I used to be so focused on what gifts I was getting for, I can't wait to see the look of excitement on Ada Louise's face when she experiences opening gifts, seeing Santa, and inspecting every last ornament on the tree. I didn't want to focus on myself, at all...I just wanted to soak up every little moment and every little reaction she had to all the newness.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all...

And to all a very fun day filled with food and family!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas and Cupcakes!

Oh, I have been so neglectful of writing these past few weeks! I will blame it on too much to do over the holidays and back-to-back flu and bronchitis. Now that I am seeing the light at the end of the sickness tunnel, I will be much more present.

The holidays are upon us! I can't believe Christmas is Sunday. I am, thankfully, pretty prepared. All gifts are wrapped, except for one. The hubby is off tomorrow to help with grocery shopping and cleaning before my family arrives on Friday. Christmas cookies are made....and many have been eaten. Festive decorations are bedecking all areas of the house. Because I have been sick, I haven't been taking many pictures...but, I will make up for it this weekend and the coming 2 weeks, for sure! With Christmas, New Year's Eve and Ada Louise's birthday party just around the is going to snapshot madness around here.

As promised, here are some shots of Ada Louise's actual first birthday...and first cupcake! Thank you, again, to Hooton Images and Bliss Bakery!

Oh, just look at those yummy cupcakes! Ada Louise had a gingerbread cupcake, I had pink champagne, and Derek had vanilla...that is so Derek to just have was really tasty, though.

Ada Louise was a cupcake pro!

Such a fun day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sister Bloggers

Many of the blogs I follow are written by fantastic, stylish, wonderful Mormon's just a few of their tasty bloggy treats:

Oh Happy Day
Nat the Fat Rat
The Rockstar Diaries

Not being Mormon, myself, I was fascinated by this article about the shear volume of Mormon Lifestyle bloggers out there...this had been a question on my mind for a while. I am glad it was finally answered!

The Flu With Ada Lou

So, this was a first experience...having the flu while caring for my sweet Ada Lou...alone, at home, all day. I have never had the flu and I have never had more than a sore throat since before Ada was least, not that I can remember, so it was a huge shock to me to not only have the flu, but a ridiculously bad case of it...and I couldn't just sit on the couch in my pajamas, watching bad tv. I just wanted to lay on the floor and have Ada Lou do as she pleased...maybe play with her blocks, maybe chase Phil (our dachshund) around for a while...just anything so I didn't have to move. Little Lady always has other things in mind than what I want...of course she wanted to play WITH ME (I am her mommy, after all)! Of course she wanted to be held 95% OF THE DAY (The transition to whole milk can give your insides a sour spell)! Of course she had to be cranky on the one day I wanted to pass out right where I stood. So, I begrudgingly got myself together and got us out the door to spend our day doing something rather than nothing. I survived and I am none worse-the-wear. Thanks to Gatorade and Ramen noodles...I am feeling 85% today...that other 15% goes to the chest cold that coincided with the flu.

It was good for me to experience that...being a stay-at-home mom is a daily struggle. I love my daughter and want to spend every waking moment with her, yet, I want the companionship of other adults. I want the fun of lunches out...I want the satisfaction of productivity and kudos on a job well done...I want the excitement of a fashionable work wardrobe (wow, that's really sad). Being sick and caring for my daughter brought me down off of my matter what, she is the most important thing. No matter how I feel, she needs me more than I need the couch, jammies and bad tv (even though it pains me a little to say that...because I really did feel like I needed that). It doesn't matter what I need; she needs me more.

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Headbands on Etsy!

I have finally completed a good amount of newborn headbands for my customers expecting (or buying for) new, itty bitty babies. I will be posting new infant headbands tomorrow! Go check out the new loot at Blue Bicycle Design! Oh, I can't wait to have another little bitty bundle. I love babies and I love being pregnant....don't expect it any time soon, though, grandparents. Ada Louise doesn't even sleep through the night would be torture to add pregnancy into the mix at this point....hey, how'd that baby get into those pictures? tee hee.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rough night AND new Etsy stuff

Ugh. Last night was ROUGH. Ada Louise woke up at about 8.30 throwing up. She threw up about three more times after that. It was all over her crib, her hair, her blankets and stuffed animals...and me. Poor little Ada Lou. I think she might have overdone it on the new whole milk eating. She LOVES whole milk. She is feeling better today, albeit a bit cranky from lack of sleep.

In other news, NEW newborn headbands will be going up on the Etsy store tomorrow. I know a few of you were waiting on newborn stuff, so don't worry...I didn't forget about you. My shipment of headbands took about a month to get to me for some unknown reason. Let me know what you think! More rosettes or less rosettes? Brighter colors or pastels? Do you like the mix of colors? What would you like to see?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Post-Birthday Day

Oh, I am so sad that Ada Louise's birthday is over! She had such a fun day and got so many fun things to play with! I don't buy a lot of toys for Ada Louise...usually, we just do books and blocks and use whatever is around the house to build creativity skills, so I was shocked to see how excited she was to play with new toys...why I was shocked is a mystery, really...who doesn't like new things? She loves her new little car she can scoot around in and her new little chair and grocery cart full of fun little groceries! I am happy the coloring book, crayons, and birthday book were a hit! The crayons are used for coloring 50% of the time and go in her mouth the other 50%. She had a fantastic, gourmet dinner of shrimp risotto and green beans. She was crazy about the risotto...she just kept signing, MORE MORE MORE! My hubby makes a mean risotto, oozing with butter and cheese, so it is not a surprise that she loved it. Ada Louise is also now drinking MILK! Hooray! I thought it would be a difficult transition, but she took right to it! She loves Horizon Organic Whole Milk with DHA. I haven't uploaded any more pics from her bday yet..when we get the images from the photo shoot I will upload them immediately because they are ridiculously, I will leave you with a pic of our monstrous tree. It is so round we had to buy 4 extra strings of lights so that they weren't swallowed up by the inside of the tree! Happy Tuesday...not so happy for Ada Louise because she has her 12 month checkup in an hour:(

Monday, December 5, 2011


My sweet, sweet Ada Louise is 1 year old today! I stayed up late last night decorating the tree while she was asleep, so that it would be a big, beautiful birthday surprise when she woke up. She really didn't care about the tree as much as the little car we got her. She was SO excited! She kept saying, "Wow, wow, wow!" She opened up some presents, watched some Baby Signing Time and is now blissfully sleeping. I can't wait for the rest of the shoot with Hooton Images capturing Ada's first cupcake destruction, going to see Santa and a yummy dinner!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Milwaukee Mini-Break

Last Wednesday, Ada Louise and I went back to Milwaukee to visit my parents. We had a great time...though, Ada Louise did not want to sleep nor eat food the entire time we were there. I got to catch up with my best friend (and Ada Louise's godmother), whom I haven't seen in TOO long, over dinner at Zin in Delafield. She got Ada the cutest birthday gift, as well...every year for her birthday she is going to get her a savings bond...then, when she turns 18 she is going to take her (and hopefully her own daughter!) on a shopping trip somewhere fabulous! That is SO my friend...fashionista forever! Here are some of my fave pics from our trip to Wisconsin...taken on and around my mom's kitchen table.

The Christmas season can begin...

We now have our Christmas tree! All Christmas festivities can now commence...let the merriment abound!

I wanted to make Ada's first tree-picking-out experience to be really fun and spirited, so I found Santa's Woods in Blair, Nebraska. It was only about a 20 minute drive from Dundee and I found the drive to be quite holiday-like, considering every tree is now dusted with just the perfect amount of snow to be picturesque. Upon entering Santa's Woods, we drove down a snow-covered driveway with Frasier Firs and reindeer right within view. We parked in the lot and made our way into the vintage barn. We were greeted by free hot chocolate and cider, haystacks to lounge on and a crackling fire keeping us all toasty. Upstairs were Christmas-y crafts and snacks for sale. We decided to keep warm by the fire until the hayrack ride came to pick us up and take us to pick out our tree.

It was so cute watching Ada Louise on the hayrack ride. First of all, it was super bumpy...Ada loves bouncing, so she really enjoyed the substantial jostling. She seemed very confused as to why we were sitting on hay, in the cold, watching the outside go by through a vinyl window. I guess I would be confused if I were almost 1 year old, too.

Upon our exit from the hayrack ride, we were greeted by none other than the big man in red, himself....Santa Claus! Ada Louise wasn't scared...rather, she stared intently at Mr. Claus with a look that could only be described as a mix of disgust and disdain. Really, she thought, you drove me out here in the freezing cold to see this guy? You expect me to be excited to see this man? You've got another thing coming, people....he is so passe. Just look at how excited Ada Louise is to see Santa! Ha ha ha...or rather, Ho Ho Ho!

Alas, it was time to pick out the tree. There were a wide variety of pre-cut trees, but you can also go out and pick your own tree to cut down. Ada wasn't wearing snowpants and we realized we forgot her carrier 15 minutes into the trip, so we went the pre-cut route to rule out being stuck in the middle of a forest of Christmas trees with an 11-month old with a poopy diaper, screaming her head off while simultaneously wanting to be held and put down on the ground. We found our tree, hopped back on the hayrack and were ready to head back home. We are decorating the tree tonight while Ada Louise is sleeping, so it will be an amazing surprise for her to see tomorrow when she wakes up on her 1ST BIRTHDAY! I can't wait to see the look on her face!