Monday, May 25, 2009

A New Adventure...

Just about the time I think I'm ready to take a break and really slow down, a new challenge and/or a new adventure presents itself. Never one to turn down a new adventure or challenge, I had to accept :) I'm now a proud member of the Polka Dotz Shoppe! The talent in this group is unbelievable and I'm honored to be a part of the family.

With all my computer "issues" (the new laptop has been ordered and continues to show a status of "in production"...ggrrrr...hurry up!!!!) I won't be able to list just yet, as I don't think my hubby's work or my neighbor would appreciate it if I downloaded huge amounts of photo editing software, graphics, templates, embroidery software (you get the gist!), but I'm sewing away and still working on getting a few things ready to list on Etsy and perhaps one or two for eBay.

Happy happy day :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Animal Planet and other fun pics....

This is kind of hard to explain, but we have this little "tunnel" for our furry family friend, Bianca. The tunnel is the bane of my husband's existence! It is about 5' long and spring loaded and whenever we take it out, it is a nightmare to put away! It takes two people to squish it all back together and shove it between the wall and our shelf on the back patio. Since Bianca is an indoor only kitty, Emerson LOVES her to come outside and "play" with her while in her tunnel. A few weeks ago, we went outside to play and Emerson wanted to bring Bianca out. I went to go grab the tunnel and was shocked to find a bird nest on top of it! After closer inspection I realized that there were 4 eggs inside. It was amazing how quickly all three of us became attached to the Mommy and Daddy birds who were tending to their nest. We tried to avoid going on the back patio so as not to disturb them, but that was difficult with a child who loves playing outside. Eventually Mommy and Daddy bird realized they could trust us and continued flitting back and forth even when we were sitting just a few feet away from them. It was so exciting each and every day to dash outside and check on the baby birdie eggs. Finally, after a few weeks they hatched! They were so darn cute!! Mommy and Daddy bird brought them yummy grubs, worms, and bugs all day long! I snapped this picture in between "feedings" while the baby birds were taking a nap!

We went out of town this weekend and when we came back Sunday, we all ran outside to check on the baby birds, and they had flown the nest!! We were so proud!! I couldn't believe how sad we all were though to see them gone. What we aren't so pleased about is the mess they left behind! Our back patio is now COVERED in baby bird poop!! Of course, Florida was in the midst of one of the worst droughts in years, but moments after we arrived home Sunday, it started raining and HASN'T STOPPED!! So, cleaning the back patio is on the agenda for this coming weekend **SIGH** at least Bianca will be happy that she can finally use her tunnel again!

We now also have a family of bunnies living under the neighbor's canoe in the backyard. I am amazed at how trusting these bunnies are, they just hop right out and munch on grass and bushes while Emerson is running around playing. It doesn't seem to bother them in the least even when she is only a few feet from them! Let's not forget the family of lizards that live under the tunnel where the bird's nest was or the pack of armadillos that sniff around our yard all day and night!

I also wanted to share a couple pictures I snapped of my baby girl last week. The first was taken while I was in the midst of laundry and other cleaning. She came across some Disney Princess fabric I had purchased to make her some simple twirl dresses to wear to school and asked if she could play with them. I came back in the play room about 20 minutes later to find her "decorating" her chair! She is definitely a budding designer. She had carefully arranged each piece of fabric over her chair to make her own personal Disney Princess Chair cover! It was so cute!!

And lastly, this one was snapped the next day after I found my little super model perched on the bathroom counter painting her finger nails! So sweet!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Once Upon A Time....

Just listed a few new goodies on eBay today. These two will be my last eBay listings for a little while, at least for the summer :) I need a little break, but don't worry, you're not getting rid of me that easily. I'm going to be creating a line of simple everyday boutique wear that will consist of pants, capris, applique tanks and tees, skirts, twirl dresses, knit dresses and leggings, etc and listing them on Etsy with everyday prices :) I'll post here whenever I list something new :)

For now, I have two new ones for you.....Emerson's fabulous birthday dress, of course, this is a one time shot for this dress, it will never be duplicated! Click on the picture to view the auction.

Also, I was so honored to have Kacey of maddie*kate as my guest for IvyLane's Travel Launch. We traveled to the beach!! We also worked with Jen of little*red*wagon and Melissa of thebowvine! You can check out my cute patchy capris by clicking on the picture.

Nothing else new and exciting to report, although we did make a quick run up to Disney again this weekend....we stayed for two nights at the Old Key West Resort. It was our first time staying there. It was nice, but LOUD!!! Most of the time noise in a Disney hotel has never been a problem, but the way these buildings were set up, everything echoed right into our room. Then, this cute Disney magnet I've had on the back of my car for two years was stolen in the parking lot!! Of all the crazy places I have parked in Tampa (which has one of the highest crime statistics for car break-ins and thefts), no one has touched it. How ironic that it would be stolen off my car at a Disney resort!! LOL!! So, I don't think we'll be staying there again anytime soon. We have figured out that of all the Disney resorts we've stayed in, Port Orleans French Quarter is our favorite. The price is right and it is beautiful!

The heat was pretty much unbearable on Sunday when we stopped by Hollywood Studios before heading home. I thought I'd have a heat stroke...95 degrees with 100% humidity. We haven't had rain in months here in Florida, we are in one of the worst droughts in years....well it finally started raining around 4:00 P.M. on Sunday and hasn't stopped!!! It has been raining for 48 hours straight....I swear I can hear our grass sighing with relief and happiness! Or maybe it was Andy I heard sighing with relief and happiness that he won't be forced to lay new St. Augustine sod in the Florida summer heat only to watch it croak again in days due to the extreme heat! LOL!!

Monday, May 4, 2009


So it took me a little longer than most to finally sit down and read Twilight. I couldn't figure out what all the hype was about, but when I did my perfunctory pick out 3 new books before vacation shopping, I finally decided to grab a copy. I, of course, read my other two books first...I didn't even really want to start reading it. But we all ended up with colds when we came home from Disney and spent our last few days of vacation lying around the house, so after too many Beverly Hills, 90210 reruns I finally decided to start it.

Okay, wow, all I'm going to say is I'm madly in love! Like high school girl crazy crush in love. I want to be Bella, I want Edward to love me! I totally want to be 17 again and fall in love with the hottest guy in school and find out that he is a vampire! I know this all sounds completely insane from a, ahem, 32 year old grown married woman with a child, but I can guarantee if any of you out there have read the book, you will know EXACTLY what I mean!

So, of course, I immediately ran out and bought the other 3 books and read them as quickly as I could, then I watched the movie. I know this sounds absolutely insane, but I have never felt so emotionally attached to characters in a book in my life. I'm slowly but surely coming down from my Edward withdrawals now that reality has set back in and life after vacation has continued to move forward, but somehow I find myself still wishing for least I have "New Moon" the movie to look foward to! gorgeous is he??? Seriously, if you haven't, read the book! Just be prepared to ignore reality for a few days.....

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Birthday Extravaganza

First let me apologize for not posting in so long! I've been in birthday "heaven" for the 4 weeks!! I think since Emerson is our one and probably our only child, I tend to go a little overboard for her birthday, but hey, you only turn 4 once right?

Now I'll go ahead and apologize for how incredibly long this post is going to be! I have so much to share with you, but just haven't had the time to sit down until now! So if you don't have at least 15 minutes to spare, stop back by later when you do as this one is going to be a long one.........

So, it all started with Emerson's dream dress.....last year she was all about Mickey and Minnie, but this year, she wants nothing to do with them. She is all about the Disney Princesses and insisted that she needed a fancy dress featuring all 6 of the princesses. Whew, I'm feeling exhausted just thinking about it! She also has every theme song from every one of the Princess movies memorized (that wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that her sweet Aunt Jodi was kind enough to burn a CD for us that we listen to in the car everywhere we go would it?) so I decided that since she will only turn 4 once that I needed to figure out a way to incorporate all of the Princesses plus their songs. So I spent a solid 2 weeks working on this dress! More on that later.

Her week of parties started on Thursday, the day before her birthday, with a celebration at preschool. Nothing can be easy with my baby because of her food allergies so I had to bake a cake from scratch with this cute little mini heart-shaped cake pan I found, but of course, her school only allows sharing of treats if they are store bought and still packaged, so I had to run to Publix to buy cupcakes for the other children in her class while Emerson snacked on her own little mini-cake! I whipped up this cute little tank and capri set for her to wear to school that day. Oh, and yes, please go ahead and admire my lovely yard art......courtesy of Target's dollar spot. Emerson spotted that flamingo from a mile away and had to have has since been relocated to a more inconspicuous location to avoid a nasty gram from our homeowner's association kindly reminding us that yard art is not allowed! She is petting the "mommy flamingo" and the "Emmy flamingo" is tagging along right behind.

So Friday morning (April 17th) was the big day! I have to say, all the hours and hours and hours I spent on her Princess dress wore worth seeing that beautiful smile on her face and her sweet exclamation "Oh Mommy, it is so beautiful, thank you SOOOOOO much!" followed by big hugs and kisses. I was able to completely forget about the carpal tunnel I developed, the numbness that still lingered in my right thumb from cutting so many appliques, and the fact that I now look and feel like the Hunchback of Notre Dame (my back seriously still isn't the same yet!). Daddy was at work so she was only allowed to open one present, but being the sweetheart that she is, she was totally fine with that! She and I then spent hours in the bathroom getting ready together....she is a true princess at heart! Then she was finally able to put on her for a princess! We went outside and she happily twirled around for quite some time before it was time for us to go back inside to work on her 2nd birthday cake. Here are a few pics of her twirling fun.....

I, of course, had to bake another egg-free cake from scratch for her to eat that evening and this time, it had to be milk-free too since her best bud, Owen, was coming over and he is allergic! We had a party for her that evening with family....her Nanny and Poppy (who came all the way from North Carolina), her Gramma (my mom), her Aunt Jodi, her best bud Owen and his mom (poor kid wasn't going to be able to come to her actual birthday party since it was a princesses only party), our family friend Paul, and the 3 of us! We had a blast and I'm not sure I've ever seen a little girl get as many presents as she did for a birthday. Seriously, too many to list....but her very very fave was a special gift from her Aunt Jodi and Aunt Julie (who lives in New York and couldn't be here with us to celebrate). It was something she had asked Santa for, but since Santa had already gone a little overboard by the time she asked for it, she had to wait until her birthday. So the big gift.....her very own pony!!!!

Well, sort of.....a Little Tykes Giddy Up N Go pony. I gotta tell you, it is one of the coolest things I've ever seen and I know I would have adored it when I was her age!!! I can't tell you how many people stopped us in the neighborhood asking where we'd gotten it. I even heard a group of teenage boys riding their bikes talking about it, one said "Wow, don't you wish you had one of those!" All us adults kept talking about how badly we wanted to get on it and ride down the street, but I don't think Emerson would have recovered if we'd broken her precious pony!! We snuck her outside and made her close her eyes before we brought it around the front of the house....look at this sweet little face, eyes closed in anticipation....and the smile after she saw what it was. Honestly, that sweet smile brings tears to my eyes just looking at it. I wish I could have frozen that moment in time and cherished it forever.....

Okay, so on to her party! In the past, I've always hosted her parties at our home and I'm sure everyone can relate to how much work that is! The cleaning and cooking involved and then only hours later your house is trashed! So this year we decided to have her party elsewhere. You may remember one of my previous posts about Sweet & Sassy and their princess themed party.....well it was a blast! We pulled up and literally, the rushed out to the car and took over from there!! It was fabulous :) I think this might be one of the only birthday parties she's ever had where I was actually able to take pictures! In the past I was always too busy! She had 6 of her little friends there and every one of them just loved getting their hair, makeup, and nails done and being crowned a true princess. Here are a few pics from her party....

Okay, so not the best picture, but you try getting 6 princesses to stand still and smile at the same time! This is the only one I was able to get with all the girls together!

Look at this sweet face blowing out the candles.....she gave it all she had!!

And lastly, our week ended with a 5 day trip to Disney World!! We had breakfast with Mary Poppings....dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming....we rode lots of rides including Goofy's Rollercoaster which Emerson was terrified of last year, but this year she quickly explained, "Mommy, I'm 4 now, I'm not scared of rollercoasters anymore!" And you know what, she wasn't! We had so much fun, but I have to say, we were EXHAUSTED, beyond EXHAUSTED....truly I could have slept for a month when we got home. So, overall, I'd say the birthday week was a huge success! I have no idea how we're going to top this birthday :) Emerson wore "the dress" to Magic Kingdom and Mary Poppins loved it so much she made a special trip over to where we were standing just to take a peek. That's what I love about Disney....all the magical moments. Emerson was beside herself that Mary Poppings came over special TO her instead of the usual, us waiting in line to see her.

Emerson spotted this dress in the window of a shop right by Cinderella's castle. It was love at first sight. She begged us to let her try it on, so we did. She truly looked like a princess in it. She stood in front of the mirror admiring herself forever and, again, I can't tell you how many people stopped to tell her how beautiful she looked. I was determined not to buy it since she had just received countless amounts of gifts for her birthday, but she looked so beautiful in it. I did resist at that moment simply because it was raining and I didn't want it to get ruined. I was so proud of her when I told her she'd have to wait until Santa brought it and she said "Okay Mommy, I know I can't have it right now cause its really spensive and there are so many boys and girls who don't have as many toys as me. I just really hope Santa's watching right now cause I want this dress super bad." It melted my heart to hear her say something so big and mature for her age. I immediately decided we would buy it before we left to come home....and we did, the very next night. She calls it her "Married Cinderella" dress and wore it when we had dinner with Cinderella and Prince Charming.

So that's it! This has been my life for the last few weeks! I promise I won't wait so long or post so much all at one time next time :) Oh and keep your eyes peeled, I'm still deciding whether I'm masochistic enough or not to offer her beautiful princess dress as a custom on eBay. If I do, it will be a true OOAK as I intend to keep hers forever and would never recreate it more than once. Even Andy says he doesn't want me to sell it when she outgrows it because he thinks it is a work of art. I figure I'll keep it and one day when Emerson has a daughter of her own, she can share it with her. I don't think the Disney Princesses will ever go out of style ;)