Friday, March 30, 2012

Top 5 Photos from January - March {and some Jonah Quotes}

I love taking photos of my kids.  And I love to pretend I'm a photographer.  Mostly, I love to document LIFE.  And then I love to remember life by looking back through pictures.  Here are my top 5 favorite photos from this year so far.

{I should mention... it is EXTREMELY hard to narrow it down to just five.  Might have to do a "Part II" of this post!}

1.  Clara's 1 year photo shoot.  Love that she's looking right at the camera in the midst of a daring move, I'm sure.

3.  This is the face Jonah makes when I tell him to smile.  I love the blurry background and how it captures his sweet imaginative personality

3.  The kids pushed these boxes over to the counter to help us make dinner.  Really, we just gave them bowls of water.  I love that they do EVERYTHING together.  And that Jonah thought to give her two boxes verses his one warms my heart.  And check out those sweet tip-toes.  LOVE.

4.  This girl just makes my heart beat fast.  She looks so tiny compared to the couch... even though she's 13 months in this photo!  Look at her sweet feet tucked underneath each other.  And I'm pretty sure she was watching her brother - like always.

5. And finally, have I mentioned how much I love having two kids?  I love how much they love each other.  And how much they interact.  I love that Clara will push Jonah in his ride-on airplane.  But mostly, I love how they look at each other.  How fun to go through life with each other!

And to round up this post, how about some classic Jonah quotes from the past month?
{taken from my personal Facebook page status updates}

Jonah says, "I'm gonna draw Daddy". {draws a squiggle line} ... "whoops! That's a snake!"

Jonah puts a sticker on my shirt while saying, "Mom? You want a sticker on your heart?'

"Apple juice makes my tummy happy!""

Jonah tosses me a toy with a WILD throw then say, "Awwww mommy! You dropped it!"

Just tried to draw Blue's Paw-print in Jonah's notebook. I asked him what it was and he responded... "a heart!" guess drawing is not my thing. I'll stick to the sewing machine.

Jonah {to daddy}: Want to play with my trains?  Daddy: I WANT to play with your trains, but I NEED to get ready for work.  Jonah: You NEED to play with my trains. That's a true state.  Daddy: You mean "statement"?  Jonah: Yep, true statement."

Jonah: "It's getting dark outside... poor little sun..."

Jonah looks at Neil and says "I'm going to be just like you daddy!!" Then he goes back to eating breakfast and thinking... "First I grow up. Then I be a princess... no, I can't be a princess. I'm Jonah."

Jonah: Where is Diddy go?
Neil: She's at the Y with mommy.
Jonah: Diddy doesn't like go to the Y. I feel sad for her.

Clara puts one of Jonah's train tracks in her mouth: "hey! That's a track! It's not a bone."

Jonah has the hiccups. "I have the hiccups." {looks down at his tummy} "Hiccups, stop talking to me. I'm playing with Mommy."

I told Jonah he had 15 minutes before bedtime. He looks at me and says, "I'll be 3 by then!"

Jonah: Let's hide! {closes his eyes} or...  Jonah: I'm gonna turn off my eyes {closes his eyes}


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Superheroes to the Rescue

To the recSUE!!

He zooms across the floor with that two-year old toddle run.  Feet slamming hard with each jolt and he's made it to his damsal in distress. 

I'm heeere to help! 

His eyes light up as he surveys the damage and decides how best to get his mama out of the scary dragon-infested dungeon. 

He's such a little tyke.  With little feet, and little arms, but a smile for days, and eyes that brighten with innocence and wonder.  To him, he's big.  In his eyes, he can rescue.  He can save.  He can help.  And that he does.

When he's not being the superhero, he is playing with them.  And his sudden development of imaginative play has just delighted my heart.  Today, his superhero was eating lunch with Boots the Monkey.  And instead of dessert, they rescued Dora from the snares of Grumpy 'ol Troll.

And just as quickly as I've seen this new world emerge for him, I remember the day it died for me.

I loved to draw.  Crayons, markers, paints.  Everything.  Then one day, I suddenly couldn't think of anything to draw anymore.  I had overused the flowers, trees, smiley suns, and butterflies - and nothing was left.  It must have been the day that imagination left.

And now - I'm rediscovering that little lost girl from behind the eyes of a two year old.  I'm seeing it all over again for the second time.  And I desperately want to bottle it up so that when the day comes that he doesn't have any superhero left in him, I can open it up and release the little boy again. 

Because everyone needs that spark of creativity.  That burst of imagination.  It's at the very heart of God.

Don't worry.  Little Love and I play along, too.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When Your Neighborhood Just Needs Help

{This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pfister. All opinions are 100% mine.}

I'm not sure how many of you actually know what it's like to live in the urban areas of America.  Not many would choose to do it.  I, personally, love it.  Of course, there are many moments that I see blogs and read about the amazing square footage you all have and get a little envious.  I admit it.

But, the aspects of living in the city, right next to those who are in need is an opportunity I hope I never grow old of.  I love helping the old lady across the street, I "loved" housing the homeless man in our garage, and I may have hated what happened to my poor flowers, but I learned a lot about God through it all.

And when I read about what companies like Pfister (a leader in the plumbing field for nearly 100 years) and Rebuilding Together (a national nonprofit providing critical home repairs for low-income homeowners) are doing to improve the lives of others, too - my ears perk up.

I was asked to share this partnership with all of you and I'm MORE THAN happy to do it.  Pfister and Rebuilding Together are partnering to bring home improvement services to families AT NO COST.  Families who really need it.
Whitney 2
For every Facebook "like" that Pfister gets, they will donate $1 to Rebuilding Together's reconstruction projects.  It's that simple!  All we have to do is go "like" the Pfister Facebook page and $1 will be donated to the home improvement of someone in need.  {You can read more details at the Friends of Pfister campaign site.}

And these reconstruction projects are doing so much for the confidence and honor to the homeowners.  The feeling of not being able to afford your own home maintenance must be awful.  It looks like they might be donating fancy faucets.  And we all know how happy I was to get some water pressure around this house!

Maybe you could consider donating $1 in the form of a Facebook "like" to someone in need?
I only wish we could be there to see the faces of those who homes are being improved with that $1.  Because as the physical faucet is being replaced, I'm sure their hope is being renewed.

Whitney 1
Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, March 26, 2012

Custom Bag Orders and a Discount!

These bags are already on their way to you.  What a fun, colorful group!

Featured are: Two Maggie Bags, Snack Pack Trio, Four Wet Bags, a Tracey, and a Kindra

There is also an imperfect camera case for sale.  It's fully functional, just has a few mishaps in the sewing.  Not up to 100% quality for full price.

And lastly, I decided to do a SUPER SPECIAL SALE each time I show off your bag designs that shipped.  Maybe it will motivate you to click over and see what your fellow readers are designing.  So today...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Living Room Decorating Ideas {Hidden Books}

A few weeks back, I took a poll of my Facebook fans to find out what they do to hide ugly books on their bookshelves.  They had such great ideas, so I credit them for inspiring this one!

I really do hate the look of books on my bookshelf.  All different colors, sizes, and types.  Makes me cringe every time I look at it.
I had to do something.

After staring for awhile and considering have a large bonfire in my backyard to just burn them all {librarians, don't hate}, I found a solution.  Hidden books!

I'm hiding all those hideous covers behind ones I LOVE using magazine files!  I bought twenty five white cardboard magazine files from IKEA (also here on Amazon for those unfortunate souls without an IKEA).  They were cheeeeaaap... which is why I bought them.  In case my project failed miserably.

But, I'm actually really happy with the strength of the boxes.  And since my plan is to hide ALL of my books, I definitely didn't want to spend $10/file!

Look how sweet they look all lined up and pretty.  I'm so happy with the results.

Want to make some, too?

exacto knife, thrifted books with colored spines, glue gun, and magazine file

I bought all my books at thrift stores and tore off the covers to get to the beautiful spines.  There are some LOVELY ones hidden back there just waiting to be shown off!

Demolishing your books {close your eyes, English professors}:

I save the book pages for future crafts {one that I will reveal at the end of this post}.

To cover the magazine file, you will need your books to look like this:

So, cut off either the front, back, or both to create the look you need.  {I measured my books against the magazine file before cutting to make sure they would all fit across the back.}

Using a glue gun, attach the first book cover to the side of the magazine file.

Then glue down the edge of the spine.

Repeat this glue gun action for all your spines until your magazine file is covered.

In love.

But, don't worry.  I didn't throw away much from this project.  Here are three stacks of book pages used for decoration.  Did you know Pottery Barn was selling this?!  Probably for major $$$, too.

And I glued some of the leftover book covers together for some wall art in my bedroom.

Nothing went to waste.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Do It Yourself Home Decor {Thrift Shop Finds}

Do It Yourself Home Decor {Thrift Shop Finds}
I love decorating my house with thrift shop finds.  Remember this basket design on my wall?  It still gets thousands of pins on Pinterest every month.  **smile**

Not only is shopping at a thrift store cheap, but there is a thrill in finding something good!

I'm addicted.  I admit it, ok?  But, to share in my addiction, I thought it would be fun to share a picture reel of my favorite thrift shop finds that I've used for my DIY home decor.

Here is my new favorite view in my house.

It shows off my most recent thrift shop finds.  Those three vintage suitcases that you all saw on my Facebook page last week still make me smile when I walk by.  They are filled with crafting supplies.  And Jonah calls them his "treasures".

And this lovely textured oil painting that I almost didn't get last weekend.  I'm not sure how I could live without it now that I see the difference it makes on top of my craft cabinet.

I chose not to hang it on the wall, but just allow it to lean against it.  Just a DIY home decor tip {or a lazy mom who doesn't want to hammer during naptime}.

I'm also preeeety excited about this nice collection of plates I'm gathering. My hope is to create something similar to this pin on Pinterest.  With plates that I'm absolutely in love with.

And you may have seen how I decorate with vintage pillow cases at Christmas time.  Well, I did it again with this lovely mustard dream and a yarn-crafted wall art I found.

And I'm still loving my DIY centerpiece.  Although, it looks so much better with a constant bouquet of flowers on it.  {Dear husband... are you reading this?!}

And finally, my adorable blue, teal, and cream book spine collection.  I'm going to rip the spines off these for another project.  For now, the are resting peacefully on my bookshelf.

Ahhhhh... I'm already wanting to head out to the thrift stores again.  Wish you all could join me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Finally... peace.

It started as soon as he woke up.  I rolled out of bed, hair a mess, into his room.

"Mommy, can I watch a movie?"  We stumble into the living room and turn on cartoons.

"NO!  Not that movie!!"  I change the channel until I realize that nothing is satisfying this little monster.

"I want to eeeeeaaaat."  But he doesn't know what he wants.  And everything I set in front of him is wrong.

"I want Mac & Cheese."  For breakfast?  I don't care.  I make it.  I set it before his Royal Highness and he says,

"Noooo... I don't waaannnt Mac & Cheese."

She's up now.  Eats her breakfast like a little champ.  {The floor, however, is still covered in her food - hours later}.

He's back at it:  "I want to go the Y and play with the toys and the kids."  Great!  I'd love to work out and have a small break from being a mom.  I start to get everyone dressed.  We walk toward the door.

"I don't want to go to the Y.  I want to stay at my hoouuuse and take a nap."  The longer I pull him toward the door, the harder he fights me and the louder he whines.

A nap?  That would be fine, too.  Little one would just scream the entire time I worked out anyway.  So shoes come off.

The nap lasted 10 minutes.  "Mommy???"  I walk in the room.   "I'm awake!"  Great.  Let's play outside.  {This pseudo-nap happened three times}.

"I want to play with the rice!"  I decide to bring down the beans.  Horror erupts when he finds out that beans have entered his playtime rather than the rice.  He eventually gets over it.  

I remember tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day.  I need to take my annual holiday picture for the blog.  I don't have a backdrop prepared for it and the kids are in no mood to smile.

I decide to make this and let them at in in the bathtub.  It was a success.

Then lunch came.

"I want pizza!!"  I hand him a leftover slice from yesterday.

"Noooooo!!  I don't waaaaant pizza."  Chicken nuggets?  Maybe he'll like to dip those.  He accepts until the plate gets in front of him.

"I don't wannnnt chicken nuggets.  I wanna go night-night."  Ok, let's go.  Halfway to his room.

"I wanna eeeeaaaaat chicken nuggets first!!"  Back in the chair.

I walk out of the room at the request to get his sippy cup.  And I catch a glance of myself in the mirror.  Baggy grey sweatpants wet around the bottom, dirty white tank top that does nothing for holding in my c-section gut.  Hair a mess and a face that hasn't seen makeup in days.

I start crying.  I've given up everything for these kids.  I've given up my freedom, my "me-time", my career, my body.

I can't do it anymore.  But I can't NOT do it.  Where do I go from here?

Somehow we make it through lunch.  And this time he really does go to sleep.  I tuck him in and he whispers, "I love YOU, Mommy."  Heart melts.

I carry her into her room and sway back and forth as her little head drops to my chest.  I smell her hair and think that everything must be right.

Naptime brings a breath of perspective, doesn't it?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Previous St. Patrick's Day posts:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Custom Business Cards from Vistaprint

I showed you how to make those fun, embellished paper clips last week.  Remember?

Well, I finally got my custom business cards in the mail from Vistaprint and I wanted to show you how fun the clips look on them!

Not bad, right?  These will be clipped on to each custom bag I sell.  Along with directions on how to see the people who's lives were changed by your purchase.  

And that paper clip?  I hope you use it in your calendar, or book, or on the end of your nose while changing diapers or taking out the trash. 

Those business cards were custom made by me in Photoshop using Erin Bradley's fun clip art.  You can upload your own design or logo into the program, but if you don't have one, Vistaprint has tons of super cute already-made designs ready for you to plug your business name into.


Wouldn't these be great "mommy cards", too. {well, minus the cleaning lady card... why can't I look that cute while cleaning?!}  Mommy cards = cards to hand out to those sweet moms we meet at the playground with our email address and cell phone... for future play dates!
 And their prices are super cheap.  I can often get 250 business cards FREE by just paying shipping.

So, don't be jealous of my business cards... Go make some of your own!

Let's all chant it together now... Vistaprint!  Vistaprint!  Vistaprint!

Oh, and if you buy something through my link, I'll get $3... even if you order the free business cards.  Help me buy a tall soy mocha from Starbucks this weekend?  I'd be forever grateful.  Although, I'd wish you were sitting with me at the coffee shop.

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