Friday, November 30, 2012

hello weekend

We're heading home today from a trip to Pennsylvania (business for Matt, leisure for me and Ezra - more on that next week!) but before we head back to RI we're stopping at the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. Any other area recommendations for the area? This family loves to eat so somewhere good for lunch would be wonderful! Once we're home I have a mountain of laundry to do, but after that I'm planning on getting a head start on a quilt for a friend's baby and then working a little craft for our Christmas tree. On Saturday we're going to The Locals for brunch and then in the afternoon I'll be attending my first meeting of the RI Modern Quilt Guild! I'm so excited for this weekend I can hardly stand it. Do you have anything fun going on? Hope so!

- here's a fun giant advent calendar, and a small one in a jar
- is it possible that these are the best brownies ever?
- can't stop looking at the images of this gorgeous party, via creature comforts
- a DIY Italian soda bar? Yes, please!
- isn't this just the sweetest little doll?
- actively looking for an excuse to make some glitter party hats
- here's one way to prove you heart Rhode Island
- my love for chocolate peanut butter cups will never end
- these are such pretty desktop wallpapers
- next time I make sugar cookies I'm totally making hand cookies
- I have a thing for these nesting dolls
- need new Christmas music? Download Hey, It's Christmas for free, via the rockstar diaries

Can you believe that December begins tomorrow?! This year absolutely flew by (don't they always?) but I'm so excited for this season! Hope you have a great weekend, and I'll see you back here next week!

image via French Larkspur

Thursday, November 29, 2012

tea with Rose | Seven Stars

This stop on our tea tour was an unexpected one - Hillary and I didn't plan on meeting up until that morning, and the place we planned on having tea was closed! So we headed to nearby Seven Stars. Seven Stars isn't really known for its tea, but I love it just the same (the veggie sandwich! the chocolate croissants!) and ordered a hot cup of lemon ginger as well as a ginger biscuit. I usually stick with a hot chocolate (perfect for croissant dunking), but on a tea tour one orders tea.

So I shared my tea with Ezra, and he ate the entire ginger biscuit that was meant to be shared. Lemon tea is one of my favorites and this cup didn't disappoint. Now to decide on a place to visit next month. We've decided to meet for high tea somewhere... I'm thinking either Besos or The Spring Seasons Inn, if they're open. Any recommendations for us?

Monday, November 26, 2012

snickerdoodle pumpkin ice cream sandwiches

Over the weekend I made pumpkin ice cream which was delicious on its own, but then I had the brilliant idea to make snickerdoodles, too, and then make them into ice cream sandwiches. Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of my delicious creations but then I did some googling and found that I wasn't the first person to dream up this yummy combination of fall flavors. Nope, not even a little bit. So the photo isn't mine, but the recipe combination is - pumpkin ice cream with chopped candied ginger and bittersweet chocolate chunks sandwiched between two giant snickerdoodles. Try it. They're amazing.

image via chow

Thursday, November 22, 2012

a day of thanks

Last night I couldn't sleep because I was just overwhelmed at how beautiful life is. I think that a lot of times I am blind to the little things in my life that add up to the bigger picture, but I'm making an effort to notice from now on. There are so many reasons to give thanks - for my little boy and his funny face. for a warm home and a soft bed. for a car. actually, for two cars. for dear friends. for my church home. for blank pages in new notebooks. for chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and hot chocolate. for books and the library. for pretty wrapping paper and ribbon. for blogs. for corduroys. for Target. for butternut squash. for family that lives close by. for quilts and snuggling. for magazines. for mugs of hot tea. for my glasses. for opportunity. for my husband who is my perfect match. for God who brought us together and redeemed us. most of all, for this blessing called life and the ability to experience it - this beautiful, messy, and lovely time on earth.  

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 107:1

And a few things to keep you busy while you're waiting for that pumpkin pie to come out of the oven later on...
- love this offbeat Christmas card, via foxtrot press
- I want my Thanksgiving feast to look just like this one
- this is my favorite advent calendar of all time
- I've never been interested in whoopie pies until now
- there are no words for this guest room in a short bus, via Handmade Charlotte
- and for all you locals, free holiday parking in Providence will be in effect on Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ezra turns 2! | a school bus birthday party

I've been putting off writing about Ezra's second birthday party because I was overwhelmed by the amount of pictures that Matt took, but I finally sorted through them and chose some of my favorites to share here. We held Ezra's party on a Thursday morning because of some weekend scheduling issues that couldn't be resolved, but it ended up working out quite well. The party was school bus-themed because Ezra loves watching the neighborhood children getting picked up in the morning right outside our house every day. After Matt's return home from work, I think it's his favorite part of the day.

Matt started snapping before I had everything completely set up, and once the toddler party guests arrived my carefully staged dining room was quickly dismantled (as it should be at a party!) so there aren't any pictures of the full set up. The paper products are all from Target (plates found in the dollar section and the rest are Mara Mi), and I borrowed the yellow striped tablecloths from my mother-in-law.

They're hard to see, but I made little flags for the cupcakes out of white and yellow ticking. A matching garland hung from the two shelves in the dining room.

I replaced everything that's usually on them with a few things that coordinated with the party theme - yellow tulips in a mint julep cup, an embroidery hoop displaying a square of school bus fabric (Kokka Beep Beep, in case anyone is wondering), a wind up school bus toy, a framed illustration of a bus, the silver E from Ezra's room (it made an appearance last year, too), a wooden school bus I found on Etsy, and a candle. Yeah, the candle didn't have much to do with anything, but I needed something to fill the space. Of course pom poms were involved (will I ever stop making them?).

We served banana bread, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, cinnamon rolls, and mini bananas.

Drinks were kept simple - just water and apple cider.

I found these cute school bus wrappers for Hershey's chocolates, so of course I printed out a few sheets and Ezra and I spent an afternoon cutting and sticking them on. (Of course I was in charge of cutting so don't anyone get worried. Ezra was in charge of the glue dots.)

Lucky for us, my dad works part time for a bus company so he was able to drive a school bus over to the party and take us for a ride! I was beyond ecstatic when his request was approved because I thought it would be the perfect party activity and I knew Ezra would be excited to ride with his Grandpa.

We rode over to a playground near our house and let the kids burn off some energy for a while. 

Obviously it's very difficult to take a picture of twenty toddlers and preschoolers with their moms.

After about twenty minutes we all piled back on the bus and headed back home for birthday cupcakes!

Ezra had been waiting for this moment since he woke up. He had been practicing blowing out the candles since his friend Amelia's party. You know, just blowing on anything or nothing after half singing "happy happy!"

I think Ezra ate the frosting off of three cupcakes and left the rest. He basically ate cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert that day. What can I say? A boy doesn't turn two every day.

A week before Ezra's party I decided to make a child-size photo booth prop. We didn't do a fancy backdrop, but the kids had fun pretending to drive the school bus around our house.  

Babies got in on the action, too!

We sent everyone home with yellow school bus crayons and little school bus coloring books I made using Microsoft Word and free school bus coloring pages. Apparently I didn't get any photos of the books and crayons... just the bags. Oops!

Two and a half weeks later and Ezra is still talking about the 'coo bus' ride with his friends. And the frosting. He certainly hasn't forgotten the frosting. Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us!

P.S. I'm happy to give the cupcake flags and garland to anyone who's local and can pick them up! Just send me an email...

Friday, November 16, 2012

hello weekend

So last night was the fifth PVD Lady Project event, dubbed the Smart Lady Soiree and held at the historic Providence Athenaeum. I always have a good time but this event was extra exciting because I found out that a Modern Quilt Guild exists in Rhode Island! I was psyched to meet the founder, Carole Ann, and can't wait to get involved. As for the weekend, tonight we head to one of our favorite restaurants with another family (wrangling four kids under four should be fun during dinner ;), and then tomorrow I hope to get to the winter farmers market for the first time this season. What do you have going on?

Lots of great stuff this week! See for yourself...
- I have a thing for advent calendars, and this one is right up my alley
- a branch clothing rack would look great in my bedroom
- this pretty freehanded wall paint looks like wallpaper
- don't mozzarella stuffed meatballs sound amazing?
- I think I want my own previously abandoned farmhouse
- here are ten great tips for family photos (tip number one: choose blueflash!)
- aren't these chalkboard murals cool? a local artist created them for the church she attends (a few of my friends go there, too)
- someone throw a hot chocolate party and invite me, alright?
- don't miss this amazing Elf on the Shelf giveaway!
- every baby needs a bear blanket
- came across this simple quilt tutorial, perfect for a beginner!
- love this list of festive activities to get you in the holiday spirit
- oh, and I forgot to mention that I was featured on the PVD Lady Project blog last week - check it out right here!

See you back here on Monday!

image via The Light Fantastic

Thursday, November 15, 2012

put a bow on it | leopard flats

Meet my new leopard flats. I bought them about a month ago and they had these sad little bows that looked like faded shoelaces, so I decided to swap them out for some shiny satin ribbons. 

See how sad the original bows look?

First I removed the bows using my seam ripper and a tiny pair of scissors. I considered leaving the flats plain, but as you can see there are some small holes where the bows were stitched to the shoes. I didn't think anyone would be looking too closely at my feet, but I thought it would be best to cover the holes anyway.

Bye bye, sad bows!

Next I cut two lengths of satin ribbon and tied bows - nothing fancy, just a regular bow. At this point you could secure the bows vertically along the knots with a few quick stitches (I did) so they won't be able to come untied, or just cross your fingers and hope they stay tied!

Attach the bows with a generous dab of craft glue, and then trim the ribbon to the desired length. I like mine on the long side, extending over the edge of the shoe. 

It's a good idea to use clips of some sort to secure the bows while they're drying. I let mine dry overnight and they were good to go the next day!

Edit: After wearing my shoes three times one of the bows fell off! The craft glue wasn't strong enough, so use hot glue or even super glue instead. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

required reading for new mamas

This morning I sat down with my friend Hillary's mom and started planning her baby shower. It got me thinking of all the things we do to prepare for the arrival of a little one, and one thing I did was lots of reading. I wrote a post a while ago about the books I read when I was pregnant to educate myself about birth, breastfeeding, newborns, and all the stuff that comes along with them (check it out right here), but I also read a few books that were less educational and more encouraging. Becoming a parent for the first time is so wildly unlike any other experience and it was so nice to read the words of moms who have been there. These are two books I would recommend to any expecting or new mother. They'll make you smile and cry, sometimes simultaneously, and then you'll want to hold your little one extra close.

Great with Child by Beth Ann Fennelly - This book is a collection of letters that the author wrote to a friend who was expecting her first child. It reminded me that motherhood, despite it being unknown territory and therefore a little scary, is wonderful and above all else, a blessing. Her words are reassuring and encouraging, salve for the mama's soul.
Waiting for Birdy - Written by one who's expecting her second child, this book reveals the thoughts of a mother preparing to welcome another baby into the family. She writes with honesty and wit, and her recollections of conversations with her three year old son will have you laughing out loud. Having a toddler of my own made this book even more touching as I reflected on the ways Ezra has changed since he was a baby.

Do you have any great books for mothers to recommend?

image of me seven months pregnant with Ezra by Matt. More of my maternity photos here, here, and here, if you'd like to see.

Friday, November 9, 2012

hello weekend

Sorry I've been a bad blogger this week! I've been busy working on a special birthday gift that I decided to make (with Matt's help) at the last minute for Ezra's friend Sophie's birthday party that we're going to tomorrow. I can't believe Ezra and some of his little friends are turning two (see their parties last year - AmeliaEzraSophie)! I'm hoping to share the details from Ezra's party next week, along with a couple other fun things. For now, here are my favorite online finds from the week...

- a mini marquee sign would be adorable in a nursery
tulle skirts are a 'do' in my book
- love these bow bracelets!
pretty watercolor artpretty watercolor art you can make with your children
- a sweet little neighborhood you can print, fold, and build
- just downloaded this fun font

Have a wonderful weekend! Especially those of you who have a long one!

image via blueflash

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

taking notes | my love for paper and the Word

For as long as I can remember I've loved paper. A brand new black and white composition book, a brightly colored stack of construction paper, a lined notepad for jotting down lists, a blank journal with an embellished cover - all of these bring a smile to my face, so I hardly ever leave Target without one (as evidenced by the above image). But as much as I love notebooks, I hardly ever use them. Every notebook in that stack is completely blank! Recently I decided to change that, and on Sunday I brought that black and white notebook (a birthday gift from Laura) to church. I can't think of a better way to fill my notebooks than with sermon notes and scripture, so that's what I'm going to do. If you go to church, do you take notes? I used to, but I've gotten out of the habit and think it will be good for me to get back into it. Thankfully, I have plenty of blank notebooks!
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