Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holly Jolly First Christmas

The holidays have been hectic around here but so enjoyable at the same time. That being said, I'm hoping that things will calm down a bit after the new year. I can't believe how fast time is flying- it's New Year's Eve already and in a few more weeks my little baby is turing one! Now that Christmas is over party planning is in full effect and while I'm beyond excited for her first birthday and party I am so sad to think that my baby is not such a baby anymore, she's becoming a toddler and I still feel like we just came home from the hospital last month. 

I know I'm a little late to the party but here is a little holiday recap: 

I couldn't decide on Christmas cards so we had two this year.

We went to see Santa on Christmas Eve and Aubrey was less than thrilled but it did make for a great first picture with Santa. We'll definitely be pulling this out and laughing about it 15 years from now.

All dressed up and ready for the Christmas Eve festivities to begin.

We spent Christmas Eve with my husband's family as we do every year and Aubrey had lots of fun visiting with her cousins and opening some gifts. She also enjoyed dinner with us- she loves fettuccine alfredo!

The night before Christmas...

Playing with some new toys on Christmas morning.

Loving her new play tent- it was a hit!

 It was just the three of us on Christmas morning and it was so much fun. My parents and brothers joined us for brunch at our home and from there we got dressed and went to my aunt's house for Christmas dinner. It was such a busy day and we didn't take nearly as many photos as we wanted- we never got a good family photo either unfortunately. It was such a whirlwind of excitement and I'm glad that we were living in the moment and not posing for photos all day but a do wish we got at least one... hopefully next year!

A favorite Christmas tradition- Struffoli. My great grandma made these when I was little and I always remember her making me a little plate of them. My grandfather eventually took over the tradition and now my mom and I make them every year and every year I can't wait to indulge in a nice big plate of them. It's basically a fried dough ball covered in honey. Delish and so nostalgic. 

Chalkboard fun!

I didn't waste any time putting the chalkboard wall to good use.

I was pinspired to make a Merry Mail hanger for all of our cards. It was so easy and I think it came out pretty good too.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Quick First Floor Tour

It finally happened! Our house passed the final round of inspections on Friday, December 6th, we moved on the 7th and since then I've been in a cleaning, organizing, and unpacking frenzy. So that's why I've been MIA around here... We're so lucky that we were able to move last weekend because we got hit with a snowstorm this weekend and with the holidays right around the corner, it feels good to be settled in our new home.

There's still a ton of work to be done. The house is basically a clean slate right now but I have so many projects and ideas in mind that I'll be sure to share on here as we go along. We've only been moved in a week so everything is still a work in progress but I thought I'd share a few photos of the progress so far.
The Kitchen
We cannot decide on a paint color to save our lives. Most of the house is painted with Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter and although we wanted something different in here, I think we may just end up going with Revere Pewter because it goes so perfectly with everything. 

Standing in the laundry area looking into the kitchen, beyond that is the sunken living room. Off of the laundry area is a half bath. Please excuse Aubrey's links on the kitchen floor- I told you these were quick shots!

Breakfast Nook with Breakfast Bar

Sunken Living Room

Aubrey's Playroom

Chalkboard Wall!

with not one but...

two closets!

Dining Room

View from our front yard

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Life Lately

I really try to keep it upbeat around here but at the same time I like to keep it real too. So here it goes, a good ol' healthy dose of reality---

Yes, those are moving boxes that you see. We still haven't moved. We thought we'd be all moved in for Thanksgiving but now we are going to be lucky if we are moved in for Christmas. The house was all ready to go but then there was a huge leak that destroyed the floor of the master bath and the ceiling in the kitchen. We have everything basically packed up and ready to go so this set back is really a killer- especially when you throw a baby into the mix.  For now, Aubrey is having fun playing with empty boxes and we're making good use of the full boxes- they make great baby barriers/gates!

I have to say, I'm getting pretty jealous seeing everyones Christmas tress and holiday decor on Instagram! I can't wait to get moved in and decorate and get a tree up already! I just hope this fix goes quickly and smoothly so we can get our certificate of occupancy and move in in time for the holidays.  This is not how in envisioned Aubrey's first Christmas going. We always have a tree up the day after Thanksgiving so this year it's staying up until the end of January because of the late start.

Aubrey loves helping playing with laundry.

New favorite activity- climbing the stairs again, and again, and again... and again!

This girl loves shoes. She loves to eat them and look at them- definitely my daughter!

Thanksgiving outfit- one of my favorite outfits of hers.
Dress, sweater tights, and shoes- Baby Gap
Headband- Willow Crowns

lots of playing...

....and lots of teething!

Speaking of teething- this little one now has two bottom teeth and one top tooth with the next top tooth about to break through any day now. She hit the 10 month sleep regression which finally just ended. It was rough. She woke every hour for about a week and a half. I started to think she may have an ear infection because she was irritable for most of the day (which is totally not like her), she wasn't napping well (taking two half hour naps a day), waking every hour at night, her appetite for solids wasn't there, and then I finally caught her poking at her right ear.

I brought her to the doctor's and luckily she had a clean bill of health so that just leaves teething! Her second top front tooth is cutting through. She never acted this way with any of her other teeth so I really thought something was up but I guess every tooth is different.

We started sleep training as per the doctor's recommendation. We tried letting her cry it out but always caved because we thought she was getting too worked up and let's face it- it's not easy on the baby or the parents! You never want to see your baby upset or crying especially when you know that you can end all the sadness by picking them up and cuddling them. As hard as it was, it was the best decision. We would increase the intervals every time we went in to check on her- 5 minutes the first time, then 10 minutes, then 15... Thankfully we didn't go past 20 minutes. It took two nights of crying for about 20 minutes and the rest is history. She's now sleeping through the night, taking solid naps (hour-hour & a half morning nap and hour and a half- two hour afternoon nap), she's back to her happy self, and so are we!

As far as solids go, I don't know what is happening but for almost two weeks now she has no interest in her oatmeal that she always devoured or any of her purees. I recently started giving her baby yogurt too which she loves but now she's not interested in that either. The only thing she wants is puffs. I took this as a cue that she may be ready for finger foods so for the past two nights I fed her a little bit of what we were eating for dinner. Last night I cut up tiny pieces of ham and mashed up some potatoes. Tonight, we had chicken noodle soup so I cut up some carrots, chicken, and noodles. She also had cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving.  She seems to like what we've given her so far but she's still a little unsure (like when she first started purees) but I think the purees are on their way out.

Everything is so bittersweet when it comes to them growing, advancing, and learning.

When did your little one start with finger foods? 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks & Winner Winner Turkey Dinner!

This has been one incredible year for us and there are so many things to be thankful for. Topping the list though would be our baby girl who greeted us in January. Followed by our new home that we broke ground on in August. It's been a long road that we wouldn't have been able to weather without the help of my parents who have also been down the home construction road. Things have been wild and crazy but I wouldn't have it any other way... well maybe but I guess I'm just getting used to the chaos now. I'm so thankful for our tight-knit, loving, supportive family, amazing friends, and for all of you. As much as I enjoy blogging, I have to be honest it's the comments and the blog "friends" that I have made along the way that really keep me going. So thank you for your support, advice, comments, and readership.

In other exciting news--- We have a winner for the Willow Crowns Holiday Headband Set!

Congrats! Hope your little enjoys her new stylish headbands! 

Thank you to all who entered!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Aubrey's 8 & 9 Month Favorites

Fisher Price Stride-to-Ride Lion
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Stride-to-Ride Walker
We introduced these toys to Aubrey at the beginning of her 9th month when she started showing an interest in standing and holding onto things. She mostly sits on the lion and car and tries to scoot right now but she absolutely love both of them. Both are musical.

She loves touching the lion's nose to make the music turn on. The seat on the lion flips up so she can hold on a walk behind it but at this stage of the game she is more interested on going for a ride. We will help her hold onto the handle while standing but she pushes forward and gets a little hesitant and reaches out for us to help her so this is toy that she will grow into in the next month or so.  

The car is awesome! It also plays music- it has two modes: learning mode and play mode. It plays "the wheels on the car," sings the alphabet, teaches numbers, and plays music. There are different noises when you turn the steering wheel, use the blinker, beep the horn, turn the key, etc. and there is a shape sorter in the hood! The seat separates so she can stand behind it and use it as a walker as well but for right now she is mainly using it to sit on and scoot. She has a little more stability on this car as opposed to the lion but she loves both. If you were to pick just one, I'd go with the car because it has all of the bells and whistles. 

1. Hello Kitty McDonald's toy- This is seriously her favorite toy. Go figure, a free toy is her favorite. Also among her favorites- good ol' brown moving boxes! Who said you need to spend a fortune on toys?
2. Owl Washcloth/Sponge from Target (similar)- We aren't using this as a washcloth but as a teething aide. It is one of the most helpful things for her sore gums believe it or not. I keep it in the freezer and she sucks on it while she waits for the tylenol to kick in. It seems to be the only thing (along with the grape teether) that gives her relief from the painful teeth that are breaking through.
3. Infantino Cart and High Chair Cover- This is the best cart cover! I had another one by this brand that totally didn't work for us because it didn't cover the sides well enough. The sides on this cover have velcro so they stay in place perfectly and this is SO important because my child will put her mouth on anything these days and the last place I want her mouth is on a dirty cart. Unlike many other covers, this one comes with it's own child strap that wraps around the cart for a secure hold. In other words, this is your safest best if you are looking for the best possible way to keep your baby germ free while out shopping or dining. Another plus- there are several fabric loops to attach toys to so they don't fall out. This is a total must-have if you're a germaphobe like me.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Willow Crowns Holiday Headband GIVEAWAY!

I recently stumbled across Megan's blog, Willow Way and I instantly found myself reading through past posts, totally loosing track of time. No laundry was put away that night. Ever find yourself doing that when you find a really good blog that you can relate to?

I was so excited when Megan announced the opening of her etsy shop, Willow Crowns so naturally I was thrilled when she contacted me in regards to a giveaway. Megan was kind enough to send my little Aubrey a few handmade, totally adorable headbands. They add just the right amount of sparkle to any outfit and they are so versatile. We're having a lot of fun wearing them. No, I didn't make a typo. We are now sharing headbands. Well kind of, I may or may not have worn the red bow headband around for a full day. 

I'm delighted to be hosting not just any giveaway, but my very first baby-related giveaway!
Megan is giving away a Christmas gift set to one very lucky little lady. The winner will receive a white, black, and red bow headband (as pictured below). The headband sizes are 16'', so they should fit a 6-12 month old little girl.

You have 5 chances to win. 
Contest opens today, November 19th and closes at 12am EST on November 25th. 
Good Luck!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekend Review

I finally wore my necklace! I ordered this in the beginning of the summer from Groopdealz. It was an impulse buy. I knew I loved it but I wasn't sure how I would like it on myself. I spent the whole summer putting it on and taking it off because I just didn't feel right wearing it. I looked in my jewelry drawer the other day thinking- well, that's it for this necklace, summer is over. Then I decided to try it on with this blue J.Crew top on Friday and-- Bam! I loved it!

Little Aubrey at the end of our TarJAY FriDAY trip- sick of watching me look at makeup. And yes, every Friday is TarJAY FriDAY for us; think of it as a momma/daughter date. She seriously loves it there, I don't know if its the bright red carts or what but as soon as we step in that store she is smiling, laughing, and acting silly.

BTW how adorable is Aubrey's headband? Megan, the designer at Willow Crowns made this. Check out her shop which is filled with all things pretty and cute. 
A very exciting giveaway is coming up later this week so stay tuned...
Speaking of Target, if you haven't hit their dollar bins lately, you should. There are so many great finds in there right now including these labels, gold alphabet stickers, and silver glittered tape. I have no idea what I'm labeling but I'm sure I'll find something.

I picked up a holiday dress for Aubrey so I was looking at tights and I found these cuties (at Target, or course). Either pair will match her dress perfectly- I'm so excited for her to wear these!
Friday was a good mail day. I got this beauty from Very Jane. Can't wait to wear it- it's such a pretty, versatile piece.
My mom broke out a photo album from when I was Aubrey's age to show me how much I looked like Aubrey. She tells me all the time how she never thought she would be able to see me again as a baby but she feels like she can now when looking at Aubs. Pretty cool feeling. I hope I can experience that one day too.

I have a drawer filled with nail polishes but I'm kinda sick of them all so I picked up a couple new shades. Sally Hansen Grey Area and Coin Flip. 
I finally found the time to give myself an at home mani and I am loving Grey Area- exactly what I was looking for! It's holding up great too. I painted my nails on Friday night and there are no chips so far- after washing a whole lot of baby bottles and painting a room!

Yes, you heard that right- we painted Aubrey's room in our new house. We're hoping to paint a few more rooms before we move in while everything is covered in plastic and there's no furniture to worry about. It's starting to become real.

Disclaimer: Willow Crowns sent the headband pictured here. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own and are not altered in any way.

 How was your weekend?