Monday, December 19, 2011

Ornament fun!

Shh... don't tell the grandmas! Nolan made them very special surprises. After seeing all the fun handprint art on Pinterest we decided to have some fun with clay. I love Morning Glory Fire ceramic arts in Jacksonville. Kristin does mobile clay painting events at your choice of locations and we've had fun playdates in our mom's group utilizing her! I contacted her mentioning that I wanted to make some ornaments and was able to directly buy some raw clay.

Reminiscing on my high school arts classes, I got to work rolling out the clay. Nolan was such a trooper pressing his hands and feet for me! He liked stepping on the clay a little more than doing handprints though. Once they dried, I took them over to Kristin to be fired. then they came to my place for the painting. The final product is just amazing! Such a great little keepsake! If only I hadn't waited until the last minute, we could have made even more!! I figured the 15 we made was enough. His little hands and feet were tired!

Don't forget to help us win a giftcard to a local, awesome toy store. The race ends Wednesday and I'm now in second place. It's simple, just click the link below and then like the picture. It's his homemade elf on a shelf riding a train. Don't like all the other pictures in the album or you'll be voting for his competitors. Contest Link

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Diet and Doctors!

Keep Nolan in your thoughts tomorrow! He is having an endoscopy done and will be under anesthesia. Momma is a mess but Nolan doesn't know anything is up so he's his normal happy self! They'll be biopsying his esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. No food after midnight and he doesn't go in to the hospital until noon so this should be interesting!

In other news, the results of his food allergy/sensitivity panel (IgG ELISA) came back and Nolan reacted strongly to wheat, gluten, pumpkin, and parsley. There is a larger list of foods he had some reaction too so we'll avoid having him consume lots of those in one sitting but he can still eat those items on occasion. As for the more severe ones, we're going to be restricting them completely for at least 3-6mo before we they to slowly reintroduce them. I'm researching all I can on how to switch us to a gluten free household! That stuff is in everything!!!

Don't forget to help us win a giftcard to a local, awesome toy store. The race is close so your votes count!! It's simple, just click the link below and then like the picture. It's his homemade elf on a shelf riding a train. Don't like all the other pictures in the album or you'll be voting for his competitors. Contest Link

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Gingerbread trees!

I saw a cute pin a while ago and thought it would be a perfect activity for us with our toddler friends. Jump forward to yesterday and the whole thing came together. It's very simple. You just need sugar ice cream cones, frosting, and some fun ornament candies. Most of the supplies can be found at the dollar store. We simply added green food coloring to make the frosting green. For ornaments we used sixlets, which are processed in a peanut free facility unlike m-and-m's.

Nolan had such a blast decorating his tree. I put the frosting on his cone and handed him his ornaments then went back to handing out supplies to our momma friends. He sat like a big boy decorating for a long time. Eventually he got a little frosting on his finger and gestured for a napkin. I told him to lick it and once he did he realized it was edible. Then the fun began! In the end he ate his entire cone!

Look at that grumpy face!!

First taste!

Haha note all the frosting has now been licked off.

Don't forget to help us win a giftcard to a loval awesome toy store. The race is close so your votes count!! It's simple just click the picture below and then like it. It's his homemade elf on a shelf riding a train. Don't like all the other pictures in the album or you'll be voting for his competitors. Contest Link

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Salt Dough

Ever since I saw fun ornament ideas on Pinterest I've been planning to make salt dough ornaments for Nolan to paint. I thought it was such a great idea that I made a playdate based around. Great idea but not so fun in concept. I spent forever trying to get the dough just right and then made batch after batch so all the moms would have enough ornaments to paint.

All the other blogs out there make the dough seem simple. It's a simple recipe but it doesn't always work out. As soon as you pop it in the oven to dry/bake, it often rises. For me the key was kneading the heck out of it and drying it low and slow. Low and slow in this case was 200 degrees for 4+ hours!!

I really wanted to do handprint ornaments with Nolan but with the rising that happens they turned into blobs. Instead, I'm doing real clay!! Our favorite pottery painter who has done playdates with my group sold me the clay and will fire all of our fun. 15lbs of clay makes and awful lot of ornaments though!! I still have to take them in to be fired and then paint and return for re-firing. Hopefully I manage to do that all before Christmas but if not they are still adorable! Pics to come but I don't want to ruin the surprise!

Monday, December 5, 2011


Quick post begging for "likes". We are trying to win a hundred dollar gift card to an awesome local toy store just in time for Christmas. If you are on Facebook and don't mind, help us out by liking our picture of our homemade elf on a shelf in action!! Click here for the picture to like.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Elf on our Shelf!

I love Christmas traditions! Ever since I saw the elf on a shelf I just knew I wanted to use that with Nolan. The dolls though are kind of expensive and since he doesn't yet understand I haven't been able to bring myself to spend the money. Instead, I decided to make my own elf last night. The picture is not the best but he's cute (well, at least less creepy than the manufactured one!).

When Nolan saw him sitting on our shelf this morning he said "Aww baby". Yep, I made him a baby doll. I thinking starting Dec. 1st we'll hide him somewhere very visible each day and have Nolan find him. Should be cute. Next year I'll start the fun ideas for elf mischief I've seen all over Pinterest!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tool Time!!

I came across this blog post yesterday and immediately fell in love with her creative ideas. I'm in the process of starting a quiet book or felt book for Nolan and this is along the same line. Since I had some of the supplies already on hand, I started it immediately. I'm not one for following directions or patterns, so after seeing her great pics I just dove into mine.

I used the freezer paper technique to stencil on the word "tools." Since I don't have a cricut machine I simply used a stencil and a exacto knife to cut out the letters. Two coats of acrylic white paint and it looked great. For my tools so far I've made a wrench, hammer, and screw driver. I'll probably make a saw of some sort soon. I also made one screw and one nail. I stuffed my felt tools so they had a little substance to them and could be manipulated more realistic. For the skinny parts like the screwdriver shaft I placed a plastic straw inside. It gives it enough strength to be pressed and played with but is bendable and safe for in the car use. Once Nolan is up from nap we'll see if he likes it!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Photo Card

Okay Family skip the pic below! It shows our Christmas Card which will be arriving on your doorsteps soon.

Shutterfly has a great sale ending today (CARD40) for 40% off cards and free shipping (SHIP30). Plus for blogging this I got a gift certificate!! Love their stuff.

Stop reading if I send you cards =)
I mean it!!!!
Merry Merry Christmas
Click here to browse our Christmas photo card designs.
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


After making Nolan's birthday shirt I decided it wasn't too hard and was a lot of fun. Since then, I've made a Halloween shirt to match his costume and today I made his Thanksgiving shirt. Our first attempt was a freezer paper acrylic paint shirt, the second was more of an applique style and today's is too.

We have a few Thanksgiving parties to go to so maybe we'll even make a second shirt later this week. My boy's gonna wear a goofy turkey shirt!

Love this Pinterest find.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Catching Up

I've been a bad blogger recently! Nolan's third Halloween has come and gone and my fifth wedding anniversary too. There's no fun anniversary pictures but Halloween was a blast.

We met up with our friends who have an adorable two and a half year old. She is so sweet with Nolan and I've even caught them kissing already!!

Nolan was a rattlesnake for Halloween. I made him a long tail complete with rattle inside a while ago. I tried to acclimate him to it but at to he is strong willed. During his nap on Halloween I decided I had better make a smaller one or he would likely be going without a costume. Daddy wore the big tail so Nolan wanted to match and wear the baby tail. I knit his little snake eyes hat too and appliqued a snake on his matching shirt.

Nolan as a pro trick or treating for the first time. AT the first house when the door opened he marched right in to the house and took off across the house in to their living room where the TV was running. I was so embarrassed but laughing so hard as I ran to grab him. Luckily we were at our friend's neighbor's house and they loves seeing the little kids! After that I kept a firm hand on his pants and he learned we were just visiting and not entering!! At each and every house the two little ones knocked until someone opened the door. There is no knocking and waiting when you're two!!

Nolan got quite the haul. I'm still polishing all the candy off!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


We did a fun picture session today on my baby's second birthday! I'm sure I'm biased but he is just the cutest! A friend got some shots at the pumpkin patch too that I'll post once I get them. These below are my pictures with my nifty camera.

...and for memory's sake a few more!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Yesterday was Nolan's second birthday party. If you remember my sneak peek thread from a while back, we chose a dino theme. Sadly no family is nearby but Nolan is blessed to have a great group of friends ho helped make his big day special. I think everyone had a blast. Here are some of the highlights. He wouldn't put his whole outfit on at once so I'm sneaking in a picture of his dino hat from a few weeks ago.
It has a dino tail on the back too!

I made dino tail party favors for all the kiddos!

Nolan the birthday-boyasaurus in his outfit minus his cool hat!

He kept pointing to the blown out candles amazed!

Cake! His favorite part!
The set up before everyone arrived. You can see the fun bounce house peeking out from the back part of the yard.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I was a bit skeptical of this playdate idea when I imagined a bunch of two year old's trying to bowl! Think of the chaos of little ones skidding down the lanes and balls being rolled everywhere. Luckily no such thing happened. It turns out that bowling with bumper rails and the ball roller is a lot of fun if you're two.

Nolan went first on our lane and was immediately hooked. He didn't quite understand that you can't continuously bowl and have to wait for your friends to go in between but it got easier as the game went on. Nolan was a pro! He bowled three spares and scored over 80!

Patiently waiting!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sneak Peek!

We're in full birthday prep mode around our house. Well, really just I am! Here is a sneak peek of some of the prep I've been doing.

I can't believe my baby is going to be TWO!!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Birthday Lens!

I got my "nifty 50" for my birthday. I'm still getting used to my fancy schmancy camera and trying to learn all I can but so far I'm loving the Canon 50mm f/ 1.4 Tim got me. Here are a few shots from my first time using it today. These are straight off the camera no editing.

Nolan was in a very serious mood as you can see. He was busy helping Daddy finish the pool shed. He walks around picking up various things and pretending they are tools complete with sound effects. Sometimes he gets to play with the real tools even!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Teaching Tots!

I'm hosting our TotSchool meeting tomorrow. I've been planning for a few weeks and it all just came together tonight. This week is our field trip week but we're not doing an actual tour or such as being our 4th week in we didn't have quite the planning time. So instead we're having our fun outdoors at a local park. I'll have stations set up all pertaining to the Letter D. It's more play than some of our indoor events and the arts and crafts portions will take home. That required a bit of prep!

This motivated me to build my flannel story board I've been wanting to make. It was very simple to create and by making it I save a lot of money! Tomorrow we'll be singing a fun duck song/story and using it for the first time. It was a bit tedious cutting out so many ducks but the kids will love getting to play along. Nolan helped me place them all onto the board for a good pic.

We'll be having a dinosaur themed moon sand filled sensory table. Our water table will be "D is for Dishes" and full of plates, cups, and fun sponges. We'll be playing dress up and tossing bean bags in to a giant letter D. Fun songs and books will wrap everything together. Let's hope it goes well!!

**update** Here is another item I made for the board. I painted the turtle face on with acrylic paint and sewed on the carapace (shell) and stitched to make the scutes (scales) divisions. More to come soon!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Art and Trains!

The playroom is finally completely done! We worked pretty hard this weekend kind of unexpectedly. I started out by going to Toys r Us on Friday to use a great coupon and purchase one of Nolan's birthday gifts. I knew I wanted Nol to have a train set for his birthday and had decided it needed to be a small set that could completely pack away or a super large set that would be displayed. It didn't make sense to buy a full set at Toys r Us because the giant train set and table would be ridiculously priced. I didn't fall in love with any of the small sets so we left empty handed. That's where craigslist came in! We ended up finding an amazing set that had never been used for a fraction of the cost.

As you can see, we weren't going to have a giant train box sitting around until his birthday so he already has his train set! It took a bit of creativity but it's now stable and not easily knocked over which is what a rowdy almost 2 year old needs!

His art wall was completed this weekend too. My awesome Uncle made vinyl letters that we then hung on the wall. It all came together amazingly well. The pictures don't do justice but since you're not here to see it they'll have to do!

Nolan's TotSchool work is hanging on the wall! He walks by and points out "A" and "B" proudly.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crappy start to a day

So on the way to our playdate this morning to which I am hauling a ton of stuff, Nolan takes off running and unbeknownst to me steps in dog poo. I throw the 20lbs of rice, water table, 0 boxes of macroni, and completed clay handprint tiles in the car and run to him. As I pick him up to put him in the car he squirms and carries on as usual. I manage to get him strapped in before I start to smell it. It immediately dawns on me that someones shoe is dirty. I'm praying it's me but know it's not.

That's when I notice the entire car seat is smeared. Yep, my 3 month old pleather interior has poo on it! I look down and of course my squirmy child has covered me in it too. I immediately get his shoe off, wipe the car down, and head inside. We both get clean, wash his shoes, and try again to leave the house. It's amazing we made it to our event!!

What a messy start to our day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


It's official, Nolan has started school. TotSchool that is! TotSchool is a small group of mommas who joined together in a cooperative, are following a preschool homeschool curriculum at home, and meet once a week for a group activity or school day.

Our curriculum is lots of fun and is basically a way to help me make sure we get in educational activities each day. Lots of play, arts and crafts, and overall fun is involved. Since Nolan doesn't go to preschool or daycare he doesn't have the opportunity to interact in a structured environment with kiddos his own age. We do playdates, story times, and lots of activities with our moms group but things like circle time and sitting at a table with other kids aren't usually involved. In TotSchool though, he has to listen and follow directions from other moms when they are leading the class, sit still for short periods of time, and gets to interact with some slightly older toddlers all with mom!

Last week was our first week. We "studied" the letter A, color red, and number 1. We talked a lot about apples and had fun red apple snacks! Some of the fun things we did included painting an apple tree, playing hide and find the A, doing an apple toss, and reading fun books. Nolan was the youngest kiddo at the group class day but did great. He's now saying A and B and picking out the letter A from his magnetic alphabet.

This week we are on to the letter B and our group class will be on the beach!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rainbow fun

This month my mom's group is focusing on colors. I decided to take an idea I saw on Pinterest and turn it in to a playdate. Next week we are going to be playing with rainbow colored rice. To keep the fun going I'm going to put fun little items inside so the kids can explore and dig through the rice much like they would sand.

This means lots of rice dyeing for me though! It turned out to be very simple and fun. While Nolan napped, I filled my oven with this!
It's quite easy to do. Just take 2-3T of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of food coloring. Add that to a ziploc bag with 4-5 cups of dry rice and shake until coated. Place onto cookie sheets and set in the sun or a really low over (~175 degrees). If using the oven, you might want to keep the door slightly ajar. As the alcohol evaporates the fumes are quite strong. It dries quickly with the rubbing alcohol which also sets the dye. Other recipes called for vinegar instead or the alcohol but although the alcohol smells while you're making the rice it evaporates quickly and is odorless. I think the vinegar might take quite a bit longer to dry! Next time though I'll wait for a sunny day and dry the rice outdoors.

I let Nolan explore the rice for a bit before packing it up for next week!!

Don't mind the dirty face! We were finishing up Black bean hummus snack time.