Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cabin Fever

If you've been reading my blog any longer than about 30 seconds, all the pink and the talk about shoes and glittery things might possibly be a tip-off that I am pretty much a girlie girl.

T is about a manly a man as they come: power tools, sports, guns, grills, and the like.

So it may come as no surprise to you that we often argue over where we ought to take the imaginary vacations that we have no intention of ever taking.

I reserve New York City solely for girls' trips (I vowed never to return to the fair city with T in tow), so the only other option in T's mind would be....

...camping.

Ick.

I'm not so much against camping per say; I've just had bad experiences and I just really really hate it. When I was a kid, my mom forced me to join the Girl Scouts and those camping trips are some of the worst memories of my childhood. I think there was a raccoon in our tent once.

The woods are dirty, full of bugs and snakes, and there is no bathroom.

Also, my mom worked in Glacier National Park's resort in Montana one summer and her roommate got eaten by a Grizzly bear the night after Mom left to go home. True story. (I googled it) Stuff like that really turns you off to camping. Bears are super cute on TV, but I don't imagine it's so cute when they are chasing you through the woods.

Anyways, the last time we chatted about getting away, T suggested that we go camping on Bryce Mountain, where my Mom owns some property.

Me: (painting toenails) No. I do not sleep in tents.

T: (hopefully) We could build a cabin.

Me: (pointedly) Would it have TV?

T: (incredulous) No...but it would have beds.

Me: No TV and no internet?

T: Well, it would probably have running water. Maybe.

I am so sold.

"Well it's set way back in the middle of a field,
Just a funky old shack and I gotta get back
Glitter on the mattress
Glitter on the highway
Glitter on the front porch
Glitter on the hallway
The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together
Love Shack baby! Love Shack, that's where it's at!"

I think the Love Shack is the only one I'd consider visiting, and that's only because it is glittery.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Difference Between Boys and Girls

Image from ebay.com

I'm working childcare at our church's Bible study for the next few weeks with my friend, Kim.

Last week, Natalie and a little boy named Mikie were the only children in our room. It was an excellent lesson for me in the difference between boys and girls, and gave me a look at what the future would look like if the T family ever adds a little boy.

Upon his arrival in our classroom, Mikie set to work building a monster truck obstacle course.

I had no idea such a thing even existed, but Mikie was most intent on creating a course with the most extreme ramps and angles that he could dream up. Natalie busied herself with the Fisher Price dollhouse, glancing over every so often to check on Mikie's progress.

Mikie seemed to be having so much fun with his trucks that Natalie decided to join him. She copied his truck noises as best as she could. The pair bounced their trucks through the course until Mikie's truck took a nose dive off a ramp.

"Whoa! He's done! He's outta here!" Mikie crowed. He tossed the truck into the pile in the corner.

Natalie slowly pulled her truck to the side. "He's going to go home now to his family." she said, lovingly brushing her truck off.

Like most preschoolers, they moved on to a new activity quickly.

Mikie decided that he wanted to build the "tallest block tower ever," creating levels starting with a large base of ten blocks and moving to smaller tiers as he went up.

I watched him start his tower. Like a very small engineer, he began lining up each block precisely, his brow furrowed in concentration.

He was moving right along when Natalie approached.

Natalie: Can I help you, Mikie?

Mikie (eyeing her with as much skepticism as a 4 year old can muster): How old are you?

Natalie: Three

Mikie: Well, you can help when we get to the threes. I think the fours will be kind of tricky.

Natalie: Okay.

I was waiting for her to ask him when she could decorate the place, but she didn't get to because he got tired of building after awhile and they just knocked it over.

I sometimes feel that way about my house, but that's another story.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Veni, Vidi, Vici...Or...They Came, They Saw, They Took the Scenic Route

image from RachaelRay.com

I arrived home very late last night from the girls' trip to Nashville. I have so much to share with you, but I almost didn't get to share it.

A fateful merge into the wrong exit lane took the three of us moms on a very long detour. I could be in Florida right now if not for a kindly road sign that showed us our navigational error.

Erin was busy looking over some information for MOPS, Kelly was driving in an area she'd never been before, and I thought that if I spoke up they'd think I was stupid.

I wondered why we veered off towards Asheville, North Carolina when I knew we were specifically travelling towards Knoxville, Tennessee, which is sort of the gateway to Bristol, which is sort of the gateway to good old Virginnie.

But no one said anything (except the woman on the GPS system, and we were ignoring her because at one point she took us to a Nashville Taco Bell that was really a liquor store) and before long I noticed that the road was suspiciously more mountainous than I remembered on the trip to Nashville.

That could be because we were in the Cherokee National Forrest. Which runs into North Carolina.

The sign that read "Welcome to North Carolina" was our final clue that we had veered horribly off-course. Erin did some quick work on the map and plotted a course that would get us to Bristol without having to backtrack the way we'd just come.

We definitely took the scenic route.

Kelly steered the car around corners so tight that they were covered in black tire marks from previous road trippers who were perhaps a bit too ambitious in their cornering speeds.

We traveled through tiny towns perched on mountainsides, we passed more goats than I think I've ever seen, and saw so many postcard scenic views...I wanted to just stop the car and take some photos.

But we couldn't do that because three husbands and eight children were sitting at home in the 'Burg, waiting for us to return.

A man would have completely flipped out at our turn of events. We decided to see the situation as a "glass half full" sort of situation. We added an extra state to our itinerary and got to stop at a very nice Starbucks.

It's not a road trip without Starbucks, y'all.

I'll be spending some time this week trying (!!) to catch up with all the comments you've left while I was away. I want to catch up with your blogs too...please be patient with me. I think Mimi *helped* me by moving some things around while I was gone, so I have some hunting to do.

I can't wait to share more with you about our Nashville trip and the MOPS convention. Please drop back in!

Have a wonderful day!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Fun

I thought I'd end the week with a little video fun from one of my favorite shows, So You Think You Can Dance. The current season is still showing auditions, so here are some more of my favorites from the season that just ended. Enjoy!


This was one of my faves, choreographed by Mia Michaels. So quirky! Randi and Evan dance to what is now referred to as the "Butt Dance."




Here's another Mia Michaels routine. Kayla plays an addict and Kupono is her addiction. He is so malevolent looking...plays his part to a "T."




Just a fun pop jazz with Jeanine (season winner) and Brandon. I love the energy!



This one is perfect for the Halloween season. A hip hop zombie (Jason) who goes after Kayla. Spooky!






And my favorite from the season again, just 'cause.



{I'll be home from Nashville on Sunday night. I look forward to returning your visits then. Thanks for stopping by!}

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Leeeeaving On a Jet Plane...

Okay, maybe not so much a jet plane as Kelly's husband's Honda Element, but it is pretty nice.

Most of you know by now that I'm headed off (sans bebes!) to Nashville with my friends Kelly and Erin to the big MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International conference.

I have a dilemma. My dilemma isn't a decorating dilemma. My dilemma isn't about leaving my kids with T for 5 days.

Yes, I am a bit nervous about that.

I know that there will be at least one day my children will be paraded through a Chick-fil-a or Bass Pro Shop wearing some form of non-seasonal pajamas, mismatched shoes, and sporting unbrushed hair.

There may be a few frantic voicemails on my cell phone asking me where we keep the canned green beans or how much TV is too much TV.

But my real dilemma is what to pack.

I know I can share this with you, because some of you may understand.

I suffer from FOPS.

Flagrant Overpacking Syndrome.

I can't help myself. As many of my life experiences can be summed up in a Seinfeld episode, I found this perfect clip from "The Trip." If you're a real fan, you'll remember it. This will give you an idea of the disease which afflicts me.



Hotrollers, Hair Dryer, SHOES, jeans, yoga pants, pjs, sweater, sweatshirt, going out to dinner outfit, make-up, pillow, jewelry (!), purse(s).

I can't stop!!!

T gets soooo mad when he sees my suitcases when we leave on trips, but he's the guy who used to throw some boxers and a toothbrush in a backpack and call it a day. That was before we were married.

Now I overpack for him too.

I promised Kelly that I *might* not pack any heels, since this thing is supposed to be pretty casual anyways. I said "might" because that of course leaves me a window. I know I'm bringing the PINK tennies, but what about my black slingback heels? If I have an opportunity to wear them, I will.

I'm so glad we're driving to Nashville and not flying. It's been a year or two since I've flown, and I hear that they charge you by the weight of your bag. That's just not fair.

In fact, it's downright discriminatory. What about those of us who suffer from FOPS?!

It's not like I want to pack my faux zebra print flats with the hot pink ribbon. I am compelled to pack them because they would go so nicely with my jeans.

I hope Kelly and Erin don't charge me extra in gas money for the extra 500 pounds by bag(s) will add.

Anyone want to wire me 50 bucks?

{I don't know how much access I'll have to my lap top in Nashville, but I promise to catch up and return visits when I get back to good old Virginia! I have some new posts lined up for while I am away!}

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Frugal Fall Decorating

I had big plans to join Tiffany for her Frugal Fall Decorating party today.

I was going to show you my cutesified house, all dolled up for Fall.

Then everything seemed to spin out of control this week: preschool, laundry, packing for Nashville, getting the girls' stuff ready for T so he doesn't have to do it while I'm gone, working childcare for the church Bible study, designing the 4 page detailed MOPS newsletter that needs to be printed on Monday, and let's not forget the issue of my stolen blog content.

Plus, I'd have to go up there...


I hate going up to the attic. It's crammed with plastic bins of Christmas decorations, boxes of books I don't have room for but don't want to give away, suitcases, and yes...the Fall decorations. Plus, going to the attic usually requires me to peer over the ledge every three seconds and yell at the girls to "stay away from that ladder or I will come down and spank you or you could fall and we'll have to go to the hospital and you'll have to get a shot in your eyeballs."

So I thought I'd show you what I do have...which is frugal because it's a lot of nothing.

Sad, lonely Kitchen sideboard with my last dilemma still sitting there forlornly in her Spring/Summer attire.



Bag of candy corn that should be filling my apothecary jars. There were two bags, but T opened one and wouldn't stop eating them, no matter how much I shrieked at him each time I caught him sneaking a handful.

Top of my Family room TV armoire, still sporting the Summer look. It's shameful, I know. It's killing me to admit I've slacked in the decorating department. In my defense, Fall did only start just yesterday!



Dining room apothecary jar, filled with summery goodness. I can almost feel its embarrassment at being caught out of season.

Bag of faux pumpkins I bought for 50% off at Michaels. I was hoping to gussy them up, like Amanda's. No such luck this week.

I did buy some beautiful mums to replace my dying wave petunias. Did I pot them yet?

No.But it's the thought that counts, right?

If so, I've earned a lot of points for all the decorating thoughts I've had.

Just need to get around to following through!
Anyone else getting a late start?

{I am currently on the road to Nashville. I promise to return all party visits when I get home early next week. Thanks for stopping by!}


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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Birthday Soirée

My mom (Mimi) has a birthday this week, and since I'll be out of town, we celebrated on Sunday evening with a little dinner. My brother, Jamie, his wife, SuSu, and their new dog, Boone, all joined us. (Boone is so well-mannered, he's always welcome.)

I decided to cook up a batch of my friend Kim's Chicken Enchiladas Fabulosas. For the record, Kim is far too humble to call her enchiladas "fabulosas." I added the adjective because I feel they are beyond just plain old enchiladas. You can check out my link for the (easy!) recipe.

We served some Spanish-style rice, and surprisingly several people actually wanted to try the refried beans, so we served some of those as well.

But the real star of the night was the cake that SuSu and Jamie picked out. Here's Mimi and her cake:

Isn't she lovely?

Which one? Both, silly.

Jamie and SuSu were out of town all weekend, so there wasn't any time to come up with something from scratch. SuSu asked if I'd tell you guys that she made this, but I didn't feel like that would be fair to my readers. But she did pick it out, and that's saying something.

Check it out! There was so much chocolate here that I felt kind of twitchy after my serving.
Some party guests wasted no time and dug right into their cake and ice cream.

Others lurked about, hoping to receive a few spare crumbs. (I already gave him a bite of cheese, so I didn't want to get in trouble by offering him cake too)

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing."

Some of us were a bit messier with our cake than others.

Michaela Byrd tried to climb across the table to swipe a few crumbs....

Sometimes cake is worth it!

Happy Birthday, Mimi!
{Bon Appetit!}

It's Tasty Tuesday! Head over to see Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for some tempting recipes.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Move Over, Judy Garland!

This is old, archived footage from an alternate audition for The Wizard of Oz. I'm still not sure why the producers chose Judy Garland because this hideously brilliant rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is a real showstopper.



I can't imagine why her Mama let her out of the house with her hair looking like that.

I can't believe she was planning on performing this at my sister's wedding!

Gotta love a preschooler with a flair for the dramatic and a love of the arts.

Let's just hope she doesn't give up her day job and pursue a career on Broadway anytime soon.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stolen Blog Content

It has come to my attention tonight that someone (in India!) has stolen multiple pages from my blog. When I went to investigate, I discovered that this person has copied entire pages and label links from numerous blogs (some of them well known). Content, photos, everything. My writing is showing up alongside links for distasteful ads. I am furious.

I have emailed WordPress.org (not WordPress.com), as well as the person's webhost, and the person himself.

Tomorrow, I will be filing a detailed complaint with the dmca.

I am assuming this post will be (automatically?) uploaded to this person's blog. Now he can read this for himself.

Any other suggestions?


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Thrifty Treasures: New Kicks and More

What time is it?

It's Thrifty Treasures time! If you love a good bargain, please visit Rhoda for her weekly Thrifty Treasures party.

A few of my fabulous finds this week did not come from thrift stores or yard sales, but they are thrifty purchases, and they're treasures in my book!

I'll be heading to Nashville on Wednesday morning for the big MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International conference. It will require a fair amount of walking, I am told, and the moms dress casually. I am guessing that packing my new purple ruffled Madden Girl booties would not be prudent.

I've been eyeing these cutesy pink Airwalk tennis shoes at Payless for awhile now, but I wasn't sure if I could pull off that look. Then on Friday, Big Mama posted a link to these, and I knew I had to go back to see if the cheap look-alike pair was still at Payless. Not only was there one pair left in my size, but they were on clearance and I had a 20% off coupon that the manager let me use! I paid only $6.72 for an adorable pair of tennies that were originally $23.99. Now I'll look cute schlepping my laptop bag all over the conference site!

My next Thrifty Treasure was found completely by accident, as I saw it in the parking lot of a thrift shop on the way to Natalie's preschool on Monday morning. Some of you know that Natalie (and now Michaela Byrd) spend a lot of time playing with the two Fisher Price dollhouses we own.
This little beauty came home with us for just $5. It has 6 rooms and two patio terraces...plenty of space for the plethora of dolls and furniture in our New Room. These houses go on eBay for anywhere from $25 to $100 or more. I almost gave a little gasp of surprise when the shop owner told me he was selling it for $5, but I didn't want him to change his mind. It was covered in crayon marks and some grime, but a handful of disinfecting wipes took care of that.

The smallest of Natalie's dollhouses went to live with T's mom, and now all the dollhouse furniture fits within the two larger houses we have. I LOVE that the sides collapse and fold up, making the house smaller for storage. Good buy!

This rain coat was a steal for Michaela Byrd at a yard sale on Saturday. $3.00 and it came with a hat. I don't think it's ever been worn. It's freezing when it rains here in the Fall and Winter, so I was happy to find something for my little one, even if it's a little Springy looking.

This last trio came from The Dollar Tree. The pumpkins aren't nearly as nice as the faux ones from Michaels, but they'll do the trick. I also liked the little sign...not sure where I'll put it yet.

Did you find any bargains this week?

{Happy Thrifting!}

Last, but not least...start looking through your houses!

If you didn't have a chance to stop by the first two times, this is a party for bloggers to link up with any challenges they have in or around their homes (decorating, crafts, organizing, gardening, construction). Your dilemma can be anything from "Help! My son drew on my walls in permanent marker and I don't know how to cover it up" to "What color should I paint my coffee table?" I also love it when people have great solutions to share. This party is all about being real and helping out our bloggy friends. We're going to have a blast. There will be another giveaway!

You can click here and here to see the entries from the last two parties. Hope to see you there!


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Friday, September 18, 2009

Fun Friday

When you stay home all day with the bebes, and your husband works a lot, the days of the week seem to run together. Weekends kind of blend in, minus the sanity-saving preschool hours, but with the addition of church on Sundays.

T is heading up to New Jersey for a wedding this weekend, and I'll be home with the girls. I can't complain one tiny bit because he is being sweet enough to wrangle the girls with the two grandmamas next week while I head to Nashville with some girlfriends for the big MOPS International conference (yay!!).

So here's a little randomness to get the weekend started.

Please feel free to share your own answers:

Highlight of my week?
This was a good, but busy week. I'd have to say it's a toss up between Natalie's first day back to preschool on Monday or the MOPS events from this week. As much as I say I love the few hours of *freedom* I have with only one child to look after, it was rewarding to see Natalie so excited to go back to preschool. She's still only going two days a week, but it was so neat to see a "seasoned" preschooler heading into her new classroom without a care in the world. As for the MOPS events; a Bible study for our Steering Team, a dessert night with some friends, and a kids' event this morning that did not involve any tantrums or severe reprimands, I feel refreshed!

Plans this weekend?
I would love to do some shopping, but need to save the cash for Nashville. Natalie has her first drop-off birthday party tomorrow, a pizza party that she has been looking forward to. As usual, her first reaction to the invitation was, "Will 'dere be a cake?"

Best TV this week:
I was sooo happy to see The Office up and running. The opening scene with Michael, Dwight, and Andy video taping themselves acting like idiots was priceless.

What am I reading?

I just finished The Tsarina's Daughter (Carolly Erickson) and will probably start her The Secret Life of Josephine tomorrow night after the girls are in bed.

Favorite thing I bought this week:
A nice pile of faux pumpkins in white and orange at Michaels for 50% off, thanks to a tip from Kimm. I also picked up a small bottle of black acrylic paint for $0.89 and a new paint brush. I'm hoping to beautify some Fall pumpkins like these-

Photo from Amanda at Imperfectly Beautiful.


Photo from Amanda at Imperfectly Beautiful. ('Cause she's that good!)


Most annoying thing my kids did this week:
I'm gonna have to go with the "shrieking in harmony in the car" for 1000, Alex. They think they're being hilarious. I'm just minding my own business, trying to drive to Target and listen to my man, Glenn Beck, and they love to wail "yaaay," holding the highest pitched note they can for the longest amount of time possible. They could be deep sea divers or something, they are so good at holding that breath. I've never heard anyone hold an awful note for so long. And I can't do anything but aimlessly flail one arm behind the seat to smack whatever I can find. Or turn the radio up.

Cutest thing my kids did this week:
At our MOPS get-together this morning, my girls found a little friend of Natalie's that they don't see very often anymore. I just grinned to see the three of them cozied up on the coffee shop couch, "reading" books together. And of course, they all wanted to hold hands in the courtyard outside. I was pleased to see the two 3 year olds including Michaela Byrd in the fun.

Best links of the week:

Jen's Financial God Watch
Susie's Gentle Way of Dealing with a Child's Heartbreak
Kate's Spiced Pear Cake--to die for!
Personalized Pumpkins by Amanda--how could I not list her?! I stole her pictures!

Last, but not least...start looking through your houses!

If you didn't have a chance to stop by the first two times, this is a party for bloggers to link up with any challenges they have in or around their homes (decorating, crafts, organizing, gardening, construction). Your dilemma can be anything from "Help! My son drew on my walls in permanent marker and I don't know how to cover it up" to "What color should I paint my coffee table?" I also love it when people have great solutions to share. This party is all about being real and helping out our bloggy friends. We're going to have a blast. There will be another giveaway!
You can click here and here to see the entries from the last two parties. Hope to see you there!


{Have a wonderful weekend, my wonderful readers!}

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chick Flick Club tips and Movie Review

I've mentioned before that my girlfriends and I had so much fun seeing The Ugly Truth that we joked about starting up a Chick Flick Club.

Image from Google

We see and hear so many serious things on TV, in the newspaper, and on the radio. I'd be willing to bet that many of you, like me, need a bit of escapism now and then. (That's why I'm hooked on Fluffy books.) If I'm going to invest a few hours and a few dollars, I want to be entertained.

I thought about it for a bit and decided why not?

*Here are a few tips for starting your own Chick Flick Club.*

~The unspoken rule for the Chick Flick Club is that we choose the late showing of a movie. It's hard to round up a bunch of friends to do something without husbands getting all cranky about having to stay home and put the kids to bed. In our area, that's typically a start time of 9:30 or 9:50 pm, which is just enough time for me to bathe the kids, put them in bed, take a breather, and put on something other than yoga pants and a tee-shirt before walking out the door. T can't complain because I did all the work and all he has to do is sit on the couch and watch The History Channel, which is what he'd be doing if I were staying home.

~I like to use Evite to send out the movie invitation. I typically have 30 or so ladies on my guest list, and it's so much easier to keep track of who's coming. I can also send out easy updates this way, and I believe Evite even lets you insert a poll into the invitation so guests can vote on which movie to see.

~I send out my Evites at least 2 weeks in advance. If your children are grown, or if you don't have children, you might not need this much notice. For those of us who have to nag nicely ask our husbands to keep an eye on the kids or lure hire a sitter to come over, we might need some extra time.

~If you bribe your husband with his favorite dinner, he might be generous enough to agree to putting the kids to bed so you can meet the girls for a quick coffee or dessert before the movie.

~Make sure to post your cell phone number in your Evite so the other girls can call if they're running late and you can save seats. Get to the theatre early if the film is a new release. We went in to grab seats about 10 minutes before the last movie started, only to find that the theatre was pretty full. We ended up having to sit closer to the screen that we would have liked.

By sending out invites early and encouraging my girls to come out for some fun, we had a great turnout the last time. We took up about a row and a half in the middle of the theatre!

We went to see:

{The Time Traveler's Wife}





Although the movie was very well-done, I can't call it a "Fluffy Favorite" because everyone was crying at the end! The whole theatre was silent and all you could hear was sniffling. When the lights went up, L turned around and jokingly told me that I'm not allowed to pick the movies anymore.

An interesting concept to this film...enough to make me consider reading the book at some point. I tend to look at the female leads' hair a lot for some reason. If her hairstyle is awful, I get distracted. Rachael McAdams has gorgeous hair, so that was a plus for The Time Traveler's Wife. I didn't have to let my mind wander and think about a bad dye job or a perm gone wrong.

Next picks?




Jennifer Aniston always has fabulous hair. I've loved her since "The Rachel."




This one in December for sure! Sarah Jessica Parker's hair is looking a little frumpy here, but it looks like it goes with the story! She is always amazing. And I adore Hugh Grant...his dancing scene in Love Actually is one of my faves. How could you not fall for a guy with an accent?!





Don't care if I have to wait and see this one when my sis comes home for a visit...it's like So You Think You Can Dance on the big screen. Cut me some slack...I was a toddler when the first one came out!

And we all know from my previous post on chick flicks how excited I am to see New Moon; theatre packed full of crazed teens and all!

To see what's making other bloggers smile this week, please go visit Julia at Hooked on Houses for her weekly "Hooked On" party. Tell her I sent you!

{What are you hooked on this week?}
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

She's Baaaaaaack...to School, That Is

I'm pairing this Back to (Pre)School post with Kimba's DIY party over at A Soft Place to Land.

Natalie, my 3 1/2 year old, headed back to preschool on Monday morning. She started two days a week last year, and it was the best thing either of us has ever done, so she'll be joining the Young 4s class two days a week this Fall.

I've been counting the minutes this past month.

It was a long, hot summer, people. Except there was no Paul Newman.

When I wasn't counting the minutes, I searched Natalie's closet for a cute back to school outfit that wouldn't scorch the poor child in this late summer Virginia heat. I found a cute short sleeved, light-weight corduroy dress in brown, but there were no off-white socks to be found in the 'Burg. I settled on bright pink socks ('cause I love how it looks with brown!), and decided that she would certainly need a matching hair accessory.

I raided my growing stash of ribbon and found an adorable bear made of ribbon that I bought in a package of 2 at JoAnn fabric.
Doesn't he look cute perched on those pink and brown bows?

I am not pleased with the way the actual bows turned out (I have a HARD time figuring out how to fashion a good bow from looking at printed directions and pictures on paper), but I love the bear and the way he pops out from the pink ribbon.

To start, I just hot glued some thin brown ribbon to the outside of an alligator clip. To see how to line one so it doesn't slip, click here.

After tying the brown and pink bows together with some thin floral wire, I hot glued them to the alligator clip and then hot glued Mr. Bear to the top of those. Easy peasy.

Not professional looking by any means, but cute enough. I was in a pinch to find something to work with the pink socks.

Here are some more back to (pre)school photos.
"When are you going to school so I can stay here and play with all of your toys?"



I like this one!

Had to get a shot outside the school with her good friend, B. They were so excited to see each other! B's mom and I planned to take the kids to Burger King for lunch, but only if they were good girls at school.

I can't tell if this look says "I'm so excited for school to start" OR "wait til they see what sort of havoc I can wreak on this classroom in five minutes flat."

Little sissy wanted a photo shoot outside the school too. I was only too happy to oblige. (Then she threw a fit because I wouldn't let her go in the church's side door)

I like this one too.


Natalie and one of her teachers, Miss A, outside the classroom door. Miss B was inside corralling all the other kids.

She got an A+ for her first day. No complaints from anyone, and she keeps saying "I love school."

So do I...so do I.

This would be me if I was a man in the 1990s:

(I remember seeing this commercial when it first came out and thinking it was pretty funny. Now that I have children of my own, I totally get it!)

FYI:
If you didn't have a chance to stop by the first two times, this is a party for bloggers to link up with any challenges they have in or around their homes (decorating, crafts, organizing, gardening, construction). Your dilemma can be anything from "Help! My son drew on my walls in permanent marker and I don't know how to cover it up" to "What color should I paint my coffee table?" I also love it when people have great solutions to share. This party is all about being real and helping out our bloggy friends. We're going to have a blast. Anyone planning on coming?

You can click here and here to see the entries from the last two parties. Hope to see you there!


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