Monday, October 29, 2012


When I found out I was having a girl, one of the things I looked forward to was doing her hair.  I have literally known how to french braid since before I knew how to tie my shoes.  I've been curling my hair since I was six.  And I enjoy (most days) doing fun and different things with my hair.  Over the past six months or so, Isla's hair has finally gotten to a point where I can actually do something with it.  I posted several months ago about her pigtails.  Her hair has continued to grow.
I looked online for some ideas of different ways to do her short hair.  One of the cute ways I saw to style it was in "caterpillar" pony tails or pigtails.  I could also put it up in a pony tail, put clips in it, or wet it then scrunch it with gel to make it a bit curly.  Here she is with the caterpillar pony.

Well, the girl liked to pull them out when in the car (she'd leave them alone the rest of the time).  When she'd pull them out, she'd pull a bunch of hair with them...she doesn't have many hairs to spare.  Leaving it down and flat looked weird.  She had a mullet.  The back was quite a bit longer than the sides and she has a lions mane ring around her head of small fine baby hairs.
I finally decided that pigtails/pony tails will be for special times and the rest of the time, I'll leave her hair down.  That meant one thing...
A haircut!  I was so nervous and a little sad about it.

See?  The ends were wispy and longer than the front.

So I cleaned it up a bit :).  Now she has a cute little bob.

This is all the hair I cut off...not much in reality.  I can still pull it up in pigtails or put a clip in it, but it looks a lot cleaner.
And now that her hair is shorter, I'm so glad I got her ears pierced!  Not sure if I mentioned that on the blog yet, but she got pretties in her ears :).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Glamorous Kitchen

For a while now, I've had my eye on play kitchens made out of old nightstands, tv stands, cabinets, etc.  After pinning several on Pinterest and pining over them, I decided to make one for Isla's birthday.  I kept my eye out on craigslist and Goodwill for a while to find the perfect nightstand.  About a month ago, I found this gem at Goodwill for $15.
It was perfect!
A few weeks later, I brought it up to my parents house while Ben was at work.  My Dad and I got to work in the garage.  We removed the drawers and the middle shelf between the bottom two.  After some measuring, we hit up Home Depot for a few things...and what I thought was going to be a fairly cheap project turned into a bit of a spendy one :).

We got a board (2'x4') for the back "wall" and also cut it to make the oven door.  We got trim wood for the oven door.  We got hardware for the oven door (hinges and a handle), faucet, tile, brackets for the shelf, and some hooks.  I also grabbed two sample sizes of pink paint and a little roller.  I think the color is 'glamorous'.  All these things totaled about $70, and I still needed fabric and a tension rod! 
That night, we made and installed the door, cut the back wall and shelf and got them completely ready for assembly (I just had to screw it together with pre-drilled holes), and cut the holes for the sink and faucet.
Then I brought it home and took it to the basement.  After a few hours of sanding, painting, assembling, sewing, tiling, 'grouting', and some finishing touches later...
And we had a glamorous kitchen!

I also put a chalk board on the side.  It is a $1 cookie sheet painted with chalk board paint.

I left the top drawer shelf open and made a curtain to hang in the space.  The kids can use it for storage or cooking.

I also made her a matching apron.  I love how it turned out.  She didn't take it off until her bath!
*sorry for the bad pictures.  The really fuzzy ones were taken on my phone
Kitchen price breakdown:
Nightstand:  $15
Wood:  $10
Trim:  $6
Handle:  $5
Hinges:  $5
Hooks:  $3
Cookie sheet:  $1
Pink paint:  $6
Black paint:  $3
Roller:  $2
Brackets:  $4
Tile:  $6
Bowl:  $1
Faucet:  $30
Liquid Nails:  $5
Fabric:  $5
Tension rod:  $3
Knobs:  $3
Total: $108
For some reason, I thought it would be about half that :).  I could have saved by buying a cheaper faucet, but they all had the fake crystal handles, but that would have saved $15.  I also only needed one 12x12 tile, and I bought two...they were $3 a piece.  I used the liquid nails to glue on the tile, "grout" the tile, and glue in the bowl for the sink.

Party Time

To start the party off, Isla wanted to open gifts. Usually this is done last, but that's hard to explain to a two year old who is staring at the gifts :).  She got a lot of really nice things.
Grandma and Grandpa McLane got her some Winnie-the-Pooh DVDs and books.  She is a book lover and wanted to read them all tonight!
Grandma Mo and Grandpa Jeff got her a cute doll stroller that is a travel system.  I would have died to have one as a child!  I'm jealous of her :).

Miles, of course, "helped" open the gifts.  He got away with it this year, but I have a feeling next year will be a different story.

Grandma Mo and Grandpa Jeff also got her some books and a puzzle.  The puzzle makes animal noises, or will, after I put batteries in it.

She also got a bunch of "accessories" for her main gift.  Pots and pans, play food, and dishes.

Her main gift (from Ben and me with the help of my dad):

A play kitchen!  Also Pinterest inspired :).  It is made out of an old nightstand.  I'll probably do a separate post about it.  Both the kids love it so far.

Grandma Mo was there, but not in a pic for some reason.
After presents and lunch, we had "cake".  Isla was a bit skeptical about the singing and the candles.

After Miles blew them out and I relit them, Isla actually blew both out, one at a time, on her own :).

Sweet Shoppe Birthday

My sweet baby girl turned 2 last week.  I swear I was just snuggling my newborn soaking up every second.  Time is absolutely flying!  While I miss my newborn girl, I am LOVING watching her grow up and be a girlie-girl like her mama.  Don't get me wrong, she can hold her own with the boys and loves herself some cars and trucks, but she is also shy, gentle, likes babies and pink, painted nails, piggy tails, dresses, and boots :).  She is so full of personality.  A bit stubborn at times.  If she sees something she wants, she will find a way to get it.  She's a mover and a climber, but quiet and hardly talks (her brother talks enough for the both of them).  She only says a few single words (maybe a few dozen?), but understands directions exceptionally well, has wonderful motor skills, and can identify many objects if you ask her to "point to the ___".  She has just recently started saying sentences.  Her first being, "Mama, boot off please".  She regularly says, "help, please", or "help me", and "Abby, no".  (Abby is our cat).
Anyhow, we celebrated her birthday today with a small family party and a "Sweet Shoppe" theme.

Many of the ideas are inspired by Pinterest, of course :). 

She loved the balloons on the ceiling fan that I did for Miles' party, so I knew I had to do something similar for her.  I went with tissue paper poms and streamers (plastic table clothes).  I wish I had done a few more table clothes on the ceiling, but I do like how it turned out.  Isla was in awe when she came out of her room this morning :).

I was going to make a Happy Birthday banner, but got lazy and didn't put letters on it...haha!

I went to the candy store at the mall and bought a small amount of many different kinds of pink candies for the jars.  The candy in these three jars, plus two suckers not pictured, was $30!!!  Eeeks.  Oh, well.  Wouldn't have been a "Sweet Shoppe" without candy :).

The food was chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, fruit tray, and veggie tray.

Then the dessert.  I made four kinds of cupcakes.  The cupcake stand was made out of three china plates purchased cheap at Goodwill then hot glued silver candle sticks in between.

The flavors were Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate with butter cream and Salted Caramel, S'mores, and Cookies and Cream.

Here's the inside of the Strawberry Cheesecake.  They were inspired by this recipe.  I made my own batter, though.

This is the inside of the S'mores.  Graham cracker crust, chocolate batter, and marshmallow frosting.
I used this recipe for the white and chocolate cake batters.  So much better than just the normal recipe from the box and sooo easy!  You still use the box ingrediants, plus a small box of pudding mix and a few different ingredients.  Makes for a much more yummy cake.  The graham cracker crusts were from the strawberry cheesecake recipe.  The Cookies and Cream cupcake was white cake mix with an Oreo on the bottom, butter cream frosting, and crumbled oreos on top.  The chocolate and salted caramel was chocolate cupcake baked, then made a little whole in the middle, poured in salted caramel, with butter cream frosting and drizzled salted caramel on top.
I love how the party turned out.  It was a huge hit!

Fireman Birthday #2 and the County Fair

This post will be mostly pictures :).
Auntie Annie was able to come for Miles' birthday party (not sure if I mentioned that).  He LOVES his Auntie Annie!

He loved his truck cake, but didn't want anyone to eat any of it!

Auntie Annie knit him this amazing "bomb bird" hat, which both he and Isla loved.

He got so excited for every.single.present.

See?  Isla loved the hat, too.  He got boots to match his fireman rain coat.
He got a new fire truck for his train set.

And a firetruck Lego set from Aunt Christine and Uncle Cam.  He LOVED it.  I didn't expect his reaction, so I wasn't ready for it, but he was jumping up and down and squealing :).

And a Lego garbage truck :).

He made everyone put on their party favors.

Clearly, Grandpa Tom was thrilled...

Then came the pinata...

And with a bit of help. 

We also played "Pin the Badge on the Fireman"

Auntie Annie got his nose :).
Then we hit the fair.  It was a bit hot this year!  These are a bit out of order.
As always, Miles loved the firetruck.  The let him hold the hose, and he was thrilled!

This was actually our first stop.  It's tradition :).

And then all the animals.

At one point, Miles wandered off.  Grandpa Tom had followed him and they went into the next barn over.  It was full of cows.  Someone was walking one back to it's place, and it got off the rope somehow and was loose in the barn.  It ran around a bit before they caught it.  Then it got off again.  Everyone had to not move (meaning had to stay in the barn) until they caught the cow as to not add to the excitement and make it harder to catch the cow.  Anyhow, Miles was traumatized.  Sounds like he'll share my fear of Big Horned Animals...poor kid.  All this was during a search for the pony rides.  After the Great Cow Chase, Miles didn't really want to look at any more animals, since he was afraid of them getting loose.

We finally found the pony rides (they moved from years past), and paid, then he told us he didn't want to ride.  I said, tough, since we already paid and he didn't tell us this until he was sitting on the pony.  He sat like this with his legs straight out the entire time.  About half way through, he relaxed a bit and started to enjoy it.  After he got off, the truth came out.  He was afraid the pony was going to get off the rope and run away with him on it.  See...traumatized. 
It was a pretty short trip to the fair because we didn't spend much time looking at animals because of the cow issue.  Oh, well.  We had fun anyway.  It will be interesting to see his reaction to the fair next year :).