April 30, 2010

Free Tip of the Week: Vista Print


Have you heard of them? Have you used them?

Usually I use another printing company who does all my professional stuff for my photography. But, I was a little disappointed with said company last Christmas when they messed up one of my order for a client. 

I got an email for some FREE products from Vistaprint and decided to give them a try. I was pleasantly surprised with the selection they had, and the quality. I was able to make some really cool photo gifts for Mother's Day for my Mom and Orion's Mom. 

I got over $50 worth of stuff for FREE. With FREE shipping. That's right, I paid nothing!!

And as I signed on customer, they gave me a deal to pass along to friends. Click here, and you can get 50-80% off their store for the next two days! 

Check'em out, I know you'll find some great stuff!! 


image via: Vistaprint.com

I SAY; Mommy Edition

.... I still have to pinch myself, I can't believe I'm a Mommy! 
.... being a Mom is probably the best thing I've done thus far in life, I've decided.
.... the days fly by really fast when you have someone else to take care of.
.... I thought that it'd be great once I was done being preggers I could now eat whatever I wanted, so not true...hello breast feeding! 
.... watching my Hubby w/ the babe is pretty cute!
.... seeing the two loves of my life sleeping in the AM.....priceless! 

Our Week In Pictures:

This week flew by fast. I can hardly believe it's already Friday. A pretty relaxing week, our first week at home with out Daddy or any help at all. I made it. We made it. We're getting the hang of this whole thing. Ava is starting to sleep around 4 to 5 hours at a time in the evenings. And 3 hours between each feeding. 
Watching Mommy make dinner.
Love this picture of these two.
I think she kinds looks like a doll in this picture.
Mommy & Ava.
In her what I like to call "Where's Waldo" outfit! She's pretty sweet, and I still can't believe she's ours and we get to keep her. Forever.

Milk Coma.

She loves to nurse.

April 29, 2010

{DIY} Ava's Oh La La Chandy

I really wanted to hang a beautiful vintage chandelier in Ava's nursery. But, since we're renting our beautiful abode it didn't seem practical to buy and install one. 

A few months back I was flipping through a Pottery Barn Kids catalog and found this it was the perfect inspiration for Ava's nursery. After studding this picture a few times I decided that I would try to re create this for her nursery. This is what I came up with:
It was surprisingly easy to make. I used a foam floral wreath for the base and covered it with white ribbon and secured it on either side with pins. Then I arranged the flowers and used hot glue to adhere them to the base. And, to make sure it had that chandelier effect I added some crystals to the bottom of the base. It gives it that extra Oh La La feel
I think it looks pretty beautiful all hung up in her room. This is her view, so sweet simple and classic! 


BC Challenge
Week #16


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April 28, 2010

Vote for Us: On Project Nursery & Top Mommy Blogs


Click here to vote for our space! 
Click here to vote for Ava's Oh La La Nursery! 


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Click the link above to vote for our blog on TopMommyBlogs.com

We'd really appreciate your votes!

We love and appreciate all our readers!

Happy Reading & Voting!
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April 27, 2010

Spring Cleaning: Rules to Live By

Truth be told, I hate cleaning. You know dusting, dishes, laundry I really don't like it all. It's so boring and tedious. But, I love having a clean home so it's a necessary evil to my life. I do on the other hand love getting rid of stuff and throwing stuff away. Maybe it's the organizer in me that loves seeing clutter and then seeing the after even more. 

I just did a major Spring Cleaning before we moved back in August. It was the perfect time to go through everything since we were packing it up anyway and purge. That's the best feeling for me anyway, getting rid of stuff that you don't need or don't use. This past weekend our youth were having a garage sale fundraiser for camp, so again it was a great time to go through stuff and see if we had anything to donate. 

Here's some simple rules that we live by here at the Worley House when it comes to having a clean & clutter free home. 

1. Spring Clean twice a year:
You all know that you accumulate stuff more than just a couple times a year. Why only take the first of the year to clean, or one season? I do this twice a year at our house, once in the Fall and once in the Spring, or every six months is also a good rule. Why? Because stuff adds up, and most of the time you don't have a clue what you have and don't have, what you're using and not using. Take stock twice a year, purge and get rid of stuff and organize it. You'll feel better I promise. 
2. If you haven't used it, worn it or seen it in 6-12 months get rid of it:
This rule is pretty simple. If you haven't used it during this time frame chances are that you won't in the next six months either. This is a great rule for all those clothing, shoes and accessories in your closet that are taking up space. It's also a good rule for beauty products that you have sitting under your sink, since most beauty products expire after this time. (yes, that make-up of yours does expire.) Get rid of it! 
3. The In/Out Rule:
If you bring something in, take something out. This is a great rule for not having to much stuff. If you're going to bring something in or buy something to add to your home always make sure you have a place for it, or know what you're going to use it for. Don't just buy stuff because, although it can be really tempting. It will also save you money too this rule, because it'll force you to really think about all your purchases. 
Three pretty simple rules that keep our home running, clean and clutter free. I just did this last night, I went through all of our bathrooms cleaned them and went through the stuff underneath the sink and organized it all. Such a good feeling to have things in order now. 

images: realsimple.com

April 26, 2010

Blog Roll Monday: The Lettered Cottage


This week's Blog Roll is dedicated to all things home design/decor! Enter Kevin & Layla Palmer at The Lettered Cottage. I found their blog via True Value's DIY Challenge posts, and fell in love with their sensible style, cute home, and their love for all things thrifty, and DIY!

They took their rancher style home and turned it into something amazing, and their still working on renovations. Their bathroom reno was amazing, as is their latest kitchen reno. They have some really great ideas for freshening up a space.

Kevin is all things hands on, and Layla is the designer behind it all! They make a great couple! Hop on over and check out their blog, I promise you'll walk away wanting to knock out a wall and start your own reno. Or, at the very least you'll wanna re decorate!

Click on the picture link above!

Happy Monday & Happy reading!

image link: The Lettered Cottage

Free Tip of the Week: Free Printables from TomKat Studio



TomKat Studio is my newest indulgence. Kim over at TomKat designs lots and lots of pretty paper inspired designs for parties and special events. If you're looking for some inspiration for your little ones birthdays check her out first. 

She offers lots and lots of FREE printable designs on her blog that you can print off and personalize for yourself. I'm loving her calendars she's made, I print them off and add our family events and hang it on the fridge for Hubby, so he can know what's going on that month (if he cares.) 

She's got place cards, tags for gifts, treats and drinks. Jump on over to her blog and check out all the stuff you can print off for free. Click here, to see all the FREE printables! 

Happy Monday Everyone!!

image: tomkat studio

April 25, 2010

Some Thoughts on Motherhood

Motherhood + Hollywood= Mommywood

Mommywood, is that cross between the glamorous things we Moms do (like getting dressed up for that hot date with our Husband, since we haven't been in weeks) and the daily things we do for our kids (like clean spit up off our shirts and take kids to school.) It's that idea that we can still be women and love/do all the things we did before kids even now that we have them. It may not always be perfect or glamorous, it's Mommywood. 

I've officially been a Mom for four weeks now, the time has flown by so fast. I hate that feeling, but it's true. I'm trying to treasure and take in each moment (even those 2 am feedings) because I know that they won't last forever and soon we'll be on to the next phase or milestone. 

I knew that our lives would for sure change, I expected the schedule to be demanding, but I didn't know just how much. I expected the no sleep, but I've been pleasantly surprised as to how much I can get done on little to no sleep at all, and still make it through the day. 

I had no idea how much instinct would actually kick in, it feels like I've been doing this forever. It feels like the most natural thing I've ever done in my life. 

I've realized that breast feeding isn't as hard or scary as I once thought. 

I'm getting pretty good at grabbing things with one hand, it's amazing how much stuff you can carry with a baby in one hand and a bunch of stuff in the other. 

It's amazing to me how much I love Ava and how I'm so in awe of everything she does. 

I knew my Husband would be a great Daddy, but it's been so amazing to see him in action. He's soooo protective already, wants to spoil her already, and loves her so much. I see a whole new side of him and it's endearing and awesome. 

I'm a neat freak, everything has a place in my house and I can't stand clutter. But, it's amazing how baby things just take over your house and I don't really care at all. 

I never knew just how much help I would need right after having a baby, and I'm so thankful someone else did and that I had family volunteer their time to make meals, do our laundry, clean for us and just be there for me ask lots and lots of questions those first two weeks. 

I have a whole new appreciation for my Mother and my friends who are Mothers. It's a whole new understanding. 

I'm so thankful to be on this journey with Ava. I love our little family. 

****
Some of my favorite things that have gotten me through these last few weeks and made a world of difference: this has been a lifesaver for when I need to shower or just get some stuff done around the house. If your nursing, I highly suggest one of these and one of these. These are my favorite pacifiers. 

April 24, 2010

Watch Me Grow: 1 Month


Jitter bug. Little Lady. Sweetie Pie. Love Bug. Sweet Pea. Princess.

These are just a few of the names that we affectionately call our girl. She's already one month old I can hardly believe how fast this first month has gone by. It's been so much fun watching her and having her in our world these last few weeks, our little family of three. 

In one month, she's sleeping now about 4 hours and then waking up to nurse at night. She's weighing in at 7 lbs. 14 oz. She's been known to hold her head up for 10 seconds at a time, she's a strong girl already. She smiled real smiles for the first time this week. She's moving her arms and legs like crazy. Very active. 

She's been on her first road trip this month. Took her on walks in the park on numerous occasions. Spit up on Mommy lots and pooped on Daddy even more. 

I can't wait to watch her grow [and of coarse document it] over the next twelve months. 

We love you so much Ava- Mommy & Daddy. 

Faces.


Ava makes some really great faces, she's so entertaining. Here's a little proof:


I often wonder what she's thinking? What are her thoughts? I can't wait to experience life through her eyes. I was thinking today about how much I love our little family. I love our new lives.

Thrifted

A long, long time ago my Grandma taught me the fine art of good deals, sales, garage sailing and thrifting. 

While she was here a couple weeks back we hit up some thrift stores, and I was pleasantly surprised by one at how many brand names there were in the thrift store. Naturally I started looking for stuff for Ava, and came out with some pretty awesome finds. I've now decided that she needs no more clothes for a while, she has way to many as is and her dresser drawers are busting as the seams! It's just so hard to resist cute stuff for your baby girl! But, I vow to try. 

Anyway, I thought I'd share some of my fave finds of the day with you: 

This cute dress is from The Children's Place, a fave store of mine. Isn't it cute?!
I love this dress with a matching coat. It's to big now, but it'll be the perfect Easter dress for her next year. 
This dress was one of my fave finds of the day, it's from Gymboree. I heart Gymboree for little girls. And at $1 you can't beat it. It even has a cute rainbow bow detail in the back. 

What have you thrifted lately? Do you prefer garage/yard sales over thrift stores or do you love them all?

April 22, 2010

Earth Day

Remember this post, about my Green List? Well, in celebration of today being Earth Day I wanted to re visit this list and see if there was anything else we could cross off our green list and see where we've improved. I'm happy to say that we've made improvements since then. 

I love all the "green" changes we've made in our lifestyle in the last two years. It all started with me trying to have a better diet and eat more organically and turned into something much more for our household that I ever imagined. 

For us, it's all been about making small changes here and there that have made the difference. So, check out the list, print it off and see where you can make greener, better changes to your lives. 

Happy Earth Day!! 


1. Plant an herb garden. It’s good to have a reminder around of where our food originates.

2. Switch all your light bulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few). [one of the first things we did in our home]

3. Create a homemade compost bin.
4. Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the "energy start" label).

5. Stop using disposable bags - order some reusable bags, or make your own. [I got a ton of these for free at a local fair]
6. Buy a reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles.
7. Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.
8. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
9. Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can - open your curtains and enjoy natural light.
10. Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.

11. Better yet, walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer.

12. Support your local economy and shop at your farmer's market.
13. Turn off your computer completely at night. [saves energy & your computer life]

14. Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company.

15. Pay as many bills as possible online. [saves stamps and money]

16. Put a stop to unsolicited mail - sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.
17. Reuse scrap paper. Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.
18. Conduct a quick energy audit of your home.

19. Subscribe to good eco blogs.
20. Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle.
21. Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally.

22. Fix leaky faucets.

23. Make your own household cleaners. [a lot of fun & cheap too]

24. Line dry your laundry.
25. Watch The Story of Stuff with your kids, and talk about the impact your household trash has on our landfills.
26. Learn with your kids about another country or culture, expanding your knowledge to other sides of the world.
28. Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.

29. Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
30. Repurpose something.

31. Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.
32. Switch to cloth diapers - or at least do a combination with disposables.

33. Switch to shade-grown coffee with the “Fair Trade" label.
34. Use a Diva Cup your monthly cycles.
35. Make rags out of old towels and t-shirts, and forego buying paper towels.
36. Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.
37. Read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and open your eyes to the way conventional food is processed.
38. Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage.

39. Five-minute showers - make it a goal for yourself.
40. Donate to - and shop at - thrift stores such as Goodwill. You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, and you’ll be supporting your local economy.

41. Bring your own reusable coffee travel cups to the coffee shop.
42. Reuse paper products (like toilet paper rolls) for arts and crafts.

43. Use Bio Bags for your pet’s you know what. [our HOA provides these so it's easy]

44. Use covers or upside down plates when storing food in the fridge instead of plastic wrap.
45. Reuse the plastic containers food comes in (like yogurt) to store your own leftovers.

46. Keep your heat as low as possible [hello, you have blankets right?]
47. Open a window before turning on the AC. 

48. Don’t throw away anything before offering on FreeCycle.
49. Use half a dryer sheet.

50. Use reusable containers instead of baggies in lunch boxes. [hubby does this well]
51. Buy bulk.

52. Garden

53. See trash? Pick it up!
54. Volunteer

55. Make cloth sandwich bags.
56. Eat more vegetarian meals.
57. Can your own fruits and veggies.
58. Carpool.
59. Bring your own silverware to work.

60. Use a reusable lunch box. 

61. Ditch plastic freezer bags and go with reusable containers.

62. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. 

63. Buy concentrated laundry detergent.
64. Go with a tankless hot water heater.

65. Eat out less. [this is easy for us, since we hardly eat out at all]

66. Use used coffee grounds as fertilizer
67. Place a brick in your toilet take to use less water

68. Never run your dishwasher if it’s not full.
69. Have cats? Try green kitty litter. [we don't have cats.]

70. Bring your own tupperware for leftovers at a restaurant.
71. Freeze leftovers.
72. Use yogurt and pudding cups for crafts or seedlings.

73. Air dry your dishes or turn off the heat cycle on your dishwasher
74. Recharge your batteries
75. Dispose of unrechargeable batteries with other hazardous waste

76. Cover your pots when cooking 

77. Use pressure cookers and steamers

78. Take a shower instead of a bath

79. Use a low flow showerhead
80. Buy smart - a 1.5 liter bottle requires less energy to produce than three 0.5 liter bottles

81. Buy recycled paper products

82. Plant a tree
83. Plant scrubs around your home to help keep your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter
84. Buy a programmable thermostat
85. Recycle
86. Stop food waste
87. Ditch the carpet for natural hardwood (sustainably harvested of course) or a natural carpet, like wool 

88. When painting choose low or no VOC paints and make sure the dyes used in the paint areVOC free
89. Unplug your appliances when not in use

90. Buy recyclable plastic only
91. Fill up your fridge and freezer - use bottles of water to fill up space if needed
92. Instead of drive through, park and go inside to save running the car while ordering
93. Insulate water pipes
94. Insulate your water heater
95. Insulate your roof space

96. Use cold water instead of hot to wash hands etc

97. Buy recycled glass


image credit: google.com

April 21, 2010

Bath Time

Around our house now, we're changing outfits on average twice a day. Orion has been peed on and pooped on more times than I can count. I however, have stayed away from that and only get puked on. So as if it weren't funny enough that we're changing the baby's clothes we're also changing our own. Which is making my laundry routine take a whole new turn. 

But, it's allowing me to dress Ava is all her very cute clothes that I've been dying to get her into since I bought them months and months ago. 

Here's a few high lights from bath time this week:
She's pretty happy during the bath, but we have discovered that she doesn't like lotion being put on her. Every time we try she just screams and screams. Hopefully she'll get over it soon. 

Cupcake Pops

Remember me talking about making Bakerella's cupcake pops a couple days ago? Well, I decided I needed to do a trial run at making these beauties and see how they turned out. So, yesterday I went out with the Hubs & babe in tow and we picked up some supplies to make our very own version of cupcake pops.

Take a look:


If you'd like the recipe click here. And if you're like me and need a visual, click here to watch Bakerella herself on Martha Stewart showing you how to do these.

These were a labor of love, I made these in between Ava's naps so they took forever. I don't recommend this way, if I were to make them again I'd do it when I didn't have so many other distractions. I would also find another cookie cutter to mold them in, mine are much bigger than Bakerella's because of the cutter I used.

But, over all for my first time making them it was so fun and they are delicious! They are rich and I suggest a glass of milk while eating!

Happy Baking!

BC Challenge
Week #15 


Free Tip of the Week; Get Carded

I love cards, birthday cards, and cards for no reason at all. I love getting them and giving them to friends and family for all sorts of occasions. I always keep on hand a stack of birthday cards and thank you cards to give to people.

I scooped up this box of cards, at Ross for $5.99! Fifty cards for cheap-0, a box of 50 cards that range from birthday to sympathy cards. Which I don't use often, but it's nice to have a variety on hand always.

50 cards, for .11 cents a piece. Not bad for $5.99
Then I take them and sort them into my card organizer by month or occasion.
I also keep stamps and stickers on hand here. I also store some of my fave cards that people have given me here as well.
My card organizer: (are you surprised that I have a card organizer?) You could replicate the same idea with a recipe box or a plastic tote and out dividers in it and mark them with your desired categories.

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