Monday, January 31, 2011


Noelle is officially completely out of Pull-Ups! She's been potty-trained for almost a year now, but hasn't been able to make it through the night without an accident, so we put a pull-up on her for bed time only. Last week I noticed that she woke up with a dry pull-up a couple of times so I took them away and she's gone an entire week without them and hasn't had a single accident!

I'm so proud of my little girl!

I'm also happy that I don't have to spend $10 a month on pull-ups anymore. Money that will go towards diapers - yay!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What a fun surprise!

I woke up on Friday morning and did my usual routine before Noelle wakes up which includes checking my e-mails, FB, and blog. When I got to my blog I was puzzled by the amount of visitors to my page. What on earth was going on?

I later saw on my blog updates that Natalie over at The Busy Budgeting Mama featured me and Noah's Nursery on her totally awesome blog! How cool is that?

You can check it out HERE.

I sent Natalie an e-mail after I posted the Visitor Favors and Big Sister Kit that I made by following her tutorials. I appreciate when bloggers take the time to tell you how they created something. That's why we share things in the first place - so that others can be inspired.

So thanks again, Natalie, for your blog and the kind comments. :)

Also a big HELLO and WELCOME to any new followers who came from Natalie's blog! I hope you enjoy reading.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Number Game

Noelle has been working hard at learning numbers 1-10 this month. She has most of them memorized but still has some trouble with 6 and 9, and for some odd reason number 1.

Here are a few games we play every morning during breakfast and throughout the day.

We started off learning numbers 1-4 with a game we call "Number Boxes."
I saw somewhere the idea to put small objects inside boxes to teach counting, so I used what I had around the house - Tiffany boxes and wine corks (which she calls "blocks"). :)

First she mixes the boxes...

Then one by one opens them up and reads what number is on the inside of the box.

If she has trouble with recognizing the number I remind her to count the corks.

Here she is looking at the number

"Number THREE!"

I should add that she's going through a Princess stage. She insists on wearing a Princess crown and dress at. all. times.

Another game is "Butterfly Numbers." I used the strips of card stock left over from the Visitor Favors to write numbers 1-10. I also drew the same number of butterflies in case she needs help recognizing the number.

To make it a little more interesting she then finds the matching number on her phone.

Lastly we play with boring ole home-made flash cards. I mix them up and quiz her on the numbers. I also throw in a different letter each time we play.

I try to remember to make everything we do a teaching opportunity. At the store I ask her to read the price of an item we are going to buy and then put it in our cart. I love teaching my little princess. It's such a thrill when she gets it right!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Noah's Nautical Nursery

As a former flight attendant and lover of all things airplane related, I always thought I'd do an airplane room for a baby boy. When I first learned I was pregnant I started imagining the nursery - airplane theme for boy and light blue/pale pink beach cottage room for a girl.

Then we found out that it's a boy and I started having seconds thoughts about airplanes. I saw a painting of an anchor and was flooded with ideas for a nautical room. My father is retired Navy - as are both of my grandfathers and my husband's dad and grandfathers. Anchors remind me of my childhood as a Navy brat so I couldn't resist the nautical theme.

DIY projects are in italic.

Custom curtains: I already had these two white curtains and instead of buying new navy blue curtains, which I thought would be too dark and heavy for the small space, I bought a yard of navy fabric for $4 at Joann's. My mother-in-law gave me a quick sewing machine lesson on one then let me do the other one. 

View from the door:

The room was previously our very boring guest room with white walls. We first painted all of the walls "Parchment Paper" by Olympic, then Aaron - with his awesome painting skills - added Navy Blue stripes on the back wall. He has all of these tricks to making lines straight and perfect. Maybe one day I'll have him write a "how-to guide for painting stripes."

Basically after the wall was painted and dry, he measured out the spacing of the stripes then taped them off (considering the width of the tape to ensure equal spacing), then painted over the edges of the tape with the wall color (Parchment Paper) to seal the tape so the dark paint doesn't bleed through. Once that was dry, he painted the blue stripes. 

Here's the finished wall:

I think it's important to have a piece or pieces in a room that tell a story. The American flag was given to us by a friend (who is a fighter pilot) when he returned from Afghanistan. It was flown on September 11, 2008 over the Headquarters of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq in our honor during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The paper mache Letter N is from Joann's - it was $5. I painted it and the picture frame with small bottle of Black Cherry paint from Michael's.

I had two matching green frames in my closet that I knew would look great in this space with a new coat of paint. Nothing beats shopping in your own house! I painted one Black Cherry and one navy, with the same paint used for the stripes.

The bedding is William by Nautica.

I found the glider and ottoman on Craigslist for $30. Aaron gave it a couple of coats of primer and a couple of coats of white spray paint.

I was on the Nautica website and fell in love with the "N" pillow on the glider- but didn't like the price - $30! Who would pay 30 bucks for a small pillow? I gave up on it but while at Ross a few weeks ago spotted it on a shelf for...wait for it...$5!!! Woo-hoo!

The glider before:

The side dresser next to the crib is my favorite piece in the room. It holds all of my nursing and pumping supplies, burp cloths, bibs, etc.

The navy blue frame, adorable sailboat and lantern light.

On the wall to the left:
I took the "Noah" picture at one of our favorite beaches - Pismo Beach.
My friend, Nicolette, took the picture of the Pismo Beach pier at sunset.

I adore this anchor! It was a great find at Marshall's. The sand in the bottle is also from Pismo Beach.

On the opposite wall:
My parents bought Noah this white dresser from Target. It's the perfect size for that space and the quality is wonderful. I love that you can only open one drawer at a time to prevent tipping - especially for a little boy's room.

Another great story piece - this sailboat, the Cutty Sark, was put together by my Grandpa (dad's father). It smells just like his house in Colorado! He passed away a few years ago and my parents brought it home after their recent visit to my Grandma Marie.

How cool is this truck? I know it doesn't fit with the nautical theme but it's just too awesome not to display. A friend of Aaron's made it! I know it will be one of Noah's favorite toys.

See the painting in the closet? I replicated the anchor painting that started this all but unfortunately I couldn't find a good spot for it in the room so I hung it in the closet.

You may remember the life preserver from my Nautical Baby Shower.

We had the nurses at the hospital stamp Noah's feet on his onesie - just like we did with Noelle:
I'm not a huge fan of going all out on a single theme for a room but I love how this space turned out. It's now my favorite room in the house!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Visitor Favors

Check! It feels great to check things off of my To-Do List.

I thought these would take hours to complete so I gathered the supplies and set up shop on the floor in Noelle's playroom. Just an hour later we were done! It was so easy and fun.

I followed The Busy Budgeting Mama's hospital favor tutorial and they turned out great! I didn't do anything like this for Noelle's birth so I'm very excited about giving these to our visitors at the hospital and at home.

Box of Peanut Butter Cups - I got the 36 pack at Smart & Final for $18
Scissors - I used my wavy scrapbook scissors.
Stickers - not necessary

I made the design a few nights ago (which took some time after I decided to fit two on one page) and today Noelle and I printed them out and cut them with my $1 wavy scissors from Target.

After wrapping the peanut butter cups I taped the back and enlisted the help of this super cute Princess.

Her job was to put a blue or green sticker on the back. Totally not necessary but I knew she'd want to help so I bought the stickers for $1 at Walmart. She did a great job :)

Lastly I tied them with blue and yellow ribbon. So cute!

Here's the finished project again.

There are still a few more things on the list to complete but I'm ready for Noah to make his appearance!

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

Alright, only Noelle's bag is packed but it's a good start. Noelle will be with my mom and dad while Aaron and I are at the hospital...but I would like for them come to the hospital when I get close to delivering, so depending on what time I deliver there's a chance that she'll be with either my sister or my best friend Kim.

With these unknowns I packed "Noelle's Big Sister Kit" with a helpful tips for whoever has her. I saw this on The Busy Budgeting Mama blog. Natalie is amazing at making fun printables and planning parties.

Along with Noelle's necessities I packed a special present for her - a princess wand and new Tinkerbell snack cup and sippy cup. When she comes to the hospital we'll have a few more gifts for her from baby brother. I can't wait to see her reaction when meeting him for the first time!

Another wonderful thing about having this list is it's going to make rushing out the door (if need be) much easier on me. I'll be able to go through the list and make sure I have everything for Noelle. I'm notorious for forgetting something small but essential - like toothpaste or a razor.

Now thinking about it, I better start a list of necessities to pack for myself! Including toothpaste and a razor :-)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Feet!

The Nike shoes I won from Dr. Oz came today! Love them!

They are extremely light-weight and feel more like a comfortable sock with a sole than a shoe. I was feeling a little bad about being selfish and not offering the free shoes to my husband...but I have to say, I *really* needed these shoes. My current Nikes were a Christmas present two years ago and have some serious miles on them.

I can't wait to break these suckers in!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Target - Baby Clearance Finds

I stopped by Target today and found a section of baby items marked down to 75% off. For some reason my Target is going from 30% off straight to 75% off but I'm not complaining. I scored a new crib sheet for Little G's room, a thermal PJ set, a two-pack of pants, and a three pack of onesies - each for under $2!!! Baby Brother will be 9 months in October so I'm pretty sure the pants and onesies will be perfect for the beginning of Fall.

I'm patiently waiting for the LED candles to drop down to 50% off. Right now they are sitting at 30% off along with the throw blankets I've been watching.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thanks Dr. Oz!!

A couple of weeks ago I logged on to Dr. Oz's website and signed up for a free pair of Nike shoes promoting his 11 Weeks to Move It and Lose It Program.


Woohoo! I never win anything - unless it's a raffle...I always win raffles.

I went to this morning and ordered my FREE shoes (even free shipping!). I choose the Nike Free Run in white. I look forward to using them once baby is born and I'm able to go out and work on loosing the baby weight + 15 pounds.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Target toys 75% off today!

My Target is SO SLOW at getting items past 30% off so I was excited (although disappointed that I didn't get there earlier) to see the toys marked down to 75% off.

It was very quiet in the two aisles of marked down toys - just me and three Target workers who each had a cart filled with toys. They said there were three aisles of toys this morning and by 11am they were down to only two aisles.

Here's a breakdown of what I was able to find.

This awesome Circo Wood Train Table that I initially thought would be a perfect 1st birthday present for baby brother (due in February) but I'm sure that when Mr. G gets home he'll want to put it together.
Priced at $79.99
Marked down to $19.98

I have 7 nieces and nephews so I usually try to stock my "gift closet" during sales like this but I really didn't find too much for the nieces and I didn't want to get things that they *might* like.

The rest of my finds:
Silvermist Fairy - gift for niece
Priced at $12.09
Marked down to $3.02

Buckaroo Game - gift for friends kid
Priced at $17.79
Marked down to $4.44

SCX Compact GT Racing Track
Story about this one - my mom was going to buy it full price just after Christmas but I convinced her that it would go on clearance and assured her that I would keep an eye on it. Today when I saw it there was only a 30% off sticker on it so I found an employee and asked her to check the clearance price for me and she gave me a sticker for 75% off!
Priced at $89.99
Marked down to $22.48

Thomas the Train set - gift for nephew
Priced at $39.99
Marked down to $9.98

Circo Train set (for new train table)
Priced at $9.99
Marked down to $2.48

I hope you find some good deals today also!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Nautical Baby Shower

Saturday was my baby shower! It was so much fun and absolutely amazing. My sister throws the most creative parties. I got there early and was able to take pictures of the decorations but as soon as the guests arrived I put my camera down and completely forgot to take pictures with everyone who came. Urgh.

I am so grateful to all of my amazing family and friends for coming and for all of the gifts. Baby brother's closet and dresser is full and I have a stock of 10 packs of diapers. Immediately after the shower I felt relieved. I was stressed out about not being prepared but now I have most of everything that I need. I can't wait to welcome him home.

Here are a few pictures I took of the Nautical decor...

Guests signed this "Welcome Aboard" life preserver which I LOVE in the nursery. It's perfect.
The chalkboard says "Say Baby, Boy or Brother - Lose Your Life Saver. Everyone wore the necklaces and attempted not to say baby, boy or brother. I think I made it about 10 minutes.

Table centerpieces. She added the pink gerber daisies because they were used at Noelle's baby shower.
Instead of the traditional diaper cake, she made a diaper life preserver. Obviously baby brother's name starts with an N.
My dad wanted to contribute to the party so he made this big sailboat out of styrofoam.
How cute is this cake? My sister's mother-in-law made it. It was adorable and delicious!

Chocolate-dipped marshmallow favors.
My best friend, Kim, is crazy competitive. Here she is (proudly) with her gift for winning the life safer game. Notice all of the necklaces she collected.
The best friends a girl could ask for and more. Love you, Kimmy and Megan!
My other two best friends, my sister and mom. I am one lucky girl.