Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Maybe Next Year

I would like to tell you that I had a magical Christmas with my family. I'd like to tell you we enjoyed each other's company and made merry while watching Noodlebug tear into his packages. I'd like to tell you Christmas was everything I had hoped it would be.

I can't tell you that.

This was the worst Christmas I can remember having. Fighting, negativity, disappointment. I knew the holiday was crashing down around my ears when I couldn't muster any enthusiasm to go view Christmas lights which is one of my favorite holiday activities. My tradition is to put up the Christmas decorations on the day after Thanksgiving and take them down on New Year's Day. The decorations have been put away for days now because I cannot look at them.

I received many wonderful and generous gifts. Things that I will enjoy for a long time. But the only gift I really wanted was a merry Christmas. On the upside, Noodlebug reveled in the attention of three uncles and one aunt. He was beside himself with excitement and happiness at having so many people to play with. He was appropriately spoiled and the big hit of the holiday was a mini basketball goal that his uncle gave him. His father and uncles are grooming him to be the next Kobe Bryant. I think Noodlebug is shell-shocked now that the house is so empty and quiet.

This has been a tough year for my family. Many challenges that I still haven't figured out yet. I can only continue to hope for a happier future. New Year's is right around the corner and it is a time for new beginnings. I return to work on Monday so in the interim I will enjoy my last few days as a temporary stay-at-home mom.

I wish you all the happiest of New Years and hope for a better tomorrow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

I have mentioned in previous years how this is my favorite Christmas song.  I'm picky about the version, though. Many versions of this song change the words to make it more peppy.  In its original version from MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, it is a wistful song about life changes and hoping for better days ahead.  The line "until then we'll have to muddle through somehow" always gets me.  So, as I begin my holiday vacation, I want to leave you with my favorite version of this holiday classic.

I'll still be checking in over the holidays so don't you worry!  But I want to take this moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of new years. I know the past year has been particularly rough for many people.  In spite of that fact, I have seen more acts of courage, faith and generosity than I can remember in recent years. You are all amazing people and this is a blessed life indeed.

"Next year all our troubles will be miles away!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gonna Make It

It seems that my entire household is sick. Noodlebug has croup and husband has stomach flu. I am trying to employ mind over matter not to get sick. This scene from THE THREE AMIGOS sums up how I feel right now:

If I can just make it until Friday at 3:30pm PST, I will have two blissful weeks off to rest, recuperate and READ!!! Hope you are having a happy, healthy holiday season!

Another Win!!!

I just found this great blog for working moms called My Mom Genes.  It recently won Best Working Mom blog from The Bump.  I think one of the great things about how blogging has evolved since I started blogging in 2003 is that there is now a blog for just about any type of person or interest.  If you are looking for support or information, you can find it.  My Mom Genes offers support for people just like me.

They recently had a contest for this great knitted fish hat that asked the question, "One part of parenthood that has me baffled is ______________."  And I won!!!

I am so loving that hat and can't wait to put it on Noodlebug!!!

(photo borrowed from and owned by My Mom Genes)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When Worlds Collide

When I got home from work yesterday, I saw a box waiting for me marked "Fragile" on the side. I knew the handwriting instantly.

"Did I order something from Ellen and I just don't remember?"

(The backstory is that Ellen and I are college friends. She got me started blogging back in 2003. She gave up her own blog but her creative presence is still felt in her Etsy shop.)

When I opened the package, I saw one of Ellen's whimsical figures that I had been coveting:

Yes, Sylvia is now all mine. Thanks to my good friend Gary L. who worked with my friend Ellen to choose something special from her shop.  He is a dear friend from my eight years in Denver. Gary used my blog to track Ellen down and get me a truly unique Christmas gift.  Isn't it great when two parts of your life collide to create something so wonderful?!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Home Tour Finds

I think I've mentioned before that I am a member of my local Junior League. We hold a Holiday Home Tour fundraiser every year. So, on this past Saturday, my mom and I headed out in the pouring down rain to attend the big event. Not the best weather for this kind of fundraiser.  This year, we added on a Winter Market to the event and I so enjoyed shopping with the vendors!  I have asked Santa for these two Stella and Dot necklaces:

There is just something about enamelware.  And these necklaces make me feel like Spring is just around the corner!!! I also splurged on some great Lindsay Phillips shoes. Both of these shoes are convertible which I love. I could take two pairs of shoes on a vacation along with some conversions straps and buttons and have a week's worth of shoes!!!

There is just something about shoes, isn't there?  Just a few more days and I'll be off for Christmas. Two uninterrupted weeks with my family. What bliss!!!

I am not affliated with either of those vendors nor have I received any payment from them.

(photos borrowed from and owned by Stella and Dot and Linsay Phillips)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Playing Santa's Elf

My little gifties have arrived! I sent out some homemade travel pillows based on Maya*Made's design to the little ones of a few blogging/cyber-friends.  I am still new to sewing so the pillows are all a little flawed but they are made with lots of love!!!  The lovely Hippie Dog just posted about my little gift so I am borrowing a photo from her.  It is a good excuse to send you over to her blog.  She makes the most wonderful things and her shop is filled with goodies!  Plus she is a total sweetheart.  She has a Noodlebug of her own and I made this pillow just for him. The fabric reminded me a bit of Eric Carle and I thought it was just boyish enough without being cliched.  It has a handle for carrying and a pocket for putting little friends or secret things inside of. So glad they liked it!!!  I just love making little surprises for people. My favorite part of Christmas is giving gifts and goodies to everyone.  Now that I have broken in the sewing machine perhaps I'll make more gifties to surprise people with throughout the year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Etsy Find of the Day

My friend Charles has opened an Etsy shop and has listed a few of his special winter icicles. He gave me one last year and it is in a place of honor on my Christmas tree. Each one is unique and I think they are just full of personality!!!  Find these and other creations here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What a Weekend!

Well, we completed our Dallas trip this weekend and made it back in one piece. My little one was a champ! He is such a good little traveler. I wish I could say the same for the other travelers we ran into. I was shocked at how rude and nasty people were. As I struggled to get my child onto the plane and into our seats, people were just nasty. Their reactions ranged from eye-rolling to unpleasant comments. And not one person every offered to help when they saw me struggling. Not even a flight attendant on any of the four flights we took. It crushed my holiday spirit a bit but I rallied.

I grew up in Dallas and I miss it a lot. It felt so good being home again. We stuffed ourselves with Mexican food, German food and barbecue. We drove around the Park Cities looking at holiday lights and stopped by NorthPark to see the decorations and my very favorite Santa Claus. (see above) Noodlebug was very brave and even cracked a smile for the Santa photo.

I also discovered a fantastic travel tip I would like to pass on. I was worried about carrying so much baby gear with me on the plane so I opted not to bring a stroller or any toys. Instead, I rented a stroller and toys through TravelBabees. They were fantastic!!! Not only are they affordable but they delivered the items to our hotel. The stroller was a BRAND NEW Peg-Perego and the toys were also new and age appropriate. It gave Noodlebug lots of great things to play with in the hotel room without me having to lug around a bag of toys from home. Such a great affordable service! I highly recommend it if you are traveling with little ones.

(I am not associated with nor paid by TravelBabees. I just wanted to recommend a great service)

After all the hustle and bustle, it is great to be home. If I can just get hubby to put the lights outside, I think we will be ready for Christmas. I'm looking forward to it!

(photo borrowed from and owned by NorthPark Center)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rough Beginning

Hello Friends!

I am feeling a bit out of sorts this morning.  However, I hope to see the day improve as I am having a crafty girlfriend get-together tonight. We'll be making mini-wreaths.  Some to take home and some to donate to the shut-ins of my church.  My mother is making King Ranch Chicken and sangria (some Texas favorites) and I can hardly wait. I could use some crafty time!

My hubby is sick and I am frantically scrubbing hands and cleaning up after him to avoid either Noodlebug or myself getting sick. Grandma Tutu, Noodlebug and I are traveling to Dallas for the weekend on Friday morning and I don't want any of us to be sick for this adventure!

I'm also mailing out Christmas packages today!  I will only have one more to mail after today and that feels really good!  Who knows....maybe one will show up in your mailbox!

Monday, November 30, 2009

I'm a Winner!

Hello Friends!
Did you have a good Thanksgiving?  Mine was very relaxing.  It was so amazing to get to spend five uninterrupted days with my family. I slept until 7:30am and felt so rested!!!  I managed to get the house decorated and so far Noodlebug hasn't ripped any ornaments off the tree. And....I finished sewing all my Christmas presents! I can't show you photos yet because there may be a few surprises coming in the mail for some of you. This Wednesday,  I'll be hosting a mini-wreath making party with my mom.  I'm looking forward to a little crafty girl time.

To make my holiday kickoff even better, I won a giveaway from Dana at Dana Made It.  I won two of her homemade grocery bags. I got to choose which ones I wanted so I chose "Greens" and "Bread" because I probably shouldn't be having ice cream.  Aren't they cute?! I hope Dana will stock them in her store because I'd love to buy the "milk" version. What a great way to start the holiday season!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Kicking Off the Holidays

We just had a lovely visit from my friend Gary who came to visit us all the way from Denver.  Noodlebug and I took him to the Academy of Sciences on Friday. Here we are looking at the large aquarium.  Noodlebug likes to walk around sucking on one index finger with the other index finger in his belly button. It is charming right now but I hope he will give it up before he is a teenager.

 Then we headed to the coast on Saturday where Noodlebug proceeded to drag large pieces of kelp around the beach.  He didn't seem to mind the cold!

We then headed downtown for the big treelighting.  Noodlebug was picked out of the crowd and won a gift certificate to the movie theater and local candy store.  He didn't know quite what to make of it.

Here is a photo of me and Noodlebug and Grandma in front of the tree.  (sorry---didn't have time to fix Noodlebug's red eyes) We had a great time and it felt like a good kickoff to the holiday season.

I am taking Wednesday off so I will have a nice break to be home with my family.  It will just be the four of us.  (me, hubby, Noodlebug and Grandma)  By the way, Noodlebug calls Grandma "Tutu" which is Hawaiian for "Grandmother." My parents lived in Hawaii in the '60s and my mother still has a fondness for it.

I am so looking forward to uninterrupted time with my family. I am determined to finish my sewing projects and maybe we'll go see a movie or two. Noodlebug has a free ticket!!!

I may not post during the holiday so I wanted to take a moment to send many blessings to you and your loved ones. There is so much to be thankful for.  I want to thank you all for your blogs and comments and how much they enrich my life. 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baby Food Jar Candles

You know I love a good tutorial and I just found this one for candles made out of baby food jars. I still have a bag full of baby food jars and I have been wondering what to do with them. This could be a good holiday activity for me when I have my job furlough.  (I will be off from December 21-January 3.)  The other good part of finding this tutorial is that it introduced me to a new blog!  Prudent Baby looks like it is going to be a new favorite!!!

(photo borrowed from and owned by Prudent Baby)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Look What I Got!!!

I have been a fan of Beth Quinn's jewelry for awhile and I own several pieces.  Lately, she has been creating these lovely cuffs. They keep selling out before I can get one, though. Well, I finally managed to get one!!! If you like it, you'll have to try and snag the peach one because I already grabbed the brown one. I think it will add the perfect amount of bling to my Thanksgiving attire!

By the way, the song you are listening to is the lullaby I sing to Noodlebug every night. 

(photo borrowed from and owned by Beth Quinn Designs)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making a List, Checking it Twice

My husband has been bugging me for holiday gift ideas so I have been updating my Amazon and Wishpot lists. Truthfully, I don't care much about getting gifts. Although I LOVE handmade gifts and surprises. I would much rather have an unexpected treat on a non-holiday rather than a bunch of gifts at Christmas.  Since I had to make a list, I added this gem to it.  I love and collect children's books and Rosemary Wells is one of my favorites.  This giclee print reminds me of my little family.

My favorite part of Christmas? Giving gifts. I absolutely LOVE shopping for other people.  Sometimes, I secretly wish I could be a professional gift shopper.  My hallway closet is currently filled with Christmas gifts. It is getting to the point where I am afraid to open the closet door because everything will pop out!!!

So here is my current Wishpot list. I keep finding Etsy items to add to it.

What is on your list for Santa?

I'd love to hear all about it!

(photo borrowed from and owned by Picture Book Originals)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Baby's First Haircut

Well, there were not tears at the big haircut last Friday. Noodlebug was his usual happy self and I was too distracted to shed any tears.  It was really just a trim. We're keeping it long. I asked for a shag.  No mullet!!!  I think it turned out pretty well. I think Noodlebug was most excited about the Elmo sticker they gave him after it was all over.



Even though we only took off a little bit, he seems like such a big boy now!  Noodlebug turns 18 months on Wednesday.

My husband says he looks like a blonde version of the lead singer of Herman's Hermits:

I think he looks more like a blonde Beatle!!!

First haircut.....mission accomplished!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Little Bit Funky Giveaway---Week Two

I dearly love the musician Keb' Mo'.  If you haven't heard of him, he is a blues artist whose music is filled with spirituality.  One of my favorite songs of his that always makes me smile is "God Tryin' to Get Your Attention." After seeing this giveaway today, I think I'm getting the message loud and clear.  Look at this wonderful piece:

It is a piece from the faith-inspired art collection by Red Letter Words.  I can just see it in Noodlebug's room.  It is Hannah's prayer from 1 Samuel 1:20. There are so many other wonderful things in this Etsy shop that I am on the verge of breaking my Etsy hiatus vow right now. But I will wait and see if I win Little Bit Funky's giveaway first.

By the way, my personal favorite scripture verse?  John 1:5.

"The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it."

(photo borrowed from and owned by Red Letter Words)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sewing and the Holidays

Well, I got three pillows done yesterday. I haven't sewed in so long that it took me awhile to find my rhythm.  And then I made lots of mistakes.  But I think I have it down now.  Three more pillows to go and I may even make a few more!  Photos forthcoming.

I am looking forward to the holidays this year because I will have a lot of uninterrupted time with my family due to furloughs at work. (this is the silver lining of furloughs)  I am so looking forward to it!  Some of you long-time readers know that I am an only child and I am adopted. I was adopted when I was three months old.  I cannot remember a time when I didn't know I was adopted and I have never had any issues with it nor have I ever had any real desire to find my birth parents. I am curious about what they look like but that is about it.  I already have parents.  There have been many times in my life, however, that I have longed for a big family. My mother is also an only child so I grew up with only five cousins on my dad's side. I have always longed for the large rambunctious families gathering for the holidays that I see in movies and Folgers commercials.  I had hoped to find that when I married. husband has three brothers and I have learned that any children in this family will have to come from my womb. So, Noodlebug will have no cousins. And he has only one living grandparent.  It looks like I won't ever fufill my dream of having a large family Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I have never longed for wealth or fame or anything like that. But I have really longed for family. I have spent my whole life gathering close friends who have become my extended family.  But most of them are far away.  I hope someday to fill my house with loved ones at the holidays. I become wistful when I read others' blogs about holiday plans involving noisy crowded houses. But I am grateful for what I have.  It looks like Noodlebug may be the only baby I ever get. But God sure blessed me with a good one!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Here is a photo of Noodlebug's Halloween costume. He wasn't really in the mood to get his picture taken bu you get the idea.  I have scheduled his first haircut for this Friday afternoon.  Gulp! I have been putting it off as long as I could but his hair is getting really long. I figure I'll let them take off just enough to clean it up a bit but try to keep it long-ish.  I just don't want to cut off those baby curls!!!

When I was pregnant, I stocked up on all sorts of baby scrapbooking materials (that I STILL haven't used!) such as stickers that say "Baby's First Bath" and "Baby's First Steps." It was so hard to imagine there would ever be a time when those events would happen. I even have a personalized sign in his room that says "Dreamland Tours Every Night at 8:00pm" and I can remember looking at it during those long nights of nursing and think, "Do people really have kids that go to bed at 8pm?"  It seemed as if we would never get to that point.  Now, my baby will be turning 18 months on November 18.  I feel my chest tightening up as I write that. I will try not to have a panic attack while blogging! The haircut that I thought would never occur will actually happen and I don't think I will be able to leave a single lock of hair behind. But maybe I will finally get to use those "Baby's First Haircut" stickers.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Little Bit Funky Favorite Things Giveaway

The ever-fabulous Little Bit Funky is hosting a weekly Favorite Things Giveaway! Today is the first giveaway and boy is it a good one!!! Free holiday card design with 100 printed cards! I could really use this!  To join in the fun, go to Little Bit Funky every Friday to find the latest giveaway. And cross your fingers!!!

(image borrowed from and owned by Little Bit Funky)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Veterans Day = Sewing Day!!!

I get Veterans' Day off this year but it falls in the middle of the week on a Wednesday.  While I am tempted to run off with Noodlebug somewhere, I think I'm going to let him go to daycare and spend the day with my mom making Christmas gifts on the sewing machine. I would love love love to give ONLY handmade gifts but time is against me.  So, some of my handmade gifts will be coming from Etsy.  On Veterans' Day, I will be making these.  I already have the fabric bought and I'm hoping I won't make too much of a mess of it. I'm making them for all the kids I know. If it goes well, I may even make them for a few adults as well!

In other news, I received my first package from the Art Exchange swap. Many of you may be taking part in this chain e-mail swap.  I am running late as usual but I'm sure my swapee will understand since she has a toddler of her own.  I will post photos and details on the booty I received soon.  It's pretty great!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Etsy Find of the Day

I swore up and down that I would go on an Etsy hiatus before my holiday spending got out of control but.... 

I just cannot resist Crystal's adorable creations. Plus, I am supporting a creative stay-at-home mom so it's a win-win, right?  Not only does Crystal have a great blog but her Etsy shop is filled with the cutest stuff!!! Can't wait to put this on Noodlebug! 

Hope you all had a fun-filled Halloween! (can you believe that it is already November?!!!)

(photo borrowed from and owned by Little Bit Funky)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Elf Part 2

So, my friend Kim (who STILL doesn't have a blog!) sent me the most wonderful box of goodies!!!

I wish I was more patient because I would show you the wonderful way she packaged each and every treat.  And look at these handmade cards and tags!!!!

And she even included some fun creepy goodies for Noodlebug:

Getting unexpected treats in the mail is just one of the most wonderful things. Thank you, Kim, for bringing such happiness into my day and into my house!!!

Halloween Elf

Here is a sneak peek at Noodlebug's costume.  His little friend is hugging him in excitement as they look at a real live baby calf!  They have been buddies since they were little bitty and now Noodlebug is 17 months old and Girlfriend is almost 2. It's hard to get a photo of Noodlebug's costume since he is always on the go now!

Last night we carved a pumpkin and then went to see a great Halloween light display. Tonight, I am going to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" with Noodlebug and I can't wait!  (especially since he is going as Charlie Brown for Halloween) 

The best part of yesterday?  A Halloween Elf sent me a fantastic box of goodies!  I will take photos tonight and post more about it tomorrow.  I'm a lucky lady!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Placemat Tutorial

Another great tutorial!!!  Wish I had time to sit down and make these. They remind me of all of the Thanksgiving hand turkeys I made over the years as a child.  Find this Raw Edge Applique Tutorial for making a set of special Thanksgiving placemats at Dark Horse Farm Designs.

(photo borrowed from and owned by Dark Horse Farm Designs)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend Update


It was a difficult weekend. My family stood in line for three hours to get the H1N1 shot on Saturday. We are all vaccinated now but it was a long and difficult morning. There is a lot of stress and strife in my family right now that we are trying to work through. I'm desperately fighting off depression and trying to focus on all the good things around me like the beautiful fall weather and the fact that we are entering the holiday season which I always look forward to.

I felt really low on Saturday so after Noodlebug went to bed, I went by myself to see WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. To be honest, I can't tell if you if I like it or not. It is definitely NOT a children's movie. It is much more a movie about what it is like to be a child.  Yesterday, I went into the garage and found the missing box of Halloween decorations. It was filled with lovely things from former swap partners as well as some Etsy finds. I smiled as I hung my CariKraft Halloween decorations and set out my CariKraft caged fairy on the piano.  And then there was my Jennifer Conway beeswax crow with the witch hat.  So many delightful things that lifted my spirits.

We are now moving into my favorite time of year and I want to be happy and make this time magical and fun for my little one. I'm trying to make this happen.  If I am sporadic in my posting over the next few days, please know that I am reading and will be posting reviews soon. And I'm reading all of your blogs and comments!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Head Tutorial

I found this wonderful tutorial through the Joli Paquet blog.  This tutorial is by the Vintage Dresser and it is fantastic!  Aren't these pumpkin heads just adorable?!

Find it here.

(photo owned by and borrowed from the Vintage Dresser)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Great Tutorial from LITTLE BIT FUNKY

Just found this great tutorial from one of my very favorite blogs, Little Bit Funky. It is about how to make reverse appliques on shirts.  I'm thinking these could be quick and easy Christmas gifts.  This lady comes up with the cutest stuff! I just ordered some of her messy fabric flower pins to give my local girlfriends for Christmas. (hope they aren't looking at my blog!)

(photo borrowed from and owned by Little Bit Funky)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend Update

Well, Noodlebug and I are fighting off illness again. Probably because we stuff our weekends as full as we can get them!  On Saturday, we took advantage of the lovely weather and hosted a garage sale. Didn't make a lot of money but we have fewer THINGS which is a good thing.  After that, Noodlebug and I took Grandma to a local pumpkin patch. Those pumpkins were expensive!!!  Our porch looks a lot more festive, though.  On Sunday, we went to church where we heard the New Life Band from Tanzania. So wonderful! Makes me wish we had African music EVERY Sunday! Then, it was Noodlebug's Jesus n' Me Playgroup.  Everytime the group applauds after a song, he is convinced they are applauding for him.  After that, I put him in his Charlie Brown Halloween costume for a local Mother's club festival.  At that point, he had had enough. During the costume contest, he lay down on the stage and kicked his feet. I picked up him and Snoopy and carried them off the stage. Not sure I got any good photos out of THAT fiasco. A good long nap was in order and I think that helped everyone. Now, it is a rainy day and I am fighting sleep at work. I have a few projects in the works to share with you so keep checking in!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

I had four blissful days with Noodlebug this weekend. We went to one of our local pumpkin patches so he could pick out a pumpkin. He ended up with three mini-pumpkins and carried one around all day on Saturday. It is hard to believe that last year at this time he was just beginning to sit up.  At Thanksgiving last year, he began eating solid foods. Between Christmas and New Year's, he started crawling.  So many milestones over the last holiday season. And now he is so big!!!  He'll be 17 months old on the 18th. Sigh.

I'm still working on getting Halloween decorations up but I should have some photos to share with you soon. Right now, I'm off to work where I will sit in office with the rain beating against my window.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Just Because

I'm off with Mr. Big.

Feel free to check out my current post and book reviews in my personal blog until I get back.

Be back soon!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Etsy Find of the Day and the Weekend

My talented friend Ellen has added some new fun items to her Etsy shop. Although Ellen closed up her popular blog, THE REIGN OF ELLEN, awhile back, she continues to charm with her whimsical creations on Etsy.  I bought this sheep for Noodlebug's room. 

And this just really tickles my funny bone....

We had a nice weekend although it always seems so short! Every week, we get a box of produce from a local farm here in town called the Bounty Farm. This farm not only grows local, organic, sustainable fruits, vegetables and flowers but also provides these items at cost to low-income families in the area. Since my family doesn't need this program, we pay a higher fee for our produce in order to support the farm's charitable mission. Bounty Farm threw a party on Friday evening as a thank-you to the community. There was local food, a free produce stand, face painting, music by the wonderful Green String Farm Band and tractor rides. We had a terrific time! Truly a Fall evening full of fun.

I dearly love TOY STORY and I have been plotting to take Noodlebug to see it ever since I heard it was being re-released in 3D. I thought it would be the perfect first movie. I knew it was ambitious to try and take a 16-month-old to a 3D movie. Or any movie for that matter. I was fully prepared to have to leave after 15 minutes. Well, my sweet little Noodlebug sat in my lap for the entire film. Quiet as a mouse with those giant 3D glasses perched precariously on his little nose. I thought he might be asleep but he would occasionally point at something on the movie screen. I couldn't believe how good he was! It was fantastic!!! We didn't stay for the double-feature but we sure enjoyed TOY STORY. What a fun time!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...Halloween!!!

Well, I finally finished something! I bought one of Beth's corsage kits and here is the finished product:

I used to love seeing the ladies in my grandparents' church wear big gaudy corsages on special holidays. I'm going to see if I can bring back the tradition at my church!

And this is the fun little wand I bought at Halloween and Vine:

I am home from work today with my sick little Noodlebug but he is on the mend.  I have to say I'm not misisng work.  Noodlebug and I are getting lots of things done.  I fold laundry and then he jumps in the laundry basket and pitches everything out again. I love it.

Now, I will have to go to the garage and start pulling out all of our Halloween decorations. I can hardly wait!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Catching Up

Hello Friends!!!
I'm writing from Flu Central here.  My husband got it first.  Noodlebug has it. Grandma is fighting it and I am using my entire arsenal of remedies to avoid getting it. Not much rest for the wicked! However, we managed to get have a few nice moments this past weekend. I did make it to Halloween and Vine and saw so many wonderful things. I couldn't afford any big ticket items but I bought a cute bat wand that I will post a photo of later. We also made it to the Walt Disney Family Museum preview event. It has the feel of a presidential museum as it provides a chronological view of Walt Disney's life and the evolution of his animation. There are so many wonderful items and pieces of memoribilia including the famous Oscar and seven mini-Oscars from SNOW WHITE and the earliest known drawings of Mickey Mouse.

I'm getting ready to pull out my Halloween decorations. I am attending a Good Witch/Bad Witch party at the Woman's Club in a few weeks and I have decided to go as Samantha from BEWITCHED. I'm going to wear a black shirtwaist dress with this apron that I found on Etsy:

It was made by FlapperGirl and is so cute!!!  I'm still working on Noodlebug's Halloween costume. He is going as Charlie Brown.  I just need some black shorts and I'm thinking of making a small sheet with "holes" all over it to go with it.  I'm so excited that it is starting to feel like Fall around here!!!  Now, if the stores would just let me enjoy it and not start forcing Christmas on us already!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Etsy Find of the Day

Still a bit under the weather but I had to share this with you.  You all know how much I love Etsy. Well, I found a handmade nap mat for Noodlebug at Allie's Nap Mats shop and I just love it!!!  Allison provides a very high quality handmade product.  The pillow and blanket are attached and the cover can be easily removed for cleaning.  The whole thing rolls up and velcros shut with two tabs. Allison even includes a carrying handle. It is just so adorable!!! Head over to her Etsy shop to see more patterns.  Being a Texas girl, I had to get Noodlebug a cowboy print!

(photo borrowed from and owned by Allie's Nap Mats)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Under the Weather

Hello Friends!

I am a bit under the weather so posting will be sporadic this week. I have to rest up to be prepared for the big weekend ahead.  My husband's birthday is on Saturday and we'll be stopping by the Halloween and Vine show to check out the marvelous creations. Then, it's off to the Walt Disney Family Museum on Sunday for a sneak preview.  I have a three-day weekend this coming weekend so I will have to plan something good to do with Noodlebug. I'm still working on his Christmas present and I am now finished with Mary, Joseph, the shepherd and the manger.  I figure I'll do Baby Jesus next because that way, if I don't finish, it will still be a semi-complete Nativity scene.

Hope you are all well!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Current Blog Addictions

I have been reading blogs and writing blogs since 2003 and I go through phases in my blog addictions.  I try and read the blogs in my sidebar every single weekday so I don't miss one exciting thing.  They are all wonderful. But I tend to get addicted to certain blogs.  I find myself checking in twice a day just to see if they have posted something new.  These are some of my current addictions in no particular order:

1. Daisy Chain

2. Inspire Co

3. Little Bit Funky

4. Room Somewhere

5. Juicy Bits

6. Maya*Made
And then there are my favorite bloggers who feel like friends to me.  (friends I have never met but friends nonetheless!!!)

1. Hippie Dog

2. Elizabeth Holcombe

3. Queenly Things

4. Daisy Bouquet

5. Whimsical Notions

Of course, I love ALL the bloggers in my sidebar!  I learn new things and get inspired every single day.  Thank you so much for all you do. And keep blogging!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

There's Something About Gyo

When I was little, my parents bought me all the Gyo Fujikawa books that were currently available. I loved those books!  The variety of children within the stories and the wonderful illustrations completely drew me in.  I have saved those books all these years (they were published around 1975) and now Noodlebug is enjoying them.  He focuses so intently on each page and looks carefully at the pictures. 
I have to be at work at 7am so I am not around when Noodlebug wakes up each day. My husband tells me that usually the first thing he does is either:
1) Kiss his 2 ft "Where the Wild Things Are" monster
2)Grab a book off his bookshelf to look at
He has A LOT of books already since Mommy is both a book person and a library worker.  He invariably selects a Fujikawa book from his shelves.  I don't know what it is about the captivating illustrations but clearly children love them. It's nice that he and I have that connection.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Meet Vera, the Vampire Bride

My friend Charles has made another new creation in preparation for the upcoming Halloween and Vine show.  Isn't she something?  If you are in the Northern California area later this month, I highly recommend heading over to the Halloween and Vine show.  It is filled with wonderful artists like Charles and Johanna Parker.   This year's event will take place on September 26.  There is such a crowd that many of the artists have almost empty tables after the first hour!!!
After you do your Halloween shopping, you can head over to the annual Taste of Petaluma.  This event benefits our local theater and you can taste some of the wonderful food that exists in our little town. We go every year and have a blast!!!
You can find details on the event here.  These two events would make for a lovely day in Sonoma County!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Waiting for Fall

Hello Friends.

I hope you all had a lovely Labor Day weekend.  It was such a treat for me to spend three whole days with my family. I struggle all the time with being a full-time working mom.  I wish I didn't have to.  Sometimes, I get jealous of my friends who get to be stay-at-home moms. I know the grass is always greener on the other side but I often sit at my desk and try not to cry as I think of all the special moments I am missing.  I don't get to do playdates or playgroups or Gymboree classes or storytimes at the library.  I don't even really have any mom friends with small children. It can be lonely.  So, when I get three uninterrupted days with my family, it can be really really hard to come back to work.  But I just do the best I can.

I break every speed limit after work racing to get to Noodlebug from daycare or Grandma's.  I try to spend every second with him until bedtime. (and I tend to forego housework so I can do this)  I feed him, give him a bath and sing him his special good night lullaby ("Dreamy Side of the Moon" by Erin Ivey).  Every moment is precious to me.  Maybe that's why life worked out this way.  So that I would never take my time with him for granted.

In other news, I managed to get two tickets to a special preview weekend at the new Walt Disney Family Museum.

The museum officially opens in October and I'm taking my hubby there for his birthday on September 27. I wish I could have gotten extra tickets so Grandma and Noodlebug could got but it will probably be a madhouse. Gary and I will go scope it out and then come back another time with the rest of the family.  We are big Disney fans in our house so I'm really looking forward to this.  I have almost convinced Gary that we need to take Noodlebug to Disneyland next year.  Maybe in May for his second birthday and my 35th?  We'll see.
The weather is starting to turn and it is getting me energized. Fall is my absolute favorite season. I love the colors and the crisp air.  It makes me miss home.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Something Special

I had the privilege of booking of a photo session with Wendy of Blue Lily Photography on August 21 in Sausalito.  I had seen her photos on the Nie Nie Dialogues blog and just loved them. 
I take most of the photos in our family so I am never in them.  Plus, I hate having my picture taken. It is embarrassing to admit this but I do struggle with body image issues.  I just don't like seeing myself in photos. Or even a mirror.  But I decided that I didn't want Noodlebug to grow up without any photos of him and Mommy.  I just had to suck it up.   And I am happy with the results. If Blue Lily comes anywhere near you, I highly recommend their work.
So, if you would like to view our photos, I invite you to see me and Noodlebug in the flesh:
Go to "Clients" and enter my name as the password:  amy malaise
Be sure to put a space between my first and last name.
I'd love to hear your favorite.
P.S.  The bunny in the photo was bought for me by my father when I was a baby. The Radio Flyer wagon was my mom's when she was a little girl.
(all photos copyrighted by Blue Lily Photography)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wendy Addison Open Studio

Wendy Addison is famous for her glittery creations.  There used to be a wonderful little store in town that carried her products.  After reading my current issue of Country Living, I discovered that Wendy Addison's studio is in the same general vicinity of my home and she will be having an open studio over Thanksgiving weekend. I'm very very tempted.  What do you think? Should I go?
Find information here.

(photo borrowed from and owned by Country Living)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jenni Bowlin September Project Kit

How cute is this? It gets me in the mood for Halloween. I just love Fall!!!
I couldn't resist ordering the new Jenni Bowlin kit although I already have plenty to keep me busy.  I especially love the little moon floating above the cards. 
Get your own kit here.

(photo borrowed from and owned by Jenni Bowlin)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Shhh!!! Don't Tell Noodlebug

Amy brought this little gem to my attention and I knew it would be perfect for Noodlebug's "big" Christmas present. This is one of those ideas where you see it and then slap yourself on the head and say "Why didn't I think of that?!!!"  Such a cute idea! An easy-to-store playhouse that fits over a cardtable.  Miss Pretty Pretty of Imaginative Playtoys makes these little playhouses and they come in many different styles. I chose the farm because we live out in the country in Sonoma County and Noodlebug sees cows and sheep everyday.  It will even be customized with his name. So cute and so genius!!!

I finished the first figure for my gift for Noodlebug last night. I have discovered that I am a VERY slow hand-sewer.  So, Mary is finished!  She isn't perfect but she was made with love and I guess that is the important thing.

By the way, here is another great idea for a simple handmade gift. Noodlebug is a little young for it yet but I'm thinking it might make a great birthday gift. It's a bed board by Maya*Made for those times when your little one is confined to bed.  Such a great idea!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wine, Jazz and Blues---a Winning Combination

We are heading to the Petaluma Wine, Jazz and Blues Festival tomorrow.  Noodlebug loves music and proceeds from this event will go to support music programs in local schools.  Win, win! I'm hoping the weather won't be too terribly hot. I'm getting a bit anxious for Fall to get here.  Fall has always been my very favorite season. I have already started putting together Noodlebug's Halloween costume if you can believe it!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend!!!
P.S.  Special find!!!! I went to my local Big Lots store yesterday and they were selling Martha Stewart craft kits for $2 a piece!  I snapped up a paper flower kit, felt picture frame kit and several handpuppet kits.  What a deal!