My baby turned one a couple weeks ago.
Yep. It happened. Cue happy/wistful/omg-stop-growing-and-please-stay-little-forever-but-omg-look-at-all-the-amazing-things-you’re-learning-I’m-so-proud-of-you tears.
He’s not a little baby any more. He can almost walk, he can say Mama (or, rather, MomMom, which is so ridiculously cute and makes my heart happy every single time those two syllables escape his lovely little lips), he can play independently and clap and wave and do all sorts of things that seemed so impossible a year ago when he was this small squishy helpless little being who merely slept and ate and pooped (and filled my heart with so much love.)
Sweetie and I celebrated his first birthday surrounded by close friends and family. There was cake and singing and so many amazing gifts and lots of happiness. Patrick was admittedly a bit overwhelmed by all the people (I may have a budding introvert on my hands… he might be just a tad like his mommy and daddy like that), but he had lots of smiles for people too (from his secure perch in my arms) and loved his birthday cake (and scattered it around for the kitties to sample too.)
It was such an absolutely lovely special wonderful day.
And where did I go to find touches to make his birthday extra special (and especially cute?) Etsy. Of course.
Patrick’s bowtie onesie came from an awesome vendor out of BC called Handsome Baby. And he did indeed look handsome!
I have big plans for follow-up bowtie onesies. I foresee a Handsome Baby Christmas bowtie onesie in his future. And maybe an Easter one too. And a second birthday onesie for sure. And, honestly, he might need something with a green bowtie for St.Patrick’s Day (because of course he does.)
Yep. Me and Melissa over at Handsome Baby are going to become really good friends, I think. :)
And then there was Patrick’s first birthday board…
I agonized over birthday boards (there are, admittedly, a gazillion of them available on Etsy.) I fell in love with this one (put together by amazing Etsier MsFit Designs) because of the colours (which I then turned – loosely – into the colour theme for Patrick’s party – red, yellow, and pale blue.) (Or, I suppose, for those of you who support Captain Obvious, primary colours.)
And, with a few quickly fluffed tissue paper puffs here and there, that was about it for my party planning. This was not a Pinterest-worthy party, I’m afraid. I had big decorating plans that I’d planned to execute in the days leading up to Patrick’s party. Patrick, on the other hand, had big playing with mommy plans. The latter won out (and I wouldn’t change that for a thousand carefully made colour coordinated Pinterest-inspired birthday bunting flags.)
Nope. It was a simple party with just a few simple decorations and a whole lot of celebrating Patrick’s first year. And it was perfect for my little guy.
Although next year there might be bunting.
Because I do love me some bunting. :)
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Curb appeal is coming slowly (very slowly) to the old mauve house. I have to keep looking back at the before pictures, particularly from the rather disasterous day we moved in (while the previous owners, who apparently didn’t fully understand how the whole Closing Day concept – ie: moving out so that new owners can move in – really works, rather obliviously took their time packing things up and were still picking up their belongings FOUR DAYS after we gained possession of the house) (true story) to fully appreciate that our house HAS come a long way in seven months. Especially considering that we were buried under several feet of snow and darkness and cold for five of those seven months.
The newest addition to our create curb appeal campaign? Pretty new house numbers.
I present to you Exhibit A: the old house numbers…
Brassy and rusted and old. Gross eh?
And, now, the snazzy new mailbox decal numerals (courtesy of etsy seller WelcomingWalls)…
I never imagined that a set of sticky little house number decals affixed to a plain black mailbox could make me so unbelievably happy.
And, just for comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at a couple of rather disturbing before pics, shall we? Here’s the picture from the original house listing…
…and here’s what the house looked like the day we took possession, with all the previous owners’ stuff strewn all over our newly acquired lawn…
Yep. We bought THAT house. We’re rather brave (or foolish?) peeps, Sweetie and me.
And now the after…
See? Progress. Slow progress, mind you (we still need to dig out that ugly stump in the front garden and plant some more appropriately sized cedars or boxwoods and – oh! – some flowers in those flowerbeds would look pretty and the shutters and front door could definitely use a lick of paint and that deck would really look far lovelier if it was stained and gee wouldn’t it be awesome if our entire house was re-sided in any colour except for mauve?)
But, still, progress nonetheless. :)Leave a comment
Have an Etsy Etsy Christmas (my first ever Exceptional Etsy Gift Review) (plus a little 80′s nostalgia thrown in for good measure)
Get it? Etsy Etsy? Funky Funky? New Kids on the Block? No? K. Just to prove that I’m not completely insane (and to solidify the fact that I’m a major nerd – this is some rather awful NKOTB tune-age, but… I kinda like it) here’s the Funky Funky Christmas Youtube proof, c/o Arsenio Hall (yep! We’re going waaay back in time here!)
Admittedly, there are some really bad dance moves going on in this video (I can almost hear the choreographer: “Oooh! Running man! Yes – we most definitely need more running man!”) And I have no idea why Jon is missing from this performance. Maybe he was having a bad hair day? I wouldn’t show up for Arsenio Hall on a bad hair day either. You think they’d mention it though, no?
Then again, Jon was never really my favourite. If Joe had been missing? Chaos and woe. Jon? Meh. He never really did that much for me, truth be told. And Jon eventually left the group anyway, right? I think? I might be a little bit behind (by, like, 20 years perhaps) in my NKOTB gossip.
All that aside (although I could ramble on about New Kids for quite a while if you’d like) (Joe? Now HE had good hair) (so dreamy… swoon!), this post is obviously a little late (since we’re now two weeks post-the-big-red-and-green holiday) but I wanted to show off a couple of my favourite Etsy Christmas purchases (which then became my favourite Etsy Christmas gifts!)
Awesome Etsy Christmas gift #1: Kitty Candles from Kitty Baby Love
I fell in love (at first sight, in fact) with these little chubby cat-shaped crayons. So cute! So friendly looking! And when they arrived, smiling at me happily from their little egg carton container, I seriously wanted to break out my colouring book.
(The little yellow one in the bottom right is my fave. “Pick me! Pick me!” he says.) (And yes, I just assigned a personality to a crayon… Weird? Probably.)
I think my niece liked them too. Well, rather, she liked the wrapping paper I wrapped them in. (She’s only one, so she hasn’t quite gotten the hang of that whole the-gift-is-the-thing-that’s-wrapped-IN-the paper-not-the-paper/packaging-itself concept.) And while she’s not yet actually at the colouring stage, she will be soon! So excited to see what lovely scribbles these happy little balls of kitty-shaped awesomeness will produce. :)
Awesome Etsy Christmas gift #2: T-shirts for Sweetie from Quasi Science Apparel
I have only three words to describe my transaction with the folk over at Quasi Science Apparel: fastest shipping ever. Ev-ver. Seriously. I purchased three t-shirts on a Monday, and by Wednesday (as in, two – TWO! – days later) they arrived. I was flabbergasted! (And thrilled!) Albeit, Quasi Science Apparel is based out of Canada (like me!), so there were no customs-hoops to jump through or anything like that. But still? Two days? That’s pretty darn amazing if you ask me.
And the t-shirts are fantastic too! For Sweetie, I bought…
…the Tesla t-shirt (since, well, he is an electrician afterall):
…the “Geek” written in binary t (since, um, he’s also kind of a geek) (which is precisely why I love him):
…and, my absolute favourite (and Sweetie’s too, I think): the SCLF (Schrodinger’s Cat Liberation Front) t-shirt:
The best part? The back…
Totally makes me smile. :)
For the record, and in case you were also wondering, I’m not really sure who Tesla is either. I know he did something important, probably involving electricity? And he was in an 80′s hair band too, I think. Does anyone else out there remember (nervously/sweatily) dancing with some (equally nervous/sweaty) boy at some random school dance to Love Song?
Sigh. Oh, 1980′s… you were tacky, but you kinda rocked.
So there you go! My post-Christmas (and rather tardy) Exceptional Etsy Gift Review. Plus a lot of 80′s nostalgia. Because there’s nothing like a well-choreographed boy band, and a little power ballad-ness too, to perk up even the gloomiest January day. :)
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(Yes. I just went THERE. Couldn’t help myself!)
With October almost over, I can’t help but notice that Christmas is just around the corner. And to that I say (rather enthusiastically): “YAY!” There’s something so warm and fuzzy about Christmas – it’s like the holiday equivalent of a big ginormous hug (you know, if a hug could be all glittery and smell like cedar and cinnamon.)
Despite that I am more often than not the very last person on earth to get my Christmas cards in the mail (I was furiously throwing stamps on envelopes on December 24th last year), I adore the tradition of sending Christmas cards. I love getting cards, and there’s something so lovely about sending them too. A real live handwritten holiday greeting trumps a facebook message or an e-card (including those of the elf-yourself variety, btw – dear friends: that is not a replacement for an actual piece of holiday stationary) big time, if you ask me.
So, then, as can be expected, I start planning for holiday card-sending months in advance. And, being
ridiculously ever-so-slightly OCD, I become obsessed with finding the perfect Christmas cards.
Wait. Let me rephrase that… I become obsessed with finding the perfect Christmas cards THAT FEATURE CATS.
Yup. My inner crazy cat lady takes over when it comes to Christmas cards. I’ve never been one to go out and willy-nilly-ly select a random box of standard Christmas cards off the Hallmark shelf. Nope. I view Christmas cards as an expression of who I am. And I am mom to three fantastic cats. So cats WILL be on my Christmas cards.
The problem? Cat Christmas cards can sometimes be a little hard to find. I took a quick stroll through Etsy-ville this morning, and cat cards (cute ones, at least) were a bit challenging to find – I’m not gonna lie. But, here are a few contenders that I stumbled upon.
Dear friends and family: consider this your sneak peek at what may be arriving in your mailbox in a few weeks’ time. :)
This card, from MadOldCatLady, makes me smile…
…and I love this retro-esque card designed by Vincent Desjardins Illustrator…
An understated yet lovely brocade kitty card from RiverDogPrints…
And these next two, from ASliceInTime, are collective-awwwwwwww-worthy…
Awwwww… Yep, that, right there, is a whole lot of cuteness.
These cards, from OnCupcakeMoon are both cute and customizable…
And my one, non-Etsy entry into this cat-Christmas-card collection is this card from PaperCards…
Sigh. Adorableness! Like a tiny little Jacob (but one who tolerates hats. Jacob doesn’t like hats. We’ve tried.)
Yep. There are quite a few options… Which route will I go? There’s the ever popular cute-route, but the retro-way is super fun, or the illustrated options are lovely too. Ugh. Decisions, decisions…
Or maybe I’ll just look for a card that says “Joy.” That seems way easier…
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I ADORE fall. Like, I’d hug it if I could. Absurd, yes, but true. It’s my absolute favourite season (for reasons I divulged a bit here.) I just wish it lasted longer… Here in Southwestern Ontario we seem to go from super hot/humid/gross/summer temperatures, straight into a measly 2-3 weeks of perfect and amazing fall-like weather (bliss!), to snow/cold/wintery/icky weather far too fast. Mother Nature is a bit cruel that way. But I appreciate the short-lived autumn loveliness nonetheless!
With the official dawn of fall this weekend (hooray!), I officially engaged in Project Fall-er-ize. What does this all entail? Let me show you! (And yes, I’m ridiculously excited about all this – it’s strange, I know.) There are 4 official steps…
1. Mums make everything fall-ier
I adore mums. Or, specifically: yellow mums. So cheery! So happy! So exceedingly fall-ish! Sweetie bought me two little pots of yellow mums last week.
They’re not super huge, but neither is our porch. And they’re a little sad-looking right now, but you just wait till these puppies open up – it’ll be like a big explosion of yellow awesomeness. They’re perfect! (Although I may see if there’s some way I can snazz up the boring basic black plastic pots they came in a wee bit. Crafting project of some yet-undetermined sort to follow? Possibly.) :)
2. The big quarterly purse-swap
I’m not one of those people who has a purse for every outfit (although I’d really like to be.) Instead, I take the lazy route: a purse for every season! And fall makes me happy because I absolutely adore my fall handbag.
The orange and chocolate brown… The big wooden button… Swoon! Doesn’t this just scream “hello fall!”? It was made from an old skirt (hooray for recycling!) by amazing etsy-er Shannon at Shanionie. I’ve since purchased several other handbags from her… and will definitely be back for more!
3. Is that apple pie I smell? (Aka making the house smell fall-y)
I loooooove baking, and I love the way our house smells post bake-fest (a bi-weekly event, of course.) But sometimes I cheat just a little. This weekend, in celebration of fall, I started a new Baked Apple Pie cube in my Scentsy.
My house now smells like a delicious apple pie-making factory (sans apple-peeling and dough-rolling thankfully.) Yummm. It’s the perfect fall scent. :)
(PS – I swear – no walls in my house are pink! Lesson learned? Never wear a fuchsia hoodie while taking pictures of your Scentsy.)
4. I like it so I’m gonna put a wreath on it!
(I’m pretty sure somewhere Beyonce is cringing right now.)
I’ve had my fall wreath for many many many years. It’s sun-faded, and half the leaves/berries/doodads have fallen off, but I still absolutely love it. The (now less-vibrant but still rather lovely) orange and green and brown colours make me happy!
My front door is painted Benjamin Moore’s Schooner btw. It’s a bit darker/bolder/prettier in person than in the pic above. I think it looks lovely with all that (slightly faded) fall wreathiness!
And tada! Poof! Weekend fallerization project complete. :) Come October (so, well, next weekend) there may be some (k, lots of) pumpkins added to the mix. (Truthfully, Sweetie and I have a weird pumpkin-obsession. Growing, carving, seed-roasting… Just another reason I adore fall!) In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy this likely too short but lovely little fallish spell we’re having.
And maybe hug a tree or two too. While wearing my fall purse. :)
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