Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sugar Rush

I feel like Halloween really rushed up on me this year, probably because August and September were crazy with Etsy orders for this guy...


And this one too...


I was getting 1-2 orders a day, which is highly unusual for little ol' me, I don't usually get that much traffic in my shop! I'd be fine knocking them out if I didn't work full time and have three kids. Squeezing in that crafting time in the small frame of time I have before the baby goes to bed is a challenge since he and I share a room (bedroom for him, sewing room for me). Anyway...I'd hoped to get a Thanksgiving turkey shirt up as well as something new for Christmas but with all that is going on right now, I think I've decided not to list anything like that this year. I'll make them for the kids and we'll take pictures and have them ready for listing next year instead!

Sigh, to be ahead of the game would be nice!

This was my Halloween themed buffet last year.


Did I do anything remotely decorative to the buffet this year? Nope! We didn't even get to the pumpkin patch or do any pumpkin carving, how lame is that?!

So what has been keeping me so busy?

Making this costume...


And this one...

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Taking books away from my paper-eater...

Good Night Moon...and goodbye corner!

Chasing this guy, who if he sees an unsecured cabinet will open it, will climb an unblocked staircase, will grab a dangerous object, will eat unedible items, etc...


Doing laundry and emptying pockets (this was accumulated from just 3 days of laundry)...


Comparing babies. My cousin's baby girl is three weeks older than Baby D, has been walking for a little while, gives kisses but won't sleep in her crib at night. Baby D has about 6 lbs and 3" on her, isn't as interesting in walking yet as he is crawling really fast but sleeps in his crib all night like a champ.


Halloween pictures to come!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A week of update

Thank you to all that posted on Facebook or on the Blog about my "niche" post. Makes me feel better to just be ME and you still like to read about it with all my quirkiness!

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In our jammies

I thought it humorous that I drew attention to the fact that I was trying to post more often and then I didn't post anything for a whole week! Oops, life kind of got in the way.

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The Boy had a dentist visit, with two cavities filled and one pulled to make more space in his mouth.

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Trying to pucker his lips while numb.

This little guy turned 11 months old yesterday.

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I fed him the same dinner three nights in a row and on the third night when I tried to serve it to him again, he literally looked at the tray and burst into tears! Sorry kid. I switched it out for leftover lasagne and sweet potatoes and he was much happier.

The weather got cool and fall-like again but now we're back up to 90 again for the weekend. Blech, dry Santa Ana weather. Everyone's nose is sore and runny!

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Baby D and Grandpa, watching Fireball the fish swim in his tank

Been spending my evenings working on Halloween costumes. I'd wanted to get them done before this weekend but that doesn't appear that it's going to happen. The Boy asked if he is going to get matching pants with his costume top and I told him no, I wouldn't have time to make them. Of course, being the 8 year old boy that he is, says to me, "I'm not going to wear PANTS?!"

Goof-ball. Yes, of course pants that I'm not going to be making! I'll share costume pictures soon, hopefully!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Finding my Niche

I've been trying to "do more" with my blogging lately, has anyone noticed? I'm trying to write more often, posting almost every day if I can, and be better about changing up the colors of the board with the seasons and freshening things up every once in a while. I'm hoping to get more fan involvement (this means YOU!).

In doing some online research, one of the recommendations that I came across pretty consistently was to find your blogging "niche". You know, that one thing that you write about most frequently and most passionately, enough that someone describing your blog could easily describe, "that blog is about XYZ".

There are blogs about being a mommy, cooking, baking, photography, design, decorating, organizing & cleaning, Disneyland, kids, fabric design, sewing and DIY. And those are just the ones that I read regularly! The niche is endless, of course.

In going through old posts recently I came to the realization that I have no niche. Nothing really popped out at me enough to where, if I came to this blog as a newbie, would I have any great feel for who the audience is. I'm all over the place!

And maybe that's okay. I think that my varied topics in blogging really speak about who I am as a real person. I am incredibly diverse, highly unusual, imaginative and totally random! And yes, I do think that's okay, in the "real world" as well as in the blogging world.

It got me thinking about who I am and what persona I depict of myself on the blog.
Here goes:

MOM. My first born boy. I was told at 4.5 months pregnant that he would have a cleft lip and possibly other damage, including mental retardation. He was born quite healthy, but with a cleft lip and hypospadius that required surgery at 3 months old. That sort of thing really tests your strength as a parent.


WIFE. Remarried in 2010 to Danny, the "boy-next-door", who also happens to be nine years my junior. A blog in and of itself, I'm sure!


MOM again, this time at 38.


STEPMOM to one son, my "first" boy (son of my ex-husband).


STEPMOM to one daughter, my husband's daughter. She has Autism, so I am also the guardian of someone with SPECIAL NEEDS.


Parent in a BLENDED FAMILY. As you can see above, with all these kids from different parents, it can be a sticky web.


SEAMSTRESS & CRAFTER. I've been selling boutique on Ebay and Etsy for many years. I would love to commit more time to it but well, working FULL-TIME OUTSIDE THE HOME slows the creative process down quite a bit. Lots of ideas floating around but no time to actually see them into fruition.


TEACHER. I've been teaching dance & tumbling classes for 23 years at studios and local recreation centers. I'm good at it and after so many years, it really comes naturally to me! I can capture the attention of a class of 30 three-year olds but getting my own kids to listen is another story!

DISNEYPHILE. Been going to Disneyland since I was one year old. I love it and wish that I could spend more time there. I miss having an annual pass...someday, again!


I love PHOTOGRAPHY and would like to be able to take some classes and really learn the ins and outs of it, but in the meantime I practice when I can and glean off the internet.


And of course all the RANDOM THOUGHTS about whatever pops to the front of my brain when I start typing. Be it home decor, party planning, organizing, apartment living, gearing up to buy our first home, etc., I talk about whatever I think of.

So, that brings me back to my audience. Why are you here? What brings you to the blog and what interests you the most?

Is it something specific (one of the topics above) or just my total randomness that delights you? The fact that I don't mind embarrassing myself, is it like a train wreck and you can't look away?!

Yep, the baby had his hand down my blouse the entire photo shoot I didn't even notice...

Leave me your thoughts. What do you like? What don't you like? What would you like to see more of? Give it to me, I can take it!

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween Time at Disneyland

My favorite time to go to Disneyland is in the autumn or as they call it Halloween Time!

Front entrance a few years ago, Disney characters in pumpkin form!

Lots of pumpkin decor on Main Street

The weather is almost always still warm. It doesn't give you much of the "autumn" feel but it's great for enjoying the park and you can swim in the resort pools without the summer crowds. The temperature usually drops in the evenings, so definitely bring a light sweater or jacket. Of course, there is always plenty of Disney merchandise if you don't have something to keep you warm. I forgot my son's jacket one year and ended up buying him this Jack Skellington hooded sweatshirt. I bought it big and he was able to wear it for a few years.


The crowds are much less than in the summer as well but take note that the operating hours are shorter to compensate. So while you won't wait in astronomical lines for the most part, you also won't be spending as much time in the park as you might in the summer. I think it's a fair trade off!

Freshly carved Disney-themed pumpkins

A fall photo op in Frontierland

Fall is also when Disneyland hosts Mickey's Halloween Party on certain nights. On those days, the parks close early and stay open only for the guests with those party tickets. I've never gone to the Halloween Party, but it sounds like it would be a lot of fun. The cost is less than a regular day ticket and the party lasts five hours but you can get into the park three hours earlier, so that's eight hours of Disneyland (with free parking). Adults and kids can dress in costume and trick or treat throughout the park, in addition to enjoying almost all the regular attractions. This event sells out pretty quickly, so maybe we'll have to plan on attending next year!

Pumpkins in front of the castle

Playing poker with Jack O' Lantern

The decorations for fall are fantastic! Disney is known for their detail and all over the park you will find wonderful autumn decor. You have to get your photo taken in front of the giant Mickey pumpkin in the Town Square. We found these characters back in the ranch area.

Holding hands with a pumpkin sweetheart

The "Nightmare Before Christmas" themed Haunted Mansion is a can't gets more elaborate year after year.

Haunted Mansion Holiday



And don't forget the sweet treats! The Disney bakers really turn up the fun on their imaginative Halloween snacks. But if you can't make it to the parks this autumn, from the Disney blog is a recipe for Jack Skellington Sugar Cookies so you can celebrate Halloween Time at home!

Image from Disney Parks Blog

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another Warm Up

After a few cool days, there was a buzz in the city that temperatures were dropping and that it was finally "fall".

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Yeah, right...

We know better, we really do. All us San Diegans just got sucked up in the excitement of cooler weather...October is one of our warmest months so the brief autumn nip was temporary and the warm weather was back before the end of the weekend. Santa Ana, blech!

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Inappropriately dressed for a 90+ degree day!

We spent early Sunday after church at the fall festival. The kids played games, ate hot dogs and nachos, won soda in the ring toss, and spent some time in the bounce house. They found a random punch balloon blowing around in the wind and gifted it to the baby, who grabbed ahold of the elastic handle and punched away happily for an hour!

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The heat was back and we were much too toasty in the sun so we headed over to my mother-in-law's house for a quick swim.

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The water was very cold but the baby didn't seem to mind (though afterwards his four little teeth were chattering together!).

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Me, very rosy-cheeked & frizzy haired...darn, that dry heat!

Not sure how much longer this warm up is expected to last, but I'm ready for fall weather and the ability to turn my oven back on again! Looking forward to wearing boots, long sleeved pajamas, baking cookies, bundling in a blanket...instead, we are still swimming in October!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Apple Pie Days

We took one of our favorite Saturday drives to Julian, about 45 minutes east of us in the mountains. It was a risk this particular weekend, because it was Julian's Oktoberfest and also the last weekend for apple picking at one of the many orchards. Also with the cooler weather this weekend, it just makes us native San Diegans long for whatever little bit of Autumn we can get ahold of and for many of us, that means Julian with it's mountainsides of colorful leaves on the trees and apple pie. Oh, the apple pie!

A bushel of apples, in Mom's Pie Shop

So we knew that there would be many other families with the same idea as we had but we got there early enough in the day that parking was easy and the streets were still fairly clear.

One of the few areas where we get an actual Autumn-feel!

Look! We're wearing jackets & long pants!!


We went to our favorite BBQ restaurant the Bailey Wood Pit Barbeque, which was near empty the last time we ate there but this time was jam-packed. The addition of a brewery next door might have been the reason!


We waited about 20 minutes to be seated and they were so busy in the little place that they didn't even have a high chair available until about five minutes before our food arrived.


Once we ordered, we still waited for over 45 minutes for our food to be served. We joked that they were out chasing down the cow but in actuality they were still cooking the meat. When it did arrive it was fresh out of the pit.

We waited...

Still waiting...

Waiting for lunch and not-so-patiently banging on the table!

But the food was well worth the wait! We ordered a large plate of each barbeque pork and barbeque brisket and they were incredible, the best we'd ever had. There was a side of cole slaw that was so wonderful, regular french fries, spicy garlic-parmesean fries and a mound of cornbread with fresh honey butter. Didn't have a chance to take any pictures of the food as we dove in face first as soon as the plates hit the tables and there wasn't a scrap of anything left!

We stopped at our favorite shop and loaded up with apple blossom honey in a teddy bear squeeze bottle, a jug of apple cider and honey straws for each of the big kids.


The Girl stopped to collect acorns and caps under an oak tree.


The Boy found this tiny apple on the ground under a neighborhood apple tree and I told him he could keep it (rather than let it get run over by a car). Despite the small size, he said it was very sweet.


Annoying Apple or just a silly face?

We drove out of town a bit and picked up a pie at our favorite joint and drove back home. Lunch had been so filling that none of us felt like eating dinner so we sacrificed that meal for a bowl of apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Nobody in the family seemed to mind!