Friday, August 31, 2012

Boots on the Ground...

...and we couldn't be happier!

Watching the plane land.
Photo Credit

They rolled out the red carpet.
Photo Credit

Here they come!!!
Photo Credit


Grace and her daddy had some catching up to do!

Have a wonderful weekend!
(I know we will!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY Calendar Countdown

During Cole's deployment I've spent a lot of time contemplating painting all of the rooms in our house. Therefore, I steal help myself to a ridiculous number of paint chips at my local home improvement store. I didn't end up painting any of the rooms, but I do have quite an impressive collection of paint chips! 

When you are waiting for something, you have to find little ways to make the days go by. So, inspired by Pinterest, and my clepto paint chip addiction, I decided to get crafty and make a calendar out of paint chips and a picture frame.
How To Make a Paint Chip Calendar

42 paint chips in your favorite color scheme
Large picture frame or poster frame
Poster board cut to fit the frame
Expo Vis-a-Vis Wet Erase markers
Ruler/calculator (or a friend with math skills)
Glue, sticky tabs or double sided tape
Chalkboard paint

  1. Measure out how big each of your 35 squares will need to be to fill up your frame. Depending on the size of your frame, you may need to leave more/less room at the top for the days of the week. (I would tell you how I calculated my square sizes, but honestly, we know I can't do math in my head, and the fractions were throwing me off... I had to recalculate a few times before it worked out. Yes, this is a sad commentary on my math skills. Maybe I should practice up a bit!?)
  2. Cut out all of your paint chips and arrange in the pattern you plan to use. 
  3. Attach to the paint chips to the poster board using tape or glue. 
  4. Tape off a long rectangular section at the top of the frame and paint with chalkboard paint. (Use this area to write in the month.)
  5. Fill in the days on your calendar using the wet erase markers. (Just wipe with a wet cloth to change each month
  6. Hang and enjoy counting down the days to something fun!

Here are the names of the paint colors I chose, just because I think they are fun, and naming paint colors would be my dream job! (All are Valspar Signature Colors from Lowes):
  • Oatmeal
  • Gold Coin
  • Gypsy Gold
  • Beach House
  • Woodsmoke
  • Gourd
  • Winter Wheat

Thursday, August 16, 2012

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To

{The anticipation is killing me!}

1. Cole coming home!
He will be home by the end of the month! HOORAY! The sign is made, the house is clean(ish) and the fridge is stocked!

2. The return of Starbuck's pumpkin spice latte

3. Planning Grace's first birthday party
I'm thinking balloons and polka dots. Anything to make her smile!

4. A mini family photo shoot with Kristen Huntley | Photographer
I'm pretty sure Grace and Cole are less than thrilled about this- BUT I DON'T CARE!

5. Running in the City of Oaks Relay with some fun ladies. 
Our team theme is Wonder Woman. Check out these socks!

Geek Chic
6. Grace growing some hair on the back of her head!
It's tough to pull off the reverse-mullet look, but I think she manages...

7. A beach house vacation

8. Starting (and finishing) a good book!
It has been far too long since I've read anything aside from What To Expect The First Year. I'm going to start an actual novel. 
No really.
I will.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Send a Hug

With text messaging, FaceTime and Skype it's definitely a lot easier to stay in touch with loved ones. Sometimes, however, it's nice to send (and receive) actual mail. So this week we made sendable hugs inspired by Tons of Fun and Pinterest, of course!

A hug from Grace

How To Make a Sendable Hug

Finger paint or ink pad
Paper plate
Wet wipes
White cardstock paper
Hole punch
String, twine or ribbon
Sharpie pen
A willing or semi-willing child

  1. Pour some paint onto a paper plate and smear around.
  2. Place your child's hand in the paint and then onto the cardstock paper. (Pretty technical stuff, I know!)
  3. Use the wet wipe to clean off their hand.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 using the other hand.
  5. Let the handprints dry.
  6. Cut out the handprints (feel free to make them look more "hand like") leaving a small boarder around the edge. 
  7. Punch a hole at the bottom of each hand.
  8. Cut a piece of string that measures the length of your child's arms and tie it to each hand using the holes you punch earlier. 
  9. Write a message on the hand, pop in an envelope and send to someone special!
Keep an eye on your might be headed your way!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wittlebee Kids Clothing Club Review

Our first box from Wittlebee
We found this cool new company called Wittlebee. They offer a monthly subscription ($39.99) for kids clothing (sizes newborn to 5t). What a great idea! Seriously, I wish I had thought of it! You get 6 items worth about $100 from different brands. They ran a special for half off the first month, so we thought we'd give it a try!

Here's how it works:

Sign up and fill out a style profile for your child. 
For Grace's box I chose:
Graphics- polka dots and flowers
Favorite colors- green, blue and purple
Clothing style- hipster

A stylist called me about a week later and asked some follow up questions. I told her it is HOT where we live, so we needed summer clothes and no pink! 

The Wittlebee website says you should get your box in about 2 weeks, but we didn't get ours for almost 3 weeks.
I think Wittlebee is trying to keep up with the growing demand, but hopefully the turnaround is quicker on orders and they bring on more customer service reps/stylists. 

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the clothes we got in our first box! I also really like getting packages in the mail, and the element of surprise was fun!)

Purple shirt/tunic from Laughing Giraffe* 
(*it looks big, but maybe it's supposed to be worn as a dress?)
Green onsie from American Apparel
Plaid shorts from Baby Headguarters
Flip Flop tank top from Baby Headguarters 
Mint onsie with ruffles from Kicky Pants
Orange flowered skirt from Crazy 8

Grace liked the tissue paper and the box!

"Hipster" box. I really like that all of the pieces are mix and match!
If you use this link you will receive a $10 discount on your first order, and I earn $10 in Wittlebee credits. It's a win win!

This review was not sponsored or endorsed by Wittlebee. I just wanted to share my experience and opinion on the service. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Homemade Ice Cream For Your Enjoying Pleasure

Grace and I are getting back into the swing of things in North Carolina. 

Wake up, get dressed and make coffee.

Feed Griffin.

Get Grace up, dressed and fed. 

Eat breakfast while Grace plays.

Head out the door.

Sweat profusely.


Griffin helps entertain Grace while I scrounge up breakfast.
We are back to Stroller Strides (SS), and I'm training for another half marathon this fall. I am also the newly appointed playgroup captain for SS. This means I plan a craft or activity for the kiddos once a week after our workout. Please feel free to call me Captain, el capitan, chief... but you don't have to, I'll still answer to Allison.

Last week was my first week at the helm, and we made homemade ice cream. I'd say it turned out pretty well, but it was HOT and the ice was melting FAST

Here's how we did it:

How To Make Homemade Ice Cream In A Baggie

Ingredients for 1 serving:
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1 cup half & half (or light cream)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarse salt or table salt (I used "ice cream salt")
Gallon-sized Ziploc bag
Pint-sized Ziploc bag
1 pint of Ben & Jerry's (just in case this doesn't work out..) 

  1. Mix the sugar, half & half and vanilla extract together in the pint-sized Ziploc bag and seal it tightly.
  2. Fill the gallon-sized Ziploc bag halfway with ice and pour the salt over the ice. 
  3. Place the pint-sized bag into the ice-filled bag and seal.
  4. Start shaking! Shake for 5-10 minutes. (Put those biceps to work!)
  5. Open the gallon-sized bag and check to see if the ice cream is hard, if not, keep shaking.
  6. Once the ice cream is finished, quickly run the closed pint-sized baggie under cold water to clean off the salt. 
  7. Pop a spoon in the bag and enjoy
This week I'm planning a kid's Olympic day! I'll let you know how it goes, but I'm hoping for GOLD!