Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I was so excited to deck the halls this year! That's because for the past four (five?) years I haven't been able to decorate for Christmas. We were either living in our fifth wheel "traveling" (and there really wasn't extra room for a tree) or we were in the middle of remodeling and I didn't want to bother with getting extra decor out that would just get dusty. You can just imagine how much fun it was for me to be able to unload all of my Christmas decor. Some of the items I forgot I even had! Greg knows that sometimes I can get an idea in my head and I will stop at no means to follow through. However, he told me not to buy any additional Christmas decor and to use what we had. I obeyed his orders, only because I figure this means I can buy double the amount of "stuff" the day after Christmas! ;)

I was dying to purchase matching stockings and have all of our names embroidered on the top. But, since I had to stick to the "no purchasing" rule, I had to make due with our old stockings. I did go out and purchase a stocking for Shady and it literally drove me crazy that once I put some treats in her stocking that it didn't hang the "right" way. At least I know not to purchase that particular stocking tomorrow for the whole family!

This may sound silly, but one thing I was really excited about decorating was our mantle. I've never had a mantle before! I was happy to finally put the stocking holders I bought last year to use! However, they were originally brown which I didn't think was festive enough. Luckily we had some silver spray paint on hand, and I think after a few coats they were finally up to par!!!

I had to get pretty creative in decorating the mantle! Luckily I had a strand of pre-lit garland, but I knew that and the stocking holders weren't going to have the look I wanted. I have always loved pine cones, so I posted a question on facebook asking if any of my friends had a pine tree in their yard so I could come and pick some pine cones. Luckily one of my friends did! I gathered as many as I could and when I came home I spray painted some silver, others I used glue to add silver or gold glitter, and others I left in their birthday suits. I decorated with them in several places in the house! Talk about decorating on a budget!

I had a plain cylinder vase on hand that I stuffed with various pine cones as well as a few red bulb ornaments. After I placed that on the mantle, I knew I needed to add a little bit more height to achieve a more desirable affect. I resorted to placing a few pine cones in some martini glasses. I thought it turned out pretty cute, and I was proud of myself for once having my own original decorating idea!

Although my stockings didn't match, my sister happened to give this to me. Pretty cute if you ask me and at least I was able to use it along with the other hodge podge of stockings! After all, Parker can only use this stocking once, right?

Every year I like to buy a Christmas ornament that represents something for the year. Obviously, this little guy fit the bill! It even has a place on the back where I can write in Parkers weight and length. It's safe to say it will be one of my favorites for years to come!

Here are some other snapshots of holiday cheer in our house:

This is a count down to Christmas wall hanging that Greg's grandmother made when he was a little boy. It's the only holiday decoration that Greg had when I married him, and I love how it has such a sweet sentimental value to it. I'm sure Parker will love using it when he gets older.

This is a live wreath that one of my friends gave me for a Christmas present. I've always wanted to have a live Christmas tree, but this was the next best thing!

Parker with his stocking.

He likes chewing on his books rather than flipping through and "reading" them. Today they were extra yummy because Father Christmas brought Parker's second tooth! (Unfortunately it's also causing him to run his first low-grade fever. Poor guy!)

One of the toys we bought him was a box of little squirtable tub toys. We took a starfish out and that proved to be his favorite new toy. We pretty much had to open all the other presents for him because he wouldn't put it down!

We ventured out to The Elks Lodge this morning to join other members for free Tom and Jerrys. This is an eggnog drink that is made with powdered sugar. They were pretty yummy! To continue our festivities, I'm cooking a big, yummy dinner for us to enjoy. The menu consists of ham, sweet potato casserole, broccoli rice casserole, cranberry jello salad, croissants, and a pumpkin roll.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My First Bling On A String Trunk Show!

On December 9th I had my first Bling On A String Trunk Show! I've been brainstorming about doing a trunk show since August. And it took me that long to get enough inventory's not always easy getting jewelry made with a baby in the house! When all was said and done I had 60 pieces of jewelry available for sale at the trunk show. I was nervous if that would be enough, or if people would be disappointed that there wasn't very much jewelry to choose from. I finally decided that I had to start somewhere and I could always explain that to people if they brought it up (luckily no one did)!

The days leading up to the show were really busy for me! Making sure every piece was tagged with a price, cleaning the house, stressing out, making and sending invitations and evites, and did I mention stressing out? I finally know how an artist feels before their first art show. Would people like my jewelry? Would they think it was over priced? Would they think it was poorly made? Would any one show up? The doubts were endless.

I invited around thirty five people to the trunk show. I had nine people attend. I tried not to let that discourage me. I've been told to always expect a fourth of the people you invite to attend an event, so I guess I did pretty good! I did have one lady attend who did not make a purchase, which of course hurt my feelings. I mean, I for one always intend on making a purchase (even if it's a small one) if I attend a trunk show or a direct sales party. I mean, that is the purpose of going, is it not?

I included a few special offers at my show. I entered guests into a drawing for a free necklace for every $20 that they spent. By the end of the night I had seven entries! I also marketed my slinky bracelets at a "buy two, get $5.00 off", which was a big hit. People loved my large slinky bracelets!
Here's a picture of one of my large slinky bracelets that is currently available for sale at

After all was said and done, I had sold fourteen pieces of jewelry! I made a deal with my husband, that I would take 25% of my sales and invest it back into my business. I'm hoping that amount will allow me to replace the items that I sold and hopefully make a few more pieces. I figure this way I can slowly build up a decent inventory for future shows! I do hope to have a trunk show at my house every season (four times a year). I would also love to have people volunteer to host a trunk show at their house. I would give them a few hostess "bonuses" as well.

For those of you who have been encouraging and praying for this little venture of mine, I really appreciate you! You know the saying that God works in mysterious ways? Well, I am a firm believer in that. Back in my days of selling real estate, I always knew that if I worked really hard to generate business that God would see my efforts and would reward me. It would never be a result that I expected, but it always panned out nevertheless. For example, I would do mail outs to my entire neighborhood in hopes of landing a new listing. The following day I would receive a listing referral from a friend. In my heart, I always knew that God was rewarding my efforts. The same seems to be true for my Bling On A String business. I had several people tell me that they couldn't attend my trunk show but that they would call me one day just to come by and look at my jewelry. Well, of course people will say that, but do they follow through? Usually not. However, a week later a girl from MOPS that I invited called and said she wanted to come by! She purchased a pair of earrings. I totally wasn't expecting that, but it made my day! Then, the following day, another pair of earrings sold from my etsy store. The bonus was that the person who bought it was a complete stranger. I love it when random people discover my shop and like what they see!!!

Here are some of the pics from my trunk show. Of course, I forgot to take pictures until it was already over, so some spots on the table look a little bare.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

8 Months Old!

Parker is a few days past 8 months old now! I really don't want to write, yet again, that time seems to just be flying by...but I can't help myself! Time really is flying by! Some VERY exciting things happened in Parkers world this past month! We took a trip to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving! We didn't get to see nearly as many friends as we would have liked, but we did see a lot of family! And, I would post pics of Parker with all of his extended family, but there are just so many that would take awhile! But, here are a few cute pics from our trip home.

One of my best friends, Shannon, made this adorable Turkey onesie for him! Is that not the cutest thing? I loved it! Thanks, Shannon!

While we were "home" I desperately wanted to have Parker's picture taken with Santa. I had heard in the past that the "best looking" Santa Claus is at Bass Pro Shop. Unfortunately, we just couldn't seem to make our way up to downtown OKC, so I settled for the Santa who was at Sooner Fashion Mall in Norman instead. Parker did great! I was curious what he would do once Santa took him. He looked at him kind of funny, reached for his glasses, and then gave him a big smile. We had a picture taken (not on our camera, so I won't be able to post it on here) and he gave the best smile on the second click. Everyone who was waiting in line behind us said, "Aww" when he did. As satisfied as I am with the picture, a few weeks ago a fellow friend of mine posted pics on her blog with her kids visiting Santa at Bass Pro. Needless to say, he was a much better looking Santa!

Parker loves it when I sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and do the motions with him!

When we got back to Colorado Parker had what I thought was his first illness. Luckily, the doctor disagreed. He just had a major runny/congested nose. Let's just say Parker got a little unhappy with the bulb syringe and would begin crying at the mere sight of it! Luckily he is much better now!

As far as food goes, we have added green beans, apples, and peaches to his menu! I try to get him to drink water out of his sippy cup. He loves "drinking" from it, but I think more than anything he chews on it. I actually bought him some straw sippy cups for Christmas to see if he can get the hang of those better.

At the beginning of December a big milestone happened! He crawled and sat up all in the same day! He could kind of sit up for awhile now, but always toppled over after a few minutes. I had read that babies should be able to sit before they can crawl so I was starting to get a little worried. Now when he sits, he is leaning on one arm. If I put him in the normal sit, or tri-pod, position, he still doesn't last that way very long. Now that he's crawling, I can barely keep up with him! Child-proofing is in full swing here at our house!

A week after he finally mastered crawling, he began clapping his hands. He doesn't make any sound when he does it, and he doesn't do it very often, but it sure is cute when he does! The evening of the day he clapped his hands, I had him in his nursery playing on the ground. I was doing something in the bathroom and walked by the nursery to go into the office. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something that shocked me. Parker has a little fisher price chair with a desk attached to it that has a singing lamp and book attached to it. Parker has always been fascinated with it, constantly crawling or rolling over to it and banging on the seat with his hand. Imagine my surprise when I walked by and saw that he had pulled up on his knees for the first time to get a little bit closer to the desk! He doesn't pull himself up to his feet, just his knees. In fact, he doesn't ever place his feet on the ground correctly if you hold him in a standing position. I hope this will be a problem that will correct itself shortly.

Parker is all BOY! He loves BALLS and DOGS! In fact, chasing a ball on the floor is what made him learn to crawl! His most recent favorite toy also includes: a plastic cup!

Another random fact about Parker is that he always has a scratch on his face. I just cannot keep his nails trimmed short enough.

He loves to be carried in his baby bjorn. It comes in very handy during shopping trips. Too bad he's getting so heavy now that it hurts my back!

This is a typical Parker pose in his car seat! He loves to chew on the puppy's ear!

I am 8 months old! I weigh 19 pounds and am 27" long!

This is another one of my favorite toys: the doorstop!

I'm gonna get you, mama!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Card Drama....Again!

Some of you may remember the Christmas card drama I had a few years ago. Well, go figure, two years later I'd have some drama again.

I did a Christmas photo shoot with Parker with intentions of using one of the pictures on our Christmas cards this year. The pictures turned out fairly well and off I went to upload our 2010 Christmas cards onto I knew they would be arriving any day now so I was super excited when I heard the UPS man pull up to my house. I was in the middle of nursing Parker but I know from experience that UPS will leave packages on my front porch. As soon as I was finished nursing I quickly ran downstairs and retrieved my package.

As I tore open the box like a little kid I couldn't help but feel a quick flutter of excitement! I knew this year I wouldn't have the same problem as I did the year before. I pulled one of the pictures out of the box to do a quick once-over when I quickly let out a cry of horror. There it was. Plain as day. I spelt my son's name wrong.

I probably wouldn't be too upset were this not my son's very first Christmas. Especially since his sweet little face is the only person pictured on the card. I even planned on placing one of the cards in his baby book. How will my little boy look back as he's older and be able to see how excited I am to celebrate his first Christmas with him when I sent out a Christmas card calling him, "Parer"?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So much to blog about....

But so little time to do so!!! In an effort to motivate me to blog here are some tidbits I hope to blog about soon!

*My first Bling On A String Trunk Show
*Decking The Halls
*Parker turning 8 months old (because lets face it....he's not quite there yet but at the rate I've been going he'll be 8 1/2 months old before I blog about it)
*How badly I sucked at keeping up my New Year Goals this year. There. I've said it. Now maybe I can quit stressing out about the fact that I still have a few days to go and maybe just maybe I can at least cross off a few of them. *cough*yeah right*


Thursday, November 18, 2010

7 Months Old!!!!

My internet has been hit or miss lately so this post is coming a little later than I would have liked!

This past month went by way too fast!!! Parker mastered rolling over both directions, and now loves that he has so much more freedom! We have quickly learned that our living room just isn't big enough to accomidate his budding curiousity! He loves to just lay on his stomach with a variety of toys in front of him. He does what we call the "superman" pose; he lays on his tummy with his legs slightly lifted off the floor and he kicks like crazy! Actually, he looks more like a frog than superman but somehow that nickname has stuck!

We have been getting together for a baby playdate for the past two months now. Right now I think it's more of a "mommy playdate" since the babies aren't really interested in each other at the moment. I think that will slowly begin to change though. Here's a cute pic of the four boys at one of our sessions.

He has added a bunch of food to his list this past month: squash, sweet potatos (his favorite!), peas, bananas, oatmeal, and carrots. I also give him a "treat" called a baby Mum-Mum. This is basically a rice cake. As funny as it sounds, I think he could really care less about eating. He is easily distracted while I'm feeding him. He would much rather chew on his spoon, watch Shady (our dog), or chew on the fabric of his high chair. Luckily, he always finishes his meal, even if it takes me fifteen minutes to feed all of it to him.

One of the funnest moments of this past month was my favorite holiday: Halloween! My mom saw a pea in the pod outfit at Family Dollar, and since she knew I labeled all my pregnancy blog posts as "pea in the pod" and since one of my baby showers had the same theme, she could't pass it by. I have to say, he is the most adorable little pea ever.

Funny story: When I showed my husband these pictures, his first comment wasn't the typical, "Oh, he looks so cute", or "You did a good job on these pictures". No. It was, "We have carrots?!" Yes, my husband enjoys his vegetables!

A woman who attends the same Bible Study as me also gave me a cute Pumpkin costume for him to wear. This is the first time I ever took pictures with my little pumpkin like this. I think he thought it was fun, what do you think?

We got to attend a fun costume/cocktail party.

I took him to Wichita for a night to meet his god-parents. (Silly me, I didn't get any pictures). I took him to church for the first time. Unfortunately that didn't go as smoothly as I would have hoped. Maybe I'll venture back in another couple of months! His very first tooth is slowly trying to make it's grand debut. It has broke the surface but I can't see it, I can only feel it. So far he's been a very good teether.

I have to say I believe I may have a future model on my hands. I always seem to get big smiles out of him when I want to do a quick photo session. I even took him to get "professional" pictures taken one day. This was a fundraiser for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and I personally thought the actual photographs were overpriced so I only got the big picture that I paid $10 for. However, the photographer kept commenting on how good he was. He said he had been dealing with crying, screaming babies for the previous two hours and was glad to have such a happy, photogenic little trooper. Of course this instantly made me have visions of them asking if he could be the new "face" of this particular company, but that's just the consumate daydreamer in me!

One magical milestone happened this month: he began giving me kisses! It actually took me awhile to figure out what he was doing. They don't tell you in baby books that baby kisses aren't like "real" kisses. My sister had told me that baby kisses are open mouthed and slobbery. So one night, in the middle of my slumber, I woke up with an ephiphany: Parker had been kissing me! (Am I the only one who wakes up in the middle of the night because my subconscious has finally made something clear to me?) This is how it normally happens: I'll nurse Parker. While I'm burping him he'll turn his head and place his mouth on my cheek. At first I would laugh and say things like, "There's no milk there" or "That's not the boobie!" He always has a huge smile on his face when he does this. Once I finally realized what he was doing my heart just melted. I think he's proud of the fact that he can finally show affection back. Now I try to force it, which doesn't give the same affect. Apparently always placing my cheek in front of his face doesn't result in an instant kiss.

As these months are passing with a faster rate, I find myself falling more and more in love with my little bundle of joy. This makes me extremely happy because I actually struggled with a little combination of the baby blues/feeling like I didn't love him enough issues when he was an infant. I now realize that I was completely exhausted and that some of my feelings are normal for women. The icing on the cake is seeing how great Greg has become at being a Daddy. I think Parker really is the pride and joy of our lives and I'm so happy that we have created this special little boy.

I'm seven months old today! I weigh 19 pounds and am 27 1/2" long!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Six Months Old!

I cannot believe Parker is half a year old today! It literally blows my mind. The icing on the cake is that he is turning out to be such a happy baby! This previous month had a few "firsts" for my little guy.

He ate his first solid food. Although, I don't think he's a big fan of rice cereal.

He drank from a sippy cup...granted he only "drinks" from it on accident. He mainly does a lot of chewing on it!

He wore his first pair of shoes.

He went to his first play group. I thought he might be a little young for this, but we learned motions to "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and he loves it! We sing it everyday now and I always get a huge smile from him as we row away.

He played with another baby for the first time, (this is his friend, Kazwell).

I'm currently working with him to learn to roll over the "other way". He will only roll in one direction. The past few days I have been trying to entice him to roll the opposite way with a toy. He tries really hard, then gets frustrated and rolls over the direction he usually goes, and is surprised to see that the toy he rolled over for is actually further away!

I'm also trying to work with him on sitting unsupported. This usually results in him flinging himself backwards. Oh well.

It wouldn't be a proper "month old" post if I didn't talk about his naps. Have you guys heard of Scentsy? If you haven't, you're missing out! (My sister in law sells it; here is her website so you can check it out and shop 'til you drop.) Well, Scentsy has a new line of nursery warmers. One of which happens to be a "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" warmer which matches Parker's nursery perfectly! My friend Courtney and her Mom gave one to me for Parker.

The first day I had the warmer on, Parker took an hour and a half nap. I thought something was wrong with him. As you know, I'm usually lucky if he naps for 45 minutes. This continued the next day, and the next, and the next, etc. I firmly believe that the Scentsy is basically like aromatherapy for my little angel! He has even slept for 2 hours and 15 minutes! This is both for his morning and afternoon naps. I can tell these naps are what he has been needing because he is so much happier lately! And as a bonus, the whole upstairs smells wonderful!!!

I'm 6 months old today!!! I weigh 17 lbs. 8 oz. and am 26 1/2" long!

I sure have grown a lot since the last time Mommy tried to take pictures of me inside Daddy's guitar case, haven't I?