Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Throwback Tutorial Tutorial-Santa Key

I saw this idea and thought it would be super fun to make for Eliza. When we were little I always wondered how Santa got in the house, we didn't have a chimney. I am pretty sure my parents said they would leave the front door open for him. Now, we have a chimney at our house, but if Eliza ever asked how he could get in, I thought this key would be cute.


Paper for a tag
Scrapbook paper
Old time key
Spray Paint
Mod Podge

Start out with your old time key, I definitely didn't have one laying around so I went and got a pack from Joanns, they have them in the scrapbook section. There are a variety of keys in the pack, and some have words printed on them, I thought "memory" was perfect.

I wanted mine to all be silver so I spray painted it a few times.

White it was drying I took some glitter glue and went around the edge of my tag. This tag was just in a pack of tags, again from Joanns

White THAT was drying I cut Santa's name on my Cricut. I used a super shiny paper. I then used the mod podge to lay it down. If you go over the glitter, once it is dry, with the mod podge it will keep the glitter from going everywhere.

Now that everything is dry, use your ribbon to tie the tag to the key and hang it on the door so Santa can get in!

I think it turned out super cute, I hope Eliza likes it when Santa comes to visit again!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Placenta Encapsulation...I'm Going For It!!

When I was diagnosed with anxiety and put on medication it came as such a relief. I had anxiety for quite a long time but I feel like it was really heightened when I had Eliza. I am not sure if it was the change in hormones or the fact that I had another little bug to worry about, but I was consumed.

When I found out I was pregnant I stopped the medication. As I progressed through my pregnancy I knew I would not go back on medication as long as I was nursing. I started to research natural ways to help with my anxiety.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I Have Died Everyday Waiting For You...Emelia Is Here!

There is so much I want and need to say about her birth, but at this time it is too fresh. It is an open wound. I hope in the next few weeks I can write her birth story, but until then, you can watch it unfold.

Meg was at our birth to take photos of how our world would change, I never knew how much her photos would change my world.

I also need to give a special thank you to the amazing hospital staff I had. They were all incredibly amazing. They listened to our every need and concern and did everything in their power to give us an amazing experience. If you were part of our hospital staff please reach out to me on the blog, Facebook or Twitter so we can keep in touch! 

I will update soon!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hot Air Balloon Maternity Photos

A few months back I begged and pleaded with all of you to vote for Eliza in a contest. All I wanted was to win this Hot Air Balloon! Thanks to your hard work, here are the results.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thursday Throwback: Jingle All The Way Frame!

OK...I seriously don't know what has come over me with all of these Christmas decorations. I think it might be the fact that Eliza's birthday is only 4 days after Christmas, I want to get a lot of these decorations done so I can concentrate on her party. Here is a super quick, super cheap, DIY craft!

  • Vinyl/Stickers
  • Shadowbox Frame
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Bells
  • Ribbon
  • Mod Podge
  • Glue Gun/Glue

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tutorial Flashback: Pottery Barn Inspired Thanksgiving Countdown Tree

Welcome back to Tutorial Tuesday. This week I am showing you how to make a Thanksgiving countdown. I saw this in the Pottery Barn catalog and about fell over when I saw how expensive it was, $70, I knew I could make one for a lot less. Mine might not be as perfect but I have memories of making it with Eliza, and a few extra dollars in the bank.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The End Is In Sight!!

When we started the process of building the new house, I NEVER thought it would take this long. I am so incredibly thankful for the builder we have. He has given us an amazing custom house, but holy smokes this has taken a long time. Being pregnant while building a house might be the worst thing I have had to go through. Not only am I hormonal, I am not on my anxiety medication and I just obsess over everything!

Here we are though, nearing the end, we are moving in this week!! We spent this weekend moving stuff we could handle. Small boxes, clothes we don't wear and toys that aren't played with often. A moving company will be doing the rest. I am definitely not much help.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Oh How I Miss You...

The sound of your chain.
The giggles you gave Eliza.
How you loved frogs.
Those BIG brown eyes.
How safe you made me feel.

Oh Zander, how I miss you...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Halloween Hoopla

Halloween in our house is usually a pretty fun time. I LOVE to decorate and pass out candy to the kids. Being in the condo put a bit of a damper on that. Not only do we not have the same amount of space, all of our stuff is buried somewhere in storage.

Eliza didn't understand the concept of Halloween but I tried really hard to let her pick out what she wanted to be. Her choice...Spider Girl. I love that she goes out of the norm for girl's costumes. I was able to snag the costume for $5 on Ebay brand new, even better!!

Letters To My Love Bug 36 Weeks Pregnant

Thanks to Shone Foto for these photos

Thursday, October 31, 2013

525,600 Minutes...

525,600 minutes 
525,600 moments so dear
525,600 minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In surgeries, in heartbreak
In strength, in lots of prayer
In tears, in hope, in laughter, in love
In 525,600 minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

I can't believe how far we have come in 1 year. This is the week we made it to Boston and back for my Hysteroscopy to correct my Asherman's Syndrome. We drove 14 hours straight to Boston in Hurricane Sandy, we spent the night, had surgery at 8 am and were back on the road by 9 am to get home to my little girl.

I was filled with hope, anticipation, anger, fear and every other emotion possible. Was this going to be our year?

As I sit here 35 weeks pregnant, this was our year. This was our year to take back control of my body. This was our year to expand our family. This was our season of love!

I wasn't sure we would make it to this point. I wasn't sure what the plan for us would be, but I was sure that I would never give up. It wasn't easy. There were a lot of tears and a lot of moments that I wish I could take back my hurtful words. But there were moments of pure joy, pure love for our family, that I wouldn't trade for the world.

I don't know how I made it through, and I sure don't know if this storm is over. But I am damn sure I'm not the same person that walked into it. I love harder, I appreciate things more and I realized I am a lot stronger than I ever thought I was.

When it comes to infertility, the answers are difficult. Some times they are unknown, unacceptable and down right heartbreaking, but I am here to remind you, don't give up!! As Jimmy Fallon said, "Try every avenue; try anything you can do, 'cause you'll get there. You'll end up with a family, and it's so worth it. It is the most 'worth it' thing."

Friday, October 25, 2013

So Excited To Try The Boob!!

I am going to challenge myself...how many times can I say Boob in one post??

I absolutely love that Joovy named their bottles the Boob. I mean honestly, all these silly fancy names drive me crazy, let's call it what we want it to be...just like a boob!

We are still living at the rental condo and all of the baby stuff is still in storage...yes, just a few weeks until she is due and I don't know where most of our stuff is. Not panicking....

I was thrilled when Joovy sent me a set of Boob's!

Granted I haven't been able to use them yet, I already love the concept of these bottles.

As much as I would love to nurse, and I am going to try my hardest, I know my body doesn't produce enough for a baby. I love that I will have a bottle that mimics a boob as much as possible.

The Joovy Boob is the most innovative baby bottle on the market today. The new nipple design, patented CleanFlow Vent System, silicone sleeve, and bottle are state-of-the-art and use today's best design and materials.

The Boob stands up to repeated sterilization, will not absorb odor or color, and is BPA, phthalate and lead free.

Something that really excites me is that it has a 1-piece CleanFlow vent and is easy to clean. No assembly needed and no need to touch any part that comes in contact with the milk or formula.

The best part, the nipples have been designed to make transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding and back again, an easy and natural process. The large diameter base and nipple length assist your baby in properly "latching" onto the nipple. Nipples are available in 4 flow rates, they are molded, not cut, with the appropriate size hole and are tested for consistency throughout production. They also take the extra step of baking the nipples. Baking strengthens the silicone to help prevent nipple collapse while providing constant softness.

Even though I plan to nurse, I know I will be pumping as well. With Eliza I pumped, not only to try to help my supply but also to give Mark the opportunity to bond with her through feeding. I want Mark and Eliza to be able to have that bond with Emelia too.

Joovy has come up with a Breast Pump Adapter that is just genius! When you are a mom that has to pump for immediate feedings, vs storing, it is so nice to be able to only dirty one bottle. It used to drive me crazy that I had to pump into one container and then transfer it to a bottle. What mom has the time to do all of those dishes? Another great piece, if you do want to store the milk directly in your Boob, you can! Just toss on one of the Sealing Caps and put it in the fridge. They couldn't make this any easier for us!

The Boob Breast Pump Adapter works with most major breast pumps. It is compatible with Medela, Lansinoh, Playtex, Evenflo, Ameda and Simplisse. It is not compatible with Avent. 

Speaking of cleaning bottles, there is nothing I hate more. Trying to get a sponge in there never works. I don't like sponges in general, they are just big germ pads to me!

Joovy has the Boob Bottle and Nipple Brush that fit perfectly for their Boob. The Boob Revolving Brush and Nipple Brush are ergonomically designed for fast, simple and thorough cleaning of bottles, sippy cups and nipples.

Instead of using sponge material that harbors bacteria, they use soft nylon bristles that easily clean all bottle components.

Wash the bottles, sippy cups and nipples using hot soap and water. Insert the large Revolving Brush into the bottle and rotate the brush to thoroughly clean. Use the small brush to clean nipples. It's that easy.

Are you ready to purchase some new Boobs?? They have quite a few options but this gift set is my favorite! You can go right to Joovy and purchase a set of Boobs today!

I am so thankful for these Boobs! Not only do I now have peace of mind that I will have something to use to feed Emelia if she comes early, I also know it will help prevent nipple confusion and help form a bond for Mark, Eliza and her.

PS...I said Boob 16 times, wait that makes it 17 :)


Growing up, my family did a lot of activities. We had Lion's tickets, Piston's tickets and we would go to a lot of shows that came to Detroit.

One show I remember VERY vividly, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus!

During part of the show, a clown came up into the stands and asked for volunteers for part of the show. I was probably about 8 years old and my hand shot up like a rocket! I had no clue what I was being asked to do, but who wouldn't want to be part of the Circus?

I am not sure why or how, but the clown picked me!! I was lead down to center ring as my parents looked at each other in disbelief. I was told to sit on a chair and whenever the clown pointed at me, ring a bell...simple enough. The show went on and I did my part as others did theirs. The trick was played on another participant and everyone laughed. I was down there maybe 2 minutes but I sure remember it like it was yesterday! I was given a sucker for participating and I saved that sucker for YEARS. 

I am so excited, the Circus is back in town!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents DRAGONS is coming to The Palace Nov. 13-17!

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents DRAGONS is a once in a millennium event that honors The Year of the Dragon. Circus performers from the farthest reaches of the earth have assembled for Ringling Bros. Presents DRAGONS to showcase their astounding acts of bravery and astonishing athleticism. Ringling Bros. Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson presides over this fantastical celebratory tournament of circus champions that brings together mystic dragon lore with authentic circus feats. DRAGONS is a never-before-seen blend of renowned spiritual and real life legends that can be found only at The Greatest Show on Earth! 

DRAGONS will be here for 9 interactive shows in November! 

  • Wednesday, Nov. 13 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 14 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 15 – 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 16 – 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 17 – 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Even better...There is a Special Discount if you use coupon code 18MOM. With this code tickets are only $18! This code is available for all shows, but can not be combined with VIP seats and must be purchased in groups of 4.

You can purchase your tickets right HERE

Wait, there is more!! 

Don't miss the All Access Pre-Show! 

This starts one hour prior to showtime and is available to all ticket-holders. See animals up close, visit with performers, get autographs, try on costumes and enjoy the circus fun!

Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime family event when The Greatest Show On Earth brings the world together...to bring your family together! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Preschool Princess

I still can't believe Eliza is in Preschool. I am so impressed with how much she has learned in just 2 months. I will never question my decision to put her into school early, she is excelling more than I could have ever imagined. We get her assessment today to see how they feel she is doing, I am sure it will be exceptional!

I wanted to share some of her FIRST school pictures. The school does boring blue background pictures but my saving grace always comes through! Meg does school photos for some of the local preschools and I was able to drop in to get some pictures of Eliza!

As always, thank you Shone Foto for capturing such an important moment in Eliza's life.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Letters To My Love Bug

I am so excited to finally share the start of "Letters To My Love Bug" series!

Each month my friend Meg from Shone Foto has been documenting my pregnancy for me through photos. I wanted to make sure I had a photo of how I was growing and feeling and I also wanted one that included Eliza.

Meg always comes up with the most creative ideas, I LOVE it. Check out my first few months!!

9 Weeks

12 Weeks

16 Weeks

20 Weeks

24 Weeks

28 Weeks

32 Weeks

36 Weeks

40 Weeks

I will continue to update my letters monthly as I get our photos back.

Thank you Meg! As always, you give me a gift that I could never put a price on. These memories for myself and my girls will live on forever thanks to you!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Goodbye Our Big Buddy

This week may have been one of the hardest ones I have ever had to get through. We had to say goodbye to Zander, our big buddy.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Lot Going On

That title explains it all. We have so much going on, and I will elaborate soon on some of it.

We have been very busy with the house, baby and life.

A few of my checkups lately have shown that Emelia is a little bit too small. She is currently only in the 11% and the doctors have been monitoring her. I go back again next week for another scan to see if she is getting a bit bigger. I sure do wonder though...if she is small where is all of this weight coming from??

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Oh My Love For You

We have had a rough few nights this week. Eliza has some sort of ick that is making it tough for her to sleep. I spend most of the night in her room with her, either laying on her floor or rocking her. This wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't just had a tetanus shot and feel my arm is going to fall off...oh lets not forget the fact I am 31 weeks pregnant and can barely sleep as it is!

Last night I brought her into our bed before Mark came to sleep. We were just talking and snuggling and I was hoping it would help her relax enough to be able to fall asleep.

After a few minutes, I shut my eyes in hopes that she would follow suit. She laid there quietly and then whispered


I didn't answer. That is when my heart melted.

Eliza rolled on her side, placed her hand on my cheek and whispered in my ear.
"I promise, I'll never leave you"
She kissed my forehead and rolled over.

I teared up. This sweet girl, even through all of her coughing and sneezing is still so happy and loving.

My love for you grows daily Eliza. You are so sweet, caring, funny and smart.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Being Prepared In An Emergency

Living with anxiety is never easy. The constant stress and worry about situations can be incredibly overwhelming. Through counseling I have learned to let things go and how to assess a situation when I have no control. One thing I was taught, when I have no control over a situation, at least be prepared for all of the what if's.

When we built our house our builder asked us if we wanted to put a room in the basement, under the porch, that is fully surrounded by cement. He said some people use it as a wine cellar, others as a cigar room, my first thought...a panic room! We laughed a bit, but I was serious.

Now it is nothing like the room Jodi Foster uses in the movie Panic Room, but it will keep us physically safe in the event of a disaster, mainly a tornado.

Here in Michigan we have them every Spring and Fall. I am thankful they are not nearly as bad as the ones in the mid-west, but we have seen our share of devastation. Even as I type this, my anxiety starts to rise. How will I keep the girls safe? What if we are stuck down there for a long time? Cell phones die, batteries run out, electricity is gone.

In the event of an emergency I want to be prepared. I don't want to have to run around looking for items as I am trying to get the girls downstairs. I am so thankful that I recently was able to teem up with Robert from SurvivalPlanKits.com.

Robert was kind enough to send me a customized survival kit just for our panic room. We now have a Tornado Emergency Kit all set up and ready to go in that room. I will never have to worry if I have everything, it will all be waiting for us in a re-sealable waterproof backpack.

Here is the full description from SurvivalPlanKits.com

This kit contains the following:

Food and Water: The food and water in this kit will adequately provide you with the nutrition you need in survival and emergency situations. These products have a 5 year shelf life.

     6 - 4oz. Water Pouches
     1 - 400 Calorie Food Bar Cherry Flavor
     10 Water Purification Tablets - each tablet purifies 1 liter of water
     24 oz. Water Purification Bottle

Light and Communications: In the event of a power outage you’ll have independent access to your own means of lighting and communication with the outside world.

     Dynamo LED Lantern with Radio
     Rechargeable Squeeze Flashlight - 3 LED flashlight
     30 Hour Emergency Candle
     12 Hour Green Emergency Glow Stick
     5-in-1 Survival Whistle
     Box of Waterproof Matches
     36" x 24" Bright Orange Help Flag

Shelter and Warmth: These supplies will provide protection from outside weather forces. They will protect you from wind, sun, rain, and many other conditions you may encounter.

     2 - Emergency Survival Sleeping Bag
     2 - Emergency Poncho with Hood
     2 - 16-20 Hour Body Warmer
     5' x 7' Tarp

Tools: These items are designed to be useful in emergency situations. They will be a valuable resource when you have problems with navigation, transportation, personal protection or shelter.

     Multi-Function Tool
     Compact Multi-function Shovel
     16 Function Knife
     Leather Palm Work Gloves
     2 N95 Respirator Dust Mask - NIOSH approved
     50 Feet of Paracord
     Safety Goggles
     Quakehold Putty
     10yds of Duct Tape
     3 Function Hatchet (hatchet, pry bar, hammer)
     Pack of nails

Hygiene and Sanitation: It is useful to have access to hygiene products when in a disaster situation.  Staying clean can protect against infection, disease, and depression.

     24 Piece Deluxe Hygiene Kit
     3 Pocket Tissue Packs

First Aid: These first aid items will assist with minor injuries and protect against serious health concerns in emergency situations.

     37 Piece Portable First Aid Kit

Other: These items are useful for stress relief during strenuous or challenging circumstances.

     Notepad with Golf Pencil
     Deck of Playing Cards for Entertainment
     Infectious Waste Bag

Could this be any better? There is no better way to put a mother's mind at ease than to know her kids will be safe and taken care of in an emergency.

SurvivalPlanKits.com has a wide range of kits available:

Most of these kits have a 5 year shelf life. What a great product to have for peace of mind, especially for the next 5 years.

I pray that we never have to use our kit, but if we do, I know I am completely prepared for the situation.

Whether you are looking for a kit for your home, office, car or classroom, SurvivalPlanKits.com has everything you need. 

Right now if you order and use code TWSPK5 you will receive 5% off your order. Order $150 or more in survival kits you will get an automatic 10% off, if you use the code TWSPK5 you will get an additional 5% off for a total of 15% off.

Don't leave your families safety up to chance, be prepared for any emergency with SurvivalPlanKits.com

For this review I was provided a Tornado Emergency Kit from SurvivalPlanKits.com. All opinions are my own

Monday, September 23, 2013

Positively Pinterest

On days I need a little extra oomph in the positivity department...I go searching on Pinterest! Love these for this week.