Monday, October 31, 2011

What a difference a week makes (in photos)

{photos taken within the last couple of weeks- quickly moving from leaf-peeping and fun leaf pile jumping, to snow covered pumpkins and winter-geared little girls}

Wow, October has been crazy here in New England, to say the least.

We had Annika's birthday party on October 9. It was sunny and 80+ degrees... nearly setting records for October temperatures.

Cut to 3 weeks later and NH set all new records.... with snowfall! We had 22 inches at our house! TWENTY-TWO INCHES people! That is a crap load of snow, even here in NH. We still have a baby pool on the back deck filled with water from the earlier high temperatures.

Gahhh, as if my winter is not long enough. Now, my girls have to wear full on snow gear just to trick or treat tonight. Are you kidding me, weather Gods? What have I ever done to you?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goodwill Fall Wardrobe Update in Mustard

My trip to Goodwill was a success. I actually had no trouble finding a variety of mustard items. My first, and most versatile item was a pair of mustard tights:

{dress: Goodwill, belt: American Eagle, boots: Target, tights: Goodwill}

I love the pop of color that it adds. As I was carrying around these tights, I noticed this dress and thought the two would look great together... if I dared wear that much color. Well, I did! I wore this outfit yesterday (under a cream cardigan) and I think it was adorable. The dress was a great find for $5 with some gorgeous embroidered detail around it that you can't really make out in my photo.

If I was not bold enough, I could use the tights to add a pop of color to my standard mom-wardrobe:

{dress: Goodwill, belt: American Eagle, boots: Target, tights: Goodwill}

This a chambray dress that I bought at Goodwill last year for the sole purpose of it being my fall/ winter  momdrobe main stay. It is easy to add accessories to and I can wear it to the park or the hardware store very easily. 

I can also use the tights to jazz up one of my other favorite navy momfits:

{shirt: American Eagle, skirt: Goodwill, boots: Target, tights: Goodwill}

This skirt is actually a Goodwill find that was a dress from American Eagle. This top was a tad too revealing for this Momma, but the navy with white polka dots (which you can really make out in this photo) was too cute to pass up. So I bought it, chopped the top off and added an elastic waist to make it a skirt.

I did find a cute top that had mustard in it:

{shirt: Goodwill, skirt: Goodwill, boots: Target, tights: Goodwill}

This top fits great, has a really fun pattern and has my mustard in it! It also looks great with jeans:

{shirt: Goodwill, jeans: American Eagle, boots: Target}

I also strayed from my mission a teeny bit... I could not resist this top:

{shirt: Goodwill, jeans: American Eagle, boots: Target}

It is the sweetest buttery yellow with the most beautiful embroidery on it. I had to get it. 

All in all, it was a very successful trip and I love everything that I got. All I really want now is a great mustard scarf. Goodwill saves the day again.

OUTTAKES: What it looks like when you try to take photos of yourself with a 3-year-old around:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mmmm, mustard.

As I have been skimming over my Pinterest boards, I have decided I am in love... with mustard. Not the edible kind (although I love me some sun-dried tomato mustard... YUM!) But I am referring to the color. More specifically in my wardrobe.

I just happen to have a gift card for Goodwill. And when I go tonight, I am going to do something I never do: try to find something specific. That is a task that can be overwhelming at Goodwill because there is SO much to look through, but if I can find a great piece of clothing or accessory for a dollar or two, it is totally worth it. And something in a mustard color seems to be just what I need for fall. A neutral color that can go with a lot of my clothing, yet bright enough to perk me up on a gloomy, cool day.

Perhaps I can find a sweater similar to this:

or a jacket like this:

Even a pair of tights to brighten up some of my dresses:

I have a few dark jackets and sweaters, so a scarf would be the perfect accessory:

Even a cute pair of ballet flats to peep out from under my many pairs of jeans:

At the very very least, I will find something, anything in a mustard fabric that I can deconstruct to make one of these:

Have you ever gone to a thrift shop will a specific item in mind? How did it go?

Wish me luck! I will let you know how it goes. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Life Lessons For My Little Ladies

There are so many life lessons I need to share with my babies. Ideally, they are watching and learning. Ideally I am a role model and I won't need to tell them these things... they will just... know. But, just in case, I keep a running list of the important things in life... just for them...

• a book is always a perfect gift, from babies to adults

• don't be afraid to admit your wrong and say you're sorry

• go barefoot whenever possible

• wear fun colored socks or tights when it's not

• kiss your children at every opportunity you can- at one point they won't let you

• go to the park when the opportunity arises

• go to a farm and pick fresh fruit or vegetables at every season

• dance- alone, with your family, at an event... just dance

• keep my recipes (and both grandmothers') and pass them on and add your own

• volunteer... a lot

• get to know your neighbors, bring a pie or cookies

• your 'first love' will not be your only love

• watch a christmas story and the wizard of oz at least once a year

• accept compliments

• create something every day

• listen when others speak, you will learn something every time

• do not waste precious time fostering useless relationships because you feel obligated

• iron clothes that need it

• return your shopping cart- the exercise will do you good

• always be early

• jump in the leaf pile

• patronize the library... often

• don't ever ride in a car with someone who has been drinking

• learn how to drive standard, it will get you out of a bind someday

• practice random acts of kindness

• live alone at some point in your life

• nurture plants (either inside or outside)

• use a great vocabulary and know what the words mean

• never carry a credit card balance, ever

• live simply

• always practice outdoor activities: hike, ski, etc

• you don't need to know everything, but you need to know how to find the answers

• don't smoke cigarettes

• keep original artwork in your home, even if it created by friends or family

• write thank you notes

• keep snack food on hand to whip up for surprise guests

• keep a fire extinguisher on all levels of your house

• find a hair dresser you love and spend the money on a hair cut you love, you'll feel great

• always RSVP and do it in a timely manner

• read something every single day- newspaper, magazine, especially a book

• create a good sleep schedule and stick to it

• a hand crafted gift is always best

• decorate for holidays- all of them

• marry later in life, enjoy your youth

• always listen to music: in the car, house, headphones, to sleep

• try to find a home with a porch

• never ever wear nail polish unless you can guarantee it will be chip free. nothing looks worse than chipped nail polish

• you have limited time to clean. worry less about 'picking up' and more about 'clean'

• take care of your teeth

• when it comes to cheese, you get what you pay for, splurge once in awhile

• hug whenever possible

• always wear facial moisturizer and sunscreen

• keep some written history/journal/blog for your children

• sit down to a meal as often as possible

•call your mom- she will always be happy to hear your voice.

This list was originally posted as a guest post on a friends blog. She has since shut down her blog but I wanted to make sure my list lived on, so I am reprinting here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I never...


Just for fun, I am linking to Mama Kat's blog and filling you in on 19 things I have never done by the age of 29 (ish) 

  • gotten a name tattoo (thank God!)

• gone to a blog conference (will change for BlogHer 2012! Thanks to my Momma and a great Christmas gift.)

• skydived (This will forever be on my 'never' list. I have no urge to ever purposely throw myself from an airplane... EVER!) 

• been arrested 

• been outside of the america 

• hiked everest (guess that's obvious if I never left the America's... duh...) 

• sang even one note in tune (no matter how hard I try!) 

• had a big ol' wedding 

• seen the movie Titanic 

• had a baby boy 

• done a proper split 

• had a piercing not above the neck 

• owned designer purse (again, this will forever be on the 'never' list.
I find designer purses utterly useless and self indulgent.) 

• got a college degree 

• been to vegas 

• exercised more than 30 days steadily 

• run in a marathon (I guess this will be pretty hard if I can never
train long enough to get in shape.)

• crocheted or knitted  (really really want to learn though) 

• been on ice skates or skis (have been on snowboards, snowshoes and sleds though...
can't live in NH and forgo all snow activities.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Open letter to the Avett Brothers.

I love you. I really do. And you can read that singularly or collectively.

A wonderful friend took me to finally see you live a few weeks ago and I have not gotten you out of my mind every since. I mean your music is infectious and wonderful and happy and amazing. You both have a talent that sends shovers up a girls spine.

And then you have Seth's eyes...

and Scott's smile...

You gentlemen are specimens of pure beauty. Bounding around the stage playing everything from banjos to keyboards, singing, dancing. 

I have listened to you every single day in these past few weeks. Your music makes me happy, makes me dance, gets my groove back. I know I will see you again... although, not soon enough. 

Until then... kisses and hugs.

Love, Michele

P.S. If you are looking for a cute Momma to sneak onto the bus for an illicit tour rendevous (ala Michaele Salahi) I know a girl. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I have strayed.

I am sorry my wonderful blog. After 724 posts and nearly four years... I have strayed.

I cheated on you. It was with someone I have been enamored with for years. One of my biggest crushes in life: Goodwill.

So far I have written a fashion (I use that term quite loosely!) post. I revealed how I spent $12 to update my fall wardrobe. Yeah, I am sort of addicted to shopping there.

And then it happened again last week... I did it again. I wrote a post about our Goodwill Halloween costumes. 

And the thing is... I don't think I can stop. I am sorry, but you might have to share me.

But, hey, I am worth it.

Love, Michele

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Outtakes... when my girls are not all rainbows and butterflies.

I was uploading my photos from Annika's birthday party and I came across these gems... which I had completely forgotten about. I had the camera on a tripod trying to set up some quas- photobooth for the party. I simply asked Acadia if she would sit for a couple of photos so I could test the lighting. She obliged until I finished, "with your sisters." The conversation that ensued:

Me: "Sweetie... just a few pics with your sisters."
Me: "Aww, let's not be mean spirited."
Me: "Cady...."
Acadia: "HMPPPPPPHHH!" (Now her her distinct, audible 'hmmppphh's comes when she crosses her arms in a very animated, overly dramatic manner, as witnessed in photos 2-6.)
Me: "Ok, girls, leave her alone. She wants her own space. Come on, Annika, get off the bench."

Me: "Ok, baby girl... can we get a picture of you now?"
Acadia: "Sure, Mommy!"

I would not let her get her way and treat her sisters like that... if THEY did not teach her that behavior! And now, payback is a bitch ladies.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Party Palace: A Princess Party for a Princess

Annika had her 6th birthday party on Sunday... and it was wonderful! We did something we have never done before: we utilized a real party planner/ party host.

Party Palace is a mom-run business right here in New Hampshire. Greta started Party Palace in 2001 after being told multiple times that the parties she threw for her own son were so amazing that she should make a business of it. And I, for one, am certainly glad that she did. Annika's party was a dream for a little girl and it went off without a hitch.

Greta arrived with Belle a bit before the party and set up a tattoo/ nail polish station and also a light make-up and glitter station:

The guests started to arrive shortly thereafter:

And Belle created necklaces with them all.

She then applied a touch of glitter to their hair:

After all of the princess were properly fancied, Belle danced with them:

Played a bit of limbo:

And then Princess Annika was coronated Princess of the Day:

And, even after all that excitement, Princess Belle was kind enough to sit for photos with all of the girls:

If you have never used a party host or planner before, PLEASE do! Party Palace made creating and hosting Annika's birthday party easy! I actually was able to enjoy some conversation with some of my friends while Greta and Belle amused the girls. They were both fantastic with the kids, making sure they were all at ease and having an absolute blast. You can simply have a character come visit for 1/2 hour or an hour  or have her host a full on tea-party! How much fun would that be for your little one???

Party Palace also offers many other themes: Spa Parties (Ariana is leaning towards this for her next birthday), Diva Parties, Egyptian Adventures and so much more.

Greta also offers parties you can rent and host yourself. For $12 per person, you can host your own Asian Tea Party, Princess Party and many more.  It's such a great deal and saves many resources by not going out to purchase all these items... reuse, reuse reuse!

Find her on Facebook to see all that she has to offer. She just might be letting me give a little something away really soon.... *hint*hint*!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Citar: Childhood

"Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons."  ~Author Unknown

Today was Annika's 6th birthday party. It was beautiful. It was complete with Princess Belle and all of Annika's closest friends. There were yards and yards of pink tulle, cupcakes, tattoos, dancing at the ball, Annika's coronation as princess of the day, twinkle lights, crafts... and did I mention... friends.

Annika was such a happy little girl. The sun was shining. The foliage was glowing. Spirits were high. And she was surrounded by so many that she loves.

Her childhood was extra beautiful today.

Visit Tabitha for more Sunday Citar.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I beg, in honor of my father.

It is not often that I beg... but for this cause, I will.

You may remember that early this summer, my father passed away. He had been suffering from lung cancer, which happens to be the top cancer killer in the US (regardless of gender or ethnicity). Lung cancer kills almost twice as many women as breast cancer, and more than twice as many men as prostate cancer... and I know from first hand experience that it is a painful, horrible death.

 November 5th, I am walking for the Lungevity Foundation whose mission is to have a meaningful and immediate impact on improving lung cancer survival rates, ensure a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients, and provide a community for those impacted by lung cancer. In order to accomplish their mission, LUNGevity funds the most promising research into the early detection and successful treatment of lung cancer. You can support me in one of three ways.

• Simply donate cash money on my event page. (Click the yellow 'Donate' button under my fathers photo.)

• If you want a little more bang for your buck- I will donate 10% of all of my Etsy photo block sales to my walk as long as you enter the code "LUNGEVITY" at the Etsy checkout. That code will also give you 10% off your entire order.

•  Also, I have designed a set of blocks specifically for the Lungevity walk:

$10 from each set of these blocks will go directly to my walk as well. (And they only cost you $15!) I can design these blocks with your own photos and you can gift them to a friend or family member in need of hope...

"Hope is not a dream but a way of making dreams become reality."

What I hope is that all of my friends, family, blog readers and subscribers will help me honor my father and donate even $1 to this great cause. I know that times are tough. I have over 700 blog readers and subscribers, and if they could all donate $1, I would reach my $1000 goal.

Thank you very much for any help you may provide... karma is smiling at you.