Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 12 of 2012

*sigh* Another year gone by in the blink of an eye. Last January, I started Project 52 {one picture every week taken with intentions to fit the specified prompt}. That lasted a whole 7 weeks. But I did accomplish a photo a day challenge in February. Turns out I had a {short lived} knack for urban street photography. And although I quit Project 52, it didn't matter because I became an associate wedding photographer for Misha Media! With the Bench Mob being an unexpected opportunity, I cannot wait to see where this year takes me. But before we ring in 2013, let's have a look at my top 12 pictures {of Mia} from 2012...ok, so it's a little lot more than 12.

{waiting for the doctor at her 2 year check up}

{excited for her 2nd birthday party!}

{just like mommy, she knew right away what to do with her birthday present}

{my little sous chef in training}

{birthday hugs for mama!}

{bye bye Boston, it was fun few days!}

{this little lady does makeup with me every morning}

{she spent so many afternoons on the balcony happily blowing bubbles}

{my little mini me loves helping me cook}

{more fun on our little balcony}

{getting ready for the pool, it was such a hot summer!}

{waiting for brunch after seeing Pinkalicious, the musical!}

{2nd generation cousins in the same exact spot where me and my cousins used to take pictures}

{she always gets ice cream from Grandma}

{enjoying neighborhood festivals with friends and family!}

{my girly girl with her purses and "high shoes"}

{the second I got home she was anxious to see what was in the box}

{girl could sing, dance and dress up all day}

{this outfit was all her, silly girl!}

{Great Grandma loves having Mia over}

{such a big girl in her soccer class}

Which one is your fave?? Click here to see my top 11 from 2011.
Be safe out there tonight! And may next year be even better than the last...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cute Starbucks Gift Cards - Teacher Gifts

We bought Mia's pre-school teachers Starbucks gift cards for the holidays. When searching Pinterest for "starbucks gift cards" a lot of these came up and so did this clever printable. I didn't download the printable, but I did use the cute little saying of "Thanks a latte." With one brown paper bag {from my wine again!}, one sheet of tissue paper and a marker, we were all set.
Terrible picture! Results of a tired late night blogger who finally owns a smartphone!

With gift cards inside, brown paper to look like a coffee drink, white tissue paper to look like whipped cream, our gift cards are much more presentable! Mia carried these to school today for her dear teachers. And almost cried when she dropped one and a candy cane broke. Apparently they look like the real deal since Doug was confused why I let Mia carry four drinks. They're not real drinks Dad!
Hurry, you can still pull this cute teacher's gift off before it's time for winter break!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Instagram - Fat Mum Slim Photo a Day

I did it. I brought myself into the 21st century and got a smart phone! Am I the last one on Earth to do this? Just like Facebook, I'm sooo slow {by a few years} to buy into the latest trends. But I'm ok with that. And now I'm on instagram {follow me at lilmamastuart} and hopped on the Fat Mum Slim photo a day bandwagon. Here's my first two weeks of instagramming...don't judge, I'm new to this!

1. 8 o'clock - bathtime!
2. peace - nothing more peaceful than a sleeping baby...with her three puppy friends.

3. something you held - snapping a photo of holding Mia's hand on the way to school was not working. But a knife will do!

4. black & white - thanks Frances for picking your wine based on cool labels!

5. looking up - on the el platform...

6. from where you live - as terrible as the CTA can be at times, I love the sights of my city.

 7. stars - on the sidewalk at my train station. Can anyone tell which one?

8. someone you love - you guessed it! Naps in the car on busy weekends are pretty much a guarantee.

9. out + about - on the way to soccer class on a rainy December day. What the heck?! It should be snowing, not raining!

10. under - one day I don't make the bed and I go to sleep after my husband and this is what happens! A giant blanket ball. Really!?

11. sweet - an afternoon snack. Reminds me of my Grandma and the cookies out of a round blue tin.

12. hat - we love our bear hat, thanks Uncle Jeff!

13. lights - view from the el on the way home from work.

14. something green - results of a blue and green candy cane...

 15. outdoors - Christmas music in the rain just doesn't feel right!! This shot is definitely my favorite so far.

16. something you made -  a good ol' peanut butter sandwich for lunch

Should I follow you? Leave your instagram name in the comments! Play along with #fmsphotoaday for the rest of the month...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Where I Was...

Just like how you will always remember where you were when you heard about the 9/11 attacks, I don't think I'll forget when I heard about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

On Friday, I took the day off for Mia's first holiday show at pre-school. After practicing time and time again, I watched Mia and her 20 friends sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells with their precious toddler voices.

The holiday festivities continued with gingerbread cookie decorating and painting ornaments. I headed back upstairs for lunch, looking forward to an afternoon by myself. With my day off, I planned on taking care of Christmas errands efficiently, quietly and in peace, without a toddler in tow. 

After watching the 11 o'clock news while eating lunch, my plans changed. It is very rare that I react emotionally to the news. But this time. It was different. Like so many others, I shed tears trying to wrap my head around why and how someone could do such a terrible thing to innocent children. Their precious lives have been stolen from them and families are left with gaping holes in their hearts. How will the families go about their daily lives without their little ones who had so much ahead of them? How will the children who survived but witnessed the horror not have a tainted outlook on life? How can you not wonder, what has our world come to!? Bless those teachers' souls who put their lives on the line to shield their children. As my heart weighed heavy for those families whose lives are forever changed by no fault of their own, I couldn't go about my day as planned. I picked up my little one early to give her extra hugs, smother her with wet kisses, take in her scent and to keep her little heart beside mine. The errands could wait.

May those innocent children and brave teachers rest in peace while the families take {some} comfort knowing our nation mourns with them.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to Make DIY Reindeer Antlers

One day Mia said, "Mom, can you sew me reindeer antlers? And for my friends at school too." This girl asks and she shall receive! Here's a tutorial on how to make your own cheap DIY reindeer antlers. Ok it's basically the same as my Mickey Mouse ears tutorial, but still.

Time: 5 minutes
Cost: $1
Materials: Headband, fabric glue, 1 sheet brown stiffened felt
1. Fold felt in half. Using a white pencil or crayon, draw outline of antlers with a tab at the bottom (to fold over the headband).

2. With the felt folded in half, cut antlers out. You should have 2 antlers.
3. Check placement on headband, fold tab on dotted line back around headband and glue down. Hold or use a binder clip to hold in place for a few minutes to let the glue set.
Ta-da! My little Rudolph is ready for her holiday show at school tomorrow! She's been practicing and we love love love her little voice. She also wants to wear these PJs every night! I'd post a same time last year comparison, but it doesn't look like she's changed!