Emotional Moment Thanks to…

“On the day I was born…I became yours and you became mine”

Thank you Carter’s commercial for always bringing me to tears! Love their new commercial and it reminds me every time I see it to give my little miss a kiss (I’m pretty sure she is covered in my kisses at the end of every day, but I gotta get them in while I can…I figure I only have a year or two tops before she starts wiping them off!). I captured these adorable pictures of her snuggling with me the other day, again I got to get in these moments while I can! It’s days like today that make me appreciate all the wonderful people and moments I have in my life. I am feeling very blessed today to have a healthy family, a beautiful daughter, and a wonderful hubby! Cherish every moment, life is unpredictable and we are blessed with each day God gives us on this earth with the people that matter most!

Snuggle Time

Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope you are enjoying this day with your loved ones, family, and friends!

-Mel

Weekly Eye Candy – Courtesy of Beabout

Turquoise Ring -Back

Well I have been a pretty busy girl this last week. Sorry for the lack in posts and follow-up to my “If These Wall Could Talk – Part 1” post…I know you are probably on the edge of your seat for the second part but I have a really good excuse. Last week I was busy working on getting my Etsy shop up and running for the accessories I’ve been working on the last couple of months!

Beabout Etsy Logo

Let me give you a little background, I ‘opened’ my Beabout site back in 2009, had it open for a few months and closed it once I got discouraged about my products and business. Now, fast forward 4 years later…and I finally decided it was time to get busy and get creative. Maybe it was my new-found creative energy from having the little miss and pledging to her that I would get back to the things I love or my New Year’s resolution to no longer make excuses (I am a notorious excuses person, over the past 4 years I have come up with any excuse I could as to why I wasn’t doing anything with my Etsy shop….first it was I planning a wedding, then I was a newlywed, then I was working 2 jobs, then I was pregnant, then I had a new baby, etc. etc. etc.)….either way, something light the fire in me to get back to making items! Hooray for enthusiasm!!

Unrealistically, I figured I could crank out a good selection of items in my shop over the summer especially since I was ‘off’ work for the summer. Ha, I soon discovered that was really ambitious of me…man, watching/chasing/entertaining a little one is a very time consuming job especially when they start walking and get restless during the day! (I would call these restless episodes when my daughter turned into a ‘monster’ because she certainly acted/sounded like one!) 

Anywho, somehow I managed to find some time (usually after the hubby and little miss went to bed) to make some fun stuff that I can’t wait to show and share! Please check out some pictures of my items and check out the link to my Etsy shop in my “Shop” section on the menu bar or by going to www.beabout.etsy.com

Blk Scarf

Little Bird Pin 2

Tie Dye 3

Zebra Headband

Chevron Nuckle Ring

Free Bird Pin

Hope you enjoy the items as much as I did making them!!

Next up, getting some items ‘stocked’ in my Dear Amari shop for Home Décor items!(Hopefully sooner than later!) No more excuses, right!?

-Mel

If These Walls Could Talk – Part I

There is nothing like being cooped up in the house that makes you feel like the walls are closing in on you. While the sun was shining brightly outside I was staring at the walls of our house wishing to feel better! Being stuck inside the last several days, I began to look around at the beautiful home we have created. While it has felt very humble in comparison to our friends’ homes, who have bought fixer uppers and have remodeled them to create gorgeous kitchen’s and spaces. I know that we have filled our home with the things that matter most to us. To the outsider, it may appear that we have very eclectic taste in home décor but I think we (mostly me) collect items that speak to us as a couple/family.

Our kitchen has handwritten framed recipes from my grandma sitting  next to bird figurines (I’ve always been drawn to birds, can’t explain it) and sitting next to the bird figurines are Venezuelan baskets that were gifted to us from a family friend. Again, very eclectic! It may be just me but I think somehow they go together.

Here are a few pictures of our home…

Kitchen
Eclectic Kitchen

Recipe
Framed Recipe

Wine Bar
Wine “Bar”

Bathroom1
Hubby’s Bathroom (The silver “canvas” was a DIY project…I use an old shoebox and a repurposed scarf!)

Bathroom2
My Bathroom

Bedroom2

My true sanctuary in our home is our bedroom. This may sound crazy but I chose white bed sheets and a white duvet cover to feel like I was crawling into a lush resort bed every night. A little mind trick to bring myself into a relaxed state right before drifting off to sleep. And for less than $100 for a king size set bought over a year ago, I think we’ve gotten our money’s worth! I just love every little detail in our bedroom, from the picture frames to the rustic bird and chandelier pictures hanging on either side of the window. The only thing that’s missing is a headboard, but I have a DIY project in mind for that one!

Light
My favorite piece in our bedroom is this light switch plate that my mom purchased from a local art fair. I just love the detailing in it, it just feels like something authentic that I collected from my worldly travels (I wish!).

Mirror
I have a few other DIY projects in mind for the house and when I do them I’ll be sure to post them here to share!

I feel so blessed to call this humble little house our home because I know that we have filled the walls of this home with love and laughter!

-Mel

Weekly Eye Candy – Courtsey of Honest Co.

First off, I had every intention of posting this “Weekly Eye Candy” on Thursday but then I caught the dreaded summer sickness. This time in the form of… the stomach bug. Yucky! There is nothing worse than getting sick during the summer, in fact, it shouldn’t even be allowed! Luckily, the little miss just seemed to get a little bit of it and most likely I caught it from her. She likes to lick the grocery cart when I’m not looking, gross I know! The hubby was spared from the sickness, lucky him!

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This week we received a very anticipated package from Honest Co. I have been hearing friends rave about this company’s products for months and finally went and checked it out and signed up to get on their mailing list. Shortly after, I received a coupon for a discounted monthly diaper/wipe shipment and decided it was time to check them out!

Since the little miss was born we have been struggling to find diapers that don’t cause her to break out, either in the diaper or near the top elastic band. Her doctor told us that she may have an allergy to the ingredients (aka…chemicals) in certain disposable diapers. Lets just say that we have been through all the major brands only to discover that she has a reaction to ALL of them. So frustrating to struggle to find a disposable diaper that doesn’t cause her to be absolutely miserable. I contemplated going the cloth diaper route, but our area doesn’t have a cloth diaper cleaning service…and I’m sorry, I don’t have the stomach for washing them. More power to the parents out there that can, for us, this isn’t an option unless it’s our ONLY option to make her happy/healthy.

diaper-bundle

Then I heard about Honest Co. and their chemical free, non-toxic, all natural fiber disposable diapers and we decided to check them out.  Thanks to the coupon for a discounted monthly shipment, my hubby and I decide it was time to check them out. At this point, we didn’t have anything to lose! The first thing I noticed is that their product labeling is absolutely adorable and the diapers have the cutest patterns and prints I’ve ever seen. (You know your a mom when…you get excited about cute diapers!). I had a hard time deciding on which ones to order but decided on the multi color floral print, the peacock feather print, white, and the candy print.

Diaper

Peacock

I anxiously waited for the package to arrive, and about 5 days later there it was waiting on the front porch one afternoon. I was so excited that I ripped it open immediately! (Again, you know your a mom when you no longer get excited about receiving a delivery of clothes for yourself but a shipment of adorable diapers for your kiddo!). The packaging and diapers did not disappoint my expectations, so cute!

Now only time will tell if her she starts to feel better. Here’s hoping these diapers do the trick and get her to quit scratching her back and get her diaper rash to go away!

Diaper Love

She loves the packaging too!

Packing

I also ordered a free trial of the skincare products to try out. If you’re thinking about checking them out as well…they do offer a free trial, all you have to pay is a $5.95 shipping/handling fee. Well worth the price to try out non-toxic, all natural, organic and safe skin care products, diapers, and vitamins. Check them out…www.honest.com!

-Mel

Weekly Eye Candy – Courtesy of the Farmers’ Market

Well it’s Friday, quite possibly the best day of the week! Not only because it’s the end of the work week but it’s also the day that me and little miss venture to our local farmer’s market. I don’t know what it is about the farmer’s market, but I have become increasing obsessed with it as I’ve gotten older. There is just something about the open air feel of vendors and farmers’ selling their produce and goods that gets me all giddy. I seriously get excited all week to go and even count down the days till Friday! I love seeing all the beautiful and bountiful fruit and vegetables, and knowing that the produce is fresh! It could be just a mental thing, but I like to believe that the produce was freshly picked that morning or the day before. Plus, leaving there with a tote full of items for less than $20 doesn’t hurt either!

Over the years, the farmers’ market we frequent has really grown. Usually there is a local musician playing some delightful music as you peruse through the various booths. There are food vendors as well as local wineries and breweries there to entice new admirers. I keep it very ‘G’ rated and stick to the produce booths. There are also flower booths there, and I’m not sure why, but they seem to be pretty pricey.  I’ve only been tempted to purchase a bouquet of peonies when they’re there, they are just so beautiful I can’t resist! (They’re my favorite!).

Here are a few pictures I captured today for your enjoyment! There’s nothing like a little Farmer’s Market eye candy to start your weekend off right!

Gorgeous flowers, and you get to pick what you want in your bouquet. Who could ask for more? Perfection!

Farmers Market flowers

Check out these yummy peaches…who could resist?! And for a $1.50 a pound, I’m sold!

Peaches- FM

-Mel

Here Fishy, Fishy…

It seems like everywhere I look and everyone I know is talking about Discovery Channel’s Shark Week! I think it must be human nature to be fascinated with such a large and complex animal. I however, don’t necessary share in everyone’s awe of this great creature. I am terrified of sharks, and by terrified, I mean full on panic attacks any time I’m in the ocean. Here’s one example. On our honeymoon in Hawaii, against my better judgment, I let my hubby talk me into snorkeling. I guess you can call it denial of how severe my fear of sharks truly is, but it became instantly apparent as I was getting ready to jump into the ocean. There I was, all geared up ‘ready’ to jump in when I had a full on fear panic attack. My hubby calmed me down and talked me into getting in the water and I was so glad I did. The sea life was so beautiful and I’m glad I didn’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity!
Keep Calm
(This adorable print can be found at http://www.keepcalmshop.etsy.com)

Getting back to everyone’s love of sharks, I have forced myself to watch a few shows featured on shark week. While this hasn’t done anything for my fear of sharks, or the ocean in general, they are pretty interesting animals. This got me thinking, if everyone is in love with watching shark week…why not get together for a Shark Week party! While searching the internet I found some very cute and cleaver ideas on party decorating with a shark theme, here are a few of my favorite ideas…

Shark Week Decorations

Shark Food Printables
These adorable shark themed party prints can be found at http://www.prettyprovidence.com!

Shark Week Cupcakes(

(None of the pictures are my own, so I can’t take credit for them)

Hope you all enjoy Shark Week and let me know if you end up hosting a Shark Week party. After all, it’s only here for one week a year! (I think I can attempt to get over my fear for just one week a year…at least here’s hoping!)

Cheers!

Mel

Home is Where the Heart Is…

They say “Home is Where the Heart Is” and I couldn’t agree more, and that’s why I’m so embarrassed to admit that it took me over 3 years to hang more than just mirrors on the walls in our living room/dining room. Pretty sad huh?! Well call it motivation to prepare for our little miss’ birthday party but I finally finished decorating the walls in our living room. Hooray!! (Insert small applause!)

I guess the problem lies in the fact that because I love design, decorating, home décor, etc….I have a tendency to want to change our decorations frequently. So I was having a hard time ‘committing’ to a design style. Once I finished the DIY projects I completed for our living room and it has now had about two months to marinate, I’m beginning to rethink how I want to redecorate our living room. I know, I know…don’t worry I won’t do it just yet. I’ll do my best to wait until we move into another house (hopefully sometime in the next year or two!). Getting back to my DIY projects…

Gallary Wall

I have been looking on Pinterest for ideas on how I want to create some DIY projects for our living room, and found a lot of ideas on how to make a gallery wall. Sorry in advance for my obsession with Pinterest! I have been collecting pieces that I have wanted to use from a variety of places. I had two pictures that I already knew I wanted to use, a letter initial I picked up at Hobby Lobby, a mirror from Target, a print that I ordered online and the DIY project that I made for the hubby’s first Father’s Day! Through trial and error and a vary patient hubby that is in charge of hanging stuff in our house (I always hang things crooked!), we got the combo we liked. I love it!

DIY Projects 011

Now that we finally got something on the huge wall in our living room, it was time to finally complete the two canvases on either side of our front window. I have to shamefully admit that I have left these canvases hanging on the wall as blank reminders of my inability to commit to a design style for about five months or so…sad, yes I know. I decided to paint them an abstract pattern design to go with my eclectic global style.

DIY Projects 007

They didn’t take as long as I anticipated, for the chevron-like pattern I kind of ‘winged it’ and didn’t like how it initially turned out so I played with adding some chalk to it and liked the results much better!

Bird Painting

For the leaf-like pattern I cut out a stencil out of cardstock paper and traced the stencil over and over again with a pencil. I then painted each outline with the same grey paint I used for the other one. I enjoyed the results with adding the chalk to the other so much that I decided to add chalk to this canvas as well. I love this one better! I think the chalk adds some dimension to the patterns, what do you think?

Leaf Painting

Now that I had (finally!) completed hanging stuff on the walls in our living room, the stark white doors in our kitchen that house our washer and dryer (I’m pretty sure our 90’s era house was designed by a man….washer/dryer in the kitchen, really??!) just looked too plain. So I decided to add a couple of more canvases, why not!

DIY Projects 002

The one of the left I usually like to do a design for the season, it’s so fun…I love it! I had this one up by its lonesome for a while, but it looked unbalanced. So I added the other two. The top one is corkboard glued to a canvas that proved to be a handy home for the 6+ wedding invitiations we had to keep track of in May. (See my post: “Tis the Season for…Love” for more info!). The bottom one has an original bird created by yours truly and I usually use it to keep track of random groceries that I had a hard time remembering when I would make my grocery list. Pretty clever, yes I know!~ Just as a side note, the large canvas on the left I used chalkboard spray paint to cover the canvas and the bottom right one I just used black acrylic paint…they are literally the same! They have the same effect and the chalk cleans off of the same as well. So, my advice is to save your money and just use acrylic spray paint/paint when covering a canvas you plan to use as a chalkboard!

Hope you have as much fun creating DIY projects as I do and that this has inspired you to create some of your own!

 

Cheers!

Mel

Oh My…It’s a Minnie Mouse 1st Birthday Party!

Mom's Camera 291

After months of thought and planning, our little miss celebrated her first birthday with a vintage Minnie Mouse party! I decided to save some money and make almost everything we had at her party by hand…decorations, cake, food, desert bar, etc! By doing this I came to a harsh realization…I am not Martha! Granted she has a whole team of people who plan and execute the beautiful parties that she “effortless” creates. The same parties that make a first time mommy think that she can also “effortlessly” create by hand. I personally blame Martha and Pinterest for creating unrealistic expectations on how easy making everything by hand can be. At least I like to tell myself this when I am still up at 2 am making party decorations by hand! Nevertheless, I think I created a beautiful 1st birthday party that even Walt Disney would be proud of! (Again, something I have to tell myself!).

Char's 1 Year Old! 189

The day of the party got off to a rocky start due to the unpredictable weather in this area in June! We had rain, thunder, lightening, and hail…oh my! Luckily, the weather cleared out and it turned out to be a hot and very humid morning. Fortunately, by the time the party started we didn’t have any more rain and the sun made its appearance, so I can’t complain too much. We had a great turnout, we had our wonderful friends come out and show their love and support for our little (not so little anymore, sad!) girl and most of our amazing family came as well!

We had a buffet bar set up so people could enjoy the yummy food as they pleased and a drink station with lavender lemonade and raspberry lemonade. A little tip, I put lavender sprigs and raspberries in the ice cubes so they wouldn’t clog the spout on the beverage servers and you would still get the flavor and pretty aesthetics… it worked great! Decorating the food table proved to be kinda tricky, but I improvised and made napkin bows to decorate the table. I think it worked pretty well!

Char's 1 Year Old! 194

I also made a dessert table with treat bags, so people could take home the yummy treats with them. It had Mickey Mouse animal crackers (Thank you Costco!), frosted circus animal crackers, strawberry milkshake whoppers with gumballs, and cake pops. Everyone seemed to enjoy the dessert table and the delightful treats! Just a little tip, if you are planning to make cake pops for your next party…plan for them to eat up about 3 hours or so and buy extra candy melts. I had to learn the hard way, its a pretty labor intensive process but they turned out adorable…so they were worth the headache!

Char's 1 Year Old! 191

Char's 1 Year Old! 192

Last but not least, what 1st birthday wouldn’t be complete without a smash cake! For anyone who doesn’t have kids or aren’t around little ones, the smash cake is were the birthday girl/boy gets to make a total mess of themselves and eat lots of cake. It’s pretty cute! Our little miss has a dairy allergy, so I had to be really careful picking out a cake mix (I debated making a cake from scratch but knew it would take to much time), so she got treated to my favorite cake…Red Velvet! I decorated it all cute with pink frosting and cut out the cake decorations with an edible sheet. This was a pretty nifty find, apparently they make an edible decorating sheet so you can cut out the decoration of your choice (I found it at Walmart!)! I was pretty pleased with my creation and put it in the freezer so it wouldn’t melt before our little miss dug into it. Unfortunately I didn’t think it would freeze the cake to an almost solid when she was ready to dig into it. Oops…lesson learned!  It worked out better though, less mess for her to get into!

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Mom's Camera 294

All in all, I think it turned out to be an adorable birthday party that even Minnie herself would have wanted to attend!

Char's 1 Year Old! 199

Cheers!

Mel

DIY Projects – Mother’s Day/Father’s Day

As I promised in my Mother’s Day post, I (with the help of my sister and cousin) had planned some fun DIY gifts for the special parents in our lives. For our Stepmom, we wanted to create something fun that she could put on display that was also a keepsake momento. Well we started brainstorming, and searching Pinterest for an idea and found a cute stepstool that someone had created with children’s footprints on it. So we took this idea and ‘ran with it’, and created a cute and fun “Nana’s Little Helper’s” stool. It turned out very cute and of course it just had to be coral, my Stepmom’s favorite color! (If it looks a little odd with just

Nana Stool

For my Mom, my sister and I wanted to make a DIY project as well! She always likes gifts we make better than ones we buy, must be a mom thing! So we decided to take a wooden plaque and put our handprints on it in the shape of a heart and our little one’s handprints over the top of ours. It turned out adorable!

Mom

For my Dad, we wanted to make something DIY as well but wanted to include a spiritual aspect as well. I found a saying on Pinterest (okay, I’m beginning to realize just how addicted I am to this site!) and we tweaked it a bit. Instead of putting ‘Daddy’ at the top and signing it ‘Love your little girl’ we put the kids handprints at the top next to their name, which I liked must better than the version I saw.

Dad

For my Stepdad ‘Papa’, I decided to make a stepping stone for him to include in his garden. He’s a big outdoor type and him and my mom have a gorgeous property that they have beautifully landscaped. I thought a stepping stone with the little miss’ handprints and footprints on it would be perfect!

For my very sweet Mother-in-Law, my husband had an awesome fire pit made for her outdoor oasis that they have created. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to capture a picture so a description of it will have to do. It is a large metal circle, like the size of a tractor tire, with fire vents on the sides. It looks pretty awesome in person, sorry no picture to share!

Phew…that was a lot of DIY projects but with any DIY project, once you finish one you beginning planning your next!

Cheers!

Mel

A Father’s Day Brunch

Father’s Day weekend turned out to be a busy weekend for us, Saturday we spent the day celebrating the hubby’s first Father’s Day and that night we headed out to celebrate my good friend’s surprise 30th birthday! Sunday the hubby was working again, while me and the little miss had big plans to head out to my Dad and Stepmom’s for a Father’s Day brunch. My very talented Stepmom loves to host parties and is very good at it! So I had an idea that she would put on quite a spread (she’s an amazing cook and baker) and would have a nice tablescape set up for the afternoon. I had NO idea that she had planned such a beautiful party to celebrate all the men in our lives. She not only had planned the day for my Dad, my sister’s husband and my hubby, but had also invited my Stepdad and my Grandpa (my stepdad’s dad) out for the day as well! I thought that was very thoughtful. Our cousin (sister) and sweet Aunt even joined us for the day, it’s always great to see them and spend time together!

My Dad and Stepmom have a beautifully decorated log cabin that sits atop a hill overlooking their own commercially grown organic blueberries, cherries and apples. They have a gorgeous view and it’s a wonderful place to spend some time with family, reflecting on all of life’s blessings!
Char's 1 Year Old! 182
When we showed up she had tables set up out on the grass that was complete with large blue umbrella’s and a table setting that spoke to summer, that should be right around the corner. There were lots of fun bright colors throughout! She even got a mini picnic table for the kiddos with its own striped umbrella with fun colors for summer. So cute!
Char's 1 Year Old! 179

Char's 1 Year Old! 181
The food was delicious, we had salmon with a homemade mango fruit composte salsa, bbq chicken, potato salad, buttermilk biscuits, and the list goes on and on of the delicious homemade treats she created. We even got to sample some of her jams from her new line of specialty spreads, she’s about to launch a second line of speciality spreads under the brand Lulu’s Big Blue Barn. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out her spreads, apple butter, and pie fillers you are definitely missing out on all of these yummy organic treats! Check out all of her amazing treats at www.middletonorganics.com. My personal favorites are the apple butter (I like to use it for a chicken stuffed apple recipe I’ll feature soon) and the ‘Apples Galore and More Fruit Filling’, it is amazing on ice cream. All of her spreads are delicious and you would not be disappointed with any of them!
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It turned out to be a truly wonderful afternoon spent visiting with family and chasing after our little ones! Every day is truly a blessing and it’s nice to get family together to remind ourselves just how blessed we are!

Cheers!

Mel