Monday, July 26, 2010

boys and their toys

my little h loves his tractors and really anything with wheels. he hooks them up together and gets right to work building roads, planting fields, tearing down buildings.

i think it is so funny that this picture is his uncles.....25 years ago playing with the same tractor only a little bit shiner!

what can i say, boys will be boys!

i am linking up with tuesdays unwrapped and i have added a Mr. Linky below....i would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if you would link up. for no other reason than i want to visit you! link to your blog or your favorite post or your favorite project....get me hooked on your blog :) i promise, pinkie swear to visit AND say hello!

so there you go! i can't wait to visit. please link back here on your blog when you have the chance. also, please visit elizabeth's story on my blog and enter the giveaway!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

10 things i ((love)) sunday

hey everyone, i am trying something new this week and i want to make it a regular feature because this world is full of great finds just waiting to be spotted. i am also having some help this week from catherine of bumpkin bears. she is a wonderful artist and these are a few of the things she ((loves)) this sunday. scroll down to see more about her as well and visit her shop as she is having a christmas in july sale.

also, please don't forget the GIVEAWAY! put your name in the hat!

1. Wool Giraffe from -
2. Bluebell Meadows photo - from Ginger Lilly Tea --
3. Baby's Nest - Custom engraved stone - from -
4. Gorgeous Daisy knitted Bunny from YOomi-
5.Precious Liberty fabric Sundress from Daisy Fleur -
6. Bird Mobile - from -
7. Bird on a Branch Appliqued onesie - from -
8. Flower hair accessories from Millylillyrose -
9. Bubs Bears - Baby Keep sake Patchwork Bears made from your little one's outgrown baby clothes - a perfect way to remember the early days -
10. Gorgeous Baby shoes - from -

I’m Catherine Young, the Artist that brings Bumpkin Bears and Friends alive for you. Growing up amongst the English countryside gave me a life long love of nature and all the animals that are part of it. My storybook imagination never stopped as I grew up, always busy creating hand made gifts and stories based on the animal friends I would meet on my daily adventures, through the apple orchard and out across the fields!

Later on at College and University I studied Art, Textiles, Photography and Communications further heightening my love of design. Moving to Belgium and discovering the world of Artist bears opened a pathway to fulfilling a dream of running my own creative business. Out of the nickname, Country Bumpkin, which my Granny gave me, Bumpkin Bears & Friends was born.

My nostalgic images capture the simple pleasures of childhood from collecting Spring flowers, tea parties, storytime by a warm fire… As a child I would lose myself gazing into Art, found in books and in frames. It is now my dream that others too can loose themselves into my Art and be taken away into a carefree world.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

one mom's elizabeth and a WIN on wednesday

it is totally your lucky day. i would like for you to meet elizabeth, mom to addison, navy wife, and a bright beautiful person. she is also offering up a giveaway from her shop!! read along and get to know a little about her world.
I have my teaching credential and Masters Degree in Education, and used to teach at-risk children. I am now a stay-at-home-mom to my wonderful daughter Addison. My husband was in the Navy, and continues to work in the same field, which allows me to stay home. I couldn’t be happier! I love to do crafts whenever I get the chance, and dream of one day owning a home with a craft room!

What kind of house do you live in, are you and the kids happy here or is there anything you terribly miss?

We currently live in an apartment which we moved into while my husband was in the Navy, since we weren’t sure if he would stay in or not, we didn’t want anything permanent. I love the fact that there is a lot of closet space and storage, but miss having a yard!

Do you like to spend time on decorating your home and the children's room?

I love decorating!!! Unfortunately, with an apartment, there is only so much you can do. When we had our daughter, I had so much fun decorating her room, and even now, I am always finding things to add to it!

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?

I don’t really look for inspiration anywhere. I just do what I like, even if it may not be appealing to others. I love watching HGTV and getting ideas, mostly on what styles and colors compliment one another.

What are your children's favorite items in your house?

The television! Being a schoolteacher, I know that is a no-no, but my daughter absolutely loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! Other than the television and her toys, she loves to play in the kitchen! She likes to get the measuring cups out of the drawer and carry them around with things in them. She also loves pots and pans, which I think most children do!
What places in your new neighborhood do you like to go to for shopping?

I love Old Navy. You can get so many cute things there, and their prices are reasonable. I also love Target! You can get absolutely everything there.

What's it like to raise a child in your town?

Amazing! We have everything here! The zoo, museums, the beach, baseball and football stadiums, culture, history, etc. There is always something to do here!

Who do you consider is a good example for your children?

In this day and age, it is so hard to find someone that would be considered a good example, especially since no one is perfect. I think that anyone that values their family, education, work, church, and the many opportunities that are given to them would be a great role model.

What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?

Any day where my daughter is not whiney, we are happy! I love taking her to the beach and watching her have fun in the water, even when it’s not very warm, and then sit up on the sand and play with her toys. It’s amazing how much fun she can have with sand toys!

Can you tell us a funny story, quote or remark one of your children recently made or happened?

My daughter LOVES to have her toenails painted (at 19 months old)! We use her ‘time out’ chair to paint her nails in the living room, and the other day I asked my husband to grab me her nail clippers. Without being asked or even acknowledged, she immediately brought her ‘time out’ chair into the living room and sat down. It was so cute!

Can you mention some of your how-to-raise-your-kid values?

Children should always have stability in the home, no matter what. Even a single parent can provide a stable home. They shouldn’t have to always see people coming or going in their lives. They should be happy, but know that things will not always go their way, and should learn to deal with that. Praise is good, but too much can lead to a very needy child. Praising a child for every bite of food that they take is a little much. Education is extremely important. If you have the opportunity to go to school, do it. For most of your education, going to school is mandatory. Making the choice to further your education will take you places and open up doors that you never knew were there. Another thing that is really important to me is to raise a child that is not spoiled. Just because you have everything you could ever dream of, does not mean you are spoiled. When you expect to get those things, and don’t appreciate what you have, that’s when there’s a problem.
What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?

My daughter is still a little young for a lot of DIY projects, but when she was one, right before Christmas, I traced her hand and made a handprint wreath out of scrapbook paper. I framed it, and now we have a decoration that we can use every year.

Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?

For me, the words clean and crafting do not go hand in hand! I dream of having a craft room with a door which I can close at the end of craft time!
Are you a crafter or DIY person?

DIY. I have always loved to put things together myself. Most everything that I make has been from figuring out how to do it on my own.

Any nice decoration ideas how to hang them, keep them or use them as presents?

I read about someone who would save up all of the (paper) projects that their child would do each year. At the end of the year they would choose one or two that were the most special to them, and file them in a file box. You can also add certificates and awards to that box, that way it is all in one place.

How do you like to celebrate birthdays and other special days in your house?

We had a big party for my daughters first birthday. It was fun, but a lot of work! This year we are going to take her somewhere fun on her birthday. I will be spending my birthday this year (the big 3-0) at a day spa with my husband…relaxing!

What are favorite games in your home?

Since my daughter cannot play board games yet, we like to play games with balls. Sometimes we will just pass a ball back and forth, and other times we will kick around a soccer ball. As for my husband and I, we love to play Uno!

What kind of sports do your children like to do and are you very involved?

My daughter and I are currently taking a summer soccer class for toddlers 18-24 months. She likes to throw the ball more than she likes to kick it. Maybe she can be a goalie!

Are there musical instruments in your house?

No. When I was younger my parents bought a piano hoping that I would take lessons. I refused! My husband was in band when he was younger, so I know he will want to introduce our daughter to instruments, but as for me, I have always had an aversion to playing instruments.

What are all time favorite books for the children?

My all-time favorite childrens book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. As far as books for the younger ones, I love all of the Eric Carle books (i.e Polar Bear, Polar Bear) and any of the Disney Classics.

What are nice activities you can do with children in your place and what could you recommend when people are visiting?

There are so many things to do here, I don’t know where to begin!!! There is the New Children’s Museum in Downtown San Diego, multiple museums at Balboa Park, The Childrens Pool in La Jolla, San Diego Zoo, Coronado Island, Sea World, multiple beaches, football game at Qualcomm Stadium, or baseball at Petco Park…

What movies do your children like to watch, is there one from your childhood you would love to show them too?

My daughter loves any Mickey Mouse Clubhouse movies! She could literally watch them all day long! I loved Mary Poppins as a child, and would watch it every day. I can’t wait until she’s old enough to really understand it.

How do they prefer to spend their leisure time?

Anywhere with water! She loves the beach and the swimming pool.

Are you a cook or food lover or both?

Definitely a food lover! I like to bake, and am still learning how to cook. I am not a bad cook, I just don’t like it.

What kind of place do you like to go to on vacation with and or without the children?
We haven’t gone anywhere without our daughter yet, but we have a great time when we go to Palm Springs. It’s the desert so it’s really warm, but it’s fun to swim all day and not have to worry about work or anything else. We usually meet up with family out there and have so much fun!

How do you prepare for a trip, any useful tips?

LISTS LISTS LISTS… We went on a 13-day road trip when my daughter was almost 11 months old. We were going to be in 18 degree weather one day (Colorado), and 85 degrees the next (Las Vegas), so there were so many different things that I needed to pack. I made a list for each place that we were going and what we would need. We ended up staying at 4 different hotels and didn’t forget to bring anything along!

What place do your children love to go to?

The zoo! I take my daughter at least once a week while my husband is at work, and she loves to see the Po’s (hippos).

Tips for traveling with a plane or a long-time trip on the road with children?

We haven’t taken a trip on a plane yet, but definitely have experience on the road with a baby! Just make sure you have enough of everything. Food, books, little carseat toys, etc. We got lucky and my daughter slept most of the time!

your info


my daughter loves her new clips and since she is totally into fancy nancy at the moment she fells absolutely glamorous!!
ready to win your own choice of 3 fashionably me bowtique assecessories for your little one. become a follower and leave me a comment with your favorite pick from her shop. to earn an extra entry like her shop on facebook or blog about the giveaway and leave me abonther comment for each. good luck.

Monday, July 19, 2010

made you look....

just that phrase "made you look" is like someone telling you to duck. do you automatically hit the floor or do you immediately look to see what's coming your way.

now really, you should watch watch out! this boy is armed and ohhh sooo handsome.  not the least bit dangerous unless, you just had your hair done....ha, who am i kidding, i can't even remember the last time i wore my hair down.
honestly, i don't think i can even remember a day where this girl hasn't been naked in the yard either. good thing we are in the country and our neighbors are quite far away. not even going to fret this one though. she is a beautiful little girl and for the moment why shouldn't she be happy in her own skin.

now, take a look at this photo. tell me what does this say about the future?? no, don't tell me. she has got the blond wavy hair, blue eyes, and gorgeous skin in a teeny tiny bikini! a is going to be a total beach babe just like i wish to be. anyone up for a roadtrip!

thank goodness, i know she has muscles and brains to go with all that beauty!

now seriously, didn't i ((just)) tell you to watch out. don't worry they got me too. completely wrapped around their little fingers and totally soaked with their love.

linking up with tuesdays unwrapped at also, don't forget today is the last day to enter the mee a bee giveaway. i can just see ava toting hers to school or using it as a diaper bag for her baby.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

one mom's jacqui miyabayashi and a WIN on Wednesday!

i am so excited to introduce you to jacqui, a mom of 2 boys and the designer of mee a bee. come and take a peek at her world. you are lucky just to meet her but, even more so because she is offering up the FIRST giveaway on my blog. read all about her and go enter at the bottom!

I'm Jacqui Miyabayashi, a New Zealander by birth but living in Japan for the past fourteen years. We've just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. We have two boys aged eight and four. I am a stay at home mum and run my own children’s accessory business, Mee a Bee.

What kind of house do you live in, are you and the kids happy here?

Five years ago we were given the incredible opportunity to build a new house out of the city. Our new home is spacious and bright and we are fortunate to have a large outdoor space. We love living here.

What's it like to raise a child in your town?
What is your idea of a perfect day with your children?

We live in a great area for raising children. We have plenty of space, fresh air and greenery. We're just a short drive from a small mountain range and we are a short bicycle ride from the sea. Weather permitting we go everywhere by bicycle. Since we've only lived here for four years we are still having a lot of fun exploring. A perfect day involves discovering something new like a shortcut. Or stumbling upon a cool old building or finding an exciting park or playground. I love days where the kids don't fight and nobody feels tired or cross (that's often me). Getting out on our bikes helps soothe the day's worries. We often end up at the beach.

rice paddy view out window

What places in your new neighborhood do you like to go to for shopping?

Our small city was traditionally a farming area. There is still a lot of produce grown locally so we are lucky to have access to fresh vegetables at our local farmer's market. I also love the fresh flowers.

My youngest son and I visit our local second-hand shop at least once a month. We recently bought a huge coffee table which is perfect for the kid's Lego creations. I love it because when it's time to tidy up any loose pieces are scooped into plastic bins that just slide under the table. My boys spend hours there everyday.

What kind of DIY projects do you like to do with your children?

Our latest fascination is with gardening. We have an amazing garden center located nearby that's run by an incredibly kind and helpful elderly man. At home we're trying to grow a few fruit trees. The weather makes any kind of gardening difficult as it's either extremely hot in summer or absolutely freezing in winter but we have fun trying.

Do you like to spend time on decorating your home and the children’s room?

Where do you look for interior inspiration, favorite magazines, websites, blogs?

I do enjoy decorating. My style is minimalist in that I don't like a lot of clutter around. Our home is white and fairly neutral throughout though I do like bright colors. Comfort, functionality and practicality are the things I consider first and foremost. My kids are very energetic and quite messy so it doesn't make sense to have precious things in the house. Ikea is a trusty standby. I love reading design blogs. Right now my favorite is Creature Comforts. I also love Australia's Real Living magazine.  I see ideas all the time for decorating but I don't really have the time or money to put into it.
 How do you prefer to spend your leisure time?
a little corner of her living room. prints from and  cushion cover made using fabric.  ikea stockholm sofa. butler's tray was handmade by my cousin as a wedding gift. 

I think it's important for mothers to take time out for themselves. I take aqaurobics and swimming classes three times a week which gives me energy and keeps me sane. Any other free time I get is spent sewing and working on my business. Of course being a mum there is not much free time in between housework, cooking and running the kids to karate and other hobbies.

Are you a crafter or DIY person?

I'm both a crafter and a DIY person. Although probably more a DIYer than crafter I guess. I'm not very patient when it comes to intricate and fiddly crafts although I love the outcome. I guess that's why I love making bags. They're simple in design. I have fun matching the materials but in the end it's the fabric that shines on the bag. I am a perfectionist though so straight seams are essential for my state of mind.

StickyTiki (on Etsy) - my amazing pals from New Zealand made these wall decals. Aren't they gorgeous?

Any tips for keeping the house clean when crafting?

In terms of crafting when you have small children at home it's essential to be organized. I keep my fabrics in plastic bins and baskets separated according to gender and/or color. I keep all of my tools safely away especially sharp scissors and cutting tools. Basically my kids do not go into my crafting room (it's really the laundry) and when my baby was younger I locked the door with a child-proof gate. I don't sew much when the kids are around as I find it hard to concentrate. Most of my sewing is done late at night when they are asleep or on Sundays when my husband is home.

 Even though I am an expatriate living in a foreign land our lives are very normal. My son attends the local primary school and next year my youngest will start kindergarten. Our day to day lives are much the same as they would be if we lived in New Zealand except the kids are bilingual and we do eat Japanese food quite a bit. If we were living in NZ then I may not have had the entrepreneurial spark to start my business and I certainly wouldn't be aware of the wonderful Japanese fabrics that I use in my work. Right now I honestly wouldn't change a thing except I am still hoping that international air travel will get cheaper and faster as I miss my family and home country terribly.
jacqui's info….

etsy shop

jacqui is so graciously offering up a giveaway from her shop. please follow my blog and comment below with your favorite pick from her shop ($35 usd value). gain an extra entry by liking her on facebook and let me know below. good luck. i am already jealous! giveaway will end july 20th at 11:59pm.

Monday, July 12, 2010

summer bakin'

i am not talking about laying in the sun and getting the all-coveted tan. (please read this post about sunscreen causing cancer!)  but, cookies. crispy but gooey cookies.

stack them up...anyway you like. i love cookies especially homemade and fresh from the oven. so does this little guy!

my kids are big helpers in the kitchen (and out! ava couldn't even wait to get her new kitchen into the house.

 they even love to help clean-up. i am not quite sure but, i don't think we could get wetter outside in a rainstorm.

once we are all cleaned up and have enjoyed a few or a few too many, i like to save a few in the freezer to make ice cream sandwich cookies. i absoluetly love double chocolate coconut cookies. you can get this recipe from martha stewart. i put 2 of these cookies together with sliced bananas and either frozen yogurt or vanilla bean ice cream and we enjoy them after a hard day's play.

Monday, July 5, 2010

july loves

can you hear me?? it's july. seriously! and, i want to go live in this world.

i scoured the internet....way too late into the midnight hour.....and found these enchanting photos and finds. i want it all. the uplifting balloon ride high above the earth, riding carefree on the beach with a colorful entourage. and pink clouds lining the sky. a gorgeous summer wardrobe in all shades pink and berries to top it off. lots and lots of berries at a tea party on our new summer wares.

"The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us."

~ Ashley Montagu

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

~ Guilaume Apollinaire
please let me know what quote you might add!!

1.  look up  orangesparrow
2.  balloons and beach summer dream jo bradford photography---green island studios
3.  cotton candy  sabino
4.  summer wardrobe and flowers honeytree
5.  summer at the market  julie davis photo
6.  jar covers cozymemories on etsy
7.  raspberry cream cone jardino--recipe on her blog
8. my rocking wardrobe sweet little dress from my rocking wardrobe
9.  fifi  fifi by fiona howard stylish contemorary housewares
july calendar
family reunion month
national ice cream month
national hot dog month

7/4 fourth of july and beginning of be nice to new jersey Week (hah!)
7/11 e.b. white's Birthday
7/13 embrace your geekness day
7/20 national lollipop day
7/23 gorgeous grandma day
7/25 parents' day
7/28 beatrix potter's birthday
7/30 father-in-law day

linking up with tuesdays unwrapped
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...