Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bitty Bows Boutique: A Review!

Alright, I'll let you in on a little secret. I have an addiction to hair bows.

I know, I know. You're shocked. Flabbergasted even!

Well, tis true. But they're more than an accessory. I could argue they're a necessity. You see, they could prevent many a stranger from being punched in the nose for inquiring about my adorable little boy's name. And also, they're freaking cute. Anyhow, I digress. I wanted to share with y'all a place that I found courtesy of a fellow blogger that you may follow, Mrs. Foreste (she has a Gigi too!) - Bitty Bows Boutique. I was pregnant with Gabriella when she made mention of this little treasure so I hightailed it over to their website and ordered G her very first hair bows. And the rest is history. 

Here's my little love modeling the Allie headband.

I've ordered a couple times and have always been pleasantly surprised with the fast shipping (and it's only a flat $2!), and how my bows are always nicely packaged in a box (I've had some experience with bows coming in smooshed in an envelope from other retailers). The quality is excellent and I love how so many bows and clippies are available in dozens of color options. Gabriella hardly has any hair and yet these hair clips manage to stay in beautifully. The headbands of course are a great option if you also have a baldie :-)

Seriously, how cute are these?

My wish list just got a little bigger after writing up this post. Anyhow, make sure to check Bitty Bows out on Facebook too, because they have great sales and specials ($1 hair clips, anyone?!) all the time. Don't be shy, you can tell 'em I sent ya ;-) Right now Bitty Bows is offering a free Allie headband with purchases over $35 (excluding shipping, tax)! Just use the code AllieBlogFreebie at checkout.

* I was provided with the Allie headband for reviewing purposes. This was, indeed, awesome.

Monday, March 21, 2011

9 Months Old!

Holla! We are doing so many new things around here that I'm just going to jump right in to the updates!

  • Right after she turned 8 months she started pulling herself up to standing.
  • She's been cruising for a little over a week now. And she likes to let go and just stand by herself. It's so crazy how mobile she's become in the course of one month. She love love loves to be standing, and she always wants up! Which leads me to...
  • She said her first real word! Besides mama and dada, of course :-) She started saying "up" last Saturday! And she kept saying it over and over, and with meaning. It was so amazing, she would say "uppp" (she really pronounces the P sound) and we would all cheer and she'd get so excited and say it again and again. I finally ran to get the camcorder after a few minutes, and of course, she sees the camera and just wants to mug for it, so the talking stopped. I'm going to have to trick her one of these days by hiding it!
  • We started fish, chicken and turkey this month. She hated fish, is meh about chicken and generally likes turkey. I really wasn't sure what I was doing with the fish, so I asked the butcher man (fish man?) to give me a very mild fish with as little to no mercury as possible, and he gave me red snapper. It smelled so fishy after I steamed and pureed it, so I don't blame her for hating it. I'll have to figure something else out, fish-wise. Caviar, perhaps?
  • I gave her her first taste of jarred baby food this month. I wasn't too sure about the consistency of meat I should be getting her so I picked up some Earth's Best Organic baby food in assorted turkey and chicken blends to see how they did it. It was smoother than anything I've ever made for her, so I guess my food has been on the chunky side, but she's always liked it well enough. My feelings were hurt the first time she tried the jar food because she ate her turkey like a fiend! I was all ready to throw in my apron and give in to the jarred baby food, but she hasn't really had that reaction since, so maybe she was just super hungry that one time?
  • She loves her puffs, and feeds herself like a little princess. She's so precise with picking up the puff and placing it in her mouth. And I have to confess that hubbs and I swipe some of her puffs sometimes. They're actually pretty good!
  • Still has only 2 teeth (bottoms) and not seeing anything happening up top. We've been expecting something to come though all month but those upper teeth are being stubborn!
  • Still sleeping through the night and napping 2-3 times a day. It's kind of amazing. I think it's the universe's way of making up for the first 7 months of little sleep we got around here!
  • Has a favorite song - The Wheels on the Bus delights her to no end. Oh yes, and she loves Kim Kardashian. Like LOVES. She will stare at her picture in a magazine and softly pet the cover. My little weirdo :-)

Now she's always on the go, so it's getting harder to get her to pose for me! Please take a moment to enjoy the mauve carpet from 1990.

Yes, her little piggies are painted! With Piggy Paint in "Forever Fancy", in case you were wondering. And yes, mama's toes match too!
So there you have it. 9 months old. She has advanced SO much in the last couple months, it's hard to believe this little wanna-be toddler was a newborn baby 9 months ago. She's now been out as long as she was in!

You may have noticed I've added something to the sidebar over to the right - my Amazon store! Well it's not really "my" store exactly - it's a compilation of all things that I use and love, and you can check them out and even buy them by clicking on over. You're still shopping safely from Amazon and all that good stuff, but you get to see all my favorite things in one place. I seriously wish all my favorite bloggers would do this, I love knowing where and what to buy what others love using. I thought this would be a great resource for those who are wondering where to get a great product you may have seen me using. Since I shop for 93% of everything on Amazon you'll probably find it right there! Everything listed is owned by me, so I'm not just randomly adding things there (and it's kind of scary to see how much money I've given Amazon over the last couple years!) Oh, and if I have something that's a total dud you will so not find it there. If you see it listed, it's safe to assume it's awesome :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I *think* we may just have ourselves a theme...

So I know I started thinking about Gigi's birthday party months ago. But then I stopped. I didn't want to think about her getting older. Growing up. Not being a teeny tiny baby anymore!! Argh!!! Much too hard to think about.

But then I realized that her party is in like 3 months. And I've done nothing as far as figuring out what to do with it. Being as how I'm planning to DIY a lot of it, I should get on that. I decided to nix the bunnies because she's 1 and someone put the visual in my head of her yanking on a bunny's tail and it not taking too kindly to it... and I really can't spend $225/hour for some rabbits to crap in my back yard.

I started playing around with things I liked online and made some idea boards. And I think I really like this one:
I just think yellow is so fun, and if I wait until she's 3 to have a bee party, she may just tell me she wants a purple unicorn party then, so my plan may be a total bust. Right now she's turning 1 (aaaheoafhaeohfaeolcoeg!) and I think her party should just be simple and pretty. No?

Maybe I could add some touches of pink (hot pink?) in there for some more pops of color. What do y'all think?

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Heart Photoshop

I absolutely love photographing my little girl. A) She's a total ham and loves being in pictures, and B) I get to have a tangible record of memories that I can look at forever. I usually can't wait to load up my memory card in the reader so I can see how everything turned out. And then I get to work. Since I have Photoshop, I love to tweak my images so I can make them even just a little bit better.

I know, I know... Photoshop is a crazy expensive program. I have a pretty old version, CS2, that I got from a friend back in photojournalism class in college. If you can get it, it's so worth it. I must warn you, it will suck up your time (once you figure out what all the buttons do!).

Here's an example of an image before and after:
Subtle changes, but I feel like it makes a big difference, no? If you happen to have Photoshop or even Elements, I highly recommend downloading some actions. They're basically one-click enhancements to your pictures that are so fun to play around with. Pioneer Woman has some great ones, and MCP Actions has a few awesome freebies as well.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share how I like to edit my pictures. I hope someone can find this useful, since I've loved playing around with these! Here are some more pictures from yesterday, playing in the backyard.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hubby's Week Off

Well the hubby had the whole week off from work since he's switching jobs, so we had lots of fun family time together. On Monday he took us to the mall so I could pick out some things for myself for my birthday. G did a lot of this there:
Tuesday was my big hair day. Ha that sounds funny. Anyway, being the amazing hubby that he is, he went with me to my appointment (since I was so nervous) and my dad watched G. Here's the before and after:
Wednesday we decided to go to the little lake at the golf course by our house to watch the ducks. Gigi loves the duckies :-)
Thursday was my birthday, which is awesome in and of itself (hehe) but made even more awesome by spending it as a new mommy. First thing I see when I get up is this little one:

The diet's still going strong (I'm down about 16 lbs - woot!), but on my birthday, I splurge, man! We went to a little Mexican restaurant for lunch, followed by a little boating!

Ahhh the boat. Fresh sea air. The gentle lull of the waves. The high-pitched screaming of a starving 8 month old baby. Wait.

Oh yes. We get to the middle of the water and realize that we left her formula in the car. We thought, oh, she should be OK, she's gone 4 hours between meals and it's only been 3 hours now. We'll be back before then. Yeaaaah, just as 3 hours hit since her last meal, she wanted FOOD! We tried to appease her with some puffs, but she wasn't having it, and she doesn't care for straight water from a bottle either (does she even realize what's in her formula??). So we cut our boating excursion just a little shorter than we had planned and raced back to our car so we could feed her. And lo and behold, she had taken a massive explosive poo.

Man, sometimes we feel like such beginners.

She really did love it at first though. Maybe she just felt uneasy because she sensed a tsunami coming on?
Yep, hubbs let me drive for a bit. I was kind of freaking out at the possibility of our boat toppling over so I took the wheel. And then I freaked out that I was going to hit another boat.

Anyway, we headed back and went out to dinner at The Stinking Rose (a garlic festival in your mouth).
 Why yes, yes I am wearing a giant head of garlic on my noggin.
 Ahhh so I'm now 27. It's just great, I'm so not worried about being older. Yet. There's more time for that later. I'm too busy feeling pretty great about where I am now (something I rarely do, and should do more!).

Friday I went back to work and came home for a nice long nap while Adam watched Gabriella. When I woke up, we decided to hit up the park for a bit, but it was a little on the cold side so we didn't stay long.
And there you have our week. It really feels nice to have a stay at home daddy, maybe I should look into making way more money...