Friday, December 30, 2011

Let's Wrap This Thing Up


2011: More good stuff happened then bad. We made it out alive. All is well. Here's the highlight reel...

In January, I had a 5 month old but still made it out on the town.


In February, I started sleep training Gabe. Btdubs, he sleeps like a champ these days. Worth it.


In March, we built this dream together, standing strong together, nothing's gonna stop us now....


In April, I posted vids of Gabe using his walker. Go check em out for old times sake. Adorbs.

In May, I gave you a flashback to 1997, when I was 17.


In June, I turned 31 and had a stellar day.


In July, I debuted Gabe's 2nd nursery in under a year. Thank you for not calling me insane.


In August, we roadtripped it to Illinois to see my dad and Kim. Oh and threw a little gnome bash.


In September, I launched Bottle Pop Party Company. It's awesome. Hire me.


In October, I hosted a crew of awesome bloggers for Always Bloggy in Philadelphia. Best decision ever.


In November, I showed you my tiny mime and then flew off to Minneapolis for a crazy last minute bach party.




In December, I made shit festive.


I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year's.  I've got a list of resolutions. I'm all about them this coming year. 2012 is gonna be chock-full of good things, I can feel it. And it has nothing to do with it being an even number, which I've been stressing about all year. Suffice to say, being 31 in 2011 was unsettling. Is that weird? Ha. Go pop some bottles this weekend kids! Or go to sleep early. I'm a big fan of both.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

January's Meal Plan: Resolution Makers Guaranteed Disappointment


So it's almost January. Time to resolve to eat nothing but lettuce and fiber one bars. Good luck with that. Here's what we're eating. Btdub, I decided to for-go providing the grocery list. It was a lot of work and it didn't seem that there were too many people making use of it. If you did, sorry pal. Also, sorry for the amount of cheese and broccoli that this meal plan involves. I guess I had a hankering when I was planning. As always, if you liked something from last month's plan, let a girl know so she can bookmark that shizz.

1. Creamy Chicken Taquitos
14. Open
25. Open

If you're new around here, check out my handy dandy meal planning posts of yesteryear here.

And just thinking out loud here, if you're one of my (ridiculously awesome) readers who utilizes the menu plans, would you ever consider paying for this service? Like I'm talking under 5 bucks. And it would include the grocery list. Let me know, kthx!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas


our 2011 Christmas card

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas! See you next week!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's Gettin Festive Up in Here

I think I'm done. Done shopping, wrapping, decorating...all of it. I thought it would feel good. But I love the hustle and bustle. I keep trying to think of excuses to go back to the Target Christmas aisles (although I felt like they were kinda disappointing this year, anyone else?) and buy buy buy more stuff. Budget? What budget? Anyway, here's the house. It's been a bit tricky this year with the decorating. Little hands like to move things. I didn't want that to completely stop me from decorating, because face it, that's kinda depressing. So I put out things that I wouldn't mind finding shattered on the tile floor. Because again, face it, that's a very clear and present danger in our house. Nothing is safe. No snowman, no nutcracker, no ornament can escape the clenches of a determined toddler.

Tiny scattered toys...standard.

The dog is not a present. His name is Rory and I thought he looked charming under the tree.

Flags from Gabe's birthday party get another use.

Breaking news...the middle nutcracker is now missing his feet.

Lazy cat...also standard.


Hey cute babies!



The extent of my kitchen decorating.

My stairs felt boring so I pulled this fug old garland up from the basement and dressed it up with some ribbon and tie-dye ornaments. The colors match the second Christmas tree that will go up on Christmas eve, Santa-style. See, John grew up believing that Santa left a decorated tree on Christmas. I grew up decorating my tree with my mom weeks before Christmas. There's no way I'm waiting til Christmas eve to enjoy a sparkly tree. So we compromised (a new thing for me). THe big tree went up the day after Thanksgiving in the family room. The smaller tree will go up below the stairs in the living room on Christmas eve. This will be "from Santa". We'll see how many years it takes before I stop compromising. Because really, who the efffff has the time on Christmas eve to put up a tree? There will be bikes and dollhouses to build!

and once again, we venture to the dining room. Sorry for the repeat pictures. It's just so darn sparkly in there.



I've decided that this house needs a 3rd tree too. There's a bay window in my dining room that you can see from the street. It's dying for a tree. I'll be on the lookout for one after Christmas. Where do you guys find the best post-Christmas sales? I feel like Target's selection this year kinda blows and I don't ever really shop anywhere else. Spill the beans...this girl needs some 70% off sales.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

16 Months Down


Dear Gabe,
FYI, your mama and toddlerhood? We're like peas and carrots. For as many feelings of IhavenoideawhatI'mdoing that I experienced when you were an infant, I've got twice as many I'vegotthis feelings now. I guess I just do better with laughing, spunky little dudes running around than silly, sleep-stealing babies that just lie there and cry. And you my boy, are are the spunkiest.  As we creep up on your 2nd Christmas, let's sit back, put up our feet and look back on what you've been doing this past month...

- You learned to knock on doors. It's adorable. Your Geeg (GiGi) taught you that.

- You spin around and around and get dizzy. She taught you that too.

- You blow kisses too! Seriously, your Geeg teaches you everything! She does something once and you absorb it like a sponge. 

Meanwhile, I've been trying to get you to identify your ears for like 6 months to no avail.

- You survived mama being away all weekend. And as soon as you spotted me, you pointed to me. Now you do that all the time. Again with the adorableness.

- You learned ta-da! Wonder who taught you that.

-You started using utensils on a regular basis. And you've been using bowls and plates without throwing them around. Next up? The spork.

- You tried fish nuggets. And promptly gave me a "meh". Or what I imagine to be a meh.

- And the funnest one of all, you're saying letters! You love saying B and D but you'll also throw in an A, E, I and O. You also make the ssssss sound and you're testing out your l's. It's super duper exciting to see your brain working.

And I'm sure you've done a million other things but I can't keep up with you. Every day it's something new and you constantly crack us up. We love you to pieces Gabriel.

Love,
Mama

btw peeps, the winner of the Thirty-One tote is Emily! Congrats Em, you'll be hearing from me!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dare to DIY: Chris Tradish

While it felt like everyone I know on Facebook was out and about at work holiday parties this past weekend, we were where we usually are...at home. And we were Christmasing it up just the same. I did a little late night shopping then came home to teach John how to wrap presents. Now don't get me wrong, he can wrap a present. But can he add the right amount of accessories, including ribbons and such, that I require? The answer is no, no he can't. So while we slammed back Cranberry Gin Fizzes, we wrapped (my own) presents. I had that nice warm feeling inside of holiday goodness. Granted, that could be the gin but whatevs.  I'm thinking holiday drinkies might be the new tradition for us. Oh and btdub, it's the 6th and final week of Kim's Dare to DIY Challenge and this week's dare is to Have Traditions. We've got a few of those up our sleeve too.

Since Gabe was born last year, we picked up a Baby's 1st ornament at Target and called it a day. Ideally, I'd like to be one of those moms who hands their child a carefully crafted box of ornaments from every year of their life, as they move out on their own. All sentimental and shit. Yeah, that's me.

So to be that mom, I had to find an ornament for this year. I was checking all of the overpriced ornaments at Hallmark but seriously, they had nothing. So I went back to Target.  I scanned the ornaments from the end of the aisle because it was jam packed and saw this baby...

Perfect right? He's a gnome! Or an elf, whatever, same thing I s'pose. I 'm preferring to call him a Christmas gnome.  In case you are new around here or just don't pay attention, Gabe had a gnome-themed first birthday party this year. Serendipitous. I am well on my way to becoming World's Best Mom (WBM). Don't try and beat me in that competition. I've been known to cheat.

I guess I can also enter this next tradish into evidence for my case as WBM. It's the feast of St. Nicholas...on December 6.  Growing up in my super duper Catholic house, we'd put our shoes by the front door the night before, and the next morning, they'd be fulled with little treats. We'd also put our saddle shoes out in the hallway in grade school that day too and St. Nick would drop by there too. Double treatage. Sweet. So I decided to start that tradition at home.  Of course, John, being a non-Catholic/heathen, gave me the side-eye when he heard I was filling up shoes with things.

But he sure didn't give me any eyes but appreciative ones the next morn when St. Nick left a Hershey bar and nerd cards in his sneaks, now did he? Little buddy picked up a Pouty Petey book as well as a fruit pouch. I scored a set of cute notecards, new pens and a Peppermint Patty. Plus, some cute new glittery initial ornaments. What's not to like about this tradish?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bottle Pop Parties: Punk Rock Baby

So the other day I mentioned working on the first birthday of a pretty blog-famous blog baby, MODG's baby G. She first posted on her blog awhile ago about wanting to pretty much do nothing for this party. And um, that's where I came in. And when she mentioned that the theme of the party was old school Punk Rock, I might have thought she was kidding. Because, if you read her blog, she does that a lot, the kidding. But nope, she was serious. Then I got really excited because c'mon? That's a pretty effing cool party for a one year old. We all know they don't know the difference anyway, so why not do something awesome?

Oh and yeah, I suppose you've realized by now that I live sorta near MODG, right? Ok, well they chose a little coffeehouse/music venue for the party, called Steel City Coffee House. The owner was awesome. I got there extra early to set up and he let me do my thing without bothering me. He even broke out a 12 foot ladder to catch a rogue giant balloon. Nice guy.

The venue was perfect for this theme, obviously. From the 3D background on the stage to the black and purple walls, all the decor just fit right in. Sometimes it sucks to go all out on a theme only to realize that the location you're using totally clashes.

Speaking of decor, when I first heard the theme, I freaked for a second, trying to figure out what to do. Obviously no one has cornered the market on british punk party printables, ya know? (Clearly I need to open an obscure party theme etsy store) So I had to make my own stuff. I decided on black and red pleather, red plaid and denim. Add in some spikes and safety pins and you're set to go shit-kickin' in your Doc Martens.

This is my proudest creation to date. I had the idea in my head and I promised it to MODG but honestly, I was a little worried about the execution of the fruit mohawk. But it went super quick and turned out exactly as it looked in my head.


I made a shit-ton of these little Sex Pistols flags and had no idea what I was going to do with them. Then I set up the fruit and it hit me. I swear, sometimes the best ideas are the most obvious ones.


The cake. Ohhhhh the cake. It was stunning. MODG had designed it in Paint (what else) and had sent it to me to show me the theme. Well the cake turned out exactly like the design. It was made by my favorite cake girl,


Oriental Trading...your source for freaking ANYTHING.

Check out these awesome cookies. I didn't have anything to do with them but they were made by MODG's friend, One Preppy Cookie. They were pretty bad ass.

This is my other favorite part, the banner. I was trying to think of something to hang that wouldn't be too cutesy or overdone. So I took a cue from the signs I made for John's 40th, and put little G's face on some punk albums. I thought it was pretty hysterical. A wee baby on a Rancid album? Priceless. In fact, I heard MODG's husband wanted to hang it in their room, which is a pretty big compliment.

Here are some of the albums I made. They look a lot better once they're distorted and printed out. My photoshop head skills leave a lot to be desired.





Pretty cool right? I can't wait to see the rest of the pics from the photog she had at the party. MODG hasn't shared too much about the party yet so if you're one of her readers, consider this your inside scoop. 

If you don't already, you probably want to Like Bottle Pop Party Company on Facebook so you get the super inside, inside scoop.

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