May 30, 2015

Cote D'Azur Sunhat

Now that we live in the desert we've had to majorly change our sun protection habits.  In Massachusetts we wore sunscreen in the summer and hats if it was "extra sunny" but here it's sunny 99% of the time and hot!  We're wearing hats, sunglasses and sunscreen basically every day!

I've been relying on a few baseball caps and some old sunhats I had but really needed something with a wider brim to provide more shade.    When I saw a tester call for the Cote D'Azur Sunhat I jumped on it and was lucky enough to be chosen!

This is the first wearable pattern from quilt designer Shannon Mac Designs and it is fabulous!  The pattern was designed to fit head circumferences of 16"- 24" and has 4", 5" and 6" brim options.   It fits most people 12 months and up!

I made my sunhat in size 6 (circumference 21-22") with a 4" brim.  I used quilting cotton that I'd been hoarding on the outside and a more neutral cotton on the inside.

The hat goes together very quickly and Shannon's instructions are great and easy to follow. I would say that I'm an intermediate to advanced sewer and that this pattern would be simple enough for a pretty new sewer to tackle.   The trickiest parts are attaching the inner and outer hat together.

My hat looks fabulous and I've had many compliments on it already!  I have plans for a second hat for myself and one for Eliza as well (princess style as requested!).     

Grab the pattern here (on sale for the weekend!): 

You should also check out Shannon's blog for a chance to win the pattern!

And you can join Shannon's Facebook Group too (I am!!)...

Apr 26, 2015

Things to Remember: Eliza Rose, 32 Months

I have been totally neglectful and haven't kept track of Things to Remember for Eliza since she turned two.  With Paul I switched from monthly updates to doing one every six months after he turned two and I totally missed Eliza's 2.5 year update.   She's now 32 months and getting closer and closer to what I've been told has now been dubbed a "threenager."   

At 32 months Eliza continues to be our drama queen- she's either very very sweet, or very very stubborn.   Her mood can change in an instant from happy to cranky and you never quite know what you're going to get.  She's mastered the evil eye and has begun rolling her eyes and saying "oh Mom..." when asked to do something she doesn't want to do (no doubt she learned that one from her brother!).

Eliza loves to dance.   She has a ballet video Nana and Pappy gave her that she ADORES and she and I are doing Mommy and Me dance at a local rec center.   Her usual dance outfit for class includes her Rapunzel dance costume and her trademark sunglasses.

Eliza's language skills are off the charts.   We were at the pediatrician for her 2.5 checkup- our first experience with our new pediatrician here in Vegas- and she wouldn't talk at all while he was in the room.   He asked me if she says any words and I told him she talks all the time, full paragraphs.   He didn't seem to believe me so I told him to step out in the hall for a minute.  The second he left the room Eliza started chatting away about everything she saw out the window, "Oh!  There's a bus- with people on it!  And there's a flag on that building!  And there's the grocery store!  And that lady is pushing her cart!" and on and on.   The pediatrician came back in and said her language skills are very advanced for her age- she just won't use them around strangers!

Eliza adores her big brother- when she's not bossing him around or shoving him away that is!  They're the best of friends for the most part and love playing silly games together.   Almost daily they play Peter Pan- and they both run around singing the songs from Peter Pan Live...

Eliza is very sure about what she will and won't wear.   She definitely has her own style, particularly with accessories and is rarely without her sunglasses (frequently worn upside-down).   Lately she's been gravitating towards "sparkly" things- we thought we could avoid the whole "princess" scene but somehow she's figured it out and she has quite a collection of "jewels" that she likes to wear.  

Eliza loves to help with chores- she has her own little spray bottle of cleaner and cleans the dishwasher and the fridge almost every day with it.  She also likes to do laundry and she particularly enjoys brushing the dog. 

She dropped her naps right around her second birthday but still needs a little cat-nap once in a while.   Sometimes she'll nap in her stroller on the way to pick up Paul at school or she'll lay down on the couch and snooze a bit before dinner.  She still holds tight to her lovies and sucks her left thumb when she's tired.  

Eliza brings so much light and joy to our house (along with a good dose of stubbornness!) and we love her more than anything!

Apr 9, 2015

House Tour...

I've totally fallen out of the habit of blogging since we moved to Las Vegas.  We've been so busy settling in, hosting family for the holidays, having visitors, and just generally adjusting to our new life here in the desert that months have gone by since I last blogged!

Although our Las Vegas house doesn't need as much work and fixing up as our house in Massachusetts did, we still have lots of big plans.  Paul and I can't just let things be- we always have a list of projects we want to do and it's rare that we don't have one in progress...   I was good at documenting the changes we made to our Massachusetts house and I still love looking back on it so I want to be sure to document our work here on our Vegas house.

To start, here are the before photos- we're settled in, furniture is bought and arranged, but the house is missing personality- it desperately needs some paint on these white walls!

My father-in-law drew up these floors plans for us when we were house-hunting.   Remember, we didn't see this house in person until the day we moved in so having a floor plan was very helpful!

From the front door you enter into the living room...

Which opens to the dining room...

Just through the door from the dining room is the eat-in part of the kitchen and our walk-in pantry (LOVE)...

And then the kitchen (with the same cabinets and granite we had in MA!).

The kitchen connects with the family room...

And there's also a sewing room/guest room and a 3/4 bath downstairs...

Upstairs is more spacious than downstairs as there's a huge bonus room over our 3-car garage..

We've set one end of the bonus room up for reading:

And the other for movies and video games...

Up 2 more steps from the bonus room is a small loft area:

And then a larger loft where we have our office/playroom:

The kids' bedrooms are across the hall from the large loft with a bathroom in between:

Our bedroom is at the back of the house...

With our bath attached (SUCH an upgrade going from 1.5 baths to 3 full!)

This is looking from our bedroom doorway back down the hall- the playroom loft is at the left, the bonus room is all the way at the end..

And our backyard (which has already been updated- it was a concrete slab with dirt and rocks surrounding it when we moved in.   We hired a landscaper to put in a larger paver patio , GRASS! and plants...

 So there's the "before" tour! We've started painting and have some other big plans in store as well! Stay tuned!

Dec 17, 2014

A Long Overdue Update....

In my last post I dropped the big bomb that we were relocating to Las Vegas.   Two months later, here we are!  And here's a long overdue update (mostly photos taken on my phone!) of our journey from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania to Nevada and how we're settling in so far!

Our moving truck (#1 of 2!) was delivered to our home in Massachusetts on a Thursday. 

On Friday we loaded up most of the furniture with some hired help.   

Saturday morning the kids and I said one more goodbye to friends and then hit the road to Pennsylvania. Paul stayed behind to load up the last few things before starting on his road trip to Nevada.

The kids and I drove 6 hours to spend the next ten days in Pennsylvania with my parents- packing in as many visits with family and friends as we could!

We were lucky enough to be able to see my grandmother and aunts, my college roomie and her kids, and my brother and his family before we left.

While we were visiting Pennsylvania Paul was driving across country with the dog and his friend for company.  He stopped in PA on the way for a brief overnight visit- which meant we were able to have breakfast together on our 8th anniversary before he hit the road again!

A few days later the kids and I hopped on a plane to Vegas...

Thank goodness for tvs on the backs of the seats!   LP and Eliza were so well- behaved on the whole flight- I was very proud of them! (and oh so thankful that it went well!)

After arriving in Vegas we stayed with Paul's parents for a few days before we could close on the new house.  We flew in on a Tuesday and on Wednesday night Paul and I were able to finally see the new place in person!

Hello... desert!  And mountains!   So different from Massachusetts!

The front of the house...

Checking out our new kitchen (which coincidentally has the same cabinet color and the exact same granite we installed in our Massachusetts kitchen!):

We moved in most of our things on Thursday, 

And spent our first night in the house on Friday which was Halloween.   Jango Fett from Star Wars was in attendance:

And Scooby-Doo made a very brief appearance.   We actually didn't have a costume for Eliza as she hadn't wanted one previously.  Our new next-door-neighbor heard that she didn't have a costume and found one of her kid's old costumes for Eliza to wear.   So sweet and such a great introduction to our new neighborhood!    Halloween was fantastic- the kids loved being in a neighborhood where everyone was out for trick-or-treat, it's exactly the kind of neighborhood we'd hoped for!

Two wiped out kids after all the hubbub!

Some other little things.   Here's the view from our master bedroom balcony- I love seeing the mountains everywhere!

This is our neighborhood playground- we pass it on the way to school:

The park the playground is in is called the Promenade- it runs behind our neighborhood and down to the street that the school is on.   Such a pleasant walk to school!

LP's first day of school was a little tough but once he learned the new school rules he was happy as a clam and is really enjoying it so far!

And Eliza loves hearing the bell ring for school to start and end- "Bye bye Paul" she yells as he lines up for school to begin:

We love that our street has hardly any traffic and we can get lots of scooter time in:

I love having an eat-in kitchen!

And the house is feeling more like home every day...

We spend most of our time at home in the family room and kitchen, but we also have a bonus family room and a playroom upstairs.  It's so nice to have extra space!

And I love the sunsets here.. This is outside of Paul's school when we went over for Parent/Teacher conferences....

So we're getting settled.  It's been hectic, moving right before the holidays, but we hosted Thanksgiving and will be hosting Christmas as well.  We've already made some changes to the house (lights over the kitchen island and cabinet pulls on all the doors!) and have many more in store for the future- including landscaping our back yard!  

While I wouldn't say that Las Vegas feels like home yet, our house itself does, and we're all very comfortable here.  I'm learning my way around and can get to quite a few places without my GPS which is good.   And we're really happy with all the extra family time we've had.

So far, so good!


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