Friday, May 31, 2013

Checking In

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. I've been up to my eyeballs unpacking boxes. But I am happy to announce that we are almost done!
We're taking a break from unpacking for the weekend and enjoying our Friday night because it's Jeff's birthday! I'll be back Monday morning with a first look at our kitchen.
Have a great weekend and enjoy my new blog design :)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Liebster Award Nomination

I am so honored that I have been award for the Liebster Award twice within the same week! Michelle from On A Wing And A Prayer & Leanne from Oh My Daze are the lovely ladies that have nominated me for this awesome award.

The Liebster Award takes its name from the German word meaning dearest and is an award given to a new blogger with fewer than 200 followers. There will be no trophy or embossed certificate but it is recognition from a fellow blogger that you have valuable information to be shared. And it's an excellent way to make new friends, network and get your blog noticed!

The criteria, if you should accept this award, is as follows:

  • Thank your nominator by linking back to their post
  • Answer the 11 questions posed by your nominator
  • Make a list of 11 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 5 or more up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers for this award
  • Provide a list 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Publish your post and contact your nominees with the good news
 My 11 questions to answer from Michelle are: 

1.What is one item on your bucket list? -- Getting to spend the night in the Cinderella Suite inside of the Castle at Walt Disney World in Florida :)
2. What is your favorite comfort food? -- Macaroni and cheese
3. Cat or dog? -- definitely dog.
4. What's your favorite quote? -- "The way to get started is to stop talking and start doing" Walt Disney
5. What is your earliest childhood memory? -- Going to the hospital on the day my little sister was born. I was almost 5 years old.
6. Pick 2 celebrities to be your parents. -- Hmmm I think  I would choose Penn Jillette from Penn & Teller to be my dad, and Meryl Streep to be my mom.
7. Who was the last person you called? -- My mom.
8. What is on your night stand? -- Nothing :) everything is still in boxes.
9. What makes you smile? -- Hearing my baby boy laugh, and lazy days with Jeffrey.
10. Name of your best friend -- Emily :)
11. What is the inspiration behind your blog name? -- I've always found my blog name to be very straight forward. I'm young, I'm a Texan, and most importantly I'm a mama. I was scared when I found out I was going to be a mom at such a young age (by today's standards anyway) so I wanted to start this blog to share my adventures and show it's not as terrifying as some young girls might think :)

My 11 questions to answer from Leanne:

1.  What's in your make-up bag? -- Too much stuff: foundation, eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, 3 different lip sticks, moisturizer, eyelash curler, lip liner, concealer, and probably a few other random things.
2.  Spender or saver? -- Spender, but I am getting a million times better at saving because Jeff is definitely a saver.
3.  Currently reading? -- Home: A Memoir of My Early Years by Julie Andrews :) I love her.
4.  If you were to write a book, what would it be about? -- This is a tough one. I wrote a research paper in college about Walt Disney and Lewis Carrol, and I would love to continue my research and turn it into a dissertation :) Grad school is a bit pricy though.
5.  Which 3 words best describe your blog? -- Fun, Useful, Spastic
6.  What made you decide to start blogging? -- I had another blog a few years ago about my Disney College Program experience, and when I became a mom I knew I wanted to continue on this blogging journey with a new audience.
7.  What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you? -- The night before my brothers wedding, I got hammered and told him that he was marrying a she-devil. OOPS This happened in front of a large group of people.
8.  And the best? -- Meeting Jeffrey and having our son William :)
9.  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you pick? -- London, England. Jeff was born here and has always wanted to go back, and I went there in college and adored it.
10.  What's for dinner tonight? -- Take-out. 
11.  What's your favourite aspect of blogging? -- Getting to connect with people from all over the world. 

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I am a terrible flyer. It terrifies me sometimes. 
2. I've been dying my hair since high school because I have had grey hair since then.
3. I hoard fabirc and sewing notions. 
4. I could walk around Target for an hour and not buy anything. I just like to look at the things they have sometimes :)   
5. Being a mom used to scared the crap out of me. 
6. I can tollerate any bodily fluid except for blood. My mom sliced her foot once and I nearly passed out because of the blood. 
7. I can't sleep sometimes if Jeff is not home. 
8. I'm pretty sure I have ADHD. 
9. I am very close to my parents, and I talk to them on a daily basis. 
10. I am addicted to Coke, and basically any soda except Diet ones. 
11. I can build almost anything, and I love using power tools.

 My Nominations:



Erin @ Momasaurus


Kristin @ One Organic Mama

11 Questions for my Nominees 

1. Do you say Coke, Soda or Pop?
2. What is one thing you have always wanted to learn how to do?
3. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
4. Comedy or Drama?
5. What was your favorite childhood game.
6. What is your dream car?
7. Football or Soccer?
8. What is your most cherished possession?
9. Favorite midnight snack?
10. What is your favorite pair of shoes?
11. What is your favorite Disney movie?
   

Monday, May 20, 2013

Almost Finished!

Well I would say we are about 90% finished with our move to Houston. We still have about one car load of stuff back in our duplex in College Station, but we have everything else in the new place. Most of our furniture is in it's place, and we have slowly started unpacking all our boxes.

I snapped a couple of pictures before we got everything move in. Our unit is just under 1,300sq feet, so there is lots of space for our little family :) 

 This is the view from the foyer. From here the laundry room is directly to the left.

The Laundry room. I ADORE that I finally have an actual room for the washer and dryer. When I get lazy and don't do laundry, I have a place to hide it when company comes over :)

This is the living room. It is much larger than it appears in this picture. I love that we have those really big windows because they let in so much natural light during the day.

 The master bedroom is big too. We have a full sized bed and it only takes up half of the room.

Our master bathroom with amazing double sinks and huge vanity! I already claimed the drawer for my make-up and things :)

 Large soaking tub in the master bath.

 Half of the master closet.
I love that the closet is connected to the bathroom rather than the bedroom. It makes getting ready in the morning super easy, and it frees up wall space in the bedroom.

 The dining/my future sewing room :) I think the wall of mirrors is an interesting touch. I catch William making faces at himself.

 They are great though because they reflect a lot of natural light when those big windows are open.

 The guest bathroom also has a big soaking tub.

The kitchen is probably the biggest kitchen I have ever gotten the chance to cook in! I love that there is an island, and eventually we're going to get a little table to put in front of the window.

 I also love the nice big windows in this room too :)

 The view of the living room from the kitchen. The only room I didn't take a picture of is William's, but it is nice and big too!

I can't wait to get everything unpacked and in its place. I am shooting for getting it done before Jeff starts work, that way he won't have anything to worry about or wonder if his stuff is in boxes still. Plus I am dying to get back to sewing! The sooner I unpack, the sooner I can sew :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WIP Wednesday

 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I love that I can schedule a post to go live at a certain time because at the very moment this is "posted" we will be moving into our new place! We are very excited to get moved, and that is definitely on the very top of my WIP list :) but I also have some lovey sewing projects in the works too.


I'm still powering through my Craftsy Block of the Month 2012, and I am loving it more and more :) This quilt is going to end up being the perfect size for lounging on the couch with.

Paper pieced circle of geese block. #quilting #paperpiecing #circleofgeese #craftsy #blockofthemonth2012
The most recent blocks I made were paper pieced and now I am thoroughly inthrawled with paper piecing for the moment. I love the different shapes and angles you can achieve. It makes me feel better at quilting than I actually am at the moment :)

Blocks done and ready for sashing. #shiningstarsBOM #colormeretro #quilting

I am finally catching up with my Shining Stars BOM. I screwed up on my April blocks and cut four strips of background fabric half and inch too short :( Thank goodness they send a good amount of background fabric each month and I will be able to fix it with what was left over from the other months!

These blocks end up being huge at 20.5" unfinished once the sashing is sewn on. The two unfinished blocks in the top right are for May. I tried to finish them before I had to pack up all my sewing, but I couldn't because packing got in the way. :(


I really need a design wall so I don't have to keep taking pictures on our toddler stained carpet :) Definitely a must for our new place!

I'm almost finished with making this pillow to coordinate with William's Berenstain Bears Quilt. I didn't use any red in the quilt, but I had a FQ that I wanted to use for the pillow. So it coorodinates instead of matching :) The thing I can't decide on is if I should quilt the pillow top or leave it as is :/ what do you think?

Last but not least is my Sisters Ten BOM, and I am still super in love with how this is coming together. I screwed up my April blocks for this one too because I was rushing :( My seams are super wonky and off. I think I might go back and remake them, but I'm not sure yet. Now that I am looking at the picture, I think I need to use some more of the red prints in my other blocks. I feel like the red chevron print is drawing my eye a bit too much.

That's all I've got for now, well I also have a huge stack of boxes to unpack soon. I think my sewing machine will be the first thing out of my car, followed closely behind by my computer.

Have a great week! We're not going to have internet access till Thursday afternoon, and I doubt I'll have the free time get on the computer before Sunday. We shall see :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Favorite Places to Donate or Sell Items

So with our move happening in in only a few days, I wanted to share some tips that I have been doing while packing to make the move go smoother. The #1 thing I have been doing, is getting rid of the stuff we no longer want or need.

I don't see why we should pack these things up and move them, so I figure why not get'em out of the house before the entire moving process. So here are a few of the places I like to sell back or donate our unwanted things to.

via Plato's Closet
--Plato's Closet: Until I moved to College Station I had no idea what Plato's Closet was. But as a broke college student, I quickly found out that it is an awesome place to buy and sell clothes, shoes, and accessories. Our Plato's Closet has TONS of inventory, and they almost always buy things that I bring in to sell. I think in just the past couple weeks I made more than $50 just selling back things that were going to eventually get donated.
via Once Upon a Child
--Once Upon a Child: I have fallen in love with Once Upon a Child! They are the children's equivalent of Plato's Closet, and they will buy so many different things. I sold William's infant bathtub, lots of clothes, his high chair, and even some old toys. I make it a point to take really good care of our things, and in turn I was able to get more money from our stuff because it was in such good shape. I probably made $100 from selling stuff to Once Upon a Child.

--Half Price Books: Having a degree in English means that I read a lot of books, and sometimes I don't want to keep those books. Half Price Books is great because they not only buy books, but they also buy magazines, CDs, vinyl records, even cassette tapes! I've always gotten a decent amount of money for the books I sell because again I keep them in very good condition.

--Craigslist: Obviously I can't write a post able donating and selling things without mentioning Craigslist. I know that it can be shady at times, but Craigslist can also be a great resource. I sold William's infant car seat to a couple via Craiglist and made $100. My #1 piece of advice for Craigslist sales is to meet the person in a public location, i.e. Starbucks, never let them come to your house. I know 99% of the time you're dealing with normal people, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

--Goodwill & Salvation Army: After I have squeezed every last cent out of the stuff we are getting rid of, I will either donate the other things to The Goodwill or Salvation Army. In College Station we also have a local place called Second Chance; I like donating to them because proceeds go back to the Bryan/College Station community.

Well that's it for now :) I need to get back to packing up the last of our boxes before William wakes up from his nap. I'm excited because by this time tomorrow we will have the keys to our new place!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Getting the Most Out of Your Books

*This is a sponsored post for CampusBookRentals.com*

This post goes out to all my college friends and readers. With the end of the semester here, you're likely to have a stacks of books lying around that you might not know what to do with. I remember a time back when I was in college and had to purchase almost $700 worth of books (I was taking 18 hrs that semester).

And obviously most of those books I would never use again. I thought "I'll just sell them back at the end of the semester" nope didn't happen :( The bookstore wouldn't buy back almost 90% of them because no professors were using them the following year. 

Well that's where CampusBookRentals.com comes in. I would have totally looked into renting my textbooks if it had known about it at the time! CampusBookRentals.com is an amazing service that allows you to rent your textbooks online for the semester. 

Some of the awesome perks include: 

- You can save 40-90% off of bookstore prices. Amazing!
- There is free shipping both ways. Even more amazing because shipping can be pricy.
- You can highlight in the textbooks.
- They offer flexible renting periods. Preset periods of 55, 85 or 130 days, plus you can selected your own rental period up to one year.
- They offer a 30 day risk free return policy. Great for if your professor changes what books you need at the last minute.
- They have the largest selection than any other book rental source.
- They are a trusted company that has been around since 2007.
- And last but not least, they have live customer support. For if you ever have an issue and need to talk to a human :)


CampusBookRentals has also launched a new site called RentBack.com. RentBack is new initiative that allows you to rent the textbooks you own - to other students. This is really great because it makes you 2-4x more money compared to what you'd make through other buyback options! Pretty sweet huh :)

 You can check out this video to better see how CampusBookRentals.com works, and feel free to head over to their website and take a look around.

 


Did I not answer a question you might have? Head over to their FAQ page and I'm pretty darn positive you'll find the answer there :) If/when I ever go back to school ( I'm thinking about getting my Masters), I will definitely be using CampusBookRentals.com.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day!

First off I want to wish all moms and soon to be moms Happy Mothers Day!! Today is for us :) well and our moms too. I've already called my mom and we had our mushy crying time, so this post is some pictures that show how awesome my mom is.

Disney April 2013

trying to push the car with William :)

On the monorail. William called it the choo-choo

Riding the people mover in our awesome yellow ponchos :)

50th Birthday :)




My heroes :)

Happy Mothers Day Mom!!! I love you so much. You are one of my biggest heroes and my greatest role model! The greatest Moms get promoted to grandma :) I love you

Monday, May 6, 2013

William's First Airplane Ride

Sorry I have been M.I.A. the past week or so, I have been in such a funk and honestly didn't really want to do much of anything. But with moving creeping closer and closer, I've run out of time to procrastinate and have kicked it into high gear and now I'm doing what seems like everything. So now that I am back from my mini hiatus, I wanted to share how William's first trip on an airplane turned out. FYI this is a very wordy post :)

As most of you know our most recent vacation was William's first time flying on an airplane. I knew from the beginning that I would need wanted to buy him his own seat for his car-seat because he is too big to sit in my lap the entire time. Plus he (and I) would be more comfortable in our own seats. 

I think most car seats are rated for air travel, and to find out if yours is just check the safety stickers on the sides and back. If your car seat is rated for flying there will be a sticker stating so. The sticker on ours was on the back of the car seat near the tether strap.

We flew on Southwest and their base child fare is around $300 give or take, but I called Southwest directly and they told me that the online Wanna Get Away fares are often much cheaper and can be purchased for a child. Hooray! $425 later William and I had tickets to Disney World!

Since my grandma is going to be 90 this year, she was able to get priority boarding for herself and my mom. But they wouldn't let William and I board with them :( so we had to wait and it was pretty much a fiasco. As soon as my mom and grandma were out of sight William freaked out and started screaming for them, and then preceded to through a typical almost 2 year old tantrum. Not exactly fun.**

**Side note: the entire time we were waiting to board there was this asshole standing right next to us talking to his buddy about how stupid it is to take kids to Disney when they are so young. (William was wearing his I'm going to Disney shirt at this time). No lie, he was close enough that I could have reached out and smacked him across the face. I really wanted to think of something clever to say, but I was so concentrated on getting William clam that I just ignored the jerk. Plus part of me wanted William to keep screaming to annoy him.** ok rant over :) 

Once it was our turn to board, I got William strapped into his car seat and wheeled him down the ramp with the Brica Roll 'n Go Car Seat Transporter (BTW that thing is amazing!) and this is where we had the issue. I pulled William out of the car seat so we could get to the back of the plane where my mom and grandma were sitting and he freaked out. He wanted me to carry him while I was trying to carry the car seat down the isle. Thank goodness there was a nice man sitting up front that carried the car seat for me so that I could carry William. 

Once we got seated, it was smooth sailing. His car seat fit perfectly right next to the window, he didn't seem to have issues with his ears during take off, and we scheduled our flight during William's nap time, so he was asleep not even 15 minutes after takeoff. And he slept the entire night, which gave me a chance to get some reading done.

So in a nutshell here are my tips for flying with a toddler:
  • fly at nap time or bed time
  • bring snacks (William ate most of his while at the airport)
  • bring toys for if they don't fall asleep right away
  • have an extra set of hands or make friends if you need help carrying things
  • buy a Brica Roll'n Go Transporter (seriously we would have never made it without this thing) 
Well that is all I can think of right now. I didn't take a single picture on the plane because I was so concentrated on making sure William was ok that I didn't even think about it. But I got my camera back so there's definitely going to be a Disney post in the near future :)