Monday, November 29, 2010

Gift Ideas

Here's some gift ideas for me since Mom wanted some this week so she could go shopping. I thought it might be easier to do links with pictures.

Towels from Target - Gray or Brown - the larger sized ones are the ones we like

Kitchen Towels - I like the waffle-y ones from Target, pref in black or a ferny/light green (not Christmas green, sort of that lighter green color like a plant)

Sweaters - Like this one at Old Navy - colors like white, brown, black, green sometime purple, usually a small unless it looks super small for a teen or something. This one is also really cute, and I really like this one (I already have it in a small purple and it's really nice). I really like the different print patterns and also the other solid ones.

Heated Throw - I like the heated throws like this one for this drafty old house since Brent won't let me have an electric blanket anymore since I kept my side set on the max and burned it out really fast.

Cleaning Stuff - Anything to help clean the house like these little blind cleaners since our blinds are always SO dirty!! Or anything else to get organized/make cleaning easier. I can always use more dust cloths because I can never remember where I put mine.

Silicone Spatulas - We use these all the time and I can always use more.

Brent says I'm hard to shop for this year but I like most everything, there's just really nothing I need other than a maid, personal assistant and a chef.

Here's some for Lilli - she would love this little phone, and also this little "Laptop". She loves art stuff, and we can always use more sticker books, coloring books, books with the flaps you lift, etc for church and traveling. She also likes the Paint with Water stuff, I just got her her first book like that a couple of weeks ago from the $1 bin at Michaels and she loves it. She really doesn't need any clothes for this winter except for maybe a couple of size 24M pajamas, and everyday sneakers Size 5. She loves her Little People stuff and has the barn, airplane, train, and a truck. She's big into fire trucks and cars right now. I think she would LOVE a little basketball goal like this one that has adjustable height. She plays basketball outside with us all the time and just throw her basketball at the tree.

Tonight was spaghetti night at home. Lilli PIGGED out and somehow managed to get it all over her face and even above her eye. What in the world!!! Even with a bib it got on her shirt and pants, her chair and its straps and then she spilled her milk all over the table and Pippin (since he waits under her chair.) It was quite the dinner experience tonight.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I still haven't had a chance to sort through all the Thanksgiving photos, and I'm planning on getting in bed early since tomorrow will be CRAZY! Friday may be the busiest day of the year for Retail, but the Monday after is probably the busiest in the people behind the scenes of retail! Hopefully we had a strong weekend of sales and tomorrow will be a good day!

Lilli wore her sweet little turkey outfit to church today. I sent her outside with Brent after we got home to take some pictures of her in it, and he did get some funny ones. We always go to the grocery store on the way home from church and while she was "helping" put away groceries she latched onto a bag of chips. So all our pictures of her also include a big bag of chips, however she is more than happy to share them with the lawn rabbit.Little Miss Almost Two has some STRONG opinions about things these days, so a lot of times when it doesn't really matter we'll let her pick out clothes or shoes so she feels like she has some sort of say in things. When we were headed out for our afternoon walk I let her pick which shoes she wanted to wear since I knew she wouldn't be crazy about having to wear a jacket. I had already put her in these crazy pants (which Brent HATES), but the ruby red shoes are ALL her choosing!
Personally I just think they complete the outfit. And of course we ran into tons of neighbors while we were out walking and they all got a major kick out of her outfit. She just fits right into East Nashville! They must have been fairly comfortable, she never complained on our walk about her feet hurting or anything.
Pippin nearly scared me to death this afternoon. I spent 2 hours raking the yard while Lilli napped - I ended up with a total of 11 bags of leaves from that ONE cypress tree in our front yard! Pippin was keeping me company in the front and a lady walked by with her two little dachshunds and he did his usual thing where he's running alongside and barking, and then he rared up on one of the fenceposts - not really hard - but the whole thing came off and he went sailing through the fence on top of these dogs! Luckily I was right there, and both Pippin and these two dogs were friendly and more surprised than anything so no harm was done (and the lady was really nice) and they just got a couple of sniffs on each other but I was scared to death. There are a lot of non-friendly dogs in this neighborhood, so we for sure got lucky, and we also never leave him out front without us out there as well. So after Lilli's nap Brent went around checking each board and tightened up several of them. Of course he had a little helper.
And Lilli is turning into quite the little photographer herself. She got this one of me and Pippin tonight, I think it turned out really good!! Of course Pippin looks thrilled.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


We're back from our Thanksgiving travels! Thankfully this year no one had to go to the ER, so that alone makes Lilli's 2nd Thanksgiving much better than her first.

Just a couple of pictures tonight as we're tired and have been doing loads and loads of laundry and unpacking. Poor Lilli was so tired she actually starting asking for her bed around 7, so she went to bed a bit earlier than normal tonight. These are just a couple of pictures Brent has had a chance to crop and mess around with (some of them anyway).

Wed night she had fun attacking her great-Granny with a bear!
Here is the Spears clan on Thanksgiving.
Lilli and cousin Madison on Thanksgiving.Lilli and Granddad Carden on Black Friday morning. It reminded us a lot of the one from last year, minus the band-aid and swap out the coffee cup for a laptop.Dad out riding his bicycle (or really Mom's bicycle.)Lilli out running around in the fields, having a big time. Brent hasn't had a chance to do anything with the group pictures we took there.After 3 nights away it will be nice to sleep in our own beds tonight! And hopefully Pippin has left behind his messed up stomach and won't need to go out multiple times tonight, ugh!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Cards 2010

With Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow it's already time to start thinking about our Christmas cards for this year! We have a long-standing tradition of taking some sort of unusual family photo, always including Pippin, and turning it into a photo card for about 150 of our closest friends and family members. We also write a one page holiday letter talking about what we've been up to over the year, so holiday card production is big (and time consuming) business in our household!

Last year our card featured Pippin riding in the baby stroller with Lilli walking alongside and us pushing the stroller. I'm pretty sure I will croak before we ever do a posey-posey look in front of a tree, so thankfully Shutterfly has lots of non-traditional looking card templates that work for us! I think this Merry Blossoms card is so cute and I also like this wide looking template as well. This folded card is also really, really cute. And this Top 10 card would be a great way to let people know your main events from the year!!I'm also thinking about making some cute desk calendars that show Lilli in each of those months from the prior year as holiday gifts. Much sweeter than a Dilbert calendar or freebie from the work sample pile!! We've done photo books with Shutterfly before and have loved how they turned out, so I know their cards and calendars would look great. And I love that their cards have so much more dimension and style than the more generic Walgreens type flat & long cards that have been out for so long! With all their great templates I know Brent will enjoy having a year off from designing our own!

And even better, they're offering 50 free cards to bloggers, so how could you go wrong?? Free cards, cute designs and great service! One less thing to worry over this holiday season for this busy momma!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


No time to blog tonight getting all ready for the holiday, but it has been a historic day and I want to record it on the actual day -

For the first time we have potty success!She's been sitting on her pottyseat every night before she brushes her teeth for probably about 4-6 weeks now, but she never does anything (even though she says she does!) Tonight she surprised us all (and including herself, I think) by going pee-pee! We didn't even know how to react or reward her so we gave her high 5's, toilet paper, and let her flush - all things this toilet obsessed kid loves. Hopefully this will be the first of many successes!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pilgrim Hats!

My junior chef was in full force tonight. First she helped me with dinner, LIKE ALWAYS. Seriously - while Pippin runs in for anything that sounds like food rattling she runs in at the first sound of a pan being pulled from the cabinets. Tonight we made a Caribbean jerk chicken dish in the skillet where first you dredge the chicken in flour and then make a sauce you cook the chicken in. She loved helping me dredge the chicken around.Then for some reason she wanted to start eating some flour! A lot of times she ends up snacking on a lot of the ingredients while we cook. A couple of weeks ago she was eating red wine vinegar by the tablespoon. Weird!! (I did not let her eat chicken coated flour. After the chicken went in the skillet I got her a little bowl with some fresh flour, a spoon and a clean ziploc baggie of her own to play with. Giving her her own ingredients to mix while I'm actually cooking usually works best.)
Then after dinner we made Pilgrim Hats. I saw a cute little recipe for it online and thought it would be an easy and pretty quick food craft for us to make. Basically you melt your chocolate, dip the marshmallow around in it, and then put it on a Fudge stripe cookie. She was all about it and really listened to the instructions and used the toothpick to swirl it around. She was also certain to put each one on a cookie and was very deliberate to do it the right way! She would dip them so fast I had a hard time keeping up with having cookies and marshmallows out for her since I was trying to go behind her to fully dip most of them. Below are how all of hers looked.
She really doesn't like to get super messy, and of course we were both covered in chocolate and she wanted me to wash her hands. I told her to lick it off and a new love of chocolate was born! And of course we all 3 licked the bowl!
Yum, Chocolate!!!
Here are some of the more polished ones I made! So cute and so easy!
And here are Lilli's! (I did the orange buckles after they were set, she was already in bed.) I think she did a pretty good job for completely doing it on her own! She has more of the two tone hat look going on!
We have a nice little box of them ready to send to school with her tomorrow for her to share with her friends, along with a little card we made for her teacher complete with turkey cutouts and feather! Maybe tomorrow night she can help me make the annual pumpkin pie for Auntie Becky!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunny Sunday!

It was SUCH a pretty Sunday here today! Anytime the weather is this nice in late November you just have to enjoy it, and we have spent most of Lilli's waking hours outside this weekend just in case winter arrives soon.

I just love the little dress she wore today. I got it at Market in Atlanta from one of our favorite children's shops selling their samples. It's a Biscotti sample I got for $14 and pretty much all of their dresses sell for $70-$120! Designers sell off their samples at market, and we can get great deals. Sometimes they end up making the dress and sometimes they don't. So Lilli's dress could very well be one of a kind! Lilli and her best bud Pippin. They are pretty much inseparable.
After church we needed to run into Target and get a few things. I saw this little bus in the $1 bins and she drove it all over the store, and was so attached to it we drove it right through the check-out. I have those irritating flour bugs again, so I've bought all new canisters and spent today cleaning out my cabinets, again. I reek of Clorox. Hopefully we can be rid of these things. I did end up tossing 3 full trash bags of ruined food, old expired food, and half eaten, stale food.
Brent snapped a few pictures of Lilli after we got home.
She just can not leave him alone! She loves the snot out of him!!
Poor Pippin. I wonder if he remembers how easy his life used to be??
Sweet little thing (sometimes!) She's still so tiny, just 23.4 pounds, which is what she has weighed for a couple of months now, but she is getting taller (a little). She wears an 18 or 24 month shirt and 12-18M or 18M pants. She's just now wearing the 18M pants (at almost 22 months!) A lot of her 18M footie pajamas are a little tight, it kind of depends on the brand. And she just started wearing a Size 5 shoe.

Pippin kept running away from her making her a little mad, but ever so determined to catch up with him!
She won't even give him space to let him mark all the territory in the yard.... I really hope he didn't hike his leg on her!
I did let her pick her outfit today. She's very opinionated on which shoes she wants to wear and which bow she wants to wear. When I told her she could pick whichever outfit she wanted she pulled this one out - because it's orange! HA! She knows blue, orange, and sometimes white and black and a few of the others.

We took her to the park this afternoon to enjoy the nice day. There were a couple other kids her age she'd follow around. She just loves to climb the playground equipment and since we took her to Shelby Park she even got to watch the dogs over in the dog park.

This face is the result of the new Holiday Oreos I bought a the grocery store. I think she enjoyed them!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Kind of a plain old Saturday around here today. The weather was gorgeous and we spent most of the morning across the street at the playground. Brent spent most of the morning painting and throwing junk out of the upstairs. He found this Potato Head (and we seriously have no clue where this thing came from!!) and it's found a new owner in the house. And since he has glasses Lilli had to wear her glasses....We decided we wanted Indian food for dinner tonight and headed over to our favorite Indian place - Cuisine of India - over near Vandy for dinner. That was actually where Lilli ate out at for the first time ever. Except when we veered across 21st we noticed it's now called Mr Happy Burrito. Seriously not the same. We were still in the mood for Indian so we went to our second favorite spot, Sitar, over near Baptist hospital. In the transition we got stuck in tons of UT vs Vandy football traffic, ugh.
Lilli enjoyed the papadan, (basically Indian chips and salsa) but wouldn't eat any of the curries. I had brought a lunchables and some other food for her just in case, so it worked out fine.
She was wound UP and was talking to the waiters the whole time we were there. Indian restaurants always have great service - as soon as you drink anything they're filling your glass back up - so she was talking, shaking hands, waving, flirting the whole time. Before we left the owner told us something like "Wow, she's about the friendliest kid there is". I think that basically meant she talks a lot. And MAN, she never stops talking these days. I don't even know how many words she has - it's pretty much all of them now. I'm pretty good and translating, but sometimes it takes me a while on ones I don't expect like "applesauce", "sleeves", and so on.
We bought a cupcake last night from a new sweets shop in the neighborhood and today Kroger had one with a squirrel on top that I knew she'd love, so we split those 3 ways tonight when we got home and watched Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving. A nice way to end a Saturday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Nights....

Friday night are all about fun! Tonight we both got home at the same time and took Lilli AND Pippin out for a walk. We don't usually both take Lilli for a walk, but since we were both going we decided to take Pippin. The two of them were beside themselves getting to go out for a walk together.
We didn't know what we wanted to eat so we just went for Mexican, it's always a crowd pleaser! This time we ordered Lilli a soft taco. She'll eat most anything on their kids menu, but sometimes she gets a little burnt out on quesadillas or chicken. She loved her taco but it made such a huge mess!!!We tried to kind of wrap it like a burrito and seal it with beans (she LOVED refried beans) but it kept oozing out everywhere and a good portion of it ended up in her lap!
Afterwards we headed to Home Depot to get some paint and things we needed to work on the upstairs this weekend. Major points to Home Depot for putting a ton of singing, dancing, flashing toys right at the front door.
Brilliant marketing scheme!!!
Except we didn't buy anything except for the paint and supplies we actually came for! But she did have a great time running down the batteries on every last snowglobe and dancing penguin (which we are seriously overpriced!!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Date Night!

We had a date night this week, woo hoo! We try to get out once a month without Lilli. Since we don't have a ton of babysitters around it doesn't always happen, and sometimes we're just so busy the month(s) fly by and we just don't make the arrangements. I think now that she's older and can be such a Terrible 2 at times we've really made it more of a priority to get out, ha!

My lap is never empty, that's for sure.We went out to The Mad Platter in downtown Germantown. We had a $50 Groupon credit we needed to use before it expired in December.
We forgot to take any pictures while we were eating there. It's kind of a small place anyway. It was ok, I'd probably give it a B-. Their portions were incredibly small and the food really wasn't all that exceptional, so we were a little disappointed. The appetizer and dessert were the best part!! Afterwards we went to the neighborhood coffee shop and hung out for a while before heading home.
We always forget to get a picture of Stephanie with Lilli while she's still awake! They had a big time playing together. When she saw her knock on the door she started squealing and got all excited. Thankfully Lilli doesn't get upset when we leave, or mind being with other people. Stephanie said she was really good and went right to bed for her (which she always does for us, but you just never know what might happen with someone else!) And when I asked her this morning if she had fun she said "uh huh". And thankfully this time she did not throw up all over her!!!
She's so sweet every night with her baby doll!
I think Pippin enjoys babysitters more than Lilli does!!!! He hangs around all night (like usual). I do always have to make sure people are ok with dogs since he's so..... hands-on. Luckily Stephanie really likes dogs and misses her old dog.
Pippin gets all the babysitter attention after bed-time!!
Another great date night!