Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas Gifts My 6 Month Old Daughter Loved

I've been looking at lots of gift giving guides trying to get ideas for the kids in my life, and I've had a realization. Often I'm looking at these gifts wondering just how much the kids will actually use them and love playing with them. So I decided to write a first hand review of the toys my daughter received over the past two years and share with you her favorites that we can highly recommend for the kids in your life, starting with her first Christmas.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Christmas at the Cottage - Christmas Home Tour 2018

I'm so excited that we have an extra week to celebrate Christmas this year! There's nothing like the cozy feeling you get with all the twinkle lights glowing along with a crackling fire. Last night Carolyn and I snuggled up with blankets and pillows in front of the fire place and read Christmas stories. Oh these are the best memories, and I will cherish them for as long as I live.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Thanksgiving Table Decor and Friendsgiving 2018

Every year I hold a small Friendsgiving potluck with my friends. We love the special time to get together and catch-up. I also love an excuse to set up a pretty table. This year I let Carolyn help me with the table decor.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Cheater Store Bought Thanksgiving Crafts

I love doing crafts with my daughter, but sometimes I tire of having to think up ideas, or find the perfect idea on Pinterest. So for the sake of just doing something fun I will impulse buy a craft at the store. I bought these two little Thanksgiving craft kits at the craft store thinking they would be fun and easy, one was, the other wasn't. Can you guess which is which?

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Easy Meal Planning Calendar

How is your weekly meal planning going? At this time of year we tend to feel overwhelmed with all the holidays coming up trying to plan out all of our meals and thinking about all we have to do. I have a system to share with you that I've been using for over a year now and can highly recommend for it's easiness and flexibility.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Carolyn's Trip to the Pumpkin Patch 2018

I love all the fun activities of fall, in particular going to the pumpkin patch! This year for the first time we went to the Irvine Regional Park Pumpkin Patch with my lifelong friend Christen. It was so much fun, and Carolyn had the best time!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

How to Make a Mary Poppins' Hat and Bird Umbrella

Have you checked out the price of costume props? Eeke! Why buy what you can easily make? All you need is some creativity and a glue gun! Check out how I easily made the Mary Poppins' bird umbrella and her iconic daisy boater hat out of felt.

Mary Poppins Costume

You could buy a Mary Poppins costume, but where's the fun in that? I made Carolyn's adorable little costume for less than $20 and the best part is that most of it she can wear again.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween 2018

Happy Halloween from my little Mary Poppins! I'll come back later with a description of how I made her whole costume.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Anza 2018

Typically our Anza reenactment is held in the spring, but due to some health issues that our host was having we had to delay. Happily he is doing much better and invited us all up for some fun this last weekend.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Trunk or Treat Car Activity Ideas

Hi Everyone, I have two easy and fun activities that you can set up with your car at Trunk or Treat this weekend!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Trafalgar Day 2018

This past Sunday we celebrated the British victory at the battle of Trafalgar. We had a wonderful picnic celebration in honor of Admiral Nelson. Please enjoy my photographic storytelling of the event.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Family in Town

My cousin Auburn and her daughter Maggie are back for another visit. We don't have as many adventures planned this time, but instead plan to stay home and do lots of fun fall activities. Baking pumpkin cookies is on the agenda! It was so cute the way they were delighted to see each other again. Maggie was tired from waking up early and driving the long drive to get here, so she crawled into bed. Carolyn excitedly climbed into bed with her. I know they would have loved to sleep in the same bed, but I doubt there would have been much sleeping going on...

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Hello all! Show of hands anyone have an Instant Pot? Or interested in getting one but hesitating? I have the easiest, healthy recipe that will put you over the edge. You make your whole dinner in the pot at the same time! And from cutting board to plate the whole thing only takes about 45 minutes.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Playford to the Present Ball

This weekend for the first time ever we bravely decided that we were good enough dancers to attend the esteemed Playford to the Present Ball in Pasadena, CA. In the past we've always felt inadequate to attend this ball, because the dances are not taught there and the caller only calls the first round or two and then leaves you on your own. I'm so glad that he does this, because it is just magical when suddenly you realize the whole room is dancing in unison to the music. Below is a group photo of our friends that we regularly dance with in Anaheim.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ahhhh pumpkin season is here at last! I know technically I could bake with pumpkin year round, but pumpkin cookies in the spring just aren't as magical. These cookies are deliciously moist and cakey with a lovely pumpkin spice flavor. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Intentional Decisions for Raising a Baby

Today I'd like to do something a little different, I'd like to share with you all of the very intentional decisions I've made while raising Carolyn, in particular when she was a baby. I am one of those people who likes to make decisions thoughtfully and research them thoroughly. As much as I was dying to become a mom I wanted to wait until my husband and I were settled enough to feel comfortable in the money department and make sure I felt confident to take on the challenges of being a mother. With all this extra time waiting I've been observing all the mothers around me picking and I've been choosing the parenting decisions that I think are best. These are some of that strategies that I have decided to follow while raising my daughter. I put in a disclaimer that I am not the most educated person in the world; I only have a bachelors degree and a teaching credential, and am not a professional in early childhood development. All I know is what's important to me, and that's what I want to share with you today.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Cottage Fall Decor Tour

Hooray on the calendar it says it's officially fall, now people won't mind that the wind blew in a little fall decor into my house! Who am I kidding, it's more than just a little and I've totally had it up since Labor Day weekend, to me the start of September is close enough of an excuse to decorate for fall. Come see a few of my favorite fall decor decorations.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Trip to the San Diego Zoo

Ben and I decided that we wanted to celebrate our birthdays this year by going to the San Diego Zoo. This was super exciting for us because Carolyn has never been to the zoo. She loves talking about different animals and it's adorable the way she'll describe them. For example the kangaroo goes boing boing! And of course the lion is described by his "roar."

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Carolyn's Garden

I love tending to my garden, and so does Carolyn! I think this is so sweet, until she digs up my freshly sown seeds or starts picking under ripe fruit. It's just so adorable the way she wants to do everything that I'm doing and I hated having to exclude her from helping me in the garden. Then it hit me, why not give her her own very distinct garden space, a nice little toddler garden area! On our next trip to the hardware store the plan was hatched.
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Missing Photos

I apologize for a lot of missing pictures, especially in older posts. I was using PhotoBucket to host my pictures, but they've changed their rules and no longer allow links to them.
I will be re-uploading the pictures, but it may take some time...