Friday, December 31, 2010

goodbye, 2010!

Dear Anna,

Today, on the last day of your birth year, you noshed on a red velvet cupcake...
Tasty?
strolled through a garden...
Family Photo on NYE
and because you are going to be sound asleep (to tell you the truth, I will be too) when the clock strikes midnight, you received your New Year's kiss under broad daylight, in front of a frozen lake.
NYE Kiss
Love you tons girlfriend! Thanks for making this year the best year yet. There are no words to describe how excited I am to see what 2011 brings.
xo.

To my readers: May you have a memorable and joyous end to 2010! Happy ringing in the new year!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Beef Noodle Soup (牛肉麵), Take 2

I was reading my blog the other day (yes, I do that sometimes all the time) and came across my Beef Noodle Soup recipe. Since the last time I checked, I've received new comments on how great my recipe is! I was so thrilled to see that!

Here is my confession: That was the first and only time I made the soup. I don't know why I never bothered to make it again, but after seeing the new comments, I decided to give it another go!

I took my own advice and used beef shank this time for its fat and tendon content. The verdict? Fabulous! The meat was soft and full of flavor. I also braised the whole piece of meat and sliced it just before serving. I thought it looked a lot prettier than the original.

Another note: I have since then acquired a slow cooker so I used it this time around to cook the noodle soup. Instead of dumping all the ingredients in the slow cooker from the get-go, I did take time and flash boiled the meat first in a separate pot. This will make more sense if you read the original recipe. I cooked it on high for 5 hours in the slow cooker. Could be longer, but I feel that was the definite minimum.

As usual, hubby gave the noodle soup two thumbs up!

beef noodle soup

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Anna’s “First Christmas” Ornament

There were two things I wanted to get done before 12/25 – one, mail out holidays cards, and two, find/make Anna’s “First Christmas” ornament.

I didn’t get around to neither of them.

Eh, I made peace with the first one easily. The second one, however, was the start of a tradition that I AM FOR SURE GOING TO KEEP and I couldn’t let it go as easily.

It’s a popular idea and I heard it from a coworker. The plan is to buy or make an ornament each year for Anna that represents what she was doing. Then when she is grown and has a place of her own, we will give her all the ornaments collected through the years. Hopefully there will be at least 20+ ornaments that she can decorate her tree with.

This year was simple - hello! - her first year on Earth. I ended up finding it two days after Christmas at Lord & Taylor. All ornaments were on clearance and when I saw this baby pink one, I snatched it up immediately. It’s a sparkly, glass ornament and I am really happy with it.

We haven’t taken our tree down yet, so even though it was late, it still made it to the tree.
Anna's "First Christmas" Ornament
When we pack it away, I am going to write a note (with the date) to Anna and keep it with the ornament. I think it will be fun for her to read the note when she's older....year after year.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Chinese Hot Pot

On cold nights, one of my favorite meals is hot pot - a format where everyone sits around a simmering pot of soup, and cooks various raw foods, like meats, seafood, tofu, and vegetables. It is an interactive and fun way to eat food, and you end up with a unique soup to eat. It is also easy to prepare.

Usually we have them at my parents' house with crowds of people, but on Christmas Day, our family of five had our first hot pot ever at home. My mom had gifted me an electric cook pot, perfect for making hot pots.

I cooked the broth with neck bones, tomatoes, and carrots on stove top. Added salt and dashi. Let it simmer for at least 2 hours and transferred to the electric cook pot.

Next I set out all raw foods. Ours was a very modest spread, included napa cabbage, bean thread noodles, sliced beef, shrimp balls, fishcake tempura, tofu, fried taro, and mushrooms.
Christmas 2010 Dinner
hot pot
my Christmas bowl
Then we cooked the raw ingredients in the cook pot, dipped them in Chinese barbecue sauce, and ate and ate and ate.

It was so good and warmed our tummies.

Hopefully we will have hot pot a couple more times before the winter ends. Maybe next time Anna can partake in the meal. We actually purposely started eating while she napped (a baby who likes to get her hands on everything and a hot boiling soup spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e). She did wake up toward the end and tried a bit of everything. She loved it and so did we!

How was your Christmas Day dinner? Was it non-traditional, like ours?

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dear {sugarlens} Readers:

Anna's First National Christmas Tree
The Chong Girls
You guys are the friendliest people on the blogsphere and I just wanted to say thanks so much for reading my little blog. I will be back next week to ring in the new year...but before I go...my family wishes you all a safe & happy holiday season! xo.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

presents under the tree

I'm not shedding a single bead of sweat over Christmas gifts for Anna this year. I'm fully aware that she'll have more fun with all of the cardboard boxes and crinkly wrapping paper involved. However, I am still planning to put a few practical gifts under the tree for the little Miss:

01. This coat from ON will keep her toasty through the winter months.
02. New bodysuits from ON and Baby Gap to keep her wardrobe up-to-date.
03. We are starting early - hopefully she will be proficient with using straw cups just in time for her transition to cow milk.
04. Hubby is fond of this sweet little book.
anna's xmas presents

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, December 17, 2010

we received our first snowfall of the season.

It's Snowing!
Snow Girls
(roughly an inch)
Took me an hour to get home from work.
(normal commute is 25 minutes)
The traffic was slow-moving. The roads were not plowed.
(but, i was not a bit agitated)
(in fact, relieved that i wasn’t the first in the long line of cars)
Arrived to our cozy and warm home, safe and sound.
(was greeted by a hubby on his way out to shovel the driveway, two yappy dogs, and a naked-bum baby {she just had a major poop})
Bundled up the baby and hurried outside to show her the wonderment of snow.
(took those pictures above)
(really smittened with the first one with all my kids)

(p.s there is a wreath on our front door! but it just sort of blends in...need to brighten it up somehow)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

9 months

Dear Anna,

You are 9 months old which means you've officially been out longer than in. The last 9 months have absolutely flashed by, but at the same time, it feels like you have been around forever. In a good way, of course!

These days, you:
* weigh 18 lbs 3.5 oz and measure 27 inches. You are growing, but staying petite.
* get into everything. Everywhere. All the time. You are an energizer bunny.
* pet (ok, more like grab) the dogs.
* take little steps with the help of your walker, but waltz around the furniture like it's your full-time job.
* love to shuffle the books on the shelves, but pay no attention when I try to read them to you.
* give out high 5's and occasional slobbering kisses.
* squeal with delight the most with Papa.
* have a weakness for the tickle monster. All I have to do is raise my fingers and you giggle in anticipation.
* cry and fuss for attention. You will not be ignored during meal time. I confess that sometimes we just let you scream while we finish our dinner.
* need your own personal space when sleeping. Mama loves to co-sleep with you, but you often wake up fussing because you get stuck.
* melt my heart with all those crinkly-eyed smile.
* have a way of making me want to squeeze you forever! Like when you grab my pants, pull yourself up, stick you head in between my legs, and stare up with those dark brown eyes. Adorable!
* baby babble.
* reach for your sippy cup (for water) and drink without dripping.
* not really attached to any toys except your swaddling blankets.

* .........

Anna, the list goes on and there is so much to say about you. You are learning more and more every day. Growing up so quick, making me laugh and making me proud.

xo, Mama

Nine-months checkup
Nine-months checkup
2nd Photo: Not a happy camper after yet another shot.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

what a difference a year makes

2009: A swelling belly.
BabyA_25Weeks
2010: A cute baby (9 months today!) on the loose.
9 months
Gingerbread Woman
Christmas Time

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just some record keeping.

I normally don’t write a post on Anna’s day to day activities until the end of each month, but I don’t want to forget anything that has been happening… This post may bore some of you to tears. Maybe read it when you are having an insomnia?

At 8.5 months, I bragged about how well Anna was eating and sleeping. I can’t believe it, but a week after that (basically started mid last week), she changed completely.

She used to drink 750-800cc a day, plus eating 2 meals of solids (breakfast: yogurt/oatmeal/fruit mix and lunch: veggie/meat/rice puree). Recently, if we are lucky, she only drinks ~600cc a day and sometimes flat out refusing purees.

When we bring the bottle near her, she gags before we even put the nipple in her mouth. Sometimes we successfully get her to start drinking, but then she coughs in the middle of it and throws everything up. Ugh, frustrating!

Maybe she just doesn’t like milk anymore. Maybe the milk flow is too slow for her. We've tried spoon-feeding her and letting her use a straw (which she has learned!). No luck. The only way we can get her to drink any milk is still through bottles…just not much. So I’ve ordered new faster flow nipples and they should arrive this week.

As for solids, hubby and I think that she’s just not into purees anymore. She will happily open her mouth for whatever it is we are eating, but with her baby food, she just turns away. Hubs steamed a soufflé yesterday. This is something we would eat, but soft enough for Anna too. It had tofu, eggs, green beans, carrots, and mushrooms. A bit everything. Anna opened her mouth for every bite, but near the end of the meal, she choked on a mushroom piece and threw up half of the meal. Ugh, frustrating!

For dinner, I gave her some toast and roasted chicken. No throw up. Whew. But I know all that toast and chicken didn’t amount to nearly as much food she used to eat from a spoon.

Needless to say, it has been quite stressful the last few days.

I know that Anna is growing up. She has food preference now. She is picky about what she eats. I just have to be creative in figuring out healthy foods that can be chopped up instead of blended.

As for sleep: she has a later bedtime now. It still varies, but it’s almost always 7:30 to 8pm. Sometimes she throws up while drinking her bedtime bottle and we have to give her an emergency bath and that delays her bedtime even more. Ugh, frustrating!

Sigh, life with a baby is not rainbows and unicorns all the time. Changes are bound to occur. Right now we are learning to adjust.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tiny Tong Legs

Untitled-1
Haven't taken many pictures of Anna lately so decided to play catch up tonight. Perfect timing because her new leg warmers (from BabyLegs) had just arrived!

Well, would you believe it that hubby was the mastermind behind this purchase? And he bought not one, not two, but six pairs! Anna is going to have the best dressed (and warmest) legs all winter long. :)

Now, I have always known about these leg warmers, but this cheapskate Mama just couldn't justify the cost. But hubs got them for a steal, thanks to Cyber Monday and late-night browsing.

LOVE these leg warmers. Anna does too.
IMG_1615
IMG_1607
IMG_1582

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mama Wins

Anna is at that stage where she would drop whatever she’s doing and crawl to us if she sees us with food.

It’s the cutest thing. She could be on the other side of the room when she catches us with ice cream and – bam! – snuggles up against us before we even get a chance to take the first lick.

Just last night, hubs walked past Anna, who was holding onto the coffee table, and settled himself down on the couch, ready to eat his grapefruit. Haha, Anna immediately let go of both hands, landed on her padded butt, twisted herself around, crawled toward hubs, pulled herself to stand, and reached for the grapefruit. Her motions were seamless. She will do anything for her food.

Anyway, it was about time for the dogs’ bathroom break so I took them out back, through the glass sliding door in the family room.

When I came back, I saw my little baby, standing up against the other side of the glass door, waiting for me.

Our eyes met! Her gaze! Her expression! Omg, it was the best.

Hubs told me that after I closed the door behind me, she forgot all about the grapefruit and crawled across the room to look for me. My baby picked ME over FOOD!

Note to self: always have the camera handy, even if it is just taking the dogs out for a pee break.

Seeing me back inside, safe and sound, she went back her father, pestering him for food.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, December 6, 2010

#REVERB10 - Day 6

December 6 Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

The last thing I made was dinner. Does that count? I made sautéed spinach with tofu, chili basil chicken stir-fry, and a big pot of potato and carrot soup. Humble, yet satisfying!

Since Anna came into the picture, I don’t spend much time in the kitchen anymore. We eat very simple meals, usually consist of me tossing together whatever we’ve got in the fridge. Regardless, the simplest of meals still take 30-35 minutes to make due to prepping and cleaning up. Not a long time, but not always something I want to do after a day of work.

Ordering out can get pricy and I can’t survive on cereal alone.

So…next year, I would like to try my hands on making freezer meals!

My plan:

  • Set aside a couple of hours on a Sunday (once-a-month) to cook. People spend up to 8 hours cooking for the entire month! In my case, since freezer meals will just be for those lazy days, I will prepare them at a smaller scale.
  • Divide the food into meal-sized portions.
  • Still prepare fresh meals 4-6 times a week, but eat freezer meals 1-3 times (especially on weekdays).
The benefits:
  • Saves money (buy in bulk, buy on sale)
  • Saves time (rather than prepping, cooking, and cleaning up each night)
  • It's healthier (instead of ordering or eating out)
I am anxious to get started!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, December 3, 2010

oh christmas tree


I know I say this every year, but it is worth repeating:

With the tree up, our {new} place is beginning to feel a little like Christmas and a lot like home.

And although we have been using the same Mickey & Minnie ornaments year after year, am still completely charmed by our beautiful tree and...new this year...our little bundle of joy.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

#REVERB10 - Day 1

This month, I am going to try my best to participate in #reverb10. I found this through various bloggers and it’s basically a way to close out your year by responding to creative prompts and sharing your response with the world.

2010 has been a big year so I thought it would be good for me to reflect (and to remember) through some kind of unique outlet.

---

December 1 One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011?

My word for 2010 is dazed.

2010 was filled with new beginnings, big time choices, and major changes for us (just as I had predicted). We went from carefree adults to parents with responsibilities and a mortgage. Despite its wonderment, it has left me feeling completely dazed. I feel someone has hit the 'repeat' button on my life, and I have been living the same day over and over. And while it has never been a bad day, it's hard to remember where this year has gone!

Next year, I want to be fully present in everything I do...and I plan to do a lot. In fact...

My word for 2011 is grow.

Unlike last year, I will not be birthing babies or buying a new house (or at least such major life events are not on the radar)...so I am deeming next year for growth.

(Re)grow my love for trying new recipes. Grow my non-existing photography skills. (Continue) growing this house into a home. Grow this blog. (Keep) growing a bright and healthy Anna.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Anna @ 8.5 months

Anna is 8.5 months old.
push faster papa!
Almost on the same day that I wrote in her 7.5 months old post that she has been waking up at night, she decided to sleep through the night again. Yay!

On weekdays, under Grandma’s watch, she takes two naps a day. Wakes up around 6:30am – 7am and goes to bed around 6:30pm – 7pm. Very structured and I like the routine we have established.

On the weekends, however, she can be up for 4+ hours before she needs a nap. (Maybe she knows we are easier to manipulate?) Then by the time she needs another nap, sometimes I just keep her up until bedtime, which may be as early as 6pm! I give mad props to Grandma for putting Anna down for naps so easily on the weekdays. I, on the other hand, struggle to do so.

Either way, she seems to be happy and well-rested.

I am still making baby food for Anna. It takes about 1.5 hours of my Sunday to make enough food for the week. I am trying to introduce her to new food all the time – new this month is yogurt and oatmeal. To save money, I buy a big tub of organic yogurt and mix in homemade apple sauce prior to each feeding. I also bought a box of steel-cut oats that will last a long time. They are more economical than buying baby-specific yogurt or Gerber oatmeal. I refer to this website for all things baby food.

Anna eats 3 meals a day:
Breakfast: Oatmeal + Fruit Mix and/or Yogurt + Fruit Mix
Lunch: Rice + Veggies + Meat Mix
Dinner/Snack: Bits and pieces of whatever we are having

In between the meals, she’s offered four 200cc bottles a day. Sometimes she finishes them, sometimes she doesn’t.

I feel Anna is a good eater, but she’s still a small girl.

Anna definitely understands when we say "no" if she touches something she's not supposed to. She'll touch it again, and again, and again, but will stop every time we say “no”. Most of the time she eventually leaves it alone. She also knows her name…I believe.

She now crawls like a bulldog, pulls herself to stand + tests herself by letting go + lowers herself back down, and cruises along furniture. She knows how to crawl up the one step from family room to breakfast area, but hasn’t figure out how to go down without falling on her face (happened to her once and now she’s super careful). Anna is a rock star when it comes to gross motor skills!
looking so big
However.

She still only has two teeth (kids her age usually have more already!), not quite self-feeding (the dogs end up getting all her puffs), and isn’t waving bye or clapping.

I guess it just to show that everyone develops differently.

Whatever pace Anna sets for herself, she’s my sweet girl.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, November 29, 2010

the return of the gogo box

Back in our rental days, Pargo had this box by the window that he laid on for hours a day. I think it’s safe to say that it was his favorite place to be – where he napped, sunbathed, and people-watched. Eventually when Pesto joined the family, he also learned that the box was a great place to be.

{Haha, a blast from the past. Look at how young Pargo looked, still full of black hair. Dogs grow up too fast, too.}
IMG_4469
Since moving to our new place, P&P have just been hanging out in the family room (which is in the back of the house) all day long, with nothing to see but the baby terrorist and the screened-in porch.

They were bored.

So over the holiday weekend, I was about to toss away some old diaper boxes when hubby decided to repurpose them and create a new and better window box for the dogs.

He taped two boxes together, added layers of old company t-shirts for padding, and taped everything down. Then using an old bed sheet, he covered the box and pinned the corners neatly.
old diaper boxes
We put the box by the window in the foyer. Of course, the view outside isn’t as action-packed anymore as we live in a quiet neighborhood, but I think they are still happy to have it back.

The box is so nice that Anna wants to get on it, too. new gogo box

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Happy {black} Friday!

Yesterday evening, we loaded up our little family (dogs included) and headed over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house to spend Anna's first Thanksgiving with hubs' side of family. No turkey for us, but we did have roasted duck and chicken wings.

On my agenda today: chores around the house. I already swiffer'ed the kitchen floor + mudroom and Hubby is painting Anna's room as I type. No driving around for deals for us, although I did hit up CVS this morning for free toothpaste and shampoo. :)

Hope you all enjoy the rest of the long weekend.
Giddy for...roasted duck!
craft time

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

8

chasing the fishies
i love putting Anna up in front of our tank* everyday.
it’s awesome to see her chase the fish with her hands.
which just reminds me once again:
the coolest thing about being a Mama is that every ordinary thing is new again. Every little thing is a big thing.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

why, hello!

April's Visit
I have been MIA but not without a reason. My cousin (+ her hubby) were in town from Taiwan and we had been playing. Um...mostly at the mall. I do believe my cousin did her part (and probably the part of 100 others) in stimulating the economy and even I caught her shopping bug and splurged quite a bit on some pretty bowls in Anthropologie.

Fun is over and it’s back to work today, but thankfully, another long weekend is upon us!
pretty bowls at Anthro

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

messy

mess maker
It's pretty amazing. One minute she was a placid little baby, and now she's a hurricane, crawling around with noise and energy, creating havoc and mess wherever she goes, getting into EVERYTHING.

Keeping all her baby stuff organized is a losing battle and I’ve learnt to just sigh and put up with the mess.

Because if not, I will probably drive myself crazy with all the never-ending cleaning up!
hi mama
Photos: Taken just earlier today, right before she messed up my neatly arranged shelves.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The other night,

Sasha's Birthday
I had the most relaxing experience in a long time.

I was invited to a one-year-old birthday party at a steakhouse. (How fancy.)

I brushed the knots out of my hair, put on a clean shirt, and changed out of my pajama pants. I left the baby at home and spent the next two and half glorious hours pigging out and chatting with my friends.

There was a salad bar with all the trimmings and meats were brought to the table and carved in front of us. Top sirloin, ribs, filet mignon, rib eye. Everything was juicy, tender, and scrumptious!

At the end, there were no dishes to wash and a slice of birthday cake – poof! - magically appeared in front of me.

Ahhhh…I was in heaven.

The next day I wrote to my friend, telling her just exactly what a wonderful time I had.

She responded with a laugh, “Having a child really makes one appreciate these things!”

I don’t think any moms would argue with her on that.

(Thanks again Irena and HB to Sasha!)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, November 15, 2010

8 months

Anna Banana,

At 8 months, you love tearing magazines into iddy-biddy pieces, playing extreme peekaboo, and flirting with yourself in front of the mirror. You become a little terror and throw a fit if we don’t share our dinner with you. But then you switch back to a perfect angel and are the best snuggle buddy.

Over the space of a month, your development has exploded and progressed at lightning speed. You went from commando crawling, to a little hand-foot shuffle, to skillfully crawling on all fours. You crawl like a slow creeping lizard, pausing and examine your surroundings.

You are really good at pulling yourself up to stand now. So good that I don’t feel the need to watch your every attempt. You are not cruising, but love practice walking with us holding you.

One night after a few licks of chocolate, you went on a sugar high and went completely wild. You were as happy as can be and your giggles rang throughout the house. That was a fun night.

You are all about “mamamamama.” And sometimes you spit out “bababa.” Can’t wait until you actually say it TO US. You are a little girl with a sweet personality. Every day is an adventure with you in our lives.

In case I haven’t said it in the last, oh, 20 seconds, you are a delight.

I am 8 months old
magazine fun

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

a little trip to great falls park

Great Falls Park 13Nov2010
The weather was SPECTACULAR!

We were heading into DC, to the zoo, but opted to take Anna to Great Falls Park - a mere 10-minute drive from home - at the last minute.

I have been to the park more than a dozen times, but today, we climbed down jagged rocks and enjoyed peace near the water, away from the crowd.

The air was crisp. The scenery was pretty. The sun was warm. It was a great day to be out...and to forget about the house chores for a while.

Great Falls Park 13Nov2010
Great Falls Park 13Nov2010
More images from the trip here.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yellow No More

So...a couple of weeks ago, we hired the same people who painted the entire house yellow 10 years ago and had them re-paint to more refreshing colors. Something that doesn’t scream: old people live here!

But first, I will step back and say outsourcing the painting job to professionals was a smart decision. Yes, we could’ve easily (or maybe not so easily?) done the messy job ourselves, but with $1800, we only had to live in chaos for two days instead of months. Not to mention the CLEAN work that these guys did. It was money well spent.

It took them two days to apply two coats of paint to the entire first level (including pantry closet, hall closet, mudroom), the stairs, upstairs hallway, and the master bedroom. It's amazing what cans of paint can do to a house. It seems like our house has completely transformed and we are absolutely loving it.

Around the same time, the furniture set for living room was delivered. And immediately, we started putting holes in the wall and hung up some pictures.

Here is our house as it stands today:

The living room. Eventually, when we start using the room more, it will appear less like a showroom and more lived-in. I adore the muted blue-grayish color. The entire main level is in this color except the kitchen, breakfast area, and family room.

The bookshelves are from IKEA for $25 each. Best deal ever.

Living Room
Living Room
The color of breakfast area and family room is hard to describe. It's a bit of pink and purple and gray. It was close to Anna's bedtime when we stood in front of all the paint chips at Home Depot. I almost lost my mind for a moment and wanted bright orange (eeek!), but re-gained conscience and thought it would look too funky and loud. Hubby picked this color at the last minute, just when Anna declared that it was time to go.

I am not entirely sold on my desk area. I still need to find a way to get organized. Since the desk is right next to the mudroom, we use it as a place to keep our keys, rings, cell phones...things that we need to grab as we head out. Right now, they sort of just lay on the desk...which drives me crazy.
IMG_0815
We made a couple of updates to the family room since the last time I posted. Plants, pictures, and a new coffee table (no corners so safer for the baby in picture).

Oh yes, please note that we have the mini pumpkins still up on display and a bowl of ornaments on the coffee table. We celebrate all holidays concurrently around here.
Family Room
The kitchen is bright green, which I will share next time!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Holiday Cards, Personalized!

The holiday card season is upon us and, this year, I am thinking ahead.

With a baby and a full-time job, I am always short on time. So making cards from scratch is out. Even finding time to go to Hallmark is questionable. The easiest solution? Buy online!

I found some really cute ones that are ready-to-order-and-personalized-with-own-photos on Shutterfly*. Not only the quality will be great, but they will be shipped to my door. Nowadays, I find convenience the biggest luxury.

Below are some of my favorite designs, but it's likely that I will find something I love even more when it's time to order. There are so many options.

STATIONERYCARD_5x7-23046-2771-MERCHLARGE_FRONT-v1281039050000125764
STATIONERYCARD_5x7-23017-2632-MERCHLARGE_FRONT-v128103904300083644
STATIONERYCARD_5x7-23017-2548-MERCHLARGE_FRONT-v1281039202000120034
Top: Squee! Really like the festive words and the pop of colors.
Middle: Nothing beats classic black & white.
Bottom: Probably my most favorite. Love the simplicity and the fonts.

Now just need to get a picture of Anna, all decked out in her holiday gear and flashing one of her blinding smiles.

Can't wait to show you the final product!

*Psst! - I’m receiving 50 free cards from Shutterfly for this post, and if you’re a blogger, you can too! Follow this link and check it out!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

de-cluttering the sink area

I've always considered myself more tidy than clean. Clutter's a no-no, but the tub can go un-scrubbed and carpet can go un-vacuumed more than I like to admit. Luckily, hubby is the exact opposite so I consider our place in a very good shape, meaning that people can come by without us scrambling to make the house look presentable.

Anyway, to help with de-cluttering and making the sink area a prettier place to wash dishes, I bought this sponge holder that suctions to the inside of the sink. Now the sponge is out of sight unless we are standing over the sink looking in.

sponge holder
Haha, we have been buying a TON of stuff lately, but I am most excited about this $10 purchase. So excited that I am writing a whole blog post just on it.

Now I am looking for a caddy with cute soap and lotion dispensers to complete the look (and to replace that yucky CVS one).
sink area

[+/-] Extra Sugar!