Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Aria and the Lizards

Sweet Turtle Soup: Aria and the Lizards
We practically have a lizard farm thriving on the back porch. The dogs use to chase them, but I guess they are getting useless complacent in their old age. Aria has now taken up the charge of head lizard hunter. But where the dogs wanted to chew them up just a wee bit (you know, just enough to mangle them but not enough to kindly kill the dang things) Aria wants to hold them.

I caught a little one for her weeks ago and I set it in her hand, where it stayed for all of 2 seconds. I guess the memory stuck because now when she sees one she runs over to it holding out her hand and demanding 'in'. So far not a single one has decided to just hop on her palm for a cuddle. That doesn't dampen her spirit though. I wonder when she will learn the lesson that the big ones bite. Probably not for a while, seeing as how they are zippy little suckers.

Update: all her little dreams came true after dinner last night. I caught a tiny lizard for her and she got to hold it for a few seconds before we put him in a flower pot.

And, another aside...while we were at Epcot this past weekend she saw the gators on the Living with the Land boat ride and held out her arms and said 'in'. Those lizards sure do grow up big.

Anyway, I just think it is the funniest thing to watch and we go out lizard hunting on the regular. Naturally I caught a little bit of it on video, check it out below!

p.s. Happy October 1st! This means I can finally dive into my Countdown to Halloween link up party. So many festive things to do, so many delicious things to bake. Don't forget to link up any and all of your Countdown to Halloween fun on October 7th, next Tuesday.

Linking up with Ashley at Words About Waverly and Jess at Sadie Sky Boutique:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Grey Skies, Little Darling

Hi, I'm Courtney and I am 5'2. That makes it hard to find anything in the 'right' length.

Jeans are probably the worst, I'm constantly walking around with the ends under my heels.

Many moons ago I was trying to find dresses to wear on my honeymoon. I ordered a few dresses only to get them to my door and find that they fell to my calves. You know, that awkward length. I also got one that was so short when I sat my bum was touching the seat rather than my dress. Who was that one made for?

It is just too bad eShakti wasn't around. You pick a dress and then you get it customized to your body and height. There are also a whole slew of alterations available - neck line, sleeve length, pockets, etc. When eShakti contacted me about wearing one of their dresses I did a little happy dance. The whole process was fun. And, just check out how not awkward that length is! The hardest part was picking a dress, so many completely fantastic ones. That is what you call a good problem.
Sweet Turtle Soup: eShakti Florence Dress
As soon as I got this baby in the mail I knew I wanted to take her for a spin around Disney's Boardwalk. Fabulous dress, fabulous location. Naturally it ended up being a dreary and rainy day - grey skies. It was also around that time that I realized I am obsessed with lacy overlays. I have three dresses of a similar style now! When it works, it works.

What wasn't working was the humid fuzz ball my hair was quickly turning into. That and Aria had exactly zero interest in not being in every single picture. She was rocking her outfit though, so it all worked out anyway.
Sweet Turtle Soup: eShakti Florence Dress
I was a little apprehensive after I placed my order, since my online clothes shopping has such a low success rate. But when I tried on my dress it was perfect. Everything fit just like it was suppose to. Bonus points that it was so comfortable. A big sigh of relief.
Sweet Turtle Soup: eShakti Florence Dress
If you are tired of ordering things online that look amazing on the model and like a potato sack on you, I would recommend giving eShakti a try. I was pleased with everything from a to z, and will definitely be considering them again for my future online shopping needs.
Sweet Turtle Soup: eShakti Florence Dress
Sweet Turtle Soup: eShakti Florence Dress
Find out more about eShakti on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!
You can also get 10% off with the code 'sweetturtles' from now until October 13th, 2014. As well as a $25 credit when you register.
Sweet Turtle Soup: eShakti Florence Dress
Happy shopping!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mommy & Me Monday: Around the World

Aria and I took a little trip around the world this weekend. Well, Chris was there too. Somebody had to take the pictures, right? And, we didn't even have to leave Orlando. Disney really makes travel convenient. That Mickey, so thoughtful. I'll be recapping that trip sometime in the vaguely not too distant future, but in the meantime let's take a quick stroll around the world (showcase).
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
Sweet Turtle Soup: Mommy & Me Monday - Around the World
11 Countries. Under 2 minutes. Not too shabby. I bet your feet aren't even sore. Let's do it again sometime!

Have a magical Monday, and happy almost October.

Friday, September 26, 2014

[Guest Post] Getting to Know Lyndsey from Little Harper

Happy Q&A Friday! The last Friday of September by the way. I swear the months are getting shorter and shorter. I'd be just fine if the next few slowed down though, I wouldn't mind savoring each holiday and enjoying my favourite time of the year!

So, today's guest Q&A-er is Lyndsey, a fellow Florida girl and the writer behind Little Harper. She is mama to Harper who happened to be born with cleft. I just love her journey dealing with a birth defect, because she is so strong and positive. I always admire people telling their stories about anything like this, so it doesn't have to be scary for somebody else. She also blogs about her day to day, and personally this is one of my favourite posts - Spending Too Much Time With Maggie & Benji. If you are in the mood for a giggle you should click, and I'm honestly surprised Aria hasn't mimicked this. Now keep on scrolling to see her answers to my questions below.

Thanks for being my guest today, Lyndsey!

Make sure to stop by her blog today, and tell her Courtney sent you!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Favorite Fall Children's Books, Toddler Friendly Activities, and DIY Decor - Ideas and Inspiration

Yesterday I posted my 12 favourite fall recipes, and today's round up is fall books, toddler activities, and easy DIY decor. We have read, done, and made every one of these and love them all.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Favorite Fall Children's Books, Toddler Friendly Activities, and DIY Decor - Ideas and Inspiration
 [ 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 ]

Books are one of my fave things to get for Aria. These are our absolute favourites from last year. And, we read a ton. I've come to the conclusion that I am kind of picky when it comes to children's books. I looked back on the notes I made for each book we borrowed from the library last October, and most of them were 'hated' 'boring' 'meh' 'kill me now'.

Five Little Pumpkins is definitely Aria's top pick, and mine is The Little Yellow Leaf. I adore the Yellow Leaf book. Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear makes a close second, it has that little extra something and a kitty on almost all of the pages for Aria to find. We've got lots more Autumn books to read this year and I hope we find a bunch more faves.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Favorite Fall Children's Books, Toddler Friendly Activities, and DIY Decor - Ideas and Inspiration
[ spider hand prints / ghost feet / glow stick bath / finger paint painters tape jack-o-lantern ]

I kept our activities pretty low key last year. We made a nice pile of spider hand print cards to send out to friends and family. And, with that one little craft my love for all things hand print and foot print art blossomed. We've got something for almost all of the holidays now.

Glow sticks from the Target dollar section made for a super entertained Aria. She played with these for the longest of times, which is a big bonus with a 9 month old. I stole the painters tape finger paint pumpkin idea from Hello Erin, and it was a big hit. Aria took to her masterpiece with gusto and then admired it for days afterwards until it made its way onto the front porch. We will totally be doing this one again because it was such a fun project.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Favorite Fall Children's Books, Toddler Friendly Activities, and DIY Decor - Ideas and Inspiration
[ ribbon wreath tutorial / burlap mini banner wreath / pumpkin wreath / fall twig wreath with rosettes tutorial ]

I have a slight obsession with wreaths. Aren't they the cutest? The ribbon wreath is my favourite. The link isn't the precise tutorial I used to make it because that blog no longer exists, but this one is similar. Instead of one ribbon loop per pin I put on like 6 and then fluffed them each with my finger. Definitely not the cheapest of wreaths because that ribbon adds up, but oh so cute.

I don't have a tutorial for the burlap wreath, because I just made it up as I went. Super easy though. Wrap a wreath form in a spool of burlap, don't skimp. I used scrapbook paper to cut out pennants and then scrapbook alphabet stickers for my message. I went with "happy fall" and "give thanks". Hole punch, string, and tie it on the the wreath. I purchased fall leaves from the dollar store and pined them to cover the ties from the mini banner. p.s. I had to chop down the mini banner three times to get it small enough to fit, so go small.

The pumpkin wreath is my new wreath this year, the rest are from last year. I saw something similar on pinterest, and just tweaked it with what I already had. The pumpkin wreath inspiration was a yarn wreath, but since I had orange mesh in my craft box I went with that instead. Plus, yarn takes a lot longer to wrap then a few loops with mesh. So, I pinned on the mesh - don't skimp, I think I ended up going around three times to cover up the wreath underneath. Tie a brown ribbon as the hanger and for the pumpkin stem. Tie raffia to the ribbon. I used scrapbook paper and cut out 5 billion tiny leaves, and my hands are still cramped. You could use little foam leaves instead, or better yet buy a leaf shaped stamp cutter punch. Then tie on or hot glue the leaves onto a few raffia pieces. I also hot glued a few leaves to the wreath so they were spread out a bit more.

The rosettes wreath is the first one I made. My rosettes are kind of sad compared to the tutorial's rosettes, so I'd like to redo them sometime. But other than that it is the first to go up each year and it makes me happy to see it on the front door every time I come and go from the house!

Sweet Turtle Soup: Favorite Fall Children's Books, Toddler Friendly Activities, and DIY Decor - Ideas and Inspiration
[ leaf garland / circle garland / pennant banner / candy corn garland tutorial ]

Garlands are my favourite way to decorate for any occasion because they are so gosh darn easy. For the leaf garland I bought foam leaves from joann's and stapled them onto some yarn. That's it. I usually staple this type of garland onto coordinating ribbon, but I was just using what I had on hand.

For the circle garland I purchased 4 different color pieces of scrapbook paper. I went with sparkly purple, black, orange, and green - hard to see in the little picture. I have a round shape cutter punch and I used that to cut as many circles from each piece of paper. I ended up with several extra. Then I took fishing wire and hot glued two circles together with the wire crossing in between. Use a good amount of hot glue to keep the wire from sliding when everything is dry. Let dry, and hang.

For the 'trick or treat' pennant banner I cut Halloween scrapbook paper into pennants. I bought a little booklet of Halloween theme scrapbook paper at Michaels, and it is the same I used for the mini banner wreath above. I used scrapbook alphabet stickers for my message, again the same set from the mini banner wreath. Hole punch, string, and hang.

I thought this candy corn garland was super cute, especially if you have a kid that can paint in particular areas. Plus, it has an added bonus of being a fraction lesson - if you are into that sort of thing. I found orange plates at Target so I just painted the white and yellow. Hole punch, string, and hang.

I hope you are inspired to try your hand at one or two or three of these, and hey if you do let me know!