Friday, December 16, 2011

Lopez Family Christmas Card

Simply Love Holiday Card
holiday party invitations and thank you cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

I finally got around to ordering our Christmas cards. I LOVE them! Hopefully I'll be on the ball enough next week to get them mailed out in time. If you are on our Christmas list, you can expect our card a couple of days before or after Christmas. For all others, enjoy our online card!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Almost the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It’s that time of year again! I am planning our Christmas card photo! Ryan and I have been married for 4 1/2 years now, so this will be our fifth family Christmas card. I love photo cards. I love looking through the pages of options online and choosing the perfect card! This year I think I’m going to plan our photo around the card!

Shutterfly has their beautiful line of holiday cards out to peruse and order in time to get cards out! I love Shutterfly! I use their website throughout the year for printing pictures, ordering birthday cards, birth announcements, etc. I especially love playing around with the different options they have for Christmas cards and gifts! Last year I ordered acrylic prints of Tessa for my mom and mom-in-law for Christmas. They turned out beautifully! They have so many gift options and trinkets available to order, you could almost complete your Christmas shopping on their website!

Another very popular gift with my family is the photo calendar. At, you have so many choices between wall calendars, desk calendars, and year-at-a-glance poster calendars! What I love about this gift is once the year ends, you now have 12 prints of your photos! My sister still has her 2006 calendar hanging on her wall because she loves the December photo I put in! It’s fun to look through it from time to time and remember what my nephews were up to back then!

If you’re curious about our cards this year, I’m leaning towards the Sparkle Joy or the Blossoming Joy (both found here). I was toying with a black, white, and red theme for our family photo, and the Blossoming Joy card would work perfectly with that color choice!

FYI, Shutterfly provided my high-quality photo Christmas cards last year, and is giving our family (and other qualified bloggers!) 25 complementary cards this year! Whoo Hoo!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Media Socialite

My Uncle Mark is visiting this week! I love when he comes out to Southern California for a visit. The last time he was out, Tessa was still in my belly, so she finally got to meet him. My Uncle Mark is a neat man. When we were little, we called him Crazy Uncle Mark because he was young and fun. He is always learning new things and expanding his horizons.

My sisters, Uncle Mark, and me. 3 weeks before Tessa was born!
His latest adventure is in the social media arena. We spent several hours together, teaching me about HootSuite, helping me learn how to use my twitter account, and finding topics of interest for me to start some daily e-newspapers. I now am the editor of two e-newspapers: Do It Yourself Daily and Sew What's New? I'm excited about my new adventure in social media and to see where it will take me. I'm thinking of topics for other potential newspapers. Maybe SAHM, crafting, repurposing... who knows what else is out there! Click on over to one (or both) of my e-newspapers and check them out! There are some pretty cool articles!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Welcome Autumn!

Autumn is my favorite season (along with spring and summer!) I love the cooler weather, the warm colors, pumpkin and cinnamon scented EVERYTHING, my birthday, Halloween and Thanksgiving, so many great things to look forward to in the fall!
Last year I really wanted to make a fall onesie for Tessa. I never got around to it, so that was one of the first projects on my autumn to-craft list this year!

I love how this shirt turned out! I just sewed on a few silk leaves along the veins so most of the leaf is loose. The buttons are added just for extra cuteness! My favorite part is the plaid ruffle along the bottom! My mom found this adorable ribbon at JoAnn's. I just pulled out the wires, sewed it into a ruffle, and sewed it onto the tee! I can't wait for it to fit Tessa! Hopefully it will fit before we go to the pumpkin patch for pictures!

I'm linking up to Craftaholics Anonymous' Fall Frenzy Link Party!


Friday, September 16, 2011

First Sale!

I just completed my first Etsy sale! Of course when I opened my store, I had these big dreams of items flying off the shelf, but as it turns out, almost a year and a half have gone by and I've just now sold my first item! I think it is really cute! It's a personalized diaper wipes case with a ruffled pocket on the front for diapers. My customer wanted something bright, sophisticated, yet still girlie. I think she's going to love this! I sure do!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Seventeen Months!

Tessa, this has been such a big month for you! I think you learn something new every single day!

• You are constantly signing “cracker.” I almost regret teaching you that sign! You really love to eat crackers! You are a really good eater, actually. You prefer fruit, but on most days, you’ll eat almost anything we give you!
• You are now singing, or doing the motions to “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Mr. Sun,” Patty Cake,” “Riding in the Car,” "Where is Thumbkin," “Five Little Monkeys,” “Butterfly Floating By,” and you do the “Hokey Pokey!” I really need to get you on video! You are just too cute!

• You love to point at people as they come through the door. Anytime someone leaves, you have to run and wave bye-bye and blow kisses!

• You have two new teeth! Your front teeth have finally popped through! And the two next to them are working their way in!
• We had you dedicated to the church this month. It was a very special ceremony and a great time to celebrate with family and friends!

• You are still a great sleeper and take really good naps pretty much every day! We are sooooo lucky!
• You HATE the car almost always. I can’t wait to turn your car seat around. I know you’ll be so much happier!

• You are so social! You love going to Sunday School to play with the other kids. You love to play with other kids at the park. When we go out to restaurants, you love to look around and talk to other tables.
• Your favorite word is “Hey!” You use that expression all the time, when something unexpected has happened, when you want us to turn the TV on, when trying to get somebody’s attention. It is so cute, and you always get a laugh when you say “hey” to a stranger in public!

• You had a photo shoot for a Halloween Costume company. You were the cutest little ladybug and bumble bee! Unfortunately, the pictures won’t be published until next Halloween, so we have a long time to wait before we get to see the final product. But you were awfully cute in the digital images I got to preview!
• You love the water! We put you in your pool all the time. We went to the water park a couple of times, and even though you are too small for the water slides, you love wading around in the kids’ lagoon and floating in the lazy river!

• You love to laugh and are absolutely delightful! Tessa, every day I am more and more amazed with you and cannot believe how blessed I am to be your mom. I look forward to each new experience with you and miss you so much when you are napping or sleeping! I love you more and more every day!

This is Tessa last year at this time:

I can't believe how much you've grown!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tessa's One Year Photo Book

I finally got around to putting together a photo book for Tessa's first year. I wish I had started earlier. I know I could have made it even better, but Shutterfly had a free offer that ends tonight, so here's what I made! Enjoy!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sixteen Months!

My amazingly spectacular little girl is sixteen months old already! I got an e-mail toady that started off "Oh where, oh where has your baby gone?" and it rings so true to me! Tessa is heading into toddlerhood way too quickly for me! Here's what she's up to now-a-days:

~ You are trying really hard to jump. You crouch down and then pop up onto your toes and squeal with laughter!

~You have started doing chores! You love to help me load and turn on the dishwasher, do the laundry, and feed the dog!

~ You are a book worm! Your current favorite is the Peek-A-Boo Halloween book Grammie bought you last year at Target's dollar spot!

~ I just got out your nesting blocks and shape sorting ball and you have gotten really good at both! You love to stack the blocks as high as you can reach on your toes! You now point at the correct shape in the ball and then work your hardest to put the shape in. You get it right almost all of the time!

~ You are also getting really good at puzzles! You can now match the pieces to their correct spot and sometime get them in correctly with no help at all!

~ You have two new signs: cracker and please! You have become a cracker fiend since I taught you how to sign it. That is all you ever want to eat!

~ You figured out how to use your fork all by yourself! I left you with some watermelon and your baby fork, and when I looked over from the kitchen, you had a big piece of watermelon on your fork and were chomping away at it! You are too smart, little girl!

~ You love the beach, especially the ocean! Our little Southern California girl!

~ You are now running as often as you are walking. You spend most of your day running from one room to the other around the house!

~ You love to dance! Anytime you hear music, whether we are at home, in the car, or at a store, you have to stop and dance!

~ You said "Robbie" this month! Or at least something that sounded a lot like Robbie!

~ You want to do everything Mommy does. You like to put things in the trash can, climb on the step stool to look in the cupboard, brush and comb your hair and teeth, put toilet paper in the toilet! I swear you are doing new things every day!

~ You love to play Hide and Seek. You hide behind the coffee table or Baba's chair and bounce up with joyful squeals!

You really are such a lovely little girl! I am reminded every day how lucky your dad and I are to have you in our lives

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Handmade Gift Exchange!

Last month I participated in a handmade gift exchange with Craftaholics Anonymous. She is the same blogger who does the winter craft exchange that I participated in last year! I love these swaps! They are so fun and I love trying new projects for them!

My exchange partner was a girl who lives in Wyoming. She has a 6 year old daughter, so I decided to make Mommy & Me aprons! It was my first time making an apron without a pattern, but I just perused a couple of tutorials online and made these cute ruffly aprons!

Speaking of things I made last month, I tried my hand a freezer paper stenciling finally! I painted and embellished this little onesie for Tessa. I LOVE how it turned out! Sweet and whimsical!

Monday, July 25, 2011

One Year Photo Shoot

I finally got Tessa's one year photos taken (only 3 months late), and the images came in the mail today! Last year I bought a photo package off of Group On. It was like $59 for the shoot and CD of images. I am so glad I bought that! The CD has 459 images on it, which is A LOT, but they are all mine! So you don't have to look through all 459 images, I created colleges of my favorites from each setting. We went to breathtaking Balboa Park, where I doubt there has ever been a bad picture taken! It took Tessa awhile to warm up to the photographer, so the first setting didn't have many great shots. Plus, we did a lot of impromptu Mommy & Me pics. I wasn't planning on being in any of the shots, so I am not wearing make-up, but at least I curled my hair!

All photos taken by Robert Goold Photography

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lake Arrowhead Village

Yesterday, Tessa and I drove up the mountain to visit Ryan's mom and her husband, Nauni and G-Pa. They have a family cabin in Running Springs and were doing some summer cleaning, clearing away pine needles, checking for broken tree branches, and doing minor baby-proofing (so maybe we can start spending more time up there this fall!). Nauni, Tessa, and I left G-Pa and his buddy behind at the cabin and ventured out to Lake Arrowhead Village.

I love the village. It is peaceful and quaint. I have many great memories of time spent in Lake Arrowhead throughout my childhood, high school, and a trip, post-college, with my coffee talk girls. I probably haven't been there in about 10 years, though, and there have been quite a few changes! Unfortunately, due to a beetle infestation and the poor economy, some of the changes aren't great, but one new thing is, there is now an amusement area for children. There is a little park with a playground, a mini golf course, and some rides!

We spent several hours there yesterday. Nauni doesn't get to see Tessa very often, so it was important to spend some good time together! We started off at a little tea shop where we sipped on iced lattes and shared a delicious lemon poppy seed cookie. Nauni shared some with Tessa, just for the special occasion! We then found a neat toy store. It had a little book section, which, anyone who knows Nauni can imagine how much time we spent there! We also walked around a looked at all the puppets and stuffed animals. Tessa left with a new book, The Princess ABCs, a calico kitten puppet, and a new pool toy. You've gotta love shopping with grandmas!

After we left the toy shop, we discovered the amusement area. Tessa made a beeline for the carousel, which, unfortunately, was closed. The music was still playing, so my music-loving daughter danced along for awhile! We then headed into the shop where ride tickets were sold, and Tessa discovered funny mirrors! She LOVED them! She ran from mirror to mirror, laughing and laughing at her reflection! She also loved the clown paintings with cut-out faces (you know what I'm talking about?) and played peek-a-boo with Nauni, and laughed and laughed!

We took Tessa to the little train next. She did such a great job! My heart was so full watching her go around the track all by herself! She was so brave and had a great time! It was not easy for me to watch my little independent girl go on a ride alone, but she loved it!

After the train ride, we walked down to the lake and watched the boats and ducks. It was a beautiful day. One I will remember for a long time and will love to share with Tessa when we visit Arrowhead as she grows.

Since our weeks are pretty much the same ~ park, library, pool, church~ I decided I'm going to aim to write about interesting things we do that aren't part of the same ol', same ol'.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fifteen Months!

Wow! Tessa, you are growing and changing so much every day!
* You are walking like a pro, running like you have been your whole life, dancing 'til the stars fall from the rafters, and even trying to jump and skip!

* Your communication is improving everyday as you add more and more signs.
* You love to sing and have taught all of your toys to Patty Cake and the Itsy Bitsy Spider!
* Your favorite day of the week is Thursdays because we go to the library story time. You have a BLAST there!

* I know you are going to be an amazing friend as you already like to share, pat friends (and sometimes strangers) on the back, and kiss, kiss, kiss!
* You are a great sleeper, and even have become a great napper more days than not!
* You have become a little fish and LOVE the water!

I love you so much my wonderful and amazing little girl. I am so excited to watch you grow and learn and become more of a little lady every day.

Summer in Snapshots ~ Week 3

I didn't do post for Week 2. So, here's Week 3!

Our Week in Pictures ~ June 26 – July 2 ~

1. Shopping! My mom and I went to Carters and Osh Kosh for their $3.99 sale. They have this Lego table in the back where Tessa was able to play while I was able to shop! I’ve gotta share my favorite deal ~ I found a summer tunic shirt for $3.99 with an additional 20% off. I bought 4 different colors in size 24 months for Tessa, thinking they’ll be perfect for next summer (always thinking ahead!). When I got home, I realized they totally work as summer dresses this summer, so she will get twice the wear out of them! Hooray!

2. My mom ordered a water table for Tessa to play outside. She LOVES it! If she could, she would be outside from the moment she wakes ‘til she goes down at night. We often eat breakfast outside because she waits excitedly at the door while I’m making my coffee, and I just have to indulge her and go outside!

3. Mommy and Tessa’s breakfast at Starbucks.

4. Driving the car shopping cart at Vons! This made for the most pleasant grocery trip I’ve had in 15 months!

5. Family day at the beach! Tessa loves the ocean. She wanted to spend the whole day in the water, which led to a 3 ½ hour nap!

6. We stayed with friends over the weekend. Tessa had a great time playing with their 6 month old daughter and their loving doggie!

7. The balcony at our friend’s house overlooks Point Loma, Coronado, downtown San Diego, and the airport. Gorgeous! Tessa loved watching all the airplanes take off and land. She spent so much time on the balcony (just to be outdoors!) and had a great time waving to all the planes.

*I labeled all the pictures TWICE, but Picassa didn't seem to want to save it tonight, so you'll just have to figure it out on your own! I'm sure you won't have any trouble!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Little Dancer!

One of Tessa's favorite weekly events is story time at Riverside's Downtown library. We've been to many different story times in San Diego, Sacramento, and Ventura, and this one BY FAR takes the cake! Ms. Gloria is fantastic, they do a lot of singing, chanting, getting up and down, movements, etc. There is one point when every kid gets a rhythm instrument and they all play along to an instrumental song. Tessa loves this part. In fact, I often have to pry the instrument out of Tessa's hand to return it at the end of the song. Today, though, Tessa decided she would rather dance! She handed her maraca off to Cameron, and stood up and danced instead! I only got a portion of it on video, so you can enjoy 17 seconds of my beautiful, creative, rhythmically blessed baby girl dancing!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer in Snapshots ~ Week 1

OK, so I've been terrible about updating both my Facebook and my blog with pictures of what we're up to! I am hoping that joining in on The {Starfish} Blog's Summer in Snapshots linky will keep me motivated to share what we do each week.

June 15 - June 22 (I did Wednesday-Wednesday for some reason!)
Starting with the goat and moving clockwise:
* Petting the goat at the petting zoo at the Woodcrest Library
* Drawing in the backyard ~ Tessa spends most of the day in the backyard, running from one thing to the next, and always stopping to draw for a little while (often in the nude)
* Playing at the park
* Ready for swim lessons!
* Swimming with Daddy
* Playing the drum at library story time
* Feeling a little nervous about the alpaca at the petting zoo
* "Swimming" in the backyard ~ Tessa is in and out of her little pool all day long!
* Playing the maraca at library story time (She got to pick out 2 instruments this week!)
* Playing with Mommy's sunglasses at the park

As you can see, we keep a pretty full schedule! Unfortunately, I have no pictures from Father's Day! I posted a sweet video on Facebook of Tessa in her pool with Ryan blowing bubbles for her. That's all I got from the weekend, though! Hopefully I'll keep my camera out and remember to use it throughout this week!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thirteen Months!

So, Tessa will be fourteen months old tomorrow, and I never posted her thirteen month post (or her Ventura or Riverside birthday party posts)! By now, the past two months are blending together, so I'm just going to say that on April 23rd, Tessa finally proved that she can walk on her own! She doesn't choose to walk very often without holding onto my finger, but we KNOW she can, because she does occasionally! Tomorrow (or whenever I get around to it), when I post her 14 month post, I'll have to update on all of Tessa's growth and milestones for the past 2 months!

Monday, May 9, 2011

We're still here!

Man, life has been crazy lately! Well, as crazy as life can get for a stay-at-home mom! I am feeling so behind on my blog! Tessa has been going to bed later than usual, so I haven't felt like blogging by the time she is down. I wanted to post a few cute pictures of her, though!

First of all, happy Mother's Day! We had a great day. Tessa decided it was time to get up at 5:15, but fortunately for me, Ryan got up with her and I got to sleep in! Yay for Mother's Day! I made Tessa these diaper covers during her nap using this tutorial. They were pretty easy, although I needed a little help from my mom!

They are too big, but she'll grow into them before I know it!

Today Tessa had a casting call for Carter's. Hopefully she'll book it! I was reminded that it's time to update her photo resume, (I'm not sure what it's really called. That's just what I call it!) so I borrowed my friend's fancy camera and had my sister come over to take some pictures. She took over 700 pics, and of course most of them aren't usable, but they sure are cute! Here are three of my favorite non-usable photos:

Tessa and Cali, my parents' old dog

Beautiful sky and a beautiful baby girl

Sweetest girl I know

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Background

I just posted this new background from Leelou Blogs for the spring. I love the plaid and the adorable header, but I'm not too sure about the font. Does it drive you crazy? If you don't like it, let me know, and I'll change the background. Otherwise, I'll probably change it soon anyway for the summer!

*I have two more birthday parties to write about. They were fabulous! I will really try to post about them soon! Here's a cute picture in the meantime!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sew Along for Japan

I came across this sew along for the children in Japan on Living with Punks, and decided to give it a shot! My mom and I each made one. We decided to do onesies, so we had to shrink the pattern, and it worked really well!

I had sewn a pink ruffle onto a onesie back in January, planning to make a really cute onesie for Tessa for Valentine's Day! That obviously didn't happen, so instead I used it and coordinated the Japanese baby's dress! I love how they turned out! I know the pictures aren't that great, but I really wanted to post them tonight. (Tomorrow is Tessa's third 1st birthday party, so we'll be really busy!!)

This is the one my mom did. She's much more crafty than I am, but I think they both turned out really cute! If you think you want to make one (or some) of these, the lady collecting them has until May 21 to collect them all! That gives you all kinds of time to make one! Here is the info, if you're interested!