Monday, November 29, 2010

{I Heart Faces} Scenic Black & White


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My Favorite Holiday Ornaments

Can you believe Thanksgiving is done already?!? That went so fast! Before you're able to enjoy that last bite of stuffing, we're already moving on to Chanukah and Christmas. Can't even catch a breath these days!

Last night we started doing our holiday decorating. We celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas in our house so everything came out at once. It was fun putting up the tree and going through the ornaments. The girls get a real kick out of it.


Wanted to show you a few of my favorites.

The first three are from Anthropologie. I just love them!



Look how cute this house is


even the back is adorable!


My little 4 year old made this one yesterday out of Q-tips and something that was meant for the garbage. I was very impressed!


This next one isn't necessarily an ornament but gets put on the tree every year anyway. This is 5 years old - when my older one was only 2. This was her main group of friends when we were in Florida. We did a lot of fun holiday activities together. The pictures are so faded, by next year they probably won't even be recognizable anymore.


I really love owls, but mostly cute ones. So, the hubbs got me this one last year. It's a bit too realistic looking for me but the more I look at it the more I like it - even with a broken foot.


I really like the design and pattern of this one. Even my older one says "Mama,, that's so your style". I think she's right!


I used to collect little chairs a while back. Don't know why. All of a sudden I just started liking them. I have a few little chair ornaments but this one is my favorite. I love the retro feel to it. Doesn't it make you feel like you're at a diner waiting for your burger, fries and shake?!?


Did you start decorating your home for the holidays? Do you have any favorite holiday decorations?

Friday, November 26, 2010

{Field Trip Fridays} Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Ours turned out well. I cooked a lot so I have plenty of leftovers which means I won't be in the kitchen for a few days. Woo Hoo!!

Since I knew I'd be cooking all day and wouldn't have a chance to get down to see the parade, I thought it would be fun to go see the balloons being blown up Wednesday night. I thought it would be a great photo op as well.

When I lived on 78th & Amsterdam, each night before Thanksgiving, the floats would come up Amsterdam Ave making their way into Central Park. I had the perfect view and it was always fun to watch.

My sister and I decided to take the kids down to see the balloons being blown up. We THOUGHT this would be a fun adventure for them. Riding the subway, seeing the balloons, the energy of the holidays in the city. We thought it would be great.

We prepared - my sister left the baby with a babysitter and only took her older son. This was the best call of the night. We made sure they were fed, dressed warm and went to the bathroom before we left. We thought we had all bases covered.

I was really looking forward to a magical evening filled with fun photos.


My girls started out ok.

We started out at 79th & Columbus. There was a huge line set up to go see the balloons.


The streets were crowded but believe it or not, it was a controlled chaos. At least the lines kept moving.


Then it all started:

"This is boring"

"Where are the balloons??"


"My feet hurt"

"I'm HUNGRY!!"


I tried to ignore it and luckily we got a little closer where you could actually see some balloons through the trees.


This was promising. It meant we were getting closer.

We made our way down to 77th street and just had to turn the corner heading east. The balloons were all lined up along 77th street.

It was hard to juggle 2 kids and a camera in this huge crowd. I constantly had to make sure the girls were right next to me. You can get separated in a matter of seconds. This made it almost impossible to get descent photos. It was basically a point and shoot scenario. No time to set up that perfect shot.

On 77th, we managed to see Shrek, Hello Kitty, Spongebob, Ronald McDonald, Kermit The Frog, and a couple of others I didn't recognize.








Then I saw this...


I knew all hell was about to break loose. I had to make a decision - my camera or my sanity. It took a few moments but I finally decided, my camera had to go back in my bag. It was over.

The whining, crying and complaining from my little one was at its peak. I thought I was so prepared! I guess I was wrong.

We got as close to the balloons as we were allowed and I thought seeing Spongebob would elevate her mood.


"Pick me up. Pick me up. PICK ME UP!!!!!"

I ended up having to carry her as much as I can, taking breaks every few minutes so my arms wouldn't fall off. We made it to the end of 77th street, had to turn up Central Park West and head back across 81st street where there were more balloons. We whizzed through this side but I managed to see Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear, Energizer Bunny, Pillsbury Dough Boy, Snoopy and others less recognizable.

We made it out of the crowds, back over to Broadway and 78th and went to New Pizza Town, my favorite pizza place in my old neighborhood.

As if a miracle occurred, the mood changed and everyone was happy again.

Pizza. The miracle drug.

Who was that demon I was with for the past hour?

I learned my lesson. Next year it's just, me, my older one and my camera.

Have you ever been to this event? What was your experience? Did you go to the parade?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Place Cards

I can't believe Thanksgiving is only 2 days away!! I'm so excited to stuff myself with stuffing and gravy!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I love to have it in my home every year. We always have a lot of food and keep everything really casual and comfortable.

One thing I do every year is come up with fun little place cards. Last year to keep my girls occupied, I had them make turkeys out of cardstock and decorate them for each person. I definitely need to come up with another activity this year!!

When I was at the store yesterday tackling my Thanksgiving list, I saw some really cute lady apples and baby pears. I thought they would make cute place cards for our table.

Then when I came home, I saw we still had some little pumpkins left over from out Halloween decorations and added them to the mix.

I designed and printed the cards on my computer and punched out with a scalloped edge punch.

Here's how they turned out


For the pumpkin, I punched a hole in the card and tied the card to the stem of the pumpkin.


For the apple and pear, I cut a slit on the top and slid the card right in.



This was a fast and inexpensive way to dress up your table even when keeping it casual.

How are you in your house? Formal and fancy or casual and comfortable? Do you have any creative ways that you decorate your Thanksgiving table?

Friday, November 19, 2010

{I Heart Faces} Fix It Friday #78

Here's my edit for this week's Fix It Friday over on I Heart Faces.

Original Photo: (not mine)

Fix-It Friday #78

My edited version:


I adjusted the levels to lighten it up, changed the color of the background, adjusted the levels again on just the head area, ran the Boost action from PW Actions and then slightly sharpened.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Blogging Your Way" NYC Meetup

Recently I took an online blogging class called Blogging Your Way. It was way more than the technical stuff you need to know about blogging. It went much deeper than that. I really enjoyed it and feel like I am more focused because of it. You will definitely be seeing some new changes here soon!!

So, as the class was coming to a close, I thought it would be a fun idea to organize a meetup with fellow NYC students so we can meet in person rather than only having an online friendship. I put it out there, got some responses and set the date.

We decided to meet a couple of days ago at Flute - a champagne bar in midtown. I thought it would be a good location because it's very cozy and comfortable. Instead of just "hanging out at the bar", they have little nooks set up with couches and coffee tables. Would be a perfect spot for "date night" as well.

It ended up being 5 of us. Two more were supposed to come but unfortunately one person got sick (awww) and the other had a biz meeting. (yay - work it !!) We'll have to catch them next time around.

It was really a special night. 5 strangers getting together starting out with handshakes and 3 hours later ending up embraced with hugs. It was so interesting to hear every one's story, their lives, why they started a blog, and of course discussing the class.

Before the evening was over, I had to snap a picture of these great women.


First up is Christine. Her blog is called Happy Lady Decorates and she's all about interior design.

Suzanne from Cinderella Patch - a city girl that loves crafts! Could it get any better?!?

Ivy from IvyAllOver. Ivy shares her beautiful artwork on her blog. She even had one of her pieces featured in the winter issue of Artful Blogging magazine - one of my favorite mags!!

Then there's Johanna (the H is silent). Her blog is called The Shutter. We both share a love for photography.

We also asked the server to take a picture of all of us.


Our first offcial in-person get together. Looking forward to our next one!

Do you do any networking in your area? How do you feel about getting together with strangers?

*** Self Absorbed Superficial Side Note ***

Isn't it funny when you look at photos and there's one with you in it, all you notice is yourself?? I KNOW you know what I'm talking about! I just have to say, I looked like a completely different person 12 hours prior to when this photo was taken. Only you curly haired obsessive crazy people out there like me will relate. I put so much effort into my hair that day. It looked GREAT when I left my apartment early that morning. I even got compliments from strangers!! The weather in the city was threatening rain all day so it had that cold wet humidity going on. By 7pm, it had no chance.

Thanks for listening.

Had to get that off my chest.

I'm on to more important things now - tomorrow's field trip!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Bakerella Book Signing Event

One of the first blogs I started to follow is Bakerella. She makes the cutest cake pops! If you don't know what a cake pop is, think of a small ball of cake on a stick. I made them a couple of times. I made rainbow cake pops and patriotic cake balls. If you have time you should also check out Bakerella's blog. Lots of inspiration!

So when I found out she was going to be at Williams Sonoma for her NYC book signing, I just had to go. I wanted to get her book when it came out but figured I'd wait until I meet her.


I'm not really someone that cares about autographs. Normally I couldn't care less. But I am someone that just LOVES books! I'm also so happy for her. From reading her blog, I've really watched her success blossom. It's very inspiring and motivating!

My birthday was exactly a week ago and my girls gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble. They also know how much I love books! So, since I was early to the book signing, I figured I'd head over to B&N, buy my book there with the gift card, then come back to Williams Sonoma to get it signed. Sounds like a good plan, right? I thought so also until I got to W.S. and they told me she'd only be signing books purchased at their store. Their rules, not hers.


Had to buy another copy!!

Waiting on line wasn't too bad.


I got to chat with some nice people.

This woman was just ahead of me.


We had a nice little chat Turns out she's a nurse and a runner. Can you guess what her blog is called? Nurse On The Run!! So appropriate.

As you get closer, you see 2 big trays of cake balls.


They look pretty good! They had red velvet and Golden yellow. I chose the yellow. I shoved it in my pocket and waited until after I met Bakerella to try it. The last thing I wanted to have happen was to have cake bits stuck between my teeth!! Wouldn't be pleasant for me, or Bakerella!

Now it's my turn - there she is waiting for me!


When it was my turn, I handed my camera to a William Sonoma worker to take our picture. There was also a professional photographer taking pictures as well.

We smiled,


we chatted


and then it was all over in just a few minutes.

I left with my cake ball in my pocket and my book signed.


Have you ever been to a book signing event? Who was the author?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

{Photo Challenge} Orange

One of my new favorite sites I Heart Faces is having a photo challenge this week and the theme is "Orange" and the photo has to include a face. Makes sense from a site called I Heart FACES!!

So, I decided to enter. Here's my entry...


Will let you know how it goes!

Birthday Brownies

Yesterday I celebrated my birthday. Happy Birthday to me!!

In our house, the cake is the most important part of the birthday celebration. Everyone always gets a special one decorated by yours truly. Everyone but me, that is. And this is totally by choice. Although I absolutely LOVE to decorate cakes, I don't really like eating them. So, when the hubbs asked what he should do for a cake I told him I wanted birthday brownies. I LOVE brownies!!

I was just expecting a box mix tray of brownies which would have been fine.

Instead I got this...


Look familiar?? The hubbs got all creative on me!! Threw me for a loop! He made a stencil of the girl in my logo (me) and dusted it with powdered sugar to get the design on top of the brownies.

Looks like there's more than one cake decorator in the house.

I have to admit, it did feel a bit weird cutting through what was supposed to be my face. But, once I tasted it I quickly got over it. YUM!!

What's your favorite birthday treat?

Friday, November 5, 2010

{I Heart Faces} Fix It Friday #77

Here are my edits for this week's Fix It Friday.

Original Photo (not mine)

Fix-It Friday #77

My edits:

Crop, ran Boost action from PW Actions


Crop, ran another one of PW Actions. Honestly I got distracted so I can't remember if it was Lovely & Ethereal or Soft & Faded. Sorry!!


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