Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Very Merry My Little Ponies Christmas 2013!

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, December 25, 2013 0 comments

Ready to ride!

Christmas morning 2013 was brought to you by Hasbro- specifically, My Little Ponies. Katy's current obsession with MLP started last Christmas when Uncle Rob and Aunt Julie gifted her with her first My LIttle Pony, Princess Cadence.... and the rest, as they say, is history! Since then, we've amassed quite the equestrian collection of Twilight, Rarity and the gang. Now, if only I could find MLP fabric....

I digress, though. Back to Christmas morning 2013...

I woke up around 6:30 AM, got showered and dressed, went downstairs, made myself some coffee, sliced up some lemon bread, turned on the Christmas tree lights, the fireplace and some holiday music, took some pictures and checked my email- all before Katy woke up about an hour later. Then, when she finally woke up, all she wanted to do was snuggle, so I was okay with that. After stalling long enough, though, Katy went in to wake Nanny and Poppy Jones.

Then the real fun began! We all went downstairs and Katy- being the only child present- was followed by a paparazzi of flashes while she opened gift after gift for the next couple of hours. Her bike from Santa was out in plain sight and it was the first thing she saw. Her wide-mouthed, excited reaction was priceless and I believe it's safe to assume that she liked her bike with baby seat (want) and helmet (need) from the jolly man in red.

Katy was the recipient of many wonderful gifts that she enjoyed. A remote control dog from Aunt Megan and Uncle Jason, a baby doll with accessories from Gaga Jones, MLP purse, activity book from Uncle Rob and Aunt Julie, a herd of ponies and many other gifts from Nanny and Poppy Jones and a Highlights magazine subscription, MLP book and game from Grandma and Pop-Pop Tinkey. (Katy received as set of dolls/clothes from Aunt Hope and Uncle Eric and Crayons/coloring set from Uncle Josh and Aunt Delinda, earlier in the season).

After we finished opening presents, Ted cooked up a festive brunch of Christmas-shaped pancakes (a reindeer for Katy, a stocking for Nanny and Santa for Poppy). After brunch, Lil' Miss had to taker her new bike out for a spin- never mind that it was 33 degrees outside!! She didn't seem to mind the chilly temps at all and I have a feeling she'll be riding the bike like a pro, before long!

In keeping with the laid-back vibe of the day, we decided to go out and see the movie, Frozen, this afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I enjoyed the movie almost as much as Katy did. Lil' Miss had a good ol' time eating popcorn and M&Ms throughout the movie (no judging, please- it's Christmas, afterall! ;-).

We returned home from the movie late afternoon. Katy played a little more with her new toys while the adults made phone calls to relatives. After everybody had spoken to everybody, we ordered Chinese take-out for dinner (no cooking, minimal clean-up- Merry Christmas to me :-). We watched White Christmas while eating dinner. That girl LOVES White Christmas (or, as she calls it, "Bob and Judy," or, "Bob and Betty.")!!

Katy was tuckered out by the day's events and didn't put up much of a fight going to bed. The adults ended the evening on a fun note while playing a rousing couple of rounds of Balderdash- love that game!

Merry Christmas 2013!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sentence of the Day- "Buttony, Button, Who Has the Button...?"

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, December 24, 2013 0 comments
It's Christmas Eve day and it's a stay-in-your-jammies kind of day. Little Missy was running around and some of the buttons on her top came undone. She stopped, looked down and said, "Oh no! My buttons came un-butt!"

Monday, December 23, 2013

"Deck the Halls..." (All Dressed Up For Christmas 2013!)

Posted by Heather at Monday, December 23, 2013 1 comments




Back side of Front Door

Here's a sneak peak at our Christmas decorations, this year. Since we're in a different house (from last year), it was a blank canvas, so to speak. Of course, it was fun to decorate and after having our fall decorations up since September, our house is going to feel a little bare, come January, when we take everything down. Until then, though, we'll enjoy the festive environment!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas at the Library 2013

Posted by Heather at Sunday, December 22, 2013 0 comments

Last night was one of those rare occasions where both sets of parents were visiting (Ted's parents are in town for the Christmas and my parents were driving through town on their way to Pittsburgh to visit with my sister and her family). It also happened to be the last night of the Billy Graham Library, Christmas at the Library celebration for 2013. So, we decided to combine families and tradition and go to the Library and have Christmas dinner (a little early).

After last year's long wait to just get into the parking lot, we made sure to leave extra early in order to be there in time for our 6PM dinner reservation. As luck would have it, we ended up getting to the Library in record time and pulled in shortly behind my parents (who drove in straight from FL- what luck is that?!).

After we parked, we took in the Living Nativity, the singing and the Library decorations. Then, we took the shuttle back to the dining hall and enjoyed our meal. Even though Lil' Miss was a bit wound up, she managed to pack away some ham and mashed potatoes (and one measly carrot)! Katy was slightly disappointed to find not one chocolate offering on the dessert menu (We tried to tell her that the red velvet cupcake was just a chocolate cupcake dressed up for Christmas, but she wasn't buying it! She later told me that she didn't like the "Christmas chocolate."). Nonetheless, the rest of the adults found the meal- and desserts- delicious!

It was fun!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday- Gingerbread House Fail!

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, December 18, 2013 0 comments

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ho, Ho, Ho...

Posted by Heather at Thursday, December 12, 2013 0 comments

Katy and Santa
Christmas 2013

This is what we call progress... (Remember the now infamous Easter Bunny episode of 2012?)

After a year and a half hiatus, Lil' Miss finally decided that she was "open" to the idea of getting her picture taken with Santa. She wasn't exactly convinced enough to sit in his lap, but as you can see, she stood with him and actually smiled for a picture. (Of course, I totally bribed her with dressing up in a "fancy" dress and "lipstick," in order to get the picture... ;-)

We waited in a short line to see him and as soon as we were in the front of the line (Santa was still finishing up with the kids in front of us), Katy yelled out, "BIKE! with a helmet!" HA! Poor Santa didn't even get a chance to ask her what she wanted for Christmas- she just blurted it out from afar.

The jury is still out as to Santa's validity, but, hey, we'll take what we can get.... :-)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

15 Seconds of Fame

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, December 10, 2013 0 comments
Our Katy is "famous"!! 

She was featured in the Parents Magazine (January 2014) Baby Bloopers section (The funny things kids say at the back of the magazine). Her comment, "Growing," was already published on All Things Katy! back in September 2013.

So, cheers to your fifteen seconds of fame (and the things you say that keep us on our toes!), Lil' Miss!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Bento Box- Little Bites

Posted by Heather at Monday, December 09, 2013 0 comments

Carrots, Celery and Cucumbers with blue Cheese Dressing, Cheese Wheels, Saltines, Prosciutto and Tangerine.

Today's bento box is a little bit of everything. Last week, we were still working on Thanksgiving leftovers and we were getting a little bored with turkey, turkey, turkey. So, I decided to do prosciutto and cheese for Lil' Miss' lunch. Needless to say, my carnivore daughter loved it (not so much on the veggies, though).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Rocking around the Christmas Tree- Tree Pickin' with the Keys Family 2013

Posted by Heather at Saturday, December 07, 2013 0 comments
"...Rocking around the Christmas Tree..."

"...Let the Christmas Spirit ring..."

"...Later we'll have some pumpkin pie..."

"...And we'll do some caroling..."

"...Have a happy holiday
Everyone's dancing merrily
In a new old fashioned way..."

It's the first full weekend in December and that only means one thing in the Jones household... Christmas Tree time! We met up with our friends, the Keys family, at our usual Christmas tree farm, Shady Rest. The weather was chilly, but not snowy, this year. We took our time finding the "perfect tree." Lil' Miss had her own opinions on what she was looking for in a tree! Bigger! Taller! Fatter!

After we found THE tree, drank some hot chocolate and the girls enjoyed a lollipop, we went to Brushy Mountain Smokehouse and Creamery for lunch. Katy and Cecilia had lots of fun together! Lunch was delicious and the company merry.

Love our annual trek to the mountains to get Christmas tree!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Jones Family Christmas Pictures 2013

Posted by Heather at Thursday, December 05, 2013 0 comments

In early November, we took our annual trip to Portrait Innovations in Huntersville to get our annual Jones family Christmas pictures taken. Katy woke up in a good mood, excited to be getting all dressed up. I bought her a cute, new bow for the occasion (gotta have a cute, new bow!) and I curled her hair. We got to the studio with plenty of time to spare. We were greeted by a gentleman named David, who introduced himself as our photographer for the day.

And that's when it all went south....

Before we had even gotten there, Katy informed us that she wouldn't smile if our photographer was a guy. She has this thing about men she doesn't know (and even some that she does know and/or are related to- sorry, Uncle Doug!). So, when David, our photographer asked her to sit/stand/smile, Katy was an unwilling participant. There was some pouting... There was a near meltdown... There was bribing... Let's just say that poor David has to really work for his commission!

In the end, the results were *surprisingly* smiley and happy. I was happy with what poses we did get (even though we didn't get a chance to use some of the personal props that I had brought along for the occasion).

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words but in this case, this picture is all about what ISN'T being said and all the drama that went into producing those happy, smiling faces.... ;-)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey Day with the Tinkeys 2013

Posted by Heather at Monday, December 02, 2013 0 comments

Hail, hail the gang's all here!

How many turkeys do you see in this picture? ;-P

Custom Thanksgiving outfit sewn by moi!


What do you get when eight adults, five children ages five and under, one house and one RV, lots of food and mayhem gather together for one whirlwind holiday weekend? Why, you get a Tinkey/Jones/Coyle Thanksgiving, that's what you get!

Everybody arrived at our house on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Thankfully, the Coyles were able to beat out the winter storm that was supposed to dump inches of snow in the PA/WV area. After some holiday traffic, the Tinkeys made it safely to our house, as well.

Thanksgiving dinner was a feast! For appetizers, we had deli spirals, brie bites and a crudite platter. Our dinner included Turkey, stuffing (the good kind!), sweet potato casserole, hashbrown casserole, butternut squash soup, Caesar salad, ravioli, meatballs, antipasta, cranberry sauce and sweet potato biscuits (with butter that the girls shook up). Oh, and we topped off our decedent feast with pumpkin pie, chocolate chip pecan pie  and cherry pie! Needless to say, by the end of the day we were stuffed!

Thanksgiving night, our house observed a first- there was football on our TV! The Pittsburgh Steelers were playing the Baltimore Ravens and our family of die-hard Steelers fans had to watch.

On Friday, we took all the kiddos to Romp n Roll to jump out some energy. I believe it's safe to say that all of the kids had fun! We mostly had the place to ourselves for open gym and the girls lasted the longest for a good couple of hours. Since the weather was nice, we walked there and back (gotta work off that turkey dinner, somehow! ;-).

Friday evening, we all drove through the Speedway Christmas lights. Katy and Kayla rode the ponies and Molly did the big bouncy slide. After some holiday cheer- in the form of funnel cakes and hot chocolate- Kayla, Katy and Molly spent the night with Grandma and Pop-Pop in their RV. Apparently, according to the grandparents, the girls were little angels and slept through the night (!!!). Regardless of the reports (true or false, you decide), the girls had fun eating popcorn, decorating a gingerbread house and reading stories. The parents, on the other hand, enjoyed a nice, quiet night of sleep.... :-)

Everybody departed on Saturday after a fun-filled weekend. Whew- I'm beat!

Until the next time...!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sewing Pattern Testing- Amelie Clothing- The Mina Blazer

Posted by Heather at Monday, November 25, 2013 0 comments

I had another opportunity to test a sewing pattern for Amelie clothing (formerly, Kikoi Patterns). This time, a sweet little blazer- just perfect for cooler, NC fall weather. This pattern was very straight-forward- easy to read and follow, just a little time-consuming- but no questions with the pattern/tutorial, itself.

I'm so happy with the end result! I admit, the Robert Kaufman Princess fabric that I chose to do the pattern (with hot pink accents) is a little wild. However, it will go swimmingly with a dress I have in the works for Lil' Miss (for no other reason than I LOVE that fabric and so does Katy!).

I love how Amelie clothing includes lots of pictures and color-coded guidelines in the tutorial. They say that a picture can say a thousand words and in the case of sewing patterns/tutorials, that is so true! The fit of the blazer is roomy and light. I love cuffing the sleeves to get a hint of the accent lining.

This pattern could easily be made reversible and has lots of opportunity to personalize. Also, next time I sew with this pattern, I'll be making the pockets functional (in the pattern, the "pockets" are just flaps).

Fun, fun- thanks for allowing me the opportunity to sew for you, Amelie clothing!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Turkey in the Straw

Posted by Heather at Friday, November 22, 2013 0 comments
"...Turkey in the hay, in the hay, in the hay..."

"...Turkey in the straw, in the straw, in the straw..."

"...Pick up your fiddle and rosin your bow..."

"...And put on a tune called Turkey in the Straw..."

"...haw haw haw..."

St. James Lutheran Preschool Thanksgiving Feast 2013

Posted by Heather at Friday, November 22, 2013 0 comments

Pilgrims, Indians and Turkeys

Today was Katy's Thanksgiving Feast at St. James Lutheran Preschool. The kids led us in the Pledge of Allegiance (she actually said it!), sang a couple of songs, and then said the prayer. Katy was all smiles throughout the short program. Every once in awhile, she would look over at me, singing, smiling and waving. While she didn't sing every single word, to every single song, she did try her best and I'd give her an "A" for effort (SO MUCH better than what I was expecting!).

After the kids sang, everybody partook in a potluck Thanksgiving Feast. Katy must have been starving because she was practically dragging me to get in line. She ate corn on the cob and a peanut butter and jelly Uncrustable (that is totally authentic to the original Colonial settlers, right?! ;-)

It was so much fun and all the kids were really cute, standing on stage. Of course, I'm totally biased... ;-P

We are thankful for Katy's teacher this year, Ms. Kelly. We are thankful for a nurturing and loving environment where Lil' Miss has been able to thrive. We are thankful for St. James Lutheran Preschool!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sentence of the day- Ancestry

Posted by Heather at Thursday, November 21, 2013 0 comments
We were in line at BJ's, this afternoon, and Katy overheard the cashier one lane over talking to her customer. The cashier said, "...Well, I'm Korean, so...."

Immediately, Katy very loudly said, "Hey, Mom! We're related to her!"

Hahahahah- that made me laugh! I had no idea that Katy even understood that she was part Korean! The things that girl picks up on....

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, November 20, 2013 0 comments
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

I was recently given the opportunity to review Crystal Paine's newest book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. Written in the tone of your best girlfriend, Crystal really hits home with her frank conversation about how we, as women, sometimes feel the need to be "Superwoman." Then, in turn, we fall into the trap of just surviving. Paine relates her steps to a less stressful, more purpose-filled life. I won't spoil the whole book for you, but I will say that it's an easy read, one that you'll want to keep reading. More than once, you'll find yourself identifying with her anecdotes and train of thought.

The book won't be available until January, but if you'd like to pre-order it, you may do so at any of the following:


*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received non-monetary compensation for this post. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Wordless Wednesday- Share Joy

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, November 20, 2013 0 comments

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sentence of the Day- Pedestrians

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, November 19, 2013 0 comments
While driving this afternoon, we came up to a stop light. Katy looked over to the side and noticed the flashing red hand on the pedestrian crossing sign. She informed me that she knew what it meant. Interested on her take of it, I asked her to explain.

Very matter-of-fact, she replied, "Well, when you see that hand it means you need to grab your Mommy's hand before you cross the road."

Well, I never thought of it quite like that, before....

Treat Holiday Cards Campaign and Giveaway

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, November 19, 2013 1 comments

Thanksgiving is just around the corner (next week!) and that means that Christmas will be here before we know it. Time to start thinking about holiday cards and gifts! 

Take a look at Treat by Shutterfly for your holiday cards when considering what to send out for the holidays. They have lots of options- classical, festive and funny.

Treat  now offers digital cards, too! Most cards on the site have a digital option, too. Now, there's keeping up with the times!

What I love about Treat  by Shutterfly is the fact that all of their cards have the ability to be customized. Do the grandparents get called something other than "Grandma" and "Grandpa"? No more combing the card store racks for "Poppy," or "Gigi"- just enter in their nicknames onto a Treat by Shutterfly card and you are in business!

If you are still looking for a personal gift, look no further than Treat  by Shutterfly. There are lots of options to choose from- personalized coffee mugs to Iphone cases.

Now, are you ready for another giveaway? Thanks to the people over at Treat  by Shutterfly, one lucky reader will have the opportunity to  win one mug and one set of personal stationary. Entering is simple- just visit the Treat holiday cards page and comment with your favorite card. That's it! Now, enter away! Giveaway will end on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 and the winner will receive their prize directly from Treat.

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received non-monetary compensation for this post and giveaway. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sentence of the Day- Flavor of the Day

Posted by Heather at Monday, November 18, 2013 0 comments
I always know if Katy has been good at Preschool if she comes home with a "sucker" (aka lollipop for us Yankees ;-). Today, she came home with one- yay! As she was unwrapping it, I asked her what flavor she had received. She replied, "Hopscotch! It's one of my favorites!"

Bento Box- Goldfish and Pinwheels

Posted by Heather at Monday, November 18, 2013 0 comments

Goldfish, Mint Bar, Turkey/Cheese Pinwheels, Strawberries

Nothing fancy, this week- just good ol' Goldfish and Turkey and Cheese Pinwheels. Sad to report that Lil' Missy didn't eat much of it at school. However, once we got home, she was starving and managed to eat a good bit of it. Guess she was too distracted to eat while in the company of friends.

Friday, November 15, 2013

"Autumn Leaves"

Posted by Heather at Friday, November 15, 2013 0 comments
"The falling leaves drift by the window..."

"...The autumn leaves of red and gold ..."

"...And soon I'll hear old winter's song ..."

"...When autumn leaves start to fall ..."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday (Almost)- Just call her, "Cinderell-y."

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, November 13, 2013 0 comments

She put this bandanna on in the afternoon and didn't take it off until her bath, later that evening. We walked around the grocery store and the dollar tree with it tied around her head. She told me she was dressed up like "Cinderell-y" (aka Cinderella before she meets her prince ;-).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sentence of the Day- You-ish

Posted by Heather at Tuesday, November 12, 2013 0 comments
This morning, Katy came up to me and gave me a big, tight squeeze. As she was hugging me, she sniffed and said, "Mommy, you smell you-ish." Then, she gave me a kiss and ran off to play some more.

Um, not sure if that's good, or bad...?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2013

Posted by Heather at Sunday, November 10, 2013 2 comments

Welcome to the Renaissance Festival!

First Jousting Tournament with Sir Max

Second Jousting Tournament

Today, we joined our friends, the Domms for a day at the Renaissance Festival. Ted and I have been in the past, but that was well BK (Before Katy). It was a beautiful, balmy 73 degrees, today, to take in the festival.

When we first got there, Katy was enthralled with people watching (and boy, were there lots of "characters" to watch and observe!). After meeting up, we made our way through the various shops and vendors to the Jousting tournament. We found a nice sunny spot to sit and Katy LOVED watching the horses! She got the hang of who won each mini tournament before I ever did!

After lunch, we let the kids play a bit in the kids area and then we grabbed a bite to eat. While we didn't partake in the traditional mega-turkey leg, we did enjoy the improved offering of teriyaki chicken (don't remember that being there, last time!).

We took in the two o'clock glass blowing demonstration. It was neat to see the glass being formed into a drinking glass. Even Katy was straining to watch the demonstration. 

After the glass blowing demo, we headed back to the jousting field because Lil' Miss enjoyed watching it so much the first time. This time, though, we didn't get a seat and had to stand and watch. It wasn't so much a problem for Katy, though, since she had the best seat in the house upon her Daddy's shoulders.

After the second joust, we called it a day. Thanks for inviting us, Lauren and Joe! We had fun!

Lionel Annual Warehouse Sale 2013

Posted by Heather at Sunday, November 10, 2013 0 comments

"No more pictures, MOm!"

Ted was working hard for the money, this past weekend. It was the annual Lionel Warehouse sale and Ted was out late Friday night and all day Saturday because of it. We stopped by to see all the displays on Saturday and Katy loved hitting all the buttons (literally and figuratively) to make the trains move. It looked like a steady crowd of customers when we were there.

*For any one "nice" picture that I get of Lil' Miss smiling and being cute and sweet, there is always a dozen more like this one....*

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sentence of the Day- Adoption

Posted by Heather at Saturday, November 09, 2013 0 comments
Yesterday, the subject of adoption came up in conversation with Katy. I was struggling to explain (in words that she would understand) that I am adopted and that in turn, is part of Katy's own heritage. I told her that I didn't grow in Grandma Tinkey's tummy and that I came over on a plane from South Korea to become Grandma and Pop-Pop Tinkey's daughter. I told her that I even though I didn't look like my parents that some families come together through adoption. Katy's response was, "Well, you and Grandma do have the same hair color (black)!"

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sewing Pattern Testing- Kikoi Patterns Lily Ruffle Blouse

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, November 06, 2013 0 comments

Kikoi Patterns Lily Ruffle Blouse- Front

Kikoi Patterns Lily Ruffle Blouse- Side

Kikoi Patterns Lily Ruffle Blouse- Back

I recently had another opportunity to work together with Kikoi Patterns to test out a new a sewing pattern (Thank you, Susan! :). This time, the Lily Ruffle Blouse  I really wanted to try this one out because the pattern involved sleeves and I still struggle with sewing sleeves onto dresses/shirts.

I decided to use some holiday fabric that I had on hand, along with some accent geometric fabric for the ruffles/button loops. I have to admit, this pattern challenged me.I made a couple of mistakes along the way and it definitely took me longer than normal to sew. However, I love the end result! Look how cute Lil' Miss looks in this shirt. The button closure detail in the back really make the shirt and of course, Lil' Miss Fancy Pants loved the ruffles in the front!

As a side note, speaking specifically about the pattern, I really felt that this pattern was sized appropriately. The length of the shirt hit her just right and there was plenty of room in the torso, without being too voluminous.

Now, how many days until Christmas...? ;-P

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bento Box- Boo!

Posted by Heather at Monday, November 04, 2013 0 comments

Boo! Cheez-its, Cheese pumpkin sandwiches, Salami skewers with fun Halloween rings, Jack-O-Lantern Mandarin Orange and Red Grapes, "Mummy" Juice box

Since Halloween fell on a Thursday, this year, Katy's class had their Halloween celebration on the Wednesday before. So, I made Lil' Miss a fun "Halloween" themed lunch to go along with the festivities. I'm sure there will be lots of sweet treats during the day, so who knows if she'll want to actually EAT her lunch...!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Master Carver

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, October 30, 2013 0 comments

Twilight Sparkle by Light.

Twilight Sparkle all aglow.

Lil' Miss sure is lucky to have a talented artist for a Daddy! We don't just carve your typical Jack-O-Lantern shapes in the Jones household. Nope. Instead, Ted came up with this really cool (well, cool if you are three year's old and obsessed with My Little Ponies, that is!), Twilight Sparkle to carve into our pumpkin, this year. He did a great job and it turned out really well. Katy loved it!!

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