Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wordless Wednesday- Twilight Sparkle's Biggest Fan at Build-A-Bear

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, June 25, 2014 0 comments

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Katy's First Official "Big Girl Haircut!"

Posted by Heather at Sunday, June 22, 2014 0 comments

Kudos to this hair stylist- she was very patient and kid-friendly with Katy!

Sitting pretty!

New hairdo!

Up until this point, I've managed to trim and cut Katy's hair at home. With the help of YouTube videos and demonstrations, I snipped her first locks and trimmed and styled along the way. My decision to cut Katy's hair myself was partly motivated cost-cutting measures, but mostly because I wasn't quite sure how still Lil' Miss would sit for a hair stylist. I know how much she wiggles for me at home when I do her hair on a daily basis and I felt bad putting a stranger through the calisthenics sometimes needed to wrangle Katy in a semi-still position (never mind adding scissors to the mix!) 

Today, though, we made the spur-of-the-moment decision to venture to Great Clips in an after church, family adventure. Ted needed a haircut. I needed a haircut. Plus, now that ballet was over, Katy no longer needed a longer mane to put up in a bun. Haircut time for all!

Katy was all excited to be going somewhere for her haircut. However, once the time came to actually sit in the barber's chair, Lil' Miss was less than thrilled. Ted eventually calmed her with his silly antics that can only be described as, "Dad!" After her initial hesitation and some hand-holding, Katy enjoyed her first hair cut experience! (and, I'm happy to report, the cut looks relatively even- hooray! :-)

Now, we're all a few hairs less (some more than others- hee, hee, Ted! ;-) and Katy is happily sporting her new, cooler summer 'do!

Master Gardener

Posted by Heather at Sunday, June 22, 2014 0 comments
"Katy, Katy, quite contrary,"


"How does your garden grow?"

"...With silver bells, and cockle shells,"

"And pretty maids all in a row."

Garden harvest salad- Katy ate the whole salad!

Lil' Miss quite literally grew these green beans from seeds that she planted in a Preschool springtime activity. While I'm a self-proclaimed "black thumb," Katy, on the other hand, most definitely has a green one! What came home as a paper cup full of dirt back in April, has quite literally yielded a harvest of beans! With the help of Ted, Katy has meticulously cared for and watered these little sprouts throughout the summer. She was SOOO excited to finally be able to pick the matured vegetable, the other day. 

On the day that she picked the first handful of beans, Katy insisted on eating a salad for lunch. She then proceeded to eat every bite of beans, homegrown tomatoes (and other salad goodies, such as spinach, croutons, cheese, basil and the always-present mound of onions! ;-). Pretty good for our seemingly veg-o-phobe! One sure-fire way to get your child to eat more veg? Get them involved and help them grow a garden!


Sponsored Post by Moms Meet- good2grow Review

Posted by Heather at Sunday, June 22, 2014 0 comments

good2grow beverages

Like a lot of moms, I try to expose my child to healthy food options. I want my daughter to be diverse in her eating habits and healthy in her consumption. I take great care when packing my preschooler's lunch for weekly Lunch Bunch. However, kids will be kids will be kids and there are times where she inevitable comes home requesting all sorts of processed, pre-packaged, not-good-for-you treats (can you say, Lunchables?!) that I refuse to purchase.

A prime example of the power of peer influence are those bottled juices with character head sippy tops. Tinkerbell, Princesses- you know what I'm talking about! I've seen them in the cooler section at the gas station. Everything tastes better coming out of Cinderella's head.... right?!?! <SMH>

So, when I recently had the opportunity to review good2grow beverages with SippaTop character cap, I jumped at the opportunity!

Just the facts:
• good2grow™ beverages are made from 100% fruit juice, as well as fruit and veggie blends. Their drinks never contain any added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

• The juices come in six delicious varieties, including 100% Apple Juice, 40% less sugar Apple Juice and purified water, 100% Fruit Punch, Tropical Fruit Medley V-Blend, Strawberry Kiwi V-Blend, and Organic 100% Apple Juice.
• The drinks are sold in three different sizes (4 oz., 6 oz., and 8 oz.), so you can pick the perfect one for your kid.
• good2grow™ drinks feature character tops, which utilize patented spill-proof, no mess SippaTop™ caps that give kids more independence and moms more peace of mind. There are dozens of character options to choose from, plus they're reusable and dishwasher safe!

"Look, Ma! No spills!"

*I LOVE the no-spill caps! This is a lifesaver for a busy family on the go! We literally put the bottle/top to the test and flipped it upside down, shook it, etc., to test it's no mess SippaTop cap guarantee. I'm happy to report, it works just as suggested- no spills!

• good2grow™ partners with the top names in children’s entertainment to create character SippaTop™ caps your kids are guaranteed to love including: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Mattel, Nickelodeon, American Greetings, HIT Entertainment, Warner Brothers and Sanrio.
• All bottles are BPA-free, non-GMO, recyclable, dishwasher safe, and reusable.
• Refill packs of good2grow™ drinks are available in packages of six.
• The Fruit Punch and Apple Juice good2grow™ drinks are 100% juice. The Organic
Apple juice is also USDA certified organic.
• The V-Blend beverages (Strawberry Kiwi and Tropical Fruit Medley) contain at least 22% less sugar than traditional juice blends. They also contain one combined serving of fruits and vegetables, which provides your kids with 100% of their daily vitamin C intake.
• The retail price for a single serve is $2.49 to $2.99. Refill packs range from $2.99 to $3.49.

good2grow™ drinks are available at grocery stores, mass retailers, and drug stores nationwide, including: Kroger, Safeway, H-E-B, BI-LO, Ingles, Meijer, Piggly Wiggly, Wakefern, Food Lion, Hannaford, Raleys, Babies “R” Us, Walmart, Toys “R” Us, Kmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, RaceTrac, Kwik Trip, 7-11, Sheetz, QT, BP, Cumberland Farms, Wawa, Circle K, and Kangaroo Express. Locally, I was able to locate the single serve bottles in the cafe section of Target. At almost $3.00 for 8oz, I did find the individual pricing to be a bit steep- I would never normally spend that much on just one juice box. However, the character tops are reusable (dishwasher safe is a win, in my book!) and can be used on the six pack refills.

We tried the 100% Apple Juice and Strawberry Kiwi V-Blend. Lil' Miss loved them both and didn't even notice the added veggie boost in the V-Blend.

I really like the fact that good2grow comes in 100% juice and fruit/veggie blends. I'm always looking for ways to get more veggies into my daughter, so this is a great occasional supplemental way to coax my child to consume her daily five (servings of fruits and veggies). No HFCS, artificial colors or added preservatives are an added bonus. Of course, I should note, each 6 oz. serving does contain natural sugars and I do not believe that juice should be the only source of either calories and/or fruits and veggies. Nothing beats the real deal! ;-) Juice is definitely a treat in our household, but these good2grow beverages are at least a healthier option.

good2grow beverages

Lil' Miss, on the other hand, LOVES the character SippaTops! Even water tastes better if Hello Kitty, Kermit or Tinkerbell are attached! Ha! Those fun, recognizable characters are what really matter to the preschool set.... A fun product to review!

Learn more online:

Be sure to check out our social media experience StoryStitcher at and enter to win a $5000 scholarship and free coupons.

Enter to win a themed birthday party by going to Each person that enters will receive a free refill pack with a purchase of single serve beverage.

***Disclaimer- I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.***

Blogging for Books- Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Posted by Heather at Sunday, June 22, 2014 0 comments

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, chronicles the summer adventures and discoveries of self-proclaimed bookish, moon-faced, Mabel Dagmar. The summer in question takes place at the home of her wealthy, elitish college roommate, Genevra "Ev" Winslow's Vermont family estate, Winloch. Mabel comes from humble means and upon her arrival at Winloch, she is thrust into the rich life of yachts, summer cottages and seemingly idyllic family picnics on the lawn.

However,  the longer Mabel stays at Winloch, the deeper she delves into the murky Winslow family history and the true meaning behind the "ties that bind." Eventually, Mabel makes several horrible discoveries about the Winslow family's past that leads to a horrific act of violence. In the end, she must choose to expose the family secrets, or keep silent in the hopes of becoming a Winslow- and all the trappings that come along with the name- herself.

In my opinion, this novel was long on family history and genealogical lineage but short on character development. Parts of the novel- especially the part where Mabel first meets Ev's brother- even teeter on the brink of being gratuitous, rather than descriptive and enveloping. The cast of characters- past and present- is lengthy. Names start to blur and run together.

Written in first person, the main heroine of the book- if she can be described as such- is written by Mabel, in her first person voice. Out of the whole cast of characters, her persona is developed and described the best. Her murky background, coupled with an end-of-novel self realization results in a dichotomous, almost-Sybil -like personality (comparing beginning to end).

While the book was intriguing in premise- underprivileged Mabel sends a summer amongst the wealth and opulence of old money and makes a damning discovery- the end result is sickening and disappointing. Syntax and flow are engaging. Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, can easily be completed on a beach trip, or long flight.

Author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore hails from Vermont and that is evident in the landscape of her novel. Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is an accomplished author of three novels, The Effects of Light, Set me Free and Bittersweet.
***Disclaimer- "I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."***

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sponsored Post- Janie and Jack: 25% off Sale

Posted by Heather at Saturday, June 21, 2014 0 comments
FTC Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

One day only! Janie and Jack is offering 25% off all regular priced items today, 6/21 with code: SUNNY25.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Wordless Wednesday- Ballet Finale

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, June 18, 2014 0 comments

Monday, June 16, 2014

Ballet Recital 2014

Posted by Heather at Monday, June 16, 2014 0 comments

Dancing at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center

Strike a Pose!

Miss Donna's School of Dance

Fairytale Ballet


This past weekend was the culmination of Katy's first year in ballet at Miss Donna's School of Dance. She had her first ballet recital at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Uptown Charlotte. Lil' Miss has always loved to dance around the house, but the end "reward" of getting to dance on stage in a hot pink tutu has definitely sealed her love of dancing!

Katy had a blast getting dressed up, wearing some light make-up and getting her hair done up in bun (thank you, Pinterest for the "sock bun" idea!). Katy's class danced to "Fairytale Ballet." Once they actually got on stage, Lil' Miss was actively looking for us in the audience. She was shading her eyes, looking out into the crowd (when she should have been dancing). She did a good job, though, and everybody thought their dance was cute (Little girls, tutus and all that goes along with that- what's not to love?! I'm not biased at all... ;-).

Of course, Ted had to get her flowers after her performance.  Lil' Miss LOVED them! She even knew how to hold them, by cradling the bouquet in the crook of her arm (Where does she learn that??!)

She's learned a lot, this past year at dance. She loves to show us her arabesque, plie and releve. She definitely prefers ballet over tap. Also, going to ballet once a week has helped her learn to work as a group, follow directions and go out and do something apart from Ted and I. 

I believe it's safe to assume that we'll be returning to Miss Donna's in the fall....!

Sponsored Post by Moms Meet- Ology Detergent Review

Posted by Heather at Monday, June 16, 2014 0 comments

Ology products by Walgreens

As a part of the Moms MeetsSM blogger program, I was recently selected to review Ology products by Walgreens. This line of household cleaners, personal care and baby products are designed to be free of harmful chemcials and safer for the environment.

Here's a little more information about Ology products by Walgreens;

"Walgreens created Ology™, a brand of household cleaners as well as paper, personal care, and baby products. They are designed to help give you peace of mind. Ology products contain no harmful chemicals and are 100% tree-free. They are safer for you, your family, and the environment. And because the brand is
rooted in making positive choices, Ology works hard to avoid toxic chemicals, actively seeking sustainable raw materials and natural ingredients to use in their production process. Each of their products is designed to make it easy to have a happier, healthier home and world—for both current and future generations.

Ology products are available exclusively at Walgreens.

Just the facts:
• Ology 2x Laundry Liquid Detergent is gentle on clothes and your skin, while still fighting tough stains. It works in both HE and regular machines and is formulated to thoroughly clean all types of loads (regular, delicates, and woolens).
• Ology 2x Laundry Liquid Detergent is available in a free and clear scent as well as a spring lavender vanilla scent, both of which are derived using only natural ingredients—nothing artificial.
• Ology detergent contains no dyes, artificial fragrances or phosphates.
• You won’t find these harmful chemicals in Ology products: ammonia, chlorine bleach, DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, nonylphenol ethoxylates, triclosan, and SLS/SLES.
• Ology products are made using plant-based and mineral-based raw materials.
• Every Ology bottle is made from 100% post-consumer materials.
• Their products are never tested on animals and do not contain any animal byproducts.
• The Ology brand is endorsed by Healthy Child Healthy World, a national leading independent nonprofit organization, dedicated to the protection of children from harmful chemicals.
• The retail price for Ology liquid detergent is $6.79."

The thing that makes me most excited to review Ology products by Walgreens is the fact that they contain NO parabens! I am personally really allergic to parabens and struggle to find quality products that do not contain parabens and benzoates! Parabens are, "....any of a group of compounds used as preservatives in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products and in the food industry...." (ie, benzoates). Parabens and benzoates can cause a whole host of allergic reactions (internal and external), but for me, it's mostly skin irritations.

I was provided with a sample of Ology Stain Fighting 2x Laundry Liquid Free and Clear detergent to try out. I used it in my typical laundry routine. Because of my allergies to fragrances, it is imperative to use free and clear detergents. At the same time, I was slightly concerned at changing my laundry detergent, because I've fought long and hard to finally find a detergent that cause my skin to flare up (I currently use All Free and Clear). I'm happy to report that laundry is as mundane as ever (a good thing, in this case!) and no allergic reactions to note!

If Ology has inspired you to make positive changes in your home, we encourage you and your readers
to submit a pledge for a chance to win a $100 Walgreens gift card! Learn more about the Pledge to
Create a Healthy Home sweepstakes on page 2 or visit

***Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.***

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day 2014- All About Daddy Questionnaire

Posted by Heather at Sunday, June 15, 2014 0 comments
Typically, I do a Father's Day interview with Lil' Miss on Father's Day. I started this back in 2012 and continued the tradition in 2013. This year, however, Katy's preschool class did one before school let out, back in May.

So, here is this year's Father's Day 2014 Interview:

Happy Father's Day 2014, Ted!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sewing Pattern Testing- Made for Mermaids- Alyssa Top

Posted by Heather at Friday, June 13, 2014 0 comments

Alyssa Top/Tunic/Dress by Made for Mermaids

Made for Mermaids is coming out with another new, non-princess PDF sewing pattern. Introducing the Alyssa Top/Tunic/Dress! This pattern comes in three lengths- top, tunic or dress. The Alyssa tunic features a double row of encased elastic gathering in the back and grow-with-me tie shoulder straps. I was asked to test the tunic length for a friend's daughter, in a larger size. 

However, I couldn't not make one for Lil' Miss while I was at it....! :-) This was a super simple sew and it only took me about an hour and a half to complete. Also, there are no buttons/button holes to do, no zippers to struggle with. I would definitely rate this at a beginner level- easy, quick sew, but great end product! For the dress that I made for my daughter, the fit was spot-on. It was snug and secure (in a good way) in the back and the tie shoulder straps make it easily adjustable for all body shapes and sizes. There is plenty of room for personalization and the supplies needed are minimal (I was able to make Lil' Miss' dress with fabric on hand).

They Alyssa top/tunic/dress is another great pattern, Megan of Made for Mermaids! Thank you for the opportunity to test for you, again! I'm sure I'll be making a lot more Alyssa tops/tunics/dresses, in the near future!

***Disclosure: "I received a free pattern in order to pattern test for Made for Mermaids. The opinions expressed here are my own."***

Friday, June 6, 2014

Blogging for Books- Super Stitches Sewing by Nicole Vasbinder

Posted by Heather at Friday, June 06, 2014 0 comments

It's been awhile- almost two years, to be exact- but I've decided to get back to reviewing books for the Blogging for Books program. They recently widened the selection of books available to review, so I felt that it might be fun to jump back in.

First up, after my long hiatus; Super Stitches Sewing by Nicole Vasbinder...

I love to sew and have been doing so for several years, now (in earnest). However, I'm self-taught, so that means that there are chunks of sewing knowledge that I lack. Sure, I took basic home ec back in the day. However, most of my sewing knowledge is due to the fact that I learn things as I go and as I need them. The pattern calls for a "french hem." So I google it and learn how to accomplish one. The Elsa dress that Lil' Miss is dying to dress up as for Halloween (already... And it's only June...!) needs as zipper. So, I google, struggle, google and try again. You get the picture. Anyway, suffice it to say that I have a lot to learn when it comes to the world of sewing!

Super Stitches Sewing by Nicole Vasbinder is a great, basic "reference guide" for sewing enthusiasts of all ages and stages.  Just as the title suggests, this book is all about the basic backbone of sewing- the stitch!

The book starts out with the "straight stitch" and then progresses to topics such as, "Darning," "Hand-Stitching," and more. Each two-four page- spread covers one stitch. First, there is a photographic example of the highlighted stitch. Then, there is a chart listing out, "Essential Facts" about the stitch ("Also known as," "Key feature," "Common uses," "Fabric types," "Needle," etc.). Next, there is a step-by-step illustration(s) of how to accomplish the specific stitch. Last, but not least, an "expert tip" concludes each section.

I would consider myself an intermediate sewer. Yet, I was able to fully benefit from reading and reviewing Super Stitches Sewing by Nicole Vasbinder. I loved the simple illustrations and detailed instructions. Also, the "Also known as" section was helpful for decoding a variety of different patterns by different designers. Since I have still to conquer a successful zipper, I'm anxious to follow the instructions in Super Stitches Sewing by Nicole Vasbinder, to finally finish that Elsa dress (October will be here before you know it!).

For more information on Super Stitches Sewing, go to:

For more information on the author, Nicole Vasbinder, go to:

To add Super Stitches Sewing by Nicole Vasbinder to your own library, go to:

**Disclaimer- “I received this book for free from the publisher’s Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review”.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wordless Wednesday- Cousins That Eat Together, Stay Together

Posted by Heather at Wednesday, June 04, 2014 0 comments

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Katy's Camera- Photo Dump

Posted by Heather at Sunday, June 01, 2014 0 comments
Here are some pictures from Katy's camera. 
It's fun to get a little sneak peak at the world, according to a child's perspective....

Basil Leaves

Cantaloupe Plant

Katy's friend, Emmersyn

Holly Bush

Green Bean Plant
(Katy grew this now tall, leafy green bean plant from just seeds in Preschool. 
She definitely has a much greener thumb than I!)

Princess Flip-flop (of course! ;)

Yellow Flowers


Posted by Heather at Sunday, June 01, 2014 0 comments

Katy's selfie

Katy's Uncle Rob and Aunt Julie got Katy a camera for her birthday, back in February (Thank you!). She LOVES it!! It's a kid-friendly camera and has lots of fun features (camera, funny props, video). She's had a blast running around taking pictures of whatever strikes her fancy.

I recently took a moment to flip through the pictures on her camera. There's a lot of blurry ones, but there's also some decent pictures, too. The one that made me laugh, though, is the picture above. When I came across it, I asked Katy who took this picture of her (Katy's the only one that uses that camera). Very nonchalant and matter-of-factly, she replied, "I took it- it's a selfie."

Omigoodness- I nearly died laughing! Where, oh, where does she come up with these things??! It's not like Ted or I go around spouting off pop-culture terms like, "selfie." From the looks of this selfie, I think we're in trouble, come ten more years, or so..... what do you think??!!

Sentence of the Day- Lost in Translation

Posted by Heather at Sunday, June 01, 2014 0 comments
Recently, we've had a couple of instances where we've said something and Katy totally takes the phrase literally and it all ends up in a chuckle.

For example;

Last weekend, my sister and her family were in town for Memorial Day weekend. We went to church on Sunday morning. As we were walking into the building, we told Katy to, " Molly (her cousin) the ropes (at Sunday School)." Confused, Katy looks around and after careful consideration tells us, "...but there AREN'T any ropes in our class!" Ha!

Also last weekend, my sister and her hubby were kind enough to get some donuts for us, one morning. They got a chocolate sprinkle donut, just for Katy. When I called Katy to the breakfast table, I told her, "Katy! There's a special donut here- with your name on it!" Excitedly, she came running and climbed up to the counter. She took one glance at the donuts and frowned. Then, she said, "None of these donuts have letters on them! I don't see my name!" Double ha!

Too, too funny! Guess we'll need to work on the meanings of social idioms and phrases...

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