Tuesday, February 28, 2012

i heart chalk

You all know my love for chalk... So I decided to take it a step further...

My first try- Not so great.

Cold concrete= not so happy baby girl= little red screaming

{no baby was harmed in the taking of this photo. As soon as she was put down, I snapped picture, she was picked up by daddy}

So we put another layer of clothes on, waited for the sun to be right on the porch and tried again... much happier little red. <3

Monday, February 27, 2012


So I am not one to brag about my baby... OK, maybe I am. lol- But as a teacher for 4 years, I wont lie, it drove me nuts when parents came in first thing to tell me how advanced their child was. I can promise you I will NOT do that! But anyway- My baby is crawling. No, not a full out super crawler yet, but it's more than just a scoot. Michael and I were not aware that this was so crazy until I posted this video on my October moms message board. They were all blown away saying some of their babes weren't even rolling over yet! One mom even asked if she was really only 4 months old. I have to say I am one proud momma! Riley Q was rolling over from tummy to backand back to tummy before she was 1 month old. Again- I'm a FTM, didn't realize this was "advanced." Ok, I hate that word. Really, I do. So, I'm going to stop using that and just say she is awesome. I mean, duh- She has awesome parents, so why wouldn't she be awesome!? ;)

SO here is the video of Riley Q. doing her shuffle one day shy of 4 months old!

I find this picture hilarious because she just looks so stinkin' tiny-

And here are some more pictures I just wanted to share:

My baby girl is growing up so fast! Slow down, Riley Quinn!!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

vegas, here i come!

I am SO happy that I was able to purchase a bathing suit from VS in my old size and am actually happy with how it fits!

This is me around 9 months pregnant...

This is my before picture that was posted in front of my treadmill since January...

...and this is my new suit! I actually bought it in pink and took it back today to get the black instead.
I still have three lbs to go to get to my "pre-pregnancy weight"- but I went off the pill last August and lost 5 lbs because of it. So, technically, I am right where I need to be with my weight and I am so happy to be here. I am 5'7'' so 125 is a great place to be. My BMI is normal, I eat healthy and I exercise. Yes, I have been blessed with good genes, but it's not like I just eat junk all the time and sit on my butt and stay skinny. I do work for it and I am proud of it. So, call this post bragging, that is OK with me. I deserve to be proud of myself and I am! I am so ready for Vegas now and I don't have to worry about not having anything to wear!

Ok- end brag post now.

~let go laughing

Friday, February 24, 2012

4 months old today

You are amazing us every day with your personality, abilities and so much more. 'K' came to see you today and she said I wasn't lying to everyone... That you are such an easy going and happy baby girl. You also surprised her with your crawling! I just have this feeling you will be walking this summer. Here you are crawling this afternoon to get to your toys. You got all the way to your little hungry caterpillar and you were so proud of yourself.

You are sleeping from around 9 or 10pm to at least 8:30 each morning. You like your sleep just like mommy and daddy. In fact, these days the only time you are fussy is when you are sleepy. You get your blankie wrapped around your head and hold tight to lovey and you pass right out. You aren't a fan of that paci still.. In fact, K laughed so hard at your feisty-ness today. I tried to give you the paci and you spit it out with full force and stuck your entire fist into your mouth. It was really cute. You've never been a fan of it. lol. We're OK with that. Mommy was a thumb sucker too, so it's totally OK with me!

You are eating like a champ. You love your veggies. I think we may try bananas soon. I am loving making all of your baby food. I have so much fun doing it. I'm planning to make you a dress this week. I'm going to make it out of the fabric from your 4 month picture.

Mommy starts tutoring hopefully next week. I will only be gone from 9-3:30 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I will be 1 mile from the house and you will be home with daddy or ma-lolo. In fact, for my 30 minute lunch, I may even come home! Or if not, I will try to not take it and be home at 3 instead. We'll have to see how it works out. It is for 4 weeks in March, only 3 weeks in April and May and only one week in June. So it is only 26 days total! You nap for a lot of that time I am gone, so I think I will be OK. I won't be too super sad to leave. It's actually pretty AWESOME if you ask me. I wasn't planning on taking a spot until August, but since it was offered to me, I just couldn't turn it down! And if it is available in August, I will do it then too! But if not, I am going to just be a substitute teacher and make my own schedule.

I'm just loving being home with you way too much to go back to work. Being a stay at home mom is the job for me! I love you Riley Quinn. Now, slow down growing so stinkin' much!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

i'm getting better at this...

In middle school I started cross stitching... tried a little sewing here and there and was never too good at it. I've always helped mom cut the patterns, iron, etc. but never been good on the machine myself. I have the hardest time getting a straight line and honestly, I am so impatient that it is hard for me to take on big projects because I just want them done. In fact, about 3 summers ago, I got tired of sewing when Mom and I spent a good four days of our summer making the chair pockets, pillows and matching curtains for my classroom. THAT was a tough project. Mom's always made the curtains in her house and the beach house, but I just always helped.

Since Riley was born, or even a little before she got here, Mom has had the machine out again. We've made several dresses together- mom did the majority of the stitching... I have made the appliques before and small projects here and there... After my bags, coffee cozys and bibs- I think I am ready folks. This is it. THIS WEEK- I am making Riley Quinn a dress. Not helping... I AM MAKING IT. lol- Just wanted to share some more of my little projects. I've got several orders to make for clothes and when they are finished, I will post on here. Have to make another run to the fabric store!

my model in her adorable bib her mommy made her

this one is reversible with a ribbon tie.

this one is reversible with a snap but this picture was taken before I finished the outer stitch. lol

Monday, February 20, 2012

sewing some more

I have really started to learn the machine. I may very soon be getting my very own machine and I cannot wait! This first item of choice is a bag I made to store all of my grocery bags in. You know- the days you forget the cloth grocery bags or are too lazy to go back to the car to get them... Yeh- so we recycle them and use them in our small bathroom and bedroom trash cans as liners. Since I have been a SAHM... I tend to have a lot more target bags. I don't know how that works. ;) lol- Anyway, I had one of these in my classroom and I thought I would give it a shot. It turned out OK. The next one will be longer to hold more bags though. I also may use elastic at the bottom instead of ribbon, but I liked how the ribbon looked better on this one because it matched.

I've also made several more mini bags for packing. When I pack, I like to organize for the ease of unpacking. I put lotions in one bag, bras and panties and socks and bathing suits... they all need their own bags! I have a couple and always want more so I decided to make some for me and some for Riley. I even made one for a friend who is a hair stylist to keep her combs in!

I also made a coffee cozy. I'm planning to make a few more of these in the next couple of days.

I got a ton of super cute fabric today. I got to use my military discount for 20% off today only for Presidents Day! Next up on my list- make Riley a dress, several more covers for the bjorne, bibs for my hungry - veggie eating little mini-me, an apron, an infinity scarf and more bags of course!!

That's all for now. Gotta go get some avocados mashed up into baby sized portions and in the freezer before they go bad!

~let go laughing!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

dear riley... big day today!

Riley Quinn!

You will be 17 weeks old tomorrow!

What a day you have had today! First, you went to your very first Carolina basketball game. We saw the girls play State and they won. EVERYONE had to stop and say how cute you were. (We already knew that!) ;) You had so much fun and really watched everything that was going on. I can't wait to get you to a boys game!

When we came home your daddy had to go to work since they were calling for "snow". Come on... it was 65 degrees yesterday! Well... you and I had fun, you giggled a ton and we played. Then we sat down for your dinner. I thawed out 1/2 a cube of squash, 1/2 a cube of carrots and we went to town. You LOVED it. You have had both of these foods already, but Dr. Clark said to be sure we didn't stop with one once we started introducing others. So tonight, I decided to try two. Well, you ate it ALL. So, I thawed a whole cube of avocado and you ate the whole thing! Riley Quinn!!! You are so grown. You laughed and talked through the whole thing and we had a blast. Then we went to ma-lolo's and I gave you a bath. You took a nap while I sewed a little bit. You just laid in the floor beside me. When you woke up, we looked outside and guess what...?? YOUR FIRST SNOWWW!!!! You weren't as excited as me, but we ran downstairs to tell ma-lolo. Like it was Christmas and Santa had just come. haha.

It was such a big day today and you are now fast asleep in your crib. I can't believe how fast you are growing. You aren't supposed to be crawling yet! SLOW DOWN little one. Mommy is sad seeing you grow up so fast.

On a side note- mommy got a little job to support our shopping habits and so we can go on trips with daddy when he goes for business! I will be tutoring for 6 hours on tuesdays and wednesdays at a school just down the road. It is perfect! You will stay home with daddy and sometimes ma-lolo and I wont be gone long. I will be home by 3:30 after your nap! It is only from March through the first week in June and then we will figure out what I'm doing next year. I'm hoping I will do this again, but if it doesn't work out, I will likely just sub and make my own schedule. I just have too much fun with you to go back to work! I love you Riley Quinn. Never forget that, little one.


~let go laughing
our back yard.

ma-lolo and grandy's back porch during your first snow

you ate so much tonight! big girl!!

your first carolina basketball game (girls)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

4 month check up

Riley Quinn, you had your four month shots yesterday. You did so well. Mommy held your hands and rubbed your head while they were giving them to you. It makes me cry when you are in pain though. It was very hard for me to do. You measured in at 13 lbs and 25.5 inches long! That's the 80% for height and 30% for weight. Dr. Clark said you will be tall and skinny! You tried to crawl too! I'm serious... right off the table. The nurse laughed when we told her you were trying. When she looked over and saw you on all fours with your butt up in the air... boom- you went forward and she went... "she's crawling." We heard her in the hallway telling all the other nurses. Yeh, proud mommy and daddy moment! haha. When Dr. Clark was checking your balance he even said he thinks you will walk sooner than most because all you are missing is your balance. He even stood you up and let you go for about .5 seconds. lol. Riley Quinn, you are my everything. I just can't believe how much you are growing! You love baths now... It's so cute when you kick and squeal. We haven't been giving you baths every day because of your excema, but Dr. Clark said we could start trying to see if it will help. He said some babies do better with a bath everyday. We had to change you to soy formula to see if it helps with your skin. You seem to like it and we haven't had to add any rice for your reflux, so that is wonderful news. You may even be able to come off of your prevacid in the next couple of months. That would be wonderful! If this formual works for your skin, I will have to take back the 12 cans of the other stuff I have! Yikes! I only found 9 receipts, but that's better than none. I will donate the rest to a women's shelter. However, if it doesn't make a difference, we will use the AR up and then switch you over to regular Enfamil when it is all gone since your reflux seems to be better. *knock on wood* You continue to be a great sleeper. Last night you wanted a bottle at 4:45 which was not like you at all, but I think it is either from the new formula or from your shots... your body is learning to deal with it all. And you are still sleeping now... (it's 9am) so that quick bottle was not too bad.

Mommy got a job! I know, I know... but you just quit your job, right? Yes, but I got the perfect job for all of us! I am going to start soon, not sure when exactly. But I only work on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9-3:30 and I am only five minutes from the house. I am SO excited. I get to work with K-2 students in reading and math. Hopefully the principal will have a spot for me next year too. When I went for the interview, I thought it was for August. Totally wasn't expecting it to be for now. But when they asked me to start now, I asked if I could do two days instead of the three they were asking for and they said yes. It is going to be so hard to leave you, but I know it is the best thing. And you will be napping for literally half of the time I am gone. Ma lolo and Daddy will have a blast with you. It's like going to work on Monday and the next day being Friday. I am so excited for the opportunity! Just don't do any walking or standing up for the first time during that 3 hours of two days you are awake while I am gone! haha

And- you had your first solid food yesterday!!!! Avocados! You seemed to like them OK. I made squash and carrots for the freezer stash last night. I can't wait for you to try them!

Let's see... what else is new this month, Riley??? You had your first valentines day. On the day of your shots. How romantic, right? We had lunch with ma-lolo, grandy and nanny afterwards and then you stayed over at ma-lolo's for an hour or so while daddy and I made dinner at home. We missed you SO much. It was strange being in the kitchen with you nextdoor! I think that is all for now. I will add more when you actually turn 4 months old next Friday. Wow! WHERE is the time going?!?!?!

I love you, Riley Quinn!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

best sugar cookies!

So, I have always wanted to make some homemade sugar cookies with icing like you see in bakeries. You know... the hard kind that looks glazed. We get them at bean traders and they melt in your mouth. So, today after seeing the cute ones they had for mardi gras... I decided to give it a shot Valentine style! I started by looking up a homemade sugar cookie recipe that rolled well. I went with a variety of a few that I saw...

I mixed the butter and sugar first until it was smooth and then added in the rest. I used my standing mixer to make sure it was mixed well. After making the dough, you need to let it sit in the fridge for a good hour. Here is the recipe:

  • 1.5 cups of butter
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  2. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
For the icing, I googled "cookie frosting that hardens"- haha. This is what I chose. But I totally altered it because it wasn't looking right. Here is what it said to use:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar (sifted) *to do this, I just put it in the mixer and turned it on for a few minutes before I added anything.
  • 1 tb of milk- I used 2%
  • 1 tb corn syrup (I used light kyro syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (*I did NOT use this)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
So... This looked lumpy and nothing like icing... I added a little more milk, a little more kyro syrup and a little more vanilla- welllll, I actually spilled the vanilla in it, so there was a lot more vanilla. Therefore I added more powdered sugar and some more milk and several more drops of kyro syrup. Then I added my coloring.

As you can tell, my recipe was started with the one above, but I just played with it and kept tasting until I liked it.

Then I used a paint brush to paint the icing on. If you want to add sprinkles to it immediately as it dried QUICKLY~

I can't wait to make some for St. Patrick's day!

I hope you enjoy my yummy cookies!!! Please share if you make them/ change them/ etc. I am always looking for something new!


~let go laughing!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

the green monster

So, I got this recipe from here and I thought- I cannot eat something made with spinach like that... I do love spinach. I haven't been able to eat peanut butter since that was ALL I ate when pregnant... I hate greek yogurt and I am not a huge fan of bananas... BUT- for some reason I was intrigued to try this smoothie. Let me tell you... It WILL be a new lunch or breakfast menu item in this house for sure! I cannot wait for Michael to get home and try it. According to the site I got it from, it has 350 calories, 10g of fiber and 21g of protein. Granted, I only ate half and put the other half in the freezer for later, this is a pretty healthy little fella. Here is how I made it... a slight variation from the original recipe:

Serves 1 --> although I saved half for later.


1 frozen sliced banana

1 Tablespoon peanut butter

1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt

1 cup 2% milk

4 cups baby spinach (or more, or less)



Friday, February 3, 2012

more onesies, tutu's & sewing- and some randomness

I sewed tonight for the first time... Well, the first time actually knowing (kind of) what I was doing! I wont post pictures of that project yet. I also made some more onesies for Riley Quinn. You can see where I first made some here- I'd have to say, I am getting better. Don't mind the camera phone pictures, as I am too lazy to bring out the camera. You can also see my first set of tutu's here - but I feel like I have improved in that craft as well. :)
This is my favorite. Inspired from an etsy shop I had seen in the past, and I went with it.

I used the scraps from a dress we made Riley a while back to make a bow/flower- Then I went with that to make it into a "necklace." It's also not finished yet. I can't wait to reveal the final product! (***SEE BOTTOM OF PAGE!)

Ma-lolo made a matching skirt to go with this onesie. I had the ribbon from PB kids
and of course she needed something else with a "R" on it. Reminds me of the very first one I ever made for her here.

This tutu might be my best so far...

This tutu is not finished. I plan to add another color to it before March. It will go
with her St. Patty's leg warmers and another homemade onesie for her St. Patty's day outfit. :)

This pink tutu (pictured above) will be for the month of February... and well- anytime,
because what child of mine doesn't love pink!?

The next two are ma-lolo's projects. I will be making my own dresses by next week, hopefully.

Ma-lolo's version of a pillowcase dress. Of course she had to one up the simplicity of the patterns for an original pillowcase dress.

This is the skirt she made for Riley Q. to match the onesie I made her. I haven't posted the other dresses, pants and skirts she has sewn yet, but there will be a post coming soon dedicated to ma-lolo's awesomeness! (And, I will use my camera. lol)

Being a stay at home mom is so incredible. I love spending so much time with my Riley Quinn and spending the time she naps and sleeps to make her amazing little things. My mom always made me things as a child. She made my Halloween costumes, dresses, shirts, bows... it is so cool to be able to do the same for my little girl.

I also want to brag that I have booked SEVERAL photo sessions between now and June and I am super stoked! I am doing a family, a bride, two 3 months sessions, a 2 year session, a maternity session and my very first homecoming at Camp Lejeune if all goes as planned!

And while I am at it... let me give a HUGE shout out to my amazing husaband and Riley Quinn's daddy for finishing up his associates degree in business in March!!! He will take a few months off and hit the road to his bachelors soon after. I am so proud that he is working full time (working his butt off I might add), being a full time daddy and going to school full time. THAT my friends, is dedication and one amazing man! I love you, Michael. I am so proud of you.

Ok- I think I will go to sleep now. I have to be up to hit the treadmill bright and early! :)

~let go laughing

dont forget to check out my facebook page at les photography & more!

Eta: it's finished and I looooooove it!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

birth announcement canvas

I saw ideas similar with lettering from a computer and I figured- "Hey, i can paint that!" So- here I went. It was actually quite fun to try to decide how I wanted to lay it out. I went through several of my old paintings this week when my parents water heater went out. Mom called and asked me to gather my art supplies from the closet so they could get to it. I had tons of paints and brushes from high school and college in there. I even had stacks of my old still life paintings from college. Michael got a kick out of my naked woman paintings. "Did you really have to look at naked people?" Yep! It was fun and I would love to take some more painting classes. I only had one awkward encounter freshman year when the girl I was painting lived on my hall. It was all for art though, so it really wasn't that bad. I also found several small canvases that I had done as weekly homework assignments in my still life class and love some of them enough to possibly frame. I must say though, I am glad to be away from oils. It was a super fun medium to learn, but man it was tough. Anyway, here is my latest. Enjoy!

~let go laughing

Wednesday, February 1, 2012