Crickets….

Sorry its been so quiet around here, I’ve been super busy. First, I threw my sister’s baby shower last weekend (we had to move it up a few weeks for obvious reasons), the good news is that Parker is doing great and they are even going to move him up to Prescott to be closer to my sister! Since then I’ve been working like crazy to get us ready for our  vacation to Montana!!! We love Montana and are so excited to be able to spend 11 days there!! We are leaving tonight and driving straight there, not sure how that is going to work with Brynlee, but hopefully since most of the trip will be at night she will sleep through most of it so it wont be so bad for her. I’ve gone back and forth about taking my laptop with me so I could write some blog posts, but finally decided against. If you want to follow along on our trip you can follow me on Instagram. And I will be sure to post all about our trip when we get back!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer vacation and I’ll see you back here in a week and a half!!

Let’s Talk Shop!

It’s shop update time again!!! You can see my last two shop updates here and here. Unfortunately these posts have been few and far between. I had really hoped to have more inventory in the Blissfully Made Shop on Etsy by now with items ranging from accessories for you to items for the littles in your life. However, here I am, over 3 months into having my shop open on Etsy and I’ve only listed 3 different items. I am happy to say that I am finally be adding some baby items to my shop. I love making anything and everything for babies! Today I am introducing muslin swaddling blankets, I have two different styles in an effort to find which one people would prefer most.

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The first is a folded over hem around the perimeter of the blanket and measures approximately 34”x43”.

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For the second, I serged around the perimeter of the blanket and it measures approximately 36”x45”.

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I love how lightweight these blankets are! They are made from a cotton muslin and are perfect for summer (especially here in AZ), plus they are super stretchy to make swaddling easy for mom and dad. It is the perfect blanket to bring your little one home in. These are a simple, pure white, but if you would like a specific color, please message me so we can discuss a custom order.

I am also adding these small zipper pouches to the Blissfully Made Shop. They measure approximately 4”x4” and are a perfect change purse or to keep a few personal items organized in your purse or beach/ pool bag. They would also make a great pacifier holder for all you parents out there to keep it clean when your baby is not using it. I have a very limited quantity, so it’s first come, first serve and once they are gone, that’s it.

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I will be traveling to Montana next week and will be putting my shop on vacation for the 10 days that I will be gone. When I return I will list both of these items in my shop for $12 each, shipping is $3. If you would like to place an order for any of these items before then, please contact me at blissfullymade@yahoo.com or message me on Facebook.

Don’t forget, I’m always open to taking custom orders, so please get in contact with me if you have any questions or would like to place a custom order.

AND… because I appreciate everyone who reads my blog, follows me on Facebook and on Instagram, to say thank you, I’m offering a 10 % discount on these items through Sunday, July 20th!

But really, I can’t say thank you enough to all of the people who have supported me on this endeavor and I look forward to seeing where it leads! So, if I haven’t said it to you yet, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!

Quick Change Artist

        I am currently in the process of redecorating my home. I want to brighten it up, we only have 8 foot ceilings so sometimes it can be kind of dark. To keep it on the budget friendly side, I am trying to do most of it by repurposing things I already own. One day I was staring at this frame that hangs by my front door and decided that it needed some revamping.

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I wanted to paint the frame white and put something in it that would fit better with the new colors I have in mind for my downstairs area. Currently, it is mostly red and while at the time I loved red, now I am just sick of it. I want more color, greens and blues and maybe some yellow in there too! So the first thing I did was take apart the frame and spray paint it white. I just love spray paint, don’t you? I can’t think of anything that can make as big of an impact on something for so little time and cost as spray paint.

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Then I remember that I had purchased some chalkboard vinyl from Silhouette when they were running one of their site wide sales. I think I got the roll for 40%. I had never used chalkboard vinyl before and was unsure of how well it would work, but it surprised be! I just adhered the vinyl to the front of the glass and put it back in the frame.

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Such a simple update, it took me maybe an hour and a half, drying time included, I love how it turned out! I’ve wanted to put a chalkboard somewhere for a while now, but wasn’t sure where would be a good spot and I love that I can continually update it with different pictures and sayings. Now I am trying to find additional places I can use the chalkboard vinyl. Also, I really need to change out those red flowers with something else… I’ve considered making book page flowers, similar to how I made my book page wreath, but I’m not sure. If you have any ideas let me know!

Our 4th of July!

We had such a busy and fun 4th of July this year spent with family and friends! This was in drastic contrast to last year, we had just brought Brynlee home from the hospital the week before and I was still recovering from the c-section. I remember being exhausted and cussing all the people in our neighborhood that were lighting off fireworks all night long because I had a newborn and I just wanted her to sleep!

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Anyway, we kicked off the weekend by heading to the lake on Thursday with my family (well, Brynlee and I headed to the lake, unfortunately, Landon had to work). It was Brynlee’s first lake trip and she had so much fun!!! She loves being in the water and thought that splashing around in the lake was the best! She didn’t even mind her life jacket being on. And she loved being on the boat. Every time we would go for a ride, she would stick her face up into the wind and look out over the edge of the boat. That was until the rocking of the boat eventually lulled her into her midmorning nap. We spent most of the day playing under a shade tent that we had set up for the kids and eating snacks. Although I was able to get in a little wakeboarding, which was so much fun! It has been a few years since I was last able to and I’m not going to lie… I was a little worried about my ability to get up. Luckily I had nothing to worry about and it came right back to me, but after a few times I could definitely tell that I am out of shape! I will need to do something about that before our next lake trip!

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After the day spent at the lake, we all headed up north to my in-laws house. I ended up going to bed early, worn out from the day at the lake. Friday morning we all got up early, got the kids dressed and head to Downtown Prescott where we entered the kids in the kiddie parade. We were running a little late, so our wagon decorating was extremely rushed, but the kids had fun, for the most part, there may have been a few melt downs… The kiddie parade was a lot bigger than we expected it to be and we’ve already decided that we will be doing things differently next year. Once the parade was over we stayed at the square for a little while, they hold a craft fair there every year so we wanted to look around at the booths. We weren’t able to look for too long though, Brynlee started fussing, she was tired and in need of a nap, plus it started sprinkling on us so we decided it was a good time to head back to my in-laws house.

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A few Father’s Day’s ago my father in law got a smoker that he had yet to use, so since the entire family was in town we decided it was a good time to break it in. We (and by we I mean my father in law and brother in law) smoked ribs and a chicken and it was delish!!! I love when we are able to get the whole family together! We made sure to document all the cousins being together by doing a little photo shoot in the backyard. Somehow we managed to forget to take one of the whole family… guess we will have to get that next time! Isn’t it interesting how once you have kids you are always so focused on taking pictures of them that you sometimes forget to get pictures of everyone else, or is that just me?? I did get a couple of me, Landon and Brynlee, but I would have really liked to get one of all of us (I’m working on my gallery wall, remember?).

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After a fabulous dinner and an early bedtime for a very exhausted Brynlee, we hung out on the back porch and enjoyed the wonderful weather of northern Arizona (is it sad that I am already so ready for summer to be over??? This 115* is killing me!!!). It was such a great ending to an amazing 4th of July! We were even able to see the fireworks from their porch. Of course, we stayed up way too late talking and catching up with all the going ons of the family. I always love being able to do that. I feel like too often we get too busy with our lives and before we know it it’s been a couple of weeks or even a month since the last time we talked.

The next morning we had a lazy start and slept in as long as Brynlee would allow. Around mid-morning we packed up and headed out to my mom’s house to have a family BBQ with my side of the family. This was a special occasion because brother was here with his family visiting from Missouri. We only get to see them every couple of years so it was nice to be able to spend some quality time with them before we had to head home. My mom was super excited to have all of her Grandkids together for the first time and so we had another photo shoot at her house. Unfortunately, due to lots of tired kiddos and the photos being taken when naptime was supposed to be it was not the easiest task. However, we got it done and we even remembered to get a picture of the whole family this time. We took the pictures on my mom’s camera, so I don’t have them yet (mom, if you are reading this, please email me those pics).

After a yummy BBQ and good times with family, we put a sleepy Brynlee in the car and headed home with hopes that she would sleep most of the way. We decided to go home on Saturday instead of waiting until Sunday to avoid some of the traffic. However, it really didn’t matter, about 30 minutes into our drive we came to a dead stop. After a little bit of googling we found out the due to an accident the highway was closed down with no estimated time of reopening. After sitting for a while, things finally started moving again, only to realize we were being forced to exit and head back to Prescott. After a little debate on what we should do, stay in Prescott or take one of the other, longer ways home, we decided that we just wanted to get home. This was about the time that Brynlee woke up so we made a stop for gas, to change Brynlee and to feed her dinner. Then we were off on a roundabout way back to Gilbert. Our little detour added about 4 hours on to our trip and we had to make a couple of stops for Brynlee, but for the most part she did really well. We decided that it was a good test run for our Montana trip later this month and took a few lessons learned from the experience.

We finished off the weekend by a relaxing Sunday spent at home recouping from our busy weekend and our eventful trip home. As much fun as I had this weekend, I was so happy to be home. Brynlee had some rough nights while we were gone, waking up a few times and not wanting to go back to bed, but Saturday night, as soon as we got home, she went to sleep in her crib and slept through the night and has continued to since we got home.

We had such an amazing long weekend, I loved spending so much time with our families. I wish we could do that more often. I am so thankful to all of the men, women and families that have made so many sacrifices for our freedom allowing us to have weekends like this. I hope you all had amazing weekends too! Happy belated 4th of July!

Brynlee’s 12 Month Update

As I sit here and reflect back on this past year with Brynlee, I can’t help but marvel at the joy she has brought to our lives. She is such a happy little girl, whose smile can lift the spirits of a room. She has so much personality and it warms my heart to see her get excited about something.

This past year has brought with it a whole new spectrum of emotions, the most pure love, ultimate happiness, absolute fear and sometimes it was just down right hard (oh, those sleepless nights)! One year ago, my beautiful little Brynlee made me a mommy and it is something that I never could have prepared for and something I would never give back.

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One year ago, I took you in my arms for the first time and I knew, I just knew, that you were meant to be mine and I was yours. The amount of love I immediately felt for you, my precious little baby, was all encompassing and has only grown during the course of this year. And the most amazing part, I think, was to be able to look into your eyes and see it reflected back to me. You have such a sweet, kind, beautiful heart and you have taught me so much! You have taught me patience, how to be stronger and braver and you have made me a better person, who I hope, you will one day look up to.

You have grown so much from that tiny little newborn that I held in the hospital last June. In this past year you’ve become so much more independent, you are so inquisitive and fun loving and I am in absolute awe of you. You, my dear little girl, are an example to us all.

So, Happy One Year to you, my love, and here’s to many, many more wonderful years to come!

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Weight: Wow! Have I been off on her weight between her 9 month checkup and now!! She’s been eating so much more lately that I guess I just figured she was gaining weight faster than she actually is. She is constantly on the go so maybe that’s why, but she only weighs 19.12 pounds, which is the 40th percentile. She in in the 45th percentile for her height at 28.5 inches and her head is in the 60th percentile. It’s hard to believe now, when I pick her up, that when we brought her home from the hospital she was only 5 pounds!

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Health: Other than the runny nose and general orneriness that accompanies teething, her health has been wonderful! As for the teething situation, on her birthday she had 6-8 teeth coming, that we can see anyway. Who knows, there could be a few more back there. Most of the ones coming in now are her molars and we have definitely been able to tell a difference. She has been a lot more irritable with these teeth than when her front ones came in.

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Sleep: She has had a rough couple of months when it comes to sleep, but pretty much the day she turned one she has been fine sleeping through the night. Her birthday is when we noticed that those molars had finally broken through, I’m not sure if that is what was causing the sleeplessness or if it was something else. What I do know is that I am very grateful it is over! She does still fight sleep, she always wants to stay awake to see what is going on. We usually just have put her in her crib when its naptime or bedtime. Sometimes she will lay down right away, but most times she will fuss for a while before she finally loses the fight.

Social: Brynlee needs to take a few minutes to get acclimated to a new place, but once she is, she is pretty social with everyone there. She loves it when we are out shopping and people stop to talk to her. She will smile and smile at them, sometimes they even coax a giggle out of her. She is still a mama’s girl and will only want me whenever she isn’t feeling well or is tired, but other than that she is pretty good about going to our family members and friends.

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Diet: Her food intake has significantly increased in the last couple of weeks. Again, I’m not sure if this has anything to do with her teeth coming in, but I was starting to worry that she was going to be a picky eater. I could only get her to eat a few different things. But now she is up to try anything and eat a lot more of it. On the downside, she had become a lot more demanding when it comes to eating time. She used to fairly patiently wait until her food was done, but now she will sometimes scream or cry until I put her food in front of her.

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Clothes: She is in mostly 12 month clothing right now. For her birthday, whenever anyone asked, I told them to get her 12-18 months, some of the 12 month clothing is starting to get a little small and I wanted her to be able to get the most wear out of anything new she received. I need to clean out her closet of everything that is too small again. I’ve done it a couple of times already, but I feel like it is a never ending cycle. It still amazes me how quickly they grow!

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Crying: Oh my!!! Does this baby have a temper! When she is mad, she lets everyone know about it!! Her tantrums are crazy!!! She does this high pitched, banshee scream that has almost blown out my ear drums. At first, I was really alarmed when she would throw her tantrums, they were so bad that I thought maybe something was hurting her. But now I’ve realized them for what they are, her just being dramatic. It doesn’t happen very often and when it does, as long as we don’t give it much attention it usually end pretty quickly. I’ve become an expert on what her different cries mean now, so I can usually tell if there is something really wrong. Most of her tantrums are caused by her being over tired, she really tries to fight sleep.  I just wish she would put together how much happier and better she feels after a nap, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Until then, I suppose naptimes will be a battle.

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Likes: Her favorite game is peekaboo! She loves to play with anyone willing to play with her. It makes her so happy and she will laugh and laugh. We play peekaboo a lot throughout the day. She also loves dancing, anytime music comes on she will start moving to the beat, it is so adorable! She still loves Lola and always wants to be in Lola’s business. To Lola’s credit, she is a lot more tolerable of Brynlee than I ever expected her to be. She love Little Einstein’s and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She loves to play, some of her favorite toys are balls, her Elefun, her vanity set, her activity cube and a new favorite her sing and play farm.

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Milestones: Well, like a I said early, she has a whole mouth full of teeth coming in right now, so she will probably be done teething soon (maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part…). She is now standing up on her own, she will either push herself up from the floor or pull herself up on something and then let go. I keep thinking that she will just start walking any day, but I guess it will come when it comes.

I am so thankful to be on this journey of motherhood and so grateful that it is all because of you, my darling Brynlee Bee! You have made us a family and I love you more than words could ever say.

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Pasta Salad

With summer now in full swing, I thought I would share my go-to recipe for BBQ’s, camp outs and potlucks. This pasta salad is so yummy and so easy to make. I usually make it the night before so it has time to sit and absorb all of the dressing goodness. I’ve also doubled and tripled this recipe for larger crowds.

Ingredients:

Rotini Pasta

Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

Bell Pepper

Olives

Shredded Cheese

Italian Dressing

*Sometimes I will add cubed meat, such as ham or turkey to make it a little more filling.

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Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, drain and let cool. I usually add a little bit of the Italian dressing to the pasta when I let it cool so they don’t all stick together. Then just add the remaining ingredients and thoroughly stir to mix everything up. Refrigerate until ready to eat.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s perfect for summer and makes a great side dish for any gathering!  PicMonkey Collage3