Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Girls Night Out ~ Pottery

This month our GNO entailed some painting, some eating, some drinking, and lots of talking and laughing. But then again, other than the painting part, I guess it's not much different than any of our other GNOs.

To change things up a bit, we decided to take our (rather large) group to Paint A Piece to paint some pottery. We had our own Dish, Dine, Paint and Wine party, where a teacher provided us with step-by-step directions on how to paint this oval polka dotted cross platter:
(Store Sample)

So we armed ourselves with their provided brushes and paints and our own wine and courage, and we tackled this platter like old pros. It was amazing to see how even though we all followed the exact same directions, everyone's looked a bit different and unique:

Personally, I decided I wasn't satisfied with the amount of dots the store's sample had, so I kept adding more and more dots to mine ~ brown dots all around the outline of the cross and white dots where the scallops meet. I also decided to add our last  name to my platter. And you know what,... it turned out really cute! So cute in fact, that many of the girls decided to go back and add more dots and their names to their own.

And so, without further ado, here's my creation:
Isn't it purty? I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

And even though there were some stressful moments (let's not forget my stress from Go Girl Art), I really enjoyed the entire process. We're even considering regrouping and going back in August to make this one:
Wanna come?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shutter Love Tuesday ~ Summer Fun

I found the Trendy Treehouse's Shutter Love Tuesday by clicking on a link from Alison's blog. Alison and I are cyber friends who have LOTS in common, including having Chaos on the title of our respective blogs. She's funny and she makes me laugh and I've gotten to really enjoy our "chats".

Anyway, today is "Shutter Love Tuesday" over at the Trendy Treehouse and the theme is "Summer Fun"! So I thought,... why not?

So here's my Summer Fun entry:
 Cooling off with the sprinkler on a hot summer day!

Go check out all the other fun entries, or maybe even enter your own, at:


Vesta Home Show

I love going to the Vesta Home Show. This is where developers build a number of houses right next to each other and decorators come in and do their thing and then you pay to walk through these beautiful houses that are impeccably decorated. I love it!

Last weekend Scott and I decided nothing says FUN quite like walking through overly crowded houses with non-functioning A/Cs in 100°F + temperatures with two very uninterested kids.  And just to add the cherry on top, we invited my parents to go along. Yes, my disabled father joined in the chaos fun (more about that later).

In all honestly, I can sum up my opinion of this year's Vesta Home Show in one word:

There's not much I can do about the architecture of our house without spending a bundle. But the rest is, as they say, up for grabs. And this is exactly why I love walking through the Vesta houses. Year after year I leave the show with big ambitions and a memory card filled with photos of decorating ideas to try at home or to save for when we build our "dream house". I make note of paint colors, finishes, window treatments, accessories, landscaping, etc.

Not this year! I left the houses feeling a bit down. It's as if the decorators were uninspired or didn't have a big enough budget to work with. Even the media rooms, which are usually so incredibly AMAZING, left something to be desired in my opinion.

It didn't help that they had almost the entire downstairs of one the houses roped off. Seriously? We paid to walk through this house, but we can't WALK through the downstairs? Nice!

And if that wasn't bad enough, when my disabled father couldn't take the heat/crowds/stairs/walking any longer and sat down to catch his breath, he was immediately told to get up off the sofa because there was no sitting on the furniture. Yeah, I think I'll keep my opinions to myself on that one!

Anyway, I leave you with some photos of the few things I did like:

This house's exterior had me swooning! 
I ♥ everything about it: the painted brick, the columns, the black iron railings.  

I really like these HUGE planters:

There was a lot of this going on inside the houses:
So pretty and such an easy DIY project!

I loved the bright colors in this playroom:

Simple and elegant:

I would LOVE to have something like this by our back door:

So there you have it.
Seriously, are you as underwhelmed as I am?

If you're local and have been to this year's Vesta, please let me know what you think. Did you like it? The houses? The decor? The location? How did it compare to previous years? Or, is it just me? Please do tell!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Our Weekend

We've been crazy busy around here having all kinds of fun and crossing things off our Summer Fun list! I won't bore you with all the details of our comings and goings right now, but I will tell you this:

My favorite guy and I had a lovely date on Friday night. This was part of my birthday present, which consisted of dinner at the very fun and unique Flight restaurant and going to the Orpheum to see Chicago, The Musical.

Flight is located downtown on Main Street. Their concept is along the lines of sampling trios of wine, salads, entrees, desserts, etc. They have a pretty assorted menu, and you can either order an entree or you can  mix and match from their different "flights" to meet your culinary desires. Scott ordered a Seafood Flight and I went with their Steak Flight, which looked like this and was delicious:
In addition, they have a wonderful wine selection and their dessert flights were to die for. Scott and I shared a Creme Brulee Flight, which included a sample of their Vanilla Bean, Godiva Chocolate and Gran Marnier Creme Brulee:
Oops, I guess we forgot to take a before picture. Ha Ha!
But trust me, it was DIVINE!

After that, it was showtime!
Chicago, The Musical was FABULOUS! I'm a big fan of the movie and I loved every minute of it on stage; the singing, the dancing, the acting, the costumes, the choreography. All of it! They did such a wonderful job! And I am so grateful to my hubby for going all out and making it such a special night.
I love you, Cakes!

On Sunday, we decided to have a family movie date. So we took the kiddos to see Toy Story 3, which was awesome! 
Sam's becoming quite the pro at this movie going thing. YAY

I recently purchased both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 at Walmart (ugh!) and we've been watching them ever since. The kids LOVE them! And if you've seen Toy Story 3, and you're wondering,... yes, both Scott and I cried at the end. Like big time boo hoo crying. We're such dorks!

Friday, June 25, 2010


I get to get all dolled up. 

I get to go on a date with the man of my dreams. 

I get to have adult conversations that will not require me to repeat things over and over and over again. 

I get to enjoy a cocktail (or two).

I get to sit down for dinner and not worry about cutting anyone's meat or blowing on their food or taking anyone to the potty.

I get to enjoy a nice WARM meal (it's the little things, people!).

I get to look and feel pretty because messy little hands will not be ALL OVER ME!

And then I get to go to the Orpheum to see this:

Tonight is going to be a really, really good night!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sticky Masterpieces

Remember this craft? The one I've been wanting to try? It's called Corn Syrup Art. Well, we did it. Last night. And it is awesome. And messy and sticky, but we all had a blast. Even Tata came over and joined in the fun. So after eating dinner, and a good deal of watermelon, we got right to work.

The first step is to use a crayon to draw your design.

Once you have outlined your picture, and mixed your "paints", 
then it's time to go to town:

And go to town is exactly what we did. All of us!

We all really got into it. It was different and fun and relaxing.
And everyone's picture looked so different!

Scott's funky dancing elephant:

Isabella's building has a pond filled with beautiful fish (bottom right corner):

Tata's colorful house and flower garden:

Sam's abstract masterpiece:
We think he might be going through some sort of blue period,...

And finally, my ocean scene:

We're waiting for them to dry, which will most likely take forever, and then we're planning on framing them and putting them up in our playroom. Seriously! How fun and colorful will that look?

Monday, June 21, 2010

He's One Happy Daddy

We had such a nice Father's Day weekend. Busy, but fun. We showered Daddy with presents and we made sure to give him lots of time to do "his" thing, whatever that may have been.

I wanted to quickly share one of the presents we gave him. Every year I make it a point to give him something handmade.  And as the kids grow older, they are able to participate more actively on the creation of these gifts. For his first Father's Day, I made him a mini book filled with pictures of him and Isabella. I cannot for the life of me remember what he got for his second Father's Day, but for his third he got this, which, in all honestly, has been quite impossible to top.

Anyway, this year his hand-made creation was a collaboration by Isabella, Sam, my beloved Silhouette and I:
I used the Silhouette to die cut the word "daddy" and a heart. I only used the negative space. Isabella completely covered a white piece of card stock with colorful crayons. We adhered the card stock behind the cut outs, added the writing, the doodling, and the signatures. I then bought a frame at Marshall's and we were done.

And the best part is that he really liked it! It's already sitting on his desk right next to the hand prints one.

Simple, cute and so fun!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Take Daddy out to lunch ~ Check!

Today was all about going downtown to take Daddy out to lunch:
We had a lovely time eating lunch at Kookie Kanuk.  

Yep, one more item we can check off our Summer Fun list.

We were also supposed to ride the trolley, but the kids decided to act like they were at the park, while we were in fact at the Post Office, so that was quickly removed from our fun agenda for the day.

They were very upset with me for being such a mean Mommy. Sam kept repeating over and over (and louder and louder) "Mommy, ME TROLLEY!" and Isabella tried the whole: "It's OK, we'll just try harder at the next place we go to." What?! I don't know about you, but I'm seeing a lawyer in the making with this one!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fun at the Gardens

You know you visit the Botanic Gardens enough when you walk through the front doors and are immediately greeted by name. Yes, this actually happened to me a couple of times. So Scott and I finally broke down and purchased a membership earlier this year.

And although it was another 100°F + day, my mom and I decided to take the kids to the Botanic Gardens so they could run and play and feed the fish and pass out from sheer exhaustion afterward (Lord knows I almost did).

First on the agenda,... you guessed it:
Feed The Fish!

I know , I know, we've been there, done that. You're probably sick of my "feeding the fish" pictures, but it just never gets old. We love it. Those fish are crazy. Crazy, I tell ya!

After we went through our eight bags of fish food, and drank all our water, we finally moved on to My Big Backyard.

This was the cousin's first visit and they loved it! It is such a wonderful area, filled with so many fun kid activities.

 The little superstar birdies in their nest.

They all really loved the "rain" area.
  Including my mom :)
 It was such a great way to cool down on such a hot day!

So despite the heat, we were able to have a wonderful time and look forward to our next visit.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Heart Faces "All About Babies" Entry

Let me just start by saying that this week I ♥ Faces is doing a number on me. You see, I love babies. I love everything about the baby stage. And even though the chances of sleep deprivation and exhaustion and postpartum are pretty high, there is something so magical about this stage to me.


The challenge for this week is "All About Babies", so I thought one of the first photos of me and my handsome little man would be the perfect candidate for this challenge. I love this photo. It was taken during our hospital stay. I remember not being able to do anything but look at him. All.The.Time! I love the memories it evokes ~ his adorable little newborn body, his sweet baby smell, his sweet disposition, my overflowing heart.

Go to I Heart Faces  to check out all the other beautiful babies.

Staying Cool

Ladies and gentlemen, it is hot here this summer. And when I say hot, I mean H.O.T! The heat index has been over 100°F for the last few days and we are all definitely feeling it. And it's only June!

In an attempt to try to stay cool, we're spending some lots of time playing in Tata's new apartment complex pool. I decided to take the camera with me today and take some pictures of the kids doing what they do best,... being kids and having fun!

Isabella modeling her new bathing suit courtesy of 
our wonderful neighbor, Christie.
 Thanks, Girl! She loves it!

Cousin Christian making a splash!
Unfortunately, I snapped when he was just entering the water, 
so I totally missed the splash.

Sam and his Tata in the midst of snacks negotiations:
Ha Ha Ha! Look at those faces. 
These people mean business!

Cousin Maria is always ready for a picture.
 She's such a beautiful girl!

The boys of summer:
These two totally adore each other!

Isabella is so comfortable in the water!
 She's like a little fish.
Well, the kind of fish that doesn't like being splashed in the face.

And this one,... well
he's just fun and crazy and fearless!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

June SNL Layouts

June's SNL turned out to be such a fun class with a great group of women. I love that we have a group of regulars, but yet every month we get to meet new people who share our passion for scrapbooking. But I especially love that they really liked the pages that we made together.

A perfect LO for any of the many water activities you'll be doing to keep cool this summer.

Laugh Often:
The perfect LO for recording your favorite memories from a fun date or a girl's night out.

4th of July:
This LO is ready for your favorite pictures of your 4th of July celebration.

In July I will be teaching with the very talented Rhonda,... and I can't wait! Our themes for next month include Birthday, School, Road Trip, Summer Fun, Love You and Smile. So make sure to call and reserve your spot early! Trust me,... you won't want to miss it!

Friday, June 11, 2010

This one time ... Pedicure

One of my birthday treats this year was a pedicure:
Oh, how I love pedicures. I mean, I really, really, REALLY love them. There aren't enough words to properly express the feelings I have towards women scraping, rubbing, hitting, stoning, and massaging my feet! Back in my working days, my friend Lynn and I had scheduled bi-weekly pedicures (remember that, Lynn?). Seems like forever ago. Now they are sporadic treats I eagerly look forward to. Anyway, sitting on that massage chair last Saturday brought back a funny memory that for some reason, I have neglected to share with you. And since I am all about sharing, well here we go...

Way back when I was pregnant with Isabella, my Wisconsin friends decided to throw me a baby shower. Needless to say it was quite lovely and oh so fun. I mean, I love these people. Love them to death! They all stood up in our Puerto Rico wedding (I'm sure it didn't hurt to have the wedding in February). They are my peeps. The only problem was, the 10 hour drive there and back. While I was 8 months pregnant. It was, how can I put it,... a bit taxing, to say the least.

 These are my peeps!
Isabella's Baby Shower
June 2005 ~ Milwaukee, WI

Lucky for me, I had the easiest pregnancies ever! I didn't have a single day of morning/afternoon/evening sickness, not an ounce of nausea, nothing. Except, towards the end, my legs got very swollen. They were huge! I had no ankles for the last couple months of my pregnancies. In fact, Scott called them my ham hocks. He's such a supportive little one, isn't he?

So, we get up to Milwaukee and I asked Scott to stop by the mall so that I could get a few last minute things I needed. While there, we walked by a nail place and the thought of a nice pedicure took over every ounce of my being. I had to have one! Especially after that long trip. I just HAD to! So I walk in, pick my color and make my way to the nearest available chair.

Disclaimer: OK, so I just have to put this out there. I am Puerto Rican. Born and raised. My first language is NOT English, it is Spanish. And Lord knows I've butchered enough English words, just ask my WI peeps, they'll gladly share some of those with you! So please know that I would never make fun of someone's accent. So if you are reading this and you are from Vietnam, please do not take offense to the following and please know that no other culture in the whole entire world can give a better pedicure that you.

With that being said, here's what happened: I am eight months pregnant and I'm sitting on this massage chair enjoying my moment of pampering, while this little old Vietnamese lady is working away. She lifts my leg up to scrub my feet and apparently it is not as high as she would like for it to be. So she says:

Little Old Vietnamese Lady: "Leaf leg!" 
And I obediently, and uncomfortably, lift my leg a bit higher.

Little Old Vietnamese Lady: "Leaf leg higha!" 
And I try to lift my leg a bit higher, but I know it ain't gonna happen. 

So I say to her:
Me: "Ma'am, I am so sorry, but I can't lift it any higher. I'm pregnant!"

To which she "kindly" replies:
Little Old Vietnamese Lady: "Oh, I sory! I sow you fat!" 
Whoa! Is she for real?

I think it's fair to say I was pretty shocked by this point, so I not-so-graciously responded with:
Me: "Well, I guess I'm that too. I'm fat and I'm pregnant. I'm not really sure what difference it makes. I CANNOT LIFT MY LEG ANY HIGHER!"

And this is where everyone in the salon looks at us and she sheepishly smiles and begins talking to the lady working right next to her. In Vietnamese. Now, I'm not a betting woman, but I'm willing to put some money on the fact that she was talking about me. And our little exchange. What do you think?

So, as you can imagine we've had quite a few great laughs with my "Leaf leg higha!" pedicure experience. And those words have become quite the catchphrase in our home. So much so, that every now and then even Isabella tells Sam to "Leaf leg higha!".