Friday, October 5, 2012

have you heard?

Seth Gilliard, a 22 year old from Charleston, South Carolina? 
No? Oh! Well, then you must. He's a violinist who recently graduated from Furman University. That alone is remarkable in my book. 
But it gets better. I know. It's almost not possible. 
He takes popular songs from the likes of Usher, Justin Bieber, and many others and plays them with a classical spin on his violin. 
I adore this one
 in fact I'm listening to it right now.

Go on, now. Take a little listen. You won't regret it. It's good stuff.

You can find more videos on his YouTube page here.

Okay, another good one.



You're welcome and Happy Friday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

happy first birthday (plus 2 months and twelve days)

...but who's counting.

I dedicate this post to my friend, Kara. If you have a lighter, raise it high in the air and sway side to side. Let's all think fabulous thoughts about Kara because she saved Little Sister's First Birthday.


I love first birthdays and planned a wonderful circus party for Little Lion's big day. That day was the coldest in weeks and our party was moved into the cold, dingy, dark garage. Still, it was a special day for a special one year old. I planned a Bumblebee birthday party for Sweet Bee, complete with a buzzing hive cake and bumblebee cupcakes. Bird's party was a sweet family affair with a bird cake (of course!).  Sadly, I had party-planner's block (yes! I'm sure it's a real thing!) when it came to planning first birthday party number four: Little Sister's event. And that's when (Super!) Kara rushed in and saved the day.

Little Sister turned one on July 20th. On July 11th-ish I posted on Facebook that I desperately needed some inspiration for her party. I lacked a single good idea, but couldn't bear to have Little Sister grow up thinking her mama didn't plan a special day for her! The last thing I need is more Mommy-Guilt!


Naturally, I did what any desperate woman would do and turned to pinterest. More specifically, I turned to Kara's pinterest and Gwen's first birthday inspiration board. And I copied the entire party (planned across the ocean in Russia. Yes, Russia. I know. What was my excuse? Anywho...).

I loved all of the details of Gwen's party (be sure to scroll through all the pictures!), but especially loved Kara's glass bottles. Can you believe she's lucky enough to have the girls' milk delivered in those? How cute is that? I didn't think Kroger gallon milk jugs would be nearly as cute so I drank my way through three (or four!) packs of Starbucks Frappuccinos.

Initially, I planned to serve Strawberry milk in the glass bottles, but decided Strawberry Lemonade in glass bottles with a little Strawberry Lemonade party would be perfectly perfect! Thankfully, pinterest came through for that extra detail too.


Hubby helped me fashion a crude lemonade stand sign. I spray painted it roughly and hand painted the lemonade letters. I actually found a simple font and printed out the letters in Word. Then I traced over them using a sharpie, allowing the ink to bleed through the paper and onto the wood. It made painting the letters "free-hand" so simple.


A simple fabric and twine bunting hung from the sign.

Strawberry lemonade cupcakes (recipe here!) were served in polka dot baking cups. Be warned these are VERY sweet! I modified the recipe, using a suggestion from the comments. Instead of using 3 tablespoons of powdered drink mix in the cake batter, I used 3/4 of the frozen lemonade concentrate 
and left out the 3/4 c of water.


Tiny bunting to place in the cupcakes (inspiration here) and cupcake flags from toothpicks and scrapbook paper (DIY here)


Adults enjoyed strawberry lemonade margaritas. (Recipe here)


Sweet Bee and Bird helped make the party hats (DIY here).



Outside we rigged up a photo booth. I purchased frames at the thrift store (50% off day no less!) and spray painted them bright pink and yellow (later spray painted black for our Halloween mantle). We used photo booth props and a dry-erase speech bubble to record messages for the Birthday Girl. The actual "photo booth" needed more planning because the backdrop is just the garage. It looks a little odd.





The very best detail was in the guests.  Little Sister turned one surrounded by oodles of people who love her and came just to celebrate her. What a very lucky little girl. At the end of it all, I looked around this little party filled with special people and declared, "This was good." Very, very good.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oh, Fall! You delivered.

Fall, it's my favorite time of year. Summer: she delivers with long warm days and daylight until 9 PM. Spring ushers in brilliant blooms and sun that warms my bones. They both pale in comparison to fall.

The crunching of crisp leaves on the walk to the bus stop. The cool brisk wind forcing extra bundled layers and swapping boots for flip flops. Cold dark mornings that make you snuggle deeper under the blankets and quilts for a few extra minutes of sleep. Children begging for a fire while they eat their breakfast because the morning air is colder than expected. I love the leaves changing colors, the wind increasing, changing temperatures, and the urgency I feel to run inside and snuggle babies under quilts. In the heat of summer, flickering candles and warm soup cooking on the stove are the last thing I crave, but a cool fall day demands them. I can't resist thick cable-knit sweaters and Baby Legs for Little Sister and my big girls have already worn mittens and coats to catch the bus.

Oh, yes! Fall, you delivered.

I spent this weekend unpacking bins Hubby drug down from the attic and up from the basement. I fluffed pillows on couches and hung a Halloween countdown sign. I bought three bags of candy corn, so sweet and sugary they make my teeth ache. I filled jars with pine cones and acorns, arranged pumpkins and gourds in bowls, and lit a new candle that says, "hello, fall! welcome back!" all on it's own.


My fall pinterest boards are bursting with pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin granola, and candy corn rice krispie treats. I scrolled through many beautiful Halloween mantle inspiration pictures, combining ideas for a Halloween-inspired mantle of my own.


It makes me happy.

I created the Halloween banner with inspiration from here. I found burlap ribbon at Michaels and gathered it just as The Project Girl instructed. The flags are made from a Martha Stewart Halloween paper pad. I've had it for some time, but you can still find it here. (This one is cute too...and ships free with Amazon Prime!).


I used the Storybook cartridge and cut letters on my Cricut (set to 6 inches and using the Shadow feature) from black paper.


I attached the letters to the flags with scrapbook tape and then sewed the flags to a thin black grosgrain ribbon using black thread. This was so easy to feed through my sewing machine just like fabric. I didn't worry too much about spacing the flags evenly because I knew once it was hung it would be forgiving.

I decided not to attach the bunting to the gathered burlap ribbon because I might reuse it for a similar "Give Thanks" banner for November, so I draped the burlap first and then hung the Halloween banner on top.

I followed this easy tutorial for potion bottles. I saved an old bottle from Margarita mix, a triple sec bottle (um, see a theme?), soy sauce, and Starbucks' Frap bottles. I primed them quickly and followed with a few thin coats of black.


Local thrift stores provided candlesticks (on 50% off day! Yee-haw) for less than $10. Two received the same spray-paint treatment as the potion bottles.

I finished the space with orange pumpkins, Sweet Bee's creepy spider and spooky black cat from last year, and black crows (Hobby Lobby a few years ago? or JoAnns, not sure!).


I love it. It feels dark and cozy. Perfect.

Friday, September 7, 2012

make-over

This time last year, Baby Girl was almost six weeks old. We were owners of our new home for five weeks and living in it for two. Bird and Bee were both getting accustomed to new schools and Little Lion was preparing to meet his new teacher at his new preschool.

Our families were life-savers, jumping in to help the sleep-deprived parents we were, as we struggled to move in, unpack, and find (at the very least!) our toothbrushes. Life was a blur. We knew it was a blur. We knew we were just plain crazy for trying to do everything at once. But, we also knew that a year later would feel a lot more settled and we would be thankful for diving in head first.

That's pretty much where we are today. Thankful. Sometimes still stressed for similar and, sometimes, different reasons. We are adjusted. The kids have made special friends and continue to make more. While our neighborhood is starting to feel only a bit familiar, our house feels very much like home. Despite the fact that all four babies came home from the hospital to that house, had their own bedrooms in that home, and three toddled around that home, this one is very much home. My people are here. It is home.

Just six weeks old, Little Sister was moved into a nursery that didn't have much nursery to it. The walls were a soft yellow, which wasn't bad. It was a definite improvement over her bin and box filled room at our old house. We moved her honey colored furniture in, placed her tiny clothes in the closet, hung a picture or two and called it done. For then.

A few weeks ago, I started to itch. No, thankfully, it wasn't a bedbug or mosquito bite kind of itch...though I have some of those too (mosquitos, NOT bedbugs, ick!). I felt itchy and squirmy and like I wanted to unzip my skin and crawl out of it. Unsettled? Maybe. Itchy, for sure.

I changed out the chair in her room, began to construct an ottoman/pouf, and finished a special owl pillow. I found a pale pink color to warm up her walls, and I have vintage hankies trimmed and cut to make a bunting to circle her room.

My inspiration? Pinterest, of course!

Ottoman/Pouf DIY here. Mine is almost finished. I hope to have pictures of it soon.

Owl Pillow tutorial (so easy!) I used pink minky to make it extra soft!

Bunting inspiration here.
I will be making this sign because my girl is totally going to move mountains.
Owl for her floating shelf from this etsy shop.

I have additional plans for a new light, curtains, and accessories...all on the very cheap, of course! And Baby Girl might need a new nightlight for Christmas. More details to follow. :)

Last weekend I began to paint. As I sanded, patched holes, and taped off the room, I noticed my itching subsided to almost just a light tingle. This little creative burst might be just what I needed to soothe my soul.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

virtual yard sale

In a perfect world, I would be organized enough to have a yard sale. I would gather all of Baby Girl's girly clothes and baby gear, Little Lion's treasures, and all the other random things that need to find new homes. I would notice the fall air becoming crisp, fresh, and cool and I might have a small table with hot apple cider for you to drink while you look around. Most importantly, in my perfect world, you would live on my cul-de-sac and our kids would ride bikes in circles while we chatted.

This is the next best thing! Storms threatened to move in today and our weekend plans were canceled. A little disappointed at first, I decided to grab the opportunity to organize. I moved most of Little Lion's things out and now I'm taking care of Baby Girl's once and for all!

I posted some of these on Facebook before taking my leave (best choice ever, for me. More on that later), so some items have been initially claimed. Still, if you're interested, comment here and if the first buyer falls through, I'll send them to you!

**All links should be fixed! :)

Big Girl:
A. Chirp and buzz (by me!)
I used a size 4T Old Navy striped rosette tee to make this dress, sized to fit a 5
Can get measurements if you want them!
Used Michael Miler Christmas prints for skirt, pocket (snowflake button) and hem
$10 plus shipping
SOLD




Baby Girl:
A.


Baby Gap
Dark Pink Rosette swing top (with hidden onesie to keep baby bellies warm!)
Floral Rose leggings (reminded me so much of Baby Lulu)
Both 3-6 months
$5 plus shipping for both
SOLD


B.




Boutique Brand: Catimini: from the most wonderful of all lines: Miss Cati. 
All size 6 months/Euro 67
Blue pants (we wore these with other things because they're cuter than jeans and softer too!)
Reversible Miss Cati skirt. One side is blue with little decorations. The other is pink/red dot
Miss Cati THE Miss Cati tee. Very good condition. Some of the sequins are faded.
Tights. These are a bit pilly, but still so very cute. 
$30 shipped for all 4 pieces. 


C.
Peach Baby Naartjie romper
Size 3-6 months
Excellent condition
$5 plus ship
SOLD

D.

Baby Naartjie
Pink dotty dress with pockets (of course) and pink dotty footed leggings. So snuggly
3-6 months
$5 plus ship
SOLD

E.
Dwell for Target two piece set
This reminded me of a Tea Collection set I had for Bird and I adored it. So soft and sweet
Size 3-6 months. 
SOLD

F.
Oh my. I didn't know how much I would love this set. It was one of my favorites. 
Baby Naartjie. Lavender deer top with lace asymmetrical hem. Little brown leggings with lace detail at hem.
Size 3-6 months. 
SOLD

G.
Janie and Jack floral romper. 

Baby Girl wore this for Chrismtas. Matching socks. Also have a matching bib (not pictured, but included)

Size 3-6 months. 

SOLD


H.

Dwell for Target


Size 3-6 months. I thought it ran a little big.

Reminded me of Tea Collection and I loved that.

SOLD

I.


Same dress, different leggings. Rainbow Baby Legs not included. :)

Boutique Brand: Nano (dress is 6 months, but runs like a 6-12 month



Tights are Old Navy and are pretty pilly but will throw them in free if you want them.

Leggings are Gymboree (size 6-12 months)
SOLD

J.


Brand: Naartjie




Size: 3-6 months, but forgiving. Not sure if pants are capri length or not, but we wore them as both...full length and later as capris. Also comes with matching hat. I need to find it.
All fabric are super soft cozy knit. 
SOLD

K.

More pics here





Chirp and Buzz (made by me)
Apron skirt with hand embroidered girl on scooter
white onesie with hand embroidered dog
Size 6-12 months (skirt has no tag)
SOLD


L.
Boutique Brand: Baby Lulu

Size: 6 months for both
Soft soft knit. See a trend here? LOL
SOLD

M.

Brand: Naartjie Denim overalls


Size: 3-6 months
Love the pink top stitching and ruffle at neck and on straps. 3 Floral buttons at top.
Second picture shows detail on leg
SOLD

N.

Boutique Brand: Catimini
There's nothing like layette Cati. Nothing in the world. 
Size: 6 months (fits like a 6-12 I think). 
One piece romper. Zips around legs and up back.
SOLD

Interested?
Leave a comment or email me at chirpandbuzz [@] yahoo [dot] com
Not your size? 
Pass this along and share with friends!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Carpe Kairos

Because she said it so, so, so much better than I could

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html

In the midst of the madness of back to school, exhausted kids, mountains of laundry (which I won't throw any old ladies from! Oh no, not today!), school projects (what the heck? Already?), and a screaming opinionated one-year old, today I will carpe a few kairoses! What about you?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

juggler

So, this is what I know: in my past lives, I was never a juggler. Or if I was, I was not a successful one.

Okay, so I also know that I didn't have any past lives. Just this one. Still, in this life I'm many things, but juggling I can not do; not literally or figuratively.

Sure, I juggle many things daily. I am a mom to four wee ones under age 9. I am a car-pool driver, a schedule coordinator, and a kisser of scrapes, bumps, and bruises. I am the cook, (sometimes) the housekeeper, the mopper of floors and the folder of laundry, and I delegate chores to those around me. I am the person responsible for preparing and planning for upcoming lessons and activities; and I ensure we have the right equipment, shoes, socks, and matching hair accessories (for Sweet Bee who values such things). I am the party planner, the party prepper, and the party thrower. I am creative and love to sew, create, design, scrapbook, decorate, and make my home feel homey. I attend doctor's appointments, sit with sick children, and snuggle with a darling 4 year old boy who loves to climb in my bed first thing every morning. I am homework coordinator, afternoon tutor, and have a swiftly signed signature that would make most baseball players turn green with envy. I am a project consulant for a major educational company while my children sleep/rest/read/have quiet time.

I am all of these things and most of the time I am all of these things quite successfully. Sometimes, I must let a ball or two drop. Sometimes this is out of necessity: the ball is too far out of my reach or takes too much effort to toss back into the mix and I happily let it go. Other times, like with this blog, I barely notice it is missing and much time passes before I register the void.

Today I am hoping to mix my act up a little. Today I am letting one ball drop: I signed off of Facebook.

I spend a lot of time there reading mindless and (sometimes) interesting things. I love seeing pictures of friends' kids and find great value in reading what others are doing. Unfortunately I'm too easily sucked into reading drama filled political threads that leave no one satisfied and everyone disgruntled and mumbling under their breath. I find myself reading what one friend posted on their friend's wall. These friends of friends are strangers to me and still I'm reading about them? If time were of no matter, this would be okay; but time does matter and I'm choosing to use mine differently.

I'm hoping my switch off of Facebook will inspire me to write more in this space. It's important for me to document the life and pulse of my family. I like that my blog keeps it all contained until I figure out what to do with it. What I read on Facebook is but a blip on my radar screen; but what I document here is preserved for a year or two (or ten!) down the road when these days fade in my memory. This is a very good thing.

Something new in the mix. Something old out of the way. I'm testing out a new rhythm. I hope it fits.