Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween! I shall be away for a few days but fear not, the doll shall appear on Sunday!

Enjoy your weekend and hope you get lots of treats!

Gargoyle, aka boo doll

so here is my practice doll, I should be ashamed but if you cant laugh at yourself well then.....

I am working on making knotless stitching and split seams and what have I hope that on sunday you see a prettier picture than this..but it might be good to ward off evil spirits.


emma grabbed her own little shopping bag as we head to Target

this is another example of how Emma helps me while I bake. Don't mind the nasty cat bowl...he had just eaten breakfast

Emma's sitter called out sick and as I hung up with her I couldnt help buts smile. I was so happy to have a reason to take a vacation day that didnt require me getting on a plane to see family. I was so tired and needing/wanting a day to just stay home. It was as if GOd heard my prayers. So yesterday was a dream, I woke up and had breakfast with E in peace, I baked cupcakes while she listend to her new Yo Gabba Gabba cd. It was heaven! Then we went to Target and before you knew it, it was nap time. So that was my day yesterday...quiet, in the kitchen, resting....good times.


he's my favorite!

mini cupcakes

lovely boxes from Wilton

menagerie of animal toppers

candy corn cupcakes

ok so these are not at fancy as the ones I posted but they still look decent and taste just fine. I love decorating cupcakes with sprinkles and toppers. I was so proud of myself because for the first time I used all the supplies I bought and even some from last year! go me! so this weekend I'll do Emma's headband and her doll.

Viva la vida, que ayer se fue

I never understood the Day of the Dead, a holiday my family in Mexico always celebrates on Nov 1 and 2. I felt it was a bit of an insult to be "celebrating" someone's passing and I couldn’t understand how one could actually be happy on that day. This was of course my western upbringing coming out. It wasn’t until I actually experienced a Day of the Dead in Mexico over 15 years ago that I got a true sense of what it means to celebrate life. It is a way of keeping a person's memory alive and not forgetting them. I loved watching how families would bring picnics to the cemetery to eat with their "family" and at times you would even see mariachis. It was so colorful as well, alters filled with cockscomb and marigold flowers. Growing up my maternal grandmother would always tell me how she wanted mariachis playing at her funeral and people dancing. She asked that we be drinking whiskey and tequila. I would always say "Como abuela? I’m not doing that" Now every time I have a shot of tequila I think of her and I try not to mourn her passing. I do think of her often and I do miss her. I could write another long entry about her, and I might one day, but for today I want to focus on what she taught me. She always , ALWAYS made an offrenda, all be it humble, for her loved ones and left delicious meals out so they would come and stay for a while. We were not allowed to touch it until the morning as the dead got first dibs. It is such a lovely tradition and I was always very good about making a small offrenda in my bedroom for my paternal grandmother, but ever since I got to NY I just haven’t done one. Not this year though! I was up late last night completing my ofrenda. This weekend I shall be super busy so I wanted to put it up now and simply place the food out on the eve of Nov. 1. The cake is a test cake of a new recipe that I hope taste good, otherwise cupcakes it is. Since cockscomb is hard and $ to find, I made my own with felt and the same with marigold. I made mini marigold pompoms out of tissue paper. I swore after Emma’s first birthday that I would never make these again, but they really do come in handy when you need some quick paper flowers. This is the first time I make the ofrenda for both my grandmothers as my Adela joined Elsie in the time that has passed. I loved them both so very much and they are always with me. I named Emma Adela after both of them and I see so much of Adela in her. She is just one feisty gal, and I totally see where she gets her strong sense of independence.
side note:the bunting was made from a mini cake bunting tutorial that both Sharnel Dollar of Sharnel Dollar Designs and TomKat Studio collaborated on. Check out their lovely sites for free pdfs, ideas, tips and much more!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

oh dee doh

check out emma and her party on one of my favorite blogs! Ohdeedoh. Thank you lovely people at Ohdeedoh!!

Boo doll update.

I started making her yesterday so I could get the feel for the doll and materials and was breezing through all the steps until I got to the stitching of the ears and embroidering of the face. My doll has the face of a demented old circus monkey and I just will use her as my test dummy. The main thing now is I have complete faith that I will have a completed doll with the hopes of giving it a sweet face by Sunday, Halloween. I want to remind all that my promise was to have a completed doll and I cant help it if it is more of a gargoyle that will watch over our home than a doll Emma will play with.

side is really hard tyring to accomplish things especially things I have never tried before. Props out to all those happy mad crafters out there, especially if you are a mom!! It is much harder to sew than I thought. I also realize that I need to pick ONE thing and focus on doing that one thing well. I just cant be learning how to make cake pops, decorate pretzels and learning how to stitch all in one month. But I have put forth a brave effort. I realize that eventhough I love baking, I really want to make sewing and stitching my top priority. I truly enjoy making things for Emma so we shall see what happens for turkey day and Xmas!


Today was a busy morning. Emma slept in as she was up rather late causing mayhem in her room and I was able to sneak in a very, very short 20mn work out. I had to take Emma to get some blood work done as it is part of her annual checkup. They check her CBC count and lead level. The worst part is they don't draw it via a finger prick but actually wrap a rubber band around her little arm and draw blood via her veins. I think she might have remembered from last year because she got a little quiet when we entered the room. It didn't last long as she was really happy to jump on the chair and play with its moving arms. Once the phlebotomist came in she settled and down and was so curios as to what was being done to her. She just kept staring at him and all his movements. I couldn't bear to look and I tried to distract her but her eyes were so focused on what going on. I actually started to cry but she was a trouper. She just let out one little "ouch" and squirmed a tad. It was over in less than a minute. The guy even gave her an entire sticker sheet which she was happy to receive. She made me proud with how well she took it. I gave her some chocolate milk and then took her to Barnes and Noble to look at books. She got so excited when we got there and ran straight to the kids sections. She picked out a lot of books from the spinner rack and they were mostly Dora or Wonder Pets but she really was showing interest in Sponge Bob and the Bernstein Bears which is strange as she has never seen Sponge Bob yet she can say his name. I'm guessing her sitter might have taught her that one. Anyway, I bought some more Halloween books and some coloring books and some books for Xmas. Yes I am starting now so I can budget this year. I really cant think of anything else to get her for Xmas except books and DVDs. Her main gift ill be her big girl bed and nice bedding and pillows. RIP crib!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Books emma loves

I must say that some of Emma's reading tastes have changed and some have remained the same. As a baby she loved all lift the flap books, especially all of Karen Katz' books. I bought pretty much her entire collection. The illustrations are big and bold and the story is simple. Now Emma only wants to rip the flaps off and shows little interest in Katz' redundant lines.

As a baby she also loved touch and feel book, especially anything with animals and not illustrated animals, but books that used actual photographs of animals. Her favorite book was this book that came from the bargain section of Borders that was is literally called "Book of Baby Animals" and cost 5 dollars but it has withstood her sticky hands and she will still sit and flip through the pages, naming all the animals. Babies are very tactile so you can’t go wrong with touch and feel books. Any of Matthew Van Fleet books are also a hit especially "Tails" , "Cats" or "Dogs". His books have it all, lift the flap, touch and feel, scratch and sniff and even make noise. They are intended for older kids, who know how to properly handle books; I would say 3-5 year old if you care about your books lasting, but even the under three age range love his books. Just be prepared for it to be destroyed and since they come at a higher cost than other books some parents might want to hold off on this one, but that being said, I have yet to see a child not respond to his books in a positive way.

Emma still adores Olivia and is now into the latest book in the Olivia series by Ian Falconer-"Olivia goes to Venice" The story is so charming as she and her family visit Venice and eat a LOT of gelato. It is very Olivia and Emma. I just need to buy Emma her own copy and she is man handling my first edition.

As I stated earlier Emma responds to books with animal photographs and one of her other favorite books is Knut. Her science dad is happy about this one because Emma also shows interest in informative books and not just story books. This is the true story of how Knut came to be such a loved yet hot topic bear of the last decade. It is hard to read this one to her so I just make up stories of the Oso and his "papa". She really digs the bear and has even fed it on occasion.

I am sure she will also love this book, which I have in Tampa. It tells another true story that is both heartbreaking and uplifting story about a baby hippo who lost its mother in the Tsunami and seeks comfort with an old tortoise. The two eventually become inseparable and form a family of sorts.
Finally, another book that has stood the test of time is Goodnight Gorilla. The story is very simple and the animals are drawn in such a sweet manner that Emma still will sit through is book from beginning to end, and read it over and over.
So there you have her favorite books from a year ago to now. I wonder where her tastes will be in the coming year.

my little helper

So as I have said before Emma is starting to "help out" around the house but her helping only gives me more work. I still let her try and yesterday she dragged her step stool from the living into the kitchen and simply started washing the dishes. Just like that. She looked real cute because she was wearing her tutu over her jeans and her dads baseball cap on sideways. A true ballerina thug. She is really into dancing and understands how ballet works. She knows tutus are what they wear and that she needs to be on her tippy toes to dance. I am saving to start her in dance classes in the new year, but man are they $$ up here. I still cant see paying 5oo dollars for only a few months...not even a whole year. But we shall see.

She also loves Goofy and can name Mickey and Mimi. Yes I wrote Mimi. She is also into counting now and I am looking for books that deal with counting/numbers. Thoughts? Well she is definitely at her peak of the terrible twos, saying no at pretty much at each chance she gets. She loves dessert and has a major sweet tooth. She is a fan of my cake pops. One thing she started doing, which amazed me, is assembling the tracks of her train. I rotate her toys so they stay fresh and she doesn't get bored and it has been a while since she played with her imaginarium train set. She was really happy to see it again and went right to taking the pieces out. The last time she played with it she got so frustrated at the tracks and her ability to maintain the trains on the track. Now she just started putting them together quietly and placing the train on the tracks and going "toot toot". She will still ask for help for the stubborn pieces but she just amazes us each day. She can count to five now but only when she feels like it. She has done it at least 4 times but if you ask her again she will be silly and go "six, eight, six".

My top five favorite children's books

a classic, I still have mine from when I was 5.

another classic that over 60 years old. It has wonderful illustrations and teaches children about colors, pattern, rhyming. I haven't read this since I was at least 6, but I just remember how much I loved it and had the text memorized. "Caps, caps for sale". There is a lot or repetition in this book which I know kids respond to.
I know what I'll be getting E this weekend.
really? Do I need to explain this one?

Guji Guji by Chih-yuan Chen. This is just a lovely story of how an alligator egg somehow gets mixed up with a family of duck eggs and becomes part of the duck family and neither the ducks nor the gator note a difference between them. The love a mother has for her child no matter where they came from or how they look is wonderfully told in this story, as is the strong family bond that goes deeper than any shared DNA. The illustrations are beautifully drawn and parents and children will appreciate this story both visually and emotionally.

Oliver Jeffers is fairly new to the children's book world. This book came out about 6 years ago. This is his first book and such a sweet tale of how a little boy wants to befriend a star and goes through a lot of means to get one. The illustrations are refreshing and will appeal to all ages. I gave this book as a gift to several of my friends and they all adored it. I always look for the perfect combination of illustration and story as they truly need to go hand and hand in children's picture books. He has written other books, but like Ian Falconer, his first one is the one with the most magic. I want to also note that his last book is not truly a children's book as it deals with a very real subject matter of death, but it is done so in a very poetic manner.

I love children's books so much, my dream is to one day open a small children's book store/cupcake shop. I pray kindle and ipad don't destroy my dream. I'm all for technology but come on!! Books are amazing, the way they look and feel, how the pages sound when you turn them. I always wanted a library from floor to ceiling, the one where you need a rolling ladder to reach the top shelf...just like the one the Beast gave Beauty. So I shall continue to collect books until I die. Right now I have a small collection going on where my prized possession is my first edition Olivia. I must say that every time I visit a children's bookstore I always end up buying at least one new book. I decided I would start making Tuesdays the day to list my favorite books and I shall do so by breaking them into different categories each week. Today I will list my all time five favorite books. This was not easy as easy task to do but I have been thinking about this post for a while now. I will also list Emma's favorites books to date later on today and would love to hear other people's favorite children's books. I'm really happy to be able to share this little love for books with Emma, who as you all know just loves to read.

Monday, October 25, 2010

emma's backpack


she is just too independent

you talking to me?

I didnt think so!

I bought Emma the cutest owl lunch bag from Skip Hop back at the beginning of summer. I also saw they had the matching back packs but thought Emma was still too young for one. When I finally wanted to buy her one, they had sold out in several locations. I finally was able to track one down and Emma loves it. She loves saying the work back pack and loves to walk around in house carrying it. She looks too cute!

Central Park zoo photos

she looks too cute from behind!

hands where I can see them

always making a run for it

i love this shot of her and papa's feet

waiting to see the monkeys...any time now

so we meet again, old friend.

buo! buo!

this pig statue makes pig noises when you touch it, Emma was not prepared for that.

one for you and one for me

her hair clip, tho not where it started the day, managed to stay in her hair all day

ssshh, I'll get you out of here.

she is so fearless