Thursday, December 29, 2011

My 2011

I had a wonderful 2011, and I feel so blessed to be able to say that. I look back on this year as a year of firsts and adventures and new beginnings. It will remain one of the most exciting years ever for me.

A little look back, highlights...

January-I started off the year with the 30 Day Shred and accomplished it!! Sadly I am not at the weight I wished I could have been by the end of this year if I had consistently worked hard, but I had my good times and bad times. But back to that 30 Day Shred, I did it and wrote how I felt each day. Results were here.

February-Kavi turned three, and then near the end of the Month we went to India again. I got to go to my sis in-law's wedding! Wrote about it here and here.

March-Partly in India. Came back home, readjusted to life


May-Oh! We got annual passes to the Florida Aquarium. :) Even though we moved, we get 50% discount admission to the Birmingham Zoo until it expires(along with discounts at other partners of the group our annual pass was through)!

June-Well, at the end of the month, we prepared for our trip to Oregon!!

July-Our wonderful Oregon trip! I really think I left part of my heart there. All the espresso your heart desires, natural beauty, Indian food truck, snow in July, and giant rocks on beaches are what did it. You can read here, here, and here. Kavi also went to his first Vacation bible school, like a big boy!

Now here are where things took a surprise turn!

August-Who knew how much would change in August? I had decided, after not visiting Alabama since the previous December, that whether my husband had time off or not, me and Kavi would be driving up to 'bama, just the two of us. I just missed it. Around the same time we were coming to visit, my husband applied at one place here just for the heck of it. A friend let him know about the position, and we do feel God used that friend to help my husband gain the desire to actually apply at jobs here. It was a big leap of faith though. My husband joked that he wished he'd be called for an interview while we were still visiting up in AL, so that he could meet up with us and take off work. Well, he did get called for an interview, a little later than me and K's planned day to drive back home. So me and K stayed longer, and he flew up for his interview. He felt it went well, down in downtown Birmingham, but wasn't fully confident they'd offer him the job. (I just think he's modest. I think they were crazy about him.) Anyway, we drove back home, and a week later they offered the job! After some negotiations, they agreed on a salary/etc. He had gotten a job in Alabama! It took a little while to set the start date, which we didn't mind since we had to pack. And meanwhile, I had a cruise to go on! ;)

September-Cruise! So, so fun. Girls only. My last Florida touristy hurrah before moving. Came back from the cruise and was off to Alabama again, to look at houses. Flew back home, just me and Kavi(big deal for me!) at the end of the month to start packing. And found out my husband started his new job in mid/end October. Woo!

October-Packed like an exhausted maniac, prepared, and then the move! We moved less than a week before my birthday, so I got to celebrate here with family!

November-Enjoyed the beautiful Fall and had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

December-Our first Christmas living in Alabama, and it was wonderful.ABout to have our first New Year's Eve here too! I am so happy we are here. Oh, AND we are in the process of buying a house here. We saw it early December, looked again, put an offer, signed a contract, and may be living in it in a month or so! Wow.

Thanks for looking back with me. 

I wish you all a very Happy New Year!!!!

Gift highlights

The big gift we got our son this year was a wooden train table set. It is called the Waterfall Mountain train set. After he went to bed very late on Christmas Eve, me and my husband stayed up to put it together. After getting it done and getting ready for bed, it was already 2 a.m.! We were very tired. We covered it with blankets so that he would first open his few smaller presents from us before seeing the train set. I took a video of him seeing it for the first time, which is really cute. But I hesitate to put it on the blog because my husband is in it a little, and he doesn't want a video of himself on here! :p

Kavi loved it and thanked us without being told to!
Deep in playing mode...

He got other awesome gifts from my family and some friends. He is a blessed little boy! We received many gifts as well. I won't list them all out. But among my favorites were my boots from my parents, perfume(well, e.d.t.) from my husband, and cute coffee mugs from friends. I also received yummy smelling candles, earrings, cozy clothes for PJs or layering, a cardigan, and lots of other goodies.

I picked out my gift from my husband, and actually the company sent us the wrong product, but I love it anyway. It's in the line of Stella McCartney perfumes, which are my favorite. The wrong one I received was only slightly different than the one I wanted, so I decided to keep it. The company we bought it through on Amazon said they'd give us a 5% refund for the mix up. Fine with me! I already started spraying it. So here is mine, Stella Sheer:
Smells like fresh roses and other good things, with a heavy focus on rose

I am over sensitive to perfume smells, and I dislike soooo many of them. When I find one I can stand wearing, it's a big deal to me! I have had "Stella", "Rose Absolute" and now "Sheer" by Stella. The one I was supposed to get was called StelleNude, because it was an even softer scent. 

And I must feature my new, cute coffee mugs. From separate friends who know me well!
And one more boots picture, with a little munchkin who wanted to jump in the shot:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I got the kind of boots I wanted!

Thanks to my parents who bought them, and my mom who searched through page after page after page after page of lace up boots on until she found some that had my size! And a good price. She asked me if I liked them first, I said yes, and so she ordered them. They look good online, but they are even cuter in person!!

Here is a picture from the amazon listing, I have the brown ones!:

And my Christmas eve late night snapshot on my phone! I hadn't laced them all the way up yet:

Even with my not skinny calves, they zip up! *phew*  And I can't be happier, they are even pretty comfortable! I got other awesome gifts but I am tired so I will have to blog about it another day!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve is Here!

I am so happy it's Christmas Eve! I am so happy we live in Alabama for it this year! No ten hours of travel for either us or my parents. How about less than five minutes instead? I am happy for friends. Tonight we are going to a close family friend's house, which is on my street.

Things have been very busy lately! Christmas shopping, Christmas preparing, crafting, baking, and more!

I'm going to share photos of recent activities. 

And this one, just because it's awesome:
 I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cookie decorating

It's a busy busy time right now! I have a living room full of scattered gifts that need wrapping, empty bags, and sewing projects. But we have been having fun! Today was cookie making time! I dropped of Kavi at my parents' house where he helped them make cookies while I ran some errands. When I got back there, it was time to decorate! So I got to do some of that.

Below is our living room set up for Christmas! 

And my mom wrote about what we did yesterday, a fun girls' day out! Read more here:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Local Shopping

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? I haven't!

I have gotten a lot of my shopping done in the past week, but I need to look at my list to see who else to buy for. Something exciting to me is that I was able to do some Christmas shopping at local shops in Downtown Gadsden and Downtown Attalla. One shop makes candles in hundreds of scents! Another sells mostly Alabama made products. Other shops were antique/vintage shops which also had some new or handmade items for sale. I want to take a picture of everything I bought but am afraid it will ruin the surprise for some people who might come and read. ;) If you haven't finished your shopping either, you should check out some of your local shops for locally made or reused items! They don't have to cost an arm and a leg. I am a bargain shopper so I look for good deals.

One of the antique shops was having a massive Holday sale - 50% off prices plus additional 20%. I scored! I did buy myself one thing, inspired by Angela, our bloggy turned real life friend! Check out this post where she posted pictures of her newly acquired antique booth. My mother and I sent items for her to sell in her booth(at her very kind and thoughtful suggestion!). My mom sent crocheted items and I sent jewelry. Angela displayed everything so nicely! She used an old rake head to hang necklaces on.  I thought that was a fun way to display necklaces! In the antique store having the big sale, my mom saw one and asked me if I wanted to buy it. Yes! So I got it!

Another example, found on pinterest:

And about those lace up boots I mom ordered me a pair to try for Christmas! They are longer than the pair in my last post, but finding boots in my size was a difficult task for my mom who looked at page after page on amazon! She found some that should work and ordered them. Yay!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seeking: lace up boots!

I took that photo on my phone inside Forever 21 yesterday. I want those boots!! The problem? My feet are big and I have a hard time finding shoes that fit nicely. I wear between a size 10-11 (sigh). I frantically looked at the sizes of all the boots they had in the store and the biggest was a 9. I looked online and don't see these for sale.

I was at the mall with my mom, son, and a friend. After Forever 21, we visited several stores to look at their boots. I did find similar boots and tried on a pair in size 10 - they were too tight on the top of my foot. Ugh! Others were just too much money. So my goal is to find a pair of these style of boots that actually fit well. They have to be flat too. I can't handle a heel. It's a meaningless goal in the big picture of life (lol) but I hope I find them! Lucky size 7 feet women.

I know this is probably such a fad and by the time I find them, they won't be "in" anymore!! But anyway, here are some ways people style them...

And I would love to have this ENTIRE outfit below for the holidays!!I am going to go look on Etsy and other places to see what it would cost to duplicate it, in some way.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cold fun

I have been busy! I realized it's been almost a week since I blogged. On Saturday, I went with my mom and sister to the craft bazaar in Birmingham that my mom sold at the past two years. With lots going on and us moving here this year, she decided not to rush to prep things and sell. So we just went as shoppers this year! And while there were some cute items, I only bought a bar of handmade soap. But it's lemon scented, and so fresh smelling. I love it.

Sunday evening we went to "Christmas at the Falls" at Noccalula Falls. Waterfall, TONS of Christmas lights, a very fun train ride, hot chocolate, popcorn, walking trails at night but all lit up, I think you get the idea. Magical!

I am loving the weather here. Some days are mildy cold and other days are colder. It's still nice no matter what temperature. I really was just tired of sweating for so much of every year in Florida! It's been beautiful here since we moved. It's hard to believe Fall will be over soon and winter will start. Almost every tree that was full of bright colored leaves is now bare. I get to see seasons!

A little cold weather fashion inspiration:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Decor Inspiration

Some of the items I pinned before decorating! We don't have a tree yet, but I decorated the mantle and shelves and some walls. And we finallllllly have couches to sit on! They arrived last night! I will share pictures eventually.
But now the Christmas decor inspiration!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas decoration time

We had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving with our family and some close friends. I hope everyone had a good one! It was one of those fun holiday get-togethers that last into the late evening. And Kavi slept over my parents' house, for his first real sleepover there(without me or my husband there)! I can't wait to hear how that went. I hope very good.

Now it's time to start decorating for Christmas!! I am excited. I debated whether to make a few pillow covers to sell in my shop, because I felt rushed. But I ended up doing it on Monday night and I am glad I did. They are cheery pillow covers! I have two 16 inch and one 20 inch in the shop. If no one buys them, they could be good gifts or decor for my house!

I'll be posting pinterest decoration inspiration soon!

Monday, November 21, 2011


I painted my nails in a color that is just silver sparkles. They would be better for Christmas, but I couldn't resist. (It's my sister's nail polish. She and my mom always have the cool colors!)

 Yesterday Kavi said that my sister's face looked sparkly in a picture- what he actually meant was blurry. But we thought that sparkly could be a good alternative to the word blurry! "Doctor, my vision is sparkly, do I need new glasses?"  "That picture came out too sparkly". I love the things that three year olds say!

Etsy news...after having the shops on vacation and then recently opening them up, I was excited to make a sale on Saturday and on Sunday after a long gap of time! I sold two different pillow covers that had been for sale for a very long time. It feels so good to know that they will be used in someone's home now. So I finished up sewing one of them yesterday(had been a duplicated listing) and packaged them. Today I have to mail them. 

Should I have any more orders soon, I will have to switch to a more wintery packaging. But I had these paper leaf doilies and thought I should still use them! They are pretty.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Gift idea: DIY Tea Wreath

I saw this on pinterest! First I just saw the non-Holiday colored wreath. Then I went to the blog where the idea came from and saw this red and white wreath, perfect for the holidays!


And here's the one that was made just to match a kitchen and can be used all year:

If you have pinterest, you can go repin these ideas for later! If you would like to see the tutorial right now, it's here: Tea Wreath tutorial 

I will be looking up more DIY gifts to add to my pinterest board. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A month

One of my favorite teas, Irish Breakfast from Twinings, 
and a Christmas mug that I actually use all year. 

Tomorrow will be a month since we left Florida and arrived here!!! In some ways that feels so long ago now. We are still settling in and setting up house. It takes longer than you think, when moving out of state and restarting your household! Right now Kavi is at my parents' house while I am alone at the house getting some things done. So happy I can do that now!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Fall picture. I just can't help it! This was on Saturday in the downtown of another small town near here. Behind it is an adorable white church. There was a wedding there that day. We saw the groom and groomsmen getting pictures taken and then pictures of the bride too.

Friday, November 11, 2011

An Etsy post

I finally reached my box of Etsy jewelry items, in the corner of the 3rd bedroom, under many other boxes! I opened it up yesterday and wanted to activate or relist any items that expired while the shop has been on vacation. It's a little more tricky than I thought it would be. I had put my shop on sale before moving, using Etsy on Sale. Before the sale officially ended(I set the end date/time on their website), I switched my shop to vacation mode. I think that messed up Etsy on Sale's ability to remove all the sale info that is supposed to automatically be removed at the scheduled end of the sale.

So when I went to reactivate a few items, I noticed their titles, tags, and first picture, still had the sale info on them! So now it's going to be a little more time consuming to get things for sale again. I only have three items available now. And I need to again evaluate the Etsy situation. I think I may need to focus more on the sewing side/The Cozy Nest shop, instead of the jewelry shop. We'll see.

I wanted to share two sweet items I saw on Etsy today. When I added the second item as a favorite, I realized the bird in the print had the same orange face and belly as the photograph I added to my favorites. That was not intentional, and makes me like the items even more.

Amazing bird photograph: szalonaisa
Dreaming print: CafeBaudelaire

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Heavenly Leaves

For me, with living in Florida most of my life, Autumn has been a rare treat! I am so happy I get to live here during it. I know I have already said that here, but I am still so happy about it.

Yesterday we walked around Noccalula Falls, which I have talked about before. But I couldn't find the post. We couldn't ride the cute little train, because that part is shut down while they decorate the place for Christmas!

I took too many pictures while there, because I was having so much fun in the Fall beauty. Now I have to decide which of the many to share!