Stash Bash

This week I've been making a bunch of gift bags in varying sizes. I've found that they are a nice way to make a gift just a bit more special. I plan on using the bags to wrap Christmas gifts because they are reusable! I made a "bag of cheer" for our good friends who lost their home as a result of Hurricane Sandy. It was interesting for me because the fabric I used was some of the first fabric I had ever purchased.

On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston, Texas. As a result, friends of mine went to Galveston to do relief work. One of the their requests was for curtains for the FEMA trailers down there. The fabric I used for the "bag of cheer" was a remnant from the curtains I made for the people in the FEMA trailers in Galveston. At the time, I chose this fabric because it was bright and cheery. It is still is! It still makes me smile so, I hope it made our friends smile today.

Here is the video of the tutorial I used as a jumping off point:

Getting Ready for Advent

Advent Wreath 2011

Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas. Therefore, this Sunday will be the First Sunday of Advent. This liturgical season is more than "just a countdown to Christmas". During these four weeks, we prepare our hearts and minds for the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ as well as for the second coming. Advent is particularly exciting because it is the beginning of the church year. It is a nice fresh start!

What are you going to do to celebrate Advent?

As a family, we purchased a child friendly Advent wreath which will enable our little one to participate without mom worrying he will burn himself on the real candles. This year we will be away for the first Sunday of Advent so, we will take our wreath with us and celebrate with Charlie's grandparents. Because the wreath is new, it would be nice to have a little blessing ceremony as a family. The USCCB  has a bunch of great resources for Advent.

I can't wait to play O Come, O Come Emmanuel for Charlie during the week. He loves music and it would be wonderful for him to begin to associate this song with Advent. In Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, there is a listing of the appropriate "O" verses for the days leading up to Christmas but you can also find it on the web.

During the last week of Advent, I plan to set up my nativity from my classroom so we can talk about why we are celebrating Christmas. My mother bought Charlie a wonderful book called, "What is Christmas?" It talks about how despite all of the secular Christmas preparations, the true meaning of Christmas is found in remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

As Charlie gets older, I think it would be fun to celebrate St. Nicholas Day and the Epiphany in conjunction with Christmas. As a kid, I remember the neighbors celebrating St. Nicholas Day. I thought it was a neat idea. As an adult, I have gone to Epiphany service with some of my Lutheran coworkers because I found that they celebrated it more so than the Catholic church did.

This will be a great year to begin some new traditions! What are your Advent traditions?

What I Wore Sunday - Vol. 6

This Sunday was the Solemnity of Christ the King so, I decided to dress up a little bit since we went to the high Mass. The Mass was amazing! It was just beautiful!

Anyway on to what I wore!

Dress: Style&Co - Macy's
Cardigan: Ann Taylor Outlet
Leggings: Target 
Shoes: BOC - DSW

Bracelet: Lenox - Gift for 8th grade graduation
Necklace: Gift for Valentine's day from my parents 

linked to fine linen & purple

7 Quick Takes

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving on Staten Island yesterday. We spent the day with our cousins. As always there were tons of tasty foods. This year my aunt made bacon ice cream, in addition to the pies. It was really different and really tasty. If I ever have an ice cream maker, I'll have to give it a whirl.

Thanksgiving is always a day that you reflect on the many blessings in your life. This year, I feel like we were even more grateful based on the recent Hurricane. In order to get to our Thanksgiving dinner. we had to drive through several areas completely devastated by the storm. 

We were able to Skype with my brother in Rome. While we couldn't have him with us, it was nice to be able to chat with him for awhile. The dean at the PNAC apparently wrote the American students a letter to allow them to stay home from classes yesterday. 

I cannot wait for Advent to begin this year. We purchased a "kid-friendly"Advent wreath so, Charlie can enjoy the season as well. It will be so much fun to help him put the first candle on the wreath. 

Charlie is having lots of fun spending time with his uncles this weekend. They are all rolling around on the floor together for most of the afternoon. 

I have to say that I am appalled that McDonald's was open for 24 hours yesterday. I know there are a lot of stores that are no longer observing Thanksgiving in favor of starting Black Friday shopping early but, really? McDonald's couldn't even given their employees a little break? 

We are eagerly waiting for the hubby to get home since he was the only one at our house who had to work today. I love seeing the giant smile on Charlie's face when he sees his Daddy! 

What I Wore to Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! 
This year we celebrate with my cousins on Staten Island. We truly have so much to be grateful for. We had a wonderful time with the three little ones together for the holiday. 

Today was also special because we celebrated Charlie's 6 month birthday! 

My Outfit: 
Pants: Brown - NY & Co. 
Top: Purple Wool Sweater (thrifted) 
Boots: My faves from DSW - MaddenGirl
Jewelry: Bracelets - Eden Jewlers 
Earrings - Gift 
Necklace - Gift 

linked to Camp Patton

What I Wore Sunday - Vol. 5

This was my birthday outfit. My dress came from a local thrift shop. My boots were new. I love them so much! I decided to post this outfit because I really liked how it looked on me and it is something I could probably wear to church at some point.  

This is what Charlie wore to church this morning. Isn't he cute?

This is my outfit from church today. My shirt and pants were from the Bass outlet. My scarf was from Chinatown and I'm wearing my favorite boots from the outfit above.

Here's Charlie and I!

We are linking up with Fine Linen and Purple! 

7 Quick Takes

Apparently, at some point I fell down a rabbit hole because: 


I completely didn't realize it was Friday! 


I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week. I feel like I lost the month of November!


We almost missed Charlie's play group because he woke up so late.


Charlie is going to be 6 months old next week! 


Stores are playing Christmas music and Advent hasn't started yet!


I am one year away from 30!


My big boy slept in his crib last night! (I slept on the floor next to the crib.) 

Stash Bash

In an effort to continue to organize/eliminate clutter and excess items, I've been using some of the 9 gazillion yards of fabric I have stored up to make some baby blankets, burp cloths, and cloth wipes/baby wash cloths. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet. I initially thought I would donate them to hurricane relief however, it seems as though they have enough "stuff like that". I'm looking into possibly selling them at a local craft fair and then donating the proceeds so that way I'll still be helping the relief efforts just in a different way.

Tricia @ Crunchy Catholic Momma has been hosting a Stash Bash with the goal to use up all of her supplies. I think I'm going to embark on the journey and see how far I can get by my birthday next year. Here we go!

Linked to Frontier Dreams

Thirty Things I'm Thankful For

30days thanks-200pix
I find it hard to believe that we are already a week away from Thanksgiving. It is the perfect time to reflect on what I am Thankful for. Many of these things are things that I take for granted on a daily basis. The events of the few weeks really put things into perspective. For example, yesterday was both my birthday and my mother's birthday, we went out to dinner to celebrate. While we were at dinner at a local restaurant, two power restoration crews were there eating as well. One was from Canada and another was from Tennessee. We got to talking and learned that for the first few nights they were here they were sleeping in their trucks because they had no where to stay since, all the hotels were fill with people who were displaced for one reason or another. Finally, a few local churches opened their doors and have been providing temporary housing to the power crews while they are here. These individuals never complained that they had  no where to rest after working 12+ hour shifts. They simply indicated that they were here to help where they could. For this we are truly grateful.

As I look around me today these are some of the things I am grateful for:

1. My Husband who provides  me with love and support

2. My Son who brings me so much joy

3. My Parents who allow us to stay in their home

4. My In Laws who graciously give of their resources to help us when we need it

5. My brothers who I can always count on to provide laughter

6. My ability to breast feed my son which allows me to provide him with the very best nourishment

7. My faith which keeps me strong

8. My health which allows me to care for my son

9. Shelter that keeps us out of the elements each day

10. Electricity that allows us to have light and heat
11. Heat that keeps us from freezing on cold nights
12. Good friends that house us when we need a warm place to go

13. Nature's ability to repair itself after a disaster

14. Parks that provide respite on weekends

15. Beaches that allow us to enjoy the sun and water

16. Being able to stay home with Charlie

17. My husband's job that provides us with the funds we need
18. Health insurance that allows us to seek medical attention
19. Medical professionals that tend to us when we are ill
20. Sunsets and sunrises that indicate God's love for us

21. Creativity that allows me to create things that bring joy to others

22. Food that provides us nourishment

23. Free time that allows me to rest
24. My car that provides me with transportation
25. Education that gave us jobs and the intellectual capacity to be effective in those jobs
26. Freedom to work and play as we see fit

27. Being able to live in a safe neighborhood
28. Police and Fire personnel that keep us safe
29. Generosity of those around us that makes our days easier
30. Technology that allows us to share our gratefulness

A wonderful day with the hubby.

Yesterday, the hubby was off for Veteran's Day. I am absolutely loving his new job because he gets time off (other than on Saturday and Sunday). Since graduating law school, he has worked for private firms that do not appreciate "time off". During the last few weeks, he was given two days off for Hurricane Sandy, one day off for Election Day, and Veteran's Day off! We have always enjoyed our time together but, I feel like now that Charlie is here it is even more important for the hubby to have time off to spend with our little guy. They have such a great time horsing around and  playing together. Charlie makes the most adorable little squeals when they are playing on the floor. I love it!

We were able to celebrate my birthday a day early by taking Charlie to Northport to walk around and see the boats. The weather was absolutely beautiful so, we tried to take advantage of it. There are so many nice shops to browse. It seemed like it was take your guitar to the park day because there were so many people out playing and singing. I feel like people are truly grateful that the water in that part of the town has receded and we are once again able to enjoy the beautiful water.

After our Northport visit, we went to my favorite little thrift store in Huntington village and enjoyed a wonderful lunch at a new restaurant. We had a great day together. It was nice to just hang out.

What I Wore Sunday - vol.4

I absolutely love this link up so, even though I'm late - here's what I wore on Sunday to Mass! 
My Outfit
Sweater: Jones New York - birthday gift
Pants: NY & Co. - Love their petite pants!
Shoes: Hush Puppies - Macy's - bought these for teaching while I was pregnant. I LOVE them!
My necklace  (Personalized Mommy Necklace w/ Charlie's Birth Stats)- The Lullaby leaf 
My bracelet - Eden Jeweler's Cape Cod

Check out more outfits @ Fine Linen & Purple!

7 Quick Takes

We are basking in the glorious sunshine today! I can't believe the weather is going to be in the 50s all weekend!

Many of you have been asking about the status of our power. We are back online. Others aren't so lucky. Please continue to pray for those without power and adequate shelter. 

Congrats to Karianna @ Caffeinated Catholic Mama! She had a baby boy this morning! 

This weekend Charlie will get to hang out with two of his uncles. He will also be going to his first football game. I'm sure there will be many photos to come. 

Charlie is so close to crawling. If he could just get his arms and legs together, he'd be cruising around. (My baby is turning into a big boy!) 

I can't believe how quickly he is turning into a little man. He is getting so strong and wants to try to figure everything out. He is very inquisitive. I love it! 

Any recommendations on good baby gates? What is really necessary in terms of baby proofing? 

Hurricane Sandy and Nor'easter Athena - As seen by Charlie

When the power went out, it got really cold. 

Mommy kept me bundled up!

When the power came on, we went to vote. Do you like my new vest?
After the Hurricane, came the nor'easter

I got to see snow for the first time.

When Daddy came home, we went outside.

Mom let me bring some snow inside to play with. 

It was really cold. I didn't like it very much.

The next day, Daddy got out of work early so, we went outside to play.

We made my first snowman!

I really like my snowman.

Mommy, my snowman, and ME!