Merry, merry

12/22/2010 at 9:50 pm | Posted in family, Love | 13 Comments

We’ve been busy lately getting ready for Santa’s arrival. You know, running around the house with a train of garland. Baking cookies. Hanging ornaments on the tree. Then taking them off. Over and over again.

This Christmas is especially fun because Small Fry really gets it this time around. So much so that she’s a little afraid of Santa (could this be the reason why, a whole year later?), but she seems to find comfort in our assurances that Santa will visit when she’s sleeping and she won’t have to hang out with him. Too funny.

I’m really excited about lots of time together this year, just the three of us. It’s the first Christmas in ages that we won’t have to travel. I predict lots of fires in the fireplace, stay-up-late nights to watch Frosty, and if we really get lucky, a snow day or two.

To soak up as much time as possible with my family, I’m unplugging until after the new year.

I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful holiday! xo!


Because what’s the point of new Dora undies if not to play hopscotch on them?

12/21/2010 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Small Fry, snap happy | 7 Comments
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*Crappy photo quality brought to you by my refusal to use the flash.
**Potty training post coming soon. After a glass of wine. I wish.

A Christmas miracle

12/21/2010 at 10:52 am | Posted in Bloggy, Love | 1 Comment
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I’m going to join throngs of other bloggers writing about one of our own, Jenny Lawson. She is the voice behind The Bloggess and is probably the most hilarious person I’ve ever met in my life (at BlogHer, when I nearly tripped into her lap). Her blog is incredibly popular, and she’s something of a celebrity in our little world.

She’s also a miracle-worker. Although I’m positive these words would make her cringe.

Last week, she wrote a blog post offering $30 Amazon gift cards to the first 20 people who left comments expressing their need. People who couldn’t afford Christmas for their children. PLEASE READ THIS POST. You will be astounded by the gigantic wave of generosity that followed Jenny’s initial act of kindness.

Not only are those first 20 families being helped, but many, MANY more. To the tune of $22,000.

It’s just incredible.

And it gives me hope.

People want to help each other. And no matter how many times I get cussed out from behind the wheel of some other car sparring for a parking spot at Target or get shoved once inside (yes, this actually happened), I will remember Jenny’s miracle and smile. And act with kindness.

We all should.

19 weeks: things that make me happy

12/20/2010 at 3:55 pm | Posted in baby sunshine, pregnancy | 10 Comments
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See those little red things down there? Those are my feet.

Still visible! Hooray!

I can’t believe this pregnancy is halfway over. And, boy, seeing the baby on Friday made it so much more REAL. And totally made up for the weeks and weeks of sickness.

Kids are like that, aren’t they? Small Fry can be having the most terrible tantrum-filled day, but then for the last 15 minutes, as we snuggle in bed with books, she’s sweet and lovey and makes my heart swell.

Those little moments erase all the bad stuff. Just like that.

My mornings are still rough, and I nearly passed out from an empty stomach in line for my $5 burrito at Moe’s today, but overall, I’m feeling MUCH better. Not hugging the toilet nearly as much as I used to. Which is definitely a good thing.

Here’s what else makes me happy right now:

fresh clementines
fuzzy hats
reading “Olive the Other Reindeer” with Small Fry
a healthy baby baking away
Moravian sugar cake
Ella Fitzgerald’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
saying good-bye to pull-ups and hello to big-girl underwear
wrapping Christmas presents
baking cookies with my mom and sister
slow-cooker meals
Christmas cards in the mail
banana pancakes

What’s on your happiness list this week?

My little can of Pepsi

12/19/2010 at 3:45 pm | Posted in baby sunshine, pregnancy | 14 Comments
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Say hi to the baby!

We had our big ultrasound on Friday, and it was just awesome. Small Fry was enthralled for about 15 minutes, then ended up making a bunch of friends in the halls while her dad walked her around.

I was enthralled the entire time. And a bit nervous.

Because of my “advanced age” (35, ahem) the ultrasound was very thorough. We saw more than I ever imagined. And the tech kept using the word “perfect.” Thank God. The baby is about 12 ounces big. The size of a can of Pepsi, our tech said.

He also said I have “the cervix of a 20-year-old.” Which I will totally be bragging about for the remainder of this pregnancy. And possibly longer.

We resisted the temptation to find out the baby’s sex. It took every single bit of will power I possess. Totally worth it.

Because we’ll be in for the ultimate surprise in May.


Handmade Holiday giveaway: winner's choice!

12/16/2010 at 9:32 am | Posted in Everything else | 15 Comments
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This is it!

Today is the final day of our Handmade Holiday giveaway. And it’s going out with a bang, thanks to Erin from Hot Pink and Sequins.

She’s offering up a winner’s choice! You can pick from a gorgeous ruby red hair clip (or lapel pin) made from repurposed satin OR these too-cute-for-words teeny legwarmers WITH POCKETS. For stuff. They’ll best fit kids ages two to six, and they’re made from recycled chenille so they’re extra cozy. We are the first to see Erin’s new legwarmers! Lucky us.

There are all sorts of beautiful new things in Erin’s shop, perfect for the holiday party season. I’m a fan of her luxe oversized “Queen” poppy pin made from recycled red leather and her new “Plumeria Goddess” headband.

I get compliments every single time I wear my leather poppy earrings. They’re definitely one of a kind!

To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment below telling us your favorite winter activity. Since there’s a bit of snow on the ground here today, I imagine we’ll soon be outside scraping together a pint-sized snowman. Playing in the snow with Small Fry is just too much fun.

For extra chances to win (please leave a separate comment for each):

> “Like” Hot Pink and Sequins on Facebook
> Follow Hot Pink and Sequins on Twitter
> Add Hot Pink and Sequins to your Etsy favorites

The entire Handmade Holiday giveaway ends on Monday, Dec. 20 at noon. I’ll choose the winners at random and announce that afternoon. Be sure to check out the custom print, lovely clutch and tweed stocking ornament. Ho! Ho! Ho!


Vicki is the winner! Congratulations, lucky lady!

Handmade Holiday giveaway: trim the tree

12/15/2010 at 9:24 am | Posted in Everything else | 11 Comments
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Becky from Emma Dear Vintage Goods does the most amazing things with tweed. I especially love how she repurposes men’s suit jackets to make everything from funky pillow covers to this darling little stocking ornament. The patchwork detail and lace trim make it even more unique. Wouldn’t it be lovely on your tree?

Emma Dear is loaded with all sorts of beautiful new things right now, from tweed stockings and pillow covers  to gorgeous vintage sewing notions and fabrics. Take a peek!

To enter to win this adorable little tweed stocking ornament, just leave a comment below to help settle a debate in pretty*swell land: fruitcake or no fruitcake?

For extra chances to win, you can do any of the following (be sure to leave a separate comment for each):

> “Like” Emma Dear Vintage Goods on Facebook
> Follow Becky on Twitter
> Add Emma Dear Vintage Goods to your Etsy favorites

This giveaway ends on Monday, Dec. 20 at noon. I’ll choose the winner at random and announce that afternoon. Have fun! And don’t forget to put your name in the hat for these other handmade lovelies: custom print, big-button clutch


Suz is the winner! Congratulations, lucky lady!

Handmade Holiday giveaway: the cutest clutch

12/14/2010 at 11:21 am | Posted in Bloggy | 30 Comments
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Isn’t this the cutest little bag?

And I’m not just saying that because Laura made it.

She gave me one for Christmas last year, and I love it. It’s the perfect carry-all for date night, or as is more often the case, to stuff into the diaper bag. My favorite part is the chunky button.

Laura used an Amy Karol design called “Artsy Clutch.” I think “Super Fabulous Adorable Clutch” is more fitting, but that’s just me.

To win this lovely bag, just leave a comment below telling us your favorite holiday tune. So many to choose from! Mine is a toss-up between Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” (that voice!) and “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-DMC (momma’s cooking chicken and collard greens). Classic.

For extra chances to win the cutest clutch, you can do any of the following (be sure to leave separate comments for each):

– Subscribe to Laura’s lovely blog, chock full of
– Follow chock full of on Twitter

This giveaway ends at noon Monday, Dec. 20. I’ll choose the winner at random and announce that afternoon. Have fun! And … have you entered to win a custom print from Sweetpea Prints? Go!  Now!


Mandy is the winner! Congratulations, lucky lady!

Handmade Holiday giveaway: Sweetpea Prints

12/13/2010 at 11:49 am | Posted in Bloggy | 32 Comments
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I love you guys.

Without the awesome little community that’s formed here, this blog simply would be floating in space. Thank you for reading. Thank you for tolerating photo after photo after photo of my child. Thank you for your comments. Your love.

You’re the best!

As a small token of my (immense) appreciation, I’ve called on our lovely sponsors and one very special guest to host a “Handmade Holiday” giveaway for y’all this week. A bit of a step up from last year’s “gift” of self-deprecation, no?

To kick things off, Liz from Sweetpea Prints is offering one lucky reader a custom print of your choice!

I adore her new “Brush your teeth” and “Read me a story” prints. And her custom nursery prints and birth announcements are so creative. Small Fry loves her monkey print! Liz’s work is top-notch, and she is just as friendly as can be.

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below telling us your all-time favorite holiday food. Mine? Peppermint ice cream.

For extra chances to win, you can do any of the following (be sure to leave a separate comment for each):

> “Like” Sweetpea Prints on Facebook
> Add Sweetpea Prints to your Etsy favorites.

And, because Liz is so generous, she’s offering a special deal for all pretty*swell readers: BUY ONE PRINT, GET ONE FREE!! How awesome is that? To redeem this discount, just leave a comment in your order letting Liz know that you came from pretty*swell.

This giveaway closes at noon Monday, Dec. 20. I’ll choose a winner at random and announce that afternoon. Have fun!


Kortnie is the winner! Congratulations, lucky lady!

Swell Stuff {Lollipops by Mihow}

12/09/2010 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Swell Stuff | 4 Comments
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Looky what I just discovered (thank you, Twitter): Lollipops by Mihow

Don’t they look delicious? I’m torn between the Elvis (peanut butter and banana) and Mint Chip on a Stick (you know I have a thing for mint). She also makes one called The Due Date, with flavors for the laboring mama. Which might come in handy this May.

Michelle is a blogger currently enrolled in pastry school to pursue her confectionery dreams.

Pretty sweet, huh?

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