Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas: 2013 in Photo Review

February, 2013

January, 2013
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
April, 2013
and old lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
March, 2013
for auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

June, 2013
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
May, 2013

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
August, 2013

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.
July, 2013

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
September, 2013
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

October, 2013
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
November, 2013
December, 2013

-Robert Burns

December, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Duffle's!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Winter ONE-derland Party

Here are some pics and the list of things I did for Zoe's Winter ONE-derland first birthday party!

For Zoe's party, I bought a lot of the glassware you see here from the dollar store. I also bought some of the food (including vanilla cotton candy, pink candy canes, and peppermint bark) at the dollar store.

I cut tissue paper and used command hooks and fishing line to hang the white "snowflakes" from the ceiling. I also hung some silver, glitter snowflakes.

On the table, I used a sheet of silver, glitter wrapping paper as a table runner. Then, I scattered silver ornaments around the
glassware containing food.

The food for the party was pink-themed. I served:
Pink Birthday cake (which I used strawberry cake mix to make)
Pink cupcakes
Kettle corn drizzled with pink-tinted almond bark
Pretzel rods dipped in white almond bark and covered in pink sprinkles.
Strawberry wafer cookies dipped in white almond bark and covered in pink sprinkles
Peppermint Bark
Cotton candy
Pink Peppermint marshmallows
Pink and White frosted animal crackers
Pink punch

I also made labels using the Avery label templates online. Super easy to use and very customizable. I was able to use a snowflake-themed template and make it pink!

I made a white tulle and feather tutu "snowflake" dress and party hat to go along with the theme. I intentionally made it in white, so that the pink frosting of the cake would contrast in pictures.

For a look at her Winter ONE-derland invitations, click here.

ONE Year!

Happy Birthday to Zoe!

It is amazing how fast children grow. It really makes you realize how short life really is. Zoe has progressed from tiny infant, to giggling baby, to a walking/talking toddler in just a few months time. The nostalgia is setting in as I think back to this time last year. The bright blue lights out my hospital window, and the excitement of a new baby. The midnight cuddles and feedings, and the smell of Johnson's sleepy time lotion.

After going in around midnight on December 7th, 2012, I quickly progressed to a 4. Then things slowed down. At around 6pm the following day, I was finally approaching a 9/10, but Z was not turned the right way (she was sideways). I pushed and pushed while they tried to turn her, but she just got stuck and couldn't make it down. At 7:47pm Zoe was born by C-section. I could barely keep my eyes open, but focused on the little crying person across the room. My husband brought her over for me to see and I just cried. I've never been so tired and so happy. I finally got to hold her some 20 min later, then shared her with our families some time after that. It was a rough couple nights in the hospital. The first night I was very sick from not eating since about 6pm on Dec. 6th, and all the meds. I kept falling asleep mid-sentence and while BF Zoe. The second night, Zoe had a bit of colic from my lack of production. She cried a lot,  but we made it through the night and went home the next day. The early days at home were a blur of sleep, midnight feedings, and trying to keep enough laundry and dishes done to function. Thankfully, we had lots of family help and meals. It seems like she grew quickly and changed daily. I literally watched her grow before my eyes, and was there for every milestone.

We have now made it to the toddler phase, and I think "terrible two's" may have come a little early. There is no question that little Zoe inherited some of my personality traits. Ornery and strong-willed don't even begin to cover it. She is also very sweet, VERY curious, and happy.

This month she has finally learned to stand up without pulling up (which she started on thanksgiving). She also loves to sing and dance, and brings us books to read her constantly. She also is getting better at telling us what she wants. She will bring us her empty snack cup or sippy when she wants a refill!

Her birthday was a success. She got lots of toys and clothes. One of her favorite items is a music set. She has been playing the xylophone every day! For more info and pictures of Zoe's Winter ONE-derland birthday, see next post.

Here is what is new this month:
Favorite Thing to Do: Reading books and anything musical
Favorite Food: She still really loves pasta! 
New This Month: Standing position without pulling up.
Growth: All 12 month clothes. The pants still don't fit her waist though!
Sleep: She is having a hard time sleeping lately. She never really recovered from Vancouver.
Speaking: She says mama, dadda, hi, bye, backpack, look, this and that. She is working on new words and sounds every day.
Movement: Walking and sometimes running!
Behavior: She has got in the habit of throwing tantrums when she doesn't get her way. lovely. 

Here is a video of Zoe's first year:

Here are a few more pics from the party!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Winter ONE-derland Invitation

Z's first birthday is coming up in just a few weeks, so I finally came up with a concept and completed her first birthday, "Winter ONE-derland" invites. I didn't need to create very many, because we are just inviting family, so I went on the fancier side! Still, these are super easy to create.

You will need:
  • 1 sheet glossy or pearl white paper (makes approx. 4 invites)
  • 1 sheet textured white card stock
  • 7/8" ribbon (I used light pink)
  • Some sort of "bling" (I used buttons in the shape of a snowflake)
  • Hot glue
  • Double sided tape roller
  • Envelopes and stamp if you so desire.
  • Print wording on pearl paper (4 to a page)
  • Cut pearl paper into four approx. 3.75in x 4.75in rectangles. Making sure your wording is centered.
  • Cut textured card stock into 4 3/8in x 5 1/8in rectangles.
  • Use double sided tape roller to adhere peal paper onto the thicker card stock.
  • Cut a piece of ribbon large enough to encircle the invitation. You don't want it so tight that it can't slide up and down the invite, nor do you want it so loose that it falls off.
  • Use a small bit of hot glue to stick the ribbon to itself, creating a band. (you'll want this part on the back).
  • On the front side, hot glue your bling to the ribbon.
  • The ribbon should easily slide up and down to reveal text underneath it.

That's it! Pretty easy. Not sure how they'll mail with the bling, but hey, it's pretty right?

(Note our address is blurred for security... there are some looneys out there...)

For more on Winter ONE-derland party, click here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Exhausting Eleven

Zoe turned 11 months old this month... that means we will be celebrating her first birthday in just a few short weeks. I cannot believe I have an (almost) one-year-old.

We will be having a birthday party for her (Winter ONEderland theme), but we will only be inviting family. We plan to make this the general rule until she's old enough to invite people herself. :-)

This month Zoe has changed a lot. She is officially a walker. She still cannot get to a standing position without using something (like a wall) to pull up on, but that doesn't stop her. She goes everywhere and is into EVERYTHING.

They are not lying when they say toddler's will keep you busy. She is a very curious little girl, and picks up everything...and shreds it... She knows what "no" means now, but sometimes she doesn't want to listen. You can see her thought gears working as she tries to decide if it's worth getting in trouble. Of course "trouble" at this point is-
"Zoe, no" and a redirection to a new task. She has been known to throw fits on occasion too. She is going to have quite the "terrible" two's...I can see it now!

On the plus side, she has also started cuddling much more. She was very sick during a few weeks this month with a high fever and vomiting. All she wanted to do was cuddle, which is SO not like her! The trend has continued, and she will let me get in about 20 minutes when she wakes up from naps, etc.

As far as talking, Zoe is also officially saying words. She LOVES
to sing, so aside from the "dada," "mama," and occasional "hi and bye," She has now started singing "backpack, backpack." (From Dora the Explorer). She also points and says "dat" (that) and "oo" (look). Her favorite song is "If you're happy and you know it," and she claps her hands for the song!

Favorite Thing to Do: Sing Songs
Favorite Food: My husband and I joke about her eating habits. She LOVES Italian and Asian food. Particularly, she loves sushi. We have started ordering her her own avocado roll!
New This Month: Walking and Talking!
Growth: Mostly wearing 9 month clothes, but some 12 month stuff. It's hard to find long pants that fit her because her legs are too long for 9 months, but her waist is too small for 12 months.
Sleep: She was sleeping pretty well, and her "OK to Wake" alarm was working well, until we went on our trip...
Speaking: She says mama, dadda, hi, bye, backpack, look, and that. She is working on new words and sounds every day.
Movement: Walking, walking, walking.
Behavior: She is a busy body. Constantly talking, playing, investigating, and trying to meet new people.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pinterest PIck: Homemade Edible (Baby) Paint

I've been scouring Pinterest for some good indoor activities given that the weather is changing. I have been dying to do some arts and crafts with Z, so when I came across a pin for Edible Finger Paint on Pinterest, I decided to try it out.

1 to 2 ratio of flour to water. (I used 1 cup flour, 2
cups water, which made about 5 baby food jars)
Baby Food Jars or some kind of container 
Food Coloring

1. Poor water in pot and slowly stir in flour over medium-low heat.
2. Heat and stir regularly (the flower tends to separate and sink to the bottom, so stir frequently!).
3. The mixture will slowly begin to thicken. Once it reaches desired consistency, turn off heat.
4. Divide mixture into containers, and add Food coloring. Mix well.
5. Allow to cool before use. Refrigerate after use.

P.S. I use this in the bathtub. When she's done painting, I just turn on the water and the mess is gone!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pinterest Pick: Cinnamon Apple Pastry

I saw this on Pinterest not long ago, and made my own twist for game day a few weeks back. My sister
swears she would rather have one of these than a Cinnabon (her favorite treat). They are really yummy and pretty easy to make. They make a perfect game-day treat!

Cinnamon-Apple-Cheese Pastry:

Apples (any kind- I used fiji)
Crescent Rolls
Cream Cheese (if desired)

1. Peel and Slice apples (I used an apple slicer, to make the job easy). Sprinkle with Cinnamon.
2. Bake apples @ 350 for 30-45 minutes, or until tender.
3. Spray a cookie sheet with non stick spray, and spread out each crescent roll.
4. Spread cream cheese (if desired) on each crescent roll. (The other recipe I found did not include this
part. It is absolutely delicious!)
5. Sprinkle some cinnamon and a generous amount of sugar over the top of the cream cheese.
6. Add some baked apples.
7. Roll each, keeping the apples nestled in the center.
8. Sprinkle top of each with some cinnamon and sugar.
9. Bake according to crescent roll directions.

Enjoy these suckers warm. Perfect fall deliciousness!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tiny Ten

Officially ten months, and on the go! Little miss Zoe is not as tiny as she once was, but she is definitely growing and learning.

On September 19th, Zoe took her first official steps. Andrew and I were playing with her before bed, he stood her up and she took two whole steps towards me before crashing to the ground. Ever since, she has been making lots of progress toward walking on her own. She still can't get to a standing position in the middle of the floor yet, but she can free stand for long periods of time now, takes steps on her own between pieces of furniture while cruising, and has taken as many as 6 or 7 steps on her own. She is still pretty unsteady, but she gets stronger every day! I think we may just be walking by the time November rolls around...we shall see.

Zoe develops a little more personality everyday. She is opinionated and extroverted. She hates naps, and loves to play (especially with other kids). She really loves her veggies and fruits, and has become a little bit of a picky eater lately (she spits out food she doesn't like). She doesn't like to be cuddled or contained, and if you try, she'll push on you with a "eh, eh" until you let her down. She has learned to give "fives," clap her hands, wave, and gives "kisses" (she opens her mouth and rests it on your cheek). She still is quite a chatterbox, and loves when I mimic her noises.

Here is what she has been up to this month:

Favorite Thing to Do: She loves going to the zoo to see the animals. She also really loves when we hold her hand so she can walk.
Favorite Food: She really loves her fruits and veggies, and will eat them before anything else on her plate. She still really loves to snack.
New This Month: Taking steps on her own!
Growth: Officially in her 9 month clothes now. She still seems tiny for her age and height though.
Sleep: She is now refusing a late afternoon nap, and only takes a morning and noon nap. This means she is quite tired by bedtime at 7:30.
Speaking: She is still a talker. She also loves to click her tongue.
Movement: She prefers walking. She just isn't steady enough. She takes a few steps then falls and proceeds to crawl the rest of the way.
Behavior: She is quite opinionated, and wants to be self-sufficient. She has been known to throw fits when she is not getting her way. ugh. :-)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pinterest Pick: Pumpkin Spice!

If you are like me, you love the onset of Fall, and particularly love that it brings an opportunity to add pumpkin spice to, well, everything. And if you are like me, you dread the oncoming set of poundage that comes with consuming all these comforting, tasty, treats.

Well there IS some good news...Pumpkin is actually free on WeightWatchers, as is that lovely spice. I have found TWO deliciously easy and better-for-you, Fall-infused treats to keep you on-track, right off Pinterest.

Pumpkin Muffins: 2 WWP Points each!

Easy and absolutely delicious, not to mention filling! I sprinkled some cinnamon on top of mine before baking!

Cake Mix (you can use any kind, I used sugar free yellow to make it diabetes friendly too!)
15 Oz Can of Pumpkin (be sure not to get the pumpkin pie filling).
Muffin Pan (and liners)

1. In a large bowl, mix dry cake mix with the can of pumpkin. No water, oil, or eggs
2. Place in muffin pan (makes around 15 muffins). (Sprinkle with Cinnamon if desired)
3. Bake @ 350 for 20 minutes

Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt: 2 WWP Points per 1/2 Cup!

I love frozen treats, and can't get enough ice cream. This totally satisfies that craving, plus sneaks in some yummy nutrition!
1 32oz. Container of fat free VANILLA Greek Yogurt (I used plain, and it's just not as good)
1 29oz. Can of Pumpkin
8 Tablespoons of Sugar (I used truvia for baking, but regular sugar works great)
8 teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice

1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well.
2. Place the mixture in an air-tight container in the freezer. 
3. Scoop and serve as desired!

To see the original recipes and links, please visit my Pinterest page.