Friday, December 23, 2011

A New Emotion and Behavior

My boy has learned how good it feels to be Proud and get cheers and acknowledgement for something! We are probably  definitely guilty of cheering for every little new thing, and now he wants us to do it ALL THE TIME. 
He has developed his own little sign language for this which he demonstrates in the video. He claps his chest and/or  holds his arms and hands out as if to say " TA-DA"! and when he does that ,he is expecting Fanfare! 
Pretty funny. Not sure what to do now. This kid is gonna have one heck of a ego if we don't slow our roll on telling him how smart/cute/genius/awesome he is all the time. HA

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Salt Dough Christmas Ornaments

This morning peebs and I decided to try and make some salt dough ornaments ! I did not plan ahead ( per usual) so I have no cookie cutters, but what I really wanted was to make his handprint ornament like we did last year.

Step 1: Preheat the over to 250

 Step 2: Bowl, Flour, Salt, Water, Measuring Cup.

  • 2 cups of Flour
  • 1 cup of Salt
  • 1 cup of water

Grizas don't own a rolling pin, so I just used a glass to roll out the dough:

 I also used the glass to cut perfectly round ornaments out for handprinting. I can tell you that my boy thought this was ridiculous. He DID NOT want to make handprints. He wanted to look, but that was it.
 and Momma pushed his little stubborn hand down anyway leaving me with some kind of sad impressions:
I used a paintbrush handle to poke a hole through. Don't forget that step or else you will be left with some cute paperweights.
(only 2 of my circles were big enough for his gigantic toddler hands, so I am gonna make photo frames with the other 2 and just pushed down the center for moge-podging a picture later.
 and because you need to see the whole picture.......
 Here is one MAD little boy when mean ole momma wouldn't let him organize the dog food . 
 and when standing up screaming becomes too taxing, time to sit, and scream. HA

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

ICE! at Opry Mills 2011: Madagascar

Before the Croup hit town, we went with Aunt Marti G to the ICE ! At Opry Mills. The theme this year was Madagascar. I have never seen that movie so it was kind of lost on me!  My boy was intrigued but still too young for this I think!

Here we are suiting him up in a snowsuit! Reminds me of Ralphie in the Christmas Story here.

You can see pics from ICE 2008 and ICE 2009 by Clicking here! Those were The Grinch and Charlie Brown themed. Somehow , I think we missed going in 2010!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Let's Get Emotional for a Moment.. Shall we?

Y'all this week has been crazy for me and very emotional.

 Lots of things are going on in our house...... 

- we have a mice problem. I can not even get into it, b.c it wrecks me so.. .... ( that is a whole other blog in itself)

- Today when I was setting up my office,  I found an email from my Mother in law ( in 2005)between she and my husband. It was one she printed out and kept in her vanity.  We found it after they passed. She and bubs were talking about his plans to engage me, and she was SO excited and so sweet. I had forgotten about it for a moment but seeing it just brought me to absolute tears. I miss her SO much. Few people probably have such a momentous occasion preserved forever in writing, and I TREASURE  it.  The way my husband talked about his love for me to his mother and her excitement and complete approval was so SO sweet. I always miss my in laws, but having a baby that they never got to meet, and he never gets to experience their awesome love is heart wrenching.

- Peebs has been under the weather, and today took a turn for the worse with the croup. I hate seeing him feel so bad and hearing his awful seal like barking. 

- Grizas, my ipad and iphone case company has been enduring many issues. Too much to get in to really, but let me tell you guys that it is SO hard. There are so many things to consider when making a product, and for me this is very much a passion project, more so than even a business, so I am fighting hard to make great , quality designs that are also affordable. The road is long... VERY LONG.

If you have read my blog for a long time then you know that I am an apple fan:  fierce devotee through and through. 
Steve Jobs passing was  sad for me. Many of you sent condolences which I really appreciated and thought was cute. My cousin generously gifted me the kindle version of his biography which I have been reading in every free moment, and to be honest it leaves me rather disappointed. My hero was really more of a jerk than a hero. 
After he died, I devoured every magazine and show about him. 60 minutes did a great show about how he changed the world.  ( watch that clip if you have time)

The part of that show that REALLY touched me was how children with disabilities are able to use the ipad to communicate and learn. 
One family in particular, whose son had autism, realized after introducing the ipad that she did not know her son at all. He had all these intense thoughts and passions that he was not able to communicate before he ipad.
How AMAZING. It broke my heart, but also really amplified a cause I was already very passionate about. 

In designing the cases for the ipad and iphone for kids, I really want to make a case that works well for these families with children who have downs or Autism or other disabilities. 
It was a just thought and a passion until recently.
This week I have been contacted by some moms about my cases, and what their kids really need. They showed me cases/devices that are currently available for their children that range from $300-8,000.  WOW. That is SO expensive. WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.
But the feedback could not have been at a better time, and is SO helpful during this design process of my business. 
I am so inspired and utterly passionate about making this happen for them, about bringing cases to the market that are not only affordable, but that can make a big difference in their day to day enjoyment and use of the ipad.

I will share more about this later, but wanted to out it out there so that if any of you have friends or family that you think would be interested in giving me some feedback please pass this on to them! 

So you can see its been a roller coaster up in here! Scared, sad, sick , MAD, happy and inspired! 

Thanks for listening, and reading. I know this was a HUGE mishmash. Sorries! That is just where my head is at these days. Momma's head is FULL, house is messy, and nose is stuffy! ha

Another Story on abc news about this ( click here)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Random Tidbits...

Here are some clips of our Christmas Decor downstairs.. 
I went old fashioned with the tree this year and got a HUGE one, and used colored lights and tinsel! I also tried to use the non breakable ball ornaments for obvious reasons.:)

This is one of my favorite decorations; the bannister. I hate having stairs, but love decorating the bannister on every holiday! ha
And here is the collection of framed Christmas cards from all of the years:
In other news I tweeted about using this color from Sephora this week and was pleasantly surprised from it. I needed to touch up my roots while toning down my "too blonde" tips and this did just the trick without stripping my hair and making it feel all brittle and dry afterward.

Color Couture Light Blonde

I am very excited about an online review that was posted today at Tech4Moms about the ilatch. You can read that HERE

and now I must try and clean this disaster of a house. With all my usual hoarding + Christmas Decor + presents + Grizas Business materials like 500 boxes etc... this place looks crazy.
We have all 3 been sick lately with runny nose, and my dogs as well as my boy LOVE to shred any kleenex ( or box of kleenexes) they can find so now on top of the mess, it looks like a heard of goats live here! 

We are going to ICE today at Opry Mills and Hockey game tonight so gotta get crack-a-lackin.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Long and Winding Road...

So the blog is taking a hit from all of the work that my new business is demanding!  You guys, I had NO IDEA how much work this would be! When I look back on how this all started, I am really shocked that I did it.. or that I have made it this far.
I have a whole new appreciation for the retail market and have learned a TON about how this all works! 
My big news that I wanted to share a few weeks ago, is that I have signed with a distributor. A distributor ( in this sense) is a rep that sells my products to big stores and websites. This has been a crucial partnership and I am so thankful for them. They have been fantastic to work with. 

So here are some of the things I have been working on :
- packaging. This is a BIG deal. It has to be just right, look just right, be the right size.. choosing materials.. colors, fonts. you name it!
- Acquiring UPC codes. You know the bar code thingy? Well you have to pay to be a part of that club, then register your products to get the codes that will be universal for all stores to scan.
- Developing and refining drawings for new products. This is a long process and is generally about 2 months of work. After getting that finalized you get prototypes of the item to test and see how it looks and works. 
- Talking to China daily. Quite an effort and somewhat a frustration. 
- Getting tested for government safety standards so that we can be sure all the materials are totally safe incase little Johhny or Suzie wants to nibble on them in a teething rage. I already researched and specified this in my materials used, but this is just double checking that everyone did as they were told.

In the end I can say that you guys will LOVE my designs. I really feel ( as a consumer) they are awesome. I am just trying to take the time to tweak them and make sure they look as great as they function. I am not a patient person by nature.. I am so anxious to get everything out there, but just WAIT till you guys see my iphone case! It is the case of your dreams that does everything you could ask... 10 cases in one so to speak!  I really can't wait to show it to you!

So thanks for hanging with me, and supporting me and telling all your friends! It means the world to me! 

and just for kicks. here is a pic of Peebs with my 1st ikid Prototype:

It is a foam console with handles and a HOME KEY PROTECTOR! This Apple Nerd  loves watching him learn how to work the ipad ... melts my heart ( without shattering my nerves, since it is protected).

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quick Note on our Christmas Cards..

Hey guys, I keep forgetting to announce this:

I lamely printed labels this year for our Christmas cards and to do that I use my mac address book. The problem with this is, that if you are married, but have a different cell phone or email address than your spouse, then I have to have 2 address cards for you in my contacts ( one for wife, one for hubby) and so when I print labels, I have to choose one of you so that I don't send you 2 cards.. This means my Christmas cards are likely addresses to one person, the wife . I thought it was just more simple that way and I did not want any wifeys getting bent out of shape if we sent cards to her husband. 
SO please do not be offended at the way I have addressed the Christmas cards. It was nothing more than my being lazy and busy.


If any of you guys know a better way to make labels on the computer ( mac) holla

Christmas Decorations Open House: Fenn's Room

I have plans to decorate each(future) child's room in a different classic Christmas story character, and  Peebles gets to have the Peanuts Gang! ( playroom is the Grinch. More on that later) so here are some of his decorations:
Not a great picture but he has a wreath on his bedroom door with snoopy sleeping on top of a decorated dog house.

His tree has Charlie Brown and friends ornaments:
I frame his santa picture every year. It is so fun to see his changes! ( frames from Kohls. They seem to have the best selection each year, and good sales)
The Peanuts Nativity. I got this last year and I love it. This year he wants to play with it so I had to put it up high due to small pieces and him trying to eat Charlie Brown's head!
and I really want an advent calendar. Not sure which one yet. Both below are from Fisher Price. I like the one that  has pockets to store all of the pieces, but I prefer a Christ themed one like the nativity.

So do any of you guys have good advice on Advent Calendars or have you seen any cute Charlie Brown Christmas decor anywhere?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Guilty Pleasures and Confessions

I have to tell you guys about my bubs and I 's latest pastime. We LOVE the show Storage Wars.. and watch marathons of it but recently... we started our own version of storage wars. I LOVE to go to the Goodwill. It is like the best stress reliever for me, when I have a bad day, I got to the Goodwill for hours and come out having spent $3.80 but had a great time and cleared my head. Such cheap entertainment.

Last week, I came home with my literally $3.80 wares, and after @grizaham rolled his eyes all around, he became very interested in how one of my purchases was actually a collectible worth $70. Then we researched everything I bought! ha which made that $3.80 more like $300. So he challenged me to go back the next day and do it again. It is a very interesting experience which would probably scare the pants off of most of you.

Its a huge warehouse with rolling bins. They change out the bins through out the day, and they are not sorted organized or clean in the least. Everyone wears rubber gloves and you just dig like mad. Then, you pay by the pound, the more you buy, the cheaper it is by the pound!
If you are still reading and not fully convinced I have lost my mind, then see below a few examples.  I buy them and Bubs puts them on ebay or craigslist! It is completely random, and you have to keep in mind the return is like 1000% so if something only sells for $5... great because I paid about 10 cents for it. HA

Philip Starck "FLOS" Lamp ( Famous Designer, lamp no longer made so value is up to buyer really and changes daily. Estimated $200). I just bought it because I thought it looked cool.
 Fisher Price 1972 "Happy Apple" Toy.

 When I saw this: I flipped! You ladies recognize right? a HERMES BIRKIN Dust bag! I looked EVERYWHERE for the purse that should go inside! I have found several designer handbags there, including Authentic LV.
All items aside, there is some SERIOUS people watching to be had. I am learning, the more I go that most people go there every day, and they all know each other and look out for each other and there are certain unspoken rules... 
Every day there are Africans in there buying buggy after buggy FULL of shoes because they send them back to Africa. What a great idea!  Lots of antique dealers there as well because I see their car magnets in the parking lot and listen to them talking ...

Another odd find, a ventriloquist puppet called "Tina Talkatoo" from the 90's now turned collectible.
 Vintage Christmas Decorations :
 For my office:
 Very Vintage Gucci Leather Wallet
Random much? Yes! But so fun. The Hospital always cuts bubs hours during the holidays so it gives us something fun to do together and we have more time for that kind of thing when we are co-parenting, etc.
It is SO fun trying to guess what is gonna be the big win of the day like on Storage Wars. Today was Bubs actual first trip there with me and safe to say he will be spending his efforts on internet listings from here on out. He said "All he could see was garbage when he looked at the bins." LOL 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fenn Meets Santa and gets FAMOUS

Completely ironic that I had this post scheduled for today , since my boy's Santa picture came out in lots of newspapers today ! 

Of course the day we go to take our Santa picture his dress shoes were too small , so we had to improvise, an then end up in National newspapers in wonky shoes (white robeez)! 
Such is Life! 

So far these are the papers we know about :

Cherry Hill New Jersey:

Central Oregon :

Raleigh, NC

Sacramento : 

Englewood,  Florida
Please let me know if he is in your paper,and if you wanna mail me the article I will love you forever!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Iphone App Review " K-Cupbaord"

We are HUGE coffee fans in this house and have been loving the Keurig for about a year or 2 now. It was especially helpful when I was pregnant and had to have decaf  or hot tea a lot.  I was so excited to see that there are apps in the app store for managing your Keurig addiction! 
The app K-cupboard is fantastic and 99cents in the app store. It is super user friendly!
 The Home screen is organized by beverage type:

Then you can scroll through by brand or type and see ratings from others :

Click on the ones you have tried and want to rate : Millstone Hazelnut is one of my favorites so I gave it 5 stars.
Another Favorite:
Then you can view a screen of just your rated coffees:

Fun New Baby Gear on the Market!

Y'all know I LOVE Boon! I am pretty brand loyal type of gal and these people never disappoint with neat new products and amazing customer service! Below are some of their new things to launch in 2012

Diaper Caddy:

Um, this is so awesome for small living spaces and travel! The collapsable baby bath tub! Comes in lots of neat colors.

Shut up! What!? A food pouch organizer so they are not strewn haphazardly about in the pantry ! Be still my heart!  (notice it also holds spoons on the sides)
Sippy cup with a lid! ( has interchangeable lids for stages). I carry a sippy in my purse a lot these days and desperately need a lid. My boy uses NUBY cups and I have never seen one with a lid.

I know you guys love Jonathan Adler so you should be excited to hear he has joined Skip*Hop for a designer diaper bag line. I love them! I also love Skip*Hop.

My favorite is the Pronto Flame Yellow :

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