Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Coco and Cocoa: Highlight and Giveaway

Happy August everyone! I have something exciting to celebrate this new month... a sweet little highlight and giveaway. One of the things that I love about the handmade community, is being able to support each other's talents/creations. I put it out there to sample someone's creations, and then provide them with some photos that they could use for their products... and I was so excited when Julie, from Coco and Cocoa, jumped on board with the idea.

She sent me a darling package in the mail with some of her lovely creations, and it was such a treat to photograph them (especially on my little one). Here's the fun part for you... She offered to give a set away to one of my lucky readers (details at the bottom)... and has offered a discount code for those of you that might not be able to wait to see if you're the winner!

But, before we jump into that... lets meet the lady behind the beautiful creations...

Tell us a bit about yourself...

I love watching movies, but I generally only like to watch them once. So I rent lots of movie but don't own very many.
I fell in love with my husband when I was 12 years old. My Mom had 3 girls (I only have sisters) and now I have 3 boys (no daughters) I love to bake. I'm a part time college student working toward my Business Marketing degree. (It's taken me a really long time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.) I love to read, but don't do it as much as I'd like. I tend to get immersed in books and don't want to do anything else!

How/When did you start knitting/crocheting?

I started crocheting first. Afriend taught me about 10 years ago. I had never been a "hobby" person, but after I had the twins I was looking for something. I just had this urge to create something, make something with my hands. After crocheting for a couple of months I decided I also wanted to learn how to knit. I realized how different each craft is and all the different things you can make if you know how to do both. My husband went out and bought me a 'Teach Yourself to Knit' book and a set of needles. I sat on my bed and practiced until I figured it out. There might havebeen some needle throwing as part of the learning process. But I was so excited when I finally figured it out.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My husband is an interior designer and our house is very colorful. The backyard is essentially a huge garden, which brings inmore colors there. My family! Boys never stop moving and their excitement draws me to bright colors and fun patterns. The twins like it when I wear flowers and other "girl" things so items like my headbands are definitely inspired by them as well.
I also love strolling throughmuseums. My favorite local museum is probably the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth.

What's your favorite item that you've made to date?

A crochet blanket that I made for our bed. It's one of the first things that I made. It is as big as a sheet (I can tuck it in). It's huge and it took forever to make, but it's been well used and is incredibly comfortable. I don't think I could ever part with it.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

I'm definitely a city girl! I've loved visiting places like London and Boston. I also really enjoyed when we visited Northern California. I really want to visit Chicago, I think that's a city that would be fun to live in. I think a high rise in a big city would be fun.

Name one of your life long dreams/goals...

I want to travel to Brazil with my husband. He lived there for two years before we got married but hasn't been back since then. I would love to see where he lived and travel in South America.

If you were a candy
bar, which one would you be?
Hmm, well my favorite candy bar to eat is Kit Kat. All Mom's need a break sometimes!

Alright, so now after getting to know Julie, let me share some of her beautiful creations that she sent me to try out, and photograph...

These darling headbands are truly amazing... Julie uses such bright and bold colors that they are nothing but FUN. They can easily fit any head, because of the tie closure, and each crocheted lovely (bow/flowers) are interchangeable. Pure genius... especially for my little girl who needs an accessory to go with any outfit that she's wearing. There's nothing that we (Mama's of kids who wear glasses) love better, than a "soft" and comfortable feeling headband, when there's already SO much going on behind those ears.

And today is your lucky day... one of you dear readers, has the chance to win a headband set of your own ( 1 headband, 1 bow and 1 flower)! Here are the details on how to enter this sweet giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you're impatient (like I would be...) or in complete and utter awe of these amazing creations (like I am), you score big today as well... If you head on over to Julie's shop, use coupon code: LOVECOCOANDCOCOA to receive 20% off your total purchase! Now... go shop (or enter the giveaway!) Code is good until 15 August!
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Happiness in a bundle...

I have some new crayon rolls up in the shop... here's a quick peek at some of them. They make GREAT birthday gifts (if you didn't already know) or even "Back to School" presents for the kiddos. It's complete happiness in a bundle.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Plowing Through The Pile

Oh I'm so grateful for a sweet morning of sewing... oh sewing machine, how I've missed you! I have a heaping pile of projects to get to/to sew up... and yet, I've been trying to add some new items to the shop. I suppose the projects are fun... but it's great letting my creativity fly with some other projects in between (the items for the shop)...but, over the next month, I'm hoping to get through my pile. I definitely don't want to move with this pile... and the thought of it "increasing"... is scary.

along with the sewing, I delighted in my morning cup (or two) of coffee...

and some sweet glances from my fur baby...

Oh, it truly is "the little things"...

Linking up with my sweet friend Lindsay on this fine day...
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pom Pom Garland {DIY}

I created a super fun "pom pom" garland for Charlotte's bike (while the basket was drying). I wasn't sure which she might like better... garland draped over her handle bars... or basket... I wanted to give the girl options.

I started off with some thick utility thread, a needle and some felt pom poms bought at the local craft shop... and just started threading. I tied knots in between each of the pom pom balls, allowing them to have a little space.

I then taped the garland onto her bike... and waited for her reaction... she wasn't in the least amused.

nope... nothing. I'm fairly certain it's because the garland got in the way of her holding onto her handle bars... but maybe it's just because she was more excited about the basket. She tried not to offend me, and my attempts at creating something lovely for her... nope. not. one. bit.

Instead, the "styling" girl that she is... decided, it was better that the pom pom garland was made into a necklace for her, rather than an accessory for her bike....

there is no denying... that my little one... has IMPECCABLE fashion skills... nope. not. at. all.

I'm fairly certain that once I took off the pom pom garland from her bike, and turned it into a necklace... the first words she said sounded something like this... "Much better..." yes, my little girl is a true fashionista... style on herself, over her bike... any day.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Riding... In Style.

As promised on this post, I have two small ways in which you can "spice" up your sweet little ride... maybe more so your little one's sweet little ride. Although, the premise behind this first DIY, can be used for many different things.

Charlotte has always loved Sesame Street from the very beginning of our journey... and one of her favorite episodes is "Abby's Bicycle"... so it's no surprise that she was so excited when she FINALLY figured out how to pedal and ride... If we had flat land all around us, I'm fairly certain she'd go go go until she couldn't anymore. Every time I take her on a riding adventure, the little one gets better and better... just like with ANYTHING (her English, her swimming, her coloring, etc.) she's determined to do it well. But, she also wants to do it, in style...

Abby (flying fairy from Sesame Street)'s bicycle, had a basket (in the front) and Charlotte's lacked that... so we had to remedy that. Using things that I had on hand, without having to go out and purchase things... I came up with a simple solution.

so many different vessels will work- old ziploc lock and seal containers, plastic fruit quart containers, pretty much anything that's the shape that you want your basket to be. I ended up matching our spinach container with her tricycle (for size) and it was an instant match. It's a little big and bulky, but it just means she'll get to "hold" more in it. And that is not a problem for my little one. If you want to stick with something smaller, then I'd go for a pint sized fruit container... that would work perfectly too.

start painting Mod Podge ALL over your vessel. I started on the inside, and worked my way outside (after the inside dried), but I suppose if you wanted to, you could totally go the reverse route.

start sticking all your fabric scraps ALL over the place... like a mosaic, layering a bit of each piece on top of one another... until the whole vessel is covered. Once dried, cover the vessel with one more protective layer of Mod Podge, and let dry.

The next step/last step is to punch some holes into your basket, so that you can string your basket with something durable (some sort of twine/rope is super thick). For those that might not have a little one, don't use this as a bike basket... there are SO many things you can use this for: holder for all those loose items on your desk... utensils/napkin holder for outside get-togethers... oh the possibilities are endless, and they look super cute when they're finished.

attach it to your ride, and let them "go"...

Charlotte wanted to pick some flowers for it...

I think my favorite part is how one of a kind it is... NO ONE will have the same basket as her... and she helped create it.

Come back tomorrow... I have another easy little way to decorate your little ones ride...
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Life of Hospital Visits

Oh the life of hospital visits...

Over the last year... Charlotte and I have grown super "tight" with MANY doctors here in Korea... I suppose at times, I'd almost consider them my family. You know your little one has had a lot of "care", when you walk around on base, and doctors/nurses that have had interactions with Charlotte, wave and make it a point to say , "hello". Living overseas, there's a lot of care that often needs to be referred out to the Korean hospitals, because our clinic on base can't support those appointments. We've seen the insides of 3 different prestigious Korea hospitals, and have had over 6 appointments in those, on top of all of the little ones that we've had on our base, and nearby Army posts... not to mention, experienced an Air MedEvac appointment/surgery in Hawaii for her eyes.

This little girl is a fighter... I haven't shared "her story" on the blog, as it is her story to hear (when she's old enough) and to share with whomever, if she pleases... but I can tell you that she is one of the bravest that I know... Yesterday's repeat MRI was no doubt just another testimony to what I have already stated... the one Korean nurse who was administering Charlotte's IV line (while she was awake...they always wait until she's sedated...but this time, they did it while she was bright eyed and knew what was happening!)... stated, "Oh my, she must have many appointments?"... pointing out Charlotte's scar on her hand from where the IV is always injected. They always seem to go for the same vein... God blessed our little girl with an amazing vein in her right hand to endure all the pokes... and I am so grateful for that. I don't think I ever imagined thanking God for "good veins"... but yesterday I did.

After minimal... yes minimal tears (I told you, she's a rock star) from the poke, and after ingesting a disgusting flavored sedation liquid (the Korean girl next to Charlotte threw it up, and my little one swallowed it like a champ)... all the little one kept stating OVER and OVER was, "Oh, look at my beautiful bandaid"... as she showed all the doctors/nurses and Korean folk her IV line. 50 minutes later (and one more round of liquid sedation) the little one was asleep (she fought the effects of that liquid as long as she could...)

and then, when the waiting began... I pulled out all the wonderful things I brought along to keep my mind occupied. That part of the process... it's super crucial... here are a few things that help keep me occupied. My VERY first appointment, I was no where near prepared... and after 6 hours of COMPLETE and UTTER boredom, I knew this needed to be rectified for future appointments. This is only a picture of what this Mama needs in order to survive a long doctor's visit... I probably should write one up on what to pack for your little one...

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Hot and Bothered

Sometimes she's not all peaches and cream... and even though yesterday's post (from our bike ride) was filled with smiles, giggles, and determination... this is actually how our "out for a spin" actually ended. Frustrated, hot and bothered...

I don't usually photograph these moments... some people think that these moments with her NEVER exist and that she's all sunshine and loveliness. But these... yes, I HAD to capture these... it's the perfect blackmail... and as much as I love her smiles, these faces totally make me laugh.

When I asked her "what the matter was?"... she replied with, "Are you hungry?" She's been answering my questions with questions lately... so I then asked, "Should we go home and eat?"...and before I was even done with the question, she was shaking her head, "Yes!"

nothing too traumatic... that a little PB sandwich and yummy smoothie couldn't cure.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Out For A Spin

One of the milestones that Charlotte has hit this summer, has been to ride her tricycle. She completely has the "motion" down, of pedaling... and riding actually makes her have to focus with her eyes, and pay attention... she's learned that the hard way (by riding into a concrete wall... don't worry she wasn't going fast enough to leave a mark! just fast enough to startle her, so that she'd pay better attention). Instead of going down the hill for our mini walks along the gardens/Korean village, she wants to take her wheels out for a spin...

I think this week we'll do some crafts to help decorate her "wheels" a little.... stay tuned for some simple decorating DIY's.
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