Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Holidays and Snow Days Continued...

Yes, these are terribly late as usual, but my motto is better late than never, so I am just trying to live up to that. These are pictures of the last days we had with daddy before he left us for Officer Candidacy School. We tried to live them up as best we could.

Christmas Continued:
 We didn't get too many good pics of the actual day, most of it was video, but super long, so I am not going to post it. It was a happy day and super fun to share with the Anderson's to feel that big family feeling. Elenore got very into the whole thing, and we all had fun watching her as much as everything else. It was just a great day with sleeping in, a yummy breakfast, presents, then getting ready for our big dinner with lots of friends over while the Anderson's had their traditional movie night downstairs and let us have run of the upstairs. Jonathan had his delicious ham, I made cranberry salad, stuffing, and lemon meringue and chocolate meringue pies for desert. The Coopers, the Davis' and the DeSpains all joined us and brought goodies to share. There were 7 kids there, the adults were nearly outnumbered. All in all a great day.
She opened a present before we could stop her, so at least it was hers. Cute mittens and hat from Grandma and Granddad

How cute are those two faces?!

Wanting to get a move on with this rip open the presents thing. She did a lot of "helping" this Christmas.

All the "kids" waiting for breakfast, then stockings, then presents!
Adventures with dad:
This is just a cute one of them. We took her to a dog show at the VA Horse Center and then a walk afterward. A good day!
D.C. Temple Trip:
We got to go as a family to the temple for the first time in a long time, the first for Elenore. Well, actually, the last time we were there, I was pregnant with her, to I guess technically her second. The Anderson' s went and Grammy Brooke watched her in the visitor's center while we went in, then we went home while they had their turn. It was a beautiful and very special day! A wonderful gift and miracle that Jonathan had a Saturday off so we could go. Elenore did so well, and even slept most of the way home, which was a miracle in itself. 
In the Visitor's Center with the Christus behind us. She loved it and kept going up and touching it gently... Very precious.

She was in her crazy hyper-tired stage when we were leaving, and it was freezing cold, so we didn't do many pictures, but here a few we managed to get.

She was starting to fade...

Touching the temple...

It was so special to take her there!
Snow Days:
Just when I was thinking we were not going to get any more snow for the season, we had a good snow (for BV), and got to take Elenore out for her first real snow adventure. Again, Jonathan happened to be home, and it was great. I love snow!!!

Tasting her first snow ball...

Her thoughts of her first taste of snow...
Brain freeze!

Falling down. She was such the cute little pink bundle.

"Come on, parents, you are so slow..."

Having a blast once she figured out how to run in her snow gear.
My little snow angel

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Inch Blue Shoes Review

Time to interrupt the never-ending attempt at getting caught up with all the fun photos you have been missing and give you a few current ones! Are you excited? I recently got the exciting chance to review my first product on my own blog (I have done reviews for others, but not on my own blog)! Inch Blue Shoes has generously provided me with a darling pair of soft leather shoes (pictured to the right) for Elenore and we have been loving them for about a couple months now, so it is high time to post the review. Sorry, no giveaway this time, but if any of you are looking for a great shoe for infants or toddlers, these shoes are lovely and well worth looking into.

About the company:
Inch Blue started in the late '90's and is now a well-known UK brand. They are a family-run company based out of South Wales (I loved Wales!) which makes soft leather baby shoes (most for ages 0-2, but some for ages 3-6) that are a far cry from mass-produced, same-old, same-old shoes. Their daughters are their inspiration for their line of 100+ fun and fresh designs (they have boy shoes too, of course!) of bright colors that will make a unique and delightful shoe for any little one.

The only hard part is picking just one! Their goals go beyond just a good design, including the best natural materials, wonderful customer service, environmentally friendly, and trying to go the extra mile in all they do. I know this from experience, because they actually contacted me out of mistake, trying to get another company to review their product, but when I told them of their mistake, they made sure that I was given a pair to review too, and one of my choice. I loved all the contact I had with them, very friendly, efficient, and the product of course speaks for itself.

About the Product:
I already mentioned the fabulous 100+ colorful designs they have, and that they are made of all natural soft leather to help those plump baby feet breath and wiggle. They are all hand-made in the UK, and endorsed by Christina Redfearn, M.E.A.Ch MCSRx Chiropodist and Reflexologist. Because they are soft leather, they are easy to clean with a damp cloth, or leather cleaner. They will soon get that nice, used leather look as they mold to your baby's feet. They recommend you use them indoors mainly, as the sole is soft, but Elenore loved wearing them everywhere, and soon gave the suede sole a well-used look by tramping through mud, rocky trails, oily parking lots, etc. They have held up perfectly well. They have a basic styles in the two pictures above, but they also have a Mary Jane style that is precious, or the sandal style like the pair I got. And shopping for a design is extra fun as they have them separated into a ton of themes to catch your interest (and help you sort through/keep track of all the fun options), such as Retro Queen, Rock Star, Oriental Delight, Farmyard Friends, Are We There Yet, and much, much more!

Shoe Features:
  • Supple non-slip suede soles ideal for tiled and wooden floors.
  • Soft breathable leather that protects and allows feet to grow naturally
  • Elasticated Ankles for ease of fit and ensures shoes really do stay on
  • Recommended for babies as the next best thing to bare feet
  • Loved by toddlers (This is true, Elenore always chooses these shoes first!)

Other products they carry include a small selection of super cute gift sets the include a onesie that matches the shoe design. Also, gorgeous lambswool receiving blankets that make me want one for myself. And of course I cannot skip over the darling sheepskin Cwtches!
These are little booties and I want them so badly for my new daughter coming next month! Cwtch is the Welsh word for "love" in the form of a hug or cuddle. So darling, right?! 

Our Experience:
I already mentioned how great our experience was with the company, and we got the shoes super fast and in great condition, with even a personal little note to me. They came in a cute little bag that Elenore uses as a purse. She saw them and could hardly wait for me to open them and put them on her feet. I had some great, cute pictures of all the fun packaging, and the first try-on, but they are missing somewhere... Possibly on my desktop which is not yet hooked up after our move... Sorry. I guess there will be less pictures than I thought.

I love how soft they are, and that her feet can breathe in this hot summer weather but still be protected. I can tell that she now thinks her other "regular" shoes are uncomfortable and constructing in comparison. She always requests these shoes. We have worn them everywhere, and they dress up or down surprisingly well. She wears them to church a lot. The soles are now dark from all her abuse, but they shoes still look great, with that nice worn (but not too worn) leather look to them. I think I am definitely going to have to get a few more of these, I just don't know how I am going to pick! This time I just sent them a (long) list of my favorites, and they sent me the one on the top of my list, I don't know how I can do it on my own, there are so many fabulous choices! 
I have no real cons about this shoe, but to come up with just one for fairness sake, sometimes because of the sandal design when I am putting them on Elenore, her little toes get caught in the holes. But that is a minor problem, and only with that style of sandal design, so not much of a con.

Now here are a couple of the fun photos of Elenore loving her Inch Blue shoes! I have more that I will post when I write about our visit to see Jonathan. . . so check them out when I get that posted soon! Thanks again to the wonderful Inch Blue company for sending us these shoes to review!

Elenore telling me her hat has butterflies on it like her shoes... she loves butterflies!

Signing "shoes" - and then running down the hill as fast as she can!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Holidays and Snow Days

Here is the catch-up of all the end of the year holidays last year. There was a lot, so it is kind of long, but still fun, of course, so enjoy!
Last year she was a little chick...
 ...So this year I thought it only fitting that the costume I happened to borrow was a chicken costume... my little chick is all grown up! Sniff!
She stole that pumpkin from our friends we went with

She had on her Wee Squeak shoes I won that squeak with each step. It made the costume that much more fun, and everyone was commenting on it. Pretty cute, I must say!

Elenore and Mommy! Yes, I have become a boring adult who does not dress up anymore... partly due to the lack of the great costume trunks of my childhood home... I am just spoiled now.
We went to the business trick-or-treat in Lexington with the Davises. Tommy is Peter Pan (very fitting!) and Jack is a Lion. Such darling boys!
Visiting Tommy and Jack's daddy. No, that is not a costume, he was on duty that day.

Later at the church for the chili cook-off (where my white chili won a prize 4th year in a row!) and truck-or-treat, playing with friends

What cuties!

While waiting for Daddy to come pick us up, we took off the costume and discovered a piano!

She thought it was the coolest thing ever, and was actually "playing" it, not banging. I have a future musician on my hands, that is for sure! Hurray!

I love this one, and it reminds me of my baby pics.

After Halloween, and our pumpkin is still not carved... she was desperate to go outside, so Daddy wrapped her up and took her out. It was very cold, though he of course has no coat on, the goose.
Amongst out many blessings that year was getting to be back in VA with the Anderson's again, and ... drum roll please... another baby is on the way!!!
And our pumpkin became the centerpiece at the Thanksgiving table!
Technically not her first Thanksgiving as the bib reports, but the first one she could eat anything... didn't really do much of that though anyway. Oh well. The napkin ring was more interesting

The after-dinner stroll up to walk around campus and check out the fish pond
We are a happy family!

Christmas: Decorating the tree!

Ooo, lights!
Helping Grammy
But I want to wear some tinsel too!
Checking out the decorations and smelling the tree with Bryndy
Bringing out the angel

Need Brady's help to put up the angel

And the rest of this post is going to have to be continued later when I can get my silly card reader to work and get the other pictures loaded onto my computer for editing...