Saturday, December 23, 2006

On a roll...

As promised here are pictures of our girl-getaway weekend...We went down to Orlando for a weekend of shopping! We drove down Friday night and did a small gift exchange- Jamie got us all the Susan Branch book Girlfriends (one of my all time favorites- I highly recommend it). Jennifer and I did a birthday gift exchange because it was both of our birthdays. Jamie got me an apron from Olive Juice & Co. and I wear it all the time- I'm sure you will see me up at the store wearing it! I made Jennifer a Christmas organizer- hopefully it helped her out this holiday season. On Saturday we went to Winterpark, FL and shopped all day at the awsome boutiques- stopping for a Chocolate pedicure at the amazing Shou'ture . We got to sip on Chocolate martini's and chocolate covered oreos while being pampered. That night we went to the Millenia mall untill we just couldn't walk anymore. This picture is of Jamie and I in Neiman Marcus (or as Jennifer says Needless Markup) there was an amazing display of paper butterflies in the center of the store and it was like a dream it was so pretty. On Sunday we got up and headed to Renningers flea market- the largest one in the south. Amazing enough, I didn't find anything but Jamie found quite a bit including some great lace tablecloths for her dining room. We headed home after this and I was pooped out! I got my PJs on and finished reading my Girlfriends book- a great weekend with great friends- there isn't a whole lot better than that!

Better late than never...

Some exciting personal news...Bella, who turned 3 in September just had her first haircut!!! Can you believe it- and it really didn't need to be cut, but I was just tired of waiting. Everyone keeps telling me that it will grow faster if I keep cuting it so here goes nothing. She was really nervous at first, I didn't think she was going to go through with it but I found this neat kids hair place that looks like Dr. Seuss might own it and that helped out a lot. Here she is -in all of her beauty!!!

Have yourself a Merry little Christmas!

Jamie and I both wish you and your family the most wonderful Christmas ever. Be safe and enjoy every second of it!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Christmas Shopping

I don't have pics of our November swap yet but it was a good one! We had a crazy October, Jamie and I both celebrated birthdays and we had our first all girl get-away (will post some pictures later). I just felt so bad not posting anything lately so I thought I would write a little something. It is so funny because there are a few blogs I follow religiously and get so upset when they don't post everyday and here I am posting twice a month!
I will let you know that I am a very early Christmas shopper and pride myself in usually having it all done before Thanksgiving...not this year, not even close. Kids are almost done because I do have a small connection in that arena...but adults are getting harder every year. I, myself am very hard to shop for because I can't ever think of anything I need until after I receive something I don't need (that sounds awful but sadly true). The one thing I really wanted for Christmas I got for my birthday so I am back down to nada. I got the most softest (wrong wording but best way to describe) pink robe ever!!! and matching slippers!!! The kids actually fight over who gets to snuggle up with me when I am wearing it! They bring it to me and ask me to put it on then hug me and don't let go...this robe is the holy grail of motherhood. Last week I was having one of those days so I went and put on the robe and both kids could "sense" the robe was on and ran as fast as they could to snuggle up with me on the couch. Even if it was a ploy to get my kids to comfort me, it was worth it. My kids, who I feel safe to say, are not reading this so I can tell you a few of the wonderful things they will be getting for Christmas this year. First is the crayon keeper. Again, a trick on my part, I know they will love it AND will clean up their crayons at the same time. I had their names put on each one because if their names aren't on it then they fight over it. Nevermind one is pink and one is blue, they will always want the other one unless it has their name on it. I also am getting them a few things for their rooms- Mike has questioned me on this one (I know, can you believe it?) He doesn't think the kids will like art for a Christmas present but my theory- and I am right (right?)- is that it adds so much fun to their room and they will want to play in their rooms, and make believe and it will invoke creativity which is one of my main goals in bringing up my kids. Here is one of the great pieces from MaryJack Studios- the detail is amazing, it has glitter and hand sewn sequins on it. It is huge too! I could just stare at it for hours- I know Bella will too, imagining being here in this picture. For Preston I got him this great treasure map from Oopsy Daisy. He has a great Pirate room already but the map he has is paper and is torn from all of the play. This one is made on canvas that can roll up if he takes it off the wall (it has grommets so it just goes on the wall with tacks- easy up and easy down) it will handle all of the rough play. So I will be online shopping for the adults unless I get really brave and make some presents this year... I'll keep you posted on the shopping- if I find anything great, I'll let you know- likewise, if you know any good gifts for people who are so hard to buy for, please let me know!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Who's the leader of the club?

This weekend my hubby went off with the guys to the Florida football game- that means a whole 3 days with just me and the kids...he should have known better than to leave me during beautiful weather! Sunday morning I woke up and decided I would take the kids to Disney World! So of course the first thing I did was call and wake Jamie up to see if she wanted to come along (I know you think we are crazy...we work together everyday and hang out on the weekends- but it is always nice to have someone around who knows I'm not perfect but still tells people I am) and of course she was game for the day trip.
So around 9:30 am we were headed to Orlando. We got there around 11:15 and had to have a very serious talk with Bella. I had to convince her she was magically 2 to
day and not 3. (If you work for Disney and are reading this blog...please stop reading now!) You see, if she was in fact 3 then we would have had to pay an extra $56...stop rolling your eyes, I know that is absolutely horrible to teach my kids to lie about their age to get in free but at the same time- I am taking them t Disney World, I think they will find it in their hearts to forgive me later.
It took some convincing but we did convince her and we tested her many times just in case the ticket lady thought to ask her how old she was. Preston needed more explanation because he is too smart to fall for this and he was trying to remind Bella that she just had a birthday party to celebrate turning 3, so we just kept him far from the ticket lady in case she thought to ask him how old his sister was. It worked, we made it into the gates with no incidents and only paid for 2 adults and one child. As soon as we were through the turn stall, we told Bella she was magically 3 again... and she said OK.
The weather was perfect and it was a little more crowded than we thought it was going to be but I think the longest we waited in a line was 15 min. Bella is still not sure about a lot of the rides, any time a ride got dark, she got scared and had to be talked through it, except on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, she has seen the movie so many times because of Preston that she knew all of the scenes already.
Heaven help any kid
who goes on that Snow White was even a little scary for me, much less a kid...I think they need to update that one a little bit. The tea cups are a classic, Bella did not like the spinning! I do love this picture of she and Jamie! I got really dizzy and felt like a parent when I got off. Preston was having a blast spinning us and I was thinking, "please don't throw up in front of everyone."
Overall we had a great time, the kids fell asleep on the way home, Mike was home cleaning up (I knew
there was something I was supposed to be doing instead of going to Disney...) and there was no school this morning so I got to sleep in- what could be better?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Rita- one of my best friends since the 7th grade! I miss you and hope you have a great day!

Monday, October 02, 2006

What's Orange and Black with frosting all over it?

It's been a busy week...Bella turned 3 last Monday! We had a small get together for her on Sunday at my parents pool/clubhouse. She loved the water and spent the entire time in the pool. After everyone left we went back to my parents house so she could open her gifts, a practice I am now in complete favor of. When you go to a kids birthday party where they are opening the gifts in front of everyone there are a couple of things you are so worried about you just can't enjoy yourself 1)if my child who is opening the gift will openly say she doesn't like the gift 2) if the birthday girl or boy will toss aside carelessly each gift so they can hurry up and open the one their favorite Aunt has wrapped spectacularly for them (completely hypothetical) 3) if the parents of each guest will be screaming to the top of their lungs for their kid to stop trying to open the gifts for the birthday girl or boy 4) if the parents of each guest will not pay attention to their kid opening my kids birthday presents. So from now on, my kids will open their presents after the party when everyone has left!This is a picture of Bella and her mermaid BlaBla doll and piece of art Jamie had made for her ( the mermaid looks just like Bella). OK- other news. It is October and Jamie and had our swap yesterday, this month was an Orange and Black theme. Jamie bought me this amazing glitter party hat to add to my holloween decorations (most decorated season in my house- and my most favorite holiday). Of course, both of my kids wanted to take turns wearing it last night so after they went to bed I placed it high upon my mantel as a halloween shrine for all to see. I love all things glitter! Wendy Addison is a hero to me. Usually only Christmas decorations get all of the glitter so I was overwhelmed with joy when I got this. It is really weird how Jamie knows the perfect thing every time! She also got me a pumpkin decorating kit that has wooden eyes and other faces that you just pop right into the pumpkin to have a Martha Stewart looking pumpkin with no mess- kind of like a Mr. Potato head set for pumpkins! I got Jamie a basket full of little orange and black things, a magazine, orange flavored hot chocolate, mints, soap, tissues, stickers, an hand towel with Walkers embroidered on it, another shadow box with a picture of my kids trick or treating at her house last year and my favorite...candy corn flavored soda. This probably won't taste very good but when I saw it I just had to get it for her. Well I am already thinking about next month...the colors are yellow and brown! I have one thing in mind but not sure yet... Wednesday is Jamie's b-day- the big 30! I am excited about my gift to her, I will show you some pics after she opens it...don't want to ruin the surprise.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Vegas and other happenings

We are back from Vegas and had a great time! (sorry picture is blurry, but so was the trip...not from alcohol, from all that walking) We picked up some great new lines I think everyone will like. We have really struggled with the direction we want our store to go, gifty or decor. I think we have a good mix of both now but at market we found some really unique items that will bring POPIN up a notch. Things should be arriving in the next 2 weeks so please pop in and see the changes. Jamie caught a cold on the trip and we both think we got e. coli- very disgusting!!! We did however get to see a show while we were there- La Reve at the Wynn hotel- holy moly- talk about amazing! and not just the show, that hotel even had Jamie speechless. She wanted to just walk through looking at all of the decor and pom-pom fringe and really was breathtaking. Of course, I was more interested in the roulette tables but I guess I could still appreciate the beauty around me (while I was handing them over all of my money). Yes, I am a gambler-we saw a great T-shirt while we were there that said "I only have a gambling problem when I am losing" boy, isn't that the truth. I had a garage sale a few weeks back so I could have some personal spending money for the trip, I made about $350. After the first night in Vegas, I had over $1000 because of my lucky #19 (Preston's b-day). I was on cloud nine! I would love to end the happy gambling story there, but as most of you know, it never works out like that...why, you ask?..because the roulette table calls to me, beckons me, to give them all of the money back...AND I LISTENED!!! I did end up leaving with exactly what I started with ( after hours of being in the hole) so all is good and I didn't learn the lesson I should have, which is...go buy something expensive when you are up, that way you have something to show for your winnings- but then, I wouldn't get to experience those desperate emotions I went through praying for that dumb little ball to land on #19. Did you know that most of the casinos have gone to computerized roulette? Everyone has there own computer with a touch screen of where you want your chips to go, then a real person spins the wheel and you watch it on your computer. This has pros and cons, Pros- no reaching over other people to put your chips on the table. Cons- since you don't have the chips in your hands, you spend a lot more money because you can't see your stack dwindling before your eyes. Anyway enough about my addictions! The show was in a convention center that went farther than the eye could see. One sign said there were 35,000 attendees. We started the first day at 9:00am and finished after 6:00pm. The second day we started at 10:00am and finished at 2:00pm. Our feet really hurt. No matter how comfortable the shoes are, when you are on your feet for that long, they are going to hurt. Bratt Decor came out with a new canopy for their girl bed we thought was really neat, along with some other new pieces we just got in our store yesterday. Newport Cottages came out with this new crib Jamie fell in love with. Our #1 thing we are most excited about is...yeah right, like I am going to tell you on this- you have to come see it in the store! Anyway- in other news, Bella's birthday is tomorrow (sigh, already 3 years baby is 3 years old!) and Preston in about to lose his first tooth! Here he is showing off the moneymaker (bottom right). I am a little scared that the toothfairy will not leave the right amount for this time period...meaning, when I was a kid I got a quarter for a little tooth, a dollar for the big ones. I think he is expecting like $5 for this little how the times change, I just want to the toothfairy to leave enough that other kids don't say "the toothfairy left me more" which will cause a long conversation at my house about why the toothfairy leaves one kid more than he leaves another kid...By the way, Jamie asked Preston what the toothfairy does with the teeth and he said, matter of factly, that the toothfairy gives them to babies so they will have teeth too, duh!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Vacations over, now get back to work!

We had a great time on vacation last weekend. My whole family went and it was so relaxing! We just went down to Orlando which I am sure I take for granted...when I see all of these families from all over the world that save all of there money to bring their 5 kids to the USA and thier choice of destination: Orlando! We go there all the time, sometimes just for the day! I guess Florida does have its perks considering you have to put up with the smoltering heat and the snowbirds driving...We stayed at the Hyatt Grand Cypress Villas which had a little something for everyone. Pool for the kids, golf for Mike and my parents, a beach for Jamie and Brian and Pina Coladas for ME! I didn't include any of our drinking pictures beacuse 1) they were blurry-duh! and 2) I was in a bathing suit and I wanted to spare your eyes from burning! Here are some of the pictures that did make the cut:

Last night Jamie and I decided to get our hair cut and highlighted: Here is our teaser picture- If you want to see the end results, you have to come see us at the store! We are really getting ready for the trip to market in Las Vegas this weekend- hopefully to go and get great ideas for future POPIN products. Heather will be maning the store while we are gone so please stop by and say HI and buy lots of stuff!!!We will be back on Wednesday ready to decorate some rooms!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Creative Minds Think Alike

I've got lots of pictures for you today. We finished what we could of the floor move and I think it turned out really cute...We have to do it again in a month when the rest of the new furniture comes in. Here are some pics of the new rooms. Isn't that teal bed just to die for?It's is so girly without being the normal Pink and Green combo. And the boys bedding in the red crib is fabulous. You can put so many different "themes" with this set- we chose baseball but Jamie sold this set today for a jungle nursery. The princess room is everyones favorite because that chandelier is about the most princess thing I have ever seen. It really is super stunning. Since today is the first of the month, Jamie and I did our color swap. Here are the guidelines: $50 max, no min, colors this month were Black and white- could be bought or made. Jamie got me this necklace- I love it so much I told Mike I want to be buried with it (morbid- but you get the point). On the back of the ebay fairy charm it says "When it's not about the item, but about winning, she'll make sure you're the high bidder ever time." If you know me at all you know I am an ebay junkie...and this sentiment is me. I get so wraped up in bidding against someone, then when I know I won't get the item, I make sure the other person is going to pay a lot!!! I'm so bad! The other charm says "I think I'll be an artist or something" This is my other motto-which leads me to what I made for Jamie for our swap. I made her this pillow for her bedroom with a J embroidered on it, a vintage girl pen, an anthropologie coffee mug and a shadow box of us in Paris. I really loved making the shadow box, I think I might make some more...maybe one of the kids since they loved looking at this one. I'll keep you posted if I do. I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend. We are going out of town with my parents and Jamie and Brian to chill at a pool and sip margaritas...hopefully the kids will enjoy this little trip as much as we plan to!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My apologies

I am so sorry I haven't posted in over a week. As some of you know (certainly if you came in the store last week) I have been super sick with what I like to call "the back to school crud". After having a summer off with hardly any other kids germs, as soon as school starts, we are all sure to catch something. Preston, Bella and I got it and it was bad!!! Just last night I started to feel better and only woke up once last night because I couldn't stop coughing- but that is so much better then having to make rounds checking on sick kids or having to wake up every 30 minutes to blow my nose. So I am happy to say I am starting to feel myself today. So of course, it is time for hard labor at POPIN- Jamie and I are working on a floor move today. If you happen to come in today, please excuse the mess-and it is a mess! We got in a new twin bed and bedding we are excited about. We were supposed to get a new crib and new bunk beds but the Company pushed those back into September- so probably another floor move then too! I will take pictures this afternoon when our store looks like a store again and not just cardboard boxes. I also found some great items at the antique store last week I am so excited about- I'll show you tomorrow, I have to take Preston to school now and then head up to the store....

Friday, August 18, 2006

My Beach Baby

Today was my day off and Bella and I decided to make it a girls day at the beach! We had a blast. It was perfect weather, breezy and sunny. The water was cool but not cold. It took me a lot of coaxing to get Bella to even put a toe in the water but once she did, she wanted to stay in. I parked our chairs right at the edge of the water and just let her play. She would wait for the water to come to her feet then she would run as fast as she could to get away from it. Then she would follow it back out until the next wave came in. It was a great day with my baby!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Swap Meet Louie

I finally feel like my life has some sense of order again...Preston is back at school and I am back at work. Bella stays with a really nice lady while I am working who has a daughter her age so she never minds going there because she thinks it is a play date! The kids have had to adjust to the new routine, namely no TV during the week. It seems like our summer routine was play,play,play then watch movies to calm down. Now it is school, dinner, homework, bath, read, bed. They might think it is awful but I LOVE it!!!(they will thank me when they are my age-hopefully sooner-and have their own kids). This week I finished up my tags for the Gift Tag Swap I am in. I haven't ever heard of anything like this in Jacksonville but around the rest of the country it is becoming very popular. Not just gift tags, but swaps of all kinds. In this particular swap, I make 10 gift tags (must be handmade) and send them to the coordinator. There are people all over the world sending her 10 tags. Once she gets them all, she divides them up and sends them back out so each person will get 10 different gift tags. Here are mine- I decided to do them all the same but I could have done them all different. On the front there is a pull out TO card and you can write your message on the back of the pull out. On the back of the tag it does say FROM, even though you can only see FRO (cute POPIN sticker is covering it up). So in about 2 weeks I should get my Christmas for grown ups. Jamie and I are thinking about starting some swaps here in Jax, send us an email or post a comment to this blog and let us know if you are interested. It really doesn't take much money at all- I spent $1.99 on the 10 blank tags and the rest of the stuff I had from my scrapbook scraps. It really is just a good creative outlet and you will be the hit of the party with a great gift tag to make your present stand out. Jamie was just in a swap last month where you swapped doll house furniture. You made 10 of the same doll house accessory and shipped them to a girl in Virginia and in return she will get 10 pieces of different doll house stuff, enough to start her first doll house. I saw another swap the other day I really want to join that is a color swap. You fill a certain size box with things of a certain color. In return you will receive a box filled with goodies of all one color- just not the same color you sent in. Jamie would be great at this one because she can coordinate the heck out of presents. Anyway, let me know if you are interested and we can make Jax a hip place to swap too!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Summer's Over, turn off the heat!

So sorry it's been so long, We have been on vacation and working on the POPIN website and getting ready for Preston's first day of school! Why we do all of this during the summertime is beyond is sooo hot outside! My family went on vacation to Missouri with stops in Mississippi along the way to and from. Mike's family reunion is every July at Montauk State Park in Missouri. This was the first year we have gone because we always thought the kids were too young to travel 15 hours in a car. My best friend Beth loaned us her mini-van for the trip (I am forever grateful- yes, I am probably the last mom on the face of the earth that doesn't own a mini-van or SUV, but I get great gas mileage in my car!!!). My Mom also tagged along for part of the way. We went through Nesbit, Mississippi which is where my Mom's two brothers live so we stopped there the first night and Mom stayed with them while we went to the reunion. At the reunion we met a lot of relatives we have never met and did some fishing and bike riding. Besides it being like 115 degrees outside, we had a great time. Mike's brother and sister-in-law had a baby 6 months ago and it was our first time meeting him- it was wonderful holding a little baby again- and a neat feeling to be an Aunt. We stayed in this little cabin with a kitchen-and air-conditioning!Preston and Mike did most of the fishing and both caught 1, I tried my best but was unsuccessful. The last night we were there, Mike's cousin cooked all of the fish everyone caught and we had a feast! There were 50 people at the reunion and everyone brought food so there was never a shortage! We also got to stop at Graceland and do the touristy thing, I loved it, and surprisingly so did Preston. I guess he is finally getting to that age where he understands more than he doesn't. It was a self guided audio tour and he listened to it the entire time. We also stopped at all of the state line signs and took pics, which was a pain because we always hit a state line as soon as the kids would fall asleep, so we would wake them up and of course they wouldn't smile or look at the camera but hey, it will be a blast to scrapbook with! Mike did almost all of the driving so I got to stretch out in the back and enjoy the scenery. Thank heavens the mini-van had a DVD player so the kids were entertained the whole way. Mom and I stopped a couple of times at fabric stores on the way back and found some amazing deals! I also got to see my Uncles when we picked my Mom up and their kids who I haven't seen since I got married in 1998- they were my flower girls. They were all grown up! It is really nice to be home, I never thought I would miss my bed so much but I did. I think the kids are glad to be home too, there is just something comforting about knowing your surroundings. The past week Mike and I have been finishing up the work for the website and I am proud to say that you can now shop online at This weekend we went school shopping for Preston. I really like his teacher this year and hope that will get him to like school a little more. I thought getting new clothes, shoes and backpack would excite him but unless it has to do with playing golf, baseball or swimming, he just doesn't seem that interested. I hope that is normal for kids his age, at least boys. Here he is in his class this morning, faking a smile, telling me to get out of the class because I am embarrassing him! One day he will realize how cool I am, but I don't plan on it being any time soon!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Monster Mash

What a crazy week this has been. Mike and I (mostly Mike) have been staying up until the wee hours in the morning every night working on getting the website ready for you to purchase items on it and we are running out of steam. Yesterday we didn't even leave the house all day- I was going crazy watching Mike work on the computer so the kids and I did a few art projects and had a lot of fun. First we started out painting portraits of each other which was a hoot! Here are mine, I know, I know- I am no artist-but my kids think I am and I kind of eat that up! Isn't it so weird that they couldn't be more different, Preston with his huge eyes, dark hair and dark skin and Bella with her blue eyes and blonde hair and pale skin- they definitely got the best of both of us with all of the attitude.
Then I decided to make these fun bags for the kids who were my "monsters" yesterday. Preston's I made as a messenger style and Bella's I made as a smaller purse. They are out of colored denim and the monster face is a really soft fluffy fabric. They have been playing with them all day. My intention was a library bag to carry their books to the library but Preston really wants to use his as a trick or treat bag at Halloween- which I thought was a really good idea.
Jamie will be back to blogging soon- her camera had a melt down so she has to get it fixed and then will show you some cute things she has been working on! See you soon, we hope!