Pinspiration Friday {And a Big Announcement!}

For this weeks Pinspiration Friday, please head on over to Chevron Stitches.

What is Chevron Stitches? Well, it is my new blog! The Little Willow Tree has been great, it’s been a great first year, but I have outgrown the vision I had for this blog a year ago and feel that my new blog is more of a representation of who I am and what my purpose is.

It is currently undergoing a major upgrade from the fun little template that is on there now to an amazing design that will soon be revealed. {Blog design by Lauren of The Perfect Pear Design} But I promise you that what I have in store for you over at Chevron Stitches will be better than what I have offered you here.

I have thought long and hard about the decision, to move to Blogger and change the name. I’ve prayed about it too. With some great advice and encouragement from some of my best bloggie buddies and a referral to the amazing Lauren for a blog design, I decided to take that jump. Most of what has held me back is the fear of losing followers and having to rebuild everything back up again. But much like The Little Willow Tree, it will take time and the risk of losing a few of you against continuing to blog that doesn’t leave me feeling fulfilled is a risk I don’t mind taking. But I hope that if you have me bookmarked, saved on your Blogroll or Google Reader, that you will follow me over to Blogger and follow Chevron Stitches.

A lot of the reason why I chose to make the move to Blogger is to make link ups and giveaways not only easier for me, but for you too! Blogger also allows me to customize my posts better as well as the overall look and feel of the blog entirely. Another reason is its all wrapped up and tied with a bow with my Google account so the sharing ability and social networking for myself and the blog are not all over the place. I’m a bit of an organizational freak so having everything in one place for me is amazing!

I really appreciate all that you, my readers, followers, have done for me. Your support in sharing, commenting, participating and giving me feedback has been amazing. I love you guys so much! You make my love for blogging that much more amazing and I want to have all of that with you all over at Chevron Stitches.

So lets add the new blog to your bookmarks, sit back and relax for a bit. The new blog design will be ready very soon and a big, really awesome, reveal will happen. You will not be disappointed! And in the meantime, I’ll be posting over there.

Thanks, again, for all your support!

Xoxo,

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Happy Birthday Little Willow Tree!

My birthday is tomorrow. Big ol’ 28. Yup, I said it. My age. I’m not ashamed! But it’s not my  birthday we are celebrating here today, its The Little Willow Tree’s!!

One year ago today I sat down and wrote out the first post that would become what Little Willow Tree is today. And I am so proud of my little blog.

It’s neat to see the changes over the past year and how much I have grown. From the photos…

Then:

Now:

{Ok, so I could still use some improvement}

To page views over the year…

Wow! Pretty amazing if you ask me. 

{Thank you readers!!!}

I also noticed that I have done a lot more crafting and diy’s than sewing, which is essentially what the blog was all about when I first started. But it has grown into so much more than just my sewing adventures. My ‘diy’ tags are quickly catching up with my handmade tags…

Not to mention making my posts more legit by adding a signature, then changing it to something a little more me

So; when are we going to get the party started??

Right now!!

To celebrate the blog’s birthday, and mine as well, I want to give my readers a present. It’s to show you how much I appreciate you and what you have done for me and The Little Willow Tree. Cause let’s face it; I could blog and blog and blog all I want, but it wouldn’t be what it is today {and what it will be tomorrow} with out you! 

And because it’s a present, it’s a surprise… so no revealing what the present is here, nope. You’ll have to wait till it comes in the mail!

All you have to do is leave a comment wishing Little Willow Tree a Happy Birthday! The first 10 commenters will receive a present from me! I’m celebrating all week long!

Thank you for all of your support over the year and for helping me make this blog into something bigger than I had envisioned a year ago!

Happy Birthday Little Willow Tree! 

*Sunday I will email the first 10 people to comment to get your contact information*

P.S. A very big announcement is going to be made on December 1st so keep an eye peeled. You wont wanna miss it!!!


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Thankful Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

This is my favorite Holiday of the year! Today we will be heading over to Richard’s sister’s house for a yummy lunch then off to his parent’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m happy, Thankful really, to not host Thanksgiving this year, but I did make my famous Cranberry Sauce!

I’ve had a week of thanks I’d like to share

I am thankful for

-Richard and Bey who will do everything else for me with baby when I need them to

-quiet time to myself in the mornings and at night

-recipes that take only 20 minutes to make

-Richard, who remembers to get me coffee when I run out

-the Ergo so I can hold baby all of the time and not get tired

-the activity bouncer to keep Oli entertained so I can get things done some days

-family {my little one, Richard’s, and mine}

What are you thankful for?


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Thankful Thursday

This past week I have been thankful for:

The ladies in PTA with me

Easy meals

The ability to make natural products for house and home for my family

Rain

Sunshine

Food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our backs

My customers and blog followers

What are you thankful for?


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Dealing with a Tween

Next week my lovely daughter; the one I used to rock back and forth and hold in my arms and play tic tact toe with and hold hands with while crossing the streets, will be 11 next week. 11. I feel old.

Mostly I feel old because Im under 30 and have an 11 year old. I also feel old because I am under 30 and have two kids, one who is 11 and one who is a baby.

A lot comes along with an 11 year old. This is when they start to hit puberty. They get all emotional and pushy and testy and take everything so darn seriously {as if they didn’t take it all so seriously already anyway!}. Now throw having an 11 year old in there that is a girl and everything is magnified by 100. I remember that age – my mom lived in San Diego at the time so it was just me, my dad, and my brother. Going through puberty was hard with out my mom! And my dad was no help {it’s ok, dad – you did the best you could with what you knew! I still love you!}.

This is the year, when boys become the main topic of conversation and their bodies start to change. When the words ‘sex’ and ‘penis’ and ‘period’ isn’t followed by an echoed ‘EWWWWWW’. Speaking of sex; I gave ‘the talk’ to Bry. Wanna know what surprised me? She pretty much already knew what it was all about. Thank you chatty kids at school. When I talked with her about it, the concept didn’t gross her out, but explaining how it was done made her put her hand up in disgust and ask if we could finish watching Pretty Little Liars now. Thank goodness for that! But boys and sex and all that cooties stuff doesn’t bother me or worry me too much.

It’s that damn attitude. If I had a penny for every ‘I know’ I wouldn’t have to worry about money ever again. Do your kids do that? ‘I know, Mom’. Well, if you knew then you wouldn’t have done it, right? Sheesh. And it’s not like they say it in a way that is reassuring, oh no. They say it in a way that is full of a miss {or mister} know-it-all ‘tude that makes you wanna slap the pig tails right off of her. Any why does every thing have to be a chore? I’ll ask Bry to please pick up her socks from the living room and put them in her dirty clothes basket and she translates it to ‘you must pick up those socks now and while you’re at it clean your room and do the dishes and wash your clothes and sweep the front porch and while you’re at it, knit me up a new pair of socks’. As she sighs the longest sigh of her life all the way to her bedroom. 

Also, 11 year olds transition from ‘play date’ to ‘hang out’. When you’re a kid and you can’t have a play date with a friend its ok, I’ll throw a fit for a couple minutes and then ‘ooooo, Teletubbies!’. Done. But tell an 11 year old they cant hang out with their friend after school today and it’s like the worst tantrum ever. They’ll hate you for two solid days straight, stomping all over the house, avoiding you at all costs. Cause you just kept her away from her favorite person ever. Which should be you {which used to be you}, but didn’t you get the memo? It’s that one girl down the street who has the coolest pair of shorts ever, mom, didn’t you hear? No. And I don’t care. {But really I do, cause Im really invested in who she is friends with}.

So, how do I deal with it?

Simple.

I learn to pick my battles.

I allow her to be upset and angry. Feelings are feelings – they’re never wrong.

I put my foot down when it is necessary.

I find a balance of being her mom as well as being her friend.

I tell her I love her {even if I don’t like her at that moment}.

And so far, I haven’t run her over with the car or shipped her off to her dads so I’d say I’m not doin’ too bad a job here. Of course for as much work as I put in to my relationship with her, I expect in return with me. So to be able to do that {aside from what I listed above}, she and I have a book. Its the ‘Just Between Us’ journal. And yeah, we have used it!

There are some cool questions in there like who was my fave band when I was her age and what did I want to be when I grew up. I love reading her paralleled answers. We are so different and so unique.

But what I love most about the journal, is that we are able to write down how we are feeling about anything with out having it feeling like a confrontation. Bry can write to me about something she would otherwise feel uncomfortable talking about face to face.  It has given us the opportunity to be open with one another whether it be something she is doing {or not doing} that is frustrating me or something someone said to her at school that day that upset her. We still talk to each other about issues, and I love it, but sometimes its just easier to write out your feelings. It has definitely helped us resolve some things and it is something I highly suggest to any mother and daughter – issues or not!

So with her 11th birthday rolling around and the days of childhood fading behind her I know there will be many more challenges ahead of us. Her tween years will turn into teen and then she will be an adult {which I am sure I will hate more than anything!}. But as long as I keep doin’ what I’m doin’ and stay the adult in our relationship, my daughter, though always my daughter, will be also be my friend. Because even now we have the best time ever together. And it’s those days that I remember.

Even if I don’t like her very much some times and I ‘ruined’ her ‘life’.

Heh, oh well.


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Thankful Thursday

Its Thursday! Time to share this past weeks worth of Thankfulness.

I am thankful for:

amazing support from my great friends

Sabbath

the dollar section at Target {and not in a selfish, materialistic way. it has given me the opportunity to purchase great items without breaking the bank}

our heater in the winter and our a/c in the summer

Bry, who is the most sweetest thing I could ever ask for

Oliver and the smile that lights up my face

my {little] family’s health

What are you thankful for?


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Thankful Thursday

November is the month of being Thankful. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner I wanted to focus on our family recognizing the things we are thankful for. So I made a ‘Thankful’ jar. We write what we are thankful for on a piece of paper and slip it into the jar. Then on Thanksgiving while we are sitting around the table with our families, we will each read off what we wrote. I am even encouraging people who come over to visit to write something and put it in the jar!

It was really easy to make, too!

Grab a jar or container {I used a left over half pint mason jar from various projects}, a pen, and some paper. I used some rub-ons that I got from Heidi in the huge scrapbooking stash {I also used the paper for this} she gave me to decorate the jar.

We plan on each writing something at least once every day to put in there. It could be anything – something someone did for you that day that you were thankful for, or that week. Or something in life or in general you are thankful for. It can be anything from something sentimental to something silly like ‘I am thankful for cookie butter from Trader Joes’. Anything!

Then on Thanksgiving read off what everyone is thankful for!

I’ll be doing a weekly ‘Thankful Thursday’ post for this month, listing off the things I have been thankful for the past week. Since it is the first day of the month and it just so happens to be on a Thursday, I am going to share with you one thing I am thankful for..

My amazing kids.

What are you thankful for?


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Halloween Fun

Though I wasn’t able to do an actual craft every day of this month that was Halloween related, we did do at least one Halloween related thing. But I sure did craft a lot and our house ended up looking pretty awesome for Halloween.

Here is the last week of Halloween related things for yah!

Awesome finishing touches on the house
Creative pumpkins this year

The kids got their Halloween pictures done

We had a pumpkin contest!

We took the pumpkin to a local pumpkin patch

Oliver and I enjoyed the Fall Festival at Bry’s school

I made a bat necklace

And we went Trick or Treating!

What a fun month of Halloween crafts, decorations and just all around fun!


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Hallows Eve

Hope you all had a very spooky and haunting Hallows Eve!

We sure did..

Although, there was no scaring Oliver

And even Zooey got in on the fun

Zooey and Oliver matched out pumpkins on the porch

And Oliver even tricked and treated our very own house

We went out and trick or treated for about an hour, came home and tricked {ok, we treated} our neighborhood, passed out candy, scared a few people, ate some pizza, and watched Hocus Pocus. We definitely had a great Hallows Eve!

What did you do?


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Our Family

This past weekend we met up with our friend Tom of Tom Fowler Photography for a fun little family shoot at a local pumpkin patch. It was a little icky out, but we still had fun. Baby even got to have a little moment with a llama.


We had the family shoot at Avila Valley Barn. This place is awesome with its pumpkin patch, apple orchard, horses, barn animals, gifts shops, and amazing baked goods! If you’re ever on the Central Coast of Cali, head to this place. You’ll have tons of fun.

For family shoots, weddings, engagements, couples, kids, events and more, contact Tom Fowler of Tom Fowler Photography. He’s good. Obviously! {Thank you, Tom!}


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