Sunday, December 13, 2015

Disney Vacation-A First!

As most of you know, this past week my family and I flew down to Florida for our first ever family vacation!!! And let me tell you, Disney World did not disappoint!!!
We had the best of time and it couldn't have been more perfect!! It's hard to wrap up everything in one blog post so in the next few weeks I'll share a few bits and pieces as well as my advice for if you are thinking about taking a family vacation to Disney World in the near future!

For our vacation, we flew in on Monday morning and arrived to our Disney resort around noon. The flight went so smoothly and I'm so glad we decided to fly (which took under 2 hours from St. Louis) rather than drive which would've taken 20 hours. Flying is definitely the way to go! But even flying, traveling is always exhausting with kids so we grabbed lunched and all took a nice afternoon nap and relaxed. That evening we grabbed a bus and went to Disney Springs. 
 For those of you not familiar with Disney Springs, it's a fun Disney shopping and dining area full of different types of Disney Shops and fun restaurants. We decided to go to the Trex Restaurant. We had been to a Rainforest Cafe before and loved the food so we knew the Dinasour theme would be fun for my son Ashton and the food was great too. 
It was nice the wait wasn't long and every 20 minutes the lights would dim and there would be a meteorite shower and the dinasours would "come to life" and start moving! It was awesome! 

The next day we had tickets to Mickey's Christmas Party in the evening. 
It was nice to sleep in and have a nice slow morning doing whatever we wanted. We stayed in the Pop Century Disney Resort which happened to be located near the Art of Animation Resort which I had on my list to tour! Touring the other Disney resorts was an event in themself! They are INCREDIBLE!
 Our resort, Pop Century, had sections of the hotel themed after various past decades. 
Like one part of the hotel was disney in the 50's, or another was 60's, 70's and so on.
It was really neat and one of the more affordable Disney Resorts!

Art of Animation was a little more expensive so we didn't stay there but we spent the morning looking at all of the decorations and parks they had. If we were to go again, I would pay a little more to spend a couple days there. It was AWESOME. I loved that the entire hotel was DISNEY!!
You could stay in a section of the hotel that was themed after The Little Mermaid..
 Or The Lion King....
 And our favorite... CARS!!!
 It felt like you were right in the movie!! We took pictures with ALL of the characters!

And the main pool of the hotel was themed after Nemo! Seriously, walking around Art of Animation was almost as fun as Disney World itself.

After seeing Art of Animation, we grabbed lunch at the resort and went back to our room to relax and have the kids take a nap before Mickey's Christmas Party. (MCP)
What's great about MCP is even though the party doesn't start until 7, you can get into the part as early at 4pm. So we took a good nap and go ready to head to the park!

Magic Kingdom is so beautiful at Christmas time! There are Christmas decorations everywhere and Christmas music all around! It just added to the magic of it all.
 For weeks, Ashton had been talking about the hot cocoa and cookies that were going to be at Mickey's Christmas Party! Finally his dreams came true.

The boys rode some rides, we grabbed our snack and headed to find a seat to watch the Castle show and Christmas Parade. And let me just say, I have never seen so many people in my life. The crowd was insane in front of the castle!! We luckily went early enough we got a decent spot! Alaya fell alseep literally 15 minutes before the show started. She missed the entire thing!! But thats ok, she one so I didn't expect her to stay awake and no way was I going to wake her up and make her miserable and grumpy. 
I enjoyed the show more than any of us I think. It was spectacular.
The castle was amazing. So beautiful.
 And Santa made an appearance of course.
I could show you a million pictures but they don't do it justice. 
After the show, the boys went on the Mine Train roller-coaster and I grabbed some ice cream and continued to watch the rest of the shows on the castle and the fireworks.
The Fireworks. Were. Amazing. 
I'm not normally a "fireworks type of person". I feel like you see one firework you've seen them all.
This was not the case at Disney World. I'm not sure how they do it, but they make the music, lighting on the castle, and the fireworks all match. They bring such magic and feeling you can't help but be giddy and smile while the show's going on. The fireworks are a MUST SEE!
We left the park around 10:30 because the kids were exhausted (Alaya was still sleeping).

We had another full day at Magic Kingdom the following day.
Need I say it was awesome?!
 Because it was.
 The great thing about Disney World is they have something for everyone!
My boys love the rides and amusement park aspect of Disney, where Alaya and I loved all the shows and parades. The afternoon Festival of Fantasy Parade was, again, a MUST SEE! Their floats are amazing..if you can even call them floats?!

And I happened to catch some of the Disney Dance Party they put on and it was a blast!!!
It brought the kid out in me and I was out there dancing with the characters along with all the small kids.
Woody even danced with Alaya. It was fun to be up and close to the character!

I was also really surprised at how many rides Alaya could ride on!
It felt like nearly half of the rides at Magic Kingdom allowed Alaya to sit and ride on our laps.
 It was fun to be able to do rides together as a family and she loved getting out of our stroller and riding the fun rides as well. The Little Mermaid ride was one of our favorites!
And the Jungle Cruise was a nice ride we took in the afternoon. It was calm and relaxing. A great break from walking. The driver of the ride/boat told corny jokes that were cracking me up! It really added to the ride believe it or not!
And you can't go to Disney without meeting some characters!!

So that's just a short recap of our time at Magic Kingdom. There's so much more I could tell you about and hope to share a little more here in the near future. Especially because this is just a part of our trip, we also ventured over to Universal Studios and had a "magical" experience at Harry Potter World.

I know for a first family vacation, this was pretty extravagant. Some people ask how will we ever have a better vacation than this?! And I'm not sure! Maybe this will be the best vacation we ever take. But I don't think that's so. We love love LOVED Disney but we aren't the type of family to go every year. We want to see the world. See the beautiful country of America! We hope to go hiking in Colorado someday, see Yellowstone Park, or go scubadiving in the beautiful oceans...someday. We couldn't really do some of those things with our kids being so young. So for us, this seemed like the perfect time for us to make a trip to Disney. I don't think our kids were "too young" for such a trip. The kids loved it-I loved it-we all loved it!! We will definitely be back again someday.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Scrap Happy

 Hello. My name is Whitney. And I'm a fabric hoarder.

 I live in a tiny home, which means I don't have a lot of stuff. 
In order to keep my house from becoming cluttered I'm constantly removing items from the house and throwing things out. It's easy for me to throw out a pair of shoes I never wear or toss out toys my kids rarely play with. But when it comes to fabric-I'm a hoarder. 
If you look at my sewing desk any given day it's normally a mess with piles of fabric and scraps. 
As much as I should throw most of the scraps away, I don't. I can't. 
I must save them...just in case.

And I'm SO glad I've been saving them because 
I finally put my scraps to good use and turned them into a quilt!! 

 As you know, we are going on vacation to Florida in a few weeks and it will be our very first family vacation! Woot woot!
And no wonder it's our first because-wow-vacations are expensive. It doesn't help that we decided to take the kids to DisneyWorld (tickets are how much?!!).
But it will be totally worth it...right?
Anyways, so every extra penny we have right now is being put towards vacation. Which means, no money in my fabric budget. As sad as that makes me, it's been good for me to get creative and use what I have.
 With my scraps I decided to make a scrappy Log Cabin quilt using the quilt-as-you-go method (qayg).
I loved the process!
It was so awesome to piece and quilt my blocks at the same time! 
 I used the pattern of a Log Cabin block but they are perfectly symmetrical because I used different widths and such since I was using up scraps.
I absolutely love how it turned out!! 
Scrap quilts are my absolute favorite!!!
They have so much character.
 And get this, I even had enough fabric in my stash to cover the entire quilt as backing!! Score!
And as much as I wanted to do my typical striped binding, I'm stuck to my initial goal of not spending more money and even used my scraps for binding! 
Pretty neat, eh?! I wish I could get a better picture of the binding but it's tricky. 
I'd love to say this used up my entire scrap bin, but that would be a lie. It's still completely full.
Perhaps I'll be making another scrappy quilt in the future! 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Folk Song Quilts

Let's take a moment and talk about how beautiful designer Anna Marie Horner fabrics are.
I mean, come on. 
 Her colors are so rich and all of her fabrics compliment one another perfectly.
It's crazy how each of her fabrics look so differently from one another, and yet when they are all put together they match beautifully.
The fabrics I used in the past few quilts I've made were from her collection Folk Song. 
I made 2 matching baby quilts and one large throw quilt.
In the baby quilts, I wanted to do patchwork with some random wonky stars and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.
The white stars really brought out the rich colors of the AMH fabrics.
 One fat quarter bundle made 2 matching baby quilts.
Both have already sold and are off to new homes!
 They will be missed but I'm sure I'll be buying more of this fabric soon to make more! 

With another fat quarter bundle of AMH Folk Song I made a simple patchwork throw quilt.
I love the fabrics so much-I didn't want to chop the fabrics up too much.
I really wanted to show off the beautiful fabrics and designs so I made large block patchwork squares and love how it turned out.
This one also sold right away and has made it safely to its new home and is already getting lots of love!
It's no surprise they sold so fast, the fabrics are mesmerizingly beautiful.
I love all fabrics designed by Anna Marie Horner. 

I've already placed an order for more of her fabric from a different collection of hers. 
I can't wait to get them and start playing with them!
Until then, I'm off to chase this toddler &/or clean up her messes!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sierra Fiesta Quilt

A couple years ago I came across a fabric collection called Sierra by Bren Talavera for Robert Kaufman fabrics. I loved the Fiesta version of the fabrics and knew I just had to have some!!!
I fell in love with the bright bold pattern and colors. 
It's not your typical quilt colors and I love that about it.
It's definitely unique and not everyone's style. But I think it's awesome.
The uniqueness is what makes it stand out.
If you've been following me this past year you probably saw a first look at the fabrics in a hot pad I made using these exact fabrics:
I love that little bird (or chicken?) mixed in the fabrics.
It's adorable. I'm smitten over the teals and reds together! 
And I've said it before, I'm going to say it again, but look at that color!!
Even after a washing there was absolutely no fading! 
It's still so rich in color! You just can't go wrong with high quality premium fabrics!
Well done Robert Kaufman Fabrics. 
When it came time to bind, I was at a loss of what fabric to use.
I struggle the most deciding on binding. As little as you might see the binding, I think it plays a huge role in the overall look of a quilt. As you know, I have the tendency to use a lot of striped binding in my quilts because I love that look. But I felt this quilt needed something different. Something with less pattern since the quilt already had so much color and pattern already.
Instead of buying more fabric, I decided to use what I had on hand and used a mustard yellow cross fabric from Cotton & Steel.
I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and glad I branched out with new binding.
Perhaps I'll start branching out in my quilt bindings and use more bold and brighter bindings.

Thanks for stopping by! 
Let me know what you think of the quilt and your thoughts on the Sierra Fiesta fabrics!?

Keep your eyes tuned for couple new quilts I'll be sharing with you soon! 
My quilt inventory is growing! Yay for an armful of quilts!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Birthday Girl & Quilt Photobombs

 Today is a quite special day....
A year ago my sweet little Alaya came into the world. 
This was a first picture taken as a family of four. 
 Like many of this pictures I have to share today, it's not a glamorous photo (in fact, you can't hardly even see Alaya) but our lives changed from that moment on and it changed in the best possible way and all of these photos hold special memories.

Alaya is the sweetest and happiest baby I ever did see! As I was looking through all her baby pictures I realized there was something extra special in so many of the pictures and snapshots I have of her.
Her quilt.
Her quilt has been with her from the day she was born!
She used it the day she was born and still uses it up to this day.
It's truly a treasure and keepsake.
From when she was itty bitty, we made great use of her quilt for
her newborn photoshoot.
It seems I have pictures of her and her quilt through every month and stage of her life!
From when she was itty bitty..
To when she started to become more mobile and her personality started to really shine through. 
Her quilt is quite the photobomber! You can see glimpses of her quilt in all of these pictures where she was acting silly trying to eat her baby doll's pacifier, learning roll and crawl, and even when brother was being annoying bothering her.
Her quilt stayed loyal even when she started sliding off of it and somehow get stuck under the couch.
It went with us everywhere. Inside & outside.

Her quilts were definitely well loved like a good quilt should be.
 It came with us to parks on cool spring evenings. 
(It was the perfect buffer for those wide baby swings at the park.)
It even traveled with us to unwanted overnight visits to the Emergency Room we had to take last December.
It was the perfect piece to make the E.R. feel more like home.
And typical Alaya, she was still so happy and smiley even being so so sick.
My goodness she's just so sweet!!
And like a good mom, I have a million pictures of her sleeping.
And yep, you guessed it, her quilt was right by her side.
I could go on and on showing you pictures of little Alaya and even her quilt.
But I better stop so I can get ready to celebrate her birthday.
So let me end by saying Happy Birthday Alaya!!
 You are so loved.