Monday, January 31, 2011

Oh, WOW!

This weekend was BIG for the blog.

1st:  Sparkle made it to 1000 visitors!
Now I know that this isn't huge (some blogs I visit get this in a few hours), but when you're first starting out it seems like a big milestone. Think of a baby standing up to furniture or sitting on it's own for the first time.

2nd: Sparkle now has 15 followers/subscribers!
Again, not a huge deal to many (most of the blogs I read have thousands), but it's a big thing for me. :-) Think of a baby holding it's head on it's own or finding it's thumb.

And finally... This one is a BIG one...


Woo Hoo!!!
(Yeah, I guess I'm a "woo girl")

Check back tomorrow for my entry to the contest, I think you're going to Luv-It!!

Friday, January 28, 2011


As I was saying yesterday, Josh was just in the Urgent Care last Friday. He wasn't there for himself that time. He was just the driver.

He took A, our 2 year old. She was throwing her nightly bedtime tantrum and decided instead of her usual fit that this time she would tear her nightlight out of the wall-which broke the bulb. When she did this we saw a flash in the hallway, so it must have arced. Luckily she wasn't shocked or injured too badly. She did get some small burns on 2 of her knuckles but the doctor said he didn't think anything else happened and that she would be fine. (He was right, the marks have cleared up a week later.)

We need advice on tantrums. Please!!!! We have NEVER dealt with these before. Our first 2 daughters were little angels. Ok, I'm kidding a little, they did throw an occasional fit here and there but what toddler doesn't. A bounces herself off of the doors. She runs her nails down the walls, (give me fingernails on a chalkboard any day) which hits a nerve. She scratches and pinches the closest person to her. And then just like that-it's over and she acts like nothing even happened. 

We do make her apologize to whomever was involved. And we explain to her that throwing a tantrum is naughty. These are the things we have tried:
I've tried to ignore this behavior-it just makes it worse. I've tried to put her in the middle of a room so she can't hurt herself, but that doesn't last, in no time she's up and at a door or wall. I was talking to some of the moms at dance class and one of them suggested to put her in the high chair. I would try this... but we fear that she would try to pull her hair out or gouge her eyes or it would end up tipping over. My mother-in-law used to put A's aunt in a cold shower to "shock" her out of it. I'm not sure if that would be the right thing to do now???? (Back in the day it's what the pediatrician recommended.) 

The only time she throws these fits is at nap time and bedtime. She used to go to bed great-lay her down and walk away and she was out within 5-10 minutes. Not now-30 minutes after being put to bed she's usually still screaming or crying. I have absolutely no idea what brought this on either. She is scared of the dark all of a sudden too, that's why she had a nightlight to begin with. She no longer has a nightlight. Josh picked up a "glow buddy" while at the pharmacy getting her prescription filled. It is NOT glass and it has a timer on it.

If you've dealt with tantrums what worked for you? Did your child just grow out of it? Did your pediatrician recommend something? We have an appointment coming up in a couple of months but until then I'm willing to try anything creative and safe. I'm pretty sure that part of the reason behind the tantrum is that she's trying to tell us something, but she's not as vocal as her sisters. They are constantly talking for her, poor girl never gets a word in. We have told M and C to stop talking for her, but old habits aren't given up easily.

PS. A couple of side notes:
To help her communicate more we do baby sign language and I'm constantly reading to them to help build their vocabularies. Also, we've attempted the "super nanny" bed time technique where she lays them down and walks away and repeats until the child gives in. We're not sure how many hours to do this??? After 1 1/2 hours of trying this the other night we were exhausted. I don't think this technique would be so bad if she didn't throw herself around when you're trying to lay her back down.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Holy Crow!!!

We had a little scare last night.

I made shrimp pasta for dinner and I probably won't be making it again any time soon. It tasted great and the kids gobbled it down. So why won't I be making it again, you ask? 

Well, Josh hiccuped at the same time he put a piece of shrimp in his mouth. You can probably guess what happened next. That's right, that little sucker slid right down his throat. No, he did not choke, surprisingly.

A couple of minutes later he started having pains in his chest. So me being the S.A. that I am, asked if he needed a drink to wash the shrimp down. (The way he was describing it made me think of when you have a PB & J with no milk-you know, how it gets stuck in your throat.) Well, the drink didn't work.

So after about 5 minutes of his complaining about the pain I started to worry. Oh crap, could this be a heart attack? He's only 29! I started to google chest pains. And it brought up everything: heart attack, angina, pulmonary embolism...etc. So by this time I'm even more worried. I finally talked him into going to the Urgent Care. (I don't think he wanted to go because he was just there last friday night. More on that tomorrow.)

He was given an EKG and a chest x-ray. Both came back fine. Turns out the shrimp more than likely was stuck down where the esophagus meets the stomach, then when he coughed it moved down farther. The doctor believes that he has soft tissue bruising and acid reflux because of all this. So he was given a pain killer and an antacid to help. Poor guy. Feel better honey ;-x

If you've been reading along since the beginning you may be wondering who is this Josh person? Aside from my sister, Sara, I haven't referred to any of my family member's by name yet. Well, Josh is my husband and best friend. When I first started blogging it kind of creeped me out to think about all the millions of people this info would be available to. Now that I've seen how few actually find my blog it doesn't freak me out quite so much. Still unsure if I want to include the kids or not.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Big Brother Little Brother Gift

This past weekend we FINALLY made time to hang out with some friends' of ours. They recently were blessed with a new baby. (He is such a little cutie.) He was born just before Thanksgiving and it's almost Valentine's. Why did it take so long?

It seemed like every time one of us had the time it didn't work out for the other one. For instance, our family of five spent at least 5 weeks going through colds/coughs. Then when we were feeling better they had the flu. The holidays took up a lot of the time in between too.

We had a great time catching up. It's amazing how time flies by and what happens in that time. The kids had a blast with each other. Our girls got to play with boy toys: cars, tools, transformer thingys (not sure exactly what they were called). They have 2 little boys now, one more and we could do some arranged marriages. What's funny though, is out of all the toys available to them, they decided to play with chairs. Yes, chairs. What is it with kids? Boxes... Chairs... Pots and Pans... Why do parents even buys toys? The chairs kept them entertained for a good hour.

Here's what we took for the new baby and his big bro:

I found instructions here. Instead of using Char's template though, I made my own. I had a broken picture frame and the back stand looked like the bottom of a tie. I made the top of the tie freehand. These look even cuter on the little guys. I think I need to change irons, I did iron these before taking a pic, I promise.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Changing Table turned Entertainment/Media Center

Brooke over at All Things Thrifty is constantly doing projects with black glaze. I have admired her creations for quite awhile. I wish she lived closer, I would totally save my money to hire her to decorate my home. Seriously. Go check her out. She is A-Mazing! 

I finally had a piece of furniture that I could try her techniques out on. Remember this?

We were no longer using this dresser from the girls' room and I didn't want to get rid of it. (It's actually a changing table, but we never used it for that.) I decided to paint and glaze it so we could use for our television. This is how it happened...

We carried it down to our dungeon basement to be taken apart and painted. Notice I'm using the skills I learned from the play kitchen. Here, let me give you a closer look.

I used a hole saw to cut holes for the wires. 

We painted everything Dutch Boy "Atonement" because we had to brush/roll it. For those of you spray painters out there it is an exact match to Krylon "Ocean Breeze". This is after 2 coats of paint. It's pretty bright without the glaze. But wait, it's gets better.

Here is a close up of the glaze. I only used one coat of glaze. Sherwin Williams tinted their glaze black for me, (thanks J).

Look at all the storage we now have.

We still have two drawers that are empty. I think I might put some magazines in one of them.

So what do you think? 

Now that I know how easy it is to do I want to glaze the dining room table and the kitchen cabinets. Right now the cabinets are natural maple. I think it would give them a little more character. We bought a quart each of the paint and glaze. We have a little paint left, but it doesn't even look like I touched the glaze. I was pretty amazed at how little was used. We also, changed out the knobs.

Paint: 7.00
Glaze: 10.00
Knobs: 12.00
Total cost: $29.00 

Oh yeah. I'm entering a another contest too. Maybe this one will make it, since the play kitchen didn't.

Button Redo

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dave & Deniele August 28th, 2010

The wedding ceremony took place on a farm with the reception in the hay loft.

Wedding colors: Pink & Black

Jewelry Colors: Rose, Crystal AB & Black

Bridesmaid Necklace
Rose, Light Rose, & Crystal AB Swarovski Crystals,
Black Seed Beads & Fuchsia Ribbon

Bridesmaids Bracelet
Rose, Light Rose & Crystal AB Swarovski Crystals,
Black Seed Beads & Sterling Silver

Bridesmaid Earrings
Rose, Light Rose & Crystal AB Swarovski Crystals,
Black Seed Beads & Sterling Silver

What they wore: David's Bridal Dresses in Watermelon

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mark & Jasmine October 3, 2010

This wedding was held in the Holmdene Garden at Aquinas College.

Wedding Colors: Tiffany Blue & Charcoal

Jewelry Colors: Grey & Sterling Silver

Bridesmaids Necklace
Grey Pearls and Crystals

What they wore

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oh, to be young again.

I would like to share a little story about my daughter, M.

She is in Kindergarten and very outgoing. For Christmas she received a doll named Jenny from Santa. Since the day she got her she has been telling me that she is taking Jenny with her to college. I have no idea where this came from. (I'm thinking she got this idea because the neighbor girl who babysits for us is away at college now.)

I'm all for it. "Go ahead M, take your doll to college with you. Maybe it will keep the boys away a couple more years." Probably not. It's just wishful thinking from a mom of 3 very cute little girls.


She was telling her daddy and aunt that Jenny is going with her to college. Daddy asked M what she wanted to be when she went to college; a doctor, a dentist, a lawyer? With a serious look she said, "I want to be a princess because they get to live in a castle and don't do anything."

Cosby had it right. Kids really do say the darndest things.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Getting rid of annoying friends!

I had a few extra minutes to myself yesterday and so... I got rid of two of my most annoying friends. Tom and Bert. They visit me every so often and I CAN'T STAND THEM. Whenever they're around I feel so crappy. They put me down, and tease me all-of-the-time.

You're probably thinking, WOW this chic has issues. Just getting rid of friends because they're annoying her. What is her deal!

Let me introduce you to these friends and let you be the judge. 

Tom aka Tom Selleck as in: The mustache on my upper lip. It makes teenage boys jealous that they can't grow theirs as well as I can. No matter how many times I wax the dang thing, it just won't stop coming back.

And Bert... you know-from Sesame Street: My unibrow. The never ending unibrow. Sometimes I can't tell where my hair line ends and where my eyebrow begins. It just keeps going and going and going. 

I never used to have these problems. My eyebrows were always well groomed. And as for Tom... well, he NEVER showed up in the mirror unexpected. 

Then I had kids. And my priorities changed. I no longer have a beauty routine. (I sometimes get excited when I have 5 minutes to shower.) It's not that I don't want to have a beauty routine, there's just not enough hours in the day. By the time I do have some quality time for myself I'm so exhausted from the day I pass out. I would rather have happy kids than make myself "b-e-a-utiful" at this point in time. I know, I know-I've heard it before "you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others". You know what? That little piece of advice is probably the hardest one to achieve when you're mom.

So here's to those couple of extra minutes I had yesterday. Because of them, my husband is not scared to kiss me again. ;-) Cheers!

(I don't want to even think about the Sasquatch I'd be if I didn't already have laser hair removal done on my legs-thank the Lord!)

Monday, January 17, 2011


Our Family Movie Night Snack from this past Saturday.

Look at that gooey caramel layer. 

We got this recipe from an Aunt and I have no idea where it originated. We have been making these gooey goodness bars for years now and once you try one-watch out! They are so ADDICTIVE. I'm not exaggerating. There was a time when we first started making them that we made 2 batches within 5 days of each other. And it was only me and the hubs eating them! I'm not telling you this to scare you from making them. I'm just giving you the heads up, you may want to have a party or something to take them to so that you don't end up eating the whole pan.

1 box chocolate fudge cake mix w/pudding in the mix
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 c. evaporated milk, divided
35 caramels
1 c. mini MM's *

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 13x9 pan. Mix together; cake mix, butter, 2/3 c evaporated milk. This will be very thick. Spread 1/2 of this mixture in the pan and bake for 15 min.

It will not cover the entire bottom of the pan and you may have some holes here and there-that's OK.

It will come out looking like this.

While baking... Mix caramels and 1/3 c evaporated milk until melted over low heat in a saucepan.**

When 15 minutes has passed remove from oven and sprinkle 1/2 MM's over brownie layer. Pour caramel sauce over mm's. Add the rest of the brownie mix by spoonfuls and top with remaining MM's.

Bake an additional 20 min. Let cool 1 1/2 hours (if you can). 

*We have substituted 1 c. of chocolate chips, 1/2 c. chocolate chips with 1/2 c. MM's, my personal favorite is 1/2 c. white chocolate chips with 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips. Basically any type of brownie "add in" would work just use 1 c. of it.
**I do not use a saucepan. I use a glass measuring cup and put it in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.

An off topic side note: I'm working on putting a button together for my blog so that you can grab it and put it on your own blog if you would like. Here is a little preview:

Enjoy the brownies!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jewelry for a sister...

When I first started making jewelry everyone I knew was getting something sparkly for a birthday or Christmas gift. Lucky for them I have moved beyond jewelry to sewing, and other things. Here are a few of the very first pieces I made. I talked my little sis into digging it all out of her jewelry box and bringing it over for a photo shoot.

Chandelier Earrings
Sterling Silver and Emerald Swarovski Crystals
These make me giggle a little to look at them now. I didn't even know what a jump ring was at the time I made these. All I knew was that I needed a little small circle thingy to hold the two levels together, so I made one with some wire. I know better now.

Simple Necklace
Sterling Silver and Emerald Swarovski Crystals
This necklace went with the earrings above. If you can't tell from the color choice my sister Sara is a May baby.

Small Circle Necklace
Sterling Silver and Shell
This one was made with earrings to match, she forgot to bring the earrings with her so that I could take a pic though.

Crystal Bangle
Sterling Silver with Crystal Golden Shadow & Black
Diamond AB Swarovski Crystals
This bracelet was made as a payback for babysitting, at the time I only had 2 kids not 3 yet. I would probably have to make a pair of earrings to match the bracelet if I were to do a barter again. :-)

Crystal Bangle
Sterling Silver with Sapphire and Light Sapphire Swarovski Crystals
This bracelet I actually made for myself. Isn't that a shocker? I made it to wear to the Pistons game I was going to later that night. I didn't have anything cute to wear with my Hamilton jersey. I used all blue so that it wouldn't look too 4th of July if I wore it any other time of the year and because Sapphire happens to be my birthstone.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bruce & Corinne October 3, 2009

This was a destination wedding to Las Vegas.

Wedding Colors: Black & Pink

Jewelry Colors: Black & Rose

Maid of Honor Necklace
Rose Swarovski Crystals, Black Pearls & Sterling Silver

Bridesmaid Necklace
Rose Swarovski Crystals, Black Pearls & Sterling Silver

All of the ladies wore these earrings
Rose Swarovski Crystals, Black Pearls & Sterling Silver

What they wore: All Bridesmaids chose their own LBD.