December 31, 2012

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we ended 2012 by celebrating our gorgeous girl. there's no better way to bring in the new year, i think. 

this is one of my favorite times of the year. i'm excited for the possibilites of a clean slate. i'm excited to see all of the reds, pinks and hearts for valentines day. the bright colors of spring and organizational inspiration galore.

there are so many things i want to accomplish in the new year. and i've been so busy with the holidays and parties and family that i haven't written it all down yet, but i will.

i just wanted to pop in to send the year out properly. i've got lots of tell you about and goals & dreams to share. for now, have a ball tonight. see you in the new year!
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December 27, 2012

we've been thinking about adding another dog to our family. a bigger one who wants to play a little more than our dachshund. he kind of does what he wants, when he wants. and we love him the way he is! we just wanted to expand the family a little. and, maybe lia won't bug toby as much??

i found this handsome guy online by accident while i was looking for a shelter to donate some old towels. and it was love at first sight. i just couldn't get him out of my head. so M and i chatted and decided to start the process. almost a week later, here he is!

and we are in lurve. this big guy is SO sweet. he's got some killer long legs and he's pretty energetic. i'm also sure he is going to eat us out of the house. but he's great. 

we adopted him from a local dog rescue haven that rescued him from a kill shelter when he was a puppy. all we know is he's a great dane/lab mix, about a year old and around 70lbs. oh, and his name is maverick.

the rest we'll figure out on this new adventure! 

we've got family coming in this weekend for l's birthday. she'll be 3 on saturday!! the house will be full and extra dogs will be here too so things are gonna get crazy. it'll be quiet on the blog front while family is in town. but then get ready for some serious posting, some changes and a resolution or two!

happy new year! we'll be ringing it in together with several pounds of dog hair and some extra slobber. hope yours is just as awesome!
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December 25, 2012


christmas was magical, messy and full of good things. we kept it quiet and simple, just the three of us. with lots of simple wooden toys that spark creativity and imagination, some yummy treats and a nice family dinner. and now i am thankful to say everything has been cleaned up and almost every toy is put away. 

one holiday may be over but we'll be celebrating all week. my girl turns three on saturday. how that happened, i don't know. but it did. so cake, balloons and lots of family time will be happening. 

merry christmas to all. and to all a good (quiet & full of rest!) night!
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merry christmas!

December 24, 2012

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it's christmas eve. i can't believe it's christmas eve. we have been scrambling around all day cleaning, putting up blinds and getting the house ready for the holidays!
it's been a busy, busy day. but as i type this, sitting in my cozy new office with twinkling lights, i know how blessed i am. for my amazing husband who stays up late (and all day too) putting together toys and furniture. for my baby girl who lights up my world. just a few christmas eve's ago, i was mourning the loss of our first pregnancy. and as i sat reading L a few christmas books before bed, i realized how truly lucky and happy i am. 
now the stockings are full, the gifts are under the tree and santa's milk & cookies have been left on the front porch. someone is a little scared of the big guy in red coming in our house tonight so we left cookies on the porch and made sure santa knew to leave the presents there too and mommy & papi would handle the rest. then our little girl was happy.
christmas, we're ready!
merry christmas from my family to yours.

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December 20, 2012


watching | i am loving parenthood lately. i'm trying to catch up on the current season through hulu. the show is just so relatable and cozy, if that makes sense.
thinking about | fresh starts in the new year. life has just been so go, go, go the past few months. i've let things slipped, i've gotten unhealthy and i am just not taking the approach on certain things that i want to take. trying to just figure things out, you know?
listening to | L repeating all the words on the episode of mickey mouse clubhouse she is watching. it's just us girls tonight and we needed some quiet down time.
excited about | the possibility of adopting a dog. we're just starting to think about looking at local shelters but i did find a very adorable guy that i just can't get out of my head.
reading | bitter is the new black by jen lancaster and gretchen rubin's happier at home.
one is funny, the other inspiring. both are exactly what i need right now.
loving | my girl. i feel like a change is coming. we still have our bad days ridden with attitudes and tantrums, but there's been some really good things going on. she's been more loving and generally happier lately. and she blows my mind every day with how smart she is and how much her vocabulary is expanding.
inspiration for this currently post from danielle.
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December 19, 2012


i'll admit. i only made these because the picture looked so darn cute. they were really good, but really sweet. the icing is basically sugar, topped with sugar and a cane of sugar on the side. 

and if i am being really honest, only two got eaten. and these don't last long. the candy canes start to sweat and drip on the cupcakes and they look like a hot mess a few days later.

but they are fun to make!

you need:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspon salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

& for the topping:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 tbsp PLUS 2 teaspoons milk
1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows
candy canes (i used about 3, broken into long pieces)

+ heat oven to 350 degrees. line your cupcake pan with liners.
 + in medium-size bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda & salt.
+ in large bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth & creamy.
+ beat in eggs and vanilla until fluffy.
+ on low speed, beat in flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning & ending with flour mixture.
+ fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full.
+ bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until done.

+ in medium-size bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat powdered sugar, shortening & milk until smooth.
+ spread over cupcakes, top with about 8 or 9 marshmallows and tuck an unwrapped piece of candy cane into each cupcake.

enjoy the sugar high!

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December 18, 2012

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i haven't spoken out about the tragedy in CT. i don't have the words to express my heavy heart and sorrow. all i have is prayers. for the children. for the parents and families affected. for all the parents and families in the world. all i know to do is pray and then hug my little one a little tighter.


she did it! she kicked the bobo to the curb. it's incredibly bittersweet. for almost 3 years, my girl loved her bobo. it was HER source of comfort. 

a few days ago, on a whim, i decided that that was the day we ended the bobo reign. she'll be three in a few weeks, it's time. not to mention, i was getting a bit worried about her teeth. 

i dragged out this speech of how she's becoming a big girl and we need to give all of her bobo's away to other babies that need them. then she told me that other babies already had their bobo's and she needed to keep hers. oy. i rethought my strategy and agreed to keep the bobos IF she learned to sleep without them. and IF she could sleep the whole night, then we'd have lots of fun things planned the next day.

that first night was hell. she screamed and cried and screamed some more. after giving in for a few minutes, letting her in our bed and then putting her back to bed - she slept most of the night. she also came down with a cold that day so we both felt cruddy and it didn't help matters at all. nap time the next day was hell too.

but we pushed through and we didn't give in. i think i can officially say we are done with the bobo. she's been sleeping through the night in her bed and taking naps. it's a little harder to get her down for bed. it's taking more stories being read, a few extra cuddles and some "mama, watch me" time until she falls asleep, but is that really anything to complain about? 

and today, when we were on our way up for nap time, my girl looked up at me and said "mommy, i want to slweep wid out a bobo".
you got it, kid. and i cry, where did the time go?

what amazes me most is that i simply told my little girl that she couldn't have her bobos anymore. because it's what me and her papi decided was best. and she trusted me. she stopped using something that was such a big part of her life because she trusted me. she believed me when i told her i loved her and i had faith in her and i knew she could do it. she listens to me when i tell her every time she wakes up that i am SO proud of her.

i'm not a perfect parent. i let my kid watch too much TV. and she still uses diapers because I am not ready for that battle. she eats candy sometimes. and yells at me. i lose my patience and sometimes we don't do nearly enough fun, creative things in a day. but i am teaching her love. and that's pretty darn good, i'd say.

but seriously, potty training is up next. and if you've got good advice, i wanna hear it!
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December 17, 2012

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i am a to-do list lover. i need to write everything down or my world just may come crumbling down around me. really. and holidays earn their own kinds of lists.

our christmas to-do list
+ bake some yummy homemade treats & share them!
+ watch tons of christmas movies. the santa clause, home alone and a christmas story are classics and must be watched every year. 
+ visit santa claus.
+ take a drive & see christmas lights.
+ hang up lights on the house.
+ send christmas cards.
+ trim the tree.
 + hang the stockings.
+ watch the town's christmas parade.
+ make a festive wreath for the front door.
+ wrap the presents.
+ make a gingerbread house. 
+ leave milk and cookies for santa. 
we've already crossed off quite a few of these items. but i still don't feel ready for the holidays. i can't wrap my head around the idea that christmas is next week!
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December 14, 2012

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i'm only here for the record.

today was a good day in toddler raising. minimal tantrums AND she listened to me. oh. and i may have won the nap time match today. buh bye bobo. my girl is not a baby anymore.

now i'm off to finish up some hot cocoa cupcakes with my girl. we're tackling christmas one homemade treat at a time.

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stepping back.

December 12, 2012

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i want to write. my brain is running a thousand miles a minute and crammed full of to-do lists, christmas plans, birthday party ideas for a soon to be three year old, parenting woes and everything else. 

but the words fail me. i sit and i stare at the screen, hoping to find a way to get the words flowing from my brain to to the keyboard. and i come up with nothing. 
i don't mean to take a little break from the blog. i don't mean to disappear when i should be posting holiday hoopla. but i think it's what needs to happen. i'm going to step away and not worry that the blog is collecting some cobwebs. and hopefully i'll be back really soon to dust them off.
but between making our new house a home, planning for the holidays & l's birthday, expecting guests at the end of the year, dealing with day-to-day things, trying to find my bearings with my thirty-one business and attempting to keep some patience with my toddler who has now started screaming at me. in defiance. whenever she feels like it.
i am so happy & blessed & thankful for my life. but it's overwhelming, just a bit.
happy december-ing to all of you! until next time...

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oh, hi.

December 4, 2012

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where to start? it's been so long and SO much has been going on.

i guess i'll start with telling you that i am not looking forward to an empty nest. L is spending the week with her grandparents and all of my sisters and brother and nephews in NC. she's only been gone since sunday afternoon and i miss her like crazy. the house is QUIET! like, so quiet i am actually getting stuff done. fun stuff. and boring stuff. and stuff that HAS to get done. i appreciate the help and can't lie about being totally happy to sleep in. also: date night, watching movies with the hubs, cooking dinner with the hubs. it's nice to reconnect with him. 
BUT i miss my girl.
we're going on three weeks of living in the gray house. i'm totally in love. the windows. the hard wood floors. the leaves in the backyard. the black front door which is the perfect backdrop for some handmade wreath love. slowly but surely, we're filling it up with memories and love and favorite items.

i *think* all of the boxes have been unpacked and we're down to decor and frames and stuff. i plan on tackling the cleaning tomorrow. pretty big feat since this house is double the size of the last house. i also want to tackle wrapping christmas presents and any other little tasks i'm currently forgetting while the babe is away.

the hubs & i have a date tomorrow night. for one night only, the local movie theater is playing a christmas story. which is pretty much awesome. and this weekend, we'll be hitting up ikea for another shopping spree before we pick up L. we're gonna finally get the rest of the furniture we need and hopefully that'll help get the house finished.

good times.

now i'm off to snuggle up on the sofa with a cozy blanket and watch some tv while i wait for the hubs to get home from class.

here's a peak at our 'lately'...


have a great week!
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we're still around.

November 27, 2012

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hi! i'm here. and only sort of drowning under life and it's craziness.

we've been in the gray house for a week now. we just got internet today. most things are unpacked but it seems that throwing normal, crazy, everyday life on top of moving is just a bit crazyier.

normally when we move, we move far away. and we start all over. no play dates, no preschool lessons to prep, no books at the library waiting on me to pick them up. this time? it's different. it's weird to adjust to a new house when the life we've become accustomed to this past year keeps flying by and expecting us to keep up.

christmas will be here before we know it and i feel like time is slipping through my hands. but it'll get done. it always does.

anyways, i just wanted to pop in and let you all know we're well, we're happy, we're stressed but feeling blessed.

today we got one of l's christmas gifts in the mail. 
l: what's that mami?
me: it's one of your christmas presents.
l: eyes light up and she hugs the box. oh, i love christmas!
kid learns fast.

happy week to you all!
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black friday sale | livy love designs

November 23, 2012

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Since today is Black Friday, I wanted to let you know of a great print shop called Livy Love Designs that is offering 50% off ALL orders!  Diana is the owner of the shop and she is letting you use the coupon code BLACKFRIDAY50 at checkout to take half off.  These prints would make great Christmas presents! This sale is going on until Monday, November 26th until Midnight PST.  You can customize any print with colors from her provided color chart to match the colors of your room or for a gift.  To go to the sale, click here and enter BLACKFRIDAY50 at checkout to receive your discount. 
Please note that all orders during this sale will be shipped no later than December 3rd to ensure delivery by Christmas.  If you are wanting it sooner please contact Diana via Etsy Conversations.

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quick update.

November 21, 2012

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hi everyone! just wanted to post a quick update :)

we're almost all moved in! i unpacked a ton of boxes yesterday, m & his friends got almost all of the furniture moved and the house is mostly in working condition. we're at the old house now grabbing the last of the boxes and random things lying around.

no idea when i'll be back with another update! internet isn't scheduled to be installed until next week :( and we'll be canceling the services on the old house today.

so have an awesome week & happy thanksgiving!! 

ps. follow me on twitter (at kristyavilla) & instagram (kristyvilla) to keep up with us and see glimpses of unpacking, our new house and favorite moments in between!

pps. we're totally in love with our new house!!!
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stuff lia says.

November 17, 2012

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L - mama, i can't wait! i can't wait!! 

me - can't wait for what, babe?

L - i can't wait for new house! b gonna come with us? b going in car? kennel going in car with us? b going to run around new house with me?
ps. b is the dog.

for real? this kid oozes cuteness.
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November 16, 2012

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today is the last friday i'll be sitting in this spot to blog. come monday, ALL will change. 

hello new house.

hello new adventures!

hello crazy moving stuff. almost every time we've moved, something has happened. something goes wrong with the moving truck. we get a flat tire. they gave us the wrong house. we rented the wrong size moving truck.

yet we still continue to move places? call me crazy, maybe.
we ventured out for a playdate at the pet store this morning. little miss has a cold but was feeling a bit better earlier. she's snotty, sniffly and varies between running around the house like normal & laying on the sofa feeling crummy. then we stocked up all on snotty-nose remedies at target. because when you are moving & pack up all those necessities - OF COURSE your kid is going to get a cold.

so we're wiping boogies with grape-scented wipes, snuggling on the sofa watching toy story and this mama has painted our nails the perfect shade of navy while planning a preschool lesson plan and dreaming up a fabulous playroom. 

lots of packing will go down this weekend! we close on monday and start moving in. to say we are excited is an understatement. i've been dreaming and scheming up this day for months.

got any fun plans for the weekend?

i don't know when i'll be back on the blog - but you can keep up with us on twitter & instagram!

until then...
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blogger book swap.

November 14, 2012

so i joined a book swap a few weeks ago! and failed to blog about it yet. but we're moving - so that excuses me of all my failures for now, right?

sweet green tangerine hosted it along with some other gals. my swap partner, ashley from this unscripted life, was also a host and such a fun partner!

we're both mamas and former military spouses so we had plenty in common! we pretty much have the same taste in books too. which is totally awesome.

she sent me THE funniest book. i mean, it's so funny i've already ran to the library to stock up on every other book they had by the author. SO good! she sent me Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster. of course, i devoured the book in just a few days. the more i read, the more i related to jen. she's a whole lot of personality and a whole lot of funny. 

Photobucket Photobucket

it's basically jen telling stories of her life - in a 'in your face, totally honest' kind of way. really - go read the book!

i'm on my third book already and counting...
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November 12, 2012

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hello monday.

+ it's a sunny day outside.
+ l's got a playdate at a friend's house this morning. LOVE that i can leave her without freaking out.
+ it's walk through day at the new house and officially one week until closing!
+ i've got sloppy joes simmering in the crock pot for lunch. feels like fall.
+ looking forward to a lunch & shopping date with a friend this week. her son & L are best friends!
+ getting SO excited for christmas.
+ pretty excited to spend our last week in this house too. we're almost all packed & ready.
+ we've had a great extra long weekend. m had some days off so we soaked up some time with him!
+ happy veterans day to all the men & women that have served/are serving! 

happy monday friends!
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November 9, 2012


 just a bit of advice i am trying to keep in mind for the gray house.

happy friday night! m has had a few extra days off work this week so we've been packing and getting ready for the move. we're down to 9 days! i've been taking it easy, or trying to. i put my back out again and doing pretty much anything hurts. i'm feeling better now, but not as good as i hoped.

we love spanish food around here. here's some of our current favorites. 1 | 2

lately, i've been really into wanting to knit again. this tutorial taught me most of what i know!

a DIY thanksgiving banner. i think this needs to find a home on our new mantle!

pretty sure L would love to have this.

we just ordered our christmas cards tonight! use code holidaycheer on tinyprints to score 10 free christmas cards. offer expires 11/13/12.

another easy DIY garland.

ryan gosling reads some of the 'hey girl' posts here and here.

crushing on these knitted goodies. i wish i knew how to knit that well. 1 | 2 | 3

i'm off to clean up the kitchen and head to bed. it's early but i'm beat and we have a long day of packing ahead of us.

happy weekending!

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back to normal.

November 7, 2012

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the election is over. yay! now we can all go back to worrying about the important things. like did i take my photo of the day yet. or who's the next host on saturday night live. it's anne hathaway, if you didn't know. or talking about my new polka dot jeans.

those are the important things in life, right? kidding. sort of. i love that i have the civil duty and right to vote. and i will vote every year that i can. but people are just getting out of hand with this latest election. i had my vote and that's it. i'll give respect to our president whether he/she gets my vote or not. i'd much rather focus on diasters instead of bashing the candidates or people's voting choices. like the world market doesn't carry the owl cookie jar anymore(!!). or bigger things like the mortgage company all up in our business because we're buying a house. 

so i say we all love one another and respect that everyone is different and we all see things differently. let's just be nice.

 now that i got all of that out. and showed off my super cute kiddo. i'm going back to my peanut butter m&ms, laundry and being super giddly excited about the fact that in 11 days and some hours & minutes, we'll be closing on our new house! 

hello gorgeous wood floors.

our dreams are going to come true in this house. i can feel it.

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a house tour | our first south carolina home.

November 6, 2012

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we have moved SO many times. we've lived in 5 houses in our 5 year marriage. l-bug has lived in 4 of them. FOUR houses! that's a lot for an almost 3 year old.

and every time we move out, i feel like i could never ever forget a detail about that house. but every time a year passes, those unforgettable details just start to fade away.

since our current house was our first home in SC. it's where we learned to function as a family of 3, without living near or with other family members. it's where we learned to become a civilian family and settle into a new state without help from the marine corp. it's the house lia has the most chance of remembering. 

a few days ago before all the packing commenced, i went around and took pictures of the house the way it was. after doing some serious cleaning up. but on a typical, clean day in october/november, this is what our home looks like.

it's bittersweet looking at these photos because now? it doesn't look anything like that. all of our memories and treasures are packed away. there are moving boxes everywhere. and the kitchen is a hot mess. not to mention the 6ish loads of laundry waiting to be folded and put away. 

so here's to remembering our first south carolina home. and pretending it actually looks that way.

warning: a LOT of pictures follow this.



ps. l's bathroom did have a shower curtain. a very cute one with retro rubber duck, tubs & hot/cold handles printed all over it in the perfect turquoise. however, i washed it and didn't see the point of putting it back up to take it back down a week later.

can't wait to show pictures of the new house!
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