Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mwah!

This boy... He just makes me smile.

Sometimes in the middle of the day we just run a bath and he plays. and plays. and plays.

Today was one of those days. He loves using my big bathtub and tries to swim on his belly (even though it results in nose full of water most attempts.)

Yesterday, Connor learned to blow kisses. So while in the bath he showed off how he knows how to stick out his tongue and blow kisses!! (Momma may or may not have been prompting with the same gestures...) ;-)

Hubs and I are busy working away and trying to get our design finalized for our website so our awesome webmaster can launch our website!! We are pretty thankful for life's blessings right now.

Also.... we are planning a 5 year-iversary trip to NYC in a couple of weeks. Grandma has graciously accepted to come stay with our sweet boy so we can have some much needed time together before the start of another busy year.


So without further ado, here are some kisses for you.

video

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Peeking a sneak!

If I weren't so zonked, I'd be doing a happy dance right. about. now...

We are official caught up with business stuff, which means that I am about to be on my way to St. Louis for lots of musical fun with my bestie for 2 days!!

Okay, NOW I'm doing a happy dance.

But really, what is more fun than being stress free and care free!

Speaking of, the only reason I am able to go on this trip is because my mom so graciously agreed to come and spend some one-on-one time with little C while I'm away and Chase works! THANK YOU!

We LOVE when Grandma comes to stay, and I am looking forward to some much needed mom time when I return!

(just sneaking you a peek of what I've been up to!)


Alright, y'all... Toodles, and goodnight!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Back at it..

One of my goals in this crazy life is to document it as much as possible. I'm no good at keeping up the baby book (I have everything IN there, just not really organized... yet) and I am no good at writing in a journal every day, but I DO take pictures. I take pictures every day. Multiple times a day. I know that someday my kids and grandkids are going to be able to see a glimpse into my daily life that I never really got to see of my parents and grandparents.

SO yeah, I love taking pictures. Sometimes of my kid (okay, mostly...  who are we kidding) and sometimes of others!

I used to blog often. Like every day often sometimes! I'd love to get back to that- it's refreshing. So in order to add this little routine back to my life, I'm starting at trying once/twice a week. I LOVE blogging and sharing for my family and friends to read about what's happening in our little life. It's not life changing, or even that interesting, but it's fun. Also, I want to blog about my life here. Not photography and business, but just life.

What we're doing, what we're making.. what I'm cooking. That's basically our everyday life, and I love it.

So yup! There we go. ;)

In other news, I am FINALLY back on the Weight Watchers/gym train. If you remember, back in the months before I got pregnant with C, I had dropped a lot of excess weight and was on my way to being super healthy and happy with my fitness. Obviously babies have a way of changing your body. Totes worth it, but kind of hard on the confidence.

I recall that my progress reallllllly took off after I shared it with my blog friends, and kept up with others doing the same. I started at some ridiculous number, but have lost 20#s so far. Sadly, I still have about 25 to go to get into my healthy BMI.

Yesterday I attended my first yoga class in like two years, and it rocked majorly. Gotta start somewhere.


Alrighty, toodles y'all!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So this is Halloween

Experiences like today give such meaning to my world. I mean really, there are hardly words for the great memories we made with such sweet friends and each other.

Last year we didn't leave the house for Halloween... I mean, Connor was in his costume for like 20 minutes before a category 5 nuclear meltdown was in progress- get the costume. off. 

This year, I decided to be brave, and try to make his costume since we had plans with friends and such.

I'm really not quite sure where the idea came from. I think it was a mixture between wanting to try an oompaloompa but that being a little too ambitious. From there, I started thinking of all the little people from my favorite childhood films and books. It was from there, we landed on "Munchkin" or... "Lollipop Guild" member from the Wizard of Oz.

The costume was quite simple, and I spent all of $10 and maybe 30 minutes collectively assembling the pieces. 

It consisted of 
1) a plaid shirt and green pants (later cut up into munchkin style clothing) from Rhea Lana's that I acquired on half-price sale day for $1.50 each.
2) Green and white striped baby legs that came with a Seven Sling that I received for free
3) White clothing patches (iron on) from Hobby Lobby for $1.50 that I ironed on for the collar
4) Big white buttons $1.00
5) Styrofoam disc on a dow rod with fabric wrapped ($5.00) and tied with ribbons (we already had the ribbon) 

In the end, it turned out like this!


Our super playgroup went together to Trick-or-Treat on the Fayetteville Square. While the lines were long (and C had no interest in waiting in line), we had a blast! He ran around meeting and seeing new things. Although it would be nice to have him walk along side our other buddies (who granted, are a few months older than C), I love watching him explore and be a kid. We are going to practice walking and holding mommy's hand though even more.  (great advice from our friend!)
Onto more cute kiddo photos!

You only think this is a bad quality photo (the kids are cute regardless)... until you try to get five under-two kiddos to sit together at the same time...

 Our lovely playgroup!


 "Weeee represent the Lollipop Guild...."

 Totes not having the picture... but at least we have one!

 'Cause we're done..

 Peace out!




Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside of your body." -Elizabeth Stone

That about sums it up!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Patch and Adventures

Today, we went on an adventure.

Connor tamed a mighty pony and defeated the mighty Pumpkin King!

No really... Connor seriously rode a pony! We visited Farmland Adventures here in Springdale. They boasted corn mazes, a pumpkin patch and hay ride, a petting zoo, and fun corn boxes and hay bale play gyms- they definitely did not disappoint.





He also found a pumpkin that he was quite partial to, but we ended up leaving it for another day. The hayride through the pasture was beautiful, and we were followed by chickens and cows!




Yesterday the temperatures dropped from high seventies to the mid forties. It. was. cold(ish). I know it's not that cold yet, but after a week of balmy temperatures, the cool weather was a shock. C was pretty cold at the end, too but he didn't seem quite ready to leave!



Watching Connor explore all the textures, sights, and sounds was wonderful. His innocence is so pure, and he's just so curious. Every time we saw something, I would say what it was, and he would mumble in "connor talk" something in response. He even felt adventurous enough to feed the goats. Although, I'm not sure he was a fan of the goat's tongue, because he didn't care for the goats after that. :)






Thursday, October 4, 2012

More DIY Furniture

Good gravy... I'm addicted. After a long morning of kiddo chasing, dish washing, and laundry folding, there is just something uber rewarding about grabbing onto a power tool.

The last couple of days during nap time, I have been working on refinishing my grandm'a (and my mom's... and my) old desk. We had temporarily moved the computer into the dining room, because the office/spare bedroom becomes unusable while we have guests. Sometimes when we have guests I still need to work on the computer, so there was a dilemma.

Solution? Close the leaf in the table (because seriously, who needs a huge 7x7 table ALL the time. 4x7 is just fine for "normal" days), and put our passed down desk in the dining room. Only problem is that the sweet desk hadn't really been tlc-ed since I was about 10 year old.

It was looking a little rough. No big though... I just broke out the handy sander. Two coats of primer and paint later, voila!


There is a downside. The desk isn't quite large enough for our printer, so I needed a handy-dandy printer desk. Solution? Replace the spare bedroom side table with a smaller table that was in need of a home and move said table next to the desk. However, it too needed a little sprucing.


I'll share that one with you later when the space is completely finished! For now... here's the before/after of the desk.


Toodles!

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

My absolute favorite time of year is autumn. There is something quite magical about the changing of leaves, and switching the wardrobe to sweaters and scarves... carrying around steaming cups of chai tea, and snuggling up in a warm fuzzy blanket on the porch.

I also love photos in the fall- especially for our Christmas cards.

This year, we are offering Holiday Minis to commemorate our favorite time of year. It kind of makes me giddy to think that I'll be able to bottle up in a photo my favorite season for other families to share!

Off to enjoy a crisp soon-to-be fall breeze... Night, y'all.



Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dresser Revival: Verdict

So...I'm awesome.com and forgot to post the outcome of our dresser revival.

It's cute.

It makes me want to do more DIY projects.... and I am now working on our roll top desk.

Hopefully it's cute, too.

So for now, here is a collage of terribly lit photos from my Instagram. I've been too busy editing real sessions to edit my cute DIY photos.


Until next time, toodles!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Honey Boo Boo

Now, it's not what you think. Actually, I don't even know who/what Honey Boo Boo is, but I see it trending all over the place, so hey.

Actually what I'm talking about is HONEY on your FACE! If you've read recently, you might recall that we're cutting the chemicals at the Cavalier house. The more I read about chemicals and side effects, it's scares the bejeebies out of me. . .

We're really making progress though! So, in attempt to replace my face wash last week, I purchased a REN clay wash. It was touted to be all natural, have no chemicals, be gentle and.... yadda.

Obviously, I would be raving about it if it had worked. For me, sadly is broke my face out in cystic acne. It hurt. Real bad.

So, I decided to just jump in head first and go all natural, all the way (I was hesitant at first because I thought it was too difficult.)

I was wrong.

Simplest thing I've ever done, and it ROCKS!

I have heard that honey was magical (hello, Cleopatra), but it wasn't until I discovered this webheaven that I had a recipe I was comfortable with, and enough information to make be feel like I wasn't just smearing honey on my face.  Crunchy Betty, Iheartyou. So, my new routine goes something like this.

Ingredients:
Raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized honey
Baking Soda
Apple Cider Vinegar
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Jojoba Oil

Take a 1/2 teaspoon of honey and baking soda. Place on a moist washcloth. Rub said washcloth gently onto a moist face. (baking soda is your natural exfoliant) Rinse clean. Drop 3 drops of ACV onto a wet cotton ball or face swab. Tone to remove the remaining make-up, and balance PH from the soda.
Apply a small amount of EVOO to another cotton ball or face swab,  and use in small, gently circles to remove eye make-up.
Apply 3-4 drops jojoba oil to palms of your hands. Rub together, and apply to face/neck.

After just two nights and two days of this routine, my face is almost healed of the cysts and ickies.

I have suffered from bad outbreaks my entire life, and kept stripping the oils from my face with hard chemicals, cleansers, ointments.... WHY has a dermatologist never recommended honey? Or natural and gentle cleansers?

After a few more days, I will {maybe} post a few before/after photos of my outbreak. That's if I'm feeling super duper brave.

Until then, here is a photo of my new regime.


Toodles!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

DIY

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I have been pinning a lot of furniture flips lately.
Well, hubs and I embarked on our first redo tonight! So far it has been super enjoyable.
We cleaned, sanded, and primed and it's looking quite fabulous.
The startup cost is a little costly (buying primer, wax, brushes and rollers) but thankfully we have everything else needed (including the old dresser from my Uncle Bob who recently passed away.)
The history is what makes this piece so special and we are thrilled to hopefully add many more memories to it!

Eventually it's going to be Connor's dresser, but we'll see where I put it first... ;)

So here is what it looks like thus far.

{update}
First coat is on and hardware painted! One more coat and we're in business!!

I'll make sure to post the finished product. :)


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Clean Sweep

Along with trying to minimize chemicals in our home, we're trying to weed out unnecessary "stuff" in general.

Live within our means with what we need and as little excess as possible.

I cleaned this out from our cabinets yesterday. I imagine there is quite a bit more I could find in the medicine cabinet, but this will do for low. :)

Anyhoodle, back to laundry and preparing for a family weekend in NLR!

Toodles.

(oh and check out my money thief, lol!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Holy rusted metal, Batman!

I think we have found some of the cutest kiddos and dogs through the Tails of Love book with the Humane Society of the Ozarks.

I mean, seriously... Look at those ears!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chemical Free

So lately around the Cavalier house, we have slowly been moving towards a chemical free house. When we run out of a product, I've been attempting to replace it with something more natural. Some of these I purchase from a researched toxin free, organic, chemical free company. Some; however, I have begun to try to make! Such as laundry detergent, cloth baby wipes solution, and now lotion. Eventually I'd like to try to make more and more. Maybe dishwasher detergent, soaps, and cleaning solvents!

It seems to be very cost effective, and a little goes quite a long way!

So for my lotion tonight, I used the following ingredients.

2 T shaved beeswax
1/2 C Sweet Almond Oil
1/4 C Coconut Oil
1 C pure distilled water
30 drops lavender essential oil

That's it!

I boiled my cup of water to purify it first. Set it aside in a regular blender.

Second, combined all my oils and shaved beeswax into a small Pyrex bowl. I then placed the Pyrex bowl into a sauce pan with water 1/2 up the side. Set on the stove and wait for wax to melt. As soon as it melts, remove.

Set the blender with water in it to cream or whip, and then slowly add the oil to the water through the hole in the blender lid.

It will begin to emulsify once all the oil is added.

Add desired essential oils. (I used lavender, but want to try other ingredients such as eucalyptus, shea, calendula and jojoba in my next batch).

Pour into a glass container and set aside to cool.

Shelf life is approximately 6 months. For longer life, store in the refrigerator.

Chemical free and super moisturizer!!

Here's a photo of my process.
Feel free to comment with any suggestions or advice!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Adventures in Momland

So most of you know that I left the working mom world as of this last May, but only this week does it really feel "real." School started Monday, and for the last 18 years, I have been part of the masses preparing for the back-to-school season. So not going through that routine feels almost wrong. But it is so right.

It feel so surreal to not only not be a part of the hubub, but to be at home with our growing boy. I feel alive inside- like I am making a difference. Even if my difference is in his life, I know with a Godly upbringing and morals and consistency, he can grow up to make a difference in someone else's life. If it sounds like I'm making huge plans for a teeny person.. well I am.

My hope is that by investing in our child, we create a responsible, respectful, and caring young person. Coming from experience, more children like that COULD change the world. I've seen these kinds of kids make a huge difference in a school. Kiddos that care about what they do and how it affects the people around them. They make a difference.


So, while it may seem that being a stay-at-home mom is an easy gig, many of you really know what we're living for and why it matters.

Just random thoughts, brought to you by nap time.




Monday, August 20, 2012

Sippy, what?

Lately Hubs has taken to watching Shark Tank on our HuluPlus, and ocassionally I find myself in the SharkTrance alongside him.

Well last night, as I sat munching on yummy quesadillas (also prepared by the awesome Hubs), we saw the absolute coolest product ever. The lollacup.


Lollawhat, you say? The lollacup. It's a sippy with a straw. Well while that isn't completely unheard of, the coolest part is that it is a valve free, weighted straw. No more cleaning icky milk out of spill proof valves that really don't proof the spill and no more baby asking for more when the milk is hovering along side the straw.


So, if your toddler is into straw cups, and you really want a quality, made in the USA, BPA and phthalate-free straw cup, then visit Lollacup


Did I mention they're super cute?







Monday, July 30, 2012

{Connor turns ONE!} a month ago... ;)

So we no longer have a baby... we have a BIG one year old. A toddler. Yes, he toddles. EVERYwhere. His actual birthday was really a MONTH ago (I posted a previous post a few days after, but you know, better late in the blog world than never!

We finally had a chance to snap some "one year" photos, and they turned out super-d-duper adorable, and C is super-d-duper sweet.

We are so smitten with Connor and love helping guide him into a Godly young boy. These times ahead of us are only going to be more joy filled, and we look forward to learning along with you, C.


Love you!

Mommy (and Daddy)







On another bright note, Chase and I are now officially Cavalier Photography. It started out as a personal venture, but the photo bug has spread in the Cavalier household. What a fun filled ride awaits.

I love that the Lord has provided this business venture in our household, and I whole heartedly am giving myself to it. I find so much contentment in my life right now, that it's hard imagining what else could be in store. Many thanks be to Him.

Also, if you have provided me your family or pets to take photos of, THANK YOU for trusting me to capture your family's memories.

Love it!

Monday, July 2, 2012

July

This time last year, Chase and I were bringing our baby boy home for the very first time. SO much has happened in the last year- it feels as if last year is a million miles away, yet only happened yesterday.

How can that be? We have a ONE year old boy who is looking less and less like a baby, and more like a toddler every day. He is SO close to walking.

At one year, Connor is doing these things:

- waving bye-bye and saying "bye-bye"
- says ball, bailey, mama, dada, mmmm, more, and a few other gibberish things we can't pick out
- gives kisses
- blows raspberries (future trumpet player, yes?)
- craws faster that lightening (dude can book it)
- stands and sits on his own
- cruises furniture
- walks while holding your hand
- points with his pointer finger-
- eats anything you put in front of him (after giving Bailey a sample first)
- walks behind his walker, and Lightening McQueen car
- sleeps from 7-7 (sometimes waking once for a midnight snack)
- squeals with delight
- chuckles and snorts with you tickle his legs or tummy
- has been camping for a week on the White River
- LOVES Gnomeo and Juliet (must be the music)
- claps when we say "yay!"


and I'm sure other things that I have failed to remember!

Point is, we are so blessed to be your parents Connor, and we love you.


(below are some photos from Connor's first camping trip on the White River!)

(these were all obviously pre-haircut! Look at that shag...)





Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shaggy!

On June 22, 2012, Connor had his first big boy haircut! Like, all out airplane seat, cape, scissors, and sheers haircut.

The place we went was called Pigtails and Crewcuts and they basically know what is up! When the kiddos get squirmy, you work faster. He was such a big boy the whole time while getting his ears lowered. We chose the airplane seat, because Daddy loves airplanes. Connor sat, munched on some animal crackers, watched a little Toy Story, and totally got his hair cut... and was ridiculously cute while doing so.

Pre- haircut shagginess...



Faux hawkin' it.
V'room

Who knew a haircut could provide Mama and Dada with so much entertainment. Oh how life changes. ;)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Beginnings!

It has been TOO long since I have visited blog world! So much has happened within the last two weeks that I can hardly believe it was just a little over a week ago that I was finishing up my last day at Walker.

I'm having an uber hard time finding a word that would describe this last week. Surreal maybe? I have FINALLY been able to catch up on housework and laundry, and catch up almost completely on editing.  I also spent an amazing amount of time on the floor playing with sweet baby C,  and met some completely awesome moms at a new play group... and TONS more! My to-do list is actually shrinking.


Since school has ended, we have also decided to cloth diaper! We have ordered the first of our cute little stash from Rainshine Designs. Can I say LOVE? They are seriously adorable, and so so well made. Megan is a WAHM with an impeccable skill. Serious talent going on there.


Right now we have a combination of AIOs, AI2s, and pockets and are going to try to decide which ones we like best. Would love love to hear what you all have had success with!! I'm also in search of some good inserts/boosters for the pockets and a detergent/cleaning system that has worked for you all as well. I have currently ordered Nellie's from Amazon, but am interested in Rockin Green, as well. My hang up on Rockin Green is that I have read so many reviews about it being to harsh on the skin!

Right now we're doing a cold pre-rinse, hot wash, 2 cold rinses, warm (not hot) dry. With a dry pail system in the bathroom...Considering bac-out possibly, and of course a possible once a month stripping with Dawn.

Question though: instead of using dryer sheets in your dryer, what kind of anti-cling measures have you had success with? I'm dying to know! I would hate to damage or cause my diapers to not work because I have a soft laundry addiction....



So... with that, tell me what you think!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Crave Photography

Many of you know that I absolutely love photography... I love capturing moments in time and am trying so very hard to learn more and more each day. What a road it has been!

As of next Thursday, I will be staying at home with my sweet boy and no longer teaching my wonderful kiddos at Walker Elementary. The decision to stay home was not an easy one- we all want to be able to teach our own children and spend as much time with them in their young years as possible, because time truly does zip by in an instant. So, hubs and I have planned and worked hard this year, and with much prayer and guidance, have been blessed with the opportunity for me to do just that.

After making the decision, I began taking photos for friends, and co-workers and have fallen in love with the process. Within the last two months, my schedule has exploded. Every spare moment between school, family, church, and Thirty-One, I spend taking photos or editing! It's a blessing indeed! However, I realllllly want to learn so much more! I see so many fabulous things/ideas and get so excited about learning how to do more.

In the realm of education there are so many avenues, but I definitely learn best by doing!! Mentoring is super popular right now. Hopefully, after the busy end of the school year, I can allocate some time/funds to do just that! In the meantime, I'll dream about winning Crave Photography's Giveaway! They are offering a FREE, 2 day, all expenses paid, workshop and a FREE 50mm, 1.4 lens! Seriously doesn't get much cooler than that.

The link for the giveaway is right here! You should probably check it out, because it's basically excellence.

Anyhoodle, have a fabulous day friends! Check out the giveaway, and be merry!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mother's Day

Letter from a Mother to a Daughter: 


"My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”... Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep. When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way... remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day...


The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionaly lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad... just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love.


I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you... my darling daughter. "

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bzzzz

My cup has been overflowing since hubs and I listened to the call and decided I should stay home next year with our sweet boy.

Thirty-One has been a monster blessing in our lives- allowing me an outlet to seek out other moms, friends, teachers and share how it helps us! Never mind the fact that they get ridiculously great purses, bags, totes and organization products for a sweet price.

My photo taking days have also picked up!! I'm almost completely booked up through June and LOVING it as well. There is just something really special about capturing a real, sincere, moment in time... not posed or fake, but an honest reaction, or respose- or possibly someone's personality- on camera. It never seems to get old!

Furthermore, I am allowed suppose to be quirky and silly and have fun! Doesn't get much better than that folks.

So I have a little longer 'to-do' list in terms of getting things going, but it's completely worth it. Among the items on that list are things like 'build a website' (that's easy.... *gigglesnortriiiight*), put together prices and photo print packages, design business cards, oh yea... and contact the big people about making my business a real business. That's a biggie!

We've been trying to do things right- keeping track of expenses, income, and all that fun stuff- so it's not as scary  when we file taxes next year!

Anyhoodle. Here's a bit of what has gone down the last few days!



The end!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mother/Daughter

Amazing evening with a sweet friend and her beautiful daughter. 

Loved seeing their love for each other- such a special bond.




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Kinley!

I have been so blessed to have been given the opportunity to take photos of a few sweet and beautiful (inside and out) individuals and families lately! Tonight, Kinley was my sweet little friend. What a cutie!














I basically had way too much fun... and I cannot wait to do it again!