Friday, December 30, 2011

Sayonara 2011

I had planned to do a "Christmas wrap-up" post but honestly I've been lazy and feeling every bit the 7.5 months pregnant this week.
And I've been really enjoying having my people out of school and off work to just hang around the house with.
We've been sleeping in and staying up late and working around the house a bit and it's just been fun.
I can't believe that tomorrow is the last day of 2011.
It seems this year has gone by so fast!
There have been so many ups and downs but I am thankful for it all.
It was a pretty good year.
I can't say that I'm oh so sad to see it go but 2012 means we are that much closer to meeting our new baby ninja!!
Can't wait.

So thank you 2011 you've brought us so much:

Sweet Pea turned 9
Our first trip to the Jazz Festival
We celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary
We lost a dear friend
We found out we were pregnant with Baby Ninja
We found out Baby Ninja was a BOY!!
My brother got into grad school
My god-sisters got engaged
I joined and became addicted to Pinterest (follow me!!)
I've pushed myself when it came to my crafting adventures
I had to take a leave of absence from work
Growing my makeup business into something I'm really proud of
We've made this house more of a home than we thought possible
I read approximately 45+ books
I bought about 10 pairs of shoes (thanks Hautelook and Sole Society)
I cherished my new friendships and cultivated existing ones
I began to explore other avenues for my writing and became a featured writer at The Smartly
The birth of several friends babies.......the list goes on.....

All in all it has been a good year.
There are no complaints in the Dorsey household and we can't wait to see what 2012 has in store!!

We will be celebrating at home with a few friends and our Sweet Pea and by midnight I will be sipping on Sparkling Cider and wearing a very large grin remembering where we were last year and how very different this NYE is from those past......and I wouldn't change a thing.

So from my family to yours.....

Happy New Year!!!

See you in 2012!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

wish list

I've been a really good girl all year and have a few items I'd like to see under my tree this year.
If  any of you could make that happen - that'd be swell.
Silhouette Cameo
 Clairsonic skincare brush
 O.P.I for Sephora - nail color set
black leather booties
Bootylicious Buns DVD

Jonathan Adler decorating book

Ridiculously large makeup carrier to cart around my goods

What's on your list this year???

Sunday, December 18, 2011

week in review

What started out as a pretty calm simple week got a little bit hectic without my even realizing it.
Monday it decided to rain so I pretty much stayed in until it was time to pick up Sweet Pea.
view from my "office"
 The weather inspired me to whip up one of my favorite Pinterest found dishes Chicken Tortilla Soup and it was a wondrous hit.
I also managed to finish up some artwork for the nursery.

Tuesday I had some quality time with my other favorite guy, my Dad. We went to get Sweet Pea's gifts from him (read I picked them out and he went home to wrap them)
Wednesday was pretty chill. I had to run some errands before getting the kid and was subsequently whipped by the time she got out of school.
Upside was Babe got to come home early as his office "holiday party" was that afternoon and they all got sent home by 3pm.
It was nice to have him home earlier than usual.
Thursday was a short school day so I had to quickly squeeze in a workout before dashing out the door to get the kid. Well let's face it, I'm not really "dashing" anywhere these days. More like walking (waddling?) quickly and awkwardly to my car.
She and I then went to Target to pick up a book for her Holiday book exchange and $100 later we left.
I have no idea what happened there.
I also managed to finish wrapping all the gifts!! I have a few more handmade things I'm going to whip up this week but those won't take long so I'm JAZZED.
Friday I attempted to go get the kid a few things from my mom for Christmas (cuz MY shopping is all done!) but once again it was an early day so that threw my whole morning off.
The kid and I also made Cream Cheese Lemon Bars - I highly recommend this recipe.
It's super delicious.
Later that evening I was able to have a rather lovely chat w/ my BFF Michelle in Connecticut. The time difference usually works out for us to get in at least an hour long convo if her hubby is working and we're dilly-dallying about what to have for dinner.
I heart her. She just gets me.
Saturday I slept in. I was tired. Then we hit up Babies R' Us to work on the registry.
Babe felt like they have a broader selection than Target.
I've already started one online for Target. So now we have two.Swell.
After that we went to IKEA - to scout a chair for the nursery. I found one I liked
Babe is not so sure about the width of the seat. I tried to remind him it was mostly for me to sit in while nursing in the nursery......he didn't see it that way so we're kind of back to the drawing board.
We did however end up with a night stand.
Not the fabulous flashy one I posted last week.
over-budget option
Something a little more simple and streamlined.
As much as I loved my flashy version, I realized it I would be doing a lot of cleaning on that glass and that is simply not how I wish to spend my time.
Maybe when the Ninja baby is a bit older.......
Upside is I now get to use my HomeGoods gift cards on something else to quench my nesting instincts!! whoo hoo!!
I did also check out the rug I've been thinking about painting.

 I needed to see how soft (or not) it was and its about the same as our current rug so I will be heading back there after Christmas and getting my creative on!
I've found a couple of options and am having a hard time deciding on which would be "perfect".
We also found a great desk for Sweet Pea's room for under $100 so that was wonderful.
It's plain white so we can get creative with vinyl or stencils if need be when the time comes.
I'm pretty excited (as is she) about the room re-do process for her. She's outgrown the current style and 'theme' so now its time for something a little more fun.
(insert onslaught or pre-natal hormones and tears here).

Today we are pretty much just staying around the house, football in the background, candles lit and just enjoying being still for a bit.
Yeah right.
I'm going to find some project to work on (sign for the downstairs bathroom door) and sketch out the layout for the living room.
I would like to add new curtains but am uncertain (as always) as to which direction I should go in.
fabric chosen for pillow covers

I was thinking I may just find some solid fabric in coordinating colors for the rest of the pillows and possibly stencil one or two of those but I definitely need a second opinion.
Fortunately I have a sister-in-love who has a degree in Interior Design who will, no doubt, be happy to offer up her opinion as well as a few friends coming by that who's ideas I can solicit as well.
I can't wait for it to all come together!
Bring on the color!

What did you all do this week?

Friday, December 16, 2011

2012 - big plans for a big year

Next year is going to be life altering for us here at Sweet Peaz corner.
We will be welcoming Baby Ninja into our homes in February and that's going to be huge.
Sweet Pea will be turning 10 the following month and I don't know if my hormones will ever recover.
Babe will be celebrating his 10 year anniversary at his company, which is spectacular for someone in the banking industry in this day and age.
My brother will begin graduate school to work on his Masters.
Both of my god-sisters are getting married in June.
I'm going to be 33.(oy)
Times they are changing.
So I've compiled a bit of a list of things that I'd like to see happen next year.
I feel like I have so many things I'd like to do all the time, but it's generally just a mental list and most of it I never get around to until it's too late.
So I thought while I have some time, why not compile my "To-Do List for 2012"

12 in 2012
  1. Buy a sewing machine and learn to sew - I'm not trying to make dresses or anything major just yet. But I feel compelled to at least learn to make pillow covers and curtains to start with. Then perhaps I will make a cute scarf like my friend Shanna or slip cover a couch / chair like I do in my dreams.
  2. Sell wedding dress. Sorry folks I love it but it's really just taking space in my closet and we haven't the room for it.
  3. Do more freezer cooking. Let's face it, with a new baby the odds of me feeling like cooking dinner 4 nights a week are slim to none. If I already have some meals prepared it will definitely save some time. If not my sanity.
  4. Get a better cleaning schedule. I am terrible about this. I clean sporadically and maniacally. If I had a schedule it would definitely be beneficial.
  5. Be more organized. I.E. use the ideas I see online and implement them!!! I have a boatload of nifty organizing tips but have only utilized a handful of them. I want to make it a point to make this house more efficient.
  6. Re-do Sweet Pea's room. My baby girl is growing up. She is entering the "tweeny bopper" stage and her room should reflect that.
  7. Go on more dates with my husband. We spend time together and hang out but it's been awhile since just he and I got away for a decent dinner.
  8. Sell my Cricut and get a Silhouette. I need to stop talking about it and just 'do it'. I know what I want and why I want/need it. So it's time.
  9. Return to the Playboy Jazz Festival. We had such a good time last year and I cannot wait to do it again!
  10. Do more makeup. Professionally. Not just for the family. Really build a business that I can be proud of and that allows me to spend time with my family while nurturing my passions.
  11. Write. Again professionally (as in get paid for it) and expand my genres and horizons. really push myself.
  12. Plant an herb garden. I've been saying for years that I want to do this so it's high time I stopped talking about it and became about it.

I think 12 things is a good list so far. I'm sure I will come up with a few more but for now these are what are near and dear to my heart.
And the ones I think I can feasibly accomplish.

Anything on your 'to-do' list for 2012??

the art of saying "no"

I read a fabulous essay the other day about a woman ( a mother) who had recently moved to a new town and who's daughter wanted to be a girl scout. So they signed up. But there was no one to be in charge of the cookie selling and the mother reluctantly went to the first meeting knowing all the while that she did not want to.
Apparently none of the other mothers did either. She felt bad as her daughter had her heart set on this aspect of being a girl scout but simply realized it was not within her power or family's best interest to attempt to take on this added responsibility.
I had to give her props. It's hard to say no. Especially to your children. And to others who have certain expectations of what a mother should be doing.  going above and beyond for those in her family. Pushing herself to the limits until she is ready to break.
Go hard or go home right?
And then I saw this fabulous poster on Pinterest

How appropriate is that?
At first I wanted to be offended.
 Of course I can do it all!
I am superwoman/mom!!!
But then reality kicked in. No, actually I cannot. Nor do I want to.
Because "doing it all" means sacrificing something at some point.
My time with my husband, sleep, my sanity, time with my child or just simply time with myself.
Doing things I need to do to take care of me.
To run this house efficiently and effectively.
See, the past two years I've learned the hard way what happens when I stretch myself too thin and I don't choose to go back to those ways/days so I make it a point to limit myself.
It's better for all parties involved if I do.
But admittedly, it's hard.
You want to be there for people, be everything to everybody.
Support that friend, go to that lunch/dinner, make those treats for the classroom and then volunteer for the party, help out a family member.
Those are all things we can do daily but when those extra things creep up (being a GS cookie leader for instance) it just stresses us out even more.
It's not helping anyone.
One of my girlfriends and I have a similar personality streak in that we are people pleasers.
Chalk it up to a warped sense of inadequacy as children and always wanting to be the best, or the very least 'helpful', a need to be needed, we have a tendency to do for others.
And that's all well and good if we limited it to what needed to be done and within our means.
But there have been times when we both have gone above and beyond for someone who is not likely to return the favor to us.
And that stinks.
Both of us have learned that sometimes we need to just say no - it's not always pleasant and guaranteed some people will not like it or be pleased but hey what is it they say?
"you can't please all of the people all of the time"????
The major point I guess I'm trying to make is that it's completely okay to say no to things from time to time.
Especially if you get that little nagging voice in the back of your head that groans inwardly when asked to do a favor or go out of your way.
Just simply say "No. I am unable to at this time"
You don't really have to offer an explanation for why, it just simply is the way that it is.
This time of year is especially hard for us people pleasers.
We want to say yes to every party, event and occasion.
We want to get gifts for all on our list even if that means breaking the bank.
It's been hard getting out of this habit but little by little I've been breaking it.
I've had to turn down offers to do things I think that I could handle, but would have required a fair amount of juggling, and I'm okay with that.
Because as I've learned,
I can't do it all.

Friday, December 9, 2011

decor dilemma

Sometimes being somewhat indecisive can be a good thing.
It saves me from making rash decisions and a lot of impulse buying.
My compelling need for a second (and sometimes third) opinion has proved to be quite the money saver over the years.
However, there are times when I need to just go ahead and make a decision on something but I get stuck.
I waiver. I mull it over and over in my mind. I weigh the pros and cons.
And then I ask for a second opinion.
It's kind of a pain in the ass really, but this is just how I roll.
When it comes to home decor this strategy is particularly ineffective.
I usually find a piece I think is perfect for the house, fall in love with it and convince myself how well it will "work" and then spend the next few minutes/hours/days deliberating about my choice.
I take pictures to show Babe of something he could care less about, take Facebook polls and send mass texts/ IM's to my friends inquiring as to their opinion.
It usually works out but I really need to just go with my gut.
I know what I want (sort of) I'm just so unsure of how it will 'flow' with the rest of the pieces in our home.
Right now - our place is a bit of a hodge podge of style elements.
There is no one piece that screams: THIS is who we are. this is what our style is all about.
No - we just have pieces we like here and there.
And that's fine with me. I don't need a polished look.
I'm far too eclectic for that.
My husband however, is a bit more of a traditionalist.
Which is why I am generally against throwing caution to the wind and just getting what I want.
It does happen from time to time but it's rare.
 However, when I do - it generally turns out to be fantastic and something I adore.
The whole catalyst for this rant began a few weeks ago when we realized I desperately needed a nightstand.
Babe and I switched sides (of the bed) so now I have no place to put my water in the evening.
Now, most would think to just move the side table from one side to the other but the alarm clock is plugged in on that side and I do not wish to be responsible for turning it on or off.
Last week he turned in our bank rewards points and we got a few fun gift cards with them. One of them being for about $75 to HomeGoods/TJMAXX/Marshall's.
I know what I want and was thrilled to began my search at HomeGood's on Monday.
I spent over an hour in there just wandering and found a few pieces to my liking so I was jazzed.
Unfortunately they were a bit over my $75.
kind of blah - would spruce up w/ paint/stencil

however it was on sale for $69-definitely within my budget

FAB but it's $55 over my budget

equally fabulous but still way over the budget
Therein lies my dilemma.
Do I go ahead and splurge on the fabulous mirrored night stand or settle for something a bit more practical and then spruce it up w/ a stencil or vinyl decal?
The upside to not splurging is that I found some wicked cool pillows for my couch downstairs that would add the 'pop' of color I have been missing longing for.

Those coupled with a fabulously stenciled rug with the same color accents would definitely snazz up the joint.
And there were also some fun hand towels to jazz up the downstairs bathroom.
So I'm torn.
For what I would spend on the fancy mirrored stand I could use for a new rug + paint.
But I'm in LOVE with those blue pillows as well.
Decisions, decisions.

Tell me: What would YOU do?

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I totally forgot - (blame the baby brain)
I'm featured over here today!!

Go forth and come take a trip with me down my fashion memory lane!!

Let me know what you think!!

quick thoughts on thursday

It's a beautiful my morning and I am up out of bed before 9am.
This is a rarity for me.
Sleep is not really my friend right now so I try to get in as much as I can when I can, lately that's been from 7:30am - 9:30am.
But today I'm up.
I'm not super articulate just yet so you get bullet points:
  • I was super productive yesterday - kicked Wednesday's "hump" if ya know what I mean - 4 loads of laundry (washed, folded AND put away), changed the sheets on our bed, cooked dinner and managed to squeeze in a yoga session in the late evening.
  • Had a wonderful weekend so I went into the week feeling great. Spent Saturday with my Sweet Pea watching movies and having floor picnics until about midnight.
  • Sunday was a work mafia reunion- brunch that lasted for about 4 hours. My face hurt for hours I laughed so hard and so long. I love those girls.
  • Finished wrapping gifts on Tuesday. I have 3 more things to buy, a couple to make and we are done! I aim to be completely done by next week so as to free up my time once Sweet Pea goes on break.
  • Worked on the baby registry and this weekend we will be heading in store to complete it.
  • Routine Dr.'s appointment. Confirmed Baby Ninja is head down (hence the rib kicking), heart rate is excellent and I'm measuring about 2 weeks bigger than I actually am. Swell.
  • Still haven't started my nursery art projects but have delusions plans for that on the distant horizon.
  • Installed Google Chrome on the computer and am finally able to post into TheSmartly!!
  • Found out my god-sisters are getting married a day apart this June and I've been volunteered for makeup duty for both. I am over the moon excited!!!
  • Mapped out a birthing plan and post baby body plan. Feels good - even if it is only on paper.
So yeah - that's what I've been up to all week.
Now I'm off to allegedly get in a work out (we'll see how that goes) and perhaps fold some laundry before I have to go get Sweet Pea (today's her minimum day).

How's your week going?


Sunday, December 4, 2011

the situation

Being pregnant is probably one of the most blessed experiences a woman can have.
You are creating life within your very being.
There is something really magical about that.
But can we get real for a minute here?
The flip side of that is that wreaks havoc on your body in ways you never could imagine.
We all know the obvious, your stomach swells as do your feet, there is nausea to be dealt with followed by a voracious appetite.
But what about the stuff that no one talks about?
I was on the the other day and somehow got into an article the 10 strangest things about pregnancy.
I was cracking up.
No one tells you that not only will your boobs grow twice their normal size, they might leak, itch and otherwise be a complete nuisance.
Oh and you might lose your voluptuousness post baby.
You know that your belly will swell, thusly making it hard to see your shoes but does anyone talk about how you can no longer shave your legs?
Not too mention the bikini area. Yikes.
No one wants to feel like a hairy beast on top of being a roly poly.
And on the subject of hair, lets talk about how rapidly it grows!
It's great for the hair on your head, I've gotten an extra two inches at least and I couldn't be more thrilled with that.
What I'm not thrilled about is the rapid growth under my arms and the sudden appearance of hair along my stretched and swollen belly.
Babe and I were joking about it the other night much to my chagrin.
Then there's the hair loss that some women are subject to postpartum.
Shedding at its finest. It's insane.
You spent 10 months growing all this extra hair and then suddenly it just begins to fall out???
How is that fair?
The other thing women don't discuss?
The gas.
Let's be honest here: we all burp and we all *toot* as it were, but the difference between pregnant gas and everyday gas is the lethality (is that even a word?) and consistency of said gas.
Once pregnant you turn into a frat boy in a beer belching contest and there is no stopping it.
As for tooting.......well let's just hope there's a dog around to blame it on cuz it is usually just all kinds of wrong.
And what about not being able to get in and out of things as easily?
I'm not talking about small spaces either.
The other night I got stuck in my pants. Got them all the way to my calves and couldn't really reach the hems to tug them off.
Embarrassingly enough I had to call my husband in the room for assistance. He found me laying on the bed with my pants just past my knees, feet in the air, desperately trying to reach my ankles.
I laughed so hard I cried. He cracked up as well.
And at least twice a week he has to help me pull my boots off as I can't really reach the bottom of the heel anymore.
But no one talks about those things.
There are others I could mention but I'll choose to keep those a "surprise" for my never-been-pregnant friends.
It's quite interesting to me that most of these topics aren't usually broached by women the world over.
I'm sure some ladies discuss it but only amongst their closest girlfriends and if it's brought up in a group, looks are exchanged and denials are issued "well that never happened to ME".
Isn't it ironic, the one time/ topic we should be willing to go full monty on (in regard to disclosure) we somehow find too personal to share?
Strangers see your goods ladies, at that point, nothing should be too personal to discuss with the ladies.

Were there any surprises that you discovered when you were pregnant?


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