Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"House Hunting"

My sweet dad is kind of known for bringing home things he finds off the curb.  Bless his heart, most of it is junk and mom sneaks half of it off to Goodwill.  I really, really, really hate to admit this and cannot even believe I am blogging about it but I think his problem may be hereditary.  The difference is that what I find is NOT JUNK...  kid's water table, tri-cycles, outside play slide, pottery barn chairs on the deck, brand new wagon, t-ball tee, kids rocking chair, croquet set, along with a few other odds & ends... SO NOT JUNK!  Can you tell I am trying to convince myself that my problem is really not a problem?  What's sad is that I am pretty sure Charlie has acquired this trait as well.  She LOVES to go on treasure hunts with me and gets just as excited about it.  She calls it "house hunting." Of course Chuck is not so thrilled about this genetic trait so I thought he was going to kill me when I brought this home.  I was surprised at myself for even picking this up...
Lol. Looks AWFUL but it was screaming at me, "Take me home!" I don't even know why I put this nasty thing in my car but I felt bad for it.  Bless it's heart, it just needed a little bit of love!  When I got it home I noticed there was a tag on the the bottom of it (ya know, one of those tags that says this can only be removed by the consumer or you are pretty much going to jail...)  that has dates in the 1920's.  The padding was pretty much rotted but the rest of the chair was in amazing shape.  I cleaned it up, repainted it, re padded the cushion and recovered it.  I already had the paint so I just had to buy the padding and fabric, which was a remnant piece I picked up at my fave store, Hobby Lobby.  For less than $10 I have a new favorite chair.  Here is the finished project!

Love!!!  I'd like to find three other chairs I can redo and have them coordinate with this one and put them around my kitchen table.  Oh, and Chuck loves the chair too!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Meeska Mooska, Avery Turned TWOska!!!

And I bet you already know the theme of the birthday party...  Minnie Mouse!!!  I did, however, do the red & white Minnie as opposed to the new modern pink Minnie simply because I have a ton of red dishes (Hotty Toddy! ) on hand.  It made things much easier when getting my food table ready.  :)

But really, could it be true?  My sweet Avery is already TWO!?!?  I can already tell you that Avery is going to be my wild child.  Whether she is running around the house chasing us growling or I'm finding things in the toilet (bottles of baby shampoo, hair bows, oranges...), or she's climbed her way up on the shelves in the pantry and can't get down... the girl is just wild!  She is totally and completely obsessed with shoes (every body's except hers, of course), boats and eating.  The girl loves to eat! 

So back to the party.  I've never done a character themed birthday party before.  Charlie has never really "loved" a character so we've had parties like a ladybug party, princess party and a Halloween party in the past. My friend was doing a Mickey party for her little boy and as I was looking on Pinterest (obsessed) for ideas for her I saw the cutest things so it didn't take much for me to be sold on a Minnie party. 
So here is Avery's Minnie's party!!!

My sweet Avery!!!  A friend of mine made her cute shirt and I made her tutu and hair bow.  I tried all day to get her to smile for a picture but she just wouldn't give me one. This is the best picture I was able to get.  Also, it was raining the day of her party so that's why her hair looks like I've styled it with mousse.  She and the other kiddos decided to go play in the rain. 

Walking up to the party I had signs along the walkway saying: Messka Mooska, Hot Diggity Dog, Say Cheers, Oh Toodles and Avery's Clubhouse.  I already had the wood, canvas and frames and I found the balloons at Hobby Lobby, which I had blown up at Kroger. 

This was probably my favorite thing of the party.  Charlie wrote on her chalk board easel "Welcome to Avery's Birthday Party" and we put it by the front door.  So sweet!

My ribbon wreath!!!  I went back and forth thinking of what I was going to put on the front door.  I forgot I had this wire wreath in my craft closet and I just used a ton of scrap ribbon that I also already had and tied it all around it.  I loved the way it turned out!  So EASY!

On my table by the front door I had ears for everybody.  Thanks to my friend Amy, I was able to use the leftover ones from her little boy's party and glued a red ribbon on some of them for the girls to wear Minnie ears.  I also framed an invitation and got pinwheels for favors.  The pinwheels were 99cents at Hobby Lobby (but of course I caught them on sale for 40% off!!!). 

Avery's Sweet Treats table included goldfish, and chocolate covered strawberries, marshmallows and pretzels.  There goes my diet!  Yummy!!!

My sweet friend, Abby, made the cupcakes for us.  Half were chocolate and half were strawberry. She did an amazing job and they were super yummy too!  Found those cute black & white polka dot plates from Hobby Lobby.  I needed something to hold spoons for ice cream so I used a can of corn (cleaned of course!) the girls had eaten the week before and glued a red ribbon on it.  Voila! 

I had the most fun decorating the food table!  I prepared everything the night before except the corn dogs and I picked up the sandwiches the day of.  Here was my  menu.
Mickey's Clubhouse Sandwiches:  Lenny's club sandwiches (thanks Mom!)
Goofy's Garden Veggies:  Celery, Tomatoes, Bell Pepper & Ranch dressing
Donald's Dip:  My corn dip recipe:  1 can rotel drained, 1 thing of cream cheese, 1 can of white corn drained, stir it up, warm it up & serve!  I tripled it for the party.
Hot Diggity Dogs:  mini corn dogs (Kroger brand)
Clarabelle's Cheese Puffs: so yummy! Someone told that these were the best thing on the table!  Now that I think about it, I'm questioning if that meant they didn't like anything else.  Lol. 
Minnie's Bow Tie Pasta:  I couldn't find any bow tie pasta that I didn't have to prepare from scratch so I made my good ol reliable Suddenly Pasta Ranch & Bacon found at my Kroger. No one questioned me that it was shells and not bow ties!  Made 3 boxes for the party.
Pluto's Popcorn:  found little popcorn holder things at Hobby Lobby and filled them up for the kids.  I think I'm still cleaning up popcorn!
Daisy's Fruit:  Cantaloupe, Grapes & Strawberries with Fruit Dip:  1 big thing of Marshmallow cream & 1 thing of cream cheese.  Mix it up with a blender.  I also had chocolate graham crackers to dip in it.

I made little Minnie's out of styrofoam balls I found at Hobby Lobby, stuck them together with wooden skewer things (also found at H.L.), spray painted them black and glued a bow on them.  I had these on a few of the tables around the house.  I wasn't too happy with they way they turned out.  A couple of them had a very smooth finish and the others were very rough looking as if the spray paint was eating the styrofoam!!! Yikes!  Oh well, I wasn't about to start over and make more since these were probably the most expensive things I made for the party.  These were also the only Minnie's I had around.  All of the other decorations were just red, white & black.  I made a bigger Minnie for the food table centerpiece along with a glittery 'A' and '2.'  

Charlie and I had been practicing singing Happy Birthday to Avery for a few weeks.  She normally would smile, laugh & clap but of course things went completely the opposite at her birthday party.  Poor thing got a little scared with a room full of 35 people staring at her singing.  She jumped into Chuck's arms and Charlie blew out her candle for her.  

Avery absolutely loved opening her presents.  She was so cute getting so excited opening each gift. 

It was absolutely an amazing day. We had so many great friends that came to celebrate Avery's second birthday.  Even though we have our terrible two "moments" I really do love this age when she is discovering something new everyday and can be the sweetest most loving little girl then being a monster five minutes later. Her actual birthday was the next day, May 5th (cinco de mayo baby) and bless her heart, she had come down with some sort of stomach bug and was SO sick.  Maybe she just partied too hard with Minnie and her friends.  Now that it's all over and done with, is anyone having a Mickey or Minnie party?  I have decorations for you!!! 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What's for Dinner???

When I first became a SAHM (stay at home mom), I really thought I'd be able to have a spotless house, work out every day and have dinner on the table when Chuck got home for work.  Could I have ever been more wrong?!!? 

I play the pick up game everyday a million times a day and I try to clean at least one room each day and usually it takes me ALL DAY to clean that one room.  So my entire house is never clean all at one time. Ugh.  I may give off the appearance that I work out everyday considering I wear leggings or yoga pants and a t-shirt and have my hair pulled back on a daily basis and though I have the best intentions to go, I have a hard time going consistently.  I could go when Chuck gets home from work but by that time I feel like I have already run a marathon taking care of the kiddos.  Ha!  I try to cook us a good meal a couple of times a week for dinner other than a Stouffer's Meatloaf, chicken nuggets or turkey sandwiches.  But if I'm going to cook it has to be minimal ingredients, cheap, quick and easy.

 I came across this recipe the other day on Pinterest.  I already had most of what it called for so I thought we could give it a shot.  It ended up being SO yummy and couldn't be any easier.  The only changes I made to it was that I doubled the recipe and eyeballed the cheese  Who doesn't like a little extra cheese? ;)  What's more important is that the fam loved it, even the kids!


I decided we needed a side item.  I had some bacon in the fridge so I found recipe for bacon wrapped asparagus (Pinterest, of course) and it was supper yummy!  I didn't have any sesame seeds, sesame oil or garlic and I wasn't going to buy any for a one time dish so I just added more olive oil and brown sugar and sprinkled the mixture on top.  Chuck said it was the best asparagus he has ever had!  The kids, however, weren't too thrilled about it.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Back to Blogging!!!

Chuck asked me a couple of weeks ago why I haven't kept up with my blog.  I guess you could say we have been quite busy over the last almost TWO YEARS since the last time I posted anything.  I told y'all I was a terrible blogger but come on, two years is just plain awful!  So I decided to give this whole blogging thing another go...

Busy you say???
Why yes, we have!  My last post shows Avery just a couple of months old (if that).  Well since then, we have welcomed another sweet baby into our family and become a Party of Five!!!  Charles Hayes Trayal, Jr. was born August 2nd, 2012.  If you do the math, he and Avery are only 15 months apart.  He is now 8 1/2  months old and is the sweetest thing.   He started to crawl this last month and is all over the place.  Avery will be 2 on May 5th and has a head full of blonde curls and right now her current obsessions are with boats and shoes.  She loves going to MDO every Wednesday at St. Louis and I can already tell you that she is going to be our wild one.  Charlie is 5 1/2, has lost TWO teeth and is still taking dance lessons and playing her first season of t-ball.  She is a wonderful big sister and still entertains us on a daily basis with her new songs and dances she makes up.  She goes to St. Louis pre-school and is getting way too big way too fast! 

My Three Little Birds
On the River

What mom & dad have been up to...
The day after Avery turned 1 month old Chuck began a new position at his work, McKesson, and travelled Monday thru Friday.  He has been home since February 2012 and has been working at the Olive Branch location.  We are just lucky to have him here since the other 8 people on his team fly in from all over the country on a weekly basis.   After I got off maternity leave with Avery we decided it would be best that I stay at home with the girls. I quit my job in advertising/marketing at The Commercial Appeal after 7 years and became the Chief Executive Officer of the Trayal Household.  I have also started selling Premier Jewelry, which is one of the funnest things I've ever gotten involved in.  By doing that I've been able to pay for pre-school, dance lessons and anything else that comes up like birthdays and Christmas presents.  Not a bad gig!  I'm also in Le Bonheur Club and on the Board of Directors of the Rebel Club of Memphis.  About a year ago we started going up to Camden, TN on the Tennessee River.  We are up there most every weekend and the kids absolutely LOVE it as do Chuck and I. 

Me & My Love
Chuck's 31st Birthday on April 10th, 2013
Here we go!!!
Since Chuck asked me about the status of my blog I catch myself blogging in my head (I know, I'm a bit nuts) when I'm working on a project, cooking, or when me and the kids are up to something fun.  I post things on facebook but y'all know I like to talk so a simple facebook post just won't do sometimes.  Fair warning that grammatical errors will be often.  So here's to blogging again! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2 months, a Sip & See, Tinkerbell & the beach

Ok, let's face it.  I'm a terrible blogger.  I admit it.  I have all of these things I need to post but somehow end up getting too busy to do so.  I don't know why.  It's not like I'm chasing around a toddler and caring for an infant.  Ha!  Please forgive any grammatical errors!

July was a very exciting month.  We decided to to go Biloxi the week of July 4th.  Chuck's mom's side of the family has a little house there so we packed up and went for a week.  Wasn't the nicest beach I'd ever been to but it was a great little family vacation.  Chuck was off work and in town for the week so it was very special getting to spend so much time with him and the girls all at once.  The most exciting part of the trip was when Charlie and Chuck got to go out on a boat with our dear friends, Drew, Kate & Webb.  Mr. Tommy let Charlie drive the boat back up to the dock where I was picking them up.  We didn't quite think it would be appropriate for Avery to be out on a boat all day so she and I had a glamorous trip to Walmart. 

Captain Charlie
Avery turned 2 months old on July 5th.  She has started smiling and talks to us ALL the time.  Wonder where she gets that from?  Probably her big sis, who chats NON-STOP.  Ha!  She's sleeping really good.  She goes down around 8 or 9 and sleeps until about 5 am, eats then goes back to sleep for a few more hours.  Can't complain in that department!  We are still working on our nap schedule though.  She seems to take cat naps throughout the day.  She also loves her paci but likes to play the paci game by spitting it out every 5 seconds.  She likes for me to hold her paci in her mouth for her and she'll hold my hand.  It's the sweetest thing but very frustrating when she's going to sleep at night.  I'm still nursing but also supplementing with formula.  Avery also loves to sit in her Bumbo seat and watch Charlie entertain us.  Charlie is still the best little helper.  It amazes me how fast babies grow!

My wonderful Aunt Barbara and cousin Dena threw Avery a Sip & See party on July 9th.  So many people came!  The food was wonderful and it was so good to see friends that I hadn't seen in a while.  Avery also got so many amazing gifts that were totally unexpected.  I dressed the girls in matching outfits, which I LOVE to do.  Charlie did a great job introducing everybody to her little sister.

Charlie went to Tinkerbell Dance Camp this month.  I grew up taking dance from when I was 4 until 13 years old.  I loved it and wanted to Charlie to have the same experience.  I came across this dance camp, which I thought would be a good idea for her to go to see if she'd like to continue.  We signed her up!  My sweet little angel will be taking tap and ballet lessons beginning in August! 

We also just got back from Orange Beach.  We had the best time.  It was me, Chuck, the girls, my parents, brother, his girlfriend, my aunt & uncle, my father-in-law and sister-in-law.  Talk about a big fat family vacation!  Charlie has become a great swimmer.  No more floaties and she's learned how to flip forwards and backwards under the water.  I showed her how to do it and she's been doing it ever since.  She also flipped off the side of the pool.  About gave me a heart attack but at the same time I was so proud.  She also loved the beach until she got stung by a jelly fish.  But she got right back in the next day.  The jellies were pretty bad this year but I'm not really a fan of getting in the ocean other than to cool off.  I'd rather lay in my chair soaking up every ounce of sunshine I possibly can.  Avery did really good too.  I'd take her down for a few hours every day.  Chuck and I would switch up taking care of her.  We cooked dinner every night except one or two.  I think I gained 10 lbs. while we were there.  I can't wait to go back next year.  I'm already missing my toes being in the sand!

So that just about sums up our month of July.  I'll post more exciting news tomorrow!  I've put it on my list of things to do.  Can't live without my list and if it's not on there it won't get done. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Welcome, Avery Carolyn Trayal

On Thursday, May 5th, 2011 at 9:12 am we welcomed the newest member of our family: Avery Carolyn Trayal.  She was 19" long and weighed a whopping 9 lbs!  Chuck and I joke wondering if Avery really is our child because she is so quiet.  All she does is eat, sleep and poop.  She'll wake up crying but as soon as I feed her she settles right back down.  We keep wondering how long this will actually last knowing she's bound to "wake up" soon.  The recovery was much different than the first time around also.  I had a repeat c-section and ended up going home a day early because I was feeling and getting around so well.  I just had one little bump in the road, which was getting that terrible infection from a clogged milk duct, but some antibiotics took care of that and I was on my way!  I think it helps having to take care of a tator tot as well as a newborn. 


Speaking of tator tots, Charlie has been the biggest little helper.  She likes to help change Avery's diapers and will give her the occasional bottle.  Charlie has however made the comment, "Just let her cry, mama" when she doesn't want me to give my attention to Avery at that moment in time.  My biggest struggle is making sure Charlie doesn't get too bored so I've been trying to do something fun with her everyday, whether it's riding our bikes in the cove (Avery parked in the stroller at the end of the driveway), or going to Pump It Up, the playground, story time at the library or the Farmers Market.  We also planted a garden this summer, which has sprouted, but I'm afraid the heat will not allow anything to actually come out of it no matter how much we water it.  But that's okay, it gives me and Charlie something to do together. 




We did go on our first family of four trip to Nashville this past weekend to celebrate my friend Pam's wedding.  She looked absolutely amazing and we had the best time catching up with a few of my other friends.  When Pam first asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding I wasn't pregnant and it just so happened that exactly after a month of giving birth was the date of the wedding.  Talk about motivation to get this baby weight off!  Well, I haven't gotten nearly all of it off yet but I surely have been trying.  You can only imagine the looks I was getting in David's Bridal 6 months pregnant trying on bridesmaids dresses.  Ha!  Me and two other high school friends were bridesmaids and Pam's sister was the maid of honor.  It was a bit of challenge having both girls there and still nursing Avery but we did it and we had a blast.



Finally, Chuck has started his new position within McKesson, which consists of him travelling every four out of five weeks for a special assignment he was hand picked for. He should be able to come home most weekends and it's only for 18 months so me and the girls will be holding the down the fort.  I am very proud of him for working so hard and accepting this position as it is a bit of a sacrifice for our family right now but will hopefully be well worth it in the long run. 


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Just the 3 of us... but not for long!

With the pending arrival of Miss Avery I wanted to spend some quality time with Charlie.  I took a little over a week off of work before my due date to spend with her.  She is a mama's girl so I wanted to make sure I was able to give her some good attention before we welcome a newborn into our house.

Despite the storms, she and I have had a wonderful time together.  It started with Easter.  I felt like a
kid all over again getting up and being so excited to see what the Easter Bunny has left for Charlie.  She's at such a good age that she really understands what is going on.  He left her a basket full of goodies and a swing!  We thought we'd never be able to have a swing since our backyard is on a hill but the Easter Bunny managed to hang one from a tree that even had Charlie's name on it! 

We were also fortunate to eat lunch with both sides of our families at the Germantown Country Club on Easter Sunday. 
Since Easter, when we haven't been spending time in the hallway when the tornado sirens are going off, we have visited the new playground at Shelby Farms a couple of times, picked strawberries, went to the eye doctor to find out Charlie now has to wear a patch over one of her eyes along with her glasses, painted canvases and picture frames, visited with friends, and helped daddy work on the jeep. 

Avery is expected to be here no later than Thursday, May 5th, which is just two days away and I still have some things planned for me and Charlie to do.  I am so thankful that I was able to spend this time with her before we become a family of 4!