This year, Little O will not quite be 1 for Christmas. He’ll turn 1 shortly after, on January 8th. And so I’ve been thinking about what to get him this year. This is how it plays out in my mind: I think and plot and plan what wonderful toy to get Little O. I choose the best. In fact, I may choose several of the best and top-rated, because that is how I show my love for him. I wrap up his gift(s) and anxiously await my opportunity to give them to him. Then, Christmas morning, or on his birthday after he makes a mess of himself with cake, we present him with his perfect present. We try to teach him how to rip the wrapping paper… we await him finding the toy… and ultimately he just keeps on playing with that darned wrapping paper and ignoring our perfect, well-intentioned, expensive toys. Let’s face it. Besides breast milk and power sockets, paper is Little O’s favorite thing on the planet!
That’s why I think that this year, Little O will be receiving a large donation to his savings account for Christmas and a large donation to his savings account for … >> find out more…
Hello, Utah. Have you been planning on attending the Art Weekend in Salt Lake City but have procrastinated your registration? Procrastinate no longer! With less than 2 weeks until the event, there is still a little time to get in on the amazing classes. A few are sold out and several are on the BRINK of selling out, so if there is a class that interests you, grab it now! Oh, and if you’re interested in learning Illustrator, I opened up a new section due to demand. Hooray! Check out the Nicole’s Classes blog to learn more about some of the instructors, too!
Here are some classes that I look forward to taking:
Flower Arranging: This is a class I always wanted to take in college but never managed to. The instructor will be teaching you how to make floral arrangements and boutonnieres out of grocery store bouquets (= inexpensive flowers in your home! My dining table could use some right now…)
Scherenschnitte: I know. It’s a mouthful. It just means paper cutting. Cindy Ferguson is amazing and I have a girl crush on her. This will be a great class to learn a skill that I can use to … >> find out more…
I went to Disneyland when I was nine. And I was very disappointed, I have to be honest. I guess I was so used to Canada’s Wonderland, which is an amusement park as opposed to a theme park. I have since married an avid Disneyland fan (who has educated me on the difference between an amusement park and a theme park) and we always knew that someday, we’d make it out to Disneyland together. We recently found my old journal where I wrote about my visit to EuroDisney when I was 16. It included such gems as “it was just a looking-attraction, but it was fun” and “we saw a fake moose.” That particular quote finally gave Mike the insight he needed to understand why I didn’t love Disneyland as much as he did. “Everything is fake, Alma,” he explained. “Everything. You’re supposed to go in, leave the world behind, and use your imagination.”
Well, last week we went to Disneyland where we met up with my parents and all my siblings. This isn’t a very McGinn thing to do, at all. Leave it to an in-law (my brother’s wife) to suggest such a thing. But we all … >> find out more…
Hello, everyone! This is Alma here. I feel like I’ve been away so long!
I’m so excited to announce a great product I’ve helped to develop that is being sent to press! Around the beginning of September, I was contacted by a businessman who came across my portfolio about doing the illustrations for a children’s card game that his daughter Olivia invented. We talked through the game, through potential categories, and a couple months later, the game is ready for preorder!
If you’re looking for Christmas gifts this year and want to buy something unique and fresh, this game is the perfect choice. The game is totally based on chance (no strategy) which actually makes it perfect to play in a group with all ages. To test it out, we played this with my parents and friends one night and even as a group of just adults, we enjoyed ourselves.
Check out booyahbyolivia.com to preorder this game. They are expected to be available by about Thanksgiving!
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… >> find out more…
So several weeks ago, or maybe even a month ago, we put Little O on a sleep schedule for the first time. There of course are different schools of thought on how and what to do about your baby’s sleep. Ultimately, we decided that a schedule was in order because O was up with us until midnight (and often later) every night. Then he’d wake up between 8:30 and 10:30. During the day, he was unpredictable. Maybe he’d take a 2 or 3 hour nap. Maybe he wouldn’t take a nap at all. And the only way I could ever get him to sleep was to nurse him. We realized that many days, he was going on only 7 or 8 hours of sleep a day. So we decided that we needed a schedule.
I had already read much of Dr. Weissbluth’s book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. So I read a little more and specifically focused on the section of the book that applied to babies who were 7 or 8 months old, like O. He basically says to sleep at night from 7:30-7:00, nap at 9, nap in the early afternoon, and then to bed at 7:30 … >> find out more…
Fall is officially here—hooray for my favorite season! Time to bring out the sweaters, the scarves, the cute little boots that I bought last spring in anticipation of this season! And time to bust out all the great fall recipes. Time to bring out the pumpkin! I love all things pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cookies. So when I came across a recipe for pumpkin granola, I had to try it out. It’s still piping hot from the oven right now, but I’ve sneaked a couple of bites and I think this will be a hit!
Follow the directions below (from BakingBites.com) to make your own granola. And remember, packaged nicely in a jar or fun bag, granola could make an excellent gift!
Pumpkin Spice Granola
3 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
pinch ground cardamom
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup plain applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
up to 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts
up to 1 cup dried fruit
nut suggestions: almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds
dried fruit suggestions: cranberries, raisins
Preheat the oven … >> find out more…
Remember that fantastic Art Weekend in San Francisco that I talked about a little while back? Well, we’re totally doing one in Salt Lake City in November. Hooray! So for all of you who live in or near Utah, sign up asap! And for all those who might consider traveling in for the event (totally worth it, by the way) we’re in the middle of negotiating room rates. You totally want to get in on this, I promise.
Any other people out there want us to come to your city? Let me know and we’ll see if we can make it happen!
Here is a list of courses you can sign up for. Visit the official posting for all the details!
Photoshop: Digital Workflow for Photographers
Illustrator: Making a Pattern
Illustrator: Making Cards + Gifts
Blogging: From Starting to Marketing
Starting an Etsy Shop
Cartooning for Kids!
… >> find out more…
So Mike and I would like to work on instituting a healthy lifestyle in our home. No, I don’t want to say diet, because that’s a dirty word, and it also I think doesn’t help much. I don’t need a “diet.” I need to change my whole lifestyle. For good. It’s funny. When I had gestational diabetes, it wasn’t hard to follow my meal plans. And I’m telling you—it was restrictive! Try limiting yourself to 45 carbs at dinner during the holiday-packed season: Halloween, wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s! But I was able to do it because I wasn’t thinking about myself. I was thinking about my little baby.
The rest of my life should be the same. I should be thinking about the fact that I’m more likely to develop Type II diabetes. I should institute the changes now that will prevent that and that will promote excellent health.
Being a designer, I find it helps me to get excited about something if I can design around it. So I’d like to share with you my healthy lifestyle chart, which is largely based on a health&fitness; initiative by a group of my friends some time … >> find out more…
On this Monday morning, I’d like to bring to you my latest cleaning tip. I am someone who needs serious help learning to maintain a clean home, but lately, I’ve been able to keep my bathrooms immaculate! Why?
Little O is big enough for the tub these days. I plop him in there and then I can either sit and play with him (which I do some days) or I can stay in the bathroom and clean the whole time he’s in there. My counter tops have never sparkled so! My drawers have never been so organized. And how do I do more than one bathroom? He bathes in his own bathroom one day and then in the master bathroom when it needs cleaning!
Since I wasn’t sure if it was okay to just let him splash around (I am there the whole time but I know that it doesn’t take long for something to go amiss) my sister-in-law is lending us their baby bath that can lock the child into sitting position. So again, I’m not saying to go and clean the house while your baby or kids are in the bath, but stay in the room and clean … >> find out more…