I look at you and you are every BIT of perfect.

A gift.

God’s gift.

This post is shared via other inspiring moms/writers participating with The Gypsy Mama‘s Five Minute Friday. Won’t you write along with us?

Living in Arizona: Canyon Lake

It’s late March.

The 90-degree weather is making its way to us early. We’re supposed to hit 90 today!! Check it out…

A day such as this makes me think of Canyon Lake…a picturesque escape just over half-an-hour away from us, where clear and cold lake water is surrounded by glorious mountains on all sides, where watersports and camping are nearby, and fishing and swimming are just steps away from picnic grounds.

A picnic trip to Canyon Lake…that sounds so good right now.

Here are some pics from our last visit to Canyon Lake, back in August of last year.

The drive to get there takes you through dizzying zig-zaggy mountains, but quite worth the trouble once you get there.

Bring some lunch–and a camera–you wouldn’t want to miss Canyon Lake’s gorgeous views.

Not to mention some poignant moments between father and son + mother and son, too!

Rave Reviews: Eddie Bauer Classic Wood High Chair, Ikea High Chair Support Cushion and Safety 1st Sit! Booster

The time has come for us to retire Miguel’s high chair.

Check out what we’re using now in its place, in this post from my mommy products and services blog, The New Mamma Company.

Another Easy DIY Project…Nursery Catch-All Tray + Storage Box

This is a great project to re-purpose some of your baby’s receiving blankets that are no longer in use (or have never been used!).

I received a lot of these as baby shower presents. I DID use all of mine…receiving blankets are so versatile in design and function that we used them for many practical purposes (funny, they were rarely used as a blanket!!).

We used our receiving blankets as an added layer of protective sheet in Miguel’s bassinet, changing table, and crib. We used the smaller sized blankets as burp cloths–they covered more ground than the typical burp cloths sold in baby stores. Of course, we also used them for swaddling. But because Miggz was a summer baby, we didn’t really swaddle him a whole lot (and I think he hated being swaddled as well).

I actually bought a new set of receiving blankets at Ross. I liked the design because they go well in my son’s safari themed room. And the price for four blankets cannot be beat at $5.99!

For this project, you’ll also need some shipping boxes (I get to re-purpose my trusty Amazon shipping boxes yet again). You’ll need a shallow box for the catch-all tray, and something a little deeper for the storage box.

If you know how to wrap gifts, then this DIY project will be a walk in the park. One tray literally took me less than ten minutes to do!!

The first thing you need to do is to neatly cut off the top flaps of the shipping box. Save them–you will need them for later use.

Next, place the shipping box centered on top of a sheet–design side out. You will wrap the outside of the box and its inner walls (but NOT the inside bottom) with this sheet. If your sheet and box are the perfect size for wrapping…you won’t even need to do any cutting (as was the case for my first tray, but I’ve had to cut the fabric for my storage box).

The trick is to neatly fold the blanket in the proper places as you wrap the box. I used some glue stick to keep the sheet in place. If some excess fabric flows into the bottom of the box, that’s OK. Simply glue or tape it down…it will not be visible once you are done with this project.

These next photos show the progression of this project.

See what I mean about needing those top box flaps? Just tape them together, then wrap it in a different fabric. The covered flat piece becomes the bottom of the tray/box, hiding all the uncovered, taped-up parts.

The finished products are as versatile as the blankets! They can be used to store practically anything…and you won’t believe they are re-purposed shipping boxes!!

Neat huh?

The catch-all tray can hold magazines, books, puzzles, art projects, etc.

Its use can certainly go beyond the nursery/toddler’s room.

I used the finished storage box to hold some of Miggie’s most-used toiletries.

I used one of the trays to hold a tub of wipes and some Pull-ups.

The Miggie Report: Halfway to Three

To have a memoir to look back on…recalling my days being a first-time Mom. To keep a time capsule of my son’s first memories. To capture the lessons learned, inspirations gathered, and yes…even trials faced along the way.

This is why I have this blog.

One of the things I’ve written up to this point is “The Miggie Report”…a growing up progress report of sorts for our son, Miguel. It’s a blog post that captures his antics, favorites–and all things in between–for a certain milestone age. I’ve stopped doing the monthlies once he reached 24 months (two years old), but I think half-year marks are worth the mention.

So here goes…

Miguel’s Current Age – 2 1/2 years old (+ 1 month…I’m actually a month behind in writing this post)

Antics – He’s now super talkative. He’s always been a talker, but I feel he became a real little chatterbox once he reached this age. He’s more conversational, more curious by way of asking questions and repeating phrases that come up in grown-up talk (in short, this is the age when you want to watch what you say around him for fear of embarrassment he might repeat something you wouldn’t want said by someone his age in public).

Favorite Toys – His train sets, puzzles, dinosaurs, and blocks. He does this thing now when he pretends he is baking a cake with his blocks. He layers them up like a rectangular sheet cake and gives me “pieces of cake” to eat…the red blocks are strawberry cake, the yellow banana cake, the green blocks are apple cake, and the blue are blueberry cake. I think we may have a budding pastry chef… (I must remember to buy some bakery toys/pretend cakes and pastries on our next trip to the toy store.) He also likes building airplanes and tall towers and robots with his blocks, and he gets quite frustrated when the blocks break/fall apart (call us mean, but we find this entertaining). I’ve had to teach him it’s OK that the blocks break because he can just build them up again.

Nursery Rhymes/SongsMiggz loves to sing. Especially at night right before bedtime. He likes to sing, sing, sing until he falls asleep. (That said, I’ve found that this is also the most effective time to teach him a new song). He also likes to sing when we are eating at the dinner table. So far, his library of full songs he can sing up to this point include:

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star


Row, Row, Row Your Boat

The Wheels on the Bus

Jingle Bells

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider

Jack & Jill

Bahay Kubo – this is a Tagalog (Filipino) folk song about a hut-house surrounded by various vegetables in the garden

This is the Day (that the Lord has Made)

He also picks up songs quite easily from YouTube and TV cartoons (sometimes, songs from the radio too!!). He loves to sing the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song after his baths, as well as sing along to shows that he watches.

Education – For a kid his age, Miggz watches a LOT of TV. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. He learns quite a great deal of educational things from TV, and we make sure we balance the TV watching with actual “lessons.” Miggz knows his ABC’s, colors, numbers. He can count straight to 30 and understands basic math (1+1=2, 2+2=4, etc…). He knows the concept of what happens if we add/take away stuff and how many remain (if we have six apples, take away two, he’ll count how many is left). He can also identify animals and the sounds they make, knows his dinosaur toy species, can pinpoint fruits and name vegetables (now if he only ATE his veggies, I would be TOTALLY happy and we’d be golden…)

The Outdoors – He still LOVES to pick up rocks. And play on dirt/sand. I guess this comes with the territory of having a boy.

The Terrible Twos – Up until this point, I thought we’ve so far skipped this stage. But yup, the terrible two’s upon us. Miggz has definitely found his whiny voice and tantrums now. Funny how they also develop a “pride” thing this early. For example, I had no trouble teaching him to say “Please” and “Thank You,” but for some reason, it took him really long to learn to say “I’m sorry”…not so much the meaning of it (though he knows what it means now) but just the act of saying it. His “NO!” voice has also gotten so pronounced (most of the time with a sting) that I’ve had to teach him to say “No thanks” instead. Of course, now he says “No thanks” to everything…

Learning Discipline. I’m a believer of “the earlier you teach them right, the sooner they’ll learn.” I’m definitely the bad cop in the house. I want to teach Miggz right from wrong, and for him to know that we love him unconditionally. This part of parenting is not easy, but something you have to deal with.

Below is a printable I got from Pinterest and framed in Miguel’s room. It captures my thoughts for him, for this age and beyond.

And here’s a look back on when Miggz was JUST six-months old…a care-free time when he was so little (and we didn’t have to think about discipline yet…)

Miguel at six "Terrible Twos" here!!

Our Bedroom

This is our retreat…our sanctuary. It’s the one place in the house my hubby and I can call our own.

I protect our bedroom like it’s hallowed ground.

Every day my  2 1/2 year-old son’s toys make their way into this room, and every night–or at least, come next morning–I make it a point to bring back the little cars, dinosaurs, blocks (and whatever else a toddler/pre-schooler so decides to bring into our space) right back to where they belong. In his room.

Our bedroom is the one place in the home where I can unwind and be free of all things Mommy.

It’s the one place I can be me.

Here are some pics of the place I call Our Retreat (originally posted in Facebook in September 2010, just two months fresh from our NJ-to-AZ move).

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Not much has changed since I originally designed and took photos of this room. It probably looks a little dated now with all the new design trends out there (think gray walls and modern/minimalist lines). Still, it reminds me of a Spanish Casa, with the dark-colored walls and many textured pieces in the room (which I just LOVE!!)

How do you protect your bedroom and keep your baby’s stuff from taking over? Do you do the same with other parts of your house?



I just created my first look on Polyvore. I’m currently obsessed with denim shorts (and am wanting to make sure I fit into mine soon!)

Summer is upon us here in Arizona, and I wanted to create something that is chic and classic, not too dressed down.

What do you think of the look I made?


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