Friday, December 30, 2011

This Is SO Me!

Do you get sucked into the internet as bad as I do? I came across the video spoof of Rhianna's "We Found Love" and completely identified:

I think in 2012 I'm looking forward to scheduling regular "unplugged" days. 


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Filling in the Gaps

I posted a lot last week including on weekends, and I still didn't get to include everything I wanted to so here's a few fill-ins from how we celebrated the weekend before Christmas in Harlem.

First, we stopped by a tree-trimming party hosted by our friends from our  library's storytime:

Nia, Ella and Keira making small talk

Next, we hopped over to East Harlem to celebrate with my former Wellesley rooomate Maria and her family and friends:

Nia was clearly ready for bed!

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Love Birds' Christmas 2011

I hope my readers had a wonderful Christmas! Despite having a sore ankle, ours was very chill and low key. Last year we were in VA visiting my parents, but this year we decided to stay home just us three and we LOVED it!

I had been brainstorming trying to figure out what to do for Christmas and knew that I didn't want to cook. While watching the Neelys on Food Network they were talking about a holiday menu of "little nibbles" so I suggested to Mr. Love Bird that we hit up Trader Joe's and get lots of yummy food to nibble on Christmas Day. We'd play Wii, watch movies and eat to our hearts' content all while staying in our PJs. He loved my idea and it was a simple plan to follow! Our "menu" consisted of mac & cheese balls, bibimbap bowls, chicken cilantro dumplings, pigs in a blanket, chicken sticks and molten chocolate cake with caramel swirl ice cream. It was heaven!

Nia and I were up at 7:30a.m. Skyping with my sisters then we fell back asleep and woke up around 12:30p.m. to open presents.

Here are a few highlights (please disregard the ashy knees - I had been down on the floor kneeling with Nia and didn't realize how badly I needed lotion! LOL!):

It took a minute for her to understand that she needed to rip open the paper!

Skyping with the family
Yes, we have become an Elmo household
We didn't capture any group shots or anything special since we were bumming it but seeing Nia's sheer excitement over her TWO Elmos was so fun (thanks mom and dad!).

The DSLR was the family gift, but our parents blessed us with some nice things: a gift card for Mr. Love Bird for clothes from his favorite store,  PJs, robe, footies and Bath & Body Works products for me (just what this mama needs!).

I really liked the way we did Christmas this year. Not sure if it will be a tradition as I can't see my parents not being ok with us not being there at least every other year so we'll see. For now I just feel blessed and thankful that we had a wonderful family day together!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas! (A Preview)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve (or How I Ended Up With a Sprained Ankle)

On November 30 we trekked down to see the Rockefeller tree lighting with my sister Ariane and needless to say it was a MAJOR fail. The crowd was too big and they turned people away. We couldn't even get close to the tree. Total waste of time. Mr. Love Bird made me promise never to try to go again. Similar to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, although he's from NYC he's never taken part in these touristy Christmas events.

I asked him if we could go look at the lit tree another time as a family and he obliged. I was going to wear Nia in my new Boba and head downtown to see my BFF who lives in the Financial District so it was easy for Mr. Love Bird to meet up there with me and Nia before heading uptown to see the tree with Ariane. 

I was heading down into the train when I suddenly missed the last step and went crashing down. Luckily it was just to a landing and I was right by the wall and landed on my butt. I was carrying Nia, the DSLR and the diaper bag. My immediate thought was Nia - I even forgot about the camera until much later (it was fine in its padded bag). There happened to be an off duty EMT and teacher right there. I had to sit a moment so survey the pain I was feeling. I thought I heard a pop so I assumed my ankle was broken but after a couple minutes I could tell it wasn't but didn't know if I could get up unassisted. I had the EMT take Nia out of the Boba and the teacher held my other things and helped me up. I walked around a bit, thanked the angels who helped me, packed Nia up and headed downtown. I sent a text to Uka to let him know what had happened and we met right before going into my BFF's apartment. We sat with ice for 30 minutes. With Uka's pro athlete background he took a look and told me I'd be fine.

We continued as planned up to Rockefeller took a few pics then hightailed it back home so I could get my leg up. 

It was worth it:

I was jealous of her view!

Now a funny/scary aside: around 4a.m. after my injury Nia was calling for me and all of a sudden stopped. Next thing I know she's at our door saying, "Mama?" Yes, Lil Love Bird has figured out to climb out of her crib. Fun times.

Merry Christmas everyone - I'll be chillin' with my ankle up and iced!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Family Christmas Cool

Someday I just might get the nerve to do something this awesome for Christmas:

Jingle Bells - Christmas Video Greeting 2011 from Jared Foster on Vimeo.

{via Making it Lovely}

I can only imagine how much time and effort went into making this! And to think the family's been doing this annually for the past 4 years instead of a traditional Christmas card. Speechless.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Caved In! Yes, Lil Love Bird Saw Santa

A couple weeks ago I posted about how we weren't going to take Nia to see Santa this year, but after going to a tree-trimming party that our library storytime friends threw we changed our minds. I saw the family's picture with Santa and they and their friends told us how much their toddlers LOVED Macy's Santaland so when my good friend Veronica C. asked to meet up before Christmas I suggested we go yesterday.

Overall, Nia LOVED it!

This talking tree was the first thing we saw upon entering Santaland and it freaked Nia out!
See I'm still getting the hang of the DSLR and ISO, but I LOVE model train sets!
Nia adored seeing Rudolph - we've watched the movie 2x already!
 I usually abhor going downtown to touristy places like Times Square, Macy's and Chinatown, but arriving at 4p.m. the line was really not bad. We got through everything in about 30 minutes. On the otherhand Macy's itself was a NUTHOUSE!

The little audience of bears right on her level made her so excited!
She was shrieking with delight!

Now a special tip a fellow Toastmaster gave me for those of the chocolate persuasion: Be sure to ask for the "special" Santa. I did and we ended up seeing the black Santa Claus. Who knew?!

When I asked for him my friend inquired, "The special Santa?" and I explained that he's chocolate. My friend is Asian and it made me wonder if Asian or Hispanic families ask for a "special" Santa would they get one in their flavor too? 

We had to wait a few minutes for him (I take it they don't keep him there all the time but pull him into costume when requested). I let Nia walk in to see him on her own and while she was nervous at first, she showed him her boots and Christmas tunic then eventually sat on his lap. 

Nia and my friend waiting to see the "special" Santa
It was so tight and there was so much to look at that it was hard to get Nia to look at the camera

I didn't buy the picture since we have one from last year and it was nearly $20 (yikes!), but it was a fun memory and I'll definitely take her back to Santaland and will probably just skip seeing Santa. I had thought to do that before until I was told about the "special" Santa and wanted to see for myself!

When we were done with Santaland on the way to the train I let Nia look at Macy's windows telling the story of Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus and she started giggling so hard - it was adorable! I don't think she understands that her name is Virginia too but I think someday she'll think this is fun. 

Have any of my readers experienced a "special" Santa? (I told Mr. Love Bird about it, and he said it was all wrong because Santa's supposed to be white!)

Why I Hate the Internet

I swear the internet is pure evil! The other day I saw Mr. Love Bird scrolling through a few crazy photos and I immediately knew they were the infamous Awkward Family Photos. I immediately became entangled in them and we started scrolling through them laughing uncontrollably. I've visited them before but now thanks to Pinterest which once stood as a bastion of crafty inspiration, we now have a round-up of some of the best awkwardness that the internet has to offer courtesy of this page. Here are a few of my faves:

I get that her child face reflection is weird but the fact that the bride is topless is worse

I actually cried when I saw this - especially the floating doll head!

I really am disturbed by this; the bride is literally on his mind?

Mr. Love Bird asked if it was a puppet. That's when I lost it!

Please tell me someone superimposed this image

And in honor of Christmas, I have to share a few awkward Santa photos too:

Is Santa just a puppet and the elf the puppeteer? {Photo Credit}

Isn't that the little girl from Matilda??? {Photo Credit}

Worse than the sax is his midriff {Photo Credit}
 Which one is your favorite?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Really Don't Need a New Carry-on Bag But . . .

I'm nearly packed up for Nigeria but my carry-on will  be the final bag I pack. I have a few to choose from including a Vera Bradley that I like (I know some people loathe her but the one I have is a cool black, white and yellow bumblebee pattern) and a Banana Republic, Coach-lookalike bag. Years ago when I was in search of a specific Coach bag like the Banana one I ended up purchasing, the associate told me both companies make their bags at the same factory. Who knew!

Anyway, I definitely do not need another carry-on bag but I can't help but drool over this one (badly!):

Lo & Sons - The O.G. (Overnight & Gym) Travel Bag from Derek Lo on Vimeo.

Perhaps it's the song accompanying the video or how chic and effortless the model makes it look, but I am seriously lusting after this bag!

What's your favorite carry-on bag?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Creating a Christmas Home

I've been contemplating what Christmas memories to create with my family especially now that Nia's a toddler. When I think back to my first Christmas memories they began at 3. I have vivid memories of being in Connecticut, listening to the Disney Christmas album and waiting to be permitted into the living room to open my toys. There's even a picture of me pouting on the stairs because I was told to wait! I remember the warm feeling of being with my family in our PJs and seeing all my presents under the tree. That year I received Care Bear toys as well as Strawberry Shortcake and tons of books (which I think my mom still has packed away!).

As I got older I remember fondly waking up to read the Christmas story together in the book of Luke followed by eating a Christmas breakfast of candy cane braid, sausage and egg casserole and hash browns.

This will be our 3rd Christmas as a little family and a bit different as we go to Nigeria soon after. I don't have set ideas yet on what to do that will become tradition each year, but I do know I'd like us to eventually have stockings (can you believe Mr. Love Bird didn't know what stocking stuffers were???), incorporate Elf on the Shelf and have heirloom ornaments to decorate our REAL tree with.

Christmas is different for Mr. Love Bird since his mother passed away years ago unexpectedly on Christmas morning. While Christmas doesn't hold the same happy memories since then for him, I look forward to finding ways to honor and remember his mother while creating new memories with me and Nia.

When I think of how I'd like to someday decorate my forever home (right now I'm not sure I believe in such a thing since I've been moving so much since graduating college), I came across this home via Jones Design Company that that I admire.

Here are a few of my favorite images:

{Photo Credit}

How do you create a Christmas home?


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