~Fifteen months with Aviana~

The months have gone by so quickly since Aviana’s birth.  It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 months since the day she was born.  There is so much I want to remember and I try to cherish every cute thing she does.  Here is a little about my active, adorable little toddler.

AVIANA:  15 months old today!

Height:  30 inches
Weight:  23 pounds
#Teeth:  5, two on top, three on the bottom
Favorite Foods:  Avocado, Watermelon, and Strawberries
Favorite Song:  Baa Baa Black Sheep
Favorite Book:  The Bubble Book, Green Hat Blue Hat (she loves Sandra Boynton Books)
Vocab: Dog, Plane, Bye, Hi, All Done,  Mooo (as in, what does a cow say?), Uh-Oh

My Fun Toddler:

-Aviana loves to ‘give Stewy a treat’.  I’ll give a treat to Stewy (our yorkipoo)  and one to Aviana to give to Stewy.  Our little munchkin is a tease!  She’ll wait for Stewy to come of the treat then she runs (yes, I call it running now!) to the other side of the room and she giggles(there is not a sound more wonderful in all the world than a baby giggle in my opinion!!).  This continues and probably would continue for quite awhile but I start to take pity on poor Stewy and coax Aviana to finally drop the treat so Stewy can eat it!

– A  couple week ago she finally started to LOVE books.  Her favorite book is The Bubble Book, a Sesame Street book from the dollar store, typical right 😉  We usually have to read it 4-5 times.  After each time, I say “The end, do you want me to read it again?”  She says “Eh”  (which is yes) and I say, “Yes, Okay!”.   She gets so excited that I understood her she put puts her chin up so she can give me one of her open mouth kisses.  My heart melts everytime!  It definitely makes the process of reading the same story over and over much easier.

-When she is done eating she loves to feed the remainder of her food to Stewy (sometimes this happens even when she’s NOT done eating!).  She throws food on the floor then waits for Stewy to eat it, then throws more down.  If Stewy tries to get it from her hand before she can drop it, she giggles when he licks her fingers.  When she gets to this point, I’ll ask her, “Are you all done?”  and she’ll exclaim,  “ALL DONE!”  which sounds more like Aww Don!

-Peek-a-boo in her pack and play:  I put her in it while I get dressed and ready in the morning.  She’ll hold on to the side but duck her head down.  I’ll say, “Where is Aviana?”  She’ll pop her head up and smile and I’ll exclaim “There she is!” and she giggle.  We repeat this multiple times!  She also loves this game when hiding behind furniture!

-Says Uh-Oh whenever she drops something.

-Loves to sit in things, her chair, on couches, in baskets, in boxes, etc

-Loves to climb up on everything, the couch, her glider.

She grows smarter and more beautiful with everyday, and I love that she is learning to communicate!

Happy 15 month birthday, Aviana Rose 🙂


Here’s a quick catch up on her month to month pictures 12-15 month


The Color of Fabric Napkins: Life and Death Decision-Making

“Would you like white table linens or ivory?”  I stared at the caterer vacantly as I slowly processed her words.  I could have never dreamed up the miniscule details that one never thinks of when planning a wedding.  I tried to imagine what the lighted tent would look like with white then ivory table linens, and something told me that it would make very little difference to anyone.  That vacant expression has become the permanent structure of my face at every venue, photographer, caterer, DJ, etc. appointment I’ve been on.   I really wouldn’t be surprised if these people thought something was mentally wrong with me.

The truth of it is, I do want all of these details to be perfect; I just want someone to decide them for me.  Blame it on my or my fiancé’s even more laid back attitude, but it’s difficult for us to get psyched about flower arrangements or which color fabric napkin we should pick.  The list for planning what is, for many, the most awaited day of his or her life is endless.  I swore I would not get lost in this world of ribbons, calligraphy, colors and, did I mention, stress; yet here I am, wrapped up in it with no way out and countless more details to plan.  Daily, I think to myself, oh, so this is why people elope.  I have no doubt that the party with our family and our friends will be monumental.  I have no doubt that my wedding day will be the best day of my life.  My doubt lies in that the color of the fabric napkins I pick will determine that happiness.

At the end of the day you will be married.  I find such faith and assurance in that line, and it is the one thing that keeps me smiling every day.  I am marrying the most amazing man for me.  It took 27 years for our paths to cross, but ever since they have, I have not doubted that our meeting each other was grand design.  We knew within days that we would never date another soul again.  I know these lines sound like clichés.  People say stuff like this all the time.  All I can tell you is that sometimes, it’s true.  Sometimes love is real.  When I stand at the alter next summer surrounded by all the people I love and all the details I’ve spent a year planning, my focus will only be on one pair of brown eyes.  And that, my friends, is what makes all of this other crap worth it.


P.S.  The pic below is compliments of my beautiful and talented little sister, Bekah.


Momma Z’s Apple Cake

I went home to my parent’s house to enjoy the state fair (more on that
later!) and my mom had made a delicious apple cake.  Now maybe I’m a
little biased but in my opinion, Matt, my sisters, and my Dad will
all agree that there is no better baker than my mom!    I think it
stems from her southern roots, from a long line of delicious cooks and
the use of butter.   Let’s admit, butter just makes things better!
(This may be the reason I was probably the only freshman that went to
college and LOST 10 pounds, hehe)  I let myself indulge when I go home
and after three delicious pieces of this amazing apple cake, I knew I
had to share this recipe.   My recommendation, a family outing of
apple picking then coming home and making this apple cake!

Momma Z’s Apple Cake

4 apples, peeled and cut in bite size pieces
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups of white flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of butter
1 small can evaporated milk (5 oz)
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray an 11×13 pan with cooking spray.
Place the apples and sugar together in a bowl and mix.  Let stand for
10 minutes.
In another bowl, beat oil and eggs together with a wooden spoon.
Sift dry ingredients together and add to oil mixture.
Stir in apple mixture, nuts and vanilla.
Pour into pan and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to 1 hour.


Bring to a boil in saucepan on stove:  1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1
small can evaporated milk (5 oz)., stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Pour over cake after it comes out of oven.
This apple deliciousness is good warm or cold.


The Search for a Dress Continues

Saturday was a day highly anticipated; with a little over nine months until my wedding day, the search for the perfect bridesmaid’s dress is on.  My three best friends Kelly, Megan and Steph came over around one, and Rick drove us to the bridal boutique  for our 2:30 appointment.

Upon arrival, we faced the first obstacle- color scheme.  Here’s the back story.  I fell in love with Alfred Angelo’s color “lipstick” as well as a dress on their line… only to find that the color as well as the dress were being discontinued in a week.  With Rick’s sister living in California, I knew there was no way I would be able to pull that together in time.  So, I requested a swatch of the lipstick color and have been on a search for the color, both online and at bridal shops, ever since.

The bridal boutique had similar but not an exact color match, which brings us to obstacle two- material.  The closest color was in the material called “iridescent taffeta” or something of that nature.  Hideous.  No girl should have to wear that material.

Finally, after trying on ten or so dresses, we were able to find two long dresses in a close enough color that all of the girls loved.  At this time, Laura and Kate arrived to aid in the dress shopping.  They too loved the dresses.  This brings us to the third obstacle- price.  As the tag read “$240,” my heart sank.  I knew regardless of the measly 10% discount the girls would get, Kate and Bekah would struggle to pay for the dress, with Kate buying a new house and Bekah scraping through college.

So, what is a girl to do?  For now, I guess I will continue the search… although I should be considering opening my own dress shop with affordable dresses in desired colors/fabrics.  I mean honestly, does it really need to be this hard?

After the girls were measured we made our way over to the Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant to relax and enjoy dinner and drinks.  Sipping on Oktoberfest with some of my maids was the highlight of the day.  Regardless of how the dress debacle pans out, I could not be more grateful to have such wonderful girls in my life.  Enjoy these shots of us before, during and after.


Poor Man’s (College Kid’s) Stained Glass


“What’s something easy?” My partner Simone looks at me during class as my professor announces the lesson we need to teach in a few weeks. I slump a little in my chair, feeling uninspired. “Um, I don’t know…maybe some kind of collage?”

Truth is, when it came to teaching an art lesson to 3-5 year old’s I had no idea what was in their range of understanding. We suggested tracing their hands and making leaves- “Too Cliche”. We suggested making a fall tree- “Too prescribed”.

Finally, we decided on a collage with tissue paper. Layering the paper makes “Color Magic”, as my professor calls it, when two colors combine to create a new color. Basically it’s an easy way to make something look really colorful and great even if the kids are terrible at it.

It was then that the internet saved us, because we found a site that talked about creating tissue paper collages on windows. It’s so easy. All you need to do is get some liquid starch (made with corn starch and hot water), paint the starch on the window and apply the tissue paper.

I’m hoping it goes well with the kids this Wednesday, but even if it doesn’t, my apartment windows are looking pretty good.



Liquid Starch Recipe Here