26 December 2012

Meeting Santa!

2 days before Christmas, Zoey got to meet Santa for the first time. It did not go well.
Don't let this picture fool you, you see that bit of blue that she is sitting on? Thats my leg and the only way we were getting a picture of a non-screaming baby. STRANGER DANGER! Zoey knows better then to be sitting on some bearded old fella's lap.

24 December 2012

23 December 2012

A Christmas Catch Up

I had so many festive posts planned in my head, but I find myself with hardly any time to sit and type them out. Bah Humbug! I am going to admit that it has been really hard getting back into blogging. Between being a mother to a baby who will still not sleep through the night, working 30hrs a week, running my Etsy shop during the busy gift buying season and keeping everyone in this house clean and fed; there are just not enough hours in the day. Lets take a minute to catch up shall we?

My mom, sister and brother in law arrived in New York to spend Christmas with us this year. This is the first time my sister got to meet her niece and Zoey thinks that her aunt is the most fascinating and hilarious person she has ever met. It's been great having some extra helping hands while I was so busy with orders for my Etsy shop and with my mom's OCD cleaning habit, my apartment is almost back to it's pre-baby state of cleanliness.

There is nothing like New York during Christmas time! The city is sparkly and festive at every turn, but completely packed and overcrowded at the same time. I took my family to see the department store window displays and the Rockefeller tree today and basically had to use Zoey's stroller to plough through the crowds. What a nightmare. A twinkly, christmasy nightmare.

11 December 2012

DIY: christmas tree ornaments

This is our first Christmas Tree which means it is time to begin our ornament collection. Besides the generic baubles, lights and candy canes that fill up the tree; I think that it is the sentimental ornaments and the handcrafted goodies that give meaning and make your tree extra special. Here are a couple of ornaments that I crafted this year:


There are so many adorable baby's first Christmas ornaments out there, but I wanted to capture how tiny Zoey's hand print was at the time so I came up with this little DIY. All you need is a plastic ornament which is large enough for the print (this one is from Michaels), paint (non-toxic), a paint pen & some ribbon.

First, let me tell you that printing a babies hand perfectly is almost impossible. It helps to just sponge on a thin layer of paint and touch baby's hand quickly to the ornament to prevent smudges. If you miss a finger just go over it again, and if it messes up you can always use wet wipes  to clean up smudges or wipe off the entire ornament and start again. After the paint has fully dried you can use a paint pen to write baby's name, date etc. Each year I plan on making one of these hand print ornaments and watching that little hand get bigger and bigger.


I made this ornament as a way to remember our very first tree, but I also plan on doing this every year and making it part of our tradition. When you go pick out your live Christmas tree most places usually cut off 1 inch of the tree stump before packaging it, ask whoever is packaging your tree if you can keep the inch that was sawed off. I ended up painting the side that was not freshly sawed to hide the ugly grime, added the year with a paint pen and embellished it with a bow. Ideally I would have liked to use a wood burner to write the date on the freshly sawed side, but I couldn't justify buying one just for this tiny project (maybe next year).

I hope I gave you some ideas! If you decide to DIY your own ornaments use hashtag: #theafricanllama on instagram or twitter so that I can check them out.

7 December 2012

Oh Christmas Tree!

Since the last bite of turkey on Thanksgiving evening, I had been begging my husband to take us to go get our very first Christmas tree. He finally obliged about a week later and I quickly searched for a farm where we could go chop one down ourselves since I am set on living my life like a typical American movie. Unfortunately we ran out of time that day to drive upstate to do the our own lumber jacking so we searched the nearby nurseries instead. After almost forking out $80 for a tree at several places we ended up at Home Depot (not quite the movie scene I imagined) and after untying and shaking out about 7 or 8 Balsam firs we had finally adopted the newest member of our household for only $35.

Since this is our first official tree, we had no old, dusty box of family ornaments to bring down from the attic (which was one of my favorite parts of decorating the tree as a child). I went with a red, white and silver color scheme since it is pretty neutral and can be easily adapted and added too over the years. I cannot wait for Zoey to start making her own little Christmas ornaments out of popsicle sticks and macaroni! I picked up some really adorable, yet budget friendly ornaments and lights at Walmart, Target and Michaels; and DIY'ED a couple of special ones too (more on that later).

Please excuse the needles on the ground and no tree skirt, I'm planning to sew a really cute one soon!
I love our tree, especially because it is our very first one. I'm quite grateful that Zoey isn't able to stand up and pull all the ornaments off just yet, but she loves to sit in front of it and stare at the pretty lights.

4 December 2012

2 Years

2 years ago, in a simple ceremony in Central Park, New York I married my soulmate.
Each year around December 4th we visit "The Ladies Pavilion" and refect on our year. This has probably been the best year of my life and although we have had our struggles trying to juggle working full time jobs, going back to university and parenthood, we know that we can always count on eachother.
I love you Mike. You are my everything!

3 December 2012

It's officially Christmas in New York

There is nothing like a trip to visit to the Rockefeller Christmas Tree to get you in the holiday spirit.