July 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Liam’s Big Boy Room Makeover

There have been some exciting updates that have happened around the house here in Casa de Murphy this summer! One of the most exciting that I want to share with you today is that we upgraded Mr. Liam’s room from his nursery decor to a full-on big boy room.

With the exception of converting his crib to a toddler bed back in June 2013, his room has been the same Β Disney Lion King theme since we 1st were getting ready for his arrival. I have to tell you that I had mixed emotions for this experience — sad to see the last of his baby things go out of his room but yet excited to watch & help him pick out his own furnishings.

Here’s a peak at what his room looked like before we began the update…….

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Since Stephen & I had obviously picked the Lion King theme, we let Liam pick out what he wanted for his new room. Without hesitation, he wanted an Avengers Β / Super Heroes room. He also helped Stephen pick out the new colors for his walls:

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He was a great helper, as well, with the paint πŸ˜‰

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Liam’s room is much smaller that we originally thought while 1st shopping for new beds. The placement of the door, window & closet also proved to make things a bit challenging. There were several beds we chose that ended up being too big or awkward of a fit when we measured to fit. We knew that we didn’t want to go through re-doing his room all over anytime soon, so we wanted a good, solid bed that would last awhile. We decided to go with bunk beds & opted for a twin over full. This particular one is a definite space-saver, as the left-hand side also have a set of SIX FULL drawers and FOUR cubbies to store toys, books, etc.! No need to buy an extra dresser for us. LOVE IT!

If you’re in need of kids furniture & you’re in Florida, we highly recommend Kids Furniture WarehouseΒ — great quality & awesome prices!

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As soon as Liam declared he wanted the Avengers for his room, I started scouting online for bargain deals and of course, cute bedding. I found this set on 50% clearance with JCPenney!! What an awesome deal!! πŸ™‚

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The window valance I found at Bed Bath & Beyond

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Grammy & Papa Rock gave us these awesome pictures above of Hulk & Captain America (hung above the top bunk), as well as a signed poster from the Incredible Hulk movie πŸ™‚ …all GREAT additions to the room!! Best of all, it was re-purposing items they already had. Gotta love that!

The bookshelf is from Target, but was in his room previously …we just kept & reused it.

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Stephen found these art deco posters at Target and we framed them. I really love how the Marvel & DC one turned out on the blue wall.

The striped bin, lamp & end table were also Target finds! I used the bin to store some of his stuffed animals that were previously ALL over the floor (we condensed down). Other stuffed animals were tossed up on the top bunk. The end table looks like a locker and is dark blue (I love it!) ….The drawer is perfect for holding super hero figures πŸ˜‰

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I’ve seen many people post about these 3D wall art nightlights. We got one for Liam’s Avenger’s room. Target carries quite a few different variety’s, so little man got to pick out which one he wanted. Despite the Hulk being his fav, he actually chose the Iron Man hand. It really does look cool!!

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My “big” project for the room was painting letters for his name and adding Mod Podge to comic book pages to put on the letters. I picked up the letters at Target (can you tell yet I LOVE me some Target πŸ˜‰ ) and some red craft paint — all of it came from their new DIY section …if you’re crafty or even a wanna-a-be, like me, it’s a pretty cool section.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with how the letters turned out!

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Liam’s room makeover was a lot of work (mostly for Daddy who did a FAB job), but it was SO MUCH FUN! The best part is that Liam is totally in love with it — total win!!

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Until next time, friends!

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June 2015, Latest & Greatest News

The Moms Magazine — Summer Issue

Happy Monday, friends!

Excited to kick off the week with another feature in The Moms Magazine!

I continue to be honored to be a part of this wonderful publication ❀

Click HERE to take you to the digital copy of the Summer Issue, where you can find my “Summer Essentials: After – Beach Bathing Kit” on page 11 πŸ™‚

The Moms Magazine Summer 2015

Also, if you have not already singed up to receive your FREE print subscription, do it NOW! Click HERE to sign up….even shipping & handling is free…can’t beat that!

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Until next time!

~H

Latest & Greatest News, May 2015

Just Keep Swimming {A Refresher}: Our Little Fish

Little man recently wrapped up his spring swim refresher lessons with SwimSprout. Last spring, and into early summer, we spent about 9 weeks going through his initial lessons, & it was an awesome experience. You can catch up on that here.

With the refresher lessons, we just wanted to ensure he remembered everything that was taught to him last year. We plan to be in the water a lot this summer & the temps are already climbing, so it was definitely a good idea to get back into the pool now. We honestly hadn’t been in the water since September.

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We had lessons with Ms. Katie, again, and that made all of us happy. Consistently is key, especially at this age. She remembered his learning style & we pretty much picked up where we left off last summer. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at Liam’s performance in the water on the 1st day. Given the amount of time spent out of the water, I was expecting him to have forgotten a lot, but I was SO wrong. He got right in & started swimming like we had been in the pool yesterday. It was awesome!

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Swimsprout teaches the basics of ISR, and little man did much better in his 1st week of refresher lessons with his rollback. He has definitely proven to be a strong swimmer and can hold his breath for a significant period of time. That can be both good and bad with learning the ISR technique. We have to remember to make him follow through and roll onto his back to take a breath and flip back over to swim to us and/or the steps or edge of the pool. Sometimes, he tries to power swim…and, that may not always be the safest route.

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At the end of the 1st week, I got in the pool with him & Ms. Katie so we could go over his skills & things to watch out for over the summer.

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Refresher lessons usually last 3 to 4 weeks, according to the info we received at registration. However, little man did so great that we only had to go for 2 weeks! Nice for the wallet, but we were a tad bit sad to not spend as much time with Ms. Katie this time around. She really is the best πŸ™‚ …..Liam still asks at pick up from school if we’re going to swim lessons to see her {so cute!}.

We ended our last lesson with asking him to jump off the pool deck. He knew he had to land in the water by himself without having anyone catch him. He had never done this before, but we knew he was ready! He was a little leery, but went for it — he was terrific and we were SO PROUD!!

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Way to go, Liam!! You are such an awesome little fish! It’s gonna be a great summer of swimming….can’t wait!

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Before I end this post, let me just say that having ANY type of swim lessons does not make a child 100% safe in the water. NOTHING replaces parental supervision (that’s my PSA πŸ™‚ ). Also, everyone remember toΒ use pool gates, locks or alarms on doors / windows, and know CPR. Everywhere you look there are bodies of water….it doesn’t take you personally having a pool for your child needing these life saving skills or supervision. PLEASE be safe ❀

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Until next time, friends!

~H

April 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Our Easter Egg-Stravaganza! {2015}

As usual, I am a bit behind with my post but luckily, not as late as I was at this time last year πŸ™‚

April just ends up being a busy month for us. Lots happening — Liam got a new room, we just finished up his swim refresher lessons, me & Stephen’s anniversary, and all the other fun day-to-day business that keeps this family afloat. I will definitely be sharing some of this with you soon!

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We knew Liam would be doing a few Easter Egg hunts throughout the Easter week, so on Easter weekend, we decided to do something a little different & headed out to the City of Oviedo’s Annual Marshmallow Drop.

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It was pretty cool. Liam got to see a helicopter drop an enormous amount of marshmallows on the field & we ran out to gather them up in his basket. He just made the 3 & under age group, so that was fun. The event separated the kids by age, so there were several “drops”. The kids then got to exchange their marshmallows for candy. Cute!

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The Easter Bunny came while little dude was asleep….I’ve mentioned before that Liam does NOT like characters in costume (e.g, the Easter Bunny). We had told him he was coming while he would be sleeping to leave him a basket of goodies. Well, normally, he would come out of his room as soon as he woke up…not Easter morning. We had to go in & get him — he wasn’t scared but he definitely asked us to make sure the bunny was gone πŸ˜‰

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Most of his basket came from the Target dollar spot (so dangerous but I LOVE it!!) …he was super excited to see Baymax in the mix and the new Tinkerbell movie!

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After he had some time to explore the findings in his basket, we headed out front in our pj’s to discover that EB had left many eggs hidden all over the yard πŸ™‚

Later that morning, we enjoyed lunchΒ with several of our friends. Yes, I took a pic of the dessert — it was only fitting….haha!

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There was an egg hunt for the kiddos after we ate. Serious business, peeps! Some of those eggs were really hidden. So funny! The girls did a great job putting it together for them.

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Liam was thrilled to have his buddies, Allie & James, to play with. Here they are after the hunt exchanging their finding from the hunt πŸ˜‰

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There was even a pinata! Look at the swing on this kid! I think T-ball is in his future πŸ™‚

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We really enjoyed our Easter weekend and had aΒ great time with great people!

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Until next time, friends!

~H

Latest & Greatest News, March 2015

The Moms Magazine – Spring Issue

Happy Hump Day, friends!! πŸ™‚

I am beyond thrilled to once again be a part of an amazing issue of The Moms Magazine!

Click HERE to take you to the digital copy of the Spring issue, where you can find my “Egg-cellent” Easter crafts on page 8 πŸ˜‰

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Also, if you have not already signed up to receive your FREE print subscription, do it NOW! Click HERE to sign up….even shipping & handling is free….can’t beat that!

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Until next time, friends!

~H

February 2015, Latest & Greatest News

3.5 Years {42 Months}

As we said good-bye to January, we also said hello to 3 1/2 years old for our little man. I can hardly believe that a whole 6 months has gone by since his birthday. Seriously, where does the time keep going?!?! πŸ™‚ — There are so many moments where I wish I could freeze time ….bottle up these memories & make them last forever….I don’t want to forget any of these little details from our everyday…even the ones that sometimes frustrate & make us tired….this little dude is such a gift & a blessing to us ❀

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Keeping with our teddy bear picture tradition, here’s our updated version above. A look back on previous pics are hereΒ – Β here –Β hereΒ (this link has a cool flip a gram of a series of pics!)Β – and, Β here

{Look back soon for all these fun pics on their own page in the blog ….I think it’s time πŸ˜‰ }

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AGE: 42 months // 3 1/2 years

WEIGHT: 40 lbs.

HEIGHT: 38.5 inches

CLOTHES: mostly size 4T ….some 3T depending on the brand. Also wearing a size 10 shoe. The biggest characteristic with his clothes is that he HAS to pick out his outfit. He is all into superheros, so that is definitely a preference in his everyday wardrobe…some piece usually has an Avenger on it πŸ˜‰ ….I really can’t believe it, but I’m already finding it slightly harder to shop for him because I already pause to wonder if he will wear it. How is that possible?!?!

FAV FOODS:Β What he will eat changes with his moods. I say this is part of that “threenager” attitude….lol! Do I wish he would eat more veggies, yeap, but I am sure that will come in good time. He really loves to always eat what you’re eating so my goal is for us to eat healthy things so he will too πŸ™‚ Β …of course, he still loves his chicken nuggets, mac-n-cheese, orange slices, and cereal.

FAV WORDS:Β I’m sure I have said this before, but we have a little person on our hands, at this point. Sometimes, it’s almost scary ….I mean, he’s not a baby anymore. You can have complete conversations with him about anything! Call us crazy, but that still amazes us 1st time parents. At this stage, it’s fascinating to watch him learn learn and grow with his vocabulary. For example, everything in the past right now is “yesterday” ….we did that yesterday or we were here yesterday ….even if it’s been a few weeks or months. I’m sure in the blink of an eye, that will all change and he’ll “get” the verb tenses and know yesterday, last week, last month, etc. For now, I just enjoy yesterday ❀

As much as we try not to laugh at times, he also enjoys ‘toilet talk’ these days. His current word of choice is nipple. He thinks that is THE most hilarious word in the world. I can only hope he is not saying it at school. He knows what it means and that he’s not supposed to just be saying it….so, that’s why keeps doing it. What a stinker!

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FAV ACTIVITES:Β We have been taking gymnastics lessons since September. It has been a great learning experience for Liam & so much fun! I had read this awesome blog post not too long ago about why preschoolers should do gymnastics lessons….it is so true! You can check it out here.

Liam also really likes to draw pictures now. He is getting really good at it. He is quickly moving out of just the scribbles stage, and we are starting to see actual pictures. Again, totally amazing to watch this happen! He favors his left-hand almost 100%, so I am pretty sure he’s going to be a lefty, like his mommy πŸ™‚

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MILESTONES: At the end of this month, it will be ONE YEAR that we are diaper free! Whoo hoo! You can check back on our potty training adventures, here. I can hardly remember what it was like having a changing table in his room. He does so well with his big boy undies!

By the end of this month, Liam is also officially moving into the Preschool Department at his school! {We had still been in the Early-Preschool Dept} So exciting for him! This means that he will be moving up into a new room with a new teacher. He says that he gets to move because “he is bigger now” Β His other comment about moving up was that he would get to play on the “big kids playground” πŸ™‚

Between now & his birthday in July, we will be updating his room. That’s our next project and we are all excited about it. He is still sleeping in his toddler bed, which is his original crib that’s been converted. His room still has all the original decor from when we 1st designed it for his nursery with the jungle theme. So, this will be a BIG change for ALL of us πŸ˜‰ ….I think we are moving up to a twin bed….but depending on what we find, it may possibly be a full size. We’ll see. Liam has his heart set on a super hero’s room, so that’s the plan right now! We’ll definitely be posting pics of this update when the time comes!!

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Happy Half Birthday, Little Man!! — Mommy & Daddy Love You So Very Much…. XOXO

February 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Valentine’s Fun for the Little Ones

Hi Friends! I’m sharing two super fun posts over on Orlando Mom’s Blog to get you & your little one’s ready for Valentine’s Day ❀

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The 1st one is a LOVE Β Art Canvas Project that you can check out here.

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The 2nd project is cute AND magical! Definitely sure to get some giggles πŸ™‚ …It is Growing Heart Lollipops and you can check it out here.

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We had SO MUCH FUN with both of these projects! πŸ™‚

Until next time!!

~H

January 2015, Latest & Greatest News

The Moms Magazine!

Hi Friends! I am SUPER EXCITED to share with you that I am a contributing writer for the Winter 2015 Issue of The Mom’s Magazine! πŸ™‚

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I wrote my article — “10 Simple Tips for Positive Parenting in 2015”

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Please check it out from the digital copy of the magazine here

Also, you can request your FREE subscription to the magazine HERE! (includes FREE shipping & handling too….awesome!!) The magazine’sΒ goal is to share the incredible articles and information from every issue ofΒ The MOMS Magazine as far as possible within the continental United States of America!

I am so proud to be a part of this issue ❀

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Until next time, friends!

~H

December 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Happy New Year!!

We were blessed with another year in 2014, and what a year it was!!

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Some highlights from 2014 …..

Our biggest goal was Potty Training & we can definitely check that off our list. Liam accomplished that with flying colors! I am not going to say it was a breeze — hard work for sure, but he was definitely eager to learn. We also said good-bye to the beloved paci.

We even ended the year, today, with our very 1st trip to the dentist for a cleaning…but more about that later πŸ˜‰

Stephen changed jobs in March & is kicking butt! Same kind of business (fabric restoration), just for a different company.

I started blogging for Orlando Moms Blog in August, and it’s really been a joy to be a part of this fab team of moms! Not to mention, the experience I have been gaining is awesome!

HUGE KUDOS to those of you who keep up with us here ❀ ….this little hobby of mine has really grown this past year and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I am still just doing this to mainly keep our family & friends abreast of the latest & greatest news of Mr Liam & the fam, but it’s also led to some new exciting opportunities. Our most popular posts were Liam’s 3rd birthday celebrations (here & here). The most commented on were when we said good-bye to paci. πŸ™‚ We had over 2,000 page views this year!! While that may be small potatoes for some blogs, that is pretty amazing to me! Most of our visitors came from the U.S., Brazil & Canada.

I am anxious to see where 2015 will take us!

Here’s a quick look back as we bid farewallΒ to 2014 πŸ™‚

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{song credit: Dave Matthews — Baby Blue}
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Looking Ahead to 2015 ….

Liam will be starting official Pre-School in August!! Oh my goodness! Where is the time going?!?!

We want to find a solid church home and a place to give that foundation for Liam that is vital so he can learn & grow in our Lord. It’s time & has been heavy on my heart.

Stephen and I have some projects we want to tackle around the house.

Overall, we just want to live each day to the fullest, savor each moment, and be thankful!! ❀

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Happy New Year!!

~H