Seeker of Happiness

$12 Tote Bags and Some Happy Thoughts

Settle down, it will all be clear

Carrie Chapman3 Comments

Today marks exactly 1 week since we have lived in Vernal, Utah. 
My Madre came to Colorado to help me pack and my dad met us all in Vernal and helped unpack. I still have a bit of work to do, but considering the amount of time I have been here, I'm pleased. Moms are lifesavers though, am I right? My secret weapon really. 

Things have been, not surprisingly, on the uneventful side. Scott started work and is excited/a little overwhelmed and I have been unpacking which makes me excited/a little overwhelmed. The girls have been woefully neglected and would like to make sure that EVERYONE KNOWS they don't like it. Even the bunny, after finally being let out of her cage, ran (hopped quickly) up to my feet and THUMPED so I would pet her. Okay I get it people. Settle down. 

Pet me or die. 

Pet me or die. 

I did venture to take the girls for a "quick walk" to the library in an effort to win some mom points back. I ended up walking a mile and half in the wrong direction. It's embarrassing, because I'm pretty sure the whole town is a mile and a half long. By the end, I realized my mistake and,  covered in sweat and trying not to swear, stopped at a dinosaur statue (one of many. Scott's lunch break was coming up so I S.O.S texted him to come rescue us. It was all very... adventurous?

Annoying. It was annoying. We were all annoyed. Except for Ruthie who was happy to try and walk in the busy street every chance she could get 

Trying to contain her on a table. It worked out as effectively as you can imagine it would work on a mobile 1 year old. 

Trying to contain her on a table. It worked out as effectively as you can imagine it would work on a mobile 1 year old. 

We DID make it to the library (eventually) and Georgia wanted to sit quietly (!) and read books and Ruth was like "cool toys, but I'd rather go bug this girl on her computer and pull down every single book I see forever." By the time we left, Ruthie went missing for 30 seconds (she was in the back room with a magazine) and Georgia was scream crying because I helped her scan the library card. No mom points. 

I tried to make up for it by painting Georgia's fingernails AND toenails today... and we even decorated a little for Halloween! We'll ignore how many times I said "please get out of my room!" or "please be quiet for just 1 minute!" 

Moving is all about survival anyway so I'm not stressed about it.

At least she looks cute dressed as a princess as she incessantly gets in my way. 

At least she looks cute dressed as a princess as she incessantly gets in my way. 

Tomorrow is a new day... of errands. 

12 Book Themed Halloween Costumes!

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie Chapman2 Comments

We love Halloween over here SO MUCH. Georgia had the entire family's costumes picked out by August 1st. I was lamenting over how sad it was that you can only dress up as one thing. My cousin told me that she tries to dress her kids like book characters and I had inspiration coming at lightening speed. Couple mine and Georgia's love for dressing up with reading and the result was inevitable. Over two months, Georgia dressed up like 12 different characters from our favorite children's books. 

My mom HATED Halloween and getting the kids dressed up. I really hope that these easy costumes can inspire moms to not feel so overwhelmed. 

Below is a link to each individual blog post to each costume. Happy Halloween! 

Pinkalicious

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And don't forget to grab a cute trick or treat bag from our shop to go with the costume!

Book Themed Halloween Costume: A Bad Case of the Stripes

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie ChapmanComment

For final costume in this series, we went with our current favorite: Camilla Cream from A Bad of the Stripes by David Shannon. 
I cannot tell you how many times we have read this book. The spine is worn out already. 
I was going to be a lot more ambitious with this costume, but I decided to make it easy on myself. If I was doing this for Halloween, I would have added a rainbow striped shirt under the white tank top, and rainbow leggings. Those were a little hard to find at the moment, and since I was in the throws of moving states, I just painted her face. 
I wish I would have made sure I had orange and purple face paint instead of trying to mix colors... a friend suggested that I could have just used washable markers!

In the end, this was Georgia's most requested costume but we only did it this once. 

This whole process has been so fun for us! I am excited to have these to show Georgia in the future! Stay tuned for tomorrow as I will have a post with ALL the costumes in one place :)

On Moving

Carrie ChapmanComment

I'm writing this at 12:15am, surrounded by boxes trying not to feel overwhelmed. 
Ruth has decided that she will be incredibly cheerful, IF and only if, she is allowed to walk/climb on/destroy/investigate every inch of everything. 
Georgia is 3 so, you know, she handles change really well. When she starts screaming in the store or decides all of the sudden that she only wants ME to button her shirt (and not her dad who has just finished buttoning her shirt), I just wave to the crowd and wait for them to congratulate me on my parenting skills. 

Scott is still going through the small storage unit of "memorabilia" that he hasn't looked at in 10 years. I keep finding piles of crap I have avoided for 8 months and subsequently feel like a failure in life and PROMISE myself that THIS TIME I will get it together once and for all!

That's the upside to moving, right? No matter how stressful the actual packing up and moving out crap is, there's kind of this light of hope that in this shiny new place everyone will have a shiny new start. I won't forget to eat and Georgia will go to bed before 9:30. Ruthie will get a bath on a regular basis and not just when it's noticeable that she needs a bath. Our future selves are sitting in that little townhouse in that tiny, out of the way, middle of nowhere Utah city. 

Deep breaths.

Book Themed Halloween Costume: Coraline

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie ChapmanComment

I'm gonna be honest, I could have done better on this costume. I could have found a wig that was a darker blue. I could have made or found a dragonfly hair clip. I could have made a button key to put around her neck. But the point of these costumes are to show what I can come up with with what I have, and this is what I had :) 

Maybe some freckles too? It probably doesn't help that Georgia has no idea who Coraline is. We are gonna save that book for when she's older than 3. Still, I think she looks cute. 

5 Books to Read for Halloween

Carrie ChapmanComment

1. Starvation Heights by Gregg Olsen 
The only book to give me nightmares

2. The Most Evil Men and Women in History by Miranda Twiss
This is also one of my most favorite books. Fascinating.

3. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
All about a serial killer during the first World Fair in the US

4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
In case you're in the mood for a classic (and it's free on kindle)

5. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Both captivatingly realistic and also terrifying 

These are ones I have read and recommend, but you can find a huge list of Halloween reads on Goodreads.com HERE 

Book Character Halloween Costume: Strega Nona

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie ChapmanComment

Have you read Strega Nona? And Italian witch with a magic pasta pot, what's not to love? 

This costume was a "no sew" meaning I just tucked a bunch of fabric in a dress and called it good. If I was actually using this on Halloween I would have sewn a skirt and tunic top. I'm sure they would have been simple but I didn't have time to do all that just for this little photo shoot. 
The "pasta" is yarn in one of those $5 plastic kettles you can get around Halloween. Wouldn't it be cute to glue some of the yarn to the rim and on the sides and use it as a trick-or-treat bucket?

Georgia told me she was "different nice witch" when we put on this costume. I love doing these costumes with her. 

Pinkalicious
Cat in the Hat
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Fern from Charlotte's Web
The Paper Bag Princess
Fancy Nancy
Olivia
Emily Elizabeth from Clifford
Amelia Bedelia

And I'll be the Princess

Carrie Chapman
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A few months ago I ordered some dress for Georgia from China off of eBay. When it came, I was disappointed. Its sparkly collar fell of of her shoulders and I could vaguely see the designs of her favorite cartoon princess printed across her bum. 

But Georgia, she fell in love with that dress.  

"I'M AURORA!" 

It has become her go-to princess dress for adventures. She twirls in it, sings in it, eats in it, and sleeps in it. When she wears it, she IS Sleeping Beauty and you must refer to her as such. 

I got her a real fancy Sleeping Beauty dress for Halloween, and she's very careful with it. She's knows it's special. The bulk of her adventures have not happened in that dress and likely won't. I'm okay with this. 

Her ill fitting "Aurora dress" has become a staple in her wardrobe. She changes into it as soon as we get home. I like that she has something to wear that makes comfortable enough to conquer the world. 

Book Character Halloween Costume: Amelia Bedelia

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie ChapmanComment

Amelia Bedelia became on my favorites back in the second grade. She was my first introduction to puns and wordplay and I will forever be grateful for that. I thought she was the most hilarious lady on the planet. 
Georgia doesn't get the wordplay quite yet, but that doesn't mean I don't read her some Amelia Bedelia every once in a while. 

This wasn't my best photo shoot, but I was pretty pleased with the costume. Especially the hat! I used one of those foam visors you find at the dollar store and spray painted it black. The only way it would hold it's curve was to put the coil under her chin. 
If I was making this her actual costume, I probably would have taken the time to make a pinafore apron. Instead, I found this one at Hobby Lobby for a couple of dollars. Everything else I had on hand. 

Book Character Halloween Costume: Emily Elizabeth of Clifford

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie Chapman6 Comments

We took the pictures of our Emily Elizabeth costume at the Humane Society! This outfit killed me! Georgia looked so grown up, and the outfit was so true to the book character we just kept laughing about it. 
If I was doing this as her actual Halloween costume, I probably would have painted the buttons black. With the exception of the socks, this entire outfit was right out of Georgia's closet. The Clifford dog lives at the local Humane Society but was happy to go for a walk with us. 

Clover the Bunny

Carrie ChapmanComment

We got Clover back on St. Patrick's Day of this year. 
I don't think there is anything more whimsical than having a bunny hop around your house (especially when she is litter box trained). 
I used to think rabbits were kind of gross... I blame that on the people who owned them. Clover is actually very clean and low maintenence. I admit, she's not the most cuddly rabbit as she likes to sit next to you while you pet her, rather than on your lap. 

She is a beauty though, and we are not complaining. 

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Book Character Halloween Costume: Olivia

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie Chapman3 Comments

Georgia was appropriately a tad stoic for this little photo shoot. I love Olivia the pig. She is so relatable without being typical. 
You can buy an Olivia costume like this one but I decided to take advantage of the fact that Olivia basically just wears red with the signature black and white striped tights. 
The ears took me a minute to figure out, but in the end I just used a thin foam sheet and hot glued it onto a headband. It ended up being way less time consuming that I had thought. I made the tutu and we had everything else in the closet. 
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Pinkalicious
Cat in the Hat
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Fern from Charlotte's Web
The Paper Bag Princess
Fancy Nancy
Emily Elizabeth

News as Big as a Dinosaur

Carrie Chapman3 Comments

This last week, Scott had a job interview in Vernal, Utah. The company was kind enough to pay for travel and a hotel and so the girls and I hopped along. 
For those who don't know, Scott has had a hard time finding work in his field since he graduated college. We have had a lot of ups and downs and have learned from a lot of mistakes. At this point, it didn't matter where Scott found a job! This opportunity was perfect for him to get his career started. We found out a few days later that he got it! 

This also means we will be moving to Vernal rather quickly. Now, I was only there for about 20 hours, but it was the weirdest little place. I guess the town's big thing is dinosaurs and so there are about 1 billion of these statues to greet you: 

                                 Yes, I did take this picture in the year 2014. 

                                 Yes, I did take this picture in the year 2014. 

The population is about 9,000 people. There's a Wal-Mart and a Natural History Museum. I have heard that small, ugly towns often have the nicest people so I am excited. Although, I will probably purchase everything I see at Target before I move away from it. Vernal has an impressive library and recreation center. I'm sure there will be other treasures to uncover. We've always been decent at finding adventure no matter what. 

Before we headed out to go home, we made a quick stop at the "Dinosaur Museum." We got there right before they closed so we had to run through it but it was worth it. 

You are greeted at the front by this huge guy

You are greeted at the front by this huge guy

Our favorite part was the "dinosaur garden" 

Obviously, Georgia found the whole place fascinating. 

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When we told Georgia we were moving we asked her if she wanted to live in Dinosaur Land to which she responded by jumping up and down on my bed and shouting "Yes! Yes! Yes!" 
And I'm at peace with this. It's not the most glamourous town on the map but when we were there my mind was filled with possibilities rather than restrictions. And although I'm annoyed by the shopping inconveniences and the fact that I'm moving back to UTAH AGAIN, it's all overshadowed by how excited I am for Scott. All in all, I'm ready for Dinosaur Land. 

Book Character Halloween Costume: Fancy Nancy

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie Chapman2 Comments

This was probably Georgia's favorite costume so far. She stayed in it long after I took the photos (even the wig) and has requested it many times since. 

We love Fancy Nancy books because they teach "fancy" ways to say different words and watching Georgia try and pronounce them is gold. 

I didn't spend any money on this costume!  

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Pinkalicious
Cat in the Hat
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Fern from Charlotte's Web
The Paper Bag Princess
Olivia 
Emily Elizabeth

Book Character Halloween Costume: The Paper Bag Princess

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie ChapmanComment

We just recently read The Paper Bag Princess and it has become a favorite in our house. Turns out not a lot of folks have heard of it. It's about a princess who is about to marry a prince. A dragon comes and smashes her castle and burns all of her clothes so all she has to wear is a paper bag. She sets out to outsmart the dragon and save her prince. We love it. 

Georgia's costume did not cost me a thing, although making the paper bag dress was a bit more complicated than I had anticipated. I found Ruth's dragon costume for $10 and I couldn't pass it up! Look at her! She's loving it! 
Again, these pictures were taken back in August so if you're going to go with this costume you obviously need to add some pants and a shirt under that paper bag. I wish I would have had Georgia's hair down like the princess in the book, and I also wish I would have put some dirt on her face. I was racing against the sun this day so it is what it is :) 

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Pinkalicious
Cat in the Hat
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Fern from Charlotte's Web
Fancy Nancy
Olivia 
Emily Elizabeth

Book Character Halloween Costume: Fern from Charlotte's Web

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie Chapman1 Comment

This costume is the ultimate "I have no money and no time to dress up my kid" get-up. We threw Georgia in some overalls and pigtails and she walked around with a little stuffed pig she called Wilbur. She refused to change out of this costume for the rest of the day. 

"I just live on a farm with my pig, mom. Like Fern does." 

It's been so sweet as Georgia has gotten older. She finally sits and listens to stories, even the ones with very few pictures. Charlotte's Web had been the first she's say through consistently and I'm finding that I love the story now more than ever. She still requests to dress up like Fern sometimes, and since the costume is so easy she can :)

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Pinkalicious
Cat in the Hat
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
The Paper Bag Princess
Fancy Nancy
Olivia
Emily Elizabeth

Early Fall Apples

Carrie ChapmanComment

Anxious for Autumn, we went apple picking yesterday! I'm thinking apple turnovers are in order. There's something so satisfying about picking an apple from the tree, and with there being so many ripe ones, it was difficult to stop. Georgia calls these small apples "Georgia apples." The perfect size for little hands. 

Clean the House and Dance it Out

Carrie Chapman1 Comment

I'm the worst housekeeper on the planet. I wish I was better at it but I hate doing things that need to be done over and over again. This makes for a difficult life.
Anyway, I made the following Spotify playlist to keep me motivated while I wash windows, or pack up tote bags or menu plan. There are a few throw-backs in here but who doesn't love indie punk circa 2006? 

Book Character Halloween Costume: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Book Halloween CostumesCarrie Chapman3 Comments

I mentioned last week that my mom doesn't like Halloween and costumes, which is true. But to be fair, you should know that I was involved in theatre all through high school and she was a reluctant "drama mom" who made many a full-scale costume for productions. That's love, folks. 

Today's costume was simple to put together. The mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is only wearing overalls. Since we took these pictures back in August, Georgia is only wearing overalls and a talk top, but you could easily throw a brown thermal under those overalls and be ready for late October. 

I made that cookie pillow ($3 of fabric) but it could have easily been a super cute trick or treat bag! Or you could throw it on the sibling like we did here and have her go as the cookie :)

Pinkalicious
Cat in the Hat
Fern of Charlotte's Web
The Paper Bag Princess
Fancy Nancy
Olivia 
Emily Elizabeth