Friday Fashion

As my tiny begins her journey towards walking,
I can't help but get excited about the adorable shoes that will accompany her many steps.
Of course, some are more practical than others,
But there is nothing cuter than a tiny shoe on a tiny person.
 Interested in any of these? Check out Nordstoms
and while your there pick up a pair for yourself.
Happy Friday Friends.


Wordless Wednesday

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday,
where a picture is worth a thousand wordless words.
Happy Wednesday!


Dear Pinterest

Dear Pinterest
I think you know by now that I like you ADORE you, 
perhaps in a borderline stalking kind of way.
Thank you for helping this poor crafty wanna-be.
You inspire me daily to try things I never knew existed. 
Who knew a mason jar had so many uses.
I can no longer go about my day without thinking "oooo I should pin that".
I hate you for distracting me throughout the day,
yet I love you for filling my mind with an insane amount of creativity.
Though I will probably never try many of these glorious ideas,
you make me look like Martha Stewart to those who are not familiar with your amazing-ness.
(there are not many, but my mother/grandmother are just a few)
As the laundry piles up, and the kitchen floors need mopping, 
YOU pinterest are the one I come back to.
THANK YOU for giving me something to look at on rainy days. 
THANK YOU for making my husband think I have suddenly turned into a professional chef,
and for never letting me worry about what's for dinner again.
You have created a "pinning" fanatic who rarely needs to think on my own, but it's fine with me.
Now I get to spend more time with my darling tiny, wondering what the next genius thing she'll do is... that I can pin.

Yours Truly,

Now and Forever


Weekend Play

If you have been following the weather at all, 
you have seen Debbie.
 She has made for an incredibly wet weekend,
But that couldn't deter our fun. 
Here's a look at our weekend.
I hope yours was lovely (and a little drier than ours):



DIY: Giving Head Jewelry A Home

I remember the day we found out that we would be having a daughter.
I instantly had visions of ruffles, hair bows, and dresses. 
I just never realized exactly how many bows and headbands she would have...and she's only 6 months!
I originally bought some hooks and placed them on the inside of her armoire,
but I quickly realized that we were going to need back up.
Her head jewelry as I call it was multiplying.
I had seen some seriously adorable hair bow and headband holders,
but I was in a DIY mood, and not to toot my own horn...(ok fine, toot-toot)
but I think it came out pretty darn cute.
The supplies were very simple and since I already had most of it, I spent less than $10.
The only thing missing here is some white spray paint that I used to spray the edges of the frame.
Next, I measured and cut the pieces of paper to fit the frame.
Using a paint brush, I painted the Mod Podge on the wood so that the paper would stay in place.
And then painted over it.
 I recommend using something flat to run along the paper to get those sneaky air bubbles out.
Next, I measured out the ribbon so that it would fit the frame (it doesn't have to exact)
and on the backside I used a hot glue gun to secure each side.
With my trusty ruler I then measured out the hooks so that they were 2 inches apart.
Thankfully, the wooden frame was not too thick so I was able to simply press the hooks in firmly,
and they easily screwed right in.
*Side note: be sure to check what you have on hand first. I later realized I had the perfect white hooks and swapped the gold out for white. One of these days I'll get better at planning ahead*

And the drum roll please.........
Here she hangs in all her glory.
My only regret is that I didn't purchase a bigger frame (again, poor planning).
I have a feeling we are going to outgrow this one too.
But until then, It makes the perfect home for Lucia's head jewelry.

It's a party...a linky party that is.
This week I'm Linking up with:
shabby creek cottage


Hump Day Happenings

                                                                                                                   Source: Pinterest

I don't know where the days and weeks go but here are some of the things that get us through it.

*Tiny is teeeeeeeething hard core now. Just when I thought the drooling had ceased. Thankfully I came across Camilia Teething Medicine. It is a natural, homeopathic remedy to teething and I swear it soothes her in 15 minutes. Visit their website for a $1 off coupon!

*Interested in advertising with Laughing Bellies? Visit the Advertise here page to find out how. For a limited time, get the "Fabulous" ad space for FREE by entering the promo code Belly10 at checkout. It's a great way to promote your business or blog.

*I am a huge fan of Dr. Harvey Karp and if it wasn't my hubs birthday Thursday, we would be here at the theater for a Parent's night out- Live with Dr. Karp. Because I'm married to the kindest man that lives, he of course said he would go but I figured there are other ways he would prefer to spend his birthday evening. If you go, let me know how it is!

Happy Hump Day.


You and Me and Music Together

Since our tiny has started engaging herself in the world,
since she has begun responding and interacting with us and others
it was my goal to find activities that would keep her interested and learning at the same time.
Oh my dear readers...little did I know, 
I would stumble upon a music class that often times makes me think 
"who is this really for".
You and Me and Music Together has been one of the many highlights of our week.
From the moment I stepped foot into Ms. Colleen McGrath's class,
music filled our hearts and minds,
and I haven't stopped singing since.
My little lady has become just as infatuated
with the singing and dancing that has taken over her life.
She can be on the verge of a nap and the moment she sets eyes on Ms. Colleen and hears the strum of her guitar, she becomes googly-eyed
 and transcends into a musical heaven.
But really it's impossible not to when you have a teacher with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters of Music from the Boston Conservatory of Music 
and has a classically trained opera voice. 
(talk about credentials)
You and Me and Music together is a FANTASTIC program,
 with on-going research to make sure your child is learning not only musically but cognitively and emotionally as well as growing their language and motor skills. 
It is a place where students can come and learn at their own pace.
In fact, it's encouraged not to help your child find the rhythm, clap or dance.
Wait! What? Not help my child?
I know it sounds tough, and it is,
but the rewards are so beneficial.
Ms. Colleen has even said that one of her favorite things about teaching children is to watch them find the tone and beat for the first time and then watch the pride on their parents faces.
Oh, I'm dreaming of this day!
 One of the best parts about the music class is that with each new session,
comes new songs, new instruments and new friends.
In fact, we start the drum themed summer classes this week and I'm not sure who's more excited...
Lucia or me!
 If you are a Tampa Bay local I can't recommend the classes enough.
Visit the You and Me and Music Together website to sign up soon.
If you aren't from "these parts" check out the Music Together website to find a class near you.
I promise it will have you singing the same praises.



A Sleepy Morning

We awoke to a VERY early wake up call this morning.
Tiny was up earlier than usual...and this sleepy mama wasn't ready to get up.
I thought I had died and gone to heaven
 as my husband offered so kindly to get up and watch her while I rested a little longer.
That was until I came out to find this:
 A video gaming husband and a Baby Einstein movie watching baby.
Oh how our ideas of babysitting are different.
It is a good thing he's not getting paid to do this,
and I am sure they don't teach this kind of care at the local babysitting course.
But who am I to complain. 
I got an entire extra hour of sleep.
And It. Was. Heavenly!
And to make up for it,
he made me a heart shaped breakfast.
Who could stay mad after being served this?
And it's just another lesson in the game of parenting.
I've learned that parenting styles can be different.
I've learned that anything goes when it's papa and daughter time,
and most importantly: 
I've learned that who cares when your tired.
I could have stayed mad,
but this mama has better things to do...like sleep!


Friday Fashion

If you stop by often,
you know that I am a huge fan of the Tea Collection for my tiny.
But did you know that in the United States, 
summer months have higher birth rates than winter months?    
So whether you're a mom-to-be or you want to stock up on baby shower gifts,
 be sure to check out Tea Collections Sale! 
For 4-days only
Tea Collection is offering $15 off Tea Baby with promo code BABY15 during their Tea Baby Sale.
This is a serious deal!

Tea Collection is also offering buy two Gift Boxed Sets
 and receive an Explore Gift Boxed Set for free. 
Enter GIFTGIRL for a free Explore Akita Gift Boxed Set (size 6-9 months).
Enter GIFTBOY for a free Explore Moon Gift Boxed Set (size 6-9 months). 
Be sure to check out the Tea Baby Sale today
And I suggest you hurry, before I buy it all.
(I wish)

Happy Friday Friends.


3 Generations

I feel so blessed.
Blessed to be a part of this trio of ladies.
 We have both inherited new names,
Mother turned to YaYa, 
and daughter turned to Mother,
they are new names that make us happier than before.
As the days pass and the years go on,
I can only pray that the wisdom that was once passed down to me,
can continue its journey to my little one.
 It makes my heart smile to know that one day,
the generations will continue and the positions will rotate.
3 generations of the greatest blessing;


Hump Day Happenings

*We are IN LOVE with You, Me, and Music Together. Lucia instantly gets a smile on her face and a pep in her step roll when we get to class. You have got to give it a try.

*Top Baby Blogs has refreshed their numbers which means Laughing Bellies will only move up if you vote. One vote a day is all it takes and it is greatly appreciated. Simply click here and then click on the owl. It's that easy. Don't forget you can vote once a day by simply clicking the Top Baby Blog icon located on the right.

*Haba wooden toys are a hit with our tiny. Her recent hearts desire....These Wooden Beads.

*When I finish the oh so popular "50 Shades Of Grey" I plan on reading the "The 5 Love Languages Of Children". I know, I know they don't exactly compliment each other but I have read Gary Chapman's  first book, "The 5 Love Languages" and have nothing but amazing things to say about it so I can only assume this book to be just as good.

Happy Hump Day Friends.


Guest Post Surprise

Sweet Friends do I have a surprise for you today.
The very talented Stephany from 'Ol Mother Hyder is here to guest blog about photography.
She is incredibly talented and is here to offer up her knowledge,
so sit back, relax, and say cheese....

Hello to all you lovelies of Laughing Bellies.
I'm Stephany 
I am SO glad to be here. 
I met Caroline through blogger land and I love her. 
She is so precious and I love reading her blog. 
So, for her to ask me to share my little world and scribble to you today, I am honored! 
The topic of choice is PHOTOGRAPHY! 
Everyone loves a good photo right? 
I do!
So, let's start with the facts...
Yes, I run a small town photography business.
It's seasonal busy~
meaning Christmas, Easter, Back 2 School, Weddings & Birthdays.
I have taught myself via trial and error. 
I have not always used a DSLR camera and still don't for some shoots.
Please know that all are my work and my opinions. 
You (or I) am seeing more and more people purchasing DSLR equipment 
and taking their own photos vs. hiring a photographer. Why is this? They are learning as they go. Entry level equipment is more affordable now-a-days. From where I am from, we still have the "big rigs" / "professionals" that do mainly STUDIO work. These are people when you Google 'Photographer' in my area ~ they pop up. Don't get me wrong- their work is beautiful! However, they're are way more that shoot "free style" and use nature as their back drops to get that real life moment. Create their own packages based on that specific client and what they want. And, that is how I shoot. I personally do not like studio work. I have many, many reasons behind why I do not. I hate fake smiles. I absolutely hate saying "SMILE" all the time during a shoot. I want the real moment. If it is crying, so be it. Let's be for real and serious here. Is every moment in your life smiles and a golden ray of sunshine? NO, it's not. Yes, we want it to be. 
And, photo shoots aren't either. 
Kids get tired, they get upset. 
Couples get tired of being lovey dovey, etc.
But, I do try to get the happy moments more than the sad.
I would like to share today:
{just three of many}
1. Standard Point & Shoot vs. DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex)
2. Aperture
3. Angles
Ready? I hope so! 
Standard Point & Shoot vs. DSLR
 << you will be able to tell a difference between the two types >>
Equipment {of choice}:
 Standard P&S: Nikon CoolPix L110
   DSLR: Nikon D3200
Standard Point & Shoots are still great. They are not totally extinct yet.
Some WILL totally disagree with me and state simply that things like 
the image can suffer, they are only great for snap shots, the lens are no good on the equipment, you are so limited as to what you can photograph...and this list could go on and on. This day in time most think the standard P&S is yesterday news and ONLY good for very little. However, I learned many, many things with my P&S. It is easier to carry around. It's simply not heavy. With my Coolpix, it had an amazing zoom and it was fast (some are not), very fast at snapping fast shots (especially with babies and toddlers). It did have a great shutter speed.
examples with my P&S:
With a DSLR, your range is WIDE open. 
Some people immediately think money, money, money when they hear or you talk DSLR.
However, you can start with an entry level equipment choice such as 
Canon Rebel series, Nikon D3000-D5000, Sony Alpha's and more.
You can do amazing things like work with interchangeable lens, have the choice of shooting in manual or auto /JPEG or RAW and imaging functions and controls are wayyyyy better + so much more.
 What is aperture? 
"the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken"
Photos taken with a HIGH aperture will allow everything to be in focus.
Lots of light is key with HIGH aperture!!
With a LOW aperture you have a shallow depth of field.
 Ever wonder how those backgrounds are blurred and one item is the focal point?
Work with your "f-stops" setting to create a low aperture.
i.e. low
i.e. low
i.e. high

i. e. high
This has to be a favorite area of photography!
I love shooting at different angels. 
Mix it up. Give it life.
Get low. Get close. Stand on a chair. Be unique.
I hope you enjoyed. Please come visit me sometime over at 'ol Mother Hyder. Would love to hear from you! :)
And, Caroline~ Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure.