instagrams from the fair

This was our second annual trip to the fair for Chris' birthday. The boys even did a lemonade stand to raise money for it this year! We had a blast and rode the rides all day long, ate yummy BBQ, funnel cake, checked out the animals and even played a few games.

I actually really hope we keep this tradition going for years to come it feels like the perfect way to celebrate with Chris and to welcome in the fall season too. And in the evening Grandma picked up the boys (she had Josie all day) and so that we could ride some of the big roller coasters together before watching the Counting Crows and eating yummy strawberry scones for dessert. It was awesome! Thanks Grandma for your special gift of helping with the kids to make this day possible it was so generous and kind of you!

I just love traditions - what traditions do you love to do in the fall?

I hope you all have a great weekend - if you haven't had a chance to yet make sure you enter the giveaways going on right now here, here and here...I will draw for the gift certificates on Sunday evening!!!

Happy Friday everyone!

Sponsor Spotlight

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Kayla Aimee. KA is the beautiful wife of Jeff and mother of a little miracle named Scarlette. Born fifteen weeks early Scarlette spent the first 5.5 months of her life in the NICU. KA is an incredible SAHM who has an infectious way of writing about her life on her blog and as you can imagine a passion for preemies and micro preemies.

Today Kayla Aimee is here to share a special + sweet way to dress up a preemie shirt while following some strict hospital restrictions...and shes sharing pictures of her sweetie pie too :)

I am super honored to have Kayla Aimee as my feature sponsor this month her blog and life is a blessing and testimony of Gods goodness and grace, you must check it out I know you will love it!

Now here's KA:

This little project is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to pretty up some basic baby clothes. My daughter, Scarlette, spent the first 5.5 months of her life in the NICU. While in there, we were really limited on clothing options for her. Not just because she was an itty bitty little thing but because the hospital had pretty strict standards about what we could put on her. The most important requirement was that her shirts snapped open in the front for easy access to all of the electrodes/wires attached to her chest.

So Scarlette spent a lot of time in simple, snap open tops like these. The thing is, they aren't the cutest shirts in the world. So I decided to dress them up a bit.

All you need for this project is a baby shirt, some assorted ribbon and some needle and thread.

Pick out two pieces of ribbon. Open the front flap of the shirt and stitch one piece of ribbon to the inside. I used lace for this part. Then layer the other piece of ribbon on the outside of of the front flap and stitch it down as well. I sort of bunched the ribbon as I went to give it a ruffled look.

I am not a huge fan of the snaps being visible so I decided to cover them up with rosettes. To make the flower ribbon rosette, cut a small fabric circle for your backing and cover with fabric glue. Pin one end of the ribbon to the center of the circle. Spiral the ribbon around the center, twisting it as you go. Twist the ribbon a bit more loosely on the last few spirals to create a fuller, flowery effect. Let dry and then secure with a few stitches to the bottom and sides of the rosette!

And that's it! It's a ten minute or less project.

Scarlette is ten months old now and happily at home so we can dress her in whatever we like. But I still make her a few of these cute shirts from time to time because she looks so darn sweet in them. Am I right or am I right? (Answer: I am totally right. My baby is stinkin' cute.)

Your local NICU is most likely always looking for preemie clothing and hat donations. A few of these shirts would probably brighten some parent's day so if you're thinking of making some, consider creating a couple preemie sized ones to drop off at your local hospital. Trust me, when your little one lives in what amounts to a cubicle with very few personal effects, seeing them dressed in cute clothes is not only fun, but provides a much needed sense of normalcy.

A twenty-something not-so-newlywed and southern girl through and through, Kayla Aimee (you can call her KA) likes scrapbooking, Macy's at Christmas time, and really good fitting jeans. By day she is a stay at home mom but by night she is a blogger, deal finder and kick arse ping pong player. You can read more about Scarlette's story on her blog at

fig jam

One of the things I so loved about our old house were the two huge fig trees out back in the yard that would produce amazing fruit each year much to our delight. Apparently they are an Italian fig variety and were a gift to the previous owners from their Italian barber back in the sixties. I am going to miss seeing them ripen each fall. (although it seemed like they produce only a full crop every other year does anyone know if that sounds normal?)

I was able to snag a handful of them just before we began moving and last week threw them on the stove and made some yummy jam! Oh how I have fallen for these sweet and delightful beauties - I am so going to miss my fig trees.

I plan to take a few fig starts in pots with us in hopes that I can somehow bring a piece of our fig trees on our next adventure we shall see how I do with that but I don't really have a green thumb...worth a try in my book though.

This jam is the easiest thing in the world to make, seriously. It's sweet almost like honey and taste so delicious with a salty ham or sharp cheese if you can eat cheese!

Fig Jam: makes about 1 pint

1 pound of chopped ripe figs
1/4 cup of water
1 1/2 cup of sugar
(I also add a sprinkle of cinnamon for extra complex but it's totally optional)

Add all ingredients to a pot and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to medium-high and boil the jam for a good 15 minutes and stir until it has thickened up nicely. Let the jam cool and spoon into a clean jar.

I usually leave it chunky and have had wonderful results canning it but this time I ran it through our food mill and made it a bit smoother and stuck the jar in the fridge to enjoy over the next few weeks!

So does anyone have any amazing recipes to try with fig jam?

I hope your enjoying your wednesday friends!

birthday bookcases

Yesterday besides the surprise blog party my day was pretty low key. The kids and Chris surprised me with breakfast in bed in the morning which was adorable and a pretty big scene. Watching Chris navigate the staircase with the food and Josie in his arms and the boys wildly trying to help was hilarious and I loved listening to them sing and give me hand drawn cards and birthday kisses with my coffee!

When I came downstairs I was super excited to find that Chris had purchased two billy bookcases from IKEA as a surprise and set them up on either side of the fireplace just as I had pictured it in my head. I have done zero decorating in our new place and was not planning to buy any new pieces just yet...we sort of need to figure of a vehicle so it was on the back burner. But I loved the special gift. It really was the perfect inspiration that I needed as we are living out of boxes, it gave me a huge burst of hope and gratitude for this next phase God has moved us into and it got the creative juices flowing!

I spent sometime on Pinterest looking at bookcases for inspiration on how to style mine. I am debating about adding a pop of color or pattern on the back or leaving them all white. Here are a few fun inspiration photos I found.

So what do you guys think - add color or pattern or leave it all white? I can't wait to get started decorating as soon as we can get things put away!

You can check out my home pinterest board HERE for more info on all these images.

Thank You!

I had such an amazing time today it was the perfect way to spend my birthday, I am feeling full to the brim with love and joy from all of you!!

If you haven't had a chance to read all the posts yet here is a little recap from today's surprise party!!

we had:

* an adorable leather bow belt tutorial from Theresa {HERE}

* a huge giveaway from b. children's wear {HERE}

* this super cute autumnal wreath with Jodi {HERE}

* my sister in law Kristen surprised me with some amazing original drawings {HERE}

* a table centerpiece and awesome necklace giveaway with Whitney {HERE}

* this super generous giveaway from modern little ones {HERE}

* and a super fun and quick tutorial for a dishtowel apron {HERE}

* plus my vegan pumpkin cupcakes with maple glaze recipe {HERE}

It was truly such a blast! A special thanks to all the amazingly talented woman who contributed today I was honored and blessed to have you and overwhelmed with all the incredible gifts you poured into these posts!

Now here's to living my 32nd year to it's fullest - intense illness, job change, short sales, cars getting stolen and blowing up, you got nothin on me I am so ridiculously blessed and this next year is looking mighty fine!

Love you all your a gift to my heart!

Surprise Party :: Dishtowel Apron with Heather from Life Made Lovely!

Hi there A Bit of Sunshine readers!  My name is Heather and I blog over at Life Made Lovely.  I'm so excited to be celebrating with you and Rebekah today! With the weather turning cooler, I find myself inspired to spend time in the kitchen baking treats for my family.  With that in mind, I have a fun and easy dish towel apron tutorial to share with you today.
I used a lovely dish towel I found on clearance, some vintage seam binding and a vintage sheet from my thrift store stash.  Laying the dish towel lengthwise, I created 4 small pleats across the top edge by folding the fabric over about a half inch and then pinning them in place. After stitching them down, I covered the top edge of the towel with seam binding.
Next I created a flower to add onto my apron.  From my vintage pillowcase I cut two sizes of circles and two figure eight shapes.  I created the "8's" by folding the fabric in half and cutting a circle with a flat bottom.  I layered the fabric with the largest circle on the bottom, next the figure eights overlapping each other, and finally the smallest circle on top.  I pinched the bundle from the back, added a few stitches to hold it all in place, and finished it off with a favorite vintage button.  Oh, and I stitched the bottom layer of my flower directly to my apron to ensure it stays secure.  
The best part...whole project was finished before nap time was over! Thanks for having me Rebekah! I hope you're having a happy birthday sweet friend!! -xo  Heather


Thanks Heather I am in LOVE with this project it's so adorable I have the perfect little dishtowel in my stash just waiting for me to make one too!! Make sure to check out Heather's blog it's one of my Heather did my blog design too, she the best!!!

Surprise Party :: GIVEAWAY $30 gift certificate from Modern Little Ones

I am super duper excited about sharing this adorable giveaways with you guys from my friend Catherine over at Modern Little Ones! Catherine has an incredible eye for design and makes some of the sweetest pieces for babies and and littles alike.

My current favorites are her brand new line of super soft backpacks for preschoolers with custom options...and these are her twins girls aren't they cute!

Catherine is generously offering a $30 gift certificate to one lucky reader in honor of my birthday! To enter all you have to do is visit Modern Little Ones and look around, come back here and tell us what you would buy if you win!

For the rest of us she is also offering 20% off to all a bit of sunshine readers with the code: ABITOFSUNSHINE!!

Additional entries go to:

* fans of modern little ones on facebook
* fans of a bit of sunshine on facebook

(make sure to sign your name on this post for each entry separately)

good luck everyone the giveaway will stay open for the rest of the week! And thanks Catherine for sharing your amazing gifts with all of us!

Suprise Party :: Table Centerpiece and GIVEAWAY from Whitney and Noonday Collection!!

Alright guys I am so excited to share this next post from Whitney who is an ambassador for an amazing company called Noonday Collection, a jewelry line handmade by artisans in places such as Uganda, Ethiopia, Ecuador and India. Make sure to read through to find out more about their amazing work and for a chance to win this gorgeous necklace!!!

Hello  a bit of sunshine readers, I'm Whitney and I blog over at Life's an Adventure.  I'm thrilled to be participating in the blog party!

I'm going to share with you a simple but large impact centerpiece project for your table AND a special birthday giveaway, in honor of Rebekah's birthday today!

Ok, first the project.

You're going to need:

  • Glass container, preferably one with a small neck (I purchased mine off the clearance shelf of my local craft store)
  • River rocks (or any pretty rocks that will fit through the neck of your glass container)
  • Tree branch
Now, I used a dead branch because that's all I have here in drought ridden Texas, but nature's trash is my treasure I always say!  But if you have a tree that has some great fall color, prune a branch and use that.  That way you get double impact -- fall color now, then when the leaves fall off, you will have the bare branch to decorate for winter.

Fill the bottle with rocks.

Then work your branch down through the rocks to the bottom the jar.  You may need to trim your branch to make sure it isn't too top heavy.  Go ahead and make three branch bottles.  It only took me about 11 minutes to do all three, and most of that time was spent picking up stray rocks I dropped.  Next time I'll use a funnel and it should only take 3 minutes, max.

I am using mine to display jewelery, but come time for the holidays, I plan to decorate the branch with berry strands and Christmas decorations.  Go ahead and decorate it for Halloween or fall right now though! 

Now for the birthday week giveaway! 

That beautiful necklace you saw on the branch above?  That's the Inca Steps necklace in teal from Noonday Collection.

The Inca steps necklace is handcrafted by Ecuadorian artisans of nuts from the tagua palm, also known as "vegetable ivory".  It's eco friendly and makes quite the statement!

I am an ambassador for Noonday Collection and it is so exciting to be a part of something that helps bring a bit of beauty to women while creating a pathway out of poverty for vulnerable populations around the world. Each piece Noonday Collection sells is handmade by artisans in places such as Uganda, Ethiopia, Ecuador and India.  Each piece tells a story of a community where real change is occurring through sustainable economic opportunities.  When you purchase something from Noonday, it's a gift to you and a gift to their community! 

To enter the birthday giveaway, visit my Noonday Collection site here, then leave a comment on this post telling us what your favorite product or artisan story is.  You have until midnight CST on October 8th to enter.

Thanks for letting me share my little diy and favorite Noonday Collection piece...I had a blast!  Good luck everyone and happy birthday Rebekah!


Thanks Whitney for being here today and for offering such a generous and gorgeous giveaway what a treat!!

Surprise Party :: a special gift from my sweet sister in law Kristen!

This next post was a tear jerk-er for me to open and read. I haven't divulged all of the information around our move but part of the story includes not one but two special homes that Chris and I have made together with our families. Both are ending in the bittersweet and grueling short sale process. I will post more about it all in the future but to release these spots into the hands of the Lord has been very emotional for me. I am a sentimental soul who takes refuge and delight in building a place to call home and filling it with memories.

My Sister in law Kristen does these amazing house drawings and I am the proud owner of two of her originals - they are truly some of my most favorite pieces. This morning she surprised me with some new ones and I am in tears and in love with how she has captured our beloved homes!


Dear Rebekah,

I know most of your friends are sharing fun diys here today, but I have something a little different to share with you on your blog for your birthday today.  Surprise! :) 
Ages ago you asked me if I would draw up two little home portraits for you.

As you celebrate your birthday this year I hope you are able to sit for this moment and soak in the truth that these homes you cultivated and shared were a rich blessing to many, myself included.  It was a joy for me to spend time this weekend thinking about you and these two sweet houses you made into vibrant homes, my colored pencils in hand, as I considered the wonderful memories made within their walls over the years.  May these little drawings be a small reminder to you of the good and beautiful gifts you have received and shared in Christ! And may they encourage your heart as you settle into your new house and dream up the decorations and celebrations and date nights and projects with your kids that will make your new space just as lovely--if not more so--as your first two. 

I love you, Rebekah, and wish you a very happy birthday!  I am so excited to see what the coming year holds for you and your family as you continue to embrace the journey God has you on.  Thank you for inviting me to pop in here today to be a part of your blog birthday party! xoxo, Kristen


These are the two homes that she capture so brilliantly! 

Kristen this gift is one of the most meaningful I have ever received. In the midst of your own family moving and lots of life change going in your world too you have taken time to bless my heart deeply and for that I don't know how to even thank you enough. Thank you for being here today to help me celebrate it is a huge gift! xo

Surprise Party :: Autumnal Wreath with Jodi

Hi, my name is Jodi and I blog at Life and Oh-La-Dee-Dah. I'm so thrilled to be over here at A Bit of Sunshine today! I love this blog of Rebekah's and am so honored to help celebrate her birthday with a guest post. So let's get to it.

Let me paint the picture for you...I'm walking through Target and it never fails, the end isles are generously heaped with tidbits of seasonal decor and they suck me in. This is truly a problem during these Fall and Winter months when the draw to cozy my home with such festive eye candy is hard to resist. I scramble for my blinders and masterfully clip them on and continue to the pacifier isle and then on to find the bananas. This week, instead of loading my cart full of decor, I decided to pull from my craft supplies and make a little something. We are after all, on a budget and you wouldn't believe the amount of pacifiers and bananas we go through.

I used a packing tube I'd saved from an Etsy purchase I received a while ago, a hot glue gun, scissors, felt and since I just purged my crafting supplies recently, I ended up buying fall colored yarn (which I'll use for another project later) and ribbon.

I tied the yarn to start and tucked it under as I wrapped it around the tube so the loose end wasn't visible.

When I finished wrapping the yarn, I tucked the end piece under the other strands in a tight knot and then I hot glued it down.

Then, I hot glued the yarn wrapped tubes to each other to form the wreath. I made a small felt bow to garnish the bottom of my wreath and used ribbon to hang it. Since this project is so flexible, you could definitely use a bigger tube (or even toilet paper rolls) and add whatever embellishments you wanted.

Just a simple, easy little bit of Fall decor. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to head to Target and just take one little peek at those end isle. Just a peek for inspiration. I promise.


Jodi, thank you for sharing this adorable and budget friendly fall inspired idea I love it and can't wait to make one too!! Make sure to check out Jodi's blog today it's adorable and full of tons of fun and inspiring ideas!

Surprise Party :: GIVEAWAY $40 certificate from b. children's wear

I am a huge fan of everything miss Lindsey B. makes for her adorable shop b. children's wear. Josie has several pieces in her collection and I can attest that their is hardcore quality to go along with all the cuteness you will find from her line. 

My current obsession is this Felicity the shy fox shirt, so perfect for the fall season don't you think!!

Or little Rodney the raccoon for the boys!

Lindsey is generously offering a $40 gift certificate to one lucky reader in honor of my birthday! To enter all you have to do is visit b. (HERE) and spend some time peeking at the cute pieces and then come back here and tell us what you would buy if you win!!

For the rest of us she is also offering 20% off to all a bit of sunshine readers with the code: SUNSHINESEP11 but make sure to snag what you want quick these pieces go fast!!

Additional entries go to:

* fans of b.children's wear on facebook
* fans of a bit of sunshine on facebook

(make sure to sign your name on this post for each entry separately)

good luck everyone - this giveaway will stay open until the end of the week, and thank you so much Lindsey I am in LOVE with everything you do!!
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