Happy Halloween 2014!

Happy Halloween from the Doyle Family! May you have many treats and no tricks!

Halloween 2014 Collage w Text

 

By the way, if you are looking fo those awesome hats, you can get them from Bumble Beeds Bowtique on Etsy. The shirts are from A Doodle and Bug on Etsy (my shop).

Where has the Time Gone?

Audrey 1 Day Old (Where Has the Time Gone?) David 1 Day Old (Where Has the Time Gone?)

As we are nearing the end of David and Audrey’s first year (and our first year in this adventure of Life with Twins), we have started to get a little nostalgic. This year has absolutely flown by. I know that every parent says that. But guess what- it’s true!

The first few weeks are really blurry.

The first few months seem like a dream (although not always a good one, but still a dream).

The most recent months (since about 6 months old) have simply flown.

Where has the time gone?

When they were newborns and we were feeding them or changing a diaper just about every two hours (with maybe an hour off in between), we were dreaming of the day that they would sleep longer or be awake and play.

When they started to enjoy their mobiles and play gym, we wished for the day that they would actually interact with their toys.

When they began grasping toys, we couldn’t wait for them to roll over and start to sit up on their own. Then our backs would get a break.

When they sat up on their own (but fell over because they were trying to get to something just out of reach), we wished for them to crawl.

Where has the time gone?

Now they are crawling, pulling up on any steady (and unsteady) surface, and starting to stand up on their own. They are amazing. They play WITH each other (which, according to my weekly development emails, they shouldn’t be doing yet… yes, I have #gifted children). I finally am not wishing for the next phase. I will be excited when they get there, but I don’t long for it like I did with the first 9 months. It was really really hard when they were little and there were two of them. I wouldn’t complain (except for one or two blog posts), and overall I still won’t complain, but I did wish for a time where it would be easier.

Well, now we are at that time. I love that they read books, help each other, interact with each other, love on me, communicate with me and say what they want (in our own language). We spend all day reading, singing, talking, laughing, eating, playing, smiling.

Now, time can slow down. I’m ready to stay in this stage for forever. I just don’t think that Audrey and David got the memo.

Hey, Time… go away. I’m busy playing with my babies.

11 Months Old!

Doyle Twins 11 Months Old

Um, where did this month go? Weren’t we JUST doing an update? Time, slow down! I can’t believe that the next update will be when they are a year old!

Audrey 11 Months Old

Things We Love about Audrey:

  • kisses and hugs, especially when we ask for them
  • inverted bottle feeding position
  • lots of clapping
  • wants to give things to people
  • puts things back in bins when asked
  • turns her back on David when she wants to keep a toy
  • so excited for “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” that the sun comes out at the beginning of the song
  • tells us she is tired by “blubbing” her lips with her fingers
  • sticks out her tongue to copy us

David 11 Months Old

Things We Love about David:

  • story telling (sounds like words instead of just sounds)
  • likes to dump things out
  • loves to peer around corners to find us
  • actually reads books (and turns to his favorite pages)
  • loves crawling around the playroom with his pop-pop truck
  • dances by bouncing up and down and side to side
  • throws toys when done with them
  • picks books off the shelf, throwing them behind him
  • loves spitting water all over himself

Creating Long Signs and Changing Text with Silhouette Studio

Adding and Editing TextPiecing Together a Sign

 

I’ve been meaning to do another Silhouette Studio tutorial for a while, as my previous tutorials have been some of the biggest hits on the blog. Plus, they have been pinned thousands of times on Pinterest. How cool! In case you want to read those, here are the links:

Today’s tutorial will cover two topics:

1. How to piece a sign together if it is longer than the size of a cutting mat, and

2. How to edit fonts.


Piecing Together a Sign

Part 1: How to piece a sign together if it is longer than 24 inches (the size of a cutting mat)

*All images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Pick how long your finished product will be and make the changes in the “Page” setting. I always like to design in real-size, so I can get an idea for proportions. In this case, the sign will be 29 inches long and 12 inches tall… just a tad too long for one sheet of 12×24″ vinyl and a cutting mat.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

 

 

Open up a text box and type in your text. From this step, we are going to skip to the final look of the text that we want. If you want to know how to edit the text, skip down below for that tutorial.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Voila! After playing around (remember to skip to the tutorial below if you want to know how to fix the font), we have the exact font and size we would like!

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

We can even play around a little bit by changing the color of the font, just to make sure. I always do this, as I am very visual and like to see how it will look as close as possible. This is also helpful if you are showing mock-ups to customers. First, highlight all of the text. Then go to the “fill” box (on the top right string of icons).

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Pick your color. You can get more advanced, but for a quick change, you can just pick one of the colors listed.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

You will notice that the red lines are still outlining the text, so I like to get rid of them. It also will help you see proportions a little more, as those outlines will distort the look of what gets cut and what stays the same. Click on the “line color” icon.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

And then click the cross-hatched option, which means “no color.”

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Now, the rest of the tutorial will continue as if we didn’t change the color. Highlight all of the text and click Object > Modify > Weld. This will make each of the letters act individually of each other.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

In order to weld, you can also click the icon, located at the bottom left of the screen.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

 

Now, everything is by itself.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

You could take any of the letters and move them around.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

But don’t do that. In order to keep the words together, I like to group them together by highlighting a word at a time.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

And pressing the group button, found on the bottom left row of icons.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Once you have grouped the letters in both words, you can independently move the words around. If you wanted to, you could stop here and cut one word (in this case “Happy”), move it out of the white area, load another piece of vinyl, move in “Holidays” and then cut that.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

However, if you want to get it all cut at once, , you can get a little creative with your layout by rotating the words to fit on one page. Remember you will want to stop at that vertical red line, as that’s where it will stop cutting because of the mat size.. If you are using this as a stencil, remember to give yourself plenty of space around each word.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com
So there you go! That’s how you can squeeze a longer sign on one sheet of vinyl! Let me know if you have any questions!


Adding and Editing Text

Part 2: How to Edit Fonts

So, starting with the font that automatically comes with the text box. You can do some playing around with the box and size. Start by moving that vertical bar back and forward. You can get rid of all that extra space, or you can collapse the words so that they are on two lines. You will need to use that bar later on.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

 

In order to make the text larger, you can take the corner (any of the corners) and click-and-drag. Your text can become huge!

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

 

I also sometimes like to get rid of the grid, by clicking on the grid icon and unchecking “Show Grid.” The grid is helpful when I’m about to cut (I can count and make sure I have the vinyl placed correctly), but normally it’s just too distracting while I work.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

 

Back to resizing. In the font selection screen (top right row of icons, looks like a letter A), you can make changes to the font. I never worry about the font size in this screen, as I manually change it.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Some fonts you pick will be huge and go onto two lines.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

That’s when you will take that bar (you may have to double click the text box to get it to show up), adjust it to be longer, and then scale it down.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Keep adjusting until you are happy with it. You can also stretch the font vertically by dragging the middle square (when the text is selected) or horizontally by clicking on either of the side squares.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Remember, when you are changing the font, you will want to either highlight the text itself and make the change OR if you are changing everything in a text box, just click on the text until it looks like the pictures above. I like this option because I can then click on one font and then use my down arrow and scroll through the other fonts, seeing what they look like in the words I will use. Again, visual learner here and it’s what works best for me.

So how were these tutorials? Clear as mud? Let me know if you have any questions or need clarification!

 

It’s a Twin Thing

We took this video of Audrey and David when we were at our hotel in Savannah, GA, on a recent trip. Audrey was trying to “pants” David (in between lots of hugs), and David thought it was the funniest thing. I love my babies!

#100HappyDays

At the beginning of the summer, I jumped on the 100 Happy Days bandwagon. I feel like I’m normally happy anyway, but I wanted a picture challenge, and this seemed right up my alley.

So, here are my #100HappyDay pictures. You know what I learned? My family is what makes me happy. Really happy. Ridiculously happy.

 

 

To see all of these pictures and the captions, come check out my Instagram page (@dorydoyle).

Review: SiliGuy iPhone Holder

*The giveaway has ended! Congrats, Amanda!*

 

When I had my last car, we had mounted a phone holder that was specific to my make and model. It was wonderful! Then, after the twins were born we got a new car (you can read about that saga here), but the mounted phone holder did not transfer over. I made do, until I received my SiliGuy iPhone Holder.

SiliGuy Posing

This little guy is very cute and made of flexible silicon. You can adjust his arms and head in many different ways, and I was able to move him around so that he “sat” on my dashboard, hanging out of an air conditioning unit.

SiliGuy in Car

Since I’ve been using it, I have loved being able to have a safe place for my phone. I can easily plug it in and have easy access when I get in and out of my car. No pictures of it in use, however, since I…well… can’t take a picture when it’s in its slot.

SiliGuy Flexibility Rules

One other use that is great is to hang it off of your wall charger to have a place to set your phone.

SiliGuy Holding Phone

 

Here’s just a little more from the guys behind SiliGuy:

Flexible Cell Phone Universal Car Mount. Use the SiliGuy anywhere you want. Flexibility to secure any smartphone. The universal fitting SiliGuy can grip your mobile device while hanging from your rear-view mirror, slid into the air vent, suspended from the steering wheel, or where ever you want. Any hand-sized device can be safely and comfortably secured in your car, providing safe visibility to use GPS and easy access to speaker phone. 

More than just a car mount! This cell phone holder can be used almost anywhere you want! Secures to bike handlebars, gym equipment, in the kitchen for eRecipes, hangs phone while charging, even secures power cords in the office. 

Want to purchase one yourself? They are available on Amazon for $10.94 (on sale from $15).

I actually have a black SiliGuy to give away to a lucky reader! Simply post a comment that says where you would hang your SiliGuy. You have until October 24 at 11:59 PM. Good luck!

The giveaway has ended. Congrats, Amanda!

SiliGuy Random.org Winner

Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

 

 

 

Breastfeeding at 10 Months

Well, I know that almost two months ago, I posted that I thought the end of nursing was upon us. That was when the babies were close to 9 months old. Now they are almost 11 months old, and we are surprisingly going strong with breastfeeding still! It seems like we just hit a bump in the road at 9 months.

With other moms and MOMs that I’ve talked to, it seems like 9 months is when many mothers stop breastfeeding. I think I have figured out why. At that age, babies are really fidgety, distractible, and goofy. They also bite and pull and pinch nipples. A lot. Ouch!

But I was stubborn and emotionally not ready to stop nursing. I wanted to get to 12 months. So I didn’t. I pushed through. And now, here we are at almost 11 months old, and we are still nursing at 7:30 AM, 11:45 AM and anytime between 3:30 and 5:30 PM. But nursing doesn’t look like it did when we first started this journey.

Now, I lie down on the ground, with the middle of the Twin Z pillow boosted up to support my head and neck. The babies crawl to me, sit on their knees, and literally attack me to start nursing.



They cuddle in to keep nursing. Audrey wraps her leg around me and snuggles her whole body against mine. She looks up at me with her wide, blue eyes. So serious. David stays on his stomach. After a minute or two he sits up on his knees and starts bouncing and singing. When I threaten to end our session, he attacks again to keep nursing. I usually laugh and laugh and laugh. When he gets really silly, he makes farting sounds against my breast. My little goofball.

IMG_7856

Sometimes, when one baby ends first, the other sees an opportunity and lunges across me for the other breast. They will do this, continually taking turns, pushing each other out of the way, singing, laughing, and then going off to play.

And lately, they have found each others’ hands again.

IMG_7855

Yes, I love nursing this way. I could continue this for a while longer. What a change a couple months makes!

Are you curious about our twin breastfeeding journey?

 

Brieftons Spiral Slicer Review and Giveaway

 

This giveaway has ended. Thanks to everyone who entered!


Brieftons Spiral Slicer

 

In our effort to eat healthy, we have started eating at home for most of our meals. It’s crucial, not only for our health, but also our wallets and sanity (with two babies in the house, trying to go out all the time is near impossible). We have some great meals that we make in rotation, but we are looking for easy recipes, especially with the twins starting to eat real people food!

In my research, I found out about using a spiral slicer for zucchini “pasta,” but I didn’t have a spiral slicer… until now! Here’s some a bunch of info from Brieftons, the manufacturer:

Looking For A Great Way To Eat More Vegetables For Better Health?
The Brieftons Spiral Slicer Is What You Need!

Have you ever wanted an easy, quick way to create long, even strands of vegetables to use in your low carb dishes? If so, you need the popular, newly improved Brieftons Spiral Slicer!

Designed to make raw vegetable “pastas” with ease from carrots, zucchinis and the like, the Brieftons Spiral Slicer is the perfect gadget for raw foodists.

From veggie spaghetti, easy stir fry, to fancy garnishes for the sushi plate, this spiral cutter makes it all child’s play.

It is ideal for making curly strands of firm vegetables, creating garlands of vegetables, making stunning salads and food preparations.

The Brieftons spiral vegetable slicer can cut spirals in 2 thicknesses (2x3mm & 3.5x5mm).

What Vegetables Can Be Used?

Simply use this Brieftons Spiralizer like a pencil sharpener. It works great on many firm vegetables, such as:

Carrots
Zucchinis
Turnips
Rutabagas
Cucumbers
Large radishes
And many more

The Quick, Safe Way to Prepare Vegetables!

It works great on firm vegies like carrots, zucchinis, turnips, rutabagas, cucumbers, large radishes, and more. In fact, it works better than expensive models. It is super easy & quick to operate this gadget, and is safe to use thanks to the built-in finger guards!

What Makes It a Great Spiralizer?

This is a high quality kitchen tool, made from first grade plastic and stainless steel. It comes with super sharp Japanese blades to cut through even the hardest vegetables. It is also compact enough to fit into a kitchen drawer. There is no annoying attachments to worry about. The Brieftons Spiralizer is also easy to clean & dishwasher safe. Just rinse it under the tap, spin it in the dishwasher, or use the included kitchen brush to clean it!

Make More Spiralized Vegetables Than You Can Eat

The Brieftons Spiral Slicer is perfect for making long vegetable strands for low carb, healthy vegetable meals. It can also core vegetables with seeds such as zucchinis, thereby prevent vegetable seeds from ending up on the plate!

What Is Included In the Box?

In the package you will get a Brieftons Spiral Slicer (including a finger-guard cap), a bonus cleaning brush to keep the device in tip top condition, a manual, and a recipe sheet.

In addition, you will receive an exclusive 20-recipe Brieftons Spiral Slicer Recipe Book electronically, plus other ongoing recipe updates on the Brieftons website.

The Essential Kitchen Tool for Healthy Living

The Brieftons spiralizer is great for those following a low carb, gluten free, or paleo diet, using vegetables instead of pasta/noodles. It is also great for fussy kids to make their vegetables more interesting!

If you love eating vegetables, you will love the Brieftons Spiral Slicer! It makes preparing vegetables so easy, you will want to use it over and over again.

If you don’t already like vegetables, you will like eating them now. The Brieftons Spiral Slicer makes awesome looking, appetizing textures and colors out of ordinary vegetables that you may not want to eat otherwise.

Start making those healthy vegetable dishes today. Our bonus Brieftons Spiral Slicer Recipe Book is designed to get you started right away!

Get the Brieftons Spiral Slicer Today and Start Eating More Vegetables For Better Health!

Brieftons Spiral Slicer Review and Giveaway

Pretty thorough information, huh? Well, we put this spiral slicer to the test. This little gadget is no joke!

Brieftons Spiral Slicer Review and Giveaway

Brieftons Spiral Slicer Review and Giveaway

I was actually wondering how well it would work, since it feels a little inexpensive, but it really sliced right through the zucchini like a champ. I’m so excited to stir fry it up and have a healthy lunch! Plus, hardly any of the zucchini was left over afterwards!

Brieftons Spiral Slicer Review and Giveaway

Brieftons Spiral Slicer Review and Giveaway

 

Does this sound like something that you would like? All you have to do to be entered to win one of these is to post a recipe that would use the Brieftons Spiral Slicer (either full recipe or a link to the recipe) in the comments. It doesn’t even have to be YOUR recipe. Find one online that you like (just make sure to let me know if it is not your original recipe to give credit to the original source) and post it in the comments! Easy! I will randomly select one of the comments to win! Contest ends on October 13!

To purchase one of these, simply go to Amazon! It couldn’t be easier! It is currently on sale for $12.89 (and PRIME shipping), so the price is fantastic!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

This giveaway has ended, but please feel free to keep submitting recipes! Yum! Congrats to our winner, Sarah, whose name was picked in the Random List Generator in spot #1!

Random.org List Generator Spiral Slicer Winner

 

My Favorite Posts Link Up: September (#7)

Can you believe it’s already October? The air is chilly and Halloween is just around the corner!

Today, we are featuring our favorite September 2014 posts from other blogs.

my favorite posts title

Here is the Most-Viewed Post from the August Link Up:

Hey Jack” by Glitz & Gritz

 

Here are some of my favorite blog posts written by other bloggers that were published in September:

 

9 Things to Clean with the Kids Get Sick” by Clean Mama

Stuffed Shells” by Lou Lou Girls

 

*If you were featured on My Favorite Posts whether by me or one of the co-hosts, make sure to grab a button below!*

*Make sure to check out our co-hosts posts to see who they have featured as their favorite posts!*

 

The Link-Up

We will be hosting the My Favorite Posts link-up on the first Monday every month. Each month, we’ll be sharing our favorite posts from the month before and featuring the majority favorite from the link-up (most click-throughs).

 

The Hosts:

I am teaming up with Rachel at My Wholesome Home and Angela at House Full of Boys to provide you an opportunity to share your favorite posts from the last month.

Rachel button 150    Doy Button 150    Angela Button 150

The Rules:

    • Feel free to link up one of your own posts, but only one!
    • Link up someone else’s post that you loved.
    • Check out somebody new that you haven’t read before.
    • Grab our button!

 

We can’t wait to read some more of the great posts you link up! We would love you to share the link-up using #MyFavoritePostsLinkUp.