Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kapellas Karve-off 2012!

The official pumpkins of our 6th Annual event. So how did we do it??

Pumpkin? Check? Goo-removal tools? Check? A tired, teething 15-month-old? Check. 
Better hurry...

Eeeewww, the goo!

Gannon: "I don't need this scoop, I'll use my man hands!"

The super-scoopers!

All clean in there? 

Let the Karving of the skeleton begin! Saw...saw...saw!

Ok, pumpkin, you can go to bed now. No, not you Paul!

Tah-dah! Isla is quickly moving up in the ranks as master-karver in this house.

 And now on to part 2 of the kompetition...
Paul chose a 3-pumpkin difficulty level template. I think he's in over his head.

One of our favorite parts of the event is roasting and eating the seeds. A savory bowl for me and a spicy bowl for Paul. Oh, and pumpkin beer, of course. We've pretty much had every kind of pumpkin beer in our refrigerator this season. Every. Single. Kind. 

So many intricate details...

Only one broken tool later and here it is!

Just adding the finishing touches to mine. Carefully (or maybe not so much) stabbing out the eyes made the perched owl very unstable. Then, somehow, when I was out of the room and Paul was making sure the insides were clear for the candle, the owl fell off. Hmm. The Karve-off Kommittee has launched a tampering investigation into the incident.

Nothing a few toothpicks couldn't fix I suppose...
Another successful event!

Halloween Par-TAY!

AHOY! A pirate ship docked at Isla's school yesterday and dropped her and her parrot off for a fantastic Halloween celebration.

The Pirate is very good friends with a pretty little fairy named Giada. They've become fast friends.

Here is the rest of the class "in character". So many princesses and superheroes!

Snack time! Where's my booty? Arggg!

Dorothy (Ms. Heidi) handed out one of Isla's favorite treasures...cupcakes!

"We should have cupcakes at every snack time, right Giada?"

Time to perform a spooky song all about black bats. Watching these little ones sing, flap their bat wings and make scary faces was my highlight of the party. Cute overload!

The cutest girlies in the class by far!

Ms. Heidi just couldn't get enough of this swashbuckling duo!

Even Ms. Lois Mouse wanted to sneak onto the pirate ship!

Ghosts in the House

BOOO! Our house is Haunted!

But not with scary ghosts. Tootsie Pop ghosts are the best kind to have around. And they make the perfect fun treat for Isla's friends at school.

There's a special way to wrap the tissue. Only little hands can do it best, apparently.

If it was up to Isla, we'd keep all these ghosts around. I'm sure her Daddy would agree since I had to hurry up and take this bag away from him!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Thirty days hath September...

Where that month went, let's see if I remember.
I know my lack of blogging makes you sad,
So read on below to see all of the fun we've had!

(a whole 8 posts-worth!)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Get up, Stand up

When we last left you, Isla and Gannon were enjoying the highlight of the Cubs season, a visit to the Cubs Trolley. After that, Gannon decided he was not going to sit by and take the heartbreak of all those losses. Nope, he was going to stand up and make his voice heard!!
At just over 13 months, Gannon was pulling up to stand using anything and everything he could. 

He also learned to love the camera. Instead of a smile, I got a little boy trying to say cheese (although it sounds more like "EEEEEEE!") and a big sister trying to hold her smile through hysterical laughter.  

Isla is such a supportive sister, encouraging Gannon with every milestone.

Now there's the smiles I was looking for, even through more laughter!

And of course Gannon still loves to eat. And he loves to show us how he chews his "app" or apple, as it's known to everyone else.

Say Cheese and Apples! 

Like a little school girl

It's that time of year... summer's winding down, the lake front is crowded with people soaking up the beach one last time and the CPS teachers go on strike... that's right, school is in session!

And guess who's going to pre-school? Isla and her new trusty side-kick, Rapunzel. Rapunzel (with extra long hair, mind you) was a special gift for Isla for being a big girl and starting her schooling adventure.
All (big) smiles on the morning of the first day.

Here she is, leading the way to Devonshire Preschool, part of the Skokie Park District.

No nerves and no tears. Too bad I can't say the same for myself. 

Isla sat down front and center when her teacher called them around to get their first day name tags. She was the only one to ask for it to be put on her back. But as you'll see below, she gave into conformity.

Isla and her very own cubby.

Her classroom is packed with toys, games, books, paint and everything you could possibly imagine to have an amazing school year.

Isla is in love with her teachers, Ms. Heidi (left) and Ms. Lois. And I am too. The passion these women have for children and enriching young minds is admirable. Their patience alone should qualify them for a Peace Prize or something! 

Cheers to a great first year of school, Isla. You're our star student!

Business (kept) casual

If someone would have told me that I'd start my own business with a person I briefly worked with in 2007, I wouldn't have believed them. (Not to say that working for myself wasn't on my radar at some point in my life.) Enter Mary Cantu, a stylish casual gal on top of being a superb designer and photographer. Even though Mary and I weren't around each other for very long, a definite connection was made. When I moved on to my next design position, we stayed in contact, she became the official Kapellas family photographer and we enjoyed discussing design ideas over lattes and the occasional glass of bubbly, or wine or beer. 

Finally after all the design talk about what kind of products should be on the market (and at the strong urging of our husbands to just do it!), KEPT CASUAL was born. It was a true collaborative effort over many months, building a better brand and product line than we dreamed possible. And if you haven't already figured it out, yes, the K is for Kapellas and the C for Cantu. But the name is also representative our personalities, kept and casual, and our design style, refined and relaxed.

I'd love for you to visit our site (as often as possible!) and check out the products. We'll be adding new things soon, especially as the holidays approach, and we're even working on some custom stationery options. 

And to my partner (boss? ha.) Mary, thank you for applying for and accepting that job; it was definitely meant to be. We're changing the face of paper goods, one pattern at a time! 

Bill Swerski's Super Fans

The Monsters of the Midway are ready to take the field! It's opening day and Isla Swerski and Gannon O'Connor are ready to cheer on the pride and joy of Illinois! And maybe have a few sausages...

I lost count of how many times we sang the fight song, but it must have helped lead the way to victory over the Colts 41-21! Woohoo!

After the win, we headed outside for some post-game sidewalk decorating.

Gannon quickly turned into the chalk monster, coloring on himself and even taking a taste of his writing instrument.

Gannon: "What's this hopscotch you keep talking about?"
Isla: "No, it's a HOS-COPTSCH!"