reflections on my 30s :: on cherry street 'reflections' kit

I'm sharing another page in my 30s album today, this time celebrating the role of wife. The On Cherry Street kit: Reflections had some perfect elements for this page. My husband and I met on a blind date in July of 2006 and have been together every day since. Since we were married in 2009, it's been a wonderful whirlwind of job changes, growing our family, travel and buying our forever home. There is no one else I could imagine at my side. He's my lobster.

I used two cards from the kit for this page. The top right "follow your heart" and then cut out part of another for the bottom left "right music" quote. John Legend's All of Me is a ballad that I've fallen in love with recently and is beautifully fitting. I stamped the "In love with" prompt to accent my journaling on the top right. Here is a close up of the music card:

Supplies: On Cherry Street kit, Reflections // Hedgehog Kiss stamps, Sweet Stamp Shop // Shimelle patterned papers, American Crafts // watercolor crayons // water pen // Twinkle Sweet Dots, V's Sweet Ideas

fun at the county fair...

I recall going to fairs as a child, seeing the farm animals and taking a few rides. Attending the county fair near our new home made our summer bucket list. As the date approached, George began to spot the television commercials and flyers and asked to make the trip. We started a countdown to the fair and talked about some of the things we might see. Admittedly, when I happened upon Jill's blog post about the potential for disaster in taking three young children to such an event, I nearly ditched the idea. Instead, we saw the fantastic weather forecast, caught George's excitement, packed up a million snacks (and just slightly less than a million dollars) and off we went.

I learned a few things that day:
  1. Arrive early. As in, 30 minutes or more before the gates open. We planned it this way, hoping it would pay off and were spot on. Even though we went on a Saturday, the second to last fair day, getting to the lots prior to the gate opening meant we were able to park in the closest lot and had a very short wait once the Star Spangled Banner was finished and the gates flung wide.
  2. Advance order your tickets, if available. We did not do this simply because we weren't aware of the option. For our fair early bird tickets, for both admission and rides, can be purchased the week before the opening day at a discounted rate.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes. While our county fairgrounds were meticulously maintained and very clean, we covered a LOT of ground that day. Sneakers were a must. The people sitting on benches rubbing their tired feet from $1 flip flops or high heels (why???) would have been wise to think of this ahead of time.
  4. Pack snacks for the kids. Lots of snacks. And maybe lunches. If your kids are picky eaters, bring your own food. Fair food is expensive and you do not want to waste $8 on a mini hot dog that will get a mere lick before being discarded. Save that $8 for more rides or fried cheescake on a stick for yourself.
  5. Bring your patience. Fairs are large, loud and crowded. Kids can get easily overwhelmed and overstimulated by large spaces, noise and crowds. Remember this. Take deep breaths, regroup, think about what it all looks like from the perspective of your littles.
We ended up having an excellent family day with few very minor, and very normal, kid behaviors. The boys loved pretty much everything about the day. Amalia sat back and just took it all in then passed out for a long nap in the stroller. We cannot wait to go back next year. With our advance tickets, of course!


pl 2014: weeks 24, 28 and a bonus insert for 29

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite recent layouts in our family album. All were made from the August Citrus Twist Pocket Life kits, featuring the gorgeous Shimelle paper pad...love!!!

Week 24: World Cup 2014, time outside, projects and a visit with Papou....

Our yard in bloom, well visit, lacrosse, building and a little decorating. The "pretty things" quote is on a glassine bag that hold my journaling about what's been done so far in my scrap room...

Week 28: Never having picked up my dSLR this week, this spread is made entirely of iPhone photos and I used two Design F pages to best accommodate the 3x4's.

Breakfast with dinosaurs, sushi, new sounds and textures, coffee 'me time' and a pool day...

A power outage, art by Jack, man in trees (!!), and frozen custard! I am loving the look of white cards with typewriter journaling and simple embellishements.

Detail on some of my favorites...

Week 29 Insert: Our first time picking blueberries...

Loved this local farm with u-pick berries. The berry crop was incredible!

They even had farm animals for the kids to pet and feed. At home I found a recipe for an incredible Blueberry Cobbler and had to include it for future years...


five minute autumn wreath :: a tutorial

Last week I made a fabulous new wreath for our front door. I saw the design on Pinterest, clicked immediately over to The 36th Avenue blog and read the instructions. Within two days, I had gathered my supplies and the wreath took shape. It turned out even better than I imagined! Sadly, I'm not sharing that project here today. You see, I was all excited to decorate for fall on Tuesday, took out the wreath, hung it on our front door, shut the door...well, no. I couldn't shut. the. door. The wreath is too thick to fit between the storm door and our interior door. Who would have even thought to measure for that? Ahem. So, that lovely wreath now hangs in our kitchen where I see it 100+ times a day. See, not a fail at all!

Today, I looked at our unadorned white door and grumbled. It is September. Autumn decor must be displayed. It's my favorite season. Everything apple and pumpkin and lovely warm colors! So, off to the craft store I went to try again and on the cheap. I saw one ready made wreath I loved but at $50? No, not happening. Armed with a coupon and keeping an eye out for sale signs, I picked up bits here and there, brought them home and got to work. FIVE MINUTES later, I was done and happy. You read that right. 5 minutes.

I made the wreath using very simple supplies from AC Moore, the nearest craft store to our home. Prices will vary at other stores but every big box craft store will have similar supplies on hand right now, likely at a discount. I did not pay full price for one piece of this project:

You will need:
Grapevine wreath // $2.50 (regular $4.99, used 50% Michael's mobile coupon)
Leaf Garland to wrap around // $3 (on sale, regular $5.98)
Berry Picks x 4 // $0.50/ea (on sale, regular $1.00)
Burlap bow // $3.59 ready made in the floral design section (on sale, regular $5.99)

1) Wrap the garland around the wreath, attaching it to the back with wire or pins. Or, since my garland had lops at either end, I just hooked it on a cut piece of the grapevine on the back and started wrapping, then did the same for the ending.
2) Add bow with wire. Mine came with a tan pipe cleaner as a stabilizer so I just twisted that around the wreath. 
3) Add two berry picks to either side of the bow. Just stick them into the dense grapevine.
4) Hang your finished wreath.

Totally do-able in 5 minutes while your infant eats puffs next to you and your toddler runs circles around your feet with a toy truck, yelling, "beeeeeep, beeeeeep!" Oh wait, is that just my house?


reflections on my 30s // on cherry street: reflections

I have had the honor of designing for Sweet Stamp Shop this month using the On Cherry Street kit special release, Reflections. The Reflections kit is geared toward taking your projects deeper, taking a look at yourself or sharing thoughtful words with others. Though the kit works great for card makers and traditional scrappers, I've been using it in my favorite way - pocket pages.

As soon as I has the kit stamp set and cards in my hands, I knew what project I'd finally begin. I'm hovering on the brink of a milestone birthday and have been thinking about how I want to document all of the changes, the new roles I've taken on in the past decade. The best decade. Enter this mini album. I'll be sharing the full album in separate posts here on the blog. Today, I'm focusing on the image in the mirror (top left card from Reflections)...

The kit stamp set has a number of prompts that I know I'll use time and again. Here, I stamped them on a striped patterned paper, journaled and layered that over a Reflections card...

Thank you for taking a peek today! I'll share another page from this album next week, here on my blog. I hope you'll pop by the Sweet Blog through the month as the rest of the team continues to post their kit projects and for everyday stamping inspiration!

Supplies used: On Cherry Street kit: Reflections // Baking Love stamp set (retired): Sweet Stamp Shop // Hedgehog Kiss stamp set: Sweet Stamp Shop // Shimelle patterned paper: American Crafts // Kelly Purkey Alphabet Stickers: Simon Says Stamps // Metallic Glitter Sweet Dots: V's Sweet Ideas // Gold Star: Studio Calico


a little t.l.c...

Last night Amalia slept in her own crib, in her own room. She did great and slept right through the night. The boys, however, did not. Jack was up three times and sneaked into our bed at some point before dawn. George woke up twice. Once to use the bathroom and another for, well, who knows really. They have never been consistently great sleepers but last night was extraordinarily awful. Pass the coffee.

My favorite BB cream and mineral foundation have been no match for the circles under my eyes the past few months. And, as I am rapidly approaching another ::coughmiddleagecough:: birthday, the fine lines wrinkles are making their presence known along with more than a few grey hairs. Super fun stuff. Each time I have more than 1.43 seconds to  look in the mirror, I think, "Really time to do something about this." Then a wrestling match ensues or a baby squawks to be fed and dreams of skin care regimes and hair salon bookings are once again forgotten.

I have three children under school age. My shopping trips with them are timed and orchestrated to the minute with lists by aisle. One misstep can and will result in one or more small person melting down in the checkout lane. Gone are the days of browsing the beauty aisles, reading package labels and fawning over lovely packaging. Mall trips? Ha! Only because our Target is attached to one. And by Target, I mean the diaper and grocery aisles.

When my Influenster TLC Vox Box arrived in June, I was thrilled. Every mom can use a little pampering. I pawed through the contents and my eyes went straight to the sleek little Avon package: Anew Reversalist Express Wrinkle Smoother. It had me at Express. I moved the box up to my bathroom counter and there it sat for awhile. One day when I managed more than a rushed moment for my makeup routine, I slid open the mirrored cover and gave the balm a try on my forehead. And, it worked.

No, really. It worked right away. As in, that moment. My deepening wrinkles were instantly smoothed out to a few fine lines. This is my forehead, right out of the shower with (before) only my BB cream and (after) the balm patted over the lines.

When a product actually works and takes next to zero time? Huge mom win. And, Avon. Who knew?

Disclaimer: I received this product for free for testing purposes. All opinions and commentary are my own.


project life: weeks 22 and 25...

With every first season in our new town, our new home, it's exciting to see what blooms, what new things we can discover and to see the children growing in this space. That is the beauty of Project Life. I'm getting it all documented simply - even in summer! Awesome.

The two weeks I'm sharing today are more recent and both use the fabulous, full of color July Citrus Twist Pocket Life and Pocket Life Embellishment kits. I'm not completely caught up yet but, am getting there. Of course, having printer ink on hand helps (note to self: order more today)!

Week 22: this week brought a new lawn mower and other yard tools, a damaged car, vists with family and dear friends, ice pops, Jack shananigans and big brother mischief.

Week 25: World Cup, a family zoo trip, a good book, planting flowers and cute kid moments.

How are you documenting your summer? I have a fun little project that I'm working on and will be sharing soon!
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