Archive | May, 2010

teacher gifts {part three} and some other stuff

First, let’s start with a fun gift idea:

summer scarf

Dana from MADE is a genius at sewing and comes up with such cute and simple projects to make.

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She featured this little project right before Mother’s Day and I just knew my mom would love a ruffle-y summer scarf.

All it takes is a half yard of light-weight fabric and some elastic thread. I’ve been reading about elastic thread so I was excited to give it a try.

It was NOT a good experience.

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Apparently some sewing machines just don’t do well with elastic thread, and mine is one of them.

But Dana, the dear that she is, gave a second option for those of us with machines that have elastic thread allergies.

A ruffle-y summer scarf made without the evil thread.

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I whipped one up for my momma and she loved it {or at least led me to believe that she did :}

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So, if your teacher is the type who would wear a summer scarf, if you want to give elastic thread a try {or just go the traditional thread route} and have a few minutes to make your gift, this is a perfect one.

Click HERE for the tutorial.

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On a completely different note :

We moved away from Seattle a few years ago to a suburb with expansive houses and teensy yards. There are so many things I love about where we are now {fabulous neighborhood, a new {rodent-free} house that has a dishwasher and doesn’t need a new foundation, the greatest friends} but when I go into the city I realize how much I miss it. For the shopping. And being close to my amazing sisters. But also for the most spectacular old homes and established landscaping.

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Love.

I used to be a nanny and would pick up the girls at a preschool that was located across from this brick house. I’ve always wanted a house just like it. While I was in the area today I decided to drive by just to remind myself of what it looked like.

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Still in love.

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Speaking of love, here are the little girlies having a sweet cousin moment.

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How about that for a random post?

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what i wore

So I’ve been linking to lindsey at the pleated poppy on her “what I wear wednesday” because

1. I think it is fun to see what other ladies are wearing

2. it motivates me to get dressed when I know I will be photographing myself each day

I’ve been pretty good this week about taking pictures {except for while on the retreat} and what do you know, there is no “what I wore wednesday”.  Oh well. But, in case it is fun for you to see what I’ve been wearing and it somehow motivates you to get dressed each day, here are my outfits.

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and the babe:

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teacher gifts {part two}

I was going to select just one item from The Pleated Poppy, but as I was looking through what Lindsey has in her shop, I decided that any/all of it would be perfect for thanking a teacher.

Here is a little snippet:

covered

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zippered

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checkbook

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posy

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aprons

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Visit The Pleated Poppy for even more great products.

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teacher gifts {part one}

The school year is {rapidly} coming to an end. And with the close of school comes the need to thank our teachers for their amazing patience, hard work and love that they give to each of their students.

This week I’ll be featuring some products that I think would be perfect for teacher gifts.

Today, let’s start with a little something from my stationery line:

teacher note cards

Select from any of the following or choose a custom design for no extra charge.

Each card is 3.5 x 5 and is printed on heavy weight off-white cardstock.

stripes  a note from simple  modern bird medallion print namebird flag banner frame   P paper scallop scroll frame miss fussier monogram backgroundsimple name with dots

mrs kennedy high tulip 

If you would like to place an order, please email

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Stay tuned for more great gift ideas :

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pretty things

I’m back from my retreat and had the most amazing, refreshing, encouraging time. I have much to process, and I’m guessing there will be a few ‘journal-ish’ posts in the next few days.

Have you ever been to a women’s retreat? There are a lot of tears. Good ones, sad ones, freeing ones. I cried some tears for myself and buckets of tears for my sweet friends and, my goodness, do my eyes ache!

So, for now, let’s just look at a few pretty things to soothe these puffy eyes.

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{I am terrible about crediting photos – I just save them in my file and often forget to save the source. I’m working on that :}

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retreat

I’m heading out in just a few minutes for our women’s retreat.  We sprung for a fancy resort this time around and I can’t wait for a time of relaxing, socializing, growing, swimming, worshipping & amazing scenery.

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Not sure if there will be much time for blogging, so until next time :

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mothers-in-law

You hear stories all the time about terrible mothers-in-law. They are overbearing, protective of their sons, want to tell you how to be a wife or raise a child, how to cook a meal or make a bed.

That is not the case for me.

I have a mother-in-law that I not only love, but I genuinely like.

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:: She accepted me the first day we met {with her love of girly things and the fact she had two very un-girly boys, I think she would have loved any girl that walked through the door!}.

:: She adores her grandbabies. She is the kind of grandma who lets the kids dump out the entire lego bin, gives them a full ball of yarn to create spider webs in the living room, and provides them with their own mini shovels to help her dig in the garden.

:: She has given me over half of what I have in my house {pretty much all the cool stuff}.

:: Every time we spend the night, she gets up with the kids. For someone who loves sleep as much as I do and gets as little of it as I do, this is the best gift ever.

:: She dealt with a horrible first marriage and raised her two boys on her own and really doesn’t hold bitterness for a situation that would have ruined the average woman.

:: She gave me him:

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I love you Grandma Nonna.

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what I wore

It is What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy.

image I just wanted to let you all know that I am no longer standing on the edge of the bathtub for a full length view of myself. I went out and spent $5.99 on a mirror. Why I have not made this purchase LONG ago, I have no idea. It is a super flimsy mirror and I can’t figure out how to hang it as there are no hangers, but I suppose anything is better than the edge of the tub.

So here are the two outfits I’ve worn since acquiring the mirror.

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Quality photo, I know. And do you like the prom dresses thrown on the floor behind me?

shirt: Gap, jeans: Seven A Pocket, boots: about 7 years old from Nordstrom

Now that I see myself, I think this outfit is a little dorky.

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And this is today. Again, quality photo.

sweater: Nordstrom {Point of View – I realized about a year ago that I should no longer shop in the Juniors section and made my way over to the ‘mom’ department where I’ve remained ever since.} jeans: Banana Republic, tank: Old Navy, shoes: Payless

And for good measure, here is the little darling:

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Outfit bought by my mom at the consignment store. Headband by me.

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Shirt: Happy Hollis Designs, skirt: Target, headband by me.

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the office

In my old office, I had this fabulously large chalkboard where I could write out all of my to-do lists. I like to-do lists. Actually, I like crossing things off to-do lists – it makes me feel productive. Sometimes I’ll write down something obvious just so that I can cross it off {like ‘eat breakfast’ or ‘pick up #1 from bus’}.

Anyway :

This chalkboard {salvaged from an old school} fit perfectly on the wall in my old office, but just couldn’t work in the new one.

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So I went with the ever-popular chalkboard wall.

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No. 2 and No. 3 helped ‘season’ it

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and my little girl watched

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until it looked like this.

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Then I wiped it down to give it that slightly old dusty look that we all love.

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Today I’m finishing up this wall and can’t wait for the final results.

And, of course, crossing it off my to-do list.

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sources

Thanks for all of the kind comments about my baby’s outfits and my silly pose on the edge of the tub. You guys are funny.

I had some questions about where my Audrey-girl gets her clothes. She does have some pretty cute ones!

While I’ll be happy to tell you our sources, I will preface it by saying 98% of what she wears are hand-me-downs from my super stylish nieces and baby friends. Therefore, most of these items are no longer in stores. I’ve added a few of my own touches, but for the most part, my little girl is just a mini Caroline, Isabella & Matilda.

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1. dress: old navy, socks: trumpette mary janes

2. shirt: gymboree, jeans: gap, shoes: gap

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3. pants: made by my mom, shirt: gap, shoes: gap

4. dress: H&M, shoes: gap

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5. overalls {with chocolate spilled from my donut – oops!}: gymboree, shirt: gymboree, socks: trumpette

6. cloud dress: target, pants: gap, shoes: made by me

Lots of questions about her sweet headbands too. I make them.

It is not surprising that she doesn’t wear much pink, since it really isn’t my favorite color. But I’m also finding that she looks best in NOT pink – I think she has inherited my coloring. And I also find that I dress her in clothes that I would wear. Simple, classic, layers, plain colors. And finally, I will say that dressing her is VERY fun for me. I’ll try not to put too much emphasis on her looks as I don’t want her to associate her value with her outward beauty, but seriously, dressing a little girl is so much different than dressing my boys.

We are having some amazing weather this week, so we’ll be out enjoying the sun. Hope you all have something special to do with someone special this weekend!

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what i wear

This is sort of all over the blog world: WHAT I WORE. I love it. I think it is fun to see outfits that other women are wearing. It gives me ideas and it motivates me to actually put something interesting on. So I thought I’d try to join the party.

Here is the first day:

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When getting ready to take the picture, I realized that I don’t have a full length mirror. I stand on the edge of our bathtub. And photographing me standing on the edge of the bathtub looks way too silly to continue. Plus, my clothes are not very interesting.

But  T H I S  girl : she has some cute ones.

So we’ll switch it up and call it “what my little girl wore”.

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That’s much better.

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office primping

We are notorious for moving things around in our house. Even switching entire rooms around.

Like this room in the front of our home. When we first moved in, it was my office. Then it became my husband’s when we built out an office for me off the playroom. Then our friends came to live with us and we sort of shared the office so that we could use mine as an extra bedroom. We tried to use this room as a sitting room, but realized that it just didn’t get much use. So here we are again, and it is now my office.

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It was painted a great dark taupe color, but it felt a little too dark for me. So last week I painted it back to its original lighter color.

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I’ve always loved the idea of wallpaper, but have also always struggled to find one that I love {and can also afford!}

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The idea of painting ‘wallpaper’ seemed to be the best fit, so with the approval of my darling husband, I came up with an idea, sketched it out, and just dove in. It is just paint, afterall.

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I created a pattern, traced it on the wall and then hand painted the lines. IT TAKES FOREVER! I finished the window wall and we thought maybe we’d live with it for a few weeks before deciding to continue on to the other walls. But, as I lived with it for a few hours, I just knew I wanted it on all of the walls.

So tracing and painting I continued :

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I’m making progress. Slowly, I might add. But progress nonetheless.

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apron day

I just read that it is National Wear Your Apron Day. What a silly holiday. But sort of fun at the same time.  Aprons are good; they protect your clothes from splatters, but they also can be a pretty cute accessory for the kitchen. Most of all, it makes me feel like a 50’s housewife when I put mine on and for some reason that is sort of comforting.

So in honor of this day, here are a few cute aprons I found:

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{anthropologie}

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{the pleated poppy}

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{the land of nod}

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{ etsy – modern green}

So here we are, wearing our aprons.  In honor of it, I think we’ll bake some cookies.

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  Happy National Wear Your Apron Day.

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the littlest one

Just in time for Mother’s Day, my sister had the most adorable baby girl. She is so sweet and the perfect addition to our {growing} family.

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Welcome sweet Hadley Kate. We are so glad you are here and love you so much already!

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doing it all

I received an email {very sweet} from a blog reader {and friend of my sister}. Here is a piece of it:

“I am completely inspired and overwhelmed by all of your fun posts.  I am so amazed that you have time and energy to do all the things you do, with four little ones.  I just had my second baby in Jan and only hope to get to my ever growing to-do list of fun projects.  How do you do it?  and I was also wondering, how do you organize it all?  if you were willing to share I would love to hear, that is my struggle, keeping all my projects and dreams organized.”

First of all, I am humbled by these kind remarks. I am inspired by so many other women’s blogs so I am happy that my little blog can inspire others.

Now, I’m not exactly sure how to approach this for fear of sounding like I have it all figured out, because truthfully, I don’t.

But I’m going to say a prayer and trust that the Holy Spirit will say what He needs to say through me.

Here it goes.

Moms have it tough.

Let me explain.

There is this struggle in every mom I know to be the best mommy to our children, but also be true to ourselves. To have a life outside of our babies. To have dreams and interests and hobbies and opportunities to wear real clothes.

Regardless of whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home one, we all feel the pressure to do it all. And do it all well .

I certainly do.

I want to home school my kids, grow my business, sew a dress for my little girl, run some errands, keep my wood floors clean, make a healthy dinner, work out, spend time in prayer, be a good friend, play with the boys, read too many blogs, spend time with my husband, fold laundry, watch a tv show or two, go to book club, send handwritten notes, call my sisters AND redecorate my office, all in a single day.

Anyone else out there?

And the problem is, I think I should be able to do it. And do it well.

But the truth is, I can’t.

Let me remind you {my sweet readers and friends} that a blog is a place to put your best face on. What you see here is my house when it is picked up, my kids when they are smiling, me when I look cute, projects that worked. I want to be vulnerable and honest in all I write, but truthfully, I also want to appear put together.

What you don’t see is my dirty bathrooms because I would rather sew than clean them. Or the piles of clean clothes that don’t get folded for days because I’d rather read a book than fold them. Or my children watching Curious George at 5pm because without that precocious monkey I would not be able to make dinner.

What I’m saying is that there is a trade-off.

Sometimes my boys play for hours by themselves. Sometimes I feel terrible that I am not upstairs creating lego masterpieces with them. Sometimes I am just thankful that they play so well.

Sometimes we eat out so that I don’t have to do dishes.

Sometimes I don’t shower for days. I’m not kidding.

You get the point.

We have to make a sacrifice in one area to be able to achieve in another.

SO, to answer the question of how I do all that I do, let’s just say I make sacrifices.

But in a very practical way, here are some things that help:

1. I don’t watch much tv.

2. My girl is the easiest baby alive.

3. The boys play well together {with an occasional eruption now and again}

4. We have several go-to activities for them that keep them occupied and are readily available. {We moved my office to give them a ‘lego room’ so that they can create to their heart’s content and I don’t have to find legos all over the house.  Our kitchen table is usually covered with colored pencils, paper scraps, scissors and drawings of monsters and battles and pirates.  The backyard, while I’d like to keep it nicely groomed, is often the site of ‘rat traps’ and mud making.  Dart guns and foam swords are favorites, as are every blanket and pillow in the house for fort making.} I like to keep things picked up and in order, but I regularly have to remember that part of my job is to encourage the boys to be creative and sometimes creativity is messy.

5. We have a monthly menu of dinners so I know what I am making and have the ingredients on hand.

6. My husband is a firefighter and has a great schedule for having a young family. He is home quite a bit and helps out a lot.

7. I stay up late.

I’m not sure how to wrap this one up, but I hope this answers the question.

Remember the story of Mary & Martha?

Luke 10:38As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42but only one thing is needed.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I think that sums it up perfectly. We need to choose what is better. We can not do it all. We must make little choices daily, little sacrifices, let some things go, allow for messes and unfinished projects and dirty bathrooms and too many kid shows and in the end, know that  G R A C E  is what gets us through.

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