Archive | May, 2011

you’re invited {last chance}


I would love very much for you to join us for a fun morning! You’ll take away several different flowers, meet some lovely women and support a great cause.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please click  H E R E.

Ticket sales end Wednesday June 1st, so grab them while they are available.

P.S. if you come, please introduce yourself to me : can’t wait to put faces to names!

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I have tree-envy


This tree sits in my sister & brother-in-law’s back yard.

tree closer

With its showing blooms


and their delicious fragrance


and far-reaching span.

more blooms

It makes me very envious.

I need a lilac tree.

Then I could cut flowers and have them filling up my house with their amazing scent.




But for now, I’ll just be happy for my sister. And thankful that she let me cut a {huge} armful.

Anyone else in love with lilacs?

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audrey’s room at nonna’s house

Nonna {Ryan’s mom} knows how to put a room together.

This is her most recent project, which she has dubbed Audrey’s Room.

audrey's room

The baby girl still sleeps in a pack and play while visiting, but someday soon she’ll be able to sleep in her own big bed.

I love the mix of art work, book pages, mirror and chalkboard – all hung randomly, but they work together perfectly.


The headboard was a project done on a whim using foam wrapped in fabric and then tufted with covered buttons.

headboard 2



Isn’t it such a delightful room? Nicely done sweet Nonna {hope you don’t mind that I snuck some photos while visiting the other day!}

the room

And just for good measure, here is Audrey in her ‘real’ room.


You know all of those adorable photographs of babies standing in their cribs? I was going for that look, but my baby girl would have nothing of it. She’s still pretty cute though.

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I will make a formal introduction soon, but please head to my best friend’s new blog for a heartfelt message for this Memorial Day.

Thank you to all of the soldiers, both past and present, who have given us this amazing gift of freedom.  We remember and honor your life of service.

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the june giveaway


This time around I went with pink. I know, how crazy from a girl who doesn’t typically like the color. But it is a good summery hue- the color of flowers, bridesmaid dresses and toenail polish. It is happy and as girlie as they come {although I heard once that pink was originally the color used to celebrate a baby boy – how strange!}.

In this month’s collection:


1. necklace with vintage beads from Lucia K. Jewelry 2. headband from Vintage Rose Wraps 3. essie nail polish in mod square 4. set of 8 note cards + envelopes 5. ruffle clutch 6. chocolove raspberry chocolate bar 7. set of pink & brown candles from Ana Candles 8. goodie bags {3 each stripe, dot & frosting} from Whisker Graphics and stickers {made by me} 9. Boots hand cream 10. white dish & an assortment of pink buttons

I am so thankful for three very sweet ladies who have added their delightful goods to the giveaway:

lucia k jewelry vintage rose wraps whisker graphics

{click on the images to visit their sites}

To enter the giveaway click the button below


* the giveaway winner will be announced monday june 27th*

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monogram art {tutorial}

Remember this picture from a few days ago?


I put together a tutorial for how I made it. 

I spent this morning with my friend Rae who is pregnant with No.4. I think my favorite thing to talk about with pregnant women is what they are going to name the baby. I’m sure it gets old for my poor friends, but I never grow tired of it. I love talking baby names. I sort of wish I could have more kids just so I could name them. Actually, I don’t. I take that back.

Anyway : we were talking about her baby names {both of which I ADORE}. She is one of those crazy ladies who doesn’t find out what she is having beforehand {which is actually really quite fun} but I decided to make this monogram art for the new baby’s room, should he come out a boy. If she comes out a girl, I will tear it all apart and girlify it. But I like the idea for a baby’s room – it is not totally babyish, but still sentimental and a nice keepsake.

Geesh, I’m longwinded today.

So, here is the finished project:

monogram art

And here’s what you’ll need to make one of your own:


:: picture frame {this one is 5 x 7 with a 4 x 6 opening}

:: linen {or other fabric for background}

:: book page for monogram

:: metal book plate {found in the scrapbook section of most craft stores}

:: stamps and ink pad for adding birthdate, year, etc.

:: glue gun, scissors

STEP ONE: cover back of frame with fabric


Just cut the fabric slightly larger than the back and wrap snugly around the back. Secure with hot glue.


STEP TWO: create your monogram

I designed mine in Illustrator and printed directly on to the book page {temporarily attached to a standard piece of paper so it would run through the printer}.



You could just as easily free hand a letter, trace a stencil, die-cut it or use the transfer method I used to write on my chalkboard wall in the office.

STEP THREE: cut out letters


This took some patience on my part and if I were to do it again I would have mirror-imaged the letters when I printed them so that you wouldn’t see the outline. But I don’t think the baby will mind.

STEP FOUR: attach the monogram


Place the letters where you want them, then hot glue. This was a little tricky for the teensy letters.

STEP FIVE: attach the metal book plate


Again, just use hot glue.

STEP SIX: add a label with the birthdate, anniversary, established date, etc.


Let me talk for just a second about these stamps. I made them. Well, sort of. Last summer when I needed number stamps to price items for the summer boutique I searched and searched for a nice set of number stamps. With a dollar sign. Not too big, not too small. You would think that would be easy to find, but it was not. So I found these clear stamps at Michaels {Martha Stewart brand, but I can’t find them online} along with some dowels and glued them on to create a stamp. Not pretty, but does the trick. If you would rather just buy stamps, these ones are great and so are these. And here is a selection of alphabet stamps too.

And here it is, ready to adorn the baby boy’s room {if he, in fact, is a baby boy}.


You can be so creative with this one – use a single monogram, an entire name, a favorite shape or symbol. A patterned fabric would be cute and making a banner for the date would be fun if you can’t find a bookplate. I think it makes a wonderful wedding gift for a newly established family or a sweet baby gift.

I hope you have fun with it!

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girlie tee inspiration

I hang out at Target a lot. Partially because there are not a lot of other shopping options in my town, and partially because I can always find great stuff at a great price.

Yesterday I was chilling at Target {while my No. 1’s prescription was being made – an ear infection in May? Who would have thought} and I walked through the toddler section only to find the best deal ever on some great little tees.


So I grabbed a few with plans to embellish.


{see? great deals}

My thought is to applique something fun on each one {like the applique tutorial I did here}


I’m thinking something whimsical, summery and fun like these from miniboden:

image image image  image image image

Seriously? How darling are those?! I should probably just buy a few, but I think I’ll try my hand at making my own first {especially since they are $30 each – I like my $3 price tag a little better}.

I’ll let you know how they turn out :

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q & a recap and a free printable

Well, my goodness. That was fun!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who took the time to ask questions, those who replied to them and all who read through the answers. I am normally a question asker, so it was fun to be on the other end and have to come up with answers!

You all said some NICE things to me and for that I am so appreciative. The fact that I get to do projects, write my thoughts, share random things from my life and that you enjoy it is just amazing. I love that I get to be part of your life and that we feel like friends.

If you haven’t looked through the questions and answers, let me give you the cliff note version:

* I am not doing a summer boutique this year {although it was great fun and may be something we do again in the future}. But I am doing a fundraising event in just a few weeks to help friends with their adoption. I’ll post more info soon, or you can read this post.

* I’m thinking about starting What I Wore back up : I’ve got to get over the awkwardness of it

* Lots of questions about blogging, graphic design, business things and I’ll figure out how to best answer those in more detail

* I still can’t come up with a great answer to how I do what I do with four kids other than that lots of things don’t get done, my kids play well together, I stay up late and my husband is very supportive. I’m working on more detailed answer to this one too

* I am most definitely going to plan a trip to the south {somewhere} and meet up with all you southern ladies.

* If you have any additional questions, or need more detailed answers than what I replied with, please feel free to email me {}.

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To say thanks for playing along with my Q & A game, I’ve re-created that little scripture card that I tucked on my piano and am offering it as a free download {along with two others that you can write or stamp a favorite note on}.

{click on the image to download the pdf}


Thanks again for your kindness.

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q & a


I’m trying something new for the next few days :

I’ll call it Q & A.

You can ask me any question in the comments

and I’ll respond back {as best as I can} as a reply to your comment.

It will sort of be like we’re having a real life conversation as friends

only in a weird cyber-ish way.

But still as friends.

Okay : ask away :


Thank you for all of the questions so far. I think I have answered each one, so if you have more to add, scroll to the end of the comments and keep asking!

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the piano nook

This was our piano nook yesterday morning.


Nothing terrible about it, but pretty hum-drum.

This is it today:


Color, texture, pattern – a little crazy, but a fun change.


I have been waiting for inspiration to strike, and it came unexpectedly when I found this book:


I bought it a few months ago on clearance because the cover was torn. It has great illustrations and I figured I could use the pages as art.  On a whim, I cut out the pages and started randomly sticking them to the wall above the piano.


I used glue dots to attach them to the wall . I’m not exactly sure how the wall will hold up when I remove the pages, but sometimes you just have to go with it and deal with the consequences later.




Adorning the piano is a new frame of our family initial with date we were established. Love how it turned out.  And next to it is a favorite verse.






I’m not sure how long the birds will live on this wall, but for now, they add some life and color to an otherwise boring space.

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One more thing today : I posted this one year ago, but it seems appropriate to post again today!

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.

:: 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 my amazing husband.

I love you Grandma Nonna.

You probably love her too because she inspired some of the best projects ever:


Appropriately called the ‘nonna wreath’



the flower pin.


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hold on to your fork


I heard a story this weekend and wanted to share. Perhaps you’ve heard it, or maybe it isn’t even true, but the meaning is sweet, nevertheless. You can read many different versions online, but this is my recap:

A woman who was nearing death, requested that she be buried with a fork in her hand. When asked why a fork, she went on to share that her favorite moment was when following a meal, she was reminded to ‘hold on to her fork’ which, of course, meant dessert was on its way.

She chose to be buried with a fork as a beautifully symbolic picture to those who would mourn her death that this world was not her home, but that the best was yet to come. Her view of eternity was so true : a place where even the best of this world would pale in comparison to what Heaven will offer.

I know it is easy to fear death or pain or hardship – especially when you just can’t seem to escape it – but please know that there is good to come for those who put their trust in God. Whatever your circumstance, whatever your current struggle, whatever your fear, know that not only is there hope of an eternal life with our Lord, but He also offers unexplainable peace, joy and comfort as we walk through trials here in this messy world.

Be encouraged and remember to hold on to your fork – the best is yet to come.


I’ve turned the saying into a print and it is now available in the shop {or below}.

Thanks for the suggestion!


[wp_eStore_fancy3 id=115]

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a happy saturday and a happy giveaway winner

There is something so wonderful about a sunny spring Saturday. Especially when it was a stay-home day and we were able to tackle some yard work that we’ve been wanting/desperately needing to do for a while.

Task one: plant pots

pots undone

The kids and I went from nursery to nursery while I tried to figure out what in the world to put in my front pots. I’m not very good at this gardening thing, but I think I chose some good plants : or at least ones that make me happy.  I even went a little crazy and chose a purplish red begonia for a pop of color.

Task two: weed the lawn.


I know they make weed killer chemicals for this, but the dandelions were driving me crazy and I wanted them OUT! So I used my new  poker tool that Ryan bought me and pulled out

While I was busy dirtying my hands, the babes {who were rather grouchy because they have not yet received the memo that saturdays are for sleeping in} spent their time reading


IMG_1205 riding

munching on watermelon and riding in/on cars

go carts

These activities made them much less grouchy.

Do you want to know what makes grown men really happy?


Yanking dead bushes out of the yard with a truck.



bare yard

We are rearranging the plants in our front yard and needed to pull out the dead one and remove the huge one that never belonged there to begin with.  Our front yard is not looking so hot now,


but at least my pots are pretty!


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Okay, ready to find out who is the big winner of the May Giveaway?


hip hip hooray!

To claim your prize, please email your address to me at

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I am putting together the june giveaway and will post it in the next few days.

As always, thank you to all of you who entered the may giveaway and for spreading the word with your face book friends.  If you weren’t able to enter, please know that we are working on making the entering process easier and more inclusive. Thank you for bearing with us as we find the best solution.  You all are great.

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a whole lot of stuff to share

This is me clearing out my brain. Some of it is business, some just random thoughts. Enjoy.

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If you purchased the new art print assortment and your name is:

Lisa Baum . Vickie Baccaglio . Jenna Allen . Lynda Ford . Ashley Cole

you just received yours for free! I will refund your payment and send your prints to you shortly.


If you missed purchasing the collection, have no fear. It is still available and can be purchased {HERE}

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I have now updated the tutorial page with all of the projects I’ve shown on the blog.


If you are looking for a past project, this is a great place to find it {you can click the ‘tutorials’ menu item to be taken to the page}

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Have you seen this darling children’s clothing line?


I was shopping at the Bellevue Square Nordstrom and came across the most adorable {and soft!} clothing for kids. I wanted one of everything, but left with only a t-shirt for my oldest.



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Speaking of clothing for my oldest : poor kid has a mom who strongly resists most graphic t’s {especially ones with cartoon and video game characters}. I’m not sure at what point I should just let go, but I’m still holding firmly to my desire for him to wear preppy polos and surfer t-shirts. Am I a terrible mom for enforcing my baby {okay, fine, he’s 7} to wear what I want him to?

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And as for clothes for me : I’ve been shopping twice in the past three days and I have found nothing for myself. I think I’m in a clothes rut. What is a girl to wear on these unpredictable spring days? What is stylish? What is practical? I need Stacy & Clinton to do a little consultation with me.

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I really love this song

beautiful things

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For those who have asked : here is how I do my hair:


I’m not sure why I look so angry/terrified while I’m curling. My curling iron is from the beauty supply store and gets really hot {it has a 1 1/2” barrel}. I generally wash and style my hair every three to four days and it stays looking okay on the non-shower days {actually, my hair always looks best on the second or third day}.  I have naturally fluffy and somewhat wavy hair {see image 2} and it holds curl well. It does not, however, look good when let dry naturally.

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The May giveaway winner will be announced on Monday. Be sure to sign up!


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My baby is a girl after my own heart. She loves necklaces and licking the cookie dough off of the mixer paddle.


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Okay, one last thing. The other day I thought it would be very fun and nice mommy-ish of me to pour a bunch of uncooked oatmeal into a bin and let the kids and their cousins play with it {you know, like they do at the sensory table at preschool}.


They did have fun, but they did not keep the oatmeal in the bin.

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How was that for random? Have a great day!

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how sweet

My littlest niece turned one this past week and so her momma threw her a sweets party.




{my mom always bakes the kids their own birthday cake for their birthday – isn’t this one cute?!}


For favors, Hillary made cake pops {from this recipe} and the booklets {from here}.


My contribution to the sweets table were the same filled cupcakes we had at the Summer Boutique that were such a hit.


So I thought I’d show you how easy they are.


To make the lemon-filled cupcakes, you’ll need:

a boxed cake mix, tub of frosting, box of instant lemon pudding, whipping cream and sprinkles.


I found this pack of cupcake liners at Marshalls a while back and couldn’t resist. They were perfect for Hadley’s birthday party so I was glad I had them.

Okay, so first make the cake according to the box and bake in a mini cupcake pan. I used double liners {one fancy, the inside one white} so that the fancy one would stay dry during baking}.

The filling is a take on Lemon Mousse {only the completely cheating version}.  First, whip the whipping cream. I like to add a teaspoon of vanilla and a bit of powdered sugar to flavor.


Next, mix the pudding mix and cold milk in a resealable container. Then shake. Or get your active boys to help. Shake for a few minutes until the pudding thickens.


I have no idea what kind of chemicals they put in this pudding mix to make it thicken so quickly, but I’m just going to pretend like its healthy. Blissful ignorance.


Now add about a cup or two of whipping cream into the pudding and fold together.


Yum : creamy lemon pudding {aka Lemon Mousse}.


To fill the cupcakes, use a pastry bag and round tip. Insert the tip into the center of the cupcake and squeeze the filling in until it begins to come out of the top.


Then use a fancy tip and pipe on fake frosting from a tub. No one will be the wiser. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and you have some darling little cupcakes.



So sweet.

P.S. Thanks for the nice comments about our family photos. We had a fun time and thankfully the kiddos enjoyed themselves long enough to get a few great images.  As you can tell, I have taken to skinny jeans {even though I never thought I would}. I’m a little afraid that I’m going to regret my outfit choice in 15 years when we look back at the photos, but I guess that is part of the fun. My sisters and I have had some good laughs at our old family photos – banana clips, Esprit, layered polo shirts with the collars popped, side ponytails with scrunchies, keds : oh man, I should dig up some of our old photos to share with you all. Anyway, ya’ll are sweet. Kinda like those cupcakes.

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our new family photos

We had family photos taken a few weeks ago. It was an unseasonably warm and gorgeous day {which after being rained out twice before, it was a welcome surprise!}. We worked with Estepworks Photography and could not be happier with the images.




Baby girl isn’t walking on her own quite yet, but she loves holding hands and taking steps: and the boys and mommy & daddy happily oblige.



We spent an hour or so walking around Bellevue Botanical Gardens and the boys were completely in their element exploring, throwing sticks in the water,  jumping off rocks, trampling rare plants. Sorry Bellevue Botanical Gardens for that.






I’m so happy to have these images to remember this time in our family’s lives.

If you live in the Seattle area and are in need of a fabulous photographer, please feel free to contact Estepworks Photography.


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flouncy flowers {two tutorials & more}


Well, today is the final day of flower week and I can say that I’ve loved it! I hope you have learned a few new things, have been inspired to create and maybe even finished a few of the projects. Like I said earlier this week, I could probably keep going for days and days with so many fun ways to create blossoms. I tried to narrow it down to five of my current favorites, but I just couldn’t. So today, there are two flowers.

Be sure to scroll all the way down for a few extra goodies at the end of the post.

The first flower today is a simple and modern one.


Here’s what you’ll need:


:: satin fabric

:: beads for embellishing {I used pearls from a broken pearl bracelet}

:: round template {mine is approximately 2 1/2 inches}

:: needle, thread & scissors

STEP ONE: cut four circles



STEP TWO: stack circles and stitch through center


STEP THREE: add beads to center to embellish


STEP FOUR: snip into circle



And you’re done!


Pin a little bunch to a sweater for a fun accessory.


Cute and simple, right?

Let’s move right into the next flower:


Here’s what you’ll need:


:: organza

:: a small piece of satin for the center

:: thread, needle & scissors

STEP ONE: cut organza into eight rectangles


My rectangles are 2 x 1, but you could cut them any size you like


STEP TWO: layer



STEP THREE: stitch through the center of the layered pieces


Just use a running stitch and go from end to end, gathering as you go


STEP FOUR: wrap thread around center


Tie off in back and snip thread and you’ll have this:


STEP FIVE: add center embellishment


cut small circle from satin {approximately 3/4”}


fold into quarters and stitch through the bottom to secure


then attach with a stitch through the center of the flouncy flower.


So sweet. I attached two to a pair of shoes for a summery look:



And there you have it. Flower Week 2011. Six great flower projects to get you in the spring and summer mood.

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As a special gift for mother’s day, I’ve created a free printable card for you to download and print.



Just click the image below for the pdf, print on cardstock, cut along dotted lines and fold in half.


I hope the mothers in your life enjoy it!


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