Archive | January, 2012

potty talk, airbeds and other random tidbits

You know when you have a brain full of cluttered subjects and you just need to get them out … that is me today.

Let’s start with the most pressing issue that I’m hoping you can give some mommy-wisdom about.

Potty talk.

See this sweet four-year-old face? He looks innocent enough.

But each morning, without fail, I’ll say “Good morning #3!” and this is his response:

Seriously. If its not fart, its a phrase that includes some combination of poop, pee, head or eyeball.

He’s got a potty mouth.

I know it may be normal – especially for four-year-old boys – but I’m not a big fan. The older boys were never this bad and so we are at a loss for how to deal with it. Half the time we laugh {because he seriously is funny and just so cute} and half the time he sits in time out. But neither are very effective.

So, any tips for banishing potty talk? I’d love your advice. I wish there was a chapter in Mrs Piggle Wiggle about the topic and I would give her cure a try.

I’ve been wanting to make these apple chips for a while and finally gave them a try this weekend.

They were very easy to make, taste great and I would definitely make them again.

Are you a Bachelor watcher? I am. Pure smut, but I love it. I’m behind a week, so don’t tell me who is off.

Want to know how I justify my Bachelor enjoyment? I say it is Biblical. Have you read the story of Queen Esther? King Xerxes was the Bachelor and Queen Esther received the final rose after he dated lots and lots of eligible bachelorettes. Read the story for yourself here. And if you want a more in depth study of the story of Esther, the Beth Moore study is pretty much amazing.

P.S. I’m kidding … I don’t think dating 25 women at once is biblical. It just does sort of happen in the Bible. Not saying its how it should be done and clearly the results aren’t all that great since nearly every couple breaks up in the end.

Carnations were buy one get one free at the grocery store last week, so I grabbed two bunches.

Even carnations can be so beautiful when clustered tightly together. For $4.99 I have pretty flowers on my coffee table that will last at least a week {another benefit of cheap flowers – they last forever}.

The winner of the JANUARY GIVEAWAY is …

Congratulations! Please send me a note with your address and I’ll pop your package full of kiddie delights in the mail.

The February Giveaway is coming soon …

For those of you who use Mac computers and are not quite sure how to use the symbols on the new Fancy font or the Emily font, I have created a short video sharing how to find and use them.

I hope this is helpful.

If you need help installing the font to your computer, I did a short tutorial at the end of this post: 25 Favorite Fonts

And if you are using a PC, there is a photo tutorial for how to install fonts at the end of this post: My Handwriting Font


You know you need a new mattress when you willingly choose a queen size blow-up bed on the floor of the guest room over your own king size bed in your own room.  Maybe we’re just getting old but our backs were hurting and my arms and hands were going numb which were not enjoyable ways to wake up each day.  One night we decided to try out the airbed that was still inflated from Christmas house guests and we’ve been sleeping on it since.  Its actually surprisingly comfortable. And no sore backs or numb limbs. However, it would be nice to move back into our room and sleep on our own big bed, so we’re now in the market for a new mattress. Any suggestions?

Are you bored of my randomness yet?

Hmmm … what else do I have for you …

I read this book and loved it. I mean, really loved it.

My best friend and I are starting this new bible study. Very excited about it.

I’ve been on a pin-fest. You can see my pinterest boards here.

This song is really good.  Sometimes I just listen to it on repeat really loud. It drowns out the kids in the back. You should try it sometime.

My brain feels better. Thanks for letting me ramble about these very random tidbits.

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how to create fake calligraphy

I have always loved beautiful calligraphy.


{ 1 . 2 }

Years ago, my former boss brought me back a calligraphy pen and ink from her trip to Italy. I was so excited to try it out and figured it would be super easy to turn my handwriting into calligraphy with just the flick of a nib {that’s the technical term for the metal pieces that go in the pens – not to be confused with my go-to treat, the twizzler nib}.

It didn’t go so well.

Then I met Lindsay {of Lindsay Letters – who created that fabulous O Holy Night print } and figured since she is a pro, she could surely give some pointers and it wouldn’t be too hard.

Again, the pen and ink proved too complicated for my impatient hands {have you ever tried it? the ink sure does splatter!}

I have yet to learn how to use a real calligraphy pen {although it is on my list of skills to master someday} and have just stuck with my fake calligraphy technique. I thought I’d share it with you today.

First, choose a good fine tip ink pen.

I usually like these pilot precise extra fine pens the best, but just bought the foray stylemark at the office store and it’s a good one too.

Now, write your letter. You can do it in pencil first if you prefer, or just freehand.

To give your letter the calligraphy look, you will need to make all of the down strokes thicker and filled in {as if you were writing with an angled calligraphy pen}.

Every time your pen stroke goes downward {as seen with the arrows above}, just draw a close line and fill it in.

See how easy it is?

Here’s another example.  I wrote the word love in cursive:

then filled in the down strokes:

Doesn’t it look fancy?  You can transform your handwriting to make it look like calligraphy very simply and easily with just a few extra pen strokes.

If you would like a faster way to make fancy handwriting, I have created a new font for you using my own fake calligraphy.


Isn’t it cute?!! You get a full alphabet with lots of extra symbols, doodles and words.

Now its even easier to fake calligraphy.

You will get the font for free {previously $4.99} by joining our exclusive freebies page called the Archive. Click the image above to join and download the fancy font.

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{almost} all the colors of the rainbow {what I wore}

Without even trying, I wore almost every color of the rainbow this week. And jeans all but once.

So here I am, in all my colorful glory:

#1   cardigan: old navy   shirt: old navy    jeans: seven flare    flats: old navy {p.s. I should have put on makeup}

#2   sweatshirt: banana republic   long-sleeve: marshalls   jeans: seven dojo   flats: old navy

cute flower in my hair: allora handmade tulle fluff {click here to shop}

#3   shirt: ann taylor loft   jeans: banana republic wide leg   slippers: oldies from target   ring: stella & dot

#4   shirt: target   long-sleeve: target   jeans: seven a-pocket   boots: even older oldies from nordstrom

#5   puffy vest: gap   long sleeve: marshalls   jeans: seven dojo   hat: my son’s {i’ve always had a pretty small head …}

#6   I am a walking advertisement for target – all but the boots were purchased there.  boots: dsw {civico 10 remmington riding boots}

One good perk of taking photos of my outfits is being able to see what I look like through different eyes. And now that I know, I will never again wear outfit #5.

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share the love

There is something so sweet about taking a day {or month, really!} to celebrate something as wonderful as love.

Valentine’s Day is commercial … yes, I agree … but it is special, too.

It gives us an excuse to bake a cherry pie

 to serve our kids pink milk and pie crust cookies for an after school snack

to sip hot cocoa with heart-shaped marshmallows out of a dainty teacups

and indulge in frosting covered cupcakes.

It encourages us to send our loved ones handwritten notes

and deliver prettily packaged treats to our friends.

I like that Valentine’s Day has turned February into the month of sharing the love.

I was inspired by Valentine’s Day when creating the JDC | monthly february collection.

It is full of red, pink, whimsical flowers and fancy writing.

And is available now.

To receive these printable goodies, and new ones each month, you are invited to join JDC | monthly. It is just $9.99 per month {your first month is free!}.

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We don’t often get snow in the Seattle area and so when it comes, it is a big deal. School gets canceled. People stay home from work. Roads are closed. It is actually really fun.

For a day or two.

And it was.

Then the temperatures rose and fell and we woke to this:

The most spectacular icicles I have ever seen.

Each tiny branch, each little leaf was covered in ice. Frozen solid.

It was so beautiful, this ice storm.

But equally destructive.

Many trees could not hold the weight of the ice and they split. Branches fell on houses, roads and power lines. Which meant major power outages for hundreds of thousands of us around here. It was a crazy week.

. . .

I had a lot of work to do. I had a list of things I wanted to do. And a list of things I needed to do. Pretty much all of those went out the window.

School was canceled and the roads weren’t very safe, so we were home bound for the entire week – which is not normal for me. I like to get out. I like running errands. I like when the kids go to school.

On Thursday morning we woke to no power. I think this was the first time the boys can remember not having power and it was fun to see their excitement and curiosity about it.

When I explained what it meant to be without electricity, No. 2 said excitedly, “so that means you can’t use your computer?!!”.


So we played Uno and drank hot cocoa warmed on the gas stove and waited for daddy to make it home from work.  Then we spent the next two days with friends who have generators and made a party out of it.

We painted our nails. We read magazines. We collected icicles. We played with flashlights. We gathered for meals.

It was a really nice vacation right in our own neighborhood. With amazing friends who take care of each other.

It was not the week I had planned. I am behind on work projects. I didn’t get to do the errands I wanted to run or the tasks I needed to accomplish.

But I’m pretty sure this week was just what my kids needed.

And probably me too.

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my favorite shoes for girls {with a discount!}

It has been a crazy winter weather week … more on that later.  But since I now have power and I am up before the kids I wanted to share a great discount with you {as was promised for yesterday’s post}.  Just a side note: I don’t really like when plans change {like a two day power outage} and I have no control and then I’m behind on schedule.  Please forgive me … art prints, JDC|Monthly, emails … they will come. I promise. They will just be a few days later than I’d like.

Okay, so my favorite shoes for girls. I’ve shared this company before, but I just can’t get enough of Joyfolie‘s most beautiful products.

First a preview of a few of the styles in the upcoming spring collection:


So pretty! Those gray stripes will be making their way into our life soon.

Because a new collection is about to debut, Jessica {the creator of Joyfolie} is offering a generous discount to JDC readers on the current collection in her shop.

Like the shimmery red julie shoe:

Love the bright print of the sabrina

The saidi is the style Audrey receive for Christmas {she loves them and so do I}

Funny how I’m not really a shoe girl myself, but I can’t get enough of cute ones for my little one.

To receive  30% off any item on the shoe page that is currently in stock use the code


at checkout. The discount code is good until next friday {1/27} so start shopping!

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our mudroom

We bought our house 5 years ago based off a floor plan we found online.  One of our favorite features was this mudroom. It connects the garage to the rest of the house and is such a great dumping ground for our busy family.  The only negative about the space is that there is no window. Which means it is pretty dark. We painted it a dark chocolaty-green-gray color a few years ago and it became even darker {that’s what you get when you use a can of paint you have laying around}. Last summer Ryan added white bead board paneling and a row of hooks on all four walls and that made things a bit lighter and much more functional. But it still needed some freshening up.  I finally finished putting the space together and I’m excited to share it with you today.

The walls are now Revere Pewter {Benjamin Moore} and it feels so much brighter!

I moved the woven pinboard in here to put some favorite family photos, art work and mementos – it sure adds a personal touch and some much needed color and cheerfulness to an otherwise boring room.

We bought these numbers at the hardware store to identify hooks for each backpack.

Above the hooks is a new print that I just adore.

This is the wall with the door that goes out to the garage. Its nice to have a little bench in here.

And the back wall …

I painted stripes on the ceiling just for fun. I like it. Ryan -  not so much.  We also switched out the light with this industrial one from the hardware store {$25!}.

One of my very favorite features of the mudroom is the automatic light Ryan so brilliantly installed. It has a movement sensor so it comes on when you walk in the room and turns off after a minute or two. We have a few of these throughout our house in places where its easy to forget to turn off the light {the pantry, under-stairs closet, master closet}.

Now let me share with you another genius tip I got from The Nester.

I buy one brand of socks – two lines for the older boys {is it weird that they share socks?} and one line for No. 3. Audrey gets her own girly socks but shares a basket with #3. AND I don’t match and fold them. Just throw them in the basket. It saves on time when folding laundry, makes it easy for the boys to find their socks and best of all, there are no more mismatched socks in our house. Thanks Miss Nester.

Each kid also has their own bin of shoes.

Can you tell who already has a shoe-obsession? Naturally, she gets the bigger bin.

Speaking of shoes … these are her current favorites {and mine too}.

They are from my favorite shoe designer Joyfolie. Come back tomorrow for a generous discount for JDC readers.

A few details:

So that is our mudroom. I love how it turned out. Bright, cheerful, useful, organized and personal.

And it will never again look as nice as it does in the photos.


paint color: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

light: warehouse pendant from Home Depot

be filled with joy print: The Wheatfield by Katie Daisy

black numbers: Home Depot in the mailbox and house number section

galvanized wall organizer: PotteryBarn – no longer available

sock baskets & shoe bins: IKEA

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