Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer is in Effect

Well, for the kids and me...Steve is still there for two more days.  I feel bad for him as he has had to set the alarm and get up each morning.  The kids and I are enjoying a more relaxed pace.  We are turning screens off from 9:00-3:00 each day.  It has been glorious.

I walked into Nathan's room the other day and he and Ella were sitting on his bed reading.  They even forgot it was 3:00 yesterday and swam right past the turn-back-on-hour.

This is what our summer will look like this July.

I used the new Citrus Squeeze collection from Webster's Pages and Adrienne Looman.  This collection is addicting...the color scheme is really great!

It is Webster's Pages so of course I had to hand cut a lot of the elements.

I love the little tags and all the typography.

I am not really a beach person.  The sun and I are not friends.  But my kiddos love it so I will endure it.  Especially since it takes them away from screens!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

At Home: 1/2 Bath Renovation: Part 2

Nothing like renovating and then renovating that renovation.  It happened.

We redid our downstairs half bath this spring and I fell in love.  The original post can be found here.  As we moved the renovation to the upstairs master bath, we realized that we had extra tile left over.  Beautiful Carrera marble in a hexagon shape.  See, I ordered the tile online because the price was cheaper.  We didn't actually use it all upstairs.  I figured that I could just return the rest.  Little did I know, the return time on online orders like that is very limited.  Hmmm...

So I wondered and thought about how I could use up more of that pricey tile.  I had the idea to use it as a backsplash.  Right in this space.

It needed a little something, right? In order to have a backsplash, you need to have a counter. I had such a hard time thinking about what color I wanted. Having seen an inspiration photo over at Houzz, I decided on stainless stain. Did you know that stainless steel countertops can cost as much as granite? Since this was a renovation on top of a renovation, my budget was limited.

Two ideas came to mind.  Formica and Wilsonart both make a faux stainless steel countertop.  I sent away for samples and it looked pretty good.  But, my other idea was Ikea.  I hoped that maybe, just maybe they made something that could work.  After a trip to the store and lots of exploring, I found the Sanfrid stainless steel tabletop.  Only a few inches too big, I decided it would do.  My fab contractor was able to cut it down to size.  Best part, the Ikea version was only $129.00.

I used a medium gray grout in between the tile.  It totally pops the room and makes it feel pulled together.

I also wanted to share my cafe curtains with you.  The room is gray with while wainscotting.  I needed some color in there, but a panel would be too much.  I love roman shades, but honestly, they are expensive.  Plus, I wanted something to block the bottom half of the window.  I bought one Yellow Paisley panel  from Target.  I simply cut the panel in half, cut the length to size and sewed in hems! The cafe curtains are perfect for giving privacy and a punch of bold color.

I can happily say that this room is done.  As in done, done.  

That is until I decide to change the accent color to a coral or teal.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday's Musings: The Simple Way

What ever happened to reading a book made of paper?  Playing jacks or pick up sticks.  I loved Seven Up when I was in elementary school.  I remember playing sports as a kid, but not the organized type.  We played neighborhood sports.  We split into teams the old fashioned way, did not wear matching uniforms.  Baseball, soccer, and football....we played in the mud and the rain, it didn't matter.

I played Chinese jump rope so many times in life.  I loved playing night tag every evening in the summer.  It was simple, imaginative.  It did not have anything to do with Kindles or iPhones.  It wasn't about electronics or screens.

I want that for my kids.  Maybe I need to teach them these games.  Help them find the simple way.

Scrapbooking is simple.  Paper, glue, your creativity.  It requires thought and imagination.  It makes me smile.  My kiddos need a hobby like that.  Not an obsession like minecraft.

I used the Summer Stories collection by Teresa Collins to make this...her collections get better and better!  This is one of my favorites!

I created this little banner using diecuts and borders!  I love that each collection comes with alphabet sets!

Little joys.  This summer, we are discovering them!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

At Home: Happy Father's Day

This Father's Day has me thinking about home life.  It has me thinking about how blessed I am.  During my life, I have had a rock, someone who has loved me unconditionally.  He taught me how to drive a car, how to ice skate.  He pushed me at school so I could go to college and be able to take care of myself.  My dad is my hero.

He has been there for all the big moments, my graduations and birthdays. But, its the little moments I remember the most.  The elaborate snowmen he would build or how he let me cry on his shoulder when my heart was broken.  We had one major fight in my childhood and I hated every minute.  It was hard being so mad at the man who always worked to protect me. I didn't stay mad long.  Because I love this guy.

My dad showed me firsthand about big concepts like loyalty, perseverance, bravery and kindness.  I can't count the number of times he stopped to help someone who was involved in an accident.  He has given to others his whole life.  As I have searched for love in this lifetime, I have been able to meet my life partner.  And Steve is loyal, shows perseverance, is brave and is one of the kindest people I know.  I knew what to search for because my dad showed me.

Steve is a great dad.  These two adore him.  I feel lucky to be able to watch their relationship evolve, to watch Steve share his knowledge and life lessons.  He is the even in our world.  He is the calm and the steady.  We are all blessed to have him.

Then there is the father I didn't know very well.  The father I didn't met until later in life. The father I have had the opportunity to get to know only after his passing.  Even though he wasn't a presence in my life, I have learned much from him, have learned much because of him.  I learned about how he was as a father by meeting my siblings.  It has been an incredible journey.  I am sure he is looking down with great happiness knowing we have come together. Today I celebrate the opportunity to be able to share this photo.  

This Father's Day, I am cherishing all the moments and memories from the fathers in my life.  There are many.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Every Day is Mom and Dad's Day

Especially when every day is full of teaching manners, modeling responsibility and explaining life's lessons.  Every day holds a new challenge as a parent.  One day, we are asking too much according to our children and the next, we are treating them like babies.  Steve is really good at describing the why and whens to the kids.  Calmly, directly and in a way that they listen.  

One of the many reasons why he is a great dad.  I decided to document all the reasons why on this layout.  We are celebrating Father's Day over at the Lily Bee blog...this is my interpretation!

I used the tag as a journaling block.  I also decided to repeat circles big and small around the page.  I love the new alphabet stickers, particularly the size of the fonts.  This layout features Sweet Shoppe...awesome pop of black in this collection!

Every day is about parenting.  The best part...the daily hugs and love we get.  All that love is the greatest celebration ever!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday's Musings: Smores Might Taste Good...

But they are not good for the 40+ year old body.  It is amazing how things shift and ache and creak.  Two weeks of no exercise and a couple of extra smores equals downward shifting.  I don't remember it being like this when I was younger.

My BFF Marcia and I would get extra cheese pizza and pizza rolls from a local place at least once a week.  Tina, the other BFF, would drive us to get hot chocolate chip pie with ice cream.  I once ate two Jim Dandies in one sitting. 

College was full of Dominos and Doritos.  I ate enough ranch dressing to own stock in Hidden Valley.  I put that stuff on every single piece of cafeteria food.

Even in my 30's, I loved having crusty bread with every meal and ice cream every night.

Childhood, youth...full of yummy and yucky food stories.  That is a part of it all.

Now, I live through my kids.  Watch them rock the smores out.  Sure I have is hard to stop there, but that shifting and aching and creaking 

I used the new Adrienne Looman/Webster's Citrus Squeeze collection for this.  I have been so drawn to the reds, whites and blues of this collection.  I made myself use the green and I am sooo glad I did.  It is a great color to have as a base!  I am in love with all the elements that can be cut from this line.

The bird and fun circle, the tab and even the So Much Fun label...all cut out!

Even though I can't eat like I used to, there is such a thing as cheat days.  I am going to cherish those!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

At Home: In Just Ten Days

Two more weeks of school and then summer is here.  I long for it.  Cannot wait for it.  I have a list of things I want to do around the house.  Here is some thoughts for upcoming projects.  All of these are from my Pinterest boards.

Which color?  My house is gray with black shutters and a red brick porch.

I have been busy planting my beds, trying to create that cottage feel.  I would love to someday have this:

Of course, after you walk by that garden bed and through the fabulous painted door, I want to see an updated stairway.  Black accents maybe.

When I think of the inside, I am really interested in painting the stools at my breakfast bar.  My kitchen has white cabinets with dark gray counters and blue/gray walls.  I have lots of red pops, but I am really wanting a splash of color.  Thinking of going with yellow on those stools.

I am also realizing that it is time to update Nathan's room.  He has asked that we take out some of the "younger" items.  It is time to bring it up a notch.  I want to add some stripes and painted a bookshelf.  Maybe something like this:

Sure, I can't wait to relax and have a slower pace in just ten days.  But I also can't wait for some DIY time!  Soon, so soon...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Page Maps: Lily Bee

The Lily Bee team and Becky from Page Maps have teamed up this month!  Many of us created layouts with  the awesome sketches this month.  Head over to Page Maps to see the newsletter and the sketches!

I made this page:

I followed the sketch pretty closely...I placed some elements on the opposite side of the page.  It just fit my photo better.  These hearts were inspired directly by the sketch!

Head over to the Lily Bee blog to see other samples from my talented teammates!  Be sure to also look at the post below for a cool giveaway!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Blog Hopping: Projects That Wow!

I am super excited to share this awesome opportunity with everyone!  Jennifer Grace has put together a fantastic online class that is sure to inspire!  I had the opportunity to create a layout as a class sample and was very inspired!

Here are some details!

Projects that WOW!’ is about making your projects stand out from the crowd. What makes you pause and look closer at a scrapbook page when you are flicking through your own albums, or looking at other people’s layouts in magazines? Which cards jump out at you from Pinterest or from envelopes when you open them? What details of paper-crafted home décor or jewelery make you stop and say ‘wow!’? It’s time to learn some of these techniques or styles and put them to use!

This online class will consist of 15 PDF prompts (lessons) and at least 3 videos, and it will run as a ‘live’ class from Monday, June 10th to Friday June 28th.  All the class material will still be available to participants after the end of class, so don’t worry if you can’t manage it while it’s ‘live’. Class participants will receive an email with a prompt attached every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for three weeks. The class will feature lots of scrapbook layouts, but also some cards, jewelery and home décor crafts (all involving scrapbook paper/supplies). There will be a forum, and a gallery for class participants to upload to, and there will be some prizes up for grabs for those who join in while it’s ‘live’!

Each prompt will have a ‘theme’ of a particular style or technique, which can be used to make crafty projects that grab your attention. You may have seen these styles before but not been able to define them, or you’ll be learning new ways to use them! There will be two layouts, two cards, and another item (eg jewellery / home decor, etc) by Jennifer Grace on each prompt, as well as a layout by a guest contributor. Some will have step-by-step tutorials, some will be super inspiring!

Here is a sneak peek of the page I made as a guest contributor:

This blog hop includes a giveaway for three class places (worth £10 each). To enter you just need to comment anywhere on the ‘Projects that WOW!’ blog hop by 11.59pm BST Thursday June 6th. EACH COMMENT on EACH BLOG in the hop counts as an EXTRA ENTRY into the draw. The winners will be announced at Jennifer Grace Creates on Friday June 7th . If you’ve already purchased a class place and then you win, the class price will be refunded to you. So don’t wait to sign up! Go HERE to buy a place now!

Have fun blog hopping and see some great sneaks from all the is a good list!!

Jennifer Grace
Sarah Webb 
Elena Stefanidou
Stacey Young
Riikka Kovasin
Peg Hewitt
Ashley Calder
Stacey Michaud:  That is me!
Brit Sviggum
Sasha Farina
Jill Cornell
Diane Payne
Anna-Karin Evaldsson
Natalie Elphinstone
Jennifer Chapin
Angie Gutshall
Jennifer Grace
Be sure to sign up today!  Happy hopping!


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