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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Frankenmuth, MI

So I thought Frankenmuth was just a big Christmas store and a Famous Chicken Dinner.  Boy was I wrong!! It is the cutest Bavarian looking village in the middle of Michigan.  We didn't even get to the Christmas store, as there were so many places to go in the one short day we were there.  We also happened to show up on a day that had live music outside, which added to the ambiance. The kids and I went with my mom and dad, and had a great time.










Fairy Gardens everywhere!

People are Still Scrapbooking!!

I had a conversation with a lovely woman in the middle of Michael's craft store.   She was buying a ton of scrapbook stickers, (as was I, the stickers being on sale and all...) and I asked where she scrapbooked.  She was wishing for a place to go.  The scrapbook stores have closed, and I haven't met a Creative Memories consultant in ages...I used to meet one per week back in the day.  But we both were yearning for that connection that comes from gluing paper and stickers and glitter and ribbon with our photos, whilst eating yummy snacks and engaging in good conversation.  I used to use scrapbooking as a way to meet people whenever I moved.  (If you read this blog regularly, I move a lot.)

Scrapbooking alone isn't as much fun as with people, and it almost becomes a chore.  I don't pull it out as often as I like, though I know that my family loves the end result when I am done.

However, just this week, I have been sent TWO emails, one from a friend, and one from a email list I am on.

http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2015/05/scrapbook-in-a-week.html
http://www.bigpictureclasses.com/galleries

People are scrapbooking again!  They, like me, do not care that scrapbooking is passe, and it so nice to be inspired by other's work.  It makes me want to pull out my stickers right this instant!  (I can't, however, as I am about to head up to Frankenmuth, Michigan for the day. Woo Hoo!)

Tomorrow, the big picture classes are also hosting a "Craft Party", which is just a webcast discussing everything craft.  I am IN.  I will be parking the kids in front of a movie at 1pm Eastern, for sure!


No matter what your hobby/passion/thing is, it is nice to get reinspired by others that share your love of the craft.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Soleil's Birthday Bash

"Mom! Mom. Mom. Mom.  For my birthday? 
I want a tea party with My Little Pony with lots of treats."
Running to Meijer at the last moment for a dress
Thank you, Pinterest!

Daddy's surprise
A side trip to Fabiano's Chocolate's with Catie
Nail Painting Station
The Party Girls
Le Bon Macaron's custom French Macarons & Bake and Cakes Birthday Cake
Rainbow Bracelet Making Station
The hostess
My helper for the day, Catie!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Summer 2015 has started!!

I love summer!!
I am very happy to have my kiddos home, and we have a list of things we want to do.  I have mentioned before that I theme out my weeks.  The first week, however, is for just chilling.  In fact, yesterday was our official "Couch Potato Day".  I let them watch tv/play games most of the day.  (Full disclosure: They were fighting by 9:00a...)

We have limited screen time, and I believe in it for a variety of reasons.  But I also believe in "treats".
 Sidenote:  Have any of you read Sarah Silveman's Bedwetter Book?  She writes a whole section on "treats" and having something to look forward to, and how if you have them all the time, they are no longer treats.  I love her!

The kids didn't even complain when I had to go to the grocery store, since we had a very empty refrigerator.

Here are some of the other things we have been up to:
Soleil's Chocolate Making Kit

My official Taster
Inspired by: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3_dV-e4d9c


The ones we made for Uncle Mikey!
Geocaching at the MSU Children's Garden


MSU Dairy Store for Ice Cream.  A Summer requirement!

Use up Your Stationary

I have always loved any type of paper, stickers, envelopes, office supplies, etc etc.  As I posted before, I was immediately hooked on jazzing up my planner.  Now that that is done, what now?
Last week, I received a lovely hand written note from a dear friend, and I immediately dropped everything and started writing back to her.  Writing notes is fun.  Receiving them IN THE MAILBOX, is even more fun! (I had my next paper craft:)



I pulled out my stationary collection, and I have a ton.  Some of it, I am bored with, other stuff I have been saving for a special day.  I also have lots of new stickers, because they are my favorite purchase of life.  (I will jazz up some of my old stationary with stickers, washi tape, stamps, etc.)

I try to write a hand written letter once per week.  Guess what? Your friends will write back if you bug them long enough!

So, use up your stationary.  Send a note of love.  Send some extra stickers to someone.  It will be welcome by whomever you send it to!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Wen and the Infomercials

My BFF and I often talk about infomercials.  We were roped in a few years ago with the Wen hair care line, and we both signed up for the cult "monthly shipping option".  Just recently, someone on FB asked about it, and I just thought "Oooooo!  She's about to drink the Kool Aid!"

Wen works.  It does.  It smells fabulous, my hair was shiny and soft, and I was able to comb through it easily.  (Just for reference, I have coarse, very curly long hair.) However, I have to use A LOT of it, and it costs a lot to maintain that every. single. month.  Like a drug, I suppose.

It just wasn't worth it to me, and then I tried to cancel and it was NOT EASY.  (You almost always end up paying for another month.) I went back to some of my other favorite shampoos and conditioners (Biolage Conditioning BALM--you need the balm, Suave Professionals (the one for curly hair), Fructis Sleek & Shine, Aveda Anything).  However, I recently found Pantene Cleansing Conditioner.  It doesn't foam up, and it advertises itself to be the cheap man's Wen.  It works great!! Dare I say, it works BETTER than the Wen.  It is all minty and tingly on the scalp, my hair is not frizzy, and conditions it really well.

And while we are the subject of informercials, here are a few I have been suckered into:

1.  Turby Twist--Greatest invention ever.
2.  CordaRoy Giant Bean Bag-- I want one or two.  We are still decorating our house, so these might be a future purchase.  The one negative in reviews is that they do not have enough stuffing.
3.  Wubble Bubbles--Tate makes fun of these every time we see them.  "Just play with a balloon!"
4.  Any QVC Scrapbooking Kit-Good, but I end up spending more on stuff I don't need, even if the whole kit is a deal
5.  Pasta Express--My sister swore by this.  I think it looks like the dumbest thing ever.
6.  Wikki Sticks--dumb.  Great for about 5 minutes of play and then dumb.
7.  Dutch Glow Amish Wood Milk-watched a full 20 minutes of this infomercial.
8.  Snackees--  My kids beg and beg and beg.
9.  Zippy Sacks-- Ugly Polyester Cat Sleeping Bag/Sheet?  Soleil flips out excited with each commercial she views.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Planning for Summer 2015

I am sooo excited!! I don't have to move this summer!! I have been planning for all of the fun things to do around here, and I started by theming the weeks to get us started.

I just picked themes that I thought the kids would like, and wrote them in my calendar on the first day of the week.  From there, my eyes were open for anything and everything that relates.

Week 1 is ANIMAL WEEK.  I went through all of our books and toys and pulled out anything that would relate.  Then, I have some craft kits put away and pulled out that related.  I added animal related activities to the list (zoo, pet store, MSU animal farms), and lastly went to the Pinterest, of course!!


Additions:

  • Sand table, filled with toy animals and colored sand.
  • Printes out mazes and puzzles that are animal themed for Tate.  
  • ALLLLLL of their stuffed animals used to decorate the living room the Monday of the week with them.  (I think even Tate will get a kick out of this.) 
  • Stickers in my stash that are animals.


And then I had to hide it all so they don't see it before the week, because that is part of the fun!  (It is all stuffed into the bottom basket.)
Our other themed weeks are:
BEACH WEEK, TRAINS & PLANES WEEK,  SPY WEEK (always a favorite), SCIENCE WEEK, GAMES & PUZZLES WEEK

The other thing that I do, is pick a Library day (Monday)and a Park Day (Thursdays), and put them on the calendar.  Now, we don't follow everything on the calendar, we just use it as a guideline.  We may not do a single thing listed, OR change entirely for the day because someone has asked us to do something.  The plan and the calendar just helps us look forward to things, plan with other folks, and to help avoid the dreaded "Mom! Can I have screen time!"

I would love to hear about your summer plans.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Back to Scrapbooking!

So many of my friends that used to scrapbook, have quit.  Is scrapbooking passe now?

I used to LOVE to go to crops, enjoying all the paper and stickers and glue.  But I hadn't scrapbooked in a really long time.  I was inspired by something my friend, Amy Gretchen showed me once when we were together.  She showed me this little notebook where she writes down cute things her girls say, things that the family does, and she spoke about "documenting her family's life".  She doesn't even know it, but I was so inspired by that!

As a stay at home mom, I take this job very seriously and I love it.  In that moment, I felt that part of my job was to document these years that go by oh-so-quickly.  When I am in the weeds of it all, I don't get around to scrapbooking.  Not only is it highly enjoyable to scrapbook, but the family will be so grateful for the memories preserved for later.  It was like AG gave me permission to scrapbook again:)
Soleil's choices on the left, mine on the right.  

For the last two days, I have been back into it.  I am sad that there are no longer scrapbook stores to wander, but Hobby Lobby was there for me:)  I went and bought new stickers, paper, and paint to coordinate, and I have been spending about 2 hours a day working on my book.  I tend to keep my nose to the grindstone all day, and I have to say, this permission to create has made my other chores much more enjoyable!!

I am doing Project Life, and I have lots of extra cards.  If you could use some, comment below, and I will mail some to you :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

The FLU

I hadn't gotten a flu shot since I got out of the military in 2000.  They always made me feel weird, and I would ALWAYS get sick afterwards.  I never got the flu from not getting the shot, and I didn't love the idea of being injected with God knows what.

But this week, I got the FLU, and it sucked beyond all belief!  I have never been this sick in my life.  I think I have changed my mind, and I will be getting that flu shot next year.  Soleil and Paul had gotten their shots, and did not get sick.  Tate and I wasted our Spring Break on fevers, and headaches, and we want a do-over!

The good news is, I am caught up on every single tv series that you can imagine.  I was actually sick of TV by the end of it, which I didn't think was possible!

Also, I am grateful for simple moments of NOT feeling sick.  I feel like these experiences are a reminder to stop complaining, and appreciate the doldrums of the every day. :)