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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


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. :)

Friday, April 03, 2015

Preschool Activities #Obsessed

"Mom! Please play with me!!"  We play together all the time, but sometimes... Mama needs a moment.  I set up little activities for Tate all the time when he was little, but that was 5 years ago.  I have forgotten what they were!  For this reason, I went to the almighty Pinterest for inspiration.

I fell down the "Kids Activities" "Busy Boxes" "Quiet Time Activities" worm hole on the Pinterest, and became obsessed.  Most of the stuff for these activities, I already had on hand (but that was after I convinced myself that I didn't need every sensory bin pictured!)   This is a good way to clean out your kid craft stuff, while presenting it in a new way.  We also made a few activities to share with Soleil's friend.  

Beads and Pipe Cleaners

Kinetic Sand+Table Cloth+Sand Table

Homemade Playdough (SOOOO Many recipes online!)
**In case you were wondering, homemade playdoh will turn totally to mold if you leave it sealed in a rubbermaid container for a few weeks.  Don't put it on a bookshelf and forget about it like I did!
Travel Sticker Kit inspired by THIS POST

This was a travel hit!
Fairy Garden using most things found in the yard.
Melissa and Doug reusable Stickers
Other activities include:
Mandala using little bits of fabric and yardstick cut into pieces.
Beads+Pipecleaners labelled with numbers

We went to Meijers today (kind of like a Walmart, but better) and found a few things that would be fun.  I like when the activities are surprises, so I took photos of things to get on a visit when the kiddos were not with me.

These are pool LED lights that float.  These would be fun in the tub or in a water table.  These were only 2.99, and you can also wait for them to go on sale at the end of the season.  The animals below are the also floating LED lights.

 I saw a tutorial for turning a baby pool into a ball pit, and for turning into a giant Easter Nest using paper bags.  I won't have time before Easter, but maybe I'll do it over the summer during Animal Week.
 And you can't go wrong with some of the Melissa & Doug activity books.   These are a few that Soleil does not have.  They have them at Michaels craft store as well.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Walt Disney World with Friends

Believe me when I tell you that this was the best vacation that I have had in nine years.  It wasn't one thing, as these things usually aren't... it was the combination of it all.  We had good friends to share the experience with, I didn't have a child in diapers or one that required naps, and we were in Disney World.

I grew up in FL.  I've been Disney a bazillion times.  But this time I saw it with new eyes: going with children is a completely different experience.  We took Tate to EuroDisney when he was almost 4.  He liked it, but didn't love it, and it was fun but not the amazing-attention-to-every-detail experience that we had at Disney World.

The customer service, as soon as your feet touch Disney soil, is amazing.  They really do treat you like a Disney Princess! In fact, one of the cast members even called me "Princess"!  (This goes a long way for a 41 year old mom who is feeling less than perfect these days.)  The food was amazing, the weather was beyond, and while we were on the go for the 4 short days we were there, we returned feeling rejuvenated and pampered.

And now for the photos:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Exciting Announcement!

For those of you who know me well, or talk to me often, this isn't a big announcement.  In fact, you have known about it for a long, long time since it something I talk about A LOT.  (Thank you for all of your patient ears!!!)

In the Fall 2015, I will be opening up CRAFT HAVEN WORKSHOPS in the Lansing, MI area.  This will be a cozy, yet elegant space that will be the host of many creative and crafty workshops.  

The story about making this dream come true involves many people along the way, but the most influence and credit comes from my dear friend, Kate Smith who owns the Makery in Bath, UK.  Check her out if you live in the UK, and check out her books and website, even if you don't!  She has been a mentor to me along the way, as well as Elizabeth Duvivier, creator of Squam, who gave me a much needed nudge when fear and doubt were creeping in.  In fact, lots of wonderful folks along the way have inspired me, even without them knowing:)  I am grateful.  

My business plan is done, accounts are opened.  The calendars and classes have been planned for ages.  (They will follow a seasonal theme, as I really love how Michigan really flows with the seasons.)  My logo designer is hired.  (She's also amazing and check her out at  My realtor is looking for space, though I have a place in mind if it is still available by late summer.  (I'm giving in to fate on this one, folks!)  And lastly, my Soleil will be starting school, which allows me the time and energy to give all of my future clients the love and attention they will need.  These things take a lot of time and planning, and I am enjoying the journey.

I'm excited, and a little scared... but in that good way, like when you jump off of a cliff into a gorgeous lake on a hot summer day!  

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Project Life Swap & Healthy Cookies

Do any of you do the new style of scrapbooking with the Project Life System?  Basically, it simplifies the whole process by having you slide in your photos, and uses these remade journaling cards that you can write on and embellish.  I love them.  I love them for using in my new planner as little list makers, and for also using as quick notes to someone.  

This one is a different brand than Project Life, but I have more cards than I need.  I get sick of the same designs, and they give you 3 or 4 of each!  
Does anyone else have this problem?  If so, I'd LOVE TO DO A SWAP WITH YOU!!   I have been looking online, because I can't be the only one who has thought of this.  If you know of an online swap, please send me a link:)
And as I mentioned a few posts ago, I am eating a little more healthy.  And I found this recipe, which I am SURE you have seen if you are on pinterest at all... The call it "Healthy Cookies, only 3 ingredients!"    We made them.  They SUCK.  OMG, they are so gross, and the kids and I were laughing at how gross they were, until Tate had the idea to leave a note for Paul, who eats everything.
It is basically ripe bananas, oats, and dried fruit.  Do you know what they taste like?  Bananas, oats, and dried fruit but drier.   A bit like mud.  I like healthy food usually, but your eyes say cookie, and your mouth is like "What in the hell is this?"

On a yummier note, FROZEN PINEAPPLE+COCONUT MILK+HONEY+OJ=deliciousness.
Add maraschino cherries, and a little cherry juice and it is downright Spring Break Yummy.
(Paul added Rum to his.)

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Kawaii Obsessed

I was on pinterest for a very long time on Saturday Night.  This led me down the internet rabbit hole that led me to all things Kawaii.  What is that, you ask?  The term "Kawaii" means "Cute", and it is a style of things from Japan.

from Wiki:  Kawaii (かわいい?[kaw͍aiꜜi], "lovable", "cute", or "adorable"[1]) is the quality of cuteness in the context of Japanese culture.[2][3][4] It has become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular cultureentertainmentclothingfoodtoyspersonal appearancebehavior, and mannerisms

Hello Kitty is included in this genre of things (stationary, little charms, little stuffed toys, etc).  I could describe it, but I will just show you photos...

It all started with a stationary kit that I saw, that someone had put together.  (Yes, I did order it on Amazon, as it was only about $4!)  In her kit, she had these amazing stickers that I haven't seen anywhere else.  There were also unique sticky notes, and pens... all pink and cute.  This led to discovering that there is also a whole movement dedicated to pimping out your FILOFAX and PLANNER.

Check out this blogger: Lucy in Wonderland

Also, check out  She's amazing.

I love to organize things.  I love cute things.  I watched hours of people revealing these artistic and well organized binders of happiness.  I haven't been using a paper planner in awhile, due to my iPhone, but it isn't as good.  Most people would agree--I am much more apt to accomplish my to-do list if I have written it out with fun markers, stickers, and tabs!

I had a planner from Russel and Hazel, so Sunday was dedicated to making it cute.  It is just the beginning, but here it is.   If you have any favorite stationary links, please feel free and add in the comments section.