Monday, August 31, 2009

a piece of photography heaven...

was found over the weekend. We visited our friends' newly purchased farm in Eastern Kentucky. Wow. Today's post will focus on scenery:

This is the gorgeous lake located on their property.
I took this one by simply looking up and snapping while standing down by the lake. If you climbed the hill and kept walking to the left, their house is located in that direction.
Later in the evening, near dusk, we took a hike (they call it the Poison Ivy trail?!) and came around the other side of their land, which eventually wound back around to the other side of the lake.
When I got down near the lake, I was greeted by the beautiful reflection of the trees and the moon. Yep, that white dot is the moon in the still blue sky.

I am so happy I lugged my camera around b/c I got some great, great photos that I think our friends are going to really enjoy. Next up....people shots.
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Friday, August 28, 2009

bargains around town

The stuff and save sale began today at Old Navy. If you have a credit card there, you get 20% off whatever you buy. And this go around, you pick up their recyclable tote in store to stuff, for free. They are cute and well made so I encourage you go, get one, fill it!

Earlier in the week, I was at Big Lots, per the advice of my child's 3rd grade teacher, searching for a larger art box for said child. While there, I saw 12x12 blank artist canvases for $5. That size is not always easy to find, and that is a good price. I did not buy any but if I am able to develop a guaranteed use, I will go back.

While I am discussing such high brow institutions (honestly, I am not above a good deal regardless of where it comes from!) let me talk about McDonalds. I had a coupon for a free Angus Burger so I got one during our hurried drive thru dinner last night which allowed my children to be fed between O's basketball practice and Shelby's soccer practice. ( I won't lie, I have prayed for lightening to cancel the 6p obligation b/c Thursday is the looooooooongest day of the week.) Anyway, it was a darned good sandwich! The portion was too big for me to finish but the burger was tasty and meaty, not like those other wafers I typically eat there. The McDonalds nearest me has predictably bad service which I really wish would change. And I also wish their shake machine worked closer to 7 days per week instead of the 3 it appears to (not saying I go 3 days a week, but some weeks, I may and when I am feeling nice and allow my child to order a shake with her meal, at least 75% of the time, the shake machine is down). And what the heck, while I am on this rant, their handling of the recent Beanie Babies giveaway was embarrassing ( I may not care personally but I can assure you my 5 and 8 year old do!). I don't think they ever had ANY available during our multiple visits during this past month. Things that make you go hmmm? Pin It

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

this is beth...

Here is a group photo of a wonderful collection of friends on the night of my Surprise 40th Bday party. In the center is Beth (with the pink star over her head, b/c baby she is a STAR!) who is one of the dearest friends I have ever known. In fact, the party was at her house.

Well, the week after this party, Beth was diagnosed with breast cancer. I cannot tell you how it has rocked all of us to the core. But Beth, she is just a strong warrior and is plugging along, beating the crap out of cancer.

In her honor, some of us are participating in the local Race for the Cure on September 12. Our team website can be found HERE. If you are in or around the Cincinnati area, we'd like nothing better than for you to join us as we represent our good friend and her courage.
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

cool and flattering...

This is a screenshot from the Capture Cincinnati page, a local photo contest. See those girls's sweet feet and chalk art? Yep, that would be my two lovelies! They highlight the top photos of the moment (constant voting = constant change in status) in each chapter. I have had a few of mine shown over time in these spots, and thought I had better document this with a screenshot. Heck, I might even scrapbook a page about it :) It would be a total thrill for one of my pictures to make it into this coffee table style book, but I will take the thrill I got on this Sunday morning, by being somewhat of a feature for this moment in time.

Interested in helping me get published in the book? Sign on and vote!
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Friday, August 21, 2009

more back to school: lunch box notes

I have always loved this idea, but like all busy moms, I run out of time and inspiration. Here are some of my favorites to either print, buy and use, or to be inspired to make some of my own.
Wee Tidings has a sweet jar of kid greetings. Or download a set of pdf tags and cards, and write in your own message.

For the life of me, I cannot find the link to these, but I downloaded these lunchbox stickers/notes from Rachael Ray last year. I put one in Olivia's lunch just today!
Leave a comment if you have or find the link to this free download and I will add it!

Next, etsy never disappoints for awesome ideas and products. Here are two that caught my eye:

These tokens are so original and cute. You can find them here, and thanks to that seller for the photo!
And these, with jokes, I know my daughter would LOVE. Eight year olds get cracked up really easily, you know?
I am working hard to embrace the new school year and life on a schedule. Fall like weather has made an appearance today, totally changing my mindset from the summer slump to a new season and all that has to offer.

Credits for my new blog banner can be seen at the bottom of this page. Pin It

Thursday, August 20, 2009

back to school today

This kid went first, just before 8am. Converse with plaid, it's a good look.
Her sister dressed in full gear first thing this morning, happily posed for pictures, and then cried when it was not her turn to get on the bus too.
It was all kinds of crazy humid, look at her hair!
By noon, Shelby was all ready for her debut as a bus rider and kindergartner.

Try to convince me that there is anything cuter than school uniforms on girl this age. You can't.

Both had a great day although it has been looooooooooong, as in a marathon of a day. We are finally home from the last thing on the agenda, soccer practice, and they are currently in the tub. After one homework assignment for Olivia and 2 books are covered, the three of us are headed to bed!
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

it's back to school tomorrow....

I think we're ready! Shelby got to "check it out" today, as she told her dad and met her teacher and rode around the parking lot on a bus. While there, Olivia met her teacher (as did I) and saw her room too. I am mostly excited and ready for this change in routine. My apprehensions are as follows:
--it is far too hot and humid, and Olivia has no AC in her wing of the building
--Olivia is scheduled for school, then basketball practice immediately following. This would make her first day 9 hours long, with about 45 minutes for a breather and for dinner before Shelby has soccer practice at 6p. I feel like something is going to have to give.
--Shelby rides to school on her own every day, but tomorrow, since her sister has basketball after school, she has to ride home alone on her first day. I don't like it :)

Now I know, kids are resilient so this will probably not (may not?) bother them. It's my job to worry though, right? And to over analyze! Wish us luck.
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Monday, August 17, 2009

muffin tin monday: funny face edition

The tin had no theme, I just wanted to do it one last time before school starts this week. The girls went out on this tangent all on their own.
This is a rather wide view showing my woefully outdated kitchen decor. Border: gotta go. Window treatments: bye bye. Ceiling fan: out of here. Now, to get my husband on board with this. We actually did alot of updating when we moved here, only that was 11 years ago, and it is time to revisit some of these areas again. But why is it so hard to convince a man of this?

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

more pages

I know, I have done more pages in a week than in probably all the months of this year combined! They are all on the simple side, but they tell our story.

As I have mentioned, the humidity here has just been oppressive. I have had almost a constant headache for days. My escape has been the AC, and some computer time. I have some quilting projects calling to me as well but life (2 kids, doctors' appointments, eye doctor appointments, school shopping, dog training, eating three meals per day + countless snacks) tends to get in the way!

I did manage to wash all of the new uniform shirts yesterday and they are all hanging neatly in a row in the laundry room. I adhered my fancy Mabel's Labels to each one and they are ready to go for next week. Those labels are amazing, and worth the price. They withstand all the washing and drying easily. I went with a dolphin and simply our last name, making them useful for both of my girls on new items, and hand me downs work with ease too.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

project 365: june

9 photos and a short story later and I am nearly caught up! i hope to complete july this week while I have got my scrappin' groove on although I am enjoying the filler pages right now. In the works, is a page highlighting Skipper, the cone wearing dog (who barfed on the kitchen floor this morning, which I found after I stepped in it!).

I also need to remove tags from all of the school uniform shirts and get them in the washing machine. My girls start school next week...AACK! And the school supplies lists need to be double checked and then everything properly labeled. You can understand why I procrastinate by sitting here with a to do list like this, huh?
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Monday, August 10, 2009

more digi scrapping

This first one will slip into my 2009 album. Although my temptation to use other things is SO GREAT, sticking with the same palette and products sure does streamline things. Right now, I feel inspired to make some of these filler pages and it is a great way to hide out from the oppressive humidity. Most of what I use comes from We R Storytellers. ETA: THIS STORE IS CLOSING. WAAAH! The silver lining: everything is 50% off right now.
This one was purely for fun and dictates I will always keep an album going for each girl just to slip pages such as these inside. Once more, totally loving this scrapping and snapping kit. I have been wanting to record some Shelby-isms for awhile, and these speech bubbles were perfect. Funny, I saw this one on another blog while I was working on my own. Great minds, eh?!

To see the pages larger, click on the image.
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

seriously funny, terribly irreverent

I am not going to sugar coat it, this book is irreverent BUT if you like that kind of humor, start reading. I have found myself laughing out loud multiple times, and that was in the first 100 pages. Her recall of a gynecologist visit had me giggling so hard last night in bed, the whole bed was shaking. The harder I tried not to laugh, the harder I laughed. And you know what, laughing is good for the soul!! Super extra bonus for me, the book is set in Chicago, one of my top two favorite cities ever, so I am thoroughly enjoying all those references. Pin It

Thursday, August 6, 2009

scrapping and snapping

FAST! This is one of the pre-made quick pages from the kit. I simply added the date and two pictures. It only took me a few minutes and now I have time to tackle Shelby's closet while she is at camp and Olivia is at a friend's house. The door cannot even close. No kidding.
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

my quilting progress

Here are the 20 blocks I have completed. My goal is to make this quilt 5 by 7 blocks, so 35 total. I am short a bit of fabric so I wondered if adding in 3-5 solid white/cream blocks would work? What do you think?
This is mostly Amy Butler fabric with a few of my fat quarters from elsewhere thrown in.

I saw this quilt idea in the store where my Mom bought the fabric. I was too cheap to buy the $14.95 book, so I am sort of creating as I go along, based on these 21" strips pieced together. The fabric widths are 1.5", 3.5" and 5.5". Since I am easy to please, it should work out OK and make a decent lap quilt in the end.

And this is my iphone case. Once I cut each of my 21" strips of pieced fabrics, I am left with little end pieces of patchwork after my 2- 8.5" blocks (which where intended to be 9" but I am making it work). I sewed 2 together and lined it with beige linen.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

i phone wall paper and more praise

for the Scrapping and Snapping Kit! Holy Moly, I just downloaded and unzipped all 10 files and am just blown away. I feel like I should pay them $5 more dollars, that's how good it all is. Like most people, I am pretty savvy about downloading lots of digital freebies but I have NO REGRETS about this purchase. How's that for an endorsement? I am definitely using it either for my 2010 photo book or a fall "week in the life" project. I probably can't wait that long though, so get ready to see some of it in use soon.

Next, i phone wallpaper. Ashamed to admit I did not even know this was a feature on my iphone until I saw this download:
Not only is this provided for free, but if you go to their forums, you can find detailed instructions for how to get this on your iphone. I added my photos to the template, followed the directions and got it all running last night. I so love this idea. Thank you Katie, at Designer Digitals.

So cute that I had to do two versions. Above, is on my iphone.
Below, is on my home computer desktop.
I really intended to take some pictures of things I have been sewing but it rained all day here. And not just a little, torrential downpours. Not one ray of sunshine. I promise to get to that tomorrow. Pin It

Monday, August 3, 2009

scrapping & snapping

This HUGE digital kit totally knocked my socks off. I LOVE the cameras. All of this for only $5 too! Now if only Paypal would work so I could get to the business of downloading all this goodness. You can find it here.

I think this would work great for a project like my Project 365, yearly photobook OR I am really liking this for a second take at an "a week in the life" book. Pin It

Sunday, August 2, 2009

a visit from the southern belles...

Our neighbors, have the cutest niece with a totally fun family. We met them last year when they visited in October. This weekend they returned for a few days of outdoor play and swimming.
This is the youngest belle: Sarah. She is one darling, sassy, 4 year old.
This is our neighbor's granddaughter, Colleen. My girls, especially Olivia, love when she visits too.
What the heck? This Hula Hooper lives here! Olivia is actually a quite good hooper, something I am proud to say she inherited from me. I am pretty nonathletic. Ok, totally nonathletic. So my only two claims to fame are that I can hula hoop and roller skate--the old fashioned way on 4 wheels.
And finally, a group shot of the girl power...minus Shelby.

Today, I am settling back in to life...catching up on laundry, doing a little school shopping, a bit of sewing...all things that feel comfortable and more normal than the past week has.

Side note: A week or so ago, my Mom bought me some GREAT Amy Butler fabric to make a quilt. A splurge I would have never made on myself. I have been making blocks when I can find the time and I almost done with that. I hope to start piecing them together this week. Stay tuned for pictures. As per my usual, I get antsy and need more instant gratification so today, I whipped up an Iphone holder from the patchwork leftovers from squaring up my quilt squares. It could use a few tweaks but it is functional and pretty...isn't any thing made by Amy Butler?

Alright, back to the seam ironing!
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