Monday, May 31, 2010

summer reading program

I just shared this over at the Little Dreamer Designs blog. I'd love if you add to the list here...or there.

summer past time: reading

image from
(photo credit: here)

I am one of those people who has lots of hobbies: scrapbooking, sewing and reading. Reading was my first passion and I still totally love the escape of a good book. To me, summer means extra time to kick back with a good book. My family is heading to the beach in early June, so I have been scoping out the Bestsellers list and other places for book suggestions. I also like to get my hands on new releases from favorite authors like Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Weiner.

I thought it would be fun to make a running list right here of the books you all enjoy and would suggest to others. Leave a comment and let's build a library of good summer reads!

To start us off, I will share a few I hope to read:

86 Bloomberg Place Series (I already read the first)

In An Instant-Lee Woodruff

Twenties Girl-Sophie Kinsella

The Broker-John Grisham

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Sunday, May 30, 2010


Of the puppy variety.
Feel free to say "Awww".
Twice. It's not what you think though. My neighbor and her daughter adopted these guys yesterday after seeing them on TV advertising an adoption event going on at Petsmart. They are SO cute.
And so is this one. She is of the people variety. Miss Allison.

Have I ever mentioned that I loooooooveeeeee babies?? Clearly, I shared that with this family b/c today we are puppy and babysitting while they go to the Reds game. Wish us luck!
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

a very full life-today

Yesterday, was May Day, a day FULL of activities for third graders. This is my girl coloring a rocket.
And preparing for lift off.
This girl officially ended kindergarten today. Above is Shelby with her pre-school "little buddy".
Below, she is with her two teachers.

Today I reflected for a few minutes about how full my life is. I am so blessed. My kids go to a wonderful school where the staff and parents work tirelessly so that each child can succeed. How lucky we are.

Today, 10 years ago, I had 3 little babies. Three little babies who did not survive to attend school yet they still are part of the reason my life is full. Without them, today would not be today, not the exact one I get to live. Had I not had them, I would be missing something.

Today a dear friend passed away far too young and leaves behind a son who will be 10 this weekend. That boy was born on the day the last of my three babies passed away. I remember it being bittersweet but I also remember those new parents being so gracious. Just like their joy was a bit hard for me at that moment, my grief was as hard for them. Today I cannot believe that one of those gracious parents has passed on. Today I am full of questions. And I am sad.
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's a gift giving time of year...

I got some gourmet cupcakes today from SugarPlums cupcakery. Two for bus driver gifts in the flavor of snickerdoodle.
They came in the box and I added the ribbon, tag and sentiment with a Dymo labeler. The tag is from HERE.

And two more (not shown) for the ladies who run the school cafeteria. Their flavor? Vanilla cupcake with raspberry filling and frosting.

Next, I collected money for gift cards for the Brownie Troop leaders. I printed out the tag by using an element from the My Life Rocks kit at Little Dreamer Designs.

I actually made the zippered pouches but forgot to photograph them before putting them inside the bag. They are lined with contrasting fabric and are cute! And the fabric, is Girl Scout fabric that my Mom gave me a few fat quarters of on my birthday. This was a perfect use for it. To make the pouches I used some of the ideas from Bend the Rules sewing, and some from this tutorial that allows you to machine sew the lining. I want to try this pleated version next!
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Helen Hunt: 5/26 at the Aronoff

Few actresses have been praised as highly by critics and the public as Helen Hunt. From her earliest work in Community Theater, to Broadway, PrimeTime and Hollywood film roles, she has been continuously recognized for her outstanding performances. So, what does this award-winning actor, director, writer and mother do for an encore? Come share her conversation in her SmartTalk exclusive appearance. Believe us - it’s as good as it gets. --excerpted from the Smart Talk website

Purchase tickets at the Aronoff Box Office or online. I'll be there and hope you will be too. Pin It

Monday, May 24, 2010

do you ever sign up for something....

and then wonder why?

That is the case of this pillow. I got all caught up in the lovely pillows on Flickr and signed up for a swap...with a stranger...who more than likely is an expert seamstress. Seriously, I love what I made but when I see the others in the group I am dying. And embarassed. I am still learning...a lot. As of right now, this is the working "exchange". The fabric is Katie Jump Rope which may be it's only redeeming quality :) What do you think?
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Friday, May 21, 2010


Did I scare you? After reading a recent review, I went in search of a new iron. Mine was old, lightweight and really produced no steam. As I do more sewing, I saw the value of a heavy duty iron. Thanks to Walmart, I got this for a mere $39.86. I ironed a few fat quarters in seconds. It is like an ironing miracle. Had I known I was suffering so badly before, I would have made the investment sooner. Lesson learned.
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

life's milestones

Dave's Birthday on Sunday.
I never get tired of these shots. I love my kids on the B'day person's lap, especially mine or their Dad's. Now Skipper--he was a late addition but Olivia insisted on hoisting him into the frame.
And, kid#2 is now minus one tooth :)
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Monday, May 17, 2010


I got far fewer done than I had hoped.
Using the laptop, and PSE exclusively, slows me down a bit.
And I brought photos on flash drives which I thought would be fine but I realize how addicted I am to Picasa and not viewing photos (quickly, easily, effortlessly) on there, really slowed me down.
Still, I had a great time hanging out with other ladies accomplishing the same goals. Good food, good conversation and some forward progress in Operation Photo Album v.2010.
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

set to accomplish this today...

Hoping to make these:

look more like this!

Plus a bunch more. Maybe a dozen or so? The school was set to have a scrapbooking fundraiser today but not enough people could attend so a sweet lady invited me to her house along with a few others to still tackle some pages. I feel like I have so many other things to do but I am tossing caution (and cleanliness) to the wind and going over for a long afternoon. Wouldn't it be nice to be into March or April considering it is May?! Oh, and I am taking just the laptop and a few flash drives along. Super simple-I hope!
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Friday, May 14, 2010

home improvement evolution

The shelf is installed, a few pieces of milk glass are present, my favorite thrift find ever (white frame now painted blue was $4 I think), green ceramic bird from Old Time Pottery and my DIY wreath.

This wreath was not hard to make and it is impressive when complete--as in, one tiny wreath form becomes a big, full wreath. I only had one paperback novel from the $1 store and I could have used 12-24 pages to fill in gaps BUT once it is up on the wall, you cannot see those gaps. Also, I painted by book's edges blue and I love what that added.

I have also completed a pillow for the bed using a simple coin quilt method and more Nicey Jane fabrics.

I am pleased with how this turned out too.
Slowly, but surely, things are coming together.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

my beautiful, beautiful grasshopper

This makes my heart hurt.
Seriously, is one child allowed to be this sweet?!
Today was Shelby's picture day at dance class. We are going to be on vacation during the recital so I captured what I could today. Overcast weather is the best for outdoor photos. The 50 mm 1.4 lens, a purchase I'd make over and over again!

I just downloaded an American Idol song! Love the duet with Lee and Crystal, Falling Slowly. Those two are just super talented. Replaying the song now on my computer, this sounds like a right now, on the radio, hit. Love their voices.
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Monday, May 10, 2010

FREE is never bad...

In all my blog reading, both personally and as part of the work I do for others, I run across A LOT of great stuff. And thanks to the world wide web, lots of it is free. Today, I share with you some of what I loved recently:

I am so in love with Japanese masking tape but it never dawned on me to use it digitally until I saw this. Download your own.

This might not be something tangible but it is a well done tutorial for this lovely wreath
which I am ready to make to fill in a space above my new headboard. I already bought the $1 paperback novel, just like she suggested. Oh, and if you are not all DIY, I saw one for sale in her etsy shop :)And these packages...I just cannot get enough of them. Of course, the generous blogger shared EXACTLY how she made them RIGHT HERE.

Have you found anything great lately that you want to share? If so, leave us a link in the comments. Pin It

Thursday, May 6, 2010

thank you shutterfly

ETA: Can you see the pics now??

I heard the UPS guy coming down the road and met him at the end of the driveway. And inside was this treasure. Seriously, worth every hour I spent taking photos, recording my thoughts, downloading pics and creating pages. I am thrilled. The girls were just as excited as me. It is like starring in your own book! Bring on 2010, I have a renewed sense of creativity :) In the excitement, we got out the 2008 week in the life book and I nearly got tears in my eyes reviewing it. I am using this method for vacation photos this year!

(photos from iphone) Pin It

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

i did it, i ordered my 2009 photo album

There was a 30% off sale through yesterday and I decided to finish December and call it done.

Click here to view this photo book larger

I am nervous and excited!

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My May Desktop

Isn't this pretty? You can download your own by visiting Blue Finch Studios blog! I love changing out my desktops each month.
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Monday, May 3, 2010

so much to do and say little time!

First, I need to gush over the Lee Woodruff speaking event last Thursday. I know I probably should not go out on this limb but she was my favorite this season. Lee was so genuine, an effortless and at ease speaker and one who able to connect really well to her audience. My friend Amy and I both agreed and left certain we'd read both of her books, In An Instant and Perfectly Imperfect. Her husband's recovery is NOTHING if not one of the biggest miracles I have heard told. My favorite takeaway? When she said during a challenge/tragedy you can either become bitter or better. She clearly chose better. I just love this sentiment.
Next up at Smart Talk at the Aronoff....Helen Hunt. Looking forward to hearing and meeting her and a night out with Miss Kacie.Next -my rough outline of this week's menu. I really began on Saturday but here goes:

Monday: Italian Sausage on the grill with Peppers and Onions Hot Dogs for the Girls
Steak Fries
Tuesday: Baked Pork Chops
Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes
Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner! Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Toast (maybe potatoes if I am in the mood for a mess)
Thursday: Dave golfs so the kids and I will eat out or pick something up
Friday: Chicken Stir Fry

I will add the recipe for the Chicken Stir Fry when I get upstairs to my Recipe file. I totally enjoy the links to other people's recipes and although this week's menu does not indicate it, I do try a bunch of them. This week apparently I am taking a walk on easy street!

School is winding down and this week is Teacher Appreciation week so I have lots to do and things to send in each day. Tomorrow, Olivia's teacher is getting this handmade coffee cup cozy (made by me!). She is a big Starbucks fan.

I also picked up a SB gift card but forgot an empty cup to put this around. That would not be a big deal but I just dropped off the aging mini van at the dealer b/c the engine light came on yesterday which needed to be addressed ASAP...unlike all of these issues I had been avoiding denying: the steering wheel shaking like crazy when I brake hard or from a high speed, a LOUD squeak when I make a sharp left, the overdue oil change and tire rotation....I am afraid of the phone call with the diagnosis.

Ok, enough rambling today! Enjoy. Pin It