Where in the world did I go?!?

So….hey.  How’s it going?  It only been about oh, six months since I last wrote anything on this blog.  Is anyone out there even still checking to see if I wrote something new?  If so that is some serious dedication.  I apologize for just disappearing so quickly and for so long!  You see something happened that completely threw my blogging schedule out the window.  That thing that happened?  It’s called life.  And boy does it like to throw us some curve balls once in awhile.  Here’s a small breakdown…

My husband was unexpectedly offered a job in Phoenix, AZ.  For those of you who don’t know he works for our church (the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in the temple department and had been at the Boston temple for the last few years.  A new temple was being opened up in Phoenix and they were interested in moving him out to AZ.  It was a good job opportunity and promotion but at the time (this was in June) our daughter’s adoption wasn’t finalized and we couldn’t leave Massachusetts until the adoption was final.  And that wasn’t supposed to happen until October or November and since the new job started in August he had to say no.  About a month later we got a call from our lawyer saying they had been able to move things up and our adoption hearing was now scheduled to happen in three days! Yay!  We were so excited to be able to finalize everything way ahead of schedule.  We’d waited long enough to make this family official.  Our finalization day was wonderful and we were so blessed to have awesome friends come and celebrate with us at the courthouse.  I hope you don’t mind me sharing a few pictures from our wonderful day!

_DSC0137 _DSC1167 _DSC0005 _DSC0052 _DSC0073The judge was so sweet and good with Savannah.  It was such a happy day and I love that when the judge officially and legally declared us a family the whole court room cheered, the lawyers, bailiff, and court reporter.  A happy day indeed!

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So that good news happened, and then about two weeks later we received some VERY unexpected and additional good news…

_DSC0032Big Sister Baby AnnouncementUm, what?!  Yep, I’m pregnant.  Never, ever thought I would be saying that.  The fact that this all happened just weeks after finalizing our adoption just proves to me how much Savannah was meant to be in our family.  She just HAD to come first!  I was pretty thrown for a loop and still processing the whole thing when my husband received a call again just double checking to see if he wanted the job in Arizona.  And now that our adoption had been finalized way ahead of schedule he was able to say yes!  In a matter of a few weeks we finalized our adoption, found out we were pregnant, moved across the country from MA to AZ, bought a house, and started a new job.  It has been a crazy few months to say the least.  I finally feel as if things are starting to settle down, until I think about the fact that we are going to have a newborn baby in March.  It’s a boy by the way! So much to prepare!

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I hope you’ll all understand why I suddenly stopped blogging and why I may or may not be taking it up again.  That is still to be determined.  We’ll have to see how it all goes.  Life, it is full of surprises!

Classic Car Birthday Party

A few weeks ago one of Savannah’s little best friends, Logan, celebrated his first birthday.  His mom happens to be one of my very best friends too, in fact we’re pretty much convinced that our children are going to be married when they are older.  :)

But for now we’ll just let them be cute little buddies and celebrate their birthdays.  I was able to help Logan’s mom put together his party and I thought I’d share some of the adorable details.  The theme was Classic Cars and Route 1 and I think it all turned out great!

Classic Car Birthday PartyWhat an adorable little family right?  And how CUTE are those shirts that Tory made for her family?  They are one of my favorite things about this whole party.

There were lots of great details, like the race flag cupcake toppers on all of the cupcakes and an adorable smash cake complete with cars on top.

Classic Car Birthday PartyClassic Car Birthday Party

**** So here is a fun little interruption.  I started writing this post Monday evening and now I’m having to finish it up Tuesday morning.  Last night we had a tornado warning for our town and while we didn’t actually have a tornado there was some pretty crazy weather with lots of rain and lightning.  Some big ol’ trees found themselves on the ground all over the neighborhood and we lost power.  When I went to bed at about 11:00 pm the power was still out but thankfully it came back on sometime in the night!  Crazy!  Now back to your regularly scheduled program…. *****

Here is one of the things I helped create, some gas pump juice box covers!  These were Tory’s idea, so I can’t take the credit for that, but I think they turned out pretty cute.

Classic Car Birthday PartyClassic Car Birthday PartyAnother feature was this awesome photo booth.  I think this is such a great way to document the guests that come to your party and so many families took pictures of themselves too so they have a great keepsake.

Classic Car Birthday Party Photo BoothAll together it made for one fun party all to celebrate Logan’s first year!  Thanks Tory and family for a great time!

With all of the pieces I was able to create I put together a new party package to add to my shop!  Classic Car Birthday Party coming right at you!

Classic Car Party Package 1 Classic Car Party Package 2

Classic Car Birthday Customized Invitations

This package can be purchased from my Etsy Store or by simply filling out the request form on my party package page.  Like all my other pre-made packages it is only $15.00 and perfect for your little guy who loves cars!

DIY Ruler Growth Chart

Just this past Sunday morning I was watching Savannah play and I’m pretty sure she grew three inches overnight.  Seriously, one day she was reaching up on tip toes and could barely reach a shelf and the next day she was happily pulling everything out of the baskets on the shelf.  Can anyone explain to me how that happens?  It is also a good thing it is summer because all of her pants are basically capris now.

Since I have a feeling she is going to keep growing (no matter how many times I tell her to stop) I’m loving one of our latest DIY projects.  So when Savannah reaches 5 feet tall, which is probably going to be next week, I’ll be able to look back and at least remember when she was still a tiny tot.

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If you’re not the most comfortable with power tools than this is a perfect project for you to take on.  Mostly because it doesn’t require any!  I guess we did use a power sander to get the board nice and smooth but if you don’t mind using a little elbow grease you can sand it yourself.

It all starts with picking the straightest, smoothest board you can find.  We used a 6 foot piece of 1 x 8 poplar.  We used poplar mainly because it was cheap.  :)  Then my husband gave the board a nice sanding.  I just like to always clarify that the hairy manly hands in pictures do not belong to me.

DIY Ruler Growth Chart

After sanding we stained the board using left over stain from our dresser to TV stand make-over.   The stain is such a nice dark color that it only needed one coat.

DIY Ruler Growth Chart

This next part was definitely not hard, but it is tedious.  Using a tape measure we marked out every inch along the edge and used painters tape to create thin lines for the ruler markings.  In the photo below you can faintly see the pencil marks.  Our goal was to have it look as much like a regular ruler as possible, just extra large.

DIY Ruler Growth Chart DIY Ruler Growth Chart

If you are making your own ruler here is something to keep in mind- if you will be hanging the ruler on the wall or leaving it on the ground.  Because that will make a difference in where you start counting your inches.   I knew I wanted to hang our ruler on the wall and above our tall baseboards.  So we measured from the floor to just a little bit above our baseboards and then started the lines on the ruler at 10 inches.

DIY Ruler Growth Chart

Once the entire board was marked off it was time to paint.  Some left over white paint from some project or another and a small foam brush was all it took.  We made it so the lines wrapped all the way around the side of the board too.

DIY Ruler Growth Chart DIY Ruler Growth Chart To create the numbers I cut them out of cardstock with my cricut and used the relief as the stencil.  I used a pencil to trace the outline and then just hand painted the numbers in with a tiny paint brush.   See how close the 1 foot mark is to the bottom of the board to allow for our baseboards?

DIY Ruler Growth Chart DIY Ruler Growth Chart And once the ruler was all finished and painted we hung it up in the corner of our living room!

DIY Ruler Growth Chart

For some reason my one year old did not get the memo that she was supposed to be my model.  She just wanted to wiggle, what is up with that?

DIY Ruler Growth Chart “Oh me?  You want me to sit still for a moment and be cute?”  (Her curly hair.  I die.)

DIY Ruler Growth Chart Despite the time needed to tape off every line for each inch, this was actually a fast and easy project.  And every year on her birthday as we mark on there how Savannah grows, and any future children, it will be a project we will treasure for a lifetime.

DIY Ruler Growth Chart

July 2014 Visiting Teaching- LDS

Before I share the VT handout for this month, have you seen the video message from Bonnie L. Oscarson, the Young Women General President?  It is lovely, compassionate, and perfectly timed.   I have to say that I am ever so grateful, especially lately, for wise leaders and the guidance and comfort they give.

And now onto this month’s message!  July’s Visiting Teaching message is called The Divine Mission of Jesus Christ: Advocate.  In the message we also read about Esther from the Old Testament, and how she was an advocate for her people.  I was especially drawn to the line from her uncle Mordecai “And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  It made me stop and ponder why I am here in the Lord’s kingdom, and what He would have me do.

Here is the handout for this month!

Download the PDF

July 2014 VT

Fourth of July Holiday Shelf

I’m so excited for my favorite holiday (it’s tied with Christmas) and can’t wait to see all the red, white, and blue popping up everywhere.  I love Independence Day!  Give me parades, fireworks, and goosebumps during our national anthem and I am one happy girl.  I’m getting in the patriotic spirit around our house by changing out my holiday shelf to reflect my American pride.

_DSC0584It’s a pretty simple array of some old books, candles wrapped in twine, a lantern, and two mason jar flower arrangements.   I happened to have a red “S” for our last name and it works on the shelf, but I’d really love to find a “U” and an “A” to add as well.  I also used the banner that was already hanging up from my Nautical Summer Shelf, and just changed out the teal colors for red and white.

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The flower arrangements were really easy to make.  I found a package of 3 flags for $1 at the dollar spot in Target and the white flowers are from the Dollar Tree.  They look perfect in a mason jar with some brown paper shred.

_DSC0591I created two prints to put in the frames underneath but alas, my printer ran out of ink just when I went to print them out!  I had some cute scrapbook paper on hand though and it works just great.  But thanks to the magic of Photoshop here is how it would have looked:

_DSC0603And just because my printer ran out of ink doesn’t mean you can’t use the prints!

Download the PDF

Printable Patriotic Subway Art

Hope these help you get in the independence day spirit!

 

Mixing Two Lives Together

I think I’ve said this before on this blog but it makes me laugh so it bears repeating.  When Sam and I were married we received six waffle irons as gifts.  Six!  And they were all the exact same one.   Waffle party at our house!

So it is true that there may be some standard gifts that people always give at receptions.  Pots and pans, towels, mixing bowls, etc.  But there is a reason those are standard…they’re useful and everyone needs them!  The trick to making your gift memorable is simply packaging it up in a cute and creative way.

Here is one way to jazz up a gift- I put together some whisks and spoons in a mason jar and tied a cute ribbon around the jar.  Add in some cookbooks and mixing bowls and you have a gift that is not only useful, but just different enough to be memorable.

Mixing and Blending Gift with Printable Tag

Of course, what really pulls it all together is a gift tag with a slightly cheesy pun!

Download the PDF

Mixing and Blending Gift TagAs you can see I made two different tags so that one will work with a blender as well.  And you can definitely pair either one with a nice mixer like a Kitchen Aid or a Bosch.  That would be a great wedding gift for sure!