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spring fever(s)

Friday, April 30

we've been hit with spring fever(s) around here!
not the cleaning kind of spring fevers...
the sick kind of fevers.
so i apologize for being missing in action over the past week.
the clouds are beginning to lift and i can see a glimpse of sunshine...finally.

remember ema being sick last week with a fever?
(and i had to cancel my hair appointment...urghhh)...*wink*
she ended up staying home from school for two days -
she had a really bad sinus infection & was put on antibiotics.

but then...
little ella pie woke up saturday night.


the "having to change the crib sheets in the middle of the night & give the baby a bath" kind of sick.

it's the first time she's ever been sick...
so i really have nothing to gripe about.
but sunday brought with it 103 degree temperatures & a call to the doctor.
my week turned into doctor visits...lab work at the hospital
and aside from the "upset stomach" on saturday night...
no other real symptoms except for fever and LOTS of this...

and lots of these weepy-eyed expressions...

my days were filled with clinginess, grouchiness, & "mom...i just don't feel good and i want to be held" cries.
i know most of you have experienced this sort of thing.
it's heartbreaking because you want them to feel better.
and it's frustrating because you want them to feel better. *wink*
i won't even go into the traumatic experience at the hospital lab...
let's just say ella has 2 badly bruised arms AND two badly bruised hands.
i was NOT happy.
and of course neither was ella.

while most of you were enjoying a normal week...
ella and i were immersed in pickles and popsicles - trying to keep her hydrated.

and even in the middle of all of the "i'm tired of popsicles & pickles".....

she still managed to do this...

and this....


everyone in the house is just about back to 100%.
ema is on an overnight sea world field trip today with school
ella was fever-free as of yesterday.
"so long spring fevers! don't let the door hit you in the bum on your way out!" *grin*

i'm looking forward to a very different weekend.
and i'm hoping each of you had a much better week than i did.
& that your weekend is even MORE wonderful.

Keeping It Real
kids being sick sure takes it toll on us...doesn't it!?
and now i'm playing "catch up".
on everything...
the good news is...the sick days help us appreciate the good days...*wink*

clever or corny?

Thursday, April 22

this is a perfect example of one of those "designing moments".
a moment where i sit back and scratch my head.
this could be considered clever.
it could also be deemed corny.
i haven't quite decided which one it is.
this is the result of not wanting to keep things simple.
as you know...
we've recently moved and i need to send out "change of address" cards.
i could just use one of the moving cards i've already created for other clients.
but the desire to come up with something new has led me to this.
and i don't think it's "us".
but maybe that's okay.
i haven't quite decided.

but here's another example of a very DIFFERENT "designing moment".

this is a RARE occurrence.
i found out about a particular mom's abhorrence to
her soon-to-be three year old son's request for a typical bowling alley party.
she was devastated.
she had dreams of a "vintage" or "retro" boy party hosted in a beautiful setting with gorgeous photography opportunities.
but we all know...
sometimes our children's requests/wishes outweigh our heart's desires.
so i was bound and determined to get her excited about this party.
i volunteered to create some fun invites and without any additional information from her...
THIS is what i came up with.
what is so RARE about this design is the fact that i "hit the nail right on the head"...
WITHOUT any additional information from her to get started.
her response when she saw the proof?

Did you read my mind? The colors are spot on..literally. The bowling alley's colors are chocolate, tan and an aqua-ish color. So, I love the touch of red! Perfection!

I LOVE when that happens!
Hugs to you Stephanie...

I'll be offering this design in my shoppe...soon.
(seems like i've been offering lots of "soons" lately...) *wink*

tomorrow is friday and then we have the weekend ahead of us.
yesterday our entire yard was tilled up. (the grass had to be replaced).
they are finishing up laying the sod today.
it's amazing how much different a house can look with "green" grass. *wink*

Keeping It Real
I was up for 3 hours last night with my little Ema.
She's had a cough/congestion for the past few days and she spiked a 102 fever.
Doctor's appt. in an hour.
Boy am I exhausted...
I had to cancel my hair appointment for today because Ema is home sick.
I feel guilty because I was really grumpy about being up with her last night.
I've been doing a lot of "grumpy" lately.
Not sure what my deal is but I'd better straighten myself out.

some days...

Tuesday, April 20

some days i feel like this:

other days i feel like this:

and then there are those days when you're just sort of caught in between...
i'm in the "caught in between".
how about you?

Keeping It Real:
Ella and I cut the roses yesterday but our "bloom cutting session" ended quickly when Ella started getting bit by ants...(7 bites total...ouch!)

The wilted flowers in the bottom picture were once vibrant pink tulips - purchased from the grocery store. They met their demise when Ella decided to use a chair to climb up on top of the dining room table. I came around the corner to find her standing smack dab in the middle of the table... gently, (ok. well...not so gently)...plucking the petals off of each tulip. Talk about a freak-out moment. And it wasn't about the tulips! *wink*

did you hear the buzz? (& a few other designs)

Monday, April 19

i thought this bug themed birthday invite turned out super adorable!
i'm getting ready to put it in my etsy shoppe as soon as i've finalized things with the client who requested it.
(and there will be matching party accessories...of course)! *wink*

and then here's another design request...

(an owl-themed baby shower)

don't you just love that color combination?! it's perfect for either a boy OR a girl!
this too will be available soon in the shoppe.

i've got to work on getting some moving cards done too...
i'm tempted to just use THIS design i shared with you awhile back:

it'd save me from having to create something new...
but it's so "out-of-character" for me to NOT do something new.
i mean, afterall,
this IS a moving card for OUR actual move...
i could always use this design too...

this is another proof i did for the same client...

on a different note, the majority of the weekend was spent over at the old house...again.
there's still things to get out of the attic and some loose ends to tie up.
i can't wait to be completely done over there.
(and do i dare mention the garage sale we'll be having at the old house???)
am i nuts?
like i don't have enough things to do?! *wink*

friday night was GREAT though.
we attended the first annual talent show at the elementary school...
ema was debuting her drum talents.
she did great!
she was so confident too.
i love her.

okay...i'm starting the week off right by jumping back into my routine of blogging...
i'll do some walking/jogging later...
and i'll be getting some design work done too.
i've GOT to do something about my eating.
it's been completely out of control because we've been so out of our routine around here.
today is a new day...a new week...
and i'm ready to make a new start. (despite having eaten 1/2 a snickers bar i found in the fridge this morning)...*shhhh*

let's make it a great week people!

Keeping It Real
I seemed REALLY grumpy this weekend.
I also felt like a mom who doesn't know how to have fun & is too serious all of the time.
I don't like feeling that way.
but J reeled me back in and we had a "sit down".
He sure knows how to put things in perspective for me.
He keeps me grounded. I tend to be irrational at times. (a lot of times). *wink*

back in business...

Friday, April 16

it feels so good to be posting again...
after a week without internet due to our move.

in the midst of boxes, packing, moving, cleaning, purging, unpacking, organizing, painting...(yes, still painting)...
i still found time for some design work.

first, let me give you a preface.
i was asked to create some invites for a baby shower based off of a picture of a shirt i'd been emailed, depicting 2 birds...a big sister bird and a little sister bird.
little did i know until YESTERDAY...the shirt is available from etsy through a shop called zoey's attic.
you MUST go check it's the go-to source for adorable big sister/big brother items.
(wish i'd known about it before ella was born...) darn it.
so here's an image of the shirt straight from zoey's attic...
(and....after further research this morning...zoey's attic has an official website too...nice!)

the two birds, (big sister & little sister), were the foundation of the design process.
here's the invite we came up with:

the invites were emailed to everyone on the guest list.
& it arrived in everyone's inbox as if it came from the big sister to-be..."rachel lynn" (so cute)

from there... cookies were created:

along with some adorable coordinating quarter-sized "cupcake buttons"

oops...the eyeball on that one tiny green baby sister bird looks too big...doesn't it...?
she must've accidentally gotten punched by a baby brother bird...hence the black eye...*wink*)

some matching wish cards, cupcake toppers, & party tags...

i think it all turned out adorable!!
don't you?
the party is tOmOrRow! exciting!
(psst...toni...i can't WAIT to see pictures of it all put pressure...*wink*)

as promised to a few readers, here are a few tips/ideas/suggestions about making the cookies and cupcake buttons...

first of all - sweetopia has been my source of inspiration since i stumbled upon her site last year. (remember this post?)
she's got tutorials and even shares the recipes for royal icing...which is where my recipe is adapted from...thanks marian!!

when do i make the cookies?
i usually allow 2-3 days prior to the event.
day one: make, bake and let cookies cool completely.
whip up the royal icing, add food coloring, add to piping bags and let it sit for a bit.
pipe on the first layer of royal icing and allow to set for 24 hours. (see this tutorial)
day two: add second layer of decorative royal icing if applicable & allow to set
package up cookies in cellophane bags

with proper storage, the cookies will keep for up to 2 weeks without refrigeration or freezing.
mine tend to get softer with time.
i suggest freezing them if it's going to be longer but i can't guarantee the results - i've not tried it myself.

cupcake buttons?
i make these using royal icing.
same process minus the cookie dough.
and the GREAT thing about royal icing cupcake buttons?
the shelf life is 6 months...maybe even longer.
this means you can make them WAY in advance if time permits.
place them on your confectionery of choice, (petit fours, cupcakes, sugar cookies, cakes, etc.) an hour or two prior to the event.

i hope you've found this to be helpful.
let me know if you have any questions...

here's to a fabulous weekend for me...
for you...
for all of us!

it's SO GOOD to be back in business! *wink*

pancakes anyone?

Friday, April 9

this is possibly my very last post from my old house.
and it's the last day of the week.
and it's the last day i have to prepare the house before everything is loaded onto the uhaul tomorrow.

with the painting & packing and purging...
i decided today's post needed to take me/us somewhere.
away from the boxes...
away from the gallons of paint...
away from the driving back and forth between houses...
away from the chaos.

i'm ALWAYS up for a picnic...*wink*
and i'm in TOTAL love with this "pancake picnic"...

all images via design sponge

i mean just LOOK at how beautiful this setting is!
can't you just envision sitting across from me?
surrounded by vintage linens...
a soft color palette...
a slight breeze...
sunlight peeking through the canopy of trees...
and the smell of warm mini pancakes, melting butter & syrup...mmmmm...

this is GORGEOUS...

the use of simple handwritten name tags on a skewer are just TOO cute!

our names would be here, of course *wink*

this handmade mobile is perfection.
it keeps with the "simplicity" of the setting...
ties in the muted color scheme...
& is such a whimsical, FUN component!

i'm thinking future dessert/party table about you?

don't forget about the simple paper tags to identify the assortment of syrups....

see how they match the paper mobile above?
same fold, handwritten...LOVE!

and here are just a couple of other details i simply ADORE...

i'm a SUCKER for mason jars and fresh cut flowers!!
(someone PLEASE tell me what kind of flower this is...a rose? a camellia?)

i also get weak in the knees from fresh cut flowers and vintage looking tins...
(i LOVE the coffee tin...this flower arrangement makes me SO happy - the colors are JUST gorgeous)!

thank you design sponge for the inspiration!
it was pure MAGIC...
go HERE for more details on how it all came together...

now that we were able to escape for a just a minute...
& have a little "girl time"together on this magical pancake picnic...
i feel full.
full of inspiration, warmth & goodness.
i NEEDED that...
even if it was just "pretend"...

i'm going to challenge EACH of us to do a little something this weekend.
find a way to add something beautiful to your surroundings...
no matter WHAT is on your busy agenda!
it's spring...
things are starting to bloom...
how about some flowers!?
simple enough...
go out to your yard and clip some fresh ones...
OR go pick those wildflowers from the side of the road you've been admiring.
OR treat yourself to a small bundle from the grocery store.
whatever you do, just take the time to bring them inside your home...
put them in a container you love...
maybe even a container you never even considered using as a vase before!?
you might surprise yourself at how something SO simple
could make you SO happy.

have a BEAUTIFUL weekend...
hugs everyone!!

Keeping It Real i admit i've already gotten a jump start on the weekend challenge i just presented to you.
i've already been clipping roses from the bushes around the new house.
AND i've been using a simple drinking glass as the vase.
it's SO simple...and it REALLY makes me SO happy to see them every time i walk into the new house with another box or another gallon of paint...*wink*
i tell ya what though...
despite my head start...
i'll challenge myself to get creative with another "unexpected" alternative for a flower's that?!

unconventional easter...

Tuesday, April 6

with the packing, moving, painting & the HUGE order i had to prepare this weekend, (30 cookies, 50 cupcake buttons, 25 wish tags, 2 felt birds and a couple of custom signs), there has been little time to just breathe.
easter sunday proved to be quite "unconventional" this year.

easter dinner?
this year there was no "easter feast" with extended family.
only a simple picnic dinner with ham sandwiches...
and just the 5 of us.

wrapping the sandwiches made them feel a little more special..,*wink*

easter eggs?
only one dozen this year -
actually....only 11 because one cracked during the boiling process. *oops*
9 eggs for ella to hunt.
1 $5 golden egg & 1 $2 silver egg for clara & ema to find.
and it doesn't matter that the decorating took place sunday afternoon....
just before the actual egg hunt...

my 11 year old ema did the photo shoot for these finely decorated eggs...awesome job!
(pssst....j even decorated one...) *wink*
the golden egg was decorated by 13 year old's the yellow one with ric rac & ribbon added to it.
the silver egg was created by resembled a turtle and it's the striped one in the middle.
& as fate (& a little help from j) would have it, they each found each other's eggs...*wink*

new easter dresses?
except for the one ella got in her easter basket...
a last minute decision sunday morning when i ran up to Wal-Mart (shhhh) to get supplies i ran out of for that HUGE order i mentioned...

it was her FIRST real easter, hunting for eggs...
otherwise she probably wouldn't have gotten a dress either - lucky girl.

lush fields of green grass for egg hunting?
not here...
just a bunch of weeds for ella to dodge.

she sure looks cute in her $5 dress surrounded by the dead grass & weeds though? *wink*

family pictures?
that would be a "no".
unless you count the photo shoot ema did for the easter eggs?
LOTS of pictures of the easter eggs...
i'm talkin' at least 50 pictures of the eggs...*wink*
once again...
it was ella pie who was lucky enough to have pictures taken.
it WAS her first egg hunt you know!?
i mean c'mon...
that's a REALLY big deal...

she's just spotted her first egg in this picture...


SCORE!!! ella's first official easter egg...

"kerplop!" first egg in the basket...

and this was j's favorite of the day...

although i spent a few moments beating myself up for feeling like i'd failed.
i reminded myself of the chaos we have going on.
and then i patted myself on the back...
after all...
despite the chaos...
i was able to:
- put together last minute easter baskets (even though i almost skipped it altogether)
- make a picnic dinner as special as i could (sandwiches, pickles, & hard boiled eggs!)
- make sure ella didn't miss her first opportunity for an egg hunt (that would've been bad)
- take SOME pictures (even if they were only of eggs & ella)
- have the girls decorate 11 eggs (even though i almost opted to skip it & just do plastic)

as unconventional as this year's easter turned out to be...
i'm sure it's one we won't forget.

i hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend...

we've got another week of packing preparations.
the official "move" is this saturday.
back to regularly scheduled programming...*wink*

Keeping It Real... the sandwich wraps were a little self-indulgent...
you know i've been wanting to try them out anyway.
i just used easter as the excuse to push myself to do it!
i suggest wrapping wax paper around the sandwich FIRST...
to avoid your decorative paper from becoming soiled.
(i made sure to note the dimensions and hope to post a template for you...soon)!
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