Sunday, July 31, 2011

Today I am Loving...

... this awesome wrap bracelet found here...
It is bright, colorful, and the elephant is a symbol of good luck!
(however, the $250 price tag is a bit hefty so I am making my own with these beads:)

and this little guy
Isn't it adorable?!

I have been making practice wrap bracelets and
I must say that it is a pretty time consuming project but a lot of fun 
and the end results are worth it. 

Here is the original design by Chan Luu, which are over $200 each:
and here is my bracelet that I made using this tutorial:

It cost about $6 to make and took about 2 hours all said and done...

There are tons of these tutorials flying about Pinterest and many that you can buy on Etsy,
 but I am a DIY sort of gal and love that I can customize my own to fit my teeny wrists.
What do you think about this trend going around?

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Home is Where You Hang Your Tutu

I have been on a decorating kick lately... the need to clean, rearrange, paint is pulling at me. We are very lucky in that even though we rent our house, we have a pretty free rein to paint and decorate. Every year when our lease is up we talk about living somewhere else and we stay because it is a great house on a really nice street in a city we love.
sitting on the steps, watching the kids play
 Still, there are always things about the house that we wish we could change- the teeny backyard that is too small for a swingset, one bathroom (that is going to be a HUGE issue in a few short years with 3 girls & myself in the house), a garage that is too small to fit the van, and a sidewalk that is butt up against the street.

Well, a good friend of mine and I were talking the other day and she mentioned that she would love to move and just rent out her house. She then jokingly said that we should rent her house! Um... yes please!!!!  It just so happens that she has an awesomely big house complete with a ginormous backyard, a laundry room that is not in a scary basement, 2 full baths, and a room that serves as an office/family room.... love, love, and more love.

She is looking to move in the spring, which is when our lease is up- again perfect! Let's just say that we met a couple years ago and everything just flows between us, from Usborne to having our kids play together. It was meant to be!

So, I am not going to make any more changes to our current house in the expectation that there is a gooood chance that we will not be here past April. But, I am seeing inspiration for the rooms everywhere! (I just saved a vanity table from the trash and am trying to find the perfect color to paint it!) Here are some decorating things that I am loving:

                                Source: via Connie on Pinterest

How easy is this? 
Just take a wooden base, a cheap garden decoration, glue them together then spray paint!

                                                                        Source: via Connie on Pinterest

Maybe I can get the hubby to go along with these colors...
and oh the backyard that I would have!!!!

I love this idea of movies hanging out in the backyard!!

So yeah, that is what is on my mind... I am so excited and hope that everything works out and we can get into a space that is more suitable for us. Happiness!
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Linkies

Has anyone gone to see the new Harry Potter movie? I am re-reading the books and am so excited to finally see the conclusion to this great series! I love this photo of the cast members out of character

                                                                                   Source: via thelittlereddoor on Pinterest

It seems like Polyvore and Pinterest are BFF's and here is my idea of a perfect date night outfit!

I love new uses for common household things, especially if it makes a space prettier. This is genius!

I have been doing a lot of gentle parenting thinking lately, trying to retrain myself to remember the wonderful words of other inspiring parents. This is a great article concerning tantrums and a new way of looking at them. Thanks Jen!

I can't wait for fall! I am so over this heat it isn't even funny... it is hot, humid, and I have even taken a beach hiatus because the sand burns my feet... I want to be out in some cooler weather wearing something like this:

I think I may do some painting tonight... I have some blank peggy dolls who need to look like this:

Finally, I have been thinking a lot about losing some major weight and getting healthier. I have been inspired by shows, saying, photos. and healthy food recipes. I will be teaching 11 dance classes in the fall (whoo hoo!) so that is a great start for my cardio. I just need to get some weight lifting going and up the ante on my diet, which isn't toooo bad, but needs some improving. I love this saying, it is something I think about when I don't want to work out but should:

Great saying right? So, that's all for now... I am going to go take the girls for a walk and daydream of size 6 jeans! Ciao!
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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Loving My Lakewood!

Well, today has been a pretty busy day! Here is the rundown of my day:

9:00am- taught a Mommy & Me baby dance class
10:00- went to Borders to check out the sale since they are going out of business
11:00- went to Nicky Nicole, Aeropostal, the Apple Store, and oogled Anthropologie from a distance since I am banned for the time being because I would never leave!
12:00pm- ate at Chipotle with the family and a friend- yummo
12:30- headed to Trader Joes for some Mandarin Orange Chicken- did I mention I need a 12 step program for this stuff?!
1-3pm- hung out at home, watched the kids ride bikes, tended to my computer additions such as Pinterest and Etsy.

3pm we decided to head over to the Lakewood Street Walk. It is this wonderful community extravaganza where the main street is shut down, all the businesses and community organizations come out and have healthy related booths, and everyone walks around having a good time. This is one of the many reasons why I LOOOOOOVE living in Lakewood, OH. COMMUNITY!

Yes, it was hot and steamy out and yes, we had already had a pretty long day. But I love joining everyone in the city at events like this. Here is the list of everything the kids and us go tot do (and we spent a total of $4.50!)

*Tye Dyed shirts for free
*Watched belly dancers, break dancers, fencing demos, skateboarders, jazzercisers, and square dancers
* Decorated Cookies
* Got to win beach balls for answering health questions
* Ran through a field of sprinkers
* Did an obstacle course
* Got their name written in Chinese and spoke Mandarin to the exchange students
* Got snow cones, frisbees, suckers, pencils, bracelets, and balloons among lots of other things
* Watched Army dudes climb a rock wall that was HUGE!
* Played Four Square, cornhole, and other games

... and that is just the stuff I remember!!! Neat huh?! There was even more things to do and see but I was getting hot and sweaty... when we all got home we showered off and lounged in the air conditioning. Anyways, here are some of the photos from today!

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Soul Pancake Bites: #1- The Soul

Well here is the first set of activities I am going to tackle, a simple thing really- the soul

What is the soul?
What drains the soul?
What recharges it?
What does your soul look like?

I think that the soul is that essence that makes you, well... you.  It is unique. It has nothing to do with the physical body as reasonable people will agree that very beautiful people can have evil souls and vice versa. It is that awareness of a self. A soul is all those memories wrapped up in a package, making your personality and choices complete the picture.
For once, just once, feel exactly what I feel, believe what I believe, 
perceive as I perceive, look, experience, examine, and for once; just once, understand.”

For me, it is soul draining to see people hurting each other and the world around them and to feel helpless. To see violence, despair, especially concerning children. Negativity is very soul draining in general. Feeling defeated is also a big factor. To feel caught up in a web where there is no escape or silver lining.... however, as easily as it is to see the bad, there is always the good. (Yes, I am the eternal optimist.)

Recharging my soul means remembering the good in this world. Seeing the beauty, finding those little things that make me happy, like quiet mornings and comfortable sweatshirts. Taking a sip of my favorite drink and savoring the goodness in it. Looking at my children and knowing that there is nothing more beautiful or special in the world to me. 

I believe that if you looked at my soul it would be a mess of colors. For the most part, sunny yellows and tropical blues. But there are those dark spots too, regrets, mistakes, doubts that hold me back. There would be snippets of all the good and the bad that make up me. Snapshots from all my memories that shape my daily life. That is my soul.

** See, now wasn't that fun?! If you want to join in, please comment and let me know you also tackled this activity. :P
If you really like this, go grab your own copy of Soul Pancake!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Perfect Book

Today we went to the library, same as we do every week. And, true to my form, I picked up random books solely based on their cover. (I do this with makeup, food, etc- if you look interesting I am attracted!) Well I get home and we immediately start looking at all of our finds, perusing the books and settling in for reading time. And I may have found my PERFECT book! It is a book that makes me think and has all the elements of something that will hold my attention- quotes, typography, photos, questions, poetry...  I am in loooooooove!!! What is this book?

This thought provoking book is like a journal, poetry book, art portfolio and more rolled into one. There are creative challenges, list making, explorations and BIG questions... like "What does Art have to do with the Soul?" .... Huge right?!

Anyhow, since I have this book in my possession I am going to try tackling some of these activities here on the blog. Feel free to join in too! I will call them my Soul Pancake Bites...

I can't get over how much there is to see in this book... really see. I have a feeling that this is one of those rare finds that will change how I see the world and myself. I can't wait to get started!
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some Tuesday Luvin'

How is everyone this hot, sweaty, humid day? We woke up this morning to no power thanks to the powerful storms that swept through last night. Not a good day to be without air conditioning! I don't know about you all, but I was not made for any temps above 80... ick!

Anyhow, here are some cool things that I have seen and want to make... enjoy and stay cool! =P

* I can't wait for the cooler temps so I can wear stuff like this again!

*I am already getting the itch to get another tattoo... 
I am thinking maybe a girlie version of Klint's Tree of Life one?

* I love simple things that have lots of meaning... 
these penny charms would be a great addition to my keyring!

Source: via Connie on Pinterest

* Nothing says summer more to me than fresh veggies and dip! 
Doesn't this look yummy?!

* This photo reminded me of the new Winnie the Pooh movie that is coming out.
I can't wait to take the girls to see it!

Source: via Connie on Pinterest

*Speaking of which, have you heard the song from the trailer?
I am in love with it!

*Finally, this is everything I am trying to channel...
gentle parenting is getting easier and more of a habit every day!

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Where were we?

Now that the rant is over, where were we? Oh yeah... fun stuff I do with the kids and cute pictures of the baby. =)

Yesterday the girls and I ventured wayyyy out of our neighborhood to go to Amish Country in southern Ohio. I, having always been a city girl, thought that they were only in really rural parts of PA until I met Klint, who grew up next to them. Let me tell you how funny I thought it was when I saw a buggy hitched to the Ashland Walmart?! Anyhow, I wanted to learn more about them and knew a friend who adores a farm there. So off to Yoder's Amish Farm we went!

The day was perfect, not too hot and the girls were delighted with all the baby animals running around. From beagle pups to kittens, ducklings, and foals... this was heaven for them! We walked around a real Amish home and school, took a buggy ride, ate a picnic, and played hard. Afterwards we even went to get some yummy ice cream with Grandma Jan (our wonderful friend) and plays an excited game of Eye Spy in the store, lol!

It was so much fun to see how differently other cultures live as well as to walk around and watch the girls explore freely. I really enjoyed learning about the homemaking of an Amish woman and definitely cam home thankful for all the modern tools to make my day easier! I can't wait to go again and have Klint along to take more photos... it wasn't very easy getting good shots with Miss Moira in the sling, grabbing the strap!

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