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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer is here....it's official!

Most people say that Memorial Day is the unoffical start of summer, well for us it is the annual church Street Fair.  Festivals and fairs are one of my favorite things about summer but we usually stick to only two or three of them. I wish we could go to more....the music, the laughter, the smells....aaahhh.

Summer officially starts for us with the street fair at one of the local churches.  This is the church of my husband's family and many years ago, this is where we had our first "date".  Well, I guess it wasn't really a date but this is the first place we "hung out" at back when we were 18 and thought we were so grown up.   I laugh watching the teenagers there now and wonder if I was ever that ridiculous....yep.....I was.

Fast forward 15 years and now we are taking our kids there to enjoy the rides, games and fair food....hello funnel cake!  It's really a special thing to both of us to be able to bring our kids here and always sparks memories of our fist summer together.  Not to mention we also got married at this church so there's a lot of our history there.  I love being able to enjoy something from my past with my kids now, it's a cool feeling.  Who knows, maybe we'll even be taking our grandkids one day!

What are your summer kickoff traditions?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Favorite Things Friday

A few things I'm loving these days....

1. My Bodycology fragrance mist in Coconut Lime.  My husband says I smell like a Pina Colada.  I can think of worse things...I bought this on a clearance shelf at Wal-Mart ~ love it!  Light and fresh!

2.  My new Target Mossimo sandals.  I wear them constantly now.  They seem to go with everything and are so comfy!

3. This Feta and Poppyseed Salad....perfect for spring.  Mixed greens, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, raisins, and poppyseed dressing.  Can you say delicious!?!

4.  This song by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.  I love the raw sound of her voice.

5.  Handpicked flowers from my boys.  Buttercups and columbine...they bring such cheer to the house and a bright smile to my face.

6.  These pretty little lace mirrors from  Sunny Inspirations on Etsy.
I may be getting quite a few of these to have on hand for gifts.  Love them!  So dainty and perfect for your purse.

7.  This T-Shirt from Neena Creates on Etsy.
I love the romance of all her items...check out her shop!

What are you loving?

Finding Joy

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The jury's still out.....

So here's my new hair...hmmm...just not sure.

Haven't decided what I think yet. Those of you that know me know my hair is usually some version of "short" or "even shorter" but now I am trying to grow my hair out long.  Yep, I'm one of those gals that is never completely happy with my hair.  It's just so thin and lifeless.  In a way I am resolved to it I guess.   I usually keep it short to maximize the "lift" but I recently decided to give longer hair a try again.   Knowing that my hair would just hang sadly, I thought a body wave may help give me bit more volume.  Enough to pull off a longer style.  I delayed a haircut for 6 months just to get it this long so I could get the body wave!  It's far from long yet but it really couldn't wait any longer.

These styles are more along the lines of what I'm going for but I'm starting to think the only way to get this kind of hair is to have a personal stylist work some magic while I sit in a elevated chair for hours sipping coffee and reading a magazine like the celebs!

The length will come in due time (if I can be that patient!) but how to get these lovely relaxed waves....hmmm.  Mine are tighter and more frizzy looking.  Through no fault of my stylist however.  I was thankfully forewarned that I would need to go for a tighter curl if I wanted it to last longer than a week.  No way am I going every other week to get this look.  I'd have to get a second job!  What I am loving about it is the ease to style it...just scrunch and go!

 So, any tips out there on how to get less frizzy curls?  Maybe a styling tip or a particular hair product?  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New to the Shop - Carnelian Candy

 Beads always remind me of candy for some reason.  
When a new shipment arrives, I'm like a kid in a candy store and all those bright colors look so delicious.  The carnelian and coral I used in this pair is no exception.  I could just gobble them up!

Have a SWEET day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

In our house...

Not surprisingly, I have been inspired by Rachael's blog "finding joy".  She wrote this lovely post and I instantly wanted to do the same.  Listing things out is a great way to find the joy in your everyday life and I think it is fun for readers to get a peek inside....so here's mine....

In our house...

: :  we have pajama days (like once a week pretty much).  No shower, no day clothes.  Just Pj's.  We do brush our teeth at least!

: :  we plan out our menu and post it on the fridge.  I've recently found out a lot of people are doing this too.  My husband and I have been doing it since we moved in together.  I can't imagine life without it.  It makes thing so much easier when coming home from a long day of work when you don't have to think about what to make for dinner!

: :  we love music.  Some of our family favorites are...

Jason Aldean (anything)
Jamey Johnson (In color)
Taylor Swift (Mean)
Travis Triit (It's a great day to be alive)
Zac Brown Band (anything)
Luke Bryan (Rain is a good thing)
Matt Maher (Hold us together)
Bob Marley (Three little birds)
Barenaked Ladies (Life in a nutshell)
Black Eyed Peas (I gotta feeling)
Counting Crows (Einstein on the beach)

: :  we say "I love you" umpteen times a day.

: :  we love jeep wranglers.  Have 3 of them.  Well, 1 real and 2 power wheels jeeps but they all get driven....a lot.  Long rides with the top down are THE BEST!

Our Jeep - affectionately named "Black Jack"

: :  we love outdoor activities, especially kayaking and camping.

Our kayaks hanging in our garage

: :  we'd rather play than clean and it shows.  Stuff strewn about everywhere.  A clean house only lasts about 4 hours or less, but that's ok.

My youngest playing with pill bugs in the back yard

: :  we live with a sweet poochie.  She is the most gentle and well behaved dog we know.  Perhaps it's from putting up with all the torture from my boys?  She is an angel for this alone.

Our sweet Sienna

: :  we do everything together. Well, as much as we can, which seems to be much more than most people.  Alone time is rare but I actually think this is a good thing.  We just like being together.

: :  we argue (just keeping it real) but we are quick to forgive

: :  we have spontaneous dance parties.  The goofier the dance the better.  Both my boys are AWESOME break-dancers.  Well, they think they're break-dancing but either way it is hilarious and adorable.

: :  we got love, trust, and giggles

: : we have faith....in God and in each other

What goes on in your house?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Taking the high road....

My sister bought my son a nightly devotional book this past Christmas and most of the time it seems like God is using it for me instead of my son.  I'm sure he is benefiting from it as well but it's crazy how many nights I'm reading it to him and the message seems made for me.  Last night was about how to love those that are hard to love.

"You have heard it said , "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy."  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven."  Matthew 5:43-45 NIV

I recently had an experience with someone fairly close to me that was flat out rude and ridiculous given the circumstances.  But then again this person has always been like this, serving out backhanded compliments and just an overall attitude that nothing we do will ever be good enough.  It's getting harder and harder not to blow up at this person and just let it go.  I was even contemplating what I could say the nest time I saw them.  Thankfully though, I let off some steam to my Mom and then came this timely devotional.

Truth is we probably all have someone in our lives that's a little hard to love, and sometimes that may be an understatement!  God was gracious enough to remind me that the best way to deal with these people is to forgive them as fast as you can, move on, and pray for them.  Always pray for them.  This is a lot harder for me than it sounds but I will try Lord.  I will always try.

The Prayer
Heavenly Father, make me a kind person even to those who don't treat me kindly.  Let me forgive others, just as You have forgiven me. Amen.

So simple, but so badly needed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New to the Shop - Royal Simplicity

I recently added a new necklace and bracelet design to my Etsy shop!
Meet Royal Simplicity!

I'm a big fan of stones with varying tonal ranges.  
I think it makes the piece more versatile and complimentary to several wardrobe colors.

The Antique "New" Jade in this piece has tones ranging from warm tans and browns to light greens and aquas.  

Set off beautifully by a lovely vermeil clasp, this design is both simple and regal at the same time!
Gee, wonder how it got it's name? : )

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You know it's love when...

You plan a surprise vacation for your kids.

My husband and I just booked a mini vacation to Kalahari, an indoor waterpark in Ohio.  We aren't going to tell the boys about it until we are ready to leave.  Is this a good financial decision right now?  No way, but ever since we saw the Disneyworld commercial where the parents surprise the kids with a trip to Disney, we've been wanting to do something like it.  And since a trip to Disney is totally out of the question for at least a few more years, we thought this would be a great substitute.  We took them to Splash Lagoon in Erie last year and they ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!  My oldest is still talking about how much fun it was.

We are going to take them to their grandmother's in the morning, just like any other day and then pack up the car and go pick them up and surprise them with the news.  I just hope we can keep it a secret until then, it's hard when we are so excited for them :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day highlights

I had such a wonderful Mother's Day weekend, I hope all you others mothers did too!  

My son had his Mother's Day fashion show for preschool on Friday, it was adorable!  The boys dressed up as their dads and the girls dressed as their moms.  My son dressed like his dad ready for a day on the golf course.  The parents had to compose what would be read as our child walked the runway, it was great to see the creativity of all the parents in how they dressed their kids and what they wrote to be announced.  They had placemats made for each of us, a lovely little note written by our child, sang us a song, and had delicious cake and goodies but I think my very favorite part was seeing my son point me out to one of his friends and say "that's my mom" with a big grin on his face.  You could tell he was proud and excited for me to be there.  It made me feel so proud of him and blessed to share that lovely morning together!

At Mass on Saturday night, my two-year-old was having difficulty keeping quiet (been there right?).  I was constantly shooshing and trying to distract him.  He wasn't being bad per se, just voicing every little thought in his head and man he had a lot on his mind.  It was getting a little embarrassing and toward the end of mass he was looking at the baby behind us with it's mom and talking about it, then all the sudden he belts out to me, 
"you da best mama EEEVVVVEEEERRRRR"!  
After my initial embarrassment at this outburst I decided it was pretty cool to have this shouted to the rafters :)

On Mother's Day we took my mom to a new nursery that recently opened up near us called "the farm and garden".  My mother loves gardening.  I had been wanting to stop by because it just looked so darn cute!  It's set up around an old barn and the decor is just lovely.  I didn't take a ton of pics, I didn't want the owner to think I was a wacko.  So I tried to be discrete with my phone camera.

She has lots of architectural accents around, mixing old wood, metal, and castings.
I absolutely love this pop of red amongst all the vibrant green plants.
There are these lovely lanterns hung from this weeping willow to greet you as you come across the bridge to the shop.  I would love to see these all lit up at night! 

Beautiful growing things
 Surrounding beauty

The surrounding areas really added to the ambiance of this place.  All the bridges and old buildings and creeks...
The plants and flowers are georgous of course but I really LOVED the way she had them displayed and set up.  She just getting up and running so not everything was complete but there was enough established to see her vision and it is really great!  I would love to just go there and sit amongst her lovely garden for tea!
As a designer and entrepreneur myself, this was an exciting visit for me. 

The rest of my day was spent the best way possible, 
working and playing 
in the sun with my family.  
Man am I blessed with a loving and giving husband and precious little boys that are so eager to make me happy.  The day was finished off with a ride in the Jeep with the top off and a stop at the ice cream shop.....ahhh perfection!

What are some of the highlights of your Mother's Day?

 Link up with Carissa!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Favorites

I'm linking up again today with Rachel at finding joy for favorite things friday.

1.  Sayings from my 5yr old
Me during dinner: "What did you do today?"
My son in a most intense voice: "Some serious doing stuff."
Cracked me up!

Me holding his sweet face between my hands: "Do you have any idea how much I love you?"
My son simply: "no"
Yep, that's probably true.

My son: "How old are you?"
Me: "33"
My son: "That's a big number."
Me: "Yep"
My son: "Did you already go past 100?"
Me: Can't. Talk. Laughing. Too. Hard.

2.  Blowing bubbles with my 2yr old
He's not too skilled at blowing bubbles yet so he tends to just dip the wand in the bubble solution and then fling the wand around hoping the wind will catch it and some bubbles will come out.  He flung bubble solution all over me, giggling all the while.  His little squeal is so precious.  And the dog LOVES to jump up and pop the bubbles in the air.  They are too cute that pair!

3. A sunny day
Round these parts, a sunny day is becoming quite rare.  We are getting about 1 a week, the rest of the days are filled with gray clouds and rain.  But oh how we look forward to that one bright day!

4.  Chocolate Chip Cookies
We made a batch of cookies the other evening.  My boys couldn't wait until they were done baking.  It was seriously hard to distract them from their single minded focus of oooey-gooey-chocolatey goodness.  I could hardly blame them.  There was one moment when I turned around and there they both were with their faces practically pressed against the oven watching them bake.  It brought back a wonderful memory of mine of my sister and I sitting in front of the oven waiting for the cookies to be done.  We would sing songs and be silly while we waited.  It was so great to see that same situation reflected in my little ones.  Gotta love siblings!  Love you Nae!

5. New Beads
Getting new beads always excites me and I was so happy to see that my main supplier finally added a larger selection of pewter beads.  These are some of my favorites that I picked up.  Can't wait to see what they become :)


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Snowflake Obsidian and Black Onyx

I've finally been able to begin listing some of my new designs on my Etsy shop now that my home showing is over.   
This week I've added my Snowlfake Obsidian and Onyx Bangle and Drops to the shop.

Onyx and Obsidian Bangle

 Spring is here and that means shorter sleeves, perfect for showcasing a great bracelet and this swinging bangle will not disappoint! I love the movement this bangle has!

Onyx and Osidian Drops       

I was immediately drawn to the sterling silver vase beads used in these drops.  Such an unexpected shape!

Snowflake Obsidian is one of my favorite gemstones.  I really love the dalmation semblance it has.  Perfect for so many pieces in my wardrobe.  
And the simple beauty of black onyx cannot be denied!

Happy Wednesday!

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