a few things on Friday 1.31.14

1. This month we celebrated our favorite 5 year old. It's hard to believe my oldest is F-I-V-E. I do love this age. It's so wonderful to see all the things he learns. I feel like I need to write down everything he says because it's either hilarious, profound, or makes no sense. My favorite thing he says right now is, "I love all the hearts of you." I translate that to, "I love you with all my heart." :)

2. Every year since my oldest was born I've told myself to make a photo book. Every year I let it go undone. So to start 2014 off becoming the best version of myself, which includes finishing projects, I made this sweet photo book.


The option to upload photos from directly Instagram is my favorite. I never finished books from years past because I had this idea that all my pictures needed to be with my DSLR, edited, and perfect. I threw all that out the window. I chose to go the simple route with no dates, captions, or quotes, and I love how it turned out. Now I just need to make one for 2009-2012.

3. We had our first snow in 4 years! I know it's technically a dusting for the northerners, but snow is snow. We were outside for 50 seconds - long enough for me to take 3 pictures and for the boys to touch their snow covered slide. Then we ran back in for hot cocoa.

4. I had the honor to illustrate the prompt design for the February 2014 Photo-A-Day challenge

Chantelle started the very popular photo-a-day challenge in 2012. It was so fun to work with her for this month's list. 

5. We decorated for Valentine's Day at our house yesterday. I've never decorated for Valentine's Day before. This year is different. I want to celebrate every season in a simple way that gives my boys something to remember. They make seasonal decorations at school and their classrooms are filled with sweet little creations every month, and I decided to bring some of that into our home.

{heart cut out by Charlie . Love painting . crochet hearts . I made the simple felt banner with yarn and a hot glue gun . little love bird from Michael's}

6. I'm definitely ready for spring time. So all I want to do is paint flowers and more flowers.

7. “People who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.” -J.M. Barrie ... I see this as a print in the near future!

updates, pen & paper

I have been asked how life is different with me taking a break.
If I must be honest, and I must.
I don't think anything is different.
I still haven't finished all the things I have to do.
Life is still chaotic. I do have two small children. Boys, I remind you.
I do exercise daily. Okay, almost daily.
I do make up my bed. At least by 3:30 PM.
Oh, and I go to bed before 10 PM.
Those changes have occurred. So exciting.
But for real, taking a break has been a good thing.
I have learned a lot. I have been encouraged a lot.

In case you have been reading for a while I did want to share some stuff:
Charlie turned 3 in January. 
We had a fabulous Mickey Mouse party.


Apparently when you turn 3 you get an attitude and you become obsessed with Legos.
He is very opinionated. Like his mother, whoever she is.
He also has started Speech Therapy at a local school 2x a week.
I never shared before but he started ST at home back in August.
For a parent whose child has a speech problem it is an amazing thing to hear them say things you never imagined. 

Some of the things he says the most:
"Mama you mad?"
and in relation to his new attitude-"I told you I wanted..."
They don't sound exactly like that, but it is clear what he is saying.

Jack has become a very feisty 18 month old.

Don't be fooled by the picture of what appears to be a sweet little girl playing dress up.
He had a check-up with the cardiologist last week.
His ASD & pulmonary stenosis are the same. Which is a good thing because it hasn't gotten any worse. However, there was still mention of surgery to patch the hole in his atrium in a year and a possible stent for his pulmonary valve.
We will go back in May 2013.

And in case you were worried I stopped creating,
I have not.
I found a note pad and some pens stashed in my closet
along with a really nice set of watercolors.
Sometimes it pays to have a husband who likes to explore creative avenues.

I have been sketching.
It's fun, and unlike paint I can put it down or pick it up when I like.

I asked on InstaGram and Facebook if
people had a quote/verse/phrase they would like to see in a sketch.
I want to know if you have one too.
It can be silly, sweet or serious.
If I choose to sketch yours I will share it and let you know.

That's all for now.
Happy February, almost March!

merry and bright

Me: Say, "Merry Christmas!"
Jack: Cheeeeee
Charlie: CANDY
Well, I was promising they could have a Hershey Kiss if we took a picture.

We are wearing Christmas pajamas all day, eating candy canes, finishing up Christmas gifts, and enjoying time with Mr.Wonderful home.

I hope your week has been merry and bright so far.

smiles {you know what I like}

Things I like:
1. crusty, wobbly smiles
2. blurry smiles because someone never sits still for me to take a picture
3. silly smiles
4. I am not going to look at the camera and smile

Things I am not sure I like:
1. 2. 3. 4. the buzz cuts... it did make it easier on me not having to cut hair all summer, but I miss their "pretty" hair
2. Charlie looks so much older

dip in the pool

Summers are hot here.
The kind of hot where you can go outside from 7:30 - 9:00 AM, but after that you will melt.
To stay cool we go for a "swim".
Charlie spends the 30 minutes going in and out and in and out and in and out getting grass in the pool and trying to pour water on Jack or me.
Jack spends the 30 minutes trying to get the grass.
I spend the 30 minutes trying to keep grass out of the pool.

You know, it's just a relaxing dip in the pool.

my gifts

Here are my Mother's Day gifts.
No, not the kids. I mean, yes they are a my most precious gifts as a mother.
What I am talking about is the pictures.
Yesterday I told Mr.Wonderful from now on I would like a nice picture taken of me and my children as my Mother's Day gift.
Nice being Mama is not covered in dirt, snot, or paint and has showered and applied make-up.
Of course I also understand that not everyone will be looking at the camera and smiling at the same time, but we can at least try.

For all the mamas and mamas-to-be I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day.

nice and smooth


This week has been one of the smoothest and most productive in 9 months.
Jack learned naps are his friend... let's hope this continues and even branches into night time sleep (I can dream).

This was also the week of the smoothie.
I decided since force feeding Charlie green things wasn't going so smoothly 
(hahaha, that just fit right in didn't it?) 
I was going to sneak them in his meals.
Enter the smoothie.
Yesterday we tried a spinach, strawberry and banana concoction.
It was the best smoothie ever.
You should try it.
1 cup of French vanilla yogurt
1 cup of spinach
1 frozen banana (I cut it into pieces before I freeze it)
4-5 strawberries
Put it in your Ninja and make a smoothie.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Friday.

Charlie's first fish

Amongst the epic mess and snot and mess
Mr.C melted my heart this morning.
He saw me using his Magnedoodle to write down medicine dose times.
He immediately wanted to draw.
I could have said no.
After all I was using it first.
I said okay and just pulled out a sheet of scrap paper.
A few minutes later he ran up to me making a fish face and holding this.
I asked him if it was a fish, 
and he proudly said yes.
Make a mama proud.

snot and all

Our weekend went from looking like 
this            to              this.

Thanks to

Fevers. Ear infection. Neb treatments. Antibiotics. 
Oh my.
And the snot. Oh, the snot.
Did I mention this weekend was Easter?
And today is Mr.Wonderful's birthday.

I am going to be honest.
I was a bit disappointed in this weekend. 
I had plans of a big celebration brunch after Easter Mass.
I made an banner to hang, bought flowers, & all sorts of goodies.
We were going to bake cupcakes for Robbie's birthday... 
Funfetti cupcakes because he claims to have never had Funfetti!
We were going to have an Easter Egg hunt.

Things did not go as planned.

But you know what? It is okay.
Life happens, snot and all.*

*Don't be fooled by my nonchalantness. There we several meltdowns this weekend, not just by the boys (wink).

b o y s

The weather is delightful, just delightful.
Lately, our mornings are filled with dirt or sand, rocks, and puppy dogs.
Puppy dogs as in Mr.C pretends he is a dog and barks and pants and licks, yes licks.
"Charlie we don't lick people. 
Doggies lick people."
Puppy dogs as in Jack begs for my food.
"Sorry baby, you can't eat my chocolate bar organic granola bar."

[being dirty and enjoying the shade tree 
and the 29 rocks Mr.C collected]

What have you been up to lately?

{did you win?}

Is your birthday the day before taxes are due?
One, TWO, buckle my shoe.
4 x 4 = 16

Okay, that's enough.
The winner of a state painting of their choice,
meaning I paint whatever state/country/body of land you want,

Little Miss Holls - Holly - #2
Happy early birthday; I will email you.

And with that fantastic news I am signing OFF.
I have copied and pasted and linked and published more blog posts
(for Handmade with Purpose) than I ever imagined.
It's a good thing because we have at least 30 shops participating!
However, I am tired.
I want to love on these people and enjoy them.


Have a great remainder of the week.
Have a fantastic weekend.
I will see some of you on Monday and some of you before then.

Tuesdays and pretty things

In my book, Tuesdays stink.
I think it is mainly because I ship orders out on Tuesdays. 
That means I am scrambling to get paintings dried, sealed, photographed, and packaged.
AND I am taking care of these cuties.

It seems that every. single. Tuesday. both of them go bonkers on me right when I need to work on boxing my orders. Jack cries and tries to eat my packaging. Charlie tries to sneak the scissors or packing tape.
It's insanity at it's finest.

Well, yesterday in the middle of all the insanity I also wanted to take a picture of my newest pretty things from aPearantly Sew. I probably took 524 shots. I hated every one of them.
My Tuesday was not getting any better.
Then I told myself to get over it.

And I took these pictures.

The new Lindsay clutch. Yes, it is named after yours truly. And I love it.
Like I kept holding it and turning it over again and again when I got it in the mail on Monday.

And my new iPod case. Yes, I love it too.

Alison's work is amazing. Ah-may-zing. Let's be honest, Alison is pretty amazing herself.
She's a good friend, with a good sense of humor, she loves food and she's tall. I mean, what more could you want in a friend?

Go admire her pretty things and treat yourself, it will make your Tuesday or Wednesday or any day of the week much better.

yeehaw, I think


I he really trying to crawl?
Yes, he is.
He scoots around so fast and is now getting up on all fours.
Yesterday I looked away for 3.7 seconds 
and he was trying to get under the dresser.

I am not ready.
Not because I don't want him to grow up, 
but because I am not ready to clean up.

PS. Mr.C has a new word.
He says it with super enthusiasm 
and does this mini-jump in the air.
However, he refuses to cooperate 
when I want to take any picture of him,
so for now you get a picture us and a picutre of the 
good slightly immobile son 
who is currently eating a tissue off the floor. Hahaha.

Happy Wednesday.

my {messy} valentine

Messy, handmade Valentine's Day cards are the best.
1. choose your colors (green and gold are certainly a good choice to express love)
2. have mama cut them into heart shapes
3. place sticker from sheet of felt on shirt and pose for the camera
4. make sure brother is participating entertained
5. smile again and position hearts on blank note card
6. use *sparkle* Modge Podge to glue hearts on card
7. whoa there buddy, that's a little too much
8. take hearts back off you just glued on
9. admire your messy Valentine

Hope you have a great weekend 
and make lots of messy cards for the ones you love.

Oh, and don't forget about that box over there ---->
It's the one under my picture.
I will put discount codes, giveaway info and other good stuff there.

CLOSED free stuff... again

{ CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find everything from a stylish swing set to cute cookware to chic lighting pieces! }

What is that all about?
I'll tell you later.
For now enjoy these pictures of my cute kids.

What can I say?
I am generous...
Well, I *know* generous people who want to hook you up.
CSN wants to give one of you a one-time-use $35 gift certificate
to use as you wish on any of their 200+ websites.
I got the above Moby wrap from CSN. 
The shipping was fast, the product is great,
and my favorite thing about the site was that I didn't have to create an account.

Sorry if you are tired of giveaways 
{Who doesn't want something for free?}
I'll make this easy for you.
Just leave a comment about how cute my children are
and I will randomly pick one of you for the $35 and tell you who won on Friday.
Easy peasy.


weekend update in color

Have you entered the lizzie, izzie + james giveaway?
Today is the last day to enter to win super cute stuff for your little girl or boy!
Go HERE if you haven't. The winner will be announced tomorrow.
. . . . . . . .

You can find more of my { i . heart } paintings in the shop today.
I chose some fun colors inspired by Mr.C and a friend's suggestion.
As you can see, the color "avocado or green apple" isn't quite part of his vocabulary so rather than tell me the colors I should use he got the message across by stashing a paintbrush in his ball popper.


Yesterday I heard giggles 
and squealing in another room.
I peeked around the corner 
to see Charlie making Jack laugh,
and then he gave him a hug and kisses.
I know these boys will fight.
I know there will be days 
when they can't stand one another, 
but today they think the world 
of each other and I love it.

PS. Don't forget today is the last day to enter the giveaway.

730 days

2 years = 24 months = 104 weeks = 730 days

Good times Charlie, good times.
Happy Birthday to you Mr. Bub.
Love love love,

[Mr.C refers to me as "Ma", 
not mom, not mama, not mommy, but ma.]