- I measured the space and then put all the frames on the carpet to figure out what would work. I had some frames I knew I NEEDED to use and then I played around with what I needed to buy.
- We used the Pinterest trick I'm sure you ALL have seen by now of cutting out wrapping paper versions of the frames and then arranging them on the wall - but honestly, we only did that to make nailing them on the wall easier. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been worth our time. For us, it was just easier to lay them on the carpet and figure out a good layout.
- While we did look at some gallery walls on Pinterest to get an idea of what we liked (boxy v. mismatched v. linear, etc.), we didn't actually use any of those layouts, because we had particular frames we wanted to work with.
- Those canvas prints (Christmas picture of Howard Bunch in white and Disneyland Mickey Ears) are 16 x 20 and we ordered them from Easy Canvas Prints (there is a link on the right side of my blog if you want to order your own!).
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Helping to support other women and moms and their small businesses is pretty awesome too.
Today I want to introduce you to Korie and her family.
Korie is a mom of two little girls in Central PA. She is a former teacher/Reading Specialist and is taking a break from the world of education to raise her little ones. While she might be out of the classroom for now, Korie still found a way to take her love of reading and children's literacy and use it to help support her family.
Korie is one of the newest ambassadors for Barefoot Books and to celebrate the launch of her new business, she is working with a few bloggers this week to bring you some awesome stuff! Check out some of the cool products they offer.
Korie loves this one, below, because it reminds her of the mission trip she took with her family to Burkina Faso in West Africa earlier this year. She loves being able to keep the memory alive for her girls. There are also a lot of multicultural books available in the Barefoot line.
This game, below, is really neat because it is a cooperative effort. There is only one main game piece and everyone works as a team and wins or loses together. Kids as young as three can play because it's made for even non-readers to be able to jump right in.
Barefoot Books website or Korie's Facebook page to check it out.
One winner will receive a prize package that includes:
- -3 books
- -one toy (puzzle or puppet, depending on inventory)
- -one board game
- -one $25 gift card so that you can buy some extra goodies
The giveaway is open until Monday, August 5, 2013 and is for US residents only. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
- I FINALLY updated you on our Building A Home - Kitchen Island journey yesterday, but it wasn't until late - so I hope you didn't miss it!
- Tomorrow I'm going to post all the pictures from my wedding ceremony. For those of you just joining me, I got married in 2007, but never had the option to buy digital copies of my prints - until last week! I posted the first batch of photos last week! Here's a little sneak peak of some I'll post tomorrow:
- There are 8 days left until I turn 30. EIGHT DAYS! I know a lot of people get nervous about getting older, but I do not one bit! I'm happy my age will finally match how I feel! I have three kids; a master's degree; and we built a house; I am a middle school teacher; and we have done and seen so much. I feel like I've been 30 for the last five years. Does that make any sense? When I think about it, I will miss my 20's, because I've made so many amazing memories - but bring on the 30's!!!! I already got my birthday gift from my hubby! He got us a new printer. I know that probably doesn't sound like the most amazing gift for other people, but we hadn't bought a printer for maybe 10 years. So I am EXCITED!
- I am doing a training on Common Core (teachers will know what this is!) for three days next week and I'm a little excited to get a break from being a stay at home mama. My kids have been preparing me A LOT (so sweet of them, really) by being extra grumpy and needing lots of timeouts. I am positive this is their way of ensuring that I won't be devastated to go back next week.
- We have 18 days left before the kids go back to preschool. How did this summer go so quickly? I cannot believe the summer is almost over, but we've certainly packed a lot in! And now it's got me already making plans for next summer. We are planning a BIG Disney World Trip either the summer of 2014 or 2015. I have never-ever been and I'll probably be more excited about it than the kids will.
- We found our church home! We've tried a few churches, and then found one that has multiple services (a definite must for a hubby in a retail career). We went once a few weeks ago to check it out without the kids and loved the worship, message, and focus. Then, last week we brought the kids to the children's ministry and they loved it! I am going to sign up for a bible study with a friend to meet people and make the church seem a little less big.
- And lastly, I am meeting my friend Diana and her daughter at my mom's today for a swim playdate and I'm so excited...but I really must get ready to go! Tomorrow my sister is coming with the kids, hubby, and me to the Lake. Pray for good naps today and tomorrow (we've been struggling with naps in this house! Yikes!). Hope everyone has a great week!
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Here are all my past posts about designing and building our island. My husband and dad build it themselves and then we hired a painter and a granite company to do the rest of it for us.
This was what the kitchen looked like the day after we moved in (the butcher paper and tape was for the painting!). Kitchen without an island:
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Construction Printables for cupcakes, decorations, food HERE
Construction Party Invitations HERE
Cone Cups bought HERE
Cake and Cupcakes bought HERE
Construction Shirts bought HERE
Construction Hats bought HERE
Tool Belts bought at Home Depot for about $0.70 a piece
Inspiration for the shovels HERE. I like her tags better than mine, but I didn't want to have to buy a different one.
Construction Vests: Dollar Store Find
Posted by J Howard at 6:52 AM
Saturday, July 20, 2013
On Thursday, July 11th, my mom, mother-in-law, and I took Connor to his second ever movie! His first one was Monsters Inc., so it seemed only fitting that his second one be Monsters University!
We went directly after swimming lessons and he was a bit tired. On the car ride there he told us he was tired and wanted to take a nap. Yikes. I wasn't sure how he would do, but he did so well!
Friday, July 19, 2013
The kayaking adventure was SOOOO much fun and I'm so glad I did it, but man-oh-man was it hard. Holy moly. Who knew? My back was SOO sore when we got back. I'm not sure I'll be buying a kayak anytime soon.
Afterwards, we went to BJ's Brewery (the only restaurant locally that was still open at 11pm). We thought we'd be the only ones eating out at 11pm on a Wednesday night, but BJ's was packed!
A meal there is never complete until we have an oreo pizookie, or as we call it, heaven in a pan! We got the small size and devoured it in about 55 seconds.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
When Arianna contacted me about doing a post, I knew you'd love her because she is a full-time mom and a fashion-lover, world traveler, animal lover, and family woman extraordinaire . She loves to cook and bake, travel to new places, share great fashion finds, and spend time doing crafts and projects at home with her kids. She's got a crazy busy life, but she wouldn't have it any other way. Go visit her blog HERE and let her know what you think of her guest post! While you're there, follow her!
Arianna took 3 Celebrity Summer Activities and turned them into affordable, fun things we could all do!
Summer has officially arrived and that means it's time to relax from packing sack lunches and not having to keep track of the carpool schedule! Although it may mean for less of a busy schedule, it also means that it's time to think of summer activities other than playing in the sprinklers or renting a movie from Redbox.
As a mom who wants to still enjoy life and the best that summer has to offer, I decided that this summer season wouldn't slip away from me like all the other years. Instead of taking my children to the library or spending our afternoons in front of the TV, it's time to live large and enjoy the summer the right way! If I'm going to watch the Kardashians sail away into the sunset on a Greek retreat, then I need to have just as much of a chic summer, or something close, where I'm not trapped inside of my home for the next three months. This is where I gathered my closest girlfriends as we came up with a few fabulous ideas, and margarita in hand, to truly celebrate the summer in style!
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
- I have so many posts brewing in my head. We've been so busy this summer with the house and I can't wait to show you a bunch of stuff! We had the granite on our island installed last Tuesday and we love it! We did a chiseled edge and I just adore it!! Since this photo was taken below, we also got all our pieces back from the painter and got it all installed. The only thing we have left is to pick out hardware for the cabinets (we're hoping to do that tomorrow!).
- For Connor's fourth birthday we had planned on renting a bounce house. I was all ready to book it when Mr. Howard read the description and realized that we couldn't have it in our backyard (there are some rocks back there because our yard isn't landscaped yet!). Somehow that lead him to attempt to buy one. Honestly, I fought him on it at first. I thought he was super crazy. But the reality is that he's right. We've already used it every day for the last week and because our kids are so little still, I know we're going to get MORE than our money's worth out of it (especially on rainy days!). We had it in our living room (as you can see in the picture below), but once we cleaned out our garage, we moved it in there!
- For the kids' birthdays, grandma made them these adorable towels!! They're the kind that has the hood on them (she said you take a half of a handtowel and attach it to a pool towel to make the hood!). Love, love, love!
- Mr. Howard's second cousin (one of my bridesmaids) is getting married in June of next year. So, as long as they're not having a small wedding, it looks like we'll get to go to Kansas next June to watch her become a Mrs.! If we go, we are not going to take the kids with us, so we'll have to plan some fun things to do sans kids. Is it wrong that I'm already excited about the 5 hour plan ride in silence? I used to hate long flights before kids. Now, I dream of them!
- Harley has been doing really well lately. His Addison's disease is a little unpredictable and we still have to give him injections and a oral medicine, but he seems to be a little happier lately. Oh goodness, look at that underbite and those eyes. Our poor first baby; he's getting old.
- I mentioned this in THIS post, but when we got married, we never got digital prints of our wedding photos. In honor of our sixth anniversary, we went ahead and purchased them and I am in love! Even though we had copies in an album, I feel like I'm seeing these photos for the first time! I posted the pictures HERE, but I'm going to do a Part 2 post with our ceremony and reception pictures. Here's a little sneak-peak of my absolute favorite picture ever. This was my husband seeing me walk down the aisle for the first time. Ummm. Hello! Obviously I'm the luckiest girl ever! I could not have dreamt of a more perfect reaction to seeing me in my wedding dress for the first time! When I got up the aisle he tried to kiss me. So funny. No buddy...you need to wait until they pronounce us husband and wife!
- Hubby got a pay grade promotion, which is necessary for him to be eligible for interviews for a position promotion. This has been a few week process and lots and lots and lots of studying and meeting with people to get ready for his interviews. He passed his part 1 prep a few weeks ago and then had three hours of interviews yesterday (with four different pairs of executives). He passed all four of his interviews, which meant he got his promotion! I am so excited for him!! He now gets a little break before he'll have to start studying for his next round of interviews! We celebrated with a movie, champagne, our jammies, and two chocolate bars. Yep. We know how to PARTAYYY.
- We tried a new church last Saturday and it went really well. I didn't LOVE it as much as I loved the one we had tried a few weeks ago (only because the other one was a lot smaller and, I think, might have a bit more community feel), but we really need a church that we can go to on Saturday nights, since hubby works retail. We really, really liked the service (and hubby felt the same about it too - he felt uplifted with a powerful sermon about finding your purpose and talents!) and we loved the preschool program - so it should be a great fit for us! I am going to sign up for a bible study with a friend and I think that will make the church feel a little less big! This upcoming Saturday will be the first time we take the kids, so wish us luck!!! I am really hoping to make this our church home!