Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Addie's Unicorn Fest '16

Way back in January (yes, a whopping three months ago) we had a little Unicorn Fest for our Addie girl's 6th birthday. She started asking for unicorns in the fall, so we went with it. Apparently, she has no memory of her epic Pony Party to celebrate her 3rd birthday (?!) but I think she'll remember this one.

I know it's common to say, but this girl has grown so much in the last year. She's bigger on the outside, and the inside too. I am so proud of the choices she's making and the spicy little lady she's becoming! A strong-willed, independent thinking, gorgeous, curious, kind, day-dreaming artist you are my sweet (Lord, give me the patience to wield these beautiful qualities in the right direction!).

Marbled balloons tied with ribbon, unicorn figurines, castle blocks, a sprinkle cake made by Dad, paper crowns, candy skewers and a giant unicorn portrait came together to make a special day. At the last minute, we decided we needed a little something more, so we threw some sequins on the table and called it good :)

Thank you to those who came out to celebrate our girl! We love you Addie and are so thankful you are in our family!

Resources: balloons, unicorns, unicorn portrait, sparkler candles, castle blocks, gold foil treat bags

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Every Hour I Need Thee.

This weekend I had the honor of attending the If Gathering simulcast with a large group of local women. I haven't felt this refreshed, encouraged and challenged in a long time! If you're curious, you can check out the simulcast from the comfort of your own home for a limited time here.

I think it will take days to process the good words I heard and let them sink in. But in the meantime, some of my favorite quotes have started to pop up around the house, like this one by Bianca!

A group of amazing women pulled together and donated their time, resources and talents to make our local gathering extra special. I just love how much beauty and power is unleashed when women come together-which is ironically the general theme of the conference itself.

My contribution was this little print (and also volunteering my husband's cooking skills!). I thought you might want to print one off for yourself too (download by clicking on the photo below). The prints we gave away were cut a little differently than expected, but the version below has a bit more white space and will look good in or out of a frame.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ellie Jane, Age 8 (Colorful Karaoke Party Reveal)

It's that time of sweet Ellie rings in her birthday at the very start of the Christmas season, which always leaves me feeling nostalgic, a bit chaotic, and like time is moving entirely too fast. This girl never ceases to amaze me. So aware, so alive, and so determined. There is so much I could say, but mostly I am so very proud to call her mine and have the privilege of learning from her and watching her grow.

For the invitation I had the wild idea of hand stitching a design on to each one. I soon realized that was insane, but not before falling in love with it and so I soldiered on and completed 15 of these bad boys. It was totally worth it. I have been so in love with the Japanese stitching technique called sashiko (more on that later), and this design was very much inspired by that!

I offered to do her party at the gymnastics place like the rest of her class, but she told me she still wanted a party at home (high-five!). Not just any party though, a karaoke party with lots of balloons. If you know my family and how much most of us love to hear ourselves sing, you would know how great of an idea this was! I twisted by Dad's arm and convinced him to DJ (he also ended up throwing down a little Hall & Oates and Steely Dan on the mic).

The decor was simple-green garlands with pops of color in the form of balloons and honeycomb balls, and lots of confetti on the tables and lots of balloons on the floor. We made some fun tassel necklaces and covered our bodies in flash tattoos (not pictured!) while the girls took turns singing tunes at the TOP of their lungs. This party was not for the faint of heart (or for those who are easily-over stimulated)!

Dad came through once again with an awesome cake that was WAY better than what I would have made. The treat bags were made by adding a strip of copper tape to small brown bags and I used this tutorial to make a million tassels while Netflix binging the night before the party (I modified it to make the tiny tassels even tinier and added a ring to the top of each one to make it easy to string on a necklace).

I also painted hot pink stripes onto butcher paper for easy table runners for the table and dessert table. My Mom came through with an amazing array of kid food, straight from my childhood-biscuit pizzas, mini hot dogs, sandwiches in fun shapes and cups of veggies and fruits. Seriously, that woman is the best.

Happy Birthday Ellie-we could not love you more!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tend Baby Co.

My dears, tomorrow morning around 9 am (PST) I will be hosting a little pop-up shop (go here)! It will be stocked with a few handmade baby items, all made by friends of mine who have lovingly donated their time and incredible talents. All of the profits will be going toward a new malnutrition center in Haiti, run by my friend Brittany Hilker (find out more here!) I really hope that you will stop by and take a peek! 

Malnutrition is a big problem in Haiti, and it affects children and young babies the most. Over 100,000 children are currently suffering from severe malnutrition and many die everyday. I have followed Brittany's journey for many years and have prayed along with her from afar, cried when children were unable to be saved, and rejoiced when many under her care were given a new life. Hunger is a simple problem to solve when there are resources available. I know that resources are certainly not a problem for God, but we are His hands and feet. My prayer and wish is that I can be a small part of what He's already doing!

About a year ago, I was going through a rough patch. The culmination of many things coming together, including moving back to my own small hometown, triggered something in me. I felt insignificant. I felt dissatisfied with some of the things I was putting effort into that my heart didn't feel connected to anymore. I've often viewed myself and my little life as unable to be used for greater things. A suburban Mom who is often overwhelmed with life. Yet, I often find myself dreaming big dreams.

One thing I've learned recently is that when your cup is starting to feel empty, it might just mean that He's building you a new cup. A bigger one. One that can be poured out in greater and new ways. But the process seems to come with a few growing pains and definitely a sacrifice. A letting go.

The older I get, it's becoming harder and harder to look away from others who are suffering or in need. I feel a greater responsibility to respond. It's become more difficult to stay in my safe bubble of happy-go-lucky. The thing I've had to let go of is myself and my own fears because it doesn't always feel like what I have to offer is worthy of the cause. I'm thankful that what Jesus has to offer is worthy and that His grace is covering me.

This little shop may seem a small thing, but my heart is wrapped right up there in it. Putting a vision out there, asking people to help and to give without the guarantee of any sort of response has definitely made my heart beat faster and caused me to say many prayers, and we're just now getting to the actual sale!

I hope that you're encouraged by this, and that you know even suburban Moms who are often overwhelmed with life can do something. Even the fluffy things that you're into (like handmade baby bonnets) can be turned into an offering if you're willing. That He will make you a new and bigger cup when you are ready to let go of the old one.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fun with Matisse.

My pile of scrap paper has been overflowing lately thanks to all the paper-cuts I've been making. My kids love to through the bin and are often asking to use the oddly shaped pieces of colorful paper for various projects.

Recently, Jack and I found a few books about Matisse at the library, which inspired us to take those scraps and make something beautiful. You can read more about it over on Playful Learning today!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

An Eclectic Entryway with Chairish.

Recently, the good folks at Chairish reached out to me with a little challenge: select a chair from a list of their favorites and create a little space around it. I chose this vintage golden velvet number and here's the result!

The goal was to design a space that was "bright" not "white," a notable challenge for someone who claims white as her favorite color, but I tried. My idea of making a space bright has to do with texture, thoughtful accents, and at least one show-stopping colorful and/or graphic element (like the cement tile pictured above) I think paring things down, bringing in as much natural light as possible, and limiting the color palette actually makes a space feel open and airy, in a calming sort of way. Possibly another definition of bright, but cheery all the same. And yes, the walls of this entryway would most likely be a shade of white (oops!), but I think it would be far from boring :).

Thanks for including me in your little challenge Chairish! Now to find a house that actually has a grand entryway....

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Three years of Jack.

This sweet, curly-haired boy turned three years old this last week. I can't imagine our home without him in it, yet I can hardly believe he's already lived three years! We often joke that he is the most rewarding, yet demanding child. Always by my side, and most likely attached to me in some way, this boy brings me so much joy. It's a lot of work, but I love our relationship. I've never met another child who will (gently) turn your face towards their own just to make sure they can "wook in your eyes" while you talk to each other.

Over the years, my birthday party philosophy has evolved from all out-shindig, to simple parties with a few fun elements, but a focus on people and simplicity. This time around we made a large and in charge golden whale piƱata, and a few zigzag streamers and called it good.

We also ordered a few extra swimming friends to play with at the party and send home with guests. For the record, it took about 20 minutes for this water display to get out of hand (with Jack leading the way) and be removed, but it was fun while it lasted.

Watching Jack's face and reaction to everything from the cupcakes to the presents was so fun. I forgot how easy it is to knock the socks off of a three year old (it's a little harder with those older kids)!

We love you Jack and can't wait to see how you grow this next year!