try before you buy: new Halloween Filler Cards

I've just updated my shop with these Halloween Filler Cards - seven 3" x 4" designs in both single jpeg files as well as ready-to-print PDFs.

Try before you buy - simply click to open up to full size and save...happy haunting!


first day of school freebie

You've probably seen this before, right? I love the mnemonic but didn't ever love the look. I've been meaning to remedy that for awhile and the days leading up to the first day of school seemed appropriate. I went for a kind of wartime propaganda look (do you think that will help it sink in?) It's an 8 1/2" x 11" PDF - grab it HERE if you'd like it too.


eating this week

MONDAY leftovers
TUESDAY spicy corn, tomato, & avocado salad (new) + french bread
WEDNESDAY chilaquiles
THURSDAY pasta with peas & pesto
FRIDAY chipotle sweet corn fettuccine (new)
SUNDAY tofu burger (new) + sweet potato fries


eating this week

MONDAY fried eggs with salsa verde and fried smashed potatoes - because I didn't get to it last week and I'm dying to try it.
TUESDAY taco salad
WEDNESDAY summer (this is what we call our traditional warm-weather meal of corn-on-the-cob, boiled potatoes, green beans, and sliced tomatoes - my favorite!)
THURSDAY grilled cheese (not sure which variety as I have about 100 different recipes for grilled cheese pinned but I think I'm leaning on a variation of this one)
FRIDAY loaded sweet potato rounds + garden salad (new)
SATURDAY kale, barley, and feta salad (new)
SUNDAY tex-mex quinoa

I had three new recipes on the menu last week but we only got to one of them - it was so freaking hot that turning on the oven just wanted very appealing and also, the delicious Mexican place around the corner was calling your name Saturday night. More hot weather in the forecast this week which explains the heavy push on salads and quick meals. The roasted broccoli salad with lemons and almonds was delicious though I will probably cut back just a bit on the lemon next time.


the ever growing gallery wall (corner)

I've slowly been adding to this corner for a few months now. I've wanted to create a gallery wall for years but deciding what direction I wanted to go as far as frames and choosing photos is HARD. I know you feel me.

Once I took inventory of what I had on hand though, I had a pretty cohesive start and I've slowly been adding more. I didn't want to do all matching frames as I didn't want to be locked in to the same color and style but what evolved is the mix of white, black, wood, and pattern you see here.

I tried to get a good mix of old photos, new photos, and prints. I want to add something hanging in the corner - a plant or mobile of some sort. Forgive the terrible iPhone photos - my Canon hasn't been charged for months (and for the record, almost all of the modern era shots featured are from my phone as well.)

Left side:

Right side (the empty frame is awaiting the woven piece I'm currently working on):

And a few details...how cute was Carlos?

That wood accent was pulled off the front of a greeting card (that I bought specifically for the purpose of using on a scrapbook page.) It worked perfectly with that photo of C + I from a couple of years ago.

I designed this poster originally for Izzy's room as she was kind of obsessed with Cosmos and particularly this quote (which had her staring at her hands in wonderment.) 

I know it's kind of hard to see because of the glare so here is the original. If you are/have a star-lover and would like to print one yourself (like $4, seriously) you can download it HERE.

The La Linea art I've been dreaming of making forever. Hanging below, a simple print I made to semi-coordinate with the star stuff poster - because it's always a good time for Earth, Wind, & Fire.

A quick and easy way to "finish" a poster. I used balsa wood (this to be exact) to create those bars. I cut the piece to 18" and then, cut that into 1" strips. I used a rotary cutter and it worked awesome - super lightweight and easy to attach and hang. I ended up covering the strips with woodgrain tape that happened to be 1" as well because I didn't love how the bare balsa looked with the other frames in the vicinity but I've done bare wood as well.

This print from Tina hangs on the opposite wall and I used the same technique.

Here's what I realized. The photos you choose don't matter. Simply having them there makes me happy. I can always switch them out and add more to it but as usual, done is better than perfect.


eating this week

MONDAY summer vegetable skillet lasagna - I discovered this yesterday morning and made it last night - delicious and easy!
TUESDAY pancakes + veggie sausage
WEDNESDAY firecracker cauliflower - this sauce is so delicious I want to drizzle it over everything. Also, can you tell I love this blog for dinner inspiration? If you're into meatless meals at all - even just on occasion, I highly recommend it!
THURSDAY roasted broccoli salad with lemons and almonds (new)
FRIDAY loaded sweet potato rounds + garden salad (new)
SATURDAY fried eggs with salsa verde and fried smashed potatoes - this looks amazing and it has capers which I've never had but have been wanting to try forever. (new)
SUNDAY pizza


Girls' Night

For months, Izzy has been hoping and wishing and pining for a girls' night out. We recruited my mom for a quick, one-night trip out of town this weekend. There were a few requirements Izzy had for making it a "perfect weekend" and to her utter delight, we managed to fulfill them all (she's nothing if not realistic!)

She wanted to stay in a hotel on a high floor. With a pool. And hike or walk a nature trail. She wanted to see a movie and eat curly fries. She added on "shopping" after her list had been deemed complete but we managed to make that happen too.

We took a short drive to Grand Rapids with the intention of hanging out in the hotel Saturday night and spending a few hours at Frederik Meijer Gardens the second. As it turned out, she was exhausted by the second day so we ended up skipping it (boo.) My mom and me have big plans to make a day trip out of it soon though. This trip really could have been done at the Holiday Inn that's 5 minutes away with the same results but the road trip is part of the fun, no?

A few highlights:

Fulfilling her most fervent wish for curly fries and salad.

Checking out the view from the "high" floor (floor 2.)
Making herself at home. Note stuffed animals and a robe hanging from the bedpost. (Her comment when I took this photo: what are you calling that one? Hashtag perfect bed?)
Izzy and grandma strategizing (or, possibly, checking out the knitted dog pattern book Izzy brought along.)

Exploring Grand Rapids.

We're calling this "nature trail."

Hotel pool fun.

More good times with grandma.

A stop by Frankenmuth on the way home to check off the "shopping" list item that was added last minute. I live less than 30 minutes from here and have never been. It's totally charming (where I was expecting super touristy - which it also is - but manages to pull off both somehow. We'll definitely be making another trip there this summer with the boys.
And finally, the video I discovered that she made while we were driving home. 


MFT March Release Countdown Day 4

I'm two-for-two so far in my quest to create something for each day of the March countdown (thanks so much for all of the kind comments yesterday, by the way.) I'm calling that a win.

Today, I repurposed the new Window Die-namics to create this grid design. I backed the grid with acetate, filled it with paper-punched confetti, and added a vellum back to the pocket so that those pops of color would be visible from the inside as well. The sentiments that I added to the front are from the Free with $60 Die-namics - Happy Trio (you'll see those later in the countdown.)

On the inside, I stamped a sentiment from the Totally Happy stamp set - I'll be using that one a TON.

You can see everything that is being debuted today, and for the remaining three days, on the MFT blog. There are some fantastic new pet-themed products that animal lovers will find irresistible. Be sure to leave a comment if you'd like to be entered into the random drawing for the daily $75 voucher!


MFT March Release Countdown Day 5

So, I've been working for My Favorite Things now for well over a year now (!) and though I've dabbled with the products and card-making in general, I've struggled with finding the time to actually make stuff. Every month, I see the new goodies, get all excited about playing with them, and then promptly run up against the next new month of new designs. Where does the time go?

This month, I've decided, is THE MONTH that I will change things and actually attempt to play along for each day of the countdown. Be gentle, I'm a scrapbooker first and a card maker-in-training.

For this card, I started with the new Blueprints 23. The Blueprints line is awesome because each includes four sketches for assembling cards with the included pieces. I began by selecting one of the sketches, and die cut a few of the elements. Where the sketch had a trio of holes down the center panel (easy to create with the three-holed die that is included!) I used the Circle Scribble Flowers Die-namics to cut the shapes, inlaying those die-cut Scribbles within the holes. A couple of stamped and die-cut leaves, the stamped sentiment, and I was done! I'll be honest, trying to take a photo (why is this so much harder than with a layout?) may have taken longer than assembling the card.

You can see everything that is being debuted today, and for the next four days, on the MFT blog. If you like what you see, make sure to leave a comment as they are awesome and give away a $75 voucher for every day of the countdown.


Listen to Your Parents

Zack seems impressed, right?

I've had an idea for this canvas for awhile but as I am woefully ill-equipped to actually create "art" I put it off for a long time. The canvas had been in my basement for a couple of months so finally, I just hung it on the wall blank with the thinking that staring at it on a daily basis would motivate me to actually complete the project. The day after I hung it, I pulled it back down and painted it (hint: don't hide those in-progress projects until you're ready to do them. Force yourself to confront them until you knock them out or, just as acceptable, decide to forgo them altogether.)

The painting isn't perfect. It's not big enough for the space. It emphasizes how off-center our couch is (I could fix that but it would entail moving a cabinet in order to move a rug in order to move the couch and sometimes, imperfection is fine.) But I honestly love it anyway. I did it as a reminder for the kids, sure, but how much does it really mean to them? Mostly, I did it as a reminder to myself...that they are always listening, always observing...even when all evidence points to the contrary. It's a reminder I need sometimes.

I had a couple of people inquire about the design so I saved it as a digital version as well in case you need a reminder of your own. You can grab an 8" x 10" printable from my etsy shop, or, download a 3" x 4" card right here.

I think an entire collection of Words of Wisdom cards might be in the works. Any suggestions? If I use yours, I'll send you the whole set when I'm done creating them. Collaboration works, friends :)


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