dear isla.

(notes to her at summer camp)

At drop off . . .

For the first time ever, the girl is away for a whole week! And for the first time ever at summer camp! We miss her so. I have enjoyed preparing and sending her a daily note via snail mail. I hope she is having a blast (but also missing us just a little)!

P.S. – So many simple yet sweet memories have been made these last couple of months. Being “in the thick of it” is exhausting but so spectacular. I feel as if this chapter is one of the very best – so much gratitude for this life right here, right now.

double digits.

Welcome to the double digits pretty girl! We celebrated with family and then with friends at an Escape Room. Decorations were a hodgepodge of some of her current favorite things. May this year be your best one yet sweet Isla!

P.S. – A look back at her 7th Birthday and some of my forever favorites snaps of her . . .

Such a difference a few years makes!

may ‘19. some favorite random moments.

A few random tidbits and photos I want to remember about this “full of all the things” May.

We’ve almost made it through “birthday season” – whew! The last celebration is this evening. We now have a 13 year old, 10 year old and 18 month old. Reference the above photos for what a new 10 year old does while in front of a mirror.

My husband is from St. Louis and a huge sports fan! Tate’s new favorite song is now “Gloria”. If you’re a Blues fan you’ll understand. (wink, wink!)

The last day of school was yesterday. The remainder of this week will be full of rest and freedom, but I’m hoping for a bit of relaxed order to start happening next week. I’ve got a list of house projects I’d love to complete this summer!

It’s also been “peony season”. I can’t seem to keep myself from picking one or a bundle of them every time I walk past.

And the last 6 months (months 13-18) of Mr. Tate . . .

Our 13 year old, who isn’t real fond of pictures (unless there is a fish in his hand), let me get just a few. Baseball in Memphis got cancelled for the weekend of his birthday so he got to go to dinner with cousins and fishing that evening. Not exaggerating when I say fishing is his first true love!

And for a Mother’s Day photo, cooperation just wasn’t happening . . .

I have so many things that I’ve been wanting to share but first a few days of rest.

XOXO!

sweet little things. via hallmark baby.

Littlest man is now almost just a week shy of eighteen months. Ahhh, how can that be. At about six months pregnant, I stumbled upon Hallmark baby. It has since been one of my most adored places (on the web) for purchasing sweet little things for sweet little ones. See below for just a few of the clothing, nursery and gift items you can find on Hallmark baby. A random post, but definitely a noteworthy website if you’ve got little ones in your life.

(all items and so many other sweet little things can be found on Hallmark baby)

bunny hair clip. a sweet & simple diy.

Supplies & Materials:

  • a stiff felt (I used these that I had leftover from another project, but any stiffer felt will work. You don’t need much at all. Also, see note below.)
  • small faux pearl beads (I used these but in an off white/ ecru. You can find these at any craft store in the jewelry making section.)
  • flat alligator clip (2.25 inches or smaller) (A pack of these can be found at your local craft store or on amazon for a couple of dollars and I find all sorts of uses for them.)
  • bunny and ear template – bunnytemplate.pdf
  • hot glue
  • a clear drying craft glue, fabric glue, or an industrial glue (like e6000)
  • scissors
  • a pen or pencil

* Chipboard or a heavyweight cardstock could also be used instead of felt. Leave as is or paint whichever color you prefer before proceeding with the steps below.

Instructions:

  1. Print & cut out bunny and inner ear template.
  2. Trace templates. Trace templates onto your felt or chosen material. Then cut out.
  3. Glue. Glue inner ears to the bunny and then glue beads. I used a fabric glue and completed sections at a time – the head and then the body. Use a substantial amount of glue. You may want to have a tweezers handy to place and move the beads. I just used the tip of my pencil. 🙂 Once all of your beads are in place, go back over the beads with glue filling in the gaps.
  4. Let dry. This is the longest and most important step. Let the bunny dry overnight before moving.
  5. Add clip. Make sure all of your beads are secure, flip the bunny over and then hot glue your alligator clip onto the middle of the underside of your bunny.

The End! You have a really sweet and simple accessory for Easter Day or any day. It took less than fifteen minutes to make and even better, the hardest part was waiting for it to dry. The key to keeping it simple and low cost is to adjust the design according to the supplies you have around the house. This clip would be lovely a variety of ways using a variety of supplies. What about a little brown bunny accented with a patterned fabric instead of the pearls and a little bow on its neck!

Enjoy and Happy Easter!

~xoxo~

the library. our latest lends.

If it were feasible, I would own all the books! But until then, I’ll settle for bi-weekly library visits. Below are our latest lends.

Books for the littlest little. . .

They are all short and sweet, the same as his attention span these days. (smile)

1 – Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni

  • Eye catching. And a cute yet simple way to help littles learn about color.

2 – Skyscraper by Jeremy Hurley

  • With few but big words, not to mention all of those vehicles and machines that littles are intrigued by, step by step this book brings a building to life in a way that all will understand. This one in particular caught Tate’s attention.

3 – Boats on the Bay by Jeanne Walker Harvey

  • Gorgeous colors! And this book portrays the sweetest variety of boats – “A sparkly boat joins a parade”.

4 – My Heart by Corinna Luyken

  • Beautifully illustrated. And such a delightful way to interpret those deep feelings of the heart in a way that children can understand.

Reading is and will always be one of my most favorite pastimes, but with regret I haven’t read much in the past few years. I enjoy it so much (too much) that my focus on anything else becomes nil until books started are finished (basically without notice the kids could Uber to New York and the house could whirl away in a tornado). OR maybe my attention span is just as short and sweet as Tate’s is these days. (wink, wink) Either way, I opted for all homemaking, crafting and cookbooks this time around. I’m hoping that the slower schedules of summer will allow for more late nights of reading.

My lends . . .

1 – A Well-Crafted Home by Janet Crowther

    Beautiful and timeless projects – ones you won’t tire of! They feel substantial (more permanent than a lot of diys) but none feel too overwhelming to attempt. I may have to purchase this one.

2 – Craft the Rainbow by Brittany Watson Jepsen

  • So many lovely projects. I’m especially fond of all of those that involve paper. The effort and thought that went into designing this book is so appreciated. Just flipping through the colorful pages makes me happy.

3 – Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

  • Wonderful thoughts on everything from the spacing and arrangement of a room to accessories actually needed vs. those that are simply excess. Basically “Getting the most out of the least amount of things – M.S.”. It focuses on not just obtaining stylish things but more importantly to purchase pieces for their functionality (especially in regards to your family/ lifestyle). Be mindful!

4 – Happy Handmade Home by Elsie Larson & Emma Chapman

  • So many FUN and easy projects for your home, gift giving, party decor, and so much more! Also, such beautiful photography and a fantastic source of inspiration.

5 – Magnolia Table Cookbook by Joanna Gaines

  • Such a cozy feel when you read through the pages and recipes. We’ve already tried the orange scones, cinnamon squares, and king ranch chicken with jicama salad – we’ve enjoyed them all. The kids favorite thus far has been the cinnamon squares, mine the scones (and the jicama salad). Looking forward to trying a few more of them before returning.

Now to refrain from purchasing all of them once they’re returned. ~ xoxo ~

“name” chocolates – personalized valentine’s day gifting (part 2).

My oldest two are now old enough that I feel like we can fulfill the necessary chocolate gifting that seems to be a Valentine’s Day requirement. I wanted to do something that felt special and personal. After all, isn’t that what the day is all about (and chocolate)!

I have hopes that the things handmade by me for them will be memories they can take with them. AND even on the days where I’m not at my best, they still know they are special to me partially because of these times and small gestures I did for them on my better days! In other words, may the good outweigh the bad in their beautiful minds. 🙂

For making the name chocolates, I have this silicone letter mold and I used dark and white chocolate ghirardelli melting wafers (the ones I used did not need tempering). Place the mold on a baking sheet (so that you can move it without the chocolate shifting in the mold). Melt the wafers over a double boiler and then with the help of a small spoon pour or drizzle the completely melted chocolate into the letters you prefer (or use a plastic squeeze bottle with a small tip/ opening for a cleaner approach). Next, use a toothpick to stir and even out the chocolate once it is in the molds. I then used my dough cutter to scrape over the letters to create a nice flat bottom. After you’ve evened out your letters, place the mold (still on the baking sheet) in the fridge or leave on the counter until completely cool or dry. When moving the mold, be sure to keep it as level as possible. Once completely dry, pop the letters out of the molds and put them in any sort of packaging you wish. I placed mine in a haphazardly sewn pocket that I made out of parchment paper (it just happened to be what I had on hand). The end! Enjoy!

Happy Heart Day!

P.S. – Speaking of chocolates. Check out all of this cuteness!