Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My days

My days lately have been filled from top to bottom with STUFF to do. A lot of running around in circles, it seems. Before I blow my top, I am stopping to remind myself to step back, breathe and just take each day as it comes. But I am looking forward to a small break.

This is my life...goofball photo 1081737_10201679764259357_754729385_n.jpg
I'm not the only one going a little nutty, I guess!

It's still summer vacation for the kids so I'm thankful for not having homework to deal with. I don't have to pack lunches or go though paperwork yet (sorry to those across the country who have kids that have already returned to school!). My kids don't start back up until Labor Day.

Might have put on too much sunscreen. photo 973140_10201292780825013_833766333_n.jpg
Dad might have put on too much sunscreen...

I am thankful that the weather has stayed relatively cool after some very hot days earlier in the summer. We don't have air conditioning, so keeping the house cool is paramount! Particularly thankful for ceiling fans in each bedroom and we run them on low all night long.

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Saturday in the city

Having a yard to play in and a place to go sit outside has me so happy. I certainly don't miss apartment living, where the kids could only play in the parking lot. At least here they can play on the patio and run around on the dirt patch. Hopefully soon we'll have some landscaping back there too. I have plans, I tell you...plans!

we are going to the Padres game! photo 1079429_10201678613910599_1894132257_n.jpg
Took the afternoon off to take my boy to a baseball game

I am thankful for my little flower garden, that has already brought me so much joy with minimal amount of work! My gladiolas bulbs are flowering and I've been decorating the dining room table with fresh clippings for weeks. They have really brightened up the yard and the house.

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I am so happy with the contest wins I've had these past few months. Last week I got a delivery of Jane Iredale make up and skincare that I've had a great time testing out! I won that with my What Summer Means to Me judged Pinterest Board.

Thank you jane jane iredale - THE SKIN CARE MAKEUP for the fantastic Pinterest prize! I received it in the mail yesterday and can't wait to play with it. photo 992178_10201744334753579_1773142496_n.jpg

I got an email from Kohls last week about a $100 store gift card random draw win from a Pinterest entry (great, because I shop at Kohl's all the time!). Mariposa sent me a surprise runner's up prize, what a lovely treat! I also heard from KraftMaid that I won their Return to Your Roots Pinterest contest, which is a $500 Visa gift card. That will come in very handy when Danny & I go to NYC next month on the trip I won from Armitron! *wink* I appreciate the creative outlet that Pinterest allows me and so thankful to the various judges that have chosen my board as their favorite in these contests. I am so grateful that they see my art and the hard work that has gone into my boards.

what a wonderful surprise! just received this lovely tea light holder from Mariposa for being a runner up in the Pinterest contest. thank you so much! photo 1080887_10201692519538231_266054316_n.jpg
My gift from Mariposa

I'm always every so grateful for my parents and mother-in-law who step in and take care of my children when I can't. I wish that we were in a position where I could be present more and take care of the kids 24/7 but right now, if they have to be away from me, I'm so glad they can be with the kids.

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A view of the city

I'm grateful that my husband is working and making a good salary. What I'm not so pleased about is his 3-4 hour round trip drive every day out of the county, his having to wake at 3:30am and not get home until nearly 7pm, the six-day work weeks and the fact that he pretty much eats dinner and falls asleep on the sofa, exhausted, every night. I miss him (and I miss the help around the house with the kids!).

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On the ferry from San Diego to Coronado

Happy that we live within walking distance of a great park. I am able to walk the kids there and let them play in the evenings. It takes us about 20 minutes to get there. And there is a Mexican shop, where we stopped for a quick dinner the other night for rolled tacos and horchata.

!Horchata! photo 1167755_10201734567469403_1792777773_n.jpg

I am so glad that my dad is turning the corner in his illness and has begun to get his appetite back and his symptoms are leveling out. He has renal (kidney) cancer throughout his body and after some tense moments earlier in the year (transient stroke and pneumonia, both requiring separate hospitalizations) he is on a new medication. He has some nasty side effects, one being loss of appetite and nausea. When your 6' tall father weighs as much as your own 5'2" frame, that is a problem. But my mom said he's feeling like eating now and has been regaining some strength, which is wonderful to hear.

Finally, I am thankful for next week, when I will have a bit of time off to spend with the kids. Not sure what I'll do with them yet, but I'm hoping for something FUN!!

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My baby Potato Head!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Painted Butterfly - My Etsy shop is open!

Just a quick note to say that I have the studio up and running again and have listed just a few best-sellers in my Etsy Shop.

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My best selling personalized tee

I have a few one-of-a-kind pieces to kick start fall, including Autumn Owls sets and a few Halloween items.

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Halloween dress with tie straps

My favorite peasant blouse is back! I love adding these fun details like the criss-crossed ribbons.

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Top & twirl set

I will be listing more Autumn items in the next few weeks and then (yikes!) Christmas items! If there is something you are looking for specifically in a particular size, let me know. These are all one-of-a-kind but if you would like to see pants sets in a size 3T or more twirl dresses in a size 8, just let me know. I am flying by the seat of my pants and very willing to make these in any size you request!

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Old School jumper dress

Our neighbor, a sweet 9 year old girl was over playing with the kids this week and saw this pants set on the mannequin and was gushing about how cute it was. I agree, it's my favorite too!

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Autumn Owls pants set

But if you are still looking for summer items, I still have a few ready-to-ship dresses that are perfect for a warm weather Disney vacation. Please stop in the shop and have a look!

 photo 012_zps8c5c196f.jpg Bambi upcycled tee dress

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Project Log - Flowers

When we first bought our house and moved in in April, the patch of dirt in front of the house under the front windows was empty and boring. But that was a good thing!

Empty meant that I could shape it how I wanted and add the flowers I chose instead of having to remove anything I didn't want.

A fundraiser for flower bulbs at my son's school came right on time. I bought a hosta, day lilies and gladiolus, put them in the ground and waited.

We didn't have to wait long. The bulbs shot up quickly. We filled in the spaces with a few Home Depot purchases and some succulents bought at Costco. My husband spread in some seeds that were given to us by a friend. We thought they were gazania but the viney tendency and the round leaves show me otherwise, so it's a mystery plant for now until it flowers! She also gave us some ornamental garlic, we put in a jade plant (which doesn't seem to have grown a bit, weird!) and there are two mystery plants that came up that must have been planted by the former owners.

 photo 008_zps7000c6d0.jpg Since taking this we now have more open gladiolus on the right size too, a red & a yellow!

 photo 009_zps8259a7d8.jpg Gladiolus

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 photo 012_zps4bdaafec.jpg Front of the house

We still desperately need some "charm" around these windows. I'd love little built-in pergolas or at the very least, shutters.

Unfortunately when we move to the back, not much is going on. We're all still dirt back there, nothing more to show.

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We planted these and goofy-me, I didn't realize that when I bought these pots, they didn't have drainage holes!! These rotted out, booo!!! The succulents around the edge survived and the ornamental grass but the rest were a lost cause. Fortunately Home Depot has a great return policy and we were able to take them back and get replacements.

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My husband is working with someone to get the backyard landscaped. We are considering artificial grass in the upper section so the kids can play on it and we won't have to worry about mowing or watering. We'll see, things are moving slowly in that area.

These roses were bought by my husband but it got me to thinking. Maybe we need some rosebushes!

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Two fun wins!

Last Saturday two of my recent Pinterest wins came in the mail...it was like Christmas in July!

First up, from the King's Hawaiian Brings Us Together contest. Here is my winning board.

I was one of five winners, announced on their blog. I won a year's worth of King's Hawaiian bread (sent in coupons that can be used at the grocery store) as well as a $100 gift certificate to use in their online shop. So far we have just eaten the slices straight from the bag (they are THAT good!), we took a package of rolls to a party (where they promptly disappeared), we have served hot dogs with their buns and we made the best French Toast ever! Seriously, we made an entire loaf of French Toast last night for dinner and there wasn't a bit leftover. It doesn't even need butter, it was so yummy with just a drizzle of agave nectar.

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Thank you King's Hawaiian, my family is loving having the constant stock of your bread in our kitchen (it doesn't last long, let me tell you!).

And then a sweet bag of joy, from the Tea Collection. I've admired their clothes for years but never got a chance to try them out...until now! I was one of three winners in the Celebrating Summer with Tea contest, my winning board here. Their announcement here. I was able to choose $148 worth of clothes to divide between the three kids. The Boy got three tees, Baby D got two and The Girl chose two dresses and a pair of cropped leggings.

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I will have to take some shots of the kids wearing them. I chose this awesome panda tee for The Boy. He couldn't contain a smile when he saw it and it's in his favorite color. The Girl loved this lovely dress which she said reminded her of origami.

Thank you again Tea Collection. Now that I have the clothes in hand, I know I'll be back for more! The quality is wonderful and styles are so unique and creative...definitely not what you see every other kid wearing, which I love.

Interested in entering contests of your own? Read my blog post, "Maybe You Never Knew...I Enter Contests" for some of my winning tips.