Tuesday, March 25, 2014

color us happy

We had ourselves a happy St. Patricks Day. Well we celebrated for a few days, but it was happy non-the-less. We went to an Irish Festival at Patriot Place and the kids really enjoyed themselves. We saw some Irish dancing and bagpipers. The kids had their faces painted…always a highlight.

On St. Patrick's Day we had our playgroup, so we decked ourselves in green.

I think they get sick of me taking pictures of them ALL THE TIME. They will thank me one day.

Of course there was some rainbow painting.

That was fun.

 Is it spring yet?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

snack time

Go-To Gluten Free Snacks

We've been gluten free for Austin for a little over two months now. I will do a full post on the reasons we made the decision to try a gluten free diet with him soon. But for now, I wanted to do a quick post on our favorite GF snacks. First I must say Austin is only about 95% GF. He is completely GF at home. He still has his regular snack at school twice a week. I didn't feel like it was worth it to stress out about that yet until we have him tested for allergies, and he has to have some gluten in his system for the test anyway. So at home, these are our go-to snacks.

365 organic fruit strips // Whole Foods
GoGo Squeeze Applesauce // Target (my kids love the pear and berry)
Annie's Gluten Free Granola Bars // Target
Sun-Maid Raisins mini boxes // Target
Puffins Whole Grain Cereal // Whole Foods
K-Kritters Animal Cookies // Vitacost.com
Envirokidz Organic Peanut Butter Panda Puffs // Trader Joe's
Gluten Free Cinnamon Chex // Target
Stoneyfield Organic YoKids Yogurt // Target
Annie's Organic Fruit Snacks // Target
Market Pantry Chedder Cheese Sticks // Target

I buy as many of my groceries at Target when possible. I have the Red Card which saves me 5% every time I shop. I also use coupons from both the newspaper and Target mailers. Finally I use the Target Cartwheel App coupons that I scan in the store from my phone. I average a savings of $15-25 per shopping trip. Then I hit Trader Joe's or Whole Foods for the rest of my groceries and the bulk of my fresh produce.

I still manage to go over budget most trips. I blame the Target dollar bins. They get me every time.

Friday, March 14, 2014

a little lucky cheer

The kids and I decided to do a little St. Patrick's Day crafting yesterday.

First up, I cut some clovers from thin cardboard (I used the backing of our large art paper). I used a heart shaped cookie cutter and traced it to make a clover.

The kids painted them and then added glitter paint on top.

Next up, we make clovers using a green pepper as a stamp. Austin thought this was very funny.

She was so intent on making those stems. Then she added little leaves to each one. My budding little artist. I just love her to pieces.

Have you made any clovers yet?

my kind of 10k


Big Picture Classes and Studio Calico are teaming up for what looks to be an awesome event for National Scrapbook Day. It's a 10 hour online crop. Do you want to join the fun?

You register for the event here. It's completely free. After you register, you can enter the classroom where you will receive discount codes to purchase select Studio Calico past kits, both scrapbooking and Project Life, for just $10. How awesome is that???

The event takes place on National Scrapbook Day, which is May 3rd. The all day crop starts at 9:00am PT. There will be a new example layout by a guest designer each hour. You make a layout based on that example each hour, post it to Instagram and tag it with #NSD10k and @bigpictureclasses. Prizes will be given away all day long!

I will be attending the Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Convention in New Hampshire that weekend, and will be there on the 3rd. I may be touch and go throughout the day, but hope to check in with a few layouts at least.

I hope you will join me :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

right now...

Right now I am content.

Right now I am counting down until warmer days.

Right now I am planning a double birthday party.

Right now I am trying tons of gluten free recipes.

Right now I am trying 1,2,3 Magic.

Right now I am loving Country Living magazine.

Right now I am watching American Idol, Parenthood, Law and Order SVU.

Right now I am trying to simplify, clean out, donate.

Right now I am trying to make this house a home.

Right now I am trying to encourage.

Right now I am trying to be more patient.

Right now I am listening to "Dixie Chicks channel" on Pandora.

Right now I am obsessed with Trader Joe's White Pomograntate Tea.

Right now I am working on NOT making excuses.

Right now I am trying to be a better mom.

Right now I am trying to be a better wife.

Right now I am living.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Whatever Craft Weekend part 2

The Shopping

During each Whatever Craft Weekend, Meg and Kimberlee take all the ladies on a shopping trip on Saturday. First we woke up and could craft a little if we wanted to. Some people had to finish their aprons. I had finished mine the night before so I helped some of the girls in the morning. We all ate a super yummy breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls then we got dressed and headed out.

Our first stop was Bearly Makin-It Antiques  in Marion, Kansas. The store is quite deceiving. The town is quite deceiving. We drove on a back road for about 45 minutes. I didn't see one other car on this back road. 

I saw more windmills than I ever have before in my life.And tons of cows. And some cool barns. 


When we pulled into the town, it was a little strip of buildings along the main street. Bearly Makin-It was inviting us right in with a lovely display of globes in the window. 

We jumped out of the van and ran in. Everyone was laughing at me because I brought along my big LL Bean tote. I was so glad I thought to bring it because I was throwing stuff in. I get very excited when I shop good deals, I tend to push and be "that" shopper. I know it, so it's ok.



The shop had a little bit of everything. The prices were very reasonable. The quilts were the only items that were priced high. I wish I could have brought them all home with me. Sadly I picked only one and then preceded to stand at the counter for 20 minutes talking myself into buying it. My quilt was my big purchase. I knew I wanted one before I even got there. I picked a red and white one. It was marked $85. I talked the owner down to $70. A little better. Some of the quilts were priced $165-185. Insane. And remember they are vintage so many of them had stains and were literally falling apart. But still so beautiful.

Next we ran across the street to a thrift store. I found a few things there too. A few vintage sheets for $1, and a bunch of embroidery hoops for 25-40 cents. Crazy cheap.

Our last stop was what is affectionately called "The Barn". It is owned by the same owners as Bearly Makin-It and it was it's own kind of fabulous. One of the girls later said it reminded her of The Room of Requirement from Harry Potter and that totally describes it. Look at this pile of chairs.

It KILLED me to not look at the furniture. I was so wishing I had a huge truck.

I loved this vintage map chest. Would be awesome in my studio.

This is the outside section of The Barn. Every color of the rainbow…all junk.

Kim and I braved the freezing wind and snow in our faces for a quick picture. 

Love it! And thank God for her idea to bring hand warmer packs. BEST IDEA EVER!

After The Barn, we went to a little coffee shop for lunch. This was the town. Totally what I think of when I think of a small mid-west town. I would really like to go back to Kansas in the summer. I bet the fields of flowers are amazing.

Here is my haul. I found some great stuff! I was excited I found a crate that said Kansas.

After we all drooled over each others finds back at the house, we had an hour to spare before the days crafts began. We had passed another antique shop back in Newton, right around the block from the Craft House, so a bunch of us decided to go check it out. 

It was booth style, so everything was all mixed up. I found a few more things so it was worth it for me.

Super fantastic shopping day! I am already dreaming about driving out to Kansas one day and going to The Barn with a huge trailer :)