In a few short hours I will be on a plane heading to Paris. I can't believe it is finally here! We are all very excited and a little nervous. The kids and I made lists this morning of everyone we needed to shop for and bring goodies home to. Which made me think about what souvenirs we would be bringing home for ourselves. I have a few small collections that we have started already:
Coffee mugs are always fun and you can usually pick them up at the airport so there is no real lugging around...and I like something that is actually useful and brings back memories when it's in use.
Snow globes, although very kitschy, are a lot of fun.
My personal souvenir collection is from Paris. Both times I have been before I picked up a commemorative Swatch watch. One a map of the city, the other a route of the #12 metro line, which was the one we took the most because we have always stayed in Montmartre. Swatch watches were the bomb when I was growing up! But they kind of fizzled out in the 90s. Now you can find them again a few places but nothing like they used to be (do you remember the jelly guards you could add). I really, really hope that they have another one this time.
If you have any other good ideas for souvenirs, let me know! Talk to you guys next week!
My adorable nephew Owen turned one last week and since his birthday is so close to St. Patrick's Day, my sister decided to throw him a Lucky One birthday! It was a small party, just family but I think everything turned out amazing! (Vendor credits at the end)
One of my favorite things about being an adult is getting mail. Call me crazy but I love going to my mailbox and seeing what surprises lay inside. Do bills get me down? Sure! But usually a beautiful glossy catalog or a party invitation or even a letter from a friend definitely outweighs anything negative that can find its way in my box. There is even that once in a while surprise check from my insurance company that says I paid too much! I always call my hubby first and ask him if it is real or a gimmick, then I cash that sucker as fast as my car will take me to the bank! Yesterday in my mailbox I had this beauty waiting for me:
I'm new to Birchbox so those of you that have heard about this wonderful service just ignore me. For $10 a month (and free shipping) you get a box filled with beauty product surprises. I've never been big into beauty products but since mother nature decided that it's time I started showing my age my interest has been increasing in the latest trends. I'm discovering that you could easily rack up a fortune buying product so this was a good way for me to sample products before committing to shelling out large amounts of money on a product I might only use once or twice.
This month my box included the following:
Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum
Whish Shaving Cream
Youngblood Mineral Radiance Moisture Tint
Madewell Emery Board
I also love that you could have these sent to someone as a gift...brilliant idea for the hard to buy for friend! I am now on the hunt for more monthly box clubs to join. Do you know of any good ones?
I'm a huge fan of keeping a journal while traveling. Mike and I have kept one on every major trip we've been on and it is always so much fun looking back years later and reading the little details that are so easy to forget. We always try to keep two separate journals and aren't allowed to read each other's while on the trip. It is hysterical to see how different guys and girls views are. I tend to go into detail about what people are wearing, the beauty of our surroundings, etc. Mike tends to write about the service or prices of things. It makes for a complete picture of a trip.
Since we are taking the kids with us this time we want them to keep a journal also...but asking them to keep a journal is like asking them to do homework on vacation so I decided that I would make theirs more of a scrapbook. I bought them some Smash supplies from the local craft store and I'm bringing along my Instax camera for them to take pictures.
They seem pretty excited about it and it will give them something to do at night in the apartment because the only English channel on tv will be the BBC which doesn't hold anyone's attention unless it is a marathon of my all time favorite show, Top Gear (it's on my bucket list to be an audience member on this show).
And this week's ProjectLife 365:
1. DREAMY- the last thing I see before my head hits the pillow
2. CONTAINED- my son's bulletin board...a glimpse into his brain
3. DOODLE- when I'm in the carpool line I've been doodling my packing list
4. SMASH- my nephew turns one today and stopped by for a smash cake session
5. ROAM- Bella's new shoes
6. MESSAGE- spent most of the day returning emails
I'm currently taking the Blogging Your Way class by the fabulously talented Holly of Decor8. I'm not really new to blogging but I really admire her style and was curious to learn some secrets of the blogging world. My sister and I owned a boutique a few years ago and started our store blog back in 2007. Since then I've had a crafting blog, a business blog and now my personal blog. I love the idea of connecting with like-minded people all over the world, learning and sharing what is important to you at this point in your life. Well, this week our homework assignment was to spotlight a few blogs we really admire and I couldn't be more excited to share with you some of my favorites!
Click on each masthead to visit these:
A Beautiful Mess. This was the first blog I ever read. I stumbled upon it in 2007 when I was really big into scrapbooking. She had a new line of products out and I it was so different from all of the other products out there. I do think she started many of the trends we see now in the craft world. She also inspired me to buy my first DSLR camera...so I owe her and her blog for starting & influencing my career. Her blog is always full of DIYs, hipster trends and of course beautiful images.
Snapshots of a Good Life. I found Karen back in 2007 as well. She was also big in the scrapbooking world and her everyday images on her blog really inspired me. In 2008 she started teaching a photography class online. I signed up and was in her very first class. She taught me everything I know about photography. Her blog has taught me how to tell a story with pictures...which is always in my mind when I'm shooting.
Paris in Four Months. This is a newer blog to me but I am so thankful I found it. Carin is living the expat life in Paris. You get lost in her blog for hours. You always feel like you are right where she is. Her photography is amazing and the blog is simple yet beautiful. I feel like a blog-stalker because I am on her site every single day! I am really fortunate to be able to meet Carin when we are in Paris, she is going to take pictures of us!!!! It's funny because as much as I feel like I know her through her blog I still get butterflies when I think about meeting her...kind of like she is a celebrity! I love that blogs can do that.
Joy's Hope. My sister introduced me to this blog a few years ago. It is one of the cheeriest blogs you will ever read. But sister keeps it real! You will be inspired (creatively and emotionally) and you can't help but feel like you have known her your entire life.
Shannon Berrey Design. My blog crush award goes to Shannon. I can't even begin to tell you how talented this lady is. Her blog will make you want to re-decorate your entire house then buy another one just to decorate that one. But another reason her blog is so amazing is because of her story-telling. She not only shows her design abilities but her family life. I want to be apart of her family (but I don't think my hair is curly enough).
Serendipitous Things. Jessica's blog is absolutely adorable. I have just recently found her blog and really glad I did. She and I have very similar taste and I love a girl who loves instagram!! I get the feeling we would be good friends if our paths ever crossed. Also, you need to download her free desktop asap!
Startup Wife. Emily's beautiful blog is kind of what my blog wants to be when it grows up. Always happy, smart and photogenic. I love her about page. I get her instantly. And I find myself reading her blog in an British accent.
Urban Grace Interiors. Once again, my sister introduced me to Erika's design blog a few years ago. My family vacations in Seaside, FL every year and that is where she calls home. Her images are always perfect and her sense of style is impeccable. If you ever wanted a really good person to follow on Pinterest...it is Erika.
In my photography business I only sell digital images, no prints of any kind. I have gone back and forth with this idea for years but I always go back to the question, what would I want if I was my client. Well, I think I would want the ability to do whatever I wanted with my images. Print them out, post them on FB, get them put on a coffee cup, calendar, t shirt, planner, etc. But I do often wonder if my clients actually do anything with that CD once it is in their hands. Over the next few weeks I'll show you a couple of ways that I use my digital images around my house, hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you to get those images off of your computer and out for the world to see.
One of my favorite printer's is Paper Coterie. I have used them for many items...my planners, birthday party invitations, calendars and memory boxes to name a few. In January they had a really good sale going on for their desk calendars. I think I paid $8 for one (so of course I picked up a couple to give as gifts). It was a great way for me to use a lot of different images on one product. When I got it, I loved it but I realized that I have zero desk room in my office. My cat usually takes up any available space but does not mind re-arranging things on my desk to make room when he needs to stretch. So after picking up this calendar off of the floor for the 15th time I figured I needed to find a new home for it. While looking around the house for a new home for my calendar I thought about how much I loved all of these pictures and I hated not being able to see them all the time...so here is how the wall calendar came about.
I laid them all out so I could gauge the distance between them.
Got out my medium sized hole punch and some twine then connected the tops and bottoms with knots.
Now when I'm sitting at my desk working I can look up at my beautiful family! The project took me about 15 minutes.
Finn still thinks it was more fun to knock them off my desk.
And here was the last 2 weeks of my ProjectLife 365...hope you aren't finding it hard to keep up like I am...I have to admit, a few times I am already in bed for the night when I realize I haven't taken a picture of my word yet. So forgive me that some of these are the most creative :)
1. GOODNIGHT- kisses at bedtime
2. GOOD MORNING- it was a rainy miserable morning
3. BLUE- skies after rainy days are the absolute best
4. NOOK- I never get to actually sit there and read but it looks nice
5. HANDMADE- Preston (and I) made for Mike's first Father's Day
6. YOU TODAY- rocking my new anchor earrings
1. PROCESS- in the process of growing my nails out, I am a biter
2. TROUBLEMAKER- see story above, he's always into something
3. BIG PERSONALITY- even her shadow rocks
4. PRIVATE- my bff and I had the theater to ourselves to see Beautiful Creatures (it was horrible)
5. DAILY COMMUTE- still taking my son to golf practice every morning before school
6. OVER THERE- heading "over there" in 2 more weeks!!!!
Today is my 15th wedding anniversary. I really can't remember not being married to Mike. We met on a blind date (thank you to my sister) while I was a senior in high school. Engaged after knowing each other a little over a month. Married when we were only 19 & 21 years old.
In 15 years we have had 14 vehicles together, moved 6 times lived in 4 cities and had the two most amazing children in the entire world.
Today I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from a movie ever:
Thank you babe for being a witness to my life and for being the love of my life.