Hi and welcome! 

I'm a Momma, wife and artist. With 3 of my 4 kids almost grown, I can look back and share with you everything I learned on my favorite subject, raising a family. Like Albert Einstein said "Rejoice with your family in the wonderful land of life" and though things may get messy, you can't really go wrong. xoox



fun with my family



here we are early in the morning, heading out to check the crawdad trap. Busy, busy!

But, if I had remembered to post on Friday, here's what it would have been.  A summer camp theme befitting our trip to the mountains!

cute stationery from here


Or, how about these beautiful, simple, wonderfully made things you didn't know you needed from here:













While you're there, you can whip up a tepee using these plans.  

My kids do love a project.hours later.....it's probably better to just stick to fairy houses.

more cute stuff from here


life without swim team?

This is the first summer in 8 years that we haven't signed up for swimteam.  I miss it!  Initially we chose not to do it because we only had one child of the 4 who was available to do it this year, and we were traveling quite a bit this summer, so, it didn't seem worth it.  Admitttedly, it has been nice to have our wednesday nights and Saturday mornings back...but I miss the social aspect of it!  But, truth be told, it's been really quite wonderful to watch the kids get their free time back.  

My greatest fear was that the t.v. would be on all day, and not having anywhere pressing to be, we would have no formal plan and it would all quickly descend into chaos! Sibling fights, t.v. on all day, messy house, claims of boredom!  Surprisingly, I have found the opposite has been true.  First of all, they sleep in.  (which is the only way I am writing to you right now btw).  Then they realize that there is so much time in their day, they remain in bed and READ for another couple of hours!  until their stomachs begin to grumble.  Then they meander down to the kitchen and we have a nice breakfast of banana waffles (kindly made by my son, who is returning from morning water polo practice at about the same time).  (btw:all of this doesn't apply to him, he still swims on a team down the street when he is not playing water polo for 6 hours a day! but he is happy as a clam:)  But, for the girls, this is when the play begins.  Yesterday, we spent all day "buying and selling bits of buttons and sequins and socks and thread to each other (to make sock puppets), in a make believe store.  Then we went to the garden and as we were picking sugar snap peas, we thought of all the wonderful stories we could write about involving a 4 year old who wanted to be a farmer. (that is what we will do today!)   Then, went to the garden store and bought more blueberry bushes from Orchard, then onto La Boulange  bought fresh bread baguettes for dinner.  Then went home cooked a beautiful dinner together! (and made blueberry crepes for dessert from our new bushes).  I feel like we're on vacation!   Every year at the end of summer we go to Maine and spend one glorious week relaxing.  It is the one time a year,where we have no plans, actually slow down and sleep in and finally enjoy ourselves.  That is how we feel every day now, which has been a most surprising benefit! 

I know some people are able to fit all this in, even with swimteam (and one or two other activities as well!) and there were summers, where we seemed to fit it all in too.  But, they never felt quite as authentic as this one has.  We would miss a day or two to sell lemondade and gumballs on the corner by our street.  Make the trips to the craft store for duct tape and friendship bracelet materials to play with at the pool, run to the city for a day, or take a long weekend somewhere.  But, looking back, we always felt like we needed to be somewhere else.  If we skipped practice to do something fun, we felt guilty.  If we dilligently went to practice, it felt like the whole day was taken up. (with 4 kids, it almost is....last summer, I was at the pool back and forth starting at 7:30 and ending at 2:30).  Which meant, the t.v. went on immediately upon returning home, because they were "too pooped and heat stroked to do anything else!"  and the week would end with cries of "we never have time to do anything!".  

Now, I realize, that my kids have penchant, or rather, a NEED, to spend an inordinate amount of time engaged in imaginary and creative play, that not all kids have.   And, we will join swimteam again next year, and we will truly enjoy seeing our friends, and the formal excercise....and we will try to find a balance between swim team and playtime...  But, for one glorious summer, it has been a beautiful reminder of the simple joys of childhood and really slowing down enough to smell the roses, pick the blueberries and in general, do "nothing" and not feel for one second that we need to be anywhere but right where we are.


end of the year -friend gifts

really, this category of gifts doesn't formally exist; but I like to make things hard on myself.  sometimes the girls and their friends exchange small gifts on the last day of school;....we thought it would be cute to come up with one for all of their friends.

i came up with two different types: both involve stickers and dry powdered drink mixes. easy!

Mia's sticker looks like this: i printed this out on Avery sticker paper #22807 Then we packaged it up in some cellophane bags with some powdered pink lemonade and some cute paper straws like this:

 here is brooke's sticker (of course they had to be different!)

you could put these on an orange and pass them out; we are putting them on a cellophane bag with cute blue and whte striped straws and a mix for a creamsicle shake! 


last minute teacher gifts!

omg how did it get to be the last week of school!

gift cards = done
get these little favor bags here.  of course now i am getting inspired:how cute would it be to also wrap the pink and yellow ones with some pink or regular lemonade packets!  you can make your own labels and put them in glassine bags from here! And how about some home made ding dongs for the little brown and white bags!!  24 hours are just not enough time in a day! there's always next year...

 here are some other examples of great last minute teacher gifts!

 Fabric tissue case 
 Sunprint pencil cup
Pretty pens.
 Fabric-covered journals 
 Pretty binder clips.
Fabric catchall
Corner bookmark.
Lavender drawer sachets.
 Reusable lunch bag.


love & gardens

i feel so peaceful when i am in my little garden. so calm.  i just like knowing that I planted these things; and they're actually growing! Sometimes when the day gets hectic, I just walk right outside and stare at my garden for a minute, tend to something, and then come back in.  The kids want to know what I was doing, but I think they get it.  I get the same feeling of calm when I hug my kids, especially my cuddle bug, my youngest.  she says all the time to me: "I love you, I'm your little love bug, right mommy?"  And what is spring all about if not beautiful gardens, a few bugs, and love.