Red, White, and Blue Weekend

Some pics of our weekend. Phil has been working long hours the last few days, so I unfortunately have no shots of the big guy:(...Next time.

Happy Memorial Day!


Handmade Teacher's Gift Ideas:)

The end of the school year is fast approaching. It's always nice to send a little "thank you" to a teacher...They put in a lot of work for our children to learn and grow! Here are a few ideas to ponder. If you have any scrapping materials at home, you probably won't need to spend a penny making these items! And each of them is so fun! I have included the gifts I made for the librarian at Niamh's school (she adores her librarian:), her teacher's gift, and a gift bag I made to hold a graduation present for a family friend. I have also included links where you can find the source of these great ideas...and maybe even a tutorial or two:) Enjoy!!
tea light craft
Here is a handmade card that holds a box of six tea lights. The box is so easy to make...And the tutorial and template you can find here.
handmade gift bag
I wonder how much I spend on little gift bags each year...just to have them thrown out...Here is a nice alternative to those boring old gift bags. It's perfect for holding jewelry...or even a few candy treats to send home with kids after a birthday party. I love these bags, and they are easy as pie!...(Actually, pie is not that easy for me...so, let's say easy shmeesy:) You can find the instructions here.
handmade gift bag
And finally, my favorite one...the corner bookmark. Kids can make these. They are so simple. Here is a
great tutorial.

You should give a couple a go! It's so much nicer to receive a little handmade item than something you grabbed while you stood in line at checkout...You don't have to spend a lot of money to let someone know you appreciate them:). I'll be back later with a sister's post...Have a fun day with the kiddies in full-gear. We've already picked strawberries today...and it's only 10:30! Now we are going on a little day trip we've had planned forever. Have a great Saturday! xoxo


Strawberries on a Stick

Niamh has a summer birthday. Last week her teacher invited summer birthday kids to bring in their birthday treat anytime before the end of the year. I'm officially on Team I Hate Cupcakes-- have been since becoming a room-mom for her class last year. Those kids are cupcaked-out by May. And I can't count the number of times Niamh has brought home a crumbled up, half-eaten cupcake in her lunchbox...because she just couldn't finish it at lunch time. (I always wonder if she thinks eating it off the sides of her lunchbox at home that night is really gonna happen...) So, no cupckaes. If you follow my blog, you know I'm no Martha Stewart in the kitchen. But I still always try to send in something special and different...Make the kids ohhh and ahhh over Niamh's treat:). I love when she feels special...:). I thought about cake-pops. But those visions always ended with me chucking cake pops at the back of the goat barn in our yard...Cuz, those aren't gonna happen for me. I already know that story and it ends in frustration. And a deep resentment of all things Martha Stewart-esque. Instead, I did strawberries on a stick. Covered in chocolate. And sprinkles.

circle scarf
strawberries and chocolate
birthday treat
birthday treat

All I have to show for it is one left over strawberry that melted in the truck (see above)....But they looked pretty cute coming out of the fridge. The best part of the whole thing are those little crunchy sprinkles! And, if you look closely, I have me my very own sprinkles guy:). Phil does the sprinkles for me...so they stick before the chocolate hardens. (Told me not to get a picture of him doing sprinkles...Does the hand count?...Nah:) Anyways, that's my kiddie bday treat this year:). What do you send in for your child's birthday??...I've got years of this ahead of me, so ideas are very much appreciated! Just no cupcakes please:).


Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia

This morning we went to Philadelphia to walk around the outside market near Rittenhouse Square. It was super fun! Great music. Good food. Happy kids. The makings for a perfect Saturday:)

face paint children
philadelphia market
rittenhouse square
urban outfitters
Purple flowered white jeans-- I want to dress like her when I'm a grandmom...They were awesome pants! Oh, and I found an Urban Outfitters store! Finally:).
philadelphia music scene
pulled pork philly
balloon in air
sartorialist photo
maxi skirt
philly dj
sleeping kiddies
And we managed a nice quiet ride home...

Tuesdays, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the summer, and Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. year-round.
18th and Walnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103


Dreading It. Part 2.

I wanted to make my second dreads post something to make you smile. So, here are the ups and downs of having a head of big synthetic hair. Hope you enjoy.

jersey girl

My Dad's face. Mmmm...Let's say priceless. I still don't think he understands what I'm doing:). But, he got use to the tattoos...so the hair is probably no big deal. Just get that funny glance here and there:).

Jamaican guys love me:).

If I'm wearing them in a pony and driving, I have to put my seat super far back. There is a lot of hair back there, and otherwise, I'm hunched over the wheel. Cuz there ain't no place to put it. So, please know...I am aware that my dodge truck is not a suped-up civic. And I really shouldn't be laying back like I'm a 21 year old guy trying to impress chicks. But I have no choice people.

jersey girl

Be careful, girls who get very long dreads. When you try to do that flippy-hair thing (the move that swooshes your hair back all cute and sweet)...You may hit people at the restaurant table next to you. It does make a dining experience somewhat awkward from that moment on.

I don't have to do a thing to my hair in the morning. It is already done. Boy-YA!

The poofy pillow at night that feels like a cross between corn husks and hay. It takes a little getting use to. But now I know for sure, I could camp out in a barn and not loose a wink of sleep:).

blue dreadlocks

I learned a lesson in judging people. When a woman in line at Wawa looked at me, then moved her kids to the other side of her body. Rude. I wanted to chase her out of the store with my hair,but I stayed in line...thinking I will try never again to judge a book by its cover. Not assume I know who a person is by their choice in style. Because I'm actually very nice, Lady at Wawa...And I even take the occasional shower;)

Colors I've always wanted to try but could never achieve with dye; well, it's all there to try with dreads. It is really fun to plan your next style. So many options...If you missed it, check out my first post here.

Make sure they are all in the vehicle with you when you close the door. Make sure you don't dip them into your soup. Be prepared for people to stop you in public and want to touch them. And yes-- do use them to annoy your sleeping guy on the couch. (I must have had Phil jump in his sleep 10 times one night. I need to find new hobbies:).

I have wanted to try a style like this since I was maybe 20. I'm 31 now. It took a few years, but I did get around to it. Glad I did...You should always try the things you dream about doing. Even if they scare you a little. Even if you are over 30. Even if other people look at you cross-eyed! Who cares. It's your life, and you should feel happy about who you are and how you look:).

tattoos and dreadlocks

So, that's it:)...Hopefully between the two posts, I have answered all the questions girls asked. They are very much like having tattoos...People either love 'em or hate 'em. But all that matters is that you like your personal style. If you feel happy and comfortable with something; go for it! ;)


What I'm Lovin'...

Dolls, pinups, pretty clothes, and an avocado-- some of my favorites from the week!

simply sassy
I bought Niamh and Philly each one of these babies (the purple hat and the monster). I love a handmade baby doll. Nothing quite like it.

simply sassy

simply sassy
simply sassy
New favorites from Free People. I don't know what I like more for summer...pastels or primary colors!

simply sassy

simply sassy
I bought these from LuLu's yesterday. I love the t-strap, the wedge, but most of all-- that extra piece of sole that frames the whole shoe at the bottom. I love a chunky sole:).

simply sassy

simply sassy
simply sassy
Gil Elvgren pinups. I collect vintage pinup books. And he is my favorite. So inspiring. I love how they have that mix of ME, sexy? and I know *exactly* what I'm doing attitude:). Beautiful, beautiful girls! What's your favorite image? I like the girl in the chair. She looks just like my brother's girlfriend. Lucky, lucky guy;) Thanks for checking out my favorites! Have a great Wednesday!


Winner Is...

The winner for custom art and gift certificate was my #73 comment, Marie (Cardmaking Bird). I had lost almost 30 comments when blogger went down-- but they were saved on my email...They were all added in to the random drawing. Marie, please email me by Friday to claim your prize and discuss your new artwork!:)

Thank you to everyone who entered. Really, I'd love to send all of you artwork!...(Knowing how long that would take...and how messy my house would end up becoming in the process...I better not take on that endeavor:)...However, if you enter the code below, you can receive 20% of any order from my shop till Saturday!


Thanks again everybody!! Kisses and Hugs!


A Trip Here and There.

Danielle of Sometimes Sweet featured me on her blog!...I am so excited-- she is a really cool mom, has tattoos, and her blog is always a great read:). She's one of my favorites, so check her post out here!

simply sassy

I was also a featured sponsor on Sofia's Journal. Check out her post to find out my #1 beauty product!:) I love her blog, too-- she had me at her profile pick:). Too cute:)

And, while you are here, you still have time to enter my custom art giveaway! Just a few more hours...so hurry up and enter girlies!...


Dreading It. Part1

Hello lovelies. Today is the first of two dreads posts. Basically, I wanted to answer questions and explain some things I’ve learned after wearing *synthetic* dreads for a while. Even if you can 100% say you’ll never do the dreadlocks thing, maybe you’ll get inspired to put some UMPH! back into your own style—give that color or cut you’ve always wanted a go!...Cuz hair always grows back, girls; and while you wait, you could always just install some dreads;)

blond dreads

This first segment is about deciding what you like, the installation, what to expect, and how they wear over time. My second post will be later in the week. I have also included links to a couple *FAB* dreadlock Etsy shops. Check ‘em out! A final note: These two blog posts are just my own observations—I’m pretty new to dreads myself...But, if you’re considering getting them, hopefully I can answer some of your questions.

Choices, Choices, Choices!
So you want dreadlocks!...Well, your choices are really endless as far as color and style. Typically, dread sets (counts of 80 to 100 dreads) will be offered in your choice of four colors. (You can always ask for more colors, but it will affect the price.) For my first set, I played it safe and went with two normal colors (dark and medium brown) and two brighter shades (pink and red). This time around, I wanted something really summery. A little lighter. And crazier:). I did blond, light auburn brown, royal blue, and turquoise. You can check out the typical color choices here. It’s super fun to pick out whatever color hair your heart desires, knowing you needn’t dye or damage your hair in any way to achieve it. Awesome!

For myself, length is the most fun part to decide. Full sets are often offered in 18-22” lengths. If you measure from the nape of your neck 22” down your back, that is fairly long hair. But I wanted Rapunzel hair:) So, the first time I asked for a few to be in the 20” range (face framing dreads) and the rest to measure about 26”. For my current blond/blue dreads, I added two inches. I love them. (And, yes, I sit on them all the time!:)

blond dreads

There are lots of different style dreadlocks: solids, transitionals, swirls, candy canes, braids, wrap braids, naturals, color splashed, blended, harlequin, etc. You can Google any of these for a picture of what they look like. Both my sets had candy canes, transitionals (one color blended to another), and solids. You are also given the choice between single-ended dreadlocks, or the double-ended variety. I like to order 15-20 double-ended ones for the top of my head (that = 30 to 40 dreadlock pieces once installed) and then the remainder in the single-ended style. The first photo below is of double-ended dreads. The third photo shows the installation loops of the single-ended type.

blond dreads

blond dreads

I was totally stressed about finding someone to install my first set of 80 dreads. I called around everywhere, even upscale salons that advertised everything. Well, no one was interested...And most of the girls on the phone sounded completely baffled. Really...dreadlocks? After listening to my complaining, my sister offered to give it a go. She is so good at braiding; it was worth a try. She was a pro from the start, and after a few hours my dreads were securely in my head:)...Sisters are the best! She tightened them once, after three weeks. I wore them until I hit the 6-week mark. If you know someone who can braid, offer them a free dinner and get them to do it for you! It’s so much nicer to watch a movie and have some good old girl talk then to sit in a salon anyways.

blond dreads

What to Expect:
I’ve had people stop me and ask, “Aren’t they soooo heavy?!” Well, honestly, it’s not too bad. And I have a big head and a skinny neck as it is (or so Phil tells me:), but the added weight never really bothers me at all. The *only time* I noticed it was when I pulled them back into a ponytail. And then ran 4 miles. I thought my neck was going to snap and my head roll away:). (Note: when you exercise, put them in pigtails. It distributes and balances the weight better.) Seriously, though, they are worth the small burden...It probably isn’t what you’d expect.

Can you wash your hair?...Yes!! I rinsed my hair through at least once a week.
It is totally fine to do this. The only true downfall to washing your dreads is the amount of time it takes for them to dry. My pillow is always wet the night after. Literally, it’s a 24-hour process of drying up.

Can you style them?...Absolutely—but do not use any heat on them, i.e., no curling irons, straighteners, etc. That will probably ruin them. I like to pull them back into a ponytail, pigtails, half up/half down...Try it all. I love to add flower clips and nerdy glasses-- they are so fun to accessorize:)!

blond dreads

How They Wear:
Look at the photos below to get an idea of how they look pre-installation (blond/blue), and after 6 weeks of wearing them (dark brown/pink). I order them pretty skinny (although you can go fatter/more natural) . When my first set arrived in the mail, I was surprised to hold them in my hands. It didn’t seem like there could be enough to fill my head. (Like I said, I got a dome, kid;) ... 80 dreads did the job, though. As I wore them, they became thicker. Fro-ed out a little. This made me nervous at first, but I ended up liking it. They looked much more real this way. I can’t wait till my new ones get a little poofier:). And my first set is still in nice enough shape to re-install them for another 6 weeks in the future.

blond dreads

Okay, so if you are feeling like you might wanna give this a try, check out Imp and Petal and Damnation Hair. I have bought from both Etsy shops, and the girls are fabulous! (Imp and Petal is currently taking a hiatus, as they are in the midst of adding to their family:) I have already ordered a second set from Damnation Hair...How does dark brown, red, orange, and emerald green sound?...Perfect to tuck away for Halloween:)! And that is really the fun of it all- creating a look you can otherwise only dream about. I'm hooked:).


Rain x 7

For the next seven days, rain is in the forecast. I really like a rainy day here and there, especially if we get to stay inside, snuggle, and just be bums:). But seven days of rain?! What's a girl to do? (What's a mom to do with her house-bound kiddies?!!) Got me some ideas...

toy boats

play with boats


catch some raindrops


find a reflection


rock out


feel a little gloomy

shopping in rain

go shopping

dance in rain


steam heart

make some window art

the notebook kiss


books for rainy day

read a good book

drive in rain

take a drive in a nice car...or, in our case, a beat-up truck;)

rainy heart

find new love

rainy heart

sing and/or watch Star Wars

splash in a puddle

splash in a puddle


look for a rainbow

What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

Images via Weheartit.


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