Monday, July 28, 2014

Paper Issues: Say Cheese!

The "Say Cheese" issue started this past Monday at Paper Issues!
I created this layout using lots of My Mind's Eye product and a few other pieces from Crate Paper and American Crafts...
Can I just start off by saying that I had the hardest time getting a photo of this page. Just could not get the lighting right. I think it's the white background.
I've been using Picasa to edit photos even though we got PSE 9 free with our last computer purchase. I've always wanted to try PSE, but have been so intimidated because it seems as if there is a lot to learn.
Thankfully one of the Paper Issues design team girls (Jen Chapin) encouraged me to give it a try and I was able to get a photo that wasn't too terrible.

For me, this page fits the Say Cheese theme because of the camera embellishment and the way Erin is smiling in these fun photos my brother took a few years back when he was in town.

Some other ideas suggested on the Paper Issues blog post are:
  • Showcase a favorite photo.
  • Use camera embellishments.
  • Think about using "Say Cheese" as a title.
  • Do you have any photos featuring cheesy smiles? Let's see 'em!
  • Add Polaroid-style frames to your project.
  • Share a project featuring Instagram, Polaroid or vintage photos.
  • Tell us about the silly things your kids (nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc.) say.
  • Use Maya Road products.
So if you would like to link up a new or old project fitting our current issue, check out this link *Here!*
The sponsor is Maya Road who is very generously providing a goodie bag of product to one lucky winner.

Now I hate to say it, but I have another little mini blog break coming up here. So I will be back next Monday with another layout that I am excited to share! :)
Have a great week!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Milwaukee and Cakes

Ok, that was a nice little unexpected week long blog break!
The kids and I went to visit my brother and his wife in Milwaukee for the weekend so Mike could get some much needed work done on our house that involved cutting a hole in Evan's wall to install duct work.
So away we went!
We left on Friday and what should have been a six hour drive took eight because of traffic. Yikes!
During the day on Saturday, we visited the Milwaukee Art Museum...

and the...
Discovery World which made Evan happy because it had an aquarium. :)

Later that evening we headed back downtown for the Festa Italia which was a lot of fun!
We were even able to stay up late for the fireworks at 10:30.
You can see my brother there putting up rabbit ears behind Erin's head. And not quite sure why she likes to pose with her teeth out like that now. (Lol) It's her Bugs Bunny look.

On Sunday we went to The Domes which were pretty cool.
That's my brother and his wife Kathi posing with the kids who were having trouble seeing because of the bright sunlight. There are three domes there and each feature a different environment. Desert, Tropical and the third is Seasonal.

They have dinosaurs on display right now in the Tropical dome which the kids loved!
We had so much fun up there in Milwaukee! And my brother and sister-in-law were super cool because we ended up staying with them an extra day to give Mike a little more time to work on his project, so we didn't get home until Monday afternoon.
Tuesday was a day of getting unpacked, doing laundry and other chores. Not very exciting. But we needed a day to just hang out at home.

Then on Wednesday we headed downtown to try and get photos of as many STL 250 birthday cakes as we could. We ended up seeing ten, but I am only sharing a few here because Evan made me promise not to share the photos with him in them. The Milwaukee photos are fine. The cake ones for some reason, not so much. I have shared a few others with him in them, but he said no this time. :)

I shared these two photos on Instagram.
Just wanted to share this one, too, from our trip Downtown today. This one is at the Central library. Gotta love a cake with books on it. :)

This one is at the Central Library. So love that it has books on it!

And this one from the Old Post Office was Erin's favorite picture that she wanted me to share.
We actually have a photo of Evan and my friend Kelly's kids and her nephew, but Erin wanted a photo on her own. My friend met us down there for lunch which was great!

Here is the cake at the Peabody Opera House. I like that one, too!
And the one at Kiener Plaza...
is cool but they have it in the middle of a flower bed so you can't really pose with it.
We also got photos of the cakes at The Campbell House, Soldiers Memorial, the Wainwright Building, the Old Courthouse, The Drury Inn at the Arch, and the Ballpark Hilton. We already have photos with The City Garden, Busch Stadium and the Scottrade Center down there.

Places we could have gone because we were close but just too tired were Christ Church Cathedral, City Hall, and Union Station. We know our limits so we will save those for another day possibly. But I thought ten was a pretty good number!

I think next we are going to try and see the cakes in Forest Park. :)

Sorry for the lack of scrapbooking in this post, but it seems like Thursdays/Friday will be my day to share more personal things. So I will be back Monday with a layout to share!
And hopefully I will get a chance to visit blogs this weekend!
Have a great weekend!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Two More Cakes!

This past week we kept busy with friends a few days.
On Tuesday we went to the Museum of Transportation with my friend Suzy and her family.
We had a lot of fun with them and their two boys are adorable :)
It's so funny comparing the difference in ages between their children and mine.
I am in just a whole different category of parenting now with a twelve (almost teen) and a six (almost seven year old), but the kids still had fun hanging out together. In fact, Evan is just fabulous with younger children. And I loved watching him interact with them. He was just so respectful and came to their level with games. Plus, he had the youngest giggling up a storm at one point. :)

Then on Wednesday we went out to Six Flags with my friend Kelly and her two boys.
So we noted that this is the cake for Six Flags. The amusement park right? So why does it look like a Zoo cake. As Evan said, it should at least have a roller coaster on it. LOL.

Not sure how many cakes that makes now, but we have a few big days where we are going to knock out a bunch at once. :)

And one last note...
don't forget! You have until this Sunday, August 20th, to link up your "Gettin' the Scoop on the Sweet Days of Summer" projects on the Paper Issues *Blog*.

Now off to enjoy the weekend!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Scrappy Monday!

Week seven of our Super Summer started yesterday!
Only five to go after this one. :(

I did get a bit of scrapbooking done this weekend.
Do you remember this sketch and layout?
Well, I liked the sketch so much, I decided to use if for another page.
It's still being worked on though.
but it's almost done and I hope to share the finished page in my next post along with a few more of those STL 250 birthday cakes. We are going to see at least two more this week!

Then my next scrapbook project is a layout using washi tape by Hazel and Ruby for an upcoming Paper Issues challenge. They gave us some great tapes to work with, but *This Tape* is definitely going to be featured on my page. Kind of excited about it because the topic of my layout is one of my favorite bands. Ok, not U2. They are "The" favorite of all time. No, it's the other one I did a blog post on not too long ago *Here*.
I am turning that post into a layout just like I said I would.

After that layout is done, I am going to go sketch crazy. I pinned a few sketches this past weekend that I really want to try. I am going to share them on the Craft Your Nest 
blog on Wednesday, so be looking for that post.

As for family time, I absolutely love weekends when Mike is home. We actually were able to go on a little date Saturday morning/afternoon while Evan and Erin were with some neighbor friends. Then we had those same friends over to hang out with us for dinner and spend the night while their parents went to a reunion. A little bit of a babysitting tradeoff. :)

Yesterday, we had our annual Father's/Mother's Day brunch with the grandparents at Rooster Cafe 
downtown. They have some pretty delicious crepes there and I had the pulled pork one with spiced apples and fontina cheese. Soooooo good!
Then we tried to get the annual family photo...
which I honestly love despite the fact that three of us are wearing sunglasses. And Evan has that pre-teen smirk that says I am too old for this (lol) But it is so us!
And we always try to get a photo of the grandparents with the kids as well.
We got a better smile from Evan on this one! :)

Anyway, enough about my weekend.
How was yours?

Friday, July 11, 2014


we can cross a few more STL 250 Birthday Cakes off our list!
On Wednesday, the kids and I went to visit a historical mansion here in St. Louis called
the Chatillon-DeMenil mansion...
Evan didn't want to be in the picture since the cake was in the middle of the plants. Erin didn't mind reaching over :)
Our main reason for visiting the mansion (besides the cake) was to go on the tour. Evan has a summer social studies project that involves researching a predominant culture in the St. Louis area. He chose the French culture. We definitely learned quite a bit about the history of French culture in St. Louis on the tour, and I found quite a bit of it fascinating. You can see the website for the mansion *Here*.
Then we headed next door to the Lemp mansion...
to get a photo with their cake and have lunch. We have been wanting to try lunch there for a while. And when I found a groupon on-line, plus saw how close the two mansions were, we decided the tour and then lunch would be perfect. The Lemp Mansion itself has quite an interesting history. Some say it's haunted, and they host comedy and mystery dinners there that are supposed to be fun.

As we headed home, I remembered that there was one more cake not to far from our location...
the Cherokee Street shopping district. Evan decided to stay in the car while Erin and I popped out real quick to get a photo.
I have to say we are having a lot of fun on our cake expeditions! :)
And Mike has actually taken pictures of three more cakes while he was out on bike rides. Even though the kids and I weren't there for those cakes, I plan on adding those photos to our STL 250 Cake scrapbook album. (yes, there is going to be an album!)
So that brings our grand total of photos with cakes to 16 so far.
Hoping to get some more soon!

In Scrapbooking, I had a small little post go up on the Craft Your Nest blog yesterday sharing some fun giveaways on the internet this week involving Chic Tags, The Twinery and Paper Issues.
I am also working on not one, but two layouts right now. I will be able to share at least one of them next week.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Paper Issues: Gettin' the Scoop on the Sweet Days of Summer!

It's time for a new issue at Paper Issues! This theme is "Gettin' the Scoop on the Sweet Days of Summer." A few of the design team members, including myself, were sent a fun package of product to use by Bella Blvd. Here is what I came up with...
I just can't help loving my favorite go to design - grids. This layout is a fun summer memory from a few years back that I have wanted to scrapbook for awhile. In fact, Erin was so little in these photos and now she is getting ready to turn seven in a few weeks! 

I love all the bright patterned papers in these collections that seem just a bit retro and reminded me of comic books and cartoons at the same time. 
Almost everything on this page is from Bella Blvd, except the gold heart at the top, the wood veneer heart on the bottom right and the label date sticker.

If you would like to join in, you can link up your new or old projects that fit the issue *Here!*
Our sponsor for this issue is the fabulous Bella Blvd., and they are sharing a Summer Squeeze collection kit for the prize. You can also like their page on Facebook *Here*. 
Looking forward to seeing the projects linked up using our sweet summer theme! :)

And speaking of summer, have I mentioned how much I am enjoying our summer? 
Ok, I know I have. Numerous times. I am actually a little sad that we are officially starting week number six, our halfway point!
This past weekend was crazy, fun!
St. Louis has a big celebration for the fourth of July every year. Usually it's down on the Arch grounds, but since they are doing construction and making improvements there, the city moved festivities to another great location. Forest Park!
We decided to go on Friday night and saw some fantastic fireworks...

Mike, the kids and I drove to a spot just outside the park, and then we biked in to avoid the hassle of parking and traffic. It was so worth it!

Then on Saturday we went to the Cardinals ballgame. Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram were able to see this photo already...

LOL, that is me and Erin up on the big Jumbotron playing the Press Your Luck game just after the third inning. I was so nervous and almost said no when the host sat behind me and asked if I would play. It was so cute when they called Erin my good luck charm. And she was. I won a gift certificate to a local outlet mall.
If you are friends with me on Facebook, I posted the video Mike made there if you want to check it out for a laugh :)

So we had a great weekend and looking forward to a fun and busy week as well!
Hope you had a great weekend, too!
If you are here in the states, how did you celebrate the holiday?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lists With Friends: The Cake List

No not that kind of cake!
These cakes
The Saint Louis 250 Birthday Cakes. We found a new one down at the City Garden last week with cousins. :)
Today for my list I compiled a plan for the cakes we want to try and visit still. I know we won't make all 250, but we definitely want to get photos with more than eight!

I researched the locations from a handy website that lists where each cake is at which you can find here Cake Locations  and put them into categories.

1. Downtown:
The Arch
America's Center
Old Cathedral
Busch Stadium
Campbell House
Christ Church Cathedral
City Museum
Drury Plaza at the Arch
Eads Bridge
Edward Jones Dome
Emmis Communication
Eugene Field Museum
Heritage House
Jefferson Bank and Trust
Kiener Plaza
Laclede's Landing
Lammert Building
Old Courthouse
Old Post Office
Peabody Opera House
Scott Joplin House
City Hall
St. Louis Post Dispatch
St. Louis Central Library
The Wainright Building
Union Station

That is a lot of cakes we could knock out in one day just by going downtown. And that doesn't include the City Garden and Scottrade cakes we have already visited!

2. Close to Downtown
Ameren UE 
Harris Stowe State College
Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion (where Evan could learn more about STL's french heritage for his social studies summer project)
Lemp Mansion 
Cherokee Street

3. Soulard and Benton Park
Trinity Lutheran Church
Sweet Divine
Luvy Duvy's

4. Quick Drives
Bevo Mill
Carondolet Historical Society
Carondolet Park
Water Tower on Grand
Feasting Fox
Jay International Grocery Store
Imo's Pizza
Shakespeare Festival
Fox Theater
Powell Hall
The Sheldon
Cheshire Inn
Shaw Park

5. The Loop and Central West End
Blueberry Hill 
Moonrise Hotel
Ruth Porter Park
St. Louis Walk of Fame
The Tivoli
U City Lions Gates
Vintage Vinyl
New Cathedral
Central Institute for the Deaf
Gaslight Square and Theater
Regional Arts Commision
Children's Hospital

6. Forest Park
The Planetarium and Science Center
The Jewel Box
Forest Park Visitor Centere
The Grand Basin
Art Museum
Steinberg Skating Rink
The Muny
Turtle Park (across the highway)

7. Fun With Friends That Doesn't Fit Other Categories
Endangered Wolf Center
Shaw Nature Reserve
Purina Farms
The Butterfly House
Crown Candy Kitchen
Grant's Farm
Laumeier Sculpture Park
Museum of Transportation
The Magic House
World Bird Sanctuary
Kirkwood Train Station
Frank Lloyd Wright House
Six Flags

Cakes We Have Seen
Pre-Summer - Tower Grove Park, Operation Brightside, The Hill, Rigazzi's Restaurant
Summer - City Garden, Lafayette Park, Botanical Gardens, The St. Louis Zoo, Scottrade Center, and Cardinal Glennon Hospital.

So we have a long way to go obviously and are still missing quite a few from the list. And I know that we will probably not make it to every cake on our personal list. But I think having it broken down into locations like this will help us see as many as possible!
St. Louis Cakes here we come!! :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Birthday Weekend

*I had a blog post for Thursday go up on accident last night. I switched it back to a scheduled post, so Julie your comment should still be saved. :) *

I have to say that even though my birthday was just on Sunday, it was a great weekend overall!
Starting with Mike and the kids doing the grocery shopping on Saturday.
It's a chore that I regularly do each week, but Evan suggested they all take a turn for my birthday. :)
It really was a great idea!
As for material gifts, Erin picked out a necklace for me, Evan gave me a pretty shirt (that Mike picked out although Evan knew he wanted to give me a shirt) which I am not wearing, and Mike gave me the new sunglasses I am wearing.
Mike cooked dinner and baked me a chocolate cake before heading out of town. I pretty much relaxed all day and even worked on a scrapbook assignment.
My kind of weekend! :)

I know I mentioned in my last post that the 2p's in a Bucket scrapbook site is closing.
I have yet to really check in at Cocoa Daisy where I had signed up with the message boards to follow along with Stashbusters.
But I did sign up for Elise's board she put together The Feed Your Craft boards.
There are quite a few peas from the bucket there.
Also I saw this on Facebook yesterday
I was able to switch my entire Two Peas in a Bucket gallery over to my gallery pretty quickly. Kudos to for being pretty smart and proactive. It was a nice, easy solution for me. And even though I had a gallery there, I used the 2p's one a lot more. I don't know about the boards there yet, but at least I have a place to continue posting my layouts for awhile.
Here is the link if you are interested:

Otherwise, it is business as usual here. Enjoying summer and having a hard time believing it is July 1st and we are in our 5th week of summer vacation already! :-O
I will be back on Thursday or Friday with a fun list for Lists with Friends. :)
See you then!