I am back after two weeks off. :)
The big reason I needed a break was because we took an eight day family vacation!
We drove fifteen hours to Orlando, Florida and stayed there for four nights.
Then we drove another seven or eight hours to Gulf Shores, Alabama to stay by the beach.
The drive home on Saturday was ten to eleven hours.
So we did a lot of driving! But it wasn't too bad.
And it was worth it!
While we were in Orlando, we went to Sea World for Evan which he loved...
and the Magic Kingdom at Disney World for Erin. I would have loved to go back to Universal Studios to see Harry Potter's Wizarding World, but two parks were really all we could handle this time.
And it was worth it. The hour and a half we waited in line to see Anna and Elsa from Frozen...
Priceless! I mean those princesses nailed the characters. It was so much fun :) And Erin was sooooo happy.
And having Mike with us ten days in a row was also priceless. ;)
Evan took this photo of us at Lulu's in Gulf Shores.
And can I just say that we brought the DSLR camera with us and didn't use it once! All iphone photos this time. In fact, I think I only took five photos at the beach and that was the night we arrived and just walked down to see the ocean. :)
But I between Mike and I, we still probably took 600 photos with our cameras! I won't bore you with all of them, but I will definitely share some here and there over the next few weeks I am sure.
Today is the first day of school for the kids, which is super exciting and sad at the same time.
I really hate that summer is over, but am looking forward to a little bit more routine I think.
We did have a great summer though which I am super happy about!
Hoping to do some blog reading today. I have been lax I know, but being out of town had a lot to do with it :)
Oh and it is super hot here right now. Heat warnings and advisories. Temps in the high 90's with the heat index 100+. It's been such a mild summer so far and now it's oppressive.
How is the weather where you are?
So one Wednesday in July, the kids and I drove downtown to see how many of the 35+ STL 250 Birthday Cakes we could see.
I had a list of where the cakes were and we made it to ten.
Ultimately not as many as I would have liked, but truthfully still pretty good considering it was a very hot and humid day.
Plus, we made plans to meet my friend Kelly and her two boys and their cousin for lunch.
So here are the cakes as we found them in order. And Evan is actually in a few of these photos!
1. The Campbell House Museum - This is a house that was built in 1851 and has some interesting history. The house is also supposed to be "haunted". Evan's class went on a tour of the house when he was in fifth grade as part of their downtown architectural walking tour. So he wanted to get a photo with this cake. We liked it's brick design!
3. The Peabody Opera House - Formerly known as Kiel Opera House, it sat around empty for years and years. Thankfully it was renovated and is open once again. The kids and I saw "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" here a few years back and really enjoyed it.
4. Soldier's Memorial - I didn't even know this one existed really. Evan was the one who actually noticed it and yelled "Mom, there's a cake!". I was actually trying to get to Christ Church Cathedral (which we never even made it to). So I stopped for him.
5. The Wainwright Building - was a must see on Evan's list! It is pretty significant as far as architecture goes here in St. Louis and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's mentor.
6. Kiener Plaza - was originally going to be part of what was known as the "Gateway Mall" similar to what you see in Washington DC. But the full plan unfortunately did not come to be. Still there is a nice stretch of green space that includes Kiener plaza and the City Garden that runs back a few blocks to the Civil Court building. And as you can see it has a great view of the Old Courthouse and Arch.
7. The Old Courthouse - Yay! I was able to get on this one. A very nice guard offered to take a photo of the three of us. :)
The next two aren't super exciting, but we passed them and decided to get photos.
8. The Drury Inn at the Arch
9. The Ballpark Hilton
10. Old Post Office - After meeting up with my friend Kelly, we were able to see one last cake that we passed as we were walking to lunch. For some reason Erin didn't want to be in the photo with all of the boys.
She wanted her own! :)
So ten cakes down in one day. Not too bad!
There were a few we were close to, but one way streets and traffic deterred us from stopping.
We've already seen the cakes at Scottrade center and Busch Stadium, too.
And I would love to go down to the Arch eventually.
Otherwise, I would say we saw enough downtown.
Also, just a reminder that the "Mixed Tape" challenge at Paper Issues
is still going on! If you have any projects featuring washi or other tapes, music of any kind, mixing up products or brands or "mixing" in the kitchen, please link up *Here* for a chance to win a great prize from Hazel & Ruby!
Ok. So from this point until school starts on the 25th, I am thinking another blog break is in order.
We have a lot going on in the next two weeks and blogging is just not going to be a priority. And probably not scrapbooking either.
So see you after school begins!
My little blog break last week was due to the fact that the kids and I decided to drive down to Joplin so we could hang out with Mike during his work week there.
Erin's birthday was on Thursday and she really wanted to be able to see him on that day! Not just talk on FaceTime.
So the kids and I piled in the car on Monday and headed down.
Mike was nice enough to bring our bikes down in his truck the day before so we could go bike riding while he was at work.
We were able to hang out at the pool there a few days as well.
And get our back to school supply shopping done.
Finally turned seven on the 31st!
One of the things she wanted to do on her birthday was go to the mall and get a new pair of shoes. "High heels". I had been dragging my feet on that one. And I was actually looking at cute little flats, when I turned around and saw her putting these on. They look a lot like tap shoes with square heels except the heel, strap and bottom are a sparkly silver which you can't really see in the photo. As I watched her walk in them, I knew she would be ok. So we got them. And of course, she had to wear them right away.
And I will also say this...she walks a heck of a lot better in heels than I do!
Later that night we went to a local favorite pizza place for dinner. I like this picture of Erin and Mike getting a selfie on her new ipod touch.
We also picked up cupcakes so we could sing "Happy Birthday" down by the pool.
She said it was one of the best birthdays ever! :)
When we arrived home on Friday, Mike and Evan headed down to the Cardinals ballgame that night, and I took Erin to Barnes and Noble. They had a "Frozen" night for kids...
and she wanted to wear her new Elsa costume, new shoes and bring her new Olaf doll.
It was super chaotic there, so we just looked at books and then went to get her birthday treat in the cafe. That was enough for us. It had been a long week!
Now we are home and getting back to routine. But we had a great time!
Ok, I am back and have so much to talk about over the next week so I will be blogging a little more. But today, I have a design team layout to share for Paper Issues.
The theme this issue is Mix Tapes which can also include a variety of ideas such as:
*Music of course (mix tapes, current favorites or playlists, favorite bands, song lyrics etc...)
*Mixing up product brands or type on a project
*Washi or other tapes
*Reminiscing about music media from the past (cassettes, records, 8 tracks)
*Mixing it up in the kitchen
and more. There are so many possibilities!
So remember back in April when I said I wanted to create a layout from *this post* about The National? Well I did it!
The journaling is a condensed version of my blog post. And since the it mainly focused on my top ten favorite songs at the time, I wanted to find a fun way to add those to my page instead of just listing them in my journaling.
Our sponsor for this issue is Hazel and Ruby and they sent us a ton of great washi tapes to work with.
I chose these two for my project,:
I was pretty excited when I saw the words "passion" and "joy" on this tape because this band inspires both for me. Although joy may be a little ironic, since their lyrics tend to be just a little melancholy at times ;)
This tape was exactly what I needed for my "list" of songs. I mounted strips of the tape on white cardstock and then hand cut each pieced that I wanted. Using a Moonlight White stamp ink pad by Brillance, I was able to stamp song titles on each "chalkboard" piece. I didn't fit all ten songs on the page, but seven were enough. :)
The photo is mounted on 3x4 paper cards from the July swag bag in the Paper Issues shop which is currently sold out. But the August ones should be available this week!
If you would like to play along, you can link up your projects *here* for a chance to win a fun grab bag from Hazel and Ruby. The deadline is Sunday, August 17th.