Sunday, February 26, 2012

Simple Things 8

I am still trying to narrow down my one Simple Thing for this week to one photo + story. So for now, I'm going to record both.

On Thursday, I had the day off with the boys and we had a morning playdate with one of their school friends to ride bikes at the beach. Incredibly, it was about 60 degrees in February in Connecticut. The boys were delighted to race around on their bikes again, and I enjoyed catching up with a mom friend.
Simple 8a
On the way home, we got sandwiches from our favorite deli to eat at home. They had some ninja play, then we were off to another playdate at a playground with another school friend. Tired out, we stopped for smoothies, then watched the latest episode of Ninjago the three of us together on my bed. All in all, a pretty perfect day with my little guys.

On Saturday, while my little ninjas/jedis/knights were busy playing downstairs with Daddy, I got to enjoy some creative time upstairs in my craft room (aka my bedroom). Just nice to spend some quiet, crafty time alone.
Simple 8b

Participating in "The Simple Things" photographs on Rebecca Cooper's blog, Simple as That. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Simple Things 7 | A Simple Saturday

We wanted to take advantage of the mild February day with a walk at the beach for the four of us. Our dog must have thought it was a good day for the beach too, since she insisted on getting into the car, much to the boys' delight.
Indy Pup is 10 years old and has diabetes, and in the past, has not always been the most obedient walker. But Saturday she was well-behaved and seemed to take delight in all there was to explore at the beach. So much so that we took her back on Sunday. You could tell she was happy, and as Joey said, she had "her smiley face on."
It was a good trip for all of us with simple things to enjoy -- climbing the rocks, throwing stones into the water, and drawing in the sand. 
Simple Things 7c
Such a simple way to enjoy a Saturday for everyone, even Indy Pup.

Participating in "The Simple Things" photographs on Rebecca Cooper's blog, Simple as That. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

February Take 12

I did it! I finished my second "Take Twelve" layout and did it in less than a week after taking the photos, just in time for Ella Publishing Co.'s deadline for sharing.

February 12, 2012
Papers, tab label and heart are all from "A New Day" by Sweet Shoppe Designs,
offered as a free download from the Ella Publishing Co. blog two years ago.
It was helpful to work on this with a deadline. I may not be 100% sure about this layout, but it's done now, and it makes me happy to see a second set of 12 photos capturing our life in 2012.

(Hmm, just noticed that download was offered on February 17, 2010 -- exactly two years ago. Thank you Ella for the inspiration to "take twelve" and the previous download to make the layout easier!)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love Notes

In this past week leading up to Valentine's Day, our family has been writing little "I love..." notes. Inspired by this Family Gratitude Project from Becky Higgins, we have been working on our own Family LOVE project.

Each evening when the boys are ready for bed, we have taken turns writing in something that we love. In addition to the LOVE in the middle, the lower left corner has our names and the year. I printed it at home and trimmed it to 8.5x11. I really should have used a larger piece of cardstock, but I did not expect that my little 4-year-old was going to want to write ALL his own notes, even the very long "I love blueberry pancakes."

Some things I loved about this project:
  • My 4-year-old's determination to write his own notes and his pride in knowing how to spell "love."
  • My 6-year-old's look of happiness when I read the notes to him last night. I think it made him feel special to hear the little things my husband and I had written down.
  • That we found a way to add little extra sweetness to a holiday that has little in the way of traditions other than cards and candy.
I can't wait to finish it and hang it, and I definitely plan to do it again next year, though on a bigger piece of paper!

Wishing you a sweet Valentine's Day!

Simple Things :: 6

A coffee at work is always a welcome simple pleasure during the day, but recently I have been enjoying the simple addition of cinnamon to my latte. Somehow a few sprinkles of that spice makes me stop and savor my latte all the more.

Simple Things 6

 Participating in "The Simple Things" weekly photography series on Rebecca Cooper's blog, Simple as That.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Take 12 - Better Late Than Never!

I took 12 photos on January 12, and now I have finally made my layout with the photos! Good thing, since February 12 is right around the corner, and the Ella Publishing Co.'s "2012 Take 12 Project" is one of the projects I have decided I want to stick with this year.


I started out with Cathy Zielske's "InstaLove" free template, which had six square photo spaces, and I doubled the spaces. I like how this "take 12" photo challenge helped me to capture a snapshot of an ordinary day, and doing this challenge 11 more times will add some great layers to my collection of pages this year.

For the February "take 12," I'm planning to focus on 12 Valentine-y things around our house. I'm also going to take one photo of the four of us together every month. I did our family photo every month in 2011, but this year I'd like to get more creative with our group shots -- maybe our shadows or our feet -- just generally more thought-out poses than the many squish-our-heads-together-and-hold-out-the-camera shots we took.

I'm so happy to have my January page completed, and am looking forward to joining Ella for the 2012 Take 12 Project! 

You can learn more about Take 12 here:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Party: Tradition & Creativity

In my family, the Super Bowl is considered a holiday. Not on the par of Christmas or Easter, but certainly up there with New Year's or Fourth of July. Since 1969, my father's family has been gathering on Super Bowl Sunday for a party. It started as a small gathering of aunts, uncles and cousins, and over the years it grew to include grandchildren and great grandchildren, second and third cousins, in-laws and friends. For my brother and I, we have never known a Super Bowl game without a family Super Bowl party.

Now for 2012, my brother and cousins and I have picked up the baton to carry on the tradition. We're officially the third generation to host the party, since our parents had taken over hosting responsibilities from their parents several years ago, so we're calling it "Super Bowl Gen 3.0." In this age of social media and mobile connectivity, we're using a Shutterfly Share site for RSVPs and food sign-ups, and I have been busy roaming Pinterest for ideas. Here are a couple of things we'll be enjoying at our party.

A little banner to greet guests at the door:
Super Bowl - welcome
Thanks to Living Locurto for the free printables. I did a little cut-and-paste to include "2012" and our "3.0" for the middle one.

Garland decorations using the printables again:

Super Bowl Snacks:
These things were all over Pinterest for Christmas as Reindeer Noses or Rudolph Noses (and I see them popping up again for Valentine's Day and Easter), and they were a big hit with my family. So I thought why not change up the colors and re-invent them as a Super Bowl snack? I'm calling them "Coughlin's Crunchies" in honor of the Giants' head coach, who was also the coach for Boston College while my husband and I were students there.

Super Bowl Bingo Cards -- a free printable from Studio DIY:
(Photo from Studio DIY)

Here's to a happy Super Bowl day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Simple Things :: 5

While I was taking my oldest to school on Tuesday morning, he noticed the clouds were in an unusual striped pattern. I love when my boys happen to observe something different or interesting in their everyday surroundings -- that they too sometimes take a moment to recognize the "simple things."
Simple Things 5

I snapped this photo a little later on my way into my office. While I enjoyed noticing these unusual clouds too, for me, the photo captures the sweet recollection of Robby being the one who pointed them out to me.

Participating in "The Simple Things" photographs on Rebecca Cooper's blog, Simple as That.