These two. My heart couldn’t be fuller. I especially enjoy the sweet moments they share like when Dylan wants to snuggle with his sister before bed. I know these moments won’t be forever so I’m trying to enjoy them and capture them as I can.

Bedtime Snuggles: February 2015

Supplies: Evening Grace kit by Gina Cabrera
Bedtime Snuggles 12x12 template
This month’s free digital scrapbooking template contains 9 layers including the photo frame and is free for personal use only.

Click here to download the Bedtime Snuggles template

Enjoy!

Have you missed one of my previous digital freebies? Click HERE to find them. And, don’t forget to subscribe to my feeds so you won’t miss future freebies!

Yesterday we had a quick day trip to Charlotte. Before leaving, we stopped to grab a couple cups of coffee from Starbucks for the drive. The fountain outside was the inspiration I needed for this week’s theme of water.

Project 52 Photos: Week 16 Water

Nothing fancy. Just a reminder of our day and adventure.

Join in the fun at any time. Next week’s challenge is framed. Find the full list on Sarah Halstead’s blog here. Thanks to Sarah, Amy, and Angie for hosting each week.

Project 52 Photos

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SensitiveSmiles #CollectiveBias

Our weather has been a bit of a roller coaster lately – cool one day and hot the next. Late last week we suddenly hit upper 70s/low 80s and were digging out our shorts to wear. I’m guilty of indulging in ice cream quite frequently on days like this. A nice, cool treat.

Chocolate "Fake" Shake Milkshake

Last year I was pregnant the entire summer and really couldn’t fight off the craving for chocolate ice cream. But I didn’t want all the calories and I still don’t. Thankfully, I found a way around them by making what I call the ‘fake’ shake.

While I cut the calories, I still had one problem – sensitivity to cold foods & beverages. In recent months I’ve noticed that anything too cold will give a couple of my teeth pain which makes it difficult for me to enjoy several of my favorite treats including shakes.

Colgate Sensitive Toothbrush and Sensitivity Pen

In search of long-lasting relief for my sensitive teeth, I purchased a Colgate Sensitive Toothbrush and Sensitivity Pen. I found it at Kroger in the toothpaste aisle near the pharmacy. (Tip: check Kroger’s website before you shop as many Kroger and Kroger banner stores have a digital coupon right now for Colgate Sensitive Toothbrush and Sensitivity Pen.)

Colgate Sensitive Toothbrush and Sensitivity Pen at Kroger

I started using it and noticed an improvement in my teeth sensitivity in about 3 days. The Actis Enamel Pen blocks sensitivity at the source of pain. Simply: Brush, Apply, Go. And, since the pen stores inside the included toothbrush, there is no losing it or forgetting to use it. It’s there and ready every time I brush my teeth.

Colgate Sensitive Toothbrush and Sensitivity Pen

With my tooth sensitivity finally under control, I was excited to whip up a quick chocolate ‘fake’ shake to enjoy without the fear of pain.

Chocolate Fake Shake

Ingredients

1 cup of crushed Ice
1/3 Banana
1-1/2 tbsp unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup of Milk

Add crushed ice, banana, cocoa powder, and vanilla to blender. Pour milk over. Blend until smooth. Pour into cup and enjoy!

Do you battle with sensitive teeth too? What’s your favorite warm weather treat?

This week’s Project 52 challenge was Far Away. I originally planned to take a photo of one of the many planes that passes over our house almost daily, but then our week’s plans suddenly changed and Elise & I ventured on our first “mommy daughter road trip” which meant we went far away from the boys for a couple of days.

Mommy Daughter Road Trip

During our visit to see my sister and family in Virginia, Elise had fun playing with new toys and learned a new trick – how to scoot backward!

Project 52 Photos: Week 15 Far Away

She was right with those blocks but ended up

(ready for it?)

far away. 😉

Join in the fun at any time. Next week’s challenge is water. Find the full list on Sarah Halstead’s blog here. Thanks to Sarah, Amy, and Angie for hosting each week.

Project 52 Photos

Hallmark is probably best known for its greeting cards, but it also has a fun selection of special gifts you won’t find anywhere else. One of the newest items is Request a Song Mimi and Hallmark kindly sent us one to enjoy and review.

Hallmark Request A Song Mimi

Mimi is an interactive plush toy. She’s soft and cuddly, but also has a firm base to sit on while she is singing with you or patiently waiting for you to come sing. To activate her, be sure the switch on her base is flipped to the ‘on’ position.

Hallmark Request A Song Mimi: Paw Music Note

Next push the music note on her bottom left paw to activate her. Mimi will greet you and ask what song you would like to sing. She comes with a booklet that includes her playlist and lyrics to all 7 songs along with directions on how to operate her.

Hallmark Request A Song Mimi: Playlist

Now this is the cool part – Mimi is a voice recognition toy so you (or your child) tells her what song you would like her to sing or say “Mimi’s choice” to let her choose. Sometimes it does take my 5 year old a couple of repeats for Mimi to understand his request, but she typically gets it very quickly and almost always on the first try when I say it.

We’ve been having a great time singing along with her and even showing her off to family during a recent visit. The voice recognition is really fun.

Watch this short video Dylan helped me put together to show you Mimi in action:

To find out more about Request a Song Mimi, visit Hallmark’s website here or stop by your local Gold Crown Store to see Mimi in person. She would make a great gift for any age.

Disclosure: I received Request a Song Mimi Stuffed Animal free from Hallmark for review. The opinions expressed are are strictly my own.

When redecorating the area around our foyer console table, I envisioned a grouping of 3 decorative pieces on the wall above it – the large family photo (which we need to update to include Elise!), a circular mirror, and a ‘C’ for our last name.

DIY Established Wood Sign Tutorial - How I created a custom decor wood sign for free.

I found the ‘C’ first while looking around the home decor aisles at Michaels and between the sale price + coupon, it was under $5. The mirror took a bit more searching, but finally I found one that I liked online at Target. Better yet, I used the store locator so I could go see it in person to be sure. Not only did I like it, but it was on clearance for 50% off making it only $6! After hanging both pieces, I realized the space still felt empty. It needed one more … well, one more something.

Foyer Grouping Before

I was determined to create something and to do it without spending any money. I started by searching through our scraps of wood in the garage. I found 2 that looked like they would be the perfect size when paired together.

DIY Established Sign: Wood Pieces

I used a simple hand saw and miter box to trim the larger piece so it matched the width of the smaller one. Then sanded the edges and faces of both pieces. I pulled out some leftover stain from our half bath makeover. I gently wiped a couple coats of stain on each piece using a rag. Since the scraps were different woods, they each absorbed the stain slightly differently. I worked to give them a similar color, but wasn’t too concerned if they were a little off.

DIY Established Sign: Staining

Once the stain had dried, I measured both pieces to choose sizing for the text. I decided to use the taller piece for “est” and the other for the year. I played around in Photoshop to get the look I wanted for both fonts (you could also do this in Word or another text program). Then printed them out to scale on 8.5×11 paper.

DIY Established Sign: Lettering

I went “old school” at this point and literally ran a pencil on the back of the paper to get the graphite onto the sheet. Held the paper and one of the wood pieces up to a light so I could eyeball location and then traced the lettering onto the wood. Repeating for the other piece.

DIY Established Sign: Letter Transfer

Next I carefully handpainted the letters and numbers using a small paintbrush and white acrylic paint.

DIY Established Sign: Painting

After the paint had fully dried, I took the two wood pieces outside where Dylan helped me lightly sand them. My goal was to knock off a little of the acrylic paint and give them a more “aged” feel.

DIY Established Sign: sanding

I wanted to attach the two pieces of wood, but leave a small gap between them. The easiest way to achieve this was to cut a spare paint stir stick we had in our garage down to size. I used our miter box again and the hand saw to cut the pieces. I lightly sanded the rough edges where the cuts were, but didn’t worry too much since these won’t be seen.

DIY Established Sign: Cut Paint Stick

Finally I added a little wood glue to the stir stick pieces and tacked in place with my staple gun starting with the top piece.

DIY Established Sign: Staple

I repeated this for the bottom piece. My next plan was to add a hanger, but I realized that we were out so I dug around in our toolbox again and found picture hanging wire. I cut a piece and used the staple gun to attach it to the stir sticks on the back.

DIY Established Sign

With the project complete, I brought the small wood sign inside and hung it with the other decor over our foyer console table.

DIY Established Sign

It’s a fun, unique piece that fills the space perfectly. Have you ever created your own wood sign? This was so easy, I confess, I’m tempted to make a few more in different sizes & styles.

Linked up to Dream Create Inspire Party and Do Tell Tuesday.

***

Did you notice the “+ Giveaway” in the post title? Let’s talk knobs for a moment. Last week I shared the foyer console table makeover which included these beautiful new decorative knobs from Trinca-Ferro:

Foyer Console Table Makeover: Glass Knobs

Trinca-Ferro has kindly offered to give 6 decorative knobs to one of my readers. The giveaway is open to US residents only and the winner will be able to choose 6 knobs from the vast selection on Trinca-Ferro’s website. It could be 6 of the same or a mix of different styles. Entirely up to the winner. Giveaway ends April 19, 2015. Winner will be notified via email and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Knobs will be shipped directly from Trinca-Ferro.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This week’s Project 52 challenge was Hidden. Naturally, my first thought was to get photos of Dylan hunting eggs in our yard on Easter morning. I got several – just not necessarily good ones because he was moving faster than I could snap! Next year will be even crazier trying to keep up with 2 kids running around the yard. But for now, it was all him again and I had a good time laughing as the last 3 hidden “eggs” he found were the 3 Minion ones!

Project 52 Photos: Week 14 Hidden

All 3 were on his playset and hiding in plain view! One was directly in front of where he’s standing on the ladder there (he was in the process of retrieving it). Then there was one on the opposite side by the baby swing. And finally the Minion that is quite obvious in the photo above. I kept hinting to him as he searched out the actual eggs, “do you ever feel like you are being watched?” Eventually he realized I was telling him something and spotted the little guys watching us from their “hiding” spots.

Join in the fun at any time. Next week’s challenge is Far Away. Find the full list on Sarah Halstead’s blog here. Thanks to Sarah, Amy, and Angie for hosting each week.

Project 52 Photos

Once upon a time in our first home, we had a piece of furniture we used as a buffet in the dining area. When we moved, we realized it wouldn’t fit in either the new kitchen or dining room, but it did fit perfectly in the foyer. Thus, while it still stores our extra placemats and tea cups & saucers among other things, it’s now our foyer console table instead.

Easy Foyer Console Table Makeover

It makes a great catch all as we enter or leave each day as it tends to collect a lot of clutter. I was over seeing this every day when I walked past:

Foyer Console Table Makeover: Before

I knew I wanted a change here. Tidying up for sure. But also something more. When I was offered the opportunity to review knobs from Trinca-Ferro, I knew it was exactly what the console table needed to give it an updated look and also the push I needed to get started on transforming this space.

I began by searching Trinca-Ferro’s website for “the style” of knob I thought might work best. I found several options quickly that I liked and was pleased to see Trinca-Ferro offers an easy compare option so I could see the knobs side by side.

Foyer Console Table Makeover: Trinca-Ferro Knobs Comparison

I ended up selecting the Glass Mirror Melon Knob. Once I made my decision, it was sit back and wait for the shipment to arrive. I thought coming from India I should expect a week or two. Imagine my surprise when the box showed up just days later!

Foyer Console Table Makeover: Glass Knobs

The knobs inside were stunning. I couldn’t wait to put them on the buffet and literally had it done within seconds of opening the box. All I had to do was unscrew the existing knobs and screw on the new glass knobs from Trinca-Ferro.

Foyer Console Table Makeover: Installation of Glass Knobs

That simple change alone made a huge impact on the look of the console table. Finally something worthy of being in our entry:

Foyer Console Table Makeover: After

Of course, it also finally gave me the push to tidy up and redecorate the space. I “shopped” our home for pieces that would work on the table top. Then did a little retail shopping plus a small DIY project to complete the wall decor.

Foyer Wall Decor Collage

If you are looking to refresh or update a piece of furniture or cabinetry in your home, take a look at the full line of knobs offered by Trinca-Ferro. They have a large selection including ceramic and metal options. You could order all the same style like I did or have fun and order a mixture to give your piece a totally different feel and vibe.

Disclosure: I received 6 free knobs of my choosing from Trinca-Ferro for review. The opinions expressed are are strictly my own.

Our Easter Sunday started off with excitement by a certain 5 year old boy. He couldn’t wait to see if the bunny left eggs behind. Thankfully I was able to convince him to check out the baskets and have breakfast first. The overnight temperature dropped into the 30s and it was a very cold morning to hunt eggs!

Easter 2015 Baskets

I was thrilled when he told me before he started his hunt, he wanted to dig up the egg we had buried the night before. We had been attempting (I say attempting as a few days it just didn’t happen) to try the 12 Days of Jesus Easter Countdown found here. On Saturday night we read about how Jesus was nailed to the cross, died for our sins, and buried. After discussing how Jesus and his friends & followers may have felt, I told Dylan to write one word on the slip of paper we were to place in the egg.

Easter 2015: Sad

Then we headed to the front yard to bury it in the mulch in one of the flower beds. We located it quickly on Sunday morning. And inside it was empty!

Easter 2015 Empty Egg: He is Risen!

We stood there for a moment looking at the empty egg and talking about how it was like the tomb where Jesus was buried. Empty again as He had risen! I was so impressed that all of this had sunk in enough that Dylan wanted to find this egg before starting his egg hunt. That he wanted to take the time to listen and soak up the word. What a blessing!

Of course, he had his traditional egg hunt afterward and discovered 24 candy filled eggs in our backyard. He was so fast, I barely got any photos! Next year the Bunny may have to work a little harder on the “hiding” part. 😉

Easter 2015: Egg Hunt

After returning inside to warm up and clean up, the 4 of us headed to church for the morning service. I was hoping to get a family photo before we left the church, but between Easter celebrations and communion, the service ran over plus we had hungry & tired little ones. We opted to head straight for home. Once everyone had a chance to rest up on the drive and get some food, we were all smiles, but had to take turns with the kids for a photo. (Note to self: time to invest in a tripod!)

Easter Sunday 2015

Supplies: This is Now papers by Sarah Sullivan; It’s in the Air kit by Kate Teague; In Stitches – Bright Basics elements by Robyn Meierotto; April Morning kit by Miss Mint; Evening Grace embellishments by Gina Cabrera.

We were blessed to spend our afternoon and dinner with good friends. This also included another egg hunt which had Dylan thrilled. And Elise had time with her best little friend who nearly taught her to sit up! Of course, I missed getting a photo, but she did manage to briefly hold herself upright in a seated position a couple of times while watching her friend.

Easter 2015: Dinner

We were grateful for a beautiful day with family, friends and in celebration of God’s amazing gift to us. How did you spend your Easter?

Linking up with Mommy & Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?

I took this photo of Dylan playing a game on my iPad last night. It still amazes me how fast technology is changing in general and within our own lives. This photo wouldn’t have been possible a year ago as we didn’t even own a tablet at the time. Now it’s something that we all use daily (well, all except Elise, of course). Besides games, he also uses it to do his reading homework and we have an app to check on his behavior at school – both new things in the last couple of months.

Project 52 Photos: Week 13 Technology

Join in the fun at any time. Next week’s challenge is Hidden. Find the full list on Sarah Halstead’s blog here. Thanks to Sarah, Amy, and Angie for hosting each week.

Project 52 Photos