Tuesday, April 29, 2014

{mother's day printable}

How about a free printable doodle for Mother's Day?

Click on the image below, print, fill out the date, and give it to mom. Easy peasy! 

Or print it on a piece of folded cardstock and give it to mom as a card!


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

{easter weekend}

How was your Easter weekend?

Ours was very full of family time, hearty food, a bit of relaxation and, of course, lots of jelly beans and plastic eggs.

I had Good Friday off of work which was a welcome break, and my sister's birthday was Saturday, so on Friday Mom and I took her out for a girls' day to celebrate. My sister and I went through a rocky phase for quite a few years, and this day together was so good for both of our hearts. Very thankful for this mended relationship.
We had lunch and decadent desserts at a local French restaurant, did some shopping at the adorable boutique next door, and took the boys to paint pottery.
Saturday was a perfect spring day with a cool breeze and the warm sun shining. I took full advantage of it with a walk around our neighborhood in the morning.
The city made these marks all over our street, and I don't know what they are really for, but it was a good validation as I was huffing and puffing up that last hill. :)

Ben and I took another tour around later on his bike...
I don't know if there is anything cuter than this view.

Easter was spent with both sides of our family. That morning Dan worked his culinary magic on a really yummy brunch we shared with my parents, including lemon scones, which Landon helped him make...
Watching the boys help Dan cook is one of my favorite things. They are going to make good husbands one day! 

While brunch was cooking I snuck in a bit of doodling {words from one of my favorite hymns}...
And the boys enjoyed tearing into their Easter baskets...
Later that afternoon we headed to my mother-in-law's house for more celebrating. The weather was perfect for egg hunting, and she has the best tree roots in her yard for hiding them.

It was a full weekend that left us tired, but with happy hearts.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

{anatomy of a doodle}

Happy Monday friends!

I've had questions here and there about my doodling process so I thought it would be fun today to give you a peek into how things go from start to finish.

For the piece I'm sharing with you today, I actually began by researching quotes online. The friend who ordered this gave me a lot of freedom with the design, but wanted it to follow the theme of "green and growing," so I spent one evening looking for quotes following that idea.

I found this quote and altered it a bit for my doodle...

It depends on the type of doodle I'm working on, but if it is a more involved piece I typically start with a pencil sketch. Here is phase one of this piece with my pencil sketch...
And a random football....can't avoid floor photos with toys mixed in at our house. :)

Then I grab my pen and "ink" it in as I've heard other artists call it. I usually don't stray from my original sketch very much during this step, unless it is accidental. In that case I just "make it work"...as Tim Gunn would say.
I am playing around with a new lettering technique on this one and really like it...kind of a cursive bubble font if you will. After I'm done with the ink, and it is dry, I erase all of the pencil.

And then for the fun part...color! On this doodle I'm using my Spectrum Noir markers which are very similar to Copics if you are a marker aficionado. They are alcohol based, and work great for blending/ombre effects.

Here it is almost completely filled in with color...
These greens and blues just make me giddy...they will forever be my favorites.

You'll notice that the background and tree aren't colored in yet. I don't have markers in quite the right shades that I want. And to be honest, I'm scared to start coloring them in for fear that I'll ruin it!

So, my next step will be to scan the doodle, and use Photoshop to digitally color in the rest. I love using Photoshop for this because if I make a mistake it is super simple to remove the color and start over!

Sorry to leave you hanging, but I'm not quite to the finished product with this one. I'll be sure to share when it is done though!

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Thursday, April 17, 2014


Happy Thursday friends!

I thought it would be fun today to share some of my current favorite things. 

1. If you know me very well, you'll know that when I find new music, I tend to obsessively listen to it. Right now that music would be anything by Greg Laswell. This song of his, featuring another one of my favorites, Sara Bareilles, is on repeat these days...

2. This post.

SO much good stuff...especially if you are feeling pulled toward a new adventure. 

3. Lisa Leonard's new monogram line...
I love the fonts and organic shapes.

4. Landon's recent creation...
He took a scrap piece of felt and some Instax photos and put together this little album all by himself. You can say my crafty little heart melted all over the place.

5. This adorable sign I ordered for the boys' room from Prim & Proper on Etsy...
Their space is almost done and I can't wait to share it with you. It might also include a freaking awesome light up globe my mom thrifted for them...I think it is their favorite thing ever. :)

6. And because Easter is this weekend...

Love that Jim Gaffigan.

What are you loving today?

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

{new shop!}

I'm excited to announce that I've opened up a shop on Society6!
Ummm...a coffee mug with my coffee doodle? I'm in heaven!

And there are phone covers, tote bags, pillow covers, note cards and other fun items!

View the entire store here

{click on the store links on the left for items other than prints}

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Monday, April 14, 2014

{ode to a friend}

I was lucky enough to spend some time with one of my dearest friends today. She lives in Tennessee so we don't see each other very often. She is a friend like I've never know before. All I have to do is be me, and that's enough. Some days just thinking about the level of friendship we share brings tears to my eyes...it is truly one of the best gifts in the world. 
This is a piece I wrote about her during the writing class she taught last spring...

I Drink Them Down

"That's my girl," she said. I don't know if it is the southern accent or the motherly inflection that do it for me. I hold them in my mouth for awhile, my tongue absorbing their sweetness before I drink them down. They sustain me, those three words. They call up each of my insecurities, my fears, my scars, and give them a tight squeeze around the neck, then politely tell them where to go. 

Wishing this kind of friendship today for you my friends.

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{first s'mores of the year}

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

The weather here has finally gotten warmer and we've cooked out on the grill two nights in a row. I didn't realized how much I missed grill food but boy did those hamburgers and fajitas hit the spot. Yesterday I told the boys we were going to make s'mores after dinner. Ben had his usual mixed reaction...he wants to eat them but doesn't want to get messy.

Boys are supposed to enjoy getting messy, right?

Last year when we made s'mores, Ben would hardly eat one because he didn't want to get sticky marshmallow and melted chocolate on his hands. I was determined this year that I would find a way for him to enjoy the experience and not worry about the mess. 

So I ran to Walmart and picked up a canister of Wet-Nap wipes, and took them outside with us when we made the s'mores. That way, he could wipe his fingers whenever he wanted and enjoy his treat! 
I grabbed a few non-traditional s'more ingredients, including shortbread cookies and Reece's cups. Yum!
The boys opted for the tried-and-true Hershey bar on theirs, although they both tried one with the cookies first instead of graham crackers. 

Despite my reassurance, Ben still looked like he had eaten some kind of bug when he got his first bite of marshmallow on his lips...such a funny boy.
But once I reminded him we can clean it up later, he relaxed and just enjoyed the yummy, melty goodness.
Landon, on the other hand, had no issue with getting his hands...and face...a little messy. 
And then cleaning up was super easy! 
I may sound crazy, but I'll always make sure we have wipes close-by whenever we make s'mores from now on. 

Oh! And let's not forget a s'more for Mom too! 
The Reece's cup in there was AMAZING. 

Are your kids crazy like my Ben about not wanting to get messy? What are your tricks for helping them to embrace the mess?

If you want to head to Walmart and pick up some Wet-Nap wipes {how cute is their new packaging?!}, here is a 55 cent coupon off of any Wet-Nap product while supplies last!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

{tiny victories}

The week before last, I volunteered to help out in the boys' art class. 

I was SO excited...visiting the boys at school + art? Sign me up! 

It was the last day of school before spring break {cue the crazy}, and the teacher gave them oil pastels. 

So basically by the time art class was over, the tables and floor were covered with rainbow scuff marks and I was a bit shell-shocked.

But what really caught me off guard was when the kids lined up to go back to class, I looked over to wave bye to Ben and he had huge tears welled up in my sweet blue eyes. His cheeks were bright red. He didn't want me to leave.

Oh how I remember that feeling. 

On more than one occasion my parents had to leave me at school in the same condition. Now this wasn't anything compared to our first day of school melt-down, but he was visibly shaken. I offered to walk with him back to class and sat by him for a minute at his desk, but the tears were still coming.

Realizing I had left my purse in the art room, I told him I was going to get it and come back. In my head though, I was thinking I would probably peek back into the room and make sure he was OK, and quietly leave. {Yes...technically I lied to him, but parents have to do that from time to time which sucks but it is for their own good...blah blah blah.

After I came back from getting my bag, they were all in the hallway lined up at the water fountain. He was still upset, but better, so after he walked around the corner I quickly made my way for the door. 

Oh how it hurt my heart...I just wanted to stay with him.

But I want him to be brave and know he can get through situations like that. And I was proud that he made it through the day after I left.

Today I went back to help in their art class again. At first, when I asked the boys about coming, Ben quickly said he didn't want me to come. He didn't want to get upset again. So I tried to think of a way to make it fun and not give him the time to get upset. I asked him if it would help if I left before the class was over, and he agreed. So while they were busy cleaning up their tables and putting their glue bottles away, I gave them both quick kisses {so glad they still let me do that in public} and snuck out the door.

And all was well. 
Those tiny parenting victories feel HUGE. 

And balance out the fact that I might let them get Burger King for dinner tonight. 

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

{playing dress up}

Ahhh spring is here! I never thought it would arrive. 

I don't know what part of the country you live in, but here in Indiana it was the winter that would never end. 

I was doing some major wishful thinking back in February, and bought a few springy tops at Kohl's. I still have to wear them with a cardigan, but just being able to go without a coat and wear flats instead of boots is heavenly!

I love this first top...the color is so fresh and the geometric cut-outs are really unique...
The watercolor painting effect on this top, plus the hi/low hemline drew me in...
I'm wearing the same pair of dark grey cords from TJ Maxx with both outfits...they are my absolute favorite pants and go with everything. If you have any questions about my other pieces just ask in the comments! I'm feeling too lazy today to source everything. ;)

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Monday, April 07, 2014

{hello monday}

Well, hello there Monday.

Today was the boys' first day back to school after spring break and I was surprised at how easy it was to get them going. Surprised and super thankful...we are NOT morning people at our house. 

I'd like to think their "new" room had something to do with it...

My parents and mother-in-law came over yesterday and helped us paint their room, and I'm so in love with the color. It is a light turquoise and really brightens up the space. 
HUGE difference from the dark brown it was before. 

The boys had fun helping...
And Landon decided it was his job to speed up the drying process with his little Lightening McQueen fan...
He was cracking us up with that thing. He took it so seriously...complaining about how hard of a job it was and that his arm was getting sore. Such a goober. :) 

When we were almost done he said, "This is like a WHOLE NEW ROOM!" Bless his heart...I love making my boys happy. :)

I've also been working on some DIY projects for their walls. The first is a faux pallet sign that I put together using some spare pieces of wood we had from taking some closet shelves apart. I painted it white, distressed the edges a bit with sandpaper, and doodled a fun quote on it using paint and markers...
I also made a set of 4x4 canvases using instagram photos, paint, and mod podge...
I hung them up last night and they look so cute on the walls. The boys love having photos of themselves in there.

And speaking of their photos, here is one last sneak peek of their room makeover...
I've had this canvas hanging in the family room but thought it was too perfect for their room to not hang it in there. The boys helped me paint the ampersand red, and I'm going to hang a fun Etsy purchase with these once it arrives. I have a few other touches to add as well...so excited to see it all come together.

I'll be sharing a full room reveal post soon!

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