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Showing posts from November, 2013

Spirited Chattanooga: Painting the Chattanooga Skyline

Some of you may not know this, but I was a Fine Art student in college. My classes were predominantly graphic design focused, but my degree actually came in the form of a Bachelor of Science in Fine Art.


I spent a lot of time in the art building. Hours and hours in the studio. I really loved oil painting. I wasn't great at it but I found the process to be very therapeutic. Just me and my canvas spending hours and hours in a studio full of natural light and some my favorite music.


I miss those days.


Over the years I have done some abstract art for my house, but it isn't something I have spent much time on in the past decade.


I was recently invited to attend a painting class at Spirited Chattanooga for a friend's birthday. Part of me felt like it would be a bit hokey, but since I don't get many opportunities to have a "me" night I decided to go.


The teacher was a young woman, possibly a college student. She started everyone out with a stencil and then walked the cla…

See Jack: Birthday Edition

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years.

This set of videos are from Jack's 2nd Birthday party so that family and friends who were unable to attend due to distance or prior commitments can share in on the fun!


See Jack have fun on his birthday hayride.


See Jack get raspberries from his cousin Izzy. He thinks this is hilarious.


See Jack enjoy his birthday cupcake.
Later he enjoyed a slice of cake and another cupcake!


See Jack and his cousins play with the remote control car that Uncle Mark gave him.

Pinspiration for Birthday Parties

As a graphic designer, I have been collecting ideas of inspiration for well over a decade. Really, this compulsion goes back to when I was a kid and would flip through catalogs and magazines and circle things that I liked. 


In my early graphic design years, I hoarded collected pages from magazines. Daniel recently made me throw a bunch of these old clippings out. About 5 years ago, I shifted to creating desktop folders on my computer where I stored all of my images in neatly organized folders (topic and year the image was pulled). I still collect images on my computer, but in the last couple of years I have also started pinning ideas I come across. It helps me to quickly get inspiration for projects and see what trends are happening right now. I'm sure that Daniel is thrilled that I gave up collecting samples of magazine pages!

Invitation inspiration on left {via here and here}, Jack's invitation on the right.
For our last minute birthday party, I found several invitation designs…

Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails Birthday Party, Jack's 2nd Birthday Party

Two weeks ago, our sweet little Jack turned two. In between our weekly travels and preparing our house to be sold, we had little opportunity to plan a party. 


We toyed with the idea of having a toddler hayride since we live in the country and also to have a toddler book exchange in lieu of presents from friends, but we just didn't seem to have the time to pull it all together.


So, on the Friday after Jack's birthday, we decided we needed to pull the trigger and make the invitations and get this party planned. And so we did.


We literally planned it in a couple of days. We knew that due to the last minute nature of our party (just over a week's notice) that it would be difficult to gather all of our friends and loved ones, so we were surprised and thankful that so many were able to show up despite the short notice.


It ended up being just family, but it was still a big turn out and we enjoyed getting to visit with everyone.


The theme of the party was Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Ta…

10 Things

Over the last couple of weeks, the Things meme has been circulating Facebook again. Remember back when we all did it in 2009? I just reread my 25 Things list from then and some of it surprised me... 
1. The avid reader things still stands, I now have 504 books in my To Read list on Goodreads instead of 98. Though since writing that in 2009 I have read 214 books.

4. Having kids no longer scares me. I also no longer watch Super Nanny.

8. I am still an avid meal planner and grocery shopper. 

9. If it's not on my list, I don't buy it. Period.

17. We got a dog. She does make our lives harder (as predicted), but she also makes our lives better.18. I still haven't owned a car that is less than 8 years old.22. I no longer have a clothing budget... I almost never buy new clothes and when I do, it's usually with birthday money.Here are a 10 new things you might not know about me (though, you probably already know way too much about me since I blog so much).
1. I hate clutter. It drive…

See Jack {late September}

This is an ongoing series of videos that I am sharing so that our extended family can keep up with how Jack is growing and changing in these early years. I am several weeks behind on these posts, so I am posting 8 videos instead of the usual 5 in an effort to catch up. Enjoy.


See Jack have fun with Mommy. High five and cut the pickle is one of his favorite games.

See Jack have a little fun at the Main Terrain Art Park in Chattanooga.


See Jack wear a cloth bag on his head. Anything can be a hat in Jack's world. 


See Jack play with his Lego Wagon. I hope he doesn't get it in 
his head that he should ride down the stairs in said wagon.


See Jack respond to Daddy working on the roof. 


Bonus #1... See Daniel work in the lift we rented. 
He fixed a couple of spots on our roof.


Then he pressure washed the exterior of the house as part of the 
"getting our house ready to sell" process. In this video Daniel is using
the lift to remove some overgrown ivy on our front porch.
Bonus #2... Se…

Jack is TWO!

It's kind of shock that Jack turns two today, but at the same time it feels like he has been a part of our family forever. 


We were recently visiting with some friends who have children who are much younger than Jack. While we visited it dawned on me that I am no longer a brand-new mama. I am no longer sleep deprived (at least not because of a newborn); my mom confidence has soared; and I can now offer advice based on real life experiences rather than just discussing ideas.

In the past month we have been immersed in the start of the holiday season and the traditions that go along with this time of year: visiting the Pumpkin Patch, going to an annual Hayride, and dressing up for Halloween. I think that Jack enjoyed these activities more this year than he did last year.


A few of Jack's "firsts" from the past month include his first plane ride; eating dish soap (thankfully it was minimal and we didn't have to call poison control); and enjoying his first s'mores exp…