Tuesday, July 30, 2013

All my T. Rexes are in Texas

They also played patty cake together today while I died of cuteness.

Avi is back in summer camp.  This week is dinosaur themed.

He has already declared his love for a 'beautiful girl' in his class.  He calls her Tyler (not her real name) and told her he is her guard.  Actually, they are both guards.  It gets confusing.  He literally dragged the girl's poor mother by the hand to meet me and made us exchange numbers.

I'm so lucky to have an extrovert for a son who helps me conquer my lingering playground insecurities.  I don't think we would ever have playdates otherwise. 

In preparation for Dinosaur week I suggested to him that he watch Dinosaur Train.  He pretty much has free reign over Netflix for an hour each day, but he did take my suggestion.  He ended up finding this really cute new episode, Dinosaurs A to Z.  They sing a song with, you guessed, dinosaurs from A to Z (as in A- apatosaurus, B - brachiosaurus, etc).  He knew a lot of it but still had some gaps.

Last night after camp he was trying to sing the whole song and I was, of course, no help.  I pulled out my phone and found the Dinosaur A to Z song printable from PBS kids.  We read through the lyrics together once or twice and then he had it down.  The cutest part is how he sings the chorus with such gusto.

We were just about to eat dinner when Ryan got home (I know, aren't we nice? Oops.)  He was stunned with Avi's recall.  I was too, but it was just fun to see his surprise.  Avi and I sang that song together at least five hundred times between dinner and camp today.

Nandini even started to learn the words "A - dinosaurus, A- dinosaurus, E - dinosaurus, choo choo choo!"  I can't even tell which version I like better.

We also volunteered to make the class sign for the week.  Apparently there was a big vote and they decided on the class name "Rainbow Thunder Rock Rex's"  That is so the title of my next scrapbook layout.

I had a huge custom order for a wedding to cut on the cameo, so I decided to cut out the title too.  The machine was already running and it just seemed to make sense.

Here is what we made.  I kind of love it.

ps. Totally did not try to get both kids hold up the banner, only to have the stubborn curly-haired child refuse even after the promise of a num num and then have her throw a tantrum for num nums anyway.  When did she learn to say "no picture"? And yes, I used my fancy Studio Calico watercolors on Rainbow and let them use old Crayola ones on the rest.  I never said that momma has to share. 

pps. I now know all of my dinosaurs from A to Z too.  Apparently you can learn a lot from television. Is there any way to put this information to good use??

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Project Life: Week 26

 This week: I am a bit behind in blogging this week.  I sprained (possibly broke but never got it X-rayed) it this weekend and now I have to type one-handed.  Lol.
We spent a lot of time at the park or pool this week.  Ryan was working alot and my mom had gone back so we were left to our own devices.  We had a nice playdate at the museum, but I still miss Houston's Children's Museum.   Avinash made sure that we went out for cupcakes to celebrate his Aunt's birthday.  Good memory.
The full spread.

First Side:  I included a picture Avinash took of Nandini in the car, reading her current favorite book. I used Kelly Purkey letter stickers there. The picture itself isn't that great, so I stuck them over top.  You still get the gist.
The camera card with a picture of Nandini swinging is from my Etsy shop.  I wrote down some thoughts I had in the moment when I instagrammed that pic and just wrote them out on the journaling card here.

 I somehow loved how our dirty garage floor looked here.  I stamped Smile with teal chalk ink (because my photo paper doesn't take embossing that well, though that would have been more vibrant) and scattered a few wooden stars.  When I can't figure out where to journal I just write around the edge.

I used an old Clementine Card here.  Have so many of them. The wooden clouds are from Freckled Fawn, it's okay to be literal, right?  The white JS letter stickers are a PL staple for me. I don't know why, but the kids just loved this cloud and Nandini would wonder where it went for days afterwards.

 I added some yellow with watercolor to a SC card.  I just wanted to add a little more color and it was fun to make this standard kit card more unique.

I let the B-side of that lovely dear Lizzy paper I used last week show through here and there too. 

 Second side: I actually held on to a bit of ephemera and had a business card to include.  I just stapled it to a journaling card with a little 'today' tab.  Some of these pictures are repeated from Day in the Life, but the scale is smaller there so I figure it doesn't hurt to see some of them larger. 

This is a screen cap from a birthday video we sent Ryan's sister.  I just love that Avi blew her a kiss (with a mouthful of cupcake, of course!)  I used a Studio Calico PL card, with another favorite letter sticker - white foam Amy Tangerine.  

Avi was so happy to see this photo of his crayons.  He got out his pack and laid out the same crayons on top of the picture.  I love that this album makes him feel validated.
I added text (script font) before printing and used a die cut I made from another Studio Calico kit paper.

I am linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kits I am using generally are the Studio Calico kit and Midnight kit, with multi-pack page protectors.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Thanks for visiting, I appreciate all of your support.  Please, leave your links to any PL pages in the comments so we can check them out too.

I'm pretty excited that Two Peas is already getting new CHA collections in stock.  These are my two favorite new lines so far:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Easy Update: Mosquito-Repelling Potagerie

Playing outside and outdoor entertaining is one of the great joys of spring and summer. Until, of course, the bugs invade. In place of spray and pesticides, try a cluster of mosquito-repelling potted plants. Grouped together near a seating area on your deck or patio, they make a pretty and lush addition to your outdoor landscape while also protecting you and your guests. Check out One Kings Lane's article Easy Update: Mosquito-Repelling Potagerie for more information about how a trio of lush potted plants will have you saying good-bye to bug spray.

We are lucky to have a lush backyard at our new place but I hardly let the kids go out there because they come back with mosquito bites larger than a silver dollar.  Avinash is in the habit of counting his bug bites to keep track.  That is totally something I used to do when I visited India during the summer.  Crazy to think he is getting as many bug bites here as I would there in the actual tropics.  He does have really smelly feet which bugs love. 

I really hate spraying them down with chemicals so I will definitely be trying this, especially since our planters are still empty and it is still not too late to start tomatoes down here!  I wonder if all the neighborhood cats will visit if I plant catnip?

This is as far as we ever get.  Two kids in a tiny bucket. Also, note all the lovely empty planters behind them!

disclosure: affiliate links used.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

From Pin to Page: King of Fantasyland.

Hey Guys! I am hoping to make this a new biweekly feature on my blog.  I love looking at all the pretty pretty eye candy on Pinterest for inspiration, but that doesn't always mean it is easy to translate into an actual project. 

I am going to share projects that were inspired from popular pins. It pushes me to try new design trends. And it helps to motivate me to get off of Pinterest for a minute so I can sit down and make something, ha! 

This week I started off with this pin.  (You can click over to see it.  Don't forget to come back after. Of course the original pin I found was to a spam site, but don't worry I found the original designer's site for ya!) The pin shows a 'Summer Fiesta' invitation with three layers of fringe along the bottom.  I love the color blocking and the simplicity.  The skewer of donut holes next to the paper invitation doesn't look half bad either ;)

 I decided to translate this idea for a spread in my Disney mini book which I made as part of the Marcy Penner's Happy Little Moments class at Studio Calico

Here is how it turned out:

I folded tissue paper a few layers thick and just cut fringe by hand.  I stitched each color into place directly in my book. 

The pin is of course an invitation and doesn't really have a place for photos or much journaling. I decided to follow the lines of the inspiration and keep the fringe side photo free.  I added some labels and more stitching over my long title. 

 I kept the photo and all of my journaling on the opposite side.  I didn't repeat the fringe anywhere but I kept my embellishments in the same color family.  The green tag is from the luggage service at Walt Disney World.  I saved every single one of those I got.
I think this spread works because it maintains the original graphic feel with the color blocking and simple design.  Working within a smaller size definitely made putting this idea into practice a lot easier. 
You could do the same thing on a full page too of course.  I think I would stitch the fringe onto a separate paper that was less wide and keep everything else on the page within that width, above and oriented to the center.

I posted this spread on 2peas and was amazed to find they had chosen to be the gallery Featured Project.  Thank you for letting my gush about it. Seriously, I have been waiting for this since I first started scrapping. I actually had a page in their 'top ten' once (when they used to have a top ten), but it was like the worst page.  Really, it was awful.  Look through my gallery on their and you'll find it (sink bath).   Please, have a laugh on me - I don't mind.

I hope to make this a regular feature.  If you have any great pinterest-inspired layouts or pinterest boards to check out, please feel free to leave a link in the comments.  If you are interested in doing a guest post for this series, please let me know - I'd be happy to have you!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I have been ...

craving cheetos or any other junk food.

eating all the produce I buy at whole foods (or trying to, I live in Austin now and feel like I need to keep up).

drinking topo chico with mint in it, so good.

listening to Heera, my favorite song from the newish SRK movie Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix with Ryan.  A really funny and quirky new show.

singing songs from the Sound of Music with the kids a hundred times a day. They both have the lyrics memorized which amazes me.

going swimming by myself and with the kids at the gym. I so need to get some energy back.

helping Avinash fill out workbooks. Picked up a ton at the Target Dollar Spot and he loves going through them together.

putting together the little baa and baby duck puzzle with Nandini. I can never say no when she wants to p'ay togedah.

enjoying the little bit of rain we got and the lack of humidity in general this summer.

feeling thankful for my family and being together. 

Project Life: Week 25

This week: My mom came to visit. It was so awesome having her spend time here and she helped out a lot with getting the house organized. Plus, we all got spoiled with her cooking. We also went to the Disney store for 'scare lessons' before going to see Monsters U. We don't make it to a lot of movies so it is a big event for us.  Nandini didn't sit through the whole thing as it was anyway.

I used a single sheet of dear Lizzy paper for most of this spread.   The colors just worked with this week's photos and I was amazed with how quickly I could put it all together.

 First page:  I love how she calls herself Gudiya (it means doll), instead of Nandini now. 
I recorded a few other recent quotes on a card. I used a MME 'hello' die cut here as well. Call it a theme for the week!

I clipped an Elle's studio journaling card in half to add journaling to this photo. I like how it follows the lines of the bricks in the photo.

My favorite card of the week. I used a cut apart sheet of painterly solid colors for the base. I love the look of layered stamps and actually did that here. I used my June/July Kelly Purkey kit stamps here. I stamped the sun in yellow (old, JBS ink) and Hello, Summer in archival ink black.  The letter stickers are from her kit too.  I also stamped a chevron pattern behind the photo in brilliance gold ink.

This photo booth was set up at Alamo Draft House. I used a letterbox filter on it (free in Picasa) and used my SC Inked class stamp.  I really love how it turned out (even if it is not perfectly straight).  It almost looks like it is part of the photo.

 Second page: I used a few Studio Calico kit cards on this side as well. I used one of the dear Lizzy filler cards to hold some journaling.  Writing around the edge helped to keep the card a little less cluttered.

Nandini was very excited to be at the movies. She kept saying "Movie? Muppets there?" So cute that she remembers our last movie theatre experience so well.
I used picket fence distress ink on the photo so my stamping would stand out.

I free hand cut some hearts out of one of the dear Lizzy cards and used it as an embellishment. I clipped a die cut card I made to hold my journaling. I really like including a little bit of kraft somewhere on my spreads. I think it helps ground the page.

I am linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kits I am using generally are the Studio Calico kit and Midnight kit, with multi-pack page protectors.  

If you are interested in signing up for the Studio Calico scrapbook, card or PROJECT LIFE kit  you can get a free add-on (with free shipping!) RIGHT NOW using the code Jennifer.  (I love this add-on because it has Kesi Art paper and wood veneers).
Put this add-on in your cart with the subscription of your choice and enter the code.  Both kits will ship free to you! I have my June kits already and they are so lovely. These deals don't come that often so I think it is a great opportunity if getting a sub was something you were planning anyway. It will end as soon as the add-on sells out, so don't wait. 


Let me know if you have any questions. I use a lot of digital products, and created a FREE Printables board on Pinterest to keep track (and, I work really hard to make sure that the pins there are all 'live links' and not spam).  Please consider following me on bloglovin' or feedly so you won't miss a post!  I appreciate all of your support.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Project Life: Week 23

 This week: We set up Nandini's new room more. We went to Zilker to play. The main event however was the weekend, and that is fine. We went to see the Sound of Music sing-a-long. Twice.  We made costumes and dressed.  We haven't stopped singing the songs since. Random people at the grocery store get to hear me croon Edelweiss whenever the mood strikes Nandini. Avinash made me sing for his friend at a playdate, oh that wasn't awkward.

 A better look at the whole spread.  I have been overexposing my photos a bit lately because my printer tends to make them look too dark otherwise.  What do you think?

First Page: I used a lot of photos.  I saved quite a few pieces of ephemera from the movie for this spread.  A piece of 'curtain fabric' is stapled to the top journaling card.  I also included a couple random pictures of Nandini.  She randomly calls cereal 'EOP'. I don't question it.
I stamped 'it's my jam' on KP's white washi like she suggested and love the way it turned out.  It doesn't completely cover the photo but the stamp is much easier to read.  Funny thing is, that 'it's my jam' stamp is totally Nandini's jam.  She loves to play with it and stamps her hand and mine.  Luckily it is sturdy enough that I don't mind ;)

 Still love these dear Lizzy foam thickers.  A perfect size for PL and very watermelon-y.

I let the theatre's marquee sign in the photo serve as the title, rather than adding my own with stickers. I cut down this vertical photo to fit across two pockets.  The paper is Paislee Press for Studio Calico and the stickers are OA travel girl. I really like using the black and white here.  I think it sort of offsets the colorful marquee and helps balance out all of the color on the rest of the page.

 Second page: How amazing is it that the theatre handed out all of these 3x4 cards at the movie.  This picture of Maria slipped right in!  I had so many other treasures from the show I just took a picture of them all and included that as well. More MME stickers on a random Avinash photo. A gorgeous letterpress card from the Kelly Purkey Project Life kitMust. not. hoard. all. the. beautiful. letterpress.

I cut up the awesome Awesome journaling card from this month's Studio Calico kit.  I also used the letter stickers and heart veneers from there too.

Let me know if you have any questions. I use a lot of digital products, and created a FREE Printables board on Pinterest to keep track (and, I work really hard to make sure that the pins there are all 'live links' and not spam).  Please consider following me on bloglovin' or feedly so you won't miss a post!  I appreciate all of your support.

I am linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kits I am using generally are the Studio Calico kit and Midnight kit, with multi-pack page protectors.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Find Your Voice: Who are you?

 Find your voice is an awesome 8-week summer workshop that I am contributing too.  It is free and tons of fun to play along.  The community is really growing.  

I went through the prompts and decide to put what I learned into action. Telling the story of who I am right now in words and pictures on a layout.

I needed two pages and lots of space for journaling.  The large question mark card was meant to be held up during the "How do you solve a problem like Maria?" song, but I think it adds a dual meaning here of "Who am I?"

And, because 'who i am' is more of a process than a steady answer, I know I can come back and revisit this topic over and over again.  I think it will lend a good background to my albums going forward.

Also, this page was totally inspired by a window display at Anthropologie. That is all.

Make sure you go and check out the prompts and this weeks projects here.  You can read more about my thoughts on this subject and how I made my project. Then come back and link up your words/projects as well at the blog link-up.

Happy 4th of July!

We had so much fun this holiday spending time together as a family.  Nothing major, just some friends, the park, a picnic basket.

We got to have breakfast with these kids in the morning.  Oh my word was Avinash excited to see Nisha again.  The cutest was watching little Roshan follow Avinash around- he really seems to look up to him as the 'older' boy.  And, no I couldn't get any non blurry pictures of them facing the camera.  This shot pretty much says it all anyway.

In the evening we went to the Long Center park for a picnic and music from the Symphony before the fireworks started.  I think this picnic basket is still one of my favorite gifts from Ryan ever.  I do really miss not being able to walk to the park like in Houston.  Parking (and getting home) was not fun!

We had fun while we were there though.  I made tomato basil and mozzarella hoagies.  Hey, I'm from PA, what do you expect? A baguette? We also had grilled corn with butter and lime and tons of fresh fruit. 

Do you think they liked the watermelon?

This kid was covered in strawberry stains.  I'm telling you, he still tries to play Holi everyday.

Isn't this the sweetest? Love that five seconds every day when they get along.  Of course, she doesn't know what to do with herself when he's away either.  OH the tears while he was at camp this week.

The fireworks lasted 13 minutes.  Just enough time to gulp down our shaved ices. 

And, yes, we were sitting behind a pole because we had no idea which direction the fireworks would be coming from.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Hope you have a great weekend too!
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