Saturday, September 28, 2013

Around here.

 Check out the posts for this series right here:

We are ... 
 celebrating International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

going on dino digs

 eating lots of yummy food at brunch

growing every day, feeling little flutters still (i apparently have an anterior placenta - makes it hard to feel the baby)

trying on princess dresses and packing for Disney World.

*We are actually there now and my brilliant idea to put the clothes for each day in separate bags is working surprisingly well.

planning Avinash's 5th birthday party and a new blog series (well, I am) for the month of October.  I realize that I have thrown a lot of parties and created a lot of fun projects for them but rarely share them here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One King's Lane Inspiration

What inspires you to decorate your home? One Kings Lane just released this wonderful video (at the bottom of my post) that has completely inspired me to re-look at my home to see how I can update it. What I love about the short clip is how they don't remodel the entire room, just a few pieces here and there to give the room an entirely new feel! One Kings Lane has new sales pop up all throughout the week and each sale lasts 72 hours, so when you see an item, don't wait! They offer so many unique styles from fantastic brand names at great prices...head over and check them out today: One Kings Lane. And watch their new quick video here:

Disclosure: affiliate links used.

Me & You, a Hello Story Layout and free cut file.

Last week's Hello Story prompt was all about dichotomies.  My first thought went to Avinash and Nandini.  I could easily talk about their differences. When I came across this image of stacked arrows (as a bookcase!), I thought it would be the perfect starting point for a layout.

For some reason I often put up this mental roadblock to using my silhouette.  It sits out next to my printer and really just takes a few minutes to use, even when I am making my own (simple) cut file.  I pushed that roadblock aside and had this design made and cut in a few minutes.

After I had it cut out and I started putting it together I felt that it would work very well for a page about me and the new baby.  I don't know that I have done any pages at all about the new baby and I have been holding on these ultrasound photos for weeks.  I scanned then and tried to increase the clarity a little.  I printed them a bit smaller so they would look a little less grainy.  The only reason they have a bluish tint is because my printer was running out of yellow ink.  I decided I liked the look and kept them just like that.

I pulled out this sheet of patterned paper from Paislee Press.  I love the graphic feel and it fits the theme really well.  The other papers I pulled from recent Studio Calico kits.  Super easy to coordinate together.
I thought about filling the arrows with 'stuff' and I think that could be a really fun way to go with this too.  I ended up playing around with different circles: flair, some burnished wood, a brad and a topo chico sparkling water bottle cap.  (That stuff is like perfect if  you are pregnant.)

 I added the big wooden die cut from dear Lizzy as my title.  The white foam thickers are new Amy Tangerine.  That background paper is this new mountain design from Studio Calico.  (I also cut out the middle and immediately used that on another layout.) I wanted to record some of my recent feelings/happenings here but leave some of the white space intact.  I used the new big roller stamp from Pebbles to create subtitles for my journaling.  Feeling, growing (the baby and I!), sharing, craving and loving.  I filled it in afterwards, just some stuff that has been on my heart.  Also foods, apparently.

We had our twenty week ultrasound taken this week as well.  I only want to find out the gender if it will make us and the children feel more connected to the baby.  I made the tech write it down for us in an envelope but we haven't figured out if we are going to look at it or not. Any bets on the gender?

I wanted to share the cut file I made with you as well.  I think it would work well for any dichotomy page.  Me&You.  Boy&Girl. Here&There. Etc.  Click here to download the cut file.  If you like it, I'd love it if you would share it with your friends on pinterest, twitter, etc. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nandini, age two and a half

I have been posting a lot of converations with Nandini on facebook and writing down even more to myself so as not to deluge everyone I know with this random stuff.  Though, I suppose it doesn't matter.  There is no perfect thing to post on FB so why should I worry about it?  Oh well. I thought I would share it here too just for posterity's sake.  Plus, we think it is pretty hilarious and totally adorable. I guess the two's are supposed to be terrible but we think they are pretty amazing.   

Nandini runs up to me with my old toy pony (from Sheera, remember that?)
N: Look a horsie! Horsie, horsie horsie! Show Bappi?
Me: Yeah a horsie. Neigh! Go show Bappi.
N: Bappi look a horsie.
R: Cute pony. What is it's name?
N: COW!!

Brilliant I tell you.


Who are you? Gudiya
Where are you? Oh, ah, right there.
What day is it? Gudiya day!

So I guess she's only a GCS 14. So is Avinash but that is because he can't follow commands.


 Nandini: Here ya go Mommy, the number N.
Now if only we could figure out who is teaching her this stuff.


We've been talking about how Mulan and Pochahantas were real people. Of course Avi asks if they died and which other characters have died. Nandini asks, "did Bella died?" No, she's just a story. Her response: "Bella's cat died. Ahhhh!" And then does her best impression of a cat flailing all of its limb falling out of a tower. Wow.


N: Gudiya call Nana.
Me: What is Nana's number?
N: 8!
*picks up calculator*
Hello Nana .... good ... I go ceety [city] ...OK, ok, bye!


N: I so love it! So nummy.
I love that!
I like it.

(Praising food is new.  She still eats sparingly, but I'll take what I can get}


All done! I eat it all up!
(usually pretend food, she is suddenly not a pick eater when the food is imaginary)


N: Go Target? Yay!
There! I found Target!
(Girl has an eagle eye for that logo and the mermaid/fish lady in green. Also, I think she loves trips to Target more than I do, how awesome is that?)


N: Mommy so cute!
thank you.
N: Mommy so cute! Nose!
N: Ears!
Oh, you like my ears?
N: Ears! Mommy so cute! (starts gesturing down from her ears as in earrings)
Oh, you like my earrings? Thank you sweet baby!
N: Mommy so cute.
A: I think your earrings are so pretty Mommy!
N: Mommy so cute, so pretty!
Oh, I loved it.  The first of many fashion accessory discussions?  But, I guess we discuss her hair accessories a lot already.

I made a similar record for Avinash when he was around 2.  He talks a lot but never quite as much as his sister does.  Just as funny though. I'm thankful for week in the life which helped me to remember to record a lot of these.  I know I will treasure looking back at the things she used to say at this age when she is older. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Project Life: Pout.

This week: We got an ultrasound to check on the baby.   It was so fun to see the picture change from a blob to a regular looking baby in a matter of weeks.  We went out for cupcakes.  We went to see a live music show for India's independence day.  And we went to Hill Country and Sea World for the weekend.  A favorite quick getaway for sure. Our attempt at a group photo was imperfect but hilarious. 

First side: My friend (of LittleFlowerLinen fame) was kind enough to give me a big stack of 5th&Frolic cards from the new core kit and they are what I have been reaching for most ever since. That and the Holiday Mini kit are two of my all time favorite kits now.

 The week in review card is so handy.  Still I had no clue what we did at all on Friday.  Random stamp it is!

Sleeping babies.  Is there anything better?

Second side: Again, almost all 5th&Frolic cards. Some cork thickers.  I included two stories about my dad this week.  One about how he used to tease me for pouting and the other about India's Independence day.  He was born before India overthrew the British, but he says he was 'born free' in this heart.  I just love that.  So happy I can record both meaningful and silly memories here side by side.

I'm not into recording which week number it is on my project life spreads, but I think this Amy Tangerine stamp is perfect for pregnancy.  I added a slide frame to the picture to give this card a mini layout look.

Making s'mores in Hill Country.  My favorite kind of adventure.  Overlay from Studio Calico. As are most of the stamps you see.

I am still catching up with a lot of pages from the summer.  I didn't go into much detail here, but if you have any questions about supplies or techniques please let me know!

I am linked up with The Mom Creative for Project Life Tuesday. The PL kits I am using generally are the Studio Calico kit, Kelly Purkey kit and Midnight kit, with multi-pack page protectors.   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 also have a new addition to my little Etsy shop.  Flair!  I have two sets listed so far.  If there is anything you would like to see or would like custom made please let me know.  Thanks again!
I am so moved by all the responses to my Miss America post the other day.  My stomach was in knots for hours after hitting publish on that post.  I just didn't know if people would understand what I meant. Somehow the post hit home with many of you. I am more than a little saddened to know that many have experienced similar racism, if not worse.  In a way, it helps me to feel like less alone to know that I am not the only one who has gone through this. Many people from different backgrounds who have experienced the segregation of Houston.  People from other countries who know what racism feels like.
Thank you to everyone who commented, tweeted, blogged and shared this on facebook.  Your support means so much.  My friend Anandi wrote about her fear of the racial backlash after 9-11 a few days ago and it is just amazing how spot on she was. I was thinking of her more than a little when I first started reading the negative comments all over twitter.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week in the Life: Sunday

I got a bit behind on Week in the Life because of, well, life.  The weekend was so busy and I was busy taking care of a sick little girl all day.  She didn't even get much time to nap because of Avi's school pick up time.  I used that time to blog about Miss America and the topic of race. It was weighing heavily on my heart and I just had to put some thoughts down here.

She somehow only gets cuter when she's sick.  And more loving. We are truly blessed. (And tired, lol!)

Saturday | Pages

 photos+words, a list of things I am proud of my children for. 

cloud paper//cork circles//map ampersand//rainbow washi tape//silver thickers

And, I make flair now.

Sunday | Photos+Words
Snuggles. Brunch. Shirley Temple curls. My little pumpkins. Naps. Games. Dinner. (collapse)

It's not that I was happy to put away my camera today, I just was happy to have a break from it.  I loved the recording the documenting and extemporaneous album making, but I also enjoyed playing trains with Nandini today and not jumping up to grab my dSLR in the middle of it.  It was a fun a project and I'm glad to have it completed!

Linked with the Mom Creative.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Miss America

As I sit here eating one of my favorite quick lunch recipes from Pioneer Woman (modified to be vegetarian) and checking my computer while Nandini naps I am struck by how I am living in a world that is not made for me.

I was ecstatic to find out that an Indian woman was crowned Miss America last night.  I thought she looked gorgeous and I was so happy to see her bringing out her culture for the talent portion with a Bollywood dance routine. 

I was shocked to read all of the nasty racist things being said about her a few hours later.  I'm glad to see that Nina Davuluri is giving these comments the brush off in her moment to shine, but I think it deserves a longer conversation.

I am from Pittsburgh but I now I live in the South and follow a lot of Southern bloggers.  These women often focus on family and crafts, which I love, but their inner circle is segregated at best.  I occasionally hear them talk about ministering (aka converting) the 'poor people' in the slums of India and around the world.  They also talk about beauty pageant contestants quite in depth, especially on twitter.  I wish I could say I was surprised to see how they were reeling when the winner was announced.

If it is so easy to connect with Indian people when you are looking down at them, why would you freeze up when one is wearing a crown on her head?  Buzzfeed tells me that many people were tweeting things much worse. I won't stand to repeat them here but the comments were vile and racist. I want to say that I'm disappointed but I am not even surprised.

To me, this is just a flash of what I know is lurking under the surface.  Growing up in Pennsylvania I got to experience it first hand.  Children don't know they are supposed to hide their racism, instead they parrot what they hear at home without filters.  I was called the N-word, treated to war whoops at the bus stops, often asked if I lived in a teepee and if our bathroom was a hole in the ground.

I think these interactions really pushed me into the introvert I am today.  Socially awkward.  Afraid to start conversations with random people.  I'm still utterly useless at cocktail parties.  I made it through middle school and high school with a small band of close friends.  Semesters when we didn't have lunch together were devastating.

College was easier.  I made friends quickly and they remain my best friends to this day.  I met my husband, who is Jewish, then.  We moved to New York City after we got married and I started to feel normal.  I was friends with a great mix of people and I loved it.

We moved to Houston and I kind of forgot to worry about it.  Then I slowly realized that the only people we seemed to be able to make friends with were also almost always Indian.  This was odd, as it had never happened to us before.  But, whatever.  After we started sending Avinash to school the differences really hit me hard.

Making play dates was next to impossible.  Women would turn away from me if I tried to talk to them while waiting for pick up.  I often got vague non-committal responses to requests for playdates.  One woman told me flat out that she had no free time ever.  I heard so many whispers when an African-American girl joined the class about her never being able to fit in there.  Okaaay.  We put him on a few waitlists elsewhere but never got him.  For the sake of exposing him to Judaism we put up with it.  

Then he started getting harassed by other kids.  We saw him sitting alone during carpool several days in a row.  When pressed he admitted to us that the other kids told me he wasn't allowed to play with them. Tell me that those kids weren't getting at least some of that at home. We went to the principal.  Forgotten promises to 'keep an eye on him' were all we got.  Teachers were too busy to notice.  We pulled him out after that, a few weeks before moving to Austin anyway.

Moving to Austin was eye opening to say the least.  More than once I figured that we were having trouble making play dates for Avinash because of my social inpetitude, etc.  Suddenly, we were meeting people and exchanging phone numbers all the time.  At the park, at story time, at the Jedi Knight training, etc.  Suddenly we were not living a segregated city with a segregated friend group.  We actually have yet to meet any Indians here but I'm sure we will.

It has been beautiful and wonderful.  And, it shows how attitudes make a big difference, even in two cities just hours away from each other.  This is why it is so important to talk about race.

People who think that we are living in a post-racial society are really fooling themselves.  If we don't talk about it, it will certainly never get better.  If we never expect to be treated any better, we never will.  Nina, I'm proud of you.  And, I hope this leads to a constructive discussion about race and acceptance in America.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week in the Life: Saturday

Friday | Pages

Big photo, some new Amy Tan Cut&Paste paper. I have been looking for chic 'neutral' patterned paper that can hold my journaling. Crate chipboard and stickers, kraft die cut and wooden camera.

 Pocket pages. A few stickers and that is basically it.

 Love these plastic letters from Crate with the black&white card from Midnight.

 Love the trick of using a punch to make a see through element on the page.  To get the two cards to line I adhered them together and punched them at the same time.

Saturday | Words+Photos

We went to Cave Day in Cedar Park in the morning.  Even though we waited in line for an hour, the cave itself was really fun.  I don't know why but it felt really refreshing to be underground.  Avinash and Ryan crawled through this tiny tunnel, and somehow only Ryan got muddy, ha!  The kids got to look for 'treasure' which the spelunkers were kind enough to scatter after Avinash asked about it fifty times.  We went out for Chinese food with some friends and then had a game night at their house.  I love seeing Avinash playing Agricola.  I still remember the first time we played with them and we tried to keep him occupied with Sesame Street.  It's amazing how much he has grown and is still the same.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week in the Life | Friday

Thursday | Pages

 My full spread.  Loving the enlarged photos still.  Another sheet of barely patterned aqua paper.  I like how it matches my album.

 My list today was 'happy thoughts'.  Just things I am grateful for.  So needed and helpful to write after a stressful day yesterday.  I am choosing to focus on the positive here.

I tried to use a lot of same elements from previous days.  MME word strips, wood veneers, wonky circle die cuts in kraft, cork camera, chipboard heart.

I used that new big roller stamp from Pebbles to simply geotag my photo as 'here'.  Simple+true.

 I pasted the photo a bit off center so I could add some extra journaling.  Just little snippets, little moments that I want to remember. 

There is that skipping5 sticker again. The sticker is from dear Lizzy's new line.  

 I used these dew drop arrow stickers as little signposts for my journaling.  I also used this month's new JBS mercantile stamp and some white Amy Tangerine stickers.  I will love these foam stickers forever.  I layered some Crate Pier stickers around the page as well.

Friday | Photos+Words

Avinash is not mad in that first photo, he just gets really intense whenever he puts on his new football helmet.  We waited at the car service place for three hours today so I really didn't take a ton of pictures.  Avinash had a school playdate and we fed their chickens in the backyard.  I just didn't want to lug my camera around the whole time on a playdate so again, not many pictures.  I did get some more farmer Avi shots at home of him watering the pumpkins.  Nandini wanted to wear her princess ears and owl backpack.  She was very proud of how cute she looked.  And, bathtub pictures. Joy and laughter before sleep.

If you are playing along, how is your week in the life going? 

I also was very excited to see that my Etsy shop is one away from 200 sales today!  Thank you all for your support and encouragement.  Feel free to click over and check it out. As a thank you, I am offering a 10% off coupon for all orders over $8.50.  Just type WASHI in the coupon code box.  All orders this weekend will also get a little thank you present just from me included.    Have a lovely weekend!
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