5/17/15

The Quarter

It’s been quite the week at our house.

It all started with a Piggy Bank and a Polar Bear.

Our family had just finished dinner on Tuesday night … it was a typical three-child dinner. Lincoln was screaming in his high chair, Brad and I were trying to wolf down our food while Emmett and Fletcher were putting pieces of hot dog in their mouth, chewing them up, and taking turns trying to spit them across the floor.

I finally had enough and sent them to their rooms for some quiet “unwind” time so we could clean up the kitchen. And the random pieces of chewed-up hot dog that was now littering the floor.

About three minutes later I heard Fletcher cough. And not his normal cough. I can’t even describe it. But it was a different cough.


5/15/15

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Party: Invitations



It's no secret that I am in the midst of planning the biggest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bash for my two oldest boys (that share a birthday!)

Invitations are one of my favorite pieces of a party.

They set the stage … the color, theme, inspiration.
It's the first piece your guests will see about your special day.

I always do something custom but it doesn't need to be expensive.

My latest obsession is Etsy invitations. Etsy can be super overwhelming if you don't know what you are looking for. If you focus in your search (be very specific, I searched for TMNT birthday invitations) and a handful came up.

I fell in love with Allison's work at Madison Design Shop. She didn't have exactly what I wanted in my mind, but her design was on par with what I was looking for.

So I contacted Alison and asked for a few modifications. For this party, we did a Party Photo Shoot of the boys in their gear - it was important to me that we included a photo that showed them in action.

and voila!

I found matching envelopes at PaperSource - always my go-to for paper supplies. Seriously hundreds of colors to match any project.

Mexico Vacation: Secrets Silversands

I am so overdue in sharing our Cancun pictures. Except Brad keeps telling me that we weren’t in Cancun. I guess we were in the Riviera. But we flew in to Cancun. But whatever.


This trip was amazing and totally overdue. It was our first vacation since Lincoln was born … which I know was only 9 months ago, but with three kids, we really needed it.


4/28/15

The Hunt for a Turtle (Take Two)

Just a quick update on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hunt …

(Track previous progress here)

So the biggest development is … I can't find one. 

After my begging and pleading with Spiderman (also knows as a stripper by night) he declined my offer for a free costume to perform at our party. 

I have exhausted most leads and will now be calling local Karate shops to see if any instructors would be willing to test out their moves on a crowd of four to six year olds.


4/9/15

Finding Cube Energy

Yes, I am still working at Target.

But I am not going to lie … the last month has been quite the roller coaster.

It's been a ride of emotions.

Losing friends.
New ways of working.
New projects.
New teams.

I've been at Target for over ten years … and some days, in some ways, it feels like I am just starting a new job.

My cube has always been source of energy and inspiration.
Lets be honest. We spend a lot of time at our desk.
Even when we say we are "so busy' with meetings … you are still there. A lot.

Dashing between meetings. Catching-up on email on Fridays. Team coffee chats (potentially talking, in depth, about Adult Dancer Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.)

And just as Target is, in some ways, starting fresh. So is my cube.

I need a new energy and inspiration.
Mine looks like this.


Yep. It's empty.

I've got a computer. But no mousepad.
An empty bottle of Aveda lotion.
A water bottle.
And a sad lamp.

About a month ago I took everything down. All of the decorative paper. All of my picture frames. All of the "important papers" I had pinned up.

I actually think my co-workers thought I was packing up and headed out.
(Sorry, you can't get rid of me that easily.)

But I do need some new inspiration.

I've been looking at my usual sources … but I haven't quite been able to find anything to get me excited.

But finally this week, I came across some cool Typography Art on Minted.com. Once I dug-in, there are like thousands of prints in all sizes. The small ones are actually perfect to put up in a cube. Here is where I started … a full cube reveal to come soon.

It's a process.



4/8/15

The Hunt for a Turtle (a #TMNT)

So I've spent a considerable amount of time this week trying to convince a professional Spiderman to become a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. 

I didn't realize it was so challenging to convince a character to try a new identity.

We met this pretty incredible Spiderman at a birthday party over the weekend.
And it just so happens that I've been on the hunt for a Turtle.

A serious hunt.

I've googled.
I've asked for referrals.
I've recruited a few dads.

But I'd really just like to find a real turtle. You know. A pro.

As thrilled as I would be for the dads to dress-up, I'd rather let them enjoy the party with their kids.

Enter this weekend.

Spiderman shows up. He's a pretty decent Spiderman. Let me put it this way, he doesn't even need padding to fill out his suit.

And best yet? He is great with the kids and leads them through a "How to be a Superhero" routine.

Fletcher is mesmerized. (That is after he stops crying. He was a little scared at first. I think it was the realistic muscle tone.)

So after the party I may have sent this email:



Much to my surprise, I quickly received an email back. The return sender was "Peter Parker." (This is no joke.)

This led me to look up his business online. He has pretty extensive photos of himself in his costume. (And I also come to learn, that in addition to this skills with children,  he does some "adult entertainment" in the later evening hours.)

Initially he isn't really "into" being a Turtle. He says "I really only do Spiderman."
I start to work up his confidence. (I mean really, a Turtle can have cool moves just like Spidey.)
After a few emails, he opened up to the idea and asked if I've seen any realistic Turtle costumes. (Ummmm no. As a matter of fact. I haven't.)

So I start a google hunt and sent him these two options:





He said that he prefers the first option.
The tighter one. Because it will help him move better.

I replied and told him that I would purchase the costume (and let him keep it!) and provide him with a few photos of himself in the costume to help build his Character Portfolio if he would consider being the Turtle for our party.

At then, I just had to stop and laugh.
Is this normal?

4/4/15

Easter Eve



Did everyone get their carrots out?

I think we are set over here. 

Holidays are our thing. We go all out. It started with Fletcher's "Spring Bonnet" parade this week at school. 


 and a quick break from Easter activities so Fletcher could meet Spiderman at a friend's birthday.




and then tonight, the first of our Easter festivities. The annual Cousin Easter Egg hunt.


Above you see place setting decor and the bag of eggs. Yep, I hid over 150 of them.


The cousins all ready before the big hunt …









Baby Lincoln found the gold egg.



and finally before bed. Leaving carrots out to "attract" the bunny. Doesn't everyone do that?
It took some coordination to find the "best spots" but i think we nailed it.

Come here bunny bunny … we are ready for you!








3/21/15

The Peep Laid an Egg


this was how we entertained ourselves this afternoon. 

I call it, "The Peep Laid an Egg."



3/15/15

#SmoothieSunday Super Green Smoothie


Today's smoothie is ALL GREEN and no berry.

Which scared me at first … I like to hide berries inside to sweeten it up. While I have to admit, it isn't my favorite, its better than I thought it would be … the green kiwi actually adds a nice sweetener that is a nice break from the berry. Coupled with the fact that it's so healthy, makes it an easy drink!

2 cups spinach
1 kiwi
2 baby cucumbers
1 cup plain greek yogurt
Chia seeds
Coconut water

3/11/15

The Perfect Baby Blow Out


Sweet Baby Lincoln's hair is often the topic of conversation in my life. 

At work. 
At home. 
At Lincoln's School. 
With Strangers. 
With Friends. 
With Envious Balding Men. 

Just how does Baby Lincoln achieve the Perfect Baby Blow Out?

We start with quality hair products. I've tried several shampoos on Lincoln. Honest Co. seems to work well, most notably since it doubles as a Body Wash. Lincoln doesn't have a lot of time to waste in the bathtub. 


First Step: We lather up with with shampoo and wash-up.


Second Step: We apply conditioner, we like to use a healthy dose. About the size of a nickel.

I apply and then massage from roots to tips. We let it soak in for about five minutes.


Third Step: Rinse. 

Fourth Step: Lincoln gets cozy in his Bumbo and waits for the blow out. 
He likes to hold the hair tools and hand them to me as we need them. 


Fifth Step: Select a style.

Today we selected a "blow back" style. We also have tried the "up, up and away" and sometimes the "deep side part." It really depends on our mood and what we are trying to achieve.

Sixth Step: I keep the dryer on a very, very low-medium heat and keep it far from his head. He barely gets a breeze, but it's just enough to perfectly dry his luscious locks.

Check out Lincoln in action:

  video

Seventh Step: It's time for a warm bottle and bed. Being a Diva is such hard work.