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Thursday, July 29, 2010

" 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 "

Awhile back, I posted a free printable ABC poster based on a similar idea I’d seen posted on Ohdeedoh in April.

I’m very flattered that it was so popular!  I had always intended on making its companion piece… just didn’t think it would take me over 2 months to get to it.  :S

So finally, using the same free Microsoft Clipart as my first project, and my scrapbooking software, I created another free printable, a coordinating Numbers poster:

123 poster - BLUE
123 poster - CREAM 123 poster - PINK 123 poster - GREEN 123 poster - TAN
123 poster - BLUE2 123 poster - WHITE 123 poster - PURPLE 123 poster - YELLOW

And, what the hay… I’ll upload the matching ABC Posters again, to make it easier on you, if this is your first time here…

ABC poster - BLUE
ABC poster - CREAM ABC poster - PINK ABC poster - GREEN ABC poster - TAN ABC poster - BLUE2 ABC poster - WHITE ABC poster - PURPLE ABC poster - YELLOW

If you would like an 11"x14" version of any of these posters for your home, there are 2 options:
  1. Click on the image you want to visit the file in its Google Docs location and download!  See NEW download location below!!
  2. Visit this post to find the images in their 4shared locations and download!
Then, simply upload to your favorite online photo printer (an 11”x14” print at Costco is only $2.99)… and it’s ready to frame!

*** UPDATED 06/26/12 ***
New download location for these images is here 

Maybe these posters will grace the walls somewhere in your home?  Mine will be hung, grouped together, in Connor’s future playroom.

Here's the ABC Poster hung in Hayley's cute nursery!
Hope you like them!!

I’ll be posting this project to the link-up parties listed here.

I'm incredibly honored to have had this project featured on these sites. Thanks so much!!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brief Bits

Still plugging away on my book, but I do have some cool things I want to share.  Here's a super-quick round-up of what I've found on the web recently that got my creative juices flowin':

1.  From Ohdeedoh - Introducing IKEA Duktig Play Food
Who said play kitchens and play food were only for little girls??  One day, Connor might get his very own set, and I adore this soon-to-be-released version by IKEA.  Not only is it really cute, the price is just right to make me not want to attempt making felt food myself.  See Ohdeedoh for the sneak peek on the play food, but for the other items in the Duktig series (including their fun little kitchen set), go here

2.  From Young House Love - Framed House Keys & Memento Jars
Love their ideas for keeping and displaying everyday objects that have special meaning!  Shadowbox the house keys of every place you've lived... Take small keepsakes from various trips and events and display them inside inexpensive Bell jars.  Genius!

3.  From Sew Totally Smitten - Sponge Ball Water Fights
Very fun idea to make reusable sponge balls from basic cleaning sponges for your backyard water fights.  Sounds more spontaneous than filling water balloons every time!

4.  From On-Hand Modern via Oh Happy Day - Helium Balloon Party Invitations
I don't think I've ever seen a cuter invitation idea than this one.  Ever.

5.  From mmmcrafts - Tooth Fairy Pillows
I have a few years yet, but I totally want to try my hand at making a boy version of these adorable tooth fairy pillows.

6.  From Picky Palate - Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Layered Krispie Treats
The name of the recipe really says it all... YUM.

7.  From Sugar Bee: Craft Edition - Furnkies (Peanut Butter Bars)
Another tried-and-true that I'm definitely going to have to give a try myself!

8.  From Pioneer Woman - Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta
I must have been hungry when I saved all of these...  here's something delicious for dinner.  She had me a lemon pasta.

9.  From Lemon Tree Creations - Hand-stitched Mailbox Set
One of the highlights of Connor's day right now is checking the mail.  Oh how he would love this little set!  I just need to find the time...

10.  From Just Cook Already - Chocolate Pudding Cake
More food... more chocolate.  Simple and classic, and definitely breakfast-worthy!  ;)

11.  From Make It Do - Becky's Lovely Mint Lemonade Slush
Mint + lemonade = divine refreshment.  I.must.try.this.

12.  From Holidash - Felt Dahlia
This tutorial is for a brooch... but I want to do up some of these to hang on the wall... like on 12x12 plaques.  Would be so pretty in the bathroom, no?

13.  From A Few of My Favorite Things - Baby Clothing Art
Fun idea to make keepsakes from your child's baby clothing.  So simple!

14.  From Oh So Crafty - Ruffled Pillow
Love how she re-purposed old shirts to make this fun pillow cover.

15.  From Kitchen Klique - Ribbon Organization
Right now, my ribbon stash is in a plastic shoe box.  Boring...  I'd bet I would remember better what I already had if I stored them on pants hangers.  Genius!

So, there you have it... 15 great finds. I hope something here inspires you, too!

If you've been featured and would like a button for your blog, 
please copy and paste the code below:

Brief Bit Feature Button

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'm on a mission...

Remember when I posted about an amazing coupon deal for Blurb books? (Coupon details here.) I've been working like mad this past week to get a book for Connor's first year done. I've spent hours on it so far, and I'm only a third of the way through - (and that's just until 98 days old!). When I'm all done, the book will be right around 200 pages or so.  The coupon expires at the end of August... so there's a self-imposed deadline of 1 more week - I want plenty of time to edit and fine-tune the finished draft.  Forgive me, but posting to Sprik Space will likely be a little light, until my goal is complete. :S

Sunday Sustenance

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see."
- John Burroughs

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Because I really only expect family members to be interested...
here's a 5-minute "greatest hits" version of all the video Grandpa and I took.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

“30 SUCKS!” Project - Birthday Gift Idea

Uncle Jason is turning the big 3-0 this year, so I thought that he needed a fun gift to commemorate the occasion.

30 SUCKS! Project

Basically, I took an empty Little Debbie Snack Cakes Box (not sure how that happened… ;), and covered it with gift wrap.  I cut 8 circles out of colored cardstock with my circle cutter, attached Thickers to spell out “30 sucks!”, and mounted them to the box with some foam adhesive squares.  Then, I cut some floral styrofoam to fit the box, lined up and inserted 30 Dum Dum suckers, added some paper crinkle, and I was done!  We added $30 in gift cards to the gift, and …voila!  30th birthday, recognized.  Hope he likes it!  :)

Credits:  I saw this idea somewhere online recently, and can’t remember where… so, the concept is not mine, but this particular execution is.
I linked up to these parties here.

...And these, too!

SYS Thurs

I'm honored to have had this project featured on these sites. Thanks so much!!

The biggest form of flattery I've received on this gift idea? Check out Nina's version here... SO CUTE!  :)

Sunday Sustenance

"Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we want them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come."
- Joseph F. Smith


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brief Bits

I went on vacation, so it was bound to happen... there are way too many cool things I want to share! Here's a quick round-up of what I've found on the web recently that got my creative juices flowin':

1.  From Cup of Coco - Interactive Felt Wall Globe (via Design Mom)
This has to be one of my favorite things ever!  Check out this AMAZING wall piece for kids to learn and explore the world we live in.  I wish I had the time and creativity to pull off something like this - the hours of play would be limitless!

2.  From oh write! - Hanging Leaves Wall Art
I love this simple and nearly free idea for an idea to hang on your wall.  It's unique and I really like the dimension it adds to a flat wall. 

3.  From My Kitchen Cafe - Perfect Corn on the Cob
I definitely want to give some fresh corn a try this way - boiling water with sugar and vinegar...  sounds interesting, but really tasty.

4.  From UCreate - Vacation Countdown Calendar
This is a fun way to count down the days until a much anticipated vacation.

5.  From Homemade by Jill - How to Make Printables on Picnik
Printables seem to be all the rage these days.  If you don't have scrapbooking software or Photoshop, here's a great way to use Picnik online to create anything your heart desires.

6.  From OhDeeDoh - A Bookcase with 100 Books & Room for More
I really like those forward-facing bookcases, but too many of them only hold a few books at a time, so they're not very practical.  This idea, however, utilizes the space of an under-used nook to create a large shelving unit with a bench.  Now, if only I had a nook... 

7.  From One Charming Party - Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches
One of my favorite things to buy at Trader Joe's is the Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls... so yummy!  Why it never dawned on me before that I could make my own, I don't know.  These would be fun for a party...  or just as an after-dinner snack.  These look so good!

8.  From Making the World Cuter - Peanut Lime Satay Chicken
My oh my, this dish looks really tasty...  I'm going to make this in the next couple of weeks, for sure.

9.  From O'Keefe Family Fun - Policeman Birthday Party
I'm still brainstorming ideas for Connor's 2nd birthday party in December... and so far, Yo Gabba Gabba is currently winning (only because it's one theme I know he would "get").  However, I adore this idea for a policeman birthday party!  Click on over for more pics of her event - so cute!  The birthday cake was a giant doughnut and I love the cardboard police cars at the end.  I might just have to use this idea for a future birthday...

10.  From 2 little hooligans - Play Tent Tutorial
Fun idea for a play tent for your kids, using some sheets and a hula hoop.

11.  From Love, California - This Land Is Your Land Pillow Series
I want one of these pillows!  Just can't decide between Texas or Illinois...

12.  From Noble Pig - Better Than Robert Redford Dessert
Oh.My.Gosh...  does this ever look good!  Seven layers of deliciousness - I'm in!

To chronicle Connor's first year, we took pictures of him next to the same stuffed animal (the Monkey Series), since we started while he was in the NICU.  For my sister's youngest, I made her some stickers to put on Ally's outfit each month (to be shared as an upcoming freebie here on Sprik Space).  I LOVE this idea of using a large calendar as the "backdrop" for each month... so adorable!

14.  From Make It Perfect - Leanne's Awesome FREE Art Prints
LOVE these simple prints!  I posted my favorite one, but I think these are pretty great, too: A B C.  Frame them up, make a calendar or a card with them...
The lovely Kristen was in my ward growing up, and I had no idea she was this talented behind the camera!  One of the many reasons I wish I was back in Texas.  :)  Check out this post on how to create a merged image using Photoshop.  So cool!  (I'm thinking about doing one of Connor someday.)  

16.  From Make It and Love It - 4th of July Shirts
I'm saving this adorable idea for next year.  Grandma Rogers, just picture all of your grandkids running around in these matching shirts... to.die.for!

17.  From Vittles Divine - Shredded Beef Enchiladas
Our family favorite enchiladas are from this recipe, but I'm itching to try Megan's yummy-sounding recipe - they look so much more authentic than mine.

18.  From Noble Pig - Apricot Glazed Grilled Pork Chops
These sound really good!  I love fruit and/or fruit flavors on the grill.  I see a BBQ in our future...

19.  From Brookstone - Seat Buddy
Connor's still too little to be plugged in for very long, and mostly just enjoys his short YouTube videos.  I'd love to get one of these holders for our iPod... would be so handy on roadtrips to keep his grubby little hands off the screen!

20.  From The Idea Room - Lemon Ice
Clever idea here...  frozen lemonade in a lemon.  So pretty!

21.  From Brown Paper Packages - Watermelon Lemonade
I love flavored lemonades!  My mouth is watering for this one.

22.  From No Biggie - Watermelon Stars
Fun idea for garnishing with watermelon for any of your summertime get-togethers!

23.  From Ollibird - Menu Planner
Cute design for a menu planner.  Just frame it up and use a dry erase marker.

24.  From A Time For Everything - Alphabet Wall
I'd love to do up an alphabet wall like this one in Connor's future playroom!

25.  From A Pretty Cool Life - Rainbow Bunting Baby Quilt Tutorial
If I did it all over again, I would not have purchased a baby bedding set for our nursery.  I still like the one we chose, but all I've ended up using is the dust ruffle and window valance (and the growth chart and light switch plate).  I loathed the crib sheet it came with, we never installed the bumper, and while we had plans to hang the quilt on the wall, it ended up looking too busy - so it sits in the closet.  In summary, the set was a big waste of money for us.  If there's a next time, and I decide to freshen up the look, I want to go a different route for sure.  Something like this bunting quilt!  It's beyond adorable... and how fun would it be to make a coordinating bedskirt out of one of the flag's fabrics... and a matching valance... and maybe even a simple bunting for the wall.  So cute!

Whew! OK, that was way too many... I hope this is as helpful for you as it is for me.  (That's why I do Brief Bits posts.)  So, there you have it... 25 great finds. I hope something here inspires you, too!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Journey to the Valley of the Sun

DSC01064.2We’ve been home just over a week now, and I think we’re nearly caught up with everything (except blogging!).  I actually was pretty good this time to unpack right away, but it’s taken me way too long to sift through the 600+ photos we came back with.  Don’t worry, only a fraction of them are worth sharing with the handful of you actually interested in seeing how our trip went!  (And, I only expect those related to me to actually make it to the bottom of this post!) 


Booking our tickets was just the first part of fun…  if I was going to travel with Connor, by myself, I wanted to stay there long enough to make it worth it… AND we were going to use frequent flyer miles to do it… AND we wanted Brian to be able to come visit us while we were away for so long.  So, we found a two-week window, with trips for Brian already scheduled to LA each week – rather than having him fly all the way back to Chicago, he’d just spend the weekend in Phoenix with us.  The scary part was that I had less than 3 weeks to prepare both the details and myself for our little adventure!


I won’t get into the nitty-gritty, because that bores even me, but the bottom line is that we survived… both of us.  I really couldn’t have done it without our trusty iPod.  Uncle Scott helped me figure out how to save YouTube videos, I installed several baby-friendly apps (Elmo’s Monster Maker was the hands down fav) and worked on getting Connor used to wearing earbuds – so all-in-all the iPod was a HUGE lifesaver!  What didn’t help is that both of our neighbors, coming and going, had iPhones… and how do you explain to an 18-month-old that their toy isn’t his… and doesn’t have any Yo Gabba Gabba videos on it??

Interesting to note, leaving Chicago, the ticket agent at O’Hare (a real airport) allowed Brian (who didn’t leave for LA until the next day) to accompany me and Connor all the way to the gate… which was awesome.  How else are you supposed to juggle a backpack, a stroller, your shoes, and a non-walking toddler at security?  There was no way in h*** I was going to put him down on the disgusting carpet where everyone walks with their stinky, sweaty bare feet!  At America’s Friendliest Airport (Phoenix – no joke, that’s what they call themselves), we were denied.  When I requested assistance from the TSA agents, they had no idea what to do.  In the end, we got through okay, but I was a bit frazzled and beyond annoyed.


IMG_7980.2Summer is definitely NOT the time to travel to Phoenix…  it was averaging about 110F each day we were there, and the nights aren’t much cooler but at least the sun is down.  So, we froze out Grandpa and cranked down the A/C in the house (thanks for being such a good sport, Dad!).  Connor didn’t venture out too much, but there was this one day, when I had just buckled him into the hot car… and I lost the keys for nearly 5 minutes… his whimpers… so sad!

While we were there…

  • We spent lots of time with fun cousins!  (No one cracks Connor up like Maddy can, and every time he came near baby Ally, he had to plant kisses on her… so funny!)
  • Connor got to do some serious bonding with Grandpa (a frequent babysitter), and helped him to cultivate a deep adoration for every episode of “Yo Gabba Gabba” available on DVD, at least 10 times each
  • We got together with the whole Rogers clan for some yummy food (see here and there).
  • Connor got to experience his first real pool and splash fountains.
  • Brian and I had a lovely night away.  (I highly recommend the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and The White Chocolate Grill, if you ever find yourself in North Scottsdale/Phoenix.)
  • New Friends - Connor & Rocklin  06.30.10Connor and I got to catch-up with an old roommate of mine and see her adorable little family (including her brand-new baby girl, Ruby!).
  • I hung out with Erik & Emily… had a yummy lunch and saw a lame movie.  (Next time, I pick!)
  • We checked out Kristen & Dan’s latest project…  it’s a doozy, but when they pull it off, it’ll be gorgeous!
  • We had Scott over for dinner… where he dazzled Connor with his new iPhone and bonded over a bath.
  • And, we shopped… and shopped… and shopped!  Connor’s wardrobe for Summer 2011 is now nearly complete.  :)


I know I’ve posted a lot of pictures below… but I really need to make a mental note next time to take more pictures of Grandpa, Kristen, Dan, & Erik!

Here’s the part where we dim the lights and set up the slide projector…  except, I hope these aren’t as boring as that… and I’ve collaged quite a few of them to make the viewing a little less tedious. 

(For the family: you can click on any photo to save the original, and I’ve also uploaded them to Picasa here.)

Cousins  06.2010

DSC01042.2“Whistle while you work!”  Playing with great-Grandma’s toy cabinet – June 30, 2010

DSC00894.2Grandpa enjoying his new camera – June 25, 2010

Maddy & Ally - July 2010

DSC01058.2Discovering the dishwasher with Grandma – June 30, 2010

Swimming in AZ  06.25.10

Aunt Emily  06.26.10

DSC01007.2Blue Steel – June 28, 2010

IMG_7944.2Cute Ally – June 26, 2010

Splish Splash  06.22.10

DSC00918.2Enjoying the open spaces and FREEDOM to roam at Grandma & Grandpa Rogers’ house… helped that he really honed his crawling skills, too!  (Connor gave himself such severe rug burns during our first full day there, that I had to run out that night to try to find him some long pants… in AZ… in the summertime.) – June 26, 2010

Maddy & Ally - Sunglasses  06.22.10

DSC00828.2 Enjoying yet another “Yo Gabba Gabba” episode with Grandpa – June 24, 2010

Rogers Family Get-Together  06.26.10

DSC01073.2Whistling! – June 30, 2010

Uncle Scott  07.01.10

DSC01083.2Grandma Rogers – June 30, 2010

DSC01121.2Cherry-sweet Maddy – July 1, 2010

Piano Players  06.2010

DSC01118.2Teething, so his hands were constantly in his mouth – June 30, 2010

Sweet Ally  06.22.10

Silly Maddy  06.10  IMG_7923.2  “I believe you have my stapler.” – June 26, 2010

DSC01175.2 Grandpa Rogers with his grand-daughters, Maddy & Ally – July 1, 2010


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