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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Write it down!

the list - redMost of my list-keeping is on the computer.  I send myself e-mails full of lists – of links, ideas, chores, and other things I don’t want to forget – all day long.  But, I can’t take my computer to the store with me, and it’s not always convenient to be sitting in front of it when I need to capture something.  Like Jeff Lewis says, I need to “write it down!”. 
Several months ago, I found these fun little clipboards in the clearance section at Archiver’s.  I have plans to embellish them with a little scrapbook paper and mod podge, which I’ll post pictures of later.  I’ve just been needing some sort of notepad to go with them.  I saw these cute DIY notepads on Ashley Ann, and knew that a graph paper design was definitely the way to go – built-in “check boxes” and lines to help keep my list-making nice and neat.
You’ve got it… another free printable!
I wanted to keep this to-do/shopping/whatever list no frills and simple.  Cutesy is nice and all, but I find it to be a little distracting sometimes, plus I plan on using this list on an embellished clipboard in the near future. 
IMAGE - the list - page layoutOnce again, this printable is available in a variety of colors…  these will print 2 to a page, and the finished size is 4” x 10.5”.  I’ve included black, gray, and white (not pictured) versions if you don’t want to print in color.  Print up a whole bunch of these and make them into a notepad (see tutorial here) for yourself or as gifts.
IMAGE - the list
To download the file(s) of your choice, click on the collage image above and you’ll be directed to their 4shared locations.  (I’ve also included a compressed file which includes all of the color choices.)
My printing secret – I selected “Page Scaling: NONE” in my print settings before printing.  Then, I trimmed the paper by 1/4” on all sides, and cut in half – they worked out perfectly!
Hope this helps keep your life just a little more organized!

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

I’ll be posting this project to some of the link-up parties listed here:


Looking for photos…

Wondering if any of my readers happened to print and frame one of the Room Definitions Prints I created?

Bath & Laundry IMAGE

I’d love to feature you here on Sprik Space and include it in a submission on IShare Printables.  If you wouldn’t mind, could you please take a photo of your finished piece and e-mail it to me?  Much thanks in advance!!signature5  :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday

Picture 006… to me!

The biggest wish I wanted for this day was that Brian would be in town and not traveling for work.  He’s home and all is right in the world… at least for today.  :) 

But, I still wish that my cake didn’t require nine times the number of candles pictured back in 1978.  {sigh.}  (If you just did the math, shame on you!  ;)

You know, I wore pigtails a lot in my younger years… and as of this week, I officially miss them.  If I blow-dry a certain way, my haircut currently rivals the look of a certain teen sensation – and that’s depressing.  :S

If I had another wish, it would be for pigtails... and the youth to get away with wearing them!signature5

Monday, September 27, 2010

Brief Bits

Here's a quick round-up of what I've found on the web recently that got my creative juices flowin':

1.  From The Adventures of One Crazy Lady - Buttoned Monogram Pillow
When Connor's a little older and I don't have to worry about him wanting to pop off one of these buttons to eat it, I'd love to make one of these - such a CUTE idea!

2.  From Tidy Mom - Homemade Pizza Rolls
One of Brian's food groups is pizza, and we already know that Connor loves it too.  These little rolls look pretty tasty - I'm going to have to give them a try.

3.  From 33 Shades of Green - Tissue Paper Flower
LOVE this idea!  Such a pretty alternative to those boring bows from a bag.

4.  From Kevin and Amanda - Cookies 'N Cream Oreo Fudge Brownies
She had me at OREO!  These look divine.

5.  From Under the Table and Dreaming - DIY Drawer Organizers
The plastic utensil organizers you buy at the store are not always one-size-fits-all.  This tutorial shows you how you can subdivide your drawers on your own, depending on your needs... and makes it look easy!

6.  From Just Cook Already - Strawberry Bread
My mother instilled in me a love of quick breads.  This little number is made with frozen strawberries, so you can enjoy it any time of the year.  Definitely will be trying out this yummy-looking recipe!

7.  From Prudent Baby - DIY Tissue Garland
This is a fun little idea to dress up your next party, instead of using tired-old crepe paper streamers.  So cute!

8.  From Ohdeedoh - Make your own clouds
LOVE this idea to make hanging clouds out of quilt batting.  So simple and sweet - they'd be perfect in a nursery.

9.  From Just Another Day in Paradise - Best Ever Red Potatoes
Sadly, potatoes could be one of my food groups.  :)  So yes, I will be trying these out.  I really like that you prepare and begin baking them whole (little prep work) 2 hours prior to done time.  Being able to spread out my preparations means that dinner comes together on time and a little more smoothly.

10.  From Oops! I Craft My Pants - Caramel Popcorn
This recipe calls for just 4 ingredients, a microwave and corn popper, and a few minutes of time.  Looks delicious!  Caramel popcorn just tastes like fall to me.

11.  From Tasty Kitchen - Butter Chicken
I'm not a huge connoisseur of Indian food, but this recipe looks yummy enough to try.  I'll have to go spice shopping, but that's never stopped me before from trying something new.

12.  From The KID Collective - Free Playlists
I love new music, especially by indie bands.  I discovered the free, downloadable playlists offered on this blog a few months ago, and they're some of the most played tracks on my iTunes.  Check it out!

13.  From I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar! - The What's Up Weekly Board
Such a cute idea to help your little one understand when something is coming up.  She even offers the little icons to make your own activity magnets as a free download.  So clever!

So, there you have it... 13 great finds. I hope something here inspires you, too!

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please copy and paste the code below:

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Sustenance

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." 

- Mother Teresa


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Brief Bits

Lots of fun seasonal ideas this time around.  Here's a quick round-up of what I've found on the web recently that got my creative juices flowin':

1.  From eighteen25 - Fluffy Spider Tutorial
Can't stand the live ones, but this one made of yarn and pipe cleaners is pretty darn cute!  Love how it's displayed, hung from a string.

2.  Mindy Gledhill - Anchor
Love, love, LOVE this album.  If you enjoy bright, melancholy music, à la Ingrid Michaelson, Meiko, or A Fine Frenzy (think Grey's Anatomy -type music), you will like Mindy's music.  (This is not church pop, never fear.)  I downloaded it a few weeks ago, and it's been keeping me company late at night while on the computer... every.single.night.  I think my favorite is the title track, Anchor.

3.  From Funky Polkadot Giraffe - Candy Corn Bunting
There are a lot of candy corn buntings floating around the craft blogs these days...  this one is by far my favorite.  So cute!  ...and easy enough, I could probably make it.

4.  From Singing with Birds - Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Bars
I love me some crème brûlée... pair it with cheesecake and I've died and gone to heaven. We're having company in a few weeks, and I think I may have to use that as an excuse to give these a try!

5.  From Inspiring Creations - Ribbon Pumpkin
I think I like white pumpkins the best, and I really like this idea of lining the pumpkin with ribbon - so cute!

6.  From Martha's Crafts Department - Mail a Paper Heart Garland
I adore this simple idea!  And I'm thinking I'll modify it a bit for our Valentines next year.  Here's what we did last year.

7.  From Tasty Kitchen - Pecan Pie Muffins
Growing up in Texas, pecans and the delicious pies to be made with them were plentiful.  In fact, I'm already salivating over the delicious pecan pie we're sure to enjoy on Thanksgiving Day.  Maybe I'll have to try these yummies to tide me over until then.

8.  From Lu Bird Baby - Heads up on TJ's Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix 
Pumpkin, glorious pumpkin!  I visited a local Trader Joe's last weekend, and they didn't have this mix in yet...  but I did pick up a box of their pumpkin bread mix.  I keep forgetting to check at the grocery store, but did you know there's a pumpkin shortage this year?  I'll be on the hunt for canned pumpkin for sure!  One of my favorite things to make is Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread - it just isn't Fall without it.

9.  From A Little Lovely - Fall Wreath Tutorial
The back of my front door desperately needs something new.  A simple wreath like this would be perfect!  I love the sparseness of the flowers, so that you can still see the grapevine form underneath it.

10.  From Lifehacker - Fruit Fly Trap
Oh how I wish I had found this just 2 weeks ago!  I brought fruit flies home with me after a trip to the grocery store, and then had to ban fresh fruit on the counter (ie. melons, peaches, etc.) until they were killed all gone.  So, we haven't enjoyed much of nature's late summer bounty this year.  And to think all I needed was a little apple cider vinegar and dish soap.  Next year...

11.  From Just Another Day in Paradise - Old MacDonald Puppets
How adorable are these?!?  Larissa generously has provided her patterns and a tutorial for all 9 puppets - WOW.  Made with felt, a sewing machine, and a lot of love... I'm excited to give these a try (or convince Grandma Rogers to).  ;)

12.  From A Crafty Escape - Halloween Countdown Chain
Such a clever idea to make the traditional countdown chain a little more permanent and reusable!  Each link is made of fabric and velcro - love it.

13.  From Sew Totally Smitten - Candy Corn Door Hanging
Honestly, I can't stand the taste or texture of candy corn... but I think this door hanging is really fun!  Amber's candy corn is made of canvas, and then her stripes are painted on with fabric paint - genius.

So, there you have it... 13 great finds. I hope something here inspires you, too!

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please copy and paste the code below:

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Blurb Book Experience - August 2010

Overall, I’m very pleased with how Connor’s “baby book” turned out.  From upload time to delivery, I only had to wait 1 week.  I’m definitely impressed by the quality – the text and pictures are all crisp and clear.  It’s also really fun to have all of these images of his first year – to see just how much he changed in those first 12 months – in a more tangible format.  (However, I’m still feeling a little burned out from the whole process; hence the blog posting slowdown lately.)

We volunteer at the hospital where Connor stayed, meeting with current NICU families, to hopefully offer a little support and hope that their babies will come home someday.  We take Connor with us when we can (ie. not flu season), and it really seems to help the families to see a former NICU patient doing so well.  After the book arrived, I realized that it would make a great visual aid – it would help offer perspective – for them to see how small and sick he was, and how miracles can really happen.

I plan to make additional books for Connor as the years progress, and will likely combine a couple of years into each one.  Future books won’t have nearly as many pictures or text crammed into them, so I expect that creating them will go a lot more smoothly. 

Yes, I’d definitely use Blurb again (but I am hoping that their software is significantly upgraded before then :).


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Forever young

It’s just about a week until my birthday…  boo.

And, as if I didn’t need another reminder for just how old I am, I found an old high school class photo the other night, and thought it would be fun to post on Facebook.

However, Facebook only enlarges the images so big, and my senior class was large – 711 of us, I think? (That number seems familiar, but honestly, I don’t remember anymore.)

Here’s the sea of faces… the Klein High School Class of 1993:

KHS Class of 1993

Posting these photos here for my fellow classmates to browse… if you click on the photo, it will be viewable in its larger, original size.

Here are the individual scans, before I “stitched” them together to make the panoramic:

KHS Class of 1993 - 1 KHS Class of 1993 - 2 KHS Class of 1993 - 3 KHS Class of 1993 - 4 KHS Class of 1993 - 5

This has been rolled in a cardboard tube for the last 17 years… {gasp} has it really been that long??… hence, the blurriness on the edges of the images above.

Enjoy, my fellow Bearkats!signature5

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Sustenance

"Whatever you can do, or think you can do, begin it. 
For boldness has power and magic and genius in it."

- Goethe


Monday, September 13, 2010

Thirty days hath September

Have you ever noticed how expensive some dry-erase perpetual calendars are?
I’m currently on a de-cluttering, organizing, simplifying, redecorating kick around my house… and figured I could create my own dry-erase perpetual calendar using the idea of picture frames, as I’ve done before.
A perpetual calendar means I wouldn’t need to find a new paper calendar year after year… a dry-erase calendar means it'll be a lot easier to shift around appointments/activities as I often have to do.
So, I thought I’d turn my little project into creating another free printable.  (See other freebies here.)
This particular calendar, isn’t huge – only 11”x14”, but it can still give you a general layout of your upcoming month’s activities, important dates, etc.  Placed behind a sheet of glass, it’s a format for your very own dry-erase perpetual calendar… at a fraction of the cost of similar calendars out there.
I’ve kept the colors light, so that your dry-erase markers will still show against the background… in case your handwriting is big, like mine.  ;) 
IMAGE - Blank Calendar - SOLIDS
To download the file(s) of your choice, click on the image above and you’ll be directed to their 4shared locations.  (I’ve also included a compressed file which includes all of the color choices.)  Then, just upload to your favorite online photo printer (Costco only charges $2.99 per print of this size!), put it inside an 11”x14” frame, and hang your framed piece on the wall.  Now you’ve got an inexpensive, dry-erase perpetual calendar for your home or office.  :)

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

(If these are popular, I have plans to upload more with patterned backgrounds, and possibly create larger calendar images – I’ll keep ‘ya posted.)
I hope this simple calendar helps to keep you a little more organized and brightens up your space!
I’ll be posting this project to some of the link-up parties listed here:
I'm honored to have had this project featured on these sites. Thanks so much!!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Sustenance

"No act of kindness, 
no matter how small, 
is ever wasted."
- Aesop


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sunday Sustenance

"A home should be
clean enough
to be healthy,
and dirty enough
to be happy."
- Anonymous

Thursday, September 02, 2010

So proud.

After Connor was born, he developed a fairly serious intraventricular hemorrhage (grades II & III on either side of his brain).  The neonatologists at the time didn’t really know what to tell us.  Only time would tell if and how badly Connor’s brain would be damaged by the bleeding.  We were told to prepare ourselves for cerebral palsy, issues with motor skills, and/or learning disabilities, at the very least.  Luckily, while Connor was still in the NICU his IVH resolved itself, and no further intervention was necessary.  This past April, his neurologist said we’re in the clear for any lingering IVH issues, and that all Connor really has to overcome right now are developmental delays due to his prematurity (born at 26w 6d gestation).  (I’m still not sure what he meant by “in the clear” – at the time it was good news, and I didn’t question it – I think it’s too soon to tell what, if any, learning disabilities Connor might have.) 

It was nearly a year ago this month, that Connor purposefully rolled over by himself for the very first time at 9 months old.  At the beginning of May, he started crawling at 16 months old.  He began pulling himself to stand at the end of May, at 17 months old.  Not unlike our other preemie friends, we work really hard to achieve each and every milestone.

At the end of physical therapy last Friday, Connor did something amazing…  it had been a busy session – he’d spent time with the exercise ball, time on the slide, on the swing, and he’d even done some gait training on the treadmill.  While his therapist was making me a quick copy, we looked down and suddenly HE WAS WALKING!  Just 4 or 5 steps, all on his own!

Unfortunately, Brian wasn’t able to attend the session with us, but we rushed home, ever hopeful that Connor would “perform” again.  Sure enough, he was able to show his new skills to Daddy.  :)

Taking a stand - 08.28.10 Without any encouragement from us, the little rock star showed numerous times how he can stand “with no hands” in his pool.

A few days later, with the bribe help of the phone, I attempted to catch him walking on video.  Like a carrot dangled in front of a horse, Connor will gravitate toward anything with buttons.  Please don’t mind the video quality below… I was flying solo this particular evening.  It’s really hard to capture this AND be the one he’s trying to walk to!

Daddy came home about an hour after this video was captured, and I’m happy to say that Connor repeated his great feat… and even walked the length of the family room rug – 10 feet! – before losing his balance. 

So, we practice walking and standing every day.  The only thing really holding Connor back right now is his own confidence – we know he’s more than capable (you should see how fast he can cruise!).  He’s figured out how to throw tantrums, so practice time is not the most fun time of the day.  But, as we have with everything else, we all push through it.

My middle name is TROUBLE - 09.02.10Obsessed with buttons, Connor’s figured out (all by himself) that with the help of some of his toys, he can turn the TV on and off.

Fun in the sun - 08.28.10LOVES to spend time in his pool!  

Not gonna lie… both of us have shed quite a few happy tears over his latest accomplishment.  We couldn’t be more proud of this amazing little boy!signature5

Brief Bits

Here's a quick round-up of what I've found on the web recently that got my creative juices flowin':

1.  From Tennessee Locavore - The Perfect Snickerdoodle
The snickerdoodle is probably my all-time favorite cookie, if we're talking homemade.  Few bakeries actually get it right, so I usually just go with a chocolate chip (which isn't all that hard to mess up).  The snickerdoodle is a different story... it's all about texture and the right balance of ingredients, not to mention the correct cinnamon to sugar ratio on top.  I definitely want to give this recipe a try!

2.  From A Southern Fairytale - Oreo Truffles
These look divine... and easy, too!  I think I'm going to have to give these a whirl this Christmas season for sure.  For more Oreo Truffle ideas, check this link out, too.

3.  From Martha Stewart - Key Ring Cardholder
A genius idea!  I'd love to gather up all of mine, and just keep them in the glovebox of the car, pulling them out only when needed.

4.  From I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar! - The Magic Tie Trick
So, so clever!  Floppy ties bug me, but probably not as much as the person wearing them.  I bet pretty soon someone's going to market this idea.

5.  From Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss - PB Teen-Inspired USA Chalkboard
I noticed the PB Teen version in my latest catalog, too.  She's pulled off an amazing rendition here, at a fraction of the sale price.  Great tutorial!

6.  From Picky Palate - Oreo Cheesecake Pretzel Bites
Another fabulous idea for Oreos!  This looks really tasty - I'd bet the combination of salty + sweet is fantastic!  This is on my holiday to-make list, too.

7.  From This Blessed Nest - Chalkboard Wall
I'd love to have a chalkboard wall in my home someday.  I really like how she made hers in a hallway, utilizing an otherwise less-used space.  Such a good idea!

8.  From Oops! I Craft My Pants - Phone Case Inserts
I'm not really into "blinging" out your personal electronics, but I LOVE this idea for "decorating" your phone.  Using scrapbook paper that you can switch out on a whim - so clever!  Now I want an iPhone, just so I can fancy it up!  (Tastefully, of course.)

9.  From Workman Family Blog - Car Seat Blanket Tutorial
Great idea for creating a car seat blanket cover by sewing loops to the top of an existing blanket.  I wish we'd had one of these when Connor was small... our blanket never wanted to stay on top of the handle.

10.  From Shark Bait - Terror Alert System
Tiburon's family discipline system is one of my favorites - it's simple and clear and consistent.  Her system integrates rewards and extra-curriculars.  I'm hanging on to these idea, though I plan on Connor being a complete angel.  ;)

11.  Unhearit
If I get "There's a Party in My Tummy" stuck in my head one more time, I'm running straight over to this site to get it replaced with something a lot less annoying!

12.  From Creations by Kara - Magleby's Parmesan Rolls
Yes, I trolled Kara's archives last week and found quite a few goodies!  I lived in Utah Valley for 11 years, and Magleby's Restaurant was one of my favorites.  I miss these rolls... but not anymore, now that I can make my own!

13.  From My Delicious Ambiguity - 15 Games You Can Play With A Blanket
This is a fun little list!  I'm already planning on implementing a few of these ideas this winter when we're homebound.  Connor still loves to play #1.

14.  From Pioneer Woman - Layered Salad
I love me a good salad!  This one looks delicious and would be a great opportunity for me to dig out my underused trifle bowl.

15.  From Taste of Home - S'more Bars
We'll see if Brian's paying attention to the posts on the blog... if he asks nicely, I'll make these for him.  YUM!

16.  From Ten June - DIY Picture Frame Collage
LOVE this idea!  Just string wire across the length of an open frame, use some cute clips, and attach all epherma you wish.  This would be perfect in our upcoming home office re-do (another post, another time).  Her tutorial is posted here.

17.  From Sumo's Sweet Stuff - Dipped Nutter Butters
I have my dad to blame for my love of peanut butter.  You just can't go wrong with a Nutter Butter cookie... add chocolate to it?!?  I die.

18.  From Mini-Eco - Printable Sewing Cards
Adorable free printable!  Such a fun activity to keep little hands busy, and quiet!

So, there you have it... 18 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:

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

September Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday

mary&steve"Aunt" Mary celebrates her 29th birthday (again!) on September 20th.

Picture 005Let Brian consider this his notice that it's officially MY BIRTHDAY MONTH
(he's off the hook after the 28th).
  Happy Birthday - We hope you have a wonderful day
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