family days.

this is the busiest time of year for doug.
busier than Christmas.
we've tried to make a point of having at least one fun family day a week. 
where we do nothing but SOMEthing fun together. :)
last week we took the boys to a local safari park.
you buy buckets of feed and drive through an enormous park full of animals.
admittedly, though the boys had fun, doug and i had WAY more fun.
something about two adults screaming and laughing while bossy animals try to steal food out of your car makes for a fun time.
this guy looks nice. 
but bossy.
and these emus?
i loved the camels. 
though they would steal the entire buckets of food from you.
 another crazy bird.
once the boys found out that the animals were bossy.
and stuck their heads in the car.
the boys wanted NOTHING to do with it.
and wanted their windows UP.
but they were happy to look at the animals while doug and i fed the animals.

but these animals they were ok with.
something about being in cages i think.
you were allowed to go through the safari part as many times as you wanted.
so i talked doug into going through again.
this photo does not do this guy justice.
his rack was as wide as our car.
and the zebras were gorgesous.
is God not the best artist ever?
thankfully...on the second go round moses got up his courage.
and had a great time feeding some llamas.
 hoho still insisted on his window being UP.
 isn't Virgina the prettiest?
it was a great family day.
we ALL had a great time.

do this RIGHT now.

i don't know if i am usually the bossy type.
do those people know? 
i don't know.
but i am telling you.
read this.  go to the store.  and start this RIGHT NOW.
you will be happy you did.
step one: take a pound of ground coffee (i used 8 o'clock bean). 
dump it into a huge container.  big enough to hold two gallons of water and then a bit.
add two gallons of water. mix it around to get all the grounds wet.  cover.
walk away until the next day.
the next day (at least 8-10 hours later) strain the coffee mixture through a strainer and paper towels or cheesecloth.  (look Q i bought paper towels!!! only because they didn't have cheesecloth).
this will get out all the grounds.
if you used the same container to steep and store...wash it good before putting the coffee concentrate back in there. 
put in the fridge. 
leave it alone until it is frosty cold and you are sweating buckets.
i then filled my cup with ice to the top green line and then coffee concentrate to that line too.
then added a fun creamer selection...this one was caramel macciato.
delish.  perfect.  wonderful.  awesome.  did not need to add sugar or anything else.
it went down WAYYYYYY too easy. 

iced VIA from starbucks costs $6 for six servings.
this cost me about around the same amount for ten times the servings.
and i love it more than the VIA.  and you know how much i love my starbucks.

thank you pioneer woman for changing my life.
i will make and keep this idea forever and ever and ever and ever.

you can thank me later.


our 4th was very laid back.
two reasons. 
doug worked.
and i refuse to take my kids to see real fireworks until they learn to sleep in.
currently they wake up at 6:30am.  regardless of what time they go to bed. 
so this year, again, we laid low.
well i wasn't actually low.
we had a bad storm that knocked down our neighbors gutter which was connected to ours.
as long as we have lived here the owners have never taken great care of their side...and our side paid for it.
our solution...cut it down the middle, cap our end off and be done with it.
doug and i are a good team.
one of us is not a fan of killing bugs.
one of us is not a fan of heights.
i made these for doug to take to work.
birthday cake rice krispie treats
three batches made one at a time. 
layered into the same pan.
i made time to make another cute pool robe. 

and we treated the boys to sparklers from the dollar bin at target. 
so as far as they are concerned they saw fireworks. 
and clearly, from this photo, you can tell where hoho's priorities are. :) 
and lastly. 
to celebrate reaching 1,000 facebook fans, i am giving this happy weathered sign away to one lucky fan.  hop on over to my facebook page to enter.  ---------------->

happy day to you!  xo

up for grabs.

i'm listing some headbands in an album on my facebook fan page...found over there------>
these are all the ladies size elastic bands.

they are $5 each plus shipping.

i will not be making anymore until august. that includes custom orders.  :)

just comment with "mine" on the photo of the headbands you want and make sure i have your paypal address to send you an invoice. :)

in august i will be using all new fabrics so this may be the last you see some of these fabrics. :)

happy shopping and happy fourth of july!! :)

my country tis of thee.

i'm getting to design all sorts of cute decorations...ones perfect for celebrating a life of 90 years.  while creating them, i can't help but think and daydream about the life that doug's grandpa must have lived.

i know i have mentioned here before that he came to this country on his own.  as a kid of 14.  his parents both died when he was very young.  left with nothing to lose, he essentially hopped on a ship from Norway, at FOURTEEN on his OWN, with about $15 to his name and came to a country that wasn't his own.

a new language.  a new city.  a new place.  maybe a new hope for a future?

i wonder often about that 14 year old Austin and the fears that must have been present.

or maybe things just were very different 75 years ago.

i look at fourteen year olds now and i can't imagine them making themselves lunch much less find their own way in a foreign place.

i've known many people who don't have to get a job until post college.
i know teenagers who can't hold an actual conversation that doesn't include some form of internet speak.  does it really take that much longer to spell out y-o-u?

i wonder what Austin from 75 years ago would think of his modern day counterpart.
their entitlement, their laziness, their lack of drive to do even the most simple of tasks.

i wonder what a modern 14 year old would think to look at what Austin's life may have looked like then? to have to work to support himself and siblings.  to be on your own.  to be the source of your own food, warmth and support.

i have never been a supporter of the idea that people are a victim of their circumstances.

you ARE who you set out to be.
i have been told in the past that:
i was not smart enough for college.
that i could never be a stay at home mom.
that i could never make a living as an artist.

i say the heck with that.  life is what you make it become

yes we all have tough times.  we have money trouble and man trouble and life trouble.
but i am convinced, if only from my own path, that anything can be overcome.

and THAT is what makes our country great.
THAT is what Austin got on a ship 75 years ago in search of.
opportunity.  chances.  good.  hope.

even with all of its problems, we still live in the best country in the world. period.
we live in a country where women can vote and drive and speak in public.
we live in a country where we can worship how and whom we choose OPENLY.

we are free.  and it came at a price.  and will always come at a price.

living here in the southeast it is impossible for us to forget the cost of our freedom.
i can promise that there is not a Virginian who doesn't pass dozens of signs on the side of the road that indicate the what and how of some great battle of the civil war.  or about the original settlers.  or jamestown or williamsburg.
doug and i have visited a settlement where the entire population vanished without a trace before supply ships could return.
the cost of our freedom surrounds us.
drive down many a southern road and for every huge plantation house that has been preserved, there are dozens that have become dilapidated and hide the stories and the shame of how they got there in the first place.

i adore living here because of the richness of the heritage of this area.  for the amazing reminders that i see daily.  for the impossibility of forgetting how much it cost for me to be able to go to church where i see fit and to do it alongside a friend of any color.

i am thankful to live in an area that is so rich in memories for what our country is all about.

i am praying to be like that 14 year old Austin.

and to raise two little boys to grow up just like him.

and to all of those fighting for our country so i can do that...thank you.  you are the best of the best.

*digital images created by less ordinary designs...dressed up by me. :) 

when i'm not playing.

i've been "working".
somehow the days are both long and short.
i can't believe it is already july.  and to me, july is already over because it is packed.
even though it looks like all i am doing is playing...or being lazy, i am getting things done.
like this weathered "barn" wood flag for doug's grandpa's 90th birthday.
it turned out just the way i wanted.
weathered.  worn and loved. 
it's made to hang outside.
i've also been working on custom orders like this one...made to match invitations.
i've also been working with a lot of towels.
i finally got this one done for my hokie colors of course.
can i just tell you how much easier this makes life at the pool? 
because it does.  you put it on once and it is done.
it stays on and my kids like to keep a towel on when not in the water.
i'm taking orders for them if you want one.  email me. :)
i'm also making this variety.
a simple (but cute) hooded towel...with a little hot mess thrown in there for the girls.
my darling (bribed model) demonstrates.
i'm also taking orders for these. 
you can't go wrong with either one.
they are great for the pool, beach, lake and bathtub.
pair them with some fun bath soap or googles for a fun gift.

i hope your 4th is lovely. :)


with the new iphone comes a new addition.
so much more me than twitter.
 i've been using it to capture random little moments in our day.
 and it's turning into a fun little way to track our life.
eventually i will get a bunch printed and do something fun with them
(app to do that: postalpix)
 so if you are an instagram addict like myself...come find me.
user name: littlebitfunky
 or maybe you aren't an addict yet...
 but there is time to change that...and capture all the little moments that would normally involve lugging a camera around...
 like naughty children with balloons.
or that i got all my hair cut off. :)
there was an audible gasp from the women in the shop when she made the first cut (to donate).
and that i repainted the picnic table for the boys.
vive norge. :)
 pretty flowers in my yard.

or the day (yesterday)where we drove an hour and a half to the zoo only to discover that it is closed on Sundays.

 we ended up in maymont park in richmond instead.
 it was boy approved.
this is a sure sign that he enjoyed it. :)

are you on instagram?  come find me! :)
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