And this time, there truly
We are off to Florence for Thanksgiving. Love to you all!
Happy Sunday, y'all!
I wanted to carry on the tradition of sharing links that inspired me this past week!
I hope you'll share what inspires YOU in the comments. Like I said, last week…I hope this series will eventually become a community of inspiration!
Here we go:
This shirt pretty much perfectly describes my life right now. The minute my friend Lexi shared it with me, I pinned it to my Wish List board. I feel comfortable saying this shirt was made for me. 🙂
2. Ugly cry alert. This video is one of the most beautiful (and heartbreaking) things I've ever seen. I rarely SOB when I watch things…but I sobbed when I watched this.
3. This article about Zappos putting Kanye West in his place made me laugh out loud. Well played, Tony. Well played.
Need December Daily inspiration? Then check out Alexes Brown. LOVE her album and man, it makes me want to make something. That's the sign of an awesome project.
Loving this DIY garland from Freutcake.
6. The 26 most thought provoking photographs of all time. I had chills and tears looking at these photos. Photography is an amazing gift. It's a powerful, powerful thing.
7. This video? There are no words. So touching.
9. Never mess with someone's mama. You can bet I'd do the exact same thing she did. It takes guts and she must have been terrified. But it's a testament to a mother's fierce love.
Okay. It kind of bugs me that I only have nine things this week instead of a nice, even ten…but those are the only things I really want to share.
1. blog whatever is authentic. whatever is truly on your mind and in your heart.
2. It can be serious, silly, short, long. NOTE:no one said it has to be serious. But it should be authentic.
3. No judging allowed no snarky comments, no making fun, no passive agressive digs.If you are going to read the blogs linked below, don't be mean. Nothing here is whining, though I can't help it if you perceive it that way. It's me honestly sharing my feelings. if you feel that it's whining, then you don't have to read. 🙂
4. If you BYH, link back here. I'll add an Inlinkz tool at the end of the post. I always read and comment on every single post.
5. Feel free to use the graphic above. Just make sure to link back to me.
6. If you are reading my blog today or if you read any of the blogs linked, please leave a comment. 🙂
Okay…this picture has nothing to do with the post. But I have issues with long, photo-less posts. And also, it kind of does have something to do with the post as Cate's face (on the right) perfectly describes the way I feel as I work up the courage to do a BYH post. HA!
1. I love Italy. I love being with my family every day. But I miss my friends. Terribly. There are lots of lovely women here, but I feel like I'm having a hard time getting to know them. We are all pretty spread out, location wise, and everyone is pretty busy. This is always the hardest part of moving, and truth be told…it's lonely.
2. I don't even believe I'm typing this, but I'm getting tired of Italian food. I know, I know. I need to be punched in the throat. But I'm getting tired of pasta and pizza. We've found a good solution. I cook our family favorites (none of the Italian ones, though) during the week so that we all crave Italian food by the weekend.
3. This is the time of year that I tend to get super stressed. The twins turn three on Sunday. Then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then Jimmy's birthday on January 1. Hello, crazy season. I'm doing my best to be present this year. And knowing that we are having Thanksgiving in Florence helps. No turkey/meal/etc. to get irrationally worked up about. 🙂
4. I hired a housekeeper. For the first time ever. And it has changed my life. I really mean that. I finally allowed myself to ask for help. If you know me, that's really hard for me. I admitted I need help. And I have to tell you, it's worth it. I am so grateful for that. Why WHY did I not do this when the twins where born and I was all alone? Because I'm stubborn. That's why.
5. I really, really need to start exercising. Not to fit in a certain pair of jeans, not to hit a certain number on the scale. I need to start exercising because I don't feel good about myself. And that affects everything. It affects my marriage, it affects the example I'm setting for my girls.
6. My kids buy their lunches every day. I so wanted to be that mom. The one who made the adorable bento box lunches from Pinterest. And I tried. But the girls wanted to eat at school because apparently everyone else does…and you know how that goes. And truth be told, it makes life easier.
7. For the first time ever in my life, I have road rage issues. I mean…it's bad here. Motorcycles and bikes ALL OVER THE PLACE (most of them with no regard at all to cars or anyone else who might be there), horrible parking jobs (I'm talking cars that have parked perpendicularly in parallell parking spots), and me driving a car way too big for Italian life…yeah. I'm a maniac. I keep it (mostly) in my head, but I get SO WORKED UP every time I drive. Sigh.
8. I am unnaturally and irrationally obsessed with Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. I have been ever since The Notebook. I have probably watched their MTV Movie Awards kiss 92384082348203842038420384 times. Y'all. It's bad. I love them. I really think they are the most wonderful couple ever. So when I read that they might be back together??? I got WAY. TOO. EXCITED. I'm a nerd.
9. I worry a lot about my girls in the world we live in today. I worry about someone hurting them, taking advantage of them, bullying them, and so much worse. I'm scared for them. And I pray every day that we will help them become the confident, secure, kind, brave, Godly women I want them to become.
10. I know that everyone else is already excited for Christmas. Music playing, trees ready to go up, decor unpacked…but I'm just not there right now. I want to work on some things this year. One of them is not getting caught up in the stuff. You know what I mean. I don't want to worry about crafting. Or advent calendars. Or getting overly creative with Turtle the elf. I don't want to buy our kids a bunch of stuff. Stuff they don't need, stuff they will stop caring about 10 minutes after they open their gifts. I want this Christmas to be intentional. And I'm thinking about how to best do that.
Okay…that's it. My November BYH. I sure hope you'll join in. I love, love, LOVE reading all the links.
So glad you stopped by today. I have a scrapbook page to share with you!
Lately scrapbook pages have become much more about being creative. About getting my hands messy and playing with product and making something tangible. My Project Life has become much more about multiple photos and memories.
You will see more single photo layouts from me because I think of pages as a creative release. Does that make sense?
I had my Gossamer Blue November Kit remains out on my desk and wanted to use them up so I grabbed some of my staples (ribbon, doilies, label stickers) and got to work.
Here's what I came up with:
Supplies: Gossamer Blue November Kits and Addons//Freckled Fawn wide washi tape//BasicGrey chipboard accents//doilies//Chic Tags alphabet stickers//Recollections alphabet stickers//Studio Calico gold label//May Arts chevron twill ribbon
When I was working on the layout I really wanted to use this Crate Paper vellum, but I just couldn't make it work.
I know that this pretty ribbon will get smooshed when I put it in an album, but I'm okay with that! Perfection is ovverated. 🙂
I hope you have a beautiful day!
Happy Monday morning, y'all! Today I thought I'd share some photos I took this weekend…and pepper some interesting Italian facts throughout the post.
Note: this is just my experience in the Veneto region of Italy so far. I know that not every part of this country is the same, but these are just some fun and quirky facts about the part of Italy I live in. Or at least what I have noticed!
1.Italians don't touch their produce. There are special gloves at the supermarkets that you have to put on.
2. When you eat at restaurants in America, they bring out everyone's food at once. In Italy, they bring it out plate by plate. You are not to wait until everyone receives their food…that is considered an insult to the chef. You are to enjoy it immediately, the food is made with that intent.
3.You can find baby wipes here, but they don't really use them. That's what bidets/sinks are for, I suppose.
4. You don't say "Ciao" to great someone you don't know. You use the more formal bongiorno or buona sera. Once you "know" someone or see them regularly, ciao is just fine.
5. Italians don't really wait in line. They kind of just cluster. It can be frustrating at times, not gonna lie.
6. The highways here are called the "Autostrada". Pretty sure no one observes the speed limit, and I've never seen anyone get pulled over here.
7. Wine and water only with meals here, nothing else is really available. Coffee after. Strong coffee.
8. No one in this part of Italy wears color in the fall/winter. I'm not exaggerating. Lots of beige, black, gray, camel, and brown. I stick out like a sore thumb in my red, green, and blue.
9. There is no |h| sound/ h in the Italian language. Hospital is "ospedale", Chinese food is "Cinese" and Harper Howell is "arper owell!".
10. To take a shopping cart into the store, you have to insert a euro coin to unlock the cart. When you return it to the proper place/re-lock it…you will receive your money back. Hence no errant carts!
11. You have to pay to use many public restrooms here.
Have a beautiful Monday!
At the beginning of each weekend I'm going to try to share a few things that caught my eye during the week.
They might be related to crafts, fashion, food, pop culture, or just inspiration in general.
I'd love it if you could share what caught your eye each week, too. That way the comments of this post each weekend could be filled with eye candy/hilarity/deep thoughts/inspiration.
So here we go.
Indeed it is. Original source.
3. And in the same vein…I LOVED this story about Jennifer Lawrence. It brought tears to my eyes. What a shining example of kindness and grace and class.
Just…yes. Nothing else to say about this print.
6. This story about Pope Francis had the tears flowing. Is that not a shining example of God's love and grace? We need more of that. Less judging, more shining. More grace, less finger pointing and holier-than-though.
I'm fascinated by this aging superhero oil painting series.
9. And on the opposite end of the spectrum…
I can't even handle this story. It breaks my heart and reminds me of the good of mankind all at once. I followed the Batkid story all day and loved seeing each update. So beautiful. Please go read everything that happened on that awesome day.
My friend Amber (of Damask Love) put together a beautifully comprehensive (and free!) e-gift guide. It's a visual treat and I loved every page. Click Here for the magazine in its entirety.
There you have it. My 10 most inspiring links from this week.
I'd love to see yours!
TGIF y'all! Today I have a layout to share with you. It came together super quickly and makes me ridiculously happy!
I started by printing these two photos. I love them both dearly and they share a common theme. In Sadie's photo she is packed and ready to go to Lake Como. In Cate's photo she is packed and ready to go to France.
I knew I wanted to use them on a layout about traveling and our adventures.
Here's what I came up with:
Supplies: Gossamer Blue November main kit, Gossamer Blue November Add On 2, Gossamer Blue November Bits and Pieces, Studio Calico Double Scoop project life kit (gold labels), sequins, doilies, MME tiny word stickers, BasicGrey Micro Monogram stickers, gold foliage from Michael's, American Crafts thickers
I'm really happy with the layering and clustering I achieved on this page. I tried not to overthink it…but I did move things around a bit more than I normally do..
The gold leaves (from Christmas foliage I got at Michael's last year) add a nice sparkly touch.
And I added some fun accents (like the vellum postage stamp under the 'o' in go).
I have to tell y'all that I'm rather obsessed with Heidi Swapp mixed company ephemera right now.
I love that the embellishments are mixed. Some cardstock, some acrylic, and some vellum. Just right for layering.
That's it for today, just a fun creative share. Hope you enjoyed and can find some inspiration from it this Friday!
We had the most wonderful adventure this past weekend!
Warning…this post is very photo heavy, so if that isn't your thing or if that annoys you, don't say you weren't warned. 🙂
We had a four day weekend (due to Veteran's Day) and took a trip to the French Riviera.
I (again) used Airbnb to find a house for rent and we were stunned when we discovered how beautiful this property really was.
We stayed in Anthéor . Anthéor is right by the town of Agay on the French Riviera (Cote d'Azur) and right down the road from Saint-Raphaël.
We drove through Cannes and Nice to get there.
Our house was right on the Mediterranean Sea. I have never seen anything so beautiful.
We booked our trip to the French Riviera in the off season. It's not the time that most people want to go…but we avoided the crazy crowds of tourists and the inflated prices.
The red rocks (Cap Roux) were absolutely STUNNING.
Here are a few photos of the house and the view.
The views from the house were the absolute best part. The girls had a sweet little room with two bunk beds (they LOVED it) and we had a bedroom with a view like this:
Out of this window, every morning, I got to see this:
Our time in France was super laid-back. Exploring, eating, and drinking. And that's about it.
One of my favorite "explorations"? A French supermarket. We came home with eclairs, baguettes, cheese, rotisserie chicken, macarons, and of course wine.
On the way home from France, we decided to drive through Monaco and explore a bit. I mean…it's Monaco. We had to.
We drove by the casino in Monte Carlo. If I was pretending to be Princess Grace, Jimmy was pretending to be James Bond. I'm sure of it.
And all the while, cars like this were passing us left and right:
After Monaco I thought we were heading home and I was loving the view (you won't believe how many times we pull over to take photos!).
This one was taken as soon as we crossed over the border back into Italia:
My enthusiasm quickly turned to white knuckles and a few muttered curse words when we started to make the trip down the mountains to the town of Monterosso.
The roads were super narrow and winding. All of the curves were blind (we had to honk to warn people on the other side) and some of the road was even falling off of the mountain. Harrowing to say the least.
What's that you say? Minivans aren't meant for the Cinque Terre? Yeah, that'd be correct.
Jesus take the wheel.
Harper said "Mommy, that's not very responsible!" HA! And I told her they have probably lived there their entire lives and they were just fine.
And I loved watching this group of men talk and tell stories:
We need WAY more time to explore and I can't wait to go back.
So there you have it…our weekend adventures. Sorry this post was so long, but at least I warned you! 🙂