Tuesday, July 31, 2012
* This is a guest post from my lovely friend Candice. Her family took the most inspiring road trip this year and she has been kind enough to share their story with us. I know reading this makes me dream of doing the same with my family one day.
“Where are we staying tonight? A campsite? Are we boondocking? Full hook-up? Are we allowed to have a campfire?” These were the questions our kids asked in excitement each day on our trip.
Traveling is in our blood. Growing up and living internationally has left its imprint on us. But as our family has grown, the way we travel has changed. We have to be creative to make it happen, but somehow, on a limited budget, it still remains a priority. We want our kids to see and experience the world we live in, to meet new people, to marvel at nature, see the changes in landscape and climate, to be thankful for what we have and for the opportunities given. We know they will always remember our time spent together as a family.
We love our family and we love to travel, so this summer we packed up our three kids and headed west. All we had was a route in mind and three and a half weeks to serve as our itinerary. The rest of the fun that happened was a result of the people involved and the places we went. I would be lying to say we were not a bit nervous to start such a long journey in a truck camper with a 9 and 7 year old as well as 16-month-old baby. We wondered if this would really work as we hoped and dreamed. With that said, we talked about freeing ourselves from expectations and vowed to enjoy the experience over focusing on our destinations.
We travelled 6,400 miles through: 13 States, 10 National Parks, Route 66, California Coastal Highway 1, as well as many small roads and roadside wonders along the way. We skipped most large cities as this only added traffic, stress, finances and pressure to our leisurely schedule. We stuck to the back roads and parks; here we could easily appreciate the views, the nature and most importantly each other. We each had our own individual interests and tried to incorporate them into the trip; from rock collecting, to hiking, to swimming (anywhere and everywhere we went), to making new friends, to journaling, to photography, to music, to attending Ranger programs and starting a collection of badges and patches earned in each park. Of course there were knees scraped, the family choir of ‘the wheels on the bus’ each time the baby was in his car seat a little too long, the bottomless pit appetites of the kids, and a few wrong turns; but what is a family trip without these?
We hope it marks one of many adventures like this that we will do as a family. We will always cherish our time alone together in nature: driving, hiking, camping, swimming, playing games and sitting around a campfire sharing stories and laughing. There is nothing that compares to getting away and enjoying each other while admiring the beautiful world around us. We hope each family stays busy creating memories; that we enjoy the journey.
Monday, July 30, 2012
A monthly subscription service for altered journalists, scrappers, and paper lovers in general? You bet’cha! It’s Paper Dear is just that, and much more. Zie Darling, the creator of It’s Paper Dear, has a talent for turning collections of bits and paper into adorable pieces of art. Not only can you purchase a monthly paper box filled with your own lovely paper bits and pieces, but you can follow along with Zie Darling as she shares how she creates her altered journal. Her work is beautiful, inspiring, and full of great ideas.
What kinds of things can you expect to find in the It’s Paper Dear monthly box? Pens, journals, tapes, note cards, recipe cards, stickers, vintage papers and much, much more! Check out the FAQ page HERE for more information and pricing.
Zie wants to share with you a sample of some of the papers her subscribers can expect in their boxes, so she has created an adorable recipe/journaling card that is available for free download HERE. Once you see how delightful her artwork is, I know you’ll want to start your own subscription service to It’s Paper Dear right away!
Thursday, July 26, 2012
~The most humongous mushroom grew in our yard. I have a love/hate relationship with mushrooms. I am completely fixated with the mushrooms I see growing in the wild, but I have complete mychophobia when it comes to fungus as food. It’s best not to try and figure out how my brain works.
~I completely blame Jo of Woman in Real Life for the fact that I went out of my way to Trader Joes for a scrumptious takeout lunch this week.
~My favorite thing this week: Lush splurge. Body products that smell so good you’ll have to refrain from eating them.
~I wake up every morning with this scrappy, smelly dog under my nose. She relentlessly scratches like crazy until she’s under the covers with me and then has the audacity to hog my pillow. I’d complain, but I secretly kind of love it.
Have a great weekend!
Linking up with Insta-Friday, My Favorite Things, Hi Five for Friday, Finding Joy.
We are so happy to have For the Fatherless sponsor us this month. I encourage you to read Lindsy’s story and consider making a purchase in her Etsy shop. Every purchase made is truly changing a life.
Share a little about For the Fatherless.
For the Fatherless started and continues to be a fundraiser for our adoption. We are in the process of adopting a little boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo. We've done LOTS of fundraisers but For the Fatherless is my favorite because it provides a way for us to share about orphans, adoption and the amazing women who make the beads.
The beaded jewelry in your shop is amazing, simple and beautiful. Can you tell us about the women who make the beads?
The women who make the beads are mostly widows living in northern Uganda. Their lives have been drastically affected by war and poverty. Jobs are very scarce in Uganda, particularly for poor people with no connections and little or no formal education. It is difficult for us in developed countries to understand the concept of “no work”, and what it means to sit on the curb of the main street in your town with your sewing machine all day (all 12 hours of the day) hoping for a customer or two to use your services. Being able to make and sell the beads allows them to earn fair trade wages and feed their children and send them to school. It is literally life-changing for these women.
What are you currently working on?
Finishing our adoption fundraising! Adoption is not cheap, and we still need about $5,000. I try to keep our Etsy shop stocked with earrings because they are really popular and am hoping to hit as many art shows as I can this fall/winter.
What is your favorite thing about running your business?
I love being able to share about adoption, orphans and the poor. Being able to advocate for them is the best part of what we do.
Thank you For the Fatherless for sponsoring D.I.Y. Louisville this month!
julee & kim
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
We’re looking for sponsors for August, and we want YOU! If you’re a blogger or indie business owner we would love to have the opportunity to feature you on D.I.Y. Louisville. Premium sponsor spots are $10 for the month and include a 250x120 logo button on our right sidebar, a feature write-up post, and shout-outs on our Facebook and Twitter feeds during the month. Additionally, we can work with you to sponsor a giveaway or product review.
D.I.Y. Louisville has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last few months and we plan to keep up the momentum with great tutorials, projects, featured artists and What We Wore posts. In the last thirty days our blog has had over 13,000 views. In addition to our blog, we regularly post on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Are you interested in swapping ad spots? Swapping ad spots is easy and fun! We’ll place your button on our blog in exchange for placing our button on your blog and we both benefit from the increased exposure! We have a limited number of 125x120 spots to swap each month, and we run the buttons from the first day to the last day of the month.
To advertise contact us at email@example.com. We accept Paypal as method of payment.
Knowing that sweat will be dripping down your spine exactly .0001 seconds after you walk out the front door kind of takes the fun out of picking outfits. Getting dressed these days consists of simple dresses. No frills. No added thrills. Even one extra piece of jewelry seems hot and dreadful.
This dress was perfectly cool with the humid air we’ve had. It had already endured an entire work day by the time these photos were taken, hence the wrinkles. For the office, I pulled on a very light-weight white cardi. Collapsing with heatstroke isn’t on my agenda this week, so you'll just have to picture that variation in your mind.
I’m linking up with many other inspiring women over at The Pleated Poppy. If you’re stopping by from there (or anywhere!), please leave a comment saying HI!. I’d love to stop by and visit your blog, too!
P.S. – The first person who can tell me what’s missing from my outfit today, will win a prize! Hmmm, what can it be??
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
What an amazingly fun night we had last week at our meet-up with silversmith Robin Chard!
Robin is an extremely talented artist and we are so fortunate to have her as a member of our D.I.Y. Louisville Craft Collective. Her work has been accepted into some of Louisville’s biggest art shows, including St. James Court Art Show. Last year, Robin won first place at The Kentucky State Fair for a stunning jewelry piece made from various metals. We pretty much can’t brag about her enough!
We had a great turnout for this event and were happy to meet so many new friends. Here are a few of the pictures from our night working with Robin learning to harden metals, make swan necked jewelry clasps, and findings for earrings.
At the end of the evening, we each walked away with a swan necked clasp, and a pair of earrings that we created from start to finish with copper wire and beads. It was a great night full of laughs and creativity, and we are so grateful to Robin for spending her evening sharing with us!
julee & kim
You can see the full set of pictures from this night on our Facebook page.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Tell us a little about yourself and your blog, Silly Happy Sweet.
I started blogging in 2009. My blog name is based on the three words I used to describe motherhood. I grew up an only child so it has been great fun for me to have two kids who are silly, happy, and sweet. My husband is the frosting on my cake--my best friend and an incredible support system. I love all things crafty. My favorite thing to do on a rainy afternoon would be listen to Pandora while knitting.
Your handmade jewelry is so pretty and awesome! When did you get your start?
I started making my roses as potential accents to add to my quilts. I realized they were quite cute and started wearing them as jewelry, got compliments and my business was born!
Any new projects in the works?
My mind is always racing with ideas however I have to limit myself and focus on my shop and what I have going on today. Although I've been making my roses for awhile, I have only recently launched my shop. So my focus is currently all Rosie Rosy-related! Right now I have a local Christmas in July show that I'm focused on.
What is your favorite thing about running your business?
I love making connections and developing relationships with fellow bloggers and customers. Everyone has been so friendly and kind. I have had some great experiences just talking to people. It's my way of having a social "work life."
What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Because my shop is new, I'm spending so much time marketing and promoting. I've got some great friends who wear my jewelry and have done a lot of promoting for me so I'm lucky. But I do have to get out there an sell myself and I think it is hard to be bold and face some rejection. It's scary but I'm getting better at it. I also have typical mom guilt. There are moments I've not heard a word my kids have said because I'm typing an email or something. I feel bad about that sometimes.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists/business owners?
Ha ha! I'd like other peoples' advice actually. No, I guess if I had any advice to give I would encourage aspiring artisans to do your homework. Our family follows a budget and since I don't "work" or provide income, I knew that launching my business would require some financial risk. I did so much homework before launching my shop/business. I developed a business plan and did a lot of market research, developed a business budget, and created some short term and long term goals. I didn't want to jump into it halfway so I knew when it came time, I wanted to have all my ducks in a row. I think that is the best way to begin anything and couldn't imagine doing it any other way.
Share something silly about yourself.
One thing on my bucket list is that one day I really want to hold a baby chimpanzee. They are so cute. I love animals.
Any independent artists or blogers you’re crushing on lately?
So many bloggers I love but to name a few that I get excited to read--I love Camille's blog (http://www.camilleroskelley.typepad.com/) because I'm a quilter and she has some lovely stuff going on. I have a collection of bundt cake pans so I always check out The Food Librarian's blog (http://www.foodlibrarian.com/) because she has a month long "I Love Big Bundts" celebration. And I read Bakerella (http://www.bakerella.com/) because she has the prettiest pictures and her site makes me happy. She's so talented.
Thank you, Carolyn, for sharing with us and for sponsoring D.I.Y. Louisville this month! We wish you and your Silly Happy Sweet shop a huge success!
~julee~ & --kim
Friday, July 20, 2012
~We had some crazy storms that produced some amazing sky views tonight. My daughter tried to snap the sky as we were crossing the bridge tonight. The picture didn’t turn out, but what we saw was utterly mesmerizing.
~The heat wave continues, and it was Kona Ice to the rescue this week.
~This is what 1000 business cards looks like. D.I.Y. Louisville’s next event is a big one!
~My favorite thing this week: argo tea. I’m a big fan of argo tea, and I always make a point to stop at one when I’m in Chicago. I had no idea that they sold bottles of their tea, and just about cried tears of joy to find this in Walgreens, of all places. Happy dance!
What has been your favorite thing this week? Let me know, and then go link your blog up with Silly Happy Sweet, too! It’s fun!
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I wore this dress to our Ross blogger event, and I am 100% absolutely in love with the color. I picked it up on the clearance rack at Macy’s for maybe a little more than I would normally spend, but it came with the (bonus!) little silver belt which made it feel like a two-for-one. At the end of our shopping day, I returned to work and added the shrug to make the dress more office appropriate. I wasn’t intentionally trying to be matchy-matchy with my nail color; I was just too lazy to repaint.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Hello friends! If you are a Facebook or Twitter follower (and really, you should be), then you’re probably already well aware that Kim and I were invited by Ross to attend a blogger sneak peek at their new store opening in Louisville.
We were treated to breakfast, flowers, gift bags, a store tour, Q&A sessions, and of course – shopping!
Kim has already declared that Ross has the best dress selection in town, but they also have shoes, accessories, home decor, and more. Ross compares shopping in their stores to a treasure hunt, and that is the ultimate appeal to these two thrifty gals. Ross stores are restocked 5-days a week, and the brands and prices were amazing.
Our dresses in the top picture are only a sample of what we purchased (um, I also got a fish…?). It’s hard to pull out the camera and shop like a woman crazed, so look for more in upcoming What We Wore and blog posts.
This was such a fun, fun day and Kim and I thank Ross for letting us be a part of it. This event was sponsored by Ross, but we were in no way obligated to blog, brag, or boast about it. All opinions are exclusively ours.
Friday, July 13, 2012
~The kid and the husband took a trip to Chicago and all I got was this texted photo.
~Fresh squeezed lemonade. Because I rock like that.
~You put the chocolate chip in the raspberry. Genius.
~Does anyone else open up their photos and find that their kids have taken the most random pictures? The apple doesn’t fall too far, I guess.
These are my Simple Moments from this week, and I'm linking up with Life Rearranged. I'm also stretching this post into a My Favorite Things, and linking up with Carolyn at Sill Happy Sweet.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Cute dress, crazy belt, my favorite summer shoes, and I swear one of these days I’ll remember to take my hair tie off my wrist for my outfit posts. I’m not exactly sure why my husband didn’t tell me that my belt was looking all crazy when he snapped these photos, but there you have it. Also, I wish you could see my earrings better because my daughter made them for me and she was all kinds of grins and giggles when she saw that I was wearing them to work today.
Crazy Belt: Old Navy
Earrings: Handmade by a future crafty extraordinaire
Rosie Rosy Bracelet: Silly Happy Sweet
I fell IN LOVE with this Rosie Rosy bracelet as soon as I saw it in the Silly Happy Sweet shop. It’s cute, feminine, and the perfect shade of aqua that we’re all loving right now. (It comes in tons of beautiful colors!) I got so many compliments when I wore it today!
I’m linking up with many other What I Wore participants over at the The Pleated Poppy. If you’re stopping in from there, please drop me a line saying HI! I’d love to check out your blog!