Monday, August 29, 2011

Simple ways to document the first day of school (it's not too late)

We have officially begun the preschool countdown today and I am making a little sign for the first day of school photo, inspired by one of my favorite Pinterest finds.

Whether the first day of school has passed or is still approaching for your kids, here are some sweet and simple inspirations to document the special day-all via Pinterest (of course).

This image has been buzzing around Pinterest for ages and I love it. It is the brilliant work of Brooke from the blog, Inchmark.  Isn't this a great idea for first day of school?

  (Image from Inchmark via Pinterest)

I love simple, eye-catching ways to document photos, and this couldn't be easier.  Type it up, print it out, stick it in their hand!  If they can write, it would be sweet in their own handwriting.

Here is another simple documenting style that could be applied to first day of school photos.

I pinned this photo that is from the blog, Mommy Creations. She also has a great tutorial for her chalkboard background. Whether your chalkboard is big or small, you could write your child's grade, teacher's name and date on the chalkboard and snap a photo.  You could even ask permission to do this on a chalk or dry-erase board at your child's school.

If the first day of school has already passed for your kids, how about adding text to the back-to-school photo you've already taken?!

I pinned this image where the photographer simply typed some stats in the background/empty space of the photo.  I love this look. This would be a great way to add first day details to photos you've already taken. You can use free programs like Picasa or Picnik to very easily add text to your photos.

One more idea I've pinned is this scrapbook layout from Write. Click. Scrapbook. It is a little comparison of the first day and last day of school.  My dear friend, Cammie, always does this with her kids (being sure to photograph them in the same location on the last day as the first day).  It such a fun comparison and great way to document the school year.

 How do you like to document the first day of school?  I'd love to know your brilliant ideas!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Current Obsession: Yarn Wreaths

                                                               (image from Pinterest)

Preschool is starting soon and I'm envisioning lots of time to get back to the many creative endeavors filling up my head. While I may be slightly unrealistic about the amount of time I will have, here is one project that has been on my mind: fall wreaths.  I've been seeing a lot of yarn wreaths lately in the blogosphere and on Pinterest that are inspiring me.  Do I give it a shot?  Will it look like a summer camp project gone awry?  Time will tell, but here are the yarn wreaths that have caught my eye lately.

Disclaimer: None of these projects are mine, they are simply ideas that have inspired me.  All images are from Pinterest.  You can visit my Pinterest page to link to each individual wreath for more information.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cowmooflage car seat (shopping for a convertible car seat)

Isn't it remarkable how children grow, quite literally, overnight? The infant car seat that my son fit in on Friday, was too snug by Saturday.  I knew the time was coming to transition to a convertible car seat and I should have been shopping before now.

Have you heard the new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics on car seat safety? They say children should remain rear-facing in their car seats until age two.  It's not easy, in fact, it's a total pain. Obviously though, safety is more important than convenience.  When I think of the higher risk of spinal cord injuries and other serious injuries for little ones facing forward, I can deal with rear-facing for another year.

So, we are in the market for a convertible car seat.  We are looking for one with a high weight limit so he can be in it until college for a long time, a 5-point harness,  and a convertible model than can face forward or backward in the car. My daughter has a Britax Marathon seat and I have been really happy with it.  I guess the simple thing to do would be to buy the same seat for my son.  I'm leaning toward the Cowmooflage fabric (it's too funny to pass up).

Before I  buy a seat, does anyone have any recommendations for a  convertible car seat they LOVE?  Also, where do you shop for the best price on car seats? I always love to get recommendations before buying so I would appreciate your comments!

Thanks, friend!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Winner of the Reflexology Massage from ksl Deals!

Let's have a drum roll, please for the winner of the free reflexology massage at Beautiful You Bodycare, sponsored by KSL Deals....and the winner is... 

Congratulations, Aimee! 

Don't forget to check out the daily KSL Deals on everything from getaways, to salons, to entertainment and food!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Easy Giveaway: Reflexology Massage from ksl Deals (today only!)

KSL Deals is sponsoring a really fun giveaway on Keep it Simple, Sister today only: a free reflexology massage from Beautiful You Bodycare in Salt Lake City, UT!  KSL Deals is offering the reflexology massage as one of their daily deals on their site for just $24,  but you have to hurry!  The giveaway and the discount end tonight at midnight, Mountain Time!

KSL Deals has some amazing offerings, friend! They post 3-4 new deals daily on everything from getaways, to salons, to entertainment and food deals that users save BIG on. KSL Deals is also listed on Facebook, where they post about their daily deals and also hold giveaways.You can see all of the current KSL Deals here.

Giveaway Rules
(In the spirit of keeping it simple, sister, this one is quick and easy)

1) Check out KSL Deals on their website or their Facebook page.
2) Come back and leave a comment on this post and let me know you NEED a reflexology massage!

You must enter by midnight tonight (Mountain Time).
I'll select a comment via random drawing and announce the winner tomorrow on the blog.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Etsy Love: Vintage Letter Press Letters (a.k.a. the coolest gift ever)

(image from BeeJayKay)

When I stumbled upon this little nugget of Etsy goodness, my first inclination was to pin this to my Pinterest board, but that didn't seem to do it justice. My next thought was to hoard it and keep it to myself because I want to buy them for Christmas gifts for everyone I know. In the end, I knew the only decent thing to do was to share this discovery.  So friend, here is my current Etsy love: Vintage letter press letters from the Etsy shop, BeeJayKay.

(image from BeeJayKay)

Be honest, did your pulse just speed up? They are old wooden letter press letters with metal overlay. They are used and very worn and varied in age and size-all attributes that add to their charm.  I think they are so interesting and just the bees knees. They look like something you might find at Anthropologie or the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog. They would be great in a bowl or a jar on an end table or in a shadow box. Plus, at $5 each or 3/$12, they make a great inexpensive gift.  I  will now ask everyone on my Christmas list to erase this post from memory.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Craft Party/ Super Saturday Ideas

I adore a good craft party!  Getting together with friends and family to share creativity and good conversation is among my all-time favorite activities. Do you like craft parties too? I wish I could get together with all of my creative blogging buddies and get crazy with some DIY projects- wouldn't that be the coolest? I loved reading about a craft party that Jessica of the blog, Living the Swell Life, hosted for her friends. She had some great ideas for her Christmas Crafternoon. Since I am in the process of planning a BIG crafting party, I thought I would share a few tips as well as my Pinterest board where I've been collecting ideas for craft projects.

Like I said, this craft parry is BIG. Every Fall, the women from our church get together for Super Saturday.  It is a Saturday devoted to fun, food, creativity and service.  We're planning on 60-75 party-goers.  Participants pre-register for their choice of a variety of craft projects and pay for the supplies. Our committee gathers the supplies and then we get together to visit, eat and get crazy with the glue gun.  We also work on a service project like making blankets, quilts, baby clothing and other items for various charities.  I am on the committee that organizes Super Saturday, so I have been scouring the Internet for inspirations and craft projects that would be a good fit for our event and pinning those ideas to my Super Saturday pin board (feel free to take a look).

We look for projects that are:

Crowd pleasers- We look for a variety of different projects that appeal to a large number of people.

Inexpensive- We want everyone to participate, regardless of their budget so the projects range in scale and cost.  We're making sure to offer some projects under $10 and some under $5 (thank goodness for fellow bloggers with all of their budget-friendly ideas).

Relatively simple- Since we all have different interests and skills, we look for projects that are relatively simple, so that everyone can participate.  We also look for projects that can be completed quickly.  Most women want to complete more than one project and it's great if they can do it all before the party ends.

Have you ever planned a craft party? If you have any great ideas for projects appropriate for craft parties, or tips for party planning, I would love to hear them.  Here are a few of my favorite inspirations from my Pinterest Board.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Current Obsession: Digital Lace (great ways to use it)

(Image from Wedding Paper Divas)

Happy Saturday, friend!   Happy Sunday.  Happy...  What day is it today? This is a good illustration of what's been going on in our world. I admit I've lost track of time and haven't been creating and blogging as much as I would like lately.  Instead we have been cramming every last bit of fun we can into the final weeks of summer. Don't give up on me yet, friend.  I have many ideas up my sleeve.

I have to tell you about something I've been obsessing over lately:  digital lace, and all lace for that matter, but the digital variety is more novel. I loved the pairing of the age-old intricate look of lace with modern technology and strong blasts of color. Having the option to print lace opens up a world of creative possibilities. There are so many great projects to be made with digital lace files and your printer  ( no design software skills needed).

Here are some digital lace lovelies I've been pinning lately.

You want to play too, don't you?!  Here are links to some digital lace files that are either free or very low-cost and some great projects to go with them. Fire up the printer, ladies, and let's get crazy with digital lace!

I knew Martha would have my back with the digital lace trend.  You can peruse her lace projects here and print free lace clip art. The lace wrapping paper is beyond cool.  Martha says you can make your own digital lace by putting a piece of the real stuff on your scanner on a black background and saving the image to your computer (just as you would with a photo). Print it on office paper and you can use it for pretty, custom wrapping paper as Martha suggests. I think it would also make a great backdrop for a display table at a party or a paper table runner for a fun casual dinner party.

(image from

This is where it all started for me, with this pretty digital lace image I stumbled upon from martora on Etsy.   For only $2.00, martora sends you six different lace files to download- plus they are having a buy 2 get 1 free sale for Japan disaster relief.  Now, what to make with it?  It would make a great book cover.

Behold Martha's cupcake towers ( free lace clip art printed on text weight paper, cut to shape and wrapped around cake stands). I am speechless....and suddenly craving cupcakes.
(image from

These lace frames from Cool Scraps Digital are only $1.99 to download. They would be great simply printed on colored card stock and framed in a group for some simple, do-it-yourself wall art (the files come on a transparent background, so you are not tied to the brown).  If you want to play in Photoshop or Illustrator, these lace files could be used for framing a favorite black & white photo or a great quote or any other project your clever little brain hatches.

The gracious Graphics Fairy has some sweet little lace borders you can use for FREE.

Saving my favorite for last, have a look at this pillow!  You buy this digital lace file from Paris-based Vintage FaFa on Etsy for just $1.55 USD, download it and print it on image transfer paper and put it on just about anything, including fabric.   I didn't know I could have such strong feelings for a throw pillow.

I'm hooked- are you?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Feminine finds from the new IKEA catalog

Do you take the IKEA catalog, friend?  I found mine in the mail box today and have been glued to it ever since.  It will take me a few days to take it all in, but after thumbing though the pages a few times, I'm really liking all of the feminine additions.  Don't get me wrong, I love IKEA but many of their items tend to be a little too stark and modern for me, so the feminine details were a welcome sight. Three cheers for the lace, curves and girly hues in the 2012 catalog!  Here are a few of my fast favorites.  What are you liking so far?

I need no less than one dozen of these pretty pots

I have been craving oval frames lately and I expect all of my fellow bloggers will also scarf these frames up in no time and have them spray painted in every conceivable color.

I really like this beding set.

I know a little girl whose room is getting a healthy dose of pink gingham thanks to my Swedish friends.

I think my coffee table is getting the boot in favor of this lovely gray one with the pretty curves.  I can just see it now with a pretty vase full of hot pink peonies, and  a sticky residue of spilled apple juice,  two bite- mark-riddled crayons, some crushed up Goldfish crackers,  and a pile of My Little Ponies.

I need to throw a backyard soiree for an excuse to use these lacy little lanterns

 I'm intrigued by these ODBY frames, the shape is simple, but unique and is equal parts vintage and modern, if that's possible.

Last, but certainly not least, I really LOVE this pink bowl.

Grab a glass of lemonade, lock yourself in the bathroom if needs be, and enjoy the new catalog!