27 May 2011


{cute alphabet border idea to make with your kids}

So I know you are all in the midst of end of school chaos just like me, right?  It's so, so crazy.  Why exactly, I do not know.  I feel like things just get crammed in!  Ugh.  Anyway, last night my baby graduated from preschool.  I can hardly believe that I won't have any kids home with me next year.  They'll all be gone.  Sigh.

I took a good look around her classroom and got a little misty-eyed.  The shaving cream art will dwindle.  The froot loop necklaces will soon be a memory.  The singing programs?  I think I will miss them the most.   My youngest is moving on up... to reading and writing and arithmetic.  School will become more serious and less "fun".  I realize I can still provide her with fun learning, no doubt about it, but I love going through her backpack and never knowing what surprise I am going to find in there.  Not to mention, what she can accomplish on her own, as she becomes more independent.  I am just in awe of how quickly they learn self-sufficency.

Last night she and her little friends had a mini processional as they took the stage for their final "number" during the graduation program... Before they walked they were each asked what they wanted to be when they grew up.  My daughter proudly said "a mommy".  I am so grateful to have left a positive impression in her mind of what it means to be a mommy.  We all have those horrifying moments where we hope and pray they will forget the mommy tantrums, the regretful words spoken in frustration, or the moments where we just don't want to be near them.  It's normal, all of it, but above it all my daughter recognizes that being a mom - her mom - makes me happy.  And that it is a worthwhile goal to become one herself.  It's a great note to end on, so to speak.... before she flies a little further from my nest.  Sniff.

22 May 2011

A few of my favorite things (right now)...

Wow.  13 days since I last blogged.  In that time frame I have had numerous photo shoots (mainly seniors hurrying to get their announcements out), my first wedding, the beginning of end-of-year school activities (I am room mom x 2), 2 birthdays, a visit from grandparents, illness and a travelling husband.  BUT things are slowing down.  I miss blogging.  Sigh.

To bring you up to speed I've got some pictures of a few goodies I've acquired recently - not only did I celebrate Mother's Day, but also my 36th birthday and a visit from my favorite shopping partner in crime, my mother-in-law.

My living room got 2 new color additions, that of a delicious rosette pillow from Target (top) and an almost forgotten corsage pillow I bought years ago at Cost Plus/World Market (below).  So glad I kept it around.

I've also stated a collection of architectural, chunky, pillar candle holders.   Hope to have a big jumble of them here one day.

One more new pillow from Target...

Check out this lovely that my brother/sister-in-law gave me for my birthday!  I love it so much.

I finally bought myself some converse.  I love them.  Even with all my Texas-sized jewelry.

And this is perhaps the creme de la creme of my recent finds.  Of course my lucky charm mother-in-law was with me... she usually is when I discover something BIG.  I have needed a desk - an actual desk - for my office ever since I redecorated it (HERE).  I had been sitting on a stool in front of an armoire banging my legs on drawers every, stinking, day, for months.  But I couldn't find anything I loved.  A short stop into Austin Consignment Shop and I stumbled upon this beauty... post 1950s (mid century modern) Steelcase desk.  I am in love with it.  It is in mint condition.  I don't think the guy realized what it was worth.  I came home and checked ebay for a ballpark figure.  There is an exact replica of this one currently going for over $900.  Guess how much I paid?  


Squueeeaaal!!!  All I need now is a hot pink office chair. ;)

12 May 2011

Photography Questions answered at a blog near you...

Hey!  Just a quick reminder to any Brown Paper Packages readers that questions for Wednesday's post can be emailed to me at photosbylei@yahoo.com.  And for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, I am doing a photography series at BPP every other Wed.  This next Wed. I'll be answering your photography questions!  So if you have any, feel free to join in!!!  HERE'S last week's post in case you missed it.

Wish me luck, today I shoot my first wedding!  And it's storming outside. :(

Since every post is better with pictures, enjoy these of my brand new niece:


{the last one was entered at i heart faces this week - the theme being "motherhood"}

10 May 2011

Creating Really Awesome Free Trips at C.R.A.F.T!

Hey friends!  I'm over at C.R.A.F.T. today participating in Jamie's free trips series.  Come read all about Austin, TX!!!  She's got quite the line-up from about 11 other cities featuring other crafty bloggers.  You should go check it out, especially if you are trying to decide where to vacation this summer!!!

Things I don't have time to do...

There is nothing more torturous than coming across a great idea and not having time to execute it.  I've got a lot of pent up creative energy right now; ideas swirling around in my head.  Some of that energy has been released in my photography (which has became a full time job lately).  And some of it has been getting catalogued in my not-so-reliable memory.  So I thought I'd start a new series called "Things I don't have time to do".  It's not going to be on any certain day of the week, or even every week... just when I feel like remembering something for later.  And hey, maybe some of you will get to execute on my behalf! ;)

I spotted these awesome napkins in the recent Pier 1 catalog.  How fun and EASY would it be to make your own knock-offs?  You could mix and match fabric and ric rac.  Some with patterns (chevron would be cute!), some plain.  I just love them!

05 May 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Arroz con Zanahorias

This is a holiday you just can't escape in Tejas!  I have such fond memories of making tissue paper flowers in elementary school in honor of this day.  And seeing performances by dancers and musicians - so colorful and festive.

One of these days I am going to sit down and make some of these flags, or Papel Picado!  They make me smile!

Today I'm going to share one of my favorite recipes, shared with me by an old college roommate (Hi Isabelle!).  It's great with burritos!!!  My family eats it about once a week, picky kids included.


2 cups of rice
2 1/2 cups of water
carrots, shredded
2 T butter
2 chicken bouillon cubes
Season All

Shred carrots in bottom of a saucepan.  As many as 2c if you'd like!  Saute in butter, add bouillon cubes and mash into mixture.  Sprinkle some Season All in as well.  Add water and bring to a boil.  Add rice and sprinkle some more Season All (you can be pretty generous with it).  Cook as instructed on rice package.  Enjoy!

Teacher Appreciation, Children are like cookies...

I literally threw this together at the last minute today.  But it came together so awesomely!

I got this from a friend YEARS ago.  If your LDS, this will make sense... we gave this away with some homemade cookies for a Stake Leadership Training meeting one year.  {I adapted it to say the following for my kids' teachers.}

Children are like cookies, they require certain ingredients and need to be baked.
However, they come in different textures and flavors...
Some are hard and need to be softened in milk.
Others are soft, chewy, and melt in your hands.
Some have little surprises tucked inside.
Some are rolled and cut into perfect little shapes.
Others are dropped in big spoonfuls but take a shape all their own.
They are all wonderful and delightful, each in their own way.
We just need to find out how to "eat them up"... with milk, one bite at a time, or gobbled all at once.  They are individuals, which makes them interesting and fun.  It is our job to savor each one, like a sweet mix of cookies in a jar.

Thanks for taking such great care of my "little cookie"!

I gave each of my kids' teachers' their favorite cookies and tied on a cute red polka dot ribbon, this quote and these darling printables from Dimple Prints.

How fun would it be to find miniature cookie jars for this?  Perhaps I will remember that for next year!

04 May 2011

Photography Guest Post at Brown Paper Packages!

Hi guys.  I know it's been quiet around here, but come say hi to me over at Brown Paper Packages today. I am talking about how to get great candid photos!  You can find me talking about all things photography at Brown Paper Packages every other Wednesday.  And my next post (in 2 weeks) will be answers to all your burning photography questions.  Just email them to me at photosbylei@yahoo.com !

Have a great day!!!