Thursday, July 24, 2014

Live. Love. Teach.

My good friend Dina is a teacher. An awesome wish-she-had-been-my-fifth-grade-teacher teacher. But that would've been weird because she's only a few years older than I am.

Because she's an awesome teacher she loves her students so much. She recently celebrated a birthday, so I made her an extra special present.

All I used was wood scraps, sand paper, printed images, glue, water and a paintbrush.

Sand Paper not shown. Not sure why I had a pencil, either.
I created my design using Photoshop, then printed it using a laser jet printer. I cut the prints to fit the wood blocks that I'd cut to size.

Mied water and glue (ratio of 3 parts glue to 1 part water) with my brush, then brushed a thin layer onto the wood pieces.

I placed each piece of paper over the wood, and smoothed out any bumps.

After they'd all three dried, I used sand paper to roughen up the edges so it wasn't so crisp.

I was so happy with the final product and I know Dina really loved her gift.

Happy Teaching!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Host A Bridal Shower.

My younger sister got married in October of last year, and I hosted a shower at my house for her. Yes, I'm just now getting around to telling you about it because, oh, I don't know, I'm just that far behind.

It's true. And I've said it before. Having a baby makes you forget things.

Like things that happened almost a year ago.

That I was planning to blog about.

Sorry about that.

So my older sister and I threw my younger sister a shower. It wasn't anything fancy, because lesbi-honest I'm not fancy. I try not to seem fancy, either.

The theme was "travel" because my sister and her (now) husband love to visit places all over the world. They went to Europe for their honeymoon!!

The invitations resembled boarding passes . . .

There were veggies & dip . . . 

And make-your-own fruit pies (complete with cream cheese and all the goodies) . . .

Apple slices . . .

And the coolest cake I've ever seen in person . . .

I bought "Oh The Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss and had guests sign a page inside with well wishes.

It was fun to host and my sister and her hubby are enjoying married bliss!

Happy showering!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Daddy Rocks.

Happy Father's Day to all you daddies, grandpas, uncles, grampies, papas, etc!

As usual, I've been doing some crafts in my "free" time. Though, now Caraline is included in that time! I love it.

This year for Mother's Day we made our gifts. Father's Day it was the same way. I think handmade gifts are more special than most things I could buy in a store.

Now, to warn you, any craft involving a 4 month old and paint can be tricky! (Does that surprise you?)

The handprint project we did for the Mother's Day canvases was challenging. I learned my lesson and made two changes when doing a new craft with paint for Father's Day.

1) I switched to a footprint instead of a handprint (more stable)

2) I put her in her Bumbo seat, so she was stuck!

My adorable slobbering assistant.

If you ask me, it was pretty genius. And it totally worked better.

We started with a few rocks that were about the size of softballs or baseballs. I had four: One for Mike, one for my dad, one for Mike's dad and one for my grandpa.

I painted them all a different solid color and let them dry. I then painted the cute little foot of my daughter and pressed each rock up against her foot. She just sat and gave me funny looks. I'm sure it felt strange to have paint on her little toesies.

The blue rock that was for Mike turned out the best. It was the cleanest print out of all of them.

After all the footprints had dried, I added glitter paint to the white prints and later wrote with puffy paint. And even though the other prints were not perfect, I still love how they turned out. 

My friend Kristi did the same thing for her husband with her daughter Kinley's hand print. She gave me permission to use a photo of how hers turned out. I love the polka dots she made! So cute!

The footprint craft wasn't the only gift I had handmade for Mike this year. I also commissioned my friend D'ann with Creative Metals by D to have a keyring made for him.

I just love it. And it's so special. D'ann is so talented.

Happy Father's Day, my friends!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fresh Summer Veggie Bake.

WARNING: This recipe was delicious!

Okay, maybe not a warning . . . but an alert so you're prepared for major YUM!

I found this recipe for Fresh Summer Veggie Bake on Can't Stay Out Of The Kitchen. I knew I wanted to make it for our annual family get together for Memorial Day weekend. Like a pinhead (that's an awesome person who pins lots of things, makes said things and then forgets to take pictures of the final product), I forgot to take pictures of the final product. Or really I forgot to take any pictures except ONE, right before I put it in the oven.

Here's how Teresa's turned out (She's the author of Can't Stay Out Of The Kitchen).


It has yellow squash zucchini, green zucchini, potatoes (I used red) and tomatoes. You sauté garlic and onions, put those in the bottom of the dish, then slice all the veggies and layer those in. Then you add a couple spices and pop it in the oven. After that, you add some parmesan cheese and put it back in the oven. It's so easy! And it's pretty to look at, too!

I did take a pic of how mine looked right before putting it in the oven. But that's all you get from me. Sorry.

This was pre-cheese which is the best part. I added mozzarella cheese in addition to shredded parmesan cheese. I'll be doing THAT again. I'm such a sucker for mozzarella cheese!

**Another thing to remember when making this, cut your tomatoes thicker than the rest of the veggies. They'll break down in the oven and if they're too thin they'll turn to sauce. You don't want that. . .

Happy Summer Baking!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Four months.

Caraline is four months old.


"Time flies" sure is accurate. It seems like just yesterday we brought her home from the hospital.

She's so fun these days. She giggles at surprising things (like her cousin Audra saying "boo" to her) and she gets so excited when she sees daddy and me first thing in the morning and when I pick her up from the sitter after work. Her gummy grin captures me like nothing else. I just love her so much.

Happy four months!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Organizing photos.

We have a stainless steel refrigerator.

We have lots of photos of family and friends.

We don't want to clutter our frig with said photos.

So what's a family to do?

Well . . . while going through old boxes in our garage, I found a cork board I used in college 2,452 years ago. It was boring then. It was boring when I found it.

The choice was to trash it or make it beautiful. 

I chose to make it beautiful. And to utilize it for displaying our bunches of photos in our kitchen.

I used blue painter's tape and black spray paint. That's it! 

(and you'll notice I didn't tape the whole thing because halfway through I realized I'd be covering most or all of the board with photos, so I stopped)

Okay, now go make something new again.

Happy spray painting!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

High five for cheap crafts.

I love crafts (as you may know by now). I especially love crafts that don't cost a ton of money!

For Mother's Day this year, Mike, Caraline and I gave our moms and grandmas homemade handprint canvases to document our new family of three. This was a fairly easy project. The hardest part was getting our 3 month old to open her hand all the way to make a handprint successfully. As you'll see, not all were perfect. But I think that's what makes them more special.

The canvases came 3 in a pack for about $8 and the paints were $1.50 each. I got it all at Michael's. So for about $12.50 and some time we made some unique Mother's Day gifts.

We made an additional handprint for Caraline's babysitter for being such an awesome "second mommy" for her during the day.

In August of 2012, I became a mother. But on February 4, 2014, I became a mommy. I'm really treasuring every minute I have with Caraline. I don't take it lightly the honor it is to be a mother. I value the impression I will make on this little lady and know how important my role as a guide is in her life. I especially love watching Mike interact with her. We are both so in love and feel so honored to be parents.

Happy (belated) Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Three months.

I'm baaaaack!

You know that thing "they" say about babies changing everything? Well, I'll tell ya, "they" are right. For the most part, all the changes are awesome. We are so blessed.

One of the negative changes is how little free time I have now. Every second I am home with Caraline, I want to be looking at her and singing with her and cuddling with her. So, blogging isn't exactly high on the priority list. But this morning I am making a point of getting some writing in! Lucky you!

There have been a few projects I've documented the last couple months, so I'm hoping to get those into posts soon! One thing I'm very proud of that we've been doing is documenting Caraline's growth each month. I've seen many ideas online of how to do this, and I made a version of my own. Each month on the 4th, I will be photographing her in her monthly onesie in a basket with her friend Leaper. It'll be fun to see how she grows and eventually is bigger than Leaper, too! (hard to imagine now).

Here are the last three months.

I look forward to doing this each month. Next week we will already have a FOUR MONTH OLD! Time has gone so quickly. And we love her so much.

Happy Saturday!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Welcome, Caraline!

I'm approximately two and a half weeks late posting about the arrival of our beautiful baby girl. See, a thing "they" tell you that is so totally true is that a baby changes everything. And when I say everything, I mean it. Like, I took a shower today. That, in and of itself, is a WIN for me. I'm lucky to brush my teeth or eat at a normal time lately. I'm a zombie. But I love it. 

Another thing "they" tell you that is so totally true is that "normal" is no longer normal once a baby arrives.

I digress . . .

On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, my husband and I welcomed a gorgeous baby girl into this mad world at 10:24 p.m. She was 7 pounds and 11 ounces and measured 19 3/4" long.

We named her Caraline Grace Deak. 

The details of the labor process are not important now. She's healthy, seems rather happy when she's awake and takes up more space in my heart than I ever thought was possible. Even at 4 a.m. when she's crying because there's a spec of poo in her diaper, I love her.

A friend of mine, Stephanie, with Stephanie DeBolt Photography, took these amazing shots of her when she was 9 days old and I will treasure them forever.

Recognize that quilt? I blogged about its creation here

We are busy adjusting to Caraline's schedule, learning all the features of her cute little self and getting acquainted with this new family of three we have created.

Be sure to check out Stephanie if you live in the northern Indiana (or Michiana) area at or visit her on Facebook here. She was also one of the photographers who took our wedding photos. She's fantastic. And we love her.

Happy Saturday!