Sunday, June 30, 2013

Project Life 2013 May 12-18, Mother's Day

Hello Friends!  I'm moving right along with Project Life, this layout covers May 12-18, the week began with Mother's Day and ends with a Spring Tea we took our Grandmas too.
The flowered background paper behind the picture of me and the kids is from the digital Seasons Mini Kit and so is the spring journaling card.  I also used some more Project Life digital supplies for the pink photo collage and the collage at the bottom of LB bothering his big sis by clinging to her.  They are from various kits, Clementine Extra Elements, Honey, and Jade I believe.

Along the bottom are pictures from the only other day I covered this week.  I tired to use different supplies so they would stand out as their own story and not part of a Mother's Day activity but still coordinate enough with the rest of the page. 
Since I am nearing the end of my first 2013 Project Life Album (Jan-June) I know I have some space for dimensional elements and I dug out some cute flower stickers I thought coordinated with the facing side and used some foam Thickers that I had the hardest time getting onto my photo.They kept getting all wonky, difficult to get straight but I love them on!  Journaling card from the physical Blush edition. 

Sharing at Jessica's The Mom Creative, at her weekly Project Life linky.  If you're looking for inspiration, it's the place to look.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Blog Sponsor: WholePort

I'm excited to introduce you to my newest blog sponsor, WholePort an online craft supply resource with a wide range of materials to help you create beautiful projects.  Each month I'll be receiving some of their best products and creating with them.  I can't wait to get started and share with you!
The first month I'll be working with WholePort I decided to focus on some of the Packaging options, specifically the super cute Decorative Packing Tape.  I love these cute Masking Sticker Sets they carry, what a great way to get several designs to play with and the whole set is only $2.79.
This Transparent Decoration Tape Sticker Paper Happy Bear Family is also really cool, and I love how you an either use it as a big strip of stickers or cut them apart.
Those sweet bears are also on this Transparent Decoration Tape Sticker Bear Postage Stamp design, you get two rolls for just $4.59!
If bears aren't your thing, WholePort has a whole bunch of designs, like Transparent Decoration Tape Sticker Lovely Fairytale.  Wouldn't this be a great multipurpose design to add some color to your wrapping projects?  I think a little bit on a plain white gift bag would look great!
I'm also diggin' this whimsical Transparent Decoration Tape Sticker Lovely Umbrella, set of 2 two rolls for just $3.99 and I can't wait to get mine to decorate a really sweet picture I just took of my daughter all soaking wet after we got caught in the rain.

Decorative tape is not just great for packaging.  It's a very popular supply to use with all sorts of papercrafting projects from home decor, try wrapping some unfinished letters with it - very fun to adding a bit of color to scrapbook pages and I've even seen it used to embellish and personalize things like notebooks.   I'm am very happy I get to show you all of the awesome stuff WholePort has to offer for crafty folks and glad to have them on board as a sponsor of Katie's Nesting Spot.


If you are interested in sponsoring Katie's Nesting Spot, I'd love to help connect you with my readers.  Send me an email so we can begin the discussion!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Project Lifre 2013: May 5-11

My third Project Life post for this week, is back to a more typical one with no extra inserts, that I was able to use up some of my stash on.  Always a win win situation and so satisfying when it happens.
The May month card, and all the other month cards I've used so far this year have been from the Photo Freedom Vol 1 kit I have by Echo Park.  I'm trying really hard to remember to use them as they are 2013 specific and pretty cute too.  More Photo Freedom kits have come out, some super cute ones like Happy Go Lucky, Fun in the Sun, and a Volume 2, all of which I'd love to have but haven't been able to find locally.  I may have to break down and try online soon.

The blue flowered paper and blue polka paper I got when we lived in NM, before my soon to be seven year old was even born!  I'm not sure if I love the blue polka dot above the blue in the photo collage I created directly below so I may yet end up replacing the background paper.  I mentioned on Monday's post that I have been getting caught up in the details, I should probably just make myself call it done and move on.

Along the bottom I used some really blurry iphone pictures that my little guy was just moving too much in to get a decent photo.  Together and in a small size they really work to tell my story of how he's been insisting on eating everything with a utensil.  The graph paper is part of a sheet with an airplane on it that I have multiple copies of.  I've yet to use one and it was a great neutral for all my pictures.  Really liked how the layering and washi came out on this little section. 
For the second half of the week I used up three journaling cards from my stash of PL supplies from last year.  I've been waiting since last spring to incorporate them this time around.  Just a Note: The picture of my little guy asleep at the top shifted when I took the pages out to photograph.  It should be to the right and not covering over the journaling card from the Clementine Core Kit. 

Thanks for coming by and seeing how my Project Life 2013 is progressing.  I hope you've been able to keep up with yours!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Project Life 2013: April 27th and April 28-May 4

As promised, here is the second of three Project Life Update posts that I'll be sharing this week.  The first one was up on Monday and the third will be up on Friday, so check back then!
I've really made a conscious effort to keep the inserts down this year so that I can contain my Project Life pages within two binders like last year.  The two for 2012 are bursting and I'd like for this year's not to be so stuffed and so far I've done a pretty good job...but not this week.
April 27th was a Sunday and technically should've been part of last week's PL spread.  But I had too many pictures I wanted to include and it ended up getting it's own page. 
For the second week in a row we had a school performance and it got it's own insert, Design G.  I kept the program and the lyrics and script for two of the numbers the kids did in a third insert.  I haven't figured out what exactly I want to say about the event yet but do really love how the die cut title looks on the Blush Core Kit card.  ER is going to write a little in the top card, now that she is almost seven I like including her own memories and thoughts into PL.
The actual weekly spread is contained on the backside of the insert and a Design C page protector.  The school performance took place during this week but I thought things flowed better to include it before along with the other related inserts.
I used the back of the Blush Core Kit card as my weekly title and journaling card.  I love when the designs will work in both orientations.  I die cut more letters for the title and stamped the first letter of the days I needed to correspond with my pictures.  A wood butterfly was added on top of the washi tape like design printed right onto the card.

Normally I try to avoid dimensional accents like the butterfly, but I had already used some raised dots and the "you're the best" tag on one photo that already added bulk and the butterfly wasn't higher than the dots so I figured using wouldn't make the page any wider.
On this side I made a collage and added some arrows I extracted from the digital version of the Honey Core Kit.  I think the Today flag might also have been extracted in Photoshop Elements from a card in the kit.  The glittery 2 is a AC Thicker, I love how the birthday boy is also holding up two fingers to show his age.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Quick Trip Up North: Great Wolf Lodge & Mackinaw City

Hi Friends!

It's been a little quiet here on the blog and I thought I'd pop into to let you know why.  We've been on a mini vacay!  I could go into a lot more detail about each stop but I'll just give the highlights for now.  It was just two nights away but it felt really busy and jammed packed.  Then on Sunday Brad left for Columbia where he's doing a laser install so I'm pulling solo duty this week. ER's first summer camp started and LB's starts summer speech group this week, busy, busy, busy!
Back to our mini getaway, the first night we spent at the Great Wolf Lodge.  This was our second time staying at one, we stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge - Poconos Mountains previously. The location in Traverse City is smaller.  It didn't have the wave pool and the really little kiddie pool area wasn't as nice as I remember at the other one.  I think that most of the same things were there but they were laid out differently.  Nevertheless, we still had a ton of fun.  It was a good size for our family.

We splurged and booked a Wolf Den room that came with a cool sleeping area for ER.  She LOVED it.  You can't see it from this angle but there's a TV in there and she thought that was really cool, especially when her name popped up on the screen from playing MagiQuest.  She enjoys that game a lot, it's a nice way to keep her busy and active. 
We left the Great Wolf Lodge in the late afternoon, check out was at 11 but there are changing rooms with showers, and even a hair dryer so you can enjoy the water park for as long as you want even after checking out.

We were about two hours away from our next stop Mackinaw City but made a couple stops along the way.  We had to dip our feet into West Grand Traverse Bay, where the water was refreshing (translation: cold). 
We also had to stop at Benjamin Twigg's for some cherry goodies, cherries are what that area is known for.  Then we went next door for some sandwiches and my favorite chips - jalapeno!!!  We also made a quick pit stop at Charlevoix.
The second night we spent in Mackinaw City, checking out Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and Fog Signal Station.  They were closed but we saw a wedding getting set up.  Imagine getting married with this beautiful backdrop!

We had the obligatory pasties and then, because it was still light out we took the kids across the Mackinac Bridge and to Michigan's upper peninsula for the first time.  ER asked if we were in a different country.  We laughed because while that might sound crazy most places, in Michigan you can also get to Canada and indeed be in another country via a bridge, but told her that no not this time.  St. Ignace is right over the bridge and we had a nice stop there, walking the boardwalk and giving the kids a chance to burn off more energy before the turning in at the hotel.
We were up in Mackinaw City and took the ferry to the Island last June.  While there ER enjoyed Fort Mackinac so much she wanted to see Colonial Michilimackinac.  So while we were so "close," albeit two hours away in Traverse City for the Great Wolf Lodge, we decided to add a quick trip back to take her.  Hence our needs for two nights away from home.

It's a nice stop, very scenic with views of the Bridge, rustic historic building, costumed cast members, and nicely done exhibits that are informational, interactive, and interesting to young children and adults.  Our visit was cut a little short when a downpour started but it was a good stop for a couple hours and is well worth the stop.
Mackinaw City and "Up North" in general are two of Michigan's touristy attractions.  We managed to fit in one more popular stop by having dinner at Zehnders in Frankenmuth, our own Little Bavaria.  A fried chicken dinner was the perfect way to end our adventure.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Project Life 2013 April 22-26

It's been awhile since I've been able to get it together and share a Project Life update.  I'm having trouble keeping up with the weekly posting.  It's just taken me forever to actually finish several weeks of spreads, but I've managed to get a couple done.  I'll have two more posts this week with more weeks, sort of a Project Life Catch Up to speed my sharing along.  Not that I'll catch up to be current with our in real life date, not close to that by far!  I've got most of the pictures developed and placed through to last week.  It's just going back and completing the finishing touches that is holding me back.  I think I'm getting caught up in spending too much time on the details.
My daughter's first grade class had their Spring Performance along with another class.  She got to play the xylophone for a song and was very excited about that.  She had to audition for the privilege and was on pins and needles for weeks hoping she'd get to.   She also tried out to be a flower but this was what she really, really wanted to do.

All the kids have parts, no one's left out.  The music teacher told me she does the auditions and parts to help reinforce how serious it is to do their best.  Basically, everyone got their first choice of parts but it was a BIG deal to the kiddo to get to play an instrument on stage.  The blank card is for my daughter to write in the lyrics for the song she played the xylophone too. 

The dancing was really cute too, if a little disorganized seeming from where I was stuck in the back with my cranky other kid...i.e. the one in the stroller and not happy about it. My husband went up with ER for the family dance and had to gallop around the circle.  He's a good sport :)
Besides the "Big Event" of the week, there wasn't much going on and consequently I barely had any photos to use when I went to put the week together.  It is an abbreviated week I covered, but still it was a challenge.  Normally I have way too many and have to cut things down.  But I managed to fill all the spots with stuff I normally never get to mention like the freakish weather - snow on one day and shorts on another all in one week.

Linking up to The Mom Creative.  If you are visiting from the blog hop, 'll have two more Project Life posts this week; I hope you'll come back to see them. 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Recess! Family Music Festival - This Saturday at The Meadow Brook Music Festival

This is a promotional post on behalf of Recess! Family Music Festival.

There's a really exciting music concert coming to the Detroit Metro Area this weekend.  It sounds like a ton of fun, an all day adventure with some of our favorite family music groups like The Laurie Berkner Band, Dan Zanes & Friends, Ralph's World, Candy Band, The Verve Pipe and the School of Rock!

Here is a description:

You loved recess and now we’re bringing it to you! The daylong Recess! Family Music Festival is coming to Meadow Brook Music Festival Saturday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Recess Festival will feature some of the biggest family-friendly acts The Laurie Berkner Band, Dan Zanes & Friends, Ralph's World, Candy Band, The Verve Pipe and the School of Rock – in addition to other performers and deejays, games, interactive activities, storytelling, and fun workshops.

The festival is designed to actively engage the imaginations of children, ranging in age from 4-9, and their parents where families can visit various creative spaces on the Meadow Brook grounds to write and record a song, take a dance class, do arts and crafts or get a “rock star” makeover.

“There are lots of music festivals out there and children love music, so we are pleased to present a dedicated music festival for kids and their families,” said Adam Schneider, Palace Sports & Entertainment senior vice president for Events and Booking.
(The Verve Pipe)

There will be the following Creative Spaces at the event, making this really special!

Children and parents will have fun at a hip hop workshop, where kids will learn to rhyme, beat box, and scratch. Kids will take home their very own hip hop track on CD.

A day-long drum circle will empower families to make music together. Instructors will teach children and parents to use percussion instruments along with the instruments they make in the arts & crafts space.

Throughout the day, kids will participate in various movement and dance workshops, which include breakdancing, double-dutch jump roping, and tumbling.

An instrument petting zoo and a place of musical discovery, a complete "rock band" will be set up where kids can play any and all instruments, from drums and guitars to lead vocals. The basics of songwriting, including lyric and melody, will be taught in playful workshops.

Children will be guided through the process of making their own instruments out of wood, which they will be able to play in the rhythm space and take home with them.

Throughout the festival, kids will have the chance to "Become a Rockstar" by getting temporary tattoos and punk-rock hair-dos. Once all done up, the little "Rock Stars" can stop by the photo booth to get their picture taken.

Sounds super fun, right?  Here is ticket purchasing info:

Tickets for $25 in the pavilion and on the lawn are on sale at, The Palace Ticket Store and all Ticketmaster locations, including The Locker Room Store at Great Lakes Crossing. Tickets may be purchased with American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard by calling 800.745.3000. Family four-packs are also available for $75.


Toy Review: Botti Bot, A Friend for Life

This is a review post on behalf of Blip Toys.  A complimentary toy was provided.  All opinions and the experiences related within are personal and unbiased.

A new RC toys has arrived in stores from Blip Toys and this one is probably quite a bit different from other RC toys you are familiar with.  I've seen cars and plane RC toys before but Botti Bots don't just move about.  They are also furry, colorful, little RC pets that light up and have sound!  Plus they don't just go forward and backward, they also have a really neat twisting action.  They are so cute and fun! 
We received Bopsy-Bot for our review and as you can see she has rainbow lights and soft tufts of fur.  My daughter was crazy about her for the minute the box arrived.  She thinks she's so cute and loves her new RC pet.  Her favorite thing about it is how you can get the front two wheels to spin around.  She has been teaching Bopsy-Bot tricks and playing chase with her.
Each Botti Bot comes with a remote control that is equally cute.  We caught on pretty quick as to how to get the Botti zoom around with just a few minutes of trial and error.  I really like how, unlike other motorized pet style toys, this is interactive with your child having control for more active play.  Now that school is out, we've had several little friends over to play and all of them were really into Botti-Bots, I can already tell they're going to be a really popular toy! Each one went home wanting one for herself.
Check out our Botti Bot in action, by watching the little video we made and see the lights, action, and sound.  Get your own, when Botti's become available at Target and Walmart stores nationwide beginning in August, 2013.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Sprout Organic Foods - Toddler Fruit & Veggie Crispy Chews and Fruity Yogurt Bites

Recently my family was introduced to Sprout Organic Foods when we received a sample pack of their new Toddler Fruit & Veggie Crispy Chews and Fruity Yogurt Bites to review.  Known for being:

"Naturally sweet and wholesome, Sprout recipes are made with certified organic ingredients and contain no preservatives, artificial colors, flavors or other additives. Sprout is also pleased to be able to offer a selection of recipes suitable for those with allergies and food sensitivities."

I was really impressed with our toddler snacks.  I pre-taste everything we give our little guy. Normally I find most first foods pretty terrible and bland, but these were so good I would eat them myself, seriously.  I liked them so much, I'm very glad I get to give away a sampler pack to one of you too, so read on to enter!
Let's start with the Toddler Fruit & Veggie Crispy Chews, which come in four flavors.  From left to right: Tropical Fruit & Pumpkin, Purple Berry & Carrot, Red Berry & Beet, and Orange Fruit & Carrot.  At first these combinations might seem unusual, but the fruit combined with a vegetable really go well together with the fruit providing just enough sweetness.

I've heard of hiding the veggies for picky eaters before but have never been fooled myself but I really couldn't taste any lingering beet flavor in the Red Berry & Beet and I was really trying to find it.  I really hate beets, and this may be the very first time I've willing ate anything including them.  They were that good!  
What makes Sprout Organic Food's Toddler Fruit & Veggie Crispy Chews special is that you're expecting a run of the mill fruit snack type thing.  You know what I mean, the kind that look like solid jelly and don't resemble any kind of fruit that naturally exists.  But when you open them, you find these little bits that look you can clearly tell started out as the real deal and have crispy brown rice embedded to give them a satisfying crunch.  I thought the taste was really light and vibrant and liked the soft crisp chewy texture.  You can really tell you are eating a quality product.  
My little guy ate his all up.  I let him have these at home but saved the rest for taking on the go and they were so helpful as they kept him occupied and happy while I was out running errands.  Plus I liked knowing I was giving him a quality snack that was grab and go without being junk. 
These are the Toddler Fruity Yogurt Bites.  From left to right are: Raspberry Yogurt with Real Mango Pieces, Strawberry Carrot Yogurt with Real Banana Pieces, Banana Pumpkin Yogurt with Real Banana Pieces, and Orange Carrot Yogurt with Real Mango Pieces
The Fruity Yogurt Bites have a soft quick-dissolve texture and are great for early self feeders.  Like the Fruit and Veggie Crispy Chews, each variety comes in five single packet portions with no added sugar, BPA-free packaging,  never any additives or preservatives, and never any artificial colors or flavors.

The Raspberry Yogurt with Real Mango Pieces was my favorite out of all the samples we were sent, sort of surprising because I've never liked mango.  Again the taste was really vibrant and fresh tasting, and yes I know that might seem a little contradictory considering how they look like dehydrated bits.  However, they are really tasty and a lot less mess than having to carry real fruit around in my diaper bag.
I really can't rave enough about how well done the Sprout Organic Foods Toddler Snacks were.  I was very impressed in the high quality and taste of their products.  They really are like no others on the market.  I was very interested to find out that they have foods for babies through toddlers, including some interesting looking fruit and grain blends and vegetable and grain blends for babies in those oh so handy squeeze pouches.  My little guy still loves eating squeeze pouches and I've never seen any with brown rice or oatmeal mixed with the fruit or vegetables.  I wish I had known about those last year!  They also offer veggie only options, which I really like because it can be so hard to get those into my kids!

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Disclosure: #spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Sprout Foods. This could include the Sprout Foods providing us w/ content, product, access or other forms of payment. Check out the new Sprout Foods website at
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