fourth of july 2019

i feel that the 4th of july is the height of the summer season and then it goes downhill from there. not in a bad way but it’s real chill afterwards and then august hits and it’s back to school! eep!

we did our usual the morning of the 4th. we {as in me and the girls} scrambled to get up, ready, and out the door early enough to nab a parking spot at madison school and traipse our way to the usual spot. a spot my sister and brother in law reserve every year with lawn chairs the night before. the girls were excited for the parade and even more excited to see their cousins.

we greeted some familiar faces, particularly helen, and chatted up with a few people already there and waiting. bit by bit, terry showed up, the boys, kim, and then thuy. we were all excitedly waiting for the parade to start and soon, we heard the sirens…signifying that the parade was on its way!

the girls were ecstatic! they shrieked and laughed as they saw cool and funny things walking/driving by! when it was time for the soldiers to walk by and fire their guns…the girl’s reactions completely define them. BOOM! it was so loud and there’s ellie…not jolted by the noise but curious and walks forward to see what it is and where it’s coming from. now here’s olive, running the opposite direction screaming in fear. LOL. yup, that’s them!

folks threw candy, random items, flyers and more candy! the girls walked away with quite the stash! olive’s philosophy on it was, if they’re giving to me…i must eat it now. i had to stop her after her second lollipop! she was like, what? they’re giving it to me??? nice reasoning cutie pie.

after the parade, we ran into hc’s friend max and chatted with him for a bit, while thuy swept the girls away once more. i wanted to stay and hang with max but we needed to get home because we had guests coming over.

we drove home in the jeep and hc dropped me off to get the party started while he grabbed ice and any other random items we might have needed. our guests slowly arrived {my family each brought over an item or two} and our gathering was in full swing. we had apps and drinks going and then finally kicked off the grill and cooked hotdogs, burgers, corn, with pasta salad, all the fixings {grilled onions, avocado slices, tomato, condiments}, potato salads, fruit, etc.

the evening began to cool off while the kids played with some ‘fire’works outside {really just some snappers and sparklers}. we served desserts and then all the kiddos had a water balloon fight! it was so cute to see how they all interacted…the boys chased each other, ellie did a little chasing, but mostly threw water balloons onto the grass to watch them pop and olive cried. uh huh. that’s what they did. hahaha!

our day was super lovely and fun. as always, we had the best time celebrating america’s birthday with our family!

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[they’re so sweet]

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[we saw this lab as a puppy last year!]

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[with uncle terry]

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[she’s such a ham]

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[they hear the sirens! waiting for the trucks!]

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[old school firetruck]

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[here come the fire trucks!]

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[with dada]

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[he’s been walking in the parade for years!]

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[helen, kim, me, thuy, and olive]

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[i love the way ellie is holding onto olive for the picture…she has no idea her hand is on her face! LOL]

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[with their super auntie…they always love being with her]

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[fourth of july desserts]

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[barbara and terry]

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[dan and olive]

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[festive cupcakes]

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[happy fourth!]

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[thuy, barbara, agata, lynne, and kim]

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[walsh family]

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[grand  kids]

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[the cheeky ones]

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[apps]

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[red velvet cake]

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[red, white, blue and stars ice cubes!]

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xoxo

easter egg bunnies

i am most creative at night. my mind doesn’t wind down easily and i am always thinking of ideas – what to do, what to create, what to anything. the other night, as it was nearing midnight, like right now, i had an urge to finish the easter egg project that i had barely even started. all i had were empty egg shells {i tapped each egg gently on top, peeled a hole about an inch big and broke the egg white and yolk out and washed each shell with water} but i felt completing the rest of it would be so easy!

i ran downstairs to my craft stash and rummaged around for construction paper. i picked a  dark tan and white color for the ears, brought up two flat wooden sticks to hold the ears. i stole some crayola markers from my girl’s art closet {i chose some fun colors and definitely pink for the cheeks}. i rummaged our easter decor box and found shredded paper grass. i already had flowers to pick from our vase and the ceramic egg holder, an old buy from anthropologie or you can always use an egg carton from the store that the eggs come in {cut it to fit the amount of eggs you make} .

i folded the paper into fours and cut out 4 sets of dark tan ears and two sets of white bunny ears. i then used different colored markers to color in the ears. i did leave one set blank to mix it up.

i then cut the 1/4 inch wide flat wooden sticks the length of the eggs with scissors {1 1/2 to 2 inches}. i used scotch tape to affix the ears onto the sticks, wrapping the tape around the back to secure it into place.

i then drew fun and different faces onto each egg with a fine point sharpie and used a pink marker to flush their cheeks.

i placed the green shredded grass into the egg holder. i placed each egg and ears into their nests and then snipped little bunches of flowers and place them inside the top of each bunny egg.

ta da! easter egg bunnies! it was quick, easy, and fun to make! the best part?? seeing olive’s face and excitement when she discovered them! she looooooved them so much! now that is the part that i love most: seeing the joy in her face!

currently, she’s taking care of them. she’s fed them. she’s checked their health like a doctor. she loves playing with them and creating vivid stories. to be able to enhance her imagination, promote creativity, and bring her joy is the best type of gift i can give!

happy easter week my friends!

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[our little bunny friends]

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[sleeping little bunnies]

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[besties]

xoxo

classmate cards

i recycled the idea we had last year, for olive’s valentine’s day cards again for this year. i absolutely loved making her cards last year {she loved it too!} but i am fond of the idea of capturing her personality and growth each year with the same type of card. i think it’d be fun to make one each year until she outgrows it!

i gathered all the components that we wanted to assemble the valentine’s bags for her classmates. a maze sheet, slime, valentine’s day card, holiday stickers, festive bandages, and ring pops; we purchased it all at target {our favorite place!}. olive placed all the goodies inside each bag, sealed it with a sticker and adorned it with a crafty heart.

she specifically wanted to cover the clear heart on the bag with the paper heart so her classmates didn’t peek into the bag of goodies and spoil the surprise! i love her thinking! she graciously made 18 bags so patiently and loved it to the very end. although, near the end, we tag teamed the sealing of the bags to be faster!

this whole over the top valentine’s day gifting is sooooo me. i am super happy olive enjoys it too but i loved this kind of stuff as a child and didn’t have the means to really create such things and i love that i can do it now. i am hoping olive grows up to love it too! maybe she will, maybe she won’t but i know that she definitely doesn’t have to do it because i am crazy about it!

happy valentine’s day week!

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[treat bags]

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[she’s such a sweetheart]

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[all the goodies]

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[assembling her bags for her friends]

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[band aids…cause every kid loves bandages!]

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[olive loves puzzles and mazes]

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[creating her valentine’s day card]

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[yummy earth pops and olive]

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[she cracks me up!]

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[olive’s hard work looks so good!]

xoxo

valentine’s day cards ’19

olive and i made her annual friends and family valentine’s day cards the other week!

we started this when she was three? gosh, i can’t remember {i guess i should reference my blog to find out…hahaha!}. prior years, olive used to paint paper hearts and adorn them with stickers but this year, i decided to buy pre-made cards and have olive decorate them and sign her name {which she loves to do!}.

ellie joined in on the fun by coloring on her own as olive went to work fancying up her valentine’s day cards. olive is such a trooper. seriously. i am amazed by her discipline and tenacious ways. she listens, she works hard at her projects, and doesn’t complain. we had 18 cards to complete and she did each one with joy and ease. only near the end did she says, “kiki, my body is getting tired!” oh, she’s too cute! i told her she only had three more cards and she was done! she happily finished them and was so proud of her results! i love that she’s so honest, real, and dedicated to what she is doing. whether she does it for herself or for me, i am amazed that she does it with selflessness and love.

we wrapped up our project and the girls happily ran off to play. we added an extra valentine’s day sticker card inside {attached with festive washi tape of course!} and i finished her crafty cards with a bit of calligraphy, a pretty stamp, and more envelope flair.

we sent them out through snail mail and can’t wait for our friends and family to receive a little bit of extra love in their day!

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[she’s oh so sweet]

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[the supplies]

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[she’s so creative! i love the way she signs her name]

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[creating together]

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[i mean, seriously, how cute is this?!]

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[my doll baby]

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[hard at work]

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[decorating]

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[sister love]

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[peek a booooo!]

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[she always poses like this and it melts my heart]

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[oh kiki, i’m so bored. hahahaha!]

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[really olive?]

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[the final product!]

xoxo

classmate vday cards!

now that olive is in school, it’s been fun creating birthday treats, teacher christmas gifts, and now we get to be creative for our valentine’s day cards!

since good ol’ pinterest has been around, creative ideas are in overdrive or overload or overwhelming. it’s like a pot o’ gold of ideas. well, of course i pinterest’d a valentine’s day card concept from there! i loved the one where you take a photo of your kid and stick a lollipop in their hand! i’m sure y’all have seen this one!

olive’s valentine’s outfit du jour for the pic? a heart headband and my little pony pj’s. that’s my girl! we love hanging out in pj’s all day every day!

everything cost just a few dollars apiece and it was quite inexpensive to make! everything was on ‘sale’ {i only quoted this because, lately, sale is usually the regular price}. the most time spent was looking for the supplies, only because i do love to shop and find the right pieces! my problem is that i love to look at everything, every shop, every possible option…not to find the best deal but to find the best stuff to execute the ideas that float around in my head.

hc printed out the pics for us, i bought the supplies, and olive helped assemble all the lollipops onto the cards! i stuffed each heart covered plastic baggies with a card, a few pieces of candies, a bubble wand, and stickers! voila! cute, fun packages to hand out to her classmates on valentine’s day!

olive was quite happy with the final results and i can’t wait for her to hand out her sweet valentines to her friends at school!

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[she looks thrilled doesn’t she?! hahaha!]

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[what do i do with this lollipop besides eat it?]

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[she did it!]

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[focus!]

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[i love that smile]

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[ta da! her valentine’s day card]

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[a valentine’s day card, bubbles, stickers, and candy!]

xoxo

a simple outing

we had a quick, casual outing on a beautiful sunny day that turned out to be freezing cold and soooo windy in the early afternoon and then a warm day late afternoon! my, what a difference a few hours can make!

i met my dad and sister, thuy, for lunch out at the mall. we ate at a yummy restaurant and then decided to get donuts and coffee after our main meal. my dad could live off of doughnuts and coffee. ha! we were in a new part of the mall that is now a bunch of restaurants and it was pretty quiet and serene. we did a mini photo shoot with olive {natch}, ate doughnuts, sipped coffee, and enjoyed our peaceful moments together.

since my dad’s leg{s} have been bothering him, we decided to not venture out too far. thuy and i wanted to hit up anthropologie but it was too far for my dad to walk so we decided to call it quits. besides, they had more errands to run and i didn’t mind heading home with the kiddos. it was nice just to get out for a bit but honestly, with two kiddos and one being so young, you’re bound to time frames! well, i choose to be committed because i prefer for my kids to have a routine.

i love that ellie can nap at 10am and 2-3pm and olive will occassionly nap in the afternoon {depending on her wake up time & morning activities}. it limits our outings at times but hey…they are only this little for so long!

anyhoo, it was a great blip in our day. we loved seeing my dad and my sister for a bit and enjoyed the sunshine and fresh air!

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[my sweet  babe]

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[ellie enjoying being flipped around by auntie thuy]

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[thuy thought it was a good idea for ellie to try her glasses, ellie – not so much. hahaha!]

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[she loved her glasses so much!]

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[stan’s donuts]

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xoxo

makey valentine’s day cards

yayyyyyyy! it was our yearly ~ let’s makey valentine’s day cards for everyone!

i love doing this every year with olive and love that she has fun decorating all the cards. i can’t wait until ellie is old enough to do this with olive, it’ll be cuteness overload when that happens!

i rummaged out all the fun decor i had stored away and created a fun little space of heart explosions, lots of red, and crafty stuff galore. olive was so excited to dig into all the valentine’s day goodness. she started out with painting the heart cards but became restless and went crazy with the stickers. she totally loved putting all the festive stickers all over the cards and loved the little, what she called alien, poms! those were her most favorite items, although they were just for fun and wouldn’t mail very well in a flat envelope! ha!

ellie joined in on the fun for a bit but soon olive finished up all her valentine’s day cards in style. this mama then addressed and mailed them out to all her sweet little friends! we hope all her buddies enjoyed their sweet little surprise in the mail! olive wants to know if you will be her valentine?! muwah!

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[long story: i bought one heart envelope on sale {super cheap, yearssss ago} and ordered it to get embroidered with olive’s name. it arrived not embroidered! i was super upset but apparently i must have ‘deleted’ the personalization part of my order and that was why it arrived blank. i called the company and figured out what had happened and i wanted to order another one because i wanted olive’s name on it! the customer service person was soooooo nice and helpful and told me to not bother to send the other envelope back because it was so inexpensive and it wouldn’t be cost efficient to send it back. well, thought, what will i do with an extra envelope? i almost gave it away but ended up keeping and found it in my valentine’s day box of decor this year! how perfect?! i then got the second envelope personalized with ellie’s name! it was meant to be!]

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[copious options]

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[she loved her ‘aliens’]

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[painting away]

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[she did such a great job!]

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[i love her]

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[she’s so fun]

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[gahhhhhhh, i love these girls!]

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[i couldn’t help but post every pic of her making the cards…she was so into it!]

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[her favorite items from the day!!]

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xoxo

watercolor valentine’s day cards

last year, miss olive helped mama make some valentine’s day cards to send out. this year, olive did it all on her own! i was so proud and excited!

i was out shopping with my sisters one night and we stopped by a paper store to peruse around. it was perfect because it was on my list to grab some extra supplies for olive’s valentine’s day cards. i had a lot of ‘stuff’ at home so i didn’t need much because i am a craft hoarder. haha!

one morning, i set up her table and asked her if she wanted to draw {duh, i obvs knew what her answer was going to be!}, she was so excited to ‘draw’. who knew this kid would be so entertained and paint for hours?! she was loving it. she painted heart after heart after heart. i didn’t think she would plow through so many cards! i had purchased a set of 20 and had a leftover pack at home, not thinking she would paint every single one of the paper hearts! she was having a blast.

i taught her how to wash off her paintbrush after each color and all of a sudden she became a pro! i didn’t have a paint smock for her but she is such a neat little girl, she didn’t get a drop of paint on her cute little outfit nor did she paint outside the heart’s lines!

after painting all her cards, i then helped her place her stickers on each one. i pulled off the sticker and she happily stuck it on each heart. it was too cute…she would place each sticker on there so wonky! crooked, sideways, or upside down if i didn’t help navigate her a bit!

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[the preparation]

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[a favorite valentine’s day decor…i actually bought this a few months after olive was born and didn’t have a place or a real purpose for it until this year!]

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[she is usually so careful but i realized i need a smock for her! although she did not get one drop of paint on herself at all]

via tandeminlove.com[we pulled out our valentine’s day books…our favorite, olive my love]

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[my baby doll]

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[she’s too cute…cleaning off her brush to pick a new color to paint with]

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[her final touch: placing stickers on her valentine’s day cards]

after we finished all the cards, i assembled them all inside red envelopes, sprinkled some with confetti, and addressed them with a silver sharpie pen. in hindsight, i would have totally bought a finer point sharpie pen because the thicker marker took up way too much space on such a little envelope! eep! i sealed each one with decorative, festive print washi tape and a pretty little spring time flower postage stamp.

hc dropped the cards off in the mail and we were excited at the prospect of everyone smiling when they opened up their little valentine’s day card from baby olive.

xoxo

makey valentines

we loooooove making cards…especially valentine’s day cards! it’s always a fun project & i love racking my brain for creative ideas. i didn’t get as detailed with this diy as i typically can get. i was a bit rushed, but nevertheless…we got ’em done and they turned out cute.

we set up the workstation and we were ready to go! olive was excited to finger print her cards {but then her controlling mama got her in a tizzy near the end}. she was a good girl, she finger printed all her cards and was a happy camper to be sticking her finger{s} all over that ink pad.

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[i love the valentine’s day mailer envelope!]

i love, love this table and chair set from auntie kim, terry, and the boys. it’s so purrfect. i have future plans to jazz it up a bit. i definitely want to add a little pizzaz to the set but i haven’t had the time as of late. so i am hoping to be able to accent it soon…just a little color and design to the stems and attach a paper roll for fun, drawing, coloring activities! soon. soon.

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i put out a bunch of fun valentine’s day trinkets to entertain miss olive. she loved the little pom pom creatures. she did such a good job {with the help of momma} stamping all the cards with her ittty bitty finger!

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[my sweet babes…always so serious]

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[ready to makey some cards!]

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[finger printing!]

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[i love this face & those cheeks]

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[swak!]

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once all the cards were finger printed by olive, me, and hc, i went to work on detailing them. normally, i would add more depth, layers, pizzaz, glitter, and details but i was stressed for time. oh, it’s so me…i always take on toooooo much! so, a few paper cutouts, stamping, stickers, and drawing was all i could do. 🙂

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[aaaanndd they are ready to be sent!]

well, there they are! our diy valentine’s day cards by us! signed, sealed, and ready to be delivered!

xoxo

snow globes

a few years ago, i created these little snow globes for our place and as gifts. i just love them! they are so easy to make and so cute to have around during the holidays. this year, from our move {chicago to the burbs}, a few of my snow globes were jarred from the bumpy move and needed some tlc. so i decided, why not share on how they are made? it’s so simple and fun!

what you will need:

ball jars {wide mouth or regular…whatever preference or size and height} i like a bit of a variety in sizes.

snow. you can buy it at any craft store. i bought frosty snow and iridescent snow to give it some bling.

i added in confetti gold stars to add some shine.

little pine trees. a package at the craft store comes in a variety of sizes.

a glue gun.

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[i also used iridescent snow…it was camera shy]

first, undo the ball jar so you have the round, flat lid bottom side up. i put a generous amount of glue onto the bottom of the tree and firmly place it onto the lid. hold onto it for a few seconds to let it set.

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i then take the snow {both types} and confetti, and mix it into the ball jar. you only need a little bit. maybe a inch or half an inch {depending on the size of your tree}. a little goes a long way.

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some people add water to the jar, but i prefer not too. i then place the lid {with the tree} back onto the cap and screw it back onto the ball jar. flip it over and ta da! you have yourself a snow globe! easy peasy!

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i love making these. i hope you have some fun making them too! like i said, they make great gifts or add just the right amount of festive, holiday decor fun to your house.

xoxo