do something: weekend march 27 - march 28

another week gone, and the weekend is already halfway over.  looking for something to do for you, with your friends, or with the whole family?

here are a few things going on this weekend:

CIFF wraps up this weekend (tomorrow, march 28th is the last day).

if you love music and perhaps have an extensive vinyl collection that requires it's own massive bookshelf *ahem* then this might be the event for you. blue arrow records is celebrating their first anniversary, they're throwing themselves a birthday party today!  runs from 12:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. with DJs and munchies.

cirque imaginaire is having a show tonight showcasing many awesome local artists.  the event runs from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  stop by and support your local artists, enjoy some music and maybe meet some new people.

bring the whole family to the north chagrin nature center to learn all about amphibians.  this is a free event, going on today from 2:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  there will be crafts, puppet show, live amphibians on display, amphibian-themed walks (perfect day for that) and other activities planned.  looks like a great learning experience.  and they have an impressive list of amphibians (that is...if you like frogs and stuff). 

depending on agent gib's napping habits today, we might either shoot for the cirque imaginaire show or maybe check out those frogs at the nature center.

what's on your agenda this weekend?  anything to add to the list?


needle and thread feeds hunger

just thought i would share photos of the items i donated to the soul food fundraiser event that happened last week.  since the fundraiser benefited an organization to help feed the hungry, work donated by artists needed to be food-centered. 

here is what i came up with:

 i am in love with the eggs and bacon felt piece and am thinking of reconstructing it to put up for my shop.

though we were not able to attend, the event sounded like it was a great success!  check out 52 weeks of cleveland for a brief synopsis.


(almost) wordless wednesday::mischief on the homefront

oh, it's on now.  you can't *just* be mobile, can you?  always trying to pull up and get into everything: the chair, the step stool, the dishwasher, ty's school bin, the fridge, the wall, the steps, daddy's guitar (!), the broiler handle (!!).  i've got my eye on you, dude!

more wordless wednesday here and here.


top ten tuesday

this week's top ten needs no introduction...

our top 10 favorite beers [not all are specialty beers.  some made it to the top ten because happy memories were attached to that specific brew.]:
1. conway's irish ale. [this delicious, seasonal brew is something we look forward to in march.]

2. the one and only (a.k.a. newcastle).

3.  rainier. [this brew brings back some nostalgia.  we even served it at our wedding.]

4. christmas ale. [another excellent seasonal brew from great lakes brewing company.]

5. full moon winter ale.
6. pike kilt lifter. [i remember we originally tried this one out for the name.  but it was oh, so good.  haven't been able to find it in ohio though.]

7. olympia stubby. [it was once locally brewed, but then bought out by pabst brewing.  and now it's no longer in production.  i thoughttp://www.rozis.com/ht the bottles were so cute.]

8. pabst blue ribbon (in bottles or on tap only). [yes, i know.  this one's not in the top ten because of delicious flavor...]

9.  guinness. [smooth and has a coffee flavored finish.  and you know how much i love coffee.]

10. moose drool brown ale. [i don't know that this is a favorite of aaron's, but i remember enjoying these along with some hot wings at the wing dome by our house.]
some local places we like that sells some great, specialty brews are rozi's wine house and lilly's handmade chocolates.

or you can stop by great lakes brewing company, rocky river brewing company or buckeye beer engine to enjoy some good food to go with your beer.  i think all 3 breweries allow you to take a growler home filled with your beer of choice.  yum!


kid fest

the kids had a blast this past sunday at kid fest bouncing, sliding and running around with balloon creations in hand.  i was tired just from watching.

 thanks to the AR college group that came up to help with the event and for the work you're doing this week.  awesome!


do something: weekend march 19 - 21

i don't know if you're like me, but some weekends i feel like i need to get out and do stuff.  something.  anything.  as long as it's cool, local and doesn't involve going to the mall (this was our major go-to activity when we first moved here because we had no idea how cool and happening cleveland was at the time).

so here are a few things going on this weekend:

CIFF started last night and goes on until next sunday the 28th.  we need to check this out one of these years.

bela dubby has a free show tonight starting at 9 p.m. along with other events for the rest of the weekend.  like cereal saturday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.  fun.

78th street studios kicks off their Third Friday event.  free studio shows and art exhibits, though i'm sure items on display can be purchased.

give your hART to haiti silent art auction tonight to benefit the children of haiti via save the children.  from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.  it will be held on the first floor of the 78th Street Studios.  cleveland handmade is donating a basket of handmade items by local artists (i had wanted to make a donation, but didn't get my act together fast enough).

the ink well show at the pop shop gallery runs tomorrow from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  they will be feautring art work from local tattoo artists.  how can we miss out on this one?  we are planning to go with the kids.  for the adults, after party is at mullens on madison (next door).

soul food: feed the hungry feed the soul auction/fundraiser benefiting the hunger relief efforts of trinity lakewood community outreach will be tomorrow night 6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. at local girl gallery.  i made a couple of donations, along with our friend robert, the cleveland indians, 2 ticket vouchers from AirTran to list a few.  after we put the kids to bed, we will be making an appearance to show our support...and maybe win those ticket vouchers (we could really use those for ty's trips to seattle!).

kid fest will be this sunday 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. at harding middle school gymnasium in lakewood, oh.  free and fun for the whole family!  we will be there ready to play.

got anything more to add?

i'm sure there are other things i missed, but thought i'd highlight the ones close to my neighborhood.

happy weekend!

please don't go

after a brief cool down earlier in the week it has been beautiful and sunny again.  i'm afraid this weather might be too good to be true (and it probably is), so we are fully taking advantage of any time outside.

there was so much beautiful sunshine yesterday that we decided on an impromptu picnic dinner at the park.

everyone was out today.  that's one of the things i love when the weather starts to turn nice.  the streets get busy.  people are out on bikes or taking walks downtown, and the main streets are jammed with cars.

i can't wait until the warmth and sun stick around for a while.  i can't wait for all the outdoor events that goes on when the weather turns warms.  i can't wait to get on the trails at the metroparks.  i can't wait.  i can't wait.  i can't wait.


month of l

in february, we focused on many "l" themed activities.  except for the last week, because it was dad's birthday week so we hung out with dad.  a lot.

something new to note that hasn't been pictured that we've been doing since january, i've started focusing a little more time in having her practice making the letters.  nothing to regimented, of course.  sometimes she writes the letter with a marker, crayon, glitter glue, or paint. what ever suits her fancy.  and she seems to enjoy making the letters...maybe it makes her feel like she's in school, just like her older brother.  when the weather warms up (consistently), i'm hoping to move those practice times outside on the sidewalk with chalk thrown in with our chalk drawing/outside time.

introducing the letter l:
here are the "l" pages we did to introduce the letter of the month.

we traced different sized heart cookie cutters to represent the word love.  she was very insistent in using a pencil for the heart tracings so they look a little dreary.  maybe it was a dreary kind of day.

we made a very simple lion mask that i found from here, except we used a mix of streamers and construction paper and didn't really make them curly (can you imagine how long that would take with a 3 year old?).  we read a book about lions and talked about the distinct physical difference between a male and female lion: the mane (but i think she already knew this before).


"l" things we can do:
we leaped, leaned, laughed and lunged while we listened to music.

length (long vs. short):
keeping the tot tray idea alive this month, i put a few different long and short items on a tray so that she can separate them by length.  then she glued all the short items on one paper and all the long items on another.

we discussed the difference between loud and quiet noises, and this is what emma came up with...
loud things/noises - drums, her crying (no argument here), thunder, airplanes, blue's barking.  quiet things/noises - her crying, gibson's crying, feet, whispers.  after wards, we tried to make some loud and quiet noises of our own like stomping our feet, creeping, laughing quietly and laughing loudly.

we talked about God's love for us, the people around us that love us, and how we can show love to other people.  on valentine's day, daddy gave her a special heart chocolate as a way to show his love for her.  emma also drew a picture of some of the people that love her onto a giant red heart (notice how daddy got some nice, spiky hair on his arms).

and her memory verse for the month was also very fitting for the topic on love and the "l" theme in general: love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself - luke 10:27 (esv).

emma wrote two letters.  one was to aunt corrie and the other was to ibu and grandpa john.  after putting it in an addressed envelope with a stamp, we waited for mr. paul, or letter carrier, to pick it up.

there's certainly plenty of [insert sarcasm here] this favorite activity going on in our house.  emma likes to throw the clothes in the washer and empty out the dry ones into the basket.  once her slacker mama finally gets around to it, we do a little folding time together.  folding her own shirts, pants and panties are a great way to practice those motor skills, and finding the right folded pile to place them in is a practical and simple lesson in sorting.  once we just get down to the socks, i try to have her match them, but it's kind of a pain since there are so many socks so she loses interest after doing 3 or 4 of them.  my master plan is to get her so proficient in doing laundry that i can pass on this honorable chore to her...ha, ha!

leather (the fruit kind):
we made mango-apple fruit leather following the instructions from the super baby food book.  as you can see, my daughter is a HAM in front of the camera, and she is *posing* as she purees the fruit with the chipper chopper.

the leather turned out great, except that some parts were a little crispy because i spread some of the fruit puree too thinly in some parts.

lips and lipstick:

yeah, she was stoked being able to use mommy's lipstick.  her lip gloss doesn't have quite the same luscious lips effect.

while singing mary had a little lamb, we made five little lambs out of egg cartons and cotton.  the craft idea can be found here

but those poor, little lambs didn't have a little home to live in, so i used an old berry basket, stuck some ribbon on it for handles, and made a little carrying basket for them so they wont be lost.

armed with a marker, i gave emma a page in the newspaper and had her look for some "l"s.  after she was done with l-hunting, she hunted for a few letter "e"s and some "o"s and then colored some of the photos in the paper.

people we know that start with the letter "l":
ms. lindsey (we borrowed this picture from aunt jenna's blog)

 mr. lane (here he is trying to show everyone else up at one of our BYOP parties by using a dremmel to carve his pumpkin)

layla (this photo is from august 2008.  don't they look so little?)

don't forget to check back again next month when we'll be sharing with you our new letter!


wordless wednesday::kiss me!

more wordless wednesday here and here.


top ten tuesday

when my husband and i reminisce about some of the things we did in our hay day, usually karaoke makes its way into the discussion.

we had some great memories going out to karaoke. in fact our very first date was karaoke night at bush garden. then there was karaoke for my sister's bridal shower. and now, i've learned that one of our friends has purchased a karaoke machine (oooh yeah!).

karaoke is just fun. it's an opportunity to share some laughs, let down your guard and not take yourself so seriously. whether you sing or not is beside the point (i usually add lots of dance moves to distract people from listening to my singing). everyone is in the same boat when you karaoke.

our top ten 10 karaoke songs:
1. teenager in love by dion & the belmonts. [this is aaron's "warm-up"/stand-by song. i still remember the first time i heard him sing this song. talk about some major swooning.]

2. summer nights from grease soundtrack. [this is our duet. the first time we sang this together was on our first date. i still can't believe he made me go up there and sing with him.]

3. rocky top by boudleaux and felice bryant. [i remember some older guy did a great job singing this song at one of the karaoke bars we were at.]

4. love shack by the b52s. [great song to sing with a bunch of girls. throw in some moves and you'll be rockin' the house.]

5. i walk the line by the man in black (a.k.a. johnny cash).

6. fly me to the moon by frank sinatra. [gotta include one of franky's classics.]

7. these boots are made for walking by nancy sinatra.

8. dancing queen by abba.

9. toss up: straight up or cold hearted by paula abdul.

10. word up by cameo. [this song will always remind me of the same guy we saw at this one karaoke bar who always chose this song to sing every. single. time.]

do you like karaoke? or perhaps just singing in the shower? what are your favorite go-to songs? come on, baby, tell me what's the word?

and now i leave you with this...



i woke up today to birds chirping and the smell of rain.  the past week has been gorgeous outside and the snow has finally melted away.

but i know that even though we were able to do things like this:

there will most likely be one more round of this:

if you are a newbie to living around here, you would certainly be fooled into thinking that spring is finally here.  ha!  we sure were fooled the first couple of years we lived here.  but after getting hit 2 years in a row with a snow storm in late march/early april (the snow photo is from april 2007), never again!

i will be pleasantly surprised if this warming trend lasts through the rest of march.  but as for now, i'm keeping my boots and winter coat handy...


wordless wednesday::photo meme

i was tagged for this photo meme a while back by my friend connie.  after opening up the 3rd picture in my 2nd picture folder this is what i found:

little cousins at play.  they look so little back in 2008.  how fast they grow!

more wordless wednesday here and here.


top ten tuesday

i'm not a morning person by nature.  i don't jump out of bed, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to start the day.  if i have an alarm, i'll press snooze at least 10 times before i'm officially up.  and then it takes me another 5 minutes to actually sit up and get myself out of the bed.  if you try to talk to me, i might respond.  for some reason, the kids don't get this about me and they like to attack me with words before the 10 o'clock hour.

and now, getting up at 6 a.m. every. single. day. doesn't help (that's gibson's new wake-up time.  but i guess i'll take it since i don't have to get up in the middle of the night anymore).  but what gets me through those early mornings is c.o.f.f.e.e.  just let me have a couple of swigs sips and i'll be as alert as a man-eating watchdog.

so this week's top ten is a tribute to my caffeine addiction, because at this time all i can think about is drinking more coffee...

top ten favorite coffee beverages:
1. double tall americano (hot or iced it doesn't matter, just give me the goods) with cream and 1 raw sugar. 
2. doppio con panna with 1 raw sugar. 
3. double short latte with 1 raw sugar.
[i really, really miss being able to get this in cleveland.  none of the local coffee shops i've been to have offered the 8 oz. cup.  the 12 oz. gives me too much milk and i end up losing the coffee flavor.  plus i don't need the extra calories.]
4. good old drip coffee with some cream and 2 sugars.
5. double tall mocha (hot or iced depending on the season).
6. shot in the dark.
7. double espresso over ice and little bit of cream.
8. french press coffee.
9. granitas with an extra shot of espresso.
10. stove top espresso coffee.
if you are a caffeine dependent like me don't be ashamed...it's okay.  let's share some of your favorite coffee or caffeinated beverages.


something new in the needle and thread department

i just finished this gibson explorer inspired onesie for my niece.

it is a gift for one of her friends whose brother is a musician.  the words are a reference to one of his band's albums.  what i especially like about this onesie is the intentional not-so straight green border.  i think it gives it a more handmade feel rather then doing a border that's perfectly straight.

i also finally finished the tea towel for my parents' christmas gift.  now that they've received it i can finally post the pictures online (both sets of grandparents actually received this gift).  i took a few of emma's drawings and transfered them on a tea towel, then embroidering them based on the colors she used for the original drawing.  the patterned fabric was added to cover up the back side of the embroidery to give it a cleaner look. 

my favorite is the picture she drew of our family, with me holding baby gibson (see the 2 sets of eyes on the one body?).

and now i've got to work on some pieces to donate for an upcoming fundraiser helping the hunger relief efforts of trinity lakewood community outreach.  check out local girl gallery for more information on or would like to attend "soul food: feed the hungry feed the soul" event.
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