Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Our visit to Walt Disney World ended up being during the annual Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot. This meant special exhibits throughout the park including 3 playgrounds (we stopped & played at 2) and lots of gorgeous topiaries. We took photos of many of them and I wanted to include some in our book.

click to enlarge

I used PhotoStory templates from the same sets I've used for several other of my Disney pages. I like the simplicity and how it allows the photos to be the focus. After all, those topiaries are gorgeous enough on their own.

Supplies: PhotoStory template sets 1 & 2 by Mary Moseley


Fourth Birthday Fun

We filled Dylan's birthday on Friday with lots of fun! The night before Trent & I hung the birthday banner I made two years ago, blew up a few balloons & spread them around the family room, and placed his present, a small balloon & foam 4 from our floor mat on his craft table for him to find. He had a huge grin when he came downstairs and found it all!

Dylan & I were up first. He did great a being patient when I told him he had to wait until Trent was awake before he could open his gift. He set the wrapped package back down and waited almost an hour before heading upstairs to open it in our bed. Inside was a "big boy" watch by Timex. He was so excited and wore it almost the entire day. Best part, without any prompting from us, he gave us hugs & kisses and thanked us! I was one proud Mama.

As the day went on we had Dylan's favorite breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes), went swimming, played cars & trains at home after lunch, went to see Monsters University at the theater, ate ice cream (he chose Cotton Candy flavored) at Maggie Moo's, went shopping at Target where he spent a little bit of his birthday cash, ate dinner at Jason's Deli, and did a little watercolor painting before bed.

And we weren't done celebrating - over the weekend we had more birthday fun with my family in VA and this upcoming Saturday we'll have friends & family over to our house for a "four-esta" party.



Today we're celebrating Dylan's fourth birthday with adventures for the three of us (currently thinking swimming, the movies & frozen custard).

Our little toddler has turned into an amazing little guy in the last year. He's started preschool. Loves to share what's he's learned with us. He still loves art. He has a huge heart and is amazingly sweet & caring. We started using a chore chart more regularly and he quickly & often easily does his chores (ie, setting the table, practicing his words for speech therapy, etc). We are proud of how much he's grown and look forward to seeing what the next year holds.

Happy fourth birthday, Dylan!! We love you!!


Walt Disney World - Rides & Shows

Making a page per ride or show seemed a little extreme (and time consuming!) so instead I opted to create a simple, two page design that showcases a few of my favorite photos and lists all we did.

Supplies: Sunny Days kit and Frame Clusters volumes 1 & 2 by Karen Funk; Digi Essentials kit by Karla Dudley.


Handprint Campfire

I've always enjoyed doing handprint and footprint art with Dylan. His little hands are growing so fast - they are sweet memories along with fun projects. I was excited when this project came home with him from preschool:

All summer they are having a camp theme and a couple of weeks ago that included "camping out" activities such as making handprint fires & napping on sleeping bags.

This simple project paired with a fun treat like a s'mores snack mix could make a great indoor activity to beat the heat or rain (seems like it's been raining here every day for the last 5-6 weeks).


[almost] Wordless Wednesday: Upward

I will always remember the smell of your pipe, the sound of your laughter and that twinkle in your eye when you were up to mischief.
Rest in peace, Big G.

Linking up to Wordless Wednesday


You've Got Ears

I have 2 pairs of Mickey Mouse ears from Walt Disney World (my original pair is from the early 80s!). Dylan had seen them before our trip and I promised he could pick out his own pair. We visited the Chapeau on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom where he selected the Pirates of the Caribbean style. Argh!

Supplies: template by Laura Edwards; Sunny Days kit by Karen Funk; Spooked kit by Jen Allyson; Digi Essentials elements by Karla Dudley; mouse head brad by 2paws Designs; Minnie & Arial fonts.


Half Bath Revamp

We're hosting Dylan's birthday party at our house later this month. It will also be the first time most of our friends have seen our new home (between holidays and working and whatever - the last 9 months have flown by!). I told Trent there was one room I absolutely wanted to get done before then - the first floor half bath.

It's small which meant not a lot of work. The main goal was to paint the walls. The entire house has a nice neutral beige, but with a flat finish. It's held up pretty well in most rooms, but a certain child had splashed soap on the walls of the half bath and it was covered with stains. And there was the issue of the black spots on the mirror frame.

To really appreciate the new look, here's what the bathroom looked like during our inspection walk through:

The wooden toilet seat was the first thing to go. Trent replaced it and repaired the tank parts during our first hours of owning the house (along with those of the other 2 toilets - oh, yes, this house was hurting for love). I spray painted the chrome towel ring & toilet paper holder with oil rubbed bronze paint a couple months later. Then, it pretty much hit the back burner until now.

Saturday Dylan & I painted. Yes, I let our almost 4 year old loose in the bathroom with a paint roller. I even left him alone in there a couple times while I grabbed something. And he did awesome! He pretty much painted all the walls up to 4 feet. Looks like we have a new DIY helper in the family.

I knocked out the rest with a little help from Trent along the ceiling where, even with a ladder, I just couldn't reach. On Sunday we picked up a fresh can of bronze spray paint, a board and 4 brackets for new shelving. I selected a 4 foot long board and had it cut in half at Lowes to help speed us up plus pull out one less tool.

Once the boards were stained (I used leftover stain from our shelves in the last house), we set up to spray paint. We spray painted the brackets, the existing chrome light fixture and the mirror frame with the bronze paint.

Click to enlarge
After everything had dried, we quickly rehung the original light fixture and mirror. Then I tackled the shelves. I screwed the brackets to them first and, with Trent's help, positioned them on the wall to mark where to drill holes. I used screw in anchors instead of the ones that came with the brackets. I highly recommend them. If you change your layout later they are easier to remove and do far less damage to the walls. Once that was done I added a few decorative pieces from our old bathroom. Still may change it up some. We'll see. For now, I'm taking a few days to enjoy all our hard work!

Cost breakdown overall: about $100
Toilet repairs 
Rust-Oleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint $16 (two cans - 1 in November and 1 now)
1 gallon Behr Raffia Cream, eggshell finish $20
1x4x8 board $16 (I goofed and grabbed the wrong one - thought I had gotten the $8 one)
Brackets $21