Growing through life creatively…

Leave a comment

Keeping at our “100 Pins in a Week” Challenge

Continuing on (with delayed writing of the blog posts by a few months)…This has definitely been a fun and inspiring adventure for us.

Day 3 – Monday (7/20)

We started out the morning with a little card making time.

Occasionally, we have to put the challenge aside to pursue other mother/daughter fun we had planned. Today it was a trip into my friend’s salon for make up lessons. I wear make up most days, but it is pretty much the same every single day. I’ve never really “played” around and experimented with different looks. Although I am very clear with my daughter that beauty comes from the inside, I want her to know more than I know and I thought it would be helpful to get some professional advice. Bonus points that the person giving the lesson was not selling any particular line. This was of course followed by a trip to Ulta – every tweens dream. We *should* be going onto Pinterest to get some ideas to try. But since my only board about makeup or hair is called “Cosmetically Challenged”, that shows you my interest/skill level on these things.

Late afternoon was a little more card making. Between the 2 of us, we made cards with ideas inspired by 8 different Pins. Here is a quick photo of a few of the cards we made:


It is kind of hard to tell, but the one on the bottom in the middle is a donut. The flat side is where it would stand up. WAY too cute!

At dinner, we decided to spend some quality time in the kitchen making Skinny Orange Chicken, the Benihana salad dressing and Disneyland-inspired Dole Whips. YUM!


Not quite as brightly colored as the Benihana dressing, but tasty nonetheless.


Skinny Orange Chicken was really good. Definitely a keeper to share with the family later!


Tasty, frozen goodness.

Project Pin Count – 11

Total Pin Count – 26

Remember, you can keep up with us on Pinterest by looking at my following 2 boards:

100 Pinterest in a Week Ideas

100 Pinterest in a Week DONE

1 Comment

Mystery Invite to the Pinterest HQ

So I got an e-mail in May (yes, I’m a little late with this post) titled, “You are invited to a special event at Pinterest headquarters”. My first thought was that it was a scam of some sort, but I was so intrigued, that I replied. I got another message telling me to come on Tuesday, June 2nd. Doors open at 10am. That was about all the info I had. Seeing as this was my kids’ last full day of school before summer break (and therefore my last day of “vacation” for a few months), I hoped on BART and headed to San Francisco.

I arrived and was routed to the correct table (press, partners & pinners) to get my name tag.

They were expecting me…AWESOME. I walked in to check things out.You could tell that this was just one of those SUPER COOL places to work. I’ve been out of the “corporate” workforce for 10 years and there have been some great changes.


IMG_3784 IMG_3758

I still had no idea why I was here. Ohhhhh – bacon.



They had a great breakfast spread with many things I’d seen on Pinterest. And champagne….Seriously, I’m about to have several months of serious SAHM time, so I’ll enjoy this while I can.


I did feel a bit like a fish out of water. I mean, I’ve never exactly been “cool” or “hip”, so being 10-20 years older than everyone else was pretty entertaining. I think I was the token Mom from the suburbs. Lots of cool hipsters, artists, bloggers, journalists. Since I’m not shy, I walked up to anyone I could identify as another “Pinner”. My favorite conversation was with 2 young ladies that were fashion bloggers and avid Pinners. I mentioned that I had one board called “Cosmetically Challenged” and that was about it for anything fashion related. I don’t think she understood that was actually my ONLY board about fashion…

There was the opportunity to do a little leather craft project. Had to give that a go. Might need more practice. It was about this time I met a sweet girl who was a senior at Santa Clara University. I went there for my first 2 years of college, so we had fun chatting. She was kind enough to take my photo as I attempted to stamp a little pouch. We also took turns taking photos of each other later.

IMG_3781 IMG_3770

I picked up a little swag.


At some point everyone gathered around to hear Pinterest CEO, Ben Silbermann, announce the new “Buyable Pins”. This was the Media event to release that new concept. Kind of interesting. Making pins a little more connected so you can purchase the items you see. I think since I am more on the DIY side of Pinterest this may not come in as handy for me as someone on the fashion or home design side of it.


We had gathered in the open space in the middle of the office building. There was a huge wall of “Potential Pins” that made for a colorful centerpiece.

IMG_3793 IMG_3766 IMG_3757

Things started winding down and I headed out, but not before grabbing a few more photos. This is actually printed on the wall right as you walk in. Totally NOT me, but I know people struggle with being creative, so I get where they are coming from by having this here.


This was such a fun day. I am so happy I was invited (although I still have NO idea how that happened). If you are listening, Pinterest, I’d be happy to visit again any time…

Leave a comment

Checking in on our “100 Pins in a Week” Challenge

We are having a blast! It is so fun actually taking the time to try some of the great ideas we’ve seen on Pinterest.

Day 1 – Saturday (7/18)

1st order of business was to get a care package out to the boys at camp. The past few year, the camp has had a theme and we have decorated the box (a poster mailing tube just to be different) to go with that, but now that he has advanced to Boy Scouts there is no specific theme. Cruising Pinterest for some creative ideas yielded the idea of wrapping the contents of the box into a giant cling wrap ball. How irritating – and PERFECT.


The Contents (mostly for the Scout with a few for Daddy).


Take one item at a time, roll and add another.


Here is what it looked like in the box.

And we couldn’t just let the outside of the box go plain, so it got embellished with a number of Boy Scout comics we found on Pinterest.

IMG_5090 IMG_5089

Project Pin Count – 7

Total Pin Count – 7

No weekend would be complete without a number of parties to attend. Today it was time to head off to the water park for a tween’s birthday party. Any endeavor cannot be all about taking, there has to be some giving too, so here is a new idea I am pinning to Pinterest. I wrapped the gift and used my Cricut to cut out the birthday girl’s name. How fun is that?


Use your Cricut and vinyl to personalize a gift.

Project Pin Count – 1

Total Pin Count – 8

When we got home from the party is was time for a little less than glamorous business. Hop over to Pinterest for a stain removing remedy. Tried rubbing baking soda into a grease stain that already went through the washer & dryer. Jury is still out on how it went as I still need to run it through the wash again.

Project Pin Count – 1

Total Pin Count – 9

After a busy day, the girls were not hungry for a big dinner, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try some Baked Mozzarella Sticks. YUM!


Project Pin Count – 1

Total Pin Count – 10

10 Pins for the 1st day. Not a bad start!

Day 2 – Sunday (7/19)

Time devoted to our challenge was a not much today as we went to an outdoor art show and a bridal shower. We were able to squeeze in a little card making time. I am very much someone who is “inspired” by the ideas on Pinterest and don’t feel the need to copy them exactly. I’ve been to a card-making workshop were everyone meticulously cuts scraps of paper to the exact size of the sample and creates an identical copy. I am more of a “monkey see, monkey do” kind of girl. But we had a blast and crafted a number of adorable cards, including one for the bride-to-be.



Project Pin Count – 5

Total Pin Count – 15

We are going to need to move our tails to get to 100 this week! Remember, you can keep up with us on Pinterest by looking at my following 2 boards:

100 Pinterest in a Week Ideas

100 Pinterest in a Week DONE

Leave a comment

100 Pins in a Week – An Epic Mother Daughter Adventure!

The boys left for Boy Scout camp this morning for the next week. Usually, Miss MJ and I have a bunch of cool, “girly”, mother/daughter things lined up. We do have a few, but I just felt like we needed something awesome. Right before the boys left, it hit me – we should try to do 100 things off of Pinterest in a week! Crazy, right?!?!?!!?

I’m sure I lost at least half of the my readers that kind of silly talk…

For those of you still with us, bear with me. If you are someone who loves Pinterest and is inspired instead of overwhelmed by all the cool possibilities presented there, wouldn’t you like to actually get some of them done? My daughter and I love to do creative things together, so there is no better time than the present to give some of these projects a go.

To start, we’ve created a new Pinterest board and are putting ideas of things we might like to do there. Click on the link below to check it out!

100 Pinterest in a Week Ideas

Pinterest Week

I have another board for the pins that we have used on our projects. Click here to see the pins we have already used. We will try to put some of the details of our adventures in further blog posts this week. Wish us luck!

Leave a comment

You want to be WHAT for Halloween?!?!?! A Wii Remote

When I was growing up I always imagined how cool it would be to make my children’s Halloween costumes. My Mom made some fantastic costumes for me (although the beautifully painted cardboard butterfly wings did not fare so well in the rain). My daughter has given me a number of opportunities to flex my creative muscle, but it wasn’t until last year that my son wanted anything other than an “off the rack” costume. Or perhaps it could be better explained that this Mommy was not up for re-creating a Star Wars character herself when it could be easily purchased.

Rewind to last September when I asked my son what he wanted to be for Halloween. He said a Wii Remote. Excuse me? Come again? A what? A Wii Remote. OK….

I thought he was kidding. I thought be might change his mind. Then I suddenly realized this was a Golden Opportunity to actually create a super cool costume for him.

I started with making the basic costume out of 2 shipping boxes. I left the flaps opened on the side so he would be able to stick his arms out. I also cut a hole in the front so he would be able to see. I also left the bottom flaps separate so that walking would be easier. I duck taped the heck out of those 2 boxes to keep them together. My daughter was gracious enough to help me model this part of the process.


We quickly realized that having a box rest on your head was not going to be a comfortable scenario for Halloween success. I was able to add shoulder straps inside so that the costume rested evenly on my son’s shoulders instead of on top of his head. Sadly, my photo of this great idea is missing and the costume has been passed on to someone else to enjoy.

After getting the structure of the costume finalized, it was time to start the design aspect. I covered the entire costume with white contact paper. Then it was time to make the buttons. Wanting to have a something that was raised off the costume, I cut out pieces of white craft foam. The symbols on the various buttons were cut from vinyl. When I could, I enlisted the help of my trusty Cricut to cut the shapes. I attached the vinyl designs to the white foam “buttons”. I then painted over the entire button with Triple Thick Gloss Glaze to give it a glossy, finished look. I then attached the buttons to the costume with super strong Glue Dots.


The need to have a cut out in the front so my son could see out did get in the way of my designing a bit, but I found a solution. I made the opening smaller (working hard to line it up so that where his eyes were while wearing the costume lined up with the design) and covered it with sheer fabric. Viola! An here is the finished product…


It ended up being a really cool costume. Everyone wanted to know who the Wii Remote was. He was a man of mystery. I think my son liked that he was wearing his own clothing underneath and could take the costume on and off as needed instead of struggling with wearing his costume all the time. As I dropped him off at school I told him, “Don’t let the other kids push your buttons!”. I think he rolled his eyes, but I don’t know because I could not see his face.



Leave a comment

100% Not Irish

I know they say that, “everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day”, but I am not so sure. I grew up going to Catholic school. Generally, at Catholic schools (especially back in the 70’s and 80’s) there are a lot of Irish and a lot of Italians. I am a quarter Italian and 0% Irish. I often felt fairly out of place not being 50% or 100% one of those 2 nationalities. Today is the day that I am reminded I am 100% NOT Irish.

I love the enthusiasm. I tend to be pretty spirited about whatever I am doing, but have found that I just can’t quite pull off much for St. Patrick’s Day. I always wear green and we eat the requisite meal. I am happy my kids are past the leprechaun trap stage as that was a special kind of torture for me.

At any rate, I am thrilled to be invited by much-more-Irish-than-me friends to their house for dinner. I was asked to bring dessert, so in the spirit of my Lenten crafting challenge, I had fun with it. I started yesterday and am done by noon today which is huge for me as I am the “Queen of Procrastination”. I did Thin Mint Truffles and Minty Mini Cupcakes.


These are the Thin Mint Truffles. Throw a box of Thin Mints in the Cuisinart and combine with a block of cream cheese. Roll balls and dip in chocolate. What is not to like? This is probably a good time to mention that while I am fairly crafty with a lot of things, cake pops (or anything rolled and dipped) are not my strong point. I doubt anyone is going to complain!


Next up the Minty Mini Cupcakes. Homemade double chocolate mini cupcakes topped with fluffy mint butter cream. They are topped with pieces of Andes mints which did not come out of the bag quite as pretty as I imagined them.


I bought these at Walmart before Christmas and they never ended up in any of my Christmas cookies. I think they will be quite tasty and I look forward to using them again soon.

I hope all of you have a wonderful St. Patty’s Day however much Irish you are!


Leave a comment

Personalized Cricut Signs

First, I’d like to check back in on my Lenten crafting challenge… So far, so good. I’ve been working on tutus for my booth at the craft fair in May. I’ve also done a Cricut project or 2 which I may share later.

Today I am sharing a bunch of projects I did one year for Christmas. I love signs and quotes. These were some early Cricut & vinyl signs that I did for Christmas one year. Simple, painted wooden plaques with vinyl cut on my Cricut and a picture hanging hook on the back. Everyone enjoyed their gifts and I liked giving something more personal.

Starting with my favorite – a perfect gift for grandparents:


And for a bunch of kiddos on our Christmas list. It was fun to use the kids favorite colors and pick an image that each individual would like. I doubled up on the butterfly as I thought it was a beautiful image and the plaques were given at separate Christmas gift exchanges. All of the vinyl with the exception of the orange robot and the soccer ball were cut on my Cricut.

???????????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????????? ???????????? ????????????

I would love to get into making more signs. I’d also like to get the hang of antiquing my signs.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 34 other followers