Wednesday, November 30, 2011


There is a lot to celebrate about today. Today marks a year since I opened my shop on Etsy! I can't believe how quickly time has flown by! A little over a year ago the whole idea of opening my shop seemed crazy, but I went for it. In a year's time, I can't believe how much I've accomplished and I'm so incredibly thankful for everyone who has supported me in some way! As a special thank you, I'm offering a coupon code to you all. Use the code HOORAY20 at checkout to receive 20% off of everything in my shop!

Since today marks a year, I thought I'd revisit some of my favorite designs from the past year.

So head over to the shop and choose your favorite design! Don't forget-- HOORAY20 for 20% off!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

2012 Calendars

With 2011 nearing an end, I started thinking about one of my favorite necessities for a new year-- the calendar. Throughout most of my life, and still even today, my mom gives me a new calendar each year at Christmas. I always looked forward to it because I enjoyed idea of starting fresh each year with a clean slate to jot down reminders. In fact, our current calendar is a gift from my parents-- one that my dad made in iPhoto using photos they took during their many travels in France.

My mom used to hang her calendars in the kitchen and so naturally I keep mine there as well. The kitchen often is the central part of our house where we congregate since food is an important aspect of my life. So having the calendar there just seems to make sense. As we work our way through a month's time, the calendar usually quickly fills up with little scribbles of writing here and there reminding us of important dates, vacations, events, and appointments.

After browsing Etsy over the past few weeks, I've come to find that there are some amazing artists that have created some fantastic calendars. This is what I found--

via Made by Michelle Brusegaard
via Fine Day Press
via Pam Lostracco
via blueorder
via dekanimal
via Khristian A. Howell
Each of these calendars is absolutely fantastic! Which is your favorite? Do you rely on calendars like I do?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Definitely Fall

It's definitely fall in Baltimore. I love this weather. Cool, crisp air and the crunch of leaves under your feet. This past weekend we decided to drive a half an hour out of the city to enjoy a hike in Gunpowder State Park. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do and it's especially enjoyable on a sunny fall afternoon. It also gave me a chance to do some photography-- something I haven't had time to do in quite a while because I've simply been so busy.

The fall leaves were absolutely gorgeous! And as a perfect end to our Saturday, we came home and made empanadas while enjoying a bottle of malbec and listening to music. Quite a fabulous Saturday, I must say. What have you been doing to enjoy the fall weather lately?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Gift Tags

One thing that I love about the upcoming holiday is wrapping gifts. A lot of people hate this task, but I always have enjoyed it. There is something super fun about making sure that each package is wrapped with nice sharp creases and that the end product looks like perfection. Maybe it is the inner nerd in me, but I just love it!

Growing up, gift wrapping was one of those things that also meant time spent with my parents. I would spend an evening wrapping gifts with either my mom or dad, while the other was out running last minute shopping errands with my sister. My dad seemed to have the knack of folding the perfect corners with wrapping paper, while my mom always used the wrapping paper itself to decorate the package, folding small lines across the front of the package.

One thing that we never had for our packages were gift tags. My mom would write names on the gifts with a pen, while my dad had an elephant's memory and remembered which package was meant for whom. This seemed to be a good system for my dad until one year, upon giving my mom and I a gift at the same time, we were disappointed when she opened a gift containing a stuffed animal and I opened one containing a sweater clearly meant for my mom. After a good laugh, we thought it may be time for a new system. From there on out we made our own gift tags, usually from leftover scraps of wrapping paper-- nothing fancy whatsoever.

So as I thought about something I would want for this holiday season to make things a bit easier, I decided gift tags would be just the thing. And as an added bonus, I figured that I would share them with you. Just click here and feel free to download them for your own personal use.

Simply cut out the tags, punch a hole on them and add your choice of ribbon or twine. And for a bit more fun, this blog post is part of the Etsy Greetings Holiday Blog Hop. So while you're at it, stop by other blogs of the Etsy Greetings Team to check out more printables and holiday traditions. Just click on the blog hop arrows below to make your way through the hop.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to Make Tests Less Boring to Grade

I'm sick of grading tests. I had a grand total of about 140 tests to grade this week. One of the Language Arts skills I was testing was how to make an inference about what happened in a text. So I stuck a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip in the test and the kids had to make an inference about it.

Contrary to popular belief, Calvin and Hobbes in no longer funny. Maybe that's what happens when you've read the same comic strip a gazillion times.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jack O Lanterns

I may be a few days late, but none the less wanted to share our fun evening pumpkin carving. Sunday night, we finally decided to carve our pumpkins that we'd picked from our pumpkin and apple picking adventure. We found a few printable stencils online and used those for our designs. I chose a cat and Andrew chose a bat. Both turned out pretty awesome and were complimented by our many trick or treaters.

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