Thursday, June 27, 2013

Life This Week

We are in full on wedding mode around here with my little sister's wedding coming up in a month.  I am honored to be her "Matron of Honor" (let's just call me the MOH since "matron" sounds way too old and out of shape). So, the official wedding events begin this weekend, and it is all about the wedding until the end of July. Lots of fun times ahead!

Official "wedding business" (self-imposed scrapbooking project for the my sister's shower) took me to Archiver's in Gurnee this Sunday.  I am always happy to take a trip to my favorite store and back to the first town I ever lived in after I got married.  So much to do there and so many fun memories!  Brayden was more than happy to be my trip buddy for the afternoon since he knows any trip to Gurnee includes a trip to "the fish store" (Bass Pro Shops), which is any kid's dream with the huge fish tanks, waterfalls, bridges, tents, and the list goes on.

Since I was heading to Archiver's already, I decided to quick throw together a few things to print at their new Memory Lab, completely unrelated to the wedding project. For this layout, I used a template from the Memory Lab website that was perfect for all of my embellished Instagram pictures. I uploaded this layout in addition to my other prints onto their website, and everything was waiting for me when I arrived.  The employees were all complimenting me on my layout when I walked through the door, which made me temporarily feel like a rock star.  They were way less impressed when I told them that it was their template I was using, but I was still super happy with the end result and will definitely print there again.

For now, I need to get back to work if I am going to get this project done by Saturday! Thanks for joining me today!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lake Geneva Getaway

After years of living within 15 minutes of an ocean, I find myself in a permanent state of withdrawl without one.  That said, I started this summer with a determination to rediscover my love for lakes. Not for a minute am I trying to replace the ocean that I miss so much with a lake.  One thing I have learned through all the moves is that if I look for something to take the place of what I lost, I will only be disappointed.  Instead, I try to discover the attributes of each place that make it unique and beautiful.  I am certainly not going to see pelicans or hear crashing waves at a lake beach, but Midwestern lakes, in contrast, may have sand dunes or be surrounded by fluffy trees.

Midwesterners have long been heading "up north" to the lakes of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota.  Just watch movies like The Great Outdoors and Cheaper By the Dozen 2, and you'll see what I mean.  In fact, I can trace my own love for the beach to one summer spent in Holland, Michigan as a child while my dad attended grad school.  I spent almost every single day at the beach that summer, and I haven't been the same since.

Thanks to some amazing deals at the Grand Geneva Resort, we kicked off our summer by heading up north to Lake Geneva for a couple days.  It is an easy drive from the Chicago area, and it was a perfect way to see how Brayden would fare on vacation without the risk of being too far from home if he did get sick.  Thankfully, we all stayed healthy and had an amazing time!

Highlights of the trip included evening walks by the lake, time at the beach, golfing (for my husband), shopping (for me!), and swimming at the awesome outdoor pools at the resort.  And, the fact that there was a cafe that made Starbucks in the resort certainly enhanced the trip for me. We are already planning a return trip!

I used A Beautiful Mess app (I am addicted!) to edit all pictures in this post and Instagram to add filters in 2 of the pictures.      

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Summer Bucket List

After the winter we had this year, I couldn't be happier to welcome summer weather.  I am a Florida girl at heart, and since we moved back up north, I crave the summer more than ever.  Not only did the cold weather last longer than usual this winter, but my 4 year old son Brayden was diagnosed with a rare bleeding disorder called ITP in early November, and we had a long winter indoors as his immune system began to recover from this disease.

So, when I saw all the summer bucket list ideas on pinterest, I decided that might be exactly what I needed and what our family needed this year.  It has been hard for me to look forward to or plan anything, because I never know how Brayden will be feeling.  I decided that it might be good for me to write down all the ideas of things I would love to do, not limiting myself to the activities that I think Brayden can handle, but allowing myself to really dream. 

When I came up with my list, I decided in order for this to work, it has to be all about fun and not a "to-do" list. And, realistically more than half the things on my list won't happen this year, and I am totally ok with that. In fact, I expect that. It was such an exercise in optimism for me, and maybe for the first time in months, I allowed myself to dream again for our family. 

I found a fun system by Ziggle Designs that I purchased to document my summer, and its a super simple and fun way to scrapbook my bucket list.  I am using the printable versions of Ziggle Designs "The List" collection (from, and I will be using all instagram pictures to document my summer.  The album I purchased is by Simple Stories which has these amazing 4x4 pocket pages.  I will continue to add pictures throughout the summer and look forward to all the adventures ahead!