Wednesday, June 29, 2011


It's hard to believe we are already five weeks into Evan's summer vacation. The kids and I have been exploring our new town, going to the park, playing in the backyard, visiting the library, and looking forward to some special trips (and visitors) in the coming weeks.

Our summer is going to be really busy, but I have a few things that I want to do before Evan starts school in the fall:

1. Visit two or three different parks in our area. So far we have only explored two local parks, and I know we have
several more that are close by.

2. Have a picnic in our backyard.
3. Go swimming in our neighborhood pool with Mark. I am not comfortable taking both kids to the pool by myself
because they are both non-swimmers, but this would be a perfect activity to do with Mark on the weekend.

4. Create hand print wall art for the boys' room. They have a couple of walls that need artwork, and hand prints
would be perfect.

5. Make a chore list for Evan. This isn't a summer-specific task, but something I've been thinking about doing for
a long time. Evan is great about helping around the house, but having a list of two or three chores for him to
accomplish each day will be helpful for both of us.

6. Visit the library more often. The boys love it, it's free, and I can relax while they play. It's a win-win.
7. Take the boys to the indoor play center at our local mall on a really hot day.
8. Remember to pull out our art bins regularly. We have a ton paint, crayons, markers, play-doh, stencils, and
stickers, but I'm not very good about remembering to bring them out. Between 4pm and 6pm is when
the the boys start to get antsy, and grabbing our art bins could be a great distraction for them.

I know there are more activities and projects to add to this list, but it's a good start. Oh, how I love summer.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Photoshop Friday Layout

One of my favorite websites to visit for digital scrapbooking inspiration, kits, classes, and products is I like visiting Jessica's website because she offers mini workshops/tutorials on Friday that teach one cool technique or idea (and they are inexpensive, too!). She is retiring these workshops, called Photoshop Friday, and I wanted to grab a couple before they are gone forever.

This layout was created using her Photoshop Friday 06 tutorial: Create a Digital Brush. The page was created in about 30 minutes, and uses four photos I edited and cropped last month.

(Supplies - Template, papers, alphabet: Jessica Sprague. Staples: Karla Dudley. Font: Georgia.)

I love, love, love this photo of Jack. And the one of Evan and Cindy. And the one of Evan and Jack holding hands. And the one of Jack digging in the sand (which he does over and over and over when we visit the beach). We only spent about an hour at Cocoa Beach, but the kids, Cindy, and I had so much fun running in and out of the waves & digging in the sand. Right after we left Cocoa I had to drop Cindy off at the airport, and this was the perfect way to end her trip to Florida.

Have a wonderful Sunday, friends.


Friday, June 24, 2011


Evan has been playing outside with Rocket quite a bit. They love to race around the backyard, play chase, and Ev loves throwing a ball for Rocket to track down.

Rocket has fully recovered from his surgery & he is back to his usual self. Today he got off his leash and ran into the lake to chase the ducks, then ran around the backyard before coming back inside (looking very sheepish... he knew he was in trouble!).

Enjoying his first sucker, and immediately needed a bath. The kid was sticky from head to toe.

Evan took this picture of Jack while we were on our way to Gymboree. He snapped 30 or 40 pics from the back seat of the car & I love this one.

One of the parks near our house has a great rock wall, and Evan has mastered it. Jack likes to watch his big brother & clap when Evan reaches the top safely.

Another trip to the zoo. This time we went after dinner to avoid the super hot weather. It was still in the high 80s, but most of the zoo is covered by large trees so it wasn't that bad. The kids loved it, and it was nice to spend the evening together as a family.

Evan just informed me that he doesn't want to take a rest & that it is time to play, so I better wrap this up. Have a wonderful weekend!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

And the winner is...

Denise B!

Her comment on Day One was chosen by Random.Org.

Congratulations Denise! Please contact me at erintaylor718 (at) gmail (dot) com so Unity can get you your prize.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Growing In Unity - Day Five

Happy Friday! I have had so much fun this week posting Unity inspired projects and sharing some of my favorite tips and techniques. Today I have three cards to share, using another flower image from Donna Downey's Insightful Meadows stamp set & a sentiment from one of the many Kits of the Month I own.

To achieve the two-toned look I was going for, I colored directly on the rubber of the stamp with Stampin' Up! markers. Then I huffed on the ink (to re-moisten it), and carefully stamped onto white cardstock.

The butterflies were punched out using a Martha Stewart butterfly punch, and embellished with gems that I colored using my Copic markers.

I love how soft and feminine the pink and green version is.

I love this stamp... it's definitely one of my favorites. If you don't already own the Insightful Meadows stamp set, I highly recommend it. It's one of my most used stamp sets.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my Unity inspired cards this week! You have until Midnight (Eastern) tonight to leave a comment. The winner will receive a Unity stamp set! I will post the winner sometime tomorrow.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.


Stamps: Unity Stamp Co.
Cardstock: Papertrey Ink
Ink: Stampin' Up!
Markers: Stampin' Up!, Copic
Butterfly Punch: Martha Stewart
Corner Rounder: EK Success

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Growing In Unity - Day Four

Today's card is a super quick, one layer card. The stamp set I used is Insightful Meadows by Donna Downey (and Unity, of course!). I stamped the flower in Old Olive ink, by Stampin' Up!, onto Very Vanilla cardstock (also by Stampin' Up!). I used a stamp positioner to line up the sentiment so it overlapped the flowers slightly. Finally, I adhered three light green gems (by Hero Arts) to the right side of the card.

I don't create one-layer cards too often, but I really wanted the flowers and sentiment to be the focus on this card, and eliminating embellishments accomplished just that.

Make sure to check back tomorrow for my final Growing In Unity post... and leave a comment for your chance to win a fabulous Unity stamp set!

And thank you for the lovely comments on my first three posts. You guys have really made my week!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Growing In Unity - Day Three

Welcome to day three of Growing In Unity week on my blog!

Today I have two cards to share. The first card uses a darling border stamp that I inked with Soft Suede ink by Stampin' Up! and stamped onto Rustic Cream cardstock by PTI. Then I ran the cardstock and a Woodgrain impression plate through my Big Shot. The damask stamp was inked with VersaMark and stamped onto green cardstock. The sentiment was also stamped with Soft Suede.

My second project uses another border stamp, but this time I embellished it with clear gems that I colored with Copic markers.

Make sure to leave a comment if you would like a chance to win a Unity stamp set! I will be choosing a winner on Friday.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Growing In Unity - Day Two

Good morning!

Today I have a super cute card to share using two of my favorite Unity stamps: the butterfly & "because I care" sentiment.

To create the butterflies, I first stamped them onto Stamper's Select cardstock by PTI using Momento Ink. I colored them with Copic markers, then cut them out. I used Tombow glue (in the blue bottle) to cover each butterfly with a thin layer of glue. Then I sprinkled some clear Martha Stewart glitter over each butterfly. I let them dry for about an hour before attaching them to my card.

Here is a close up of the butterflies. I love this technique because the butterflies look like they have been covered in sugar and they are really sparkly.

Check back tomorrow for another project!


Stamps: Unity
Cardstock: Papertrey Ink
Ink: Momento
Impression plate: Papertrey Ink
Patterned paper: Making Memories
Gems: Hero Arts
Glitter: Martha Stewart
Die cut machine: Big Shot

Monday, June 13, 2011

Growing In Unity - Day One

Hello! This week I have the privilege of being featured on the Unity Stamp Co. blog! Each day I will be posting a different project (or two) using some of Unity's fabulous stamps and at the end of the week I will pick a random comment to win free stamp set from Unity!

Today's card uses three Unity stamps from their Kit of the Month program. The flowers were stamped in Momento ink on kraft cardstock, then colored with Copic markers. I added a pearl to the center of each flower & rounded the corners of the stamped panel. The bracket was stamped using my VersaMark ink pad, and the sentiment was stamped with VersaMark & embossed with white embossing powder. The ribbon was originally white 1/4" seam binding that I colored with a Copic marker.

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be back tomorrow with another Unity project.


Supplies -
Stamps: Unity Stamp Co.
Cardstock: Papertrey Ink
Ink: Momento
Embossing Powder: Stampin' Up!
Pearls: Hero Arts
Markers: Copic
Ribbon: Papertrey Ink

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lowe's Build and Grow

Last year I was reading a coupon blog, and the blog owner mentioned Lowe's has a free building workshop for kids twice per month. I signed Evan up for the next available session, and he loved it. Mark takes him & it's a great father/son experience, plus Evan comes home with a cool wooden project. Evan's last project was a wooden airplane that he covered in stickers, and he adores it. Jack likes it, too. The take turns flying it around the playroom & patio, and a couple of times I have found it in Jack's crib when I clean the boys' room. He must be putting it in there during the day & hoping I don't notice it before bedtime!

{Evan & Jack with the airplane.}

I have no idea why this photo is so washed out in Blogger... it is fine in Photoshop. Weird.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, June 6, 2011

Catching up

Summer is in full swing and we busy, busy, busy. Evan's school offers a summer camp program that runs for 12 weeks, and we let him choose two weeks to participate. He looked over the schedule and picked this week as his first week. The school has tons of activities planned & I love that he gets to see his friends for a couple of weeks before he starts Kindergarten.

I am going to skip right to the photos... lots and lots of photos from the past 3 weeks:

Jack pointing to his eye at dinner last night.

At the park with Daddy & Evan.

Doesn't Jack look thrilled?!? And yes, his sunglasses are on upside down. That is how he likes to wear them. And who is that big guy sitting next to him? Evan is almost unrecognizable to me sometimes... he is so big. So, so big.

Rocket had a little procedure done last week (so we don't have any little Rockets running around), and he was less than thrilled to have a cone on his head. He actually pouted for the first two days he had to wear it. I didn't know a dog could pout, but Rocket proved they can. It was really pathetic.

I purchased new swim trunks for the boys from Crazy 8 last week. Evan's swim trunks from last year were getting a little short, and Jack's trunks went missing on our trip to Orlando. I know I grabbed them from the dryer on our way out the door, but I haven't seen them since. Luckily Crazy 8 was having a sale and I scored each pair for $6.99.

Jack: "Mommy! Ball! Mommy! Ball! Mommy! Ball" Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

A very pretty weed in our front yard. I snapped this photo right before pulling it out while I was weeding last week.

Jack's crabby/squinty face because Evan stopped pushing him and the sun was in his eyes.

Scott: This picture is for you. And no, I didn't steal the photo from Martha Stewart's blog :-)

Mark brought home the most beautiful orchid last week, and I haven't killed it! I am so proud of myself. Seven days has to be a record for me.

Crazy Jack after a nap last week.

One of my favorite websites for finding cool projects for the kids is No Time for Flashcards. Evan made a superhero bracelet out of a toilet paper roll, foil star stickers, pom poms, and tissue paper. It looked great until Jack pulled all the pom poms and stickers off. He is so two.

On Cindy's last day in Florida we took a trip to Cocoa Beach for about an hour. The water was warm, but it was love bug season so the shallow water was really gross and full of dead love bugs. Jack actually went in the water without crying this trip, and Evan didn't come out of the water for almost an hour.

These pictures were taken before I purchased new swim trunks... notice Jack is just wearing just a swim diaper. That's A+ parenting right there.

My in-laws got Jack this sand bucket set from Melissa and Doug for his birthday. Jack's favorite thing to do at the beach is scoop and dump sand. Scoop and dump. Scoop and dump.


A little painting (which mostly ended up on Jack instead of the paper).

Evan does a much better job at keeping the paint on the paper. And he loves to draw pictures of his favorite people & write their name.

Pretty bird at the Brevard Zoo.

Hello Mr. Alligator. I'm glad you are waaaay over there, and I'm waaaay over here so you cannot eat me. By the way, nice teeth.

My two cuties. Approximately 10 seconds after this photo was taken, Evan's fever spiked and he turned white as a sheet. Poor kid had a nasty virus while Mark was in San Jose on business.

My Jack-Jack sitting like a big boy on the train.

When Cindy was visiting, Evan decided I didn't exist. All I heard that week was "Cindy, sit next to me!" and "Cindy can read to me" and "I'll do play-doh with Cindy!" and "Cindy, sit next to me on the train!".

Getting ready to make a slam dunk, wearing pajamas (of course).

I have absolutely no idea what Jack is doing in this photo, but he's happy!

One of the best things about the Brevard zoo is how interactive it is. Evan likes the aviary where he can feed the birds birdseed on a stick.

One of the weirdest creatures I have ever seen... and I can't remember the name of it. Cindy, if you are reading this, please comment and tell me what the heck this thing is called. Because all I can think of is "prehistoric turkey". And I know that's not right.

Two more photos from the bird section of Brevard Zoo. Both photos were taken by Cindy Ledgerwood... because she has an awesome zoom lens on her camera.

After looking at this collection of photos from the past few weeks, I've notice several things:

1. Evan needs to be more cooperative about having his photo taken. I have so many more pics of Jack, and that is usually because Evan runs away when I bring the camera out. I might have to start bribing him.

2. Once again, I am absent from most of our photos. And Mark is practically nonexistent, too. I need to fix that.

3. Jack's blonde hair is getting really long. It's about time for a haircut.

4. Evan is looking more and more like a Kindergartner, and less and less like a pre-schooler.

5. The weather in Florida is absolutely wonderful. We've had maybe four bad days in the past five and a half months. I think my parents in Washington have had five good days in same span of time.

6. I know I edited a picture of some cool palm trees, but it didn't make it into this post... maybe next time.

This post has taken me almost four hours to complete because Blogger takes so long to upload photos, so I'm hitting "publish" and calling it good.

Have a wonderful week!