Our Next Family Project....It's a BIG one!

The house is very quiet with both of my kids in school.  It's a bit freeing though too.  I feel like any project that I've completed in the last 7 years has required extreme focus, time management, and dedication mainly because I've had to work around my kids needs and schedules. 

Then suddenly the house is empty and silent.  It's truly life-altering. I miss the constant noise that comes with children, but I also feel like I've been able to sit with a cup of tea and just think in a way that I haven't been able to for a really long time.  There is beauty in that too.

It's an adjustment. One of the really good things about this time though is the ability to get to some projects which have been on the back burner for a while.  When we finished on our home addition last year, we knew that we'd eventually have to get around to landscaping our front yard but just felt too overwhelmed then to take on the project.

Due to the many years of drought in California, we really need to conserve water. Our plan was always to get rid of the lawn in our front yard since our kids don't really play there (We live on a busy street).  I think we're ready to take on the project, especially since we'll be able to utilize some rebates from the State to make it happen!
For a local rebate I had to draw up plans of our current landscape and how it was going to change.  I've been pinning drought ideas on Pinterest like crazy! 

I was having a really hard time visualizing what it was going to look like though, which is when I found out about an app called iScape.  I paid $1.99 for the items that I needed to draw up our plan...other items are free and others are more expensive.  It was a lot of fun to drag and drop plants into my house's picture.  It was so much easier to visualize! Note, I'm not being paid to endorse their app...just sharing my experiences).

 These two were my favorite scenarios...I'd love to hear what you think!

I have some idea about what plants I want--especially lavender to line the fence front....I've picked a few other drought tolerant options...I'm just hoping they will look good too.  (And let's be honest, let's hope they are easy to grow too, because I do NOT have a green thumb.)

Our first step will be killing our grass.  Then we'll replace the existing sprinkler system with drip irrigation.  Then we'll build our fence.  I can't seem to decide on what kind of fence I want though....sometime like one of the fences above, or something else...like one of these?

What do you think?  I'd love to hear!

And when all the landscaping is finished, I'd love to add some shutters to the window on the left, and maybe paint the front door too.  More decisions!

Operation curb appeal has begun!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!  I'll be back her next week with TWO sewing tutorials!




Growing Up....and a Wall of Words...

 Last night my littlest, Ellie, cried for about an hour because she was nervous for school to start, and by the time she went to bed, I was pretty sure I was just as nervous (if not more) than her for her first day of school.  So I can't begin to express how crazily happy I am that this morning went pretty darn smoothly.  I'm eager to hear how both of their days went.
Yet as I sat her this morning, going over the pictures that I took, I don't think that the reality of their starting has really sunk in.  I have TWO kids in school!  Lu's confident, happy, and becoming such a grown up little thing. This weekend she asked me to help her make a "wall of words" on the back of her bedroom door.  She's been collecting quotes that she likes and was eager to display them in her room.  She picked out her own clothes for her first day, and had specific requirements for how she wanted her hair.  Little miss independent!

Ellie's really grown up this summer, and I think she's really ready to set out on her own school experience.  She won't be in Kindergarten until next year, and I'm really happy that she'll have this year to grow some more and prepare.  She got to bring a stuffed animal to school for her first day, and I left her hugging her teddy bear, smiling at her desk.  She loves her sister fiercely...and while she's nervous to start school, she sees her sister's enthusiasm and that helps.

I can't believe that I have TWO kids in school now.  I don't think it's really sunk in.  I think it's going to take a while.  For now though, I'm just going to give myself this week to adjust and help my kids adjust.  

I wish all of you with kids going back to school the smoothest of transitions back...and look forward to sharing new projects with you soon.  

Much love, 




For the love of hair!

Today is a random post of sorts.  Sometimes--as I sweep up the glitter on my kitchen floor, or pick up yet another headband--I think about how different my life might be if I'd had boys instead of girls.  But girls are what I know, and I'm currently being overrun by hair and hair accessories.

In fact, If I didn't know better, I'd be pretty sure that our hair pieces were multiplying like rabbits.  The other day I went to put away a headband that I found (of course) in the middle of the floor.  And I found the "headband" drawer half open with headbands sticking out...in complete disarray.  I thought of a quick and easy solution that I think was super helpful, so I thought I'd share it here. 

I took an old oatmeal container, covered it with contact paper, and tada!  instant headband organizer.  So easy. 
Seeing those nicely organized little headbands sitting on the counter of the girls' bedroom makes the obsessive compulsive part of me very happy! 
In other hair related news, I taught Lu how to make a scrunchie this week.  We had been in Target and she pointed out some scrunchies for sale (can you believe they are back???).  She commented on how AWESOME they were and I just had to laugh.  When I told her that I could show her how to make one her eyes lit up in amazement!

I feel like she's been striving more and more lately to have independence, so I think she really enjoyed being able to make a scrunchie by herself.  I had to smile a little bit too, because scrunchies were one of my first sewing projects too!
She was so incredibly proud of the scrunchie that she made herself!  I'm proud of her too!  She's getting so big!

Have a wonderful week everyone!  

XOXO, Jill


A Spectacular Fairy Adventure Party (Plus a Free Printable!)

It's become a bit of a blog tradition here that I post about my kids birthday parties.  I've mentioned it before, but Lu is QUITE a party planner.  So much of this party came about because of her ideas....in fact, if anything I'd say that I toned them down a bit!  So the rainbow arch of balloons never happened.  Or the giant flowers she wanted to scatter all around the backyard...but I still think it was a super fun birthday party! 

The party was very loosely inspired by the Rainbow Magic Fairy Books, which my daughter LOVES. We didn't pick any particular storyline from the books, but we did let the books influence our color scheme and the idea of going on a fairy adventure! 

I'm excited to share all of the details with you today!  We had a fairy adventure, a photo booth, a "make your own" fairy garden station, a puppet making station, and food and cupcakes of course! I know it's going to be a LONG post, but I'm going to share all of the details with you today, including all the links to free templates and tutorials. 

So let's get started!


Glittery Fake Flower Pens...(Also Known as the Time I Got a Shower of Pixie Dust)

One of the projects that Lu and I did together for her fairy party was to make glittery fairy wands.  Today I'm going to show you the rather simple tutorial for how they came about, but it's perhaps the story about how they came about that is the most memorable.

Lu loved making these guys.  Sure, I had a few moments of stressfulness as I tried to prevent my sneaky 4 year old from grabbing the glue gun (because she was quite certain she was definitely capable of working it herself, much to my despair).  All in all though, things went pretty smoothly.

In fact, I was marveling in how smoothly things had gone overall when Lu suggested we add GLITTER.  Blah.  GLITTER.  The least favorite thing of all parents.  However it WAS for her birthday, so I decided we could add a bit.  So I got out my spray adhesive and some glitter much to the girls excitement.

And them I let one help spray the glue and the other sprinkle the glitter.
On a WINDY day I let my kids spray glue adhesive and sprinkle glitter IN FRONT OF ME.

 I became covered in glitter.   My kids squealed in delight that I looked like Tinkerbell. Or maybe more like one of those Twilight vampires?  Either way, I felt more like a scaly fish as I plucked piece by piece of glitter off from my arms...

Not my best move.  But we all managed to survive.   Any my husband hasn't realized how sparkly the newly poured concrete patio is outside...YET.  It's ok though.  My kids LOVED making them, and hopefully it will be a very fun memory for the kids. After we made them they stuck them in the ground to make a garden, which we did for the real party too as a part of a Fairy adventure game we created.
But enough talking!  Let's make some flower pens!


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