this love is ours | giveaway

Drop by to visit with a fellow shop owner and blogger at Mommy's Craft Obsession, to see what fun little print I'm giving away. In the meantime, take a peek at what Alex has offered for a giveaway here at I Love It All today. 

That's right, a store credit and you get to choose any number of goodies for yourself or a friend. Might be a good way to start on that holiday gift list...Christmas is just two months away. And Alex will even gift wrap and include a tag if you're shipping it off as a gift!

Be patient with me as I try Rafflecopter for the first time. Contest ends at 8pm EST on Sunday, October 28th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

so much

So much to be thankful for. 

A busy shop
Loads and loads of orders being packaged and mailed Monday through Saturday. Busiest month since opening the shop. Gratitude Journals and mini books and custom prints commissioned by Grandmothers for their new little loves and Sisters thanking their Brothers with a custom subway art print for the Gym he owns.  All so humbling and keeps me hopping.

My job.
I'm a Mom first and foremost and because I'm lucky enough to be a Mommy that works from home, I don't have to rush around trying to find a caretaker when the kids are sick like I used to when I was in the corporate world. I can be there to overhear my Spunky reading stories out loud to her Bunny and dearly loved cat Smoky while she wears bunny ears. I'm blessed to have three children, this I know. 

Edited to Add  |  Calling now to make an appointment for Isabella, she woke up saying it was hard to swallow. Ugh. There goes getting our family portraits done this afternoon.

My family.
I'm in a good spot right now. I'm at peace with where Zach is in his life and working on "be"ing fine with what it is. He is happy, he has a supportive and caring girlfriend and he calls and texts and visits.

I'm unbelievably proud that Isabella made straight A's on her first Fourth Grade report card with several 99's! Amazing.

Couldn't be happier that Victoria earned all M's {for Mastery} in First Grade. She wants to be just as good as her Zachi and big sis. Full Disclosure...Zach was always an excellent student as well and he is much smarter than his Mom ever hoped to be. 

Can't even begin to tell you how Gordon has blessed my life. And by the way, he won the Big Wig award last night at the American Advertising Federation's dinner as Best Paper Rep for the region. It's an event for the unsung heroes of the advertising world.

Yes indeed, so much to be thankful for in my life. And it's good to take a moment to be grateful for all the good moments we're blessed with.

write now! with amy sorensen | big picture classes

I like to journal, but I'm not very good at it. And then I get caught up in the memories and get a little distracted. Plus, it always seems to me that the story I tell on my layouts is not exactly what I have in mind. It's incomplete. Sure, when I read it, it all makes sense because I know the back story that future generations will not have the knowledge of.

That's why this class by my Write.Click.Scrapbook. teammate Amy Sorensen caught my attention.



When I asked Amy about the class, here's what she shared with me...

My goal with Write Now is to create a space that nurtures your ability to use words well. Like its name suggests, it's a class that debunks the idea that good journaling has to take a long time to write. Instead, we'll focus on techniques that will help you get past the surface ideas and into the good, significant stuff—quickly.

Class begins November 1st, so be sure to head on over to Big Picture Classes and read more about Write Now! right now. Even if you're not the lucky giveaway winner, there's still time to register before class gets underway.

THE GIVEAWAY is now closed

Amy is also giving away a seat in her popular class to one very lucky I Love It All reader. Just answer this question in the comments:

Do you like to handwrite your journaling or format it on the computer?

Oh, and be sure to leave your e-mail address with your comment so that I can contact you if you're the winner, which will be announced here on this blog post on Friday, October 26th at 8pm EST. Good Luck!

The lucky winner is:

the titanic | pigeon forge, tn

This summer, the girls participated in a reading program at our local library and Isabella won 2nd place for number of minutes she read. Her prize? Two tickets to The Titanic attraction. Since the girls were on Fall Break last week, we decided that we should brave the traffic. We don't live far from Pigeon Forge, TN...actually it's only 45 minutes away. There are so many attractions and activities to enjoy, but we usually don't give them a second thought. You know how you don't do the tourist-y things where you live, but seem to do them when you go on vacation?

The girls loved it, we loved it and I wouldn't mind seeing it all again. We even had the talking earphone tour option that offered additional facts and stories, definitely a plus.

On our way out, we noticed that they were taking photos of every group as they left. We tried to sneak away without a photo, but no luck. They posed us, they posed the girls and we went on our merry way. Then, as we were browsing in the Gift Shop for some books for the girls, a staff member rushed up to us and asked if they could use our photo on promotional materials {brochures, billboards...} in return for a free set of photographs. We signed our rights away and have a family photo and a pretty cool story. All this on a bad hair day.

So, if you happen to see this photo anywhere, snag a brochure and send me a copy, I'd love to see it. You can see other photos of our Titanic adventure in my Instagram feed {@monikawright}.

november gallery sneak peek |

Can you guess what our theme for this month's Gallery at will be?

I'm using goodies from My Mind's Eye and the varied lines of the Indie Chic collection on my layout. It's still a work in progress and I'm having fun laying things down and seeing if it strikes my fancy. Truthfully, I don't usually spend a lot of time on any one layout. If it's not coming together, I just move on. 

makes me smile

Looking through our Photo Stream and just thought I would share.

 who knew wire baskets could be such fun?

the view as we turn left out of our driveway

 kitty meets mouse
{i crack myself up}

 heart shaped potato chip 
found in after school snack by isabella on our way to visit oma

 can we just have some privacy?
during the hay ride at the pumpkin patch

corn maze
at the pumpkin patch

And for all you HGTV are sneak peeks of the HGTV Dream Home in South Carolina. Zach had to make some deliveries there and they gave him a tour inside and out. He wasn't permitted to photograph the inside, but they did allow him to snap these exterior shots. Zach phoned me while Spunk and I were at the Pumpkin Patch telling me I would never guess where he had been. I didn't, so he told me. Maybe Nana, Oma and I should make a road trip?

Have a simply wonderful weekend friends!

wood disk necklace tutorial | the twinery

Baker's twine and wood disk charms go together like me and him! It's time to make some necklaces for stocking stuffers, classroom gifts for the young ladies or teachers and teacher's aids, craft get the idea.

  1. Choose your three favorite colors of The Twinery baker's twine. I used Caribbean, Marschino and Honeydew.
  2. Visit your local craft supply store {with 40% off coupon in hand} and purchase jump rings, necklace clasps, necklace bails and those small silver items that I don't recall the name of pictured under the jump rings below.
  3. Gather some flat nose and round pliers.
  4. After adhering your necklace image to your wood disk, adhere the bail to the back of the disk. I used E6000 because of its awesomeness.
  5. While that dries, determine the length of your necklace and cut your baker's twine. Add a dab of E6000 to the inner shank of that silver piece that I don't know the name of making sure each strand has a touch of glue and then close up both sides with your flat nose pliers.
  6. Open your jump ring by twisting as seen below, not by pulling apart. Insert one end of the necklace strand piece through the jump ring and end of your necklace clasp and close. Repeat for the other end of the twine necklace.

Now you're the #1 Mom because you've found a cute, fun, new activity to do with your older girls for bible school, Girl Scouts or even a rainy day activity now that Fall is here.

The hardest part will be deciding what your word art will be. You can find epoxy bubbles and wood disks on Etsy, like I did.

corn maze at maple lane farms

Determined. One, to get to the corn maze this year before it became the haunted corn maze. And, two, once we had been inside the maze for a bit, to finish the dang thing! 

The girls started out like gangbusters, with Victoria in the lead at a quite a quick pace. The only thing that girl does slowly is clean up. We hit a snag between clues 6 and 7, but we overcame and succeeded in just 1 1/2 hours.

Working hard to get family photos. It's so easy to just pass up the opportunity, but one day we'll be glad we took the time.

Country living.

 A mini photo shoot of the girls...

...which resulted in Gordon taking the camera and taking a few shots of Big Mama, too. 

All in all a great day at the Pumpkin Patch. And the lunch afterward wasn't too bad, either! Walking in the fresh air, and our full tummies, made us all want to take a nap when we got home.

I hope your weekend was full of memories as well.

halloween treat bags | my mind's eye

Firstly, thank you all for sharing in our loss and for your kind and reassuring words. The girls took the news better than expected, but poor Scout was mopey all day, just wanting to lay around and needing lots of extra love and attention. He misses poor Duke, too.

Danni and I were on the My Mind's Eye blog yesterday sharing a few examples of Halloween treat bags. Treat bags are the best...and here are a few I created, but be sure to go check out Danni's bags as well which are all super creative!

Halloween Treat Bags |
Because I still have two kids in school, I'm able to have lots of fun creating treat bags for classroom parties. And with one girl in 4th grade, they can't be too cute...especially for the boys. Today I want to share with you how you can make your treat bags unique and spook-alicious, all using your MME stamps. I began by pulling out all my scraps from the All Hallow's Eve mini book I created for you this month and started playing around.

First, I stamped on a small canvas bag and mini shipping tag, adding a decorative brad for a bit more fun.
Halloween Treat Bags |
Since the crow stamp was on my stamping block anyway, I stamped it onto some patterned paper, punched it and adhered it to a metal rimmed tag attached to my gift bag with some twine. I also layered patterned paper and chipboard above the row of stamped pumpkins.
Do you see the "tissue paper" sticking out of the larger gift bag? That's thin kraft paper from the painting section of The Home Depot that I've stamped and then crinkled before adding to the bag.

Halloween Treat Bags |

Using the Halloween word art, I repeatedly stamped the image onto my kraft bag and then an additional time as well so that I could punch it out and attach it to the bag flap with one of the decorative brads and atop a scallop punched shape.

Halloween Treat Bags |

No matter the size of the goody bags for your Halloween tricks or treats, MME has you covered! Here, I've used some covered chipboard left over from the mini book, a decorative brad and a bit more stamping to share another way that scraps, stamps, chipboard and die cuts really are the perfect combination this Halloween!

Halloween Treat Bags |

What will you be doing for Halloween treat bags this year?


Okay. So I sat here for a bit before I could even begin writing this post. 

We said goodbye to Duke last night. It was his time. And he had some really good years. Not so much the last six months or so. 

A constant companion to Zach, who was an only child for eleven years, and the pick of the litter. He was named after the original Duke, John Wayne. Zach didn't have a sister or brother to play with and Duke was his buddy. They "played" basketball together, climbed mountains, built forts, went on runs and there were hours and hours logged as Duke chased many a tennis ball and stick thrown by Zach.

As the girls got older, and I didn't need to be outside with them every single minute, Duke took over as their Mama watching over them and keeping them in line. It was a common sight for Duke, Natasha {in the lead} and Rascal to take their morning walk together about 9am. It brought him joy, we could tell that. He was such a lovable dog. Always wanting to please, always ready to go for a walk and he had puppy dog eyes like you wouldn't believe. 

On cold winter days and nights, you could find Tasha and Rascal snuggled in close with Duke as he protected them from the cold. Snuggle buddies. Poor Scout. He, too, loved Duke. He knows something is just not right. Poor guy. 

Zach knew from his last visit home that Duke was not doing well but this will still be tough to take. It is for us and we've seen him lose a bit of his old self as each day passed and knew this day would come.  Duke is, and always was, Zach's dog. He lit up when he saw Zach. 

So long Clem Cadiddlehopper, we weren't ready for you to leave us yet.

tea time

An opportunity to dress up and the chance to wear their brand new Ariat cowgirl boots...yes, tea time it is! We met up with Nana and a few of her friends at the Vintage Garden Tea Room in town.

It warms my heart that these girls have both their Grandmother's living so close and that they are so close to each of them. I didn't have the pleasure of being near either of my Grandmother's and one of my greatest gifts is that my kids have been able to make memories with their grandparents.

Yes, the Wright girls love their boots. All three of us. This is actually their first pair of cowgirl boots, and they're already converts, but I have had a few and may just have my eye on another pair as I practically live in them from October through March.

Usually, when someone would ask to take a picture so that I could be in the picture, I would say no so as not to bother them. But I said, "yes," when Nana asked if she could take a photo. Now there's proof that Mommy was there, too.

Wishing you all a perfectly wonderful Wednesday.  We're hoping to have DaDa home with us tomorrow so that we can head to the Titanic attraction in Pigeon Forge...Isabella won two tickets during for her 2nd place win in the Summer Reading Program, Dream Big. Read., at our local library for the number of minutes read.

meet smoky

We have a new family member. 

As Victoria says, "Our family keeps growing and growing!" First Scout, our Border Collie pup, and now Smoky, a mink Rag Doll {I think I said that right}. It's not the first name we tried out on him. Actually, it was the first name Isabella came up with and we weren't crazy about it. But, we now feel that it suits him well.

He has a little cold, but seems to be adjusting well to his new home. And I just spied him purring while sitting in Spunky's lap out in the sun room, which says a lot!