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calendar cuties | july and august 2013

We are on Summer break, enjoying every single lazy day and the only reason we want to look at a calendar is to figure out how many times we can go swimming before school begins again!

Here are your Calendar Cuties for July and August. They're sized to 4x6 and are perfect to washi tape to the fridge, add to your Project Life albums, highlight on a scrapbook layout or just drag to your computer desktop to plan out the rest of your Summer.

a musical performance presented by THE SUN and THE MOON

In the past few days, Gordon and I have been treated to performances by our two charming, delightful and talented daughters. They are both quite fond of coming up with ideas, especially if one can outdo the other in originality and uniqueness, so it's not uncommon for us to be treated to the reading of stories written or explanations of masterpiece drawings.

I videotaped the first musical performance, but took no photos while on the second performance I took no video, but did snap the photo you see below during their encore. So cute that these girls color coordinated their outfits to the character they were in their acts. There were three acts with several songs per act.

Gordon and I were highly impressed and at one point I had to work hard not to snicker out loud because I got tickled as I watched them be so serious, but so cute, at the same time. 

We were asked to come down to their craft | study | play room {aka Zach's former bedroom and until recently my office} and once we were outside the door, we saw Victoria sitting there, with her costume covered by her robe, as she greeted us and asked us for our tickets, which had been been provided to us earlier.  They had been crafted so that there was a bit of a perforation for the stub to be removed. At that point, we could enter the theatre. All of this forethought and preparation, of course, made me smile.

Once we were seated in the correct seats, our tickets had seat numbers on them, we were greeted before the performance began. There had been a bit of rehearsal, so they were pretty well prepared but I sensed a bit of improvisation as well, which was just darling. I had been hearing the rehearsals all day from my Studio and as I walked by on my way to the laundry room, but this was Gordon's first run through. I glanced over at him every now and then because, knowing him as I so dearly do, I knew that he would be touched by their creativity and cuteness and how they worked so hard to do something that would could be proud of them for. 

Not that Isabella and Victoria aren't creative and wacky most of the time anyway, but the reason behind these performances is partly due to the fact that I had recently taken away their privilege of watching television and using any type of electronics. As good as they are, and I know they are good girls, they have not been following the rules, paying attention or being respectful of cleaning up. It has been a nightly struggle as we do our bedtime routines for Gordon and I to find messes under beds, in closets, in their play room, in the bathroom which then delays bed time and causes me to lose my mind. Yes, I admit that I raise my voice and may have gotten hysterical a time or two. Or two thousand. 

If Zach is reading this, he is probably shaking his head yes and thinking back to when I would stomp my foot on his bedroom floor so that he could hear me downstairs...his sign to come quick because Mommy was not pleased with the status of his room. 

No electronics for the Wright Girls going on the 5th day now. Oh yes, they have asked when they will get their electronics privileges back and I remind them that they have to do their "jobs" and they will be rewarded. It's not that they get to watch a lot of TV anyway, but it was to the point that they woke up and wanted to play on their DS's right away rather than do something else. A happy Mommy that does not make.

The ironic thing is that in just five days, they have almost forgotten about TV and have been playing with Legos, Barbies, drawing, playing games, doing Mommy school without complaints and reading...all things they do anyway but now the sessions last longer and they are playing together and doing a much better job of working out their issues on their own without Mommy having to get involved.

They'll get their privileges back, I am sure, but if they don't mention it, I'm not going to rush it because I am enjoying seeing them use their hearts and minds to occupy themselves rather than letting TV and electronics keep their minds busy.

One never knows if what they are doing is right or wrong, makes a difference or not, has an impact on how their kids view life or warps them forever. But I try hard everyday to be a good Mom and hopefully one day when my kids are much, much older they'll think I was.

adding pages to your bind-it-all mini albums

Have you ever left a page out of your mini album?
And journaled so much that you needed more room to tell the whole story?
Then decided that you had just one more story to tell, but no more pages to share it on?

Me, too.

Have no fear, today I'm going to share a tip with you that will have you adding pages to your mini books and journaling to your heart's content!

  • Hole punch your page, then snip a slit into the center of each hole.
  • Position your page and slip it onto your o-wire rings by placing the punched page next to the o-wire.
  • Using your finger, gently nudge the punched page onto the o-wires.
  • Finish documenting your story!

I've tried this technique with thin paper, heavier weight cardstock and also kraft and it works equally well with all of them. After the pages have been inserted into the coils, it's very hard to even tell that the pages haven't been there all along.

Who's ready to try it out?

wright now | june 2013

This perfectly relaxing and sublime shade of green reminds me of the beautiful ocean views from our Aruba vacation a few years ago. Aaaah, to be relaxing in that warm breeze right now!

1  |  In the meantime, though, I'll settle for buying these shorts. I bought a few this winter when they were on sale for much cheaper, but I've found that they are a perfect length for me. Not too short, not too long and the leg width is perfect for hiding that I have birthing hips, as Gordon likes to call them.

2  |  I'm usually a cami and jammie bottoms kind of girl, but this sweet little gown reminded me of the beach. And who says a girl can't change it up and keep 'em guessing every now and then.

3  |  I am looking for a stylist that will get my hair color the right shade.  I want Katie Holmes brown and not the color she's been choosing that eventually changes and brings out all sorts of funky shades of red and orange in my hair. Sigh.

Have a super Tuesday...we'll be at the Dentist today where the girls will charm the hygienists out of as many toothbrushes and treats from the Treasure Box that they can get away with!

stars and stripes

Quick + Simple
Star candy dish from Dollar Tree.
Washi tape from My Mind's Eye.
Patterned cardstock from Pebbles.

Today is Flag Day, commemorating the adoption of the flag of the United States of America.

family traditions | the album

In my Studio move and organization, I have found quite a few forgotten projects that need attention. One of those is the Traditions Album and after browsing through it again I can't believe that I let a good idea like this one get by me without continuing. After some thought, I realized that this easy style of storytelling was too good to limit to just holiday traditions. 

It all started while looking for something else all together. But, I printed this out last night and immediately began looking for a paper scrap to add to the side of the page and began writing. 

Time elapsed was probably about 5 minutes. It took a whole lot longer to write this blog post than it did to capture a memory with a photo of my Sweetie and one of his beloved vintage International Harvester Scout's.

DESIGN TIP  |  Prefer more embellishments on your layouts? Position your letter stickers over your patterned paper strip and add some word stickers directly on your photo. If you don't care to have the years at the bottom of the page and prefer to add a date elsewhere, you could add patterned paper there and save the  other spot for embellishments.

Why don't you print a few page templates of your own and have them ready for those times when there are only minutes in your schedule to create, but you  have a great story to capture. 

5onthe5th | june 2013

June 5th just was not even on my radar this month. Didn't even think about documenting. When did I realize that I had no photos? On the morning of June 6th, which just  happened to be our 15th Wedding Anniversary, so this month you have 5 on the 5th on the 6th.

1  |  We made a family trip to Lowe's one Spring afternoon to get some tomato plants. We cheated and purchased one rather large tomato plant so that we would see quicker results in our farming project. It worked! The huge plant treated the girls to a juicy red tomato on the 6th and today Isabella noticed another red, juicy tomato just wanting to be picked.

2  | Hello Knoxville! We spent our 15th anniversary day together, thankfully, running errands and checking out options for porch addition and landscaping project. Living in the mountains, we have the joy of being just 20 minutes away from a large city and just 45 minutes away from Knoxville.

3  |  Off we went on our adventure, after dropping the girls off for Oma Day, to the Bomanite office to see samples and colors and, of all things, we joined Costco. Finally. Wow, we love that place. And we were good, we only purchased items that we would actually use and didn't get sucked into that "Oh, but this is such a good deal!" scenario. And no, we did not purchase the pergola, but Gordon couldn't believe the $799 price tag for something pre-built AND cedar. I would never have noticed that.

4  |  No photo of the lovely couple on their anniversary, but I did get a snapshot of the lovely couple's sunglasses.

5  |  I did snap some photos of the lovely couple's daughters, though, while they sang and worshipped and enjoyed the activities at Vacation Bible School. It appears that the rock climbing wall was a great adventure for them both. Isabella was within inches of the top and looked down, so she was ready to come on down. Victoria got almost half way and she was ready to head to terra firma.

No fancy clothes, no hot date night...just an ordinary day in our extraordinary lives. Perfect way to celebrate our happily ever after, don't you think?

follow along on Instagram {monikawright_iloveitall} where I tag my photos with #5onthe5th
all photos made using my iPhone with Instagram and edited with the Earlybird filter

5 on the 5th 2013 Archives
January | February | March | April |  May  | June | July | August | September | October | November | December 

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address book download | my mind's eye

For the May mini album feature at My Mind's Eye I went old school. As in no matter how much I love the iPhone and my super awesome Mac computer, I continue to keep a paper address book.

And now that Isabella and Victoria are school-aged, they often come home with teeny tiny scraps of paper with names and phone numbers on them and have no place to keep them. And it's not as if I allow them to make many phone calls, but they seem to keep coming home with phone numbers. Knowing that I had already designed address book pages {get your download here} that just happened to be 6x6, I was excited to pull out the Kate & Co. Oxford Lane Paper Pad and get crafty. Victoria LOVES blue, so this range of colors was a perfect fit for her.

It's like I was meant to create an address you see that adorable retro chipboard telephone? Using the negative shape left from the shapes I cut for my inside divider pages, I gave it a bit of dimension and popped it off the cover page with another Chipboard Element underneath and added those fit-with-everything Enamel Dots.

DESIGN TIP  |  sandwich a piece of chipboard between your two 6x6 papers to add extra heft and durability to your cover

Since she's seven, I kept it simple and Victoria's address book has just two sections: friends and family. I die cut my bracket shape and adhered it to one of the 6x6 sheets from the Designer Paper Pad, trimmed a label sticker from the Sticker Accessory Sheet then layered Decorative Buttons before popping on an Enamel Dot.

The inside front cover has one of the super cute shaped stickers from the Sticker Accessory Sheet. Don't forget the back cover! I like to keep the chipboard natural for the back cover and here I added Decorative Tape along the spine and at the left edge to add a little interest.

Download a Tips + Tutorial guide sheet from my post at My Mind's Eye sharing a how-to on trimming your address book pages. Or you can find one here, too.

Will you be kickin' it old school with me this month and create your own address book?

one card . three ways | father's day card download

Hello June!
Hello watermelon, splashing in the pool, home grown tomatoes, sleeping in, ice cream and popsicles. And flip flops.
Gotta love that.

And we gotta love our Father's, Father's-in-Law, the Dad's to our children and those father figures that were always there for us. And this celebration is always tough on those men and women that so desperately want to be parents and have prayed and struggled and continue to hope. Let us not forget them.

Doing a little download love today with one card design, three ways. Here's what we'll begin with,  download yours here.

As you can see, I printed my design onto kraft cardstock, white cardstock and some speckletone natural tan cardstock just to show you how you can change up the look by varying what cardstock you choose.

Let's take a look at the white cardstock option now. I thought it would be fun to use an outline font so that the kids can color in the front of the card for their favorite DaDa or Papa. My girlies were busy, so I colored my own card for my Sweetie.

The solid Caribbean baker's twine from The Twinery is a great accent. I used it along with some solid Denim to wrap my gift and attach my gift tag to the package I wrapped in kraft paper from the paint section at The Home Depot. 

And the speckled tan kraft-like cardstock happens to be my favorite version. I like that it's a bit rustic without going to the extreme of kraft. I added the solid Denim to the front of the striped design at the top and bottom and Caribbean to tie the tag shape I punched which is adorned with the small embellishment that was scallop punched. 

The vintage German camera is my Birthday slash Mother's Day gift from Zach and Ruth. So cool!

Now the kraft cardstock. Very rustic. In retrospect, I should have used some garden twine on this card, kind of like I do here. I punched a tiny heart and attached it to the front of the card just because I thought it needed a little oomph. I added another to the gift tag that I attached to the gift card attached inside the card.

By the way, did you know that an Amazon gift card fits inside an A2 card perfectly? Well, it does. Here's where you can find the square flapped envelopes I used.

PINspiring | banana cake from glorious treats

I've been looking for an alternative to Banana Bread, every homemaker's standby recipe for overripe bananas. Because we're a family that prefers our bananas more on the green than fully yellow, we often have bananas that are good, but just too ripe for us. And how much banana bread can you eat? Okay, quite a bit, but you know what I mean.

Meet this glorious treat!

When Glory's Banana Cake recipe post popped up in my Blogger reader, I just knew it would be a winner and immediately pinned it to my to cook board on Pinterest.

I used a 9x9 pan and ended up baking it less than 25 minutes. I threw caution to the wind and went over the top on the frosting, using a whole brick of cream cheese and 1/2 stick of butter with the same amount of powdered sugar. It was hard waiting on the cake to cool so my frosting went on a warm cake, not hot, rather than a cooled cake as recommended. No worries, it was still as yummy as ever!

Even though Gordon voted the Banana Bread recipe I use from my Mom as his favorite, I think that I'll keep this recipe handy for a quick after-school treat option.

We've also tried Glory's Lemon Bread and, even though I am not really a lemon lover, I and everyone else on Mother's Day last year, LOVED it!