Back from the Beach & into the Blog

Hello, lovelies. I’ve missed you and am excited to be back on the blog.

I had a fantastic trip with the family (many weeks ago) and had to jump right back into the real world the moment we got home. School, soccer and work all came calling…at once.

Coming to this space and writing on the blog gives me a lot of joy. So, I’m happy to carve out this moment to sit in front of the computer – and not for a work assignment!

As we dive back in, I thought I’d share a few things we’ve been up to in the Andersen house these past few weeks:

{ONE} Creating fresh starts

My twin girls are in middle school this year, which completely blows my mind. Top that off with my son starting 9th grade, and I plunge into denial. They’re still babies, right?! Just a little taller and several shoe sizes bigger than me. >>

{Um…he’s not even standing on anything – other than his own two feet!}

In my effort to slow time, I decided to spend more of it focused on my kids…getting ready for new schools, different experiences and deeper friendships.

For my girls, it also meant getting ready for a locker. (Another “first” for the books.) As you can imagine, we had a blast cruising the aisles of Hob Lob looking for everything and anything to glue to magnets.

Here are a few of our favorite projects >>

Project 1: We decorated a round mirror with folds of ribbon. Upper left shows the finished product. Upper right shows the supplies: mirror, ribbon, magnets (not pictured are glue gun and felt). Lower left shows how I looped and glued the ribbon. Lower right shows the back. I used felt to soften the edges of the ribbon.

Project 2: We found small aluminum letters and just glued magnets to the back. A super simple way to personalize a locker!

Project 3: Another easy one. We found these darling metal flowers in the jewelry section of Hob Lob and just hot-glued small magnets to the backs. We went back for more of these little pretties.

Project 4: This is a small craft supply tin with a clear lid. We took a magnet sheet (available at Hob Lob) and cut it to fit the entire bottom of the container. Then the girls filled them with mints so they can freshen their breath between classes!

Project 5: We found these clothespins already decorated, but we decided we could also make more using washi tape. Then we glued magnet strips to the back to make them locker ready!

This magnet (and the one below) were purchased “as is”. We found them on our way back from the beach. There was this darling pecan farm that also had a gift shop and deli. We stopped for treats and couldn’t pass these up.

Aren’t these great messages to greet the girls every time they open their lockers?

Yes they are!!

{TWO} Spreading kindness through rocks

Speaking of rocking, kindness rocks are still on my agenda of life. The girls and I recently made a new batch and plan to keep making more this fall. Yay!

I painted all of the rocks a base color (using acrylic paint) and the girls decorated with designs and messages (using fine tip paint pens). I loved how this one turned out.

Avery had fun turning a few of them into critters.

Clara worked on this one. I love her twin popsicles.

PS. I love that this trend continues to grow across the country. I hope you’ll give it a try, if you haven’t already!

{THREE} Making not-to-do lists

{affiliate}

I was inspired by my Day Designer to create a list of things NOT to do. How liberating is that?

We’re encouraged to fill this list with things we would be better off eliminating from our daily routine. Things that have turned to habits that prevent us from accomplishing our to-dos and deplete our time and energy and affect our happiness and success. Not-to-do lists help us be more productive because…

“What you don’t do determines what you can do.”

For example, my not-to-do list includes:

  • Check email before coffee in the morning
  • Sit for longer than 30 min at a time (this is a thing, y’all!)
  • Focus on my mistakes

What would yours include?

{FOUR} Chillin’ with my furry babies

Even through all of the busyness, I still make time to hang out with our pets. It’s so amazing how calming they are.

Rosie is our resident chubby bunny. We’ve had her for about five years now.

Leo is our two-yr-old mini Goldendoodle who looks like a forever puppy, because he’s a mini. He’s full of kisses – and energy!

{FIVE} Decorating for fall

Today is the first official day of fall! While I haven’t gone into full pumpkin mode just yet, I’ve started the transition into fall around the house.

Like on the front door. I pulled out my chalkboard sign, which is the perfect way to handle in-between seasons. The style doesn’t have to change, just update your message! >>

I’m excited to have some time next week to decorate the inside of the house – and maybe even get it smelling like the season.

I’m a fan of this cranberry woods candle because it’s not too sweet. I’m taking suggestions for a new fall fragrance this year. What’s your favorite?!

I hope you have a fantastic fall weekend. Excited to see you back next week.

Blessings,

-Kate

friday-favorites-01-1h54f2_zpsc7e1f4e7-2

Share

Inspiring Beach Takeaways

There were plenty of thoughtful takeaways from our recent trip to the beach, like the long chats with my almost-teen son, the laugher-filled games of Go Fish with my girls, and the quiet moments watching the waves with B. Those experiences are locked in my heart, and I threw away the key.

I also had a few tangible takeaways. So I thought it would be fun to shake out the suitcases and show you what made it home.

Some of these might even inspire a DIY project or two for you!

{SEASHELLS FROM THE SEASHORE}

Sand dollars are my favorite kind of currency. So I was pumped when I found this gem hiding in the sand on Shell Island. (It’s about the size of my palm.) I carefully tended to this fragile creature until I arrived home. Now that we’re here, I plan to display it in a shadow box.

sand dollar

{source}

{This shadow box is from Pottery Barn and inspired my idea. I love the monochromatic look.}

We also gathered a few other beautiful shells that I want to place on the mantel. While I was looking at all of the nautical items at Pottery Barn, I noticed this shell cloche that’s quite pretty. I’m thinking about making my own. Any ideas on how I could attach a stick to the base – so it would hold the weight of a shell?

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 4.19.42 PM

{A GOOD SOUTHERN READ}

There’s a darling bookstore in Seacrest, FL called Sundog Books. They had an entire section devoted to Southern fiction, which holds a sweet spot in my heart.

southern fiction

In addition to all of the titles you can make out in the picture above, I found a few other titles listed below that I’ve added to the reading queue. (You’ll notice one of these isn’t like the others. The book of lists falls into the category of my obsession with organizing. #cantstopwontstop)

Have you read any of these? If so, which should I read first?!

beach reads

{THAT SALTY BEACH SCENT}

I have a “thing” for smells, as I have indicated in previous posts. It’s true. I have quite the super-sniffer, which is probably why this salt candle is one of the best gifts I could have splurged on during our trip. It came from my new favorite store and smells like a breezy day at the beach with a slight hint of sunscreen. If you want to light up your life with this lovely fragrance, you can but it here.

sea candle

{PHOTOS TO HAVE AND TO HOLD}

Thank goodness my husband is so great with taking photos. He remembers to have his phone/camera handy at the most perfect times, which is why we had so many great pics from the beach. Now that we’re home, I wanted to find fun ways to archive these great memories. I found several options and wanted to share.

FamilySearch Memories: This mobile app is free and lets you capture all kinds of family memories for keeps. It’s a true digital scrapbook that includes the option to record audio interviews in addition to tagging your photos with family member names and locations. I think this would have been fun to use during vacation. Must remember.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 6.35.58 PM

Mixbook.com: You can easily make printed scrapbooks by selecting from beautiful templates and uploading your images into the pages. They start at about $15 per book, which is a good price compared to other companies I’ve seen.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 7.50.23 PM

online photo book

These are some of the beautiful travel-themed templates.

Smilebox: This is free software that allows you to create fun collages or slideshows (with music and graphics) that you can post on your social channels or email to your family. You can even create cards with your pics, too.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 8.04.05 PM

Chatbooks: If you’ve posted all of your favorite trip pics on Instagram or Facebook you can easily turn them into a Chatbook. They’re only $8 per book, which is the best price I’ve seen so far. It looks like you can also upload photos from your phone in the mobile or desktop app. This might be a winner.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 8.13.27 PM

Let me know if you’ve travelled anywhere recently and what treasures you brought home. I always love a good show & tell!

XOXO

-Kate

 

Share

Friday Wrap: Spring Break Here We Come!

Today’s edition of Friday Wrap is dedicated to the next 9 glorious days of Spring Break!!

Here are the five things I’m most looking forward to on our little family adventure to the beach – in no particular order. It’s all good.

{ONE} Eating as much shrimp as my heart desires.

I’m a little obsessed with shrimp. So the thought of spending this much time near the source of this beautiful and delicious culinary treat is nearly enough to make me cry. I plan to eat shrimp for every meal, and I don’t even care if it turns my skin shades of pink. Get in my belly.

{TWO} Finally reading my next book club book.

My fabulous book club (that mostly drinks wine and sometimes reads books) selected Cuckoo’s Calling. It’s by J.K. Rowling, but written under her new pen name of Robert Galbraith. That brings up lots of discussion for another time. Anyway, the book is our next read. It’s “due” the first week of April, so I need to get crackin’ on my literary consumption. Although, you have no idea how happy I am at the thought of camping out in a beach chair with a good book in hand – and maybe a drink in the other. Bring it.

{THREE} Stopping at random attractions.

We actually do this sort of thing when we can. At times Brandon has to grin and bear it, though, as the kids and I run up to things like life-sized peanuts, cement dinosaurs and Thunderbirds to take pictures. You gotta stop every now and then and make memories along the way. Maybe we’ll catch Stan the Muffler Man or The World’s Largest Office Chair on this adventure? #cheese

IMG_5875

{FOUR} Quality time with my people.

Need I say more? I love my little family, and I can’t wait to put the phone down already and just sit among these amazing humans. <3

family road trip

{Avery is tucked in the back with Mr. Fluffers}

{FIVE} Soaking up these views.

Just a single picture of the beach makes me feel relaxed (and maybe a little hungry for shrimp.) This was a picture taken on our last trip to Seaside. We’ll be close to the same spot, so I’m hoping for a sequel that’s just as good or better than the original. We’ve never been in the spring, so I assume it will be cooler with a splash of rain here and there. I really don’t mind, though. Just look at reasons number 1-4.

seaside florida

Have a wonderful week and I’ll see you after Easter, which is next weekend already! That happened fast.

XOXO

-Kate

Fiveonfriday

The Diary of a Real Housewife

 photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.png

Share