Category Archives: Things I Love Thursday

Happy birthday to my hubsand

No, that is not a typo in the headline, it’s what I have always called Simon since we got married… it was too strange and unreal to say HUSBAND so we switched it and he calls me the Wif (rhymes with sniff, though I guess I’m not sure how you’d pronounce it but that’s neither here nor there).

My poor husband, not only does his birthday fall the week before Valentine’s Day so our date plans are always tinged with a few too many hearts, but once Jack was born three days before his birthday, he was relegated to second fiddle for any family birthday gatherings. He’s the kind of guy this doesn’t really matter to, but still, you gotta feel a little bit bad about it all.

This year I decided to surprise him for his birthday and arrange to have some friends meet us out for dinner. I didn’t even mention to him that we had plans on Saturday night until two days prior and until we got to the restaurant and people started showing up, he had no clue what was going on (because I am a very good liar, it would seem and he’s a very “take things at face value” type of guy, which means it’s good for him that I only lie for good, not evil). It was so much fun to do something like that for him, it really wasn’t big or extravagant, and didn’t take much planning, just caring and wanting to do something special. Because he’s my special guy and the craziness of the past two years and especially the last few months haven’t just been hard on me, but on him as well. So I’m glad we got to celebrate him!

Happy birthday, Simon, you are definitely a “Thing I Love [on] Thursday” and everyday! I hope your birthday a great start to an even better year ahead of you (and us)! I wish you blocks and blocks of Cadbury chocolate with no weight gain. Toned muscles with no effort. Hours of laughter and entertainment with little to no tears and tantrums (your own or the children’s). A killer fantasy team for Premier League soccer with no injuries sustained playing actual soccer on Fridays. More hours sleeping than awake in the middle of the night. And happiness, always. 


Things I Love Thursday: My Family Photos

I’m very blessed to know many awesome photographers who I call my friends. They all do amazing work and I’ve “used” most of them at one time or another but this is also a problem when it comes to getting photos taken because it’s hard to choose who I want to take the photos without it seeming like I’m playing favorites. This year a solution fell into my lap by way of my friend Cindy who is revving up her photography business, Indigo Stick Studios, and needed someone to create a logo and business cards for her. Perfect – in exchange for my services, I asked her to take photos for us – it could not have worked out better!

Here’s her logo:

I had a Groupon that was expiring soon for a canvas print (thanks, Mike and Joan!) so I emailed Cindy and asked if we could meet that weekend and knock out some photos – thankfully she agreed! Cindy met us at Calvin (where I went to college and Simon works) and in less than 30 minutes, we were done. And despite the crazy wind and my children both falling down and getting their jeans muddy within minutes of arriving, we got some awesome photos! I’m sure Cindy has some less than stellar ones with our eyes shut or us making funny faces but I love all the ones she sent to us… could not have been happier!

(I added the title to cover up our awkwardly angled hands – this was for a photobook I made of the photos). I love Liam’s casual pose in this one.)


Love those boys!


We had a great time playing and just being ourselves.

Especially in the “whale” art installation.


Thanks again, Cindy, for so perfectly capturing my family! We love our photos!

And once again, in the interest of full disclosure, the top photo is totally a combined-in-photoshop image of two different photos – I wanted just one photo where we were all looking at the camera 😉 I love the “outtakes”  just as much but if you have access to photoshop, why not use it!?

This post is linked up with Jill at Diaper Diaries.

Things I Love Thursday: Paint Chips

We’re moving our office sometime very soon and we are having a couple of walls painted in the new space. Because of this, I got to visit a paint store yesterday and bask in the glory that is a wall of paint chips. [I’ve talked about my love of paper, including paint chips here; and highlighted crafts using paint chips here and here.]

I love paint chips. Like really love them. I have to restrain myself from picking one of everything and taking them home with me (my husband thanks me for my restraint). The possibilities are endless. Picking just the right color and pairing it with another color makes my heart skip a beat – it’s true. I am certainly no interior designer, but I appreciate color schemes and the way paint can transform a room from dull and drab to bright and lively. But since I am also a person who starts many projects and completes way less, paint chips are perfect because I can imagine the change by looking at the colors without actually going through with it.

And thanks to Pinterest and blogs, there is another world of possibility opening up when it comes to crafting with paint chips (my board is here, I think everyone should be able to see it.) I’ll let you know if any of my pins come to fruition…

Sources: and

This post is linked up with Jill at Diaper Diaries.

Things I Love Thursday: Using My Whole Brain

I’ve been told (I’ll start that way so as not to appear arrogant, which I am not) that I am both a left- and a right-brain thinker. And I do know this to be true. But what got me thinking about it for this post is our speaker at my networking meeting who was one of those same types of people – able to converse with both the art and business worlds with equal skill and appreciation for what each side of the fence has to offer. I was impressed with his well-roundedness and well-spoken, at ease manner with everyone in the room and it got me thinking that those are perhaps things I overlook about myself, or under-appreciate. I take for granted that I can see the whole picture when talking with a client and understand the technical idea they are trying to communicate while being able to visualize how to best communicate that idea. For a long time, I didn’t really realize that not everyone was like this. I was often puzzled when I met people who were extremes in one direction or the other, like how was it possible they couldn’t see the other side of the proverbial coin? And sometimes I wanted to be more like one or the other, wishing I could be all artsy-fartsy, to heck with timelines and just go marching to the beat of my own drummer OR more organized and focused without falling victim to procrastination to meet a deadline. But I can’t operate in extremes – I’m a whole brain kind of gal. And I can prove it, I took an online test (totally, inarguably accurate – right), here are the results:

54% left brain | 46% right brain

To recap, right-brain = creative/artsy; left-brain = logic/math. At the office I do both graphic design and our accounting/bookkeeping. I’ve always loved math, English and art, though not the biggest fan of science (despite wanting to be a doctor until my freshman year of college). Growing up I wanted to be both an architect and a doctor and now I dream of writing a novel or a screenplay. I definitely lean a little more to the left as I value realism over fantasy. I love to read and write and I’m a list-making fool. In decision-making, I opt for a realistic solution that follows my intuition (this strong bent towards intuition often leads me to make snap decisions about whether or not I’ll like someone – this is sort of a flaw as my gutt instinct is hard to overrule, though it is often a pretty accurate indicator).

I really find it all fascinating and exhausting at the same time. Sometimes it would just be nice to only consider one aspect of a matter, rather than be influenced by everything. But for today, I’m appreciating my whole brain way of thinking and my brain in general, as long as it keeps working, I’ll be happy.*

Take the test yourself, see how it turns out for you.

This post is linked up with Jill at Diaper Diaries.

*I totally just wrote a whole post about loving my brain – sorry about that…

Confessions of a Paper Junkie

Source: via Vanessa on Pinterest

I love paper. All kinds of paper. When I was little and my mom would take me grocery shopping with her (every Wednesday morning, the same day and time of day she still goes) I would get to explore the store by myself* while she shopped  and I would almost always end up in the paint department, squirreling away paint chips (pretty paper).

After that I developed an attraction to stationery – both sheets of paper and coordinating paper/envelope sets and if you wanted to get me a good gift, a pad of paper would do the trick. I still have a ton of sets in a box in the basement, plus I took up card-making for a while (I’m a starter) so I also have all those supplies. Someday I’m going to really get going on sending real mail and I’ll wear through that supply. Though I could probably send one real letter a day for a few years and maybe then I’d start to run out.

In college I started scrapbooking – the paper supplies for this were endless and beautiful. I find it funny that I have a collection of fancy scrapbooks with cool pages for my college years but all the photos since I’ve gotten married and have children are in sleeved photo albums (or are residing electronically on Facebook – last year I printed photos one time).

When I started getting into graphic design, I found out that paper companies created swatch books – bound books showing samples of all the different colors and stocks of paper they manufactured – so I started ordering them (for free) to collect I guess. Turns out the company I work for had a couple hundred such swatch books – it makes me heart beat a little faster when I eye those boxes – all the lovely paper possibilities once again.

These days my paper obsession has taken the form of paper plates and napkins, initially just napkins from IKEA and then branching out to the products created by a local company that has a bi-annual warehouse sale where you can walk down rows of tables and fill large bags with coordinating sets of napkins and plates (not to mention the gift bags and tissue paper). It’s so cheap and so pleasing to the eye. I may or may not have found a box I’d stored away in our basemen that contained a couple dozen packages of napkins and plates when I was cleaning the basement, ones that had been there since we packed up extra things a few years ago when we were thinking of putting our house on the market. It’s a sickness. And I guess I can admit I could have hoarding potential, but thankfully I have a husband who loves me despite my love of paper products and who would keep me from filling a room with paper and sleeping in it.**

*I was still in elementary school when this happened, she was way more trusting than I will ever be. Both of her child and other people.
**I would never do that, it would be uncomfortable and would wrinkle the poor paper.

This post is linked up with Jill at Diaper Diaries.