Posted in Random Stuff

Essentials for Every Wrapping Station

,Here are a few of my MUST HAVE items for any wrapper fanatic:


A few from my wrapping stash!

Of course! This is a no brainer! What you need is an array of wrapping paper. Not every kind that is out there, but at least 5-10 rolls to accomodate your recipients. Here are a few things to keep in mind so you can have an inventory of wrap on hand that is useful and not wasteful.

  • Make sure you have enough colors or designs to cater to the genders and/or ages you wrap most for through the year. For myself, I am surrounded by a good mix of adults and children, but am stumbling upon more children in my life with the girls in school.  So, while I am out, I like to stock up on gender colored wraps that are either plain or have lots of designs, to mix together or use on their own. I am not a huge fan of character paper, except for the holidays. I just feel it’s limiting for children who are particular. I mean, not everyone will love Hello Kitty like I do! But it’s safe to assume most girls like pink, lime green and purple in stripes or polka dots.
  • Look for a roll of paper that isn’t skimpy for the price.  There’s nothing worse than buying an expensive paper that is perfect for that gift recipient, only to get home and discover the roll can only wrap 1 or 2 large presents.  How is that worth it?  It isn’t! Some wrapping paper rolls go for like $10!
  • If it’s on sale, and you need replenishing of wrapping paper…get it. Just don’t overload yourself on paper that you will never use, because it takes up space and you don’t want to be overflowing with it.   Of course, I should listen to this tip, cause I have way too many rolls of paper!
  • Have at least one roll of white paper on hand.  It’s a great blank canvas wrap that you or your child can paint, stamp, or use with that special ribbon that won’t match most papers.

2. Adhesives!

  • Tape- Anytime you see tape on sale just grab a roll or two.  You will never kick yourself for buying it, but you will when you don’t!
  • Hot glue gun with refills.
  • Craft glue.

3.  Scissors! Definitely spend the money to get a pair of good quality scissors. I am such a stickler for scissors (Thanks to my Mom).  I suggest for wrapping a pair of titanium scissor that won’t lose it’s sharpness or ruin / snag when you are cutting it!  Sometimes you have to cut through pipe cleaners, artificial flower stems or the like that have wire inserts, and that can ruin conventional scissors..but NOT TITANIUM!  It’s a chore if you have tough scissors to cut through something delicate like tulle.

4. TULLE! 

Here’s a bolt of light pink tulle.

Tulle is one of my favorite materials to work with when it comes to presents. It is perfect for most gifts…White tulle is great for bridal showers, wedding or anniversary gifts. Subtle toned pink, green or blue tulle is great for baby showers, first birthdays or any age, really. Tulle can come in so many colors. But..  This is where it gets expensive up front, but, because it really transforms a present and is used so sparingly, it ends up working out. Also, I’ll spend the money here because the impact is great.  You can have tulle around for a long time, too. I like to buy bolts of tulle online, like 25 yards at a time of one color (mostly white, ivory or lightest pink), and also 6 inch wide spools of tulle which you can grab at the Christmas Tree Shops, Michael’s or Joanne’s. The bolt of tulle is the perfect size to wrap or swaddle a large gift, and the ribbon spools are great accenting other ribbons, or on their own.  Tulle adds an air of softness you can’t get with other materials.

5. Adornments! 

These are a few of the ornaments I bought at the end of the season! The ballet slipper was used for an 8yr old Girls bday gift already-the rest are going into hibernation for Christmas!

Using ornaments, objects found in nature, craft supplies (i.e. stickers, stamps, pompoms, etc.), or children’s drawings, are great ways to adorn a present to make it that much more special.  My greatest advice for adornments is to hit up the stores when they advertise sales and especially the day AFTER Christmas, or even week.  You’ll find a whole bunch of ornaments out for up to 50%-75% off that would be perfect used on a non holiday gift.  My favorite store to look through is Pier1.  They have the most beautiful bird ornaments or special ornaments that are perfect for gift giving on their own.

6. Ribbons! And Bows!

Make sure to have different textures, sizes and colors so you never have to be without!

Whether it’s tulle, twine, velvet, satin, bakers string, cotton, plastic, washi tape, or lace, ribbons are a MAJOR must. Store bought bows are too; especially for those times you are in a pinch to wrap a present.  But same as my wrapping paper tip, ribbons can be costly if you don’t look for them while they’re on sale or if they turn out to be skimpy.  My best advice is to get a few that cover the colors you have in your stash of wrap, and then some that are decorated or printed.

There isn’t a color a store bought bow doesn’t come in nowadays!

A bag of store bought bows are so not expensive, and much less after the holidays.  That is the best time to go snag some bags.  They come is so many varieties during that time that you can cover most celebrations, genders or ages with a bag or two.  My favorite are the ones geared towards Hannukah.  I love blue.

7. Repurpose!  You might have torn shirts, cardboard boxes, store paper bags, floral hair bands, newspapers, children drawings or supplies, spray paints, twines, or wires, anything else from other areas of your house that could be pretty cool used as or on wrapping paper.  As my example, I remember as a kid (maybe 9) using my father’s Gazzetta Dello Sport newspaper to wrap his Father’s Day present.  The Gazzetta is an Italian sports newspaper that is printed on pink newspaper. It had a big pink bow on top; it was super cool. He thought I was sooo clever.

That is the best advice, be clever and think outside the norm.

8. Boxes, bags, tissue paper, and the like. You will need boxes and bags to wrap a lot of gifts.  Always keep a stash of shirt boxes on hand, and generic gift bags.  Tissue paper is obviously a must with these two items, and it comes in so many colors, edges, and shapes, that you can be so creative inside the bos as well.  They are everywhere, and can be bought on the super cheap at the Christmas Tree Shops, Target, Walmart and everywhere..the Dollar Store is a genius stop for things like this. And don’t forget..after the holidays, too!

9. Gift tags! Whether store bought, homemade, or printed, the gift tag is super important and another great place to use your creativity.  The varieties out there are amazing!  I like to adhere to the policy that gift tags are used when there is more than one recipient you are giving a gift to or the party is at an offsite location where you will be handing the gift to a party helper, and not family.  My favorite tip is to grab a box of general purpose supply white tags from Staples or somewhere like that.  The box comes with a ton of them already with a thin white bakers string attached.  All you need are markers, stamps, stickers, glue, glitter, ribbon..well anything! Your creative options are endless with these tags.

Speaking of creativity, thinking outside the box and repurposing.. and to bring up my awesome spouse… this is a good share to motivate ideas!

My husband is a super talented artist type, and wrapping Christmas gifts is one of the projects he always finds time to put effort into (he is a man without a lot of free time) I thought I’d share his wrap jobs from our past.  A side note, it was my husband’s idea to make every Christmas to me a themed gift. He just does it without flinching, and leaves me to wrap gifts as frilly and frully as I want for him and everyone else.

Our first themed Christmas as newlyweds:  Christmas in Thailand  (any of my Disney friends recognize that elephant mural????)
Our first themed Christmas: Christmas in Thailand
Up close.
Up close. (Any of my Disney friends recognize that elephant mural???? Here’s a hint! It’s from a WDW park!)

I think he loved ^that first year’s challenge a lot more than he thought.  Maybe he loved how much joy it brought me or maybe how much it brought joy to himself reliving his MassArt days trying to create something in a short amount of time?

So, without hesitation or skipping a year, he asks me for a theme.  Every year I choose a theme- I try to stump him most times. To see if he can make something obscure turn into a gift wrap. But it never matters. He always brings his wrapping A-game.  😉

Theme: Christmas in London. Uhm, how awesome is this, right?  Big Ben was completely detailed made out of different shaped cardboard. The top opened in two spots. The tippity top was like a jewelry box where a necklace was dangling, and then at top of the clock; where a giant glass vase was hiding. The girls played with Big Ben for months ..until it fell completely apart. But Lightning McQueen and Peter Pan flew by it a many o’times! 😉
Theme: It’s a Seinfeld Christmas! (If you do not know, Seinfeld is and will forever be my favorite show. I am Elaine, afterall.)
The interior close up. He designed and printed themed paper to wrap everything.  My card, which he makes his own only, is the Human Fund leaflet there. haha It was all seriously awesome!
Theme: Day of the Dead Christmas  Which all the Santa-Sugar Skulls freaked my Mom out.  I love love loveeee Day of the Dead, and he was genius with this one!!

He has made me an African Safari Christmas; where he cut out African animals out of card stock then placed them in a line along the edge of dark wrapped gifts- like they were in migration. A Retro Kitchen Holiday was this year, and everything was wrapped in silver with real cool rivet cut outs and vintage lettering.  One that I coined as the Houdini Christmas.  That was actually our very first Christmas together, but we weren’t married then. I was a lucky 18yr old girl.  He came to my house with a dozen giant gifts all sprayed in silver. Each gift was fashioned with different locks.  I had to figure out what keys went to what gift after finding the keys in the following gift.

There are so many more I can’t even remember..we’ll be married for 13 yrs this September!

The one thing I hope you guys walk away from seeing his stuff is that you can have an inventory of conventional, or unconventional items, and still make a presentation of a gift super amazing. Gifts can be wrapped in ANYTHING. No matter what it is inside!

Happy Wrapping, Everyone!


–Sorry if I am embarrassing you, love.. but I love you! And, I love.. that you make me feel like a special girl.  😉

Posted in My Travels

Disney World Packing Tips and List!

**Before you read on, if you haven’t already trekked to the App Store for Walt Disney World apps, you have to do that RIGHT NOW. 

Go on! 

They are helpful not only while you are on your trip, but super fun and helpful before your trip. We spent hours daily scoping out all that Disney World had to offer.  My suggestion if you don’t have any yet, and my favorite app while there, is the My Disney Experience app. It is your online My Disney Experience made for ipad/iphone. We just got back from an eleven day vacation with the mouse and the app was so useful! It was the perfect tool to have on hand keeping us (me) organized and in the know of all our dining reservations and FP+!

Wha’chya Packin?!

Disney World is amazing, and the memories you will make with your family will literally last a lifetime, but there is a lot of activities and walking to pack for if you want a seamless trip with everyone. My husband and I are avid travelers, with and without our children, and a trip to Disney takes as much planning and prep to pack for as going overseas.. if you can believe that!

Planning to pack depends on each family members needs, but basically, comfort, duration of trip, where you are staying and what venues you will be going to see, are also factors.  Preparing for this can be overwhelming, so I thought to offer up a tips and packing list to give you something to think about and to help you out.

Here are some tips and packing lists for a trip to Walt Disney World …or anywhere really!!

→   Create a Packing List

Before anything, make a list of everyone’s every day items that cannot be lived without.  Creating a packing list helps you keep focus and ensures you won’t forget your essentials!

My second bit of advice is to try your best to be organized.   Which is why I am listing my #1 must have item for packing and keeping it together….

→   Gallon Storage Bags! Not a new idea, but I use them for almost everything packed in our luggage.

A gallon bag is perfect to hold most or all of the families toiletries, as you know already. We all use them to keep our luggage dry in case a bottle does explode, but, I love to use them not just within the luggage to stay organized, but for my children in the hotel room ..and for me at Disney; I like them at the parks, too!

Packing our daughters’ entire luggage in storage bags makes getting ready in the room every morning easy, and a focused task for them (they can get distracted way too easily in the AM).   A one gallon bag can hold an entire outfit, along with a pair of underwear, an undershirt, a pair of socks and a hair accessory; or a swimsuit, flip-flops, coverup and goggles!  Fold the clothes to fit the bag.  Add in the matching accessories.  Squeeze out all the air before sealing it closed. Label the outside with who it’s for, and, voila! You have a complete, portable outfit for your child to put on without question after a shower..or much question that is!  The bags are see through for easy grab and go for each day.  Leave them as is in the luggage, or take them out, place in a drawer and… Done. You are unpacked.  Then at the end of each day, all you have to do is place that outfit, which has been worn all day and dirty, back into that empty gallon bag, squeeze out the air, seal it up, and bam..dirty clothes are rolled compactly away for laundry back in the luggage.

Our girls clothes fit into one carry-on luggage within the storage bags.  Also, swimwear, goggles and extra hair accessories!

I like to also use a bag at the parks.  It keeps my ‘while at the park’ items dry inside my bag on my favorite water rides; like cells, mini ipad, tissues, camera, autograph books, sunglasses, GUM, etc.  Believe me, coming out soaking wet from the Khali Rapids is fun, until you realize your whole life got soaked in your bag inside that feeble bag holder that has three inches of water in it when it is your turn to use it.

Ok, now that we got the storage bags out-of-the-way, here is a run down list that might be helpful when you pack for your big family trip!


Family shared items:   – face wash  – toner – eye makeup remover – face cream – eye cream – body lotion – shampoo/conditioner – body powder – hair brushes – hair styling products – toothpaste – toothbrushes – mouthwash -floss – body wash – contact solution  – shaving cream – razors – nail file, clipper, nail polish remover, and nail polish – feminine products and personal items – deodorants – q-tips -cotton face pads – perfume/cologne

For the children: – kid toothbrushes, toothpaste, flossers and mouthwash – kid body wash, shampoo/conditioner and body lotion – wipes– chapstick


– Contacts and glasses, along with cases, solutions, etc. (if you can bring an extra pair or two)   -ibuprofen, or the like, for headaches – antacids – allergy meds– hand sanitizer –tweezers   -mole skins  – band aids (Band-aid brand makes adorable Mickey Mouse ones!) – Neosporin mini spray for the parks –vitamins -emergency medications, i.e., inhalers or epipens  for carry on (we don’t take any Rx, but if you do don’t forget ’em!)


This is a must have in that hot FL sun anytime of year! I like to pack 2 large bottles to apply in room, and, 1 mini spray-on bottle for the parks.  I recommend 30 -50 SPF for everyone. And for those sun seekers, a 15!

→   ALOE

There is nothing worse than getting a burn then having no immediate relief in your room.  If you can stick a bottle of aloe in your room’s fridge, even better!  Personally, I like the lotion types vs. the gel types; and Hawaiian Tropics makes the best in my opinion.  It smells great, and can replace your bottle of body lotion if you need it to.


For everyone! If you can bring an extra pair, that’s a good move, too!  I like to snag a few cheap pairs in case we are forgetful or break them.

→   MAKEUP Obviously an essential for my makeup divas out there. This is a great carry-on item. 

Pack your items in a portable makeup case that has a brush compartment if you can find one. What is inside your makeup bag is totally personal, as is all the other items on this list, but if you need a visual here is what I normally pack:

This may seem like a lot, but it’s just the basics.  Remember, I am also a makeup artist who NEVER can be without her trusty makeup.  EVER.  I did switch out my loose powder container for a smaller travel one I had.  Here is the Makeup Packing List!  Foundation with SPF30 – loose face powder – under eye concealor – skin illuminator – 2 blushes (1 pink and 1 plum) – plum lipliner – 2 lipsticks to coordinate (1 pinkish nude, 1 vibrant plum ) – shimmer lip gloss – 1 waterproof black mascara – 2 eyeliners (black and grey) – 4 eye shadows (1 white base, 1 dark blue, 1 grey and 1 taupe shimmer) –eyebrow filler – essential brushes (powder brush, blush brush, shimmer brush, eyeshadow brushes, eyebrow brush, and eyeliner brush)


Shoes: You are going to walk A LOT.  At least 2 pairs of comfortable sneakers (sturdy and lightweight), 1 pair of flip-flops/sandals, and 1 pair of casual dress shoes.  The biggest advice I can offer, and you will read on every site pertaining to travel, is to pack shoes you have already worn or had the chance to break in BEFORE your trip.  There really is nothing more upsetting than your feet hurting in any way a band-aid can’t help.  For your children: sneakers, flip-flops, or Crocs, are great for switching out daily for comfort.

Clothes: Think seasonally and sensibly; what is essential and comfortable. Don’t pack frivolous items you know you or your family members won’t wear.

  • Any items you can create interchangeable layered outfits is perfect anywhere you travel.  Just remember to keep your eye on the weather apps/channels, and realize that bringing a mix of clothes might be ideal if you see fluctuations in weather.
  • Wear your heaviest items, like jeans, jacket and sneakers/boots on the plane.  This way you have room in your bag and not lugging more weight around.
  • And, pack one day more in your carry-on in case of issues with baggage.

This is a general clothing list mixed for men and women:  -tops  (tanks, blouses, collared shirts and tees)     – bottoms (shorts, skirts, jeans, leggings and khakis)   -Summer dresses (which is ideal layering clothing!)   -sweaters/hoodies  -lightweight jacket  -swimwear and coverups   -underwear  – undershirts -socks  -bras

The kids list mimics above, as they should also have interchangeable/alterable outfits that cover beyond your stay, in case of spills or rips.

→   Accessories/Jewelry (this is another mixed list.  carry-on or wear your important jewelry/accessories)

– 2 watches  -coordinating earrings, bracelets and necklaces   – 2 wide belts and 1 slim belt (for jeans or skirt)   -lightweight scarves    – 1 cross body bag or small backpack (I love the cross body for its porting capability and to take with me on all rides without issue.)  – Hair bands/ accessories like bobby pins, clips, etc.  – hats/visors

For the children: -hairbands, belts, clips and hair pins

→   Extras!

– Wall chargers for mobile devices – Flat iron/curling iron; most resorts have blow dryers, so leave those home!   – safety pins and mini sewing kit    -mini travel sized Febreze (cause I hate the smell of anywhere that isn’t my house)  -mini travel sized wrinkle releaser (in case you don’t want to iron.  I..LOVE to iron -little fact about me.)   -travel packs of Shout wipes or Tide pens, and laundry detergent (for spot clean ups or full on washing in your bathroom sink) -items to dazzle your kids (face shimmer, crowns, pirate patches, any swag they need to feel special)

Extras For the Parks!:
– autograph books with markers    – Minnie/Mickey mouse ears!  – GUM GUM GUM! If you chew gum like I do, then you will have to buy a couple of packs as Disney doesn’t sell any   –  rain ponchos  – Light up accessories/glow sticks for nighttime!! My kids love them, so we are bringing the ones we bought at Disney last trip, and some new ones!

→  Flight Carry-on Items

For the adults: – IDs, credit cards, cash and other wallet/purse items  -personal devices/Cameras/video with extra batteries/chargers   -headphones – flight/hotel/reservation information at the ready  – the new magicbands   – those emergency medications- i.e., inhalers or epipens   – pocketsized tissues   -a sweater  -sketchbook with pencils  -a book/magazine and anything else entertaining  – a snack

For the children: -headphones  – coloring books – crayons/markers -a few snacks – stuffed animals – handheld electronics   and anything else entertaining

And lastly… DON’T FORGET!

  • an address list of family members, friends and classmates you will be writing postcards to! (with stamps!)
  • to label your luggage with return address tags!
  • to fasten (tightly) a bright ribbon or identifier on your checked bags. You can spot them quicker when you are at the pick up carousels.   A lot of people have similar luggage!
  • TO HAVE FUN!  Packing your bag should be just as much fun as going away (Yes, I am exaggerating, but enjoy every detail of your trip, and relax!). 

Happy Packing!


Posted in Random Stuff

We are the Proud Owners of a New Kitchen and New Bathroom!

Here is the REAL kitchen and bathroom update!  That previous post, well, let’s just say that my trigger finger got the best of me.  🙂

Yes, everyone! The day has finally come for me to share the finished kitchen and bathroom! It has been a long and crazy few months, but we made it in tact and came out on the other side a million times happier. If that is even possible!

I definitely do not want to bog you down with any more about the downside of living through construction, but I want to go right i to sharing our new spaces! With a little before and after recap.

I am so happy, as you might imagine, to be back in my home cooking and spaced out like a normal family again. Missing out on cooking had been my biggest sadness through it all, and I literally kissed my new stove when I was able to clean it. Heh yep, imma big nut.

We are still not at 100% on this project..the heater needs to be installed in the kitchen, the stainless chute for the vent has to be made and installed, the glass windows have to be put into the dining room cabinets, and I am still under a lot of mess from unpacking and cleaning.  So these are the best photos I could take today while a mess. (sorry!)

Ok, so let us go down memory lane.  Here are some memories of the former glorious kitchen (that is some sarcasm)…

BEFORE (this is now where my dishwasher is!)

THE BEFORE- this is where my new fridge is!

THE BEFORE- This is now where my new oven is!

This door has moved, and this is now a bank of cabinets.

Remember this table?  IT IS ALL GONE!
Remember this built in table?!
THE BEFORE- this wall is so gone, and the memories will soon fade.. heh


THE BEFORE- This is the old dining room closet..which is now a huilt in china cabinet! Finally a grownup!
This is the old dining room closet..
Our last view of our old wall..
Our last view of our old we bid farewell.
THE BEFORE! -who puts a switch in the middle of a wall?  The previous owners, that is who.  haha
Who puts a switch in the middle of a wall? The previous owners, that is who. haha
THE BEFORE!- The coined Sunoco Bathroom is gone!
THE BATHROOM BEFORE!- The coined Sunoco Bathroom!
THE BEFORE- What an ugly bathroom!
What an ugly bathroom!

We made a lot of memories in that space.  They were all the best a family could make, but the space was just so unsighlty and not functional for a family like mine.  Which is why we did all this work.  From October to now we gutted everything to the studs, rebuilding it all and switching around the space.  A lot of work went into these spaces that you can’t visually even see…which is the fun part of home renovations when your house is over 100 yrs old.

Now here is the new Kitchen…

You ready?

THE KITCHEN AFTER-  I am standing exactly where the photo above shows the wall with the door opening in the old dining room.  Amazing right? Ok except the old table!  Don't look at that!
THE KITCHEN AFTER- I am standing exactly where the photo above shows the wall with the door opening in the old dining room. Amazing right? Ok except the old table! Don’t look at that!
The new double sink below the new larger windows!
The new double sink below the new larger windows! The white cabinets and darker granite top make a huge impact in the space now.
I really love these!
I really love these!
The corner cabinets.
The corner cabinets.
Which are next to this new beast.  Also, notice there is a new doorway to the TV room?
Which are next to this new beast. Also, notice there is a new doorway to the TV room?
The other side of the corner cabinets is my new BFF.  We are so happy together.
The other side of the corner cabinets is my new BFF. We are so happy together.
The handles up close.
The handles up close.
A view of the blue pearl royale granite with the carrera marble subway tiles.  They look like an opalescent shell.  So pretty in person.
A view of the blue pearl royale granite with the Carrera marble subway tiles. They look like an opalescent shell. So pretty in person.
Another shot.
Another shot.
The old skylights revamped, but the biggest excitement are the new lights and AC unit!
The old skylights revamped, but the biggest excitement are the new lights and AC unit!
The new sliding door to the back tv room.
The new sliding door to the back tv room.

The dining area..

Light quartz top with darker cabinets
Look!  It's a switch in the right place.. YAY!
Look! It’s a switch in the right place.. YAY!
We went with a gray washed cherry cabinet here.  To break up the space and to define it as a dining china cabinet.
We went with a gray washed cherry cabinet here. To break up the space and to define it as a dining china cabinet.
The shiny cabinet pulls that make me so happy!
The shiny cabinet pulls that make me so happy!
And, I am finally a grown up. I have a china cabinet!
And, I am finally a grown up. I have a china cabinet!

The new bathroom!

The shower, without the glass doors.
The shower, without the glass doors.
Now, am I the only girl who goes gaga for outlets? Cause these are awesome.
Now, am I the only girl who goes gaga for outlets? Cause these are awesome.
The new bathroom faucet.
The new bathroom faucet.
My baby!  Turquoise bathroom vanity!
My baby! Turquoise bathroom vanity!
The shiny new cabinet pulls..ahh so shiny!
The shiny new cabinet pulls..ahh so shiny!
The floor of the shower in that swank rhombus marble tile!
The floor of the shower in that swank rhombus marble tile!
Ohhhh, and the new flooring in the bathroom! A real fun porcelain tile that sort of looks like the one in our master bathroom. Love this!
And.. the door of the new bathroom.  Can't see it from the kitchen anymore!  yes!
And.. the door of the new bathroom. Can’t see it from the kitchen anymore! yes!
Posted in Party Time!

Kids Wrapping Ideas II

Here are more gift wrapping ideas for the little ones in your life.

You might remember back in February 2013, I had blogged a post talking about one of my ultimate obsessions.. gift wrapping. I love wrapping gifts!

You can be a super talented crafty person, or completely talentless, just putting effort into making a present special is truly thoughtful and easy.  How you wrap is a perfect way to make the gift recipient feel special. AND, it’s a fun activity for you and your child to do together.

Here are more fun ideas to do on your own or with your children!  Just have fun and use that creativity!

For the kindergartener!
My six-year-old helped me with this wrap for her friend.  I think it came out pretty darn cute! This photo is washed out for some reason, not sure why, but it is a baby blue paper with giant blobbed purple dots all around. We wrapped it then placed an extra band across with a purple blob at its center to stick his name across in puffy stick on letters; my daughter’s fav part! This also provided a pocket to slide the card underneath. Then placed curled green and purple ribbon length wise, keeping it as masculine as possible..for a 6yr old boy.

Young boy wrapping paper
This gift was a roborapter-a robot dino – and my daughter thought this paper looked like dino skin- which means she wanted to use it.

For the baby girl!
Here I mixed media a little. The polka-dotted wrapping paper is simple and colorful, then I added on the cupcake wrap around the center which had a lot of color and a texture. The cupcake paper that is layered on top has a harlequin diamond texture imprinted on it. It is a heavy weighted paper that I scored at Marshall’s for like $2.99 a roll this Summer..and it has wrapped a ton of presents! What you see here was the last piece left, and wanted to use it as it would hold its shape and the boxes.  Then on top I fashioned my own bow.  The bow was too easy. Strips of paper curled into a bun. Then topped with a cupcake cut out!

Running a sash of paper around the gifts like this is a great way to keep the boxes in place and add some texture/color.
Bow up close.
After I took these photos, I wrote the recipients name on the bottom of the cupcake as I noticed the wording said Happy Birthday to…

For the sweet 8 yr old.
This gift is just so pretty in person, the photograph’s doing it zero justice.  It’s a shiny turquoise paper that has iridescent leopard spots. I want to say I also scored this at Marshall’s for under $3.  I have used this wrap a few times so far and can probably get another gift wrapped out of it.

To soften the paper, to make it more age appropriate, I used a soft pink tulle for the ribbon. The tulle was tied on top, in a big knot, and the remainder was cut into a fluffy pompom bow. Around it I had looped some of the extra paper to make the centerpiece more voluminous, then adorned it with a sequins ballet slipper ornament.  The ornament was a big score at Pier1 after the holidays! Got it for I think a buck!   This bright wrap is perfect for a girls birthday present (or for any girl or woman! Believe me, glitter is always a big hit!!).

The photograph shows the spots real strong in a rainbow pattern, but in person it is more opalescent.


It’s shiny and girly. Just what an 8-year-old likes!
Posted in Random Stuff

My 2013 Music List

2013 gave us some great music!

All the anticipated new albums from the bands we love came out, and some new faces came onto the scene, as well; whom have forever changed my music landscape-and hopefully keep doing so. I thought it would be a fun post to share the music that brought me joy throughout this year; a little run down or list per se of my music.  You know how much I love lists…and music.

These are not in any particular order, because I was just too lazy for that this morning.  😛

The Arcade Fire turned me inside out with their new album, and that.. is a good thing.  Though this was a Fall release, it was super relevant to the music scene..and to me.   This was in my top three albums that I anticipated the most.  The Arcade Fire is one of my favorite bands of all time, and for good reason.  They aren’t boring!  Reflekktor is definitely an example of that..they mixed up their sound with some dance, and it turned out beautiful.

Lorde quickly became the world’s (and, of course, MY) biggest obsession of 2013..what a talent! Pure Heroine might be, and this is no stretch, my favorite album of the year. Every single song is perfect Lorde. She was so young recording this album, and when you think of that with her sound and lyric writing ability, it’ll blow you away. Very complex girl.

Mumford and Sons‘ album, Babel, is just everything that is right about them. Such an amazing extension of their work, and one of the top three albums I couldn’t wait to have streaming in my ears. And one of the top three albums as I think of it of the year. From start to finish it is fantastic.

Vampire Weekend. Well, if you know me, you know my obsession with VW is humongous, and Ezra Koening, well, I love him. So, I don’t need to say more. EXCEPT! I was anticipating this album beyond words. The new album was a dingy, morbid breakdown of all that they are great at doing. Making me think. Hannah Hunt, which I am posting, is probably my absolute favorite song off the album. It is absolutely great…

Lady Gaga is fantastic, isn’t she? If ever Rupaul and Madonna (when she was hot and young) ever had a baby, they’d have the only other human being I could think of more awesome than Lady Gaga.  She is brilliant.  Did you catch her on The Muppets?  If you haven’t, you gotta!  She is weird in all the best ways, and her latest album is pop at it’s best.  Applause is sung by me almost daily, and as you might have guessed, she does it way better.

Franz Ferdinand‘s album was highly anticipated by yours truly.. they are so fun! And my oh my, how I missed them!

JT can do no wrong, and his 20/20 album this year was a lot of fun. Though the bes tsong was the hit single here. Also, when is SNL just going to hire him on fulltime? Jeesh!

This band is quirky and sweet; immediately they bring on a smile to my’s Grouplove.  I fell in love with their sound with their last album, that candy rock sound I like!, and their latest kept that fun going.  Perfect song to just forget yer bluez.

Another artist new to me this year, Passenger, who sounds an awful lot like Tracy Chapman, was a particular favorite on my shuffle in 2013~! Yes, cause it’s a tear jerker. 🙂

And I think I will end my 2013 music list with 9 songs.  I am missing some, but off the top of my head, without a drop of coffee..9 is pretty good!

Now I need coffee.

Have an amazing day, everyone!

Posted in Random Stuff

Saying Goodbye to 2013!

✯✫✩☆ Happy New Year! ☆✩✫✯

Feels like 2013 flew, doesn’t it? We celebrated anniversaries, birthdays, births, the passing of loved ones, graduations, sacraments, holidays, first days of schools, family trips, renovations, long distance friends, and even the mundane!  I am sad to see 2013 go, but I am so looking forward to a new year, with a fresh feel of starting anew.

To share all the fun of this year, I am photo-recapping 2013.


Our first trip to the Cape in April!  TOO CHILLY for this bird! lol
Our first April vacation trip to the Cape! TOO CHILLY for this bird! lol
The girls' recital!
The girls’ recital!
My oldest's first school concert!  So sweet!
My oldest’s first school concert. So super sweet.
My new nephew! I'm a proud Zia!  What a sweet boy!
My new nephew! I’m a proud Zia! What a sweet boy!
The girls and I waiting for our Tisbury Twix ice cream!  :)  Best ice cream!
Being tan for the first time in years!
All the best beach days!
All the best beach days!
The girls together dressed in their outfits for their Birthday Bash!
The girls together dressed in their outfits for their Birthday Bash!
An addition to our family we never realized would happen.
An addition to our family we never realized would happen.

Saying goodbye to our old kitchen!

Saying Goodbye to our kitchen! And ugly bathroom!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Being at a lifetime of a game of the World Series!



20131213-145018.jpg20131213-145147.jpg 20131213-144240.jpg 20131213-141927.jpg our grand fortOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA20131213-141428.jpg20131213-141836.jpg20140101-093920.jpg20131231-112138.jpg20131231-111856.jpg20140101-093933.jpg20131231-085445.jpg


20131213-141202.jpg20131213-141344.jpg 20131213-141650.jpg 20131213-142127.jpg 20131213-143001.jpgOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA20131213-143527.jpg20131213-143641.jpg20131213-143703.jpgI'm the luckiest Mom, this was Mother's Day.20131213-143349.jpg20131213-143325.jpg20131213-144634.jpg20131213-144410.jpgHanging out before The Airborne Toxic Event show20131213-144816.jpgP1060617P1060627P1060616The girls with their cousins!My youngest enamored. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All the misspelled coffees from Starbucks!

All the misspelled coffees!20140101-100103.jpg20131213-143600.jpg20140101-100058.jpg20140101-100109.jpg

Just the best memories…

20131213-141024.jpg20131213-141221.jpg20131213-141125.jpg20131213-141244.jpgICE CREAM!20131213-141500.jpg20131213-141739.jpg20131213-141707.jpg20131213-142000.jpgOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA20131213-142354.jpgP1060516P106048220131213-142023.jpgP106052520131213-142525.jpg20131213-142218.jpg20131213-142934.jpgbest friends20131213-143051.jpg20131213-143122.jpg20131213-143205.jpg20131213-143714.jpg20131213-143729.jpg20131213-143740.jpg20131213-144027.jpg20131213-144113.jpg20131215-005013.jpg20131215-005025.jpg20131216-152342.jpg20131216-152352.jpg20131216-152358.jpg20131215-005032.jpgP1060614P1060621P1060622P106062620131230-210305.jpg20131230-210315.jpg20131230-210322.jpgP106027520131231-085314.jpg20131231-085326.jpg20131231-085353.jpg20131231-085414.jpg20131231-085428.jpg20131231-085506.jpgOur Annual Easter Egg Hunt!  Ready to hunt some eggsEveryone rubbing the baby belly20131231-085541.jpg

20131231-111443.jpg20131231-111507.jpg20131231-111529.jpg20131231-111555.jpg20131231-111628.jpg20131231-111654.jpg20131231-111724.jpg20131231-111832.jpg20131231-112119.jpg20131231-112152.jpgWaiting on Nick OffermanMaking my Sister's Boy themed Diaper Cake with our Mom. :)Making my Sister a Diaper Wreath  :))))20140101-093644.jpg20140101-093652.jpg20140101-093705.jpg20140101-093805.jpg20140101-094114.jpg20140101-094228.jpg20140101-094317.jpg20140101-094358.jpg20140101-094506.jpg20140101-100041.jpg20140101-100046.jpg20140101-100052.jpg20140101-100114.jpg

I still cannot believe we are standing at the edge of a new year!  2014.

So much to look forward to!  So much to plan! And hopefully a stellar year! (14 is my lucky number afterall!)