Happy Halloween

This past month we had Halloween on our minds.. the boys thought up of new way to decorate the house..

M cut the spider webs on the windows out of garbage bags..

The spooky hands were created using latex gloves and a sharpie 

and upcycled milk jugs.. these the boys really enjoyed making.. picking out scary faces and helping with the coloring as well

We also hosted a little Halloween party at home with our friends.. photo dump below :)

Happy Halloween!!

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Friday Photography

Watering Tree - In the calm waters of Aruba's Baby Beach grows a bundle of branches, dark and eerie against the soft yellow and blue evening sky.

You can buy this print here. Get Free Shipping with code BLOGGER

Prints also available in larger sizes. Contact for more information and special requests.

I am open to wholesale and licensing opportunities. Get in touch for more information.  

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D and His New Desk

With D on his way to 3rd grade we decided he needed a desk in his bedroom. Before summer break we asked him if he wanted to go out and buy one or he wanted to find an old desk in need of some love and fix it up. To our surprise he said he wanted to find a desk and give it some love.. :) I really thought he'd want to go with the easy way but his decision made my heart so happy.

This was going to be a summer project.. I made sure he understood just how time consuming the project would be.. His current desk was the little plastic Ikea desk.

So I spent the next few weeks finding the perfect desk.. and we found one. $15 and it came with a matching chair

 Disclaimer - This is in no way a how to guide.. it's just the way we did it. 

We started by taking out drawers, the drawer pulls removed.. the chair seat taken off. And then we cleaned everything with Lysol wipes.. 

Next we sanded everything.. I had bought an electric sander when we were working on our Formal Dining Room and it is one of my favorite tool purchases. I sanded everything for D and then we wiped it all down.

We then lay down a tarp in the garage to create a work space for ourselves. Since I was working with an 8 year old.. the project was broken down into many parts that we did over many many days.. didn't want to wear the child down.

Then he started to paint.. we had seen many pics on pinterest and we tried to pick something that was not too hard and something he could have for a long time but still be fun. Our first coat was white paint with built in primer.. We started with a small roller but it was creating a texture that I didn't like so we decided we would switch to a brush on the next coat.

The desk got three coats of white paint..we lightly sanded the desk between coats. The drawers got one coat of white primer and then two coats of another color..

We took off the legs and color blocked them white and gold.. the knobs where also painted gold. 

And then we went fabric shopping.. before he picked the colors that would go on the desk I wanted him to buy new fabric for the seat.. and it was while fabric shopping that I realized just how hard it is to shop for boys.. girls have it easier in this particular area.. they can go floral.. pastels.. or dark colors.. there is no pattern off limit for girls because we can do and be anything.. but unfortunately the same doesn't always apply so easily to boys. He could have gone pink if he wanted to.. he has a light purple room.. but he struggled with the choice.. now older they have already started to label things as too girly.. in the end we narrowed it down to two choices. We also bought some foam to make the seat a little comfier. 

and then we picked our paint colors accordingly.. it was a fun process to share with him.. though there were times when I thought he thought man this is soooo much work.. I don't think he had expected this many steps or coats of paint. 

But the finished desk was worth it.. he was so proud of his accomplishment.. as he rightfully should be.. proud mama moment.. 

I applied two coats of Minnawax sealer. We bought some red gift wrap to line the drawers and  bought a blue desk lamp.. 

H already wants to do one for his room too.. all in good time.. here's a glimpse of D's room
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10 Email Marketing DO's an DONT's with Campaign Monitor

This post was sponsored by Anagram Interactive

Everyone says the best way to market your business is to have a mailing list.. I have heard it over and over again.. it is always listed at the top way to get more readers, viewers and buyers. And so I gave it a shot.. every month I sent out a newsletter.. I stared at the analytics.. excited by every subscriber.. but in all honesty not many subscribed.. those who did often didn't even open the email.. It didn't seem to be resulting in any extra readers or sales.. and so I stopped sending them out.

When I saw this list of Do's and Dont's at Campaign Monitor some really surprised me and so I thought I'd share.

10 Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts - Infographic by Campaign Monitor

Some of these I had never even thought of.. especially number 4, to create different newsletters for different reader groups based on their preferences is such a great idea.. Number 8 on the other hand is such an obvious tip I'm sure most people including myself just never think about.. time zones!! 

Campaign Monitor is such a wonderful resource for everything you need to get your digital marketing on point.
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Exploring Vancouver

I know it seems like this has been an endlessly long series of vacation posts.. this is the last post.. our last stop on an unforgettable trip, Vancouver. This blog is like a journal.. as much as the posts are for you.. they are even more for us.. A way to look back and reminisce on the moments of our life.. especially the travelling parts.. when the details start to get blurry, where I hope the boys can one day scroll through and be reminded of all our adventures.

We drove to Vancouver from Seattle.. an approximately 3 hour drive immigration included. We checked into our hotel.. which was like a modern take on a motel.. had a cool vibe and included free parking.. 

After a quick freshening up we got back into our car and headed to Stanley Park. Stanley Park is a 1000 acre public park created in 1888. We arrived close to lunch time and quickly made our way to Stanley's Park and Grill.. the entrance to the park is free.. you need to pay for parking.. and once you pay at one station all parking for the rest of the day is free.. and yes the park is soooo big that you need the car. No food pictures :( but the food at the grill was very good.. that was our last amazing meal of the trip.. the rest of our Vancouver meals were seriously lacking.. it could have been because it was the tail end of the trip and we didn't make a great enough effort to find the best places.. oh well.

After we ate we sat on a miniature train.. it was 15 minute ride through the forest that was informative and cute.

The park was crazy busy and the parking was insane.. we had to loop around twice before we could find a spot near the splash pad.. the boys loved it!

From there we walked to the Totem Poles. 

We were intrigued by the stories each told.. the boys made us read every plaque and every story behind all the 9 totem poles. We visited the Brockton Point Lighthouse and walked along the sea wall and watched sea planes take off and land. Stumbled upon a playground or two and the kids played..

The Lions Gate Bridge behind me. We called it a night.. had an average meal and went back to the hotel. The next morning we had a quick breakfast at Elysian Coffee.. 

It was not bad just a not really us. : / and the kids ate nothing! Afterwards we headed to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. We didn't get there as early as I had hoped.. we had lost our edge.. lol. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a simple suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River in the District of North Vancouver. The current bridge is 460 ft long and 230 ft above the river. 

It was such a cool place.. if only there were less tourists!!! We started with the cliff walk.. then took the suspension bridge to the other side were there was a Treetop Adventure. Treetops Adventures was opened in 2004, consisting of seven footbridges suspended between old-growth Douglas Fir trees on the west side of the canyon, forming a walkway up to 98 ft above the forest floor.

The boys received a little booklet to fill out so they could be Junior Explorers. We ran all over the place figuring out the answers to the questions.. 

Spread your arms at the wingspan display, which bird would you be? 

Stand against the growth chart and record how long it would take each species to grow as tall as you!

Badges received :D

Next we headed Granville Island. 

 We strolled.. window shopped.. ate.. nothing great

This particular contraption captured the boys attention.. especially D.. we couldn't pry them away from it.. it is called the Ocean Commotion made in 2006. It was designed to amuse and delight the audience while also providing an educational entry point for those interested in the functioning of the Ocean Construction Supplies concrete plant in which it is located.

and so it ends.. our amazing trip to the Pacific Northwest.. 
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