tissue paper flower tutorial

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04 May 2016

Odds are probably pretty decent that you've learned how to put these together before because they are VERY easy to make which is why ... I went a little crazy with them a few months ago. Julia was just so tickled by her suddenly craft happy mom that I couldn't stop until all of the non-ugly colors of our tissue paper inventory had been sucked dry.

There are a million different ways to go about the making of a tissue paper flower but after lots of trial and error here's my amateur method - with the help of Phoebe which is my excuse for the level of professional involved in the crystal clear steps.

First! Here's what you'll need for one flower:
8-9 pieces of tissue paper (I like layering colors but you don't have to) cut to size: 16 in x 22 in
some sort of string/yarn/floss/tie (even a stapler would work well)

I'm not going to tell you what to do but I would start by making a trial flower or two in the event that you don't make it as picture perfect as you'd initially envisioned. 


1. Line up your pieces of paper (I like the look of lighter colors in the middle but - obviously just used what we had leftover and brown it was)

2. fold paper on the 16 inch side in accordion style one inch folds -- like so.

3. make sure each fold is pressed and reinforced well. no half-hearted folding!

4. grab your scissors and cut the ends however you'd like but if you cut out pointier petals, the flower will obviously take on a whole new look. I think I like the look of smaller "hills" or "humps" if you well - I just went with two big humps but wish I gone with smaller ones (I'm rusty) - repeat on other side, obviously

look how well I lined everything up! Do not do as I do. But, if you do - it will still be okay!

5. tie or staple the exact middle of your paper. I couldn't find my go-to twine so I tied two hair elastics together - desperate times!

6. Okay, now fan out the sides a bit ...

7. And then slowly, every SO SLOWLY start pulling whichever side you want to be in the middle up and apart from the other pieces of paper - one paper at a time. Be careful!

Or else this will happen.

Which is fine. You can just tear/cut it off and no one will know.

8. Keep pulling and arranging one by one ...

and soon you should have a fairly flowery looking monstrosity on your hands.

I like to kind of carefully scrunch/crush (carefully!) the middle pieces of tissue paper so that it takes a more natural looking shape but -- you're the artist here. And - trial and error! You might like a different size (I made a few smaller ones for Phoebe to tote around and they eventually made their way to the trash in true Phoebe fashion but it was good practice!) or maybe the look of a black center with yellow paper for a sunflower? It's your life, Bon Jovi.

To hang them on a wall -

- it's surprisingly easy to just put a nail through the center and hang them that way but maybe a garland would be pretty if you decide not to go the way of a full on wall flower garden.

Anyway. Happy crafting :)

my favorite decorations

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02 May 2016

It might be one of the oldest kid clich├ęs in the book but I still LOVE when the kids pick weeds and flowers and scurry over to deliver them into my happy hands with looks of great pride and accomplishment. Even when I was battling those pesky seasonal allergies it was impossible not to turn down yet another dandelion from the driveway. And it might be silly to admit but I also really love when Simon gets me flowers. Back when we were dating long distance he surprised me for Valentine's Day by flying out to visit and showed at my door with a big bouquet of flowers and I'll just never forget how shocked and elated I was. Now, every time he brings me flowers I'm reminded of that visit and can't help but take a tiny trip down nostalgia lane until the kids snap me back into our less quiet reality.

Theo is actually quite skilled at hunting, gathering, and arranging QUITE the bouquet from the wild that is our yard.

bad joke.  this is actually the Showstopper bouquet delivered fresh from The Bouqs Company, (kind post sponsor!!) my go-to flower delivery service for several reasons.

 this is just one HALF of the Cloud Nine bouquet (and here's a similar bouquet).

The Bouqs Company doesn't scrimp on quantity or quality.

I love breaking the bouquets up and decorating the house to brighten different rooms up ...

my very favorite corner of the kitchen

the boys favorite spot to camp out of late. I don't necessarily share that sentiment but YOLO for now.

 + The Bouqs Company flowers are actually grown on the side of an active volcano in Ecuador so lots of sunshine and mineral rich soil make for the best flowers!

+ Flowers are always shipped directly from the farms to your door - no waiting in warehouses so the quality is always outstanding

+ what you see is what you get when it comes to the price - no hidden charges or upsells and delivery is ALWAYS free!

+ if you're more of a visual learner (raises hand) here's a quick video explaining why The Bouqs Company is the best and most cost effective way to send the freshest flowers to loved ones for any occasion (and Mother's Day is just around the bend!!!)

I love the Showstopper bouquet because it's so unique and features two succulents but there are loads of other bouquets that should strike your fancy too ...

It livened up the dining room quite a bit ...

even in the throes of laundry folding day which tends to be juuuuuust about every day of the week. I'm sure no one can relate ;)

If you're in the market for a Mother's Day (or other!) bouquet you're in luck because The Bouqs Company is offering 15% off your order with the code MDAY15 for the next week. So get ordering and day-making for your mom :)

Happy Monday!

Gotta get down on Friday

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29 April 2016

Linking up with Kelly once again because I just can't quit her.

1. I went through the vast majority of yesterday really and genuinely thinking it was Friday so today feels a little redundant and extra celebratory. We have family coming to visit and it's like Julia born yesterday because Simon and I told the kids about the visit weeks ago ... mistake. Until you can measure the arrival countdown in minutes ... it's best to just say nothing or risk nonstop questions and vocalized disappointment over the visit that is still a milllllllion years away. But, today's the day! Thank goodness.

2. I didn't want to type about it last week because Simon is big on jinxing things BUT the van broke down (again crying face emoji) two weeks ago and Simon totally took charge, YouTubed how to fix it, bought the part, borrowed a necessary tool from a neighbor, and fixed it! It might not be that impressive to you who are skilled at that sort of thing but color this girl impressed and grateful that we were spared a rather costly repair.

3. In the middle of the van break down and Simon having the big kids take turns turning they key in the ignition while he diagnosed the problem ... the troops were hollering for dinner and Theo wanted to be held for many minutes on end and refused to give up the dream.

So, I strapped him on my back (probably reallllly pushing the Beco carrier weight limit) which led Phoebe to garner an interest in being worn (she tolerated it at best as a baby) because that's how little minds work around here.

4. Something other than Patton prattle!! I hope you saw this floating around Facebook but it deserves all the e-accolades, standing ovations, and amens in the world. Worth the click and read. I promise.

5. I'm in a terrible, terrible book rut. I've started 1/2 a dozen books only to have them be disappointing duds. I'm months away from getting any of my holds at the library but I'm tempted to but this new release by Curtis Sittenfeld. I've read a few meh reviews though. If you'd read anything great - I'd love to hear about it!!

6. I loved this post by Bridget on easy activities for young kids + toddlers. I will definitely be copycatting. No shame, ever.

7. My favorite skincare line is having a sale right now (and they have the best return policy -- so I love trying out new things risk-free after scouring the reviews) ... if it weren't for this system I think my face would still be sadly reminiscent of my acne ridden high school and college days and this exfoliant has cleared up the vast majority of said acne scarring. You can get $10 off your first order using my link but no pressure, ever - of course!

7.5 Bless Theo's little heart because he takes thee best naps but wakes up in thee worst mood. But! We've come to an understanding in the past couple of days that if he can get up and have an apple (or banana - kitchen inventory dependent) and some time alone and away from Phoebe (lol) then he's good. Life changing for everyone, crazy at it may sound. I snapped this yesterday of our newly minted happy post-nap camper ...

 yes, this was a blog worthy development. truly.

And with that, I will leave you. I've got a pack of baby wipes calling my bathroom cleaning name. Don't tell me you don't do it TOO. Please don't.

Have a good one!


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27 April 2016

She's been saying she's, "two!!" for months now so I guess it was about time that her age caught up with Speedy Gonzales. Phoebe turned two on Saturday and from what I can gather from her arsenal of yelly one-liners ... she had a wonderful day. I've been asking what kind of cake she wanted for a few weeks and she very consistently said, "blue" and so to make that jive with the kind of cake I wanted ... I just threw some blueberries on top of a carrot cake. Best of both worlds and I don't know that I can ever have carrot cake any other way -- don't knock it till you try it.

I thought she'd be thrilled getting her own pair of flip flops (along with a bee) but I caught her shuffling out to the car this afternoon in the trusty pair of Julia's that she loves and so ... I guess I was wrong. Oops.

It's tough to adequately illustrate Phoebe's big and fearless personality with the shy disposition that rears its pretty little head in every checkout line, time after time. But! I'll try. You know that reverse psychology that you have to use on toddlers to get them to follow you in a whole variety of situations? When you tell them, "oooookay ... see you later" and slowly walk away and pray they decide to trot and catch up with the pack? It's worked with all the other kids but Phoebe just lets out a little cackle and continues to sprint off into the other direction ... calling our bluff harder than it's ever been called. However, she's the first to come to Bosco's aid whenever she hears him crying or whining ...

and sometimes gives him more to cry about but her little heart is in the right place, I think. She's very dedicated to getting the entire family to wearing flip flops at the same time and if she catches Simon in tennis shoes or work shoes she sprints off to our closet and rectifies the situation as quickly as she is able. She's been known to bring me one of my mini bottles of moscato at 11:00 in the morning and is confused when I politely and regretfully decline her generous offer.

She lives in swimsuits and if I dare to get her dressed in non-swimming attire she asks if we're going to Mass because why else would she be required to dress in regular clothing?

I never really thought about the fact that she'd be the only girl at home during the day this year but she has absolutely held her own and brings the boys to tears FAR more than they manage to make her cry.

She calls both Theo and Sebastian, "Bash" and usually in the context of, "bad Bash!!!" letting me know that she's been wronged in double world detail. 

She was all about her birthday cake until we had to go and put candles in it ...

this looks nice, I guess.

still nice. for the time being.

mmmmm wavering.

and NOPE.

Theo was happy to blow the candles out for her. And then she promptly bit his finger, in true blue Phoebe fashion.

Anyway, happy happy birthday pretty little lady. I'm sure you'll read this some day in the future! (no, I'm not but we can pretend for fun!)


"ma-a-a-a-aw-m" as you yell at me on the daily

ps Phoebe's birth story -- if you'd like to relive that odyssey :)

a blog nod to my mom

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25 April 2016

I would imagine I'm not alone but the older I get the greater my appreciation for my parents grows. And as I have kids of my own and those kids get older and the juggling act ebbs and flows I find myself in retrospective awe of how my mom handled it all. Oh, if only 16-year-old Grace could read me now because teenager Grace knew it all and was going to do everything different and how do you like me now, omniscient Grace of (many!) years past?

my mom as a teenager. I believe her nickname was, "Coolia" ... no irony or sarcasm, also featuring #NoOrdinaryCard

If I had a dollar for every time I thought, "how did Mom handle potty training/sleep training/birthday partying/dinner making/play dating" without losing her mind? I could probably afford to just buy her a nice little abode next to ours so that she could teach me in person because she made it all seem so effortless. And not only did she just handle it all but I have such vivid memories of her making our childhood feel special in lots of different ways. She was known to sneakily buy one of those Valentine's Day grams that they sold in middle and high school and signing it, "from a secret admirer" and sending me into a total googly-eyed tailspin for a few hours until I got home and found out the truth. She routinely tucked notes into our lunchboxes and always made sure our birthdays felt like great big celebrations without the help of Amazon Prime - gasp.

Bettina and baby Grace (who I think resembles newborn Julia? slightly!)

We haven't even gotten to the after school activities and homework nitty gritty stage of parenting yet but I know my admiration will only grow when those days hit us like a freight train in a few short years. She poured herself into planning our wedding while I made silly decisions about my dress and hair and she dealt with all the headaches without a whisper of a complaint.

I don't think I've completely pinned down my love language (can there be mashups of all five?) but I know I struggle with finding the right way to say anything but especially expressing sentiments such as, "thank you! you are loved and appreciated" without being long-winded (hello this entire blog) which is why I love the simplicity of Hallmark Signature Cards. Their thoughtful and meaningful messages articulate what I would imagine so many of us want to convey and communicate to our moms on Mother's Day.

I love these photos of my mom "introducing" our old dog Flannel to infant Grace via Flannel's blanket and then eventually meeting tangible Flannel when the time was right.

Both their aesthetic and message are no-fuss, to the point, but so pretty with just enough pizazz for all the deserving moms out there this upcoming Mother's Day (May 8th! mark your calendars!). The cards range from funny to sentimental so there's a card from every mom and mother figure on your figurative list.

So here's to you, Mom.

The most kind and generous firecracker I have the pleasure of knowing. If I'm even 1/2 the mom you were to us ... I'll be a pretty happy camper.

Many thanks to Hallmark Signature for sponsoring this post and happy early (early!!) Mother's Day to all the mom readers out there!


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