Amy Beth

May 29, 2015

These Days // 19

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taking: a short break from blogging, apparently. I had plans to post this week, but it just didn’t happen. And rather than feel stressed and guilty about my failure to be consistent with this hobby, I’m just going to say that instead I enjoyed…

watching: New Girl. I started at the beginning on Netflix and have made it a good way through the first season. One of these days I’m going to run out of lighthearted comedies to keep me entertained during bedtime nursing sessions.

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I went a little overboard with the rainbow patterns one day.

hearing: giggles from my girl! I’ve heard little happy grunts and coos, but this week brought some full on laughs. It happened while tossing her into the air, of course.

going: to a new (to me) babywearing mom’s group. It’s a bit (no, a lot) out of my comfort zone to go hang out with a bunch of strangers, but it was fun, I learned some new things about baby wearing, and my Charlie got to play with several other little boys his age.

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loving: how Charlie really seems to be coming into his own as a big brother these days. He gives Poppy hugs and kisses all the time, he holds her hand and brings her toys if she’s crying, and he even wanted her to sit on his lap! And she, of course, watches him with rapt attention any time he’s near. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be her hero someday.

Have a fabulous weekend, dear readers!

May 20, 2015

Spring 15

Spring! Once the weather warms up and jackets are no longer required, you can find me outside with the kids just about all day long. At least that’s the goal. Everyone seems to be in a much better mood when running though the grass and lounging on the picnic blanket.

So I thought I’d share some fun items that put me in a springy mood.

Spring 15 moodboard

  1. Tote bag – You can never have too many bags. You might as well have a bag that reminds you to treat yo’ self while you’re running around town.

  2. Washi tape – This washi tape would be a nice addition to any spring craft or scrapbook page.

  3. Child’s Swing – Kids these days. So stylish.

  4. Succulent Planters – I’ve never gotten into the whole succulent craze. But maybe I should.

  5. Quilt – One of our favorite things to do in the spring is hang out on a blanket in the backyard. This lovely quilt would make that even more fun.

  6. Hug A Hen Shirt – Chris’s cousin owns a small farm in New York (state, not city) and they are currently selling t-shirts to raise money for a new farm store and milk house. I often wish we lived close enough to enjoy their pasture raised pork and eggs, but at least we can support them from afar by purchasing these cute shirts!

  7. Mobile – This butterfly mobile is enchanting. I can’t think of a baby that wouldn’t want to gaze up at that.

  8. Mama Hen Pillow – What’s more spring like than a mama hen and her chicks? This pillow could add a really lighthearted touch to your home.

  9. Poppy painting – Our daughter’s name is Penelope, but we call her Poppy (that’s the closest big brother could get to saying her name.) Since having her I’ve been abnormally drawn to pictures of poppies. I love this sweet simple painting.

  10. Sweet Briar Notebooks – These floral notebooks would be a fun way to keep track of all your springtime thoughts.

  11. Fairy House Kit – What a ridiculously cute idea is this? My kids aren’t old enough to put this to good use, but I’m tempted to get it just for myself.

  12. Garden Tools – an gardener worth her salt is needs some high priced garden tools. (Actually, she doesn’t. But wouldn’t weeding be a bit more fun with such attractive tools?)

  13. Elephant Planter – I’m a sucker for elephants. This elephant planter is super cute.

  14. Bird Feeder – I love seeing birds in my yard, but the country cottage style makers seem to have the monopoly on most bird feeders. I thought this cheery modern feeder was a nice change of pace.

  15. Bolga Baskets – These baskets from West Elm would be a great way to add a pop of color to any room for the spring.

So who’s ready to redecorate with flowers and small animals?

May 18, 2015

Project Life – Poppy at 4 months


I’m still working on my process of taking pictures, printing, and getting them in an a album. It’s much easier to document an event or time period right after it happens, but I just don’t always get around to it. Maybe it’s the tiny people around here clamoring for my attention.

But this was one spread that I got done in a timely manner. At 4 months poppy is showing us more of her personality each day, and I wanted to be sure to capture this time before the details got fuzzy. Journaling cards include an update from her 4 month checkup and a list of things she loves right now.


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This also happens to be my favorite spread yet in terms of layout and design. I’ve been pinning a lot of project life inspiration lately and I used this spread to try out some of the techniques I’ve seen.

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One thing I see a lot of is printing a picture and cutting it to go in several pockets. I’ve noticed that this not only lets you include a nice big picture as a focal point, but it also opens up more possibilities in terms of layout. I included one of my favorite pictures from her 4 month photo shoot and split it up to fill one 4×6 and two 3×4 pockets.

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Another technique I’ve seen a lot is to print square photos on a 3×4 card. It gives it a bit of a Polaroid look, provides space for a short caption, and adds some nice white space to the layout. I used several of my favorite Instagram shots from the month to fill out the right side of the spread. I really like the way it turned out and I expect I’ll use this technique a lot more in the future.

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Thanks for letting me share my album! I’m finding this to be such a fun project. And I love that it results in something our family will enjoy years down the road.

P.S. Want to see more of the album so far? Here are some of the other pages I’ve done:

And if you’re into it, be sure to follow my project life board on Pinterest. There are lots of great examples out there of what you can do with this system.

Follow Amy’s board Project Life on Pinterest.

May 15, 2015

These Days // 18


Happy weekend! These past couple of weeks have been full of good things. Here’s what’s going on these days:

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Celebrating: my sister’s college graduation! The whole family made the trip down to Nashville for the weekend for the ceremony. We also got to see her senior art show, go to the zoo, and eat at some tasty local restaurants. It was a full but fun time!

Surviving: the first stay at a hotel with two children. I was a little apprehensive about how it was going to go but they were both troopers. We kept so busy during the days that when nighttime came around they were both more than ready to go to bed.

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Spending: lots of time outside. The weather has been ideal around here the past week or so and we’ve been soaking it up.

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Cutting: fresh flowers from our yard. We’ve got several purple things in bloom right now. So pretty! (Don’t be impressed. I didn’t plant any of it.)

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Planning: meals to use up the veggies from our first CSA box of the season. This week we got a salad mix, sweet potatoes, asparagus, strawberries, dried beans, and cornmeal. I’m excited to put it all to good use and try a few new recipes!

Have a fabulous week!

May 12, 2015

Family Photos


I have entirely too many photos to share with you today.


A few months ago our friend Mary from Honey Heart Photography came over to take some pictures.



Some members of our family were a bit cranky about it. I was a little worried during the shoot that there wouldn’t be much to work with. But it turned out that a lot of the expressions and moments that had me a little exasperated the day of the photo shoot ended up making some of my favorite pictures. They may not be “picture perfect” but they show just what our family is like at this stage.





Give Charlie a car and he’s suddenly all smiles.



Thanks, Mary, for capturing our little family!


Here are some more photo focused posts:

May 4, 2015

Preschool at home: letter activities

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Our preschool at home adventure has been going well so far. As I mentioned before, I’m trying to keep it low-key and low-pressure. Charlie spends most of his day playing, as it should be. Official “school time” only happens for maaaybe half an hour 3 or 4 times a week.

With that said, Charlie really likes doing school. And I really enjoy it too. When it comes to planning I’m finding it works best for me to plan out about 10 days worth of activities all in one sitting. This means I only plan for school about once every 3 or 4 weeks.

One of the things we’ve been focusing a lot on lately has been the letters of the alphabet. My goal right now is for Charlie to recognize and name all the upper and lowercase letters and begin to learn some of the sounds associated with them. He was already picking up on a lot of the letter names just though osmosis, so our school time is really just reinforcing and filling in the gaps. I fully intend to do another round (or two) of “letter of the day” type lessons farther down the road to go along with a greater emphasis on phonics and handwriting. Right now it’s just about recognition and exposure.

I’ve found a few resources that we’ve been using over and over. They make planning activities easy and Charlie really seems to enjoy doing them.

Letter Activities

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  • Alphabet books: To help reinforce the letter sounds, we’ve been using these alphabet books from The Measured Mom. I’ve found that they give really good examples (with clear pictures!) of words that start with each letter. I’ve been wanting to give Charlie opportunities to practice using scissors, so rather than print it out as a book as intended, I’ve been printing them all on one page to create small picture cards. I draw lines between each picture for Charlie to cut on and then we use the pictures to either glue to a collage or save for a letter sorting activity.

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  • Letter sorting: Using our pictures from the alphabet books, I would read to Charlie the word on each card (exaggerating the beginning sound) and have him decide what letter it started with. We started with letters that have very different sounds and will eventually work our way up to more challenging pairs.

  • Letter Hunt: Another printable activity from Confessions of a Homeschooler are these letter hunt pages. The funny sentences on each page reinforce the letter sounds and I think it’s good practice to be able to identify a particular letter out of a sea of other letters. Once again we use our Do-A-Dot markers to highlight the letter we are searching for.

  • Letter flashcard match: Charlie actually made up this game one day as we were looking at some Dr. Suess letter flashcards we had on hand. As I would hold up a card, he would run to the kitchen to find the matching letter from his set of alphabet magnets on the fridge. It was a fun way to add a bit of movement to an activity that’s usually pretty stationary.

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  • Letter pre-writing in playdoh: Charlie isn’t quite ready to begin handwriting practice yet, but that doesn’t mean he can’t learn about the shapes of the letters. One activity we’ve tried is pressing beans in playdoh along the outline of a letter. It’s a great little activity to develop those fine motor muscles.

So far these have made up the bulk of our school time together. I’m sure we’ll have to mix it up eventually and find some new activities to teach the letters, but I’ve been really happy with these so far. If you’re looking for more resources for preschool learning activities be sure to follow my pinterest board. I’m always finding great ideas and resources!

Follow Amy’s board Homeschool on Pinterest.

May 1, 2015

These Days // 17


Another week has flown by. Here’s what’s happening these days.

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cuddling: a puny baby. Poppy had her 4 month shots this week and has been a bit feverish and tired. I gotta admit though, I’m enjoying the extra long naps.

wearing: a new Apple Watch. I’m officially the owner of more technology than is reasonable. But first impressions are that it’s pretty fun and helpful! I plan on sharing a more thorough review after I’ve spent some time living with it.

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eating: Craisins. I let Charlie nibble on a few of these when I was throwing them on top of a salad and he’s been hooked ever since. I like them on crackers with cream cheese. He likes them in a pile on his plate. I can’t decide if this is a good snacking option or not. On the one hand it’s a serving of fruit with vitamins and fiber and antioxidents. On the other hand it has just as much sugar as a serving of cookies. Why are snacks so hard?!!

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watching: what we say. Charlie has entered a phase of picking up on all our grumpier phrases and words. This past week we’ve heard him say things like, “Darn it!” and “Gosh!” and “Never, never, never!” Thankfully our language doesn’t get much more colorful than that around here, but having a three year old pick up on all your word choices certainly makes you think a little harder about them.

making: a backyard garden space for Charlie. We took a bare spot in the lawn and made a little brick border and added a couple of old paving stones to give it some boundaries. We plan on planting sunflowers around the edges and maybe adding a couple of other small flowers. Otherwise this will be a place for Charlie to dig to his heart’s content. I’m excited to see what we can grow there this summer.

That’s all for today. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend filled with friends, flowers, and fluffy bunnies.

Coffee with Caitlin

P.S. Here are some posts from the archives that you may have missed:

  1. Making Messes – thoughts on creativity and perfection
  2. Playing with Color – some color scheme inspiration for your next project
  3. Rainbow Birthday Party – easy and simple ideas for a 1st birthday