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brown paper packages: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

{giveaway} pocket full of posies

Making dinner is one of my least favorite things to do.  I like to cook, and I like my family to have healthy meals, but it can be often is one of the most stressful parts of the day.  I'm usually trying to make dinner amidst homework, piano practice, and toddlers that are tired and grumpy.  Sometimes I'm a little tired and grumpy, too.  ☺ Anything that can help relieve the craziness of planning, shopping, and preparing dinner is high on my list of things to try.

Pocket Full of Posies presents a solution for all of it!
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Saturday, April 28, 2012

{oh, what do you do in the summertime?}

I just love summertime.  We have so many things that we love to do as a a family during the summer months, and we look forward to campfires in the backyard, BBQs, baseball games, trips to the beach, camping, staying up late, and spending time with friends and family.  It also means no school, and adjusting to a different routine and schedule, plus keeping kids entertained and busy.

I'm always looking for fun summer ideas...everything from activities for kids, summer holiday decor, organization, to yummy recipes and more.  I'm super excited to announce a summer series here on Brown Paper Packages, titled what else but "Oh, what do you do in the summertime?".  Some of the best bloggers around are stopping by to share their summertime ideas, projects, recipes, and printables, and will be here each Friday of the summer.

It all begins this coming Friday, May 4th!!

Brown Paper Packages

We'll see you there!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

{sketch pen tutorial} birthday girl card

I've had a Silhouette for awhile now, and up until a week ago, had never used sketch pens.  I don't know why, because now after I've worked with them a few times, I absolutely LOVE them! I wish I would have tried them a long time ago.  They are super easy to use, and you can create darling cards in no time flat.  

I really like giving cute cards, but I don't always have a lot of time to put something together.  This is the perfect solution--you can personalize blank cards in literally less than 5 minutes--I'm not kidding! So fast, so easy, and so darling! Silhouette has 3 different sets of pens--a glitter set, metallic set, and a starter set that includes 8 basic colors. 

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

{wood pallet bed}

In all our married life, we've never had a bed.  Okay, so we've always had a bed, just not a headboard or foot board.  There's just always been so many other places for money to go, and the bedroom always came last. For many years we couldn't even make one, because we were living in apartments/townhomes while we were in school and then while were building our house, and didn't have room for tools.  When we finally moved into our house, and had all the tools we needed, there were always a million other projects, and the bed kept going lower on the list.  When I found some wood pallets a couple months ago, I knew it was finally time!


{I actually forgot to take a before picture, so this is one that was taken awhile ago...)


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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

{silhouette promo + CAMEO GIVEAWAY!!!}


Good morning, everyone!  I have a HUGE surprise for you today!

That's very lucky Brown Paper Packages reader is going to win a Silhouette Cameo!  

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Monday, April 23, 2012

{giveaway} a slip shop


I am SO excited about the giveaway today!  A Slip Shop is an Etsy shop featuring slips that are designed to be seen, and are the perfect accessory for any skirt or dress.  I purchased these slips for the first time a couple of months ago, and I LOVE them.  Like, really love.  I initially bought them to lengthen a couple of dresses I have that are just too short for me to wear comfortably--especially chasing little kids around.  They not only lengthened my dresses, but added a whole layer of cute.  :)  They also work with those dresses and skirts where the length isn't an issue, but you just want to add a little flair to.  I get so many compliments whenever I wear them--I'm so happy I found them!

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Friday, April 20, 2012

{cinnamon chip cookies}

Cookies are always a huge hit at our house, and I love to take one of my favorite basic dough recipes, and do something a little different with it.  The other day I sent one of my kids to the storage room to grab white chocolate chips, and he came back empty-handed.  I almost always have them on hand, so it took me by surprise at first, and then I decided to alter my plans and try something new.  I'm so glad I did--these cinnamon chip cookies are delightful! We added a new favorite to our cookie list!

{Cinnamon Chip Cookies}

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

{photography with lei} adding depth to your portraits

Hey guys!  I've got a quick sun flare photo to share with you from my post 2 weeks ago.  

Thanks for sharing, Jessica! I think the flare could be even more prominent in this photo - so maybe this would be a great photo to work with on today's post. :)  Cute kid, by the way!

Today's post in our series of how-do-yous is going to take your pictures to the next level, by helping you add some depth to your portraits. 
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

{easy cupcake flags & pipeable frosting}

 I {heart} cupcakes.  I love to make them and then freeze them, so I always have them on hand. Sometimes I just need a few of them, and it's so nice to be able to take what I need from the freezer instead of making a whole batch. You can keep them frozen for at least a couple of months...if they last that long!  

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Monday, April 16, 2012

{10 fabulous planter ideas}

Here in Michigan, spring is on it's way!  When I was out shopping this weekend, all the potted flowers were calling my name. I haven't been able to stop thinking about which ones I want to plant this year, and what kind of planter I want to make to present them in.

There is a lot of inspiration out there, and I've found some my of favorites to share with you.  You will just love the creativity--so many clever and darling ideas! Most of these are for planting flowers, but I found a couple really fun ideas for gardens that I added those too.

Positively Splendid

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Friday, April 13, 2012

{welcome to town: a survival guide}

I'll never forget the day we moved into town.  My husband had just finished graduate school, and this was the first place we were going to live that was "for real"...not for school, but for an actual job.  It's not a big town, in fact, it's on the smaller side, but that didn't stop me from feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to figure everything out, from stores and parks to libraries, dentists, doctors and more.  We had just made a huge move across the country for school a couple of years before, and had finally felt settled when it was time to move again. Starting from scratch is hard, no matter why or where you're moving!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

{2012 summer schedule}

I don't know how it got to be the 11th of April already, but it's here, and summer is going to be here before you know it.  I've already had quite a few requests for my summer schedule from last year, so I thought this would be a good time to update it for 2012.

I love having a summer calendar in addition to my regular calendar.  About this time of year, I start adding things to our schedule--vacation dates, Scout camp, and classes we've signed up for as a family or individuals.  Then as more information becomes available, I have a place to keep track of all the community's summer activities--library programs, gardening days, outdoor concerts, park days, and more.  So instead of a stack of flyers and programs, I have everything in one place.  It makes me happy.  :)

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

{baklava pie}

Monday, April 9, 2012

{giveaway} $300 of marimekko cotton fabric from finnstyle!


"Marimekko 100% cotton fabrics are timeless and unique designs from the world's top fabric designers. The designs are informed by an inherent tenet of Finnish design: a positive attitude toward life and the sensitivity to seeing and expressing beauty. Marimekko's fabric collection is a combination of their Continuing Collection, dating back to its inception in the 1950's, and of today's hottest young designers' bold new creations.

Marimekko fabric can be used for pillows, clothes, curtains, sheets, panels, or for whatever you may dream." 

I have been looking at all of Marimekko's cotton fabric, and there are so many amazing designs to choose from...
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Friday, April 6, 2012

{flashlight easter egg hunt}

 One of our favorite ways to hunt for eggs is in the flashlight! It's a fun way to shake things up a bit, and try something a little different.  If your kids are like mine, they love using flashlights, and being able to use them to find candy-filled eggs is just about as good as it gets. The hiding is easier too--the dark does half of the work! It's also great for older kids that may not want to do a traditional egg hunt.

So...invite some friends over, serve hot chocolate (or lemonade, if you're lucky enough to have warm weather) and indoor S'mores, and enjoy an Easter egg hunt in the dark!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

{photography with lei} capturing sun flare

So, you want to get a great shot with sun flare (or lens flare)?  Well, today's your day, because I'm going to give you some tips on just how to work with the sun to get that creative look you are after.  We'll talk about flare and we'll also talk about other ways to make sunlight work for you, instead of against you.  My very favorite photos all have a touch of sun in them. There is something about sunlight casting it's warm glow over your subject, that is so inviting to me.  
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

{technology punch cards}

We certainly love technology at our house, but sometimes it's easy to let the amount of time my kids are using it add up too fast--especially in the wintertime.  Now that spring is coming, and summer isn't too far behind, I wanted to come up with a fun way to keep those technology minutes in check, and encourage more time outside or with other fun activities. 

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Monday, April 2, 2012

{giveaway} groopdealz

I love finding a great deal, and GroopDealz is an awesome daily deal site that offers boutique products 30%-90% off the regular price. Not only will GroopDealz offer unbelievable discounts from popular nationwide companies, but they mainly feature amazing deals from Etsy shops. I love that by shopping at Groopdealz you not only get killer deals, but you get to support small businesses Many of the deals they offer are crafty and trendy- jewelry, vinyl, accessories, home decor, holiday items and so much more. These deals only run for a short period, and once the deal is gone, it's gone!

Take a look at some of the amazing deals they’ve run in the past...

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

{general conference buckets...picture version}

Each April and October, our family listens to General Conference, which is an opportunity to hear from our church's leaders.  We look forward to it, but it can be difficult with little ones to keep them as excited about sitting still for that long.

A couple of years ago, I created our General Conference Treat Buckets, and they have been a HUGE hit in our family.  My girls are 5 now, and they count down until it's time to watch, lol. In the first version, I only included the words on the front, but I've since made a pictures version, adding pictures that correlate with the text.  This makes it easier for my littlest ones to participate, and have a visual reminder of what's being spoken about.  

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