June 30, 2011

12 in 12: Book #6

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Parenting Isn't for Cowards
by Dr. James Dobson

{click here to buy}


For the month of June I decided to start reading one of my parenting books I've picked up. I've heard a lot of good things about Dr. James Dobson's books so I was excited to start reading this book. Most of his work and advice is geared towards the strong willed child, which I don't think Ava is at this point and she probably won't be if her current temperament is any indication. However, this book was a real encouragement to me as a parent. He has a lot of great things to say towards encouraging parents to trust their gut, and do their best in Parenthood.

I found myself accessing my childhood and comparing how my parents raised me to the words he was saying on the page. He covers a lot about siblings and the interaction between siblings. I could totally see my own siblings in his words. He covered a lot about discipline, and starting this early in children and the habits and patterns that form in children who aren't disciplined as children. It was very affirming and insightful for me as a young/new parent.

Parenting is one of those interesting life phases. Everyone does it differently. I feel like at the end of the day I trust my gut and my gut. And ask for the Lord's help everyday to be a great parent to Ava, and to be the kind parent she needs.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

{***** my rating}

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June 29, 2011

{Sponsor Love} Layla Grace & Lot 26 Studio

I'm always up for a discount and a good deal are you?!!! Just wanted to pass along some amazing discounts from some of our sponsors!






I am delighted to announce that Layla Grayce is now offering the Regina Andrew home decor collection! Regina Andrew Designs combine both modern and rustic with elegant and casual to create exquisite tabletop accents and lighting fixtures. Here are a few of my absolute favorite pieces:


I could not take my eyes off the White Ribbon Coral on Crystal Base accent piece. The perfect mix of vintage style and modern flare, this gorgeous creation is a contemporary spin on coastal decor. I also fell in love with the Baha Blue Glass Table Lamp. This seaside-inspired lamp contains bubbles throughout the glass to give it a sleek shine, making it a chic and stylish addition to any space. The Shimmering Ivory Bell Chandelier is to die for! Cascading like a waterfall from a tapered drum shade, strand upon strand of shimmering ivory discs bring a dramatic coastal look to this unique bell chandelier. The natural elements of this light fixture are the quintessential accent for any beach decor!

Check out the complete Regina Andrew collection to beautifully decorate your space this summer season!

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New wall decals especially for boys! And new ones for babies too! Check out the new stuff that Lot 26 Studio has to offer!
 



Looking to redecorate your child’s bedroom or playroom quickly and inexpensively? The new collection of wall decals from Lot 26 Studio, are a fun and creative way to easily redesign any little one’s space! You can choose from a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and themes including peel-and-stick designs, adhesive acrylic mirrors and much more. Here are some of my absolute favorites.


The perfect addition to any newborn nursery is the Blue Sweet Birds & Branch Decal. This serene and calming nature scene sets the perfect relaxing tone for a baby’s nursery. Plus, it’s so easy to put up—just peel and stick! The Mirrored Alphabet is a super simple way to decorate your child’s room while helping him or her learn at the same time! These adhesive mirror wall decals take only minutes to put up and they’re sure to make teaching the ABC’s that much more fun! Whether on the ground or in the air, the Truck and Plane Decals are too cute for words. These fun and cartoony planes and trucks are sure to brighten up any playroom, classroom, or bedroom. You can check out the complete new collection of these adorable wall decals for boys here.

Check below for more coupons from our sponsors! Happy Shopping!

Questions About Digital Scrapbooking

I got a question about the digital scrap booking stuff on a post last Friday, so I thought I'd answer that question here on the blog and maybe it'll answer some other questions anyone else has.

First off, digital scrap booking is just simply using a software program to create your pages and then importing them into books and having them printed. You're not buying paper, glue, stickers or anything you're making everything on the computer using what they call "digital kits" with images you can use to make your pages.

Everything I know about going digital I learned from Andrea on her blog, you can read her full post here. She did a really great job at explaining it, and it's helped me a lot when trying to navigate what I am doing and where to do! She makes some really awesome pages, Thanks Andrea. ;)

I would say this can be just as time consuming as regular scrap booking. I feel that it is a lot cheaper than regular scrap booking for me since I try and stick with everything that is free. There are digital kits that you can buy, and a lot you can get for free.

Other than what Andrea already talks about I'm going to talk about the free options that I use and continue to use to help make these pages.

Let's talk first about where to print them; I use Shutterfly and Snapfish. Andrea uses blurb.com I started out using Snapfish to print my books, but I have since found that Shutterfly has better books, and I like their designs better more my style. Either site is fine, just take a look around and find what options they have to offer and go with what fits you best. Shutterfly and Snapfish both offer photo books at a base rate of 20 pages for $24.99 and go up depending on how many more pages you add. I usually always wait for a sale or for coupons and then buy my books. I usually save about 30% doing this.

Let's talk about; If you do not wish to buy software like Photoshop or digital kits like Andrea talks about, I want to share with you how you can still go about making these books without buying this stuff.

Both companies I talked about above have software built into their sites where you just drag and drop photos into books and you can make an album super easy. Shutterfly has what they call "Simple Path" where you just choose the photos you want and they will design it for you automatically with a click of a button for free. Snapfish does this as well theirs is called "Custom Path" I believe. Either way one of these options is great for someone who doesn't have an eye for design, the patience, or just wants to create something nice but doesn't know where to start. Both of these companies have tons of themed and pre designed layouts to you, just choose which one you want and start adding photos either manually or via the Simple Path option. It does it all for you, and then you just buy your book.

Next, let's talk about free software to help you design pages: I use Picnik a lot. It's a free photo editing website where you can create pages and edit photos as well. The free version has limited but still very nice options for editing and page design. Or you can up grade to the $24 a year membership and have access to all the site has to offer. I used Picnik's collages to help create several pages that I just uploaded and dumped into Shutterfly and made my books, you can see them here and here. Picnik also has pre made layouts for scrap booking that you again can drag and drop your pics into and create pages. You can see a preview of some I've made here.

You'll want to make sure you choose the right sized layouts to then upload your pictures to, but both Shutterfly and Snapfish will tell you if your images are not sized right for printing. It may take a little tweaking for you till you find the right layout size.

12x12 books usually work great. And the 11x8 books too.

Staying organized: I usually do this as we go month by month. Just so that I don't get overwhelmed trying to make them and so I can remember what the dates are better and what happened. Like, I said before this is the only scrap booking I do anymore, I make 1 book for every year. I've been doing this since we got married, and now make them for Ava too.

Hopefully this has answered some questions but if anyone has anymore you can email me at andreaworley[at]live[dot]com and I'll be happy to answer anymore questions you might have.

June 27, 2011

Blog Roll Monday: Cupcakes & Cashmere


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First of all if a blog name like that doesn't make you want to read it, check your pulse! I found this blog by way of two fab ladies; her and her. At first I'm not gonna lie, I felt like this blog was a little to fashionable for me. Because if there's one thing I don't consider myself it's that I know nothing about fashion. I know what I like, I know what I gravitate towards but none of it probably screams she's fashionable.

But the more I read Emily's darling blog {yes, it truly is just that} the more I was inspired by her writing and her fashion. And as it turns out girl doesn't just write about clothing either. She also shares beauty tips, home and cooking stuff too!

Her blog is full of really pretty pictures as well, you almost don't have to read with pictures like that. ;) This girl also designed her own Coach bag, and it's awesome!

She breaks down her outfits month by month here.  Has an array of yummy recipes for you to drool over here. Her beauty how-tos can be found here. I'm a big fan of the beach waves. And she even gives us a glimpse into her little home. Check out her home tour here.   

She's also writing her first book which is set to come out early next Spring. Check out her blog today, and you'll see just why she's got a book in the works!

Tell her I sent ya, and say hello to Emily!

If you're already reading Cupcakes & Cashmere I'd love to hear what your fave part of her blog is?

Happy Monday Everyone!



June 24, 2011

Lifestyle Crafts Discount

I was so excited when the people over at Lifestyle Crafts emailed me about offering a special discount code for my readers, I was blessed to get one of their Letterpress machines a while back and I've been loving playing around with it, and trying some new things!

{click the link button to be taken to their site}

This is a great chance to scoop up some of their amazing products for yourself! I've already got my eye on some new printing plates! 

Enter code WORLEYHOUSE {case sensitive} at check out for 20% off your purchase! That's it, so easy and there's no expiration date! 

Happy Shopping and crafting! 




Getting Rid of Scrapbook Paper....... Part 2

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I created this cute little banner for one of my photo shoots that I did last weekend. This little family is having baby #2, and we needed a fun way to announce the news! You can see more of this wonderful family, here.

Now onto the banner, these things are so simple to make you just need some supplies and time. I used some bowls to trace the size of cirles I wanted, I know super technical right! I made two sizes in two different colors and then glued them on top of each other.

Then I added some sticker letters on top in my phrase; "big brother."

Punched some hols in the sides and threaded some ribbon through it. Wah la! You have a nice fun banner for your next party or photo shoot!

Happy Friday!



June 23, 2011

Getting Rid of Scrapbook Paper.......Part 1

I used to be an avid scrapbook er, you know armed with pretty paper, lots of stickers and cutting tools that kinda scraper. In the last couple years I've gone totally digital and I'm loving it and it's a fraction of the cost.

The only bad thing is I have tons of supplies and paper left over that I seriously haven't touched in two years, except for when I was determined to finish my wedding scrapbook before Ava was born but since then, nope!

The other day I was going through some of it, and decided I was going to craft and come up with some ways to get rid of the paper, stickers and everything else and make something pretty or multiple things out of it.

First project, DIY Cupcake toppers & cake toppers! My Mom gave me these pretty 3D fall stickers a while ago and they've been just sitting around waiting for me to use them.

Here's what I did:

Using my 2 inch circle punch I punched out as many discs as I thought I needed, in my case it was 8. Then I punched 8 more using my 1.5 inch scalloped circle.

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Next I laid them on top of each other and glued them into place. Then I added the stickers on top and hot glued tooth picks to that back to insert into my cupcakes.

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Done. And so fun for the holidays. These would be perfect for fall! But I think I'm going to list them in Ava's Closet instead.

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June 21, 2011

Inspiring Pins + Some Winners

Happy Tuesday! The week is already off to a good start, I have lots on my mind today and a lot that I want to accomplish this week. But, first I wanted to share with you some inspiring "Pins" I've been collecting over at Pinterest. Here's a little inspiration from some of my pin boards. I hope you feel inspired as well. I have a feeling summer will be busy as I attempt to re create some of my fave pins.

People I Love:

Source: google.com via Andrea on Pinterest

Natalie Grant, her music is a fave and so inspiring.

Fashion I Love:


I just bought these for 75% off! Love them, and a good deal.

Photography Inspiration:

Source: google.com via Andrea on Pinterest

I really wanna do a shoot in the rain sometimes. Monsoon season is coming here in AZ, any takers?

Decor I Love:
This board is crazy full of inspiration, here's just one I'm loving right now......


Loving this table for a breakfast nook area.

For my Home:
I've been collecting some images for inspiration for my own home. I'm currently working on my master bedroom here was the inspiration for it:



Parties I Love:



Orion's Manly Mustache Birthday Party:



Nurseries I Love:


Real life nursery from one of my fave photos and bloggers.

Cake I Love:
I need an excuse to make this.



Crafts I Love:
Simple book marks to make.



Cupcake Love:



Hair Love:
Going for this soon!



Food and Dessert Love:
Need to make this soon.



Sew in Love:
Need to makes this for a few little girls....



Organization Love:

Source: bhg.com via Andrea on Pinterest


Pretty Sayings & Signs:
Need to make this for our home! I just love everything about this.

Source: wanelo.com via Andrea on Pinterest


Crafty Work Spaces:
We don't have room for this now, but one day I will have a craft space all my own.



Holiday Decor Love:
Need to make this for the fall!



For the Kiddos:
I think this is a great way to teach kids about thithing, savings and giving.



And now that I've over loaded you with all kinds of pretty pictures, time to announce the winners of the Vintagely Yours giveaway:

#1 Anonymous urchiken[at]gmail[dot]com
#2 Marlana

Ladies please email me with your address info at andreaworley[at]live[dot]com, please email me within 24 hours to claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone who entered and to Amy for donating such a wonderful prize!

June 20, 2011

Blog Roll Monday: Birthday Girl Blog



It's probably no surprise to anyone that I read my fare share of party blogs! They are some of my fave to read, full of tons of inspiration, loads of photos to droll over all while getting you ready to throw your next shindig!

Birthday Girl is one of my most favorite and probably the one I've been reading the longest. I don't even know how I found  her blog, but I'm sure glad I did.


I was even featured on Birthday Girl back in March for Ava's 1st Birthday Party, such an honor to be included on her blog. Her blog features all kinds of really fun parties like this black & pink baby shower, and one of my faves to date was this shower she threw for her sister in law shower, complete with free print ables she passed along to her readers.

Jump on over to Birthday Girl, tell her I sent ya and get ready to be inspired!

PS- I'm extending the giveaway 1 more day, scroll down to enter to win 10 birthday cards {how fitting} and matching envelopes from Amy at Vintagely Yours!

Happy Monday!

June 17, 2011

{Giveaway} Vintagely Yours

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED


Happy Friday Everyone!

I'm on a plane right now headed to Minnesota to cheer this girl on as she competes for the title of Miss Minnesota 2011! Hubby is at home with Ava, my first solo trip and my first overnight trip since she's been born. I'm so looking forward to being at the pageant, it's been a while since I've gotten to be apart of anything pageant related and the Miss America Organization is near to my heart. I'm also going to get to see some of my girlfriends that I haven't seen in over a year, I CAN'T WAIT!

I'm excited today because my friend Amy who blogs over at Our Daily Obsessions and owns an Etsy Shop called Vintagely Yours is giving away two sets of her Happy Birthday cards!

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She designed these lovelies herself, they come with coordinating envelopes and are a set of ten! Two lucky winners will each walk away with a set of their very own to send a special note to their loved ones!

Here's how you can enter:
- 2 winners US Residents only please
- Contest will run from now until Monday 11:59 pm AZ time
- Leave me a comment telling me your favorite thing about Birthdays. It can be your own birthday, or someone else's birthday, just something you love about birthdays.

That's it!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I'll be back Monday with exciting details from my weekend in Minneapolis!

Happy Friday!

{photo credit: Amy}

June 16, 2011

On my heart today.......

Music it has a way of evoking emotion.

A way of reminding us of a phase of life or bringing light to what we're currently going through. It has a way of helping you cope, inspiring you and allowing you to express what you're feeling when sometimes you just don't know how.

Music has always been a big part of my life. I was a band nerd from 5th grade all the way through high school, I sang in my high school choir, and in various pageants through out the years.

My Grandmother taught me hymns. I used to sing with her all the time as a kid growing up. In church is where my love for singing and for the Lord grew. My roommates and I led worship in college together for various retreats and church events. We were a modern day Point of Grace, with some amazing memories and stories from that time in life that I treasure.

I love when you find that perfect song that captures what you're going through. Maybe it's the song you chose for your wedding day that summed up your relationship with your Husband to be. Maybe it's that quirky song that has a beat that just makes you want to dance and fills your heart with happiness. Or maybe it's that sweet song that you relate to your children.

When I first heard the song Blessings by Laura Story I was in my car. I caught the premise of the song, when I got home that night I pulled it up on itunes to listen to the whole thing. The words to this song are so powerful, and ring so true in my life.

The last two and a half years have been years of growth and learning a lot of lessons about God and myself. I feel like I've lived every last single word of this beautiful song.

It makes me weep every time I hear it. Not from sadness but more from the blessings that have followed in my life since the hardest season I faced almost three years ago. You can't see it always while you're in it. God's timing is not your timing. It has taken me so long to see those things, but I am thankful for all the lessons.

My favorite line of this song says;

What if my greatest disappointment, or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy.

What if trials of this life the rain, the storms
the hardest nights are your mercies in disguise.

What if everything that happens to us in life is an opportunity to draw us closer to our Savior. I believe it is. In everything that happens we have a choice about how we're going to respond. Will we respond in love or anger? Will we draw closer to the Lord and look for the things he may want to teach us in every trial or will we retreat into ourselves and shut out the very person who can heal and bring us through?

I can tell you that in our flesh we will act out in anger, or hurt. And we will not look to the Lord always first for those lessons and unexpected blessings he has for us. I know that because I've done all those things and probably more.

But, I also know the freedom that comes when you truly forgive and let God into those hurt parts and disappointing parts of life. He makes them even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined them to be. He truly has a plan for you and your life.

This song has become one of my favorites and sums up a season of life for me, but it also is a small reminder about where I've come from and where I'm going. I am so blessed. Blessed in ways that others might not see as blessed but I trust and have faith and love for a Savior who brought me out of my despair and replaced my anger with eternal JOY.

I hope that no matter what you're facing today that you would be encouraged by this song. Encouraged to know that no matter what season you're in your life right now that God has blessings and peace ahead for you in life.


What your blessings come through rain drops

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know He's near

His promises are true today for YOU!

Joyfully, Andrea

June 14, 2011

Free Tip of the Week: Momagenda Printables



Have you all heard about the Momagenda company? They are a great daily planner for Moms and families. They also have a great planner for students and women who aren't Moms, just in case you think you can't use one of these bad boys!

They have some great online resources as well, which is what I wanted to share with you today. I found all sorts of FREE printable worksheets you can download for yourself and your family including shopping check lists, baby sitter notes, and more!

Go here, and customize your worksheets and then just print them off and keep them at home. I'm going to put mine into a binder at home for us to have ready and handy when we need it. 

Totally free, and helpful just because they are awesome!


Click the link to be taken to their site.

Also look below for coupons and special offers from Momagenda!

June 13, 2011

Blog Roll Monday: Take Heart



Blog Roll Monday is a weekly feature, where I tell you about one of the blogs I love on my reading list and hope you fall in love with it too! For a full list of the blogs I read, click here.

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Happy Monday Everyone! The weekend went by to fast, but I am excited for this week to start because I am heading to Minneapolis on Friday! Yup, my first ever solo trip sans baby and Hubby! Orion is taking care of Ava the entire weekend while I'm gone. It's going to be my first time ever leaving Ava overnight, I don't know how I feel about it yet. I know that Hubby can do it without me, they'll be fine. I'm actually excited that he'll get to experience life with her this entire weekend. This is just the first of many Daddy/Daughter times they will have together!

Ok, ok...enough Mommy gushing for one post! ;)

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{click to be taken to her blog}

I want to introduce you to Danielle, in my humble opinion you all should be reading her blog! If you aren't already. She's the Mommy extraordinaire behind the blog Take Heart. I've been quietly stocking admiring her for the last couple weeks.

Her blog is based on the scripture John 16:33 which just so happens to be one of my faves as it reminds us that Jesus paid it all for us, he's overcome already what we're going through or will one day. Her blog is encouraging as she shares her faith, fears, accomplishments, motherhood and other tid bits from her life like her amazing kitchen re-do, her children's awesome bedroom, and did I mention she makes awesome little wreaths?

I first fell in love with her blog when she was doing her 'Love Story' series, so many great inspiring real life love stories shared by some amazing women. Miss Danielle has a pretty great love story her self.

So what keeps me coming back for more? She's sweet, she's funny {at least from what I read, she makes me laugh} she loves her babies and motherhood. And when I got up the courage to ask her if she'd be willing to donate one of her wreaths, she gladly supported the project and I am grateful!

And well, wanna know my secret for picking blogs and reading them?!? I like to read blogs of women who I could actually see myself being friends.

And well, I think she'd be a quality friend to have on your side. 

Stop by her blog today, leave her some love and tell her Andrea sent you!

June 12, 2011

{Project Baby B} Winner!

I want to say a big thank you to all the vendors who graciously donated their time, talent and items to this fundraiser! It wouldn't have been possible with out you!

Thank you also to the people who donated as well. On behalf of myself and The Brookers, thank you!

Now, time for the fun part. The winner. I might add that I let my husband draw the winners name for this fundraiser, he chose:

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Congrats Amy!

Please send me your mailing address to my email andreaworley[at]live[dot]com I will be forwarding it to all the vendors so they can ship your goodies to you! 

June 10, 2011

Friday Frills: My Deal with the Hubster



Friday Frills; is a weekly feature where I talk about all things fun, girly and fabulous. They may or may not have to do with the following: fashion, celebs, pretty things or all of the above!

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A couple days ago the Hubs and I had a convo that went a little something like this:

Hubs: I'll make a deal with you......
Me: yeah, what's that?
Hubs: You can cut your hair short, as long as you go back to blonde.
Me: Done!

I've been wanting to cut my hair short for a while now, only probably is that my Hubby prefers long hair. So last Fall I told him if he wanted me to keep my long hair he had to let me do something risky with it like cut bold bangs and dye it reddish brown.

To my surprise, he went for it and I did it!

Now that it's Summer I really am wanting to cut my hair. I love myself with shorter hair. My hair hasn't been the same since high school and now my hair is the longest it's been since I got married almost 4 years ago. I've been itching to cut it short for months now.

And secretly, I've been wanting to go lighter too. So it's a win-win for me and Hubby.

Here's some hair inspiration I've been collecting for such a time as this.

Source: google.com via Andrea on Pinterest



Source: None via Andrea on Pinterest





What about you, are you making the cut anytime soon?!? What was your most daring hair tale?

June 9, 2011

Made Me Smile

I posted this on Twitter yesterday, and I just had to post it here too in case you haven't already seen this. Wouldn't it be awesome if everyday were this inspiring. It challenges me to do just that, this video is from a little boy talking about his experience riding his bike for the first time!



Kids say the simplest things. They aren't jaded by the world yet, they are confident, honest and real. I want to be more like that everyday.

I hope it made your day too!

June 8, 2011

{Featured} Gust Post at This Is Me Thinking

Good Morning Friends! I'm excited to be guest blogging over at my friend Darrell's blog 'This Is Me Thinking.'

He's doing an NCU Alumni week series! I'm excited that I get to kick of the series with today's post on a few lessons I've learned along the way in ministry over the last six years. Stop by his blog, you can check out my post by clicking here.

Thanks Darrell for allowing me to be apart of this series.

June 7, 2011

Family Fun Day

It's a whole new world for us having Orion home with us on the weekend, one that I am enjoying so much but I'm still getting used to having him around! I've been trying to find family things for us to do these days, it's summer and I want to enjoy every moment of it. Ava is walking now, and we try to get her out of the house on the weekends since during the week she's at daycare. She's a lot more mobile now and interested in things so it makes it a lot more fun.

Tolmachoff Farms is a local place here in Phoenix, we visited them last year during the Fall for their pumpkin patch. Turns out they do a "family farm day" in the summer time full of activities. The summer heat has come early this year in Phoenix, we got there around 9 am and it was already almost 100 degrees! Yowzers! We braved it though.

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Ava found this little wooden house she could go inside of and she thought it was the greatest thing. She kept going in and out of it. So cute.

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Orion entered a watermelon contest, mostly because he was so hot and wanted the refreshment. We cheered from the side lines.

We stopped at the petting zoo to see some animals, played in the corn kernals, and walked around in the hay! Grandpa would be proud!

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Then by 11 am we all went home, Ava napped and Hubby and I worked on refinishing some night stands. Then we stopped over to bring dinner to our friends and see baby Emery.  It was a perfect Saturday! How did you spend the weekend?

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