a-day at the aquarium and a la minute

Our first destination for A-Day was to the Aquarium of the Pacific and we went on a hunt for all the animals that started with A (thanks for the idea Alyssa!). We saw azure demoiselles, anemones, amphibians, Amazon milk frog, abalones, Alaskan ronquil, an arrow crab, angelfish, and a few other ones we don’t remember. The girls had fun hunting for all the As, learning about new sea creatures, but also seeing some of our favorites again.

Our second stop was to A la Minute. My friends, or those of you who follow on instagram, probably aren’t surprise this would be part of our A-Day. Ben was surprised I didn’t do an A-Day sooner; he knows I’d find any excuse to stop here for ice cream. Since this was our last hurrah for the summer, we went all out with 3 flavors… salted caramel (the ultimate best ice cream ever!), strawberry balsamic, and cookies and cream (a limited edition one). Of course, we loved it and happily devoured every spoonful.

A-Day and a trip to the aquarium and A la Minute was the perfect way to bid our summer adieu.

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denim mini

I’ve had this vintage skirt for awhile and it was midi length, but I wasn’t wearing it much. I decided to chop off a good chunk of it, and now it feels right, so I’ve been wearing it a lot more. I wanna embroider a little something like this on it too. When the kids see me embroidering something on my denim, I bet you they’re going to want to add their own little touches on their denim too. I have four little mini mes, especially Soul, she’s my twin.

on me: cotton crew, everlane. denim skirt, vintage (vintage here, new there). espadrilles, castaner (can be found here). bag, vintage (similar here).

P.S. One of my fave vintage shops, Ms. Tips, is having a 40% back to school sale on all the kid vintage goods. I love this dress and this cute straw bag.

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diy inspired by peruvian tassels

Peruvian Tassels
inspired by gorgeous ones like these

Supplies:
Colorful skeins of yarn (this Isaac Mizrahi one had perfect fall colors)
8 1/2″ x 11″ card stock folded in half width-wise
Scissors
Plastic sewing needle

Directions:
1. To make the tassels, wrap yarn around the card stock about 50 times (for the larger tassels). Using a new strand of yarn, tie it at the top, and double knot to secure. With another new strand of yarn, wrap around tassel about 6 times (about 1″ down from the top), while pulling to make sure it is snug around. Tie a knot and bury the end inside the tassel. Trim tassel ends evenly. For the smaller tassels, I fold card stock in half again and only wrapped the yarn around about 25 times.

2. To make the braided yarn strand, cut 3- 80″ length strands of yarn (I used three different colors). Fold in half and knot the center, and continue braiding the entire length of the yarn. Using a plastic needle, insert the open end of the braided yarn though the center top of each tassel. String each tassel onto the braided yarn, knot the end of the braided yarn, pull the last tassel down to cover the knot, and trim tassel ends evenly. Spread out the rest of the tassels on the braided yarn.

I wanted add some fall color into our home decor and did so with these Peruvian inspired tassels. This skein of yarn had perfect fall colors, so I thought it would make lovely, colorful, fall tassels. I think a bunch of these hanging tassels would make a pretty backdrop for a party table; they also look fun hanging from a dowel like this.

This post is part of the Michaels Makers series. This project is the beginning of some other autumn inspired crafts. What do you plan to make this new season?

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korean bbq birthday for my mom

My mom is the queen of hospitality. It is her gift, she excels in it, and she is always serving others. You see Jesus in how she lovingly serves people… family, friends, even strangers! For her birthday this year, siblings and I planned a little feast to celebrate and serve her. We didn’t want her to do anything, so we divided up the responsibilities and costs (we are all adults now, so it’s about time everyone chipped in) to put together a small Korean BBQ style feast. We set everything up at my parents’ house before they got home from work.

To get our feast table ready, we laid pink paper on the table, and painted “Happy Birthday Mom” and “Happy Birthday Grammy” on it. I made all the side dishes ahead of time ; we plated them in cute little paper boat plates (this site helped, along with my BFF who taught me everything I needed to know to throw a legit Korean feast ). There were 2 grills in the middle of the table for all the delicious meat (I picked up all the meat at the Korean market the day before). My girlies set out cards they made and a special floral crown. They said, “Grammy needs her own crown for her birthday.”

We all hid in the family room, so when she entered, we yelled, “SURPRISE!” followed by a rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song. She was definitely surprised and elated to see everyone together. We all went to the backyard to surprise her with the feast we prepared for her. For dessert, we picked up kievsky cake from Karina’s Cake House. This was another surprise, since it’s a new cake my family had never tried before. Our go-to cake is Filipino mango cake, but I had a feeling my family would really like this one just as much, and they did. It’s so good… will someone please pick this up for my birthday?!

During dinner, we all went around the table sharing stories about how my mom has blessed us. I think what Ben shared really summed her up well. He recounted the story of  The Giving Tree, and described how my mom is that tree. She gives, and gives, and gives, and gives, and gives… and she was happy. I’m thankful that we had an evening for all of us to shower her with love, and she was definitely happy with that too.

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chicago day four

For our last day in Chicago, we wanted to learn more about architecture and focused on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. We visited his house, studio, and the Robie House. I was in love with all the intricate details that went into the creation of his home and studio. You can see slight influences from the Victorian period, but he also breaks from that mold and creates his signature prairie style. His home and studio was such a masterpiece. I’m very far from being an architecture expert, but I really enjoy learning about it, and I appreciate the art of it. I think the girls did too because they wanted some of the architecture books for kids at the gift shop.

We got in an accident on our way to the Robie House, so we missed our tour time. Someone rear ended us, and thankfully, we were all okay and our car suffered minimal damage. I was a little bummed to miss out on the Robie House tour, but we rolled with it, and made our way to the Art Institute.

We studied Van Gogh for art earlier in the school year, so the girls were super excited to see his work in person. They ooh-ed and ahh-ed at each painting. They wanted a picture with his self-portrait, and they tried their best to interpret and imitate his emotion. It was exciting for me as their mom/educator to see their eyes light up when making a connection with something we studied out of book and to see it in real life.

This is how we ended our Chicago visit, and then we all piled in the car to keep our road trip going. Next up, our Laura Ingalls Wilder road trip through 3 different states.

read more about our #bratchersixmidwestfix.

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