July 3, 2015

Austin Mini Book | Quick & Easy Scrapbooking

For the first time in a long time, I went scrapbook shopping. With so many new and gorgeous products coming out - I just couldn't resist. I visited two of my favorite online stores, Elle's Studio and Paper Issues. I've been on Design Teams for both stores before, and was always impressed with Elle and Cassie, their respective owners. Customer service and shipping is second to none! I would highly recommend both stores.


Elle's Studio has monthly kits that launch on the 10th of every month. I just had to have June's kit, and I added some wood veneers and labels to my order. 

Paper Issues always has the latest and greatest and I've been waiting for October Afternoon's new Summertime line to become available. I scooped up the pieces I wanted, as well as several other items. Cassie almost always has discount codes available, check the store front page or the design team member blogs!

Now, for the mini book! It took me about an hour total, which is very fast for me. I pulled some coordinating papers together, thickers, stamps, stickers and washi tape. I also used a whole package of these awesome foodie themed wood veneer.


All the pages are around 4"x 6", the photos are about 3.5"x 3.5". I printed them at home and trimmed them up quickly. Instead of worrying about every page being just right, I tried to accept the sentiment, " done is better than perfect." You know what, I love it! This project was low stress, high reward. Now it is hanging nicely above my desk and makes me smile every time I see it. 

I like mini-books because they are perfect for small hands. Zoe has already looked through this a handful of times, and I love the comments she makes each time she looks at it.

You can see some of my other mini book posts here:

Holly & Co.

June 15, 2015

Obsession | Pineapple

Is anyone else obsessed with pineapples too?

I feel like everywhere I go I see this quirky fruit! I feel in love with pineapple back in 2000, when on a family trip to Hawaii, we stopped by the Dole Plantation, where I tasted Pineapple Whip - I was hooked.

Last year we discovered how much we like grilled pineapple. I put together just a few of my favorite pineapple things here.

Planter | Candle | Girl's Shirt | Pineapple Jam | Nails | Shirt

I've been off the scrapbooking scene for awhile now, but in an effort to get back in, I ordered my first Messy Box. Did you see what awesome screen-print was included this month? Yep, a pineapple. I have plans to use this to make an awesome shirt.

You can get your own box here

I also made a Pinterest board just for this new obsession of mine. You can take a look at all my fun pineapple finds here.

June 8, 2015

Summer is Calling

May was full of rain, but June hit, and it was hello, Summer!

I, like the rest of the internet, have been loving peonies, and have been making weekly visits to Trader Joe's to keep fresh ones on my table.

Ryan and I celebrated 8 years of marriage last week and enjoyed a delicious BBQ dinner. We were so hungry, I didn't even get to take a picture. But, I assure you it looked and tasted delicious.

Zoe turned 7 on her last day of school and we enjoyed steak ka-bobs for dinner at her request. She was itching all day to open her presents, but I made her wait until her daddy got home.

Zoe loves to learn. She has several workbooks and online programs to do during the summer to keep her mind at work. Many of her birthday presents were educational and she's spent the last week working on her "homework" as she lovingly calls it.

We started swimming lessons today. She loves the pool but she needed some more skills to be independent in the water. Hoping that the next two weeks will have her swimming in the deep end no problem.

::fingers crossed::

We are working on a summer manifesto, we have a few ideas, and working on filling a list. It's only the first week of summer vacation, but already it feels like it is flying by. With two trips planned, I just know we are going to end up back in school before we know it!

Holly & Co

May 27, 2015

Austin, TX | Staycation

We've lived here almost a year now (crazy, I know!) and we really haven't had a chance to explore much outside of where we live.

We took advantage of the long weekend and booked a mini trip Austin. We booked our hotel through Priceline. I really like their Express Deals, and we've had great success with using them over the last few years. We stayed here, and it was perfect for what we needed.

We stayed almost 48 hours, which was just enough time to get-a-way, without feeling like we needed a day to recuperate from our trip.

After hearing lots of recommendations from friends and ward members, we realized that the main thing to do in Austin, is eat.

We were offered many lists of must eat places, most of which we didn't get to. But the places we did eat at, did not disappoint!

Salt Lick BBQ

This was our #1 must try, and we will definitely be back. Between the three of us, we tried the sausage, turkey, brisket and pulled pork. The sides weren't my favorite, but really, most people go to BBQ for the meat anyway. The sauce was also amazing. Tangy and sweet, served warm. 

We went here at the recommendation of our waitress at the Salt Lick. Amy's has several flavors in rotation and when we showed up the line was considerably long. The line moved fast and their "backyard" featured an outdoor play place, which was Zoe's favorite part. I don't know if all Amy's locations have this, but it was sure a great plus for us. 
Ryan and I had a relaxing conversation while Zoe played her heart out. The ice cream was delicious, and very true to flavor. We tried mango, dark chocolate, blackberry and horchata, they all tasted like the real thing. They do offer add-ins, which they will mix into your ice cream, but we had ours plain, except for Zoe, who got sprinkles on top.

A nice, inexpensive daytime activity. We happened to go during their Woodland Faerie Trail exhibit, much to Zoe's excitement. We spent quite a while examining all of the different gardens they have to offer. It was rainy and cloudy, which made for a humid and muggy walk, but it was worth it. Also, I would recommend bug spray before going here again. Due to the humidity, mosquitoes were out and about. I came home with my ankles covered in bites.

My favorite part of the gardens - the water lilies. They were so beautiful they looked fake. Due to their locations, I had quite the time getting close enough to photograph them, but it was well worth the effort.

This was definitely the most indulgent thing we ate, but at the recommendation of, well everyone, we could hardly miss it. They have two locations, and we decided to hit up the food truck as it was closer to where we were. They serve giant donuts covered in lots of delicious toppings.

We stayed on the calmer side of the menu, but they do offer some interesting combinations. 

We tried:
Naughty & Nice - cinnamon and sugar, served with warm honey butter
Razzle Dazzle - raspberry filling and fudge icing
Miss Shortcake - fresh strawberries with cream cheese icing

They were fresh, delicious and rich. Definitely a sharing kind of treat. 

This quaint little cafe was also on a recommendation from our waitress. This was such a fun place to go to. It was like quintessential small town. The food was good, the decor and atmosphere was even better. We sat next to a regular who knew all the waitstaff by name. The place is known for their pie, they even have a separate pie counter in the back, where people walk in and just order pie to go.
We tried the blueberry, key lime and apple. All were rich and delicious. They had at least 20 more varieties we could have picked from. 

We also got to see the Capitol, which was much bigger than I anticipated. What I didn't expect was how busy it would be. I failed to check the University of Texas schedule, and it turns out it was graduation weekend, so everywhere was packed. 

We drove around Austin, Round Rock, Hutto and some other smalls towns, and spent some quality time together, which is really why we decided to take the trip. 
Our trip got cut short with a combination of the weather and a sore back. Thankfully, we made it back home before the storm started.

We are looking forward to going back and getting a chance to check more things off our Austin to-do list!

Holly & Co.