Plant a tree the year your baby is born, then take pics if them with their tree each year on their birthday! {Sawdust and Embryos}
One Board Challenge ~ 3D Illusion Wooden Mosaic Artwork! {Sawdust and Embryos}
Simple wrap pinafore dress for little girls and toddlers {Sawdust and Embryos}
dell and cy1

Annual Fam Camping 2015

First things first? The winner of our RYOBI Jigsaw Giveaway is Korin! Check your email and send us your info Korin!!! And congrats!


Recently, on our Facebook page, I posted this…

Sawdust and Embryos

Well, I’m here to come clean and admit that I was actually asking for myself. And a ton of you piped in and gave some awesome tips… including BRING LOTS OF WINE.

You read my mind.

If I was a good blogger, this post would be a comprehensive guide to camping with small children and babies. I would title it 10 Tips and Tricks to Tent-Camping with Littles! But I’m not a good blogger, and this post is basically just a page out of my virtual scrapbook. Camping with small children is a gamble, and there are NO GUARANTEES. Haha!

Every year over 4th of July weekend, my side of the family goes camping (you can read about previous years here: 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014). Each year, we go to a different location… typically somewhere in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Illinois. This year we went to Wyalusing State Park just over the Mississippi River into Wisconsin.

Packing to go camping with 3 littles is NO JOKE.

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We made a special point to get to the campground before any other family members so we could settle in, get first pic of tent locations, and just generally relax as a family before all the chaos started. I’m sooooo glad we did this!

Wyalusing State Park

The girls collected sticks while Nick and I unloaded the van. I wasn’t sure how Cypress would take to the great outdoors, but she seemed to have no problems adapting.

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I had spent a lot of time worrying about how this camping trip would go down, but it ended up being soooo fun. The girls are now old enough to run and play with cousins, help make water balloons for the annual Water Balloon Fight, and roast their own hotdogs. Life is good.


Of course it doesn’t hurt that the weather was p.e.r.f.e.c.t. I mean, weather can make or break tent-camping… am I right? Last year it rained, and the year before that it was 150 degrees (give or take). So it was literally a breath of fresh air to enjoy mid-70’s all weekend.

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I pretty much hung around the campsite the whole weekend with Cypress, but Nick got to escape with the girls on a bike ride a few times. He took this adorable pic of them at a look-out point. Please don’t ask what’s going on with Dell’s hair.



I had maybe wayyyy too much fun playing with the panoramic function of the camera on my phone. I’ll spare you and just post one.

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There was a lot of chilling in the hammock. Paisley and Dell are obsessed with my sister Anna, and pretty much want to be with her allllll the time. She’s leaving soon to spend a year teaching in Belgium, so the girls soaked up as much time with her as possible. We’re all going to miss her tonnns!

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It’s so fun to look back and see how our family camping trips have evolved over the past 10-ish years. It used to just be all my siblings and my parents. But spouses and kids have slowly been added to the mix, and it definitely makes for chaotic-yet-fun dynamic.


We love making memories and spending time with family. It’s getting harder and harder to get all my siblings and their families together all at once… so when we DO, it’s super special.

Does your family camp? If so, are we talking tents or RV’s? And if you’ve taken your little kids, was it a good experience or bad?


Palm Branch Inspired Art Panels


If you guys take anything away from my blog posts each week, I hope it’s that YOU CAN GLEEN INSPIRATION FROM ANYWHERRRRE! When I post a project... even if it’s not your style, skill-level, or you don’t have the tools, I hope at least it gets your creative wheels turning and you start having ideas and noticing things in your everyday life that that trigger project ideas, little crafts, furniture transformations... ETC! For me, part of the fun of composing a blog post is sharing how I came up … [Read More...]

4-Year-olds and Annual Willow Pics

Plant a tree the year your baby is born, then take pics if them with their tree each year on their birthday! {Sawdust and Embryos}

We’ve had a whirlwind couple of weeks, and I have sooooo many pictures to go through (and corresponding blog posts to write)...but today? It’s important to share that: THE TWINS TURNED 4! Like, they had a birthday. And now they’re 4. And I’m a mother to four-year-olds. And soon they’ll be asking to wear deodorant. And then they’ll move out and I’m ugly-crying right now. Among a few other (small-ish) things, Nick felt it was important for the girls to have a rocket for their … [Read More...]

One-Board Challenge ~ Geometric Art

One Board Challenge ~ 3D Illusion Wooden Mosaic Artwork! {Sawdust and Embryos}

On this day, I’m a little foggy and sleep-deprived. You might assume that it’s directly related to having a 4-month-old baby... BUT NO. Della (4 years old) awoke in the middle of the night CONVINCED there was a kangaroo in her room. We’re talking blood-curdling screeeaming as she flailed down the hallway to find us. Luckily she didn’t wake up Cypress... or Paisley for that matter (who was sleeping 6 feet from her). But after this happened 3 times in a half hour period, I just took my pillow in … [Read More...]

Easy Wrap-around Pinafore Dress or Blouse

Simple wrap pinafore dress for little girls and toddlers {Sawdust and Embryos}

I may be a ‘creative-type’, but nobody ever accused me of being a skilled sewist. Sewer? Seamstress? yes seamstress. Here’s a screenshot of me texting Nick while trying to thread my bobbin. Yet somehow, miraculously, this post I wrote last year demonstrating how to make a wrap blouse (or dress) has been wildly popular. At least a couple times a week, I get an email from someone asking for the PDF pattern... which of course doesn’t exist. I was just proud of myself for sewing … [Read More...]

The sibling connection

dell and cy1

Having twins, we had a unique parenting perspective of having siblings from the very beginning. Sibling love is probably one of the cutest things everrrr. But throwing a new baby in the mix is always a big question mark. Will they love her? Will there be jealousy issues? Will 3 be a crowd? Well, we have the next 17.5 years  to figure all that out. But I’m happy to report that... so far so good. Since Cypress was born in February, I’ve learned a lot about each of the twins and … [Read More...]

Custom Playhouse / Playground {Part 1}


Nick and I have always planned to build the girls a their own custom playground area. But when we found this plastic Little Tykes thingamajig a few years ago on our local ‘for sale’ page, it seemed like a good thing to tide the girls over until we had the time and funds to ‘do it right’. They’ve gotten sooooo much use out of that thing. But these precious toddler days are OVER (collective tearful gasp) We tossed around a few ideas for where the ideal spot on our acreage would be for this … [Read More...]

S’mores Magic Bars

S'more Magic Bars 2

Its Meghan from Cupcakes with Sprinkles! Have you every made magic bars? They have lots of layers and they all melt together into one delicious magic bar. One of my favorite flavor combinations is a S’more. These bars are a sweet, gooey, combination of a s’more but tweaked with the an extra layer of sugar cookie goodness! These are the next thing you have to make so let’s get our ingredients and bake! Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 cake pan with non-stick spray. In a small … [Read More...]

Dahlia Stained Artwork on Dining Table


Doing wood stain art is soooo addicting for me. I wouldn’t call it ‘instant’ gratification, but the transformation happens over the course of a couple hours... and it’s so fun to watch it unfold! If you missed my last Stained Art Table time-lapse video, click here! Shortly after posting that video, I was already having the itch to stain again, and Nick and I fell upon this dining table at a yard sale for $10 buckaroos! I know it appears to be raw wood, but it’s actually a pale … [Read More...]

Husbands and Hobbies


Top of the mornin’! How was your weekend?! The girls and I had so much fun making Nick feel special and loved this Father’s Day weekend. He loves that the girls share an interest in his model airplane hobby, and took ALL 3 GIRLS to the local air field. When I was a kid, they made bouncy seats for babies that had little canopies for shade... but I can’t find them anywhere these days! I always bring an umbrella outside with me to keep the sun off Cypress... and then I found this … [Read More...]