New Item, New Deal and a Coupon Code!


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Friday.  Ahhhh…………and Spring Break next week!  That upped this weekend a few notches, let me tell you!!

So, we have another deal running on Very Jane this weekend, just click on the pic to get there! These are brand new and will be regularly priced at $35, so this is a bargain.  And if you aren’t a monogram lover, use the code SPRINGBREAK through Monday the 15th for 15% off any item in our shop. 🙂

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We were fiddlin’ around a couple of weeks ago, before the plague hit our house; we thought using the canvas letters for a state sign was a pretty cool use.  Oh gosh y’all,  just wait until you see what I have planned for my dining room wall…again…time to redo! Canvas Letters will be involved!


Annnndddd speaking of dining rooms, when the boys were at their grandma’s house yesterday, I shopped the house a bit…actually I just moved our living room rug to the dining room, swiveled our table around, and BAM!  Instant cozy!  I love it so much.  Here’s a tiny phone pic; I’ll be doing more of a reveal once my picture wall is done up again.  😉  And with a better camera!


Oh and you guys; mom and I have been having fun with photoshop…and signage…yipee!  Can’t wait to show you what we’ve come up with!  TOO many ideas.  Too few hours. 😉

One last thing…a big fat Happy Birthday to my momma this weekend! No one I’d rather be designing and creating with! {We are both 13th babies. As in the day.  Not birth order…lol.}

Don’t forget the deal or the coupon code, and have a fantastic weekend!!

A Swanky {frugal} Date Night!



We had 25 Hours Together this weekend, no kids!  Not enough time at ALL…next time definetily maybe we’ll take 2 nights! 🙂

And we did it frugally, too!  I booked a night at the Regency, but scored a crazy good out-of-season, internet deal…for much less than we’ve paid at lesser hotels in the past.  And SWANKY, people!  It’s the little things, but the room had robes, an *umbrella*, a little shoe shine kit, and an ionic hairdryer with a diffuser!  LOL!  I was so impressed! And moulding!  A hotel with moulding is a rare thing indeed in our typical price range.  And the bed…the comfortor and the pillows…bliss.  Seriously. And valet parking.  Giggle.  Oh, and a stack of current Maine Home and Design mags in the room! It’s like they read my mind!


Hotel front, chandelier, waiting for the valet, moulding and substantial curtain rod…oh, the details that make me happy.

Mom and dad had gifted Erick with some giftcards on his bday, so on the way down Friday night we ate at Panera and we had breakfast at Starbucks without having to pay out of our pockets.  Someday, I want to stay here for a week and partake in one of the local restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner…fitting dessert in here and there; Portland is full to the brim with amazing indepedant restuarants! Friday night the city was absolutely crawling with people; it was the first annual Art Walk, the weather was wonderful…but since we were arriving a bit late and were staying at a fancy hotel, we wanted to soak up the atmosphere so we didn’t leave until check out the next morning.

Saturday we finally went to the Portland Museum of Art; I had scored a two for one deal on Living Social awhile back, so we technically didn’t have to pay for that this weekend either. 😉  Oh you guys; I’m kicking myself because I thought there was no photography allowed; turns out there WAS in many places, but I didn’t realize that until we were leaving.  I snapped one picture.  I could of taken so many more; I was able to stand right smack dab in front of a Monet! And Church, Homer, Kent, Sargent, the Wyeth’s…Cassatt, Degas, Picasso, Renoir…happy, HAPPY girl.  If time had allowed I would of been one of those people sitting on a bench staring at a painting for hours, trying to take it all in.  SO INCREDIBLE.  This spring there are tours to Winslow Homer’s house and I am just itching to go!!


After the museum, we ate at Chipotles then bumped around Homegoods and Marshalls with a stop at Freeport on the way home.  It was so good to be with my honey for a bit…to have some fancy fun but not pay big bucks.  Only thing that would of added substantially to the weekend?  Live theatre!  Someday…

So…there is a chance that we might hit 60 degrees today! Wahoo! We’re off to buy some bulk blueberries in Ellsworth today and to soak up the sun a bit.  Have a gorgeous day today, friends!

Back from the Brink and a little Organizin’ Inspiration!


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And they are….WELL!!!

Men in this house=recovered.  Bless it.

Yesterday I took Jack out for a Momma Date; he was the first to get sick, thus the first to get well and he was itchin’ for a change.  So we hit up Tim Hortons for lunch and I sacrificed greatly by playing on the playground with him in the FREEZING weather for all of 10 minutes.  Then I had to duck back in the van, because I’m a weinie like that.


 It was a good date with a very good guy; I’m determined to make it a priority to go out on more dates with my boys!


Alright!  Something I have put off for too long due to the plague that hit us!  Sweet Michelle contacted me and offered to write up a post on a great organizational idea; one that has me all kinds of inspired.  OH, my pinterest boards (and my life in general) are a chaotic mess.  So I’m going to follow her advice…read up!

How Inspiration Boards Can Improve the Way You Plan

If you’ve found a project you’re passionate about but haven’t been able to properly organize your ideas, try not to panic. There’s a simple solution to this problem, even for the most scatterbrained among us. Creating an inspiration board – a collection of images to help inspire imaginative thinking – is fun and helps you to identify the technicalities in store for your project.

Get Organized

Organization helps to oil any work process, and creating an inspiration board is one way to organize your thoughts. The board will allow you to organize your fabric samples, sketches and photos in one place. Placing a cork board on the wall above your desk, replete with pins, is an excellent way to keep your ideas organized as they occur to you. Thanks to social networks like Pinterest, it’s even possible to create an online inspiration board.

Manage Your Time

When you become overwhelmed by your project, it’s easy to lose enthusiasm for it. An inspiration board helps buoy your good feelings for the project because you’ll be able to better separate the great ideas from the not-so-good ones. This will help you understand how your project is shaping up. You can get rid of any ideas that no longer interest you by simply unpinning them, and in this manner you can stay focused on the ideas that matter.

Plan Your Budget

You don’t want to get to the end of the rainbow and find out you’ve gone way over budget on your project, and using an inspiration board can help you keep things in check. By pinning your options on a cork board, you’ll be able to explore the quality items and services that you can afford. Choose where it’s best to splurge and where you need to cut back.

Inspiration boards are as abundant as ideas; there is a different sort of board for every kind of project. Inspiration boards can serve to help you redecorate your home, plan an engagement party or pick out a fashionable spring wardrobe. Get started and you’ll soon see that an inspiration board is one of the best ways to breathe life into your projects and plans.

Maybe you’re not looking to re-do the guest bedroom, and you’re just looking for some new meal ideas for the family. Whether you’re looking for new recipes to try out, or looking to plan a dinner party for friends, inspiration boards can even be helpful for meal planning. Take the below board for example. It may be spring, by snowstorms are still leaving us in winter wonderland. Comfort foods are a great way to get out of the cold weather funk.

Nothing says comfort food like delicious Italian food! What’s the first food that comes to mind when I think Italian? Pasta! Just thought of homemade lasagna makes me hungry. Although it’s a more time consuming recipe, I’ve used it as the anchor of inspiration for my board. With foods like pasta and pizza, you can get really creative. Making your own pizzas is great for group gatherings. You can create smaller personal pizzas for each guest, or bake large pizzas with a variety of tasty toppings. This can also be more cost effective than ordering from local pizza place. Making your own pizza can also be a fun activity for the little one’s: a fun way for them to learn and be interactive.

If you’d like to keep it simple, a delicious bowl of ravioli will do the trick. The jumbo ravioli served right near my home at Pino Bianco, a popular Syracuse dining spot, is probably my favorite thing to order. It’s always delicious and warms me up on cold days. You can switch up your own ravioli using plain tomato sauce or try a white sauce. Ravioli is great for those picky eaters.

The sky’s the limit with Italian food: make it Italian week with a different Italian inspired dish each night. Plan the meals for the week ahead and only have to make one trip to the grocery store! Don’t forget the wine!

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Photo credit: Garlic Bread | Lasagna | Jumbo Ravioli | Homemade Pizza

Michelle Pino has provided these tips in hopes to educate others on how to lead a more organized and less stressful life.  Michelle believes a more organized approach to tasks will result in more completed goals.  Her hobbies include crafting, cooking and learning about healthy lifestyles.  Michelle is thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Jennifer and together share their ideas on “­­­­­­­­­This is the Finest Kind of Life”.
Michelle, thank you thank you! Now I want an inspiration board for pretty much every area of my life. 🙂
TGIF friends!  Tonight Erick and I are off to Portland for that birthday trip we missed last weekend.  First night away in…in…I have no idea.  Pray for my parents…and Luke; this will be his first overnighter with the big boys!  Eek!  Have a great weekend!


Easter Laundry!



All through my facebook feed!  All through Instagram!  Egg dying, cute easter outfits, delicious food.  I just had to throw in mine as well.

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Anndddd we’ll throw in some laundry too.  For good measure.  Because that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to all week…like chest deep.


It’s Sunday…and this has been status quo since Tuesday.  Oh, and I figured he wouldn’t want me to include a sickie picture, but Erick fell victim to this awful stomach bug as well.  Awful, I tell you! {So far my immunity has held…wow. Kinda shocked by that.} This weekend was Erick’s birthday (what a way to celebrate, right?); we had plans to take Friday evening and all Saturday to ourselves; celebrate my man and our marriage, because it has been a couple of years since our last overnighter.  The bug had other plans, though.

It’s been long and hard and yucky, but I’m so thankful to be surrounded by these men.  Sick or not!  There is HOPE, that this will come to and end.  And the more important HOPE that Jesus offers. We can stand a little suffering in light of what He gave to us.  We live right across the street from our church; I loved seeing people stream in and out this morning.

So no egg dyeing this year.  We’ll put off our little easter egg hunt until they are all better; I imagine this is going to drag on for another few days because Jack was the first to fall and is still not super.  And Erick and I switched our reservation to next Friday night.  Praying that all will be well, and it will be very much worth the wait!

Hoping you all had a glorious day!  Happy Easter, from the laundry filled sick bay. And happy birthday to my amazing man. We’ll drag this birthday out in grand style!

Heart! Explodes! With Joy!


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Ok, did y’all know that there is such a thing as Stendhal Syndrome?  Apparently I suffer from it.  Basically it’s a strong reaction to beauty. Art.  The natural world.  (Anything from tears to hallucinations, even). Like…ok.  I’m going to completely embarrass myself here, but I was once standing in the aisle at AC Moore and I saw a line of Martha Stewart party supplies, but the design was so good, you guys, that I just up and sprouted tears from my eyeballs.  Tiny ones though, promise.

Are you falling on the floor in laughter yet?  It’s a problem you guys.  I just LOVE creativity, in basically any form, whether it’s God’s hand or a human touch.  I LOVE IT!

So today, the boys skedaddled up to Grammies, and I had to bust out of this house and desperately needed to see the ocean, so mom and I went to Camden, my happy place.  We went to JoEllens, of course, because her store is so utterly fabulous, and I laid eyes on this guy.  OH MY GOSH.  I think I had palpitations.  And my husband is going to love me, because I pre-spent our income tax money on him.  Our taxes haven’t even been approved yet, but I shot up a prayer and asked God to just make it ok, because he HAD to come home with me.


He’s a whale made out of recycled drums!  Are you kidding me?

Look at his grin!

you know you want to bring me home....

you know you want to bring me home….that’s what he’s saying.

photo-10But the above close up right there?  That was the kicker.  The chair!  The window!  So fabulous I can hardly stand it, even now.  Somebody grab the smelling salts.

Look at his other side!


He was $50; not the kinda bucks I normally lay down on anything.  I can’t just go spend willy nilly.  We live on a teacher’s salary!  But Jesus, please send that tax money toot sweet.  I couldn’t help myself.

Also…I perhaps might of maybe…picked up a couple of these incredibly inexpensive towels for our kitchen redo.  Very, very cheap art dear husband.  PROMISE.


Imagine a couple of those against a dark chalkboard wall.  Just IMAGINE.  Mmmmhmmm.

We stopped at the Deli and this was our view, while eating a quiche filled with spinach and feta and garlic and onion and it was a glorious flavor explosion in my mouth.  I almost couldn’t handle today.


AND, by the way, we are running our letters over at Very Jane for the next couple of days.  This is just an example; they come unpainted, but I chalkboard painted a few so you can see what the final product looks like.  Fantastical.


They are 11 inches high and are $7.99 a piece!  You can find them right here my dears!


Help me!  What should I name my whale?  I’m tempted to let the boys name him, but it would probably be something along the lines of “toot”.  Because that’s basically all they say or do these days.  Luke, obviously following in his brother’s footsteps, has decided it’s the funniest thing in the world.  He gets that “look” and then, well, it’s fits of giggles.  BOYS!

One more thing; my really amazing blog friend wrote a really special post on our company; just want to say thanks again my dear!  You should head over and say hi and check out her work, too! She’s fantastic, you guys.

Praying gobs of beauty over you ALL today! 🙂

GIVEAWAY (closed)…and oh, so many things. :)


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So…my blog stats freak out a little bit every time Ashley mentions this ol’ girl.  Ashley and Jamin…THANK YOU.  Seriously.  Your shout outs mean the world to me!!  Take a look at this post and check out the amazingness around the blog world.  Just…wow.

We’ve been able to collaborate on some custom Canvas Letter deals with people this week; so exciting!  I love the ideas that come in; people are so creative.  Speaking of creative people, we’ve befriended Melaine Thompson of My Sweet Savannah, and she is hosting a Canvas Letter GIVEAWAY.  If you want something of your own, go here and leave a comment!!  And then go download the latest issue of Souvenir Magazine that Melaine collaborates on.  Holy Moly, you guys.  Ready for some spring inspiration?  You’ll get it!  It costs the equivalent of a fancy cup of coffee, but will last much longer, I promise. 😉

Let’s see…elsewhere in blogland, Jess had us run a “This is the Life” sign in wooden letters and she put it on Beckie’s wonderful blog, Infarrantly Creative.  Good ideas, peeps!


On the homefront, we have been sick, well, sick, well…yeah.  SO stinkin’ ready for warm weather.  Here’s a picture of Jack rubbing Luke’s legs last week when the little one was down and out.  So sweet.


They got over the stomach bug and ended up with colds for the 20th time this year.  SIGH.


So, I’m verrrrry close to my photo limit on this blog, and I’m thinking it’s good timing; might give me the motivation to just roll everything into one big 163 Design Company website.  It’s time to get, well, professional about things. 🙂  I’m still a bit undecided…change can be hard.  Just thinking out loud!

Also, man, I have the ultimate design for the boy’s room.  Just need time and money, honey!  I’m so excited; hoping we can knock some things out this spring and summer.  I can’t wait for you to see what’s in my head!


I’ve successfully completed a post while the baby is sleeping.  Has the time change kicked you in the tail?  It has me, although it’s worth the extra light, for sure.  Luke is all confused though, and his nap is suffering.  That, and I can’t wake up before him anymore because I’M suffering.  Can’t wait for a routine to present itself, and to be able to have a minute or two in the morning to myself again!

Signing off, laundry to finish!  Go join that giveaway!!

Yee to the Haw!


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Sunshine!  Blue Skies! Ahhhh….it was such a fantastic day.  Melting snow was a PLUS.  We took kind of a last minute trip to Freeport and stopped at LL Bean…do you know there is a new kind of Moose Species?



Cute species, right?

We’ve come up with a few more pendant ideas…but we have more in the works.  A local retailer wanted some animal options so we found a few…are coming up with more…AND I have other jewelry ideas that are pretty different.  So fun, I tell ya.


So…about the jewelry…we’ll be offering it on Groopdealz on the 27th.  Took some thought; these are quite a bit of manual labor!  It’s just a pretty good way to get word out about your shop, and we need us some Etsy love, so we’ll take the temporary profit hit.  So if you have already purchased a necklace, thank you from the BOTTOM of our little ol’ hearts.  My dad is taking pictures of the process of making them; it’s pretty fascinating.  I’ll do a blog post soon just dedicated to that!!

Also!  We have kind of a neat opportunity, maybe.  Some people are going to be discussing one of our products tomorrow, and maybe it could lead to something, maybe not!  Either way we’re cool with it.  I told mom we’d pray like crazy through it, and if God says “no” to this we’ll be saying THANK YOU from saving us from that!!  Honestly, it’s fantastically freeing to put yourself out there, but FIRST in God’s hands.  It takes away the anxiety, friends.  It’s such a good place to be. {I highly recommend it!}

Finally…I just have to give a shout out to my girlfriends and my husband.  We had our monthly Girls Night Out on Saturday.  Girls, you make me SO HAPPY.  Seriously.  Laughter is good for the ol’ soul.  And honestly, it was topped off so ultimately, because when I walked through the door it was to incredibly enthusiastic kids…and an extraordinarily clean house.  Like…cleaner than it has been…ever?  Ha.  My men took very, very thoughtful care of me.  It was such a gift.

Time to sleep!  Here’s to blue skies, wherever you may be. 🙂

Large Canvas Letters


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One of my new loves!

11 inches high, covered in canvas. I heart them, big time.

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I propped them up against my wall below…I’m thinking I need a new phrase somewhere…probably my kitchen.  We’re working on a mini-redo in there and we have a good wall for it!  What I like about them is that they are neutral, but they still pop, even on a white wall.


You can find them right here!

Baby isn’t up yet…he slept all night long!!!  Until 5 am, really…but then went back to sleep after  a cuddle.  I could so get used to this. 🙂

TGIF!  Have a great weekend!




I feel so good today guys!  Not that I’ve been feeling bad…but man, the boys went to Grammy’s and I stayed home for once (usually I MUST escape these four walls whenever I have the chance).  Instead I stuck around and painted our hall and part of the kitchen; things that I just cannot possibly do while a toddler is in the house.  Especially my toddler.

On the Luke front, he has spent night number 3 in the boy’s bedroom!  Yup, he’s 18 months old and still in our room…funny how that works.  Anyway, Ry and Jack have spent the night in the living room and Erick has slept in Ry’s bed to give Luke a little reassurance when he wakes up at night.  He is sleeping MUCH better without me in the room; we’ve gone through such back and forth sleeping patterns with him, but it pretty much boils down to…if mommy isn’t in the room, I can sleep just fine.  Ha.  We’ll move the boys back in there in a couple of nights and Erick will navigate his way back to OUR bed…wish us luck!  3 boys in one bedroom…2/3rds of them whom tend to sleepwalk and talk…yeah, maybe that sleep thing won’t happen for me, forever.  😉

So!  On the Etsy front, I managed to stay up way too late the other night and put a treasury together.  It was so fun!  Check out this color!  All Maine artists, too.

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Talent, I tell you.

OH yeah!

I’ve decided to partake of the social aspect of Instagram…finally! I am following 6 people and have a grand total of 4 followers.  I would love to socialize with you!! I’m right here.  Lots of old boy pictures but I’m branching out!  😉

Erick just called; he’s on his way home.  Logging off to enjoy my clean house for the next few minutes!

Sharing a fun new product next post!  Can’t wait for you to see it!

{Do you want me to include anymore exclamation points??!!!!?} Ha!

A Love Legacy



Sooo…my birthday was yesterday.  And my 97 years-young grandpa died a couple of days prior.  So it’s been bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter, I assure you!  More tears have been shed just imagining the fantastic reunion he’s been enjoying.  Wow!  I can just imagine him running to grandma…saying “Hey Kiddo! It’s been too long!”  or picking up a baseball bat and playing a game with his brothers.  Talking to Jesus, for goodness sake.  That’s the best gift.  The BEST gift I could of received.  That assurance that my grandparents are all up there now, enjoying life as it should be.

I wanted to share with you a little string of sweet posts on Facebook;

Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 8.31.00 AMThat just made my heart so happy!  And it’s such a call to action, is it not?  To live a life and leave a legacy like that?

So on this silly commercialized day of manufactured “love”…just start truly loving big through your words, your actions, your thoughts. That’s my birthday wish (hey, I reserve the right to extend it a day!)  😉  I just read that “Valentine” is derived from “Valens” which means worthy, strong, and powerful. Awesome.  Start throwing around some worthy, strong and powerful love, people! Not through chocolate and roses, but through the true meaning of the word. Love your kids.  Others.  Strangers!  Instead of being snarky…instead of complaining about this politician or that, or putting down others that aren’t quite like you…or becoming aggravated about people that cause circumstances that frankly don’t matter in the grand scheme of things…strive to live in a way that will leave a love legacy.  Everyday…not just today.

Thanks for the reminder Grandpa!