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To the Bullies

To the children who were trying as hard as they could this afternoon to “prank” my youngest daughter – your bullying has been noted. For the Bullies: A Parent's letter

At first, I thought it was typical 6th grade drama – something to discuss with my child but nothing to get all up in arms about.

As the situation become more clear I saw you for exactly what you are: bullies.

When I took her iPod and let all of you texting her know that you were talking to her Mother – as I had taken over the iPod – some of you did the only correct thing in a 12 year old mine; stayed silent.

Some of you apologized, showing a higher level of understanding than I would expect from a 12 year old.

But those of you who thought you could talk to me like you were a grown person?

Not cool.

Not cool at all.

Luckily, my 15 year old daughter’s cooler head prevailed in my responses to you – because it was hard for me to remember that I was talking to 12 year wanna-be grown ups.

But don’t worry. I realized VERY quickly that you were bullies. So did my husband.

And while we don’t have your parent’s phone numbers to let them know about your behavior, we DO know how to go talk to the Principal.

And how to email the teachers. (Which has already happened. Oops)

So, you can keep texting my daughters iPod all night long, trying to change my mind and telling me its no big deal.

You will see what kind of deal it is tomorrow when my husband goes to school.

You will see what kind of deal it is when my 15 year old goes to walk her baby sister home.

You will see what kind of deal it is when my almost 6 foot tall son is right there with them.

You see, in this family, the only people allowed to pick on the baby are her sibling.

You see, in this family, we are never alone.

You see, in this family, we actually talk to each other about things that are happening.


And a special note, for the person who told my daughter that tomorrow was rape day. For the one who after I told them that was not appropriate and to stop talking to my daughter that you had sex with her and that it was oh-so-good and asked me what to do with the naked pictures you have of her (which was stated to get me worked up) – there is a special place reserved for you in my heart. Your texts have been sent to the authorities. As you said, you are 14. Your actions ARE criminal. I hope you learn how to be a decent human being. But if you don’t, I am pretty certain that your new home isn’t going to have WiFi and iPods or cell phones or computers.

So. How have you dealt with bullying and your children?



Graduation Wishes

Graduation Wishes  Since graduation time is right around the corner, this week our tutorial is how to make a Graduation Wishes card!

“Live the Life You’ve Imagined” is a great wish for all our newly graduated friends and family members – whether it is High School or University – this Graduation Wishes card is simple enough to recreate without difficulty but refined enough to give the best advice possible – to never settle for what comes your way but to live life to the fullest!

Get your Graduation Wishes tutorial!!!

Stampin' Up Free Shipping

Remember, right now Stampin’ Up! is offering FREE shipping on ALL orders – no qualifying minimums!!! This is a great time to get items that have been on your wishlist!!!

Stampin' Up! 2014 Retirement List The Retiring Products are also going fast! Get your retiring products before they are all gone AND benefit from FREE shipping!


Retiring Stampin’ Up! Products

Retiring Stampin’ Up! Products

Stampin' Up! 2014 Retirement List

It’s time for the annual Stampin’ Up! Product Retire list!

The following products will only be available while supplies last, so you won’t want to waste a moment ordering those products that you adore that will no longer be offered after June 4th, 2014.

(Note: In Color 2012-2014 ink and accessories will be in HOT demand since they are now retired Stampin’ Up! products.)

Get the 2014 Stampin’ Up! Stamp Retirement List

Get the 2014 Stampin’ Up! Accessories Retirement List

Stampin' Up Free Shipping

Remember, today until April 25th, you will receive FREE Shipping on ALL orders! No qualifying minimums!

This is a perfect time to stock up on your favorite Stampin’ Up! products, especially the retiring products! FREE shipping = HUGE savings!!!

Click HERE to go straight to the Stampin’ Up! Retiring Products list with photos, so you know EXACTLY what is going away!

Don’t wait and miss out on getting your favorite products that are retiring because they sell out! Order your favorites today!


Stampin' Up Free Shipping

Get FREE shipping on everything (excluding expedited orders) April 21-25!

The lists of retiring products will be available on April 21, so you  can take advantage of free shipping by ordering all your favorites right away!


There is NO minimum order requirement for the FREE shipping offer!


The FREE Shipping offer starts the same day the Retired List of products is being released. Be sure to stock up on your favorites before they are gone, forever! (Retiring products, both stamps and accessories, are only available while supplies last. Be sure to order your favorites early!)


Earn points towards FREE Stamps with The House of O Stampin’ Up! Rewards Club!

Let’s get ready to stamp!



Dealing with Suicide

Today, I brought my oldest daughter to her 14 year old friend’s funeral.

He committed suicide.

He was 14 years old.

We don’t know “why”. Rumors are that he was depressed, his parents were divorced and that he was having issues with his older brother.

When she told me that her friend had died, I was in the middle of blowing up balloons for the birthday party.

I was very conflicted at this point. How can be happy for two and sad for one? It is hard to express both emotions at the same time – especially when you are about to have 15 people in your house.

I brought her to the funeral today so she could say her good-bye. So she could be surrounded by other people who loved this young man and who are grieving his loss.

It was tragic.

It was tragic to see all of the children there to pay their respects.

It was tragic to see all of the young ladies crying and all of the young men looking lost – trying to stay strong and hold back the tears.

It was tragic to see that so many people cared for this young man and in the end it didn’t matter how many people cared for him.

They are all left wondering why.

They are all left wondering what they could have done differently.

They are all left questioning their mortality.

But they also are left with the images of grieving family and friends.

They are left with the image that death is truly final.

They are left with the realization that people do care. Even if it seems at times that they do not.

The strength that these young people showed today was tragic.

They should not be experiencing this type of loss at this age.

They should not be crying tears of pain.

They should not be wondering, for the rest of their lives, why?

And I don’t really know what to say to my daughter.

All I can do is be there for her; all I can do is let her know that I am HERE for her.

That I am here for her friends.

That I care about her pain and that I wish I could take it away.


The entire situation is tragic.

This young man had his entire life in front of him. He hadn’t even begun living yet. He was a Freshman in High School.

My heart breaks for his family.

My heart breaks for all of these children left behind who loved him.

Who will never get another opportunity to laugh with him or have a conversation with him.

Hug your children.

They need it.




Card Tutorial: Thinking of You Retro Fresh

Card Tutorial thinking of you retro fresh This week’s FREE Card Tutorial! Thinking of You!

Using the Pansy Punch, Peaceful Petals, Retro Fresh Designer Series Paper, and the Petite Petals Bundle, this card is a sweet way to let someone know that you are thinking of them!


Tell me – what type of card tutorials interest you?




My friend Virginia and I were talking the other day about the Pinterest Inadequacy Syndrome.

All the beautiful houses, picture walls, kitchens, food, yards, living rooms…. it can make one mad with envy!!!

Pinterest Inadequacy Syndrome

I am not what anyone would call a “foodie”. I peek on Pinterest and see all these wonderful photos of food and think to myself that the recipes I use for my family NEVER look that amazing. I must be a horrible mother and wife.

I peek on Pinterest and see other peoples homes – and then look at my own unfinished home and cringe. Why isn’t it complete yet? Damnit! We have moved into our house in October!

I peek on Pinterest and see other people’s mad photography skills and then look at my pitiful photos and wonder when I forgot my photography lessons from a former President of the ASMP.

Pinterest peeking can make me feel like I am a total failure in life – even when it is meant to inspire.

It shouldn’t be a contest.

But damn it feels like one.

It feels like everyone else is doing things better. Everyone else is more organized, crafty, design savvy and certainly better chefs and bakers.

So, as I am getting ready for the birthday party, I wondered if there were enough decorations? Is it staged correctly? What are people going to think of my house?

Should I even let people into my house?

Anxiety attacks commence!

Then something magical happened.

Right after my daughter blew out the candles on her cake, one of her friends looked me straight in the eye and with a sense of certainty only a 12 year old can have, exclaimed, ” You have a PINTEREST HOUSE!”

It’s all about perspective.

And looking at my house through her eyes, the perspective is pretty awesome.

I am sure I will look at Pinterest in the future and feel envious of all the pretty pictures. I just have to remember that those pretty pictures don’t make my home.

My family does.




Birthday Party Celebrations

This weekend, we hosted two Birthday Party Celebrations, on the same day!!!

I selected colors that were gender neutral – yellow, silver and turquoise blue.

Birthday Party Decorations

Of course, many of the products I used were from Stampin’ Up! They are just so darn cute and easily color coordinated, how could I not?!?

Celebration Banner Let’s start with this adorable Banner… from Stampin’ Up! This banner was so easy to put together and combined with the Bermuda Bay Add-On kit really added some pop of color to an otherwise boring backdoor curtain. I love it so much, I think I am going to keep it up for a while, just to remind everyone in the family to CELEBRATE!

Birthday Gift BagsNext we have these awesome gift bags – which come with the Celebrations Basic Kit with the banner! Using the Bermuda Bay Add-On Kit and the Hip Notes Stamp Set, I was easily able to add the tags and “Hip Hip HOORAY” stamped image. For the Girls Bags, I added a gold bow – the boys I left plain. But they are so stinkin’ cute!

Birthday Tablescape To create some decoration for my daughters tablescape, I simply spray-painted some of Pappa O’s beer bottles with silver spray paint and made some paper flowers using the paper that came with the Bermuda Bay Add-On Kit and the Spiral Flower Originals Die, with some baby breath flowers along side the paper flowers.

Birthday WreathWhat party would be complete without a wreath?!? Using some turquoise chevron ribbon I found at a local store, a wreath form, straight pins, the Starburst Sayings Bundle, and Tempting Turquoise ink, I made this adorable Birthday Wreath for the front door! I absolutely love this wreath!!!

Close Up of Birthday WreathHere is a close up of the stamped, die cut images for the birthday banner.







Stairwell Birthday Decorations

I couldn’t leave the Stair Banister out of the party! Using some burlap ribbon, I wrapped it around the banister all the way to the top, then, using the same turquoise chevron ribbon I used for the wreath, I made tied draped bows going up the stairwell, one about every three feet.


Birthday Party Family Room  Here is a (blurry) view of the kitchen/breakfast area/family room, because what kind of party doesn’t have balloons?

I am absolutely loving the way the decorations came out for this party. I love how Stampin’ Up! Products made it so easy!!! (I also used these invitations – which coordinate with the EVERYTHING!)





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Sneak Peek: Birthday Decorations

As The House of O preps to host 2 birthday parties on the same day, I decided to give you a sneak peak on the decorations….

Celebrate Banner Sneak Peek   More information to follow!!!


Card Tutorial Tuesday: Peachy Keen

I am excited to announce a new addition to The House of O – Card Tutorial Tuesday!

Each and every Tuesday we will have a new Card Tutorial to inspire you to create cards to share with your family and friends!

This week, we have a wonderful “Hello Friend” card, from the Peachy Keen Stamp Set. I am also entering this card into this week’s Dynamic Duo challenge, which is to use the colors Tempting Turquoise and Melon Mambo.

Card Tutorial Peachy Keen  I absolutely LOVE how this card turned out! I used the Peachy Keen Clear-Mount Bundle for this card- Bundles make making cards so easy!

Do you want the card tutorial on how to make this awesomely adorable card?

Of course you do! This Card Tutorial is free for download!

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