The Blog
My summer goal {and a free download}

It’s been a long week. Month. Spring. Between little league (three boys, three different leagues, three different locations), Pre-K graduation, 4th grade moving-up ceremony, year end picnics, two fundraisers for ATD, one kitchen remodel, and a couple of family health scares… mama is tired. 

Sully is off to kindergarten!


Yankees win the AAA championship in a nail-biting scorcher!

2nd grade Flag Day performance.

However, here we go, jumping into the summer routine. It is supposed to mean less scheduling, more “free” time. Less hustle, more deep breathing. Less crankiness, more rejuvenation. At least we all aim for that each summer season, right? I am seriously going to try to be more chill this summer. But why is this such a challenge?!? What can we do to achieve this, for ourselves and for our kids?

My simplest answer is… BE PRESENT. It’s all too easy to be distracted with work, email, phones, housework, to-do lists, all of it. I really want to take more time for myself, for my kids, for making meals, for laughing, for catching up with friends and family, for exercise, for date nights. I want to try harder at this. Are you with me???

Download my Summer Goals 2017 worksheet (just drag it to your desktop!) We are in this together. This is the good stuff. So, what else do you want to add to keep us focused on health and happiness? Please share your ideas with me. Mama needs you πŸ˜‰

Take care of yourselves and enjoy the summer!

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Christopher Cross was totally right about this…

Sailing takes me away πŸ˜‰  

I was searching for a great quote/phrase/lyric about sailing or boating for this blog post. The classic song, “Sailing”, was the first to pop up on Google. Did you know that it won a Grammy for Song of the year in 1981?  Ahh, the 80’s were the best.

Well, we have some new stationery for you Christopher Cross fans, or for those of you who just like nautical themes. Our Anchors Aweigh and You Float My Boat Notecards are now in the shop. Ahoy!

I challenge you to use these notes and NOT sing “Sailing” as you write!  It’s impossible.

Need some announcements or invitations with a nautical theme? Contact me and we can discuss a personalized order just for you!  These moving announcements below totally “take me away to where I’ve always heard it could be.” Ok, sorry.  I’ll stop now.

You can find more of our favorite nautical themed products in the shop:
Salt, Sand, Sea print 
The Way Life Should Be poster
Sailor’s Circle Notecards
Lobster Location Notecards

Smooth sailing until next week, friends!

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Shop Annie Taylor Design, here.

Our 5 most wanted gifts for teachers…

School is almost out for the summer, and if you are like me,  you are scrambling to find thoughtful gifts for your beloved teachers and school staff. At the end of the year, it’s up to us to make the special people in our lives feel oh-so-loved. It’s a way to give something back to those who have given our children so much.  A way to thank them for surviving our kids and a very demanding profession!

 

To inspire you to get started, here’s our list of some of our favorite gift ideas – the ones we think teachers actually WANT to receive!

  1. Seize the Week Notepad

     
  2. An Inspirational Print (lots more to choose from in the shop!) 
  3.  Summery Stationery (Berries, watermelons, anchors, oh my!) 
  4. Kindness Notes (pass the smile on, so simply)
  5. Personalized Notecards 

    We LOVE our teachers!! I would like to give a special shout out to the following amazing people we are honored to have guide our boys this school year; Mrs. Vahey and Miss Campbell at Moses Dewitt Elementary, Miss Amy and Miss Sophie at the JCC of Syracuse, and all the staff that works so hard to keep the kids safe, happy and learning all year.

All of my love and gratitude,

Place your orders quickly to ensure they are received by the end of the school year!

Follow Annie on Instagram.

Pass on the smile…

So let’s do lots more of them!  I am donating my Kindness Notes this week, to anyone that would like one, in honor of a special kindness campaign happening in my hometown (read more here).  Just contact me through my website, here.

All my love, 

How to relive your childhood

For the last six weeks the Taylor gang has been staying at my parents house, while we remodel our dark and dated kitchen. I haven’t spent this much time in my childhood home since summer break from college, probably in 1999. I loved being back, and spending more quality time with my mom and dad. My favorite moments were the simplest ones. Mom and I drank wine (she cooked while I worked on my laptop.) Dad and I watched the Yankees almost every night. It was a little crazy at times with the three boys and two dogs – one being a puppy.  But overall, it was just lovely and my parents are the absolute best.

They raised four daughters in this sweet little house, and somehow still adore us all πŸ˜‰ Being in their home again, I naturally reminisced about growing up there. In my mind I would instantly hear my mom singing. She was always singing, humming, whistling, etc. While doing the laundry, she was singing. While, cooking in the kitchen, she was singing. While driving anywhere in the car, she was singing. I have been told that I have also picked up this habit. It’s an endearing trait that I definitely don’t mind inheriting… AND it’s super embarrassing for the kids. Score!

My mom often sang to my sisters and me at bedtime. And now, I do this as well for my boys. My oldest doesn’t want me to sing to him anymore. Sniff. So what were/are our top hits, you ask?  Here they are;

A Bushel and a Peck
Oh My Darling Clementine
This Little Light of Mine

You know I had to convert them into some sort of art. So, I designed 8×10 prints to decorate the walls. I just love them, and when I see them hanging in my home, they instantly make my heart full and put a smile on my face. I hope they also do the same for my kids. Who wouldn’t want to relive the safe and happy moments from childhood?

What songs take you back, and make you happy?  Let me know, I would love to add some more to the Lullaby Collection! 

Happy upcoming Mother’s Day Moms, and especially to my adorable mama.

Pretty. Thoughtful. Paper.  Shop here!

Our top 3 gifts for mom

Ok Mama’s, Mother’s Day is almost here.  And you know what that means… You will sleep in, and start your day with a lovely tray full of your favorite breakfast foods. You’ll be pampered from sunrise to sunset, as your angelic kids get along and daddy handles everything (with a smile). Fresh flowers will shower you, while sweet love songs are being sung. Oh, I can hardly wait to see what my crew has planned. It’s a mom’s most wonderful day of the year.  Right? πŸ˜‰

Maybe I am aiming a little high. Instead, how about we let them know what we would like this year, as special gift, just for us.

So, let me make a few suggestions ;).  Some gift ideas, chosen especially by me, from the shop: A couple of my favorites (the ones I use and am inspired by daily) and a way to make sure you have whatever else might inspire you

3. Seize the Day Notepad
Start every morning by prioritizing and writing down everything you need (or want) to get done that day. List your appointments or meetings, plan dinner, and keep track of how much water you drink. This notepad definitely helps me make the most of my day!

 

2. Inspirational Print 
We have so many encouraging words to choose from, all ready to be framed and displayed.

1. ATD gift card 
Select ANYTHING from our shop, including personalized stationery (like mine, below.) You can choose the dollar amount, just let us know!

And finally, as an added bonus, allow ME to tell your guy what you really want for Mother’s Day!  Send me his email address and your wish list. Then I’ll let him know that “a little birdie told me” what you’d really love for Mother’s Day this year! Plus, I will include our ‘I heart Mom’ card with every order. Voila!

Love to you all, 

Get your pretty, thoughtful, paper… here.

How to travel with little boys

Last week the five of us traveled to the mountains in Virginia, not West Virginia…but very close πŸ™‚ We needed a getaway from the remodel stress, and the doldrums of the crappy weather in Syracuse. We overstuffed the family truckster and drove south. The puppy came along, while our senior dog stayed home with granny and poppy for a nice quiet respite. This little road trip was peaceful, slower, and just what the doctor ordered.

We stayed three nights in a rental house, just outside of Culpeper, set on a mountain and surrounded with a fishing pond, woods, a fire pit, and trails for lots of exploring. We also got to visit with grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles, and lots of cousins. 

From there we traveled further south and west, to the family cattle farm in Rosedale. Here the boys were out the door before 7 am, helping feed, driving tractors, and playing in the mud. They were so wiped out in the evenings that all three were sawing logs by 8 pm. Cheers to that!


On the 11 hour drive home, we decided to break up the trip.  We stayed in Pittsburgh for a night and surprised the boys with tickets to their first Major League Baseball game.  And to OUR surprise, the Pirates happened to be playing our all-time favorite team, the New York Yankees!  It was a home run (wink)!

We had such a wonderful week! We came home happy, tired out, and ready to complete the home stretch on our remodel and on the school year. Thank you to G&G Taylor and the rest of the Taylor gang for a fun Easter dinner and for visiting us.  Also, thank you to our farm family at Smithfield.  Your warm and generous hospitality make every visit such a fun treat!

Thanks for checking in with me, friends. “Talk” to you next week!

Follow my daily adventures on Instagram, here.

Shop for a good cause!

I am very proud to announce that Anne Taylor Design is now offering fundraisers!  

We love getting involved with schools and foundations that matter to us, connecting us to other kids, parents and teachers. And now, we are so delighted to offer shopping for a good cause.

Here’s the scoop…
Choose from any ATD item on the website (excluding personalized & customized items) at regular price, and Annie Taylor Design will give back up to 20% of sales directly to your organization! 

Raise money, get local products you love, and support a local business!

Contact us for information about ordering, deadlines, and marketing your fundraiser!

Hey kids, what do you think of the typical school fundraiser?  

Now, what do you think of Annie Taylor Design, and their paper products created locally for kids, busy moms and dads, and really awesome teachers and staff?  

Enough said πŸ˜‰

Spread the word, friends!
Yours truly, 

 

These kids party invitations are unbelievable…

Designing kids party invitations is one of my favorite things to do. Recently, I had the honor of creating a 5th birthday party invitation for a very sweet little girl, named Mayde Jane. In my humble opinion, the invites turned out almost as adorable as she is. πŸ˜‰

Come make believe with me!

As you guys know, I am a mom of boys. I create dinosaur, monster truck, and super hero invites on the regular. Now, something completely opposite of that comes along? Oh, I’m on it! When I asked Mayde to tell me her favorite color, she said it was too hard for her to decide because “I love all the colors!” So, I drew my inspiration from her fun and girlie fashion sense. Picture pink, purple, yellow and blue sun dresses, tutus and ribbons in her hair. Of course, I had no trouble working with those whimsical images in my head! 

The party was held at a make believe kingdom, fit with a pretend store, castle, firehouse, and dress shop.  The prefect setting for darling little girls, and even more inspiration for these magical invites!

Mayde, I hope your party was everything you dreamed it would be!

Don’t stop (make) believin’!

Follow me daily on Instagram, here.

 

 
What I do when life gets overwhelming…

You guys, life this past week… omg. 

My puppy got into the Easter chocolate (a LOT of it). I unintentionally got myself into some drama that completely did NOT involve me. Our kitchen remodel is underway and my entire house is covered in dust. I am prepping for an art show this Saturday (and not feeling prepared). In addition, Sully’s preschool just called: he has a fever πŸ™

Feeling stressed in today’s society is pretty much inevitable. But, of course, I didn’t even realize how stressed I was, but as a result, I had a pretty crappy week. 


Chocolate easter eggs, garden compost, plastic containers… name it, Olive will eat it.

So I was at my kids school the other day, and this board hanging in the hallway really struck me. It read “Change your words, change your mind”. Can it really be so easy? Just change the words you use and your entire attitude will change? Being kind, being positive, and making good choices are things I preach to my kids every single day. Meanwhile, I wasn’t taking my own advice.  That ends today.


I really love “I made a mistake: Mistakes help me improve.”

This week I am choosing to change my words to “be grateful, slow down, and breathe.” Naturally, I had to create a print that I can post everywhere as a reminder. Feel free to download my print as a gift from me to you (just drag the jpg below to your desktop) because I am sure we can all use a reminder to enjoy life. Don’t you think?

Our Simplify print is also a quick reminder that I see daily, hanging on my wall at home. 

Thanks for reading, guys! I look forward to talking to you next week with my new attitude.

Local Syracuse friends!  I will be a vendor at the Arts and crafts fair at Dewitt Community church this Saturday, 9-3.  If the weather report is not a joke, come escape and visit me as well as lots and lots of other local and talented vendors!

Follow my daily adventures on Instagram!