Monday, July 25, 2011

Welcome to ‘Camp Ellie’

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Each summer I take the kids up to my parents’ house for a few weeks. As I write this I am basking in the glow that remains with me after my time at ‘Camp Ellie’. Since my Mom has turned their house into a resort like atmosphere, we lovingly refer to it now as Camp Ellie (Mom’s name is Ellen).

A bed and breakfast brochure might read something like this...

Themed Rooms Sure to Please
Carefully maintained grounds situated in central Long Island, convenient to the LIRR and airport, will always aim to please. Here, the grass is truly greener while the pleasant pops of color in the outdoor landscaping are pleasing to the eye. Caution, Disney lovers live here, so hidden Mickey’s abound! Stay in one of our fabulously themed rooms, whichever suits your pleasure. There are activities to please all ages. Fittingly, the first room is our Disney themed room. It comes complete with mom's house, the disney room

character shaped pillows, wall decorations and a near complete set of Disney movies,


Walt himself would find himself right at home. Additionally, a computer with internet is available as well as wi-fi found throughout the resort. A TV is wall mounted, and comes with VHS and DVD capabilities. A PS2 is available for use within this room and a Wii can be found in the main area.

Should you be younger at heart and/or are travelling with small children, the adjoining room houses bunk beds, a Barbie town house and a variety of toys to keep even the pickiest of IMG_4335

children entertained for hours. Travelling with an infant or toddler? You will be pleased to know that although the year round occupants qualify for AARP, all outlets are covered and child locks are installed on all cabinets. Somehow it seems that both infant formula and adult cocktails and all beverages in between are fully stocked and at the ready. A magical room in the lower level acts as a Mary Poppins’ carpet bag of sorts for those who forget swim suits or even snow boots.

Located in the lower level of the resort are the Victorian Room grammy's B&B

and the Garden Room.

Both rooms can sleep two ( more on air mattresses if the resort is at full capacity). In the quaintly appointed Victorian Room, guests will find a neutral color palate and decorations from 20101228-2010-12-28_10-44-12_66

days of old. Not to overlook modern conveniences, a TV with VCR/DVD are also available.20101228-2010-12-28_10-44-04_56

The Victorian Room also enjoys an unobstructed view of the grammy's B&B

extensive Lionel layout complete with miniature building and cars, a sure crowd pleaser!

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Extra hats and train whistles are sure to please even the youngest of conductors.

karen's camera beyelers in the usa 2010

The Garden Room with it’s pastel color palette, white scroll day bed and soft grass like carpet is restful for the senses. grammy's B&B

Butterflies adorn the walls as well as the curtains giving the room a peaceful quality. Complete with TV with VHS as well as noise cancelling machine, this room is an ideal destination for any family member.

Family Style Dining, Gaming & Movies
Family style movie viewing also available on the 50 inch movie like screen.

 grammy's B&B

Often showing train videos both toy size and life sized. Photos throughout the resort are lovingly chosen and framed and will be sure to warm the hearts of all passers's house

With family style dining and family style gaming, there is always an opportunity for lively conversation and interaction. The clinking of dice and jingle of tiles are no strangers to this room. Guests often gather here for a friendly game of Rummikub,

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Farkle, Taboo, Cards or Uno karen's camera beyelers in the usa 2010

with many other options stored in the game archive. Favorite meals appear magically each evening and are quickly devoured by appreciative guests.

30,000 Gallons of Fun
Our on site pool is always refreshing, but never chilly.  Our outdoor facilities are a welcome respite for the weary traveler both young and old. Ample seating is available both inside and outside the pool area,

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which of course is gated for protection of the wee ones. The on-site life guard staff will require swim tests of the young folk to prove swimming ability before determining if swimmies or restrictions to the shallow end are required. A plethora of sunblock is ever present to prevent becoming crispy in the hot New York summer sun. Color coordinated umbrellas abound as well as a lovely canopied swing4th of July and Bryce's 13th birthday

to provide many shaded options. For dry land sunbathing, 4th of July and Bryce's 13th birthday

chaise lounges are provided; for those willing to risk a splash or two from the pool’s occupants, poolside chairs are available to dangle the tootsies,

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and for the fully adventurous, chair floats provide partially submerged sunbathing.


Goggles in all shapes and sizes, pool toys and ride on floats abound.

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30,000 gallons of pure fun including a slide for 10 and under.2009 07 17_summer09_0653

Sunny or Shaded Play Areas
For those who prefer non-aquatic activities, options abound in the sunny plush green carpeted area as well as the shaded patio play area. The fenced in grass area is the perfect size for chasing toddlers. For the budding archaeologist,Danielle's camera

there is a child sized sand box complete with a seated crane. For those who would like to play house, a miniature play cabin comes complete with faux-fireplace and peek-a-boo windows. Our resident alligator see saw and angel fish rocker have hosted a variety of riders. For the more adventurous type – you’ll find a child sized roller coaster that will be sure to please Danielle's camera

thrill seeking toddlers.  While the wee ones are napping, the older children can have hula hooping contests, obstacle course races, or engage in games of bocce ball, crochet and lawn darts.

 4th of July and Bryce's 13th birthday

Fair skin types may enjoy some fun in the shade. Hundreds of vintage matchbox cars complete with city play mat 2009 07 15_summer09_0671

as well as bags of legos will be sure to entertain. There is even a toddler sized picnic table to enjoy bite sized lunches or pint sized crafting.

    4th of July and Bryce's 13th birthday

Amenities Abound
Drinks and snacks are always close at hand directly off the patio either in deck side coolers or the indoor fridge. Little hands can easily find ice pops and juice boxes as well as individual snack bags.

It’s a great place to come for holidays, 20101225-DSC_0012 2010 10 31_4178_edited-1 IMG_4275_edited-1


2010 12 27_christmas in ny_0589_edited-14th of July and Bryce's 13th birthdaytj


anydays and summertime fun.

4th of July and Bryce's 13th birthday


No need to bring a playpen nor highchair as these fun loving grandparents keep them on hand and are ready at a moments notice. Shuttle service available from local airport or train station upon request. Reservations are requested but not required.

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All visitors receive the best in welcome and departure hugs!

Happy New Year with Grammy & Fossil

Y’all come back now, ya hear!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Project Life: Week 17 (5/29-6/5)

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Once again, the one page week saves the day! This week I got a new wireless printer ( an HP Photosmart Plus e-All-in-One B210). I think it has simplified my Project Life process even more. Since I take most of my daily photos with my phone anyway, I simply email them to my wireless printer directly from my phone! Although I didn’t do any editing on this week’s photos I recently downloaded some apps to play with the photos so I can edit them right on my phone, how cool is that?

Journaling reads:
So happy the pool is open.
So happy Keith has such a good friend in Paul (Lady loves snuggling with him)
Love that my little girl still acts “little” sometimes (Still loves Build-A-Bear)
Love turkey sandwiches (my ‘go-to’ lunch)
Love Summer organizing (writing/planning on calendar)
Love watching my kids play sports

Simple and done – just the way it should be.

Project Life is anything you want it to be.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Project Life: Week 15 & 16 (5/15-5/28)

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As all the school year sports and the school year itself wrapped themselves up, there didn’t seem to be a whole lot going on these two weeks. Either that, or I was just busy and didn’t really document the daily stuff. Either way it’s just fine, and I was perfectly content combining two week on one page and calling it done.

I included Bryce’s heat time card from the last day of swimming. He’s looking forward to starting again in the fall. It will be interesting to see what his times look like after the first session. It’s funny that the two major events of the whole time span, actually both happened on the Saturdays: Summer’s first horse show (5/28), and our first neighborhood block party (5/21).


Summer ended up riding this horse, GE, in her very first horse show. She did so well, and we are incredibly proud of her. She ended up getting both a 3rd place ribbon, as well as a 5th place ribbon. She wasn’t particularly thrilled that she had to ride GE in the show. He is such a sweet horse, and we’re thankful he survived his lip cancer. However, because he has to wear a special bridle with no bit, it’s a tad more difficult to steer him. But she did just fine. The consensus is that because he’s a special horse, he needed a special rider, and she certainly fits the bill there!


The block party was a huge success. Every one of our neighbors participated and we even had neighbors and friends from the adjoining areas. Since we had a DJ the atmosphere was fun all night, particularly during the group dances.

The kids had a riot and some of the adults acted like the kids! The boys even set up all the skateboarding stuff and they were busy doing tricks in the street with the lights highlighting their tricks. As you can see by the photo, Bryce certainly felt like the King of the World!


Popular vote says this is an event that is definitely worth repeating. I was happy our plans worked out as this was the first time that I had planned a block party. I’m happy to report that I’m in the preliminary stages of planning our next block party to bid summertime adieu.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Project Life: Week 14 (5/8-5/14)

Although I blogged about our wonderful trip weeks ago, it took me a while to get pictures of the finished pages. This week I did some things a little differently. Although we weren’t technically gone the entire week, I took the liberty of filling up the entire two page spread of just us. Seriously, the last time we commandeered a full spread was probably in our wedding album, so I figured it was about time. Additionally, this was the first week I ventured into using Ali Edwards’ long journalers, and I absolutely love them! I had so many photos and memorabilia to occupy all of the pockets as well as a long story to tell so I really maximized this spread. I could’ve really turned it into a mini album, but I really wanted these memories to ‘live’ in a place that I would visit them often.

I took the blog post that I did right after returning from the trip and printed the journaling onto cardstock. It ended up taking up four pages! I then slipped the four of them into American Crafts 6x12 page protectors. They are the perfect solution when I have a lot to say, which apparently after this trip I did!

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So many great memories, packed into one little week.2011 06 25_project life_3176

These journalers were a life saver! If I had actually hand-written that story my wrist would still be aching!

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All of these little pieces of memorabilia, like the map pictured here, made it right into the book. Anything that didn’t make it in, got tossed. I love it! Simplifying the process and de-cluttering at the same time.2011 06 25_project life_3178

After writing that much I did not even feel a twinge of guilt using filler cards instead of journaling in the leftover pockets :-) 2011 06 25_project life_3179

Project Life can be anything you want it to be. The more I make mine my own, the more I love it!

Project Life: Week 12 (4/24/-4/30/11) & Week 13 (5/1-5/7/11)


These two weeks got a little busy so I improvised and made it work for me. Instead of making myself try to fill two pages for each week I just did a week on each page and I am thrilled. Thrilled that I didn’t let this little hiccough ruin the pure joy I am getting out of documenting the everyday – EVERYDAY :-)Project Life Week 12

Week 12 in our corner of the world was all about Easter. Dying eggs, ordering the ham, coordinating the Easter menu. This year I volunteered to have the Harrington family Easter meal at our house and I am happy to report it was a success. Everyone brought a little something and all together it turned out well. Since I couldn’t possibly capture the perfect photo of our perfect ham, I once again turned to the professionals and simply cut out the photo from the advertisement. Couldn’t get any easier!

Project Life Week 12

This Makes Me Happy (I love this journaling card)
After struggling with reading in 1st and 2nd grade and then frustration with math this year, my little girl is finally finding her groove. It’s not so much that she got an A on this (the test in the adjoining pocket) but if you look closely there are no dots and circles and slashes to count out the answers. Just clear, confident numbers. Go S!

Easter festivities
I hosted Easter this year and we had quite a house full of people. This kids enjoyed their Easter baskets. They got Kings Dominion Season Passes again (the gift that keeps on giving.) They also dyed some eggs in a rainbow of colors. We enjoyed a Honey Baked Ham compliments of Keith’s boss (a Christmas gift certificate we finally used.)

Project Life Week 12

Today I finally got the guts to try and ride Keith’s motorcycle and I did it! I still have a long way to go before I’ll truly be comfortable but I remembered all of the mechanics.
Went to DMV and officially have my motorcycle “M” on my license. Woohoo!

Love Notes
Each night we make lunches for the next day. Most nights I do it alone but tonight Summer helped me. She thought it would be a nice surprise for Keith to have a note in his lunchbox to enjoy. Seriously – how cute is that?
“Dear Dad, I hope u have a very good lunch at work. I love U. From, Summer”

It’s not just chocolate, they were Godiva from NYC. I got them from my sister over a year ago for Christmas. I savored each and every one. I ate the last one today so no more pretty red box in my hiding spot. Chocolate ‘map’ enclosed in adjoining pocket that I would examine before choosing my treat each time.

Summer is playing softball for the first time and is doing quite well. At her first game she toughed it out getting hit with the ball, and was able to get on base twice. Go Summer!


This two week spread also included some big headlines. Will & Kate’s fairytale wedding as well as the execution of Osama bin Laden. I documented both in an 8.5x11 insert. On the front side is a photo of Prince William & Princess Katherine’s first balcony kiss as published in Time magazine, willnkate

coupled with the invitation to high tea at a friend’s house. On the reverse is a photo of the Time magazine cover of Osama with a bloody X across his head as a watermark behind the text of President Obama’s national address announcing the demise of Osama. Glad we finally got rid of that piece of garbage.
osama copy

I think from time to time I’ll put in major news headlines to give a little flavor of what’s going on in the world outside our happy little home.

Go to Becky’s blog and check out what’s in store for Project Lifers coming this fall.