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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson


Daughters of the American Revolution Take 2: Saratoga

A few years ago I blogged that I was joining the Daughters of the American Revolution. For whatever reason it just didn't happen in Brooklyn. Now that we're living in Saratoga County- it's happening! Today I met with the chapter registrar and she was delightful. With my worksheet almost fully filled out, I just need to work on getting full documentation on my parents and my paternal grandparents (birth, marriage, death certificates).  I need to do this! I want to check this off my list and finally become a member of this prestigious group. For myself and my girls! My daughters are more fuel to the fire.

My American Patriot is Lieut. Samuel Merrill of MA. He settled in what is now Maine, specifically Salmon Falls, Saco, York Co Maine. More to be shared on him and his property.

Feeling very excited and motivated!


Finally! A Lead in my Hyrcuniak Family! 

Recently I've been spending a good amount of time researching Anna Hyrcuniak Koval, my maternal great grandmother. And let me tell you, the last name Hyrcuniak is a tough one to research. It's hard to say, spell, originates from a different language, and she came from a place that was Austria and has since been Poland, Ukraine, and now it's back to Poland. So you can imagine the MANY different ways I've found it spelled and the roadblocks I've faced.

Anna married Fedor "Frank" Koval in Wilkes-Barre, PA and had 11 children.  I stalked the Ellis Island website, searching and searching for anyone with a name close to Hyrcuniak who came to the general area of Wilkes-Barre, PA in the early 1900's. I found a pair of brothers, Wasil and Michael Hyrcuniak, who came to and from Austria to the mining regions of eastern PA in the early 1900's. And then it happened. I found a single Anna "Hryciniak" coming from Lutowiska going to Scranton, PA to meet her brother Michael! So I not only found my great grandmother's passage to the US, but connected her to 2 brothers! An it just so happened that she arrived in the US June 1904, 3 months before she was married in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Obviously this is not 100% without a doubt, but it's a VERY good lead. And sometimes when researching your genealogy, you just have to have that feeling. You've done so much due diligence and you just know that these pieces fit together.

Not long after finding this record I received some very interesting news. A possible distant relative contacted me. Her great grandmother was a Hyrcuniak and this person had been in frequent contact with my maternal great aunt before her death. This person had traveled to Poland, TWICE. Guess where? LUTOWISKA! This past weekend we had a great, almost 2 hour long phone call discussing all of our information and sources. Growing up, her uncle and my great aunt had said that our great grandmother's were sisters. Enter the 3rd party. There is another researcher involved! His grandmother is another supposed Hyrcuniak sister. I'm not convinced we're all connected to the same exact family, but it seems we are all very avid researchers dedicated to finding our family. Either way these connections are valuable and worthwhile.

I'm feeling very encouraged and excited!




DIY Spray Paint Bachelorette Party Shirts

I was inspired to make shirts for my BFF Lindsay's Bachelorette party. I'm always up for a challenge and love to learn new ways to DIY. After a little googling I found these shirts from Hipster's Tea Party and started to create. LOVED how these shirts came out.

For the spray paint I used Rust-Oleum Automotive 11-Ounce Vinyl and Fabric Spray Paint, Flat Black $6.70

I was able to make 13 shirts + 2 or 3 tests with one can.

I bought the shirts from H&M for $8 each.


I used my sister in law's cricut machine to make the stencil. I have to say, this cricut is pretty amazing and I'd love to have one! For the brides shirt we used the cut out letters and for the other shirts we used the negative stencil left behind. I used a spray adhesive to get the stencil to stick securely to the shirt when I sprayed it. I lightly sprayed the stencil and lace every other time to get it to seal. When I first did a spray paint test without the adhesive, the paint would bleed and leak under the stencil.

A roll of lace from Wal-Mart for $3 is all I needed for the bottom detail. I used one strip 2-3 times only, because it would get a little gunked up from the spray adhesive and spray paint.

I happen to love the cut of these shirts and wear mine often! Lindsay is getting married VERY soon so I need to get my wear out of the shirt now :) I've washed (not dried) my shirt often and the paint has stayed fine.


If you have any questions for me about these shirts, please leave a comment or send me a message! happy crafting!


The Babybook

My girls just turned 8 months, and I've yet to add a single picture or word to their baby books. I've purchased the books (1 for each girl, the same book of course!). I've printed out pictures. I've been trying to keep up a milestone list/journal in my Google Drive of important events and firsts. But I just haven't found the right time to start making their firsts official. It's different with a blog or a google doc, I can change wording. Add or delete. But what I'm writing in their baby book is... definite and special. When they are all grown up I want them to find these books and love how organized and thorough their Mama was! These memory books can be a really great piece of family history.

My dad's baby book and the baby book my mom made for me are meticulously complete with records of baby and childhood. Dad's baby book even has notes/stories up until his college years! (filled out by his grandmother- verrry interesting details, like failing French lessons!) Reading my Dad's book was helpful to learn names of family and family friends, especially for recognizing names in letters and documents I found throughout my research. My baby book has all the details of my first words, foods, and major milestones- even the hospital bracelets and a lock of hair from my first haircut. I can only hope to complete such a detailed history of each baby in a complete succinct book. Right now I have notes, pictures, hospital bracelets, and birth announcements all over the place.

So until I have the time, organization, and confidence to fill out G&G's baby books- I made a photobook via Shutterfly of their first month. I know it sounds silly, the first month?! But with 2 babies and so much happening from the birth, home coming, family visiting, etc...there was a lot to pack into 20 pages. The next photobook I'll try and tackle the first year.

Click here to view this photo book larger

Click here to create your own Shutterfly photo book.


I can't find the power cord to my printer/scanner- I'd love to add pictures from abovementioned baby books! It's on my to do list once the cord has been recovered. Might not happen for a while- but they are precious pages I'd love to share! Did I mention that I really need to get organized? :)