December first

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So just like that the magic begins… of twinkle lights, giddy children counting down the days, wrapping gifts with love and thinking more about Christ and how to give as He did.
This morning Collin had already made breakfast and they watched a video about the spirit of Christmas. (Link to video in the sidebar.) Might have made Collin cry but don’t tell him I told you that. Later when the older girls were heading off to school he said, “Find someone to share your light with. Remember to spread your light!” I loved it. Exactly what this season is all about.

You better believe these will be the start of my December Daily album! yay!

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How cute is the camper and truck?! I’m obsessed. It’s all slightly inspired by camping. Adorable stuff. And these knitted stockings are my fave. Also I want these car with the tree on top ornaments! Look just like some Dear Lizzy stickers from the Christmas collection! I filled the truck with my bottle brush trees and it makes me so happpyyy! It’s the little things. ; )

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Feeling Festive over here…

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Putting these little elves to work stringing tiny balls for the tree… !
Feeling festive and decorating slowly but surely. I might have even snuck some decorations out before Thanksgiving. (Gasp!)
Still need to get my ornaments out this was just one storage container with the socks and some stuff so the tree definitely still needs some love. But I’m never the best at the tree. I let the kids do it sometimes I rearrange it but the next day they move it all around anyways. : ) Eventually I give up.

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One of my favorite parts of Christmas is getting and sending Christmas cards. And since today Minted has a 20% off… perfect timing to get the kids to bed and order some those happy holiday mail to make your friends and family see how cute y’all are! Did I just say y’all. Anyways, can’t wait to receive ours. I linked some of my faves below. Looked through a ton of pages and pulled a few that caught my eye. Click on the photo for a direct link to that design! 


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Catching Snowflakes

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There’s no end in sight with the snow falling right now. It’s so magical!
Lola said Myles woke her up this morning when she was having a “really good dream” and now she doesn’t remember what it was about. But she said he shook her saying, “Lola look at the snow! Look at the snow! It’s Christmas!!” They’ve been sleeping in the bottom bunk bed together because they both are scared at night and they’re learning slowly but surely it’s not a good idea to wake sleepy momma bear. hehe
And then we caught snowflakes outside with my cozy little snow bear.

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Linked to this cute jeweled head wrap cause it’s seems totally pointless to not keep your head warm but so cute and a fun change from wearing beanies.

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What’s your wish?

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(Sponsored: Old Navy)
One of our favorite traditions for Christmas besides the carols, family parties, live nativity scene, yummy food, ugly Christmas sweaters, favorite holiday movies, playing in the snow, decorating the tree, hanging stockings, visiting temple square, opening presents, writing letters to Santa… are the pajamas! It would be like Thanksgiving with out the pie. Something is missing.
I remember when I was little and my mom would buy us all matching flannel pants. I wouldn’t take them off all Christmas day or maybe even Christmas break… even when we go to the movies Christmas night. Which was my dad’s favorite tradition… I never really wanted to go. I thought, why don’t we stay and play with all these awesome presents? But now I get it, he probably wanted us to be entertained and sit quietly for 90 minutes. :)

I teamed up with one of my favorite places to shop to share their cute pjs styles. And, you guys, all the sleepwear is 50% off today!! I wanted Q and Lola to be twinners and loved the gold hearts on cream top and bottoms.
Avery loves her cool cat top that reads, “Meowy and Bright” haha! I also loved this red striped onesie for her!
Collin has on some comfy joggers and baseball tee which is nice cause he can wear them year round too. And striped onesies are always a classic for Christmas on Myles and me. And my socks (pictured below) of bulldogs wearing a santa hat. 😀 So festive!

Looking at these photos with the wish lights, I have been thinking about what my wish is this Christmas and my thoughts turn to my family and my mom and all that I wish I could give them! Feeling grateful this week for this beautiful, crazy season of my life.
What’s your wish this Christmas?

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Thanksgiving is so last year

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Finally got around to posting our Thanksgiving feast from… uh… last year. But it was such a wonderful day and it was quite fun to put it all together. One thing I will never forgot about last Thanksgiving was when we were done eating and going around the table saying what we are thankful for with my siblings and their spouses and my mom were sitting around the table some how we started singing old 90s and 80s songs. haha! I snapchatted it if anyone follows me and remembers how crazy my family is. But it made all the time and hours of putting this together worth it. And you guys, Collin cooks the turkey and it’s insanely good!! He uses the recipe from Gordon Ramsey on youtube and it includes putting butter and spices under the turkey skin and finishes with bacon on top. I’m literally drooling thinking about it. I wish I would’ve gotten more pics but things got crazy when all the family starts arriving and I guess I was too busy stuffing my face to take more.
Sweet Tooth Fairy had sugar cookies with all the kids names on it that as really fun for the kid table.
For the place cards I cut everyones’ names with my Silhouette and had a succulent in a gold foil box. The napkin holders, give thanks banner and giant poster above the kid table are from Caravan Shoppe and they’re so great to print on your own and decorate with.
Oh and one more thing, the crate I found by a dumpster behind a grocery store and managed to get it home (it’s huger than I thought) with part of the back open.

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TIPS for hosting:
If you are hosting this year I just wanted to share some quick tips that I’ve learned over the years.
-Set up the morning before (then you know if you are missing anything). I always think I have time the day of but it gets pretty hectic.
-Start a list of what you need at the store a week before. Then I keep adding to it and hopefully (crossing fingers) I get everything in one shot.
-Assign people things to bring. Then you don’t have to guess what they’re bringing. Assign people food out that doesn’t necessarily need to be hot or can be reheated easy.
-Have to go containers on hand.
-Use the throw away foil cooking pans for cooking so you can transfer it to something pretty but don’t have to clean the pan.
-I couldn’t find a table cloth big enough so I bought a flat sheet folded in half and it fit great.
-Have something for the kids to keep them busy the day of they love to get into everything.
Hopefully that helps a little… share some tips you have below!

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Sharing Smiles

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Friday after school we didn’t have any plans and time to kill before my niece’s play so I wanted to do something positive with my kids since there is so much negativity looming with the recent election. At first my husband was like, let’s do something bigger than this, but we had an hour and a half and three kids with us. Plus I knew if we waited until we had a bigger and better idea it probably would never happen so we went with it.
We got some balloons, treats to tie on the ends and even a little cash. It may seem small and even trivial but our hope was to brighten someone’s day and spread a little happiness.
Watching the girls deliver each one and seeing people’s reactions was so fun and uplifting! First, we stopped at this eatery where we took the pics and watched Lola with the smile balloons bobbing above her head as she passed some out and ran back to the car. It was so cute! The girls each took turns and completely loved it! Quincey was a little shy but I noticed as she saw their happy reaction she became more and more open to reaching out.
It doesn’t matter who you voted for… I hope we can all do what we can to uplift and come together!

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Election Day

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Wearing our “I voted” stickers proudly today for Election Day in the U.S. Going to be interesting night but honestly I’m kind of ready for it to be over. I remember when I was traveling in Australia, earlier this year, my friends and guides wanted to talk about our election and it was neat to learn what they hear about the U.S. and their thoughts from the other side of the world.
The line today to vote was outside the door of a school and around the corner but it was worth it to cast our choice. It’s such a historic race! And to think that women used to not have a chance to vote makes me grateful for this priveledge that we can today!
Politics can bring to surface fierce emotions… be respectful. Be brave. Be nice. :)

Myles got a sticker for being adorable.
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Fear No Mess

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Sponsored by method
One hang up with getting creative is letting go of worrying about a mess. Sounds easier said than done and the last thing I want to do is make more work for this momma. But my kids love getting hands on and creative! Even if I am working on something, they want to help or get involved in some way. So it’s time to embrace method’s mission statement to fear no mess. Let me tell you though, when I walk into the kitchen after a box of cheerios tipped over and spilled all over the floor or Myles standing by his masterpiece on the wall holding a black Sharpie… that stuff is scary as heck!! 😉 But I do my best to fear no mess and let my kids get creative! I can honestly remember finger painting in kindergarten like a million years ago. Vividly remember the colors of the paints and our big pieces of paper and feeling the paint in my hands. I think it’s so important for kids!
If you’re not familiar with method they make the best cleaner and soaps. Non-toxic, good for the environment, gluten free, vegan, safe for pets, tri-closen free, Basically you could eat this stuff. But please don’t eat it even if it smells fruity and divine! 😉  Seriously the Pink Grapefruit is my fave and so fresh I want to bask in my clean kitchen and dance around when I’m done. The Honeycrisp Apple and Pear is yummy toooo!

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Here are a few simple tips to getting creative with kids!
1. Some big butcher paper rolls (you can buy rolls at Home Depot)
2. Get ready, set go… Don’t unleash the kids until you are set with paper down, brushes ready and baby wipes in arms reach.
3. When they show what they’ve drawn or painted avoid asking, “What is it?” And instead say, “Tell me about it…”
4. My kids love painting on canvas and if you get it wet before they start it’s easy to rinse off when they are crying because they messed up and can start over. Avoid a tantrum :)

We painted then stamped their hands on papers to keep in their scrapbooks!
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Hi, we’re method. Our mission is to fear no mess. All your life you’ve been told to be clean. To be perfect, and that’s the problem. Because sh*t gets interesting when it gets messy. So live a little. Live a lot. Be bold with anything you do, and make bigger messes than you ever thought possible. Because when you have clean ingredients you can play as dirty as you want without feeling bad about the clean up.

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Shoot for the Moon

Hi everyone! I’m excited to share this layout using the newest Dear Lizzy Saturday collection and a little stamping with the cute house stamps. I’m terrible at using stamps; it’ss not that I don’t like them, because there are some adorable stamps out there that I love, it just never occurs to me to actually use them. I guess if I’m completely honest, I find them a little bit intimidating, and I’ve no idea why, haha. But every now and then I like to give it a shot which is how this layout came about. The stamp set from the Saturday collection has the cutest little buildings and I thought it would look fun teamed with a photo I recently took of the moon (I love getting snaps of the moon, call me crazy).

I picked 3 fun and bright colours – yellow, pink and teal (..not that I have a whole lot of variety of
colours in my stash!) and stamped each building along the bottom.
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As usual I ended up with one building having a less than perfect impression (that teal one!! Grr!) – I swear the more I try to get a perfect impression, the less likely I am to get it, haha.
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But rather than start again (this was already attempt #2, lol) I thought I’d add some dimension to the bottom of the page so I just stamped them again on a scrap piece of white cardstock.

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Once I’d stamped a few I just used scissors to cut them to shape (leaving a small white border the whole way around). Then I popped a foam dot behind and stuck them straight on top of my less than perfect impressions on the page. Problem solved! Here’s how my page finished up:
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I wanted the page to be fairly neutral except for my bright buildings along the bottom so I teamed the chipboard thickers (which I think are a perfect match!!) with a few co-ordinating black/white pieces (I used a sheet from the 6×6 paper pad, die-cuts and black varnish stickers). I enlisted help from Pinterest to find a quote about the moon and just typed it up on the computer using a typewriter font.

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Because I scrap 6×8 pages, often I’m stuck on where to put my journaling, I mean there is only so much room on the page and more often than not, I want the photo/title to be the feature of the page, so I’ll often add it either behind the photo or on the back of my page. Almost all of my
layouts have journaling of some description, it’s just that often you can’t see it
☺ In this case I popped it on the back! Just stuck it onto one of the die-cut cards, used a strip of wash and included one of the stickers to help pretty it up a bit. Easy one!

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Given my journaling is often “hidden” I’ve had a few people question me about how I actually read it once they’re stored in albums.
I use the Studio Calico 6×8 Handbooks to store my layouts. I’m not sure about you, but I file all my pages back to back in the pockets (so 2 pages per pocket back to back, means I can cram more pages into the album!)

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Given my journaling is often “hidden” I’ve had a few people question me about how I actually read it once they’re stored in albums.
I use the Studio Calico 6×8 Handbooks to store my layouts. I’m not sure about you, but I file all my pages back to back in the pockets (so 2 pages per pocket back to back, means I can cram more pages into the album!) I average somewhere between 13-15 plastic pockets per album so depending on how chunky my pages are, I manage to get anywhere from 20-30 scrapbook layouts per album which is pretty good!

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But back to the question! When I add journaling on the back I just don’t put another page behind it once it’s in the pocket. That way when I’m flipping through the album I don’t need to take it out to read it (which is what I have to do when I tuck it behind the photo, but I can live with that! ☺)

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Step Outside

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(Sponsored by Zappos)
Some days I wanna move somewhere where I can step out the door and ride my bike to the store… then other days I realize that even though I hate driving up a steep hill to our house (especially in the snow) we are so lucky to live with the mountains in our back yard. We can literally walk a block up the road and find the prettiest trails and gorgeous views of the city. There’s even a hike to a waterfall that starts two blocks away. Sheesh, why am I so ungrateful at times? I love how my kids help me see what I start to view as ordinary and remember to enjoy all these moments that we can easily dismiss. Like an afternoon hike when the leaves look fall as fall can be!

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In a couple weeks, when this is all covered with snow, these new boots by Kamik are definitely going to come in handy keeping my toesies toasty. Because I am THE biggest baby when it is cold that I have to dress warm. Then I am a happy snowman. When I am dressed warm I definitely love the winter. That and we started skiing again last year so now I am counting down to the first snowfall.
Love all the Kamik style boots. Avery got some when she was younger and they last forever so my others girls will wear them too.
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More than any of our kids Quincey loves her one on one time. She thrives on it. I think maybe because she’s can be a bit quieter than the other two that it’s nice when she feels like she doesn’t have to compete with others to be silly, or to talk to mom and dad. She’s my Sporty Spice which makes it fun to do something adventurous.
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