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Instaday

dear lizzy instagram

① It was a long day and I rewarded myself with my new favorite indulgence: Buffalo chicken pizza from Slab. For some reason I bought three times the amount I can eat on my own. I spy: some cute toesies.

② Earlier when Myles came to a Dear Lizzy planning meeting and turned all Mr. bossy-pants on us. Making sure we stayed on task while he took selfies of himself with my phone. haha But honestly, he was way too cute and a big distraction.

③ Stopped by Collin’s new gig: Studio app headquarters. Have you downloaded it yet and tried it out? It’s a design app for adding text and cool overlays to your photos. There’s an awesome Studio community too. If you like someone’s design click “REMIX” and you can add it to your own photo fast and easy. There’s a lot of inspiration there! It’s for Androids and iPhones and it’s free. Search “Studio” or “Design Studio” in the app store. Let me know what you think! I added the yellow square and the word “Eat” to the top left photo with Studio. Also, hashtag any of your photos with #madewithstudio on Instagram.

④ Lola enjoying an ice cream cone reward after making it through the mouse maze at Ikea. I am working on some home projects that I hope to finish soon. But, ya know, summer is kind of distracting.

Mermaid Sighting

fun fin mermaid

In case you were wondering if mermaids actually exist…!
For Quincey’s birthday last month I was so excited to surprise her with a mermaid tail!! Since we were planning on celebrating her birthday with our family at the pool-it was perfect.
I searched around a bunch of different sites online and wanted to share the one I found that I liked the most:
Fin Fun Mermaid  
I chose them because of the good reviews I found. Also, there are other tails out there that are made out of foam for the tail which confused me because I didn’t know how they would hold up when wet or if they’d get soaked and heavy.
You can purchase just the tail (like I did) or add a Monofin to go inside the end of the tail. A Monofin looks just like a swimming flipper in the shape of a mermaid tail that sits inside the tail. I noticed it helps them swim easier and faster so now I wish I would’ve got the monofin with my first purchase. Especially since she’s more comfortable and it keeps the shape of the mermaid fin. In the picture my Quincey is only wearing the tail without the fin.
Make sure that your child is a good swimmer before she goes in the water with a tail on since you are not able to doggie paddle or kick your legs like usual. Also, I love the material because it’s perfect for swimming and doesn’t get heavy when wet.

Fin Fun also sells matching tankinis, bikini tops and even a version of a tail for a toddler that I want to get my little Lola. Little girls are so imaginative and love to dress up and play pretend… and being a mermaid is straight up dreamy!

fun fin mermaid

First a mermaid tail, then pink hair… this girl knows how to live it up at six years old!

fun fin mermaid tail

 

The GO SEE DO’s of S U M M E R

summer free printable

Today is the first Monday that we are out of school… YAY SUMMER! That means we stayed in our pjs way too long, ate french toast, watered the plants in pots outside and… homework?
Yep, I had the girls fill out their GO  SEE  DO  EAT  MAKE  BE’s of this summer. Thanks to Ann Marie for the free download
Reading the girls’ lists was a relief because they didn’t write anything too crazy. A front flip off the diving board-I can handle.
PS That strawberry is from our garden. I planted and grew it. I know, I was surprised too!! #blackthumb

I might have cheated on my homework because we started one of my goals already when we took our camper out for a spin on Memorial Weekend. glamping trailer remodel
GO in the mountains with Sweet Pea.
SEE a play in Sundance under the stars
DO a kind deed for a friend & stranger
EAT funnel fries at the carnival
MAKE a video of our summer adventures
MAKE another Dear Summer journal/mini

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BE carefree
BE present
BE cool

Post your list and link to it in the comments… love to see what your Summer list. xo, Lizzy

Barcelona, I love you.

barcelona spain

Not quite as zombie-esque as I was yesterday… but finally getting back in the swing of things. It’s crazy to travel somewhere that’s opposite time zones. The secret to getting back on track is to skip your bedtime. Both ways we didn’t rest and waited until it was dark where we were at to sleep. I think it helped us adjust quickly. Although there’s a few hours when you can’t really keep your eyes open. Whenever I would waver Collin would cheerfully say, “Jet lag hates movement!” While speed walking and swinging his arms. Wearing his tennis shoes, dad shorts & backpack and I’d think… we are suuuuuuch tourists.

barcelona spain

We loved Barcelona! Everything was beautiful, every corner had a delicious bakery or treat… which means this was my kind of place! I think the last day we had three servings of crepes. Each.

barcelona spain

barcelona spain

The event went really well! Makes me wonder what I was so nervous about! Mireia, with Kits de Somni, did amazing with all the details.  Xenia was my translator and I literally couldn’t have taught my class with out her. Or at least it would’ve been scary since my spanish is no bueno.

barcelona spain

You guys, the students were incredible! There was about 80 and they were so excited to meet me that I literally was in tears within 5 minutes of being with them. It’s pretty spectacular to not speak a language yet feel so much love! Thank you to my nueva amigas!! (See I told you my spanish sucked.) kiss kiss!!!!!

barcelona

barcelona

barcelona

barcelona
I love this Instagram from Collin during an afternoon in the main square of the city:
She asked if I could take her family’s picture so I snapped 3 then took a selfie and gave her phone back. Then we asked her take a picture of us and she took this selfie and gave my phone back. 2-mins earlier she was praying on a rug facing East. We’re all God’s children and humor connects us.

barcelona

barcelona
An artist who has been drawing peoples’ faces for 30 years gave us his interpretation of us. We about died laughing when he finished!! haha This was my souvenir from the trip.

barcelona spain
When I was packing for our trip Quincey gave me her favorite, little box so I would remember her while I was away. I started putting stuff in it and making room in my luggage when I had the best idea. I told her I would fill it with treasures from Barcelona and bring it home to her. I picked up a few more things that aren’t in the picture.
When we were packing up from Barcelona to head home Collin says, “Here this is really important so pack it somewhere safe.” I was thinking he was going to hand me my passport or some money to exchange before we head home. I looked up and he was holding out the cheesy floral box. I’m so glad that he gets it.
With in the first hour of being home I shared her a story with each item. (A charm from a nun we met, shells from the beach, wish bracelets, a good luck penny I found on the ground outside a huge cathedral, seeds to plant from Spain, chocolates from my friend in Switzerland, etc) She loved sitting down and looking through it all. At this moment it is still under her pillow.

barcelona spain

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We even made it to the Mediterranean… but let me tell you it feels so good to be home! xo, Lizzy
We took mostly video with our big camera and some photos. Can’t wait to dig through it all and see the magic of this city again.

May is going to be magic #yay

studio app

My favorite month begins today… and not because my birthday is in 3 days! Okay, maybe that’s part of it. But there’s also a Barcelona trip planned, Avery’s baptism and that one day where mothers get spoiled. #yay!
This photo caption and design were made with the app called Studio. You should download it! There’s so many cool overlays and fun ways to be creative with your photos. Plus, it’s a neat community where you can see others’ designs and “remix” them to fit your photo and style. My husband recently joined this fast growing start-up– which is exciting! I actually used the app months ago and had to show him how it works. haha! Fun stuff. Anyway… back to my birthday. I’m 33. Remember when you were 18 and if you heard someone say they were thirty you thought how freaking old that is. Well, now here I am. So far thirties aren’t so bad. I kind of like them. Happy May Day!!!
Putting together a giveaway to celebrate with my favorite things. Celebrate with me!

Road Trip + Beach Travel Tips

newport beach vacation
The reality of spring break being over has set in with the craziness of mornings and my dang to-do list staring at me! Oh, but it was a wonderful week! Seriously, one of the best. Which is funny because we did nothing flashy or extravagant. We didn’t even go to Disneyland. (gasp!) I know, I know I was sad about that too but I just wanted to pull up to our place for the week and not have to leave it until it was time to say goodbye. And that’s what we did.
Our days filled with beach, bike rides, eating, exploring along the pier, playing in the sand, gathering shells, more bike rides and more eating. I’d never stayed at a beach house steps from the sand before and it was perfect for the ages of my kids. Because we would go back and forth all day.
Our family needed this. Life was flying by and we needed this time to connect. You definitely don’t have to go to the beach to accomplish that, though it didn’t hurt. I think it’s hard when I work from home because I constantly have that pull to work on something. I felt more detached from stuff I needed to do and could focus on them.
I did have some down time when Myles was napping or the kids were getting ready for bike rides that I could use my art journal. It worked out great! Going to finish parts of it and share this week.

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

Summer is coming up and I wanted to share some tips. I could go on and on but here’s some things that stood out in my mind that hopefully will help some of you. Please leave a comment with any of your tips!

roadtrip

  • Bring your bikes. Renting bikes at the beach is $8 an hour per bike and up to $35 a day that adds up like crazy. We only brought three and had to rent one for Collin when we all rode together. It actually wasn’t that much added work to bring them for the money that we saved. And we rode our bikes everyday we were there. I also love my WeeRide bike seat for Myles. I woke up cruised along the beach before bike rental places were even open so I am glad we brought ours.  Bike racks for a hitch are anywhere from 100-150 depending on how nice and how many bikes you have. There are also bike rack options for car trunks. (PS If you make a stop at a hotel bring your bikes into the hotel room. Better safe than sorry. Plus, you can ride them through the casino like me did. ; ) We also brought a bike lock and brought our bikes into the beach house every night.)
  • Start A Tradition. Ours is to get Hippo Cookies on Balboa Island at Dad’s Original Frozen Banana. We ride the ferry across the island in our car (You can get out and sit on the ferry too.) Then we drive to Dad’s and buy these colorful sprinkled hippo cookies. I am sure you’ve heard me talk about them before. We went our last night we were there and the girls reminded me of it everyday until we finally went there. Vacations are about memories and traditions stand out in children’s minds.
  • Research online for activities before you go. That way you have options ready, addresses, costs and information so you don’t waste time doing that while you are on vacation. It might not be needed but it’s nice to have ready if there’s bad weather, kids are tired or sunburned or you feel like exploring.
  • Pack lunches and snacks. Since we stayed at a beach house we made one trip to the grocery store upon arrival and bought enough for breakfast, lunch and snacks for the week. As well as a couple dinner ideas too. This helps with younger kids because they have the food they like and my kids are active running around the beach so they got hungry lots. Most hotels have small refrigerators too so you can at least have options for sandwiches, milk for breakfast and fruit etc. Even Disneyland let’s you bring in food. Which is great if you have picky eaters and people who get irritable when hungry, like me. ; )
    We walked to dinner a couple nights. Our favorite was ordering take out and delivery the other nights to eat on the beach during the sunset. That was a lot more fun than a restaurant with small kids anyway.
  •  Organize clothes into outfits before you go. This saves you the headache from digging around the luggage. Even just wrap each outfit with a rubber band.
  • Road Trip bags for each. Each kid had a small backpack at their feet in the car with coloring book, crayons and snacks. (Not drinks unless you want to stop every 30 mins.) Since we have DVDs that helps them to stay seated and happy for long hours but they even get tired of that. They loved coloring, reading and having a small prize in their bag.
  • Road Trip prizes: Have a prize ready for small kids to open while they are driving to keep them happy. This works awesome for toddlers. One trip I had a small present for them to open every hour or if they were getting fussy.
  • Offer fruit first instead of drinks. When one of my kids needed to go potty literally 5 minutes after we left our house I knew this would be a long trip…Instead of handing over a water bottle I gave them an apple slice or an orange. I still gave them drinks but just not every single time they said they were thirsty.
  • Plan on incidentals in your budget. Don’t be a Debbie Downer and expect the worst but there usually are a few things that get lost, stolen or forgotten. We lost one flipflop, one scooter, sand toys and forgot one pillow.
  • Don’t put all your pictures on one memory card. Bring two memory cards. After one of our vacations a DSLR card said that the files were corrupted. It was only a few pictures so it wasn’t tragic but if you plan on taking lots of digital picture maybe switch out your card mid-trip and put it somewhere safe so you don’t lose all your images if happens to go wrong.
  • Day Bag: If you have to make a one night stop somewhere along your journey pack one bag with everyone’s change of clothes in it. We stay in Vegas on the way there and I always pack the kids pjs and change of clothes for the morning so I can just grab that one bag and keep it simple.
  • Here are some fun places to visit in New Port Beach we found out before we arrived:
    Crystal Cove State Park
     is a great place to explore tide pools and they even have cottages you can stay in. It’s a nice beach to spend a day at.
    NewPort Dunes is a fun RV Resort. We were thinking of bringing our camper there sometime because there’s lots to do. In the summer months anyone can go there and watch a movie on the beach.
    Balboa Island Fun Zone Boat Tours: We took a sunset boat trip Friday night. It was fun! The tour starts on the Newport Harbor where we saw newborn sea lions resting on rocks, celebrity homes like Shirley Temple & then we traveled out to the ocean. There we saw more sea lions and dolphins. The sunset was beautiful and it was a great evening activity. They’ve done this tour since 1948. It was about $34 for our whole family to go. Online you can use the code FRIDAY for 10/off adult tickets on Friday Night. They also have other fun cruises available. While you are at the Fun Zone on Balboa Island there is a ferris wheel and other activities.

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

newport beach vacation

These Days

dear lizzy instagram

dear lizzy instagramdear lizzy instagram

Lately I’ve been so engrossed with quotes seen on Instagram and Pinterest… “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Dang it Abe Lincoln… you magnificent, wise wizard…! He’s so right. But sometimes I just want to sulk in my own self-pity and blame it on something else. That’s when I look around and list the tiny moments these days that save my life. For instance, try having a bad attitude while wearing a super hero cape and racing on a scooter down the hill with the warm spring sun fighting to reach our faces. It’s impossible. Sometimes I act like a stuffy, old person… and I hate it. It’s way more fun to be hysterically dorky.
I’m trying to remember that there is nothing more refreshing and freeing than looking at life amid the chaos and imperfections and thinking– Wow, I love today.

dear lizzy instagram

Overlays from Paislee Press//Actions Totally Rad//Iphone5 photos

 

 

To-Do List Avoider & Winners


image via: Ikea

GIVEAWAY WINNERS: THE VINTAGE PEARL $50 GIFT CARDS
Love, Carrie
Emily Coe

DEAR LIZZY TOTE AND GOODIES
Meg Barker 

JO TOTE CAMERA BAG
Eri
EMAIL ME if you won or are interested in sponsoring Dear Lizzy: elizabeth.kartchner@gmail.com


There is so much to do this time of year. I feel like my list of to-dos just keeps getting longer. But here I was yesterday morning, laying with my babe. Trapped. And I could care less about the stuff I need to do. How do you say no to cuddling with this doll?


We had a blast at Zuzu’s North Pole Adventure that raised money for the United Angels Foundation to help special needs children in need of help with bills, dental work etc. I was so proud of my sister I started crying and then we were both balling. It’s been quite a growing year for her and her family and for Zuzu surviving and thriving after two open heart surgeries.
At the event I looked over and saw my sis across this room full of elves who donated their time, Santa, Mrs Claus and ALL these people who came even though their was a horrible snow storm outside… I could not hold back the tears. Thank you to everyone who came and supported this wonderful cause.


This photo of Myles and me is one of my favorites. My mom was here for Thanksgiving and once I was holding him and she asked him, “Where’s your momma?” He would do this! Rest his face with a smile on my chest. She asked over and over and he’d do the same thing. It’s my favorite thing. #heartmelted


Avery finished reading two of her first chapter books from the Junie B Jones series. My mom saved them for her and brought them over last year. I am determined to raise a bunch of nerds. They are the best! I also hope she likes unicorns and wears roller skates far too long than she should.


Christmas shopping!

Also, Christmas parties! This one was a Vegas themed party for Collin’s work. Don’t ask. haha! Okay, I’ll explain. Collin became, Sergai, and talked in a Russian accent even before we got to the party to get in character as a gambling, Russian arms dealer… apparently I was Natalia his girlfriend. Yes, people dress up for not just Halloween. He got a $100 gift card so that’s cool. ha! It was a blast!
After that night I decided I need to dance more in my life. When most everyone left and the DJ started I kicked off my glitter heels and made of fool of myself dancing. I even lost my voice. Baby Jesus would’ve been proud.

Counting down to Christmas! xo, Lizzy

 

Bouquet of Sharpened Pencils

Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms. tom hanks You’ve Got Mail

Something about this dark, crisp autumn day with yellow leaves filling up the view out my window that makes want to curl up under a blanket and watch You’ve Got Mail. Or any  other Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film for that matter. What ever happened to Meg Ryan…? Even French Kiss is still such a cute flick. Anyway, today I am making chocolate cookies, cleaning up my desk I’ve been avoiding at all costs and other activities that scream it’s fall people.
And now pics to prove to my kids the fun we’ve had… Including taking our camper out to the mountains on its first adventure. Bike rides on a warm day and Myles + leaves. Doesn’t fall look good on him with this sweater, button down shirt and jeans. All he needs is a cup of apple cider and knitted scarf.



 

 

Love You More

As I am typing this our camper is getting the finishing touches on a fresh coat of paint. I can not wait to see it all shiny and new. Collin worked on the flooring and the upholstery is all done in a flashy turquoise… Just in time for winter! haha But we should still have some nice weeekends before hibernation. I collected some things to put inside and will share some pics of our process when we get it back home. Collin even came up with a “name” for it. It made me tear up because it has to do with my dad and so many of my memories of him were camping… but I’ll save all that for another day.

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite-only a sense of existence.”
And a date to Target with my little guy!

Also, one day I thought I want to play the ukulele… and the first song I want to learn is Edelweiss. How random are both of those thoughts?! Not that random if you know me. For one, Sound of Music is one of my all-time favorite movies. And second, I have always-always wanted to learn to play the guitar. So I bought a mini one.
It’s actually easier than I thought. I am not good at all, by any means. But I can play sounds that sound like the song it should be. ahaha
Do you play the yook? any tips or favorite tutorials on youtube?

Getting Halloween costumes together and enjoying this wonderful fall weather! xo, Lizzy