Category Archives: random thoughts

To The Stars and Back

Hi everyone, Emma here to share a page I created using the gorgeous new collection, Lovely Day!  I can honestly say I am in love with it all!  I’m usually all about the embellishments but the papers!!  The papers are seriously gorgeous!  And that’s just the double-sided papers…then there are the embossed papers in the paper pack!!!!!!!  I could go on and on 😉

For my first page I decided to crank out the Cameo (I have a bad habit of not using the machine for months…) and cut an old Dear Lizzy file (from Lucky Charm!) which I picked up from the Silhouette Store a while back.DL_Feb17_love-you_S6A

Here is a closer look at the page I created:DL_Feb17_love-you_10A

I picked one of my favourite embossed papers from the 12×12 paper pad, it’s the most gorgeous colour and has the teeny tiny little crosses embossed all over.  I made the width slightly less than my overall (I scrap 6×8) and backed the page up with plain white cardstock that also acts as a border on the sides.DL_Feb17_love-you_8

I included machine stitching on both sides of the paper, not only to fix the page in place, but because I love the texture it adds to the page without being too distracting.DL_Feb17_love-you_7A

For my embellishing (which will always be my favourite part of the creating process) I wanted to keep it pretty simple and went with a couple clusters, one at the top of my page and the other just above my photo.DL_Feb17_love-you_2

The cluster at the top of my page started with the flower layered sticker.  Let’s just take a moment to reflect just how cute all those layered stickers are….  Seriously though, they really are.  It fit perfectly at the end of the “YOU” on my page but it didn’t fill quite enough space and I wanted that top section to pop a bit more so I grabbed the flower chipboard from the Phrase stickers and gradually worked in all the others.  The buttons are adorable (and I love that they have a foam dot on the back already making them super easy to apply on the page).DL_Feb17_love-you_3A

I’m a sucker for sticker word phrases and the sticker sheet has quite a few to pick from (at the perfect size too for my smaller pages, bonus!).  For the bottom of my page I didn’t want it to be too busy so I went with the layered sticker fox.  Why? Because it’s a fox and it’s CUTE.  Sometimes the reasons for me picking things that go on a page are as simple as being cute.  Yep; I’m like that. Ha!DL_Feb17_love-you_5

I also popped one of the yellow chipboard hearts there to help balance out some of the brightness from the top (even though the fox has the yellow flower, I thought it needed a little more).

And that’s it.  Simple page using a cut file and fun embellishments! Every time I create a page using a cut file I’m reminded how much I actually love them.  I’m really happy how it ended up but I’m a little sad that I managed to use a lot  of my favourite embellishments on my first page..yeah, the hoarder in me never quits.  (If you happened to be putting any of these into your shopping basket, I would totally suggest getting 2 of the embellishment packs…just sayin’. You won’t regret it.)DL_Feb17_love-you_4

Thanks so much for joining me on the blog today!  I hope it’s inspired you and I can’t wait to be back sharing more of the pages I’ve created using this amazing collection (the pages are all come together so easily, I love when that happens!!).

Take care, Em xo

Hello Sunshine

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The end of January (I don’t think I had even unpacked from CHA) we hopped on a plane and flew to find some sunshine. It literally was 7 or 8 degrees that night before we left home. Crazy cold. And then a few hours later we were riding bikes along the ocean. Ahh it was so good for the soul. And everyone enjoys bike rides in our fam, no matter the age, so it honestly was the perfect activity to keep everyone happy. San Diego had just gotten a lot of rain, that we luckily missed, so everything was so beautiful and green. Gonna relish in these photos for the next little bit before spring! 🙂
I hadn’t been to Mission Beach for a long time and loved it. Great family place with Belmont Park right next door. Oh, I’ll share that next-it was so fun!

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Lately she’s looking so mature and old it’s crazy. Like a tween. She’s always been really tall for her age. She’s ten but wears size 12-14. Collin and I would secretly giggle at eachother because she’s one that enjoys the journey. She just cruised along the beach very slow and soaked it all in. This is her literally stopping to admire and sneak a flower to put behind her ear.
Quincey is polar opposite she was speeding the whole time and riding circles around us. Lola was on a tandem bike and was so sweet and this is SO Lola when she said to Collin, “Don’t worry dad I’ll do all the work.” haha Myles was alseep with in 5 minutes thanks to the sound of the ocean.
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Minty Christmas

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Well the Grinch decided to come early and ruin Christmas in the form of a computer disaster. My desktop mac won’t turn on. So the last year of photos are suddenly vanished. Somehow I’m pretty calm about this and not having a panic attack which even surprises me. Maybe cause I know the ending and the Grinch’s heart grows and he will fix my computer and we will hold hands and sing… “Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores… welcome Christmas, Christmas day!”
Praying that they will be saved… It’s crazy cause a couple days ago I had a feeling to upload my photos to my hard drive that I completely brushed away like an annoying fly. Sheesh and now here I am staring at a blank screen and wishing I would’ve trusted my heart and listened. Cause I’m usually watching out for mah self. ; )

Here’s a little look at our cards this year… We got them through Minted and I love how they turned out. I couldn’t decide so I got two versions… One is a book of some beach photos and the other is a gorgeous gold embossed Christmas one! Oh, and I ordered a few ornament photo cards for gifts. The funny thing is I forgot to change the name so it reads, “Merry Christmas!” Love, The Chen Family” ahahahah That’s classic Lizzy move. Going to put it on my family gifts and they’ll get a kick out of it. But really I love the paper Minted uses to print the cards on… and I know my paper! Basically consider myself a paper snob ; ) They have some really cute Happy New Year cards that would be fun to send out if Christmas cards aren’t you’re thing.
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What the heck are Macros?

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This past year I was inspired by my awesome husband (who lost 50 pounds in a few months) and I wanted to get stronger and more healthy. You may think that I wouldn’t need to lose weight necessarily but I know that my eating wasn’t healthy, I was tired… and strong is the new skinny, right? Plus, I get really ornery when I don’t eat, the saying, “Sorry for what I said when I was hungry.” Might as well be tattooed on my forehead. The thing with being a busy mom, that I’m sure some of you can relate, is that sometimes I don’t make time to eat. Or I grab something that’s not good for me. I heard about counting macros and I wanted to know more about it this past summer. I started exercising cause I needed more energy and I can definitely link my mood and mental healthy to exercising. I had been working out at boxing/crossfit gym 4-5 times a week. I thought I was eating heathy but I didn’t really know what I was really putting into my body until I started tracking my macros. It’s crazy how much of getting in shape is eating. I’ve heard people say it’s 90% eating and 10% working out.

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So what are Macros? Macros or Macronutrients are what makes up the caloric content of food. It’s better than just counting calories because you could eat candy and stay in your 2000 calorie diet but that would be mostly carbs. This helps you balance your calories and make sure you get protein and even some fat too.
Use the app, Fitness Pal, and it will take the calories you want to eat in a day, say you want to stick to a 2000 calorie diet, then an online calculator or dietitian will break down your macros which is different for everyone, but it could look like this: 40% protein 35% carbohydrates and 25% fat. As you are eating through out the day you will enter the food for each meal into the app and you can track everything to make sure the food you eat stays in those percentages. If you eat all candy, breads, pastas then it will be higher percentage for carbs. And if you eat a bag of cocoa almonds like I like to do haha it will sway my percentage to mostly fat. I love that it helps me balance it all. I’m seriously happier because I try to eat every 2-3 hours and I don’t get to the starving phase like I used to which leads to grabbing a handful of Goldfish crackers or crappy food. No no.

I called on an expert to explain this. Her name is Bree Carver and she’s a certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor. She creates customized meal plans as well as online training programs to help you reach your fitness goals. Check out her website Body By Bree and if you’d like fitness and nutrition tips her Instagram is @bodybybree2! So here we go…
“IIFYM stands for “If It Fits My Macros.” The IIFYM diet focuses on the three most important energy sources needed for our bodies to function properly. I’m talking about protein, carbohydrates and fat. How it works: I will calculate your daily caloric needs, then split those calories into certain percentages according to your height, age, weight, body type and activity level.  You give me your food preferences and I will create a 7 day meal plan according to your prescribed macros. The beauty of macros is you have the flexibility to eat whatever you want as long as it fits your target macro numbers.  This is the most effective for muscle growth, fat burning and consistent energy levels without feeling restricted to eating boring, bland foods all the time.  You can have your treat and fit it into your macro count without feeling guilty!  It’s a very balanced, healthy approach to “dieting” and reaching your fitness goals.”
Thanks Bree! I was so excited she introduced me to the app Fitness Pal and also created a custom 7 day meal plan! It’s weird because I know some food are bad for you but I didn’t realize just how crappy and unbalanced some of the food I put in my body was.
Like take Swedish fish candy. You can eat 7 sweedish fish that have 38 carbs and 150 calories. SEVEN. Which is the same as a piece of Good Seed bread + turkey, tomato, lettuce, honey mustard! Crazy. I’d much rather fill my body with the healthy stuff. The thing that I love with counting macros is IIFYM (if it fits your macros) you just count your carbs and I’ll fit in a cookie if I want. I try to stick to the plan but I do sneak in and reward myself with some treats or a cheat meal every week! It’s especially tricky this time of year so this would be great to think about for the new year and new goals! img_0659
I’m sharing this because I love it! It’s truly been more of a lifestyle change for me and not a fad diet that I will get sick of in a few days or weeks. I am adding more and more healthy options snacks, meals etc all the time. Sheesh, I eat protein pancakes everyday. Pancakes. (Chocolate protein powder, egg whites, cottage cheese and oats + sugar free syrup.) I used to never eat breakfast I’d skip it which is so not good. But protein pancakes are both-good for you and delicious. My friend Jenna also came out with Macros Made Easy  that I want to check out!
Love finding healthy alternatives! I’ll share more of that if anyone is interested.

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Recipe:
1 scoop of Protein Powder (I use Frosted Chocolate Cupcake or Snickerdoodle)
1/3 c Quick Oats | 1/3 c 1% Cottage Cheese | 3/4 c Egg Whites | A little water if needed | When I use Snickerdoodle add a little vanilla and cinnamon | Cook on griddle or pan | 1/4 c sugar free low calorie syrup
Let me know if you have any questions! xoxo Lizzy

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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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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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Counting Down to Date Night

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Sponsored by Born

Date night is something I’m counting down for every week. I might as well make one of those paper chains (with dear lizzy paper mind you;) and rip off a link each day it gets closer. I know I say this all the time: my husband travels a lot. But it’s weird that this is our life right now. I remember when I would be dying for 5:35 pm to roll around and he would pull up and I’d take a sigh of relief that I had some back-up for our hooligans. Tagging him in for a round or two. Now it’s like, see you in a few days… where are you going again? We embrace it even though it’s not the ideal situation for either of us-we try to stay positive. That’s when date night swoops in and carries us off to a time of eating in peace and just us. When we’d drive in the car with out someone hollering over Curious George that they need a drink of water right this second or so-and-so just PINCHED them or so-and-so is STARING at them! ;D  Avery is almost old enough to watch everyone which will be nice to have a babysitter at home.
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Teamed up with one of my favorite brands Born as well as Dillards to pick out some matching boots for fall. Collin is super picky so thank goodness they aren’t just cool but super comfy too! Mine are the Kerri style and love them with jeans too! Hashtag bribery for pics #fallforborn
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date-night date-nightI’m really proud of Collin because this year he made some lifestyle changes, like switching from energy drinks to water. 😉 He’s so inspiring to me with his dedication and has lost 50 pounds since May! He hated getting his picture taken… still does!! Took some bribery for this but at least he feels better and more like himself. He has more energy and happier health wise. Super proud of him so thanks for letting me gush for a second. xoxo

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Teacher’s Pet

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I’m not surprised she thrives at Kindergarten but I might have been hoping she’d miss me a little. lol It’s only half day so that’s nice! Give her two weeks and she’s the type that will be the teacher’s pet. Lola’s already brought her teacher treats. I mean, Reece’s peanut butter cups are the way to anyones heart so she’s a smart girl.
Jamming out to Disney Jungle Book “I wanna be like you” on blast. hehe

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Top is sold out from PoppyWells but linked similar ones below:

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Forever 35

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Who says Junior High is the most embarrassing time? I still manage to embarrass myself as a grown adult. Like today, when my daughter answered the door for me and I forgot that I hadn’t snapped the bodysuit and it was untucked. I had also ran errands all morning. Sooo yeah. There’s a reason everyone stopped wearing these in the nineties. Because A: It’s a permanent wedgie and B: Because of what happened to me. But mostly cause the wedgie thing.
Why did I buy a bodysuit you might ask? You see, in my defense, I was with my girls school shopping and we stopped at Forever 21 and I thought I’d just give it a go since it was so cheap. But after this, I realized maybe it’s time I start shopping at Forever 35. bwahaha

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Lola & Her Bear

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When I was traveling in Australia… Tasmania to be exact! There was the sweetest lady I met and she asked about our dog and I told her I would post some photos of him. So here ya go! These are for you!
Lola and her bear. She still loves on him. He still follows her around and waits for her to drop something to eat. Or licks any extra off her cheeks.

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Since my husband travels for work I didn’t have a camera cause he would have to pack up all the gear. I am excited to get a new camera and can start taking photos again of our day to day. Still figuring it out though! I got the Canon 6D. I will do a more extensive review but I am liking it so far and getting to know it. I also use the Canon lens 24-70. It’s by far the best lens we’ve shot with. Sharp photos and the zoom is great. For these pictures I used this Sigma lens 50mm lens.