Anytime anyone asked me how old I was this year I would say 33 and Collin would correct me… no you’re 32.
This weekend I definitely got spoiled including a shopping date with Collin on saturday. Although I didn’t even buy anything. What was I thinking?! I guess the wandering around beautiful City Creek mall and not having to chase after kids was a gift in itself. Then we went to a Drive-In and watched the new Spider Man movie. I haven’t been to a Drive-In forever. Collin and I would go all the time like 15 years ago…Yet, we couldn’t remember any of the movies we watched. Hmmmm… Expect Tarzan. haha! Wonder why? ; )
For my 33rd year I am compiling a list of what I hope to accomplish this year–but first things first– a birthday giveaway!
To celebrate me getting old I gathered some of my favorite things to giveaway to one of you!
There are a couple ways to enter since not everyone is not on Instagram. You can do one or all of the options…
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!
Best Ever refers to that magical spring break trip I already gushed about on this post… but here we go again. This time around all the memories are more tangible mixed with paper and glue.
Some of the techniques I used for this mini are:
Painting and watercolor
Printing journaling and the days of the week on vellum & an envelope
Sewing the vellum onto page protectors
Including sand and shells in the page protector and sewing it shut
Stamping on wood tape/ Watercolor on US map & journaling square
Layering & diecutting a page
Everything I used is from the kits at Studio Calico!
Love all the little pockets in the page protectors.
And here are the vellum pages I printed on and sewed to the page protectors.
The wood tape in this kit is rad and the stamp set in the mini album kit fits perfect on the tape. Which I am sure is not a coincidence and made me smile because I really appreciate such thoughtfulness.
Used my Silhouette Cameo and die cut the above statistics from the trip. I didn’t technically count all the potty breaks so I am curious now how close I was to the truth. My husband always jokes that their bladders are the size of a hummingbirds. I shared some tips for road trip travels with kids in a previous post.
Included a list of our favorite songs on the road trip inside the envelope.
Maybe it has something to do with having lost my father at a young age but I live too much of my life worrying that something horrible is going to happen to someone I love. Why do I do this to myself? I don’t know how my stomach isn’t lined with ulcers. ; ) Even thinking of leaving my kids for a couple nights with my mom I will have visions of earthquakes and fires. At times my worrying isn’t even to a normal degree. haha! Like the kids will miss me and be sad when they fall asleep. I am picturing crazy scenarios including my house turned upside down. At least I still have some imagination left.
But just now as I look at these photos from today of Myles on his birthday I had a moment where I thought, “See everything is going to be ok!” Reminding myself to enjoy the now and stop thinking about what could happen. Because crappy stuff is going to happen… most of which is out of my control. So shouldn’t I just love what’s happening now? Yes, yes I should.
Recently my dear friend Heather’s husband was in a horrible snowboarding accident. A really bad one that fractured his spine and pelvic bone. At first they probably were thinking why did this happen? Then at the hospital a nurse recommended a CT scan to see if his head was ok… and they found cancer. Malignant cancer that was spreading. They would’ve never known about it if he hadn’t gotten in that snowboarding accident. It reminds me that God has a plan for each of us. Do I wish that my plan included nothing ever happening to the people in my life that I love so dear again? Yes. It sucks. I miss my dad. But I also know that I will see him again. When I replace my worry with faith I can breathe easy again.
Thanks for listening to my crazy thoughts. Collin just took all the girls somewhere while Myles’s naps and I had a free, quiet minute to think. Life is hard and spectacular and full of light all at once.
Final statement & pep talk for myself– Enjoy the now dang it!
Stop worry by questioning the worried thought:
- What’s the evidence that the thought is true? That it’s not true?
- Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
- What’s the probability that what I’m scared of will actually happen?
- If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
- Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
- What would I say to a friend who had this worry?
Some quotes I found that really made me stop and smack myself in the face for being a worry-freak:
| Worrying does not empty tomorrow of it’s troubles. It empties today of its strength.
| Most of the things you worry about never even happen.
| Worry implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives. Francis Chan
| If I could get paid to worry, I’d have a full time job. T Hall
| No amount of worry can solve any problem.
| Worry ends where faith in God begins.
| I’ve got 99 problems and 86 of them are completely made up scenarios in my head that I am stressing about for no logical reason.
| You will be fine. Just you wait and see.
This isn’t anything new… but it is fun. It’s one of those things you learn that’s so simple and easy you can’t help but love it! And want to stamp on everything.
Any pencils will do. But hopefully you will be lucky enough to find one that has images of puppies and kitten on it like I did.
Unused pencil erasers work best. And choose a color pencil to stamp with a coordinating color stamp pad so you don’t mix them up. I still mixed mine up somehow and the result wasn’t pretty. Loving the new stamp pads from SC! Try stamping and layering the dots for a cool look. Similar to this paper of mine.
Glassine bags can be purchased here.
If you look close I cut the constellation map paper perfect to see Taurus? Anyone else a bull?
Consider this is a public service announcement that my birthday is coming up! #partytime
*** I got all the details for my Barcelona class finished and it’s the class I will be teaching online. I was hoping to have everything ready before our trip but thanks for your patience. I will keep you posted!! Next week for sure though. I started kitting the kits for the online class… it’s going to be fun.
Today is earth day and we are showing Mother Earth some love and doing our part where we can. Because let’s face it… she’s the only planet we know of with chocolate. And let’s not forget Pinterest, free wifi & Ryan Gosling. Or Downton Abbey. Or puppies.
Have you ever masked type like I did in the photo? It’s pretty fun. Here are the steps I did to achieve this look.
-Open a new document in Photoshop. I use CS6.
-New layer and fill with white using Paint Bucket tool.
-New Layer and type what you want to write and size it how you want it to look.
-Open a photo in Photoshop and resize to the same size as your document. Drag your photo onto the document.
-You want the layers to be in this order: photo as the top layer, then your type, then the white layer (or any color preference as the bottom layer.)
-Right click on the photo in layers and click on “create clipping mask.” Then it will clip all your type.
-Resize the white bottom layer to how large you want it framing the type. Refer to my pic above.
-One last step is to drag your photo to the new document again and position as the bottom layer. Voila!
Recently I planted peonies and iris bulbs so now I am crossing my fingers that they sprout out of the ground someday because I have the blackest thumb ever. Pretty sure I couldn’t keep a cactus alive. But I love flowers and plan to spend more time in my garden and yard this summer. Last year I was completely enamored with Myles and growing him. ; )
I adore these DIY bomb seeds that the darling Amanda from Be Crafty made! She used my Dear Lizzy paper on a couple of the bags. Then added clips and stamped tags with fabric strips. Love it! They are perfect to give away as a gift to celebrate spring. You definitely have to get your hands dirty for this project. Here are the tips she shared:
I have always seen seed bombs at the green house in candy machines and wanted to try make them. Seed bombs are little balls of dirt, dry clay and flower seeds. They are intended to be placed in areas where gardening in unavailable, but can be placed anywhere.
I found they were a lot easier to make then I thought. Please note: I read many different directions and worked with supplies I had on had.
SUPPLIES: Dirt, dry clay ( found at walmart for $5 in crafting section) wild flower / flower seeds
STEP 1: Mix in small batches, adding dirt and clay together.
STEP 2: Roll into small balls
STEP 3: Add a few flower seeds. The clay will hold the seeds in place. ( don’t add to many)
STEP 4: Set balls out in sun for clay to harden. ( about 24 hours)
STEP 5: Enjoy + Share
TO MAKE THE BAG: I placed sticker letters in the middle of a small canvas bag. Using distress ink (for scrapbooking) mix with water in a small spray bottle. Spray over the stickers. I added more ink as I went to get a darker ombre look. Once the bag is dry, remove letters ( ok, I removed them right away, but best if you wait till it’s dry)
Photos + Craft: Amanda//Be Crafty Workshop
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.
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!
- 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.
Last week I got to work with my sis in law, Emily, at Small Fry Blog and photograph a darling bunny bag she crafted. Lola gave it a trial run and approves. See the simple DIY here. Perfect for Easter egg hunting and just being adorable.
How in the world Lola was scared of these tiny checks when she has a dog the size of a horse is beyond me.
A week ago I decided it was time for a warm getaway for our family. It’s fun to be spontaneous & liven up the monotonous-ity of our routine. It’s taken me days to get all the clothes packed for our village of children ; ) but it will be worth it! They deserve some undivided attention while Collin and I deserve some sunshine. Collin has been really busy working lately and usually the time we spend together is at the end of the day when we are exhausted. One of the kids lost our comcast remote so we usually just sit on the couch and talk about our days. He plays the ukulele and I fold some clothes or just find a late night snack. SO excited to have some time to play and have fun with our little family.
I loved the travel journals I put together for our Disney adventure & Lake Powell trip that I was excited to gather some supplies for this one. The Disney trip was really busy so I didn’t scrap much but Lake Powell had lots of down time and so will this next one.
Everything fits perfect in the bag that I painted polka dots on. I actually am surprised when it all fits! The roller stamp, stamp pad and book are the only things. I carry everything in a tote bag so it’s fine that there’s a couple loose items.
1 bag: wood pieces and small chipboard, cork, plastic accents
2 bag: flair and badges
3 bag: stickers, labels and small alpa stickers
4 bag: stitch able tags and wood accents
5 bag: large stickers, wood pieces
Project life size cards 3×4 and 4×6 cards mostly from my Dear Lizzy polka dot party kit. And some Kelly Purkey cards in there too.
Heart Roller Stamp I designed for AC (similar one)
Dear Lizzy roller date stamp
For the mini album I am using the canvas 6×6 Chipboard album
Selphy printer CP900: The printer is WIFI and I can send photos straight from my phone. Did a video about it here where I list the pros and cons at the end of the quick tutorial. It was a gift from Santa… too bad he didn’t know it came in white too!
Instax: perfect for quick polaroids to add to my pages.
I share my favorite camera gear: click HERE