The Best Christmas Present 2014

I might have gotten the best Christmas present ever, this year. I know, I know… that’s a pretty tall claim. But take a look:

DIY Toddler Sticker Book

2 gorgeous sticker books crafted with care by Olivia. My mom watches Olivia during the week and one of their favorite activities is crafting sticker books. The concept is super simple: grab an empty photo album and fill it with stickers! Love that it’s simple, cheap, and FULL of amazing learning opportunities.  All of the designs provide endless prompts for talking about colors, shapes, and so much more. Olivia also gets to practice her fine motor skills (and motor planning/sequencing) as she peels and places the stickers on a page. It’s also a great way to reinforce the process of cleaning up- picking up all the little pieces and taking care of her supplies.

Toddler Sticker Books

Our sticker box is filled with goodies from the dollar bin at Target and old address labels.

Sticker-Book-Detail

My mom wrapped up 2 completed editions as a present for me, along with a homemade card from my sweet girl. Every time I look at these, I’m amazed at Olivia’s effort, determination, creativity. Thanks, Mom for putting together this keepsake that’s equal parts love and learning.

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Guess what Olivia got for Christmas? 2 new photo albums to fill up!

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Christmas Accordion Album 2015

Over the Holidays, I put together a darling little accordion album from Carina Gardner. This mini scrapbook was the perfect keepsake to hold cherished Christmas pics of Olivia.

Christmas-Accordion-Album

I cut out the digital files using my silhouette machine and added a few design elements: rounded photo corners, red polka dot washi tape borders, sprigs of paper holly, golden stars, and Holiday stickers.

Christmas-Accordion-Detail

My favorite element? The back cover hands down. Love the photo and the framing!

Christmas-Accordion-Cover

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Hello 2015: Welcoming Grace

Brave-2015

It’s been a little quiet around here with the whirlwind of celebrations and chaos commonly known as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Olivia’s Second Birthday. More to come on each of these topics, but for now, I’m savoring the sunshine. It was nearly 60 degrees today- in January!

Did you pick a new One Little Word for 2015? I’m keeping my word from last year, Light. I’m going to continue creating “Light” in my daily life by pursuing my passions, removing unwanted stress, staying in the present moment, and building healthy routines. BUT, I’m also adding another word: Grace. The pairing of Light + Grace together just feels right. 2014 was quite frankly a doozy- an incredible avalanche of deadlines, commitments, and uncertainties. By adding “Grace” to my yearly mantra, I’m going to give myself permission to embrace imperfection in the pursuit of Light.

OLW-2015-Grace

Emily Ley couldn’t have said it better: “I will hold myself to a standard of Grace not perfection.” This beautiful saying is now on my home screen as a daily reminder- it’s #16 on her collection of gorgeous FREE phone wallpapers.

I’m dreaming big for 2015- here are a few glimpses of my vision board for this year:

2015-Vision-Board

I couldn’t resist adding a few aqua and gold paper butterflies. Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year!

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Snowflake DIY Gift Tags

Snowflake Holiday Gift Tags

Tis the season… for creating cute gift tags, that is! These darling tags were actually made from paper scraps left behind by my Silhouette machine. All you need to do is punch out the shape outline left behind!

Then, punch an identical tag to pair beneath it and clip them together with ribbon. The negative space from the original silhouette cut-out provides a little window, which beautifully showcases a decorative paper underneath! I’ve seen this technique before on Pinterest but have never tried it myself using paper scraps!

Snowflake Gift Tag Tutorial

The creative possibilities with this format are endless! On the second tag, you could use your favorite scrapbook paper, design a background out of watercolors, or even add some washi tape! The Thinking Closet posted this amazing tutorial for a gorgeous washi tape background. I used a snowflake embossing folder to add a little extra dimension to the top tag.

I adorned these tags with a festive medallion embellishment from the Winter Wishes collection. (Note: I adjusted the hue to match my aqua color palette using the “saturation” layer in Photoshop Elements.)

Snowflake Gift Tag Detail

Edging the border with glitter gave this element a little extra sparkle!

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Quick and Easy Christmas Decor

I absolutely adore certain script fonts- their graceful flourishes add so much dimension to various scrapbooking/card projects. When I saw this Christmas Words Set featured on Snap Click Supply Co., I instantly fell in love! … and, I knew these elements would translate beautifully into a piece of gorgeous home decor!

Santa-Art-Print-Pinterest

This festive project came together in just a few simple steps:

  1. Cut out one of the elements using a Silhouette machine on white card stock. Size your element to fit within an 8×10-inch frame.
  2. Adhere your word element to a piece of red card stock.
  3. Add a small medallion embellishment.
  4. Adorn with small and mediums sized rhinestones.

My medallion embellishment consisted of a digital JOY element from the Aspen Frost collection. I mounted this decorative piece onto a red circle punch and a gold scallop. A small red bow completed the look!

DIY Santa Frame Detail

I placed this new Christmas print in my entryway… I love walking by it!

Christmas Words Frameable Print

Cheers to quick and easy Christmas crafts that also double as home decor! Looking for even more ideas? Check out this post: Santa Cheer Hostess Gifts and Decor.

Christmas Frameable Art

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Lately… September & October 2014

This Fall has been a BLUR. Lately, I’ve been:

…creating works of art with a very talented toddler. Crayons are a big hit these days.

Lately-October-2014-Artwork

…traveling to Salt Lake City for doTERRA’s annual convention. More to come on this subject.

… listening to this YouTube by Kid President. They actually aired it at doTERRA’s convention during part of a breakout session presentation. This line is a game-changer: “You’re made from love, to be love, and spread love. Love is always louder.” (minute: 2:15)

…reading these articles on Motherhood:

  • 25 Ways to Annoy a Toddler: Oh, my! This one had me laughing! … and I could relate to so many things on the list, especially #19! How about you?
  • 5 Mistakes Moms Make: it all goes back to balance. I just love that first quote graphic from Lena Horne: “It is not the load that breaks you. It’s the way you carry it.” Motherhood is all about finding the right adjustments as you navigate different phases. Love Desiree’s reminder to stop playing the comparison game.
  • Home as a Haven: such a beautiful post and a gentle reminder to cultivate comfort within the walls of your home.

… generally feeling like THIS. Did I mention that this Fall was a blur?!

…taking more photos for The Dating Divas product team. In October, we launched our new exclusive Welcome Home Kit. It contains everything you need for a fun and memorable celebration!… and just wait until you see what we have in store for the Holiday season!

Welcome-Home-Pack-2

Welcome-Home-Pack

…celebrating our 5-year anniversary.

Lately-October-2014-Anniversary

…savoring gorgeous sunsets at the lake.

Lately-October-2014-Sunset

…listening to Olivia’s constant stream of chatter these days.

…wishing James, my Mom, my Aunt, and my Grandma very happy birthdays.

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22 Months and Growing

To my precious, independent, strong-willed, and beautiful daughter:

Olivia-22-Months-3

I love you. Always and forever. You are teaching me so much about the world. You make me laugh and want to pull my hair out… every single day. We are both learning new depths of patience and how to navigate the world together. I love your tenacity and know it will serve you well as you grow older.

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These days, you love to listen to music. I can’t help but smile as you immediately start dancing to whatever rhythm is playing. You are also a big fan of bouncing on the trampoline at gym class and soaring through the air on your new red swing. I’ll say, “READY, SET,” and you enthusiastically fill in the “GO!” You started saying the word “Mama” a few weeks ago in a very intentional way… and I’m pretty sure my heart explodes into a million pieces every time I hear it. You regularly say “bye-bye” and blow kisses. So many other phrases are just on the brink of your grasp. Your Daddy and I have no doubt, however, that you understand absolutely everything.

Olivia-22-Months

My darling girl- you have such a soft spot in your heart for animals. It is so amazing to watch you with the puppies. You love to give them hugs and are a regular helper with their care- finding their leashes to take them outside and feeding them dinner each night. Over the past several months, you’ve also become an expert on animal sounds (monkeys, cows, puppies, cats, lions, and even chickens!).

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You are quite attached to your blankets these days. We don’t dare leave home without one! You also adore jewelry and fashion accessories. Necklaces, bracelets, hats, headbands- you name it!

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It’s hard to believe that there’s only 2 months until your second birthday- what a journey we’ve had!

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XOXO, Mom

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Clearing Skies

We spent the past week at my parent’s beautiful lake home. The first part of the week was fairly gloomy as waves of rain swept across the state. The past few days, however, were spectacular. We enjoyed gorgeous, crisp Autumn mornings with brilliant sunshine.  I was able to catch this series of images one morning as the fog receded across the lake:

A dense blanket of fog…

Fog

Fog2

Fog3

…slowly grows thinner…

Fog4

…a beautiful vista emerges.

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Watching this transition unfold over the course of about 20 minutes was mesmerizing. I was struck how this process parallels so many life situations. When you’re in the middle of it (you name “it”– navigating motherhood, feeling stuck in your career path, starting over, etc…), it’s so difficult to see your path unfolding clearly. You might even feel desperately alone, as if time is standing still and you are running out of options while the world literally closes in around you.

… and then, with a little trust, patience, and persistence… clarity returns… sometimes briefly… and then more and more…

What would start to shift for you if you knew the beauty, abundance, and clarity that awaited you after the fog cleared? How would you think differently? Act differently?

Wishing you a “clear skies” mindset, even when the fog rolls in…

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Halloween Tradition: Magical Moon Dust

Did you catch the Blood Moon last week? The moon was enormous in the night sky and this little snapshot captured on my iPhone doesn’t do it justice!

Blood-Moon-2014

With Halloween drawing near, I decided to whip up a little bit of magical moon dust!

Magical Moon Dust

To make your own magical moon dust, mix together oatmeal, sprinkles, and Halloween confetti! Then, pour it into a little jar. To decorate your tag:

  • Download the witch digital tag from the Frightful Collection.
  • Print and cut the tag using the print features of the silhouette.
  • Edge your tag with purple glitter.
  • Add a few light orange rhinestones to the top.
  • Adhere a small”Moon Dust” title (edged in gold) to the front.

Magical Moon Dust Tutorial

I also attached a cute scalloped punch embellishment to the top of my jar with twine.

I pinned this darling idea from See Jane Blog ages ago and thought it could be translated into a fun, family tradition in the weeks leading up to October 31st. You will need:

  • 1 decorative pot
  • 1 jar of Magical Moon Dust
  • Candy corn pieces
  • Cake pop/lollipop sticks
  • Cookies

Have your kiddos “plant” candy corn seeds at night and then wake-up to find a special surprise!

Magical Moon Dust Tradition Halloween

Those candy corn seeds grow into a sweet treat! This DIY Halloween craft checks all the boxes- it’s fun, easy, and a clever tradition to celebrate with your family!

Halloween oreos

Want a few more ideas on cultivating “Spooktacular” Halloween traditions? See the bottom of THIS POST.

Happy (Almost) Halloween!

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DIY Halloween Cards

There’s finally a chill in the air and the leaves are starting to change! Here are 2 quick and easy Halloween cards to help you celebrate the season!

Halloween Silhouette Cards

I used the Halloween Cameos collection as a base for my design. Aren’t these silhouette images from Snap Click Supply Co. so fun and festive?!

Here’s the pumpkin version:

Pumpkin Cameo Card

After cutting the cameo, I layered it onto Bo Bunny orange dot paper edged with a gold Krylon pen. Two small embellishments give this card a little extra dimension: a little golden “Boo!” flag at the top and green vine leaves around the center circle. I didn’t glue all the leaves down, which gives the card a little bit more texture and movement!

And, one my favorites, the witch:

Witch Cameo Card

I couldn’t resist adding a line of purple rhinestones and a punched flourish to her hat!

Halloween Cameo Card Details

I would definitely recommend using a newer Silhouette mat when cutting these files since the cameo designs are incredibly intricate. Once the pieces are successfully cut, these DIY Halloween cards can be put together in a matter of minutes. I love how they turned out! These cameos would also be great as a Halloween gift tags!

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