Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fall Coffee Lovers Blog Hop

Hi friends!  I hope you all are doing well!  We are pretty good.  We are wrapping up our busiest month of volunteering for the year and I'm excited to go to a more relaxed schedule.  My boys will be "going off track" which means having a break in their year round schooling next week for 4 weeks.  We will be doing lots of kicking back and relaxing!  If you'd like to check out what we are doing for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, check it out here:

Today, I'm excited to be joining the Fall Coffee Lovers Bloghop!  I hope my card is "fall" enough for their liking.  Maybe I should have tried to change the sentiment to I like you a PUMPKIN SPICE latte.  Teehee!  The papers are from Webster's Pages Our Travels.  I love love love that glitter printed paper!  It's so pretty!  The stamps are from Close to My Heart Treats of Friendship which my friend Rachel let me borrow.  They are so cute!  I think I need to buy these.

Have a great day, friends!  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fluttering the Community (Year 2)

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are ok.  The boys brought a cold home from school and we are dealing with that now.  It's not a bad one, thank goodness!  Hopefully, this gives us "credit" against anything worse.  LOL!  Wouldn't it be nice if it worked that way??

Today, I wanted to share pictures from our Fluttering the Community event.  That's the name of the now annual event that our family hosts for Unravel Pediatric Cancer.  Last year, we did a small bake sale.  I'm sharing in case anyone is trying to come up with ideas on how to raise money and awareness for a charity in their community.

We had a friend who did face painting.  We had a Cards for Colten and Friends table where kids could make a card for local children battling cancer.  We had a dragonfly craft that the kids could take with them to "Flutter" their home.  And just for fun, we had a table with coloring books, a water table filled with bubble solution and some homemade bubble wands, and a small bounce house (the church allowed us to use theirs.)  We got coffee, cookies, and lemonade donated from both local businesses and from friends.

Now, I'm not going to lie to you.  This event didn't go that well.  We had really low turn out and a small amount of donations, smaller than our tiny thrown together bake sale last year.  But we are going to keep it going.  Maybe next year, we will have TONS of people, who knows?  If you'd like to help us reach our fundraising goal, please donate here:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Just Jewelry Fundraiser for Unravel

Hi all!  I hope you are all well!  We are ok.  I've been dealing with a stomach bug for most the week and I think Avery has it.  Hopefully, we will be better really soon.  We are stalled on our Fluttering because we just aren't able to be in the car for a very long time right now.  We hope to get back at it soon!

I wanted to tell you all know that I'm donating all my proceeds for my Just Jewelry by Ashley website to Unravel Pediatric Cancer this month via our Fluttering Page.  This would be a GREAT time to buy some holiday gifts and to support an AMAZING cause!  All the items on the site are under $40 and they are adding new items everyday!

The Just Jewelry boutique is FABULOUS!  There is so much stuff that goes beyond jewelry!  They have leggings, shirts, purses, glasses, phone cases, gloves, headbands, coats, and so much more!  You should DEFINITELY check it out!
And I wanted to let you know the reason we NEED to donate.  We need to do better by our children!  Seven children die of cancer every single day.  Every THREE minutes, a parent is told that their child has cancer.  As my friend Libby (founder of Unravel) always says "Don't be sorry, be active."      

You can donate directly to our Fluttering campaign on this site:  Or you can shop here:  Or say a prayer.  Or spread the word.  But now that you KNOW better, do better.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Happy Birthday Danni! (Flutter By Blog Hop)

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are doing pretty good.  I'm glad it's Friday and we have a low key weekend ahead of us.  The only thing I have planned for this weekend is bang cookies to raise money for our Unravel page.  

Today, I'm participating in a Flutter By Blog Hop in honor of my friend Danni (you can start the hop on her blog.)  It's her BIRTHDAY! YAY!  Danni used to run a challenge called Flutter By Wednesday where the challenge was to use a butterfly or fairy on your project (aka things that flutter.)  I was on her design team for a while and had a lot of fun.  In honor of her birthday, Danni is GIVING AWAY TWO GIFT CERTIFICATES to people who do the hop and leave comments!  Just leave a comment on all the posts by Monday Sept 7 to be entered to win!  You should be coming here from Brenda's blog, if not go back to Danni's blog to start the hop.  

Here's my card for the hop.  I used Pebbles and Jen Hadfield's Home+Made line for this card.  The colors in this paper collection are GORGEOUS and of course I LOVE the gold glitter!  I added a little glitter heart from the Heidi Swapp marquee items at Target.  I don't make greeting cards a lot anymore so I hope this is ok.

I'm the LAST stop on the hop!  YAY!  You made it to the end!

Speaking of Fluttering, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Our family is trying to raise $1000 to help cure pediatric cancer.  Be GO HERE if you'd like to make a donation.  Have a great weekend, friends!  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fluttering 2014 Layout and We Need Your Help!

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are pretty good!  We kicked off our month long Fluttering project yesterday.  If you haven't heard of Fluttering, you can read my blog post HERE.  In a nutshell, we have committed to moving 12 dragonflies from house to house for the whole month of September to spread awareness for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and to raise money for Unravel Pediatric Cancer.

Today, I'm sharing the Project Life pages I made to document last year's Fluttering.  I used Becky Higgins page protectors, Heidi Swapp Project Life cards, tons of Heidi Swapp embellishments, American Crafts Thickers, and a bunch of embellishments I had in my stash.  This is the first layout I've done in mostly black and white and it has a really cool effect.

Our family needs your help!  We set a goal of $1000 to raise in the month of September for our Flutter Campaign.  If you have it in your budget, please consider donating to our page.  All the money goes towards the fight against pediatric cancer which is EXTREMELY underfunded.  The statistics are heartbreaking.  Seven children die everyday in the US from cancer yet pediatric cancer gets under 4% of the allotted federal funding for cancer.  Our children deserve better!  Please help if you can.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

JJ Customer Appreciation Weekend!!

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are pretty good.  We are enjoying our weekend!  

I just wanted to pop on and let you all know that Just Jewelry is having Customer Appreciation this weekend which means ALL orders ship for FREE directly to our house!  Also, if you spend $50 or more, you get a FREE pair of black leggings!  Who doesn't need black leggings for fall and winter?  I know I do!  

I wanted to show you some of my favorite pieces.  There is SO much new stuff and it's all fantastic!  I feel so lucky to be a Just Jewelry consultant right now!  There are so many fun new items like purses, clothes, sunglasses, phone cases, and more in the Just Jewelry Boutique.

This Golden Rhinestone Clutch is GORGEOUS!  I love gold this season!  I like having smaller bags for when I go out at night or out with my friends.

This Plaid Scarf is fabulous!  It's so classy and I love the neutral colors!  This will go with everything.  I'm really getting into scarves!  I think it's a fun way to dress up or change an outfit.
I love this Dress to Impress Necklace!  I really like the length, especially in the fall and winter when you're wearing sweaters or turtlenecks.  I think this would be cute with a black sweater and jeans but you can dress it up like this model.

The leaf motif on these Grow on Me Earrings are adorable!  I think these would be great very causal or slightly dressy too.  They are lovely for fall but I think worn with the right colors, they can be worn in any season.  They are crawlers so you wear the leaves going up towards the top of your ear.  
There are SO many items on my Just Jewelry site!  You have to go over and check it out!  I can't believe how many awesome things they are adding everyday!

Brady is starting to take flute lessons.  We have to pay for them since music has been cut from elementary schools in California.  All purchases will go towards his music education.  Have a great day, friends!  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fell off the Crafting Wagon...

Hi friends!  Long time no talk!  A lot has happened in the last few weeks and it's just busy and made me so tired.  The kiddos have finally hit a stride with school which is awesome!  We have small obstacles with that but I'm hoping we'll overcome them soon.

At the beginning of August, I tried to start The 100 Days Project.  I did ok for a few days and then fell off the crafting wagon.  I got some news from a doctor that took me off guard and I kind of just felt knocked on my bum.  I will be FINE, it's a set back and I just have to be proactive towards getting healthier.  However, it took me for a loop and I just didn't feel like crafting for a really long time.  Do any of you ever deal with this?  I just don't feel like I can craft through it when I feel confused or unhappy.  Do you have tips for this?  If so, please let me know!

Here are a couple of the cards I made before I stopped crafting.

I really like this card.  I made it with some Amy Tangerine Stitched paper and stickers.  I think that since I loved this little camera sticker so much that I was going to love this card no matter what.  I really like the generational stamping as well.

Then on the opposite side, I did not like this card at all.  I used Crate Paper Notes and Things for this one.  It's just the layout that I don't like.  I really forced this one night because I felt like I HAD to make something.  Perhaps this is why I feel like I can't craft when I don't feel so good.  I feel like everything I make turns out badly.  I do love the little heart though.

Have a great day, friends!  

Friday, August 7, 2015

Tuesday's Take 1: Washi Pocket Filler Cards

Hi friends!  I hope you are well.  We are ok.  A few of us have a little cold but it seems to pass pretty fast.  However, my oldest son is having a hard time fitting in at school so if you could think some positive thoughts for him, that would be awesome.

Today, I am sharing a project I made for my friend Cath Edvalson's new blog where she introduced a new challenge called Tuesday's Take.  You can see the first Tuesday's Take HERE.  Cath gives a prompt and you can make anything you want.  It's just about inspiration.

I decided to use the inspiration towards my The 100 Days Project and create two pocket scrapbooking cards.  I covered a 3x4 inch piece of white cardstock with washi tape.  (If you've read my blog for a while you know that I make cards like this all the time.)  I ran it through the Cuttlebug and then decided to make two cards.  I was playing with the idea of making one card but I went with two and I'm glad I did.  The first card I made just has a Project Life gird card adhered to the back and I stamped a sentiment using an Amy Tangerine roller stamp.  This card is for journaling.  The next card is a filler card.  I used the die cut and adhered it to some white cardstock.  Then I decided to go with only the colors that are on the die cut and added some enamel dots.  Now these cards can be used on the same layout or different ones.

Have a great weekend everyone!  

Monday, August 3, 2015

The 100 Days Project Share 1

Hi friends!  I hope that you are well!  We are doing pretty good.  The boys are getting in a groove with school.  Avery and I are enjoying a lot of girl time.  We had some last year but only half days.  Now, we got whole long chunks where we can go out and do all sorts of fun things without having to rush about.

In my last post, I talked about starting The 100 Days Project.  I'm hoping I can make it through this project to get my creativity going and to get in the practice of creating again.  I've started making a lot of excuses for myself.  I'll want to craft but I'll be too tired or I don't want to pull all my stuff out or a million other things.  I decided on pocket scrapbooking cards because they are smaller and they are more relevant to me.  I have stacks and stacks of greeting cards that I barely use but I love working on my albums and looking through my albums especially with my kids.

Here the the cards I've made so far:

Day 1: A very simple patriotic card for my 4th of July layout.  The die cut card is from Simple Stories and is backed with a Project Life grid card.  I added some silver Thickers, some Freckled Fawn stars, and some MME enamel dots.  I wanted to keep it simple because there's a lot going on in the photos for that week.

Day 2:  I was feeling uninspired this day so I figured out I should pull out something that I really liked and try to use that.  I used a line from Pebbles called Happy Day and it's just have favorite!  It has cameras, coffee cups, pizza, Chinese takeout boxes, and more.  All the elements are from the collection except the Recollections white and gray enamel dots.

Day 3:  I worked on a layout today and this is a card I made to go on the layout.  It is for the week my boys went back to school.  We are doing year round school this year so they started mid-July.  All the elements are from the DCWV Edumacation collection.  I don't usually buy DCWV anymore since I just feel like it's way too much paper for me and I don't think it comes with matching embellishments but I just fell in love with this collection.  With the exception of the alpha stickers (from the Target Dollar Spot), everything is from the Edumacation collection.  I fussy cut the scalloped circle and the apple from patterned paper.

If you decide you want to try The 100 Days Project, let me know so we can encourage one another!  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The 100 Days Project

Hi friends!  I hope that you are well.  I'm still dealing with my shoulder injury but it seems to be getting better.  I'm sure it will be fine in a few days.

A gal I follow on Instagram, Natalie Elphinstone, has been doing this challenge of sorts called The 100 Days Project.  Basically, you do a creative task everyday for 100 days and you record your efforts.  She was doing hers with pocket scrapbooking cards and I just LOVE that idea!  I also loved reading her captions about what she was trying, why she made what she did, and what she was learning about her her style.  I haven't been crafting regularly and I need it.  I can feel that I'm not centered.

I made this 3x4 card today.  I don't love it but I think that's part of the process, to figure out what your style is and to experiment with techniques and products.  I used papers from Dear Lizzy Fine and Dandy.  The enamel dots are from My Mind's Eye, the doily is from Recollections, and I used Whisker Graphics Gold Metallic Divine Twine.  

I have a small group of friends who will be attempting this challenge with me.  We have a Facebook group to support each other and share our creations.  We are starting on August 1.  If you'd like to join, please message me on Facebook or drop me an email.  Have a wonderful day, friends!  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Orange You Sweet

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well today!  I'm ok.  I actually feel like I pulled or tweaked something in my shoulder.  Do you have any tips for that?  If you do, please share them below.  I've tried ibuprofen, ice, and some ointment so far and only getting temporary relief.  

Today, I'm sharing a card I made at my friend Rachel's crop.  Rachel is a Close to My Heart consultant and she always has items out for us to do a make and take.  I always try to do something different from her example because I only like to share cards/projects on my blog that have my own spin on them.  This card is inspired by my son Parker who LOVES the color orange.  He also thinks puns are really fun (he's 6) so I knew he would get a kick out of this card.  This is just a card with stamping and some inking.  No patterned paper and no embellishments!  Can you believe it?  We were only given 2 pieces of paper to work with or I would have put the sentiment on orange paper and then cut it out.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Best: July 26, 2015

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are pretty good.  We are settling into a routine with school now.  It's a little weird to be going to school in the summer but I'm sure it will be great in the fall when we are off school and everything is empty.

1. Perfectly Posh lip balm.  I'm obsessed with this balm!  It works GREAT on my lips!  My lips have been soft and smooth since I've started using it.  My lips are normally very dry and lots of the products I've tried make my lips flaky and peel.  I'm going to order the set of these balms and get rid of all the other ones I have.  My lips have never felt better.

2. Starbucks Mango Black Tea Lemonade.  Starbucks got rid of the Valencia Orange Refresher which made me super sad BUT they did come out with the Mango Black Tea Lemonade that I really love so I guess it's ok.  The tea is perfect for me!  It's sweet but not too sweet, fruity, a little tart, and very refreshing!

3.  This amazing fresh corn hack!  Oh my goodness!  I have tried almost every method on Pinterest to get great tasting corn that is simple.  I've tried grilling, baking in the over, boiling, etc...  This is the easiest and BEST way for me.  We usually do 5 minutes for one ear of corn for our microwave or 8 minutes for 2 ears.  You throw in the whole ear of corn, no need to wash or husk.  You cut it about 1 inch from the bottom of the corn (not the stem) and then I use a potholder when I squeeze the corn out.  It leaves me with juicy, sweet corn with NO SILKS!  I LOVE corn on the cob and finding this hack has made me SO SO SO HAPPY!  (photo is from Pinterest)

What are your favorites from this week?  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Best: July 19, 2015

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well!  We are ok.  Avery got a fever today so we are at home trying to take it easy.  I hope we still get to celebrate National Ice Cream Day though, apparently that is today.

I'm posting another Sunday Best today, it's like a weekly favorites list.  Do you guys like these?  If so, please leave me a comment.  I feel like no one likes them so I might stop doing them.

1. Reign tv show.  A couple of my girlfriends suggested this TV show to me and I decided to give it a try.  I really like it!  It's about Mary Queen of Scots and it's on the CW.  Just FYI, I do feel like the show is in the typical style of The CW which is to say it's a bunch of good looking people in revealing clothes and some pop music.  I like the show despite these things.  I don't think that the pop music or the revealing clothes add to this show like they would to a show like Gossip Girl (which I've never seen, I'm just guessing.)  I like period dramas and this show has a lot of intrigue to me.  I'm interested to see how it unfolds.  I'm about half way through season 1.

2.  Still the One by Jill Shalvis.  I really liked this book.  This is the first time I've read Jill Shalvis and I enjoyed her writing style and the ebb and flow of her book.  I fell in love with the characters.  This book is one of a series however I read it as a stand alone and it works out just fine for me.  I really related to Darcy and her abandonment issues and her fears after her accident.  I really feel like that almost immediately makes me like a book.

What were your favorites from this week?  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and that next week is kind to you, especially Monday.  :)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday Fives: Back to School

Hi friends!  I hope that you are doing well!  We are ok.  School started this week for my boys.  We are on a system called year round which has the children in school for 3 months and then off for 1 month rather than the traditional in for 9 months off for 3 months.  This is our first year with year round and I hope that we like it.  And since school is on my brain, I made a list of the things I cannot go without for school.

1. Backpacks and lunch boxes from Toys R Us.  I mostly just care about the backpacks.  Toys R Us has the best character backpacks when it comes to quality.  My kids really only like character backpacks.  I'm sure when they get older, we can just get plain backpacks but I'm ok with this for now.  I've tried buying backpacks at Target, Walmart, and Amazon and none of them work.  At all.  Last year, I returned 2 backpacks to Target within 1 week of purchasing each of them.  The second time, I said forget it and drove across town to Toys R Us.  My kids backpacks last all year long.  That's all I really ask.  They would probably last longer but I allow them to get a new backpack each year as their tastes change.  Toys R Us runs a special every summer where when you buy a backpack ($12.99 or more) you can get a FREE lunchpail.  Their lunch boxes work fine but I've never had an issue with a lunch box from any other store.  I just love that they are FREE!

2.  Ice packs from the Target Dollar Spot.  Sorry for the crappy photo of these!  I meant to snap one during the day in the package but that didn't work out.  I really love these $1 ice packs for lunch boxes.  They are pretty durable and nontoxic (in case they do leak.)  They keep the lunch cold until after school.  I like these a lot more than the really hard plastic ones because I feel like these stay colder longer.  I bought 6 of them this year and I wish I had grabbed more just in case they get lost or thrown away by mistake.  Freeze these flat and they'll last longer.  We actually still have a couple from last year.  Just get them early or your poor little boys will have to carry flower ones to school all year like mine did last year.

3.  Thermos Funtainer 12oz bottle.  This is one of my favorite baby items too so you might have seen it on my blog before.  I'm a HUGE fan of Thermos!  I love to drink icy cold water and do not like warm water.  These keep things cold for up to 12 hours.  My kids start school when it is still very hot so it's important to me that they have nice, cold water so they don't dehydrate or get heat stroke.  These bottles are great.  I put ice and water in them in the morning and they keep it cold even passed after school activities.  They also come in cute designs.  (I actually have the 18oz bottle for myself and take it with me everywhere.)

4.  Ticonderoga Pencils.  Every teacher the kids have ever had asks for these pencils.  They are easier to sharpen and last a lot longer than novelty pencils.  The eraser ACTUALLY erases things.  They also make a thicker pencil for smaller kids who are learning to write and I get those too.

5. Travel sized Purell with jelly wrap.  I hang these on the outside of my kids's backpacks.  They are to use them if they sneeze and can't wash their hands or before they eat.  My kids don't usually finish all their food at lunch time since they want to play.  They usually start pulling food out of their backpacks right after school so I ask them to use hand sanitizer before eating since they touch a lot of school supplies that other children touch all day long.

What are your back to school must haves?  (I forgot to add wine!)  ;)  Please leave me a comment if you find these lists helpful.  I feel like I'm just writing them for myself.

* This post contains some affiliate links.  If you purchase an item using my link, I get a very small commission.  Thank you to anyone who chooses to support my blog in that way!  

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday Fives: YouTube Beauty Gurus

Hi friends!  I hope you're doing well!  We are ok.  My boys are going to start on year round school next week.  :(  Year round is where they go to school for three months and then are off for one month instead of having three months off for summer.  It's our first year in this kind of school and I'm a bit nervous.

Today, for my Friday Fives, I'm sharing my top 5 favorite YouTube Beauty Gurus.  I love makeup but I'm not the most creative at applying it nor do I often venture out to try new products.  That is why I count on YouTube to help me out.  I LOVE watching beauty videos!  These are 5 of my favorites though I do have many many more ladies that I watch.

1. Beauty Broadcast with Emilynoel83.  Emily is adorable!  I love her personality and her style!  She was the very first beauty guru I subscribed to on YouTube and she remains my favorite!  She loves drug store makeup which is a plus for me because I don't like to spend a lot of money on products.  She also has great looks with a lot of different colors but are very wearable.  She is clear and concise. She's genuine.  You can tell that she gives her HONEST opinion on products and that's important.

2. Making up the Midwest with Bailey B.  Bailey is a lot like Emily.  She is honest and to the point.  I like that.  She doesn't spend a lot of time rambling which makes me feel like she respects my time.  I don't often have 45 minutes to watch a YouTube video and I think Bailey knows that so she keeps her videos short and on point.  She speaks with a lot of authority but she's still young and fun.

3. Glam Life Guru with Tati.  I like this girl!  She's a little sassy and a little sarcastic like me.  She doesn't seem to take herself too seriously which I like.  She gives great information and tips.  She constantly creating a lot of new content.

4. Allison Anderson.  I really like Allison's subdued style both in personality and in makeup.  She seems like a calm, sweet friend that would be nice to spend the afternoon with.  She just has this girl next door sweetness that draws you in.  I like that her looks are very wearable and elegant.

5. Xteener.  Christine is a combination of fun, edgy, and very authoritative.  I think it's important to speak with authority when you are trying to teach people things.  I think Christine's looks are a bit trendier but she gives great information and she tells ways to tone it down if you don't want to look so bold.

Who are your favorite YouTube beauty gurus?  Let me know in the comments!  Have a great day, friends!