Doesn’t it seem like every time you see your kids they look a little older, their pants are a little shorter and you have to buy them sneakers for the 3rd time this year?! And I see them all the time. To our dismay, we don’t see the grandparents very often. We used to but now that our family has grown and flight prices have been increasing it is much harder to fly across the country. So I thought that sending the grandads pictures, actual tangible pictures, of the kids as their Father’s Day card so they could see them every time they walked by the fridge. Let’s be honest, the grandparents really just want you to bring the grandkids but not to see you, they want to see the kids! Continue reading Crafting with Kids: Father’s Day Card
Raise your hand if you have been using the same picture frames forevvverrr. Raise your hands if your style has changed since getting said picture frames. Ok, me too guys. Frames can be so expensive and getting new ones is actually annoying. You can go to thrift stores and get pretty good ones but very rarely can you find a pair that match. I just want something simple with a tiny but of personality to it. Especially when you have something coming up and you just need to hang something up now.
I designed this simple frame that you can make as a place holder until you can find something sturdier and more long term…or you can use them until you change your style. Because for very little cost you can make some pretty cute frames.
What To Do:
1. Download image file onto your desktop and open Cricut Design Space
2. Open new file and insert image. Select layer and duplicate it.
3.Using the rulers on the screen, stretch the images so they are slightly larger than 5×7 but no larger that the inside of the frame is 5×7.4. Place chipboard on mat making sure to press down hard so chipboard doesn’t move around.
5. Insert into machine and set knob to “custom.”
6. Press continue on the computer screen and select drop down frame to “chipboard.”
7. Press the Cricut button to begin cutting.8. Using the spatula remove the chipboard without bending it. 9. Using double sided tape or glue, glue both frames together to make it even sturdier and thicker.10. Paint one side of the frame the color of your choosing. I painted 3 white coats.
11. Using the hot glue, glue a piece of string (I used a piece of chain from a broken necklace) onto the frame.
12. Cut a piece of chipboard slightly smaller than the frame to go on the back.13. Using the magnet tape, cut 4 pieces small enough to go on the corners of the scallop frame and tape one on each corner of the frame. Cut 4 more pieces and tape them onto the backside piece.
14. Place picture in between the frame and backside piece and you’ve got yourself an interchangeable frame. You amaze me DIY master.
I think my next one I will use really thick chipboard and a stronger magnet tape. While it works for now, it may not hold up another move. I think I will also get 12×12 chipboard that way I can make these frames big enough to hold the 8×10 artwork my kids bring home. You can personalize them by color or having the kids draw on their own frames. These will work until I can complete my gallery wall with thinner and lighter colored frames. Plus it is easy to change photos so I can change the prints as the holidays and seasons change.
What projects are you interested in learning to make with your Cricut? Let me know!
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Nothing like an upcoming holiday (that’s tomorrow) to get you in a frantic state of last minute crafting. I like being festive and decorate for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas but the other holidays get a little left out. While I didn’t really decorate for Valentine’s Day this year, I did make some accessories for the girls and myself. I like subtly celebrating and these gold foil bobby pin lips can be worn for Valentine’s Day or any other day because they are just so dang cute. Continue reading DIY Valentine’s Day Gold Foil Lips Bobby Pins
My sweet Oliver turned 6. Every day I am amazed at how quickly they are growing up. It seems they grow overnight as their pants get a little shorter, their hair a little shaggier and their conversations a little more coherent.
It seems Pokemon has taken over this household for the past 3 years. This was my oldest son’s Pokemon party almost 3 years ago. The post went somewhat viral and yet I only posted a letter to my son on his birthday and not so much about the actual party. So on this post I will do both. I can’t remember the games we played at his party thouggh…ahhh. Mom brain. Continue reading Fun Pokemon 6th Birthday Party
I remember laying in the hospital, starving and watching infomercials. Infomercials are what kept me from going crazy from hunger. Because of an upcoming emergency surgery I wasn’t allowed to eat to get my pancreas related levels low. I remember seeing the Cricut Expression in action and knew I needed to have it. A cutting machine that could intricately cut paper for me? My creative soul could see so many projects I could make, especially since I love throwing parties. It’s a good thing Santa ended up getting it for me for Christmas. And as much as I loved the Expression, it lacked more customization which as a graphic designer I felt I needed. Continue reading Introducing Cricut Air 2 + Easy Faux Stamped Gold Foil Art Print Tutorial
I wanted to share snippets of our life throughout the year in our card with a fun True or False game. I remember receiving something like this years ago from one of our favorite families and thought it was a great idea. I love the idea of an interactive card, so we have tried to do things like this in our past Christmas/New Year’s (…or another holiday since we aren’t always on the ball!) cards as well as try to make it personal by sharing a message. Continue reading Our Christmas and Holiday Card
ikea dresser, knobs, mid century elephant bank (similar), you are my sunshine print, video monitor c/o levana (similar), monogram letters (love this one!) After having 2 boys, I didn’t mind a little pink in my life. But not too much pink. Or frill. Luckily my daughter loves pink, purple, fancy….and fun and quirky. I like that. She likes it all and most of all, likes to be bold. I took that and tried to mix it in with the soft natured personality of her baby sister.
I took a little bit of each and added a touch of minimalism- I am on this declutter phase thanks to the KonMari method. So instead of more stuff I just tried to add fun and bold colors. I didn’t want to impose too much of my style on their carefree personalities so I tried to design a few items that meshed the two…or three together. I think the key is just to focus on similar colors. I used a lot of whites to offset the colorful patterns and colors.
pillow bold pink floral fabric designed by me
ikea toddler bed, quickzip bed sheets c/o quickzip promo code Brenda10 for 10% off purchase, blanket (diy), cat garland (diy) bow holder (diy), cat necklace jewelry hanger (diy)
I want to thank the wonderful companies who graciously donated items to complete this nursery:
QuickZip sheets are awesome. We have the velour top one on this toddler bed for that extra warmth during the colder months. My daughter is in a toddler bed, which uses a crib mattress, which makes it easy to interchange with my baby’s crib sheets. It is so easy to change the sheets when all you have to do is unzip. We have them for each of the kids’ beds. They really are the best sheets for bunk beds and cribs you know, when the sides are hard to get to?! My boys have bunk beds and changing sheets is never fun but this makes it easier!
Stitched is a great way to customize quilts without actually having to cut out squares and sew them on your own. You can pick a template or make up your own. I made up my own pattern using the colors in the girls room. I love it so much- I just don’t have time to make a quilt so this is the next best thing. And the backing is that minky fabric that is so so soft.
LatterDay Home has such beautiful art to hang throughout the house. I fell in love with this whimsical and youthful Jesus print.
Little Wife Power House has beautiful modern designs for kids rooms. This happy bird print (I just love our last name!) is just perfect for my baby girl. She is so smiley and loves birds.
Belle Pivoine is an amazing illustrator. I want everything in her shop. She illustrated this beautiful picture of Adelle and it came in such pretty packaging. I need to get one for Madeleine now!
Ubbi is the nicest, most effective and best diaper pail out there. It has a great design, a lock so kids can’t open it and it really really does keep the stink in. Another thing I like about this is that you can use your own trash bags.
The First Years sound machine plays white noise as well as music from the machine or from your iphone/ipod, etc. Adelle loves it and it helps her go to sleep, especially during nap time. I think the silence makes her nervous….we do have a full house so it is understandable!
Levana video monitors are a game changer. I didn’t have a video monitor before and would try to check on my kids without waking them up- fail. I have one in the nursery and one in the playroom. It also has a speaker system so you can talk through the monitor- I use it as an intercom system to diffuse any arguments or call them up for dinner.
Catchy title? Maybe? Or perhaps it made you think why on Earth would I take advice from someone who doesn’t have her crap together?
Truth be told, I wouldn’t consider myself a hot mess all the time. Perhaps my mind is more of a hot mess- so much going through it that I can’t keep it all together. As a mom of 4, I often feel like I am treading water. Sometimes, very rarely, do I feel like I am floating on my back sipping on some lemonade. Other times I feel like I am drowning- like, please don’t hand me another thing to carry. Those golden times when I feel like I could tread, sometimes enjoy my time floating is when I have taken the time plan. Steven Covey said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”
I know I’m not perfect at remembering every deadline, what meals we are having every night, we may be a little late to some activities….oh to be a semi hot mess on the inside and be semi put together outwardly. People ask me how I function with 4 kids, run a business and stay sane. This is how.
- You need to have the right tools.
- Planner: Having the right planner is crucial to your sanity. Some may scoff at a paper planner but I cannot survive without it. I like digital but paper saves me. Writing things down on paper helps me remember better. Having a planner that meshes my mom life with my business life has been really helpful. I use this one sent to me by Plum Street Prints. Having an hourly day to day schedule, a section for business collaborations, meal planning, a weekly list + a section for home to-dos helps keep all the ideas and things I have to do as a Mom and business owner in order. I like the hourly scheduling because it compartmentalizes all the to-dos. I love the weekly and monthly inspirational quotes- they keep me motivated!
- If you use apps on your phone, this or this is a good list of helpful schedulers.
- Post-its: I use these to add into my planner…and to stick to everything else. I kind of need reminders everywhere. I also like writing on post-its because it isn’t permanent and I can move it around. With blogging and playdates sometimes I have to switch things around.
- Pens and pencils: Color coding may be going a little overboard but when I am managing 4+ schedules color coding things makes it easy to glance over and see who has what today and things don’t just mesh together.
- Printables: Along with the planner, I have a monthly printable, chore chart and menu planner on the fridge. I use my planner for my daily use but the printables are for everyone to see. You can download these free printables I designed: menu planner printable and blank cleaning schedule printable. You can fill in which chores you want to do that day. That helps me with knowing what needs to be cleaned that day and what has already been done daily, weekly and monthly.
- Go through things right away. If I don’t everything piles up! When my kids get home we go through their paperwork. I have a folder for things to keep like their special artwork, a drawer in the cabinet for their homework and a drawer for things I have to take care of. I write down deadlines and pencil in special activity days on the calendar on the fridge.
- Repetition. Repetition is vital- especially if your mind has been altered by children. You know what I am talking about. I used to be pretty sharp and remember everything but I really believe pregnancy warped my brain cells. So I write things down a coupe of times in different places. I put it on my phone with reminders, I write it in my planner and I write it on the main calendar on the fridge. I figure if I write it down many times it will help me remember it better. It seems to be working.
- Set up a routine. I pick one day a week where I sit down and plan two weeks of our meals. Mostly every night I take a few minutes to plan the next day. When I don’t, I don’t regulate my time very well. I run my errands/order online groceries the same days. Setting up a routine helps keep things running. We know when things will be completed and what to plan around.
- Lists. Make lists about lists. If you can’t tell, I really like lists. They keep me organized and my goals attainable. I stay away from general tasks like clean house. I like to make realistic small tasks such as scrub sink, clean out fridge, etc. Especially for bigger projects for my blog I make a list of what I have to buy, to photograph, to write, etc. Compartmentalizing my tasks makes the progress measurable and attainable for me. Key word- attainable. Don’t make these crazy goals that you know can’t be accomplished in one day. I make small goals that will help you accomplish the big ones. Plus I really like to cross things off my lists so making those small goals helps me check them off quicker.
- Have a clean workspace. If my main living area is messy, I can’t function. I feel like everything is messy and therefore find it difficult to know where to start. If you ever come to my house you may find that the main area is mostly clutter free. Just don’t look in my bedroom! Or office- they say creatives are messy, hahah! I work in the dining room because it isn’t as dark as my office so I like to keep it tidy.
- Say no. This is a big one. If you are already over scheduled, busy or barely surviving, just say no. It’s ok to say no sometimes. If I can’t do something and give it my 100% then I don’t want to do it at all. I also don’t want to resent that or the person. It isn’t fair to them or to me. And when I say no to some things I am saying yes to sanity, more time with family and some tranquility.
- Schedule time for nothing. Sounds silly but sometimes I just want to have nothing going on. I don’t do it often but I want to give myself a break and not think about work or all the things due for the kids. I just want to relive Jim and Pam’s love story and veg out on Netflix. Or perhaps I want to take a nap. Maybe paint for the sake of painting. Giving and giving and giving is a recipe for a burnout. Take a few minutes for you to do nothing or do something for you. Close that planner and just be you.
I took this time management class a little bit ago and so many of the principles have stuck with me. I loved it and know it has helped me organize my time better. The truth is, there is so much I want to do that I love that I want that to take priority of my time. I don’t want my time to rule me. With so much responsibility to my family I need to make sure that that takes precedence and then the other stuff. It is like the rock and sand example. First put in the big rocks (big projects, top priorities) and then let the sand filter through (the little things that don’t necessarily need to be done right away.)
So, for example, my son has a soccer game right after ballet but kids haven’t had their snack yet. What do I take care of first? The stacked up dishes in the sink? How about their bowls from this morning that they left on the counter? I leave that and grab some snacks and rush to their activities. Because sometimes you just have to let things go. And it’s ok to not have everything perfect. That’s the life of a mother. My kids know I am not a perfect Mom but we work together and try not to make it a big deal when something doesn’t go as planned. Imperfections make us human. Just carry on and do the best you can. I hope these tips can be of some use to someone or perhaps you want to share something that helps you. We mamas have to help each other out!
“Mom, can we decorate for Halloween?” Has this been asked yet at your house? I think I have guilt from last year where I didn’t really do much….except have a baby. But really, I wanted to decorate more but I didn’t. This year I am decorating but not too much since for some reason having too much stuff makes my chest tighten up and makes me want to konmari my whole house. So, I am going for touches of Halloween without actually freaking myself out with fake spiders….in Seattle you can never tell if they are real or fake. It’s terrifying.
Since it has been a while since I’ve crafted I thought I’d give my hands a little project. I dusted off my Cricut and looked through my non konmari’d stash of supplies. Oops. Why do I have 1000 black stirrers? Who the crap knows. But this is what I made with them and I feel like a crafty ninja now.
Rather buy some cool stuff at Target than make your own? That’s cool. I did that, too. But since I like to craft and had some time (wha?? I know right?!) I thought I’d try my hand at making some decor that says “Hey, I’m a cool Mom that decorates for Halloween but not too much because I hate putting all this crap away…and I hate kitschy stuff…” or something along those lines. So, if you are like me then this is what you’ll need to make these super awesome halloween decorations. I guess it doesn’t need to be for Halloween- use it for Thanksgiving, too.
- Download svg cut files and using your Cricut or other cutter cut the files onto two pieces of black card stock
- Remove and set down.
- Start by cutting 8 straws in half.
- Thread six of the straws with one end of the wire and then wrap the end around the wire and tuck into the straw’s end.
- Repeat for the other side.
- Cut 4 pieces of wire about 1″ longer than the straw.
- Wrap one end of the wire on a corner of one of the hexagons and insert straw. Wrap around the end to the other hexagon’s corner connecting them.
- Repeat on the next corner over and the two top corners.
- Using washi tape (or hot glue) tape the cut file to the bottom.
- For added stability, glue or tape a sipper to the paper and attach it to the paper on the other side.
- You may have to finagle it a little for it to stand upright.
Cool, right? And like I stated earlier, if you just switch out the pictures it can be used for anything. There is no limit to your creativity my friends.
What’s your favorite Halloween element? Spiders? Skeletons? Zombies?
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This post is going to be mostly pictures. Partly because I am too tired to write but also because I know you just want to see the pictures. I will, however, give you an overview of what my mom, the awesome event planner, and I did to put this together. It was so fun crafting and designing this floral baby shower especially for my sister-in-law!
Decor+ Party Favors: Because the baby shower was held at La Jolla Groves, there were a lot of lemon trees and decor already there. We kept it simple and just added a few things like:
Simple rustic floral centerpieces
Gold mercury glass votives were used for the favors and they added a touch of elegance + coordinating tags. We gave everyone one of these pots with these beautiful mini succulents along with a tag that coordinated with the invitations (these will also be available in the shop soon!)
Food: The best part! My sister in law is Mexican and my brother is a chef so we had some pretty awesome Mexican food. We did order rice, tamales, tacos, taquitos and refried beans to be made by a friend. My brother made amazing sauces to go along with it as well as pico de gallo. While it may not sound sexy, it is all about the presentation. Served in these silver chafing dishes (the restaurant already had these but if you host a lot of events these would be a great investment or just these disposable chafing dishes would be helpful), everything looks organized and coordinated. And the cake! It was a tres leches cake that just melted in your mouth. It was from a local Mexican bakery in Orem, Utah. We topped the cake with flowers and I hand lettered. I uploaded my lettering and cut it out of chipboard on my Cricut Explore .
We played Baby Shower Bingo where you fill out a bingo card with gifts you think the mama-to-be will receive. These coordinated with the invitations. Can you tell I am big on coordinating items?
We also set up a station where the guests could customize bibs, burp cloths or onesies using stamps that I designed and cut on the Cricut Explore. I’ll share how I made those in another post. We used acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium. I love that stuff because I can use my existing paint stash and don’t have to buy just fabric paint.
We also had a photo booth with floral garland hanging down where guests could write a message to the baby and/or parents to be on a chalkboard with erasable chalkboard markers. I took their picture and will be putting those together to make it into a keepsake book for them.
It was a bit stressful as I had a clingy baby that I wore while we set up for the party and I was flying back to Seattle right after but our family helped us set up and clean afterwards. Which was a huge help! It is kind of crazy that my little brother is now a dad but I know he and Amber will be such awesome parents. Parenthood is a crazy ride but it is so worth it!