May 2014 Favorites

May Photo Collage 1Wow, every month flies by even faster then the last.  Can you believe Summer is upon us!  I’m not quite sure I’m ready for the SoCal heat, but it does seem like a good excuse to eat lots of ice cream and buy some new summer dresses- who’s with me?!  I had lots of favorites this month, but I think I’ve successfully narrowed down the list to my favorites of the favorites :-)

Food: Domino’s deep dish pizza.  I know what you’re thinking- whaaaaat? Pizza is your favorite for all of May?! – and to that I say, oh yeah! I would eat pizza every day if I could, but I think my hips and hubby would protest. If you love pizza too, try the Domino’s deep dish- it has extra bread and extra cheese, which for me, equals happiness.

Home Project: Simplifying and Organizing.  This month I went through all of my clothing (for a second time in less than 6 months!) and filled up more donation boxes.  Due to the clothing purge I also eliminated a big dresser in our bedroom, which makes the room feel even more open and bright.

Beauty Product: Body Scrubs.  I love how smooth and soft my skin feels after using a great scrub!  Currently I’m trying to use up the two I already have so I can get my hands on one of these.   Wow, how amazing do these scents sound?  A body scrub that smells like Hawaii? Yes, please!

Movie/Show: Godzilla.  I didn’t have any expectations going in to see this film and I walked away pleasantly surprised!

Read:  Loved this short article about generosity.

Workout Routine: I started alternating my running with workouts from this Brazilian Butt DVD workout.  One word- intense.  Very few days pass where I’m not sore in multiple places.

Song: Justin Timberlake- Not a bad thing.  I’m so happy O doesn’t get annoyed when I turn this up in the car every time it comes on.  I can’t help it- it totally sounds like an NSYNC throwback to me. Reminds me of my teenage years :-)

Saying/Quote: “No looking back.  Love where you’re going.”

2014 Project Life: Weeks 19-20

Week 19 Closeup Week 19 Project Life

Lately I’ve been pretty impressed with the scrapbooking supplies that Target has been carrying.  Target isn’t normally my go-to craft supply store, but when I do stop by (which is basically every day anyway- ha!) I like to peruse all of the pretty products and sneak a few things into my shopping cart.  You can see some of my finds on these project life pages for Weeks 19 and 20.  I’ve been using quite a few We R Memory Keppers 3×4 and 4×6 cards as my go-to inserts when I find myself a little short on time.  Love that “Embark on Adventures” card below.

I kept things pretty simple for these layouts. I’ve found that keeping things simple is what has helped  me stay on track with keeping up with this project.  Plus, I’ve been enjoying the simple look on my pages so far.  There’s usually already a lot in the way of journaling and photos, so keeping things simple in the other areas, like with embellishments and patterns, is what I’m finding most appealing.Project Life Week 20 Week 20 Closeup


The Mastery of Love: Book Review


I’m not going to lie- this book was a little tough for me to get into.  However, because it was highly recommended to me (and because I purchased it and it’s been sitting on my bookshelf for about a year), I decided to push through.  I’m really happy I did, because after about a hundred pages I started to “get it.” It wasn’t a groundbreaking read- as in, I didn’t have any AHA moments, but there were still a lot of wonderful and powerful points.

This book touches on self love, forgiveness, not letting what others say or do effect you in a negative way, and not letting the terrible/unjust things that have happened in the past be something that defines you.  The author, Don Miguel Ruiz, has a different style of writing that I’m not used to reading- it’s very to the point. Normally I like some humor or “fluff” tossed in, but in this case I actually appreciated the brevity.  He just got straight to the heart of the matter.

Here are just a few of my takeaways (keeping it brief here, but I’d definitely encourage reading this book if any of these points speak to you :-):

1) Self love is where it’s at!  You have to love yourself before you can expect others too.  Once you recognize your value and all of your awesomeness, others will too.

2) Find ways that you can build your own happiness.  If you completely depend on others for creating your happiness, you can become possessive and jealous.

3) Don’t take things personally.  If people are rude to you or act in some unjust way towards you for no reason, it doesn’t have anything to do with you.  That person is going through their own battle- don’t let it get to you.

4) Forgiveness is a major key to spiritual freedom. It doesn’t mean that what someone did was right.  You don’t even have to talk to that person ever again.  However, forgiveness is necessary.  It allows you to move on to bigger and better things- to free yourself from the hate and anger that eats at you.

5) Always remember to love unconditionally

Road Trip Mini Book

ImageMini books are seriously one of my favorite crafting projects.  I like to think of them as tiny little treasures that can be looked through and enjoyed for years to come.  Not only do they hold your photos like a traditional album would, but you also have little pockets that hide tags and journaling that help to tell the story . . . yup, so much more fun than the standard photo book!  I’ve created many mini books from scratch right after the trip, but one of my favorite things to do is enjoy a two step process of creating the bones of the book before the trip and then filling it in with photos and other memorabilia during/after the trip.  There’s something charming about writing and adding things to your book as you go!ImageO and I have a little day trip planned for this upcoming weekend, so I wanted to create the basics of my book so I can just add in the details after the trip.  On the first page I decided I will write up an overall description of the trip, so I added in some lines to act as a reminder to do so :-)  Following that I have some blank pages for photos/cards/receipts/anything else, really. ImageI love this quote from Julia Child and thought it would be very fitting for a page featuring some of the food we try on our trip.  That is followed by a page with a little pocket envelope where I may end up clipping some journaling or a photo to.ImageOn the last couple of pages I have another quote I love, and this awesome transparency insert which will make a great photo border.

So there you have it . . . just the bare bones to this road trip book, but I can’t wait to fill it up with all of the fun photos and memorabilia from our mini trip!



Process Behind the Page: Double Date Night

process behind the pageHave you ever felt mesmerized while watching a YouTube video where an artist’s 7 hour art process is sped up into a 5 minute video? It can be a pretty awesome experience, right?  One second you’re looking at a blank canvas, and the next second you have a work of art before you! Well, I for one am a huge fan of learning peoples processes behind their final projects. I’m always learning something, whether that’s my original intent for watching/reading about the process or not.

Yesterday when I sat down to put this layout together, I decided I would record my process.  Even though it’s a small scale project, it was still really fun to slow down and think about how my layouts come together.  While my process is always changing, I do seem to follow a similar order of steps . . .

Process 1This is more of a semi-blank canvas, actually. I normally work on blank white cardstock or simple patterned paper, but I absolutely loved this print from My Minds Eye.  I had been holding onto it for quite some time and decided it would work perfectly for this layout.

Process 2To give the layout some texture and interest, I ripped the top part of my main paper along with the top and bottom of this patterned paper that I wanted to use under my photos.  I think the ripped effect helps tie the two papers together, instead of having a defining line between where the two papers meet. Process 3Next, I got together some washi tape, embellishments, and Dear Lizzy alphas to start sprucing up the page.

Process 4Washi tape is one of my favorite ways to bring color into layouts.  Here, I just taped two different washi tapes together and then cut out a heart . . . a super quick, easy, and cost effective embellishment!

Process 5I don’t usually switch up/add photos in the middle of my process, but it felt like this page would be incomplete without a photo of our sweet friends . . . after all, this page is about a double date! Thankfully, the new images fit into the layout really well, so I didn’t need to make any major changes or start over!Process 6My final step here was the journaling.  I didn’t leave any blocks of space to write, so I decided to wrap the journaling around my photos and titles as a sort of outline to where the pink and blue papers meet.  I actually really like how that turned out.Process 7

And there you have it . . . layout complete! Thanks for stopping by and walking through my process with me :-)

Malibu Mini Book


Happy Friday!  I’m so very excited to share this mini-book that I created using pictures from a trip we took last Saturday when we went to Malibu to celebrate a friend’s birthday at the beach.  It was a wonderful day spent with an awesome group of friends, and even though I didn’t take many photos, the photos I did take were just enough to justify making a mini book . . . love when that happens :-)

The process of creating this book was super simple.  I snapped all of the photos on my iPhone, edited them using the VSCOcam app, and then printed them using my little Selphy printer.  I decided to use mostly black and white photos, but mixed in a couple of colored photos for the group shots.  I feel like black and white always adds a more classic vibe, which is what I wanted to go for, and I love the way that all of the accent pieces pop off the pages.  Most of the alphas and other stickers were from Dear Lizzy collections.  The book is simple, but so much fun to flip through.  Now I’m trying to think of what other summer adventures could translate into fun mini books this year!

Malibu Book 2-3 Malibu Book 4-5 Malibu Book 6-7 Malibu Book 8-9


2014 Project Life: Weeks 17-18

Week 17I’m pretty sure my project life methods will be forever changing.  I decided to be ambitious on Week 17 and try my hand at another 2 page spread (above).  I’ve only done one other 2 page spread this year, and that was for our honeymoon in Hawaii (when I had hundreds of photos and stories!)  This two week spread was being done for a completely normal non-vacation week when my photos and stories were a more limited. I liked the challenge of spreading things out, but in the end I prefer utilizing 1 page per week.  That may change, but for now it’s what’s working best for me :-)Week 17_Page 1 Week 17_ Page 2So then for Week 18 I went back to the one pager, and it came together quite nicely.  The photos and text are both minimal, and this week had a bit of a running theme.  I have tunnel vision about the half marathon I’ll be running in few weeks, and right now I’m seeing how my focus is showing up in my work . . . strange how that sometimes happens!Week 18

My Take on the Sharpie Mug DIY

Sharpie MugsAfter seeing Pinterest saturated with so many images of really fun sharpie designs on coffee mugs, I really didn’t think about making this DIY into a blog post.  However, trying to find a tried a true method of doing this craft (in a way where a general sharpie marker wouldn’t wipe off or fade after washing) actually proved to be very difficult.  So, after successfully venturing into this craft a couple of times (and finding a method where the mugs will survive the dishwasher!) I thought I might as well put my method out there into the world.  Hopefully these tips will help you create a fun mug for yourself or for someone you love.  These mugs were a lot of fun to make for Mother’s Day gifts this year!  My favorite designs are always the ones with simple words and patterned designs.  Good luck and I hope you have fun creating your own mug :-)Mug Gift


– Inexpensive coffee mug (it’s better to get an inexpensive mug because the glaze won’t be as heavy duty, allowing the sharpie markings to stick better)

– Black Sharpie

– 100% Acetone

– Cotton Ball

Step 1: Wipe down the surface of your mug using a cotton ball and acetone.  This will remove any finger oils and allow the sharpie markings to adhere better to the mug.

Step 2: Draw your design/phrase using your sharpie.

Step 3: Place your cups in the oven and turn it on to 425 degrees.  You want your mugs to heat up with the oven.  Once the oven has reached 425 degrees, leave the mugs in for an additional 30 minutes.

Step 4: After 30 minutes, open the oven just a crack to allow mugs to cool down at a gradual pace.  Don not remove them straight away or you’ll risk getting cracks.  After your mugs have cooled down you can remove them from the oven and allow them to finish cooling.

Step 5: If you’re giving this mug away as a gift, be sure to fill it well with lots of chocolates and tea :-) Mug Gift 2

Happy Mother’s Day

Mom and Me LayoutGood Morning and a very happy Mother’s day to all the amazing Mom’s out there!  I hope you enjoy a well deserved relaxing day!  Today I plan to celebrate one of the most amazing woman I know . . . my mom :-) She is truly the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful person I know and she deserves a wonderful day on every day . . . but especially today!  Love you, Mom.Mom and Me Layout Closeup