June 2014

June 1

Happy Monday and happy last day of June! After seeing these journaling prompts on Anne-Marie’s blog, I became rather eager to add my own spin too! It seemed like a really great way to wrap up the month by checking in on what’s been going on around here.

Eating: More fruits and salads- Summer is a great time to be extra healthy.

Drinking: Lots of water- trying to stay hydrated in this heat!

Watching: Lots of soccer with Omar.  The world cup apparently became a big part of my life when I got married ;-)

Learning: More tips and tricks for using my DSLR by way of this class.

Trying: To get back in the habit of waking up earlier in the mornings . . . one day I’ll get the hang of it!

Playing: With paint (spoiler alert . . . it’s really fun!)

Finishing: A couple of mini-books

Reading: A Thousand Splendid Suns .  It’s much more intense then the books I usually read, but its been good so far.

Remembering: That its okay to slow down.

Wearing: My go-to outfit this month was a sleeveless button up blouse with jeans and flats.

Cooking: Not a whole lot this month . . .

Wanting: Ice cream . . . but when am I not wanting ice cream ;-)


Washington D.C.

Exploring Washington D.CHappy Friday! If you follow me on Instagram then you probably already know that for part of last week and part of this week Omar and I were in Washington D.C.  I was there for a conference, but we both had some time to explore the city, which was an awesome bonus! After filtering through MANY photos from 3 different cameras, I selected a few of my favorite shots to share here today  D.C.2D.C. 11D.CD.C. 7D.C 3D.C. 13D.C 4D.C. 6D.C.1D.C. 9 D.C 5D.C. 10D.C. 12There’s something so special about D.C. -maybe the fact that everywhere you look there is a big piece of history, or the fact that learning about the United States is so inviting with all of the museums that are free to the public.  One things for sure, we had a blast!  I left with sore feet, but a very happy heart :-)

DIY: 5 Minute Pocket Envelopes

5 minute pocket envelopes 1 Spoiler alert, this envelope actually only takes about 2 minutes to make, but if you get distracted selecting accent paper, stamps, etc. that you want to decorate with (like I always do!) then you might spend about 5 minutes per envelope.  I love how multipurpose these envelopes are-  I’ve made square-ish versions to hold mixed cds, made small ones to hold gift cards, and of course made custom sizes for my mini books so I can stuff little tickets/receipts or anything else inside while I’m traveling.   Here’s how I make them!5 min pocket (2)1) I cut my cardstock down to size. To determine the size I need, I measure my mini album/CD/whatever else I’m wanting to put inside and then double the length measurement (because I’ll be folding the paper in half) and add one inch to the width (so I’ll have 1/2″ flaps on the sides).  5 minute pockets (3) 5 minute pocket (5)2) I score the cardstock in the middle (lengthwise) and at the 1/2″ marks on the sides (width-wise). 5 min pocket (6)3) I cut out little triangles on all the edges and at the mid-point of the envelope, as seen in the photo above.  These cuts make the folding easier and also give a more “polished” look after everything has been adhered together. 5 minute pocket sleeve (7) 5 minute pocket (8)4) I fold along my creases and then add a strong adhesive to the side flaps that will be joining each other 5 minute pocket (9)5) I cut slits at the top corners of the envelope (as seen above) so I can fold a little flap down.  

5 minute pocket (11)6) I then trim off the edges of the flap at an angle (see above)

(12)7) I then like to cut a little piece of patterned paper to slip into the envelope so it peeks out of the front.  

8) Embellish however you’d like :-)

(13) (15) (16)And if you’re using this pocket for a mini-album, like I did for the project above, then you can simply punch your holes in the side and you’re good to go!


My Summer Essentials

Summer EssentialsI’m going to start this post with a bit of a downer disclaimer-  Summer is not my favorite season.  I know . . . saying that is almost inexcusable coming from a SoCal girl, but if you look like a tomato after being in the sun for 15 minutes, and are prone to migraines with the constant 90+ temperatures, you may begin to understand (or at least think I’m not quite as crazy).  I will admit though that Summer has started to grow on me over the years.  There are certain things that I’ve come to love about Summer and there’s just something about pulling out my favorite seasonal products that gets me excited for the upcoming months.  So, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share some of my Summer essentials.  Some of these things I own, some are on my shopping list, and some are on my “I really want this but probably don’t need it, so I’ll re-evaluate next summer” list.

1. Summer is probably my least favorite time of year to wear makeup, so sometimes I just like to add a pop of color to my lips and nothing else.  A balm stain like this is moisturizing and adds color for a long period of time!

2.  I love to lather up with this sunscreen because it not only gives me good protection, but it also smells amazing!  I also love using this after spending a day in the sun.

3. Hoping to get my hands on this maxi sometime this summer!

4. For when the sun goes down at the beach or if I find myself sitting in a freezing air conditioned restaurant wearing a dress, I like to have a scarf on hand to warm myself up.  Love this one that I found on Etsy.

5. This is the best water bottle I’ve ever owned.  Because it’s a glass bottle, it’s obviously more heavy.  However, I love that my water never tastes like plastic.

6. This little gadget might be fun and convenient to have on the desk . . . plus, it’s pretty darn cute!

7. I always need a good book for summer lounging.  This one has been added to my must-read list.

8. I really love body scrubs, which make the skin look glowing and feel super soft- perfect for the summer.

What are your summer must haves?

The Fault in Our Stars (Book Review)

Fault in our starsIt’s funny- I bought this book for my brother-in-law for his birthday about a year and a half ago and I remember thinking as I read the cover sleeve that it sounded like a book I would probably really enjoy.  Fast forward to about a week ago and I was asking him if I could borrow it :-)  I’m so happy I did.  This book is incredibly heartfelt, but not to a cheesy degree.  All of the characters are going through major life challenges, whether it’s dealing with cancer, dealing with a loved one having cancer, or dealing with the healing process of cancer.  Knowing this you might think the outlook of the book would be very depressing, but it really isn’t.  I like how the author really didn’t make light of the situation- I mean, how can you?- these are huge battles the characters are going through!  Yet he does bring in humor and hope through the dialogue and genuine love between some of the characters.

There is of course a love story between the main characters, but I equally loved the way that the relationships between the parents and their kids developed.  I felt like that was an integral part of the book.  So many times in young adult books the parents are made out to be the ones that don’t understand.  They are disconnected in their kids’ lives.  However, in this book, the relationship felt genuine and I appreciated that.

Overall, a really great read.  I haven’t seen the movie yet (although I may have seen it by the time this post goes up .  . .) but I would still recommend reading the book even if you’ve seen the movie.  Since the story is told from the main character’s point of view, you really get a special view into her thoughts- and that’s always incredibly difficult to develop in films.

Carry On Must-Haves

Carry On Must HavesI know it may seem a little odd, but I’m always so interested to see what other people carry in their bags/purses/carry ons.  In most cases, that little travel bag is carrying someone’s essentials, and it’s fun to sometimes see what people have as their essentials.  So, today, in celebration of leaving for Washington D.C. I thought it would be fun to share what I like to have in my carry on.  My first little group of items are the crafting tools I like to travel with and the second little group is everything else.travel essentialscarryon essentials 2

Yup, pretty much the basics, but I really don’t like to carry a bunch of things because it’s more to keep track of and more to dig through to find what I really need. So I’ve learned to keep it simple!

I won’t be around blogland for about a week (although I do have posts set up to run while I’m away), but I’ll definitely be on Instagram.  See you there :-)

Textured Dual Canvas Painting

Dual CanvasPainting has had a bit of a snowball effect on me.  Only two months ago I was incredibly timid to put paint to canvas.  Now I can’t help but stop by the painting aisles whenever I go to Michaels and think about what I might create on a new blank canvas. Recently I bought another 2-pack of canvases for $10, and also invested in some better acrylic paints and an acrylic medium to add texture.  Can I just say that I’m completely in love with the acrylic mediums and am super tempted to purchase a gel mediums sampler like this very soon!Painting 2

I remember O mentioning when we first started dating how much he liked dual canvas (or multiple canvas) paintings.  I have to agree.  The effect of the eye moving seamlessly from one canvas to the next is pretty interesting.  I love how the space is broken up yet the eyes can easily connect the dots as if the separation doesn’t even exist.  So, this is my take on the dual canvas painting. I chose to paint a piece of a tree, because in my mind the most beautiful trees are the ones that have branches that never seem to end.  Ones that would be incredibly difficult to fit on a canvas because they are just too large and glorious.  So here, I just wanted to focus on a piece of the tree, and give a closeup look at the leaves.  In a way, it’s kind of a cross between abstract and realistic.  You can tell it’s a tree, but I focused more on creating texture on the leaves than making them look realistic.  My goal with this project was to play around with texture, so I’m really pleased that it ended up being my favorite part about this painting!Tree 3

Supplies//Galeria acrylic in Mars Black, Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue, and Titanium White; Golden Heavy Gel (Matte)

Happy Father’s Day!

Father's DayWhen I was a little girl I was my Dad’s mini shadow . . . I followed him around everywhere! When he’d go out to the garage to get a tool, I’d be skipping along right behind him.  When he was watching the news on TV, I’d be playing with my Polly Pockets (remember those?!) behind the couch.  My Dad was my superhero so I couldn’t let him leave my sight.  As the years went by I learned how to be independent, and also learned that even if I didn’t follow him around everywhere, he would still be there for me whenever I needed him.  My Dad has always been someone I can count on in any situation.  He is one of the most generous people I know when it comes to family and has always gone to great lengths to keep our family close, which is something I’ll be forever grateful for.  Love, you Dad! Happy Father’s Day to all of the incredible dads out there!

Heading to Washington D.C. (+ mini album cover)

Away we go!We’re heading out of state and over to the east coast next week.  We’ll only be spending 5 short days in D.C. but needless to say, I am still super excited.  I first visited D.C. in 2011 and absolutely fell in love with the city.  There were a lot of firsts for me on that trip- my first time on an airplane, first trip out of state by myself, and first time exploring a big city solo.  I had a blast!  People are super friendly, public transportation is easy, and there’s so much to explore (and a lot of it is free, so that’s an added bonus)! This time I have something else to look forward to- the fact that O is coming along!  Nothing better than going on adventures with this guy :-)

Originally we thought we might have enough time to take a side trip to NY for a couple of days, but after planning everything out we decided we would enjoy the trip more if we could soak up as much of D.C. in 5 days (instead of “doing it all”)  and save NY for another time, especially since my first 2 days will be spent at a conference for work.

I’ve been busy getting some great posts scheduled for the days that I’ll be away, but this project of creating a little journal to collect photos, tickets, and other ephemera was at the top of my priority list.  Today I’d like to share how my book cover came together . . . I’m saving the other pages until after the trip has happened ;-)

I decided to go with a simple 4×6 format in which I simply cut 6×6″ paper down to size and then bound the pages together using ring clasps.  This is kind of my go-to format for creating a journal.  There are so many options out there for day books/journals, but in the end I find this is what really works for me 95% of the time.  The size is small enough that I can carry it in my purse, but big enough to display standard size photos.  Having the rings to bind the book makes it easy to add more pages if necessary.

Cover 1 Cover 2 Cover 3 Cover 4 Cover 5Since I’ll be carrying this book around I wanted to make sure I didn’t add too many stickers or other bits and pieces that might fall off.  I kept everything 2-dimensional except for the foam stickers (and believe me, it takes a lot to get those to budge!)

Thanks for letting me share :-)

Supplies//We R Memory Keepers 6×6″ paper pack; black foam stickers; Amy Tangerine stamp