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Hello, Fall 2015

Fall is officially here! Who is excited for cooler temps, changing leaves, and Fall family traditions?! To help you document these precious memories, I recently shared a project over at Snap Click Supply Company:

Fall-Blessings-Layout-1

For the full scoop on how to put this Fall Scrapbook layout together, head over to this post. I just love the extra glitter sparkle on those leaves!

Fall-Blessings-Layout-2

P.S. I just heard about a wonderful tradition to celebrate the first day of Fall from our amazing family photographer and good friend Tiffany- their family celebrates by having dinner in a pumpkin! She used this recipe and said it was delicious!

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Sweet Summer Memories 2015

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Summer-2015-Swing

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Summer-2015-Bubbles

Dearest Olivia,

We’ve had so much fun this summer! Right now, you love playing with play dough, blowing bubbles, chasing the puppies, painting your nails, reading books, and anything to do with water. It’s been an absolute JOY to watch you swim in the pool and lake. I will never forget you leaping off the pool steps with confidence. I won’t lie- my heart did skip a beat! But, I knew your pool vest would hold you above water and seeing the smile on your face was priceless. A favorite pastime in the water? Pouring and scooping, of course! I love watching how your inquisitive mind works- you truly want to understand the why’s behind everything.

I am continually amazed at how your vocabulary has expanded. We are having actual conversations! You are telling me things like “That was delicious!” or “not quite yet” in response to a friendly redirection. You have no problem communicating your preferences!

Looking forward to what the Fall brings!

Love always, Mom

 

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Wellness Wednesdays: Gratitude in Action

I had a different post scheduled for today, but this one feels more timely, more real. I posted on my Instagram account earlier today:

Breathe

“Got some good/bad news this morning. We’ve been working with a holistic MD for the past few weeks to get a better overall picture of Olivia’s health. Right now, I’m sitting in a parking lot, enjoying a Starbucks, trying to take deep breaths, and admiring the view in the backseat of my precious girl sound asleep. Things I know for sure: 1) Information is power: We have a much better understanding of how to support Olivia’s body- you can’t fix/deal with something until you have all the facts. 2) You are your child’s health advocate and most important example. 3) It’s never too late to hit the reset button.”

So, wherever you are on YOUR wellness journey, I invite you to take a moment and just breathe. Honor the facts and experience- it’s ok to be angry, sad, confused, overwhelmed, frustrated… curve-balls can quite literally feel like a punch to the stomach… But, they can also be beautiful opportunities to GROW, step out of your comfort zone, and inspire others. So, I’m working really hard on this cycle:

Breathe. Be grateful. Repeat.

I am so grateful to have a plan of action, deeper insights into our family’s health, and a whole arsenal of wellness tools. Our sweet girl is going to be just fine.

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Monday Motivation: Words to Live By #5

Motherhood Inspirational Quote

I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately about motherhood topics and sharing updates on Olivia. Our sweet girl is amazing- she is laughing, running, and talking up a storm. I have to pinch myself sometimes that we are at the point of having real conversations where she shares her ideas and opinions! For every wonderful moment, there’s also an opposite. Olivia is passionately independent, which means that temper tantrums occur frequently and everyday tasks often escalate into power struggles. Did I mention that nap time is almost nonexistent these days? Honestly, I’ve found myself more frustrated and disheartened with the realities of parenting than ever before. Some days are just plain hard

As this new week starts, I am so grateful that I can choose to hit the reset button… a thousand times a day, if needed. I can choose to focus on the moments of joy and embrace our present reality, which is one of GROWTH- she is testing new limits and exploring her world … I am a work in progress, stretching to meet her needs and become the Mother I know I want to be.

For all the Mamas with little ones: This is for the Tough Days.

Welcome to Monday Motivation! I hope you enjoy this inspiring quote. For more words to live by, check out the archives.

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Monday Motivation: Words to Live By #4

Words-to-Live-By-Energy-Flows-Quote

As a new week begins, my words of wisdom to you are to check your mindset. Are you grounded in confidence and faith that things are unfolding exactly as they should? Or, are you choosing to be swept away in the drama of life where complaining and blaming are your best friends?

I was recently listening to a video series where this quote (author unknown) was mentioned by Susan Ferraro. Love it! It all circles back to gratitude, friends! Focusing on abundance invites greater blessings into your life.

Welcome to Monday Motivation! I hope you enjoy this inspiring quote. For more words to live by, check out the archives. This quote was created using a gorgeous frame from the Rhonna Designs App

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Gifts for Dad 2015

Father’s Day is right around the corner! What are you doing to celebrate Dad? It’s been so fun watching James and Olivia’s relationship blossom. Our toddler is quite the helper these days and very interested in Daddy’s house projects. I wanted our gift to him this year to capture a sense of “building” moments and memories.

I came across this PIN and absolutely fell in love with the concept! I bought a cheap hammer, found a Woodburner Pen (marked half off), and set to work!

Fathers-Day-Gifts-Building-Memories

Full project disclosure: Things didn’t quite go as planned. A quick and easy project quickly turned into 2 hours of fighting with the wood grain to make legible swirls. I wouldn’t chalk this up to a “Pinterest Fail,” but… man, oh man! I sanded. I retraced my outlines. And, I might have started to pull my hair out! I even burned my hand! (Thank goodness for lavender essential oil!) Believe me, I’m well aware that I’m missing a comma between “build” and “Daddy.” This project was definitely more time consuming than expected! But, I do think James will get a kick out the idea and effort that went into this handmade Father’s Day gift.

I paired this engraved hammer with a free template from Mr. Printables. I couldn’t be happy with how it came together. Check out the dimension! James always admires cards that have an “engineering” aspect to them, so I know he will love the stair-step effect created with this printable! You can grab your free copy HERE.

Need a little more Father’s Day inspiration? Check out this Pinterest Board for the perfect gifts for Dad and take a walk down memory lane with the following posts (click on the headings for links)!

Father’s Day 2014

Super Dad Book

Father’s Day 2013

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Father’s Day 2012

Father's Day Card 2

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Monday Motivation: Words to Live By #3

Words to Live By- Someday Quote

I spied this quote (author unknown) in a recent newsletter by the amazing Lisa Serena of Soul Insights. I couldn’t help but create my own graphic spin on these words of wisdom. My mind immediately thought of a question:

How often do we neglect our own health and happiness because of XYZ?

We promise ourselves that we’ll get to it someday. Or, maybe we think, “If I can just get through [blank], I’ll have more time/money/energy to focus on [blank].

What’s your “blank?” Is it getting in shape by releasing extra weight? Perhaps, it’s about making yourself a priority or carving out more time with your family? How can you lean into making these “someday” outcomes an everyday reality? It’s a new week so put pen to your paper and start living… dreaming… and embracing a life you consciously craft.

Welcome to Monday Motivation! I hope you enjoy this inspiring quote. For more words to live by, check out the archives. This quote was created using embellishments from the Rhonna Designs App and a digital scrapbook paper from Snap Click Supply Co.

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Monday Motivation: Words to Live By #2

Failureisimpossible

Is it really possible that we are entering JUNE?! The months of 2015 are truly flying by. I recently heard this quote at a graduation and thought it was the perfect way to usher in a new calendar month and the start of a busy summer season.

What if we all take failure off the table? What would that look like? Can we replace our fears with curiosity?

Cheers to an amazing, fun, and productive month ahead!

Welcome to Monday Motivation! I hope you enjoy this inspiring quote. For more words to live by, check out the archives. This graphic was created with a digital flower element from Snap Click Supply Co.

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Virginia Bluebells in Bloom

I want to let you in on a secret…

Blooming Virginia Bluebells

… there’s an area at Shaw Nature Reserve that erupts into a sea of gorgeous blooms near the Meramac River.

Shaw Nature Reserve Blooming Bluebells

A carpet of delicate Virginia Bluebells layers the ground– it’s quite unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Virginia Bluebells Shaw Nature Reserve

This beautiful display is only around for a very short window of time. Just the cherry blossom season, its beauty shines brightly and quickly fades as nature reinvents itself.

We went in search of this beautiful display on Easter Sunday. It is quite a trek to get to their location. James checked his phone after our excursion and our hike clocked in at roughly 6 miles… over the bridge, across the prairie, along the wildflower path, and down a steep hill.

Shaw Nature Reserve Trail

When we arrived this year, the blooms were just about to burst open. The blossoms were a hit with Olivia since they are purple (her favorite color right now). It was just a bit too early to see them in their full glory. I bet that this weekend (April 11 & 12th) would probably be ideal if the area isn’t under water due to recent thunderstorms.

Spring Adventures 2015

I love discovering local, unique gems like this one. There’s just something magical about this place and event. It almost reminds me of an ephemeral secret garden since it’s off the beaten path and not many people know about it.

Another perk of visiting this time of year? Thousands of daffodil bulbs are in bloom!

Shaw Nature Daffodils

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Springtime in Paris Contest

Earlier this month, I saw that Michaels was having a fun contest centered on the theme: Paris in the Springtime. I’ve wanted to go to France and this gorgeous city for as long as I remember. I’ll never forget seeing the iconic Eiffel tower erupt in a dazzling display of golden light on New Year’s Eve 1999. For this project, I decided to create a DIY travel journal.

Paris DIY Journal

When I saw this Recollections Keepsake Book at Michaels, I immediately thought of the Eiffel tower’s beautiful sparkles! It was also the perfect size to throw in my purse or suitcase to document beautiful memories of the City of Light.

Paris DIY Journal Embellishments

I embellished the front with elements from the Trinkets Collection by Project Life, a die-cut image of The Eiffel Tower created by my silhouette machine, and punched flowers. In terms of design, I opted to almost everything flat and avoid additions that might “catch” as this journal was shuffled between suitcases/bags {no double-sided foam tape, no rhinestones, & no ribbon}.

Paris DIY Journal Supplies

James and I have been so fortunate to travel to a number of amazing places in the past: Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Aruba, Barbados, Hawaii, and the list continues… A common theme I’ve noticed: If I don’t write down a snapshot of our day while we are on the trip, it is 10x harder to remember an accurate timeline that captures daily adventures after the fact. In the past, I’ve taken a small little notebook with me and scratched down details I didn’t want to forget. The problem? I haven’t had time to do anything with them! What a messy collection of memories!

Travel Journals

This beautiful on-the-go journal solves my issue! It will allow me to capture all those candid moments and effectively start the documenting process immediately.

To prep this little book for journaling, I sprinkled decorative elements throughout its pages. Here’s a sample:

Paris DIY Journal Pages

Why the “keys”? …No, it isn’t in honor of The Pont des Arts {although I would have loved to have seen this tourist spot before glass panels were installed}. Instead, it symbolizes getting off the beaten path and discovering Paris through the lens of a local. I look forward to not only visiting the top 10 list of iconic attractions/museums, but also seeing fun landmarks that might not necessarily show up in a guidebook.

Paris DIY Journal Cover

My goal with this project was to create something worthy of capturing the ever-evolving beauty and grace of the city. I can’t wait to fill in the pages someday.

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