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Hello, 31

Once you’ve hit your 30s, you’re not a day over 29, right?!


When I think about this past year, I’m overwhelmed by how much our little family has grown! Olivia is running these days and talking up a storm. I feel so fortunate to have James by my side as we’ve learned new lessons in parenthood {ahem, new levels of patience!}.  When I think about this year, these thoughts come to mind:

…growing as a family… meeting an insane amount of work deadlines… striving to find balance… developing new skills in dealing with toddler tantrums… learning lessons on taking care of my health… attempting to juggle it all and feeling like I’m always short… laughing with family and friends… working with a talented team managing store products at The Dating Divas blog… being fascinated by the current scope of research on essential oils…

I came across this article recently: Tips to Help Millennials Find Meaningful Work. I agree with so many points of this article, especially their focus on how our generation wants/needs to make an impact. Have you found your purpose-driven career? For me, teaching essential oil classes has become a passion area! When I help connect families to tools that will help them on their health journey, I feel like I’m giving back. I’ve gone from being completely skeptical to actively teaching about these natural health solutions because I’ve seen firsthand the difference that they can make in my own family, as well as countless others.

The company that I’m working with offers so much more than just a set of products to enhance your health- their sourcing practices, commitment to education, focus on philanthropy, and generous compensation plan are all visible pieces of their integrity and heart. I’m really excited to see where this journey takes me throughout the rest of the year.


So what’s next? I’m still chipping away at my 30 During 30 List… So many of these items relate to a lifestyle I’m trying to create– savoring the present moment {however beautiful, chaotic, and messy it might be!}, being a good mama, carving out time with family & friends, and focusing on my own health goals.

I saw this video and thought it was a powerful reminder of the impact our words have in creating our self image.

I’m going to work on being kinder to myself this year. We are all works in progress.

…and that’s ok.

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Nautical Birthday Card

Snap Click Supply Company has been celebrating digital design all month long by offering double the number of items on sale.  To go along with the theme of “double the fun,” I created a quick and easy summer birthday card for my awesome TWIN nieces!  This fun card uses digital elements from both the Ahoy There (Carta Bella) and the Nautical collection (Fancy Pants).

DIY Nautical Card

When I started this project, I didn’t have an exact picture in my mind of how I wanted it to turn out.  I did know, however, that I wanted to use the phrase, “Ahoy! It’s Your Birthday!”

Ahoy Card

I began by using the “print and cut” feature of my silhouette to cut out several awesome digital designs, including an anchor and alphabet letters spelling AHOY.  I also selected a background paper for my card base from the Ahoy There collection… this was a tough pic as there are so many fun nautical choices!

Ahoy Card Detail

With my card base determined, I started experimenting with the placement of the cut out digital designs. I love adding dimension to my hybrid card designs so foam tape is a must!  In the picture below, you can see where I applied foam tape to make various layers pop.

Ahoy Card Layering Detail

A few decisions and embellishments:

  • I punched a hole through the anchor top and added a bow using red baker’s twine.
  • I edged the white background panel with a Krylon gold leafing pen to add a bit of sparkle.
  • I used a Nestability die (Labels 18) to cut out a blue shape to highlight the anchor.  Love the contrast this step provides!

Nautical Card Elements

On the back of the card, I added the rest of the birthday sentiment.  I embellished the text with clear rhinestones in two sizes and a red punched heart.

Birthday Greeting Detail

To compliment my summer theme, I also whipped up a fun envelope design.

Summer Envelope Design 2

Again, I used the “print and cut” feature of the Silhouette to cut out the “Summer” word from Fancy Pant’s Nautical collection.

Tip: This element didn’t have a clear boundary for the Silhouette to recognize.  To remedy this issue, I opened the element up in PSE and added a light stroke to the edge in a coordinating color.  Adding a stroke line made cutting out this element using the Silhouette super easy!

Silhouette tip for digital images

I grouped the fun “Summer” word element with 2 layers of washi tape and a punched star.  I also added the twins’ names with sticker letters.

Summer Envelope Design

This nautical birthday card was fun to make and perfect for any summer birthday!  I hope my sweet nieces have DOUBLE the fun on their 8th birthday!

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Handmade Patriotic Card

It’s almost the 4th of July!  Today, I’m sharing a handmade patriotic card that I made several years ago for a friend –her birthday is actually on Independence Day!

Patriotic Handmade Card

This card happens to be one of my favorite patriotic card creations to date.  It’s super simple to make- as long as you have red and white buttons!

Patriotic Card Detail

Patriotic Card 2

To represent the stars on the flag, I used 2 punched flower shapes embellished with a clear sparkle.  I also dressed up her envelope.  Here was the outer design:

Patriotic Envelope Design

…and a close-up of the embellishment cluster:

Patriotic Envelope 2

Happy Fourth of July!

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30 During My 30th Year

A simple Google search of “30 [Goals] Before [Turning] 30” generates an impressive array of hits.  With my venture into a new decade mere weeks away, I couldn’t resist creating a set of action steps that will hopefully help guide my year of feeling LIGHT.

Inspiring-Quote1.  Dress the Part.  I’ve definitely succumbed to “mommy-mode” attire this year and frequently wear black yoga pants and a comfortable top.  Kelly Rae’s post on her decision to switch up her wardrobe really resonated with me.  Check out her thoughtful Wear Your Joy project HERE.

2.  Schedule Date Night.  James and I have miserably at carving out time for our relationship during the prior year.  I think we went on maybe 3 date nights and 2 additional group events?!  This pitiful number needs to change asap…(this Dating Diva needs to take her own advice…)

3.  See the Ocean.  I love the feeling of infinite possibilities that arises when I stare out at an endless ocean horizon line.  I am craving the sounds, light, and vastness of the sea.

4.  Go on a Trip as a Couple.  We have at least one trip scheduled in June sans baby.  I’m sure it will be incredibly difficult to leave Olivia for a couple of days, but I am looking forward to having time to be just Candice and James– for a few days, we are ditching the titles of Mom, Dad, Financial Provider, and Blogger.

5.  Organize the Craft Room.  My Mom and I typically work on a postage stamp of space- it’s time to find practical solutions for storing a wide range of mixed media.

6.  Submit a Piece to a Major Blog.  Time to step out of my comfort zone.

7.  Finish Olivia’s Baby Book.

8.  See a Concert Live.

9.  Cultivate a Morning Ritual.  Eliminate the chaos and carve out some time for me before Olivia wakes up.

10.  Exercise.  Vague and simple: find a routine that works for me.

11.  Start Meatless Mondays.  I’m a big fan of Kris Carr and haven’t looked at dairy or meat in quite the same way since reading her book Crazy Sexy Diet.  James and I are committed to exploring more plant based meals this year.

12.  Make and Send 30 Cards. 

13.  Pay It Forward.  Try buying someone’s coffee behind me, etc…

14.  Complete a Photo a Day Challenge.  I participated in Heidi Swapp’s Holiday Foto Find in December on Instagram and loved how the prompts helped me observe and document more.

15.  Write Letters to My Daughter.  My brother-in-law and his wife gave me a lovely book for Christmas: My Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Daughter.  So far, I’ve glanced through the pages and started thinking about some of the prompts.  I can already see this collection becoming a treasured reference for both myself and Olivia.

16.  Complete a Healthy Juice Cleanse.

17.  Start a Dinner Club with Friends.  We’ve talked about this one for a long time.  As we’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that our circle of friends meets less regularly- everyone is simply trying to stay afloat with their own responsibilities!

18.  Invest in My Blog.  Craft regular content with a predictable schedule of postings.  I’m going to aim for a post each Monday and Thursday.

19.  Juice, Blend, Repeat.  I truly hope to incorporate more delicious green juices and smoothies into our daily diet.

20.  Cultivate a Sunday Ritual.  Establish a routine to take care of practical household matters and set clear intentions for the following week.

21.  Reorganize My Cookbooks.  Many of the recipes in my collection just don’t make sense given what I’m learning about eating a whole foods diets that is abundant with veggies and lean protein.  It’s time to clear the deck so the most flavorful and healthy ones are easy to find.

22.  Plant an Herb Garden.

23.  Restaurant Tour.

24.  Experiment with Vegan Recipes.  Buy, cook, and eat tofu and tempeh!  Learn how to use my food processor.

25.  Establish Boundaries with Social Media/Technology.  Facebook has evolved into a tool to keep connected to many blogging ventures though the use of private and educational groups.  It’s been increasing difficult to put my phone down and not “check-in” several times a day.

26.  Less Pinning, More Doing.  Simple attitude adjustment: choose action over perfection.

27.  Read a Book for Fun.  I don’t remember the last time I’ve carved out time to read something that wasn’t related to child care, parenting, blogging, etc… I’ve got my eye on Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things.

28.  Investigate Volunteer Opportunities.  I’ve been on the board of several organizations that have fizzled out over the course of several months due to a lack of staff support and organizational readiness.  I’d love to utilize my skill set to help a local nonprofit– I’m on the search for a match.

29.  Be Present with Olivia.  Sing, laugh, dance, practice sign language… So many adventures on the horizon to savor.

30.  Spend Time with My Grandparents.  Distance has always been a barrier to seeing them in the past.  With their recent move to an assisted living facility in our area, I’m hopeful that we can make Sunday night dinners a weekly tradition.  Love watching them light up around Olivia.

I really tried to compile a list that didn’t contain any fillers and wouldn’t add to my stress load.  I will admit- it’s a bit scary putting all of this “out there.”  Actually writing it out means that I’m more accountable and [hopefully] on the path to manifesting these goals.

What would be on your list, friends?

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…and she is ONE.

A sneak peak of a precious milestone for our family.

Winter ONEderland First Birthday

Winter ONEderland First Birthday 2

Olivia’s beautiful spirit, feisty independence, and incredible strength continues to amaze us on a daily basis.

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