Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Primary Theme for December {Free Printable}

The Primary theme for December comes from John 14:6. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, & the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." I hope that this is something that we can each remember this Christmas season. It's certainly fun to give & receive gifts, but there is one thing that is truly needful. May we share the true spirit of Christmas & the reason for the season this December. Merry Christmas!

Get the free printable {here} and you can have it printed at Costco, or Walmart, or anywhere else that prints photos as an 11x14 print.

Monday, December 1, 2014

I Designed a Journal/Notebook

I love to doodle. I also love to journal. Sometimes I like to rip pages out of my journal. With this book that I designed, I can do all of that. One side of the page has lines, while the other side has grid paper. The book has a total of 204 pages, so ripping out a few won't make it look completely sad. I love that I can draw & doodle on the grid paper, creating fun designs & prints, while recording the funny things my kids say, their milestones & accomplishments, & my favorite happenings of the day on the lined paper. I might have order one for my 5 year old because she loves to draw pictures & write out a little story about them, and this little book would be perfect for that! It's available in softcover or hardcover & you can purchase a copy of Doodles & Daydreams by clicking {here}! By the way, the softcover is only $6.50, so it would make a great stocking stuffer this year!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jamberry Review

I was recently asked to do a review of Jamberry nail products & also the Jamberry Nail Art Studio. The following are my own opinions & I was not asked to say anything specific about the products or program.
I was definitely a bit of a skeptic when it first came to Jamberry nail wraps. I rarely even paint my nails, mostly because the polish just doesn't last very long, & I hate having chipped polish. I also will never fork out money on a regular basis (or ever) to have my nails professionally done. I have other things on which I'd rather spend money! So when my friend became a consultant, I ordered a sheet of wraps mostly just to support her in her new business. I can say that I was happily surprised by the results. I started out with the mint green chevron print (just wild enough for me).
Mint Green

Pros of the wraps:
  • Each sheet is only $15 & you can get multiple manicures out of each sheet.
  • They come in so many different styles that you can definitely find something that fits your personality & style.
  • They are fairly easy to apply. Just select the right size for your nail & trim them to fit your nail exactly, then heat it slightly with a blow dryer, & firmly press onto your nail. You can file the end to make a perfect fit & seal them on. (I am curious to try out the Jamberry heater, but I just haven't wanted to spend the money on it yet. The mini heater is only $19)
  • The wraps lasted at least two weeks on my finger nails & after about three weeks I removed them from my toenails because I wanted to try a different wrap & because they had grown out quite a bit. They were still firmly attached to my toenails, which was also a surprise. 
  • I do like how easy they are to remove, though. I just used a q-tip with some rubbing alcohol & gently pulled the wrap off while rubbing the nail & back of the wrap with the alcohol.
  • After applying them to all ten of my fingers & all ten of my toes, I still have enough left that I could still do another manicure, & probably have more left over to use on one or two fingers as accent nails with polish on my other nails.
  • I think I like them best on my toe nails because they last even longer & it's easier to hide crazy toenails than it is to hide crazy finger nails. =)
  • So much easier than nail polish, especially since they don't chip or need to be retouched.
  • More fun than nail polish because of all the different prints & styles.
Cons of the wraps:
  • Sometimes if you don't trim the wrap quite right, then the edge peels up a little bit, which is kind of annoying. The rest of the wrap seems to stay on just fine, you just have a little bit of a flapping edge.
  • They last so long that sometimes you want to peel them off before they come off just so you can try something new.
  • Still more expensive than just a plain old bottle of nail polish.
Pros of Nail Art Studio:
I created this minty green set of wraps in the NAS.
  • If you can't find a wrap in a style that you like, you can just create it!
  • It's easy to upload your own images to use on your custom wraps.
  • There are a good variety of print styles built into the program
  • The "Apply to Multiple" button lets you copy your design onto the other wraps in the design very simply.
  • It's free to use the software.
  • It automatically saves your designs, so you don't accidentally lose it halfway through.
  • It saves your uploads for future use & it's easy to delete any uploads that you no longer want.
Cons of Nail Art Studio:
  • The work area is kind of small, so resizing larger images takes a bit more time than I'd like.
  • There is no Undo button.
  • When uploading files you can only do one at a time, instead of being able to select multiple files & then click open. It just makes the process that much slower.
  • You have to use the program in your internet browser, rather than a downloadable program, so eventually it tends to slow things down for using so much memory.
  • You can't easily share your designs for others to purchase (though Jamberry says that this feature is coming soon. They also say a designer royalty program is coming soon which would be really awesome!).
  • An eyedropper color-matching tool would be really nice
All in all I think the Nail Art Studio is pretty good though it could use some improvement & it's fun to be able to create my own nail wrap designs. I also love the quality & durability of the Jamberry wraps & would definitely recommend them! Check it out {here}.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween 2014

We had a fabulous Halloween this year. For dinner I made dinner in a pumpkin, sort of following this recipe. I set the table with my felt spider web table runner & long taper candles. I had to hang a sheet on the dining room window to make it a little more spooky, but my kids thought it was fabulous, probably because we never use candles. Once the girls finally finished eating, after various reminders that they wouldn't get any candy if they didn't finish their dinner & one spilled cup of milk, we were ready for trick or treating. I snapped some pictures of them out in the front yard & was blessed with perfect lighting & a beautiful yellow-leafed tree in the neighbor's yard. Then we were off to the races. They did a great job knocking on doors & ringing doorbells when they weren't distracted by crazy decorations. They also stopped to pet every cat that we saw, which turned out to be quite a few. We came home with a modest amount of candy, which has since been strewn all over my living room floor. I'm planning on vacuuming up the nerds & skittles once the dust settles. I hope you had a fabulous Halloween! Now, enjoy some cuteness overload, brought to you by Anna & Aurora.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Real-life Christmas Gift Ideas {Part 2}

Here are five more of my favorite products that would make great Christmas gifts this year! All of these are things that I've personally bought, or been given as a gift. They've all held up to months, if not years of use, & I'm impressed with each of them.

1.BANG! The Bullet - This is another one of our favorite games. It's best played with a larger group of 6-8 people. Each person is given a role of either Sheriff, Deputy, Renegade or Outlaw. Depending on your role, you are trying to kill certain other players & you use cards to shoot, dodge, punch, or evade. It does take a little bit of brain power to learn how to play, but once you get the hang of it, it's a lot of fun. You can buy the game in bits and pieces, or you can get the whole set in the bullet for a much better price.

2.Simplicity Bias Tape Machine - This little machine has changed my life! I was making bias tape & ironing it by hand when I first started my Etsy shop. I started to feel like an old lady with arthritic hands after a while, and then I discovered this bias tape machine! It's magical! If you know someone that does a lot of quilting, or uses a lot of bias tape, they will love you forever if you give this to them! You still have to cut & sew the bias tape, but then you run it through this machine & it automatically irons it for you. I've made over 2,000 yards of bias tape & it's still going strong! It's a great buy & well worth the price. You can also purchase different sizes of folders that attach to it to make various sizes of tape.

3.Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker - We really love our Zoku! It really does let you make Popsicles in just minutes. We just keep the base in the freezer all the time, and just pull it out when we want to make a batch. I like to use fruit juice or thinned down yogurt for breakfast popsicles. We've also made pudding pops & fruit juice pops with chunks of fruit stuck to the sides of the base. It's great for summer & my kids love that we don't have to wait hours for the pops to freeze. It's a much better price now than when I bought it.

4.Play Tunnel - My kids love this tunnel! It's great for using as an entrance to a blanket fort, or just for crawling through in the play room. They also like to get inside and roll back and forth. I like that it collapses flat for easy storage & it's held up really well in the 2 years that we've had it.

5.Tickle Monster - Books are always a safe gift for my kids. They love to get new stories, especially interactive ones! This Tickle Monster book is so fun! It's hard not to tickle your kiddos as you're reading the story. The illustrations are adorable, & your kids will beg you to read this over and over. The author also wrote the Boogie Monster and it's just as fun!

Find part 1 {here}.

November 2014 Primary Theme {Free Printable}

The Primary theme for November also comes from The Family: A Proclamation to the World. "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." I have seen this principle at work in the life of my own family. When we take the time to read scriptures together, pray together, & teach and learn together, I see a real difference in the way we interact with each other. That doesn't mean our home is rainbows and bliss all the time...I mean, we're only human. But it does mean that we try a little harder to be a little kinder, and who couldn't use a little more kindness in their life? Why do we try so hard to make our families better? Because we believe that we will be together for eternity. No one wants to spend eternity with someone they don't like. I love my family, & because I want to spend eternity with them, I'm going to work as hard as I can to make our family a happy one.

Get the free printable by clicking {here}.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Real Life Christmas Gifts {Part 1}

For the next few weeks, I'm going to share some of my favorite real life Christmas gifts. So many Christmas gift idea lists out there include boring, & unimaginative gifts that I really wonder if people ever actually use. So, these recommendations are going to include some of my favorite things, for a variety of people, at a variety of price points. My favorite way to Christmas shop is using Amazon.com because it's easy to order, especially with the free 2-day shipping for Prime members (Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime) & I don't have to ship the items I buy to people that are out of town. Now that I live further from all of my family, that's a really important aspect of my Christmas gift buying.
So, on to day 1 of my favorite things!

1. Dominion - We are a game loving family. This is one of our new favorite games. It's a card game, also know as a deck building game. Throughout the game you try to acquire better cards for your own deck so that you can defeat everyone else. Just a word of advice if you do buy this game, do not shuffle all the cards together, they are supposed to be separated into those small slots in the box. This can be a quick game, and rarely takes more than an hour after you've learned how to play. It's also great because it can be different each time, based on which sets of cards you use.

2. Women's Duffel Bag - I bought this for myself when I started going to the gym this year. It's held up really well & is the perfect size for a change of clothes. It has nice pockets inside, including a couple of mesh pockets & one that has a soft lining. I also love that it has a separate zip compartment for wet clothes & stinky shoes. It also comes in a variety of colors. The wet clothes compartment just barely fits my size 8.5 shoes, so if you wear a larger size, you may just have to carry your shoes in the main compartment.

3.Water Balloon Launcher - At every family reunion, my dad brings along his water balloon launcher. The grandkids spend a couple of hours filling up water balloons & then the fun starts. Dad is able to launch balloons by inserting a balloon into the pouch, holding one side of the launcher in each hand, & holding the pouch down with his foot. Then he stretches his arms up & pulls his foot out of the strap, launching the water balloon high into the sky & out into a field where the kids wait with T-shirts strung on their arms. The goal is to try to catch the balloons in your T-shirt/pouch without getting smacked by the balloon or having it stolen by one of the other kids. It made for hours of fun! (Warning: Launched balloons are travelling very fast & can cause injury. Read all safety instructions & warnings before using the launcher & do not launch balloons horizontally at people).

4. Children's Alarm Clock - This is one of my favorite kid's gifts! If you have young children that get up at a ridiculous time each morning, then you should definitely check out this clock! You're able to set the clock to light up when it's ok for your child to get out of bed in the morning. It also has a nightlight, & an alarm option. This has really helped my kids to know when it's really morning, especially during the winter when the sun may not be up. It also makes fun faces when the kids press the buttons, which they love!

5.Women's Robe - I wanted a simple robe that didn't make me look like the Michelin man, or a bath rug. I also wanted it to be ankle length & not made from shiny silky fabric. I was so happy when my husband bought me this one! It's lightweight & good quality. It's definitely a little more pricey than your average terry cloth robe, but it was exactly what I wanted.

Be sure to check back throughout the month to see more of my real-life Christmas gift ideas!
Find part 2 {here}.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Primary Theme for October {Free Printable}

The LDS Primary theme for October comes from John 15:11.  I read a beautiful explanation of some of the verses that precede verse 11 here:
 “‘Abide in me’ is an understandable and beautiful enough concept in the elegant English of the King James Bible, but ‘abide’ is not a word we use much anymore. So I gained even more appreciation for this admonition from the Lord when I was introduced to the translation of this passage in another language. In Spanish that familiar phrase is rendered‘permaneced en mi.’ Like the English verb ‘abide,’ permanecer means ‘to remain, to stay,’ but even [English speakers] like me can hear the root cognate there of ‘permanence.’ The sense of this then is ‘stay—but stayforever.’ That is the call of the gospel message to [everyone] in the world. Come, but come to remain. Come with conviction and endurance. Come permanently, for your sake and the sake of all the generations who must follow you. …
“Jesus said, ‘Without me ye can do nothing’ [John 15:5]. I testify that that is God’s truth. Christ is everything to us and we are to ‘abide’ in Him permanently, unyieldingly, steadfastly, forever. For the fruit of the gospel to blossom and bless our lives, we must be firmly attached to Him, the Savior of us all, and to this His Church, which bears His holy name. He is the vine that is our true source of strength and the only source of eternal life” (“Abide in Me,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 32).

I believe that Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ experience no greater joy than when we choose to follow Their commandments. Being obedient shows them that we love Them above all else & that our ultimate goal is to return to live with Them.

You can get this free printable by clicking {here}. Make sure you don't click on the ad buttons that say Download. The real download button is below the picture of the file. This printable is sized to 11x14, and I like to have mine printed at Costco.

Monday, September 1, 2014

September Primary Theme {Free Printable}

The LDS Primary theme for September is the 13th Article of Faith.  It reads, "We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul - We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
You can download the print by clicking on this {link}. The print is sized for an 11x14 & I like to have them printed at Costco.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Scrapbooking catchup from 2013

I've been doing a bit of catch-up with my scrapbooking this past week, & I've been on a roll! I got really behind because I haven't really done any scrapbooking since a few months before we moved (about a year ago). I figured it was about time to get those memories recorded, mainly so I don't forget what was going on when I took the pictures. So, enjoy some photos from 2013!

Friday, August 8, 2014

August Primary Theme {Free Printable}

The LDS Primary theme for August comes from The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Click on this {link} to get to the download page.
The teachings found in the proclamation are ones in which I firmly believe. I hope you take the time to read the full proclamation & find the beauty, peace & comfort in the words that were spoken by a prophet to the families of all the world.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Primary Theme for May {Free Printable}

The Primary theme for May counsels us to remember the words that prophets have spoken in the past. I am so thankful for a living prophet who knows what to say to help me want to become a better person! You can download this free printable {HERE}. It's sized for an 11x14, and I like to get mine printed at Costco.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April Primary Theme {Free Printable}

The theme for Primary for April comes from The Family: A Proclamation to the World. It teaches that we believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and that the family is central to the creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children. Feel free to download this free printable by going {here}. The print is sized for an 11x14. Have a great April!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Geese are scary

We went on a family walk through Kathryn Albertson Park this evening. The light was perfect, so I was able to get some great pictures of my family! There were also geese everywhere, and they all had their knickers in knots anytime we walked too close to their nests. We were able to distract a few pairs of parents so that we could get a closer look at their eggs. The girls were pretty freaked out by some of the geese, especially when they started hissing at us & flapping their wings. I didn't know geese could hiss. They also tend to drool a lot when they hiss, which is kind of hilarious to watch. So, enjoy these photos that I shot while we enjoyed this beautiful spring day!

Sister hugs!

Friday, February 28, 2014

March Family Scripture

For March, our family is going to be memorizing 1 John 4:14. I truly believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior. Many religions focus on the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we focus on what the Savior did in the garden of Gethsemane, when He took upon Himself the sins of all the world and bled from every pore. Then, He chose to die on the cross, but even more importantly, He was resurrected and lives again. I created a print of this scripture that we will hang in our home throughout the month & help us as we memorize. You can download the full resolution print {here}.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Product: Are You My Mother?

This may be my new favorite bunting! I've always loved the story "Are You My Mother" so I decided to use it to make a bunting. I paired the book pages with brown craft paper & mint green scrapbook paper. I love how it turned out! Check it out in my shop {here}.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

February Scripture {Free Printable}

I was a little late getting this month's scripture printed, but I'm sure we'll have time to memorize the entire verse. This scripture comes from the Book of Mormon and explains that we each have the agency to choose. Because we are human, we sometimes make poor choices & have to deal with the consequences of those actions. That process is one of the laws of heaven. If there weren't consequences for choices, then we wouldn't have the ability to change, grow, repent, & eventually return to our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ, through the atonement, made it possible for us to repent of our sins & become more like Him. Without the atonement, we would end up like the devil, having no opportunity to return to live with God. Enjoy this month's free printable! Click {here} to be taken to the download page.