Thursday, June 28, 2012

We were Featured!

I love when my shop is featured on other people's blogs. Makes me feel like I'm doing something right. Dana over at Over the Hills and Into the Valles won the LDS Etsy Team giveaway and felt like spreading some blog love to those shops who donated items to the giveaway. Check out the post here. Awesome!

Also, don't forget to enter our Giveaway for a free custom address stamp over at Little Maison. Today is the last day. I can't wait to see who wins! Photo is below. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

June is Potty Training Awareness Month

photo via
I saw this headline the other day and I had to laugh out loud. Good thing I discovered that June was Potty Training Awareness Month at the end of June! There might have been a lot more mocking informational posts this month!

Potty Training. UGH. I've been there. And with a 26-month-old the time is almost upon me again. Is is terrible that I'm putting it off? I hated loathed potty training my oldest. She simply refused! I am not joking. We began the process about the time she was 20 months old. She was showing all the typical signs. We bought a little potty and some stickers and a chart. I went to the library and checked out about 30 (literally!) library books. When everything the books said to do failed, I tried other methods. I got new books, I talked to every mother I knew. I threatened, I punished, I rewarded, I bribed. I stopped for a few months and tried again. Over and over and over...NOTHING WORKED. She was simply not interested.

Just when I had declared I didn't care if she was 10 years old and not potty-trained because it would be her problem then and not mine, I got some excellent advice. Advice I'd wished someone had told me from the very beginning. Advice I got from the pediatrician, no less. It was like the Heavens parted.

Relax. She'll do it when she's ready. 

You mean, I'm not a terrible mother because she isn't potty trained yet? Wow. We mothers can be so hard on ourselves. But that's what I thought. I was the failure. The pediatrician helped me to see that it wasn't about me. My daughter had to be the one leading if we were to be successful.

I didn't give up necessarily. I let her tell me when she was ready. And all it took was one afternoon at a friend's house and seeing her friend's little sister go potty. She came home telling me "See, Mom? She does it. Maybe I should try it." And we never looked back. I, for one, have never been so happy for peer pressure before in my life! Victory! She was finally potty-trained at 42 months. It took us 22 months-almost 2 years. True story. All I can really say is this. Potty Training truly earns you the badge of patience. 

*Side note: My husband is quick to point out if potty training was this hard we need to seriously prepare for adolescence. YIKES! 

But seriously, for those whose child IS ready to potty train, here are some useful links:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hand Stamped Stationery

I have discovered a love for stamps! I know I'm really late to the party on that one.  I have some friends who joined Stampin' Up and would buy stamps for their scrapbooking, but I never saw what the big deal was. Until now! I love it! In fact, I just listed a few new hand stamped items to the shop.  

First is the "Mr. & Mrs." gift/favor tag.This set of 50 handmade tags is made of acid free, white colored, 65 lb. card stock. Tag measures approximately 2 1/4 x 1 1/2 inch with a partial scalloped border along one side. Hand stamped message reads "Mr. & Mrs." in black. Tags come hole-punched to attach to favor with ribbon/twine.

Next up is our Congratulations Wedding Engagement CardThe design features the message "Congratulations" with hand stamped wedding bells above. The entire design is horizontally centered on the front of the card. 

Last but not least is our Congratulations New Baby Card.  The design features the message "Congratulations" with a hand stamped baby foot print. The entire design is horizontally centered on the front of the card. Card is bright white die cut card stock with rounded edges. Card measures 4 x 6 and comes with bright white envelope. Card is blank inside.

We love the new additions to our shop. What do you think? 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Princess and Pirate Birthday Party

This past weekend we finally celebrated C's birthday. I can't believe my little girl is 4. I feel so old...

I wanted to share the photos with everyone so that you can see how the elements of the Princess and Pirates theme were used throughout the party. I'm so pleased with how everything turned out! Well, mostly. I tried to make the cake and I struggled with the fondant on the birthday cake, but that's why I'm a stationery designer and not a Pastry Chef! Please don't judge me for that. :)

Since I know from experience that kids are grumpy around lunchtime, and the party began at 11 am, we served a very simple bag lunch. It also gave the kids something to do while the others were arriving. Next to the bags was the menu which matched the invitations. I changed the signs that the little characters were holding to say "peanut butter & jelly" or "just jelly" and printed them on the lunch bags. I did this on my home computer and my laser printer. It looked awesome and was such a cute personal touch. 

For the cake design, I sent my sister a copy of the invitation and let her work her magic. I gave her complete creative license and she did such an amazing job! She created little clothespin dolls that resembled the little figures of the princess and pirate from the invitation. I added the candle treasure chest and a homemade palm tree. The palm tree was made out of  a stick pretzel (trunk) white chocolate, dyed green, covered stick gum (leaves) and junior mint (coconut). It was much taller, but ended up being a little top heavy and so we had to squish it into the cake so it wouldn't fall over. Again, don't judge.  I covered the cake with ready-made fondant and used blue colored icing for the waves around the crushed vanilla wafer sand. 

We had a treasure hunt where the kids got accessories that added to the costumes they came wearing. We found tiaras, wands, necklaces, bracelets, eye patches, swords (foam of course!) hook hands, and pirate sashes. They were all so cute! Unfortunately since I was directing the treasure hunt, I didn't get any pictures.

We finished the party off with the word's most indestructible piƱata. Seriously. After 4 rounds of the kids hitting it, my husband had to rip it open. The kids left with more candy than Halloween and all their accessories. It was a big success! I wonder what we can do next year to top it?

Birthday Girl!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Little Maison is Hosting Our Giveaway

It's Friday! What better way to celebrate the end of another long week than to get free stuff?

We're giving away this free customized return address stamp from the Etsy store. We're so excited Mandy over at Little Maison has offered to host our giveaway! Hop on over to Little Maison to view the details and to enter. Giveaway runs through June 29th!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We're Traveling Professionals...Kinda

A couple years ago my hubby had gotten laid off, so we put all our belongings in storage and bounced around spending a week here and a week there. We told our kids we were so lucky to get an extended vacation. And we were lucky! It was really fun to explore new places and visit old friends while the hubby looked for work.

That experience, in my book, pretty much that makes us pros at traveling with kids. We know when the best time of the day is for them to travel, how long we can go before the little ones need a potty break and a snack break, and how long before Mommy and Daddy need a sanity break. We always have a schedule of events, lists, our bags packed days in advance, etc. We have traveling down to an art.

Not this time!

My husband had a Conference to attend in San Luis Obispo, which is a city near the California coast. Most of the attendees were taking their spouses, and we thought about doing the same, but we couldn't find a babysitter. So we didn't really think much more about about it. That is, until the day before the Hubby was leaving.

I had this great idea. Why can't we just take our kids too? It would be an adventure! So we packed everyone in the car and did a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants trip. I have to admit, I was really nervous! "Can I handle the (sometimes) very public tantrums? What about a schedule? I haven't done any research! What will I do with the kids all day long while hubby is at the Conference?" Fortunately, thanks to modern technology (LOVE my iPhone!) I woke up that morning in the hotel room and was able to find activities to do, found a grocery store to pack a picnic lunch and we had such a great time!

First we went to the beach for a couple of hours. C was determined to make a sandcastle, but the waves kept washing it away. Then A made a game out of the waves "chasing" her. The water was freezing, but we all played with her until we couldn't feel our toes anymore.

C and A at the beach

A's cute baby beach feet 

After the beach we went to this awesome family owned farm. They have a country store, animals you can feed, a hayride, pick your own fruit, and a picnic area. It was the perfect place to take my little munchkins. 

First we fed the animals watched other people feed the animals. We had a picnic and then climbed on the base of hay for a while. We took a hayride and then picked peaches in the orchard. The girls were so proud of themselves for helping me pick peaches. I picked the peaches, handed them to A who put them in the box that C was holding. It was a nice system. But little people get tired easily and after A fell into some bramble bushes, we'd had enough of that. We went back and paid for our peaches ($1/lb. for fresh peaches? Yes, please!) and taste-tested them. We watched the animals some more and played on the bales of hay. We finished our trip with some ice cream. 

sampling the peaches

By the time we were finished, the kids were exhausted and it was time to pick up their Daddy. It was such a fun way to spend the day. I think we need to be spontaneous more often! What spontaneous things have you done lately?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Caught Red-handed

This past week I was cleaning the bathroom and I realized it was too quiet. For any of you out there who have ever watched a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, you know this is NOT a good sign. One of my kids' favorite games is hide and seek. They love finding all the "secret" places they can hide. I will often find them playing hide and seek together. I though maybe (cross my fingers!) that this was what they were doing.

No such luck.

I looked in all the bedrooms and I didn't see the kids. I looked in the hallway closet and they weren't there either. I was starting to get a little worried until I found my oldest sitting on the couch looking at a book. But where was my 2-year-old?

Then I heard her say, barely audible, "This is delicious!" I realized where she was.

In the pantry!

She had found the peanut butter (thank goodness none of us are allergic!) and was scooping handfuls into her mouth - with the door completely closed. It was all I could do not to laugh! Needless to say, we'll be putting a child lock on that door from now on!

What sort of adventures have you had while watching kids? We'd love to hear!

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Printable Pirates & Princesses Birthday Invitations

As you all know, my daughter had a birthday last week.  However, we aren't having her party until the middle of June. I designed these super cute invitations for her party and they are now available in the shop!

My daughter wanted to have a Princess party and a Pirate party. So we decided to have both! So, here they are, our Princess & Pirate Birthday Party Invitations. They are available in a printable DIY format. The princess design and pirate design are also available in separate invitations; also in a DIY printable format. Check out the shop for more!

Princess and Pirates Printable Invitation - 5x7

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Am Enough, Part 2

photo via 

Since I wrote the I Am Enough post, I have been doing some more thinking. My mom (shout out to her - Love you Mom!) sent me a comment about the post. She only said, "We all are enough!" And so I wanted to add a Part 2 to my post - an addendum, if you will.

I think I need to clarify my story about the "cute girl" on the treadmill next to me a bit. I was not in any way trying to say that she was the reason I was feeling insecure. There is nothing wrong with her! I am the reason I feel insecure. I am the one with the issues and I am responsible for how I feel. I was just trying to illustrate some of my insecurities in sharing that story. She was what I consider "cute" or what I would like to look like. (Basically the complete opposite of how I do look). But we are all imperfect. We all have things we don't like about ourselves. and conversely, things we love about ourselves. She is enough just as I am enough. We ALL are enough.

Just wanted to clarify...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Berry Almond Muffins

I am a meal planner. I don't like doing it, but it saves me money (we're big budgeters) and it also saves me the "what's for dinner?"  question day after day after day. When I started meal planning I wanted to make sure that I was including a variety of healthy and delicious meals for my family. I stumbled across this website called Eating Well. It has some really awesome features! I like it so well that I print out their recipes (the ones I like) and put them into a binder labeled "Healthy Low Calorie Recipes". It has become one of my favorite cookbooks.

Last week I had planned to make dinner but didn't realize until I was about to start cooking that my girls had eaten all of one of the main ingredients for the meal I was planning. I had to quickly come up with something else. It wasn't too difficult because our fall back meal is always breakfast. The kids (and me!) love having breakfast for dinner.

I looked in my "Healthy Low Calorie Recipes" cookbook and whipped out these amazing muffins. I added scrambled eggs, yogurt and juice. It was such a yummy dinner, and with these muffins only 220 calories and 6 g of protein per serving, maybe we'll have breakfast for dinner more often! Click the link for the recipe.  Berry-Almond Quick Bread.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June FREE Printable Father's Day Card!

June, as you know, has a very special holiday - Father's Day. Since today is the first day of the month, guess what that means? Free Father's Day card printable!!!

I designed the card for either a male or female to give to their father. It is designed to just print on regular 8.5 x 11 card stock. Simply click on the image, right click and save to the desktop and then print, Fold in half and there you go! I left the inside blank for you to write your own message. Hope the fathers out there enjoy! If you would like the card to be customized (hair color, eye color, etc...) it can be purchased from my shop! Click here for details boy card   girl card

***Side Note: I know the images below look a little bizarre without a border, but I did that on purpose. That way you won't have a weird border when you print.

Girl Father's Day Card

Boy Father's Day Card

Happy June Everyone!