Monday, September 30, 2013

Free Moving Announcement Template

I officially feel moved in now that our address change announcement has been mailed and received.  I designed them this time around just because we won't be here too long.  I didn't want to spend money for a nice design but It came out a lot better than I expected. 

I wanted to offer the design for free.  I know the heart is a piece of Colorado's map but if you don't care about that then feel free to use it.  You can download the full design HERE on flickr.  Just right click and save the image.  I charge to insert your information for you but will be providing instructions on how you can do it yourself next week when I share the next free template. 

And if you are wondering how I like it.... I don't, I LOVE IT!  We live in a beautiful area.  Close to the city to do the fun city things like hang out at a theme park.

But more importantly to me, close to nature.  I hate big city living, busy streets, loads of people.  Too stressful.  We live in the happy medium.  I can see mountains from my window and we are only a short drive away from gorgeous trails. Loving this beautiful state so far. 

Happy Monday everyone,

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Craving Some BBQ from Arby's

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Arby's for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

You all know I'm pregnant and with that comes lovely cravings.  They have been all over the map the last few weeks.  Sweet, salt, sour... and sometimes I crave something more specific like some good BBQ.  We haven't found a good BBQ place around here yet so off to Arby's to satisfy my tummy.  I love Arby's cheddar roast beef sandwich so I thought I would give the BBQ a chance.

 Right after school, little love bug and I went for a lunch date.  We missed our Tuesday donut date so I figured I would make it up to her with lunch.

 I got the new Smokehouse Brisket sandwich and it was amazing!!!  My favorite part was the fried crispy onions. Yummy!!

Smoked for 13 hours, slathered in a special sauce, Gouda, crispy onions, on a toasted bun... Heavenly.  Doesn't it look amazing.  I love their Arby's sauce so I loaded some of that on there too.  The best part was they had a coupon for a free Bacon Cheddar so love bugs lunch was free.  Score! 

As I was ordering there was this lingering sign for a salted caramel milk shake that I just couldn't turn down.  Yup, I got one.  Let's just say the little lady had more of it than I did.  She kept insisting it was her drink and the juice was mine.  I love salted caramel and this hit the spot!

Watching the commercial makes me want to run out and get another one.  With yummy curly fries and some Arby's sauce. 

Doesn't all this food talk make you want to run out and get some food!   Use the link below to find an Arby's near you. 

Find an Arby’s

What do you think you will love most about the new Arby's Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich?

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why I Choose Printed Cards Vs. Online

A reader who I was designing invites for asked me whether I thought it was better to print the invites or use them as digital.  A great question that I thought I would answer here.  Digital invites are easier to get the word out, it's free, and I still get a specially designed card.  The free part sometimes wins me over.  My answer... What is better is what works best for you. 

  The number one reason I love printed cards is simple... I love being able to hold a card that I designed or printed and have it as a keepsake.  Call me sentimental, but it give me the warm fuzzies.  

When it comes to certain things, I am old school.  I can't let go of my printed books, especially the children's ones.   And just like digital books, I just don't love digital cards or invites the way I do printed ones.  I love sending out cards and getting them in the mail.  It's special.  Plus my mom and grandparents aren't on facebook and my mom doesn't even have an email so digit doesn't work.

To me, these invites are little keepsakes.  I keep them in a special box and will continue to collect them with each year that passes for both kids.  If there is no birthday party that year, I send a birthday announcement in the mail.  It's my own little tradition I guess. How neat will it be to pull these out 18 years from now to show the kiddos.

And every year I make it a PRIORITY to have Christmas cards printed and every year I put them up along with all the Christmas cards we get from the year.  It amazes me to see how our family grows and changes each year.  Just another special keepsake for us.  

I love real cards because I love designing and making cards.  I'm not exactly a pro at it but I love seeing the finished product.  Like my wedding invitations..... they aren't the most gorgeous or expensive wedding invites , but I take pride in them because I made them.  I tied all 60 whatever ribbons on every invite and stuffed every envelope.  Oh good times...

I just love printed cards and I don't think that will stop.  It is more pricey than digital invites especially if you print somewhere nicebut if you are mushy gushy like me and like to save them, I would definitely do it. 

And with that said... I have a new card design that will be up for grabs Friday so be on the lookout.  
Happy Wednesday!

  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Lessons: Leaf Stamping, Life Cycle of a Tree

Now that my love bug is getting closer to three [waaah] her attention span and ability to do arts and crafts has blossomed.  This has really pulled the teacher out of me and so I have planned small activities for us to do every week on the days she is not in school or going to gym.  You can check out some of the ideas, lesson, and objectives on my Pinterest Board.  

On Monday we do a Fall themed lesson and on Wednesday we do Bible.  I'll share the Bible lesson we have done in another post.  Because she is old enough to comprehend and learn simple concepts I try to include a learning objective in the lesson.  This can be made more difficult depending on the age of your child.  Here are the first two lessons and crafts we have done... 

Leaf Stamping 
The objective of this lesson was for her to learn that during fall leaves changes colors.  The second objective  is to tell the difference between big and small.  Very simple concepts perfect for any two year old. 

The first thing we did was go for a walk and collect leaves.  During this time I continually told her that in the fall leaves change colors and made sure to note it on the leaves.  I was super excited because later on she told my sister on the phone that leaves change colors so yeay she got it. 

After we collected our leaves I laid out some freezer paper and drew a line right down the middle.  The left side was for big leaves and the right side was for the small ones.  We then took some time to sort all the leaves we collected.  Pretty good bunch right?

The freezer paper lead right into the craft of painting.  I simply put the paint on the paper, taped a piece of construction paper onto it, and let her go to town.  She loved this part and I did too!  She was so into painting the leaves. Once you paint the leaf, lay it on the paper, peel off and WALA a leaf.  Here is her masterpiece. 

There is also another way to do this.  She was not interested in this way, but if you have an older one they might really like this.  You lay down the leaf and paint all around it.  When you lift it you can see the outline of the leaf.  I admit this was fun for me too and super relaxing. 

Life Cycle of a Tree 
The objective of this lesson was for her to learn the life cycle of a tree.  This is a little tougher for her to grasp in that little brain, but we still had fun.  Here is the finished product of our Life Cycle.  I had the arrows drawn on the paper before we started.

We first cut an apple and I showed her that inside the apple there were seeds.  I carefully removed them and saved those for later.  We painted one half of the apple and stamped it onto the top of our paper. 

Then, we took the seeds and glued them to the second.  I continually reiterated that apples have seeds that we plant so they can grow into trees.

This led to our next section.  We glued one seed onto the paper.  I drew grass and had the little plant ready for her to glue onto the paper.  We glued some soil in the ground.  I talked about how seeds are planted in the dirt and how they need water and sun to grow.  

The last section was the tree.  I chose to use watercolors for this.  I painted her arm and hand as the actual tree and we used our fingers to stamp on the leaves and apples.  As you can tell by the scattered leaves she really enjoyed this part.  

The books we read that went with this lesson were Grow Flower Grow and This is the Sunflower only because I already have these, but I am sure there are plenty of books out there perfect for this activity. 

As our hands on activity I went out on a limb and decided to actually try to plant some grass.  I have a black thumb so I am really praying we get some grass to grow.  This was cheap, easy, and she loved it.  I bought some potting soil and seeds for three bucks.  We collected rocks from outside and I pulled a mason jar from the cabinet. 

You place the rocks on the bottom of the jar and this is suppose to keep the seeds from getting too much water.  We will see.  Then she scooped all the dirt into the jar and we planted the seeds.

We watered it, set it on the window sill where it will get plenty of sun, I said a prayer and gave the seeds a pep talk.  Now we just wait.

To continue to help her understand what plants need to grow I plan on reading our books right before we water our plant.  This will hopefully help her to make the connection as to what plants need to grow and how they grow.  

So there you have it, two really simple and fun fall lessons.  I look forward to sharing more with you all! 

Happy Monday everyone,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hello Fall!

Happy FALL everyone!!! I am so excited that fall is here!!! It truly is one of the seasons I look forward to the most. Especially since living in a desert, Fall is a well awaited season. Looking forward to cool crisp weather and everything pumpkin and cinnamon! To kick start fall I would like to share my easy peasy Pumpkin Bread. I honestly used whatever I had at home and it came out oh so yummy and makes your home smell sooo good!


 
INGREDIENTS
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 can (30 ounces) Libby's Pumpkin Pie Mix
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 can of evaporated milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts
2 loaf pans
Pam

1. Combine all dry ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl combine pumpkin mix, evaporated milk, sugars, vanilla, eggs, and oil.
3. Mix in flour mixture into wet mixture.
4. Spray loaf pans with Pam, then pour in mixture and top with chopped nuts.
5. Bake for an hour at 350 degrees.

Enjoy!




Friday, September 20, 2013

Guess What.... I'm Having a BABY!

I'm having a BABY!! 

I've been dying to let the cat out of the bag!  I am the worst at keeping secrets so you don't know how hard this was for me to hold in.  I found out I was pregnant the week before we left Germany and we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome a new baby into our growing family.  SO here's the run down, answers to all the questions I usually get asked.

How many weeks? 
13 weeks and one day.

How do you feel?
I feel awesome.  This pregnancy has been the completely opposite of the first one.  I read back at my pregnancy journals, compare them and am amazed at the significant differences in everything.  I have to say I was really miserable with the first pregnancy, but who wouldn't be when they are throwing up 10 times a day for the entire first trimester and some.  I remember it got so bad I finally got a prescription.  I also broke out like a 13 year old and had crazy oily hair.  It was miserable...

This pregnancy on the other hand has been a walk in the park.  Some nausea but nothing major because I can eat normal three meals a day.  No pimples, no crazy oily hair.  I do get heart burn, head aches, and a crazy case of bloating [never had that issue with the first one] but all manageable.   Sadly, I am not one of those lovely ladies who loves being pregnant.... I can only really name three things I truly enjoy about actually being pregnant, but I am trying really hard to enjoy this one.

Do you want a boy or a girl? 
I get this question a ton.  Before getting pregnant I really really really wanted to have a little man just because I have a little lady.  But now that the idea can actually be a reality, the idea of having a little boy just freaks me out.  I grew up in the land of women.  I know what to do with a little girl... I've taken care of tons of little girls, but having an itty bitty boy in my care, it scares me. Bottom line, I would of course be happy with a little man and equally so with a little lady.  I would probably be more comfortable having a little lady.  Aww and the thought of a little sister for my love bug melts my heart.  I have two so I know how awesome sisters are.  And if you are wondering, I think I'm going to have a little girl.

Nickname for the new baby?
Baby Bear.  We are all bears in this family.  This name one was given our my love bug.  The first ultra sound we had we told her that was the baby on the screen and she said a Baby Bear?!  It kind of stuck from there.

So, there's the big news!   Please keep me and Baby Bear in your prayers as we grow together in this pregnancy.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Quilt Along Part 3: Plus Quilt

So if you have followed my failed attempt at this quilt along you would know we have come to the fun part... putting everything together!!  If you missed Part 1 and 2 you can check those posts:
                                   

We left off organizing each row into little bags.  I was in a time crunch so I missed a crucial step which is laying out the pieces of the quilt before sewing them.  I highly recommend you don't miss this or else you could end up with a wonky quilt like mine.  Thank goodness the design hides it well.  Make sure all the pieces line up and trim any that don't.

Now it's time to take each bag and start piecing the squares together.  Sew them right sides facing together a quarter of an inch.  Use your pattern to make sure you are sewing them on together.  Once a row is finished iron the seams flat.  I like to iron them both to one side but you can spit it open and iron down the middle too. 

Keep sewing the rows until you finish them all.  I keep mine in order stacked to the side.  If you don't have the time to finish, place each row back in it's bag and you can get back to it later.  

If you want to continue take the first two rows and sew them together.  Lay them right sides together and sew.  I like to then take row 3 and 4 and put those together... 5 and 6... and so on.   Then I attach 1&2 to 3&4.  Does that make sense?  Hopefully it does.  

When it is all done it should look something like this but hopefully better.  You can see that all the vertical lines don't line up and that's my big mistake which cost me the ability to quilt vertical lines later.  Oh well...

So I hate leaving this quilt tutorial unfinished again but my time is up.  Stay tuned for the final stretch where I'll be adding the batting, backing, quilting, and binding!  Until next time a bid you a good day.

Happy Thursday,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Crazy Storms and Unpacking

Our stuff is finally here!!  If you didn't know, we were hit pretty hard with some crazy rain here in Colorado.  It's flooded in a lot of our neighboring cities and 13 people have died. Please keep Colorado in your prayers.  Lucky for us only our garage flooded... and on the night before our stuff came.  Talk about blessing in disguise!   If we moved in even a day earlier so many of our items would have been damaged.  Needless to say it was box mania throughout the house.  Unpacking out magnet collection brought back a lot of memories. 

I am 90 percent finished with the unpacking.  Probably my favorite room to unpack was love bugs.  It's just so fun to create little areas for her to play in.  She has a dress up corner, an art section, and a little reading nook here.  At night she sits on her couch and I can hear her reading.  It's so sweet.   Hooray for me that my craft corner is back organized and ready to roll.... I already have projects lined up.  Can't wait! 

And all this unpacking really does get stressful.  I think the hubby could tell so yesterday he sent me out for a few hours to shop.  I grabbed my Wetzel Pretzel and hit H&M.  Not to mention this awesome consignment sale.  Dresses for $2.50 and a brand new gymnastics leotard for $3!  A ton of other stuff too.  Check out their upcoming sales in Colorado on the webpage, Just Between Friends.

Well back to unpacking for me.  Happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Up Up and Away Baby Shower [Party in a Box]

Remember those adorable invitations from the Up Up and Away baby shower I was helping with?  Well, here is the party in a box that I put together for the mommy to be.  This post is so late mommy to be actually already had her adorable sweet baby!  Regardless I still wanted to share. 

The party in a box is customized to whatever it is you need that can fit in a post office box.... This one was mostly paper good but there were some items that were customized just for this party.


All the designs were from Marcy who owns Posh Little Party Shop, I just printed them out, made them stickers and got them ready for the party. 


She also wanted to have white pom pom clouds just like the ones from the Weather Themed Baby Shower So I prepped them and included the felt raindrops for her to attach.

A custom printed onsie to match the theme with the date of the shower, fabric squares as their guest book [to be turned into a quilt], and of course a banner.  

If you are wondering how it turned out, here are some pictures courtesy of the mom to be since I couldn't be there.  It was such a cute baby shower!  (I think my favorite are the milk jugs!  So cute!!


    Such a cute party theme and even though I couldn't plan the entire event it was still fun to be apart of it.  

Happy Wednesday,