fathers day, another Hallmark holiday, and some nontraditional cards!!

Happy Dad's Day!  I know these holidays are just "Hallmark holidays," but I feel like we can always use more excuses to slow down and show gratitude to someone that means alot to us, don't you agree?  (And with so much going on in the world today, it is seeming so important to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us).

I'm so lucky to have several amazing guys in my life!  There's my own (one and only) Daddio of course, who is the silliest person I know.  Then, my father-in-law, who is sweet and comforting even though he's always doing a million things.

Also my Grandpa, who has become one of the top influential people in my life, and who shares my love for all things camera-related.  And my other Grandpa, who recently passed, but will always make me smile remembering when he said "It's time to go home!" every time he found me sleeping on the couch during family parties.

And finally, my amazing hubby.  Even though I haven't been able to make him a father to human children, he is THE BEST fur dad in the whole wide world.  Nothing makes my heart happier than to see him rolling around with the furries on the floor.

So yeah...I'm pretty dang lucky!  I created handmade Father's Day cards for all of the wonderful gents in my life.  And since I can't share a post without there being at least a tiny bit of craft-related stuff, here they are!

I wanted to create some very nontraditional Father's Day cards, partly because I have so many general everyday life stamps, and also because I kinda get bored of creating the same things over and over.  I've been watching a ton of crafty videos lately, and was inspired by some old Two Peas videos to create these cards.


This post will also be a part of an upcoming post about "Killing a Kit," a challenge I've given myself, to finish up what I have left of BasicGrey's Hipster collection.  More on that one day soon!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and took time to thank the fathers and dads in your life!


a little bit of life, lately - April

From where I stand.  Love this big ball of fluff so much!
*After the most recent hacker issue on Instagram, I'm seriously considering setting my account to private.  I am especially considering this for when kiddos are around.

*My Oh Deer Me subscription is ending in June and it's making me quite sad, since the last few kits have been pretty freaking amazing!  Trying to decide between continuing on with this kit or or Ali's monthly story kits.

*Since being under the weather lately, I've been pinning again on Pinterest.  It's sooo easy to just go on and scroll...and pin...and scroll.

*Speaking of Pinterest, we tried this one-pot recipe and this Crockpot recipe.  Both were AMAZING and easy, even though cranberries are out of season and can't be found anywhere and we therefore had to use Craisans.

*What's been inspiring me lately?  Ann-Marie Morris and Amy Tangerine.  Both fabulous amazing ladies and I love their simple message to just use your supplies, get crafty, and document your stories.

*I received a $5 gift card from Etsy for filling out a customer survey, and I'm almost certain I'll be spending it here since I'm always drooling over her pretty things!  I'm thinking this and/or this needs to be delivered to my P.O. Box ASAP!

*Will be sharing a 3-month (a little late) check-in with my OLW, complete.  My word this year has already been so much different than any words I've chosen in the past, mainly because I'm keeping it in mind always.

*KISS: Keep it simple and sweet.  This has become my motto for crafting, and life, this year.  I've been creating happily, and not overthinking, and it feels so good for my soul!


on my desk: tough

This month, I'm telling stories about "tough" and "strong," using Ali Edwards' story kit, tough.  I like to document what's real in my life, but if I have a choice between documenting the happy or the stressful, I definitely choose the happy.

But the newsletter about Ali's kit, tough, just seemed to come at the right time, and I couldn't deny that scrapbooking some tough stories would definitely help be some creative therapy.

I'm focusing on two main subjects: losing our little Murphy and also going through IVF.  Two major things making big impacts on our lives this year.  Here's a peek at one of the pocket pages  I'm finishing about starting the IVF process.

the kits:  I ordered both the story kit and the stamp because I loved both so much!  Both arrived very quickly after ordering and the quality of both are just flawless.  The best for me, though, is the content that comes with the kit: a workshop, of sorts, that goes through the story theme, ideas for stories, and Ali's processes for her layouts.  She is so inspiring to me, I could listen to her all day!  You can check out the kits here, if it sounds like something you'd be interested in.

Keep telling stories and documenting memories!


four stories / Pocket Your Year February.

I just created and submitted my third pocket page spread for the Pocket Your Year workshop!  Eeek!  Creating pocket pages this year so far has been fun but also challenging.

I really have embraced my style of telling longer, bigger stories in my pocket pages, but also smaller stories.  For the February unit of Pocket Your Year, we talked about our scrapbooking process, and I created a two-page spread featuring four short stories about our little family, inspired by the show Life in Pieces.

I told one story about each of the members of our family: Alex and his "damaged pants," Cocoa and her love for people food, the bunnies and their new favorite spot, and a fourth story about me and Alex, and how we always frequent Menards.

If you'd like to see my full pocket page layouts or learn more about Pocket Your Year, it's not too late to join the workshop!


my One Little Word for 2016.

I realized I never shared this post about choosing my One Little Word for 2016, 
so I'm stepping back a little and sharing it today.

WHY COMPLETE?  The word complete popped into my head late last year after looking through my old December Daily albums.  To date, I have completed zero December Daily albums.  It's pretty sad. I also have, under my fabulous belt, two incomplete summer albums, and several "ongoing" projects: my inspiration *Smash book and my wedding *Smash book.  Basically, I'm the freaking queen of incomplete projects!  To top all that craziness off, I also have a long list of projects I want to complete {eventually}I will fully admit here that my original idea for complete was simply that: finish as many incomplete projects as I can in 2016.

BUT, then I found out I made the Pocket Your Year creative team (yah!) and I quickly realized this goal of mine probably wasn't realistically possible.  So... I thought "I need a new word!" (BRAVE!)  But... after listening to Ali and Elise talk about One Little Word and the whole concept of it, I decided to stick it out with complete and see where it takes me this year!  (whether you're a OLWer or not, this is a great episode to listen to!)

So now what?  Now I have no idea!  Just kidding.  But not really...I've already been thinking LOTS about complete this year so far.  Some of the questions I've been asking myself is: 
  • What does a complete life look like to me?
  • {Given our learning of having fertility issues} what does it mean to me to have a complete family?
  • What would a complete version of myself feel like, and look like?  What will I be happy with?
  • AND, why the heck do I struggle so much with completing projects?

I think complete is going to be freaking awesome for me this year!  I'm really excited to see where it takes me, and what I discover from it.  So, hello complete, my OLW for 2016!!

What is your OLW for 2016?  Share some deets in the comments below!


Christmas cards in a mini book.

Last year's holidays were pretty tough, with my Grandpa passing away a week before Christmas.  But one of the things that brightened my holidays (last year and every year) was receiving Christmas cards in the mail.

Even though it seems like every year, the Christmas cards pile gets smaller and smaller, I still love opening my mailbox and seeing red and white envelopes, or handwritten addresses, and checking to see who sent us a card.  Nothing will ever beat sending smiles through the mail!

I've wanted to create one of these books every year, but for many reasons it got put off.  This year, (reminding myself that my OLW is complete!),  I left the cards on the wall until I was able to collect them, punch them with my Cinch, and bind them.

There were a few cards that I didn't want to punch directly into (because it would punch through people's faces, cut off text, etc.), so I adhered these to scrapbook paper and then punched the paper.  SUPER EASY!


I decorated the backs of the cards, to cover up some of the pre-printed text on the cards.  Nothing fancy, or complicated, just a few stickers and embellishments.  Let's not overthink it!

And now I have this beautiful book to flip through!  I'm pretty dang proud of myself for a) finally completing something I've wanted to for a few years, b) keeping is simple and not complicating it (I do that a lot), and c) DONE!

Here's a tip: If you don't have a Cinch or binding machine, you can always use rings or maybe even some string to tie it together.  Keep it simple!


Lots of sadness going on around here the last month or so.  It seemed like for a while, all I was hearing and reading about was people losing people and furries and so much bad stuff happening.

My heart has been hurting lots lately.  There's been lots of tears and lots of sympathy cards being made.  I wish I could send flowers to everyone who has been going through tough times lately.  Life just isn't fair sometimes.

Our little Murphy has been fighting on, despite his decreasing health.  His eating is at an all time low, and he has required so much more of our time lately to keep him going.  It's so tough, seeing our little guy like this.  We've always known Murphy to be such an energetic, curious, amazing little bun.

I've been creating up a storm lately, keeping my hands and mind busy.  It's amazing what therapy scrapbooking can be.  In hard times, this is when we scrapbookers learn to most appreciate our work.  This is why we do what we do. 

KEEP YOUR HOPES UP HIGH AND YOUR HEAD DOWN LOW.  This is a quote my hubby and I say all the time, one of our favorite lyrics, that helps us get through each day, into the next.