Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Little Syllables

I recently realized that most of my blog post ideas these days are book recommendations and reviews, so I decided to start a separate blog dedicated entirely to literature. While I get this new blog up and running, Hot Commodity might be a little neglected. But I hope you'll hop over and check out my new literary blog Little Syllables and follow along.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Easy & Versatile DIY Holiday Decor

My family has a lot of Halloween decorations. We also have a lot of Christmas decorations. But we don't have any Thanksgiving decorations. I have always loved Thanksgiving, mainly because my birthday is generally the same week as the holiday, but also because I love food and family.

So I felt it was high time that I remedied this "no Thanksgiving decor" problem. I found my inspiration via Pinterest (pin found here) from a pin without a link or tutorial. Obviously, this was not a complex project and I knew I could figure it out myself. I believe the original version is done with vinyl lettering, but I used paint. Here is my version of this project:

To create these reversible blocks, I purchased two bags of wood pieces from Hobby Lobby. If you have the tools handy, you could make this using a 2 x 4 cut to various lengths for much less than I paid. I chose wooden squares in three different sizes for my letters. I measured the blocks and laid out my text in Illustrator first, so that I could choose my fonts and see how it would look to scale.

I painted all my blocks using craft paint in a variety of colors. This required several coats of paint, especially on the lighter colors. This was the most time-consuming part of the project -- waiting for the paint to dry between coats.

For the larger letters, I created a stencil. I printed out each letter, then cut them out. I laid the paper that I cut the letter from on top of the block, then used a sponge paint brush to dab the paint on unevenly.

For the longer block with smaller letters ("Give" and "Bells"), I laid the printed word on top of the block and, using a ball-point pen, traced around the letters, indenting into the wood below. Once the outline is indented on the wood, I used a small paint brush to fill in the letters.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What I Read This Month (& Beyond)

Though I have been slacking on blog posts, I have not been slacking on my reading. Here are a handful of reviews of the books I have read over the last six weeks:

Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman

Since I enjoyed reading Hoffman's first novel, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, this was a natural addition to my reading list. I also enjoyed this novel. Perhaps because the protagonist in this one is an adult, this seems like more of a grown-up book. I love some of the themes this book explores, including dealing with aging parents, learning to let go, and recovering from tragedy. This is a great story of family, loss, self-discovery, and love.

Would I recommend it? Yes!

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

It could be that I did not know exactly what I was getting myself into, but I found The Road to be a difficult read. I generally like dystopian settings, but The Road feels so terribly hopeless throughout. Plus, the two main characters are a small boy and his father, struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. I think the mother in me found this too much to swallow. The book is well-written and heart-wrenching. I finished it because I had to know how it would end, but I did not enjoy it.

Would I recommend it? Hesitantly.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Unseen Guest by MaryRose Wood

This is the third installment in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series and it was a lot of fun to read. These are children's books, but they are intelligently written. The premise is ridiculous and the plot is even more ridiculous, which makes these books a pleasure to read. For this series, you really do need to start at the beginning of the series to understand what is going on.

Would I recommend it? Yes, to those who like reading juvenile fiction.

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley

The second children's book on the list, this is also part of a series. The "Flavia de Luce Mysteries" are fun, clean mystery novels with a strong female protagonist. Flavia is a smart and capable girl who always seems to be a step ahead of the adults around her. These would be great reads for older girls and teens, as well as adults like me who love well-written juvenile fiction.

Would I recommend it? Yes!

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

This is a book that I first heard of from The Modern Mrs. Darcy. This is a wonderful blog that is full of reading recommendations. Rules of Civility is a smart and surprising read about a group of friends in New York, circa 1938. It is a great read about social hierarchy, morality, redemption, but most of all, self-discovery.

Would I recommend it? Yes!

The Darkening Field by William Ryan

Another installment in a series, this is a mystery/thriller set in 1930's Russia. The protagonist is a detective, forced to walk a fine line between solving a mystery, protecting political leaders, and protecting himself. Some of the political subplot was over my head (as I'm not terribly familiar with the political climate of 1930's Russia), but it is not essential to understanding or enjoying the story. Like most adult detective novels, these do contain a fair amount of violence.

Would I recommend it? Probably.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Another recommendation from The Modern Mrs. Darcy, this was a surprising and heart-warming story. The book follows a small-town bookseller as he works through the grief of his wife's sudden death and the events that follow. This is a wonderful book about love and loss, marriage, parenthood, and friendship.

Would I recommend it? Yes!

Have you read anything interesting lately? I'm always looking for recommendations to add to my ever-growing "to read" list, so leave a comment. Come and be my friend on Goodreads by clicking here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Emperor's New Clothes Craft

As mentioned in my last post, I am in charge of "Fairy Tale Friday" in my son's first grade class today. For this activity, I was told to choose a fairy tale to read to the class, then come up with a craft project for the kids to do to help them re-tell the story. Here is what I came up with:

I found a basic boy paper doll template online through a Google search. I printed him out the size I wanted, placed a sheet of tracing paper on top, and traced around where his shirt and pants would go. I scanned the tracing and printed many copies (enough for each kid in the class to have 2) on card stock. After cutting out all the paper clothes, I gave my fingers a rest for a while.

Then, I started cutting clothing shapes out of fabric scraps. I used every type and print of fabric I had on hand so that the kids would have plenty of variety. I traced shirts and pants, then cut them in half so the kids can mix-and-match their patterns. Then, my prep work was done!

For the actual craft, the kids will be able to choose their fabrics to create outfits for the Emperor. This is why I used card stock clothing as well, so the Emperor can have a change of clothes. The kids will glue the fabric onto the card stock shapes so that as they re-tell the story, they can change the Emperor's clothes (or leave them off as the story requires).

You could also use clear plastic to create an "invisible" outfit, but I didn't have any on hand, so I skipped that part.

{Linked on Happy and Blessed Home, Truly Lovely Blog, Sincerely Paula, The Jenny Evolution, Love Bakes Good Cakes, One Project Closer}

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I'm Working on Wednesday

It seems I've taken a bit of a blogging break -- quite unintentionally. I have been keeping quite busy, but not finishing anything worth blogging about! Today, I have several projects in progress:


I'm currently working on some custom embroidery for a Christmas stocking order for my shop. I do all my embroidery by hand, so it is time consuming, but I love the way it turns out.

Fairy Tale Craft

I am in charge of this week's Fairy Tale Friday in my son's first grade class. I'm doing The Emperor's New Clothes and I'm cutting all the pieces they'll need to create some new outfits for the Emperor. I'm planning a more detailed post about this in the near future.

Days for Girls

In preparation for my upcoming Days for Girls Sewing Day, I am cutting as many pieces as I can. If you're interested in finding out more about my Sewing Day, check out this post. If you want to know more about Days for Girls, check out their website.


And of course, I'm always reading whenever I find (or make) a spare moment. I just finished up The Darkening Field by William Ryan. This week's selection is Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. Another book review post will be coming next week!

What are you working on this week?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Free Printable Pinewood Derby Awards

Our Cub Scout Pack's Pinewood Derby is coming up next month and in preparation, I designed some printable award certificates! I designed two sets of certificates (12 certificates per set), so there are 24 different awards you can use. Since I put the year on them, I made a 2014 set and a 2015 set.

(Click the image to access the PDF files.)

Includes Best Paint Job, People's Choice, Best Use of Color, and more!

Includes Funniest Car, Best of the Den, Most Patriotic, and more!

Identical to Set 1 except for the year.

Identical to Set 2 except for the year.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Days for Girls International - Group Sewing Day!

If you or someone you know live near South Jordan, UT, you are invited to join my Group Sewing Day for Days for Girls International on Saturday, September 27!

The details are below. Visit the event page on Facebook for updates and to RSVP.

Everyone is welcome, regardless of sewing ability. However, those with sewing skill are especially needed, along with sewing machines.

I'm also seeking donations of fabric and gift cards to provide materials for this event. Please help spread the word by tweeting or pinning the image below!

Days for Girls is a wonderful organization dedicated to providing reusable feminine hygiene kits to girls and women in developing countries throughout the world. Visit their website for more information and to see what a huge difference this organization is making.
"Through sustainable feminine hygiene solutions, Days for Girls is restoring opportunity to girls who have grown up believing there is something embarrassing or taboo about menstruation. DfG reverses these cycles of belief through products and education that remind girls and women they are beautiful, powerful, and worthy of care." -Days For Girls

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Altered Collage Frames

This post originally appeared on my family blog (back when my hubby and I blogged about our lives regularly). That means I did this project back in 2011. It is still one of my all-time favorite things that I have done in my house. Enjoy!

Before Violet was born, we rearranged the house to make space for her upstairs. That meant rearranging the living room, which meant rethinking our wall decor once again. We had this collage frame hanging on the kitchen wall for a while:

In a rare moment of brilliance, I thought it could be interesting to get another collage frame and cut the circles apart, hanging them around the larger frame, creating a sort of "floating bubble" effect. It took several months to follow through on the idea, but the final effect is pretty sweet.

Then when we painted our living room before listing our house for sale, we did a bit more rearranging and added a clock to the mix, so here is what it looks like today:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Halloween Costume Tutorial Roundup

I am sorry to say that I am already thinking about Halloween costumes. I suppose that is what happens when you're making costumes for your kids. This year, I think my daughter will join the throngs of Queen Elsas, but my son is still undecided. Here are some tutorials for what I think will be some popular boy costumes this year:


Maybe it's just my kid, but it seems like ninjas are pretty cool these days. This simple, no-sew DIY is a great costume if you're looking for something quick and easy:

From Jenny @ The Southern Institute (posted on Andrea's Notebook)


Next to Queen Elsa, I think Legos might be the most popular thing for kids this year. There are a lot of Lego costume tutorials out there, but I think this one might be the most realistic looking one, which is why I chose it. Of course, it looks really complicated, too. This is specifically for a Lego Boba Fett costume, but I think it could be adapted to be any sort of Lego person:

From Art & Its Accoutrements
If you're looking for a much simpler Lego costume and your kid isn't set on being Emmet, check out this tutorial:

From Wine & Glue


I am thinking I need to have my son see the new How to Train Your Dragon movie so maybe he'll want to be a viking for Halloween. This viking costume is so clever and so awesome that I want a reason to make it:

From I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar


Of course, the movie might also make him want to be a dragon, which could be a fun costume to make and let's face it... these little dragons are super cute:

From Tried & True

Have you started thinking about Halloween yet? I'd love to hear what sort of costumes you'll be whipping up, so please share a comment!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Where I Live - Thanksgiving Point Museum of Natural Curiosity

It's been a while since I blogged about fun things to do in Utah, but I felt like a visit to Thanksgiving Point's new Museum of Natural Curiosity warranted a post. Please note, all opinions are all my own.

(image source)
Thanksgiving Point, in Lehi Utah, has a promotion during August called "$2 Tuesday." That is why my kids and I ended up braving the crowds to see the Museum of Natural Curiosity yesterday. We had originally planned to visit the farm, but just as we left the house, a lovely summer rainstorm began. I didn't feel like slogging through farm mud in my flip-flops, so we changed plans.

Upon arriving, we saw the line to get into the building and I started to get a little worried. It is obvious that this museum is busy because they have partitions set up outside to direct the line, along with signs telling you how long you'll have to wait. We started out by the 60 minute wait sign. 45 minutes later, we were buying our tickets and getting the spiel about the rules of the museum. Entry cost us $6 thanks to the promotion, instead of the $39 it would've cost any other day. Worth the hassle? Probably.

We were informed that if we wanted a chance to visit the rope bridges in the Rainforest section, we needed to go get a timed wrist band immediately which would tell us when we could come back. Sort of like a Disney fast-pass... but less fancy.

(image source)
That's what we did... or tried to do. I approached the attendant to ask about wrist bands (at 2:30 PM) and was informed that the next entry time was 6:45 PM. I literally laughed out loud and quickly retreated to deal with my kids' disappointment.

So, we decided to find other things to see. I consulted the map, which told me approximately nothing, then we started exploring. That's when we discovered Kidopolis, a kid-size city filled with all sorts of activities kids can do, from playing bank teller to performing on a theatre stage, x-raying stuffed animals, and playing musical instruments.

Eddie x-rays Fido.
This is where we spent the majority of our time, mostly because it was so crowded that the kids had to wait a while to get a turn for everything. The tiny rooms were difficult to navigate without a proper map and there weren't really instructions posted on how to use the various items in the rooms. Some of them were easier to figure out than others. And then some genius designer decided it would be fun to add in secret passages, which make it inevitable that parents will lose their kids.

After braving the swarms of children, the clearly overstimulated parents, and the tiny secret-passaged rooms for a while, I was ready to snap and decided it was time for a potty break and some time outside in the gardens.

The first thing we encountered upon exiting the building was the playground. It is a nice playground, with digging toys, spinning toys, a zip line, teeter-totters (who knew they still made those?!), and 2 swings... and hundreds of children. We played on the swings and waited in line for a teeter-totter, which was a huge hit with my kids. The line for the zip line was as long as the zip line itself, so I refused to let my kids wait for that. Instead, I convinced them to wander through the gardens with me to see what else there was (since we were uninformed by the map).

In addition to the playground, there is a koi pond with windows so you can see the fish, hedge mazes, a couple of caves, and Noah's Ark, which is actually a splash area that was closed yesterday during our visit.

This was my favorite place. Since it was closed, nobody was around. I defied the rules and let my kids climb up for a photo op. Then we ventured back through the hedge mazes, where I promptly lost both of my kids again.

Once I found my way out of the hedge and located both kids, I was completely overstimulated and exhausted. It started raining again, so we headed back inside to visit the Water Works section. Maybe it was because of the rain, but this area seemed extra crowded. There were lines for every exhibit, no instructions on how to use the exhibits or what the point of them was, so we didn't stay long. Despite screams of protest, I decided it was best for my sanity if we left as soon as possible.

My overall impression of this museum is that it would be fun if it was not crowded, but the cost of going during a less crowded time is way too high. Despite all the exhibits being designed for children, the areas were too cramped for the adults that children inevitably bring with them.

Have you visited this museum? I'd love to hear your thoughts about it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Few Book Reviews

I can't believe I've let over a month go by without blogging about all the books I've been reading! It's been 6 weeks since I posted my reading list, so I think it's high time I told you about the books I've finished so far.

A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough by Wayne Muller

I enjoy reading books about self-discovery and generally only read self-help books that are aimed more about the emotional/spiritual side of things. This one seemed to fit the bill. It wasn't available in my local library system, so I had to get it through inter-library loan, which took a while.

The book is more a series of short essays, so the book as a whole doesn't really seem to be whole. The writing was not terribly impressive, often feeling hurried and disjointed. But there were some tidbits of wisdom that I liked enough to make note of.
"If we are reluctant to update our position, we will live our days presuming that wherever we set our course when we began, however long ago, obviously describes precisely where we should be by now."
Overall, this book did help me see a different perspective on things like how I view myself, my responsibilities, my life, and my relationships.

Would I recommend it? Yes, but with reservations.

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

This book was recommended to me by a friend, who discovered it in a book club. This is a book I probably never would've sought out without a recommendation because it doesn't seem like it would be all that interesting. But it really was.

This is an historical account of Sir Ernest Shackleton's 1914 voyage to Antarctica. The original goal of this voyage was for a group of men to be the first to cross the Antarctic continent. The book documents the events leading up the voyage, then the voyage itself, which failed at its goal after the ship got stuck in the ice pack and eventually sunk.

This really is an incredible story that shows how resilient people really can be in the most difficult times. I especially loved that the book is written around first-hand accounts from interviews and journal entries and it even includes photos taken by the crew. If you like historical non-fiction, this is a great one.
“In that instant they felt an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment. Though they had failed dismally even to come close to the expedition's original objective, they knew now that somehow they had done much, much more than ever they set out to do.” 
Would I recommend it? Definitely yes.

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

I love mother-daughter stories, and this one did not disappoint. This book is about a group of Chinese mothers and their Chinese-American daughters. Each chapter is told from a different person's perspective, so you get to know all the mothers and daughters. While their stories are so different, by the end, you can see how they are very much the same.

This was a fun and insightful read that really makes you think about relationships with those closest to you and how everyone has hidden parts of themselves. Ultimately, I think this book is about reconciling what you think you know about someone with who they really are. I think that is a universal struggle for aging children to come to see their parents as the complicated people they really are, and this book captures that perfectly.
“For unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be. I could only be me. ” 
Would I recommend it? Yes.

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons

This is a fun, though sometimes frustrating story of a German immigrant family living in England during and after World War II. The book follows Mr. Rosenblum's obsessive desire to be viewed as a true Englishman, no matter the consequences. He does everything he can think of to be accepted, but when his requests for membership at various golf courses throughout England are all rejected, he is forced to take drastic measures.

The book follows Mr. Rosenblum as he sets out to build his own golf course, and in the process, learns a lot about himself, his family, and those he has tried so hard to be accepted by.

The family dynamics - particularly between Mr. and Mrs. Rosenblum - truly make this a book worth reading.
“It was much better to share it with him; if he was a madman then at least they were crazy together.” 
Would I recommend it? Yes.

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

This juvenile fiction is a wonderful read. I sought this out after enjoying Vanderpool's first book, Moon Over Manifest. The books have similar themes, centering around a child who is lost in an adult world, discovering themselves, their friends, and their parents along their journey. Navigating Early is about two friends who set out through the Appalachian wilderness and the things they discover along the way.
“Finding your way doesn't mean you always know where you're going. It's knowing how to find your way back home that's important.” 
Would I recommend it? Definitely yes.

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

This book was not quite what I expected, though I'm not sure what I expected. This is the story of two newlyweds. The story cuts back and forth between past and present -- the present being their wedding night. Needless to say, the present is all about sex. But the interwoven story of these two people, their backgrounds, their personalities, and their secrets was very interesting. The book is not really about sex, but it is about how a person's entire life can be changed in an instant by what they do or do not say. It is thought-provoking, and actually quite frustrating, to see these characters struggle and ultimately fail.
“She knew very well that people fell out, even stormily, and then made up. But she did not know how to start - she simply did not have the trick of it, the row that cleared the air, and could never quite believe that hard words could be unsaid or forgotten.” 
Would I recommend it? Probably not because of the sexual content.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

I picked this up from my local library's Reader's Choice shelf. It is a long book, but totally sucked me in. From the very start, the protagonist and the story are unexpected and surprising. This is a story largely about relationships.

The story is told by Alex Woods, a kid who has a very unusual life, and follows his friendship with the elderly Mr. Peterson. It is a sometimes funny, sometimes tragic story of how their lives intertwine over years.

It does have some language, but I absolutely loved this book and can't wait for Extence's next book to come out.
“The first thing I learned that day was this: what you think you know about a person is only a fraction of the story.” 
Would I recommend it? Definitely yes.

I'd love to hear your thoughts about any of these books or recommendations for things I should read in the future. And come be my friend on Goodreads by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I'm Working On Wednesday

Today, I'm working on a couple of things:

Etsy Shop Production

I've kind of let my Etsy shop sit dormant for a while because I haven't had a lot of sales. I even considered closing up shop, but just this week I decided I'd like to give it another try. So I've start mass-producing Christmas stockings to get them listed later this week. If you're in the market for new stockings this year, keep an eye out for my new inventory. And I'm always happy to do custom orders and may even offer custom embroidery.

Cub Scout Arrow of Light Awards

I only have two weeks to finish up the Arrow of Light awards I've started on. Come see the hand painted plaques I made in this post. This week, I'm working on putting together each boy's award arrow to hang below his plaque. I'm using arrow kits I found at Nature-Watch. I like these arrow kits better than the ones at the Scout shop because these ones have stone arrowheads. I'll post an update once they are finished so you can see the final product.

Organizing a Days for Girls Sewing Event

I am the team leader for the South Jordan, Utah team for Days for Girls International. In September, I'm hosting a sewing day for anyone who wants to help! If you're in the Salt Lake City area, come sew with us! See the event details & RSVP on Facebook here. If you're not in the area, but still interested in helping out Days for Girls International, check out their website and find a chapter or team near you!

What are you working on today?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Co-Hosting Social Media Mixer #9

Welcome to the 9th week of the Social Media Mixer, a brand new social media link-up started when the Weekday Mixer and Social Media Sunday joined forces. Thank you to everyone who joined us for Week 8 - we had 135 blogs and numerous social media link-ups!

Social Media Mixer-2

The Social Media Mixer is all about networking and making connections. Also, you can gain exposure and increase your social media following! Link up your social media accounts and mix it up with some of the other linkers. Each week, the Weekday Mixer will start on Saturday nights at 8:00pm and go on until Thursday night at 11:59pm. One linker will be chosen each week each of the hosts and guest hosts and featured in the following week’s link-up! If chosen, a brief summary about yourself and your blog/website and all of your social media accounts will be featured. It’s a great way to stand out among the crowd!

Welcome your hosts!

 Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Angel from Sew Crafty Angel | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | Teresa from Crafty Wife | Julia from Minivan Dreams | | Liz from Look by Liz Lewis | Kaitlyn from Three Sisters and Us | Shana from Technotini | Anni from Grapefruit Princess | Tiffany from Mrs Tee Love Life LaughterCe Ce from A Chicago Mom |  Jillian from Baby Doodah | Holly from Southern Mom Loves

And welcome your guest hosts for July!

SMM Guests_062714
Bonnie from LadyBlogger | Chelsea from That's So Chelish... | Tara from Anything & Everything | Aysh from Words n Needles | Amanda from Old House to New Home | Krissy from Hot Commodity | Jen from Twenties Chic | Victoria from Giveaways 4 Mom | Maria from Simple Nature Decor | Breanna from Brepurposed

And here are the Featured bloggers from last week's Social Media Mixer...

Victoria chose...

Maniac Mom

Maniac Mom

Hi! I’m Kristen! I’m a stay-at-home mom of one stupendous little boy, Chase (August 2012), and one stunning little girl, Skylar (February 2014). My favorite by far is my current occupation. I’m married to a wonderful man, Kyle, who makes it possible to do so.  This was started as a memento for my children, so when they got older, they could learn more about me and the person I was as well as the mother I grew into. As time went on, it morphed into something much more.  I suffer from depression and anxiety. I also show signs of a developing bi-polar condition and have gone through two stays at a mental health hospital. Through this site, I will share my journey though being a depressed mother and how I handle life. I’ve become an advocate and a supporter of making depression less taboo, less hidden, and I challenge people, not just moms, everywhere to break the silence. I'm also starting a campaign to bring it to the attention of the general public the massive amount of work needed to make the mental health care system better.

Jillian and Ce Ce chose...
Real Housewife

The Diary of a Real Housewife

Hi! I’m Jennie, a wifey, mommy, and a child of God. And the girl behind the blog The Diary of a Real Housewife.  Welcome to my little part of the world. I'm a stay at home mom who loves to write, cook, and spend time with my littles. I spend my days reading books to my boys, changing lots of diapers, folding loads and load and yeah more loads of laundry. And I wouldn't change a thing about it. I love dancing around the kitchen with my kids, and hanging out at home with my hubby watching Netflix. I started this blog originally to keep family and friends updated with the boys (boy at the start) since my family lives hours away.   My goal for my blog is today is to be a place for other moms to feel encouraged. I post super easy recipes that will hopefully help getting dinner on the table easier and try and post encouraging words to help moms understand that they are not alone in this journey!

Holly chose...

Speaking of Everything

Speaking of Everything is a digital space designed to aid and inspire women everywhere to be fearless, dazzling and fabulous while finding the delicate balance between dreams and reality. We encourage our readers to blur the lines between affordability and extravagence, family and friends, and work and play in order to live a more fulfilling life.

Tiffany chose...

Domain of the Mad Mommy

My name is Echo and I am the Mad Mommy.  I am a 32 year old wife, mother, homeschooler, blogger and partial lunatic.  I lost a bit of my mind years ago and then, lost the rest when I had children!

Krissy chose...

The Rustic Willow

My name is Cat: The Cooker, Crafter, and Blogger over here at The Rustic Willow.  I’m a twenty-something-year old living in New Orleans. I’m a huge believer in traveling to the unknown, exploring new places, and dreaming big–I’m currently doing all of those things while living down here in the bayou.  I started this blog after I had some success with my Etsy shop where I sell hand-painted signs and photographs. After I began the shop I was taking over the house and kitchen table with wood, paints and crafts–shortly after, my sweet, sweet boyfriend devoted a room in his house to my crafts. A whole room! Since then, I haven’t wanted to stop crafting.

Anni chose...

Crazily Normal

I started this blog back in June 2013 as a way of keeping touch with family and friends, both near and far, and as a way to write down my thoughts, feelings, and memories of our days as a family of 4 (of course I'm including our first baby, Leaf).  Life has been going in full speed since Palmer was born, and I don't want to forget anything! So, I've picked up a (new) hobby; Photography! I try to capture our special moments, milestones, and everyday memories on camera.

Maria chose...

North of Something

Hello, I’m Jamie! I currently live in Hawaii with my husband, who is in the Army, along with our three year old son.  This blog is for people who love to travel, or haven’t traveled much but want to start, and also the reluctant traveler that may be moving to new parts of the world courtesy of the U.S. Military.  As a military wife, I get to move around a lot to different homes in different cities, but no matter where we live, we are always north of something – always close enough to explore the culture and nature that surrounds us. And a big trip to a dreamed about destination every once in awhile is pretty great too!  I write to inspire other travelers (and those who hope to) to explore the world and encounter the unknown with open hearts. This is the only life we get – let’s get out there and really SEE this beautiful world we live in.

Teresa chose...

My Creative Days

Welcome to The Sassy Southerner, where life is sassy and full of adventure! This is a lifestyle blog about all the things that make me excited: love, travel, wine, food, lip gloss and everything in between.  I ' m N i c o l e : a born and bred fiery Texan, college student, and wanna-be travel/food blogger. I believe in living life to the fullest, giving sweet kisses, star gazing often and soaking up the sun as much as possible. I am completely and utterly captivated by the ocean and the great outdoors. Fresh flowers and a good adventure make my heart sing, and I never leave the house without mascara and a good pair of earrings!

Jen chose...

The Art of Sipping Coffee

Thanks for stopping by my blog! My name is Katelyn, the person behind all the writing. The Art of Sipping Coffee is a lifestyle blog about anything and everything. Whether it’s about health, art and design, travel, or my personal life, you can always expect great ideas and tips as well as something funny or interesting.  I started The Art of Sipping Coffee lifestyle blog because it allows me to fulfill two of my many passions, writing and designing. This blog started out as a way to track our time abroad in Taiwan allowing our family and friends to share in our experiences. Then I changed my mind (like always) and decided that I didn’t only want to write about travel, but that I have many other things I would like to share with the world. I also wanted a blog that could evolve with me as time goes on. I wanted something that could change with my age and interests. Thus, The Art of Sipping Coffee.

Shana chose...

Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated

Tara chose...

21 Random

 I'm Chrissy - mom of 3 boys, Coastie wife, Design freak, handmade business owner, & coconut rum enthusiast.

Aysh chose...

Finding Crystal

Hey y’all! My name is Crystal and I’m from the Upstate of South Carolina. I married my high school sweetheart and we have two furbabies. I have a degree in English and Psychology and had all the intentions in the world to be an English teacher. However, God had other plans for my life.  I have lived with chronic health problems all of my life. These include several open heart surgeries, asthma, and depression with anxiety. Recently I was diagnosed with Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and chronic anemia. I have also struggled with losing weight and food addiction.  I am an amateur blogger with a love for learning, animals, movies, a little too much TV, couponing, spending time with family, and writing. I am also a book devourer, Lupus warrior, social media addict, among many other titles.

Natasha chose...
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Confessions of a Frumpy Mommy

Welcome! I am Shaunacey. Wife to Brent (aka Mr. B), first-time mom to Annabelle (aka mini-me) and mom to fur-child, Lilo. I work full-time, love to cook and bake (and eat), love to shop, like to (try) and be crafty and LOVE to laugh.  I am a fast-talker, deep-thinker and loud-laugher. It seems that I am either taking life too seriously or not seriously enough.  As a first-time mom I feel like I don't know what I am doing a lot of the time and I am learning ALL of the time. Even though I have no clue what I am doing, I love EVERY second. She makes it easy.  Like everyone, I'm trying to find the perfect balance and I'm not there just yet. I want to be a great wife, mom, friend and employee and I want to look good doing it. That shouldn't be that hard, right?

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