December 31, 2012


I've made chocolate chip cheesecake cookie cups plenty of times before which is literally a cupcake of heaven so I decided to make it a little easier on myself this time by making it in a pan and lining the top also with cookie dough. This is much simpler for prep, baking and tear down. Less dishes and it seems to be devoured much quicker especially when topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

It's amazing, I tell ya and it's evident in the picture it was gone in the blink of an eye. So go download the recipe and print it for safe keeping or pin away, whatever floats your boat.


December 28, 2012

Oh, my sweet friends.

Today marks the first post of having 500...yes, 500 amazing followers. I never thought blogging would come to this level and I never thought it would build me a brand where I get to work from home doing what I love so much. Designing. For you.

I can't say it enough when I express the gratitude I feel so deep in my heart. I can't show you how much this means to me but I can grow my content and expand as a person to bring each of you something inspiring, helpful, fun. Even meaningful. This journey of blogging has molded me into the person I am now and it's helped me figure out my style and the person of integrity I choose to be daily. It's given me the ability to wake up saying to myself: "I am blessed, I am grateful and I am choosing happiness today."


That's what blogging brings me.

So snatch up your new iPhone lock screen and home screen image and I encourage you to take a second each time you unlock your phone to think of one thing that makes you happy.

+download images to your computer then email to yourself and make them your phone background or save images on your phone and simply set it as your wallpaper!

Again, thank you from every fiber of my soul for making this chapter of life so full. I love you all.

If you missed it this week:
Monday + DIY gifting tutorial
Tuesday + Merry Christmas
Thursday + I vlogged about makeup


December 25, 2012

from our hearts to yours.


December 23, 2012

When it comes to gifting hubs and I always have a hard time figuring out what to get everyone. So this year, we did gifting a little differently.

This year we chose to donate one lump sum to Habitat for Humanity and call that our holiday gifts.  Now don't get me wrong, I did put in some time getting crafty with mason jars, twine and of course, I made our tags explaining what our gift was this year. Each mason jar is filled with your sweetness for a nice cup of hot cocoa.

mason jars // hot cocoa mix // marshmallows // bakers twine // gift tags

I may not be the only last minute gifter maker so if this is something you want to snag up and throw together today, here is the printable to make it that much easier; I like to print it on matte photo paper. 
Merry Christmas, friends!


December 21, 2012

Friday has become the day I hit the trails with pops and start the day with a refreshing hike. Brutus tagged along today and I just can't say it enough, but he's the cutest thing around. It's scary how much I love that pooch. 

Anyway, it's Friday so below is a little printable//desktop background for ya! Enjoy friends and don't forget to link back here if you chose to share with others!

And congratulations to Jess from More Adventurous for winning the Blue Bird giveaway! Check your email, sweets to claim your prize. If there's no response in 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! Don't forget you can shop the Etsy store, here.

Monday you were given a discount code for The Color Run [expires today]
Wednesday I gave you some insight to my job and how we gave back within our community
Thursday we talked inspiration and how big things are brewing for this baby blog

Have a blessed weekend and enjoy the print above. I pray each of you have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the last of this holiday season!

+ any paid sponsorships booked now-Jan 1 will be donated to those families in need in CT. start your sponsorship here.


December 20, 2012

I've been scrolling Pinterest as I normally do nightly and it occurred to me how much inspiration I collect from that resource. It's not the simple DIY things or the recipes but the photography and collection of pieces truly make me want to create. It gets my mind going with adapting different things around me in my life to be more uplifting and powerful. It encourages me to be surrounded in beauty and to find beauty in every situation. 

I've been contemplating taking my blog to a new level. I've wanted to build my own inspiration board for a design and have a set goal for 2013. Since I've had the resources of Pinterest and other blogs around me I think I've found where I want to go. I want to be a place people go to for inspiration. A place where the content is hearty and the words aren't just text. It's a story that brightens a day, a picture that makes someone smile. A tutorial that gives someone hope they might actually have a crafty bone somewhere in their body. And advice that I've only learned by living life to the fullest.

So you, being my faithful readers and friends over this journey, what do you want to see? What are things that spike your interest and keep you coming back for more? What tutorials get your mind excited and what life lessons do you need encouragement with? 

I'm excited for the next season for this baby blog. I'm even more excited to be sharing it with you.
Cheers, my friends. 2013 is promising big things in the blogging world.


December 19, 2012

JOY: [noun] the emotion of great delight or happiness; pleasure; elation.

COMMUNITY: [noun] a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage.

When I say I'm blessed by the job I have, I mean it. I'm blessed by God's grace and am daily reminded that many people don't love going to work or have somewhere they call their home within their job. Most of you may know me as a blog designer around here but I work full time at my church home as the Welcome Services Coordinator. I spend my days smothered by amazing, Godly people who only encourage and uplift my spirit. I spend my days with friends filled with laughter and so much ease.

Tuesday mornings our staff meets for an hour to discuss, build community within our family and sometimes to do simply what the Lord is telling us to. Today, he laid it on our teaching pastor's heart that we would be prayer walking. We would go out into our neighboring communities spending time praying for those in need, praying for people to feel God's love and see His love in people around them. When we take the time to smother our community we try to do it such a transparent and friendly way so today, we brought coffee and donuts to 3 elementary schools within the small area around us. Today we lifted the spirits of our educators, we showed them God is watching over them and we gave them a small sense of hope after dealing with their worlds being rocked.

Now if that doesn't bring joy to your heart, I don't know what would.

There were hugs and tears. Prayers and hand holding. We made an impact by this small gesture saying "We love you, appreciate you and can only thank you for what you do."

After Fridays news we were hesitant about making our way into these schools. We knew things would be tight and all security would be armored but God does amazing things. He lead us to these schools knowing we'd bring a small sense of brightness into their lives, knowing we'd ease that heavy heart just slightly. Isn't that beauty? Isn't this the perfect example of building community?

We've done these things in the past but never has it made this kind of impact. Never has it stirred so much emotion in our hearts or others. Never has it brought such a sense of peace over someone who's worn so thin.

Blessed. I'm serious; because after these morning events, our staff spent the afternoon praising our Lord in worship and spent time loving on each other and building again, joy within our home and community within each other.
+ any paid sponsorships booked now-Jan 1 will be donated to those families in need in CT. start your sponsorship here.

isaiah 58:9

December 14, 2012

statement of the obvious, pray.


Very simple & straight to the point. This printable//desktop background is one I will rock for a while. Sometimes, especially during the holidays God's presence is so apparent. Sometimes it's the struggles that make our anchor sink deeper. Sometimes all we need to do is have more hope is our Father. So enjoy this piece, friends!

If you missed it:

Monday: we opened a giveaway.
Wednesday: I thought it was Monday.

Oh, hey Friday.

December 7, 2012

I have mixed feelings about today. It's Friday but I have one crazy, busy weekend ahead of me. All I'm concerned about right now is how I'm not going to be getting enough sleep tonight to look rested and gorgeous tomorrow for hubs work holiday party. But I guess I have a fight about looking gorgeous any way so whatever. I'm also concerned cause I pigged out last night and the dress I have to wear is not forgiving, at all. But I started my day today hiking with my pops so that counts for something, right? Especially when we watched the sun rise.

Such a beautiful sight.

No printable today but don't forget to download your Christmas backgrounds for your gadgets from earlier this week, here.

And if you missed it, get updated on hubs Christmas gift, here.

Happy Friday!
Wish me luck squeezing into my dress tomorrow!
Lawwwwd knows I need it.

Christmas FREEBIE!

December 5, 2012

Thanks to all those ladies out there reaching out to me wanting some Christmas backgrounds for their gadgets! I feel so humbled with requests as such. Of course, you all know I love the whimsy, soft look of design and minty tones are my preference over the classic green so here are two freebies for download to get your electronics into the winter season (even though it's still in the 80's in AZ)!

Hope y'all love them as much as I do; they're already gracing the background of my work computer & my phone. Any special requests for printables or backgrounds you'd like to see personally? Email me and I'll make it happen!

Happy hump day!

Hubs Christmas Gift.

December 4, 2012

Are you dying for the reveal of hubs Christmas gift? No? I didn't think so. I did instagram it as soon as it was here but let's go a little more in depth.

This year I surprised hubs with a new PC. His old computer was a Dell with Windows 3 still, low storage and memory. He's not the kind of guy to ask for things when they still work and I knew he'd never be the one to admit it's time to update his computer. Luckily, his uncle worked for Microsoft and has some hook ups so I contacted him to see if they had any PC that were all in one models. The way it works is he ships out the PC and once it's received, I simply make a donation to Heart to Heart for the amount he asks me to (we got this 50% off). Great deal, right?! I was ready for a sleeker, simple look and they did have one!

This is the computer he got. Apparently, Lenovo is the highest quality PC out there so we lucked out with getting something great that will last us another 10 years.... if I let him keep it that long. Either way, it's a 23" touch screen PC, 4GB RAM, 1TB storage, Windows 7 (I didn't want 8 so his new computer and my laptop could sync) and is seriously sleek and gorgeous.

Why not Apple? Hubs is partial to Microsoft cause of his families ties and that's fine by me. In my opinion it's much easier to navigate and the design programs I use are PC only. Winning in my book!

Altogether, hubs was stunned. He had no clue what I was surprising him with; his guesses consisted of:  poker table, bass guitar, Denver Broncos items, a hooker, drop down stripper pole and the list goes on. I think I did pretty well this year!

Another thing...

There's a little more that goes into me going back blonde. I know some people love my natural hair color and some prefer the darker tones. That's fine, all people have their own opinions but I just wanted to explain a little more in depth my reasoning for making the transition back.

I grew up a white blonde, like WHITE. So did Andrew. We have always heard from people how we will make the cutest blonde babies and our family will be all blondies. We both come from sides that it's majority blondes so it makes sense that's how our family will grow. It's always something I've looked forward to when we tied the knot, bringing some blondies on board and being the family all in unison. Call me selfish and materialistic but I think it's darn cute.

Now if you've dyed your hair, you know it's a process going dark to light, it's not as simple as throwing dark on a white light cause color takes much easier. This should be about a years process but me being impatient makes it happen in the unhealthy, damaging way to my hair.

So personally, I'd like to take the next year or two to focus on getting my hair long and healthy for pregnancy and for after when our family grows. I love the idea of having the unity within our features and I want to make sure it's in a good, healthy place when we start trying for a family. I've heard many horror stories of hair changing into a hot mess, so I'd like to do everything I can to avoid those changes.

I've had a few questions about purple shampoo. It's a blondes lifesaver. It tones down brassiness or orange tones to give a more beige or white look. Magic in a bottle I like to call it.

The end. You don't have to like it natural but I do and that's what matters most. Ain't that the beauty of opinions?! ;)

Have a great day!


December 3, 2012

How was your weekend? We had Drake & hubs was off. He also got his Christmas gift and is in love with it (more about that later this week!). Saturday we BBQed with my family and a few neighbors which always results in the cousins snapping a few pictures together. Poor Sean, the only boy. At least all of us girls keep him in check! And Brutus... isn't he the cutest pooch around? He was Mr. Needy all weekend and I didn't mind one bit. Sunday morning kicked off with blankets, cuddles, cartoons and all my boys. What a great way to spend a weekend filled with family and so much love.

One more thing.... I am once again rocking my natural hair color. Blonde is back and I'm loving it! I came to the point with the brown either it needed to be DARK brown or none at all. It was best when a rich chocolate with some red tones and I was stuck in the middle so we went blonde again! It's more of a gold//honey tone now but in a couple more weeks we can lighten it right up to the natural color. Until then, lots of purple shampoo will be used! ;)

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