martha stewart and mother’s day

is it obvious that i’m ready for summer break?! 3 posts in the past 7 days!! well, God has brought me through another week. one step closer to a summer of freedom :)  check out the skinny on all that here… i’m thankful for His unending mercy and grace as i can only take things one day at a time in this program.

this weekend i’m looking forward to lots of celebrating! graduates, moms, and birthdays- it’s going to be lots of fun! without much time for homework… so maybe this blog post is making up for the lack of time i’ll have next week.

so, mother’s day is just around the corner and i’m sure none of you are as behind as i am in card-making, gift-getting, and dinner planning ;) but just in case you ARE a little behind, there’s hope! yesterday i picked up this little gem, filled with some crafty ideas…

confession: i have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Martha… she’s got some GREAT ideas, but she is WAY too perfect. some of her crafts and DIY stuff are ridiculously hard and they never turn out looking like hers. or her design team’s, rather… anyways, there were some mother’s day ideas in there:

this little newspaper is SO cute. maybe i could get by with doing one of these this year :)

coupon books were my go-to gift as a kid. my mom still tells me that “when i was a good daughter…”, i used to giver her coupon books for foot massages. she just recently found an old one that she’s taunting me with. mine, of course, never looked this professional- but still a great idea!

above images from Martha Stewart

okay. and this pop-up card?! RIDICULOUS. i would like to attempt this, but have a feeling that i would get frustrated and quit :) so we’ll see what happens when i make my card… probably later this morning!

all of that to say, Brett, a very good friend of mine, got together with some of his friends and made a mother’s day cards together… a card-making party?! why didn’t i think of that? these guys (and gals) are in a DPT (Doctorate of Physical Therapy) program, and therefore brilliant! just can’t compete with those docs ;) well, these lovely friends made amazing mother’s day cards and i had the honor of receiving text message updates on the progress of the cards. i have to admit, i loved that they were all together, hand-making cards. and i was VERY impressed by all their card-making-skills! check them out!

here they are! should have gotten a group picture, but here’s the outside of the card created by Brett. please take note of the three-dimensional flower and the weaved basket, this is serious business. i honestly think i’ll be taking these things into consideration as i’m making my cards!

the inside of the card- aren’t you impressed?! (sidenote, not that guys can’t have artistic ability, because they ABSOLUTELY can- but this was made by a GUY! i think that his mom will absolutely appreciate his handmade thoughtfulness) here are a couple others:

with a true love and appreciation for all that is handmade, i think these cards are awesome. i love the thought and creativity that has gone into them. and love that they spent time together in the process. way to go guys! (and it’s lovely to meet you via blog if you’re reading!)

i think my roommate kace and i are going to work on a few cards today. with all the celebrating- it’s a busy card season! hope you found a little card-making inspiration today. and realize that it doesn’t take expensive, intricate craft materials to do so. plus handmade card/note/gift, is much more heartfelt- don’t you think? i’m definitely inspired and ready to break open the craft drawers. and maybe read a little bit of this in the meantime…

all the talk about moms, had to give my mom a little shout out: mom- i’m celebrating and thanking God for YOU this weekend. you have been a beautiful example of a Godly woman to me. thank you for your tireless hours of work and constant love, support, and encouragement to me, dad, and lauren. you are simply amazing! i love you!!

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adore these apps!

2 posts in one week?! how could it be?

let’s just say, i’m procrastinating, stumbling upon new blogs, and need a break from doing homework :)

okay. i just wanted to rave about a few iPhone apps… because i can’t get enough of them!! here’s a run down of my top 5 current favorites:

1. Instagram– i’ve been talking about this one for a few weeks now. love the filters and the “following”. it’s a fun way to keep up with friends and create some fancy pics!

2. Diptic– used this app for my last post to display pictures in a group of four. Diptic has numerous layouts for your pictures. definitely convenient for blogging! :)

3. LabelBox- add fun text to your pictures with the varieties of labels. here’s another picture of the castle from my Disneyland trip last week… (used Instagram and then used LabelBox for this one!)

3. Cartolina– this creative app allows you to send text messages or emails with personalized messages. here’s one i sent to my parents as they celebrated 25 years of marriage today! woohoo!

5. RedStamp– i just found this app today in Matchbook Magazine. and i’m already in love! this one is similar to the one above, but there are SO many more options!

there are plain templates like this one… fill in your own message- then email, text, or share via facebook or twitter.

or you can choose a picture of your own and place it into a template, like so…

this second one was to my sister. she got a few of these today as i was playing with them :)

anyways, i am LOVING these five apps right now. thought i’d let you in on a few of my iPhone secrets/tricks/obsessions :) i hope you have as much fun with these as i am!!

happy May!


times are a changin’…

okay, two more days of april and then it is may… WOW.

i feel like i have so much to share and i’m just not sure where to start! so here it goes- i finished a great big (worth 1/2 of my grade) project last week and i am beyond relieved! i won’t go into the details of it all, but i made these precious little journals as a part of the “take-home” portion of my presentation. it was probably a little bit of a waste of time, but it was fun for me :) love all the colors!

after the crazy presentation came the wonderful celebration of Easter! i didn’t have the chance to go home this year because of school, but all of us who were in the area made due. my roommate kace and i learned a bit about the Gustafson family traditions (one of our other roomies, holler Hay!). we dyed eggs and had a fun teasing each other and laughing a lot! the church that i have been attending for the past year, Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV), had a beautiful Good Friday service that was filled with worship. and we actually attended a saturday night Easter service in order to provide more space for guests on the traditional Easter sunday…. overall, it was an incredible celebration of our Lord- the great pain and suffering He went through for our sake. and the HOPE and LIFE that He brought as He conquered death. my roommates and i celebrated with some other friends over a delicious meal. we cooked up some tri-tip (shout out to Matt!), mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and a fresh salad. i’d say we did pretty well!! i made some Easter cupcakes for dessert… although i think i’m in desperate need of some baking lessons from my brilliant cousin, Morgan (check her out!). after that, we all cuddled up together and watched my all time favorite- remember the titans- and rested in the joy of our Lord and the fullness of our bellies :)

lucky little me got a VERY special treat the day after Easter. my friend Sabrina and her family invited me to go to Disneyland with them for the day! it was MUCH NEEDED break away from school. and i had a blast with a family that i hold so close to my heart. with a top notch lunch at club 33 and front row seats to the firework show, it was the fullest Disney experience! there are so many great pictures, i’ll probably post some on facebook- but here’s a little preview…

after a great Easter weekend and a fun-filled day at the happiest place on earth, i soon felt like the world’s unhappiest, most stressed out girl on the planet. with a school semester that has been beyond overwhelming, leading me to daily visits to a little local coffee shop, i had a bit of a mental/emotional breakdown. this definitely is not the place to get into the details, but i will say that i believe God must sometimes break us to our most vulnerable and desperate state to get us to listen to Him. and on tuesday- that was me. and i realized that in my utter exhaustion, i am in desperate need of break from school. my path in completing my master’s is being delayed a semester and i am feeling great about that. God has lead me to a path that will allow for a deep breath and REST. (and family. and crafts. and friends. and vacation. and reading. and everything that has NOTHING to do with school!) i greatly look forward to the end of the semester and finally, a break from the insanity.

so that’s the latest and greatest. it’s crazy, but God is good. i hope you all are doing well! in the midst of all this, a friend shared this verse and i think it is perfectly appropriate. i hope it resonates with you as well. my prayers are with you as seasons of life change and grow into something beautiful…

The heart of man plans his ways, but the LORD establishes his steps.

-Proverbs 16:9


productively unproductive

hellooo april! how are you here already?!

the time is seriously FLYING by. anyone with me? well, as i’ve talked about in the last few posts, grad school is crazy busy right now. each week, it feels like the researching and writing is never ending. and i guess that’s what grad school’s all about… but it’s so hard to stay focused when the sun is shining and new blogs are discovered and everything within me wants to do ANYTHING but homework. and well, to be honest- today was one of those days :) i had every intention of finishing another assignment, but i just didn’t have it in me. so i decided that i was going to blog instead!  here’s what i researched and created today:

an anthropologie inspired collage!! (click to enlarge)

now you all know exactly what i am drooling over, so if any of you would like to send a nice gift to a poor grad student- all the work has been done for you! ;) ha! okay, anyways- almost all the blogs i follow have these great inspiration boards and picture collages. so i thought i’d give it a try as well. but that of course meant that i had to figure out HOW to do them. so after much time spent researching and playing with different collage generators, i found that Google’s Picasa had a really simple “program”. i used Picasa for all my picture storing/simple editing before i got my mac, so i’ve had lots of experience with it- but not this part! i had lots of fun playing around with background images and playing with all these lovely things i found on anthro’s website. it’s really unfortunate that i’m a student and can’t afford a single thing on there. well maybe that cute little key bottle opener, but that’s about it!

(all images found at anthropologie and the super cute sandals found here)

so aside from being busy with school, i’ve also been busy playing with this instagram app on my phone. i talked about it a little bit in my last post, but i seriously love it! it has such great filters for pictures, especially for someone like me who doesn’t know the first thing about editing pictures/making them look cool… here are a couple recent shots:

pretty sweet, huh? instagram’s neat because it’s almost like facebook where people can post pictures and if you’re “following” them, the pictures show up in a feed. i’m only following 3 people (3 wonderful people, might i add), and they are the only one’s following me :) so if you’re an instagram user, let me know so i can “follow” you… yikes- that sounds so creepy!

anyways, enough of the anthro craziness and the instagram following…

in the midst of the insanity of school there is one thing that keeps me going. and that is HOPE. there is hope in finishing an assignment, getting through a week, the semester, landing an internship, and eventually hope in the completion of my master’s. there is hope because of a God that loves and forgives. a God that is greater and more powerful than anything else there is. and i am forever on my knees thanking God for the hope he gives me each day. it is truly what keeps me going.

via brightsidephotos

hold on to hope. may it bring you the strength to get through the day, the week, or whatever it may be. my prayer for you is this- “may the God of hope fill you, with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” — Romans 15:13


so much for sunshine…

well last week it was sunshine and roses (literally) and this week it’s rain and snow…

i flew home for a long weekend with the fam. it’s been a few months since i’ve been here and i have to say, it’s always nice coming home. i’m also home for the wedding of a beautiful couple :) so excited to see them say “i do” and commit to a lifetime of love together. not only is the couple amazing, i know their wedding will be phenomenal! the bride has been working HARD on DIY things for months. i can’t wait to see how everything comes together!

so, i used my lovely phone to snap a few pictures from my travels today. i’m loving the instagram app for the iPhone. it has some pretty great filters that make pictures look great! take a look…

here’s a picture of the beautiful snow-capped, southern california mountains from the plane…

and here’s what i found when the plane landed… cold.wet.rain.

needless to say, this week is the polar opposite of last. but beautiful nonetheless :)

i also have to share a little story with you… those of you that are friends on facebook, you probably already saw/heard this. but anyways, at the airport, there was the CUTEST little boy running around with a superman shirt, belt, and cape. with both parents and little sister close by, he zipped through the terminals with the cape blowing in the wind behind him. his face was filled with determination and pure joy. he looked indestructible. nothing was stopping him… let me just say that this is THE reason i love working with kids. they don’t hold back, they live in the moment, and they can find joy in life’s most simple things- in this case, a red cape. there is this zeal that they carry with them and i just can’t get enough.

so here’s to you superman… thanks for making me smile and feel inspired to run with a red cape and live with eagerness for today and this moment.


spring break!

how is it already march?! this month has been and will continue to be CRAZY! school has been madness and the worst hasn’t even hit yet… but one day at a time (even as i’m trying to get some relaxing in over spring break) things will get done!

here are my march calendar pages from my planner:

this little planner has been quite an adventure. i am still determined to make it until june… and am 100% sure that i am coming up with something a little less labor intensive for next year :)

i don’t have much to blog about as far as creative projects go. with school as crazy as it’s been, there has been little time to create. the sewing machine in no longer on our dinner table and the art stuff just hasn’t made it out of the drawer. so today, i present to you God’s creativity…

earlier this week, as i was coming home from studying (go figure), i stumbled upon this little beauty outside my front door… it brought such joy in my heart to see that the flowers are ready to bloom again.

this afternoon, i came home to this:

hello God!! thanks for the beautiful things You provide us :)

aren’t they gorgeous?! for someone that’s not a big fan of roses- i can’t get enough of these!!

and look what’s coming…

i just can’t wait! the sunshine has been beautiful and warm (not to rub it in for those who don’t live in SoCal). nothing feels better than driving with the windows down and the music up loud :)

one more picture of God’s (okay, and a little bit of man’s) creativity…

spent the day with some friends in santa monica yesterday. it was a perfect day by the beach- complete with ice cream on the pier, toes in the sand, and lots of street performers to keep us wondering…

so while i’m not finding (or making) much time to create anything other than research papers, handbooks, and projects- i will enjoy the things our God creates on a daily basis. hope you find one of those things today too :)


for the love of forts

February has come in full force and it’s hard to believe it’s already half way over! this semester of grad school is proving to be a bit more challenging than the previous, but i guess that’s to be expected. i am still loving (almost) every minute of it and am so thankful to be a part of such a great program. each day i feel as if i receive confirmation that this is the right career and that it just doesn’t get much better. and i think that’s a good place to be :) another highlight of the past few weeks was going to the flower market with some dear friends. i got to pick up some of my favorite flowers (see below) and spend some time in Heaven on earth (aka- the LA Flower Market).

okay, moving on- i hope you all had a great valentines day! there were so many great DIY cards/gifts/wrapping on all the blogs i follow, it was hard not to get sucked into it. i feel as if there is so much emotion built up about that day, both good and/or bad. the past few years i have definitely brushed off this Hallmark holiday and tried not to gag over the excessive amounts of pink, hearts, and roses. but this year, my roommate Kelsey and i were inspired to do a little something out of the ordinary for valentines day. we saw this post on Design*Sponge (one of my all time favorite blogs) and started joking around about building a fort in our living room. but as we continued talking about it, we began to get more and more serious. and we decided that we were going to make it happen, i mean- what else were we going to do that night? so, the planning began- the set up, the decorations, the menu… we were going all out.

if there was one word to describe this fort, it would be: magical. with the lights and the heart garland and our handmade twine decor, this is the best “grown-up” fort. ever. okay, i might be a little biased- but really! i love this fort! mind you, it’s very large and takes up a lot of space in our living room. we’ve hung it from the ceiling with screw hooks, a tree branch, and twine. there are many reasons why it’s “not practical” to keep up in our home as i’m sure it’s some sort of fire hazard, but let’s be real- we only live once, no one’s here to tell us to take it down, and did i tell you it was magical?!

we had a BLAST setting it all up. we handmade various paper decorations and Kelsey was a baking CHAMP. she made egg-free cheesecake, brownies, chocolate covered strawberries, and i can only take credit for trader joe’s bruschetta. we had an incredible group of ladies over and we drank wine, ate some tasty treats, watched Casablanca, and enjoyed each others company. the fort was big enough to fit all 12 of us and i think everyone would agree- it. was. truly. magical.

and needless to say, the fort’s staying up for a while. we love it too much to take down. walking down our stairs and seeing it warms my heart. and when i sit under it, i just can’t seem to leave. so now that valentines day is over, we’re just celebrating the love of forts. and all of our paper crafts. and leftover sweets :)

so now that the fort is complete, a most lovely valentines day has been celebrated, and it has all been blogged- it’s time for me to get back to reality. which is research, reading, and writing papers. thankfully i have this beautiful place to do all those things ;) now lets see if i can actually get something done…