31 December 2013

14 months (+ a few Holiday shots)

31 December 2013
Dear 14-month-old Scout,

You can say Mama/Mom, Dada/Dad, Doggy/Dog, and Bye-bye. You can snort like a pig and bark like a dog. You can sign for milk. You're not quite walking yet, but you can go just about anywhere with a little support, and you can free stand for about a minute at a time. You love music. Your current favorite song is Beyonce's Single Ladies, and whenever it comes on, you shake your head and wag your finger along with the chorus. You love the Baby Genius videos/songs, especially B-i-n-g-o. You love dogs in general. You're a dream sleeper. You go to bed around 6:30/7 and typically wake up around 8am. On Christmas Eve, you slept in until 11:00! You love the sound of your own echo and can often be found howling into hollow objects. If anyone is clapping (including people on TV), you immediately join in. Your favorite thing to do while eating is anything but. While in your high chair, you especially like peek-a-boo, and of course flinging your food and sippy cup across the room. You also love to "cheers" your sippy cup with Mom's water cup which is very cute until you do it unexpectedly when Mom is mid-drink. You've got this strange habit of hitting yourself - with your toys, your sippy cup, or your own hand. You also like to bonk your head against things. You enjoy crawling up the stairs and then celebrating your accomplishment at the top by diving into a pile of laundry, rolling over and waiting for the tickle monster to attack. You're a serious wiggler, and you're resistant to being held for any period of time. You've got a soon-to-be-naughty dead giveaway glance. You always turn on the charm for strangers and make their day by flashing your big smile and then playing shy and nuzzling your face in Mom's shoulder. You're very generous with your kisses. You refuse to wear socks. You like to nod at everyone for no apparent reason. You already have 8 teeth - 4 top, 4 bottom and 4 more on the way. Splashing around in your bath is the favorite part of your day, and you hate when it's over. You're a clever little thing, and you're constantly trying to close the drain while Mom tries to empty the tub. Every morning, before your nap, you like to be tossed into Mom and Dad's comforter and pillows and then dive in yourself, face first.

Your little personality is getting bigger and bigger, and we adore everything about you.

See pictures below to see some of Scout's December.

Scout meets Santa (Meridian Village). It only took two hours of waiting in line out in the cold.
But maybe it was worth it for this look. She was absolutely enchanted.

Scout's non-Christmasy Christmas PJs!

Earlier this month, this is how I found Scout in her crib. Apparently, she's turning into a PJ escape artist...
either that or a fashionista who prefers the one shoulder look.
NYE with this cute little one. You can't tell from the picture, but today was Scout's first time getting a haircut and my first time giving one. Just the back. I didn't do a very good job, but it's not easy to cut a squirrely girl's hair. Hopefully, it's still an improvement over the baby mullet.

11 December 2013

Classy Crafting

11 December 2013
When my lovely sister-in-law asked me to share some of my "crafting" secrets on her fabulous blog, I wasn't sure if I was the right person for the job. I'm not a "crafter". I've never embroidered my favorite quote on a couch pillow, I've never knit myself a turtleneck dickie, and I don't fancy snowmen made out of styrofoam balls. I don't like "cutesy", and I don't like crafting for the sake of crafting. I do, however, like to create things or (hopefully) improve things where I see the opportunity. I'm a graphic designer who loves decorating and new creative ideas so, per Amy's request, here are a few tricks I've picked up along the way...

Faux Luxe

I know people don't typically think of spray paint as a way to class things up, but it's actually a pretty clever option for making cheap things look a little luxe.

Like porcelain? Try high gloss white spray paint. Gold? Metallic spray paint. Easy as that. See examples below.

I wasn't particularly fond of the bronze/brown speckled look of this owl so I thought he was a
perfect candidate for a fake porcelain makeover.

For a gold look, I used Valspar's Metallic Gold which I was happy with. I like more of an antique gold tone.
(The pears look a little brassy here, but I think that's because of the harsh overhead lighting in the photo)
Click the pic below for a great blog post from Chris Loves Julia comparing four different gold spray paints.

That's a Wrap
I'm one of those weird people who actually enjoys wrapping gifts, and I'm always looking for fun new ways to do it. This year, I decided to add a personal touch to my gifts...(Don't judge my rusty doodling skills)

Black butcher paper or Kraft paper with white bistro chalk marker doodles.
You should be able to find these kraft envelopes at your local paper or craft store or on Etsy.
I have an Illustrator file with all of my contacts' addresses, then I just run the envelopes through the printer.
For me, it's much easier (and much tidier) than handwriting them all.

A Wee Calendar

You can get this great calendar template from Paislee Press, comes with a 4x6 or 5x7 option. Originally, I planned to have mine bound, but I thought it might be nice to let the person you're gifting it to choose how to display it - bound, one at a time, etc. One year, I printed them all together on a poster and framed it. Or - you can use a small acrylic standing frame and display one month at a time, or I've also seen people just slide the current month under their glass desk topper.


It didn't take much convincing for me to make the switch to digital scrapbooking several years ago, and I think most of you, if you're not already there, are going that direction as well. With that being said, I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite digiscrapping secrets.

  1. I LOVE two page layouts and Simple Yin templates. I take a lot of pictures and Simply Yin has this magical way of organizing the chaos and making your pages look more deliberate and polished.
  2. Like the rest of the world, I typically print my photobooks with Shutterfly. The quality is decent and the price is competitive. Especially if you take advantage of their 40-50% sales (usually around holidays). However, I recently did a post bound album as a gift, and I was actually really happy with the final product. I bought a nice $30 12x12 flat-lay album at Hobby Lobby, $15 after 50% off (black leather look), and then I printed my 12x12 pages with Persnickity Prints at $1.99/pg. I've heard people recommend Costco, but $3.00/pg is a little steep for me. I was really happy with Persnickity Prints - quality, price & speedy shipping! They also do small square prints for your Instagram shots! So, now I'm torn as to how I'm going to do my next album. There are advantages to both. The photobook is thin and sleek, but the sheet protectors in the album are nice for saving your pages from little busy hands, and they also allow you to easily add keepsakes (letters, cards, ribbons, drawings, etc.). The album is also nice because you can easily add and remove pages.  

And those are a few of my secrets. Hopefully, there's an idea in there somewhere that you can use! 
Happy crafting!