Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ready to Pop Baby Shower

Hi friends!  I hope you're doing well!  We are ok.  This last week was super busy.  I'm hoping not to have a week like that for a while.  I just overcommitted and that's ok.  Live and learn.

One of the events I had last week was a baby shower for my friend who is due to have her baby next month.  Today, I'm going to share the projects that I made for the shower.  I'm really getting into making things for parties.  (I actually still need to blog the boys's birthday party.  Who knows when that will happen.)

This is the invite that Dustin pretty much made on his own.  I gave him an idea of what I wanted and he makes it happen.  

This is the sign I made for the front door.  

Here are all the elements of the party favors.  I made a sign, decorated some favor bags, and had 3 different kinds of popcorn.  The favor bags are Whisker Graphics White Horizontal Stripe Middy Bitty Bags with Scrolly Square Sweet Sticky Labels in Pink on top.




Here are the drinks and some little "POP" themed treats.



And here's the banner I made with some Spellbinders rectangles and circles.  The letters were cut for me by my friend Elly on her Silhouette.  The onesies are a die from Taylored Expressions.  I added a few little rhinestones to the onesies to dress them up.  The banner was strung together by my friend Cynthia using Cotton Candy Divine Twine and Purple Plum Divine Twine to match the party colors.


We also had balloons and streamers for decorations and some great games!  It was such a fun shower and I'm so glad that people seemed to have a really great time.  Have a great day, friends!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Give Thanks

Hi friends!  I hope you're having a good day!  We are doing pretty good.  This is my first day all week when I haven't been non stop go.  It's kind of nice.  I had a visit with a friend this morning and then in the afternoon we'll have a birthday party to attend.  

Here's a fall card I made forever ago.  I think all the elements are October Afternoon?  I'm pretty sure the washi tape is from Pebbles.  Can I just say that I'm giving thanks for the fall(ish) weather right now?  The air conditioning in our van isn't working and let me tell you, the slight breeze and the fact that it cools down earlier in the day is AMAZING!
I hope you're all well!  Have a great day!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Spotlight: Butterfly Reflections, Ink


Hi friends!  I'm back with another great company that donated to our Flitter Page.  It's a fabulous online store called Butterfly Reflections, Ink.  The owner is my friend Vanessa Middleton and her store is growing so quick!  I've ordered a bunch of times and she has great items in stock and ships super fast!

Beyond just having fabulous NEW products (you know I love the NEW stuff), Butterfly Reflections Ink also has their line of EXCLUSIVE stamps illustrated by Shanna Noel.  I love Shanna's style!  Seriously, so so cute!  I can't wait to see what they come out with next!


Check out Butterfly Reflections, Ink for great brands like Lawn Fawn, Paper Smooches, MME, Elle Studio, and SO many more!  If you'd like to make a donation to my Flutter Page and get your company featured here on my blog, please feel free to contact me.  My email is on the right sidebar.

*This post contains affiliate links.*

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

National Stamping Month

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well.  Sooooo... I said on my Facebook page that if people with small businesses donated to my Flutter page, I would blog about them.  Though I don't think that this is the reason my friends are donating, a deal is a deal.

My sweet friend Rachel who donated is a Close to My Heart consultant.  They are currently celebrating National Stamp Month along with CTMH's 30th year anniversary.  If you purchase $30 of regular retail priced product, you get the promotional stamp set for free.  I'm in LOVE with this stamp set!  It's so cute and perfect for Pocket Scrapbooking and card making!  I currently have a party open with Rachel.  If you click HERE and scroll down to the bottom right, you can hit "join" on Ashley's Party.  :)

I love their stamps!  They are super cute!  They also have great ink pads, my favorite is the pigment white.  I also love the Organizers.  I have all three sizes.  They also launched a new pocket scrapbooking line called Picture My Life that I'm anxious to try.  You should check it out because seriously, getting this stamp set for FREE is pretty exciting.  Well, in my world it is.  ;)
Have a wonderful day, friends!  If you'd like to donate to our Fluttering Page and be featured on my blog, please feel free to email me!  

Friday, September 5, 2014

How We've Been Flittering (for Love4JLK)

Hi friends!  I hope you are well!  We are ok.  Brady has an ear infection and it's kind of been taking up my whole week.  Avery is teething and acting like she's sick as well.  This has not however stopped us from completing our month of Fluttering for Love4JLK.  The kids, Dustin, and I are having a blast sneaking to houses and Fluttering them!  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you will see all the pictures of our adventures.

In my last post I mentioned that if you wanted to take part in the Unravel Campaign that you might consider Flittering.  Flittering is great for people who didn't get a Flutter kit.  It's basically Flutter Lite.  Originally, the idea was that you could print out their flyer and give it to people.  You know me, I wanted to up the FUN level.  I emailed the gal in charge of Flittering (who happens to be my pal Sarah) and asked if I could have a high res image of the dragonfly that was on the Flitter Flyer.  She so sweetly sent me back the image and I started Flittering the Fun Way!

Here's my Flitter and Flutter File (say that 5 times fast.)  I put in the You've Been Flittered signs, the dragonflies that I printed and cut out, some WASHI TAPE (this tape is made in a way that it's removable without leaving a residue, you can buy it at Michael's or even Target.  You do not want to damage someone's property while Flittering!), and the Flitter Flyers from Unravel.  I also keep a couple papers from my Flutter kit in the back so when we go to pick up the dragonflies I can replenish my envelope without having to drive home in between.

First up, my daily stomping ground Starbucks.  I really wanted to Flitter the door but the manager said that I would have to use the bulletin board and that's better than nothing.  Since I knew that this one would be left up for a while, I took the dragonfly image and printed it out on card stock then I used pink glitter glue (Stickles) to coat the wings.  I don't have a color printer so I wanted to add some oomph.

Next up, we did a friend's car while she was at work.  She was parked by a Crossfit gym so lots of people walked by her car.  We actually had to TOUCH the car to do this so make sure the alarm isn't on.  Brady helped me with this one.  And my friend Ali let me use her printer so we got to print these ones out in color.  (Thanks Ali!!)

Then, we did our friend's apartment.  We would have liked to Flutter these friends but they don't have a lawn.  Insert solution.  Again, we used that Washi Tape so that they can easily remove it.

The Flittering Page now has graphics that you can save to your computer and print out if you want to Flitter in the same fashion I've been doing it.  I took the images and put two of the "You've been flittered" signs on one page.  I also took the dragonfly image and put two of those on a page to save paper.  If you'd like the images I created, please email me.  You can find my email in the right sidebar.

If you aren't able to help in this way, please consider donating to my Flutter Page.  My goal is to raise $500 for Unravel this month and I'm busting my bum to do it.  Every single dollar helps.  I've even had some kids give me change (which Dustin and I are rounding up to the nearest dollar.)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fluttering for Love4JLK


September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  Seven children die everyday of cancer in the United States.  One of those children was my friend Libby's daughter Jennifer (aka JLK.)  She's not the first child I've known with cancer but her death effected me the most.  Libby and I were trying to have babies at the same time.  Her daughter and my sons are a year apart.  We were pregnant at the same time.  And Libby's struggles to get a baby into her life broke my heart.  This little JLK and her mommy had already made an imprint on my heart before the cancer.  I've blogged about Love4JLK before so I'll just link the posts HERE, HERE, and HERE if you'd like to read those posts.

Today, let's talk about moving forward and how I vowed to help Libby this month to spread awareness.  Libby honors her daughter every single day.  When she came up with the Flutter Campaign, I was floored by her genius.  Though, honestly, I got in just under the buzzer to order my Flutter kit.  The kit includes 12 dragonfly lawn decorations, a sign, and some papers about Unravel Cancer.  You're supposed to Flutter people's front yard and leave them the papers to spread awareness and also letting them know how they can donate.

As a family, we are aiming to Flutter a house every night in September to spread awareness about Childhood Cancer and to raise money.  We are VERY gung-ho about it at this point, I'm hoping the resolve continues.  As we go, we are teaching our kids about commitment, helping others, spreading awareness, and thinking of people beyond ourselves.  It would be MUCH easier to sweep this under a rug and pretend that cancer only happens to OTHER people, but that isn't the truth is it?

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Option 1: Donate.  You can use MY LINK and help me reach my $500 goal for this month.  ALL of the money is going to the Stanford team that is studying Jennifer's tumor.  The hope is that they will be able to unravel cancer and save the lives of the 46 children that get diagnosed with cancer EVERYDAY.

Option 2: Flitter.  It's too late to buy a Flutter kit but you can still Flitter.  Flittering is an option where you can print out information and give it to people to spread awareness.  Anyone can still sign up to do this and it doesn't cost you any money.  (ETA: I have signed up to Flitter as well.  I will probably be doing this when the kids are in school.  If you'd like to donate to my page, you can find it HERE.)

Here we are fluttering:
If you want to donate to us, we would SO love the support!  I'd love to be able to give Libby as much money as possible at the end of the month.  And when I say "donate to us" I mean to our page but 100% will go to Unravel Cancer.  :)

Friday, August 29, 2014

CTMH Card and Party

Hi friends!  I hope you are well!  I'm ok.  I had an exhausting week working on the set of a film in craft services.  I finally went home yesterday and got a chance to relax.  I also had a Close to My Heart party yesterday and that was super fun!

Here's the card I made.  I *may* have staged this picture a little bit.  What can you do?  I based it off my consultant Rachel's card but then I gave it some of my own twists.  I'm actually really really happy with how it turned out!  I've been really out of card making lately.  Over the past week, I've realized how much I really really miss crafting and how much I really love the crafting industry.  I had this party to try to stir up some mojo.  And I have to say, I have a tiny little bitty spark of mojo.

I've been doing some Pocket Scrapbooking too.  I don't really post my layouts.  I just haven't decided if I want to share that much of our lives on my blog yet.  Plus I really don't like photographing layouts.  BUT I did want to take advantage of this promotion:
This promo is only good through the month of August.  If you want to order anything at all, check out my party at http://rachel.ctmh.com/Default.aspx and then click on Ashley's Party.  It will be open until Sept 15.  Thank you in advance to anyone who orders!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fall is in the Air

Hi friends!  I hope you are doing well.  We are ok.  Things are a little rough getting into the school routine but I'm sure we'll get it down soon.  Avery's starting to fight naps.  Not cool.
Here's a card I made for a call a looooong time ago that wasn't picked up.  I'm hoping to eventually pick up card making again.  Fingers crossed.  I've noticed that the air is starting to get really crisp at night and decided that I could post this fall card.  I used the Family Traditions collection from Webster's Pages to create this card.  Speaking of Webster's Pages, I'm in LOVE with them!  I had the hardest time locating their new Ocean Melody collection kit and they bent over backwards to find me one!  I couldn't believe how wonderful the customer service is and I can't wait to get my order so I can play with those papers!  The wood veneer is Studio Calico and the alphas are American Crafts.

Hope you have a wonderful day!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bring Back Nice Challenge #3

Hi friends!  I'm bringing back the Bring Back Nice weekly challenges.  I had a person tell me that they didn't like them and felt that I should remove them from the page so I gave that some thought.  Then I decided that these are OPTIONAL and no one is holding you accountable but yourself.  If you don't like them, don't do them.  I, however, will still be posting them for people who do like them and find them helpful.

Challenge #3: Put Down The Phone!

I know!  I know!  I'm guilty too.  The siren calls of text messages, Candy Crush levels, and fun ideas on Pinterest call to me too.  I love my iPhone.  Passionately.  But you know what?  It's getting in the way of loving and respecting PEOPLE.

Have you ever waited all week to go on a date or to dinner with a person and the whole time you were out, they just stared at their phone?  How did that make you feel?  I'll tell you how it makes me feel.  I feel ignored.  I feel unimportant.  I feel awkward.  I don't appreciate having to repeat myself since people often aren't listening to you when they are on their phones.  I kind of feel like "why did we even bother to go out if I could have just texted you and gotten more attention that way?"  Then I usually end up on my phone because what else am I going to do?  I have no one to talk to.

It's a sad society we live in when a family goes out to dinner and every single person has their face buried in a phone.  What happened to conversation?  What happened to connecting with one another?  One of the major reasons that doctors advocate for eating family dinners is the conversation.  These conversations make your kids more connected to you AND kids who have regular family dinners are less likely to get into fights, be promiscuous, drink alcohol, take drugs, smoke cigarettes, etc... Do you think they are getting that when everyone is just staring at their phone?  My guess is no.

My family and my friends are the most important thing in my world.  The problem is that I'm not acting like they are because I'm busy looking at a screen interacting with people I've never even met or just playing a game.  Kids want to know you're paying attention to them.  They want to SEE your eyeballs.  (Ask me how I know.  ;) )  What is on your phone that is more important than this?


Also, can we talk about the dangers of being glued to your phone instead of paying attention to the other things you're doing?  In my state, it's illegal to drive and use your phone.  It KILLS people.  It's not nice to kill people.  I really don't appreciate people putting my life at risk when I'm in their car so they can check their Facebook and I REALLY don't appreciate when people do that with my kids in the car.  Is it really worth killing yourself or your loved ones to use your phone?  If it's an emergency, pull over.

Over this next week, I challenge you to put down your phone/tablet/laptop and look people in their eyes when you talk to them.  SHOW them that they are important and worth your time.  BE PRESENT.

Come join our Facebook community HERE.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jamberry Nail Lacquer Review

Hi friends!  I hope you're doing well.  We are ok.  School is going to start tomorrow.  This summer actually flew by!

Today, I'm reviewing the Jamberry Nail Lacquers.  My amazing consultant Carol gifted me a gorgeous lacquer and a base coat for the purpose of an HONEST review but the opinions are solely mine.

I did two rounds of testing on the lacquers before I decided to write my review because you want thorough, right?  The first time, I used the Hint of Mint color with the Strengthening Base Coat.  I did not use a top coat because I wanted to test just the Jamberry products and I don't have a Jamberry top coat.  The second time, I used my drugstore base and top coats.  I also used two of the nail wrap samples I received.  You can read my review of the Jamberry Nail Wraps HERE.

Results for Test 1:  I got beautiful opaque coverage in two coats.  It dried relatively quickly.  However, the lacquer chipped in one day.  This is VERY normal with no top coat.  You need that top coat to seal it in.

Results for Test 2: It took me 3 coats of color to get nice opacity which made it thick since I had a drugstore base and top coat on there.  I can't really judge them on thickness though because I know that I added a lot of layers with the base and top coat.  However, this method made the lacquer stay chip free and looking fabulous for 5 days and even then the chips were so minor that I kept it on another 2 days.

Conclusion:
If you buy the lacquers, you should definitely get the base coat.  I'm not sure how strengthening it is because I only used it once BUT it makes the application SO MUCH SMOOTHER.  This is probably the best base coat I've ever tried.  The price tag ($15) is higher than I'm used to spending but it's worth it.  I would buy this again and again.

The lacquer was very nice.  The color is absolutely gorgeous.  I did get good opacity and long wear when I used a top coat.  They are a little on the pricy side so I wouldn't buy one unless the color really spoke to me.  This would be a splurge item for me at $15.

The real star, even though they aren't in this review, is the nail wraps.  I LOVE the designs and truthfully, they are what gets your nails noticed.  They are so fun and there are tons of styles and colors!  I think I'm going to start using them as accent nails ALL the time!

If you are in the market for Jamberry, please contact Carol!  She's a wonderful lady and an awesome consultant!  You can also go to Carol's Jamberry Facebook Page to request a sample of one of the cool nail wraps.

I'm linking this up to Mani Monday on the Glitter and Gloss Blog!