Don't Stress — Simplify the Holidays with Shutterfly

As the young folks would say, the holidays can be totes cray. There's so much to do. Decorate, buy gifts, prepare food, the list goes on. Don't believe me? Check out my non-info infographic below:

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See what I mean? I'm getting an anxiety attack just thinking about it all. But there's one thing that I do have ready for the holidays. Thanks to the talented designers and quick printing services at Shutterfly, I have my holiday cards in the bag!

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I chose a foil-stamped option, but no matter which design you choose, Shutterfly makes your cards Perfectly Personal™. You may be wondering why only my youngest is on the card. Though he is my favorite (Kidding!), we actually don't have updated family pictures. Lucky for me, Shutterfly carries entire stationary sets, including holiday cards, party inviations, address labels, stickers, and personalized postage. That way I could incorporate all of my children in our holiday message.

Everything matching makes my OCD heart so happy!

I honestly can't believe I've never ordered from Shutterfly before. It was easy, speedy, the quality is perfect. In fact, the only difficult thing about the process was deciding on a design.

Now all that's left is to figure out what presents to buy, plan meals, decorate the house…

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts and feelings with you!

Posted on November 21, 2014 and filed under Review, Family.

Holidays Begin with Macy's

For me, the Christmas season doesn't begin when red and green fill store shelves or radios blast "It's a Marshmallow World." MY holiday season begins when Santa drives through Manhattan in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and arrives at Herald Square. It's only then that I can decorate, wrap gifts, and sing carols with my kids.

click the photo for parade info

Though I get to watch the festivities in my warm living room, I doubt I'll ever get to experience the thrill in person. So when I learned that my local Macy's hosts their own Christmas events to begin the season, I jumped on the bandwagon!

Macy's City Creek in Salt Lake City is hosing two events — Thursday, Nov. 20 at 4 pm and Saturday, Nov. 22 at noon. Thursday's festivities include the unveiling of spectacular candy window displays, cookies and hot cocoa, and a special performance by the cast of Peter and the Starcatcher.

If you want to meet up with me on Saturday, our families will get to see fuzzy friends from the Hogle Zoo, decorate ornaments with the Utah Arts Festival, and much more! I'm excited to participate and create my own family traditions to begin the Christmas season.

Check to see if a Macy's near you is hosting any holiday window unveilings, tree lightings, or family fun days!

When does the Christmas season begin for you? Do you have any traditions to help ring it in?

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Society. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts and feelings with you!

Posted on November 19, 2014 and filed under Family, Free.

Anthropologie-Inspired Wood Gift Tag

While scrolling through the holiday section of one of my favorite sites, Anthropologie, I found these gift tags made from tree bark. I wasn't about to pay $1.40 for a gift tag (I love my family, but let's get real.), so I grabbed my Ryobi drill and set out to diy my own Anthro-inspired gift tags.

If I had a gorgeous tree branch to cut into discs, I would have used it. Alas, no branches to be found. So I purchased natural birch tags from Hobby Lobby. They were $.50 a piece. Much more reasonable than $1.40! Here's how to make your own wood gift tags in just 3 simple steps. Here's what you'll need.

  • wooden gift tags
  • drill
  • drill bit large enough to fit your string
  • string
  • fine point paint pen

Place your wood tag on top of scrap wood taller than your drill bit. Choose where you want your hole to be and drill on through. If using a wood with loose bark, make sure not to drill too close to the edge as your bark will crack and fall off.

With your string of choice, thread it through the hole you just made.

Finish off your tag by using the paint pen to write the "to" and "from."

And there you have it. An Anthropologie-inspired wood gift tag to adorn your presents this holiday season.

If you'd like to see more simple Christmas projects made using Ryobi tools, check out the amazing bloggers listed below!

DIY Vintage Sled Pattern – Fynes Designs

Rustic Scrap Wood Christmas Tree – Dukes and Duchesses

Snowflake String Art – DIY on the Cheap

Silhouette Stand Nativity – My Day Lights

Instagram Stocking Holders – Frenchie Wraps

DIY Twine Art Christmas Tree Poofy Cheeks

Go Green Tool Caddy – Let’s Go Junking

Rustic Christmas Tree – Her Tool Belt

PB Inspired Wall Art – Create and Babble

Woodland Reindeer Ornaments – Whats Ur Home Story

Advent Calendar – Carissa Miss

DIY Stackable Slatted Fruit Crates – Pink When

Joy Wood Slice Sign – Dandelion Patina

Gold Reindeer Décor – Simply Designing

Wooden Christmas Tree Display – Lauras Crafty Life

Pallet Wood Christmas Tree – Roubinek Reality

Christmas Countdown Chalkboard – Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza

Caddy with Herb-Infused Oils – 365 Days of Crafts

Posted on November 17, 2014 and filed under Crafts, Gifts, Tutorial.

Fall Doesn't Smell Like Bacon

We had breakfast for dinner last night. Bacon and eggs with tall glasses of milk. The downfall of such a delicious meal? The scent of bacon permeating every room in my home. Walk in the bathroom? Bacon. Open my closet? Bacon. When dinner is over, the odor of my favorite pork product ceases to be delicious and it must be replaced by something more nostril neutral.

Enter my favorite Fall scents. I feel like each season has it's own unique smell. Winter of pine and spiced oranges. Spring of new blooms. Summer of the beach. Fall? Mmm…Fall is my favorite. It includes things like pumpkin and maple, leather and fallen leaves. (Do fallen leaves even have a scent?) Basically anything roasted, toasted, and warm.

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Isn't it funny that smells can induce such intense feelings? Scents that are warm make me want to put on a sweatshirt and beanie, head to a park, and kick leaves into the air. Then when it gets too chilly, stop by a coffee shop for a salted caramel coconut steamer for the walk home. Doesn't that sound divine?

If I could, I would share some of my favorite autumn scents with you. But since scratch-and-sniff computer tech hasn't been invented yet, I created 5x7 chalkboard art piece with a quote from Emily Bronte's poem, Fall, leaves, fall. "Every leaf speaks bliss to me fluttering from the autumn tree." Is

To download the print, click on the image above. A new window will open where you can save the image. Then print, frame, display, and think of me every time you see it. Well, maybe just think of Fall and how your house doesn't smell like bacon.

This post is sponsored by Acorn. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts and feelings with you!

Posted on October 2, 2014 and filed under Home, Print, Free.

Being Brave & Beautiful

I am Brave and Beautiful - a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie's song says, "Take your make up off. Let your hair down... Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you... "

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don't need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag - #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat's attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am. Here I go!

And sans makeup…

I go out in public a lot without makeup, but never without my glasses. Mostly because I need them to see, but also because they're my shield. Sharing this no-makeup pic is strangely liberating. I'd like to think I share all of me with you on this blog, but now you're truly *seeing* me. Now it's time to see you too.

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don't stop here. Get clicking around - its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup

1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories - Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl

women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful

21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode - in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper - in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive

women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com

39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That's What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals

Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful

59. Let's Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo's Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling

Natural beauty untouched photos

74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me

raw natural beauty - join the movement

94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa

beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com

104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe - in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kid Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography

#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

Posted on September 29, 2014 and filed under Me, You.

Saving Memories with Seahorse

I attended four, count them, FOUR blog conferences this year. Am I crazy? Probably. Because everyone there is obsessed with social media, we're on our phones the entire time and snapping pictures as if we all have short-term memories, which we probably do. The annoying part of it all is missing a shot that someone else took, then having that person send us the pic or wait until is posted and kindly "borrow" it. Well I'm pleased to tell you that the problem is no more, thanks to the Seahorse app!

This is, by far, the easiest way I've found to share pictures. Whether it's a family reunion, girls' night out, or even events from a decade ago, you can create albums with your friends and family so no memory is lost. Here's how simple it is to use…

Search in your app store for Seahorse or use these direct links for iPhone and Android to download the free app. After signing in, you can start sharing!

Create a New Scene, name it, then start adding friends. If they already use Seahorse, they'll receive an invite to your event. If not, they will have to download the app. But they'll want to anyway because hey, it's awesome!

Now it's time to add media. You can give Seahorse access to take photos directly in the app, import from your camera roll, or access the event through your desktop and add images there. For this album, I chose pictures from this year's SNAP Conference.

Once your event images are uploaded, they're stored on a secure cloud. The beauty of Seahorse is all your images retain their resolution, so when sharing, exporting, or printing, there's no distortion.

If you find you need more storage for your events, fear not! Seahorse is offering you, my dear readers, an extra 5GB or storage by entering the promo code CLEVERHORSE. This code is good until October 31 and can only be redeemed once per user.

To redeem…

  1. Tap the icon on the top left corner to access your account settings
  2. Tap "Redeem"
  3. Tap "Write code" and enter CLEVERHORSE
  4. Tap "Go" on your keyboard

Done! You now have an additional 5GB of room for all your shared experiences. So go have fun and make/relive some memories!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Posted on September 26, 2014 and filed under Review, Tutorial, Tech.