Category Archives: what I love wednesday

What I Love Wednesday: Some Music

Music is a huge part of our family, of our marriage, my life story and of my passion. It can move my soul and inspire me in ways that no other art form can.

 

My husband & I met in Jr. High as a part of our church worship team, so it has been a part of our relationship from day one. He is doing what God made him to do: serving as a worship pastor and sharing his heart in singing & songwriting. It is a beautiful thing for me to be a part of.

 

One of the perks of having a super musical husband is that I get to find out about cool bands and music that I never would have happened upon myself. Today, I’m going to share two of the artists that fall into this category that have impacted my life greatly in the past year. I could list 100 great artists that my hubby has shown me, but today’s have been big to me recently and their hearts and faith come through their music effortlessly.

 

The first, I mentioned briefly in an Instafriday post a few weeks back: Josh Garrels. His music is unique, enchanting & beautifully penned. His album, Love & War & The Sea In Between is awesome. But the most awesome thing is that there’s a documentary that Mason Jar Music made featuring him and a group of incredible musicians. They all flew to an island to play music together for a week and record it and it is absolutely amazing! We saw a premiere of it, along with a concert afterward, in Encinitas last month and I was in awe. Here is the trailer:

I don’t know when it is being released, but if you have an opportunity to see a screening, go go go! If you are a musician, you have to see it when it comes out. Christian or non-christian, the musical ability of the artists featured is incredible. I would recommend it to anyone though- it’s a sweet peak into Josh’s life and music and, specifically, this awesome collaboration.

 

Another favorite artist that I was introduced to by my husband is Andrew Peterson. His songwriting is amazing. I fell in love with his last album, Counting Stars and his newly released one, Light for the Lost Boy, is incredible. Track 9, “You’ll Find Your Way”, which he wrote for one of his sons, has made me cry multiple times (don’t tell him I told you this, but my husband told me he wept as well when he saw Andrew play this live a couple of weeks ago :)  )

 

 

Now, I have to throw in my favorite new album of the year, though I would have known about them without my husband’s guidance, unless I had been hiding under a rock for the past couple of years. Mumford & Son’s new album was released last week and I LOVE it! If you haven’t purchased it yet, do it. You won’t regret it.  I cannot get enough and this girl is super excited that her aforementioned husband got tickets to their show at the hollywood bowl next month :)

 

What I Love Wednesday: My favorite online paper shops

I have always been a paper lover- from the time I was 7 and would love stopping at the paper outlet on our way to the desert, I have always found joy in scouring shelves of beautifully designed paper.

 

Now, I have way too much of it. Boxes and boxes of scrapbook paper. Good thing I use it as part of my job :)

 

Today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite online resources for buying scrapbook paper. As much as I love spending an hour browsing the aisles in a specialty paper store, the reality of that happening in this stage of life with two little boys is very slim.

 

Paper Source is one of my favorite stores in the world. However, they have a larger supply of scrapbook paper in their stores than they do online. However, they are my go to source for solid color card stock for my products. I love their color options and it makes it easy that I know what will be in stock and what to expect.

 

In searching for great patterned paper over the years, I have happened upon Two Peas in a Bucket and A Cherry on Top. Both have a great selection of crafty goodness. Lots of patterns to choose from and both ship very quickly.

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Locally in San Diego, Paper Tales in Point Loma is awesome and Cool Scrapbook Stuff in Poway has a pretty good selection.

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Do you have any other favorite online paper shops?

 

What I Love Wednesday: Martha Stewart Cricut Cartridges

Hey Cricut users! Did you know that you can use the Cricut Cake cartridges with any Cricut machine?

 

What makes this so awesome?

 

Martha.

 

I could pretty much guarantee that I would love just about anything with the Martha Stewart logo on it. Not that I am obsessed with the woman herself, but the style that goes along with her brand is just so me. No matter what the product, the style is always great: simple, elegant and crafty.

 

That is why I was so excited to figure out that I could use the Martha Stewart Cricut Cake cartridges with my normal cricut! The cartridges are awesome- they all have great shapes, borders and fonts included and I think that they are cuter than most of the normal cricut cartridges (not so scrapbook-y). I’ve used them a bunch for everything from a lacy border used as a napkin wrap for an event, mini pennants for a banner, to balloons used for a million things for Hudson’s birthday and holiday shapes used for Christmas cards and halloween banners.

 

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And because the cake cartridges are less popular than the normal ones, they are cheaper- hooray! In fact, I just saw that on cricut.com the seasonal cartridge (which I love) is only $14.99 right now!

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**This post is not sponsored by Martha Stewart or Cricut- just me talking about something I love. Although, if Martha ever wants to send anything my way, I’m in :)

What I Love Wednesday

What I love today:

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Having a place to live. Knowing where my son is going to school next year. Finally having plans that I have been worrying about for months solidified.

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source

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We are in the process of moving into our new townhouse and it is such an answer to prayer. A reminder to me again that God always provides and that his timing is best.

What I Love Wednesday: The Pleated Poppy’s wristlet clutches

It’s been a while since I have done a What I Love Wednesday post, but I’m back today with a favorite. What I love a lot a lot alot is my wristlet clutch made by The Pleated Poppy.

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Now, Lindsey of The Pleated Poppy is my sister-in-law, but I promise this post is completely unbiased :) I would feature this clutch even if some random person in Texas made it.  I love everything Lindsey makes, but this guy has especially won me over.

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Why I love it:

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I bought my clutch (the fun green chevron print one shown below) soon after Hudson was born. I was tired of digging to find my keys, gum, chapstick and wallet in the depths of my big diaper bag. I also hated that if I was running a quick errand by myself (like the vacation of a 30 minute trip to Target without kids!), I either had to take the whole diaper bag (without a baby in tow) or spend 10 minutes switching everything over to a purse and then back to the diaper bag when I got home.

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This clutch was my solution. For the past year, it has held my wallet, checkbook, phone and other miscellaneous little necessities, no matter what bag or purse I am carrying. When I am packing up for the beach, I grab my clutch and throw it into my beach bag. When I’m running into the grocery store and don’t want to take my whole big purse, I grab the clutch. I even carried it by itself for a wedding I was a guest at which was a fun addition to my outfit. I don’t use my diaper bag anymore, but it fit perfectly inside of it. Now I carry a big ol mom purse and it easily fits inside without taking up all the space I need for a diaper, cars, legos and all the other things that my boys end up stashing in there.

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Here is the lovely lindsey modeling the size and how it looks using it as a small purse:

The sassy-ness in the picture below is due to my brother being her photographer :)

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Some of the fun styles she has available now:

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Hop on over to her shop and check them out!

What I Love Wednesdays: Fancy Schmancy Hole Puncher

Over the next couple of months, I am going to share a few of my favorite crafting tools for What I Love Wednesdays. First up, the fanciest hole puncher you’ve ever seen:

 

Whenever anyone sees me bust this guy out, they give me a confused look usually followed by a “what the heck is that thing?”.

 

It is a crop-a-dile.

 

 

What does this contraption do, you ask? It is a handy multi-use tool. It has two different sizes of hole punches and multiple settings to use for brads and eyelets. It is my go-to hole puncher. I don’t use it very often for eyelets because I just don’t use them very often, but it works great when I do.

 

The hole punches cut through super thick materials- I’ve used it on thin wood sheets, fabric mounted onto card stock, plastic and for over 10 sheets of card stock at once. It is easy to use and really well made- that thing is solid. I’ve had mine for over 6 years (big shout out to my sis Heather who gave it to me as a birthday present), use it multiple times a week and it is still in perfect condition.

 
I highly recommend it if you punch a lot of holes :)   You can buy it on Amazon or at craft or scrapbooking stores.

What I Love Wednesday: My favorite candle ever

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I am super sensitive to perfume. Strong perfume= headache. This makes candles tricky. If the scent is too strong, especially a florally scent, my head does not agree with my nose. So I have to be picky.

 

My picky-ness in candles has led me to this guy:

 

 

The Angel Food scented candle by Illume’s Boulangerie line from Anthropologie.

 

It is the best smelling candle I have ever smelt. Light enough to not bother my sensitive head, but lovely enough to fill my house with a sweet smell. It is like freshly baked sugar cookies. But not too sweet of a smell. Just right. And it looks cute on my shelf, which is a big plus.

 

 

They last pretty long too. The one I got for my birthday back in November just ran out last week. Which makes me sad. Which is why I chose it for this week’s post.

 

They have other scents that sound amazing too- Sweet Vanilla & Cinnamon, Whipped Cream & Pear & Coconut Macaroon.

 

If you are looking for a last minute mother’s day gift, I highly recommend this. That may or may not be a hint for those who are related to me :)

What I Love Wednesday: My favorite bib

When my boys were newborns, they both ruled at spitting up. In the worst way possible. They both had bad reflux and massive spit up was expected after each feeding. Because of this, we went through bibs and burp clothes like water. We are talking a full load of them in the wash every week. Because of this, I accumulated a big supply of cute cloth bibs. I had etsy seller Apericots make some custom ones and they were awesome!

 

Once my boys moved on to finger foods though, those cute cloth bibs got left in the dust for these guys:

The best bibs ever.

 

Baby Bjorn makes them, randomly. They are rubber and have a big lip that catches 99% of my son’s dropped food. The little flimsy plastic ones that have a pocket? They hardly ever catch anything. These guys are big & sturdy enough to fill the space in between the high chair and my baby but also comfortable enough that my son doesn’t mind having it on him. When he’s done eating, I can rinse it off in the sink in a second. They don’t stain and last incredible well. I bought both of mine with my first son, 4 years ago, he used them for years and they are still in perfect condition after 6 months of use with my second.

 

They are $9.95 at Land of Nod- a great price especially because they last for so long. Amazon sells them too, but for a couple of dollars more.

 

Happy Wednesday!

 

What I Love Wednesday: Being Kind to Ourselves

**This week’s What I Love Wednesday is a bit different. I am going to talk much more. But I think it is something worth sharing. I promise there is a featured item at the bottom of the post. And even better? There is a giveaway too!**

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I’ve read a couple of really great articles this past week.

 

One was Ashley Judd’s response to the media criticism of her recent appearance. I wanted to give her a big high 5.

 

The second one is awesome. It put into words something that a ton of us are dealing with in this day and age- I know that I totally struggle with it. The issue of comparison with what we see on blogs on pinterest. For most of us women, we have a natural gravitation toward comparing ourselves to others. Body image, finances, parenting. Now that everyone and their mom is on pinterest and we follow a hundred blogs, it is even more in our faces. We see pictures of rooms in gorgeous houses and start to look around at our homes and wish we could afford to make it more like everything in our “dream home” folders on pinterest. I see all of the incredible crafty things that people are posting and start to question my creativity. I look at ideas moms have posted of fun and educational activities to do with kids and then a little voice creeps into my head telling me that I am not a good enough mom because I am not doing those things. I see photos of beautiful women in super stylish expensive outfits and start to covet and get frustrated with our current financial state. And then there is the whole “man- I need to loose 10 pounds!”…  On bad days, it can lead to: I’m not doing enough. I’m not good enough.

 

I’m not saying it is all bad. I actually really love Pinterest and reading great blogs. My husband will tell you that my cooking is 50 times better now that I have been finding recipes on Pinterest. I have found some really great ideas of fun things to do with my boys and HAVE ACTUALLY DONE THEM! I have been inspired to create some fun crafty things that I would have never thought of on my own.

 

It is only when I start comparing my life to my idealized versions of the lives of others that I see online that it is a problem. This is so true:

Found on pinterest. Fitting- ha!

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April’s article was a great reminder that my kids just want me- not the idealized super crafty, stylish, gourmet-cooking woman who has everything together I create in my head- because I am their mom. Who loves them more than all of the diet coke and baked goods in the world.

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All of this was a reminder to cut myself some slack. To give grace to be who I am, in this crazy stage of my life. To look at how God has blessed me and to find joy in that, rather than dwelling on things I wish I could change. To be kind to myself.

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I love this print by My Little Buffalo:

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Guess what? We are giving one away!! Woo~hoo!

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Lisa, who is the awesome designer of the print, designed my logo and blog header and is so sweet! Her drawings are cute and whimsical, while still being simple and elegant.

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Here is a little note from her:

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Thanks Courtney for letting me host a giveaway on your blog!
I’d love for someone to win this print that I created not too long ago.  I made it during the restless months of being a mom to a newborn.  I was getting so caught up in trying to make sure I was doing everything right, that I was forgetting to be nice to mah-self.  Hopefully the winner of this print can hang it up cheerfully and always remember it like I’m trying to do!

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All you have to do to enter is comment on this blog. Anything. I’m trying to be nice to you too :)

I’ll pick a winner next Wednesday, the 25th.

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If you want to, you can tell me what you do to be nice to yourself. For me, I’m going to be kind to myself by looking at the amazing life I have been given and celebrating that. Being okay if we have a $5 pizza for dinner two times a week during a busy season. Appreciating the skills and craftiness of others without comparing myself to them. Focusing on fully enjoying my two sweet boys and their handsome daddy. And giving myself down time that does not include my computer (that means you, pinterest!).

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Be sure to check out Lisa’s blog and etsy shop. She’s got super cute cards and prints and also creates darling custom logos.

What I Love Wednesdays: the best dryer sheets ever

I never thought I would be writing about how much I love a dryer sheet.

 

But I really love these.

 

I am very sensitive to fragrance- I don’t wear perfume and when I am around someone wearing a lot of it, I get a massive headache. I especially have a sensitivity to dryer sheets and scented laundry detergent. Like my throat closes up in scary way and I feel sick.

 

I use free & clear detergent for both me and my boys and, after Isaiah was born, I started looking for a natural, baby-safe option for fabric softener or dryer sheets. I happened up on Method’s squeaky green dryer cloths at Target one day and my laundry has never been the same. They are marketed for babies, but I use them for all of our laundry.

 

Why are they so awesome? They are natural- plant based. Safe for gentle skin like mine and free of chemicals for the kiddos. They are wet dryer sheets- not the dry ones. I don’t know why that makes them better, but I just like it.

 

But the best part? They smell like marshmellows. I’m not kidding. They call them “rice milk + mallow”. It’s like this faint sweet smell of fresh marshmellows being made. I walk down the stairs to the laundry room and the smell floats around outside while the clothes are the dryer. It is so light of a smell that it doesn’t bother me one bit, but it is enough that it makes our clothes smell a bit fresher.

 

Unfortunately, Target stopped selling them :(  Now, I have to order them on amazon, but it works out because the price is lower. I buy a set of six of them at a time and do the subscribe and save option to make them even cheaper.

 

Happy laundry!