Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Etsy Swap 2014: What I Received




It's time to reveal what I received from my partner for the Etsy swap party! Honestly I had so much fun assembling my package that I kind of forgot that I would be receiving something as well. It made it that much more exciting when packages started arriving at my doorstep. That's right, packages, 3 in all. The Etsy pieces came from the sellers with notes and then Lauren sent an extra package directly from her. Which was super cute by the way. It was decked out with drawings and doodles. The crazy part is that I received the coasters and her package on the same day. The mailman even bundled them together.

Backing up a step, I received my goodies from Lauren who is an art teacher and blogs over at Cornwell Fam. I really enjoy her writing style, just read her about page. It will make you giggle and smile while wanting more.

Getting on with it...here are the contents. I love everything, it's like she knows me or something. The sketch book (under the cards) was perfect as I recently started challenging myself with a sketch a day project. The coasters are going to look great under my candles. Something about them just feels so cozy.

A funny side note, I bought my partner the exact same pencil case. In fact when I purchased it I almost bought myself one as I thought it would be a great pouch for in my purse. I told myself NO, you don't need to spend money on yourself right now, it's time to give. When I got this in the mail I was like 'Oh no' the seller mistakenly sent an extra package. Then I found the note.


I also got this great watercolor print done by Lauren, herself. Watercolor is one of my favorite mediums.

Overall I had a great experience with this swap hosted by Meg and Amy. Not only did I send and receive great goodies, I found two new blogs to read. They both fit in with my style and likes. I will definitely join in on the next swap and highly recommend it.

Details: coasters – Simply Spain Designs, pencil case – Silke Jacobs, earrings – Cornwellfam

Monday, October 20, 2014

Etsy Swap 2014: What I sent out

Back in September I signed up for my first Etsy Swap through Rivers and Roads blog. Basically you are assigned a person to get to know through their social media sites and buy said person goodies from Etsy. And, it's all done in secret, you don't know who is shopping for you until you get your package in the mail. Fun, right?!

I had a lot of fun getting to know my person, Victoria. She blogs at Through * For * By. She has written a bunch of good book reviews. I even added two books to my reading list based off of her reviews. Be sure to check them out.


I went with books and reading as the theme for her gift. A theme for the gift was not required but I love giving gifts with a common theme! Something about it makes it feel more complete.

If you want to learn more about what Victoria received be sure to watch her blog for her etsy swap post. A post on what I received and a link party is coming Wednesday.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Monthly Goal: October

In light of living more freely I am making one goal each month. The goals are meant to get me out of my comfort zone and open up to new things. Some goals may be vague where others will be more detailed and strict. Goals will be set the first of the month with a follow up post on the last day of the month. Feel free to join in! Work towards the same goal or share your own. Lets cheer each other on. Original post can be found here.

This is it, this is the month I stop procrastinating and get a hold on organizing my photos. One of my New Year's Resolution made way back in January was to organize my photos by month and get prints to put in an album through out the year instead of all at once in December. I hate the overwhelming feeling of loosing photos or forgetting when it was taken.

October's Goal: Start at the beginning: load photos on to the computer, organize by month, order prints from Snapfish, put them in my 2014 album, and lastly add some scrapbooking/project life touches. Oh and it would be nice to back everything up on discs.

Sounds like a lot of work, right? It really shouldn't be that bad as I have kept up on loading them on the computer and organizing. The hard part will be deleting 'bad' photos and editing some of them. I love editing photos using PSD actions. I wish I had more time on my hands so I could edit all of them, but I don't, so I allow myself to edit a select few.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Monthly Goal Results: September

In light of living more freely I am making one goal each month. The goals are meant to get me out of my comfort zone and open up to new things. Some goals may be vague where others will be more detailed and strict. Goals will be set the first of the month with a follow up post on the last day of the month. Feel free to join in! Work towards the same goal or share your own. Lets cheer each other on. Original post can be found here.


September's goal was to blog more without sacrificing quality. I am thrilled to say that I blogged twice as much as usual. That's not saying a whole lot since I have been averaging 2 posts a month. I am happy to say that I didn't sacrifice quality to get the extra posts out. In fact I am pretty happy with the quality. Did you catch the post with tips for throwing a party or the new eco-friendly series? I have many more similar posts coming your way.

a few shots from our trip to Pecks Farm. little e had a blast feeding the goats. How did you spend your September?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

5 Tips for Planning a Fun Party

For the past 5 years we've thrown an annual Fourth of July party. It gets better every year and everyone seems to have a blast. I enjoy all aspects of throwing this particular party except for the clean up afterwards. We really should throw a clean up party the following day. I doubt many would attend that one. It's worth it though. I love the planning process, decorating, cooking, and watching friends and family enjoy themselves.


1. Choose a theme and run with it. No matter what kind of party you are throwing be sure to have a theme. It really helps when picking out decorations and planning the menu. For our Fourth of July party I find creative ways to incorporate red, white and blue in the decor and food.

2. Dress the part. Have fun with your outfit and dress to match your theme. Trust me, you won't be the only one. Not dressing up would be like going to an ugly sweater party without the ugly sweater. Plus it's just fun!


3. Make a variety of food. My favorite gatherings are the ones that offer a wide variety of food. A few different options for each category; appetizer, main course, side salads, desserts, and drinks. Half of the fun is filling up on good food. Food gets expensive so ask guests to bring a dish to pass.

For my daughters first birthday I planned a beach party and served all the food in buckets and used shovels as serving utensils. They then doubled as part of her presents. 


4. Plan games and activities for all ages. Keep your guests entertained by planning games. Offering prizes might help get them excited. At our Fourth of July party we play volleyball for fun, have a euchre tournament with prizes and water balloons for the kids. The games can coincide with each other as not every one will want to play all the games. We even play games at adult parties. No birthday party is complete without pin the tail on the donkey.

5. Party favors. I tend to think that favors are only for weddings and showers but they work for any party. It's a great way for people to remember the good time they had and get them excited for the next party you host. There are no rules as to how big or small they need to be. It could be anything from crayons for a kids party to sending home leftover food in cute containers.

Bonus budget friendly tip. Purchase decorations that double as favors or home decor. A few good ideas would be candles, flowers or art prints.

What are some of your party planning tips?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Eco-Friendly Friday: Wedding Finds

It's official, I am obsessed with searching Etsy and Pinterest for eco-friendly finds. There are so many awesome products out there. This week I found a bunch of great wedding pieces that would pair nicely with a fall wedding. Check them out for yourself!

How amazing are these acorn and seashell candles by Less Candles? This shop is full of handmade candles and fire starters that are made out of reused and natural materials. I can't get over how creative of an idea this is! Way to be eco-friendly!

Weddings Favors and More is a shop full of wedding supplies. These two items are my faves. I think the flower girl bags would be perfect for a fall wedding full of leaves.


So I have seen flowers made out of paper before but not men's boutonnieres. These two are made out of vintage maps which makes them even cooler. They are perfect for a DIY wedding. This shop has a few different version of these flowers. Check out the one made out of a comic book!


I am loving these tree branch coasters. I think they would look awesome with candles on them for table decor. They would pair nicely with this tea light candle holder and some flowers. 

Want a unique send off or eco-friendly favors? Forget about the rice and candy, try plantable confetti. Fancy That Loved has a bunch of colorful options. You can get all one color or a mix. How fun would it be to gather in an open field with friends and just start tossing these?! What an easy way to plant flowers!

Looks like I just planned a fall wedding or have a good start for one. I think fall weddings are the best. Maybe it's because mine was in the fall or I just love fall decor so much. What is your favorite wedding season?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Monthly Goal Results: August

In light of living more freely I am making one goal each month. The goals are meant to get me out of my comfort zone and open up to new things. Some goals may be vague where others will be more detailed and strict. Goals will be set the first of the month with a follow up post on the last day of the month. Feel free to join in! Work towards the same goal or share your own. Lets cheer each other on. 



August's goal was to experiment with paint, focusing on watercolor. I didn't experiment with paint as much as I would have liked but I did play around with watercolor a little bit. I also browsed watercolor inspiration at storenvy. I found lots of neat pieces so I created a fun little collection. I'm thinking I need the pillow covers and deer mug!

I had a lot of fun with this test piece. I used lots of water and white to swirl the colors together. It gave it a nice marbleized look.