7 Creative Inspirations from Hawaii

Aloooha! We’ve spent the past week in Kauai, soaking up as much sunshine as possible while exploring the island. This island has so much beauty to take in! From Waimea Canyon, to the varying beaches, to the dense tropical terrain of the Na Pali coast. Along the way, we poked our head into every store, art gallery, and souvenir stall we could. The creative inspiration was overwhelming! I’m always in awe of other’s talent and could feel my own ideas hitting me right in the forehead. Here are seven pieces of inspiration I picked up along the way.

  1. Ocean-Themed Placemats and Napkins: I’ve had my eye open for new placemats and cloth napkins (yes, I’m that person.) The struggle has been in finding designs that fit our tastes. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to make my own! I saw a design that sparked so many ideas. Be prepared!
  2. Photo Transfers onto Wood: This was a big craft a few years ago that I never attempted. We saw an example of nature images transfer to wood by a photographer and I have to try it. The organic textures behind the scenic image is powerful.
  3. Plumeria: The plumeria has really grown on me. I wasn’t the biggest fan of this flower until this trip and now I know I need to do something with it. Maybe on my Cricut or embroidery. Still rolling ideas around in my head.
  4. Baby Onesie Ideas: Omg! So many cute and clever puns! Even better is coming up with gender neutral designs. Time to break out the Cricut and I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a screen printing kit. Either way, mama is going to make some outfits for baby!
  5. Seashell Artwork: We have sooo many shells left over from our Coastal Christmas decor. I have a solid idea of how to put them to good use.
  6. New Cross Stitch Patterns: A few years ago, I started making my own 5″x5″ beginner cross stitch designs. I got completely sidetracked with other projects but after this week, I have about 20 ideas I want to bring to life.
  7. Clever Rope Work: For the nursery, we wanted to use rope in a few ways, and man, do we have some ideas! We’re mulling around a few projects but know for sure we’re going to make rope curtain tie backs.

So much creative work to get done! Now to make time.

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Pregnancy – Week 20

Week… 20 – Halfway there!

Baby is the size of… a Mango!

Highlight of the Week… Besides writing this from a gorgeous beach in Kaua’i? Last week, I shared that our doctor had some concerns around our baby’s heart and we had to go to a specialist for reimaging. Thankfully, the specialty clinic was able to get us in late on Friday so we didn’t have to wait to get answers. The ultrasound technician spent a full hour with us (an improvement over the 20 minutes we get in the doctor’s office) and was qualified to give us information during the session, instead of making us wait. She walked us through each image, explaining what we were looking at and how development looked. And how did it turn out? Perfect. Baby has an excellent, hardworking little heart with four beautiful and well-sized chambers. The technician also checked all other measurements and baby is perfect! Good sized brain – she even showed us that the brain is properly connect to the ears! Baby was still being shy and laying in the full pike position, but she was able to get a beautiful 4D face shot. You can see it below!Read More »

7 Apps I Use Every Day

Happy Sunday Funday, everyone! The temperature has officially peeked over 90*, which means it’s pool and grilling season in Arizona. You can see my husband being the official lifeguard on duty for the day! I’ve already earned my first sunburn of the season (at a morning Little League game, believe it or not), so technically, it’s summer. Today, I was editing some pool time fun photos on my phone and wanted to share with everyone the app I was using. Then I realized that this makes an excellent Weekly 7 list! So here for your reference and enjoyment are the 7 apps I use every day (excluding social media).

  1. A Color Story: Brought to you by the wonderful women over at A Beautiful Mess, this is my favorite photo editing app. The filters are top of the line and always result in beautiful images. If you’re looking to step up from Instagram filters, this is definitely your next move. In fact, the picture above was edited using the Airy: Pool Party filter. Check out the app here.
  2. Homescapes: Shamelessly my latest gaming addiction. Basically, you solve puzzles to help fix up a mansion. It’s so silly but I’m in love.
  3. Cozi: Developed by Real Simple (yes, the magazine), this app is wonderful for families! You have one login for the entire family and everyone can see what needs to be seen – shared calendars (yes, it syncs with Google, Outlook, etc), shopping lists, to-do lists, and more. My husband and I use it primarily for our grocery shopping. We both add to it throughout the week and whoever has time to shop has access to whatever the household needs. Real Simple also has cleaning checklists you can preload for each season, which is super helpful! We’re BIG fans! You can get more information here.
  4. Google News: I prefer the Google News platform because it pulls from multiple news sources on a single story. Plus I can create a local feed and an interest feed (for all my Real Housewives-related news.)
  5. Rhonna Designs: If you’ve seen my weekly pregnancy updates, you’ve seen the Rhonna Designs product. The app is full of fonts and graphics created by multiple professional designers to create unique and fun picture enhancements. Even better, the quality of the images produced is good enough to print out. Every year the app releases holiday photo frames and graphic so you can quickly and easily create original cards to print at home or through your favorite photo printing source.
  6. Sudoku: I start every day with Sudoku. I have for years. It’s the perfect jump start to my brain.
  7. Apple Podcasts: As I mentioned in my 7 Favorite Podcasts list, I listen to podcasts daily. They are the perfect companion for my 30-40 minute commute and I learn a lot! Not a day goes by that I don’t open this app and see what wonderful knowledge I can absorb.

What apps are you just in love with? I’m always shopping for new tools/games/etc.

 

This blog post was not sponsored but contains links as part of an affiliate program I participate in. Meaning, if you click through and purchase, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission. I have student loans to pay… help a sister out. 

Pregnancy – Week 19

Week… 19

Baby is the size of… Tomato – a very large tomato, like a beefsteak tomato.

Highlight of the Week… Seeing Baby Lawrence! We had our anatomy ultrasound on Monday. What a weird but cool experience! We both got a little emotional but were mostly distracted by the actual ultrasound. Were all the limbs there? How is the baby measuring? Does it appear healthy? Baby was very squirmy and has very long legs. The funniest part was baby had their arm flung over their eyes like I do when I sleep. We could not stop laughing!

One thing I wish someone would have told me is how the ultrasound actually goes, especially if the baby isn’t cooperating. My impression was generally what you see in the movies – squirt gel on the belly, tech moves the handle around, and awww – baby! In reality, if the baby isn’t in the right position for all the measurements needed, the tech needs to get the baby to move – by pushing hard on the belly and/or “tapping” (that’s putting it gently) on the belly to create vibrations. It’s uncomfortable, to say the least. But so worth it! But you’ve been warned…

Frustration of the Week… Not being able to wear most of my closet. I haven’t been able to for a few weeks but it’s annoying that all of my super cute clothes are just sitting there. Unloved.

Eating a lot of… Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches and Totino’s Pizzas

Cute Thing Hubby Did This Week… This week, hubs was a total Grade A partner ensuring I didn’t take on too much, lift too much, and was always well-fueled. We went to my cousin’s wedding over the weekend and being a “helper”, I jumped right in doing what I always do – at times forgetting I was pregnant. Thankfully, hubs was always right there to make sure I didn’t overdo it.

A Tidbit… We got a call from our doctor’s office a few days after our ultrasound that we needed to go in for reimaging. There are concerns around the baby’s heart. They aren’t sure if it was a bad image or if there’s something to be concerned about – so let’s be safe rather than sorry. We got referred to specialty office that has more advanced imaging technology in the hopes to clear up any questions or concerns the doctor’s office may have. Obviously, this freaked us out a little. You never want to hear that there are concerns about your little one’s health or development. We’re hoping for the best (it was just bad images) and have armed ourselves with the philosophy that at this time we’re doing literally all we can. Send us some good vibes that everything is okay.

7 Workplace Must-Haves

Who has the Sunday Scaries setting in?! The anxiety of the coming work week is likely infringing upon the joy of your weekend, but you must resist! Soak up the last bit of the weekend while you still can.

Contradictory… today, I’m sharing my seven workplace must-haves. Most of my employment life has been spent at a desk with my face glued to a computer screen, which is less than awesome. However, I’ve found a few items make this life enjoyable and comfortable. Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Desk Organizational Accessories : These are obvious but also a must. If your monitor needs to be higher, buy a monitor stand. If you need to organize your pens, post-its, paperclips, etc, get an organizer. But most importantly – buy them yourself! Most workplaces will provide these items through an ergonomic or office supplies budget, but unless you’re fully in charge of approving and ordering the items, you’ll be saddled with materials that may not work for you. And when/if you change jobs, you can take your comfort tools with you and avoid the process at your new place.
  2. First Aid Kit : Too often, I need a band-aid and I can’t find one. Usually, I need one because new shoes have declared war on my foot or I’ve done something stupid with a sharp object. So, in an effort to be my own superhero and minimize the number of times I look like a clumsy dork, I keep a first aid kit in my desk drawer. You can make your own complete with band-aids, ointment, tape, etc. Or you can buy an inexpensive one on Amazon like this one (this is the actual kit I keep in my desk.)
  3. Decorations : Minimal decorations. Please don’t be the person whose workplace is overflowing with personal items. Please don’t. However, you should have a few items within view that bring a smile to your face. I keep two framed pictures, a cute piece of artwork from my niece, and a small gift my husband sent me on one of his deployments. I like to keep reminders of why I work so hard and that my life is so much more than what I do at my desk every day.
  4. Hand Sanitizer and Antibacterial Wipes : Let’s face it. People are gross. And for some reason, people still believe it’s a badge of honor to come into the office while sick. In addition to washing your hands, you can protect yourself by having hand sanitizer and wipes readily available. Get hand sanitizer with a pump like this one so you minimize the amount of bottle you touch with germy hands. For antibacterial wipes, for the love of all that is holy, get wipes that are relatively unscented like Lysol Daily Cleansing Wipes. You can stay healthy without overwhelming your office with the powerful tang of orange or lemon scented alcohol.
  5. Phone Charger : Save yourself some sanity – get a phone charger that you keep at your desk. I still see people carting their phone chargers back and forth from home in their bags. Don’t be silly. Buy a charger and keep it at your desk. If you’re afraid of someone stealing it, lock it away, but don’t be silly enough take up brain space remembering your charger every day.
  6. Reusable Water Bottle and Cup : Treat the earth right by steering clear of disposable cups and bottles. One small investment on your part will save hundreds of pounds of waste. For a water bottle, I highly recommend a Hydro Flask. You may be thinking, “Those are pricey!” But hear me out. They are incredibly durable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped mine without a scratch or dent to speak of. They also keep your beverages chilly without producing condensation on the outside! I once kept my Hydro Flask in my car on a 100*+ day for 6 hours and it was still full of ice when I returned. This is a miracle by all definitions!
  7. Personal Care Items : Are there items you utilize or need on a regular basis? Hand lotion? Lint roller? Stain remover pen? Advil? Buy travel size versions of these and keep them in your desk. Also – do us all a favor. Hand lotion should be unscented. No one needs to smell your scent of the month and people are sensitive to different smells. Be a good citizen. Leave the smelly stuff at home.

What do you absolutely, positively have to have with you at work? I’d love to hear it!