Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Breakfast with Santa

Does anyone absolutely LOVE Christmastime?  We love everything about Christmastime and try to do something fun everyday with our family.  One of our favorite traditions is Breakfast with Santa.  We've been to several Breakfast with Santas- even when Ashton was a few months old.  This is our 6th one and was our favorite by far! We went to the Gardens at Dry Creek in Lehi.  We were welcomed into this quaint reception area. It was so pretty- like a winter wonderland. They had a really nice buffet (the french toast was AMAZING!) and you didn't have to stand in a long line!  They called each table by name and while you waited you could color and make a little Santa craft.  Our whole family (8 adults, 2 children and 4 lap babies) was able to sit at one table! There was also a North Pole room where Santa was sitting waiting for the kiddos to tell him what they would like for Christmas.  They called each table up at a time and we were able to decorate cookies and get our face painted while we waited.  The North Pole was just like what the North Pole would be like: white, cozy and chilly.  Santa was the real deal.  The kids were so happy and most were ok with Mr. Claus-  no major meltdowns.  Ashton was all business- he gave him a picture he drew and told him all the things he wanted.  He was very specific. Oliver was very stoic, only uttering a few words but no crying.  And Adelle was just a perfect little princess.  She had been getting a little separation anxiety lately but she was just perfect. I seriously loved this place.  We felt welcome and not just one of the crowd and our kids had such a wonderful time.  We will for sure be back next year!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Blessings in Disguise

As most of you know, we (Lorin) has gone back to school to get his MBA.  That means a lot of changes for us- the biggest one being financial.  Every little dollar counts. The transactions were pretty small but were occurring every month.  I thought Lorin was doing it and he thought I was.  When we finally decided to talk about how we shouldn't continue those anymore, we realized neither of us was actually doing it!  So when we looked back on past statements and saw some unauthorized transactions that had been happening for over a year, we called right away to get it cleared. In fact, 2 other people in my neighborhood had the same thing happen to them with the same company!  We felt surprisingly calm and the company was very helpful.  In the end, we were to get back about $400.  $400!! Can you believe that? I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason.  It was like a forced savings- and now we are able to pay for our plane tickets back East. 

I would like to share a few other blessings in disguise:
- My beloved Subaru's transmission died.  We were able to trade it in for a car that had room to grow in.  A few weeks later we found out that I was pregnant with sweet baby A (surprise!) so we really needed the room! There was no way we could fit 3 car seats in that car.
- My first car's, a cute little Honda, transmission also died.....we were able to trade that for a car with 4 wheel drive.  My husband has a 40 minute commute each way and with the snow it makes it a safer commute.  And I don't have to worry as much with him driving so much.
- In our church we pay tithes.  Well, in January we "overpaid" for some reason.  Well after reviewing our tithes with our Bishop we realized we did back then which means we are all caught up this year.  There was no way we could have paid what we supposedly "owed"- not now at least.
- As we were reviewing our budget for Christmas gifts this year (my heart hurt for my kids) we got an email.  We were able to collect our rewards for our bank card.  It was just a few dollars short of what we had set the kids' budget. 
- I went to 2 boutiques. I spent days preparing.  I sold 0, ZERO, zilch of my products.  I did sell a bottle of water.  Needless to say, I was ready to quit pretty much everything.  I was a bit dramatic.  After talking to my rational husband, we made some decisions.  Boutiques are not my thing.  I can't do them.  I met a lot of wonderful people and I enjoy that aspect.  But for all that work and no reward it is just not plausible.  I don't have the time.  So after feeling like a failure, I realized I do OK online and will just focus on that. 
- We applied for a loan to help us through grad school since Lorin is not working.  For some reason they still think we are making what Lorin made last year.  We only have enough money for the next few months.  Because of that extra money we are getting from the bank we are able to save more this month.  At first I thought having such a frugal husband was hard, but it has come in pretty handy! I don't know how the rest will play out but that's ok.  I think it will be fine.
-My last one is very personal and probably very controversial.  I will be as vague as I can :) I was working hard at achieving something when something else happened.  I was not ready for that to happen.  I had a very hard time with it.  It was something that would affect all of us, not just me.  After a few weeks I learned to accept it and now I know that it was supposed to happen at that time.  I could not be happier.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dear Santa+ Freebie

If you are behind the ball, like me, here is a little treat for you!  I made these for my littles to fill out.  Daddy wrote out what the kiddies said.  Ashton was very specific while Ollie was a little quieter.  I added the last line because I think it is important to think about others.  Ashton really thinks Ollie needs clothes- maybe because Ollie never wears pants!  Now we know exactly what our kids want and Santa will now know, too!  Feel free to print these out for your kids.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Days are long....years are short

I had a friend request a custom print for Christmas.  I wanted to make something simple as the message is pretty powerful.  As I was working on it, it made me think about how many times I long for naptime and then bedtime.  I've wished the days away and now I cannot believe that my little baby is 4! Where did the time go.  So, go and kiss those owies, hold that sticky hand and smile at the crumbs all over the floor.  I know I will want them back once they are gone.
*This is in my shop! (With or without the itty bitty footprints)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Treat for FB Fans

Go to my FB page, "like" and click on the "goodies" tab to receive 30% off your digital order until January 3, 2013! Go, go, GO!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hello, Baby. Goodbye, Friends.

The Hello: A friend of mine is having her first baby pretty soon.  I saw this quote on Pinterest and thought it was so perfect.  She likes elephants and used some in her nursery, so I incorporated both.  I hope she and her new baby like it! Welcome Baby Stevens!

The Goodbye: Our dear friends are moving to Australia.  Ashton loves their little girls and was so sad about them moving.  He doesn't quite understand why they have to leave.  To make the transition a little easier, I made some cards for them to write to us about their new adventures. They could be like pen pals!  Good luck to the Tupou family on their new adventures! We will miss you and your crazy humor.   You guys are one of the most wonderful, generous and hilarious people ever.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


As the spouse of a BYU MBA student, we get to do a lot of cool things.  One is participate with the National Advisory Council (NAC).  They had a luncheon last Friday that included a wonderful speaker, Virginia Pearce. She is the daughter of our late Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley.  I will go into what she spoke of in a later post, but just the fact that I was in the same "room" (we were outside) as her was incredible.  I really loved President Hinckley.  I felt like he understood and loved the youth of the church...back when I was a youth! He made such an impact on my life that I named my firstborn son after him: Ashton Hinckley. 
It is funny how things come together.  For school, Ashton had to find out why he was named what he was.  I told him about President Hinckley and how much Daddy and I loved him, even though we never met him.  We told him he was a wonderful and spiritual man.  He was funny, silly and so in love with his wife, Marjorie.  He was well spoken and respectful of others, especially those in the media.  Ashton enjoyed hearing about this and was able to share what he could remember about the man he was named after.  The next day, to my surprise, I met President Hinckley's daughter.  As cheesy as it may sound, I told her that I admired her father and named our son after him.  She was grateful and gracious showing the slight sorrow of a daughter who missed her dad.  She signed my book and took a picture with me.  She is the closest I will have ever gotten to President Hinckley.  It just goes to show that you can leave a great legacy.  It is just a great a privilege to meet a child/grandaughter/etc. of a greatly loved person.
I think it is important to have something to live up to- to not taint your namesake- to make them proud and be proud of your origins.

Mine isn't that cool- my parents named me after an actress they liked.....if you know me, I am extremely shy in public- so there goes that namesake!
Who are you guys named after?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Manly Stuff

Happy October!  I cannot believe it is fall already!  School has already started and the nights are getting chillier.  I love love love sweater season! 

Anyway, my husband is in the middle of applying for internships.  He is getting his MBA from BYU and they sent a flyer home (haha I feel like I am his mom) for business cards.  While they are professional looking....they look boring.  I thought about asking him to let me design his cards, but I didn't have to because he asked me first!  Let me tell you how wonderful it felt because I felt like he actually likes my work!  He always tells me he does and is super supportive of my little business but for him to actually ask me proved he was a fan.  So, I revised a business card I did for my homework while taking Nicole's Classes.  I think they look professional but are bold and sure to stand out.  At least, I hope.  I ordered these from here and added the Spot UV coating- which is why it is glossy and is slightly embossed.

He is also sending thank you cards to his interviewers and asked me to make him some manly thank you notes.  I wanted to incorporate his manliness as well as his passion for the outdoors.  He previously had picked out this card.  He decided it wasn't macho enough for him (I am making him sound chauvinistic- and he is not even at all!).  I made some drafts of potential cards and this is what we came up with:

For those of you that know Lorin, he is obsessed with mountains.  Any and all mountains.  We have lived in Utah for almost 10 years and he still looks at the Wasatch mountains in awe every time we drive by them- which is everyday because they are huge and go along the highway...for forever....

What do you guys think? 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ashton's Reptile Birthday Party

I cannot believe I have a 4 year old! My son is obsessed with creepy crawly things....there is no way we will ever have any of those in my house, so a birthday party filled with them will suffice.  I thought it was a wonderful party- the kids had a great time and so did some of the adults!  Jeremy, from Scales and Tails was amazing!  He was so great with the kids and we were treated to a special surprise! 

 I made Ashton's snake invitation, along with his thank you cards, favors and bookplates.  I really wanted to keep it simple this year...I tend to go a bit overboard for my kids' birthdays, but with a 2 month old and recovering from a c-section and yadda yadda yadda...I just wanted to take it easy.  And it worked! Take a look:

Sorry for the pictures- just iPhone pics of the unfinished products.  I need to remember to take pictures of the finished products.  Like- I was going to post about the business cards I made my husband, Lorin, but I forgot to take pictures before he left for his conference!  Next time!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back from hibernation

 I am alive!  I am a mother to 3 children- 4 and under.  I am surviving...trying to get back to normal life with few hours of sleep. 

I have been pretty busy...see?  How could I not snuggle with this precious babe all day long?
 Ashton started preschool- which he absolutely loves!!

Ollie and I hang out, play and nap, of course!

Little Miss Adelle and I like to go out from time to time- just the girls :)

Look at how big she has gotten!  Just minutes old.... 
now 11 weeks old!!!

Trying to balance family, home and work is going to be a challenge.  I always feel guilty if I work when my kids are awake, but I have to- even if it is just 1 hour.  In order for my business to continue I have to put in work.  Nights are difficult as well because I want to spend time with my husband and it is easier to clean the house without little hands destroying what you just completed.  Anyway, after talking with my husband about the difficult balancing act I have to perform, we decided that it will be good for me to have my "me" time and "work" time.  They can't be the same, even if I actually enjoy working.  I have to be more focused in my work time and really dedicate time to produce new ideas and new product.  I am, afterall, providing a small cushion for us to fall back on financially since he is in the BYU MBA program (aka poor students...again!). 

So from now on, I will be more focused and will try to blog about 3 times a week with personal things, but mostly party ideas or client commissioned work.

Coming up...... husband commissioned work.  Doing manly design work was a bit difficult for me because I like beautiful and colorful things.  Stay tuned for the final product! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My boys

We will soon have a little girl in the family. I am used to all boys- I am the oldest to 4 brothers and raising 2 active kids. I seriously am very nervous about the new dynamic. Ashton was very active in the womb and that hasn't changed outside of it. Oliver was pretty mellow and has turned out to be pretty mellow outside the womb. Now this little babe is CRAZY. I have never seen my belly move in those positions. I am hoping she isn't as crazy as Ashton. I will say that even though my boys physically exhaust me every day, they bring me so much joy and appreciation. I love being their mother because I get to see every part of their personality. I love their crazy sides and especially love their sweet sides. I love this picture because it really shows how much they love each other.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Final Voting Round

vote for me!

I would appreciate any help from you all!  Please vote for your favorite designs- there are so many talented designers!

Friday, June 22, 2012



 This is something that I struggle with a lot.  I am so afraid to fail that I am afraid to try.  But, as I raise my children, I don't want them to fear things or else they will miss out on so much.  Which is why I jumped into opening my own little design business and why I entered the Minted Design Challenge.  Heck no, I am not nearly as talented as Jessica Hische or ever will be, but I think I can be on par with some designers out there on Etsy.  Some of these Minted designers are incredible and I can't even compare myself to them.  I know I still have A LOT to learn with technical skills, branching out and even trying some illustrations.  I don't sell all that much on Etsy and everyday I ask myself- whyWhat am I doing wrong?  I think people like my designs but why won't they buy?  Am I not as good as the others?  And then the whole self-doubt thing creeps into my head telling me to just quit.  Am I a failure because I don't sell nearly as much as I would like?  Am I a failure because I didn't even make it past the first round of voting on Minted?  I seriously don't know. 

I love designing and creating new things.  I would love to do it everyday for 8 hrs if I could!  But, I only have maybe 3 hours a day to give.  My kids are young and need me.  I take my business very seriously and put in 110% on every order.  But the stress of being good enough is getting to me.  Maybe it is good I am taking a break pretty soon to snuggle with my baby girl when she comes. 

But, then I think about this quote and remember some comments I read that other designers made about receiving high and low ratings.  Judging creativity is so subjective.  What one person values is not what someone else may- like technical skill or colors used or simple and clean vs. artistic and whimsical.  I can't let my sense of creativity be judged so much by others' opinions and deem myself a success or a failure by their standards.  It is so easy to say- just insanely difficult to do.  But, I will try because this is my passion.  And, I want my children growing up knowing that their mother was not afraid to try and fail, try and fail, and try and maybe, just maybe- succeed. 

**update: when I looked yesterday I didn't see my name on the 2nd round of voting designs. Turns out I was looking for my company name and not MY name. 1 of my designs did make it to the 2nd round! If you categorize the list by designers, I am on page 10 for those that want to vote. :) I was pretty surprised this morning when I got a notification someone liked my design since the 1st round of voting ended. Thank you for that tender mercy!

Monday, June 18, 2012



Click on the badge on the top right hand side of the page and cast your votes!  When you vote you get a coupon code for your next purchase! And tell your friends, family, long lost roommates- ANYONE.  Voting will most likely end tomorrow or Wednesday.  BUT only vote if you actually like my designs :)  I think I have 6 or so on there. 

Or follow this link to see my other designs!

Ok, I am done.  Now, GO!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Baby Adelle's Nursery....so far

I have gotten a late start with Baby #3.  One reason is that we *MAY* be moving but it all depends on a yes or no from a certain school.  And we won't know until July.....almost 2 weeks before baby comes.  Talk about stressful!

Anyway, I finished the baby blanket yesterday and the curtains a week or so ago.  I am procrastinating on other stuff because she may not have her own room.  I feel so behind! I have some clothes and burp cloths but I don't feel ready for her to come yet! Although I am so miserable I want her out...now! :)  

I got this at this shop.  LOOVE monogram stuff.  I will have her newborn pics taken in this.
I made these babies.  I made some for a friend for her first baby and made some for Adelle, too.  Spit up never looked so good.
 These are her curtains.  I bought the white panels at Target and just sewed on the pom poms. 
 I am in love with this blanket.  I want it for my bed! I made it big- so it would fit her toddler bed, too.  I made (aka my mom) Ashton and Oliver's blankets big, too, but not as big.  They LOVE those minky blankets.  This was my first time working with minky fabric and ric rac.  Don't look too closely, though! I was so nervous but I read some tutorials and the key was PIN, PIN, PIN.  Like every inch.  And I used a stretch needle.  Not sure if that is what made it easier.  My mom does not like working with minky but now I found the trick! 
Adelle will be in Oliver's old room, which we painted a sky blue for Ollie.  I feel bad kicking him out of his room but I think Ollie and Ashton will like sharing a room.  So, we are not going to repaint the room.  I like that it will be blue and have lots of magenta/coral/orange.  I like girly with some fun twists.  I will spray paint her frames and iron standing shelf gold...for some elegance.  We will see how it turns out- with a little less than 5 weeks to go!  I also will design some prints for her- can't wait!

P.S. I got all the fabric and embellishments at fabric.com.  I get almost everything from there. It is so nice because there is noooo way I am dragging my boys to a fabric store....it takes so long to look at fabric, find the perfect fabric, and then determine all the measurements for what you want.  No way.  I do everything online. I can't feel the fabric but I already kinda know what I am looking for beforehand. 

Can't wait for this little beauty to come in!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Minted Design Challenge

I have decided to take a chance and enter the Minted Design Challenge.  The deadline is this morning.  I have been working the past few days (I know- I just found out about it this past weekend...) and I am happy with what I came up with.  I used some older stuff I had and spruced it up, changed colors and fonts and some layouts.  I know its a looong shot- with over 2000 submissions- but it is a good way to receive critiques and get to know other designers.  Plus, I get to practice- A LOT.  Even if I don't win, I have a head start on Christmas cards!

I don't know when voting starts, but when it does, will you vote for my designs if you like them? 

In other news, I get about 3 hrs of sleep at night (thanks to baby and bladder) so I have been sleeping during the day when I can.  It isn't enough but I hope you understand if I don't blog very much.  But keep coming back and checking the shop.  I really do appreciate your support!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lego Birthday Party

Lego Birthday Party

5x7 Green and Blue Lego 3 Photo Invitation by frommewithlovedesign
$12 - etsy.com

My son is actually not into legos right now (thank goodness)!  I only say that because I step on enough toys as it is.  And my other son sucks on legos (the ones he has gotten his hands on).  BUT, I know someday, the time will come that he will love legos and needs to have them all.  However, I have friends whose kids LOVE legos.  

Here are some party ideas for a LEGO themed party.  I love them all!  You can keep everything simple (or not- like me).  I am a DIYer but I have been pregnant through 2 kid birthday parties and I hired some stuff out! Best plan ever!  So for those that still want to be a little more involved, I have several party packages you can purchase along with a photo (or non-photo) invitation.  All you do is assemble and voila! 

There is something here for everyone- I would never in a meeelllion years attempt to make that gorgeous cake.  Nope. But, I can make those cute cupcakes with the cute little lego men- in chocolate- yum.  And while I am at it, make those crayon lego men.  My friend did these as favors and my kids love coloring with them! Or for those with a sweet tooth, you can make those lego candies.  You can find those molds here.  And for the ambitious, you can even make those lego men cakepops. 

Can we say "awesome?"  I can't wait to throw one of my littles a lego party.....or can I?  For those of you who have stepped on way too many pointy building pieces, here is your chance to make peace with them and devour a few lego man cake pops and color that little head off.  And make your little child oh so very happy with his all time favorite toy for now.  

**I hope these links work.  If not, they are on polyvore.com.  I want to give proper credit where it is due! I did see all of them on pinterest though.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Lorin: "Ashton. Listen to your mother."
Ashton: Brows furrowed. Dead serious face. "My mother is dead. A monster ate her."
Lorin & Brenda: "Bahahahhahaha"

Maybe we should not have him watch movies where the Mom dies......aka all kids movies.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Workshop- Blog Design

I am currently working on a friend's blog design- I can't wait until it is up!  She is one of those moms that always looks awesome and is incredibly friendly.  You would be intimidated by her, but there is no reason to be because she is so caring and generous- and beautiful! She has a fun style blog and we wanted to spruce it up to match her personality.  Here are some sneak peeks- but you'll have to check it out by the end of this month.  I apologize for the crappy iPhone pics but I just want to give you a teeeeeny peek.   

Can't wait?  (me neither)- just visit Style With Shannon and check out her posts on street styles, kid style and her style!  

Oh yes, before I forget.  She is a style consultant- a brilliant one.  She styled my family for our family pictures in the fall.  She used what we had in our closets (I just bought a striped sweater for Ollie), so it totally fit our personality.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Orange and Pink Floral Party

From Me, With Love Designs
Here is an example of what you could do with these mod floral pink flower invitations.  I found this gorgeous party here.  This is originally for a little girl's birthday party, but you can totally use this for a bridal or baby shower.  

Look at those beautiful paper flowers.  You can find the tutorial here.  Just use the coordinating flower colors on the invitation (tangerine and pink).  

And you can keep the food simple and use coordinating colors in the sprinkles.  Isn't that ombre sprinkle cake amazing?!?

And of course, use a real flower centerpiece!  These are absolutely amazing.  

This party is simple yet so elegant.  And it is multi-functional for a little girl, a bride to be or even a mother to be!