1.23.2015

DIY: Display Your Instagrams!

Considering I have thousands of instagram photos and haven’t figured out what to do with them, I’m thrilled to be sharing this post today! My talented friend Sue is here on the blog sharing the cutest DIY today! I’m going to have to work on this ASAP!
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Hi friends! My name’s Sue, and I love that I get to be here with you today! Alexa is simply inspirational, isn’t she?

Let me introduce myself and my blog to you a little. I’m a mom of two little girls, wife of a car and soccer enthusiast, author of the blog Sue’s News (formerly Chevron & Lace), and owner of the Etsy shop Susan Stange Design (also formerly Chevron & Lace). I mostly sell items for babies, little girls, and their mamas (Plans to branch out to little boys in the works!)

My blog is, in general, about self improvement. I share things about my family, my hobbies, my talents, and anything else I find interesting and helpful. My favorite part about blogging is when I’m able to share something that inspires someone else or helps them accomplish something they haven’t before.

Today I want to share a quick, cute, DIY for your home. I’ve lived in my home for 1.5 years and most of my walls are still bare! I’ve got this kind of fear of putting holes in my wall. Anyone else relate?

The one thing I do have hung up on my wall are my instagram frames.

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You guys, this is so easy and it probably ended up costing me about $10.00 or less. All you need are some frames, possibly spray paint, string, tape, and your favorite photos.

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The pictures really say it all, but for the detail-oriented in all of us, here are the steps:

Step one, find a frame or two (or four). You can find plenty of frames at thrift stores! Remove the glass and backing. If it isn’t the color you want, purchase some spray paint and quickly give it a couple of coats. I love the Rustoleum paint and primer brand. It adheres to plastics, wood, and I think metal, too!
Step 2, print off your photos. I went to Walmart and ordered 4x4” squares. You can do it all online and it can be ready within an hour.
Step 3, lay out your photos in the order you want, then flip them over, face-down. Space them out evenly.
Step 4, cut long pieces of string and lay them out on top of the photos. Use strips of tape to secure the photos to the string, or if you have any of those mini clothes pins, I’m sure they would be adorable, too!
Step 5, tie the string at either end to the top of the frame and to the bottom in an attractive little bow.

And that’s it! Even if it weren't one of the only things hanging in my house, it would still be a guest favorite, and my favorite, too.

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Thanks for letting me have a little space on your blog today, Alexa, and thanks for reading friends! I’d love to see you over on my blog! I’ve got a great sewing tutorial up for an over-sized long sleeve color bloc tee currently, so while you’re in the pinning mood…

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1.22.2015

Two Years Four Months

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Ellie at 2 years (and 4 months!):

-Still obsessed with Mickey Mouse. In fact, the other night I heard roll over in her bed, yell out “Oh Tooooodles!” then roll back to sleep.

-Sings. All the time. Her favorite songs to sing are I am a Child of God, Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and I Love to See the Temple. She also makes up songs for everything she’s doing. “Playing in the snow, playing in the snow, OH, OH, playing in the snow!” or “Taking a bath, taking a bath, OH, OH!” They are always to the same tune, never without the OH OH, and it’s adorable.

-Still loves veggies, fruit, and beans. But still does not want to eat any meat. We try to sneak it into some of her foods (spaghetti sauce, etc) but she manages to pick it out every time!

-Wants a peanut butter sandwich every day for lunch. But don’t cut it into the wrong shape, she won’t eat it! ;) This week she prefers squares, but last week it was triangles.

-Every time I say “oh man!” or “ouch!” she pats me on the back and says “Tell me what’s wrong. It’s going to be alright.”

-Loves to play with blocks and Legos, baby dolls, and her little people town.

-Holds up one finger with her other hand on her hip and says “Ah-HA! I have a good idea!”

-Generous with her hugs, kisses, and “Love you’s!”

-Begs to go to school all the time. Especially since visiting her preschool she’ll be attending in the fall.

-Tells me I either have a baby boy or a baby elephant in my tummy. :)

Oh Ellie, you light up our life!

1.21.2015

Oh baby!

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THANK YOU so much for all your kind words about our newest little peanut. Now you know why I’ve been in and out here on the blog the last few months. :) We told our families right after we found out, but it’s so fun letting everyone else in on our little secret. It’s starting to feel so much more real! We waited a long time to finally see those two pink lines, and to be honest, I was in shock for awhile. I just couldn’t believe it finally had happened! We couldn’t be more thrilled (despite Ellie’s unsure face in those photos, haha! :) I had a few people asking for an update, so here’s a quick one:

-I am 14 weeks along and feeling oh so much better! We found out we were pregnant right before Thanksgiving, which made the holidays really interesting. ;) Food aversions, morning (well afternoon/evening) sickness, pure exhaustion, and the flu on top of that? Whew, I’m just glad that’s over with now. It was rough going there for awhile. Thank goodness for Brian the superman, lots of help from family, and a whole lot of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Seriously, so much Mickey. :)

-I haven’t had too many food aversions as of late (yay!), but the first trimester I could not get near chicken, ham, chocolate, and a lot of those holiday treats that I usually like so much. Just like when I was pregnant with Ellie, I prefer really plain foods – plain bagels, simple cereals, and yogurt, well more specifically gogurts. Man I have a thing for gogurts! I’m still a little hesitant around chicken but, I’m finally starting to like chocolate again, thank heavens!

-This time around, I’ve been trying to be a much, much healthier! With Ellie I hardly exercised except for the occasional walk and ate whatever I wanted, haha. Minus a few weeks in that first trimester when I had the flu, I’ve been pretty good about exercising most days (cardio or muscle group exercises with bands) and I’ve really been trying to eat much healthier. I took “eating for two” pretty literally with Ellie and I’m trying not to overindulge too much this time around. Plus, it helps with the heartburn. I try to eat well portioned meals, so when a craving hits for sugar cookies, ice cream, or skittles, I go right ahead and indulge!

-No weight gain quite yet, but I expect that to change now that I’m in the second trimester! I haven’t made the switch to maternity clothes quite yet either. Most of my maternity clothes I had with E work better in the spring/summer, so I may have to do a little shopping if I can’t stretch my jeans and sweaters to last through winter. :)

-I was convinced we were having a girl for the first month or so, and now I’m thinking boy! Ha. In about two weeks we’ll find out the gender and then LET THE SHOPPING BEGIN! Really, that’s what I’ve been waiting for. :)

1.20.2015

Sugar Cookie Bars

Easy Sugar Cookie Bar Recipe  (18)

I am so excited to share one of my favorite sugar cookie recipes! My mom sent this one to me years ago and I cannot stop making them. These sugar cookie bars are so simple and so delicious. Plus, you don’t have to worry about rolling out the dough, using cookie cutters, or frosting each individual cookie. The strawberry on top gives them a hint of summer, so delicious during these winter months. They’re great to bring when you have a large gathering of people, because they make a lot! Here’s the step by step recipe, enjoy!

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Preheat your oven. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Make sure butter is at room temperature. If you just pulled your butter right out of the fridge (like I usually do!) you can soften it in your microwave (just turn your power settings down otherwise it will melt, not soften!) Beat until butter and sugar are combined and fluffy.

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Slowly add in eggs, one at a time. Beat after each egg is added. Add in vanilla and stir well. In a separate bowl, mix together salt, baking soda, and flour. Slowly add to wet mixture and beat until combined. Your dough will feel a little more sticky than regular cookie dough, that’s ok!

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Spread mixture onto a large, greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. The top will be golden brown and a toothpick should come out nice and clean.

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Let your cookies cool completely before frosting. Slice strawberries and set aside. Using your favorite icing, frost the entire pan of sugar cookies. I like the let the frosting set just slightly before cutting the cookies into squares. Right before serving, top cookies with a slice of strawberry. (Only top the cookies you’re going to eat. The strawberry juices will soak through your cookie if you leave them for too long!) Serve and enjoy!

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Sugar Cookie Bars

1 Cup Butter, Room Temperature
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs
2 Tsp Vanilla
4 Cups Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg. Mix in vanilla and stir well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add to wet mixture until combined. Spread on a large greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cookies cool completely. Frost with your favorite icing and top with fresh strawberries just before eating.

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1.19.2015

Family Photos with Kali Pouslen Photography

Are you ready for a post full of photos?! They’re my favorite! :) We recently had our very first indoor studio session! And let me tell you, I’m a fan. Kali, from Kali Poulsen Photography is an absolute gem and miracle worker! We took these photos right before nap time and she managed to get Ellie laughing and giggling the whole way through. And it was fun getting someone in on our little secret early. :) Also, I’m absolutely IN LOVE with this indoor, natural light studio. I’m ready to move right in! For all my Utah friends, Kali is offering a killer studio session deal right now on her site. Don’t miss it! And now, ONTO THE PHOTOS!

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1.18.2015

Happy Sunday!

#sharegoodness

“Hope is never lost…Let us remember that through any illness or difficult challenge, there is still much in life to be hopeful about and grateful for. We are infinitely more than our limitations or our afflictions!”

1.15.2015

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