Thursday, April 28, 2016

Where to begin…

It’s been hard for me to even start writing here.  I am at a loss for where to even begin.  When I was blogging a few months ago, I felt so good about it.  I was on a roll, and it was important.  Then life got sooo busy and something had to give.


I want to be here.  This is so important to me.  So… I’m going to give it my best effort and be here when I can; with no guilt when I can’t.  I just have had to tell myself that I can only do the best I can do. 

First of all, I want to say thank you to all those who emailed me, and asked if I was ok.  Thank you to those who just told me they missed hearing from me.  It means a lot.  I love all the friendships I have made thru blogging.  So… thank you for being here and being my friend.

I thought it would be good to come back with one of my favorite posts.  This is a good place for me to start, and it might fill you in on what’s been happening the last 2 months.

I like to call it Currently.

Currently I am….

loving… my new makeup.  I started wearing it in October, and it has been awesome.  It is called Maskcara. It is such an easy way to contour and highlight.


You can find more about it here.

reading… “Harry Potter” number one to Isaac and Tessa, and “More than the Tatooed Mormon” by Al Carraway for me.


I am loving this book.  You should check this out.  This woman has gone through so much and triumphed thru it all.  She attributes this to God and faith.  She is also the perfect example of why we should never judge.

waiting for… our new house to be finished.  Yes!! if you didn’t know, we are building a new house.IMG_3137

That is what has mostly kept me from this blog.  I am currently getting our house ready to sell, and I am working on every single decision on the new house.


I am not complaining.  Really! I’m not!! This has been so fun; just busy.  This is a dream come true for Jonathan and I.  We have always wanted to build our own house, and it’s finally happening!!

excited about… summer!!  I am ready to hang with my kiddos.

trying to… be more tuned in to God, and what he needs me to do.  My hands are his hands.

working on… like I said, every single decision for that new house comes out of my head.  Jonathan and I designed this house from the ground up.  We met with a drafter and she put my design on paper and then it was engineered.  We have been able to put our stamp on every corner of this house.

From lighting,


to the where the walls go,

Processed with VSCO with 3 preset 

to the shape of the fireplace,


to the flooring and tile… and so much more.  This has been fun!

enjoying… being married.


I know most people say that building a house with someone is the most stressful thing on a marriage.  We have found it to be the opposite for us.  We are loving the process, and all the time we get to spend together making decisions.  I am so thankful that Jonathan is the one I get to build this house with, and share my life with.

using… my friends son to paint some furniture for me.  Well I’m not “using” him per say, I am paying him.  My friend has a son who started a cabinet and furniture painting business.  He is awesome.  He has been updating some of the cool pieces of furniture that I have and giving them a fresh look.


It’s been so fun.  If your local and use instagram, follow him @color_coatings

wearing… this awesome new mascara. It is called: Urban Decay Subversion.


Oh my goodness!!  It is actually a mascara primer, so you still have to put mascara over the top.  It helps to keep your mascara on, but the beauty of it is; that it also helps your eyelashes grow.  Say what?  …and yes!!! Mine have gotten longer in just 3 weeks.  Check it out here.

planning… some awesome summer activities with the kids.  We have Lagoon season passes this year so I am expecting a summer full of rollercoasters.  It will also have family reunions, dance, baseball, scout camp, young women camp, and a really cool Harry Potter Camp for Isaac.  Oh! and don’t forget packing and moving.  It should be a busy one.

needing… a massage.  Oh man!! my neck and back could always use a little loosening up.  I’m still affected by the pain in my neck and arm.  I am learning to cope.  I am learning about my own strength, and who God needs me to be. Oh!! I’m also needing a nap.  Always, always, needing a nap.

learning… adobe illustrator.  Jex and I are taking an Adobe Illustrator course together.  It has been so much fun learning something with my really cool son.  He is pretty rad, and it’s just fun hanging with him.  He also teaches me a lot as we go along.  He is very creative.

listening to… my scriptures.  I have really enjoyed listening to my scriptures lately.  Whenever I have time to turn them on I do.  It’s pretty cool to listen to them.  I often pick up on things I maybe wouldn’t have.

doing… lots of organizing.  I am trying really hard to make closets look nice before we put our house on the market.  I also don’t want to move more than neccessary.

dreaming of… going back to this beautiful place.


Jonathan and I took the most amazing trip in late February to our favorite little island.  Saba is such a beautiful peaceful place.


I miss how calm I feel there. Oh!! and I miss just hanging with JB.  He is so fun to be with.

singing… Thomas Rhett.  Ok!! I am so in love with this album, and could this song be any sweeter?

wishing for… a smooth transition between houses this summer.  I hope this one sells easy on the right timeline. 

praying for… all the missionaries from our church. 

Future Missionary Name Tag

There are so many young men and women from our church who take a chunk of time out of their social calendar to serve the Lord; 18 months to 2 years.  We also have several in our community who have had to come home for health reasons.  I pray for every single one of them.  I pray they are safe.  I pray that they will heal.  I pray that people will listen to their message of Christ.  So do my kiddos. One day it will be my kiddos that we are praying for.

…and that’s what is currently going on around here.

If you want to see more of the happenings that are going on in our new house you can ask to follow me on instagram.  I have a seperate house account.  You can find me @valleyviewabode

Thanks for being here.  It’s nice to be back today.

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Beginnings and A Book Review{A must read if you have daughters}

Last night, I took my oldest daughter(who is 11), to a meeting held by our church.  It is a meeting called New Beginnings.  It is a beautiful meeting for all the young women in our ward(or church boundary), ages 12-18.  The 11 year old girls are invited because they will be joining this young women program when they turn 12 during the year.

I couldn’t believe that I was actually attending this with my daughter.  I remember the very first new beginnings meeting that I attended at just 11 years old. 

At the meeting, we were able to present our daughter with a flower that we felt best described her, and then share a little about her. 

This meeting was an awakening for me.  It was a reminder to me that I am raising a daughter of God, and it’s my job to teach her that.

There is a talk given by a sister in our church.  Her name is Rosemary M. Wixom.  The talk is titled, “Discovering the Divinity Within.” 

In the talk, she quotes Elaine Cannon as saying,  “There are two important days in a woman’s life: The day she is born and the day she finds out why.”

This quote has stuck with me for quite sometime.

Every time I read it, I think she is going to say,”the day she is born, and the day she gets married.”

…but she doesn’t, she says, “the day she finds out why.”

When this quote was read again last night, I almost hyperventilated.  It is my job to help to nurture Stella so that she knows why she is here; and that God loves her.

However, much to my relief.  I had just finished the best book in terms of help with all of this.

I think it is a book that all women and teenage girls should read.

I had the priveledge of doing a little pre-read of the book before it was released.

Jaci Wightman, the author, contacted me a few months back asking if I would do a book review on my blog.  After I read the email, I knew immedieately that her name sounded familiar.  Once we got talking more, we both realized that Jaci lived with her family in my home ward for a time.  It was so good to reconnect with her. I was so happy to read her book, and I am thrilled to share it here. 

This book really came into my life at the best time.  It’s time for me to really teach my daughter about her worth.

Jaci’s book, “A Princess Story- The Real-Life Fairy Tale found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ”, was just what I needed at this time in my life.

A time when I am raising little people who need to know more than anything that they are a child of God.

It was also amazing to read Jaci’s story and her interpetation of our very own princess story.

We really are princesses.  We are daughters of a King.  That makes us His princesses. 

This story goes on to talk about the villian, and the monster, and the battle that is raging.

The part I love about this story though is how it is all encompassed by the happy ending, which he know involves our use of the atonement, and the love of our one true prince; our Savior.

If you want your daughter to have a better grasp of the atonement and her Savior, and what this means in her life; this book is for you.

I encourage all mothers to read this and learn how to have your very own Happily Ever After.

Then, pass it along to your daughters. 

I know that when Stella reads this book, it will bring her one step closer to knowing who she is and why she is here.

My favorite part from the book says:

”It’s funny—we’re all familiar with the concept of falling head over heels in love with someone, but we often forget that we can apply that idea to our relationship with our Prince. I’m completely serious. Think for a minute about what it feels like when you fall in love. Thoughts of that person begin to overtake your mind, and you’re filled with irresistible feelings of admiration and affection. You long to be with that person, to know more about them, and to do all you can to please and delight them. In short, their every wish is your command. I believe that perfectly captures what can happen in our relationship with our Prince. At least, President Ezra Taft Benson described it that way when he spoke of those who were spiritually born of God:

“Men captained by Christ will be consumed in Christ. . . . their will is swallowed up in his will. They do always those things that please the Lord. Not only would they die for the Lord, but, more important, they want to live for Him. . . . They have Christ on their minds, as they look unto Him in every thought. They have Christ in their hearts as their affections are placed on Him for-ever. . . . In short, they lose themselves in the Lord and find eter-nal life.”

Tell me, sweet princess, is Christ on your mind continually while you go about your day? Are the affections of your heart placed on Him forever? Do you look to Him in every thought and lose yourself in His incomparable love? Simply put, are you “captained by Christ” and “consumed in Christ” just like President Benson said?

Great things to teach our daughter huh?

You can find the book, “A Princess Story- The Real-Life Fairy Tale found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ”, by Jaci Wightman; here and here.

I promise you will love it.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Intimidated by digital scrapbooking? Give it a try on your phone!!

Y’all know that I am a huge scrapbooker.  I used to scrapbook with paper and scissors.  About 8 years ago, I learned the tricks of digital scrapbooking; and I was hooked. 

So… I put my paper and scissors away, and got a laptop.  I digital scrapbook when I can, but don’t have as much time as I would like.

I recently decided that in order to not get any further behind than I already am, that I would scrapbook life as it happens.  Many of you have heard of project life.  It is basically making a scrapbook page every week.  That concept is to keep you current.  I like the concept, but it never really meshed with how I like to scrapbook.

Then, Becky Higgins came out with the Project Life app, and now after about a year of having it on my phone, I have decided to use it. 

I started to use it to scrapbook my pages as life happens.  I don’t use their concept of one page a week, I just scrapbook pages about what we have going on in life.

I still love to scrapbook on my computer, so I do that too.

The phone is super convienent though because I can do it while I am waiting in a car line, or at the orthodontist.  I want to use my phone for good, and there is nothing better for me to be using it for; other than using it to read my scriptures(which I do too.)

I so believe in the importance of recording our history and our memories.

The part that had been holding me back for a whole year, was how I would get photos off my big camera and on to my phone for scrapbooking?

I didn’t want to email all of them to myself.  So… that is where this came in to play.


The best $30 EVER.  It transfers photos from my SD card on to my phone.  That way if I want to scrapbook on my phone using pics that I took on my Nikon, I can quickly transfer them.

How do the two scrapbooking methods compare?

These are digital pages from my computer:

Family Pictures 3 copy

Family Pictures 4 copy

These are digital pages from my phone:



I like the mix.  The phone pages are simpler, and my computer pages are a little more complex.

It’s fun to have both.

Here is an example of how I used pictures from my Nikon, transfered them to my phone with my lightening to SD, and then scrapbooked them. 



This was awesome, because I took the pics, and scrapbooked them like 1 hour later while I was waiting at an appointment.

Scrapbooking on your phone, is soooo simple.  It also takes less time. I can scrapbook so much faster on my phone, because it is simple.

I am also thinking that this is a great way for those of you who are intimidated by photoshop to start scrapbooking.

I made these pages last night in about 1 hour:







That includes editing the pics on my phone.

I love these apps for editing:

snapseed, warmlight, vsco

I use these apps for scrapbooking:

Rhonna Farrer designs, Rhonna Farrer Collage, Project Life, Phonto

I like the mix of Project Life and Rhonna Farrer.  I use Rhonna Farrer Design app to add the fun embellishments.  I also use the Rhonna Farrer collage app to give me a change with layout choices.  I love Project Life for the ease of just laying out the page.  Then use the other apps to spice it up.

I also use Phonto for other font options.

I have spent a little money buying more paper packs and embellishments from both apps, and it’s been worth it.

Want to know more about how I computer scrapbook?  More info here.

I hope this inspires you to use your phone for a creative outlet:

Scrapbook on your phone!!  It ROCKS!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Make your kids Valentines unique using photoshop or your phone!

Have you asked your kids what they want to do for their Valentine this year?

It is right around the corner.

When my kids grew old enough to share Valetines with their friends, I got so excited!

It was about the time that I was learning to use photoshop so I decided that designing them a Valentine would be Awesome.

It was so fun.   I have enjoyed making Valentines that are unique and different than the ones you can buy at the store.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the Valentines that we have made in the past.

If you know how to use photoshop or illustrator, you could design your own too.

Here are some of the ideas we have used:

 photo Stella Valentine 2011 copy_zpsrmyupbii.jpg

 photo Jex Valentine copy_zps4bxfxnjp.jpg

 photo Isaac Valentine 2011 copy_zpsotarqzwn.jpg

 photo Ike valentine 2 copy_zpsoxap2j6z.jpg

Some of the first ones that we made were just like a postcard photo, and then we attached a treat.

One year, we even made cute little hair clips for the girls, and gave bubbles to the boys. 


Jex even gave super hero button pins one year.  It has been fun to think outside the box of just candy.

When Tess was little I just couldn’t stand not to make one for her.  We would mail them to her cousins.

 photo Tess Valentine 2011 copy_zpscnhrpriu.jpg

 photo Valentine 2013 copy_zps276lrnqu.jpg

I even had so much fun designing them, that I made one to send to Grandparents:

 photo kids valentine 2013 copy_zps1zx0meh2.jpg

Then we starting making some that had a theme.  When Jex was in fourth grade he was really into Pokemon.  He came up with the idea of using a character from Pokemon named Axew.  This is what we came up with:

 photo Valentine 2013 3 copy_zpsetdlkesj.jpg

We attached a package of popcorn to it.

 photo edit jex_zpszrnsfuot.jpg

That same year, Stella was really into Owl’s.  This is what we made for her Valentine:

 photo Stella valentine 2013 copy_zpsgaxynhkt.jpg

Then we made water bottle wraps with the same cute saying, and attached a drink packet:

 photo collage_zpsp0f9juzf.jpg

If you like this water bottle idea, you can download the print for free to make your own; click on the print below:

 photo Water Bottle Printable_zpshmqyjv0o.jpg

Isaac’s was a pretty simple one that year:

 photo Ike_zpsfkgwom04.jpg

A little “fun” dip makes it complete:

 photo valentine ideas 2013 2 of 4ed_zpsk1jfkx6g.jpg

We also had a lot of fun one year with a mustache straw attached to a water bottle, and then this cute message:

 photo Jex Valentine copy 2_zpsfaysf3jk.jpg

Stella wanted to give her friends hot chocolate one year.  So we stapled this cute little Valentine to a package of hot chocolate with some pink heart marshmallows:

 photo Stella Valentine copy_zpssd6d2tfa.jpg

We also had some fun with Star Wars:

 photo Ike 2014 yoda_zpsa1vmrufb.jpg

A glow stick becomes the light saber:

 photo Valentines 2014-0835_zpsifuvuo6m.jpg

Stella saw these cute twinkie minions on pinterest a few years back, so we borrowed the print from this site, then made the minions.

 photo Valentines 2014-0842_zps0rjwqbsd.jpg

This is the Valentine we put with it:

 photo Stella 14 one in a minion_zpsi66qpr6s.jpg

 photo Valentines 2014-0841_zpsi0dtjnpz.jpg

When Jex was a 5th grader, we tried to keep it cool:

 photo jex you rule 14_zpsqri3stvp.jpg

We made a pocket with the Valentine and paper, and slipped in a ruler.  I bought a 3 pack at the dollar tree.

 photo Valentines 2014-0837_zpsfo9uaeuq.jpg

This was Tessa’s first real Valentine.  She was in preschool this year and Frozen was the big thing.

Olaf was the perfect snowman to join Tess on her Valentine:

 photo Tessa Valentine melting 2014_zpsf5dgnokr.jpg

Then an adorable heart-shaped chocolate becomes the balloon:

 photo Valentines 2014-0839_zpskc0txb3g.jpg

For those of you who want to make something like this for your kids and you don’t have photoshop, you could always use an app on your phone.  I have started designing invites to things using the Rhonna Farrer app.  You should try it.  It is so easy.  In fact, I just made this Valentine using 2 of her apps to show you that you could:

 photo IMG_1767_zpsmef730pl.jpg

This is made with the Rhonna Farrer app, and Rhonna Farrer Collage.

Using the 2 together works awesome and is so quick.  You can go back and forth and import between the 2 apps.

I have also used Phonto when I want to include fun text.

It’s amazing what we can do on our phones.

Happy Valentine Ideas!!

Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

I’m off to figure out what we are doing this year.

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