Taking Stock 04

This week has been pretty rough. My grandma was put in hospice care over the weekend. She never really got better after her hospitalization a few weeks ago. We're pretty worried about her, but we're glad that she's getting a little extra care and attention. One of us have been stopping by almost every day this week to check in on her. So far, she seems to be doing a little better **fingers crossed** 


Making: plans to make my own infinity scarves. One day.
Cooking: This recipe
Drinking: a plain ol' latte
Reading: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear  Still reading this! I AM GOING TO FINISH THIS BOOK!
Wanting: to go on an adventure somewhere pretty.
Looking: for my fitbit charger
Playing: Sims Freeplay (don't judge!)
Wasting: spinach. it's been in my fridge since Thanksgiving...
Wishing: i had more time to paint
Enjoying: this amazing mild weather. If only the rest of winter could be like this...
Waiting: for mom's glasses to be ready for pickup
Liking: the quiet time in the morning at work before the rest of the office rolls in.
Wondering: what to get family for Christmas. Any ideas?
Loving: these soaps. I'm out!
Hoping: my grandma gets better and won't require hospice care anymore.
Needing: more sleep!
Smelling: coffee
Wearing: comfy jeans, sweater, and my orange & grey bird scarf i got from Stitch Fix
Following: really amazing and beautiful eye candy on instagram: nothingisordinary and thejungalow
Noticing: how short the days are
Knowing: how much I don't know about home care/repair
Thinking: about goals I didn't complete this year
Bookmarking: anything relating to bullet journaling
Giggling: over adorable sloth videos (they never get old!)
Feeling: a little stressed


How was your week? Do you do a "taking stock" sort of post too? I'd love if you posted a link in the comments section below!



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Taking Stock 03

Happy week after Thanksgiving! Are you finished with your leftovers yet? I finally finished mine. I can't complain-- the strata was really amazing. This week, a pesky cold has been slowly kicking my butt. The week started off strong, I felt good Monday and Tuesday was a little iffy, and by Friday, all I wanted to do was stay in bed.

Fall Color Dahlia


Making: copious amounts of hot tea (earl grey!)
Cooking: I made some amazing gingersnap cookies this week. The recipe was from the back of a package of candied ginger and I didn't think to save it (or photograph them!) Ugh! I guess I will have to make them again! ;)
Drinking: Earl Grey Tea.
Reading: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear  Still reading this! I need to sit down for more than 5 minutes and just read!
Wanting: to feel better. I seem to have caught a bug.
Looking: forward to feeling better.
Playing: Sim City on my ipad.
Wasting: time checking Facebook. Maybe 2016 will be Facebook free?
Wishing: my grandma was in better health.
Enjoying:  this sloth tea infuser! I saw it at target the other day and had to buy it!
Waiting:  for files from one hard drive (that I suspect is on it's last leg) to copy over to a new one (so! many! photos!)
Liking: everything in this etsy shop.
Loving: on my grandma this week.
Hoping: to feel better soon and take my mom to either the Wonderland Express at the Chicago Botanic Garden or the Morton Arboretum Illumination.
Needing: to pick up this brush letting guide.
Smelling: nothing much at the moment.
Wearing: multiple sweaters and slippers.
Noticing: the beauty in the the fog these past few morning.
Thinking: about my goals and plans for 2016.
Feeling: stuffy and poopy. I'm going back to bed.

I hope you're feeling well and have a great week!


Taking Stock 02

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you spent the Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones and friends and shared delicious food and fond memories together.

Happy Thanksgiving Pumpkin Give Thanks

Making: A crocheted blanket out of leftover yarn. This is going to take a while...
Cooking: Spinach and Cheese Strata- I made it for Thanksgiving brunch and it was amazing!
Drinking: Medium coffee from Starbucks with Gingerbread syrup. Since it snowed last week, Fall is over. Bring on the Holiday drinks!
Reading: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear  Still reading this. Still really good. Still highly recommend it.
Wanting: this sloth tea infuser
Looking: at my blank walls. Perhaps it's time I finally put up some art.
Playing: this on repeat
Wasting:  time watching Jessica Jones. It's pretty good. I'm just waiting for a Daredevil crossover.
Wishing: I was a better writer.
Enjoying:  The 4 1/2 day weekend!
Waiting:  for prints for the newton-mas cards I'm making for a favorite flickr friend to hurry up and get here.
Liking: most of the items in my latest Stitch Fix!
Loving: my new bullet journal.
Hoping: we're done with the snow for the rest of the winter! (a girl can dream, right?)
Needing: to break up with sugar. Again.
Smelling The Fresh Balsam candle from Bath and Body works. 
Wearing: felted slippers that took two years to make.
Noticing: All of my blessings.
Thinking: about all I'm thankful for. And it's a lot.
Feeling: pretty good.


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Taking Stock

This week was good. Much better than last week when my grandma was in the hospital and we weren't sure what was wrong. Turns out that she was severely dehydrated and that can mess you up! Thankfully she's doing much better now. 

Taking Stock-01 Pumpkins

Making: plans for thanksgiving bruch. we're hosting!
Cooking: Zuppa Toscana- this turned out BETTER than the version from Olive Garden!
Drinking: Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I know it's November and Starbucks rolled out their peppermint mochas and Holiday Drinks, but to me, it's still Fall and it will be Pumpkin Spice until Thanksgiving. Or until it snow. Whichever comes first...
Reading: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear  (it's such a good read. go get it)
Wanting: to paint. I haven't painted in months. 
Looking: forward to spring (i know it isn't even winter yet and I'm already looking forward to spring...)
Playing: with colored pencils (I can't stop coloring!)
Wasting: time on pinterest. (you should follow me!)
Wishing: I could go back to Oregon.
Enjoying: not having to drive to my moms house several times a week. it's nice to be able to just go home after work!
Waiting: for my next Stitch Fix to arrive, it should be here next week!
Liking: blogging again! (I got plans, people!)
Loving: The Lost Ocean coloring book
Hoping: I don't have to cook a turkey
Needing: a mustard yellow cardigan!
Smelling: Pumpkin Pie candle from Bath & Body Works (hello clearance!)
Wearing: my favorite yellow handmade scarf
Noticing: the gorgeous sunsets on my way home from work
Thinking: about next week!
Feeling: motivated!

I hope you had a great week too!


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Throwback Thursday- November 5, 2015

My first love was drawing. I had a teacher in 4th grade who noticed that I liked to draw (a lot) and really nurtured my talent. She gave me a few "How to Draw" books and I went to town! I drew incessantly and I filled sketch book after sketch book with drawings of cats (of course, what young girl doesn't like cats?) horses, disney characters... You put it in front of me, I tried drawing it.

While helping my mom pack up and move out of her home (my childhood home) I came across a folder with loose leaf sheets of paper with my drawings! The earliest drawings I found were from 6th grade. I can remember exactly what book these came from (Lee Ames "How to Draw 50 Cats") and I totally remember drawing these.

Thowback Thursday- drawings from 6th grade
Throwback Thursday- 6th grade drawing of cats

Man, what I would give to have been able to find a few of my sketchbooks from grade school!

I'm happy to say that I still love drawing, though I don't do it as much anymore. I feel very inspired to start again. I'm also thankful that I no longer outline everything with a sharpie!



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Free June Printable + BONUS

You guys, can you believe it's already JUNE?! (Neither can I!)

I'm really excited to share my newest free printable. I LOVE it. I have this framed hanging up on my wall in my craft room. It reminds me that I CAN try something new--no matter how silly or "impractical" it seems. (I have trouble doing things/projects that I deem "impractical" or a "waste of time" so this speaks to me...)

You CAN Try Something New FREE Printable from April Bern Photography

While preparing this month's printable for you, I came across another inspirational photo that I had to share as well! I have this one printed out and tacked up in my cube at work. It's just above my monitor and I look at it all the time. It reminds me that my dreams ARE worth pursuing. No matter how small or insignificant, or silly (or impractical) they are.

Your Dreams ARE worth Pursuing free printable from April Bern Photography

I don't know about you, but sometimes, I need this encouragement.

I hope you like these printables and you find inspiration/motivation when you see them.


To get this months free printable and bonus (plus iPhone/iPad and desktop wallpapers) please sign up for my newsletter. I want to be able to share with you printables/wallpapers and other assorted goodies every month! Don't worry, I won't spam you and I won't sell your info. I mean, friends just don't do those sorts of things.

Of course, it wouldn't be a friendship if you had no way to contact me. You can always email me, or find/follow/get in touch with me via your favorite social media channel, or leave a comment below. I'm happy to hear from you and would love to connect with you!


Let me know what you think of this printable, or if you have any suggestions for something you'd like to see. I'm all ears!


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Fitbit is Wrecking my Life!

You all know what the Fitbit is, right? It's this little tracker device you wear and it monitors your daily activity like steps, stairs, and even nutrition and sleep. I got mine back in January and I really like it. My step goal is a lofty 10,000 and on most days, I can make goal. But if I have plans and I don't quite hit my goal-- it's okay, I don't usually stress out about it.



One of the nice features fitbit has is the ability to connect with your friends and get involved in daily/weekly/weekend challenges. Sounds like fun, right? What a great way to keep one another motivated and inspired. 


DON'T DO IT! it will wreck your life!


Let me explain. I am NOT a competitive person. I hate sports (read: I'm TERRIBLE at sports) and I don't play many games. If I do play and I'm losing, I fully embrace the loss as I usually expect to lose anyway. But these fitbit challenges? They have completely turned me into a competitive MANIAC!


   Names and avatars have been removed to protect the innocent...


Names and avatars have been removed to protect the innocent...

Here are the top 5 ways fitbit is wrecking my life:

1. I cannot get anything done. Literally. I'm not even joking or exaggerating about this.  All I do when I get home from work is walk in circles at the gym, or at home (or both.) I don't have time to make dinner, clean, or work on crafty/artsy projects. All I do is walk. In circles.

2. I don't see my family, friends, or husband. If I have a challenge, I try not to make plans after work.  If I do manage to make it out of the house to see family/friends, I leave early so I can go home and get some steps in so I can make my goal or get ahead. Or I stay and feel guilty. If I'm at home and G is home, I'm downstairs walking in circles and he's upstairs watching TV.

3. I'm so crazy tired. I normally wake up for work at 5.30ish, but now I'm waking up at 5ish (or earlier!) and staying up waaaaaaaay too late to make sure I get my steps in and try to get ahead. Because if I'm not ahead by a couple thousand steps, I'm not happy. 

4. I've worn holes in all of my socks. I've had to replace all of my socks at least twice now.

5. I check the progress of the challenge obsessively. Seriously, all the time. I walk from the house to the car. Check my stats (18 steps.) Walk from the car to the office. Check my stats (156 steps.) Walk to the bathroom. Check my stats (25 steps.) You get the idea.

And I have to win. I will wake up even earlier than I already do to get in some steps before heading out to work, I will stay up until midnight just to make sure I'm significantly ahead. I walk to the bathroom at work almost every hour. I walk in circles at home so much so that I think I'm wearing out the carpet. G suggested he make dinners that I can carry and eat while walking and I thought this was a fine idea. I feel guilty if I make plans and I'm not able to get steps in and I'm in "danger" of losing.

This is insane. There's gotta be a pill for this, right?

Do you have the fitbit or other fitness tracking device? Do you feel the same way to? Let me know in the comments section below. I'd love to hear how you deal with these so-called friendly challenges!


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Free May Printable

Hey ya'll (every time someone said "ya'll" when we were in Austin, I'd nudge G and excitedly whisper to him "they said "ya'll" ) Remember last week when I mentioned that I've been super inspired after returning from my little trip to Austin? I was SO motivated and inspired that I made a free printable and desktop/iPhone/iPad wallpaper and sent it to my besties. And by "besties" I mean all of you lovely individuals that signed up for my newsletter. I've got so many other fun gifts to send out-- I'm planning a desktop calendar template (who couldn't use that?) a printable card set, and a little photography guide (so far!) I've got more ideas in the works.

If you sign up for my newsletter (don't worry-- I won't sell your email info or anything awful like that!) I'll send you this gorgeous printable and wallpaper and then you'll be on my BFF list and always know when I have something new or cool going on. Wouldn't that be fun? Of course, it wouldn't be a BFF/bestie kind of relationship if you had no way to contact me. You can always email me, or find/follow/get in touch with me via your favorite social media channel.

I'd love to connect with you!! Let me know what you think of this printable, or if you have any suggestions. I'm all ears!


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