Monday, August 13, 2012

Brighten Up Back to School with AstroBrights! | Sponsored Post

This post brought to you by Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper. All opinions are 100% mine.

When I was in high school one of my "must have" items was AstroBrights papers. I enjoyed the bright colors that made my report covers stand out!

Not only did I use them for report covers, but I also punched holes in them and used them for note-taking (instead of that boring college ruled lined paper!). They were also essential for poster making for Student Council, Drill Team and DECA!

Funny thing is after all these years (20+ years), I still seem to keep a stash of AstroBrights in my arsenal of scrapbooking paper. There is just something about those bright colors that I can steer away from!!! I have evolved, though, in my use of them. ;) I now use them for scrapbook pages, invitation and card making and various other projects. They ocassionally still get used for school projects - only now the projects are my boys', not mine. :)

I love that they have also added to their selection of colors! They now have 23 BRIGHT colors available in a variety of products - envelopes, filler paper (where was this when I was in school???), posterboard, note cubes, easel pads and cardstock (my favorite!).

With most schools starting within a month or so, AstroBrights provides a great option for teachers when creating their "Welcome Back" announcements for parents. PTAs can also use the papers to brightly invite parents to join the PTA! :) The bright colors will be hard to miss when going through the sea of papers that our kids bring home within the first couple of days of school.

Parents can also use AstroBrights to create chore charts that stand out and can't be missed! :) Or

Right now, AstroBrights is hosting a great giveaway - the "Give a Brighter Year" sweepstakes. Enter the Give a Brighter Year Sweepstakes for a chance to win $30,000 in supplies for your favorite school AND a $500 gift card for you! Visit Astrobrights on Facebook to complete the entry form. There is no purchase necessary and sweepstakes ends September 10, 2012. Get those entries in!!! :)

If you are the creative type then AstroBrights has something else for you! Visit Astrobrights on Facebook and enter their "Make Something AstroBrights" design challenge! Get those creative juices stirring and complete the challenges for a chance to win Visa gift cards. The challenges change every 2 weeks so be sure to check back often for new challenges.

Whether you are using AstroBrights papers to design posters, cards, scrapbook pages or anything else you create, share your creativity on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter and be sure to use the hashtag #goastrobrights.

Now go get your creative groove going and make something! :)


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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Go Back to School with Famous Footwear - BOGO Offer

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's that time of year again and I'm sure you have the drill down and your shopping list ready:

  • Clothes
  • Backpack
  • School Supplies
  • Shoes

My boys went back to school last month and the one thing I procrastinated on was shoe shopping. Why? Because 1) shoes are expensive and 2) my boys go through shoes so fast that I hate spending TONS of money on them.

In comes Famous Footwear and their awesome BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon.


What I especially love about Famous Footwear is that you can walk in and find shoes for the whole family - no having to walk up and down the mall finding specialty shoe shops for each family member.

The boys have such different tastes in shoes and I appreciate that Famous Footwear has a HUGE variety of styles to fit both their tastes. From characters and light up shoes for Cody to more "mature" lace-up tennis shoes for DJ, I can find them there.

The boys aren't too keen on shopping with mommy (something about it taking tooooo long) so they enjoy that we can run in, try on a couple pairs of shoes and run out and be done....all in one trip.

I have to admit, though, the hardest part for me is trying *not* to look at shoes for me while shopping for the boys! :)

With the BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon, I can buy a pair of shoes for DJ, get 50% off shoes for Cody and what? 15% off shoes for me?? Sure, why not! :) heehee

Did you know that Famous Footwear also has a Rewards program? My favorite part is that you earn points to earn certificates to spend in-store or online! Cha-ching! I know my boys will need new shoes mid-way through the school year so this is definitely a program for me.

Stop by their website to sign up to

  • Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend in-store or online
  • Accumulate points to earn certificates up to $100 a year
  • Discount offer just for signing up
  • Other special inside discounts and perks

While on their website, don't forget to print out the BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon. You will definitely want that with you when you stop by to get your shoe shopping done!

Happy shopping!







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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Digital Crafting–Scrapbooking, Card Making and Photo Editing…. OH MY

I have a big collection of scrapbooking and crafting items in my craft room yet I seem to always end up using Photoshop Elements to create my cards and scrapbook pages.

I was recently asked what type of items I create in Photoshop Elements so I just wanted to share a few.

I have blocked out some of the personal info so that white blocks are ;).

My favorite things to create are announcements and invitations. It is my must have tool for the boys’ birthdays and Christmas cards.

BirthAnnouncementCody1stBirthdayInvite_Park3x5 copyCody_5thBday_invitation copyDJThankYouCard copySafari


I also really enjoy creating scrapbook pages with it. Most of the time I hybrid scrapbook so that I can still use some of the cool embellishments that I purchase.



This was one of my first digital scrapbooking projects….


I also use Photoshop Elements for business use – primarily photo editing and flyers.

Below is the most recent gift certificate created for a silent auction.


Do you use Photoshop Elements for creating? If so, I would love to see how you use it. Please feel free to leave a comment with a link to your blog or photo gallery!


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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Heavy Heart for a Child Gone Too Soon

I pulled up to my boys’ school this morning to see the flag flying at half mast.

The campus was busier than usual with parents walking their children onto campus instead of dropping them off at the drop-off zone.

I am sure their hearts and minds were at the same place that mine were…are.

Yesterday, the boys were sent home with a note stating that a schoolmate, a 1st grader, had passed away in a car accident when the car her mother was driving went into a nearby reservoir.

This event has been plastered all over the news…a mother under the influence driving her daughter, a man and another 5 year old child.

Her and the man escaped the submerged car.

The 2 girls had to be rescued by Border Patrol.

Neither girl survived.

It is heartbreaking to think of the short-lived life of those girls. One of whom both my boys know.

Parents held their children’s hands this morning as they walked them to their classes. Big hugs were shared as goodbyes were exchanged.

I am sure each of us parents had the same thought of holding their child in their protective arms and never letting go….protecting them from all that is bad in the world…protecting them from what we cannot control.

I hugged my kids tighter last night and kissed them a lot more than I already do.

My heart and prayers go out to these girls’ families.


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Monday, August 6, 2012

Knee Injury Update

This is how the conversation will go down....

"What brings you to Sports Medicine today?" the doctor will ask.

"Oh, you know, my extreme sports caused a sports injury," I will say while blushing a bright shade of red.

"What type of extreme sports have you been doing?"

"Bouncy house jumping."

I am slightly embarrassed that my injury was not the run of the mill "I sprained my knee in a bouncy house" sprain. Oh no! When I go all out, I go ALL out. Like when I fell ice skating a couple of years ago. It wasn't just a fall. It was a concussion.

That's just how I, fall.

This injury is according to my doctor, I "highly likely" have a torn ACL. That's why it keeps getting "oh my gosh I want to cry for my mom" injured every time I mis-step or turn too quickly.

It has definitely been painful.

My next steps are physical therapy and a visit with Sports Medicine. Physical Therapy I don't so much mind. It's the whole title of Sports Medicine. I know they don't just deal with sports injuries, BUT it would be slightly less embarrassing to actually have an injury caused by sports. Ya know what I mean??? :)

- Posted from my iPad

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What I’ve Been Up To!

I was just realizing it has been a week since I last posted. For shame!

In my defense, though, it was a busy week last week.

With the boys back in school, I am focused on building MRS Photography in its new home of San Diego. I put the photography on hold while I focused on getting everyone settled in and now that everyone is, it was time to focus on what I love!

To start, I did a “model” call out in one a Facebook group that I am a part of.

I am SO beyond excited about the sessions and how ADORABLE these kids are that I want to share my favorites from last week!

San Diego Child Photography - Special Needs - Down Syndrome - Rohr Park, Bonita (5 of 9)

San Diego Child Photography - Mission Bay Park - Down Syndrome (7 of 10)

San Diego Child Photography - Old Poway Park - Down Syndrome (5 of 6)

San Diego Child Photography - Lindo Lake, Lakeside, CA - Down Syndrome (5 of 6)

I have always been fortunate to have jobs that I enjoy (well, except for one that ended up ending unpleasantly…but that’s another story and a unique experience), but nothing has been MORE rewarding and fulfilling than photography. Okay, other than motherhood, that is. Winking smile

Thank you for letting me share what I have been up to and I hope these beautiful kids brought a smile to your face. A smile is a good way to start a Monday, isn’t it? Smile



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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Meet My New Sewing Buddy | Singer 150 Dress Form

Meet my new friend that will be helping me with sewing, Singer.
Singer 150 Dress Form - Sewing - My Life...A Happy Life (1 of 5)
She doesn’t really live up to her name because she hasn’t sang ONE song yet! ;)
But she sports this big ‘ol name tag on her.
Singer 150 Dress Form - Sewing - My Life...A Happy Life (5 of 5)
I think it is pretty cool that it has a hem thingy dingy, though I don’t quite yet know how to use it.
Singer 150 Dress Form - Sewing - My Life...A Happy Life (2 of 5)
I can even make her as tall as I am – which isn’t tall at all.
Singer 150 Dress Form - Sewing - My Life...A Happy Life (3 of 5)
I especially like that she is adjustable so I can customize her to my size and ensure that my projects will fit every time!
Singer 150 Dress Form - Sewing - My Life...A Happy Life (4 of 5)

I haven’t quite had a chance to use the dress form yet but I have been going through my patterns and fabric trying to figure out what I want to try to make!
I will be sure to share that project. Pin It