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it's funny the things you remember in your life.  the places you've been.  the things you saw, heard or was inspired by.  the lessons learned.
of these lessons...the "eat dessert first" lesson has always been a personal fav ;) .

many years ago i attended an event called 'creative escape' put on by heidi swapp.  this event was absolutely AMAZING.  in every detail.  in every way.  one of the trademark memories of this event was to "eat dessert first".  and that we did.  talk about perfection, right?!?

so in honor of dessert, and "national dessert day"....i say...BRING ON THE DESSERT!  and of course at this time of year...that would mean (for me) all things PUMPKIN. yum!  and cheesecake....double yum!

life is really all about the little things.  and eating dessert first is really a little thing in life....but is something that has stuck with me for many years. indulging at the most inopportune unusual times makes it all the better.  and so much fun.

happy national dessert day everyone. XO


the month of october is all about pink.
raising awareness for breast cancer.
awareness for us as woman to stand together united on all fronts.
whether it be for yourself, for someone you personally know....for making an annual mammogram appointment, doing a self check, taking part in a charity event or making a donation.  
this month is an important one for us as women.

i wanted to make a special addition into my planner this month.  in honour of breast cancer awareness and to serve as a visual reminder of what this month represents and it's importance in the fight.

i created this printable in photoshop and printed it out on minc acetate paper. (you can see a full tutorial on using acetate paper and the minc machine here)
once it was printed i ran it through my minc machine with pink foil.

the metallic shine always takes my breath away.

once i had the print foiled, i trimmed it down to 6x8 inches so that it would fit perfectly into my planner.  i added a piece of bazzill rose quartz card stock behind it, also trimmed to size.  i love the pink foil against the rose gold.  such beautiful colours together.

once i had both papers trimmed to size, i used my memory planner hole punch to punch corresponding holes.

placing these words into my planner gives this month extra meaning.  such a powerful and important reminder.

i made this print available for you to print below.  be sure to print it out on a laser printer if you are wanting to add foil to it with the minc.  you can print it out on regular paper, card stock, vellum or acetate.  

this truly is the month to #thinkpink.

Planner Printable


mondays are always about the MINC and today over on heidi swapp's blog i invite you to come check out a very fun and simple DIY to creating transparent file folders for your planner using some of the amazing new MINC products now available at select joann store locations!

these new acetate papers and lamination pouches work amazingly together and i came up with a fun way you can combine them to create an awesome customized file folder for your planner! file folders and dashboards are one of the best parts about planners and i love that now i can create my own.
think customized sayings, your favourite colours.... whatever you desire can be created using these acetate sheets and a laser printer.  

this is one i created.  i love the message and now that it's printed on an acetate page with my laser printer i can foil it in ANY colour i desire.  i know....how does one even choose?

well, as you can see the blue ombre foil won this time!  but lucky for me (and you!) i made this art available as a free printable so you at home can play with this technique and your favourite colour of foil and MINC to your hearts content.  :)

so be sure to head on over to heidi's blog where you will find the broken down step by step tutorial and the freebie printables.  enjoy and happy MINC IT MONDAY!  #foilallthethings


hello everyone!

if you are anything like me these days....the fall bug has bit.  which means pumpkin EVERYTHING and the urge to start whipping up some fun festive halloween decor.  halloween really is just around the corner and i want as much time as i can to enjoy all that this wonderful time of year brings....especially before the snow starts flying!!!  so that means....time to get creative spooky style!

i want to share a super fun and festive gallery wall "switch up" project today.
especially since it is using products and items from my stash that are not particularly halloween directed.  

but who doesn't love a little surprise inspiration?  i love looking at things in new ways and bringing new life to items that i have in my stash.  versatility rocks...ok so here we go!

i wanted to create a fun halloween gallery wall piece.  something i could add into my home easily either on a wall, or shelf.

so i gathered up the following heidi swapp gallery wall materials now available (and exclusive to michaels stores) and went to work. 

to create this project you will need the following items:
  • heidi swapp gallery wall frame
  • heidi swapp marquee love numbers: 3,1
  • heidi swapp marquee love glitter tape (black, orange, purple)
  • heidi swapp marquee love purple bulbs
  • heidi swapp gallery wall paper pad
  • black spray paint
  • command hooks

Step 1: using black spray paint, spray the entire frame black.
Step 2: using marquee love glitter tape (in desired color) place tape on the entire mat  that comes with the frame. do not worry if two sides have a bit of white exposed, the frame conceals that once it's placed back in.
Step 3: locate the black and white paper from the paper pad and place in frame
Step 4: add purple bulbs and purple marquee love glitter tape to the marquee numbers
Step 5: place command hooks onto the frame so that we can suspend our marquee numbers

once you have completed these steps....voila!  a gorgeous gallery wall piece customized just for halloween!

add in some festive banners for even more holiday feel!

don't you just LOVE those purple bulbs?
i am not a fan of purple personally, but for halloween they are perfection!

i really love how such simple transformational tools (like spray paint and different coloured bulbs) can create the most perfect and customized holiday decor.  the black frame and purple accenting is amazing as halloween decor.

 and as always....that marquee glow.  so perfect! especially for this time of year.  bring on halloween.


i think the only thing that makes losing summer a little less painful for me are all the super cute and adorable fall things that start to grace store shelves.  the desire to decorate my house becomes stronger as i start to really feel the fall vibes.  i mean....how can you NOT get sucked in to pumpkin spice EVERYTHING?!?

and speaking of pumpkins....i spotted this cute wreath at my local dollar store the other day.  even though it is OK "as-is", it needed something MORE.  i had the perfect solution!

if you have been to michaels stores recently, then you may have seen the brand new release of heidi swapp marquee love called "halloween in lights" gracing their shelves. and yes... think HALLOWEEN EVERYTHING.  SO much fun stuff!  there are garlands, banners, marquee shapes.....light box accessories!  it is all just so awesome for getting in the fall mood!  be sure to check out the entire collection here.  you will LOVE it!

so going back to my little wreath find, i knew exactly what marquee love products i wanted to use to bring my wreath to life and give it some festive marquee DIY makeover treatment!

first up....this adorable BOO marquee light banner kit.
it comes with huge chunky sparkly alphas spelling "BOO", lights, pennant banners....so much fun here!

next, this bat garland!
what is so cool about these new marquee halloween garlands is that they are fun shapes and it is the eyes of the shapes that light up!  you simply just pop the light strand bulbs into the eyes of the shapes and voila! a glowing decorative halloween banner ready to wow.  i am kind of obsessed with this bat banner, but they also come in pumpkins, ghosts, sugar skulls....SO much to choose from.

even though i love the clear marquee bulbs that come with the boo banner kit, i wanted to add a bit more festive flair to my wreath so i am going to use these orange bulb caps instead of the originals.  

so let the makeover begin!

to begin, i simply am going to place the bulb caps into my marquee alphas.

this is super easy. just push them through the holes....yes! that is is!

yes, i am loving the orange touch!

next, following the enclosed instructions that come in the kit insert the light strand into each of the bulbs as you can see below.

once that is complete, use the string that is enclosed in the kit to string the BOO letters together and attach to your wreath.  I simply tied these letters onto my wreath.  for extra durability you can also use a hot glue gun to really secure them if you like.

once that is complete, i then added my bat marquee garland.  i only used 3 of the bats as you can see below.  since i only used 3 bats, i had extra lights so i just wrapped them around my wreath giving it extra sparkle!

and voila! there you have it!  a very simple DIY makeover to a dollar store wreath!  i added the foliage and leaves to my wreath at the end simple placing and adhering with a glue gun.  again, nothing special here....just simply placed and glued where desired!

i love the large marquee alphas.  i think they are so fun to add onto a wreath for my front door.

the little bats are the perfect touch.

and here you can see it in all it's glow as i placed it on my door.

i hope you are inspired this weekend to check out your local michaels and grab some of these awesome marquee products to play with yourself.  it is so amazing all of the things you can create and transform...just by adding lights!


we have officially arrived.
yes....we are almost at the end of august.
looking back and reflecting on the summer's events and happenings.
probably if you are anything like me, you also have TONS of photos.
either on your camera or iPhone. or both.  like me.
it has been one busy summer that is for sure.

so needless to say, with all these photos and memories.  they are needing a good home.
enter the newest collection of heidi swapp memory keeping products.  seriously, perfect timing.
in early august we went on our first little family vacation getaway.
we decided to bring our son madix to see drumheller.  home of the dinosaurs.
really....what more could a little 2 year old boy want?

we had a wonderful time taking in all of the sights and enjoying little adventures.  i think part of the magic of having little ones is how they really have a good time doing nothing.  just walking.  observing.  taking it all in.  this was probably one of the most relaxing holidays i have had.  on one hand it was busy....but on the other it was just simply "enjoying the little things".  it was an awesome balance.

once we returned home, i knew exactly what i was going to do with all of my photos.  i took a ton and really wanted to use all of them in a memory keeping project.  all of the photos i took this trip were taken with my iPhone, and i am truly ok with that.  some of them may not be perfect, but they were taken in the moment and that is what this trip was about for all of us.  just "being in the moment".

so today i want to share some of my favourite pages with you and how i brought our vacation to life within the pages of my heidi swapp memory keeping photo journal.  you can see the entire new collection and learn more about them here.

for me, this project was purely a focus on the photos and the words.  
time is flying by so quickly and i really wanted a place that i could document the little stories and little moments that made our trip together memorable.

inside my journal i added photos of various sizes....chose to mix things up a bit.  i had a ton of fun adding in stamping and washi to embellish.  most (if not all) my stamping and embellishing came from the coordinating embellishment kits.  these are all brand new to michaels stores and are available now.

one thing i really loved doing in this album is mixing up photo sizes.  it is so much fun to add variety in this way.  making these albums work for you and your style is so easy.  they allow for so much creativity.

i loved how i added in the arrow stickers beside each of these photos.  

washi tape is such a great way to not only embellish a page, but divide it if necessary.  especially if you want to journal about two different topics on the same page.  combining stamping and stickers is also one of my favourite things to play around with as well.

there are some great tags and paper embellishments that come inside the embellishment kits.  here i decided to add some machine stitching onto them before adhering into my book.  i will add in my journaling next.

when you purchase these albums, you will also receive a sheet of awesome transparent phrase stickers.  these are awesome as embellishments, journal prompts or creating visual interest in your album.  i love how i added these phrases to my photo page.  i find them to be very inspiring and will help tell my story when i journal it down on the next page.

you can see here how easy and awesome it is to add in all of the different embellishment pieces together.  below i added in stickers, washi....they create such gorgeous art when used together.

i also loved adding in various photo sizes and shapes into my book.  here i simply punched out some of my photos using a circle punch to create this fun page.  just because the paper is lined, one does not have to journal.  you can use these pages in whatever way you want.  i loved keeping the focus on the photos for this one.

mini scrapbook layout here for the win.  this page is probably my most favourite.

again, just so much fun to make your own rules and add a ton of photos! i even had fun playing with my typecast typewriter here to add in this quote.

i am SO grateful for this beautiful keepsake that i now have.  honestly, if it was not for this particular album i do not think i would have had my vacation memories scrapbooked so fast.  these albums make it SO easy to get your photos and stories combined in such a beautiful way....and you can make it as tedious or as simple as you desire.  there is no rules.  just room for endless creative play.  now that i have all of my photos inside...i can work at continuing to jot down stories and memories as i have time, and remember.

i hope you are inspired to tell some of your summer stories this year and capture them inside one of these amazing photo journals.  you will be amazed at how easy it is and how incredible your memories come back to life when they are captured within these pages.

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