Mar 20, 2014


I have refrained from blogging about this, to spare you four months of hearing about it, but as it is now less than two months out... I can no longer help myself!

Katrina and I are taking a trip in early May to San Diego and Mexico. We have long wanted to visit San Diego, but I don't think we would have taken the leap so soon if two friends of ours hadn't decided to have a destination wedding there. When they told us about it, back in January, it didn't take long for us to see this was the perfect incentive for us to make the trip. We would be there to celebrate with them, and extend our stay afterwards. We booked ourselves a week's stay, airline tickets, and then thought.... why not add on a few extra days and take a road trip down to Mexico?

We will not be visiting Mexico as tourists... we're not going for the beaches or tequila. This was the opportunity of a lifetime for Katrina to reconnect with family she has not seen since she was a baby. So we will be staying at the home of her aunt (who is beyond thrilled that Katrina is making the trip).

L: Katrina's dad and his little sister (her aunt)
R: Katrina's grandma and baby Katrina (how CUTE is she?)
Katrina and her aunt

As excited as I am about all of the vacation-related activities we are looking forward to in San Diego (I'm sure you'll be hearing more about that), our adventure to Mexico to meet Katrina's family is by far our most anticipated part of the trip. Some of her paternal family reconnected with her father (a Guatemalan who immigrated to Mexico as a boy, and to the United States as a young man) through facebook. She grew up never knowing any of them, hardly even aware of their existence. That is difficult for me to imagine since I have always known both of my parents' families.

I feel so happy and lucky to be able to experience this with her!

Her family speaks no english, so we are both making an effort to learn as much spanish as we can over the next seven weeks--we're even having a friend come over to help tutor us. We've been listening to latin music (recommendations, anyone?), putting up vocabulary sticky notes, trying to incorporate spanish into every day conversations. Fortunately we both took several years of spanish in school, and Katrina's dad occasionally spoke the language around her, so we're not starting from scratch.

helpful sticky vocab
I'd appreciate any tips for learning a language quickly! It's definitely not easy, but I think will be worth the effort. Her aunt said she would love to teach us some of Katrina's grandma's recipes (Katrina's grandma has passed away).

I am thinking I'd like to make some kind of art as a gift for her...

¡Estoy tan emocionado para nuestra aventura!

Mar 13, 2014

Home, Six Months Later

Six months ago I was driving away from the town where I grew up, a car packed to the roof, wiping tears from my eyes and blaring Brandi Carlile's "Dying Day" (great song, if you haven't heard it... How I miss you and I just wanna kiss you, and I'm gonna love you till my dying day.)

I was technically leaving "home", but I truly felt like I was going home for the first time. Katrina is my home. I have always told her "this is my favorite place", when she's holding me tight--it doesn't matter where we are.

With huge relief I said goodbye to long distance. Now that I've experienced the daily wonderful joy of being with my girl every day, I can never go back. I can't even imagine it.

We love having people over, and whenever they come visit for the first time we always give them a tour. I thought that'd be a fun thing to do for our six month date, I haven't posted much of the house on here yet.

Welcome to our home!


Our red front door, you will usually be greeted by the cats.
Our favorite space in the house - the living room
Here's the room from another angle. I spy Katrina... do you see her? :-)
Our music corner! The living room leads into the dining room
Our dining room (includes bookshelves in case you're hungry for knowledge)
The dining room connects the living room and kitchen (and office)
The kitchen, of course--so thankful to have a dishwasher for the first time (Luscious photobomb!)
And then there's the office--off of the dining room. The cats and I spend most of the day here!
Getting ready to go climb up their cat tower in the big sunny office window.
We like to look out the office window at the birdfeeders in the backyard.
I'm so excited to plant my first garden!

Our bedroom <3
Our bathroom decorated with birds
If you come visit, you can stay in our guest room! And I'll make you breakfast.

Mar 6, 2014

DIY Stamp Art

At 27 years old, I seem to be transitioning from "everyone's getting married" to the "everyone's making babies" stage of life. Due to an excess of baby showers, birth announcements and birthday parties, I've been brainstorming some kind of handmade gift suitable for infants or children--not just to save some money--but also to give them something special and unique to keep.

Yellow Owl's Little Prints
The other day I came across this adorable book at the library and absolutely loved the look of stamp artwork. It had a cute, playful feel--perfect for kids, and it looked nice, clean and professional (in other words--not too crafty or homemade-y). The book instructions required purchasing arts & crafts materials (such as stamp carving rubber...etc.), so I decided try a different, more affordable method.

I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was and how well it turned out, so I thought I'd share!

What You Need:
Frame - I bought some old wood 5x7 frames for $1 each at a thrift store
Spray Paint - for painting the frame
Foam Shapes - I found a pack thin foam shapes at a craft store for $2
Stiff Cardboard - I cut up some old coasters I had on-hand
Craft Glue - the liquid kind, not a glue stick 
Paper - I recommend something thicker to absorb ink better (I used drawing paper)
Ink Pads - however many colors you like

How To:
1. Paint frames (if your frames are ready as-is, you can skip this step). I used a can of semi-gloss white spray paint to coat the frames--use paint can instructions. Let the paint dry completely.

2. Create the stamps by cutting your shapes and letters out of the foam and gluing them on to the stiff cardboard (cut the cardboard a similar size as each individual shape). Let the glue dry completely.

Note: Remember that the image will appear reversed on paper when it's stamped--this is especially important for letters

3. Prepare Paper - to add some more interest and to give the stamp artwork a fun background, I scanned in pages from children's books and printed them on the drawing paper*. This step is optional - just depends how you want the final look.

*Note: I used an editing program on the computer to make the scanned images semi-transparent so the text from the pages wouldn't be so bold in the background. If you don't have photoshop, you can use free online software like

4. Stamp Your Design - press the stamp firmly onto the ink pad and be sure it's thoroughly coated with ink. Carefully and firmly stamp it onto the paper and be sure only the foam part of the stamp touches the paper. 

Note: Make sure you don't accidentally get ink on your fingers and touch the paper!

5. Frame the Artwork - after the ink dries completely, trim the designs to the frame size and place it in the frame--and you're done!

Unique, hand-stamped designs, perfect for decorating a nursery! Tie them up in brown paper with string and use the stamp on the wrapping paper for a cute package.

Happy crafting!

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