Thursday, April 16, 2015

Giveaway Winner | Gadanke Birthday Journal

And the winner of the Gadanke "It's My Birthday" journaling kit is...Destiny!


Please email your full name and email address to

Hope you have fun documenting your son's future birthdays, Destiny. 

A big thanks to Katie at Gadanke for making this giveaway possible.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Giveaway | Gadanke Birthday Journal

April is a popular birthday month in our circle of friends and family.

So when, Katie Clemons, the creator of Gadanke journals, approached me about giving away a birthday journal here on my blog, I couldn't say Yes! fast enough.

This Gadanke journal makes it oh-so-fun and easy to document a child's birthday.

Here's a peek at the contents of the kit:

In addition to the "It's My Birthday" paper kit, this giveaway includes twelve writing prompt pages and 30 minutes of private video courses with tutorials and inspiration.

Here's how to enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment below answering this question, What birthday tradition does your child love right now? (If you are reading this post on Facebook or e-mail, please come to my blog to leave a comment.)

This giveaway is not limited to US residents; anyone worldwide can win. 

Comments will be closed on Tuesday, April 14th @ 6:00 pm PST and the winner's name will be posted the following day. Please be sure to check back or subscribe to see if you have been selected to receive this giveaway.

Good luck!

*All photos courtesy of Gadanke.

**This post contains affiliate links. What does that mean? If you click on any link and make a purchase, I'll receive a small commission--with no extra cost to you--which helps to keep my blog humming along. Thanks, in advance, for your support!  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Currently | March

Welcoming Baby Cole, our newest nephew, who was born on March 14. 

Big sister Zoey adores her baby brother.

Reading Call the Midwife. (I purposely bought the paperback version--instead of the Kindle edition--because I want to be able to share it with my mom/sisters/friends when I'm finished with it.)

Holding our 10 baby chicks who are almost three weeks old. (I'm hearing tweet tweet, tweet tweet as I type this sentence.)

Hunting for Easter eggs. (Noah is having a ball this year!)

Going to church on Saturday nights now. Sitting in a pew for about half of the Mass, then playing in the "crying room" for the rest of the time. Oh, and eating at Taco Tree beforehand.

Making shamrock shakes with Noah. He wanted to watch the YouTube video over and over and over, so I had to cut him off after the seventh run.   

Appreciating the 400+ views of our adoption video. (Thank you, friends and family, for sharing the link!)

Listening to Meghan Trainor and Bruno Mars and Sam Smith on Pandora. Am I sixteen again?!

Counting down the days until my "Mama getaway!"

Watching the Downton Abbey season finale. (Looking forward to the last season...and a movie, maybe?!)

Reciting lines from Finding Nemo like "Keep swimming!"   

Utilizing a babysitter to help with Noah while Brian takes two multi-day classes (chainsaw and confined space). 

Making bird treats with bagels and peanut butter and bird seed.

Tracking my steps with my Fitbit Charge. My record so far is 16,679. Most days, though, I'm pacing around the house around 10:00 pm trying to reach my goal of 10,000 steps.

Editing photos from a friend's 40th birthday party.  

Emailing friends of friends regarding adoption. Answering questions and sharing info and enjoying helping others.

Trying out Mooyah, a burger/fry/shake joint in Rocklin. Their shakes are seriously amazing, and I love that their restaurants are kid-friendly (two thumbs up for the chalkboard wall).

Playing with Melissa and Doug repositionable stickers. (Thanks, Mom & Dad!) 

Struggling to go meatless on Fridays. Breakfast and lunch are fairly easy, but dinner is kicking my butt. Any vegetarian or fish dinner ideas?

Devouring sweet strawberries after dipping them in vanilla yogurt and rolling them in brown sugar. 

Breaking out shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops. Boy do I love living in California!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Carreras Family

My friend Mindy and I have known each other for years. We first met at church when we were 10 or 11 years old, then later became good friends while teaching elementary school together.

And even though I no longer teach with her, I see her at birthday parties and play dates--and even an occasional Bunco get-together!

In January, Mindy asked me to take photographs of her family and I was beyond flattered. And nervous. But I agreed to do it and I'm so glad I did.

I had so much fun capturing this beautiful family of four!

Thank you, Carreras Family!

Love & Light,

Monday, March 23, 2015

AE Story Kit | Gatherings Layout

The day after Christmas, I signed up for Ali Edwards' Story Kit subscription, intent on making at least one scrapbook layout a month this year.

In January/February, I made two layouts using Ali Edwards' "Firsts" kit.

This month, I created a Christmas tree page using the second story kit. It features papers/chipboard stickers/thread from the "gatherings" kit. (Exceptions: The star is from the am/pm kit, and the red ribbon with pom-poms is from my stash.)

At my dad's family's Christmas gathering last year, I hung a simple photo backdrop outside (thanks, Preston, for your help with the streamers!), and set out some paper props on a nearby table.

Brian helped encourage everyone to get in front of the camera. Even my dad posed for a picture!

As you likely guessed, I was behind the lens for most of the photos, but I couldn't pass up the chance to pose with a few of my favorite female family members, even if I did look like Rudolph in a few of them.

From the beginning, I knew I wanted to include both a TON of pictures and A LOT of journaling in this layout. To do so, I glued all of the photos to a piece of red 12x12 card stock and then trimmed it down. From there, I adhered the red card stock tree to the kraft card stock, but only at the top.

That allowed me to flip the tree up, where I added word art cards and journaling.

For the past 25+ years, we've gathered either in the Sacramento area or the Bay area to celebrate Christmas together. What started as the "Sabel" Family Christmas now includes the Keys, Kovarik, Harless, and Meredith families. We generally gather the Saturday before Christmas, but this year (2014), we celebrated at my parents' house two days after Christmas. No matter when or where we gather, we have a great time! There's always food, presents, picture-taking, and lots of chatting and hugs! I SO LOVE these gatherings!

At many of the Christmas gatherings in the past, we've taken a group photo of everyone in attendance.  This past year was no exception. On this layout, in the area under the tree (on the kraft-colored card stock), I'm planning to display a group photo from 2014, along with any others I can find on my computer or obtain from family. (Mom & Aunts: If you have access to any group Christmas photos from the past, will you please send them my way?  Thank you!)

What gatherings have you documented lately?

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