Ending April

With it's happy smile and vibrant greens, we're ending april. It seems like this year has gone by so quickly! But with the coming of a new month, I've stuck to my tradition. Every last day of the month, I go through and write about the past month; things I learned and favorite moments. Then, I make a list of goals for the next month. It's so much fun and motivating because it gives me something to work toward. This month?

• reread all 7 Harry Potter books. (guys. best series ever. Right, abby? :))
• write to chapter 5 in my novel (currently finishing up chapter 2)
• restock etsy and coffeehouse shelf (on my list for last month but wasn't ever completed)
• finish math book (I'm always behind on math, guys. always.)
• have lots of brainstorm sessions (guys. these are the best. not even kidding.)

Do you like making goals? What are your goals for may?

+. top two photos by my little sis, Mallory. She's so silly.


Letter Writing Kit DIY

Well,  I figure that practically 99.96% of us love to write letters, so I'm giving you a little creative boost on how to dress up your stationery.

you will need:

First, let me say something: this DIY tutorial isn't really a tutorial. It's really just a bunch of pictures to get your creativity flowing, and to use as a guideline. You can copy the cards I made, but I'd encourage you to think up something creative, too! Just have fun with it!

part one: pencils

Cut a long strip from your newspaper, about 1/2 inch wide. Cover your pencil in glue and wrap the newspaper around the pencil in a spiral motion.

The end with the eraser will probably be uneven, so you can cut a strip from a magazine to cover up the mess and add a bit of color.

If you don't want to use newspaper, or even if you do, you can use your fabric scraps to give your pencils a nice little bow tie. :)

part two: cards
For this part you will need to go crazy with your scissors and cut out a bunch of random pieces of magazine page. circles, hearts, amoebas... whatever. 

Then get creative! Glue 'em on however you want and doodle a little note...

... or cut out some newspaper letters to say 'hello' for you...

... or doodle something else (just make your character look better than my 30 second sketch :).

 part three: little notes
Lastly, take out your 3x5 cards and mix some more stuff together and glue it on... haha, can you tell I'm tired? Well, I'm tired. :)

(please pardon the over-exposure of this photo)

There you have it! Your very own letter writing kit! Now you can use it up or give it away.



a day in the life

i'm considered to be a busy person. i'm in the car more hours than i care to count, and if you saw me on a weekday i'd most likely be wearing sweatpants and an old swim team shirt with my computer bag on my arm and my camera around my neck. though i'm constantly on the go, i love to capture those little snippits in life that most people don't have time for.

today? today is one of those days. i don't have time for school, i've eaten and i'm already dressed, i'm working on thank you cards and charging my camera battery and playing beethoven's moonlight sonata just one more time. but today is also different. because in the midst of the hustle and the bustle of everyday life, i'll be making new memories with my family, memories that we'll be looking back on with pride in the next twenty years.

what about you?


four steps to creative self-portraits

have you ever wanted to take a self-portrait without using a mirror or having your messy room in the background? have you been inspired by pinterest to have an amazing photo shoot but there aren't any willing models and you aren't old enough to drive? 
well, this post is for you.
today i am going to share with you some tips that have really helped me take creative selfies, which is usually how i get my creative juices flowing.
a camera (point & shoot or slr. it doesn't matter)
a tripod (or a stack of books)
your lovely, beautiful, amazing self
access to the great outdoors
STEP ONE: become a scout
the first step to taking original self-portraits is to go somewhere away from your bathroom mirror. walk around your house/neighborhood/park/city and look for something interesting. pose in front of a colorful wall, sit on a table or on the ground, stand next to a fence, ect... just look around, you never now what's out there!
STEP TWO: become snap-happy
having a photo shoot with yourself isn't nearly as easy as having a photo shoot with another person. you aren't going to be able to click the shutter button over and over like you would if you were behind the camera (unless you have one of those fancy remotes...). so when you're taking self-portraits, make sure to turn your camera's self-timer on and give yourself enough time to run to your spot and fix your hair. you are definitely going to take a ton of pictures, but not all of them will turn out. i normally take around 400 pictures on a normal session and around 200 of them will turn out, but when i'm taking self-portraits, i'll take around the same number of pictures depending on my mood and how much light i have, and only around 10 will turn out.
STEP THREE: embrace the imperfect 
in the photo above, i was trying to get one of those cool jump shots that everyone loves, but i jumped too soon, so i ended up getting myself in that weird position. the reason i kept this photo and why i am sharing it with you is because i thought it was more true to me than any of the others. it is a candid shot of me being my awkward self after jumping before i was supposed to, and i liked that about it.
STEP FOUR: have fun!
the final and most important step is to just have fun! don't stress out about yourself, what you're wearing, or your hair. as you can see, the outfit i'm wearing in these photos is never going to make it on the runway, but i was inspired and didn't want to waste that inspiration on worrying about my clothes. i just grabbed my camera and went outside. i had fun while doing it, too. it was a lot less stressful than trying to get my sister to do it, and i had more freedom to do whatever i wanted to do with the photos.
now it's your turn. grab your camera, a tripod, a bottle of water and head outside! have fun and get those creative juices flowing!


popping popcorn

over here popcorn is a staple snack.  we make it at least once a day.  m&ms and sweet tea are a must with popcorn, and popcorn is a must with movies, and movies happen a lot.
it's not unusual to hear the pop pop pop in the microwave at multiple hours during the day.
what's your/your family's go-to snack?




we're very happy to have our first submission, tessica! she's a lovely writer and photographer and her words have inspired us beyond words. do read, show her some love and check out her blog! 
~Dreams, sweet dreams~
~Flooding my mind with memories~
~Of people and faces and objects and places I love~
~Dreams, sweet dreams~ 
~Don't go away from me~
~Without you, sleep is a nightmare~
I'm a believer in dreams.
Not dreams like hopes and dreams. 
Those are all fine and dandy in their own way.
But dreams. When you go to sleep and are transported into a whole other world! 
I must say though, my dreams are usually quite bizarre. 
They are all over the place and never very clear. The details are all fuzzy. 
Everything in my dreams constantly change and its quite random. 
However, there are those moments every once in a while of pure genius. It is a gift from God. 
I dream about weird details that I want to use in stories. 
I dream about getting engaged and I see the ring in detail. 
I dream about having a son and naming him Luke. 
I'm a big fan of dreams. I do believe that God still uses dreams.
I've had several dreams where something happens in the dream and then it happens in real life!
For example. Once I dreamed it was pouring rain! Just pouring and pouring and pouring! 
Then I woke up and it was pouring rain outside. I live in SoCal and it never rains in the summer. 
This happened around summer time (like before or after summer. I can't remember)
 where we hadn't had rain in a long time and weren't expecting it either. It was so trippy.  
Or another time where I dreamed about specific things happening in a day and it all came true.
I guess another reason why I'm such a believer in dreams is because thats how I got my name. People always ask me about my name and compliment me on it. 
When my parents were first married, before that had any kids, my dad randomly woke up one night and looked at my mom and said, "Her name will be Tessica!" My mom thought he was crazy because she wasn't pregnant and just went back to sleep. And then a couple years later they had a boy. and thennnn a couple years after that they had me. It was all because of a dream.

And thats the story of my name.
And thats also the reason why I believe in dreams. 

Much Love,

Spring to-do's

{I'm really sorry that I'm posting a day late. Life happens, ya know.}

I made a little list for you...
Things to do in the remainder of this spring:




I am so blessed to be apart of the production Beauty and the Beast. Seriously. I can't tell you how much I love being on stage, even if the part is small. It's the best feeling in the world to be up on stage and look out over the audience and hear their laughter. I love make believing that I'm living in this different world. My director tells us every night to believe. We then chant that word, holding hands in a circle, and march into the middle.
Tonight is our fourth show out of twelve, and I get really sad just thinking about the last show. Beauty and the Beast has been such a fun experience and I'm so extremely blessed to be involved. :)

this is before my costume was finished.

xo, Hayley

there's a firefly outside the window.

the day was full. plans were made and unmade, 
and eventually the air was filled
with overly-tired giggles and barely
conscious words. we were all tired. nothing,
not even cookies could keep us awake. i fell half-asleep on the car ride home,
we made another stop, i was awakened 
by harsh outdoor lights and the rumbling 
of car engines. we were all tired. but not 
too tired to see the firefly out the window.

making up for not posting yesterday, oopsie. also, thank you to everyone who has submitted so far! keep it coming. 


he makes me laugh

he smiles, i laugh. 
he laughs, i laugh so hard i can't breath. 
he tries to hide his face from the camera using his baseball cap, i take a million pictures to only have one decent picture of his smiling face not hidden by the bight red hat. 
right here, in this moment, i am trying to document his contagious smile, his sparkling eyes, and his many freckles. i know none of this may last very long, and that is why i carry my camera with me everywhere. i want to remember how my little brother looked way back when he was ten. i want to remember that moment when we were in the car, riding home from baseball practice for the hundredth time, listening to country music with the windows down and eating ice cream. life is constantly moving past us, and it will never stop. 
what is one ordinary moment you wish could last forever?


the old scout

the scout
we have this old scout that's been with us for over 17 years.  it used to be my parents main car, and not too many years ago my dad drove it to work everyday.  the other day my dad taught Kendall how to drive it, and we took it out for a drive around the neighborhood for the first time in a few years.  it's a stick shift and it was bumpy and bouncy and awesome.



I must be the heartbeat

If the earth is like a
needing water to stay
I must be the
because I'm happiest
it rains.

xo. Megan Kristine