{my life} :: kindness

happy valentine's day! depending on what's going on in your life, the holiday of love can be the highest of highs, the lowest of lows, or you might just pretend it doesn't exist.

in my house, any time you mention love, kissing, boyfriends, etc., i hear of chorus of "gross, yuck, stop mom-don't talk about that". so rather than focus on love, maybe we should take a minute & focus on kindness.

yesterday, i heard someone read this quote on the radio. it really resonated with me. if we all just take a minute to be kind, to speak kind words, to surprise someone with a random act of kindness, think of the momentum we could build.

try it. you don't have to tell anyone you're doing it. be kind. speak kindly. act with kindness.

and, shhh, don't tell my kids, but that's love in action there folks.

whether or not you think you are, you are loved, my friends.

and that is all i've got to say. for now.



{afd} :: gettin' crafty week one :: painted canvas

 {gettin' crafty} week one :: painted canvas

i had been wanting to teach an after school enrichment class at my kids' school for a while. i just didn't know what i wanted it to be...but after three years of gettin' crafty with {afd}, gettin' crafty with the kiddos was a natural extension of my business.

week one brought seventeen spectacular boys & girls, ranging in age from 6-11 to the classroom. we talked about putting a word on a canvas that represented them...it could be their name or a word or person they thought of alot. or, it could just be something fun. we had a little of everything!

first, the kids grabbed a canvas and picked their base color to paint. we used a gigantic paper drop cloth on the floor, and miraculously, none of the paint migrated to the floor! 

once the first color of paint was dry, they took vinyl letter stickers and carefully placed them on their canvases. once you scroll down, you'll see the great variety of words & saying the kids came up with! 

finally, they took their second paint color and painted over the whole shebang. once that dried (it took a while...many creative drying strategies were employed!) the artists used toothpicks to carefully peel off the letters. 

easy, peasy! i was thrilled with the kids' effort from start to finish...from the color combos they chose, to their sense of adventure and willingness to try something new, they were crafty from the get go!                                                                                                               

enjoy their finished products... by the looks on their faces, they were quite pleased with their art!

and there you have gettin' crafty...week one. stay tuned for the glitter bomb, otherwise known as valentine making!


{my life} :: twenty thirteen.

happy new year! yes, i know it's almost february. i'm working hard to lose some of the paralyzing perfectionism that often stops me in my tracks.

so this quote that i added to my brand new journal on january 1st was just what the dr ordered. (my brand new journal that only has a few entries.) just get started. don't worry about being perfect. put one foot in front of the other...literally & figuratively.

start small. dream big. and all the rest of those motivational quotes, resolutions, promises and goals that bombard us at the start of every year. i didn't need to set myself up to fail.

this year i resolved to be okay with not being perfect. with not getting everything done right away. or at all. i've set some goals, yes, but reasonable ones.. not the pie-in-the-sky i'm gonna become a super-hero goals.

and, you know what? i'm feeling great about twenty thirteen! 

so, tell me, friends, how's the new year treating you? what are your hope and dreams for the year? it's gonna be a good one!



{what i made} :: cream cheese chocolate chip muffins.

the recipe as i've used it since at least 2004.
ready to bake.

these muffins are a standby at our house. the recipe is easy to follow, pretty much fool-proof and really yummy. in fact, i usually don't bake them myself. one of the kiddos gets the honors.

i can't remember my source for the recipe, or when i started making them. but i know, it's been at least ten years.

back in the day when we brought snacks to the girls' soccer games, i always made a double match of these in the mini-muffin size (that's 48!). after the game, the whole basket would be empty in 5 minutes or less.

this morning we woke up to 2 degree temps. once i hauled myself out of bed, daughter #2 decided she'd make our yummy weekend standby. this is a picture of the batter ready to bake. 

by the time i got around to taking a photo once they were finished, three were already gone. hmmm...

anyway, enjoy the printable version of this recipe here.

finished. a few missing already.
and, happy new year!

xo, anne


{my life} :: family

when it all boils down to what's important, it's not my crafts, it's not my house, it's not my clothes or what i'm having for dinner or how far i'll run today. it's why i get up every morning and what i think about all day long. my husband, my kids, my mom & sister, my extended family, my friends that are like family, my friends that are friends.

it's people, people!

you can't take the rest with you. if it's a good day or a bad day, being able to give a hug or a kiss to my family is what makes life worth living. i have this on my fridge ::

much as i hate to admit it, God has my days arranged ahead of time. i'm not in control. but i can control how i treat others, and the choices i make every minute of every day.

so, without beating myself up about the past, i'm going to tackle this week with lots of compassion, love and tons of hugs. the girls won't like it, but i hope they'll remember their crazy mama and how she couldn't keep her hands off her kiddos because she loved them so much. who wouldn't want to hug and kiss these beauties?

have a great week, friends. do something you love. let someone you love know how much they mean to you. life is precious.

xo, anne


{my life} :: what to eat?

you're probably going to laugh at this, but i have a recurring appointment on my outlook calendar for every sunday at 3pm. every sunday at 3pm, i am reminded to plan this week's meals, make a grocery list, and print my calendar for the week. every sunday at 3pm, i want to get organized for the week, so i'm in a good place when monday morning rolls around.

now, the time & day are relatively random, but the idea is simple. take 30 minutes (or so) to get it together for the upcoming week, so you can start the week off on the right foot. you'll know what you're going to eat during the week, you only have to shop once, you've got rides covered, activities figured out and you're just going to kill it & be uber-productive!

in theory, this is fantastic. and, truly, the weeks i actually do this, i am more confident, organized, and much less scattered, harried & stressed. so, why don't i do this every week? well, life gets in the way. today is monday, and i'm going to make my list and meal plans right when i'm finished writing this post. why monday and not sunday, after that whole diatribe above?

i was here yesterday at 3pm ::

my 10 year old had two soccer games in steamboat springs, co, yesterday. gorgeous, right?! so, after my show on saturday, i unpacked my crafts, packed up the soccer gear & headed out on a 3 hour drive to possibly one of the most beautiful spots in colorado. after the games yesterday, we headed home & arrived in denver about 9pm. i was too pooped to plan my meals then. anyway, i digress.

what do i use to plan my meals, you ask? well, let me tell you. a few years ago, i stumbled upon this meal planner ::

you can get it on the project girl's blog. it is perfect for me, because i can write my meals on one side, add my shopping list on the other & have everything in one place. notice how someone wrote candy & a puppy at the top of the list? she does this every week. gotta admire her persistence!

i use a lot of recipes from martha stewart's everyday food magazine and website. they're tasty, easy & don't require a ton of ingredients. i also try to make one crockpot meal each week, usually on our busiest day, so there's something for everyone, no matter what time they make it home.

and, without further adieu, i'm off to plan my meals for the week. tell me, what are you cooking at your house?

xo, anne


{what I made} :: curb appeal.

hi, friends!

ok. this could be the easiest way to spruce up your entry way and make where you live look oh-so-cute before anyone even walks through the front door. check out this cute door mat.

i bought the mat for $2.99 at ikea. you could use something you have on hand or buy something inexpensively just about anywhere. this doesn't have a lot of pile, but i've seen pictures of really thick door mats that are painted.

your next step is to find a stencil you like. for obvious reasons, i chose the F, but you can use just about anything as your design. i was lucky enough to have my friend kristen cut out the letter from an old usps box laying around, but you can print out something from your computer and cut out with an exact-o knife or just freehand a design.

then, i just laid the stencil on the mat and used this, my go-to spray paint color. love. it's called 'eden' by rust-oleum and i use it on practically everything for {afd}!

i sprayed lightly to see how the paint would soak in. worked well, so i kept going until it was nice and dark and i couldn't really see the mat through the paint. when i took the stencil off, though, i could see where some paint made its way to the edge of the mat. that's when i decided to free-hand the border.
then, i looked at the reverse part of my stencil, the actual F. i thought i'd give that a spray & it looked really good. originally, i had the idea to glue wine corks to it to give it a 3d look, but i liked this well enough, so i stopped there. 

i have the blue frame on my door most of the year, and try to change what's in it seasonally. i just punched a hole through the cardboard, put some twine through, and tied it to the frame. easy. this was perfect, and i love how the colors work together.

and, there you have it. a quick, less than 30 minute craft that gives curb appeal a new name.

i was happy it didn't take long, because about an hour after i finished, i hosted a happy hour for 40 great gals.
here's hoping you have a happy weekend! see you next week. xo, anne