Monday, August 31, 2015

Jenny Highsmith Hand Lettering Print Giveaway

Jenny Highsmith Hand Lettered Print Giveaway #giveaway #lettering #HandLettered #Maiedae

Hand lettering and calligraphy is an art I love and I have always loved doodling and writing script in my spiral notebook.

Every once in a while in blog land, I discover something to read that totally knocks my socks off. That is how I felt when I discovered Maiedae - the dynamic best friend duo of Savannah and Jenny! They blog, design, film, create, coordinate and inspire all while staying humble mommies to little boys (and a little girl on the way for Savannah) and looking fab doing it! These lovely ladies blow me away on a daily basis.

Since I have a mild obsession with hand lettering, it seems only fitting that I would want to cover every wall in our home with Jenny's beautiful designs. (You can check out all of her beautiful work in her shop:

At the risk of sounding like a stalker, I have accumulated quite a collection of her hand lettering work.

My screen saver has been the same inspiring phrase for the last year or so.

Several art prints for myself as well as others for gifts - seriously, they look beautiful in a frame and make for a very thoughtful gift when given to the right person.

I ordered a custom address stamp with Houston's address on it to use on our wedding invitations, RSVP envelopes and thank you cards. It was such a time saver and my Maid of Honor came over to help me stamp everything and she made quick work of the envelopes while I hand addressed them. Thanks, Leah!

I am in love with our custom wedding print. - I'll share it when my collage wall is complete.

Jenny was so patient with my many requests and revisions to the custom pieces and she always includes a super sweet note in the package. It is the extra things like that that make me so happy to support small businesses and creatives like Jenny.

One of my favorites is her USA Canvas Poster.

Jenny Highsmith Hand Lettered Print Giveaway #giveaway #lettering #HandLettered #Maiedae

We purchased the map to hang in our guest bedroom that we are decorating in a travel theme! Right now it looks more like a wedding-theme-disaster-zone with all of our reception decor strewn about the room, but at least it is corralled in one space and not all over the house.

Jenny Highsmith Hand Lettered Print Giveaway #giveaway #lettering #HandLettered #Maiedae

The guest room is going to be a place where Houston and I can display treasures and photographs from our world adventures while still keeping a nice bedroom available for guests. My black bedroom set fits nicely in the space and provides a little extra storage in the dressers for things we don't need on a daily basis (scarves, of course!)

I love the watercolor detail on the canvas - the little water spots add so much character!

Jenny Highsmith Hand Lettered Print Giveaway #giveaway #lettering #HandLettered #Maiedae

I can't wait to finish hanging art and keepsakes and share the finished product with you! It will be so exciting to see some of the beautiful things Houston has collected through the years displayed on the walls.

So, now it is your turn to get in on the Jenny Highsmith hand lettering goodness. 

I have teamed up with some lovely ladies to give away TWO sets of Jenny Highsmith prints. These particular ones are no longer available in her shop, so this may be your last chance to get your hands on them!

Jenny Highsmith Hand Lettered Print Giveaway #giveaway #lettering #HandLettered #Maiedae

Submit your entries in the rafflecopter below, but be sure to be honest - we will be verifying entries. Shipping is limited to USA addresses only (sorry international friends!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now tell me:  What is your favorite Jenny Highsmith Print?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Disney Survival Bag - Everything You Need For A Day At Disney

Disney Survival Bag full of Disneyland Essentials #Disney #Disneyland #familyvacation

Three years ago I made a Disney Survival Bag for the first time Houston and I went to Disneyland together. I was so excited to give him the bag and get on our way to the park that I totally forgot to take photos of the bag in all its glory and used my cell phone pictures for the blog post (cringes).

So I figured it was time to re-create the bag and photograph it properly - and then maybe leave it on the counter until we go to Disneyland later this year. I kid, I kid... Maybe.

Side note: our annual Disneyland day this year will be our first one as husband and wife and I am so excited out about it. Bring me all the "Mrs. Laney" ears you can find!

I used a lot of the same supplies from my previous post, but I figured I would re-list them for convenience sake.

What you need to make your Disney Survival Bag:

Project Supplies:                                                                     
White gift bag (or any color you would like)                      
Cardstock (white and Disney printed)                                 
Assorted Ribbon                                                                        
Hot Glue Gun                                                                           
Tape Runner                                                                              
Download the "Waltograph" font                                        
Bag Supplies:   
Admission Ticket
Water Bottle
Mickey Sunscreen
Fruit Snacks
Sanitizer Wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Pen and notepad

Decorating your Disney Survival Bag:

The first thing I did was print HOUSTON on white paper in the Waltograph font and then I cut around the letters with my scissors to give it a fun "bubble" look.

Disney Survival Bag full of Disneyland Essentials #Disney #Disneyland #familyvacation

I used my tape runner to tape my name cut out to bright red cardstock rectangle the width of the bag and then glued it with my tape runner near the center of the bag.

I added a Mickey balloon die-cut from an old paper pack (probably left over from when I worked at Disneyland in 2002) to add some magic to the front of the bag. Stickers or other embellishments are totally fair game for your Disney Survival Bag.

Disney Survival Bag full of Disneyland Essentials #Disney #Disneyland #familyvacation

Disney Survival Bag full of Disneyland Essentials #Disney #Disneyland #familyvacation

Next I decorated the handle of the bag with some red dot ribbon and black and white gingham ribbon. I cut small chunks of ribbon (about 2.5" each) but didn't try to be very specific. Place a small drop of hot glue near the middle of the ribbon and wrap it around the handle of the bag, connecting the two ends of the ribbon together. I made my handle asymmetrical so when I grabbed the bag I wouldn't smash the ribbon, but you could make the ribbon go all the way around too!

Disney Survival Bag full of Disneyland Essentials #Disney #Disneyland #familyvacation

Then it was time to decorate the items that would be going into the bag! I added a strip of Mickey Mouse cardstock around the water bottle, sunscreen and sanitizer wipes.

Shop Disney's Frozen Finds

I also found a Mickey pen and notepad to peek out of the top of the bag. It would be a great present if you plan on getting Disney character autographs!

Additional items to include in your bag:
Especially if you are having to travel for more than an hour and with small children:

Hidden Mickey's book - and then try to find them at the park!
Coloring book and stickers
Mickey Band-aids
Mickey Lip Balm
Mickey Mouse Plush -- save some cash and purchase toys and souvenirs BEFORE getting to the park!

Disney Survival Bag full of Disneyland Essentials #Disney #Disneyland #familyvacation

You can decorate your Disney Survival Bag with any character you would like; Minnie Mouse, Frozen or Lightning McQueen would all be other great options! - Maybe I will have to make some other options just for fun.

Disney Survival Bag full of Disneyland Essentials #Disney #Disneyland #familyvacation

Now, don't forget to include your admission ticket in your survival bag and get out there, make some memories and have a magical day!

This post is not sponsored but does contain affiliate links that result in a small commission. Thank you for keeping the magic of this blog alive!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway

Good morning my friends!

I don't know about the weather where you live, but Southern California has been hit with a heat wave and it has been pretty miserable.

The West Coast beaches even set new records over the weekend - Long Beach had a high of 99 degrees on Saturday (the previous record was a measly 87 degrees).

BUT, when you work in an office like I do, you freeze all day long and drink coffee to warm up. Unless you drink hot chocolate like me, of course.

I have teamed up with some of my blogging friends to give away a Starbucks gift card to help warm you up if you're stuck indoors or cool you down if you are enjoying the end of the summer outside!

Here is how to win:

Follow ALL of the blogs below on Bloglovin' - yes, you must follow all of them and we will be double checking.  Easy peasy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And just for fun: what is YOUR favorite drink at Starbucks? Leave me a note in the comments!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Disney Descendants & Villain Popcorn

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Disney #VillainDescendants #CollectiveBias

Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants

Disney has my heart and I am not ashamed to say it. When I found out there was a new new Disney Channel Original Movie called Descendants about the children of the most notorious Disney Villains: Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty), the Evil Queen (Snow White), Jafar (Aladdin) and Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians) I knew I would have to see it!

Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants

I purchased my Descendants DVD (got the last one!) and soundtrack at my local Wal-Mart in the Entertainment department. The associate said the DVD had been a highly requested item and I was lucky there was one left! I do not have cable, so my musical-loving heart was thoroughly delighted to discover the movie was a musical! I suppose I should have expected some musicality, Kristin Chenoweth plays Maleficent, and a movie without her singing something would just be sad.

In true Disney fashion, I decorated for the event and made sure I was ready to watch the Disney Descendants and Villains in musical action.

Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants

I decorated with a couple bowls of treats and snacks - every good movie night needs good snacks and some evil decor. A golden apple and a skull with a raven were the perfect additional decorations on my coffee table to set the villainous mood. Remember the dungeon scene while the Evil Queen is poisoning the apple for Snow White? Creepy, right?

Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants

Image via

I decided to make some festive popcorn while I was at it and incorporate some Disney Villain colors - has anyone else noticed the theme of black, purple and red among the Disney Villains?

Shop Disney Descendants on Zazzle

How to make Disney Villain Popcorn:
  • Grab a bag of your favorite popcorn or make some at home yourself and empty onto a cookie sheet (I wrapped mine in foil for easy clean up).
Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants
  • Melt some chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl (careful not to burn them or yourself #experience).
Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants
  • While the melted chocolate is still hot. drizzle it over your popcorn.
Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants
  • Add sprinkles to the mix and you have Disney Villain Popcorn!
Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants

Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants
  • Allow the chocolate to cool while you put in your Disney Descendants DVD, grab a blanket and then enjoy!
Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants

Shop Disney Descendants on Zazzle

Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants

The movie is so much fun and the music is catchy too! In fact, the soundtrack was number one on the Billboard top 100 the week it was released (I don't think that has happened since High School Musical). So, while I am driving in between Houston's house and my parents for another couple weeks, you can bet I will be singing along to all the catchy Descendants tunes. - Singing Disney lyrics at the top of my lungs is one way I make sure I stay awake while I am driving and the Descendants soundtrack will give me some new material to learn!

Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants

So now I will busy the rest of the day picking sprinkles out of my teeth and humming "Do you want to be evil".

Disney Descendants Villain Popcorn and Watch Party #ad #cbias #Disney #VillainDescendants #Descendants

Who is your favorite Disney villain? A classic character or someone more recent? I would love to know!

Car Care With Yankee Candle® Air Fresheners

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveAmericanHome #CollectiveBias #ad

Car Care With Yankee Candle Air Fresheners #LoveAmericanHome #ad #carcare
Sometimes life throws you a curve ball you end up spending a whole lot of time in your car driving around with the back seat full of miscellaneous stuff.

If you have been following along in our wedding planning journey, then you know that my living arrangements at the moment are a little flip-floppy. My apartment lease expired in March and my parents allowed me to move back home for the remaining months before our wedding so I wouldn't have to sign a new lease.

We moved all of my stuff to Houston house on my birthday weekend (super fun) and we moved me, my toiletries, and clothes to my parents. It has been such a tremendous blessing to stay at their house but it has had its challenges. I keep getting ready and not having elements of my wardrobe - I needed a scarf and it is at Houston's. I needed a necklace for a date night dinner and it was at my parent's. I cannot WAIT for me and all my belongings to be in one place again!

Car Care With Yankee Candle Air Fresheners #LoveAmericanHome #ad #carcare

One of the biggest adjustments is being further away from Houston's house again. It was so convenient to live 12 minutes away for the year in my studio apartment and I am NOT enjoying the 40 minute drive right now. - Especially since I am generally tired on the way home and struggling to stay awake (cue some Disney soundtracks and open windows!)

Also, it seems like there is a never-ending pile of stuff in the back of my car. This is really a problem since I have a tiny 2-door hatchback with practically no trunk. Gym bag, wedding decor, computer printer, you name it and I have been carting it around town and in-between places. I have had more than one co-worker comment about the quantity of stuff they can see through the windows of my car in the parking lot.

Naturally, keeping my car clean hasn't been easy with everything stuffed in the back, but I have managed to at least keep it smelling clean with Yankee Candle® air fresheners! Side note: why do moving boxes smell so terrible? They are especially horrible when they have been in my car for more than a day in the hot Southern California sun. Yuck.

Here are a couple methods for containing the chaos in my car:
  • I keep a paper grocery bag (don't worry it gets recycled) in the back seat as a catch all for my empty water bottles. - Then I recycle those bottles. 
  • Re-use a grocery bag as a trash bag - empty regularly!
Car Care With Yankee Candle Air Fresheners #LoveAmericanHome #ad #carcare
  • Leave a tote bag, or two, in the car so when stuff begins to accumulate (I am looking at you, six pairs of shoes) it is easy to throw them in the tote and haul them in the house where they belong. - But be sure to actually put them away and not leave them in the tote bag on the floor for a week (#guilty).
Car Care With Yankee Candle Air Fresheners #LoveAmericanHome #ad #carcare
  • Delicious fragrances from Yankee Candle® air fresheners to eliminate the boxes/shoes/I-ate-in-my-car, smells.
Car Care With Yankee Candle Air Fresheners #LoveAmericanHome #ad #carcare
  • Stop by the do-it-yourself car wash on a day where the mountains of stuff is particularly small and vacuum that mess. My center console and floor mats are notorious for being filled with crumbs, bobby pins and french fry crumbs.
I am obsessed with the Pink Sands fragrance from Yankee Candle® and can't help but dream about Houston and my upcoming tropical honeymoon. Get me in a hammock and a mimosa, stat!

I picked up my Yankee Candle® Air Fresheners from my local Walmart on the automotive aisle (not in the home section) - you know, the aisle that smells like car tires. The air fresheners were located on the end of the aisle and easy to spot with the help of the aisle signs.

Car Care With Yankee Candle Air Fresheners #LoveAmericanHome #ad #carcare
  Car Care With Yankee Candle Air Fresheners #LoveAmericanHome #ad #carcare

Car Care With Yankee Candle Air Fresheners #LoveAmericanHome #ad #carcare

I purchased the Yankee Candle® Smart Scent Vent Clip and I love how it keeps my car smelling fresh without being too over-powering like some of the other car fragrances I have used in the past. It clips onto the vents right above my stereo and has a clear cover that easily shows me when I need to replace it. - But, be sure to read the instructions very carefully so you clip it the correct way and it doesn't fall into your Del Taco while you're eating lunch.

Car Care With Yankee Candle Air Fresheners #LoveAmericanHome #ad #carcare

I also bought the Yankee Candle® Car Jar Ultimate Car Freshener because I thought it was too adorable! It is a serious improvement from the pine tree shaped air fresheners I used to get at the car wash. I mean, it looks just like a tiny Yankee Candle® Jar! Marketing at its finest, people. Just make sure you read the instructions and the jar doesn't obstruct your view while you're driving.  Safety first! With a price tag of under five dollars, I was tempted to buy a bunch of them at one time and make a stockpile.

So, if my car can't look clean and I am driving back and forth to work at least I can close my eyes (in the parking lot, of course) and escape to a tropical beach for a couple seconds and enjoy that my car smells clean!

What Yankee Candle® fragrance would you choose for YOUR car from the selection at Walmart?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Thankful For Sweet People Like You - Candy Jar

Thankful for sweet people like you candy jar #candy #thankyougift #thankyou

It is no secret that I have a sweet tooth and very little self control. If you host a holiday party and put a bowl of M&M's in front of me, you can bet they will be gone before you serve cocktails.

Along with my insatiable sugar cravings is my love for mason jars. Yes, I realize they are totally trendy and everybody is using them for weddings, crafts and anything else you can imagine, but I love mason jars.

Houston recently enlisted my help with a design for his Etsy shop to design a graphic that said "Thankful for sweet people like you" and I was more than happy to assist with some hand lettering. - I often wonder if I missed a calling in my life to do calligraphy or hand lettering as a career. I am always doodling and have always loved perfecting my handwriting.

Thankful for sweet people like you candy jar #candy #thankyougift #thankyou

Once I got the hang of using the stylus on Houston's Surface, I doodled about a dozen images of the word "Sweet" for his project. Digital doodling is a whole different world than doodling in my spiral notebooks!

Houston took the "S" from one doodle and combined it with another doodle to make the word "sweet". As an added bonus he even spliced in a flourish from doodle number three. He is one talented fella.

Thankful for sweet people like you candy jar #candy #thankyougift #thankyou

I think the Thankful for sweet people like you graphic is lovely and it was perfect to use with a mason jar filled with Rolo candies!

Do you have anyone who has been especially sweet to you recently?  Make them a little thank you gift to show you appreciate them!  You can find the graphic in Houston's Etsy shop HERE and be sure to send him an email if you need the graphic in another color!

Now tell me: how would you use this thankful for sweet people like you graphic?