Please {don’t} Judge Me

The other day as I was making my way through a census of about a dozen babies I came across a relatively unremarkable photo session.

The photo session itself was not particularly memorable. The pictures were pretty standard. The room had been sparse and not any “extras”, no hats, blankets, or special outfits were around to incorporate into the photo session. In fact, there was only mom & baby. Looking back, that should have been the most remarkable thing about the session.

After I photographed the baby and I went through my spiel about package options and such, mom had responded that she thought she would like the $19.95 keepsake but had to see if her step-mom could cash her check for her because she didn’t have the money right there. I told her I’d stop back later to see if she wanted to place her order.

From the moment I stepped out that door I had the feeling that I should buy her the photos. I mulled it over in my head. What package would I get her?  How much was I willing to spend? What would I tell her? Would she even care? I have been in situations like this before and have allowed myself to over think the situation so much I literally think myself out the act of kindness. Not this time.

As I was preparing for the next room, the nurse that was assigned to that mom came up to me and said, “That mom is only 17 years old. And NO ONE has been in to visit her since she delivered.” Well, that sealed the deal. I had to look away from the nurse because tears started flowing. At that point I knew that God was speaking to me and I needed to listen. It was not my idea to help that girl but God’s and I needed to carry out His will.

I also knew I needed to give Him credit for it because clearly without Him it wouldn’t have happened. Yet, sadly this was the most difficult part. I do many things in my life through His guidance but hardly ever (never?) straight out say that it was done through God’s will. I debated with myself, does it really matter? Will she be offended? And then it dawned on me that hesitating to give Him glory was actually denying His presence in my life and maybe therefore in someone else’s life. This time I was not going to be like Peter.

The bible story of Peter denying Jesus always struck me as so sad. I always thought that I would never deny Jesus if I were him. And yet, here I was trying not to associate myself openly with Him. Even in today’s world it is often times uncomfortable to be known as “religious” or a “Christian” and too many times I have taken the easy way out by not openly identifying myself with Christ. Not this time.

After much thought and prayer, I finally made it back into that room. I started by asking her if she had decided on a package. She pointed to what she must have thought was the least expensive option which I had to explain to her was really just an add on to a more expensive option. Finally getting up the nerve I told her I would like to buy her the photo book which would give her all the images. She sweetly told me that she would like that but didn’t have the money right now. I explained that I would pay for it. Again, tears in my eyes-I’m such a sap! When I composed myself, I then told her that God was telling me to buy it for her. Her reply was, “That’s amazing!”. Yes, God is amazing!!

Every day as I walk into work I try to say this prayer:

Lord, grant that I may allow myself to be guided by you, always follow your plan and perfectly accomplish your holy will.

Grant that in all things, great and small,  today and all the days of my life, I may do whatever you may require of me.

Help me to respond to the slightest prompting of your grace so that I may be your trustworthy instrument.

May your will be done  in time and eternity by me, in me and through me. Amen.

That day I really got to feel that being done.
This isn’t something I’m writing about because I think I did something better than someone- I know there are so many people doing much bigger things every second of the day- but rather how good it felt to do something good in God’s name. I know this small act had a great impact on my life and I trust in God that his plan for that mom and little baby is pretty awesome too!

So if the next time I do something from God’s prompting, don’t be surprised if I happen to give Him a shoutout and

PLEASE DON’T JUDGE ME.

Hi Cutie Card

Hi Cutie Card

 

If there’s one thing this winter has given me (besides dry skin and a burning desire for sun), it’s gotta be the abundance of time indoors to get my creative juices flowing. Although I love all kinds of crafty inspired endeavors, like this version of DIY chalkboard art, sometimes its just enough to make a simple card.  With Christmas and Valentine’s Day over and done with, I found myself wanting to work on a card just for the sake of cuteness. And what could be more cute than this precious Doodle Owl design from Miss Kate’s Cuttables?

 

Hi Cutie Doodle Owl Card

Doodle Owl was offered as a free shape of the day and I scooped it up just as soon as I spotted it. Ha, ha… I guess that makes it a “spotted owl”- lol! (don’t judge my humor, I have been cooped up waaaay too long)

Hi Cutie Doodle Owl Card

 

I used the print and cut method with this design, using the PNG file and my Silhouette Cameo. (Miss Kate Cuttables designs come with PNG, JPEG and SVG files which makes them easy to use in a variety of ways!)

 

Hi Cutie Doodle Owl Card

 I also broke out my other favorites like my scalloped punch, baker’s twine, Stickles and heat embossing tool; finishing off the edges with some ink.

Hi Cutie Doodle Owl Card

Oh, and I can’t forget my wood grain embossing folder… I use that EVERY. CHANCE. I. GET.

Hi Cutie Card w/ Doodle Owl

All this was accomplished while watching Monday night’s episode of The Bachelor. I’d say this turned out way better (& cuter) than the relationships on this show so far. Just my opinion… I’d love to hear yours ;)

*not affiliated with Miss Kate Cuttables in any way, just really like her designs as well as the free shapes and inspiration she provides*

**there are affiliate links on this page. Shopping through affiliate links costs nothing more to you however I do get some commission from the sales which helps support my habits of crafting and blogging- so THANK YOU if you click through them :)**

DIY Chalkboard Art for Artistically Challenged

I have been itching to make my own chalkboard art, just like the kind you can spot all over Pinterest these days, however my artistic ability (or lack thereof) has delayed this project from actually happening. {more about that in this previous post that also involves stenciling ;)} That is until today, when I spotted this great design from Lori Whitlock over at the Silhouette online store. I immediately knew this was the perfect design to achieve the look of hand drawn chalkboard art.

I had already purchased the chalkboard at Kohl’s a while back.

chalkboard

I started out by “seasoning” the board, rubbing the whole thing with the side of chalk and then wiping it away so it looks like it’s been used a bit.

I went on to measure the area inside the frame and created a rectangle shape in Silhouette Studio using those dimensions. Then I opened the file and sized it to fit within the rectangle.

Screen shot 2014-02-16 at 8.52.39 PM

The design was then cut out of vinyl using my Silhouette Cameo which I then weeded to keep the negative space so that I could use it as a stencil. (Meaning I removed the vinyl that was the actual lettering)

Using transfer tape, I applied the vinyl stencil to the chalkboard and rubbed it thoroughly to get it to stick. Peeling the transfer tape off took a bit of patience but was definitely doable. Peeling at an angle from the corners helped.

DIY Chalkboard Art

I then used a chalk marker to fill in the letters. With the bigger letters, it helped to outline them first and then fill in the middle. For the shadow outline, I later took a cotton swab and removed some of the chalk so it was a lighter shade and more shadowy looking.

DIY Chalkboard Art | Any Given Day Inspiration

As a final touch, you can spray with a light coating of hairspray to help keep the chalk in place. When you want to redo the chalkboard, just wipe with a damp cloth and start all over again.

This is a great alternative for anyone who just can’t hand letter themselves but still wants to create their own “art”. For my first time around using this method I think it turned out pretty decent. I am definitely keeping my eye out for any other designs that I may be able to use in the future. Let me know if you try this yourself… I’d love to know how it turns out!!

DIY Chalkboard Art | AnyGivenDayInspiration.com

Artifact Fall Dazzle Event

It seems as though the Fall/Winter weather has finally set in around here with the first snowflakes of the season touching ground this morning. In spite of that, I ‘m going to think warm thoughts and share a pic of an event I attended back in August at Artifact Boutique…

Modeling chevron dress from Artifact Boutique in West Chester, PA

 

Artifact is a women’s clothing boutique in West Chester, PA which has the latest fashions all for under $60. See that cute chevron dress? Yep,  got it there and although it’s a bit too cold to wear now they have plenty of gorgeous items for this season as well. Here’s some of my current favorites from their online store.

Milly Bow Trim Boat Neck from shopartifact.com

Milly Bow Trim Boat Neck Top

Penny black Midnight Blazer

Penny Black Midnight Blazer

Sadie Striped Pinned Sweater from shopArtifact.com

Sadie Striped Pinned Sweater

And that’s just a glimpse of all the fashionable yet affordable clothing that they have to offer! Not only can you get cute clothes like the dress I’m wearing in the pic but this Wednesday you can also get a tan to go along with it. That’s right, Artifact is partnering with Arabella Sunless, a local sunless tanning company, for a night of discounted shopping and sunless tans.

From 4 – 8 pm at Artifact we’ll be offering 20% off the ENTIRE STORE! After you finish shopping, you can get your glow on in their private tanning office. Tans will be offered at a discounted rate – under $35.

All the details…

Artifact and Arabella Sunless Fall Dazzle Event

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

4-8 PM

200 W Gay Street, West Chester, PA

So, can you guess where I’ll be Wednesday night? Hope to see YOU there! You can RSVP to the event HERE.

Take a minute to check out their website and leave me a comment with your favorite product… I’d love to see what you find :)

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Summer has come and passed

The innocent can never last

Wake me up, when September ends.

I’m not sure what Green Day meant when they wrote this song but it’s kind of how I feel after a loooong kid-focussed summer and back-to-school season. I told myself I wouldn’t let blogging fall by the wayside but somehow it happened. No excuses or apologies here though. I thoroughly enjoyed all that kept me busy along the way from kids stuff to the more grownup stuff. Just so you don’t feel like you missed anything, here’s a peek at what I did on my summer vacation…

 

Summer Pool Side

 

Days spent poolside with family and friends.

 

 

WakeMeUp4

 

Tried to make the ordinary shopping trips into something a little more fun.

 

WakeMeUp5

 

Family outings to explore our local treasures.

 

WakeMeUp6

 

Stuck the kids in a cage when they weren’t behaving… (kidding, it’s Chuck E. Cheese people- relax!)

 

WakeMeUp_1272

 

Enjoyed quite a few gorgeous sunsets from our backyard.

 

WakeMeUp_170132

 

Celebrated Zachary’s 13th birthday and Dennis’ 41st birthday.

 

WakeMeUp_1303

 

And the highlight, spent a week together in Ocean City, NJ for our annual family vacation.

Along with the obvious of not writing on my blog, here’s some other things that I DIDN’T do on my summer vacation:

– make weekly menus

– have strict bedtimes for the kids (or myself for that matter)

– read my regular blogs

– do much “pinning”

– keep up with my crafty side

So now that summer is officially over, I guess I can wake my blog back up and start writing again. I am eager to get back to finding inspiration and sharing it with all of you. It was a fun hiatus while it lasted but I am looking forward to my passion for creating to be reignited.