Tuesday, May 31, 2011

my handwriting.

Thanks Heather! ^_~

What does your handwriting look like? Do you love it or hate it? I feel like mine looks like a teenage boys! Oh well.

Monday, May 30, 2011

happy memorial day.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day!

I cannot be more thankful to those who have served our country. I want to say a big thank you to the families of the men and women who are away from home right working hard. Come home safe.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Aurora's Photo Adventure.

My little three year old, Aurora, drives me crazy and also brings so much joy to my life. Seeing the world through the eyes of a toddler is always an interesting experience. She is amused but the simplest things. We could play hide and seek for hours or pizza parlor tea party and she’ll never get bored with it. Recently she’s become very fond of using my phone to take pictures. She loves flowers and trees and has grown pretty good at working the camera on my phone.

It amazes me how quick she catches on to thing. I think I’ve got a budding photographer on my hands. I love my little artist!

Sorry I haven’t been blogging very much lately (or commenting.) Between blogger being very goofy and my current photography class being extremely difficult I’ve kind of pushed blogging onto the back burner. I promise I will be back in full force next week. There are a lot of wonderful things to come!

Speaking of that; is there anything you could like to see more of from my blog? More blog love? Etsy Finds? Tutorials? Leave a comment and let me know!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

and the winner is....

Last night was the final time to enter my little birthday giveaway! This morning I put all of the entries together and pulled a name out the old fashioned way...

Can I get a drum roll please?

Congratulations to Krissy (with a K)!! I'll be sending you an e-mail for more details about your winnings. I can't wait to make your custom items!!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered. I'm going to be trying to get involved in more giveaways in the future. Also, a really big THANK YOU for all of my wonderful birthday wishes. Yesturday was wonderful and we have great plans for the weekend that I can't wait to share.

Thanks again!

P.S. - If I haven't commented on your blog lately it isn't because I don't love what you've been posting. Blogger isn't letting me leave comments on other bloggers posts. I hope they get this fixed soon. I promise I will come back and comment on as many of your posts as I can. You all have such wonderful things going on right now! Lots of love!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

it's my birthday, i'll do what i want!

Birthdays have always been pretty important to me. I was an only child growing up so yes, I was a little spoiled. My parents were always wonderful and gave me the best they could. I didn’t get everything I wanted but I did get to be the center of attention a lot. Now that I’m a mom it’s nice to have that day/week and say “It’s my birthday, I’ll do what I want!” The fact that mother’s day is in the same month as my birthday is just a bonus. Call me self centered if you want but the other 11 months out of the years it’s all about my family, so I can have one right?

I’ve been crazy busy lately as well. I don’t think I’ve ever sent out so many e-mails before. I think that’s a pretty good sign though. I’m working hard to make my blog and Etsy shop something to be proud of. It’s what I really enjoy doing so it should be the best it can be. My school work may be suffering slightly for that but I learned my lesson. I just had to resubmit my first project ever; thankfully my Professor is extremely understood.

At the beginning of this week I made a list of all the things I wanted to get done. I must say it has been working way better than the daily lists I used to make. I’ve been feeling pretty productive but not over worked at the same time. I still have a lot to cross off and I keep adding too it, but I’m getting there. I started out pretty down in the dumps but this week has really been perking up!

I’ve been contemplating spoiling myself a little for this birthday. Most of the time when I have a few extra pennies to rub together I run out and buy more craft supplies or take my daughter to McDonalds. Since I have a few extra dollars of birthday money I’m thinking of spending it on a new and fun camera. I’ve really been trying to make photography enjoyable for myself again. Since it is my major I should at least want to take picture right?

Do you have any fun camera recommendations for me? I was thinking something in the ways of a 35mm lomograph camera.

Veronica from Crack the Sky got this White Angel – Wide Angle Lens that looks really fun.

I’m still up in the air. If you could buy yourself something a little special for your birthday, what would it be?

I know something that you could all get me for my birthday. Take some thought into donating to one of the great organizations that are helping those affected by the recent tornados and flood waters that are distorting our beautiful country. Those people need more than I could ever ask for right now.

Don’t forget: today is the last day to enter the little birthday custom order giveaway!!!

One more thing before I'm done. Here's a little Birthday from Zac Hanson. Maybe it was for his 21st Birthday and I'm way past that but everytime I watch it I crack up! So, enjoy...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

San Marcos Hotel Photo Adventure.

Things are finally back in order from our little flood. The apartment is dry and clean. It actually gave me a great opportunity to get reorganized and deep clean everything. It really wasn’t a bad experience after the shock of the event wore off. I think my favorite part was being able to stay at the San Marcos Hotel. We needed a place to stay for a few nights while our house dried out. Piston got to stay at his favorite place, the doggie hotel, and we got to stay at a beautiful and historic hotel.

The San Marcos Hotel was the first hotel built in Chandler, AZ. My husband used to work in the area and we passed it by admiring it on a regular basis. Not only is it historic, it’s also suspected to be haunted. Marc was having a field day with that idea. Thankfully there were no ghostly sightings happened during our stay. Aurora and I enjoyed our time outside walking around downtown Chandler. I even got a chance to revisit one of my most favorite places to eat, In Pockets, YUM!

It had been a while since I took my camera out and just took pictures because that I enjoyed. I finally got to do that while we were staying at the hotel. It was so beautiful. I hope as my skills improve I’ll get to go back and take even better pictures.

I feel slightly refreshed after I saw the look of these photos. I feel like I'm getting my groove back alittle.

Hey, by the way, don't forget to enter my little giveaway in celebration of my birthday. One year older and maybe a little wiser... well... maybe.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Little Birthday GIVEAWAY!

Well, this week is my Birthday and I wanted to make it something special. A lot of wonderful bloggers out there have been doing really amazing Birthday Giveaways so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. It’s not as extravagant as some, but I hope you like it.


One custom made hair clip.

I love to do custom orders and I’m going to be offering them on a more regular basis in my Etsy shop. I really enjoy making something when I have a specific person in mind. As I’m making it I can see them wearing and it makes me smile. I think some of my best hair pieces have come from custom works. I would love to make a piece just for you! You can name the color, size, and even type of flower and I will do my best to make your vision come true.

One custom made button necklace.

I didn’t think just one prize was good enough for my birthday. I would also like to make the winner a custom color button necklace. Because buttons come in so many colors and sizes I can make a verity of creations. I can even whip up something with a fabric button. You pick it and I’ll create it.

How to enter:
Everyone is welcome to enter the giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment with your favorite birthday memory and your e-mail address. It’s as easy as that!

Some of my favorite birthday memories are when I used to have cake fights with my two best friends. Nothing like icing to really condition the hair.

Other ways to enter:

- Follow my blog via Google connect located in the right column of my blog and leave a comment.
- Follow my blog via bloglovin’ and leave a comment.
- Tweet about this giveaway using @withchancesof in the tweet and leave a comment.
- Heart my Etsy shop and/or your favorite item and leave a comment.
- Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment, if you choose to blog about this giveaway you will receive two chances to win these prizes!

Giveaway starts Monday May 23, 2011 at 9:00 AM AZ Time and will end on my birthday Wednesday May 25, 2011 at Midnight.

There’s not much time so don’t forget to entry!

Have a great week!! <3

Saturday, May 21, 2011

baby bump: 27 weeks

I went for my 27 week check up yesterday. They did a sonogram to check on her growth and she seems to be doing really well. It amazed me how much she looks like Aurora, well, from what I can tell. Her nose and face shape are almost the same. I’m guessing she’s going to have a lot of hair like Aurora did because I’ve been having some pretty nasty heart burn as well. I’m at 172lbs right now. I’m so glad. I thought with all the eating out we have been doing that I would be a giant by now. As long as I stay under 190lbs I’ll be really happy. I’m determined to get down to size after this pregnancy. I didn’t try very hard after I had Aurora and I kind of regret it. I’m not going to go crazy, I’d be happy being 150lbs. I’ve been smaller than that before but I just don’t look right when I weigh less then 140lbs. I feel like a bean pole. I was built to be bulky and I’m happy with that.

Speaking of kids, I was wondering why no one warned me about the terrible threes! I thought I had trouble when she was two, but wow. Aurora turning three has brought a whole new attitude. I struggle to get her to do anything. I never had to really put her in “time out” before and now it’s an everyday event. I’m at a loss for potty training too. Yes, my daughter is three and refusing to use the potty. She knows how. I know she knows because she does it… sometimes… Ugh… I love that little girl but she is really wearing on me. If any other parents have tips on potty training PLEASE let me know. I’ve tried rewards, stickers, charts, and even letting her run around without pull-ups or a diaper. Yeah, I refuse to give up but at this point I’m running out of ideas.

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! I’m getting geared up for some things I’m really excited about. I hope I can pull it all together.

Friday, May 20, 2011

blog love weekly v7.0


This week for blog love weekly I am going to being sharing with you one very special blog. Recently Ashley from after nine to five started a blog called “The Bartering Blogger.” Anyone with a blog can join and swap wonderful goodies with other bloggers. It can be handmade or something a little different. I really love this idea. I don’t have a ton of money floating around to get buy new things just because I ‘want’ them, so the Bartering Blogger is a great solution! I was really excited to be able to swap ads with the Bartering Blogger for the month of May. Other bloggers on the page are also willing to swap ads. I can’t wait to share more trades in the future!


Speaking of Ashley, have you visited her blog? After Nine to Five is an amazing blog full of life experiences from the fabulous Ashley. I love the fact that a lot of her blog posts are just the written word. A lot of times I get so caught up in the visual aspect of blogging I forget about the really important stuff, ya know, like the writing! She can tell a story and give an opinion without all the visual over flow; you have to love a good writer. Her Etsy shop is also full of fun goodies! I’ve been drooling over a lot of her necklaces for a while. Someday when I actually start making money I’ll get one.

One another note: We’re back home and almost done cleaning. It’s so good to be home and as much as I was angry with him, I’m glad Piston is back with us again. It wasn’t the same sleeping without him at the end of the bed.

Happy Friday! You know what that means? Next week is my birthday! Keep a look out for something special!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

sweet hummingbird.

A little while ago we set up a hummingbird feeder on our patio. In our apartment complex there are a bunch of different hummingbird families living in the trees. I was actually able to see some baby hummingbirds in a nest, so cute! I've always loved hummingbirds but in Pittsburgh their extremely rare to see. It's said that if you see a hummingbird its good luck. Living here must be really lucky because I get to see them all the time.

I love how tough and protective they are. If another bird comes into their tree they go crazy. It doesn't matter how big the other bird is, they attack. I love watching these sweet little creatures dive bomb big black birds casing them away from their nest. One of our neighbors even named one of the little guys Scrappy because he'll fight anything that comes near his area.

So, without further delay here are some of my favorite hummingbird finds on Etsy.






Also, I wanted to thank everyone for their nice comments and concerns about our little flooding incident. We should be all back in to our apartment today. I don't think Aurora's room is going to be ready to move back into yet but we can't stay another night in a hotel. She's really enjoyed the sleep overs she's been having with mommy and daddy. We've been really lucky to be in such a nice hotel. I can't wait to tell you all about it, that post is in the works with lots of pictures. We are also looking into specialty dog crates for Piston as well some new training. He's such a good dog... until we leave him alone. We'll get him there. Thanks again!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We moved to Arizona and had a flood... wait, what?

Yesterday started out pretty normal. It was Aurora’s first time sleeping in her big girl bed and our dog, Piston, woke her up extra early. No big deal, we started our day and I got a lot done. I did some laundry, vacuumed, took care of the dishes, and enjoyed time with Aurora. I was so tired from our first night of big girl bed time. I stayed on her floor until she fell asleep and then stayed up late finishing some homework. I thought a nap would be great and I didn’t want to be up all night again working on projects. So, I decided even though we hadn’t bought a new crate for Piston yet, Aurora and I would take a walk over to McDonalds and she could play while I finished up some work. I took everything out of Aurora’s large bathroom and made Piston a little area. I didn’t think he could get into any trouble, I mean, it’s an empty bathroom right? What could he hurt? I never realized how much water could come out of a toilet…

Yes, that’s right, he attacked the toilet. He lost it when we left and attacked the toilet breaking the line the leads to the water tank. I have no idea for how long. Aurora and I were walking home from being at McDonalds for about two hours when I ran into one of the complex workers near our apartment. When he told me that the downstairs neighbors called complaining about water coming from the ceiling, I lost it. We flew up the stairs and as soon as I opened the door I saw it, water. It was in just about every room of our two bedroom apartment. When I stepped into the hallway my feet, up to my ankles, were completely covered with water. I was in shock. My heart sank into my stomach and I didn’t know what to do. My emotions were high and I just started crying. The poor guys that work in our complex tried to calm me down. They helped scooping water into the tub and I tried to keep Aurora out of the water and get as much stuff into a dry area. I was thankful that our kitchen wasn’t affected. I started pilling everything into there.


Aurora’s room got it the worst. A lot of her things were completely water logged. The carpet it in room was completely covered in water. I’m so thankful that other than some stuff animals and toys we didn’t have that much damage. It’s a miracle. Somehow our furniture is all intact and the guy who came for the carpets said that they wouldn’t need replaced that they will dry out. I’m so glad it was fresh water that came out. All of my products listed in my Etsy shop somehow escaped the waters that were rushing into our bed room closet. It’s amazing. Other than an aching back from moving everything out of the way, I’m fine and so is everyone else. We’re at a local hotel for the next two days until the guy can cames back to check on the carpets. I hope they are dry so we can get back in and start the cleaning process.

When all this first happened I was completely ready to give up Piston. This had done it for me. He has destroyed a couch, two recliners, a countless number of toys, broken plates, ruined the carpet, destroyed the blinds and so much more. We got him about a year and a half ago when he was only a year old. He was never crate trained and one of his owners was home with him all the time. He’s not used to people leaving, and I get that. I love him to death, but I can’t stop doing things because he’s crazy. I also feel really terrible because I can only image how scared he was when all that water came rushing out at him. I didn’t even think of that until later. Poor guy, I just shoved him out on the patio, I was so angry. He’s at his favorite place right now, the doggie hotel. I’m hoping that we can come up with some kind of solution. With the new baby on the way I’m just completely freaked out on what will happen nest.


This crazy thing that happened to us made me really think about what’s been going on in America. As I was cleaning I was thinking about all the people in the south affected by the tornados and recent flood waters. The water in our house will dry and in a few days we will be able to get back home again. So many people in our own country won’t be able to do that. I didn’t really lose anything, so many have lost everything. We’re all healthy and fine but how many loved ones have been lost? When I came home and walked in the door and saw all that water I was so hurt. I can only image what it would be like to drive down the street to where my house used to stand and see nothing left but rubble. I want to encourage anyone and everyone who is able to donate what they can to the Salvation Army or other wonderful organizations helping out. So many people need so much more than just food and shelter, they are going to have to start all over again. It’s hard to think when living in our cozy homes, feeling safe, that it could be gone in the blink of an eye. My prayers and good thoughts go out to all the families who have been a part of this weather tragedy that just doesn’t seem to want to let go. God help us put the devastated parts of our country back together.

Wow, and I thought I was lacking in things to blog about this week…

Monday, May 16, 2011

inspiration in unlikely places.

People gather inspirations from just about everywhere. I gather a lot of mine up and stick them on my tumblr, just a bunch of images and ideas I love. I’ve shared a lot of inspirations here on my blog as well. There have been many artists that have inspired me. Since I’ve been back to school I’ve really enjoyed my art history classes and gaining knowledge of the “greats” like Henri Matisse. Of course there is the artist who inspired me to do photography in the first place, Jerry Uelsmann. There is one unlikely artist that keeps me going on a regular basis, my daughter.

I’m so glad she enjoys coloring, painting and crafting so much. She doesn’t like coloring books that much either. Give that girl a piece of blank paper and a pen and she’ll create a work of art. Okay I’m her mother so I have to say that, but I really love to watch her. Our house is covered in the things she’s created. We have her paintings in just about every room of the house. I think it's also very important for young childern to learn to express themselves in creative ways. Even if they don't continue as they get older its something they can always remember and enjoy.

The thing I think I love the best about her “art work” is that she has no fear. She doesn’t care if she messes up or goes off the page, it’s her creation and she’ll make it work. Aurora isn’t afraid of color either. She might decide she only wanted to use one color, or every color available to her. Sometimes I wish I could be more like that. If I didn’t worry so much about my “art” being perfect I’m sure I would create much more than I do.

It’s funny where we learn our lessons from. My lesson and inspiration comes from little Aurora, who isn’t afraid to cover a blank piece paper with beauty!

Friday, May 13, 2011

why do you blog?

Alycia from the curious pug asked an interesting question “Why do you blog?” It got me thinking. I feel like my blog recently took a shift in a very strange direction. I think I was trying to be like everyone else or something like that. I needed to take my own advice and be myself on my blog. The more my blog started to represent me, the better I felt, and the better the response I received.


-To journal my families adventure in moving to Arizona
-To look back and remember
-To connect with others
-To be creative
-To share things I make with others
-To share how to make things with others
-To put my thoughts out there because it makes me feel like I’m doing SOMETHING
-To vent and rant
-To share things that inspire me
-To get feedback
-To comment on other blogs about their thoughts, feelings, and creative
-To support other artists and bloggers

I could probably go on forever. There are so many reasons why I blog but the bottom line is that I love to do it. I hope you love to do it too!

So, why do you blog? If you post about it also go ahead and link it back to Alycia’s blog post! I want to read everyone’s. I think it’s funny that everyone’s response is pretty much the same and totally different at the same time.

blog love weekly v6.0


First, on this edition of blog love weekly, I’d like to take you to see Chelsea of Tea Talk. She is a sweet little fashion blogger who is just as adorable in real life as she is on the computer screen. Chelsea always has the nicest outfit photo posts and I just can’t get enough. For someone like me who has no clue what they are doing when it comes to fashion it’s nice to see what someone else is doing. She also has some really great interviews and information on her glad you have to read through. I’m very glad I got to meet her. She did an amazing job helping put together the AZ Blogger Meet Up! Chelsea also just graduated from college today! So, Congratulations to the lovely lady of Tea Talk, great things are going to come from this girl, mark my words.


Next we take a trip over to City Bird’s Nest to meet the wonderful cb. She is a crafter and a biker and super sweet! I’m so thankful for the lovely comments she leaves on my blog, it really keeps me going. Her blog is full of her fun adventures in the world on and off her bike. It really inspires me to want to get on a bike and just ride! Well, maybe after the baby comes! She also has the nicest things in her Etsy shop. Rumor has it she is going to be adding a line of lovely necklaces! It’s so hard to resist as shopping spree when there are such wonderful online shops like the City Bird’s Nest.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Feeling nostalgic...

For balloons and umbrellas.



I just thought I’d share...



Happy Wednesday!

Monday, May 9, 2011

the smell of burning wood... yum...

I am so thankful for a wonderful mother’s day, really the whole weekend. It started out with me being able to head out on my own and attended First Friday, which is always fun thanks for the wonderful ladies of Butter Toast Boutique. Saturday morning I got what I wanted for mother’s day. The only thing I asked for was to go out for waffles! Aurora and I spent the rest of the day running errands and hitting the pool. Sunday was pretty quiet and typical. I enjoy just hanging out with my family; I really don’t need anything special. I did get to play with my new toy!

I finally got myself a wood burning tool! I’ve wanted to try this forever. I don’t really know why. I just think it’s so different and could be really fun. It’s not as easy as it looks though! It was weird to hold the tool so far away from the point. I didn’t screw the tip in tight enough the first round so it kept wiggling too. Also, every time I hit a part of the grain my point would get stuck, I need to work on that. I’m happy to say I didn’t burn myself too badly either. I touched the tip to check if it was cool yet and well, it wasn’t! Ouch! I learned my lesson pretty quick. Piston, our crazy dog, also tried to lick it one point. Thankfully I grabbed him in time; he’s not the brightest boxer in the world.

I’m excited to work on more projects with my wood burner. I love the smell! I can’t help myself. It reminds me of a camp fire, yum! I want to go out right now and buy more wood to doodle on! The best part is I used stamps to create the designs. That was probably the easiest part. I plan on branching out but I need a lot of practice first!

Do you have any new craft endeavors you’re working on perfecting?

art VS craft.

A little while ago I asked a question on my facebook and on my twitter.

artist VS crafter... what’s the difference?

“There are many kinds of Artists.” April Flourish Café

I got a rapid response to this question. Apparently it is a very hot topic in the “art” world. Some might say that art and craft are two very different worlds. Crafts are what Grandma makes and what kids do in Sunday school. I think that is far from the truth. Even as I studied Art History the art of “craft” making was a topic we studied.

“You can’t have good art without solid craft. Crafters are artists who make things for people who appreciate art in all forms.” – Danielle the merriweather council.

She is so right; to truly understand what they are creating a “crafter” has to understand all aspects of art. Crafting is just as visual as the highest level of art. Just because one person works with felt and another person works with paint doesn’t mean they don’t apply the same elements to what they are creating. Color, texture, and balance come into play with any type of art. A master cake decorator uses a lot of the same technical ideas that a sculptor might. It’s all the same.

“You can be whatever you want, they’re just labels.” – Roxanne The 60/40.

We can all argue till our fists are pumping and our faces turn blue but in the end, it’s just a label. Recently I’ve been struggling with my inner desire to be an “artist.” It’s like the dream everyone has of seeing their name up in lights. After posing this question and really digging deep I’ve come to the conclusion that I can call myself whatever I want. If one day I want to be a crafter, okay. The next day I’m feeling artsy, good for me. I might never make it into a college text book but who wants to be the reason some poor kid is going to have to stay up all night and write a paper about anyways? Not this lady!

The world is full of artists. Are you an artist or a crafter? Both?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

blog love weekly v5.0 mothers day edition.

This is a very special mom addition of blog love weekly. First, I want to say thank you to all the moms out there for doing what you do. You love so hard and work so hard. There is no one like a mom. I hope each of you get lots of love from your family and friends and hopefully get to relax and enjoy your special day.


You may recognize this lady from a night like this well, she’s reinvented herself and her blog You’re my heart, kid and I love it even more now. As a single mom of a beautiful little girl, Asia, I’m constantly impressed and inspired by her wiliness to work and love her family. It totally shows that her daughter is her world and I love that about her. She’s a sweet lady and you should get to know her too.


Chrissy from Whimsical Poppysmic is just plan adorable. She is a wonderful mom and also a great crafter! I love all of her felt creations in her Etsy shop. Her blog is really unique. I love her inventive way of writing a blog posts. She has some great series going on as well. Some of my favorite posts of her are her “Awkward and Awesome” series. They are funny and clever and so true to life. I love bloggers who are just real, she totally is.



Brandi from Waiting for Bean is so sweet and caring. I first got to meet her at the Art Detour a little while ago. She has a wonderful collection of vintage clothing in her Etsy shop Linen Lovelies. She’s a family lady and a creative soul. Brandi also has the most adorable daughter! I was impressed at how good her little one was all day at the Art Detour! A sign of good parenting I’d say. On her blog she shares come wonderful finds as well as creative ideas.

If you are a Mother, a Grandmother, an Animal Mother, or anything inbetween...

Happy Mothers Day!