Strawberry Ice Cream Day – sweet cards

 

 Celebrating Strawberry Ice Cream Day with a sweet duo

Sweet strawberry ice cream cards

 

I’m using more of my stash again today. These cute Cricut die cuts were my starting point.  The cone with the red bead sprinkles was embossed in the Cuttlebug with the Diamond in the Rough folder. Add some patterned paper, vellum & ribbon to put it all together for these all occasion cards.

Check out the Cricut Explore Air clearance sale

Get Free Shipping at Cricut with code LOVESHIP

In the spirit of full disclosure, this is an affiliate link, which means that I may get a commissions if you decide to purchase anything from this company. I only recommend products & services that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.

 

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Scrapbook Pages – Found!

This week, I wanted to take advantage of a great sale at Shutterfly to make my photo books. I normally use my desktop to create my digital scrapbooking pages, so I uploaded all of the pages to the site. I remembered that I had worked on some pages on my laptop when I was away from home & was so happy to find a few more pages there. My Myrtle Beach vacation book was completed with the pages showing our road trip, the condo we stayed in and a visit to the Sky Wheel.  Sharing this page from the Sky Wheel because I loved the pictures and the colors of the kit used (“In for the Ride” by Jady Day Studios).

I don’t have an affiliate agreement with Shutterfly, I just really like their photo books & their sales. If you’ve never tried Shutterfly before, leave a comment or send me an email & I’ll send you a code for a free photobook.

Just wondering, do you use a laptop or desktop for digital scrapbooking? I like the control of the desktop but the ability to work anywhere with the laptop.

 

New Year’s Eve Traditions

The last day of the year – time to say goodbye to 2016 and greet 2017. Generally, it’s a night of celebration & reflection as people around the world hope for health & happiness in the coming year.

Here is a quick round-up of traditions from around the world and the stories behind them. Perhaps some of your family traditions are rooted in your culture or you have adopted ideas throughout the years. Maybe there are some new ones you want to add to your New Year celebration.

 

http://www.viralnova.com/new-year-superstitions/

 

 

http://www.almanac.com/content/new-year-traditions-around-world

 

This one includes more cultures & traditions

New Year Traditions around the World

Some fun new ideas to add to your family celebration

18 New Year’s Eve Traditions You Won’t Want to Miss

 

Most of all, from our house to yours – may 2017 bring you peace, prosperity & happiness!

Recovery is Possible

Today, I enjoyed the annual Christmas party with my co-workers – lots of good food, laughs, catching up with the other end of the building 🙂

This was topped off by a visit from some former clients sharing updates since leaving the program & their recovery. It’s important to remember why we do what we do each day. I’ve often wondered about clients I have worked with in the past, even from the early 90s, so this really touched me. Even though I no longer work directly with clients, I like knowing that I have helped behind the scenes.
To my co-workers past & present and those dealing with addiction (either yours or your loved ones), keep the faith, hope & strength. Recovery is possible.

 

Personalized Wine Labels

I have an Etsy shop for some of my creative outlets and just added some new labels for Christmas. Just in time for gift giving. Perfect for hostess gifts, grab bags, office gifts and last minute gifts!

Personalized Christmas Labels

Cards – using my stash

Since I am no longer scrapbooking with paper (see this post), I use my scrapbooking stash for other projects. I love to make cards mostly. I find some die cuts, stickers, ribbons & other embellishments, pair them with some patterned paper and cardstock & have a nice little selection of cards.

Birthday Cards from my stash - shellsnest.com
Birthday Cards from my stash – shellsnest.com

 

Harry Potter themed cards from my stash - shellsnest.com
Harry Potter themed cards from my stash – shellsnest.com

Gift Ideas for Pre-teen boys

preteen-boys-giftsPre-teen boys can be hard to shop for presents. They are at the end of the toy stage but not ready for young adult gifts. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite gift ideas that are under $25.

 

 

Wireless Speakers

Wireless Speakers

A great option for kids with cell phones or ipod/mp3 player. There’s all kinds of cool speakers that hook up easily to most devices – waterproof for the shower, keychain sized and ones that have lights or water that dance to the beat.

 

 

Virtual Reality Headset for smartphones

Virtual Reality Headset

One of the hottest new items out there right now! Granted, the under $25 price tag may not get you the best quality, but the reviews are pretty good for this model. It’s definitely worth a try.

 

 

 

Legos & Building Sets

How can you go wrong with a building set?? There are so many options out there! The pre-teen may like to try something more challenging like building a roller coaster or a race car alongside the Lego City, Star Wars or Minecraft sets they know & love.  Here are a few options under or
around $25.   K’nex Roller Coaster  Lego Star Wars    Lego Minecraft  Lego Creator  Lego Technic

 

 

Science!  

How about a Microscope set  with some premade slides and blank slides for checking out stuff up close.  Or go for something disgusting like this  Disgusting Science Kit

My boys loved this and the Dr. Dreadful gross science set. I couldn’t find the Dr. Dreadful – they probably don’t make it anymore, but it was crazy!

Illusions

One year, my boys got each other goofy pranks. What fun they had with the classic whoopie cushion on unsuspecting folks! The store Five Below had a whole section of  Pranks.

This was also the year my boys became more interested in card tricks & magic tricks.We had a Cris Angel set that was pretty advanced and didn’t get around to several of the illusions. This Magic Kit  looks like a good starter kit. 

 

 

 

 


NERF

 

You probably already know some great Nerf products. There are tons to choose from in a decent price range.  These are 2 new ones I found recently that I thought would be good additions to the Nerf arsenal we have in our basement  – Nerf Target Set   and   Nerf Star Wars Chewbacca
Bow
 

 

 

Stress Relief for Caregivers

bird in tree

 

Social workers, health care workers, parents, teachers, adult children caring for elderly parents…some of the many types of caregivers. You may even fill multiple roles, like me, a mom who works in social services. One thing remains the same, we all experience an overload of stress from time to time.

You know that feeling – maybe you get headaches, become irritable, cry easily, feel tense or aches in your neck & back. It’s a response that is felt emotionally & physically.  It drains you & leaves you vulnerable. How do you keep giving to others when you have nothing left?

Like the flight attendants tell you – you need to put on your oxygen mask before helping others with theirs.   Sometimes it might feel “selfish” to take care of your needs, say no to a request or invite, keep the appointment for yourself, but truly, it’s not.  Regular self-care helps you fill up your tank.

Lately, I’ve been feeling stressed & wanted to consciously experiment with a variety of suggestions for stress relief. I wanted to get in touch with what works best for me and figure out what really isn’t serving me.

 

  • Create something – This is, by far, my favorite stress reliever. Sometimes I go to my craft room to make cards or scrapbook some happy memories. Last weekend, I painted a pumpkin with my daughter. When I let creativity take over & focus on the project at hand, I stop thinking about the things that are stressing me. If you don’t think you’re crafty, try drawing, coloring or putting together a puzzle.

 

  • Breathe – Another way to calm your mind and body is to just be still & focus on your breathing.  Concentrate on the air going in & out. You can imagine positive energy coming in and send out the negative.

 

  • Talk – Often, you need to get it out of your head to process & get feedback or a different perspective. Talk with your partner, a trusted friend, moms in a mother’s group. I’ve even talked to my dog (come on, I know you have, too).  It doesn’t always have to be a serious heart-to-heart either. Laughter is powerful medicine!                             In the professional setting, supervision is key. I have had the pleasure of working with some excellent supervisors who have helped me work through issues as a counselor so I could leave work at work. I’ve also had some supervisors who have been less than supportive & I’ve seen other counselors struggling with a lack of supervision. This surely contributes to feelings of burnout.

Dogs are great for stress management

  • Pets – If you have a dog or a cat, you know the power of petting your furry friend. Spending some time petting &  playing with my pups goes a long way in helping me destress after a long day.

 

  • Write – It doesn’t have to be a fancy journal, just get your thoughts out onto paper & feel free to leave them there. You can challenge your negative thoughts, write a letter you’ll never send to someone or just let those thoughts free flow out of you.

 

  • Food & Water – I am guilty of stress-eating. I have learned I seek out carbs & sugar (no surprises there!) to help me deal with negative emotions. It’s not effective. This is one of the main reasons I started experimenting with different methods of handling stress. I was doing pretty well on a low carb diet, and then tested my limits. I felt pretty crappy with the high carbs again, so I’m back on the wagon.   And I know you’ve heard all about drinking plenty of water – it’s all true!!

 

  • Get active – Ok, I have to admit that I’m still working on this one. I know that there are so many benefits to regular physcial activity, just haven’t made this a habit yet. I can go as far as saying that I like to stretch each day – it does help me feel more relaxed & releases the tension I am carrying, quite literally, in my neck & back. Some other forms of activity for me includes walking the dogs, cleaning and dancing. I can frequently be found dancing & singing in the car.

 

  • Adequate rest – you need to rest to recharge. Once in awhile, try going to bed earlier than usual. Lately, I’ve been recording some shows I like that are on later in the evening so I can watch them at an earlier time later in the week.  Turn off those electronics at least an hour before bed. Do you like to read before bed? Some nights, I fall asleep before I finish the page.

What else would you add to the list of stress management techniques? What do you find to be most effective? Add your thoughts in the comments section below.

journal

 

 

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