Chalk Guide {what chalk to use on chalkboards}




Happy Friday! I'm on my way to downtown, but I wanted to leave you with a chalk guide. I love all things chalkboard and chalk. It's just so fun to me. If I could, I would have an entire chalk wall. Unfortunately for now I'm stuck with making chalkboards. I made one here and most recently made a chalkboard easel, that was really cheap and easy to make. Today I'm going to be sharing the different types of chalk you can use on your chalkboards. As well as the positives and negatives of both.

 This is probably my least favorite. I threw it out a week after I bought it.  I know they have different types of  chalk marker (fine, chisel, chunky). I bought the "regular" one at Michaels. This gives you the  best  look. Its like drawing with a marker. It doesn't give you a chalk look, its more of a fine marker look . What I didn't like  hated about it, was that it doesn't fully come off. I still have residue on my (new) chalkboard. So I would definitely not recommend using this unless its for a permanent board. Although it does wipe off within a few minutes of using it. I might have just left it too long. It was a few days. 
This is a picture of what the marker looks like. The nicely written fine parts are in marker. 


The chalk pencil is my second favorite. It works like a led pencil. I bought this one at Joann's. Its a fine chalk and It's good for drawing and writing. The downside, it erases easily and can be hard to see. You have to get the chalk at the right angle in order for it to write. But it gives you a lot of freedom if  you're good with a pencil.

You can also use a fabric pencil (if its chalk). I feel like they work the same way.




Jumbo chalk or sidewalk chalk. I know this chalk can be hard to write with but it comes in handy if you use this technique to draw on your chalkboards.
Regular chalk is my favorite to use and the easiest in my opinion. I like the size and the look that it gives. This one is good if you have good penmanship (which I do not).







I was going to give different samples of the chalk but I think you get the idea and I'm sure you have seen most of these. I just wanted to share some pros and cons of the different types.

If you're having a hard time figuring out how people make those beautiful chalk images these links will help. Here is a technique, which I think is the easiest (also shared above). Here is one on fake calligraphy. Here is a harder, more time consuming one, but I think the technique is good.

Hope you enjoy! If you have any questions feel free to comment or email me, or if you have any other ideas on how to do it, please share!

Have a great weekend :)

Strawberry Picking




We visited Tanaka farm yesterday! I have been trying to stay jam-packed busy these next two weeks and this was a perfect way to do that. It was a really remarkable Southern California day! I mean, the weather! It was perfect for strawberry picking ;)

^^ Look at that sky!! ^^


They gave us a tour of the whole farm, 30 acres I believe. They shared a little about the history and what they do there. We were able to try different vegetables that they grow there. That part was a lot of fun. You stopped every few minutes and tried a different vegetable. You didn't know what would be next. 







                                           ^^Then you stopped and picked some strawberries! ^^




 You were able to eat them while you picked. Jed figured that out really quickly!


We had such a blast! It was nice to show Jed what a farm is and how food grows. Living in the city, it can be hard to remember that people work really hard on these farms. I couldn't help but be reminded of all the migrant farm workers.

It really was beautiful, just to be outside on such a nice day! This weather is what people move to LA for. I think maybe I just appreciate it a little more because we could be moving.

We hope to go back for the watermelon tours!


The past few weeks!




I finally feel somewhat normal! The past few months have been hectic. With the wedding and trying to get all the paperwork together so that we can move to Korea, things have been crazy! The craziness isn't over either. We still don't know exactly how things are going to go down. This military life is not for the faint of heart. This has been the absolute most trying year, and yet I have full confidence that God will continue to sustain us.

I wanted to share a few pictures from the past weeks...
 Nope! Didn't make the walk down the aisle. Grandpa had to go and get him. But he managed to be the cutest person in attendance. When is he not?

 Some photos from the wedding! How cute is RJ?! He just melts my heart. I think Jed is starting to think his dad lives in a phone, and only wears uniforms.
Feeling a little crafty lately. I even went to Joann's and bought a bunch of stuff that I had no use for.


We attended a Hawaiian festival this weekend. It was so beautiful. It really makes me want to go back. I mostly remember being upset that my hair wasn't agreeing with the humidity. Ever seen that episode of friends? Yup! But the festival was a reminder of how beautiful the culture is. We were hoping to get stationed there. Next one ;) 
 Selfies! We watched Pitch Perfect two Saturday night. It takes me back to my show choir days (sad face). I miss singing and dancing, and all the other shenanigans. Also, they need to give Rebel Wilson  and Adam Devine their own movie!! Rebel Wilson, single handedly makes those movies. She is something else. The next Mindy Kaling.

I am really jam packing these next two weeks! They need to go by quickly because otherwise I will go insane! Man, I use a lot of exclamations. Its because I'm so excited! Not really.

Happy Monday, Everyone!

In the thick of it




I have missed just blogging about the random stuff. You know, just using this place as my personal journal and sharing all kinds of word vomit. Yup, here it is!

Lately I have just been super emotional. The not knowing stage is really getting to me. Not having RJ here is really getting to me. The fact that June is coming way too fast, just makes me want to cry. I can't believe it is almost a year since Ben died. It certainly doesn't feel that way. I just feel like life is moving way too fast. People are moving on, and I feel stuck. Life seems like a subway station, people get on and move on, and everything happens really fast. I'm just sitting on the bench watching it all pass by. I feel like I'm grasping at air, trying to make time stop. I'm just not ready for any of it. I'm trying to hold on to everyday because I have this heart wrenching feeling about June coming. I hate to think about it. I didn't expect to feel this way, but It's how I feel.

I look at Jed and he is such a little man. He is so smart and sweet, and reminds me so much of his wonderful daddy! I try my very best to be there for him, but a part of me feels like he has been robbed. I don't think I have been 100% for him. There are days where I just want to cry and be alone and Its really hard for me to hold it all together. I don't want to make him feel like he has a crazy mom. I'm grateful that Ben will never have to experience the pain of this world. It's difficult to look at Jed and wonder what his life will be like. If there will be circumstances that will cause him heartbreak. Yet, as I type this, I'm reminded of God's mercy. A lot of times I miss that! A reminder that its all going to be alright.

I was reminded this week of how deeply I pursued spiritual maturity in the past. It was really important to me. Lately, I feel like I have just been getting by. I keep wanting so desperately not to be sad and for everything to just be "normal". I forget that this is my normal. It's OKAY to be sad! I think I need a poster as a reminder.  There will be good days and hard days, but everyday is a reminder that there is still work to do! People who still need me, and things I can still be doing. That is a great reminder. So this weekend I hope to be able to do, exactly that :)

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Baby Essentials {Part Two, Bath & "Big stuff"}




1. Bath letters! I love these. They stick to the bath and the tile wall. It's a good way to learn letters and numbers in the bath.

2. Toy organizer. This thing is great for holding all of the toys in the bath. Trust me, you need one.

3. Towel. I like the hooded ones :)

4. Toothbrush. Start young, seriously.

5. Shampoo & Lotion. I like this brand of Johnson shampoo when I'm giving him a bath before bed.


Big Stuff

1. Stroller. I have the bugaboo which is really great! However, I don't recommend it for someone with a small car. It's kind of a pain to take a part and put away. I imagine this is a great stroller for someone who constantly walks. Not necessarily for someone in LA.

2. Playpen. This is the best playpen!! Super easy to put setup and put away. It lives up to pits name, and worth every penny!

3. Car seat. This carseat is great because you can unzip everything and wash it. It also grows with your kid, an added bonus.

Thats it! Those are the things I would recommend for toddlers. For part 1 go here.

If I left anything out let me know, or just share some of your essentials.

Toddler Essentials {Bedroom & Feeding}




I wanted to share with you a few of our "toddler essentials" for these past (almost) two years! Since I had no idea what to get or where to even start! I thought I would help a sister out and share some things I recommend, and just as importantly, things to stay away from!
1. Humidifier! Love this thing. They're pretty cheap at Target and they come in handy. My baby was a summer baby so I decided early on to get a cool mist one (good idea).

2. Overalls. Because they are just way to cute not to get :)

3. Crib Cover. Yes, you need one. This is something you need even early on. It helps not only to not get pee stains but also milk stains.

4. Light Blanket. My son likes to lay down with a blanket no matter how hot it is! So these are perfect.

5. Velcro Shoes. I know, not as cute as lace shoes but super helpful when you're in hurry and trying to get out of the house quickly. I would recommend having at least one pair.

6. Wipes, wipes, wipes. You need them for everything! Butt, hands, clothes, clean the car, and that nasty stuff on their shoes. Yup!

Feeding

1. Lunch Bag. They come in handy when you're going out the entire day.

2. Divided Plates. Plates with dividers help me to give him a good amount of food, as well as different food groups.

3. Snack Containers. These are pretty handy at home and in the car. Although your toddler might figure it out fairly quickly and spill everywhere.

4. High Chair. I don't have this high chair, but I would recommend getting something similar (all wood or plastic). I would advise against the ones you strap to a chair. They're super messy and it can get really gross under the chair if its not constantly cleaned.

5. Grass Drying Rack. Its just cute!

6. Plastic Bib. These are great! They catch everything.

If you noticed, there's no cup! Which I would think would be the #1 essential! I have yet to find a really great one. I really liked the munchkin straw ones, but I had a really terrible experience with one spilling all over our diaper bag and ruining our iPad on a trip. So ever since that, I have yet to buy another munchkin product.

Most else, we have used on a daily basis. So hope this helps some of you. Let me know what I forgot ;)

Part two!