A New Printer {a review}

When Staples asked if I would like to try out a new printer of course I accepted with open arms. Our current printer was on its last leg so this offer could not have come at a better time. They generously sent me a HP Officejet Pro 8600 3-All-in-One printer. I must say I am smitten. It fits perfectly on our ikea bookshelf which is a huge plus since we are tight on space. 

The newlywed homeowners that I just wrapped up decorating for requested a scripture for every room. I decided to design a few of my own to frame to stay on budget. On most occasions I actually bring prints to Staples to have printed, but this time around I was tight on time so I thought I would give the printer given to me a go first.

This is what I came up with and personalized it with their last name. I must say it came out better than I expected. After designing the print in illustrator I put it on a usb key and simply uploaded directly to the printer. I wanted to use the photo printing option so I would get the best quality. The printer then walked me through a few simple steps and sizing options. Took only a few seconds really. It was easy as pie.

Here it is in it's new home...

I was rather impressed with the quality of the simple print so I wanted to test it to see what it REALLY could do. Since we are photographers I wanted to see if it could even be an option to print our own photos instead of sending out every time which can take weeks. I used standard matte photo paper and I, again, uploaded the photo to a usb key. Then inserted it into the printer and after following a few steps, viola I now have a beautiful print of my parents with Ellie taken at her party to give to my father for his birthday this weekend.

I wanted to use a 4x6 photo so I used the print option of printing a 4x6 on 8.5" x11" paper. I then trimmed it down.

I adore the results and I am sure my father will too!!! The only thing that could make it better is if KJ was in the pic too.

Again I was eager to give it another test. Here is a comparison of the printer given to me by Staples to the one done at our professional printers. Not too shabby. The clarity was spot on. The colors are rich and and would be spot on with the comparison image if the paper was the same and a little color collaborating on the ole iMac. Saying I am pleased with the results may be an understatement. It's freeing to know I now have another printing option when we are tight on time.

*DISCLOSURE* Although the printer was provided to me by Staples, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own of course.


Gifts for Girls

Thought I would share some really fun gifts Ellie got for her birthday that I could not recommend more for the 8 and up crowd. She actually received two of the rainbow looms and had the option of returning one and she decided against it because she has had so much fun making them. They are little bracelets you can make using rubber bands. She has been making all her friends one and even I wear one now. The other one is a bracelet kit maker using string. It has these wheels in them that makes it easy to do and even I who missed the friendship bracelet craze the first time around finds it so fun to do.


A Garden Party 

This past weekend Ellie turned 8!!! It's hard for me believe that I have an eight year old. What in the world! Anyhow, every year the kiddos pick a theme and this year Ellie wanted vegetables. I see our garden tending is rubbing off on her positively. Yay! Here are a few snippets from her big day...

I must say my favorite part of the whole party was ellie's cake. The Mr took on the task and he and KJ came up with this! I was rather impressed. I also hear it tasted amazing!!!

Throughout the house I made watering can bouquets with flowers, vegetables and herbs from the garden along with roses left over from a friend who is a florist. She sold them to me on the cheap. Talk about perfect timing!

Of course, worms had to make an apperance. It was a vegetable garden party after all.

I always try to include at least one fun activity for the kiddos to do. It keeps them busy and helps with keeping their rooms from being pulled apart bit by bit. We went with decorating pots to grow herbs. Loved getting to see everyone's personality really shine here. A few just splattered paint everywhere while others were meticulous to the very last detail.

As everyone left they received dirt, seeds, and a gardening set to take home with them. The two babies of the group got tiny watering cans that were a tad safer.

I must say I really lucked out when target marked all their summer gardening supplies down to 75% off. It enabled me to go a little above and beyond for take away gifts on our budget. I also found the water cans for the bouquets at Target too and again they were 75% off!  Thankfully everything we used to make this party a true gardening party we will be able to use years to come. I used a coupon for all the pots at Micheal's and they ended up being around a dollar a piece. Not too shabby.



A few weeks ago I put it out there that I started running on instagram. I did it less as a go me, but more as a "I can't quit now." I have been using the app Ease into 5k. It is the first time that I am actually seeing results on my distance running. Yes, 3 miles may not be much to some, but for me it's a huge accomplishment. I am about 3 weeks in and actually loving it. The first week if it weren't for the Mr pushing me every step of the way I don't think I would have continued. I personally like to breath. Ha. Maybe just maybe there is hope for me yet!



This little lady turns 8 this weekend. Eight seems like such a big number. She went to horse camp all this past week and she had a blast. Was exhausted, but had a blast. She has the sweetest spirit, is a prayer warrior, and finds the good in everything. I wish I was more like her most days. She is calm and collected and when she let's loss she can dance with madness. I am blessed that she is mine.