Sharing Holiday Traditions, a FREE Holiday Bucket List Printable and 5 Sundays of FREE Christmas Movies via Pureflix.com!

Just 38 Days Until Christmas!

This time of year is my absolute favorite time of the year.  The holidays bring so much joy and so many opportunities to spend valuable time focusing on the things that really matter in life, like faith, family and gratitude.  

Note: Some of the following links are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.

Since November snuck up on me, I didn't get an opportunity to create a Gratitude Project again this year.  You can see the traveler's notebook style album I put together last year here.  Instead, I decided to focus my spare time on preparing to create a holiday album that encompasses our gratitude for the year, all three major holidays and all of our favorite holiday traditions, which I'm sharing more about below!  

I'll be using a 6x8 size binder with supplies I already have on hand and using some digital designs in hybrid format, so stay tuned because I'll be sharing more about that in the upcoming weeks. In the meantime, you can click here to see my 2015 album and here to see my 2016 album

Holiday Traditions, FREE Holiday Bucket List Printables by Turquoise Avenue and 5 Sunday of FREE Christmas Movies from Pureflix.com
Holiday Traditions, FREE Holiday Bucket List Printables and 5 Sundays of FREE Christmas Movies via Pureflix.com!

Since this decision, I've put thought into the things I want to focus on.  Since this could very well be our last Christmas together as a couple without children (did you know we're adopting?!), I really want to document our favorite holiday traditions. While I know none of our traditions are unique, they are all traditions that bring the spirit of the holidays to our lives and our family time together. Here are a few I'm looking forward to:

PACKING OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD SHOEBOXES: This is my favorite tradition.  My husband and I usually pack 4 shoeboxes each year. We typically buy for the boxes all year long, but this year things were a little too busy so we instead spent one late evening after work collecting items and packing our shoeboxes to be delivered to church.  I slipped a little note for each child inside the boxes and they'll be collected this week to be shipped out all around the world.  What a wonderful way to spread holiday joy and Jesus's love around the world.  You can learn more about Operation Christmas Child via Samaritan's Purse.

DRIVING AROUND LOOKING AT CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: One evening before Christmas, usually on a nice chilly evening, we jump in the car and take off for burgers and ice cream at Freddy's.  After our little stop for food, we drive around town and visit some different light shows while listening to Christmas music.  This was a tradition for each of us as children and we've continued it together as a married couple. We are so excited for the day when we will have a little one with us to enjoy the lights also! 

PROGRESSIVE DINNER ON CHRISTMAS EVE: This is a very new tradition for my husband's side of the family, one we started last year. However, after a HUGE success, we unanimously agreed to keep it.  With life being so busy throughout the year, family time with his side of the family is few and far between.  However, setting aside the entire day for a progressive dinner was really sweet. We spent a little time at each home and spent the entire day together.  Plus, it really broke up the amount of work and cooking each home had to do so it didn't fall all on one person or couple.  We are really looking forward to this tradition again. 

BAKING COOKIES: Each year this tradition looks a little different for me.  Throughout the year, I don't do much baking so I always eagerly anticipate putting on some Christmas music and baking for an entire day. Some years it has been with my mom, other years with my mother-in-law, and even still other years are with my sister. We never keep all the goodies to ourselves... We always share with our friends, family and neighbors.  Yet another way to spread holiday cheer! 

WATCHING CHRISTMAS MOVIES: This last tradition is probably one you all look forward to as well. With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is nice to stay home, cuddle up under a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy a quiet evening together, as a family, near the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree.  Ahhh, I can almost taste the hot chocolate already!  This year, I am SUPER EXCITED because beginning on Nov. 26th through Christmas Eve, Pure Flix is going to be sharing a FREE holiday movie every SundayEven better, because PureFlix.com is a faith and family based company, I know these movies are sure to be heartwarming and great for all ages.  

What are your favorite holiday traditions? Share them with me in a comment below!

 


DOWNLOAD YOUR OWN FREE HOLIDAY BUCKET LIST PRINTABLE!

Holiday Traditions, FREE Holiday Bucket List Printables by Turquoise Avenue and 5 Sunday of FREE Christmas Movies from Pureflix.com

To help YOU prepare for the holiday season, I've created a FREE Holiday Bucket List for all of my sweet friends who want to document the season.

There is both a 6x8 version in white and color as well as traveler's notebook 4x8 version.

When you click to download the file below, you'll receive the white and colored .jpg lists to use it digitally, plus a .pdf version for easy printing on your home printer.  

I hope you enjoy these and be sure to tag me (@TurquoiseAvenue) in your posts if you share your projects online! I can't wait to see what you create!

 

 PIN THIS IMAGE! Sharing Holiday Tradition Ideas, download a FREE Holiday Bucket List Printable and get 5 Sundays of FREE Christmas Movies via Pureflix.com!  

PIN THIS IMAGE! Sharing Holiday Tradition Ideas, download a FREE Holiday Bucket List Printable and get 5 Sundays of FREE Christmas Movies via Pureflix.com!  


 

 

 

ANNOUCING ERINCONDREN.COM | Planners, Stationery, Notebooks, Home Decor and More!

Note: This blog contains affiliate links, which means I will receive a commission based on sales generated via these links.

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Hey everyone!  I FINALLY have a few hours of afternoon freedom to pop in here and let you know of all the exciting things happening around here.  First of all, I have some exciting new projects I'll be sharing here on the blog in the next week or two with new products from One Little Bird and Paislee Press so do come back and visit again soon. And now, for today's BIG NEWS....

I am now an affiliate with ERINCONDREN.COM

I am so excited to be sharing these awesome products here with you. I know how many of you share my love for pretty papers, planners, and stationery goodies so I'm really proud to be featuring those items with you here.  Some of you may already be familiar with Erin's planners, but you may be pleasantly surprised to find out she also offers home decor, apparel, and more! If you will, take a minute to pop over to ErinCondren.com and take a look around! I'm certain you'll love her products! 

Here are a few favorites of mine that I came across while browsing the online store:

Happy Shopping, friends! 

 

TWO NEW SETS ADDED THE SHOP! Must Love Dogs and I Heart Snacks - 3x4 Journal Card Sets

Just a quick little update to let you know that there are two NEW sets that have been added to my shop.  You might be able to tell just a little bit about my personality from these new releases, I mean, puppies and snacks are two of my favorite things! 

Thank you so much for your incredible support on this little labor of love so far! I have several more sets in the works so be sure you're following me on Instagram or subscribed to my eNewsletter so you'll be the first to know about any new releases! 

 

INTRODUCING JOURNAL CARDS! NOW AVAILABLE - Perfect for digital and hybrid pocket page scrapbook enthusiasts and modern memory keepers!

HAPPY SATURDAY FRIENDS!

Introducing Journal Cards designed by Turquoise Avenue!  100% of proceeds go to support our adoption fund! These cards are perfect for digital and hybrid artists who enjoy pocket pages, traveler's notebooks, scrapbooking, card making and more!
Introducing Journal Cards designed by Turquoise Avenue!  100% of proceeds go to support our adoption fund! These cards are perfect for digital and hybrid artists who enjoy pocket pages, traveler's notebooks, scrapbooking, card making and more!

If you've been wondering where I've been, well, I'll tell ya.  Buried somewhere under a mountain of adoption paperwork and working my little fingers to the bone.  We are so excited for this beautiful, time consuming journey and the joy that it is bringing us in the hope of a sweet little babe soon!  You can read the latest update here.

With that being said, I'm super excited to share something else I've been working on... I now have JOURNAL CARDS available in the Turquoise Avenue shop! Yes, you read that right! Each set of journal cards is just $2 each and your purchases help support our adoption fund! The digital downloads will include four digital jpeg files for my digital loving friends and for all my fancy hybrid artist friends, each set includes an easy-to-print .pdf file! So yes, all you have to do is purchase, download and print!

The shop seems a little sparse right now, but I promise I have some fantastic sets up my sleeve. In addition, I'll be offering a GIVEAWAY here and there so if you're not already signed up for my newsletter, be sure to do so here so you can stay on top of all the new releases. 

Thank you for your support and have a lovely weekend y'all! 

A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT (ANOTHER ONE!), SNEAK PEEKS AND A NEW CLASS!

You guys.  Adoption is crazy, hard work!  While everyone is talking about Valentine's Day and discussing the latest political news, I'm over here up to my eyeballs in research, paperwork, discussions with the hubs, baby registries, and more.  Seriously, my brain feels like a bowl of melted ice cream some days. lol. But I know it will be so worth it in the end. 

In the meantime, I have some REALLY BIG NEWS for you all (I mean, besides my baby news). 

I'm going to be teaching with Big Picture Classes again! Yes! I'm so excited. My newest class will premier in April 2017 so right now, I'm working behind the scenes to create twelve(!) really awesome lessons for you.   Please stay tuned on that, I'll be sharing more about it at the end of the month in my newsletter.  If you're not already signed up to receive my newsletter, you can sign up here. 

Lastly, I wanted to share three sneak peeks of some fun projects I've put together using the newest releases from One Little Bird and Paislee Press (links below).  P.S.  I'll be sharing the full pages in my BPC class and on Instagram in April. 

 One Little Bird Designs |  All Things Considered

One Little Bird Designs | All Things Considered

 Paislee Press |  A Love Story

Paislee Press | A Love Story

 

Happy Thoughts | 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring Positive Vibes by Paislee Press

Happy Monday friends!  While I may not have started working on my 2017 Annual Pocket Page Album, I have created a few spreads in my 6x8 personal album.  I really love this size, it's just so fun to work with and I don't feel like I need a large group of photos or stories to work with.  

Recently, Liz over Paislee Press released the cutest edition of digital designs called Positive Vibes. I fell in love the with color palette first and then with the phrases the kit offers.  You've got to go check out! 

Happy Thoughts | 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring Positive Vibes by Paislee Press
Happy Thoughts | 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring Positive Vibes by Paislee Press
Happy Thoughts | 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring Positive Vibes by Paislee Press

Oh, and if you're interested in learning more about my personal album, stay tuned because in April of 2017 I'll be teaching a class over at Big Picture Classes all about documenting YOURSELF with some really awesome prompts and tips.  (check out my other BPC Class here)

Want to stay in the loop for more details on my upcoming class?

Sign up for my newsletter here. 

New Year, New Feels, Same Dreams... | Around Here Update and 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring One Little Bird Designs

Whoa January, slow down!

If you're like me, you're still feeling excited about the new year but wondering where this month has gone. I can't believe we are already 3/4 of the way through January! 

6x8 pocket page by Mandy Elliott of Turquoise Avenue, featuring This Year, designs by Peppermint Granberg of One Little Bird Designs.

Recently, I shared my 2017 memory keeping goals.  I was excited about them when I wrote them out and I still am. However, time has really gotten away from me.  There's been a variety of things happening here personally, work related and creatively so I'm going to do a quick recap and share some things that are in the works.

Personal Happenings:

  • I began working from home! I love my new relaxed dress code and enjoy having Addie nearby
  • Hubby and I are working on a TOP SECRET project we hope to share really soon. 
  • Cleaning out #alltheclosets and prepping for a garage sale and scrapbook destash instasale! (purging feels so good)
  • Set a goal to read 20 books!  See what I'm reading on GoodReads.com
  • Began waking up earlier (Hello 6AM!) to tackle house and creative projects before work.
  • Went to the eye doctor for a long overdue eye exam and ordered new glasses and contacts.

Creative Happenings:

With everything that's been going on, I've barely taken any photos for the new year. At this point, I'm ok with that.  I haven't yet started on my 2017 9x12 pocket page album and I'm ok with that too.  This year I decided instead of forcing myself to create, I will allow myself grace to work as the inspiration hits and as my schedule permits. Right now, I'm just happy to be staying on top of my creative team projects, keeping my house clean and finding time to dive into a great book or spend time with family.

I can't wait to share more here... I'm not setting any definite blogging goals but I do hope to share here a bit more often than I have been. In addition, I hope to be bringing you some new products, a relatively more frequent newsletter and some awesome projects/tutorials. 

 6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring the new  This Year  collection from One Little Bird Designs and wood tag from  Elle's Studio.  

6x8 Pocket Page Spread featuring the new This Year collection from One Little Bird Designs and wood tag from Elle's Studio. 

I'd love to hear from you friends!  What are you up to this month? How are things going for you in the new year? Let's catch up in the comments below...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcing the 2016 Winter Edition of Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine | See my featured project here!

Happy Friday my friends!  I am SO OVER THE MOON EXCITED to share a really big secret finally! I am honored and humbled to announce that I have been featured, among some amazingly talented artists, in the 2016 Winter Edition of Scrapbook and Cards Today Magazine

SCT Magazine is celebrating 10 years this year and they are one of my favorite magazines of all time. There is so much inspiration packed into each and every edition. This beautiful guide features creations from some of the industry's top leading designers and creators! You definitely will want to check it out.  You can browse the magazine online or subscribe! 

This post wouldn't be complete without a little shout out to my wonderful product designer, Peppermint Granberg of One Little Bird Designs.  Her adorable Crazy For You collection is what I used when creating the 9x12 hybrid pocket page spread that is featured in this magazine. It is an honor to be a member of her Creative Team and work with her awesome designs! You can find a look at my layout on page 65 of the magazine. 

Happy Reading! 

 

The Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Starter Set | The Ultimate Machine for Any Crafter or Scrapbooker!

Hello friends, I'm so glad you've dropped by.  If you're like me, your creativity doesn't just stop at scrapbooking. You probably also enjoy card making, paper crafts, DIY home decor and much more.  If that sounds like you, then you're in for a treat!

Note: This blog post contains affiliate links. I am an affiliate blogger for Cricut and did receive a discount on my machine + bundle as a result. If you make a purchase after reading this post, I will be compensated. Please know that I only promote products I use and enjoy. It is my goal to deliver an honest review of this product for you.

Cricut recently announced and released their brand new Explore Air 2 machine! This machine cuts and writes up to 2x faster than previous models.  And I'm am so excited to announce I'm a proud new owner and you can be too!

As a hybrid scrapbooker, a machine like this one has been on my wishlist for a couple of years now. Eliminating the need to spend hours fussy cutting was a necessity. So, before I made my decision, I spent about 30 days interviewing other crafters who owned similar machines and gleaning what information I could from the internet. In addition, I took the time to review other brands and what they had to offer in comparison to this machine. Ultimately, this machine and brand won me over.

I want one! The Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Starter Set | The Ultimate Machine for Any Crafter or Scrapbooker!
On my wish list! I really want one of these! The Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Starter Set | The Ultimate Machine for Any Crafter or Scrapbooker!

Why, you might ask?

Well, there were several factors for me.  First and foremost was affordability. I needed something that would fit within my budget. This machine and bundle fit my budget perfectly. With endless possibilities to create and a bundle offering multiple varieties of products, this set really jumped out at me.

Second, I was looking for a machine with a very precise cut.  Since receiving my machine, I have used it on various projects and am in love with the exactness. I also was heavily persuaded by this video right here. There is an even an easy dial button that allows you to control the depth of the cut depending on the material you're using. 

The Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Starter Set | The Ultimate Machine for Any Crafter or Scrapbooker!
The Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Starter Set | The Ultimate Machine for Any Crafter or Scrapbooker!

Third, I wanted a machine that worked wirelessly and had easy to use software where I could use my own designs. The Bluetooth capabilities of this cutting machine was a big plus.  The icing on the proverbial cake is Design Space.  Literally, in less fifteen minutes of unboxing the machine (my very first machine of it's kind), I had opened Design Space and began to cut an SVG file from the One Little Bird store. It was THAT easy. And I was ecstatic! 

In all, some added benefits of the machine are the ability to create wirelessly from an iphone or ipad, the ability to draw with various pen sets, the deeper cut blade that allows me to cut materials thicker than paper (other competitors couldn't do this), and the starter bundle that offered SO MANY EXTRAS... I simply couldn't resist.  In fact, I not only ordered one for me, but one for my Mom too!

MJP_6578.jpg
I want one of these! The Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Starter Set | The Ultimate Machine for Any Crafter or Scrapbooker!
I want one of these! The Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Starter Set | The Ultimate Machine for Any Crafter or Scrapbooker!

Here's what came with the Everything Starter Set Bundle: 

Cricut Tools Basic Set
• Cricut Cutting Mat Variety 3-pack
• Cricut Explore Deep Cut Blade with Housing
• Cricut Explore Wildflower Pen Set
• Cricut Transfer Tape
• Cricut Tools Scoring Stylus
• Cricut Premium German Carbide Replacement Blade
• Cricut Window Cling, Black
• Cricut Explore Multi Pen Set, Black
• Cricut Printable Sticker Paper
• Cricut Printable Vinyl
• Cricut Trimmer Tool
• Cricut Washi Sheets, Designer
• Cricut Printable Iron-on Dark
• Cricut Vinyl Sampler, Home
• Cricut Dry Erase Vinyl
• Cricut Poster Board, Metallic
• Cricut Faux Leather Pebbled Patina
• Cricut Printable Magnet Sheets
• Cricut Window Cling, Red
 

I've been extremely pleased with Cricut as a company and brand, the machine has the quality look and feel you'd expect plus it's adorable too! What more could I have asked for?!  Watch my unboxing video below:

If you're in the market for a machine or considering purchasing one, I encourage you to consider the new Explore Air 2.  If you have any questions regarding my machine or the projects I've created with it, please don't hesitate to ask. You can contact me here or leave a comment below.

Happy Crafting!

 

A Little Update | #BloggersGetSocial Day 1: About My Blog and What You Might Have Missed.

Hello my sweet friends and readers! Today I'm here to share a little bit about what's been happening behind the scenes and what my goals are for this space in the next several months.   To begin with, I'm joining some wonderful new friends in the #BloggersGetSocial community. This is a 30 day blogging challenge that I thought would help kick start my upcoming plans and be a wonderful way to share here more regularly. 

To begin with, if you are new here, you can read about me here.

If you're a regular, then did you know I've recently launched a YouTube channel?! I hope you'll join me there as I begin adding lots of new and exciting visual content there.  Click here to subscribe.

Also, I updated the shop with some December goodies! See them here.

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Now, as many of you know, the latter part of this year has been crazy hectic for me.  I taught the Studio Calico Documenter Workshop for October and launched my "Blast From the Past" class at Big Picture Classes.  In addition, I've been creating regularly as part of the One Little Bird and Paislee Press creative teams.  Add to that helping my parents move to our area (so excited to have them close by now!) and an increased shift in both my work load and my husbands, life has just been a giant whirlwind since about... oh, August or so!  And it shows no signs of slowing down as we now approach the holiday season.   But fortunately for me, beginning in December I'll no longer be working outside my home. I will, instead, be working INSIDE my home!  I'm so grateful for the opportunity in which God opened the doors for me to work part time from our home. It was an incredible and unexpected answer to years of prayer. 

With that being said, I'm looking forward to devoting a little bit more time to sharing here more often.  Instead of just blogging my recent layouts though, my goal is to cultivate more of a learning center here. I want you, as a reader, to come here to learn new techniques, find tips, glean inspiration and gather ideas for your own memory keeping projects.  I also want to begin sharing more video and curate an archive of posts you can refer to in the future.

I would love to hear what YOU would like to see here as well. Please feel free to leave your suggestions and questions in the comments below.