April 28, 2012

Follow Your Heart {Heart of Haiti}

<a href="http://www1.macys.com/campaign/social?campaign_id=134&channel_id=1&bundle_entryPath=/haiti_landing"><IMG SRC="
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a> This Mother's Day, I'm working with Clever Girls in support of Macy's Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the "trade, not aid" program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake. 

Today I want to share with you two amazing ladies in my life that have inspired me to follow my heart and grow as a Mother. They have been my examples in so many ways, and now as a mother myself I can't help but think they were some of the best examples.
My Mother, sometimes I feel speechless when it comes to my Mom. There aren't enough words or time to honestly describe just how much she means to me, and I'm often in awe of her selflessness and her giving spirit. She loves unconditionally even when I overflowed the dishwasher as a kid, or ruined her oak dining table with nail polish remover, and pressed her buttons as a teenager. She never gave up on me, always encouraged me. Taught me how to love people even when they don't love back, she taught me patience and how to give to others. She taught me the meaning and importance of remembering names, birthdays and how to pick out the perfect greeting card to give to someone. Thank you for coming to every dance recital, showing up every Friday night to watch me cheer, helping me get ready for every high school dance and pageant. Thank you for the endless shopping trips, and Subway & Sonic runs after church. You're one of the most amazing women, I know and for all that and more I say I love you Mom!

The other amazing woman in my life is my Grandma. There isn't a day that doesn't go by that I don't think about how you've shaped my life. You taught me how to cook, how to bake and how to sew. Thank you for the many amazing camping trips, taking me to the "lotion" and always giving me a place where my creativity could bloom. You taught me how to nurture and grow my relationship with Christ. You taught me the value of prayer, patience and perseverance. You believed in my dreams even when I didn't think they were possible. You are woman of prayer and wisdom. Something I hope to one day be too, your strength and generosity for people is amazing to me. Your selflessness and caring for others is something I admire most. The way you are a prayer warrior makes me in awe!

I know that I'll be able to me the same amazing Mother to little Ava just as my Grandma was to my Mother, and my Mother was to me. I've had amazing teachers. I love you both so very much, thank you for being in my life and loving me always.

~Andrea What is Macy’s Heart of Haiti? Heart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s. Already, Heart of Haiti has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti, providing financial benefits for an estimated 8,500 people in the country.


Each item is a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and stone. The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and paintings and is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums and local gommier wood.

Heart of Haiti products are available online at Macy’s.com.

Thank you to Macy's Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart" promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.


April 27, 2012

A Dose of Real Life......

In the interest of keeping things real, a dose of real life here. I think sometimes we can lose sight and perspective when looking at blogs and websites.

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Sometimes everything looks so perfect, when it isn't. And we forget the ladies on the other side of these blogs are real people. Real Moms, with messes and faults. I'll be the first to admit everything is not always perfect. I try my best to present the prettiest pictures here on the blog, and share parts of my life that are fun and joyful.

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But, as you know life is messy sometimes. Feelings get hurt. You fail, you dust yourself off and try again at times. I say all this to remind us and myself before you get all down on yourself because you saw some one's pretty house, or perfect project on the Internet remember that these ladies are just as real as you are. They are human too. Give them a break, don't judge. Give yourself a break.

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Last weekend I headed to Salt Lake City for the SNAP! Conference. I can't wait to share with you all I learned during the weekend. Right after I came home I rested for a day, and then headed into a 3 day conference for work. I'm tired, my house is neglected. And I can't help but feel like I could sleep for days and that I need just a day to clean my house.

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That box on the table there, it's been sitting there since Ava's birthday. Oh, for about 4 weeks. I could get down on myself and think I'm a horrible wife and house keeper for letting it sit there for so long but I choose not to. Not to let it get me down, or make me feel like I'm a horrible house keeper. I'll let it sit there a while longer (the mess) if it means more time with my family, the time to cook my family dinner.

You get the idea.

At the end of the day it's all about doing what's important for me. What matters most to my family and I. This is what matters:

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I read this quote sometime ago, and it made me think; this is exactly the kind of positive attitude to have.

"Excuse the mess, the children are making memories. "

So excuse all this, it can wait. Time with my family can not.


April 23, 2012

Easter Memories {2012}

Last year Easter weekend was eventful; an Urgent Care visit turned into Ava having pink eye. Our car broke down which turned into us buying a new one. What a difference a year makes. This year we enjoyed a relaxing weekend. An egg hunt, and a great church service, followed by a dinner we hosted for our friends.

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I'd never hosted dinner before for Easter, but this year was really fun having our friends over and cooking up some Pioneer Woman goodness! We enjoyed some what of a Mexican Easter celebration with homemade pico de gallo and spicy pork. 

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Truly blessed and so thankful for all that our Savior did for me, and for us. Happy Easter! 

April 20, 2012

Thoughts About Potty Training

A few weeks ago I mentioned that we were starting to potty train Ava. After weeks of reading things online, asking friends and family their opinions we decided to go for it.

A friend told me about this method. She forwarded the book to me, and I read it back and forth for two weeks before we started.

The week before I bought all sorts of juice, rewards and brand new princess undies! In hopes that all these would motivate and help her progress. We spent three days {Ava & I} in the house potty training. We didn't leave all day, every day for three days.

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I expected accidents, and there were many.

I expected that there would be a learning curve, there has been.

What I didn't expect is how I would feel. How exhausted I'd be. How I literally felt I was going crazy after not leaving the house for three days.

The truth is, if I can be totally honest and have a vulnerable "mom" moment here. Not only did I want this 3 day method to work for Ava, but I really wanted it to work for me too. Because I wanted to be the one to potty train her. Not the daycare, not anyone but my and my Husband.

When it didn't click for Ava after three days was over, I felt like I failed.

It can be really easy when "someone" or an expert on a subject tells you that "it will work" to put pressure on yourself, and in the end I felt like I failed at it all.

But, the truth was this method just didn't quite work for Ava, and it's ok. After a lot of prayer and evaluating the three days I realized this.

She will get potty trained. I will teach her, we'll teach her.

And it's ok if she doesn't learn it in 3 days. It's ok if it takes her longer than I thought.

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She just turned two and I know that she'll get it. The biggest thing is for us to be consistent and patient. Not to put pressure on myself or her.

We're on a little potty training journey. We've been working at it for almost a month. We get excited when she does, we put a sticker on her chart and celebrate the moment!

This is by far the most trying thing yet that I've experienced in parenting. I know there will be other moments like this, maybe even bigger at some point.

Motherhood is about the good and bad. Learning and growing.

April 19, 2012

{Headed to SNAP!}

Today I'm joining my friend Destiny and we're headed to a blogging conference in Salt Lake City called; SNAP! 


Last year I attended my first blog conference here in Arizona! It was a great experience meeting other bloggers, networking and learning from some really inspiring women!

This year SNAP is a 3 day conference, and I'm excited to meet up with some of the ladies I met last year and connect with some new faces!

I'm excited about taking a photography course, hearing some awesome speakers and growing once more! If you wanna follow along with me you can joining me on Instagram {@photosbyandrea} and on Twitter {@andreaworley}.

I'll be posting pictures and thoughts there from the weekend, and when I get back I'll have a full blog post re-cap! Also, when I get back we'll have that fun little giveaway for Facebook fans! If you don't already like our page on Facebook go here and like!  Thanks everyone for taking this little journey!

Oh- and If you're going to SNAP too let me know, tweet me and we'll connect!

April 17, 2012

{Our Little Jitterbug} Ava's Second Birthday Party

I'm excited to finally share with you pictures of Ava's second birthday! I shared the inspiration for her party a few months ago, you can read about it here. Ava's actual birthday fell on a Saturday this year, so we had her party on her actual birthday; March 24th.

It was a beautiful day, at first it was a tad bit windy that morning which had me a little worried. But the wind calmed down and it was a perfect day. We had so much fun celebrating her birthday, I still can't believe she's two!

I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking for me, and give you a complete source list at the end. It all started with this beautiful invitation created by CAKE Events. It set the tone for the whole party, and was just what I was looking for.

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The colors for the party were black, white, turquoise and zebra print. You can find those throughout the party. I made a lot of the details myself such as the cupcakes, cupcake toppers, the lollipop favors, coloring pages for the kiddos, birthday banner, menu and favor signs and tissue paper pom poms. For everything else I enlisted the help of some great vendors to help pull everything else together.

Of coarse the feature of this party {besides Ava} was the dessert table, complete with yummy cupcakes, a cake, cake pops and candy. The record backdrop was perfect for showing off this musical dessert table.

We served a simple lunch of turkey subs, fruit kabobs, chips and potato salad. Guest washed it all down with our yummy blue raspberry lemonade punch! Each little one was sent home with a goodie bag filled with bubbles, a lollipop and some small musical toys. Children enjoyed the coloring pages I made using images I found on the web and made into a Word doc and then printed off.

Vendors that helped us put this party together:

Birthday banner: www.aworley.etsy.com
Menu & favor signs: www.worleyhouseblog.com
cupcake toppers: www.aworley.etsy.com
candy: Party City
cupcakes: www.worleyhouseblog.com
cake pops: made by a friend, if your local in Phoenix contact my friend Heather at heather.stuart73@yahoo.com she does yummy work!
cake: store bought
grey stripped straws: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThePartyFairy
coloring pages: www.worleyhouseblog.com
favor boxes & small music toys: Hobby Lobby
Blue Lollipops: www.amazon.com
Black Cake stand: http://www.amazon.com/
record backdrop & "2" candle: http://shindigz.com/
zebra cupcake liners: littlemonsterhugs.etsy.com
zebra print bags: http://www.etsy.com/shop/CakesAndKidsToo
party styling: http://www.worleyhouseblog.com/
tissue paper poms: www.worleyhouseblog.com
Ava's shirt: aworley.etsy.com
Ava's skirt: zulily.com
photography: www.photosbyandrea.org

If there's anything else you'd like to know just ask! I had so much fun planning this little party, and celebrating Ava! I couldn't have done it though with out the help of my Hubby, my Mom and My Sister in Law who all helped me so much to prepare.

Happy Birthday Jitterbug! We love you!

Linking with: Get Your Craft On, Tuesday's Treasures, A Bowl Full of Lemons, Weekend Wrap Up Party, Sundae Scoop, DIY Project Parade, It's Overflowing

April 16, 2012

Scenes from the Weekend

Weekends sure fly by, don't they! We had a great weekend, it was low key but productive. This weekend I was busily preparing to go out of town this next week. So that meant grocery shopping for my family, lots of laundry to be done, and the start of packing.

Here's some scenes from the weekend brought to you by Instagram.

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I bought these adorable shoes for Ava from Zulily, only they don't fit. They are a size 5/6 but are more like a 5. If you're interested in them they are still in the package with the original tags. $10 shipped. Email me andreaworley@live.com if you'd like them.

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For much of Friday this was Ava's outfit of choice! She loves her tutus, and shirts are optional around these parts until we actually have to get dressed to meet friends for dinner that evening.

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Saturday I ran out and started doing a little shopping for my trip this weekend to the SNAP Conference. I had to pick up a few travel essentials. My friend Destiny and I are headed to Salt Lake City Thursday bright and early.

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Sunday morning at church, my little "reader." She love, loves books. Doesn't she look adorable, by the way. Totally biased, and I know it. But, really isn't every Mother when it comes to their kid?! I think so.

I'm looking forward to this week. I'm looking forward to my trip this weekend to a city I've never been, having fun with friends and meeting up with other creative minds.

I won't be blogging at the conference this weekend but, If you'd like to follow along with me and join my for conference updates you can find me here:

Instagram: photosbyandrea

What are you looking forward to this week? Tell me in the comments below, HAPPY MONDAY! 

April 13, 2012

{DIY} Damask Place Cards

I made some pretty place cards for my Easter table using my Letterpress machine and some new printing plates they sent me. Let me show you some fun little place cards you can make for your next dinner party or special occasion.

Here's what I used:
Lilac Construction paper

Using my disc envelope dies I cut out six of these shapes to write the names of my guests on. They looked like this after I cut them all out, 

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Then using a green Sharpie, I wrote all the names of my guests on each one. 

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I used the Damask printing plates, to print a background onto my place cards. I love this printing plate, I've been eyeing it for a while. It comes with a few other vintage printing plates included in the set like a crown, bird cage and old chair. So me! 

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I used the bright green ink and put it on my printing plates before running them through the machine. 

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Do this as many times as you need for your cards. I needed six, so I ran it through my machine and printed six of them. Here they are, aren't they pretty:

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Attach the scalloped cards to the top of your place cards, using some small foam squares. You can buy these at any craft store. They will look like this, when you're done;

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Then place them on top of your table for your guests, I choose to put them on top of some bright blue napkins. 

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So pretty. They made my Easter table extra special this year. 

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April is printing plate month at Lifestyle Crafts. You can snag yourself some pretty printing plates too, and get them for 20% off using my code: WORLEYHOUSE at check out!

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Go here to check out all the printing plates they have to offer. 


April 10, 2012

{DIY} Spring Banner

Today Lifestyle Crafts releases their 'Big Top' collection of dies. They generously sent me two new dies to use for projects. I love their pennets die and the carousel one. I decided to make a pretty Spring banner using the bunting dies.

For this project I also used the Nesting Circle dies, these cut perfect circles, and I love them! Along with some stickers and letter stickers.

Here's what I did for this project; first I cut my circles. Six of them, one for each letter. In three different colors.

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Next, I cut my bunting from the dies and some yellow paper. I used some purple and green too to make the banner different colors.

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Then I used some glue and attached the banners to the edges of two of my circles. I choose the first and last circles to attach them too.

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I also used some pink rafia that I had left over to attach the circles to each other. Then I added the letters to spell the word "Spring." And, also some stickers to jazz it up.

I choose to hang it on our bookshelf in the middle of the living room. I love how it turned out, the perfect touch of Spring!

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Use my code to get an extra 20% off your purchase from Lifestyle Crafts. Check out their Big Top dies or snag something else you love! 

April 9, 2012

{Our Love Story} How We Met

On a cold rainy, wet day in January of 2005 I met my husband. Only I didn't know he would be my husband. At that time he was just another guy at church, that I'd met for the first time. As you may remember I wasn't looking for a relationship at all. You can read more about that here.

It was the Spring semester of my senior year of college. I'd just started a job at a local church in Minneapolis, I'd been there since the previous Fall. School had just started and I was just getting back into the swing of things at school and with my job. I was working for the youth pastor as his assistant in the youth department.

It was a Wednesday afternoon, I was busy preparing for our service that evening. Per usual I had a ton of things on my mind, and tons of things left to do. I'd get in "the zone" while working and not really notice much that was going on in the office around me. I just stayed in my little office working, and zipping back and forth to the youth room where service would be held to make sure everything was going smooth over there.

Later that afternoon in walked the junior high intern, with his friend. I was on my way, just grabbing some stuff before heading to the youth room. When he introduced me to his friend, it went something like this;

Intern: Andrea, this is my friend Orion. 


Me: Hello, nice to meet you. 


Me to the intern: I'm heading to the youth room, when you're done come on over and help set up chairs. See you in a few minutes. Bye.



Source: google.com via Andrea on Pinterest



So uneventful right?! Well, that one interaction led to a five month long getting to know each other, and friendship. Over the next few months Orion made the church is home church he attended while at school. He became apart of the youth leadership team. I started seeing him almost everyday at school. There were weekly visits to Chili's with the entire youth staff, where I found myself sitting next to and conversing with him more and more. 

Suddenly Orion was everywhere. At the chapel entrance when I came in with my friends, outside my apartment "he just happened to walk by." You get the idea.

I distinctively remember a youth retreat that Orion and I sat on a bus full of noisy teenagers and talked the entire ride to the Wisconsin Dells. That trip I really got to know him well, he made me laugh. He was a leader, and he was fun. 

For me it was the best prelude to what would come, our first date. 

April 6, 2012

{Giveaway} Benefit Cosmetics Goodie Bag

Hello! Happy Friday Everyone! Let's kick off Easter weekend with a fun giveaway for everyone! Last Saturday I attended a Benefit Cosmetics House Party at my friend Dana's house. It was a fun night of sharing stories and laughter with other ladies, and talking beauty. Each guest received these awesome goodies bags filled with fun cosmetics from Benefit.

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Each one is filled with:
Pore Professional Pore Minimizer
Bad Lash Mascara
Foundation Samples
Coupons from Benefit 
Magnetic Frame for the fridge

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What's more fun is that Dana sent me home with 2 goodies bags to giveaway here to 2 of my readers! Big thanks to Dana for helping host this fun giveaway. 

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Enter this giveaway with 1 or all of the options below! This giveaway will run from today till Monday. Winners will be announced Monday afternoon. Be sure to stop by Dana's blog and thank her for being so awesome and generous! Thank you Dana! 





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