Monday, January 26, 2015

Valentine Gift from the kids to Grandma and Grandpa

Did you know that most grandparents are big softies that totally appreciate the simple things???  Well if you did not know that before, you know now.  For this simple yet true fact, we try to have my boys do fun things for their grandparents a few times each year.

For a "New Years Gift" we made one of the grandparents a calendar through Costco with pictures we had taken throughout all of 2014, including ones from Christmas (this is why it was a New Years gift).  When it finally arrived, it brought tears and was very much appreciated.

Let me share what we did a couple of years ago that still adorns the grandparents walls.

We were all dressed up for church one Sunday and I thought it would be nice to get some photos of our boys for their grandparents.

Instead of just normal pictures, we decided to make it fun for Valentine's Day.

First thing I did was put a black sheet up on our entertainment center to use as a back drop.

Second, I printed out 3 signs: "We", A heart with "Love" written inside of it, and "You!"...

Third, I had Cammon hold "We" while I took his picture.., Aiden held "You!" while I took his picture... and I had both of them hold the heart with"Love" written in it while I took their picture.

We took nice shots and silly ones too, those are always a must in my family.  I then went on Photoshop and had some fun making a faux scrapbook pic to print out and send to the grandparents.

Here are the final results...

This was super easy and so much fun!

So whether you have your kids draw a picture, make a video, take some silly portraits, or make a calendar, remember that Grandparents love their Grandkids and want to know that their Grandkids love them in return.  Share the love.

Like my mother-in-law says... "Make a great day" everyone!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

De-Clutter 411

Are you tired of a messy house?  Do you spend too much time cleaning instead of having fun with friends and family?  If so, look no further, your problems have been solved!  For the low, never been heard of price of...

No this is not a commercial for some amazing product that will keep your house clean, neat and tidy but it is something to look at and keep in mind.  Below I have some information that may help you become more organized, and in becoming more organized your home becomes less cluttered, and in having your home less cluttered, your home becomes more clean, and in having your home more clean, you suddenly have more time!  Sounds great doesn't it?  So keep on reading for some insightful information I am learning about.

I am currently working on organizing my home room by room.  It will be a tedious job but I know it will help me stay organized and be more efficient in my day to day routines.  I find this very important being a mother of two and pretty much the one who takes care of the home at the moment with my husband being at work 60+ hours a week.

I have been reading a book titled "The Ultimate Career - The Art of Homemaking for Today" written by Daryl Hoole and Daughters.

I am rather organized already, but they have some great ideas I thought I should share with you in order to help you start your organization quest as well as myself.  The following are 10 keys they mention in the book:

1.  Do not keep EVERYTHING that comes into your house or buy everything you see even if it is a "great deal." (we have a hard time with this one, sometimes we get sucked into the "sale" signs).

2.  De-junk by making 3 piles: Discard, Give Away, Put Away

3.  Ask a friend to help you if you have a hard time getting rid of things (having someone who is unbiased to your things is great to have around because they might be able to talk some sense into you when you really don't need something but want to keep it.  I love having someone tell me their honest opinion about things, so this technique works well for me).

4.  When you have too much, get rid of it and use the following guidelines:
         -If you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it
         -Set aside an ongoing "get rid of it" bag or box
      -Teach children to de-junk by offering incentives or rewards (I tell my kids that just like the people we give food to on the street who are hungry, we need to help clothe the little kids that don't have nice clothes and give them toys because they don't have toys.  They understand it rather well and love to know that another little boy or girl will enjoy their toys and clothes.  Sometimes they come up to me on their own and tell me they do not want one of their toys anymore and want to give it to someone who does not have any toys.  It warms my heart when they do this on their own).

5.  Don't make excuses for clutter - clutter could mean you are highly interesting, talented and creative, but don't let it become an excuse.  Having things in order can result in more time for your creative pursuits (I can tell you from personal experience that the more organized I am, the cleaner my house is and the less I have to pick up at night after the kids go to bed.  So instead of picking up the house for an hour or two before I go to bed, I spend 10 minutes straightening up and then an hour and fifty minutes of quiet time were I can read, watch a show, be creative with one of my many hobbies, or spend time with my hubby.  I love it!).

6.  Keep area's free of clutter to prevent more clutter from gathering because clutter attracts more clutter. (Clutter gathers where clutter is.  Have you ever noticed that when the dishwasher is empty and ready to have people load up their dishes that all the dishes end up in the sink instead of the dishwasher just because one person left their dish in the sink?  It starts with one dish then suddenly the sink is full and the dishwasher is empty.  Clutter gathers where clutter is.  On a side note, in order to prevent this from happening in my house, which it still does on occasion, I have a "clean/dirty" magnet on my dishwasher that we use to indicate clean or dirty, so that way,there is no excuse for dirty dishes in the sink unless the dishwasher is full and washing.  It works about 85% of the time).

7.  Maintaining an orderly house is more of a matter of having good habits and less of having enough time.  It takes 3 weeks to form a good habit; 21 days to a better you.

8.  A clean house requires constant vigilance.  (I know you are tired at the end of the day but if you get in the habit of picking things up as you go like it says in the #9 and cleaning up the remaining clutter at the end of the day, you will wake up to a clean house each morning and help maintain it's cleanliness throughout the day.  Wouldn't that be amazing).

9.  Don't put it down, put it away.  Get in the habit of picking up and putting away items as you walk through your house and yard.

10.  Have a place for EVERYTHING.  Use labels, organizers, boxes, baskets, and bins.

These are just the beginning steps to an organized home that are mentioned in this book.

I hope this is a helpful step (or 10 helpful steps) in the right direction to help you, like it is helping me, to have an orderly home.

I wish you joy in your organizational journey and ask for your best wishes on mine as well.

This is a picture I found on google... it is not my garage but I hope all MY organizing will pay off this much!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January 23, 2015 - National Pie Day!

It's National Pie Day!!!

I LOVE PIE!  Whether baking it or eating it, pie is delicious!

And on this special day of days, I will be making my "Famous Apple Pie."

Let me tell you a little about my "Famous Apple Pie"... not only does it taste AMAZING but it is a family recipe.  It has been passed down from one generation to the next but the best part about it is that the recipe has never been written down.  Our family passes it down through teaching.

When I was newly married, I was fortunate enough to have my Grandma Chidester move up to Oregon close to where we lived at the time.  Though I loved her before, it was not until we lived closer to each other that we were able to form a great relationship.

During one of the holidays, we gathered at her house for a family dinner.  My husband and I decided we would go early to help my Grandmother cook and I am so grateful we did.  It is then that she and I put on our aprons, washed our hands and began making my first apple pie.

She was so gracious and patient with me as I fumbled while hand peeling the apples and asking questions.  We worked side by side in the kitchen that day and it was a special moment I will always remember and cherish.

Now, years later, I sit down every once in a while and make our families "Famous Apple Pie" with a fond memory of how I learned to make it while sharing the knowledge with my two boys.

Each apple pie I make, I cut a little heart out at the top of the crust to symbolize the love and care not only put into making that pie, but also for that which was shown to me by my Grandma Chidester.

Thanks Grandma!  I wish we lived closer so we could bake our apple pie together.  Here's to you.

Happy National Pie Day Everyone!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Give someone a hug...

Happy National Hugging Day!!!

January 21st is National Hugging Day.

I know that I am a few minutes late in posting this but I thought... why not?

For those of you who do not know me, you should know that I am a hugger.  So much so that my first email handle made for me in middle school by my sister Andrea was "hug2much" and it has stuck with me all these years.  For those of you who do know me, you have probably been a recipient of MANY of my hugs and if you haven't... you should be. =)

So in honor of what I call "Amber Day," hug a friend or a family member like you have never hugged them before!

Eternal Impressions Photography - By Amber M. Woolsey

Monday, January 19, 2015

Words of encouragement...

I was taught by my parents that everything, both good and bad, happens for a reason.  No matter how good of a person you may be, trials come.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  They come in order to help build us and make us stronger.

I know that life does not seem fair at times, but I also know that when I am going through something difficult, it is only for my benefit.

If you are having a hard time, here are some things you should do:

Pray - God is a loving Father who wants us to experience sorrow in order to appreciate joy.  Pray for strength and peace.  "If ye ask, ye shall receive."

Be Positive - Complaining and being negative will not change your situation.  Look for the good things then things will be easier to handle.

Count Your Blessings - When you are able to think of all the wonderful things in your life, the bad ones do not seem to matter as much.

Have a Support Group - Find someone you can talk to.  It can be your spouse, partner, roommate, parent, friend, clergy, therapist, even a total stranger, just find someone you can talk to that is willing to listen.  Sometimes when you talk it out, not only can it help to release your frustrations but it often helps you come up with a solution.

There are many other things that can help you through difficult times.  The thing that helps me the most is having faith that God knows what is best for me.  I know that when I am doing my best and trying hard, trials come, but only because God knows I can handle them.

Pray, be positive, count your blessings, find support and have faith.  When you do these things, your burdens will seem light.

Check out this amazing song!

"Stand in the Rain"

Confessions of Confessions....

Ok, so I have to tell you that the name of this blog is a little deceiving.

When most people think of a Super Woman, they think of a woman who is able to juggle things with ease.  She is beautiful, smart, talented, sexy, patient... the list goes on.

I am nothing like that.  I am awkward, goofy, rowdy and more... and yes, this picture is of me dressed up for "Nerd Day" in highschool (trust me, this was not too far of a stretch for me).

So why name this blog "Confessions of a Super Woman?"  Because unlike other people, when I think of a Super Woman, I think of someone who is growing and learning and willing to change where and when needed.  I think of someone who makes mistakes and tries to learn from them.  I think of someone who is far from perfection.  I think of someone like me.

As you read this blog, please do not feel like you need to be perfect.  Please do not feel like you are worthless.  Read this blog in order to help yourself know that there are others struggling in this world to get things right.  Read this blog in order to laugh a little at my expense (which I welcome you to do).  Read this blog to be inspired in little areas that you might need help in as well.

I dedicate this blog to all the Super Woman out there who are imperfect.  Be proud of who you are and whatever you do, just keep trying!  You can do it!  I have faith in you!

Martin Luther King Jr. Day - Unity Wreath Craft

A few years ago on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I decided to do a fun project with my kids.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an amazing man with visions on a world without hate.  I am a person who truly believes that we are all equal and it saddens me that people have not been and continue to be treated differently due to race, religion, origin, rank, and more.

I was really excited about this project to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the ideals he stood for.  I explained to my boys why we were making this wreath and what it represented.  We had a lot of fun making it and it was a great opportunity to teach my children about tolerance, equality and love towards our fellow man.

Here is how you do it thanks to DLTK's

Unity Wreath

This wreath symbolizes cultural unity. 
unity dove craft

Items Needed:

  • Brown, Yellow, Black, Tan, Red, White construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue


  • Make between 9 and 12 handprints in various colors by tracing your hand. Cut out and glue together in a circle shape.
  • DOVE:  Trace your hand with the thumb extended and 4 fingers close together onto the center of a piece of white paper. (Instead of tracing our hand for the dove, we decided to print one out).
    • Draw on a beak with orange marker.
    • Draw on a wing and an eye with black pencil crayon or marker.
  • Glue the dove onto the back of the wreath (so the wreath acts like a picture frame).  Trim the edges of the paper the dove is on as necessary.
Let us celebrate a together!

Here a picture of my mother and sister in front of the DC Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial here in Washington, DC (January 2012).

New Year, New You!

It is once again a new year... 2015!  Wow!

I always love this time of year.  It is a time to think about who you are and who you want to be.  It is a time to make goals of improvement.

I am now 31 years old and I have spent the majority of my new years making goals and usually a month later I miss something and then I just stop altogether.  Talking to others... this is the usual pattern.  But there is hope for us to stop this pattern!

Last year I tried something different and I plan to do it this year as well.  I thought I should share this secret of success with you.

I was taught all my life to write down specific goals such as "Work out 3 days a week," "Read one book per month," etc.

Though this is a proven method, I have found that if I leave myself a little breathing room, when I lack the specifics I am less likely to quit.

So here are some of my goals for this year:

1. Read my scriptures
2. Try new things
3. Attend the temple more
4. Improve my talents/passions
5. Try not to yell at my kids as much
6. Loosen up and have fun
7. Be more active (exercise, go for a walk, play soccer with the boys, etc.)
8. Have better spending habits
9. Learn Spanish

So here is how this works.

If I am able to read my scriptures every day, GREAT, but if I miss a day, it is ok because I am reading them more than I have before.  As I remember to read them more often, then it will begin to be a part of my daily routine which I look forward to.

Another example... I always see these great deals on Groupon and Living Social and think to myself "I would love to try that some day" but then I close the website and move on with my crazy life. So instead of saying "I would love to try that some day," I am going to go ahead and buy it and try it!  Why not!?!  Life is too short to say "some day!"  So even if I only try one new thing this year it is still more than I have done before.  And guess what!?! I already bought a deal to a Children's Story Writing Course where I get to learn how to write children's books!!!

And so on down the list.  Life is not about becoming prefect all at once, but growing and learning little by little.  I found the following quote on Pinterest which I LOVE...

If I am able to improve in one area of my life at a time, that is better than not improving at all.  So instead I am looking at my goals and prioritizing and asking myself when life gets busy "What is the most important goal I have made?" and then taking the time for at least the top one.

My goals for last year were realized because I made them simple.  I did not feel defeated but I felt empowered.

As you make your goals this year I hope you realize that these goals really should be about improvement, not great leaps at a time but baby steps.  After all, you must learn to walk before you can run.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Welcome, Friends!

Hello Everyone.

Welcome to my blog.  If you are here, it could be for a number of reasons such as:

You have young children and want some fun activities to do with them...
You are tired of your house being a wreck and want some new ideas on how to get organized...
You need some words of inspiration from another woman/mom in order to know you are not alone...
You got roped into reading this blog because you are a friend or family member of mine...
the list goes on...

Whatever your reason may be, I hope you will enjoy this blog as much as I am hoping to enjoy writing it.

I plan to include fun activities, inspirational thoughts, helpful hints, easy recipes, lessons learned and much more in this all inclusive blog.

I am a woman who enjoys learning and trying new things in order improve myself as a person and my impact on the world.

A little about myself...

My name is Amber M. Woolsey.  I am 31 years young.  I was born and raised in Southern California and relocated to Oregon with my parents while in my teenage years.  I have a high school education with some college credits.  I have worked in a movie theater, with city officials in City Hall, was a dispatcher for truckers, an assistant to a realtor, was a photographer's assistant and office manager, an apartment assistant manger and then manager, worked in Bath and Body Works, I  have scanned and shredded medical documents for doctor offices who are switching to electronic medical records, and as a photographer with my husband and now on my own, and on the side of my current photography business, I help with my husbands Cardiology office, watch a little girl one day a week while her mommy works, and make crafts to sell on Etsy.

I have been married to my best friend for 10 years and am a happy mother of two(+)... I have an 8 year old and a 7 year old, both boys.  My little Emma passed away at 2 years old on January 4th, 2012 due to a severe congenital heart defect and I have lost 5 other children during pregnancy.  So I have two living children.  Please do not feel sorry for our loss.  I have faith in God and in having such faith, I am able to focus on celebrating the children we were blessed to keep as well as cherishing the 2 years we had with out little tattered angel, Emma.

Though I have two small at home businesses and an extra child around here and there, I would still say my main job is a stay at home mother, which I love.  I spend my days keeping my house in order, playing with my kids and coming up with delicious recipes for dinner.  Who else can say that they get to work very little and play most of the day at their job!?!

My hobbies include but are not limited to:

Photography, Sewing, Writing, Singing, Organizing, Counseling Others, Cooking, Baking, Reading, Listening to Music, Learning New Things, Home Improvement, Decorating, Crafting, Scrap-booking, Serving and Helping Others... I have more which is problematic at times, but always fun.

I love meeting new people and getting to know the inner workings of others due to their background, upbringing, race, and origin.  I enjoy hearing others thoughts on how their world works and helping them find the silver lining in every situation and letting them help me do the same.

I currently live in Maryland, just North of Washington, DC.  It is very different from the West Coast, but I love it here.  There are a lot of things to see and learn about and I love that my kids and I have endless things to do... most of which are free.

I can say that I have been through a lot in my life, both negative and positive, that have made me the person that I am.  If I could do them all over again, I would not change a thing.  I am happy where I am and hope to continue to grow in many ways the rest of my life.

Thank you for your support in reading my blog.  I hope you will find some of the things I write uplifting and insightful.  My over all goal is to help others learn through my own personal experiences.  Please sit back, kick up your feet, relax and enjoy reading "The Confessions of a Super Woman."