Part of Me Blog

our road-trip travel hacks + must-haves

TRAVEL, LIFESTYLE, MOMLIFElissa-anglin1 Comment
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So far this summer we’ve spent about 60 hours in the car as a family, getting to our vacations. :) It’s not been near as bad as I anticipated, and we’ve learned a few trips along the way- so I’m here to share!

Our best road-trip travel hacks:

  • Slip on shoes for kids. Keep in one place when inside the car so you don’t have to search for them every time you need to get out. We especially love Natives so this is usually what they are wearing.

  • Small neck pillow and blanket for each kid. We keep in a basket of these in the back of the car all the time.

  • We are big fans of leaving early in the morning so that we can take a pit stop at lunch. So, we get up early. To help the kids sleep, and because I just love it, I keep my car diffuser on all the time- usually with a relaxing scent like lavender. I will throw some peppermint oil in there if I’m driving and feeling sleepy and it perks me up right away. This is the one I have, and it works well, though I wish I would have tried this one since it doesn’t take up a cupholder.

  • Unlimited screen time & cell phone hotspot or downloaded movies. That’s right- we give our kids unlimited screen time and turn on one of our cell phone hotspots while driving. We came really close to using up all of our data this month, but didn’t and it was worth it for the peace and quiet! Also, we say “unlimited” screen time, but in reality they fall asleep watching or their devices die. If you don’t want to turn on your hotspot, you can download selected movies from Netflix for free. They expire in a week so be sure to do it just before your trip. A couple of must-haves for this are some good headphones (we have had plenty break, these are the best), durable iPad cases. We keep a designated backpack to hold all 3 tablets, headphones, and chargers so that they are easily found when not in use.

  • Stay hydrated- We also always bring an insulated mug for both Shawn and I and a water bottle for each kid. The kids know they are in charge of their own cup, so it gives them a little responsibility- though we are still picking them up a lot! Did you know you get a .10 discount if you bring your own mug to Starbucks?! Also, on this note- you’ll want to check out the travel potty that we love because it definitely came in handy!

  • I bought several snacks in bulk at Sam’s before the trip and they really came in handy and kept us from buying junk at the convenience store. (However, my love for chewy Sweet Tarts did overpower me once!) For these trips I bought fruit snacks, Goldfish, Pop Chips, zBars, turkey pepperoni, bottled water, powdered flavorings for water, Babybel cheese, and apples. We kept them all in my favorite travel cooler bag with these flexible ice packs and the cold items stayed nice and cool!

  • Get a good gas station routine. To cut down on time and confusion at pit stops (and there are many when you have 3 littles), we stick to this plan every time- Shawn gets gas and takes Knox to bathroom, I clean out trash and take girls. Seems small, but saves us a lot of stress.

  • I always bring a small dish brush (this one fits in my toiletry bag) and a travel sized container of dish soap. I’ve used it for so many things- namely cleaning our water bottles, but they have come in handy with shoes, stains, and lots of other things!

  • I love to pack with compression bags. I have found I can fit so much more in and keep it all organized with them.

  • When there’s room, I bring a foldable laundry hamper that I set up in the room where we are staying. Makes doing laundry after we get home a breeze and keeps the room clean.

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I love a good list- so here are some things that makes life easier for us when traveling!

IN THE CAR

AUX Cable with iPhone/iPad charger port

• Band-Aids (these are for practical purposes but also entertain when you’re in a pinch! Warning- they make lots of trash)

The Best Portable Potty Seat + Liners (we LOVE this foldable potty seat and the throw away liners. It comes with a bag to store everything in and fits under a seat!)

Car Seat Protectors & Kick Mats



FOR THE KIDS

Cute backpacks they can carry

Contigo cups

Boogie Wipes (we love the grape ones)

Kid’s Melatonin (We first used these to help with jet lag while in China, and they work so well for our kids that we now take them with us whenever we travel.)

Kickee Pants Blankets So soft and lightweight, fold up to a small size

Boogie Board

Water Wow

Wikki Stix

Our Favorite Activity Books

Durable Headphones

Tough iPad Cases



FOR THE BABIES

Tula Carrier

Airlight Carrier - we used this when the Tula was too hot. The airlight is mesh and breathable, perfect for a newborn to about 6 months. It packs small and is also great for water/splash pad/pool situations because it dries quickly. Of course, I wouldn’t swim in it- but it was nice to have when I was supervising one child while wearing another.

Snack Cups

Portable Placemat



BEAUTY/HEALTH

• Mineral Sunscreen (my favorite for face, for body)

Essential Oil Carrier

Oils that I typically carry are Thieves (germ blaster), R.C. (excellent for congestion), Lavender (sooooo many uses but great for allergies, bug bites, promoting sleep), Peppermint (Shawn swears by this for headache relief, great for tummy aches and cooling in the heat), DiGize (for all those tummy troubles after adventurous eating), Geranium (this is a MUST HAVE for us because Liv gets nosebleeds and this oil stops them quickly), Oregano (ear infections, other infections).

Travel Size Dry Shampoo

• Travel Size Dish Soap

Small Dish Brush

Thieves Hand Sanitizer (Young Living)

Probiotics (we use Life 9 by Young Living)


LUGGAGE + GEAR

Hardside Rolling Suitcases These are great because they are expandable and hold a lot.

Foldable Laundry Hamper

CamelBak I bought one of these years ago and now Shawn mostly carries it. It’s been great for family camp and other days when we’ve been outside a lot.

Tough Luggage Tags with Privacy

Compression Bags

Double Inline Stroller This one folds down relatively small and we have loved it!

• Extra Gallon Ziploc Bags/a few empty plastic grocery sacks- these are great for alllllll sorts of things. Use them as a dry bag or to cover super dirty shoes. They don’t take up much room and I love having them because I always find a use for them.


BEACH SPECIFIC

Foldable Cart (Beach) Thankfully, the condo we rented had one of these, but we found out quickly that the wheel size matters! This cart is pricier but worth it when you’re dragging your stuff across the sandy beach.

Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Pop-up Beach Tent a MUST HAVE with an infant!


GO-TO SNACKS

Freezeable Tote

Dried Chile Mango (addicting!!!)

Larabars (Lemon is my fave!)

ClifKid Zbars

• Turkey Pepperoni

• Beef Jerky

Yeti Ramblers for Coffee

Nalgene Water Bottles

SHOP THE POST

amazon prime day deals 2019

lissa-anglinComment

I shop Amazon more than anywhere else- so I’m excited to compile a list of my picks for Amazon Prime Day- a 2-day event with special deals just for Amazon Prime members.

Not a member? Get a 30 day free trial below:

Before you begin shopping, I’d also suggest installing the Honey plugin to your browser. It will automatically tell you if there is a better deal elsewhere on Amazon:



LISSA’S AMAZON PRIME DAY PICKS

Please note: you will need to click on the item to see the Prime Day price on Amazon! The price displayed is the regular price.

HOME GOODS

Tortilla Blanket! I mean, this is perfect for a Red Raider football game! $15 after coupon.

Great deal on weighted blankets. Starting at $23.99

Great for toy storage or blankets. $27.99

Such a cute planter! $20.99

Another cute planter $15.12

Hanging Planter $21.59

2 18” Velvet Pillow Covers- $10 after coupon

I’ve been wanting some like these from World Market! These are the covers only- still a good price at $12.59 for 2

Nice big mirror! $62.99

Hanging Wall Mirror- $28.12 after coupon

ELECTRONICS + CAMERA GEAR

I use my Instant Pot all the time! $55.99 today

64 GB SanDisk Card- $13.59

I don’t have one of these but have heard they are amazing for photographing kids- $14.79 today!

10.5 in iPad Pro- $699!

Dyson V7 (I call this Mommy’s lightsaber, haha!) $279 ($100 off!)

I have been wanting to get a 23andMe test for Lucy, just because I think it would be so interesting to learn more about her heritage! They are half off today- $99

WOMEN’S FASHION

Adidas is HUGE at the Nordstrom sale right now- and some of these Cloudfoam shoes are showing up as low as $35 (reg.

These trefoil hoodies and tees are also a hit at Nsale- you can snag them here for the same price- $47.99.







UA Running Shorts- $17.49!

Super versatile and comfy $10 dress!

I love a good denim jacket- $27.30.

This hoodie pullover is $14.35!

I was eyeballing these not too long ago- happy to see them on sale today for $34!

Super cute sneaker as low as $15 in some sizes!

Found some of my favorite Levi’s for $29!

 

MEN’S FASHION

New Balance Sneakers- $34!

KID’S FASHION

A great no-tie shoe for school! Starting at $33

Another velcro closure for $36!




CREATIVE

My favorite illustrating Bible! I have been told by DaySpring that this will be 25% off today, but am not seeing it yet, so I will keep you updated!

A good price on watercolor paper! $18

Cricut! $199-Regularly $289

These markers look so fun- starting at $36!

Dot markers are always good to have around with kids! Easy craft time.

 

TOYS

We loooove Melissa & Doug sets and I haven’t seen this laundry one yet- $12.92!

Great yard game! $27.99 today!

This is ALWAYS a favorite- $36.95 today!

watercolor poppies bible journaling tutorial

HOME + LIFESTYLElissa-anglinComment
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Hey friends! Since I’ve received my new Illustrating Bible, I have had the best time working in it! It has much larger space to create and I looooove the spiral binding and square shape. I’ve also found that the pages themselves are a bit thicker than other journaling Bibles I’ve had, which is great because I love to use watercolor, and it tends to bleed through.

One of the first pages I created was this poppy scheme in Song of Songs 2 and I’ve had so many requests to do a tutorial on it I thought I’d give it a shot.

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So, I set out to create a light pink version of this same concept, and I filmed the process so you can follow along!

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I have to apologize for the shaking camera and random interruptions- it’s summertime and my son was wanting to paint with me, so I wasn’t about to say no! I’ll post the links to everything I used at the end of this post.

Affiliate Links:

Illustrated Faith Bible Tabs: http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-9062253-1

Illustrating Bible: http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-9062253-

Holbein Watercolors: https://amzn.to/2LoCCNx

Watercolor Tin: https://amzn.to/2DJJMWj

Round Brushes: https://amzn.to/2V0aqQH

Illustrated Faith Hexagon Stickers: https://amzn.to/2Ww7ssQ

DaySpring Blank Shape Stickers: https://amzn.to/2K6SSl0


So, let me know- did you enjoy this post? Was it helpful? What more would you like to see? Thanks for tuning in!

summer presets coming in hot!

PHOTOGRAPHYlissa-anglin1 Comment

Confession- I rarely take my "fancy camera" on vacation with me. 2 adults + 3 kids + all our baggage- I just simply don't have room! So, most of my vacation photos are taken with my iPhone, and I'm totally great with that.

There's nothing worse than traveling to an amazing place and having photos that don't reflect the beauty, though. So I created my Summer collection with that in mind. They're formulated for the beach, the pool, the snow cone stand, or a mountain hike. I know you'll love making magic with your photos and my Summer presets!

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The Summer Collection screams warm sun and adventure. Geared toward enhancing the bright colors we see during summertime, I’ve also formulated these presets to fit your agenda.

Breeze works amazingly in indoor situations, adding a little pop of color, Snow Cone adds a fun punch to your greens and purples for a technicolor dream, Happy Camper is for all your outdoor mountain adventures, Mint Mojito is kind to greenery and will enhance the natural flora around you, Sand + Sea was made for the beach, and will give you a little tan, too! And Tropic is perfectly warm and bright, like you’re patio sitting with a frosted drink in hand.

shawn's father's day gift list

STYLElissa-anglinComment
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You guys know I love Amazon lists (you can view all of mine right here)- but this post is something extra special. I asked my husband of 13 years, and general man’s man, Shawn, to put together a Father’s Day wishlist. When he accepted and then came up with this awesome collection, I was so impressed!

Gifts for men can be so tough, and there is a good range of price tags here. I personally loved the Daddy-Daughter Date Idea book, but a lot of the items here are things he already owns and loves. So, check it all out below.

Shawn’s thoughts are on the caption of each photo!

lissa's lists • 50 things to do with your kids this summer

MOMLIFE, LIFESTYLElissa-anglinComment
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I don’t know about you, but as a working mom (who offices from home), when summer draws near- I start to panic. I photograph a lot of weddings during the summer and so for me, it’s my busy season. Add 3 potentially bored children to that, and my eye twitch is back in full force.

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So this Monday, I’m writing this list for me- so I literally have something to reference when I need an idea to keep little hands busy.

Most of these can be done at home, and I tend to favor ideas that I don’t have to monitor. I know sometimes we just need to get out of the house, so I’m including a few ideas for “field trips” as well. I’m also including a few things like pool and water toys that we like to buy at the beginning of the summer.

1) Freeze toys in ice and let them dig them out

2) Create a pinwheel garden. Buy some pinwheels at the dollar store or create your own, and let the kids “plant” them in pots or the ground. Maximum effect and no watering necessary!

3) Make your own pinwheels (helpful for number 2!)

4) Do some target practice with water balloons in the backyard. Draw a target with chalk on your fence and let the kids go at it! These quick-filling water balloons are the BEST and totally worth it!

5) Paint with water on the driveway. We like to add in chalk to make it extra colorful. Have I mentioned I buy sidewalk chalk in bulk?!? Ha!

6) Print out a free scavenger hunt from my Pinterest board. There are several that will work in the car, at home, or out and about. I also love this D.I.Y. one that is perfect for younger kids who don’t read yet.

7) Blow up some balloons. And just let the kids do as they please. Somehow this is always entertaining.

8) Throw in some paper plates and let the kids play balloon tennis. Don’t forget to have them decorate their plates beforehand! More busy time. :)

9) Love this balloon puppy idea from The Craft Train. My girls would love it and Knox could probably make some Pokemon/Minecraft version for himself.

10) Water balloon volleyball with towels.

11) Create a scene on your driveway with sidewalk chalk that your kids can pose in and take pictures.

12) Make a summer movie bucket list that include some of your old favorites. There are so many great ones available on streaming services we already have. I like to use Common Sense Media to get some ideas and a run-down on the content before they watch.

Best Kids' Movies on Netflix in 2019

13) Mix up a new popcorn recipe for movie time using these recipes from A Grande Life.

14) Create an outdoor mud kitchen. There are many elaborate ones on Pinterest but for us this usually looks like me handing the girls a few plastic kitchen utensils and bowls they don’t normally get to play with.

15) Up your game by including some pantry staples you’ll never use (rice, pasta, etc.) to use in their outdoor play kitchen.

16) Plant something and let them tend to it every day. Grass seeds grow quickly and potato vine is cheap and grows quickly. You can let each kid have a vine they take care of.

17) Make some watering cans from old milk cartons.

18) Have a scheduled fashion show. Assign number of outfits. Designate a stage tech who is in charge of lighting and music.

19) Give the kids a couple of old bedsheets and have them create a fort in the backyard.

20) Create an easy pulley system in the backyard and have the kids haul goods.

21) Create a care package to mail to someone. Make a card, create a scavenger hunt. Have the kids fill out this All About Me printable book and mail it to a friend with a blank one inside for them to fill out.

22) Make a music video using an ipad or a phone and send it to a friend. Assign each of the kids a job.

23) Mystery snow cones. Test the kids’ ability to try new things and have them guess the flavors of their snow cones (you’ll have to order, of course).

25) D.I.Y. Pantry popsicles. We have made popsicles many times with some cheap popsicle molds and ingredients we had on hand- powdered lemonade is a staple for us so we mix it with whatever fresh fruit we have- canned fruit works well, too! Add in sprinkles, crushed candy, yogurt- you name it, we have probably tried to make a popsicle out of it! Or you could just try these tried-and-true delicious popsicle recipes!

26) Play snow! This stuff makes a mess but brushes off the skin very easily. And one little bag makes a ton. Our kids love playing with it.

27) Play florist for a neighbor, grandparent, or friend. Buy a cheap bouquet while you’re at the grocery store, have the kids make a card. Use a leftover vase or mason jar and help the kids create a bouquet. Add ribbon. It doesn’t have to be pretty. One bouquet can make several small arrangements. Add in greenery from your backyard as filler. And deliver it!

28) Prep dinner. I have found my kids will eat so much better at mealtime if they “help” make dinner. We do a lot of crock pot/instant pot meals so I have begun appointing a helper at every meal who assists me.

29) READ. Knox is a great reader but never really wants to read, so if I give him a time requirement (usually 30 minutes) with a reward at the end (such as screentime), he’ll often read longer than he is required to.

28) For non-readers, let them “read” on youtube! Start here! Tons of great children’s books.

Our library hosted a free petting zoo last year and our kids still talk about it as one of their favorite things we did!

Our library hosted a free petting zoo last year and our kids still talk about it as one of their favorite things we did!

29) Hit up the local library, which has a lot more than books. Ours has an array of free or cheap activities for kids.

30) Wash the car! And the bikes! Good soapy fun is always enjoyed.

31) Leaf Rubbings are always enjoyed at our house. You can make people or flowers out of them.

32) We used to love making hot rocks with melted crayons. This does require using an oven but I still enjoy doing this as an adult and you’ll have some pretty rocks for your garden!

33) Make paper airplanes and have awards for most decorative, longest flying, etc.

34) Make these awesome sponge balls instead of water balloons. Reusable and cheap!

35) Paint with watercolors on a block of ice. Use cheap watercolors- they will last a long time!

36) Show them how to create a summer dance playlist on spotify or Apple Music. Make a “dance floor” in the living room. Our girls love dancing with these play scarves, too.

37) Let them take something apart. This could be an old sports ball, outdated electronic, old stuffed animal, etc.

38) Run in the sprinklers. Put a sprinkler under the swingset and BOOM! Instant water park.

39) Go geo-caching. Super fun and free! Bring a few small prizes to leave when you find something. Start here!

40) Observe the constellations on your phone by downloading the Sky View app. Our kids love this app and you can print out this free constellation map to use!

41) Give the dogs a bath. Or the baby dolls.

42) Use these free printable tangrams! These are great for a variety of ages. Our 8 year old son enjoys origami, too- find some youtube videos that teach.

Bubble machines are relatively cheap and great for littles who haven’t figured out the wands quite yet.

Bubble machines are relatively cheap and great for littles who haven’t figured out the wands quite yet.

43) I love this create your own paintbrushes idea! Grab some tempera paint that will wash out easily or use watercolor.

44) Practice the alphabet with sticky notes.

45) Get the GoNoodle app on your computer or smart TV. Tons of great songs and activities there.

46) Code.org is an awesome learning tool for school-aged kids and a lot of fun.

47) We also love Cosmic Kids Yoga, too!

48) Make (or just buy!) some different varieties of bird feed and hang a paper on the window to track which feed is most popular and what birds are eating it.

49) Make some bubble wands with pipe cleaners. We love bubbles and stock up on them always!

50) Watch some silly or interesting kid-friendly videos. We love episodes America’s Funniest Home Videos, BBC Walk on the Wild Side videos like this one, and we also love to research trips or upcoming vacations by finding informational videos on those places.

Most of these ideas have a corresponding pin on my Summer Activities for Kids Pinterest board!


I’m also planning on picking up a few items for the pool or outdoor play for the summer- here are a few of the things I’ve been eyeballing!

Hope you found this helpful! Here’s to a fun summer!

lissa's lists summer fashion faves

STYLElissa-anglinComment
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Way, wayyyyyy back on this blog I did a feature called Lissa’s Lists- because I am a LIST LOVER and have about 30 of them going at all times. I’ve been wanting to bring it back in some form or fashion- and you guessed it- FASHION it is!

My hope is to create a new list weekly (fingers crossed) of things I am loving or have had my eye on. I am endlessly “adding to cart” and so this will be a hopefully-helpful way to share what I’m loving with you, my dear readers.

This week’s edition is my Summer Fashion Faves!

Now listen, I love what’s trending but I am also a MOM and need some modesty in my life. Because much of my time in the summer is bent over at the pool getting someone in or out, or sunscreen-ing or honestly trying to avoid the sun altogether because my pasty white skin hates the sun, I’m always on the hunt for good coverups, shorts, and hats/visors that don’t make me look 100% dorky. I’m ok with 75% dork…I can handle that. :)

So, here you go- a few things I’m loving for Summer!

P.S. Did I mention EVERYTHING IS UNDER $50 and MOST ARE UNDER $20?!? Be sure to scroll all the way through because I saved my favorite for last.

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Huge, water-resistant, wipeable pool bag.

Goes-with-everything black tank. I also love this because it’s long enough to cover my booty so it’s yoga pants approved!

Basic ponytail cap. WORTH your $9 if you have long hair and want to keep it out of the chlorine.

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Black & Gold Oversized Sunglasses. You can’t beat the price and they’ll go with everything.

Tropical Print Shorts. I was expecting these to be too small and short, but was actually really pleased! They have a TON of different prints, and I’m wearing the XL here (typically a size L), so size up.

The most comfy, pool-perfect white sandals. You guys, I have always been a fan of this brand but have only bought for my kids until now! I’m so glad I gave these a shot because they have molded soles with arch support. Perfect for a vacation or any day when you’re doing a lot of walking.

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The most flattering swimsuit ever! Conceals my tummy pouch and covers my booty. This one comes in a LOT of different prints and I was surprised by the great quality. You must at least try this on- because the top ties, it can accommodate a lot or a little on top.

Pretty and versatile kimono. $18 yall! This one also comes in a ton of different patterns, but I loved this one in particular- because it can go with my swim gear or be worn with shorts, dress, you name it! This one is very flowy and can accommodate many body shapes. I am wearing a Medium here but think I could have sized down to a Small.

Comfy neutral sandals. I wanted to find something that could easily be washed off and these are perfect for that! They are extremely lightweight and will pack flat for vacay!

Cutest tortoise sunnies. These are great and an instant fave. They are a bit higher than most dupe sunglasses at $25 but the quality is better. I also loved the way they fit every outfit.

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Kaftan please! This one is perfection. It’s also just $18, annnnd again they have a ton of different patterns. But trust me, you want this one, because the instant you put it on you will also feel the need for a mai tai.

Brown criss-cross sandals I’ve been wearing all the time. They go with everything. And they’re comfortable. Done.

Brown hat. My one and only trick for the days when I don’t dry shampoo and I want to look like a legit fashion blogger.

Denim bag. I was so, so pleased with the huge size of this bag, and how it looks. I wish it were waterproof, but it could probably be scotch-guarded. Regardless, it’s a great overnight bag/carryall.

Those tortoise sunglasses again. Love them.

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White duster that goes with everything. It completely buttons down so you can make it a dress, wear it over an outfit or over your swimsuit. I am wearing a Medium and probably could have sized down to a Small. This is a GREAT versatile piece that makes me feel more put-together instantly.

Oversized tank. I have worn this so much since I got it, and love it for it’s versatility. Comes in blush pink, too! Enter LISSA10 at checkout and get 10% off!

Hi-rise jegging. Probably my favorite pair of pants in warmer weather. And button-fly is so trendy right now.

These strappy sandals. I am clumsy, and can’t usually handle any type of platform or wedge (yes, I am a DORK) but these are great. I’ve worn them all day and they haven’t hurt my feet. And also they are cute.

Earrings from my girl BreckieGrey Designs.

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Lace kimono. Under $20. Looks expensive and I have had so many compliments on it! Great to dress up shorts and shirt, great over your swimsuit. This is my FAVE!

Button-fly denim shorts. When I ordered these I really expected them to be too small- but they are PERFECT. The length is great, too- and I really wanted to find some button-fly because I love that that 90’s trend is baaaccccckkkkk, baby!


I hope you enjoyed that round-up and can’t wait to see what your faves are! The image below is CLICKABLE so click on what you like to be taken directly to shop!

There are a couple of items here I actually own but didn’t get photographed, so I can vouch for the quality and fit. :)

Let me know what you have your eye on in the comments! Hope you enjoyed the come back of Lissa’s Lists!

Customizing Bible Tabs with Watercolor and Gold Leaf

HOME + LIFESTYLElissa-anglinComment
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I really hesitate to use the word “bling” in any circumstance…but honestly that is the best word I can think of to describe what this project is all about. :)

I got in my new Illustrating Bible from Dayspring and you guys, I’m OBSESSED. I want to paint in it all. the. time. I reviewed in on my InstaStories but if you haven’t seen it yet- it’s amazing. Spiral binding, huge margins for note-taking, painting, coloring- thicker pages which means I don’t need to prep them before I watercolor. It’s really amazing.

You can pre-order the new Illustrating Bible here- it will ship out May 15!

One of the first things I knew I wanted to do was make some tabs for it. I loved using the tabs on my last journaling Bible and knew it would make my Bible so much more “me”. So, I was really excited when I saw that Dayspring also had these Bible tabs that would be perfect for customizing. I ordered them and a few other Illustrated Faith accessories.

I love working in watercolor and on a whim I decided to throw in some gold leaf just to make it extra special. I have to say I am really pleased with the outcome and love that there is a burst of color from every angle of my Bible now!

I videoed the whole process, and if you’d like to make some of your own, this will show you exactly how to do it!

MATERIALS NEEDED:

Illustrated Faith Bible Tabs

Illustrating Bible

Holbein Watercolors

Watercolor Tin

Round Brushes

Gold Foil

Mod Podge

I would love to see what you create! Connect with me on Instagram @lissaanglin.

The Illustrating Bible was given to me by Dayspring to review and this post is my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links that help me continue to bring fun content to this space, so if you like what you see, I’d love for you to use my links!

one year home • lucy fei

Adoptionlissa-anglinComment
Us at P.F. Changs celebrating Lucy’s Gotcha Day! She’s been home 1 year.

Us at P.F. Changs celebrating Lucy’s Gotcha Day! She’s been home 1 year.

Exactly one year ago we were in China- eating the most delicious noodles we’ve ever had, smelling all the interesting smells of the streets, and loving and learning our new daughter.

I can’t believe it’s been a year- and all the same, I totally can. God has kept every promise He’s ever made to us in this adoption journey. I knew we’d be in this side of things eventually- but after that 5 year wait and unexpected bout of infertility, whew…it feels really, really good to just BE. With all 3 kids, here in our home.

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Truthfully, that’s about all we’ve been able to do- survive! Ha. When people ask us how Lucy’s transition has been, we usually respond, “excellent! Ours as parents however, eeeeshhhhhhh”. With 3 kids now, we are definitely outnumbered and feeling it.

Lucy, though. What a wonderful gift she is.

I do feel that now we have a much better grasp on her personality. For many months, I didn’t want to make any judgments about it due to the fact that she’d endured so much and that trauma can materialize in a variety of ways. But you guys, Lucy is just as sweet as we thought she was. :)

Physical Health:

Lucy’s physical health is great. I had a moment yesterday where I was reminded that we could have very easily been going through heart surgery with her. It’s a miracle we aren’t. We have had zero health issues.

We did have concerns about her teeth and underbite, and finally got all 3 kids in to see the dentist. I was expecting Lucy to have the most complications of all of our kids, but surprisingly the dentist wasn’t concerned about her at all (the two older kids, however…cavity city! eeek.). Lucy will likely wear some corrective gear for her underbite at night, and we will begin it as soon as she will tolerate it- likely 1-2 years from now.

It’s just begun getting warm enough in Texas to do some running through the sprinklers! This is something Lucy would not have been interested last year- but this year she jumped right in. So proud of our brave girl.

It’s just begun getting warm enough in Texas to do some running through the sprinklers! This is something Lucy would not have been interested last year- but this year she jumped right in. So proud of our brave girl.

Language:

Lucy’s language had continued to improve and impress us. Her vocabulary grows every day and she is speaking full sentences in English. We have some pretty good conversations with our sassy little girl. Her enunciation isn’t great, but she’s 3, and if we end up doing some speech therapy, that will be just fine. :)

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Language seems to be the thing we are asked about most- and let me tell you, it has been such a non-issue for us. Speech therapists have told us that 2-3 years old is the perfect age to learn a new language and she’s amazed all of us.

Sleep:

Lucy is a great sleeper. When she first came home, I insisted on rocking with her in order to aid attachment, which led to a lot of resistance from her. I finally had to give that expectation and desire up. She will still rock with me at naptime occasionally, but at night, she prefers to be put to bed exactly like Liv. (Read a book, lay down, pray, fall asleep on her own). Because most of her transition has been watching and copying Liv, doing what Liv is doing for bedtime routine gives her more security than rocking with me did. It makes me sad, but at least I know she CAN rock with me and fall asleep. Overall, though, she sleeps really well and this has been a blessing.

I feel like she looks about 14 here. 😭Lucy is holding a note and an ornament from her friend who was adopted the same day and was in the same orphanage. I love that they/we have that special connection!

I feel like she looks about 14 here. 😭Lucy is holding a note and an ornament from her friend who was adopted the same day and was in the same orphanage. I love that they/we have that special connection!

Likes/Dislikes:

She still loves to dance and listen to music. She’ll sing to herself and play pretend with her dolls or stuffed animals. She’s realized that tickling is fun and we love to see her huge smile and laugh (that has been there since day 1). I am excited that she is our “clean” kid. She isn’t afraid to get dirty but doesn’t get super messy and prefers to keep things tidy. She is also particular about random things which make us laugh. Bugs. Stuffed animals. Jewelry. She definitely has her preferences on how she likes things. She doesn’t forget easily and likes to hear about what is coming up, so we spend a good amount of time talking about plans.

Food:

Lucy is a great eater. She is a bit more skeptical of foods than our other two, but once she sees that another kid is eating it, she’ll join in. Since day 1 she has eaten everything we do, so she has a typical American kid diet. I will say that I am making Asian food more often these days because we’ve discovered it’s something all of our kids will devour without complaint!

Transition and Siblings:

Lucy’s transition is as complete as it can be right now. There are still new experiences all the time, but all kids are experiencing new things at age 3. It has been a lot of fun to watch Lucy face new challenges and places, animals and people. There have been times we have realized that her anxiety might be adoption-related and have been able to respond with what she needs, but other times it’s just her/her personality and preferences. Bugs, for instance. Girl is NOT a fan of bugs, haha…with the exception of ladybugs- those are ok. :)

Knox and Liv have been amazing. Liv has clearly enjoyed having another playmate and girl around. They do argue/get jealous but it is just the same as any other sibling relationship. They all need time apart and individual time with us parents. Knox and Lucy have a special relationship too and it’s clear that Lucy really loves and looks up to her big brother. They can be really sweet together.

Lucy is a BIG fan of Easter. This was her first and she cracked us all up by settling into this car and proceeding to try to eat allllll the candy.

Lucy is a BIG fan of Easter. This was her first and she cracked us all up by settling into this car and proceeding to try to eat allllll the candy.

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Sometimes I can’t believe we are a party of 5 but other times it’s like it’s always been that way. We went out a couple of weeks ago to celebrate 1 year home and it was really special. We went to P.F. Changs and as I was taking photos Shawn spontaneously fed Lucy a dumpling which I captured on camera. Then, I remembered I had the same photo of them in China, so this will have to be a new tradition for them!

Thank you to all of our friends and family who have prayed, given, and cared so much for our adoption journey. It’s been a tough road at times but what we are living right now is so sweet and we are overwhelmed with gratefulness. Lucy is truly such a gift to us (as are all of our children), and I hope you can see the beauty of what God has done in our family’s life.

If you are just tuning in, you can check out all my other adoption-related posts here:

technicolor mini-sessions!

PHOTOGRAPHYlissa-anglinComment
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Summer is just around the corner and after a long school year, I feel like this is the perfect way to celebrate!

I typically only offer mini sessions during the fall, but this fun concept demanded it and I can’t wait to get technicolor with you.

A few FAQ’s:

  • I will provide colored powder and silly string- all you need to do is show up!

  • The colored powder is non-toxic and will wash out of clothing. That being said, you might not want to wear the fanciest thing in your closet.

  • These are quick, fun sessions that major on candid fun and lifestyle photos. If you’d like more formal photos- sign up for my mini-sessions in the fall!

  • We will be shooting outdoors in a park-type setting, weather permitting. If weather doesn’t allow us to shoot, we will reschedule for another date.

  • There are lots of different ways you could style your family- in all black or white, or all COLOR! Neons could be fun as well.

  • This session can be for couples or kids only, but is ideal when the whole family gets in on the fun.

  • Photos will be delivered via digital download from a private online gallery about 2 weeks after your session.

Because of the nature of these sessions, spots are limited and are first-come, first-served.

Available Sessions are all Saturday, May 18:

5:50

6:10

6:30

6:50

7:10

To request a spot, please fill out the form below and I will respond ASAP. You will be sent an email invoice for the session and your spot will be officially booked once the invoice is paid.

Name *
Name
Please select and I will do my best to give you the time you prefer.