// Small Town Girl // Fun Shirts!!//

I have recently purchased a new Silhoutte Cameo 3 and LOVE it!! If you’ve never heard of one it’s the best machine out there to create DIY projects!!  I’ve started designing and creating a few different shirts the last month and I am hoping to expand this and create other fun projects and will share as they come.

If you are wanting anything designed, I can create just about anything you send me!!  Very reasonable pricing and everything is custom to YOU!  Check out a few of my initial projects–

email me at kakhansen3@gmail.com or comment below!

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//Healthy Kids Snack//

So Kyler went to a very fun and educational day camp at the ISU Extension in Sioux City  (highly recommend having your child check it out) this week and learned all about healthy choices.  Finding healthy snack options for the kids isn’t always an easy task but what he learned at the camp inspired him to come home and tell us all about it.  He brought home a few different recipes including a yogurt parfait and an “All Star Bites’ recipe that he wouldn’t stop talking about! After dinner he asked if we could please make them because he wanted to eat healthy snacks during the day.

IMG_0404.PNGLooking at the recipe, I realized we had all the ingredients (very simple recipe)!! So we gathered the below ingredients and within 10 minutes, had our bites made and in the freezer.

ALL STAR BITES:
1 C Rolled Oats (we used instant)
1/2 C Mini chocolate chips
1/2 C Peanut Butter
1/3 C Honey
1 tsp. Vanilla
--Add all ingredients in a bowl, stir until completely mixed.  Roll into balls.  Freeze for an hour. 
--Place 2 to a baggie
--Store in fridge
--ENJOY!!!

A fun activity to do with the kiddos and a quick and healthy snack for them… and YOU!!

♥ALynn

//Groupon//BEST Deals!//

grouponIf you haven’t heard of Groupon or have and just haven’t tried it out… you are MISSING OUT on amazing deals!! Groupon has become my favorite site to look for deals on literally EVERYTHING!  I just purchased a variety box of keurig cups last week and was sent so many good flavors of coffee!! I’ve bought everything from iPhone chargers to coffee to Shutterfly deals!! I always buy photo books and calendars off Groupon from shutterflyShutterfly and literally get them for $5!!!!! That’s like a $30 savings!! You do always have to pay the $7 shipping still, but it’s still the best deal out there!!

One of the best things I purchase on a regular basis is their canvas print deals AND their holiday cards… Printerpix is one of the best I found for holiday cards and I really like the Simple Canvas Prints site as well.

There are hundreds of deals on travel getaways too that I want to try out.

I always check out the ‘Deals of the Day’ to see what is on SUPER sale— today my keurig cups are so I’m putting another order in for them!

Check out the site and use the ‘refer a friend code‘ for extra savings!

Some other favorites I’ve purchased…

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Have fun looking around the site and hopefully you find as good of deals as I have!!!

♥ALynn

//Photography//Meet Laura//

Families, couples and seniorsCHECK HER OUT!!! I’ve worked with Laura in the past and LOVED the quickness about our session (with 3 kids!) and the pictures and memories we got in return!  I was talking to her about setting up our next appointment and thought it’d be fun to ‘showcase’ her on my blog!!!  Below is a bio on her and what she offers AND if you read all the way to the bottom, see how YOU can get a good deal on your next session!!!

♥ALynn (PS– Make sure to share it so others can benefit from a good photo session!!)


LJ PhotoHi! I’m Laura and I’ve been doing photography since 2010. My business name is Laura Johnson Photography – Real. Simple. Classic. These three words are what I’ve built my business around. I currently do families, children, couples, seniors and weddings. I enjoy different aspects of each session.

Families & Children:  My promise to you is for everyone to enjoy their session, yes even your husband will have fun! We play, laugh and have lots of fun capturing your family. Recently I’ve also found a love for lifestyle photography, which means I visit you at your home and capture those sweet family moments you don’t want to forget.
Seniors: I love empowering my seniors to make them feel like they are ready to conquer the world, which they are about to do! I have teamed up with a local makeup artist to ensure my ladies feel their very best! The gentlemen can relax, I get it. Our session won’t be too much, but just enough to make Mom happy. 😉
Couples & Weddings:  I love, love! With my relaxed approach we have a lot of fun and get breathtaking images that you will cherish forever.
Special offer for our followers
(follow this blog and LIKE my Facebook page):
Receive $25 off a 2018 session
Thank you to Ashley for a feature on her blog! I look forward to booking a session with you & giving you a gift you’ll love forever!

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//Valentine’s Day DIY Cards//

I haven’t always loved Valentine’s Day because I’ve never been a big flower person or never really expected gifts but since Kyler’s first Valentine’s Day at his babysitters, I’ve a grown to LOVE the holiday!! Someone told me the other day how they like this holiday so much more than Halloween and I agree with that because the giving of candy is much more creative and fun!! Going into Target or Walmart and looking at all the boxed cards has never been appealing to me because they don’t fit my kids personalities and what they are into.  I’ve always enjoyed making the kids Valentine’s on my own based on their interests that year.  Now with the 3 kids needing Valentines I really have to be on the ball and figure out what I’m making for them all!

This year I have Kyler who is a die hard football fan (Clemson and Iowa), Kollin who is WAY into Star Wars (so not me) and Kamilynn who could watch Minnie Mouse for hours!  Using some of my creativity and computer abilities, I created the following invites for them– SO EASY!!

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I’ve enjoyed making cards and invites for others as well; be it Valentine’s Day, Graduations or Baby Showers.  If there’s a card or invite you are looking to have made, shoot me an email and let me make things easier for you!! kakhansen3@gmail.com

It’s not too late to have yours made!! Easy process and low cost– create, send, print and deliver 🙂

♥ALynn

#Slow Down #Habits Take Time to Develop

FullSizeRender (1)Our lives today are obsessed with speed and instant gratification.  We all want that ‘quick fix’, to take the shortcut or the ‘on-the-spot’ solution.  We live in a world of crazy technology where we are available at all times and everyone expects instant feedback (I hate to admit it, but I have fallen into this trap too 😦 ).  We want an instant response to resolve all problems, to remove temptations and to free us of hurt. We question constantly why it takes SO LONG to transform, to grow up and to change.

I’ve had many times in my life where I’ve known I needed to grow up, change and break a bad habit, but one sticks out like a sore thumb and it’s one that shaped who I was for many years.  As a freshman at the University of Nebraska I was loving being a part of an amazing sorority where I met great women that were all in the same stage of their lives.  New atmospheres, new challenges, new temptations and really, a whole new world!  I loved every minute of college but I began to fall into societies standard of perfection and being skinny (something I NEVER thought I would have to deal with).  I sunk into stupid habits of minimizing what I ate (never not eating, but eating no fat, low calories and only what I wanted– a control issue to be honest). I avoided social interaction unless it was our fun night life of drinking– anywhere I knew there would be food, I avoided.  I had some great friends who were there for me and always tried to help me shake this stupidity I was dealing with.  Looking back more than 10 years later, I realize they knew what I was dealing with– I am very habitual and had created a habit I didn’t know how to dig myself out of.  Habits, as we all know, take time to form and even longer to break.

I stayed at UNL through my sophomore year and last minute, knowing I needed to be closer to my family, came back and completed my degree at Morningside. I have a very ‘OCD’, if you will, mindset and finished my degree early, in 3 1/2 years, found a great man (who I am now married to— everything seriously happens for a reason), started in on a great career, and worked through the tough road I had created.  Growth and getting through the ANNOYING mindset was painful– I feel like I lost some great friends because of it and how I isolated myself.  It was scary and I wanted to change, just didn’t know how to.

Within my Purpose Driven Life  reading, this stuck out— “There’s no growth without change, there’s no change without fears or loss and there’s no loss without pain.  Every change involves a loss of some kind.  You must let go of old ways to experience new.  We fear these losses, even if our old ways were self- defeating, because, like a worn out pair of shoes, they are at least comfortable and familiar.”

I knew I had to change and I had an amazing support system.  I was so stuck in my mind of what I should eat,drink and do or what I shouldn’t, that it was tough to change.  We identify ourselves by our defects and say “It’s just the way I am” and “If I let go of the habit, who will I be or HOW will I be?”  All I have to say is thank God for my husband and for my family!  They helped me realize what is truly important and they were there for me every step of the way.

What I have learned from what I briefly described of a 10 year struggle is that repetition is the mother of character and skill– both good and bad.   Did I want to deal with that mind set like I did, NO! But it’s a struggle God put me through that I had to work myself out of.  Do I still have an “OCD” type mindset and worry about foods I consume and exercise I get in? Of course I do (most people do), but now in a HEALTHY way!  I have created good habits and healthy habits.  I know my boundaries and know that being “skinny” isn’t the goal but being HEALTHY & HAPPY is. I workout because it makes me feel good and is a stress reliever (and honestly the only 60-90 minutes in the mornings where I don’t have my boys on top of me 🙂 )!

We are all in this hurry in life and get frustrated when progress seems slow– but looking back, I realize it was slow for a reason– I learned a ton in that time, both good and bad. I am slowly learning to be patient with the process and just live life to the fullest.  I have a wonderful husband who supports me and our two boys and I’m grateful for him every single day (although there are days where he probably doesn’t think I feel that way! 😉 ).

So take this, if anything, from what I have blabbered– if you’re stuck in a bad habit (one like mine mentioned above or maybe just the complete opposite), and you’re using the excuses “that’s just me” or “that’s how I have always been” or “I can’t change”– think again!  It’s a slow process, but we can all change a habit.  Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go! Remember you aren’t where you want to be, but you’re not where you used to be.

Practice these things.  Devote yourself and time to them so that others can see your progress too.

DON’T GET DISCOURAGED– God’s time table isn’t the same as ours– “These things I plan won’t happen right away, Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass.  Just be patient!  They will not be overdue a single day!

Habits can be broken.  Find your support system and realize that it will take time.  Don’t give up.  Do it for YOU!

#ALynn