Cricut Explore Air 2 - Unboxing

YOU GUYS! Cricut made a brand new Explore Air and it is GORGEOUS and FAST and wonderful and I am in love all over again.


Here's the video of me unboxing the new beauty! Be warned, Albus makes a few appearances and my  head gets in the way a time or two but mostly I gush about how wonderful this machine is because HELLO, GORGEOUS. Oh yeah, I say "gorgeous" about 20 times, too. I'm not sorry.

Here's some still shots of the new Cricut Explore Air 2!

The dials are very similar. A little difference between "fabric" and "bonded fabric" with terminology, and the dial on the Explore Air 2 feels maybe a little closer to the machine - less popped out - and sleek. 

Here's a side by side highlighting the new design features on the outside of the Cricut Explore Air 2! Like I said in the video, the lighting really doesn't do the pretty mint color of my machine justice! And that gold band is just a fun pop of sparkle! SO. PRETTY. 

Here's the inside of the Cricut Explore Air 2! The cutting head is chrome (shinyyyy), but otherwise looks quite like the Explore Air. The biggest upgrade though is the ability to cut 2x as fast! It's actually really incredible and does an amazing job (blog post about that to come), but you can decide if you want to do the quick cut or the standard cut with each project. Holla! Faster cuts = more projects!

For more info on what makes the Cricut Explore Air 2 such a special new Cricut machine, here are a few links to the Cricut website that give you way more details in a way more concise way than I can manage. 

I'll be sharing more blog posts about this new machine in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, happy crafting! 

Graduation Cards with the Cricut Explore

Graduation season is upon us! Okay, it has been upon us but I'm just really late in posting this. Maybe blame it on all the graduation parties? I cannot - CANNOT - get enough of those buttery sugary mints. So, so good.

The good news is that I did in fact make graduation cards in time to give them to actual graduates this year. The bad news is that I didn't get around to posting this in time for anyone else to make these this year! But, more good news! Graduations happen every year, so you'll be set for next year!

My Favorite Cricut Supplies!

Hello, dear readers! Spring is finally (maybe) here, which in Minnesota means that the days are longer and my motivation is impacted by the big, bright sun! It's wayyyy easier for me to get upstairs and craft when it's bright out, instead of feeling like it's time to veg on the couch at 4:30 pm. 

I've been making loads of fun things, but I'm also sending them out as fast as I make them (which is kinda the point, I guess?) so I haven't been doing a great job documenting said creations. However, I CAN tell you the products I'm using over, and over, and over again! 

These are my absolute go-to, favorite, top use Cricut supplies. I use them all the time for all sorts of projects and keep thinking of new ways to use them. If you're looking to get a little craft hoard started, you can't go wrong with this stuff! I will warn you that they seem to multiply when you're away. Which is weird and definitely not your fault and it's just a magical, mystical thing that happens and is definitely not you buying more and more and more of the stuff. Ahem. 

Personalized Notebooks Using the Cricut Explore

Whether you buy every single gift from a store or if you make every gift you ever give (if you do this, teach me your ways), adding a bit of something homemade adds that little something extra special, you know? BUT WHAT?

Notebooks, of course! You can make these personalized notebooks in minutes and for just about any occasion! 

Tutorial after the break!

Introducing: Cricut Access!

Cricut Design Space Subscription has been updated to Cricut Access and become even MORE user friendly, MORE features, and MORE THINGS! EXCITING TIMES! 

Click on through to see what's new with Cricut Access!

Planner Comparison: Erin Condren Life Planner + Plum Paper

This continues my series of Favorite Organizational Tools! In case you missed the earlier posts, you can check out my love for Remember the Milk and for my Foxy Dori and friends.  I LOVE ORGANIZATION AND LIST MAKING SO MUCH, YOU GUYS.

So much so, in fact, that I have not one, but TWO planners. Which if you know anything about the planner community is NOTHING, but if you're new to the planner game, seems excessive. The reality is I bought an Erin Condren Life Planner for my personal use and loved it SO MUCH I wanted to get another planner for work. But then got to wondering if an ECLP was the right fit for my work needs, so did a little more research and decided on an Plum Paper Planner

The Erin Condren Life Planner and the Plum Paper Planner are SO SIMILAR in so many aspects that it can be pretty hard to decide which might fit your needs best. But don't worry - I got you. Check out my latest video comparing the two planners!

10 Free Organizational Printables to Kick Off 2016!

Oh you guys, where did 2015 go? 

It's time to start looking forward to 2016 and making Big Plans and setting Goals and Resolutions and making ourselves better! And maybe reflecting upon 2015 a bit too. 

This kinda fits in with my Favorite Organizational Tools Series, but also is a nice way for you to dip your toes into the free printables water if you haven't already. There's an embarrassment of riches out there if you just know where to look. And lucky for you, I do! I LOVE LISTS AND JUST WANT YOU TO LOVE THEM TOO, OKAY?!

Uppercase Box: A Review

Uppercase Box | Young Adult Monthly Book Subscription Box

I absolutely adore reading. Mostly, I adore reading Young Adult literature! Like most of us, I get my book recommendations from friends and researching them on Amazon or Goodreads. Sure, every once in awhile I'll impulse buy a book from a brick and mortar without ever hearing about it, but mostly I want to I want a recommendation I can trust first. 

Enter, Uppercase. 

Easy & Elegant Christmas Gift Tags

Great news, everyone! Theo (my 2 month old) is FINALLY starting to sleep a little bit longer at a time. Which means things are happening! Laundry is getting done! Dishes are getting washed! Blog posts are being written! Floors are still unswept and un-mopped because hello no thank you.

This also means that I'm finally able to shift my attention towards Christmas and the crafty goodness that goes along with it. I can bust out my washi tape, my glittery paper, and fire up the Cricut that surely was developing some sort of separation anxiety from me after being unused for so long.

I slowly dipped my toes back into the crafting waters with these insanely easy and elegant Christmas Gift tags. Let me show you!

Board Game Holiday Gift Guide 2015

YOU GUYS! HI! As you probably know, I had another kid so my life has been wackadoo and apparently infants aren't about having schedules, so the blog has fallen by the wayside. Something had to give, you know?

Thanks for sticking with me. I'll be coming back on a regular basis very soon! In the meantime, I've been busy getting ready for Christmas and that's got me thinking about gifts and games and how games are pretty much the best gift. Since the hubs and I play board games pretty regularly, I thought I'd share with you some of my favorites of the year (not necessarily published this year, but played this year) in case you're looking for some ideas!

(for those who have never played board games, or are pretty new to the scene)

You don't want to get anything too drastic for these folks. Something nice and easy to ease them into the waters, but still a fun game that they can play with just about any group of people to make sure it gets to the table often! 

This is a low intensity racing game where you're a pirate trying to get treasure and make it around the board first. Fairly simple, but you definitely get up in each other's biz and there's a bit of luck with the dice rolling involved, so this is a great game for everyone! 

Sushi Go! - The Pick and Pass Card Game
First, the cards are ADORABLE. You should know that up front. You build your "hand" in front of you by keeping 1 card and passing the rest. The cards have different combinations that score points and that's written on the cards. It's simple and addictive! 

Grizzled The Board Game
This is a cooperative game, which means you're all working together to get things done. Things in this case mean surviving the trenches of WWI. Yeah, it's a heavy subject, and it's actually handled pretty well (aka not whimsical and silly), but it's also a really challenging game that you'll want to try and try again until you beat it. And then go back for more! 

RA is one of my all time favorite games of ever. It's an auction/bidding style game where you're collecting certain types of tiles and pushing your luck a bit for the best combination without it getting ruined with bad tiles. 

Splendor Board Game
Okay, so the idea of collecting gems seems a bit odd or even boring, but there's a fair amount of strategy involved to win this! The elements of the game (the physical pieces) are super nice too, which makes this a great gift. Get resources, convert them to points - the very basic game that keeps you coming back!

You're a super computer who is putting other computers on a race in the abandoned factory. The problem is, you're racing the other super computers lackey's and the board is crowded, changing, and moving! This game is a BLAST and great for all ages. 

(for those who have a few games in their collection like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and the like. They're ready to expand but not quite sure where to turn)

7 Wonders
7 Wonders is always a crowd pleaser around these parts. There are a dozen ways to score points, you don't have to fiddle with pieces on the board to calculate resources, and you get to control your own destiny (to a point) with what you want to do to reach your goals. You get a hand of cards, take one, pass the rest. Repeat. Straightforward concept, but difficult to master. 

Discworld: Ankh-Morpork
What makes Discworld such a great game is that it combines a straightforward game play (draw cards, play cards) with a hidden agenda (there are several different ways to win the game and your goal is unique and secret) and silly cards (a la the world of Terry Pratchett). This makes seasoned game players happy because it's really hard to win, no matter who you're playing against or with, and newbies don't have a learning curve to overcome to play. 

This game is my new favorite game of ever. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the board, pieces, and choices offered - but after 1-2 turns, you'll all get it figured out. I promise. The choices are basic, but there are loads of them, which means there's always something to do on your turn to make points or advance yourself in the game. You also have your own player board which is one of my favorite elements in a board game!

Shadows Over Camelot
What up, my Arthurian Legend loving nerds?! This is a coop + hidden traitor game. Some of you are loyal, some of you are not. You're either working to banish evil from Camelot or helping to sow seeds of discontent secretly. You go on quests. You have special knight abilities. IT IS SO RAD. 

Thunder Alley Board Game
Rubbin' is racin', y'all! This is a super fun racing game with a NASCAR theme. Yeah, I know - but even if you're not into NASCAR (I so am not into NASCAR), it's still fun because you have to navigate a very full track of cars using the cards in your hand, handling your damage to the car, and keeping in the pack for maximum movement. It's tricky, people get up in your biz and ruin your life, and the track conditions aren't always in your favor. It's super fun! 

Speaking from experience, do not buy these people a game without checking their wishlist first. Trust me, they have a wishlist. You don't want to make the mistake of getting them something they already have, an Ameritrash game they'll never play, a soulless Euro cube pusher they'll scoff at, or something that is pushed on you by the guys at Games by James. Nothing against those dudes - but when someone is in a committed relationship with board games, they know what they like and what they don't and you'll waste your time and theirs by going off the cuff. 

If you have other suggestions, or are looking for more ideas, just let me know! 

Happy Holidays!