Chester || Bella Blvd

Good morning, everyone! Happy weekend!!  I wanted to pop in to quickly share my most recent layout for Bella Blvd.  It was made using the new Riley & Rover collections and it features the most adorable photo of the most adorable puppy.  His name is Chester and he belongs to my in-laws.  E & I want a dog so bad - we're not allowed to have one where we live now, but we are definitely getting one when we move.  So for now, Chester is the closest thing we have to our own pup:

I'm a sucker for primary colors, which is one of the reasons why I love these collections so much.  I used papers from the Riley collection and stickers from the Rover collection and I used on of my go-to designs: a simple, down-the-middle-of-the-page design.  It always works for me!

Thanks for stopping in!  Enjoy the weekend!!

Cardstock: Bazzill;  Everything Else: Bella Blvd


The Cut Shoppe! (+ a giveaway!!)


Hey, everyone!!  I am so excited to announce that I am joining The Cut Shoppe Design Team for at the next three months!  I love, love, LOVE Ashley's cut files so I am just over-the-moon thrilled with this opportunity!!  There are also three other lovely ladies joining the team with me:

In addition to this exciting news, The Cut Shoppe is turning one year old today and there is a special coupon code you can use in the store for the next two days...

....and to celebrate I get to give away one of my favorite cut files to someone.  This is the one I'm giving away:

Here is one of my favorite layouts made with it:

To be entered to win, just leave a comment here by Saturday telling me your email address and I'll announce a winner early next week!

You can find some of the other giveaways here:


Project Read || April & May

Hey, everyone!!  I skipped my Project Read wrap-up for the month of April, so I decided to combine April and May into one post…(Project Read? you ask…click here for more info)
I have some how managed to stay on track for my 35 book goal.  It was a bit touch-and-go there for a minute when I only read two books in April.  However, in May I rallied and brought my total back up to where it needed to be...

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas – Did you ever watch the Veronica Mars series?  I was a huge “Marshmallow”!  When the movie came out last year, I was beyond excited.  And then when I found out there were books written by the creator of the show, Rob Thomas, I got even more excited!  This mystery picked up where the movie left off (although, you don’t have to be familiar with the movie to understand the book) and has Veronica investigating the disappearance of two girls visiting her town during Spring Break.  Definitely an entertaining and quick read!

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – I have had this book recommended to me a few times, so I decided to try it out and I’m quite glad I did.  This book is told from the perspective of Don Tillman, a very socially awkward professor at a university.  Don is in search of the perfect woman to be his wife and develops a model to try to find her.  Rosie is looking for her biological father and Don, a genetics expert, offers to help.  Rosie is definitely not what Don is looking for in a partner, but he can’t stay away from her.  The book never comes out and says that Don has Asperger’s Syndrome, but he does display quite a few signs and his unique perspective on everything makes for quite an interesting read.

The Rosie Effect by Grame Simision – I liked the first one so much that I read the sequel.  I won’t tell you the premise of this one because then you’ll know how the first book ends.  This was another cute read, but I didn’t think it was as good as the first.  I found myself getting really frustrated with the characters in this one and found the book to be dragging in a few places.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple – I’ve had this one sitting on my bookshelf for a while.  Initially, the premise didn’t interest me – a mother leaves her family and her daughter follows a paper trail to try to find her.  In the end, I’m so glad I gave it a try.  This book was entertaining and funny.  It tells the story of Bernadette, a mother who rarely leaves her house and has a hard time getting along with the other mothers in the community.  When her family begins planning a trip to Antarctica, life throws her a few curve balls and she leaves her family without any warning.  Her daughter, Bee, knows her mother couldn’t have just left without leaving any clues and begins a search to find her.  This book kept my highly engaged and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick read and a good laugh.

Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews – This is one of two books that I read in May that Stephanie Howell recommended on her Instagram feed.  I was looking for a light-hearted, feel good chick lit and this book definitely fit the bill.  Cara is a divorced florist who is trying to hit the big time in Charleston with the local wedding scene.  When she has a chance to design the flowers for one of the biggest weddings in town she jumps on it, even though she has very little time and has to act as the wedding planner as well.  There is also another florist who has moved to town and is intent on putting Cara out of business.  Add in the handsome, yet frustrating, man who always seems to be popping up at her weddings and you’ve got an entertaining read -  one that I mowed through in a day!

The Singles by Meredith Goldstein – This was the second book Stephanie recommended that I decided to try.  Bee decided to allow everyone she invited to her wedding to bring a date, but five of her guests RSVP’d as coming solo. This book tells the story of those five.  I wouldn’t necessarily classify it as a romance novel, although there is a definitely a romantic theme throughout.  The book is told from the five different perspectives and follows their separate wedding experiences.  It was good enough, but it didn’t really leave me wanting to find out what else Goldstein had written, you know what I mean?  I would classify it as an average book that I could really take or leave, but it is a quick read if you’re looking for a few hours to kill. (I know, I know, not a resounding endorsement there!)

As always, leave a comment letting me know if you have any good books to recommend!!


Bath Time Cutie || Bella Blvd

Good morning, everyone!  I wanted to pop in and quickly share a layout that I had up on the Bella Blvd blog last week.  We were lucky enough to team up with Jillibean Soup and they gave us a ton of their awesome Happy Hues paints.  I combined their fun paints with Bella Blvd's new Just Add Color collection and some coordinating papers from some of their other lines:

Don't the Jillibean paints coordinate so well with Bella Blvd's color scheme?  A perfect match!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Cardstock: Bazzill; Paints: Jillibean Soup; Everything Else: Bella Blvd


The Studio || White on White

Hey, everyone!!!  Happy Memorial Day weekend for those of you in the U.S.  I hope you are getting some family time in on this long weekend.

There is a new challenge up at The Studio this morning - it's fun, but it's also difficult.  The challenge: white on white!  Anna was nice enough to say that you can add in an extra color if you want.  However, I really went for it and used only white on my layout:

I also used a ton of fun stuff from the SpiegelMom Scraps store:
-Studio Calico Printshop Stars (they are heat embossed with white powder)
-Medium Shipping Tags (I covered the brown circle with a white sticker)

As a side note, the famous gold doilies are back in stock, so you grab them while you can - code KAT10 will get you 10% off on your purchase!!

I hope you can play along with us at The Studio!!

Cardstock: Bazzill; Doily, Tag, Sequins: SpiegelMom Scraps; Fabric Banner: Pink Paislee; Wooden Stars: Studio Calico; Die Cuts: American Crafts, My Mind's Eye; Stamp: October Afternoon


Clique Kits' May Pep Rally

Hey, everyone!!!  Welcome to Clique Kits' May Pep Rally!  The kit this month was SO MUCH FUN! I loved all the Amy Tangerine goodness combined with the exclusive CK journaling cards and flair - it was such a colorful kit that you couldn't help but be happy when you played with it!

I mentioned in my last post that I am waaaaaaaay behind on Project Life this year.  I need to catch up - badly.  So, here is my first attempt at getting back on track:

I kept my spread very simple.  I let the bright fun colors sort of speak for themselves, plus I seriously loved Lacey's journaling cards this month - the water-colored stripes card is my fave - I wish I had a whole set of them!!

Here is the full line up for the hop today:

Kat (Me!!!)

I hope you have a fun time hopping - there are prizes up for grabs!!  ;0)  Thanks so much for stopping in!

Page Protector: Becky Higgins (Design F); Patterned Paper, Stickers, Stencil, Washi Tape, Alphas: American Crafts; Mist: Studio Calico; Journaling Cards: Clique Kits


PL 2015 || Week 9

So, ummm.....yeah....this year I have had a really hard time keeping up with my Project Life.  I don't know why...I just haven't been motivated to do it, which is really sad, because I do love the project. On the flip side, I've been having a ton of fun making traditional layouts again, so that's definitely a positive.  I am really hoping to catch up on my PL for the year this summer...I will have a few WEEKS off (yes, for real!), so I have big creative plans during that time.

For now, we will go back in time to week 9...the week it snowed, which is a really big deal in NC:

On this spread I used the wood veneer snowflakes from the SpiegelMom Scraps store.  I heat embossed them with silver powder to give it that pretty look.  

Other store items I used include the Studio Calico wood veneer hearts & arrows and the Holiday Stars sequins.  If you see anything in the store that you like, make sure to use code KAT10 at checkout to save 10% on your purchase!

Thanks for popping in!!

Page Protector: Becky Higgins (Design F); Patterned Paper: Doolebug Design; Alphas: American Crafts, Simple Stories; Wood Veneer: American Crafts, Studio Calico; Journaling Cards: Becky Higgins (Sunshine Edition); Label Sticker: Simple Stories; Staples: Tim Holtz; Sequins: SpiegelMom Scraps


The Studio || Color Combo Challenge

Good morning, everyone!  Happy Mother's Day to all those Moms out there!!  

There is a new challenge up at The Studio this morning - and it's a fun color combo challenge: use pink, gold and black on your project!  I was so happy about this.  E just bought the Pink Paislee Bella Rouge collection for me as an NSD present (yes, seriously, he's awesome), so I was excited to play with it:

I was also inspired by the current Sketchy Saturday at Paper Issues.  I've never played along with them before, but may have to start :)  I loved filling in all the little circles with random embellies - this layout is not really in keeping with my normal style, but it was so much fun to make that I think it may be something I do again soon!

I also used some gold doilies and the Fairy Tale sequin mix from SpiegelMom Scraps.  The gold doilies are not in stock anymore, but Jody does have some awesome white ones that I love to use!

Thanks for popping in - I hope you can play along with us at The Studio this month!!

Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Bella Rouge; Alphas: Queen & Co (Rhinestone Pink); Studio Calico (Cork); Chipboard "Beautiful", Phrase Stickers: Heidi Swapp; Puffy Hearts, Chipboard Stars, Chipboard Circles: Studio Calico; Punches: Martha Stewart, EK Success; Sequins, Doily: SpiegelMom Scraps; Enamel Dots: My Mind's Eye


Clique Kits || Playing with the Carnival Kit

Hi, all!!  I'm popping in to share two layouts that I recently made with the May kit from Clique Kits. The kit, Carnival, is full of a lot of amazing Amy Tangerine Rise & Shine goodness.  Swoon.  

The first layout I have is actually up on the blog today.  I cut apart the awesome exclusive background cut file that came with this month's kit to create a nice, flowy, circle-filled layout:

The second layout was made for the monthly challenge (you can create ANYTHING!).  I really wanted to use a lot of the fun patterns on one layout, so I came up with this:

The prize up for grabs this month is a stamp prize pack from MommyLhey Designs.  I hope you can play along with us!  And as always, if you see something that you like in the CK store, be sure to use the code KAT10 at checkout to get 10% off your order!!

Layout 1: Cardstock: Bazzill; Flair, Cut File: Clique Kits; Mist: Studio Calico; Everything else: American Crafts

Layout 2: Cardstock: Bazzill; Doily: Maya Road; Mist: Studio Calico; Everything else: American Crafts


NSD with Bella Blvd

Hey, everyone!  Are you recovering from all the NSD festivities?  I still have a lot of challenges that I hope to participate in over the next week.  I did want to pop in and share an NSD layout that I had on the Bella Blvd blog on Saturday.  We were tasked to do an "all about me" page and answer five questions about ourselves.  Here is my layout:

I LOVE the rainbow color scheme...when you make a rainbow layout, it's always going to turn out looking good.  Always.  It's science.  :o)

Thanks for popping in!!

Cardstock: Bazzill; Everything else: Bella Blvd

**Update: I am linking this to Paper Issue's current issue - my layout features a selfie!  :o) **


SpiegelMom Scraps + Southern Girls Blog Hop

Happy NSD all!  We are totally excited that you’ve joined us this weekend for this extra special blog hop.  SpiegelMom Scraps and the Southern Girls Challenge Blog owners and Design Teams have united and are aspiring to inspire YOU!  This hop has such wide variety of paper crafting styles and media being used that it’s sure to knock your socks off.   So, it’s time to grab your favorite beverage (depending on the time of day where you live), a yummy treat and get ready to click & scroll your way to some fabulous inspiration! 

Yesterday I shared my first SpeigelMom Scraps layout of the weekend for the sketch challenge.  Today, I have two more layouts to share with you.  The first one is a layout that I made using one of Jody’s card sketches.  Here is the sketch: 

Here is my layout:

Items from the SMS store:

My second layout was made for the treasure hunt challenge that was posted on Facebook yesterday.  We were supposed to use a product that we had never removed from the packaging, something gold, something cork and an office supply.

Here is my take: 

Items from the SMS store:
Black & White Skinny Chevron Washi
Cork Chevrons
Green Chevron Ribbon
Studio Calico Hearts & Arrows Wood Veneer
Chic Tags Moments Wood Veneer

And proof that my Teresa Collins brads had not been previously used (ha!):

I hope you join us for the Facebook challenges…you still have all day to play and enter to win some seriously awesome prizes!

Here’s the whole blog hop line up:

Kat Benjamin (That’s me!!)

Thanks for stopping in!!! Enjoy the hop!!

Layout 1: Cardstock: Bazzill; Wood Veneers: Studio Calico; Tags, Sequins, Doilies: SpiegelMom Scraps; Mist: Heidi Swapp

Layout 2: Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper: Studio Calico; Brads: Teresa Collins; Wood Veneer: Studio Calico, Chic Tags; Mist: Heidi Swapp; Die Cut: Bella Blvd; Washi, Paperclip, Cork Chevrons, Doilies: SpiegelMom Scraps


NSD with SpiegelMom Scraps (+ a sketch!)

Good morning, everyone!  HAPPY (INTER)NATIONAL SCRAPBOOK DAY!  Only the best day ever!  Haha!

SpeigelMom Scraps is kicking it off this morning with a new challenge - we are going to have 4 total today and you can play along for a chance to win an AWESOME prize!

The first challenge is a sketch challenge using a sketch designed by yours truly:

Here's my take on it:

I've been hoarding these Basic Grey papers for a while now and decided I should put them to use!! Here are the supplies I used from the SMS shop:

I hope you can stop by and play along with us!!!

Cardstock: Bazzill; Patterned Paper, Alphas: Basic Grey; Journaling Cards: Becky Higgins; Die Cuts, Chipboard, Mist: Heidi Swapp; Cork Hearts, Doilies, Sequins: SpiegelMom Scraps


Bella Blvd + PageMaps + NSD

Hey, everyone!!!  Today I have something a little bit fun to share - the Bella Blvd design team paired up with Becky Fleck's design team for the May issue of PageMaps!  We each got a fun sketch to work with.  Here is the sketch that I was given:

Here's what I created:

I had a ton of fun with this sketch - I kept the color scheme simple to highlight the super cute photos of little niece!

Definitely go check it out - there a lot of awesome sketches by Becky and a lot of great layouts from both teams - I'm sure you'll be inspired...and these will be great to use this weekend for any of your National Scrapbook Day festivities!

Speaking of NSD, there are a lot of great things to check out:

-Bella Blvd will be celebrating all day tomorrow on their blog and will have some awesome giveaways!

-SpiegelMom Scraps has teamed up with the Southern Girls Challenge Team to bring you a whole weekend of fun - tomorrow will feature a ton of fun challenges on Facebook and Sunday will be a combined blog hop - lots of goodies ups for grabs!!

-And finally, Clique Kits will celebrating all day Sunday with a ton of fun challenges!!

Hope you can stop by all the sites and enjoy the NSD festivities!

Layout: Cardstock: Bazzill; Everything else: Bella Blvd