For those of you that love inspiring home tours….here is my first home tour. I had the chance to visit the incredibly creative home of Facet Five Design geniuses Kara & Tim. Their house is incredible…so many cool details everywhere. It made me feel like I have a very boring home:)Kara has been featured on Apartment Therapy, Today’s Creative Blog and Domestic Ease. Hope you enjoy this beautiful tour. You can visit Kara’s website or blog for more design beauty.

Tim & Kara basically renovated every inch of their cottage home…and made just about everything you see here.

You can find tutorials for a lot of it by doing a little search on her blog

Kara, when you grow tired of this awesome light fixture feel free to pass it my way!

And in other design related news, my friend Jesse writes the blog Good Girl Gone Glad. She has majorly classy taste in home decor…something I could never achieve. She posts some of the most beautiful home decor finds and she pulls a lot of it off in her own home….with 3 little ones running around. A little while back she tagged me for a little online pass along.

To take part I am supposed to list 10 things that make me happy, then pass it on to 10 other blogs.

So here you go (I am not listing people on this…obviously they make me very happy):

1. Iced Caramel Macchiato

2. Peonies

3. Mod Podge

4. Flea Markets

5. My daughter’s first swimsuit

6. Craftivism


8. Sun tanned toes tickling the sand (aka country music about sunshine)

9. Vintage Tablecloths

10. Newly sharpened pencils

And to nominate 10 blogs I am picking the last 10 comments (according to the time I am writing this) that have blog links:

Yes! Mom

The Good Flea

A Time to Eat

The Farmer Family

Daniel Family

Let My Lifesong Sing

Penny Pickles

Amber Fischer Photography

Balancing Everything

The Rogers

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  • christina larsen - Kara’s house is amazing. I have been checking out her blog, but haven’t fully seen every room. She is super talented.

  • ashlee - this house is absolutly amazing!! I love the yellow and grey bedroom:) thanks for sharing it!

  • keely - Beautiful home!
    And thanks for tagging me. It’s been a crummy day so far, so coming up with 10 things that make me happy will be good medicine! :)

  • Casey - Gorgeous home! I am jealous of every inch of that place!

  • Kara - I LOVE the jam jar chandelier! I dream of being that creative someday!

  • Robyn Farmer - Love the mason jar fixture…I might try to make one for our patio. Thank you for tagging me, it made me feel very special.

  • Christy - I love this house, I could move right in!

  • Jill R - Really cool. The kitchen is my favorite. Also – PLEASE post pictures of baby sister is her swimsuit. I know she will be off the chart adorable!

  • dianereeves - There are so many fun elements in their home. I especially like the fireplace with the painted white and wood stained finishes. It is a nice combination.

  • ASH - love the tour, especially the jar fixtures. i saw them a couple days ago on Brookly Limestone and was really intrigued. then i saw them here and i thought to myself “wow, lots of people are doing the jar fixture!” .. and of course realized a few seconds later that it was the same house :)

  • Alison R - Thanks for the beautiful tour! So many beautiful things! I adore the jar light fixture, how amazing! Have a great day!

  • Yanet - Ok, I normally read your blog on my iPhone (in the bathroom when I can escape my three little boys) but today I HAD to come at check out the pics in your blog on my iMac (BIG screen). I love all the details in their home. From the hardwood on the ceiling to, of course, the mason jar chandelier.

  • maegan - Thanks for the tour! Stunning design- I loved it. And of course, just like everybody else, I love the jar fixture.

  • Yanet - Ashley! I just went to check out Kara’s blog and read about the concrete table coming your way. Can’t wait to see it!!!

  • Heather - that galvanized metal headboard is amazing, but then again so is the whole beautiful house! Loved the tour!!

  • JenMc - Great Pics! I love your creativity!! Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring us all. You are very talented!!

  • Jesse - Her home is fabulous! Love that corrugated metal headboard! I always love home tours.

  • julie - obsessing over the mason jar chandy.
    not good.
    I will not sleep tonight trying to figure it out.
    need. need. need.

  • D - Thanks to Kara for directing me to your blog. Looks like my daily reading list just got longer!


  • Kyla - I love the daybed with all the cushions and maps…what a beautiful home!

  • Jeannette Swan - I love checking out Kara’s blog to see all the amazing things she creates! Their house is beautiful and you took beautiful pictures. And, your house is not boring…that would be mine!

  • Sandy - This house is amazing, stunning! I want to use yellow, grey, white and browns for my basement and I am going to model it off this bedroom, LOVE IT!! Seriously, I am in awww right now!

  • Tess S. -

    i’ve seen so many bloggers home decorating ideas in the pottery barn catalougs. incredible!

Thanks for all your sweet comments on yesterday’s post. He is a pretty special little guy and I am pretty proud of him. Well I thought I’d change it up a bit and share some pictures of a baby that isn’t mine! My sweet friend just had her first baby – Hank. He is scrumptious and I had the pleasure of sneaking away from my boys to meet him and hang out with my friend for a bit. Goodness is he cute….it is impossible for me to be around a baby, without my kids and not take a few pictures. Enjoy!

I told his mom not think I am crazy when I took this one. I also told her to take his picture with this monkey again as he grows.

It cracked me up that the monkey’s head is bigger…it is not a big monkey.

The next two are very similar, I just can’t decide which one I like more. They are both so sweet, very much the same, but very different too.

Right before I left his cousin stopped by (whose mom is my college roomie and a bridesmaid in my wedding). A few brother-cousin shots.

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  • Jill R - Congratulations!! Such a handsome little guy. Great pictures.

  • Meredith - Oh Ashley! There are no words for me to use to say thank-you enough. These pictures are wonderful and I am crying as I look at my precious baby. You are truly an artist and I so appreciate you sharing your talent with Hank and me! All my love – Meredith

  • Courtney Connelly - Truly wonderful pictures and so very special! ‘Thank you’ just is not adequate, but THANK YOU a million times over.

  • annie - The bw of mom kissing hank is priceless – I have one like that of each of my babies and I cherish it now that their bigger. What a lucky friend!

  • ashlee - Oh my word that baby is precious! So the decor in that room is amazing! I love, love that Joel Dewberry fabric with the sparrows. You are such a talented photographer!!

  • Rachel - Meredith — I love the ones with the two of you. They tell such a story of your love. I also love the one of cousin looking over the bed at little Hank. Beautiful family. Beautiful pictures.

  • Jenna - LOVE these and LOVE his nursery! Maybe Hank’s mommy could provide a little DIY for the piece hanging on the wall with his initials! :)

  • christina larsen - Babies are wonderful. He is beautiful!

  • Robyn Farmer - I like the shot where she is kissing him. So sweet.

  • keely - Meredith was my roomie in college! :)
    These are beautiful! What a handsome fella.

  • anne c - I am sure it helps for the babies to be absolutely adorable when taking pictures, but I think you could take a picture of something not so cute…say a dirty trash can…and I would still like it. hahahaha

  • Erin - Such a sweet boy. Can’t wait to see him in person! Love that cousin is there too

  • Carrie - You are so talented!!!!

  • Flea - He’s the most adorable baby ever. And I like the first of the two mommy kissing baby photos.

    Thanks so much for the woodburning lesson at the Christmas event. I just stepped up to the next level with a cup and detachable pens. Woodburning ROCKS.

  • Margie - These pictures are making me want to have another baby! So adorable! I just read your post ‘Meet Baby Sister’ (which also made me want to have another baby) and saw her name, so beautiful and such a coincidence… son’s name is Finley Daniel. LOVE IT!

  • Jenn G. - Meredith – He is so beautiful, and the pics are amazing… Congratulations!!!

  • Melissa - When I saw these precious pics, I wanted to take the opportunity to show Lily & talk about her upcoming baby brother. She actually leaned forward and kissed my computer screen when she saw the sweet pic of his mommy kissing him! Then when I went to post this comment, she did her “baby” sign and “more” sign because she wanted to see them again! Amazing job Ashley!

  • Tammi Ledbetter - Fabulous photographs. Talented photographer. Proud mama. I recognize the “Fields” in the cute young cousin and anticipate hearing a high pitched squeal that will remind me of another Fields baby.

  • Shauna - After reading the Haiti post about the hat, and then looking at these beautiful pictures, I need to go find the kleenex! Thank you for sharing.

  • Lydia Miller - These are absolutely wonderful!!!!! Meredith, you are such a beautiful mother. Hank is the perfect little bundle!!!!! Makes me want mine to get here soon!! 😉 I love these!!! Ashley, you did an awesome job! I especially love the ones with Elliot too!

  • Betsy - So very special to see pictures of Meredith and Hank! They are wonderful!!!

  • whitney freeman - so beautiful! I can’t wait to meet this little guy! I love how you capture these amazing moments!

  • Jaimie - so, sooooooooooo precious. need another baby. now. : )

  • Michelle - Beautiful pics! Meredith – those are so precious of you and Hank! Congrats on your precious baby!!!

  • Jeannette Swan - You forgot the flashing red warning to try to keep me from looking…remember makes me want a baby!! The pictures are absolutely precious!

  • Jesse - What a beautiful baby.

  • Alba - when I see the skin, the mouth, these features, I want to have another one. Normally I think that I’m done, but whenever I see or touch a tinny little baby my hormones start to shake once again.

  • Brooke - Love the funky wood painting/art. Really fun pictures. Do babies bottoms ever get old? so cute!!

  • Crystal - Those last 2 are precious!

  • Marsue - Thank you so much for taking these pictures. They are beautiful and will be treasured always. Those two boys are precious and I am very blessed to be their grandmother!!

When Chris travels the hardest part for me is being the one to stay and not the one to go. His trip to Haiti was no exception – I wanted to go. Since ‘going’ wasn’t the option I had, I wanted to make the most of the opportunity with my kids in regards to them feeling a part of the trip. We have talked daily with the oldest two about what has happened in Haiti and what continues to happen. They have seen pictures. They have heard stories. They wanted to do something too. Since Chris didn’t have much room in his bags to take anything other than medical supplies we had to keep our items small and few. The boys wanted kids in Haiti to be able to color and draw….which I think is also a wonderful way for children to cope amid devastation. So we made little notebooks with crayons attached. Here’s how we did it:

Our supplies – notebooks, crayons, scrapbooking paper, glue stick, 1/4 inch elastic

Step 1: Cover the front of the notebooks. You could leave them as is, but I wouldn’t ever do that for a gift here so I wasn’t about to do it for a gift to be sent….I wanted them to be cute!

Step 2: The boys colored and wrote notes on the first page of each notebook. Biggest Brother wrote, “I love you.” on all of his.

Step 3: Make an elastic band to wrap around the notebook. I cut 2 pieces of elastic (one shorter, one longer). On the longer piece I marked it with a pencil every 1/2 inch, on the shorter piece I marked it every 3/4 inch. Then I sewed the elastic together at the marked spots (shorter piece on top). Finally I sewed the ends of the long piece – forming a band. I know that is not very technical, but I winged it and this is about as good as my instructions can get. Just play with your’s until it fits right!

Step 4: Slide in your crayons. The boys did this and picked what colors to go with each notebook.

Since ours were going to Haiti we wrapped each one in a plastic baggie. The rainy season will soon hit Haiti, hopefully these will help the kids keep their notebooks dry.  I also chose crayons since they don’t have to be sharpened and unlike markers they won’t grow dry.

About a week before Chris left Biggest Brother came home with a 100 Day hat from school. I guess each day of school they put a sticker on their hat, then on the 100th day of school they had a big party. Biggest Brother told me not to throw it away (b/c I throw everything away) and that he wanted to keep it forever. Well the day before Chris left Biggest Brother came to me and said, “Mommy I want daddy to take my hat to Haiti to give it to a boy there. I think that would make another boy really happy.” So the hat went to Haiti….and I cried seeing this picture.

When Chris first posted it on his Twitter I called Biggest Brother to come see it. I thought he’d get real excited about it, but he just stood staring at the computer. Then after about 45 seconds he got a sheepish grin and said, “Mommy, it feels really good to give stuff away.”

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  • Melissa - Tears are in my eyes as I read this – You have a very very special little boy. Thank you for taking the time and making those notebooks for the children. Thank you for treating them the same way as you would treat a child here in the states. And thank you for teaching your children about giving.

  • Alba - now, I am the one who is crying. Biggest Brother is a fantastic kid!

  • ashlee - your kids are so amazing! you should be a proud mama:)

  • Samantha - Ashley, I love it. I love it all. I love how you are teaching and molding your children’s hearts to love the people and things that God loves. Amazing!

  • tiny twig - this post gives me goosebumps.

  • Lindsay Thomas - That is so sweet. What a great little man!

  • Jamie - oh Ashley….you seriously are creating an amazing foundation of love, giving and compassion for your children. I was incredibly moved by this post. Just a wonderful, beautiful example of what God asks of us. And for our little ones to really understand and “get it”….well, that is so amazing…..(and sometimes so hard to teach)….you are doing such Godly work, and we are all blessed by the fact that you are sharing this with us….SO INSPIRING….THANK YOU! Don’t stop! xo Jamie

  • annalea - well put biggest brother. (and a fun gift idea.)

  • Linda - I know it was last week when we were supposed to tell you our favorite post, but this is IT! BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  • Rachel - Wow. That is powerful. I agree with biggest brother….There is nothing better than giving something away.

  • Robyn Farmer - Your blog blesses me.

  • Trinity - Ashley, yes I am crying too looking at that picture! Our girls have been able to give things to the shelter we got our oldest from. You inspire me to use all things to teach life lessons. And by the way…can we talk arrranged marriage? HA! On a creepy note, I had a wierd dream last night and baby sister sang opera! It was quite a sight to see such a little girl with a big voice!

  • Jill R - This post has totally messed up the makeup I just put on. 😉 What a wonderful young man biggest brother is growing to be – good job parents!

  • Kirsten - Sniffle sniffle. What a wonderful idea…and wonderful pictures. Since I never comment, please let me tell you how much I love your blog…the pictures, the inspiring crafty ideas, and the way you use your gifts to bless your family and the world. Thank you!

  • christina larsen - Awesome, Those are a great idea!

  • robyn - what amazing spirit your children have… i hope i can instill the same in mine. beautiful story!

  • bopha - wow, i love it. you have done such a good job at making sure your boys have huge hearts for others.

  • Ari - Love it!!!

  • Kinzie Sue - What a sweet little guy! It’s great for him to have great experiences like that while he’s young, and pictures to help him remember the great feeling love and service can bring. Thanks for this sweet and inspirational post!

  • Rachel - Wow! So amazing!

  • Jodi - Totally crying from this! It is just too sweet for words. So amazing and so inspirational!

  • Kara P - Ashley, you are an amazing mother and your children are definitely going to/already are making a big difference in the world!!!! WAY TO GO!!

  • Dick - What an amazing family.God bless each of you.

  • amanda torres - The hat story is just awesome, awesome, awesome!

  • .amanda. - that really brought tears to my eyes as well! sigh. quite lovely.

  • Lori Danelle - I’ve got tears in my eyes. . .

    I hope my own girls learn that lesson early and well.

  • Meagan - OH MY GOODNESS! How wonderful, Ashley! It must make you so proud that your children show such compassion and love for others! You are obviously setting a great example for them! Just precious!

  • Meredith - Biggest Brother is going to be a fine man! What a great story!

  • Susanne - You had me at the crayon notebooks… the 100 day hat pushed me over the edge… I’m officially in tears and in awe of you and your family

  • Margie - Amazing! What a wonderful thing to do for the children! Isn’t it heart warming as a mother when your own children show compassion for others?! Those crayons and coloring books will bring a little ray of sunshine for all of the kids who received them.

  • kristen - wow, thank you. i’m all teary eyed and i don’t do that!

  • Jill - What a wonderful post, inspiring! Thank you. :)

  • Abby - OH!!
    This post is so inspiring you are definately kicking my butt into being a better person!!
    I love the elastic on these notebooks such a great idea!!

  • jade - just beautiful ashley. all of it.

  • Stacy - Thanks for posting that! That is definetely a top 10 post. What a special little boy you have!

  • sharstin miller - Wow–that is amazing! what a great post–so sweet and inspirational!

  • julie - every single thing about this post is so beautiful. encouraging, beautiful.
    thank you.

  • kelly - Oh my goodness. It doesn’t get sweeter, cuter, more creative or inspiring this this. Quite possibly my favorite post ever.

  • Shannon - Wow! What an emotional post. Seeing the excitement on that little boys face with that 100 day hat. Got me to crying that’s for sure.

  • candace - What a wonderful boy you have! This project is too cute – how thoughtful too. Where in PAP did your husband stay? Mine was at Sacred Heart hospital. The pictures are amazing and heart-wrenching all at the same time.

  • Jaimie - This is probably the sweetest post in the entire world. The entire world, seriously.

  • Balancing Everything - […] at these sweet crayon & notebook sets Ashley Ann made with her kids and sent to Haiti, and how adorable is her son? ← celebrate […]

  • Yanet - That is a great idea. I love the way you and Chris involve the kids in all of your charity. And how lovely Chris took pics of the kids with the things your boys made so they “get it”!! Really, Ashley Ann, you inspire me to be a better mom/person.

  • Amber - You are an excellent mom to raise such good-hearted children. I hope to teach Avery lessons like this…lessons that really matter. :)

  • patti - so awesome! I’m really proud of my 5 year old who came to me the other day with a little toy purse full of coins and she said “mama, I’m saving all this money for kids in Haiti. Can you mail it to them?” I had no idea she was doing this…and I get teary every time I think about it. We told her about the devastation there and she immediately asked if we could send some of her toys to help. It warms my heart to know this is how she thinks at such a young age.

  • susie whyte - what a sweet little guy. i love seeing all of the pics of chris, ashley. he was such an exceptional guy in high school and to get to see from a distance the extraordinary person he has become since then is such an amazing thing. thanks!

  • amber fischer - What an inspiration! So cool to see God using children to do His work and bless other children. ( :

  • rachel denbow - I want to cry, too. Such a sweet family you have. And I love how you are teaching them to be empathetic and proactive in these small but grand ways.

  • Kärt - Thank you Ashley, this just made my day shine brighter (and I thought it wouldn’t happen, because the sun makes the snow sparkle here in Estonia). You have amazing children and should be very proud – I for one hope that some day I can raise such giving and thoughtful kids of my own.

  • valerie - First of all-how awesome of your family. What an example you are to the rest of us!! God bless your hubbie and you guys while he is serving over there.

    Second- what a cute idea! I love the built in crayon organizer. So perfect for roadtrips or little hands. I am filing your fab idea at

    Thank you!

  • ten on tuesday » Amber Fischer Photography - […] i think this is one of the sweetest, most inspiring posts i’ve read in awhile. (not to mention she is a wonderful photographer, so there are lots of […]

  • emily anderson - what a sweet picture of the little boy in haiti…made my heart melt.
    thanks for sharing.

  • Becca - Those gifts are such a cute and great idea! And the pictures of the hat and your son’s story made me cry! Love those little joys of mommy-hood! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer Ross - This is so special. I am choked up just thinking about how giving he is. Child-like faith comes to mind. Such a special gift from God!

  • Jessica/littlepumpkingrace - I’m such a teary mess now :) I love the notebooks! You are doing such a fine job teaching your boys about helping others in need. I love that he gave his prized hat away – the grin on the little boy in Haiti says it all! God bless your family.

  • Emily - I have been looking at your blog for a few months and I love it for so many reasons. You’re creative, fun, talented…and your little girl is the same age as mine and I love to look at your pictures of her. Anyway, I usually don’t comment, but I couldn’t resist this time, this post is just incredible. I love it!

  • Brooke - Straight from the mouth of babes….seriously. That is the message that cant’ be taught with words. It can be taught with actions. How neat that your boy got to experience the way it feels to give sacrificially. Because for him, that was a sacrifice. It was something he loved.
    So happy that you had that moment.

  • Michelle - Ah that is so precious about the hat! Made me cry too! I love the idea of the notebooks and how you pull your kids into doing these projects and teaching them about it. So awesome!

  • Jeannette Swan - This made me cry – how sweet are those kids of yours, not to mention you and your husband!! And, how amazing you guys got such an awesome pic of the hat being worn by that sweet child.

  • Telise Ensey - This might me the best blog post I’ve ever read (and I’ve stalked a lot)…and its my first comment ever. Had to be moved to it I guess. My boys will be better people because I have been inspired by your mothering.

  • Heidi - What a sweet little boy you have. He is very special. And wise beyond his years.

  • Vane - Loved your story! It made me cry!!!
    Great spirit and great kids!!

  • stephanie - that is amazing. You and your family inspires us to try and do a little more for others who are less fortunate. Thank you for the inspiration.

  • pam - wow…speechless. an amazing story. xo

  • JoAnn - God bless you and your family. What a wonderful inspiration you are and your children are a true reflection of your efforts.

  • Lindsey - Um…. I am speechless. I stumbled upon your blog late last night and I haven’t stopped thinking about how much creativity and inspiration is out there and only a keystroke away. Your gifts you made were so thoughtful and the way you capture each moment with your camera is beautiful and uplifting. I love the 100 day hat (I must start that at our school) and the smile on that little boys face, oh my gosh (tears streaming down face). You are an amazing mother, raising some amazing kids!

    Thank you for inspiring me to give back.

  • Ruth - Ashley, Faith Comes By Hearing–the org. that makes the Proclaimer, is located here, and my closest friends all work there. I’m going to send them the link to your pics. I’m sure they will be pleased to see the Proclaimer in action.

  • Meridith - This is so wonderful! I came over from the link on Balancing Everything, and I’m so glad I did. Cute project, and cute story!

  • emily - not sure if i am over-emotional today, but i just burst into tears reading this post.

  • Jules - Adorable and giving… your son’s 100 day hat giveaway is very touching and inspiring!

  • Learning Lessons « Under Development - […] I started on my crayon pocket notebooks for Robert that I found here.  Here are my supplies before […]

  • Marisa Balletti - This is my first time visiting your blog, and I am so amazed by your creativitiy. Then I came across this amazing post and am equally amazind by the wonderful hearts youa nd your family have. The project is brilliant and the look in that little boys face with the hat and the crayons is priceless. What a beautiful thing, and I agree with all the other posts, inspiring. Thank you!

  • shelly kennedy - i am so thrilled to have found you!
    i love your style… and zest!
    ( I found you thru sarah jane)

    my sister-in-law has 3 boys, and a new baby girl,
    and is a photographer! I couldn’t send your link over to her fast enough!

    also…my daughter (12 yrs old) has an effort for giving crayons to kids in under developed areas… check it out!

    i sooo look forward to following you!

    shelly kennedy
    drooz studio inc

  • Stacey - What a lovely post filled with great pictures and a lot of heart! My husband and daughter were packing for a mission trip to Haiti when the earthquake hit. They were a mere 16 hours from touching down in Port-au-Prince. They were to work with New Missions and pass out shoe box gifts. Our prayer is that sometime in the next year they will be able to make that trip!

    Love your blog. Your photos are so engaging!

  • Jen - WOW! That is so sweet, I love the notebook idea. I think I found my Kindergarten send off gift for this year’s kindergarten class.

  • Heloisa - Olá…não sou muito boa com o inglês, mas não podia deixar de comentar!!

    Vim ao seu blog atras da luminaria que você fez com o porta revista dai me encantei..

    Mas chegando até este post, me senti tão feliz…em saber que tem gente que pensa nas alegrias e nas necessidades das pessoas.

    Confesso que estou em lágrimas aqui pela beleza de gesto…e principalmente pela doçura do gesto.

    Parabens pela magnifica educação que voces estão proporcionando aos seus filhos..

    Dá uma vontade de gritar bem alto o que vi aqui nessas fotos..

    Estou orgulhosa mesmo de saber que ainda tem amor no coração dos humanos. Orgulhosa de vocês!!



  • Telma Linhares - Adoro passar por aqui… Você é Maravilhosa.
    Um exemplo pra mim.
    Sinto não saber escrever ou falar em ingles, masi lei tudo aqui através do tradutor…
    Você me faz ficar mais feliz.

  • 030810: Part 4 « It’s all about you… - […] this looks like a good idea for the notebook. Also to be in their party pack. Without the crayon […]

  • Parenting & Crafty Links: fyi@iyk | ImpressYourKids - […] DIY Notebooks & Crayons…to Haiti with love from Ashley Ann photography {super wow.} […]

  • Eos Mom - Awesome, awesome, awesome!

    Great gift idea, great donation idea, I love that your son sent his hat and that you have a pic of its recipient. Way to go!!!

  • Janna @ Mommy's Piggy TALES - Record YOUR Youth - I could stare at your photography all day! Especially knowing the touching story about the hat.

  • Bron @ Baby Space - Hi Ashley, I’ve done a post about this inspiring post of yours over on my blog: Baby Space – c’mon check it out! Fantastic idea about making and giving – I love it.

  • Lizzy Reiber - Your photo at the end made me cry like a lil baby. *sigh* Thanks for the reminder that doing a little goes a long way!

  • Pau - I just discovered your blog and this post really brought tears to my eyes…
    beautiful idea!! I love to read that many cried as well.. it goes to show that we are more connected than we like to think sometimes with people or situations completely separate from our daily lives…
    compassion will change the world!!

  • Trysha - Just going through your DIY archives (Hey, Summer is coming and I’ve got 3 boys to entertain, haha) and this totally made me tear up.

    Awesome project for keeping in your purse as emergency entertainment.

  • DIY Notebooks and Crayons - […] Love these notebooks with crayons always handy. […]

  • Jenna - This is the most AMAZING idea i have ever come across. I will most definitely be doing this soon. Perhaps I can contact somewhere that has information where I can send a box of these lovely gifts to places that have been hit with devastation recently.

    I am a soon to be art teacher and this touches my heart.

    I had tears come to my eyes while reading this and seeing biggest brother with his hat and then his new friend with the hat on. I just got finished watching Obama give a speech about the death of Bin Laden and tonight has just been full of happy tears!

    xo Jen

  • Sara - I LOVE this post! I thought about making a comment to say what a great idea the notebooks were, but when I saw the hat, that solidified it. Your blog is absolutely fantastic.

  • Trucks and Bugs and Shades of Blue… - […] You can find out how to make these fun little notebooks yourself over at  Under the Sycamore. […]

  • Crystal & Co - This would make an excellent birthday party favor!

  • Our Staycation: The “Car Trip” - […] Crayon Notepads: We took along these party favors that we’d made for our little man’s 1st birthday party! You can find out how to make these fun little notebooks yourself over at Under the Sycamore. […]

  • Annie K - My husband is a missionary and goes to Haiti several times a year. I am TOTALLY getting a TON of these when school supplies get cheap, and sending them with him! What a GREAT idea!!

  • Mandy - Thanks for sharing! Such a great concept for him to understand already! Hope to find some opportunities to introduce more giving to my kiddos soon!

  • Kassandra @ Coffee and their Kisses - This is beautiful idea and a beautiful story. It brought tears to me eyes.

  • {kaleyann photography} Second Birthday Party - […] together with a little elastic.  I got the idea for the coloring books from one of favorite blogs, Under The Sycamore, and I knew that I wanted part of the gift to be something that Avery took part in.  She loves […]

  • Diane - Hi There,
    I love your idea. Very creative. I just returned from Liberia and I had introduced Montessori to the children and teachers. I bought some items that they may incorporate into the work. I had to remember that I was there to suggest and give ideas not change their culture. But I love those kids. I gave Crayola colors as well, I wish I would have thought about what you do. Great example.
    Love it

  • Tiffany - Just saw this post, and it brought tears to my eyes! Such a sweet family! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kristine - I just wanted to say the picture of the little boy wearing your sons hat brought tears of joy to my eyes. Haiti has a very special place in my heart, since two of my nephews were both adopted from Haiti. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Sarah - Tears in my eyes! I went on a missionary internship to the Dominican Republic
    last summer for four weeks, I know the feelings! SO awesome! I can’t wait to make these to take with me next time i go to the DR.. The kids will love th em! Hank you! God bless!


  • Pinterest Love: Party Favors | Sweet Rose Studio - […] Notebook and Crayons from Ashley Ann Photography […]

  • Tricia @ SweeterThanSweets - I love the sentiment of this post!

    I featured it on my blog today:
    Food and Games To-Go (Road Trips with Little Ones)

    Feel free to promote to your friends and fans, too!

  • Nike@ChooseToThrive - I love this on some many levels! Wonderful project, wonderful outreach, wonderful pictures!

  • A New Box of Crayons | From My Window - […] made a batch of these cute crayon-holder notebooks (gotta look at these pictures, since I didn’t take any of mine) to put into future kid […]

  • Mardi Andrews - God bless you and your husband. Haiti is dear to my heart and I fell on your blog from a photo on pinterest. What a precious gift you and your kids prepared and sent. Thank you for loving the Haitian people like I do.

  • Bella - I just wanted to say thanks for this fabulous idea. I made some of these for my cousin’s son for a Christmas present and I know he will just love them. I linked back to you in my blog post on how to do them. Just wanted to thank you for the idea and tell you how easy your tutorial was to follow. :)

  • 12 days of christmas: budget friendly ideas | A Life in Balance - […] Valentine Gifts for School and Making Valentines for Preschool Room Mom 101 – lots of ideas for all the holidays and everything in between Martha Stewart’s Christmas Workshop Reindeer Noses DIY Notebooks […]

  • Tutorial Tuesday: Favors » Lavender Lime Designs » Designs for the special occasions in your life - […] | SOURCE | Posted in Tutorial Tuesday Tagged as crafts, diy, favors, learn, mustache, scrabble, tutorials, tuts […]

  • stacy - Came to the site to see the notebooks but was inspired to do more in life. thank you!

  • Cute Valentine Gifts From Mud Pie Studio | - […] above the rest. Source 57. Notepad and/or Crayons = Valentine, you’re “write” on! Source   58. Mints = Valentine, we were “mint” to be. (Andes mints, peppermints, etc.) Source […]

  • Star Wars Printables, Harry Potter Birthday Ideas, Lego Party Games | Diva Entertains Blog - […] I did a search for “art party” favors, I found this wonderful post, from Under the Sycamore, about DIY notebooks and crayons.  These items were actually made and sent to children in Haiti.  You’ll have to click […]

  • Rainbows on my mind…. | A Multifarious Me - […] via Tanya on […]

  • B.Callaway - What an awesome idea. Our church took a mission trip to Haiti in 2010. From that trip 3 families in our church have, and are still in the process of adopting. My new nephew was the first to come home, and we are awaiting the celebrations of welcoming the other two home. Haiti has not only impacted our church, but has grown to several families in our are waiting to welcome home new family members. Each time one family goes to visit, we all try to think of small useful things to send, and your crayon notebooks are awesome. I think the siblings that are awaiting their brother/sister would absolutely love to make some of these up to send! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Sara R - Hi, This is the only post of yours I’ve read so far. I saw your little notebook idea on Pinterest and clicked on over. I love this idea and I love how you incorporated your children into the project. I’ve been trying to think of good ways to help model and include my girls in serving others. My girls have some of these same notebooks (nowhere near as cute though!) so this activity would be a good way for them to identify with other children. Make it a bit more personal I guess is what I’m trying to say.

    What a precious moment with your son as well. Inspires and reminds me to be more diligent in praying for tender hearts in my little ones.

  • shelley - What an inspiring story. The giving away of the 100th day hat especially touched me as I am a teacher and I know how proud my students were whenever they made something!
    your notebook idea is great- we are using it for our goodie bags at my sons bday- thanks so much!

  • Tasha - This is such a cute idea! <3

  • Lynn C - This story gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. My boys are both under two, but I sincerely hope that I raise them to one day be as giving and caring of others as you have raised your boys to me. You should be one proud Momma, you are obviously doing an amazing job raising your little ones!!

  • Jessica - Ok, I just came here because I had repinned this on Pinterest & wanted to see how to read the notebooks but after reading the story I feel so touched. What a wonderful, loving thing for you & your sweet little ones to do. When we make these I’ll definitely be thinking of this story as well as the hundred day hat. :)

  • Best DIY Kids' Birthday Party Favor Ideas – iVillage | Birthday Party Ideas - […] on!Take creativity on-the-road with this great idea from the Under the Sycamore. Use glue sticks to cover mini notebooks with printed paper and wrap elastic around the book to […]

  • Carla - I love this! Awesome idea – awesome story!

  • Justina - What a great idea!!! And such sweet memories!


  • Jennifer - Thank you for this amazing story. My girlfriends and I just got together and made a huge stack for our town’s emergency kids shelter. God Bless!

  • An “Art” Party | My Beautiful MessAn "Art" Party - My Beautiful Mess - […] dollar store notepads. Tutorial (blog-Under the […]

  • {Inspirational Monday} Novedades para souvenirs. - […] Kit de anotadores y crayones para los mas peques, Under the Sycamore (Incluye un […]

  • Top 3 Birthday Party favor ideas for toddlers | - […] Crayon and notepad party favors. This super cute idea and image comes from Under the Sycamore. I am thinking Halloween notebooks, or including some Halloween stickers […]

  • Michelle Clark - What a great idea! Our church group is making care packages for the homeless, I’m thinking these would be great for the children’s packages. Thank you!

  • 7 Unique Party Favor Ideas - […] ones take home a pretty mug and assorted herbal teas. The adorable traveling art set below from the Under the Sycamore blog is a perfect favor for a party that celebrates your child’s love of creative things. And […]