Recent Projects

I am Brave and Beautiful: Book About Me

Monday, September 29, 2014

I am Brave and Beautiful - a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without makeup and I joined in!! Colbie's song says, "Take your makeup off. Let your hair down... Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you... "

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful!

You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don't need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag - #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat's attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

Victoria ObSEUSSed faceVictoria obSEUSSed Brave14

I once went five weeks without a shower, only bathing in the river, during a mountain hiking trip. It was so freeing to not worry about looking in a mirror or wearing any makeup. Mother Nature helped me learn to appreciate my natural beauty. 

hikeriver2 obSEUSSed c
Because of that hiking trip, I still don’t wear much makeup. When I do, I normally try to cover my freckles and hide my Harry Potter-style scar (look at the right of my forehead in the photo above if enlarged).  I used to wear colored contacts but have realized I love the natural color of my eyes that change from silver to gray, to teal green depending on what I’m wearing.

I love the song Freckles, by Natasha Beddingfield, (hear it on YouTube).  The lyrics are amazing:
“Cause a face without freckles is like a sky without the stars
Why waste a second not loving who you are?
Those little imperfections make you beautiful, lovable, valuable,  They show your personality inside your heart, Reflecting who you are."

I've realized my makeup and physical body do not change my spirit inside. I've had Ankylosing Spondylitis for 19 years. It is a type of arthritis that fuses my joints together. There have been many painful days where I couldn't get out of bed, lift my legs into the tub, walk up my stairs or lift my baby out of his crib. Needless to say, I have not been able to exercise as much as I want to because exercising causes extreme, debilitating pain- so I choose to be over weight.  I've accepted that it is more important for me to be able to take care of my family and physically move every day instead of being thin and having horrible flare-up pain from exercising. It makes me appreciate the better days and it has made me realize having good health and keeping a good attitude is much more important than looking good to the world.

I  also believe strongly in these words by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

You can copy or save this image to print. It isn't showing up well on my phone but should print fine.

I also want my children to grow up with good self-esteem and recognize their natural beauty and REAL self. I found a copy of My Book about Me by Dr. Seuss and Roy McKie. I can’t wait to give one to each of my children to fill out so they can start to recognize their strength and beauty. A blank journal would be great too.
Click the book for more info. (Affiliate link)


share your natrual beauty -

Don't stop here. Get clicking around - its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.
women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup
women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful
women from around the world share their face with no makeup on -
Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful
Natural beauty untouched photos
raw natural beauty - join the movement
beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup -
#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and
@Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!
Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

Dinosaurs, Geocaching, Craft and Books

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My kids love their dinosaur books. We have a whole book bin full of just dinosaur books.  I like reading the picture books with them and my older son loves exploring the non-fiction encyclopedia style books to learn all their scientific names and facts.
We recently visited Dinosaur Land (otherwise known as Vernal, Utah). It was a perfect time to pull out the books and do a simple dinosaur craft.
IMG_5947 Dinosaur Pencil Craft
We saw this idea at the Natural History Museum in Vernal.  They had one to use at the front desk so my kids asked to make our own at home. 
We made these dinosaur pencils quickly by wrapping a rubber band around the tiny toy dinosaurs.  This was easy enough for my kids to do by themselves. They tried to find matching color rubber bands and pencils. This herd of dinosaurs looks really cool in our homework caddy.  I love that the kids can still take the toys off to play with.
Dinosar Pencil Craft_obSEUSSed_a 
Try making some of your own. Just grab a bag of toy dinosaurs, some rubber bands and pencils and band them together.
Dinosar Pencil Craft_obSEUSSed_b
Here are a few Dinosaur books my kids like.
(*Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you purchase items from the links below I receive a small percentage of the sale. I always recommend finding books at your library to check them out, then if you’d like to buy them, Amazon is one option. I appreciate any purchases through these links.)

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is one my daughter brought home from her school library. It is a fun version by Mo Willems. He is one of our favorite authors lately.  And another vintage favorite from my childhood is Danny and the Dinosuar by Syd Hoff.
Our family has been Geocaching for the past year.  We found a few in Dinosaur Land (Vernal, Utah).  The Utah Field House of Natural History Museum had one of our favorite Geocaches we’ve ever found.  The coordinates led us to a series of clues we needed to find in each exhibit then we took the answers to the front desk for a final clue leading us to the treasure box cache filled with fun Utah souvenirs.
Geocaching Books
My daughter loves the Box Car Children series and #131, The Box that Watch Found, is about them finding a geocache and joining a geocache club then solving the mystery of disappearing geocaches.  Ben and the Geocache Treasure is a great picture book to introduce younger kids to geocaching.
There is an official Geocaching app for phones that will help you locate geocaches around town, but for hiking we decided to get an official satellite based GPS (hand held, not for car dashes) that can be used in areas without phone service.  We plugged it into our computer and downloaded a list of caches from  We purchased this Magellan GPS from Amazon. 
Remember to take little prizes or tokens to trade if the geocache has items for that.  We like to leave little Dr. Seuss prizes (erasers, ornaments, pencils and more).  We will share more of our geocaching adventures in the future.
Do any of you geocache or have kids who love dinosaurs?

Family Read-Aloud Books Summer Bucket List

Monday, June 9, 2014

Our family always has a read-aloud book in the works throughout the year but we have a bucket list we’d like to finish during the summer.

My criteria for choosing a family read-aloud:
  1. The book needs to be fun to read aloud (plenty of visual details, dialogue and action).
  2. The book needs to be of interest and age appropriate to my children.
  3. The book should be related to an activity we are already doing, or we should plan an activity related to the book to explore it more.
  4. Is this a book my children can help take turns reading aloud?
  5. If there is a movie adaptation, we can watch the movie when we finish the book.
Here are the books we will be working on reading aloud as a family this summer.
A HATFUL OF SEUSS, Five Favorite Dr. Seuss Stories
These take a little longer to read than his shorter books but can still be finished in one sitting. Perfect for the younger kids in the family but fun for older children as well.  We can go to the zoo when we read “If I Ran the Zoo.”
HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling
We have finally introduced our children to the magical world of Harry Potter over the past two weeks.  It was a little dark and crazy at the end but overall the magical world captured their attention and they kept asking to read more. Even our three year old picked up on the magic wands and found one on our walk through the park.  They also liked watching the movie after we finished.
This week we started reading THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD, by Lynne Banks.
My kids already want to build a long house in our backyard (not a teepee, if you’ve read the book you might remember why). I’ve kept the movie on video all these years just to show my kids once we read the book.
Next up is Mary Poppins Comes Back, by P. L. Travers
I have been collecting this beautiful hard-back set of Mary Poppins books and we are ready to read Mary Poppins Comes Back in preparation to see the play at our local theater this summer.  This is a great way to get the kids prepped and ready to see the show. The books are more like the theater production than the Disney movie.  You really get to know Mary Poppins’ mysterious character much better through the books.
These are Roald Dahl classics. Then we can watch the movie and take a tour of our local candy factory to go along with our reading experience.  We also enjoyed James and the Giant Peach and The Fantastic Mr. Fox as a family and watched the movies after we finished to compare them. My daughter is reading The Witches as part of her school book club for the summer (and she also loved Matilda).
The entire Roald Dahl collection would be a great set to work through as a family.
We also plan to read FARMER BOY, by Laura Ingles Wilder
We enjoy reading the Little House series together at our little family cabin. We like to call it our  ‘little house in the big woods’.  I think my 8-year-old son will love Farmer Boy.
obSEUSSed Cabin Reading Little House in Big Woods
At-A-Glance, Our Family Summer Reading List:
  • Harry Potter
  • The Indian in the Cupboard
  • Mary Poppins Comes Back (Mary Poppins series)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Farmer Boy (keep working on the Little House Series)
As an Amazon Affiliate, I  make a small portion of sales made through this link but you can always look for books at your local library then decide if you want to purchase books to add to your collection.
Here are some more books on our family list for the future:
  • Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) I started it with my daughter a last year but want to keep going.
  • Bud Not Buddy (Christopher Paul Curtis)
  • Fablehaven series (Brandon Mull)
  • Chronicles of Narnia series (C.S. Lewis)
  • Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Sachar & Brinckloe)
  • The Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum)
  • Days “at the Castle” series (Jessica Day George) My daughter has been reading them.
  • The Candy Makers (Wendy Mass)
  • 39 Clues series  (Rick Riordan)
  • Percy Jackson series (Rick Riordan)
  • Swiss Family Robinson (Johann Wyss)

Baby Photos Turned into Flipbook Keepsake

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My kids are getting older but I’ve been going through their baby photos lately and just completed a memorable photo keepsake for them.

j baby weeks cover or first

We took weekly photos of all three of our babies during their first year. We tried to do it on the same background with the same stuffed animal to compare for size.

We started this tradition 10 years ago with my daughter.  My husband mentioned, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could turn these pictures into a flipbook so we can see them all together?”  Back then, we had just started using our first digital camera and didn’t know of any resources to create a flipbook so it never happened.

What is a flipbook?
Remember those things from years ago that you flip through still photos that make it look like a cartoon moving picture? Kids and grown-ups love to flip it over and over.
Look how cute this flipbook is?

A few months ago, I saw a flipbook video on Instagram by @videotoflipbook and I immediately contacted them to see if they could help me turn my baby photos into a flip book. They normally take 15 second videos from Instagram and turn them into these fun flip books. Check out their IG feed for examples.

Since they normally turn a video into a flipbook, they sent me a special link to upload up to 60 still pics per project.  I uploaded them and they did the rest of the work creating a book.  It has a glossy print front and back cover (they can design that for you) and a little dust jacket holder, perfect for storage. It is about 2 inches tall by 3.5 inches wide. The inside photos are printed on a thinner copy paper which is easier to flip. It is all attached using a huge staple.  It came from Canada so it took about 1 week.

They gave me a discount on my books and free shipping to try them out and share my videos.  Right now their books are only $9.95 and free shipping until June 15, 2014. Such a great deal!  You can turn any short video into a flip book.

I’m already thinking these would be perfect for my son’s Lego stop-motion videos.

Our kids have loved flipping through them.  My three-year-old can even do it by himself. They are the perfect way to preserve our traditional weekly baby photos.  See our other two kids below.

My daughter had to have Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat as her side toy.

I purposely did my last son's in black and white because his background was very plain and I think it makes it more consistent to watch then I added a few pops of color.

  Contact VideoToFlipbook for more information if you’d like to create your own flipbook.

Motherhood Realized {Book Review}

Monday, March 24, 2014

I have been involved with the Power of Moms organization for several years now.  I meet with a group of women, who live nearby, once a month as a Learning Circle to discuss how to become more deliberate mothers.  Right now we read short articles from their book Deliberate Motherhood. These messages are so uplifting. Our discussions help us feel optimistic that we can enjoy motherhood more. We learn from each other's experiences and from the expereiences of the authors, who are also deliberate mothers.

I am a Power of Moms Ambassador, which means I want to share my love for the Power of Moms programs with my friends. I asked them if I can share this because I know how much it has uplifted my life and know their programs can help so many more moms.  They have an amazing online community, inspiring articles, books, podcasts and more. 

They have many free resources available but there are a few programs or books for a fee because they have put a lot of work into creating these amazing programs.              *Disclosure: I am also an affiliate for Power of Moms and receive a percentage of sales made if you buy directly from their site using the links on obSEUSSed.  I don’t really care who you buy it from, I just want more moms to know about these resources.

I’ll share more about their other programs (like their Joy of Reading program) in the future but today I wanted to let you know about a new book that will soon be out.

Motherhood Realized: An Inspiring Anthology for the Hardest Job You'll Ever Love is a fabulous compilation of short stories from a variety of moms. I could relate to every chapter as they shared their inspiring and encouraging messages, like this one:


Each chapter ends with a thoughtful question and challenge that helps encourage me to REALIZE the positive aspects of motherhood. The chapters are short and can be read in 5-10 minutes each, perfect for busy moms.

I received a free copy of the e-book version for review but plan to buy the hard copy as a pre-order today.  I've already made several pages of notes and I'd rather mark up the hard copy for easy reference. I purchased the other Power of Moms book, Deliberate Motherhood, last year and keep it by my bedside to lift me up on those hard mom days. I can't wait to put this book next to it.

You can pre-order the Motherhood Realized book for a discount starting today on Amazon.
*Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small percentage of sales made through using the links on obSEUSSed.

 This is another great quote from the book Motherhood Realized:
“I have realized that the art of motherhood is not just for the moms who stay at home with their children in a nuclear family. It is also for the mothers who have children and/or stepchildren, the mothers who have no children but take care of yours and mine, the mothers who are working outside the home or volunteering. It is for every woman who extends her motherhood to every human who needs some mothering at any given time. While I don’t have the family I had envisioned as a child, this expanded view of motherhood assures me I am a bona fide, successful mom to all those whom I mother.”
Excerpt From: Power of Moms. “Motherhood Realized.” Familius, 2014-02-28. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright.

I love how they include mothers in all different circumstances.  I also liked the part that mentions, “mothers who are working outside the home or volunteering.”  I have spent enough hours volunteering outside my home to be equivalent as a part-time job. Although it may not be typically seen as working outside the home at a particular place of employment, I am still trying to balance my time outside and inside my home like many mothers.

This book will be a great reference for me and for any mother who wants an uplifting fresh perspective on motherhood.


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