Alamo Travel Guide for 2018!

In partnership with Alamo.

I read somewhere that 80% of our childhood memories are away from home. When I recall my own memories I feel like that is accurate. Of course a loving, safe and home is everything to a kid, but the things that last in their memories are the adventures! It has changed how I save and spend our extra cash. I would rather invest in a new experience over just about anything. So as I embark on this with my family, I am really excited to share that for 2018 I will be part of Alamo’s Scenic Route as a Travel Guide! This means as a contributor I will be giving all my best tips and ideas for family travel and sharing it here as well as on Alamo’s site. An inside scoop into our own family travels for next year, and I am in amazing company with several other travel bloggers as well! I’ll be sure to share all their great ideas and  The Scenic Route site is already chock full of articles you can peruse. Ranging from City Guides to how to upcycle your travel souvenirs, they have a wealth of knowledge there waiting for you!    

If you have any travel questions or things you would love to see covered be sure to let me know! And thanks for having me, Alamo! Can’t wait to get adventuring!



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new traditions

In partnership with the Elf on the Shelf.

I read somewhere, that in families, tradition gives children a sense of belonging. It made me cry. It is truly all one of my greatest hopes as a parent, to always create a place that my kids belong. I know so many of you are in the same boat, when you come from a split family it can feel like you don’t know where that is. Or maybe everyone in your family is spread far and wide and there’s not really a “home base.” Or maybe there is tension between a parent and sibling, or you and a parent or sibling, or multiple family members.

Somehow between Russ and I, we have all of these things. And all in the last handful of years. So there has been a lot of discomfort in trying to figure things out, but we have found so much peace in focusing on our little immediate family. On making it special within the walls of our home and creating traditions at home and away that create that special feeling we were looking for. It is still sad! It doesn’t change that pain, but it gave us a sense of purpose and drive. We will always belong to this Frame family of five.

This Christmas more than ever we are sort of in limbo, the house isn’t quite done, we’re in a new place, away from the home and neighborhood we spent ten years in. The aforementioned family discomforts. On top of that Hayes, my seven year old, is questioning the magic of Christmas. He is skeptical but hopeful, I can see that much just hearing him talk and ask questions. I remember very vividly the difference between my believing years for Christmas and my unbelieving. How much better are those believing years?! So I am putting all my efforts into tradition this Christmas and making every day feel special and hopeful for him. I am doing it for me, too!

Jenna and Nicole adopted their elves many years ago and I wasn’t sure. Those posts were always so fun to do together even if we didn’t adopt our own elf (check them out here!) But, this year is all about new traditions and excitement and belonging and I am excited to spend our first Christmas season doing this for myself and my kids. We started with the An Elf’s Story DVD to teach them about the ways of the Scout Elves, our Elf is coming November 24th and they are so excited they will talk of little else! I snapped these photos while they watched and I just love the wonder in their eyes!Traditions When Your Don't Know Where You Belong  We also introduced the Elf Pets’s Saint Bernard who collects the Christmas cheer in the form of acts of kindness! He fills up the barrel on his neck and brings it back to Santa so he has enough to make sure Christmas comes! I love the service-oriented angle and the boys have set up a bed for Bowser Junior and tote him everywhere. We’ve heard our Scout Elf is Our Scout Elf is the service-oriented type too, so it will be fun to see what he comes up with. 😉Traditions When Your Don't Know Where You BelongThey love that they can cuddle him and he won’t lose his magic! They also love the games you can play and fun coloring pages, and his new Christmas outfit which they both audibly gasped at. Ha!TraditionsSo, if you’re feeling the same way as me I suggest making a list of your existing traditions. It might feel like you don’t have many, but the more you think the longer that list will be. Picking a tree out, seeing the lights in your town, shopping for a family in need. Sledding, Christmas movie marathon, scouting for the best hot cocoa in your town. Make that list and look at the things you would want to do with friends and family you feel comfortable with and plan ahead, send your invites out and make it a priority. Then save the special things for just your family. And put all the love and excitement you have into it! Letter to Santa Writing PartyThis year we are having a Letters to Santa writing party. Inviting friends over where we can all write our official letters together. I am so obsessed with this kit because they write their letter and then bake it – and it shrinks down nice and small so their Elf can deliver it back to Santa and brings it back to you once he’s read it so you can keep it forever or hang it on the tree! My kids can’t wait and it was an easy way to add excitement and meaning to something that we typically don’t put a lot of intention into.

Letter to Santa Writing PartyThanks to the Elf on the Shelf for making all of these new traditions possible! Check back to see our Letter Writing Party in action!





rock the vote: christmas card

In partnership with Artifact Uprising. Use “SFB20” for 20% off your holiday card order! This lasts until November 27th, 2017.

As much as I live for the element of surprise for our Christmas cards each year, I think this will be lots more fun! Today I am teaming up with Artifact Uprising to share my top 6 choices for Christmas Cards this year. Yep, I couldn’t even narrow it down to 2. I’ll show you all of them and then I’d love to hear which is your favorite! If you like the Poll option on Insta Stories I am putting them up there, too! All our photos were from a shoot in San Clemente with Brooke Palmer. I will share more of those soon so you can see what an amazing job she did.

Artifact Uprising is a company Small Fry has loved since the beginning, you can see all our collaborations like a photo wall Father’s Day, a DIY photo headboard, and repurposing Ikea materials for a photo display! They do simple and meaningful better than any other company I can think of and their designs are so spot on! Each card has another full size photo printed on the back and comes with white, gray or kraft paper brown. It’s times like these I wish I had better skills as a photographer, because my photos just don’t do these cards or Brooke’s photos justice! But hopefully you will get the idea and I’ll link to their site page too so you can see all the details.Pick My Christmas Card!Pick 1 –  I love this sentiment. If it is beautiful, if it is meaningful may it be yours. Artifact Uprising

Pick 2 – Confetti foil with three photo options! Perfect of my three dudes! The back as a full color photo of the family, too. My boys love to write on the cards so you can use the messages they provide or leave blank for personalization.Artifact UprisingYou can see the foil pretty good in this one:Artifact UprisingPick 3 – A gold foil MERRY right down the middle! The foil comes in Silver and Copper as well! Artifact UprisingAnd a better look at the foil:Artifact UprisingPick 5 – Each corner has a letter spelling a bordered “JOY!” with love, The Frames.Artifact UprisingPick 6 – I created these way too late at night and would have to switch the photo out for something darker so you can see the “C” in this Peace card. But I still love it! Artifact Uprising

Pick 6 – Another multi-image option that says JOY! With Love, The Frames. And a  full photo on the back. All the messages are customizable as well!Artifact Uprising

Okay what do you think? They have probably 100 more options and every time I look I rethink my choices, they are all so beautiful! Excited for your help to narrow it down!! Don’t for get SFB20 at checkout for your own orders. xo!