Personal Project

My Dancer

Posted By on Jul 21, 2015

Bella and I have had a really fun year, enjoying her 1st year of competitive dance. We had 4 competitions, the last one was in Kelowna where her & I had a “Mom & Middle Vacay” (she’s my middle child…get it?).
My camera was along for the ride for most of it, and I’d like to share my favourite shots, along with some I did of her in the studio last week.

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Kids Chores – Version 186

Posted By on Oct 27, 2014

I’ve tried many ways of getting the kids to do chores over the years. We used an app called iAllowance a couple years ago, but the app was confusing (could be better now). At the start of summer I tried a ‘chores as punishment’ approach, which never took off. And it wasn’t because my kids are perfect little angels, I assure you. I just didn’t want chores to be a punishment.

A few weeks ago, I started writing chores that needed to be done on post-it notes, with a monetary value on them. Any of the kids could do them, and I’d pay them for it. Well, it turns out my kids are motivated by cash. It was a race the first day, to see who could make the most cash. I paid them $22 total. Way cheaper than a house cleaner!

But, it looked like this:


So today I got crafty. I went to Michaels and bought a black magnetic dry erase board, some magnetic frames, some adhesive magnets, polka dot paper and some washi tape. All in, it cost me $61, after using the 50% off coupon for the board, which was regularly $45.

I divided the sections with Washi Tape. Way easier than paint or gluing paper. I love washi tape!

Kid's Chore Chart DIY  #SHPhoto

I used pictures of each kid instead of putting their names, because I think it looks nicer.

Kid's Chore Chart DIY  #SHPhoto

All the chores are on the bottom. When something needs doing, I move it to the “Chores To Do” side. When someone completes it, they move it under their picture until I pay them.

Kid's Chore Chart DIY  #SHPhoto
Kid's Chore Chart DIY  #SHPhoto

Kid's Chore Chart DIY  #SHPhoto www.shannonhiltonblog.comThe chore tags were made with Michael’s paper and my Stampin’ Up! Punches. I stuck adhesive magnets on the back of them.


Actually no, this guy did that. Excuse the brown socks. He dresses himself. I promise I know better.


I made extras so I can fill them in when I need something different done. I keep them handy in a jar beside my desk.


Doesn’t that look better?!?!
Kid's Chore Chart DIY  #SHPhoto

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Bella: Eight

Posted By on Apr 9, 2014

My beautiful Bella turned 8 a couple weeks ago. Just realized I never blogged about it. My poor middle child. Better late than never!



At eight, Bella loves to dance. She is all of a sudden very girly – growing out her bangs and spending a lot more time on her hair, especially before Dance class. She won’t play outside without the perfect outfit. She mixes & matches her outfits and loves bright colours. She has an awesome imagination and is a huge cheerleader to everything her siblings do. She’s starting to fight to get her way, getting very upset when things don’t go as planned, as is the messiest kid ever, which makes it very frustrating for her sister who shares a room with her! She loves photography -had a photo shoot with her brother the other night, and made sure she remembered the Rule of Thirds.

Here’s the video I did for her Birthday.

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Posted By on Mar 12, 2014

I love excitement. I plan our next trip on the way home from the airport. I always have to have something to look forward to – an event to plan, a trip to book, a company to start. I start fights with my husband to ‘kick things up a notch’. I’m often ‘that Mom’; causing drama by over-thinking things. I rant a lot. I rant on Facebook, I rant at Parent Council Meetings.
I crave drama & excitement.

But I woke up on Sunday morning …content.

My fat pants stayed on all day. We had nothing to do but go to dinner at Gramma’s (the fat pants stayed on for that too). And I pulled out my ‘good camera’. The camera that, these days, only comes out of the camera bag for shoots I’m being paid for, courses I’m teaching, or ‘events’.

I wanted to capture our day. Our normal day.

This is what it looked like.


Charlie and I share this chair most mornings. I love the way he rests his foot on my leg.



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Posted By on Jan 16, 2014

Abby is turning ten on Saturday. Double digits. I’m not sure where the last ten years went, but they passed so quickly. I can’t believe that in another ten, she’ll be 20. She’s probably have a couple Olympic medals by then. Kidding.
I’m so proud of this kid. From being born at 4.5 pounds in 2004 to what she is now in 2014…I’m in awe. 2013 was rough – you can read about it here, but I’m excited to see what she accomplishes this year, and who she becomes in the next ten years.

Happy 10th Birthday!

(This is the video I did for her last year, with some additions to the end. The song, “Trouble” by Pink, still fits her perfectly. And we’re seeing Pink in concert tonight…how fitting!)

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New Year’s Gratitude Projects

New Year’s Gratitude Projects

Posted By on Dec 30, 2013

I’m big into Gratitude and the Law of Attraction. I believe strongly that what you think about comes about, and that the best way to predict your future is to create it. These are my favourite quotes (coincidentally, they are both Oprah quotes):

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I try to teach Gratitude to my kids. One of the ways we’ve done this in the last few years is doing our “Bucket List Tree”. Every New Year’s Eve, we sit down and write down a bunch of things we’s like to do or accomplish in the next year, and beyond. We write them on tags, and hand them on our Bucket List Tree. It’s visual (like vision boards), crafty, and starts great conversations.

Bucket List Tree

You can see more on The Bucket List tree in my blog post from last year.

In addition to the Bucket List Tree, we also did a Gratitude Jar this year. Throughout the year, we wrote down things we were grateful for and stuck them in the jar. On New Year’s Eve (or Day) we will open it, and read through them all.

Gratitude Jar

We also do High/Low every night at dinner – going around the table and saying our favourite thing and least favourite thing from the day. This year Charlie has taken the reigns from Bella being the one who starts it off every night, and I was so proud when he started it on our Christmas Day dinner at his Auntie & Uncle’s house – for a table of eighteen people. That was awesome.

I’m also working on my Vision Board. I do one every year and stick it in a frame on my desk so I see it every day. I love the DreamBoard on Oprah’s Website. It saves your work automatically, so it’s easy to go back and update it. I put things on it that I want to accomplish this year, and in my lifetime. Things like doing some kitchen renos and going to Bali. Both would be nice if they happened within the next year, but they might not!

And to balance the ‘wants’ with ‘gratitude’, this year I am starting a Gratitude Journal. A real, live, paper journal. I toyed with the idea of doing another Project365 with pictures of something I was grateful for every day, but I already take so many pictures, that I want to force myself to actually sit down and write stuff down. If you are interested in an app though, check out HeyDay. It takes your iPhone’s images and puts them into an electronic journal automatically. You can go in and add text if you want. I really love this.

I made my Gratitude Journal after I found the ARC notebook system at Staples. This is really cool people. It’s like a binder, but cooler. I bought a leather cover one that I use as a catch-all on my desk. It holds all my important papers and notes.

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This is the hole-punch thing you buy to punch papers to fit in the disks. The disks come in 3 sizes depending on how thick you want your book: ARCIMG_3678 (Copy)

Update: I’ve created a weekly planner printable for my Arc! Click HERE to get it for free!

Arc template

For my Gratitude Journal, first I made and printed off the sheets. I bought really nice, heavier stock paper for this, and printed off about 100 pages. I’m not going to write in it daily (too much of a commitment), but I’ll be happy with 100 days of Gratitude!

Gratitude Journal

Then I made the front and back covers from cardboard and fancy paper:

Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journal

The ARC System has different type of insert pages that I also put in the  journal to hold little keepsakes:

Gratitude Journal Gratitude Journal

With the hole punch, I can also punch photos or just about anything to add as I go as well. Can’t wait to get started. Hope I can keep it up. I’m leaving it beside my bed to remind myself to do it before going to sleep. Might cut into my Candy Crush time, but it’s for the best. 😉

I also did another ARC book for our Christmas Journal. I’ve kept a Christmas Journal since 2004 – Abby’s first Christmas. I write in it every year – things like when we put up the tree, what we did throughout the holidays and it’s where I keep a copy of the Santa picture and a copy of our family portrait or Christmas Card. I was able to take the pages out of the old journal, and punch them to fit into the ARC disks. I also made tabbed dividers with pockets to hold letters from Santa, or whatever!

Our old Journal. Yes, those are foam stickers. I wasn’t all that crafty back in 2004:

Christmas JournalI cut the pages out of the old journal:

Christmas Journal

The tabbed dividers with pockets:

Christmas Journal

Old Christmas Cards and Photos with Santa: Christmas Journal

And the cover:

Christmas Journal

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