Storybook Baby Shower Photo Backdrop 2

My Storybook Baby Shower

You know that feeling when you just want to burst because you feel so very loved. I hope you do. It’s such a wonderful, awe inspiring and humbling feeling. I had 4 very dear friends of mine gather together to throw me a baby shower back in May. And this was 1 of what ended up being 4 showers! Yeah, seriously, that loved feeling is just amazing.

Because of my extreme love of books, the girls planned a storybook themed shower. So perfect. And they got so creative with it. From book page banners to the book character themed matching game… it was so adorable! Even the food was themed after books like Green Eggs and Ham! Leading up to the day, especially the drive there, I just kept smiling thinking about it! 

Let’s start with the invites… they were so perfect! Designed by Etsy shop, PennyAnnDesigns

Storybook Baby Shower PennyAnnDesigns Library Card Invitation.JPG

I really wanted to start off with a full library for Isaiah so the invite requested everyone to bring a book instead of a card. Then at the shower, there were library cards for the guests to leave inside the books.

Storybook Baby Shower BooksStorybook Baby Shower Library Card

I think one of my favorite parts was this fun backdrop to take photos in front of!

Storybook Baby Shower Photo Backdrop

Or maybe it was the clothesline of baby boy clothes!

Storybook Baby Shower Clothesline 2Storybook Baby Shower Clothesline

Or maybe it was the dessert table… with my favorite Oreo pops! AND chocolate chip cookies! Yum!!

Storybook Baby Shower Dessert Table


Also on the dessert table was a guessing game that they creatively paired with the “Guess How Much I Love You” book!

The whole shower was so creative, I loved walking around snapping photos of the details.

Storybook Baby Shower Centerpiece

Storybook Baby Shower Hungry Caterpillar

Storybook Baby Shower GiftsStorybook Baby Shower Gift

The favors were bookmarks that the girls let ME design! I was excited to get to contribute to the day since they were doing so much for us!

Storybook Baby Shower Bookmarks 1

Game time included a competition using play-doh make a baby and its bassinet and then a fun book character guessing game. I just love this photo of my mom holding the game board.

Storybook Baby Shower Group Game

Storybook Baby Shower Games

Then it was time for presents!! There were so many sweet surprise gifts and thoughtful handmade treasures. Our family is so loved.

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Storybook Baby Shower Group

Thank you ladies for hosting such a wonderful day!

Storybook Baby Shower Friends

And thank you to all who came and even just sent gifts. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you will ever know!

P.S. You can see my friend Jess’ post on the shower here. It was an honor to have her host a shower for me, she’s a master shower planner!

One Month Old Isaiah

Sam Allen Creates Handlettered Isaiah Baby One Month

Before I catch up on my (amazing!!!) baby showers, and his stunningly adorable newborn photos… I wanted to post about my baby boy’s first month—since today is his one month birthday!!

Our sweet little Isaiah William arrived 12 days early and we couldn’t have fallen harder in love with him. From day 1, we affectionately called him Squishy or Monkey Toes. And on the rare occasion when we would get a glimpse of his eyes at high alert, Big Eyes. From all his extra skin that is just waiting to be filled with chub, to his extra long toes that can grab your finger (or even your lip!), to those giant charcoal blue gray eyes… we love every bit of him!

We also learned quickly that he likes to fart, and loudly! One late night while I was nursing him, he let one rip and Andy actually asked if I was the one that tooted! Oh no, that was your son!

He loves to stretch out as big as he can go, throwing his arms up high over his head with a big arch in his back. He hates to have his diaper or his clothes changed, I just think he’s a little modest—and I’m okay with that! He also hated baths, but is coming around to them.

When he gets scared or startled, he really shows us his Big Eyes along with all the wrinkles in his forehead. We all laugh though as it is the funniest face.

We’ve made it through the circumcision, a clogged tear duct and have begun the battle with baby acne.

He flashes us those sleepy grins which sure makes me melt. I think he might even have a little dimple above his mouth.

He loves to keep us up all night long. He struggles to fall asleep because he just doesn’t want to miss a thing! He’ll fight us for hours just pushing his head up with his strong neck to keep looking around. And even once he falls asleep, he keeps on making noises that may sound cute during the day but sure are hard to sleep through!

He’s taught me that a lot can still be accomplished each day on just a couple hours of sleep and one good 15 minute nap. He’s taught me to get ready for the day before he wakes and to never ever procrastinate because you just never know how long that nap of his will really last.

He’s fought over by all the stream of visitors we’ve had. They all graciously pass him off but only with the hope to hold him again.

He loves to have his hands by his face, even in the womb, and ends up falling asleep with the cutest poses that his mommy has to document. Each and every adorable pose, which of course change throughout his nap.

Due to his jaundice at birth, we learned quickly that he loves to be outside to feel that sun on his skin and the breeze on his face. If he’s fussing, he’ll calm right down outdoors.

After spending the first week of his life in one house, we then moved to our new house in the same town. He’s spent every night by our side in his bassinet but just these past couple days—now that his new nursery is complete—he’s been sleeping in his crib. That first night, he slept better than he had in days… I just held him close after one of his late night feedings, crying, knowing that my baby boy has grown so much in such a short amount of time. He truly is my heart, living outside my chest.

My sweet Isaiah, my little love, here’s to the many more months and years to come.

Isaiah One Month

Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 5

Maternity Photos with Janet Rayne Photography

I had the longest list ever of things I looked forward to doing while pregnant. Many of those came and went as I mentioned in my last blog post, but taking maternity photos was top priority.

So thankfully I LOVE THEM!

And a big thank you to Janet, of Janet Rayne Photography, for her patience on my unrelenting demand for the golden hour light—as you can see, she definitely delivered on that.


Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 1Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 2Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 3Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 4Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 6Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 7Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 8Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 9Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 10Andy and Sam Maternity Portraits - Janet Rayne Maternity Photos at Murrieta Equestrian Center 11

Baby Isaiah at 17 Weeks

Pregnancy Update

28 weeks pregnant

So apparently getting pregnant meant abandoning my blog!

I always thought I’d be one of those adorably put together pregnant mamas that took gorgeous weekly photo updates that incorporate the baby size fruit of the week with glowing light and compositions. Or that I wouldn’t bail on all other aspects of life except the things that *have to* be done everyday.

But I am so not.

Gender Reveal

I didn’t start taking weekly photos until halfway through the pregnancy. I am over 2 months (or is it 3 now?) behind in my pregnancy devotional and even further behind in my pregnancy journal. I get my shop orders done and anything outside of that for friends and family takes me forever and a day and absolutely nothing personal has been worked on like my daily lettering or THIS BLOG. Oh and the house basically became a disaster of clutter (I literally just finished unpacking from our big trip last fall this past month!). Oh and the bills that I have missed paying (multiple times) and the other random mail that I keep finding from December and January… I can keep going but I think you get the point.

Baby Isaiah at 17 Weeks

Having that awful morning sickness, from week 7 and on, left me drained and constantly behind.

But guess what? I LOVE being pregnant and am going to miss it sooooo much!

With a less than a month left to go, I’m already getting very sentimental about missing my baby bump. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to snuggle my baby boy in person… but I will miss this easy way of always having him near and knowing he’s safe. I’ll miss the pregnant happy glow and the sweet looks from strangers. I’ll miss feeling his crazy kicks and what can only be some amazing dance moves as he moves from one side of my tummy to the other in one fluid movement.

So now here we are, coming up on week 37… dilating and effacing away! Ah!!

Maybe the next post will be introducing my little boy to the blog world… or maybe it’ll be my maternity photos or the amazing baby showers. Expectations are out the window so we’ll just have to see!

Isaiah's Coming Home Outfit

Two Oh Fifteen

I totally missed the months where the reminiscing posts are made, but I still want to take the time to look back on the crazy year of 2015. It was a year I will never ever forget…

January + February

These months were so work-centric. Tons of overtime and I know I’ve shared so much of Etsy based stuff so I’m just rushing past this… if you don’t mind 🙂

water color hand lettering one little word shine 03


The month started off with a bang, just mere months after celebrating the BIG 1,000th Etsy sale, I made my 2,000th sale! And after that very stressful 2014 year of working a “getting busier by the month” Etsy shop while maintaining a full time job, I finally decided to put notice in at my job to be able to fully focus solely on my shop. Even though I still worked both for another few strenuous months, there was finally light at the end of the tunnel.

Your New Friend Sam Bubble Mailers


Following a weekend trip to Salt Lake City for BBQ, my best friend Amie and I with her little 4 month old, Hudson, in tow, we traveled to go see the missing piece to our set: our bestie Joyce in New York.

New York Amie Joyce Sam 2015


In May, Andy and I traveled up the state of California to the coast of Oregon where Rooftop BBQ took calls in every category at the Coos Bay BBQ Competition and won Grand Champion! We then drove from Oregon to Colorado (yes, we are crazy) to compete in Loveland, spending a few days at my aunt’s in the mountains where we got some rest and work done before the competition and the drive home.

Rooftop Barbeque Grand Champion Oregon 2015

Watercolor Envelope Addressing from Sam Allen Creates


Toward the end of June, one of my best friends from high school, Brittany (who you’ve seen around here quite a bit!), gave birth to her sweet baby girl. While I don’t get to see them very often and not even close to enough, I was so happy to take her newborn photos and get some extra cuddles in with the lil’ princess. More photos here.

Jeannette Newborn Photography Dana Point 811


In July, Etsy was at it’s peak. My full time job had finally and officially ended. I started working on my sign designs that as I know now, would end up being sold in Hobby Lobby (!!!!). One of my best friend’s wedding was coming up in less than 30 days so there was lots of painting, work to do and celebrations to have… and then we left for a road trip to Montana for my family reunion in which we flew back early for the wedding itself! Whoo!

Sam and Lindsey Newport Cruise

Sam Loves Buffalo Selfie


My beautiful friend Lindsey’s wedding was sandwiched right between our TWO Montana trips of last year. It was such a beautiful day and the wedding was a blast! I was so honored to get to stand up with her as she married the man of her dreams!

Lindsey Fogleminh Wedding - Melissa McClure

A week later, Andy and I drove right back up north to compete in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. In Wyoming, Andy won his second Grand Championship of the year and I can’t believe I got to be there by his side. I’m so incredibly proud of his talents and love when he gets recognized for his amazingness.

Rooftop Barbeque Worland Wyoming Fair BBQ Competition


This was our month to relax and recoup before the BIG trip to come.

Owen at the Beach, September 2015


At the start of October, we were already in the midst of our cross country trip that would be taking us to Missouri, Tennessee and finally to Florida before the long journey home.

In Missouri, Andy and Joe competed for Rooftop BBQ at the (Invitational and Open) American Royal World Series of BBQ in Kansas City. They not only got some high trophies, including a first in brisket, but they also were awarded their first ever PERFECT score!

Rooftop BBQ American Royal

From there, we spent a couple weeks crashing at my cousin’s house (more on our time in Missouri here) before heading on to Tennessee where Rooftop competed at the Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational in Lynchburg—winning another top ten call for their brisket (it’s really that good, seriously).

Before making the final trip east to Florida, we spent a few days around Nashville including a cave tour! I’m 5 weeks pregnant here… even though we wouldn’t find out for another couple weeks!

Cumberland Caves


The start of November 2015 is where we found ourselves in the midst of a brand new adventure. The morning of November 2, hours before we planned to tourist around Walt Disney World… we found ourselves excitedly staring at a positive pregnancy test. After so many years, it seemed like a lost dream. I’ll be posting more about it (soon), so for now I just wanted to share our first official family photo at the Happiest Place on Earth.

P.S. The photographer who took this for us was the first official person to find out about the pregnancy! Ah!

Allen Baby Announcement Walt Disney World


The last month of 2015 is a total blur as I spent the majority of the month in the throws of morning sickness… but we did manage to have a quick photo session with my friend Courtney and make an announcement about our little one to come!

Allen Pregnancy Announcement Christmas Joy

So all in all, 2015 was a pretty spectacular year!


Luellen and Walkenhorst Family Portraits, Montana Reunion Photography

Hi there! As I recover from that crazy road trip of ours, I thought I’d share some photos from our family reunion this past summer…. my dad’s brother in law just turned the big 7-0! So that side of the family had me take some photos of the generations as a gift for grandpa Jim!

These were all taken around the yard of our rental house just outside Glacier National Park! It was truly a gorgeous place with an unbelievable view!

From left to right we have the Walkenhorst family with my cousin Katie, then my dad’s sister Diane and my uncle Jim, and then the rest of the Luellen’s with my cousin Tom…

Sam Allen Creates - Montana Family Portraits - 120

Grandpa with son and son-in-law…

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And Grandpa Jim with Grandson Jake…

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Grandma and Grandpa with the grandkids.

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Here’s my cousin Tom and his family who were our gracious hosts in Missouri last month!

Sam Allen Creates - Montana Family Portraits - 211

Later that week we took some more photos but of just the Walkenhorst side…

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And that wraps up our family photos from the trip… so fun! Next up, my cousin Jake’s senior photos!

Missouri Home

Greetings From Missouri

Sam Allen Creates Missouri Fall Leaf Lettering

Hi y’all! Just wanted to post a quick update about our trip! We are just about to head out to Tennessee for the second BBQ competition of the trip, but before we do that I had to share about the Missouri leg.

After driving for 3 days, we made it to the American Royal BBQ competition in Kansas City where the team competed in two back to back competitions. They knew it was a tough competition and only hoped to get “a call,” to be placed in the top 15 in any category, where they’d be announced and receive a ribbon.

American Royal 2015

The first day was the Invitational where they placed 2nd in ribs out of 165 top teams in the nation. The next day was the Open where they competed against 615 teams, including all of the 165 teams from the day before. The day before’s awards only made the team more nervous knowing that a top call was totally possible. With no calls in the first 3 categories, and after really bad brisket scores the day before, we thought it was time to go home. When the announcer got to the top 4 in brisket, he let everyone know that everyone in the top 4 had perfect scores, a 180. The very next name he called… Rooftop BBQ! And then just moments later, the top 10 overall were announced and Rooftop placed 8th! Out of 615 teams and without knowing their scores in chicken, ribs, or pork, it was a complete shock!

American Royal Rooftop BBQ Awards

I don’t know what I’m more proud of… they really did so amazing! The perfect score is really neat though as that means they made their personal best as well.

Sam Allen Creates Strouds Kansas City

After a day or so to cooperate, with an amazingly country fried dinner at Stroud’s… we moved on to stay at my cousin’s house in Springfield, Missouri. It’s been quite an interesting challenge to have my office supplies all put away in tubs all the time, but I’m getting used to it. Makes me wanna downsize the office at home now 🙂

Your New Friend Sam Etsy Lettering Shop on the Road

A cart full of office supplies… my craft studio on the go.

These past couple weeks have been wonderful! Staying put and spending time in the wonderful autumn weather. It was the perfect mix of work, relaxation and fun!

But to really sum up this part of the trip, it was all about FOOTBALL! My cousin’s son, who was our adorable ringbearer at our wedding, plays the center for his high school football team… it was so amazing to get to watch him play in two games while we were here. PLUS Andy cooked for the linemen on the team as well during both weeks… 10 racks of ribs one week and they almost polished off a whole brisket the next week. And then this past weekend, Jake spent some time teaching me how to play football! Pointers on how to catch and throw with a fancy spin. And he even snapped the ball to me like he does in the game. I’m going to go pro now thanks to him.

Sidenote: ESPN just posted about an amazing trick play the team did at their game this past Friday that we were lucky enough to attend. View it here, seriously they’re so good. And of course, shout out to my cousin who snapped the ball as the center of the offense line. See video here.

We also got to spend both our birthdays here with some yummy food and and a couple matinee movies.

So here we go, all packed up and ready to head to Tennessee for the Jack Daniels World Championship. Go Rooftop!

Rooftop BBQ Trailer in Missouri

Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower Watercolor Invitation 2

Trisha’s Hand Painted Watercolor Twinkle Twinkle Sprinkle Baby Shower Invitation

There are projects that just make me want to create, make me want to get to work, that make me want to drop every other responsibility in my life just so I can get started on that blank canvas.

Designing for my friend Trisha and her growing family makes me feel this way with every single project she’s asked me to work on for her this past year.

Twinkle Twinkle sketchThis is one of two invitation projects for her that I wanted to share…. Trisha’s about to have another baby, a girl! So she asked me to make her baby sprinkle invitation. As she started pinning ideas and sharing them with me, the idea of a nightfall painted background with stars cascading down from the top sprang to mind. All painted in watercolor. My hands were itching to pick up a paintbrush and get started right then and there. I’m glad Trisha trusts me so much because my initial sketch to show her my idea was pretty rough.

This might be one of my favorite invitations, ever.

Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower Watercolor Invitation 1

Here’s some photos of the invite with the original paintings along with a few snapshots from the day of. The sprinkle was hosted by her mom, sister and our wonderful friend Jess.

Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower Watercolor Invitation 3 Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower Watercolor Invitation 2 Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower Watercolor Invitation and Thank You

I always love going back to the original sketches of designs, or in this case the original paintings before they were scanned in and manipulated in Photoshop.

Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower Watercolor Invitation Originals Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower Watercolor Invitation Originals Detail

And some day of shower photos to close…

Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower Flower Centerpiece Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower Fabric Banner Twinkle Twinkle Baby Shower Cupcake Topper

I am so excited this baby girl is about to arrive any day… a little bittersweet since I won’t be in that waiting room anticipating her arrival, but I’ll make up with all the more snuggles when I get back!

29 Wishes

This is gonna be strange birthday as my hubby, Andy, and I will be celebrating our shared October birthdays away from home. Plus it’s my last birthday in my twenties… waaaaah!

Just forewarning you, this is the most geeked out birthday wish list yet! This year it’s all about the work tools and fun “girl-boss” apparel, feeding my Disney fan girl side, with a large splash of books (but even those have work related and Disney snuck in!)

Disclaimer: making these yearly birthday lists has just been for fun but now that my friends and family have gotten used to them, I can’t just stop releasing them. Right….? Plus they’re kinda fun to make, it’s like window shopping but online.


1. Gold Vintage Scissors

This is a random one to start this list off, but I’ve been looking for some small gold scissors to use in my greeting card photos in my shop and finally found a small pair that doesn’t have a crane on it (since birds just aren’t my favorites!).

Gold Vintage Manicure Scissors"A", Antique Small Scissors, Sewing Scissors, Retro Scissors, Embroidery Scissors, Craft Supplies

2. Lettermate

This handy little tool is such a neat idea… with little windows to aide in addressing envelopes!


3-14. New Books

Kindle Books: It took me awhile to go the e-book route, but I am so glad I finally did! The convenience of it just on these road trips alone have made it so worth it. These books have been hanging out on my Amazon Wish List just waiting to be devoured!

3. #GirlBoss | 4. Creativity Inc.  | 5. Americanah | 6. All the Light We Cannot See | 7. A Northern Light | 8. The Goldfinch | 9. Yes Please

kindle books

Printed Books: There’s certain books that just need that tangible feeling…

10. Hand Lettering Ledger | 11. DIY Type | 12. The Art of Disney Golden Books | 13. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland | 14. The Hidden Art of Disney’s Golden Age

books paper

15. Peter and Wendy Kiss Necklace

I love this necklace! It’s too adorable! Love the wood acorn and the bronze thimble and that it’s like the play with the acorn. Love it!

Peter Wendy Kiss Necklace

16. walt before mickey

I’ve been following this project for sometime and its finally available for preorder! Whoo!


17. It’s Mailing Date tote

This bag is far too perfect. I love love LOVE it.

Mail Day Canvas Tote

18. maker and Dreamer Shirt

After finding the Mailing Day tote, from the same shop I found this Maker and Dreamer top. Adorable!

Maker and Dreamer shirt

19. Ampersand Tank

Not too long ago I started following Cake for Breakfast on Instagram. I loved following along with her wedding and then her office tour… and of course her collection of ampersand tanks and tees in her shop!

ampersand tank_sized-500x717

20. Wood Poster Hanger

Love these vintage like poster hangers and I love how easy it is to trade out work. Hope to use it to update some shop photos too!

Magnetic Poster Holder - Walnut Artwork Print Holder Wooden Photo Holder Wood Frame Canvas Hanger

21. Acacia Wood Cake Stand

It’s been really hard to find a cake stand that matches our house… for the one or two times I’ve needed one, I was quite excited to find this guy at Target!

Acacia Wood Cake Stand

22. Naptime Diaries Advent Calendar and Devotional

I released my birthday list right before discovering Naptime Diaries’ Advent Calendar last year. My favorite lettering artist, Lindsay Letters, created the lettering for it last year and AGAIN this year. Yay! This advent calendar is paired with a devotional for the month of December. Such a neat idea.

Naptime Diaries Advent Calendar and Devotional

23. Jenny Rijke Ceramics

Jenny Rijke ordered a logo stamp from me a few months ago and I just fell in love with her clean yet textured style of pottery. I just had to include something from her shop on my list, but it was hard to choose!

jenny rijke PLATTER. Modern, textured, organically formed white ceramic platter_plate with gold rim

24. Jerry Seinfeld Tickets

Too bad Jerry will be in L.A. the weekend of my birthday this year… too bad because I’m not in California! So maybe next season 🙂

06301210215, 10093708 On 2012-11-30,at 1:02 PM Rockingham, Graham ( Subject: Seinfeld photo Jerry Seinfeld performed two-sold out shows at Hamilton Place Friday Graham Rockingham Music Editor Hamilton Spectator 44 Frid St., Hamilton, ON, L8N 3G3 905-526-3331 Jerry Seinfeld Jerry Seinfeld performs onstage at the David Lynch Foundation: A Night of Comedy honoring George Shapiro at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Saturday June 30, 2012 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision for David Lynch Found

25. Disneyland Entrance Plaque

This is so perfect for my Disneyland room. So so perfect.

here you leave today plaque

26. ”Partners” Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse Statue

And what’s more even more perfect is this Partners statue.

27. Disneyland Pass

This is happening. For reals. Good timing since the passes just went up in price again though! It’ll totally be worth it though!! Yay!

disneyland sam

28. Walt Disney World

10 years ago I stepped foot in one of Walt Disney’s last projects, Walt Disney World. And I am so thankful that to end this giant road trip, I get to go back but this time with my husband in tow!

Thanks Mama for already crossing this one of my list! Eeeek!

walt disney world

29. Chevy Equionox

For the last 3 years, this car has been on my list. Two years ago we ended up buying a truck, and last year a new smoker for catering, and this year another new truck… in other words: BBQ, BBQ, BBQ! Maybe next year. 🙂


Happy Birthday to Me!

Another year, another candle on the cake, another list of wishes!