Saturday, December 31, 2011

Simple Pleasures

My girlfriends from high school  middle school  late elementary school  :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Crafty Christmas

I wanted to take a break from my regularly-scheduled lack of blogging to brag a bit on my crafty family.

There were lots of homemade gifts at Christmas this year, and I just had to share.  My sisters and I have had a $10 limit for gifts for each other for the past few years, seeing as how none of us are exactly wealthy.  It works great and forces you to get creative.  This year, they both outdid themselves.

My sister Courtney made us these adorable necklaces (as seen on Pinterest).  She said they were pretty easy, so if you are interested in trying, you should!  The three stones represent the three of us sisters :)  Adorable!!

Next, my sister Caitlin made all of us our own set of coasters.  She's not even on Pinterest!  Mine are a lovely green pattern and were made with paper, tiles, and a heavy coat of polyurethane.  They were packaged up so nicely and came with a glass jar of a friendship tea she made herself. So crafty!

And although not a gift to me, I had to share this.  My mom (with some elbow-grease help from my dad!) built my niece this amazing little kitchen out of an old entertainment center!  Can you believe it?  

Tony testing it out...

So much better than some I've seen out there.  It's a fun color and totally functional, down to the oven rack that slides in and out.  (Don't tell her the faucet doesn't really work...)  Lyla loves it - she kept running in to the room yelling "KITCH-en!"

And last but not least (and not crafty at all) - my new best friend :)  

Honestly, I haven't even assembled it yet because it's a little intimidating, and I haven't had the time to devote to it that I want to.  But just you wait, decent pictures in my future!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  I hope to drag myself out of my slump soon and get back to commenting on your wonderful posts (I have been reading, swears!) and maybe, just maybe, writing a few posts of my own.   :)  

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Decor

Well, I did manage to put some decorations up on the inside of our house, even if the outside suffered.  I figure all this Grinchyness this year just means it's going to be Christmas spirit explosion next year. :)

I love using real branches on the mantle, even if it does give it a less than polished look.  That, and these were free, fake garland is somehow very expensive.

The theme this year was:  Open the box, put stuff up.

We put our tree in a new location, which I really liked.  

I did this same kind of thing last year on our kitchen table.  Yet this year there's the added bonus of that beautiful candle stick, courtesy of my mom for my birthday!

I was excited about this thrift store find:  A white tree!!  It was only $8, and it's only about 2 feet tall, which is perfect for our bedroom.  The blue balls were $1.25 total too!

Really, you should look at decor from years past... it was much better then  :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Oh hey, remember me???  

Yeah... sorry.  Well, I'm feeling totally Grinch-ish this year, finding it impossible to get in the holiday spirit.  But I couldn't leave December without infusing this blog with some Christmas cheer.

Luckily, Kacy, her mom, and her aunt had the great idea to make Christmas cookies (and other goodies) and I was able to get in on that festive action.  And I got to eat a bunch.  Victory.

Ladies working hard!

Parks was helping in his own way.  Marlee was sleeping. :)

So domestic.


First batch - later ones were much prettier.  I was too busy eating them to photo them.

Parks wants a taste!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Simple Pleasures

A bit blurry, but both babies are looking! Hooray!  Two of my favorite little ones and their mama :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dare to ... Deck the Halls!

It's another week of Kim's Dare to DIY party, and this week it's about making something new for your holiday decor.  In years past I have skimped on this one and just shown what my house looks like all decorated up.

This year I probably won't be showing that because I only half-heatedly decorated.  Oh well.  It will be there next year :)

However, I did craft something, mostly out of need.  I have yet to find a good solution to displaying Christmas cards.  I love the cards we get in the mail, but never found a good spot (besides using them after the season for this little card tree!).  So this year I made a $0 card displayer thingy.  Not my finest work... but it will do (that's the theme this season....)

I took an old piece of molding from our garage and gave it some holes.

Then I stuck down some sticker letters I had on hand.  Not my favorite font, but it worked in a pinch.

Next I painted it with the only Christmasy paint I had (notice a trend?).  It's a shiny gold... not ideal.... but I had it and didn't have to put on real (non-stretchy) pants to go out to Hobby Lobby to get a different color.

After a few coats had dried, I just peeled up the stickers.  I Mod Podged it so it wouldn't peel up, and tied on a ribbon (leftover from a birthday gift).

I had a pathetic excuse for faux garland in my Christmas box (undoubtedly an impulse discount buy), so I cut this up and glued it to the wood.  I painted (poorly) some leftover clothes pins I had, and voila - card holder thingy.

It's ready to go -- just waiting for more cards!

Go check out the other (undoubtedly better than mine) projects at Newlywoodwards!

Dare to DIY

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Simple Pleasures

A house a few streets down from us that goes crazy with the lights.  They have the whole lot covered, and you tune in your radio to hear the music they are synced (sunk?) to :)  A holiday tradition.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dare to ... Give Homemade Gifts!

Hi Everyone!  This week at Kim's Dare to DIY is all about making homemade gifts (the best kind!).  With school being so crazy and whatnot, it's been a big fail this year on the homemade gift front.  Just ain't happenin'. 

However, last year I did "make" a pretty good gift for my mom, so in the interest of sharing something this week, I figured I'd blog about that.

Dare to DIY


My mom had a cabinet filled with boxes of all of our family photographs (and the negatives - ha!).  The last time she had even attempted to organize them was probably when I was a baby.  Thus there were years and years of jumbled photos all shoved into boxes.  Not convenient for browsing, and probably not the best way to preserve them.

I really don't blame her for not tackling the problem.  It was daunting.  However, early in 2010, I decided I was going to organize them all into albums for her for Christmas.  Starting early spring, I would sneak small portions of the stack home with me when we would go visit.  By late summer, I had them all at my house.  She never noticed, of course! :)

My first task was to dump them all out and get them in stacks.  Then I organized them the best I could, since chronological order was not happening.  I sorted into kid pics of my sisters and I, pics of my parents from pre-kid days, misc. photos of their past houses and projects, pics of vacations, and pics from our teenage years and up.  That. was. challenging.  It took me many, many weekends to sift through them all.  

Claire, Courtney, Caitlin.  Thank goodness we got a little better looking with age... I was going for the shriveled look.

Handmedown dress up clothes = awesome.

Remember back in the hard-copy photo days, you would get doubles of your roll of film?  Well, that just meant I had to separate doubles and put those aside.  I even kept all of the negatives and boxed them up for her, just in case!  

My parents' prom picture!!  White suit!

Next I went through all of the school photos that were still in the white envelopes from the school picture company, and attempted to make a master list of which photo was which school year.  There were some gaps, but it was nice to have that record, and still be able to throw away the envelopes.

Two great things about this picture:
1.  I was the world's biggest nerd, but clearly an early-adopter in the computer gaming world.
2.  My mom's glamour shot on the desk.

Yes, I still look this good in a bathing suit.

I did a horrible job documenting this process, but here are a few pics of the early stages.  Sandy helped.

The best part was I was able to scan a lot of the good ones of my sisters and I, so I forever have those images backed up (scattered throughout for your viewing pleasure).

Sorry mom.


I had begun to buy black photo albums as I found them at Ross or Target throughout the year.  In total, there were 11 albums.  I stuck with all black for consistency, but the albums themselves were different.  I hauled them all up to Tennessee at Christmas in big rubber totes.

My goal was to make my mom cry.  Mission accomplished.

Here they sit in my parents' living room, ready to be looked through and enjoyed, instead of hidden away in a box.  :)


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Simple Pleasures

My Grammy and I  :)

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