Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Christmas Spirit

via WeHeartIt
When I woke up this morning I had to run Christmas presents by J's house for his family to open before my family came over for the celebrations. On the way home I decided,

"you know what, I'm going to get my mom and I a Starbucks drink treat because well... it's Christmas"

I pull up to the drive-thru (which was at least 10 cars long and growing, surprising to me for the holiday but whatever) order two Grande, Nonfat, Extra Hot, Caramel Brulee Lattes (yum) and am prepared to pay $8+ for coffee that neither of us really needed and I didn't really have the money to spend on.

I get to the window, stick my arm out of the car with my credit card in hand and the barista-lady says to me...

"the person in front of you paid for your order. Merry Christmas"

Made. My. Day!

That is what the Christmas spirit is truly about. It never ceases to amaze me how something so little from a complete stranger can mean so much and how there will always be people out there with warmth, kindness and giving in their hearts. I hope everyone was able to be blessed with an amazing celebration today filled with great company, joy and a little rejuvenation.


PS- I will be MIA from blog land until after the New Year. Tomorrow is going to be spent packing and running last minute errands before J and I leave on our amazingly perfect trip to Hawaii that I'm jumping out of my skin in excitement for! Eeeee! I will be enjoying Mai Tais on the beach, sight-seeing and spending some much needed quality time with the man in my life. Please have a happy (and safe) New Years and I'll be back in 2011 with lots to post about some homemade gifts I made for the holiday season I couldn't share until now.

via WeHeartIt

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dreaming of a White Christmas

With the holiday's approaching there will hopefully be many White Christmases adding some joy to our lives this weekend. This specific post was inspired by a good friend of mine, Sarah, because she is traveling to the lovely (and snowy) Wisconsin this year. While it may seem like second nature to those of us that grew up around the snow there are many people who simply have never experienced a good blizzard (minus the DQ kind) and accordingly don't know what they'll need.

So Sarah, and any other native Southern Californians, here is my break down of what to bring when traveling to the snow.
[1] You will definitely, and I mean really, need some sort of winter jacket. A sweatshirt just wont cut it when its below freezing. I personally have a pea coat from American Eagle that I adore and I'm also a fan of North Face anything.

[2] There is nothing worse than freezing hands in my opinion. If I had to pick between all the rest of the items on my list, I would never ever give up gloves. I personally can't function in any way if my hands are frozen.

[3] Depending on how much snow you're expecting or how freezing it's going to get, a scarf and hat are next on the list. Scarves are great when it's windy because they keep the cold breeze from going down your jacket and hats are great when you're planning on being outside for a longer amount of time. Don't you lose like 50% of your body heat through your head? Maybe I'm making that up.

[4] Boots. And no they don't have to be Uggs if you have something against them. They serve multiple purposes when it's nice and wintery. They keep your feet dry which is the first step to keeping warm, they insulate, and they have good traction. I would highly recommend getting a pair with more traction that you think you'll need because there's nothing worse than slipping on ice.

[5] This one might seem like a stretch but (at least for me) sunglasses are important. You see, when it snows in CO, the next day is usually a bright blue sky with lots of sunshine. And given that there is a fresh blanket of snow, there is lots and lots of reflection off it's shinny white surface. Believe me, it gets bright out there and you want to make sure you can see where you're driving/walking/moving in another fashion.

Now the rest of the items on my list are things that I always use but I would give up if I was crunched for time, didn't have the money, or the situation didn't call for it. But I digress.

[1] Snow and ice scrapers are only necessary if you're going to be driving. You never know when you'll get more snow and it makes for a miserable rest of the day if you have to use your sleeve to clear the windshield. (I speak from experience.) If you're going to a busy city and will be taking taxis then skip this part. Also skip it if someone else who lives where you're traveling will be driving because I can bet they'd have one of these already.

[2] It never hurts to carry a portable shovel in the car with you too. When I know it's supposed to snow here in CO I always make sure there's one of these in the trunk because, like usual, people who predict the weather can't always tell a difference between 2 inches and 2 feet and you'd hate to get stuck. But like above, skip this if you aren't driving.

[3] Nothing warms you up quite as well as a nice cup of hot chocolate or a mocha or a latte of any kind whatever your preference. I love coming home from a long day of shopping or an afternoon of sledding and curling up with a good book, a blanket, and something warm to drink.

[4] Let's face it, the cold will dry you out. You'll need extra lotion for your skin, more moisturizer for your face, and something that's often forgotten about, a good chap-stick of some sort. Chapped lips can hurt and bleed and are sometimes hard to get rid of once you have them. So while it might not have the best scent in the whole world, I really love Carmex to keep my lips soft.

[5] Again with the moisturizing theme, I absolutely love aloe infused socks during the winter. Not only are they more snuggley than regular socks but they leave your feet both warm and soft. I throw them on as I'm jumping into bed and wake up to some cozy toes.

[6] While shoes are obviously more important for outdoors in the winter than they are for indoors, it can be nice to have something to throw on in the house too. If it's snowy and wet outside you don't want to keep your outside shoes on and track wet footprints all through the house. But sometimes it's too cold to wear only socks, especially if you have wood or tile floors, so a pair of house shoes or slippers would do the trick.

I know these are all things I use (or would be using if we could get some dang snow around these parts already, grr). I hope I've added some items to your packing lists for the season and I would love to hear any of your Essential Winter Items if you'll be spending the holidays in the snow.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Welcome home?

Here's the layout of my day yesterday

5:33 am: alarm goes off, I've been awake since 2:57

5:45 am: packing the car with last minute things

6:18 am: off we go to start our drive

8:07 am: traffic in San Bernadino because of construction, losing time

10:09 am: venti Starbucks in Barstow (yum), Ollie eats breakfast standing at the gas pump

2:44 pm: "Check Engine Soon" light turns on

2:45 pm: shoot, what does that mean? Freak out. We have 500 more miles to drive. Do we pull over? Good thing we have AAA

2:47 pm: Tim says it's fine. "Keep driving till the car starts to smoke"

4:41 pm: Richfield, UT. Enough said. Hopefully we'll make it the 180 miles where there's no services and cell phones don't work

7:10 pm: Yay Grand Junction. This means we're finally in CO

8:00 pm- 11:16 pm: white knuckles, icy roads, no visibility, hills, blind curves, and down pouring snow. Seriously, CO? Thanks for the welcome home.

11:17 pm: Thank you Eisenhower tunnel. Only 40 more miles and way less snow

11:59 pm: We're finally out of the mountains and on C470. My butt is soo flat, I need out of this car

12:22 am: Pizza before bed because I'm starving.


It was a long, pretty easy drive until we hit the blizzard in Vail. Needless to say, I'm tired today. On the agenda for today, running some errands, wrapping some presents, hopefully a nap and.....

best of all hanging out with these loves. I love my two boys and they are just two peas in a pod already.
Travel safe this Holiday Season.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas List #2 (oops)

See I told you I'd think of something(s) else that should have been on my original list but weren't. Some of these items are things I forgot about and some of them are things that recently, due to the events of today, have now made the list. More on that later.
[1] Weekly Planner from Barnes and Noble by Silver Lining. Preferably the 5x8 size and any pattern.

[2] Sephora Glass Nail File

[3] Starbucks Christmas Blend Espresso Roast whole bean coffee.

[4] Tazo Vanilla Rooibos full leaf tea (also sold at Starbucks)

[5] Black Dress pants from Ann Taylor Loft (or somewhere similar)
or an Ann Taylor Loft gift card

*This is one of the new items to the list because I officially need new fancy clothes, well just pants. What's the reason you might ask? Because I received my very first Medical School Interview today! I have a great suit jacket but only decent pants and must look sharp. I'm absolutely overwhelmed with happiness about this interview so it will get it's own post soon.*

[6] Money for our trip to Hawaii (no link here because I can't link to your bank account ;-) )

*This is also one of the new items since J just recently decided to book us a trip to Ohau for new years. It was completely out of the blue and I could not be more excited to go on our first trip together.*

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fa La La La La

If you're anything like me then one of your favorite things about the Holiday Season is the music. I absolutely adore all Christmas music. A-D-O-R-E! Sometimes I want to skip through the mall while doing Christmas shopping just because one of the classic songs is playing.

I love them all.

Oldies/Originals like Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole all the way to the new renditions by Lady A or Mariah Carey. My heart is currently singing just thinking about them.

Well if anything I just described is somewhat like you or if it's not but you want a good laugh then you have to check out Straight No Chaser's "The Christmas Can-Can." It'll get you in the holiday spirit for sure!


If you've never heard of SNC then I highly suggest you check them out on YouTube because these guys have got some skills in the vocal department. I'm especially a sucker for anything a cappella.

Happy Caroling!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Spirit

I absolutely love decorating for the holidays! I wish there was more I could do in our little apartment but I've made due with what we have. I'll start with our awkward entrance ledge that I first mentioned here, and the decorated for fall here.
I already had the red candles which is always a good thing when you're trying to be thrifty. A few empty wine bottles and coffee filters later and I had some extra decor for the season.
My favorite part of the shelf though has to be my subway-inspired art that I made. I created a jpg of the sayings, fonts and colors I wanted, had it sent to Costco to print as an 11x14 (for under $3) and stopped by Dollar Tree for a cheap frame. I was just looking for one the right size with the plan to paint it but it just so happened that it was red so I left it alone.
A quick skim through the holiday fabrics at Joann Fabrics and this little beauty was on clearance. Bought it, sewed it, stuffed it and we now have a festive holiday pillow that coordinates with the classic colors of our decor. I also have enough fabric left to make Ollie a matching scarf like the one I made him for fall.
Yet again another cheap transformation for the frame over our couch. Ollie helped me collect some pine cones on our walk one afternoon and with a little ribbon and a lot of hot glue, it's really starting to feel like Christmas around here. I love the idea of the pine cones because I wasn't really feeling the traditional wreath look (which I do usually enjoy.)
Last but not least, the tree.
We had this tree last year but only had silver ornaments on it thanks to a giant box of random ornaments from Ikea. I wasn't sure what other colors I wanted our home to have until this year. I love when people make their tree unique with purples, blues, etc but I wanted to keep it traditional.
Plus I don't think I could part with this tree skirt. My grandma handmade it and it's been on her tree, my family's tree and now my tree for many decades. So red ornaments it was. The best part about all of the ornaments on the tree: they're either plastic or shatterproof. Perfect for a home with a puppy who's never seen a Christmas tree before :-)

Now a few close-ups of note worthy ornaments.
If you don't know who this little guy is, his name is Opus. He's one of the main characters for the Bloom County comic strip from the 80's. Why is he on my tree, you ask? He was my dad's all-time favorite comic character and was a staple collectors item in my house as a kid. Sweatshirts, stuffed animals, ornaments and all. He holds a special place in my heart.
Yes this bird is creepy, I'll be the first to admit it. I honestly can't say I know where these birds (yes they're are multiple) came from or how my family got them but the moral of the story is that we have way too many of them. They're weird, but they're traditional for my family. It wouldn't be a true Christmas tree without one of them and my mom was nice enough to give force upon J and I one for our tree. Plus I heard somewhere that it's lucky to have a bird on your tree? Maybe?
Some side knowledge is required for this one. Before J and I got Ollie, my family has had a Golden Retriever since I was 11. Because we're all dog lovers it was natural for us to get a Golden ornament for Christmas one year. However, Basil (my family's dog) looks nothing like this. He's red-colored with long, not fluffy, hair and has a much skinnier build. This ornament does happen to look exactly like Ollie. So my mom was kind enough to bring it with her for Thanksgiving.

I love our festive apartment. It looks and even smells (thanks to our Glade Apple Cinnamon plug-in) like Christmas.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Keep on Truckin'

Things have been rough on a personal level for me lately. Sometimes I feel like everything is falling apart and sometimes I feel like I'm right where I need to be. I don't feel like thinking about or doing anything about or changing or moving past any of the things that are going on because frankly I don't have the time or energy right now. I just need to get through the end of the semester and the urgent pressing issues. I thought I'd share some motivation (for my own good) and also for any of you out there having a down day too.

You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction.
-George Horace Lorimer

Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.
-Dale Carnegie

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday.
-Unknown

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
-Winston Churchill

A leader, once convinced that a particular course of action is the right one, must be undaunted when the going gets tough.
-Ronald Reagan

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Wish List

Now that it is officially Christmas season I thought it would be appropriate to start my Christmas Wish List. This is not all encompassing since many people always have other good ideas and there are probably a handful of things I want but have forgotten about. (I need to remember to write them down more often.) I would be very grateful to get any of the items on this list but frankly I don't expect any of them. Quality time with the special people in my life is way more important than any gift could be but for those of you in the giving spirit...
[1] A Camelback water bottle 25 oz (in purple, blue, forest, or lime) OR a Nalgene Wide-Mouth bottle 32 oz (in slate blue, purple, spring green, or clear) with a Sippy Lid in coordinating color

[2] Vera Bradley All-in-One Wristlet (in most patterns but my favorites are Poppy Fields, Baroque, Loves Me, Paprika, or Carnaby)

[3] Sephora by OPI Winter Mini Collection

[4] Barnes & Noble, Starbucks and/or Jo Ann Fabrics Gift Cards

[5] Philosophy Candy Cane bubble bath and shower gel

[6] Vintage Tees like these from Forever 21 or any other similar ones

[7] Carmex Moisture Plus (in Sheer Peach)


Thankfully everything on this list would be great as a repeat/multiple gift (since I'm horrible about remember who I told what.) A girl can never have too many tops or gift cards or beauty supplies right? I also hope this helps inspire some of your own lists or ideas for special people in your life too.

Happy Gifting!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For the Traveling Girl

With the holidays coming up this most likely means travel. And I can bet that if you style your hair with curling irons, straighteners or the like you've been scrambling around with a hot appliance wanting to put in into your bag or suitcase. At least I know I have.
I've been known to set it outside on the porch to help cool it off, to wave it around like a nut case in hopes the wind takes away the heat, or even to carry it in my hand all the way to the ticket counter at the airport because it's just too dang hot to put inside.

Well ladies, problem solved.
Four oven hot plates (from the Dollar Store of course), some extra fabric pieces or ribbon or beads or whatever embellishments you have lying around, a sewing machine and about an hour of your time and Ta-Da....
Simply add whatever you choose to the outside and then sew along the edge between the pad and the edging and you're done. It's easy and doesn't take a lot of skill.
The perfect accessory when traveling. And a great, easy, practical gift idea for girls in your life. I admit I'm keeping one for myself but I'm giving the other three away for Christmas this year. (No names mentioned in case one of them reads this ;-) )
Make sure the hot pads you buy are large enough to be practical to fit most appliances. Some of the ones they sold at the dollar store here were only 7 x 7 which was too small. Luckily it's holiday time so these ones were festive with Santa and Snowmen, but you can't tell unless you look inside. And they were 8 x 10 which was a great size.
Happy Homemade Gifting!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beautiful Books

After finding this post recently on Living with Lindsay and realizing I have been needing something else to fill the empty wall space above our bed I decided this project was definitely for me! Off to the Dollar Tree I went.

Supplies Needed:
Wreath form ($1)
Cheesy paper back ($1)
Hot glue gun
Lots of glue sticks ($1)
Black Acrylic pain (Optional)
Trashy TV shows recorded on the DVR (Okay I guess that's optional too;-) )

I followed the tutorial here almost to a tee because she does great at explaining the steps so head over there to get more details. (Not that this project is super difficult, I don't want to discourage anyone.) But eventually, with my book page edges painted with black paint, I began tearing out the pages, rolling them up and attaching them to the wreath form.

I would suggest using a foam wreath instead of the kind I used (our dollar store didn't have anything else) because it makes for a more uneven gluing surface which meant I used way more hot glue that I think you might need to with foam. It still worked but it just added a little trouble along the way.
Eventually you get something that looks like this. (This will be the front of the wreath.) You keep rolling and gluing and sticking those pages on in anyway you like and it starts to fill up like this.
A little while later, and with double the needed supplies, you have two awesome wreaths for your bedroom/wherever you want to hang your masterpiece. I used two small brackets I already had to hang them, ribbon will also work if you do it like Lindsay.
Of course I had to get a shot with the pup in it :-) He's just too dang cute. And huge I might add. But I digress.
My wreaths turned out a little more organized/less random/more tightly rolled than the ones Lindsay made (do you think that says anything about my personality) but it just goes to show you that you can make them infinitely yours. I used one whole book per wreath just so you have some idea how much you'll need. So for $4 or $6 I now have some custom art work I'm proud to show off. Who would have thought Doomed Planet would end up being so useful?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

If you haven't heard of Operation Beautiful then please, please PLEASE head over to the site right now and check it out.

The main goal of OB, according to their website, "is to end negative self-talk."

I'm sure all of us at one point or another has stood in front of that mirror... the mirror in the privacy of our own homes, in a bathroom at school or in a restaurant, while standing at a make-up counter, or anywhere else you can think of... and talked down to ourselves either out loud or in our head.

"I want to look better than I do"

"I'll never be as pretty as I want to be"

"I wish I could lose 10 lbs"

"I just want him to think I'm beautiful"

"I hate myself"

What OB is trying to do is prevent the harmful effects that this "negative self talk" can have on the women of our world. They recognize that it's damage can affect you emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

They encourage anyone and everyone to start leaving their signature post-it's that started the whole effort. You post a note in a public place with a kind, thoughtful, inspiring saying on it in order for other women to see it. There is a daily "Post it Phrase" listed on their site if you can't think of something to write down. Caitlin, the editor of OB, encourages you to leave as many notes as you possibly can.

An anonymous note from a stranger can touch so many. It's a free way to change someone's day. So throw a spare pad of post-it's in your bag and start making a difference.

I have.... will you?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sock Monkeys

Ashley, one of the girls I watch in the mornings, is turning 5 next weekend. I knew I wanted to get her something but I didn't know what. Clothes are hard since her and her sister often match. Movies are hard because their dad gets tons of them so I don't know which they have already. So I was stuck with getting some sort of toy for her. I took the opportunity, with the help of my sister, to make her something special.

I present you with the "Sock Monkey Tutorial"

Supplies:
One pair of long/over the knee/dress socks of your choosing
Fluff (I had polyfill left over from my pillows)
Two buttons
Scissors
Needle & Thread
Sewing Machine
1. Here's the socks I used. She loves the color pink. (I apologize now for the poor picture quality but I swear the socks are pink and magenta striped) I found these for $3 at Walmart.

2. Turn both socks inside out. Lay one with the heal facing up. There is usually a seam/crease the will go down the middle of the sock. Line this fold up on both sides of the sock.

3. The socks I had were "over the knee" socks so they were very long. This specific sock will be the head (toe of sock), torso (from toe to heal) and legs (from heal down) of your monkey. It'll be easier to see this later on. I didn't want the monkeys legs to be way too long so I cut off part of the sock as seen in the picture. I suggest removing the elastic band on any sock you use, even if it's the right length. It just makes it easier.

4. If your sock has the center crease, or even if it doesn't, mark a line from the open end of the sock to the heal. Make sure you stay in the center of the sock. Now sew two parallel lines on each side of this center line. Make sure the lines don't get too close together or cross at any point. There should be at least 1/4 in between the two.

5. Using very sharp scissors cut along the center line. You're essentially separating the monkeys two legs at this point. Make sure to not cut either of the sown lines you've made. Don't cut too close to the heal of the sock. There will be a hole here that you'll stuff through so you want to make sure it's not too small. Once the legs are apart, stitch close the ends of the feet. (not shown)

6. Turn your monkey right-side-out through the hole I mentioned above. Now stuff your monkey's body and legs. Yes, it's sorta awkward that you're stuffing through the money's crotch. (Maybe that's just something I notice. Oops.) It helps to use smaller pieces of stuffing rather than trying to cram in larger pieces. It gives a more overall smooth look as opposed to lumpy. Once your monkey is stuffed to your liking, hand-stitch the hole closed.

Now you have this awkward monkey in the making. (You can sort of see the lumpy-ness I was talking about in the legs at this point. Just try to smooth it out as you go.) No face, no arms, no tail..... Kinda looks like an alien if you ask me. It'll get better I promise.

7. Using the other sock and what I cut off from the first sock, I made two similar sized pieces for the arms and tail. (Make sure not to cut too close to the other heal you haven't used. You'll need it later.) Turn the pieces inside out. I decided to pin them both down the center line since they weren't connected at the ends anymore and I wanted to make sure the stripes lined up perfectly.

8. To make the arms, use the same technique as before for making the legs. Draw a center line, sew two parallel lines next to the center, cut between the stitches, and sew the ends closed. I did the same thing for the tail because I wanted all the "appendages" to be the same width around. For the tail you would only use one half of the rectangle when stitching the end closed. Flip all three right-side-out.

9. And stuff. Depending on how stretchy your socks are, you might be able to get more or less stuffing into them than you think. I just compared my arms/tail to the legs I already made to make them the same amount of fullness.
10. To make the monkeys ears I cut two rectangles from the left over material I had. Just don't use the remaining heal piece. I decided to use the top elastic band from the socks that I removed in step #3. I liked that it was gray and wanted to incorporate this into the monkey more. But you can use whatever piece you want. The original rectangles I used were twice as long as those seen in the picture. There is a fold on the right side. Stitch the top and left sides of the rectangle, right sides together.

11. Flip the rectangles right-side-out and stuff with some fluff.

12. Hand sew a long, basting stitch along the open end. Pull tight to close opening.

13. Determine were on the monkey you want the ears to be. It's totally up to you at this point. Hand stitch the ears onto the head using any stitch that's easy for you.

14. Remember that other heal I've told you not to touch, this is why. Cut out the other heal from the sock and pin it in place to form the monkey's mouth. Using whatever stitch you want, begin to sew on the mouth. I used a few pins (on the top and bottom) to help hold it in place while I worked. Eventually this piece will be filled with stuffing too so make sure you don't sew it on too flat.

15. Fill the mouth with stuffing when you only have a small section left. Finish closing the mouth onto the face.

16. Choose two buttons for the monkey's eyes. The socks I bought actually had two buttons on each for decoration, how convenient. I used a contrasting thread to make them stand out a little more.

17. You're almost done! Attach the arms and tail to your monkey torso. It helped to pin the two arms on at the same time to make sure they ended up in the same position on both sides. Again, use any hand stitch you're comfortable with, just make sure those limbs are sewn on good. After I was done, I used a scrap piece of black felt to cut out a little smile. I'm not going to lie, I didn't want to sew this part on so I glued it. (Shhh, don't tell the sewing police on me.)

And there you have it,
your own hand-made Sock Monkey!

You can tell in this last picture that the legs are still really long in comparison to the rest of the monkey. I think they make it funny but could you imagine if I hadn't cut off a bunch in the beginning?

The best part about this project.... it cost me $3 and that's it. I luckily had everything besides the socks. Now she (of course the monkey's a girl, she's pink after all) just needs a little gift bag and she's ready to go.

Hopefully Ava isn't to jealous :-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Versatile Blogger

I received my 2nd award today! *happy dance* The awesome/gorgeous/crafty/thrifty/all around awesome Nikki from The Fashionable Wife gave me this award. If you haven't stopped by her blog, please do so.... now!

To accept this award:
1. Thank the person who gave it to you (thankyouthankyouthankyou!
2. Link back to the person who gave you the award
3. Share 7 random things about yourself
4. Pass it along to 7 other blogs you enjoy

There are many, many random things about me.... most are weird, some are embarrassing, but I'll try to pick my favorites :-)

[one] I can't set an alarm/microwave timer/etc for 00, 15, 30, 40 or any even number. (see I told you I'm a freak weird)

[two] It is extremely relaxing to have the bottoms of my feet slapped.

[three] I absolutely LOVE the fact that you can turn the pillow over and it's cold on the other side.

[four] I am terrified of horses... for no specific reason.

[five] I would sometimes prefer to shop in a school supply/organization store (like Staples or The Container Store) than shop for anything else like clothes/shoes/make up etc etc

[six] I could listen to Christmas music all year long and never get tired of it. I purposely leave them on my iPod for the whole year.

[seven] I have claustrophobic feet, they repel socks. I unconsciously take them off and then wonder where they are.

I pass this award to:
Ray @ First Home Makeover
Ashlee @ Embrace the Moment
Syndal @ Synfully Delicious
Tara @ That's Why Her Hair Is So Big
Lindsey @ The Amateur Wife
Tiffany @ The Apply Doesn't Fall Far
Mateya @ The Best Is Yet To Come

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Do you have an awkward space?











So if you start with some thumb tacks, some pieces of coordinating scrapbook paper, a little hot glue and some time on a Saturday afternoon.... you can make your bathroom all sorts of decorated.

I read about this idea on a handful of blogs, none of which I remember at the moment.
I know, bad blogger. So if it was you/you know who it was, please tell me.


I found a template for some 6 petaled flowers online. I literally googled "flower template" and picked one I liked. The longest part of the project involved tracing and cutting out the flowers from the paper. But when college football is on and you have nothing better to do then it occupies your time quite nicely.

I had 5 different papers so I made sure to lay the flowers out on the bed to get the right shape of the final product and the right ratio of all the papers. (I took a picture of this but my post doesn't want to let me add it in right here.) To give the whole thing more of a 3D effect, I curled the edges of the flowers with a pencil until they were the right amount that I wanted.
I hot glued a thumb tack to the back of each flower, pushed them into the wall above where our toilet is and this is what I got....
A side note about our bathroom situation. The vanity (mirror, sink, and drawers) are all technically IN our bedroom, like with no separation between the two. I know, it's a little awkward. So then we have a door into where the toilet and shower are and that's all that's in there. It's a small space that I didn't really know what to do with and this is the perfect solution. It's a customizable size, I was able to match the colors of our towels, and best of all.... it's cheap and changeable whenever I please. I'm not completely set on the shape of the design at this point, I wanted it to have some what a distinct shape but still be random, but it's really easy to change them around.
I had some extra flowers (actually a lot of extras) so I put a few above our light-switch too. I apologize for the poor picture quality but it's hard to take good pictures in a room with bright over-head lights and no windows for natural light. But none the less, I think you get the gist of the whole project.

I hope everyone's having a good, cool, fall-weather start to November.
It was 90+ in San Diego today. Yuck.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Things I'm Loving

Do you ever just have so many things you completely, 100% enjoy every time you use or notice them? Do you have things that you would buy again and again? Or things you can't believe you didn't have before?

I do.
1. I can't believe we went so long without some of these bad boys. No, that doesn't mean we've been stinky forever. But with cooler weather coming and now that we have our pup, things were starting to get a little... musty, for lack of better words. I've always had candles and Febreze to use when needed but now that we have two of these plugged in, I'm never going back. I can't wait to change from the Simply Fresh/Sunny Days scents we have right now to some festive Christmas scents soon.

2. If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time you might have figured out that I may or may not have a case of OCD. Okay so maybe not OCD but severe it-must-be-a-certain-way organization/life habits. Oh wait, that is OCD? Well then I digress. Having pretty highlighters in a range of colors helps Ochem studying to be as horrible as it otherwise might be. I'll never give these up.

3. This is the first thing I made on my Brother's Sewing machine and I'm very happy with it. So what if it's a little crooked, who would ever notice. It's sorta hard to tell but the fabric is crinkly and a perfect cream color. I had some extra fabric so I embellished it a little bit and made it a bigger friend-pillow to match. I love them both.

4. I wish I could say that I spend a ton of money on beauty related products and have all sorts of different things. But I don't. I try to use up what I have completely before I buy something else. That's what happened with my lotions. I wandered into Bath and Body Works a while back and this scent, White Citrus, was on clearance (for some odd reason because I went back and it wasn't again) and I absolutely adore the freshness of this lotion. I'm not a fan of making people cough when I walk by because I smell so strongly of something and this definitely does the trick for me. Just enough but not too much.

5. This Neutrogena face wash bar is one thing I'll always replace. I've been fortunate enough to have pretty easy, low maintenance skin for most of my life. Not too oily, not too dry, not prone to break outs or blemishes.... basically I am very, very thankful. I admit that I don't always wash my face before bed (shame on me) but this bar is the perfect morning wash. It doesn't have a real strong, pleasant smell but it really doesn't smell like much. I love that it's in bar form too because I can use as little or as much as I please, in the shower or in the skin, and it's easy for on the go/travel.

6. My guiltiest pleasure is definitely dessert. Give me something sweet, chocolatey, topped with sugar or a little fresh fruit, warm from the oven or frozen from the freezer and I'm a happy girl. Again, I am very thankful for my metabolism (and I'll be very sad when it slows down) but even now, these Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches are good for my sweet tooth and for my mid-section. If you haven't heard of Skinny Cow please venture down your dessert isle at the grocery store and check them out. These come with chocolate or vanilla ice cream in the middle and can you believe it, one is only 140 calories. That's less than both Good Humor and Blue Bunny's products. I'll definitely be getting these again.




Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall[in] for You

I know it might be a little late considering it's already almost Halloween (and you know I'll change to winter decor December 1st) but I thought I'd finally do a post about our fall decor in our apartment. I am still so excited that we have the space/effort to decorate this year because I love seasonal touches.

First up is the odd little shelf we have right inside our door and next to our bedroom. I put most of the stuff here, like the pictures and wine bottle, when we moved in but now it's fall-ish. I would love to carve pumpkins but it's not really realistic for us to since we don't have a porch suitable for putting them on. So instead I picked up a few mini pumpkins. I decorated the rest with left over flowers/etc from the wreath I made that you'll see below.
I was browsing on the website for Michael's a while ago looking for thrifty but still cute home decor and found this awesome idea. The open back frame acts as a place to put anything you want in the center and can be changed easily. For now, I bought an on sale garland wreath for the base structure and bought a 50% off small bouquet of fall flowers to add to it. The dollar store had really nice, wire-ribbon that I made a quick bow out of and glued on too. I had extras of everything to use on our shelf.
I'm already thinking about what I'll do for the holiday season. Maybe an ornament wreath? We'll see. We hung the frame over our couch because the wall had been needing something there. It's still needs something else, maybe something for each side next to the frame but this is a good start.
Please ignore the Christmas coffee cup in the corner, I know it's a little early but it's all I have. Oops.
Since I am now the proud owner of a Brother's sewing machine (thanks to my awesome skills at the casino a few weekends ago) I decided to whip up this baby. Joann Fabrics had their fall fabrics 60% the other week and I really loved this one. I know it wont be fall forever but I figured with a little seam ripper I can take this fabric off, replace it with something new in December, save this fabric for next year and always have a pillow for the season.
Even Ollie matches the decor. :-) What a good boy.
Last but not least, I found these little guys for $1 in the Target Clearance bins. I know I probably could have made something similar but for a $1 I wasn't going to spend the time trying to figure it out. They are sitting on our entertainment center next to the TV in front of our photo album. I would show you a larger picture but honestly, our shelves are a mess and I would be ashamed to post that picture :-) Even though they're different colors than the other fabric I used, I have a reoccurring plaid theme for fall. I like it.
So even though it is currently 80 degrees here in SD, at least it seems like fall in our home.

Happy Thursday everyone!

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