Wednesday, October 31, 2012

December Daily- This Year it is Happening

If you've read the little blurb I have on the side of the blog under "About Me" you know that I say I am a project procrastinator. What I want to talk about today is a specific project that I have dedicated a lot of time to for several years, only to end up procrastinating it, and not doing it, year after year... December Daily.

Basically, December Daily is a way to document everyday life during the holidays. The idea is to make up a basic album ahead of time and add to it every day of December. This is a project I have been longing to make work for me. It is something that I know if I can do it, and finish it, I will be immensely happy with it for many years to come. I love the sentiment behind it, I love the idea of remembering the little things, and every year when I let it slide by I am saddened that those moments have gone undocumented.

This project was started by one of my favorite designers and bloggers, the fabulous Ali Edwards.
You can look through her beautiful albums from the last few years here.
Every year she does such fabulous things with this album that I just want to hug her! She is an amazing woman, and inspires me so much. I would love to meet her someday and tell her how much her documenting her life inspires me and pushes me to try to do it myself.

Anyway. This year, yet again, I am going to attempt December Daily! But this year I want you guys to encourage me and help me keep up with it! I am holding each of you responsible if I don't get this done this year. You are here to cheer me on and make me feel guilty if I don't post a page EVERY SINGLE DAY! You got it? You Up for the challenge? You going to play along?

Here is the album I will be using this year. It used to be a recipe book... which I never followed through with... sensing a pattern? It will likely get a little more embellishment before December, but for now it will do.

I love how I used the washi tape to cover up the spine. It had stuff from it's previous life as a recipe book that needed to be covered up. I super love it.

Here is a list of the supplies I used and where you can find them:
Album: We R Memory Keepers Raw Goods 5X7 album in sage, no longer available
Glittered Background Paper (2 sheets): My Mind's Eye Lost & found Christmas Santa Glittered Paper
Washi Tape: Downtown Tape Welcome to China Town
 Glittered Chipboard Letters: Making Memories Shimmer Jigsaw Alphabet in Red
Memories Vinyl Sticker: Unknown, found in stash, bought it in 2007

So there you have it, the beginnings of my 2012 December Daily! I'll be periodically updating throughout the month with more pages, and then, come December 2nd I will be sharing finished pages daily (hopefully!) or at least on a week by week basis!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Since I finally shared my blog yesterday I feel like I need to post today, but I don't have a lot of time (got a project I am working on today), and none of the posts I have saved up seem like a good choice today. Hmmm... so what to do?

Let's talk about goals!

My goal for this blog is to post at least one post a day Monday-Thursday. I was thinking of doing every weekday, but Fridays tend to get really busy for us since it is the only morning that my husband has off during the week. I purposely left off the weekends for the same reason. I don't want this blog to take up time that I would otherwise be spending as a family. I want it to be a filler during the long hours my husband is gone during the week, not something that takes more time away from the little I do have with him.

While we are on the subject of goals, I wanted to talk about something my husband and I started early in our marriage that I think has really been awesome for us. We would each make a list of 10 things that we would like to do, buy, etc, in the next few months, and then exchange lists and try to make those things happen. Since it was a short time period we chose mostly little things that were attainable, like visit a certain friend, or frame a certain picture, or visit a certain museum. It really helped us see what the other was thinking about, and how we could possibly make things better for them, it helped us come up with family activities, and it helped us choose things to do for date nights and special occasions. It was really something we looked forward to doing.

That evolved into more of a bucket list, but with a twist. The short time period helped us to be more proactive in meeting those goals, wishes, and dreams, so we decided to give our bucket lists a bit of a time limit. And thus came about our 30 by 30 lists. These lists our 30 things we would like to accomplish before we turn 30, giving us 3-4 years to get through each of our lists.

It really was eye opening looking at each others lists. There were things neither of knew the other wanted to do, there were some duplicates, there were some expected things, and there were some that kind of stretched the limits of what me might be able to do before we are 30. It was a lot of fun, and we have been having fun plugging away at the lists a little bit at a time. It has helped us grow closer together as a couple and as a family.

You can view my list on my "30 by 30" tab above, and for kicks and giggles, you can go here and download a printable I made so you can start on your own lists.
I encourage you to try it! It never hurts to dream! The worst that can happen is you never do a single thing on the list, but the best is that you learn, grow, and get some insight into yourself and your spouse (or even your kids! Our five year old has a 10 by 10 list he is working on!).

Monday, October 29, 2012

Flylady Commandments

As some of you may know I am a SHE. A side-tracked home executive. This term is derived from my one saving grace, which works for me about 50% of the time, if I am not sick, or stressed to the max, Flylady. 
Flylady is a cleaning and organization system, it's not perfect, but it can work wonders if you can stick with it (which I am notoriously bad at, but I make a valiant effort!).

Anyway, why I am really writing about this is because about nine months back I was in a flylady frenzy and designed a wonderful subway art style print of "The Flylady Commandments" . At the time I intended to make it into a canvas print to place in my bathroom, and it was just a personal project.
I was so thrilled with it that I posted it on Flylady's facebook wall, and had quite a few people ask for the file for it. I e-mailed many people the file, and felt flattered that someone was interested in what I had created!

Well, the other day I got on pinterest and discovered it had been pinned! I felt quite giddy! The problem was it had nowhere legitimate that it could link to. :( So I have decided to share the file here on my blog! I am going to contact the people I have seen pin it and have them change the link to reflect this blogs address. Hoping it will bring in a little traffic and help me start growing and getting out there.

So here it is, in all it's glory, feel free to download it here. Go ahead and share it, pin it, print it out and frame it, whatever you would like.

If you like this make sure to follow my blog! I am getting into a new round of Flylady right now and plan to blog a little about it and share more Flylady inspired Printables! So hit that follow button!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween is coming

Today I want to do a quick re-cap of our recent Halloween Party.
It had been a while since we had hosted a party, and I was itching for something to focus my energy on, and I needed a social opportunity,so why not? Let's start with the place settings.

The table cloth is some upholstery material I found on sale at Hancock Fabrics. Got it for $3 a yard, such a steal for such a beautiful fabric!! I bought the beautiful purple chargers at Micheal's on Clearance. They were only .49!! On top of that is a fun thin plastic paper with a damask print. I also picked them up at Micheal's on clearance, for .29 each, they were originally $2.49!! The black ruffle plates were borrowed from my mom (you can check out her blog here!), as were the adorable small halloween plates. She and I found them at Roberts when they were closing. Paid $1 for each, they had been $12! Score! They are topped off with cute caramel apples, made from the tiniest apples we could find (close-up Right). Everyone ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the table.

On the wall I hung some creepy Silhouettes of Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein. I cut these out using my Silhouette machine. I stretched some dollar store spider webbing over the frames for some extra creepiness! The shelf has some found objects from around the house, including some dead flowers. They were Anniversary flowers from my husband, and were the perfect deadness by the time of our party!

My trick or treat banner I made to liven up the window space. Used Sparkly purple, black, and silver cardstock I got on sale, plus cut a few letters from one of the thin plastic sheets I had used for the table settings. It was a quick project, and I love how it turned out. My boys even helped me with it! They love helping with crafts, which can be a challenge at times.

Here is a shot of the whole table! Love how it all came together!

There are a couple other things I want to share about this party, but I think I will save them for another post! Can't give it all away! I am going to talk about my faux chandelier that is peeking through in a couple of these photos in a post sometime next week. So be on the look out for that!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I think I've seen about everything...

So my first thing from the past, is one of our Family nights. I would like to say we do these every week, but I would be lying. I try to do something at least once a month, scheduling just becomes impossible sometimes.

This particular Family night was a Disney movie one! We picked Dumbo, as my oldest LOVES elephants, and I ran with the theme. We had a circus themed meal, I put up some decorations, and we watched the movie! We were even lucky enough to have my two nephews over, which made it extra special for my boys!

We started out the day with a special Disney Ticket which I designed and then cut out with my wonderful Silhouette machine. You can see it to the left, being modeled up-side down by my enthusiastic 5 year-old who we will call "Little Prince". Each child also received tickets to redeem for various food items.

As soon as the various tickets were distributed the kids were led into the kitchen where they were able to trade in their tickets. We had rootbeer floats, cotton candy, soft pretzels, popcorn, animal crackers, veggie hotdogs (and regular ones for the meat eaters), and lollipops. The kids were thrilled! And I must say it looked quite cute! We had a circus bed tent we had purchased a few years ago from Ikea that I hung to accent the table. It was charming, and all four boys thought it was super cool! My husband sadly failed to get a full shot with it. :( Next time, right?

We watched the movie and pigged out on the spread! It was a ton of fun! We also colored some Dumbo coloring pages, and jumped through some hula hoops for some more fun! My oldest Nephew asked if we could do it every time he comes over! He sure enjoys the fun activities we come up with at our house! Wish we could do it more often! We have a goal to watch every Disney movie ever with our kids before we go to Disney World next September, so hopefully we will have more of these theme nights in the future!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like.... Christmas?

It's not even Halloween yet and I am already planning out the Christmas festivities!

I know, I am such a nerd. I still have two months! But my head is in Christmas already and I can't seem to get it to switch back to Halloween. Which is a bit of a problem, since I haven't yet finished our Halloween Costumes. I finished the party, that's good enough, right?At least the boys have their costumes. Our little Captain America and Iron Man are adorable! The hubby and I are going to be Hawkeye and Black Widow, that is if I can get my head in the game again.

So, back to Christmas! I really want to host a Christmas cookie exchange this year! I'm thinking either as a Girl's Night, or as a play date type thing with the kiddos. Leaning more to the Girl's night, as I could really use a night off from the boys! I know for sure there will be packaging supplies to wrap up the exchanged goodies, a hot chocolate bar, and I want to make little cookie recipe books with everyone's recipes as a take home favor.

I am in love with this invite (Right) from Lara at Announced Design. If you don't know already I am OBSESSED with Polka Dots. Also, I love the color turquoise. This just speaks to me! Thinking I might use this as inspiration for the party colors. I have been wanting to redo my kitchen decor in these colors anyway, so I would be able to make items do double duty as party decor and then keep some of them up year round! Win win, right? I think so!

The idea for the hot chocolate bar came from a fabulous shower featured on Hostess with the Mostess.  If you have never heard of that blog, you are certainly missing out! It is a fantastic resource for party planning! Go check it out, NOW! you will not be disappointed in the least! It's the Holy Grail of party planning, and if I ever have a party make it on her blog I think I would die.

So, that's all I have for now. I am working on writing up some past parties and crafts I have done so I can get some content on here. Also working on a blog design, but that is much slower coming. When it comes to design I tend to obsess and have to get it perfect. You can be 100% certain that it will include polka dots though. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

So... you should start a blog!

With the hubby in school full time and working nights it really limits our time for social engagements. Hosting them ourselves? Well, it's a miracle if the house is in decent enough shape to invite over family, let alone friends! It's a crazy busy, isolating, time of change in our lives right now. This month I just couldn't take it anymore and decided we would be hosting a party, and I would be busting out the big guns.
So last night was the first real party we've hosted in many, many months.Though attendance was poor, the company we did have was excellent, the ambiance was stellar, and the food turned out quite great. We had fun seeing friends whom we haven't seen lately, talking about population declines, vegetarianism, crazy families, recent wedding, new babies, law schools, future plans, bucket lists, and many more fascinating things.

One thing that came up several times during the course of the evening was the idea that I should start a blog. Apparently my faux chandelier made from an umbrella, homemade mozzarella, and incredibly clever "eyeballs" are noteworthy enough for fame in the blogo-sphere.
I've tried to blog before, and found it hard. I just feel like I have very little to contribute in any one area. I tried a vegetarian blog... it lasted about three months (though it was pretty kick butt at the time!). I tried a design blog... umm... well... it never even got a single post up. I have a personal blog, but mostly use it to let off steam, and therefore it has very little content and what it does makes me sound like a crazy person. I tried a Disney blog, at the encouragement of a potential craft blogging offer from another blog. It got through the design phase, and looked stellar, but life craziness happened, and I didn't feel like I was in the right place to be blogging, and I let the opportunity pass me by. I blogged for a photographer for a while. I started a pre-school idea blog. I started a flylady inspired blog. None of them succeed in doing anything but making me feel like I needed to have content, and I needed it NOW! Stress and the pressure I put on myself to make it perfect turned every single one of them into a failure.

So... why you ask, am I attempting this again?
Well, frankly, I am bored, I am lonely at home 16 hours a day with two young boys, and I need an outlet for more then just letting off steam. I am a creative person, and I have pulled off some wonderful things, designed some awesome art, cooked some wonderful food, learned awesome things, and I feel like a blog might give me a chance to show the world that, and get a little validation for myself.
It's hard to feel like I am worthy of having a blog. There are so many people out there with fantastic everything that I feel like I am no comparison, that I have nothing to add to the conversation. I put myself down, and tell myself I am not good enough to do it, not talented enough, not good enough of a photographer for it, not interesting enough. Just not ENOUGH. I hold myself back from doing it, because I fear being not enough. Why start if i am going to fail again? Why put effort into anything? It's a negative diatribe in myself that I need to overcome, and starting this blog is the first step.

So thank you to my gorgeous, amazingly talented, red-headed photographer friend for giving me the confidence to start this today. I don't guarantee it won't fail like my other blogs, or that it will be anything interesting, but it is a step forward. It's one small step for the blogging world, but it's a giant leap for me, a leap towards valuing myself instead of putting myself down. A leap over my biggest road block, myself.

So here it is, my first post. My first baby-step.
Now to come up with some content. I am not going to limit myself to one type of content this time around, hopefully that will help me have more content and continue to be motivated to post! So look for a lot of the topics from my failed blogs to pop up on here!

Anyone have something I've done they'd like to see featured on here? A past party? A recipe I've made? A Craft? Give me something! I'll see what I can do.