Sunday, October 27, 2013

Merry Mail!!

Most of us get adorable Christmas cards from friends and family each year and many of us try to come up with a cute way to display them. I've always just put them on the fridge but this year, probably because it will be the first year I send a Christmas card, I wanted a new idea. SO...instead of buying one I decided to make it. This is my first try and I'm very critical of the spacing and lining of the lettering so go easy on me. But all in all, I love how it turned out!!
Obviously there are lots of options for this. The sign itself can be different shapes and sizes and the paint color, font, font size, and even the words "Merry Mail" can all be changed and customized. I purchased this cute Christmas ribbon at 40% off at Michaels and I think it's the perfect touch!
I also picked up some Christmas burlap and "Santa Red" paint to prepare for some Christmas banners that have been requested:)
I plan to make ones that say "Merry Christmas", "Most Wonderful Time of the Year", and "Joy to the World". I also have lots of other ideas for decorating the fireplace for Christmas so stay tuned and contact me if you would like to purchase any decor at a very reasonable price:) I love this time of the year!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Signs of Joy Progress...

I go back and forth between getting really into making my banners and closet signs and thinking I would love to sell them at boutiques and such and then big gaps of feeling like it's really stupid and getting close to giving up. But as of today, I continue to work on them and hope that someone takes a liking and buys one. I particularly love the idea of using my banners as "photo op's" and have seen similar ones (but not the same quality of course) selling on Etsy for an un-godly amount of money. I love the idea of ones in maternity pics, gender reveal, newborn pics, family pics, and even wedding thank you photo's that are ever so popular today. As of today, I have the following banners and can make really anything anyone can come up with. My next project is to do triangles as those are popular right now as well.
I also continue to be excited about my nursery closet dividers and especially love this set that I made. My next project are owl themed ones as owls are "all the rage" right now:)
I still don't seem to have many readers of any kind but if you happen to be interested, please contact me:)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Signs of Joy

Hello! I have been working away on my crafts and am having so much fun:) I have narrowed down to a few different creations that I make the best and would like to make available for purchase. My bff sells beautiful bows that she makes and she is doing really well with them! Perhaps one day we can do an event together selling our creations:) Today I am sharing my custom clothing dividers for nursery closets that I just love. I have posted pictures on Pinterest in the last few weeks and have noticed a great number of gals repinning them! So exciting! I will be selling a pack of 3 through 12 month dividers for $15.00 and they can be any colors, themes, or designs. Here are my favorites I've made so far!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Strudel Muffins-yeah...they are as good as they sound!

I always ask my hubs to buy bananas (he does all the grocery shopping) and a good portion of the time I don't eat them before they brown. My hubs doesn't mind because he loves when I bake banana anything:) I've tried a different bread each time and today's is especially yummy. I got the recipe off Pinterest and Sally has outdone herself:)By the way, I sure hope my link works as I'm having trouble with it. In case not, here's the link you can copy and paste to (

Thursday, October 10, 2013

More DIY Projects...

Obvi I'm still on bed-rest and trying to stay busy. I'm doing a pretty good job! I've got six more weeks to go if I go full-term and the nursery is totally done. Of course that doesn't mean I've stopped projects for it though. I think my hubby is worried the nursery will explode in projects:) I wanted to share the hair bow/band holder/display that I made. My bff made an adorable one for a shower gift and sadly, in the process of hanging it, I dropped it and it broke:( So I made one myself and I'm pretty excited with how it turned out:) BTW, burlap works great as the background as bows just clip right on so easily! I bought some cute already decorated clothespins that I glued to the frame to hold the headbands. Love!
I finally chose some curtains for the nursery at Target. For some reason I couldn't seem to find any that I really loved. These are perfect:) I made some DIY curtain hold-backs or whatever it is people call them. It took me a bit to figure out how I was going to make them as I wanted them to be easily released so the curtains can close when we want to block out sunlight for Miss Avery. I picked up some daisies from Michael's and attached those for some sweet embellishments:) It's not the greatest thing I've ever done in my life, but it works:)
I'm also working on another very small and random item:) I am starting with the whole having kids thing much later than all my friends. They are already on #3 or #4 or whatever. I have made lots of observations over the years and one thing I have noticed is that everyone seems to always be missing pacifiers! They are always searching the house high and low when it comes to bedtime. I decided to embellish a jar to keep the pacifiers. I will post another picture when it's totally done. It's totally random, I know.
It's basically burlap, glue, and pink glitter. I have an idea to start making more banners and maybe make some different kinds of signs and eventually try to sell them if they end up being popular. Tonight I started working on one that I will post when it's completed. I've made the "Give Thanks" banner five times now and they are getting better with each one I make. I want to start making different variations of the banner that people can use for weddings, bridal showers, parties, house decor, etc. My plan is to make a few and then post and see if anyone buys any. We will see what happens. To be continued:)

Fall Has Fallen At My House...

I can't remember a time when I wasn't obsessed with the Fall. I didn't grow up celebrating Halloween so October and November are Fall/Harvest time to me and I love everything about it! I love the leaves in bright oranges, reds, and yellows. I love to decorate and bake with pumpkins and I love the smell of the candles that come out this time of year. So anyway, as I mentioned in my last post, I started making the adorable "give thanks" banners and hung mine on my mantle. I then decorated around it and I love it!!!
I went to the dollar store and picked up the leaves, candles, glass jars, and of course some yummy candy corn candy to decorate with and maybe sneak one or two to make sure they taste okay:)
I got the sweet little pumpkins at Trader Joes for under a dollar. I also bought some yummy fall candles from Target and threw in the pumpkin decor I already had out in a box in my garage.
Of course I switched my door wreath out for my fall one!
All in all, I'm excited with how I turned my apartment into a Harvest Haven and for hardly any money at all! I love it!! I also posted the banner on instagram and facebook and mentioned that I would love to make one for anyone that requests it and sure enough, I'm making a few for friends! So fun! I still don't really have readers and no followers and only one comment. But I'm hopeful that with time, my blog will attract some readers:) I have some more DIY projects to post that I think people will like:) Happy Fall Ya'll!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Give Thanks

Spending over two months on bed rest may inevitably kill me. Everyone keeps telling me it will all be worth it when I have sweet Avery in my arms. I know that's true but the wait is probably one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. So in order to fill the time, I do a lot of organizing, nesting, and crafting. I'm constantly on the look-out for a new DIY project I can do that will keep me busy and sane. I am a holiday fanatic. From October through the end of December I am a sucker for Harvest/Autumn time to Christmas decor. I love to decorate for Autumn and nothing is better than the crisp air, colorful leaves, windows wide open, and decoration of pumpkins and such. The craft I worked on today is a burlap banner for the fireplace. I got the ideas from Pinterest and used various ideas from a few different sources. This was pretty easy and I took my time so that it filled up a couple hours. I love the way it turned out! I started with a roll of burlap. I decided to measure squares 4 1/2 inches across. I used a lighter (this scared me at first) to burn the edges to ensure it doesn't all come unraveled. The squares turned out all the same size and with good, clean edges.
I used some stencils I bought a while back at Joanns, taping them with stencil tape, and then painting with acrylic black paint and a sponge brush.
I was nervous about how the letters would turn out as burlap obviously is filled with holes and much of the paint sinks through to the newspaper it was laid on. I touched up a few areas with a black Sharpee and went over the paint at least twice to ensure every area was covered. I let each letter dry for about 20-30 min before lifting the stencil to see how it turned out.
I let it all dry for a couple hours and then plugged in my hot glue gun. I went to Walmart in search of matching string but they didn't have any so I picked up some brown yarn. I turned each letter upside down and glued along the top edge, folding down over the string and then pressing hard (and burning my fingers) until it dried.
I then wrapped the end of the string on nails on my fireplace and "ta da! It's done. I am proud and very happy with it. Next step is to get a couple small pumpkins and perhaps a candle or two to complete the fireplace decor.
My next project is something for the front porch. I need to get Autumn decor out of my system before moving onto Christmas:)

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Nursery

The last eight months have been filled with fantasizing about the nursery and then slowly making and buying items to carry out the ideas in my head. I feel almost sad in some strange way that it's basically "complete" other than a few minor details. It has kept me busy and given me an outlet for my creativity.
I knew from the start that I wanted to do a "cotton candy" colored theme with turquoise and pink. It took me forever to decide on bedding but I finally went with "My Baby Sam Pixie" set and got a great deal off Amazon. I created the wall art from items from Michael's and purchased sweet prints from various shops in Etsy with quotes I liked. I really wanted "girl power" quotes that will be inspirational for Avery even though she won't be able to read them until probably long after they are taken down.
I feel like everything I did in the nursery is meaningful, however, there are a couple things that are more meaningful than others: I framed a picture of my mother pregnant with me and then framed one of me pregnant as well.
I also put my doll that my Great Grandmother made for me that has her name on the back in the crib. I will probably take it out but I like to see it on display for now. It's a beautiful keepsake:)
Some of my favorite details are: the toy box I made, the laundry basket I picked up for a great price at Home Goods,and the framed "For Like Ever" print above the rocker.
By the way, the not-so-attractive wire you see hanging from the ledge on the wall is the awesome video monitor my parents bought us. It fits perfectly on the ledge and gives the perfect view inside the crib.
I am having a lot of trouble sleeping these days so I often go sit in the rocker, listen to music, and just enjoy the beauty of the room. I'm looking forward to spending much more time in it when she gets here. Of course, she won't be sleeping in the crib at first but we will be in there to change clothes, change diapers, rock, and read:) Don't even get me started on the adorable outfits hanging in her closet that I have matched with bows hanging around the hanger when I can't sleep. Yes, it's true:)I know she won't appreciate this nursery but I plan to keep the pictures for her in a keepsake album and let her know when she's older how much time I spent creating the room for her while anticipating her arrival:)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What I Want for my Daughter...

I'm 8 months pregnant and officially the size of a small solar system. I'm on disability and home every day so I have A LOT of time to notice my ginmrmous belly and wonder how much bigger it can possibly get. I'm also finding myself becoming more and more connected to my baby girl, Avery. She moves around and kicks like it's her job! I have moments of finding myself saying aloud, "Avery, that was hard on Mama. Take it down a notch". She doesn't seem to listen:) I find myself talking to her aloud here and there while I'm alone and doing things around the apartment or driving my car. Just little things like, "Mama is crazy, isn't she?" I made a playlist on my phone of lullaby songs combined with sweet love songs that I want her to know and I play the playlist often. I'm hoping she knows the songs when she's out here in the world and is comforted when I play them. I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a mama. What I hope to be like. I What I want to teach Avery and I constantly wonder who she will be. I've narrowed down to seven most important things I want to teach her and model for her:
#1.) Most importantly, I want her to be kind. I want to teach her to be kind to others. I want her to notice the kids on the playground that are alone and don't have anyone and go talk to them. I want her to comfort her friends when they are sad and to smile sweetly at those around her. I want her to be the opposite of a diva, basically. I see those awful baby onesies that say stupid things like, "Diva" and "Born to shop" and I think, why on earth would I want my precious little girl advertising that? I want her to love on others and I know that will only occur through my example. Gulp. #2.) I want her to know she is loved and to feel special. I want her to know that her parents are her biggest fan and that we think she is just the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have thought about having little girls since I was a little girl myself and I've often thought about what things I would say to my girl(s) so they know how crazy I am about them. One of my favorite movies is "Hope Floats" and mostly because I love seeing Sandra Bullock's character learning to be a great mama. She messes up at times but her heart is in the right place and she tries so hard to show her daughter that she's special. My favorite part: "You know, I always thought I was gonna be, I don't know, special. But I'm not. I'm just... I'm just an ordinary person. And that's OK. Because... you make me special. Don't you know that? Don't you know that you're everything in this world to me? And we're gonna make it through this because we are a team. Birdee and Bernice, the coolest chicks in Smithville. So don't you ever think about leaving me again... because I need you. I love you." #3.) I want her to love God. I don't want her to be religious or spiritual necessarily. I don't care if she knows all the right Bible verses or Bible trivia like I did as a child. I want her to LOVE Jesus. To know that He loves her and love Him back. That's really it. The rest is just the product of that love. #4.) I want her to be strong and confidant. I've always been strong I think. I haven't always been confidant. I think it's "normal" as females to go through stages of this. But all in all, even when she goes through those awkward stages we all go through or gets hurt by a boy, or makes some big mistakes, I want her to be strong and believe in herself. I think this comes from a lot of love, support, and challenging her as parents. I don't necessarily want to instill straight up feminism, but...well I guess I do. I want her to know she is capable of being whoever she wants to be and to know that all it takes is hard work to get to wherever she wants to go. I want her to be selective with boys and to know when she deserves better. I want her to never feel inferior to a man or even to another woman. I want her to be brave. I want her to believe she is capable of being someone important. You get it... #5.) I want her to make mistakes-and learn from them. I'm the middle child and my experiences growing up are completely different from my other four sisters. We have the same parents and lived in the same house but if we told you our stories growing up, you would think we were raised on different planets. My experience was that I was a good kid with a good heart who wanted to do the "right" thing but wasn't a total robot. I had good friends that kept me grounded and I think that was huge. My parents wouldn't let me have a boyfriend until I was 16 but I did anyway. I know, such a rebel. I made out with him and fought with him and exchanged "I love you's" and was totally blind to the fact that he was clearly cheating on me. I fought with friends and liked boys that didn't deserve to be liked. I dreamed of going away to college but didn't because of a boy. I didn't make any HUGE mistakes in high school. I saved those for adulthood:) I would say my greatest mistakes have been giving too much of myself to guys that did't deserve it. I longed to be loved and to find "the one" and got really hurt and lost in the process. I hurt not only myself but others as well. I didn't listen to that voice inside that told me to stop and made some really stupid choices. But I will say this, I have very few regrets. I am thankful for the experiences because they shaped me into who I am. It will hurt me to watch Avery make poor choices and get hurt but at the end of the day, I will be thankful for those mistakes as well because hopefully they will shape her and make her even stronger. #6.) I want her to decide for herself who she will be and what she believes. I will instill my values and my morals in her from the very beginning. I will model what I think a loving, good, and strong woman looks like. But as Avery grows, I want her to find these things on her own. I hope that she loves God but not because I do. Because she finds Him on her own and finds that she needs Him. I want her to decide what kind of man (or woman) she will end up with. I want her to decide her own career. I want her to have her own style and her own interests. I don't want to force things on her or ever make her feel like she has to be a certain person to make me happy. I want her to be HER. Whatever that is. #7.) I want for her to not get married until she is at least 25. Now this sort of contradicts my desire for her to be herself and decide things on her own. If I truly want her to be an individual with her own mind than of course, I can't stop her from getting married at the ripe age of 23 like I did or God forbid, 19 like some people I know. So while I want to trust that she will make the right decision, I really, really, really, really, really want her to wait to get married. I know my experience is mine and some of my closest friends got married very young and they are still happily married. But all in all, I don't want that for her. I want her to form who she is before settling down. I don't want her identity to be defined by her relationship. I don't want her to get hurt and later down the road recognize that she doesn't even know who she is anymore. I don't want her to go through divorce like I did. I don't want...her to hurt. I want for her to go to college wherever she wants to go and travel if she wants. I want her to date a lot so she gets lots of experiences with all different sorts of people. I want her to develop her own goals, mind, beliefs, identity, and then-then when she is more developed, fall in love and then make that commitment. If my parents had forbade me from getting married so young I sadly wonder if I would have rebelled and done it anyway. I won't tell her she can't. But I will tell her about my experiences and instill in her that she is her own person who is strong and able to take on the world and I hope, I hope...that results in not getting married too young. Sigh.
I just want my little girl to make a positive impact on this earth. There's so much ugliness out there and so much pain and people are so lost and angry. I just want her to add somehow to the good in the world. I want her to make some small or large dent in making the world better and lessening the burdens of others. I can't wait to meet her and I know I will fail as a mother over and over. We all do. But I won't give up. I will love her unconditionally and be her cheerleader as she develops into the woman she is meant to be.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Projects Shmojects

I've seen countless women dig into their creative and crafty side when they become pregnant and/or become a mom. I never understood it. Ooohhh, do I get it now! I'm on bed rest for two months before my delivery date. Talk about making me crazy! I'm not one to be able to sit around, staring at the television, and eating chocolate. Although I appreciate those moments:) I need structure and human interaction. I need to feel useful and productive and it's killing me to just sit around! Everyone tries to make me feel better saying things like, "consider it your job to lay low and keep your baby from coming too early". While I appreciate the attempts, that does not help ease my restlessness. I also have an anxiety disorder on top of it totally unrelated to the pregnancy so put it all together and I'm a hot mess! All that to say, I have to have at least one plan per day. Doctor appointment, lunch or dinner with a friend, visit with Grandma, store with the hubs, go to my bff's house, whatever it may be...I just need one thing to wake up for. I also need projects. So I've been crafting. The nursery is almost completely DIY projects and it continues! I thought I would share a few of my projects.
I have been trying to figure out how to store Avery's toys and I don't want to spend what it costs to invest in a legit toy box. At least not yet while she has hardly any toys and obvi isn't playing with any yet. I went to Joanns and bought a square basket/crate thing that already has a bit of a shabby chic look to it. I picked out letters in a cute font, painted them pink, and wood glued them to the box. Tada! I can take credit for an adorable toy box that required very little work!
I wanted to have some form of door decor for Avery's room and I spent a lot of time skimming Pinterest for ideas. I wasn't a huge fan of really any of them. So I sort of threw together my own idea. I had fun picking out the stick-on cupcakes and the pink and white polka-dot ribbon. To be honest, it didn't turn out quite the way I would have liked but it's good enough:)I wrote Avery a little note on the back "made with love by Mama" so in the future she knows where the crafty items came from:)
I had a lot of fun with wall decor. I made some adorable frames for the wall above the crib that feature an A as well as two prints off Etsy with quotes. I also painted a small shelf and decorated around it, including more prints with quotes off Etsy, pictures of my Mama pregnant with me and then a picture of me pregnant with Avery, and then some simple little other decorative items. I love that the walls are covered in sweet items I worked hard on just for Avery. I have a bit of an obsession with prints with quotes from Etsy and wish I had the computer software to design my own. I carefully chose feminist/pro strong women quotes that I want Avery to grow up reading: "Though she be little, she is fierce", "Oh the places you will go", "dream big little one"-I'm pretty sure these will inspire her even though she won't be able to read:)
Tonight I made these fun clothing dividers for the closet. I got the idea off Pinterest and have been wanting to make some for quite some time. I think all of us Mama's know we have clothes from newborn all the way up that we get as gifts or see in awesome sales or for me, something I just adore and can picture being adorable for next summer. So these dividers help me keep track of how much clothes I have in each size. I had a lot of fun designing these while watching "The Voice" premiere with my honey:) I imagine the projects will continue until the day I go into labor. I think I've filled the nursery with PLENTY of items and now need to venture out to items for the living room and dining room. I'm on the search for inspiration...