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Monday, December 31, 2012

5 for Five - New Year's Eve!


Happy New Year's Eve everyone!! This week they're doing New Year's Resolutions for 5 for Five and we're posting five goals that we have for 2013. Although it's a fabulous idea, I don't believe in resolutions. Just think about how different things are for you from exactly one year ago. You have no idea what will happen in a year, therefore how do you plan goals for an entire year? I had no idea a year ago that right now I would be just a few weeks away from giving birth to a little boy. So I'm going to stick with my weekly goals. It's a bit easier to plan for a week. :)

Here's how I did last week:

1. Write and send out thank you cards. Done! Still need to send but no big deal, I've got them all written!!

2. Plan out the next two weeks of blog posts. Yes, it's the first time I've actually done this and it makes me feel so much more organized knowing what's upcoming! No more "Oh my goodness, I haven't blogged in two days and have no idea what to do."

3. Get the house super-clean! (Or at least sort-of-clean...) I kinda cleaned...still need to do much, much more! And finish putting everything away!

4. Decorate something for Travis's room. I bought the canvas that I'm going to use, but there are still a few other supplies I need that I wasn't able to get this week. So next week hopefully I'll be able to get this done!

5. Finish organizing my Pinterest. Check! You can see my blog post about it here. :)

So 3/5. Not too shabby! Now for this coming week!

1. Wash baby clothes and sheets. Travis is going to be here before we know it and I need to make sure I've got his clothes and bassinet and crib sheets all washed so that they don't irritate his skin! Don't want my baby getting a rash.

2. Take down the tree and put away Christmas decorations. I had a really hard time waiting to do this. I wanted to keep everything up for the rest of the month, but I'm the type of person where once Christmas is over, it's over. Decorations, songs, etc., need to go. The only difficult thing about this one will be figuring out where to store the decorations!

3. Decorate something for Travis's room. Since I didn't get this done last week, I need to get it done this week. And now I know what I want to do, just need to get the supplies for it and just do it!

4. Figure out how the car seat works. After having a small labor scare today, we definitely need to figure out how the car seat works so that when he's really coming, we'll be ready!

5. Clean house! Really need to put everything in its place and get everything cleaned. Really really bad. I WILL do this this week!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

January 2013 Calendar Printable

I can't believe it's already so close to the new year! I am so excited for 2013 and everything it has to bring to my family and me!

To welcome the new year, here is a FREE January 2013 Calendar Printable! I'll have one of these for every month, just to keep you guys coming back. ;)

I love calendars and use them as my reference for everything! I would be completely lost in my days without calendars. And even later for everything than usual. Are you a calendar person, too? :)

January 2013 Calendar: Download Here

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Importance of Thank You Cards

Since Christmas has just passed, this seems like a really good time for this topic. In the age of texting, e-mail, and all kinds of electronic communication, the simple snail mail invite or thank you card has been lost. And those are things that I think are really important.

My baby shower was on December 2nd, and I had to fight my mother to get my invitations sent out by snail mail. It definitely took ten times longer to address them all by hand (after struggling to get everyone's address), but I think that mailed invitations are so much more formal and personal.

I firmly believe that events such as showers, birthday parties, and weddings should always have paper snail mail invitations sent out. It gives your guest a tangible invitation from you. Something to hold onto and remember. Something to hang on their refrigerator. Something to add to their scrapbook. Something to fold up and stick in their wallet. Something special for your guest to do whatever they please with.

Thank you cards are something else that I believe should absolutely be sent out by snail mail. Especially for things like baby shower gifts, wedding gifts, even Christmas or birthday gifts deserve a thank you card or a phone call (at the very least).

I love receiving cards. Birthday cards, Christmas cards, invites, thank you cards, whatever. I keep them and display them for at least a month after each event. I'm even having my baby shower cards turned into a book so that I'll always have them.

And you all know how much fun it is to receive something in the mail that isn't a bill. It makes me smile way more than a silly e-mail or text would and it is so much more sincere.

You know how you feel after giving someone a gift? You took the time and money to pick out something that you thought they specifically would like. And it hurts to feel under-appreciated for something that you've put a lot of thought into. Imagine how you would feel if you gave someone a gift and then never even received a thank you for it.

I know it definitely hurts my feelings. I bought my sister and step-sister iTunes gift cards for their new iPods they got for Christmas and put the card into a cute little mug with hot chocolate and made some chocolate lollipop sticks as well. As soon as they opened it up, they took out the gift card and tossed the rest of the gift aside.

So many children grow up feeling unappreciative of and entitled to their gifts. They don't have the understanding that they need to let the gift giver know how much they appreciate their gift.

That's why I think thank you cards (and just being appreciative in general) are important. My children are going to grow up being grateful for each and every gift that they receive. They will say thank you to everyone for every little thing that they get. They will write thank you cards for every holiday (as soon as they're old enough. If they're not, they'll just sign or fingerprint it.)

It's important for us to keep traditions such as thank you cards alive and to let others know that we love and appreciate everything that they do for us or give to us. We shouldn't expect gifts for Christmas or birthdays, we should feel honored to receive gifts. Privileged. That's the message I'm going to teach to my children.

Do you write thank you cards for your gifts or have your children send out thank you cards? What is your opinion on the subject?

Friday, December 28, 2012

An Organized Pinterest

One of my projects for the week was to finish organizing my Pinterest boards. When I first started I had twelve very broad boards to pin to. The nice part about that, was that I could easily pick out which board I wanted to pin to. The bad part was that I had so many pin duplicates and could never find what I had pinned again. The whole point of Pinterest is to pin something for your reference, so you can go back to look at it, right? I wasn't able to do that. Something needed to change.

The twelve boards I started with were:
and Life.

If I wanted to pin a recipe, it was easy for me to pin it to Recipes or Desserts. If I wanted to pin a craft or DIY project, I would pin it right to crafts. The problem is that eventually, these boards had hundreds of pins that I never really looked at again!

If I'm pinning something, I want to be able to find it again. Duh. And at this point, I really wish that Pinterest would let us do "sub-boards" or something, so I could have a Recipes board and then sub-boards for each category. Since that isn't an option, I ended up with a whopping forty-seven pinboards.

Now that may seem a bit extreme to you, but it makes a whole lot of sense to me. And that's really all that matters, right? :)

I started with my big boards, like Recipes and Crafts, and then made them smaller. I now have a board for each category of recipes. That way, when I'm looking for something to make for dinner, I can pick what I'm in the mood for, then look through the pins in that category.

My categories now are:
Organization, Cleaning, Blogging, Printables, Fitness, Life, Baby, Kids, Crafts, DIY Decor, DIY Wall Art, DIY Furniture, DIY Clothing, Bathroom, Bedroom, Closet, Dining Room, Garden, Kitchen, Laundry Room, Living Room, Office, Color, Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Breakfast, Burgers/Beef, Chicken, Desserts, Drinks, Lunch, Mexican, Pasta, Pizza, Pork, Seafood, Sides, Soup/Salads, Wedding, Make-up, Tattoos, and Wardrobe.

Anything pertaining to each room in the house, each holiday, or what have you gets pinned to that board. That way, when I'm looking for painted wooden spoons, I just look in my Kitchen board. Or if I'm going to an Easter get together, everything pertaining to that holiday is in that board. I also have several different DIY categories so I can find exactly what I'm looking for.

It's so much easier for me to have specific categories rather than big broad ones that lose everything that I pin! You can check out my Pinterest here! Anyone else feel like their Pinterest just gets overwhelming sometimes?

Monday, December 24, 2012

12 Days of Ornaments Link-Up!

Merry Christmas Eve!! Can't believe how fast time is going by! This December I featured my 12 Days of Ornaments full of homemade DIY'd ornaments. I had a blast making these and they've made my tree look so fun!

Check this post out if you'd like to see all of my DIY ornaments and more!

In honor of all of the ornaments I've spent time on this month, I want to see ornaments that YOU'VE made! I'll be sure to stop by and check out each one that you link up!

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5 for Five


I love todo lists. Just love them. I write a todo list whenever I can. The problem with this, though, is that sometimes I end up with so many multiple and duplicate todo lists, that they just crowd up spaces! 

5 for Five is a really cool link-up that I found where we list five goals that we want to achieve for the week. So me. And by having it online on my blog, I feel like I might be able to accomplish more! (I really want you guys to think I do more than just sit on my couch all day haha.)

So here we go for this week! It's my first time doing this, so we'll see how it goes!

1. Write and send out thank you cards. My baby shower was December 2nd and I still haven't sent out thank you cards! (I know, I'm a terrible person.) I don't feel too horrible, because a girl whose shower I went to a month before mine just sent out her thank you cards, so at least I'm a little better off than that!

2. Plan out the next two weeks of blog posts. This doesn't mean drafting them out, necessarily, but I definitely need to work on some projects and figure out what I'm going to be posting for the next couple of weeks! I just finished my 12 Days of Ornaments segment, so now I'm at a loss!

3. Get the house super-clean! (Or at least sort-of-clean...) I need to do some cleaning and organizing in my house! Baby comes next month, and the apartment is still a work-in-progress. And we've been living here since July! How terrible is that? Especially with the new Christmas presents we'll be getting (most likely stuff for baby and I asked for loads of kitchen supplies!), I need to find places for everything!

4. Decorate something for Travis's room. I have all these cute visions of wall art for the nursery, but haven't done anything yet! Since we live in an apartment, we're not doing any painting, but I'd love to at least have something to distract from the plain white walls! Either his name or a painting or something embroidered, or anything! I hope to do at least one project this week!

5. Finish organizing my Pinterest. I've been working on this for weeks and really need to finish so that I don't have loads of pointless boards with pins I'll never be able to find! I'm trying to have one specific board for each specific category of something, that way I can always find what I'm looking for!

There we go, hopefully I'll be able to get everything done! These are things I need to be working on anyways, not only for a blog challenge, so it shouldn't be too difficult! (I hope.)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sheet Music Ornament

Can you believe that Christmas is only two days away?! I'm so excited! I'm so relieved for all of the crazy traffic and gift buying to be over with...I need to be saving money for my little one!!

Honestly, I have never in my life been so excited for Christmas to be over. I'm due at the end of next month, and I want January to be here more than anything!!

This cute little sheet music ornament was so simple to make! I just printed out the music to Joy to the World (obviously I had to use a Christmas song for a Christmas ornament!) and cut it up. Then I just stuffed it into the ornament!

I made sure to put the song title in plain view so that we would know what it was, since the music didn't have words on it!

I have had so much fun making all of these ornaments! I'm definitely going to make this a Christmas tradition. I saw a really cute idea of doing handprints on the ornaments every year so you can watch your kids' hands grow! Definitely cute! What are some of your family's Christmas traditions?

Sunday Social - My Favorite Things

Sunday Social

I've been following all of these Sunday Social posts for awhile and they seem like fun. Definitely a good way for you guys to get to know me a little better. :) So I decided to go ahead and try my first Sunday Social post!
This week's questions are about favorites. Simple enough. :)

1. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Eh, I'm boring. Vanilla all the way! :) In our freezer right now we have mint chocolate chip, cookies & cream, and cookie dough, which are all delicious, too, but my favorite is just plain ol' vanilla!

2. What is your favorite smell?
The smell of Christmas! Jon is always annoyed when I say that, telling me that Christmas doesn't have a smell, but it definitely does! It has a few smells: cinnamon, pine, apple, etc. And I love it!

3. What is your favorite TV commercial? (Past or present)
Oh, that's an easy one! The Little Caesar's commercial with the guy who orders the pizza and shouts, "There's no rules!" It cracks me up every single time. I'm so sad they stopped airing it. Here, you absolutely HAVE to watch it:

4. What is your favorite day of the week?
Hmm, I really like Wednesdays for some reason. I'm not in school at the moment, and I work nights at a restaurant, so it's pretty much like a weekend for me. Very relaxing. :)

5. What is your favorite way to waste time?
Sigh, reading blogs, browsing Pinterest, sleeping, playing Bingo on my phone, not cleaning my house like I should be.....

6. What is your favorite article of clothing?
I have a few nice shirts that I really like. I can't really say anything is my favorite at the moment. Being eight months pregnant, I'm not exactly looking like any kind of fashion icon!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Half-Painted Ornament

No, I promise I was not just being lazy by only painting half of the ornament! It's meant to be this way. :) I love how half of the ornament is clear and you can see up into the inside of the ornament. Very neat.

I had made this one, with teal paint on the top half, along with a second ornament that had purple paint on the bottom half.

All you do is squeeze paint gently into the ornament and roll is around the top half. Or, if you prefer the paint on the bottom, just squeeze the paint directly down inside of the ornament and then roll it around.

Unfortunately, however, my cat broke the one with purple paint. While it was still wet, of course, and ended up with purple paws!

You just can't get mad at this adorable little kitten, though, no matter how many times he chews through the lights or how many ornaments he breaks.

:) He is just too adorable.

Do you have little monsters that like to terrorize your Christmas tree, too? Our tree is completely top-heavy. The bottom half has absolutely no ornaments, we've had to move them all to the top!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Simple Black Bean Quesadilla

As much as I'd like to think I am, I'm not much of a cook. In fact, I maybe make one meal from scratch a week, if we're lucky. So when I can do something delicious that is also extremely quick and easy, I jump on it!

I love quesadillas. I mean, really, what's not to love about all that cheese? I also love black bean quesadillas. So I tried looking up a good recipe, but they all seemed so complicated. Finally I decided to just wing it. And it surprisingly turned out really well!

All you need is two tortillas, Monterey Jack cheese, black beans, and corn. Grate/shred plenty of cheese on the bottom and the top of the black beans and corn, then put the top tortilla on.

If you're (a) talented, (b) know how to, or (c) have a pan big enough, then go right ahead and grill (or whatever the correct term is) your quesadilla on the stove. I couldn't figure it out and Jon was being so unhelpful, so I just stuck the thing in the microwave for two minutes. Still turned out amazingly!

Just serve with some sour cream and/or salsa and enjoy! :)

Simple Black Bean Quesadilla Recipe

  • Two tortillas
  • One can drained black beans
  • One can drained corn
  • 8 oz package Monterey Jack cheese
  • Put the bottom tortilla on a plate.
  • Grate however much cheese you want onto the tortilla. If you're like me, it's half the package.
  • Drain the black beans and corn and pour them on top of the layer of cheese.
  • Grate however much more cheese you want onto the tortilla. If you're like me, it's the rest of the package.
  • Place the tortilla lid on top.
  • Microwave for two minutes.
  • Serve with sour cream/salsa.
  • Enjoy! :)
Easy and quick, just like a quesadilla recipe should be. :) What are some toppings that you like to put on your quesadillas?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Glitter Paint Ornament

I made a glitter ornament previously using floor varnish and glitter that turned out really well. This time, however, I had some leftover Martha Stewart glitter paint that I decided to try.

I'll let you in on a secret...although I've said it before...I do not like glitter paint. I do not like how it turns out at all. It's runny and it's not very glittery.

I thought gold might look festive since it's a nice Christmas-y color, but honestly, this ornament looks slightly like I just put dijon mustard in it...

Oh well, can't win every time! Have you used Martha Stewart's glitter paint? How did it turn out for you?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ornament Filled Ornament

Do you hate throwing away your broken ornaments? Maybe it's just me, and probably because they were brand new ornaments, but when Jon broke one (before he even got it out of the packaging), I just couldn't throw it away.

Thus, this ornament was born! I put the small pieces in first, then broke up the rest of the ornament and stuffed it in. It was actually pretty fun, too. Jon asked if I was going to start smashing up all of  the ornaments and put them in there!

Shortly after I finished breaking up the red ornament that Jon broke, my cat broke a purple ornament! So, that one went in as well. Jasper has since broken another ornament that is sitting on my table in pieces waiting for me to add it to this new ornament.

My tree is so top heavy. The entire bottom half is ornament-less because the cat knocked them all off and I had to move them up higher!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sprinkle Filled Ornament

I love how this turned out. My mom threw me a baby shower the other day and put blue (for boy!) sprinkles on the brownies and rice krispy treats she made and then gave me the rest of the sprinkles.

This color blue is so pretty at Christmas! I love the blue ice color. Just pour floor varnish into the ornament and swirl around, pouring the excess back into the bottle. Then pour sprinkles into the ornament and do the exact same thing.

You could do this with so many different types of sprinkles! Rainbow sprinkles, Christmas sprinkles, etc. Love it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Paint Streaked Ornament

Please, if you do this ornament, please think your color scheme through a bit better. Either that, or just have a stronger shaking arm than me. I don't know what it was about the ornaments I used paint in, but they were so hard to shake to get the paint everywhere!

This one really didn't turn out that badly. There's just one area of the ornament that is slightly brown because the red and green paints started to mix when I was trying to streak the ornament. Still looks very Christmasy! :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

DIY Cinnamon Ornament

I have to say, I'm impressed with myself on this one. It even smells like cinnamon! And seriously took like three minutes to make. I'm starting to become obsessed with making ornaments.

Just pour floor varnish into the ornament, swirl around to cover completely, then pour the excess back into the bottle.

Using a funnel if you have one, pour plenty of cinnamon inside of the ornament and shake it up. Then pour the excess back into the cinnamon container. Voila! A pretty dark brown cinnamon-smelling ornament! :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ribbon Filled Ornament

This ornament took forever to make. Want to know why? My scissors seem to have completely disappeared out of my house. So has the remote to the surround sound. Seriously, where do these things go when they go missing from houses? So eventually I settled to using Jon's pocket knife. But I would still REALLY like to find my scissors and the remote. (And if you're wondering, yes, there seriously was only one pair of scissors in my house. Now there appears to be zero!)

After getting the pocket knife to use, though, these were incredibly simple! Just cut ribbon to whatever lengths you want, then curl them and stuff them into the ornament, or just leave them be! I curled most pieces, but did put a couple of straight pieces in them as well. Love how it turned out!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY Glitter Ornament

Okay, seriously, working with glitter should not be this difficult! My luck with this ornament must have just been completely shot!

First, the lid to my glitter container broke off. (Also, it's best to buy a big bottle of glitter so you can just pour the excess from the ornament right back into the bottle. My container was so skinny that I had to pour the excess into my hand and try to scoop it back into the container. Most of it ended up on the table.)

Then, I poured varnish all over the outside of my ornament. Then, I got too impatient and poured glitter in before the inside of the ornament was completely covered in floor varnish. (Luckily, if you do the same and mess up, it was incredibly easy to just rinse out the inside of the ornament and start over!)

I finally got it though and ended up with a very lovely glitter ornament! It's so pretty! I wish I had bought more glitter!

And it usually is very easy. Just pour floor varnish or polish into the ornament (believe it or not, it actually works!) and coat the ornament; pour the extra back into the bottle. Then pour plenty of glitter into the ornament! It's okay to pour more than you'll need because you want to make sure the entire ornament gets covered the first time around to keep it from looking splotchy! Then just pour the excess glitter back into the container! Easy peasy, done in like three minutes! (As long as you do it right!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Baby Shower Invitation Ornament

I can't completely take credit for this idea because I saw someone do this with a wedding invitation, but this is probably going to be one of our most meaningful ornaments.

I was so excited when I came up with the idea to slice up one of my baby shower invitations, because this is a nice, cute little keepsake that not a lot of people have. It was incredibly easy to do, too!

I have a little paper slicer that I got from Michael's (with a 50% off coupon so it was just ten bucks, booyah!) that I used to slice the invitation up into thin pieces. Then (since it was cardstock) all I had to do was just wrap it around a pen for a few seconds, and it instantly kept that curl shape, then I just slid the curls into the ornament!

I really love it and have seriously been showing it off to almost everyone! Jon thinks I should write "Baby Shower 2012" somewhere on it, so that in twenty years we can still remember what it was, but I have terrible handwriting and don't want to ruin it! But then my friend came up with the best idea to just write that on a box and keep it in that box! Perfect! :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

DIY Painted Ornaments

Jon and I just put our tree up two days ago, and our little kitten has already chewed through the wire for the Christmas lights! Thank goodness Jon says he can fix it, because I just bought those lights! We still have to pick out ornaments and get a tree topper. Jon's family is an angel tree topper family and mine is a star tree topper family, so we'll have to decide which type of topper we go with. Jon's family does white lights though, and mine does color, so I sacrificed color lights for him, so I'm thinking we're gonna go with a star tree topper. What do you top your tree with?

Today is the first DIY ornament in my 12 Days of Ornaments series! I've seen this one everywhere, and it was extremely easy, but looks so incredible to be DIY! (Seriously, who knew you could put paint on the inside of the ornament and have it look store-bought?!

Started with two little clear glass ornaments...

Poured some paint in and shook it up! (Requires a lot of arm work. I had to have Jon shake the green one because my poor arm was starting to hurt!) Jon had the genius idea to use a piece of newspaper to cover the hole, that way I didn't get paint all over my fingers and then all over the ornament!

And, voila! Two beautiful, homemade, custom, Christmas ornaments! Just sit them upside-down and let the paint dry for 24-hours. Then just be careful inserting the tops back in so that you don't chip the paint! :)