Saturday, December 31, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness-Part 2 (Too Late)

Look what I found! A post I never posted. I totally meant to do this, but you go in the way. But I am still super thankful for SO many things! ya go!

I am thankful for....

November 2
the opportunity to be a grad student even if sometimes I don't love the homework.

November 3
awesome parents who invite me over for yummy dinner just for me!

November 4
hanging out with adorable twinlets who crawl in your lap and give big smiles and giggles.

November 5
movie nights with awesome friends.

November 6
my religion. I feel so lucky to have the faith that I do and always have something I can lean on.

November 7
cheese. It is so delicious.

See previous posts:
Part 1

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My New Role

My sister is getting married! Well, that isn't new news. It happened while we were in Las Vegas in July. 

But it is still exciting!

I was doing this:

when her fiance called to ask for my blessing. 

Then we were doing this:

 (walking along the strip) when she called to tell us he asked her! I squealed!

They took beautiful, amazing engagement photos like this:

Doesn't everyone take engagement photos in front of the pyramids? In case you didn't know, her fiance is Egyptian (like really Egypitan, lives in Egypt) and she met him while visiting there back when she was in the Peace Corps. She spent most of the summer in Cairo and that is when they got engaged. And took these amazing photos!

Oh yeah, and they got engaged while taking a boat ride on the Nile. Totally ordinary.

She was in town in the fall for a friend's wedding and we got to spend some time doing wedding stuff like looking at reception halls and trying on dresses.

While we were doing this, she gave me this adorable black and white box:

So my new role in life is officially her Matron of Honor. And boy am I honored! I am so looking forward to helping plan  her wedding and being there for her for whatever she needs. She was the best Maid of Honor ever for me and I hope to return the favor. (It is OK I posted those photos because she isn't going to wear that dress. It was just one she tried on!).

P.S. The cookie was delicious.
P.S.S. If I am going to be completely honest, those photos were staged. She actually asked me while she was wearing the wedding dress bra and slip. But those aren't really appropriate to put on the internet!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Craftiness

Well hello there! Did you think I forgot about you?

As I rush around finishing up getting ready for Christmas Eve, I had some motivation to post about my recent Christmas craftiness!

The first idea I found on Pinterest a couple weeks ago and really wanted to try it. I have SO much wrapping paper and so many wrapping supplies, so I didn't do it for ALL the presents, but I did pretty much one for every person like this. 

**10/9/2012 Updated to add**
Just today I received a comment from the original poster of this photo! She has a Facebook page for her photography business and originally posted it in 2010. It made its way around Pinterest, but most pins didn't credit back to the original source. So here it is (her Facebook and her Pin Board!

The photo on pinterest:

This next idea was inspired by Gina at NamastebyDay. Before Thanksgiving she was tweeting about ribbon wreaths, so I decided to go out and get some ribbon at the awesome Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales! She sent me a couple pictures to get an idea of the type of ribbon to buy and I went crazy. I've continued going crazy buying ribbon until I actually made the wreath this week!

It is pretty easy, just time consuming. I used a wreath shape from The Dollar Tree (the wicker like one) so I needed to cut longer pieces of ribbon (a lot of the tutorials call for a wire wreath and shorter pieces of ribbon). I actually have no idea how many rolls I went through, but at least 5 I think. I got 1.5 to 2.5 inch ribbon in a variety of colors. I randomly started cutting and tying ribbon until it was full. When you think you have enough, shove the pieces together, and start tying more! One of the most time consuming parts of it was going back and cutting little "v's" into all the ribbons. But it really does make a difference! 

After starting the tied ribbon wreath, I got excited about another idea. Actually, I put the tied ribbon wreath on hold to finish this one. Then went back to it!

I wrapped a Styrofoam wreath in 4 different ribbons. The thing I didn't think of was that some of my ribbon was "see through" so I had to wrap the first layer with more solid ribbon. Then I went back and added a few smaller accent pieces throughout. I decided it needed something else, so I added some of my felt flowers to the side. I love how it turned out! I used sparkly white and red felt that I had leftover from some project and made a bunch of random flowers and then glued them on the wreath! I rolled the rosettes so the sparkly part would be on the "inside" of the rosette so you could see it better. The other issue I encountered was that I ended up covering up almost the whole red and green striped section because of where I put the flowers. Lack of planning. I just kind of went forward without long term planning when I was making it!

These were some of my inspirations for the wrapped ribbon wreath:

So those are my recent projects! I only have one front door so currently the wrapped ribbon wreath is on the front door and the tied ribbon wreath is in the living room. I just bought a curly cue H to possibly hang from the middle of one of the wreaths after I paint it red. We'll see if and when I get around to that! 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Birthday Guitar Cake

I realized that I never posted about the guitar cake I made for Chase (my nephew). This is the 4th year I have made his birthday cake. I started in 2008 because I took a cake decorating class that summer. He requested Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I made two the first year because he had a friends party and a family party. In 2009 he requested TMNT again, but a different one. I don't even know which one is which. In 2010 he requested a football helmet because he played on a football team last year. Looking back, my black icing was much better in 2010 than 2011. Can't remember the difference. My brother-in-law helped ice the symbol on the helmet because I am not the greatest artist in the world. You can definitely tell which one was my first cake ever! I hope I've improved over time!




Cake decorating this year. I made a guitar cake because he loves to play the guitar and sing with his dad. I saw an idea to use the cake mold to mold chocolate for parts of the cake. It turned out great. It was the first time I did anything like that. I know now to use less chocolate. I was afraid of it breaking, so I made it too think. It made it a bit hard to frost around it when it was so high.

Here is a picture of my disaster of a kitchen *gasp*! And the best part? I left right after finishing the cake to run to the store and my super amazing husband cleaned it all up!

The finished cake! I am super proud of this one!!

The only thing that I would do differently is figure out a way to do the strings so they don't dip down in that hole are in the middle.

The actual birthday party was a surprise. Chase was so excited when he arrived home and everyone was there!

Haveing fun with Amy (Amy is an honorary family member with Adam's family now too!) and my niece.

Chase loved his cake!

And Adam tried using Zowie's skateboard when we left. We enjoyed watching him!

I really wish I had more time to bake and learn new techniques because I really really enjoy it! Maybe I just need to make more time and start saying "no" to other things I do. 

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

30 Days of Thankfulness

I have seen the twitter hashtag #30daysofthankfulness today and I thought it would make a great blog series for this November. I will post once a week about my list of thankfuless for that week. 

Starting with today:

I am thankful for.....
...big hugs from preschool students when they see me at a family night at school. It feels really good to have a smile spread across their face and have them run up to me. Makes coming back on a night when I have a paper to write worthwhile.

Speaking of that paper....

Back to the grindstone.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Carving and Halloween Fun

Adam and I have been talking about carving pumpkins for a couple weeks. We even picked our very favorite pumpkins from the pumpkin patch to carve ourselves. Of course...when did we actually carve? The night before Halloween when we said, "If we don't carve them now, we never will!". But it was fun anyway. Adam did the carving of the tops and I did the carving of the designs.

Neither of us are artistic at all, so for the first one, we found a cat template online. We tried to get a picture of Fudgie inside the pumpkin, but she was having none of it. 

Then we busted into our ginormous 50 lb pumpkin! Not the easiest to get up on the counter let alone carve! It was so thick in some areas, you couldn't even see the knife when I stuck it all the way through!

When I picked it off the vine, I accidentally broke the stem off. I decided it was resourceful to use a hot glue gun to put it back together.

We decided to try and save some of the seeds from our favorite pumpkins and grow them next year. They are kind of a pain to clean off. But we are going to dry and save seeds from these two pumpkins we carved.

I ruined my nailpolish during our pumpkin carving! 

Our pumpkins on the porch!

We added a few more pumpkins for Halloween today!

I love to see pumpkins all over the place! It has been fun to have different pumpkins on our porch this year. Especially throughout the season. Any pumpkins that had issues we couldn't sell I put on the porch! You'll notice the blue crate on the porch. We gave out leftover gourds with our Halloween candy!

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm a...Godmother!

At the end of September, I became a Godmother for the first time. I am little Grady's Godmother. When Kristin and Ryan asked me, I was so honored. I definitely wasn't expecting it and I am so touched. I look forward to being a special part of his life for many years to come! When I read Kristin's blog post about it, I cried! I was so touched about the nice things she said. Like she said, it is also fun because Grady and I share a birthday! The Godfather is a friend of Ryan's from high school. He also went to college with us!

I really enjoyed picking out special Bibles just for him to use now and also for him to have for a long time. I also created a print for Grady with a space for a photo from the day. I included this prayer because I had it embroidered and framed large above my bed growing up. I said it before bed every night and I often still do! It wasn't until I was much older that I learned the other (more used) version which reads "If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take" as the last two lines. I never heard that one as a kid! That would probably have freaked me out a bit. I much prefer the guiding me safely. While making this I also learned another version, "Angels watch me through the night, wake me with the morning light", which I also thought was nice. But I really wanted to include the prayer that was so important to me growing up!

My Godson!