Menu buttons


Friday, January 31, 2014

We Don't Have Snowboots

Snow in North Carolina is an event.  Even the slight possibility of a trace of snow has schools and businesses closing and people rush to the store to stock up on milk and bread before barricading themselves in their houses.  I find this both amusing and frustrating.  We're from the mountains of Utah where snow isn't unusual, even in June.  In my entire life I think they only closed the school ONE DAY for snow - and we're talking snow so heavy everyone needed the day to shovel off their roofs before they collapsed.  But here, well, they have been talking about this storm for a week.  The school declared Tuesday an early release day (out at 11:00) then at 10:30 PM the night before the county topped that and declared all schools closed for the day.  So we kept the kids home and waited.  No snow at 10:00.  No snow at noon.  No snow at 4:00 PM.  An entire day of having the whole family home with the fireplace going and all stocked up on hot chocolate and no snow.  I think it truly started here sometime around 6:30 or so.  And it really took it's time about laying down the white stuff.  But.

This time around it wasn't a complete false alarm.  The kids could barely wait for the sun to come up so they could head outside to make snow angels and throw snowballs. 

When I finally allowed them to bundle up and head (probably around 7AM) out we realized that they don't have snowboots.  Or proper gloves or anything else.  So we did the best we could.  Ty went out in old sneakers and Kaitlyn had to clomp around in my (too big) hiking boots.  I'm sure Sam and I have some stuff in a box in the garage, but it wouldn't have fit the kids so we didn't bother.  And you know what?  They had fun anyway.


 And when they got cold they would come inside to warm up.  Play for a while.  Then head back outside to do it all again.
We're now on Snow Day #4 (with no additional snow after that first night).  *shaking my head* ;)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things

Look who turned One Year Old!  I can't believe how fast puppies grow up.

Of course we celebrated - with a two minute photo session (I went all the way to Dollar General just to get her a party hat and had a minor freak out when I discovered I had no cash in my wallet - but that's another story), a new puzzle chew toy, and lots and lots of hugs from the kids.  Bambi didn't care, but the kids thought it was great (plus doesn't she look so cute?!).  And really, that's the point, right?  Well at least it's my point most of the time.  I try to remind myself, often, that it isn't about trudging through that endless list of things that need to be done but more about the fun and memories we are creating with our kids.

What did you celebrate this week?

Monday, January 27, 2014

One Little Word 2014 - January Prompts

I mentioned the word I chose for this year, right? (yup!  original post on that can be found here)  I really want to keep my word, Intention, more present in my daily life this year.  So I signed up for the online One Little Word Workshop.  And so far it's been working!  It has taken me most of the month to complete the layouts, which is probably a good thing.  I've been able to think about my word and the prompts while my hands are busy painting drying racks or working on other things but it was hard to find time to sit down and write it all out and even harder to find the time to work on the layouts.  Typically I would have been quick to sit down and get it all done, but extending the process throughout the month has not only helped me be more clear on my Word and where I want to go with it, but it keeps the word in the front of my mind and I've found that my actions truly do reflect what I've been thinking about, at least a little bit.
 So now that the layouts are complete, I may as well show them off, right?  This is the title page.  The top half is actually on a transparency with the wording done with vinyl (but it was too busy for photos with the next page showing through so I stuck a piece of cardstock behind it).
 I wanted to keep the focus on the process, not particularly the layouts so I did all the journaling first in a notebook.  Then I typed it all up on the templates in Photoshop (first time doing something like that!  I'm not great at Photoshop but it went pretty smoothly and easily) and printed them out.  But let's face it, it's me and I can't NOT add a little personality to a project like this.  Plus, I had grabbed a really cute paper stack a few weeks ago thinking it would be fun to use on this project.  So I added a few patterned paper accents, just for fun.

 One Little Word Blog Hop

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sometimes Done Is Better Than Perfect

That's one of the quotes that has been popping into my head a lot lately.  Done is better than Perfect.  Seems like a good mantra, right?  It fits pretty well with what I've been trying to accomplish this month - to get some of those random things I've been meaning to do crossed off the list.  And it's working!
So far I have:
 Labeled the garbage can.  We know "right is recycle" but guests don't and I've been meaning to put some vinyl labels on it for months.
 Replaced the rug in the entry.  I've been meaning to do this ever since we moved into this house (over 3 years now).  The above photo is the poor old rug we've been using.  Waaaaaay past its prime.
And there is the new rug.  Found it at Home Goods yesterday for $15.  Awesome!  I'd been looking for something "perfect" and kept rejecting option after option over the months - too expensive, not enough color, found it in Utah and didn't want to bring it back on the plane, blah blah.  I'm really happy with this one.  I don't know if it was worth the wait, or if it's perfect.  But it looks good and was a great price and that's great.
Put all my store rewards cards on a keychain.  We all have of a ton of these right?  Usually the one I need is always in my "other wallet" and not with me.  And when I do remember to bring the wallet with all the cards, half of them fall out while I'm searching for the correct one.  So I finally got smart and punched holes in any that didn't already have keychain tags and threaded them all on a keychain.  Not only is my wallet no longer bursting at the seams, but I can keep this keychain in the console of the Yukon then when I'm out shopping and at a store that I know has a rewards cards I can just grab it and take it inside with me.
Some of my other goals:  getting some stuff up on the walls, displaying more of our photos instead of just storing them on the computer, and using some of the stuff I have in the closet that "might be useful someday."  These photos hit all three at once.  When I ran across the photos I had printed from our Christmas card photo session I decided then and there to go see if I had any frames for them.  The frames came from my friend, Audrey's house when she moved a few months ago.  They were painted different colors and there was a dried flower mounted on the matt in one.  So I spray painted the frames, flipped the mats over and painted them with acrylic and now they are a nice matched set that looks great in the bare-until-last-week hallway upstairs.
What do you think, Audrey? ;)

It feels really great to get some of these small things done.  I wonder what else I can tackle this week while the motivation is flowing...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Too early for Hearts and Flowers?

The post-Christmas, early January urge to reorganize, clean up, and scale back has left my living room feeling very very bare.  I do have some projects in mind and other things I need to make decisions about and randomly run across accessories while out shopping but at this rate it could still be bare in July (it has already been 3 years like this, after all!).  To combat a little of the emptiness I decided it was time to pull out some of the Valentines decorations.  And realized I don't have a lot of them! (something I intend to fix, bit by bit lol)
 But I did have enough to cutesy up the console in the TV room (seriously?  I thought we taped those cords up out of the way!  And I do have a few ideas for that big glaring blank spot above the table) and a couple of other places.  Then I set to work creating the wreath ideas I have had in the back of my mind since our last big wreath session (in October?  November??).
 I'm happy to say that now my front porch is looking kinda cute and festive.  I'm realizing how great the black and red pillows on the bench work for a lot of the holidays.  Who knew?
 This was actually my second attempt with the heart wreath.  I started out with deco mesh on the frame and it just wasn't working.  It completely overwhelmed the small frame and just looked like a giant red blob.  So I'm extra-happy that my tulle idea worked out.
 I wanted to go a different direction than my usual big poufy statement on the front door.  I guess part of it still ended up a little poufy though ;)
 I took some photos of this one In Process so I can do a tutorial later, maybe.  For now I'm just enjoying the fact that at least some of my holiday projects are finished up and displayed well ahead of Valentines Day.  Three Cheers for keeping ahead of things in the New Year!

Linking to:  Valentines Link Up

Friday, January 17, 2014

Craft Room Pretties!

Happy Friday!  We're two weeks into the new year and already at the beginning of another long vacation, which I'm happy with, if only because it gives us the opportunity to make some fun plans as a family (sometimes I wonder who is in charge of the school calendar and why they insist on SO MANY long weekends).  But before I change my focus to having fun I thought I'd do a quick post on what I've been working on the last couple of weeks here at home.  In the spirit of my Word for the Year (see my OLW post here) I've been trying to make a real effort to turn my intentions (thoughts/plans) into action and be more aware of how I choose to spend my time.  I have also found myself with a lot more wiggle room/free time in my daily life (probably from not being up to my neck in Girl Scout Cookies as I was this time last year.  I'm sure this state of affairs is only temporary) the last few days - and it's been great! ;)  Not only have I been able to tackle a few deep cleaning chores, but I also spent some time almost every day trying to get my craft room decluttered and reorganized.

Look!  Isn't it pretty?!
Wait, wait.  I need to show you a couple of Before shots so you can get some perspective.  This is mid-December when the room was buried under all sort of Christmas, Girl Scout, Etsy orders, school projects, and all manner of other things.

And this is the room this morning.
 Just in case you might be looking for a little organizing inspiration of your own, let me walk you through what I've done.  In the black dresser I have:
 The top drawer with my Most Used small items like pens, scissors, and tape.
 The second drawer - which until two days ago was stuffed full of ribbon (I'll show you my solution for that one later, once I get it finished) - now holds packing/shipping stuff and a few larger items.
The bottom drawer has some crafting supplies that I don't use as often.  Though that big space on the right seems like it needs to be filled with more than just the hole punch.  I'll have to think about that.
 Under the printer holds printer paper, ink cartridges and more craft supplies (my CuttleBug die cut machine is in that blue bag)
 I love those craft storage boxes.  I have three of them, but I wish I had a lot more.  There is an inner tray on the top for smaller stuff.
 And plenty of room in the bottom for bigger things.
 And under the Silhouette I have all the vinyl, transfer tape, and more random craft/scrapbooking supplies.
 On the other wall is the scrapbook cabinet my husband built for me.  I keep my tool tote on top (even though I rarely use most of the tools in it since I haven't done much scrapbooking - though I fully intend to change that soon).  I bought the green bucket yesterday.  I had a smaller one there before but it was overflowing with the things I like to keep handy like my Ipod and headphones, phone cases (I have one for exercise, one that I put on when I'm painting so I don't ruin my good one, etc) and gift cards I haven't used yet.
 I also have this card sitting up there.  My mother-in-law sent it to me for Mother's Day a couple years ago and it's been on display ever since.  It serves as my reminder that I'm my own toughest critic and that it's ok to let things go because from the outside my life looks entirely different than how I view it.
 Inside the scrapbook cabinet is my paper (of course) and the things I use most often in my daily life or want easy access to whenever I get the time to work on it (like my One Little Word album).
 And I finished it all off yesterday with those large black and white photos - which I love!  I have had the photos printed for months now, just sitting in a closet.  Yesterday I spent the day shopping, with one of my main goals being to find frames for those photos (another one of my intentions - to get some of my photos off the computer and displayed where we can all enjoy them).  Found them for $15 each at AC Moore - score!  The photos are each 16 x 20, so I thought that was a great price for frames that big.  And thankfully I didn't have any problem talking my husband into helping me hang them up as soon as he got home.
Yay!  I now get to declare my craft room completely decorated!

 Don't be too jealous - I still have some clutter hiding in the craft room. SHHHH! LOL  Most of those boxes will be gone as soon as I finish up my final paperwork and drop offs for disbanding the GS troop.
 And I still have ongoing crafty messiness in my "other craft room" (as the husband likes to call it).  Bet you can't wait to see what I've been working on for Valentine's Day! ;)

Friday, January 3, 2014

My Word for 2014

Hello 2014!  I've jumped right into it and haven't really come up for air.  It's completely unfair that the new year has to start right in the middle of vacation for everyone - everyone, that is, except the Moms.  We're nearing the end of more than two weeks with the kids home without a break, and the husband has had most of that off too.  Don't get me wrong.  I love my family, love having them home and spending time with them and it's been a great holiday.  But with everyone home I don't actually get much time for myself and absolutely no guarantee that what I do take won't get interrupted (multiple times) without any notice.  It's not really conducive to deep thinking or blogging. 


It has been my system for the last few years to join in with Ali Edwards (see her One Little Word post here) and a lot of other great people and choose one word as a focus for the year.  I've found it really does help to not only keep my resolutions in sight for longer than the first few weeks of the year, but by focusing on a word instead of specific goals things take on a different dimension.  I have my resolutions in mind when I am selecting my word for the year and the direction I take with it, but the word itself becomes more than that.  Since we can never predict what the future will hold, it also helps extend my focus into any situation that I may encounter. (or that's the theory)

I was reminded of this a few weeks ago.  The word I selected last year was Choose.  (see my 2013 post here)  And back in November the husband and I thought we may be making a big change in our lives.  As it turns out, we didn't.  But when I was in the midst of stressing about it I realized that with or without the big change I could CHOOSE to make some changes in my life as it is now - rearrange some priorities and not do things simply because I felt obligated.  In the end one of the decisions I made was to no longer act as leader for my daughter's girl scout troop, not at the end of the year, not after cookies sales, but now.  As soon as I had firmly made that decision I had this huge sense of relief.  And, you know, I'm not sure I would have even thought about making that decision if I hadn't been reminded of my word for the year.

The word I've chosen for this year is Intention. I went back and forth about it a lot, mostly because it doesn't feel as "catchy" or pretty as some of my previous words. But I kept
coming back to it and it seems to fit the best with where I want my perspective to be this coming year. I want my decisions and actions to be made for the right reasons. I want to interact with my kids intentionally (as opposed to reacting, which isn't always the best thing. Less frustration, more hugging - that sort of thing). I want to be more positive and less judgmental. I want to get to the things I truly want to accomplish instead of pushing them aside. And I am determined to develop more healthful habits (exercise, eating, less TV, etc) for myself and my family.

This year I really want to explore my word more than I have in the past.  I want to integrate it into my life on a more regular basis.  So I signed up for a One Little Word online workshop this year and I'm very excited about it.  I haven't had a chance to spend much time on the prompt for January (two more days until the kids go back to school - phew!), but I've been on the FB group for the workshop and am seeing all kinds of wonderful people and inspiration, and it's fantastic.  I can't wait to get started.

And it's going to be a great year!