Posts tagged ‘fun’

December 31, 2015

~*happy new year’s eve 2015*~

Joel in headlock with Cam on his shoulders.jpgJoel and Arden looking cozy on couch.jpgI don’t know about you, but for me, this was the fastest moving December in all of time. Like blink of an eye, it was gone! Thanksgiving ended, there was caroling with Arden’s Girl Scout troop (the cold rolled in just in time for that!), making holiday cookies & dough ornaments with Arden, festive Christmas cards, and the whirlwind of shopping. Suddenly, it was already Christmas Eve. Normally, I am super awful at getting the tree up. Most years, it has debuted ON Christmas Eve at like 3:00 a.m. (after we get back from Cleveland and wrapping presents) Seriously. This year, adamant that it show up a bit earlier (and to make amends for getting in trouble at school that day) with much muttering under her breath, Arden herself pulled out the boxes and drug up from the basement. All 3 pieces of our Christmas tree. It was heartwarming, sweet and I was super thankful since my tailbone still killed from falling on it (HARD) roller skating. Erin in front of old door in dining room.jpg

At the start of each new year, I swear I’m going to enjoy every.single.moment. Take it in as I experience it, instead of rushing from one thing to the next.  I’ve gotten better at making time for the important things, like fun and not just working. I suppose having a demanding toddler makes you do that. Sort of. (it also makes you feel crazy!) Winter rolls on for seemingly ever. Spring takes it sweet time arriving, but once it does, it’s glorious!  The school break in Summer goes way too fast, then boom, Fall is here and petal to the metal, one holiday after another and POOF! it’s over. That’s how my life feels.

This year, I tried to be more accepting, less critical. Embracing flaws and easing up on expectations of perfection, for myself and my family. I dare say, they like me a bit better because of it. I’m not quite as stressed and it teaches Arden that some things don’t need to be just so because migraines aren’t worth it. For now, I will strive to do better. To work hard, accomplish dreams and bring more happiness into our home. Wishing everyone the same for your 2016! Our house with Christmas lights.jpg




September 18, 2013

Always looking for a deal!

One of our favorite things to do on the weekend is go to yard sales. When I say we, I mean Arden and I. Joel is always with us, but I’m pretty sure he could take it or leave it, as most of the time he doesn’t find the awesome-ness that we do. As soon as the weather starts warming, we are up and at them every Saturday. A few weeks ago, I happened across a total goldmine! The best sale I had seen yet. A church rummage sale over on the outskirts of campus. We had already been out and about and were heading home when I spotted this one. Despite being famished from our already extensive ‘saleing, Joel being the sweetest and most patient man ever, kindly obliged and pulled over.

As soon as I strode up, a friendly-looking girl working the sale came over to me. She spoke in hushed tones, letting me in on an apparent secret that a generous lady had donated a bunch of Abercrombie clothes. Saying that I could stuff whatever I wanted in a paper grocery bag for five bucks. Seriously?! Woo-hoo! She didn’t need to say more, ’cause I was off! In retrospect, I definitely should have packed my bag better, but I already felt like I was getting away with something bad and didn’t want to be greedy.

Kids clothes were separate and not as plentiful, but also the same price. This time I didn’t hesitate. If it was cute and Arden could wear it at some point in her during her childhood, then it was stuffed in the bag. The check out workers chuckled to themselves as I went to town on the clothing pile. They remarked later how I was so focused. I was getting tan from the sun, it was incredibly hot and I was about to pass out from hunger and heat, but I was so pleased with myself.

Here’s a list of my haul. Not bad for $12.00! (2 dresses were purchased at a different sale)

for me:
5 dresses (2 of which were Abercrombie and still had tags)
5 tops
1 skirt

for arden:
12 tops
1 pair of jeans
1 dress
2 pairs of shorts
6 pairs of tights
3 pairs of socks

Full view of our stash!

Full view of our stash!

Rummage sale clothes dress 1 copy

The star, showing off her new shirt. She did our hair and make-up for this fashion show

Me looking like a clown. (Many thanks to the jokester that bought Arden makeup for her birthday. )

Me looking like a clown. (Many thanks to the jokester that bought Arden makeup for her birthday. )

December 7, 2012

Creating holiday decorations with greenery

Years ago, let’s say like 8, I started purchasing greenery (trimmings of trees & bushes used for making wreaths and the like) at a local nursery. It was fairly inexpensive and I was happy. At the time, I used it to just fill in my flower boxes, to add a little color near the entry ways of my home. Winter time is so dreadfully dreary sometimes (in Ohio) and this adds a lovely bit of color. It’s a nice little pick-me-up on an overcast cold afternoon.

One year, I waited too long and there was absolutely no greenery to be had!
What to do?
I admit, I have difficulty letting things go. I wasn’t just okay with not decorating that year. I like my home to be inviting, inside and out! I had to find a solution and once I did I felt completely ridiculous because in my own backyard was an abundance of evergreen bushes, various berries and branches to decorate with. Forget inexpensive! Free was WAY BETTER! Ever since, I’ve gone crazy harvesting an abundance of usable materials. I like to trim fairly evenly from the back of the bush so it’s not noticeable come spring that a chunk was taken out of it!

This year I decided to step it up a notch and make swag wreaths with my boughs and branches. My 4 year old daughter, Arden and I went out collecting our supplies yesterday. It was a chilly morning, but she loves to help me with all sorts of crafty projects and is already developing an artist eye. Which I have to admit, could not make me more proud!

This is my first ever tutorial, so please go easy. Upon editing photos I realized I didn’t do a very great job at capturing each step. In my head, I know what is going to take place next but obviously you the viewer cannot read minds, so feel free to ask me questions if you need some blanks filled in.

Sturdy cutting tool (for branches)
Various types of evergreen from trees and bushes
Berries still on the branches
(Nuts or dried grasses, if you like)
Twine or sturdy string for tying together each segment
Ribbon for bows
Hot glue (for adhering bows if you don’t like my methods)

1.) I start by gathering a handful of greenery. For this, I’m using False Cypress a fern-like bush. Longest branches first as the base.
I lay it out sort of flat, so it flares out at the bottom. Then I wrap and tie the cut branches with twine as tightly as possible. These are going to need to last several months out doors in poor weather.

2.) Repeat the process above with your next layer of greenery. For my 2nd layer I’m using cut Boxwood. I like to use a different type for each tier that way it provides a little more interest with the varying textures, shapes and shades of green. Again tightly bound with twine.

3.) Layer them together from smallest on top to largest on the bottom. Secure together with twine. If creating the double-sided swag that I did for my window, 2 sets will be needed for each side, which then gets adhered together in the middle.

4.) Add bow. I like to use weatherproof nylon ribbon. It’s a little stiff but has wire for flexibility. It holds up great to all the snow and rain we get here in the Midwest and can be used year after year. If you use a softer satin ribbon it can fade or will get rain spots.
Which is perfectly fine since you can change it out next year if you like. I attached my bows either with feeding a piece of twine through the back center of the bow or using a little “V” twig. Just slid one end of the twig through the back of the center of the bow and then the other stem of the twig through some of the tied branches. Of course, you are welcome to use hot glue if handy, that would hold it as well.

5.) Fill in bare spots with extra greenery to create fullness. Just work them gently either into the tightly bound twine or sort of tangle them among the branches.

6.) Add berries. I do this last because they are very fragile. They can easily get damaged, so I handle them as little as possible. You don’t need much for a pop of color.
Then HOORAY! You are done!

Yesterday I made 3 total decorations. The 3rd went on the lamp post (not shown). With various remnants of greenery finding it’s way into glass jars stashed around the house for added color. Finally, it starting to feel a lot like Christmas!

Wreath gathering supplies copy

Wreath first step tying copy

Wreath on rocker copy

Wreath step one of the swag copy

Wreath  step 2 tying sides together copy

Wreath  step 3 adding a layer copy

Wreath finished swag on window copy

August 7, 2012

25th Anniversary of the Route 127

I am all about “the experience”. I don’t enjoy spending money, unless it’s money well-spent and the things I purchase don’t always have to be tangible. I like feelings. While most people run from them, I embrace them. Drowning them out with a substance, pushing them away with denial. To me, there is just no point because all the stuff resurfaces eventually. So why not embrace them and enjoy the ride?

Thus is the fun of the Route 127 aka “The Longest Yardsale”. It is a road trip, bargain-finding, treasure hunting extravaganza! This 4 day long wonder spans from Michigan all the way down through a total of 6 states to Alabama. Although I have never made it through all of the states, (just due to the lack of time) even partaking in a small snippet is cathartic.

Maybe it’s the fresh country air, where we can get away from city smog and actually breathe. The scenery, where woods and farmland outnumber buildings. Maybe it’s the people that aren’t in a rush, the friendly elderly ladies that loved that my almost 4-year old daughter was hunting for a deal. The older gentleman, that sold me the beautifully ornate, 100 year old farmhouse door and told me about a Pork Festival that is held there in Sept. (We may need to go back and visit for that!) Or the sweet, bubbly mom, who wistfully mentioned that her daughter was at her first job interview and gave us permission to go feed her horses in the field with the melon rinds and sweet feed she provided.

All of this and the fact that I got to bond with my husband and daughter without a care in the world. No schedule or work bogging me down and stealing my attention away. We have fun and we sing and we just enjoy the ride.

November 10, 2010

my newest endeavors

As a lot of you know, in addition to the magic that is my job of designing wedding invitations and baby announcements. I make cards. They started as a side project years ago when I started doing Craftin’ Outlaws and have expanded from there. First, there was just plain designed note cards and thank you’s. Then the next year produced the wildly popular “Seriously Fun” cards with the cute face graphics and snarky comment boxes to check off inside the card. Last year produced a two-fold: the “Random Thoughts” line and the “Psst!” line. Finally, this year yielded the “Growing Pains“, cards reminiscent of everything you wanted to forget about your parents and childhood. Okay, maybe not EVERYTHING. There will probably be more of those to come. Speaking of which, I started the a follow-up line to the “Seriously Fun” cards which may be slightly edgier (Is that possible?) Just the first one is completed, but it’s been well received so far! These will be referred to as “Seriously Fun~ The Cousins“.

They of course, ALL make great gifts! So be sure to keep them in mind for the holidays! 🙂 4 different designs for each line @ $7.50  a set or $2.00 per card for all except the Psst! cards, they are $5.50 and $1.50 each.

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