30 days of thanks…well, 22…

if you have been on facebook, pinterest, twitter, or pretty much any other social media network, you have heard of the 30 days of thanks. it’s nothing over the top, just a tool to help us remember to be thankful for our lives and all the tiny details contained within. you can choose to be thankful for something big, or small….someone in your life, or something that happened that day…there are no rules except to be thankful.

today i was thankful for orange leaves…and i really mean that.

today i sent out an email to my office that i would be setting up my desk with a jar for “22 days of thanks”…since we are a smidge behind. and i found an awesome display from “A Diamond in the Stuff” in her mantels post. i won’t be able to recreate it fully, but i intend on recreating some of it for my desk.

courtesy of “A Diamond in the Stuff” blog

if you haven’t started, it is never too late to find something to be thankful for. you could create a “30 days of thankfulness in photos”, or “30 days of thankfulness about my spouse”…maybe choose something you struggle with…”30 days of thankfulness about my job”…or choose something easy…”30 days of thankfulness about my child/children”. i encourage you to do it, though. it changes your whole disposition. and during a time where night comes upon us quicker, and the skies are not so bright, it can make those blah feelings take a turn for the better.

good luck…and happy thanking.

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princesses and pirates…

this past weekend my sister, Lindsey of Lindsey Johnson Photography, hosted a party for my niece in celebration of her turning 3! the party only had 2 boys, so it became mostly a “princess” party. i wanted to dress up as a pirate, but i knew that my niece wouldn’t have it. i could hear her in my head demanding that i take off the pirate costume and dress as she expected me too. 🙂

there are 2 things i want to share with you from this party. the first is a genius solution to the cake pop problem in our world. let’s admit it…cake pops are delicious. if you haven’t had one, oh. my. gosh. you must go eat one. starbucks actually has several delicious flavors right now. i love the “birthday cake pop” and the “salted caramel cake pop” that they currently serve. there is another flavor coming out for the holidays, but i won’t tell you yet. anyway, i have never tried, and am open to be proven wrong, but i imagine actually making cake pops is no easy task. we had plenty of decorating to do, so we went an easier route. lindsey got the idea on Pinterest to take marshmallows, dip them halfway down in chocolate, and cover them with sprinkles! they are perfect for kids….(big kids too, as my husband can confirm).

when you create the chocolate, i recommend using almond bark and hersheys chocolate chips. i prefer dark chocolate for the kid in me, but i would imagine milk chocolate would go over better with kids. if you have a double boiler, you can melt the bark and chips in that, but if not, you can use a microwave safe container and just melt all of it in the microwave. if you do it that way, soften the bark first, as it will take longer to soften than the chips. then, you just put a large marshmallow on any type of stick (plastic or wood), dip it half way in the chocolate, then sprinkle on any topping you like! we chose colorful sprinkles, but if you are making this treat for yourself, you can get very creative. let them dry and set before moving them to a smaller container. if they bump up against each other before they have set, they will smear. we placed ours in a large bowl with split peas and lentils.

now, this tip is for any locals i might have on here. there is a knock-your-socks-off-oh-my-gosh-i-can’t-believe-you-made-that cake maker located in the Hendersonville/Gallatin area in middle tennessee. her name is Patty Scott Bartlett, and i can’t say enough about her! i have mentioned her before because she made our beautiful wedding cake! let’s take a quick look at the crazy awesome cakes she has made for us over the last 3 years…

this was our wedding cake
adeline’s first birthday in honor of “Olivia”
adeline’s second birthday cake “carnival theme”

and finally….my favorite artistic creation of all from patty, adeline’s 3rd birthday cake, which blows my mind!

needless to say, if you are having a party for any occasion, and want not only a delicious but beautifully unique cake, call on patty. she is your woman.

the party was a hit! the kids had a blast, and everyone went home fully sugared up.

inspiration running wild

ok. i have 2 great posts for you tomorrow and thursday. tomorrow i will share my DIY date-night photos with you. (i have to upload and edit at home because i can’t do that at work), and then thursday i will share with you how my halloween costume turned out. as for today, i just thought i would take a moment to recognize some of my loves on Pinterest. i love pinterest. i can’t remember if i told you that recently or not. but i do. i find so many good, creative, powerful things on there…so i want to share a few with you. in fact, i may make this a steady part of my blog. atleast once a week, i would like to share some of my finds, and hopefully, sometime documentation of making said finds…so, here you go. happy hallows-eve.

i find plenty of art ideas for my house on pinterest. i believe i blogged about my living room art a while back. my next project might be this…(courtesy of “Design, Dining, and Diapers“)

i may not do a deer, but this kind of art is easy enough for anyone to do. you can either free hand something, or blow up an image, print it, cut it out and stencil around it. you can also change your background. buy a canvas and paint it a solid color, or do the same with wood, just stained differently. the options are endless…and i love that.

you can find items to buy, or jewlrey to potentially create? these are available on Etsy!

if i could find these or learn to make them, except in silver, i would be one happy camper. i LOVE these…they give me joy.

pinterest is a place where you can find inspiring home decor ideas…things that actually seem possible. (courtesy of “Wolf in the Forest“)

now, i fully believe i could make this happen….if only i could learn how.

you can also find awesome home improvement ideas, or just things that make sense around the house. i LOVE this idea from “Turnstyle Vogue“.

these are lemon pieces in vinegar, frozen in ice cube trays, that you can throw in your garbage disposal to clean and make your house smell delightful. i already throw lemons in mine, so it just makes sense.

pinterest is full of moving words…this next thing is from “Style Me Pretty“…and it’s a classic.

often times, you can find quotes executed wonderfully on pinterest, or quotes perhaps you knew once but had forgotten.

you can find my pinterest page on the title bar of my blog. check it out, and if you aren’t on pinterest, you should really invest some of your time in this…especially if you are crafty and like to create beautiful things while spending less money.

Bored? Make some bubble prints…

I am reblogging this from “The Green Dragonfly“…i don’t have kids, but many of my friends do, and i can’t imagine how this could not be absolutely delightful and fun! be sure to check her out…she has super super cute crafts.

Bored? Make some bubble prints….

DIY envelopes? what’s that you say!?

i stumbled upon a blog post that really moves my heart! i love paper…all things paper, and maybe i should not love it so much since it uses up trees, and the world seems to want to shy away from using up trees, but i just think it is so beautiful, delicate, and wonderful, although i believe in “going green”. i have shared with you in the past a store here in Nashville that i love called “the paper source”, but today, i will share with you a great opportunity for their pretty pretty paper! and it will be handmade! ….i am so excited!

i found this post on a blog called “Fellow Fellow“. from what i can already tell, i am going to LOVE this sight. there are plenty of DIY projects that i want to accomplish one day, but there are not that many that seem fully possible. i deem this one in the second category.

all you need is your choice of paper, glue, scissors, and a paint pen! your color choices are endless. Fellow Fellow created an envelope template that you can download right here in Letter and A4 formats, so you can print it straight onto your paper. The finished envelope is 8 x 12cm (approx. 3 x 4.7 inches).

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Here are her steps…
"Step 1: Cut the paper using the template (or create your own size/shape and draw it onto the paper).

Step 2: I found it easier to fold and glue the envelope before drawing on it so the pattern was seamless, but you can do it either way. Fold along the dotted lines. Glue the centre-back seam, and then glue the bottom flap over the top. Put it under a book for a few minutes to keep it flat.

Step 3: Get drawing! Use your paint pen to draw whatever you like onto your envelopes (this could be a fun task if you have kids too, and would result in some really personal gift packaging!). And you’re done! Stuff it with whatever you like, seal the top and ta-daaaa! :)"

BATS!

so, a simple DIY for your home or office (i personally used it for both!) what you will need…

black construction paper
white colored pencil (or any light color)
scissors
painters tape
joy joy and more holiday halloween joy

if i knew how to post online templates for you to cut out, i would do that. however, i am leaning on your ability to copy something you see and the confidence to remember that it does not have to look like mine! i am no bat expert, just playing around and having fun. basically, all you do is draw out several different bat shapes onto your black construction paper, cut out your shapes, and use painters tape to tape them up on the wall. it won’t damage your paint, and it looks very festive! Here are a few close ups of my bat shapes:

Happy October!

presto change-o

i have mentioned before that my friend Kate is getting married this coming October. i am really excited for her and her soon-to-be hubby! they are wonderful people, full of heart and creativity. originally their wedding was set for a different date, but october just seemed to fit the schedule better….unfortunately, they were on the ball with their invitations, leaving them with really cool invites with the wrong date! yikes! kate didn’t want to get rid of the invites, so she asked me if there was any way i could do a little “touch up” to them. this is what i came up with, and i must say, i am super proud and love how they turned out!

The original invitations

my job was to cover the date, time, and location section on the main piece, and the RSVP date on the postcard

I tried a few different things, but we wanted to tie in the burlap backing and the salmon color on the originals since we were keeping all these details. what ended up being the best decision was to buy some salmon colored sticker labels that perfectly matched the size of the area to be covered.

next i wanted to be sure to tie the burlap in to make the whole piece cohesive, so i hot-glued a thinner piece of burlap across. it ended up looking pretty cute!

after this, i moved on to the RSVP cards to mix up the atmosphere. this was time consuming, but oddly fun! i bought this awesome little tool called the Xyron 150 Create A Sticker that makes stickers out of paper! how cool! i made tiny labels that covered up the old RSVP date, cut them out, and created a border around them with a stamp called Gray Whale. it was the closest gray color to matching the gray around the invitations. then you just peel the back off the piece and it is a sticker. poof!


the best match for the salmon/pink color was “strawberry”. it dried to an almost perfect match. i bought a “create your own stamp” kit of numbers and letters, set them up, and stamped the new date on the tiny tags i made.

lastly, i had to replace the new wedding date/time/location information. instead of just printing a new sticker to cover the original area, i made tags to hang around the neck of the mason jar. this is one of my favorite additions. i will say that it was a struggle to match the font and color, but we got it covered! the font was Nashville. i found it on dafont.com. there are tons of fonts that would be fun to use on there. i will have to remember that for the future.

i printed pages of about 10 labels per page, drew tag borders on them, then cut them out.

after i cut them out, i repeated the technique i used for the RSVP tags, stamping the edges with gray whale.

i bought some burlap string and used that to tie the tags to the invites.


the final product felt cohesive and natural, like they were made that way all along, which is what i was going for.

this is how they looked after i was fully finished and they were ready to mail.

i learned several techniques by doing this, stretching my creative bone a little more.