Saturday, December 31, 2011

My first Pinterest inspired craft

Like the rest of the blogging world, or maybe even the regular world, I've been pretty much obsessed with Pinterest for a while now. I endlessly pin crafts I don't have time for, home decor that I don't have the space for, baby pictures that I don't have babies for, and wedding inspiration that I don't have the money for. It is a beautiful way to de-stress. It has really been a God-send while working on my grad school work because it is the perfect way to unwind in between assignments. It is so mindless that it's genius. Not like my reality TV addiction because my DVR is too full for it to be an in-between-assignments thing.

Anyways, two of my very best friends in all the world got married this year and since I save every invitation/thank you card/note card/etc on my french memo board, I knew this would be the perfect Christmas gift for them. We don't usually do Christmas gifts but I knew I would make an exception for this craft.  Here is the Pinterest version...

baby ornament or wedding ornament

Here is my version...

{thank goodness for Burt's Bees hand creme for Christmas!}

While some might say they may not be as lovely as the original, I thought they came out fabulous. {There are more pictures of the cream one because all of the other pics show last names & I don't think my friends want me blasting their last names on the blog} I love that you can see snippets of important information.

I did have a couple of issues, which would be something to consider if you are going to try this. First the ornament is a standard sized ornament, which ended up being kind of small. I searched everywhere for a larger one with no luck. Second, every ribbon I used look ginormous (probably due to the small ornament), so I left it out. I think that the fact that I did this craft around Christmas, when all the ribbons are mega sized didn't help. I wanted to find a charm that said "2011" but that was hard to find, too. Since I'm kinda OCD with this stuff, if I find a charm, I will totally ask for the ornament back to update it. :) This was super easy, though. Here's what I did.

1. Cut the invitation into strips, keeping the important info. intact.
2. Curl the strips around a pen to give it some body.
3. Insert the strips into the top of the ornament (after removing the metal piece, which pops right off) strategically. I kept "less important" information in the middle and then wrapped the names and dates around the edges. I also didn't use every strip, but used all strips with information on them.
4. Put the top back on. I wanted to use ribbon and charms but I put it on my tree with a hook and it still looked awesome.

I plan on doing this with my own invitation and it was such an easy craft that I can see myself making them with birth announcements, wedding invitations, first birthday invitations, and any other important document that you would want to highlight at Christmas time. My friend Kristin said it was the best Christmas gift that she got and considering she also got an iPad, I'd say it was a success!

Friday, December 30, 2011

What I did over Christmas break

What did I do over Christmas break? I'll tell you what I didn't do. And that's grad school work. I did have to deal with an issue over a textbook rental and that was a nice dose of reality for me. The beginning of the semester is just around the corner and it won't be pretty. I'm stressing just a smidge about all of the wedding planning and studying that I will have to do at the same time. Not to mention planning, teaching, correcting, and generally living my life. Ahhh! I got a lot of wedding things done over this break and I love watching that list get smaller.

It's funny, when you're watching Teen Mom marathons the break always seem so long and then it's Friday. While I did my fair share of watching movies, catching up on the DVR and blogs, I could have used a couple more days off. I only had 6 days off. I'm not counting weekends because that's not fair. And if you have anything to say about me saying only 6 days, leave the comment somewhere else. :) There should be an all-inclusive trip for two to somewhere tropical for a minimum of 7 days for teachers that have to work the days leading up to Christmas. It's that bad.

Anyways, I'm linking up with Jodi at Clutter-Free Classroom to share what went down this week. I figured it was time to link up on my personal blog since I've been able to give a lot of love to my teaching blog this week and I didn't do anything school related during break. Oops! Here are some highlights...

Friday night {Christmas Eve Eve} Picture me covered in gingerbread icing with mini marshmallows stuck in my hair running around like a teacher whose break didn't start until 3:30... true story. My family's Christmas Eve party was on Friday night, which was a lot of fun, despite the running around. (I removed the icing and marshmallows for the party)

Saturday {Christmas Eve} I actually braved the stores for a bit on Christmas Eve morning, which I've never done, but it wasn't that bad. I had a list and a plan and anything is possible with a red cup from Starbucks in my hand. :) I cooked and cleaned a bit then we headed off to the in-laws for Christmas Eve dinner. We usually don't get to do both sides of the families' Christmas Eve parties but since my family moved the party to Christmas Eve Eve, we could make both.  We went to the 11:00 service at church and it was beautiful. If it were appropriate to pull my camera out, I would have. The service ended with everyone standing around the big Christmas tree singing Silent Night. It perfectly portrayed the real meaning of Christmas.

Sunday {Christmas Day}

I know I already posted this picture, but is there anything more adorable than matching Christmas jammies?? We kept the tradition going by opening our pajamas from my mom on Christmas Eve and we thought this was her finest work. Hilarious! We had a perfect Christmas morning with coffee with eggnog instead of cream (try it and thank me later), classical piano Christmas music, stockings, and watching Princess play with her new toys. I cherish these moments because I know how special they are and how we will hold on to these memories once we have kids and can't hear the classical music over the chaos. :)

We then hosted our first Christmas dinner with both sides of the family and it was fabulous. I conquered a pork shoulder and dinner for 12 and our house was filled with so much love and laughter. I need to steal pics from my sister because she got some great ones.

Monday - We had a wedding cake tasting and it was SO. GOOD. I've had trouble finding a gluten-free bakery for our wedding but this one really took the cake. (hah!) I think I could live off their chocolate cake with peanut butter filling. ohmyword!

We also had round 3 of Christmas with the in-laws because Jeff's sister had to leave early on Christmas. It was nice to continue the celebration and check out this handsome fella rocking his Christmas sweater from Auntie Sarah & Uncle Jeff..

Tuesday - This was the only day over break that I literally had nothing planned. I savored every moment wrapped up in my Snuggie, getting lost in the drama of Janelle, Leah, Kailyn, and Chelsea's lives.  Jeff may or may not have found me in the same pajamas he left me in when he came home from work.

Wednesday - We had another cake tasting. Not as good. As is typical for my life, ordering a cake from this place will cost us less. Alas, I want the more expensive one. This used to drive my mom crazy when I was younger. I never liked what was on sale, which is ironic, because I love sales.

We then went to look at wedding bands but once again, I wasn't impressed with the selection. It seems like there is only one band that goes with my engagement ring and it is kind of masculine looking. Is that weird to say about a wedding band? I thought it would be a one and done trip, but I guess we'll be back for more!

Thursday - We had our meal tasting at our reception venue and for those attending the wedding... you are in for a treat! The food was SOOO good! I cleaned my plate which I hardly ever do.

Thursday night, I had my college bff's over for a Fab4 reunion. We had lots of wine, fondue, cheese & crackers, and laughs. I just love those girls and it had been WAY too long since we got together.

Friday - Today was our planning meeting with the wedding coordinator at our reception venue. Are you seeing a theme this week? It was so nice to check things off the list and they are so on top of their game! We got most of the little details situated and it was nice to get that done. We also had a date night at the venue's restaurant and it was a miracle that we ate something besides bacon wrapped scallops.

Saturday {NYE} - We are going to check out wedding invitations in the morning and hopefully pick one and order it.Then we are having some of our besties over to ring in the new year! There will be games and dancing and laughing and champagne and kissing at midnight. Oh, how I love NYE. I love 2012 even more!

Sunday - I plan on staying in my pj's all day. Ok, we may go to church, but then it's back in my pajamas.

Monday - We have our sweet friends' daughter's first birthday party and then I'll probably panic about what needs to get done before school on Monday.

The only thing missing from this break was 5 more days. :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The spirit of Christmas is still alive

The glitter and cookie crumbs have finally settled from Christmas and I have spent the last couple of days relaxing without having to worry about writing papers or wrapping presents. We had a fabulous holiday and the celebrating isn't over, yet! Jeff is seriously distraught if I turn the Christmas lights off before 11pm and I just know we will end up throwing our tree into the woods across the street again missing the trash pick-up for our tree again because we are still "enjoying the season". Luckily, I love it just as much as he does.

Our Christmas celebration was extended throughout the entire month of December starting with festive attire & great friends.

Seriously, the only thing more hilarious than buying a festive sweater vest & turtleneck from Walmart is buying one from Savers!

We celebrated weekend after weekend, day after day, and it was perfect. (I would show you pictures if my camera wasn't from joke. I don't bring it around much anymore. Maybe Santa will bring one next year...)

We hosted our first Christmas dinner at our house this year and I was surprised at how well it went. I successfully replicated the most delicious meal I've ever had (which included de-boning a pork shoulder) and both sides of our family got to spend time together We usually bounce from house to house on Christmas and it was nice to be able to have everyone over and not have to leave.  I would love to make Christmas the holiday we host except next year, I want to stay in my pajamas all day.

One of my favorite things that we did was attend the 11:00 service on Christmas Eve at church. I have never been to a late holiday service and apparently I have been missing out. The service was filled with music and scripture that revolved around the Christmas story. Our pastor made it relevant and even told us it was okay to close our eyes. (we didn't!) The service ended with the entire congregation standing around the Christmas tree in the rotunda singing "Silent Night". This service had a great impact on us and it really helped the both of us to see the true meaning of Christmas.

Growing up, we would get to open one gift on Christmas Eve and it was always our Christmas pajamas. Now that I no longer live with my parents, they still gives us our Christmas pajamas and Jeff gets them too. This year.. we matched! The look on Jeff's face was priceless when he glanced over and saw the same pair of pajamas in my hands!

I also loved opening gifts on Christmas morning. We decided to just do stockings this year. Jeff put 110% effort into this task and even googled "stocking stuffers". Too bad I wasn't better at updating the blog, I could have provided him with a list. He didn't need it, though. He did good! I was so happy to get the movies The Help, Crazy Stupid Love, and Just Dance 3 for the Wii, among other things. We did break our no gift rule when we found a new entertainment system, which we needed, and decided that this would be our gift. St. Nick Jeff still wanted to wrap it and put it under the tree. How sweet is this??

Princess had the most gifts and she couldn't wait to play with each one.

I hope that you were just as blessed as we were this Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

change of plans

I was going to post a bunch of updates from the past couple of months but there is SO much to share! As I looked through the pictures, I suddenly remembered why I haven't had time to post! Considering that my mother (Hi, Mom!) is the only one who has asked if I've updated recently, I'm sure that the posts won't be missed too much!

In other news, the semester (for grad school) ends on Wednesday!  HOLLA!!  :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I'm making a comeback!

Busy is officially the understatement of 2011. I can count on one hand the amount of times that we have not had a million and one things to do. While I am incredibly blessed and grateful for these times with friends and family, my poor blog and house has been seriously neglected. When I started this blog, I thought for sure it would become my online scrap book of our life. I guess I should look into having someone else write it for me! I used to have a lot more time at the end of the day to blog-hop but I swear, I registered for grad classes and that was the end of my life as I knew it. True story. Grad classes started the first week of September (my last post) and end in just a couple of days (hmmm). While I still have a handful of things to finish for classes, I can't possibly critique another classroom visit, special ed. law, or language assessment. I need some mindless blogging. :)

For my own purposes, since I'm pretty sure I'm the only reader of this thing now, I will be updating with highlights from the past couple of months. Hopefully once I'm updated, spring semester won't bog me down again.

I'll be back in a bit with... August/September! (hah!)