Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thriftable Thursday.

Could this truly be possibly?  I have absolutely nothing to post about for Thriftable Thursday this week!  This makes me so sad. Maybe that means it's time for a thrifting day?!  Hmmmm...

Don't get me wrong, I have tons and tons of thriftables sitting in my closet at this very moment but none of them are really worth highlighting.  I don't think anyone really wants to read about a plain old shirt that I got at Goodwill even if it did only cost me $2.

So instead of talking about an awesome piece of clothing I got for a ridiculously low price I'm going to talk about one of my absolute favorite things to look for at a thrift store.  Picture Frames.  I know, I know.  It sounds lame.  But when you get a mind-blowing deal on something, even if it's as lame as a picture frame, it's always an exciting experience. Well, it is to me anyway.

My go-to place to get picture frames always used to be T.J. Maxx because you can generally get 4 x 6 and 5 x 7 picture frames for under $10.  Not bad at all.  It really wasn't until I was shopping around for my wedding that I thought to check a thrift store because I wanted a lot of picture frames in all different sizes without spending a small fortune.

(Craig, if you're reading this, I apologize in advance.  You may even just want to stop reading)

The problem with shopping at a place like T.J. Maxx for picture frames is that if you want something larger than 5 x 7 you're probably going to spend more than $10.  Me, being the cheapo that I am, usually can't bring myself to spend more than $10 on a picture frame.  So, for my wedding I fell back on my good old friend Goodwill and also, my not so old but just as (if not more) reliable friend, Savers.

I made some really awesome finds in the process.  I got a ton of smaller sized picture frames for regular pictures, a picture board and some larger picture frames (the kind that usually hold artwork) for less than $50.  I used the larger picture frames to make chalk boards to put in various places around the reception.  Most of them actually came with artwork in them and I had to remove it before I could use them.  If I had purchased them in any other store I probably would have spent well over the $50 I spent at Goodwill and then I wouldn't have wanted to take the artwork out because I paid so much for it!

As usual, Goodwill saved my life and I am forever indebted to it. Next time you need a picture frame, check out Goodwill or your local thrift store first.  You'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cute, Quick, Festive Aprons.

Who doesn't want a cute apron to wear when they're baking?  Especially around the holidays.  Just take a second and picture it now - there's a light snow falling outside the window, the fire is nice and toasty warm, the Christmas carols are playing in the background and you have a nice cozy cup of hot cocoa and a super cute apron to wear as you take your freshly baked Christmas cookies out of the oven.  Sounds nice, right?

Ok, well I can't make tutorial on how to make all that happen - although it would be fun to try.  How to make a toasty warm fire tutorial, step 1:  you'll need some fire wood so go outside and cut down a tree -  anyway, what  I can give you is a tutorial on how to make a cute apron to wear during the holiday season.  If you're not a sewer, have no fear!  I'm not a professional sewer by any means so if I can pull this off, so can you.

Once you're done it will look something like this:

Cute, right? Look like something you would enjoy?  Here's how you do it:

This apron is pretty easy.  It can be basically made by cutting out a bunch of rectangles, hemming the edges and sewing them all together.  You'll need to grab a couple yards of fabric first.

1 yrd. of a fabric of your choice for the main apron
1/2 yrd. of a fabric of your choice for the waist part of the apron and a pocket

First things first - you'll need to cut all of your rectangles.

  • Sash - two 34 in. x 3 in. rectangles (these two put together fit around my waist with extra room to tie it in the back. Make sure you keep in mind the size of the waist of the person who will be wearing it)
  • Apron - 26 in. x 22 in. rectangle (22 inches went to right above my knees.  You may want to measure to find a good length for you)
  • Pocket - 4 1/2 in. x 5 1/2 in. rectangle
  • Bow Rectangle # 1 (left side) - 29 in. x 2 1/2 in rectangle
  • Bow Rectangle # 2 (right side) - 16 in. x 2 1/2 in. rectangle

Step 1:  To make the sash around the waist of your apron take your two 34 in. x 3 in. rectangles and sew them together on one of the short ends to make one long sash.  From there, you need to hem the sides of your sash.  I like to do a double fold for hems because it makes it look neater.  After you've double folded and pinned both sides of your sash go ahead and sew them.

Step 2:  If you want to make the ends of your sash curved or angled for a little extra flair you can simply cut them into the shape you desire, double fold them for a hem and sew them.  This will cause a little extra fabric on the ends of your sash like this:

Just snip that off so it's even with the edge. Your finished end should look like this:

Step 3:  Put your sash to the side, you're done with it for now!  Woohoo!  Grab your 26 in. x 22 in. rectangle that you are using for the main part of your apron.  Double fold and pin all four edges of this fabric and hem them. Just like that, you're pretty much done with the main section of your apron.  See how easy this is?

Step 4:  Here's where it gets the teeniest bit confusing but I promise it's not bad at all.  Grab the sash you made earlier and lay it out on your workspace backside up.  Grab your apron and lay it out as well, backside up.  Line up the bottom of your sash with the top of your apron (I look at the lines I've already sewn to help me line them up well).  Make sure you have it evenly laid out so that it is right in the middle of your sash.

Step five:  To make the pleats in your apron you can just fold a small part of the fabric over itself and pin it down.  Do this several times until the whole top of your fabric is pleated  Again, make sure you are keeping the top of the apron even with the bottom of the sash.  It should look like this when it's pleated and all pinned up:

Step six:  Go ahead and sew down your pleats using the lines you've already sewn on the hem of your apron fabric for a guideline.

Congratulations!  You've successully made a cute apron that is perfect for baking and gift giving.  You can stop here if you want or you can go on to add a pocket and a bow at the top.

to make the pocket

Cut a square (4 1/2 in. x 5 1/2 in.) of the fabric you used for your sash.  Double fold and hem all of the sides.  Pin it to your apron wherever you like and sew down three of the edges.  Bam - done!

A small tip - when you're sewing your pocket to your apron, if you line up your sewing needle with the lines you've already sewn when you were hemming it, it will make your pocket look much neater once it's all done.  That way you don't have one line from hemming it and one line from sewing it to the apron.

to make the bow

You'll need the two rectangles you cut earlier for the bow.  From there, lay out one of your rectangles back side up and fold the top edge down so it's almost even with the other edge, leaving just 1/4 in. of space and pin it.  Fold the bottom edge over the top edge and re-pin.  Now you should have a long rectangle with none of the backside of the material showing.  Sew down the area you just pinned and trim off any extra edge that may be left.

Repeat this step with the other rectangle that you will be using for the bow.

Grab your apron and lay it out.  Pin the left side (longer rectangle) of your bow onto your sash.  It should start where the edge of your apron is and end about 4 inches past the middle of your sash.  Take the other part of your bow (shorter rectangle) and pin it to the righthand side of your sash.  Again, starting at the edge of your apron and going until it meets the other portion of the bow. Sew it all down.

Tie a nice little bow in it and throw on your new apron!

So that wasn't so bad was it? It kinda looks like a lot all written out but I swear they're easy and pretty quick.  The whole thing took me about 3 hours. And the best part? Now you can buy a bunch of different fabrics and make one for each season!  They would make awesome housewarming or bride-to-be gifts too!
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Five Random Facts - A Wedding Weekend Post.

I had this idea to do as part of my wedding weekend posts and I'm seriously thinking about making it a link up at some point in the future.  Unfortunately I don't have enough followers at the moment to actually do a link up but hopefully at some point I will!

Today, instead of writing about one of the gazillion DIY projects I did for my wedding I'm going to write about five random facts I bet you didn't know about my wedding.  When you start planning a wedding you know it's going to be a massive undertaking but I don't think any bride actually accepts that until she's fully engulfed in the processes and probably completely overwhelmed with everything.  Hopefully by posting my five random facts it will bring to light some things that will help future brides be ready for the planning process and for the unexpected things that come up!

1. Your gut is always right (when it counts).

My gut instinct is always wrong.  If I choose a line at the grocery store and my husband waits in one next to me, he will always get to checkout first.  When we play a game and we'e on the same team Jeremie will ask me to guess the correct answer to a question and then he'll go with the opposite answer.  I dunno what it is but my gut is always wrong.  About a month before our wedding I had the strongest feeling it was going to rain on our wedding day.  I took comfort in knowing that my gut is consistently incorrect.  But apparently when it matters my gut can actually be right because not only did it rain on our wedding day but it was like a monsoon!  During our ceremony we could actually hear the rain pounding on the roof and my husband and I had a good laugh about it.  So, if your gut is telling you something about your wedding, you better listen to it! And start preparing!
The guest book at our wedding - almost complete!

2. DIY projects are super fun and personal but holy crap do they take a lot of time!

Our guest book (which I'll do a tutorial on in the future) took me at least 15 hours to complete.  Don't get me wrong - it was totally worth it - but when I started it I definitely didn't think it would take that long!

3. Personal touches make everything more fun.

The song I walked down the aisle to The Wedding Song by Paul Stookey was the song my mom and dad walked down the aisle to, as well as my sister and Jeremie's parents.  No one else at our wedding may have know that but we did and so it was extra special to us.  It's a moment we won't forget.

4. If your body tells you something, go with it!

So many people told us that the one thing we had to do at our wedding was enjoy our dinner because lots of people are so busy they don't even eat at their weddings.  I took this to heart and on my wedding day sat down to dinner not feeling bad but also not feeling at all hungry.  But everyone said I would regret not eating and so I forced a few bites down.  As soon as I did I knew it was a mistake.  For the next 45 minutes I was stuck upstairs sick and not enjoying my reception, downing ginger ales, Tums and Pepto Bismol like nobody's business.  Luckily, I had some awesome bridesmaids who helped me out, an amazing husband who stalled our guests and I started to feel better and was able to enjoy the rest of my reception.  So, go with what your body tells you.  Not saying I wouldn't have gotten sick if I hadn't eaten but who knows?

5. Being set in your ways doesn't help anyone.

I'm a person of routines and I tend to get stuck in my head a lot.  Luckily my husband is good at fixing that.  Jeremie and I were engaged for 3 and a half years before we got married so we had a long time to talk about what we wanted in our wedding.  Right from the beginning Jeremie wanted personalized vows and I wanted traditional vows.  I knew if I wrote and tried to speak my own vows I would be an emotional wreck.  But over time I came around to the idea and we compromised by doing both types of vows.  I was able to mentally prepare myself for saying my vows and even though I broke down a little I was able to make it through my vows.  It ended up being one of my favorite things about our ceremony.  I loved telling Jeremie how I felt and I loved saying it in front of everyone so they could hear how wonderful I thought he was and how lucky I felt. When it comes to your wedding having an open mind can make all the difference.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Newlywed Game - My First Link Up!!

Hey guys!  This is my first link-up and it comes from Karla over at Forever Newly Wedded! I'm super excited to finally be participating in some link ups and learning more about the blogging universe and I definitely couldn't have done it without Karla.  So it's only appropriate that my first link up ever is with her!  

Jeremie and I have been married now for just over three months so we are truly newlyweds.  It's awesome and we're enjoying every second of it! 

1.   What is the worst thing that happened on your wedding day, if anything?

Her: I got sick!  I dunno what happened!  I was fine through the whole ceremony and for pictures and for about an hour of reception time and then I started not feeling so well.  I ended up missing about 45 minutes of our reception! Ugh, that was definitely the ONLY thing that went wrong.  Even the monsoon rains didn't bother me.

HimStacy getting sick enough that I had to stall for time with all our guests.

2.   Who is the better driver?

Her: I swear this isn't a cop out but I think we're fairly even here.  Jeremie is a typical guy and takes more risks, which I don't enjoy.  I definitely play it safer!

HimDefinitely my wife. She has more experience than me and I like things to be exciting which is not helpful for driving.

3.  If someone had to play your spouse in a movie, who would it be?

Her:  Wow this is a tough question.  We've been told many times that Jeremie reminds other people of David Spade in his sense of humor, as well as his looks.  Neither of us can see this connection at all!  Now, if it was up to me it might be someone along the lines of Joseph Gordon-Levitt - cute, funny, intelligent, a little nerdy. Similar to Jeremie :)

HimI think Kate Hudson, though she is not as gorgeous as Stacy.

4.  What’s your spouse's favorite comfort food?

Her: I would probably go with wings or pizza...but real pizza from a restaurant not homemade pizza.

Him: Pot Pie. 

5.  Which one of you hogs all the covers in bed?

Her:  I don't mean to! I just tend to be cold a lot.  For the most part though I'd say we keep it pretty even.

HimShe loves her blankets.

6.  The saying “opposites attract must be true because my spouse and I couldn’t be any more different when it comes to _________?

Her: Our taste in music.  I love musicals and upbeat, fun music.  He like laid back, relaxing music like Jack Johnson - yuck, no thank you!

HimRoutines. She loves them, I try to stay out of them.

7. If your spouse won $5000, what would they spend it on?

Her: A new car! Well, a new used car.


8.  If your spouse could be married to any famous person, which would it be and why?

Her:  I'm thinking Scarlett Johansson.  He used to really like Isla Fisher but she kinda fell off the face of the Earth, didn't she?

HimRyan Reynolds, because he is a hottie and can swing an axe like no other.

9.  Who controls the remote??

Her: If anything it's definitely me.  He puts up with watching a lot of stuff most guys would run from because he's an awesome husband and he loves me!  We tend to watch TV together a lot though.

HimI definitely do. I am quicker and she does not know the HD channels.

10.  If your spouse were a superhero, what would their "super power" be?

Her:  Ooooh this is a good one!  We've had this conversation several times and I don't think I've ever gotten a straight answer from him.  I think he'd like to control the 
elements as his super power.

Him: To control the weather, she already knows everything about it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Favorites Four Friday.

It's Friday again and that means it's time to highlight some of my favorite parts of the week and more specifically, my favorite new thing this week! Here are this weeks Favorites Four Friday!

Numero Uno
I tried three new recipes for my bake sale last weekend and I have definitely decided that my most favorite one was the Chocolate Oreo Truffles.  If you missed the post on how to make these ridiculously delicious and easy truffles, check it out here! I'll say it again, if you can't control yourself around chocolate run away now.  These truffles will force you to use your self control like never before.

Numero Dos

Favorite song of the week: Anything from the movie Tangled!  That's right, I watch movies made for kids even when there isn't a kid within miles and I love every second of it.  Then, I get in my car and listen to the music from that movie. No biggie.

Numero Tres
Favorite New iPad app:  If you're a teacher and you have an iPhone or iPad you need to check out this app ASAP!  It's fantastic.  Actually, even if you just have a kid that needs to work on math skills this is an awesome app.

It's called Math Board.  You can create customized practice lists for each of your students so that they are only practicing the skills they need or they're ready for.  The kids also get to use the chalk board to do their math work while solving a problem.  They can practice or take quizzes. Need I say more?  This app is fantastic!

Numero Quatro

Blogging moment of the week:  I learned so much new stuff about blogging this week but my favorite moment was participating in my first link up for The Newlywed Game!  If you wanna see my Newlywed Game post and my first ever link up, you'll have to check back tomorrow!

What were your Favorites Four Friday this week?  Did anyone try some new stuff?  I'd love to hear about it!

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Friday Letters.

Man, can it seriously be Friday already?  This week flew by!! Happy almost weekend everyone :)

Dear Weather, I'm totally fine with it being -5 degrees but I would prefer some snow along with it.  I heard it's supposed to rain next week and if that is true you and I are going to have some words.  Dear Rice Krispy Treats, I love you!  Dear Anyone who gave me a Dunkin' Donuts Gift Card for Christmas,  today I had to make my first cup of coffee since Christmas, so thank you for giving me 30 days of deliciousness in the new year.  Dear 3 O'clock, please get here faster. Dear Husband, I'm looking forward to our weekend together and answering some fun newlywed questions tonight! Woot!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Jury Duty Savior - Chocolate Oreo Truffles.

Today I'm at jury duty which I know most people truly hate but it gives me some time to get some posting done and maybe, if I'm lucky some school work too.  But we'll see.  Blogging first....

Something that is seriously saving my day today is the fact that I have a nice little snack waiting for me in my lunch bag.  It's something I made for the first time over the weekend and I need to share this recipe with you because it would be really selfish to keep it to myself.

This past weekend, the salon my sister works at had a CUT-A-THON to benefit Sandy Hook.  I felt the need to chip in and get active in this so I organized a small bake sale to help them bring in some extra money.  Did I mention I had the idea for this bake sale less than 48 hours before the CUT-A-THON?  Nonetheless, I think it came together fantastically and we brought in an extra $100 for the salon's donations!

I tried a few new recipes for this event.  I know, I know - it was a risky move seeing as I was selling the snacks for charity but in the end, it worked out really well.  All of the recipes I tried out are ones I will definitely make again. The one I'm going to share with you today, Chocolate Oreo Truffles is super easy and ridiculously delicious.  I'm warning you now, if you can't controll yourself around chocolate or oreos STOP READING NOW!

Here's what you'll need:

1 Package of Oreo Cookies
1 8oz. container of cream cheese (softened)
4 cups choloclate chips

That's it!  

Here's what you do:

To start off, place your Oreos in a plastic bag and crush the crap out of them.  This can be done with a rolling pin but if you had a particularly trying day feel free to use your fists.  It's great anger management!

Empty 3/4 of your crushed Oreos into a bowl and place the other 1/4 into a seperate bowl. Put the latter to the side for now.

Add  your softened cream cheese to the first bowl of crushed Oreos and mix thoroughly.  Be careful using your hands for this - it's super messy and you'll have a chance to get your hands dirty in just a second.  Patience.

Line a baking sheet with some wax paper or foil.

Here comes the messy part.  Are you ready?  Using a spoon for guidance, role the Oreo and cream cheese mixture into 1 inch balls and place them onto the baking sheet.  When you first start rolling them in your hand it will seem like they aren't going to stay together but keep rolling, it will happen!

Set your baking sheet full of Oreo balls to the side and wash your hands!  Next, melt your chocolate chips.  I prefer to do mine on the stove (low heat, stirring constantly) but you can also do it in the microwave ( 20 seconds and stir, repeat until melted).  

Dip your Oreo balls into the chocolate one at a time, making sure each one is coated completely.  I found the best way to do this was to put the Oreo ball into the chocolate, throw some chocolate on top of it and spread it around until it was completely coated.  Then I used 2 forks to get them out with as little extra chocolate as possible.

Place them back on the tray and sprinkle some of your leftover Oreo crushings on top.

Place in the fridge for at least an hour and serve or eat up!  

Be careful if you pull these out to eat at home as a snack.  It's easy to eat 2 at a time...or 3 or 4 or 7...I suggest making sure you share them with friends so you don't eat the whole batch.

Hope you guys enjoy these as much as I did!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wedding Weekend - Giving Back to Your Maids!

Hello blogosphere!  Happy wedding weekend.  It's been a while since my first wedding weekend post and I swear I wasn't just procrastinating and being lazy.  I only have so much wedding stuff to post about because, well, I only had one wedding.  So I'll be spreading out my wedding weekends a bit to make my material last for a while.

This week I'll be talking about a little surprise I lined up for my bridesmaids that was easy, quick, inexpensive and fun for my most favorite girls in the world.  Your bridesmaids give so much of their time, money and effort to be apart of your big day.  I truly didn't realize this until I was a bridesmaid, but it's a ton of work.  Who knew? And your girls will do it for you without complaint because they want you to be happy and because they love you.

Attendants Gift Part I: Hand Made Clutch
My bridesmaids did so much for me it would be hard to name it all.  They were there for me on every little detail and every time I needed them, they threw me a kick-ass shower and a damn good bachelorette weekend.  I felt like I couldn't say thank you enough and there wasn't anything I could get that was good enough to repay them for everything they did for me.

Attendants Gift Part II: Converse for dancing!

In the end, I ended up doing a couple things for my girls to say thank you, including some awesome attendants gifts (we splurged a little on these, but again, I just felt like they deserved so much) and a tiny little surprise for the wedding day.

To personalize each of my girls bouquets I added a small picture frame charm with a picture of her and me.  I didn't tell my girls about this, I just arranged it with my florist and when they opened up their box of flowers that afternoon they had a cute little surprise waiting for them.

This project was super easy.  I purchased the picture frame charms at JoAnn Fabrics.  They come two to a bag and they cost me $6 for all six charms.  I'm pretty sure they were having a 50% off sale on these charms which is part of the reason they were so inexpensive, but if you plan accordingly you can definitely get a great deal on them. And they're nice charms too!  They are a nice hefty material, not dinky and cheap.

I originally planned to have the pictures printed through Walgreens or CVS but I realized that it was completely unnecessary.  The pictures were so teeny that I hardly used any ink and just one piece of photo paper (this included a couple of extra prints when I screwed up the sizes).

Picking the pictures was the fun part.  I picked pictures that highlighted how long I had known each girl.  My sisters picture was one of us when I was about 6 months old, a couple of my friends got pictures from high school dances, and some had pictures from college or even later.  My frame had a picture of me with all my bridesmaids from my bridal shower.  It was kinda cool to see the timeline of pictures.

After I had all my pictures printed and ready to go I just cut them down to size and placed them in the frame.  I used a small drop of glue for extra security but they didn't need them.  The first one I assembled I didn't use glue and I had to pry the picture out with a toothpick so I could add the glue in after.  Finally, I dropped them off at my florist and they took care of the rest!

This was something I considered for a while before I did it and I'm so happy that I decided to go for it.  Quick, simple, fun and a surprise for my girls!  Win!

Did you do anything fun for your girls on your wedding day?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Letters.

Yesssss it's Friday!  Here are my Friday Letters this week:

Dear Homework Assignments, any chance you can get yourself done while I sleep?  Maybe?  Dear Baked Goods for the Cut-A-Thon Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to spending some time in the kitchen making you this afternoon.  I'm selling you to people for charity so all I'm asking is that you do everything in your power to turn out good.  You can take care of that, right? Dear Sirius, I know you haven't been out for a while and you have a ton of pent up energy but barking at every noise you hear, whining when I walk by the back door and shoving past me on my way out of the house will not give me more daylight to take you for a walk after work.  You have roughly a month and a half till daylight savings time,  you can do it.  Dear Long Weekend, thank you! Dear Jury Duty, most people hate you, but I'm ok with you, so no worries. See you next Wednesday.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thriftable Thursday!

Today's thriftable thursday is one I have been putting off for quite some time, not because I had better things to post about or because I didn't have time to post about it but because I could not find the item I wanted to post about!

I have been hunting for one of my favorite pairs of boots since November when it was officially acceptable to wear boots again, and I was heartbroken when I couldn't find them anywhere.  They weren't in the crawl space in a box full of winter clothes. They weren't at the top of my closet with the rest of my boots.  They weren't under my bed in my Shoes Under - yup, I said it, I use an as seen on TV product to organize my shoes and I'm damn proud of it.  My favorite boots were missing, never to be seen again!

Photographs by Marisa Pellerin Photography
Check her out here.  She's an awesome photographer!
Come to find out, they WERE under my bed, in between my two Shoes Under shoe organizers.  I found them not too long ago when my husband and I were doing a complete cleaning of our room. We removed our mattress and box spring to sweep under the bed and there they were!  They were right there the whole time! But you know what they say, and I can honestly say it is a truth that absence makes the heart grow fonder and I have officially fallen for my boots all over again.

This pair of boots was one of the first items I purchased at a thrift store that wasn't a joke or part of a Halloween costume. I got them for $15 dollars at Plato's Closet which is a thrift store that specializes in "younger" clothing such as Abercrombie, Aeropostale and American Eagle.  It's a really great store but they don't sell their stuff for super cheap, but it is very reasonable for the type of clothing they sell. You can also sell your clothing to them which is pretty cool!

I purchased these boots about 2 years ago and I still wear them several times a week.  Actually, I wore them today and noticed that they are finally beginning to show some wear and tear which made me very sad.  I've received tons of compliments on them and people ask me all the time where I got them.  I always answer honestly so I can tell people about the awesome deal I got. I love telling people about my thrifting adventures!  It never gets old!

Happy Thursday, everyone!  

Anyone doing any thrifting this weekend?  If so, please do share!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Honeymoon Period - Fact or Fiction?

This post was inspired by Karla over at Forever Newly Wedded.  As I was catching up on some blog reading today, I read her post about how incredibly lucky she feels to have found her husband and that he chose her.  I feel the same way and a lot of times it's attributed to the fact that I'm a newlywed.

In fact, just yesterday someone asked me how married life is and I responded with "it's amazing".  She laughed and said "Awww that's cute.  You're still in the honeymoon phase."  I know that it's a common joke about marriage - you're only happy as a newlywed, in the honeymoon period but I have to say that I find this statement a little pessimistic and also a little insulting, as if the only reason I'm happy with my marriage is because I'm a newlywed.  I know the person who said it didn't mean it in that way but it really got me thinking.

Now, I'm no marriage expert.  I haven't been married for a decade or even a year.  I haven't celebrated a silver anniversary or a golden anniversary.  But I have been with my husband for six years and we've been incredibly happy for that entire period.  It's because we take marriage seriously and not as something that can be terminated when something goes wrong (coughKimKardashiancough).  We put our relationship as a top priority in our lives.  We don't scream at each other or let ourselves get irritated by the little things. We treat each other with respect always.  We think about each other's feelings.  We talk through our problems.  We learn from our mistakes and we don't let them happen a second time.

I'm not happy with my husband because I'm a newlywed, because if I really look at our lives, nothing except my last name changed when we got married. Our living situation is the same.  We have the same dogs, jobs, cars.  If anything, our lives have gotten more difficult since our wedding with the Sandy Hook shooting and the fact that Jeremie just started back to school for his masters.  I'm not happy because I'm a newlywed.

I'm happy because my husband is my best friend and because of all the reasons I already gave.  I am incredibly lucky to have him in my life and I am so lucky he chose me.  Like Karla, I'm not sure how I got so lucky but I hope I never forget it or take it for granted.

I hope when I ask someone how married life is they say it's awesome just so I can respond with "I totally agree!"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Perfect Penguin Presents!

In November of  2011 I was a Pinterest virgin - those were sad times.  Needless to say, as soon as I was on it I was completely and utterly addicted to it.  I began pinning just a month and a half before Christmas which was prefect timing for me to get some really awesome present ideas.  One of my very first pins was a picture of these super cute penguin ornaments:

I believe this is where that pin originated from.

I'm sure many of you pinners have actually seen this pin as well. Maybe many of you have even tried them out.  Last Christmas I made about 15 of these for my family as stocking stuffers and they were such a hit. Even this year, people see them on my Christmas tree and say "I want a penguin ornament!"  So I made a few more this year and I want to give a brief tutorial with some little tips about how to make these fun, personalized ornaments.

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 60 watt light bulb (white or clear - the nice thing about the 
clear bulbs is that if the paint chips a little 
you can't really see the glass underneath)
  • An assortment of acrylic paints including black, white, red, orange, and blue. 
  • Various size paint brushes
  • Hot glue
  • String or ribbon

First things first:

Take your light bulb and make a bowling pin shaped outline on it using your black paint.

Tip: I also found that using a highlighter to make the outline first makes it easier because you can do it over and over until you get your outline right. Then you can trace the highlighter outline with your black paint.  The glass of the light bulb acts like a dry erase board so you can just wipe the highlighter off after you're done!

After you do a few ornaments you'll really get a feel for it and you won't even need the highlighter.

From there:

Fill in the entire area of the light bulb outside of the bowling pin shape with your black paint.  Be careful around the metal part at the top!

You'll need two coats of black paint to really make them look nice.

Tip: Make sure the paint has dried completely on your first layer before you begin your second coat.  The wet paint slides off the glass easily so if you start painting over it before it's totally dry the paint gets pulled off and it looks clumpy and sloppy.


After your second black coat has dried, begin your first white coat in the bowling pin area (or the face and body) of your penguin. Make sure you take some time to even out the edges of his body and make them look nice and smooth.  Also, check that the sides where his tummy gets fat and round are even.  Meaning, the left side of the body should get fatter in the same place that the right side gets fatter.  Otherwise you'll end up with a lopsided penguin!

Again, wait for your first coat to dry and apply a second coat.  Take the time to make the edges of his body as nice as possible!


Using your colored paints make two small blue eyes, an orange beak and two small rosy cheeks (I used my red paint with some white mixed together instead of buying a whole thing of pink acrylic).  To do the names and date I freehand it.  If you don't feel comfortable doing that you could probably print and cut out a stencil and then paint over them onto your penguin or possibly even try a light colored chalk to write them out first!

Tip: The end of your paint brush works really well the eyes, beak and rosy cheeks.  It's teeny and it leaves perfectly round marks!

Last but not least:

Throw a glob of hot glue on top and stick a string/ribbon loop on it. 

Tip:  Check out how big your loop is before you glue it on by holding it to a tree branch and seeing how low your ornament will hang, keeping in mind that your penguin will weigh it down a bit.  The first time I did it, I just estimated (I don't know what I was thinking because I'm really awful at guessing lengths) and it was such a huge loop that I didn't have enough space between tree branches to hang my little guy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wedding Weekend!

This is a post that has been sitting, ready to go for 3 weeks now.  It was supposed to go up on December 15th, but for obvious reasons that didn't happen.  I've been excited to start posting some wedding craftables for a while now and I've been waiting to post this for so long that I'm extra excited about it!

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for my wedding photos so I could start blogging about all the DIY stuff I did for the wedding.  So, I'm pleased to announce I have my wedding photos back and I'm publishing the first official Siriusly Craftables Wedding Weekend!

J. Fiereck Photography, LLC
This weekend I want to highlight something really simple we did that was fun and helpful!  I LOVE Instagram, and let's be honest, who doesn't?  We knew there would probably be a bunch of Instagram pictures from the wedding and we really wanted to make sure we got them all.  So we, of course, did what any rational people would do - we made a hash-tag to go with our wedding!

In addition to my husband reading his vows from an iPad and my sister reading her toast from her iPhone, this was just another thing that really shows how much weddings in our generation have changed!

We posted our hash-tag on a board full of photos near the entrance to the reception, so that everyone could see it. The sign in the middle read "If you Instagram, use #Hitwedding.  We'd love to see your photos!"

Done and done.  It literally took me about 5 minutes to make and print this sign and I was able to get a bunch of fun Instagrams because of it. In all the chaos of planning a wedding it's so nice to have something that's actually easy to do!

While I'm highlighting this particular little project and because I'm such a huge fan of anything and everything thriftable, I'd just like to point out that I got this board from Goodwill for $2!  Honestly, this whole board probably cost me less than $10 to put together.  This DIY project is fun, simple and cost effective if you do it right and the Instagrams we got as a result are awesome!  Here are a few of my favorites.

Woohoo it's my wedding day!
Everything is ready to go! We had to move our ceremony
inside last minute because it was POURING outside!
Here we go!
A little fallish decor.
Our beautiful cake!  
And finally, the morning after breakfast!
What a crew!