Monday, December 17, 2012

Secret Santa Sharpie

It's crunch time and no amount of planning can prepare for those last minute holiday gifts you might need. This past weekend I went to a Secret Santa party hosted by my friend Joanne. I'm pretty certain she could publish all of Pinterest, yet swears she's never been on it. If that's true, I hate her for her super awesome creativity.

Why? Every year Joanne hosts a girl's night themed Christmas party and every year is a different theme. One year it was panties, one year movies, and this year recipes. We had to bring a recipe along with a wrapped gift that somehow went along with the recipe. We all had tons of fun doing it. I had a creamy chicken noodle soup recipe and decided to theme my present around the idea of comfort food. I found a super plush blanket in the agreed price range, but wanted to add something cute and fun with it. Wherever would I turn for ideas on a last minute gift? Pinterest!!

I'd been dying to make these Sharpie mugs and thought this was perfect. How cozy is a warm blanket and cup of tea? So I snagged some cute bargain mugs and my favorite markers and read several pins of instructions. Now here is the debate. Several posts say use normal Sharpies, and others say you have to use the greasy, paint Sharpies. I used the regular ones since I already had them and had no issues hand washing with a sponge after baking.

Here is what I made :)

I blanked out on what to make after drawing the mustaches and just made a very Rachel Berry-esque heart. I stuffed them with tea and travel size lotion alongside the blanket. Afterwards I found these and kicked myself. So many cute ideas!!!

The possibilities are literally endless!!!!!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Photog fails

Does Pinterest make anyone else feel like they could be a professional photographer? I see so many pins on how to take awesome photos of my kid, cute poses, what camera settings to use, etc. How hard could this be?

When will I learn??!! Probably never, now that I have a kid. And I keep hoping one of these cute poses I find on Pinterest will actually turn out when I try with my super amateur skills.


My sad attempt 

My advice for future attempts would be to wait for your kid to sit up. This was super frustrating. He also had no interest in the lights whatsoever and just stared at me blankly. This always makes for a good picture. I also could not get the shutter speed correct with the focus. So it turned out pretty blah.


Cute, right? Here's my not so successful one:

Advice for future attempts: I think the baby in the inspiration photo is older. Moral of the story is I have zero patience and must try everything the minute I see it. Regardless of the fact that my baby may not be ready. Details, details. Also, my baby HATES being on his tummy. This was a key issue. Also, when we can get him on his stomach, he does this awesome skydiver form, and shoves, his arms behind his back. This would be great if a parachute were attached. Not great when trying to prevent face-planting into mirrors. This prevented him from holding his head up as high as the kid in the inspiration photo, another reason mine turned out horrible. Little details to look for. No amount of photoshop can fix this poor shot. Lots of Windex to remove drool and spit up from mirror, though. :)

Last one.



I actually like this one. It's taken in his little cradle which was actually mine when I was a kid. And he's wearing my favorite onsie I got at H&M. You can't see as much as his face like the inspiration photo but I love his body shape and all the browns in the photo. He looks like a little frog which is what I called him at our first ultrasound at seven weeks, my little tree frog. :)

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Monday, December 3, 2012

You Wreath Some You Lose Some

For years I have been wanting to make one of those ornament wreaths where you string ornaments on a wire hanger. Like here. I've saved several pins on the subject and waited all year to do this one. I stocked up on shiny silver ornaments, hoarded wire hangers from the dry cleaners and had the instructions memorized. There was no way I was screwing this one up. Ha.

Well, please allow me to share what NOT to do when making one of these wreaths.

  • Do NOT assume you have enough ornaments. It takes about a million. No kidding. There are at least 50 on mine and that was after two trips to the store and I finally gave up and just shortened the wreath circle. 
  • Do NOT take shortcuts. Out of five sets of instructions, four of them told me to hot glue the ornament tops to the glass balls. The fifth one said I didn't need to. This lazy gal went with the fifth one. FYI - those are not shatterproof, they make a huge mess which my dog is suicidal-ly attracted to, and the ornaments randomly pop off even after the wreath is made, not just while you are stringing. 
  • Do NOT use the large ornament balls. I thought this would take up more space on my wreath and the project would go faster. For one thing, it's not as cute in the end with the large ornaments. For another, it's harder to get the ornaments closer together to hide the hanger. And the third reason leads to my next list item:
  • Do NOT assume the ornaments will fit on your door if you also have a screen/glass storm door. This was possibly the most depressing blow. I finally finished the wreath, hung it on the door and then couldn't shut it! Project fail! I wished I had measured the depth between the storm door and the front door before starting and even purchasing ornaments. 

So here is my finished ornament wreath on our hall closet door. It was our compromise.

The places where it looks lopsided are where ornaments popped off and broke. :(

So I had to make a new wreath for the front door. And I was definitely over my obsession with Christmas Ornaments at this point. I had a foam wreath and yarn on hand so I decided to try a yarn wrapped wreath like this one. This project went soooooooooooo much easier than the last one. After wrapping the yarn, I just wrapped some holly berries on the wreath with the same color yarn and we were set. 

Now one of these days, I will be smart enough to stop when I'm ahead. But I get this project high and must...keep....going. I have more yarn, and an entire house to decorate...what else can I wrap? 

How about making paper cones, and wrapping them into Christmas trees? How cute would these be on a table? I started with a cliche green yarn tree. Worked great. Then I started getting creative. I found some red twine. This was harder to wrap tightly enough, but turned out quite cute in the end. Then I went too far. I have always been distracted by sparkly/shiny objects. In my box of ribbon I found silver metallic cord. I will say I gave this a good three tries and below is what happened. The cord kept twisting on itself and then popping off. I'm going to redo the third three with grey yarn, but I just need a wrapping break for now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wedding Projects 1

So my project frenzy started when we decided to move our wedding from August to February. My previous obsession with Pinterest only heightened and I literally became glued to my iPhone.

I had been scouring and pinning for several months. Given the success of my first project (see previous post) and the fact that I fancy myself as quite crafty, surely an event as large as my wedding would not need any trial runs for any of my projects (cough**mistake**cough). Also, being pregnant, having morning sickness, and being unable to bend over due to injection sites in abdomen are all pretty unproductive for projects. Did I consider any of this? Nope. Just organized the supplies I thought I needed/wanted and waited for my mother to arrive the week before the wedding. Hey mom, welcome to Cleveland, and I saved some spray paint and epoxy for ya!

Here are my hits and misses for our small and intimate wedding. We decided to do immediate family only at the country club we had already paid our deposit on for the summer wedding. I did not like the backdrop so we had to make our own. I also did not see the point in spending a lot on decorations for only 30 people, so I tried to dress the place up a lot with handmade decorations.

I knew I wanted a picture clothesline like these to help personalize the space of our reception. What I didn't account for was where would I put it. I thoughtfully picked out almost 100 pictures from our dating journey, had them printed and this cute clothesline I was ready to paint silver. Mom spray-painted for me and we quickly realized we needed more string and clothespins. We found those cute mini ones for scrapbooking and painted them silver too. This was all going perfectly in my head.

Well morning of wedding comes and we head over to the venue to set up and we are not allowed to tape or pin anything ANYWHERE (file under, questions you should've asked months ago), but since I have so much string, I'm welcome to tie it to anything that's already existing.....which is not much. My dad and about to be FIL notice a security light (yep, we're classy) and an old nail that we manage to make bunting-like clotheslines above the favors and seating card table. Here is the inspiration photo and what is clearly my unprofessional photo after.

What I would do differently next time is scout out a place to put this! And if I couldn't use it (come up with an alternate plan. I had not really planned where to put things until that morning...bad idea. Also, as I look back at all the other clotheslines, I see the pictures are all uniform size. This looks much more polished than my mishmosh of horizontal and vertical.

Then there is the original pin from for my lighted backdrop to cover the accordion fold wall:

My poor mother was handed a tangled mess of Christmas lights, some chiffon curtains I found on clearance at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and shown this picture. She looked at me like I was crazy. So we went shopping. We found additional purple curtains and curtain rod on clearance at Target, and a super cute wrought iron garden table at JoAnns. Combine this with some curtain rods I had at home, fishing wire, and silver spray paint, and we (by we, I mean my mom on this one) went to town. See, mom is smart enough to realize you have to make sure it works before you take it all the way to the event venue and set up. Two days later she had it working. With all that, and mostly set up, it still took two hours to set up at the venue. Here is her awesome handiwork:

It was at this point my mother turns to me and says, what goes on the table? The unity candle. Where is that? Um.....So we went to my favorite craft store (did I mention this is the morning of the wedding, btw???), Pat Catans, and grabbed three candles and some ribbon. I convinced my mother I did not need tape that I had plenty at home. Turns out all I had was bright blue painters tape, so we have no pictures of my really awesome unity candles. :) But it all turned out quite nice in the end:

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Pin that started it all

My obsession with Pinterest started the minute we looked at engagement rings. Sorry, dear. But at least I waited until then to start planning, some girls have the whole wedding planned before they graduate high school (is anyone else channeling Monica Gellar?). I really blame my sister-in-law for introducing me to the site where I could find all these amazing ideas in one place, and save the ones I liked in one tidy little place. I would like to apologize to my previous boss and coworkers now for any lack of productivity the Pinterest iPhone app may have caused. :)

It might've remained a pipe dream and just a "wouldn't it be nice" site as most Pinterest boards are had my first attempt at a project not turned out well. It was seriously the cutest thing I had seen and I had to make my very own bridesmaids invitations. Here is the original idea from

Seriously, how cute are those??!!! So, with their awesome instructions (which as we will all learn are the key to successful pins) and a little help from this site on the cute handwriting, here is what we came up with:

Not too shabby, huh? My girlfriends and future sisters dutifully ooohed and aaahed over them. From that day forward Pinterest had me convinced I was the next Martha Stewart.
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Why blog

So hubby thinks blogging will be a good outlet for me. He thinks I have Adult ADHD or something. I tried to explain the concept of Mommy Brain, but alas, here I am. I believe the need to organize my thoughts all started about a year ago. Having just returned from vacation with my fiance and his family, I came down with the stomach flu. I was so tired and could not stop retching. So I finally went to the doctor to be tested for the regular flu. My entire life changed as I sat on a paper lined table and the following conversation occurred: "Your pregnancy test was positive" "Um, you have the wrong room. I didn't take one of those." "Remember peeing in a cup?" "Yeah, but that was like for mono or something. I'm not pregnant, that's for someone else." "Deya, it's not mono, you are most definitely pregnant." Long pause for hysterical crying....."I don't know if I should call my fiance or cardiologist!" Not my best reaction to what most parents recall to be one of the best days of their lives. I, however, had not planned on getting pregnant. Not for some time and possibly not ever if my cardiology team at Cleveland Clinic did not agree it was a good idea. I should interject here in case my son ever reads this...yes, you were unplanned. But in the words of Sheryl Crow, "You're My Favorite Mistake". And in the off chance you ever worry we only married due to the pregnancy, you can thank Facebook for forcing the timeline format on Mommy and Daddy's profiles to prove we were engaged long before you came around. So on December 2, 2011, I learned why I would slowly start losing brain cells for the seemingly indefinite future. I quickly caught "Pregnancy Brain" which has now become the a fore mentioned "Mommy Brain". What's next? I'm scared to find out.