Thursday, December 31, 2009


Well, folks, it looks like 2009 is coming to a close. Do you have big plans for tonight?

We got nuthin'.

T will be working in the store, heading up some inventory on New Years Day, so he doesn't want to stay out late tonight. Even if he were able to sleep in tomorrow, his antisocial proclivities would keep him from attending any fun soirĂ©es with me tonight. Bummer.

I may see if I can spike his drink enough to get him to watch Glee on DVD with me 'til just before the ball drops in Times Square.

Stop laughing. That's the only way I'd ever get him to watch it.

Other than that, I'll try to spend some time today thinking about my goals for 2010.

Speaking of goals, one of my goals for my blog in 2009 was to try to grow my blog and post every weekday.

This was my first year of blogging (I don't count the random smattering of three posts from 2008), and I definitely met my goals. I've gone from probably 3 to 270+ Followers. That's a big deal for a girl who has a "blog about nothing." I don't exactly fit in a niche because I blog about so many random things.

I have all of YOU to thank for that. Your kind comments, emails, and general encouragement have really boosted my confidence this year. I feel like I can take steps in 2010 to continue expressing myself in my little corner of the web.

 In case you're new, here's a little smattering of my favorite randomness from 2009.

{Crafty Stuff I tried}

My $8 Salvation Army Metal Disaster Table Turned Craft Desk

Ribbon and Button Embellished Lampshade Tutorial (featured on Living with Lindsay)

Embellished Burlap Table Runner

{Moments of Tragedy and Triumph in the Kitchen}

Stayin' Alive While Canning

In the Mood for Mexican?

{Fun and Funny Posts}

Braving Black Friday (Featured as a guest post on Kate's fabulous Centsational Girl blog)
Conquering a Fashion Fear
High Fashion

{Most Embarrassing Mom Moments}

Ode to the Dog Water
Help! I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

Case Closed

Worst. Wedding Toast. Ever

Hope you found something here to make you smile today. See you next year.

Have a very Happy New Year!
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Loot

Like I said before, "no dirty sticks or fire rocks" this year for the T family. We all received some really neat gifts, and I'll be spending some time this afternoon working on my thank you notes!

Some of my favorites?

~Mr. Coffee Espresso Machine from Mimi (my mom). Starbucks may lose its tenacious grip on me.

~Blogging for Bliss from my sister, Alison....

She's good-I wanted this when it first came out and then forgot all about it until I unwrapped it on Christmas Day!

~A gorgeous homemade earring holder from my sister-in-law, SuSu

~Cutest gift? My sis let Natalie choose a gift for me in American Eagle, and the child could hardly stand the excitement when she watched me unwrap the cutest jewelry set. She made sure it was the first gift out from under the tree at my mom's.

~A new Nutcracker from T's brother, Mike.

~Biggest surprise?

T presented me with this certificate for a "blog makeover!" He knows, or at least has an inkling of understanding, that this is my own personal spot of creative expression.

He also knows that I'd like to grow my blog and give it a cleaner, more presentable look. I was so impressed that he took the time to create a certificate...he even used my blog banner and background! Brownie points. I may have to save a bit more to get all the features I'd like to have here, but I'll keep you updated as I choose a fun new look for this spot. Don't worry...I won't go all Hollywood on you. (wink)

The girls and I got T a firepit for the backyard. I'm not sure what you do with a firepit, but I remembered him mentioning he wanted one a few months ago.

Natalie has been taking non-stop photos with her new camera, and Michaela Byrd seems most pleased with a stuffed "Frosty the Snowman" that sings his own theme song. That was delightful to listen to in Target when she insisted on bringing it along.

A good Christmas!

{What was your favorite gift you received this year?}

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Starting 'Em Young...

The girls each got a silver purse for Christmas and were so excited to take them out shopping yesterday.

Natalie packed 26 cents, her "lipstick" (a chapstick with a picture of a cupcake on the front), and some cheese & peanut butter crackers.

Michaela Byrd put some "monies" in hers and tried to cram a large stuffed "Frosty the Snowman" inside.

I figure I ought to start them out young with an appreciation for a fine handbag, so that when they are older and have married well, they can buy me real Balenciaga bags so I don't have to settle for some from Canal Street

Not that there's anything wrong with that. 
(10 points if you can name that quote!)
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Monday, December 28, 2009

DIY: Easy Jute Banner Tutorial

I thought that since some of you are still on vacay, I'd share a quick tutorial with you. My girls watched entirely too many Christmas movies while I crafted, but I ended up with some cuteness! Here's a quick project that you can work on if you have some free time. 

I made two of these banners as Christmas gifts this year, but they could easily be edited to fit other seasons or holidays.

I was inspired by Miss Mustard Seed, and I wish I had remembered to bookmark her link before I worked on the project, because hers is way cuter!!! I kept the idea in my head, and I needed some Christmas gifts, so the banner was born, so to speak.

Susie over at Susie Harris introduced us to the joys of jute upholstery webbing over the last few months. 

I finally remembered to scout some out a few weeks ago at Wal-Mart's fabric department, and was surprised to learn that it was only about $0.67 a yard! Naturally, I bought about 5 yards of the stuff, and I know I'll be back for more!

I couldn't find chipboard letters in the 'Burg to save my life, so I had to make letters from scratch!

I started with my Cricut machine, cutting some letters about 4 1/2 inches in size onto scrap paper. If you don't have a Cricut, try a stencil, freehand, or print something out from MS Word.

I traced my letters onto cardboard, cut them out with a box cutter, and gave them a coat or two of acrylic craft paint. I went for "JOY," but you could try "SNOW" and use white/silver glitter.

After that, I used some Martha Stewart glitter glue and Martha Stewart red tinsel glitter to hide the messy edges fancy the edges up. 

While the glitter dried, I got to work on the jute upholstery webbing.

I measured out about how long I wanted my banner to be, and cut the bottom so it wouldn't be a plain old straight edge.

I folded the top half over and pressed it for a clean edge, then sewed a straight seam to keep it together.

Then I hand-stitched a D-ring (available in the sewing notions aisle at any craft store) to line up with the seam. This turns into the hanger.

The green wire you see is the florist's wire I used to keep my ribbon together. I forced it through the jute and wrapped it around the D-ring to stabilize it. 

If you prefer a plain banner, there's no need for a ribbon, but I used wired ribbon that I had on hand (yay!) to dress it up a little bit.

I lined my letters up to the side of where I wanted them to stay on the banner, then I hot glued them down.


Like I said, this would be easy to make for winter decor, after your Christmas is put away and the house is feeling bare.

I saw some jute webbing online with black threading. That could be fun too!

This was a very affordable craft. The webbing was less than a dollar a yard, I already had the ribbon, and I used a coupon for the Martha Stewart stuff. You can't beat that!

Check out Kimba at A Soft Place to Land for her weekly DIY party. You're sure to find some inspiration here!

Hope everyone is enjoying their post-Christmas family time. I'll share some more about our Christmas this week.
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

No "Dirty Sticks and Fire Rocks" This Year

I guess the T family was pretty good this year because there were no "dirty sticks and fire rocks (coal)" in our stockings, as Natalie would say.

Christmas Eve ended with a trip over to the service at church, our home filled with family for our annual Christmas Eve appetizer/dessert buffet, and two little girls putting on new Christmas pajamas and heading off to dream of sugarplums.

Somebody had to guard the food from greedy little fingers (an early gift from my brother-in-law, Mike).

Christmas morning was filled with lots of torn wrapping paper, excited squeals, and traveling around town to make appearances at the in-laws' place and my mom's home.

Mike's dog, Tyke, got into the Christmas spirit and dressed as Saint Nick for the morning.

By the time we made it to my mom's house in the afternoon, everyone was ready for a nap!

But we rallied to enjoy a late lunch/early dinner and open gifts together.

My long hours sewing paid off, because SuSu loved her apron that I made!

It's always a wonderful Christmas when the gifts that you've put time and thought into are enjoyed! 

More on the "loot" later this week. (wink wink) Santa was good to us this year!

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Friday, December 25, 2009

This One's for You, Sam

I'm typing this early in order to have something to post on Christmas morning. As I was frantically rushing around my house today, trying to make Christmas "happen," I stopped for a moment to think about my brother-in-law.

Sam is married to my sister, Alison, and he's in the Army. He flies "heliploppers," as Natalie used to say, and he is currently sitting in Kuwait, waiting to go to Iraq for the second time. He'll be there for a year.

As I fretted over whether or not I ought to attempt to make a table centerpiece or would my guests notice if I didn't dust the dining room, I thought about Sam and his fellow soldiers and what it must be like to be oceans away from your family on such a special holiday.

If you think of him today, please say a prayer for Sam and the other brave men and women who are serving our country. 

"God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan's power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy"

We love you, Sam, and we miss you. Take care, and Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Santa Claus is Comin' To Town...??

I took the girls to see the Man in Red a couple of weeks ago at our local mall. 

I was impressed not only with my children's behavior as we waited in line, but also with the decorations this year. They really stepped it up a notch and gave all the exhausted moms some eye candy to gaze at as we waited.

I hope the big guy comes through for these two little elves tomorrow morning!

Until we find out, we'll be busy CLEANING the house like crazy for our annual family dessert party...much pared down this year, but fun to have my favorite people here with me tonight.

We'll also be thinking of the real "Reason for the Season" as we celebrate Jesus' birthday tonight at church.

Merry Merry Christmas, friends!
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