Friday, December 31, 2010

Au revoir 2010

I can't believe this year will be over in a little more than 2 hours. It's been a momentus year: we moved out of our apartment that we had live in for 5.5 years, found our first home and proceeded with the build process, moved in with the in laws until our house was done (I lived on my sister in law's couch so I wouldn't have to commute during the week and then went back to the parent in law's house to see the hubby on the weekends), became brave enough to give my injections every night without an auto injector, moved into our house (April), in May we found we were expecting our first baby, hosted our first party in our new house, hosted our first Thanksgiving in our new house (24 people!) and learned how to cook a Turkey, and hosted our first family Christmas Eve in a decked our house! Although this year was huge in every way, I think it's only fitting that next year be even bigger! We waited a long time to get a house, but I guess we couldn't put off having offspring too much longer.

I'm not even making resolutions for the new year just because I don't know what the new year will hold. I'd like to think we'll be the same simple, uberrealistic people we've always been and not so into our kiddo that we forget just how we started.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas craft to do: cone trees

Katie over at BowerPower has a cute, easy, and cheap craft: cone trees. I'm in love with some of the cone trees I've seen this year, including a $15 mirrored version at Target. (You can't even purchase them online anymore because they're out of stock. Do you know how tempting it is to go see if they're still there and snag them because they're so popular?!) I'm too much of cheap to buy it though. Instead I'm going to try making my own versions with yarn and Christmas card stock.

Glittery mantel

I couldn't wait to decorate the mantel this year. Unfortunately, work and other projects prevented me from finishing it until this week. I had purchased a $9 pre-lit garland from Target and during last year's after-Christmas sales, I had picked up two pre-lit 3ft. container Christmas trees for $25/apiece at Jo-Ann's. I set one on the mantel and the other outside. These were my foundation pieces besides the afore mentioned Keep Calm print and my hurricane.

My other purchases included a glittery Believe sign I picked up in Hermann, Missouri during our anniversary trip, a set of 50 gold shatter-proof ornaments for $15 from Target, 4 gold and 4 silver glittery snowflakes for $1 a package, and probably my most favorite finds for the mantel: a jingle bell G and one gold and one silver birdie (you know my thing with birds), which I picked up for less than $6 at Michael's. I repurposed some items I already had on hand, including little red glass balls, a Santa teapot that was my Mom's (I liked having a piece of her up there since it was her dream as well to fireplace), and the star in the corner is actually our tree topper that this preggo didn't like on her tree this year.

I loved how the mantel turned out for my first mantel. And in the process, it shook open some decorating vein in me! I want to decorate everything now. And repaint, but let's not tell my husband that!

I give you what my mantel looked like before:

And here's the Christmas after:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An exercise in staying calm

A couple posts ago, I told you how I was planning on having a print made of Craftily Ever After's Keep Calm and Merry On sign. Well, I did. And I had planned to slide it right into the frame Capricious gifted me with that held the Keep Calm and Gobble On (Just typing that makes me laugh) version she had made for me. What I didn't realize is that Miss Capricious is one fancy, detail-oriented lady (OK, I did realize this because she's my sister and usually it drives me nuts). Not only was her print an 11x16, she had had it printed on poster board.

It wasn't until I got to Costco and was waiting to check out that I realized there was no way my 8x10 was the same size. It was tiny in comparison. And glossy, like a Polaroid picture! Drats! I drove home determined to make it work. For one thing, the 8x10 print only cost me $1.70. Who can beat that? For another, I hate hate hate standing in line at Costco. (Seriously: How do Costco lovers do it? The deal just doesn't seem worth the chaos. Am I missing something?)

But never fear, because Capricious is here. The woman is like Super Woman. She once dawned a cape in college (I have a picture to prove it), and it's something I think she should wear everyday. When I told her what I did and how it wouldn't look as fantastic as her print because of the size, her answer was simple: Do a wrapping paper background. It'll make it pop even more.

Turns out I didn't have some fantastic wrapping paper that would complement that burgundy, almost brown of the print. But not all was lost: I happened to have a giant book of Christmas scrapbook paper with that very color. After holding up a few pieces and consulting you know who, a new sign was born and salvaged. And I just did as the poster said: Keep Calm and Merry On. The end result is fun and adds a bit of funky to my otherwise elegant mantel. I added a glittery snowflake to the top that I found at Target, four for $1. Love me some glitter this Christmas!

P.S.: Sorry for the crappy quality of pictures. My camera, an Olympus Stylus 710, is a sorry excuse for a camera. Next month we plan on purchasing a DSLR, just in time to record those monumental moments with the bambino. Until then, I'm keeping calm and snapping on.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Free art for the nursery

I decided to try my hand at designing a poster for the nursery. Ever since I saw this saying on another blog (it escapes where I saw it now), I knew I wanted it in my son's room. So I whipped one up last night while the hubby was watch Fantastic Mr. Fox. Now I just need to get it printed and to buy a frame. I love that I created something for free, and I'm sure I can find a frame for less than $30 and to get this bad boy printed on poster board at Costco costs around $10.

Feel free to print your own. I have it designed for up to a 11x16 print. Who doesn't love free?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On order

Tomorrow I pick up my Keep Calm and Merry On poster that will be the center piece to my mantel decor for Christmas. I'm so excited how my mantel is shaping up! Get your free download from Craftily Ever After.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I suck

House and home have unfortunately been put on the back burner while I put out wild fires all over work. You'd think my company would be smart enough not to give the hormonal pregnant woman work that makes horns sprout from her head, or at least not plan some crazy ass move that consolidates four floors into two floors all to save a few bucks since out of the 20 offices or so belonging to the company, we have the cheapest rent (and the cheapest cost of living and salary). So like I've said, I've been busy. So busy that Jonathan has been cooking all my meals and doing the dishes. Yeah, that busy. And that hormonal. Underneath this mask of normal is scary. I'd be happy to give you a preview sometime.

But now I'm looking at a week off and I'm hoping to accomplish all kinds of things: decorating my mantel for Christmas, Christmas shopping that I haven't even started, putting together the crib and moving other furniture into the baby's room, baking (hoping to back some ginger snaps and go to all my neighbors in our cul de sac crew), knitting, and of course some yoga.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Keep calm

As a thank you for hosting Thanksgiving, my sister gifted me with a framed print of Craftily Ever After's "Keep Calm and Gobble On." How sweet and awesome is that? I plan on replacing the print every season as appropriate. For Christmas, I'm going to print out the "Keep Calm and Merry On" version and hang it over my mantel. I think it'll be a perfect motto since I tend to hang on the edge with the surge of pregnancy hormones. Be sure to get your own print. It's free!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Decorating frustration

I don't get it. I don't get it at all. How does a person pull off decorating that looks polished and finished. I'm still in the throes of holiday decorating. And as excited as I was about decorating the mantel, I honestly have to say I have no idea how to do it. And I really don't want to spend money on the project. It makes me a little bah humbug.