Monday, November 29, 2010

My ruffle trees

Remember my post about making ruffle trees? Well, I said I would post mine, but haven't done it yet - so here ya go:

These are in the living room - on our end table.  One is out of burlap, with spools for the tree trunk and the other is brown knit with a candle stick tree trunk!  The bottom one is just the green oxford with another spool trunk - this one still has thread on it - all the spools were my Granny's!

This one is in my bathroom, on a cake stand that I've been using to display stuff.  It's brown knit and green oxford (from a shirt Jason was tossing out).

The little silver tree in the middle is from Walgreens - it was 99 cents!! Score!

Alright - that's all I've got today.  I'm about to head to the store and then off to sit in pick up line at school - in the rain!!  Boo rain!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

FInally picked a Christmas Card

Starlight Snowflakes Christmas Card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Baby you're a STAR

I thought it would be fun to share the things I gave a gold star to this past week.  Gold star?  Y'all must think I'm crazy.  But, if you have Google Reader set up with all your favorite blogs, you understand.  You can 'star' something you like, Google Reader keeps them all together and you can quickly go through what you liked and revisit the idea!  I thought it would be fun to start sharing the things I found star worthy.  I'll post the link to the original post and then share my favorite image!

So, here's what I 'starred' this past week or so.  First, we have Vintage Rudolph, which was posted on Hostess with the Mostess. I love the bright green and red here.  I tend to be a little bi-polar when it comes to decorating - I love soft muted colors, but at Christmas I love bold and bright stuff!! I love the corker bow napkin ring here and think it would be super cute to make into an ornament - a whole ball of curly grosgrain!  There are a million other things I liked for that post though - go check it out and pick your favorite!

Next up, I have a Tatertots and Jello post and you may seem that blog here more and more - I love the things she shares!!  This post is titled Pier 1 Decorating.  And this is too stinkin' cute:

I really love the silver mixed with the red here - the red is a super bright burst of color mixed in with the white and silver!

And I really want to make this cute Pom Pom Scarf.  It's really cute and brought to you by UCreate, although the original post is from here - Life through the Lens.

Remember the post about the ruffle trees - oh wait, I never shared mine - well, here some of the inspiration.  Shanty2Chic made adorable ruffle trees.  I love them!  The ruffle tree is adorable but the little rosette tree is adorable, too!

Here's another adorable idea from The Inspired Room, How to Make a Jingle Bell Jar.  I'm going to be making these soon - I promise!

Here's another from Tatertots and Jello. I love this wreath so very much!

The great thing about Tatertots and Jello is she does link parties - I love that.  I just got lost in her links and end up with tons of ideas!!

And here's something I want to try to make myself - and soon! This was shared at JBS Inspiration Blog.

I'll be back next Saturday with more fun stuff!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful I'm not shopping this morning

Today, I'm thankful I got to stay in.  I would be more thankful if I'd been able to sleep in, too - but alas, I'm awake and have been for quite some time. 

What I'm really thankful for is that I don't work in retail anymore.  There may be a time in the future where I'll be back to retail, but hopefully not.  I worked last year on the day after Thanksgiving and hated it.  We weren't super crowded or anything and honestly, the craziness of it all is a bit fun, but the getting up so stinkin' early is the part I hate.  I usually don't sleep well the night before - in anticipation I guess, or worry that I'll over sleep!!  Then about the time I really get to sleep, it's time to get up. 

I'm just thankful that I've found a job, that's not as close to home as I would like, but it's a paycheck and I actually enjoy what I do.  It's not the teaching job I'm still hoping for, but it's not retail!!

I know this is a really lame thankful post - but honestly, I've worked retail for so long and spent so much time in stores on the day after Thanksgiving - it's really a blessing when I get to NOT be on the other side of the counter. 

And as a bonus, I'm super thankful that my friend Brandi added a few things from my shopping list to her list since she hit Walmart and Target last night/this morning!!  So grateful for that!!

Have a happy black Friday and Iron Bowl Day - Roll Tide Roll!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving full of thankfullness

Today, I'm the most thankful for what I have.  I'm thankful to have a husband and son still snuggled in the bed sleeping.  I'm thankful to have a roof over our head where we all gather and enjoy each others company.  I'm thankful that we're all here, together!! 

I'm so very thankful that we always seem to have enough.  Enough to get us through.  Enough to keep us secure.  Enough to share.  Enough to love.  Just enough.  No, we don't have tons of things and there's always something else we want (like more toys, a bigger TV, a Silhouette machine) but we have enough of what we need and that's what counts. 

So, today here's to having enough and being together.  In the end, that's all that really matters to me.  I happy home, with the three of us together, having just enough!!! 


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On the fourth day of thankfulness.............

Well, it's day four of the week and I have tons to do.  Food to prepare for tomorrow, sweets to bake, messes to clean, laundry to do.  I'd like to say I'm thankful for that, but let's face it - no one is really thankful for laundry.  I mean, yes, we're thankful we have family that makes dirty laundry, but the actually laundry - no - no one loves that. 

I am thankful, however, that I get to spend the day today preparing for tomorrow.  I'm thankful that we get to spend a day with family.  I'm a little sad that we won't get to see my side of the family, but I'll survive.  We are heading to spend the day with Jason's side.  Lots of good food and family is always a good thing, right?  I can't wait to see everyone.

I'm very thankful to have family in my life.  I can't imagine what it's like to not have a support system, to not have siblings or parents around.  I'm very very thankful for the family Jason and I have together.  There's nothing better!!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful for the high road.

Seems like a crazy thing to be thankful for, right?  Well, I am thankful for it.  See, today I was reminded of two different situations where I needed to take the high road - and have.  Later I was thinking about how frustrating it is that I have to.  Why can't the person that let me down take the high road?  Then I wouldn't have been let down.  Why can't the person that takes advantage of me take the high road?  That's just life I guess.  Now, nothing major has happened, I was just thinking today, that's all.  Lots of spare time at work today lead to deep thinking, I guess.

Anyway - back to the high road.  There are so many times in life where I feel like I'm taking the high road.  I'm NOT telling someone what I really think because it may hurt their feelings. I'm NOT telling someone that I'm doing things my way, because it's about me.  I'm NOT simply living my life all for me. 

I do make tons of mistakes.  I don't do thinks I should and I do things I shouldn't.  And at the end of each day, God's taken the high road with me.  He's not mad at me for making a bad choice, or letting him down.  He's forgiving me every day for anything I may do that's not 'high road' material.  Over and over.  Every minute, every hour of every day.  Why don't I do that?  Why is it hard for me to let go of a grudge, or not be hurt or bothered by someone?  He's not.  He loves me anyway.

Wow, that's something I need to work on and am really thankful for - God's always taking the high road with me - so I should do the same!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

A second dose of thankfulness

Today's thankful is about friends.  I have some really great friends.  I have friends who have been around for a long long time and listen to me whine and moan and groan about whatever is going on in my life.  I have friends who totally understand where I'm coming from with all the stress of not having my dream job, always being on the 'top' of a list that never seems to exist.  Friends who I have things in common with and don't get to see a ton, but when we get together, it's like we never missed a beat. 

We even have new friends that I'm really thankful for.  Our kids are alike, the wives are alike, the husbands are alike.  It's great.  We have so much in common we should have already met!  It's great.

Life isn't the same without friends.  I'm thankful for mine!!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

A week of Thankfuls

 Over on Facebook, there are tons of people posting things they are thankful for each day, for the month of November.  I did it last year, but didn't this year for no other reason than I was too lazy to think of something for each day.  So, I decided that since I am still thankful for so much, I would blog about those things this whole week.  I'm thankful all year long, not just this month, or this week.  Maybe I should focus a little more on remembering those things all year, not just in November.

The list is long, of course.  The usual things are there, too: good health, a job, a roof over our heads.  Same old stuff, right?  Well, there's so much more to be thankful for - the little things in life are huge sometimes.  

Today's 'thankful' is all about Cole.  First, I'm so thankful that God blessed me with the chance to be a mom to this sweet kid.  I always thought I just wanted to be a mom.  Forget college and all those fancy jobs - I just want to be the best mom I can be.  Well, I got to do that and then decided college wasn't so bad so I went back to school and pursued a career in Elementary Education.  I still don't have a 'real job' in my field but my college courses prepared me for lots of obstacles I would face while being Cole's mom.  So I'm thankful that I got the opportunity to go back to school, too.  I am the only advocate Cole will have in his life (well, his dad and I are the only ones).  I feel like I'm better prepared to do that now.  

I'm also so thankful that a wonderful hospital existed in Memphis.  This hospital took us in and treated us all really.  They gave us a home for almost 9 months while treating Cole with radiation and chemotherapy.  They loved on us - all of us, not just Cole.  I'm thankful for all the friends we made while we were there.  I'm thankful that so many of them are doing well today.  I can't say I'm thankful for the ones that haven't made it, but I am thankful that they are in a better place and cancer free now. 

I looked back at Cole's Caringbridge site just now and what we were doing 5 years ago.  We had only been home about 8 weeks and were still adapting to our new life.  Trying to reestablish friendships, jobs, school - all that stuff.  Here's a little from my journal entry 5 years ago today:

"Cole has been walking so much lately - still holding on some and still walking with his arms out for balance. I know the PT wanted him walking more with his arms down - but it's all about baby steps and what he's comfortable with. I'd rather see him walk with his arms out, than fuss and not walk because I remind him to put his arms down. When we had Miss Kelly for PT she taught him how to get up off the floor by telling him "one leg up, other leg up and bum up" those were the steps he followed - and he did great. We still have to remind him once in a while to do that or he'll just reach for us to help him up. Over the weekend he was getting up out of the floor and said something I didn't hear so I said What Cole? and he said oh nothing, I was just saying Bum Up! He's so funny - talking himself through what he should do. He did it yesterday too - trying to walk to his room by himself and said Oh I'm keeping my balance. Then this morning at about 5:35 AM some little guy walks right into our room and says hey mommy, it's me Colie! Something woke him up and scared him so he came to our room - he hasn't done this since before surgery - he used to wake up about 6 every morning and come get in our bed or sit in our doorway singing or talking to himself until we woke up! It was great to see him standing there - even if it was 5:35 in the morning and something scared him. We ended up getting in his bed and he told me he walked all the way to our room with his balance! He was so proud. He's been doing great and getting braver and braver each day - walking more and more! I'm so proud of him. And hopefully once PT gets set up here - things will be going even better. I've called our insurance lady four times now and gotten no return call. I'll try again tomorrow. Hopefully we'll get things straight soon!"

I'm very thankful that Cole learned to walk again and without too many bumped heads in the process.  I'm thankful that he had wonderful PT girls along his journey to help him in ways we couldn't.  They gave him encouragement and he believed in them and trusted them.  Yes, he believed and trusted us, too - but he learned things from them that we couldn't teach.  They were all awesome!!  I'm thankful that he never gave up.  He got frustrated, he got aggravated.  But he kept trying.  I know, without a doubt, if an illness had me down, I would wallow in it a bit and feel sorry for myself and general hate the world.  I'm sure of it.  He never asked why, he never questioned why he was different.  He still hasn't.  I think his age at the time had a lot to do with that - but his personality and maturity level are a huge help, too.  He still doesn't voice any concerns over being different in any way.  He doesn't talk about not being able to do what others can do.  Once in a while, he'll point out that 'righty' is fast and 'lefty' is slllllllloooooooooooow. Yes, he drags it out that way!!  His right side will always be stronger than his left.  His left side was effected by the surgery he went through and simply never caught up.  

He's forgotten so much of what he went through.  I'm thankful for that, as well.  No child needs to remember having an IV in each arm and one in his foot.  No child needs to remember not being able to walk or run or jump and play like he once could.  No child needs to remember waking up after surgery and having all your hair gone, bandages all over and not have a clue where you even are.  No child should have to remember to tell himself to get his 'bum up'.  

I'm thankful he's alive and well and driving me crazy most days.  I'm thankful that he still gets up way too early when we can sleep late and is able to walk into my room and wake me up.  I'm thankful that I have to tell him to be careful when he's running around - simply because there was a time when we weren't sure he's ever walk or run again.  

I'm so thankful that I've been blessed with such a fantastic kid.  He's quirky and OCD and difficult at times and a little grumpy when he doesn't get McDonald's, and stubborn and doesn't forget anything you promise him.

I'm thankful for it all!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Decking the halls, or well, the walls.

So, this week started off with my finding this:

I immediately wanted to make them.  You can see the tutorial and such here and if you go here, you can see another version.  I loved them. 

After a trip to the Dollar Tree, I had what I needed to get started.  But before I show you my ruffled trees - I wanted to show you the ones I made for the wall.  YES, the wall.  I was actually in the middle of making the trees like the ones above, I thought it would be cool if I could cut the tree in half and hang it on the wall.  But then I thought about how I would attach it to the wall.  I didn't want nails and didn't want to buy a ton of those 3M Command Strips either.  What else could I do here?  Changing gears, I started digging through my stash and found some good cardboard.  I cut them into tree shapes and then started hot gluing ruffles down. 

Here's the process - excuse the bad photos - I was on a roll and didn't want to go grab the real camera  so I shot these with my phone.  Here's the bones of the tree - just cut out cardboard.

Started adding a few ruffles:

 And after a few more ruffles:

So, I kept going and going and ended up with this:

A teeny tree:
 All burlap (and my favorite):
 Second favorite:

I had the burlap from another project and the green fabric was from a shirt that Jason didn't want anymore!
So, aside from the tons of glue sticks I used - this was a super cheap project!

Thanks for looking and I'm linking up to Tatertots and Jello's Weekend Wrap Up Party! Go check it out, there are always tons and tons of ideas!! Oh, and you'll have to come back to see the ruffle trees I made!


Getting ready for Christmas

I'm hoping that we'll get the Christmas tree up this weekend!  I can't wait.  It's way past time for the decorations to be out!  I love decorating for Christmas. 

The last few years, we've moved a lot.  We left Mobile and moved to an apartment in Hoover.  We then moved to a house in Hoover.  And then finally we bought our house here.  So for the last three Christmas's I've had a new place to decorate.  That's always fun.  I love to find new places to put up my favorite things.  This year is really no different.  No, we didn't move again.  We moved some rooms around though.  A couple of months ago we decides to rearrange two of our rooms.  To begin with, we had a living room, to the left of our foyer. Through the living room, was a dining area.  Not a dedicated room, but a space that seemed to by okay for a dining room table.  Then as you walk through the foyer, straight ahead is another area we used as a den for Cole.  walking through it you get to the kitchen.  The den and kitchen take up the same amount of space as the dining area and living room.   The den area has some light fixtures that never really made sense in the layout of the rooms.  They weren't centered and seemed to just be in the wrong places.  We finally decided to put the dining room table in the den - and it seems to fit there better now.  We moved the den furniture into the living room and now have a little more seating there.

I love it.

The real purpose of this was to have room for our Christmas trees.  Yes, I said TREES!!  We got new furniture earlier this year and had no room for a tree.  With this new arrangement, we can put a tree in the living room sitting area, right in front of the window.  That's where it should be, after all.  We can also put a smaller tree in the dining room.  I love love love it.  I picked up a white Christmas tree last year after Christmas with the intentions of doing an all Alabama Tree.  Yes, we are those fans.  So now my dining room is sort of a Bama dining room.  We have our collectible Bama pieces on my baker's rack, along with all my Bama serving pieces.  I just love it.

I couldn't wait until Christmas to put up the Bama tree though.  It's there already and ready to glow!!  Check it out:

And my tree topper:


And a few favorite ornaments - A Mickey head, an Alabama A, and Houndstooth:

And my very favorite addition to the Bama room:

I would take a picture of the whole room so you could see things like this:

and this:

But I can't because of this:

I also have this but haven't found a spot for it:

So, there you have it - the Bama room - maybe later this weekend I can get an entire shot of the room!

Thanks for looking - I'm linking up to Tatertots and Jello - so go over there and check out all the great projects!!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

What a weekend...............

This weekend was the By Hand Boutique that I've mentioned before.  It was a lot of fun!!  I just barely finished all the things I started and didn't actually start all the things I planned.  But, that's okay!  We set up our booths Friday afternoon and had a couple of hours of shoppers, some time to visit the other booths and to see friends, too.  Saturday was a little busier than Friday night, but there was a little bit of downtime in my booth.  I shared with someone else and she's a crocheter and knows a little about knitting, too.  In our spare time, I got a little lesson on knitting.  I've had the hardest time learning the purl stitch - well, I HAD the hardest time learning it.  Now, I've got it!! 

Jason went to the Bama game last night, so I watched the game at home and then snuggled with Cole.  We actually even slept late this morning, which is rare!! He's usually awake by 6:15 on the weekend, even though he doesn't get up until 6:30 or so on a school day.  So, when I woke up this morning and saw 8:30 on the clock, I was a little giddy.  I've still been rather sleepy today though.  I'm guessing it's just because the day was so dreary.  I had plans to clean up my crafting mess and get a few things taken care of.  Let's just say I didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped!

I'm so ready to get out the Christmas decorations.  I have my eye on a few things I want to pick up to add to our decor.  My Bama tree is finished so it's time to tackle another tree or two.  I'm going to put up a small, skinny tree in the hall with all of Cole's Disney ornaments and then the regular tree, too.  I love decorating for Christmas.  I can't wait!

Now, I'm off to eat a few warm cookies from the over and watch Robin Hood with Jason!

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Handmade by Friends

 Hey everyone - my friend Andrea posted this awesome list of her friends that make stuff!! So - check it out!!

I have so many talented and crafty friends. And just like me, many of them are working hard to use their talents to help bring in a little extra income for their families. I wanted to share some of their business ventures and crafty products with you and ask that you give each of them a quick look. Some of these great gift ideas might be *just right* for someone on your shopping list this year!

Elizabeth Bailey / E.Bailey Photography
Elizabeth Bailey is a photographer who specializes in newborn, children, and family portraiture in the Birmingham, AL area. She is available for on location and studio sessions. She blends traditional and contemporary posing, by taking cues from the personality of each child. She wants each session to be fun and enjoyable for everyone involved. You will enjoy a gallery full of carefully edited images that are a reflection of your child's true personality. Elizabeth offers a variety of prints options, as well as albums, storyboards, custom cards, gallery wrapped canvases, and digital collections.
Join her on Facebook to get the latest information!
Andrea's Blog Special
For the month of November: Contact me and mention that you saw this post on Andrea's blog and you can purchase a gift certificate for a session fee and enjoy $50 in print credit. That is a $125 value for $75. Gift Certificate will be good through December 2011. Give as a gift or keep for yourself!
Contact Elizabeth to purchase your gift certificate or schedule a session:, 205-276-7219

Brina Bujkovsky / The Younique Boutique, inc.
Brina makes all sorts of heirloom quality hand painted ceramics, photo gifts, personalized name prints and more!

Rebecca Falkins / Lia Sophia Jewelry Advisor

Rebecca is a Lia Sophia jewelry advisor and loves holding jewelry parties in ladies' homes! It is a fun night of games, trying on beautiful jewelry and eating yummy snacks. Lia Sophia jewelry is coated in rodium and gold so no allergies or tarnishing. All of their jewelry has a lifetime guarantee!

To book a party, just visit her website at! We give so much to our hostesses as a thank-you for letting us enjoy your home.

Sara Lohse / Purpose Driven Creations
Sara makes Sanity Sacs. A "Sanity Sac" is a hands-on discovery pillow that has many little treasures hidden inside of it, making it a self-contained toy perfect for traveling, waiting at the doctor's office, church, etc. These 5" x 7" fleece pillows have a clear viewing window, allowing the child to see the items in the bag... they are hidden amongst small poly-pellets. A laminated reference tag is attached (which includes pictures & a list of the items to be found). Great for ages 3-103!

Libby Pritchett / Libby Pritchett Designs
Libby designs digital scrapbooking supplies that can be used to create layouts digitally or printed to make paper layouts or altered art. Her collection includes a range of products including papers, alphabets, element sets, templates, etc.

The calendar template shown on the left can be used with your choice of digital scrapbooking kits. This is perfect for month in review pages, monthly "to do" calendars, or even calendar Christmas gifts. The Advent Calendar on the right is pre-designed and can be simply printed and assembled!

Shirley Ross / Close to My Heart Consultant
Shirley is an Independent Consultant for Close To My Heart stamping and scrapbooking supplies - and loving it! She is a self-proclaimed addict to all things papercrafting and loves to share what she learns with others. Her favorite Close to My Heart project uses a bleaching technique with stamps:

Brittney Smith / Main Street Memories
Brittney makes and sells these cute personalized envelopes and notepads that make perfect gifts for teachers, friends, and family members.

Also, if you are thinking about a Walt Disney World Vacation or a Disney Cruise, she's an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner through Main Street Memories, and can help you book your vacation, make your reservations, plan your days, and give you some GREAT inside tips on how to make the MOST of your vacation! (No-Cost Service!)

Andrea Steed / Signs by Andrea
Andrea makes personalized, hand-painted, weathered, wooden signs. Each sign is made-to-order, so it can say and look however YOU want it to look. Popular choices are last names, monograms, and favorite quotes. - Gallery of Signs - Sign Ideas - Win a Free Sign!

* Also check out her "Crafter-for-Hire" page of other personalized crafty products!

Lisa Tanner / Etsy Shop
Lisa makes fun, glittery decorations for your tree, your front door, your mantel - where ever!!

By Hand Boutique
For those who are local in Alabama, you might want to check out the By Hand Boutique market next weekend - November 12 & 13th at Community Presbyterian Church in Moody, AL. Several of my favorite friend/artists are going to be showcasing their work and selling all kinds of fun goodies!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Getting in the Christmas Spirit

So, we've got 47 days until Christmas!! Are you ready for the craziness that is the holiday season?  I'm not!!

What I am ready for is the decorating and looking at pretty things part.  That's always fun!!  I've got a few gifts purchased already, a decent start I think.  I've got a list of things I need to be on the look out for, too.  I'm ready to make a larger dent in my list - that's for sure!

But while I've been thinking of all the things I'll need to do - I've been crafting for the By Hand Boutique.  I've already shared my Alabama A's and my Countdown to Christmas calendar.  I've also been making these:

They are so cute!!  I'll have the ones pictures, along with trees, stockings, and ornaments, along with some circles in varying sizes.  These were so fun to make.  I can't wait to set up my booth and share all the stuff I've been working on!

I'm linking up to The CSI Project again - one of my fave places to visit, tons of inspiration - go check it out!!

Hope to see you there!!


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