Friday, December 27, 2013

Pinterest Finds (but be careful…)

Confession: I spend too much time on Pinterest. I think it's because it's an easy way to satisfy the creative side of my brain. I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook, or any other site for that matter, but if  I am on the internet, it's probably going to be on Pinterest.

Now, Pinterest can be dangerous. It can make you want things that you don't need. It can make you feel inadequate. It can make you discontent with real life because it isn't Pinteresty enough. That's dangerous. Go on Pinterest with caution. I'm being serious. You are great - whether you planned the perfect first birthday for your daughter or not, whether you tied your scarf the fancy new way or not, whether you decorated your mantle for the holiday or not, whether you bought the new, trendy vest or not,  whether you travel to a place that looks like Narnia or not, whether you bake the Paleo diet cookies or not… You are great. Don't let Pinterest put unnecessary pressure on yourself or take you to a place you don't need to be. It's dangerous. Be careful.

(Stepping off soapbox… now.) With that said, I still really like it. So I decided to look through some of the things that I have pinned this year and give you my top 10 favorites - in no particular order. (View them with caution… I'm serious.)

Oxford inspiration.  I have two pairs of shoes like these, but sometimes get scared to wear them. Pictures like these give me inspiration.

Pom poms. This pom pom tutorial changed my crafting life. It's easy and cheap and cute.

One Pot Wonder - Thai Style Peanut Pasta. I blogged about this a while ago but I loved it. I need to make it again soon.

Kite Cake Toppers. I haven't decorated a cake like this yet, but I'm really looking forward to the day that I have a reason to.

Garlands. This year was a year of garlands for me. I made one like this for the mantle at my old place and I kind of loved it.

This quilt. I still need to finish this… but I love the design and just need to make it happen.

Almond Poppyseed Bread. Some of the best stuff ever.

Outfit inspiration. Sometimes I don't know what to wear… so I look to Pinterest to give me new ideas.

Porch Rules. This is on my list of things to do. I really want to make these… it was perfect for my old screened in porch.

Spicy Hawaii Chicken Burgers. One of my favorite recipes of the year.

Ugly Sweater - for real.

I was talking with some of my family last night about how I really like to blog but I don't have a lot to blog about. Life is kind of standard lately - which is ok, but nothing exciting and interesting going on for me to tell you about.

So I decided to tell you about a little story that happened at work the other. It was last Friday, and the following Monday we were going to have an ugly sweater contest at work. I wore this new cardigan I got from Forever 21 that has a more graphic design. (I've come a long way from the girl who used to only wear solid colored t-shirts, I must say.) So I was rocking this cardigan when this guy on my team at work comes up to me and says, "Hey, I like your ugly sweater. You getting ready for Monday?" Uh… "Well, no, this is like my for real sweater." "Right! Like a for real ugly sweater." "No… Like I'm wearing this because I like the way it - whatever. What do you want?"

I thought it was funny so I told a few people - one of them being a manager who is two levels above me. She ran in to the guy later and told him that she saw me crying in the bathroom because he said my sweater was ugly (this was false - but she wanted to make him feel guilty.) He came up to me later and said, "Hey Abby… you know I was joking about your sweater. I know it's for real. You know I think you're a hipster and like your style…" "Mmmhmm, thanks." "Really… you're like a trendsetter. Like Madonna. Or Prince." "They have horrible style!" "You know what I mean! Like Lady Gaga!" "Just stop."

Oh well… I like the cardigan. :) And it made for a good story with lots of laughs...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Loving Lately.

(Part of the Affordable Christmas set up…)

Well, Affordable Christmas was a success yesterday. What this means…? Today I officially got a big chunk of my time back. What that means? I can blog again!

Things That I've Been Loving Over The Last Few Weeks That I Have Been Wanting To Tell You About But Just Now I Am Having The Time:

Divergent. Another trilogy book series about a young girl who has to overcome drama and fight people? Don't mind if I do! This series is the next Hunger Games… And thanks to my brother Cory, I'm a little earlier on the bandwagon than with previous trendy books. Gotta admit, I love me some fiction.

(My pine cone garland with cheap lights and ornaments. Cost: $6.)
DIY Christmas Decorations. Few things give me as much satisfaction as crafting beautiful things on a dime. I got to do it for Affordable Christmas and have done a little for my house.

My family. They never get old. It's amazing how much I can love and enjoy the company of one group of people.

This apple crisp recipe. I've blogged about it before - but I've made it a few times since then, and so have my roommates, and we're still loving it. (We even made a gluten free batch and it was STILL good.)

(I bought this dress… I kind of love it.)
Mod Cloth. I saw adds for this silly website on Facebook all the time until one day I decided to click on it. Turns out I love their clothes… It's a bit pricey for normal, every day clothes… but you can get a cute dress for a reasonable price. And they have plus sizes which is great for those of you who are working with a little bit more… like me. :)

Wrapping gifts. I like the shopping and giving, too. I just really love the creative side of wrapping gifts.

Diet Coke. Still love that stuff. This was my celebratory Route 44 from Sonic yesterday on my way home from Affordable Christmas.

That's all for now… Hopefully I'll be more present in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY Christmas Decorations

My church is doing this really cool event next weekend called Affordable Christmas. We have invited about 35 families to come and have breakfast with us and shop at our Christmas store where we sell gifts at a reduced price that our church members purchased and donated. Some people aren’t comfortable with accepting “hand outs” from organizations that give gifts away, so this is a way for them to provide Christmas gifts for their families with “dignity” and a way for us to love on them while doing it.

I was given the job of decorating the space for the event. The space? A big dining hall, and 4 or 5 other smaller rooms… My budget? $100. What that means? We had to get crafty! We are doing a lot of do it yourself decorations to keep the cost low and I thought I’d share them with you… Just in case you are trying to decorate for Christmas on a dime as well.

We are doing a garland theme – because it’s impactful and you can hang them from the ceiling or on trees.

Snowflake Garland (we are doing ours as a garland and not as a mobile, but I like this better)

We are also using recycled jars all around.

Mason Jar Christmas Trees (there's no link for this one, but you get the idea)

Jars Filled with Pine Cones, Ornaments, and Candles

A few other projects...

Cone Mobile (in Christmas colors, as a backdrop for our pictures with Santa)

Pallet Signs

A few runner up projects that we had talked about doing but just didn’t have the time…

 Branch Star

I hope you have a wonderfully crafty Christmas season!