Monday, December 31, 2012

happy NEW year

Well folks, today is the last day of the year 2012. Can you believe it?!

I cannot. I feel like the days go by so fast. The older I get, the more I realize how precious time really is.  You cannot take time for granted in this world. Life is just too short. Making the most of every opportunity is the best way to live. One of my favorite verses from the bible says,

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Eph. 5:15-17

Anywho, with this year ending, it brings some sadness to my heart that a whole year has passed and it is done. On the other hand, the end of one year means there is a beginning of a new year.


Just think about that word for a second. What hope that word brings. What fresh and new ideas that word means. Beginnings are always a good thing. A clean slate. Starting anew. Creating something out of nothing. All of these things are what I want this new year to bring to me and my life and my friends and my family.

I want a new diet
I want a new exercise routine
I want a fresh relationship
I want to start over
I want to be better
I want things to be different
I want to improve at everything I do
I want a new hobby

Whatever it is that you want, I encourage you to think about it, pray about it, and pursue it. I think that is why we have so many beginnings and so many ends in this life. It reminds us that things can change, that we have a second chance. Why not use them now while we still can? Not to be too dorky or too sentimental or too weird, but it reminds me of a phoenix. I know they are made up, but they provide a good image of starting over, a new beginning.

One of the things I want to improve on this year is my health. I don't want to go on a diet or a binge exercise program. I want to change my life. I want to stop eating outside of the house and find a way to cook most of the meals that my family eats. I want to find a routine to do so that I will exercise during the week. 

I also want to find a routine to keep my house clean. I want routine. I so desperately crave it. It is something I haven't had the whole time I have been out of college. It was ridiculous to think of a routine while I was working night shift, but now that I work days, I need to spend some time coming up with a game plan and find some routine in my life. 

I also want to read more and watch less T.V. I want to better myself. I can sit down and relax and read a book just as easily as watching a T.V. show.

I also want to create. I have such a creative spirit, but never spend time doing creative things. I want to use some of my free time to craft as much as possible.

Lastly, I want to make our house a home. We have almost been living in this house for 3 years and we still don't have anything up on our walls (much to my husband's dismay). He has been begging and begging and BEGGING me to do it for these 3 years and I have not done it. I have so many excuses it's ridiculous. No more excuses. 

What do you want to do this year? What are your goals? What things do you want to change about your life? It's the best time of the year to make a change!

All this to say...


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Simply Clean

If you haven't figured this out already, I am trying to turn around my life and be in control of the things that I can personally control. For instance, how I present myself (hint all the posts about fashion recently). Another way I am trying to control my surroundings is by keeping a clean house. Yep, you heard it. The messiest girl in the world is trying to be clean! Who would have thunk?

I have been pinning away things on Pinterest that will help me in my cleanliness quest. All things clean is what I am going for here. If you follow me on Pinterest, you will notice my cleaning board is titled "Cinderelly Clean." Yep, ALL Disney Princesses clean (you think I am wrong, just think about it). That is step one to becoming one, you know (I just scared about half of you and you will probably not finish this post)! Sorry, I love Disney and I have to find a way to make myself clean, right?

Tonight I tried out one of the methods of cleaning I found on Pinterest. I actually really liked it!

During Thanksgiving, my dear, loving brother made a reference to my microwave and the fact that it was dirty and needed to be clean. Thank you, brother (you know who you are), for pointing out the obvious. Although it was obvious, and a fact, it still embarrassed me to know that someone else noticed. Hints the method for cleaning the microwave.


All you need is a medium sized microwavable bowl, water, and either a fresh lemon or lemon juice in a bottle. I had the latter, so that's what I used.

Fill said bowl half way with water. Either juice your lemon into the water or add some lemon juice. Put bowl in microwave and microwave on high for 5 minutes (silly that microwave can be a noun and a verb in one sentence (sorry for my dorkiness)). Let bowl stand for 1-2 minutes after your 5 minutes is up. Take out rotator or whatever gadgets you have in there and wash down with hot, soapy water in the sink. Use a rag dipped in your original mixture to wipe down all inside surfaces of the microwave. Don't forget the inside of the door! All that gunky yucky food should just wipe right off. And be careful, because that water is HOT. I then dried it all off and put the rotating tray back into the microwave.

Viola! A clean microwave!

Deck the Halls... and Your Door!

I absolutely LOVE everything about Christmas!

I don't think I said that right...


I am pretty sure you can put an emphasis on any one of those words.

I love the lights, the greenery, the ribbons, the red, the gold, the cheerfulness, the prettiness, the elegance, the gaudiness, the songs, the movies, the commercials, the EVERYTHING.

It just makes me so happy... I just can't help it.

So, needless to say, I am oh so happy right now. 

Except for this morning...

I woke up determined to FINALLY sew my curtains for the living room. I bought some fabric several months ago that I love and got a super good deal on while my favorite little fabric store was having a sale. The colors in the fabric go perfectly with everything. They are just perfect... oh, and they are chevron patterned... what could be better?!

Anywho, I got my fabric back out since school is over for Christmas break (I had previously started working on them, but never finished, and WAHOO for being out of school) and started to re-iron what I had already done. While I am ironing and watching the most recent episode of "New Girl" (love that show!), I saw my worst nightmare come true....

A *&%$& stain on my fabric!!!

I was so mad! I have no idea how it got there, but it was there! 

I called my mom and consulted her about what to do. I ended up putting all the fabric into the washer (which I didn't want to do), and now both panels are delicately hanging over two different shower curtain rods in my house air drying. So mad things did not go my way this morning. Oh well, I guess I can do them tomorrow.....

So, onto what I did do this morning!

I have been itching to make a certain wreath for several months. I had acquired a pendent from a family friend that I have been trying to make into a wreath. I had seen a wreath made from a pendent on Pinterest awhile ago, and I have been holding onto the idea in my mind. I decided to make it into a Christmas wreath. What could be better?!

(Just a forewarning, my camera has been acting up, so please bear with me on these photos)

Here was my blank canvas. I decided to spray paint the thing green. Then I went and found a really cute ribbon in red to make it Christmasy!

Once I had my pendent spray painted, I got all my supplies. I picked out a wide, wire edge ribbon that I liked and some pretty jingle bells. I liked these because they reminded me of vintage bells, like the ones from The Polar Express.

I already had some pipe cleaners lying around so I got those and some fishing line together. Sorry, the fishing line is not pictured.

Then I started to make my big bow. Here is how you make a big, pretty Christmas bow. All you need is wire edge ribbon (the wire edge is a must) and some pipe cleaners or some wire.

I started out by leaving a little tail of about 6" and making a loop with the long end. The size of your loop will decide how big your bow will be in the end. Good reference is one loop is the radius of your bow (sorry to throw out a math word in there).

Once you complete the loop, make sure you pinch the end of your loop so that you can make another loop going in the opposite direction. Important: when you start your next loop, make sure that you twist the ribbon over once so that the back side of the ribbon is visible. Once you see the ugly part of your ribbon looking up at you, make another loop. This will keep the pretty side of the ribbon visible. It is important that you twist the ribbon over once after making EACH loop. Make sure each loop is even in size as well. As you can see in this picture, one loop is a little bigger than the other. Make them the same size.  

Another point of advice, ALWAYS keep your pinch grip firm! Never loose grip of the middle of your ribbon, or you will have to start all over again. See how I am keeping the middle of my loops firm between my fingers?

Now, just keep on looping! I did 10 loops on either side of my fingers to have 20 loops in total. Once you have the amount of loops you want, get out your pipe cleaner or wire. You should have it real handy before you start making your loops, because it is critical for you to keep that grip around the middle of the bow. Wrap your pipe cleaner or wire securely around the middle of your loops. I wrapped the end of my pipe cleaner around part of the already looped pipe cleaner to keep it tight and in place.

Once you have in secured, the hard part is over and you can relax! I left a long tail on my bow so that I could use the tail to hang up my wreath.

Once you get this far, all you have to do is start pulling loops up toward you. I set my bow on the ground as pictured. Then I got a hold of one loop at a time, and starting at the center, positioned it how and where I wanted it to stand. Do this with each loop, being careful not to break the wire. I have heard that can happen sometimes.

It does take a few minutes to get everything situated how you want it, but be patient! It will end up how you want it!

Once you have tugged and pulled all you can, VIOLA! You have a pretty Christmas bow!!

To finish the wreath, I wrapped my tail around the hole in the middle of the pendent and tied it to the other short end I had left. I made sure it was secure so that my wreath doesn't fall off the door.

For an added embellishment and a little excitement, I added some bells to the wreath. I used fishing line and tied the bells into the bow so that they dangle just below the bow, but more importantly, they jingle when you open and close the door.

Here is the finished project!

Now you have an idea for a wreath, and if you didn't know already, now you know how to make a bow!

Happy Christmas decorations making! Post soon to come about the Christmas banner that I made last week with my sister! It is so pretty! :)