Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Make a Wish

While I’ve done quite a few crafts in the last several months, my lack of posting them on my blog, and more specifically lack of posting what’s on my original craft-to-do-list , makes it look as if I’ve not done much at all.  So I guess it’s time to get caught up.   This June was an amazing little girl’s 4th birthday party.  Quite frankly, I love this girl (she’s my friend’s daughter) because she has so many endearing qualities:  she loves to read, she’s creative, she’s sassy, she’s intelligent, she’s caring, and she’s brave.  She’s not afraid to just burst out into a song and dance routine.  One day, when I have a kid, I can only hope she’ll be like her.   She’s like most girly-girls her age, loving sparkles and puffy tutu-skirted dresses, pretending to be a princess and throw tea parties.  She also loves making wishes.   There is one particular memory I have of her:  picking up a dandelion with the utmost care, as if it were fragile china.  She blows on it gently, saying that those wishes were very valuable!   I kept this memory in mind as her birthday approached, and decided to make her a necklace of wishes and glitter and purple (her–and my–favorite color).  To go with it, I made a birthday card with a dandelion on it; the stem being the real stem of the special dandelion I picked for her necklace: 101_6493 101_6495 Being someone who isn’t much of an artist, I’m proud of how this turned out.  I looked up a tutorial online (which unfortunately I can’t find now, otherwise I’d link to it) and did many drafts beforehand.   Then came the necklace!  I looked up tutorials online, but nothing quite fit exactly what I wanted to do, so I did a hybrid of sorts.  Here’s what I did, in pictures:

Step #1: Find a nice, magical-looking dandelion. One that you think can grant lots of wishes. Pick it and put it immediately into a Ziploc bag to prevent any wishes from blowing away. Put seeds into a container with lid.
Step #2: Gather all your supplies. I have a washer, nail polish, Sharpie, glass bottle charm, loose crystals/rhinestones, ribbon necklace chain, and chopsticks or pen.
Step #3: Paint the washer whatever color you wish with nail polish or acrylic paints.
Step #4: Very carefully, put one wish into the glass bottle. If you like the way that looks, keep it like that.
Step #5: If you want extra bling, add glitter, confetti, or like I did, loose crystals.
Step #6: Add more wishes, if preferred. When you get your desired look, roll cork in super glue and put on top to secure the seal.
Step #7: Admire your work and take copious pictures to document your awesome craftiness.
Step #8: When one side of the washer is dry, write what you want on the other side (or paint that side as well and let dry). Thread through or attach to ribbon chain, along with your glass bottle of wishes.
Finished product, far away.
Finished product, close up on charms.

Step #9:  Give away as gift, or gift it to yourself!  🙂   I loved the way it looked so much, and have enough materials leftover, that I may make one for myself!  The beautiful thing about this necklace is that it spans ages.  It’s just as fun for a thirty-two-year-old as a four-year-old. What was the result, you ask?  She loved it.  After she opened all her presents, the first thing she asked was to put on her necklace so she could make some birthday wishes.  And also, it matched her pretty purple birthday princess outfit so well.  And then she proceeded to go play in the mud.   Have I told you yet how much I want my daughter to be like this little lady???  🙂

To Never Being Too Old to Wish on a Dandelion!



Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Reaching Out, Linking Up, and Treating Myself

So I may be one of the few people on the planet who didn’t know the whole Parks & Rec “Treat Yo’ Self” reference until just a couple weeks ago.  I was talking to one of my friends, telling her that she should treat herself every now and then, and she promptly posted the video.  I am now sufficiently educated.  🙂

Anyhow, continuing with my “reaching out” theme for Lent, I’m doing a new Tuesday link up today with Becky at Olives ‘n’ Wine which completely revolves around the idea of treating yourself.

Treat Yourself Tuesday Badge
Here’s the deal if you’re interested in joining:

“Between now and Tuesday, do something nice for yourself. Wake up a few minutes early and enjoy a nice, hot cup of coffee before your hectic day begins. Take a bubble bath when you get home from work Monday evening. Spend some extra time stretching after your workout this weekend. Treat yourself to a cookie or some froyo this afternoon. Or maybe head out on a girls’ night this weekend.

Do whatever feels best for you. Do something that will make you feel relaxed and loved and happy. Remember this is about treating YOURSELF – not your friends, not your family, not your spouse, not your dog – so make sure you really focus on you. Treat yourself well and treat yourself often so that you will become the best you possible and in turn be your best for others in your life!

After you have your little treat yourself moment or moments (If you can sneak more than one in – go right ahead!) include my Treat Yourself Tuesday image on your Tuesday post, include a link back to ONW on your post, link up on my blog and check out how everyone else treated themselves!”

The treat yourself “theme”, if you will, has been treating yourself on a budget.  That’s so appropriate for me since we’ve drastically cut our already-sparse budget in order to be able to pay for our spring vacation.  Every treat I have is definitely considered a “budget” treat.  On the bright side, I think being on a budget makes all the treats all the sweeter!

Here’s What I Treated Myself to This Week!

1) Writing in my journal.  I’d made it a New Year’s goal (I don’t really make resolutions because they usually end up being broken) to write in my journal 10 minutes a day, but that never came to fruition.  I’d slacked for a good month or so and it felt good to just sit down with the snazzy new pens that the hubs gave me for Valentine’s Day and just treat myself to some writing therapy.  It was wonderful.


This picture is actually from a couple years back, but you get the idea. 🙂


Just a few of the colors of InkJoy pens I received for Valentine’s Day that I wrote with (I know it seems silly, but I totally DROOLED over these pens after I saw the commercial.  They’re WONDERFUL.  And they make me want a Spirograph again.)

2) A social road trip.  After the hubby and I moved in 2011, our hang out time with mutual friends became few and far between because they now lived an hour’s drive north of us.  We all lead busy lives and so it was difficult to be able to schedule time together.  This past weekend, in keeping with my “reaching out”, we spent time with some of our dearest friends, making stops at different friends’ places along the way.  It was great to be able to catch up.  We played board games and went out to lunch with some (it was one of their birthdays), then decided to pay a get well visit to a friend who had gotten a vicious car accident.  We enjoyed some good laughs and good food.

3) “Not everyday” food.  I made some sheep cupcakes for said friend’s birthday since he’s a big fan of sheep.  I’ll post pictures next.  We also went out to Red Robin and I had their bottomless fries with BBQ sauce and ranch.  At our other friend’s place, we brought some chips and salsa to munch on while we watched Shrek the Musical on Netflix.  Mind you, this isn’t food we have every day, so I indulged in the taste of it all.  I then promptly doubled up on my workout time for the following day, but the yumminess was SO so worth it!


4) Being silly.  So, speaking of abovementioned sheep cupcakes, this is what they were SUPPOSED to look like (from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes book):

Cute, fluffy sheep.

This is what ours turned out to look like:
101_4963 101_4967 101_4984

We started out trying to make it look like the picture, but after hilariously failing, we decided to have fun with it and make our “Island of Misfit Sheep”.  Of course I had to make a unicorn sheep.  We had an absolute blast.

Also, we decided to babysit for a friend at the last minute (hey, more reaching out! Score!) and had fun being silly and dancing along to the radio.  It was a big ol’ dance party and it was a wonderful treat for myself.  Then again, being silly is always a nice treat!  🙂

5) Staying up late to read (and finish!) a book.  Last time I was at the library, I decided to pick this young adult book up on a whim.  I ended up inhaling it and spending some nights staying up until 2AM, and I don’t regret it one bit.  It’s been awhile since a book has sucked me in that much, and I just finished it a few days ago.

It’s about a teen named Rosemary Goode and her journey to losing weight.  Of course it’s much more than that, but that’s the basic gist of it.  It was completely indulgent and required no thinking whatsoever, but fun nonetheless.  Being an English major, I treat myself to non-classic literature often.  It’s a lot of fun!

6) Creative projects.  Since we became homeowners, I’ve slacked off significantly in the crafting department.  I remember when I first started up this blog, I’d churn out one new Pinterest-inspired craft about once a week or so.  Over the weekend, I made a fun little 3-page collage card for the friend who’d gotten in a car accident:
101_4974 101_4976 101_4977 101_4978

It reminded me of just how much I love doing these little collages.  I need to do more soon!

To Indulging in Life’s Little Pleasures!










Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: And Now for Something Different

True story:  I was wholeheartedly planning on making today’s post about the awesome self-mani/pedi I was going to give myself, but I never got around to it.  So I guess that’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

I’m still having a hard time getting back into the swing of blogging, and eventually that’s going to not cut it as an excuse.  Perhaps it already doesn’t cut it.  Either way, that’s why I’m at least writing something so I can at least be content in saying that I am trying.

First, the big(ish) news that I mentioned yesterday.  As you may or may not know, tomorrow starts the Lenten season.  For those who celebrate Lent, it means giving up something for some and adding things for others.  I’m going to take the “adding” route, though I may choose to give up something too.  We’ll have to see.  What I’m choosing to add to enrich my life, though, is the broad concept of


To me, that spans many aspects of life, and I plan on covering those aspects.  I want to reach out more to friends–specifically, becoming a better one.  I want to exercise my sincerity in saying I’d drop anything for them:  perhaps take a call at a time I’m usually sleeping, give a ride to someone who needs one, drive out and just hang out with someone who’s been having a hard time, offer childcare assistance.  I also want to be better at keeping in touch:  writing back those who have written me, surprising friends with a random card, letter, or phone call.  I want to reach out more to family –though I love them dearly, perhaps I need to be better at showing it, especially when it comes to my parents.  It’s the hardest to reach out to them, because I’ve spent so much of my life trying to become independent from them and being too stubborn or proud to reach out.  There’s a lot more to that story, but I’ll not go into details for now.  So I want to stop by more often (seeing as they live like five minutes’ drive away, tops), maybe offer some meals together, game nights, hang out time with my mother, etc.  Then for my older brother who lives about an hour away, more texts/emails, letters, and general asking of how life is going.  Though we get along just fine, we don’t really know much about each other’s lives, and I’d like to change that to a degree.  I also want to reach out/contact my extended family–check up on a kids’ family reunion one of these days that my cousin’s been wanting to put together, send out letters, etc.

I want to reach out more to strangers–to not be so afraid of speaking to them, to offering assistance if it appears they need it (help with heavy packages and that sort of thing), to asking a homeless person on the street what their story my be; lending them a listening ear.  To smile at someone who looks like they may be having a bad day.

But that reaching out also includes online–more specifically, blogging.  This is where the fun–and admittedly, some of the anxiety–begins.  I have to say that I love seeing link ups, and I’ve had fun doing the one I do with Kenlie at alltheweigh some Mondays (temporarily taken over by Sarah at losingweightandhavingfun).  Lately, though, I’ve been wanting to expand my horizons and do more.  I want to get outside my timid little box and have a supportive blogging community around me.  I want to start getting to know the people behind the blogs better, and in turn, want them to get to know me a little more.  I’ve seen this “trend”, if you will, of blogger friends doing a package exchange based on each other’s personalities, and I love that idea!  It’s almost like a resurgence of pen pals, and if you ask me, that’s something I’d love to see continue.

Anyhow, all that rambling was a shortcut way of saying I’ve researched and found some pretty awesome link ups that I want to participate in.  I was going to post one today, but laziness got the better of me, and I believe this is a long enough post already, yes?  So I will definitely do it tomorrow, and it will be great.

Oh, and so you don’t feel like you read this post for nothing, I leave you with a cute picture of my dog.  He turned ten years young on Saturday, and this is him at a doggie park that we took him to to celebrate:

So there’s that.

To Reaching Out Successfully,

Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: By My Taco

DSCN5167Record a performance of something I’ve never done before and share it with the public.

You Guys!!!

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about this week’s Ta-Da! Tuesday.  First, to explain my title.

There’s a popular song out right now by Anna Kendrick (I’m ashamed to admit it, but yes, it’s the girl who played Jessica in the Twilight series) from Pitch Perfect called “Cups”.  There is a lyric in the chorus that goes,

“You’re gonna miss me by my walk, you’re gonna miss by my talk, oh,
You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”

Except, ever since I heard the song the first time, it sounded like “you’re gonna miss by my TACO”.  A quick Google search shows I’m not the only one who noticed that.  I’m surprised no memes or parody videos showing some Taco Bell Doritos Locos have popped up yet.  Then again, I haven’t looked super-hard.

So here’s (I think) the first video I’ve ever done on my blog featuring yours truly.  I learned how to do the cup game and sing along to it.*

*Acknowledgements:  I am NOT technologically savvy.  This was done on my digital camera and I uploaded it onto YouTube and that was hard enough.  I realize it’s not perfect.  Not by any means.  So yes, I realize that I’m not centered, that the top of my head sometimes gets chopped off, that the volume goes up and down due to my changing vicinity to the camera’s microphone, and that the lighting’s not spectacular.  Also, I’m probably doing it backwards (like I have the hands switched).  That’s because it was too difficult for me to do the opposite hand when watching the training videos.  So.  Deal.

But you know what?  I freakin’ SANG AND ACCOMPANIED MYSELF.  With cups.  So I’ve chosen to forgive all the other technical difficulties.  🙂

Oh, also?  If you’ve never heard this song/know what “cup game” I’m talking about, here is the original Anna Kendrick video (singing starts 1:05ish if you want to fast forward through the beginning restaurant setup).

To Accomplishing Something that Makes You Feel EXHILLIRATED!!!!  😀


Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Bookshelf Vignettes

I have to admit that I’ve had these pictures for awhile.  Like, eight months awhile.  I’ve had it in my cache but haven’t gotten around to posting it yet.

Originally I was going to post my latest Passport to Love project:  a trip to “China” that I took with the hubs this weekend.  Frankly, though, I’m too tired to do this now.  This is much easier to do.  Guess I’ll have to wait until next week.

But I wanted to keep the posting momentum going, so here it goes.


For a long time, I’ve been envious of those who had cute bookshelves.  The arrangement on their shelves had purpose.  They were whimsical, cute, sorted by subject.  Knickknacks were scattered about, giving the whole thing a less-buttoned up, more personal look.

I wanted that.  I wanted to show off my books on a shelf so that the result was a work of art.  So I took it upon myself to do just that when I setup the books in my new home.  I took my over a decade’s worth of retail experience with merchandising, combined it with my random artistic larks, and infused it with personality.  I had so much fun with it and am really happy with how it turned out!

We have two bookshelves in the reading room.  Here’s the one that contains my books  (top to bottom):

My Sweet Valley Twins collection that I started when I was in the 4th grade.  Still looking to complete it!
My “classics” shelf.


My nonfiction shelf.
Fiction shelf.

Poetry/writing shelf.

And here is my hubby’s shelf (some of it, anyway.  Not pictured:  the shelf with all his travel/trail books and the bottom shelf with his books and binders from college, mostly because it has his name on it.)



You know what’s funny?  When both kids and friends come over, they gravitate towards the hubs’ shelf instead of mine.  Not gonna lie; a part of me dies inside, because I’m the reader in the family, not him.  I mean, he’s even openly admitted he doesn’t really like to read.  So yeah, it kinda stings that my bookshelf isn’t appreciated more.  Admittedly, though, his shelf is more colorful and full of pictures.  🙂  And I was the one who styled his bookshelf, so really, I should take it as a compliment to my styling.  😉

I’m a horrible person.

Anyway, that’s it for today.  Hopefully I’ll have some writing to show you tomorrow for Written Word Wednesday!

To Showing Your Own Personality through Décor,