Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How I Made the "Paper Trees"

When I volunteered to make the tree to put the gift cards for Blake's teachers under I had no intention of making anything other than a flat tree with ornaments (circles) on it and writing the kids names in the ornaments. As I laid out the design in cricut design studio I wasn't convinced or feeling it. I just wanted it to look better than that. I mean these two women work hard teaching our kids and loving on them while they are with them. I immediately started searching the internet for something paper that I thought I could do. I found the idea here. She doesn't have step by step instructions but I was able to figure it out. I will share my process pictures with you so that way you can make one if you want!

The materials you will need are: 
                                  styrofoam cone
                                  strips of paper 1/2" by 6" long
                                  straight pins
                                  pins with colored round heads                                       
                                  something to top the tree with (I used and an ornament)
                                  something to set the tree on (I used cork squares)

The first thing I did was cut my paper into strips. I started with 12 X 12 scrap-booking paper. I used my "fancy" paper cutter not scissors! Make sure that whatever paper you choose is double sided since you will be rolling the paper. I rolled the strips around a pencil just like mentioned in the original blog post. I found that it was easier to just roll the entire strip around the pencil and then stretch it out to the length I wanted it when I placed it one the cone.

If you are a perfectionist and want he paper curls to all be the exact same distance apart on the cone measure it out. If not just wing it like I did. It's not obvious that I didn't measure because I played with the paper curls enough to hide it. When attaching the paper I used a straight pen at the top and then rolled the paper down to meet the top of the layer under it before placing a pin with a colored end on it. I didn't paint my cone but again if you are a perfectionist you might want to paint your cone green or red because there are a few places it shows through but not enough to bother me.

After I attached each section I would cup my hands around the loops and press them tight against the tree. It helped make sure there were none hanging lower or looking terribly out of place. I literally jammed the bottom of the star into the top of the cone to make the topper stay. I wrapped a piece of paper around the top to cover the pins in the top layer and added a colored pin to secure it. 
Finished trees before I placed the gift cards
Then I placed the tree on top of the cork squares. I attached it with glue and wrote the kids names all around the cork. I wrapped the gift cards in scrap-booking tape to make them look more like gifts.
This is the picture I sent to the other moms before writing the kids names.
Here it is the final product! I am very happy with how they turned out. I really hope his teachers love them!

These little trees do take some time to make but I finished both of them in an evening while watching TV. If you make one let me know how it goes!

Happy Holidays!

My Christmas Crafts

I started out the holiday season by making a few christmas crafts. It just doesn't seem right to start decorating for christmas without making something cute to decorate with. Let's be honest I am still doing christmas crafts! I will put the finishing touches on a few tonight and also do a new one with a friend! Crafting is fun!

I made two banners mostly because I couldn't decided which one I wanted to make. I wanted one that said "believe" but also one that said "let it snow". I decorate for christmas with snowmen so the "let it snow" banner seemed more fitting. The colors didn't match my stockings though so the "believe" banner became a must. I wasn't in love with the "believe" banner at first but the longer it has hung on the fire place the more it has grown on me. Not to mention the many many compliments I got on it during our cookie decorating party. I have no details on how to make the banners but I used my cricut to cut everything out. I individually glittered the stockings on the "believe" banner but used glittered card stock on the "let it snow" banner.
let it snow

My mom and I painted a reindeer on canvas. We found one that we liked from those wine and canvas places and just copied it. It never seems to work out that we are able to actually go to the wine and canvas painting places to paint. I'm just glad that we are capable of recreating things that we see! I didn't copy the one exactly. I left out things that I thought would mess up the look of my painting if I did them!

I also made the grandparents "mistletoes" canvases. I did just Blake's feet on one for my MIL and Blake and Chloe's feet on one for my parents. As with every craft I would have done this a little different if I did it again but it looks fine!
Mistletoes #1

I made our christmas cards this year. I was going to make all of them using the cute reindeer from my cricut cartridge but ran out of patience. (I think the fact that we all had a stomach bug played a big part in that.) I cleaned everything up and sanitized everything before I was actually finished cutting out all my pieces and I just didn't have the energy after being sick to get it all back out. I am so thankful for people who have the skills to make images on the computer and that share them for free for us non image savvy people! I used a free printable Delia created over at DeliaCreates. I love the way the cards turned out and love even more that I was able to put a picture in them that people can keep and frame if they want! 
The front of one of our Christmas cards. 
I ended up not writing Happy Holidays on all of the reindeer cards because I liked the way it looked without the writing better. As soon as I get to my parents house I will take a picture of an actual completed reindeer card to share since I forgot to take one before I mailed them all out!

The final christmas craft I did was make these cute christmas trees. I found the idea on the internet because lets face it I could have never come up with this on my own. I made them for Blake's teachers and will place the gift cards we (as a class) got them under the trees like gifts. I actually love these and would use them as decorations.  

Tonight I am going to paint another canvas with a friend. We are making one that we wanted to go paint today but couldn't because she is working and I am too! Being a stay at home mom is work!

Happy Holidays! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Four Days of Family Fun

We spent four days with our family for Thanksgiving. We packed so many activities into our four days that when we finally got back home none of us wanted to do anything but sit around. Worth it though, completely!

Our fun started Wednesday as we drove down to OKC. I got to kick off my holiday weekend with a haircut. My friend Kacia cut my hair and I love it! I think I might get my hair cut 3 times a year so I was in serious need. She gave it shape without chopping it off! Perfect! And she curled it for me so it looked awesome for our ice skating adventure!
As soon as I was finished we headed to meet family at the outdoor ice rink Downtown. Blake and Claire (the youngest cousins minus Chloe) skated with everyones help. I skated with my cousins Whitney and Alyssa. I must admit that I was a little mad that we had to pay $12 for Blake to skate but when he loved it so much it didn't matter anymore. It was so fun to watch him try to balance on the skates. He kept holding his arms out to his sides as Andrew pushed him along. The smile on his face never faded, even when he fell. I think he may have gone around more times than I did! Three is a fun age to try a lot of new things! I can't wait to take him again here. The day started out beautiful but when we were skating it felt so cold. Actually perfect for ice skating. I wanted to go shop the little shops that were close by but they closed before we were finished skating.

See my hair looked good for skating!
After skating we went to Aunt Lane and Uncle Randy's house for pizza.
A selfie at Kohl's while shopping with mom to show off  my outfit. Andrew asked me if I got a new wardrobe before we left.
Thanksgiving Day! I woke up at 6:00am to go run the OKC Turkey Trot at Hefner Lake. I really would like to start doing that every year. It was COLD but I survived. I ran a 5K in 32 minutes in 29* weather not my fastest but not my slowest either. I'm not disappointed in that time at all. I am so glad this nice lady ran up beside me at about mile 1 though because we paced each other throughout the entire race!
Martha and I after the run!
After the run I went back showered and got ready to head to Thanksgiving number 1 of the day at my Nana's house. I am a little sad that I didn't even take one picture during that time. I mean we took some on our good camera for some family pictures but not like the normal ones of my cousins and I that I would get. Ugh. I did get to see my cousin who just joined the Navy. I was so fun to hear him talk about bootcamp and A-school. I am excited for him and his journey. (He is headed to his ship next week and will be out in the Persian Gulf for about 6 months.) We had a delicious meal of fried turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, ham, rolls, chicken and dumplings, jalapeno poppers, mac-n-cheese, broccoli cheese casserole, dressing, and mashed potatoes. I'm sure something else too but I can't remember. For dessert I only ate chocolate delight that they were calling chocolate lasagna. It was SO good. We also had pumpkin pie, apple pie, and pecan pie. The "big" boys took a nap and Blake gave them all a ticket and tried very hard to wake them up before giving up and turning out the lights and shutting the door on them. It was pretty funny to watch. Once we had everything all cleaned up it was time to head to Thanksgiving number 2 of the day. This time we went to The Ross' house. (my aunt and uncle) This is the first time we have ever had Thanksgiving at their house and not at my Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was nice having the space with all of us there. I really didn't eat much this time because I ate like a pig at my first meal since I was having a post run hunger! There was turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, fruit salad, and lots of snacks. For dessert we had pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple pie. I can't believe I never ate a slice of pumpkin pie all week. I don't love it but I normally eat just a small slice. It was so great to visit with everyone and really get a chance to talk about life things with my cousins that I don't chat with often enough. I also got to know my cousins fiancee a little better which was great too! 
Our Thanksgiving family photo.
I curled my own hair I'll get the hang of it.
Black Friday. Well it was really just Friday for us. We did get up and go to the liquor store and stood outside for 10 or so minutes before it opened to get a beer. It is only released on Black Friday every year. Want to know which beer it was? So do I! I can't remember what it was called and I still haven't gotten to drink it. Good thing the liquor store opened at 10 and I didn't have to get up super early to get it. After the beer adventure we went to have Thanksgiving with Andrew's family. We had all the same yummy food we had twice the day before, turkey, dressing, broccoli and cheese, spinach dip (seriously delicious), hummus, veggies, brussel sprouts, corn, green beans, mashed potatoes and rolls. It was great sitting around talking to everyone and seeing how big the kids have gotten. I even got to take a little nap after we ate. That is until I woke up coughing my head off. Ugh it ruined my awesome nap! Andrew's cousins schooled me on the process of a ct-scan because I am having one done Wednesday. They warned me of how strange the meds are going to make me feel. (I'll let everyone know how it goes.) When we left Andrew's aunts house we went to his moms house and hung out there for the rest of the night. Blake had so much fun playing with his Grandma I'm pretty sure he forgot Andrew and I were there. We did do some online shopping at Gap for Blake. Everything was 50% off which is an even better deal than their cyber Monday sale they had today. 

Saturday morning we got up and met the Texas group (my aunt, uncle and cousins) at their hotel and ate donuts. We made them late for their original departure time but I'm sure they didn't mind. Blake was busy entertaining them with his stories about Rescue Bots Transformers. (I'm serious that is all the kid talked about ALL week and ALL the time!) When we left them we went to Bass Pro to visit Santa. Blake was so excited to tell Santa that he wanted an Optimus Prime with a trailer. He told him he wanted that plus Bumblebee and he was almost in tears when he realized that he forgot to tell Santa he wanted a bike too. (Good thing momma and daddy know Santa so well!) I promised him we could write a letter to Santa to make sure that he knew everything Blake wanted. Crisis diverted. We had lunch with a group from my family before we headed to take our family (just the 3 of us) pictures. I'm pretty sure they turned out good because Blake was mostly cooperative and the wind didn't blow my hair in my face for every picture. Not to mention that our photographer is pretty awesome! He sent me this sneak peek today! I love it!
From the wonderful Kelly Fry with Kelly Fry Photography 

I love spending time with family but there is no place like home! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Focus on What

I found this somewhere on the internet the other day. I wish that I could remember where and who it came from so that I could give the due credit. I don't, so, whoever made this thank you it is perfectly fitting in life especially right now.

I have sat down to get a new blog post up so many times lately but I just can't. I am at a stand still, it happens. I just can't decide how much I want to share, what I want to share or actually what my focus is anymore. I feel like life is spinning me in one of those loops like on the right side of the picture above. I don't feel like I'm making a loop but actually caught in the loop spinning and waiting to be able to go in a new direction. I'm working on being patient but I'm ready for the trip around this loop to be over. 

Until then just doing my mom thing and loving every minute of it!  

A boy and his dog.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Love Story

Yesterday marked year twelve that Andrew and I have been together. My friend coined it our date-a-versary! (Thanks Cass I love that word!) I still can't believe that first date is still a fresh seeming memory. Thinking about it yesterday made me think why not share our love story. 

It all started with a few notes back and forth in high school. Do high school kids even wrote notes to each other anymore? If they don't they should! I still have some of our notes. One specifically says "are we going to do this or what?" referring to going to dinner I think. We did obviously go to dinner with our friends Brett and Cassidy who had actually gone on their first date just a week before us. I know for sure that I talked more to Brett during that date than I did to Andrew. We were the talkers of the group so we just talked and then realized that could have been a bad thing. I'm confident now it wasn't considering Brett and Cassidy are married too! 

Have you ever heard the saying 'opposites attract'? Well in our case it's so true. Have you ever heard that the more time people spend together the more alike they become? Also so VERY true for us. I was a softball player.  Andrew was super smart, in a band, and loved by everyone. There was more to both of us but you get the point. Different. We had the same group of friends and hung out in group settings for two years before we even went on a date. Now. We say the same things and look at each other like the other one is cthe crazy one. We enjoy many more of the same things. We also have our differences that make us individual but we have rubbed off on each other over time. 

Something that many people probably don't know is that we were both pretty straight forward about our expectations for this relationship that seemed to be forming. Neither one of us were looking for anything serious but were up to seeing where this lead us. (All this time later but nothing serious in the beginning who would have thought!) We also said things like if one person cheats it's over, no "breaks" because those never work anyway, and I'm sure other crazy specific stuff that has slipped my mind since then.  Who does that? Us apparently and you know what it worked and still works. 

When the time came to go to college he went to OU and I went to UCO. I never even considered trying to go to OU. I had my mind made up about what I wanted to do with my life and UCO was the place for me to go. He was the same way. I figured if we could make it through football season of our freshman year of college we would some day be married. Guess what people we made it! It wasn't always easy being at two different colleges but we made it work. Actually by the time we graduated from college and moved away together we didn't know what to do being together so much. It was strange for us. 

College graduation rolled around and I frantically researched how to get certified to teach in other states.  Andrew interviewed for jobs in TX and all over OK. He accepted a job in Tulsa and soon after I did too. We found a house to live in and with the help of family and friends made the move up the turnpike. (We actually still love in the house same house today.) Just months after moving and getting used to being around each other all the time Andrew left for a field assignment for work. He was gone for months and I was stuck in a new town where I knew very few people. Lucky for me a fellow new teacher at my school lived close by and we hung out a lot. My mentor teacher and neighbors were also very helpful during this time. After being gone for 5 months or something like that he came back. While he was away it was like college all over again except our times we saw each other were longer inbetween. 

We lived in Tulsa for amost two years before we got married. I was actually ready to pack up and move if he didn't make the marriage thing official. Clearly he did. We got engaged in November of 2008  and married in March of 2009. No need for a long engagement because we had been together for so long already. Before we got married though we bought a house together. October of 2008 actually we bought the house we had been renting. 

The summer of 2010 Andrew went to work in PA for a few months. I went to visit him there and got an in for a new teaching job. I ended up getting the job and changed school districts and grades. It was the best and worst thing. Andrew came back from his field assignment after the school year had started. I was having a hard time figuring out why this new school and grade was kicking my butt so bad. Then I realized it wasn't the new school or grade but instead the baby that was growing inside me. Just like that we were on to the next step in our lives ready or not. 

A few job changes later for Andrew and a new job for me here we are. Our boy is smart, healthy and the best thing we have ever done. He is simultaneously the most fun and hardest work there is. His looks, attitude, learning style, and demeanor are such a great mixture of us. 

Some other random facts about us. We don't celebrate or even remember dates that most people typically do. I had to ask him what year we got married...oops. We do celebrate our anniversary every year. We have a bottle of champagne ontop of our fridge that we bought to drink on celebration of buying our house. It's still sitting there, maybe we will buy a new bottle and actually drink it when we buy a new house someday. We live in the moment enjoying the here and now not dwelling on the past. 

I look forward to many more years filled with fun planned and spontaneous adventures! 


Friday, October 31, 2014

My Favorites Right Now

I don't consider myself to be in the know when it comes to fashion or make up. I mean really I simply do and wear what I like or is comfortable. Lately though I am really feeling a few things that are make up and fashion related. So strange for me and I still by no means am claiming to have any sense when it comes to make up or fashion. I'm probably just really behind the times on finding these things actually! Here are favorites that are out of my comfort zone!

1. This make up brush! I don't normally wear foundation and if I do I mix it with my face lotion and rub it in. This brush however is saving me on foundation and gives it an airbrush look. This is the IT brushes for ulta. I love the cover that goes back on it and keeps the bristles nice when I throw it back into my make up bag.

2. These two foundations. The pink papaya foundation I ordered from my cousin. I love it and have been using it for a while. I needed a lighter color faster than I realized this year so I got the IT cosmetics foundation at ulta. I really like how smooth it goes on. Both of these go on great with the brush I mentioned above.

3. Urban decay eyeshadow. It is by far the most expensive eyeshadow I have every purchased in my life but worth it! I got the naked 2 palette. All of the colors are matte instead of shiny. I am feeling the need to wear less shiny eye shadow especially during the day. This is possibly the most creamy eye shadow and stays all day! Worth every penny!

4. A top knot. It is so easy to do and I love it. I feel like it actually looks good too. (Don't tell me that it doesn't!) I am not confident enough to wear it without a headband yet but I know the day will come.

A few favorites in my comfort zone!
5. Friends good friends for myself and Blake. I love how much these boys love each other. Blake looks up to both of them and we are very fortunate to have them in our lives! I also hit the jackpot with their momma ;) She is such a wonderful friend!

6. Paper crafting. I love making things with paper. Banners, cards, scrapbook pages, etc. I haven't make anything since my SPOOKY banner but I have lots of plans for things in the upcoming holidays! Cards are the first on my list to make. Let me know if you have a need for any special cards!

7. Stocking caps for kids! I absolutely love when kids wear stocking caps. It is the only thing I can think of right now that I like about cold weather. That and boots!

Thanks for stopping by and seeing some of my favorites! Wishing you all a Happy Halloween!

*None of these products are sponsored by anyone. These are simply my personal opinions on products and things I like!
*Edited 10-31-14 4pm

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Weekend Fun

My favorite weekends are ones spent with my two favorite boys. This weekend was a busy one but we were together enjoying ourselves. We enjoyed some traditional fall/halloween fun and got to have dinner with my best friend, her husband and youngest boy! 

We kicked our weekend off by carving pumpkins Friday night. Blake was so funny about cleaning them out. He was so grossed out by it he got chills. I laughed every time he stuck his hand in there. I was unsuccessful at capturing his reaction on camera. He eventually told me to do it because it was yucky. I ended up giving him a plastic glove to wear so that we would actually touch the pumpkin guts. (I had to wear one too because when I clean out a pumpkin it breaks my skin out in itchy red bumps no fun.) Andrew carved one pumpkin and Blake and I did the other. Our pumpkin looked like a 3 year old did it. Which he tried. I cut the mouth and when I walked away he cut one of the teeth out! Andrew's turned out much better! (I cut the bottom of the pumpkin, that way as it shrivels up it maintains it shape/face longer.) 

Saturday was a busy day. In the morning we did what we always do, laid around in bed as long as possible. Actually I was up at 4am working on some blog stuff for another time but my boys were both snoozing away until about 8am. I went back to bed to watch cartoons with them when they were both awake. We finally got ourselves together and headed out the door a little before noon. We went for lunch at Jason's Deli which allowed me to maintain my vegan eating habits. I actually really like their salad bar but was SO sad that I couldn't have ranch dressing on my salad. Once I started eating I didn't actually miss it. After lunch we rushed out to Sand Springs to meet one of Andrew's (and my) buddies at a car show. It was fun to walk around with Blake and hear him talk about the cars. He kept wanting to find Charlie and ask him if he was working on the race cars! 
After the car show we headed to Owasso for a birthday party. We got there way early so we drove around and happened to see a fire truck and police car outside Home Depot. Andrew being the awesome daddy that he is pulled into the parking lot without hesitation! They were having a fire safety day or something. We spent an hour with one of the firemen walking around the truck with Blake. The man was so patient and kind. He answered all 100 of Blake's why questions. It was so fun to watch and listen to them talk. Blake also got into the fire truck but wouldn't do it without his daddy. It was the first time he actually got into a fire truck even though he has had at least 4 previous opportunities to do so. We finally gave the fireman a break and talked to a police officer long enough for him to write Blake a ticket! Haha! Blake asked for one because we always tell him that police officers will write us a ticket if we speed.
We finally pulled Blake away from the emergency responders by reminding him of the reason we came to Owasso to begin with, Kealey's birthday party! He had been begging to go to her house to play all day long. She had a princess and prince party. Blake dressed as a knight. He didn't actually know what a knight was but we talked about how they protect the castle. It also just so happened that on Saturday morning Daniel Tiger had an episode where they were playing knights! Misty had the cutest table set up with cake, cupcakes and cake pops but I failed to take a picture of it. I did get one of the birthday princess and the knight!
I'm not sure of the last time you saw a knight but I bet he wasn't that cute!
After the party we met my best friend Megan, her husband and their littlest child for dinner at Bricktown Brewery Owasso. Megan and I had fun talking and laughing while our husbands talked and watched football. Blake was worn out from the party and entertained by games and movies on my phone while the adults talked. It became very obvious to our husbands that Megan and I are actually a lot more alike than they realized! I can't wait to do dinner with them again soon!

Today our plan was to just stay home. I was going to deep clean the kitchen until I realized that Andrew was planning on finishing ripping up the kitchen floor. Yay! He took Blake to the tool store and I started laundry and did some other light cleaning. When they got back Blake and I went out back with soap and scrubbers while Andrew got busy getting the tile ripped up. Blake and I washed all the furniture and toys to get the nasty dog pee smell out. We cleaned the patio off too. Blake made a huge mud hole in his digging area. We scrubbed the back door and the house to get all the mud off from Cooper jumping on it all the time. I always have a plan to take the backyard back but now I just want to make it a space we can share with the dog. A much better way of thinking really. Tonight while Andrew was giving Blake a bath I went out and sprayed this stuff we bought on all the places Cooper keeps peeing. I also sprayed it on our flower beds to hopefully keep him out of there. It smelled like cinnamon, eww. I just hope it works! Tonight Andrew read Blake his favorite fall book which we read multiple times a week. I love watching them snuggle together. It fills my heart with so much joy!
Look at that floor! No more uneven surface to walk on. 
Blake tonight at dinner.
He was so excited his pizza was in its own box!
We even got the fireman discount because he was wearing his firefighter costume.
The sweetest sight ever! I love my boys!

We had a great weekend spending time together as a family. Sometimes I think I loose sight of the importance of enjoying our family the way it is right here right now. I love us the way we are! 

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! What fun things did you do with your family?