Monday, October 31, 2011

Snow In October?

I had heard via Accuweather that we were supposed to get 3-6 inches.  I thought that was way too good to be true, so I left my new boots at home.  Boy, did I ever regret that decision.


The snow is my favorite thing about winter, but normally we have to wait until January to experience the fluffy white stuff.  To have 6 inches of snow in October is a dream come true, aside from the fact that I didn't get a snow day.  What's the point of having snow on the weekend?  It ruined my plans and I still have to go to work on Monday.  Take it from me, the teachers like snow days more than the kids.



It began beautifully, but we all knew it would take a turn for the worse.  The snow was wet and heavy.


Soon enough, our upstanding trees were beginning to look a little droopy.  It was still snowing when I went out to take some pictures, so I moved quickly.  Ten minutes later I was wet, cold, and finished with my photo session.  During that 10 minutes I heard at least 6 branches snap off their trees and fall to the group with a thud.  It was a little spooky actually.  As far as I know, we only lost one branch and it came from this tree.


This is some good motivation to move quickly when taking pictures.  I couldn't wait to get back inside to this little guy and his tiger belly.


We were stuck inside for a long time, so Cam got creative.  He adopted the toy basket as his bed.  He was not happy that I made him stay in the basket so I could take a picture.  This is what it looks like when Cam yells at you.


Back to the snow...
This is our favorite tree.  It's a huge Maple that is just beautiful.  By the way, those branches are not supposed to be touching the ground.


It would be sad to lose any of our trees, but it would be heartbreaking to lose this one.  I think this old tree made it through the snow without any loses, but time will tell.


The tree on the right looked even worse a few hours after I took this picture.  Hopefully it survived.  There were a lot of branches down all around town and 50,000 people in my county were without power.  We lost power around 3pm on Saturday and as of Sunday at 5pm the power was still out.



As I drove home to my apartment, I only ran into one little snag in the road.  Other than that, my trip went very smoothly and I arrived home to working electricity safe and sound.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

DIY Christmas

Current DIY Christmas Tree Budget: $9.03.


The planning and scheming has begun and it is mostly centered around color selection.  I found this color palette on Design Seeds.  Best site ever - I can browse endlessly.  Green doesn't really fit into my whole plan, so just pull the green out and insert yellow.

Now that I had my color scheme, I needed to find papers to match.  To keep from spending money on paper, I decided to use whatever I could from my own collection.



Surprisingly, it took me quite awhile to find a selection I was happy with.  I did finally breath a sigh of relief when I was done and knew I wouldn't be spending money on paper.  Even Hildie approves.   Actually, this is the first time I've taken a look at the photos side by side.  Not too shabby.  I think I did a pretty good job.  And not a dollar spent.



Using a tutorial from A Little Hut, I created this tear drop ornament.  I've created several actually.  I really like how they turn out.



This is what I have so far.  I have many other pieces cut out, but they aren't all put together yet.  Also, they won't hang on the tree with the string like that.  I'm sure I'll use the string because I already have it (which means no money out of my budget) and I do like the look.  It just needs tweaking.



I cut my pieces for the ornaments using this cutting pattern on my Silhouette.   The cost for the templates was $0.  I just used circles and rectangles from the Silhouette Studio.  My machine has been a little weird lately, so I have to place my designs carefully, which my brain does not like.  My brain likes things to be centered vertically and horizontally on the page.  Anyway...

The long strips are for the tear drop ornaments.  I used the inside circles for the yellow ornament above (second from the left).  The outside circles are for the purple ornament you see above.  Though it looks like there are cut lines down the center, those are actually perforated edges for folding.  This page gets me three ornaments.  Not too shabby for a page that cost me 10 cents 5 months ago when I bought it.

This Friday, my mom will be teaching my sister and me how to sew some felt ornaments.  I've got big plans for this, folks.  I'm really excited to learn how to do some nice hand sewing and I can't wait to get started.  If you want to see what I have in mind just click here to see my board on Pinterest.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Banner

A few weeks ago, Mom made a banner for our photo booth.  It's such a cute little banner and I got to take it home with me.  It needed a place to hang, but it didn't fit into the bedroom, or the living room, or the dining room.



Don't hate me for putting this lovely banner in the bathroom.  I know the bathroom is not the most glamorous place in my apartment, but it is perfect.  It makes my morning routine so much better.  Now, if you're any taller than 5'4" than this won't really work for you.  In fact, it's almost too low for me.  I had to strategically place the peak; it's right above where I stand when I get ready in the morning.



After deciding on the "where", I need to figure out the "how."  I didn't want anything too permanent because I have other things to hang in the bathroom at Christmas.  I haven't figured out whether this is a good thing or not, but the bathroom mirror is just held up by clips (or so it seems).  This means there is a space between the mirror and the wall.

I took a piece of cardboard and made a yarn sandwich.  Then I shoved the cardboard piece between the mirror and the wall.



It gave me a tight enough fit that the yarn didn't fall out.  Bonus - it's nowhere near permanent.


Can I share some exciting news?  I surpassed 100,000 pages views.  Take a look see -

Pageviews all time history
102,213

About 90,000 of those views happened between July and now.  For most blogs, that's the number of views they get on an hourly basis.  But little ol' me is very excited about that large number.  To celebrate I'm going to make this post 100,000 words.  Kidding.  I think I'll just give Charlie a hug.
                The end.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thrifting

My fingers are pretty numb at the moment from the chill in the room, so please excuse any typos. 


I went thrifting with the girls on Saturday afternoon.  It was a lovely fall day and it was perfect for walking, talking, and shopping.   Our time together started as it always does, with Katie dodging photos.  

Kristin played the part of planner, driver, and shop finder as we weaved our way around the city.  I had no idea where we were, but I know that I need to go back.  It was such a cute little place.

Also, Google Chrome is telling me that "thrifting" is not a word.  Excuse me, Google, I beg to differ.


We headed to a couple stores we knew were perfect for thrifting.  Then we headed into one store that was a tad out of our price range, just for fun.  The bed only costs $3,495?!  That's a steal!  Do you take credit cards?  Oh, the card's been rejected?  Hmm...a girl's gotta dream.



I found this adorable purple plate at Building Character and it is now resting comfortably in my hutch.  



This little bag was also found at Building Character.  There's no good reason for me buying this, except for the fact that you can never have too many bags.   I always seem to need just one more bag when I'm packing.  It's the perfect little size and I can't wait to use it.



This is my favorite find of the day.  It's a "rust proof" metal house number.  Once I pull it out of the package, I plan on spray painting it and framing it.  This will perfectly match my tattoo



It was a wonderful day and I can't wait to do it all again!  even the creeper in the back was having a good day.   

Monday, October 24, 2011

Finally!


It took me two winters, but I've finally done it!  You may be wondering what could have possibly taken me two winters to accomplish.  In one word - boots.  



It took me two winters to find good, sturdy, winter boots.  I spend a lot of time outside during the winter.  I love to be out and about.  Plus, the pooch goes out four times a day.  I could believe how hard it was to find real winter boots.  When we were at Shady Maple a few weeks ago, I had to look because I knew they wouldn't let me down.

The previous boots I owned were, as I like to call them, fashion boots.  They were super cute.  They were also super thin and really FLIMSY.  It's really frustrating that I couldn't just slip them on.  Taking Charlie out should not be a big ordeal, but it was.



Now that's some nice lining.  Charlie and I love the snow, so we spend a lot of time walking outside.  Charlie doesn't like her coat, but once I catch her, I slip her coat onto her little body and we head out.  On one of my snow days last year we were out for an hour.  By the time we got back my feet were icicles.  Actually, they were icicles about 10 minutes into the walk.



I can't wait to try these babies out.  No more icicle feet for me!  Plus, my long pants will stay tucked into these boots, instead of constantly falling out and getting all wet. 

I know, I know, a post about boots is not that exciting.  But I am really excited that I finally have a good pair!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Painted Glass

I've been seeing a new trend on Pinterest lately and I thought I'd give it a try.  All you need is paint and a glass jar or bottle.



In preparation for this proejct, I hit up Goodwill to find some glass.  $4 later, I left Goodwill with these wonderful pieces.  I bought the smaller bottle with the cork to use as a test.



This poor paint can has been opened and closed too many times. I'm pretty sure it used all it's paint can power to stay close last time.  It took me almost 2 minutes to get it open.  Two minutes might not sound long, but it usually take 2 seconds and I'm a very impatient person.



I poured the paint into the measuring cup so I could easily get the paint into the small opening in the jar. After pouring in the paint, I swirled it all around the glass. When I was sure everything had been covered, I held it over the measuring cup so the excess could run out.



This tester was very helpful because it taught me something important: make sure the inside of the glass is clean, because the dust will show after being painted.  Other than that, the process could not have been any simpler.  It was very fast and very easy.  I'll definitely be finishing the rest of the glass this weekend.

The hardest part of this project will be deciding what colors to use!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

DIY Christmas

Recently, I made the decision to put a Christmas tree in my bedroom.  Christmas is by far my favorite holiday.  Everything about Christmas is wonderful.  It's the only holiday I decorate for and I decorate every room, with only one exception.  I do not decorate the kitchen.  I don't like the kitchen and I don't like spending time in the kitchen.  Bleck.



You can't have Christmas without a traditional Christmas tree.  Don't get me wrong, I complete love that artificial trees save money and time.  And I don't think I'd be upset if I had to go through Christmas without struggling to get the tree in the house, on the stand, lit up, and watered, but I love my real tree.

This year I'm switching things up.  I've decided that I want a white tree for my bedroom.  Since white trees do not occur naturally in nature (bummer), I'll be purchasing an artificial tree.  I'm still going to have my traditional pine in the living room, so I'm ok with being a little more modern elsewhere.

After forging the internet, I have decided that white trees are expensive.  I can get a 3' tree for about $55 or a 6.5' for $140.  Sheesh.  I think $55 is slightly reasonable, but go big or go home and I want to go big.  

Since a tree just might break the bank, I've decided to challenge myself a little when it comes to ornaments.  I am giving myself a budget of $10 for ornaments.  



$10 might sound low, but I'm already on track.  I found this star at Goodwill for a whopping $0.97.  Now I'm officially down to $9.03.  Since making this resolution, Pinterest and I have been very busy.



Pinned Image
click picture for link
These simple yarn ornaments are cute and easy.  It only requires styrofoam balls (check), yarn (check), hot glue gun (check), and I could use tp rolls for the base (check).  



Pinned Image
click for link
For me, glitter is a four letter word, but I think I can figure out a way to make the pine cone stand out minus the glitter.  All I need for this project is a pine cone (check), paint (check), and yarn (check).



Pinned Image
click for link
This ornament from Martha Stewart also has glitter, but I can skip that part.  Materials: balloons (need), yarn (check), glue (check), water (check), and a clothespin (check).

Since I already own many of the materials I need, I am confident that I can stay under my $10 budget.  These are only some of the ideas I've found so far, but as we get close to Christmas I know there will be more to find.  I've started a new board on Pinterest for any ideas I find.    

Wish me luck!  Keep your eyes peeled for a cheap, but awesome looking white Christmas tree!  I'm offering a reward that's priceless.  I'll let you have Charlie for an entire day, but then you have to give her back.  I know it will be tough to part with her.  Man up.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ima let you finish but...

One of my goals this year is to make my Health lessons more engaging and fun.  In every Health class, my fifth graders read from the book and then do an activity.  The format never changes, so I have been brainstorming ways to make the reading portion of the lesson funner (btw, I did that on purpose).


Thanks to Kanye West, shutter shades have become very popular.  Thanks to a math mix up, I now own 96 pairs.  Since I apparently can't read, I thought they came four to a pack.  I bought eight packs.  Yeah, wrong.  Twelve to a pack.  I gave the extras to another teacher to use with her class.  Thankfully, this is a tax write-off.

Don't hate people, I use that money wisely and only for the kiddos.



I'm not exactly sure how you are supposed to be able to see through these things, but whatever, the kids love them.


Not gonna lie, they are pretty fun to wear.  Even better, they are cheap.  If you are interested in purchasing some of your own, you can find them on Oriental Trading, but they are cheaper through Amazon.



I gave them to my kids to wear while we read from the Health book.  They look good right?  The kids had a blast.  These glasses are a great motivator.  I told the kiddos if they didn't pay attention during the reading then I would take the glasses away.  Needless to say, they were very focused - and that means the glasses did their job.


I made them pretend to read while I took this picture...and then I put down the camera and we actually did some reading.  Aw, they look so studious.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Skinny Fat

Charlie got a haircut last weekend.  She's now in the skinny fat stage of hair growth.  This stage is when you think she is going to look skinnier because she just got a hair cut.  Wrong.  Actually, because of the haircut her head looks extra tiny so her body looks extra large.  She is skinny fat.


I love my shaggy puppy, but when the groomers take her all the way down we can go longer between grooming.  The plan was to show you a before and after, so I sat her down Sunday night to take some photos of her new do.  



Photo time quickly turned into chicken time.  



This photo reminds me of a certain movie.  If you are a member of my family, I expect you to know the movie before I tell you.  You have about 2 more seconds before I tell you....The Man from Snowy River.  Esther/Mom/Char, if you did not know that, I am very disappointed.


Here's the pooch before the great haircut:




And here is my beautiful girl after the haircut:
She's lost quite a lot of hair and beard.  I've notice that she's colder than usual since losing all that hair.  



phone pics = bad quality
I'm a good mom, I take care of my pooch.  See that little pillow?  My mom made that specifically for her.  See that big quilt?  My mom made that for me.  I think I spoil my baby because my mom spoils me!  So, once again, we can blame it all on Mom.  



also a phone pic
You think its dumb to cover a dog with a blanket.  You think dogs are dogs and don't get cold.  You are wrong.  Especially when dogs have just gotten all their hairs cut right before winter.  It's tough being so beautiful.