Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Small makeover

My blog got a mini makeover! I am so excited for the change. The design before was my {very} sad attempt to make my blog unique. I found this wonderful women who offers a few free ENTIRE blog design sets!

As you can see by my explosion of posts, I am much more dedicated to my blog than ever before. I love the word of blogging and have big dreams for my blog. I think I came up with a name for my etsy shop - Snicker Doodle Dandy. I was sitting there thinking of my favorite things hoping that would help with a name. Snicker Doodles are on my top 5 {maybe #1} favorite cookies, so there you have it folks. What do you think?

Today, I babysat the twins {boy/girl 4-year-olds) and we made handprint turkey Thanksgiving cards! We also made playdoh pizza, watched old school Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and played in the snow. Goodness. I had such a fabulous day with them!

As I am making all my Christmas gifts, it is so hard not to post the fun pictures of them. My family is probably the only ones who read my blog at this point, so posting the pictures would definitely spoil the surprise. Therefore, I have an idea.

In an effort to write about something else other than my Christmas presents, I would love for my readers to offer topics for me to write about. The topics can be in the form of questions or simply "dinosaurs." It is all up to you and I'm excited to see what's in store. For now, I'm going to get back to my Christmas crafts.....

{PLEASE stop me from talking about these!}

Monday, November 22, 2010

More about snow

Today was a snow day. I have never had a snow day in my life, so I felt like a little kid getting a snow day off school!!

Except for the fact that I still went in to work for a few hours... Class was still canceled and that was aaaaaawesome.

The rest of the day I spent doing this:

Finishing up a Christmas gift on the floor. Heater blaring. Netflix watching. Back now hurting.

I spent about 5 hours or more on this floor today and cannot wait to give this gift! It is just about finished and I am so thankful for some time off to finish it.

This was my dinner. A chicken chile verde burrito thanks to Trader Joe's along with some Trader Joe's happy face wine. Mmm Mmm.

Tomorrow is another snow day {partially at least...I am going to babysit all day for a family whose children have school off} and Wednesday is a day off too! I have so much time to finish up projects. Up until Christmas, I don't think you will stop hearing about how excited I am about my gifts. You can handle it.

Oh and by the way, my backyard currently looks like this:
This is a bad picture because I took it through my upstairs bedroom window at night. {Did you think I would sacrifice my semi-warmth for a picture?} Anyway, everything is covered by 3 - 5 inches of snow. Yayyy for Washington!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Today it snowed in Seattle.

Here are two pictures from the debacle.
(poor quality from my phone and then via facebook...)

How is there this much snow in November? One inch on my car. I have never driven or lived in snow. LUCKILY, there was no snow on the ground up in Seattle. These pictures were taken down in Auburn where Kevin lives.

I also had a near death experience with what I believe was black ice. Long story short: my car was perpendicular to the road in a tunnel on a freeway off-ramp. Terrifying describes it in one world. Thank God - literally - that there were no cars immediately behind me. The fun has just begun! I'm excited {attempting to be} for this new adventure.

I finished 2 of my Christmas handmade gifts this weekend! I set myself due dates for the rest of them. I cannot wait to post picture of them after Christmas. I am so excited to give them to my family!!

By the way, does anyone have any good ideas for a name for an Etsy shop? I want to get my shop going and the only thing holding me back is a name...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Crafts

I have been so into crafting lately that people have begun to laugh at me. I made a decision to finally pursue all of my crafting ideas and I am completely loving it! I am in the works of designing my own Etsy shop {ETA: ??} Selling my cards is one of my life goals and I cannot wait to make that come true.

My roommate asked me yesterday if I ever just have a day off where I lounge around. After asking that question, she immediately added -- not including days you are sick. I just laughed and realized I don't really ever stop moving. I LOVE days off because I can finally get so many things done. Getting things done is relaxing because then I can stop repeating my TO DO list in my head!

I also helped a girl I babysit for organize her house yesterday. I spent 3 hours reorganizing her pantry, living room closet, bathroom, and partly her 1-year-old's dresser/room. She told me she would buy ANYTHING I thought would be helpful to organize her house. (Even a label maker!!) It was a dream come true. I LOVE to organize and I had a blast coming up with ideas for her house. Future job option? I think so!! {It also helps that she gets so excited about my ideas and makes me feel like a million bucks!} It was such a success.

I am also in the process of creating 2 Christmas crafts. The first is a kid-friendly advent calendar that I am going to send home to JJ and Luke (niece and nephew) for when they are at Grandma's house. Here is the tutorial where I got the idea. You include treats and a little Christmas-y activity for the day.

The next project is a smaller Christmas version of this wonderful book page art that I have been dying to find a reason to make.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Jones Design Company blog {the place I got this idea}. It is definitely one of my top 3 blogs I look forward to reading every day! Check out her ideas: they are magnificent.

I also just bought some felt and pretty fabrics to make all sorts of fabric flower items. I really need to open up shop on Etsy. That will have to wait until after Christmas. I absolutely, completely, totally, entirely cannot wait to give my family their Christmas gifts.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snail Mail

White Border 5x7 folded card
Unique party invitations and announcements by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

I just made this card to send to my almost 2 and half year old niece. I am so excited for her to receive this! Shutterfly has SO many options for cards, photo books, and another hundred holiday photo gift ideas. I've learned that personal photo gifts are some of people's favorite items, so hop on over and get some!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bus Patrol

The bus has become an integral part of my life. Not only does the bus drive me from point A to point B, it also defines the mood of my morning and/or evening. {I realize I am giving the bus too much power, but let's choose to see beyond this glaring fault...}

You see, my classes are scheduled to end at 6:50 PM. Not so conveniently, the last bus that goes straight to Magnolia (my home) is scheduled to leave at 6:52 PM. You can imagine my excitement when A: I get out of class early, B: the bus arrives late, or C: I leave class early to catch the bus. Today was the B option and I did a jump, cheer, and fist pump (literally) on campus because I was so stoked that I was going to make the bus. Here begins the story of my love affair with the bus.

Today on my {conveniently 7 minutes late} bus we had the regulars: old guy who uses a head lamp to read his book, orange haired dude, guy with glasses who gets off at my stop. You get the picture.

However, there was one strikingly obviously newbie. Who was she? And {more importantly} who does she think she is taking up an ENTIRE seat with her purse? (NOT even a big purse might I add.) I walked by and looked right at her then to the seat with the purse then back at her--likely looking annoyed. Who does she think she is? Too good to sit next to other fellow route 31 bus riders? Important enough to have TWO seats to herself, which left me with 3/4 of a seat next to a dude who just had to use so much room for himself.

I walked to my seat feeling disgruntled by this girl impostor who took up too many seats. I kept replaying all the things she was probably saying to herself in her head while she stole an extra seat. And then it struck me..

Who did I think I was? Who ever named me the Bus Patrol? How in the world did I manage to make the bus a competition? {Oh, and don't you worry...I have my bus pass conveniently placed in my Vera Bradley key chain wallet so that I don't even have to lift a finger pulling the pass in and out of my wallet. Look at me saving time! You have to get your bus pass in and out? HA!}

Seriously though, is that what my life has come to? "Winning" at my own made up bus war? It's a sad state of affairs over here. Time to reevaluate my priorities.

To the bus girl, I apologize for the glare. You can take as many seats as you please! Well, as long as you don't leave me next to old guy with the head lamp...I'm not ready for him yet.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Favorite Coupon Sites

Now that I am "out on my own" I love getting discounts whenever I can. I thought it would be fun to share a few of my discount secrets {or maybe not so secretive...}

Two sites I check everyday are Woot! and Target Daily Deals.

Woot often has electronics and all sorts of things you might you need. Target deals are usually pretty great and come with free shipping! {Plus with Christmas coming up they have many more Daily Deals than usual!}

Woot has a few sister sites like Sellout Woot and Kids Woot, which have wonderful deals as well.

I am also signed up for both Seattle and Phoenix Groupon. Groupon sends daily coupons via email to certain places around your area. Kevin and I have purchased 3 Seattle Groupons! These deals are often FABULOUS such as you pay $10 for $25 worth of food at Crepe Cafe. I definitely recommend that you sign up for your town if you haven't already!

Another way to get coupons is to sign up to be on the newsletter for your favorite stores. For instance, Joann's and Michael's send emails with special coupons for email "members."

I am also signed up for the Southwest Airlines newsletter so I can make sure to catch the flight deals with they are available. Email lists can get cumbersome and somewhat annoying, but they can be worth it!

Two other sites that might come in handy are Steep and Cheap {which has a wide variety of outdoor gear for SUPER cheap} and Whiskey Militia {which has a variety of snow, ski, skate, etc gear for super cheap}. Both of these sites have deals that last about 20 - 30 minutes each and if you catch it at the right time you can find just what you were looking for!

My final tip to find items for cheaper is to search for them on Google Shopping. You can search for the item you are looking for and Google searches all over the internet. This way you can find where the item is selling for the cheapest price. It's quite exciting!

Let me know if you are ever looking for a place to find deals! I have many more ideas to getting the best deal.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Burlap Wreath

My extra time last night also allowed me some time to finish my fall wreath! Last weekend during the UW vs Oregon football game I sewed the ruffles and pinned them
to the styrofoam wreath. This is what I began with last night:

Sewing kit from IKEA {with added pins}
Hot glue gun
Autumn pick from Michael's
Yellow and Brown fabric

I had only secured the ruffles with pins, so I added hot glue under all the edges for support. The ruffles were a bit flappy before this point, so this is a must if you do this project.

Then I created my fabric flower. I used half of a fat quarter. I twisted and turned and bunched. Then I turned over the flower and basically put hot glue all over to secure.

I was too focussed on not messing up the formation of the details, so I only got a finished picture.
Apart from the two fabric flowers {notice the tiny yellow one under there}, I cut the leaves and such from the autumn pick.

I'm so excited about the finished product! I typically find something I don't like about each project I make, but I'm determined to like this one. It hangs at the center of my curtain rod in my bedroom. I already have ideas for some Christmas home decor projects, so check back soon!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Extra time

I cannot believe that I have already entered this stage of my life. The stage I am talking about is where getting out of work an hour and a half early on Friday is one of the best gifts someone can give to me!

That hour and a half = 4 unexpected Friends episodes or 1.5 hrs to craft or time to be able to have a beer {in order to not be cutting it too close to babysitting for that to be not a good idea}.

Today that hour and a half was cut a little short because I missed my bus stop. Who knew that the next stop was a solid 15 min walk from my already 10 min away bus stop. I also missed my bus this morning. I watched as the 31 from Central Magnolia to U Village drove right on by just 10 seconds ahead of my time.

I realized buses are not made for people like me. People who are consistently 5 minutes late. I've done surprisingly well with buses {and spent WAY too much money parking on campus}. Maybe my new years resolution will be to never miss the bus. Woooahhh that is a bit crazy.

Anyway, this post was supposed to be about extra time {not my love/hate relationship with the bus}. One Sunday when I had extra time I created a Food Inventory!

I am obsessed with organization and what a better thing to organize than your food! I created an Excel document with different little lists such as "Breakfast" or "Veggies." I keep this list updated with all of my food items so that I know how to plan for meals and so that I am efficient with my food. Soon, I will plan my meals from this list so that I know what I have and what I need.

You should try to create your own inventory! It helps me save money and ensure that I don't waste {too much} money on food.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Life in WA

To be completely honest, I have been homesick about 75% of my time up here. I miss my family. How can you not miss these people?

Even though I have loved my phone chats with my dad, it is just not the same.

Cheryl (my sister-in-law) has another one on the way. I cannot wait to meet her!!

Yes... We did have matching shirts on Christmas. Don't judge us.

I might miss this face the most. {She should win toddler of the year or cutest toddler ever.} JJ and I hung out constantly when I was at home in August and now she has already grown up so much more! I cannot wait to jump no the bed again, JJ!

I have enjoyed myself here. I still love my job at the EEU working with children with special needs. They can be so challenging, but I just love them so much. It has been so fun to watch them learn to read and write and how to make friends. My classes have also continued to inspire me to all of the things I can accomplish in this field. I am excited to work with this population and really help these children get all of the things that they need to succeed in the world.

I still babysit most weekends and have a set of 4-year-old boy/girl twins that I see every other weekend. They are so fabulous and it is relaxing to babysit them. They're not comfortable with me enough where they will cuddle next to me during movies!

I have also been able to see Kevin at least 3 days a week. We try to meet in the middle when we can {which usually consists of browsing IKEA.} We have..

Gone to the ASU vs UW football game in our ASU garb. Devils won 24 to 14!!

Gone to the Zoo in Tacoma on one of the only hot days in Washington.

Gone to the Puyallup State Fair and wore banana hats.

And we have spent a lot of time watching movies and TV shows. {This was us before a little dinner and a movie}. Lately we have watched: Date Night, The Social Network, Inception, Michael Clayton, and the Planet Earth Series. All of which I highly recommend! Also, I am currently on the 9th season of Friends. I began Season 1 in August. I am just dying for Ross and Rachel to get back together. I might feel a hole in my life when I end this series...is that bad?

As you can see, life has not been terrible. I've begun to make friends at work, which I really enjoy--and I've got to spend time with Kevin's family and friends, which has also been a good time. I am learning SO much about myself and the things I want in life. I know that I am in a very important stage of life being so far away from my comfort zone, and that is what keeps me going day-to-day. (And the fact that I count down the days until AZ...35 days left!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I have recently become obsessed with ALL things handmade. I have close to a hundred tutorials either bookmarked or cataloged in my head for future projects. Every time I read blogs (daily) I find a new idea for a christmas gift, home decor, baby present, and the list goes on and on. Between graduate school 9 hours a week, work about 40 hours a week, and a boyfriend who lives 45 min away...I don't make much time to even organize my thoughts.

However, with such little time, Kevin and I have begun to multi-task. One Sunday we both worked at his office--him on a proposal and me on a school assignment. Then this weekend we watched the football game "together" while I worked on my current craft project {to be posted later}.

One of my only completed projects was put together for my best friend who at the time was preparing to move to Texas for her first real nursing job! {She has now moved and I am SO proud of her for following her dreams!!} I thought this clock would be a nice addition to her new place. I got the tutorial from one of my favorite crafting blogs Make It and Love It.

These are my first fabric flowers that I had been dying to try to make. They turned out okay...a little too much hot glue residue, but they are SUPER easy to make. I just need a bit more practice.

I have begun to realize that my projects only come together when the deadline is a gift for someone. I have at least 5 homemade gifts lined up for Christmas, so I better get started sometime. I am about to finish a Fall wreath that I will hang up in my room and will post pictures on that soon! I also just uploaded pictures from the past few months that I will post soon as well.

Seattle is BEAUTIFUL in the fall. I am already very cold; nonetheless, the leaves all over the ground and falling from the trees are just amazing and I smile as my feet brush through them as I walk to my bus at 7 am in the dark... I am happy now, but it's supposed to snow this winter and that will be another story.

The beginning and end..

Let me tell you a story about a relationship that began and ended this summer.

It was a beautiful Seattle summer day (which for you people in AZ...that means it was about 80 degrees with a slight breeze). I finally had a day off work and I planned to venture into new territory.

I dressed in my messiest clothing and it was then that I met him. He wasn't tall, dark, or handsome. But a little more rustic and old fashioned. Something about that intrigued me.

We spent a 4 solid hours together roaming around my front and back lawns -- soaking up the sun.

The beginning was a thrill. It took awhile to get him started, but once I did we were on a roll! I really felt like he was helping me accomplish a lifelong goal. He single-handedly helped me feel so proud of myself.

By the end, I was sweaty, dirty, and tired. He didn't make my job very easy. And, when things got tough, he would just shut off. Who wants that?

It was then and there that our relationship came to an abrupt stop. I decided that this was probably something that should never happen again.

Please meet Mortimer.

He is the trusty (or not so much) lawn mower that (not so helpfully) helped me master this...

{my backyard} Along with the front yard that has a beautiful (terrible) hill. We completed the job in the quick time of FOUR hours.

Mowing the lawn is a task that I just might NEVER do again.

Mortimer, our time together was short and sweet. Please never bother me again. Thanks.