Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday 5: Weekend Reading

As I find my voice and figure out what I'm aiming to do with this blog and the features I've developed for it, I've decided to start sharing 5 articles or blog posts I have recently read and loved as one of the Friday 5 posts each month. Other blogs are doing this, and I am always pleasantly surprised to find articles I wouldn't have discovered on my own. I hope you too will find something new each time I post this feature.

I loved this post on how to offer advice.

I was surprised to find myself nodding along while I read this article about why the world would benefit from creative types saying no more often.

This article about handwriting made me think about how education and language might be evolving, and whether that evolution is a good thing.

My friend Allison shared this blog post about beauty last week. She emailed it to all the women she knows. It is beautiful, and powerful.

Finally, my friend Dave shared these images via Facebook last weekend. I loved the juxtaposition of the pristine landmarks with evidence of every day, modern life.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tina's Graduation Card

Trevor's youngest cousin, Tina, graduated high school this spring. I looked her high school up on Google so I could make this card in her school colors! I used yet another Lori Whitlock A2 Box Card design from the Silhouette Studio online design store.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Before 30 Bucket List: June Update

1. Run a 5K race. Take a step toward overall better health.

I'm still doing Pure Barre, though my membership ended yesterday. I'm on a little vacation in North Dakota right now, so I'm putting that on hold until I return next week. I wasn't totally sure I wanted to keep going after my initial 5 weeks were up, but then I started noticing my thighs are a little harder, my butt is a bit more defined...and I realized I definitely need to keep going!

I have also found that I am making a lot more choices that support working out because Pure Barre is such a substantial financial investment. I'm eating healthier snacks and cutting back on sodas because I've found it's a lot tougher to hold in my abs during the work out when I've had a soda before hand! My weight hasn't changed, but that is OK because my BMI is right where it should be, and truth be told, a bit toward the low end of "healthy" for my height.

2. Make my office/scrapbook space perfect.

I've done a lot in the past week or two to make this space more functional. I'm hoping I can keep the momentum going when I get back from my trip.

3. Pass the Middle Grades Social Sciences GACE.

I completely missed the cut off to take the June test, which is OK because I wasn't totally ready, anyway. My next chance is in August, but I'm having some serious doubts about whether this will help me find a job anyway.

4. Re-do/refresh our bedroom, including paint.

We finally hung up curtains in the room, but they weren't what I had originally imagined for the room, so I'm now questioning my paint choice for the bedroom. I had originally chosen a "Bamboo Shoot" sample from Valspar, but the curtains are a ocean blue stripe, so I think the green might bring too much color into the room. I'm tabling the decision for a little while.

5. Make curtains for the guestroom.

Done as of May 27! Pictures to come at some point...

6. Make curtains for the kitchen/living room.

Done as of June 19! We purchased curtains for our bedroom and living room about two weeks ago as part of a great sale Target had going on, and I had made a valence for the kitchen. Last week, the curtain rods were also on sale, so we got everything hung up. Once again, pictures are coming at some point...

7.  Finish A Clash of Kings, the second book in the Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire series.

I am around page 400 right now. I am hoping that the four flights and approximately 10 hours in the car over the next week will help me make a bigger dent in the book this week.

8. Complete our wedding scrapbook.

Officially tabled until August. I have other projects I want to take care of right now, but I really hope I will make a dent in this project before my birthday.

9. Reduce my wardrobe.

I did a closet organization, and as a result, let go of a few clothing items and three pairs of shoes that will go to the Salvation Army after my trip to North Dakota.

10. Finish my home management binder.

It is pretty much done, but I think some things are not working the way I want them to, so I will be doing some revising after my trip. Like most of my projects, this is tabled until mid-July.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Seasonal Frame Project: Summer

This little project began at Easter. I had very few decorations for that holiday, so I did my own twist on a Pinterest project, and ended up with three awesome pieces I wanted to hang in frames. I bought the frames over spring break, fully planning to swap out the Easter pieces for a set of year-round decor.

I never hung the frames, so they were stacked by my desk until last week, when I couldn't handle having them there any longer.

I started playing around, and I ended up creating this summer series. These frames are on a large wall in our foyer, which faces our neutral and aqua dining room, so I stayed with the cool end of the spectrum with these nautical die cuts. I designed the monogram myself, although it's really hard to see the monogram in these pictures (I'll confess, I used my iPhone and there was little natural light when I took these pictures). 

This set will probably be up until late August or early September, when I will swap them out for something that is either "year round" or a Halloween set. I have a list of 9 sets I want to create, so I will be swapping these out approximately every 4-6 weeks.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Xander's 7th Birthday Card

Our sweet little friend Xander turns 7 in June. His family and friends celebrated his special day a couple weeks early with a pool party at his Mimi's house. Since we have known and loved his family since he was 3, a special card was in order. 

Enter the Lori Whitlock a2 box card. These designs are a little time consuming to cut and assemble, but they never cease to wow the recipient - and I always know they will turn out stunning!

One trick I figured out for these cards: use a needle to run the twine through the little banners, then put a little pop dot behind each one. Since the flaps fall down when the card comes from the envelope, the banners can get a little messed up or tangled when it's opened. Using the pop dots helps keep the look natural, yet keeps everything in place.

{Supplies: Neenah Desert Storm card stock for the base, Studio Calico grid paper, pop dots, Studio Calico Color Theory ink in Orange County, twine by American Crafts, orange cardstock by Bo Bunny, and an assortment of scraps from SC kits}

Friday, June 20, 2014

Austin's First Birthday Card

Our sweet little friend Austin turns 2 today! I realized a couple weeks ago that I had never actually published the post about his first birthday card. 

This card is a design from Lori Whitlock in the Silhouette Design Store. I chose the colors to match his gift and nursery decor. 

I stamped his initals on the banner to really make it personal. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday 5: Confessions

1. I am currently obsessed with anything monogrammed. At first, it was just a typographic theme in our house - not necessarily monogrammed. However, now, I find myself wanting our monogram (or just my monogram) on everything. Probably a good thing I have a Silhouette die cut machine and an active status as a 31 consultant, right?

2. I am really behind on scrapbooking. Like, 7 or 8 years in some cases. I skip around and do what I'm most inspired to work with at the moment. One day, I might be working on our wedding photos from five years ago, and the next, it might be a picture of the kitties I took a week before.

3. I am a terrible influence on my husband. I buy him candy when he says he's trying to quit eating sugar. I can't help it. I just feel like he should have a little treat when he gets home from his trips, and let's face it, he's not going to turn down Mrs. Field's Cookie Dough bites.

4. I can taste the difference between grass-fed and regular beef. I grew up on grass-fed beef, and restaurant beef always tasted different. Not bad, just not...right. Once grass-fed beef burger restaurants started opening in Atlanta, I found the "right" flavor again.

5. Pedicures and massages are very difficult for me because I hate having other people touch me, but I am always soooooooooo happy with the way I look or feel after. I think the pedicurists especially think I am insane for the way I wince and squint while they are working.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Get well card

{Supplies: Kraft cardstock by the paper studio, blue by American Crafts, white by Bazzill, stamps by Papertrey ink, inks by Studio Calico, clouds die cut using my Silhouette Cameo}

One of Trevor's airline friends, Jay, was in a terrible motorcycle accident last week. He spent some time in the hospital before having facial reconstruction surgery at the end of this past week. He is home recovering now, so we sent him this card to let him know he is in our thoughts and prayers. 

Technique-wise, this card is fairly simple. I stamped the plane and trimmed it with scissors, and I cut clouds with my Silhouette Cameo. I used the negative cut to guide my placement of the clouds. I used some washi tape to secure the negative to the background, and then I placed the clouds back in their holes. I did place the bottom cloud by hand, though, as it would have covered my sentiment otherwise!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

What we've been up to - June 2014 edition

Pictures from April and May
Trevor's first day in his Spirit uniform - April 5, 2014

Minerva's new favorite spot

Treats from Trevor's first trip at Spirit

Sampling color in our house for the first time - April 15

Date night at Jeni's Ice Cream - April 19

Easter Sunday at Virginia Highlands Church with Jana and Jay

Trevor flew over the Grand Canyon on the first trip he operated at Spirit

Braves versus Giants with Rachel - May 3

First cross stitch project in about 20 years

First experience with Jamberry Nails - may 12

Mulching the backyard hill - may 12

Sewing guest room curtains - may 25

Erin's 21st birthday

Today, this girl turns 21:

Erin is my oldest cousin. When she was born, I was nearly 9. I loved her instantly, but I never realized what an amazing woman and friend she would grow into. She is smart, funny, and totally adorable. Trevor and I were lucky enough to have her spend a week with us in Georgia in 2012, and we cannot wait for her to come back again!

Happy birthday, Erin!

{Supplies: Stamp by Mama Elephant for Studio Calico (December 2012 card kit), patterned paper by Studio G, washi tape by Pebbles (November 2012 Studio Calico card kit), Clean Slate ink by Studio Calico, Silhouette die cut machine, background Silhouette cut file by Lori Whitlock, and the font used to cut the 21 is a freebie titled "Champagne and Limousines"}

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday 5: June 6, 2014

It's a very pop culture edition of Friday 5 this week. I guess that's what happens when I'm home from school for the summer.

1. A spelling bee judge quoted "Milkshake" by Kelis.

2. It turns out that Snow and Prince Charming, my second favorite TV couple, are actually a real-life couple, and they had a baby last week (you all know Danny and Mindy of The Mindy Project are my favorites, right?).

3. In case you missed it, season 3 of Sherlock is available on Netflix as of Monday!

4. Have you seen Brad's Paisley's awesome selfie in front of protesters at his concert?

5. And just to prove how popular One Direction is, a fan fiction series about Harry Styles was picked up by a publisher for an asinine amount of money this week.

Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Best Friends' Weddings

This week has been a lot of reminiscing about weddings. I had two best friends in high school, Samantha and Carrie. Trevor's best friend was Paul. All three were married on the first weekend of June, so their anniversaries are in a row on my calendar. 

Samantha and Craig were married June 2, 2012 in Bethel, Maine. I never did get a clear picture of Craig's face during the wedding or reception, but we did get a fun picture at brunch the next morning of the newlyweds, Trevor and me, and Samantha's sister, Sarah, and her husband, Chris. Sarah, Samantha, and I had been friends for a very long time, so it was wonderful to see both girls together again, along with their husbands.

Carrie and Braden were married June 3, 2006 in Rugby, North Dakota. This was the first time I was a bridesmaid in a wedding, and it was the first wedding I attended where I actually, really knew the bride and groom. It still felt like we weren't grown ups back then. I had just moved from my dorm room to an apartment, and I really didn't think of myself as an adult, or as someone anywhere near ready to get married. If someone had told me then that I would be getting married just over three years later, I would have laughed in their face. It just goes to show how God's timing works versus our expectations!

Paul and Maggie were married June 4, 2011 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Trevor and Paul had been friends since late elementary school. Paul was a groomsman in our wedding, and Trevor was one in Paul's. Paul actually asked Trevor to be a groomsman on Christmas Day 2010 in the Atlanta airport while Paul was on a long layover between flights from Minneapolis to Johannesburg, South Africa! Their wedding was beautiful, and so very much reflected their personalities.