I Was Gunna . . .

I was going to post about my further Christmas crafting adventures, but my home computer is crashing every 10 minutes. It really inhibits my ability to upload photos. But, just to let you know while I am not blogging (probably wont be back until the new year! BREAK!!!), I am making lovely little things that were inspired by . . .


and this.

Hope you have a very merry Christmas and

a wonderful New Year!


The creation of The BaMedia

Have I ever told you my husband is wonderful? Seriously, do you know this guy? I know I may poke at him at him from time to time on the blog, he can be a dirty stinky boy sometimes. There will always be something that is getting under my skin, bugging me, or something that I can just plain do without. But, honestly, I love this guy!

I love that he is a dirty stinky boy with different interests, tastes, and likes than me. I love that he is so smart and clever. I love how much he makes me laugh. I love that (no matter who he ended up marrying) he knew he was going to make his wife the most important person in his life and praise and adore her always. I love how dedicated he is at working on our marriage. I love his goofy grin and beaming smile. He is the love of my life.

Okay, all this praise has taken me a little bit off topic,(what can I say, I can't help myself), but my point is that my hubster Jeff has started a new blog recently, The BaMedia. He actually took my advice (stop the presses!) and started a blog about all things media/entertainment. I kind of wanted him to just tag onto my blog and give it some spice, but he wanted his own space and vibe, and honestly the two may not meld all that easily together. Like I said, we have different tastes and interests.

To find his blog easily from my own I created a tab at the top of this blog that will link anyone to his- easy peasy. I also have created a tab on his blog that links up to my blog. One for all things music and movies and new (HIS), and the other for all things home and decor and dorkiness (HERS).

He started his blog off with a 12 Days Till Christmas posting countdown. Each day he is going to post a poll with different artist singing the same Christmas song. A king of 'who sung it best?' challenge. Revisit old favorites, maybe learn about a new artist or two, and take the polls. It is a fun way to count down till the best holiday of the year! Visit often and join in the discussions (maybe cut him some slack as he moves through the learning curve of blogging. He'll know more then me in no time).


The Small Fry's Gift Guide

Every year I try and plan for every detail of the Christmas season. I think if I plan enough then I will be able to get everything on my lenghty list done, but of course I am always surprised by something.

This year I was unprepared for all those small gifts that pop up for everyone, you know for co-workers, aquantences, or white elephant gift exchanges. So I decided that I am going to make my own little odds and ends gift guide so I wont be caught off guard again next year.

PhotobucketThis is what I made my co-workers last year. They are cute, but took tons of time.

Gift Guide for Co-workers, Visiting Teachers, and other aquantences:

  • Troll Pinterest for clever gift ideas like
  • this, this, this, or this.

  • Make an insane deliscious treat that only comes around every once and a while. This chocolate dipped cookie dough concocktion comes to mind or this eggnog flavored fudge.

  • For the more health consiouse may make them some feastive salsa or popcorn mix.

  • Steal from other insightful people. Did you know Sugar Doodle has a whole page of Visiting Teaching gifts? Yes, Sweet!

  • Get crafty and make a holiday banner or wreath.

  • Gift Guide for White Elephants or last minute hostess gifts:

  • Everyone likes for their space to smell nice, why not bring an oil and reed diffuser?

  • Bring a book that will interest what ever the specific group of party goers will like.
    At work? Try The People Code. At a church party? Try one of Deseret Books many Christmas themed books, and so on.

  • Hit up your favorite shop and get something quirky, like a decorative USB flash drive, funny key caps, Scrabble Magnets, or go for something really bizzare like bacon flavored floss. It will at least give them a laugh.

  • Give them something useful and decorative. A handmade Calendar on Etsy would make anyone happy.

  • A phone case or IPAD case would also be a big hit, especially at a work event.
  • 12/12/11

    Christmas Ornament DIY Mayhem

    This Christmas I was determined to have my first "adult" Christmas tree. Ever since College I have been using this small 3 foot tree. We figured why mess with all the fuss until there was a kiddo to do it with or for, but I finally determined that I wanted to have a real "adult" Christmas tree regardless of having a child or not, so I started to hunt one down for a good price. I ended up buying a tree from my co-worker who was upgrading their tree this year. (They upgraded to a 12 foot tree! I couldn't even handle all that tall tree goodness. 7.5 is perfect for me.)

    I also have been using these cheap dollar store ornaments, dollar store ornaments are fine, I just don't think they are meant to be used for like 5 years as standard ornaments. Plus they weren't going to cover my new 7.5 foot tree. I decided I'd like to try make my own, so our tree was more personalized.

    I started with $9 worth of ornaments I purchased at Big Lots and some items from the Dollar Tree. Because my taste for ornaments 1s all over the place but I still insist on having a theme I went with a 'glamorous woodland'

    Ornament #1: Christmas Lyrics
    Materials: Silver Sharpie $5, Clear Ornaments $3 (purchased mine from Big Lots last year after Christmas for extra savings)

    DIY: I started off nice and easy, just wrote two of my favorite Christmas song lyrics around the ball. easy peasy and done! It photographs weird, but in real life it's cool. They are Jeff's favorite ones out of all the ones I crafted.

    Ornaments #2
    Materials: Clear ornament (same ones I just used) and Decorative Container Filler from the Dollar Tree $1.

    DIY: Put the red foam balls in the ornament. Done and done. I tried to use a funnel to put them in, but just grabbing a handful and putting it in is the easiest way. They kind of resemble cranberries in my mind.

    Ornament #3
    Materials: Free printable of vintage music $0, glue gun, circle cutter (I already had the later two)

    DIY: Cut out a bunch of circles from a music sheet printable. Start at the bottom of the ornament and layer the circles around the bottom. Keep working your way up to the top of the ornament layering row by row.

    I actually used this to cover up an ornament that I had messed up. I ended up liking this one better then the others that I had planned to do. Funny how things work out.

    Ornament #4

    Materials: Clear ornament, painters tape, stencil, scissors, paint & brush, pen or marker. Oh, and glitter.

    DIY: Tape rows of painters tape over one another to create a little sheet made up of tape. Stencil your desired letter/design on the tape. Cut out the stencil so that the part you want painted on the ornament is gone. (I used an actual stencil of one, but then used print outs of fonts I liked from my computer for the others) Place tape on the ornament and make sure it is secure, no bubbles. (You can even modge podge the edges to get a tighter seal so the paint doesn't bleed through.) Paint your letter on the ornament.

    I did this with just normal craft paint, which I found to be a mistake. I probably should have spray painted it or used a glass paint because it didn't end up lookin' too hot. I thought it was a FAIL, but then I decided that glitter can fix anything, so I gave it a try.

    It seemed to work. At least they looked better in my opinion.

    Ornament #5
    Materials: Silver ornaments, stamps, embossing powder, embossing glue pad, white paint.

    DIY: I painted by silver ornaments with a light coat of white paint first to make them look more subtle. Follow the instructions of your embossing kit, but basically press your stamp in the glue pad and then stamp the ornament. Sprinkle your embossing powder on the ornament and repeat with the rest of your letters or stamps.

    This process was kind of time intensive, and by this point I was losing my patience, so after making 6 joy ornaments like this I just used the silver sharpie I used earlier and wrote NOEL and PEACE on the remaining ornaments. They were not as cute, but completed much more quickly.

    Ornament (?) #6

    Materials: Styrofoam balls in different sizes $2 (at the Dollar Tree), the rest of your foam decorative container fillers, red paint, glue gun. Toothpick to hold ball while gluing is optional.

    DIY: Paint your styrofoam balls red and let them dry. Once dry put a thin layer of hot glue on the ball and quickly put the filler balls on the hot glue. Keep gluing the filler balls on row by row.

    I didn't use these as ornaments but they could easily be used for that purpose by securing a loop of thread on the top. Instead of ornaments I used them to fill a vase in my half bath that is normally full of sea shells.

    When it was all said and done I FINALLY had my grown up Christmas Tree. I love it. Instead of watching the TV I find myself just lovingly gazing at the tree. Besides the ornaments I made, or decorated, we have a variety of deer, birds, squires, mercury glass acorns, and the like that I purchased last year after Christmas when everything was on sale. (I just knew that I wasn't going to put up with a little short tree any longer!)

    I lurve my new "adult" tree. It makes me so happy. I went a little overboard with making decorations this year. Not sure what I will make next year but I'm sure I'll come up with something.

    Inspiration for this years ornaments came from here, here, and here.


    Window Shopping Wednesday - Rugs

    I have been searching for a good rug for our living room for ages. Rugs make such a BIG impact in a room but it seems like it is really really hard to find a good, reasonably priced rug. For the last 4 years I just used this $20 Target rug that was way too small for our space in the house. It looked okay in our apartment, but in the house it just looked silly.

    It seemed like lately their started to be more viable options out there for rugs, so when our living room flooded, I took the opportunity to go rug shopping. I found a handful of good options. Overstock was my first stop. They had a great assortment of Chevron Rugs in a good price range, which I have been loving lately.

    Alexa Chevron Vibe Zebra Rug for only $80 buck ( 5x7, so I would have needed two at $160)

    Hand-Tufted Alexa Spectrum Chevron for $367 bucks ( a little bigger than 7x9)

    Hand Made Alexa Chevron Wool for $166 buck (5x8)

    Handmade Thom Filicia Griffith Park for for $302 (5x8)

    There also was a cute cheap chevron rug at Apartment Therapy. I like the gray, but I really wanted it in the blue they had, which they stopped selling by the time I got around to going online to purchase it.

    Zig Zag Printed Rug for $74 for 5X7 (I'd need two for $148)

    As much as I like the gray, I just don't think it would go in our Living Room. Or maybe it would but I'm not talented enough to know who to make brown and gray go well together. (I just noticed that they started selling the blue again- but it was out of order for months and months)

    The other great place I found graphic rugs was from Garnett Hill. I think my favorite was the one below in blue or grey.

    Bogart Flat Weave, but at $629 for 8X11, it was a little out of my reach.

    Out of all the graphic, zig zag rugs I found, which one would you pick? I'll give you a hint at which one I got . . .

    Okay, here is the whole thing.

    I really am happy with it. It is the perfect size for the sofa I think, and the light colors keep the room from getting too dark. (We could have maybe gone with a bigger rug for the size of the room, but I still wanted room to walk around it.) It was like Christmas morning the day I came home to this beauty!

    Just to give you an idea of the improvement, here is the before picture again:

    I am having a little trouble keeping those bright colors that I love clean with a dirty boy husband and all of his dirty boy friends though- so if anyone knows of a good carpet cleaner let me know. I've tried about 2-3 so far with mixed results. Silly dirty boys! (I hate how even without having any kids yet I still really can't have nice things.) I still love my rug though, dirt and all . . . and I still love my dirty boy hubby too :)

    (Over on YHL they recently picked up a new rug too. This is how I wish my rug transformed my room, mine maybe didn't have such an impact as theirs, but its still such an improvement!)


    Halloween & Thanksgiving

    This past year we went to Santa Barbara to Camp for Halloween again. The last couple years we went to San Diego to camp, but I have to say that I just really enjoy the campgrounds near Carpentaria much better.

    The trips highlights included: spotting dolphins in the ocean a few times, boogie boarding, A night at the local taco bar watching the BYU game (even though they lost badly), shopping- the candy shops and antique stores are awesome, sleeping on the beach, and yummy dutch oven cooking! I was able to snatch a few neat photos too . . .

    For Thanksgiving we went up to St. George to spend the holidays with my grandparents on my father’s side. It was a good trip. Most of my dad’s brothers were able to come too, so we had a pretty good group of people for a trip that was decided pretty last minute.

    It was a lovely day filled with lots of good talks, lots of good food, some games and walks- just a wonderful day to spend the holidays. Something I really noticed was that we are all getting so adult, meaning we are all so grown up now. There were no kids running around, which I kind of miss, but Jeff and I are, as always, working on trying to change that.

    Hope everyone else enjoyed their holidays like we did.


    30 x30 ETY update

    I have really slacked on this 30X30 list. I figured since it is the end of the year, and I only have 6 more months to finish this list, that I ought to give myself a little refresher. All the things I've already done I've marked off in red:

    1) Have my hair professionally dyed a dark auburn.
    2) Go on a 'real' date with Jeff once a month, no family members invited. So far so good!
    3) Blog once a month. So far so good!
    4) Update my wardrobe with at least 5 fun and totally non-essential items.
    5) Lose 20 lbs, feel more fit. I just signed up for the gym!
    6) Take a road trip.
    7) Organize the garage and all our tools.
    8) Re-vamp the office. It needs an overhaul. I think I can mark this one off, made huge improvements
    9) "Grow up" our decorating style a little. I think I did okay at this, at least our bed is no longer on the floor. I'll consider this success!
    10) Paint the hallway and stairwell.
    11) Frame the dried flowers from our wedding. I did this in out hallway picture grouping.
    12) Print the disposable camera pictures from our wedding.
    13) Make a window treatment for the kitchen window. I forgot about this, it was so simple, I should do a post about it.
    14) Complete 5 crafts from the Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Crafts.
    15) Find at least 5 go-to recipes from "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cook Book."
    16) Take better pictures with my Nikon.
    17) Write, record, memorialize my grandparents history.
    18) Sew something. (Kitchen window and a little bad to organize my Primary stuff)
    19) Decide if I'm going back to school and for what.
    20) Stop drinking caffeinated soda. I did for a while but then gave back in, boo.
    21) Tithes.
    22) Pray more.
    23) Go to the temple once a quarter (4 times a year) So far so good!
    24) Read the Book of Mormon again.
    25) Get preggo.
    26) If preggo, decorate the cutest nursery ever!
    27) Read 6 books.
    28) Reduce our monthly expenses by 10% I have reduced our expenses, but I'm not sure if it by 10%? I'll have to check.
    29) Learn how to play my favorite piano song from the Sense and Sensibility movie.
    30) Take a trip with just Jeff and I for our 30th birthdays

    Wow, I am not doing too hot. I guess I better try and focus myself some more!