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January 28, 2010


I will be back very soon!

January 26, 2010

Two Tips Tuesday

Tip #1: Word Gems

So easy a KID can do it!

Obviously, the options you have with this easy craft are absolutely endless but I love when crafts turn into learning tools too.

My BFF's oldest son is learning his letters, letter sounds and beginning to read.  This exciting new time of learning inspired this fun little craft. I used clear, craft, gem stones purchased from the dollar tree and bonded paper right from the computer with my chosen font.  

That simple!  

You can make them in to magnets for the fridge. ( I am all about magnets at the moment). Other ideas:
  • Cut out photos of distant relatives so your kids learn their names and faces
  • Back them with fabric (my next endeavor)
  • Make them into a fun travel matching game
Oh, there are so many more but sweet slumber is beckoning...but what would you do?

 Here I used words to make fun sentences.

Tip #2: Get Your Kiddos (or you) Crafty & Organized

I have been in craft mode lately...hence the crafty tips.  And this one seemed particularly useful because I tend to make anything crafty become my personal chaos.  Whether it is the crafts designated for the kids or the stuff for me, it can end up all over the house.  Our dinners are sometimes relegated to floor picnics due to a craft extravaganza on every square inch of the dining room table.  Sadly, I have no craft room.

So I tried to come up with ways to make it easier for the girls to have crafty fun.  Here are two ideas and I used what I had in the house to do it.  Hopefully, inspiration can strike you when  considering all you have.

This is one of those utensil holder thingys I got at a party store.  Great craft caddy when not in use. I filled it with all the kid craft paper, scissors, pom pom balls, crayons, markers, glue sticks, foam sheets, and contact paper.

This was my ABSOLUTE favorite idea!  I took a set of 6 cups bought at IKEA, glued them to a lazy susan used for spices and looky there...a nifty art caddy to keep on the kid's art table!

Happy Tuesday Friends!

January 24, 2010

Trend Setter

Do you or did you ever carry around a dog in your bag?

We used to have a cute maltese puppy and I used to love carrying him around. He was only 7 pounds!  I really wanted a cute handbag to carry him around in but when this became so trendy  I never did it.  Call me a rebel. Again.

But we no longer have furry babies.  We have people babies.  So here is a question...

What if this became the new trend?

That would be straight up weird, right?

I picked up this cute beach bag today because my current one possibly could fit a small European car in it.  Way too large.  I think I bring enough towels and water bottles to the beach for a small nation.  It was time to downsize.


Yet the fact that I can fit my youngest daughter in it should make you ponder the size of my ginormous one.
And look at her adorable self peeking out over it!

Just don't look at my un-showered, un-brushed hair and un-photogenic self.

OK. So my oldest fits in it. 
Maybe this one is too big too.  But the bag is still so cute, right?  

January 21, 2010

Valentine's Day Craftiness

Ooooh Oooooh...I have been so excited to share this fun craft with you!

It has been in the works in my brain for awhile and there are many times I get inspired to create something but have no idea what the end result will be.
This was one of those times. There are so many elements to this craft that make it extra fun so I am jazzed about letting you know how I did this from inspiration to completion. Sadly, this is not a tutorial because...well...I am not good at them.

First of all, those sweet little tubes are from paper towel rolls. I have always wanted to find a re-use for them and this was such a great way to make something not very pretty just adorable. I wrapped the tubes in valentine themed scrapbooking paper which I cut in half and bonded to the tube. I started off stapling the bottoms and wrapping them in ribbon but realized hot glue worked just as well. I filled them with fun little candies, Hershey hugs & kisses, and other goodies.
(Great for little Valentine messages too!)
The clips are painted clothes pins with painted polka dots all over them. You can use a pencil eraser or a q-tip (which I preferred). Unless you are savvy and actually have a circle brush specifically for this clever crafter, you. You can also use scrapbook paper on your clothespins.The felt hearts or birds are blanket stitched with embroidery floss and slightly stuffed for some dimension. I embellished them with fabric, ruffles, and buttons for some cutie patootie flair.

Here is the fun part...they are Magnets!
I wanted to make a craft that was a sweet treat but also a gift too. I decided to make a magnet but with a creative twist. I glued a heavy duty magnet to the back of the clothes pin before attaching the felt heart. After gluing a length of ribbon to the front of the clothes pin, I glued the felt heart on top. I then attached another coordinating valentine stuffie to the other end of the ribbon and glued a magnet to the back of that one too. Now you actually have two magnets and a clip.

Here are the magnets and clip in use. So fun, right?

I clipped the top of the tube with the clip part of the magnet to seal in all the sweet treat goodness. The magnet ribbon is tied around the tube for the presentation. I plan on adding a card with a sweet saying like, "You're my Tweet Friend," "You make my Heart Happy" or "For my Tweet Heart."

Hope you enjoy and are inspired for Love Day!

January 20, 2010

My Defining Moment

I never knew a booger could shed light on my parental apathy.

Now hear me out before I launch into my saga of a "DEFINING MOMENT."

I am not a fan of bathroom, bodily function humor. My blog is mainly about me, my girls, a dash of crafty, and a whole lot of random. So please know I am not willing to talk about disgusting things at length yet I must tell you that this booger possibly should be framed or at least put in a time capsule as a reminder to the moment reality sunk in.

The date: Today
The time: Approaching the highly anticipated (by me) nap time
Where: In my van with a sleeping 18 month old and a chatty 3 year old.
What: I offer my oldest some animal crackers to quiet the chattiness that quite frankly was making my teeth hurt a tad. Typically, she makes me laugh when we are in the car in that she delights in the mundane. Like buses. Piles of dirt. A wadded up napkin on the console. You know. Thrilling sights such as these. But today it was the same question over and over...

"Are we there yet?"
"Mommy, what's that?"

She may change the sequence but not the questions.

The Moment:
I am surprised she is not eager for this sustenance that comes from her nurturing mother's hand. Stale animal crackers dug out of the bottom of the bag. Instead, I hear silence. As I turn, I see the telltale sign of the naughty, no no, nostril probing. She is rolling something between her forefinger and thumb and knows she has been caught.

"Hey, Cate. What's that?"

"A boogie."

"Huh. Well, um do you need a tissue?"

"No thanks. I just threw it on the floor."

" Okay, but next time ask me for a tissue. Cuz that's kinda icky."

"Um, no thanks. It's fine on the floor."


It is this moment it dawns on me that this is one of many things I just let go because I am too weary for words. Daily, I feel overwhelmed and yet the realization comes like the dawning of the sun (look at me...I'm like a melancholy poet...and a bad one who uses cliches)...

A booger has made me see the light.

But is it not funny how I can see the light yet action is a long time coming? How about each day I want to spend time in the Word and I am lucky if I know where my bible is...typically it is in my purse from the previous Sunday service or the last bible study. Whenever that was. Yet I know to impart truth to my girls, I need to live it, not just tell it.

Then there is the way I manage my time. All my life I have not managed my time effectively. I was an excellent procrastinator...I AM an excellent procrastinator. But when it was at my own expense it was easier and I could fly by the seat of my pants. Now it will be at the expense of my husband. My girls. My home. My parenting. You get it.

I can get obsessed with my blog. Seriously. I vacillate between being obsessed with it and wanting to just delete it, live a primitive life somewhere in the woods and sew dresses for my girls out of leaves and grass. Because in the long run, my family is all that matters. If I were on my death bed, I really don't picture myself grasping at the air, straining to speak intelligible words and uttering this last request...

"Please...(gasp)...please, just bring me my laptop. (More gasping)...Just one more post. One more follower friend. Pleeeease. My last request, I beg you!"


Yet, I focus on how I feel. Selfishly. Do I need to focus on me at times? Of course! But I also know what God tells me to do daily. Pick up my cross and follow Him. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but consider others better than myself. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Do all things without complaining or arguing. Considering my trials pure joy since it develops perseverance.

I say all this to you here not for advice or help. And I don't say that with pride. So many precious people want to offer up advice at a time when sometimes encouragement and a listening ear is needed. Yet we are doers and want to help others often especially when we know what has worked for ourselves.

But I say all this because this mommy thing is hard. Harder than I ever anticipated. And I am wondering if any of you are with me. Do you see others and think they have it together which only further amplifies your feelings that you do NOT? Often I hear people tell me to enjoy my girls NOW because its fleeting. I get that. I really do. But how do I enjoy in the moment when there is whining, sassiness, tantrums, etc? I know this advice comes from people of wisdom who see the trials to come and in comparison see how much easier it is when they are young. Or see how fast time goes and they are gone before we know it. I get it. I really, really do.

But here is my dilemma. I know the answers. The right ones. I know what I should do. But the evilness of apathy has covered me like a mantle. And in all honesty, this seems a scarier place than defiance or stubborn pride. Because with apathy comes a nonchalance to life. I know I am not depressed. But when I am overwhelmed I shut down. I crash like this stupid computer that beckons me more often than I care to admit. I escape to non thinking things. But I digress because I feel I am droning on and on.

So I am hoping to focus on what is important.

  1. Give God all of me instead of making Him a 911 call when I am at the end of myself.
  2. I have stopped trying to be perfect. But I am still trying to be the best. I need to cool it and do MY best.
  3. Accept failures as mistakes and minor setbacks. Not reasons to hoover an entire box of cereal.
  4. Pray for kindness and patience with my girls. Heck, all human beings.
  5. To remember my blog is a wonderful outlet and hobby but not more important than watching my girls hoola hoop.
I know today's post was a heavier one but I needed to vent. And the girls are napping by the way.

I want you all to know that you are beyond precious to me. I think it is crazy amazing that you all are friends I have not laid eyes upon and yet I so look forward to hearing from you.

So that's it. Just sharing a defining moment care of my daughter's nostril goo.

Oh I forgot # 6. Always leave a box of tissues in the car. Always.

January 19, 2010

Two Tips Tuesday

Tip #1: A Very Decorative & Different Guest Book

I saw this idea is Real Simple magazine a few years ago (July 2006 Issue) and put it away in my little inspiration notebook of fun ideas. I tried to find this on their website and could not or I would link back to it.

Anyway, this is a glass container filled with river rocks. The original idea from the magazine is to have each person sign their name with a paint pen and put the rocks back in. This way you can keep your guest book on display. Last summer, my friend Jenny and I did the decorating for a baby shower. Our friend was having her third baby and this was a shower to celebrate HER. The theme was more for Mommy than baby. I remembered this fun idea but we put a different spin on it by having each guest put an attribute of the guest of honor on each rock. After the shower, she took it home to display and remember all her friends who love her.

This is what it looked like when you walked into the house. Wasn't it lovely?

Tip #2: Making Bar Soap Kinda Fancy...Shred it. Yes, Really.

I am giggling. Right now.

Just completely tickled over this random and possibly questionable tip. But I have to do it because I so love this and I am nothing if not a bit quirky.

First off, I don't have a lot of bar soap lying around. I am the girl that stocks up on the Bath and Body Works pump soaps and use them throughout the year. I just love anything that smells good and those soaps got it going on.

But my Dad, God bless him, is not a fan of antibacterial soap so I try to have on hand some natural soaps for when he comes around to visit. And really, nothing is wrong with a good old bar of soap. But if I leave it on the sink it gets messy, if I have it in a soap dish, I gotta clean it, blah, blah, blah. So I have these wonderful soaps...
Love 'em because they smell so good. I also love that they cost .99 at Publix. Honeysuckle is my fave. Well, the other day I got this crazy idea to peel it with a peeler. I just wanted to see if I could. When hubby came home that day, he comes out of our room and says,

" Far be it from me to question you in your craftiness but why is a vegetable peeler in our bathroom?"

Good question, hubster
. The alarming part is when he does not even bat an eye when I told him what I was doing. He is way too used to my enormous level of weird. I just thought it might look fancy like chocolate shavings on a dessert.


Yet it smelled so goooooooooooooooooooood! Then I thought, "No. Not a peeler. Lets grate it like cheese!" I am brilliant!
So I did.

Two things I love about this discovery (a discovery that only I find fabulous). One, is if it is in the right dish or bowl, it looks lovely and unique. The other is that not only does it smell heavenly, but when you wash your hands it dissolves quickly. Fragrant, simple, and useful.

This is my only worry... will some guest think it's a bathroom snack chip and eat it? Do you post a sign that says, "Not for consumption?" I am thinking that will ruin the aesthetic.

Happy Tuesday My Friends!

January 15, 2010

Our Prayer Garden

This ended up being such a fun kid craft for both of my girls to do. Cati is always asking to do a craft and I have to admit I can be downright lazy pulling out all the supplies only to have her lose interest after 10 minutes. Now I try to have projects prepared in advance with everything ready to go in a Ziploc bag. 

January 12, 2010

Two Tips Tuesday

Tip #1: Blankets to Bolster Pillow

Is it just me or do you end up with at least 20 blankets when you have a baby? This is what happened to us from the time we were foster parents until Ella. And they are all wonderful...each and every one. But if I could use all of them at once I think I would suffocate my child in the Florida heat (though not this past frigid week..bbbbrrrrrr).

Or I could lay her on top of them with a teeny, weeny pea underneath to see if she is a princess. Since she
will not likely eat it. And she is a princess. get to my point. My posting way as usual. I figured out a way to utilize these blankets in my decor instead of just up-keeping them in a neat little pile on a shelf in her room.

This is one of her blankets that I just love. It is a stroller blanket from the Pottery Barn Kids "Penelope" line. Seriously, when going into Ella's room, it kind of looks like PBK EXPLODED in there but I love every inch of it. And of course I do. It's all birds. YIPPEE! I used another blanket, folded it in thirds and then rolled it up sleeping bag style.

I took the rolled up blanket, placed it on the back side of the birdie blanket, and rolled it up again, tying both ends with ribbon. It ended up so sweet because of the pink underside showing on the ends as well as the finished trim.

This is actually the Penelope toddler quilt which Ella does not use yet. She likes lighter, smaller blankets when there is a chill. This time, I flipped it over to the polka dot side, put the rolled blanket on it and folded it in thirds ON TOP of the other rolled blanket. I continued to roll it up sleeping bag style so that ends were folded in instead of out. I folded the other end in towards the middle because I did not want it to be too thick. I wrapped ribbon around the center to hold it together an put a second, thinner ribbon around it.

Here it is on the glider rocker. Kinda fun, right? There are so many creative things you can do and sadly, I did not have enough cute, matching ribbon to try come up with different ones. What would you do?

Tip #2: Fabric Wrapped Glass Candle Holders (Re-use!)

What a simple project! First, I just threw...well, I placed them gently... these tiny little glass candles in the freezer so I could pop out the little bit of wax left in the bottom. After cleaning and drying them, I found some jelly roll, coordinating fabric to wrap around the glass using fabric adhesive. Popped in some tea lights and that was it. I have used tea lights in the pic which I find so tacky of me but oh well. I kept in line with my re-use vibe, right? A fun reuse and so pretty! You could use them as tiny bud vases too. Yesterday, The Long Thread posted something similar to this but did a "sleeve" for the glass jar. That way, you can probably wash it easier and change it out. I just did not feel like sewing these and figured I would just use tea lights. And I promise I am not a copy cat! I had this post scheduled since last week! Here is the link to check out her pretty ribbon sleeve.

January 9, 2010

My Shabby Chairs

Today is a cold, chilly Saturday and I am feeling crafty.

Waking up to 38 degrees in Florida is just crazy... and if it is this cold...we Floridians are allllll inside acting like it s a blizzard out there. And since we are indoors, I wanted to work with felt since it is such a warm and cozy material.

While doing this, I realized that I have not done a creative, craftyish type post in a long while so I thought I would share one of my most favorite things in the whole wide world that literally went from trash to treasure.

And no, it is not felt but whatever. I can be random like that and I wanted to share what I was thinking.

A few years ago (oh my word, it looks like it was over 4 years ago...PRE-KIDS!) I found this old chair on the side of the road waiting for the trash pick up. It was pretty beat up and the torn, dried out leather seat had seen better days. But all I saw was its potential at no cost to me and I jumped at this opportunity! I snagged the chair and got to work.

This was the final result!

I had picked up this fabric in different colors but in the same pattern in an antique store (though it was not vintage, it looked it and loved it) and I put it away for a rainy day. I was so excited to use it for a project like this.

I sanded the entire chair, painted it, and sanded it over and over resulting in a texture that is incredibly smooth. I used a very light green with some brick color reds thrown in to add depth to the staining while still revealing the grain of the wood. This is probably some type of painting technique called something which I have no idea about. I am all about winging it.

How fun that it ended up looking great. I absolutely love this chair! I am always drawn
to something that looks worn, old, and distressed but with a feminine touch.

Another trash find was this chair that was really not salvageable. The back of the chair was broken with the wood splintered and cracked in the seat.

So I took the back of the chair off, had it sanded completely and added batting and used the same fabric (in blue) to make this into a stool of sorts. When we had a guest room, I placed it in there for additional seating or to lay a suitcase on.

I get incredibly excited to take something that no longer seems salvageable and not only make it useful but find a NEW use while making it pretty too!

Do any of you do stuff like this? Have you posted it? I want to see! I want to see!

January 8, 2010

I Truly Call You Friends

It astounds me how I let go of all my blog worry to focus on the important things just to end up with so many comments on my delurking post.

You all are amazing and I wish I could let you walk around in my heart for a little while so you can know what you did by encouraging me with sweeter words than I could wish for.

No need to comment on this post. Just wanted to say you are truly wonderful people I can call friends. I am so happy to have you a part of my life as I write about it here.

You are beyond precious to me.

January 7, 2010

International De-lurker Week?


Now this puts me in a quandary. First of all, I was perplexed by this because I had no idea what it was. International De-lurker Week? Being new to the bloggy world and following, I am still a tad rough around the edges regarding etiquette, lingo, and overall being "Blog Seasoned."
But for those of you who are still riding training wheels with me, I have discovered that this is a week for lurkers (people who read and do not comment on blogs) to come out and show all! You know. Leave a comment. Become a follower. Etc.

But I have a question...
Isn't it just nice for some people to maintain a bit of anonymity? I mean, I looooooove comments and get giddy when a new friend decides to follow my blog. But what about those who just want to keep their distance? Because I think we can all lurk a blog every once in awhile.

Can I get an Amen?


Do I hear crickets?

And to be honest, I personally never want to force a comment. From myself or someone else to me. It should be genuine and encouraging.

Yet I actually am digging this de-lurking business since it lets bloggers know who reads their posts and appreciates their writing. I have discovered a number of blogs that are incredible by just clicking on someone's link when they follow or comment.

Speaking of which , I have clicked on EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR BLOGS ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS! You people are talented and I am in awe of so many of you! A few of my favorites have just a few followers yet they ooze with creativity, fresh writing, and incredible info. Amazing.

So in light of this, I am not asking any of you to come out of your lurking closet if you do not want to. But I am wanting to say a ginormous THANK YOU for those of you who do take the time to read my blog, leave me a friendly comment, and visit often. I can not tell you what this has meant to me since I have prayed so much for this blog to be a place where I can let down my hair, be transparent about my nutty life as a Christian, a frazzled mom, a challenged decorator, an amateur crafter, whatever. Ya'll have come along for the ride with incredible encouragement and words that have literally changed the course of my day or given me joy where I was lacking.

And I will confess something I feel silly about. But if I put it out there, I know I will feel better and see it for what it big deal. Ever since I reached 100 followers, I was excited but felt no need to do anything celebratory. Is that odd? Not a give away, a little celebration...nothing. I don't know why. Yet I think it is so cute when others do it. Then, this week I noticed that I lost 2 people, 2 days in a row from following. Now I must tell you that I can imagine this to be really normal in blog world (remember, I am new). But I am so sensitive at times because I fear I will offend someone, disappoint someone, anger someone. It is funny when I realize how many of you let me know your thoughts or laugh with me but here I focus on two people who may have made this decision and it has NOTHING to do with me.

Yet I obsess.

But I write this post tonight to remind myself that my worth is not tied up in the way I write a blog. Whether I disappoint someone in a post. I know I am not perfect but I can not imagine writing about a $1.99 frame that I Magic Erased into oblivion was really all that offensive. And so many of you rallied with me to figure out what to do with the darn thing. (If you are wondering, it is still chillin' on my wall with that worn tear. Mocking me. Daily.

I also am not writing this post to sacrifice my dignity by smooching up to my bloggy friends still hanging in there with me so that no one leaves me ever, ever, ever again. It will happen. I know this.

I say all this to remember that I have no need to worry because some things are far more important and truly make me feel like a person of worth. Liiiiiiike...
  • I'm the daughter of the King. My Jesus. My Savior. My all in all.
  • I'm a wife to a man who looks at me the same way he did on our first date, does romantic things like cooks me breakfast every morning, and makes sure I do girlfriend nights to get a break once in awhile.
  • My daughters seek me out each day to hug or cuddle with me, sit on my lap, or spend time with me. They let me know I make them feel safe, loved, and important.
  • My precious friendships with women who make me laugh, validate me as a mother and a wife when I feel vulnerable, and add substance and kinship to my daily life which enriches me beyond my expectations.
  • Parents who visit often, tell me they are still proud of my accomplishments, and tell me I am a good mom.
  • A church family that is large but is service minded, servant hearted, and seeks to grow in Christ.
Seriously, when I look at this list, my petty disappointments compare to what truly gives me genuine worth.

Thank you friends, for bringing a smile to my face each and every day. You have no idea what a few words from you does to lift my spirit with validation. I can be so vulnerable in the area of writing. So know from the bottom of my heart how I appreciate you.


January 6, 2010

Friends, I Need Decor Assistance

Oh. My. Word. I stress over the most non-emergency things.

Let me start from the beginning before I launch into the reasoning of why I need your help.

I am what you would call a non-conformist. I'm like Phoebe on Friends where she was anti- Pottery Barn because everyone's homes looked the same and they copied off of actual antiques and mass produced their stuff. Is anyone with me remembering this episode? Yet I was ALSO her when she joined the dark side of all things PB because she coveted a lamp that totally went with the stuff Rachel had already smuggled in from PB and lied about it.

Can you tell I have not had cable in almost 3 years, never watch TV, and quote from episodes of a TV series that ended like 6 years ago?

I digress. Because I really need to.

But sadly, I do not have a Pottery Barn budget. I have a "please send me a check so I can buy stuff" kind of budget. And alas, Christmas came and that very budget became a reality. Now please understand that I always have intentions to show restraint. But I am a retail girl and I am drawn to sales, deals, and all things cute like a moth to it proverbial flame.

Well, I have been itchin to go to IKEA.

And everyone seems to have a crush on IKEA. So the non-conformist in me rebels. Plus, I go for more of a cottagy, shabby, rustic like look. So I went thinking I would get a bookcase or two to satisfy this annual, New Year purge urge I tend to manifest when I try to get organized. Out with the old and in with the new, I say. And I assumed IKEA was pretty contemporary and modern which is not really me. So I figured some cute things for storage was all this visit required. But as I entered those doors it was like a homing device had suddenly been activated in my brain and I was drawn with an intense desire for whatever I laid my eyes upon. I began piling things in the cart or on my children while serving up lollipops to quiet them in my decor frenzy.

How much fun is that store?

I got a gazillion things and ideas kept forming and one was to have a collage of frames over my couch. I know. Eeeeeeveryone does it. BFF did a great job with it on her stairs and I always admired it. So I sold out. Sue me.

We are in the process of doing it tonight. Please do not look closely at ugly, unidentifiable color of paint. As renters, we have little options and are hoping to convince property managers to let us paint whole house in a nicer color. Oh, and incidentally, those 2 pics of the girls on the left are the products of the heinous picture taking adventure I shared with you. Not bad, right?

Anyhoo, I decided to do the whole black and white unifying thing over the couch. I also hit Kohl's the other week because I had some free money to spend and I wisely chose a waffle maker to enhance my attempt at a diet to whittle down my recent and immense caloric intake. While buying the hip expander, I came across some frames on clearance that would work with this collage idea I had...

I like that it says "Family" and I got it for $3.99! It was originally $19.99. Gotta love a deal. And yes, that is the picture it came with. A work in progress, people.

This one was a $1.99. Yippee! It had some smudges on it that I knew I could just wipe off. But then I had a moment that lacked clarity. Actually, it was sheer stupidity to be honest. I went to go wipe the smudge and thought, why don't I use this here Magic Eraser. It works on anything. I'll just do it really lightly.

No, no temporarily simple minded girl. Magic Eraser can erase entire objects. STOOOOP!

Nonsense. I shall pursue my foolery...

And did this.

Dang it!

I tore the canvas part of the frame with the wet magic eraser. IDIOT! I am sooooo glad I paid 2 bucks for this. Because as stupid as this move was, paying full price for it would add insult to injury.

But I really like it. What do I do? Can I fix it? This will bug me immensely if I leave it. I am rather detail oriented like that. Clearly, since this is a long, detailed post over nothing but a dumb thing I did.

Can I embellish it somehow? I mean, BFF came over today and we laughed over putting a random button or something on it. Not an option. I don't want it to look cheesy and teenagerish. I just want it to look nice with all the other frames. A big ole' flower? Paint it? What on earth can you do here?

Any suggestions?

January 5, 2010

Two Tips Tuesday

Tip #1: Twice the Hostess Gift: Keep the Plate!

When I turned 30 (a number of years ago), my sweet hubby threw a little surprise party for me (love that man). To help him out, a lot of my friends brought a dish of food. One of my friends brought two plates of hors d' oeuvres on these adorable square plates and the plates were the gift!

Is this GENIUS or what?

I love and treasure these plates and practically use them at every party I have. They are so happy and they make me smile. I always thought this was such a great idea as a hostess gift. I have never done it but I used this plate the other day and it reminded me to do it.

I'm a-goin' plate huntin'! (I will let you know what I find!)

#2: New Home Gift: Photo Album of Homes

When my husband and I first married, we rented this adorable 1 bedroom cottage that belonged somewhere in the Carolina mountains. It was so thoughtfully done with these unique niches and shelves, storage galore, skylights, with soaring ceilings and a loft. Our landlady was a widow who lived next door and she is just precious as can be! Spunky too! And one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received was this little photo album from her. It stands up and the front says "Our Homes" on the picture of a front door. She included a picture of our house in the snow which now makes me cry because we don't see snow in sunny old Florida. Plus, that house holds memories of sweet beginnings.

I miss this sweet old house. It was our landlady's first home which her husband built. Her son and family lived in it too before they built a bigger house. I think it is so wonderful to have shared in this heritage with her!

Our little apartment when we moved to Florida.

I have yet to put a pic of our current house. I mean we have only lived in this place 6 years. I'll get around to it!

Anyway, I thought this was a lovely, thoughtful idea for someone who just moved or bought a house to give as a housewarming gift.
I spotted a cute one at IKEA. Check it out here.

Happy Tuesday! :)