diy all the things!

Edited:  I looked up “diy gif” and there was one of a guy cutting off his thumb.  I’m hoping it was fake.  Nasty.

I’ve mentioned it before but when I get really into obsessed with something, I like to buy EVERYTHING all at once.  I have so many ideas running through my mind that I want to just dive in – of course I need all of the supplies, right?

ohhh yes, my glue gun is my new favorite tool!

*Sigh*.  Traditionally this leads to my partial downfall.  I will buy everything but then start to lose momentum.  Pretty soon, there are 1/2 started projects all around me.  They clutter up the place (even more) and I put off finishing them.  I’ve got all of the supplies after all, so I can do it anytime!  Fast forward and only 1/2 of them are done.  And some of the fun part is over with.  Boo.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep and thought of a really great idea for a mini makeover for my bedroom.  It will look neato when all finished.  But as I wrote about earlier, I purchased some canvases to paint my bird-branch-masterpiece.  I also picked up some paint to fix-up these small mirrors I have, the triangle banner isn’t hung yet, nor is the twine up that I will adhere pictures to.

Clearly, I have a problem!

So once I found the decor I wanted for my room, I was all ready to hit BUY.  Magically, I held off and committed to not buying it until I’ve finished a few of the other pending projects.  Big deal for me folks!  I’m very impatient person and this pre-buying everything was modeled for me by my mum.  We both have/had all of these amazing ideas and our brains are/were filled with creative ideas!  However, the follow through isn’t/wasn’t all that great.  I very much want to work on this since it’s one of the paths that lead to some of my hoarding in the first place.  Despite my major desire to purchase all the supplies, I’m holding strong to this idea of completing projects before getting everything for the new ones that are swimming around in my brain.

***Awkward transition***  Treadmill run again today.  Thankfully, it was a better than the one the other night.  I did some squats, burpees and some ab work to warm up my muscles.  I definitely think this was part of the problem the other night.  I fueled up with some caffeine as well.  I ordered the coffee protein drink Click a year back but never tried it (eek – recurring theme?!) until yesterday.  I didn’t it mix it well enough and the clumps were very slimy.  Today, I grabbed my alcohol shaker and it worked like a charm.  The boost of energy is appreciated as is the extra protein.  Just don’t drink the bottom dredges when you are almost finished – this is where the slimy chunks live.

this is familiar but still grateful!  I wouldn’t be running at all without my trusty tready!

I’m not one of those people

Breaking news:  this morning I was one of those people who forgot to eat.  Trust me, this NEVER happens.  But I got into work and started working on a project.  And was drinking coffee.  At 11 am, I was suddenly very hungry and realized I forgot to eat my almond/coconut Kind bar.  First of all, this in itself is astonishing considering I love me my Kind bars.  Second, I don’t forget to eat.  This concept is quite odd to me.  Third, it’s probably been 7 years since I last forgot to eat breakfast.  I suddenly feel lost.  WHO AM I?

Why didn’t I eat it straight-away after this realization?  I was meeting my friend for lunch at 11:45 at Panera so there wasn’t really a point.  Although I was nervous that later on I wouldn’t be able to feel full.  This used to happen to me all the time when I didn’t eat in the morning.  I wouldn’t eat until 1 pm or 2 pm and then proceeded to eat the rest of the day/evening.  Whenever anyone asks me how I lost weight in the first place, my answer is always, “I started eating breakfast”.  Really, this changed my eating habits on a permanent basis.

Anyway, back to how I originally started this post.  Not quite sure why I’ve gone all radio silent this past week.  I could blame it on feeling completely exhausted every night after getting home from work.  I could also blame it on some writer’s block.  Then there is the fact I was feeling lazy and falling into a napping habit.  Or because I’ve been taking my meds in the middle of the day in an attempt to make my dosage 12 hours apart.

Hmm… these are all fairly accurate reasons.  So there you go.

Thankfully, these reasons haven’t kept me from running.  I’ve been sticking with my plan pretty well with only a missed run here and there.  Remember – this is good for me!  I did decide to skip the 1/2 this past Sunday.  It snowed the night before (4′) and was a combo of frozen roadways and a freezing morning.  Not to mention, I woke up late and with a headache.  All of these made for running 2 and 1/2 hours seem incredibly less appealing.  I don’t regret my choice although I do feel a bit wimpy.  My treadmill and I are super good buddies at this point.

I also created some art!  I had a bit of help but here is the finished product:

daisy artIt’s hanging in my living room and definitely helps with some necessary color.  Naturally, now all I want to do is CREATE!  I purchased three more canvases in hopes of painting this:

or at least something fairly close
or at least something fairly close

Thank you pinterest, for ever fueling my project endeavors.

Last oddball thing:  for some reason I’ve started saying “oil” in a Southern accent.  I looked for gif or video to help explain this but to no avail.  I think the best way to describe it is, I say “uhl” – I’m not sure where the “o” or the “i” went.  I’m from WA state.

It’s very strange I tell ya.  I have no idea where this came from!

measuring matters

Great scott, I have to stop watching HGtv!  Actually, what I am really obsessed with is Rehab Addict.  Nicole Curtis is basically awesome and I wish I had her skills.  I would have built a mini mansion at this point.  Well, the mini mansion would be for Simon but I would definitely have some shelves!

I wish I had a dog to blame my mess on!

She talks a lot about salvage yards and they always look incredible.  I found one online here in Kzoo and headed down there yesterday.  I wanted to price out an old door for a possible headboard, some storage crates for my bathroom and possibly some for shelves for my kitchen.  Or some reclaimed wood for those shelves.  From a barn.  Natch. (Can I even express how much I HATE the shortening of the words?!  I’m still not sure why I wrote that)

I got it in my mind that “salvage” meant “cheap”.  Nope.  In fact, this is not the case at all!  I did find a cool door but it was almost $200.  There was a mirror that had possibilities but even that was expensive.  I did get this nifty crate (and a sliver) for $20:

someone painted the inside pink - lame.  But I can put my dvds in there along with a decoration
someone painted the inside pink – lame. But I can put my dvds in there along with a decoration

I headed out for wooden wine boxes next.  A local liquor store has them for $20.  They were all out so I drove to another one and they gave me two – FOR FREE!  I was beyond excited and celebrated by buying some alcohol.

What did I actually accomplish this weekend in regards to some DIY?  I created my masterpiece!

I love it!
I love it!

I wanted a white trash can to blend in but could only find black in the style I wanted.  A serious moment of inspiration and my polka dot garbage can was born.  I’m in love.

these were my two ingredients
these were my two ingredients

Next, I decided to give my cords a makeover.  I don’t have much of an option of hiding the cords so I took some washi tape to them to make them less ugly.  They are cuter for sure.  I have a little white box that I’m going to hang then they won’t dangle quite so much.

ew - ugly
ew – ugly
much prettier cords!
much prettier cords!

Then I took three trips to my storage.  The stuff that went in was mostly items I want to keep – Christmas and Halloween decorations.  Two other bins are things (scrapbooking supplies) I want to sell but don’t have time at the moment to organize it.  Also, I wanted it out of my living room.  I basically added over 3 feet to my living room by getting it out.

“there’s so much room for activities!”

My super epic plan for the weekend was to take one of my very bland walls and add some pizzazz.  How?  Temporary wallpaper!  My original plan was to washi tape it but I don’t know dimensions and ended up with little tiny, skinny rolls of tape.  Apparently, size matters when it comes to DIY and so does learning how to read dimensions.

I went onto the Sherwin-Williams website and fell in love with a few different prints.  I headed to the store ready to purchase a roll – yay!  Wah-wah… you have to order it.  They don’t have any on-hand in the store.  I feel I should have had that info in my brain already but whatever.  Since we have established I am not a patient person, I figured I should re-imagine what to do with this wall.  I’m still thinking.

A couple of other projects are in the works (yes, I do start several at once!) but they aren’t picture ready just yet.  This week, I’m looking forward to my maint guys hanging my curtains along with my wine boxes (as shelves) in my kitchen.  I feel like it will then look like I’m actually making progress.

Oh yeah, and a long run on the docket today!  OUTSIDE!  Wahoo!

Are you in DIY?

Do you start a number of projects at once?  Or concentrate on one?  Tell me about your projects!

get your holiday craft on!

Holiday gift/wish lists are going up on blogs everywhere.  I’m sure others are doing what I’m about to do but I thought I would flex my creative juices along with getting some use out of my pinterest obsession.

Even though I procrastinate like crazy, I love making Christmas gifts.  Finishing them is a completely different story but the following are some ideas I’ve come across or done myself.  Maybe they will provide some inspiration for the person who is difficult to buy for or even the person who already has what they need/want.

1.  Sprinkle or confetti ornament:  I love this idea.  My mom had TONS of sprinkles at the time of her passing and my sister and I divvied them up.  They are crazy cute so this would be a great way to use them.  The clear empty ornament balls are approximately .99 each and sprinkles are $1-$5.00.  This giftie can be used year after year and is easily customizable considering the wide variety of sprinkles.  The link and picture shows how the blogger coated the inside of the ornament with a varnish.  I’m simply going to fill the bad boy with sprinkles or confetti.

I think this one calls for some kind of varnish but I'm just going to fill this whole thing up
ooooo – so pretty!

2.  The tie-flannel blankets:  Yep, these are a great standby!  It has appeal for all sexes and all ages – I think this is one of the reasons I like it.  The flannel isn’t always cheap but JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby have weekly coupons.

aww - my sweet niece and I making my sister's blanket
aww – my sweet niece and I making my sister’s blanket

3.  T-shirts:  at least 6 years ago, my student staff wanted to make t-shirts for a team event.  They got the t-shirts and took a Sharpie to them.  I still have mine and the ink is still visible.  Designing your own t-shirt is easily personalized with a fun saying/design.  Like I said, Sharpies work, I’ve seen bleach pens, and spray paint also works.  I’ve used cotton t’s but tech t’s are also possible.

3b.  Pillow cases, tea towels or any other fabric-y item:  two years ago, I inked some pillow cases for my student staff.  I used fabric pens and a stencil.  They looked good, if I do say so myself.  I actually got this idea from my mom years ago when we did this at one of my birthday parties as the activity and party favor.  Some of my friends still have theirs!

I made 12 of these bad boys!
I made 12 of these bad boys!

4.  Glasses (plates, bowls, whatever):  I’ve seen stemless wine glasses on pinterst that have been painted and they look awesome.  The wine glasses are nifty and mugs are very cute.  The key here is to get the right Sharpie pens or the ink smears and disappears.

5.  Photographs:  My brother is a professional photographer and I LOVE his photographs.  I’ve asked for plenty of them for gifties in the past.  But you don’t have to be a super pro!  My niece also has the eye and has taken some beautiful shots.  If you’ve captured a cool picture, print it and frame it.  Who doesn’t love some art?

get it? she has “the eye”? yep, I’m a dork

6.  Photograph words/letters:  I feel badly for the person who first came up with this idea because now I’m ripping it off… but so have a bunch of other folks so my guilt is mitigated a bit.  Have you seen the collages of words or names spelled out with photos of objects that look like letters?  They are really neat!  This does take some creativity and time but is well-worth it!  My friend sent me the bottom set of pics two years ago after everything with my mom.  There are TONS of ways to create your message!

eyeloveewe6b.  I also love taking a framing mat and cutting the inside out of it in a certain shape or letter.  I made these for my staff once – I took the mats down to Hobby Lobby’s frame section and they cut out a block “W” (this was done very quickly and cheaply by the way).  Then I put pictures and copies of funny memories of the year in the negative space.  Popped it in a frame and yay! a neato gift!  I love a good monogram!

7.  Framed recipe cards:  I love this idea and my friend recently did it in her kitchen – she framed recipe cards that family members had created in the past.  What a wonderful way to honor a relative’s/friend’s memory!  I am so doing this for my own apt with some of my mom’s recipe cards.

8.  Medal hanger, cute decoration and other subway lettering wall hangings:  okay, so that was a TERRIBLE title but bear with me.  A medal hanger really isn’t that tough to make if you aren’t looking for a metal one.  Some wood, and twist in hooks and shazaam!  A medal hanger!  Then you can personalize it however you want!  Even if it isn’t capable of holding 20 medals, who cares?  I also see very cute wooden creations with song lyrics, poems or quotes on them in stores all the time.  Again, these can easily be crafted with a trip to the hardware store and then a craft store.  Did you know Lowe’s and Home Depot will cut the wood for you?  I know you can get the wood pieces at the craft store as well but make sure it isn’t warped.  Sometimes they aren’t in very good shape.

9.  Scrubs, bath bombs and aromatherapy:  There are quite a number of recipes for scrubs and bath bombs online.  I made the scrub/bath salts two years ago and they were adorable.  Aromatherapy is also a useful idea!  Bath and Bodyworks sells this lavender spray to spruce up your linens before bed – it smells wonderful and gives bedding a sense of luxury.  Not to mention lavender promotes relaxation.  But guess what?  It isn’t cheap.   Make it yourself!  Lemongrass has a calming effect, peppermint energizes – the list continues and can be made into spritzes, bath products or a sachet.  What I like about these ideas are once you buy the supplies, you can make several gifts from the stash.

aromatherapy10.  Lawn games:  Have you heard of bags a.k.a cornhole?  This lawn game is wildly popular here in the midwest so a few years back I made my boyfriend at the time his own set.  I did have some help as I don’t have ton of tools.  Then I asked my artsy friend to draw the logo of his favorite football team on it.  Great scott!  It looked fantastic!  You can also make a ladder golf set or a game of washers.

11.  Create an exercise dvd:  either film yourself doing some workouts (this would definitely take a lot of time!) or put together a dvd filled with a variety of routines and/or videos from a bunch of sources.  I’m sure there are some copyright issues here but maybe if you aren’t selling it?  Look into it a bit <— yes, this is my “legal disclaimer”!  But seriously – how is this any different from making someone a mixed tape in high school?!

I wouldn’t say all of these presents are super cheap, which I think is a common misconception concerning homemade gifts.  That being said, there are ways to keep some of the suggestions  on the lower end of the expense scale.  The dollar store has quality options or online stores provide decent deals.  The other expense is your time!  I tried to pick ideas that wouldn’t require weeks of work.  In fact, the lawn game idea is what took me the longest (and cost the most) out of all of the above suggestions.  Oh wait – the word photographs could take some time too.  The other trouble I find with making presents is many options are geared toward women.  A couple of the above are an anyone option but this is tricky.

mine will be a bit better than this!

The biggest thing is not to add more stress to your holiday!  I’m making some this year because I was stumped on gift ideas beyond items that were completely out of my price range.  Or I did find something and am using a homemade gift as a stocking stuffer.  I enjoy the creative process so this is my idea of holiday cheer!

lovin’ the natural stuff

One thing I love about pinterest is how ideas can be shared from thousands of different people.  Even better than that, I feel so many of the ideas are ones that have been passed down from generations.  Whether it’s great-great grandma’s sure-fire way to remove even the toughest of stains to that friendly neighbor Beatrice (who was your great aunt’s best friend) who made the best darn snickerdoodles known to man, all of these are not lost.  I love this!

I am also fascinated by how resourceful our ancestors were.  In our use and throw away society, I am still amazed by how families made do and knew how to stretch anything from money to food to make things last.  While hunting isn’t for me, pioneers didn’t let any aspect of the animal go to waste – I really admire this.  Especially, since right now, I am not very good at living simply.  I want to get better.  I want to figure out how to do more with less.  So, I’ve been searching our friendly internets for some ideas and these are what I am currently either doing or looking to do.

1.  Sunburn soother – basically when I go outside my skin starts to catch on fire.  Maybe a slight exaggeration!  But yesterday I was outside for a total of (maybe) 15 mins and I burned my chest.  It wasn’t super red but you know that itchy, burning sensation (yikes, that is a really horrible description!).  But I read cucumbers can help and guess what?  They do!  I cut some wedges, laid them on my chest for a half hour and it really did make me feel better.

2.  Borax – Whenever I think of Borax, I think of some kind wicked chemical that can burn a hole through rubber.  Now, maybe it can but I also know it’s a great cleaner.  Here is a great article about the pros and cons of Borax – this blogger did a lot more research than I did!  I was too lazy to go and buy some but it’s on my list for tomorrow.  We have really hard water in this area and nothing seems to work on my shower.  This is promised to kick some soap scum booty.  I’ve also read it’s a natural ant repellant but I don’t want Simon getting into it.  And some ppl use it in their beauty routines – I don’t think this is my choice but just to put it out there.  Plus there are horses and something about mules on it – so that means it’s pioneer approved!

it looks pioneer-ish, right?

3.  Vinegar – if you haven’t heard of the magical powers of vinegar than perhaps you haven’t been on pinterest for a while.  Okay, here are a few things I know about the good stuff:  A)  When you have a pan/dish with baked on business, soak it with water and dish soap then add a splash of vinegar.  It strengths the soap and then you basically wipe it clean.  B)  you can add some to milk to curdle it a bit and make buttermilk for baking.  C)  I have poured it down my sink to help clean the pipes (I was the only one in my complex so the water wasn’t run a lot=smelly sink.  D)  If you have fruit flies put some water in a bowl with some dish soap and vinegar.  It traps them – this really works!  E)  This one I am trying next – 1/2 apple cider vinegar mixed with 1/2 water and then used on your hair.  It’s supposed to help your scalp, make your hair grow faster and a whole other host of goodness.  I am very intrigued by this as I have a sensitive scalp, so either I will run screaming from the shower or boasting about this glorious conction from the mountain tops!

I have no idea about this book but my place is turning into a vinegar house!

Vinegar has so many uses and my above list doesn’t even begin to detail them.  Pinterest and the internet in general can do a lot better job than I can of explaining all of the uses.  I will say, when I find “new” ways of using vinegar, I will write about them.

4.  Face scrub – Again, pinterest – but pore cleanser was 1/4 cup milk mixed with 2 tblspoons of baking soda (tied with vinegar for the 8th wonder of the world).  Make it into a sort of paste and using a make up sponge clean areas of your face where you might need some pore refining!  I used it on my “T” zone and I was fairly impressed.  There is another one that involves baking soda, and lemon juice that I also want to try but we’ll see.  It might be too harsh for my skin, which is one of the reasons I liked the milk/baking soda combo.  There are a quite a few others out there, some using honey, some using tea tree oil, so I suggest googling it and see what you can find.

5.  Baking soda – wow, just like vinegar the uses of baking soda never seem to end.  This is a hard-working powder!  It bakes, it cleans, it makes your skin feel all nice – yeah, basically you could marry the stuff!  I have poured some straight into the washer to freshen my laundry (especially my smelly running gear), make it a bit of paste to clean my sink, deodorized my fridge and sink drain and clean my toilet.  Again, there are so many uses for it – I always have some on hand.

There are so many recipes out there for diy products!  I know a college student who makes his laundry detergent because of how much cheaper it is.  There are other recipes for shower cleaners too where harsh chemicals are not on the ingredient list.  Or did you know spiders don’t like mint?  And slugs don’t like copper – pennies around your plants will keep them away!  Get a ladybug house (you can order the lady bugs too) and they will eat the harmful bugs in your yard.  A bat house will bring all of the bats to your yard (milkshakes will NOT work) and they too will keep the bug population down.  Really, bats can eat a ridiculous amount of bugs!  I love this kind of stuff!

click on the pic for an informative website with lots of recipes!
click on the pic for an informative website with lots of recipes!

So there you go – that is my list so far of the natural things I am looking at and trying.  I even qualify making my own ice coffee as going more natural buuuut I am not quite sure this qualifies!  By the way, my coffee is cold brewin’ as I type this!  Soooo close to yummy goodness!

Any other ways of using some of the above products?  What about homemade beauty, cleaning or whatever that you use?  I would LOVE to hear them!

15 thing friday – a day late

15 Thing Friday is not my creation… in fact it’s the brain child of Running off the Reese’s and sustained in another favorite blog, Managing Meagan.  Meagan just happens to be a dear friend of mine.  Reese’s and I have exchanged e-mails so I consider her a friend too… even though she has no idea.

Without further ado…

1.  Enjoying the Small Things – I am OBSESSED with this blog!  I have already written about Kelle once this week and I am sure I will write about her again.  I am reading through her archives.  I love her writing, pics and outlook on life.  Oh and her style – man, I wish she would dress me everyday!  Head on over!

2.  Found at Target – the cutest little bird shower curtain rings!  I fell in love with them on Tuesday and purchased on Friday at 50% off!  Yay!


3.  Style reno – I’m doin’ it.

4.  I have a 1/2 marathon tomorrow.  I am beyond not ready for it but I am going to do it anyway.  Should be interesting.  Not to mention, a mini blizzard has hit today.  Fun?

I have conflicted feelings about this
I have conflicted feelings about this

5.  This weekend I am baking bread and cookies.  Two friends who helped move my treadmill into my apt requested the bread and the cookies will be a bonus.  I’ve yet to decide what recipe to use but I’ll post it when it’s all said and done.

6.  A couple of months ago I mentioned I was going to give BB creme a shot.  BB creme is a combination foundation and moisturizer with SPF.  It’s lighter in feel than a typical foundation and not as greasy as some moisturizer.  I love it.  I’ve been using L’Oreal’s Youth Code and I think it was $11.00.  I doubt I will use it in the summer but right now it has been a total skin saver.  My face isn’t dry but isn’t greasy either.  And my skin actually looks healthy, which is a winter time first!

7.  I watched Lars and the Real Girl.  Watch it.  It’s great.  I had no idea what to expect and it was perfect that way.  It’s on Netflix instant!

8.  I cannot get the lid off of this smelly good!  Ugh!  I’ve been trying for months!


9.  Procompression is having a 40% off and free shipping sale on their marathon socks!  One deal FEB40 is on any marathon sock and another deal SOM213 is for neon green sock with pink.  Run don’t walk to their website!

10.  Aspaeris is also having a wicked good sale!  $28 smackers later and you could be running and recovering in complete style and comfort.  The deal is through Active GearUp <—- use this link for the deal.

11.  I found this website from Kelle.  It’s called Ruche and I want to apologize in advance – there is a lot of cute goodness on this site!  The clothes are really reasonably priced!

12.  This was such a romantic kiss!

I have three zooey-things pinned on pinterest... I think we should be friends
I have three zooey-things pinned on pinterest… I think we should be friends

13.  I am going to make this.  I also have decided I want to make other t-shirts.  Knowing me though, I’ll buy everything to do it and then it will sit there.  Ho-hummmm…


14.  For the Super Bowl party I attended, I made dates wrapped in bacon.  I’ve made them plenty of times but here is the “recipe“.  Okay, instructions – there really isn’t a recipe!  Oh and I’ve totally made these for dinner – paleo!

15.  One last Valentine


“we’re going to pinterest the sh*t out of this christmas”

As I mentioned, this Christmas is going to be tough.  Mom LOVED Christmas and has always done it BIG.  My friend once walked into our house, looked around and said, “it looks like Hallmark threw up in here.”  I think my mom would have been slightly offended but she adored my friend and knew he spoke out of awe/love.

I super duper love this grumpy cat

So, this Christmas season, we have been floundering a bit.  Do we stick to all of our traditions?  Do we add new ones?  To be honest, it has been a tad overwhelming.  My dad is hesitant about sticking to all of the traditions although my sister and I have bullied him into putting up the tree and maybe a few decorations.  Heid and I were on the phone and maybe she could tell I was starting to get a bit anxious and then she said this:

“We’re going to pinterest the sh*t out this Christmas”

Immediately, I laughed and felt better.  No, Christmas (or anything else for that matter) will ever be the same but it can still be good.  Special.  Wonderful, even.

Last year, I created a Christmas Bucket List of all the things I was going to do to celebrate the holiday season.  Midway through, I started to feel as though it were a to-do list and became a bit angst-y because what if I couldn’t get it all done?!  Semantics and language are important to me and while I liked the idea of creating fun things to do for the season I needed to change it up and incorporate my sister’s and my plan to reconstruct our holiday.  I give you

My “Holiday Hope To” list…

*Run a holiday race – done x3 and there will be one more next week!  Not to mention one on New Year’s day that I am really pumped for.

first holiday race of the season!

*Decorate my apt and get a tree – I can’t wait!  This will be happening tonight!  I have pink lights for it.  Maybe I will hate it but maybe it will be <3 instalove <3

*Make cinnamon ornaments – I vaguely remember my mom doing this back in the day and it’s all over pinterest.

these are so cute and they make your house smell yummo!

*Advent Calendar – a sweet friend of mine bought me an advent calendar the other day when she saw my post on facebook asking for suggestions on new Christmas traditions… it has chocolate behind each day – yay!

*Make cookies, send out Christmas cards and exchange names with the fam for stockings – these are definitely not new but are still filled with dear memories for me and are happening again this year

*Go wassailing… haha, no, I actually have no idea what this is… I won’t be doing it

*Participate in the Elf 4 Health program and Runner’s World Run Streak – both of these are going so well!  My “elf” is very kind and supportive and I feel super lucky to have been matched with her!  The run streak is a good challenge for me and is reinvigorating my love/discipline for running.

I can’t help myself – this image cracks me up!

*Ornament and Toughie gift exchange – I signed up on a blog to exchange an ornament with another blogger – this has been cool!  We will be getting our ornaments in the next week or so!  Then I signed up to participate in the Tough Chik gift exchange – love it!  Goodies in the mail I didn’t buy for myself?!  Awesome

*Other things on the docket as possibilities are jammies on Christmas eve, a movie day with the whole fam, Les Mis, a special breakfast (beyond what we usually do – cinnamon rolls are dancing through my head!), making decorations out of candy, making some Christmas presents, going to see the Zoo lights in WA…

I want to make serving trays out of candy!

I renamed it because these are things I *HOPE* to do but don’t have to.  If I don’t make cinnamon ornaments that’s okay.  My holiday spirit will not be dashed  by things I DIDN’T do.

Do you have any traditions you would be willing to share?  I would love to hear them!

a back to school crafty

Well, it’s time… students start arriving back to campus tomorrow.  It’s a little nuts – I feel like they just left!  Everyone is all ready to go!  For the staff that I supervise, I wanted to give them a little something to celebrate opening with as well as a “job well done!” through all of training.  We have been in training just shy of a month so A LOT of effort has been put into getting things ready to go – they deserved it!

Luckily, pinterest and I are tight I found a couple of cute ideas.  I supervise 12 individuals and 7 of them are assistants to the other 5.  Everyone got a bit of candy and some really cute post its I found at Office Depot

oh office supplies… you complete me

I put all of this in a brown paper lunch sack along with a package of microwave popcorn and a can of pop.  On the front I wrote, “POP, POP, FIZZ, FIZZ, WHAT A GREAT HD YOU IS!” or whichever title belonged to them.  I also wrote a little message.  They turned out cute!

I love a good rhyme!

Finally, the 5 got a little extra something.  I made them little wipe-off boards out of an inexpensive picture frame – thank you again pinterest!  I wrote a “to-do list” for each of them that was personal for them and (hopefully) humorous.  These turned out really cute!  I was pleased!

yay! cute is totally my thing :)

I used some bright yellow notebook paper as the backing but you could spice it up any way you wanted!  Originally, I was going to rummage through my scrapbook paper to find paper that went along with something they liked to do but it would have raised the complication level a wee bit.  I tend to pick the hardest way to do things when sometimes simple is okay too.  Nevertheless, putting fun paper would be an easy way to personalize this a bit more for a giftie.  I also gave them each a wipe-off board marker.

Yippee!  I love doing little projects like this!  Since I do tend to overcomplicated things at times, the projects don’t always get finished.  I’m working on this habit!  These are all finished and have already been delivered.  Score one point for me!

There you go!  A cute back to school project that is very simple, fairly cheap and USEFUL!