Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Book of the Month

Well the month of January is practically over and we are one month closer to 2013. So it's really time to start cracking on those New Year's Resolutions. Generally I read a lot of fiction but when I saw this book come up as a new arrival at my local library it piqued my interest. It's a short little book but it is full of great inspiration and advice. I like this because it really doesn't matter what is going on in your life there is something great in this book for you.
You can read an excerpt here.

1 book down--11 to go.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Oh, Baby! {Monday Me}

I know you all just clicked over here because you think that I am going to announce that I am pregnant. Well sorry, I’m not. I wish I was, but as I stated in 12 Goals for 2012, DH is just not on board with it yet. I started to think that maybe I had won anyway when I was recently 10 days late. I got all my hopes up despite the fact that there have been no accidents in 4 years. I had 4 negative pregnancy tests and the days kept dragging on. I was still holding out hope. In the end, my body was just playing a cruel joke on me. Thank you mother nature. It was a very long 10 days. And it would have been fine, really, but during that time, two of my friends had their babies and not one, not two but THREE, count them THREE of my friends announced that they are also expecting. Ironically all but one of these people are expecting their second child and had their first very close to the time I had Caroline. That does not even count all the other people that are pregnant (just not newly). So now I am going through the ‘everyone is having a baby but me’ phase again. And well that's not always easy. Don't get me wrong, I am VERY EXCITED for all my preggo and new momma friends. I just feel a little left out, you know? In the meantime I guess I will keep studying for classes and baking yummy goodies.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tuxedo Cake {Foodie Friday}

When I see a cake like this I think that it is completely unreasonable for a normal person like me to make something that looks like that. There is just no way. So when my sister sent me a message saying that she wanted to make this cake for our family Christmas party, I thought she was crazy-but she said that one of the girls in her class had made this cake and if she could make it, so could we.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DIY Coasters

I don’t really use coasters at my house, because we don’t have any end tables in the living room due to TOYS, TOYS and more TOYS. My cousin asked for coasters for Christmas and so I bookmarked this page to make your own. I have so much cute scrapbook paper that I could use to make these. I am thinking about personalizing with a  letter for a last name or something like a tree or leaf…ideas everywhere. Again…another cheap DIY craft that looks really nice.

View the tutorial here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pinterest {Monday Me}

Well, It’s official. The last bit of life has been sucked out of me. I have joined pinterest. As if I didn’t have enough ideas already floating around in my head, there’s pinterest to give me more. I don’t have time to do most of the things I dream up in my head and if I do have a minute, I am more likely to just take a nap, I am sure you can understand. I really struggle with this, because every day at work I get great ideas for projects and I write them down on to this super long list that I will never be able to complete.  At least with pinterest I can keep them organized and around…forever. You can follow me @antryon

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pumpkin Gingerbread {Foodie Friday}

Sometimes you need to take a risk. Not a big risk, just one that gets you out of your comfort zone a little bit. That's what happened with this delight. I have never had gingerbread before, not even the cookies! The closest thing I have ever had to gingerbread were some ginger snaps that DH got me when I was pregnant with Caroline and SOO sick. And let me tell you, they were terrible. So when I saw a post in my blog roll for pumpkin gingerbread, and I thought, "Hey that could be good!" And since I had all of the ingredients on hand, I decided to give it a go.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One year old in a flash

Check out this party by Elle Belle Creative. I have secretly been hiding this party in my email for over a year. When I saw it, I thought that it was soo cute and wanted to use it for Caroline's Birthday. This was before I really understood much about the party blog world. Now I know...But I still love this party and I think my favorite part is the cupcake toppers with the kid's face. These would probably be pretty easy to do on picnik or something. then you would just have to cut them out. I would love to try that some day. Hmm. maybe I could make some with DH's baby picture for this birthday this year...Let me get on that...

View the full party here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meet and Eat Baby Shower

I don't know about you, but I LOVE breakfast. I think it's pretty much the best meal of the day.  Here is a meet and eat baby shower by Nicole Gould of Million Dollar Smile Celebrations as seen on Kara's Party Ideas.
I love all the cool color and all the comics used as a background...but my absolute favorite part of this party is that it is in a normal home. It seems like all the parties are in fancy venues and are completely over the top. I think that this party is actually doable for a normal person, and I love that.
You can view more party details here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Me

One of my goals for this year was to make this blog more personal—so people might actually want to read it. Ha. In order to do that, I am going to do my best to do a Monday Me feature. Ideally this will mean me actually writing something for this blog. It might be really long, it might be really short. It might be interesting, it might not. When I was in high school I really liked to write, and I think I was actually pretty decent at it. I had like 3 journals from high school and college that I have since closed. That’s unfortunate. I have since lost that part of myself and now when I get in writing moods I generally push them to the side. This is not what I should do, I should just get it out!! I am hoping that once a week will be reasonable. Hopefully I will plan ahead well enough that I will be able to include some pictures of what has been going on recently for you all to enjoy as well.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn {Foodie Friday}

If there were only one reason to buy a Whirley Pop, this would be it. Chocolate and peanut butter is the ultimate combination.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DIY Crepe paper streamers

I love that there are so many simple ideas that can make such a big impact, especially in the party world.

These crepe paper streamer chandeliers are so easy to make and so cute too!!
View this from be different, act normal here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Caroline is TWO Sweet

Well Sunday was Caroline's Birthday and Saturday was her "TWO Sweet" birthday party. Things went fabulously. I had my friend Kim of Frames Can't Catch You Photography come to capture all the special details. I will be doing a bigger post about all the party details once I get all the pictures, but in the mean time, here is a shot of her eating a cupcake at her birthday party. She is so adorable I can't even stand it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Free Printable Kitchen Art

I love free. That should come as no surprise. Did you see that one of my New Year's Goals was to shop Target Clearance? I'm just saying.
Here is a great printable from the Tip Junkie, one of my besties in the blogging world. Print, frame, hang, enjoy!
To get this printable click here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Free Printable How to Clean

I have a terrible time with stains. I don't know if it's because the detergent that we use is 'free' so it doesn't work as well or what, but I can't get a stain out of anything. That's part of the reason why my DH does the laundry. The other part is that he is just completely OCD.
Hopefull this free printable from the Tip Junkie will help all of us with this problem. Put it in your laundry room as a reference and get all those nasty stains out!

View this printable here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Peanut Butter Fudge {Foodie Friday}

This was my first attempt at fudge. It didn't turn out perfect and moist like fudge should be, but that's probably because I cooked it too long.  Growing up my mom made (and still does) some amazing chocolate fudge.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sip and See

I think I have posted about Sip and See's before. It's a baby shower for after the baby arrives. A great idea really, because then everyone gets to meet the baby and give all sorts of compliments about how beautiful the baby is, and the momma isn't miserably pregnant.

I'm particularly partial to this party because it is for a little girl of course. I am also loving the trend of ribbon banners that I have been seeing. They are so cute and super simple to make!

View the rest of the party details from Amy Atlas here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Remodeling the House: The Nursery

When we moved into our house after we got married in 2006, we used this second bedroom as our room for awhile because it had a fan and the fan in our room hadn't been installed yet.

June 2006
Before we moved in, the room was storage..obviously =)

Wow, now isn't that a romantic master bedroom?

This is the view looking into the room from the hallway.
Once our room was finished, we moved into the real "master bedroom." There's really nothing master about it, but we sleep there, and we are the master's of the house, so there you go.
Once we moved across the hall, the room became an office and a catch all room for pretty much everything else. And to be honest, I kind of missing having a room with no purpose in my house.

Then we decided to have a baby. And have a baby we did. So the no purpose room now became the baby room. Everything had to go. Strangely enough, I don't remember most of that process. That must have happened during the 5 terrible months of morning sickness. I could tell you where most of this crap ended up, but really-- you wouldn't care.

 When we talked about remodeling the nursery the first thing that we agreed on was that we wanted to keep it neutral and not look too babyish. We did find out that we were having a girl, but we wanted to keep the room a neutral color so 1) when we have another child we don't have to paint again 2) sometimes they are wrong 3) if we move it's not obnoxious. On a side note, have you ever looked at houses online and seen all those rooms painted pink? I love pink, but man, most of them are just not Pottery Barn pretty. 4) We like neutral. A. Lot.  DH has been talking about doing board and batten forever I think. Pretty much our entire house is covered in wood of some sort, so this idea did not come as a shock to me. He decided that's what he wanted to do in this room. I had my doubts about how tall it would be and if there would be enough color to make the room not look white, etc, but he has this amazing ability to see what things can become and I just do not have that ability. I'm lucky he even let me help pick out the paint color. So here we go..
A door: it sounds kind of crazy, but for the longest time we didn't have any doors on our bedrooms. It was never really a problem when it was just the two of us, but now with a baby on the way, we needed a quiet place for the baby to sleep.
The view looking in from the hallway.
View from the closet: That hole on the right is an access to the bathroom plumbing (the bathroom is behind this wall) In the after photos this is the wall where the chifferobe and rocking chair are (blocking the access).

View from the hallway of board and batten mostly installed. At this point I am having my ah-ha moment and realizing that this is going to be awesome.
 View from the closet:...can you see the bathroom access?

11-29-2009 All the paint is done. We picked a color called Au Lait Ole. Don't know the brand, but we got it at Lowe's. DH had this great idea to paint a sky onto the ceiling and frame it like a window, so we painted up to the point where the frame goes in. That's why the light is just hanging out

Here's the view from the closet corner again. That's the chifferobe and the bathroom access is hardly noiceable. OoOh and our Winnie the Pooh bedding! I wanted to keep the bedding neutral for reasons already listed above and also because I couldn't find anything pink that I actually liked until Caroline was like 6 months old. Everything I loved was way too expensive or DH hated it. I love it and would do it all over again. We only got the dust ruffle, sheet, bumper and comforter and I want to say it was all only like $60 at Target! Score!

 Now onto the ceiling.
12-20-2009 The ceiling/sky is painted/framed and the light is hung back up like normal. DH recruitued his mom to paint the ceiling and she did a pretty fab job. She painted in all sorts of little stuff into the clouds that you can lay on the floor and try to pick out. So far we have found a kite, an angel and a bunch of little things, but she won't even tell us where everything is!
Also, let me just say that it is really hard to take a picture of a ceiling like this. You could probably do better..I just don't know.

And this is how the room looked when our Sweet Little Caroline arrived 2 weeks early on January 8, 2010.
This is significant because the carpet had not even been installed yet. So the day she was born the room looked like it did on the 20th of December. When I went into labor it was early on Friday morning. Our carpet was to be installed on Monday the 11th. So DH got up at like 5 AM and started moving the furniture out of her room and into the living room. The crib had not even been assembled yet. I think DH and his dad did it over the weekend while we were still in the hospital or something crazy like that which is kind of crazy, because she slept in our room for the first six months anyway. So..we ended up spending our first week at my in-law's house which worked out really well cause I had some babysitters when I needed a nap..but I digress..

Here is what the completed room looked like finished as of February 20th, 2010. It's amazing the difference adding the furniture and carpet makes. Since then we have only made minor chages as Caroline has grown. The swing is gone, and some of the little nick nacky things have moved around, but other than that, I think it's a pretty remarkable improvement!

While at my parent's house over Christmas I made this name banner for Caroline, and this is pretty much how 'The Paper Heart Studio' started. I took it with us to the hospital and hung it on our door and then when we came home I hung it on her door. It was so cute.

Furniture: Toys R Us Eastside Collection in Cinnamon
Bedding: Target- no longer available.
Curtains: JCPenney Our color is Seed Pearl

Monday, January 2, 2012

12 Goals for 2012

Well, it seems that January 1st is here again, and that means that it is time to think about all the things that we want to accomplish in the coming year. I am not one to make many resolutions, especially when it comes to losing weight and eating better, because then I am just disappointed when I don’t follow through. I do, however, like to set some realistic expectations for what I want to accomplish during the year. Writing them out just helps to solidify the idea and keep me accountable.

1.       Scan all my photos.
It’s going to take a considerable amount of time to scan all the photos I have printed and not digitally backed up, but this is a project that I think will be well worth the time. I am one of those people who likes backups for my backups and having one copy of most of my printed photos makes me nervous. If my house burns down, I am SOL. Most of the photos are ones I took in middle and high school, when I was a click fanatic, but there are also many from my childhood.
I got this awesome printer /scanner/ copier from my in-laws for Christmas and started scanning a couple of photos to see how it works. It’s great! It saves my images in a pretty large file size, which I really like.
a.       All my printed photos are currently organized by year in 3 shoe box size photo boxes and tied with rubber bands.
b.      Today I am going to Hobby Lobby and buying one of those large photo boxes with the mini photo compartments. Not just one of those shoe box things (I have 3 shoe boxes full of photos) I’m talking about one that is at least twice as large. This way as I come across photos that I have put in crazy places, I can just put them in the proper compartment until they can be scanned.
c.       This also includes re scanning all of our wedding photos. Our wedding photos arrived in 4x6 prints with negatives. Not cool. We took the negatives to Meijer to have them scanned on to CD, but they turned out terrible. I didn’t know at the time that it is better just to scan the actual photos.
d.      Once I get them all scanned, I’m going to burn them to CDs or save them on fly drives to put in our safety deposit box. Then I will back them up on our external hard drive and throw the prints away!!
e.      I am going to have to break this project down into monthly and probably weekly parts—otherwise it will never get done.
At the end I will throw away or use all the prints and DH will really like that. He loves getting rid of stuff. Plus, in this case all my pictures are just sitting there taking up valuable space in my hobby room.

2.       Along with this I need to reorganize all the pictures of our house.
a.        It is not efficient for me to leave them in the dated photo folders that all my other pictures are in because I can never find what I need when I need it. Previously I had these organized by date, but even that got to be too much. So I decided to sort them by room/area of the house—but this project didn’t get all the way finished and now I feel like I need to start over and make sure that I have everything in order.

3.       Caroline’s second year photo book. Completed May 17
a.       For Christmas this year the grandma’s got a Snapfish photo book of Caroline’s first year. Since her birthday is two weeks after Christmas, it wasn’t feasible to have it done for her first Christmas (plus I wanted to include her first Christmas photos.) So anyway, my goal is to get this done pretty soon after her birthday. Last year when I did her photo book I had to go through every folder of photos. This year I was more proactive and created a  “best of” folder for each month. So now all I have to do is upload them and put them in the book. It should not be that hard, but I can see this taking until next Christmas to get done.

4.       Learn how to use my camera in manual mode.
a.       I have been a little camera crazy since I bought a  new camera right after Christmas last year. I think this camera is the best thing I have ever purchased. I would like to learn how to use it better. For most of 2011, I used the no flash auto setting. I have heard over and over that to get amazing pictures you have to shoot in manual. I have been reading a lot the past couple months and I want to get better at this. You may have heard of project 365 where you take a picture every day and post it. This isn’t really feasible for me—for multiple reasons, but I still want to take lots of great pictures.

5.       Make photo movies of:
a.       Engagement trip to Gatlinburg (2005). Completed 1/11/2012
b.      Our Wedding (2006)—this will have to happen after I rescan all the photos of course
c.       Mom and Dad’s 25th Anniversary PowerPoint and party photos (from 2008)
d.      Trip to Europe (2005)
Side Note: I have made a photo video each year for Caroline’s birthday. I like this idea because it forces me to keep my photos organized--and by the time she is 18 there will be 18 videos of her life and I think that’s pretty neat!
I think that the hardest part of the photo movies is picking the music. At least the wedding one shouldn’t be too difficult because I can just use the music from our wedding. Let the search begin.

6.       Bake once a week.
a.       This is something I started at the end of last year, but I want to continue it. I got some awesome baking gifts for Christmas including a Bundt pan, cookie press (2 of them!) and a cake plate with dome.

7.       Shop Target Clearance
a.       At least once a week I want to shop Target clearance for table linens. I only buy on clearance, but I never seem to be there at the right time. Right now Tuesdays are the best days for me, so it’s going to be Tuesdays at Target. The day after Christmas I bought a Snowflake table runner and some green napkins on Target clearance. I love them and can’t wait to bust them out next year. Hopefully by the end of the year I will have a nice little collection.

8.       Graduate with an MBA  Completed June 7th
a.       Ok, so this is probably cheating, but if I don’t do anything else this year on my list, at least this will get accomplished. I am set to walk in May and finish classes at the end of June. I am sooo ready to be done.

9.       Have a Baby
a.       Ok, so I might not have as much control over this as I would like, but I really want a baby in 2012 and I am running out of time! DH does not want to get on board with this idea. He thinks I am nuts because I want all the babies in even years. My parents were married in 1983 and had all their kids in odd years (85, 87, 93, and 95). We were married in 2006 so we need to have our babies in even years. Caroline was born in 2010 and so the rest need to follow suit! I don’t want a baby in 2013 and I don’t want to wait until 2014, so DH better get on board quick!!

10.   Make this blog MORE
a.       I want this blog to be more personal—not just craft and party ideas. The problem is that due to my lack of internet, I don’t have a lot of time to schedule a week’s worth of posts. I want to turn this blog to include more of my personal projects, baking, home remodeling, photography and just general me stuff. I think it will more fun for all of us.

11.   Read a book a month.
a.        This sounds a lot more daunting for me than it really is. I don’t have time to sit down and read, that’s not exactly a surprise. But with a 40 minute commute to and from work each day, it provides a great time to listen to books on audio CD—and I generally get them from the library for free! I am always looking for suggestions, so if you know of a great book, let me know!!

12.   Finish Caroline’s First Year Scrapbook
a.       I kept this one for last because it is so shameful. Caroline is 2 and her 1st year scrapbook is still not done. I made it my goal to get it done during the month of October and I spent a lot of time working on it, but I did not get it finished. Argh!!

When I started this post, I didn’t think that there were really going to be enough to put down 12 goals for the year. These have been floating around in my head for a week or so, but I didn’t realize that there were soo many! I feel a lot better already! I’m so glad I did this.

It’s your turn now! If you managed to make it to the end of this post, leave a comment and tell me one thing that you are hoping to accomplish in 2012.