Friday, February 25, 2011

Sooo I'm a little slow on trends...

I've been debating FOREVER about getting a kindle... and yesterday, I finally took the plunge and ordered one!! :) I cannot wait to get it next week!!! I realize I'm way behind on this "Kindles are cool!" trend, but I'm always that way with electronics. {I'm still trying to decide if I want to switch over from Sprint to AT&T so I can finally have an iphone hahaha}
Here are a few main reasons I'm pumped for my kindle:
1. Nick and I are going to California next weekend and then Spain in a few weeks, and I would much rather pack the tiny kindle than my big, bulky books I'm trying to finish right now.
2. I like to have about 3 books going at once, and I love that it'll be so easy to switch back and forth between books, all in the same little gadget! :)
3. Although I hate paying for books and prefer the library, at least there are a lot of books for free on kindle (most of the classics!), and books are usually cheaper if I buy the kindle version.
4. When I first got Copper, I had these wonderful visions of us going on brisk evening walks and enjoying nature together. But then I learned what it's like to have a beagle for a dog, and our walks consist more of walking 3 steps and stopping to sniff for 45 seconds, then walking 3 more steps and stopping to sniff, etc... So I've found that the perfect way for us to both enjoy our walks (and for me not to feel like yanking him down the street) is for me to read while we walk :) HOWEVER, I have had one too many embarrassing moments when I passed my neighbors and they saw this almost-30-year-old reading Harry Potter books. So I love that no one will know what I'm reading on the kindle :) And it'll be much easier to carry on my walks than big, awkward novels.
My other exciting purchase is the Ab Wheel hahaha :) I'm such a dork. One of my roommates had this back in college, and I loved it. Well, the other weekend, when we were visiting Steph at Elon, I noticed that she had one and so I thought I'd give it a try since I hadn't seen one in forever. Let's just say it was a great wake-up call to how little I've been doing for my abs lately!! I'm not expecting to get the perfect abs that I see on the front of Runner's World magazine. {Not that it would be a bad thing! It's just not very realistic :)} I just think I need to work more on strengthening my core, and I'd like to make my "softness" a little firmer. I usually try to do it when Nick's not around, because I'm still really awkward on it... but that probably won't change anyway.

Last, my bff Alli asked me to make a birthday hat for her baby boy Owen's 1st birthday party (Happy birthday, O!!!) This doesn't really have much to do with the rest of this post- except maybe that Nick and I are also really behind on the trend of having kids??? Whatev- we'll get there eventually :) Anyway, I had bought her little girl, Eliza, a fun birthday hat for her 1st birthday and Alli saw the boy version, but wanted to see if I could make it (which made me sooo excited!!!) So here's what the girl hat looked like:
Seriously, how cute is she??????

{There's a puff ball on top that matches the fluff around the rim}

And here's what I came up with for O (not-so-girly):

I would say that I hope he likes it- but I think at 1, he's probably not gonna care about anything except the cake. And then when he's old enough to have an opinion on it, I'm positive he's not gonna be OK with all the sparkly-ness happening here haha :) But it'll make for fun embarrassing pictures for his future wife to see! (Sorry, Alli if you're reading this- I know you're not ready to think about that yet!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Yummy Valentine

OK, so apparently I have a thing for cupcakes right now. (And my expanding hips can testify to that. Dang.) I've seen a lot of "cupcakes in a jar" lately, and wanted to give it a try. So I figured Valentine's Day was the perfect excuse to whip up some of these and have the chance to remind my friends and family how much I love them and am grateful for them.

I didn't make any special recipe for the cupcakes- just a couple of boxes of strawberry cake mix :) And then I made some buttercream vanilla frosting and finally got to use my fun decorator squeezy-thing :) And, of course, no cupcake would be complete without tons of sprinkles!!!!
Here's my first batch :)

I love sprinkles!!!!

Since the jar was so tall, I stacked 2 cupcakes in it with icing in between. And then that way they can share with their Valentine... if they want to :)

Maggie's jar offered to be the model. She has a special thing for keys :)

I'm a little obsessed with burlap right now, so I used that to decorate the jar and then added some fun colorful accents. I put little gift tags on each one.
One said:
"2*14*11 Happy Day of Love!!"

The other said one of two Bible verses. Either:
"Let us not love with words or tongue, but with action and in truth."
1 John 3:18
"If we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us."
1 John 4:12
{I clearly am partial to that book of the Bible}
I think both of these verses are so amazing- I couldn't choose between them, so I used both! I love how the Word of God is always so refreshing and can breathe new life into me when I need it.

Then I just wrote a personal message to each person on the back of the red tag. Valentine's Day makes me so thankful and reminds me of how blessed I am to have so many amazing people who are so good at truly showing me love. Cupcakes may be a weird way of showing it, but I just had to let it out  somehow!! :)

Ready to make some deliveries!

Here was another batch, before putting the cupcakes inside {the 3 on the left side were for men, so I tried to make them more "manly" by not adding the hearts on top :)}

***4 of these are in the mail right now- I can't wait to see what they look like when they arrive to their owners haha :) I'm going to have to send them a "before" picture, since I'm sure they will be a mess!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day! I'm not too big on the "cheesy-ness" associated with Valentine's Day or how commercialized it is, but I love any excuse to tell people how much they mean to me :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

World's Best Cupcake.

I realize that this is a pretty big claim... but let me defend it by saying it's not my recipe :) AND, this cupcake is so amazing, that it even converted this non-lover of chocolate cake. That's right- I usually just pass on cake if chocolate is the only option- but this is seriously delicious!!!

I made these with my residents at the retirement home (so thankfully I didn't gobble down all 2 dozen by myself.) They're called chocolate and strawberry cupcakes, and here's the link.

I wish I could take credit for this picture, but I really can't :) This was from her website. My pictures never turn out this cute.

The strawberry filling is where it's at. I could have eaten it til I puked... and then I would've started eating it again, and been thankful that I had more room in my stomach.  I mean heavy whipping cream, real strawberries, and sugar? REALLY? Doesn't get much better. It might change your life. (That might be going a bit far.)

MAKE THESE TODAY.  I'm not kidding.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My inspiring friend

I finally got to catch up tonight with my sweet friend, Jen :) She moved to Chattanooga this past May when her husband finished his first 4 years of med school at Marshall and now they're down south for his residency. Oh, how I miss her!!  Jen was my very first real exposure into the world of crafting. I hope she doesn't kill me for this, but I need to show off some of her amazing creations (because she's too humble and would blow it off as if she's not incredibly talented). She's not just crafty though- she's a serious artist!!! I had to stalk facebook pictures to prove it :) I mean, really!!! Look how gorgeous her paintings are!!
This one is one of my favorites :) A Jen Fox original!
Look at that amazing picture over the mantel!!! I wish you could see the entire thing up close, because I truly can't describe how beautiful it is. I told you she was awesome! I love though that this picture shows off not only the painting, but also her cute home, her cute decorating (notice the fun festive ornaments dangling in front of us), and her cute self! (Well, some of her- she's the one in the middle with the streamer in front of her face).

Here's a picture showing why she had us all over to her house that day. She had a gingerbread house decorating party- too fun! She pre-made all the houses for us (notice the detailed shingles on the roofs!) and then provided us with tons of decorating candy!
One last one- this is when she made some of her paintings into cards and this is one of the first places that sold them!! {And for the record, I'm the one who made her pose like this and take a picture. I was so excited for her!!!}

So I think you can see how creative she is! I'm so sorry, Jen, if you're mortified by this!! I'm just in awe of your talent! :) So, that all being said, she mentioned a blog tonight that she's in love with- and I knew I had to check it out. It's called and it's FULL of so many great ideas!! And to make it even better, it's all free!!! Here are just a few of her ideas:

I love these DIY placemats.
And this flower bucket.

And I'm sort of obsessed with these luggage tags. One of her bloggy friends made this using an image from Graphics Fairy.

Those are just a few examples though. This website has over 1,700 images to choose from!  I just need to go stock up on some transfer paper now!! Thanks for sharing, Jen! {And please don't kill me for bragging on you!}

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

These need to be shared... is my new obsession.  Maybe because it's the perfect description of me. I'm not so much the best at coming up with a new craft idea, or even at always finishing crafts that I get super excited to start- but I definitely gawk and love to admire other amazing crafters.  One of my sweet youth girls, Joanna, sent me a link the other day and said it reminded her of me. It was from (which I also didn't know about until she introduced me to it and it's amazing!), and this is where it led me. (The exact link she sent me is here, and it has the all-time most favorited projects.) And now, my productivity in life is down 37% more than before, thanks to my gawking. I was gonna try to include a few of my favorite images, but I can't even decide... that's how awesome everything is (or how indecisive I am.)

Go here and vote for some really fun projects!! I almost am embarassed to even write this, but it's a contest called "Crafting with the Stars". I know- I'm dorking out.  They seriously have super cute ideas though, and every week there's a new theme. Hurry and vote because the voting ends tomorrow I think.

I'm also a huge fan of Jones Design Company, and here's one of my favorite creations of hers:
I so need a print of this.

Nick may kill me for sharing this (but most of you already know), but he's working on writing a book. It's definitely far from finished, but I'm still excited about it :) He is seriously an incredible writer, and when I read or hear what he has to say, it makes me fall even more in love with my Savior.  I'm tempted to keep going on and on about it, but I'll stop for now :) One of the quotes I just read in his writing the other day is by G.K. Chesterton, and I love it so much:

"If I found a key on the road, and discovered it fit and opened a particular lock at my house, I would assume most likely that the key was made by the lock maker. And if I find set of teachings set out in pre-modern oriental society that has proven itself of such universal validity that it has fascinated and satisfied millions of people in every century, including the best minds in history and the simplest hearts, that it has made itself at home in virtually every culture, inspired masterpieces of beauty in every field of art, continues to grow rapidly and spread and assert itself in lands where a century ago the name of Jesus Christ was not even heard; if such teaching so obviously fits the locks of so many human souls, in so many times and so many places, are they likely to be the work of a deceiver or a fool? In fact it is more likely that they were designed by the Heart Maker…"

Well said, G.K.