Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fancy Flash Drives

So as I mentioned before, I've been doing some back-to-school shopping lately- supplies, books, new clothes, etc. I'm just so ready to go back. I realized that I still needed one more thing though- a flash/USB drive!

Last semester I used my external hard drive (that my wonderful husband got for me) at school, which is amazing, but  thought I could use something a little smaller for everyday use.

And of course it had to be pretty.

So I looked around on the internet for the prettiest one. There were some amazing and unique choices out there:

Source: Wooden Goat on Etsy
This one features some pretty wood carving!

Source: Basement Foundry on Etsy

I love this one because it mixes modern technology with this old-school cogs and gears look! However, I wasnt fond of the $118 price tag. Sigh...

And then there was this one:

Source: Talismanmaster on Etsy

This one was my absolute FAVE! I loved it so much, but still could not justify the price (though it was much lower than the previous one). But I got inspired by it. They said you could use it as a necklace or a keychain.


How cute would that be? Sure I couldn't do any metalsmithing or woodworking, but I could make my own cute version!

Step 1:
I purchased this ITSY BITSY flash drive off of Amazon. It was pretty inexpensive, and I thought it would be easier to dress up than a larger, chunky flash drive.

Step 2:
I found this peace sign locket at Kmart. I like it because it's super cute, and it's silver so it will go with almost anything I wear. I can wear it all the time at school and never lose my flash drive!

Step 3:
The next step was super easy. I just put the flash drive in!!!
And that's it! It was easy and inexpensive, and now my flash drive is unique!!! Sure it's a litte nerdy, but I like to think it's nerdy-CHIC.

Thanks for coming by! :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

And the Winner Is....

Well last week I announced the back to school giveaway. Everyone who signed up to follow my blog was eligible to win! This morning, I put all of those names into a bowl and randomly chose......

Congratulations Heather Connolly! :)
You won a set of 5 Jumbo Star Crayons and the notebook of your choice!!!

For everyone who didn't win this time, don't worry- I'm sure I will do something like this again!!

The jumbo crayons and notebooks are also for sale if anyone is interested! The star crayons are $1.50/each and the notebooks are $5/each.

Thank you for reading and for entering the contest! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Way I Dress

It's been on my mind a lot lately.

I realized the other day that I really want to dress a little......fancier. Is fancier a word?

My style hasn't changed much throughout my life. All through high school I basically just wore a t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of Chuck Taylors. If you see me a lot now, you know I dress pretty much the same.

Don't get me wrong. I don't intend to start wearing ballgowns and Golden Girls pantsuits, but I want to put thought into what I'm wearing.

I want to dress up at school too. I want to look more responsible and like I take good care of myself. Not like I just rolled out of bed. For all I know, someone at school could help me find a career in the future and maybe I'm closing that out with the way I dress.

So I've been back-to-school clothes shopping a little this week. Not spending a ton of money or anything, just trying to get a nice wardrobe going, that will (hopefully) last me through the whole school year. Honestly I didn't even really know what to shop for, so I Googled it. I Google everything. apparently. Here's an awesome article I found:

Wardrobe Essentials for College Girls by College Fashion

So based on this list, I went and got a few things. Wanna see?

Two of these shirts were 75% off, so don't think I'm shopping til I drop or anything. I really like all of these tops, and the other few things I got, but I realized that I accidentally bought all grey, white and black. They're great "basics" but as Bryan would say I need a "Pop-a-cullah!" (Pop of color).

I like that I could wear any of these to school or on a date with Bryan, or really anywhere else. They're on the line between casual and dressy.

I decided to make a few more rules for myself:
  • No more sweatpants outside of the house. The exceptions are when I exercise or when I'm babysitting my nephews. Other than that, they are not allowed!
  • I'm not buying any more t-shirts. I may wear a plain t-shirt on occasion, but I definitely don't need to buy more. I'm going to try to stop wearing them though.
  • I will NOT be afraid to wear skirts and dresses! They make me feel nervous, but they also make me feel pretty so I'm going to give them another chance.
So I hope this plan goes well. Don't judge me if the next time you see me I don't look too fancy...it's a work in progress ;)

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Baking Cupcakes!

At our church, August Gate , we always have snacks set out after our services, so everyone can hang out a while and socialize. We all take turns bringing the snacks and this was our week!

I was looking around on some blogs this week and stumbled upon this recipe at "A Beautiful Mess" and I knew these were what I wanted to make for church:

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes! :)

I made mine a little differently though. I'm terrible about following a recipe all the way through. For mine, I simply used a box lemon cake mix and added pink food coloring and lemon zest. While I think that made-from-scratch cake can be delicious, I haven't quite mastered it yet.

I am, however, a big believer in making my own frosting. I just don't really like the stuff from the can.

I used the original recipe's measurements for the frosting as sort of a jumping off point, and then just kept adding what I thought it needed. See? I never follow the recipe!

I used lemon juice AND lemon zest in my frosting. And a little bit of vanilla. I don't really know what vanilla adds to frosting, but people always add it, so it wouldn't have felt right leaving it out. Hahaha!

Baking is one of my favorite things to do. For me, it is cathartic.

If you have ever seen me baking (and many people have since I used to work at a bakery), you might not be able to see how relaxed I feel.

I make a mess.

I continually forget things on the other side of the kitchen and have to walk back and forth 80,000 times.

I never use timers so I am always almost-burning things.

But I love it. I really do. I like to work with my hands, and to make gifts for my family and friends. I feel like I've accomplished something when I mix together ingredients, and it turns into something yummy.

Thanks for stopping by and reading the blog today. Don't forget to enter the Back to School Giveaway! The winner will be announced this Friday! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Back to School" Giveaway!

I realize that it's a little bit early to be writing about going back to school. But this past week, I have been SO excited about it. During this week, I have purchased all of my textbooks, sold some old ones, and purchased my new parking sticker. Yesterday I even went SCHOOL SUPPLY shopping!!! One of my favorite days of the year for sure! I just can't wait to get back.

So with all of this school stuff on my mind, I thought I'd do a little giveaway! You don't even need to be a student to use these "school supplies"!

The winner will get:
FIVE of my Handmade Jumbo Star Crayons
 (in random colors, won't look exactly like these)

And ONE of My Handmade Mini-Notebooks!
The winner can choose their favorite! If you want to see all the options, see my NOTEBOOKS post!

So, how do you enter the contest?
Simply follow my blog! Go to the top of this page, and you'll see a button that says "Join this Site with Google Friend Connect". Click the button, and Google should walk you through the rest! All of the people following my blog will be entered in the random drawing! :)

The winner will be announced one week from today on Friday July 22!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Going to college has not been easy for me. I think it's mostly because of inability to make decisions. I have majored and/or almost-majored in just about everything.

I started out going to community college for my associate degree in art. But I had no idea what I would be doing after that. So....I started to panic. I started taking different classes to try out other career paths, just in case I was on the wrong one. It took me like 4 years to finish the associate's because I was so all over the place.

Wanna know some of the things I've *almost* majored in?

(photo from Country Living)

Business- I took 1 and 1/2 classes in business. I dropped the 2nd one half way through when I realized it wasn't for me.

(photo from Spa Beauty Schools)

Cosmetology-  I applied to a cosmetology school and even met with a representative, but this school was CRAZY expensive and I just didn't see how it would work.

(photo from Buffet O' Blog)

Science- This was insane. I was just going through an extreme eco-concious phase, and thought that meant I would love to take a bazillion science classes as well. I was wrong.

(free printable from A is For Ampersand)

Fashion Design- I declared it as my major ( at a university this time), took the first class, failed the class, and the changed majors immediately afterward. I do still love Project Runway though, and I actually sew MORE now that I'm out of that degree.

These are all AWESOME career paths. I have lots of friends who have excelled in these areas and it just comes natural to them. But none of them seemed right for me. I didn't want to be "a quitter", but I didn't want to do "the wrong thing".

(BTW, that was not the ENTIRE list of all the things I've almost majored in....honestly).

I was starting to feel that panicky feeling again this summer; I didn't know if I wanted to go back to school. It was too expensive and too much to think about.

But after some prayer, thought, and lots conversations with my wonderful (and patient) husband, I decided to go through with the next semester. And now I feel really good about it!

My current plan is to go for a degree in international relations and maybe a minor in graphic design (or maybe the other way around). The international degree is filled with anthroplogy, religion, geography, and language courses. It could prepare me for an awesome career at a non-profit organization or something, which I think I would love. And with some graphic design eductaion added on, maybe I could do something artsy too.

 I actually can't wait to go back to school now.

Yeah I said it. I WANT to go back! Raise the ROOF! ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011


My friend Kristen and I do a craft show together once a month. Sometimes other great friends and family come along too! I love it!

But the first one we did this year, back in May, was kind of a bummer.

I had made some notebooks using printouts of my paper art and put a ton of time and energy into putting them together. But on the day of the craft fair, it rained....A LOT.  Seriously A LOT.

I tried to keep my notebooks on the table as long as possible, just in case a customer would walk by or maybe the rain would let up, but neither of these things really happened. My notebooks (as with any notebook in the rain) got really, really wet. So I just put them away and we left the fair early that day.

I was really bummed about the notebooks and lacked the motivation to start making them again.

But at the last craft fair we did ( this past Saturday)  Kristen encouraged me to try making them again. She made me realize it was silly to give up on making something that I really loved just because of one rainy day!

 So the notebooks are back! Here they are :)

The Camera Notebook- perfect for a road trip!

The Honeycomb Notebook- for someone super sweet :)

The Silhouette Notebook- A romantic one, a great place to write love letters! ;)
The Mermaid Notebook- A mix of edgy and pretty!

PLUS I made a new one!
The Woodgrain Notebook- A little more "RUSTIC"! ;) Also, if you look closely, some of the woodgrain has tiny music notes inside!

I really like the way they turned out and I am so motivated to make more!!! I am so thankful for friends who give you a little push when you need it.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fun with Pictures!

So the last time I talked about our spare/guest room, I was making some artwork to hang on the walls. But even after that, the room was looking a little blank.

Especially the corner behind  the bed. It's the first thing you look at when you walk into the room and there was nothing there.

You see, we have the bed at an angle, which is great for walking space but bad for decorating. Decorating a corner is tricky. I didn't want to hang any art on the corner of a wall. I thought about hanging something from the ceiling, but we already have a ceiling fan in that room and I thought it would be too much going on up there. So here's how I addressed the problem:

A picture clothesline! Well, not just pictures....

This project was nearly free. I just used what I had laying around: pictures from our honeymoon trip to Gatlinburg, a few postcards from loved ones, an origami crane a friend made me....

As for other supplies? A hammer, some nails, a pencil, tape measure, mini-clothespins and some good string. Cheap, cheap, cheap!!!

What I love most about this project is that it will be SO easy to switch everything out when I feel like it!

See you next time! Hopefully I'll have the WHOLE guest room done soon!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I absolutely LOVE getting mail!!!! Not the crummy stuff, like credit card offers or the ads, but REAL MAIL! Postcards, invitations, letters......and ooooooooh packages!!!

So as you might assume I was very excited to get this in the mail today:

A box full of home decor/ DIY project books!!!!

Bryan and I got a gift card from Target the other day, as a sort of rebate-type of thing for something else we purchased (a new Xbox- the old one broke). This is what I ordered with the gift card!!! Woohoo!

It seems like sort of a step in the wrong direction to have ordered all of these hard copies of books, since not long ago we bought a Nook (e-reader from Barnes and Noble). However, most design/ art/ craft books do not have Nook copies, probably because the screen just wouldn't do it justice.  My Nook has an all black and white screen, so the pictures would probably look pretty lame. Who wants to see 200 pages of black and white rooms?

With the hard copies, I can see all the colors, textures and details. But the Nook is AWESOME for lots of other reasons. I keep my novels and the Bible on it, and have even found that some textbooks have a Nook version. I can rent some books from the library without actually going there, share books with other Nook owners, and get lots of free books on it too. I think it's really cool!

Speaking of Nooks, the author of two of my new home design books, Jonathan Adler, (above) actually designed the case I keep my Nook in as well. I really like the stuff he makes! Click on his name to see all of his amazing pillows, bookends, art, etc!

Here's my super cute e-reader case that I love SO much:

It's has pretty typography all over it, with little snippets from famous stories....Oh and there's a cute little picture on my screen :)

I can't wait to really dig into these books and do some more decorating!!!! Right now I'm a little overwhelmed by all the amazing inspiration packed into them!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Paper Art

Hello again! I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! We had lots of fun with family and fireworks, but I also ended up getting pretty sick. It started out as plain old allergies and just got a little bit worse every day.

Change of subject. Today I thought I'd write about scrapbook paper.

I love scrapbook paper.

It's pretty, comes in all sorts of colors and patterns, and it's cheap!!! If you need new artwork in your home, scrapbook paper is a great way to do it.

Last semester at school, I took a graphic design course. Graphic design assignments, as you may expect, are mostly done using computers, but I started playing with scrapbook paper instead. Scrapbook paper became my chosen medium for the class.

This was the first paper art assignment I turned in:
We were supposed to create a book cover, and I chose The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen.

We also made business cards:
These are my business card samples. I made little envelopes for each one with a bird cut-out at the top of each one, in a coordinating color. When the card goes back into the envelope, all you see is the bird...See??

The scalloped maroon paper and the brown cardstock behind it were just there for my presentation.

For our final project, we had to put together some marketing materials for an exisiting business or event. I chose to use the Strange Folk Festival (http://www.strangefolkfestival.com/) as my inspiration. Once again I chose to do paper art!

Their "mascot" (I guess you could call it that?) is a garden gnome. The festival is a craft fair/ music festival so I thought the papercrafted feel and musical notes worked well.

Well even after I finished my assignments, I wanted to do more paper art. So I did....
This is one of my faves. It's supposed to look like honeycomb! :) When I made this, I was actually thinking of how I'd love to have a honeycomb quilt. Instead I just took the same idea and made a frame-able piece of art.
I also made the camera:
And the boy & girl silhouettes!
I think that paper art like this is a great, inexpensive way to dress up any wall and add color and pattern to your room!

Here are a few other cool ideas for scrapbook paper I found online! They look amazing, and would make a great weekend project!

(from Spunky Junky)
It looks like they took some a few art canvases, painted the background and then cut out some owls and tree branches out of scrapbook paper. If you're not wanting to draw them yourself, I'm sure you could find a template to trace online!

(from Craft Heaven)
This person took canvases and simply traced their child's hands onto scrap paper, cut out the tracings as well as some flowers and letters and mod-podged them all to the canvas.

(from d2the4thpower)
Or you could measure and cut some squares of coordinating papers like they did here! They mod podged the squares and then painted a leafy print over the top! Pretty!!!!

Or you know what would be even EASIER?
(from Alexandria's Little Corner of the World)
Just take your papers and put them in some plain white frames! That looks awesome and takes no time at all!!

If you try any of these, I'd definitely love to see them! I want to try some of them out too :)

Have a great day everyone! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"Don't You Think Daisies Are the Friendliest Flower?"

A line from my favorite movie of all time- You've Got Mail. But the daisies in our garden have been less than friendly lately.

When we were shopping for flowers for our garden, I saw the daises and couldn't resist. I got four big plants of them that said they would get even bigger as time went by. I wanted a TON of daisies!. But then we put them in the ground and I watched them wither away, almost immediately! Most of our other plants did just fine but the daisies? No sir.

But then today....what is that?

A glimmer of hope for my daisies???

Little buds....and there are more of them!

Just waiting to bloom and be BEAUTIFUL!!!

I noticed these little buds (and a few new blooms) outside this morning. I know it's such a little thing, but I was so excited!

Perhaps daisies are the friendliest flower after all.

I knew it!

Have a safe and happy weekend everyone!

-The Sanders Family
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