4.30.2012

How SNAP changed me…

There have been so many great wrap-ups from SNAP and I love seeing them and reliving it once again – because really – it was THAT much fun!! Before I went to the conference I wrote a post about how meet ups could possible be awkward and how I was going to try really hard to get outside my box – well I am happy to report that I did go out of my box a little bit more! Not as much as I should have (chicken!!) but more than I would have normally. I met so many amazing people and was finally able to put a face behind some many darling bloggers -

Just like I mentioned in my post, I was sort of let down by a couple bloggers who I thought would be different – but really it was no big deal and all the darling ones totally made up for it!!

But rather than sit and talk about how much fun I had and who I met and what swag was my favorite – because you can find lots of those fun posts all over the place!! (yay!!)

I wanted to tell you about some of the classes I went too and how they totally changed me and my perspective about my blog/website.

I went to a class about “Everything you wanted to know about Facebook” and I learned that I have a lot of work to do on my Facebook page! I had no idea that there were so many apps (or any apps at all) that you can apply to your Facebook page – who knew there were websites called Woobox or Shortstack or Offerpop to help you with all your Facebook needs?? Personally, I had NO IDEA!! I do know that my page needs a major facelift (but I did manage to get a cover on it finally!!) and hopefully you will be seeing some fun new changes in the near future!!

I went to a class about Style and how to reflect who I am on my blog. Do my readers know me? Do they like how my blog is set up? Can they tell my style by reading my posts? And I found myself asking “What is my Style?” What do people know about me by looking at the content on my homepage? Does this really reflect who I am? and I found myself thinking NO more than I thought YES.

Another class I went too was about being personal – without oversharing. I heard from some amazing bloggers who have shared their life stories and it made me wonder if I should share more of  who I am – how I came to be me today and if my readers would be interested in knowing about past life stories or the fact that I have trapped my 18 month old daughter in her high chair with a bag of fruit flavored marshmallows and am letting her eat them to her hearts content so that I can finish this post…. Do I post about how Spencer and I fell in love? How I had finance crush my heart? How I found a boyfriend making love to some other girl for his first time and went crazy??!! I do feel like I want to share more of myself and how I came to be – I just need a plan on how to do it!

One of the big questions that was asked over and over and over and over again was “What is your goal?” and really in thinking about this – I don’t really have one. I mean, I know that I want to create beautiful things – but that is about as far as it goes! I was talking to my cute roomies about this and told them that I feel like I am lacking in opportunity in my life and blog life. I have seen so many bloggers accomplish so much and take fun opportunities and I sort of feel like I am lacking – only I have a HUGE problem, I don’t know what goal or opportunity it is. I guess I just want something to fall into my lap but the cold hard truth is that is never going to happen. I have to make opportunities but before I do that I need a goal!

The last class I attended was DIY class. This was the biggest kicker of the whole weekend for me. Do you guys know that I know how to use a mitre box? I know way more about painting and staining then I should? That I bought myself an air compressor for Mother’s Day last year? That I can personally install molding all – by- myself?? Nope, I don’t think that you do and it is all my fault. I want to share those things with you but I don’t – and for the life of me I cannot figure out why? I have a ton of projects around my home that are “meat and potato” posts but instead of showing you the chair rail I installed all by myself – I fill this blog with fluffy junk. I am stopping that.

I attended a lot of other great classes as well and have a few things to ponder there – Like how do I bring more outside, inside? or where can I find fluffy down pillows that don’t have pokies from the feathers? But the ones I mentioned got me to really thinking…

What direction do I want my blog to go? What do I want to show you? Do I really need to post something every. single. day? What things around my remodeled work in progress home can I share with you that I know you would love to see?

My blog is going to make a pivot…

a pivot in a different, better direction – one that is more personal, more my style and more about the things that I love around my home and my DIY projects. Please bare with me these next couple of weeks as things may be sparse – I am working out a plan! I hope you stick with me because so far I have a lot of fun ideas!!

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4.26.2012

I just want a vacuum that sucks…

without giving up my first born!!

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I would say that out of every single chore I do around my house – my favorite chore is vacuuming!
I love running the vacuum over the floor and seeing all the nasty stuff get sucked up and fill the canister.
Some people get grossed out over all the junk that fills up the canister – but for me … I love it!!
I love dumping it all out in the garbage – it’s a feeling of satisfaction!!
All the dirt and hair and food pieces – GONE!!! Love it!!

I vacuum all the time – sometimes I will vacuum a room two-three times a day – obsess much?
But other days I don’t vacuum at all – just so you know!! {wink!}

I just love a clean floor!! I hate when I clean and vacuum and walk back into our family room to find cracker crumbs from my kids – or husband! But I love to vacuum it up -

So now that you know my favorite chore – and what a freak I am…

You will be sad to hear that last week my vacuum broke -  the hose that leads from the brush to the canister cracked and broke. If I am being honest – it has been on it’s last leg for a while… I bought it when we installed carpet in our newly remodeled home four years ago and it was a champ!! And then somehow the little clip that holds it upright broke – so it would fall down all the time. I cannot tell you the number of times, I and my kids have been hit by the vacuum falling over. That right there should have been the kicker to get a new one! But then I vacuumed up some glass – and it just never seemed to work the same. I probably cut up all the internal parts – But I got out my air compressor and cleaned it all out and carried on -

WHY?

because vacuums cost so much money – and it’s a hard decision on which vacuum to buy! Hoover? Dyson? Bissel? Oreck?

My last vacuum was high scale Hoover – not a top of the line but not the bottom of the barrel either. When it broke I borrowed my parents Dyson – and my sister’s Bissel. I liked the Dyson more than the Bissel, but I don’t know if I liked it more than my Hoover – So I am coming to you guys -

What vacuum do you own? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you wish you would have forked out just a little bit more money for one a little bit better?? Is there a brand I should totally stay clear of?n Help me!! What vacuum should I buy?? I need clean floors!!

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4.24.2012

Wooden Flower Garden Sign {Mother’s Day Idea!}

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and I have been busy creating the perfect Mother’s Day gift for my mom! Growing up – (and still to this day) my mom loved her garden and her yard. She has a lawn mower that no one is allowed to touch and almost every time I stop by to say hello, she is out in the yard watering or pulling weeds – or just looking at all her beautiful flowers. Since that is one of her passions – I thought it would be fun to make her a cute little sign for her garden. My kids call her “Nana” I made it to say “Nana’s Flower Garden.”

Wooden Garden Sign (27) copy

I was so excited to participate in Plaid's Mother's Day Campaign because it gave me the boost I needed to get my hinny in gear for Mother’s Day. When the box from Plaid arrived on the doorstep I couldn’t believe all the amazing product that I had to choose from:

Martha Stewart Craft Supplies

For my project I used the pearl paint, a large paint brush, the flower stencils, serif letter stencils, stencil tape and stencil brushes. But first I did the prep work – I picked out a bunch of wood from our never ending wood pile and cut it into different lengths. You can find a full tutorial for doing that here. I wanted to have a couple base colors of brown and ivory so I sprayed painted them -  and then came the fun part!! I used the pearl paint and painted the planks different colors. I knew that I was going for a worn and weathered look so I brushed the paint on a little bit wonky and added a few layers so when I sanded some different colors would show through.

How to Make Planks for a wooden sign

After the bases were dry – I got out the stencils and got to work. I have stenciled a few things before but it was never as easy as it was for this project! Those little stencil brushes make a world of difference!!
1. I picked out the letters and flowers that I wanted to stencil.
2. Using the stencil tape, I taped the stencil to the wood.
3. Using the smallest stencil brush, I stenciled the paint on.
When you stencil – make sure you tape it to the side of your paint puddle to clean off a lot of the excess paint
Not a lot of paint is key!!

How do I stencil

When all my planks were stenciled and dried – I used my sander and sanded them down a bit to add that worn and weathered look. Then I added two pieces of wood to the back and screwed them into each plank – and was done!!

Wooden Garden Sign (19) copy

I love that it is pearly and shiny and fun!!
I made the wood stakes a little bit longer so my mom can stake it into her yard wherever she wants and won’t need anything to prop it up with. I cut them at an angle so she (or my dad!!) can drive them into the ground easier. I didn’t drive the sign in for the pictures because I want it to be all nice and pretty when I give it to her! The only regret I have is that I wish I would have used a darker color for “Garden” so you can see it a bit better – Oh well! just a little too “weathered” I guess! hee.hee.

Wooden Garden Sign Collage

Wooden Garden Sign (29) copy

Thank you so much, Plaid Crafts, for offering all of these amazing supplies for this project.  
You can keep in touch with Plaid Crafts on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Do you have anything fun and personalized in your garden?? Or what big plans do you have for Mother’s Day?

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I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Plaid and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own – and Martha Stewart Products are truly amazing!! Go out and buy some – you won’t regret it!!

I am linking to these parties and you should too!!

4.20.2012

Chocolate Caramel Cake with Toffee and COOL WHIP

 

I am so excited to share this fun recipe with you today!! Normally we call this Cake “Better Than {You know What!}” Cake and it is so yummy!! The one reason why I love this cake is because it is so easy to make – and each of the ingredients are delicious on their own!! Who doesn’t love Toffee or Chocolate or COOL WHIP Whipped Topping?? I do!!

You will need:

Chocolate Cake
Caramel Syrup
Heath Toffee Bars
and COOL WHIP!

First things first – bake up your chocolate cake! When you pull it out of the oven let it sit for about 10 minutes so it has cooled a little bit but is still warm!! Leave it in your pan. You will want to take a butter knife spoon – and pull back the cake a little bit.

Once you pull back a little bit of cake, fill it with the caramel syrup! You will want to do this all over the cake. The caramel will melt and spread into the cake – so yummy!! It won’t look very pretty but we will cover it up with COOL WHIP so it’s no big deal!!

Let your cake cool and when it’s nice and cool – spread your awesome COOL WHIP all over the top!!

Smash up your toffee so it’s in pieces and sprinkle it all over the top!! I love toffee – so I always add a LOT little bit extra!

And your done!! This is a cooler dessert so make sure you keep it in your fridge until you want to serve this Chocolate Caramel Cake with Toffee and COOL WHIP.  This is such an easy and yummy dessert – sure to please everyone!!

We love COOL WHIP at our house and love using it for everyday desserts like this cake! We also love using it to spice things up a little bit on pudding or JELL-O – You can’t go wrong with a little bit {or a lot} of COOL WHIP!!

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4.18.2012

The Awkwardness of Get Togethers….

I wasn’t going to write this because I am sure that the people who aren’t attending SNAP are all rolling their eyes and thinking “Great. Just what I need another post about SNAP.” But then I realized that what I am about to type doesn’t only count for this weekend but for all the time with everyone.

This past weekend, I was chit chatting with a blogger who is just starting off and getting involved with get-togethers and parties and conferences and such. She told me about an experience she had a little bit ago where she meet up with some other bloggers but was totally blown off because of the size of her blog – basically she was a nobody. She is headed to SNAP this weekend and is worried about being “social” because of her experience.

As she relayed her experience to me, I felt awful for her. I couldn’t believe that other creative bloggers would treat her like that – but then I could – I have seen it myself and have fallen victim to it before. It sucks to stand there as the odd man out and feel like a big loser.

I sort of feel like there is a little bit of a “high school” stamina a little bit in blogging. Ya know what I mean.

But then when you think about high school, you can probably pick out a few people that were friends with EVERYONE. It didn’t matter who they were or if they were cool or nerdy – they just got along with everyone.

I want to be that person. The easy going girl that everyone can approach because I’m not going to make you feel dumb. So if you see me this weekend at SNAP (or anywhere else) – please, please come and say hello to me!

Last summer my sister called me and told me that one of her co-workers and friends had seen me a a city fair but didn’t come up to me to say hello because she felt dumb. Sad. I really wish she would have. I would have loved to meet her!

I know that I am just a little tiny blog (by comparison) but one of my favorite things about blogging are meeting and making new friends. Some of my best friends right now are fellow bloggers who I love and adore! But we never would have met each other if one us didn’t say “hello!”

Now the really honest part – I am so stinkin’ shy – it almost kills me and I wish I could just be loud and fun – but really – that doesn’t happen until I know you (and then you probably wish I was still shy because I will just yak your ear off!) So if I see you and walk by and smile – it’s because I am big time loser and am totally intimidated by you!

There are so many amazing ladies out there with way more talent than I and it is so easy to feel inferior. This is something that I am working on. Confidence.

Did you notice that above I asked you to come up to me and say hello? Because I am big huge chicken. and I have been denied before. and made to feel like a loser so I lost some confidence. But that is something that I am working on. Are you like me? I know there are a bunch of us out there!! I will not make you feel like that! Let’s try and toss our cowardly ways out the windows and be friends!!

So if you all of a sudden see some awkward girl standing by you working up the courage to say hello – never fear – it is just me and I am a nice girl. I promise!

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4.17.2012

Embossed {Thank You} Cards

One of Lifestyle Crafts promotions this month is their embossing folders – I was lucky enough to have them send me to play around with – and I will be honest – I had no idea what it was or what to do with it. Die Cuts I can handle but what the heck is an embossing folder???

The little package arrived and I pulled it out -

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I ordered Jubilant – it has a wavy folder and a flowery folder – really cute!

When you open the package you will find two little plastic folders that open up -

As soon as I saw this – it just clicked!! You put the paper inside the embossing folder and run it through the machine. The embossing folder presses the paper from both sides embossing the fun shapes onto your paper – Brilliant!! And it was so super easy!! I got to work making a few simple cards -

First I made this fun little thank you card – I used the wavy folder from Jubilant and Celebrate for the letters!

Secondly, I made this fun little pop-up flower card – I used the flower part of the Jubilant folder and embossed all the layers of the card and the flower – The flower is from the core {nesting die} collection and is called the Nesting Bloom Die.

I think both cards turned out super cute but I really love the bloom card! So cute!!

The embossing folder was so easy to use and I cannot wait to get my hands on some more!!

If you want to give it a try – remember to use code CREATIVEENDEAVOR for 20% off your ENTIRE order!!
Also remember to take advantage of these great deals going on right now:

Free shipping

Paper web banner

Revolution Sale Affiliate Banner

Have a Happy Tuesday!!

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4.16.2012

Creative Bloggers Got Talent Winners!!

Are you guys ready to see the top three winners of Season One of

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The winning project was…. Modern Rustic Vanity Redo… by Ashley from Domestic Imperfection!!!

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Her other projects included:

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Farmhouse Table * Penny Countertop * Side Table Redo

2nd Place goes to the Craft Corner Remodel by Bethany from Pitter and Glink!!!

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Her other projects included:

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Refinished Hutch * Redone Bench * Mercury Glass Lamps

and Third Place goes to the Tobacco Stick Coffee Table by Allison from A Glimpse Inside!!

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Her other projects included:

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Creativity Memo Board * Bird Mobile * Grape Vine Topiary

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

And of course we must give credit to our darling runners- up!

Deer Silhouette Collage by Taryn from Design, Dinning and Diapers

Deer Silhouette Decor

Upholstered Headboard with Nail Head Trim and Matching Pillows/Décor by Bri from the Modern Parsonage

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All the projects were amazing and each contestant should be very proud of themselves!!

Here is the poll -

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Remember that we also had our cute judges this week to help us out – and man – did they struggle with their decisions!!

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Here is a big reminder about what fabulous prizes the winning contestants will receive!

1st place copy
$50 Gift Certificate to Cutting Edge Stencils
Epic Machine from Lifestyle Crafts
Fly a Kite Quarter Bundle from Riley Blake
8x10 and 5x7 Frames of Choice from Cut It Out
6 Cans of Spray Paint and Gripper from Rust-Oleum
4 Bottles of Martha Stewart Glitter and Pearl (8 total) Paint from PLAID
15 Sheets of Vinyl from Craft Vinyl

2nd copy
4 Cans of Spray Paint and Gripper from Rust-Oleum
Mod Podge Starter Kit from PLAID
8x10 Frame of Choice from Cut It Out
Fly A Kite Rollie Pollie from Riley Blake
5 Sheets of Vinyl from Craft Vinyl

3rd copy
5 Inch Stacker of Scoot Fabric from Riley Blake
8x10 Frame of Choice from Cut It Out
4 Bottles of Folk Art Paint from PLAID
2 Cans of Spray Paint and Gripper from Rust-Oleum

And of course another BIG thank you to our Sponsors!


Link to Cutitoutalready.comRileyBlake

I just wanted to send out a big THANK YOU to all the sponsors, contestants and judges that made this whole contest possible. This was so much crazier than I ever thought it would be – but hopefully it was worth it to you all -

So now that it is all said and done – let me know – did you like the contest or no? Did you like seeing the different contestants competing or do you feel like there are already so MANY contests that this one really didn’t matter – I would love to hear your honest feedback!!

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