Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mod Podge Mania...Year in Review

Happy New Years Eve my crafting friends! Sorry this post is a little late...I've pretty much just lost my mind by this point!

I wanted to take today to review some of my favorite things I've done with Mod Podge this past year. I hope you'll link up with some of your favorite projects from the past...or something new if you're Superwoman...and still managed to Mod Podge this month!

Just click on the title beneath the picture if you'd like to go read the post or tutorial for a particular project!

First up...



Faux leather trunk

Smile chair

Mod podge books

Napkin coasters


Boo! blocks


Glowing Jar jack-o-lanterns




Fall clothespin magnets




Baby Jesus plaque

Whew! What a great year! I can't wait to see what you've all come up with...or check back on projects you've already done. I hope you all have a fabulous and safe New Year!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I barely got ready, and now it's over!

As the holidays started approaching I heard all this buzz in blogland about christmas tours, and linky parties, and all sorts of holiday festivities amongst our community of online friends. I was stoked...I couldn't wait to join in all the fun.

Alas, I became the worst blogger in history as my life overwhelmed me and I just did NOT get things done when I wanted to. Nor did I get nearly as MUCH done as I wanted to. But I did get some simple decorating done, and also I think my tree this year is probably my favorite one I've done (I like to switch it up, so I have several different color schemes/themes). Since I didn't get everything done and photographed in time to party with y'all - you get to see it now, before I take it down!

This hangs on the wall above my cd/movie rack where I normally have our name plaque and Family Proclamation hung. For a before pic click here.



If you look closer, you can see these are "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" snowmen. I fell in love with this print a few years back and my mom surprised me with it for Christmas that year! It's one of my most favorite things to unpack and hang when the holidays roll around.

Another favorite of mine is this set of sparkly spiral wire trees. They are super sparkly, you just can't tell in the picture. They feel so twinkly and wintery!

Switching up this end table decor was fun, easy, and my favorite - CHEAP! To see 2 before pictures, click here. I switched out the fall picture with this adorable stitchery made by Tanielle. I simply wrapped the 2 books with pretty Christmas paper, and replaced the fall filling in my giant hurricane with giant pinecones, red glass balls, and tied with a gold ribbon - all 3 of which I already had! I love how it turned out.

Remember the baby Jesus plaque I did here for Mod Podge Mania? My 2nd end table was the perfect spot to display it. I also took this glass and vase that I had on the mantle filled with fall goodies, and filled them with small ornaments instead. Simple, but still pretty - I think.
I'm not a huge fan of Nativity sets. Weird, I know, since I'm so religious. But I've rarely seen one that captures what I imagine it was like on that night. There is always something off in either the expressions, or postures, or something, of the figurines. Like I said - I know I'm weird. But this set was a gift from my mom, and I am glad to have a representation of what I am truly celebrating displayed in my home.

One of my favorite spots to decorate of course - the fireplace! I love hanging our stockings, made by my mom, and decorating the mantle and hearth is always a fun challenge.
I usually replace whatever picture I have hanging with a wreath. You may remember me mentioning this beautiful picture I received as a gift, it's one of my favorites. It's never coming down! Plus I have the lettering up now...so I decorate AROUND this wall decor now!
The nutcracker collection was started by my mom (are you noticing a theme here? Yeah, my mom is obsessed with holiday decor!), and when she had so many decorations she didn't have room to display her nutcrackers anymore, she passed them on to me...and we have been adding to the collection a little each year. I did not display all of them this year.
Now, on to what you've all been waiting for (if you're even still reading!), the tree! This year I decided to do a really traditional, Christmasy red and green tree. I like to either go elegant, with sparkly, fancy decorations, or fun, with more novelty ornaments. This year I decided to do both!
We have a HUGE tree and we have to really squish it into the corner of our living room and it still overwhelmes...but we love it!
I have some new stuff that I snagged after Christmas last year at Big Lots, I paid like $1 per box! I loved these little penguin snow-globe type ornaments. I also got a set of the same style with reindeer.
These are great big glittery balls that came in a set of 9. I did 3 bundles of red/green/silver, and just attached them together with craft wire, then nestled them among the branches and secured them to the limb with more wire. I LOVE this look!
My favorite addition to my tree this year came after I had it all decorated. But I made sure to make room for this beautiful, sparkly monogram ornament made for me by Vivienne. I love it! Thank you so much.

And now it's time to take it all down! Even though I was stressed out of my mind this year, Ultimately we had one of our most wonderful Christmas's ever. I am so grateful for the warmth and love I felt from family and friends, near and far. I am especially grateful for the gift of a tiny baby who changed the world forever. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where it really counts

We honestly couldn't be more different:

He has blue eyes - I have brown.

He's a little quiet - I, on the other hand, never shut up!

He listens to Talk Radio, I prefer Rock 'n' Roll.

He hates cheese (who hates cheese?), I would have a nacho wedding cake if I could.

He watches comedies - I prefer crime dramas.

He goes to bed (when he gets the chance!), I am a night owl.

He hates shopping - I would shop for a living if I could!

He's a mechanical whiz - I could MAYBE change a tire if I had to.

He's quick to forgive - I hold a grudge.

His fashion sense - back in the 90's! Me - I'm much more with the times.

He cheers for the Utes (his worst character flaw) - I'm a Cougar girl (go blue!).

Despite all this - where it really counts, we're on the same page.

I feel so blessed to have found an eternal companion who loves the Lord, loves his family, and works harder than anyone I know to serve them both.

Thank you for 14 wonderful years. I know I'm not easy to live with, yet you still keep on loving me. I'm more in love with you today than ever before, and I fall deeper each day that passes.

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Most Beautiful Thing

The sides of the path were covered with rugs of white snow. But in the winter, its whiteness was crushed and churned into a foaming brown by the tramp, tramp of hundreds of hurrying feet. It was the day before Christmas. People rushed up and down the path carrying armloads of bundles. They laughed and called to each other as they pushed their way through the crowds.

Along the path, the long arms of an ancient tree reached upward to the sky. It swayed and moaned as a strong wind grasped its branches, and bent them toward the earth. Down below a haughty laugh sounded, and a lovely fir tree stretched and preened its thick green branches, sending a fine spray of snow shimmering downward to the ground.

"I should think," said the fir in a high, smug voice, "that you'd try a little harder to stand still. Goodness knows you're ugly enough. Look at the leaves you've already lost. If you move around any more, you'll soon be quite bare."

"I know," answered the old tree. "Everything has put on its most beautiful clothes for the celebration of the birth of Christ. Even from here I can see the decorations shining from each street corner. And yesterday some men came and put the brightest, loveliest lights on every tree along the path except me, of course." he sighed softly, and a flake of snow melted in the form of a teardrop and ran down his snarled trunk.

"Oh, indeed. and did you expect they'd put lights upon you so your loneliness would stand out even more?" smirked the fir.

"I guess you're right," replied the old tree in a sad voice. "If there were only some place I could hide until after the celebrations are over, but here I stand, the only ugly thing among all this beauty. if they would only come and chop me down." And he sighed sorrowfully.

"Well, I don't wish you any ill will," replied the fir, "but you are an eyesore. Perhaps it would be better for us all if they came and chopped you down." Once again he stretched his lovely thick branches. "You might try to hang onto those three small leaves you still have. At least you wouldn't be completely bare."

"Oh, I've tried so hard," cried the old tree. "Each fall I say to myself, 'this year I won't give up a single leaf, no matter what the cause', but someone always comes along who seems to need them more than I." And he cried once again.

"I told you not to give so many to that dirty little paper boy," said the fir. "Why, you even lowered your branches a little so that he could reach them. You can't say I didn't warn you then."

"Yes, you did at that," the old tree replied. "But they made him so happy. I heard him say he would pick some for his invalid mother."

"Oh, they all had good causes," mocked the fir. "That young girl, for instance - colored leaves for the part, indeed! They were your leaves."

"She took a lot, didn't she?" said the old tree, and he seemed to smile.

Just then a cold wind blew down the path and a tiny brown bird fell to the ground at the foot of the old tree and lay there shivering, too cold to lift its wings. The old tree looked down in pity, and then quickly he let go of his last three leaves. The golden leaves fluttered down and settled softly over the shivering little bird, and it lay there quietly under the warmth of them.

"Now you've don it!" shrieked the fir. "You've given away every single leaf. Christmas morning you'll make our path the ugliest sight in the whole city." The old tree said nothing. Instead, he stretched out his branches to gather what snowflakes he could that they might not fall on the tiny bird.

The young fir turned away in anger, and it was then he noticed a painter sitting quietly a few feet from the path, intent upon his long brushes and his canvas. His clothes were old and tattered, and his face wore a sad expression. He was thinking of his loved ones and the empty, cheerless Christmas morning they would face, for he had not sold a single painting the last few months.

But the little tree didn't see this. Instead, he turned back to the old tree and said in a haughty voice, "At least keep those bare branches as far away from me as possible. I'm being painted and your hideousness will mar the background."

"I'll try," replied the old tree. And he raised his branches as high as possible.

It was almost dark when the painter picked up his easel and left. And the little fir was tired and cross from all his preening and posing. Christmas morning he awoke late, and as he proudly shook away the snow from his lovely branches, he was amazed to see a huge crowd of people surrounding the old tree, ah-ing and oo-ing as they stood back and gazed upward. And even those hurrying along the path had to stop for a moment to sigh before they went on.

"Whatever could it be?" thought the haughty fir, and he too looked up to see if perhaps the top of the old tree had been broken off during the night.

Just then a paper blew away from the hands of an enraptured newsboy and sailed straight into the young fir. The fir gasped in amazement, for there on the front page was a picture of the painter holding his painting of a great white tree whose leafless branches, laden with snow, stretched upward into the sky. While below lay a tiny brown bird almost covered by three golden leaves. And beneath the picture were the words, "The Most Beautiful Thing is That Which Hath Given All."

The young fir quietly bowed its head beneath the great beauty of the humble old tree.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wow.

It's been over a week since my last post. I really admire, and am jealous of you ladies who manage to get all your holiday tasks accomplished, and find the time to blog about it!

You show off your decor, you share your recipes, all your preparations are shared on your blog. I am panicking this year and am further behind than I have ever been at this point in December! ARGH!

And I had such great ambitions for preparing early, and really enjoying my December. So much for that.

Here's a little bit of randomness, just so ya know I'm still here.

It is FREAKIN' COLD here! Our driveway faces north, and is on a slant. So yesterday when Hubby and I got home from running errands, I'm getting out of the car, and nearly get run over when our car starts sliding backwards down the driveway! Yeah, really!

My favorit pair of jeans is TOO BIG! YAY! I have to get a smaller size. Merry Christmas to me!

I let my poor dog outside yesterday when I came home in between running errands, then forgot to let her in before we left again! The poor thing was shivering when we got home, and just a whining! I felt so bad!

It will be a miracle if I'm ready fror Christmas by the 24th this year. Here's my schedule:

Today: meeting my mom, my SIL and her mom to shop (somewhere that has NOTHING that's on my list) and have lunch. In the evening meeting with the rest of the YW presidency to make Christmas gifts for the girls.

Tomorrow: Christmas celebration in the a.m. at the school, my girls are singing. In the evening staff/board Christmas party for the school. I also need to help my kids finish making gifts for their teachers, because Friday's the last day of school!

Friday: Short day at school. In the evening Birthday party for my nephew.

Saturday: In the morning is our ward Christmas breakfast. After that, meeting again with the YW presidency to finish the girls' gifts.

Sunday: Church, then meeting some friends at Temple Square to see the lights.

WHEN THE CRAP AM I GONNA FINISH MY SHOPPING AND WRAPPING!!!???

Please pray for me!

I hope you all are enjoying your December! In spite of my stress I do so LOVE Christmas time.

Oh Come Let Us Adore Him....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Get That All The Time

Hello friends! Well, whatever friends I have left! I haven't been very good at getting around to visit. And my comments from visitors keep getting fewer and fewer! I know I have been such a boring blogger lately. My apologies.

Today I actually have something cool to blog about. I've been kinda excited to share something with you. I hope you think it's cool too. If not, well - I'm still excited to talk about it!

I recently became Facebook friends with this boy:




Pretty cute, huh? Okay, okay I know...the hair! But it was the 90's and he was a cowboy. ANYWAY. Tim and I went to high school together, he's a year older than me. One of my first memories of Tim is a performance he did for an assembly. He performed The Thunder Rolls by Garth Brooks. If you know that song, well then you know it's an awesome song. I remember sitting there in awe thinking "Wow, this kid does it better than Garth". Really. He was that good. And he was like 17, maybe even 16. Tim always performed at our assemblies and talent shows. He even put out a couple of tapes that he sold at the school. I think it was for a charity - I bought them both. Tim also dated my friend Karmen for a while.

Fast forward 16 years. I have always wondered about Tim, and wondered if he was still singing. That was always his dream, to be a country music recording artist.

Well, once we were FB friends, I checked out his page. Turns out he married another girl from our high school. I noticed the section "videos of Tim"...so I thought I'd check that out first. The video that drew my attention was "I Get That All The Time - Official Music Video". Turns out Tim is in a group named Due West with 2 other talented guys, and they are releasing an album soon. This is the first single. Please check it out, even if you aren't into country music. Pretty sure you'll love it as much as I do! Tim's the one on lead vocals.

Aren't they great? I love his voice. I was so thrilled to find out he's still chasing his dream, and well, actually living it! I wanted to spread the word. I hope you will too.

I know not everybody's into country music. I'm generally more of a pop/rock girl myself...as those of you who have been following me for awhile are well aware. I forget how much I really love country music, because I don't make a point to listen to it very often. But when I do hear it, I always love it. If you don't consider yourself a fan...give it a chance - you may surprise yourself! The Carrie Underwood Christmas Special last night was about the best thing I've seen on TV this whole year!

I'm not sure when Due West's full album will be released, but I'll be following closely and updating here! I hope I've found a few fellow fans today. If you loved them like I do, here's a couple of links for ya.

Due West's Website - here you can listen to several more tracks from their album.

Facebook Fan Page - want to become a fan on Facebook?

Just so we're clear, I am receiving no monetary or other compensation for this post. I'm just really excited to spread the word. I think they're gonna be big. HOWEVER, if they read this and wanna comp me a couple tickets to a concert when they go on tour, I wouldn't be opposed!

I'm gonna be a better friend and come visit y'all this week! Don't give up on me! Love ya!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

AAAND...We're Back!

Hello my DAHLINGS! I am here! Welcome to Mod Podge Mania! I have a project (actually 2 since I didn't have one last month!) to share! I know that the way I used the punctuation in that last sentence was completely improper. I don't even care. I am so sorry we're late but I hope you all have some Mod Podge goodies to share!

I'm also linking up to Heidi's Craft Challenge, so make sure to check that out as well!

Warning...if you know me in real life, you may want to skip this one - I may be showing your gift in this post, and you wouldn't want to ruin the surprise!

I want more Christmas decor, but I don't want to spend the money. So I decided to put something together with stuff I already had. I started with this beautiful calendar of artwork of the Savior by Simon Dewy. His stuff is gorgeous.

I took the picture from the month of December. Isn't it a beautiful rendering of the baby Jesus?

I trimmed the border from the picture, then took a piece of MDF board that I had spray painted brown. Centered the picture and applied with Mod Podge. A couple more layers of Mod Podge for good measure, and now I just need to get an easel for it! It's going on my fireplace.

Next up, ANOTHER variation on the letter blocks. This one simpler and smaller.
Got my Christmas paper...picked a couple that I liked.
I cut them down to fit my 2x4 scraps, which I had painted green. I found these 4 packs of small letters for 77 cents each at Roberts. Spray painted them red. Added some glitter because you know my motto. C'mon girls, say it with me..."Everything's Better With Glitter!"


I mod podged the paper onto the 2x4's, glued the letters onto the front, embellished with some tulle and mini pine cones, and VOILA!!!

Sorry for all the crappy pictures...I'm always taking my pictures at night, so not very great results!

I hope you have something to share! Remember to link back to me in your post and try to visit as many other Mod Podge Maniacs as you can!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dear Someone

Dear Shortmama,

Sorry I'm so late linking up. Also...so sorry you're sick. Hope you're better soon!

Your Friend,
Xazmin


Dear Fatty Food,

I love you so much. I wish I wasn't so attracted to you, but I just can't stay away. You have me under your spell, and I just can't seem to get you out of my mind.

I tell you I'm through with you, yet you just keep drawing me back in. I know you're no good for me yet I keep taking you back. I guess I'm just one of those weak girls after all who is a fool for love.

Ashamed of my lack of willpower,
Addicted to love (of food!)



Dear Exercise,

I'm sorry for all the times I've stood you up recently. I never meant to hurt you, but my heart belongs to someone else. Someone who is no good for me.

Not like you. No you, you are the one I should remain faithful to. I know you are the one who will be good to my heart. I'm sorry I can't love you like I should. But I will keep trying.

Let's start over, shall we? I'll meet you tomorrow at the treadmill. I promise to try harder to give you all my attention, and stop thinking about that other love that is no good for me. I truly want to love you, and maybe, with enough time together, I can learn to.

Yours sincerely,
The one who wants to be healthy. Okay, hot.

I'm linking up to Shortmama's "Dear Someone". Go check it out!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What do you do to pass the time when you're stopped at a traffic light?

I was driving home from an errand with Cowgirl yesterday evening, and while stopped at a stop light, we were able to enjoy this view.

I love living in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains. There is seriously not a day that goes by without me pausing for just a moment to soak in their beauty. I could never live anywhere else!

After snapping a shot of the moon, I wanted to get a picture of the mountain...but a giant roof Santa and some traffic lights snuck into the shot! They're like those obnoxious people that try to jump into your pictures and think it's funny!

Hope everyone is enjoying their week so far!

I'm Tardy.

Man I'm such a slacker! If you haven't already heard the news over at Tanielle's, the winner of our Ribbon Blossoms Christmas Giveaway is Braley Mama! Congratulations!

Thank you to everyone who entered, and be sure to keep checking our website for new girlie products being added regularly!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday - how I've missed you!

Wow...I've been away from FMM hosted by the adorable Amber for way. too. long. I've missed it so much! It's such a fabulous way to make new bloggy friends, and in fact is how I've met some of my favorite people in blog land! Today Amber has a fun survey for us. We're to answer the following questions:

1. Favorite Website: Why Ribbon Blossoms Chic Boutique of course! Make sure to go here to enter our giveaway...it ends today!

2. Favorite Color: It depends on the day! I love pretty much anything bright!

3. Facebook? Yes...but reluctantly - and each day I'm on the verge of deleting it. I really prefer blogging.

4. Favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night. The best versions by far are Josh Groban, David Archuleta, and Clay Aiken.

5. Christmas Tree: Real or Fake? Fake...and it's beautiful!

6. Hottest Celebrity? You mean I'm supposed to pick just one? Yeah. Like that's gonna happen! Currently I'm diggin':

Hottest Athlete: Christ Wingert

Hottest guy on TV: Shemar Moore

Hottest guy in movies: Ryan Reynolds

And hottest musician? Joey of course!

7. Favorite Restaurant? Probably Chili's or Cafe Trang (local Vietnamese restaurant...FAB!)
8. Favorite Magazine? I don't really have any magazine subscriptions, but I like Home Interior catalogs!
9. Favorite thing to drink around the holidays? My favorite thing to drink anytime..Dr. Pepper!
10. Favorite Christmas Movie: I watch Elf all year long!!! Smiling's my favorite!

So glad to be back! Wanna make some new friends? Go ahead check it out at Amber's!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Are you all FAT today too?

Did everyone else have a fabulous day yesterday? Here's a small sampling of the goodies at our table yesterday. Seriously, my mom made pies, my brother brought more pies and a pumkin roll, and my cousin' J's mom who came down with her family from Idaho brought dozens of cookies, and 3 different kinds of Amish sweet bread. Talk about calories!

This is on top of the fantastic FEAST that we had before we sat down to play games!

For 27 days of Thankful #26 and #27, I can't even narrow my thankfuls down...so I'm just gonna ramble!
I'm thankful for a new game J's family brought called funnybone. You have a partner, and the card tells you 2 bones you have to "join" to hold the card between. Then you have to hold the card there like that and choose another one. So for example, J and Pixie have "hand bone to shoulder bone", "thumb bone to nose bone", etc. If you drop your cards, you're out. In the background is J's almost fiance...he's "J" too. He's really great. They met at a Halloween party. I predict a New Year's engagement and a March Wedding. I can't wait!

Here's J and my brother D at an intense game of Chess. J won.

I'm thankful for a husband who is the kind of Daddy that will read to his princess, while wearing the jewels that said princess has bestowed upon him.

I'm also thankful for Naps. Although I didn't get one yesterday, I got to sleep in today! Here's D relaxing after a tough day of feasting and playing games. Now out to mom and dad's to do it all over again!

Hope you all are enjoying the holiday weekend! Thanks Amanda for hosting 27 Days of Thankful and giving me a chance to reflect on all my many blessings, from the simple to the amazing.

Don't forget to enter Ribbon Blossoms' Christmas Giveaway Here!