Category Archives: Crafty Stuff

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So, we’ve never been landscapers.  We’ve sorta tried a couple of times in the just-over-ten-years that we’ve lived here to having something nice looking out front of our house.  But it’s just never been a priority.  The only thing we’ve been able to successfully grow is pineapple plants and aloe.

Aloe grows like a weed btw…

Toward the end of the this last pregnancy, Berkley told me that while he was off work and home with the baby and me, he was going to try to do some landscaping out front of the house.  At the time, I rolled my eyes at the idea because we’ve never really been successful at finishing the project.  We start, but don’t finish.  And definitely don’t upkeep.  I am NOT a fan of watering, weeding, plucking, pruning, anything really that goes with growing plants.  I like the idea of it, but know better than to start.

I was going to grow an herb garden once…but that takes knowledge and maintenance…yeah that’s not me.

I was going to grow a couple of vegetables in a garden….oh the planning is so fun, but would be a waste of time to go through it all to then not be out there farming it up every day.

But this time was different.  Now being a few weeks after Aaron’s birth, Berkley brings up again his ideas (and asks for my input) on landscaping out front.

He’s thinking rocks, and I agree.

And all of a sudden we are at Home Depot buying that weed mat stuff and the next day we were laying it down.

After that, Berk headed to a local rock/stone business right around the corner from where we live (almost) and he picked up the larger stone that we would use on the outside edge.  Ayden helped, he handed the stone to Berk and he laid it.

Next would be the red rock to fill.  Normally, this might take us a week or who-know-how-long to do the next step.  But the next day, Berkley went to the rock place to pick it up.  After most of the morning and some of the early afternoon shoveling, filling, and smoothing (IN THE HOT), he had the fill rock laid.  It looked so good!

Ok…now here’s where it’s going to stay for weeks and weeks and we’re never going to move on.  And then it really hit me…we’re kinda doing this for Aaron.

Before we laid down the weed mat, Berk asked me what kind of plants I wanted.  I knew I wanted gardenia bushes.  My grandmother had them her house when I was YOUNG and always loved the smell.  Then while looking through Pinterest (my husband gave me a reason to…encouraged me to…even suggested I spend some time on Pinterest!!!) I decided I wanted to having a vining plant with flowers on it for the main focus of the house.  I was hoping for morning glories, but the nursery we bought the plants didn’t have any.  So we came home with this.

I’m not quite sure what it is, we didn’t ask the lady at the nursery.  Just for a pretty blooming vining plant and this is what she showed us.  It was on a small trellis, the larger trellis we added to it for it to grow!.  We also picked up some small gaillardia plants at the nursery.  We knew we wanted some shorter plants and we saw them and tough they were pretty.

We did things a little backwards.  But if we would have done them in the “right” order, I don’t know if we would have finished so quickly.  Having the rock in place really helped us visualize.  Even when we came home and were deciding where to put everything, we could visualize so much easier. So yes, we laid the rock THEN planted the pants.

But we didn’t end there. I don’t know how he found it, but Berkley found that Shutterfly prints on these garden stones. So we added this to our landscaping.

And I have had zero problems with weeding, watering, plucking and such.  If only I could get a good picture at night with the solar light shining on Aaron’s stone.

We love you baby and you’re always here with us.

 

 

 

 

The 12 Posts of Christmas #7: Candy Cane Ornament Kid Craft

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How is it December 22 already?  Here I was, in disbelief of it being 2 1/2 weeks until Christmas, and now it’s only 3 days away?

Now don’t be confused.  Amanda at From J to Z usually posts first, but I’m switching it up!

I don’t do many kid crafts with little A, so I decided that I am going to try to be better at that.  These little ornaments would kill a few birds with one stone: Craft, gift, and giving Ayden some much needed mommy attention while I am so busy with getting the house and Christmas stuff ready.

I decided to make these candy cane ornaments because they are easy and I made one when I was a kid so it brought back some memories.

IMG_0497.JPGAyden was very excited to do a craft!  At first we started out with separating out the beads.  Because…why not organize?  And as you can probably guess, it didn’t last that long.  At first, he was really excited about putting all the white ones together, and red ones.

_MG_7973Long story short…Mommy ended up doing most of the work.  He did hand me the beads when I asked for them.  He helped push them down the pipe cleaner.  And He did help put some of the beads on each one.  So…KID CRAFT!  We were going to make like 12 or something…we made four!  He did good though and was very excited.  He didn’t let me wrap them for our family members, so they are all on the tree for all to see.  I did add a tag to them because I plan on him doing something every year.  And it will be nice to know what year they came from.  (Or is that just the neurosis coming out?)

All in all he was very proud and excited for the candy cane ornaments.  I’m new to this kid craft thing so we will see what the future brings.

 

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In other news, it’s been a busy but fun week.  Ayden and I had a play date, I got a haircut, got my nails done (Salon and a scarf?  I’m so fancy!), and my parents got in late last night.  It’s officially Christmas!!!  Tomorrow begins prep for Christmas Eve!  And right now we are watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  I’m kinda brain dead so I’m taking the night off and enjoying my family.

And don’t forget about my friend at From J to Z.  I smell something good coming from her next post!

The 12 Posts of Christmas #6: Handmade Christmas Ornaments

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Yes, I’m late…story of my life.  I’ve been so busy with trying to get Christmas stuff done and trying not to let the house be mistaken for a landfill.  I SO thought I was ahead of the game seeing as I did this craft LAST FRIDAY!!!  And here I sit again, after 9PM on Friday, writing this.  Please do not ask me where last week went, because I can honestly say I do not know.  Just trying to keep up with dishes, laundry and my 3 year-old…there isn’t much time for more.  Throw in trying to get ready for Christmas, and I’m behind just thinking out it.

I know, I know…my very first post was on organization.  Reality is, I’m a much better planner than doer (if you know me, or have read my blog…you already know that).

BUT! Here we go.  For the past two Christmases, I’ve given handmade ornaments with Ayden’s pictures on them.  The first ones were these:IMG_6038And I only made 4 of them.  One for each of his Grandparents.  Four pictures on each side (look at his little face, he was only one year old then…wipe away tear), red scrapbook paper on the top and bottom, and a string.

Last year was this:

Individual ornaments for family and friends using wood, paint, modpodge, photos, and ribbon.

Individual ornaments for family and friends using wood, paint, modpodge, photos, and ribbon.

A little more of them, and I added paint.  But only one picture each.

And this year…(it’s going to spoil the surprise for whoever of my family reads my blog…but it’s ok).

Drumroll…….

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And…like FromJtoZ, I too am in a little bit of a time crunch (still have a project to do before bed…and it’s not even my project, sigh).  So, thankfully last week I took pictures of each step.

What I didn’t take a picture of, was the package of these little wooden sticks before I opened it and painted them.  But I think you can tell what they are.  They are found with the Popsicle sticks at Hobby Lobby.  They were $2.49 for a package of 75.  (I believe I used my 40% off coupon on these that day, cuz everything else I got that day was already on sale).  I used 64 sticks to make 16 ornaments.  So $1.47 for 64 sticks, 16 photos at $0.09/print on Snapfish = $1.44.  Two sheets of 8×10 scrapbook paper from a paper pad = $.022.  Plus adhesive, hot glue, and marker that I already had.  Bringing this project total to roughly $3.13 (20 cents each).

It took some time, and some patience.  And they’re not as fancy as those you can buy and put the picture in.  But for a thrifty mom with time and (some) patience…this works for me!

Step one (not pictured), chose paint and paint 2+ coats per side (I only did 2, cuz I wanted them to show some of the wood grain and look handmade).

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Steps 2, 3, 4, and 5.  I lined up my sticks how I wanted them to turn out and traced them so I had a guide.  And I am sure glad I did since they seem to move around while gluing.  Lay side pieces down, glue bottom piece at corners.  Glue string at the top and then glue top piece at the corners.

_MG_7938Moving on…

_MG_7942I measured how big to make my picture (ended up cutting them 2.5″ square) and then cut the back cover 1/8″ larger.  Glued the back of the picture to the back of the patterned paper so when it was adhered to the back of the frame, it looks like this…

_MG_7945Truth is, I should have cut them a little bigger so I had more area to glue to the wooden sticks.  I had to take this mounting tape that is 1/2″ wide, and cut it into 3 strips so that the adhesive didn’t show on the front.

Turn it over, write on it with a sharpie, and tada!!!!

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_MG_7937 _MG_7935PS, this is what was happening while I was assembling these ornaments.  Ayden playing with the swiffer while watching Christmas George.  And then me being told to hold the swiffer while he put a sock on it.

 

So there you have it; simple, inexpensive ornaments!

And if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you saw that I made my cookie doughs the other night and today, while Ayden napped, I rolled and cut them and they are in the freezer.  Which reminds me that I need to take them off the cookie sheets and put them in Ziploc bags so they are sealed up.

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Gingerbread cookie recipe can be found here.  And sugar cookie recipe can be found here.  Yes, that is a lot of flour on my gingerbread men.  It is a sticky dough and I hate cutting out dough.  Hopefully they will still be good 🙂

Ok…it’s the final countdown.  SIX posts left and only 6 days to go!  Make sure to keep up with FromJtoZ to see what she’s got up her sleeve next!

 

The 12 Posts of Christmas #4

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Welcome back to the Christmas collaboration From J to Z and I find ourselves in.  Here’s the 4th Post of Christmas

 

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Here we are, 13 days away from Christmas Day!!!  So that means I only have 12 days until I need to have everything done (since we celebrate with the big family on the Eve).  And finally today…TODAY, I started my Christmas crafts.  One of those crafts was this terracotta pot candy jar that has been stalking me on Pinterest.  Maybe it’s the other way around…moving on!

Well, I finally decided to get the stuff and actually make it.  That’s a huge step for me because even the most simple projects become “too much work” for me if I think about really making it.

I was going to just make one, and if it was easy enough, make them for the rest of the family.  It is easy, but I don’t know if I have time.  The nice thing is, if I decide to do that…I can do it fairly late as I did this little cutie just this morning.

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Here’s what you are going to need.  A terracotta pot with saucer (I got this one at Home Depot, Hobby Lobby didn’t have the right size), a glass bowl, paint color of your choice, ribbon of your choice, a wooden round drawer pull, a paint brush, and glue!  (optional, buttons)

I used this opportunity to get myself a new (bigger and better) glue gun!  Thank you to the 40% coupon at the LOB!  But if I do this project again, I might get myself a very strong non-hot glue (one post says to use E-6000 (I was going to link it, but I didn’t pin it and can’t find it)).  And I’ll tell you why.  After I painted the pot, I glued the drawer pull to the saucer, and after it dried, I picked it up to see if it was going to hold, and it didn’t stick!  I stuck that with Gorilla super glue that I had laying around.  And THEN, when I tried to glue the bowl to the pot, it took me 3 times to get it to stick.  The hot glue cooled too fast before I could get the bowl placed right.  The third time seems to be the charm.  I also hot glued the ribbon so that’s also squeezed glue between the pot and the bowl.

This is a pretty self explanatory craft.  Paint…glue…tie…fill…VOILA!

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In other news…Ayden and I put up his very first Christmas tree in his new big boy room.  Yes, my son is 3 (just barely) and I am just transitioning his room.  In my defense!!!  He has never tried to climb out of his crib and…well…I’ve been avoiding it.  Both for financial reasons and procrastination reasons.  BUT, it’s done now (sorta kinda).  So, all in this afternoon, I replaced the front panel of his bed for a bed rail, took out the glider and put down a reading/blanket/stuffed animal fun corner, and put up his little tree (that I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby last year).  And I think waiting longer helped his transition to freedom.  I’m pretty sure he never got out of bed (and I left his tree on when I left).

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Now, in case you missed it, head back to From J to Z and check out what she made for $4!!!  IMG_0413.JPG

#2 of The 12 Post of Christmas

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Well hello there!

 

I hope you all enjoyed the first installment of The Veronica Blog and FromJtoZ Christmas colab.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, here ya go!

It has been a little while since my last post.  I had been so busy with Thanksgiving preparations.  And then my little baby boy turned THREE on Black Friday so we had his birthday party on Saturday.  So I was busy with that.  I’m not really sure what’s happened to the last week and a half, but it just hit me that there are only 2 1/2 weeks until The Big Day!  And I haven’t even begun planning!  If you’ve read any of my previous Christmas posts (or this one, or even this one), you’ll know that I get myself quite busy around Christmas.

I start planning in the Summer, even though it usually all changes by the time to start getting busy.

I’ve decided to take a step back from 95% homemade gifts for every one.  I did that 2 years ago and it was nice, but I waited way too late to start making them (didn’t account for time to make, time to mess up, time for it not to work out like I had planned, time to do something different, and time for life).  Ayden was just one then and I wasn’t working at all out side the home.  Last year, I made a little less, but still made the majority of the gifts.  Ayden was 2 years old then…a little easier to work with, and I had just started back at Publix part-time and wasn’t working very many hours.  This year, I’ve decided to keep the hand making to a minimum.  It’s kind of sad, but I’m still doing personalized gifts (just using Snapfish more).  Oh thank goodness for Snapfish!!!!!  If you haven’t checked them out, do yourself a favor and go NOW!  They have amazing coupon codes during the season and they try their hardest to get your stuff by Christmas Eve (if you follow their dates).  They have always been good to me.  Anyhoo, I started to panic yesterday when I realized that I don’t even have my lists made!

Are any of you surprised?  If you’re new to my blog, I function on lists.  My brain is too scattered to try and accomplish everything (anything, really) without a list.  So, I woke up today ready to organize my thoughts so I could calm my nerves.  After getting hubby off to work, feeding the dogs, and the boy child, I got my coffee ready, turned on all my Christmas decorations and went to work.

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First thing’s first…my work space needed a little tidying.  After doing that, I got a little distracted by my Christmas tree!

After I reigned my attention back to the task at hand, I sat down with my calendar (Blue Sky Monthly/Weekly, I’m kind of picky about my calendars, and I’ve been using this design for years), and my trusty notebook paper.  I made a master cleaning list. Thumbnail PreHolidayCleaningListWord

This really should have been posted before Thanksgiving.  When I created it, I had it in mind to do before Thanksgiving (if you were hosting).  BUT I wasn’t hosting, so I didn’t do the cleaning for it.  I AM hosting Christmas Eve celebrations so I do need to get the cleaning done.  However, being realistic, I won’t get all of this done.  But at least I have something on paper for next year (and yes, you’ll probably see me here next year, not having done the list).  I do feel it is helpful though, because there could be something on the list, that should get done but might not have gotten thought about.  I know the image is only the first page (it ended up being 4 pages long).  I did it in a fun font, to hopefully be more fun to accomplish.  Feel free to download the document (link), print it, edit it, highlight the most important ones and do those.  I do recommend determining which ones you can do ASAP (tops of things, cupboards, cabinets, fans, frames, etc.) and get those done soon.  After that, determine what can’t be done until the last second and save only those few (shouldn’t be a long list) for last.  Try to fit in the others in the meantime.

I know, BORING!  Who wants to clean.  But for me, it’s important to not be very embarrassed of the food crusted cracks between my stove and countertop.  I don’t need an immaculate house, but I don’t like extended family members thinking I’m a dirty person.  If it doesn’t get done, it doesn’t get done.  I’m ok with that, but I like to try.  It is last on the list after ensuring gifts are taken care of, hubby/baby/dogs are fed and happy and the food prep…of course the food.  But still something to help, in case it’s important to you too.

 

After this, I started my To Do lists:  One for the things I need to get done and another one for gift specifics I’m doing.  I don’t think you people understand the scatter-brainedness of my situation.  But I know I’m not alone, so hopefully this not-so-fun post finds those few that need direction.  (is it sad, that I was excited about this post?)  (I’ll keep it quick)  After I made my lists, I got my calendar (monthly view – after schedules and appointments entered), I started planning when I am going to do what).  If I have it down early, and I happen to not get to it, I still have plenty of time to do it another day.  This planning = LESS STRESS for me!  And less stress around the holidays is always better!

Any bakers out there?  Do you make cut out cookies?  Do you feel overwhelmed when you make them?  No? Just me?  Ok well, just in case there is someone who is like me, try this.

I am going to make my doughs (making three: sugar, gingerbread, and a mint cookie) on Friday the 12th.  I will mix them, wrap them in parchment and put them in the fridge.  On Saturday the 13th (during Ayden’s nap), I will roll and cut the cookies.  I will place them on a cookie sheet between layers of parchment, wrap and freeze them.  On Sunday the 14th, I will transfer the now frozen/cut cookies to zip top bags and there they will stay until I bake them on the 23rd.  Sounds like extra work with the freezing part.  But I’d rather do that, than have to do it all in one day on the 23rd.  And if I bake them too early, they won’t be fresh (and probably won’t exist) by Christmas Eve.

To make this easier, just follow me on Instagram @theveronicablog and on Facebook.

I am a recovering procrastinator…if I leave it up to my brain alone…it won’t get done.

 

What helps get you through the holidays?

 

Make sure to stay tuned to FromJtoZ to see what’s next on our #12PostsofChristmas.  Here’s a link to “like” her Facebook page as well!

 

And just for fun…I took Ayden’s 3 year pictures last week…so you’re welcome!

 

New and Improved Budget Binder

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The old one…..

IMG_0164 I put this binder together in early 2013 after I took over paying the bills.  I needed something a little more than just putting bills in a bucket and risking not getting something paid on time.  It made my brain crazy to do it that way.  So I set off to print each month from iCalendar.  I created dividers out of scrapbook cardstock, packing tape, and “labels” that I just printed and cut out.  This helped tremendously to help me know when to pay what.  Also, I kept the bills for the year in case I needed go back and look at a previous bill for anything.

Now, with finances getting a little tighter, I need to better keep track of everything.  So I created some budget planning sheets.  I searched the internet looking for budget planners and none of them seemed to suit our needs.  We get paid weekly, but Berkley receives bonuses at different times of the year and it was just easier to create my own since not all our weeks or months are the same as the rest.

Now, this is what will work for us (hopefully).  I’ve been keeping track  for a couple months now in just a regular notebook so I could make sure of how I wanted to design it.  If you think they will work for you, give them a try.  You should be able to save the image to print it.  If you like them but want them all blank, send me an email (veronica@theveronicablog.com) and I’ll customize them and email them back.

I also switched the binder (and dividers) to one I had used for a different project.  No sense using a boring ol’ black notebook when I have this pretty one not being used.  Also, since the “new” one doesn’t have pockets in the inside covers (the dividers have pockets) I used a binder clip to hold the checkbook in the front cover.  The only thing that could be better is if the “new” binder was 1.5″ instead of just 1″.  But I am not complaining, I did this all without spending money!  See, you can organize without for FREE!

Scrap Room to Scrap/Guest Room Transformation

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That’s right, you read that correctly.  I have my scrapbook stuff in my guest bedroom.  Actually the guest bed is in my scrapbook room.

When Hubby and I were house shopping (6ish years ago), one of the stipulations was that I got to have a room just for my scrapbooking stuff.

I have been scrapbooking since I was 15 years old (10 years at this point) and had always had to keep my stuff in my travel bag or tucked in a corner of my 12×10 bedroom at my parents house.  Oh, how grand it would be to have a whole room…A WHOLE ROOM dedicated to just my scrap stuff!!!

Every house we looked at, I envisioned which room would be “mine” and how I would decorate and organize it all.

We found our house, Berk picked his room, I picked mine and we were happy!

First things first, I painted mine purple.  I heard that purple sparks creativity…perfect for a scrapbook room!

It had many phases between my corner computer desk, Berkley’s corner computer desk.  Nothing really seemed to work right.

Then…after 4 years of having a whole room dedicated just to crafts, we found out we were expecting a little bundle of joy (whom
(or is it who?  dang it!!!) we now call him Ayden).  Since we weren’t really planning for Ayden…I had to think quick as to what we were going to do.  We need to have the guest bed for when we go out of town, our friend can have a comfy place to sleep when she watches our dog and when my parents come…they need a comfy bed too!  I didn’t even decide which room would be the baby’s room until about 4ish months before Ayden’s arrival.  I wanted to wait until we found out the gender.  If we were going to have a girl, I would just put her in my scrapbook room and build her theme around the purple walls.  I’m so glad we have a boy.  Nothing against girls, but it would have been more work to move all of my scrapbook stuff out, patch the walls where the shelves are and put closet doors back on the closet.  So…Someone “upstairs” took pity on my natural laziness and blessed me with a beautiful BOY!!!

Anyhoo…back to my dilemma…I have a whole room…bursting with “stuff” that I now have to trim down enough to fit a queen size bed and also leave enough room for people to stay in the room, somewhat comfortably.  Now we do not have a big home, it’s perfect for us, but the bedrooms are just average size bedrooms.  This is a BIG task to take on at 24 weeks pregnant!

But, nonetheless it still needed to be done.  And it needed to be done before I could even get started on Ayden’s room since the bed was still in there.

So, I went through and “cleaned house” (not really, just the one room).  I mean really cleaned.  I am what you would call a “pack rat.”   A trait passed down through the generations.  I had stuff in there I hadn’t used in over a decade.  I had to play a game of “just toss it and forget about it.”  I did, and I never looked back.  I still have a small pile of things I think I can sell on eBay.  But most everything went to the garbage heap or to donation.

After the “toss, donate, and sell” stage was complete.  I removed everything from the room so I could reorganize from scratch.  I am a firm believer in you gotta make a mess, to clean a mess.  As you will see in the pictures below…I was in a desperate need of reorganization.  So out went everything, and it only came back in as much as I could carry and got put away into it’s new place.  Some stuff had to wait until I got my new storage modules though.

Once cleaned out, I waddled myself up to Michael’s and purchased some of their storage cubes.  They were 50% off that week so I could get everything I needed without having to get one per day to use the 40% off coupon.  I got all that I NEEDED (wanted more), asked a friend to come help build, and we got to work.

Here are some before and afters photos.  I am about to bare my soul here.  Don’t judge my messiness.  I love to organize, but never said I was always organized!  The room didn’t get used much and for some reason, if I did craft, I brought my supplies out to other areas of the house then threw everything in back in the room when I was finished.  I think it has something to do with the room not being very open to natural light.  Even tho it does have a nice big window, the view isn’t the greatest and I prefer natural light surrounding me!  Makes me feel happy, happy, happy.

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Yes, Gus laid there on his own will.  He loves to lay under the table where I’m working.  Quite often he laid under the desk if I was scrapbooking before.  Now, there isn’t much room for his bigness.  But he found a way to fit himself “in” there.

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Ok so obviously the “after” photos after the first one was quite a while after Ayden was born because I just saw him standing in the window.  Haha, but you get the picture.

This is where the bed was…see, I had a big project on my hand but what an accomplishment!!!

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I would like to add a BIG THANK YOU to my father-in-law for building my new countertop.  We gave him the measurements and he built, laminated, and installed my countertop.  It’s beautiful and sturdy!

Now, if only I made more time to play in there instead of watching TV.

Hope you enjoyed and I’d love to see picutres/stories of your organizing projects!

Christmas Recap – Crafty Edition

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Above, you will see a LOT of pictures of all things crafty from this past Christmas.

When Ayden was born (November 2011), I did not go back to work.  Berkley and I were bringing in about the same income so that means we cut our income in half!  By Christmas 2012, I was trying to see if I could decrease our Christmas gift spending without sacrificing gifts.  (Yes, I know that Christmas isn’t all about the gifts, but I think part of what I gained from this experience helped to look at gift giving differently).  So, I decided to make everyone’s gifts.  I had made gifts in the past, but it was as I was inspired.  At this time, Pinterest was a great source of Pinspiration.  So, I got out some trusty notepaper (my BFF) and started my list (one of my strengths).

Off to Hobby Lobby I went, excited that I got to actually buy stuff while I was in there!!!

Boy, was I in for a surprise.  I had NO idea how much work it was going to be to make all these gifts from scratch (and no…I couldn’t just do one gift per person, it was like 2-3 plus a couple gift), while taking care of a house and a one year old.  Also, my parents stay with us when they come for visits.  Not only did I not have all my gifts made by the time they got here, I didn’t even have their gifts made.  So I was making stuff in front of my mom that was for her and had to tell her it was for my MIL.

Anyway, to make a VERY VERY long story just a long story.  I was way in over my head.  I had so much to do at the last minute and I also had baked goods on my gifts list and those can’t be done too far in advance.  Not to mention what I contribute to our family gatherings on Christmas Eve and Day.  If you would like to see more on what I made last year, you can click here.

Alright, fast-forward a little bit to June 2013.  I was so ahead of the game (mind you, I am the world’s BEST list maker and also BEST procrastinator).  I got my notebook, made my list of who I was making gifts for, make a list of the gifts, make another list for all the supplies I will need.  And I started watching the Hobby Lobby and Michael’s ads every Sunday for what anything I needed that was 40 or 50% off so I didn’t have to use up my weekly coupons.  I even highlighted the projects I could do early and get out of the way so that it didn’t all pile up on me with the things I had to wait to do.  I was doing so good.   If there was a few things on sale that I needed, I went, got them, got something with my 40% off coupon and stashed away.  A few months into this wonderful plan and we ran into some major financial hurdles that made me change my tactic.  I now had to wait until the 2nd week in December to purchase the rest of my supplies.  Didn’t have enough of one project to be able to start early..nope!

This is why the phrase “the best laid plans” is the story of my life.  Needless to say, this didn’t all work out according to plan or even close.  I think late November, I ended up changing the whole gift list and going from there.  I worked with what I had and purchased the rest.  On top of this stress, I found out that my parents (who usually come a few days before the holiday) weren’t able to come until very very late the 23rd.  Because of this, I did not want to be rushing around on Christmas Eve (which I always am).  PS, Christmas Eve is when our whole family (grandparents, in-laws, etc) get together for finger foods and gifts.  And this year, it was back at my house.  Not a good year to be behind on gifts again!  On top of finishing gifts, I had to get the house clean, prep food, and still manage to make sure that my son wasn’t eating Nutella out of the jar, sneaking sips of my coffee, or trying to hook the dogs up with extra food!

So what do I do?  I make another list, two actually.  One for every single task for every single gift I had to make.  And the other for every single other thing I had to do that wasn’t gift related.  This might seem like just more work (busy work) to some of you.  But for my undiagnosed attention deficit issues and scatterbrainedness (don’t try to Google it, I know it ain’t a word) it was the only way I could get through all of this.  My brain doesn’t have to think this way.  I just look at the list and do what I can do at that moment.

Believe it or not, I got everything done, and wrapped, early (never has happened for me, usually wrapping in my room while people are arriving).  So, feel free to take a look at the pictures in this post.  If you click on the picture, you can scroll through the gallery and read the captions.

I will always make gifts (maybe not all of them, but at least one per person).  I love the feeling of putting so much thought, creativity, and joy into the gifts and seeing the reaction on the receiver’s face when they open it.  I usually go for a tear, sometimes I get one, sometimes I don’t.  😉

Thanks for taking the time to read through what seems like chaos, still, in my brain.  Stay tuned for the other editions of the Christmas Recap; Gift Photo Blooper Edition and Food Edition.

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