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Thursday, December 29, 2016

not enough hands

Do you ever feel like you suffer exhaustion from doing nothing! I don't mean those self diagnosed sick days we give ourselves just because we are feeling lazy. I'm talking about the days spent cleaning, taking down holiday decorations, reorganizing the pantry....... things that wouldn't be noticed by anyone who is not you! 
Most of my friends know my cleaning skills are usually on point, and my home is tidy. Although few people know about the obsessive technique I use to strive for my own high standards. 
Waking up on a chilly morning, mentally writing my to-do list as I walk through the house. Since the boys are on break from school, I'm having to juggle my list and entertaining my boys! I'm not a huge fan of game systems, so I often get interrupted with a whining " I'm bored MOM!" 
I took a few breaks for "hide n' seek", nerf gun wars,  and a intense game of "Trouble". But I'm a big believer in unique items known as....... TOYS! 
With the "mom" duties in overdrive, and preparing our home for New Years Eve visitors. Im starting to feel those "exhaustion for nothing" symptoms! 
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and don't underestimate yourself when it comes to those resolutions. Aim high!!!
Happy New Year Everyone 🎉

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Perfect Christmas

It's difficult to imagine another scenario where you have multiple family gatherings, and an abundance of gifts, food, and cinnamon scented Yankee candles. Christmas is that difining time of year that sparks a desire to connect to those in your life! 
I often wonder what would happen if we had Christmas more than once a year? Would it make a difference in the dynamic of families? Would it ruin our children's ability to be humble or would it show them the importance of giving? How would our economy be effected? I honestly believe we would lose many of the rare and special times we look forward to. 
It would be sad to lose sight of the importance of this time of year! Celebrating the birth of our Christ together with family, giving and sharing gifts to remember the greatest gift of all..... Jesus!
This Christmas was probably my most treasured memory I have yet! Very lax, no pressure, I enjoyed making gifts with my own hands, no drama, and spending the season with family and our close friends! The perfect Christmas! 

Friday, December 23, 2016

men vs christmas shopping

I don't know about any of you, but during the holidays I'm a big believer in shopping early in the morning. ( before the stores get crowded ) The other day I made a mad dash into the store to grab the 1 thing that I needed. After a failed attempt I decided I was overdue for a window shopping excursion. I wandered through the hair care isle smelling all the shampoos, running my hands over microfiber blankets, and squishy pillows, and ended up in the kitchenware section admiring casserole dishes with floral prints. I noticed something unusual about "this" section? I was surrounded by men with carts?
Now, there was no need to be alarmed but usually when a man is shopping, he would not normally be seen pushing a cart!  The fact that they were all in a more "woman-friendly" section was comical! From a mile away, you can see these men are struggling lol! 
They were like little lost robots. They all had a lost but determined look on their face as they pushed their carts with only a single roll of wrapping paper, and a card placed inside! I did notice some
chick-flick movies, and a set of towels too! 
I felt sorry when I noticed one older gentleman looked so confused, rubbing his head as if to have a headache from all this overthinking. The holidays can be stressful for everyone, but I never realized the stress a man has to go through when he's trying to think outside the jewelry box!
Men, just know we will love anything you give us as long as you put thought into it! 

Monday, December 19, 2016

party overload? No WAY!!!

So we threw our annual Christmas party this past weekend! My husband and I always tell each other we are not gonna go overboard, not gonna make a big deal about it...... just invite a few friends over and their kids. 
We like to have kid friendly parties since we realize that our friends are exactly like us, in the way that sometimes you want to include your children , babysitters are expensive, and our kids need to see us socializing with other adults so they realize that mommy and daddy have friends too! 
So There! 
We have a tight circle of friends but when we have parties, its a fun excuse to open our home to a family we would like to get to know better.  So, old friends, new friends, friends we see all the time, and friends we haven't seen months, friends, friends, and more friends! 
I love that even though our party is "Low key", its fun to watch all the moms walk through the door all "Glammed" up! Its actually kinda funny! We all take extra time to examine each others' hair, makeup, outfits, shoes, etc..... because we all think that none of us own anything other than a hat, jeans, or yoga pants lol!
(I wish I would have taken pics)

So as part of my unique O.C.D. quirkiness,  I'll normally be the one wandering about the house looking for garbage or possible spills lol! Don't get me wrong, I do sit and chat but I have a consistent urge to make our guests to feel comfortable knowing they are in a tidy home, plus it helps me to enjoy myself! So if your watching me clean during a party, it means your watching me relax!

At some point during the evening I stopped to just observe and take in everything going on around me! Everyone has a plate of food and a glass of wine that they are juggling, the volume of everyone in the house echos so loud that Pandora is faint in the background, the kids are cheering at a game system while others carry toys in their hands or are all cozy'd up watching a Christmas movie. Just the sight of everyone enjoying each others company...... it tugged at my heart strings at what a blessing it was to have that night!  

Sadly, it had to end, and its always disappointing when a fun evening with friends has to be over. Giving Hugs out the door, and all of the sudden........ its quiet! Overall it was an incredible night. No drama, kids were all behaved, lots of wine was consumed, and we even managed to have have leftovers. The next day.......we LIVED on the couch and only got up to get food, lol! Best weekend EVER!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ahead of schedule

So next week is the week before Christmas. Now typically the week before Christmas is when I usually do my DIY/ handmade gifts. I wait until the week before Christmas because I can do them all at once instead of spreading them out throughout the course of the month and potentially losing embellishments, misplacing items needed, etc. Over the last couple weeks I've been strategically preplanning what DIY gift would be made for which family member, or friend? ( and yes, friends get Homemade gifts too )
I know my family doesn't read my blog, so I'm not going to hesitate to share with the world what they're getting for Christmas. I always like the idea of giving families something with a significant date on it, remembering a birth or significant moment in their lives. My older brother and sister-in-law have three beautiful girls, so I wanted to include their birthdates on this year's homemade gift. 
I saw these bamboo cutting boards at the $.99 store a few weeks ago, and I thought it would make perfect wall "Art" for their kitchen.

I'm not a huge fan of stencils or of rub on adhesive letters, I always manage to make them look crooked, so usually I can get by with free-handing it.

As I started, I realized I was making quite a few mistakes. So thank goodness I started with a pencil instead of the sharpie!  It came out great, better than I expected! 

I was feeling confident in my skills so I decided to start one for my folks. I ended up choosing a different font. When I was about halfway done using the sharpie I realized I hated it! So I scrapped the idea and I'm painting over it with chalk paint, embellishing it with the ribbon, and gifting it to someone as a chalkboard..... problem solved!!!
One gift down, 17 to go. But, at least I'm ahead of schedule! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Keeping a Gift Log?

As a kid growing up my dad had 2 favorite shows.... "Star Trek" and "Perry Mason"! Both good shows, but as a little girl I am not ashamed to say that I was not usually a willing participant for watching. Star Trek always stared out with a "Captains Log", which sounds very important to the mission at hand "To Boldly Go Where No Man has Gone Before! lol! 

Being a mother of two boys (7 and 10) I am finding that my kids automatically assume I know what they want when it comes time for a birthday or Christmas. Its actually my own fault, since they were little I was always tricking them into telling me what they wanted, or I would go out and buy it waaaaaaaaay in advance so I wouldn't forget. As little babies and toddlers you can even get away with buying their presents while in their presence! They get so distracted by everything in the store that they tend not to look at what you are sly-fully placing on the bottom rack of the cart. 
(Oh, that is why they put that rack there!)

Now since I cant mind read, and I'm now in a place where everything I touch or even look at in a store is judged, and meticulously criticized by my own flesh and blood!
There is no way to maneuver a skillful secret purchase. So I have managed to make my own system. On days when we are in stores, I often allow the boys to go to the toy section to "LOOK"! I follow them around with my camera, like a stalker! (But DON'T worry, I'm their mom) Its sounds hilarious and ridiculous, but it works! I literally follow my own kids around like a creeper, and snap photos when I see its something that peaks their interest.
(gift log sample)

After a week or so of documenting all our journeys through Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, Ross,  Walgreens, and any other store on the planet. I sit down with Tim and we sift through my "Christmas Gift Log"! We don't get them everything, but we pick out what items are going to get the most use. After sifting, I then budget for any supplies I need for DIY gifts! Thats right! I also make gifts for my boys, lol! 
But I'm certain this method wont last too much longer and pretty soon it will just be a demand for iPhones or a car and then it will dwindle down to ............ cash! 
Happy shopping everyone! (I stand by my previous post...... craft a gift they cant find in stores)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How much $ spent VS. How much Time spent

 Making gifts is a great way to show someone that "you mean more to me than a gift card" worth! I have never been someone who has given any lavish gifts! Most of our family don't put to much emphasis  on spending more than 20$ on a gift! Although EVERYONE knows that a gift from me will be either homemade or it will be embellished! Lol! Kind of funny, but most of the time 20$ will only buy something small, but I get creative and gift them something personal and One-of-a-kind that 20$ would not buy! 
Here is my point..... let's explore the world of DIY gifts and see what we come with.
I hope that this will inspire you to gift your time into something that will be more appreciated then the money you spend!  Better yet, get some girls together and make a craft night out of it! Pop popcorn, turn on some Christmas music and get your hands dirty! 
This is one of my favorite DIY gifts by
Have Fun!!!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekly "App" Find

You've probably noticed by now that I have a favorite photo app I like to use to edit my pictures. Its called COLORPOP! 
I always remember (during my adolescent years) looking at those cute photos with the toddlers dressed up like adults, set in these black and white pictures with maybe just a rose, or a pair of heels in color. It was the most fascinating thing, and I always wondered how they did that. Well I know back then they didn't have this app, lol! But needless to say, I was looking for a app that would help me edit my photos, and I found COLORPOP! I now use it for almost every photo I take. 
 See for yourself. You might be able to make an average photo look artistic and expensive.
Thats the goal!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Anniversary and family tradition

So, for as long as I can remember, my Grandma has always been a woman who is up for trying almost anything. For many years she raised my dad and uncles as a farmer wife! When I was a teenager my Grandparents moved from farm life to something (less taxing) more suited to their age. After my (handsome, and loving) grandpa passed away, my Grandma retired and now had an abundance of extra time! Having more time on her hands gave her the opportunities to find new hobbies. Not being a woman who puts limits on her interests, she tried a few different things.  Realizing she loved volunteering her time, long walks, scrap booking and making handmade cards for birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and any other possible reason she can think of for making a card!
My anniversary was this week and I was looking forward to receiving my card from grandma. It was beautiful and I will cherish every word of it! I love imagining my grandmas hands working with a glue stick, scissors, at her table. A very special thought that I don't take for granted! I made sure the last time she visited, we did a craft project!!! We had so much fun " girl-talking" and creating spring centerpiece for our new house! Best memory EVER!

My amazingly adoring husband started our anniversary with red roses and a special card that can only be described as romantic adoration, and miraculous love! He let me pick my favorite dinner ( which was sushi) and the rest of the evening was spent in the complete bliss of (watching a movie) his arms. By far, it's was the most perfect evening I could of ever asked for.

Friday, December 9, 2016


Baby it's cold outside

I don't splurge too much during the holidays on decor. I invest the majority of my time on some pretty rustic looking crafts. Now I say rustic because it's cheaper to find twigs, pinecones, and branches! I'm all about making anything that costs nothing and make it look like it's from Pier1 imports! 
The kiddos and I decided to decorate the front yard with a "bow-ridiculous" theme!  
After a brief attempt at helping mom, the boys decided that they had had enough outdoor time with the bows. So we all decided to "Elf" up the living room! 

Long story short...... we (when I say "we" I mean mostly me) snowflaked the pants off of that ream of paper.  After cutting (what seemed) like a million triangles and folds, and fingers and hands sore enough for factory labor...... the boys abandoned me for a second time to play legos and I surrendered to a pile of paper bits and pieces.

Living in Wine country has a certain type of  flair. In a way many people are jealous of the everyday culture that we get to live out our existence.  Who wouldn't?  
During half of the year, the whole town smells like wine or fermented grapes! We have access to over 85 wineries within a 10 mile perimeter! If you love wine, your probably the type of person who can afford to spend an entire weekend wine tasting

As a local who only drinks wine occasionally..... I am automatically labeled as a "wine snob", "WINO", or a "wine prick"! Yes its true, a simple, level headed, thrift store shopper, non country club member......
I am a "Prick"!
Why am I known as a "Prick" you ask? Well, because I live in Wine Country, I have to be! Why would any sane, and non wine loving person choose to live in a place only for the rich, snooty, or stuck up local? Now don't think for a minute that I am bashing any locals. For the most part we live in quaint areas, with people who have lived here for decades, and have generations of different cultures... mostly German! 
The reason for my wine country culture summary is to give you an idea of why I have chosen to embrace the "prick" label, and turn it into a community of locals who have no other choice but to create a camaraderie based on where we live instead of what we do!

Any friend or person that knows me from a far (for that matter)can tell you I love Pinterest. Before Pinterest entered my life I was creating binders and binders full of  ideas from magazines, books, pictures, and from the internet. I would tear, cut or print them out, and organize them into sections. When I had the spare time, I would pull it out and find a craft to make for a holiday, gift, or would put myself in front of a "Doris Day and Cary Grant" movie and distress with my creativity and a hot glue gun. 
As a wedding and Event planner, I was often kept away from home when my kids and husband would normally be home.  So I took a leap of faith and tried to find something a little more stable and family time friendly. I ended up taking a well paying job that actually had me travel 95% of the time. As a blessing in disguise the company moved out of state and I was let go and free to start fresh.  
I always said "I wish I could get paid to craft"....... and there it was! 
Ive been putting on Pinterest parties for a few years now, and was now turning this idea into a business. I wanted to really capture the essence of the locals in this area, lol! 
After a relentless think session, I realized we are more known for being Local Winos than anything!
So, welcome fellow "PinPricks", lets "Drink" and "Be Crafty"!