Friday, December 21, 2012

Random Cards

Just a quick post to share some cards I made for some special gifts this season!  Our friends had their 3rd child a few days ago and didn't find out the gender in advance.  I wanted to go ahead and have the card made to go with the gift so I went with a neutral color scheme and square size. 

Adam's sister and her girls moved into a new house and we wanted to get them a little housewarming gift.  I made the cupcake card using the Cricut Craft Room software and "welded" 2 cupcakes together.  I think I'll make all my gift tags like this next year; it added the perfect touch to their already very girlie gift wrap!  I actually used the free cartridge that came loaded on my Expression 2 to cut the cupcake - I believe it's called Cricut Cartridge American Alphabet

Christmas Gifts for Co-Workers & Neighbors

So each holiday I try to make something special for my co-workers.  I work in an all female HR group and really enjoy all the ladies I work with ( so rare for an all female office I know!!).  For Thanksgiving, I made the cute little turkey goodies bags so I knew I had to go even cuter for Christmas!  Here's what I came up with -- Scentsy hand soaps with a Santa face tag: 

Here's how I made them:
I ordered my soaps from my personal Scentsy store :-)

Aren't they cute?  They look like gumballs

I used the Cricut Craft Room Software to lay out the different layers I needed to cut.  These Santa faces are 4" I believe and from the Doodlecharms cartridge -- one of my first cartridges. 

Mr. Cricut got to work cutting layer after layer.  4 years later and this thing still amazes me!! 

I ended up with 3 pages of Santa faces in order to get 18 at the size I needed

Then I moved on to cutting the other layers, you get the idea.

As Mr. Cricut was cutting the layers I started assembling Santa.  I picked this particular Santa because there weren't too many pieces and they weren't teeny tiny. However, I didn't take into account adding all the little dashes to the 18 faces!!  That took quite a while. 

Here all 18 Santa's are ready to be attached to the soap. 

I played around with where to punch the hole and settled with on the tassel.  In hindsight, I probably would have made the face a little smaller.

I gave these to my friends/co-workers Wednesday before Christmas and they were a big hit.  I love doing something small to let people know they are thought of and loved!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Favorite Things: Day 3 - Beauty

Today’s favorite things are going to be beauty products.  Somehow, I went 25 years of my life without ever going into a Sephora or Ulta.  I mean how is that possible?!  I have spent waaaay too much money in both of these stores since discovering them, I’ll tell you that!  I think I’m even a “VIB” at Sephora now!  It’s like a candy store, so much to look at, touch, smell, try on, love love love it!

Some of my recommended purchases:

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion – my eye make-up stays put ALL day with this product. I just add a little to my eye lid before putting on any eye make-up and viola, it stays put for 15+ hours. One little tube lasts forever too. 

Urban Decay Lash Primer Potion - I've tried a few different primers over the years and this is my favorite. It has a nice thick brush and gives my lashes that perfect "boost" -- only negative to this product is that every Sephora and Utla I've been too this year has been sold out every time -- except the ONE time I found it!  Very in demand product apparently. 

My last eye make up recommendation for 2012 is the L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow.  I'm not one to typically buy drug store make up but I saw these when I was on a business trip and bought one on a whim.  I think the first one I bought was "Eternal Black" and what drew me to it was the hint of glitter.  This eye shadow is the BOMB.    I bought a second one -- pictured here -- in Midnight Blue and love it just as much.  It stays on all day (thanks especially to the above mentioned Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion) and I get so many compliments about the color!  The blue really compliments my blue eyes nicely.  For the $6.97 price, you can't beat this eye shadow. 

Another discovery made at Sephora this year was the Make Up For Ever line.  I really like their foundation and primer.  I have both the liquid foundation and the compact and change it up almost daily which one I wear.  I wore the compact a lot this summer because it's quicker to apply but I've found that either format lasts all day and gives me a good base.  Semi-pricey but both last a while and I'm willing to pay more for a good foundation (don't want to look orange, hate when some foundations give you a ghost look in pictures because of the pigment, don't want make up to come off on my phones or fingers when I touch my face, stay on all day, no creasing, etc). 


A fun purchase I made at Ulta was this baby cakes baked blush palette.  It has 4 shades and comes with a brush (that I don't use).  I like mixing all 4 colors for daily wear.  I've found the 2 on the left side are more "pink" and the 2 on the right are a good bronzer so mixed together it's the perfect shade for me.  Plus, it has a little sheen to it for the perfect glow. 

When Jen visited and we had our mini- MAC make over, I tried out their MAC Mineralize Concealor and really liked it.  I ended up purchasing it that day ($20 I think) and have used it daily since then.  You apply this concealer over your foundation and then blend with a foundation brush and then it basically somehow "matches" your skintone perfectly.  I use it under my eyes and on any problem areas and have been really pleased with it.  
 Mineralize Concealer
Brown Sugar & Fig Bath & Body Works Shower Gel & Lotion – I think I love this set because it smells like my favorite Scentsy scent (French Kiss) that was discontinued.  I found this scent in the fall at the store and got worried because I thought it was only a seasonal product.  Come to find out, the outlets have it year round and there’s an outlet about an hour from me.  Score.

I'm always on the hunt for my new favorite shampoo/conditioner and styling products but don't have any that I feel like I really loved for 2012.  I do have a large basket under the sink of products I was hoping I would love... but none that I can't live without.  Maybe I'll have some for 2013. 

What were your favorite beauty products for 2012?  Anyone else in love with Sephora??

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Favorite Things: Day 2 - Around the House

Today’s favorite things are going to be items “around the house” – this was easy because as I walked from room to room I just took pictures of things I have out/am using.

Almost every room in the house has a Scentsy!  I LOVE the scents and that I don’t have to worry my cats are going to catch their fur on fire or burn down the house with their endless jumping from object to object.  I started selling Scentsy last October and I’m pretty sure I’ve put my profit back into buying more for my own personal collection.

Over the last year or so I’ve also developed quite the thirty-one collection.  I have to admit though; I use these totes for EVERYTHING.  I’m not really into their purses but the utility and organizing totes have my name all over them (literally, hah).  Right now I have one holding wedding magazines and my binder, another for items I’ve ordered for the wedding, one has my Scentsy samples, there’s at least 2 in the back of my car with either returns or errands and another stack that’s getting ready to be used to pack for our Christmas trips.  I love getting them monogrammed and have recently started getting them with my future “G” instead of “K”!  I think it’s cute when they say “Games” “Snacks” etc but I feel like it’s too limited for me – I want to be able to use the bags for whatever for a long time to come.

In my quest to re-organize the house, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with the OXO Good Grip Clear Containers.  I picked this set up at Target and can’t wait to fill it up with all our snacks.  Love that their clear and stackable!  I told myself I wasn’t going to buy these and just add them to the wedding registry but I couldn’t resist… I’ll just add another set to the registry... problem solved!  I'll have to do another post about how I used these in my snack cabinet. 

True story.. I had this post in draft while working on it, and decided to go get a set of these for my mom for Christmas.  I ran by Bed Bath and Beyond last night and grabbed their boxed set (pictured below) and well... let's just say now I need to go get ANOTHER set.  I actually decided this wasn't a good gift set because the containers are tall and skinny vs short and fat and I don't think they hold as much per container as the set from Target.  These are filled up with items from a huge tin of Christmas goodies Adam bought from someone's kid at work that's in Boy Scouts.  We weren't really eating any of it because they were in bags, down in the tin, and well, that was too much work.  Now they are easily accessible and fun to look at!

Another organizing must-have are the Rubbermaid Interlocking Containers.  I first mentioned them on this post.  I’ve since organized another drawer in the kitchen.  I’d love to get some more of these, only issue is that the closest Container Store is a little over 2 hours away.  Bummer.  I did pick up a different but similar product at Target so I’ll try those out and let you know my opinion.

This has to be one of the most random finds of the year but one that’s totally practical for me.  It’s a set of 3 remote control switches for outlets!  One of my pet peeves is when I’m reading in bed, I have to get up to turn out the lamp on my nightstand because it’s just a little too far away to reach without falling out of the bed!  I was in Bed Bath and Beyond a few weeks ago and could hardly believe my eyes when I saw these sweet little remotes.  LOVE them!  I have my 2 nightstand lamps and the bedroom Scentsy on the remote.  Now I can even enjoy my Scentsy right up to the minute I fall asleep.  Genius.

iPad 2.  Adam jokes and says it’s like my shadow because I carry it from room to room with me.  It’s like my little buddy.  I seriously don’t know what I did before I had an iPad!  Lugged my laptop around I guess.  We have both the iPad and the iPad 2 and iPad 2 gets bonus points because not only is it lighter than the original but it has FaceTime!  I love getting to FaceTime with friends and family; technology really is amazing.

Brothers label maker.  Go ahead – laugh but secretly I know you’re jealous if you don’t have one.  My biggest complaint with the label maker is that there’s a lot of wasted label on the side once you go to print it.  Plus, I’m guessing I left mine on the first time I used it and ALL (there’s like 10 batteries!) in it died and I had to replace it the second time I wanted to use it.  I do enjoy seeing my beautiful labels though!  I bought pink tape to use in my scrapbook room when I have time and decide where I want everything to be.

As naughty as they are... the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy.  I actually really liked the story, as predictable as it was at times and all.  I can't wait to see the movie.  Funny story.. this spring I was reading the first book 50 Shades of Grey - at Adam's parent's house.  Adam's dad asked me if I was preparing to be in the Gray family by reading the book.. I just laughed and said if it's going to be anything like the book then I want out now!! ;-)

My next favorite is something I found at Barnes and Noble in Henderson, NV this past January.  I've always been someone that kept a journal but then I would go long periods of time without writing and it seemed like such a hassle to get caught up.  Enter the One Line A Day Give -Year Memory Book.  I've really enjoyed jotting down a line or two night each night about what went on that day... even if most days are like Groundhog Day.  It'll be fun to look back in a few years and see what we were up to - especially since I've always been like "Can you believe a year ago today we were XYZing?!"  

Another 2012 discovery was Tervis!  These are such fun drink containers.  I love that they don't sweat and I don't have to worry about my wood getting water stains!  What's even funnier is that one of my sweet friends gave me an early Christmas present today and it was a pink Tervis with my *new* monogram!  So here's the picture I was going to post and one of my new tumbler...

My Velata Fondue (basically chocolate Scentsy!) also had a lot of use in 2012.  This has been something fun to pull out when we have visitors or take a trip home.  There's also a few of these being given as Christmas gifts this year! 

...and there you have it!  I just looked back through my list and these really are my favorites because I've even given everything on here as a gift to someone this year!  This was so much fun to compile.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's favorite "beauty" items! 

What are your 2012 favorites??  Anything I need?! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Favorite Things: Day 1 - Scrapbooking

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

(comment: be glad you’re reading the lyrics and I’m not singing them to you)

So in the spirit of Christmas and a new year being right around the corner, I thought I would do some of my favorite things from 2012.  I think I’ll break this into 3 posts: scrapbooking tools, around the house and beauty.  Today’s favorite things will be… scrapbooking tools!

First up:  Cricut Craft Room software.  Best part?  It’s free!  I’ve had my Cricut since 2008 and have used it hands down 100% more and more efficiently since downloading this software from Provo Craft.  I use a lot less paper trying to get the perfect cut and now put all the paper on the mat at once to cut all layers at one time (saves time AND paper!).  This weekend I even expanded my Cricut Craft Room skill set by welding 2 cupcakes to make the cutest card ever!


Next, is my pink ATG gun.  I use to always use rubber cement on my scrapbooks because it was acid free and pretty mess free as well.  Since I’ve discovered the tape gun I haven’t touched regular glue! LOVE this thing.  Plus, the fact that it’s pink doesn’t hurt either.  No more glue drying out or million bottles to store… just my lovely tape gun.  I’ve found that the refills last me a long time as well.  I made a pretty large order of tape refills back when I was living in Baton Rouge (so probably 2 years ago) and still have a box of 12 left to go.  Michaels carries the pink ATG gun and it’s often on sale if you’re looking for your own.

Another glue that I do use for small Cricut cuts is the Zig 2-Way Glue Pen.  This glue is like concrete and perfect for those oh so tiny slivers of paper that I always end up trying to assemble. 

Earlier this year I had to replace my large paper trimmer – the one I had was starting to really mess up paper when I’d cut with it … supposedly the blade was supposed to be self-sharpening but mine had issues.  So out it went and in came a lovely new pink cutter by Making Memories.  I use this on 98% of my projects and it makes me smile because it’s pink.  Win win.

My paper storage.  Remember from this post about how I organize my paper?  Love both my tall paper racks and the little ones I keep on my desk for scraps.  Organized and pretty to look at.

There’s lots of other things I use in my crafting, but these items are things that I have used the most in 2012. 

Oh, and a black Friday addition.. this 10-drawer rolling cart.  I actually bought 2, one's assembled and sitting in my scrapbook room - just haven't decided what to put in it yet but I can already tell  -- it's a favorite.


Something I've been looking forward to is getting our save-the-dates out!  I wanted to do something different and incorporate more than just 1 picture and what I found is spectacular (in my opinion) and so different.  I searched high and low for the perfect cards (I didn't want one that said "save the date" on it which ruled out lot of options!!) and found them through  I hadn't heard of Pear Tree before but I am really pleased with the quality of their products.  I originally only ordered the minimum so I could make sure I liked the card before ordering 100+... I was getting ready to place the order this weekend and Groupon sent out coupons for Pear Tree!  What are the odds?  So, instead of paying over $300 for the save-the-dates, I got them and labels for $130!! Wooooooo
At this point, my plan is to send them out the first week of January so they don't get lost in the hustle and bustle of Christmas and Christmas cards.  Plus, that gives me a little bit more time to finalize the guest list and collect addresses.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Island Dreamin'

In less than 6 months, my honey and I will be honeymooning!  I am SO excited for the honeymoon.  I'm getting my dream vaca and we're both going somewhere we've neither been..... (drum roll).... French Polynesia!!!

We will have quite the travel time going and coming but it will be totally worth it.  How many other times do you get to take off for your dream vacation with your dream husband??  Plus, Adam and I have always spent our vacation time either going to Michigan or West Virginia so this is a trip that's JUST for us.  

We will fly from Atlanta to LA and then to Papeete (capital of Tahiti).  It's an 8-hour flight from LA to Tahiti; we will stay the first night in Tahiti and then take a ferry to Moorea.  We're staying at the Hilton Moorea in an overwater bungalow!! So excited!!  After 3 nights, we take a very short flight to Bora Bora where we will be staying at the Hilton Bora Bora in another overwater bungalow.  Then it's back to reality after 10 days of bliss.  We are looking into scuba diving while we are down there.. have to see if I'm brave enough first!!! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lucky Tree #3

After begging last Christmas and starting my begging earlier in the year this year, Adam finally caved and agreed to putting a tree up for me over the door on a ledge that I swear was made JUST for a Christmas tree!  It was def. the perfect last touch to our decor this year.  (On top of the candles I bought for all the windows... :) )

Step 1:  Get 22' ladder ready to go!

Step 2:  Get strong fiance to climb 22' ladder while holding assembled 6.5' tree and not falling!
Step 3:  Admire tree from the inside.  Nice work babe!

Step 4:  Admire tree from outside.  Perfect!!!
It's so pretty I may never take it down ;-)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Random Ramblings

Happy Monday!  I had a great weekend at home (literally didn't leave the house once with the exception of walking the dog around the neighborhood!).  It felt so good to finally get caught up on so many things and get my "to do" list pretty much completed (don't worry, I have a new one that's growing by the minute).  This post is going to be pretty random because well, that's how my weekend was. 

I had a "wedding nightmare" Saturday night which was probably inspired by the fact I knew our engagement announcement was going to be in the Chattanooga Times Free Press Sunday morning so I went to sleep thinking about that.  My dream was crazy!  I dreamed that the bridesmaids were wearing skin tight, sequined, hoochie-mama dresses... my dad had on jeans.. I had on a lace dress... the groom and groomsmen were late.. there was some awful music playing while I walked down the aisle.. I had a brick vs flowers for my bouquet... Eick!!!!  I even declared that this was NOT the wedding and I wanted a re-do and walked out of the church!  Then, when trying to decide when the wedding should be, started re-freaking out because I already had over 100 Save-the-dates made!  Thank goodness it was JUST a dream!!

Also happy to see our cute faces in Sunday's paper :).. seeing it in writing just makes it all that more real! (Yes, the rock on my finger makes it feel real as well)

In other randomness news, I am 100% addicted to a game on my iPad/iPhone called Candy Crush.  I'm at level 30 on my phone and 50 on my iPad.  You only get so many lives and then there's a time delay before you get any more or of course you can buy more lives... but who does that?  I'm cheap.. come on.  Plus, the time delay allows me time to do all the things I need to be doing haha

Check it out.. but know that I warned you... you won't be able to walk away!

I had a meeting in Nashville last Wednesday and made a quick trip there and back.  I have been dying to go to Nashville (No Adam that trip didn't count!!) and now I want to go even more.  After the meeting, my co-worker and I grabbed some lunch a the Cheesecake Factory (hello orange chicken and cheesecake!!!!) and then... another first... THE CONTAINER STORE!!  It was like love at first site for me.  I have always wanted to go in one of these stores but never really been close to one... Can you marry a store?!  It was Heaven!  So many containers, so little time.  I just walked around and touched everything...twice.

I've been trying to get my drawers organized in the bathroom and kitchen and they are such a weird/small size none of the dividers I've tried work really well.  I hate wasted space and I always end up with inches in the back that you can't access or along the sides.  I bought the Rubbermaid Interlocking Drawer Organizers to try in the bathroom and couldn't wait to get home and try them out.   

Here's the before...
 And the after! 

 So, it's still not "perfect" but it's better. With the pink baskets, my eye liners would sneak out those little slots on the side and I'd be forever looking for them.  This is my "everyday" make up for the most part and I have it in the top drawer for easy access.  The items in front left square are samples from Sephora that will get used up/tossed.  The right square holds my most used eye shadows.  In the long tray on the left are my brushes and primers.  The long tray on the right has my mascaras, eye lingers, eye make up brushes, etc.  In the far back 2 squares are compacts I don't use that often (but are too expensive to toss!!) and some older eye shadows.  The dreaded "space canal" on the right are more samples and my scissors.  Must have scissors in every room!  This drawer is only 7" wide so you can totally tell a man designed the bathroom cabinets...  

My last randomness topic is the "winter" finale of Revenge!  I LOVE this show.  I'm worried that not a lot of people talk about it so it could get canceled (so start watching it people)!!  I love the characters, I love the twisty plot, I love the Hamptons, I love it all!  I don't like that I have to wait a few months to see what's going to happen next!!! 

I also did quite a bit of crafting this weekend but I'm working on 2 very special projects so I can't post pics quite yet :)