The Christmas Ball that Almost Killed Me

It all started back before Thanksgiving when I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and was sucked into buying Christmas Craft Supplies far in advance. I found these little styrofoam ball covered in glitter and bought two packages. Little did I know that these balls would do their best to make me want to quit crafting forever.

My first thought for these terrible balls was to make a little tree similar to one I saw in ballard designs, but alas I did not have enough to cover the whole tree. I thought to myself, "That's ok. I'll just go buy more."

Fast forward to black Friday when Amie and I went shopping. After spending about 2 hours in JoAnn's draining our bank accounts we went over to Hobby Lobby to get the elusive balls. Upon arrival I was shocked to find all of the white balls were gone! Luckily Hobby Lobby is just a few stores down from Michael's. I thought I had hit the Christmas ball goldmine when I found the white balls in a different brand.

When I returned home I realized they were not the same white. My OCD self would not be able to accept this. So I went back to Hobby Lobby and bought red balls. By now I became very worried about what to do with the balls. I had spent so much time searching for them I didn't want to waste them. I decided to go with what I know best- Wreath Making!

I haven't made a wreath in a while since I went crazy and made a million wreaths last year, but I think this one is well worth the wait.

Behold- The Christmas Balls!

These terrible nighttime pictures do not do them justice. I will try to get a daylight one so you can really take it in. 

Pin It

Baby Trend: Hot Pink and Zebra

Two weeks ago I threw a baby shower at work for my old boss along with a few of my colleagues. My old boss is the AVP now so it was kind of nerve-wracking. We went with a Hot Pink and Zebra Theme. At first I thought this was kind of random, but once I got looking this stuff is EVERYWHERE!

I made my first diaper cake and I was so please with it. 

I found these favor boxes at hobby lobby and used them as table decor. 

We ordered these cupcakes. They were so delish. They were apple flavored and had a real baked apple in the middle. Mouth watering!

See the hot pink and zebra streamers and the matching plates? All from Hobby Lobby.

Jess received lots of adorable handmade gifts. There is a little crochet lamb on her lap. Too cute!

The party turned out great, but was so much work. So many people made comments that I should be a party planner because I had real attention to detail. This may be a talent of mine, but I have no desire to make it a business. 

Pin It

Dollar Store Ornaments

A few weeks ago, my work held a craft fair and I invited Amie from Kitty Cats and Airplanes to come sell her super cute jewelry. The craft fair was free for employees to sell their items as long as they sold $50 raffle tickets. So I had to sell something, which I have never ever done. I was so ridiculously busy that week throwing a baby shower that I literally threw some ornaments together the night before.

I was totally shocked when people bought all four of the ornaments I brought plus two small wreaths. I really only made them as a technicality so Amie could get the table for free. Even more shockingly I had two people place orders of ten each. At that point, I decided maybe you guys would like to see them.

They are so simple I didn't document the steps, but I found a tutorial from my friend Katie over at Smile Like You Mean It. Hers look way cuter than mine. Plus the fact there is never any daylight during the winter makes my pictures totally crappy.

I placed them in a cookie box for the purchasers. So easy and so cheap!

Pin It


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling 

Pin It

I Have an Actual New Year's Resolution!

Last year I didn't even bother with making a new year's resolution. Every year it's about losing weight and going to the gym and it kind of takes away from my motivation knowing every year I said I was gonna and every year I fail. But this year is gonna be different!

This year John and I are making financial resolutions. Our finances are a total mess. We are really blessed to have good jobs, but it seems like the more money you make the less you care about saving money, which is crazy!

When we were first married and totally broke I was super conservative in my spending and I shopped sales and used coupons religiously. I have gotten so lazy! Because I can afford to pay full price I just started doing it. It makes me crazy to think of how much money I have been wasting.

The second thing is our debt has gotten out of control. Between student loans, buying a house, and getting ready to buy a new car. I am getting overwhelmed at the numbers. The easiest thing for me to do is to start eliminating our credit card debt. We have a pretty low interest rate and we have just been carrying it around forever. Why??? It's so dumb. We are just throwing money out the window.

I'm working on our game plan right now so keep an eye out for our specific changes that we are making. Keep in mind I am not a naturally frugal person, I'm a terrible saver, and I am always struggling to not become a shopaholic so lots of this stuff may seem basic to you, but we are going back to basics here!

Pin It

Christmas Wishes

My friend Annie asked me to post this on her behalf. This is such a wonderful creative way to help her cousins. Please read her post below:

Nothing can prepare you for those moments when your whole world changes. It happens so suddenly. The seconds crawl while that one moment is seared into your heart and your mind. You lose all track of time while your reality shifts from just-fine to not-anywhere-close-to-fine.

It was sunny. Cold, but that’s normal for early February. I’d had a weird feeling that I should stick around home that day instead of going out with some friends. For once, I didn’t ignore the weird feeling and stayed home, working on various projects.

It was 3:41 p.m. when the phone rang. My mom never calls at that time of day, and I wondered if one of my siblings needed a ride or something. Matt was working from home so I had a car. Good thing, I thought. I hate saying no.

I answered the phone and could hear something was off in Mom’s voice. I wandered into the dining room as she told me that my uncle, Sam LaCara, had been shot at the school where he worked as principle.

My breath caught in my throat. I wonder how long his recovery will take.

“Shortly afterwards, he passed away.”


I looked down at my phone. 3:41 pm. In California that would be…11:41. I have to tell Matt…how is this even possible?

I have to get home.

My family—my huge, loud, hilarious, beautiful family—lives in California. After Matt and I married, we moved 3,000 miles away to Maryland. As much as we love it here, we really miss our friends and family back home.

Never more so than after we lost Sam.

Being so far away has made it difficult to offer consistent support. I stewed for months over what I could do for my aunt and her three young daughters. I wanted to help make things even a little bit better, knowing full well that the holidays would bring a special kind of pain.

The result of all that stewing is a multi-authored storybook called Christmas Wishes: A Collection of Holiday Tales and Truths. Originally I only meant to print a few copies for my aunt Lisa and her daughters, but then the vision expanded a bit. We decided to sell the book and give all proceeds to the girls’ college funds. Education was a huge priority to Sam, a priority that took a back seat to only one thing: his family.

The following video was created to explain a little bit more about Christmas Wishes. Please take a moment to check it out, and please consider purchasing a copy of Christmas Wishes. You can order through Amazon, or go to any bookstore and order it using the following information:

Pin It

50% off at Shade PLUS 2-for Deals PLUS Free Shipping

Right now Shade Clothing has a promo code for 50% off EVERYTHING. This includes their 2-for deals. I was able to get two camis for $12 plus free shipping. Just use the pomo code SHADEGIFT.

Pin It