Dreams To Do

November 2012 archive

All You Need

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Someone on Facebook posted this image and it was exactly what I needed to read in that moment.

All you need is less. 

This time of year is insane. It’s the one time of year where we actually take the time to reflect on all we’re thankful for and spend extra quality time with our family and friends while simultaneously scouring the internet and malls for killer deals on a bunch of crap none of us really even need. I don’t know about you, but for me Christmastime is a bundle of happiness and love and stress and exhaustion.

Right now more than anything, I am craving simplicity. Do you ever have moments where you just want to throw away every item you own and start over? And keep things clean, and streamlined, and simple? I do. And I’m not just talking about the physical clutter. I also crave a more simple schedule and a non-existent to do list. A girl can dream, can’t she? 🙂

One little Christmas tradition I’ve decided to implement with my children this year is to fill up at least one garbage bag with toys that they want to donate to children in need. If they want to get any new toys from Santa, they must give away some old toys. I figure it will be good for them to learn about giving and it will be good for my sanity to have a little less clutter in the toy department.

Also, I’m going simple this year in my gift-giving. Luckily, we draw names for Christmas gifts in both my family and my hubby’s family. This is such a blessing and a weight off everyone’s shoulders! For one thing we don’t have to stress about buying or preparing 50 million gifts and we don’t end up with a bunch of unnecessary items that were given to us just because people felt like they “had to.” It’s simple. Love it.

As for gifts for my kids, that’s where I struggle. I want to give them the world. I want them to wake up Christmas morning to a floor covered in gifts just so I can see the excitement in their eyes. But, they are still young and I still have time to create the tradition that I want them to grow up knowing. And what I want them to know is that it isn’t about quantity and it isn’t about stuff and it isn’t about the gifts at all. I’m going to pull in the reigns a little this year and keep things simple. Simple, but happy.

After all, sometimes less really is more.

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Monthly DIY: Easy Instagram Photo Ornaments

So, I was laying in bed the other night brainstorming ideas for my monthly DIY project. I decided I wanted it to be something holiday oriented and since I’m obviously obsessed with Instagram (& making things with Instagram photos), this easy idea popped into my head.

Easy DIY Instagram Photo Ornaments

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I wasn’t exactly sure what supplies I would end up using, but one trip to Joann’s and under $10 later, I had what I needed.

Supplies:

  • 3″x3″x3″ foam cube (found in the floral department) – I originally wanted something smaller, but this worked 
  • Six 3″x3″ Instagram prints to glue on the sides of the cube (I used Microsoft Powerpoint and just arranged my images on a slide and printed it out on regular ole printer paper)
  • Glue (I used tacky spray adhesive, but you can use whatever you have on hand that won’t make your paper wrinkle/bubble)
  • Jewelry screw eyes to hang the ornament with (if you can’t find these, you may be able to get away with gluing your ribbon straight to the ornament)
  • Festive Ribbon
  • Optional: glitter or glitter glue for the edges – fun washi tape would also look great!

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Close up of the little screw eye things I found in the jewelry aisle at Joann’s (used to attach ribbon)…
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What ya do:

1. Choose six Instagram prints and/or custom designs for the sides of your cube. Here’s what I did that is super easy and accessible for most people: I emailed myself the Instagram photos I wanted to use from my phone. Then, I put them on a Microsoft Powerpoint slide (you could also use Word, or Photoshop – whatever is easiest for you) and re-sized them all to be 3″x3″ (the same as the sides of my cubes). I also designed the red “Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas” square right inside Powerpoint. Then, I printed the page out on plain printer paper and cut out my images. Nothing fancy here! Side Note: when cutting out my images, I slightly rounded the corners – they fit better on the cube this way.

2. Glue your images to your foam cube and let dry. I used Tacky Spray Glue, but I’m sure any good quality crafter’s glue would work.

3. Optional: Decorate the edges of your cube with glitter or fun tape. I used glitter glue and just rubbed it in a little with my fingers. I’m not too impressed with how it turned out. I think some good ole Elmer’s glue and real glitter would coat on thicker and look better. OR, I also think that fun, festive washi tape would look awesome around the edges. Maybe next time. 🙂

4. Now it’s time to attach some festive ribbon to hang your ornament. If you bought some metal jeweler’s screw eye hoopy things, just apply a dot of hot glue (or another type of adhesive) and poke one into the corner you want your ornament to hang from. Once that is dry, tie some ribbon to the metal loop.  I used a thinner ribbon and glued the edges together to make a loop and then I tied a bigger, sparkly ribbon around the base to make a pretty bow. No metal hoop? I’m sure you could just hot glue the ribbon right on the corner of your cube. 🙂

Ta Da!

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Now I have two commemorative ornaments for my kiddos for 2012. We will never forget this special year. 🙂 Can’t wait to hang them on the tree next weekend! (Bonus: Because they are made from foam, they are super light weight!)

Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you make one!

Linking this post up with: Vintage Wanna Bee, Sugar Bee Crafts, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Sugar & Dots

‘Tis The Season?

Welp, Thanksgiving 2012 is officially over and I guess Christmas is upon us now. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this yet. My Instagram feed has been over taken with photos of perfectly trimmed trees and Martha Stewart style fireplace mantles. While I’m usually jumping with joy over all things merry & bright right after Thanksgiving, this year I’m just not feeling ready yet. Bah humbug to me, I guess.

I did however get out ONE strand of Christmas lights after Leila asked me why we didn’t have any lights on our house yet. 
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I’m hoping that by next weekend (when my hubby is actually not working), I’ll get in the Christmas spirit and bust out the decorations. However, the past four days off from work have been spent doing a whole lotta nothing. I hardly touched my computer and phone. I only styled my hair once. I watched a good amount of TV. And all-in-all, I felt pretty dang pathetic. I think the dreary weather and short days are bringing me down more than usual this time of year. All I want to do is sleep, sleep, sleep. Sigh.

Here are a few pics from my lazy vacation…

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I’m not gonna lie, my Thanksgiving actually kinda sucked. And then Andy had to work all weekend, so it was just me and the kiddos. The highlights, however, included an early evening solo trip to Target on Black Friday where I scored some awesome deals and it was no busier than usual, staying up late catching up on the DVR with my hubby, puzzle time with Leila Jade, and early morning snuggles with my little man. Despite the crap life throws our way sometimes, I can always rely on little happy moments to pull me along.

I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving! I truly believe that by next weekend I will be embracing the Christmas spirit in full-force. Just gotta get back into the swing of things. 🙂

100 Things I’m Thankful For

Last year I typed up a “little” list of just some of the things I was thankful for at the time. Well, now I’m going to make it a tradition by doing it again. 🙂

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I could probably complete this list of 100 Things I’m Thankful For solely with the names of people, but I’m not going to do that. So, there will be some clumping together of loved ones to make room for all of the other goodness in my life.

Here we go….

  1. My AH-mazing friends & family (& Billy dog) – I’d be lost without you!
  2. Jesus
  3. Coffee
  4. Photoshop
  5. Free fonts (the cool chalk font above can be found HERE)
  6. Inspirational words
  7. Books
  8. Chocolate (ok, and any other food item containing sugar)
  9. The lovely ladies who save my sanity by cleaning our house every other week
  10. My job
  11. Financial security
  12. Health insurance
  13. My curling iron
  14. The women who take such phenomenal care of my kiddos
  15. Dora & Mickey Mouse
  16. DVR
  17. Leggings (& even jeggings) – please never go out of style!
  18. My computer
  19. My iPhone
  20. The roof over my head
  21. Our fireplace
  22. My sanity
  23. Two legs, two arms, two hands, two feet
  24. Rainbows
  25. Summertime
  26. Socks
  27. My health
  28. Happy kiddos
  29. Starbucks
  30. Pasta
  31. Clorox wipes
  32. Our cars
  33. The World Wide Web – I couldn’t survive without it!
  34. Blogland and all of you super extraordinary people out in it!
  35. Kind strangers
  36. Our mailman
  37. Our garbage men
  38. My microwaveable rice bag (keeps my footsies warm at night)
  39. New pillows
  40. Hawaii
  41. The Ocean
  42. My artistic eye
  43. Freedom
  44. Our soldiers
  45. Our President
  46. Hoodies
  47. Uggs
  48. Flip flops
  49. Our dishwasher
  50. My hubby’s cooking & cleaning ability – you’re one in a million, babe!
  51. Leila’s sensitivity & kindness
  52. Landon’s ability to make me laugh in any circumstance
  53. My fabulous co-workers – I wouldn’t have lasted as long as I have without you!
  54. Vending machines
  55. Spare change
  56. PTO
  57. Sleep
  58. A full belly
  59. Pen & paper
  60. My camera
  61. Drive-thrus
  62. Laughter
  63. Sight, sound, and smell
  64. Pizza
  65. Tea
  66. Blankets
  67. Living close to where I grew up
  68. Animals
  69. Recycling
  70. Electricity
  71. My college education
  72. Past & future trips
  73. Where I’ve gone and the potential for where I can go
  74. Miracles
  75. Google
  76. Amazon
  77. Being in love
  78. My marriage
  79. Feeling secure
  80. Confidence
  81. Toilets
  82. Journaling
  83. Art
  84. TV & movies
  85. Moments of peace and relaxation
  86. My big, warm, super-cozy bed (which is calling my name as I type this)
  87. Ice cold drinking water
  88. Toothpaste & toothbrush
  89. Fresh air
  90. Trees
  91. Our fenced in back yard
  92. Nail polish
  93. Music
  94. The Bar Method
  95. Holidays
  96. You
  97. The smell of baking cookies
  98. My kiddos’ toys
  99. Turkey
  100. The miracle of life

Whew! There ya have it. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday because it forces us all to think like this – to really think about what we are grateful for. We should get in the habit of doing this more often, don’t ya think?

So, have any of you typed up Thankful lists?  If not, you should! I would love to see what rocks your world – feel free to send links my way!

Wishing you and your families a very, VERY, very happy Thanksgiving! XOXO

Full Plate

No, I’m not talking about the plate full of amazingness that I’m going to be stuffing my face with in a couple of days. (Although, I can’t wait for that!) I’m talking about the full plate that is my life right now.

A schedule full of work & life to-dos. The list is never ending.
A head full of Christmas ideas, blog posts, thoughts on the new year & turning 29.
A heart full of thanksgiving, yet heavy with sadness.

Life is funny (in a not-so-funny way most of the time). It seems like I always find myself stretched to the max around this time of year. The days seem so much shorter and I feel like I’m losing time to get stuff done. I am so jacked up on holiday happiness and excitement (& maybe a few too many peppermint mochas) that my level of focus is almost non-existent. My work load in the office seems to triple while my attention span seizes to exist. The irony in life strikes when the happiest time of the year comes crashing down with family circumstances beyond my control. All I want to do is curl up by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa and a good book. But in reality, I’m lucky if I get to push aside the growing pile of laundry on the couch and veg out to a half an hour of crap TV.

There are chores to do.
Papers to file.
Kids to feed.
A dog to walk.
Gifts to buy.
Prayers to say.
People to meet with.
Parties to plan.
Dreams to do.

And not enough minutes in the day.

But ya know what? This week is Thanksgiving! And I’m going to give LOTS of thanks and I’m going to relax! I’m going to take some much needed deep breaths. I’m planning another 100 Things I’m Thankful For post for Wednesday and that’ll be it from me for this week. You should join me!

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Side Note: The above pic was taken last weekend at Sears. I know that last time we got pics there I said I would NEVER pay for department store photos again, but I bought a killer Groupon deal. Needless to say, now I promise that we will NOT be returning to Sears for pics. Ever! Awful experience and this was the only decent photo.

Another Side Note: The winner of the $50 credit to MailPix.com is CLAIRE! YAY! YAY! YAY! I’ll be emailing ya, girl. Thanks for entering!

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