Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thank you, Pinterest.

Do you watch Late Night with Jimmy Fallon? And do you also watch his Friday "Thank You Notes?" They crack me up. Here's one of my recent favorites...

All this to say:
Thank you, Pinterest....

For helping direct readers to my blog and making me feel like a celebrity.
Guys, when I checked my stats on this blog today, I was at 89,321 views. Holy smokes! That's almost 100,000!

When I posted Challenge Me in February, I didn't have NEARLY that many pageviews. That post included the photo of the PVC pipe used to store a curling iron and hair dryer.

(this one)
I pinned that photo from my post to Pinterest and about 4 months later it caught on like wildfire. (Why it took a whole 4 months, I don't know...) I mean, seriously, it's all over! I made sure to let my friend Tracy know how awesome her dad is for making this in the first place and letting me take a picture of it!

All this exposure thanks to Pinterest! I see the proof when I look at the statistics on my Blogger stats page. The highest stats for traffic source are Pinterest by a mile. I began noticing my page views going from 20 or 30 a day to about 300 per day! I am now averaging about 10,000+ views a month! 10,000!!

That's insane!

All that time I thought nobody was reading because nobody was commenting, but apparently that wasn't a good thermometer of how much my blog was being seen.

Since I discovered the traffic coming mostly from Pinterest, I began pinning every post I write. Afterall, Pinterest inspired my blog in the first place. And the whole point of it is to try things from there and report the outcome.

What I think would be awesome is if you, my lovely readers, would join me in pinning things from my page. If you like a recipe or a craft idea, would you also pin it to your Pinterest boards and help expose my blog a bit more? I would be ever grateful!

In advance...
Thank you, "Don't Worry. Be Happy. Keep Learning." readers...

For continuing to visit my blog and making me feel so loved. 
Feel free to go to MY PINTEREST and follow me!

Happy Pinning!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Baby's First Year: DIY Monthly Onesies.

You may remember back in June I posted that I had a craft project coming up that I couldn't talk about yet. Well, I did it. And it was awesome. And I can talk about it now because the baby shower was a month ago and the gift has been gifted!

My friend Aimee and her husband Kenny are expecting a baby boy at the end of November. Last month, I helped plan her baby shower and it was tons of fun. I knew when I was thinking about gifts, that I couldn't just go pick something off her registry and sign my name to a card. She's one of my best friends and it had to be special.

I can't remember where I first saw it online, and I'm too lazy to start searching, but I found this craft idea on a blog and immediately knew I would someday do it for my own kid.

Oh, and then I realized I could do it for Aimee before that because it was such a neat idea!

I introduce you to the monthly onesies! A onesie for every month, starting at newborn. The idea is that you take a picture of the babe each month in the appropriate onesie. And at the end of a year you have a visual progression of how he/she grew. The best part? They're HOMEMADE! By me!

It's a very simple and fun project.

Start with any fabric transfer paper, a general design for your applications and an iron. For the transfer paper, I prefer the Avery brand over any of the others. The Next Style brand was alright, but the smell was a bit strong. I prefer to not feel like I'm in a wax museum.

I didn't take a pic of the actual process of designing the applications because it's pretty boring. Me, sitting at my computer, clicking, clicking, dragging, color change, etc. The VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT step you don't want to skip is the 'flip image' step before printing. This involves flipping the image horizontally (or mirror image) so it prints in reverse on your transfer paper so once you apply it to the shirt, it is the right way. DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP! You'll thank me later, otherwise you'll print it wrong and curse the wasted transfer paper. And then I'll say "I told ya so." 

Next, cut the transfer paper as close to the image as possible. This prevents a "halo" effect with excess white around the edges. 

In this photo, the first month was already done. That is why it is not backwards like the others.

Place the image face down where you want it on the shirt.

The next few steps vary depending on the transfer paper. Generally, you will apply pressure and motion with the iron. Times will vary. 

Let it cool and then slowly remove the paper backing starting on an edge.

I made 12 shirts total varying in sizes starting with 0-3 months and going up to 12 months. As long as Aimee's babe isn't 50 pounds by the time he's 6 months old, we should be alright for sizes.

My favorite one is the ONE YEAR shirt. I didn't make this on a onesie. I made it on a long sleeve shirt, because DUH he'll be a big boy by his first birthday, no? And it doubles as a birthday shirt! 

I packed them into a basket in chronological order.

I also included a blank photo book for Aimee to put the pictures in after she takes them. I didn't take a picture of the actual book, but the cover looked like this (front and back). Again, I custom made this and replaced the cardboard that the album came with. I just slid in my own designs. 

You know how you feel really proud of some craft projects more than others? Well, this is one of those projects that I was so proud of when I finished it. And I was so excited to gift it to her at the shower!

I have another craft project involving a child in my life, but it is a gift as well. Once I give the gift, I can post about it. But until then... keep praying it's you that is getting the gift!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Boots and leggings.

Here are some facts about me:

1. I have absolutely no style.
Unless jeans and a hoody is stylish. It's not? Oh. Then my point remains.

2. I like to pretend I have style.
Like during the week in between outfits consisting of basic black dress pants and a plain top, I'll throw in a fancy top with a belt (whoa!) or GRAY pants and a plain top. Yea, it's exciting. Sometimes I even wear a necklace. Contain your excitement. 

3. I have no idea how to dress my body type.
And for the record, I don't know what "type" that is. I have a bulky upper body (apple), but I'm also hippy. Or hippie. Whichever is the one that does not involve peace signs and Mary Jane. And my thighs have been large since the 9th grade when I was introduced to the leg lifting machine in volleyball conditioning. So somethings I claim the "curvy" body type, but mostly I'm body type "marshmallow wrapped with rubber bands."

4. I wish I was one of those girls who can wear anything and look good.
What is the saying, "She'd look hot in a potato sack?" And not just on Halloween, in which case I would just look like I was attempting to be an actual potato.

With all this said, I love the boots over leggings, or boots over skinny jeans look. I never thought I could pull it off because well... when you're in a double digit jean size, referring to anything as "skinny" is flat out denial. But flat boots are in and after finding out I have plantar fasciitis in the Spring, per my chiropractor I had to ditch all my shoes with heals... my bonus heel spur thanks me. Soooo, I did recently purchase a pair of [not-so] skinny jeans and 2 pairs of tall boots.

They say we are our worst critics, and honestly I feel like Florian Bellanger on Cupcake Wars every morning when I get dressed and look in the mirror.

I'm never happy with the presentation and I can't understand a word I say. 

I've tried to document my various attempts at wearing this style and I'm going to expose them to you now. Maybe my attempts are humorous, maybe I'm doing alright. I really don't know. But in the spirit of "TRYING NEW THINGS" this is right there on the list.

I'm very much a fan of the black boots and black "skinny" dress pants because, well like I've said already, I like to keep it plain and that's not much of a shift from my boot cut black pants and heels for work. But the brown riding boots are lovely! And since these pics were taken, I've purchased a SECOND pair of "skinny" jeans from Old Navy. I busted them out for our family pictures a couple weeks ago. My little sister showed up in the exact same outfit, even the exact same pair of jeans, and she's pretty stylish, so I think I did alright!

Whether or not I'm a "boy" shape or a "pear" or the Michelin Man, this style is comfy and I like it!

What do you think?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Anniversary Photos.

As I have mentioned, today is my first anniversary with my husband. Yesterday we took some family photos at the pond where we had our reception last year. A while back I found a genius level idea that I knew we would do when our first anniversary came. I'm going to show you the steps I took to make the photo happen, so you can recreate this yourself.

1. Get married. (Easy enough, yea?)

2. On your wedding day, get a picture taken of you and your spouse. (Really, this shouldn't be the hardest step)

3. On your first anniversary take a picture of you and your spouse at the exact location holding an empty frame.

4. Get Photoshop. Or borrow a friend's computer for a sec. Or bribe someone to do this for you.

5. Cut out the inside of the frame you're holding in the picture.

6. Insert photo from wedding day into frame. And voila!

7. Do this every year on your anniversary.

I can't wait to do this many many more times. And when we have kids, we'll add them into the picture, too! I think it's a great way to chronicle our life over time.

Love Cinnamon Rolls.

Today is my husband's and my 1 year anniversary! (Is that sentence grammatically correct?!) Since it is Monday and around here, Monday's stink, I decided to make special cinnamon rolls for him yesterday morning before church. I saw a neat idea last week to make regular Cinnamon Rolls into hearts and I thought it was perfect! The original post I found was written by a woman with much more time on her hands... cinnamon rolls from scratch?!?! Someone needs their head checked... :)

This girl went for the easy route. It was either these or heart shaped pancakes. Read: "I'm lazy" and really an anti-morning person, so cinnamon rolls win!

On Saturday, we visited the orchard nearby to pick pumpkins. This is the same orchard where he worked his butt off to plan the most perfect proposal to me 2 years ago. I'd like to make this an annual outing and in years to come bring our kids.

The weather could have been much warmer. However, we were great sports. We hurried up and efficiently got our pumpkins and didn't waste time getting back to warmth. 

I can't believe it's been a whole year. It has gone quickly, yet I've enjoyed the time we've spent getting to know each other even more. 

I look forward to many more years with this man, and I'm thankful God placed him in my life at the perfect time.

Oh, and the cinnamon rolls yesterday? They turned out great!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Two years ago I posted on my personal blog my opinion on voting. This year is a major year in our country as we elect our president for the next 4 years, so I thought I'd revive that post and put it here. I do this with hesitation simply because I've aimed to make this new blog all things not-personal. However, voting is something all we adult American citizens should do, so this applies to all my readers.

If you don't agree, that's okay. I stand by what I say.

Original post: November 3, 2010
If you practiced your right as an American citizen yesterday, thank you.
I have a few soap boxes and sometimes I choose to stand upon them and speak my mind. The topic of voting is one of my soap boxes. In retrospect, I should have written this yesterday or prior... but I did not realize that so many of my friends (specifically on Facebook) would express their distaste for "politics" and voting and that this would press my buttons like it has.
I am by NO means someone who enjoys politics. Or debates. Or watching the same commercials over and over about how awful the opponent is. Nor do I consider myself savvy on many governmental topics, in general. I didn't grow up in much of a politically driven or active home, either. However, the thing I am passionate about is educating myself on my leaders and in turn, exercising my right to vote on their ability to lead. By doing so, I have a say in how the country, state, county and town I live in is managed.
With that said, I whole heartedly believe that if you aren't educated on the candidates and what they stand for, you absolutely should NOT vote... But I also whole heartedly believe voting is not just a right, it is an obligation as a citizen. If you’re an American citizen 18 and older, and otherwise qualified, there is no excuse not to register, do your homework and get your butt to the polls. If you’re not registered and/or don’t vote, you have given up your right to complain, praise or otherwise express your opinion in this regard. This is not about those who yell about wanting to take America back, it’s about those that, by neglect, are giving America away.
My biggest gripe is with Americans who sit back and do nothing by way of voting, yet think they have a right to input their views on about how the country, state, county, town or even school board is run by whoever is currently holding office. That's like visiting a restaurant, sitting at your table and asking the server to bring you anything on the menu because you "don't care" what you eat. Then when your T-bone cooked RARE and smothered in Tabasco sauce is delivered, you complain that it isn't what you want or that you don't even like meat. You had a chance to place your order, but did not. Therefore, you should keep quiet and eat that bloody fiery steak. Otherwise, next time you come to the restaurant, reserve a table, sit down, place an order to your liking and eat your dinner!
Complacency by the masses and low voter turnout are resulting in policies that are slowly stealing our freedoms. If we do nothing or don't keep our elected officers in check, we are risking losing our chance to maintain what freedom we still peacefully have.
You have exactly one month to study up on the candidates. I encourage you to do so, then get your booty to the polls on November 6, 2012.