Monday, February 28, 2011


Things have been rather slow at work this morning, so I got some time to explore the blogging world. =] I came across these two lovelies that I simply HAD to share with you guys. If you haven't joined, you totally should!!

1.) Buy Handmade: This one is awesome, and I can't believe that I didn't find it sooner! There is a pledge for us to sign, "I pledge to buy handmade for myself and my loved ones, and request that others do the same for me." What are you waiting for? Go there! Sign the button and grab a badge to post on your blog.

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

2.) Trade Handmade: Love this idea too! The idea was started by Ashley at Under Those Neon Lights. I found the information and button over at Secretly Loves Pink. You can read all about it here. Basically, the idea is to promote yourself and also support other crafters at the same time, by trading! I've done this several times, and I love it! You can trade pretty much anything. I've traded wallets and camera straps for things like blog design, business cards, photo shoots, and jewelry. I'm definitely signing up for this one!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to Make a Collage Using Picasa 3

I've had several readers ask me how I make my collages for the We Heart Wednesday posts. I figured I would try my hand at my very first tutorial, and show you how I do it!

How to Make a Collage Using Picasa 3

Step 1: Download Picasa 3

Step 2: Open Picasa, and select the file where your photos are stored from the menu on the left. Then select the photos that you want to use for your collage. (You can select more than one by holding down Ctrl while clicking on the photos). Then click on the Collage button at the bottom of the screen.

Click on the photo to view it larger
Step 3: You will be brought to a screen similar to this one. Select which type of collage you would like to use from the drop down menu on the left. I use the Mosaic style for most of my posts.

Click on the photo to view it larger
Step 4: Using the section on the left, you can customize your photo however you like. I usually add some white space between each photo using the slidebar. If you using the Picture Pile layout, you can add different types of borders to your photos as well. At this point, you can also rearrange your photos. You can either click "Shuffle" at the bottom of the screen, or you can click on each individual photo, and drag them wherever you like. In the Picture Pile layout, you can also make the photos larger, and rotate them, all my clicking and moving the mouse. When you are done adjusting, click "Create Collage."

Step 5: Save your collage by going to "File>Save As" and you are done!

So.. what do you think? More details? Less? Please let me know!!

Computer Problems and a New Project

I may not be posting a photo every day, but I am still taking them! I'm determined to keep up with my Project 365, even after baby is born. I fell behind this week because I ran into a bunch of computer problems. I got this nasty virus somehow, and spent several days getting it all fixed. So Feb 22 is a picture of my computer screen, while running the second scan of the night. Feb 23rd was another night of computer repairs, so I took a picture of my companion. He wants to spend the night in my lap, and he is so darn cute when he asks. =]

Feb 22nd

Feb 23rd

Feb 24th
Today I stayed home from work for some R&R, and ran to the fabric store. I gathered up the supplies for my next project. I'm making a custom item for a fellow blogger, and I can't wait to show it to you!

WHW: Owls

Lately, I have a serious obsession with owls. Not real owls, they are kind of creepy, but the cute cartoon owls. I've even made it the theme for my daughter's room. So naturally I decided to make that my WHW post for the week! So many cute owls!!!

For those of you who don't know about We Heart Wednesday.. click HERE to go check it out! Every Wednesday, we gather up a bunch of photos from We Heart It and post them on our blogs. Visit Brie at her blog HERE to link up and check out everyone's posts. It's a great way to increase the traffic on your blog, and an even better way to meet new people!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hawaiian Haystacks

Have you ever had a Hawaiian Haystack? You take a bowl of rice, add some chow mein noodles, cream of chicken soup, pineapple, and maraschino cherries. Sound gross? Don't bash it until you try it!

Feb 21st

Lola the Owl @ Gingercake

Lately, I have picked up a little obsession with owls. Not the realistic kind, but the cute cartoon kind. I have found several things to add to my baby room, and it has only fueled the fire. When I stumbled upon these cutie pies at Gingercake, I decided that I had to make them. You can buy the pattern for "Lola the Owl" by clicking here. OR You can buy the pattern for "Max the Owl" by clicking here. Both patterns are only $6 each, and super duper easy! All of the stitching for the pockets, face, and wings, is just a zigzag stitch. No folding and ironing. And it's a simple straight stitch to join the front and back pieces. I whipped these gals out in 30 minutes each. (It actually took longer than that to stuff them, but the sewing was really fast). These two purple girls are gifts for some twins coming into the family soon. I plan on making another one for my little girl, and I'm also going to try making "Max the Owl" too!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Baby Stuff!!

Saturday, my Mom took me to Baby's R Us for some shopping =] We finally have our stroller and carseat! Woohoo!

Feb 19th
Sunday (Today) I finally finished a project that I started a few weeks ago. These adorable stuffed owls for some babies on their way soon. Aren't they cute??

Feb 20th

Friday, February 18, 2011

Keeping Up for 365..

The first photo is definitely my favorite for the week. Not because I am particularly thrilled with the actual photograph, but because I love what is actually IN the photo. I had a baby shower last night, and this was definitely one of my favorite gifts. My brother in law painted this for our little baby girl. =] Isn't it adorable!?

Feb 17th
This second photo was taken this morning. I sat in the car, freezing my butt off, while I waited for the defrost to do its job. I thought the frost looked pretty cool as it melted.
Feb 17th

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's-Its and Some Colors

Have you ever had an It's-It before? It's quite easily the BEST ice cream snack ever.. Two wonderful oatmeal cookies sandwiching some vanilla ice cream, dipped in chocolate. Oh so heavenly. Hubby got me a box for Valentine's Day, but I didn't eat my first one until the next day.

Feb 15th
I made a trip to Walgreen's today and found these totally awesome colors. Can't wait to use them! I can't decide which one to use first. Maybe I'll just do one on each hand! Haha

Feb 16th

Coming Soon!

Just a heads up for you ladies (and maybe gents?) out there.. I'm working on a tutorial, complete with pictures, to help teach you how to make a collage with Picasa. I've been asked a few times how I do it, so I figured I would show you!

WHW: Music

When I was in high school, I struggled with insomnia a lot. My usual night consisted of 2-4 hours of sleep. It was rough, to say the least. I ran almost entirely on caffeine, Mt. Dew to be specific. After high school, once my stress level dropped, the insomnia vanished. It was fabulous to finally sleep again! Well a couple weeks ago, it came back. To say I'm pissed would be an understatement. I have tried everything that I'm allowed to take (being pregnant certainly puts a damper on things) and nothing works. Unisom, Melatonin, and Tylenol PM.. all duds. Warm milk, a hot bath, lavender scents.. also duds. The only thing that has given me any relief, is music. It wont keep me asleep, but it will at least help put me to sleep. I turn my iPod on, and lull myself to sleep. I'll wake up an hour later, and try it again. Haha. So this week's We Heart Wednesday post is Music!

For those of you who don't know about We Heart Wednesday.. click HERE to go check it out! Every Wednesday, we gather up a bunch of photos from We Heart It and post them on our blogs. Visit Brie at her blog HERE to link up and check out everyone's posts. It's a great way to increase the traffic on your blog, and an even better way to meet new people!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Catching Up...

Friday was really just another day at work. That night we had dinner with my parents, and stopped to visit Hubby's parents on the way home. They gave us a copy of the local newspaper with a really interesting article in it. I thought it looked kind of cool rolled up and decided to use it for my daily photo.
Feb 11
Saturday was a super busy day. I almost forgot my picture! Started out the day running errands, then it was time for a baby shower/BBQ. After that we went out to the Sportsman's Show with our neighbors, and stopped for dinner on our way home. If you have a Buffalo Wild Wings nearby, and you haven't been there, go now!! Definitely one of our favorite restaurants.
Feb 12
Sunday was another boring day. Didn't really do much, just random chores around the house. I have this clock on my kitchen counter, and thought it would make a good black and white photo. I took about a dozen photos before I found the right angle. Practice makes perfect, right?
Feb 13
Happy Valentine's Day!! I decided to try a new treat tonight. I made these delicious chocolate-orange truffles tonight. Love them!! I got the recipe here at Pleasant Home. I added 2 tsp of orange extract to the truffle mixture before letting them firm-up in the fridge.
Feb 14 - Happy Valentine's Day!

Totally Awesome Giveaway!!

For those of you who are like me, and have no idea what to do when it comes to blog designs, this one is perfect! Mismikado Creations is giving away a FREE custom design suite package OR $150 any of the services that she provides. Totally awesome, if you ask me! 
The giveaway is being held through my friend Adrienne at Right Here, Right Now! Check it out! Become a follower of Adrienne while you are at it, she is awesome!

Embellished Baby Name

A couple weeks ago, I made some letters for my friend's nursery. She absolutely loved them and couldn't stop raving about them. I posted a sneak peak photo for one of my Project 365 photos on February 3rd. I didn't think to take step-by-step photos to show you any type of tutorial.. sorry =/ But I'm still going to post about them!
Terrible picture.. I finished them at 1am so give me a break! Haha
Supplies Needed:
-Wooden or MDF Letters
-White Paint (or another color coordinating with the paper)
-Decorative Paper (Large enough pieces to cover entire letters)
-Adhesive (Rubber Cement or Gluesticks work best)
-Misc. Embellishments (Stickers, Glitter, etc)
-Hot Glue Gun and Glue Refills
-Ribbon for Hanging

I started with some simple unfinished letters. You can use wood if you like, I used MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) It's much cheaper. It's kind of like a mix between cardboard and wood. You can buy them at any craft store, or you can buy them here.

I painted mine white, so the edges would look nice. I just used basic acrylic paint, nothing fancy. You'll want to paint the entire front of the letters, including the edges, just in case your paper ends up being semi-transparent.

Once your paint has dried, it's time to glue on the paper. You can lay the letters down and trace them onto the paper if you like. I think it's easier to do it my way though: Apply your adhesive to the front of your letter (I used rubber cement), flip the letter over and press it onto your paper. Once the glue has dried, trace the edges of your letter with an X-acto Knife. You may need to do some extra trimming once you flip your letters back over.

At this point, you can embellish however you like! I applied some stickers that I found in the scrapbooking department of the craft store. I also traced some of the paper's designs with glitter glue.

To hang the letters, you can use several different options. Many letters will come with attachments on the back for hanging. I used a hot glue gun and attached some ribbon to hang these ones.

I also have a set of simple black wooden letters that my husband bought me. I glued some pink ribbon and tied some bows to dress them up a bit.

If you need some inspiration, there are thousands of photos online of different letters that other people have made. I just googled "baby nursery wall letters" to find these examples.

Addison Letters found at Beauty and the Bump
Emma Letters found at Kids Decorating Ideas
Valerie Letters found at Kate's Art House
Joseph Letters found at ZeeBree Art.
Lila Letters found at Meet Me in the Baby's Room.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

All pictures from under the tag "hearts".

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Blog Button!!

I was a little bored this evening, so I made a new blog button! I love this one sooo much more than my last one. Grab the code below, and let me know if you do, so I can return the favor. =]

Oh, and I can't forget my Project365 photo.. After my grocery shopping today, I stopped at Pico Berry. It's a self-serve frozen yogurt place, very similar to YoCream. It is soooooo good!!! I get the "cake batter" yogurt with fresh strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, and itty bitty chocolate chips. A much healthier version of an ice cream sundae.
Feb 10th

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dead Plants and Stir Fry

Yesterday the sun finally came out! I was so excited, and it looked so warm outside. HA! Just kidding. I about froze my butt off when I stepped out the door. Brrrrr.. We usually have such a gorgeous view out our front windows. This nursery resides across the street, but it is rather ugly this time of year. Very dead, and brown, and lifeless. Ick.

Feb 8th

Last week, my doctor told me that I needed to eat healthier. Less starch and empty carbs, more veggies and protein. I've never been much of a health nut, ever. I usually picked around most of the veggies at every meal. BUT I decided that my little girl is more important than my junky eating habits. So after work today I stopped at the grocery store and filled my basket to the brim with fresh veggies and fruit.  I made this stir fry completely from scratch, which was a first for me. Actually, it was really good too!!

Feb 9th

WHW: Sewing

As I am typing this, I am stuck at work. There is a stack of new fabric at home, beckoning to me. I want so desperately to go home and sew! Now that I am finally almost over this nasty cold bug, my itch to create is back in full swing. And that fact that I'm having a little girl in a couple months is only adding to it. I have so many cute things that I want to make for her!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Wanting to Play

Feb 7th
I got to buy new fabric today! I was super duper excited. I haven't been able to go fabric shopping in months. I've been a good girl and I've only been using the fabric from my stash. BUT when I started a new project for my little girl's room, I noticed that I didn't have any fabrics in the right colors. What a shame ;-) So off to the fabric store I went! I'm sooo excited to dig in and start my project, but I helped Hubby clean out the garage today instead. Lame. Haha.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Purple and Pins

Feb 6th
Today was a nice lazy day at home. I finished one of two gifts for my cousin. She is having twin girls around the same time I'm having my little girl. I finished several other crafts this week. I can't wait until they all get their gifts, so I can share them on here. I'm so impatient! Haha

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Red Velvet

Feb 5th
My super awesome neighbor, who is a very close friend of mine, works in a local cupcake boutique. They make the most AMAZING red velvet cupcakes, with this absolutely sinful cream cheese frosting. I love them more than life itself. Ok, maybe not.. but you get the picture. Anyway, she brings home some of the leftovers a couple times a month. Often, she shares them with me and Hubby. Today, I got a whole box of red velvet! Yummmm. It's going to be a good day =]

Friday, February 4, 2011

Week of Photos

Wow.. what a week! I've been super busy this week, but I did manage to get pictures every day! I just never got around to actually posting them. Haha.

Jan 31st
Monday was definitely the craziest day of them all. It ended with a trip to the ER for my brother in law. He broke his arm skateboarding; Hubby and I gave him a ride there. Once we were there, things went super smoothly. His Dad, (aka my father in law), is an RN in the cardiac unit at the same hospital. He came downstairs and took care of everything for us. We were just the taxi cab. When we were leaving, Hubby pointed out that someone had smashed their spare tire into the concrete wall of the parking garage.. leaving this funny mark. We tried reading the brand of tire, but it was midnight, and we were tired. Haha.

Feb 1st
Tuesday was my monthly Dr. Appt. I have been dreading this one. At 28 weeks they do your Glucose Tolerance testing. Basically, you drink a nasty sugar water drink, wait and hour, and get your blood drawn for testing. They wanted to check to see if I developed Gestational Diabetes. Thankfully, I have not. Woohoo!

Feb 2nd
Wednesday was a pretty average day. Nothing too exciting, but I did get this lovely fortune with my Panda Express at lunch =]

Feb 3rd - Happy Birthday Kari!!!
Thursday I made a gift for my fellow prego, Kari. She wanted some wooden letters to hang on her nursery wall, spelling out her daughters name. I went a little above the basic wooden letters, and decorated them. I have another post about these later =]

Feb 4th
Friday, again, not too exciting. Hubby was gone most of the night, so I went out with Kari for a small shopping trip. I've mentioned Hubby's RC car hobby recently. He funds his hobby by selling these small 1:10 scale sleeping bags. Other hobbyists buy them and attach them to their RC trucks for extra points during their scale competitions. Tonight he went out to the local hobby stores to gather payment, and restock their inventory.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WHW: Warmth

It's time for We Heart Wednesday! I love making these collages. It's so fun to browse through all the photos on We Heart It. I could probably do it all day.. I really could. =] Today, I am freezing my butt off. It's downright cold here, and I wasn't prepared for it. So I am craving some warmth. I want to go crawl back into bed with my Hubby, cuddle with my kitty, sit by a fire.. anything to feel my toes again!!