Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another Cheap Trick

i recently shared this DIY on krystal's kitsch, but thought i'd share it with all of you, in case you missed it over there. :)

when i was decorating mack's nursery, i put together a wall collage of Ms (which i'll show you soon) and this is one of my designs for it. it was really easy and fun to make! in fact, i'm thinking about doing another version of it for my living room, because it doesn't have to be just for a nursery!

how to create a button monogram

here's what you'll need:
  • a pre-printed letter (you can print one either in a color or using the outline tool from a program such as microsoft word), the point size of your choice, but try to use a bold font (nothing swirly)
  • a piece of cardboard (i used a bit from a box of diapers)
  • an assortment of buttons (feel free to use identical buttons or an array of styles), make sure you have one extra large button set aside
  • a piece of ribbon
  • glue
  • an exacto knife (if you're uncomfortable with this, you can use scissors)
  • a hot glue gun
  • a black marker
first cut out your letter. if you have a cricut or a silhouette cutting machine, feel free to use that, as it's much faster and gives you cleaner lines.

using the letter as your stencil, place it on the cardboard and trace around it with your exacto knife.


next, adhere the paper letter to the cardboard letter using glue, not hot glue. i used scrapbooking glue strips, so that the paper wouldn't bubble.


then, using your marker, blacken the edges to make the cardboard less noticeable.


now it's time to get out the hot glue and start applying your buttons. (tip: i bought my buttons in bulk on ebay. i only paid $15 for 2 lbs of assorted buttons.) be sure to cover up any space, layering your buttons where needed.




now, grab that extra large button and the piece of ribbon. run the ribbon through the button from the back, doubling back through the hole to create a loop. this will be your nail hanger (to hide the nail). clever, no? ;)


finally, hot glue the ends of the ribbon to the back of your button letter, making sure it's balanced, and you're done!


it's ready to hang!

wasn't that easy? now get to it! and, if you do make one, i'd love to see pics!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

7 Months of Mack

once again, i've let time get away from me and i'm a bit late with this post, since mack turned 7 months on august 5th.

anyway, here's what's new with my mini-man...

mack is constantly on the go. there is seriously no stopping the kid when you put him on the floor. he crawls all over the place, trying to find some trouble to get into. we have to block the fireplace with the ottoman and try to barricade him in the living room. his object of obsession, though, is the baseboard heater. (we have oil heat that radiates along the baseboard throughout the house. it's housed by white metal and i'm terrified he's going to cut himself on it.) it doesn't matter what i do to block him from being able to get to it. he's become a little houdini and will always find away through my roadblocks. he is seriously too smart for his own good. it's gotten to the point that i have to sit on the floor with him when he crawls around, to redirect him whenever he's heading for a no-no.

his latest trick is to pull up, especially in his crib. we've had to lower the mattress to the lowest possible setting, because he was getting dangerously close to flipping himself out of the crib. i'm telling you, this kid is a daredevil! he's completely fearless and goes head first every chance he gets.

his picky palette seems to be less picky these days. he'll tolerate just about anything, except squash (i have yet to try to feed him peas), peaches, and cheerios. he really likes to eat puffs, but cheerios? forget it! he wants nothing to do with them.

if i had to choose one word to describe mack these days, it would be joyful. he is the happiest kid, always smiling and laughing at the drop of a hat. he's so easily entertained and downright exuberant! he also doesn't mind when other people hold him. he won't reach for anyone but us, but he's perfectly content in anyone's arms. this has been particularly handy since i've joined a new gym and he spends an hour a day in their daycare. the ladies who work there all love him and know him by name.

as happy as he is, though, his naps are very important to him and he's got the fussy act down when he's late to the crib(luckily his newfound love of thumb sucking usually helps when he gets like this). on monday his nap schedule was all out of whack, because he'd woken up late that morning. well, i certainly learned my lesson about bringing him to the gym when he'd rather be sleeping. he was fine for the first half of his stay in the daycare, but as his eyes got droopy, his fussiness picked up. his thumb just wasn't enough and he pretty much lost it about 5 minutes before i went to pick him up. when i walked in, one of the ladies was holding him and trying to calm him down. he was crying and wailing "ma-ma-ma-ma-ma!" (as sorry as i was for him, it really warmed my heart that he was calling for me.)

oh, did i not mention that he's got two words under his belt? his first word was dada (or so B likes to claim), but he doesn't say it very often. actually, he doesn't say either very often, but mama comes up quite a bit when he's upset. however, his version isn't just mama, it's more like ma ma ma. i think that's because that's how i usually say it to him for practice. i'm trying to break that habit.

well, that's 7 month old mack in a nutshell. now i'll treat you to pics from his 7 month photo shoot...

what? i wasn't about to eat this really delicious-looking leaf. honest.

whatchu talkin' 'bout, willis? ;)

he thought the sound of my shutter was hilarious!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Year Supply of Trident Gum Giveaway!

trident recently launched a new campaign called "see what unfolds". it's actually pretty cool, because they brought together DJ steve aoki and duran duran to collaborate on a new version of duran duran's hit song "hungry like the wolf" that sounds amazing!

check out the video:


i wasn't sure i'd like the new version of the song, because collaborations like that can be tricky, especially when you put such opposites together, but it turned out great (i am dying to add it to my running playlist!).

the way the two distinctly different sounds came together reminded me of my all-time favorite collaboration - "carol of the bells" by metallica & the trans siberian orchestra. i could seriously listen to that song all year round, not just at christmas. another great one is "stan" by eminem and dido, as well as "the saints are coming" by U2 & green day and "under pressure" by queen & david bowie. (i know, i have ridiculously eclectic taste in music!)

you know who i'd really like to see come together? this may sound odd, but linkin park & karmin. how awesome would they sound together?!?

anyway, they sent me a box of tropical twist flavored trident to try out. first of all, YUM! secondly, i now have amazing breath! i was chewing a piece when B got home from work today. he gave me a hug and a kiss then said "is that your breath?" i was just waiting for him to point out the fact that it was obvious that i had eaten leftover pizza & garlic sticks for lunch. instead he said "it smells amazing." (i can count on 1 hand the number of times he's told me i have good breath. he has a really sensitive nose. ha ha!) i've also added it to my gym bag, because i love to chew fruity gum while i work out. (it helps me to not feel parched.) :)

and here's where you can benefit from this campaign:

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

*i was given a product sample, but no compensation for this post. all opinions stated are completely and utterly my own.

don't forget to enter the august group giveaway!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jewelry Swap

i have a really pitiful jewelry box. seriously. i don't buy jewelry often, even though i don't have very expensive taste, so my selection is really outdated...and sad. i just feel guilty spending money on myself like that. so, i was really excited to see that melissa from the life of a not so ordinary wife was organizing a jewelry swap between bloggers. fantastic idea!

i think i pretty much hit the jackpot when i opened my package from ashley at the stauffer shenanigans!

see what i mean? beautiful, isn't it? and i have so many outfits i can wear it with!

thanks, ashley! (if you haven't checked out her blog, do it. it's adorable!)

oh, and, don't forget to enter the group giveaway!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Meet Some Awesome Bloggers {August - Part 3}

it's time to bring on round three of the cool kids who adorn my sidebar. check them out here then visit their blogs and show 'em some love!

meet natalie from home bird economics:

a little about her: I like to blog about craft, DIY, my pregnancy (that will soon be my baby!), my daily shenanigans as part of a young married couple working our way through this world.
Sometimes I like to chuck in there serious issues about parenting, green living and mostly how to live frugally in the UK.

her favorite blog post: I think that my favourite blog post has yet to come - I think announcing my baby's arrival (whenever it happens) will be my favourite. But until then I love the nursery series I have put together of craft makes for the baby's nursery, my ultimate favourite has been thinking about the traditions I want to set up for our family and the silly memories I want to create for our little family.

the random question of the month (if your life was a movie, who would play the part of you?): Hmmm, that's an interesting question. I don't think I particularly look like anyone famous so my favourite actress is Reese Witherspoon - completely because of Legally Blonde, so I will say her!

other places you can find her: {twitter} {instagram}

meet amanda from my show:

a little about her: My blog is about me, Amanda. I'm a (almost) 26-year old wife, teacher, and new mom. I write about everything from my 7 week-old baby to my dog... who thinks she's a baby. I write with a lot of humor, irony, and just a little sarcasm, which is also how I happen to live my life. 

her favorite blog post: The blog post I am most proud of is when I wrote the birth story of my daughter, Fynn. It was by far the most monumental experience of my life, and one I never want to forget. I wrote about the whole thing here.

the random question of the month (if your life was a movie, who would play the part of you?): Hopefully someone hot, that would be good for my self-esteem. If I could choose, it would be Rachel McAdams because I love her, and she's gorgeous. 

other places you can find her: {twitter}

meet kate from the blog diva:

a little about her: Join Kate, The Blog Diva as she blogs about fitness, book reviews, tasty recipes, healthy organic ʺall-natural foods,ʺ product reviews, sexy accessories, her fur babies, Internet stories and gossip, and her exciting everyday life experiences!

her favorite blog post: I don't have a favorite blog post. All of my posts on my blog are my favorites. 

the random question of the month (if your life was a movie, who would play the part of you?): I'm not sure who would play the part of myself in a movie.

other places you can find her: {twitter} {facebook} {pinterest}

and don't forget to enter the giveaway, brought to you by several of my lovely sponsors!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

August Group Giveaway

thanks to several of my wonderful sponsors, i'm hosting my first group giveaway! seven awesome prizes and one winner will take it all! there are lots of easy ways to enter, so check it out. :)

here's what you could win:

from ashley at flats to flip flops

from jazmine at life as a young mom

from jessa at caked vintage blog

from jennifer at living the creative life

from shannon at polish and sugar

from natalie at home bird economics

from amanda at my show

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Real Wordless Wednesday {Link-Up}

i'm so excited, because i'm co-hosting my first linky party! yay!

The Real Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

People are Like Icebergs

i was chatting with my friend the other day, when we got to talking about mack and the special way he came into the world. it's an experience that is so precious to me that i don't actually talk about it that often.

anyway, we got on the subject of how people feel about our use of a surrogate. we knew it was a controversial thing, which is why we waited so long to tell people about it, and expected there to be some opposition. actually, we've been surprised that, aside from lots of prying questions that implied disapproving stances, we've never experienced flat-out disapproval.

then my friend told me about a mutual friend of ours who had come to her to vent her feelings about how wrong our choice to use a surrogate was. this is a person who had been one of my biggest supporters in my fight against infertility, so, needless to say, i was flabbergasted (because "shocked" isn't a strong enough word). i knew something was up with this person, but had attributed it to something else. she had seemed more distant, stopped reading (or maybe commenting, at least) my blog, even left my baby shower early (almost didn't come at all), but i never thought it was because she morally opposed our choice.

i feel judged. i've never felt judged to this degree before and it's a terrible feeling.

after letting this information sink in, i got to thinking about how she really doesn't know me. she doesn't know what i've been through. she doesn't understand the pain i've felt over the years, yearning for a child. she sees the front that i've put up, the protective wall that i've erected. if she could see behind the curtain, if she walked a mile in my shoes, she might more fully understand my choice.

this goes beyond me, though. how many times have i judged other people? (it's more often than i'd like to admit, i'm afraid.) how many times have i turned my nose up at someone? how many times have i avoided someone, because i didn't approve of them for one reason or another? i don't know these people. well, i may know some of them, but i can only see a fraction of them.

i've come to the conclusion that people are like icebergs. you can only see about 10% of them, the rest hiding beneath the surface. you may feel like you know them, either from personal experience with them, or because you're a really good book cover judge, but the truth is, you don't.

you don't know what inner conflicts they're dealing with. you don't know what personal struggles they're enduring. you don't know that he just lost his job and his family is starving. you don't know that they're child was just diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. you don't know that she is battling an eating disorder. you don't know that he is plagued by a mental illness. you don't know that they're world is falling apart and it's all they can do to put on a brave face.

maybe, instead of turning away or mentally bashing them, when we see people we could smile at them. maybe we could allow someone with only a few items to cut in front of us at the grocery store. maybe we could buy a meal at the corner mcdonald's to give to the person with the sign on the corner. maybe we could donate a couple of extra blankets to the local shelter. maybe we could open the door for the person who has trouble walking. maybe we could be genuinely happy for someone else's happiness, even if we don't agree with the way they got there.

maybe we could judge less and love more.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Printable for Moms

you know that saying "let sleeping dogs lie"? it should go "let sleeping babies lie"!

there is nothing worse than putting your little one down for a nap and having them woken up 5 minutes later because of some unsuspecting person ringing the doorbell. little do they know that they've not only woken up the baby, they've woken up the mama bear in me! i'm not gonna lie, i'm not nice to those individuals. (i've gotta work on my patience.)

i kept thinking that i needed to put up a sign of some sort, but i procrastinated...until now. in fact, i've also created 3 printer-ready signs to share!

feel free to download & print!

click here to download

click here to download

click here to download

hopefully, one of these will help save you from the pain of an interrupted nap! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Meet Some Awesome Bloggers {August - Part 2}

it's time to bring on round two of the cool kids who adorn my sidebar. check them out here then visit their blogs and show 'em some love!

meet nikkiana from authentic experience:

a little about her: Authentic Experience is the personal blog of a 20-something web geek living in New York City with her sound engineer boyfriend and cat. Subjects covered range from blogging related issues to food to crafty to walks around my neighborhood to capture what life is like in the big city.

her favorite blog post: Why I Owe Joss Whedon an Apology. This was a story about one of my oldest Internet friends and how I wrote all of Joss Whedon's creations off as being horrible for years just because my friend wrote some really bad Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfiction when she was a teenager.

the random question of the month (if your life was a movie, who would play the part of you?): Tina Fey

other places you can find her: {twitter} {bloglovin'} {hellocotton}

meet jessa from caked vintage blog:

a little about her: I am a vintage shop owner, blogger, photography enthusiast, and self taught graphic designer living in California below the beautiful Yosemite Valley. I am a bit of a wildflower with a passion for discovery and a love of adventure no matter how big or how small. I grew up on a thousand acre ranch I have lovingly titled The Thousand Acre Woods. I still reside there with my family, my husband Christopher Robin, and our two dogs and three cats. My blog follows me as I navigate through this wonderful journey as a business owner, writer, and designer.

her favorite blog post: My more recent favorite post has to be my "Photo by the hour... A Lazy Day". Not only was the day a wonderful break from the hustle, bustle, but now when things are chaotic I can look back and say "Oh yeah, life is good".

the random question of the month (if your life was a movie, who would play the part of you?): I would have to say Katy Perry. I can see it being a pretty easy gig for her as we seem to have a lot of the same quirky attributes!

other places you can find her: {etsy} {facebook} {twitter}

meet tiffany from blabbering thoughts:

a little about her: I blog about my life, my lifestyle & my family. That includes me carrying around my camera or phone & snapping a photo at any point in time. I capture my kids moments to the food I am cooking or to some tasty drinks!

her favorite blog post: Napa Getaway Snapshot

the random question of the month (if your life was a movie, who would play the part of you?): Rachel McAdams

other places you can find her: {facebook} {twitter} {pinterest}

meet jennifer from living the creative life:

a little about her: My name is Jennifer, but you can call me Jen if you want. In a nutshell, I'm a 33-year-old second-time college student. I realized last year that I didn't want to be stuck in my boring desk job forever and decided to go back to school to become a graphic designer! Best decision I ever made!! (Not that I necessarily mind desk work, just as long as it's balanced with being creative!)

her favorite blog post: I started a mini-series recently on facts about countries that I don't know much about (inspired by watching the Olympics and realizing that I didn't know half the countries who were walking in at the opening ceremonies!). One of these posts is on Slovenia.

the random question of the month (if your life was a movie, who would play the part of you?): Ooh great question! Maybe Maggie Gyllenhaal? She's quirky and deep and interesting and not really a mainstream beauty queen.

other places you can find her: {twitter} {etsy shop 1} {etsy shop 2}

meet shannon from polish and sugar:

a little about her: I blog about the pretty things in life that I enjoy. Things like beauty, fashion, food, and home decor. Occasionally I have a good tutorial to share on a project I did. Stick around and I might share bits of life too.

her favorite blog post: My favourite blog post by far is the one that shows the wall stencil I did. This was the biggest project I have completed at my house so far, and it turned out fabulous! I think because it took so much time for the project, that it's a post that turned into a sort of how-to. I like to show my mad skills sometimes :)

the random question of the month (if your life was a movie, who would play the part of you?): Am I the only person who thinks of this on the regular? Apparently I think I'm that cool to have a movie made about me. Or not. Anyways, it has always been a toss up between two people, but I have never changed my mind from these two lovely ladies: Reese Witherspoon or Rachel McAdams. They're both just so beautiful and fun. Rachel gets extra points for being a fellow Canadian though...

other places you can find her: {facebook} {twitter} {pinterest}

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Another Cheap Trick

remember this sad guy?

well, over the weekend i brought him back to life!

it was really simple, too! here's what i did...

i painted the body black then painted the drawers white.
then i used my silhouette SD (similar to a cricut) to cut out several stencils using a really heavy cardstock. (you can also purchase stencils at your local craft store.)
next, i used a spray adhesive,  just on one side of the stencils, let it air-dry for a few seconds to make it tacky (so that it would work as a temporary adhesive), and lined them up on the drawers, being sure to press down firmly.

after that, i spray painted the drawers black. the outline left by the stencils was great, but needed some touching up, so i decided to go ahead and go over all of it with some white paint and a very small brush. (sounds worse than it was. it actually didn't take that long and was something i could do while sitting in front of the TV.)

i replaced the old handles with knobs that i bought at lowe's for only $2 each. i wanted to go with something simple, but that would also accentuate the retro feel of the pattern. i think these accomplish that perfectly!

the whole thing came together so well and i spent less than $50 from start to finish!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Prettiful Designs {& a GIVEAWAY!}

it's time to meet another of my featured sponsors, dedra from prettiful designs!

My name is Dedra and I’m the blogger behind Prettiful Designs
You can find me on facebook at
My digital shop is
I’m a stay at home mom with 3 awesome girlets and a hotty of a hubby. I blog about whatever randomness comes to my mind, particularly pertaining to marriage and family relations—I’ve got to use my degree somehow right? I’m a crafting junkie, an adventure enthusiast, and I can nail everyone when it comes to laser tag (I’m proud of my nerdy side!).
(remember my random question of the month?): If anyone was to play me in a movie I’d have to ask for Jack Black because he is genius but that may be a little weird seeing as he’s a guy and I’m a girl. No matter, we both like stretchy pants. :)
dedra has also offered to giveaway a $15 credit to her shop!  this is great for all you crafters, scrapbookers, and anyone looking to decorate, especially a nursery or for a holiday! so, be sure to check it out and enter below!

*don't forget to enter the scentsy giveaway, too!*
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