Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Across The Miles - Sweet Stamp Shop

Welcome to Tuesday!

Today I am showing you a super easy card I made with a stamp set from the Sweet Stamp Shop.  If that name sounds familiar, it is because Danni, one of our friends on the blog, is on their design team.

I had my eye on this stamp set for a while - and finally I broke down and had to purchase it.  It is so easy and simple to make a card with a great statement for someone you are missing that is far away.  You can set your location and their location on the map - no matter where you both are!

In this case, I made a card for my daughter, Beth, who is finishing up her internship in Washington, D.C.  I love how the map is drawn and I know I will be using this stamp set a lot!

If you have family or friends who live away, consider getting this set - I know you will get a lot of use out of it and they will love the cards you make with it!

Even sending an easy card to make will brighten someone's day!



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Strawberry Margarita Jell-o Shots

So my sister in law and I were invited to a "Pinterest Party" a couple weeks ago and it was a blast. It was a first for us but we (a group of us girls) are going to try and make it a monthly thing, it was that much fun. So if you have never heard about it (like me) I will explain. I know you all will be wanting to do this.

Ok so Pinterst party:
There is one person who host the party, and it rotates each party. The host invites a group of friends, lets say for this example 4 friends. Each of those four friends invites one friend to come with. This party is not just about crafting and food but about making new friends and bonds! The host will pick out a craft/project today...found on pinterest...and gets supplies for all the people coming to the party. Each person that comes to the party brings a food dish found on pinterest and a recipe card to pass out to everyone that came.

So I brought a hummus bean dip RECIPE HERE (which was so flavorful) and some parmesan potato wedges RECIPE HERE (which were fantastic) But my sister in law brought the show stopper,
Strawberry Margarita Jell-o Shots!
Oh my my these were soooooooo goooodddd!!!!!

I posted some pics to follow along but HERE is the full recipe found on pinterest.

PLEASE NOTE: The directions say to mix jell-o according to box...that is not correct. You mix it according to her measurements she gives in the ingredient list.

AND...one last final step that I didn't get a picture of is right before you are ready to serve you can roll the rim of strawberry in a sugar lime zest mixture!

Have any of you guys done a pinterest party before??? They are so much fun and I am so looking forward to next months party.

Happy Wednesday and will see you back next week.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Graphic 45 French Country Cards

Hello!  This Tuesday I am sharing with you some cards I made from the Graphic 45 French Country paper line.  I just can't seem to get enough of this beautifully, printed paper!

I used two sheets of the same sheet of cut a parts - one for the front of the cards and the other for the insides.  I had so much fun mixing and matching, finding different ways to embellish, deciding upon which of the other papers in the line to use for the backgrounds and edgings...to put it mildly, I had a creative good time making these cards!  (I may have to go back and make some more!)

I hope you enjoy looking at them half as much as I enjoyed creating them.  Graphic 45 is a wonderful paper line that makes it easy and fun to create cards and so many other beautiful items.  Brace yourself, they have three new lines coming out shortly, and I am hoping to be able to share some creations made with those lines as well.

Thanks for checking in - I appreciate your company!

Have a great week and create something that makes you happy!



Monday, July 15, 2013

Halloween Witch

I know, I know… its only July. But hey! All the stores are starting to put out their fall d├ęcor. And besides… this was an AMAZING deal and a great crafty project. I was shopping again at Good Will (I really need to stop going there) and there she was… this little Halloween witch waiting to be taken home and revamped and improved upon. And she was only $2.99!!

She wasn’t bad to start; all she needed was a little TLC. After all, the charm is in the detail. All this project required was some pretty ribbon and a little bling. I pretty much already had everything, so it was a great way to use some of my stuff up. The thing that took the longest, was sewing on the trimming around the edge of her dress. But I wanted it to last, and taking the time to sew things on lasts so much longer than using adhesive. I also added black thread around the broom stick, which made a huge difference.

I gave her a belt using a broken clasp from a vintage necklace. And found a great jewel talisman for her to hold. Lastly, I added some bling to her hat. The jewel was actually a broken ring. I took a sharpie marker and colored in the jewel black and it was perfect! Then I used my sharpie and colored in some Maya Road pearl stick pins. Then adhered them to her hat and that’s it!

She is going to be perfect this fall. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled to see if I can’t find a little cauldron to sit next to her. I find that the fall is so busy as it is, so sometimes you just have to do your holiday projects at different times throughout the year.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a great week. On a side note, I start my new big girl job today!! I’m going to be working at the corporate office of Guild Mortgage. It’s a great company and I’m very excited to be given the opportunity. Ill let you know next week how it goes.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Vision Journal

Have you ever read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne?  It was all the rage a few years back, and I am still actively trying to live by it.  I highly recommend it if you haven't already read it, or if you haven't already tried it after reading it!

Basically, it is all about envisioning what you want, imagining that you already have it so that the universe eventually gives it to you.  It encourages having a "vision board" where you write or post pictures of what you want.  I started a vision board a year or two ago, and I have already pulled several of the items off of the board because they came to me!

Well, in a spring cleaning frenzy, I donated my vision board and transferred it to a vision journal.  I write my desires as if I already have them, i.e. "I have smooth, shiny hair" rather than "I want smooth, shiny hair" because this summer humidity is making quite a frizzball out of me!  I also cut and paste images or phrases from magazines that I find empowering, or that bring to live my own hopes for the future.  

This is all about positivity, something everyone needs in their life.  Besides being a motivator, the vision journal has been a great way to unwind at the end of the day, too.  Write in it or read it, it clears the mind!

xo Allison

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sweet Summer Salad

When its 100+ degrees outside, my body craves salads. My usual is a Grilled Chicken & Ranch Salad, because my husband has mad grill skills and its basically a complete meal.... right?  Anyway, I have recently (like yesterday) rediscovered my love of a sweeter salad.... The Poppy Seed & Mandarin Salad.

I first tasted this amazing salad in 2009, when I attended the wedding reception of one of my friend's friends. I didn't know anyone but the friend that I went with, so I spent most of my time hovering over the buffet area like a vulture. This salad was filled with goodness, like a sweet and sour explosion in my mouth. I probably went back for it at least 3x because of the sweet cranberries, juicy mandarins, tangy poppy seed dressing, crunchy cashews, and refreshing lettuce. That was for sure the highlight of my evening and I promised myself that I would try to recreate it at home... I never did.

I was on Facebook the other day and someone shared the exact recipe that I had had at the wedding and I was so excited to have remembered it again! That is why I'm sharing it with you! I actually just finished eating this salad and it was just as good as I had remembered and It was perfect way to end my long, hot day! The picture above is actually a picture of my salad as I was half way through because I forgot to take a pretty pic for the blog when I had first made it, I was just so darn excited to just eat it again. Mmm-Mm-Mmmm!

If you would like the recipe, I found it >>>HERE!<<< I hope you are tempted to try it and enjoy! 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

DIY Tank Top

Hey hey hey everyone!!!! I have a fun and very SUMMERY DIY tank top tutorial. Super easy and doesn't involve any sewing.

What you will need:
  • Old T-Shirt
  • Scissors
  • Flat cutting surface
Here are step by step  picture instructions.

Alrighty there you have it. SO now I have finally decided that I just have to have that tye dye kit I saw at Michaels the other day. I didn't have a purpose for it then BUT I do now and am so excited!!!!

Well off to do fun things (errands lol) have a wonderful day everyone!!!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Canvas Project Finished

Hi Friends -  You may remember the poem I posted for a canvas project I began working on. click here.

Well, I got around to finishing it and wanted to share the end product with you!  I took a few more pictures than I usually do, just to show you more of the details on this one.  I brought the stick back with me from Washington DC (yes, really) and that was the finishing touch!
First I Mod Podged a sheet of the 12x12 paper to a canvas.  Then I fussy cut out of  a second sheet the three bird houses, the roses in the corner, and the hexagon shapes on the paper.  I pop-dotted them onto the sheet on the canvas and added some pearl accents and some Prima flowers.  I then printed off the poem on velum and adhered it to the sheet.  I used Tim Holtz's bird cage die and bird, hung some crystals from the bird house, and glued my stick down. 
I die cut the birds out of an old hymnal book and colored them with a Tim Holtz broken china colored ink pad.  A small black pearl gives the bird an eye.
I had a lot of fun making this canvas, and because it is for me, I didn't stress like I usually do when giving it for a gift.  I really love this poem and am glad I will have this for myself.
I am pretty happy with it - and am glad it is finally completed.  Hope you feel it was worth the wait.  (I'm sure many of you forgot about it...come on...you can be honest!)
Thanks for letting me share my canvas and taking an interest in my creations - it really means a lot to me. 
I hope you had a great 4th of July and celebrated in a way that made you happy :)
Until next Tuesday -


Monday, July 8, 2013

Sneak Peaks and Updates

Well, Im back to work today! And I have to say that these last few weeks off have been some of the busiest times of my life! Here’s just a quick recap as to what’s been going on in my life. And also, just a little preview of something I’m working on.

I’m making a banner for the wedding. And I’ve already put about 12 hours into it, and I’m feeling like it’s going to need another 48!! I’m making the whole thing out of fabric and vintage lace that was my great-grandmothers. So it has a lot of sentimental value to me. It’s taken me so long because for the most part, I’ve sewn everything. I’m only using minimal adhesive, and I am not using any paper. That way it will last a lifetime. I plan on using lots of pearls too. So, we shall see how it turns out. Give me a couple more weeks for the official unveiling!

Also on this summer break I went to sea world for the first time in years! It is such a great place to have in San Diego, and I often take it for granted. I saw the baby Shamu while I was there. He was so adorable and I was so tempted to take him home with me. If only I had a whale sized pool in my backyard, I could re-enact Free Willie!!
I’ve gone to the beach a few times to escape the heat, but sadly, nothing will ever compare to the clear blue waters in the Bahamas.
Lastly, I just got home last night from a bachelorette weekend in Palm Springs for my friend Amaya! I have never been to one of those before and let’s just say I experienced some things that I never want to experience again. Haha! It was a great weekend and we all got really tan lounging out by the pool.
I gotta get going, but I hope everyone has a fabulous week!

Xoxo mandy

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I Love Using My Bathroom!

I know it sounds weird, but I now love using my bathroom!!

When we first moved into our house this past January, I hated using the restrooms. I would compare it to a port-a-potty or a public bathroom, I just loathed being in there. The walls were an unflattering shade of blue, the cabinets were OK but nothing fancy, the guest bath had sliding doors on the tub, and don't even get me started on the wall paper in the master bath... BLEH! It was not very welcoming and needed a huge improvement! 

So here is what we all have been waiting for. (Unfortunately I didn't take a lot of before pictures of the bathrooms... but I'm sure you won't mind!)

Before: (I took off the glass door and removed the shelf above the toilet before we moved in. It just had to G.O.)

To revamp the Guest bath I... 
  • Removed tub doors and shelf.
  • Painted the walls and ceiling. - Valspar, Red Dakota Sandstone (25% lightened)
  • Stained the cabinet. - General Finishes Gel Stain in Java
  • Spray Painted the fixtures from silver to oil rubbed bronze. - Krylon, Oil Rubbed Bronze
  • Added Knobs. -Thank you Hobby Lobby for having an amazing selection.
  • Shopped. -Target, Home Goods & Hobby Lobby
  • Staged and added a flower.

I didn't plan on having a theme to my bathroom... the Paris stuff was a little bit last minute, that may change in the future. But Overall, the bathroom feels somewhat romantic and I love love love it!


To revamp my master bathroom I....
  • Removed the wall paper.
  • Painted the walls and ceiling. - Valspar, Sparkling Sage
  • Gel Stained the Cabinets. - General Finishes Gel Stain Java
  • Added knobs. - Again, Hobby Lobby, because they are amazing!
  • Spray painted the toilet paper holder. - Krylon, Oil Rubbed Bronze
  • Changed out the lighting fixtures. 
  • Updated the Switch plates. 
  • Built and Installed Rope Shelving. - I plan on doing a future, more informative, blog post about this learning experience.
  •  Went shopping!! -Mostly Hobby Lobby and Home Goods.
  • Installed hooks. -(That seahorse is actually a hook)
  • Staged and added a plant.
After: (I was shooting for a light beachy feeling, because the hubs and I miss CA so sooooo much.)


 So there it is! I have grown so much from this experience. I have learned to use many tools and I know my way around the hardware store. I have learned how to do novice electrical work and how to find a stud in the wall. I learned that I can do many things I wasn't aware that I could do because I gave it my all. I have challenged myself to complete these bathrooms in less than 3 weeks and I did it! I have given myself many pats on the back because I made my bathroom a comfortable place that I love to be. I am so motivated to keep going, keep DIYing, keep learning, and keeping improving the place around into a space that I and others can enjoy.

 (P.S. In the next few weeks will feature some of the DIY projects that I have completed during this experience... including my favorite project, the rope shelves!)