Thursday, December 27, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up #19

Truth.  [source]

Friday 12.21:  Christmas shopping.  Mark was kind enough to go with me.  There's something so magical about waiting until the last minute to buy Christmas gifts for people.....said no one ever.  However, due to this "real job" I have now, I had not really had the time for shopping so this is where I found myself four days before Christmas.  Thankfully, it wasn't too terribly bad and we even got a front row parking spot at Bass Pro Shops, right next to Gary the employee of the month who wasn't working at the time.  Gary, skipping out on crazed holiday shoppers is no way to earn employee of the month again.

And then, dreaded Wal-Mart because of two things:

1) I was out of toilet paper and for some reason have not wised up and found some sort of auto delivery service for necessities like toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, etc.  It has to exist somewhere and if it doesn't I'm going to invent it.

And 2)  I got my parents rearview mirrors for their 4-wheelers...which is why there was a trip to Bass Pro Shops.  What's that?  You didn't know they made rear view mirrors for 4-wheelers?!?!  I didn't either until that's what my mom mentioned she wanted.  Apparently there are some trails they ride where it's dangerous to look back behind you to make sure your riding buddies are still there and if you're bringing up the rear, you could be left behind.  (Especially if you ride like I do and high center yourself in the mud.  I don't go a lot.....obviously.)

ANYWAY, being the always-thoughtful daughter I strive to be, I wanted to get them rear view mirror ornaments to hang from their new rear view mirrors because we're classy like that and if you're going to do something, you have to do it all the way.  Am I right?

I should also note that when I got my drivers license the trend was to hang some gaudy Hawaiian lei or other giant piece of hideous flare from your rear view mirror.  My dad would NOT let me or my sister do this because he thought it would cause us not to be able to see.  Dad's always keep a watchful eye and it's amazing what sticks with you over the years.  SO back to Wal-Mart.

Initially I wanted to get some of those awful tree air fresheners.  You know, for the irony of having that good, fresh artificial pine scent while riding in the great outdoors.  Then Mark suggested fuzzy dice.  Ha!  I knew there was a reason we got along so well.  And then that led to the idea of getting my mom some really obscene fuzzy handcuffs.  We found the fuzzy dice and then had to get handcuffs in the kid's toy department.  And then picked up a fuzzy boa thing at Hobby Lobby, which, of course, Jovie was terrified of when I got it home.  The end result was hilarious and I loved watching my mom open it on Christmas Eve.  She's so much fun to prank!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012 Gift Wrap

This year's theme:  Brown paper packages tied up with string, These are a few of my favorite things!  Yes, the song from the Sound of Music!!  (To see last year's theme, click HERE.)  

This year, I wanted them to look like mail packages because who doesn't like to get a package in the mail?!?  The wrapping paper was sturdy brown shipping paper I purchased from OfficeMax or Office Depot.  I get them mixed up but it was a general office store.  You get the idea.  I had some crimson and cream string left over from Mark's birthday party (originally came from Hobby Lobby).  I also purchased some mint/cream patterned masking tape because I'm still obsessed with red and mint and it was perfect for writing who the gift was to.  And finally, I made postage images (stamps, "fragile,"postmarks, etc) in Photoshop and printed on full size label paper then cut so they would stick to the packages.  Fun, right?!

To see my gift wrapping tips, click HERE.

Gift Wrapping Tips

If there is one thing in this world I am good at, it is wrapping gifts.  It's become my own personal Christmas tradition.  Each year I choose a different theme and spend hours wrapping and finishing them so they look perfect.  And then feel more than a twinge of sadness when the gifts have been unwrapped and the paper has been cast into the recycling.  Oh well, it's nice to enjoy them while they last and here are my tips for wrapping gifts flawlessly.  (I should probably tell you I never use gift bags so this is only a post about wrapping gift boxes.)  Feel free to share some of your best gift wrapping tips in the comments below!  I'd love to know what/how others do it and what themes others use!  Merry Christmas and may your days be merry and bright!
  • Always, always ALWAYS ask for a gift box/boxes when shopping for gifts.  Most stores have them available and are happy to give them to you to wrap your gifts in.   Some stores will offer these to you - especially if you request a gift receipt, but in the event they don't offer, ask!  At Dillard's and Bass Pro Shops, they give them to customers at the service desk after checkout.  Each store is different.  Some have them behind the checkout counter.
  • Speaking of gift receipts, make sure to ask for these as well.  It's only polite even if you are 100% sure the person receiving the gift is going to like it.  You can't be too careful or courteous.

Gift receipt taped to box.

  • When wrapping gifts, I like to tape the gift receipt to the top of the box, that way it doesn't get lost within the gift or the tissue paper and is easily accessible if they need to return/exchange.  

  • Tissue paper is almost always too big for the box you are using.  To size it down, I like to crease it in the center so that it still looks clean and neat.
  • If wrapping several boxes that are the same size, cut your wrapping paper to fit and then use as a template to cut the wrapping paper for all the other boxes.  Then your paper is cut and ready for each box.  Saves so much time!
  • I can't stand seeing tape on gift wrap (this is my own, personal pet peeve on gifts I give) so my secret for perfectly flawless wrapping is low temp hot glue.  This year, I used brown shipping paper (my theme was brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things!) and it worked especially well since the paper was sooooo thick.  When using thin paper, I use double stick tape.  Note:  I use regular tape to attach the wrapping paper to the box itself or anywhere on the "inside" of the wrapping that doesn't show when it's finished.  I only use hot glue/double stick tape on the outer parts.

Crease the edges.

  • After the package is wrapped, I like to crease the edges so they look extra crisp and clean.  You can see in the photo above the before and after.
  • When your box is wrapped, you can embellish and decorate any way you like.  That part is my favorite!  I use Photoshop to design finishing touches but stores like Hobby Lobby have many options to choose from and a lot of blogs/websites have printables available.  Ribbon and tulle are also fun, festive options.
  • Like I said above, I always like to choose a theme.  It's not necessary but I love the way it looks.  None are identical, but they all go together.  Here are my wrapped gifts from this year.  See more HERE.

Now, what are your best wrapping tips??  And what are some of your favorite themes?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up #18

Friday 12.14:  Jovie and I had a special treat on Friday.  Our little five-year-old friend, Scarlett, spent the night!!  I picked her up from daycare and asked if she wanted to go eat dinner or if she wanted to go play with Jovie.  "JOVIE!!!"  Of course.  So that's what we did.  They played chase and danced and ran until S got hungry and we went to dinner at McDonald's and then went to get Christmas cookie supplies, which turned in to girl and boy cookie supplies.  You know, pink for girls and blue for boys.  She helped me make the cookies.  Ok, they were slice and bake so I sliced and she put on the pan and when they were finished, we decorated!  By this time, it was getting late so we watched some tv and went to sleep.  I fell asleep first so naturally my bra was frozen.

Big smile when S comes to play!
They're both so adorable!
Sweet girls!
"Look!  She likes to dance!" (Jovie would do anything ANYTHING if it meant she was with S.)
Helping decorate cookies!
animation maker free
"Sit!"  "Now here's your treat!"

Saturday 12.15:  S woke up early but so does Jovie so that was nothing new for a Saturday.  I took her home and her mom (my good friend) made us chocolate chip pancakes!!!  Then I zipped up to OKC for a painting class at Wine and Palette with my friend, Abby.  I HATE how mine turned out.  She looks like she has a mouthful of nuts causing her to have a lumpy face.  Let's just say faces are hard and leave it like that.  Abby did a really great job.  The teacher even wanted a photo of hers after the class.  The teacher did not want a photo of mine.  I'm not bitter.

What our painting was supposed to look like (only not all pixilated.)

What ours actually looked like.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jovie...She's an Angry Elf.

The older she gets, the less enthused she is with posing for photos.  Don't get me wrong, she still does it.  She just doesn't give me that carefree puppy face she once did.  Most of the time she looks know, the way the rest of us look when we've put off going to Wal-Mart and need to buy two carts worth of groceries and home goods only to show up at Wal-Mart on the first of the month because you forgot it was the first of the month.  Yeah, like that. are some Christmas photos mostly of Jovie and one of baby Candace and I hope you enjoy them since I didn't get around to doing Christmas cards this year.  (She's going to the groomer tomorrow for a much needed grooming.)

See what I mean about this look!?
Posing in the beautiful wreath Ruf/Nek's mom made.
For the record, she is terrified of these Christmas lights.
Seriously considering making a run for it.
GQ pose.

Jovie being Grumpy Cat before Grumpy Cat was cool.  (this one is from last year)
Santa choking Jovie.....and looking happy about it.
This is me with Santa when I'm probably about 2.5.  I look super upset but at least Santa isn't choking me like he is Jovie.  And my face did not freeze like that despite what my parents probably told me.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Designs Lately

I feel like all the stars aligned for this one.  Also I may have peaked too soon...

Turkey Reminder!

Holiday menu.  I am really liking mint and red together lately.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dog Shaming

I've been seeing some dog shaming photos online and find them hilarious.  Jovie, for the most part, is a really good dog.  She's not gross like a lot of dogs can be.  She is, however, a little quirky about certain things.  It's a breed trait as well as a hazard of being raised by me.  Ha!  So I recently started taking photos of her when she acts naughty:

Not to mention, sits ON the dishwasher door if I'm not watching!

They smell good.  I'll give her that.

Cannot tell you how many rolls she's ruined.  I tried to train her not to, the force is just to great with yarn.

And that's after she pretend attacks me (like latches on to my leg) as I'm getting in.  Crazy dog!