Monday, January 2, 2012

Circus at Home Depot

Jon had the day off from work today (yeeeeehawww!), so we decided to run some errands around noon-ish.

My dad will be disappointed to know that we stopped at Five Guys for lunch and had fries without him. (Sorry, Dad!)

On our way to CostCo, we spotted a Home Depot. Jon wanted to go in and see if they had any Christmas bargains still left. We'd decided earlier this year that it was best to wait until after the holidays were over so we could grab lots of Christmas decorations on sale. It was rather slim pickins at Home Depot, but I guess that's what we get for waiting alllll the way until January 2nd to get there. whatevah

We actually got really lucky. There was one 7.5 foot tall, un-lit Christmas tree left on the shelf, and it was 75% off (*cue happy dance*). As soon as we got it onto our cart, another couple came into the area, looking for an un-lit Christmas tree. The Home Depot guy had to tell them the store was sold out. Are you kidding me? We never have that kind of luck! We proceeded to clean out the Christmas lights area, grabbed a 2 dolla holiday rug for the kitchen, and went to check out.

It wasn't until we were rolling our purchases into the parking lot that it hit me: we'd driven Jon's Cobalt today. When I nervously mentioned that to Jon, he nonchalantly said, "We got this," which is man-code for "I have no idea what we're going to do, but I need to appear macho, so I'll reassure you." whatevah

He tried to put the tree in the backseat, but it was about an inch too long. At this point, the man parked next to us was walking to his car, and I definitely caught him chuckling a little. After Jon tried to stuff it in the trunk (no luck) and push it through the trunk and the back seat via that little trap door thingy (nope), I was cracking up. I couldn't help myself. I felt so dumb and helpless; laughing just seemed to be the thing to do. Finally, he shoved a corner of it through the trunk, pushed the driver's seat up almost all the way, and used what his mama gave him to force the door shut. He looked at me proudly before climbing in the front seat. ....Nope. Not gonna happen. His head was hitting the ceiling and his knees were up to his armpits.

We decided I would drive, so we got out of the car, switched sides, and climbed in again, all the while singing Barnum and Bailey's Circus Theme. Jon tried to capture the backseat madness in the picture below. It's hard to tell what's going on, but you can just take my word for it that there was no room left in that back seat.

Then he turned the camera on me, where I was smushed into the driver's seat. I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes, so this is definitely a flattering picture of me:

(When I finally got to get out of the car, my legs were all tingly from lack of circulation, in case you're wondering.)

While J and I might not have a perfect relationship, we always find a reason to laugh together. I have no doubt this is a memory that will be passed on to our poor little children someday. And I'll be laughing then, too.

Card Booklet: Organizing Your Cards

Judging from everything I've seen on Pinterest, there is no shortage of ways to display your Christmas cards during the holiday season. So I think the real question is: what the heck do I do with all these pretty cards after the season is over??

I feel bad throwing them away. All the personal messages, the holiday letters, and the picture cards seem to scream at me as I chunk them in the trash. Although our Christmas cards took about 2.5 seconds to design (thanks, Snapfish!), I have no doubt that others spent more time on their cards, and I hate to throw all of that in the garbage.

My friend Allison (who happens to run Our Vintage Love) originally posted this craft on her Facebook page a year or so ago, and I just so happened to remember it this year. I'm glad I did. I think it's such a sweet way to keep cards without allowing them to become clutter!

Basically, you make a booklet out of a stack of cards you've received. Allison and I made booklets with our Christmas cards, but really, you could use cards from, important birthday, retirement...whatever! 

All you really need are your cards, a hole punch, a chicken ring (as I call it) or a jump ring (as more sophisticated folks say), and some sort of scrap paper or gift tag. You could always add other elements to make it fancier if you want.

I arranged our Christmas cards from smallest to largest, with the exception of our own card. Using the smallest card as a guide, I punched holes in approximately the same place on all the cards. For the cover of the book, Allison used a vintage gift tag, attached some buttons for an even more girly-vintage-chic feel, and wrote "Christmas 2011" on the tag. Since the vintage look isn't really our style, I just found a glittery gift tag that already had a hole in it (courtesy of The Container Store, aka Heaven on Earth) and wrote "2011" on it with a blue Sharpie. I didn't have room to write "Christmas," but I figure I'll know what it is since our card actually says "Merry Christmas" (and I strategically placed that on top, just like Allison did). After you're done punching holes and making the tag, just thread everything through the ring and snap the ring shut.

I was done in about 5-10 minutes. (These are the types of crafts I really like to endorse: minimal supplies, minimal talent -- I even stole borrowed the idea! -- and minimal time. happy

Here's the completed project:

I had to write "2011" several times for it to show up on all that glitter! I might actually print something to use as the cover next year, just so I don't make a habit of being Ghetto Fabulous. But I promise that my handwriting looks better in person than it does in this photo. Really.
To look through it, you just flip through it like a book. Or, I suppose you could put the ring through the top of the cards and flip through it that way. Allison attached two rings to her card book, but like I said, I'm lazy, so I only did the one. 

Cute little Christmas tree card
I'm going to store it with our Christmas decorations. I plan to make one every year. When the Christmas season comes around, I'll replace our coffee table books and decs with these Christmas card books from years past.

The FBC McLoud Youth program made these Christmas cards as a way to help the community spread Christmas cheer and to help them raise money for future activities and projects.
Thanks to everyone who sent us a card and/or letter! I really enjoyed looking at/reading all of them, and I know Jon did, too.

If you didn't get a Christmas card from us, my apologies! (Send me your address to ensure that doesn't happen again next year. happy) Please accept the picture below as a 2011 Christmas card stand-in:

FYI: there is no color gradient in the background. My iPhone's camera apparently doesn't like things that are solid green. Other than that, though, I really love this card. Thanks, Snapfish!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions for 2012

Side note: if you don't love Calvin and Hobbes (pictured above), you must be kinda dead inside. When I was a kid, I used to work at the high school library with an incredibly nice librarian named Mr. Woolverton. He loved/loves Calvin and Hobbes comics, and he officially got me hooked on them. Thanks to him, I am the proud owner of about 5 C&H books, and they keep me laughing when skies are gray (did you catch that "You Are My Sunshine" reference? I'm just full of wit, aren't I?)


Usually, I don't even bother with resolutions because they end up broken by the end of the first week of the year. But I'm going to give it another try this year. I'm going to try to "fool-proof" my list by making my resolutions just tiny little baby steps instead of plunging leaps (like going to the gym 6 days a week...chyeah-right! Pass me a cookie!) So, without further ado....

Resolutions for 2012:
  1. Participate in "date night" at least once per month with J. We said we'd do this after we got married, but our busy schedules (and often, our skinny wallets) have given us excuses not to do it as often as we wanted to. But really, 12 dates in an entire year is not that many! We can do this! I already have several date ideas from Pinterest (don't act like you didn't see that reference coming), and we got at least two restaurant gift cards for Christmas ("Chicka-chicka-yeah!" -- McLovin), so what's stopping us?
  2. Make at least 5 things from my boards on Pinterest. I keep pinning and pinning without ever actually doing's ridiculous! Five is an incredibly low number compared to all the DIY stuff I have pinned,'s a start, especially considering the facts that I've cooled down on Pinterest quite a bit in the last few months and I always seem to be running at 2359035 mph to do my long list of errands/chores/work/general nonsense.
  3. Save at least $10/month with coupons. I know that isn't a large goal, but I hardly ever cut  coupons (I use promo codes for almost everything I purchase online, but I use no actual coupons in any store), so I feel it's a reasonable goal. Actually, to say that I want to save $10/month with coupons is probably setting myself up for failure. Because of our extensive meal planning, I usually make one large grocery trip per 4-6 weeks. Those are the trips where I should be whipping out the coupons. Anyway, saving $120 in a year can contribute to those date nights I was talking about in #1... ;) The next step will be to increase the amount to $20/month.
  4. Do some cardio for at least 30 minutes on at least 3 days per week. Every once in a while, I'll get on a workout kick and will run jog in slow-mo 5 or 6 days a week. But since I really don't like to run, I always get burned out on that routine rather quickly. Maybe if I just set the bar at 3 times per week, I can actually stay with it for awhile... Anyway, the cardio can be dancing like a maniac in my living room (probably giving a free Bon Jovi concert to the neighbors), for all I care...I just need to get off my kiester (keister? keester? How do you spell that?!).
  5. Take more pictures. I used to be a picture fiend (as was every high school and college girl at that time), but have since settled down a bit. These days, I hardly take any pictures at all! I have a nice little point-and-shoot, but I pretty much always leave it to gather dust in my room. However, since I have an adequate camera on my iPhone, and said iPhone is pretty much in my hand 24 hours a day, I really have no excuse. Must. Take. More. Pictures!
  6. Revamp my resume. In this recession and with the competition I have here, I'm going to need to make my resume look fabulous in order to draw attention to get some interviews this year. My resume will include a paper version (with a little color), a QR code to a resume website (built by yours-truly), and possibly a picture (still debating on that one; there are pros and cons, but, apparently, it's the new thing to do).  
  7. Buy a house. It probably isn't fair for me to list this as a resolution, since it's looking inevitable for this year,'s my blog and I post what I want. :) I think it's completely within my rights to lob an easy, underhanded pitch to myself so that I can knock it outta the park every once in a while, don't you?
  8. Write a book. If you don't already know, I love to write. I wrote a children's book a few years ago, and actually had a shot at getting it published, but didn't want to spend the money to make it happen. Another thing about me is that I really enjoy being sarcastic (what? You couldn't tell?), but that's a difficult thing to weave into a children's book. So I'd like to write an actual novel. I recently read Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) book, loved it, and decided I need to write something similar. I'd also like to write a killer mystery someday (pun intended).
  9. Get a "real" job. While there are major perks to my current position, there is one glaringly obvious con: lack of moo-lah. I feel like I went to school for two degrees and now I'm putting them to "good use" by being a substitute and cleaning up after my husband. I'd like to teach, but I suppose if God has other plans for me (writer?! interior designer?! digital print-maker?!  chocolate tester?! professional nap-taker?!), I'll go where He leads. I guess a more appropriate resolution would be to "earn more money," but that makes me sound pretentious, so I'm going to call it something else. Again, my blog = my rules. ;)
I wanted to create 12 resolutions (for the year 2012), but I can only think of 9. And although most of them are pretty small goals, I at least feel confident that they are do-able! :)

What are your New Year's Resolutions?