Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pinterest Project 1

Remember that Pinterest Challenge I'm doing? Well, I finished my first project. I really loved this wreath I saw and wanted to brighten up my front door with a Springy wreath, too. Here's how mine turned out:

It took me all of 10 minutes since I actually reused the same wreath I used for Christmas, and Autumn before that {the holiday version had red and green yarn accents and some holly, which I used to replace the orange lilies and green accents for Fall}. What can I say? I'm just so efficient...

I dug around my fabric stash for the brightest, springiest patterns I could find and followed this tutorial to make the flowers. Throw it together with some hot glue and there you have it: my new Spring wreath. 

It's serving a nice, cheery purpose, though it seems a bit out of place since today we woke up to this:

Jason's response to the snow storm went something like this: "What would you do if it snowed until June? No, seriously. I think it might snow forever." The eternal optimist, that one.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why I love Daffodils

Disclaimer: I've been wrestling with myself about whether to post this. I wrote it a while ago and it feels really personal and strange to publish something like this to the internet, but I've been reading a lot recently about honesty and the importance of being authentic in our interactions with others. Authenticity can strengthen our relationships and connect us in more meaningful ways than when we put on a front and try to appear to have it all together. So here I am...being authentic for the world to see. {Okay, more like for my mom to see...}

I think everyone can agree that February is the worst. It's like, alright, Winter, you've served your purpose. Christmas was pretty. We made some snow angels. Let's get on with the warm weather and sunshine now.

Three years ago, February got even worse for me. On February 21, 2010, my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I was 11 weeks pregnant and had been told three weeks prior that the baby had not grown and they couldn't find a heartbeat. Jason and I were both in our final semester of grad school at the time, which meant we were forced to grieve through one of the busiest, most stressful times in our married life. I was in a fairly dark place then and now, every February, those emotions tend to creep back up and make this time of year challenging, on top of those already-present winter blahs.

Hopefully it goes without saying how incredibly grateful I am to have a beautiful, healthy toddler and another, so far, healthy pregnancy. But I still grieve the loss of my baby. Each one is unique and special and, even though we were pregnant with Gehrig not too long after, my heart will forever feel the gap of the child we never got to meet. The gray February sky tends to remind me of that more than anything.

Image Source
One of the only things to provide light at the end of that dark, snowy tunnel three years ago was the prospect of Spring. Sunlight, green grass, warm breezes, and the ability to get outside seemed like the perfect escape; a new start, just what Spring really is: the promise of new life. As I was leaving one of my last grad classes, I saw the first sign that Spring was near: a cluster of Daffodils. It was like I had been seeing the world in black and white and all of a sudden, a bright beam of yellow burst through to remind me to hope. Cheesy enough for you? Good.

Bottom line: I'm really ready for Spring. I need some color in my life and in my mood. Here's hoping it's right around the corner!

{And thanks for letting me be authentic today.}

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pinterest Challenge

Obviously we all love Pinterest. It's responsible for so many craft projects and outfit ideas that I've had, but I, like everyone, am guilty of spending lots of time perusing all the pretties on Pinterest and never actually following through with any of them. So, when I saw this challenge on Merrick's blog, I thought it was a great way to boost my creative motivation.

Sisters Share It All: Pinterest Challenge

So, here are my choices for the challenge:

{1} I'm getting antsy for Spring to arrive, so brightening up my front door with one of these seems fun.

{2} Baby G and I have been suffering from a serious case of cabin fever. I'm on the lookout for new, fun activities to pass the time inside. This seems like a fun one.

{3} The third-trimester tireds have set in. As they get more intense, it's nice to have some new options for G to have some quiet time while I put my feet up or maybe even take a two minute shower.

{4} Hair accessories seem like a fun option these days.

{5} That outfit? Soooo pretty. 

{6} I've been wanting to make some of these boxes to de-clutter the toy room and get organized before baby 2 comes.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

DIY Statement Necklace

My first attempt to ignore my shopaholic tendencies this month was to make myself a new necklace. After all, as a going-on-8-months-pregnant lady, accessories are one of the only items that really make me feel stylish these days. They can jazz up an otherwise boring outfit, or at least give variety to the three shirts I wear over and over again. Here's how it went down:

I didn't have beads in the color I wanted, but I did have a large number of wooden beads, so I decided to paint them all one color using acrylic paint and a glaze to give them a little shine. It took about three coats to get this color:

Then I spent a while laying out the beads in different patterns until I found a design I liked. This won out. I used chain and clasps I happened to have in my bead case to connect the different tiers {mostly making it up as I went...I'm no expert}.

And here's the final product. I like the springy color {because something needs to distract me from the 10+ inches of snow we're getting this weekend} and the fact that it might distract from my giant belly. I think every girl might need a little boost after finding out she gained 4 pounds in 2 weeks...

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Goals {& how january stacked up}

I was discussing 2013 resolutions in a recent email conversation with one of my nearest and dearest when she told me that she and her new mister decided to do lots of mini-goals throughout the year, rather than creating a whole list on January 1st. For example, one week they set a goal to read for an hour each day. Hard to accomplish for an entire year, but making it a priority for a week seems doable, right?

Anyway, I really like this idea of setting goals for a smaller time period, especially because priorities will obviously shift as the year progresses and life changes. So, I decided to take a look back at January and decide how I did with my goals, then set some more for February.

Overall, I think I've done pretty well with my accomplishments this month. I'm 60% of the way through my first book of the year {Thanks, Kindle, for giving me a constant update on my progress}. Our house is well on its way to becoming organized before kid 2 enters the scene. But I think my most successful category has been crafting. From home decor to new clothes, I've been a DIY-ing machine lately. That's one habit I hope to continue all throughout the year.

As for February, here's what I've got up my sleeve:

1. No purchasing any new items for myself. I did this in January and it led me to a thrifty little refashion that was fun and economical. I like the challenge of coming up with new items from my closet {or husband's}, so I've decided new items are off limits again this month.

2. Yoga. Way back in December, I was getting really good at exercising consistently. Lately? notsomuch. Gotta get back to doing yoga 3 days a week.

3. Get taxes done. Boring, right? Yep.

4. Try 3 new recipes. Lord knows I'm not the world's best cook. Actually, we don't know that since I never really try. That's something I'd like to rectify, so I'm going to try some new meal options this month.

There we go. I think these are all manageable...maybe even achievable!