Wednesday, March 30, 2011

check it out!

I got a comment from a reader who used one of my headers on her blog. Click on the button below to check it out. She asked for a button to coordinate with the header so be on the look out for me to make some extras to coordinate wtih this header!


Giveaway starts tomorrow!!!

The mondo giveaway for Children's Hopechest starts TOMORROW so tell your friends/family/neighbor/post man, everyone!!! I really really want this to be successful and raise lots of moolah! Just click on the button above to be redirected to the post about the giveaway and donate for your entries to win big!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Freebie frame!

I decided to feature my biggest "boy" in the house in Ezra's super spiderman cape and fireman hat:


Birthday party crafts...

Since I couldn't really focus on the computer screen yesterday after my eye surgery I decided to work on a few of Ezra's birthday party decorations. His party isn't until June but I have a lot that I want to do so it is just easier to get it done ahead of time. Ezra's party is Western/Cowboy themed.

Cupcake Holders:
I bought some little natural fiber planters b/c I liked their rusticness online for like $6.00 for 2 dozen. I wanted to make them look like they were "branded" but I don't have one of those wood burning tools so I decided spray paint would have to do.
Here's what you'll need to make these yourself:

First I created a stenciled "brand" with Ezra's initials E M B :
(the shiny stuff is tape used to hold the pieces of the B on b/c I forgot not to cut them out completely)

I then spray painted the stencil onto the planters:

Now just imagine these with a little cupcake in them with a cowboy boot cupcake topper:)

Birthday Garland:
Next I wanted to make a "Happy Birthday" garland that felt vintage/rustic so I wanted to use fabric and not just paper. I cut the fabric triangles out as well as all the letters and used hot glue to place the letters onto the fabric.

I then used some old paper grocery bags to create the "fringe" around the edges and to give the fabric some stability.

Lastly I added some thin strips of fabric b/w each "flag". I am planning to add some raffia as well and to trim around the fabric and the paper. So I'll likely post one more "finished product" photo.

I have LASER vision!

Okay so not really "laser vision" but I did have my eyes lasered to correct my blindness :)
I went to Dr. Boothe in Plano, TX yesterday and had my vision corrected. Since I've wanted to have this done for YEARS and I know other people are likely interested in what exactly happens I thought I'd do a post about it.

Well a few things I wish I'd known before hand:
1. You can not shower for a full week, in fact you can't get any water in your eyes for a week and you're not supposed to even touch your eyes for fear of shifting the corneal flap that the laser creates.
2. You'll have to put eye drops in your eyes at least every 15 minutes the first day you have the surgery and antibiotic drops every 2 hours, and no sleeping for at least 5 hours after surgery. I opted to NOT take the Valium before surgery b/c I had no one to drive me home since Michael was stuck in California. BUT if I had I know I'd likely have wanted to go home and sleep.
3. It hurts. You don't feel any "cutting or burning" b/c they numb the cornea BUT the rest of your eye fells pain, so when they are making the flap you definitly feel pressure and very uncomfortable. When they said, oh it's nothing, it's like 30 seconds per eye, I thought ahhhh piece of cake, well let me just say that it was the longest 30 seconds EVER! I was counting backward from 30 in my head just to give me something to focus on so I'd know when it was over. After several rounds of counting through 30 I realized that it's not 30 seconds it's more like 50 or so and you feel every one of them.
4. It's a 2 step process. Once I got through with the first step I thought I was done and I was like, yes, it's over, and then they took me to another station and said okay now we'll actually correct your vision...wait WHAT, it's not over yet?? The second step wasn't as uncomfortable as the first but they will have to put the speculum in your eye and you can smell the burning from the laser and I think the hardest part is that your eye wants to close but it can't and you don't want to move. The second time I had to count in French just to make it more difficult so I could keep my mind off of what they were doing.
5. They do several people at once so there are times when your eyes are taped shut and you're just waiting for your turn and then all of a sudden someone's pouring drops in your eyes so it can be kind of jolting.

Now with all that said would I do it again - HECK YES! Is it worth being anesthetized? no I don't think so. You can live through it and once they are done you're painless at least until the drops wear off. So I left there happy as a clam in no pain and I could see 20/20 immediately. Which brings me to my next recommendation:
*Do not drive yourself home! Even if you don't take the meds b/c once the drops wear off you're in a world of hurt for about 2.5 hours. I was stuck in traffic for exactly 2.5 hours on my drive home and I seriously contemplated pulling over and renting a hotel room to lay down and close my eyes b/c they were burning so badly. And I'm not even kidding when I say that when I got into Aledo my eyes felt 100% better. It was like all of a sudden it just stopped and I had NO pain again. I think it was residual heat from the laser. Like when you burn yourself and you put ointment on it and it just traps the heat and continues to burn, well that's what it was like in my eye b/c they put a contact lens on post-op and I think maybe it just traps the heat in your eye.

Post-Op photo:

I have to wear these protective cups on my eyes every time I am sleeping for a week. They aren't uncomfortable at all surprisingly.

I now feel great and have to go for my recheck appointment to get the contact lenses removed. I'm very glad that I did the surgery and would do it again in a heartbeat but just wish I knew better what to expect. I still have a halo around things and can't see super clear but it's amazing to be able to SEE!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New blog design...

Kelly wanted something with a modern feel with an all white background that was easy to read but still fun. Click on the button below to see her new blog.

OMG I have to get these!

Okay so I recently saw a picture of Jessica Biel and she had these feathers in her hair but I thought they were just earrings and now I'm realizing that she has these amazing extensions!!! Aren't they awesome! I found this etsy shop that sells them for $18.00-$20.00 a set and you put them in yourself and treat them like normal hair. I am going to get some so I'll let you guys know how they work out :)

She even makes them for pets! Too bad my dogs are both boys :(

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Travel blog freebies!

Just click on the image to enlarge it then save to your computer. This header is
(920 pixels wide)

These sidebar titles could be used to go with this header or with any vintage looking blog layout (scroll down the posts to see how to resize and install these images):

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

H U G E Giveaway!!!!!!

My sister and I sponsor 5 kiddos in Ethiopia through Children's Hopechest. We are planning a trip to visit the care centers in November and I decided to start fundraising early for the trip so that we can bring lots of donations, and for the building projects we'll be doing while in country. My personal goal is to raise at least $7,000.00. My ultimate goal is to be able to giveaway a mission trip to one lucky winner! You can read all the books you want and watch all the youtube videos in the world but nothing compares to being in country and seeing what these children live through every day. What these kiddos need most is someone to stand in the gap for them and make their voices heard and the best way to do that is to have lived it. So PLEASE stand up for "the least of these" and help me to bring a lucky someone to Ethiopia!!!

Most anyone associated with international adoption is aware of the changes being made in Ethiopia regarding the amount of adoption cases being processed each day which will hopefully curb the amount of corruption in the country and we all know that adoption alone is NOT the answer. So what can YOU do to make a difference in these children's lives? Well I'll tell ya... become a sponsor! For just $34.00 each month your sponsorship will send a child to school, will provide meals, and in some cases even shelter if they have to live on site. Reading the stories of these children and meeting them face to face just rips your heart out. Almost all of the children have at least one parent that has died because of poverty and disease and now have to live with other villagers or relatives. Many times the "foster homes" have children of their own to feed and care for so the "foster children" are left at home to do the chores and take care of the smaller children.
What Hopechest does is eases the burden on these "foster families". By providing funding for these children's basic needs, they are able to become productive members of society and gain a sense of self and a sense of worth. Please visit my friend Karen's blog to find out how you can give a child hope. She's got some AMAZING before and after photos on this post that really show what a difference sponsorship can make.(The little girl, Birtukan, with the stickers on her face is my sister's sponsor child)

Now on to the good stuff :) I have some amazing goodies to share with FIVE lucky winners.
I will be giving away 5 themed gift baskets FILLED with some amazing goodies. Here's how it will work:

*A donation of $10.00 will earn you ONE entry.
*A donation of $20.00 will earn you THREE entries.
*A donation of $30.00 will earn you SEVEN entries.

Any donations over those amounts will be multiplied accordingly (eg. a donation of $100.00 will be good for 22 entries).

When you make your donation, in the little information box on paypal, please include the number of the gift basket you're hoping to win.

Once you have made a donation you can earn additional FREE entries by posting about the giveaway on your blog, twitter, or facebook accounts. Just comment me with your info and where you posted about the giveaway so I'll make sure to give you extra entries.

Use this button below to post on your personal blog to redirect people to the giveaway!

Donations will be accepted from April 1st to April 21st. Also during that time I will have more blog giveaways where you will be eligible for FREE entries and goodies so check back here periodically.

Here's what you could win:

GIFT BASKET NUMBER ONE (Cooking/baking):

1-Oneida Platinum 3 piece cupcake pan, tray, and cover carrier set
1-3 quart round stainless steel Crock Pot
1-Bag of Sumatra Organic coffee donated by Ground To Cup
1-12 month subscription to Louisiana Cookin magazine
1-size Medium tee donated by Julie Neal from Dig Deep
1-autographed copy of Red Letters by Tom Davis (founder of Children's Hopechest)
1-bottlecap necklace donated by Sami from Little Goody 2 Shoes
1-bottle cap key chain donated by Deena Marquis
1-brown reusable printed grocery bag donated by Katie Reaser
1-Adopt Africa magnet
1-shabby chic notebook
3-tees donated by Debi Jenkins of From Africa To Your Heart (1-large white long sleeved hoodie, 1- XL brown tee, 1-small pink tee)


1-$10.00 gift card to Chili's
1-$25.00 gift card to For Goodness Grape donated by Lisa
1-$33.00 gift card to use toward getting your own amazing scarf by Pronta donated by Maru Stephens
1-$40.00 gift card to Pixie Chicago Paperie donated by Cassandra
1-$25.00 gift card toward digital scrapbooking elements from Kate Hadfield Designs
1-$25.00 gift card toward digital scrapbooking products from Valorie Wibbens Designs
1-bag of Mexico organic coffee donated by Ground to Cup
1-torqouise necklace donated by adoptive mother, Lisa Bushman
1-book, Losing Normal, by adoptive mother, Heather Cheney
1- Adopt Africa magnet
1-3-6 month organic "little birdie" onesie from Adopt Africa Designs
2-bottlecap necklaces from Sami with Little Goodie 2 Shoes
1-sized medium white tee donated by The Boddie Family
1-Africa (Ethiopia is featured) cut out wooden ornament/door hanger donated by Debi Jenkins of From Heart to Home
3-tees also from Debi of From Heart to Home (1-medium pink short sleeve, 1-large brown short sleeve, and 1-small white long sleeved hoodie)


1-original commissioned custom painting by Casey Wiegand of A Little Artsy (valued at $550.00)

1-carousel 8X8 print from Elle Moz Photography
1-handmade yarn rooster from Isla Mujeres in Mexico
1-custom embroidered sparrow art with the word "Baby" framed and matted donated by adoptive mom,Anya
1-handwoven injera bowl from Axum, Ethiopia
1-6.5" X 6.5" original painting on goat hide in the orthodox tradition of Mary and Jesus from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2-prints from adoptive mother, Candice Jones
2-bottlecap necklaces from Sami of Little Goody 2 Shoes
2-bottlecap key chains donated by Deena Marquis
1-bag of Jamaican Me Crazy coffee donated by Ground to Cup
1-Adopt Africa magnet
1-custom blog design from Adopt Africa Designs ($50.00 value)
4-original adoption prints donated by adoptive parents Logan and Brandy Wade
2-dog collars (red and black) with Christmas and Valentine's Day themed coordinating snaps from Snap 2 It
1-shabby chic notebook
2-tees (1-large pink short sleeve and 1-XL white long sleeved hoodie) from Debi Jenkins of From Heart to Home


1-10% off coupon to Pebbles In My Pocket party supplies
1-30% off coupon to anna and blue paperie
20-custom printed invitation/announcement cards from Nicole at Starlight Stationary
1-Happy Birthday Groovy flower banner donated by Holly at Groovy Holidays
1-Adopt Africa magnet
1-custom blog design from Adopt Africa Designs
1-funky dog notebook
1-white girls size XS Africa cut out tee with lion from Adopt Africa Designs
1-book by adoptive mom, Heidi Ballard - From My Heart You Came
1-bag of Southern Pecan coffee donated by Ground To Cup
2-bottlecap necklaces donated by Sami of Little Goody 2 Shoes
1-bottlecap keychain donated by Deena Marquis
1-wooden Africa cutout key chain with camel print donated by Debi Jenkins of From Heart to Home
1-wooden Africa cutout ornament/door hanger with polka dots and Ethiopia written on it donated by Debi Jenkins of From Heart to Home
3-tees also donated by Debi (1-medium white long sleeved hoodie, 1-large pink short sleeved tee, and 1-Large brown short sleeved tee)
1-grey size Large tee donated by the Boddie family
1-reusable printed grocery bag donated by the Boddie family
1-size 10 short sleeve tee from Threadless

GIFT BASKET NUMBER FIVE (luxury girlie goodies):

-Sample perfume vials from Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Kate Spade, Calvin Klein, Narcisco Rodriguez, Paco Rabanne, and Lolita Lempicka of Paris
-Lots of facial product samples from Sephora
1-size 12 month long sleeved Burberry girl's shirt
2-Mother/daughter aprons with pink ruffle
1-Coach coin purse
1-Lily Pulitzer Zippity-Do make-up bag
1-Love Goes Around necklace donated by Tracy from Junk Posse
1-"love" banner necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs
1-pair of sterling silver fleur-de-lis earrings donated by Kelly of Kelly Lynn Designs
1-glass Ethiopian map pendant necklace donated by Michelle McKinney
1-Adopt Africa magnet
1-lime green tee size XS from Adopt Africa Designs
1-laptop decorative bird sticker
2-bottlecap necklaces donated by Sami of Little Goody 2 Shoes
1-brown bead handmade necklace donated by adoptive mom, Lisa Bushman
1-shabby chic notebook
1-bottlecap keychain donated by Deena Marquis
2-wooden Africa cut out beaded necklaces donated by Debi Jenkins of From Heart to Home
3-tees (1-size small pink short sleeve, 1-white size large long sleeved hoodie, 1-XL brown short sleeved tee) donated by Debi Jenkins of From Heart to Home
1-bag of Columbia Organic coffee donated by Ground To Cup
12-flavored lip glosses
3-books by author and adoptive mother Jen Hatmaker - Out of the Spin Cycle, Girl Talk: Getting Past the Chitchat, and Make Over: Revitalizing the Many Roles You Fill
1-wooden Africa cut out keychain donated by Debi Jenkins
1-brown tee size large donated by Katie Reaser
1-handmade fabric flower brooch from Sew Lovely

Whew.... I'm exhausted from listing all that but I hope you guys are excited about winning some awesome stuff!
I plan to do little mini-features on some of the doners throughout the giveaway as well so I hope you look forward to learning more about both the fundraising families and the people committed to helping Africa's orphans.

New blog design

Click on the image below to be redirected to Kendra's blog. She wanted something bold with funky color combinations and peace signs.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's for dinner?

I recently found this recipe in Louisiana Cooking Magazine and decided to give it a try since I had one more pound of Louisiana crawfish tails in the freezer:

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 # Louisiana crawfish tails
1.5 tsp minced garlic
3/4 # smoked Gouda cheese shredded
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dry vermouth
6 large puff pastry vol au vent shells
salt and pepper to taste

Here's how you make it:
First melt the butter and saute the greens until wilted.

Then add the crawfish tails and garlic and cook until aromatic then add the cheese and cream and cook until the cheese is melted. Add the seasonings and vermouth (I didn't have any vermouth so I substituted cooking sherry and it worked great). Reduce heat to low, and cover for 15 minutes to mix the flavors.

Cook the pastry shells as per the label directions and then scoop the crawfish mixture into the pastry shells.


New blog header freebie!

Here's another header I wound up not using. Just click on the image to enlarge to see it full size. Then save to your computer and edit to your heart's content :)


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Things that make me happy...

This loft is amazing!!! I am totally in love with it's simplicity and coziness.

Don't these stairs just make you want to redecorate your house! I'm crazy about this treatment and love the idea.

When I saw this print it made me think of all the cool fabric remnants I have and how easy it would be to cut swatches and create this type of "print" on a large canvas. I may have to try this one soon.

A little Thank You...

First I have to say thanks to all my sweet bloggy friends who left such sweet comments about my current state of mind :) I love all you guys and feel fortunate to have such incredible women in my life whom I've never even met but feel so connected to.

So here's a little freebie for the day:

Friday, March 18, 2011

In a funk...

I'm totally in a funk about the selection hearing not going in our favor. Again I know that at *C--- will have a famiily but I just wish I knew why it wasn't us. Work has been hell. I can't even sugar coat it. This week has just made me want to cry everyday. No lunch breaks, very trying cases, Michael had to leave to go on a mission for the Navy for a couple days so I've been a single mom, and I have to work the weekend as well. I've got lots of blogs to work on and I'm feeling devoid of creativity. I just can't get my creative juices flowing. My mind is just elsewhere, grieving *C---- and just wishing I was on a beach somewhere :)

AND to top it all off I gave up sugar for lent, so no soft drinks, cupcakes, nothing! I'm trying to make a healthy change and I thought I'd focus on my biggest weakness first and so far I've done great but I think by the end of this I'll have turned into a bitter ogre :)
Anyone else give up sugar? We can be accountability partners to stay on track!

Some fun freebies!

Here are some little printables you can use for scrapbooking or blogging. I keep reminding myself to write things down like funny things Ezra does so now b/c I doubt I'll remember them later on so I made up these little lists to jot things down on.

Here are some funny things Ezra does:
1. Instead saying "gorilla" he always says "umbrella" for some reason. I kept looking for the umbrella at the zoo and realized he meant the gorilla :)
2. Instead of saying , "I want some milk", Ezra says, "want some milking"... hmmm we'll have to discuss that with the cow I suppose :)
3. The boy is CRAZY about "Frost the Snowman". He LOVES Frosty and if it's the least bit cold he wants to go, "see the snowman".

Click on the images to enlarge and save to you computer.

Here's another freebie header for ya. I think this one is like 930 pixels wide or so. Just add text!