Thursday, October 25, 2012

inspiration : DIY : custom halloween centerpiece

Hi y'all! It's funny the routines you settle into when you have kids. All of life is a balancing act. Balancing work, kids, housework, hobbies, it's a never-ending cycle. And as busy as our life gets, we still have a basic routine. And most of the time, on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, I get to craft. And it's GLORIOUS! Sometimes, what I work on doesn't come out like a had pictured in my head. And sometimes, it turns out even better!!

Fortunately, the latter is true for my most recent crafting experience AND, I'm sharing it with you. Just in time for your Halloween parties this weekend, here is an easy, fun, and gorgeous Halloween centerpiece, and I guarantee you, if you have an hour or so to spare, you can do this. ;) 

I got my inspiration from these amazing Halloween feather trees I saw at Hobby Lobby. I knew instantly that I wanted to add some feathers to my decorations this year. So I did. ;) 





What you need : 
glass vase
black spray paint (I used an entire can for this project)
feather boa
glitter styrofoam ball decorations (I had these leftover from Halloween last year. Another reason I throw nothing away. ;) )
branches (not pictured)
hot glue gun
bandanna (The spider web one is pictured, but I ended up using a lime green one instead.)
Tape (optional)
Marbles or weighted beads (optional)

The great thing about this DIY, you can do most of it with stuff you have around your house already. I wanted a particular shape for my vase so I bought a new one (Walmart, $3; and I didn't have an all black feather boa, Hobby Lobby, $8) Everything else, I already had. I cut my own branches, used leftover glitter ball decorations from last year's Halloween party (I think I got them at HL for a couple bucks), and I have several colors of bandannas from HL around my house because they make great table decorations. 


What to do : 

1} Spray paint your vase. 

2} Spray paint your branches. I cut my branches from a dead holly shrub in our front yard. But you can also purchase branches at craft stores. 

3} Decorate your vase. When your vase is dry, and while you branches are drying, decorate your vase. Put a dot of hot glue on the rim of your vase and press the end of your boa to the glue. I moved the bulk of the feathers out of the way while gluing so I could get the glue as close as possible to the core of the boa. 

Continue adding dots of glue around the rim of your vase and gluing your boa. When you get back to the beginning, simply cut your boa, and glue the other end down. 

And then, it should look like this: 


4} Arrange your branches. By now, your branches should be dry. Place them in the vase and arrange them how you need to. You might have to trim here and there to get the look you want. For this, use handheld branches clippers. Very easy. 

{ note : if you plan on putting your display outside, you might want to add marbles or weighted beads to your vase, just to keep it stabilized. }


Now the fun part!

5} Glue your glitter balls to the branches. Just a tiny dot of glue will work. 

Do just one ball in places. 


Do groupings in other places. Just keep gluing until you feel you have enough. 

And that's it! Done and done!

Now isn't that easy???

And now you have a custom, gorgeous centerpiece for your Halloween party. 


Forgive the poor quality of the last two photographs. I envy you people who have so much natural light in your house. 


I sat my centerpiece on a lime green bandanna (found at Hobby Lobby) in the center of my dining room table. The day of the party, I'll add some leftover glitter balls sprinkled about the tables. ;) 

Cute huh? 

I'm SOOOO happy with how it turned out! 


me : foster parenthood : memories

A year ago today, I woke up early. Way early. I was excited, anxious, nervous, apprehensive, and a bundle of other emotions. The day before, we had gotten a call from our caseworker, and a baby boy was going to be placed with us. Our previous foster children had left a couple months before, and after a short hiatus, Joey and I were ready to open our hearts and home to another little one. 

Here's the blog post I wrote that day: 


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Yesterday started out as a totally normal day. After two nights of staying up too late (don't worry weekend, I'm not holding any grudges) I slept in a bit and did my usual roll out of bed and stumble straight into my office routine. (A routine I've been working on breaking by getting up earlier... [oh, how God has a sense of humor...]) I worked on my blog, ran some reports for work, piddled with this, caught up on that. Had my cup of coffee. Had my breakfast. And then what was my normal, regular ol' Monday got flipped, turned upside down (thank you Fresh Prince). 

The phone calls began. Some little ones needed placement. Are we interested? : Now, after our first and only other foster placement experience of getting two children, right at school-age, we decided we were going to go a different route and go back to what we originally wanted. One child at a time. Very young, less than a year old preferably. After some back and forth phone calls with the caseworker, and with Joey (who was out doing church stuff), and after some waiting... we finally got the news that we were getting another placement. {Now, as a refresher, I can't put any information on here due to privacy laws, so from now on our little one will be known as BB (Baby Boy).} 

So... after a training class we had last night (for licensing purposes), we scrambled around Babies 'R' Us and Wal-Mart, getting a few necessities. We came home and worked on prepping the house. This morning I got up at 6:30... {6:30} and before 8 am I already had done a load of laundry, vacuumed the whole house, cleaned my office (if you only knew...), took out the trash, and did whatever prep work was left. Whew!

Here's the thing: When you're birthing the child yourself, you have some time to prepare. Granted, some people may not use that time as wisely as they should and are left scrambling at the last minute. With fostering though, you don't get that luxury of having so much prep time. You also don't get the luxury of a bringing home a tiny infant, which is all anyone cares about, so who cares if at this point you haven't put an outlet cover on every outlet possible. With fostering, you are bringing home a child of whatever age and you have to make sure your home is up to code and meets the requirements. Which means scrambling around making sure everything is as it should be. With birthing, you get some time off from work and you get to ease into a routine. With fostering, it's sudden. You have to be completely adaptable and able to work around things. For those of us who are planners, this can be an issue. 

But in the end... you're still bringing a child into your home. Into your heart. I'm okay with the scrambling, the frantic cleaning, my plans going haywire... it's all okay. Because tonight, there's going to be a little one sleeping in this room. 


This room has done a complete turnaround since yesterday morning at this time. This was the guest room. The crib was in the pink room across the hall and this room had the guest bed in it. Yesterday we took it down, moved it across the hall, and moved the crib into this room. All of that sounds very easy but there was a lot more that went into that than just a switcharoo. I don't imagine BB would want a bright pink room. Just a guess. ;) lol. I'm also guessing that there will be a painting party at my house in the next month or so for a little nursery makeover. I'm thinking grey and white chevron on the walls with accent colors of turquoise and lime green. Hmmm... and maybe orange? Hmmm... still pondering that one. Either way, it doesn't matter. Because...


Dear BB, 

I don't know much about you, but I can hardly wait to meet you. 

Love,
Your Soon-to-Be Foster Momma


Did I mention we've already got him a Halloween costume? Yep, he's totally ready for the party on Sunday... I'm so excited!!


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That was exactly one year ago today. And what a year it's been. I've never laughed more, cried more and loved more than I have this past year. When we first got BB, he was this happy baby who had some tummy issues, who wasn't very mobile, and had a bald spot on the back of his head from being laid down so much and not played with. And now, he's walking, talking, has no tummy issues anymore, and has worked his way deep into the depths of my heart and very being. He is my son in every sense of the word, and I've been so blessed to be his momma. He's a blessing to me, and to everyone who is lucky enough to know him and be a part of his life. He's a lucky little thing in that, because of our loving church, he has more aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas then any other kid. And although everyone always tells us how lucky and blessed he is to have us, we are even more lucky and more blessed to have him. 

And so... in this walk down memory lane, another letter : 

Dear BB, 

You are such an awesome little boy! You have blessed me so much and I'm so thankful that I get to be your momma. I'm so grateful, that I've got to celebrate so many of your first milestones: first Halloween, first Thanksgiving, first Christmas, first birthday, first crawls, first steps, first table food, and the list goes on and on. I'm even more grateful, that I get to celebrate many more of your milestones throughout your life.  You're an absolute treasure. Last night you took your first steps up a curb and up stairs without crawling up them. I can't believe how quickly you grow and learn. You've changed so much, and have also changed me so much. I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be. 

Love, 

Your Momma



And for those of you who have been following our journey with BB, here's where we stand: The judge signed the final court order for the parental termination of both of his birth parents. His birth mother is filing an appeal, which is slowing the adoption process down, but the caseworkers assure me not to worry, that the judge's decision will not be overturned. Our attorney says we just have to ride this out. So, we wait. We continue to wait this out, and one day, he'll be ours "officially" and when that happens, I will flood my blog with pictures and stories about him so I can finally share him with all of you. 

But until then, just know that he's the cutest and funniest little boy in the world and I'm the luckiest momma in the world because I get to be his momma. 

One year down, a lifetime to go. 



Friday, October 19, 2012

me : weekly loves

 Hi y'all! It's a busy Friday, but halleluyer, it's Friday! No need for chit chat, let's just dive right in. ;) 


I love my sweet hubby. 
And I love that we got to go to my first big college football game last Saturday. I still haven't written a post about it, but it was AWESOME!
Also, I love my necklaces (one is my mommy necklace, the other is a cute one from The Vintage Pearl that my sweet friend Ashley sent me for my birthday. She's the best!
And I love my sunglasses. From Target. Oh yeah, baby! :) 

I love that we finally got family pictures taken together. It's the first time in a long time that we got professional pictures made of us. And we got photos of both boys. We're about to be that family that has photos of their kids up all over the house AND gives family photos as Christmas gifts. ;) 
{ p.s. - friend, Alicia Perkins, of Simple Beautiful Photography, took our pictures. }
I love that yellow tree we found to take pictures by. It was cute and so chipper!

I love Family Nights. Still planning a post about those, but I look forward to that each week. :) 


I love wearing my Granny's old jewelry. She always wanted a diamond ring, and waited until much later in her life to finally buy one for herself. But until then, she bought a bunch of faux ones. This is one of them that I wear. Fake diamonds. The silver band has turned black. But I think it's beautiful and I love that I can wear it now. YAY for skinnier fingers!

I also love when I'm cooking dinner and the family's in the kitchen with me. Joey's playing music on his phone and BB and I have an impromptu mommy-son dance. Two-stepping with my boy never gets old. And he loves it too! ;) 

I love these chicken salad sandwiches from a little restaurant in town. Joey brought me one yesterday and it was OH SO GOOD. If anyone wants to come visit me, I'll buy you a yummy sandwich! :) 

I love crafting time, being inspired, and completing projects. I experienced all of those this week and that makes for a fantastic week!

What are some things you love right now?



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

inspiration : current color crushes

Hi y'all! Some of my favorite colors, yellow and pink, have been favorites for many years. Some, mint and coral, are favorites that have developed more recently in the last few years. But then, there are some new favorite colors that just kind of sneak up on me. I don't realize how much I love them until I've caught myself buying them over and over again. Does this ever happen to you?

My most recent discovery of my new color crushes comes as a real surprise. I've never been that big of a fan of cobalt blue, mostly because I don't like wearing blue tops with blue jeans. I feel like I'm walking around looking all smurfed out. But it started with seeing this hot, cobalt blue nail polish being worn on a reality tv show this summer, then I bought a sweater, then clothes for Joey and the kids, all in the same cobalt blue. 

And for the neon purple, I've always loved purple, but neon purple is a new shade that I'm really crushing on now. I first picked it up in a makeup bag set that I needed a new one of. Then some skinny jeans, then some nail polish. And now, before I realized what happened, I've discovered that my recent purchases are always leaning towards at least one of these two colors. Also... there's a fuschia/neon purple colored Escalade driving around Lubbock. I've seriously discussed with Joey that when we buy a new Tahoe for me (down the road) I want to paint it that color. He's not agreeing to that. Yet. 


current color crushes



Do you love these colors right now as much as I do? I'm mad for them! In fact, those skinny jeans and that blue sweater were worn by me last night during our family photo shoot. And if you'd like to see more cobalt blue goodies, I suggest you check out my goodies post of all things cobalt blue here

I'm really crushing on these colors right now... what colors are you crushing on?


Monday, October 15, 2012

music monday : from my head to yours

Hi y'all! No, I'm not going to start a new blog series called "music monday", even though I have been tempted to so many times. But the answer is still "no". I don't need another blog series. (Like so many other blog series that have been started and discarded, or just forgotten about in my most recent creative slump.) But, it's Monday, I'm talking about music, so the title seems to fit. ;)

And for those of you who have been in the know about my aforementioned creative slump, good news! I'm finally coming out of it. Some time away has been good, maybe in ways, too good. But a trip alone to Hobby Lobby has breathed a sense of refreshment into my creative soul, and was really just what I needed to get going again. I've been doing some crafting this past weekend, but that's for another post. ;) 

And now... on to Music Monday!

Today, I'm sharing 6 songs that are most likely to be caught in my head right now. Read (and listen) at your own risk. But know, if you do listen, and if you like them, we can be friends. ;) 


"Some Nights" by Fun. I love this song. I heard "We Are Young" (the next song) on my way home late one night and fell in love. Came home, listened to it over and over again, along with other Fun. videos, and seriously, I'm a fan now. Big fan. Love this song. Love this group. And I texted a dear friend who shares my love for music to see if she's heard of this group and songs, only to find out that she has, (no surprise there) but that they used to be called The Format. Also good stuff. Cheer up your Monday, listen to them, and have a dance party in your chair. 


The song that started my most recent love affair with Fun. Love this. I may have listened to this on repeat... a lot. 


Alicia Keys has disappointed me for the past few years. But then this song came out, and I like it. I just hope more come out like it. And while I'm not a big fan of live music, I had to use this video because I did NOT want the video ft. Nicki Minaj. No thanks. Ever. 

And now... I complete change of pace. 


Do you love Jason Gray? I do! Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, Andrew Osenga, Andy Gullahorn, all good people to listen to. And I love how in this video and so many other music videos and movies there's someone hitch-hiking with a guitar. I've seen a lot of hitch-hikers in my day. I can't remember a single one carrying a guitar. If I ever do, I'm getting a picture as proof. 


Love this song. Love this video. It makes me tear up. Listen with caution... and a tissue.


And... with a Jason Gray song, you almost have to have Andrew Peterson. Joey bought Andrew Peterson's most recent album last week and we've been listening to it a lot. The video is really cool, there are a lot of "Rest Easy" videos because I guess there was a video contest. Pretty cool. Any of them are good, and the song is wonderful!



So that's what is playing in my head. What's playing in yours?









Tuesday, October 9, 2012

me : embracing the lack of creativity

Sometimes, the creative juices aren't just flowing, they're flooding. And sometimes, there's not even a drop to be found anywhere. Right now, I can't find my mojo. It's disappeared. 

A month or so ago, I was on a creative spurt. Everything inspired me, the need to create something beautiful overwhelmed me, and every table and shelf in my office was covered with some project(s). 

And then... as quickly as that spurt came along, it was gone. And now, I keep going into my office, looking around for some project to work on, and just stare. Nothing jumps out for me to do. I don't want to sew, paint, write, journal, blog, or anything. I'm supposed to be writing a guest post for a friend's photography blog and I just can't muster the motivation and inspiration. It's a very bizarre feeling and I just don't know what to do with myself. And while I've been trying to push through and channel any inspiration that comes my way, I've also tried to take advantage of this time by spending it with my family and enjoying mommyhood. 

So while you may have missed me on the bliggity blog, here's what I've been doing :

* Watching TV with the hubby. It doesn't seem that special, but so much of the time I am working on one project or another during the evening and after children are in bed, so I'm usually in my office while Joey is in the living room. But it's been nice to be in the same room in the evenings and enjoy some of our favorite shows together. 

* Spending time with the boys. Again, I'm usually in my office in the evenings, but with my lack of creative juices, I get to spend that time in the floor playing with BB and with McCrae. We've also discovered how bad the language is on most tv shows, so we've been watching a lot of Frozen Planet lately. My favorite thing is when BB crawls up on the couch with me to sit in my lap and he points to the TV and says "Wa-wer" (water), "duh" (bird), and "tree". He can also walk like a penguin which I have a video of and wish I could share with you. So cute!!

* Take advantage of inspiration as it comes. Last Tuesday I went to our monthly art club meeting and was so inspired by the presentation, that I came home and started creating my own collage works. It was so much fun and I whipped out a couple really quickly. I even sold one and was commissioned for 2 more!! So while I haven't been inspired to work on much else, it's nice to take advantage of whatever inspiration comes along. 

* Organize, brainstorm, re-think. Since I haven't wanted to create anything, I've gone through sections of my office and tried to get things organized. These creative lulls are a great time for cleaning out some supplies and getting rid of them, OR listing them on a website to sell. I've also gone through my journal (where I keep most of my ideas) and have brainstormed about new ideas, as well as re-thinking stale ideas to give them new life. It's easy, it just takes as much time as you want to put in, and you might look at something completely differently when you aren't in the "heat of creativity". 

* Work on the non-creative projects. Like organizing, there are some projects in my life that don't require any creative juices. One of those is working on our budget. It's not something that I do very often (and maybe I should) but it's something that needs to be done. Go through the budget, see where we can save money, where we should be spending extra money, and so on. 


That's what I've been up to while waiting for my creativity to come back. It doesn't seem like much and at first I was really disappointed and upset, but it's actually been nice to spend time doing other things and I know when I get back to creating, I'll come back feeling very refreshed and renewed. 

So what do you do when you can't get the motivation and inspiration for creating something? Do you embrace it? Or push through?




Thursday, October 4, 2012

me : weekly loves

Hi y'all! Happy Thursday! It's been too long since I've done a "weekly loves" post, and I need to change that asap! I've started several, but never finished them. Is anyone else like that? I have a ton of blog post drafts that I've started and then.... that was it. Every now and then I go through and clean out those drafts and delete ones I'm never going to finish, and keep ones that I just might finish. Any other bloggers out there do that?

Anyway, time for weekly loves! :) 



I love the ombre effect. And I love painting my nails. I used my Essie color in Fiji for the base coat. I applied the gold glitter on the bottom half of my nail. Then, I did a light coat over the entire nail. And lastly, I I did an extra layer at the tip of my nail to make the glitter more defined there. It's easy, you should try it. And it looks fantastic! Even though my photo is far less than superb. 

I love getting inspired. I joined the Yoakum County Art Association (YCAA) Tuesday night. I went to my first meeting last month, and joined this month. It's a small group, but they love art and it's a fun way for me to get out into the community and do something I love. Each month at the meeting they have an artist come and present to us. This month was Suzy Powell who demonstrated doing a collage for us. I've never done a collage before and always wanted to, so when I got home I started working on one and this is what I did. :) 

I love new art! 

This was so fun, I've already started on another one and my head is swimming with ideas for different collages. It's also addicting! And I know feel justified in keeping the past 5+ years of magazines I've subscribed to. 


I love when I change my mind and it comes out even better! I thought I had finished with the artwork. But then, I remembered I had some broken mirror pieces in my office closet and thought it would look cool on the cross. I love it! I haven't glued them yet, but I will. And then I'll take new pictures. 

Also, I now feel completely justified for keeping a solo cup of broken mirror pieces in my office closet for the passed couple of years. You just never know when you're going to need something... ;) 


I love BB, and I love his tiny TOMS. So adorable! I bought these several months ago, and finally got to put them on him two months ago. :) I love the one for one program that TOMS does, and I love supporting programs like that. 


I love blueberry muffins. That take me home. 

I love pretty sunrises. And even though I'm definitely not a morning person, waking up and seeing the beautiful sunrises every morning, make it totally worth it! 

What about you?
What do you love right now?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

me : one thousand gifts : beginning

Hi y'all! A couple years ago, I kept hearing about this book, One Thousand Gifts. People I knew online were reading it and loving it, and encouraging others to read it too. I finally bought it, read it, and loved it. Seriously loved it. It was a life-changer. It made me realize how to be more positive, less negative; how to appreciate my friends and family more; and how to be thankful for all of life's little moments, to get through the bigger (and more difficult) moments.

The beginning of September marked the beginning of the fall quarter for our church, and I started a Ladies' class on Wednesday nights and am teaching through this book. Some of the ladies have already read it, some have even taken the challenge before to do the "gratitude lists", but some of them, this is completely new to. It's been wonderful to read through the book again, intentionally taking my time, digging deep, and spending a lot of time reflecting on what I've read and what it means to me, in order to do a good job teaching. I can feel it changing my life again. Challenging me. Making me evaluate my life. Making me grow. 




from onethousandgifts.com :
In One Thousand Gifts: A Dare  to Live Fully Right Where You Are, Ann strives to find the meaning of life and fully embrace the surprising truth from the final scenes of Jesus’ earthly life.  In the hours before Jesus’ execution, he took bread and gave thanks.  This fresh, heart-wrenching book unveils the long forgotten wonder that through the imitation of Christ’s thankfulness, we too can experience a life of joy.
With startling lyrical power, Voskamp writes the answers to universal questions:
  • Where is joy in the midst of cruelty and chaos, duties and despair?
  • How does one slow down enough for the soul and God to live in synch?
  • How in the world do we learn to find God and live fully?
The laundry keeps piling up, dishes never end, kids fight and people die.  But regardless of circumstances, the dare of the “gift list” shows Voskamp a way to live even through the dullness and hurts of life.  Through the aches and triumphs, she finally sees what she’s been missing, something that so many women can’t seem to find in their everyday lives.  Ideal for personal spiritual growth or Bible study groups, included within One Thousand Gifts are study questions to provoke additional thought and discussion.
I definitely feel like I'm going through a spiritual growth spurt. Which, in itself, is pretty amazing, but to be on a spiritual high, to be going through a spiritual growth spurt right here, right now, without having been at a retreat/church camp/or other related activity, is incredibly amazing! I'm excited to read, I'm looking forward to learning more, and I'm enjoying prayer time. Which, to be honest, prayer is one area of my Christian walk that always seems to be lacking so much. 

Last week, my class discussed chapter 3, and in class, we each started our lists. I'm not saying that I'm going to share all 1000 gifts of my list on my blog. But, I'm not saying I won't either. We'll just see what happens. So be expecting that to start soon... 

And if you're interested in joining our study remotely (my SIL is doing it as well), I'd love to have you. Just send me an email or leave me a comment letting me know and I'll email you the student handouts. (If you leave a comment, make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you.) 



Have you ever read a book that changed your life? If so, what was it?

Monday, October 1, 2012

inspiration : october moods {2012}

Hi y'all! Happy October! September is wonderful!! It's a fantastic break from the blazin' heat of summer in Texas, but it's still hot. And while football starts, and nights get cooler, and the days get shorter, it's still not quite fall yet. More of a psuedo-fall. But then October comes around and it's really fall. In all it's glory! So yay, we made it to another fall!

Also, I've decided to expand the monthly mood board posts. I'll share my mood board, as well as monthly desktop calendars you can find across the webs, music I'm listening to, and blogs/books/articles I'm reading, tv shows/movies I'm watching. It'll be a full-blown post of all things that I'm loving! Enjoy!

My October 2012 mood board. Full of white pumpkins (love them), arrows, cobalt, plum and mustard. 

What inspires me :

october 2012 mood board




What I'm listening to : 

I can't get enough of this song : 


And feel free to check out more of their songs here :

http://pl.st/p/23651084811

I hope that link works. If not, just go to Playlist.com or Spotify.com and search Fun. . I'm particularly loving "Some Nights" and "We Are Young". There's some serious dancing-in-my-chair going on over here. ♥

What I'm reading :

For sewing inspiration : MADE

A life-changing book : One Thousand Gifts

For a good laugh : Pinterest, You Are Drunk!


What's decorating my desktop : 

{ note : if you love any of these desktops, please click the link below the image. it will take you directly to the blog of the designer AND, you will be able to select the perfect image for your monitor size. ;) and yes, swooning is completely allowed. }

{ source : Studio of Mae }

{ source : Oh the Lovely Things }

{ source : Oh, Hello Friend }


Every time I think I decide which desktop background I want, I change my mind again. They're all so beautiful and inspiring!! I think I'll have to have a new one each week. ;) 

What I'm watching : 

Hope Springs
{ image source : Hope Springs }
One of the more authentic movies on marriage. (See also The Story of Us.)


(All of the first 3 seasons are available on Netflix, and the new season doesn't start until next Thursday. Soooo.... if you've always wanted to check it out, now is the time. Set your DVR to record the new season while you're catching up on the passed seasons. 

And THAT folks, is my Regina Lately. ;) 

What about you? What are you listening to? Watching? Reading? Getting inspired by?

Share with me, I'd love to find out!