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Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! It's going to be wet and potentially icy here in Lynchburg, Virginia so stay safe!!

Till next year,
Catherine

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Movie Time

You may remember me mentioning that my husband loves to make movies. If he could get paid to make movies, he would.

Well recently he and some friends have been working towards making a few short movies. One is an apocalyptic type movie, one is a medieval film, and one is a sort of sci-fi space movie. He has been working on making cardboard helmets and other props for the different movies.

Since it's Christmas time still and people are on vacation, today he enlisted everyone involved in the movie making and other friends as actors to start filming some scenes for the movies. I even played a dead body! Haha that's about as far as I go in "acting."


It was really fun watching the guys do their thing. Once it got too cold outside, us ladies went back inside and hung out. It was me, another friend's wife and a friend's girlfriend. We were good sports though and we played our parts as dead bodies!

These projects may take quite a while to complete because everyone lives so far apart but they're all passionate enough that it will get done at some point! I'll be sure to share it with you when it is!

Till next time,
Catherine

Penn Station

Ok not the actual Penn Station train station...Penn Station-East Coast Subs!

My husband, father-in-law and I went there today (ahh, somehow didn't write this when I meant to, so this post I'm counting as Friday the 28th) and had an amazing grilled sub meal. I know, I know, there are a ton of sub places and "they're all the same." No, not Penn Station! I know there's Quizno's, Subway, Jimmy John's, Firehouse Subs, Blimpies and so on. Penn Station has the best, in my opinion. Also they have the most delicious fries! They are hand cut and fried just seconds after you place your order. Forget McDonald's fries...these fries are the bomb!

After our insanely delicious meal, we drove over to Guitar Center and walked around for a bit. My husband primarily plays the keyboard but can play just about anything and my father-in-law plays a mean guitar!

Lovely day with lovely people.

What are you waiting for? Go eat some Penn Station!

Till next time,
Catherine

Friday, December 28, 2012

Still on Christmas-time

Good day with family...nice stroll with the pups on a private road...dinner with my parents and husband at an amazing Chinese restaurant...blah blah blah...lovely day :)

Ok I'm wishing I were more prepared for this week of blogs during the week of Christmas buuuut...I'm not. I think it's still time for us all to be spending time with friends and family (if you're fortunate enough to be off from work!) while we can! So, stop reading my blog and go spend time with the ones you love!!

Till next time,
Catherine

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After Christmas Quiet

It's a very rainy day here in the Richmond area today. For many it is a snowy day! But for everyone it is the day after Christmas. For me it's another nice day to spend with family. Fortunately my husband and I both are off work and can stay with family for the week. So sorry for those who had to go back into work today! My dad was one of them.

I don't know about you but I feel such a sad "it's over!" feeling. We love Christmas-time so much and try to soak in every moment but without fail it is over before we know it! Well, at least we didn't have to rush back to Lynchburg!

So for those of you back at work, have a wonderful day back at the ol' grind. And for those of you on break from work or school, continue to enjoy it!

Till next time,
Catherine

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are all having an absolutely wonderful holiday season with your family and friends! Remember, Jesus is the reason we celebrate! No need to get swept up into the commercialism and craziness. Just relax and enjoy it all!

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Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night :)

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Till next time,
Catherine

Christmas is almost here!

Are you ready? There's only a couple of days to go!

Got your suitcase packed for a week of family?
Meals planned?
Presents bought?
Presents wrapped?
Car loaded? Or plane tickets purchased?
Gassed up?
Pet sitter lined up?

Phew! We're getting there! As I may have mentioned before, I have to work for a few hours on Christmas Eve morning but after that it's time to hit the road for Richmond! Hm, as far as that list is concerned for us...we've got a ways to go. Haha. It'll get done this weekend!

My current To-Do list for Saturday and Sunday includes:
  • Wash/Dry/Fold/Put away all clothes
  • Wash/Dry/Put back our bed sheets
  • Pick up around the house
  • Take the trash out
  • Clean the cat pan
  • Bathe the dogs
  • Pack our stuff for a week
  • Pack dog supplies, food to bring, and anything else that needs to go back to Richmond
  • Pack presents into the car
  • Fill the car with gas
Oh boy...now that I typed all that out...yikes. I think I'd better get my butt in gear! Not to mention there are two little crafty projects I've been wanting to finish also! Looks like a call to Domino's may be in order for dinner ;)

What's on your last minute Christmas To-Do list? Even if it's a lot...don't stress...just breathe! You've got this!

Till next time,
Catherine


Friday, December 21, 2012

I said brr...it's cold in here!

There must be some clovers in the atmosphere! I said brr!

I know...I know...Bring It On was a terrible movie...let alone the following ones! Don't worry...that's the only part I remember!

You may remember from a previous blog post where I wrote a simple Green List of things to do to save money and have a better impact on the environment. Well one particularly bit I wrote was about not turning the heat or AC on until you really have to. We still have yet to turn on our heat and it had dropped to 64 degrees in our house!! Currently in Lynchburg it is 35 degrees, feels like 27 with wind gusting up to 24 mph. Needless to say...I'm quite tempted to switch our heat on!

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This is a cartoon of me when I checked the thermostat earlier.

Ok so it's really not THAT bad but it's quite cold in here! Currently I'm stuck under a blanket, two comforters and a fleece blanket wedged between the dogs, my husband, and the cat. Even the cat was snuggling under the covers! I'm warm now but I'm not looking forward to when I have to get up.

I'm tough...I can handle this...

All to save a few bucks! Brrr...

Is this still considered frugal or just plain crazy?

Till next time,
Catherine

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Eve

Today I had the pleasure of working on Christmas Eve morning! Nah, it's not that bad. Only a few hours of work then we're headed off to Richmond to be with family. It's been busy getting ready for Christmas and I'm so excited it's almost here! I don't want it to end, though! It's just such a lovely time of year!!

Oh and no worries! I completed my weekend To-Do list! I'm one of those that has to clean the entire house before leaving for more than a couple days. I think it's just nice to come back home to a clean house and not have a ton of work to do in addition to unpacking.

To anyone else who is traveling, be safe on the roads!

And don't forget to share some love this Christmas!! Remember, for many people around the world it's the most depressing time of year. Give hugs and smiles out like candy!

Till next time,
Catherine

Pinterest Fail: Paper Flower Bowls

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"Oh look how simple and cute that is! I've got to pin this and I'll try it before we next have friends over!" or "Oooh so pretty! I'll make these in just seconds before I host so-and-so's bridal shower!"

Lies and deception! Pinterest is full of them. 

Reality: 


Ok so that's the first attempt and I managed one good one but let me just tell you, it's not as simple as it looks! 

If you want to attempt this project, you'll need:
  • Scrapbook paper, I used 12"x12" size. You'll need 2 pieces per bowl
  • Ruler
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

Directions:


Pick two pretty pieces of scrapbook paper.


 Glue them together. Let them dry.



Find the center of the page, or as close as you can.


Use your compass and trace as large of a circle as you can. 


Cut the circle out.


Now cut the most wonky "flower petals" that you can. 


Now pull the sorry excused for petals together and staple them. 


If it doesn't work, pull out the staples and try again. Beautiful. 


Ok third time's the charm, right?


Now try again and actually cut even flower petals. This is another bad example. Don't cut 8 petals...it's too many. Cut 6. 


Staple the sides together. 


Ok so this worked...for the most part. It's functional, anyways. 

Alright, now for your third attempt, actually draw only 6 petals and carefully cut them out! 


Cut about a 1/2" line in between the petals. This helps them pull together better.


Don't staple them this high. 


It will look wonky. 


If that does happen, just pull out the staples and try again but lower.


Hey! That's not too bad!


Pretty cute, actually!



Hahahaha...yeaaa...

Moral of the story...don't believe everything you see on Pinterest! But don't worry, I'm here to try these seemingly simple projects and save you the time and disappointment! And hey, you can get a laugh out of my attempts too! 

So what do you think? Pinterest fail or success? Half-and-half?

Till next time,
Catherine

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wedding Blog Posts-Yay or Nay?

When I went through the amazing journey of being engaged and planning a wedding, there were so many times where I would think, "Man, I should write this down!" I used a lot of great books and resources for planning our dream wedding but there were plenty of instances where I just wanted real advice that made sense. Now that I'm into blogging and loving it, I wish more and more that I had started this blog ages ago when the real wedding planning began! Not to sound cocky, but I feel like I had/have so much advice to pass on to future brides! And especially for brides in the Richmond/Hanover area of Virginia.


I absolutely LOVED planning our wedding. Yes, at times it was a little stressful (fortunately I don't stress out that bad) but the majority of it was so fun! I had a blast DIYing some things and hunting for the best value and the best vendors I could. Oh and the bridal shows were tons of fun! Even now I get super excited when friends ask me any sort of wedding planning advice. I'm more than happy to help them out as much as I can! And now that I've dove into the ocean that is Pinterest, my wedding ideas are endless! Yeah...I didn't have the luxury of planning a Pinterest wedding! I didn't know anything about it until maybe a month before I got married!

Now I wonder, should I go back through my wedding planning binder and try to recreate it all? What do you think? Would you read wedding planning advice or send it on to friends who are getting married? Let me know, please!

Till next time,
Catherine

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Green List

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I know in the past few years there has been this "green" movement. A lot of people see it as just another fad, some people do it because it's "cool," but others do it because they want to make this planet a better place. I'm in that third category.

Ok don't freak out, I'm not a crazy hippy. I'm not going to go out and live in a tree so it won't be cut down! I believe that God gave us dominion over the earth and that we are to be good stewards of it. Obviously we don't take the best care of this planet that keeps us alive. I'm going to go right ahead and say this too...I don't believe in global warming! There has been and probably always will be different cycles of hot and cold times. You're entitled to your own opinion as I am to mine.

But again, I think we're supposed to take care of the creatures on this planet as well as trees, plants, etc. It's simple, really. If we cut down all the trees, there won't be enough greenery to clean up the CO2 and spit out oxygen for us! We just need to do better, that's all. There's no reason to go nuts and live in a dirt house eating only greens the rest of your life. We just need to implement simple steps to take better care of the earth.

I want to give you a list of simple things to do that will save you money but will also contribute to improving the planet, your health, and the local economy. These are all easy things that my husband and I do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.

My personal green list:
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room
  • Don't turn the heat/AC on until you absolutely have to
  • Buy local! Especially meat, eggs, and dairy products
  • Use cold water to wash your clothes, trust me, they'll get clean!
  • Unplug anything you don't use often like your toaster oven, blender, TV in a back room, etc.
  • Buy curtains that help block heat from getting in/escaping through your windows. Like these
  • Instead of driving around town, park somewhere near a lot of shops and walk
  • Visit your local Farmer's Market on Saturdays. Spending $10 a week locally drastically improves the local economy.
  • Take shorter, slightly cooler showers
  • Eat at home! You save gas and money and chances are it will be healthier!
  • Wash your dishes in the dishwasher, it uses less water, and it's less work!
  • Grow plants! Any plants! You can easily grow garlic from an existing clove, pineapple plant from a stem, celery from the bottom of the stalk and many more! All of these can be kept indoors.
  • Compost your food scraps. 
  • Buy a reusable lunch bag and ditch the brown paper bags!
  • Buy reusable sandwich and snack bags like these Snack Taxi ones!
  • Reduce!
  • Reuse!
  • Recycle!

When it's cold, bundle up with fuzzy blankets and snuggle with your husband! It's mid-December and we have yet to turn our heat on! Ok yes it gets pretty chilly on occasion but I'm not freezing to death! Ok, ok...I know there are plenty of people who can't handle the cold but it's really not that bad for us! I like to say, "You can always put more clothes on, but you can only take off but so much!" So bundle up!

The more that we go to our local farmer's market, the more I realize how accessible farm-fresh eggs are! If you just commit to buying only local cage-free/free-range/organic eggs, it will be one positive step for encouraging local business and humanely obtained eggs.

We actually haven't started composting yet but plan to get a small composter that we can put on our patio. Something like some of these maybe. Or maybe I could make one like this. I really like this one called The Worm Tray. When I still lived with my parents, we always composted everything! It was just second nature to put food scraps in one bucket and recyclables by the door for my dad to put in the bins. We lived in the country so my dad used the compost for his garden and took the trash and recyclables to the dump every couple weeks.

It's not the most extensive list but start somewhere! Try to implement a few of these ideas into your routine this week!

Do you do any of these things? What would you recommend to someone trying to be more "green?"

Till next time,
Catherine


Monday, December 17, 2012

DIY: Paw Print Ornament


Want to make an adorable little momento of your pet(s) to hang on your Christmas tree? With only a week left till Christmas, you'd better hurry up! Or, just make one or more for next year! These would also be cute just hung up in a picture frame or on the wall or near a picture of your pooch! Or your cat! This project takes maybe an hour tops so it's really quick and easy too! Not to mention cheap! The brand of clay I bought was only $1.50 but Sculpey and nicer brands were $2.50 and a little more. I already had the ribbon from another project so all I had to buy was the clay!

Here is the original tutorial featured on Sew DoggyStyle!

All you need is: 
  • Sculpey polymer clay or a similar brand
  • Something with a point to carve with, like a nail. I used the empty tip of a mechanical pencil
  • A flat ended item for making the hole for the ribbon, such as a spoon
  • Ribbon of your choice

You could also buy a multi-pack of clay colors so you can make a little embellishment like a candy cane, bow, wreath, candy cane, bone, etc. The possibilites are really endless! You could cover it in glitter, paint it, or even Bedazzle it if you want!

Directions:


Gather your clay in whichever colors you want. I bought the cheaper version of Sculpey...unfortunately! I should have just spent the extra $1 for the better brand. Two of the three that I bought ended up being really dry and difficult to work with. I took them back and exchanged them but the new ones were just as bad! If this happens to you, I recommend microwaving it for about 7 second increments until it is workable. The heat makes it easier to work with. I also added coconut oil (it is an oil based clay) and worked it in and that helped a lot! If you do that, just be careful not to add too much. A little goes a long way!


Work a small piece into a ball. The size will vary depending on your pet's paw size.  


Roll it out. I didn't want to stain my rolling pin so I used what I had nearby...a bottle of Mod Podge. You'll want it to be about 1/4"in thickness when it's rolled out to the size you need. 


Now get your first victim...I mean, pet. "What is she doing to me??"


"Oh she can't be serious..."


Be sure to press down the main pad and each little pad for a complete impression. 


Make the indentation for your ribbon to go through later. 


I decided to put the year and their names on the ornaments. 


Jill's turn!




Even the cat gets one! My animals put up with a lot. Haha.


Yes my cat's name is Waffles :) Weirdly enough, it fits him well. 


Now pop them into the oven at 275 for about 15 minutes. I put them on a piece of aluminum foil so my cookie sheet wouldn't be stained either. The brand I used recommends 15 minutes for every 1/4" of thickness of the clay at 275. Be sure to read the package of whatever brand you get to be sure. 


Let them cool off then string a ribbon through the hole. All done! You would also glaze it at this point if you choose to do so. It will protect it and strengthen it but I didn't buy any. They seem sturdy enough without it. I just didn't want to buy clay glaze when I don't ever work with clay.


Waffles 2012


Kito 2012


Jill 2012


On the tree! Sorry the pictures is so bad...it took me forever just to get one this decent!


Don't forget to model your pets with their ornaments! Haha let me just say, these took a while to get! The dogs were being very good and sitting still but the cat has yet to learn the "stay" command!


He was up just milliseconds after I took this one! Geez this picture proves my pets aren't the most photogenic!

So what are you waiting for, animal lovers? Go make a cute paw print ornament! Oh and those who think this would be cute with your child...do it! This polymer clay is non-toxic!

Do you like to make pet or child paw/hand print ornaments or art as they grow? 

Till next time,
Catherine


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