Friday, January 20, 2012

Valentines From a Goofy Kid

Here are the Valentine's I had made for my nephew this year!
I was inspired by this pin.

He is silly and sarcastic and a major goofball.
I think they suit him perfectly.

(The fact that he had so many funny poses and played along with Aunt Sara's silly ideas only further enforces the fact that this concept was meant for little boys like him)

Until he's older and all of his friends' moms still have this
embarassing adorable picture of him.

I love being the Auntie :)

I recently joined Snapfish, and new members get 20 free prints!! So I added his picture to the card I designed, uploaded the entire image to snapfish, and Boo-Yah! About $2 for tax and shipping and in a few days I will have adorable Valentine's for this adorbale little guy to hand out to his friends. The mustaches came from the
Dollar Tree--$1 for a pack of 5!

We put the extra stache's to good use too...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Resolutions Revisited

As advised by the ladies offering up the Imagine the Impossibilties challenge, now that my challenges (for the year) have been stated I want to show my January progress this far. So, here are my 10 mini-resoultions and what I've done to make them happen--or the lack thereof--so far:

1) Belly-Dancing or Yoga Class- The yoga class starts in February and I will be signing up! If all goes well and I like the way the programs are run, then I will also sign-up for belly-dancing which starts in March. So far so good... moving on.

2) I will Read- Since writing my initial post I have finished Ellen Degeneres' Seriously...I'm Kidding, which I would highly recommend for some funny and inspiring insights to any Ellen fan. I also have started Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer. It's currently being made into a film with Tom Hanks that is already starting to get a lot of attention so I wanted to have it read before the movie hits theaters at the end of the month. I also have in my possession Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, on loan from Brittany at The Bounty of my Bookshelves that I can't wait to dive into also. Reading? Check.

3) Remembering names- I am still struggling here, but I've made progress. When I take calls at work I have made it a habit to immediately write the persons name down (usually I would wait until they were done talking, and figure I could remember it, but people talk so darn fast these days and I found myself not remembering a word of it) And I have also been working on the name/visual associations-- I met a Karen who is a tiny little woman, with pointy features who wrinkles up her nose a bit when she's listens. Like a bunny. Bunnies eat carrots. Karrot-Karen. (it's a stretch but it works). A work in progress.

4) I will try new foods- Haven't had the chance for this much lately, but I did buy fresh mango the other day...? Does that count? I've never had it before. Annd I do have plans in the very near future to try... alligator! (ahhh!)--SEE NO.5

5) Travel- A new Orleans trip for the gals and me has since been booked and is a source of extreme excitement for all of us! We're going a few weeks before Mardi Gras, but still in the Carnivale season so it should be a blast! (here's where the alligator makes a bit more sense) Traveling? One big-fat-excited- CHECK!

6) Positivity- I am still working on this one. But have been making efforts everyday to find atleast one thing that made the day worthwhile. So far there have been lots more than just one thing, s maybe it's working after all!

7) Blog Posting- Ummm Check.

8) Be the best me without being negatives about others- So far a success.

9) I will cook- Only one opportunity so far, but the other night I made up some venison tenderloin steaks for myself that were unbelieveably amazing. Here is all I did--and trust me its wayyy worth repeating and actually a pretty healthy option.

Pour a very small amount of olive oil into a pan over medium high heat. With a paper towel, rub the oil to coat the pan (this ensures that you aren't setting your meat directly into a puddle of oil and keeps everything from sticking). Next add about a teaspoon of lemon juice to the pan--I used a small frying pan and only cooked about 5 thin-tiny-round tenderloin slices. Sprinkle the tenderloins with season salt, the tiniest bit of chili powder, black pepper, and italain seasoning. Pat the seasoning in with a fork, flip the steaks, and repeat on the other side. Add them to the pan, turning the heat to medium and don't cook for longer than 2 minutes a side (my tenderloin slices were about 1/4" thick). DELICIOUS! The spicy/sour combination of the chili powder and lemon juice really knocked my socks off. Cooking? So far..check.

10) Be kind- I like to think I usually practice this one, but so far I have been making mentail efforts to do more little things for strangers. (Smiling at people who look like they need it, waiting the extra minute to hold doors for people, etc. etc.) Kindness? Check.

So there you have it. So far the year's not looking so shabby afterall.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sara's 10 Mini Resolutions for 2012

So here's the deal...
I find New Year's resolutions overrated. They are too-huge, too-broad, and often too-unatainable. Why do we chose to set ourselves up for failure so early in the year, so that we're just left feeling worse by the end of it? If we make promises like, "I'll exercise more," "I'll be on time more," "I'll quit drinking"(hah.. that one's just plain laughable)Then we will have no means of gauging whether or not we have attained our goals. More, Less--these words are ambiguous and objective and will not a successful resoultion make.

What I propose: I am setting 10 mini attainable goals for myself this year.
They will have measureable outcomes, they will be plainly stated, and even if I only make it through half of the things on the list, I will have kept 6 promises to myself before the world ends 2013. Here are 10 things I will try my hardest to make happen this year:

1. I have often made the promise of trying to exercise more...I'm sure we all have. But really... how easy is it to say, I'll walk tomorrow, or I'm too tired today. So this year, I will make a promise that I will keep. I will take either a belly-dancing or yoga class offered to the community by the local community college; you must register and pay for these classes, so that will keep me committed and dedicated to the cause.

2. I will read. I love reading books and have never had trouble keeping this promise to myself. However, I have often had trouble in making my reading a continuous venture. I am not putting any crazy restrictions on myself, other than I must be in the course of reading a book or looking for a book at all times. (Feel free to leave recommendations!) and check out my friend Brittany's book blog, The Bounty of my Bookshelves for some awesome recommendations!

3. I will do everything I can to remember peoples names. From my everyday life to my workday life, I am always meeting new people, and ALWAYS forgetting their names. A few tactics I've picked up and been working on are word associations (i.e. If I meet a Mike, think Mike-Bike, picture this Mike riding a bike and retain that info... the next time you see him, you'll be more inclined to think of that image and remembering will be easier) and also I have been saying in my head "what's your name-what's your name-what's your name" in my head as I shake someones hand to meet them. Then when they do introduce themselves, my attention is 100% focused on hearing their name. (seriously... this is so weird. But try it and tell me it doesn't work! Just keep it in your head, or it becomes even weirder).

4. I will try new foods. I have always been a picky eater. And I do NOT like seafood one bit. Try and try as I might, it grosses me out. So, being reasonable here, while I probably won't try everything offered to me, I am going to try to be more open-minded.

5. I will travel. This has always been easily attainable for me because A. I love planning things, B. I love my friends and we are always looking for new fun and exciting places to go together and C. Living in a small town gives me serious cabin fever, so I do it for my own mental health. The gals and I actually have a trip to New Orleans in the works in February, this summer we're heading to th finger lakes for their wine festival, and the end of the summer should bring another trip for me yet to be determined. Travelling? Check.

6. I have always considered myself an optimist. However, lately some things in my life have really had me down. I am going to try and make a conscious effort everyday to find something to be happy about--ideally I'll write them down, but I'm trying to be realistic here.

7. I will continue to regularly post to this blog :)

8. I am going to try to stop saying and/or thinking negative thoughts about people. I have never been the girl who has gotten pleasure from putting another person down. But I also know that there are times I am quick to judge, or think negative things about certain people around me. Even if the thoughts are justified, all they do is mess with your mojo and leave you feeling worse in my opinion. So I will try my hardest to be the best me I can be, and not let the way others act affect my intentions.

9. I will cook. Cooking isn't my thing. Like at all. Even though the things I make often turn out well and quite tasty at times--I make a mess, am unorganized, cannot multitask in the kitchen or am just plain clueless about certain techniques. Tasks that should take minutes, take me 15 minutes. I make scraping batter from a bowl look incredibly awkward. Being the daughter of a baking houdini (Mama D can whip up brownies in her sleep!) I definitely did not get the -bake-with-ease-gene. So I am going to try and practice a bit more so that maybe it will start to come easier to me.

10. I will be kind. I will help people I can help, and send happy thoughts to the ones I can't reach. I will stay involved in many of my volunteering ventures, and try to pick up some more along the way. Every person has in them the ability to make a change and a difference in the life of another, I truly believe this and will make it my mantra in 2012.

I have been thinking up this list since around Christmas time, and I feel pretty good about it. My bases are covered and I feel a strong sense of accomplishment just by writing them out and announcing them to the 10 people who regularly read our blog world.
We were proposed a challenge by fellow blogger Karah, at The Space Between. The challenge is to "Imagine the Possibilities... and while I'm not exactly following their exact challenge, I am challenging myself to accomplish some mini-impossibilities throughout the year. Check out Karah's page, and link up to to the challenge yourself here:

the space between

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sara's Shoes

There once was a pair of black peep toe heels.
They were cheap ($8), they were comfy, they were patent,
and they were the perfect height for the almost-tall girl who wanted them.

So they were bought, they were loved, they were used,
and they were schmushed into suitcases and traveled across oceans and continents.
They ran, they walked, they danced, they fell; They were worn and worn and worn some more. And when the feet that bought them got sore, they were carried.

All of this wearing and all of this carrying
wore the traction right from the soles, scuffed the shiny surface,
and literally took chunks right out of the solid heel. The patent was not so patent and the black was not so black anymore. The once pretty black heels
had seen better days.

Just when the poor shoes thought they were doomed for garbage day...
The up-cycle fairies arrived and gave the shoes a new purpose!!
Shiny, silvery, glittery, New Years shoes--
and what was old became new.


So, I had the idea to paint my old heels... but wasn't sure it was feasible.
A few look-sees on pinterest told me that not only was it possible--it had been done before--like hundreds of times...not original at all. Bummer.
But, I did it anyways because I needed silver shoes for
New Years!

First, because the heels were shiny, I scuffed them up a bit with some sand paper.
Then I stuffed the shoes with newspaper so that all of the inside of the shoe was covered like this:

Look! there's an up-cycling fairy helper now! :)

A few good coats of spray paint later....
Up-cycling fairy helpers love helping to take pictures too...

Annnnddd Voila! An almost-new pair of shoes is born!

In retrospect: Listen to the other people who have done this--Use Modpodge after
painting to seal the color in!

I didn't even end up wearing these shoes...hah

But being squeezed into my duffle bag cracked some of the paint because the shoes are pretty bendy at this point in their life. If I were less lazy had more time, I definitely would have done that step. Now I will just have to respray them before I plan on wearing them. For now, I have a nice "new" pair of silver shoes in my closet waiting for a night out on the town.

And the project was not done in vain; I got to craft with my little fairy-helper.

Happy New Year!
May your shoes be silver and your projects plenty!