#100HappyDays: Days 51-60

Day 51

 Love this pic of my sweet friends, @brookecannon317 and@picturecharity ! Both ladies have something to celebrate – it’s Charity’s birthday and Brooke’s official moving into get house day! Love that they match, too!#twinsies #100happydays

Day 51, April 25th: Our sweet friends, Brooke and Darren, moved into their first home! We all got together to help them move and Charity and Brooke were adorable as accidental twins! This was also Charity’s birthday, so after an afternoon siesta, we regrouped for dinner, drinks and laser tag! 

 

Day 52

We were so happy to finally meet this sweet girl! Congratulations,@ktkend ! #100happydays

Day 52, April 26th: We finally got to meet sweet Annie, Katie and Jared’s new addition to their family. We could have held her all day if they had let us 😉 

Day 53

 Leftover rainbow cake from a birthday party for a friend last night. Yum! #100happydays #food #bakedgoods

Day 53, April 27th: This weekend was so busy. Saturday (Day 51) was also our friend, Jamie’s, birthday, but the day was already so packed with moving Brooke and Darren, and Charity’s birthday party, that Jamie didn’t plan anything to celebrate her birthday. So… we threw her a bit of a surprise birthday on Sunday (Day 52), and I made this rainbow cake inspired by her fun, energetic personality!  I was eating the leftovers on Day 53, hence this instagram post. 

 

Day 54

 My “I just finished a contract with great savings so now I am going to go drink wine” face.#100happydays #work #negotiatinglikeaboss

Day 54, April 28th: Finishing a contract is always cause for celebration!  Good thing we had a Groupon to do a tasting at Garland Wines. By the way, Craig was awesome, we fell in love with this shop, and I basically never want to by bottles of wine in Saint Louis anywhere else. Except, of course, some 3 buck chuck from Schnuck’s in an emergency. But, really, this wine store is SO CUTE and the staff is incredibly helpful. They also do classes and free tasting events there. Who’s interested? 🙂 

 

 

 

Day 55

Shhhh it’s a surprise!! Finished product to come later!#100happydays #sewing

Day 55, April 29th: Ahhh the mystery craft post… don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long because here it is: 

Day 56

 Here’s the final project!!! Placemats! #100happydays #sewing

Day 56, April 30th: These are the placemats I made for my mom for Mother’s Day! They were super simple and I am working on a tutorial to post to teach y’all how to do it! 

Day 57

Days like today with the azaleas in full bloom remind me why I love my house! #100happydays

Day 57, May 1:  Ahh I love when the azaleas bloom! I took this picture as I was packing up the car to go drive to Ohio to start the Epic Adventure. May first, Jonathan and I drove from Saint Louis to ohio. 

Day 58

Maryland is beautiful!#100happydays #bestieroadtrip

Day 58, May 2: And on May 2nd, Alysha and I drove from Ohio to Baltimore! She needed her car there from when we returned from our vacation (see next photo….) so she could start her BRAND NEW JOB! 

Day 59

Headed to Australia!!#100happydays

Day 59, May 3rd: And on May 3rd, Alysha and I flew from Baltimore to LAX, to BRISBANE! Mom and Dad flew from Dayton to LAX and met us there and we started our family trip to AUSTRALIA!!! 

 

Day 60

Waiting for the Kuranda Scenic Railway on our#AussieVacay2015! #100happydays#sistersinaustralia

Day 60, May 6th: Okay,  so this is sort of sketchy. What happened to May 4th and 5th?? Well, when you fly to Australia, you literally lose an entire day. So that explains May 4th. We landed in the morning of May 5th, and honestly, it felt like one hella long day to me, starting with when we left Baltimore the morning of May 3rd and ending when I went to bed in a BED in Cairns on May 5th. So, I didn’t do a post. Because my poor brain did not really figure out that TWO DAYS disappeared. 🙂  But on May 6th, we had our first tourist excursion in Australia! We rode the Kuranda Scenic Railway. We did tons of other things, but there will be a super long Australia post as soon as Alysha send me ALL the pictures. 

 

Anyway, be prepared. The next 10 days are ALL AUSTRALIA, ALL THE TIME. Can’t wait to write that post. 🙂

#100HappyDays: Days 1-10

I have a great friend, Kirsten, who I email with multiple times a week. She and her husband, Doug, are in the Peace Corps in Rwanda, you can read all about them, here: https://midwestpcvs.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/st-louis-couples-love-for-art-english-fuels-projects-in-peace-corps-rwanda/

Anyway, through the course of our emails it became apparent that I always had something to complain about. I am not proud to admit this, but I am someone who has every reason to be happy, yet, I let my summary of my day be filled with the tiny gripes in life instead of the tiny celebrations. Anyway, Kirsten recommended that I check out http://100happydays.com/

Essentially, it is a challenge to take a picture daily of something that makes you happy. To switch your focus from the things that are bad or negative, which is human nature, to the things that are positive.

I have actually been loving this project! I am sharing on Instagram under “sasharoundtheclock” (so feel free to follow me!)

Well, a few of my close friends (Kirsten included!) have told me that they don’t have instagram but want to keep up with my project. So I have decided to do some weekly recaps here on this blog, where the forum is better for story telling and giving you a deeper glimpse into what is going on behind these photos.

Now, I am on day 22, so clearly I am behind on that! So I am going to do weekly 10-photo recaps until we get caught up!

Here were my first 10 days, starting on March 6th.

Day 1

3 weeks ago

Watching tv from bed… Wonderful end to the work week and so relaxing! #100happydays

I decided to start my posting on the very day that Kirsten recommended it. So while this might not be the most inspiring tale of what makes me happy, I think a lot of people can appreciate that glorious feeling of snuggling into a couch or bed and watching tv or reading a book at the end of a long work day.

Day 2

3 weeks ago

Drinking wine with my dear friend! #100happydays

I got to spend almost an entire day with my dear friend, Nancy! We had a rocky start to our day – we had planned facials together and then one of the estheticians called in sick and my appointment was cancelled. Never fear, though, we saved the day! Nancy got her facial, and then I met her at the salon and we explored downtown St. Charles, wandering in and out of little shops together. I also came back over for dinner and to craft, but we ended up having great conversations over an amazing bottle of wine (Stag’s Leap FAY) that Nancy was kind enough to share with me. I love this amazing, fun friend!

Day 3

3 weeks ago

The weather was nice enough that I got to wear my flip flops! Looks like it might be pedicure time though…#100happydays

I absolutely love letting my feet be free! I went to the University of South Carolina for undergrad, where flip slops were a MUST. I always love when the weather gets nice enough to bust out my Old Navy flops!

Day 4

3 weeks ago

Had fun making this one-sie for a friend! I love having time to be crafty! #100happydays #embroidery

You may or may not know, but I got a sweet sewing machine for my birthday from my parents and my husband. And then I got an awesome cabinet of embroidery thread from my mother in law for Christmas, and some accessories from my sister (which you’ll see featured in part in a minute). So embroidery is my new hobby! I was so excited to be commissioned to make this for my coworker’s daughter’s first birthday! I have an extra, too, that I haven’t been able to sell so I guess I’ll have to wait for someone’s kid to turn one…haha.

Day 5

3 weeks ago

Great appointment at my dentist- my only long term care provider (other than my dad). Dr. Lambert and his staff are great and I had a cavity free appointment!#100happydays #dentist

Here’s a plug for my dentist. I’ve been seeing him for 5 years and he and his staff are just GREAT. I had an awesome, cavity free appointment. Whoo hoo!

Day 6

2 weeks ago

Practicing my embroidery by making a present for my dad’s bday! Shh it’s a secret!! #100happydays #embroidery #family

More adventures in embroidery! If you can’t read it, that says “Karachi Doc” and I made it as a birthday present for my dad. My dad is an amazing man. He is a child neurologist and he grew up in Karachi, Pakistan. He is a true testament to the idea that you can achieve  your dreams if you work hard and persevere. Love this man!

Day 7

2 weeks ago

Seeing these cute giraffe themed gifts daily reminds me of my sister and makes my heart happy!!! They certainly make my craft room more stylish!!@sparkle__ninja #100happydays

My baby sister (she’s 25 but will always be my baby sister) is so thoughtful and my desire to be crafty is rubbing off on her! She made the mason jar pin-cushion pictured. Yes, the lid of that mason jar is a PIN CUSHION that she made, and then I can keep the loose pins INSIDE the jar. I love it! She gave me a ton of accessories to get my sewing hobby off of the ground. When I see things like this in my house, it makes my heart really happy and reminds me how loved I am!

Day 8

2 weeks ago

Early start to daddy’s birthday weekend!#100happydays #roadtrip

You saw, above, that I made a hat for my dad’s birthday. Well, I also drove to Warm and Cheerful (that’s Centerville, if you don’t know) to celebrate my Dad’s birthday! The picture is really pointing out that it was 3:43, so I was getting a head start on my drive! Good thing I did, because the weather and rain meant that I got in pretty late! It would have been so much later if I had worked until 5!

Day 9

2 weeks ago

Got my dad to do a birthday selfie with me!!! Love my daddy and happy to celebrate him today!!#100happydays #family

Got my dad to take a selfie with me on his birthday! I am not the best selfie taker. I guess I need practice. 🙂

Day 10

2 weeks ago

Made it to my home at the end of our#bestieroadtrip!!!!! Excited to spend the week with@sparkle__ninja !! #100happydays #sisterweek#sistersinstl

The best long drives are long drives you get to share with a friend!  This amazing girl decided to spend an entire week with me before embarking in employment. We had so much fun, and you’re going to see that in the next ten that I post. 🙂

Welcome back!

So I’ve been absent for a few months… during that time.. big things were happening!

I started to learn how to sew.

Jonathan started a new site for me.

I started a new weight loss venture (down nearly 15 lbs!)

I went on a trip to the Azores with Alysha to celebrate her 25!

Thanksgiving.

10 year high school reunion.

Christmas.

New Year’s.

annnnnnnd here we are!

So, I’m welcoming myself back to blogging.

I mentioned Jonathan started a new site for me. it’s not live yet, but I think it will be good when it is! I’ll let you know what it is as soon as it’s ready. 🙂

It’s going to be started with intention and organization so I can blog about the various things I love in a way that makes it easy to follow what I’m blogging about, and in a way that makes me be more organized with my thoughts and ideas.

It’s going to have travel posts and review.

DIY crafts and tutorials.

Recipes and food ideas.

Exercise and healthy living ideas.

and of course some personal anecdotes sprinkled in.

It’s gonna be GOOD!

The other big thing is that I opened an Etsy shop! It’s https://www.etsy.com/shop/SashAroundTheClock

I mentioned that I am learning to sew, and I am selling these SUPER soft, adorable lime green infinity scarves for Valentine’s Day.

Infinity Scarf - Super Soft Jersey Fabric- Green with Hearts - Great Valentine's Gift! - Shipping Included!

If you know someone who needs one, pick one up! I’m including free shipping since this is my first item!

Anyway, until the new site is live, I’ll be blogging here, so keep coming back. I am about to try to make slow cooker chicken and if it turns out, I’ll put a recipe out there tomorrow! 🙂

Little girl’s layer dress

20140808-220013-79213608.jpgFor my first “unsupervised” sewing project, I decided to tackle a little girl’s dress for my dear friend, Nancy’s, daughter, Charlotte. Doesn’t she make the SWEETEST model? 🙂 In this picture, I hadn’t quite figured out the buttons yet. I actually literally just finished those, so I’ll be sending the dress on over tonight! 

I used the tutorial in this post: http://crazylittleprojects.com/2012/10/girls-tiered-ruffle-dress.html

but edited the size to fit the measurements for Charlotte. 

Once I finished, I realized that I wanted a more finished project, so I used a zigzag stitch to finish the inner seams.  I also had to figure out how to make button holes and put on buttons. It was pretty complex, but I enjoyed learning some new skills and feeling like I craftily put together a project largely on my own! 

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The purpose of You Can, Tuesday! is to bring mid-week content that encourages, inspires, or teaches in some way, and to bring together a community of people who want to share their experiences through guest posts, linking up, and comments! Too often, I have heard, and used myself, the words "I could never do that" or "wow, that seems really hard!" I want to give love to our friend, Tuesday, as a day where we instead say, "I can!" or "I'd love to try!" and either share our stories of how we've done something or teach others how to do something!

Craftiness!

My mother in law has kindly lent me her sewing machine and I have been taking lessons. I have made two projects so far, a small tote bag and a pillow! I am also signed up for a three zipper bag and quilting 101 in July. Right now I know how to read a basic pattern and do basic stitches on the machine. If any of my friends see out there, I’d love recommendations for simple projects that I can take on to build confidence! 20140618-210139-75699871.jpg

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Happy Halloween!

My baby sister sent me a halloween package that included a mummy-cupcake kit! They turned out SUPER cute! So cute, that we made a double batch (the box made 12, and we bought extra ingredients and made even MORE!) so that we can send some to my work and some to the dessert contest at Jonathan’s office tomorrow! (I hope I win!!! Competitive spirit, ignited!)

 

Here is a picture of some of the best looking ones!

 

 

So cute, I had to share! 🙂  Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween! 🙂

What a HOOT! Owl-themed baby shower crafts and ideas!

Since I’m baby-shower-blogging this week, I thought I’d do a post about the baby shower I organized and co-threw with a few of the mama’s friends and family members earlier this year.

For Kendra’s baby shower last April, we went with an owl theme. The gender of her baby was a surprise (she ended up being a beautiful baby girl, Gloria, born in June), so we went with greens, oranges and browns for the colors for the shower.

We hand cut owl shapes, wings, eyes, and noses, and then glued them together to make owls for an owl banner. We hung them on twine with painted yellow and green clothes pins, with the letters that spell “WELCOME” mixed in with the owls. Bright pom poms added to the decorations! Catrina drew and cut out the pieces for the owls, and Candace, Katie and I pasted them together! Candace also made the pom poms.

You can see the banner from this angle.

We had a few owls leftover, so we put one to use as a name card for the Mama-to-be!

Here is a decorative mural put together by Catrina and Candace.

The graphics in the middle were designed by my friend Nancy, using a free owl-graphic download that we found online. The inspiration for the centerpieces came from pinterest, and were lovingly assembled by several of Kendra’s friends. The base was made from pint sized mason jars, filled with jelly belly jelly beans. The graphics were printed on a home printer, cut out, mounted on colorful paper, then again mounted on solid paper. These paper lollipops are double sided. Ribbon at the base of the papers added a nice touch!

Here is a close up of the print outs for the centerpieces

This cute and whimsical cake was made by Nancy. Also, very delicious!

We ordered these cookies from Jo Mama (http://jomamassignaturesweets.com/). Not only were they super cute, they were also super delicous!

Our friend Catrina is an artist, and she put together this really creative guest book. It is made from paper, so guests could sign the leaves and the tree.

I think everyone had a good time and it turned out really nice! We were able to get owl-themed cups, plates, and napkins from party city, to tie the party together. lots of Kendra’s friends helped our by bringing delicious foods, and Kendra’s mom generously bankrolled the entire operation! It was a much larger shower than Laurel’s (the sugar and spice shower I posted about on Saturday), so the general atmosphere and approach was completely different! We were really proud with how it turned out!

The chief organizers of this operation were myself, Kendra’s sister-in-law, Kali, and Kendra’s close friend, Narelle. We also had alot of help with the crafts and food from Catrina, Candace, Katie, and Nancy. My husband, Jonathan, helped with set up and food prep, and Kendra’s husband, Keith helped with tear down and clean up. It felt like it took an army to pull off this party, but luckily Kendra had an army of people who wanted to be involved! 🙂

Again, if you want any details about how anything was made or done, feel free to ask! 🙂

Sugar and Spice Baby Shower Crafts and Ideas!

Today, my dear friend Nancy and I co-hosted a baby shower for our friend Laurel. The theme was Sugar and Spice to celebrate Laurel’s baby girl, due in November. We put a lot of heart and crafts into this shower, so I wanted to share some of our decorations, food, and ideas!

A view of the room. We used tulle for the runner. It was 97 cents a yard at walmart, so it was a great price!

Each seat had a lovely place setting with a name tag, a rolled napkin tied with ribbon and a pen, a pink flower, and a games packet which you can’t really see in this shot

We made a lovely candy inspired centerpiece, and mocktails, which I call Cos’mama’politans. They were made with 7Up, orange juice, grenadine, and a maraschino cherry.

For decoration on the gift table, I used mod podge and the same paper from the banner to decoupage the baby’s initials.

We played a guess the spice game, and covered the spice jars that Nancy already owned with cloth. It’s the same cloth we used on the favors!

Here is a shot of the food table!

We served pumpkin cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting for dessert.

We made jar cookies for favors. The idea is that the tags have the instructions on them, and guests take the jars home, add the wet ingredients, and bake. They were super cute!

Another view of the favors. [/caption]

Everyone enjoyed the shower!

It was super fun to plan, craft and execute the shower with one of my closest friends! Thanks, Nancy, for being awesome and crafty, and throwing this shower with me! 🙂 It was cool to be able to love on our friend from afar (she lives in Michigan now) and celebrate her pregnancy!

Here is a rundown of the food, games and crafts:

Food:
– Strawberries, hulled, and filled with a marscapone, balsamic vinegar, cream cheese, and powder sugar, blended together
– Sliced red and orange peppers
– Pumpkin dip and vanilla wafers
– Deviled eggs
– sausage meat balls
– fresh salsa and chips
– spinach dip and pita chips
– garlic bread
– Cos”mama”politans
– CANDY!

Games
– guess the spice
– guess the name that the initials represent
– draw and pass game (this game is a little confusing to explain. Basically, everyone has a stack of papers equal to the number of people in the room. Each person writes a word or phrase related to pregnancy or babies. Then you pass the stack. You look at the stack given to you, place the top paper that had a word or phrase on it on the bottom. Then you draw that word. Then everyone passes. You look at the picture given to you, place it on the bottom. Then you write your best guess of the drawing on the top sheet. Everyone passes. Then you draw the phrase. So on and so on until you get your stack back. Then, you share and its hilarious)
– Thank you card lottery. Have a stack of pre-return-addressed thank you cards. have each guest write their name and address on the front of the card. Then have a drawing for a prize. In this way, the new mama has a stack of already addressed thank you cards. It makes it alot easier on her!
– Advice. We had die cuts of baby related shapes, and had each guest write some advice for the new mama on the die cut. I am going to put the die cuts in a photo book and mail them to the mama. A great present/keepsake! I’ll post a few pictures when I finish it!

Decorations:
– It’s A Girl banner, made from tulle ribbon from Hobby Lobby, and hand cut letters, tied at the ends with ribbons
– Pom Poms
– Tulle Runner
– Candy centerpiece
– Modpodge Initials
– Name cards
– Napkin rolls with ribbon
– Flowers
– Candy accents in white and pink

Favors:
– we stole the favor idea from here: http://www.bakerella.com/mix-things-up/ and then Nancy created takes that fit our baby shower theme, and used beautiful color coordinating cloth to cover them. We used the recipe from that site, also, and Nancy tested them out and said they were delicious!

So I think that it is! Feel free to message if you want more details on anything we put together!

Freezer Paper Stencils : Easy as Pie!

Last night, we had a little ladies’ craft night, and I tried my hand at freezer paper stenciling. I made a bag for my husband and I to keep our helmets and gloves in so that when we want to go for an impromptu ride, we can just grab the bag instead of hunting down our bike gear.

Anyway, freezer paper stenciling. It’s really quite easy! Take freezer paper, cut out a stencil, iron the waxy side to your item. This helps prevent bleeding under the stencil or shifting. Then paint away! Peel up the freezer paper when it’s dry.

(I read a lot of tutorials before doing this, and they made it seem so hard, which is why it took me two years to get around to trying it. It’s really not hard at all!!!)

if you can free hand your stencil, great. I didn’t. I printed my image, and then traced it onto the freezer paper. I printed in black, and had no problem seeing well enough to trace my image without using a light board or anything fancy.

What I did struggle with was cutting out my image with an X-acto knife. I think if I ever do more stenciling, I would just pay for one of the self-healing cutting mats at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I just used cardboard. If you can find a large piece of foam or unribbed cardboard, that would probably work better. I was using ribbed cardboard and got a little frustrated. But it was doable, as you can see!

As for paints, I used sort of puffy fabric paint, and just painted it on with sponge brushes.

image

I got the Velo idea from the web. It turned out pretty cute!

Houseparty + Pinteresting

First, if you aren’t familiar with House Party, go to houseparty.com and sign up! I was first turned onto it by my sister, who registered me for a Wii party, and I got free video games! Awesome! Anyway, the way it works is different companies sponsor “house parties.”  You apply for parties you are interested in. If you are selected, you are sent a box of awesome party favors from the company.

This past weekend, I hosted a Weight Watchers Sweet Treats House Party. The theme was “me moments,” sort of advertising that weight watchers desserts are a great way to take time for yourself and indulge without the guilt. Anyway, I got onto pinterest and really ran with the idea of a light and fresh summery party to compliment the weight watchers desserts.

I served:

– strawberry mascarpone bruschetta

– triskets and home made red pepper hummus

– cucumber bites with homemade guacamole

– a fruit display

– homemade lemonade and limemade in mason jars

and of course the weight watchers desserts.

It was a lot of fun, and I was really pleased with how my food and decorations came out!  12 of my fave ladies came out for the party, and my friend Nancy took some great pictures, so here they are!