Saturday, April 19, 2014

25 in 25

I know this might be cliche, because I've seen and heard a lot of people doing this, but I decided to make a list of 25 things I want to do in my 25th year. I want to fill this year with joy and great things, so I decided to be intentional about it. Without any further ado, here is my list.
1. Read 25 good/noteworthy/recommended books
2. Buy crafts and actually make them 
3. Run a race
4. Have something published
5. Promote the blog
6. Host a giveaway
7. NYC for Thanksgiving
8. Actually print out/frame/make books/use my photos
9. Take photos for and send out Christmas cards
10. Small business license to do fundraisers 
11. Actually learn how to use my camera 
12. Buy thoughtful gifts, not just last minute ones
13. But pretty stationary and send snail mail
14. Fix the guest room 
15. Learn to hand-letter
16. De-clutter
17. Finish decorating living room and kitchen  
18. Complete a Whole 30
19. Finish our wedding  quilt
20. Do a devotional w Jer 
21. Actually fill up when I get gas
22. Stay at The Greenbrier 
23. Invite more people up for dinner 
24. Mountain bike more this spring and summer 
25. Learn how to drive a manual transmission 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Owl Birthday Party

I love to plan parties. I have a blast researching and making decorations to match a theme. What I do not like is when I wait until midnight the night before an event to put everything together. My mom asked me to help plan my sister's 13th birthday party at their church. I jumped at the chance to make some owl themed decorations.

My favorite project (which also took the most time) were little owl photo holders. I started off with these wooden owls from Hobby Lobby and little square blocks.


























I painted each one green or pink to match the colors we were going with. 
 
I painted each owl differently with acrylic paint. I apologize, but I cannot for the life of me get these pictures to flip. 
 
Then, I hot glued them together and glued a paper clip on the back to hold the picture.  Here is one of the finished products.  Word of caution: let the party girl, especially if she's a teenager, pick out the pictures she wants to have displayed. 
 
I also made some sucker centerpieces that are everywhere on Pinterest.  These doubled as prizes for the kids who won the games.  I bought really small buckets from Hobby Lobby as well as small Styrofoam balls.  Even though these weren't huge, they took over a hundred suckers each, so buy them in bulk.  
 



I also made some tissue paper owls for the centerpieces.  I freehanded the owls and cut them out of random scrapbook paper I had laying around.  I then made some tissue paper balls and hot-glued the owls to the middle of the paper.  They are just laying in green buckets I bought from the Dollar Tree. 
 


Here's what the tables looked like. 




I made a little banner for above the gift table. 



The best part of any party is the food.  Mom made a cute candy buffet for the kids to take home at the end, my grandma and mom made two different types of owl cupcakes, and Sam's Club made the cake. 
 


Mom rigged up a game where they ate doughnuts off of a string and another where they made each other into mummies using toilet paper.  The kids LOVED them!



We also had a photo booth, but they ran out of time to take pictures.  I'll definitely be using the props in the future and will do a separate post on it. 



It was a very successful party and I'll leave you with this gem. Good thing he doesn't read the blog :)


Sunday, February 16, 2014

I'm back (an iPhone recap of my life)

It has been oh so long since I have paid this blog some attention. I needed some time to recoup from the holidays and get ready for this semester because it's a doozie! So, here's a recap from my phone on what I've been doing lately. I'll be back with regular postings this week (hopefully)! 

Christmas came and I got some sweet presents like this snake-in-a-box from my jokester brother


And a beautifully wrapped gift from my grandma. 

Christmas Day we took out and went to Tennessee with Jeremy's family where he got stuck on a ride
And I bought a ridiculous amount of stuff from Old Navy Outlet. 
We played some games and won some prizes (I won some prizes). 
We delivered homemade Christmas gifts, 
And I regretted procrastinating on every one of these crafts I made. 
We came back home and I enjoyed several snow days (those are all the counties closed one day). 
I read some books,
Got a dog, 
Published an article,

Celebrated Jer's birthday,

Helped plan for my sister's bday party ( more to come on those projects later),
Made snow cream, 
And accessorized my dog. 
Mostly, I've just been binge watching shows on Netflix! 
Hopefully your life has been more entertaining than this! 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ted's Bulletin: A Little Bit of WV in D.C.

While I was researching places to eat (because that's my ultimate priority on a trip), someone recommended Ted's Bulletin to me because the owners were originally from West Virginia.  I am a sucker for all things West Virginia and didn't even give Jer a choice in the matter. I emailed the restaurant to see what they recommended when we visited and I received a prompt reply with recommendations. Talk about customer service!

I did some research and read the back-story of Ted's Bulletin.  It was named after the owners' dad, Ted, who grew up in Mingo County, West Virginia and always cooked and gave food to everyone around.  If you want more information you can read more about "Who's Ted." I love it when restaurants and stores give you their history, and was not disappointed when we showed up and this story was printed on their menus in a newspaper format.

As soon as we arrived at our hotel, we put our bags down and called ahead to the restaurant.  They won't make formal reservations, but they will put you on a waiting list if they are busy, which they normally are in the middle of the day.

We walked the 1.6 miles (more like 2 because Jer put the phone with our directions in it in his pocket) to the Capitol Hill location and waited about ten minutes for our table.  In the meantime I took pictures like the annoying soccer mom Jer thinks I am.

The restaurant has an old-time diner feel and was festively decorated for Christmas! 






















Ted's Bulletin is famous for their homemade pop-tarts.


Once we were seated, we were pleasantly surprised they have a movie screen on the wall where they were projecting Christmas movies! We watched a little bit of The Grinch before our food arrived. 

Jer ordered a chicken sandwich and I had the BLT burger. Wow! It had bacon, and lettuce (obviously), but what made it special was the fried green tomato on top. I devoured the entire thing along with their fries which kind of remind me of Five Guys fries.























Of course we had to get some pop-tarts to go! We got the chocolate peppermint and the strawberry. I love anything mint, but I honestly loved the strawberry one the most.

It was such a neat restaurant and if we ever go back to D.C. we will eat here. Jer won't have a choice then either. Haha!



Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Good Surprise

I had a really difficult time trying to figure out what to buy Jer, a man who has everything he needs/wants, for Christmas.  A friend I work with suggested to get him an experience, so I tried to rack my brain to think of a concert or something he would like to experience.  Then, I remembered that Jer has always loved the Redskins (I have no idea why) and has always wanted to go to a game.  I started sneaking around trying to figure out if I could plan a trip to see them.  After many weeks of scheming, I bought tickets, booked a hotel room (first time for that), and researched what we should do in DC.  

I took off the Friday before the game so that I could frantically finish up our Christmas presents and get everything ready to surprise him.  He left work early and then took an hour making a sales call while I eagerly waited for him to come home.  When he finally made it, I made him sit in the recliner and open the gifts in order.  He was excited, but a little shcoked!  




Once he packed his bags, we drove a couple of hours and stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.  

It won my heart because of this picture below. 

We left the glorious continental breakfast and traveled the rest of the way to DC to check into our hotel, The Liaison on Capitol Hill.  Let me tell you, it was beautiful! I booked it through Jetsetter and was extremely pleased with the hotel and the staff.  


The first thing we did was walk to find a restaurant I wanted to try after a great recommendation-Ted's Bulletin.  It's getting its own post though.  In order to get there we had to walk about 2 miles, after a slight detour, to get there.  This walk took us right past the Capitol.  I have been to DC two times before, but I have never seen the Captiol.  Much to Jer's dismay, I took a ridiculous amount of pictures as we were walking.  For the sake of this post, I will just put one picture.  


We saw this sign on the way there and I'm pretty sure it's my new motto in life.  I think George would have wanted it to apply to women too. 

After our lunch we headed back to the hotel and crashed until I decided it was vital that I never miss dinner either so we walked and found Wiseguys Pizza! We passed a Walmart on our way there and showed how small of a town we were from because we were in awe of it and had to go in.   You can't take us anywhere. 


The next morning, we embarked on the most nerve-wracking experience of planning the whole trip...The Metro.   I just walked up to the lady at the counter and unashamedly told her we had never used one of these things.  She just laughed and helped us buy our ticket/cards/whatevertheyrecalled to and back from the stadium.  

After a not-so-bad metro ride, we arrived at FedEx field where we posed for some pictures, bought Jer's $21 lunch, and found our seats.  Most of these pictures are bad because it was rainy, and I only took my iPhone.


I prayed the whole time that we had legit seats because I ordered them online.  They were. Whew.  Even better was that it was December and 70 degrees.  



This is the huge fight that broke out during the end.  


Unfortunately, the Redskins lost by one point.  I asked Jer to weigh in on the trip and he said, "It was spectacular."  I'll take it.