Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Resolutions

Warning: This is most definitely a blabbing post with no pictures. But, it's fun and I would love for you to take the time to read it and give me your feedback!

Every year I try not to make resolutions because I don't want to be disappointed when I don't achieve them. That sounds terrible, doesn't it? I always tend to be negative when it comes to New Year resolutions. But, this year, I thought I'd change it up. I even did an Inspiration Board for the New Year! I want to write out some of my resolutions so that all of the internet world will see them.. and will therefore keep me accountable to achieve them, right? Right. There are only 10 for now... I might add more later. I definitely have more resolutions than this, but I didn't want to bore you all with my list of 100,000 resolutions! They're also in no particular order-- I just wrote them down as I thought of them. Here they are.. I would love all of your feedback :)

1. Get a new job. Ever since I graduated I've been bouncing around to different jobs, doing some writing things, band gigs, etc, but I don't have anything full time quite yet-- and I neeeeed something full time. I know God will have perfect timing for this!

2. Get a place of my own. This, of course, will come after I get a steady job. I am so appreciative of Crystal and her family allowing me to stay with them since I graduated, but I cannot wait to get my own place. I can get all of my stuff out of storage, decorate more, craft, etc.

3. Spend more time with the Lord. Why is this such a hard thing to do? Other things always seem to make me believe that they are more important, but that is simply not true. I need Him every. single. day.

4. Start a link party on my blog. I don't know if anyone else has done this, but I would really love to start a link party that only features new bloggers (bloggers who have 50ish followers or less). I feel like often times bigger bloggers get featured because they know what they're doing-- which totally makes sense, but doesn't allow anyone new to blog land to be featured. What do you guys think about this? Any feedback or advice?

5. Have more people share on Share Your Story Sunday. I know I haven't featured anyone lately, but I haven't had a lot of bloggers volunteer to share. It was also a hard time to get everything together because of Christmas and such. If you're interested in sharing on Share Your Story Sunday, please let me know! :)

6. Spend more time with family. I live in Georgia now, but I'm originally from Florida (my parents live there) so it's always hard to truly spend quality time with family. I know life can get crazy, but I really want to make sure that I remain close with my family-- whether it's on the phone, skyping, or in person.

7. Add more items to my Etsy store. I want to add more items so I can start fulfilling my overall vision for my blog/etsy-- which is giving a percentage of my profits to missions through the college I attended.

8. Be Healthier. If you read my post about my weight loss, you will know that being healthy is a constant struggle for me. I love to eat and I do not love to exercise. But, I know eating healthy and exercising is good for me. I just need to get motivated again to get back in "the groove" of healthier habits.

9. Do things that are outside of my comfort zone. I know this is a very general goal, but that's the point. This resolution may mean going to a place outside of my comfort zone, trying a new food, trying a project that I never thought I could do, apply for different jobs that may be intimidating to me, etc.

10. Be Happy. I'm happy this year, but I have to constantly remind myself to just.. breathe-- that things are okay, even if they're not what I expected them to be. I'm such a planner, but sometimes I just need to not plan and just go with life. I need to enjoy what the Lord has given me, be amazed by His plan, and let His joy be the light of my life.

So, what are your goals for the New Year?

Friday, December 30, 2011

Inspiration Board for the New Year!

Hey guys! I'm so excited to share this post with you that I wrote for Crafting a Green World last week! Speaking of which-- I shared two tutorials this week: A "Happy New Year" Banner from Old Christmas Cards and A New Year's Eve "Resolution Tree." I won't be sharing those tutorials on here, so be sure to check them out!

Now, here is another New Year idea-- an inspiration board

Last week I found this really cool ceiling medallion at a thrift store for 50 cents and decided to make it into something beautiful, but functional. I wanted something that would inspire me and keep me accountable to complete my goals for this year. 

First, clean off your medallion to get off that thrift store gunk haha :)

Then, I started by writing words of inspiration on the "leaves" of the medallion like so:

My mom wrote all the words for me because she has amazing handwriting. She varied the color and font of each word to make it less uniform and more whimsical! To save you the hassle of coming up with a bagillion (or 48) words, here are our words:  learn, give, faith, believe, courage, strength, persevere, confident, hope, sacrifice, inspire, dream, create, renew, energize, power, imagine, challenge, motivate, transform, encourage, positive, discover, initiate, determined, endure, pursue, achieve, diligence, commit, dedication, devotion, try, reach, surrender, aspire, optimism, enthusiasm, trust, gratitude, fearless, strive, ambition, passion, restore, live, intention, plan. 

After that, I took a piece of paper, traced the middle of the medallion, and cut the circle out. Then I put my stencil on my cork board, traced it, and cut it out (I got a huge roll of cork board from my uncle for free! Yesssss).

Once I trimmed the cork board circle and made sure it fit in place perfectly, I hot glued it onto the medallion. To cover up the ugly-looking edges of the cork board, and to add another pop of color, I hot glued beads around the edge of the cork board. (The beads were also given to me while I was in Florida this week-- I love how people know I do crafts now so they give me tons of stuff! My poor self thanks all of you!) 
Now your inspiration board is ready to be hung up:

Now I have a spot to pin up all of my goals for the year!
What do you think? Would this board inspire you to complete your goals?

Linking up at these amazing parties

Monday, December 26, 2011

Repurposed Cabinet Door, Part 1

Hello all! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends-- I know I did! I am so thankful for the birth of my Lord and Savior!! Oh and guess what I got!? A drill and a jigsaw for all of my projects! Yesssss. 

But anyway.. today I wanted to share with you guys one of the four projects I made for Christmas gifts. The one I'm sharing today was made for my mom. Now, you may be thinking, "Bonnie, Christmas is over!" but these can be made as birthday gifts or just something for you to make for your home. I started with four cabinet doors that I found at Goodwill for about $7.00 (that would make each cabinet door about $1.75). They looked like this:

I've had this pinned on pinterest forever, and loved it for my mom:

Source: via Bonnie on Pinterest

I took the button idea and applied it to the cabinet door. I didn't take many photos to document the process, but it's super simple! Here is the final result and then I'll explain how I did it:

How I Did It:

1. First, I painted the cabinet door brown. I used a brown paint that I had left over from redoing a dining room table (which I still need to post up!).

2. Then, I hot glued three doilies onto the middle part. I got the doilies at a yard sale... I can't remember how much I paid for them exactly, but I think I paid $1.00 for 5-6 of them.

3. After that dried, I hot glued the buttons on. I got the buttons from a craft store-- they came in a small bag for 2 or 3 dollars. I thought it was kind of steep for buttons, but I didn't have any other options at the time. I bought two bags, but I only used one. I used a ruler and such to make sure everything was straight and centered.

4. At the beginning of the project I thought, "How in the world am I going to cover the hole where the knobs used to go?" I mean, I know there's wood putty, but I thought maybe I could add something else. That's where this pin comes in:

So, I went to Walmart and bought a bag of 50 wooden clothes pins. They were 97 cents! Whattttt? It was awesome. Side note: don't go to the craft section to buy them-- they are way more expensive and only have 25 in the package. Anyway, I painted those brown as well.

5. Then, I hot glued the clothes pins to the cabinet door. My first priority was to cover the hole where the knob used to go and then measure out where the other ones should go from there.

And that's it! Isn't that simple? And pretty inexpensive too! I think for this one I spent:

Cabinet door -- $1.75
Doilies-- about a $1.00
Paint -- already had
Buttons -- $6 (technically I only used $3 worth, though)
Clothes Pins -- $1.00 (I rounded up)

Total: $9.75

Not bad for my poor self! :) Here are more pictures of it hanging on my mom's wall (sorry I went a little picture crazy!) --

My mom loves it! And I love that she loves it :)
Come back in the next few days and I'll show you what I did with the three other cabinet doors for my dad and both of my grandmas!


Part 2Part 3, and Part 4 of this series is now up! 
Check it out!

Linking up at these amazing parties

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nacho and Cheese Cookies

My roommate Crystal works as a worship leader for a youth group and I always go help out with the slides/sound... basically, I'm the tech nerd. It's tons of fun and I love ministering to the youth there! This Christmas, they put together an awesome Christmas party that they named "Christmas Con Queso." The entire theme of the night was Cheesyness-- cheesy food, cheesy music, cheesy games, cheesy sweaters (an ugly sweater contest basically), etc. It was awesome! Crystal and I made our own sweaters from Goodwill sweaters + felt from walmart + hot glue.

I know you're probably jealous of our sweaters :) Anyway, each person was supposed to bring a cheesy food item to share. I knew that the only sweet cheesy option was cheesecake and I was worried that it would be, like, cheese overload, so we got creative. We decided to make nacho and cheese cookies:

Okay, it's not what you think. Keep reading! 
We took a roll of sugar cookies, cut it into slices, and then placed them on the cookie sheet. We made them large slices so that when they cooked, they would spread out over the entire cookie sheet. Once done, we cut them into squares, and then triangles:

We bought icing from the store and just added yellow and red food coloring to make it look like nacho cheese.

After that, we simply put the "cheese" in a small tupperware dish in the middle and put the "nachos" around it. I had hoped to find a cute dish that is specifically for serving chips and salsa/cheese, but I couldn't find one in time for the party. Even so, here are the yummy nachos and cheese in all their glory:

We added a little sign so everyone would understand what it was. The icing seriously looked like cheese so it was a little weird. Anyway, I wanted to share this idea with you all-- it might be the perfect option for that Christmas party you have this week! They're not just your average sugar cookie, and it's such a cute way to serve them! Also, if someone doesn't like icing (those strange, strange people!), they can have a plain sugar cookie. What do you guys think? Are these cool enough to take to your Christmas party this week (or really any party in the future)?

Linking up at these amazing parties

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Magazine Christmas Ornaments/Gift Tags

Writing for Crafting a Green World has taught me so much! It has made me really think about things we waste and throw away every day. Everyday items like magazines can be repurposed and transformed into something quite wonderful-- which brings me to this post I wrote for Crafting a Green World. Gather all of your old magazines and make these awesome Christmas gift tags that can double as ornaments!

What You Need:

1. Old magazines.
2. Tape
3. Hot glue and hot glue gun
4. Scissors
5. Twine
6. Scrap paper (The colors I used were red and green!)

How to Do It:

1. Cut your magazine pages into 2.5 in. wide strips. Then, roll it up tightly. You will use the tape to secure your "rolls." I used 17 magazine rolls for the "Merry Christmas" tag and 11 for the "To Mom" tag.

2. Hot glue your magazine rolls together.

3. Take your scrap paper and cut out two rectangles. I did a large green rectangle and then a smaller red rectangle to sort of "frame" each saying.

4. Hot glue the rectangles to your magazines.

5. Get your magazine back out and find cute letters to write out the saying of your choice. 

6. Hot glue your letters to the rectangle. You could glue them on with Elmer's glue if you want.. I just used hot glue because it dries faster and I'm too impatient to wait! If you have little ones, this would be a great way to get them involved with the project and teach them about letters (using Elmer's glue, of course).

7. Cut a small piece of twine. Then, turn your gift tag over. Put a large glob of hot glue on one side of your gift tag and place the twine in it like so:

I used a pin to push it in the glue so I wouldn't burn the rest of my fingerprints off. Battle wounds, my friends.. battle wounds! When dry, this awesome loop will allow you (or the person you give it to) to hang it on their Christmas tree. For the "Merry Christmas" tag I put the loop in the middle and for the "To Mom" tag I put the loop on the side. 

Once all the hot glue has dried, you're finished! This is such a simple and practically free project! I was thinking you could even change the design up by gluing a picture to the magazine rolls instead of a phrase. I kind of got ahead of myself, though, and just put my "Merry Christmas" tag on my Christmas tree! It's too cute not to put up on the tree!

What do you think!?

Linking up at these amazing parties


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Mini Christmas Tree

Hey friends! This is another post that I did for Crafting a Green World, but I wanted to share it with my readers as well!

I love decorating for Christmas, but I refuse to pay an insane amount for an item that will spend a month out in the open, and the remaining 11 months of the year in a box in the attic. My cheap self just won't allow it. I saw several adorable little Christmas trees at the store that inspired me to think of this project. Using what I already had, this is what I came up with:

How did I make it?

and this:

You will also need:

1. Hot glue gun/hot glue
2. Little rocks-- I know that sounds weird, but I'll explain why you'll need these later on.
3. Twine.
4. Yellow paper.
5. Scissors.
6. Spray paint. I used a pretty silver :)

How to do it:

1. Put the little rocks into your bottle. I only glued the branches on one side so I needed something to keep the bottle from tipping over. I had little rocks (you know, the ones you can put in a vase as a filler) so that's what I used. I'm sure you could use other items on hand though. Be creative with it!

2. Start gluing your branches to your bottle. (Disclaimer: This is the part where you will be tempted to pull your hair out and be mad at the world. But, have patience and stick it out.) You will want to start at the bottom and work your way up to the top. I also used thicker sticks at the bottom to make it look like a legit tree. You will start it like this:

Make sure each "layer" is dry before moving on-- again, this is where your patience will be tested. If I could go back and redo my tree, I wouldn't put as much hot glue. I was so impatient to let every layer dry that I just kept slapping hot glue on there... which turned out to be not so pretty.

3. Once you've worked all the way up to the top of the bottle, you will take a long branch and put it inside the bottle (you might have to move your rocks around a little bit). This will become the top of your tree and the place where you will eventually glue your star. 

4. Spray paint the branches/bottle. You could leave it natural if you wanted to, but I was forced to spray paint mine because it looked like a hott mess with all of the hot glue.

5. Once that's dry, you will take your twine and kind of "weave" it through the branches. I didn't glue the twine down because it stayed in place, but that's completely up to you.

6. Hot glue the mini jingle bells onto random branches. These will become the "ornaments" for the tree.

7. Cut a star out of the yellow paper. I just used a scrap piece that I had in my craft supplies. Then, glue it to the top of your tree.

Now I have a cute (and cheap) mini Christmas tree on my mantle!

What do you think? Do you have any other cute mini Christmas tree ideas? Leave me a comment with a link to your Christmas tree projects-- I'd love to see them!

Linking up at these amazing parties

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Share Your Story Sunday #4--Amy at Five Kinds of Happy

Hey guys! Thanks for joining me for Share Your Story Sunday #4. Sharing this week is Amy from Five Kinds of Happy. On the main page of Amy's blog you will find a little excerpt about her blog: "Sweet treats, interior design, weddings, DIY, colour theory and anything really, really ridiculously good-looking and creative, are the things that make me happy. This is a place to share the happiness." Her blog is just that-- every time I visit, I smile because it's just so.. happy. Every post oozes with so many fabulous ideas and design inspiration! A few weeks ago when I shared my story, she left me the sweetest comment and was so encouraging! From there, we talked about her sharing her story. So now.. it's her turn!

Hi, I’m Amy and this is not my story... I just happen to be in it ;)

I grew up with all the head-knowledge I thought a person could possibly need about ‘faith’ ‘grace’ ‘freedom’ ‘salvation’... and other types of Christian jargon! But head knowledge is one thing. Actually experiencing something is completely different.

I started university at 17 and four years later I thought I was doing pretty well – I still usually attended church, was not pregnant, not doing drugs, prayed sometimes, and had kept up my good-girl image reasonably well. It was at that time that I started to question things and eventually turned my back on religion and God as a whole. It wasn’t so much that I stopped  believing in God – more just that life without Him seemed a whole lot more appealing. Religion weighed me down. The more my lifestyle changed into the ‘fun’ and new one I had chosen, the less I wanted to think about it.

...I resented the way that this new lifestyle was considered ‘wrong’.

...It upset me that I was supposed to feel obligated to do things ‘right’.

...It bothered me that I had to hide my actions and still try to maintain my ‘Christian’ image for fear of being confronted by people who didn’t think I was behaving properly.

And yet I did hide them. And for a while I was really, really good at leading my double life. Each side of my lifestyle was polar-opposite to the other – and half of it was just for show – but no-one had to know. 

It was a messy relationship I was in that finally made me question what I was doing. Where was I headed? What was my life’s direction? Who could I really trust? What was the POINT?

It took months for these questions to be answered, and I didn’t exactly search for an answer. But unintentionally, I had asked those questions of God.

                “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you will find” – Jesus Christ

It’s hard to explain the moment it all became clear to me – it was instant, spontaneous; it was a joyous slap in the face; it happened in a split second. Light poured in the windows and I looked at the words in my Bible as if I had never seen them before. I KNEW I had read them SO many times. Yet  they were absolutely brand new - like I was finally reading it in my own language instead of through a muffled translator. It was Romans 4:4 and it spoke about how when God offers a relationship with Himself – it is a free gift... The word obligation popped out at me - bosses give you a salary as an obligation, but with God there is no obligation. It cannot be earned.  You can trust Him for this gift. Rules and burdens and judgemental religion? They don't even factor into the equation.

I had never understood freedom until that moment. I had always felt that yeah maybe God loved me, but I was pretty sure He didn’t like me. Until now.

From that time my life has been drastically different to me – I changed slowly from the inside out, I felt joy every day and even when I was pouring coffee for the staff at the Law office I worked in, I couldn’t hold in a little gleeful dance in the kitchen.

There has been nothing in my life comparable to experiencing the fact that God loves ME, freely, no matter what I do, forever. When you really understand this, there is no such thing as obligation. The burden of religion is dead. There is only joy and the perfect hope that this relationship is one that will not fail... that there IS someone who is utterly trustworthy. Who loves me AND likes me, in spite of my flaws. That when I fail, which I will, He will pick up where we left off. That He walks with me where I walk and that HE finds joy in ME? What? Yep.

You are a piece of art, made by the most skilful artist. Does He love his work? Or course He does. God never wanted dry religion from us – He wanted relationship. I hope every one of us could come to understand that... because it will change your life.

Thanks for having me Bonnie and keep up your encouraging work! It's been a total honour to share this here and I'm grateful for the opportunity.
If you would like to share your story on Share Your Story Sunday, please contact me
I would love to hear from you :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Friendly Christmas Reminder

Hey guys! I know I keep saying this, but it has been a crazy week. I wish that I could write a post every day for you all, but life just isn't allowing that. I do have some new posts over at Crafting a Green World, though!

Anyway, I don't know if any of you saw this on my twitter account, but yesterday we woke up to find that my car and the 4 other cars at our house had been broken into. Some of us left our cars unlocked (yeah.. I'm guilty. I promise I never do that.. but yesterday I just happened to leave it unlocked), but the others left their cars locked and they were still broken into. My gps was stolen, and one of my roomie's purses got stolen as well. They put several charges on her debit and credit cards. Pure panic, people. Pure panic. I felt violated, unsafe, etc. We didn't hear anything. Maybe we need to get a better guard dog?

Yeah.. that's a miniature yorkie in a raincoat. Her name is Mia :)

I know I'm joking about the dog.. but this is serious. It turns out several people in the neighborhood experienced the same thing. And we don't live in a "bad neighborhood."One house in the neighborhood was broken into the day before as well and from what I hear they took a lot. I was thankful that they didn't try to break into the house or anything like that. For me, it's not about the gps, or even the purse... it's that we were right there while it happened. Material things can be replaced, but my roomies cannot be replaced. Last night I couldn't sleep because I felt like they were going to come back at any moment, though. It was terrible. Eventually I fell asleep, but goodness. It is such a terrible feeling. Can anyone relate? What did you do when it happened to you? I don't know if we should go big and get a security system for our house, or what?

With all that said, please be careful out there. It's that time of year when people get crazy. They will do anything to make money, even if that means stealing. Please, please be safe. Do what you can to keep your family safe. Love you all and hopefully I will have a post up soon!
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