Stuff I Liked This Year


2012 is drawing to a close and while it was one of the better, if not best, year of my life- there are alot of things other than my engagement ring that I really liked:

1. Essie Nail Polish- Mightnight Cami

Maybe I have an obsession with navy blue. Maybe thats why I revolve my entire wardrobe AND my bridesmaid dresses around that particular color…even so, I wore this nail polish like, all the time. Not to mention, its Essie. HELLO! Best nail polish in a long time…dare I say ever? Maybe. Its way up there with OPI.

2. These Quiksilver Slip-ons

I am sort of weird about footwear. I’m not a sneaker person and I hate wearing socks with my shoes.

I only wear socks if they are giant, fluffy, and make my feet start sweating because they are so warm…and I can only wear socks by themselves. Its really hard to find shoes that aren’t sneakers, but also don’t look like I am getting ready to go to the prom. Flats are my shoe of choice. Last February at the wonderland that is DSW shoes, I found the PERFECT shoe. SO warm, SO comfy, SO water resistant. Best $40 I’ve spent in years.

K, I’m sounding too much like a girl right now. I need to dude it up a bit.

3. Cisco Brewery- Sankaty Light Lager (affectionately known as “Skanky Lighthouse Beer”

Drew and I are beer drinkers. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good bottle of wine; but, Drew and I bound over beer. Its not weird. When we were living in Amherst, we were surrounded by microbreweries and couldnt try enough beer. Now, we live on the cape. We consider Sam Adams “good” beer now Our amherst selves are kicking our ass constantly. We didn’t really “discover” this Nantucket based brewery this year, but we discovered its most tasty and lovely beer that they brew back in June when they did their “Summer of Lagers”. *drool* we were pumped to find out that it isn’t only a seasonal brew!

4. Downton Abbey

Ok. We were a little late to the game with this. WE KNOW. But. WE LOVE DOWNTON ABBEY. Like, more than anything in this world. Everyone had been telling us to watch this for months and for what ever reason, we didn’t listen..until one fateful night in September. We were scouring OnDemand/our movie collection/Netflix (using mom and dads account of course…hi guys!) and I put my foot down. “Ok. Downton Abbey keeps coming up on Netflix. Its on Instant TV…lets just try it.” We were hooked after 1 episode. I am counting the days until Season 3 and also considering sending the cast an invite to the wedding. Couldn’t hurt, right?! (Also, Hi Matthew Crawley, I love you a little bit/a lot).

5. Blog: Craftgawker.com

I am an avid pinterest user. I’ve spent probably spent a collective 3 solid months on that website alone and it has definitely taken over my life. However, I noticed that a lot of the stuff I had been pinning was from one website in particular: craftgawker.com. I think all of my ideas for halloween, thanksgiving, and christmas mantel decorations have come from that website. If you are looking to find a craft idea involving a mason jar, a piece of twine, some feathers, and a broken lightbulb- this is your website because I am sure it will have something right up everyone’s alley.

6. Blog: howsweeteats.com

Not only do I love all things crafty, but I love all things foodie too! I consider myself a very picky eater. I have gotten better in the past few years with trying new foods and what not, but I’m not the best. Jessica over at How Sweet it Is makes EVERYTHING look fantastic. There are certain things that I probably wouldnt touch with a thirty nine and a half foot pole (GRINCH!), but she could post a picture of a cow heart smothered in grape jelly and you would probably catch me licking my computer screen.

7. Our first home!

One of the biggest things that has happened to Drew and I in the past year is the purchase of our new home. When we first started looking at houses, I was incredibly terrified and intimidated by the thought. I still am, actually! “Free time” is now a thing of the past. There is always something to be cleaned or fixed or moved. Our “to-do” list seems to be never ending and I find myself lying awake at night trying to prioritize what needs to be done first and what can wait. Someday there will come a time when Andrew and I can sit on the couch all day and not feel the need to jump up and make ourselves seem useful, but we are realizing that it won’t be for a very very long time. Meanwhile, we are having fun making our house into a home.

home

I would like everyone to note that I started this post on December 20th and it is now 3:04 on December 25th. It took me a REALLY long time to think about stuff that I liked this year…I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Andrew and I have finished opening our presents and are spending our first Christmas in our new home. A post about that is sure to come (hopefully soon!).

Merry Christmas, everyone!

My Girls.

Since all but one of my bridesmids have gotten these (I’m looking at YOU, Caroline), I can finally post what I have been working on since May 26th!!

Image            This is how  four lucky girls to be my bridesmaids! I wish I could take the credit for this idea, but thanks to pinterest and this website, I stole it.

Image

So, I bought wooden cigar boxes at Joann’s for about $6.00 each and stained them. I think the stain was around $5 for a small can.

Fun Fact: Staining is totally easy and fun but WAY messy. If you ever stain something, make sure you lay down a lot of newspaper and to not do it in your living (unless you are looking for a reason for your fiancé to murder you in your sleep). This is a basement/outdoor activity. Luckily we have a big porch and I was able to do it there on a nice weekend afternoon.

Stain actually dries relatively quickly. I only needed to do one coat because it was so dark and it took to the wood really well, but if you need to make touch-ups or one part needs to do a second coat, be WICKED careful. Since stain is so runny, you really need to apply a second coat to the entire piece of wood if you are planning to go back and fix something. If you need to just touch up the corners, use a small paintbrush to dip into the corners.

After the stain coat dried, I stenciled on the white anchor. I couldn’t find an anchor stencil at any of the craft stores, so I just googel imaged a clipart anchor, resized it in MSPaint (hellz yeah!) and then printed it on card stock. I used an exacto knife to cut the middle part of the anchor out. Using white craft paint and a stippling brush, I stenciled the anchor onto thefront of the box. I just eyeballed it to make sure it was at least semi in the middle of the box. I’m not into doing math in my free time. Or anytime ever.

Next, I painted the inside of the box navy blue using craft paint. That took a few coats because the wood isn’t the best quality and kept streaking (sorry girls, I’m not sorry…I’m on a budget!!). I think the white craft paint and the blue craft paint bottles were $2.00 all together? Somewhere in that area. I could’ve gotten a better quality paint, I’m sure, but again, budget.

The white frame and letters on the inside took me the longest and was the most miserable part of this whole project, hands down (fair warning: the next 2 paragraphs is going to be a big long ramble). So, I was going to paint the white frame onto the box, but I decided that would be too difficult because it would probably need 0293749323 coats to cover the blue. So, I found a template online and traced it onto computer paper. I cut out 4 frames and then started with the blue alphabet stickers. After a half hour and a TON of frustration, I finally got the letters straight and semi in the middle of the frame. Then I laid the frames letter side down on contact paper and cut around them,  following the frame shape but keeping the contact paper about an inch out all of the way around so it bordered the frames. So, after they were all cut out, I pressed them onto the box and boom- they looked awesome. Took them outside, spray shellacked them, and the let them dry. The next day I went to check on them…the contact paper was peeling off the paper.

SO. What to do? I tried spray glue. That worked for a little while, but it started to seep through the paper and made ugly marks near the letters. The spray glue ended up sinking into the wood causing the frames to fall off anyway. So then I tried rubber cement. That seemed to work the best, however the paper the frames were made out of were so ruined from all the different glues that they looked absolutely awful. I ended up having to get white card stock (what I should’ve used in the first place), new stickers, and using just rubber cement. No shellacking, no clear coating, no nothing. They ended up looking SO much better!

After I was done with the boxes themselves, I needed to get stuff for the inside. I made 4 cards  “My Girls”, “Our Day”, “Your Dress”, & “Your Role” explaining all the details we have nailed down for the wedding (you know, all 2 of them), what colors I am using, and a short description of each bridesmaid since most did not know each other. I went to home depot and grabbed a few paint sample cards to throw in there to show the color scheme I want to use, a packet of stickers I had grabbed at AC Moore for each girl, and a copy of a picture of myself and the bridesmaid.

Thankfully, I like this stuff. Our wedding is going to be 95% crafts, I’m sure. But tasteful crafts! I had a lot of fun making these (even though i threw a few fits here and there).

Longest post yet! Hopefully I can keep it up for another 360 days!