Jun 30, 2015

Watercolor Bridal Shower Invitations {Sherbert & Lace}

My sister is getting married in September and we're throwing her a shower in July. I had a panic moment a couple weeks ago when I realized it was creeping up and I hadn't started invitations or anything yet! But after talking out loud to the Bestie, I took some Pinspiration and made it my own. (Sometimes thinking out loud just does the trick!) Kim gave me some tips on how to make it happen, and I got them done the weekend after my appendectomy. They didn't take long, thanks to a sale at Michaels, the cost was minimal, and I think they turned out really pretty!

My sister's colors are "sherbert" colors...pink, orange, yellow and green...as well as grey. I wanted to tie in all the colors and use ivory lace like her dress. Not an easy task to DIY and still keep classy! I saw some printed ombré invitations on Pinterest and thought, if I could use watercolor and blend each color together, that would make a nice background for the wording. 

I had brushes already, and purchased the watercolor paper and paint at Michaels at 30% off. I love this palette of pretty colors! I cut the paper into fourths (and later had to cut down further when I decided to mat it with cardstock). I was aiming for 8 1/2 x 11 sized paper (cut into fourths) but think what I found was 9x12. I wanted to use a size that wouldn't cost additional postage (like 6x6), and I already had envelopes that were 4.5 x 6.25 inches (bonus!). 

Per Kim's recommendation, I made a stripe of each color on the paper, leaving white space in between, then went back with a wet brush to blend the colors together. I carefully swept the brush under the pink into the orange, cleaned it, then went orange to yellow, and ending with yellow to green. Sometimes I got too much water and the colors would run rather than blend, but if I rinsed the brush and ran it over the side of my water bowl to get the excess out, then brushed back over the "bad spot", I was able to fix it. I found it to be very forgiving. :) I could also easily add more color if I brushed too much away. Another bonus, the sheets dried in no time, so when I had filled my drying spot with two rows of paper (about 3 or 4 per row), the top row was dry and ready to move.

The only other plan I had at the time was to print the invitation on vellum and adhere it over the watercolor using glue dots, but it was too plain. I decided to pull in my sister's grey color by matting the watercolor sheet with grey cardstock, and then used lace to decorate one side. Since I hadn't planned on lace I had to make a quick trip to Wal Mart and didn't quite find what I was looking for, but since my sister loves daisies and they'll be in  her bouquet, this flower trim was equally appropriate. I also stuck it on with glue dots (3 in front and two in the back).

Staples did the printing on the vellum for me. I got four to a sheet and only printed 10 sheets, so it was cheap!

When I make invitations I like to utilize my poetic abilities (ha ha) to come up with something unique and fun. My sister met her fiancee online when he was living in Tennessee (also where they met in person for the first time), so that inspired the wording for her invitation. ;)

Watch in late July for the shower decorations, food and games!

Jun 25, 2015

Updates on This Fine Sunny Day

I don't have completed projects to share but I'm getting somewhere! ;) In addition to getting my sister's shower invitations completed and mailed, I've been slowly working on a grocery and meal planning notebook. I want a place to keep coupons, menus, grocery lists, healthy eating info and grocery spending all in one place. It's assembled and the cover is done (you wouldn't believe how long that took!). Once I have everything just the way I want it, I'll be sharing the entire project, including a printable for the cover just for you!

I've also been slowly reading The Food Babe Way in attempts to detox my body and get our family into a habit of healthy eating. I'm gradually making the switch to organic food (with some resistance from my hubby due to the cost). I like Vani's book and the fact that she breaks the process down into 21 days. It makes it a manageable process, and sets the stage for a lifelong habit. I've been taking things a little slower, just due to (lack of) preparation and my schedule, but I'm working on having a daily glass of warm lemon water with cider vinegar first thing in the morning, and today started drinking greens in a blended smoothie. Next up, no more drinking at meals!

I should be back to teaching Jazzercise Monday, and am ready to get back into the workout routine after my appendectomy. Working on a fun summer set will take up some of my time this weekend, as will plans for a junior Jazzercise class that we're going to be offering soon!

Sadly I still don't have 4th of July decorations up but I did manage to put flags in the flower pots out front. We'll see if I get any farther than that next week.

Otherwise I'm just trying to enjoy summer and get a little done here and there! 

Jun 22, 2015

Dare I Say It...??

After a crazy week of appendectomies and weird facial infections (did I mention that last week?? Poor hubby's face swelled up like crazy!), we are both doing great and I started whittling away at that to-do list again. I've been off pain meds for a couple days now and having very minimal pain. I'm still being careful about lifting so as not to go backwards, but I'm also taking full advantage of a freed up schedule and feeling well enough to do some housework and other projects.

My sister's bridal shower is a month away and I had a panic moment recently when I realized that I hadn't started invitations or anything for it. Brad drove me to make a Costco run Saturday and to stop at Michael's for invitation supplies. I got my watercolor on that evening, picked up the last couple things today (decided they needed a little something extra), and they should be finished and ready to mail by tomorrow! Photos of the invitations and eventually decorations will be coming on the blog!

With the help of a friend I was able to get a Bountiful Basket picked up Saturday morning, and the Costco run finished off my grocery needs for most of the week. I have menus planned, and decided it was time to start a menu & grocery planning notebook. I think I found the perfect notebook while I was at Staples making copies for the invitations this morning! I'll be sharing it with you once it's complete!

The kids had VBS and 4H camp this morning, so I managed to have a couple hours to myself to wrap up errands and get some dishes and vacuuming done. I'm feeling quite accomplished! I am almost afraid to say it, but I think I'm getting back in the groove! I hope to have some pics to share tomorrow or Wednesday, but in the meantime you can check my Instagram or Facebook account for updates!

Jun 19, 2015

I Will Plan Not to Plan

You know the saying, "God laughs at our plans"? Well it sure seems that mine have Him doing a LOL, ROFL and maybe even a LMAO. I'm not sure what the message is supposed to be for me lately but I just seem to be hitting all sorts of roadblocks with My Blissful Space this past year, especially the blog. Just when I think things are slowing down enough that I'm able to do a little catch-up...BAM!...something else!

I'm not complaining. Please know that I'm on the other side of this computer smirking at His confusing ways, taking a deep breath and doing my best to go with the flow. 

Maybe that's His intention...to teach me to go with the flow. I certainly don't do great with that. Which one of my friends or family prayed that I'd get that virtue? I may hunt you down...

Anyway, I'll explain where I'm getting with that in a bit. 

We got back from vacation the weekend of the 6th, and last week was kind-of-a get-back-into-routine sort of week, and I got to do some fun things with friends. I spent Thursday evening at our local wine walk which is always a great time. The event is sponsored by our hospital, and basically we get to shop downtown and sample wine and food at the stores! What's not to love??

Kim and me after the WineWalk!

Friday evening I taught Jazzercise, and Saturday morning I ran over to CowboyTown to purchase these boots that I'd been drooling over for months! I'll be wearing them for my sister's wedding in September, but that was just a convenient excuse to spend more than I normally could justify on one pair of boots. ;) 

Shortly after purchasing my boots, it was off to Junkstock! I had been looking forward to this event for a long time. Kim and I met up with my friend Sara and her bestie, Jessica, and we were off to do some Junkin'! 

Jess, Sara, me and Kim at Junkstock!

I found a few things that I was sort of looking for, but in all honesty I don't have room for much right now and have unfinished projects galore. And after spending almost $200 on boots I figured I better refrain from spending much. Wish I'd taken more pics, though!! I did walk away with this metal bucket. Of course the color drew me in, and I knew I could find a purpose, both decorative and functional, for it. (You know, when I have time. ;))

After a fun day of shopping and eating out, I headed home and was so wiped I skipped the shower I so desperately needed and went straight to bed. Brad had to work late and I wasn't going to be doing anything else productive for sure. I woke a few times in the night, and each time I had a bad stomach ache. I wasn't sure what was causing it but it was worse than your normal run-of-the-mill tummy ache. I managed to sleep it off, and by morning it was gone. 

Unfortunately, however, it started coming back close to lunchtime. Faith was off at Brad's parents for the weekend, so Brad and I headed to the local home repair store for a few things and to grab lunch at a taco truck (which is AMAZING). Despite the stomach ache gradually worsening, my appetite wasn't affected and I somehow convinced myself that eating my carnitas asadas tacos wouldn't be a bad idea. 

What otherwise would have been a productive day without the kiddo around, turned into Brad and I lying on the couches and doing absolutely nothing. He had a pinched nerve in his neck, and my stomach ache lingered all. day. long. 

I headed to bed early that night, and not even throwing up  (after a whopping two saltine crackers) made me feel much better. I couldn't figure out what was going on but knew I'd never had whatever it was before. I kept thinking maybe it was some sort of food poisoning, but there was some doubt. 

I tossed and turned all night, unable to get comfortable. Occasionally I'd settle into a position that was better than the others and I was able to drift off to sleep for brief periods of time. But all-in-all neither of us slept well. 

I was awake at 5:00 am and started getting really hungry, but my stomach still hurt terribly. I attempted to eat a saltine again and managed to force down a half of a cracker and some water. Within the half hour it came up, too. I wound up taking ibuprofen for what felt like menstrual cramps coming on, and eventually those and the stomach ache subsided. Though I knew it was possible that the ibuprofen had helped, it seemed strange for that to affect a stomach ache (I don't know why). But when the stomach ache returned about the time the meds would have worn off, I knew that in fact the ibuprofen had masked the pain. And I knew it was time to get to the doctor and get this figured out.

My symptoms were questionable, I'm sure especially since after another dose of ibuprofen I walked in pretty comfortably into the doctor's office. Appendicitis was possible, as was some sort of tummy bug. My options were to wait it out 12 hours or to head to the hospital for a CT scan. I opted to wait, because I didn't want to pay for that expensive test to find out I ate something bad.

But within an hour or so of my appointment, the pain shifted from mid-belly down to the right...just as the PA explained would normally happen with an appendicitis. As unbelievable as it seemed, I wasn't messing around to find out. Of course by this time it was five to ten minutes after the office closed, so I was forced to not only go in for the CT scan, but now an ER charge as well. GAH!

I arrived by 5:30 and the nurse and PA were pretty certain it was "classic appendicitis". But it took hours for the rest of the labwork and CT to be completed, and it wasn't until about 10:00 pm that I was taken into surgery. Yep. Appendicitis.

Anyway, surgery went well and I got out the next day. I'm feeling overall pretty good as the meds are keeping the pain under control. I have been basically forced to sit and do not much since Sunday so I'm having a hard time not keeping busy. I've managed to do a few little projects and to-do items that I can mostly accomplish from the couch. I can easily tell when I overdo things, and am listening to my body. (I promise, Mom.)

So another week thrown off course. But I gained a few "vacation days" (thinking positively), so I'm making the most of them that I can. And I'm trying not to get too frustrated that I don't have summer patriotic decorations up (which normally are done by Memorial Day and left up until Labor Day), or that my sister's bridal shower (which I'm throwing) is a month away and I haven't even started invitations or anything. I also have two gallons of paint ready to go on the living room walls. I can't drive for another day, and I can't lift much for another week, but if I get some help I do have a whole weekend to work on something!

As far as the blog, I just need to get back to writing something! I miss it and have gotten so out of my groove. But for a while, no plans!!! ;)

Jun 12, 2015

How I'm Taking Control of My Time & Getting My Creativity Back

This past year has been busier than ever for some reason, and my goals have not been getting the attention they need. When school got out I was starting to feel like I was hitting my momentum again. After a year of being so busy that I just felt continually more and more behind, I finally felt like I was starting to get somewhere. I was organizing, purging, and generally getting stuff done.

Then we went on vacation.

While our trip was wonderful and a great break, it wasn't necessarily relaxing, and with a lot of time in the car and a week of eating not-so-great food choices, I came back unable to find my stride. Surprisingly I didn't feel too bad physically...I never felt really tired . In fact this is the first trip in forever that I didn't nap in the car on a drive that's 3+ hours! And I've been making up for lost time with my workouts by getting to Jazzercise all but one day this week so far. Faith started swimming lessons, and I've had a couple evening commitments this week, so it's not like I've had a lot of free time, either.  I guess all things considered I'm not doing that bad, but I just haven't been tackling my to-do's with the gusto that I did before we left.

And there are a lot of things to do!

One thing that became really apparent while on vacation and since we've been back is that email sucks up a lot of my time, and not just the ones that actually get read. On any given day I may have 50 to 100+ emails. And lately I've been too busy to read many of them. Some I have no interest in reading. Some are store emails that I like getting for those moments that I may need to take advantage of a sale...the other times they get deleted. Anyway, I decided maybe I'm eating valuable time by opening my email every 20 minutes and then hitting delete, delete, delete.

Ya think??

I subscribe to a lot of blogs, and I enjoy most of them and get great inspiration and ideas. Sometimes they're even funny. But recently I haven't been reading most of them, just for lack of time. In addition, I feel like my own creativity has been stifled by constant exposure to everyone else's ideas. There have been several times where I had an idea but another blogger did it first, making me feel like a copycat. Or I'll make something just because I got the idea elsewhere. And as much as I love trends like the next person, they're just that. Trends. Temporary. Decorate with what you love. Without the pressure of magazine-esque photos and what seems to be constant shopping to keep up with the latest style trend, we can all be more relaxed to slowly decorate our spaces over time, making them feel collected and personal and most importantly, unique.

Pinterest isn't much help, either. As much as I love it and rely on it for inspiration, I think we can all agree that Pinterest has left many of us feeling like there are no new ideas yet to be had. And that's when you get over the time-suck factor, which I got beyond probably a year or so ago.) Sometimes I'll come up with an idea and STILL go to Pinterest to see if it's been done and how I should do it, rather than trying to figure it out myself. It's kind of a defeating feeling when you have a fun, creative idea and find out it's been done before. We always compare ourselves, and everyone always seems to do something better.

But still, I didn't want to completely wipe out all those blog posts, and I'll still use Pinterest because when used well, it's a great tool.

To try and gain back some time, however, here's what I've been doing:

  • Unsubscribe from marketing emails I never read and for stores I will likely never shop at
  • Unsubscribe from blogs and instead add them to my Bloglovin' feed. When I have time to read, I can seek them out there. If I decide I get to a point that I want them back in my inbox, I can always resubscribe. 
  • Unsubscribe from deal sites. They just tempt me to buy stuff I wouldn't have otherwise bought, so how is that actually saving me money? (It's not.)
That's just a start, but it's certainly shaving time off of checking and reading email!

Jun 8, 2015

I'm Back Y'all!

We're back from our family vacation in Texas! It was a great time and I enjoyed seeing my aunt, uncle, and cousins. I LOVE it down there. I always say that if I had to relocate to another state, that would be it. I hated the traffic and interstate driving (however Brad drove the whole time, so kudos to him and yay for me!). But the country feel, the decor, the pride of their state..I love all that. And there's just something adorable about everyone saying, "How are y'all doin'?" every time we walked into a store.

We squeezed quite a bit into a few days. We hit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma on the way down. Not my favorite (or Faith's) but I knew Brad would be interested so we made the best of it. ;) I did find the western movie memorabilia interesting, and between Brad and me we scored a 9 out of 12 on the "name that Western" game!

In an attempt to kill time and avoid hitting rush hour traffic when we arrived at Ft Worth, we stopped at this chocolate store off of the interstate. You can't go wrong with chocolate, and when they greet you at the door with chocolate covered potato chips...hello!!

We also veered off the road for a bit in Ardmore, OK, to do some boutique and antique shopping. It's a cute little town, and we met a woman who was from Fort Worth that gave us a tip to get around the traffic when we arrived. She was working her daughter's boutique, the name of which has escaped me. They had removed drywall to expose brick on one wall and on the other side, shiplap! If you watch Fixer Upper you know what shiplap is. I was so excited. You'd have thought I never saw wood planks before. 

In Fort Worth/Dallas we checked out the LegoLand Discovery Center, the American Girl store, and the Stockyards...a must-see if you're in Fort Worth. I love the shopping down there, and for the first time I got to see the daily long-horn cattle stampede. We had hoped to trail ride but Faith isn't old enough for that yet. Bummer!

Lego model of Dallas...love!

Love all the pink!

The Stockyards...

We also shopped in Granbury on the way to Fossil Rim, a drive-through wildlife safari (so fun!). I fell in love with a couple shops in Granbury. The Wagon Yard has furniture and so many cute decor accessories! I could have spent some change there. I'm still kicking myself a bit for not getting the marquee cowboy boot I spotted as soon as I walked in the doorway. It was even painted in my favorite (chippy) colors...red and turquoise! Lesson learned! If you love something, buy it because you likely won't find it again or find it cheaper. ;) There were several fun boutiques but I fell in love with the one named Turquoise Tumbleweed. It was like they knew I was coming! ;)

Fossil Rim...it's ok, Brad, it's just a zebra! ;)

I did come home with some Texan decor in the end. I found this wood star at the Stockyards. It was the only turquoise one, and, unlike the boot marquee, I knew I could find a place for it. (It was also considerably cheaper.) It's here for now, but I bought paint when we got back and will be slightly redecorating the living room soon, so it may move.

Since we've been back I ordered some hanging file folders for my new filing cabinet, got paint for the living room and hallway, and of course have been doing laundry, unpacking and cleaning house! I'm also upping my Jazzercise attendance because after being gone for a week I'm not holding up my end for my attendance game partner! Organizing and decorating projects coming soon!!!

May 26, 2015

Where'd She Go??

I'm still here! Wow May has flown by! I was without a laptop most of last week while it sat at the repair shop. I fell behind on things that I would have done on the computer, but managed to get some other things accomplished, like cleaning and organizing the pantry, working on daycare photo books, cleaning and rearranging Faith's room, and reorganizing the daycare/office space.

My laptop came back unfixable, so I purchased a new one over the weekend and am in the process of trying to get everything transferred over and set up. We were gone quite a bit, so there's a lot of catch-up going on around here. We're also getting ready for a vacation, and I have things that need completed before we go. So I expect things will be quiet on the blog for a while yet, but when I return I'll have so much to share! I hope you're enjoying the start of summer! Be sure to follow on Instagram and Facebook as I'll try to post there until I can get back to blogging.