Friday, October 31, 2014

'Tis that time of year for my birthday letter to my late mother, Merna.

Happy happy birthday, momma dear!  Lord have mercy do I miss you something fierce lately.  I always miss you but this week has been especially rough.  Oh, how I wish you were here to pick a fun restaurant to go to for dinner and then take the Grant and Ava trick or treating. Anyway, done with the sad stuff...let's get to the celebrating life stuff...

It's been a crazy year since I last wrote to you.  I still talk to the moon often when I want to talk to you though.  That will never stop.
First of all, Auntie P sent us these awesome witches' hats last year for Christmas.  We both keep ours out all year, but we had pictures taken in them this spring and I have to's one of my all time favorite sister pictures of all time.  It's like you're there with us in spirit.  I can see you in each of us daily.

School is going well.  I'm a junior!  When I started a few years back taking 2 classes at a time I never thought I'd see a light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm over half way there.  Can you believe it?!  I say your test prayer before each and every exam.  (Lord, please let what I know be on this test. Amen.)  I think it's helped, but boy howdy has it been a hard road these last two semesters.  Math is my enemy!  I HATE IT.  Not to mention I last took a math class before most of my classmates were even born.  Yep.  That's the god's honest truth!  Next semester I'll be done with the math stuff and on to statistics.  Anything has to be better than calculus so I'm happy about that.

Oh, mom, I have the best friends a gal could ask for.  They're sprinkled all over the country as I've moved around, but they are so damn wonderful.  I keep in touch with all of them and can't imagine my life without them.  Some have had babies, some have gotten married, some have moved around, but we never lose touch.  I got to see Susan and Kerri this summer when I went to Vegas for Sarah's bachelorette party.  Sounds kinda cheesy, but I love those two girls more than life itself.  Even if we haven't seen each other in 2-3 years it's like we've never been apart.  So much fun on that trip!!

I know I could call on any of my great friends and they would be there for me in a heartbeat.  I've even gotten texts from some of them this morning wishing me a happy birthday in your honor.  How sweet are they?!

Guess what.  I found a fella.  He's such a wonderful man, mom.  The only relationship advice you ever gave us girls was to find a man that will cherish you.  He does.  He is kind, generous, ambitious, a hard worker, a total gentleman, and he treats me so well.  It's been a bumpy road to get where we are today, but like most things in life, the hard stuff is always the most worth the struggle.  The most important quality I love about him is that he is sooooo funny.  The two of us laugh so hard about the silliest things.  Sometimes I worry I won't breathe again because I'm laughing so hard. You would love him.  I get teary eyed just thinking about that so I'm going to stop right here on this subject.

Your grand kids are AMAZEBALLS!  They make being an aunt more fun than I could have ever imagined.  
Bethany and Chris get to teach them the important things like manners and math and life skills.  They are such great parents.  But, I get to teach them things like a shark says chomp and to say "peace out, yo" instead of goodbye.  

You made our lives so much fun while we were growing up,  I feel like bringing silliness to their lives is a way of teaching them a little about you at the same time.  I love helping Bethany with their Halloween costumes.  They can't be a boring old pumpkin.  Nope.  They get to be "Shark Week" this year!  Grant is a shark and Ava is a seal with chomp marks taken out of her side and shoulder.  I hope you'd be proud of the aunt I try to be to them.

I adopted a new critter.  I know.  I needed a new critter like I needed another hole in my head.  BUT!  She's tiny and she's cute and she needed rescuing.  Besides.  Look at these ears!  They're huge!
Meet Tilly.  She's a 6 pound, 2 year old, chiweenie.  She's the craziest little thing and I love her snuggles.  She wants nothing more than to play fetch or snuggle under the blanket with you.

Auntie P will be here to visit this month. I can't wait to craft, laugh, craft, cook, shop, eat, craft, eat, and laugh some more with her.  Her visits are always fun.  It's like you're sitting there laughing and crafting along with us.  

I actually wrote this letter to you a couple of days ago, but I did spend this morning thinking a lot about you while I was letting Tilly out. Your bamboo wind chime from San Diego hangs on my patio and makes me smile every time I hear it.  
I know I've made some questionable choices along the way, but I certainly hope you'd be proud of the destination I've landed in at this point in my life.  Instead of looking back I'm looking forward to all of the fun adventures ahead.  For starters...we're going to go to a yummy dinner in your honor tonight and then the trick or treating will commence.  After a few houses Mike and I will head out to a little date night while Bethany and the kids go to a Halloween party.  Sounds like a good way to spend the day, right?!  

I love you so very much!  All the way to the moon and back, back to the moon, back again, and then make one more round trip and you may just get the idea.
I love you, mom!!

PS:  My most popular blog post ever has been my tomato cage ghosts.  The tutorial has been viewed almost 80,000 times and has been pinned on Pinterest over 15,000 times.  If you're one of the few people left who hasn't seen it, go check it out here!  Happy Halloween!  Or Merry Merna Day as we like to say.

Monday, July 21, 2014

In just THREE more wake-ups I'll be getting ready to head to the airport for an amazing vacation.  I haven't been on a vacation in almost four years!!  There has been a long weekend here and there, but not a run away for almost a week and have a crazy good time with a bunch of friends kind of vacation.  In fact, I have never been on vacation with so many people all at once ever.
This trip is going to be to Las Vegas to celebrate the Bachelor and Bachelorette who will be getting hitched in THE Tulsa wedding of 2014.  (Sarah and Kyle's wedding was even in Brides of Oklahoma Magazine!!)  They are one of the most genuine, sweet, thoughtful couples I've ever met.  In the picture above you get an idea of how many people love this couple and that's not even everyone going.  I mean, you have to be great if you can get all of these busy people to coordinate their schedules for your weekend, right?  

Now that you've met the guests of honor, let's meet the other players along for the ride starting at the top and working our way down and to the right:

LB & Andy - I love these two!  They are another adorable engaged couple.  LB is Sarah's Maid of Honor.  I've really enjoyed getting to know her over the last few years.  She has the rare award of actually making me blush once. Doesn't happen often, but she made it happen.

Janet & Spence - These are Sarah's awesome parents.  They are SO MUCH fun!  Normally you'd be a little weirded out by the bride's mom coming to the bachelorette party, but not Janet, she's a blast!

Erin & Adam - Love these two!  Adam is hands down the world's best winker.  Erin was Sarah's college roommate and happens to be Andy's sister.  We like to keep it all in the group. She's a sweetheart.

Nick & Kristen - Nick is Sarah's brother.  I don't get to see these two very often so it will be fun to see them too!

Holly & Cole - Holly is Sarah's Matron of Honor. She and LB have put so much hard work into organizing this trip!  It will be fun to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  I don't know Holly well, but it will be fun to get to know her better on this trip.

Ma & Thomas - These two handsome devils can be so much fun. Ma is an accomplished ballet choreographer and Thomas is a successful attorney that I've known since before he started law school.  Thomas is one of Kyle's fraternity brothers from their undergrad days.

Calvin - Calvin is also a fraternity brother of Kyle's.  He also happens to be a coworker of mine AND a law student so I get to see him quite often on campus.

Susan & Paul - Susan is one of my nearest and dearest girlfriends in the whole wide world.  She's been there for me in my darkest days and for that I'll be forever grateful.  Sarah is such an INCLUSIVE kind of person, she invited my two Vegas friends to join us in the weekend fun.  Susan's husband, Paul, is from England and teaches me all kinds of filthy British sayings!

Heather & Paul - Paul is Sarah's other brother.  He and his wife are always the life of the party.  They do THE cutest Christmas cards with their growing family too.  It's going to be so much fun to cut loose with these two!

Lauren - I've never met Lauren, but I've heard she and I are the most likely to flash strangers together so I already feel like we'll be fast friends!

Bill - need I say more?!  We don't do sappy, but he's my person.  My go to person where I can be myself, don't have to have a filter, can be 100% me, and he keeps me grounded.  We are known to be "wildly inappropriate" so us being cut loose in Vegas without any responsibilities to drive or work the next day is going to be beyond wildly inappropriate!  I also can't wait for my bestie worlds to collide when Susan, Kerri, and Bill are all together. It's going to be great!

Kerri - Kerri is my other nearest and dearest girlfriend in the whole wide world!  She's been my crisis call at 1am on a couple of different occasions.  I can always count on her!  We haven't seen each other in over three years.  We have been counting down our reunion since there were over 100 days to go, so the fact that there are only THREE more wake-ups is so amazing.

Megan - Megan is a hoot too.  Little known fact about Megan, she doesn't have a heart.  KIDDING!  But really, her tear ducts must be broken because girl didn't cry one tear during Fault in Our Stars while the rest of us were sobbing.  She's my fellow single gal on this trip.  I can't wait to see what all these wing women and wing men come up with for the two of us.  She says she's going to live vicariously through me (the wilder one), but I plan on seeing how much mischief I can get her roped into!

Wow, this post started out with the intention of being a short little blurb to explain where I'll be when I run away later this week and it turned into a super long post introducing you to all of the pretty people I will be hanging with this weekend.  As my brother says, beautiful people have to stick together.  Here's hoping we make it out the other side alive!  I can't wait to get this shindig under way!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Guess what day it is.  Yes, Friday, but it's also time to get some secrets off my chest.  This has been one long week and this gal is ready for her weekend!

** I confess I can't believe I'm going to share this with you all on the interwebs, but...after going to the gym on Monday morning, I went to Braums and got breakfast.  I kind of felt like the drive thru lady was judging me because I clearly looked sweaty in my work out clothes at 6:30 in the morning going through a fast food drive through after working out. It was a shaming moment, but I still enjoyed my breakfast.

** I confess I LOVE my new maxi dress.  This 5'3" gal has never been able to wear a maxi dress because even in heels they're too long.  But then I found this little number, at Sears of all places, and I love it! Oh, and it was only $20!
Beverly Drive MAXI DRESS          NAVY 3X

**  I confess I got in a car accident last night and lord have mercy were angels watching over me.  Everyone slammed on their breaks and I slid into the truck in front of me. It happened to be an old beater truck with the bumper wired on and my Escape only had a scratch on the grey plastic bumper so we didn't even have to exchange information.  Whew!! Thank you, guardian angels!!

** I confess I'm pleased my post from yesterday has been so well received.  If you're looking for all day curls be sure to check it out here.

**  I confess when I was growing up and something fun was on the horizon my mom would do countdowns based on the number of wake-ups we had until said event.  I confess that I still do that now.  In fact, I have just 6 more wake-ups until I go to VEGAS!!  I'm more than a little giddy.
 Image result for welcome to las vegas sign

** I confess I don't allow myself to "pleasure read" when I'm in school  because I'd put off reading my textbooks in order to read a new book.  Lord knows I don't need another reason to procrastinate studying.  Since it's summer, and I'm not taking summer classes, I've been reading lots of books!  Thanks in part to a little impromptu book club my girlfriends and I started.  Our book selections are all books that will be coming out as movies.  The bonus to this is that we get a night out with dinner and a movie when the movie is finally released!  Win win!  So far we've read "The Fault in Our Stars" and "This is Where I Leave You."  Our newest selection is "The One Hundred Foot Journey."  I can't wait to dive into the new book on the airplane next week.
Image result for the fault in our stars bookImage result for this is where i leave you

** I confess I've had several projects in the works that I'm dying to share with you all, but I can't until after my trip because they're surprises for the trip.  Ugh!  Some are so cool I want to shout them from the rooftops, but I can't for now, so stay tuned!

I hope you all have a great weekend ahead!  Now, hop on over to Leslie's confessional and join the fun with her Blonde Ambition Blog.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Does the title of this post seem extreme?  Maybe.
Is it true? ABSOLUTELY!

Ok, here's the normal life, I have hair that kinda waves on one side, kinda straightens on the other, one part flips, the other part stands straight up, and I have a cowlick that runs down the entire back of my head.  Other than those things I have great hair!  Why do all those negatives matter here?  Well, it matters because I always have to do something with my hair.  I either have to round brush it, flat iron it, or curl it in order to achieve said great hair.  Once I get it to do what I want it to do it's the best hair ever and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

I don't know if it's because I live in the south now, but I truly believe some days just call for BIG HAIR and aerosol hairspray!!  Since moving to Oklahoma, I've embraced hot rollers.  I used to think they were a thing of the past, but they can be great when styled in a modern way.  The curls from my hot rollers are pretty loose curls.  I have always envied the tighter curls that last all day, but I never knew how to get them.

I've tried the techniques using a flat iron to get the curls, but that's harder to achieve on shorter hair. I can get curls, but you practically have to do Cirque du Soliel style moves to get the shorter back pieces curled when trying to twist around a flat iron.  It is quite frustrating.

With my upcoming trip to Vegas, I knew I would want curly hair, but didn't want to pack my big box of hot rollers.  Enter Pinterest, the wonderful world of all great ideas.  I found this great video on how to get long lasting beach wave style curls that last using a curling iron.  All I'd have to pack is my curling iron?  Let me try this!!  It had to be a good tutorial if it's has almost 3.5 million hits, right?  

I decided to get a smaller (3/4 inch) curling iron  than Amy used in her video and give it a try this morning.  It only took me 30 minutes start to finish!!  Here's how I went about getting it done efficiently.

1) I sectioned off my hair.  I decided to work my way from the bottom up.  This way I didn't disturb any of the other curls if I'd worked my way from the top down.
2) I gave the loose sections of hair a good spraying of aerosol hairspray.  I know my hair well enough to know that if I don't give it a good pre-spray it won't hold the curls.

3) I followed Amy's technique in the video to curl all of the loose hair.

4) Once that section was done, I let down another layer of hair, gave it a good spraying, and went about curling all of that hair and then repeated until all of my hair was curled.

5) At first I looked like Nelly from Little House on the Prairie with my ringlet curls all over my head.
Before I shook out the curls I gave them another good spray.  (Really, can you ever use too much aerosol hairspray on your curls??!!)  I left them alone while I got dressed for work and then I shook them loose.  By shook them loose, I mean I bent over and ran my hands through all the curls, shaking them around.  Then I stood up to a giant afro of curls.  I didn't freak out because I knew they would settle down pretty quickly.

6) I sprayed the curls with hairspray once again, because again, you can't have too much hairspray, especially on a damp, humid day in the south.  Once I was done, I gave my whole head a spray with my absolute favorite hair product on the planet, Sexy Hair's Play Dirty spray wax.
A light spray of this product gives your hair the definition you want without weighing it down.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  Have I mentioned it's my all time favorite hair product of all time?  Yeah, I love it.  I get mine at Ulta for about $15 a can.  

Want to see how it turned out?
Great curls, right?  Want to know how I can claim these are all day curls?  I did all that curling at 7am and this picture was taken after 4pm!!  All that hair spray and you'd think I'd have stiff crunchy hair, but I don't.  I have soft, loose curls all these hours later!  

What do you think?  Have you ever tried Amy's technique?  If you haven't, give this a try and then leave a comment below telling us how it worked for you.  I'd love your feedback!

I hope you had a great hair day too!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

One of the projects I tried while I was on blogging hiatus for way too long, was this tip from Pinterest.
I think we've all seen this pin from Pinching Your Pennies blog.
Cleaning the grates on your gas stove...All you have to do is sit and watch!
I too had tried just about everything to clean these nasty grates, but NOTHING worked.  That is, until I decided to put that old pin to the test.  By old, I mean I'd pinned it 2 years ago.  That was back before Pinterest even blew up to the world it is now.  Crazy, right?
See how dingy they were?  I'd scrubbed mine. Soaked them.  Tried different cleaners.  Everything.  But like I said, nothing worked.  This pin seemed too good to be true and too easy.  All you need are ziploc gallon bags, ammonia, and the patience of a saint while you wait forever for them to sit and work their magic.  

I took all four grates off the burners.
Then, I put them in the gallon Ziploc bags with a good solid pour of ammonia.  I didn't measure mine out like the original post did because I'm care free like that.  I just poured for a few seconds and sealed them up.
Then came the hard part.
You have to wait 12 hours.
I sooooo wanted to peek in the bag. bit I didn't.
I waited ALL day.
It was worth it!
After 12 long hours I pulled them out of the baggies, rinsed them in the sink, and they sparkled!  
I didn't have to scrub them at all.
Aren't they purdy (southern for pretty)??!
It's a miracle!
Here's a side by side comparison.
Amazing, right?
My only tips for you would be:
DO NOT use cheap zipper bags.  They will be too thin and will leak.  Use good, solid, thick, freezer style bags that are sturdy enough to stand up to the task.
If you suck at waiting, like me, I would start the process in the evening and then they'll be ready in the morning.  They won't be there taunting you all day.

Have you ever tried this Pinterest tip?
Did it work for you?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Where did my happy go?  I have no idea.  Well, that's a big ol' lie.  I do know and here's where it went.

I haven't been depressed by any means, don't get me wrong, but I do feel like I lost my sparkle for a while.
I wasn't sad, but I wasn't shining and creative like I usually am.  People give me grief for being "uber creative."  "Do you every sleep?" "How do you come up with these things?" "Does your creative brain ever stop?"  The answers are yes I sleep, I don't know I just do, and it does but I also have a lot of ideas a lot of the time...USUALLY...but not lately and I have missed it!  Big time!

The first half of this year was a doozie for me personally.  I had a whirlwind relationship that ended as quickly as it started after a few intense months.  It was kind of a shock to be broken up with because I was everything he ever thought he wanted until he had it.  Yeah, that was confusing.  He was all wishywashy about not sure about wanting to end it or not.  I made that decision easier when I told him to get his shit and go because I wasn't going to be with anyone I had to beg to be with me.  I was pretty damn proud of myself to standing up for myself.  BUT...this isn't where the struggle was.  Some people thought it was, but it wasn't, by any means.

It was mainly school that did me in!  I am a smart cookie.  I don't mean that in a toot my own horn kind of way, it's just that school has come very easily to me in my ripe old age of 37 as a "non-traditional student."  It's not that I've skated through.  It's more that I haven't struggled or haven't had to put in a whole lot of effort in the past.  That all changed this last semester when I struggled in not one, but both of my classes.  I needed a tutor, there were tears, I got some bad grades, I stressed A LOT, and it took its toll on me.  A big toll.  I didn't try any new crafts, recipes, or much of what makes me me.  I lost my me.  My sparkle.  My creativity.  I had no idea how important that all was to me until it was gone.

Once the semester ended I had dinner with two of these lovely ladies.  (One of my very favorite ways to spend an evening.)
A gratuitous group picture because I have very pretty friends.
Sarah and Megan asked if I was ready to start dating again.  It made me realize what I really wanted in that moment.  As far as romance goes, I told them I was open to whatever happens in the romance department, but I wasn't actively out looking for anything because this summer was all about ME!  Me having fun.  Me getting my happy back.  Me getting my sparkle back.  I had realized how much the past semester had taken its toll on me and I wanted to spend the summer doing creative things, trying new recipes, traveling, reading pleasure books instead of textbooks, going to movies, hanging out with friends, going to the gym, and loving life in general.  Basically, nurturing my creative and fun side so I get my sparkle back.

So, kids, that's what I've been doing!  And in honor of are a few teaser pictures of some projects I've been working on lately.  I'll share in more detail, with a tutorial of course, when they're done and given as gifts.

Did you catch the caption below the group picture above?  Maybe it's because I work in a law school, but I feel as though I need to back up my claim with more evidence that I indeed have very pretty friends or maybe it's that I just feel like you all could use a hefty dose of more pretty in your day today.  Either way, YOU'RE WELCOME!
I mean, seriously!  Look at all those gorgeous men and women I get to call my friends.  Lucky, party of one right here.

Anyway, enough silliness (like there could really ever be enough silly), have a great day!

PS:  Who else is watching Big Brother?!!  I can't wait for episode two tonight!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hi there.  Remember me? 

I'm the wacky, super crafty, over sharing blogger that fell off the face of the earth over a year ago.  Oh yeah, that one!  

Did you miss me?  I missed you all.  I'm not just saying that.  I actually did miss you, but to be perfectly honest, I didn't miss all the work that went into a full time blog.  You see, what happened sister went into the doctor for a check up at 8 months pregnant and was put on hospital bed rest because her little peanut wasn't growing.  That was at the end of the academic year so I was busy juggling the end of school year stuff in my job at a law school AND my own personal finals AND helping my brother-in-law with baby sitting Grant while he finished his finals AND visiting Sis every day on top of normal life stuff so you can see where blogging fell by the wayside.  
Gratuitous picture of my nephew, Grant.
Still my favoritest little dude on the planet.
Anyway, Bethany ended up staying in the hospital for what seemed like forever until her little 4lb baby, Ava Sue, was born.  
But don't worry, that tiny little peanut is a beautiful little one year old girl who is healthy, happy, and as feisty as the rest of her female relatives.

In the past year I've thought about blogging, but was too intimidated to dive back in.  I've done all kinds of crafty projects and have taken pictures with the intention of blogging, but couldn't bring myself to make that commitment...until now.  

I'm back and as sassy as ever!
What can you expect from me?  I'm going to aim for a few posts a week.  I'll get you all caught up on what's been happening with me, with my home improvement, with my crafting, with my travels, with my crafting, with my cooking...the list is quite possibly well as new (mis)adventures that are in the works.

I hope you'll strap yourself in and join me for the wild ride!  
I don't want to beg, but I'll do it if you make me.  
Don't make me.
Thank you!!