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DIY Wedding Favors!


This weekend, in our part of the state, was “Mid-Winter break” which, essentially is a week (or long weekend in our case) off of school to (hopefully) help rid schools of the endless cycle of colds and the flu.

That meant that I had a 5 day weekend (opposed to my usual 3!) The first day of my break, was spent helping a good friend, who, conveniently enough, shares the same name as me, though she spells it differently.

She and I have been working really hard helping piece together the plans for her wedding this spring. About a week ago, we went out and casually scoped out Hobby Lobby, and a few other stores just to see if there was anything we could get for their wedding. We ended up finding more than we had expected! We found these adorable little bottles for her wedding favors!

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While at Hobby Lobby, we also found moss, (two different kinds) and these adorable figurines. This shopping trip inspired her to make little mini “terrariums” as favors for her wedding guests. She got the idea from a couple of places. She had ordered her fiancé a super cute Chewbacca terrarium a while back (Sorta like this one, but a little different..) and from this pin she found on pinterest. (Follow my blog on pinterest, if you haven’t already!)

Here is a photo of the finished product:

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Enough with the back story, lets get crafting! to make these terrarium’s you’ll need:

Bottles of some sort, we bought these ones from hobby lobby. (still on sale!)
Moss, we bought this one, and this one.
Sand
Figurines
Twine
Tags
Tweezers
Glue (optional)

Above are photos of our supplies (most of them.)

Step 1:
Remove price tags from bottles (if applicable) – To do this, soak them in warm soapy water. To dry, we used a couple hair dryers, but you could also let them air dry.

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Step 2:
Once all the bottles are dry, put them out on your work surface. Then fill one by one with about 1 tablespoon of sand. The container of sand we purchased filled 35 of our bottles.

Step 3:
Cut your Spanish moss into small pieces, and place them inside each bottle. If you’re using the Spanish moss, remember to cut it first, we learned that the hard way.

Step 4:
Tear off a small piece of the other moss, and place inside the bottle on top of the Spanish moss. I made sure you could see the Spanish moss underneath the green moss.

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Step 5:
Figurines. We sorted ours first, and planned out how we were going to place them in each bottle. My friend grabbed some tweezers to easily place them in the bottles. We ended up sticking some glue on the bottom of a couple to keep them in place.

Step 6:
Put lids on each bottle, and use some twine to attach a tag.

Bonus Step Tags:
I made the tags for this gift using my trusty cricut. These were custom made, but there are plenty of options out there on the cricut website, and even pinterest. I suggest making something that fits the vibe for the wedding/event, but also goes with the bottles well.

Here are some more photos of the finished product!

 

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A Christmas to Remember.


Alright! I’m home, settled and have completed a full week back at work, post Christmas in

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Meiko wearing my antlers

Colorado! I thought I’d post a “how our Christmas went” type of blog, since Lauren took the time to do so too!

 

We started Christmas Eve with Mitchell’s family. Breakfast, and stockings, and a little bit of time just hanging out. It was low-key and drama free. 4 pups, 9 people and Christmas Cheer.

After we had finished celebrations with them, we decided it was time to finish up packing, and spend some more time with Kitten before we left her for the week. (This was the longest we’ve ever left her, I was feeling really guilty.)

We had an uber come pick us up, and we nervously, and excitedly packed all our luggage in the back of her explorer, and headed on our way to the airport. I don’t fly very often, and actually, the last time I was on a plane was 2009 when my stepdad passed away. I was a little nervous and unsure how quickly we’d be able to get through security, and even more worried about how my anxiety would img_7782be on the plane. I don’t have a normal and rational fear of the plane crashing (and honestly I personally would never be afraid of that…) My anxiety about flying is ridiculous and silly, but it’s very real.

Mitchell and I decided to get to the airport early.

Never. Again.

It’s been ages since I’ve flown, and even longer since I’ve flown on my own (those of you that followed me from LiveJournal will remember the last time I flew alone was 2007 to Texas.)

Last time I flew things were a little different, and being three and a half hours early for your flight was no big deal.

So Mitchell and I thought nothing of getting to the airport a little early, put our anxieties at ease, and have a little time to relax before hopping on a plane full of complete strangers.

Imagine our surprise when we got there and our airline had a sign saying no one was going to be at the counter until 2 hours before flight. We had 2 checked bags, which meant we couldn’t go through security or anything until they were at the counter. So we had a long 1.5 hour wait… we sat, and talked, my anxiety rose, people stared at us.

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Mitchell and I post security, showing off our attire.

oh, pause! I forgot to tell you! We went to the airport in our Christmas PJ’s (Mitchell’s Christmas Pikachu PJ’s and my Bumble PJ’s) wearing our Pikachu hoodies and a santa hat, and I had antlers and Mitchell had Pikachu ears on top of our santa hats! We both had these fabulous christmas light necklaces that I found on amazon.

Once employees showed up at the counter, we lined up (took a good 30 minutes to get through the counter) and we headed off to security! Everything went smoothly, and the photo above was us celebrating finally making it through security! We wondered down timg_7799o our gate, found it, and then decided it was time to find a place to get some food and a drink or two.

We stumbled across this place called Africa Lounge. We sat in the bar, Mitchell ordered a
“large” beer (which to our surprise was HUGE) and I got their alcoholic coffee. It was super delicious, we sat, ate some food and gushed about how excited we were to be on our very first vacation!

After our meal at the Africa Lounge, we continued on to the nearby bookstore, picked up a bottle of water (mitchell has to take some congestion meds when he flies, and we both felt we needed to hydrate.)  We picked up a few fun souvenirs for Lauren and Elisabeth, and headed to the gate. We got t

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Successfully boarded on the plane!

here just in time for boarding, and loaded on the plane. We got settled, my anxiety went down a little, and we sat back and relaxed.

 

While on our 2.5 hour flight to Denver, we goofed off, closed our eyes, and made friends with the girl sitting next to us (bless her heart, I may have accidentally caught her in the background of some of our selfies.

Mitchell played some games on his phone, I listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on Audible and we both took turns watching out the window.

We didn’t fall asleep at all, but we did close our eyes, our flight left at 7, and landed at 10:30. We had been up since 8am, and with a mixture of holiday stress, and traveling stress, we were exhausted!

About 15 minutes before landing we turned off our music and chatted about how  excited

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Sleepy, but incredibly happy to be on vacation!

we were to get to Colorado and see our friends. We also looked out the window and guessed what we could see.

 

We came to the conclusion that we could see Colorado Springs, which is where Lauren’s parents live, and what we assume was a bunch of other nearby towns.

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The plane has landed! 

Our flight was pretty uneventful, we had some turbulence, that the flight attendants were spooked by, but honestly it wasn’t bad at all. It did cause one of the bathroom doors to fly open, but I bet it wasn’t closed all the way.

 

Once the plane had landed they told us we could turn off airplane mode, and we texted Lauren to let her know we had landed.

We got off the plane, and Mitchell went to the bathroom while I explored a nearby gift shop.

I looked for snacks but decided to just wait until we left the airport.

While walking to baggage claim, we found this guy, so we both decided to pose with him, I don’t have a copy of the photo of me, because it is on Mitchell’s phone, and I’m too lazy to ask for it. 😀img_7851

We wondered our way down the escalator, to the train, and then to baggage claim.

Once at baggage claim, we heard several people pointing and saying “They were on our flight!”

All day people were snapping photos of us, pointing, and cheering us on. The flight attendants, and everyone we came in contact with loved our outfits and Christmas spirit. How else would one travel on Christmas eve?? 😛

Our bags were the first off the plane (WIN!) and we headed out to get in the car with Lauren and Sidney!

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Lauren’s photo of her stocking goodies

Once we got to their house, we had a snack and went to bed, we were exhausted! We woke up the next day to a delicious breakfast cooked by both Sidney and Lauren, and enjoyed their company.

 

We all had agreed that we’d spend the day at home just relaxing. So we did, and it was wonderful. We opened stockings, ate yummy food and played games together.

later in the evening, Lauren’s parents came, we had dinner, opened some wonderful and

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Christmas Dinner, sorry, I had eaten most of it already

thoughtful gifts, and enjoyed the company. It truly was one of the best Christmases we’ve had, ever. Good food, good company, lots of happiness, and love. I am so grateful for Lauren and Gene inviting us into their home on such a major holiday! We are so lucky to have such loving and caring people in our lives!

 

Ken and Kathy (Lauren’s parents, two people I have always adored) brought some gifts for everyone, and some delicious Christmas dinner!

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A thoughtful ornament made by Lauren’s Family

After Christmas dinner we hung out a bit more and went to bed. We didn’t have any solid plans for the week, but I think the plan for Monday was to go into Denver and look at the Capitol building, get brunch and explore a little.

 

We woke up Monday morning, and Lauren told us that the Capitol building was closed, but we could still go into the city if we wanted, we ended up deciding to not do so, but we did go to the COOLEST museum Mitchell and I have been to.

Lauren took us into Denver to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Boy was it busy there! So many people had the same great idea we had, but that didn’t stop us! We spent a whole 5 hours at the museum and still didn’t see everything. I’ve included some of the photos we took there, below.

We came home that night, and relaxed, played more games, and enjoyed good food.

img_8021Tuesday, we went into Denver, saw Lauren’s work, and went to the 16th Street Mall and

went into the cutest little store called I (heart) Denver and bought souvenirs for Mitchell’s mom and our friends Katy and Adam.

 

Then, we went to REI to rent snowshoes, for our snowventure the next day! The REI we went to was MASSIVE. As a Seattleite, I honestly have never seen an REI as huge as this one. It was amazing!

We came home after a very long day out (another 5 hours) without lunch, starving, and exhausted. We ate dinner (Noodle soup made by Lauren.) img_8036

After dinner, we sat down and worked on our D&D characters with Elisabeth and Lauren.

Lauren, Gene, Sidney and Elisabeth have been playing D&D for quite some time, and Lauren has been inviting me to play for just about as long as she’s been playing.

Mitchell and I discussed it and decided we wanted to give it a try while we were in Denver, so that night we sat down, created our characters, and played the first half of our very first D&D adventure!

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We were off to a rough start, both rolling 1s, but I ended up having much better luck the rest of the game and kicked major butt.

We played for about an hour that night, and had a blast, but by the end of the evening, we were exhausted. I went to bed after we finished D&D for the evening, Mitchell stayed up and played video games with Sidney.

The next day, Wednesday, We woke up early, layered up, and took the snowshoes up to the Rocky Mountains.

It was just Mitchell, Lauren and I, but we were all super excited to snowshoe together!

We packed up, got in the car and headed toward the mountains. Lauren took us to Estes Park. It was a little bit of a drive, but it wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed looking around, we drove through Boulder, and even drove past the hotel that inspired The Shining.

As we climbed higher we saw our first snow flurries (first for the entire visit, Denver didn’t get any snow, it was colder here in Seattle!)

We pulled into the park, only to have a ranger tell us it wasn’t safe for her car. He directed us to another area (Devil’s Gulch) to snowshoe. So we turned around and headed there. Sadly there wasn’t enough snow to snowshoe, but we did hike! We saw some amazing sights, and several elk! It was all around a great time!

We came home that evening, and went out to dinner at a vegan restaurant called Native Foods. (There’s one in Oregon, and I plan on visiting it!)  The food there was DELICIOUS, and I wish we had one locally!

After dinner,

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The last photo I took at Lauren’s house

we came back, finished out or D&D, I made butterbeer and then we headed to bed.

Thursday, we woke up, hung out, and Lauren and I went to return the snowshoes that we sadly didn’t get to use, and we came home, relaxed, since it was our last day there, and played games. I went to bed around 9pm. We had to be up and out of the house by 3:30 am.

We packed everything up that night, and said our goodbyes to Elisabeth, (Sidney was already in bed) and set our alarms for our early wake-up.

We sadly woke up, loaded up the car and headed to the airport before anyone else was awake for the day.

 

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Gene came with Lauren to drop us off. We said our goodbyes and headed in. The atmosphere in the airport this time wasn’t quite as chipper, and the lines were longer. We
waited 45 mintues to check our bags, and then 30 minutes through security. Then we had to ride the train to our flight. We got some breakfast at Dunkin Doughnuts, and then we got to the gate with just 5 minutes to spare before they boarded us.img_8243

Our flight home was uneventful, I slept most of it, and woke up just in time to see this beautiful view!

Overall, it was a wonderful way to spend our Christmas. Mitchell and I had a great time, and definitely plan on visiting again! We both agree that this was the best way to spend our favorite time of the year!

Below, are some photos I didn’t include in the post, mainly Lauren’s cat Pippin.

 

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“Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keep friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.”


Day 2: 100 days of Happy:

Today, memories of my childhood are making me happy. As a child, my mother nannied for a family of 8. 6 kids two adults, and various pets (dogs, cats, fish…) most of my memories are with their family. Today, I’m filled with hilarious and wonderful memories surrounding their mom, my “Auntie Bea”

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I’m going to share just a few with you today. I found out yesterday that even after an intense battle with tumors, which she won, she is not doing very well and suffered a heart attack. My heart is with her and her family today and every day.

She was always smiling, and loved being with her children. Birthdays in their house were always a big deal, and even if you didn’t want to, she would make you wear underwear on your head. 🙂

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When we were younger, their youngest, Kurt, and I would bring her slugs out of the garden and she would pay us for each slug we found and killed.

She was always there for us, if I (as I so openly did) cried she was there with a smile ready to make me laugh.

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She isn’t just a wonderful friend and mom, she was also an incredibly talented artist. As a child I remember staring at her work in awe. It just came so naturally to her, and I always remember dreaming of being as talented as she is.

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So, for day 2 of my 100 days of Happy series, I’m happy to have had the Burress family, and more specifically, Auntie Bea!

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CROCK-POT Creamy Chicken Italiano


This recipe is one that my boss has had for ages. I make it for them about once a week in the autumn/winter, and LOVE eating the left overs the next day.

I don’t have any photos for this recipe, since I’ve never made it at home, but I know the recipe by heart and for any/all meat eaters you’ll LOVE THIS!

What You’ll need:
4 frozen costco chicken breasts (or any frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts.)
Powdered Italian Dressing mix
1 Can of Cream of ANYTHING. Seriously Cream of chicken, mushroom, cheddar, celery… any of it works!
1 8 oz package of Cream cheese (the kind that comes in the box works best.)
1/2 cup water
Crock pot

What you’ll need to do:
Put your chicken (FROZEN) breasts into your crock-pot. Mix together your packet of italian dressing & your 1/2 cup water, pour over chicken. Cover & cook on LOW for 5 hours. This is when I bring the cream cheese out of the fridge & set it on the counter, leave it there until the next step.
Next, once you’ve cooked the chicken for 5 hours, mix together your can of cream of whatever, and the cream cheese. Add the mixture to the crock pot & cook on HIGH for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.

Thats it, once it’s done cooking it’s ready to serve. Serve over rice or egg noodles… or whatever your preference. Serve with a nice green veggie and you’ll have an amazing, easy and delicious dinner!

 

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Thankful November


I’m hoping to post at least once a day from now until Thanksgiving (the end of the month if I can manage it.) So here is my first post 🙂

Today, I’m thankful for this sweet blonde haired blued eyed little girl. She is a huge ball of energy. I’ve watched this princess go from a tiny itty bitty baby to a bright sweet ball of excitement. I cannot even begin to tell you just how wonderful this little girl is. Spending 5 days a week with her for the entire span of her little life so far has been amazing. I truly am blessed her family picked me to watch her grow with them.

I’ll always cherish being able to watch her grow and sing songs with her. As she grows I’ll always be able to look back and smile at the days when she’d sing “We ya ya” and “I wuv yoo” I’ll never forget the year she was a peacock for halloween (photo above, with the help of my friend, we made it.) The first year she went trick or treating and every time someone complimented her she’d say “FANK YOU, SO ARE YOU!” and “I’M CUTE!” I just adore this little girl, and I’m blessed to know she adores me just the same 🙂

 

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Yay for Traditions!


 

Yesterday, we continued our tradition of carving pumpkins with one of my oldest, and one of our dearest friends, Thomas. It’s been 3 years now of us carving pumpkins together, and though other people have come and gone from the equation, and moved on with their lives, we’ve always managed to get the three of us together for a few awesome traditions.

I made chili, which I’ll post the EASY recipe at the bottom of this post, and my VERY first home made apple pie, made from scratch without any help! Yay! I haven’t tried it yet though, but I heard it was pretty good.

Onto the DELICIOUS chili recipe!

I made this up on my own, so you can always change it to however you think you’d like it best!!

1lb ground beef, ground turkey, chicken or tofu, or whatever you prefer
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato SAUCE, the small cans.
2 cans Bushes CHILI beans, Medium trust me. I’m a wimp when it comes to spices and medium is the way to go, never get mild, at least get medium haha
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 package chili seasoning (or home made)
1 cup diced onion (I just use minced onion you buy in the seasoning section!)

Cook meat, until brown/done. Drain fat
toss meat, and all the other ingredients into a large pot.
heat until hot
top with cheese, sour cream, onions or whatever you prefer!
Eat then enjoy!

 

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2 years!!


It’s hard to believe that two years ago at 20 after 10 in the morning I got a phone call letting me know that a precious baby girl was on the way! This afternoon that same precious baby will be turning 2 years old. I would have never imagined just how much I could have fallen in love with her. Just how hilarious she’d be and just how much she’d impact my life.

This is for you Sweet little Miss. May all your dreams come true, and no boy EVER break your wonderful little heart.