Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pinterest Challenge! Spring Door Wreath

I am a faithful Young House Love and Bower Power stalker reader, and for the past couple of years they have put on an unofficial Pinterest Challenge. The challenge, according to them, is to “stop pinning and start doing” one of the hundreds of pins on your Pinterest boards.
In the past I have simply read the posts and thought, Gee whiz guys, it sure would be fun to participate in this! (You have to read that like Beaver Cleaver.) But I’ve never actually gotten up and done it! So silly! Pinterest is my go-to for inspiration for everything! Birthday parties, dinner, d├ęcor ideas, all kinds of things.
I actually have a few projects I’d like to complete over the next week or so, and I (miraculously!) have all the supplies I need to do them. So it’s really a matter of getting up and doing it. Hopefully in the next couple weeks I’ll have a few crafty posts for ya. : )
But anyway, back to the craftiness at hand. I needed a new wreath for my front door because I still had my Christmas wreath up. I’m hanging my head in shame right now. I’m fully aware that it’s mid-February, but I just hadn’t taken in down yet. (I know it’s closer to late February than mid-February, but cut me a little slack. Please?)
Here are a couple of pictures of wreaths that I liked. I wanted something simple but still really cute and fun. And color! I love color and it just makes me happy.
I really like this spring wreath with the fringed yarn that looks like grass. 
I LOVE the pinwheels on this wreath. I might do something like this for another wreath (minus the bike wheel). Maybe the Fourth of July?
This is the one that I ultimately referred to as my guide/inspiration. I really like the texture of burlap. : )
I couldn’t/didn’t want to spend much on this wreath, and the only thing I actually ended up having to buy was the wreath form. It ended up being something like $2.75 because I had one of those wonderful Hobby Lobby coupons. God bless craft coupons.
The whole project would have probably only taken me an hour or so if I had worked on it non-stop. But even with breaks to get munsters snacks, bundle munsters up to play in the snow, and stopping munsters from killing each other, I got it done in less than a day. Super simple and easy. Just how I like it!
My munsters playing in the snow : ) What's a snow fort without a pink flag?
I started out by just wrapping my wreath form in strips of burlap and hot-gluing them in place. Then I busted out my fabric scraps, pinking shears and twine and cut out my mini bunting. I considered attaching the little ‘flags’ to ribbon rather than twine, but I liked the texture and the natural look of the hemp twine.
Once I attached the two strands of bunting, I knew that it needed something more to really pop. I considered adding an ‘S’ to the bottom for our last name, but something about it didn’t look right. Then I remembered that I wanted to try Katie Bower’s fabric flower tutorial, and voila!
I’m so happy with the finished product! It even inspired me to clean my front door and storm door windows! In hindsight, I maybe should have bought a larger wreath form, but I’m not too worried about it. I fully subscribe to The Nester’s philosophy: it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Especially since perfection can be so hard to achieve!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Mighty Academy Awards (I Love You, Oscar!)

I love the Oscars! I don’t know when or how it all started, but it’s a night I look forward to every year. I have so much fun filling out my little Oscar ballot—mostly guesses since I don’t think I’ve ever had a year where I’ve seen all the movies—and sitting on the edge of my seat while announcements are made.

I tune in for the red carpet to see the dresses and the stars. It’s fun to see them when they’re not acting in a role and having to cover themselves up. I like to see glimpses of the real personalities of some of my favorites. You can tell (at least I think I can!) when they’re being genuine and when they’re still putting on a show.

My favorite fashions last night were definitely Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Lawrence, and Amy Adams. I’m not obsessed with Jennifers; I just really liked their dresses. : ) Here are their dresses.

She always has such a classy style to her. Love it!

Jennifer Garner gives hope to all the 'cute' girls out there who just want to be beautiful! Plus, I think they're so cute together : )

Very sweet dress. Especially perfect because she's so young.

I really like Amy Adams. She seems like a genuinely kind person

Some of my least favorites (sorry ladies!) were Renee Zellweger, the nipples of Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart and her I’m too good for this scowl, Nicole Kidman, and Halle Berry. Here they are.

Someone needs to tell Renee that it's okay to wear a dress that allows her to breathe. We all know she's not actually as heavy as she got to play Bridget Jones.

I can't. stop. looking. at. them.

"And now, Kristen Stewart will run her hands through her hair once and attend the Oscars, all the while making it perfectly clear that she hates all the people who've made her famous."

I think they're cute together, but I'm not digging her dress this year.

Oh no. Are shoulder pads back??

I’m no fashion expert. Far from it. I just like pretty things. And I LOVE the Oscars. Not sure if I mentioned that. : )

Mr. Bug and I are big movie fans. We’re not really ‘buffs’ or anything like that, but we really enjoy movies. We have our favorite actors and directors, and movies were one of the things that we bonded over when we first met 11 years ago.

We used to attend our college group together on Monday nights and then head back to my apartment to watch a movie and eat cinnamon rolls with my roommates. Every Monday night, this was the tradition. It was so much fun! I recognize that it may sound a bit lame to some, but we’ve never been big drinkers or anything, so this was our idea of a good time : )

Anyway, I won’t go into who should have or shouldn’t have won one of the coveted awards last night. Everyone has their favorites, and I’m pretty happy with who won all the big awards. Besides, this feels like it’s turning into a rambling post, so I better quit while I’m ahead!

(Oh, and by the way, I may or may not have shushed my husband and our guests when Barbra Streisand came onstage to perform last night. She sang one of my favorite songs of all time from one of my favorite movies of all time. I heart her.

All pictures found here

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hey Girl

In case anyone follows me on Pinterest and noticed last week when I started pinning Ryan Gosling ‘Hey Girl’ pictures, I have a post for you! One of the blogs I follow, View Along The Way is throwing a ‘Hey Girl’ linky party and I’m totally jumping on the bandwagon. Poor Ryan has become the scapegoat for ‘Hey Girl’ and here are a few of my Ryan Gosling favorites.

So Kelly invited us all to ‘Hey Girl’-ify our men, and I just couldn’t resist! I mean, Mr. Bug is a hands-down, no arguments here hottie and I want to show him off! (Sorry babe! I know you’re absolutely mortified right now!)
Without further ado, my own personal ‘Hey Girl’ ode to my husband. Hey, ya big stud.



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Is It Way Too Late for a Halloween Post??

I am very aware that it’s February and Halloween was almost three months ago, but I’m trying to catch up on all the posts I didn’t write during my crazy time last year. I can if I want! : )

First on my list of posts to write: Halloween. Since my older sister and I are only an hour apart, we decided to have all of our kids coordinate their costumes this year. We’ve done this in the past too, but this is the first year I feel like we’ve really nailed it. And to ‘nail it’ with five kids and four homemade costumes (I took the easy way out with Judah’s) I think that’s noteworthy. I’m going to give you the condensed version since I can’t remember everything that I did and I didn’t take pictures of all of it. I’m such a good blogger. Are you picking up my sarcasm?

We went with Toy Story for all the kiddos, and before you tell me you think it’s lame (shut up or I’ll cut you) keep in mind that we have three boys and two girls to find costumes for and none of them are terribly happy being background characters. So my oldest nephew got to be Woody and his little brother rocked the Buzz. And since Judah is totally vote-less this year—you don’t get to vote until you can speak intelligibly—he wound up as an alien. They’re cool, right? Eden wanted to be Bo Peep with her awesome dress and Sissy claimed the role of Jessie. “Because I’m going to be a farmer,” she said.

I bought supplies a few weeks before, but in true Brittany fashion I waited to start working on them until three days before we needed completed costumes. ‘Cause that’s how I roll. With Trunk or Treat looming on the Friday night calendar, I started on Jessie’s cowhide jeans on Tuesday evening. All that took was a little cow-print fabric purchased at JoAnn Fabrics, my pinking shears, and some Aileen’s Craft Glue. I just took a look at pictures of Jessie I found online and covered a pair of jeans with the fabric similar to hers.

I chose to use a pair of jeans that were just a smidge too short for Adaleine since I thought I was ruining them by gluing the fabric on. I happily discovered upon washing them (after we were through with them, thank goodness) that Aileen’s glue is not washable, so the fabric washed right off. I was so glad that I didn’t try to wash everything before Halloween, and also glad that the jeans weren’t ruined after all! They were happily passed on to a little girl at church. : )

Next I started on Jessie’s shirt. I used a hand-me-down button up shirt and went to work. I painted the yellow first with craft paint and once that dried I added the red ‘stitching’ on top with more craft paint. I was so excited with how Jessie was coming together!! I didn’t mess with trying to make her a yarn wig (although I totally should since a couple of clueless people thought I’d dressed my daughter up as Woody for some reason) but I did find a foam hat at a craft store that I spray painted red and added white stitching to the outside.

This was my Instagram 'sneak peek' of Sissy's shirt. 

Bo Peep was a bit more challenging, but I was really excited to do it. I found a light pink shirt at a second-hand store and started out by cutting the collar the way I wanted it and adding lace to the bodice. From there I used some white broadcloth I already had and glued on some pink felt for the dots just like Bo’s on the movie. Using two homemade tutu’s that we already had (thanks, Aunt Tiffany!) we fluffed up her skirt so it was nice and full. It sounds a little bit simple the way I’m describing it, but I had to sew and re-sew a few times to get it right. It took forever and I was SO frustrated!

Bo Peep 'sneak peek' on Instagram!

Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase and just give you a slideshow of the Halloween hooplah : )

The whole TOY STORY crew!!!


Hope you enjoyed the munsters and their little outfits; we had so much fun! Happy Halloween! ; )

Monday, February 4, 2013

Did Ya Catch That Show Last Night?

Way to go Ravens, huh? Right? Isn’t that who won the Super Bowl last night? I honestly have no idea. I didn’t even know who was playing until yesterday at church when the pastor asked who everyone was rooting for.

Mr. Bug and I took the munsters with us to a Super Bowl party at a friend’s house with a bunch of other friends from church and we hung out there for a while. He sat on the sectional watching the game with a bunch of other guys and I ate way too much junk food and chatted with the ladies and kept an eye on the kiddos. Like I said, I had no interest in watching the game and really couldn’t have cared less.

I used to like watching the commercials. I used to think the halftime show was fun and entertaining. But then last year we watched part of the Super Bowl with our kids and I think that changed things for me.

I found myself having to keep changing the channel during the commercials because some of the content wasn’t anything I wanted my little girls to see. Don’t get me wrong, some of the commercials were really funny and very clever, but it seems like anymore they just settle for cheap toilet humor and girls in bikinis. Are there 14-year-old boys writing these commercials?

When last year’s halftime show with Madonna rolled around, I was excited to have the girls see this performer that I had grown up hearing. I really should have known better! After a couple of comments from my sweet girls about how Madonna and the dancers in the halftime show “don’t look very modest,” we eventually just shut off the game. What’s the point anyway, right?

I have been on Facebook today and seen one or two articles about how bad some of last night’s commercials were. GoDaddy is gross. Some guy wanted his favorite t-shirt back so bad he risked waking up the random girl he slept with to get it back. Beyonce danced around provocatively in her underwear. The more I read, the happier I am that the kids and I missed it.

There is no call to action or anything here. The companies that made the more offensive ads are unlikely to change their marketing strategies, the halftime shows will probably continue to feature shapely girls dancing around in various stages of undress, and the entire program will include topics and images I don’t want my kids to see. The best I can do is to protect them as much as I can and try to teach them about what they might see out in ‘the real world.’ Good luck to all of us! : )

If you’ve got any suggestions for me as to how to explain any of these images to my munsters, I’d love to hear them!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Movies I Can't Resist

Everyone has their favorite movies that they just can’t get enough of. If you’ve been visiting here for a while, you’d probably guess that I’m not much for happy and flowery movies where everything ends up perfect and sunshine-y. I have my exceptions, of course, but for the most part I like movies that are a little bit…let’s just call it grittier and a bit more painful. : )

I’d like to share with you a list of my favorite movies in no particular order. I’ll watch pretty much anything with the exception of horror movies, but I definitely have my favorites!

The Way We Were (1973) – This movie starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford is the one I would feel comfortable saying really is my number one favorite movie of all time. The story has it all: Robert Redford (helloooo!), an amazing song by Barbra (yes we ARE on a first-name basis), ups, downs, and an ending that makes your heart literally ache. I love you Katie and Hubbell Gardner.

Warrior (2011) – This is kind of an under-the-radar movie starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton. Nick Nolte was nominated for a Best Supporting Oscar for his role in this movie and was completely robbed when he didn’t get it. This story is gritty, depressing, and so real. I love the authenticity of Nick Nolte’s desperation in this story. “I’m really trying here, Tommy.” I feel your pain, old man.

Sense and Sensibility (1995) – I could just as easily have replaced this title with Pride & Prejudice or Persuasion, but Emma Thompson plays the role of Elinor Dashwood so beautifully that she takes the cake. Her character is so composed and calm that I often do as her sister says in the movie and compare my actions to what hers would be in a similar situation. I love all of Jane Austen’s stories, but Elinor is without a doubt her most admirable heroine of all.

The Godfather (1972) – Al Pacino is Michael Corleone. Period. He tries to stay out of his family’s ‘business’ and wants to play it straight. He wants to make the business legitimate once he’s pulled in. He’s fighting and struggling and it’s ugly and dirty. But sometimes life is just ugly and full of struggle and you need to put a horse’s head in a dude’s bed. You do what you gotta do.

French Kiss (1995) – Kevin Kline as an unkempt but charming French thief and Meg Ryan when she was still cute. Some of my favorite lines of all time are from this movie. “When someone tells me they are happy, my ass begins to twitch” and “Of course you know him. All you bastards know each other!” Pure gold. Go rent it. Now. Seriously!

The Break-Up (2006) – The fight that Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston have at the beginning of this movie is so real it’s uncomfortable to watch. I’ve seen fights like that. They’re ugly and they’re no-holds-barred. Just like their portrayal. Their world is full of misunderstandings and letdowns and lost hopes, which is what I imagine would happen in a relationship if one person did all the giving and one did all the taking. Sad, but honest and real.
I definitely have other favorites, but these are the ones that I will rarely turn down the chance to watch. Some of them could be classified as ‘downers’ but I appreciate the reality of the darker ones and the charm and wit of the lighter ones. If you haven’t seen them, go check them out. What are some of your favorites? Do tell, I can always add to my list! : )