new daily deal boutique craft site and giveaway!

I have a bit of a different post for you guys today. If you've been around for a while, you know I have a girl crush on Rachel from Maybe Matilda. Rachel's mom owns a shop in Utah called The Bungalow Boutique. That's awesome, but I'm pretty sure I'll never make it to Utah for a shopping trip. Sad.  

That’s why the topic of today’s post is so great. Rachel's mom contacted me and asked me to share the big news with you: in addition to the brick and mortar boutique, the Bungalow is opening an online discount website,  BB Daily Deals, which will feature great items from the store at special discounted prices!

BB Daily Deals’ setup is simple: just sign up with your email address, click the link in the automatic confirmation email you receive from the site to complete your sign up, and start shopping. I signed up in about 2 minutes - that's it. You’ll receive 2 emails per week (don’t worry about overwhelming, obnoxious daily or multiple daily emails!) featuring a trendy new deeply discounted item from The Bungalow Boutique. All sorts of great items will be featured, from cute boutique clothing and accessories to seasonal home décor to adorable kitchen items.

The first deal will be featured on Monday, October 1st, so head over and sign up so you don’t miss a thing! Since the featured items will be marked down from their original prices, they will only be available in limited quantities, and you won’t want to miss them.

Perhaps you’d like to see some of the goodies lined up to be sold at a special discount over the first few weeks?
Some of the items featured will include metal cowgirl jewelry, handmade key fobs in bright and cheery fabrics, adorable embellished cleaning gloves, and crochet flower headbands, all marked down from their normal in-store prices.

If you paid attention to the post title, you are probably waiting for me to talk about the giveaway. Take a look:


These adorable picture frames! (Sorry, Rachel's precious baby photos not included in giveaway prize package.)


One winner will receive this cute set of picture frames. I’m loving the dainty metal lace around the edges and the distressed finish—so trendy and fun and great for just about any home décor style. This frame set is a $60 value that will be sold at an awesome discount in a few weeks on the daily deals site, but one of you will get them early for FREE. Yay!

Here’s how you can enter to win a set of photo frames:

1. Pop over to BB Daily Deals and enter your email address in the sign up box on the home page to be notified of new deals. 
***IMPORTANT: You MUST confirm your email address via the link in the confirmation email you will receive from the site to be entered to win! If you don’t confirm, you won’t get any emails from the site and, hence, won’t receive an email notifying you if you’re the winner!***

That’s it! No comments on this post are necessary to tell me that you fulfilled these steps . . . winners will be chosen directly from the BB Daily Deals confirmed email list. (And in case you are protective of your email address, it will not be passed around or shared with other sites—we hate unwanted emails, too.)
Good luck!


finished rose cross stitch

Remember this in progress post for my rose cross stitch piece?

I finished it a few weeks ago, but I just got around to framing it this past weekend.

Let me tell you a little story about what an unnecessary chore it was to get this in a frame.

In my mind, I saw this framed in a super chunky square goldish colored frame. Ever tried to find a 7" ornate square frame? Good luck. I looked at all of the stores I have been in for the last few weeks and I obviously didn't have any success finding what I wanted. I even went so far as to consult the mysterious custom framing department at Michael's. I've always wondered how much it was. Would it cost me $40, $60, maybe even $75 to get exactly wanted? So I asked. Then I laughed in the guys face when he told me it would cost $120 to get what I was looking for. Ok, I didn't actually laugh in his face. I politely said no thank you and walked away. But in my imagination I laughed in his face because that is CRAZY. 

I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to make do with a store brought frame. I came across this oval frame at Hobby Lobby on sale for $10 and decided it would work. It would work because there is no way that I would pay $120 for a frame ever. The color of the frame wasn't perfect but I figured I could fix that with a little acrylic craft paint. 

 This picture shows the original color a little better. It was not yellow gold enough for what I wanted. I went ahead and dry brushed a very small amount of gold paint on and let it dry while I ironed the hoop lines out of my fabric. 

I tried something new to frame this one. In the stitching aisle at Hobby Lobby I found this self-adhesive mounting board. I cut it down to fit in my frame, stuck on my freshly ironed stitching, and wrapped the fabric around the sides of the board and taped it to the back. If you are looking for a way to frame your stitching, I would recommend this type of board. It was less than $3 for an 8"x10" and it really makes your work look smooth and nice. I'll definitely be using this in the future. 

For now, I decided to hang it right above my nightstand. I don't think it will stay there forever, but I kind of like having it where I see it a lot. It makes admiring my own handiwork so much easier. 

Beauty shot time!

So even though I didn't get exactly the frame I wanted, I am pleased with how it turned out. Plus, if I ever find the elusive 7" square ornate chunky gold frame of my dreams I can peel off the adhesive board and reframe it. 

It feels good to get a finished project completely finished.



stuff i bought in disney world

I promised on instagram that I would share a few of the things I brought home from Disney World. For those that have been anxiously awaiting the post, breathe easy, the time has arrived!

We try go to Disney World about every year or year and half and over the course of our trips our souvenir buying habits have changed. When we first starting going we bought a lot of, well, junk. Silly magnets, notepads, pens, and other various items that no longer exist or we don't care about. Over time I've come to really think about what we buy and try to pick things that I feel like will fit well in our home, that we will love for years to come, and that remind us of the good times we had together. 

I know this may seem like too much deep thinking about the things we buy on vacation, but if you've seen Disney's prices you know things don't come cheap. Not at all. It is so easy for $100 to fly out of your pockets by lunchtime if you aren't careful about impulse buying. 

Enough back story, huh? Let's get to a few of the things I got. 

First up, I threw down a pretty big chunk of change for this Dooney & Bourke wallet that features classic retro attraction icons from the Magic Kingdom. Before you start thinking that I am throwing around fancy name brands because I think I am so cool, just know that this is my first and only designer anything. I feel ok about a one time purchase of an expensive accessory that I will use every day and that I can move from purse to purse. It will look great in my $20 Target purses. Ha. Plus, I get to look at it about 10 times a day so it is a pleasant reminder of our Magic Kingdom.

I also picked up these retro inspired Magic Kingdom glasses. I just love the little icons. They remind me of the vintage juice glasses I always see at antique malls. This purchase is edging into "I don't know why I bought this" territory but I couldn't resist. I looked at them several times and told myself that if I still wanted them at the end of the week I would pick them up. So I did.

My favorite buy is this Mary Blair it's a small world wrapped canvas. I really love the artwork of Mary Blair and I really love it's a small world, so this was a must buy. It's currently hanging in our bedroom and the bold colors along with the black and white look perfect in our bedroom. I love it. It doesn't scream Disney, but it means something to us - an artistic, non-touristy souvenir reminder of one of our favorite rides. It's probably one of my favorite things I've ever brought home from Disney World. 

One last thing I wanted to share because it might just be the cutest thing ever. I picked this out at the Japan pavilion in Epcot. I don't even like cats, so maybe this one should be shelved with the "I don't know why I bought this" glasses. I guess I like cats in the shape of teapots?

We of course bought the obligatory mound of junk for Sawyer. Mostly as bribes to get him to go along with what we wanted. Don't judge. It was vacation. Our kid is off the charts cray-cray. We were on the brink of insanity 80% of the time (the other 20% is the limited sleep we got). So we bought toys and candy and cookies to placate the wild beast. Oh well. 

What about you? What is your favorite thing you have ever brought home from vacation?



disney world (and dawson's creek?)

You might have known, or guessed by my complete silence on the blog for the last 2 weeks, that we were on vacation. You might also know that we have a bit of a thing for Disney World. (Just a little.)

We packed up our huge, crammed suitcases and braved traveling with a toddler. Sawyer was an angel child on the plane, but everywhere else he was his usual wild self - running wild through the airport and parks, earning every one of the dirty stares from other travelers.  To say it was a challenging week is putting it lightly. Even with all of the work that goes with bringing a toddler anywhere, we managed to have a great time and enjoy the parks we love so much. 

Sawyer loved all of the rides we went on. We went on it's a small world three times and he sang along. In case you didn't know, it is the best thing in the world when your child loves something as much as you do. To see that cute little mouth botching all of the words to the small world song while he rode along was a sweet thing. As the less motion sickness prone parent, I rode every single spinning ride with Sawyer. I lucked out and got to ride the teacups, Carousel, Astro-Orbiter, Dumbo, and the Flying Carpets. Lots of spinning. I'm trying not to be too sappy here, but it really was the best to see the joy and wonder in his face as he experienced "our" Magic Kingdom. 

Of course there are plenty of things he couldn't do, so I took a couple of afternoons and roamed the parks alone to ride all of my favorites. Shout out to Anderson who took my crazy child back to the room for a nap while I played. (Did I just give someone a shout out on my blog? I'm a little rusty at this whole blogging thing I guess.)

 He was really not a fan of the characters. No crying or screaming, but he just didn't want them close to him. The only times we attempted meeting characters were at the character meals we made reservations for, so I'm glad we didn't waste a bunch of time standing in line for the meets. Maybe next time he'll be ready to meet Mickey. 

 Of course we did the tourist thing and bought a bunch of Mickey shaped junk for Sawyer. But come on - you have to admit he looks awfully cute in those ears. I also bought a few other souvenirs that I love. I'll share those once I can get out my big girl camera and take some pictures. So we're looking at like 2 months until you see those... (kidding, I hope.)

We tried to enjoy the World Showcase in Epcot (the shots above are from Canada), but Sawyer didn't enjoy being buckled in the stroller one bit. He would last about 10 minutes before the fits started, so there wasn't much relaxing strolling while taking in the sights. More like crazed, sweaty speed walking. 

We spent only a few hours at Animal Kingdom. There isn't much for 2 year olds to do at this park, so we pretty much rode the safari and headed out. I attempted taking him to the Lion King show. It was so much fun when I had to put Sawyer in a choke hold to keep him from crawling under people's legs and running into the performance. He was entertained for about 10 minutes, and then everyone else around us was entertained by Sawyer's screaming, whining, flailing performance and my desperate attempts to contain him.

Of course we ate a bunch of junk on vacation. It's what you do, right? In all actuality, we didn't eat too terribly, mostly because we didn't have time to eat a whole meal before we were go go going after Sawyer. 

This post is a little spotty and weird and I'm having a hard time summing up a whole vacation in one post without being too wordy. I'll tell you this - traveling with Sawyer was hard at times. He is challenging even in a familiar environment, so putting him into a crazy place like Disney World was asking for trouble. When we figured out how to just relax and let Sawyer let us know what he wanted to do, the whole mood of the trip changed. 

Sawyer's favorite thing to do? Swim. He loved playing in the pool with Anderson, and he was really in heaven when we found out there was a water slide that he could go down all by himself. He asked to swim about ten times a day, and we gave in when we could. 

It was a great vacation, but coming home was great too. I missed our bed, our shower with actual water pressure, Sawyer's schedule, and a bunch of other things that you don't fully appreciate until you are away. 

I'm glad to be back and hoping to catch up with some projects and get back to blogging a little more. I started a cross stitch project on vacation but when I realized I miscounted and will have to redo a bunch of stitching, I quit. Maybe I'll pick that back up. Until things get settled around the house and at work, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. 

I wanted to also throw in a quick thanks to all of you guys. I hit 1,200 followers, which is pretty amazing to me. I get so many sweet comments that I am terrible about responding to and yet you sweet people keep leaving them. I read and appreciate all of your words and encouragement, so thank you. This blog is kind of a dream of mine, and even though things are slow right now, I'm not going anywhere. Thanks for reading.  

 One more thing that I need to talk about. I started watching Dawson's Creek on Netflix. (Please please don't tell me what happens.) I didn't like Dawson from the very first episode, so I am really hoping that Joey doesn't end up with him. He's so whiny and those puppy dog eyes kind of gag me. I know I'm like 10 years to late to the DC train, but if anyone else would like to chime in, feel free.

Vacation. Thanks for reading. Dawson's Creek. Random enough?



tutorial: stitched hand print

(Here's another contributing post I did for 30 Days. Hope you enjoy.)

Every six months I have been trying to get a hand print of Sawyer's to keep and reminisce over as he grows up (so quickly!). There are the more traditional ways - clay or paint - but I wanted to incorporate my love of embroidery into this keepsake.

To make one of your own you will need:
  • a traced hand print from your kid of choice
  • two fabrics - the back fabric (I used white) and the hand print fabric (the yellow flowery fabric I used)
  • needle and thread
  • embroidery hoop
  • water soluble pen to trace your pattern
  • small, sharp scissors - needlework scissors are ideal

 I traced my son's hand and then traced over that with a thick, black marker so I could see it better through the fabric while I traced.

See how you can still see the black marker through the fabric? Trace over it with a water soluble ink pen and you are almost ready to stitch.

 To get ready to stitch, you want to layer your two fabrics - white on bottom and yellow on top. You'll see why I did it like this.

Back stitch around your traced hand pattern. You'll be stitching through both layers of fabric at the same time.

Take your fabric out of the hoop and begin to cut away the excess yellow fabric. I cut away the majority to get it out of the way and then cut closely around the backstitching (about 1/4") all the way around. Small, sharp scissors are key! I used my embroidery scissors to get the job done. Just be patient and careful while you cut away - you don't want to accidentally snip a stitch.

I didn't permanently finish the back of this piece. I didn't want to use glue because I am not sure if I am going to want to take this out of the hoop and re-frame it, or maybe I would like to add a bit more stitching to it. For a temporary finishing job, sew a running stitch all the way around the perimeter of the hoop, pull the thread tight and tie a knot. 

This is what you will have when you are done. It looks neat and doesn't do any permanent damage, just in case you ever want to take the work out.

I am so happy to have my 2 year old's little hand print as a keepsake embroidery piece. Good for years of weepy mommy reminiscing.