Monday, February 27, 2012

Learning to Fight

As a newlywed of less than five months, I have found marriage to be one of the most wonderful and most difficult things I have done. I love being married, I absolutely do. My husband is an incredibly sweet, caring, and funny guy, and I count myself very blessed to be his wife. I have made so many wonderful discoveries as a wife, and the journey is just beginning. However, I don't think I ever expected marriage to be such a roller coaster. Jacob's and my personalities are very similar. We often react to stress or being upset the same way, which doesn't mean a quick resolution to a conflict.

While we were dating and engaged, we rarely if ever had a disagreement, and if we did, one of us quickly gave ground and it was resolved. Once we were married, however, we soon that one or the other (usually me) did not want to be wrong or give in. We have had countless arguments over the smallest things. I once said that I wished we wouldn't argue so much. Jacob lovingly reminded me that it was probably good that we learned how to argue out our issues in a healthy way, and not just close ourselves off. And he was right. If we never fought, we would have never learned to give in and apologize.

When I look back, I can easily see where either or both of us were at fault. I have learned that there are so many more important ways to spend our time than a fight. I have learned to let go of some of my selfish wants, and submit to my husbands wise counsel. I have learned to say I'm sorry, and mean it. 

I have learned that marriage is not perfect, that there will be struggles. There will be disagreements. You are meshing two completely different people together for a lifetime, there are bound to be bumps in the road. I have also learned that it's not what life is, but what you make of it. Take joy in the little moments, be content with the beautiful love you have together. 

I still catch myself staring at my ring, or the ring on his finger and my stomach does a little flip flop. I am married. To my best friend. That is so amazing and exciting! I hope I never lose that excitement for my love. I hope I never forget to best moments of this first precious year. 

Marriage is beautiful ride. <3

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Of Ziplocs and Frustration

Let's just say... Ziplocs are not the equivalent of clear craft vinyl. :P Can anyone say frustration?! I saw this adorable card in Target that had little slots on the front with tickets for various things, and I thought... Why pay $5 for that? I bet  I could make it myself... That and the fact I already had a better card picked out. :P
I dissected a Ziploc freezer bag, and began.

The front was frustrating.  I shouldn't have tried to use the plastic on the front. It puckered and the seams wouldn't hold well. Live and learn! Overall I was happy with the result, as it started out horribly! It's difficult to sew slippery plastic onto fabric.

The inside turned out just like I wanted it to! By now I have figured out how to hold it together so it wouldn't slip, and  started with the vertical lines, so the bottom was easy. I added velcro to keep it shut, and the coupons. I made six slots, and I plan to make new coupons and refill it from time to time. :)

Overall, frustrating? Yes. Worth it? Yes. It's cute, looks more or less like I wanted, and will work just dandy. :)

I Love You Because... Board Tutorial

I was going through the old dilema of what to make/get Jacob for V.D., and while going through my Pinterest boards for inspiration, found this again. Ah ha! Not really "guy", but something I wanted to make anyway. :P
It's simple and cute, and a perfect way to keep those sweet love notes coming! 

I Love You Message Board Tutorial
This was supposed to be made using an 8 x 10, but I didn't have one, and I figured the 5 x 7 from the Dollar Store I did have would work just dandy. It did.
Mess work in progress. At this point I wasn't sure how to decorate it, so I had ideas everywhere.

I printed the wording off on colored card stock, glued it to scrapbook paper cut to size, and added some ribbon scraps. The fonts I used are Century Gothic and the "love" is Pea Annalee Script.

And for the flowers, I crocheted a chain (not sure how long, just eye balled it) of yarn and  string together.

And attached it to a small square of fabric with the glue gun, winding it slowly to make  a  rosette. I glued it to itself every so often so it wouldn't separate.

This is what the back looked it like when it was done. I did three of them. One with two strands, one of  just yarn, and one with two strands of string. I added buttons to the center, glued  them to the corner...

And there you have it! You can use a regular dry erase (fine tip) marker, or a Vis-O-Vis  marker.

Oh For the Love of Scrubs!

I've been collecting recipes for body scrubs on Pinterest for a while now, and really wanted to try some. So, today I was inspired finally to dig out the ingredients and do it! I tried two different kinds, one salt and one sugar, so here is the results!

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Scrub
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup raw oatmeal (I used quick oats)
1 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients. Massage onto body with circular motions. Take you time, and when you're done, jump in the shower. Your skin will be SO soft! You may want to stand on a towel to catch the runaway bits. The oil can be messy!
I halved this recipe, and it made about half a pint.
Overall: Loved it! It was mildly abrasive, and left my dry hands super soft and smelling sweet! I have a Mary Kay hand kit, and this was a very similar effect to that, and much cheaper!

Measure out ingredients...

Mix 'em together...

Recipe source: Glamour & Beauty

Lemon Salt Scrub
5 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon
Combine salt and olive oil. Juice the lemon into mixture and combine. This one separates quickly, so keep a spoon or popsicle stick with it to stir it around, or put it in a jar large enough to reach into.
I didn't have sea salt, so I used Kosher salt. I'm not sure how much difference this made, but I liked it all the same. I also doubled it for a half pint.
Overall: I love the scent of this one. It is, however, very abrasive. This one I will probably use more for my body, rather than my hands. It did leave my hands very soft. It works great for a foot exfolient! 
Doesn't that look yummy? I almost wanted to taste it. :P
Source: The Beauty Department

I had fun making these, and plan to try more! They would make great gifts. Oh-so-easy to make, they look pretty, and people always need scrubs, right?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentines Day

   To be honest, I never really paid attention to Valentine's Day when I was younger. My family wasn't really into celebrating most holidays anyway, and this one took especially little notice. While in my teens I never cried my eyes out or mourned for the absent lover. I didn't spend the day with a box of tissue and a mound of chocolate. Not that I didn't want a boyfriend or husband,  it just didn't ever cross my mind I should be more upset on this day than any other I didn't have someone special.

  I continued in this mindset until two years ago. I was spending a fair amount of time with a couple I knew who had recently become engaged and were very lovey-dovey. Suddenly, my heart deeply longed for that connection, that trust. That friendship they had. I wanted someone to love me like that. To buy my roses and take me out for a special dinner on Valentine's Day. I did spend that year alone, and let me tell you, I could relate a whole lot better to all those girls who spend February 14th pitying themselves and being miserable. Being alone is hard. And on a day set aside for people to express how much they love each other, it is even worse.

   Last year I was not single, but happily dating my now-husband Jacob. He came for the weekend before the holiday, and he took me out to dinner just like I yearned for. He called me on Valentine's Day and asked me to go for a scavenger hunt for him in my kitchen, where he had creatively hidden a sterling silver piece  from his collection that said "Be My Valentine", which of course I was. ;)

   This year is different still. I am now Mrs. Wagner. Jacob and I married in the ceremony of our dreams on September 17 and vowed to love each other for the rest of our lives. So this year I will spend Valentine's Day not as an oblivious teenager, a yearning young adult, or a love struck girlfriend. As a wife. So much has changed in the last two years, it's amazing. Only God could write such a story!

   So what have I learned? That Valentine's Day is a good day. No matter what stage of life you are in, it's a reminder to say I love you to those you hold close. It's not just a day for couples, it's a day for love. Express it. In the busyness of life, we often forget the importance of loving those around us. It may be easier to say "I love you" to your boyfriend or husband, but don't forget to say and express it to your family. Your friends. Don't make light of all the times they have been there for you. Listened to you, hugged you, supported you.
Don't wait for that special person to celebrate the day.  God has blessed you abundantly with people to love, what better day to say "I Love You?". <3 

Necklace Organization

I bought cup hooks (three packs of 6 each) from ACE Hardware a couple of weeks ago with the intention of making a hook and dowel system, and promptly put them in my "project box" and let them collect dust. I was inspired to discard the dowels altogether and made these instead, which I love!

The frames I purchased from the Dollar Store. I removed the backing and glass, and used scrap cardboard covered with fabric for the board. The cardboard was just the right depth for the frame and the hooks. I had thought to use wood for the backing, but the hooks were plenty secure in the cardboard. I did spray paint the hooks black, which took a few coats.

The top frame is a canvas transfer I did using this technique. Such a fun technique! I really to play with that one more.

Total cost: approx. $11

Chalkboard Paint? SCORE.

After gleaning some ideas from blogs and Pinterest, I purchased some aerosol chalkboard paint. Let me just say, I LOVE this stuff! So much fun and so many ideas to use it! 

I had some labels left over from my old job, as well as some from CD labels. I coated these a couple times and voila! An easy, adorable way to label anything and everything! So far I've only applied a couple, but I like the look a lot and am planning to use them more.

The jars I salvaged from our barn. They're old Ball half gallon jars, complete with original metal and glass lids. I love old, reuseable finds like that! :)