Sunday, December 23, 2012

Yearly Reflection

Last year my New Year's resolution was to start a blog.
Its astonishing how drastic your life can change in such a short amount of time.

Right now the house is quite. The lights from the Christmas tree are softly glowing.
Its just me, my coffee and my thoughts.
Realizing the difference who I am and who I want to be... is what I do.
Here's to an amazing 2013!

Will you join me?
I've drastically reduced my prices a well. $10 for an entire month? I think YES!
Click HERE for the deets. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mason Jar Chandelier

Anyone else have a serious obsession with mason jars?

Over a month ago I bought four large mason jars with the idea I was going to craft something of my new home office. 

Darn Pinterest gave me these AMAZING ideas that led me to believe I could 
work two jobs, be a mom and have this unlimited amount of time to craft. 
What was I thinking?

My husband is the sweetest. He took the jars and made his own 
creation of awesomeness that now hangs right above my desk.
Isn't it gorgeous?! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

DIY "Big-Bang-For-No-Bucks" Christmas Star

Hi! My name is Melissa and I blog about making our house into a home over at (with my Hubs who occasionally will pop in with a post on woodworking or something of the sort). Now that Christmas is so close, I've had this huge desire to make our first Christmas in this house (we lived in an apartment last year so this is extra special--our first house ever!) especially beautiful.

Plus, I grew up in a household that really decorated for Christmas with a big tree, garland on the stairs, wreaths, candles, snowmen, toy trains--all so beautiful! That's my parents' house on the left--so pretty and festive. And I wanted our home to have that special, exciting feel, too! If you're like me, even though small, sparkly ornaments and pretty garlands are fancy and festive, you find that sometimes it takes a bigger piece to really make an impact on a room. Unfortunately, those larger decorative items can cost a lot!

As a not-so-newlywed (going on 2 years now), we don't have a lot of decorations, nor do we have the budget to go out and stock up on all things red, green, and sparkly, no matter how lovely they are (like the ornament Hubs got me last year for our first married Christmas). Plus, I find making crafts at Christmastime to be therapeutic, peaceful, and just plain perfect for putting me in the mood for this sometimes-energy-draining-yet-still-magical time of year. So, I wanted to share with you an idea I had for making a large Christmas decoration for almost no money. (I like the sound of that!) I starting thinking that I wanted something large to hang above our mantle, or maybe on the opposite wall of our living room (we have faulted ceilings, which leaves a big, triangular-shaped open space to hang something). Artwork was going to be $100 or more for something we liked, so we've just been putting it off to make something ourselves. I was fine with waiting because we've been so busy doing other, bigger (and smaller) projects around the house since we moved in a few months ago. When I started decorating, though, I got impatient and set out to make something I could hang up there temporarily. Here's what I came up with:
To make this giant star, all you need is glue, yarn and paint stir sticks. (All of which we had, so this project was free for us!) Yup, those free wooden stir sticks you get when you buy a gallon of paint will work perfect for this. Now, since we've recently painted EVERY ROOM in the entire ground floor level of our house, we had plenty of these to spare. (You'll need 10.) If you don't have these just chilling in your paint supply bucket, you can get them at any store that sells paint. They might not give you 10 without buying any paint, but you can ask, and if not, they are usually only a few cents each, or you can use rulers...or other pieces of scrap wood...maybe even cardboard, though it might be a little flimsy. Now, to get started, glue (I used hot glue) the sticks into V shapes. You want them to be as even as possible so your star doesn't come out all unbalanced. Then, just start wrapping them in yarn, like I did for these yarn-wrapped letters. The joints can be a little tricky, but just wrap in all directions and it should cover just fine. You can always use a drop of glue to hold it if you need to. Also, where the stir stick has the "handle," wrap the yarn extra thick so the indention doesn't show on your star. Make sure to leave the ends open because that's where you'll connect them to the other pieces later.

Then, it's time to start connecting them. I would recommend laying them all out on the floor first to make sure everything fits.

Then, I would only connect a couple at a time (using hot glue again) because the bigger piece you are working with, the more annoying it is to wrap the yarn. It also helps to wrap some loosely around your wrist so it doesn't tangle on the long ends of your star points. It just goes faster.
Now of course, the last joint will be a bit unpleasant because you don't have an opening to work with, meaning you'll have to go a lot slower and bring your hand in and around the star each time you make a loop. It's okay, though, because it's only one small area. Don't give up--you can do it! And then, just like that, your star is complete! Easy and cheap right? Now, I'll admit we haven't actually hung this guy yet (we need to go buy some hooks) but for now, he's just chilling around the living room. Here he is over by the bookcase...
And the tree...
I'd love to know what you think about this project. Thanks for reading and letting me share a little of my story with you. Feel free to visit us over at and see more of my Christmas craft adventures (Plus, there's a free printable on this post!)--I even learned how to use the sewing machine this year!

Isn't that just the cutest!?!?
Thanks Melissa for sharing some of your awesomeness! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bloglovin' Gone Mobile

I'm a huge Bloglovin' fan. 
Bloglovin' has gone mobile and come out with their own custom app!
What a perfect way to keep up on your every-day, don't want to miss, blog reads.
Now right at your fingertips! 
Follow me HERE.
Apple user? Download HERE
Android user? Download HERE

Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hairstyle: Easy Updo

Easy as 1-2-3.

Some people are born with a green thumb. Some can create a masterpiece using only a pencil. All while making it so easy. Me, none of the above. Especially when it comes to beauty. So when I had to do our daughters hair for her this years Christmas program, the pressure was on.

I loved the end result. Don't you think this would be perfect for any holiday party?

1. Begin by clipping the top of your hair aside for later.
2. Once the top half is clipped up, put the bottom half in a low ponytail at your nape.
3. Create a small hole at the base of your ponytail and push the ponytail upward and down through it, creating an inside out ponytail.
4. Backcomb the ponytail.
5. Roll and create a chignon.
6. Secure with bobby pins.
7. Let down the top of your hair.
8. Pull all of the hair from the top half loosely back and twist it a few times.
9. Wrap it around {bun style}, to the current chignon. Securing with bobby pins.

Vuala! Can't even tell my model is 7.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Blogger Day of Silence

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Hi Friends... If this is your first time visiting, welcome.... I'm Laura!

I'm a faith driven, full-time working mom of two beautiful daughters and a wife to an admirable, encouraging husband who are my life. When I'm not working my 8-5 or being "mommy", I'm a natural light lifestyle photographer based in the beautiful Central Coast of California. I am regrettable a bit addicted to social media. I have a constant connection with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where ever I am. I heart Starbucks {it's my weakness}. I love the colors chartreuse and grey. I have a passion for mountain biking and would love to learn how to play the piano.

Welcome to our blog. Together, we are The Hernandez Family.
Today is the day we've all been waiting for. So let's get things started!

Are you ready to network??

Are you prepared to make some new bloggy friends??

Well, here's your chance!

Silence and Support for Sandy Hook

To the Blog World and Anyone Else who Wants to Help,

Yesterday, tragedy struck so many of us in ways we did not foresee. An elementary school and small town in Connecticut was shattered by a mass shooting. We knew we wanted to help and we came up with this:

On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. We will post the button and that's it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.

 We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services. Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to:

"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.


Please visit THIS PAGE to make your donation.

 We can't imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let's make a difference and use blogging in a positive way. Thank you in advance for participating.

The Blog World

p.s. If you would like to, copy-paste and repost any part of this, please do. Share on. If you would like the HTML for this post, please email me and I can send it to you.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Tree Endeavor

This year was the year. We had finally made the decision... We were cutting down our Christmas tree. No more tree lots, no more pushy salesmen. We were going to hike up a mountain and chop ourselves a tree.

Well that's what we had imagined. We did make it to a tree farm and walked up and down the hillside but not one tree stood out to us as "the tree." Now I'm not a tree snob, but this was going to be in our living room for a few weeks and I wanted it to be special. So what did we do? We loaded up the truck, drove another 30 minutes to a tree ranch we had heard about.

We pulled up to a golden archway of twinkly lights and trees galore. Just then a reindeer train drove past filled with children of all ages pulling Santa in his sleigh. As we parked there were horse rides, a petting zoo, kettle corn booth and hot coco stands. I turned and looked at the kids faces as their jaws were on the floor.  By golly, this was the best tree lot ever!

And the tree lived happily ever after.
The End.

Mark your calendars! THEE Networking Blog Hop is this Sunday....

Friday, November 30, 2012

I Heart Faces Photo-A-Day Challenge

I'll be the first to admit I'm a iPhone photo-taking addict.
I've attempted photo challenges in the past, but never made it to the finish line.

Well the amazing people at iHeartFaces has started Photo-a-Day Challenge for December!
It's my final chance to finish 2012 saying I completed one.

You can follow me on Instagram HERE!
Hope you'll join in the fun!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Broccoli Casserole Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

I'll be the first to admit I don't spend as much time in the kitchen as I should. I can cook, 
I just seem to save my skills for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm usually the one to bring a 
dessert since baking is what I love. But last year I made a broccoli casserole as a side dish to my 
in-laws and it was a hit, and I've been asked to make it again.

Broccoli Casserole
Serving Size: 8-10

Here are your ingredients:

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

Hope you have a fabulous turkey day!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Glam Up Your Holiday Table Without Breaking the Bank

Have you ever taken the plunge and actually hosted Thanksgiving dinner?
A few years ago I ventured out of my comfort zone and cooked our little family of four a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. All was eatable except the gravy. I'm not quite sure what happened there, but the facial expressions of our kids are burned into my permanent memory. We all laughed it off and now it comes up now and then as one of those "remember when" stories. Priceless.

Today I've invited a special guest to share how she easily 
glammed up her holiday table without breaking the bank.
Hi everyone! My name is Sam, and I blog over at Atkinson Drive. I am SO excited that Laura invited me here! I have a beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape to share with you and I hope you love it! This a simple & affordable table setting, but there's a glamorous feeling to the whole thing. 

First, I took a roll of gold wrapping paper from Michael's for under $4.00 and cut it in half down the middle. I drew placemat shapes on the wrapping paper with a black sharpie. Another option would be to use brown kraft paper instead, then draw on it with metallic sharpies in either gold or silver. Instead of place cards, I decided to draw a monogram on each person's mug! If you would like to keep your mugs, simply draw the monogram onto the cup using a sharpie. It should wipe off pretty easily when your guests are gone, but shouldn't smudge during dinner. These are also really cute as a 'thanks for coming' gift for your guests! Goodwill always has great mugs on sale for something like $.50 each. Use the instructions found here to make the sharpie monogram permanent.
We just have plain drinking glasses...I know...we're SO boring! But I found this adorable craft tape at Michael's and just attached it to the bottom of each water glass to glam it up a bit. You could also use different tapes so people don't mix up their glasses.
Get ready for a barrage of pictures, because the centerpiece for this table is my FAVORITE part of the whole thing!!! It's super simple but oh-so gorgeous!
All I did was take a bunch of mason jars and place tealight candles in them then line the center of the table. For a few of the jars, I had floating tealights at varying heights just to add a bit of dimension to the look. As you can see, I also used some vintage & some new jars. There were even some stray candles not in jars.  

Of course you won't be eating dinner in complete darkness, but the candles look insanely amazing when all the lights are turned off.  

There's something about candles that just put me in a holiday mood! That's one thing I love about this table setting...there's nothing particularly "Thanksgiving" about it, so you could use it for Christmas also. I hope you enjoyed my Simple Glam Thanksgiving ideas, and hopefully I've helped inspire you!

Come check out my Thanksgiving Kids Table, too...
Feel free to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, BlogLovin', Google +, and Pinterest.
Sam | Atkinson Drive
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...