Monday, November 24, 2008

gift wrap lesson learned

As I was flipping through one of my Christmas issue magazines for decorating or gift ideas, I saw a gift wrap idea that’s an oldie but a goodie. Now for the life of me I can’t remember what magazine it was in. Luckily the same idea can be found on Martha’s site (Christmas-Tree Silhouette). I always referred to this in my head as the peek-a-boo wrapping technique.

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I was surprised to see this idea in the magazine because this is something I did about 10 years ago. I was a single girl living in the city, with no husband and no kids of my own to spoil, I prided myself on buying the best gifts for my nephews. One year I even got one of my nephews a kitten (with my sister’s blessing). What a cool Aunt I was.

Anyways, one year I couldn’t stop at just buying the cool gifts, they had to be wrapped cool too. After seeking the peek-a-boo technique somewhere, I knew this was going to be my statement for the year. I imagined how impressed everyone would be with my nicely wrapped gifts. I was gonna be so cool.

Here’s what I did. I wrapped the gift as normal. Then I took a sheet of colored tissue paper. I folded it in half lengthwise and drew the silhouette of a tree (just like on Martha’s site). I then used an exacto knife to cut just one side of the tree’s outline. I then wrapped the present again with the tissue paper making sure the tree was on the front side of the package. Once wrapped I simply folded the cut side over to reveal the pattern of the other paper underneath. I think I even added glitter ornaments to the tree. I spent so much time on these beautifully packages. I was so proud.

Here my friends is the fatal flaw in my plan. I failed to think about who would be receiving these beautiful works of art. Yep that’s right my 5, 7, 9 and 10 year old nephews couldn’t care less about my special wrapping technique. They simply tore into the gifts just like everyone else’s simply, but smartly wrapped gifts. All that time I spent wrapping was never even noticed by those snot nosed boys (ok, they weren’t snot nosed, they were just kids). After that I just stuck to buying cool gifts and forgot about the wrapping.

Now fast forward 10 years and I see this idea again. It’s not a bad idea; in fact it’s still a great idea. Plus it’s really easy to do, give it a try, just always remember to keep your recipient in mind!

Friday, November 14, 2008

oh how I wish I could sew...

For years I’ve subscribed to a great newsletter from a site called Photojojo. The newsletter provides great tips and tutorials on photography and sometimes Photoshop. They also feature some pretty cool products.

About two years ago, they featured these cool magnetic photo ropes. It’s this wire that has a loop at one end to hang (mine hangs in my cube from a thumbtack) and a weight at the other end so it hangs straight. It comes with these super strong magnets (don’t you love the technical terms I use) that hold your pictures in place.

I loved these and bought a bunch for friends and coworkers. They are still for sale on their website.

Anyways, back to why I wish I could sew. The latest newsletter featured a site called Check this out, you can upload images and they will print it on fabric! That’s right, you can make your own custom fabrics to then (and here’s where the sewing comes in) sew it into something fabulous!

One person created a “quilted love letter” to her brand new niece. She used block letters and created the layout in photoshop, then Spoonflower printed it on fabric that she then created a baby quilt out of. How cool is that?

That’s it. Some day I am going to have to learn how to sew. Someday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

a great furniture rehab idea

Its official I’m truly becoming my mother. I am the brand new recipient of a subscription to Better Homes & Gardens Magazine. My mom has received this magazine for years and I always thought it was a ahem, "mature ladies" magazine. Well I guess I’m now a "mature lady" because I like this mag. I like the recipes (although I’m a horrible cook, one can always dream of making those fabulous dishes), but I really like the decorating articles. Not only do I read the mag, but I also check out ideas on their website from time to time. Recently on, they featured 9 ideas for renovating an old bookcase. While I liked them all, this one really caught my eye:

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How many of us had almost that exact same entertainment center in their home at some time? You see these all the time at resale shops. I always think why would someone buy that? Here’s why:

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Look at what they did with this outdated bookcase! It’s now a cool laundry station. By simply removing the doors, painting a bright color and adding some hanging rods it becomes suddenly cool and useful. Did you notice the ironing board attached to the side? Having this in your laundry room would definitely make doing laundry more pleasant.

Ok so what if your laundry room is too small for something like this? Well couldn’t you see this in a kids room or playroom. Add bins for toys, you could even still put in a hanging rod and hang dress up clothes on there. I think with different paint choices the possibilities are endless.

I know I'll never look at these MDF monstrosities the same again!

Monday, November 3, 2008

halloween goodness

I love Halloween. I love picking out costumes and decorating the house. I strive to find just the right treats to hand out, making sure I have things for the little kids as well as the bigger ones. This Halloween was great. Jackson couldn't wait to go to school and show off his costume. I think he really "got" it this year. It was the first year he had an opinion on his costume. He choose Spiderman so the very day costumes were put on the shelves at Target we were there picking out the perfect Spidey costume. Poor kid had to then wait nearly 5 weeks to wear it.
Through the kindness of friends, we had two options for "Don't mess with me" Nate . I knew it'd be a struggle to get a costume on the kid. He hates getting dressed let alone dressed up. So the night before I couldn't put off trying on costumes for him any longer. First up was the cutest Tom Arma Crocodile costume on loan from my college roommate. He would NOT let us put the head/hat part on so it was a no go. Out other option was an adorable Old Navy costume our dear neighbor lent us. He actually allowed me to put it on him, but he wasn't happy about it, and let us all know it.
Halloween morning the boy were dress in matching halloween shirts. Can you belive this is the first time I've ever put matching clothes on them.
Anyway, off to school they went costumes and treats in tow. When I picked them up, Nate's teachers informed me he wore his costume only for a few minutes. Not surprising.

Once home it was time for Trick-or-Treating. My mom came with and Gregg stayed home to hand out candy, pencils and fruit snacks.

Jackson couldn't wait to get started. From the second we stepped foot on the sidewalk Jackson was on the go. He literally skipped from house to house.
He Trick-or-Treated like a pro.

Nate was just happy hanging out in the stroller, at least for about 10 houses, then he went home and Jackson, Grandma and I finished up the neighborhood.

I was lucky enough to capture Jackson's excitement on video. It's sure to go down as one of my fondest memories!