Our entertainment center is adorned with garland...
A Christmas tree candle holder glows in the kitchen...
Cone-shaped trees sit in the dining room...
More garland lights up our mantle...
A wreath garnishes the centerpiece of our dining room table...
Yet another strand of garland dresses up our entry...
(Yes, I realize we have a lot of garland everywhere. We got a really good deal on it last year!)
And finally, stockings hang from our mantle. Even one for little Harley!
What are we missing?
Oh, that would be a Christmas tree!
Our current tree is pretty sad. Kind of like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree:
So we haven't put our tree up. We've looked around a little, but haven't found a new one yet.
I wouldn't mind this one:
It's apparently one of the world's most expensive trees. It's made out of 21,798 diamonds totaling 913 carets. I think I'll add it to my Christmas list...
At the end of October, my cousin Janna got married. I designed the wedding programs for her. The main color of her wedding was teal, so I matched the program's font color to be the same as the bridemaids' dresses.
Jason had the idea of letterpressing gift tags for Christmas. So we got a die made from a die-cutting company, ordered paper, found some baker's twine and made gift tags!
Tons of gift tags!
Aren't they beautiful? I think the tags are our best letterpress project yet!
A few months ago, I talked to one of my friends who owns a local store called Hodgepodge Design. I told her about the tags we wanted to make, and she agreed to sell them in her store for us! She's really sweet like that! The tags have been selling in her store for about two-and-a-half weeks now!
Remember these cards I made for Kailee's wedding shower?
We also put some of those–in green and blue–in Hodgepodge Design to sell.
Jason is making some business cards for me, too. He letterpressed the front of them today.
And finally, an update on little Harley: He is doing so well! He's so smart and such a cutie! I just love him so much! We've taught him to sit, and now we're working on lying down and staying. He's having a harder time with those, but he'll catch on!
The breeder I called who had the ad in the newspaper had maltese/shih-tzu mix puppies. They were only a few weeks old (and expensive!). Then she told me she had a maltese/poodle mix (maltipoo), who was a little older (12 weeks) and much, much less expensive (because he was older).
So Jason and I went to the breeder’s on Monday to check him out. He was all alone in his little pen and was so nervous. He wouldn’t walk around or do anything. When the breeder brought another puppy in the room, the little maltipoo completely changed, became excited and was bouncing all over. Jason and I both really liked his personality; he looked good and was healthy. So we said, “We’ll take him!”
Without further introduction, here is our new little boy, Harley:
He desperately needs a haircut, but we can't take him to the groomer until he has his kennel cough shot, which will be in about 3 weeks. In the meantime, I cut some of the hair around his eyes so he could see better!
He was so good the first night. We took him outside to play and gave him a bath. He was really good about everything! Except after his bath and blow-dry, he got really nervous and was shaking pretty bad. Then he threw up! After cuddling with him, he calmed down and was fine the rest of the evening. He whined and whimpered off and on throughout the night, but overall, slept pretty well by himself in the laundry room. Here’s a video of our first evening with him:
Then came Tuesday. Jason’s parents and sister came over to meet Harley. He seemed pretty shy and wasn’t quite as playful because there was a crowd and he’s still getting used to everything. So he pretty much slept on everyone’s lap all evening. Turns out, that’s a big mistake. Sleeping in the evening = no sleeping at night. He cried and cried throughout the night. At that point, we’d been keeping him in the laundry room at night (which is right next to our room) with a baby gate up at the laundry room door. We put his bed inside his crate, but had never actually shut him in the crate before. When he wouldn’t quit crying, we decided to see how he would do locked in the crate next to our bed. He did pretty well, but still whined every so often, and I was still up constantly taking him out at night to use the bathroom.
We learned from our mistake by letting him sleep Tuesday evening, so on Wednesday we kept him awake and active in the evening. We got a new toy for him, which he loves:
We also took him for his first walk. He stopped walking every so often so I had to carry him half the time. We tried the crate next to our bed again at night. Didn’t work out so well. He whimpered quite a bit so I stuck my fingers through his crate for most of the night so he would know I was there. He was also awake so much during the night, I was sure he had to use the bathroom. I took him out about four times throughout the night, and he never went once.
By Thursday, Jason and I are pretty wiped out. We hadn’t been getting much sleep and being responsible for something else (besides each other) has been an adjustment. So we do what has worked so far and try something new. We kept him awake all evening by playing. We took him for a walk (except, it’s more like he took us for a walk. He refused to walk the entire time, so I carried him the whole way). We didn’t let him eat or drink past 9pm so he (hopefully) wouldn’t need to use the bathroom at night. We went to bed early—around 9:30 because we were so tired! We put him in his crate when we went to bed, but left the lamp on my nightstand turned on the whole night. How did he do? He fell right asleep! I think Jason and I conked out pretty hard too. I woke up once to Harley whining, so I looked at my phone to see what time it was, thinking it was probably only 1am or 2am. It was already after 5am!! So I took him outside to use the bathroom and he went! Then I put him right back into his crate, and we went back to sleep. When my alarm went off at 6:30, he was still asleep. I tried to get out of bed and just let him stay in his crate and sleep, but he heard me move so he wanted out too.
We think he might be kind of afraid of the dark. If the living room light is off, he won’t walk across the living room. He’ll stay right next to where we are. The second walk we took him on was later than the first time, so it was darker. Maybe that’s why he didn’t want to go. When we kept him in the laundry room to sleep, it was pretty dark except for a night-light. Maybe that explains why he cried so much. We’re wondering if the lamp turned on last night was the key because he did so well! Now if we can get a few more nights like this, Jason and I can catch up on our sleep!
Harley has been really fun, and seems to be learning quickly. He’s only had a handful of accidents in the house. And he’s so playful and affectionate. He wants to be cuddled and held constantly. I know he’ll get better during the night as he gets more used to us, our house and our schedule. And I know we won't always come home to this:
See him being completely innocent in his crate? But really, who could resist his cute little face?
We went to Dallas for my cousin’s bachelorette party a few weeks ago. At that time, my parents were in the process of moving out of their house and into a new house, so we helped them move some stuff and organize the new kitchen. Organizing is my favorite!
*Side note: when I just re-read that I had written, “Organizing is my favorite,” it reminded me of the part in Elf where Buddy says, “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.” Haha. Am I the only who just laughed? Oh well…
My cousin’s bachelorette party went really well. We went to Tillman’s Roadhouse, which has the most wonderful décor! Who doesn't love chandeliers?!
And really good popcorn! We went back to my sister’s house for peanut butter chocolate fondue and games.
Thanks valet parking guy for not being able to focus the camera or take a good picture--twice! It's a camera you're not used to, so I understand messing the first picture up. But the second time?!
While we were in Dallas, we also went to the State Fair of Texas. We’ve gone pretty much every year since I can remember. It’s one of my favorite things to do! We tried fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—which were pretty good, and fried cookie dough balls—which were amazing!
This isn’t really my picture. I brought my camera to the fair, but of course, didn’t take a single picture…
I’ve also been really busy doing some design work. I created some Christmas card templates for Jessica’s photography business. I just sent her a new template last night too!
I also designed a birthday party invitation for her daughter Madison’s 2nd birthday. It was the cutest Garden Fairy birthday party ever! Pictures coming soon!
I designed and printed wedding programs for my cousin’s wedding this weekend. I used the pearl metallic paper I love so much! Again, pictures coming soon!
I’ve also got a few other projects in the works that I’m really excited about. Once things pan out a little more, I’ll update you!
In the meantime, I’m starting to get back into my wanting-a-dog phase. I was out of that phase for awhile, but it’s starting to come back. I actually made a call about some dogs I found in the newspaper on Friday. We’ll see where that goes…
And, I’m back into Zumba! I had missed about 7 weeks from being sick, out of town or working on projects, but now I’m back! I picked it back up with Jason’s mom last week, and man, it was kind of rough! But we had a great time.
I think I’m caught up now! Happy Monday!
Isn't this paper pretty? I just love the pearly sparkle!
I’m back. Back from Galveston (well, it’s been a week, but who’s counting). Back from not blogging. Back to being sick. Let me rewind and catch you up a little.
I went to Galveston last week for a work conference. Unfortunately, it rained and was overcast the whole time, but it was still nice seeing the beach. It seems like Galveston has changed a lot since I was a kid. I remember so many more shops up and down the seawall. I think Hurricane Ike is to blame for that one.
Jason had a cold about three weeks ago. I guess because we’re married and supposed to share everything, he so kindly gave it to me two weeks ago. Then I was fine for a week. Now I think I’m having really bad allergies so I’ve stayed home from work for a day and a half trying to get better.
Which brings me to my confession. Two friends each had a confession on their blog, so I figured since we’re all in Problems Anonymous together (shout out to Kylee and Jacquelyn!), it’s my turn. Hello, my name is Diana and I constantly keep myself busy, and I have a hard doing nothing.
As I mentioned, I’m staying home from work because I’m sick. There are plenty of reasons as to why people stay at home when they’re sick: 1) So you don’t get other people sick – I think mine is just allergies, but who wants to hear me sneeze and blow my nose 438,629 times a day? 2) You’re not usually thinking 100% clearly because you don’t feel well and 3) To rest your body so you will heal faster. I have a problem with the last one.
Since being at home, I’ve written two press releases for work, finished all the laundry that I neglected to do for the past two weeks (sorry, Jason, for not having anything to wear), did the dishes that were piling up, took out the overflowing trash, worked on the wedding program I’m doing for my cousin, folded and hung up all the laundry, and now, writing a new blog post. Why—you might ask—don’t I just watch mind-numbing daytime television or 8 hours of Lost today? Or why not just take naps all day? Or why not stay in bed and rest? Because I always have to do. I always have to stay busy. I think my problem is good and bad. I’ll never be lazy, procrastinate or become unreliable. I put too much pressure on myself to get things done. But at the same time, I sometimes refuse to let myself relax, especially when I need it most – like now, when I’m sick.
So I think I’ll turn over a new leaf. I’m going to stay on the couch and watch Lost (have I mentioned how much I love that show?? I think I have! By the way, I’m on season 5. Yay for me!) for the rest of the day. Well, unless something for work comes up that I need to do…and after the last load of laundry is finished drying and put away…
Hey, don’t judge. For me, that’s making progress…
...literally almost fall asleep at a luncheon yesterday. The presentation was about the status of banks in America and how the economic downturn has affected banking. As my eyes were not fluttering and threatening to close, I learned where banking has been, is now, and will be in the future. This kind of information is far too important for me to know as I continue my career in advertising.
...cut a chunk of my hair a few months ago, and now it's really bothering me as it grows back. It seems as though the hair in one particular section on my head grows a little thicker than the rest. It was bothering me one day so I decided to thin it a little. No, I did not accidentally cut a chunk of hair that probably ended up being half an inch long. Now it's growing back and getting even more annoying!
...spend all morning of my day off today browsing random Web sites and writing a blog post while neglecting to do all the things I told myself I would do like the dishes, making a grocery list, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, etc. I always prioritize my tasks, and I never get sidetracked!
Isn't it cute? It fits just perfectly in our hallway.
I decided to make the plant stand my summer project and paint it. It took me awhile to decide what color, but I finally settled on doing a faux crackle finish. I've never done that before, but I thought, how hard could it be?
So I started on this table back in late June. I painted it tan, the color I wanted the cracks to be.
After buying two or three crackle finishes, testing them and finally finding one that I liked (I wanted the porcelain crack, not the weathered crack), I put the crackle finish on top. It cracked beautifully. I was pretty impressed with myself.
Here's where the pictures stop for awhile. The back of the crackle finish bottle said to paint your top color next, which was a nice chocolate brown. So I tried it on the underside of the table first. I didn't like it. It looked like leather–not what I wanted. After researching for awhile, I bought a glaze. The picture in the brochure for the glaze was just what I wanted! I tried that on another part of the underside. Again, I didn't like it. I decided I didn't like the table now. I put it in the corner of the laundry room and didn't touch it for awhile.
After about a month, I got over being mad at the plant stand. I decided to sand the crackle, redo it and paint it chocolate brown.
Again, the pictures stopped. I got mad at the plant stand. It was nothing like I had imagined. So I put it back in my laundry room. I contemplated giving it way or throwing it in the Dumpster.
But I didn't.
Instead, it sat there...
...until I woke up one Saturday morning in late August and decided I was ready to face the table again.
I realized the paint colors were part of the problem–the tan was too similar to our wall color and the chocolate brown was too chocolate brown and bland.
So I mixed them and made a dusty chocolaty brown.
I researched other faux textures. I found one using tissue paper that sounded really easy. I decided to try it.
I painted the table (yet again) the tan color (for a second time). Then I crumpled a piece of tissue paper and wrapped it around the legs; I did the same thing for the top. I used my new dusty brown color and painted over the tissue paper.
It looked like a brown paper lunch sack wrapped around the table. I didn't really like it. I contemplated throwing the table in the Dumpster again.
But I didn't.
Instead, I changed my mind–again.
I decided to see what it would look like if I painted the tan below and on top of the tissue paper. Surprise, surprise...I didn't like that either. So I redid that leg and stuck with the dusty brown.
I went out on a limb and tried the glaze (again). This time, I used cheesecloth. When I first tried the glaze, I had used an old T-shirt–which could've been part of the problem before.
I was very surprised and pretty pleased with the result. I actually liked it! So I kept going. I added two top coats of a clear sealer. My love/hate relationship with this plant stand came to an end–finally!
Now my plant stand is sitting pretty in the hallway.
I realize from afar in the picture it still somewhat resembles a brown paper lunch sack, but up close it's perfect!
A little background: I go back and forth between wanting a dog and not wanting a dog. Wanting something little to cuddle with, not wanting the responsibility. Wanting something to take on a walk, not wanting the expenses of a dog...and on and on. A few weeks ago--maybe even last month--I was in my dog phase (which I'm still in and out of). Jason usually isn't quick to get on board with my dog phase. On this particular day, I found an opening and I went for it. I pulled out my most persuasive skills...that's when this conversation between Jason and me happened:
me: aww isn't she cute??
Jason: looks like it is missing some toes
me: there's a toe there
Jason: looks mangy
me: are you serious???
Jason: yeah....looks like it has been in a few fights
me: no he doesn't!
me: aww you're so mean
me: haha aww
Jason: i think this site is for a rescue in abilene
me: aww do you want him?
Jason: Yorkie, Chihuahua, Maltese
me: aww we should go this weekend....
Jason: i just can't figure out if it's going to be an ugly dog or not
me: i don't know
Jason: it's also maltese
me: i don't think they do
Jason: does it look kinda scruffy
me: it's hard to tell. maybe she needed a bath at the time of the picture, maybe it'll smooth out over time
Jason: how much is it
me: i don't know
me: hopefully we both would
me: why do you say that?
Jason: i would help, not be in charge
Jason: i don't know how to potty train them
me: you'll learn, it's easy
me: i'm emailing now
Jason: well, i see someone jumped on that
So yes, I did email about little Bonnie. I went back and forth with a lady about her. Apparently, going through this particular organization was as intense as adopting a child (not really, but it's a pretty rigorous process for just adopting a pet!). The organization wants an application with all sorts of information about where you work, what your house looks like, the kind of backyard you have, your daily schedule, etc. After you submit an application, a person from the organization comes for a home visit to see what your house looks like and how you live. Before I submitted my application, I wanted more information about Bonnie. Is she hyper? Does she shed? Is she already potty trained? What is her health history? Things like that. Maybe I asked too many questions because after my second email, the lady never responded again.