Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Doing Whatever I Want

The end of the year is fast approaching, and I keep thinking of things that I want to share with you, but I've been too lazy to get up and do something about it. I'm going to attempt to do a little of that in this post.

The first of those things is, at first glance, possibly a little boring. It's our 2011 Christmas ornaments from my Mother-in-Law, The Barefoot Contessa.

Every year, the BFC gets every single person in her extended family an ornament that is appropriate to the year they've had. Quite often the ornament makes light of a comical event in the person's year. My ornament this year is the cruise ship, and it is appropriate, although not comical, because Peanut Head and I went on a cruise for our 20th anniversary.

Stinkerbell's ornament, however, is a knee slapper.

The Stink's comical even for 2011 was the fact that she was assigned a mule at Girl Scouts Horse Camp. It's appropriate, it's ironic, and it's hysterical. The BFC gets extra points for this one.

Peanut Head's ornament had us all stumped until we asked The BFC about it. I had to slap my forehead, it was so appropriate and I had let it slip my mind.

His ornament makes light of this unfortunate event. I have to hand it to The BFC, she's good.

Zoe Bug's ornament was a horse, just because in her world it's horse, horse, horse, horse. I took a picture of it, but it was blurry so I left it out. I could retake it, but then I'd have to move. Not happening.

The BFC has a knack for finding the perfect ornament. She frequently procures her ornaments at  Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, just in case you need to know.

On another note, I'm on break from school this week and I am thoroughly enjoying myself. We don't have enough snow to play in and it's too cold to go outside just for the sake of getting fresh air, so we're hanging out inside. I'm not complaining either. I love being inside, in my sweat pants, doing whatever the heck I feel like, because I'm not constrained by any deadlines. It's pure bliss.

I'm taking advantage of the extra time by working through some Photoshop tutorials and learning how to use my new program. I've been staying up super late, and when I go to bed I dream about digi scrapping in Photoshop. It's awesome.

So I tapped into a bunch of tutorials over at JessicaSprague.com and there's so much great stuff there, that I'm going to be busy learning for a long time. Sadly, the tutorials aren't free, but the one that I've been working through has four complete lessons with five or six tasks within each lesson. I'm averaging about one lesson every other day. The lessons come with all the supplies you need to do each of the layouts too, so that's pretty nifty.

I figure I'll wait a few months before I buy another lesson because I need to give myself time to process all the new information and get comfortable using my new skillz.

I found the Jessica Sprague site in connection with Becky Higgins' Digital Project Life. One of my New Year's resolutions for 2012 is to make progress towards getting caught up on my backlog. Notice I didn't say I was going to get caught up, but instead make progress.

I don't want to psyche myself out with the stress of another unattainable goal. Not that it's unattainable, but I like to play head games with myself and set myself up for failure. This is how I outsmart myself and work around my self inflicted obstacles.

Project Life is going to help me with that, by enabling me to focus on the story and not spend so much time on the creative layouts. I'll still do layouts like the one above, but they will be scattered throughout my albums and not stressing me out with the pressure of needing a fabulous layout for every ding dang picture.

Or stressing me out because I only have one or two pictures for an event and I don't want to waste a whole page on a one-photo layout. I hate that.

The last thing I want to share with you today is the Christmas gift I gave to my students this year. I had good intentions of getting these up earlier this month, but I ran out of time. I you like the idea, you can pin it for next year. You are pinning, right?

If you aren't and you want to, e-mail me and I'll send you an invite. You must start today. Trust me.

I got this great idea that I was going to give my kids water bottles for the classroom. They drive me crazy with their up and down to get a drink every ding dang minute. I knew I couldn't afford really nice water bottles for the whole class, but I was able to score some pretty decent ones at the dollar store. I bought every last one and I was able to get exactly the number I needed. I was crawling around, digging behind plastic containers to come up with 27 cups, 27 lids, and 27 straws to make a complete set. I really lucked out. 

I cut the names out of vinyl on my Cricut and they went together surprisingly fast. Then I stuffed them with a candy cane, an Airhead, and a mint and left them on their desks for them in the morning. The best part was that my kids loved them and they were very surprised that I personalized the cups for them. That made me feel all tingly and lovey dovey inside.

I heart their sweet little hearts.

And I miss them, but I do not want my vacation to end.

Did you hear that, Father Time? Slow the bus down, will ya?


  1. Gotta love Bronner's. I can only handle visiting that place during Christmastime. It's overwhelming at any other point of the year! This year I bought my mother-in-law a Diet Coke can ornament, which was so perfect I can't believe she didn't already have one!

    Your water bottle idea is brilliant! Can't wait to use that one as an end-of-the-year gift!

  2. enjoy your time off! I am off til the 8th and I hope it goes really slow too ( but so far it isn't. boo )

  3. I love your blog! And would love a invite to interest :) if you have any. sindyshepard@ hotmail.com

  4. Those are so cute! I love them! You should make sure to have them wash the bottles out, though, because some of those rascals do not know how to properly drink out of a water bottle....

  5. Great ornaments, Jill, I love that idea! I had to laugh at the mule ornament! I hope your time goes as slow or fast as you want it to. My past week has gone fast and my son heads back to NY today. Love the cups you did for your class ~ very unique. Now you'll just have to deal with them raising their hands to go to the bathroom after drinking all that water!

  6. I love your posts. They really help to find the humor in our crazy lives. I can't figure out how to send you an email . . . and I can't get Pinterest to 'invite' me. I have asked 3 times since Christmas day. I'd love it if you could get me in. Ha ha! Thanks!


  7. Oh, I am soooo glad that you gave permission to pin this idea. You have so many fabulous things on your blog that I've wanted to pin, but I haven't because of your copyright thing on the right side of your page. I pinned your blog logo, but I've kept my pinning finger under control with everything else.

    Does this mean I'm free to pin away with ideas from your blog? (please, please, please????)

  8. man, that donkey is cute. So glad you're having a great holiday and I wish you many more restful, happy days in the coming new year!


    and Jessica Sprauge- wait for dollar days! Then you can get a bunch of classes for CHEAP. I cant remember when it happens... perhaps in the spring? but worth the wait!