friends are the family you choose

did you have a lovely weekend?
mine was nice and quiet with a mix of resting, church and shopping.

today i wanted to share an altered canvas i made back in the fall for my friend. one of her favorite sayings is "friends are the family you choose" and i wanted to incorporate that into a gift for her birthday. she had hinted before at wanting an altered canvas so i thought that would be the perfect gift. the winter before we ended up at church wearing very similar outfits and so i decided to incorporate that pic into the canvas. here is the pic from that weekend.

i took the pic and printed it out on just regular copy/printer paper to use as a loose template for the clothing styles. i was really happy with how it turned out and she immediately recognized that i'd used the pic as inspiration for this gift!

- jess


weekend review

it seems like this weekend just flew by. can i please rewind???  lol.

today i wanted to do a little recap of the weekend.  once i started looking at the pics i took i realize i need to bring my camera out more...so many things i just didn't capture this weekend...

friday night i went out with my friends to dinner at fuji for some hibachi and sushi.  honestly, it's at least the 5th time i've been for hibachi so i wasn't much interested in the show.  my first thought was just to order sushi and try something new, but i backed out at the last minute.  so dinner for me was the chicken hibachi dinner and a philly roll.  i actually only ate the sushi and took all the rest home for dinner.

after dinner we were going to go to a local coffee shop as my friends and i still needed to do our christmas gift exchange.  but when we pulled up we realized that we only had 30 min until they closed.  so instead we went to goody's which is a local froyo shop.  they were so kind and since no one was using one of the private rooms they let us use it!  we had so much fun and it was the most i laughed in a long time.

on saturday, myself and three other friends took a quick trip over to tulsa.  it was actually a really, really late birthday trip for my friend...her bday was at the end of august!  we first headed to macaroni grill for lunch, which is one of her favorite places to eat...mine too!  i always get the blackberry mint iced tea...so yummy!  for my entree i opted for one of their seasonal choices - tortellini with butternut squash.  it was one of the best pasta dishes i have ever eaten!

next up was a bit of shopping...well, a lot of shopping.  lol.  we spent 5hrs at the mall.  i was worn out after all that shopping/walking.  a lot of the stores were still having sales and i was able to get a few good deals.  my favorite purchase of the day was this michael kors watch, although sadly it wasn't on sale...

after shopping we went to dinner at on the border and their guacamole is insanely good.  we followed that up with a quick stop at the gas station to get some drinks and then krispy kreme for donuts then we were on the road home.

sunday i slept in til around 10 which felt so good.  after a quick breakfast i headed to the grocery store with my mom.  after we were back home and had all the groceries put up i decided to make a meyer lemon pudding.  i ended up putting half of it in these cute little graham cracker crusts i'd picked up at the grocery and the rest of the pudding just went into some little juice glasses.  for some reason i just couldn't get out of the kitchen.  next i decided to cut up the honeydew melon and papaya.  then on to cutting and prepping the pomegranate.  after all this it was nearly dinner so i fixed up some guacamole for a little appetizer.  dad wasn't eating dinner, so mom and i decided to split the hibachi meal i'd brought home friday night.  to stretch it a bit for the two of us i sauteed up a 1/4 red onion and a little summer squash which was a great addition to the meal.

by the time dinner was over i was ready for bed again.  lol.  but i had a bit of cleaning to do.  then i decided to try out this new mask i'd picked up at sephora the day before.  pretty amazing stuff.  i'll be sure to do a review of it soon.  finally i switched on the lovely garden lights i have strung up along the window next to my bed and did a bit of bible reading before heading off to dream land.

did you do anything fun this weekend?

- jess


zoya polish review

i adore polish.  it's rare that my nails are bare.  such lovely colors mean my collection of polishes is starting to get a bit out of control...and yet there is always a new color or colors calling my name.

this winter zoya has really been on my radar.  i saw a few reviews of their winter 2012/2013 collection a few months ago and then started stalking my local ulta.  it felt like it took forever for them to update their zoya selection and bring out the new collection.  finally they had a sale on zoya buy 2 get 1 free and i finally scored a few.  i picked up blaze and storm along with rekha (which i've not worn yet) from their nyfw 2012 collection.  then as part of one of my glossybox i received electra.

i applied blaze on my nails first as i thought it would be lovely for the holiday season.  the polish applied beautifully and i only needed 2 coats.  the base color is more of a raspberry red.  and oh the shimmer this polish possesses with micro glitter is amazing!  the pics just do not do it justice.

this polish quickly stole a place in my heart as one of my top favorite polishes of all time.  the wear on the zoya formula for me was the standard i get with most polishes.  and even though it has micro glitter, it was a breeze to take off the nails.

this week i wanted some glittery nails for new years so i applied a base of storm polish.  the coverage on this color i found to be a bit more sheer than blaze.  it took two liberal coats for me to get an opaque base.  i was actually more excited for this color than i was for blaze, but to me the micro glitter just shimmers better in blaze.

i decided to apply electra to just the tips.  it is a holographic bar glitter in a clear base.  it is stunning.  however i do have issues with bar glitters in that my tips always seem very sharp once the polish has dried and sometimes the 'bars' of glitter can really poke through the top coat and cause friction when your hands rub against anything.  i did have to take a nail file to the tips of my nails as it was so rough i was afraid it would catch on a sweater or even scratch the delicate skin around my eye when applying makeup.

the storm and electra polishes have been on my nails for two days now and so far no chipping.

- jess


summer baby shower

this past summer i had the pleasure of co-hosting my best friend's baby shower.  i had helped out with other showers in the past, but i really wanted this one to be extra special and i took the lead on planning/decorating.  let me just say, it was a joy but also way more work than i had anticipated.  lol.  for one thing, i'm a huge procrastinator so that probably had a lot to do with all the stress i was feeling.

i was in such a rush to get everything done at the last minute that i didn't take the time to take some really good pics.  so i completely apologize for the quality of these pics.  i think that's why i didn't blog about this back in the summer, i just wasn't pleased with these pics.  also, i didn't get any pics after people started arriving, so no pic of me and my bestie.

i started out by designing the invitation on my computer.  once it was printed on regular copy paper, i cut it down and adhered it to cardstock.  originally i was going to cut down my heavy weight cardstock, but at the last opted to buy precut cardstock at hobby lobby which turned out to be perfect and a huge timesaver.  after the printed invitation was glued down to the cardstock i wanted to add something to it and make it feel a bit more special and also wanted each one to feel unique.  i decided to apply glue to the edge and apply a mixture of white/clear glitters.

for the flip side of the invite i wanted to give it more of a scrapbook/homemade feel.  the easiest thing would of been to come up with a simple design to repeat on each.  but since i wanted it to remain unique i didn't want to go the cookie-cutter route.  so i gathered a bunch of papers, washi tape and stickers in the color scheme.  then i took plain white doilies and used mists to alter them to go with the color scheme.  in the end i was pretty happy with how they all turned out.  the majority of them were hand delivered but i also needed to mail out about 1/3 of them so i had to remember to keep some of the designs pretty flat.  i didn't get a pic, but for the ones hand delivered i took small pink treat bags and used a decorative punch on the ends.  then after the invite was in the bag i punched two holes at the ends to run ribbon through to secure the invites in the bag.

moving on to the actual shower.  we had it in our church dining hall.  so we took most of the tables and made a large square out of them.  here is a pic of the table for the parents-to-be (well, technically they were already parents as this was their 4th child).  we used a different color table cloth for their table.  also we ran some paper garland along it that i'd purchased at the local dollar store.  i bought a couple bunches of flowers from sams club and used them to decorate the table along with some altered canvas' i had made.  in the background you can see the gift table, drink station and food tables.

on the food table we used some more of the purchased paper garland.  i had seen a really lovely painted board w/ roses here on the ruffled blog. i thought it was so lovely and wanted to create some boards with the same feel.  it was incredibly simple.  i purchased two foam core boards from hobby lobby and simply used some acrylic paints i had on hand to give them an ombre' feel.  i also used large doilies i found at the dollar store and yarn, butterflies and some other paper pieces from hobby lobby.  the roses i cut out on my silhouette machine.  and the bunting was simply some triangles i cut out by hand and added a bit of distressed ink to.

i also made the cupcakes, but used wrappers i bought at tjmaxx.  the pink bowl is holding pink sixlets candy.  my mom made pink lemonade whoopie sandwich cookies.  and i took marshmallows, put a stick in them, dipped them in white chocolate and then pink sugar.

finally i bought bunches and bunches of tissue paper and made these little clusters to put along all the tables in the square where everyone sat.  also in the middle of that square we hung from the ceiling some chinese lanterns with butterflies along with some balls made of tissue paper.

it was definitely a lot of work, but nothing too hard.  just in the future i'd need to have a bit better time management so not to get as stressed ;-)

my friend, shelly and her husband received a really good selection of gifts for baby adelyn.  i also took blank greeting cards, one for each person at the party, stamped happy birthday on them and passed them out along with an envelope.  on each envelope a number was written down from 1 up through how many people were there, which i believe was around 18.  each person would look at the number on the envelope and write a birthday greeting on the card for adelyn to receive on her coordinating birthday.  and at the end i collected all the cards, which were in the envelopes and gave to shelly to hand to adelyn on each of her birthdays.  oh, and i also printed out and had everyone fill out a 'wishes for baby' similar to this one.  these keepsake items were a great hit with all the guests as well as with shelly.  we also had some games, but the keepsakes really help everyone feel more connected to the family.

- jess


2013 olw

have you heard all the buzz about choosing a word, one little word for the year?  i first heard about it toward the end of 2011.  last year i chose the word MOVE and i signed up for ali edward's class.  i had great plans, but alas as with most things in my life it never reached any potential.

this year is going to be different.
because of the word itself.
it's a word that sparks change.
it means to change completely.
this year my word is...

i'll be sharing more about this word a little later.
it will be a reoccurring post here on my blog.
but for today i just wanted to share my word.

this year i am choosing not to take ali's class again.
it's a great class and i recommend you take it, especially if this is your first year to chose a word.
but for me...
for this year...
i'm going to take what i learned last year and combine it with some ideas i have for it.

did you chose a word for 2013?

- jess