Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I was so excited to deck the halls this year! That's because for the past four (five?) years I haven't been able to decorate for Christmas. We were either living in our fifth wheel "traveling" (and there really wasn't extra room for a tree) or we were in the middle of remodeling and I didn't want to bother with getting extra decor out that would just get dusty. You can just imagine how much fun it was for me to be able to unload all of my Christmas decor. Some of the items I forgot I even had! Greg knows that sometimes I can get an idea in my head and I will stop at no means to follow through. However, he told me not to buy any additional Christmas decor and to use what we had. I obeyed his orders, only because I figure this means I can buy double the amount of "stuff" the day after Christmas! ;)

I was dying to purchase matching stockings and have all of our names embroidered on the top. But, since I had to stick to the "no purchasing" rule, I had to make due with our old stockings. I did go out and purchase a stocking for Shady and it literally drove me crazy that once I put some treats in her stocking that it didn't hang the "right" way. At least I know not to purchase that particular stocking tomorrow for the whole family!

This may sound silly, but one thing I was really excited about decorating was our mantle. I've never had a mantle before! I was happy to finally put the stocking holders I bought last year to use! However, they were originally brown which I didn't think was festive enough. Luckily we had some silver spray paint on hand, and I think after a few coats they were finally up to par!!!

I had to get pretty creative in decorating the mantle! Luckily I had a strand of pre-lit garland, but I knew that and the stocking holders weren't going to have the look I wanted. I have always loved pine cones, so I posted a question on facebook asking if any of my friends had a pine tree in their yard so I could come and pick some pine cones. Luckily one of my friends did! I gathered as many as I could and when I came home I spray painted some silver, others I used glue to add silver or gold glitter, and others I left in their birthday suits. I decorated with them in several places in the house! Talk about decorating on a budget!

I had a plain cylinder vase on hand that I stuffed with various pine cones as well as a few red bulb ornaments. After I placed that on the mantle, I knew I needed to add a little bit more height to achieve a more desirable affect. I resorted to placing a few pine cones in some martini glasses. I thought it turned out pretty cute, and I was proud of myself for once having my own original decorating idea!

Although my stockings didn't match, my sister happened to give this to me. Pretty cute if you ask me and at least I was able to use it along with the other hodge podge of stockings! After all, Parker can only use this stocking once, right?

Every year I like to buy a Christmas ornament that represents something for the year. Obviously, this little guy fit the bill! It even has a place on the back where I can write in Parkers weight and length. It's safe to say it will be one of my favorites for years to come!

Here are some other snapshots of holiday cheer in our house:

This is a count down to Christmas wall hanging that Greg's grandmother made when he was a little boy. It's the only holiday decoration that Greg had when I married him, and I love how it has such a sweet sentimental value to it. I'm sure Parker will love using it when he gets older.

This is a live wreath that one of my friends gave me for a Christmas present. I've always wanted to have a live Christmas tree, but this was the next best thing!

Parker with his stocking.

He likes chewing on his books rather than flipping through and "reading" them. Today they were extra yummy because Father Christmas brought Parker's second tooth! (Unfortunately it's also causing him to run his first low-grade fever. Poor guy!)

One of the toys we bought him was a box of little squirtable tub toys. We took a starfish out and that proved to be his favorite new toy. We pretty much had to open all the other presents for him because he wouldn't put it down!

We ventured out to The Elks Lodge this morning to join other members for free Tom and Jerrys. This is an eggnog drink that is made with powdered sugar. They were pretty yummy! To continue our festivities, I'm cooking a big, yummy dinner for us to enjoy. The menu consists of ham, sweet potato casserole, broccoli rice casserole, cranberry jello salad, croissants, and a pumpkin roll.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My First Bling On A String Trunk Show!

On December 9th I had my first Bling On A String Trunk Show! I've been brainstorming about doing a trunk show since August. And it took me that long to get enough inventory's not always easy getting jewelry made with a baby in the house! When all was said and done I had 60 pieces of jewelry available for sale at the trunk show. I was nervous if that would be enough, or if people would be disappointed that there wasn't very much jewelry to choose from. I finally decided that I had to start somewhere and I could always explain that to people if they brought it up (luckily no one did)!

The days leading up to the show were really busy for me! Making sure every piece was tagged with a price, cleaning the house, stressing out, making and sending invitations and evites, and did I mention stressing out? I finally know how an artist feels before their first art show. Would people like my jewelry? Would they think it was over priced? Would they think it was poorly made? Would any one show up? The doubts were endless.

I invited around thirty five people to the trunk show. I had nine people attend. I tried not to let that discourage me. I've been told to always expect a fourth of the people you invite to attend an event, so I guess I did pretty good! I did have one lady attend who did not make a purchase, which of course hurt my feelings. I mean, I for one always intend on making a purchase (even if it's a small one) if I attend a trunk show or a direct sales party. I mean, that is the purpose of going, is it not?

I included a few special offers at my show. I entered guests into a drawing for a free necklace for every $20 that they spent. By the end of the night I had seven entries! I also marketed my slinky bracelets at a "buy two, get $5.00 off", which was a big hit. People loved my large slinky bracelets!
Here's a picture of one of my large slinky bracelets that is currently available for sale at

After all was said and done, I had sold fourteen pieces of jewelry! I made a deal with my husband, that I would take 25% of my sales and invest it back into my business. I'm hoping that amount will allow me to replace the items that I sold and hopefully make a few more pieces. I figure this way I can slowly build up a decent inventory for future shows! I do hope to have a trunk show at my house every season (four times a year). I would also love to have people volunteer to host a trunk show at their house. I would give them a few hostess "bonuses" as well.

For those of you who have been encouraging and praying for this little venture of mine, I really appreciate you! You know the saying that God works in mysterious ways? Well, I am a firm believer in that. Back in my days of selling real estate, I always knew that if I worked really hard to generate business that God would see my efforts and would reward me. It would never be a result that I expected, but it always panned out nevertheless. For example, I would do mail outs to my entire neighborhood in hopes of landing a new listing. The following day I would receive a listing referral from a friend. In my heart, I always knew that God was rewarding my efforts. The same seems to be true for my Bling On A String business. I had several people tell me that they couldn't attend my trunk show but that they would call me one day just to come by and look at my jewelry. Well, of course people will say that, but do they follow through? Usually not. However, a week later a girl from MOPS that I invited called and said she wanted to come by! She purchased a pair of earrings. I totally wasn't expecting that, but it made my day! Then, the following day, another pair of earrings sold from my etsy store. The bonus was that the person who bought it was a complete stranger. I love it when random people discover my shop and like what they see!!!

Here are some of the pics from my trunk show. Of course, I forgot to take pictures until it was already over, so some spots on the table look a little bare.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

8 Months Old!

Parker is a few days past 8 months old now! I really don't want to write, yet again, that time seems to just be flying by...but I can't help myself! Time really is flying by! Some VERY exciting things happened in Parkers world this past month! We took a trip to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving! We didn't get to see nearly as many friends as we would have liked, but we did see a lot of family! And, I would post pics of Parker with all of his extended family, but there are just so many that would take awhile! But, here are a few cute pics from our trip home.

One of my best friends, Shannon, made this adorable Turkey onesie for him! Is that not the cutest thing? I loved it! Thanks, Shannon!

While we were "home" I desperately wanted to have Parker's picture taken with Santa. I had heard in the past that the "best looking" Santa Claus is at Bass Pro Shop. Unfortunately, we just couldn't seem to make our way up to downtown OKC, so I settled for the Santa who was at Sooner Fashion Mall in Norman instead. Parker did great! I was curious what he would do once Santa took him. He looked at him kind of funny, reached for his glasses, and then gave him a big smile. We had a picture taken (not on our camera, so I won't be able to post it on here) and he gave the best smile on the second click. Everyone who was waiting in line behind us said, "Aww" when he did. As satisfied as I am with the picture, a few weeks ago a fellow friend of mine posted pics on her blog with her kids visiting Santa at Bass Pro. Needless to say, he was a much better looking Santa!

Parker loves it when I sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and do the motions with him!

When we got back to Colorado Parker had what I thought was his first illness. Luckily, the doctor disagreed. He just had a major runny/congested nose. Let's just say Parker got a little unhappy with the bulb syringe and would begin crying at the mere sight of it! Luckily he is much better now!

As far as food goes, we have added green beans, apples, and peaches to his menu! I try to get him to drink water out of his sippy cup. He loves "drinking" from it, but I think more than anything he chews on it. I actually bought him some straw sippy cups for Christmas to see if he can get the hang of those better.

At the beginning of December a big milestone happened! He crawled and sat up all in the same day! He could kind of sit up for awhile now, but always toppled over after a few minutes. I had read that babies should be able to sit before they can crawl so I was starting to get a little worried. Now when he sits, he is leaning on one arm. If I put him in the normal sit, or tri-pod, position, he still doesn't last that way very long. Now that he's crawling, I can barely keep up with him! Child-proofing is in full swing here at our house!

A week after he finally mastered crawling, he began clapping his hands. He doesn't make any sound when he does it, and he doesn't do it very often, but it sure is cute when he does! The evening of the day he clapped his hands, I had him in his nursery playing on the ground. I was doing something in the bathroom and walked by the nursery to go into the office. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something that shocked me. Parker has a little fisher price chair with a desk attached to it that has a singing lamp and book attached to it. Parker has always been fascinated with it, constantly crawling or rolling over to it and banging on the seat with his hand. Imagine my surprise when I walked by and saw that he had pulled up on his knees for the first time to get a little bit closer to the desk! He doesn't pull himself up to his feet, just his knees. In fact, he doesn't ever place his feet on the ground correctly if you hold him in a standing position. I hope this will be a problem that will correct itself shortly.

Parker is all BOY! He loves BALLS and DOGS! In fact, chasing a ball on the floor is what made him learn to crawl! His most recent favorite toy also includes: a plastic cup!

Another random fact about Parker is that he always has a scratch on his face. I just cannot keep his nails trimmed short enough.

He loves to be carried in his baby bjorn. It comes in very handy during shopping trips. Too bad he's getting so heavy now that it hurts my back!

This is a typical Parker pose in his car seat! He loves to chew on the puppy's ear!

I am 8 months old! I weigh 19 pounds and am 27" long!

This is another one of my favorite toys: the doorstop!

I'm gonna get you, mama!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Card Drama....Again!

Some of you may remember the Christmas card drama I had a few years ago. Well, go figure, two years later I'd have some drama again.

I did a Christmas photo shoot with Parker with intentions of using one of the pictures on our Christmas cards this year. The pictures turned out fairly well and off I went to upload our 2010 Christmas cards onto I knew they would be arriving any day now so I was super excited when I heard the UPS man pull up to my house. I was in the middle of nursing Parker but I know from experience that UPS will leave packages on my front porch. As soon as I was finished nursing I quickly ran downstairs and retrieved my package.

As I tore open the box like a little kid I couldn't help but feel a quick flutter of excitement! I knew this year I wouldn't have the same problem as I did the year before. I pulled one of the pictures out of the box to do a quick once-over when I quickly let out a cry of horror. There it was. Plain as day. I spelt my son's name wrong.

I probably wouldn't be too upset were this not my son's very first Christmas. Especially since his sweet little face is the only person pictured on the card. I even planned on placing one of the cards in his baby book. How will my little boy look back as he's older and be able to see how excited I am to celebrate his first Christmas with him when I sent out a Christmas card calling him, "Parer"?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So much to blog about....

But so little time to do so!!! In an effort to motivate me to blog here are some tidbits I hope to blog about soon!

*My first Bling On A String Trunk Show
*Decking The Halls
*Parker turning 8 months old (because lets face it....he's not quite there yet but at the rate I've been going he'll be 8 1/2 months old before I blog about it)
*How badly I sucked at keeping up my New Year Goals this year. There. I've said it. Now maybe I can quit stressing out about the fact that I still have a few days to go and maybe just maybe I can at least cross off a few of them. *cough*yeah right*