Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My 10 Year Reunion (super long...beware!)

Well, it has come and gone...the big high school reunion.  We had it on Friday, Sept 23rd and Saturday Sept 24th.  There were about 30 something people who showed up and I think everyone had a really great time.  My friend Megan put together a slide show that played continuously throughout the evening and she and I put together some fun music from 1997 through 2001 (our high school years).

Since there aren't many ideas on the web about decorations for high school reunions, I thought I'd share what I came up with and hopefully help others out.  As I mentioned in my previous post, there was not a lot of money for decorations and fru-fru things.  Total bummer for me, but I was happy with how it all turned out. 

Let's start at the entrance!

I made paper bag luminaries to line the walkway entrance.  I went to my old school and used the die cuts from the teacher workroom to cut out eagle silhouettes from black construction paper.  I already had the paper bags and the black construction paper so this was a no-cost project!   The candles used on the inside were left over from my cousin's wedding a few years ago. 

Here is what they looked like when it got darker.

For the front steps I made some maroon, white and gray bows to put on the hand rails.  And for the doors I made hangings from old picture frames.

Basically I took the glass out of two old matching picture frames that were laying in my mom's garage and spray painted them silver.  I got the wooden "E"s from Hobby Lobby for 99 cents.  I bought a 99 cent bottle of maroon craft paint and painted them.  Then I took a black permanent marker around the edges to give it some dimension.  I used a hot glue gun to attach fishing line to both the E and the frame.  A bow looped around makes everything hang pretty!  Oh, and a nice little clear Command hook held everything up.  I used 1 huge roll of maroon ribbon for the bows and door decorations and I got it half off at $7.00 or something like that.  Total cost for outside decorations: around $10.00

Once through the doors, my classmates got to see a table of some high school memories.

I borrowed the pom-poms and megaphone from my niece (who attends my old school) and everything else was stored somewhere in either my mom's house or mine.  I had our class picture matted and framed back when we graduated and I was glad we had it to display.

I used the same silver spray paint to paint the glass vase in the right hand corner.  I've never spraypainted glass, but it was actually pretty easy and didn't have any problems.  I used the same silver paint along with some primer gray and white spray paint I had laying around the house to add some color to the curly willow (also left over from a friend's wedding).  Painted a few more with the maroon craft paint and that was that.  Total cost for the entry table - $8 for a roll of maroon table cloth (which I used elsewhere) and $6 for the gray table skirt...$14.00!

Then there were the food tables.

Since there were so few of us, we just had finger foods and a cake.  We might try a dinner next time.  I used the maroon tablecloth sheeting again for both tables and another skirt for the food table.  I made the banner over the table using posterboard, ribbon, and more diecuts from the school.  The gray posterboard was $1.00 at the Parent/Teacher store and the white was .50 at Dollar Tree.  I used exactly 1 roll of gray ribbon, also found at Dollar Tree and maroon curling ribbon my mom had laying around.  I cut the letters and eagles from scrapbook paper I already owned making this another inexpensive project at $2.50!  The cake table didn't cost anything b/c the pom-poms were in my mom's upstairs playroom.

And finally, the centerpieces.  I thought they turned out pretty cute, but then again, I made them all so I'm probably a little partial.  =)

They were all different.  I used more die cutouts and scrapbook stickers to make the toppers.  The toppers were hot glued to kabob skewers that I painted with my maroon craft paint.  I stuck them in a small square of foam to keep them upright.  The vases are from my mom's house.  She has about 15 of them that she purchased from my cousin after her wedding.  We use these vases for EVERYTHING!  I had planned to use maroon and gray tissue paper inside them, but it's almost impossible to find maroon tissue paper.  So, I stumbled up on the solid silver/gray and white with silver starts at Dollar Tree.  Each package had 3 solid silver, 3 stars and 2 white sheets.  So I was able to do 3 tables for $1.00 (I didn't use the white sheets).  On some I did the silver on the inside with the stars on the outside.  I had 10 tables so it cost me $4.00 in tissue paper and the table cloths were about $3 each (I think).  So for less than $35 we had all the tables decorated.

There were also some outdoor tables, but I didn't take a picture of those centerpieces.  I basically used 3 different size mason jars filled with white aquarium rocks (again borrowed from my mother).  I use the maroon curling ribbon to tie a bow around each one and set a maroon tealight inside each jar.  We got a bag of 25 tealights at Michael's for $2.50 (reg $5 but we had a 50% coupon).  All 8 outside tables done for $2.50.

So that's that.  My reunion decorations on a budget.  Here are all my classmates who attended.

And me with my two besties: Kristi and Megan (L-R)

I didn't really decorate for family day b/c everyone was playing on the playground anyway.  But here are all the kids that showed up with their parents.  They are all soo cute!

Friday, September 2, 2011


I've had a little time on my hands recently, so I've been in "Reunion Mode."  As I mentioned before, my 10 year high school reunion is coming up and as president of my senior class, the task of planning falls to me. Yipee!

No really, I am excited about it.  I should rephrase that, I am excited about planning it.  Still in total denial that it's been 10 years and that the big 3-0 is just around the corner.  Total denial.  =)

Anywho.  The venue has been selected for our Friday night activity and we are having a family day on Saturday morning.  Saturday is easy - I told everyone to bring their own food, chairs and games.  Done!  Friday night is a little more difficult.  Maybe it's because I'm a perfectionist or I always like things to look expensive...or maybe I just want everyone's approval when they walk in the door.  It's probably a combination of all three. =)

Since there are so few of us in my graduating class (56 to be exact) and we are low on funds (i.e. BROKE), I decided to send evites.  Most of  my classmates are on Facebook, so that made tracking them down much easier.  Of course I would've loved to have sent out beautiful, expensive invitations with lined envelopes, but those cost money!  I went on over to the trusty site to try and find something that fit my needs.  After looking and looking, I just wasn't thrilled with anything. So I googled "electronic invites" and my new favorite site EVER popped

This site makes me happy!  You can send out save-the-dates as well as invitations.  It can help you plan the whole party with vendors and everything.  My favorite part was the actual invitations.  Most are free and if you pay a small fee you can get the "*Plus" designs.  The part I liked was that even the free ones are really nice.  I didn't feel like I had to upgrade to get the cuter designs.  Once you pick your stationary, you can change the font colors, the color of your envelope lining (yay! I got my fancy lined envelopes), and you can even pick the stamp that goes on the front.  Super cute and very personal. When you get the email, you see the front of the envelope, it flips over, out comes the invite and all the details.  Here are some of the ones they have for picnic/cookout in honor of Labor Day Weekend.  I LOVE the watermelon one!

So that part was fun.  I've also selected the table linens (which happen to be plastic - once again, broke). My deal now is coming up with centerpieces.  Have you ever googled "centerpieces" - oh my gracious!  After looking at a few hundred pictures, I realized that that they are all the same.  Vase, flowers, mirrors, candles, beads, etc. I want something different (and budget friendly). Here are a few that caught my eye (and I'm sorry, but I didn't pay attention to where I found these. Most seem to be personal photographs, so I hope no one gets upset). They will need to be tweaked to fit our colors (maroon & gray), but it's a start.

Really like the painted jars...never thought to do that before.

Wrap up empty boxes with paper & tissue 

I thought these were cute...but it's probably just the fun colors...and a cookie. Who doesn't love a cookie?

I love topiaries and I've been making my own ribbon trees, so this could be cute. Especially on the food table or at the entrance 
I kinda really like this one.  It's simple, easy to do but is pretty cute too!

EHS flags? I think they would be a fun party favor. These are apparently the new things at weddings.  You wave your "yay" flag when the couple is leaving - instead of bubbles, rice, birdseed, etc.

Yes, these are straight cool is that! But very tiny!

I wish we were the red devils....somebody made a cute collage of stuff to use.  They must've had a big budget.  Love the cupcakes!

So, here I to create something fabulous out of nothing. =P  Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Organizational Projects

So a few months ago I posted that I was going to be participating in a 52 week organizational challange.  Well....I started off good and then that ol' boy T came around.  =)  And now that he's gotten a local job and is around every day I'm really slacking off! But I can't blame him entirely...sometimes I'm just not very motivated.  But one day, I did manage to organize my hall closet.  I stumbled upon this beautiful hall closet organized by Martha herself (I have a love/hate relationship with her).  It's it so peaceful and happy?!

Unfortunately, this was my reality...and I'm so embarassed to show you this.  But, I am a real person and I have messy closets.  More than likely some of you do too, so don't be too mean to me.  =)

I have a very narrow space here, so that's why my pics can't show everything at once.

Yes, I still have boxes in this closet from when I moved in over 3 years ago.  I just didn't have any shelf space for them anywhere.  The good news is that I do acutally have my winter coats in here.  =)  I get points for that, right?  Anywho, I began by emptying out the entire closet and throwing it all into my foyer.  Luckily I don't get too many visitors dropping by.  I still have a box of Command hooks and strips from my college dorm days, so I went through those hoping I had what I needed and didn't have to go buy anything.  Success!

So, once I found the hooks, I stuck them to the door like Ms. Martha herself!

And then I hung up my bags and purses, just like Martha. I even have a monogrammed canvas tote like her too!  No, I didn't go out and purchase it just in case you were wondering.  It's been around for years!

Next, I hung up all my coats by color and spread them out on the rod.  I had purchased linen colored cubes a while back and threw my hats and scarves in one and all the random stuff in the other.  I still had to put a few things back in the bottom, but no where near the amount that was there before.  All my books and such were moved to a new shelf in the office and everything not needed was either put on craigslist or donated to Goodwill.

So now I'm all ready for winter and should have no problems finding the scarves that coordinate with my coats.  And the best part is, when you come over to visit, I'm not embarassed to hang up your coat and let you see my closet.  It's the little things, I know.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Crazy Times!

"No doubt exists that all women are crazy; it's only a question of degree." W. C. Fields

For some reason, this quote made me laugh today.  Usually I would be offended, but today I just decided to embrace it and go with it.  Haha!  I guess everyone is a little crazy and that's what makes us all so fun and different. Although I think crazy is the last word my friends would use to describe me. And I'm totally okay with that.

But anyway, things have been a little crazy lately.  I haven't posted the before and afters of my house yet because while writing, I realized that I don't really having any official "after" pictures!  I have taken some, but I've changed things since they were taken so they don't to me any good.  So my house is clean right now and I plan on taking some "current" pictures this weekend.  I know y'all are just DYING to see them! =)

Besides the usual craziness of working, keeping a house clean, maintaining a lawn and spending time with family and friends....I decided to throw a few more things in the mix.  When will I learn?!  =)  So my friend Bekah over at On Walnut Grove invited me to play Bunco as a sub one night back in February.  She asked me again the next month and since then I've been deemed a "regular."  It's really a lot of fun and even though I didn't know a lot of the ladies we played with, they have welcomed me into their group and we all have a great time.  It's my favorite Thursday night of the month for sure!

This year also marks 10 years since I graduated from high school.  This makes me fee SO old that I can hardly stand it.  I held the position as Senior Class President back then and it's fallen on my shoulders to plan a reunion.  I've got a great team of ladies helping me out and I'm kinda getting excited about it.  We've scheduled it for September 23rd and 24th.  Just a few details to iron out, but things are finally running smoothly.  Here are a few Senior pics from WAAAAY back then. =)

This year also marks 6 years since I graduated from college (Aug 7th).  Here's a pic from back then with my entire Interior Design graduating class!  This was taken after our FINAL presentation...a happy day for all of us!

[L-R: Apryl, Paige, Christie, Me, (can't remember the girl behind me..she wasn't a regular), Bridgette, Nneka, Dusty, Tiffany, Deb and Andrea]
Let's see, so I've covered Bunco and the reunion....I guess that leaves the OTHER thing.  I have a BOYFRIEND!  I can't believe it either.  I'm going to go ahead and blame him now for my lack of blog postings. =)  I started this before I met him and now I spend all my free time talking to him.  Sorry, T!

I know you want to hear the back story, so here it goes.  T (my web name for him 'cause his name starts with a T) and I met each other about 10 or 11 years ago.  We actually dated for a very short time before I met my ex-husband.  No lectures about that please.  =)  Anywho, we lost touch and although we both stayed in the same town I hadn't run into him or anything in the last decade (I hate that I'm old enough to apply that word to my life).

Well, close to Thanksgiving last year I get a message on FB from him.  Just a short note saying hi and mentioning a few things from the past.  It was nice to hear from him b/c I didn't know what had ever happened to him after we broke up.  So I excitedly replied back and we started "chatting" from there.  At first it was very sporadic, only sending 1 or 2 messages every few weeks.  He is an Over the Road truck driver and isn't home very much.  He asked me if I'd like to meet up while he was home during Christmas to just catch up and talk about what we'd been up to the last 10 years.  Unfortunately we didn't get to meet up then because I was going out of town with the family for a week.  So we continued to chat and finally exchanged phone numbers.  We talked and texted and he mentioned he would be home again in February and would I want to meet up then?  I said sure.  We met for dinner on Friday night and I was so super nervous!  I went out and bought a new outfit and everything!  We weren't calling it a date b/c I didn't know if I was ready for that, so we were just going to "hang out."  We ended up hanging out all weekend and he took me to the shooting range for the first time to teach me to shoot.

My target!

So anyway, we officially started dating and have been a couple since around the end of March.  He is a super sweet guy and I am glad to have his company.  Hope you all get the chance to meet him someday.  Sorry for not posting a picture of us...he's not really into having his pictures on the web & to be honest, I don't even have one of us.  Sad, but true.  Til next time!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Okay, so yeah, I got a new job...

YAY!  I know!  As many of you know, I was let go from my kitchen and bath design position back in 2008.  Since then I have applied to I don't know how many design jobs just trying to get back in.  I was being picky b/c I didn't want to drive 45 minutes to get to work.  I worked as a substitute teacher until school let out in 2009 and then that's when things in my life kinda fell apart.  I took the first job I could find, not knowing how I was going to support myself after the ex-husband left.  It was a part-time warehouse/office position at a local company here in town.  I was so thankful to have actually gotten a call back from someone that I jumped at the opportunity.  I soon learned that my boss was less than professional and that I had to do a lot of gross work in a warehouse.  But God was still teaching me my lesson, so I ate my humble pie and did the work.  Within a short amount of time I was "promoted" to Office Manager and I've been there for a little over 2 years now.  It blows my mind that it has been that long.  Where did the time go?

I had learned a lot of new skills at this job, such as keeping books, keeping up with inventory, web design and lots of other random things.  But nothing could fill that longing I had to design cabinets.  So every so often  I would wander over to the job websites looking for a K&B job.  In the last few months several jobs began to pop up and I was getting excited that the economy was back in a place where people were spending money fixing up their houses.  I applied for a few but didn't get any replies.  I was bummed for sure. Things in my life were finally on the upswing, but going to this job every day just kept wearing me down. Started to hate it more and more.

Then one day, God decided that it was my turn.  Back at my old cabinet job, I worked with a nice man named Joseph.  We worked together for about a year or so.  So just last week, I received a message from him on Facebook.   It said something like, "Hey Amy.  Are you still in design?  I started a new cabinet business and I want to discuss it with you."  I think I cried.  I know my stomach went up into my throat and my hear was beating a mile a minute.  Here I was searching and searching and God put this job right in my lap (or inbox)!  He is truly amazing and if you are patient enough, God will answer your prayers in due time.  I have to constantly remind myself that it's in His time and not my own.  So don't lose your patience with God...he will reward you!

So of course I accepted this job and told my current boss I'd be leaving last Thursday.  He was non too pleased and has kinda been mean to me every day since.  But I'm okay with that b/c soon I will be doing what I love again!  I start my new job on July 6th and I can't wait!  

Some of the skills I will need in addition to designing I actually learned at my current job...and I had to laugh at that.  I love it when God opens your eyes and allows you to see His master plan unfold.  He knew I needed to get myself together and learn to appreciate what I had before.  I had taken it all for granted and now I know better.  God gave me my current job to make me realize just how much passion I had for design and He allowed me to learn skills that I would use in my next job.  I'm so thankful he let me see the full circle of events...sometimes I just wish He would give us a sneak peek so that we don't feel so desperate sometimes. But again, it's in His time and not our own.  Patience - we all need it!

In honor of my new position, I'm going to post some pics of spaces I designed at my old cabinet job.  Enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Amy's House (You Sarah's House on HGTV? No? Nevermind.)

In March of 2008,  I bought a house.

(Don't mind the lady going into my house...she was my Realtor)

Now, if you know anything about me (or my mother), we can't just buy something and be done with it.  When I buy something, whether it be a picture frame, wall art, or even my house, odds are that I'm going to have to modify it in some way so that it's exactly what I want.  I could probably name off 10 to 15 items in my house that I've actually purchased and not done anything to.  That's not a whole lot!  So anywho, my house was the same way.  I looked at many, many houses and for some reason I kept going back to this one...the one that smelled of animal urine, was covered in dog hair, wallpaper and had so many brass fixtures it looked like royalty lived there.  Oh, but I could see the potential!  I loved the white picket fence first off...thought the screen on the front door was old fashioned and the fireplace mantle...well, just see for yourself.

But I knew it could be so pretty with a lot of work and probably just as much money!  =)  It took three long months of scraping, painting, cleaning and laying floors, after work and on weekends, but with the help of my amazing mom and a few others, it was transformed into my home!  It's truly me and I love just about everything about it.  There are still a few projects to tackle like my barren back yard and my dated kitchen, but it's impossible for me to have a life without projects.

So, my next few posts will be before and afters of each room and some details about what all went into making them look so fab!  I can't wait to share these with everyone and I hope they inspire you to do a few projects of your own.  If not, well, hopefully you like the pictures.  =)  

I will leave you with these words....spray paint is your friend!  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Church Nursery Update

Last year I was asked to freshen up our church nursery.  It still had the same decor from when the new building was built back in 1989.  Not so new anymore.

It was a lot of fun, but also a big challenge to do a gener-neutral nursery theme.  I didn't want to go real girly or too boyish since both would be using the space.  I also wanted to make sure the design and colors were classic enough to still look good in 20 years.  Okay, hopefully it won't be that long before the space is updated again, but even if it isn't, I think it'll still be beautiful. I also wanted a calming, restful space so upset babies (and sometimes moms) could relax.

My mom and I were on a fabric shopping trip and came across the super cute fabric.  It was a perfect neutral with pink, blue and green accents.  This was my jumping off point and it all just fell into place from there! 
My mom made the bumper pads and window treatments from that fabric.  We bought an inexpensive neutral for the dust ruffle and picked out coordinating ribbons that she then sewed into place.  We painted the walls and the church replaced the carpet.  I am very pleased with the results.

Here are some of the pictures of the transformation.

Before Pictures.  This is after we had already taken down the wall paper and border

This is after painting the walls.  We used Light Khaki above the chair rail and Malibu Dune below.  These are Valspar paints from Lowe's Seaside Retreat collection.  I love these colors with the woodwork!

Close up of the ribbon detail on the dust ruffle.

This is what the crib looks like with all the bedding in place.  The cute little brown pillows came from Target.

And the final product

Still looking for the perfect artwork to go above the changing table, but otherwise completed.