Friday, November 28, 2008

Crowning Achievements

Oh I am so excited I can hardly stand it! Bloggers, I have been keeping this humongous secret for the past 4 months...and finally I am so excited to be able to share it with all of you! Romantic Homes Magazine, one of my very favorite decorating magazines of all times came to me a few months ago and asked me if I would like to be featured in their magazine! After catching my breath, I accepted their offer with delight! I have wanted to be a contributer to the magazine for years, and this opportunity came with such surprise! My feature is in the January 2009 issue that was placed on the stands today! Someone must pinch me as I truly can't believe this has happened. I am so thankful and feel so much gratitude to have such a gracious story written about me. Below are some of the photos that were not used as part of the article.

I hope you enjoy the article and getting to know a little bit more about me, xo Alys

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. During this time of the year I often reflect on all of the things I am thankful for. Getting together with family and friends, enjoying the day talking and reflecting over the years is one of my favorite pastimes.

It goes without saying the food is always delicious! One of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving time is Pomegranate Salad. I will post the recipe for it here tomorrow. Pomegranates are in season during this time of year. This salad is super easy to whip up and compliments the turkey and dressings so well.

A little list of some of the things I am thankful for...

The Words I Love You * Flowers * Porch Swings * Family * Bubble Baths * Freedom * Big Closets* Good Health * Candlelit Dinners * Wishes * Dishwashers * Picnics * Smiles * A Good Song * Chocolate * Hair Spray * Holding Hands * Diversity * Lemons * Beaches * Grace * Jeans that fit * Honesty * True Friends * Thoughtfulness * Lipstick * Bedtime * Indoor Plumbing * Life * Talent * Thin Mints * Victoria Secret * Teachers * Dreams * Mentors * Good Food * My Blog * First Class * Grilled Cheese * Babysitters * Air Fresheners * Art * My Brothers * Heart to Hearts * The Right Tools * New Shoes * Love * Seasons * Quiet Time * Laughing * Game Night * A/C * Heirlooms * Generosity * Time * Cellphones * Sunshine * Kisses * A Good Book * People * Traditions * Dancing * Nordstroms * My Toothbrush * A Desire to Learn * CheeseCake * Vacations * My Favorite Shows * Boating * Sunday Drives * My House * Memories * Being a Mom * Technology * Good Drivers * Love Notes * Our Country * A Shoulder to Cry On * Shade Trees * My Job * Soy Chai * Choice * Spa Days * Wii Rock Band * History * Bubble Gum * My Girls * Non Iron Clothes * Soul Mates * Fun * My Blog Readers*

What are you thankful for this holiday season?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A 9 Year Old Pirate Gala

Happy Birthday to you...Last night was Ayshas 9 year old birthday party. We had so much fun getting dressed up as pirate princesses and turning our home into a pirate ship. I can't believe my baby just turned 9! It seems like only yesterday that she was just a tiny baby in my arms. She is growing up so fast and is such a fun little girl. With the most sweetest personality and funny as a clown, I am so lucky to be her mom! Aysha loves all of her friends and is quite the entertainer. We made up these invitations below for her to send out to all of her shipmates to come and join in on the fun!

This is a very inexpensive way to make and send out invitations. I had them printed up at Costco for 2.35 if you can believe it! Everyone loved how much fun they were!

One of Aysha's favorite people is Anders her cousin. She takes such good care of him and loves him so much!

These pirate cupcakes were the hit of the party. If you are ever in need of specialties cakes or cupcakes Dippidees is the place to go. Not only do these cupcakes look so adorable they were absolutely divine & delicious as well!

~Best Shipmates~

Happy Birthday My Little Pirate Princess, xo Love Mom

Monday, November 10, 2008

French Framed Collage Heirloom

I have started making my Christmas presents for loved ones a bit late this year. Normally I start thinking about this around the first of September but with so much going on with the kids and family activities I have been a bit late. I thought it would be fun to share with you this French Framed Collage Heirloom that I have put together. It has been so much fun making it. If you are anything like me you have bits and pieces of gathered treasures lying all around your home. Putting them together in a curio or frame as I have done gives them a special feel and really showcases them in a fun way to display.

I made both a framed collage as well as a shadow box curio. Using things that have special meaning to me really personalizes this gift, and will make it special for the person receiving it.

I chose to go with a gold, silver, cream, brown and black color scheme. Choosing your colors and sticking within that palatte really makes this pop!

From old star fish found in Hawaii, to gorgeous Italian carved wood frames, I just gathered together all of the things I love. I have been gathering pieces for this for the past 6 months. If you are planning on making one just keep that in mind while you are out shopping flea markets or antique shops. You can collect things that are special to you. I plan to continue adding pieces to my collage as special things come into my life.

Old religious relics are always fun to use on a project like this. I love the patina and aged feel they add. Anything that has special meaning to you can be used. I love crowns, so adding the crown drawer pull added to the dimension and also helped to personalize this.

I found this old carved wood gilt frame at a thrift store for 10.00. It makes the perfect frame for this beautiful collage. I cut out a wood board and covered it with a batting and fabric. Going with a neutral color on your fabric is important so your piece doesn't get to busy. You could even use an old flower sack or burlap. This is a very inexpensive project, but the end result is priceless!

I gathered several of my very favorite photos from the past. This is such a fun way to pull those pictures out of old memory books and put them to good use.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Tribute-My Grandma

Do you have someone in your life that can make all of your worries, all of your cares go away with just one hug? That is my Grandma. She has always been my foundation and I have always looked up to her. She has amazing strength, incredible creativity, and a heart as big as this world. Her love has always been unconditional for me and I have always felt like a star in her eyes. She has a way of making me believe I can be anything I want to be. She has always given me a reason and a purpose to want to be a better person. Her beauty shines through even in her elder years. Grandma, I love you!
This is my Grandma in her 20s. She was and still is so beautiful both inside and out. She just recently on Sunday celebrated her 80th birthday. She had 36 people there from our family.
My grandma has always had such a strong spirit. In her youth she loved to ride horses, and spend time with all of her brothers, sisters and cousins. She has always been such a hard worker. She is never sitting still. If it isn't a child she is chasing after you can find her creating something beautiful for her home or taking care of a neighbor.
Look at those sexy legs! I have always adored this picture of my grandma.
My grandmas family.
My Grandma & Grandpa. I just love the way he is holding her in this picture. My grandpa passed away several years ago. He was the light in my grandmas life. Their love and passion for one another lives on. They were always so flirty with one another, and we could always see how much love they shared.

My Grandpa-We love and miss you always

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Scary Blue Box!

Today I went out to get the mail, and it was here!!! I have been anxiously awaiting this new software from Adobe. It is the new Photoshop PS4 that was just launched last week. I was super excited to open it and load it to my computer...This feeling changed QuIcKLy when I realized this doesn't come with a users manual. Nothing, no directions, not even a flash card for dummies! Just a pretty, bright and cheerful blue box and a disk. Talk about feeling a bit intimidated. Have you ever bought a new electronic and felt like your children knew more about it than you did?
I am sure this little intimidating blue box will soon come in very useful. I will have the basics down in no time and will be able to start creating incredible photos and layouts with it. Is there anyone else that is a bit intimidated by this new software? Any leads on good instructional videos or sites with direction or forums would be appreciated!

Feeling a bit intimidated, xo Alys