Cookie party favors made with Cricut Explore.

10 years ago I learned just what chefs mean when they say, “The Presentation is as important as the meal itself.”
As brand new parents, just home from the hospital with our new babe, we were so blessed to have friends and church members bring us meals for about a week as we adjusting to life with a newborn.
Let me tell you, a meal to a family with a brand new baby just might-as-well be a winning lottery ticket.
The meals were gratefully received…but there was “that one meal.”
Honestly, it looked like Halloween on a plate.
Presentation was a serious fail.
“That one meal” has now become an inside joke that when said, with making invisible air quotes of course, we know exactly what month, year and meal is being referred to.
Folks it was not good.
Suffice it to say, Pizza Hut stepped in and saved the day.
The presentation really IS as important as the food itself.
Let me explain…stay with me…

As you know my fabulous Cricut team 7 and I are striving for World Cricut domination one project at a time…mwahahah!
(BTW, Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a chance to win your own Cricut machine here).
This month our team voted on creating Halloween party themed paraphernalia.
Here’s what I came up with:

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It’s always a thoughtful idea to give your guests a little thank you-sumthan, sumthan for coming to your party as you’re sending them out the door.  But I’m always stumped as to what to give.
Then I asked myself, “Self, what would you like to receive as a parting gift”?
Heck, “A COOKIE”, by gollie!
Am I right?
Who doesn’t love a cookie?
Make a couple dozen cookies. Eat a dozen, give a dozen.
It may seem like a super cheap-o thank you gift (because it totally is) but when wrapped up and labeled it goes from cheap-o to yum-o to thank-o (I mean “you”).
The presentation is what makes it a hot commodity.

I started this favorite recipe of mine.

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Then bagged them on up.

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So here’s what I did:
I simply opened up the software called Design Space that available free online.  Then I just typed in “ENJOY”.
Hit “go” and my Cricut cut it out for me.
I backed it with orange for a Halloween flair, folded the card and stapled it together.
Easy-peasy!

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Plus, they’re not just party favor-thank you’s but a great centerpiece display as well.
Yeah, it’s just a cookie, but it’s all about the presentation people.

After eating 6 too many cookies I knew I had to get them hence away from my presence lest I eat every last one.
For real, no one is gonna balk at a paper plate of cookies but why not up the ante  and really make people marvel at your Martha Stewart greatness when you present them with this:

PicMonkey Collage

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I actually picked up one too many boxes at a salad bar (oops, wink) so I decided to use one as a cookie gift box and add some embellishment.  The Cricut Explore isn’t just for cutting.  Oh no, stick a pen in and watch it draw your design!

For a chance to win a Cricut Explore of your own enter our giveaway here.

Don’t want to wait for the results? You can purchase your own machine here.

*I received a Cricut Machine to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

New additions to the living room.

There just aren’t enough hours in the day.  Life around here has been adjusting to elementary school homework again, an exciting new job for the Mr., a not-so-exciting week long business trip for the Mr., me single-parenting it for the week, trying to catch up on that herringbone wall, dealing with the irrationalizations of a 3 year old, taking out my stress on the treadmill…and trying to enjoy the journey along the way.  I keep reminding myself that growth doesn’t come without transition and stretching.

In the meantime, I finding little pieces of Heaven rearranging furniture and finding snippets of time to work on home projects.

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Progress has been happening with the fireplace shelves.

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They just need a coat of primer, paint and books.

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AND, a couple new accent table additions made they way to our house via The Company Store. Not sure where their permanent place will be yet but they are versatile enough that they could work anywhere.

The Company StoreI have a handful of go-to stores that I look at when I’m searching for just the right piece.  I’ve always thought of The Company Store as a place for bedding (which they have an awesome selection) but little did I know that they also have a fabulous line of home decor items as well.  I’m definitely going to have to add them to my shopping list resources.

Keep tabs on them by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Stay tuned!

*The Company Store gifted me this side table.*

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes!

Happy Friday Folks!
For being a short week this past week sure went by slow.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ve noticed that we’ve been up to quite a few projects around here.
Let me get you up to speed…

First up the master bedroom.  It’s almost done.

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If you remember I fell in love with a wallpaper very similar to this but at $600. to do just one wall I knew that option was out.  So instead I had a custom stencil made.  You guys know I know how to stencil…I’ve used several of them in my projects. I tried rolling it, stippling it with a brush and even using a sharpie to fill in each one of the almost 100 dots on each triangle but the design was so intricate that the dots kept bleeding together.  I just couldn’t get a consistent look.  After 6 tries I threw in the towel.

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I don’t accept defeat well.
On the flip side, I’ve learned if you keep forcing something that wasn’t meant to be it just backfires.
So I painted over the whole darn thing and went back to the drawing board.

Using a Sharpie marker to draw on your walls is becoming hugely popular all over the internet so I decided to give that a try.
Inspired by the tile design we did in our basement bath I decided to see if I could give that a try.

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Time consuming yes.

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This is where I die.
When I re-painted the wall prior to marking it up with a Sharpie I got the white paint wrong.
The shade was slightly more yellow than the other three walls.
Not noticeable in these pictures.
But noticeable enough for the Mr. to point it out.
If the Mr. can recognize a white paint shade variance then that’s noticeable enough to bug the critters outta me.
The creamy, yellow-y wall amongst three clean, white walls just wasn’t gonna cut it.

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So I got the right paint and painted over the whole darn wall…design and all.
I’m a little insane.
I prefer to call it “particular, perfectionist or detailed.”
This morning I’m starting all over again and should have a final reveal soon.

In other news the leather sofa arrived!

DP0606201317072364M.tifWe ended up going with the Darrin from JC Penny.  I love, love, love it.  But there’s a problem.  Cue eye roll. The style doesn’t fit right with our living room.  As I looked at it I realized I was going to have to change everything else in the room (curtains, ottoman, chaise, side tables) to create a cohesive look.  I’m not up for that challenge right now.

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I knew however, it would look perfect in the new basement living room.  So we schlepped  the thing down the stairs and tried every which way to make it fit through our small, 1970′s door opening.  $%#@! The dang thing wouldn’t fit!

So we’re sending it back…unless someone would like to buy it.  We actually got a “special” deal on and paid less than it was listed for.  But sending it back means we’ll have to pay a re-stocking fee, argh.  It’s currently listed for $2037. plus tax.  It’s yours for $1500.
*Update: Sofa sold.*

Last but not least…this wall is getting 5 new shelves.

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Change is good.  Change is stressful. Change is usually worth it in the end. (Most of the time).

Stay tuned!