Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Project Life: Take 2

Happy Tuesday, all!

If you read my post yesterday, you noticed a lot of Project Life mentions throughout my goals list. No, I'm not getting paid to mention them or convince you to jump on the PL bandwagon. I just love the product and really want to use it to make my memory keeping a lot easier throughout next year.

I've blogged about Project Life before when I first heard about it, almost exactly a year ago. You can read my original post here. You can also see some of the photos I took for my January PL spreads here.

I know I've mentioned the project off and on, but I haven't shared a whole lot about it. Please don't let my laziness reflect badly on the project, because that's really the only reason. PL is extremely easy to use, it doesn't offer a lot of pressure, and it's really really cute.

Project Life is a memory keeping system. If you want to read the skinny about it from the creator, Becky Higgins, please check out http://www.beckyhiggins.com/. I also highly recommend following Becky's blog and liking her Facebook page. Both are full of tons of useful information {related to memory keeping and life in general}, and you can't help but walk away inspired.

Why did I get started?
I've called myself a scrapbooker for years {12 now} and I think of that as one of my main hobbies. I have an entire room dedicated to scrapbooking and card-making, and I read blogs every day related to keeping memories. It truly is one of my passions. But the reality is, when I force myself to face it, is that I haven't completed a scrapbook in 8 years. And in the entire time I've been scrapbooking, I only have 2 albums that I would say are finished. 2!! Isn't that ridiculous??

I realized that as much as I love looking for inspiration, buying product, figuring out what the latest trend is, scouring magazines...that's not actually helping me preserve my memories. Sure, I love to go into Archivers and drop a ton of money on fun supplies, but the reality is that I rarely use them as I intended, and none of that helps me share my story with others {or even myself, several years down the road}.

With Project Life, I don't have a need for all the extra stuff. I can still look for inspiration, buy product, etc. and I can get my photos off my computer and into an album! I can use the product if I want, or I can hoard it for special projects, or I can actually save money and only buy the things I'm going to use right away.

How did 2011 go?
Well, you'll notice that there weren't a lot of updates after January. Quite frankly, I didn't make time to do this project the way I wanted to - but that was my own fault. This memory keeping system is really set up to be a stress-free, make it quickly sort of thing. I am an out of sight, out of mind type of person, and my Project Life album got tucked away in my craft room, which meant it didn't get the attention I planned to give it. But - I'm okay with that. The cool thing with Project Life is, I can go back, print out all my pictures from 2011, do some quick journaling, and probably have the whole album completed in few hours. I had to adjust my expectations along the year - for example, I originally thought I'd have one, 2-page layout per week. That didn't work for me and my photograph taking last year, so I plan to have at least one, 2-page layout per month. Some months will have more. Some special events will get their one 2-page layout {a family reunion, for example}. The best thing about Project Life is that it can be whatever I want it to be. NO PRESSURE!

What's the plan for 2012?
Well, you saw my list yesterday. Big plans! I do want to try a layout a week again. It shouldn't be that difficult to do, especially since I have my iPhone with me all the time. I'm aiming for a picture a day, but it's a loose goal. If I don't get one a day, I know I'll have at least 7 over the course of a week to make my layouts.

I've already purchased my Core Kit {I got the Clementine this year} and page protectors, I just need to get the coordinating album ordered and I will be on my way {actually, I'll be on my way before the album gets here, but you get the idea.}

Another fun plan - I gave 3 of my 4 nieces their own Project Life kits for Christmas! {The 4th is too young to have her own yet, but she will someday!} I promised them that we could spend at least one afternoon per month putting together our albums. I loved seeing the girls look back through their pictures that I printed for them, and I can't wait to spend time with them sharing something I love to do.

I also hope to share more around the blog. I really do take a lot of pictures, I just have some issues getting them from the phone/camera/computer to the blog. The goal in my head is to share my Project Life layouts weekly on the blog. For me, that's a pretty lofty goal, so I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself if I miss a week here and there. But, I do like the accountability it would provide me.

Finally, some exciting news for those of us who love Shutterfly - Shutterfly and Becky Higgins have teamed up to create 2 Shutterfly photo books featuring Project Life designs {Clementine and Turquoise}. If you haven't made a Shutterfly book before, you should consider it - it's really easy and not at all time-consuming. And they have a custom path option now that allows you to direct the look of your book if you'd like that option. I plan to use the Shutterfly option to catch up on some of my books from before I was introduced to Project Life and complete at least one book.

So, there you have it. Obviously, I love Project Life, but I would be happy to answer any specific questions you have if you're on the fence about the project. And hopefully in the next few days, you'll be seeing some photos here on the blog of my completed 2011 Project Life Album!

Have a great day, all!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

112 Things for 2012

I typically make a goal or two for myself at the start of the new year, but really, not much comes of it {unless I cheat and know something will be happening, so I make it my goal}. I thought for this year, I'd make a list of things that I'd like to do over the next year, and hopefully keep track of them and check many off the list. Some are things that are gimmes {because I know they'll be happening} and others are things I'd like to do and others are things I have to do. The whole point of this list is that I'd like to do them over the course of the year, not stress about making them happen at the strike of 2012.

Here I go:

1. Pack or eat a healthy breakfast on days I have to work {don’t stop for fast food or skip it}
2. Pack or eat a healthy lunch on days I have to work {don’t stop for fast food or skip it}
3. Plan dinners the night before so we can stop for necessary ingredients or take things out of the freezer to thaw
4. Move closer to Elmwood
5. Donate at least 20 boxes of things to the thrift store before moving
6. Sort and organize all holiday decorations so they are easily accessible
7. Donate holiday decorations that won’t be used prior to the next holiday
8. Start a family
9. Complete 2011 Project Life Album
10. Start & complete 2012 Project Life Album
11. Complete at least one additional Project Life Album from a previous year
12. Print pictures at least once a month from the previous month
13. Work with nieces on Project Life albums, including printing pictures for them monthly
14. Grow my business
15. Blog at least 3 times per week
16. Engage in at least one activity per month to promote my business
17. Take at least 1 picture per day
18. Take pictures during important events/gatherings
19. Plan 1 date night per month with Mike
20. Complete 1 project per month from inspiration found on Pinterest
21. Start an idea binder to keep inspiration from magazines, etc.
22. Visit grandparents at least 1 time a month
23. Plan and work on 1 craft project per month with nieces and nephews
24. Take at least 1 vacation out of state
25. Take at least 1 vacation in state
26. Visit 1 place I’ve never been before
27. Pay off at least 1 credit card
28. Use at least 1 coupon with every grocery purchase
29. Try one new recipe per month
30. Learn to sew
31. Donate items from couponing to an organization in need
32. Take a photography class
33. Make our new house feel like our home
34. Purchase/borrow bikes and go riding on the trail this summer
35. Plan an outing/visit with friends at least once a month
36. Take pictures for my blog posts
37. Create a video to post on my blog
38. Send birthday cards on time to important people when we can’t celebrate in person
39. Create a stash of cards for multiple occasions to have on hand
40. Frame pictures for our home and display them
41. Create a gallery wall in our new house of important/sentimental pictures
42. Work on creating Christmas decorations throughout the year
43. Relax and enjoy December and Christmas preparations
44. Finish all holiday shopping by December 1
45. Wrap and label Christmas gifts so they are under the tree by the end of the first week in December
46. Use my iPhone calendar to help keep me organized
47. Build a stockpile and only shop for perishable items as needed - otherwise, use the stockpile
48. Plant a garden or work with family to have a garden
49. Freeze or can fresh produce to use throughout the following year
50. Take a family picture to display in our home, including both puppies
51. Attend 1 Christmas event in the community {tree lighting, Santa visit, etc.}
52. Visit the local library
53. Become a member of Mike’s church
54. Take all my nieces and nephews to the zoo for the day
55. Go to the Farmer’s Market at least once a month during June/July/August
56. Make homemade rolls for a holiday dinner
57. Drink at least 3 big glasses of water daily
58. Find at least 1 new blog per month to follow
59. Comment on at least 1 blog post per week
60. Host 1 holiday celebration at my house
61. Have a family dinner for no special reason at least every other month
62. Identify a space in our new home for books and make use of it
63. Visit a large flea market/antique show
64. File important paperwork so it’s easily accessible
65. Organize my spice cupboard so it’s not overly full and difficult to find what I’m looking for
66. Utilize my closet
67. Make a plan to complete chores/housekeeping responsibilities on a routine basis
68. Purchase a new vacuum cleaner and use it!
69. Begin filling my home with meaningful decorations that make us happy
70. Make time weekly to create for myself {rather than for customers or gifts}
71. Attempt to make contact with the people who received organs from my mom
72. Send Christmas cards
73. Carve a pumpkin
74. Attend a training/seminar to learn a new skill for work
75. Take a picnic
76. Learn how to use Photoshop
77. Take flowers to the graves of loved ones who have passed away
78. Use my time wisely to eliminate stress
79. Check Etsy and local stores first for gift giving options
80. Plan ahead for gift giving to allow time for shipping or searching for the right gift
81. Complete the Week in the Life project and get photographs into an album or Project Life layout
82. Get my house into a state where I would be comfortable with people dropping in
83. Keep my new house in a state where I’m comfortable with people dropping in
84. Change my mindset that people can drop in on a house that is not perfectly spotless
85. Strive to be more patient with people
86. Get up at least 3 times per week after hitting the snooze button only once {set alarm for the time I want to get out of bed instead of 45 minutes early}
87. Become more active in an attempt to be healthier {and lose weight in the process}
88. Purchase a pair of dress shoes that are cute and do not hurt my feet
89. Send at least 1 “thinking of you” card to someone for no particular reason
90. Make and display an advent calendar
91. Organize my pantry
92. Don’t give up on taking photographs daily if I happen to miss one day
93. Don’t complain about anything for a week
94. Watch a movie I’ve always wanted to see but have never made time to watch
95. Make a custom recipe book {or find my favorite online recipes and pin them onto my Food board on Pinterest}
96. Eat 3 things I’ve never tried before
97. Learn to knit or crochet
98. Make Cold Cookies for Grandma {and Mike & me}
99. Make my own cleaning product rather than buying something
100. Go to the county fair
101. Go to Groundhog Days
102. Don’t swear for a week
103. Identify 25 things that make me happy and find a way to incorporate those things into Project Life
104. Journal in Project Life as I take pictures - complete journaling for the previous month at the start of a new month
105. Visit at least 1 photo booth
106. Take vitamins daily
107. Organize the photos on my computer
108. Clean out refrigerator weekly
109. Send thank you notes in a timely manner
110. Donate expired coupons for military use
111. Create/purchase a family calendar to be used by both Mike & me
112. Say no to things when I don’t have time or am feeling overwhelmed

Whew! That was harder than I thought it was going to be, especially toward the end of the list. I think it's manageable though. And if I don't finish something, then there's always 2013. I don't want this list to be something that creates more pressure for me.

I plan to print this list and include it at the beginning of my 2012 Project Life album {if you actually read the list, you'll notice I hope to be much more dedicated to Project Life this year}, and revisit it every month to see what kind of progress I've made.

Have you thought of your goals or resolutions for 2012 yet? Anyone want to join me in a list of things to accomplish? {It certainly doesn't have to be 112...}

Leave me a note in the comments of your goals for the coming year. Have a great day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

An Amazing Gift

The best Christmas gift I could have imagined didn't get wrapped up and put under the tree. It wasn't something I knew I wanted or needed. It was something I'll treasure for a long time.

What was it? I let go.

I let go of wanting to do everything this holiday. I let go of feeling like I was a failure if I didn't get everything done. I let go of a lot of the pressure I put on myself to do things just because everyone else is doing them. I let go of my deadlines and my to-do lists and my expectations of myself.

It feels amazing.

I didn't just give this gift to myself. I had the support of my loving husband, who always wants me to be happy. My brother and his girlfriend stepped in and let me switch our Christmas eve dinner to their house instead of mine. Everyone in my life is being extremely patient with me. I couldn't be more grateful.

I don't know what it is about this year, but I couldn't muster the excitement I normally do. It's terribly disappointing, because Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love to decorate our house, shop for gifts, bake Christmas cookies and so on. 

I shopped for gifts, but the majority of the things I'm giving are homemade.

I put up two tiny trees decorated with a simple button garland, and I framed this print:

That's it, nothing else. {Feel free to click on the image to expand it, and save it for your personal use.} I brought up some other decorations from the basement, but I'll pack them all away tonight.

I didn't bake a single Christmas cookie. I'll put together a few things at the last minute, and I asked my grandma to make my very favorite cookies from my childhood. Everyone will survive.

The thing is...Christmas isn't about all that. And it feels good to come to that realization - that Christmas won't be ruined because I didn't do these things. I'm not saying that decorating or gift shopping or baking are wrong. Traditions are so much fun, especially at Christmas. But for me, this year, I need to just enjoy some time off. Spend some time with family and friends. Stop stressing.

I've been able to spend more time with my family this year. Tonight, my brother & his girlfriend, my nephew Michael, the hubs and I are going to pile into a car and drive around the area to look at Christmas lights. It was so cool to have my brother tell me he wanted to go to this elaborately decorated farm we used to visit as kids. I wanted to go there too, but didn't want to ask everyone to endure the long trip with me. So glad my brother wants his son to experience the same things we did as kid.

I'm excited for the possibilities the new year will bring. There's so much on the horizon and I can't wait to see how it all turns out. I'm already starting to feel energized about my 2012 Project Life {and my resolution to actually use it throughout the year instead of waiting til then end!} I also have some exciting news to share {hopefully soon} about a new direction for Vogt Design Co.

I probably won't be blogging again before Christmas, so I hope everyone who is reading has a very happy holiday season and has the opportunity to enjoy the blessings in your lives!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Short post today, as I didn't really plan to be back to blogging quite yet, but here I am...

I'm disappointing everyone these days, most of all myself. There just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done that I need to. I'm ridiculously over-committed, and it's no one's fault but my own. There hasn't been a day that's gone by the last few weeks where I haven't thought that I failed at something.

I'm trying. I'm working harder than I have since college (when I was younger and full of positive energy and had many things to look forward to). I know it's not enough, but I promise, it's all I have.

If I've disappointed you lately, I sincerely apologize. If it's any comfort, I'm twice as disappointed in myself.

Crossing my fingers that this will turn around after the holidays, if not sooner. I desperately need some peace.

Friday, November 11, 2011


I'm taking what I hope will be a short blogging break. I need to focus on life, get through each day, and look forward to whatever the future holds.

I'll be back soon!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Don't Forget Thanksgiving!

Source: piccsy.com via Jess on Pinterest

So I saw this on my friend Jess' Pinterest board {and several times after} and couldn't help but laugh. And then I saw this and pinned it:

Now, don't get me wrong. I adore Christmas. I'm pretty sure I posted about decorating in September. Yup, I did.  At my "real" job, we're thinking about Christmas in August or September. For crafty projects, I'm normally trying to think about it before then. For personal stuff...well, I fit it in where I can.

But, when I walked into Hobby Lobby back during the Week in the Life project in late July and saw Christmas decorations...well, that was it for me. July?? Are you kidding me. What about back to school, tailgating, Halloween & Thanksgiving? Are they just chopped living compared to Christmas?

So, in honor of not forgetting about Thanksgiving, I thought I'd post some Pinspiration {ha, I crack myself up!} for fall and Thanksgiving.

I just love everything about this. The wreaths, the mirrors, the way the mirrors are hung. I'd love to have this in my new entry way next year {we'll move in just before Christmas}.

This banner is great...very rustic, my preferred style of fall decorating.

I actually think this might be a little cuter {and more universally fall} without the "thanks" lettering on the bottles, but overall, it's a really cute vignette.

I love everything about this. I wish I had a table big enough for something like this...one day, in my dream home, I will!

I think it's so easy to forget about living in the moment and look ahead to things that have to get done or that are more exciting than a holiday that doesn't include caroling or candy canes or piles of presents. But by rushing by, I fear that people are missing out on the opportunity to give thanks for the blessings in their everyday life.

Plus, stuffing and pumpkin pie are really quite delightful!

Happy Wednesday, all!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Time has almost no meaning for me these days! It's sort of crazy how it flies by, disappears so quickly, or drags on when I don't want it to. Anxiety and anticipation and stress and planning all seem to have taken over the reality of time and given me a whole new schedule lately.

A few weeks ago, Mike & I were talking one night and I said to him, "Something needs to change. We need something new to look forward to in our lives. I don't care what it is - a vacation, a new job, a new house...just something new." At the time, that statement seemed so overwhelming and impossible. Funds are tight and we already took a trip to Texas this summer, so vacation wasn't happening. Home searches are overwhelming, so we weren't going there. And we were both in good jobs, even if they didn't make us particularly happy.

I guess it's true what they say, be careful what you wish for. Fast forward to now. Mike has a new job {that he seems to like so far}, I won't have a job soon {so I'll need a new one}, and we have a new house {or we will in 33 days...eep!}

Holy. Crap.

On top of all that fun, Vogt Design Co. seems to have taken off a little and I've been busier than ever with orders. I love it. I'm thinking of new ways to expand my business and I couldn't be more thrilled to get them under way. At the same time though, it's so completely overwhelming. Do I really have enough confidence in myself to make a "real" business out of what I do? Not just a sad little Etsy store, but a business where people might actually want to buy what I make on a regular basis? Weird.

Oh, and did I mention that I decided back in September that I wanted to make the Christmas gifts I was giving this year? I decided I could supplement with things I purchased and I would obviously need to buy supplies to make things, but I was going to try to make the bulk of our gifts this year. Yeah, that couldn't have been worse timing! I'm still committed to the idea, but the projects have changed just a little.

So, like I said, time doesn't have a lot of meaning for me anymore. I work until I'm too exhausted to stay awake, and then I sleep. My alarm still goes off at 4:30am whether I went to bed at 8:30pm {like I'd prefer} tossed and turned all night because my mind won't shut off. I sleep where I can {normally in the car on the way to or from work} because every little bit helps. I work where I can, take entirely too many notes and make too many lists, and hope that my health holds out.

And no matter how much I think I can't do it anymore, the truth is, I can. I may yawn a bit more. I may be a bit attached to my iphone. I may depend on Mike to hold me up.

It will all get done, and I will enjoy doing it.

Monday, October 31, 2011


While looking around on Pinterest last week, I came across this:

It was like walking into a brick wall for me. I woke up. I looked around and realized that work doesn't have to be like it is for me. It doesn't have to be stressful. I don't have to dread getting out of bed. It doesn't have to be a chore...

The timing of this was incredible. Chances are, I won't have a job {at least not here} at the end of the year. This isn't a new feeling for me, unfortunately. Working in a non-profit, I get that cuts have to be made each year. The economy stinks, we lose money every year, blah blah blah. I won't go into my feelings, because they're mostly things I don't want to put into writing and then throw out for the world to read, but let's just say there's a lot of bitterness and anxiety in my world right now. I'm tired of being the one who will jump to help everyone, and the first one on the list of positions to be cut because I'm "non-essential." It's not a good feeling, and I'm done with it.

Nothing is set in stone, of course. I haven't charted my course yet. But there are so many things I'd rather be doing than this. Or another job like this. When I think about how I spend my time procrastinating, I see a distinct pattern:
  • DIY
  • Handmade anything
  • Blogs
  • Crafts
  • Home decor
  • Stationery
  • Weddings
  • Photography
I appreciate creativity. I appreciate people who take the time to make things themselves. I appreciate Etsy and people who buy locally. I appreciate handcrafted treasures that I know are one of a kind. These are all things I strive toward when creating stationery for my customers {or whatever else I'm making.}

So, I'm challenging myself to find a role where I can do what makes me happiest while still contributing to my family. I have a couple of ideas in the works {I'll share more when I have some details worked out} that I couldn't be more excited about.

In the meantime, I'll be looking to spend my time doing things I enjoy. What about you...what do you do when you procrastinate?

Happy Monday all!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Since agreeing to buy our new home last Saturday, we've had some well-meaning remarks that make me cringe a little. I don't typically associate with mean people, so I'm sure that everything that has hurt my feelings has been well-meaning.

I'm completely in love with our new home. I know I have some blinders on {as one does with new love}, but I see so many great things for our family in the house. I already feel like it will be a wonderful home for us and our pups and whatever other little creatures may come our way in the future.

However, in an attempt at documenting everything that's going on in the process, I wanted to write about {and address} some of the things people have said to me/us over the last couple of weeks.

Well-Meaner #1: Why would you give up your beautiful farm for a little house in town?

I've written about how hard it will be to leave our farm. It's not really something I expected to do when we bought it 3 years ago. But, the reality is that our new house is equally beautiful for a number of different reasons. We're not giving up on anything. We're making a decision to leave behind a wonderful piece of property and a house that has been our home for 3 years. I know the next owners, whoever they might be, will love it just as much as we have. It was such a difficult decision to come to, but it's one we thought carefully about for a long time. And, for the record...the houses are the same size as far as square feet goes...they're just laid out in different ways.

What we are giving up, however, is a lot of driving {both to see our families and to go to work}. We're giving up a distance that separates us from of the people we're closest to in the world. We're giving up a lot of unnecessary things that we've collected over the last few years. We're giving up spending a lot of extra money on a mortgage payment.

Well-Meaner #2: Oh, you must not need a large kitchen.

Let me start out by saying that while our new kitchen isn't as large as our current kitchen, I don't feel like it's a small kitchen by any means. I also feel like we have the same amount of counter space and storage {I think we actually have more cabinets and drawers}.

Does one actually need a large kitchen? Does the size of my kitchen affect how the food I cook there tastes? Does anyone actually care how much square footage is available when they're laughing together over a meal? I'm going to go with "no" on these items, and they're really all that matter to me. I love that our kitchen is open, I love that it overlooks both the dining room and the living room, and I love that no matter what common area Mike & I are in, we'll be able to spend time together. It's very rare that we're actually doing the same thing at the same time, so we find ourselves separated even when we're home together - this "small" but open kitchen will eliminate that issue.

Well-Meaner #3: You'll regret giving up your house. Think carefully.

No. I won't. I may miss it from time to time {probably often, especially in the fall}, but I won't regret the move. I have very few regrets in my life, and this won't be one of them. Every new adventure is a joy and a challenge all at once, but every single thing that's happened to me in my life has been a blessing. Sometimes it takes a little time to figure out why, but it's there if you look hard enough.

Additionally, Mike & I are generally thoughtful people. We don't tend to rush into big decisions {especially Mike, he's very cautious}, we like to look at every angle, and I like to analyze things to death. I'm a little offended, Well-Meaner #3, that you think we wouldn't have thought this through before making a step.

I'm not addressing any of these comments on my blog to "call anyone out." I did that when the comment was made to the person who made it. I don't enjoy defending my actions & decisions {and I don't do it very often}, but I'm extremely proud of this new house and our decision to make the move. And to give proper credit to my friends and family, everyone has said how beautiful the new house is and how they can't wait to see it and appreciate all the little details.

Home is truly where the heart is. It will be in this new house, it's in our current house, and it was in our tiny apartment before this. As much as I've loved and will love the buildings we reside in together {well, maybe not the apartment so much!}, they're just buildings. It's love & family & friends that makes those buildings special...seeing my puppies run around the yard or having friends over to watch a movie or having the floor covered in wrapping paper after Christmas dinner.

So, Well-Meaners, I appreciate your opinions. If we weren't so close, I know you wouldn't have shared them with me. I know you're looking out for our best interests. I know you want to help us see clearly when making this decision. Rest assured, we are thrilled with our new house and can't wait to make it our new home.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Remember Your Manners and Some Cute Kids

Good morning!

I found out this morning that some photos I've taken and posted publicly are being used by others as their own. Not cool. I really don't post a ton of original pictures, so I didn't think this would be an issue for me, but apparently it has been. I try very hard to give credit where it is due when I post other's pictures {Pinterest is extremely helpful in that regard.} I was pretty livid this morning when I found out and my husband {who isn't what I would call creative} asked why it was such a big deal. Which calmed me down, because I want to give people the benefit of the doubt - maybe if you don't create things and post them on the Internet, then you don't get the "etiquette." Good rule of thumb though - give credit where it's due. We all learned at a pretty young age not to cheat. We know it's not right to steal someone's research and pass it off as our own. I can't take a copy of Huck Finn, cross out Twain's name, and write my own. Using that same logic, it's probably not okay to take a picture someone else took and post it on your blog or Facebook as your own. It's not okay to take credit for a project that was made by someone other than yourself. Remember your manners, kids. {I hope the stealers actually read what I write and not just steal my pictures.}

This happy little development means I'll be adding watermarks to my original pictures. As I said on Facebook this morning, yay for more work.

Alrighty, teaching moment over. Moving on to some pictures of really cute kids I took this weekend :) If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you've seen my nieces and nephew make appearances before. We had a lot of fun with a quick picture session yesterday since it was time for a new family picture. Here are just a couple of what we ended up with:

That's all I've got for today. This last week was extremely busy, so I'm still trying to get back on some sort of a regular sleeping/working/not working schedule {though there isn't a lot of time for things other than work and sleep right now}...hoping get started on packing and cleaning this week. Oh, we had our home inspection last Thursday, everything was good, and it looks like we're on track to move at the beginning of December! So glad to have that hurdle done...now on to packing up a LOT of stuff :)

Happy Monday all!

Monday, October 17, 2011


We got the house!! Yay :) I'm so excited, this weekend was extremely emotional and so good in so many ways. The best things in our life happen in the fall and this new development is no exception.

*Photo disclaimer...most of these were taken in the evening with some not so great lighting...I will get better ones once we're moved in and have a bright day!
{View of the stairway from the front door}

Of course, I'll be adding all this to my Project Life album, should I ever actually include some content beyond the page protectors and title cards, so I wanted to blog a little about what I can remember {and to be honest, I'll probably just print this and put it in the album}. {Be prepared for a long post, with lots of pictures!}

{View of the entry from the living room}

I was extremely nervous all day and unfocused. We had scheduled an appointment with the current home owners to have another viewing and take everything in one more time. We also invited Mike's parents and his brother and sister-in-law to come with us for a "fresh" view - I was really nervous that my vision was clouded by how much I wanted to live in this house. I was so certain that this house was perfect for us, I was nervous that we might be disappointed seeing it for the second time. I also had thoughts of the house being sold by the time we got there - this happened to us a couple of times the last time we bought a house, so it wasn't completely unrealistic.

{Living room}

Turns out, I had nothing to be nervous about. The house was as beautiful as ever and I could really see us living there. Keri & Mark, the current owners, are awesome people and we loved chatting with them {in fact, we stayed to visit with them for 4 hours that evening!} My in-laws seemed to like the house as well, which is awesome...I know they would have been honest with me if we were missing something major.

When we left for the evening, it was 10:15, but I was on the phone to our realtor, telling her we wanted to make an offer. We set up some time to meet with Mark & Keri the next day and hash out the details of our offer. When we finally got home at 10:45 {for the first time since leaving for work at 6am that morning} we were exhausted, but really excited about this new possibility.

{Main floor bath}

We met with Mark & Keri and our realtor to discuss the offer. Our realtor told us it could be a lengthy process and could take a few hours. I was nervous again, though not as much this time, that something wouldn't work out. We really wanted this house! We worked together on some paperwork, Mark & Keri stepped out of the house {how awkward, we kicked them out of their own house!} so we could discuss the offer, and then we kicked ourselves out so they could think it over. The whole process didn't take more than an hour before our realtor sat us all down and said:

Congratulations, you just bought a house!

It didn't seem real! It still doesn't, to be honest. We were all so excited because I think that everyone got exactly what they were hoping for.

{Fire place}

We're planning to close and take possession on December 5th, which gives us just under 2 months. I love that we'll have so much time to pack and get our house in order because we were thinking this is something we wouldn't be worried about until next year! We can take our time, throw out and donate A LOT of things we don't need to move with us, and make sure that we're only moving the things that we really will use and value in our new home.

{Beautiful bay windows in what will become my craft studio/office}

The scary news is that because we close on a Monday, we won't be able to move in until December 10 {we can move some little things, of course, but the major stuff won't happen until we can have a lot of help}. That gives me exactly 2 weeks to get an entire house unpacked and decorated for Christmas, because I'm hosting Christmas eve dinner at my house!

{What will become the guest room}

Man, is that petrifying. It's hard enough for me to get everything done in the month of December, between buying and wrapping gifts, decorating, cleaning, working, getting Christmas cards out, etc. Now I've got to throw packing, moving, and unpacking in as well! But, if there was ever motivation to get it all done, this is it.

{Master bath vanity}

As thrilled as I am to be moving into this new home, I'm also a little sad. I love our current home so much. It's the first home Mike & I bought together, it was where we planned our wedding, and where we spend the first two years of our marriage. It's where I first fed a cow his bottle, where I had my first garden, and the only home our Abby Gator has ever known. It makes me so sad to think that in just a few months, we'll probably never see it again. I fell in love with this house from the minute I saw it, and it has been an amazing place to live.

{Master bedroom}

So, it's been a whirlwind of a weekend and these next couple of months are going to be pretty insane too! It's such an exciting time though, I'm just trying to focus on things and really live in the moment - enjoy the process, enjoy the last few weeks in our current home, and enjoy the process of thinking about how to turn this new house into our home.  

Have a great week all!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Today my mind is focused in one place. Can't think of anything else...but I need to try...

At least for a few seconds, instead of thinking, "House, house, house," I'm thinking, "Awww...squishy!

Happy Friday all!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Looks like I'm having a little technical difficulties with the blog and with posting...hopefully I'll have it fixed soon. Sorry for any half finished posts that made their way into your Google Reader {at least, one random one showed up in mine!}

Happy Thursday, all!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fingers Crossed

Happy Monday all!

I'm terrible at getting my hopes up and then getting disappointed by things. I set really high expectations and, often, life falls short. That's okay...disappointment really just means that I cared enough to want something. However...I thought it might be a fun post to write about what I'm hoping for today.

Fingers crossed, we will have many more happy years of marriage beyond these first 2 {Happy Anniversary, Husband!}

Fingers crossed, the beautiful house we visited yesterday will be our home one day.

Fingers crossed, dinner tonight will be an awesome, stress-free time for us to talk about some big decisions in our life.

Fingers crossed, the apple spice cake I ordered from our lovely cake baker and friend at Drizzles {check Mary Pat out here on Facebook} will taste as amazing as it did on our wedding day 2 years ago {who knew she'd come up with a creation that we love even more than red velvet?}

Fingers crossed, it won't snow today like it did on our wedding day :)

Fingers crossed, I'll get my last Halloween-themed printable collection listed on Etsy this week before it's too late.

Fingers crossed, the stressful part of this year is almost done and we can take time to enjoy the very best {in my opinion} time of the year...autumn, football season, Thanksgiving & Christmas.

Fingers crossed, Mike's new job {that he started today} will be an awesome opportunity for him and he will love it just as much as he loved his old job.

It's so nice to be hopeful about things, to look forward to changes that are coming our way, and to know that no matter what happens, I have the best husband to share all of it with! I'm feeling extremely blessed right now!

I hope you all have something to be hopeful about!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Roller Coaster

Good morning all!

I think I've talked before about how we found our house 3 years ago {probably almost to the day...} The husband {then fiance} and I had been house-hunting for almost 6 months. We'd put in offers on 4 other farms to have them all rejected for one reason or another. We'd even looked in town thinking that farm living might not be right for us. Nothing happened. One day I was in my office and got a text from Mike telling me to check out a listing he'd emailed to me. It was love at first sight. There were about 10 pictures in the listing and every single one of them made me feel like we were going to make this place our home. We called our realtor right away and asked if we could see it. We went that night, fell in love, jumped around a little bit, and asked her to put in an offer the following morning. Within 48 hours of seeing the listing, the house was ours. After months of emotional highs and lows, we finally had a place to call ours.

Now that we're talking about moving, I feel like we're at the bottom of a big hill on a roller coaster, once again. We had so many ups and downs during the first hunt, I swore we'd never go through it again. It was painful and exciting and frustrating and joyful and 6 months of anxiety for me {and to a lesser degree, my husband...he's much more laid back than I am}. Yet here we are, ready to make the leap once again.

We saw a house last night in passing that's almost exactly what we're looking for. Again, we've only seen the listing, but something about that tells me it's special. Now let me be clear here - we're not even technically looking yet. We decided not to put our house on the market until at least spring for a number of reasons, and we promised each other not to look until the house was at least on the market {but preferably sold}. The reason for that is exactly what happened last night - dealing with the disappointment of knowing we can't have this house. Wondering if we'll regret that we couldn't buy it, or comparing future houses we look at to a house we can't possibly buy.

Am I ready for this roller coaster again? There's so much going on in our lives right now and in the foreseeable future. Can we add all these emotions as well? I don't know. Add to the mix the sadness of leaving a house a love. A farm I wanted to see our future children running around. Is this something we really want to do? {Yet another reason to wait until spring to list the house...we need to be sure this is right for us.} When we moved before, we weren't leaving anything behind. This time, we'd be leaving a lot...memories, our first home together, lots of time and hard work. However, we'd be gaining a lot as well.

We have a lot to think about over the next few weeks and months. A lot of work to do. A lot of decisions to make. Either way, it looks like we've both signed up for a ride on this roller coaster.

I hope whatever roller coasters you're riding in your lives are worth the ups and downs! Have a great Wednesday :)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Spooky Soiree Printable Collection by Vogt Design Co.

The Spooky Soiree Printable Collection features elegant black and white party decoration designs that are perfect for upcoming Halloween parties. I personally see these designs as great for an adult party (I'll be featuring another collection, Fright Night, shortly that is geared more toward family parties)...but that doesn't mean you couldn't dress up these classic designs with some bright orange pumpkins and jars of candy corn to make it a traditional Halloween event. You can check out the Etsy listing here: Spooky Soiree Printable Party Collection

I created this collection to give you a variety of paper goodies for your party decor.

Here's the screenshots of the entire collection. You'll receive these as PDF files within 48 hours of your payment.

Digital files allow you to make the party your own! Prefer vanilla cardstock to white for a vintage look? Go for it! Want to add some bling to your favors with a glittery black ribbon...great idea! The sky is the limit when it comes to using the elements in this digital file. The only thing I would ask is that you keep them for your personal use and please don't share them with friends or family {at only $5 for the collection, share the link to my Etsy store so they can purchase their own copies!}

When I stage a party, it's a snapshot of how the party would look if I hosted it myself. Of course, those are just suggestions and there are so many different ways you could host a Milk & Cookies party using this collection. I started a pinboard on Pinterest for Halloween themed parties, so make sure you check it out here: Halloween Parties Pinboard on Pinterest

As always, everything I create is able to be customized. I had a vision for this party that you can see the pictures above, but maybe you'd like something different - a different color scheme or a different saying on the banner.  I'd be happy to do  customization to the basic design for a small fee, or create a completely custom collection for your upcoming party. Just send me an email or convo me on Etsy and we'll iron out the details.

I hope you're inspired to throw you own Spooky Soiree, with the help of the Spooky Soiree Printable Party Collection.

Thanks for visiting Vogt Design Co.!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Milk & Cookies Party Printable Collection by Vogt Design Co.

The Milk & Cookies Printable Collection is something I think would be extremely cute for a 1st or 2nd birthday party or a baby shower. But hey, I love cookies, and my 30th is next year, so if anyone wants to throw me a grown-up Milk & Cookies party, I wouldn't complain! You can check out the Etsy listing here: Milk & Cookies Printable Party Collection

I created this collection to give you all the signs and labels you'll need for your Milk & Cookies buffet.

And here's some screen shots of the PDF files you will receive within 48 hours of your payment clearing: 

The great thing about digital files is that it saves you time and money in the end! For $5, you'll be getting the original files, which includes the option to customize your Designer Labels if you don't want the standard version {which include the milk varieties}. Customizing these labels is completely free, so I would highly encourage you to take advantage of that option!

Digital files allow you to make the party your own! Prefer vanilla cardstock to white for a vintage look? Go for it! Want to add some paper rosettes behind the letters on the Milk & Cookies banner...great idea! The sky is the limit when it comes to using the elements in this digital file. The only thing I would ask is that you keep them for your personal use and please don't share them with friends or family {at only $5 for the collection, share the link to my Etsy store so they can purchase their own copies!}

When I stage a party, it's a snapshot of how the party would look if I hosted it myself. Of course, those are just suggestions and there are so many different ways you could host a Milk & Cookies party using this collection. I started a pinboard on Pinterest for this theme of a party, so make sure you check it out here: Milk & Cookies Pinboard on Pinterest

As always, everything I create is able to be customized. I had a vision for this party that you can see the pictures above, but maybe you'd like something different - a different color scheme or a different saying on the banner. The Collection includes free customization for the Designer Labels only, but I'd be happy to do additional customization for a small fee, or create a completely custom collection for your upcoming party. Just send me an email or convo me on Etsy and we'll iron out the details.

I hope you're inspired to throw you own Milk & Cookies party, with the help of the Milk & Cookies Printable Party Collection.

Thanks for visiting Vogt Design Co.!

Introducing...Printable Collections by Vogt Design Co.

Happy Monday all!

This is a post I meant to write last Monday, but Sunday a cold/flu/something punched me in the face and I've been knocked out ever since. I thought I was getting better toward the end of last week, but I may have done too much this weekend after an entire week of nothing. I don't sit still very well, so I was dying to get out of the house. Apparently, one trip out and I was done. I spent all day yesterday on the couch, wishing for another day of naps and praying for an end to what seems to be the longest cold/flu/something ever. {I'm a bit over-dramatic. I'm not dying, and I'll be fine. I just haven't really been sick since the swine flu incident prior to my wedding. Not a fun memory.}

Anyway, I decided to start creating some printable collections to list in my Etsy store. I haven't been feeling much in my craft room lately, but I have been spending a lot of time behind the computer, and this is a happy medium, I think. I've been making labels, favor tags, birthday decor, etc. for quite awhile now, but didn't ever think of making pretty printable versions to sell. You can check out a couple of my printed goodies that I've shared before by clicking here {Last Minute Valentines, Michael's Birthday Preview, Happy Birthday Michael!}

You can check out my Etsy store here: Vogt Design Co. for a sneak preview {okay, not really, these have been listed for a week}, or you can look for posts to come. I'll be introducing at least a couple of the sets individually, and I have 3 or 4 more to list this week as soon I'm feeling well enough to take appropriate photos of them. It's a giant pain in the rear to not be able to do something you want to do right away! I'll hopefully also be including some Pinterest inspirations to help you in creating an entire party in the theme of the printable collection. {You may even see more than one post from me today.}

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pottery Barn Knock-Off Wreath

Happy Tuesday, all!

Today I wanted to show you just a couple of my version of the wreath I showed you in my post about outdoor fall decorations:

I love me some Pottery Barn, but I do not love me some Pottery Barn prices. The large wreath (pictured here) costs $89.50! That is definitely not in my budget, especially considering I have at least 5 perfectly pretty leafy wreaths hanging in my basement as I type.

However, in addition to the 20 or so wreaths I keep on hand, I also have quite a few garlands and other wreath-making supplies that I've purchased as I find them {with grand plans in mind about what I will make}. I had a bunch of leafy garlands leftover from our wedding...I would guess around 15 strands. I purchased them at Michael's on clearance for $1 each. Regular price I believe they're $4. I also snagged a grapevine wreath that I had on hand...I usually don't glue anything down to my wreaths if I can help it so I can change things out as trends change without too much hassle.

I wrapped and twisted and made a huge mess on my living room floor with leaves and berries that fell off the garlands, and I ended up with this:

{I finally get out my real camera to take pictures, and it's dreary and cloudy all day. I give :) }

And here's a close-up:

I absolutely love my bright, leafy Pottery Barn knock-off wreath {that fits my front door much better than either of the PB options would have}. Total cost for me was free because I reused items I'd purchased for other things {however, at the time, they cost me less than $20}. Even if you bought everything regular price, you'd still end up spending less than what PB wanted...but why spend full price when Michael's & Hobby Lobby so willingly give us 40% off coupons??

As you can see from the full picture of my {tiny} front porch, I have a lot of work to do to get everything looking appropriately autumn, but at least I have a pretty start.

I hope everyone has an awesome day!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Outdoor Fall Decor

Fall is definitely here! I broke out my arm warmers this morning {it was 45 degrees out when I left, woohoo!} and I even wore socks. I love, love, love fall!!

I haven't really had time yet, but I can't wait to get my house decorated for fall, including the outdoors. That's on my list of things to do this weekend {along with watching LOTS of football!} My "outdoor inspiration" board on Pinterest has a lot of really cute ideas, so I thought I'd share some inspiration with you. I think of this as my visual "to do" list.

I'm completely in love with a lot of things in this photo {and this has to be one of my most "repinned" pins on Pinterest} The wire "Welcome" is very similar to something I've been doing on gifts for awhile now on a much smaller scale {and they normally say things like, "Baby" or "Merry"}. I'd never thought of doing something like that on a large scale, but I might just try it. The wreath on the door {LOVE that door, by the way} is something I've been meaning to make with some leafy garlands I have left over from my wedding decor. I love the jars hanging from the coat rack, and that bench is amazing {but I can almost guarantee it's out of my price range}.

Here's another fun one. I love the idea of painting on pumpkins rather than carving them, even though I love to carve up a good jack-o-lantern. That vintage wheel barrow is adorable too!

The square wreath here is really unique {I love square wreaths for fall & winter} and I love the table of pumpkins. It looks pretty casual, which I like...though I don't know of anyone who has a random table of pumpkins at their front door just by chance.

There's a lot I love about this photo as well. I've been meaning to paint a welcome mat for our front door {the door the dogs don't use, so hopefully it wouldn't get destroyed immediately}. I also love how they stood a hay bale on end for more height with the decor. I probably won't be doing that, given my recent {18 months ago but still terrifying} experience with hay bales and snakes.

There's a lot of inspiration on Pinterest, so I'll just stop there, but I can't wait to get my hands on all the decorations I've got tucked away in my basement {if I can find them that is}.

This weekend is packed full of fall fun, and I can't wait. Lots of football, family, & friends, a trip to the apple orchard and a birthday party. It's exactly what I need after this very long week.

Have a great weekend all!