Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Meet Abby

As I told you in yesterday's post, I have all sorts of things about Abby at this age that I want to remember. So, here's where I plan to do that. Be prepared for puppy overload.

  • Abby was born on 1/1/2011. I think that makes her pretty special already (plus, I'll never forget her birthday, unlike poor Molly, whose birthday I can never remember).
  • On her first day home, she immediately claimed Molly's bed as her own. It was pretty cute. She put one paw in the bed, looked back at Molly, put the another paw in the bed, looked back at Molly...and since two paws were okay, she figured all 4 would be and flopped herself down. With Molly's sheep (whose name is Sheepie...yes, we're creative in the toy naming department at the Vogt house).
  • She's scared (or was scared) of the hardwood floors in our house. Since only two rooms don't have hardwood (the kitchen and the living room), she was kind of stuck in them. It was pretty handy the first couple of days because we could leave the baby gate open in the kitchen (so Molly could come and go) and put Abby in there with us. She was stuck in there without excluding Molly. Then, Molly took her toy and ran into the dining room, thinking she was being sneaky about it, and Abby got brave and decided the hardwood isn't so scary after all.
  • She has THE cutest little run. It's almost like hopping instead of running. I can't help but laugh or smile when I see her run.
  • She likes to be in front of people when they're walking, but then will stop to make sure they're still behind her. She's almost tripped us several times.
  • Her whine sounds like someone is torturing her. You'd think we were abusing her the way she cries at night or when someone isn't paying attention to her. (This is something about her I wouldn't mind forgetting).
  • Mike has already started her on a chore routine. In the mornings and at night, both Abby and Molly trot down to the calf barn to help him feed the baby moos. Mike says she's not all that interested in the cows.
  • She seems to really like Molly (who wouldn't?) and Molly is being extremely patient with her. This week has made me a very proud mama when it comes to Molly because she is really surprising me with her patience for the pup.
  • Speaking of Molly...we all napped on the couch on Monday, and at one point, I caught Abby chewing on the end of Molly's tail. SO cute.
  • Abby isn't really into giving us kisses unless it's her idea (Molly loves to give kisses)...Mike keeps trying, and she keeps shooting him down. It makes me giggle.
  • She's a very brave puppy...she's been jumping off things (to my panic), and has already learned to go down and up most of our stairs. When she goes down stairs, she puts her front paws on the step below, then swings her butt around until her back paws are on the step. Then she starts all over. It might be the cutest thing I've ever seen.
  • She seems to share the family's love of cupcakes. One of the first toys of Molly's that she latched onto was Cuppy, the stuffed cupcake (I'm telling you, super awesome toy namers). She also loves Sheepie (I think because she can drag him around by his legs), and Fuffy Ball (yes, Fuffy, no "L" - it's a fluffy ball, in the fashionable colors of robin's egg blue, red, and white...bet you can't guess who picked that out), and Blue Bone (surprise, surprise, a blue bone...a nice compliment to Pink Bone, Molly's...you guessed it...pink bone.)
  • She had her first bath last night and didn't seem to mind too much. She looked like a drowned raccoon, but she put up with all of it fine. And she smells MUCH better now. We just need to do something about the puppy breath.
  • When she wants attention, she sits on her hind paws and puts her front paws on our legs. It's pretty irresistible.
  • She seems to like chewing shoes, which does not make me happy. Molly was never a chewer, so I'm not really used to this. So far, it only seems to be the fuzzy shoes (which happen to be my favorite)...so while I'm not thrilled with it, it's at least controllable. Especially since the shoes are usually on my feet.
So that's Abby. She's a sweet little puppy, and all in all, I'm very glad we have her. She's testing my patience, but it's good for me :)

By the way, did you know that Petsmart carries a line of Martha Stewart Pet supplies? I did not. I do now. Abby is fully outfitted with the trendiest MS doggies supplies.
(Abs has the blue/red one...it matches her toys and food dish. Duh.)

(Fuffy Ball)

(Blue Bone)

Alright, dog ridiculousness over. Thanks for putting up with me!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This weekend was exactly what I needed. Full of busy-ness and family and fun and so many good things. I'm feeling much better about life and all the stresses that come with it. Facing them today doesn't seem so hard after this weekend:

Friday we celebrated my sis-in-law's 29th (the sequel) birthday party with the fam. Playing cards, eating good food, and laughing. It's always a good time that keeps me out entirely too late.

Saturday, we welcomed sweet little Abby to our family. I've been wanting a new dog for a long time, and Mike has been wanting a husky, and this little booger met both our needs.
(No, he's not choking her, he's holding her by her chest. She doesn't like pictures and she loves to squirm...bad combo)

I just love her little fuzzy face and her fluffy white paws. She has a very sweet, gentle disposition. It doesn't take much to upset her, and she cries like crazy if someone isn't loving her when she wants it. I'm not used to a puppy who needs so much attention since Molly pretty much does her thing most of the time without us involved. She and Miss Molly seem to be getting along well as "sisters"...Molly puts up with her and shares the best she can, they fight every once in awhile, and I even caught them curled up together for a nap yesterday. It's so sweet.

I suspect you'll see a post this week on all the puppy things I want to remember about Abby. I wish I had one of those for Molly...every once in awhile, we'll think back to something she did as a puppy and just grin because she really has changed as she's grown up.

Saturday evening, we attended a band fundraiser for our nephew and got to hear him play his trumpet (and eat yummy food). Then I spent the evening baking away for Saranne's wedding shower on Sunday.

It was a dessert bonanza with everything we managed to put together for the shower. I haven't uploaded the pics yet, but it was really cute to see all the bite-sized desserts sitting on the table. I hope she had a good time!

Monday, I was exhausted (in a good way), and though I felt guilty (why do I always feel guilty??), I laid around and did a little bit of nothing. I enjoyed my puppies, took a nap with them, made dinner and cleaned a little, but was basically unproductive. I definitely didn't get out of my jammies all day. Lovely. Perfect end to an awesome weekend.

This week, I'm looking forward to a much less busy schedule. We need it after the January & February we've had. I want to invest some time in my house, get things more organized so I can stop feeling so stressed about the way we're using our storage, and finally start my dining room makeover! (Especially because I've already started planning a kitchen face lift...gah, one project at a time!)

Happy Tuesday, all!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Do you ever need a weekend so badly, you feel like you could cry when it finally arrives?

That's me, today. Only 102 minutes and I'm out of here for 3 days. Tonight we celebrate my sis-in-law's 29th (the sequel) birthday, tomorrow we go pick out our sweet new puppy and attend a concert for our nephew, and Sunday we throw a kick-butt wedding shower for Saranne.

Monday, I plan to sleep. All day.

TGIF, kids. Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Remember this post, where I showed you a preview of what I'm doing for my nephew's 5th birthday party? Well, here's what I came up with (which, admittedly, looks pretty different from my preview post).

My nephew absolutely loves the movie Cars (which I told you in my Valentine treat post). However, he's had a Cars themed birthday for at least the last two years, and Auntie was ready for a new take on this Cars obsession. While I was brainstorming a new angle for this year, I came up with the idea of having drive-thru food for his birthday. But, since we always go to a local pizza/game place (think Chuck E. Cheese but much less annoying) for his birthday dinner, I had to do something creative with the dessert. Enter the fast-food inspired cupcakes & cookies.

I got the idea from Bakerella (you can see the original post here). I'm not even going to try to re-invent the wheel...just follow her directions in that post, and you'll basically have what I did. I plan to add some red icing to the fries after they're in their bags to look like ketchup. Plus, she offers free templates for the tray and the fry holder, which is a huge bonus...much less work if you don't have to come up with that yourself. I just printed the blank fry template and stuck a Cars sticker to the front, like a logo.

Originally, I had planned to use that cute logo I showed you in my preview post, but let's face it, I ran out of time. I think Michael will be happier with the Cars sticker anyway.

Mine isn't nearly as cute as Bakerella's, but I think Michael will be happy. And I'm just happy to not be baking anymore after I was up til 1am getting all this crap ready for the party tonight!

Have a great day, all!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's a screenshot of the Valentine's Day card we're using this year. Yes, I have a weird sense of humor, and yes, I love our cows and awful lot!

Happy Valentine's Day to you all! I hope it's filled with lots and lots of love!

And to my sweet husband, I'm so lucky to have you as my Valentine!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Last-Minute Valentines

Happy Saturday all!

Among other crafty & creative things I need to work on this weekend, I suddenly realized I hadn't finished my Valentine's Day goodies, and Monday will be here soon! I think both these ideas would be great for some last-minute, fun gifts for kids that won't break the bank. (Sis, if you're reading this, stop reading now!!)

So, the first little gift is perfect when you have to make more than one Valentine. I think these would be great for kids to take to their classmates or for an aunt and uncle to give to all their nieces and nephews (which is our plan for them). I'll break down the price after I show you what I'm talking about.

We Dig You

The "We Dig You" Valentine will be a fun play on words for kids, and it uses classic conversation hearts. Can you really think about Valentine's Day candy without thinking of conversation hearts? When I designed the heart-shaped tag, I had the candy in mind as well, so I made a custom conversation heart that will work perfectly on this Valentine! (Scroll down to get a FREE download of this tag image!)

Here's the price breakdown as shown:
Shovel: $1.00 (from Wal-mart - it came with a bucket too, so I'll have that for another project)
Conversation hearts: $2.00/bag (I used about 2/3 of the bag for 6 treats)
Treat bags: $2.00 for 25 bags
Striped Ribbon: $9.95 for 10 yards (from Stampin' Up! - for each bag, I used about 8 inches of ribbon)
Baker's Twine: $15.00 for 240 yards (this is Divine Twine from Whisker Graphics - I only used about 4 inches to tie the tag on)
White Cardstock: $5 for 40 sheets (from Papertrey Ink - six of these tags will fit on 1 sheet of cardstock)

Total cost per treat: $1.72

The cost reflected is if you had to buy everything new. That wasn't the case for me and I imagine you have some of these supplies on hand as well. Use whatever ribbon you have. Don't worry about buying special treat bags if you don't already have them - just use a sandwich bag or zip-loc with the zipper part cut off. If you use what you have on hand, you could easily make these for less than $1.25 each! And to make 6 of these, it took me less than an hour so you could definitely get a bunch of these made by Monday.

We Wheelie Love You

This treat is a little more expensive, and I would recommend using it if you have one special little Valentine in your life. However, there are probably ways to do it more inexpensively, which I'll talk about in a minute.

I love this Valentine for the little car-lover in your life. This one is for my nephew, who absolutely loves the movie "Cars." He's obsessed with it. I wanted to give him a really special Valentine because his birthday is on Valentine's Day. We've never really focused on Valentine's day because the birthday party wins out. I wanted to come up with a perfect combo present, but still Valentine themed. (Scroll down for a FREE download of this tag!)

Here's the cost breakdown as shown:
Cars drinking cup: $1.00 (from Wal-mart)
Cars toys: $2.00 each (I used 3 cars here)
Treat bag: $2.00 for 25 bags
Striped Ribbon: $9.95 for 10 yards (from Stampin' Up! - for this bag, I used about 8 inches of ribbon)

Baker's Twine: $15.00 for 240 yards (this is Divine Twine from Whisker Graphics - I only used about 4 inches to tie the tag on)
White Cardstock: $5 for 40 sheets (from Papertrey Ink - six of these tags will fit on 1 sheet of cardstock)

Total cost per treat:  $7.40

You could definitely reduce the cost of these treats by using what you have on hand as well. Like I said before, use whatever ribbon you have, and use a sandwich bag or zip-loc bag with the zipper part cut off. You could also not worry about the drinking cup and just put the cars in the bag. I'm pretty sure that you could also find toy cars at the dollar store and reduce your cost that way. With all those changes, you could easily make this treat for around $3.00. And this one is even quicker than the first - it took me less than 5 minutes to get everything put together.

I hope this will help you out if you still need to figure out some treats for your little Valentine's.
Click on either of the pics below to expand them, and then save a copy for your own Valentine's treats.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Make It Monday Card # 2

If you haven't read my first Make It Monday post, go do that first because it will give you all the details about the MIM challenges.

Here's the second card I made last night for the MIM challenge:

This time I went with a more general thank you note, still using a bunch of different thankful sentiments. I also used one of my favorite spring-y color combos, because I'm being optimistic about all this warm weather we're having and hoping that spring is finally on it's way!

I really like the concept Erin Lincoln talks about in the video on Nichole's blog post about Make It Monday. It will definitely be a "go-to" idea for me. And I'll probably keep working on the concept this weekend and post at least one other card. I think this would be great for masculine cards as well, which is something I struggle with every time I need to make one.

Thanks for checking out my cards!

Here's the deets on this one:
{stamps} Cupcake Collection (the bigger "thank you" sentiment); Damask Designs (the "Thank You So Much" sentiment); Simply Stationery (the smaller "thank you" sentiment); It's Official (the stacked "thank you" sentiment); Handwritten Notes (the "thanks chickie" sentiment); Background Basics: Retro
{paper} Ripe Avocado from PTI, Whisper White & Chocolate Chip from SU!
{ink} Baja Breeze, Chocolate Chip & Old Olive from SU!
{other} Butterfly Punch from Martha Stewart, Rock Candy Distress Stickles, Baja Breeze ribbon from SU! and a Corner Chomper to round the corners.

Make It Monday Card #1

I don't know how many people who read this blog are card-makers. I don't even know how often I've shared cards that I've made on this blog. Normally because I'm making them so quickly to get out the door for a project, I don't even have time to take photos of them. :)

Anyway, if you're a stamper, then there's no doubt that you've heard of Papertrey Ink. If you haven't, go check out their website & Nichole's blog. This is the perfect time to get hooked on all the amazing products they have because they're celebrating their 4th anniversary this month! Every year, the festivities have gone on for the first 15 days of the month, and every year, I think it's more than my creative little head can handle :)

One of the things they're introducing this week is a challenge called Make It Monday. You can read the original post on Nichole's blog here.

So, I finally got around to making and photographing some cards last night. Two to be exact. Yeah, I'm a super-achiever, I know {sarcasm font}.

Here's the first:

Excuse the crease in the corner...that's what happens when you carry your cards to work in your purse to photograph them because you're never home when the sun is up!

A sweet little thank you note for a teacher. The challenge this week was to combine the same sentiments from different stamp sets all on one card. Check out the video in Nichole's blog post by Erin Lincoln...she's far more talented than I am :)

I stuck with mostly primary colors in this card, which is what I always think of when I'm making cards for teachers. The vintage buttons remind me of the brick on old school houses, for some reason. Love them.

Check out my next post for the other card (because the MIM rules say they need to be two separate URLs!) Thanks for looking!

Here's the deets:
{stamps} Teacher's Apple (the teacher heading, apple and "we appreciate you" sentiment); It's Official (the lines on the notebook paper and the "A+" sentiment); Just the Ticket (the "All Star" sentiment); Handwritten Notes (the "You're the best" sentiment); Cupcake Collection (the "thank you" sentiment); Friendship Jar Fall Fillers (the "thankful for you" sentiment).
{paper} Spring Moss & Lemon Tart from PTI, Not Quite Navy from SU!
{ink} Old Olive, Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip & Not Quite Navy from SU!
{other} Spiral Notebook Page die from PTI, pure poppy vintage buttons from PTI, ribbon from SU! (which is retired now, I believe), punch from SU!, and tissue tape from Tim Holtz Idea-Ology.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Christmas in...February??

Yeah, I'm a little slow to catch on. I realized Christmas was done over a month ago. I get it. However, I have this ridiculous desire to think about next year's Christmas tree already.

I don't know that I ever posted pictures of this year's tree. In fact, I'm not even sure I took pictures of this year's tree. How insane is that? Here you can see it from a distance (I was really taking a photo of my doorway garland to text to a friend):

But yeah, I realize you can't really see the details. So here they are (as if you care):
Lights - all white (about 800 on the tree this year)
Ornaments - a mix of multi-colored things. The majority are vintage scores from my grandparents' Christmas tree when they were first married. I love them and am so appreciative of them. Other things are gifts we've gotten from friends and family over the years, ornaments we pick up on our travels, and just random things that we like (for example, the metal cupcake I found at a store in Nebraska City...love it!)
Topper - a frosted glass & blingy piece that's from Target. It's vintage-inspired, and I liked the shape, but I'm still on the hunt for something better.
Skirt - a ridiculously inexpensive number from Walmart. It's red and has glitter on it. It's covered in gifts anyway, so I'm not too worried about it, but I'm also on the hunt for something I love. The search has been on for like 4 years now. Ugh.

I love my vintage ornaments. I love all the color on the tree, and all the ornaments that we've found together or that are special to use from over the years. In fact, I may even stray from my traditional white lights to multi lights just to bring out the color even more next year, and add some fun in our living room.

So anyway, about next year's tree. Hopefully by the time Christmas rolls around, my dining room will be made over (it freaking better be). And I've always wanted to put a tree in the corner of the dining room because the room is big and sort of Christmas bare (though this year I added the garland in the picture above in several places). I think the tree I'm picturing in my head will look just beautiful in my dining room :)

What I'm thinking of is a tree decked out in completely hand-made ornaments. Hand-made by yours truly. I'm thinking of things like glittered ornaments, which I currently sell at craft shows...monogrammed ornaments similar to these from PB:
 Picture from Prairie Cottage

I could add the felt garland I made in the garland picture above or figure out some sort of banner as garland. I love banners, you know.

I figure, as I'm making ornaments or whatever, I can make extra to sell at craft show and on Etsy. So, not only is this ridiculously late brainstorming session fun, it's also business-savvy. Or something.

Hey, maybe I'll even manage to make a skirt I love. With some ruffles on it. Because who doesn't love ruffles? :)

{Thank you, if you're still reading, for enduring my talk of Christmas. It's stopping now.}

In other exciting news, it's FINALLY Friday. For some reason, this week has seemed to drag on forever, and I am so ready for a relaxing weekend. Even though I have an aisle runner to design and a card order to complete, plus all the stuff for Michael's birthday. THAT'S the kind of work I love to do.

Happy weekend all! (And, though it pains me a little bit to say this...Go Packers! Because I'd much rather see them win than cheer for the Steelers!)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Birthday Preview

So, a big part of what I do for my work is event planning, and I love it. I had a blast planning our wedding, and I'll take just about any opportunity I can get to host a party or figure out all the little details. It makes me giddy inside. Yes, I realize I'm a freak.

Here's a preview of the birthday party I'm planning for my nephew, who will turn 5 on February 14:

Fast food birthday? Well, not exactly. Let's just say it's the kid version of a "pit stop." Michael loves all things cars, and I wanted to stick with that theme while being a little creative. As I get pieces made I'll be sure to post pictures, and of course, party pictures and the little man's reaction.

I'm such a lucky auntie, to have my awesome nephew (along with all my other nieces and nephews!) Cannot wait to celebrate properly in just a few days!!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Project Life: January

Warning, this post is extremely photo heavy!

I'm pretty proud of myself...only February 2, and I placed an order today for the January photos. I really didn't keep up with them so well, and I think I'll do better as I get into the practice of taking photos more frequently, but I ordered 27 photos. Not bad for 31 days of the month!

Here we go (in semi-chronological order...I'll have to go back and look when I put them in the album):
Photo taken of our midnight toast!

A lazy Sunday on the couch...laughing at Molly

Chores. Feedin' my boys.

Working hard on Brent & Saranne's invitations

My Project Life finally arrived!

Kayla getting her block on at our first E-M game of the year.

Getting to see our Angel & Lexi in Neb City.

Divine Twine that finally arrived...love the colors!

Mike finally gave in and we're getting a puppy!

View from our living room window on the first snow day this year.

The first of my recipe cards for Project Life - Parmesan Paprika Pork (cutlets in this case)

Farmy sunset. We were actually home early enough to see it!

Long day of working on the website. Long.

Driving home from work. Also long.

All the ingredients for the rubs I made in preparation for butcher.

Scooter & Buster's view from their digs.

Remember these bad boys from my favorite things post? I got two pair this month!

Kayla, in a BB game against Palmyra. Stupid Panthers (We lost. Sad.)

Welcome home, Norman!

Buster & Scooter are getting so big.

Normy looks tired. He had a rough first day. He's feeling better now.

Miss Molly, checking up on her cows.

Me, at work. Who wants to see a random picture of me?

I've been seriously obsessing with fruit lately. We even made 3 trips to the grocery store this month so I could have more fresh fruit. (That's monumental since we normally go about once every 6 weeks)

And finally, the big announcement from Verizon that made me squeal. Cannot wait to renew my contract in July.

Now there's at least one photo I had printed that I didn't include because it has family addresses on it (for the invitations). And there are plenty of photos I wish I'd taken if I wasn't distracted by other things (for example, butchering, drinking Bubble Gum vodka with Mike's cousin Tyson, making these invitations, lunch with Mike's family last weekend, and so on). But, I'm not going to stress over it. What I'm going to do is write down as much as I can remember, even if I didn't get pictures of it, and make sure I do a better job next month. And the 10 months after that.

I started working on my journaling tonight, and it's more time consuming than I thought. I'm going to have to make a better effort to keep up with it next month. Good news is, I got about half way done, so yay me!!

For my Project Life buds, how's yours going? Are you managing to keep up, get in the swing of things and so on? And for those of you who aren't PL crazy like me, have I convinced you to buy one of these kits yet??