Monthly Archives: February 2013

“Too Pretty to Unwrap!” and Gifts from the Heart

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Ah, I love to hear those words.  I mean, how sweet that?!  That someone dare not open your gift for fear of ruining your finely crafted wrapping and bow tying?  I’ve always felt like giving a gift is, of course, a nice gesture.  But wrapping a gift beautifully is the cherry on top.  I used to think it was a big fat waste of time, but the older I get the more excited I feel when I get a beautifully wrapped gift.  Besides, I’m known for excessively taping my presents anyway.  D told me that he believes my goal in wrapping presents is to make sure the recipient can’t get it open.  Pffftttt, locked down like Fort Knox.  After all the taping, slapping some ribbon on the top doesn’t take much more time.

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I took this picture of my Papa this past Christmas at the exact perfect moment.  In my family, if you look good, or you receive something amazing, or if you do anything worth a damn really…all the women make this noise.  And it’s like “woooooooooooooooo-ooooooooooooooo” all higher pitched in the beginning.  But I don’t expect you to actually know how it sounds, just know that its dumb and it makes D laugh.  My papa is totally making the noise in the picture.  After, he told me that my gift was too pretty to open.  He got over it of course, and was more excited about the gift inside than the packaging but I was flattered all the same!

I’ve been shopping at Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Homegoods more and more as years go by.  And while you might not even think to look, those places have THE BEST wrapping papers, bows and tags.  Check all that out!

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My friend’s wedding is coming up and I was excited to use my haul from TJ Maxx to wrap everything.  BONUS: it coordinated with this 31 Tote I had made for her eons ago that I bought to put all her shower gifts in.

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Pretty cute huh? Did you notice that cute little tag?!

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In situations like weddings, engagements and newborns…I do like to get my friends things that they registered for.  But I also like to make things for them, especially for my fellow crafters that understand the effort and meaning behind a handmade gift.  This is a pinterest inspired craft so I can’t take total credit.  I love quotes from the bible, especially Ecclesiastes 4.  So I made this CUTE little shabby chic signage for the soon-to-be-newlyweds.

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Ecclesiastes 4:9

If you wanna know how to make the sign or gift tag, follow the links below!

Two are Better than One

Creative Gift Tags

“Did you say scooshi?”

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In nursing school I practically LIVED with my clinical group.  After two years, countless projects, sleepless nights of studying, and tons of memories made…we’re forever bonded.  Sarah was in my clinical group and she was probably everything I wasn’t.  She was super liberal, a dedicated Hash Harrier, loved to wear crazy, hole-ridden goodwill clothes, listened to Frou Frou, and didn’t care what anybody thought about her.  Not in that fake, “I don’t give a shit what she thinks!” kind of way.  She didn’t care in that confident, “I know exactly who I am, and it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t meet your expectations” kind of way.  I admire her and love her!  We ate lunch on campus all the time and she would buy sushi from our cafeteria.  But any time Sarah talked about it, she would call it scooshi.  With enthusiasm, and a squeal.  Now you try.  “Scooooooshiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!’

So I finally found out what all the fuss is about.  There is a place in Charlotte called The Cowfish, and I ate there with some of my buds and my husband on Saturday.  And don’t forget: this fulfills my February “try something new once a month” resolution.  I also fulfilled my other resolution of doing something nice for someone else by bringing Valentine’s Day cupcakes at work for muh frands/coworkers and sent a batch to work with my husband for his coworkers but that’s beside the point.

We ate like, ten meals a each.  D convinced me that ordering two entrees a piece would be smart in case I hated the sushi, and he could order another sushi for me to try.  Ain’t that sweet?   He doesn’t even LIKE sushi really.  I was excited, and the menu was huge and everybody was happy about that.

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These are our fine companions:

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Brian and Michael

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Drew & Kristen

I ordered this Neon Dion roll, and as soon as I ordered it I forgot what was in it.  But Drew, an avid sushi connoisseur, helped me choose and reminded me that it was avocado, papaya, coconut, tempura shrimp and so on and so forth.  So… I really liked my sushi.  But I don’t know that I’m dying to have sushi again, or if it will be something I crave but it was a good venture into the unknown world of sushi.

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Neon Dion

I tried D’s and I didn’t love it.  Drew shared his spider roll with me too…crab meat, celery and some other things I can’t remember.  All I know is the second I tasted it I started dry heaving.  I probably chewed it for like, five whole minutes because I could not WILL myself to swallow that sushi…and I wasn’t about to spit it out.  Spider Roll of Doom!

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And here I am struggling, while my friends make fun of me.

I literally almost tossed my cookies, but I powered through and came out safely on the other side.  Afterwards we drove to our old stomping ground for dranks and games.  Good times were had by all!

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Intense!

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Michael, me, and Kristen. Love them!

Successful scooshi date indeed!  Hope yall have a great week!

Creative Pay it Forward

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I’m not the chain letter type, but this year I got sucked right in.  A friend of mine posted this on her facebook and I couldn’t resist:

“Creative Pay it Forward!  The first five people to respond to this post will receive something from me during 2013.  This gift can be anything: something crafty, a book, a homemade treat…whatever it is, it will be a surprise that  hits when the mood strikes!  There will be no warning, it will just be there.  The catch?  The first five responders must post this on their own page and do the same for five of their friends.  You up for it?  Let’s do this!”

So I posted that at 0551 one morning (I know right, why the HELL was I awake?)  By 0752 I had my five:  A girl I don’t TOO well, the wife of a far away Army friend, a former coworker, a friend from high school and…a BOY!  None of these people were necessarily the people I thought would reply and none of them has ever received something from me that was intended solely for them.  

My friend from high school went to college with me too, but we weren’t studying for the same career so we drifted a little.  She has since moved back to our hometown, started studying to be a nurse, and started working at the same hospital as me so we see each other every now and then.  BUT I only like to see her when she’s on her break and she comes to see what’s going on in my neck of the woods.  Otherwise, I see her when my patient needs a STAT EKG…and those shituations ain’t fun for any party involved.  Anyway, she’s almost done with nursing school and she’s going to work in cardiology.  If you’re reading this, congratulations girl!

Now, I have often claimed that I am “emotionally unavailable” and called people dumb when they get all sappy and cry.  In fact, I think I did that when I left Nashville after the bachelorette party.  HA!  But  D says that’s all a big fat lie, and he knows better than to believe that I’m not sensitive.  Truthfully,  I am sentimental, way more than I would dare let on.  So since I’m tapping into my thoughtful side, I was pretty inspired to start my first gift.

Nursing is highly rewarding and insanely stressful.  Not a day goes by that I don’t wish I had done something differently at work.  I mess up the schedule.  I say the wrong things to the wrong people at the wrong time.  I remember at 0300 that I had a 2300 medication to give. I disappoint someone that trusts me to deliver care.  I make mistakes every day, and it literally hurts my feelings.

But I do things right too.  I can be the reassurance you need when you have a “feeling” something is wrong with your patient.  I can stick by your side when you have to troubleshoot something unfamiliar. I have been the hand to hold when you’re scared of what lies ahead in your treatment course.  And I have been the person you shed a tear with if things don’t go the way we all had hoped.  Its up and down all the time and it’s easy to get discouraged.  But every now and then there are bright spots that should be celebrated:

a nomination from your peers for the hard work you thought went unnoticed, 

an “I love you” spoken by your patient when you’ve done something they thought it was impossible,

a promotion you worked hard for,

a visit from a former patient with a full head of hair, a smile, and a sincere “thank you” for your care,

a letter from a patient or their family that names you specifically for something you did right,

a certification you thought you would NEVER achieve,

a box of warm Krispy Kreme doughnuts delivered to you by your boss just because…

please don’t EVEN pretend you wouldn’t be pulled to that polka-dotted box like a moth to the flame

Most of those things are only fondly recalled memories but some of these things you can protect and revisit when the time is right.  When I feel the emotional weight of my job I go straight to this box full of cards, letters, photos, certifications and other mementos.  I can hold these things in my hands, know that they are real, and remind myself that even at my worst, I am NOT a crappy nurse.  It’s a nice thing to have when you need to remember WHY you chose this profession.  I can look at those tangible things and say, “this is why.”  I want my friend to have that too.  I want to remind her that she is valuable and capable even if she doesn’t feel it right at that moment.  I want her to  be able to take the lid off of that box of keepsakes and KNOW she is doing what she is meant to do. SO I went shopping, collected all these supplies, and went to work.

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For the top of the lid:  I used my fancy edger cutter to make the strips of paper a little more fun and I also ripped the chevron paper by hand for added texture.  I used Tacky Glue to glue everything down.  I had some of those flower shaped paper punches so I used those and then placed self-adhering pearls in the center.  I took the paper doilies that I got from the baking section of Michael’s to make things look a little shabby chic.  I got the spigot knob from Hobby Lobby; it’s perfect!

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For the inside of the lid:  I used all the same papers and materials from the top of the lid.  I also got the fabric flower from Hobby Lobby.  It was intended for hair…but I do what I want.  I also took the opportunity to write my friend a message.

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For the outside of the box:  I used a stencil I purchased for another craft ages ago.  I stippled dark blue paint all over using that stencil.  I decided the sides of the lid were too plain, so I made polka dots.

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And that’s it!  I gave it to my friend and she loved it.  Apparently she’s been showing it to her friends and they love it too.  If that’s not a win win then I don’t know what is.  Happy crafting my friends, and if you’re feeling squirrely maybe you should Pay it Forward too!