Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Choose...

We've had a tough couple of months in our household. Well, I guess "tough" is relative. We are extremely blessed, and for that we are extremely grateful. I guess it is more accurate to say that we have had a stressful couple of months. Big decisions, big changes, lots of discussions to be had and choices to be made. It has worn on me, and I know it has worn on my husband. It has affected every part of our lives, and in a way, I feel it affecting our relationships as well. I don't mean to sound dramatic, it's just been reality for us. I can feel myself focusing more and more on "us" and less and less on others. It has even trickled over into what was once my love of sewing and creating. I still love it, but lately it has felt more like a chore, something I have to do because I made a commitment to do it. Which kind of defeats the purpose. It has all been very...draining.
I feel as though we are about to turn a corner though. Even though the stress is not gone, I can feel it lifting. I feel like good decisions were made, and I see positive change on the horizon. After many discussions with a close friend of mine, I am trying to focus on sewing because it's what I love to do. To create beautiful things because I want to create beautiful things, and because it makes me happy. I want to look for opportunities to serve others. I want to make myself available to be a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. I want to remember that even though life can be stressful, we have so very much. I want to be thankful. I choose to be thankful. Even when times are tough. I choose to be thankful. Even when the babies are sick and money is tight and the house feels cramped. I choose to be thankful. Even when I don't get everything I want, and everything I think I need. I choose to be thankful. Even when I don't want to, and when it feels difficult...

I choose to be thankful. 


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Friday, June 24, 2011

Weddings & Recipes

Last weekend we attended a wedding, and I was looking for a little something extra for the bride (in addition to a gift I had made for them). I found these recipe card packs & boxes on clearance at Michael's for $1 each. That's right, $1. I really hope she doesn't read this post and see how cheap I am :) I thought they were adorable and would make a great gift for a new bride living in a new home.

I removed the recipe cards from the plastic and tied them up all cute like in some twine. I love twine. It's good for so many things. I also wrote down some of my favorite recipes for her, and tied those up seperately. 

One of the recipes I included was for Alfredo Sauce. I love alfredo sauce, but not the kind out of a jar. I want the real deal. After trying several recipes, I finally found one that's super easy and delicious. I hope you'll give it a try! 

1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter (I know that sounds like a lot of butter, and you can use a little less if you want. It really depends on your love of butter)
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t pepper 
1 bag finely grated parmesan cheese 

Melt cream cheese & butter in a saucepan over medium heat (I stir it the whole time). Once melted, add milk, pepper & garlic powder. Stir well and turn heat down to low. Add entire bag of parmesan cheese. Stir until melted, and let it simmer until ready to serve. 
I serve mine over linguine noodles with chicken, mushrooms & broccoli, and it is DELICIOUS. If you try it out, let me know what you think! 

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wrap It Up

I love pretty packaging. In fact, I love it almost as much as I love the gift inside. Every now & then, I will receive a gift that is wrapped so beautifully that I don't want to open it. I have been looking around for packaging inspiration, and (of course) Pinterest has provided me with so many ideas that I want to try. Here are a few of my favorites.


1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

I can't wait to show you all some of the fun packaging that I have been working on myself. Soon...very soon. 

Today I'm linking up with Krystina at Lollipops Cards for What I Love Wed. 


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Monday, June 20, 2011

Birthday Week Giveaway Winners

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my birthday week giveaways! I truly loved reading all the responses to the questions. It's so much fun getting to know my readers a little bit better. It might sound silly, but I was so excited to choose the winners for the giveaways. Congrats to the following ladies!

Winner of the "accessorize" giveaway package: 



Winner of the "art" giveaway package: 



Winner of the "for the home" package:

 Breeann of Finding Refuge


Winners of the items from my shop:


Christa of Sugarfoot Speaks (Floral wristlet. And yes, I hit the ringer button just as I went to take a screen shot :)
Rachel of A Pearl Called Life  (Pink & Yellow zippered pouch)
Wendy of Bye Bye Birdie (Reversible diaper/wipes clutch)
Emily of Emerging Em  (Lindsay Clutch)

I'll be e-mailing each of you today!

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Birthday Week Giveaways: The Big Day

Today is my 32nd birthday. 

I've so enjoyed reading all the entry comments for the previous giveaways. Thank you so much for participating in my birthday week celebration! For today's giveaways I wanted to give items from my shop as a thank you to everyone that has supported my shop & blog. When I started sewing last year, I never could have imagined the warm welcome I would receive to the handmade community. I have made so many wonderful friends, and I have felt so much love and support. 
Thank you again for joining in & celebrating my birthday with me! I truly do appreciate each of you :)

Now, on to the giveaways...

Floral Wristlet 

Pink & Yellow zippered pouch

Reversible Diaper/Wipes Clutch

Lindsay Clutch 

The fine print: Each of the above items is an individual giveaway. So...four prizes, four winners. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me a favorite birthday memory that you have. For one extra entry, you can Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway, and come back leaving a second comment that you did so. Make sure you include my Twitter name (@AliLittle28). All giveaways will remain open until Sunday, June 19th and winners will be announced Monday morning. 

This giveaway is open to everyone. Good luck! :) 

As an additional thank you, please enjoy 25% off anything in my shop with the code BIRTHDAY25. This code will be good through Monday morning. 

*Don't forget to enter the other three giveaways here, here & here*


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Birthday Week Giveaway: Day 3

Today's giveaway theme is "for the home". Both of today's giveaways were made by me....just for one of you.

Love Banner

"Give Love" hoop art

The fine print: One winner will receive both of the prizes listed above. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me your very favorite thing about your own home. For one extra entry, you can Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway, and come back leaving a second comment that you did so. Make sure you include my Twitter name (@AliLittle28). All giveaways will remain open until Sunday, June 19th and winners will be announced Monday morning. 

This giveaway is open to everyone. Good luck! :) 

*Don't forget to enter the other two giveaways here & here*

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Birthday Week Giveaways: Day 2

Today's giveaway theme is "art", and the giveaway items come from two of my very favorite Etsy shops. I honestly considered keeping these giveaways for myself. Seriously. They are adorable, and I wanted them. Alas, they are not for me, they are for one of you.

Trio of 4x6 mustache paintings by Paint Me A Picture


The fine print: One winner will receive all of the prizes listed above. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me about your very favorite piece of art. For one extra entry, you can Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway, and come back leaving a second comment that you did so. Make sure you include my Twitter name (@AliLittle28). All giveaways will remain open until Sunday, June 19th and winners will be announced Monday morning. 

This giveaway is open to US residents only. Good luck! :) 

*Don't forget to enter yesterday's giveaway here*

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthday Week Giveaways: Day 1

I'm so excited about the amazing giveaways I have lined up for you all! Each day this week, leading up to my birthday (which is Thursday), I will have a group of giveaways. Today's theme is "accessorize".

$25 shop credit to Amy Cornwell Designs 


Two pair of covered button earrings by Made by Jewls



The fine print: One winner will receive all of the prizes listed above. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me about your very favorite accessory. For one extra entry, you can Tweet or Facebook about this giveaway, and come back leaving a second comment that you did so. Make sure you include my Twitter name (@AliLittle28). All giveaways will remain open until Sunday June 19th. Winners will be announced Monday morning. 

This giveaway is open to everyone. Good luck! :) 

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Thank God for Weekends

I couldn't be happier that the weekend is here. This has been a long week, and I'm looking forward to some down time with my family. Much of the week has gone like this...


But now that the weekend is here, we are feeling more like this...


The husband & I are going to get a few hours to ourselves on Saturday morning. We don't have a thing planned, and I'm perfectly fine with that.

Next week is my birthday week, and I have some really great giveaways lined up. I can't wait for you all to see the amazing shops that are participating. So make sure you come back on Monday morning!

Also, I've added some cute new zippered pouches to the shop. Head on over and take a look, why don't ya?


I hope you all have a very happy weekend!

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Inspiration Workshop: Kitchens

I'm linking up this week to the Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop.

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

This weeks prompt was "kitchens", which I was pretty excited about. I have been pinning (via Pinterest, of course) photos of kitchens like crazy. I dream of one day living in a home that has a really great kitchen. It doesn't have to be huge, just full of character and charm. A place where happy memories are made. I keep thinking of my Grandma's kitchen. She had a tiny little kitchen with a round table and a window that looked out onto her back yard. I have such fond memories of sitting at that table with my older sister, eating grits and drinking coffee. My Grandma gave us coffee at a very young age, and I'm sure I have her to thank for my addiction :) She created sweet memories for us that will last forever, and that is the kind of space I hope to create for my children and one day, my grandchildren. 







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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blog Facelift

I am so excited for all of you to see my blog redesign. Isn't it beautiful?! Molly, from Life Made Lovely Designs, created this new look for me. I sent her this picture that I found on Pinterest.


I love this color scheme, and knew that I wanted it incorporated into the design. I think she executed it just perfectly. In fact, I told Molly that I was amazed at how well she captured "me" in the design. A big thank you to Molly & Heather of Life Made Lovely Designs. You ladies are doing a fantastic job making the blog world more beautiful.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Strawberry Fields

Yesterday we went strawberry picking. It was hotter than blue blazes. I don't really even know what that means. I've just heard people say it, and it seems appropriate for the intense heat that we experienced. We did our strawberry picking pretty quickly, and then headed to the shade for ice cream. Grayson was quite the little helper, filling up his basket...even if I did have to throw half of them out because they were green. Jack just walked up and down, and up and down the rows. 
I picked two gallons of strawberries, so if you have any good recipes, I would love for you to share them with me!