Today, I wanted to share the Advent Calendar I have been working on the last few weeks, as it is finally complete! I went back and forth about many different ideas, but felt super inspired by the tags, fabric, and textures in this little project by Jones Design Company and all of a sudden I was ready to go for it.
I went to the craft store at a perfect time, too. All of their holiday fabrics were on sale (not that I needed much, anyway), and I got the holiday fabric and burlap for a total of $5.00. Woohoo! I had the doilies from some of the projects we used at our wedding, and they were ready to be re-purposed into snowflakes! (Another doily project here from our wedding). The large tags were just a couple dollars, and the wooden dowel was $1.00. So, not only was this project a fun and useful Christmas decoration, it was SUPER inexpensive!
I cut the holiday fabric into little squares and sewed them onto the paper tags. I am still learning to sew, and this was a great project for practicing straight lines, which from the close-ups photos you can tell I still have a lot to work on! Then we stamped the tags with numbers for each day, 1-24. For the burlap, I just folded the edges over to get clean looking sides and used a hot glue gun to secure it. I also used hot glue to attach the doilies. Finally, I cut down a wooden dowel, slipped it through the top of the fabric, and used some hemp twine to hang the whole thing. The tags were fastened using little pins through the burlap. I debated using an actual bulletin board behind, but I chose to go without so the whole thing can be disassembled and rolled up for easy storage!
Last year, a friend and I came up with advent activities, so I printed those out, selected the ones we would do this year, folded up the papers, and put each activity in a fabric pocket. I realized we definitely need more adult-friendly ones, as most of the activities we came up with were more aimed toward kids. Any activity ideas you can share would be much appreciated!
Day 1 of our advent activity this year will be setting up the Christmas tree, and I am just so excited to get started!
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 11/19/2014
Autumn has been here for the last few weeks but I love that the trees are still holding on to their leaves for as long as they can. It is so beautiful, especially when you go to places like Finch Arboretum or Audubon Park, where for once, you see more leafy trees than pines. Connor and I took an early morning walk through the park where we soaked in all the colors and smells of fall. I am hoping winter will hold off for another month or so!
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 11/05/2014
[image via Kristen Delap]
This week, there were a couple instances where I found myself being full-heartedly cheered on by a stranger. Each time started with a short conversation and for some reason, ended with the person showing their excitement for what I am doing and cheering me on to keep going, even when I think I am crazy. It is funny how a person we hardly know can be our biggest advocates and believe so much in what we are doing, especially when in our own minds we have so many doubts and worries. I felt so amazing after those conversations, thinking to myself, “Yes, I CAN do this!”
Yes, my friends, we can accomplish anything we set our hearts to. Today, I want to be your advocate and cheer you on. I want to let you know that I believe in your wildest dreams and I know you can make them happen if you truly desire to do so!
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 10/29/2014
Lately, I have been proving myself wrong in many ways, mostly in the sense of my personality differing from what I have always described it as. I have always been a planner, and I still am in some ways, like with long-term goals. But this year seems to be a time of quick decision making, such as moving back from Denver, moving into a rental home (photos from around the house), starting my own business, and more. It’s been a lot of excitement, but at the same time it has left me in a state of mind where I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. I haven’t had the much needed time to digest each decision and really take in what is happening. It’s been kind of a scary thing for me! Luckily, everything is working out fine so far; my mind just needs to take some time to catch up with what my body is doing. I know how important it is to enjoy the journey of life events such as these and I really want to have that appreciation for the present time in which I am living.
After coming to this realization, I have definitely been able to clear some of the doubts in my mind. Those doubts like, “should I really follow through with this business thing?” (only because our income was a bit less than we wanted it to be to save for a house, then I realized it was definitely worth it), or “maybe we should just buy a house rather than build…” (again, I realized it will be worth it!). These doubts tend to creep up when I am exhausted and stressed like I had been the last few weeks. Once I had a tiny bit of time to sit and think and discuss them with Connor, we realized anything worth doing is not going to come easy, or quickly for that matter. So I decided not only is it time to slow down and give myself the opportunity to fight my fears rather than trying to suppress them, it is also time to slow down and see how far we have come and be okay with the fact that some things just take time! I am working hard mentally to change that timeline in my head that says I need to start building a house this year and have a fantastic business at the same time. Of course it is dreamy to think about, but really not practical in reality. All we can do is work toward those goals and in time, they will be achieved.
In the meantime, there is always so much to be thankful for, we just need to soak it in and count our blessings, even the small ones. There will be a time to stress about the happenings in life, and it is easy to get caught up in trying to keep up with everyone around you. But remember to take a deep breath every once in a while, focus on yourself and do the best you can.
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 10/22/2014