DIY Burlap Lamp Shade

Hey hey! I'm taking a break from my crafting hiatus to fill you in on my progress, starting with this burlap lamp shade I made.  I realized with the Dave Ramsey program starting this Sunday that that is where the fire under my rear came from to finish all these projects I've had on my To-Do list for so long.  We're in debt with my student loads, so for the next year or so (or however long it takes us to pay it off) the reoccurring question at Joann's Fabrics will be "Is this more important than putting that money toward paying off our debt?" Boo. So I'm in go mode until January 29th. 

It's no secret that I love me some Pottery Barn but I do get slightly nauseated at their prices.  My wallet says no thank you. So instead, I tried my hand at making my own.


I started by rolling the shade along the burlap and cutting off the excess fabric. I kept enough to be able to fold it under the shade.  Now, cover the shade in fabric glue and re-rolled with the burlap. Let dry.

Using the fabric glue again and clothes pins, I slowly folded and glued my way around the top and bottom of the lamp.

*I used wax paper to prevent the clothes pins from sticking to the fabric*

Then I folded the fabric where it overlaps to create a clean crease and secured it with fabric glue.

I also decided to give the base a couple of coats of antique white paint to update the look a bit.  

 Super easy, super cheap & super cute (well I think so). :)

The Tagging Game

It's time for a little game of tag. I'm sure all of you out here in the blog world are familiar with this by now! My friend Laura tagged me last week so I thought I'd join in on the fun and share a little randomness about myself.

1st, the rules to tagging:
1. You must post these rules.
2. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
4. You have to choose 11 people to tag and link them on the post.
5. Go to their page and tell them you have linked him or her.

1. What are you wearing right. now.
Yankee sweats and an old school James Taylor t-shirt.
2. If you found $100 in your pocket what would you buy today?
I'm pretty sure I'd load up on crafts.  I've been on a slight DIY/craft binge the last few weeks. 
3. If your parting gift from the Zoo was an animal of your choice,
which one would you take home with you?
Hands down, a baby panda. Have you seen one? They are like a fluffy puppy. And hello... have you seen the YouTube video of the baby hiccuping? Priceless. I want one.
4. Would you rather have a perpetual scab on the tip of your nose or perpetual eye goop?
(choose wisely)
I feel like I may need a little clarification to make an informed decision about this one. Is this scab the dry kind or the oozy kind? Crusty eye goop or gooey eye goop? If I got to choose, I would go with a dried up scab on my nose (I'm hoping it would blend in with my freckles).  
5. What is the greatest lesson you learned from your mother?
Patience and unconditional love. She is amazing at both.
6. If you were given a free Super Bowl ad what would you advertise?
My husband & his music. 
7. What is your favorite photograph?

This is my adorable nephew Jack for any of you who have missed the millions of picture of him I post on here. He has completely captured my heart. The picture above was taken a few months ago for my sisters family Christmas cards.
8. If you could change your name, what name would you choose?
Such a good question.  When I was younger playing dress up my name was always Shannon... so random.  I can't think of one off the top of my head, but I would choose one that you could shorten to a nick name.  I like nick names but I don't look anything like a Mandy.
9. What is the most unusual gift you ever received? (or best, or worst)
This is a combo gift but I think for a girl, together or separate it is unusual.  When we were dating, my husband gave me a baseball glove and a CD of African sounds as my birthday gift.  I'll give you a minute... I started laughing out loud when I remembered.  His rational for the gifts was that we like to play catch together and I keep talking about how much I want to go to Africa.  Super usual but very thoughtful. =) 
This was also before we went to see Billy Joel and Elton John in concert AND before he gave me a beautiful James Avery necklace.  No complaints here. 
10. What one clothing item or accessory do you wish you could pull off?
Cute flouncy dresses that gather or belt mid-waist, you know, like the typical Ann Taylor loft dress. Not so cute when your torso is only 2 inches long... such a bummer.
11. If you had to decide which movie you would teleport into (because that is naturally how this would be possible),
and live out for the rest of your life, which movie would you choose?
This is going to sound so girlie and so cliche but... The Notebook.  Specifically, the end when they live happily ever after in that beautiful house on the lake and only if it were with the mr. (obviously). I love love love that house and I love everything about that time.. the clothes, the cars, the way of life, etc.


1. Favorite childhood toy or game?
2. Sweet or salty?
3. If you could start a new career tomorrow, what would it be?
4. Beach house or mountain hideaway?
5.  Were you named after anyone? If not, do you know why your parents chose your name?
6. Favorite smells?
7. If you had to be one age for the rest of your life, what age would that be and why?
8. What book are you reading right now?
9. Where is the farthest you've been from home?
10. When was the last time you cried? (Happy tears or sad ones)
11. Do you have a special talent? (whether others think it is "special" or not) ;)

Hey! Come play!

Meg @ Henning Love
Amanda @ For Love of a Cupcake
Chane @ What the Hart Likes
Meesch @ A Perfect Kind of Day
Katie @ Katie Lately
Chelsea @ The Little Things In Life
Wendy @ In Wendy's World
Lauren @ The Elephants Trunk
Mac @ Wealth Is Health




OK, I vote for 3-day weekends to replace our 2-day weekends. Anyone with me? It just dawned on me that some of you may actually be having a 3-day weekend as I'm typing this... not this girl. So, I also vote that all corporations celebrate holidays (giving their employees the day off) such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veteran's Day, Columbus Day and any other Mon-Day schools get off that we don't.  This however, is not reason I'm complaining.  The real reason is because this past week felt like it lasted an entire month and this weekend  has has felt like it lasted all of an hour. Not only did the weekend feel incredibly short, Bobby is on his way to Atlanta and then Charleston for a couple of shows and won't be back until THURSDAY.  Boo.

I'm really not as upset as I just made it seem like I am (minus Bobby being out of town).  We had a super productive weekend.  I cleaned the crap out of our house, we FINALLY cleaned our cars (they haven't been washed since we got married... yes 1 1/2 years ago), did some grocery shopping, did a few a few returns and even had some spare time to fit in a little quality hang out time with our friends Todd & Julia and a date night. What?!? I know.
We met up with our friends on Friday at a local brewery to celebrate Todd's new venture and then headed to Jackson's for a late dinner.

 If you live in Nashville or ever come to visit, eat. here. Delish. If you do go, make sure to order the side wasabi caesar salad. Yum.

Saturday night was our date night... at home.  We've found it makes nights at home little more fun when you label it a "date night"... we both seem to be much more intential with eachother when we do so. =)  Anyway, dinner consisted of baked sweet potatoes, tilapia, black eyed peas & turnip greens.  I have been craving turnip greens.  They may be my favorite green.  If you've never made them I highly recommend trying it out.

Moving on. So the last time Bobby headed out of town for gigs, I spent all my free time working on my blog header.  This time around I plan on crafting and decorating.  All our Christmas decorations are down and boxed up so I'm just now starting to "re-decorate" if that's what you'd call it.  I kid you not, within 10 minutes of him leaving, this is what our living room looked like:

The crafts have taken over.

 I have some fun plans in mind including that unfinished burlap lamp shade you see above, jute for another shade, a frame wall collage and plywood wall decor, so stay tuned!


Christmas & New Years

Two weeks into the new year... could be worse. Well, actually it is. I still don't have all the pictures from my sisters camera but enough for you to get "the picture". Honestly, the rest are all of Jack anyway. =) The pictures from Christmas with Bobby's family are courtesy of my sister-in-law... boy do I feel needy. Hah. I guess I could have gone without but let's be honest, posts are way more fun when there are photo's. Yes? Yes.

We had a full house at my parents.  My older sister and her cute little fam came down from Emerald Isle (way too far away!), my younger sis was home from college (Valdosta State) and the little (really not so little) bro is always home because he's still in high school =). We also had my mom's parents and her brother in town.  Or house isn't teeny, the 6 of us fit in it rather comfortably growing up, but add in a few spouses, a babe and in-laws and it can get a bit crowded but I believe that is the best recipe for a holiday.

Christmas Eve was spent at my parents house.  Since I can remember my dad has recreated the Feast of the Seven Fish. I wrote a little about what it is in last years (2010) Christmas post.  Here's the whole family:
(this was a pretty big ordeal to get everyone in the picture with eyes open and smiling)
This led into a 10 minute, super entertaining photo shoot. Here are some of my fav's:
Little brother and sister. Aren't they precious.  I feel like the third picture should be in a Sears's catalog.

This picture is so weird to look at it makes me laugh. We look awkward... so not ready for a baby yet. =) 
Completely out of focus and off center...typical.

After we ate our way through the seven delicious courses we finished the night as always with my dad reading The Night Before Christmas.

We slept at Bobby's parents house that night so we could wake up with them Christmas morning.  We totally took the typical "kids on the stairs" picture but thank goodness my sister-in-law didn't post it. =)  Just use your imagination.

Christmas morning at the Cool's was filled with surprises.  Bobby and his sisters went in together to put all their VHS video's on DVD for their parents.  To say they were shocked would be an understatement.

Before I get into the next part of the morning, here's a a little background to the story to catch you up to speed...

3 months ago my engagement ring snapped. in. half.

...and here you have it.

Who knew metal could snap in half like that? Surely not me. The worst part is that it wasn't insured! Yikes!  It was all pretty upsetting but we talked it out and I came to terms with the fact that there were much more important things to be spending our money on right now (like getting out of debt) to be throwing it towards fixing the ring, or getting a new one.  I had my wedding band to keep me company in the mean time.  So in my head I had figured that 5 years or so down the road we'd be able to get a replacement. Little did I know....

Bobby handed me a huge and heavy box as my present and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it could be.  When I opened it I found a stack of old magazines ( I should have known) that were weighing it down so much, and a tiny little gift bag.  Inside the gift bag was the zip lock baggy the two pieces of my engagement ring were in but it was empty! It was at the point I started sweating and shaking profusely.  The next thing I pulled out was the original box my ring came in with a small little ring bag inside (insert me totally freaking out here saying "What? What?! What!?!?" over and over. Maybe out loud, maybe in my head, I don't really remember.  Low and behold, inside the little baggy was my ring, all in one piece looking shiny and new. CRAZY!!! I was in such shock I couldn't stop shaking for like 20 minutes.  What a wonderful man.

I know we are so blessed to have both our families live so closely to each other (even if it is a little tiring at times) and I know one day when this isn't the case anymore, I will miss it.  After presents with his family we headed back over to my parents house for presents and church. After church it was back over to the Cool's for Christmas Day dinner. Wshoo!

In a nut shell, that was our Christmas!!

We were back in Nashville for New Years.  It was kind of weird because usually we are somewhere in Georgia with our college crew but thing year, Bobby had a show.  He played downtown opening for an artist who just recently signed with a label.

I was so thankful my friend Sarah decided to join us or I would have been by myself for a good portion of NYE! Boo! Life of a musican's wife?? Let's hope not!

New Year's day we did what I believe everyone should do that day--we lounged around in our pj's. It was wonderful, until I realized I was heading back to work the next day.. hello real world. Bummer. The good news is work has started off really well this year and it looks like it may keep getting better! 

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday's as well and are ready to take on 2012 head on!



Hey friends! Sorry I've been MIA! We were in Georgia all last week for Christmas, it was great!  I had every intention in sharing this post with you this past weekend when we got home but this cold I got last week has completely knocked me off my feet. Better late than never I suppose!

Anyway. As 2011 began to wrap up, I found myself looking back and reflecting on all the ups and downs and twists and turns that took place throughout the year.  It also reminded me of why I even started this blog in the first place, as a way to reflect and savor all the wonderful moments that have taken place.  I have to be honest.. I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago but every time I would go back to find pictures, or link to a post, I got completely lost in them. It was wonderful but totally prolonged the process..

The beginning of this year was tough for me.  I was in a pretty low place spiritually, feeling completely disconnected from God. It was like I was standing in a dark room unable to find a window or a door, or even a light switch.  I thought of the Israelites, waiting for years upon years to hear from God again, but nothing and all I could think of was how long will I have to wait? Not exactly my finest moment, but I still remember the spring day a couple of months later that I blogged about; the blue sky and the flowers blooming. The spring day when God finally revealed himself to me. The veil had been removed from my eyes, my ears had been open and I could here Him speaking to me.  I was starting to see that even the darkest of times, He was still there, and I was beginning to feel the work He had been doing in my heart the whole time.

So many amazing things happened as the year continued... here are some highlights:

Bobby and I celebrated our 25th birthdays together (mine with pink eye/his at his Release Party)

We prepared ourselves for that first ever EP Release party which was awesome (I swear I'm not bias)

I changed jobs (YAY!) and we moved downtown to the East side of Nashville

My sister and her husband welcomed their first baby and the cutest little man to the world,  (and my godson), Jack! (more pics of him in a bit)

Our group of friends expanded with babies too (this is little Miss Veda Jane below. You can see more cute pictures of her over at Twirl)

A whole HEAP of our friends tied the knot and joined in on the most fun and crazy adventure ever--marriage!

Bobby and I were baptized; the most beautiful and life changing day of my life.

We celebrated our first year of marriage (Wahoo!!) with Chinese food on the couch in our pj's =)

I lead an amazing group of sophomore high school girls at a weekend YoungLife camp (both a amazing and exhausting!)  I love these sweet girls!

Bobby's music hit the radio waves and the road!

So now this is supposed to be the part where I go into our Christmas vacation back in Georgia to end the year via pictures but... I didn't take any. Well, I did, but with my sister's super awesome DSLR camera but I completely forgot to copy the pics to my computer before we left... bummer. I should have them soon, so that will just have to be a separate (very late) post..... typical.

OK so I lied... I did actually take some pictures... My mom and I had a random impromptu photo shoot of my nephew one afternoon while we were watching him try to eat the Christmas ornaments.  You would think with as many pictures of him as I took he was my kid, but no, just my nephew. It makes me wonder what will happen when we have our own kids... =)  I'm slightly obsessed with him. He's six months old, super awesome and totally adorable. Like Gerber baby adorable.So here's Christmas through my camera:

Stay tuned for the rest of Christmas! Coming soon?... Let's hope!

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