December 26, 2011

crafting with blendy & becky: coasters

Perhaps if I start blogging about crafting projects, I'll do more of them. I know I already told you about this project, but Holly wanted instructions. Well, my friend, your wish is my command ... even if it takes me a month to do it!

Step 1: Gather all your materials—4x4 tiles, scrapbooking paper, felt, Mod Podge, clear spray paint, glue gun & glue sticks, pencil, paint brush (or sponge), marker, scissors, newsprint (or other scratch paper), and a movie to watch while you work.

Step 2: Cut scrapbooking paper into the size needed to cover your tile. (I like to cover the whole tile with one piece of paper; you can also create a mosaic of sorts with various pieces of paper.)

Step 3: Working quickly, cover the surface of the tile with Mod Podge. Affix paper to tile.

Step 4: Cover paper with a generous amount of Mod Podge. If the surface of your tile is not completely smooth, you may need to use your fingers to press down the paper and remove any air bubbles. Be sure to paint more Mod Podge over any fingerprints!

Step 5: Allow tiles to dry completely. The white Mod Podge will dry clear.

Step 6:
While tiles are drying, measure and cut felt just smaller than the size of the tile.

Step 7: Glue felt to the bottom of the tile.

Step 8: Take tiles outside (or to a well-ventilated area) and spray tops of the tiles. Allow to dry completely.

If you do it with just one piece of paper per tile, the whole process takes an hour or less to complete. And after the initial investment of Mod Podge, spray paint, and scrapbooking paper, the coasters are an incredibly affordable and classy gift!

December 24, 2011

reading is fun! (part 2)

Here's my current stack of books awaiting review. And that doesn't show the four Kindle files I have. (And, yes, I do still have one book in the pile that was in the picture of books to be reviewed that I posted in May ...)

And here's my whiteboard where I list books and their due dates (or, in the case of Litfuse, the date the blog tour begins). I'm so thankful that some companies don't have deadlines! The black dots to the right indicate which books I don't have in my possession yet. Um, yeah ... I think I might be nuts!

December 18, 2011

while you were sleeping

Another year of Singing Christmas Tree is over. (You can read an article about it here.) It's such a huge part of my life from October (when rehearsals begin) through mid-December that it's a strange feeling when it ends. I'm already looking forward to next October!

The title of this year's program was "While You Were Sleeping"—and we sang the Casting Crowns song of the same name during the program.While I enjoyed the song when I first heard it a couple years ago, it was my least favorite song to sing during the program—and we had to sing parts of it at two different times! Each time we sang it, my mind wandered to another While You Were Sleeping ... the movie.

While You Were Sleeping has been my favorite movie ever since I saw it in the 8th grade. (Not coincidentally, that's also the time that Sandra Bullock became my favorite actress.) I've probably watched it more than 20 times over the years, and I could quote practically the entire thing. (That in itself is quite a feat ... my siblings always make fun of me because I can never get movie quotes!)

While I thought about WYWS every time we sang the song, and I often promised myself I would watch it when I got home, I never did—until tonight. I came home from Singing Christmas Tree absolutely exhausted but not really ready to go to bed. So I popped WYWS into the DVD player. I enjoyed every minute of it! I hadn't watched it in probably a year, and absence definitely made the heart grow fonder. I quoted my favorite parts. I laughed. I once again marveled at Peter Gallagher's eyebrows. I yelled at Jack when he didn't step up and tell Lucy how he felt. And I took great pleasure in the bike scene, which I've embedded below.

Watching While You Were Sleeping was the perfect wrap-up to the "While You Were Sleeping" season of the Singing Christmas Tree. And the movie even fits in with the season, as it takes place basically from Christmas through the first couple weeks of January. (I have never considered it to be a Christmas movie, but I guess it would qualify.) Here's a link to the trailer to remind you just how great the movie is ... and if, heaven forbid, you've never seen the movie, maybe it'll make you curious enough to watch it. It's so cute!

What's your favorite movie? Why do you like it? Do you share my affection for Sandra Bullock? Sound off in the comments! 

December 13, 2011

another christmas movie

You're probably getting tired of hearing me talk about Christmas movies, but I just watched ABC Family's 12 Dates of Christmas, and it was so enjoyable.

Basically, it's Groundhog Day, only the day being repeated is Christmas Eve, and the girl repeating the day (Amy Smart) isn't nearly as loathsome as Phil (Bill Murray) was at the beginning of Groundhog Day. Throw in Mark-Paul Gosselaar as the love interest and some genuinely funny moments, and you've got a great little Christmas movie!

No, it won't change your life, but it sure is a fun way to pass a couple hours! It's currently streaming on—you can watch it here.

December 1, 2011

time for some christmas music!

'Tis the season for Christmas music. I love Christmas music, and sometimes I buy too much of it (kind of like how I buy too many Christmas movies). However, Amazon makes it easy to get my fill of Christmas music without breaking the bank, thanks to its $5 Christmas albums. In November, 100 Christmas albums were available for $5 each, but I didn't see anything that caught my fancy. Fast forward to this morning, when I looked at Amazon's $5 albums for December. Not only are two of my favorite Christmas albums (Michael W. Smith's It's a Wonderful Christmas and Amy Grant's Home for Christmas) on the list, but there is an album that made my inner giddy teenager come out, and I bought it as soon as I got home from work. Which album, you ask? *N Sync's Home for Christmas! I have wanted this album since I was 17. It has always hovered around $10, and I have a hard time justifying spending that much on music I only listen to 30 days out of the year. But $5? Totally worth it!

Check out the whole list of $5 Christmas albums. There's so much Christmas goodness here I hardly know where to begin! I recommend the following albums because I have (and love) them: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Vince Guaraldi Trio), Peace on Earth (Casting Crowns), What a Night! (Harry Connick, Jr.), Let It Snow Baby ... Let It Reindeer (Relient K), and Christmas Cheers (Straight No Chaser). But there's a ton of other good music out there, too—albums by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Avalon, Mandisa, and many more.

Mariah Carey's two Christmas albums, Merry Christmas and Merry Christmas II You, are some of my new favorites, and Merry Christmas is actually Amazon's mp3 Deal of the Day today. I know by the time most of you read this, it'll be tomorrow (or later), but sometimes Amazon's mp3 daily deals last a bit longer than a day. Merry Christmas is definitely worth your $3.99! (And yes, I know that Merry Christmas came out in 1994, so it's not exactly "new." I'd never listened to the whole thing until last year, so it's new to me!)

Also, be sure to check out Amazon's 25 Days of Free. Each day, a new free Christmas song is added to the list. Today's song is by Celtic Woman.

And just so you know, the Christmas album I'm dying to get this year is Michael Bublé's Christmas. But at $11.99, I'll just content myself with streaming it through Spotify for now!

What's your favorite Christmas album? Which one are you trying to rationalize buying this year ... or which one did you already buy?

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