Curly Crafty Mom: December 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What Wives Wear Link Up #34 - Plaid and Stripes

Welcome to the
What Wives Wear Link Up!
Week 34
Happy New Year y'all! I hope you all have a dazzling night with family or friends and get a sip or two of champagne. We always do an appetizer party at our house with pizza. I have a few delicious appetizers that I am making right now to go with dinner... lil smokies, cheese & fruit skewers, and Mexican pinwheels. We are getting our pizza from Papa Murphy's this year and will probably pick up one of their fresh salads and cookie dough! Brian is our bread master and he is making some ciabatta bread to dip into oil! YUM! Last year we made a lot of good appetizers, too... such as nutella filled strawberries, stuffed mushrooms, etc. (You can see last years post HERE.) We'll also have some Bubbles champagne! YUM!

I know this is a busy night, but hope you have some time to link up tonight before or after you go out or tomorrow. I am planning to get our Christmas tree down tomorrow... not sure if I am looking forward to that task! Whew!

So, are you ready for my outfit photos of the week? I am sharing a fun striped puffer vest and plaid outfit.









I really love red and black this time of the year, so I thought I would match my red and black plaid shirt with my white and black striped puffer vest. I added some skinny jeans and black leather boots and my fairly new Michael Kors purse in a black pleated leather. I just LOVE this outfit and it is so, so comfortable! I painted my nails gold and added some black and gold jewelry.

What I'm Wearing:
Plaid Shirt - Old Navy
Black and White Puffer Vest - Gap Outlet
Skinny Jeans - Shade (no longer in business)
Naturalizer Black Boots
Bracelets - Charming Charlie
Necklace - Baublebar
Chevron Rings - Molly Suzanne
Watch - Michael Kor
Purse - Michael Kor

God Life Happy Wife

Hosted By:
Sherri@God Life Happy Wife

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We have found that the What Wives Wear LinkUp is such 

a great way to meet & share with other fabulous bloggers.

Whenever we are given the opportunity to connect with other 

bloggers we just can't refuse.

That is why we were excited when Ada of 

Elegance & Mommyhood shared her interest 
in guest co-hosting.

Without further ado please welcome our very first co-host...Ada!

Guest Co-Host:

Ada's blog shares photos of her adorable baby girl, 
budget clothes, daily loves, and her everyday style. 

She is a wife and a mother who gives us looks that are 
perfect for any busy mom.

If you haven't already please take some time to stop by her blog.

*We would love to connect with more bloggers in the future.
If you are interested in the opportunity to guest co-host 
please contact us through email at:
[email protected] or [email protected]

What Wives Wear Link Up is a place for wives/moms 
to express their own personal style. 
Link up your favorite outfit post of the week. 
Get inspired while inspiring others!

We will meet and link up every Thursday

Each week the hosts will choose the Top Two looks 

to be featured for the next weeks link up.
Join us each week and we may just pick you!

Last week we took a break to celebrate Christmas 

with our families, so this weeks Top Two picks were our
favorites from the linkup two weeks ago.

First we chose Angie who shared a chic layered look. 

She is wearing a black top with lace detailing over a 

classic white button up. 

It goes perfectly with her black velvet blazer and 

grey ankle length pants.

Her colorful flower necklace is a statement piece that 

draws all the attention.

Our next pick is Heather who is wearing all black  on top

with a black shirt, jacket, and a chunky knit scarf.

Heather's red pants add a pop of color. 

Red and black always go so well with animal print. 

She is wearing leopard print booties and a clutch.

Angie@Reasons To Dress

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Now let's get linking!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Books I Read in 2014

I thought it would be fun to share which books I've read this year. I usually write more about the books I have been reading, but I didn't really do that at all this year. I thought it would be fun to write a little bit about my favorites in this wrap-up post of the books I read this year.

SO, I read 13 books in 2014!!

Goodreads is a website that keeps track of all of your book reading FOR you and what your friends are reading. It is a great site and I've used it for several years now. Check out my profile HERE if you want to keep track of what I'm reading. Here are little thumbnails of the books I read this year:


(Also read Building a Framework by Abby Lawson, not pictured here.)

(From top row left to bottom row right)
1. I am a Church Member by Thomas Rainer
I read this book for a bible study, I probably wouldn't have picked it off a shelf and read it otherwise. I gained a lot from the discussions in our small groups in bible study from this book, but not sure if I would have gathered much from the book alone. One of the most valuable parts of the book to me was to refrain from gossiping or talking about others behind their backs. This is something I have worked on a lot since reading this book and I've realized just how evil gossip can be...
My Rating: 3/5 stars

2. Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano  
We went on a tour guide of China Town in NYC last summer and our tour guide recommended this book to learn a little more about China Town when immigrants first started moving into the area. It is based off a true story and such a great read... there are definitely some parts in this book that will have you hyperventilating until it works you through the situations.
My Rating: 4/5 stars

3. You are Loved: Embracing the Everlasting Love God has for You by Sally Clarkson 
I read this during an online bible study, the authors of it used to be part of a devotional website for women (which has sense changed ownership and I'm not as crazy about the new site).
My Rating: 4/5 stars

4. Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in his Presence by Sarah Young  
I really think I could have gotten a lot more out of this if I had taken 15 minutes each morning to really read through this and to look up the complimentary verse. I may revisit this book again later and take more time with it as I think I could get a lot more out of it.
My Rating: 4/5 stars

5. Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple  
Oh my goodness... LOVED this book... LOVED. I was really laughing my way through this entire book, it is such a delight!
My Rating: 4/5 stars

6. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin 
This is another book I would like to read again as it has so much great advice, yet I haven't had time to act on any of it. If I were to read it again, I would like to jot down notes in a notebook... handwritten notes, of course :)  I also loved this book, because Gretchen is a fellow blogger... and, who doesn't love bloggers turned authors?
My Rating: 4/5 stars

7. 11/22/63 by Stephen King  
Stephen King was my favorite author in high school, it was like I moved on from Sweet Valley Twins/High in grade school to Stephen King in high school. Is that weird? Well, I haven't read too much King these days, but when I do it is a real treat! I think I might make it a goal to read at least one King book every year. This book was mind-blowing... I really can't believe how much detail and thought King puts into each and every LONNG novel he writes, but WOW... just WOW. Totally recommend this one.
My Rating: 5/5 stars

8. Room by Emma Donoghue  
Another great book about a mothers love for her son. This book is a little creepy and is told from the child's viewpoint, SO the writing takes a little to get used to at first. But, oh, did I love this one! It was definitely a book I read quickly and couldn't put down.
My Rating: 4/5 stars

9. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern  
This was another great book that I highly recommend. It is another book that is 'dark', but it is such a unique idea for a book and how the characters are entwined makes it such a great read.
My Rating: 4/5 stars

10. Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok  
This book was really interesting with how it describes how Chinatown sweatshop workers were treated... was really even more moving to me to read this after my first visit to Chinatown, too.
My Rating: 4/5 stars

11. Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson  
This book was written well and with a lot of suspense... the ending was well worth what built up to it. It has been made into a movie and I have yet to see it, but I want to.
My Rating: 5/5 stars

12. Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt  
This was a really good read and I thoroughly enjoyed the ending. The boy in this book has severe asthma and parts of it made me uncomfortable as both of my kids have asthma and we have had our own set of scares... so, apart from that... I really enjoyed the book.
My Rating: 4/5 stars

13. Building a Framework by Abby Lawson  
I follow Abby's blog and was really excited when she announced she was coming out with a book to help out fellow bloggers. I learned so much from reading this book and plan to read through it again chapter by chapter, so that I can take notes and apply what I've learned. 
My Rating: 5/5 stars

This is also something interesting that Goodreads does, it tells you how many books you've read this year versus previous years. I've been using Goodreads since 2011 and you'll see in 2012 I read the most books! This is because I set a goal for myself in 2012 to read at least 2 books a month. I haven't really set a goal for myself since then as I've been pretty good about reading. I think if I were to fall under 12 books for the year, then I would maybe try to push myself to read more. I have been reading the first Outlander book for the last 2 months and if it wasn't so long, I am sure I would have read another 1-2 books this year.


Do you have a favorite book for this year? I'd love to hear what it is! Have you read any of the books I read this year and were any of them your favorites? Isn't reading great?! I really hope my kids grow up loving to read as much as I do!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ipsy Review

Received my first #Ipsy bag and was excited about the goodies I found inside it. My favorite is the Bumble and bumble All-Style Blow Dry Creme... I have never tried BB products, but have wanted to as I've heard they're awesome! The next product i'm the mo
I have seen several other bloggers blog about their Ipsy bags or even post on Instagram about what they received. Just recently, I decided to check out this entire Ipsy thing for the first time. I really like the idea of trying five new beauty products every month, especially since I tend to use the same products over and over for YEARS. I also love the idea that you get a new little bag to store them in each month. And, to try out Ispy it is ONLY $10 a month... not bad at all!

So are you ready to hear what I received in my first Ipsy bag?

Bumble and Bumble All Style Blow Dry 
This was my second favorite product in the bag this month. I have heard Bumble and Bumble makes some great hair products, even for curly hair girls like me... WELL, I have a lot of hair, so I used a little more then a dime (what they suggested), but I've been using it for over a week and still have a lot left in the tube. I put this on over my regular product that I use before I blow dry and I feel it helps a lot with the frizz and fly aways and even adds a little texture. I would rate it 4/5 stars.

Nourish Organics Renewing Eye Cream
This is an organic eye cream made with avocados and I have been using it in the evening after I wash my face. I am 37, SO the eye cream I normally use is for anti-aging... and, I will use this up until its done, but since it isn't for anti-aging, I will not be buying it again. I think this would be great for someone in their twenties, though! :) It went on pretty smooth, but I didn't really notice any differences with my skin while using it. I would rate it 2/5 stars (for my use!).

NYX Butter Lip Balm
I was really excited to receive this in my bag until I put the red velvet color on my lips. I normally love red, but this was sort of like cherry kool-aid stained lips. I wanted to love this, but I'll only be wearing it around the house. I do like how it feels on my lips and it is a little more thicker than a regular lip balm, which I liked... but, I was disappointed the color. SO, I would rate it 3/5 stars. If the color had been suitable for me, I would have probably given it a 4.

Tarte Lights Camera Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
This was my FAVORITE item in my bag this month! I have actually heard of this mascara and had been wanting to try it. I tried it and I really, really like it! It makes my lashes look long and thick, yet it isn't too heavy or hard to remove. I would rate it 5/5 stars.

Crown Brush Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush
I am not really knowledgable about brushes... that is why I asked to receive a brush here and there in my Ipsy bags, so I can build up my collection. This brush kind of reminds me of the brush that I already have from my Urban Decay Naked Palette, but I tried it out and it applies the eye shadow a little differently. I had to trim the brush when I received it, because some of the 'hairs' were longer and weren't cut evenly... as in they were sticking an inch out from the other bristles! No biggie, I trimmed the three extra hairs and was good to go. I do always apply a crease shadow and this worked really well and I felt it was a little more plump and soft than my Naked brush. I would rate it 4/5 stars.

The bag I received was black with a little pink Ipsy heart. I have seen cuter bags on peoples IG feeds, so I gave it to my 6 year old daughter to play with... :) 

SO, what did I think of my first month of Ipsy? I really loved it! Even though I didn't give all of the products in my bag 5 stars, it didn't mean that I didn't love trying them out or won't enjoy using the rest of them. I am a really hard critic and I am just trying to be honest on here about each of these products I am reviewing. I love trying products that I normally wouldn't even consider, that is how you find something that you'll love and use for years! Plus... I don't know about you, but I can be such a beauty product lover! I find it fun to try out new products and review them... it is kind of like having a little Sephora fun in the privacy of my own home!

What did you get in your Ipsy Glam bag this month? 

If you don't subscribe to Ipsy, click HERE for my referral link.  For $10/month it's a fun way to try new products that are delivered right to your mailbox!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Our 2014 Christmas Recap (and an overload of pictures!)

I just wanted to let you know that Motivational Monday will return next week, but the What Wives Wear link up will return this Wednesday and I hope to see your holiday outfits!

Santa 🎅 came!!! Can't wait for the morning!! Bet they'll have everything unwrapped in 3 minutes... 😁 Merry Christmas Eve!! 🎄🎁🎁🎁🎁
So, are you ready for a little Christmas recap? I hope you all had a blessed Christmas... our started with a lot of asthma coughing and colds, but we are hoping to finish off the rest of this Christmas break with some fun activities since we are all feeling much better!

Autumn ready for her Christmas program at school. 😍❤️ (don't even ask what I bribed her with to get her to smile... A dab of lipstick. I know! I shouldn't have!)

There was SO much the two weeks leading up to Christmas. Nathan's Christmas play was a week prior to Autumn's and I hate to say that I didn't get any pictures, because we were SO far in the back and had to rush there from Autumn's dance class. I did get this photo of Autumn before her Christmas play, I got this dress for 50% off at JCPenny. I usually don't shop there, but I was so late at getting her a dress for Christmas, that we just ran in there after seeing Santa! It was only $17 and is so cute on her!

I always love taking pictures of the kids hauls from their Christmas parties. Nathan's teacher gave him a pack of highlighters and her mom made these cute little beaded lizards for the class. 

Here is Autumn's haul from her Christmas party. :) Her teacher got her an adorable ornament for Christmas.

This flower pot angel was made by Autumn for me in her class, isn't it cute? It has her hand prints for its hands... what makes it extra special is the pink flower pot angel next to it is one that Nathan made for me when he was in Kindergarten. I will always treasure both of these!

I have photos from both Nathan's cub scouts and Autumn's daisy scout Christmas parties... Autumn even did Christmas caroling for daisy scouts... BUT, I'll post about those later. This post will have enough photos!

One of the reasons why I love Brian is that he knows his way around in the kitchen. He's making homemade noodles for our beef burgundy that we're having for Christmas Eve tomorrow. This is one of my favorite meals of the year!!! 👍🍴
Brian started cooking the evening before Christmas Eve, here are the homemade noodles he was making for the beef burgundy. YUM!! I make all of the sides and he makes the main dish, it works out great!

Christmas Eve was sort of a weird day for me... I had been getting over a cold and had felt wonderful the day before, but on Christmas Eve I felt just yucky ALL day. I tried to make the best of it, because we had my family over for lunch and we were planning to do our stockings game and the Christmas Eve vigil afterwards. We started with my family over and I can tell I must not have felt well, because I didn't even get a photo of the food table! I even took my temperature a couple of times and it was completely normal... it is never fun to get over a cold and then to start feeling bad again! Here is me with my gift from my mom, a Silhouette Cameo! I have a Cricut, but I have been wanting something that works better... especially with vinyl! I can't wait to work on some crafts with this machine!

Nathan couldn't wait for Uncle Jeff to come over on Christmas Eve, because he wanted to have a Minecraft marathon!! The boy is so lucky, because Jeff and Tracy are having the kids over again later this week!

Autumn and Tracy had a blast too, they played Pop the Pig! and put together a bunch of puzzles.

The kids got to open some presents, Nathan got a camera from Grandma and Pa! He has been taking pictures ever since and I even stole some of the photos he took on Christmas Eve for this blog post!

Autumn got a Barbie puppy water slide and tub, a knock-off AG bed for her AG dolls and a spa set for her dolls.

After family left, we got out the stockings!! I am crazy in that I wrap ALL of the presents in the stockings (Brian wraps mine) and then we get a 4-sided dice and we each pick a number on it. Then we roll the dice and the number that is facing up tells who gets to open a gift, we keep rolling the dice and taking turns opening gifts in our stockings. It is a lot of fun and makes the whole stocking opening go a lot slower, so that we can enjoy it and see what everyone got. I didn't really get a good photo of the kids with their stockings, though... but, mommy was not feeling so hot!

Autumn got this 4-pack of American Girl doll movies... it has Molly, Kit, Samantha and I think Katrina? Anyway... these movies are SO darn good and I only paid $11.99 for this 4 pack of DVD's! I must say, the Molly one was a bit of a tear-jerker for me. 

Well, stockings were open and we had an hour to kill until it was time to go to the Christmas Eve vigil. I was on the couch under a blanket and almost in tears I felt so awful. Brian took my temperature and it was 103.8!! I was under a ton of blankets, but still... I couldn't understand why I was feeling so horrible, when my cold had been on its mend... well, Walgreens Med Stop was closed and so was Urgent Care. We had to go to the ER on Christmas Eve! I felt so bad to drag everyone there and that we had to miss out on church. Once I got to the ER, they made me wear a mask and I had to take Tylenol AND Motrin, get a chest X-ray, got checked for the flu and strep... so, what did I have? A sinus infection with double ear infection! The nurse wasn't sure why my fever got up as high as it did, but once it went back down and I started the antibiotics, it never came back. I felt so much better once we got home and I got the antibiotics started... and, I felt perfect on Christmas morning... SO, so glad we got some drugs for me! Who knows how I would have felt otherwise!

Once we got home I fed the kids a very late dinner of chicken noodle soup... and, since we never got our Christmas cookies baked, due to all of the asthma issues with Autumn earlier in the week, we left Santa chocolate chips. How pathetic, I know. LOL. Oh, and a carrot for the reindeer. But, don't worry... we are all better and plan to bake our gingerbread cookies TOMORROW! :) I can't wait... and, we aren't stuffed from Christmas, so they'll taste even better!!

Here are the kids on Christmas morning... they woke up pretty late for them, 7:30 a.m.!!!

A closer view of the kids on Christmas morning.... gotta love Aut's hair. :)

And... the Elves and their pet :) Yes, they got a pet... If you don't follow me on Instagram, you should HERE :) So, you don't miss out on details like this one! 

Of course, Autumn picked out which gift was shaped like an American Girl doll box and opened it first. She got Isabelle... she has WAY too many AG dolls, I know... but, was the #1 item she wanted for Christmas. Isabelle is fun, too... she has pink highlights!

Nathan's big gift was an Anki race car set... these are SO cool, it comes with a big mat that you unroll and it comes with two cars that you race and control from your iPad or iPhone.

These anki cars work better than slot cars! They stay on the track and the kids just love doing races... heck, mom even enjoys racing! We do roll up the mat when they aren't playing, so it doesn't get dust or lint on it.

Autumn got Popcorn, this doggy that comes with babies inside her. :) She also wanted cowboy boots and got them!

Nathan also got a little Mip robot. :)

The aftermath.... oy!

Santa was good to me!! Can you tell I love all things gold?! Brian said he went through all kinds of trouble to get the mug in a 'C' for me. I had to have it, though, so I am glad he found it!! I am switching from Sprint to Verizon, hope it works just as
My Christmas gifts... I wanted this gold monogrammed anthro mug, but it was sold out on their site! Brian found it elsewhere for me thankfully!! I love it!! I also got a gold iPhone 6!!

Movie time!! Into the Woods! Never seen a movie on Christmas before, wow it's busy here... Glad we booked 5 Star seats a few days ago!
The kids went over to their dads for Christmas afternoon and Brian and I picked up the house and then went out to see a movie at the 5 Star... we saw Into the Woods, oh my goodness it was SO darn good! It was sold out everywhere, so we had to drive out to St. Charles to see it, but it was worth the drive!

Well, that is it... :) Hope you enjoyed the photo overload (if you're still reading) and have a wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from What Wives Wear!

Christmas is about love and family. 

What Wives Wear LinkUp
is taking a break this week to celebrate with our families.

From our families to yours we are wishing each one
of you a Merry Christmas!

Please don't forget to share the love with those you love.

The linkup will be back next week on January 1st.

We will be looking forward to seeing you share all of your 
Christmas and New Year's Eve outfits. 


Monday, December 22, 2014

Burlap & Linen Ruffle Tree Skirt

First, I have two announcements... (1) Motivational Monday will continue again on January 4th. We are taking some time off from the link party so we can spend time with our families. I wish all of you a blessed Christmas and New Year! (2) The winner of the Datevitation Coupon book is Sarah and Datevitation has sent you an email to let you know you have won!

I won't be blogging as much in the next two weeks, because the kids are home from school. I am sure I will get on here a couple times a week, though.

Today I wanted to share a Burlap & Linen Ruffle Tree Skirt that I made for our Christmas tree! I just finished it up today, but last week I was busy gluing down all of the ruffles (it was an 8 hour job, I do not lie!). I have seen these all around blogland and Pinterest and I so wanted one for my very own tree... thankfully, I was able to fit this project in and finish it before Christmas! The neutral colors of the burlap and linen blend perfectly with our living room and I can't wait to enjoy this tree skirt next year and many more years after! Since this skirt was time intensive, that is why I am sharing this Christmas project with you the week OF Christmas! Gulp!




The supplies for this skirt were pretty minimal... 2 yards of linen, 2 yards of burlap, 1.5 yards of felt, twine, scissors, pins... OH, and a cordless glue gun with LOTS of refills!

First you want to cut your burlap and linen into 3" strips. I suggest doing this on a completely separate day, because it takes a little bit of time... and, you'll be too tired to start the ruffle hot gluing process! To easily cut burlap, you can make a little cut and pull out one of the strings and it'll leave a 'guide' for you to cut.

Linen and Burlap is cut

Next you'll want to create a felt base for your tree skirt. Fold your felt in half and then fold it again to make 4 squares. Where the two folded ends meet, pin your fabric tape measure down. Then use the tape measure as an 'atlas' to make marks on your felt- the outer circle will be 24" to make a 48" circle (mine is slightly smaller here, because I bought a roll of felt and not exactly 1.5 yards) and then for the center hole (where the tree base is), measure out 2.5", so it'll be 5" when you open up the felt. Cut along the dotted lines that you made on the felt.

Unfold the felt and you'll have a tree skirt!

Next start making your ruffles! The linen was easier to work with then the burlap and I didn't need to use pins. I would hot glue each individual ruffle down as I worked around the base of the skirt. You'll want the linen to hang off of the felt of the skirt base a little for this first layer.

Here is what the first layer of linen looked like after I hot-glued it to the felt base. Thankfully, it just gets easier on out after you do the first layer! The layers of ruffles will get smaller and smaller as you get closer to the middle of the felt base.

Once I started working on the burlap, I would pin down about 5-6 ruffles at a time. You can hot glue one or two at a time and then work on the next few. This part took the longest, so you may want to turn on some Christmas music or show reruns!

Many hours later, after you are done with the ruffles... you can finally make the ties for the skirt! I just used my fabric scissors and made a little incision so that I could pull twine through the hole.

Here are the knots I made with the twine on the back side of the skirt.

And, this is what it'll look like once you tie it under your tree!

The final skirt.

And, here it is under the tree.

It was a little (ok, a lot) more work then I thought it'd be, but I am in love with this new ruffle skirt! And, next year... it'll be already done and I can just pull it out of the storage tub and put it under the tree! Yay!

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