To Giveaway?

I noticed that I am teetering dangerously close to 100 followers (How did that happen? Thank you all!) and was wondering if I should do a giveaway.  I'm not entirely sold on the whole giveaway thing- I'd like people to follow me because they want to and not just to get something for free, but 100 followers seems like a big deal so I just thought it might be fun to do something to commemorate it.

Does it sound like a good idea?  And what to give away?

Book clips?

Gift tags?


Things to do list?

Or maybe an item of the winner's choice, or a gift certificate?  What would you pick?

How In the World Do People Find My Stuff?

That is a sort-of rhetorical question.  I'm not really looking for an answer to it (I know about Analytics, etc. etc.), but as I was sitting here checking through my activity feed, I literally asked that aloud.

If you are non-Etsy, an activity feed is a screen where you can see anyone who favorites your stuff or your shop (and what's going on with people in your circle, but that topic is for another day).  I am always so grateful when anyone favorites my shop or one of my items, but I am left completely baffled at how they may have found an item that was listed over a month ago when I'm not posting anything new or renewing my listings (I'm slacking, I know).  I am left wondering, in what manner did they find me?  An old treasury?  A tweet I sent out?  I am certainly not complaining but I am totally curious!

Oh, which leads me to another thought that's been rattling around in my head for a few weeks: some of my very-first-listed items are coming due to expire in the middle of the month, and I'm wondering if I should renew them or let them go.  What would you do?  Keep any that have been favorited, perhaps?  Renew them and put them on sale?  Let them go and try desperately to get some inspiration to make and post something new?

Some of my soon-to-expire favorites:

Square magnetic bookmarks

Miniature magnetic bookmarks

Miniature magnetic bookmarks

Classic ribbon bookmarks

Nature-inspired note card set

A Helpful Hint (At Least I Think So)

I hate poplar trees.  Yes, hate is a strong word.  Yes, I hate them.

If you are unfamiliar with the poplar tree, as I had been before moving to this house, let me tell you about them.  They are very fast growing trees and their leaves pop early in the season.  They are male and female trees, and therefore one produces pollen strings and one produces sticky pods (I don't know which does which) and I suppose that's how they pollenate and make new trees.  I didn't look into it that closely, but closely enough last spring in order to figure out what was going on in our yard.

The back part of our yard was totally overgrown- vines, small trees, poison ivy, you name it it was back there.  We spent all last summer clearing it out and this year we are working to landscape it.  Anyway, while we were back there for a few weeks in early spring, everything was getting covered in those sticky pods- our shoes, clothes, anything with wheels, the dog.  They stick and leave behind lovely yellow sap.  Which stains your clothes.  And sticks to your wood floor.  And your carpeting (which luckily we didn't care about).  The hate was born.

The big tall ones.  Don't let their nice green appearance fool you.
Fast forward to this year and we just went out back today to do some work and the pods are everywhere.  So our shoes are covered, the mower, the wheelbarrow, the dog.  However, this year I am reacting more quickly to the mess because the toddler is now very, very mobile, and his tan cordouroys (which I didn't even think about!!!!!) ended up with yellow sap all over them.  So there's me and Google:  "How do you remove poplar sap?" And I found this great, quick article that tells you how to get it off of your skin, clothes, hair, and car: rubbing alcohol.  It worked great on my hands because we didn't think about it and Casey the poodle with her long, curly hair was running around out there and she laid in them.  So there's me and the dog brush, picking them out of her hair, hands covered in sap.  She's not thrilled with me right now.

What I pulled off the dog
It also seemed to work on the clothes.  They are in the wash as I'm writing this, but it looked like it took the bulk of the yellow out of both the toddlers cords and my jeans.  That's better than last year- I still have some shorts with yellow marks on the seat that never came out (which I have to tell you is not a good look).  So I will hate the trees for a few weeks each spring, but at least I have a defense against the sap.  In the meantime, I think the trees should try and come up with a better pollination system.

The Hair Dilemma

I am in need of a haircut.  Badly.  Let's say that it was October the last time I went to the salon.  I think that's when it was, but I can't be exactly sure.  Here's the deal: I hate to spend money on a pricey haircut, but if I go to the cheaper salons, I never get it to look how I want, so I go to the pricier salon two or three times a year and just deal with the mess in between.

When I was little, I had the bowl haircut.  Short to the ears with bangs for as long as I can remember.  Round about second grade I got some control of it, my mother allowing me to grow the back of it out longer, but for a little while there it was a little bit mullet-like.  From probably the third grade on, it was long.  L-O-N-G.  You can do that when you are a kid, and into high school and college.  My mom wasn't really one of those mom's that likes to style their daughter's hair (hence the bowl), so I played around with ponytails and French braids.  I finally lost the bangs my sophomore year of high school, but for awhile gained a hair-flip tick that came along with too-long hair in my eyes that wasn't quite long enough to pin back yet.  (Oh, and the bangs themselves were a huge mass because I had taken to cutting them myself.)  It's a pretty picture, right?

Add into this that my hair is thick.  Very, very thick.  All of those cute little girls with those cute little barrettes and clips and bows?  They'd slide right out, or I couldn't clasp them.  I went from stick-straight hair to wavy hair as I got older, but not those beautiful Carrie Bradshaw waves.  More of a devil-may-care wave that is exacerbated by me sleeping on it wet.  And because of this, I don't like to style it.  I hate the blow dryer.  The curling iron is mostly useless.  I have a good relationship with my flat iron, but the longer my hair gets, the longer it takes to flatten it out, and I just don't have that much time anymore.

What I'm missing out on....Embroidered Owl Hair Clip by hairribbonboutique

Set of two sparkly siver iridescent hairpins by tinygalaxies
Smaller Sized Hair Barrette by northwestgoods
With an upcoming family wedding, I don't want to be the dud caught looking bad in any pictures, though I'm certainly not going to be leaping in front of any cameras.  I've got to get it cut in the next few weeks and am faced with a dilemma: how to cut?  For the past several weeks, er, months, I have been twisting my hair (now about 4 or 5 inches below my shoulder) up into a bun with two claw clips.  Off the face, off the neck.  With summer approaching slowly, I'm not sure if I want to keep it longer, maybe layered a little (no Farrah for me, thank you very much) or if I want to try something shorter (eeeeeeek!).  I also may brave the blunt bang again after a decade and a half without.  So I'm seeking out opinions: do you have a seasonal style?  Do you keep it long, short?  Is there such a thing a the mom haircut?  What in the world can I do with it so it won't drive me nuts?

Follow Up!

I was thinking about the post I wrote yesterday about the impact of social media, and I would like to clarify what I was saying.  I don't think social media is a bad thing.  My husband and I basically formed our early relationship over the earliest social media, the instant message.  We were long distance at college and it was a cheap and easy way to get to talk to each other for a long time and as often as we wanted.  I think it's great to make contacts and to get re-aquainted with people you haven't talked to in forever.  I was just saying that the amount of time I was spending online with all of these things was detracting from what I really should otherwise be doing, and that I don't think that's a great thing.  With anything in life it's about personal responsibility.  Social media is not to blame for what it is; we as people living busy lives need to use it as best for each of us.  I just didn't want to continue to be so plugged in when I should be playing with trucks and blocks.

Coincidentally, yesterday I also happened to read this great article in Hartford magazine that was talking about manners and the growing lack thereof in society.  Though it didn't hit on any specific social media site, it did mention that people out to dinner are all on their cell phones, talking or texting.  People in movie theaters are on their phones, people are texting in the car, and so on.  Common courtesy is disappearing into a self-involved society constantly checking for updates. 

Personally, I don't feel like I run into this behavior too much (there is the occasional family in the restaurant that lets their kids scream and run wild), but I understand what the author is saying.  There is a general disregard for other people's needs and feelings.  If you get a minute today, it's a good read.  And on this Earth Day, it doesn't hurt to think about respecting the other people on the planet as well as the planet itself.  Happy Friday!

House and Family Values Print by iloveitall

Cutting Back

The other day my husband came across an article online talking about social networking, multitasking, and the effects of it all on your short-term memory.  I should have saved the link right when I read it but I didn't and have now spent a good chunk of time trying to find it, but I did!  If you'd like to see the article, it's here.  Basically, it's talking about how people who are constantly online checking Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites are not allowing their memory to hold on to information and filter out unimportant stuff from the important stuff.  It also says that multitasking on said media sites compounds the damage. 

Wall chatter by Youfamizm
It is funny that this article popped up when it did because I have been grappling with Internet time since I opened my shop on Etsy.  I have always been slightly Internet addicted, checking e-mail often and responding right away, but I was never on any social media sites where people I know are updating me on all the things they are doing right now.  I had no need for it.  Then I opened my shop and discovered that in order to get your name and products out there, you have to network, and that means social network for an online shop.  Because of that, I now have a Twitter account, I started this blog, and I have Etsy teams that I am checking up on to see what's new and exciting.  (I decided I didn't want to have a Facebook account- too many old high school faces would be awaiting me.  I buckled and decided to try it, registering as "By The Book Paper" but Facebook won't let you do that since it's not an actual person's name, so I ended up as Bythe Bookpaper, which gave my husband a huge laugh and my dearest friend told me it sounded like a Harry Potter character.  I deleted that account the same day and haven't looked back.)

Anyway, all of these things take up a lot of time!  Right after I opened my shop there was a mildly-obsessive flurry of page reloading in order to see my shop views increase.  Then upon joining teams, I was constantly reloading the threads so I could get in on the discussions as they happened.  The Twitter main screen was left open so I could click when it said, "1 new tweet".  And heaven forbid that I posted something that required a response from someone else because it seemed that I wanted to know when the response was actually happening.  Reload, reload, reload.  It was taking a toll and a chunk of my day.  My husband suggested a month or so ago having "work hours" where I would only check those sites if I was working on Etsy stuff.  Yea, right!  Then I wouldn't be plugged in all the time!  Crazy.

Scrabble Tile Necklance by BrunetteDoll

But then I was finding that stuff I wanted to get done wasn't getting done and I didn't like how that felt.  Then came the article.  I read it and knew I wasn't quite as bad as that, but I must admit with a slight grimmace that I was finding that I was going, "Just let me tweet this," or, "I have to just post this thread."  Not good.  Because of this, I have been pondering how to better spend my time.  Since then I have closed the perma-Twitter page and will just check it once or twice a day.  I actually don't find that I miss it much, and it's pretty easy to catch up on.  I'll post to the blog when I have time to write, but I'm not going to feel like I have to post something every day.  I will keep my team threads open basically if I've posted something and am looking for a response.  I don't check my shop page too much, which is probably the one thing I should be doing (no new items since March 22!?!?) but I'd like to get some other stuff done around the house first, so it's going to have to wait.  Reorganizing priorities is worse than reorganizing the closet!

Do you find you have social media addiction, however so slight?  Do you get Internet guilt?

A Dinner Favorite

One of the meals that we can't get enough of and that we never have leftovers for is Beer-Braised Beef.  This comes from Cooking Light magazine, though I don't know from when exactly, and is the easiest and tastiest dish.  Ironically, neither my husband or I really drink much, so we only keep beer and wine in the house to cook with.  I actually still feel silly buying beer at the store for this recipe (and chili- I put it in that, too), like I'm 18 and trying to get away with it or something.

Beer-Braised Beef

2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 3-inch cubes (already cut and packaged stewing meat works fine)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
3 cuts vertically sliced onion (about 1 large)
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1 12-ounce can Guinness Stout (I use different dark or red beers, depending on what's available)

Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper.  Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add beef; cook 5 minutes or until browned.  Remove from pan.  Add 1 teaspoon oil and onion to pan.  Reduce heat and cook 12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Return beef to pan.  Add broth and beer; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 30 minutes or until tender.  Remove beef from pan; shred with two forks.  Return beef to pan; stir.

It's almost too easy.  The recipe suggests serving it over toasted Italian bread, which we tried, and then moved on to mashed potatoes, which is the most awesome combination (and I love bread).  I don't bother removing the beef from the pan to shred it- I just try not to scrape the pan when I do it.  Much easier.  Enjoy!

Some Things Really...

I've decided I hate the vacuum.  Vacuuming is one of my least favorite things to do.  Don't get me wrong, it's great at cleaning the floor fast, and there's really no better way to get dust and things off the couches.  But I will put it off and put it off and put it off until whatever it is that needs vacuuming is pretty awful looking.  The reason: I hate the vacuum cleaner.  Anyone I've ever had is noisy, and the sound of the thing just rattles my brain for some reason; it produces an odd smell, like you are breathing in the dust-exhaust it's producing (even though you're probably not); and then there's cleaning it out to remove the dust from the filter so that works properly.  So I've determined:

Letterpress Sympathy Card by lettarypress

Hand-painted wall sign by littlewisdoms

Too Cute

I am not a big fan of spending a lot of money on kids' clothes.  They grow out of them too fast, and because they get easily dirty I'd rather have a lot of cheaper shirts and pants rather than a few expensive pieces. That doesn't mean you have to have something that's cheap quality, though, you just have to be able to find a good deal.  I love Old Navy.  They have great clothes, good sales, and offer a lot of coupons.  If you hit the clearance rack at the right time, you can come out of there with a boatload of nice clothes, like the $1 bathing suit I snagged in November for this coming summer.

Shoes are the worst.  You want to have a couple of pairs, expecially now that the toddler is running around and wants to play in the dirt outside, but those tiny little shoes can be expensive!  We've been lucky to get some hand-me-down pairs of boots from a neighbor, which is nice because those are such an occasional item.  I've always said we're not going to buy those expensive, trendy shoes because they just aren't worth it.  Until....

They're too cute!  And the toddler loves them- he doesn't want to take them off.  I'm guessing they must be pretty comfortable inside.  The best part?  They were on sale at Kohl's, I was lucky enough to have a 30% off coupon this time, and his grandma had a $10 off coupon, which all combined made them cheaper than a pair of shoes at Wal-Mart.  And they are about a size big, so he'll be able to wear them for awhile.  How could you pass that up?!

Where Have You Been?

Oh, wait, that should be Where Have I Been.  I guess I just have not felt the posting love in the past few days, and I recently read something that said if you don't have something you really want to write about, then don't post because your readers will know.  Got it.  Check!

Anyway, what have I been doing in the past few days that made me so busy I didn't have the time or energy to write?  I have no idea.  Lately I feel like the days manage to slip by without me getting a lot done in the day.  I'm trying to work on that.  For example, I really need to get some housework done, along the lines of spring cleaning-type stuff.  I have also been neglectful of my Etsy shop.  I don't think I've listed anything new since mid-March, which isn't exactly a great plan, but finding time to create new things just hasn't been happening.  I've luckily been busy enough with some custom orders from repeat clients, and just finished these beautiful graduation announcements that are bound for the post office today.

They are an emerald green metallic, layered with graphite metallic in the middle, and a white linen face on top.  They are so sparkly when they hit the light.  I'm hoping she'll love them.  In the meantime, I have quite a bit of the emerald metallic cardstock left over, so I'm going to try to get into my craft room and create something with that that I can list in my shop.  I'm not sure what yet though!

Making Repairs

With all of the work around the house we've been doing, we have accumulated a pretty large pile of work clothes, many of which have gotten ripped, torn, or are just falling apart.  Yesterday I decided to tackle the growing repair pile while I had a chance.

First up, jeans with a ripped knee.  They received an iron-on patch, but I was told that that wouldn't be enough to hold it, so it went under the sewing machine, too.

Next was a t-shirt that had a rip in the back when my husband crawled into our attic space and got hung up on a nail.  I was trying not to make an uncomfortable ridge when putting it back together, so this one got a patch ironed down with Stitch Witchery.  If you've never used it, it's like liquid needle-and-thread when it gets hot.  My 4' 11" mother used this all the time to hem her pants, so we've always had some hanging around just in case.  It's pretty handy stuff.

Another pair of work pants with a slightly larger hole in the knee:

And the favorite flannel, which almost all of the buttons were loose on:

In digging through the pile and finding supplies, I came across a bag of old dog toy parts and some soft navy blue material that I got on clearance for eighty cents at Walmart.  I had always planned on making Casey a toy, so I figured that was as good a time as any since I already had everything out.  Using the Valentine's Day card method of fold and cut, I cut two heart-shaped pieces of fabric. (I was feeling brave, apparently, going with that shape.  You'll see why I say that shortly.)

Once I sewed those together I turned it inside-out and stuffed it with all of this filling we've saved from toys long gone by, and packed two squeakers into it:

I hand sewed the last little opening closed and...Ta-da!

Ok, so feel free to have a laugh at my expense for my beautiful "heart".  I have said before that I'm not the most accurate or careful sewer, and again, I figure it's a dog toy, so it's not like it's going in a museum or anything.  Plus, Casey loves it.

You can almost see the smile.

A Tale of One Basement

I am about to review a seriously awesome product that I've found: self-adhering drywall tape.  Now, before you run screaming in anticipated boredom, stick with me for at least a few minutes.  I think it will be an interesting story, and there will be pictures.

We bought our first house just about a year and a half ago.  We chose where we lived based on the school system, as I'm sure many, many new parents do.  Actually, I should back up.  My husband, a Texas native, wanted to move to the Houston area.  Me, the only child with all of my large family within driving distance, had a slight panic attack over the whole situation and put up a big fuss, and now we live here in tax-heavy Connecticut (I know, I know).  So, because we chose to stay in the state, we then chose a town based on the highly-rated schools, which means to say we now live in a town with higher taxes.

Anyway, back to the house.  It is a Cape Cod style built in the 1970s.  It was updated some, but it never really got out of the early 1990s, with 1970s remnants (popcorn ceiling! grasscloth!) still alive and kicking.  We chose it because of its good layout, and in said slightly expensive town, it was a reasonable price for what we were looking for.  We have been slowly going through the house and updating it to our style.  And when I say slowly, I mean as fast as humanly possible without giving ourselves any real break, which still isn't fast enough for us.  In this year and a half we have redone the entire upstairs, including gutting the bathroom, my husband's office which is needed for his job, cleared out the overgrown back part of the yard, and started work on the large but unfinished basement.  And except for the carpet laying and bulldozing/yard leveling, we have done it all ourselves.

Bathroom Pre

Bathroom Post

My husband is pretty incredible as far as the home handiwork goes.  If he doesn't know how to do something, he finds a video online and learns how.  Therefore, he has the brunt of the work.  Because of that, I have taken on more of the grunt tasks that he doesn't like to do, like painting.  I am a way better painter than him, if I do say so myself.  And in removing the walls and walls and walls of wallpaper (every single room but one) I have taught myself how to spackle, which means I am now the spackler of the house.

Right now we are finishing one half of our basement.  One room will be a laundry room, the other room a rec room.  In doing this, we have to build walls.  Which means lots of spackling.  If you've never done it before, consider yourself lucky, but here's the process: spackle the seams, measure drywall tape, wet drywall tape, smooth drywall tape, cover drywall tape with spackle, let dry, sand, and spackle again.  It is a slow, messy process, and if you have done it before then you know what I'm talking about.  I had gotten the laundry room side done and was dreading and putting off the rec room side.  But we found this awesome product: self-adhesive drywall tape.  It was seven times more expensive than the regular tape (ok, $1 vs. $7) but oh my goodness it was so worth it.  This tape looks like plastic netting and touching it, you wouldn't think it could stick to anything.  But it adhered to the drywall so easily and in one swipe it was covered with spackle.  While my husband made dinner tonight, I was able to get the rest of the project done.  It took me hours to do the other side.  I don't think I've been this excited about a new product since I got my Scotch ATG for Christmas. 

Almost complete!
I haven't been able to think of a crafty use for it yet, but I'm sure there is something you could do with it because it's tacky but not sticky and it's repositionable.  If you think of anything, let me know.  And speaking of which, anyone out there turn some home-improvement tool into something crafty?  It's amazing what you can find at Home Depot.  I should know- we're there all the time.

The Best Quiche

Last night's dinner makes for today's recipe!  This one is, again, quick and easy.  I was thinking about that yesterday, that I say that with every recipe I post.  I could come up with something more complicated, I'm sure, but if I can offer up good and really tasty food that's not complicated then isn't that a win-win?

This quiche recipe comes from Cooking Light online and was originally made for me by a friend when we were having a girls' night dinner (when's the last time that's happened?).  It has become one of my favorite lunches and is a great meal to make when having people over for a light meal.  It is Cooking Light so the recipe is all very healthy and non-fat.  I don't know about you but I am not a big fan of low-fat cheese so I don't exactly follow all the guidelines, but it is crustless so that helps to cut out some of the fat and calories you may get by adding a pie crust.

Crustless Smoked Turkey and Spinach Quiche

Cooking spray
3/4 cup (4 ounces) cubed smoked turkey ham (such as Jennie-O)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese, divided
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1/2 cup evaporated fat-free evaporated milk
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add ham, onion, and pepper to pan.  Saute 4 minutes or until ham is lightly browned.

3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese in a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray.  Top with ham mixture.

4. Combine remaining 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, spinach, and next 5 ingredients (through egg whites) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk.

5. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.  Combine flour and baking powder in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add flour mixture to egg mixture, stirring with a whisk until blended.  Pour egg mixture over ham mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of quiche comes out clean.

In full discloure, I use regular ham and not turkey ham.  I do not like to eat cottage cheese on its own, but you don't taste it in this quiche, so if you're like me, don't worry about that ingredient.  Prior to making this quiche I was aware of evaporated milk but had never actually used it, so if you are also new to that ingredient, you can usually find it in the same aisle as the coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  Don't confuse it for sweetened condensed milk, which is located on the same shelf.  I also don't mix the spinach into the egg mixture- I just layer it on top of the ham and then pour the egg mixture over it.  It's much easier.

This is great served with a salad, soup, or as we had it last night, with fruit salad.  It's a great meal for spring and summer because it's not heavy, and I'm sure if you wanted to make it meatless that it would still turn out good.  Enjoy!

A Major Award! (and Some Other Stuff, Too)

An award, you say?  Well, yes, it's a major award! (Can you say fra-geeee-lay?) Anyway, yes, I've won an award!  I've been given the Liebster Blog Award from Rachel at Prescription: Craft Often by RWKrafts.  We're Etsy Paper teammates, twitter chatterers, and blog cross-followers.  But, of course, I had to google Liebster Blog Award to find out what the heck it was before I posted it and passed it on (good blogger etiquette and all).  The only real information I could find about it was some guy named Liebster wanted to highlight and show appreciation for his fellow bloggers, so he created this award to help bloggers get to know each other and their blogs.  Sounds good to me.  Here's what you have to do:

The rules to this award are:
1. thank the giver on your blog (Thank you, Rachel!)
2. link back to the blogger who gave you the award (see above!)
3. copy and paste the award on your blog (done)
4. give the award to 5 other blogs (see below)
5. let them know you chose them by leaving them a comment (trust me on this one)

Part of the fun of blogging for me is to get to read other blogs.  I follow a bunch that I read every day, and am always interested in finding new ones.  So I will pass this award on to five blogs, both new favorites and old, that I always check in on:

I do find this award a little funny to receive right now because for the past several days I have been contemplating a blog overhaul.  This blog is just about two months old, and it still looks like a blank canvas.  I don't have a lot of the "stuff" that other established blogs have on theirs, plus I've been thinking I need to change the backgound and font and banner, and on and on.  Just an upgrade to non-infant-blog status.  So, hopefully one day very soon, you will come back and see some changes here and totally love them!  Or not, and that's ok, too.  I'm hoping to make it more follower-friendly so that you will want to come back and read and not be blinded by the background.  And this way, if you check in with me and everything looks totally screwed up, you'll know why.

On another note, my 31 Treasuries in 31 Days project is complete.  Hooray!  Let me tell you, it was a little bit tiring and a little bit stressful!  I knew that there were people that were going to look for them and see what I came up with, so they had to be done- no excuses!  There are some treasuries on my list of 31 that I totally love, and then some that are just ok.  I'm just happy to have come up with a different theme for each day and that I found some neat items.  Mission accomplished.

And finally, congratulations to Lesli, who won my book clips in my first ever giveaway over at Zucchini Summer.  I really hope you like them!  Happy Friday!