Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Machine Of Death - 52 books in 52 Weeks



2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Tessa has read 10 books toward her goal of 52 books.
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Thanks for tuning in to another edition of my 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. I'm tracking my progress on Goodreads, an awesome website that you should definitely check out, and maybe start your own reading challenge!


I love a good book of short stories! Machine of Death was compiled from submissions by writers around the world based on the simple premise: what if there was a machine that could tell you how you're going to die? I was amazed by the sheer amount of really great ideas found in the book, it's so fun how different people can come up with such a diverse reaction to the same basic plot line.

Some stories were really sad, some were hilarious, but all were ingenuous and the book as a whole was very well edited. I read this one on my phone in bits and pieces, it's the perfect book for when you just want to read for five or ten minutes. Definitely one of my favorite things I've read this year, I'm looking forward to reading the sequel!

4/5 Stars

Monday, April 14, 2014

How to Glue and Hang a Jigsaw Puzzle



I've been on a mission to decorate. I have so much stuff just laying around this place, it's time to get it pretty! Being the organized, excellent planner I am (sarcasm!) I knew the solution was obviously to buy a bunch more stuff.


I think I just can't pass up a good sale, because I see something random and it's all:

Oh man, a puzzle! I probably love puzzles, I think. Dude it's on sale for $3! I need a puzzle, right? We definitely need a puzzle, a puzzle would be fun, we would totally use and love a puzzle even though we don't have anywhere to do one and no spare time, but hey did I mention it's $3?

Anyways that's how we ended up with a puzzle that barely fit on our coffee table, with my poor roommates getting pressured into working on my super-fun and totally awesome puzzle idea that took over our living room. 


Eventually, after many days, the puzzle was complete! I really liked the picture and that's when I was inspired to make it into a piece for the collage wall I was planning. After watching a bunch of youtube videos and reading a bunch of wiki-how articles warning me that glueing a puzzle was a tricky task, I of course decided to jump right in a DIY that sucker.


It ended up being pretty easy! I enlisted my roommate Ashley's help in flipping the puzzle (using newspaper) onto some waxed paper on our table. I grabbed some puzzle glue and a spongey-paintbrush thing and got to work!


This is what I used, and it worked perfectly. I hear mode-podge and an old credit card works too, but I had a great success with Sunsout Puzzle Preserver Glue for this project. 


I did use liquid cement to glue the puzzle to a piece of foam board, set some books on it, and let it dry overnight.


Lastly I superglued some hanging brackets onto the back of the foam board. I was a little worried it wouldn't hold, but after letting it dry for a few hours it was very strong. The glued and backed puzzle is relatively light, and we were able to hang it with ease.


I really love how the puzzle looks as the centerpiece for our collage wall! The inspiration for this wall came from my awesome friend Corey over at Domestic 360. I love her use of different textures and colors! 


I'm finally starting to feel like the apartment is coming together! And only after living here for seven months. I'm a proud little homemaker. Apartmentmaker. Whatever ;)


Friday, April 4, 2014

Scarf Sale and Yarn Clearance

Hey guys! I'm embarking on a little bit of spring cleaning and I wanted to let you all know about a sale going on over at tessacotton the store.


EVERYTHING listed is ready-to-ship, and I'm offering some serious savings for my blog readers with the coupon code:

BLOGLOVE25

Just enter it at checkout to receive 25% off your entire purchase!

In addition to the usual scarves and kindle cases, I have a bunch of yarn for sale at a great deal. Like I said, I'm trying to clean house!



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Happiest Days of Our Lives - 52 Books and 52 Weeks


2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Tessa has read 10 books toward her goal of 52 books.
hide

Thanks for tuning in to another edition of my 52 books in 52 weeks challenge. I'm tracking my progress on Goodreads, an awesome website that you should definitely check out, and maybe start your own reading challenge!




Last year I read Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton. While I think Wheaton is hilarious and I love following his twitter and blog, the book just wasn't my favorite. I was a little young for Star Trek TNG (though my dad tells me I loved watching it with him as a baby in my swing!) so I think it was a little difficult to care about the subject matter - that was my problem more than anything against the writing.

The Happiest Days of Our Lives was a much more enjoyable read, and I think a perfect format for someone whose writing experience is mostly internet-based. The short stories are alternately funny and touching, exploring topics from his days as a teen actor, a father, and a young child who didn't always fit it. I laughed out loud and I had teary eyes, and I love it when a story (or in this case several short stories) can make you experience different things. Recommended, especially for fans of Wheaton's other work. This one's the best!

4/5 Stars

Monday, March 31, 2014

Healthy Classroom Snack - Butterfly Snack Packs


Guys, I made something really cute! This nannying job has me gaining some serious mom points, I'm pretty sure. I mean look at these little snacks: I'm like halfway to driving a minivan. 

One of the kids I nanny for is in preschool, and it was his turn to bring snack last Friday. On Thursday we still didn't have anything planned, so I hopped on Pinterest to find a fun (and healthy) snack idea for his classroom. After a quick trip to the Dollar Store and Kroger, we had all we needed to make these super easy and adorable butterfly snack packs. 



I got the idea from this cute little craft. While my kids are a little too young to help with anything except snacking on grapes, it was still a quick and easy project for me that the kids in T's class loved! 

I used:
-Dollar Tree clothespins
-Quart sized zipper bags
-Felt Marker
-Pretzels
-Goldfish
-Red and Green Grapes


I wanted a fruit that was kid friendly but not messy, so grapes it was! Two varieties just to be more colorful, I'm more of a green grape girl myself. The other half of the bag was filled with pretzels and goldfish - flavor blasted, of course, only the best for my kids ;)


 My very top secret and extremely exact formula is as follows: 5 green grapes, 6 red grapes, 8 goldfish, and 7 pretzels. Just kidding, whatever fits. Make sure you leave a good space in the middle: two twists and a clothespin and you've got the most adorable butterfly you've ever seen.


A felt marker makes a sweet butterfly face, and if you're not crunched for time, pipe cleaners or those little waxy sticks would make some adorable antennae. I didn't really think a bunch of three year old would miss them, and I'm sure the teachers appreciated less mess.


There you have it! An easy-to-assemble, adorable, and most importantly healthy snack that your kids will love.





Friday, March 28, 2014

10 Free Easter Fonts


Here's a new collection of spring fonts, just in time for easter! Hope you enjoy, these can all be downloaded for free! Happy (soon to be) Easter!



1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Five

Happy weekend, friends! 



Spring Break! was amazing. I'm not in school, but my mom's a teacher and had the week off, so we took a little weekend trip down to Florida. It was pretty amazing, this picture is from the only cold 15 min on the whole vacation. I love the beach so much, it was a much needed ocean fix. 


While vacation is lovely, I'm glad to be back with my sweet kids. The didn't have school either, so we took some super fun trips to the children's museum. I'm thankful we have such a fun place to run around and have a change of scenery. Also love that it's so close by!


My roommate is getting married! Her wedding date (Sept 6) is quickly approaching, so we took the day saturday and went dress shopping. She's a super chill girl, so it was really a fun experience. Plus she found her perfect dress so that's one more thing of the endless to do list. Love it!


I'm really proud of myself: I bought this shelf online and assembled it all by myself when it got here. I think I miscalculated because I though I was going to have room for my DVDs and then some, but they barely fit! Oh well. Better than being too small. 


I'm really proud of this mani. My sister Emma lent me her beautiful hands, and I went to town with her favorite color. Saint Patrick's day has come and gone, but you can never go wrong with green. 

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I'm linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday. Hope you all have a marvelous weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I've got Frozen Fever!

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Frozen's out on DVD! My kids are so excited, I'm pretty sure my phone has been on a permanent loop of the "Let It Go" clip for weeks now. I never buy movies when they first come out, but I honestly couldn't wait with this one.

Quick story:

A few months ago, I was sitting on the couch at my family's house, calmly chatting with my boyfriend and my Nana. All was peaceful and stress-free when suddenly, in through the front door, whirled two girls clutching Icees and singing at the top of their lungs. It was my sister (who's going to be 20 next month for the record, not a little girl) and her best friend Kelly. We greeted them, but they could hardly get the words "hi, guys" our of their mouths, they were laughing and smiling so much. Were they high? Drunk? What was going on?


As you may guess, they were victims of the Frozen Fever, an epidemic sweeping the nation. You would think small girls would be most susceptible to this mania-inducing frenzy, but Disney strikes again with a film that's just as addictive (if not more so) for us grown-er up-er folks as well. Here are a few of my faces of the ever-so-many Frozen song covers that have gone viral over the past few weeks:


These sisters are so painfully precious. As in: so bad it's kinda cute. Even if it's not the video you watch 300 times, these little girls singing their hearts out (or trying, at least!) are worth a watch.


While I'm not so sure about this authenticity of this girl's voice (it sounds pretty auto-tuned to me) you've got to admit she's adorable. And that this is a fun and upbeat and not to mention unique arrangement of this song. Plus, it's so beautifully designed!


Okay, this one cracks me up because it's probably the most real of them all. I'm a nanny, and while my kids love them some Frozen (as me about our cotton ball fight while singing Let It Go - best!) sometimes I'm certain I'm more into it then they are. These adorable parents lip-synch a really cute rendition of 'Love is an Open Door' while their daughter sits in the backseat, less then amused.


Finally, this isn't really a cover, but it leaves me in awe every single time I watch it. Potential sappy factor ahead: but okay guys, how amazing is our planet? I love love love, that there are so many people groups and languages that I know nothing about (and one here I hadn't even heard of!). That's one of my favorite things about people, is their diversity, and this one video showcases some of the beauty across our world in just one little but might song. Did I mention I love it?


If you're a fan and you haven't bought the extended Frozensoundtrack you pretty much have to. It's on Spotify as well!