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Feb 24, 2013

Weekend

This weekend has been filled with parties.  On Thursday, AJ and I celebrated Valentine's Day/1-Year Anniversary properly by going out to dinner.
Friday was my mom's birthday and I had two friends over for late-night, much needed girl time.
On Saturday, I went to one of those friend's bridal showers, and because it was my brother's birthday, spent the evening celebrating with family.
Today consisted of church/work and homework.  Ah, the joys of lesson planning.

One exciting thing that happened was that AJ surprised me with an Instax Mini for V-day!  I've been wanting one for a while.  I have a polaroid, but film for it is impossible to find, and I'm still working on a stash of film that expired in 2006, but that I got for free from my aunt's former workplace.

Unfortunately, all of my polaroids turn out something like this, due to the fact that I only have expired film.

Fortunately, the Instax performs much better, due to the fact that the film is NOT expired.

It's really a fun little camera.  The photos are about the size of a credit card, and they're fun to display on my bulletin board or taped to my mirror.  I'll definitely be sharing more as I take more photos!

How was your weekend? 

Feb 21, 2013

Guest Post: Laura's Scarf Shirt

Hey guys!  Today I have a wonderful guest post for you from Laura over at According to Laura Jean sharing an awesome DIY for you!  This girl is about to teach you how to make a shirt from just two scarves...and it's super cute too!  Check it out!

Spring time is right around the corner and yes friends, you read it correctly, I made this shirt for $6 on the dime.

My creativity was sparked one day while perusing Pinterest as I had a grand idea on how to put to use beautiful old silk scarves into something new and fresh. Out of that original idea came this creation...

Now that you've seen it, want to learn how to make one? I sure hope so because they are incredibly easy, inexpensive, and take about five minutes to sew one up. So here we go.

Materials Needed:
  • Two scarves of the same size that coordinate (hold them up to yourself for sizing)
  • Thread, scissors, pins, the usual
  • Sewing Machine
    1. Wash the scarves on a delicate load and air dry them.
    2. Line them up together so that the right (good) sides are facing in.
    3. Pin them together where the X's are...the top is meant for the head and has a boat neckline so leave extra room and measure out the space needed for your arms and make it equal on each side.


    4. Sew it on up and then flip it to the right sides.
    5. Pat yourself on the back, you've made yourself a super cute inexpensive shirt :)



    Feb 17, 2013

    I'm Wishing...

    for spring
    for walks and runs outside
    for stargazing weather, even if snuggling under a blanket is required
    for shorts and sweatshirt weather
    for outdoor projects, like refinishing my record table
    for outdoor recess
    for iced green teas with three pumps of classic
    for hammocks and books
    for picnics
    for little day trips and dates
    for warm rainy days
    for cuffed jeans and sandals
    for dresses sans tights
    for grilling chicken and salmon on cedar planks

    do you see a trend here?

    dear punxsutawney phil, you promised an early spring; please deliver. thanks.

    Feb 15, 2013

    DIY Instagram Scrapbook

    Yesterday was Valentine's Day (duh), but it also marked one year of dating for AJ and I!  I can't believe it's been one year that we've been together.  Definitely the best year of my life.  I'm so blessed to get to call him mine and to have found the love of my life!

    As you might know, student teaching doesn't pay.  Which means I'm on a crazy tight budget.  Like, a pay-for-gas-and-food-and-that's-all kind of budget.  And he's in college, and commutes an hour every day, so that means we're both kind of frugal this time of year.  But, we kind of went all-out on our birthday and Christmas gifts to one another, so that set the bar pretty high.  I knew I wanted to give him something for Valentine's/One Year day, but I also knew it needed to be cheap.  So I decided to play the sentimental card, and I made him a little book of all most of our instagram photos from the past year!

    Here's how to do it:
    What you'll need:  
    Pens (I used a felt-tipped black pen and a white gel pen)
    Photos (you can get your instagram shots printed with an app like PostalPix or just resize photos in a program like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and then print them on semi-gloss card stock...either way, a 4x4 size is good)
    Scissors
    Glue/Scrapbook adhesive tabs (I used a roll like the purple one from Scotch...so much easier than glue)
    Chipboard pack (found this for $1 at Michaels!)
    Colored Cardstock (AJ loves Black and White, so I went for a pack of 6x6 black card stock...having it already cut into squares made my life soooo much easier)
    Not pictured:
    Hole Punch
    Washi Tape
    Mod Podge
    I made my cover by cutting a circle out of black card stock and writing "Our First Year According to Instagram" on it, then adhering this to the front chipboard cover with Mod Podge.

    Then, I put my photos in order and went through them one by one and labeled on the back what month they were from (this made assembling my book a ton easier). After I was done, I started at the beginning and created a "title" page for the month with a few memories from that month and then put one photo on each page until I had used all of the photos from that month.  I did this for each month for the whole year.  Just be careful that you think through where you're going to be punching holes in each page so that you don't end up punching holes through your photos!  You might even want to hole punch before you put your book together.  I tried to change things up with each page by using different washi tape, choosing a different calligraphy/font style, different little adornments/doodles, and even mixing up where on the page I put the photo and how I aligned it.

    Then, I put the whole book together, using the chipboards as my front and back covers and the little binder ring as the binding. I also ended up drilling a hole through the bottom of the left side of the chipboards and punching holes through each page so that my binding had two rings instead of just one and functioned more as a book than a flip book.  This held it together much better.
    And there you go!  A scrapbook album made from Instagram Photos.

    I love having photos printed out.  In this digital age, it's SO easy to just keep photos stored away on your phone and computer, but it really is nice to be able to hold them in your hands and look through them every one in a while!  And this was such a heartfelt gift.  I had a ton of fun making it, and I think AJ was pleased with it too.

    Feb 14, 2013

    Valentine's Day

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    Today, I will celebrate this holiday with a classroom of 3rd graders, handing out Valentine's M&M's and Valentine's-themed pencils.  It's a throwback to all of those Valentine's parties from elementary school, except this time, I'm the teacher, and, if I'm being honest, I've been looking forward to it for weeks.

    I can't help but take a moment to think of how different this Valentine's Day is from, well, any other I've celebrated.  Last year at this time, I was a bundle of nerves, getting ready to make dinner for AJ, who had told me he liked me a week earlier.  I knew the conversation about the future of our relationship was coming, and honestly, I had a pretty good idea of how it would turn out, but I was still nervous and anxious and giddy all at once.
    But before that, Valentine's Day always started with this hope that something magical would happen, you know, straight out of a chick flick.  Guy comes to declare his love out of nowhere and sweeps girl off her feet.  They live happily ever after.  And then, inevitably, by the end of Valentine's Day, I would be met with disappointment, because, as Caroline so eloquently put it earlier this week, we don't live in a movie.
    Last year's Valentine's Day ended with me watching Youtube clips of musicians like Jeremy Larson in my kitchen with AJ.  Not necessarily the gripping ending scene of the box-office buster, but, as I soon figured out, it was us, and it was perfect.  Love isn't always like the movies, and over the past year, I've found that sometimes, the most wonderful moments are found in the much-needed hug, the late-night walk, and the drive-home phone call.  And love isn't always roses and chocolates...it can be frustrating.  But it's worth it.  This past year has shown me that.
    This year, it would be easy to go into this day with big romantic expectations.  But here's why I'm not:  AJ and I are both human.  We're both busy, we're both in school, and unfortunately, we both spent the weekend in bed sick.  The truth is that our Valentine's Day will likely be spent trying to get the other one to decide what we're going to have for dinner (the plight of being the most indecisive couple ever) and then watching NBC's Thursday night comedy line-up.  We've got a busy weekend ahead of us at church, and frankly, this little Thursday night routine (which is pretty much the same week-to-week), is what we both enjoy and what we probably both need this week.  We'll celebrate for real at some point, and maybe some day, when our lives and schedules are less frantic, we'll be more romantic in the traditional sense.  But I, for one, love finding the romance in the day-to-day.  In the cute text messages I often wake up to, in the songs he writes about me, in making dinner on weeknights or grabbing breakfast on Sunday mornings.  And that, my friends, I wouldn't trade for a fairy tale straight from Hollywood.

    Feb 12, 2013

    Valentine's Guest Post: Caroline from JCaro

    In honor of Valentine's week, I've got a special guest post for you from Caroline of Jane Caroline.  This girl is one that I'm so blessed to have found through the blog world.  She's the kind of person I really wish I knew in real life.  The kind of friend I think I would spend many an afternoon having study-dates-turned-deep-conversations at a local coffee shop with. Is that creepy?  Ooops....errr...anyway...here's Caroline's post!

    I will go on a “Valentine’s Day Date” with my favorite person in the world. He's my best friend. He sees my ups; he sees my downs.
    When it comes to sappy, I am the queen. I love cheesy romantic gestures. I love Clayton's notes, surprises, & flowers. I treasure the hours spent helping my brother make a Valentine’s Word Search for his first girlfriend. I loved secret admirers and quirky gift exchanges. I love holidays, I love flowers just like every girl, and I love love.
    But, the problem with Valentine’s Day is far too many people leave the day feeling unloved—both those in relationships and those who are single.

    It’s not the day’s fault. We should celebrate the one we’re committing our lives to and going to spend forever with. We should set time aside for the warm, sentimental moments that make our heart race. We need to celebrate our partner because in the next week they are probably going to drive us up the wall, lead us to tears, or make us question our own sanity as we stomp out of the room. But, we don’t dwell on the latter reality. It is the warm, sappy moments that we—especially young women—envision and crave. We picture candle lit dinners, petals on the floor, classical music mysteriously coming out of the walls {or, whatever other cliché picture comes to mind when you think of a romantic Valentine’s Day}.

    The problem is these expectations are unattainable.

    {unless you’re in a scripted Hollywood romantic comedy on the 20th take of the scene}. I cried at every birthday party all through elementary school. My tears came with such clockwork that my mom applauded me the first year I didn’t cry. I would wait so long for my party and the anticipation would build for the best night of the year to celebrate ME. When it came and didn’t live up to the Mary-Kate and Ashley hype in my mind, I cried. I think that’s a bit like Valentine’s Day. For some who are single, Valentine’s Day has evolved into a focus on what is missing for idealized, romantic moments. For those in relationships, the expectation for those same idealized, romantic moments remains unmet... because we don’t live in a movie.
    These expectations don’t lead to love. They inevitably lead to being let down.
    Align your expectations with reality and save your heart. Valentine’s Day is an excuse to buy chocolate for yourself and friends. It’s a reminder to love and cherish those around you. It is not a reminder you are single. It is not a reminder that your spouse isn’t romantic. It’s not a reminder you don’t have much money or that you have to work too much. It’s a happy and simple thing. It’s merely a random Thursday with chocolate & a reason to show love yourself. Let anything beyond surprise you—not be the expectation.

    Share some love instead of calculating what's coming your way. I guarantee that's the purest form of love. Pure, selfless love.

    Feb 11, 2013

    February Sponsors

    Today I'd like to highlight some of my wonderful sponsors this month!

    I've spent the entire weekend in bed sick with the flu, and today I finally feel up to working on some stuff.  I've been writing lesson plans and thought I'd get this post put together as well!

    This month, I asked my sponsors to answer the following question:  What would your idea of a perfect date be?

    I have to say April 25th. It's not too hot and not too cold. All you need is a light jacket! (I couldn't resist!). But in all seriousness, I would say that the prefect date would be a mountain weekend getaway! camping in the summer or a warm cabin in the winter. Yes, please. 
    My perfect date would be just spending time with the guy I love . . . preferably on a beach whilst barefoot, provided the water's not too cold. Haha, I'm not very picky, though; anywhere with him would be lovely!
    My perfect date would be dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant and then a walk downtown and ice cream for dessert. I have two daughters, so I'm easily impressed when it comes to grown up activities.
    My perfect date would have to be just getting to spend the time with my husband, having him focus completely on what we were doing.  He gets distracted easily!  Our first date was lunch, hanging out, mini golf, dinner then movie and it was an amazing just hang out all day and relaxing with each other.  I would love to have a date like that again, some sort of activity, bowling, boccie ball, mini golf, anything fun and easy going. Then after that to a nicer dinner ... which is magically paid for by someone else of course.  
    Through the years, I've become less and less romantic in the typical sense of the word. Just being together, uninterrupted (my work, phone) is perfect enough for me. A picnic would be nice, even if it means just sitting in the car while parked at our favorite spot having dinner (since it's been consistently below zero here).
    My perfect date would be spent with my husband walking around the downtown area of our city, walking to little shops and getting treats at the bakery. We'd go to a fun hole-in-the-wall restaurant or pub and spend hours eating and talking. Then, we'd go home and spread out a blanket in our living room and watch silly cartoons with glasses of wine. 
    I had to think about this for a long time and really didn't know. You see I have been in a long distance relationship for about 25/32 months of dating. We closed the distance last October and have had 2 dates since then. I used to think a perfect date was the same dish (him-lunch & me-dinner), the same dessert and rootbeer with a new movie we both watch on Youtube at the same time. That was the perfect date. Now we are actually learning what real dating should be like but I think the perfect date now is....being together...FOR REAL! 

    Also check out Iris' Valentine series and Giveaway here!
    The perfect date would be dinner at Chipotle (pronounced like "Chip-pot-l") and a night out salsa dancing... So I can burn off the humongous burrito bowl I just ate ;)
    Anything that involves the great outdoors and quality time with my dear boyfriend is an absolutely delightful date. However my heart throbs for long walks with no agenda or route just honest conversation and meeting one another where we are at while exploring the little corner of the world we are a part of. An added dose of laughter especially does the trick. 

    Feb 4, 2013

    January Favorites

    So, I'm a few days late.  Can you believe we're already four days into February?  [holy cow.]

    January was a great month on Heavens to Betsy!  This little blog grew so much over the past year.  Just last January I celebrated my 100th follower!  And now this little space is over double that amount.  So thank YOU, dear reader!

    But enough about that...on to a recap of favorite posts from January!

    AJ and I went to the PA State Farm Show in the beginning of the month.  It was so fun to see all of the handmade foods and goods, and also see some farm animals and get to treat ourselves to a delicious milkshake.
     I shared my 5 Favorite Photo Apps.  Some you may know, others may be new!
    During my first week of student teaching, I wrote about praying hard.  
    We took some photos as a Christmas present for AJ's mom, and I blogged some of that shoot last month!
    I shared 5 tips for combatting the winter blues, because we all know that winter, with it's chill and bland colors and lack of sunlight can lead to feeling a little blue. [at least for me anyway!]

    Feb 3, 2013

    February

    Back in January, I decided to do a year-long project in which I challenged myself to set monthly goals rather than one big resolution that I knew I wasn't going to keep.  
    For the first month, my goal was simply to set smaller, more attainable goals.  And you know what?  I think it worked.  I've gotten into the habit of being realistic with goal setting and helping myself succeed because of it.

    For February, my resolution, or goal, is to love more.  Love people, love places, love situations.  I don't know about you, but for me, it's especially easy to get pessimistic and whiney during winter.  It's cold, I mostly want to be curled up under a blanket, and I get lazy.  It's definitely easy for the weather to make me a little more irritable or grumpy, and I have to work a little bit harder to be cheerful all the time.  And I've noticed this about others too, and frankly, when I hear others complain and be negative, it just makes me tired.  And reminds me that I need to check my attitude as well.

    So for this month, I'm making a goal to be a more loving person.  To find good in every person and every situation.  To be a more gentle and genuine person, and to not get so caught up in my crazy schedule that I don't have time for others.
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