New Years Gift Swap

We interrupt your normally scheduled programming… 
Hey wait! I can post twice in one day if I want to… haha. 
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I’m popping in for the second time today because I received a lovely little package in the mail that I am delighted to share!! :) 
And turns out the link up is TODAY! 
This month I joined in the 2012 New Year Gift Exchange Party over at The Wiegand’s

She is LOVELY! 
We swapped emails back and forth for a few days learning we had a lot in common… 
She LOVES Starbucks, I LOVE Starbucks. 
And a lot not so much in common…. 
Her hubs is about to become a lawyer. Mine is a cowboy. 
But what I really learned was that it’s great to make a new friend!!! If you haven’t participated in one of these gift exchange link ups I HIGHLY recommend it! 

I had a great time getting to know Allison and was SO excited to receive a package of goodies all the way from Massachusetts. 


What I received:
Cute little bird notebook
Pretty red nail polish
Burt’s Bees Chapstick (with SPF, perfect for the AZ sun!)
And the MOST adorable little handmade clutch!!! 

You want one of those clutches right??
Well, you’re in luck because Allison is hosting a giveaway over at her place TOMORROW for a cute little pocket clutch that she made as well! 
You can also click over to this link to see what I sent her! :)

Hope you’re having a lovely day friends!
Linking this here at Casey’s place

Handkerchief Pillow Covers

We used turquoise and pink handkerchiefs as part of our table centerpieces in our July wedding. See…

You can see them on the tables here while Kayli is about to give her toast. ;)

I wanted to come up with an idea to reuse them after the wedding, and this is attempt number one!

I used two handkerchiefs for each pillow cover and two 16 inch pillow forms. 
I started by cutting one of the two {for each pillow} handkerchiefs exactly in half. 
I pinned and then hemmed the inside edges of the two halves on my sewing machine. 
Then I pinned the two halves to the other full, uncut {for each pillow} handkerchief. 
I slightly overlapped the two halves to make the envelope backing of the pillow cover. 
Once they were pinned, I sewed the two handkerchiefs {one halved, one full} together around the outer edge using my sewing machine. 
Flip the sewn pillow cover inside out and iron. Then stuff with a pillow form. 
On one of the pillow covers I added a ribbon to tie the open edges closed just for some added interest. 
I simply sewed it to one side, cut slits in the other side and tied it through in a bow. 
And there you have it!!!
Two handkerchief pillow covers with sentimental ties to my wedding day!

Happy crafting lovelies!!! 


Linking this here and here and to these.

Fancy This Features #60

Hello lovelies! How was your weekend??

We had 60 link ups at Fancy This Fridays this week with lots of loveliness to offer!! So here we go…

First up Laurie of Laurie’s Little Bits of Creativity shared her Pantry Chalkboard
A chalkboard in the kitchen/pantry isn’t a new idea… BUT I LOVE that she used it to cover her fuse box!! 
Just a few hinges and a chalkboard picture frame!
How lovely is this belt buckle linked up by Artsy Vava!!! 
This would be a hit at the team ropings we go to! She could sell these like crazy!!! :)
Lisa of the Joyful Jones created a love song mixed CD to send to friends and family for Valentine’s Day! 
The recipients are going to love this! I would! :)
Looking for an easy Valentine’s Day treat? Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me (cute name, right!?!) shared her yummy Crockpot Chocolate Candy recipe
Thanks to ALL the lovelies who linked up this week! We think you are all amazing! :)
Here’s a featured on Truly Lovely button for those mentioned above! FYI – it links directly to this page so you’re followers can see WHERE/WHAT you had featured. :)
Hope you’ll grab one to share on your page!


Featured at Truly Lovely 
 

Have a lovely week dolls! 

Fancy This Fridays #60

Hello lovelies! Happy Friday!
First off we’d just like to put out there that we would LOVE to have YOU as our next Bloggie Bestie on Truly Lovely. We do a blog swap, host your button on our sidebar for the week and you get lots of shout outs in all of our online homes (i.e. twitter, Facebook, etc). 
Just leave a comment below if you would be interested and we’ll send you more info.
Bloggie Bestie
Then you’ll get a pretty button like this for your own blog! ;)
Also… Remember this post? It’s the 11 Facts Tag that’s been going around.
Well… I was tagged again. ;) This time by Melodee of Polkadot Notebook and Jodi of Sweets and Shutterclicks. I just did the full post, which you can click over and see here, so this time I’ll just answer their specific questions. 
Turns out they both did the same ones, so there are only 11 total. ;) 

1. If you could meet ONE bloggy BFF, who would it be..?
Ok. I’m sorry, but I can’t choose ONE. I just can’t. I have made so many amazing bloggie BFFs that I want to meet each and every one of you!!! 
I sincerely hope that one day we will meet!
2.What’s your favorite recipe to create?
I really enjoy baking cupcakes. Any kind. I love creating new ones like these Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes and then decorating them all pretty like… 

3. What’s your ideal date night?
Dinner at a steakhouse with the hubs, then a movie at home while cuddling on our couch! 

That’s not really OUR couch, FYI… haha. Engagement photo. 

4. If you could travel anywhere in the world TODAY, where will it be?
Australia. Mentioned this one here
5. What’s the one thing you LOVE most about yourself?
My willingness to dive head first into things I enjoy… Like blogging for example… :)
6. If you could ask your reader’s ONE thing about
your blog, what would it be? (Good, bad, ugly, you pick)
We asked you on Wednesday… What do you think of our blog design?
7. What’s your favorite season?
Summer. We stay busy doing all kinds of fun things during the summer. 
8. What’s the first thing on your bucket list today?
Travel! Somewhere I’ve never been before. 
9. Biggest goal for 2012 (or change?) 
Get my house set up and decorated!!
10. What’s your favorite past time?
Reading my favorite blogs!
11. First word that comes to mind NOW – GO!

Weekend!!

So, there you go! My 11 answers!
Now… what have you dolls been doing this week??
We shared Kayli’s idea for a Sugar Cookie Bar
It was featured over on Sugar Bee Crafts!!! 
THANKS Carrie! {It was a reader feature!}

We also hosted a link up for reviews from our Blog Critique Party.
(It’s still open by the way, if you’d like to share.)

So now… show us what you fancied up!!! 

Fancy This Fridays Party Rules!!!
1. Please link directly to the project post on your blog.
Not the blog itself. 
2. Please link only your OWN posts.
We prefer to see what YOU have been up to… not someone random. 
3. Please grab a button and display it somewhere on your blogOn your sidebar, on your posts, on your linky party page. We aren’t picky!
4. We would LOVE if you would comment on at least one other link
Just pop over and say “Hello, coming by from Truly Lovely”, or something more clever… You know. ;)

Fancy This

Thanks for linking lovelies!!! Have a fabulous weekend!!!

Blog Critique Party Wrapup and Linky

Hello there lovelies! 
So we’ve made it past the deadline for the Blog Critique Party
I’ve already received several emails from bloggers completing their critiques and what not.
Excited to hear about improvements already being made to the blogs of some participants!!

I do acknowledge we had a few issues this first time around…
1. When I was sending out emails a few blog names were linked incorrectly because my email was keeping the link from the previous email… If that makes sense. I know how to fix that now by the way! 
Apologies if that affected you during your critique! 

2. A few of the blog critique partner emails I sent out went to Spam folders… Again, sorry about that! Hopefully I’m not considered spam in your inbox any longer! 

BUT other than those few mishaps, I feel like it was a success!!!

Things we learned from critiques of Truly Lovely
1. We need to watermark our photos. We didn’t up until yesterday but they are being watermarked now!
(I‘m loving the watermark font Kayli chose, aren’t you?!?)
This makes sense in this new age of Pinterest where a watermark can help people see right away where the idea came from! 

2. So the blog IS Truly Lovely with the LANEY SISTERS. Which is more than just Kassi. We had already mentioned that Kayli would be posting more and she is… Again, see yesterday’s post.
But it was interesting to have one of our critiquers notice that she wasn’t posting much on a blog that’s supposed to be by both of us. So we’re working on that!

Kassi and Kayli

3. We’re considering a redesign of our header at least… 
We love our background, but maybe it’s time for a fresh look! Yesterday I posed the question on Facebook
Hey lovelies…. Thoughts on our blog background and header?? I noticed Sugar Bee Crafts pointed out that a lot of bloggers are going with a white/more simply background and a fun header…. Do you think ours is outdated? Is it time for a makeover? It’s been that way for a long time now….
So far the response has been suggestions on widening our blog header image, not changing to a white background because that’s boring (haha), etc. 

What about you? Any thoughts on the Truly Lovely design? 
Do you think it’s time for a new look or do you love it the way it is?

Things we noticed on blogs that we critiqued…
1. It’s a simple change to make your blog mobile phone ready so that it looks better when opened on a smartphone. It’s a simple settings edit under the design tab of blogger.

2. There are a few simple HTML changes you can make to clean up the look of your blog… Like centering your header, cleaning up your sidebar…. If you need help with those SIMPLE things (I’m NOT an expert by any means), let me know! I’d be glad to help! ;)



Now it’s your turn. 
Below we would LOVE if you’d share a post on what you learned and shared through this critique party! 
If not a full post we would love to hear what you thought below in the comments. 
Also, overall how did you feel about the party? 
Should we do this again sometime?
If you weren’t able to participate this time around would you like to in the future?


Thanks to everyone who joined in and made this a successful, learning experience!

Wanna cookie, sugar? Er…sugar cookie…?

Hello loves! It’s Kayli! 
So…. I don’t know if you know this but… I’m sort of a party animal. I really can’t be tamed. Quit laughing, I’m for real. 
IF by party you mean chilling with my Nook, a bag of pretzels and some Nutella, it’s true. I’m wild. ;) 

 I really did PLAN a party once though. It was a bridal shower! 
I was pumped because it’s all food and games and catching up with everyone. I’ve been to a few bridal showers- so I knew the protocol. Cupcakes, some toilet paper, women walking around with clothespins clipped onto their clothes…. no biggie. 
I wasn’t really up for baking and frosting 3 dozen cupcakes though. 
So the Sugar Cookie Bar was born!

{All spread out.}
So I started with a super delicious, easy sugar cookie recipe. 
But you can use yours if you want. Whatever slides your toboggan.
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups of flour
I refrigerated the dough overnight so I could put them in the oven in the morning and they’d be ready in time for the partayy. 
I pulled them out of the fridge, and baked them for about 10 minutes at 375 F.

Once you get your baking rotation going, let each batch cool for a bit and then put them on wax paper, then put more wax paper on top and stack. This will keep your cookies in good shape while you wait for guests and are serving the food and what not.

Now for the bar part! Beforehand I went out and bought all kinds of candy. Gummy worms, Gummy bears, Pieces Candy, Sour Patch Kids, all that fun stuff. Just whatever catches your eye! 
Then I opened up a few cans of frosting. 
(I might be becky homecky but I am NOT superwoman homes. If you ARE super woman, feel free to whip up a few flavors yourself, but count me out- I’ll be at the other end of the table “opening” the potato chips. ;)

{My kind of bar!}
And that’s it! 
The rest is up to your guest and the strength of their sweet tooth!

Happy Eating!
P.S. In case you were wondering, the bride we showered that day IS living Happily Ever After. :)

Fancy This Features #59

Hello dolls!!!
Another weekend down! As promised we were super busy painting my living area this weekend. By the time we were finished both Kayli and I were exhausted, sore, and covered in paint! 
If you follow us on Facebook you would’ve seen our live updates… Like this one…

Live from the living room makeover!
The painting is done, but my house is in shambles… 
As soon as I get it put back together I promise to share some after photos!
Until then, let’s check out some fun features from the Fancy This Fridays link up!!! 

First up… I mentioned I’m looking for curtains for the living area and asked for suggestions of places to find them online…. 
Barbara from A Mother and a Daughter to the rescue!
She shared her lovely black and white living room, and ALSO the website where she purchased those long black curtains!!! Thanks Barbara!!! 
By the way, you’ll want to click over and see how she added pops of color to this classic color scheme for the different holidays/seasons!


I am LOVING this zebra and pink dolly diaper bag and rag quilt from Terri at A Creative Princess
OK… we all know I’m drawn to zebra print, but HOW CUTE it that bag!!!


These SKINNY pizza rolls from Allison at Feeding My Temple sound delicious and SO easy to make!
And yes, the SKINNY deserved to be capitalized!! 
Skinny and pizza in the same sentence isn’t something you often come across…. 


The most viewed link from the link up?? Well, Valentines Day is right around the corner and it looks like you’re all looking for some pretty Valentine ideas!!! 
These lovely Valentine cards from Steph at Crafting in the Rain received the most views this week!!! 
By the way…. Did you see she WON a ticket to SNAP! 
I’ll just say I’m more than a little jealous…. :)


Here’s a Featured on Truly Lovely button for you ladies! 
Feel free to share it on your blogs! ;) 


Featured at Truly Lovely 
 

Thanks to everyone who linked up!! We had 72 links this week! Excited to see you all back here this Friday!!!


Have a lovely week friends!!!

Fancy This Fridays #59

Happy Friday!!!
We’ve got BIG plans for the weekend! 
Kayli will be here this afternoon and starting tonight we’re going to paint my living room! 
Here are a few befores for your viewing pleasure… :)


I’ve been debating on what curtains I want all week… Grommet or clip… 
Any opinions? Anyone know a great place to buy super long curtains that I might not have come across in days of searching the Internet? If so, PLEASE share!!!

Those are my Halloween decorations… Obviously these are October pictures. 
Or even a great place to buy western-ish fabric??? Anyone???

Hopefully I have some fabulous after photos to show you sometime soon! :)
Until then, we wanna see what you’ve been up to! 

Fancy This Fridays Party Rules!!!
1. Please link directly to the project post on your blog.
Not the blog itself. 
2. Please link only your OWN posts.
We prefer to see what YOU have been up to… not someone random. 
3. Please grab a button and display it somewhere on your blogOn your sidebar, on your posts, on your linky party page. We aren’t picky!
4. We would LOVE if you would comment on at least one other link
Just pop over and say “Hello, coming by from Truly Lovely”, or something more clever… You know. ;)


Fancy This

Thanks for linking lovelies!!! 

By the way… Looking for a fun place to share YOUR blog button?? 
We’re taking February sponsors RIGHT now! 
Large ads are sold out, so act fast for the medium and small spaces! :) 


11 Facts Tag

Well, we’ve been tagged… 
Thanks to Ali over at Our Happily Ever After! ;)

So here we go…

The rules:
1. Post the rules.
2. Post 11 things about you.
3. Answer the questions the tagger asked you.
4. Write 11 questions for the ones you tag.


11 Facts about Kassi….
1. I’ve only ever lived in two states. NM and AZ. 
NM until last year when we bought our house in AZ!

FYI – The door is NO LONGER green. ;) 
2. Kayli and I have two brothers. 
Toby is older then me, then there’s Brent and then Kayli. 

The whole family at our wedding. 
Brent is on the far left. Toby is behind Kayli in the black hat. 
3. I drive a red Dodge Nitro. 
LOVE it! Mostly because it was my first real purchase all on my own!

See, the back of my Nitro! All filled up! ;) Haha… That’s the only picture I could find that wasn’t a completely weird photo… That’s also our brother, Brent in the pic and my friend Tracey’s little boy. 
4. I had really short hair once. Ok… twice. 
Once in high school and once in college. See above photo. 
Turns out I’m most comfortable as a long haired girl though. 

5. I hate fish. Hate it. Won’t eat it. I will catch it and let you eat though… If you want. ;)

Bay fishing in South Padre, Texas
6. I was on my school’s National Agri-Marketing Team in college. 
Yep, there’s a contest/event for that. ;)
You know I’m sifting through the FB photo archives now, right!?! ;)
See me? I’m on the right-ish… Blingie belt… ;)
7. I don’t ever wear high heels. Ever. Ok… maybe like once a month to church or something… But hardly ever. 
Don’t really feel like I have the events to get that dressed up for… Must work on that. 

8. I was crafting WAY before blogging…. 

A photo album I crafted up for a friend’s baby a few years ago.
9. I had a VERY brief stint as a sorority girl… Really brief.
Like barely one semester. haha. Not my thing. 

Me? Sitting middle front.
10. I knit. But only the round looms kind.

A hat I made for my friend Tracey’s other little boy.
See photo three for his big brother. ;)
11. And finally… a pic from WAY back… I played soccer in elementary school. 
My mom was our soccer coach!

I’m right behind the soccer on the cake.
That’s my lovely mom holding the cake of course, and Brent (my brother) is to the left and behind my mom in the grey t shirt. 
How’s that for 11 completely random facts! ;)

Now I’m supposed to answer Ali’s 11 questions…


1. Who is your biggest inspiration?
I have different people that inspire me for different things… But the first one that comes to mind is my mom. I want to be a mom just like she was!

2. What’s the biggest milestone you’ve crossed so far?

Well in 2011 we bought our first house and I married my awesome husband. I think 2011 was a huge milestone year!

3. Where’s your favorite place to eat?

When I was going to college it was this Mexican food place called Andele’s. Best tacos ever! Now that we live in AZ I love Mechy’s another little Mexican food place. Best churros ever! 


4. Do you work out? And if you do, how often?
No. Honestly. Well, until this month. I’m on week two of the Couch to 5K. I’ve already messed up all the days… But I have done them all! So not too bad I think….

5. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Australia. Love it there. I went once in high school… Queensland specifically. 

6. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure food?

A Strawberry Cheesequake blizzard from Dairy Queen. 

7. Do you believe in New Year’s Resolutions? If so, do you keep them?

See number four above…

8. What’s your favorite vacation you’ve taken?

We had a BLAST in South Padre in 2010. 



9. What’s your favorite Disney song?
“A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella.

10. Do you have a favorite Broadway play (musical or non-musical)?

Um… I’ve only ever seen a couple. Chicago was really good. 

11. What’s your favorite comfort food?

I grew up in NM so bean and cheese burritos count as comfort food to me. YUM!


OK… Now my 11 questions….
1. What’s your worst habit?
2. What do you consider your best characteristic? 
3. If you could do any job what would it be?
4. What’s your favorite shop on Etsy?
5. Name three of your favorite blogs…
6. What’s your favorite recipe to make?
7. If you could trade places with one blogger who would it be and why?
8. Ryan Gosling? Bradley Cooper? Alex O’Laughlin? ;)
9. What’s your absolute favorite movie?
10. If you could choose one blog conference/event to go to, money no object which would it be?
11. What would you eat for your last meal?? 


And I’m tagging….

Kara at Mine for the Making
Bethani at Cheers, Bethani
Lacee at Momma’s Like Me
Jerri at Simply Sweet Home
Jodi at Sweets and Shutterclicks
Ami at AliLilly
Veronica at Life in the Thrifty Lane
Carlee at Ladybird Ln. 
Crystal at Homemaker in Heels

* Any of those names look familiar??? 
Have you noticed my Top Commentators widget over there on the left…. 
<———- ;)

Etched Glass Candle Holders

Winter seems to be in full swing!
 Well… as much as it gets to be winter in Arizona… 
Don’t be jealous… haha. ;)

When thinking about decorating for winter… 
You know that time between Christmas and Valentine’s Day? ;)
I realized I don’t really have anything to decorate with that isn’t holiday specific. 
When I think of just winter I think of cold, snow, frost, ice
Etched glass has always looked liked frost/ice to me, so to bring a touch of that into my decor, I made some etched glass candle holders

I used three small glass bulb shaped vases (under $1 apiece at Wal-Mart). 
A sheet of vinyl for my stencil. 
My trusty Silhouette SD
(You could cut out stencils with scissors or an Exacto knife if you don’t have a cutting machine)
A small bottle of EtchAll etching cream 
Gloves and a make up sponge applicator
Because of the ingredients in the EtchAll, make sure you wear some kind of gloves to protect your hands. Also, carefully follow the instructions on the packaging!!!
Rinse in cold water after allowing the cream to work for at least 15 minutes. 
I left mine for a good half hour just to be sure. 
This was my first time etching glass… so of course, I learned a few lessons I’d like to share. ;)
Glass Etching Lessons Learned:
  • The etching cream really needs to be layered on there to make sure it etches the entire surface inside your stencil. 
  • Your stencil needs to be smoothed down completely. Otherwise the cream will leak under it and you’ll get weird etched shapes…
  • Taking photos of etched glass is hard!!! If anyone has any tips, I’d love to hear!


I had to include a picture of them all lit up… 
Even though it didn’t come out very well…

And yes, that was my Christmas tree in the reflection of the TV… 
We really drag out the celebrating around here! *wink wink*
Not really… I took that picture weeks ago. ;)


Linking this here and here and to these.
By the way… Did you know you can find Truly Lovely here…