Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday

So, were you nicer to your family this week? I tried really hard to spend more time playing and less time cleaning and running errands. I also tried to let my husband know how much I appreciate him. I made chocolate chip cookies for my boys (their favorite) even though I was craving oatmeal raisin. There were a few other small things I did to try to make them feel extra special. 

I loved doing the challenge this week because it was like my own little secret that I was doing service for them. Jason notice and said thank you some of the things I did and Calder was just happy. So, I would say it was a huge success. Did you do the challenge this week? How did it go?

This next week the Thoughtful Tuesday challenge is your choice. Do something that will make a positive impact on someone else. I would LOVE to know what you're doing!  I'll tell you all about mine next week.

Monday, January 30, 2012


trohv \’trōv\ n [alter. of trove (discovery, find)] (2010) :
a collection of artful objects discovered or found.

Last week I explored the most amazing store. It is called Trohv and located in the Takoma Park neighborhood of DC.  This store is the perfect mix of new, second hand and handmade. Honestly I feel like it is as close to 'me' as any store I've been to. I feel like I could buy just about anything there and it would work perfectly in my home. 
 I love the whole stump as table trend. I need to actively start looking for stumps. That dresser is adorable and would look great in Calder's room.

 This is a great example of the mixed samplings. There are some very vintage items, some new items and some handmade items all nestled together in perfect harmony. They have all sorts of housewares, handmade t-shirts, baby gifts, books, stationery and unique things you won't find anywhere else.
 I felt like the prices were very fair. Sometimes I feel like stores like this mark everything up but this was just right. It's the perfect place to find just the right accessory or gift.
 This is the cutest little clutch. It is handmade and perfect.
And of course some vintage quilts. 

If you live in DC or come to visit, you should check out this store. In fact the Tacoma Park neighborhood recently went through a revival and is a thriving community. My favorite vintage dress shop is here too. I'll have to tell you about that later.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Baby Dress #2

 These baby dresses are so fun! This one is size 12 month, which is good. That's about the time I won't have any time to sew. This fabric was a small remnant from JoAnn's and it is home decorator weight. I love that it is slightly stiff and therefore will bell out. Cute.
 I added white piping and a wood button. There isn't much I don't add piping to these days. It's just a little detail that makes it look so much more polished. This is a very simple version of the dress and I love that it has a slight 60's feel.
Have a fabulous Friday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday...

I know it's not Tuesday. It has been a rather busy week. And I'm sure many of you are thankful to have a few extra days to complete last week's challenge. Remember it was to choose a family to perform service for monthly. How did it go?

We chose Family X and are so excited. They are newish to the area. For our January service we made apple dumplings and delivered them. It was a fun surprise. Calder loved it. He helped make them and that seemed to make it mean more to him.

Since I'm not giving you much time for the Thoughtful Tuesday challenge thus week I'll make it easy. Lets give service to those we live with. Here are a few ideas:

Make sack lunches extra special (or make them, if you're not the one who normally does)
Do a job that is normally your spouse's (such as take out the trash, unload the dishwasher, shovel the sidewalk, vacuum the car etc.)
Make a great effort to spend more time playing or reading with your kids.
Throw compliments around like they're going out of style.
Make someone's favorite meal.
Get dressed before your husband leaves for work. Okay, this is really only for me but I feel like he deserves to see me in clothes before work. What service. :)

Do you have any other ideas?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spending Fast 2012

If you've been reading this blog long, you know I like to challenge myself. I like to do hard things. I feel like doing hard things makes me a better person and helps me discover who I am. It also makes more more creative and happier in life. We can all do hard things. I assume you too will have the same results. 

With that, I invite you to join me in the Spending Fast of 2012. This will be the third annual and I'm so excited! Here's how it works. You don't buy anything for the month of February. Okay, there are a few exceptions. You can pay your rent and other bills and you can buy gas. You can also buy food, but you should limit and stretch in this area. For my family of three I spend $50 a week during the Spending Fast. You can choose what works for your family. 

In order to join me you need to commit! Post about it on your blog and then come back and comment so I know who's with me! I am going to make things more interesting by having a few fun giveaways throughout the month. So it's going to be extra fun this year!

Okay, who's with me?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Apple Responds

My dearest Candied,

2012 has indeed begun with a bang! Some neighbors decided to shoot off some pretty intense home fireworks at about 12:30am, January 1st. The fireworks spooked the goats, of course, and our nearest neighbors either ran outside to confirm the cause of the noise or shouted angrily in sleep-deprived frustration from their bedroom windows. Of course, mr. j and i found the whole thing humorous...all except the goats. We did feel quite sorry for the sweet beasts. Happily the spook did not interfere in the least with the following day’s milk production.

The year-of-service project is brilliant! What a fulfilling and positive force of good to contribute to the world! 2011 has probably been the most difficult of my 35 years of life. As things have stabilized, the desire to reach out and restore hope in others has increased. Experiencing despair and hopelessness allowed me to experience the euphoria of hope restored--it is like living in a warm gentle daylight versus darkness.

Thomas S. Monson’s words have penetrated my biases and percolated my soul--“life IS perfect for none of us.” Fresh and healing wounds often are invisible. Judgement and criticism chaff those wounds, re-opening, even scarring further. Reaching out in acceptance, generosity, and kindness can simply make all the difference. I just want to be part of making that positive difference for as many souls (mine included!) as possible.

I cheerfully and gratefully join you in this worthy endeavor!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Baby Shirt & Bloomers

 Oh my goodness this is going to be fun! I have about four dresses cut out and ready to sew. Girl clothes are so easy because you can use fun trims, buttons and bows to make something really sweet and unique. Boy clothes require meticulous tailoring and stitching to make it really awesome. I feel like my creative juices are exploding.
 This yellow trim is a sweet vintage find from the thrift store. I adore it and only had a tiny bit. Just perfect to go around the neck.
 This is supposed to be about size 6 months and it is a shirt, not a dress. I'm so loving it and think it could be so versatile. You could throw on jeans and a long sleeved brown onesie and you have a winter outfit. Or she can wear it like this in the summer. You never really know how big your baby is going to be, so I'm trying to stay versatile. Or at least I'm really awesome at justifying and making excuses.
Oh and the sweet little yellow button in the back. This dress took about an hour to whip up.  For the bloomers I used Dana of MADE's pattern. You can find it here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chair Makeover

 In our living room we have this chair that is unbelievably comfortable but has seen better days. We didn't really want to try to replace it because we are trying not to buy any new furniture until we buy a house in a few years. Since I could live with this chair in it's current state I decided to do my first reupholster project.
 I love the way it turned out. A fabric store close to my house was recently going out of business and I got the fabric for a steal of $4.00 per yard. I bought six yards and it was just about perfect. I have a little left over so I might make a throw pillow or something. If I wasn't so concerned about matching patterns and if I didn't make piping I think 4 or 5 yards could have covered it.
 I basically just measured each piece and made a pattern using my measurements. The cushion, top and back are removable to wash. The sides are stapled over the previous fabric. I love using my staple gun. That is one cool tool. I am trying to come up with other projects to use it with.
Coincidentally I found the exact same fabric that was on the chair previously at a fabric store recently. I could have bought it for $40.00 a yard! I personally like this better. Remember when Katie of Clarendon Lane did a living room makeover evaluation for me? Well, I am one step closer. Hopefully in the next few weeks I can do a big reveal. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Last Week's Thoughtful Tuesday was to say something nice. This isn't a hard thing to do but it may be a hard thing to remember. I really tried to make this my focus for the week and I felt a difference in my attitude and happiness.

I honestly had a very hard week. There were some changes in my life that will ultimately be good but they are hard in the moment. I was released as a member of the Primary presidency in my ward at church. I loved this calling. I loved those I worked with and I loved serving the kids.

I also LOVE the new president and presidency and I know they will do a really good job but it is hard to have such a sudden change. I don't have a new calling yet, which is also a little weird. So I feel like I'm drifting a little.

One of the things that helped me this week was Thoughtful Tuesday. I tried to focus more on complimenting others than thinking about myself. It was a really great challenge for what was going on this week.

Okay, enough about me. How was your week? Did you notice a difference while saying nice things? I'd love to hear about it. 

This next Thoughtful Tuesday challenge is to choose a family to do do acts of kindness for throughout the year. This will be your 2012 family and each month you will provide some random act of kindness for them. Here's a list of ideas of things you could do for them. 

Drop off books and treats on their door. 
Shovel snow from their driveway. 
Rake leaves,
Deliver dinner.
Babysit while they go out to dinner.
Write a note telling them how much you admire / appreciate them. 
Invite them over for a family night of games and snacks. 

Do you have any other ideas? 
This can be anonymous or not. We are not going to tell the family we are giving service to them but we aren't going to drop stuff off and run every month either. So for example, we will probably have them over for family night but won't tell them we are giving them service. I hope that makes sense. I can't wait to tell you what we do this week and I can't wait to hear what you come up with!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday

Last week's Thoughtful Tuesday challenge was to take a thank you note or treats to someone who routinely helps you. We took ours to the library. It was fun to see their faces light up when we gave them a treat. It was also fun to see Calder's face when they told him thank you. It is obvious he could feel something special about giving to others. What did you do? How did it work? I totally want to hear your stories!

This week's challenge is to Say Something Nice. This is so broad and I know it could be easy to forget but I want you to go out of your way to say something nice to anyone you encounter. If you like someone's shirt, tell them. If you appreciate someone's service, tell them. If you haven't written your Christmas thank you notes, do it. There are so many things you can do with this challenge and I imagine you will be able to do many over the course of the week. 

Tonii of Blue Skies Ahead has made this adorable printable so you can have it in your home and hopefully it will remind you every day to serve others.
Tonii also has a fabulous system at her home to have the first Family Home Evening of the month be service based. Read more about it here. I love that idea and will be implementing it in my home.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Bed Scraps to Bench

Thanks for the birthday wishes for Jason. He really had a great birthday. We went to dinner at Mrs. K's Toll House on Saturday and had some delicious food. Sunday (his actual birthday) was spent playing with Calder, eating cake and opening fun presents. It was rather low key but that is really how Jason prefers things. I was tempted to do a big bash but I know it would make him uncomfortable and since it was his birthday and all I did what he would prefer. Even though it was hard. :)

Remember those parts from Calder's bed that we weren't going to use because it will never be a  bunk bed? They have been sitting in his room for the last few months and finally I came up with this awesome idea. I could make a bench out of them. So, I started looking for inspiration and saw this
from prettylittlethings.typepad.com

I decided I wanted something with a similar feel. Colorful, fun, clean. I also wanted to involve my son. They were his bed pieces after all. We had so much fun working on it together. He is pretty good with a drill, a paint brush and a screwdriver. I am really impressed and can't wait to start doing more projects with him. I was a little worried he would lose interest or have a hard time with the tools but he was awesome.
 The top pieces and the two side supports were all left over wood, so they were essentially free. The nuts and bolts were $1.00 for each set and I needed 10 of them. The legs were $3.00 each and the screw supports were $2.50. The paint was all leftover paint from other house hold projects, so it too was free. So I spent $32.00 for this bench. It turned out so much better than I imagined it would.
 I originally intended to put it on the balcony for seating out there but I can't bring myself to remove it from the living room. It is just so cute and looks so perfect there. The blue is the same as the hallway stripes and the coral matches the mirror. The yellow ties in to the cushions on the couch and gray and white look good everywhere. I may have to make another one for the balcony.
 Oh, what are those pictures you ask? They are the theater signs from each of the three cities we've previously lived in together. The center is Portland, Oregon the left is Columbus, Ohio and the right is Chicago. There is a theater down the street from our current house with a decent sign I just haven't taken a picture yet. I love the little collection of signs we have and what they represent.
 Have a great week!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dresser Dress Up

Remember this picture of my son's dresser?
Well, my amazingly talented friend Katie of Clarenden Lane fame sent me some adorable numbers. I thought they would be perfect for Calder's dresser. Here's what it looks like now.
They add so much punch and personality! I think it is so fun to personalize something as ubiquitous as an Ikea dresser and make it special. It is also quite nice to ask Calder to go get a pair of socks from drawer #3 and he gets so excited to comply. He thinks these are the coolest thing ever.

You too can get these awesome numbers from Katie's shop, Vinyl Vineyard! Check it out here. She has some really amazing things!

Here are a few other suggestions for numbers around your home.

Have a fabulous weekend! It is my husband's birthday (the big 30!!!!) so we are going to party hard. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Home Tour Part 2 - Kid Room

This is my son's room. He is three and was very involved in choosing everything in his room. After we moved from our small one bedroom in November all of Calder's toys moved from the living room to his bedroom. I LOVE how clean my living room is most of the time. Above is his kitchen and in the green suitcase are all of his matchbox cars and tracks. I love using old Samsonite suitcases for storage. I am hoping to find a few more in this same style.
This is Calder's bed. We bought the Kura reversible bed from Ikea and turned it so the mattress is on the bottom. Calder desperately wanted bunk beds but his mattress is 11 inches thick. There aren't any bunk beds out there that can be used with an 11 inch mattress. Thankfully we sold him on the fort bed. He loves it. I made black out curtains to wrap around the bed. This made it so I didn't have to make curtains for his room. You'll see why I didn't want to soon.

The picture hanging above his bed was my husband's Grandpa's before he died. We don't know anything about the picture or the frame but we all love it. Calder requested it in his room.
This is Calder's dresser and music station. See those wood pieces off to the left? Those are leftover pieces from Calder's bed since we aren't using it as a bunk bed. I have a project in mind for them.
On the wall beside Calder's bed is a vintage map I got from our church library for free. It is terribly outdated and Jason is itching to update it. Around the border are country flags. Jason and Calder like to find the countries that go with the flag. I'm impressed with how many flags Calder recognizes now.

Of course on the other side of the bed we have a toy box and a bookshelf.
And here we have the beautiful floor to ceiling windows. I love this feature. When we first moved in it was weird to stand really close to the windows. I felt like I might fall out! Calder loves his view of the world. He can watch garbage trucks pick up dumpsters and crush the trash from the top.
This piece in the middle of his room was used to hold our TV at our last house. I'm glad we moved it in here. Calder uses it as a desk, a train table and toy storage. The two reflective things hanging on the wall are his license plates. He has one from Illinois and one from Ohio. If we ever move from Maryland he will get one of those too. I love the idea of him having a license plate from every state he has lived in.
There is also a bathroom connected to Calder's room. He only has a shower but a friend of mine gave him a kid's shower extender. I had never heard of these but you just connect them to your shower head and they move the water down to your child's height. He loves to take showers in there.

I love that Calder has his own room. He enjoys being in there and spends a big chunk of his time there. It is bright and happy and we all love it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thoughtful Tuesday

I am so excited to start posting weekly service suggestions! This will be a new series throughout 2012 where I present a suggestion for a service opportunity. Of course, you can do more service than one per week, if you want. Some will be harder than others and some will require more time than others. I would love to know about all of the service you do!

The service suggestion for this week is to take a thank you note and or goodies to your librarians. They help and serve so much and I'm sure they are rarely thanked. And to be totally honest, ours are a little cranky, so a little sugar can't hurt. If you don't regularly visit the library choose another place you regularly go such as the post office or the grocery store.

I am also going to spend a lot of time praying for service opportunities. I want to be more aware of those around me and their needs. You are welcome to join me in this as well.
Just for fun I'll leave you with a baby bump picture from two weeks ago. I promise I'll get better at posting these.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 A New Year, A New Project

2011 was a fabulous year for me and my family. We reached many goals, were humbled and gained a deeper love and appreciation for each other. I honestly feel that not buying anything new was a deep and important part of that. 

Over the last few months I've been thinking about my goals for 2012. I've really enjoyed having one big, year long goal. For me it is easier to be consistent and maintain if I have one goal to bring into all parts of my life. Through the letter below I would like to introduce you to the theme of 2012 and give you some other very exciting news!

My dear friend Alissa,

I hope you are happy and healthy in the farmlands out west. I am so excited to have you contributing to my blog! I know you will only enhance and strengthen Candied Apples. Welcome.

I am excited that you live on a farm in the mountains and have a way of life that is so different than mine. I can't wait to see all your projects, ideas and thoughts. You bring the Apple of the country and I bring the sweet Candied aspect from the city making the perfect treat.

Since 2012 is upon us it is time to announce our theme for the year! This is a very broad and important theme and I want to give it as much emphasis and as I can.

Our theme in 2012 is Service. 

Thomas S. Monson said: "Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life."

I want to bring service into all aspects of my life. Sewing, crafting, mothering, wifely-hood, friendships and interactions with strangers. We can make the world a nicer place to live for so many. 


Please join us in this very worthwhile challenge. Put a little more service in your 2012. Each week we will present a challenge and will follow up so you know how we accomplished the weekly goal. We also want to hear from you! Please share your experiences. We would love to have this become a sounding board for ideas and support for others.


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