Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Years Resolutions 2016

Wow, I can't believe that I haven't posted a blog in goodness knows how long! Life, work, school and so much more catch up with you and you start to loose track of the things that you love doing! I can't believe that its time for another New Year's post. This year, I have decided to keep it short, and sweet with a few pictures here and there! 

2015 has been filled with so many open doors, closed doors, and just changes in general. In August 2015 I not only graduated from college, but I also accepted my first "big-girl job" teaching 7th grade Social Studies (I'm crazy, I know). The decision to graduate over the summer was a hard one, but also one that I put a lot of though into. I was very nervous, but excited at the same time. I interviewed at many schools, in my hometown, as well as other parts of North Carolina. I just happened to interview for the position I accepted on my birthday, and was offered the position 2 or so days later, and then had to be in the classroom for teacher workdays about 3 days after that! It all happened so fast but I have loved every minute of it. Hopefully, there will be some more classroom posts and tips to come in the future! 

With the decision to accept this position, I also moved to a new town, by myself, and got my first apartment! This was all very exciting, but there are some nights when I will admit, I do get a little scared! Surprisingly, I don't have any pictures of my apartment to share, everything is still kind of a mess from moving (I know, its been a while) and with Christmas it kind of got worse! After these amazing firsts I had one other huge thing happen this year....I GOT ENGAGED!! 

This was very unexpected for that day, Cody and I had been talking about it for a few months, and we both knew that it was what we wanted, but I didn't think it would happen before Christmas. We planned a trip to Old Salem, NC where we were going to walk around and explore the colonial period Moravian lifestyle and church that is on the property I had not been since I was in elementary school so I was very excited to visit. As we were walking from the visitor's center to the first museum, we went through a beautiful covered bridge. Cody grabbed my arm, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so ecstatic, and of course I said yes! We spent the rest of the day taking gorgeous pictures on the property, even in the rain they turned out amazing. My biological sister and one of my sorority sisters was there to take photos for us and I am so happy she was because they are great. I added a select few! (There will defiantly be a post about this when we return to take pictures when it's not raining) 

Now, these are just some of the large events from the year. This year Cody and I were blessed with another nephew, we managed to make it through the holiday season, a not so long-distance relationship (which will continue until May). My sister began attending my Alma mater, UNC Charlotte and also joined her legacy sorority, Kappa Delta. I was able to be there for her Bid Day and her Initiation, she was pinned with our Aunt Julie's pin and I can now say AOT to her and she knows what it means! Cody and I are going to spend the next 18 months or so planning our wedding, getting ready for Cody to graduate and move and I am sure many other things. 

As always I have come up with several resolutions that I am going to attempt to keep, like most people I will probably forget to look back on these and stick to them, but I am going to try my darnedest! The first is my large resolution, the last two are smaller ones that I will focus on, but if I forget it won't be the end of the world! 

1. Reestablish my relationship with God. I have struggles for many years to focus on this area of my life, but I am determined to become more comfortable in and with my faith. I have done a lot of research and have decided to use the #herbinderproject monthly devotionals to help me do this. I have put together a Bible Binder (I will share in a post, soon) that I plan to use to help me focus on this. 

2. Work to become healthier, and more comfortable with myself. I have struggled with this over the more recent years but I am determined this year (especially with a wedding in the future) to become a healthier version of myself. I have decided (after much research) to begin the 21 Day Fix plan with a focus on a low-carb diet. I plan to share some of my recipes, and meal plans that I have put together from various places to help focus on this goal. 

3. Lastly, I would like to focus on my relationships in my life, with my family, co-workers, of course Cody (we have started a couples devotion focused on the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, we are very excited for this), and others that I encounter. I think part of bing happy overall is being content and enjoying those around you and those in your life.

Well there it is,  wrapping up 2015 and heading into 2016.
Happy New Year everyone, may your year bring you countless blessings and joy! 

XOXO, Madison 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2014 Recap & 2015 Resolutions

This has become kind of a tradition since I have began my blog, a little over two years ago. I cannot believe how quickly time has gone by and that this is the third year I am making this post! I know this is late, but as always it takes some time to get these thoughts together! 

2014 Recap

In 2014 I spent a lot of time telling myself that everything happens for a reason, and then, even more time waiting on that reason. I began to loose trust in myself, in God, and in my friends and family. I was going through a rough patch towards the middle of the spring semester and wasn't quite sure where I was going with my life anymore. I made a lot of decisions that changed my life, helped me grow up and helped me to get everything back together. The time spent waiting on that reason for everything lessened and I began to feel whole again. 2014 brought somebody into my life who I was not expecting, somebody who I was not ready for, or thought I wasn't ready for. Turns out, I was more than ready. This person, and his family has taught me to trust in God again, to laugh at the little things, and have given me the reason i was looking for. I truly could not be happier that Cody and his family have come into my life and I am so grateful everyday for their support.

2014 allowed me, with the help of my sisters to plan the most successful recruitment that Eta Psi has seen since our colonization in 2011. I was able to lay the foundation for something that I know will continue to grow and be successful in the upcoming years. While it was hard to pass this work on, I know the newly elected VPM will do an amazing job and be able to fill my shoes quite well. 
2014 brought my moms engagement to an amazing man who I will be glad to call step-dad on May 16th 2015. Of course, I am planning the wedding, so look for more posts to come on this one, maybe a future wedding and event planner is being born here! 

Much more happened in 2014, a crazy trip to Panama City, FL for spring break, I spent the summer as an Orientation Counselor which was hands down the most amazing experience of my college career. I worked with about 3,500 incoming students helping them get to know UNC Charlotte, register for classes, talk with their parents about their fears and worries. I can't count on two hands, and feet how beneficial this experience was and how much I will miss it this summer. 2014 brought a group of men in to my life who I can't imagine having spent this year without, it also brought me new sisters after and amazing recruitment, it brought the engagement of my best friend to the love of her life and I couldn't be happier for them! Most importantly It brought me more happiness than I thought was possible when the year began in January. Lets just hope that 2015 continues to do the same! 

I actually have a couple this year, that I am going to try and stick to this year...
1. Blog more - 2+ times a month (thats the goal)
2. Exercise and eat healthier (very basic)
3. Keep laughing, and continue to not let anything hold me back.

Hopefully these will become more of a good habit, than a hard attempt at sticking to them!

I hope everyone had happy holidays, and a happy new year. 

XOXO, Madison 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 Recap & 2014 Resolutions

I made this post last year, so I thought I would do it again this year! My third semester of college is complete and I am about to go into my fourth, and I cannot believe that this year has already come to an end. Going into 2013 I never thought that I would be where I am today, and honestly, who knows where 2014 will take me...
2013 Recap
2013 has brought a lot of change, change I wasn’t expecting, change I didn’t want, and change that is for the better. In 2013 I served on the second executive council for Kappa Delta Eta Psi as Secretary and ended my term serving as the Vice President of Member Education. The summer took me on a trip to Baltimore, a couple zoo trips and lots of work! Going into my fall semester...UNC Charlotte had their inaugural football season (GO NINERS!!!). I moved into the Kappa Delta House, my home away from home, where I became best friends with the most amazing roommate you could imagine having, I honestly don’t know where I would be without her! In 2013 I FINALLY got my little, and she could not be more perfect and we could not be more perfect together. She fits right in and I wouldn’t change her for anything!  2013 brought a breakup I never thought would happen, but gave me the strength to realize that some things must come to an end. It made me realize that I had been relying on somebody else for too long and needed to start relying on myself again. The pain soon turned into strength, a strength I never thought I would have, and I think him for that. In 2013 I was elected to a new executive council position as Vice President of Membership. This new position gives me the opportunity to travel to Chicago to join 1,700 other Kappa Delta sisters at our National Collegiate Training Academy in Chicago, IL. 2013 brought a change in my Mom I never thought I would see and I could not be happier. A lot happened in 2013, more than I want to write about, and I think it is safe to say that I am glad its over!

2014 Resolutions

For 2014 I have decided that the only resolution I am going to have is to let nothing hold me back. This year, I am not going to list a bunch of resolutions that I am going to convince myself today that I am going to follow them, and then tomorrow forget all about them. This year, I am going to live the life I want to live, the way I want to live it. I am going to laugh at jokes that are funny to nobody but me. This year is going be too different, this year; nothing is going to hold me back.
Happy New Year everyone!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What Time is It?

I went to Michael's Saturday afternoon with the intention of finding a craft to do. I plan to spend my summer crafting for my room in the sorority house and practicing for my little. When I am at a craft store I normally make my way to the wood section because there are always simple pieces that you can do something with, so while I was there I decided to make a clock! At first I was kind of hesitant because I didn't know how it would turn out or if I would even use it, but I did it anyways, and now I am sharing!
Wood Piece (should have a hole in the middle, can be found in the wood crafts with clock making)
Clock Parts (comes in a pack in the clock making section)
Mod Podge
White Paint
Pink Paint
2 Pieces of a printed pattern (I choose the pattern that matched my new bedding for the house)
Paint Brushes
X-Acto Knife or Scissors

The first thing you are going to want to do is paint the entire wood piece white, this way you wont see through the paper when you mod podge it on, it also acts as a primer for any other painting you choose to do.

Second, paint your border. Some wood pieces may not have a border, but mine had a lip and I choose to paint it pink to match the pattern that I choose. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of just the border and white, but you will get the idea based on the final picture.
Third, mod podge your pattern on. There are multiple ways you can di this...
1. Print off 2 pieces of paper (you will have creases)
2. Take one piece to FedEx, Office Max/Depot and get it blown up to fit your piece
If your wood piece is small enough to only need one piece of paper then great! I choose to use 2 pieces of paper simply because this is the first time I have ever done this and I did not want to spend a bunch of money if it wasn't going to work! Now, there are also 2 ways you can cut the paper to fit...
1. Place the paper, flip the piece over and trace the out line, flip it back over and cut the outline with scissors or an X-Acto knife
2. Glue the paper on with one layer of mod podge on the wood, then flip over and cut the paper away with an X-Acto knife.
I choose to do the second option, simply because I had just purchased an X-Acto knife the same day and wanted to use it...but you do not by any means need an X-Acto knife to complete this project. While mod podging your paper to the wood you will need to use at least 2 coats and make sure to put glue directly on the wood so that it stays in place, this also helps from running.
Once you have secured your pattern on the top trim up any of the sides, fix any paint on the border etc. it is time to put the clock part of the clock together! On the back of your clock parts kit there will be a picture explaining how to assemble the parts. You might have to cut some of the wood out of the circle in the middle if your clock back does not reach high enough so that you can secure it on.

Note: You can also paint your pattern.
After this, you will need to put numbers on the clock. turn your clock arms to the spot where you want 12am/pm to be, this is where you will put your 12. Then turn the long hand around clockwise once, wherever the short hand stops will be 1am/pm, turn the long arm clockwise again and this will be 2am/pm. Do this until you have painted in all 12 numbers, or symbols.
The last ting is to put a battery in the back and there you have it...your very own handmade clock! If you are nervous to paint in numbers the clock can also be a decorative piece that you simply hang on the wall.
Sorry for such a long post, enjoy your crafting!

When you're bored...CRAFT!

Hey everyone! This weekend I was home all night Saturday, with nothing to, my sister and I decided to craft! I made a quick little craft that is cure as ever and very simple to make.
Canvas (any size you want) - I used a 11inx14in
Paint brushes
Computer and printer
First thing, paint your canvas whatever color you would like...I choose pink!

Next step is to pick the quote, monogram or image that you would like to paint on your canvas. Type it into word processor and change the font and everything to the style you would like. After you have printed it shade in the back of all of the letters and then trace over it onto your painted, and dry, canvas. This is a neat tracing trick I learned from Pinterest. When you trace it the graphite from the pencil will bleed through from the pressure and the outline will be on your canvas. You can use this method on coolers or other materials as well.

The next think I did was fill in all of the letters with white paint, you can obviously use whatever colors you would like. Now, to make this extra special I filled in the word "shine" with silver glitter, I felt that it fit the quote so perfectly. Then I added a top and bottom boarder of rhinestones to add a little extra flare.

Once I was done with mine, my sister wanted one. I completed hers on a smaller 8in x 10in canvas so I did not put rhinestones on hers. Here it is...

I hope you enjoy your crafting!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Senior Gifts

I am about a month late with this post, but I was going through my phone and deleting some pictures (I am almost out of space) and realized there were a couple crafts that I meant to share and never got the chance.

My Grand Big graduated in May and I did a small craft for her, a chevron canvas with her monogram.

Blue Painters Tape
Paint (colors of your choice)
Paint brushes
Monogram Pattern to trace
The first thing you want to do is measure your chevron pattern on your canvas. I used a canvas that was 8in x 10in which was hard to measure accurately. I recommend finding a canvas that is a square, or be able to do math down to the millimeter. Make the cris-cross pattern on the canvas and then tape off every other row. I forgot to take a picture of just the penciled on pattern, so here is the canvas with the tape, you can still see the outline though!

The next thing is to paint the lines that are not taped, use whatever color you would like. Let it dry and then do at least 2 more coats, this insures that the pencil marks are hidden, and that the paint is dark. 

After this, let the paint dry completely and pull the tape off. I decided to do black on the opposite lines, she will be attending the University of South Carolina for graduate school in the fall so I thought it would be perfect! In order to do the opposite spaces first outline it with a thin paint brush, that way you don't get as much on the red. If you mess up, don't worry once the black dries you can paint over a couple coats of the other color and it will look perfect!

Once I was finished touching up all of the parts I let it dry completely again. I printed off a monogram from this website, you can select your style and from there print and cut it out. I traced it onto the canvas in the center, painted the letters white and the circle black. I then outlined the circle with a gold paint which showed up really nicely.

The last thing to do was to add a ribbon to hang (thanks James for holding it), I was trying to make sure it was even before I glued it on!

There you have it, A chevron canvas fit for ay dorm room, or apartment!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sweet 16

So, my sisters 16th birthday is today, wow...crazy, and she is beginning to become more appreciative of crafts and things like that! So in making my decision on what to get her I was trying to think of something that she would use on a regular basis and that would come in handy. She is on the swim team in our neighborhood and last season I remember that during the swim meets there were never enough chairs for all of the swimmers and parents/family. So I thought "I will get her a foldout/bag chair", but I added a little twist...I decided to decorate it to make it her own so that if won't look like anybody else's and she can never loose it. Here's how I did it...

Camping Chair
Acrylic Paint
Paintbrushes (multiple sizes, depending on what designs you are doing)
Acrylic Rhinestones/Jewels
Hot Glue Gun
Acrylic Sealer

First, pick out your chair. I used a simple blue chair from Wal-Mart. You can use any color or size that you would like, just remember that the larger the chair the more space you have to cover when painting!

The first thing I did was decide what kind of pattern I wanted on the arms, I choose chevron. After making the decision I drew the pattern out on the arm rests (it is hard to see but it is there) and then painted them in white. You can obviously use whatever colors you would like. I painted about 3 coats of white, letting each coat dry almost completely before starting the next one. If you let it dry completely you will be able to better see where the lighter spots are.

Here are the finished arm rests.  
The next step, is to paint/design the back of the chair. I choose to put my sisters monogram on the back with a pink anchor for a pop of color and because she is a swimmer so I thought it was appropriate! The first thing I did was the monogram, and then the anchor. I outlined it first, and then filled it in. I also did 3 coats on the back, letting it dry almost all the way in between each time so that you can see the light spots better.

The next thing I did, to add a little bling was outline the cup holder with he acrylic rhinestones. I simply glued them down with how glue and let them dry, I went back and pulled at some of them to make sure that they were all glued on and wouldn't fall off.
The last thing I did was hot glue a ribbon now in the right corner of the chair. I know your thinking... "why, it will fall off" and what not but if you glue it down well it should be fine. It also looks really cute!

The very last thing you need to do is seal all of your paint with an Acrylic Sealer, this will keep your paint from falling off and will give it a shiny look. You could also spray the chair with water proofer if you plan on having it our in the rain!  
So there it is, her own personal camping/tailgate/swim team meet...etc. chair!!
Oh and I also got her a pair of Platinum Jack Rogers, what 16 year old doesn't have these in her wardrobe!