Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 10(ish) of '11 On the V Side

Hard to believe the year is already coming to a close, but well, here we are!
Time marches on, and all that stuff.
Last year I had fun combing through the year's worth of projects for Rhoda's Year End Party, and it's no surprise I've enjoyed doing the same again this year.  It's a nice way to catalog what I've been up to, and hey - it's a little boost for the ego to prove I haven't been *entirely* lazy all year long.  One of the perks of having a blog, I guess. ; )

So let's take a stroll down 2011 Memory Lane, shall we?
Without giving you some self-aggrandizing (and frankly, boring) commentary on each project/month... Here's a list of the most popular posts from each month in 2011.
Thanks, and Enjoy!

  Discovering Etching Cream

 Upcycled Pottery Barn Kids Pillow Cover

Free Dresser Makeover

"Frankenstein" DIY Slipcovers

Simple Ottoman Slipcover

10-Minute Monogram

Road Trip Survival Kit

Gallery Wall

Ballard-Inspired IKEA Hack

Sofa Table Makeover

Rustic Refinished Coffee Table

Book Page Birds

Ceiling Fan Dusting Secret

The Redhead's Room Reveal

Everything from December is right here recently posted, so I won't bore you with that recap.

If I don't say it enough, thanks for coming back again and again, and for your nice words of encouragement along the way.

2011 was a good year for our family, and we're excited for 2012.
Wishing you all peace, prosperity, and many projects in the New Year! :)



Tuesday, December 27, 2011


This baby isn't due until April, but in the meantime I am getting my craving on! :)
And, since we recently found out the gender of our little peanut, I thought I'd satisfy my sweet tooth and do a little baking to make a fun announcement for family and a couple friends.

If you're a "fancy" baker ;), you can make your cupcakes from scratch.
If you're me, buy your standard favorite white cake mix from the store.  Suits me just fine. :)
I mixed up the batter and added just 4 or 5 drops of the appropriate color (for light blue cupcakes just go easy on the blue, and for pink you'll just use a bit of red food coloring)

Bake 'em up...

  I chose whipped frosting (again, I just bought it pre-made) and added some fun sprinkles.

Kind of getting hungry again just looking at them..

 But take a bite, and you'll find out if your "boy or girl?" guess was right!
It's a GIRL!

  While a little overwhelmed at the thought of two of these

...we're still very excited and looking forward to meeting the little Miss. :)


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Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry, Merry

What a week it's been!
I've been done with the shopping and the wrapping for a bit, but it seems like every day, there is "something" - you know the feeling?  Just when I think it's time to put my feet up... there's just one more little thing that needs to be done.
It's been a bit of a struggle this week.
I'm not one of those women who can "do it all" and make it look effortless.  I may accomplish everything I set out to do, but I'll do it with a messy kitchen, no makeup, and a child in mismatched clothes.  But if that really bugged me, I suppose I'd work on changing.

But I'm not worried.  Instead, I'm reveling in the "to-do" list that currently has everything checked off,
enjoying the things I love about this holiday,
and making a conscious effort to refocus

on the most important thing about Christmas.

And I'm trying not to be bitter about not having any snow.
But I'll get over it.

(He might not)

In the meantime, I am warm with love and faith and family, and feeling like all is right with the world.
And tonight, in the quiet before the [joyful] chaos, it is. 

I am content.  And grateful.

Tonight On the V Side, we're preparing to celebrate the birth of a Savior, and looking forward to the upcoming year with eyes bright with excitement in anticipation of the changes to come.

I wish you the same.

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Free Shipping Day!

Trying to power through your last full week before Christmas to complete your shopping?

Instead of bundling up and hitting the mall tomorrow, grab a steaming cup of coffee and settle in with the laptop!
Tomorrow [December 16th] is FREE SHIPPING DAY!

Go HERE to see a list of the more than 1,000 merchants nationwide participating.

So kick back, relax, and finish your shopping, stress-free. 
And tell 'em you came from The V Side. :)

Cheers & Happy Shopping! :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Final Countdown...

 Well you've got about a week to get the last of those holiday packages ordered, wrapped and beneath the tree in time for Christmas - are you ready?
I'm all done except for a couple random odds and ends (I don't consider stocking stuffers for the dogs to be of paramount importance)

Don't give me that look, Newman.  Santa will come for you.  Promise.  
Good Boy.


Today I'm running down some of my favorite gifts to give - for this year and from years past - to hopefully help jog some ideas for you in case you're stumped for those final folks on your list.

I'll start with one of my 2011 favorites:
 These are cute, foldable flats that come in their own little travel pouch.
The pouch fits in my purse, and when you open it up, turns into a bag for you to toss in and carry your killer heels.

Perfect for easing sore feet from wearing heels all day, or to take with you to a holiday party; everyone politely removes their outdoor shoes so as not to track in dirt and snow, but no one really loves walking around someone else's house in their socks or stocking feet.  Here's your solution!  I carry these with me Every.Day.  They also came in super handy when I was running errands over lunch and my heel broke in the middle of the mall. Great gifts for a stocking, a sister, mom or pal.

eReaders (Kindle, Nook, etc.) are a popular gift item this year, but you can't just throw your Kindle in your purse or bag unprotected!
Head to Etsy for a ginormous selection of handmade eReader covers in hundreds of sweet fabrics and styles.

Let's just say if Santa doesn't send one of these my way this year, I'll be trotting over to Etsy to pick up one of these for myself.  So cute.

Know a baker or someone who is always in the kitchen?
Personalized Pyrex is a great gift option.

There are dozens of places online where you can order custom Pyrex and even custom lids, or you can buy the dish off the shelf at a local store, and personalize it yourself!
I have a handy DIY tutorial right HERE

Favorite hostess gift:
Rosemary Tree
I totally believe you can never go wrong with a nice wrapped bottle of wine, but I found this guy at Trader Joe's for only about $10.  A couple years ago I found them at Lowe's, as well.

They smell fantastic, and are super easy to "pretty up" with some burlap and twine or pretty ribbon around the bottom.  They're simply rosemary plants pruned to look like Christmas trees - festive to look at, and how convenient to have your own fresh herbs to snip whenever you need some?  You can even add a special ornament for the recipient for some extra flair.

Hope these got the wheels turning, and here's to the final stretch of holiday shopping!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Tree for the Family V

Part II in the Christmas On the V Side story... The Tree.
Our tree is simple.  Nothing loud, overly sparkly, glittery or overdone.
It's Rustic, Muted, Natural, a little Vintage... HOME.  :)
I'm a white-light-loyalist, so that's where I start.

A little wired burlap ribbon woven in warms things up...

...and some vintage mercury glass
paired with some old-style faceted glass ornaments catch the light and add a *hint* of sparkle, without  screaming "bright metallic look at me!" ;)
(sorry this pic is a little hard to see)
The Redhead helped Dad hoist the star onto the top of the tree this year.  I love that this star combines the natural, rustic grapevine with the soft white lights throughout the rest of the tree.  Red screamed and clapped when she realized it lit up.  So cute. :)

Muted gold grapevine star ornaments and a string of garland complete the look, with a few ornaments from our childhood mixed in.

Our tree isn't huge, fancy, dripping in ornaments or blinding anyone with metallic shine.
It's simple, it's cozy, and most of all, it's HOME. :)