Thursday, October 27, 2011

NTC: Easy Peasy felt Witch Hat!!

Alrighty folks, this is an ACTUAL Nap time craft because I totally did it during Amelias nap time :)
If you are in a pinch and need a quicky halloween hat, this is the easiest D.I.Y ever!

You will need the following:

-Glue gun/glue stick
-Sparkly felt (or regular felt)
- A different color felt for decoration (optional)
-Hair clip (optional if you are going to glue on headband/ribbon)
 Step 1: 

Depending on how big you want your hat is going to determine the size of your half moon shape. Practice this before cutting so you can determine which size works best for you. The length of my straight edge was about 8 inches. I used the sparkly felt because it is more stiff than regular felt, gives it some extra bling and heck they are 3/$1 at Hobby Lobby!

Step 2: 

Form into a triangle shape and overlap your edge to make a cone. Glue the edge. ***You will need to trim the edge, there is no way around it...I tried.***

Step 3:

Depending on your cone size will determine how big the base of your hat should be. I found the closest cup I had and traced a circle on the BACK side of the felt. Cut out. 

Step 4:

Make sure your cone and base are proportionate before glueing that sucker...I traced a smaller cup thinking it would be perfect and it was way too small...once you found the perfect size, hot glue cone to base.

Step 5:

I suppose the rest of the steps are optional but HELLO, your hat would be boring without some detail! I originally wanted to wrap the base of the cone with ribbon but it just wasn't sitting right due to it not being very flexible. I settled for some green felt.

Step 6:

Add your bling :) 

Step 7:

I wanted this to be a hair piece that I could easily attach and detach from a head band for my daughter. I secured the hair clip to a piece of felt, and then glued the felt to the bottom of the base. You could also tie elastic string onto the hat for some funky halloween party hats or even for a make shift dog costume...the possibilities are endless!

Step 8:

Ahhhhh....sit back and admire that cute little thing and then go get some ZzZz's while the little ones rest ;)

I thought it turned out pretty darn cute! If I knew Amelia was going to hibernate all afternoon, I wouldn't have rushed through it - hence the glue. But it was for a pumpkin painting halloween party and it was perfect for the occasion! This was actually Amelias first time to interact with other babies, and I have GOT to do that more often, she loved being around so many kids!

Since she is going to be Wonder Woman this year (didn't want to mess her costume up at the partayyy) I am thinking I might just wear it when we take her trick or treating :)

What do you think?? Do I look ridiculous?!


Nina Tank

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Invisible in the sky.

Brace yourself, this is about to be a very long, photoless blog post.

 I actually had a few things I was going to blog about tonight: my birthday dinner, a NTC I just made, my amazing new paper chandelier but instead I am going to blog about something that will get most peoples eyes rolling...Christianity.

Today a "friend" on facebook posted a quote that sat deep in my gut for HOURS before I commented.

“Religion has convinced people that there's an invisible man ... living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn't want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money.” ~ George Carlin

This makes me so sad not only that someone said this but that someone liked it enough to share its ignorance. Why do non believers try so hard to convince people there is no God? Why do they put so much work, effort and passion into something they do not even believe in? 

I will be the FIRST to say that it is Christians who give Christians a bad name. They are on the news boycotting funerals, HATING gay people, controlling cults and persecuting non believers. I do not consider these people Christians at all. The God I believe in calls us to love one another...not love one another unless they are gay. The "Jesus hates...." signs are such an oxymoron- do they not see they are belittling every single thing that Jesus stood for? 

Typically, I like to show who God is through my actions and keep my words to a minimum. When I do get into a conversation with someone asking me to "prove it" I simply tell them this: 

The worst that can happen when I die is....nothing. Nothing at all. I live my life loving others, having morals and believing that one day I will have to be accountable for my actions and live (if for nothing at all) a meaningful life- that is my worst case scenario. The best case scenario is eternal life in Heaven, a place I choose to believe exists. There are many things in my religion that I can't explain and I find comfort in never knowing the answers, after all- that is what faith is. Faith is believing without seeing. A non believers BEST case scenario is unfortunately....nothing. 

Their best bet is my worst because they are hoping that at the very end of this short little life that nothing will happen, we die. And although death is inevitable the difference between me and them is that I am truly not afraid to die. Someone once saw my pictures in the hospital before giving birth via c-section and they said "How were you so calm?!" and it was because I truly was not scared in the least bit. If I am good at anything it is putting everything in God's hands and not worrying- I know he will always provide for me and he has my entire life. I often wonder why others don't believe and sometimes I truly think it is because they do not want to be held accountable for their actions. They don't want to have "someone" billowing around them causing them guilt. Maybe they don't want to trust in the Lord, they want to control their own life and give themselves praise for their hard work- yet they are always the first to blame God - the person they do not even believe exists- for sickness, sorrow and loss. 

The story I am about to tell you is not one that I have told many (I will try to nutshell it, I promise!). I get extremely emotional even thinking about it and for years I was embarrassed to talk about it, but it was truly a pivotal point in my path with Christ. I was 13 years old and had just finished with 8th grade. We were moving to a new town, Lexington TX where I would not only be the new girl, but be the new girl in a class of less than 60 people. I was with my best friend Amanda and we were in my moms bathroom and I was blow drying her hair...she made a joke and I started laughing hysterically and it took me a few moments to notice but I could feel my face not functioning. Once I looked in the mirror I knew something was wrong...half my face was literally not moving. I flew down the stairs hysterical and my mom noticed right away. The left side of my face was paralyzed. I couldn't blink, my lips wouldn't move, my eye brown wouldn't raise....not even my nostril would flair. We called my doctor immediately. He took one look at me and said "No doubt, this is Belles Palsy." Belles Palsy is a muscle disorder ranging from weakness to paralysis in the facial muscles that has no explanation, and unfortunately no cure. My doctor called tried to make some calls to get me into a neurologist, but it would be a few days before I could even get an MRI. Once I had testing done, I saw a doctor a few days after that.
He told me exactly what I didn't want to hear. Not only did I have Belles Palsy but I was the worst case he had seen in a minor and I went on to be the worst case reported in the state of TX for a minor (as most affected are much older). After explaining that he didn't think that I would see any improvement at all for at least 6 months to a year he asked me if I wanted to start a steroid treatment...he said that you are suppose to start treatment within 24 hours of seeing signs but he would do it anyways. We agreed and while he was writing up my prescription, my mom and I are bawling (and I mean BAWLING). My mom looked at him in desperation and asked "is there anything else we can do?" and he answered..."Pray." 
That very day we left the appointment and went straight to Walgreens to get the prescription filled and we were sitting in the parking lot, again- bawling. I remember being more upset that I had to wear my glasses and not contacts above anything else "You don't understand what its like mom! I am about to go to a new school and I can't even smile!" A homeless woman walked up to my moms window. My mom rolled her window down and tried to shew her off. "My name is Connie....can you please just lend me some change, I need to use the pay phone to call my friend who is going to pick me up to take me to church." My mom started to scramble in her console to find change and she reached her arm in our car and grabbed our hands. She said she knew what was wrong with me and that I would be okay. She told my mom that her husband loved her very much and everything was going to be alright  (my parents were going through a rough patch).  She asked if she could say a prayer and we didn't even hesitate. The odd thing was is that we were holding hands with this filthy, toothless homeless woman and we didn't even ask questions. She said the most amazing prayer for me. She knew my name. She knew exactly what was going on with my face. She talked to God like he was her best friend and I think it is the only prayer I kept my eyes closed the entire time. She kissed our hands and went on her way with her change to use the pay phone. When we got out of the car, my mom went to go find her and she was gone. Call me crazy but there is no doubt in my mind I met an angel that day, not a single doubt. Two weeks later my face was completely back to normal. 

This is just one story of many that I have felt God physically walk by my side. It may or may not have anything to do with the quote I talked about earlier but I felt the need to defend a God that I have zero shame in standing up for. You can take him out of our school systems, you can take him off the dollar bill, you can try your damnedest to convince me that he does not exist, but you will never be able to take him out of my heart. 

Hebrews 11:1 " Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see"


Nina Tank

Monday, October 24, 2011

730 days ago....

Well, we did it. We made it to our two year anniversary! The first year we were totally in "newlywed" stage but three months into our second year our lives were turned upside down with a new baby. People say that the first year of marriage is tough, but the first year with a baby is even more so....they are all correct. FIRST, I would never, EVER change my life, but part of me wishes that we would have set back and enjoyed our marriage, just the two of us, a little longer before getting wrapped up in being new home owners and parents. Luckily, life is never our decision but we are merely pawns in the Lords bigger plan and so far he hasn't let me down.

I remember the week of our wedding. We were having it at my parents ranch in Lexington, TX (about an hour away from Austin). It had rained...STORMED the entire week of the wedding leaving the entire 80 acres a puddle of mud. The day before the wedding, the Lord graced us with some beautiful sunshine and over night the water dried and turned our grass into the most beautiful green.

Our wedding was EXACTLY what I had ever wanted. I am not an attention seeker, a name brand wearer, or a fancy shmancy kind of person. I wanted a casual, laid back "backyard" wedding and it was exactly that.

I will be the first to admit that I am not the easiest person in the world to be around. I cuss like a sailor (working on that one), I tell it exactly like it is and too often am way too honest around people I hardly know. Surprisingly, I was the easiest bride and everyone in my bridal party/family would agree. I honestly told my mom to plan it and I wanted to "just show up" because at this point, I was just lucky to be alive. I didn't care about having an expensive dress or gourmet food. Having extravagant favors and crystal everywhere didn't even cross my mind. I wanted this to be a party that I would remember for the rest of my life and not be a moment that I said "all that stress for this?"

I bought my dress Asian dress store off of N. Lamar. I went to many bridal boutiques before that and just never found a dress that I loved but by the time I usually got to the fitting rooms, I was so fed up with the snotty staff that I wanted to bolt before even wasting my time. It was just me and my mama trying on dresses one day and BOOM...I found it. The "antique" style dress was exactly what I was looking for and it cost me just under $800.00 which is less than what I paid for my prom dress Senior year (ridiculous, I know). I also bought all of my flowers from Sam's and my Godmother put together our arrangements and bouquets. 

The morning of the wedding, Travis got me a new ipod with a video message that just set the tone for the entire day. I was SO ready to marry my best friend. I didn't have a nervous bone in my body, I remember being so calm....even though we had tons of mishaps before the wedding. After a trial run with a make up artist a few months beforehand, I realized that nobody can do my make up better than myself. Not only did I do my own make up but I did ALL of my bridal parties make up as well haha!

My hair dressers ran out of gas a mile from the house and WALKED the whole way with all of their gear and when they got there I decided last minute to cut a few inches off my hair to get rid of the dead ends. My dress zipper and clasp broke mere minutes before walking down the isle and my dad had to sew me in my dress. My flower girl tore her Achilles heel in a bike accident a few days before and was in a cast (and I had no idea until she showed up), we totally forgot our marriage license at our apartment, I had to go braless and I about busted ass at the end of the isle and yet none of these little blunders seemed to matter.

We gathered with 140 of our closest friends and family and had the most amazing wedding. I cried like a baby during the ceremony...It wasn't stuffy, it wasn't traditional. One of our good friends band played, we had an outdoor bar, and the legendary Pinetop Perkins was there!

We ended the night with a carriage ride and firework show. We had the time of our life :) you can watch our video here (pw: ninatravis) shot by our friends from AMFM studios!

Travis, you are the only boyfriend I have ever had, you are the only person I have loved. You are my lover, my best friend, my mentor and my psychiatrist. You are the most amazing human being and I am so proud of the person you have become and the obstacles we have overcome. You have taught me how to be a better person and love others unconditionally. You have the patience of a saint and you are an amazing father.  I thank you for all of these things but most importantly I want to thank you for teaching me how to love myself. You love me for all of my faults and imperfections and remind me that I should love them too. I remember sitting in bed as a little girl and wondering why no boys ever liked me. In high school I prayed to God for you every night and had comfort knowing that you were waiting for me. Thank you for changing my life in more ways you will ever know. I love you babe.


Nina Tank

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nap Time Craft: Bud vase wall art!

NTC: Nap Time Craft: A craft that one must be completed during a childs nap time and must be CHEAP!

Before I even get into the next NTC  I have to give a shout out to my FAVORITE website: CRAFTGAWKER.COM . It inspires so many of my daily craft projects and it's the first thing I check before gossip websites and *GASP* Facebook! If you are a lover of crafts and D.I.Y's you will not be disappointed. Not only does it direct you to other crafters blogs but it also has tons of tutorials and printable crafts as well.

I came across Blue Velvet Chair when on craftgawker and found this post about hanging jars for decorations.

So, when remodeling my home I started collecting bud vases (ok, so I got them all from Wal-mart for $.97 a piece) with this craft project in the back of my mind. I'm not going to lie to ya, I am a sucker for all things "Shabby Chic". When growing up, everything was antique and my mom has the same sense of style that apparently rubbed off on me :). Although I can appreciate the old and beat up, I am a NEAT FREAK and everything has to be symmetrical, organized and "clean" looking. The last few years I have began to appreciate modern style but can live without that "sterile" feeling. Let's call my taste "Neat shabby chic" shall we?


-bud vase (or any other small vase that would be laying around)
-glue gun/glue stick
-Jute twine
-fresh flower/dried flower

I didn't take pictures of the process because it is this easy: Tie your twine around the neck of your vase in a knot, secure with glue gun. Tie secure knot on the end of the string and BOOM hang on your wall :) I took some dried Babies Breath I already had and stuck them in the vases:

Not sure why the color of my wall looks like this...its really a mossy green like the photo below!

 I loved it so much I also did it on another wall in the kitchen where I have a collection of old candlesticks, keys and other gold nick-nacks.

Yesterday, I was unloading a baby food jar from the dishwasher and it hit me!!! ANOTHER HANGING VASE! 

I stuffed the jar with mossy rocks and some fake flowers from an arrangement I already have and put in on a wall in Amelias shrine my living room!

This craft could be easily done in 3.345 minutes :)


Nina Tank

Pumpkin Patch fun!!

I feel like I just jammed an entire week of activities into one day: Sunday. This always happens. Mostly because it's the only day, if at all, that Travis has off. Yesterday we ran errands, took Amelia to her first pumpkin patch, went to Tanners soccer game and welcomed Travis' cousin back from Afghanistan.

Travis' cousin Dustin came home from Afghanistan yesterday for his 2 week glad he made it back safely! We have had his yellow ribbon on our tree for months now, he has been there since March. THANK YOU FOR SERVING OUR COUNTRY, DUSTIN!!!


We also went to the pumpkin patch yesterday for a quick photo session. 
There was so much chaos going on at the pumpkin patch it was so hard to get Amelia to stay still much less look at the camera. After we were done, I was annoyingly complaining in the car that we didn't get that good of photos and Travis reminded me..."It's not about getting good enough photos to post on Facebook, Nina. It's about the memories that we're making. " Awww, so glad I someone to keep me in check when I'm being an idiot. He's is about making photo opportunities to brag about on a social network memories. After I got home and downloaded the pics, I realized that I actually did get some really great pictures but more importantly...DANG MY KID IS CUTE!

I am pretty obsessed with this new face she is making ^^^. She is developing such a funky and sweet personality!!! Even writing about her makes me smile...mostly because she is quietly napping as I type ;)

I was pretty impressed with the pumpkin patch yesterday. If you live in Round Rock, there is a great one right near the HEB on HWY 79. They had so many different kind of pumpkins for cheaper than you would find at the grocery store. Not quite sure if I was too little to remember or too old to care but they had some crazy looking pumpkins that I don't recall ever seeing before:

I really wanted to get a "warty" one but I almost felt like I would catch a disease....


Even though we truly went yesterday just to take some pictures, we couldn't leave empty handed and came home with these little boogers:

Hate to break it to ya but orange traditional pumpkins are sooooo 2010 ;) we went with a green one along with some baby gourds. 

I think that we are opting out of carving this year. We spent too much time and moolah on it last year and they ended up just rotting on the front porch weeks before halloween...

I also got my craft on and made this pillow while waiting for Trav to come home Saturday night....spare fabric I cut into squares and hand sewed onto an old pillow to give a shaggy-flower least thats what I was going for hah!! Thought it turned out super cute and it matches perfectly. Most of all, it was FREE!!

Will be posting the "easiest craft you'll ever do" later...I must go check on my sleeping beauty who has been sleeping for going on 2 hours now...gotta love growth spurts!!



Nina Tank