Any Girl Can Do It …. In Her Own Time (Announcement)

Monday, December 8, 2014 0 Permalink 0

I started Any Girl Can Do It in March 2014 after hearing women say ‘I can’t do that’ over and over again. What I wanted to share with them was that they could – if I can DIY, any woman can. I wanted to show women that they could create, fix, and design things on their own – no need to hire it done and no need for it to look like it came out of a magazine or TV show. I was getting a pedicure a couple of months ago and HGTV was on and I heard a woman remark ‘I wish I could do that stuff’ and someone else say ‘you can never find the stuff that they use on those shows.’ My response … sure you can do it. Sometimes you have to think outside the box and make some substitutions but you can do it!

The thought behind Any Girl Can Do It was that I wanted to show women that all projects aren’t perfect and that your house doesn’t have to look like Martha Stewart or HGTV – it just has to look like you! I wanted to show the imperfections – not just the beautiful pictures we see online and on Pinterest.

I was really miffed when I went to a blog post about a small outdoor sign that included a beautiful indoor chair, rung and flowers on a deck. I knew where the blogger lived (in my same region) and when I looked out my door my deck was covered in that yellow-green pollen. It hit me like a ton of bricks. All I could think about was how other women would look at that and think that is how your deck is supposed to look – even in the thick of pollen season – and it made me angry. I was angry over the unrealistic expectations we put on women … on each other.

So Any Girl Can Do It was born. I wanted it to be a place where women could relate and could feel at home and be themselves, mistakes and all.

But I have not been able to build the type of readership and interaction with real women that I wanted. This blog was never about making money although if I made any it would be good to help offset expenses – but instead it was about connecting with women and empowering women.

What You Don’t Know About Blogging

Here’s what you may or may not realize about blogs – for most, readership is hard to build. It takes a lot of work and a lot of social media time and time spent connecting with other bloggers. If you see comments on a blog it is likely that a good many of them are from other bloggers because you have to network to get bloggers to share, mention, comment, etc. I tried that and have met some great women and some who have been very sweet to help me out. But I wasn’t in this just to connect with other bloggers. Other bloggers know how to do these things and each one of them has their own niche as well. I wanted to connect with the ‘every day woman’ who is like me – who wants a wonderful place to call home but doesn’t have a big house and a big fat bank account.

Unfortunately that has not happened.

I love doing the projects – it is like a drug for me. I love to create. I even love to write. What I don’t love is stopping in the middle to take photos, competing for readers with blogs that have staff to make things happen, and all the social media interactions you have to do.

When It Get’s Down To It … There Are Other Priorities

So Any Girl Can Do It hasn’t been fulfilling it’s intended purpose. I have struggled with it several times and have gotten pep talks to keep with it. But as some of you know my husband and I have had a hard time lately with me having a couple of surgeries and him being hospitalized for three weeks and with plenty of recovery left ahead. Assuming the responsibility for all of the household and for helping with his recovery doesn’t leave me with the time (or energy… or money) for more projects and blogging. For me, the priority has to be what is going on at home.  And honestly not spending that amount of time of the blog has allowed me time to actually read a book!!! It wasn’t a good book but it was still a book ;-)

I will still be creating and making my home a place I love and I will still be doing it on a shoestring budget (that’s what makes it fun for me) but I won’t be posting to AnyGirlCanDoIt.com any more. If any of you want to keep up with my crafty goings-on I will be happy to have you on my personal Facebook page or to start a private Facebook group where we all share our crafts and ideas with one another. If you are interested in that, drop me a line :-)

Thanks for reading! And please remember You Can Do It! Any Girl Can Do It!

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20 Tips For Making Your First Bulk Freezer Meals

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 0 Permalink 0

I found out in October that I would be having two different surgeries – one in November and one in December – that were both going to put me out of cooking commission for a little while. And while I love my husband (and believed him when he said he loved to cook when we were dating) his culinary repertoire is lacking – not to mention he gets home pretty late. So, to avert at least some of the hunger issues I decided to try my first batch of freezer meals.

Where did I turn first? Well Pinterest of course, which leads me to my first tip.

freezer meal success

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Be thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is the day that we traditionally observe thankfulness – for our families, our friends and the bountiful land in which we live.

My wish for you is that you find thankfulness in your heart everyday. Just look around, although there may be many things going wrong, there are also many things going right … wonderfully right! Take a moment each day to breathe, smile and think about your blessings.

But in the meantime … enjoy Thanksgiving! May you be surrounded by friends and family. May your plate be so full that you have to loosen the belt or put on your fat pants afterward … but before taking your post-gluttony nap. May you have plenty to be thankful for tomorrow … and in the year to come!

Blessings to you and yours-

Stacy

 

Advent Calendar Ideas for Couples

Monday, November 24, 2014 2 Permalink 0

I really wanted to do something special for the the husband and me to enjoy together during the holidays so I decided to create a couples Advent Calendar. I want to show you some little snippets of what I have been up to.

advent bags

I started with these super cute coffee bags from The Container Store and attached numbers 1-24 to them. I used two craft punches, scrapbook paper and numbers from the scrapbooking section at Michael’s. I did use pop dots between the two layers of scrapbook paper to give the numbers some depth.

bags ready to fill

Then I got my bags all set up and ready to fill. So then what?!?!? I had to come up with 24 ideas to fill the bags!

advent dates

Well That’s Freaking Cool Friday

Friday, November 21, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Well it’s almost Thanksgiving… that means it’s time to decorate for Christmas right? Judging by my Facebook page a lot of people have skipped over Thanksgiving and gone straight to the Christmas decorating.

At the Harper house we are stuck. Chris is still in the hospital but my hope is to have him home by Thanksgiving. I think it will do his spirit – and therefore his body – good to be with friends and family. We may have to puree his food – but at least he could taste the goodness. I am still hobbling along after foot surgery so it takes me forever to do anything. So this weekend I start … cooking for Thanksgiving and decorating for Christmas.

This Friday I bring you some great ideas for Christmas… all the things that made me say ‘well that’s freaking cool!.

freaking cool friday

First up is a super cute way to wrap small gifts from Captain and the Gypsy Kid. I scrolled through the site but never found the actual post but you get the idea from looking at the pictures of the tiny little packages being hauled by the animals! This would be a cute way to gift money to a kid … or kid at heart … too.

I’ve seen a lot of crayon art projects on Pinterest too but this one from One Cup At A Time really caught my eye. This would be a super project for adults and for adults to do with the kids. If you have theme tree colors you could even use just those color crayons to make your masterpiece. My stepson and I make ornaments each year for his mother and grandmothers and this one might be the one for 2014.

OK… I know I have already had one toy animal project but how stinkin cute are these Rudolphesque wild animals? I love them! Since I am using white, gold and black in the dining room I may have to make some of these for the table. Check out these super simple instructions from Camille Styles.

Another great project for the kids are these twig and ribbon Christmas trees from All Free Kids Crafts. This is a good use for all those ribbon scraps too – I know you have them! If not, check out the dollar section at Michael’s.

And I absolutely love this Santa art from Bower Power. It’s absolutely gorgeous. You artist types might instantly understand her instructions but my solution for getting a giant old St. Nick would be using an old fashioned overhead projector! Yep… I have one in the garage.

I hope you have enjoyed these simple projects for the week! Given all that’s been going on I didn’t get my entire Advent project finished for you guys but I will be back in a couple of days with some great Advent calendar ideas for couples and for families.

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Thanksgiving Utensil Holder with Free Printable

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 1 Permalink 0

Sometimes the smallest things make the biggest difference. I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year a mere couple of weeks after having foot surgery. While it is tempting to take the easy way out, I still want there to be a special feel to our Thanksgiving meal… so the table must be done ahead of time!

Since Thanksgiving usually ends up more about gluttony than practicing thankfulness, I really wanted those people closest to me who will be at dinner to stop and take a moment to think about all the good in their lives. I thought a cute way to do that would be a cute utensil and napkin holder where they could write exactly what they are thankful for and then share it with the rest of us.

utensil holderpromo

This printable is yours for the taking … and printing. Each 8.5″ x 11″ printable will make two utensil holders.

30 Days of Gratitude – Day 11

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Today is Veteran’s Day – so hopefully we are all taking time today to express our gratitude for the men and women who have served our country.

rp_Be-thankful-30-days-300x240.jpg

I also want to give thanks for the military spouses who live every day with the uncertainty of our world. Thanks for the support you give to your Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman.

Today especially I am thankful for my veteran, and husband, Major Chris Harper, US Army Retired.

chris retired

This is one of my favorite pictures of Chris taken on the day he retired. I greeted him at the door with a glass of wine and then people started calling to tell him congrats on retiring.

Thanks for what you did for our country in your 20 years of service and for what you continue to do for our family. Get well soon Major!

What are you grateful for today?

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30 Days of Gratitude – Days 8-10

Monday, November 10, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Be thankful 30 days

Hey everyone! I know I am behind but I hope you will understand when I tell you what’s been going on. The hubs is in the hospital and is on a ventilator. The docs still aren’t sure what happened but needless to say we are all very concerned. He seems to be making some progress but will be on the breathing tube for several more days at least. So please keep him in your thoughts and prayers please!

Day 8 – Seems silly but I am always glad for a good football win! Bama had a big game on Saturday and ended up winning in overtime against LSU which keeps us in the running for the college football playoffs. Silly thing to be thankful of to some but it did make my day and I got to talk to Chris right after the game as we were both heading to sleep.

Day 9 – Sunday I was very thankful for modern medicine and the men and women who deliver it. As we sat in ICU looking at all the monitors the doctors and nurses quietly moved around me (with my foot propped up) checking, monitoring, charting, changing, and all the other wonderful things they were doing for Chris.

Day 10 – Today I am thankful for my Frankenboot. Thanks to Kim from Enjoy the View blog for coining that term. She is stuck in a Frankenboot too!

frankenboot

Yep it’s heavy and cumbersome but… I don’t think I would want to move without it. The boot does allow me to put some weight on it and to get some sleep without worry of bumping the incision. I can’t imagine what I would do without the boot. The nurses were right when they said the boot would be my best friend!

I hope you all are having a wonderful November. I will be popping in and out as I try to navigate my recovery, going to the hospital and hopefully getting back to work soon. Tell me what you are grateful for today!!!

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30 Days of Gratitude – Days 6 & 7

Friday, November 7, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Be thankful 30 days

Wow – what a couple of days it has been! Bad, crazy days. Wednesday my husband was admitted to the VA hospital for a collapsed lung, the same one that collapsed in July. So…that means surgery…today! Well guess who else has surgery today?!? Ummmm ME. So the last couple of days have been spent covering our bases, dividing and conquering, and hanging out in the ICU. But in all of it there is much to be thankful for.

Day 6 (yesterday) – I am thankful for the VA Medical Center in Durham. Despite all the news reports about the VA system, Chris has gotten really good care there. This time in particular. He was admitted through the emergency room and then sent to surgical ICU. The care there has been phenomenal. His nurse yesterday, Temo, was beyond wonderful and there are doctors assigned just to that ICU area so they are checking on him constantly. The VA has been a blessing for us in these times of Chris’ medical issues. There are a lot of good men and women over there doing the best they can with what they have to work with and I applaud them for that and give gratitude for them.

Day 7 (today) – I am so thankful and blessed by the people we have in our lives. Friends and family who are willing to drop what they are doing to help us out. I could not be more grateful. From the couple who went and got Chris’ car from the hospital and brought it home to the wonderful girlfriends who will be taking care of me this weekend to the son who is taking me for surgery today and the mother-in-law who is moving into a hotel for the next few days to take care of Chris. You guys rock! Thanks to all who have offered prayers, meals, to come take care of the pups, rides to the doc, all of those things. For you all Chris and I are both extremely grateful. Sometimes, in the hard times, you find that you are blessed beyond measure.

I hope you are blessed beyond measure in your life too! What are you grateful for today?

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30 Days of Gratitude – Day 5

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 0 Permalink 0

Be thankful 30 daysToday I am grateful the hateful (ha – I am a poet for sure now!) election season is over here in NC!

Turning on TV turned into a hate fest with enough mud being slung to qualify for a monster truck show. I was so disappointed in the cast of characters on the ballot this time – almost all of whom were talking about what their opponent didn’t do or did do but wrongly.

The Senate campaign here was especially tough and hateful and the ads filled the airways. As of yesterday’s tallies at least $111 million had been spend on ads for this race alone. That’s a lot of hate on the airways. So… turning that negative into a positive … I am grateful that the political season of hatred is over (at least the ads) and now I can turn on my TV and see other over the top ads ;-)

What are you grateful for today?

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