Afternoon with a gnome

I’m still going pretty strong with my Happy Haven Project, which makes me happy. This is usually about the time I start to lose steam on these types of things, so I’m feeling pretty good!

Last week I had planned to go search around some thrift shops for some supplies for a project, but the weather was really uncooperative so I decided to switch gears and work my way through a photography composition tutorial while Wyatt had a nap. I got to keep my stretchy pants on and I didn’t have to worry about getting frostbite. It was a wise decision.

I got one of my tiny gnomes out and went to work.

First up was a photo that adhered to the rule of thirds. Math is hard, so this is probably more like the rule of fourths or something.

Rule of thirds

Then balancing elements, where you use the presence of a less important element to fill a void in the photograph. I’m not sure I really achieved what I was going for, but I’ll take it.

Afternoon with a gnome

Then I had to find some leading lines. Which I found more difficult than it probably should have been. I was probably distracted by the realization my gnome’s watering can spout vaguely resembles a penis. *sigh*

Leading lines

Next you were supposed to take a vantage point other than eye level. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to conceal the penis-spout, but ultimately decided I was just going to let it all hang out.

Vantage Point

And then it was all about removing background noise so your subject stands out. Easily my favorite picture of a gnome holding a phallic water can.

Afternoon with a gnome

Now onto creating a sense of depth. I had no idea what I was doing, basically.

Afternoon with a gnome

Then I framed my gnome with a jug and some plates. Framing is supposed to help isolate your subject so it stands out more.

Framing

And last, cropping in tight around your subject.

Cropping

Which one do you like best?

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Happy Haven Project Recap and Linkup {week 2}

I’m pretty sure this house has become ground zero for every virus floating around right now. One or more of us have been sick all week. I’m probably going to start walking around with a can of Lysol in a holster so I can just periodically spray a defensive cloud around myself.

Wyatt was totally unimpressed with his 102 degree fever.

Sick toddler

And despite the unfortunate illnesses, I’ve still been trucking on with my Happy Haven Project this week. Maybe I really am becoming a more motivated person. Maybe.

January 5 – I was going to make these Peanut Butter Candy Cookie Bar things, but the weather and all these sick people around me and my lack of motivation to clean snow off the car to go to the store forced me to get creative in the kitchen. Everything seemed to be falling into place with my experimental dessert…but after nearly 50 minutes in the oven, the brownie portion still had not cooked. Thankfully I have a family that loves to eat my mistakes.

Brownie dessert disaster

January 6 – I made up a simple breakfast and lunch meal plan. I really needed this. I can handle dinner on the fly (or my mom makes it and I don’t have to worry about it at all!) but I needed some more structure for breakfast and lunch. I’m really excited about what I came up with. It’s simple, healthy, and easy to adapt based on food already in the house. Now all I need is the willpower to stick with it.

January 7 – I made and ordered some postcards that I’m planning to send out this year. Right before Christmas I read an article from someone explaining why she wouldn’t be sending out Christmas cards, and it irked me real bad. She was so busy already and everyone sees what they’re up to on Facebook anyway so what was the point? A few days later I received a comment from my first college roommate (someone I haven’t seen in at least 10 years) thanking me for the card we sent and for always remembering her. And I was like, THAT is why I send cards. Because they mean something to me and the people I send them to. They’re tangible. They require you to do more than just sit at a computer and hit a like button. Don’t get me wrong, I like Facebook. But it’s not a substitute for really reaching out to people. So, back to my postcards! My plan is to send at least one a week for the rest of the year, and if you’re reading this and would like one, I’d love to stick one in the mail to you! I made a form you can fill out with your information here.

January 8 – Had some special reading time with Wyatt. This kid brings us books to read to him all day, but I wanted to sit down with him and just read as many as he wanted, for as long as he wanted. It was a really good reminder that slowing down is hardly ever a bad idea.

January 9 – I spent  a chunk of Wyatt’s nap time going through a photography tutorial on photo composition. A lot of it I already knew, but I learned a lot of new stuff and ended up with some sweet photos of my tiny gnome.

Rule of thirds

January 10 – I decided that I needed to really sit down and have a look at my finances now that it’s just my small income that I’m working with. Normally this sort of thing is fun for me. I love a good budget! But it was actually a little sobering, looking at exactly the financial situation I’m in right now (it’s not great!). In all honesty, I wanted to get in bed, pull the covers over my face, bawl my eyes out, then get my phone and call up a couple of choice individuals and tell them the hell they’ve helped turn my life into. But I didn’t. I figured out how much money I need to bring in every month, and resolved to find a way to do that while still being able to be Wyatt’s full-time caretaker. My next step was soliciting some advice from women in a Facebook group I’m in about becoming a virtual assistant. I received so much good information, and amazingly, ended up with my very first JOB. I’m so glad I didn’t just hide under the covers.

January 11 – Watched a movie. I totally squandered all of nap time on a movie. It was amazing. I laid in bed with no distractions and just watched. No one threw toys at my face. No one begged me for wahyee (water) or caycay (candy). No one pooped their pants. No one threw a fit because a toy t-rex doesn’t fit in the play kitchen microwave. If you don’t have kids, never take for granted your ability to watch a movie all the way through without interruption. *and all the moms said AMEN*

I hope you all had a great week full of happy things. If you have a post from this past week you’d like to share (it’s pretty much anything goes, as long as it’s family-friendly) please linkup below!

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Not a blogger or don’t have a post to share? I’d love for you to leave a comment with something that made you happy this week.

And don’t forget to use #happyhavenproject on social media so we can keep up with what everyone is up to.

Trish Signature

Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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Frustration-free picture hanging method

Hanging pictures up has always intimidated me. Especially the ones that required me to coordinate hammering in two holes into the wall at exactly the right distance apart so my picture would hang level. Like, you want me to get out a ruler or something? I don’t even know if I own a ruler. So I’v always delegated the picture hanging task to someone else. And when I wanted to hang a few things up in my new office space, I totally tried to pawn it off onto my mom. She was off busy having her own life though and I wanted these things hung up right now so I figured I better just put my big girl panties on and get to work.

I vaguely remembered hearing someone talk about hanging pictures by marking where the holes go on some masking tape, then using that as your guide. Seemed easy enough, even for me. Although, considering I recently tried to make a call from a calculator, I still had some doubts about my mental capacity. But you guys, it worked. I hung up a picture and two ribbon boards all by my lonesome. And they’re level. And I didn’t destroy the wall!

Frustration free picture hanging method

Here’s how to do it:

1. Decide where you want to hang your picture, then using a level and a pencil, mark a line on the wall where the picture will hang

2. Tear off a piece of masking tape the width of your picture and place it across where it will hang on the nails

Frustration free picture hanging method

3. With a pen or pencil mark the points on the masking tape where the nails will go

Frustration free picture hanging method

4. Remove the masking tape from the back of the picture and place it along the level line you penciled onto the wall in step one, then hammer your nails into the wall using the markings on the masking tape as your guide

Frustration free picture hanging method

5. Remove the masking tape, wipe off the pencil markings from the wall with a damp towel, and hang your picture!

Frustration free picture hanging method

I mean, I can’t exactly take credit for the method, but I’m still feeling pretty accomplished. Almost like I may have redeemed myself after that calculator incident. But still feel free to comment with anything ridiculous you’ve done lately so I can feel like I’m not alone.

Frustration free picture hanging method

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Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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This post is being linked up at Laura’s Crafty LifeChic CaliforniaWeekend CraftDIY DreamerAll Things FeeHoney & BirchA Pinch of Joy, Flamingo Toes, and Welcome to the Weekend.

10 inexpensive ways to treat yourself

I’m pretty bad at doing nice things for myself. Sometimes it’s because I don’t think I have the time or the money, but I’ll be honest, a good portion of the time it’s because I plain don’t think I deserve it. Because I didn’t get all the cleaning done or get up early to exercise or eat as well as I wanted this week or returned that phone call I was putting off. It’s always something. But you know, it will always be something. Because, that’s life.

I decided to stop waiting until I got perfect before I started being nice to myself, and I kicked things off with a pretty vase of flowers next to my bed.

10 inexpensive ways to treat yourself

I think I might need fresh flowers next to my bed from now on. I love them.

And here are a few more ideas of how we can treat ourselves on a budget:

  1. Go the movies alone. This is a lot easier if you don’t have kids, but if you can swing a free or cheap babysitter, do it! I used to think going to the movies by myself would be awkward and lonely, but I actually like it.
  2. Buy some pretty nail polish and give yourself an at-home pedicure.
  3. Buy a new book or check one out at the library and give yourself an hour or two of reading time.
  4. Indulge in a meal you don’t normally get. Maybe it’s something you think you shouldn’t have all the time (hello fried chicken!) or something you don’t eat a lot because others in your family don’t like it.
  5. Watch TV with a giant bowl of ice cream.
  6. Take a bubble bath.
  7. Spend an hour or two on your favorite hobby.
  8. Take a nap!
  9. Buy a pair or two of new panties. Seriously, I know I cannot be the only person on this planet who feels like a million bucks in a new pair of underwear.
  10. Go for a walk. I know, exercise doesn’t seem that indulgent, but you don’t have to set any records. Go slow. Enjoy the scenery. Breathe in some fresh air. It really will feel like a treat!

10 inexpensive ways to treat yourself

Do you have any ideas to add to the list? Leave a comment!

Trish Signature

Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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Happy Haven Project Recap and Linkup {week 1}

I hope you all had a great week! Mine was pretty normal. I went to the store a couple of times and couldn’t find half the things I needed. Typical. I did meet a lady at Walgreens though who, every time I picked up a bottle of shampoo, informed me it wouldn’t work for my hair care needs. After 10 minutes of this, I left without any shampoo and the urge to just shave all my hair off so I wouldn’t risk ever meeting her in the shampoo aisle ever again.

I still have this irritating dry, itchy scalp though. Any suggestions? I just need something that works for color-treated hair. I’ll try anything. It’s so hard to get stuff done when you’re constantly scratching your head.

Now onto the first week of the Happy Haven Project! Here’s what I  managed to accomplish, even with all the scalp-scratching going on:

January 1 – Finished up my office corner. I still love it.

Home Office Corner

January 2 – Created a list of blogging prompts for February. I’m going to share it later in the month!

January 3 – Made wood butter. It really does give old wooden spoons and cutting boards some new life.

January 4 – Bought myself flowers (technically my mom bought them because I forgot they were in her cart. thanks mom!)

Happy Haven Project

Now it’s your turn! Have a post that highlights something that made your little world better this week, or maybe it’s the post itself that makes you happy? Link it up!

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Not a blogger or don’t have a post to share? I’d love for you to leave a comment with something that made you happy this week.

And don’t forget to use #happyhavenproject on social media so we can keep up with what everyone is up to.

Trish Signature

Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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