Monday, November 3, 2014

Blogger Burnout - Who Knew?

Let's face it people. If you are even reading my blog, you well know that I am no blogger. In fact, I wouldn't even consider myself one. I wasn't sure where this blog was going or what I am doing, but every once in a while I get the urge to share or post about something and this is one of those times.

But I, like many others read blogs on a weekly basis. My feedly is full of blogs (more than I really have time to read). Which I think is common to a lot of us. Every now and then as my interests change I weed out the blogs I no longer pay attention to and add in blogs that I have recently discovered, but it seems as though the blog world is changing.

I slowly started to notice that certain blogs aggravate me more than inspire me, yet they are like crack and I continue to read. I also noticed blogs I was still excited to read started spacing out posts or became light on content. Others became completely corporate feeling. And some blogs just all together disappeared. Some with out notice, some with a goodbye post to readers. It happens. I was not however expecting a "goodbye for now" post from one of my favorite blogs Young House Love.  It was a sad day to read of John & Sherry's break from the blog world. You can read their post here.

What I loved about their blog was that it seemed real. I don't know these people... yet for what ever reason their posts seemed inspiring and positive. Like.. "hey I could do that" or "that's a project I can afford" and of course the occasional "why didn't I think of that". I got excited to learn when good news happened to them- like their line at Target or Shades of Light. To me, reading those posts seemed like awesome new adventures happening to normal people, not bloggers selling out.

I'm not naive. I realize they were professional bloggers and this was how they were making a living, but it still seemed genuine to me. Other blogs I read that are starting to feel fake, and I didn't get that with Young House Love. I'm not saying they are the only blog I read that seemed genuine... but you get the idea.

There are so many people out there that rely on blog content for so many reasons — a quick DIY, a recipe for dinner, a fashion post. Most people don't think about the behind the scenes. Not even sure how I stumbled onto this post which lead me to this article in the NY times about blogger burnout but I found both interesting and good reads for anyone who takes the free content bloggers provide us for granted. So I thought I would share.

I get it. The people who think blogging is easy are the same people who don't understand why handmade items cost so much. It's the time and the energy that it takes that people don't understand.

It could be where I am in life, it could be I am getting bored of the internet, it could be a lot of things but I really do hope that John & Sherry return in some shape or form. I wish them the best in taking a break and focusing on their family.

And on that note... Here are a few links I feel for one reason or another are worth showing some love.

Blogs Worth Reading:
Pugly Pixel - great resource on all things web design
Design is Yay! - blog of illustrator/designer Wita Puspita
Almost Makes Perfect - stumbled on this one recently, still getting to know it.
This Little Street - a blog about life with great tutorial links
The Alison Show - as genuine as it gets. this girl has awesome ideas.
Making It - the blog behind "these are things" an illustration studio
The Crafted Sparrow - mainly focus on easy craft projects for the home
Oh Sweet Joy - lifestyle blog with a little of everything (DIY, fashion, home etc)
And then we Saved - super helpful, easy to read blog on saving money (we all can relate)
Eat Drink Chic - lifestyle blog with focus on party and entertaining
Skunkboy Blog - lifestyle blog I somehow got totally addicted to.

Handmade worth buying:

Remixed by Jacki

Winsome Easel

The Fox in the Attic

The Citizens Collectibles

Hope Johnson Ceramics

Cotuit Bay Knitter

Sarah Waterhouse

Dotty Dictionary

Jill Makes

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I'm So Fancy...

So first of all... the Iggy Azalea song "I'm so Fancy" gets stuck in my head when I look at wedding stuff. It started when I started trying on wedding dresses... mainly because I am not that girl who gets uber glam-ed up on a regular basis. Honestly, if you're not a Disney princess... other than your wedding day how often do you get to wear a ball gown? (wedding updates coming soon I promise)

With that said... over the course of the past 2 days... I have stumbled upon 3 different parodies of the song (all in different places mind you- so weird). All of which are pretty funny. It could be lack of sleep or my over active mind or even the fact that I spend all day by myself working from home that literally had me LOL at these. Who knows. Just thought they might be worth sharing :) There's a whole lot of "fancy" going on in this post... so if you're only going to watch one, I think the last one may be the best.

I'm so Married

I'm so Pregnant

I'm Not Fancy

Of course I can't conclude this post with out saying how the original Iggy Azalea video is just overall fantastic with its "Clueless" theme. Makes me want to go find my Clueless VHS. Of course I don't own a VCR anymore... Man.

And while I'm on this completely ridiculous rant... does anyone else think Charli XCX (featured in Iggy Azalea's song) sounds exactly like Gwen Stefani? For your listening pleasure.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

And the winner is...

Yellow! (if you follow me on instagram, you already knew this... but just go with the excitement people)

Our new front door has been painted yellow and I love it. Of course I couldn't stop there... so I had to paint the entry door to the garage as well... that one turned out in a light blue. I liked the blue so much- I will be painting the door that leads to the back yard (also from the garage) that color as well.

Why didn't you make them match? I've been asked about a dozen times now....

Because, I am me and I didn't want them to match. Plus D was on board with the two door colors so I can't complain. One yellow door is great... 2 yellow doors seems like overkill. Plus this was the perfect way for me to get two colors I wanted.

Of course I am sorta contemplating my wreath choice, but for now that one will do.

Paint Choices for Reference:
Yellow: Pantone Solar Power (Valspar)
Blue: Behr French Court

Now we just need to take care of those monstrous bushes (and a driveway) so you can actually see the house and we'll be all set... Anyone want to call "Curb Appeal" for me? :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Locks of Love

I have had long hair for most of my life. I have a love/hate relationship with my hair mainly because its in between curly and straight, but not quite the desirable wavy either. What I can say about my hair is that it's strong and thick. Perfect for making wigs.

Last year at some point I decided it would be a good idea to donate my hair to Locks of Love. And then... the world started spinning faster and about 8 months went by and I still didn't donate. In a way... that was a good thing because I also didn't get a hair cut. Sheesh. Well I finally did it.

You can see by the awful pictures I took exactly how long (and scraggly) it really was... I donated just about a foot of hair. It's a lot easier to take a picture of yourself when your hair is just that much shorter...
Locks of Love ::

For those of you who aren't familiar with Locks of Love, it's a great non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. For full information on how you can help, please visit their website.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

You know what's frustrating...

Shopping for a wedding dress. I have been searching for a dress I have fallen in love with in the Mori Lee line by Madeline Gardner. I have now called and emailed almost every bridal store that carries Mori Lee in the state of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

I am not done with the other New England states yet, but seems sort of ridiculous to travel to say Maine for a dress... but hey... people travel from all over the country to be on TLC's Say Yes to the Dress at Kleinfelds. Of course most of those people are spending my entire wedding budget and possibly more on just the dress... so I really can't compare.

I am frustrated.

I have found the dress online, but will not buy a dress with out trying it on. It's too much of an investment to leave it to chance.

I have found a few other dresses but am hesitant to purchase until I try on the one I have been chasing for a few months now. And what's worse is that there is no contact information on the companies website for me to even ask a question. And... to be fair... the style dress I am looking for seems to be harder to come by than anticipated.

Is it because it's a style brides in my area don't like? Am I being a weirdo?

Is it because that particular designer is not popular enough in my area?

Is it a sign that I shouldn't be bothered with this dress?

If I do ever find it... will I hate it in person?


PS- for the sake of keeping my dress a secret to D... I did not post the style number and or picture. Sorry for the boring post with no imagery... just had to vent for a minute.

Friday, April 18, 2014

I see a blue door and I wanna paint it...

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a red door. And yes... every time I think of a red door (or see a red door for that matter) I sing the "Paint it Black" song. The punk rock roots in me sing the Face to Face version instead of the original Rolling Stones version, but you get the idea. Babble, babble... C'mon get to the doors already!

As I was getting my mail one day, I decided my door needed a facelift. The door was in need of coat of paint anyway... why not make it more inviting- and less like a black hole? That night I told D I wanted to paint the door a bright color. He wasn't on board.... yet. I took some pictures, then created some photoshop overlays to see what it would look like. Here is what I came up with... :: Door Refresh
The original door perfectly matches the shutters...
Gold Door ::
Gold/Mustard Door
Red Door ::
Red Door
Yellow Door
Avocado Green Door ::
Avocado Door
Bright Blue Door ::
Bright Blue Door
Navy Blue Door ::
Navy Door (or similar to current door)
I toyed with the idea of an orangey-red door, but it didn't look quite right... So what do you think? Anyone have any thoughts on what color our door should be? As much as I love the red door idea, it might be a little to patriotic for me with our blue shutters...

Hoping to get the door painted in the next week or so. Check one more thing off my list :) Once I showed D the options, he could see what I was talking about... more of a visual "oh I get it" moment.

Please note: These colors aren't exact, they were just mixed via Photoshop. I will actually need to go get some paint samples at some point.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My very own COZYmade wreath...

handmade wreaths by COZYmade ::

So for the amount of time I have been making yarn wreaths... I have never had a full size one to call my own. Weird huh? I never really had a front door of my own in the amount of time since I began COZYmade.

For those of you who know me... know that all the pictures I take for the COZYmade shop were taken on the door of D's condo. The few that we're taken on a white door were taken at my mother's house. Of course at the time, I lived there... so technically I could say it was my door, but didn't feel like mine.

I just unpacked all of my COZYmade inventory to get ready to list into the shop, and realized I didn't have a wreath of my own. I am happy to state that I now have my very own wreath on my very own front door. Sure... our front door needs a coat of paint, but I couldn't resist putting a wreath up there in the meantime. 

handmade wreath by COZYmade ::

I am also happy to report (in case I haven't shared yet...) that we officially have a doorbell. And it plays all sorts of fun music. Clearly we needed the one with options- yet set it to the most boring "ding dong" there was. But next time you visit me and it's your birthday... be ready for a "happy birthday" doorbell greeting!

Monday, April 7, 2014

100 Happy Days Challenge

Every once in a while I stumble upon a blog I have never read before and immediately have to add it to my reader (I use Feedly if anyone is wondering). That happened recently with recently. If you haven't visited it yet- I highly recommend. It is the blog of graphic designer/illustrator Wita Puspita. I love her style and the blog is full of inspiration and freebies. Anyway... back to the topic.

Design is Yay is where I first saw the 100 Happy Days challenge (#100dayshappy). I thought it was a great idea and Daryl agreed. Typically, I am not into the hashtag challenges... but I liked the basic idea of this one. Visit Design is Yay for complete details.

Day 1... great... Then I slacked off on day 2 and 3. Guess it was harder than I thought. I am back to it though...

Want to partake? Go for it. You can follow me via instagram @uberstef. If you want to share your happy, leave a link in the comments below.

Day 1 (ps phone took the craziest picture of this)
Frame Grouping :: :: #100dayshappy Challenge
Day 2 (slightly late)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Staying Organized: Yarn, Yarn and more Yarn...

Yarn Storage ::
If you follow me on instagram (if you don't you should...)- you know that my living room has no space for living right now. It was basically the dumping ground for when we moved in. As we started to put things away, I was beginning to think that it wasn't that bad... mostly D's massive drum collection. But as he started to put his drums away... I noticed all my craft bins hiding underneath them.

Man I have a lot of stuff. 

Right now, the office/studio space in my home is full of bins. If you remember, the office I use to work in closed, and I basically didn't know what I wanted to keep from my cube, so I packed up everything I thought I might want and moved it home. The majority of the bins in my office are not craft stuff... so I should have known it was hiding elsewhere :)

I knew I wanted to find a storage solution for my yarn, because prior to now, I never knew what I had and was always digging. If I was impatient, I would just go buy the color I needed... (which is why I now have so much of certain colors). I thought I wanted the Expedit shelving unit from Ikea...

Expedit Shelf from Ikea :: Yarn Storage ::

I knew I didn't want something tall, and this seemed perfect. Until I measured the space where I wanted to put it and it was just a little too big. Sigh... on to the next idea.

I figured I would end up with those cube storage units from Target or Walmart, but was hesitant because they seemed so un-sturdy and the cube area seemed so small. I started browsing on and discovered this guy:

The Threshold 6 cube Organizer was the perfect solution. The height was the same and it was almost the same depth as the Ikea one, but it wasn't as long which is exactly what I was looking for. I ordered it (along with an entry way table which I am in love with and will tell you about later...) and when it arrived, I actually was excited to put it together and stuff it full of yarn. The result? 

Yarn Storage ::

Excellent. I fit 3 full sized storage bins of yarn into this amazing little shelf. The unit was deep enough to fit 2 skeins deep on each shelf (so 24 full skeins in each cube)... of the "Lion Brand Thick & Quick" yarn. The longer skeins, I could only fit one deep, but since I didn't have too many of those, I wasn't worried. Please don't do the math as to how many I fit in here, or you may want to call Hoarders. It actually scared me a little.

So 3 more bins down, about a million more to go. We did have a productive weekend though, more on that a little later.

Friday, March 7, 2014


So, I am kicking myself for not writing more posts lately. I keep thinking of great things to write, and have yet to have the time and sit down to write them. It's just one of those times where life is hectic....

Here is a short status update:

New Job: Crazy. Completely out of my comfort zone, doing new things, working crazy hours, commuting to New York.

New House: Crazy. D is about 2 carloads away from being completely moved in. But our living room is a complete disaster because it was more of a "just get it here, then we will deal with it" sort of move. We've both been so busy with work, its hard to find time when you don't want to just crawl into bed to do things. We have 3 rooms painted, and two more to go (plus some trim touchups)... We're basically living in the bedroom since it's the closest room to being done, besides my office where I spend all day sitting in a giant mess :)

Wedding: Tons and Tons of ideas.... no official plans yet. The original thought of having a Fall 2014 wedding has passed us. With everything else going on, it was going to be a long shot anyway. Right now we're aiming for Spring 2015... but no date has been set.

For now, thats what I have. I hope to have some house updates soon.