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Happy New Year! 5 Best Posts of 2012

As this year comes to a close, I sit and think, what am I grateful for? At the moment I'm grateful for fuzzy socks and chap stick. I'm grateful for heaters (it's freaking 60 degrees out there!).  I'm grateful the Mayans didn't account for leap year, or continental drift, or some such, and that our planet is still up and kicking. Go Earth!

Silly Mayans. When will you leave the End of the World predictions to the professionals, like the Zombie Apocalypsers? (If you are Mayan, take no offence. I realize you had no part in your ancient ancestor's calculation errors.)

Chances are, if they're making a movie about it, don't put it down in your day planner.

I'm Still Here!
Since we're all still here, I thought I'd mention some big plans for Clever Nest in the coming year!

Can you believe I've been doing this blog thing for almost a year now? Thanks for hanging in there for my nonsense and shenanigans, on my quest for classy surroundings on a 99 cent store budget! If you like what you saw this past year, you'll love what you see in 2013! Barring zombie apocalypses of course.

Some exciting things you'll see in the new year:

  • More giveaways! :) Who doesn't love free stuff?
  • New logo and header, spiffying up this here blog!
  • Easier to use project gallery (aka battling my old archenemy, HTML). My current set up over there on the Projects tab is a bit sad.
  • More gratuitous baby pictures. Say cheese!
  • More shenanigans! I may actually post more than once a week in the future! (we'll see)
I Know about Popular
It has been a great year. To celebrate, and steep in some serious back patting, I looked up my 5 most popular posts in 2012.

Funny. All 5 were total surprises. See, some posts I slave over for days, tweakity tweaking til it's just right. And sometimes I pop one out over lunch for fun.  And wouldn't you know it, those were the winners!?

So in future I'll be putting in half the effort and expecting to reap unimaginable success. Bring it on.

Here they are, starting with #5! :)

#5. The One Minute Scarf Necklace
This easy wardrobe upcycle came out in May, and has gotten 2838 views and counting so far!

This colorful chunky necklace was easy to make and goes with a lot of outfits. Grab an old scarf and give it a try sometime!

Click here to see this post!

#4. The Knotty Necklace
I busted this necklace out for Andrew's nautical themed first birthday in September, and it's gotten 2868 views and counting.

I love the bold, chunky contrast of the colors. While it may be slightly intimidating for beginners, I bet once you see the step by step you'll be willing to give it a go too. Necklace, ahoy!

Click here to see this post!

#3. Purdy Paper Stars
Something to do with that leftover wrapping paper! I'm glad I learned how to fold these stars. It's a one-cut, impress-your-friends wonder.

These guys are so versatile they could be used for a New Year's party, birthday, 4th of July... the options and paper choices are endless.

I shared these this month along with 2 other easy garlands. So far it's gotten 3452 views!

#2. DIY Mod Podge Experiment!
Coming in at #2 most popular post was a big surprise. Who knew DIY Mod Podge could create quite a stir? Number #2 on my list with 6724 views is a Mod Podge post I shared in July.

I wanted to know if do-it-yourself Mod Podge worked as well as the real deal.

My findings? surprising!

Am I going to make you click through to see them? yes!

Click here to see this post!

And, now for the most popular post of all in 2012. With a whopping 7718 views (!!!) is a craft I literally threw together one day in April. Reinforcing my new lackadaisical work ethic for 2013.

The #1 Most Popular Clever Nest Post 
of 2012 is...

The key to this magic- one step, practically-nothing-to-it diy = max effect. I still love the way this cheery little pot turned out! When I do pot I do it right, mm kay?

One Successful Year
I love looking back every now and then. I've had so much fun creating, sharing, and complaining with you guys this year! You guys are awesome. Let's make 2013 infinitely more awesomer.
(source: urban poetry)

Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve! We will be the coolest house on the block, busting out the sparkling apple cider around 9pm. It'll be New Year's on the east coast by then! and we can go to bed early, cause babies know no holidays.

<3 Alyssa

Holiday House Tour 2012

Holiday House Tour

Merry Christmas from the Wines! We are spending the day with my family today and Jason's family tomorrow. I hope you have a great day with family and friends, and if you get a sec away from the presents and yummy food, check out my Christmassy house tour!

I've been waiting til now to share my decor, the glue gun has cooled, the good scissors are hidden again, and the crafting is DONE. Take a look around :)

I decorated my entry way, making the piano the focal point in this room. Got to keep things on shelves and on walls, anywhere high up away from Andrew's reach!

I tried to keep a common theme in every area I decorated. I put something natural, something metallic  and something quirky in every vignette.
At the piano meant, a glass vase filled with brass, gold, and silver ornaments with a pine bough stuck in and a glass tree filled with mini pine cones.

These vintage ornaments I found at the thrift store make beautiful vase filler!

My quirky element was this glittery church ornament. $1 from Walmart.

Here is the pine bough I shared a week ago. It's hanging with some shiny ornaments hangs next to the piano.

These are a collection of cheapo dollar ornaments and a few nice ones from Kohl's. I love putting nicer quality items with inexpensive ones. If you're sneaky about it, most people can't tell half the decor came from the dollar bins of Target, hahaha. 

Unless of course you tell the world what you did on a blog.

By the front door I added a few festive things to our catch-all entry table. There it is again, something natural, something metal, and something quirky in the form of a bottle brush lion ornament I bought this year.

 I love him ;) This will be Andrew's ornament. I plan to carry on a tradition of buying each child an ornament every year. By the time I was married I had a whole tree full or ornaments to put up!

Speaking of tree, our 6 footer stands in the corner of our living room. Protected from curious baby hands by our two couches. So far Andrew hasn't shown much interest, thankfully! He's still too short to climb over the cushions. We may have to revise our plan for next year.

I picked up some new ornaments to fit my new color scheme- metals, white, and green. Loving this sailboat from Kohl's. I am tempted to keep it out all year and find a permanent home for it. 

There's also some pretty special ones up for the first time. Andrew's tiny hand print is one that we did last year and I cherish.

Around the room on all the windows is my paper star garland. They are fun and elegant at the same time!

Our dining room is still a bit bare. I still need to find a buffet and hang some art on the wall. For now I'm using this big blank wall to showcase an ornament wreath I made. I didn't get around to sharing the step by step, but there are so many great tutorials out there already I figured I'd let them speak for themselves.

Bottom line- it was so easy and the result is {imho} stunning!

Out front on our porch are some familiar faces. 

The stick wreath is still holding up great. Although I get a poke now and then if I try to pass by without opening the door wide enough. Merry Christmas! Let me put your eye out as you enter my house!!

And the frosty pine cones are looking great tied to the lamp.

A last minute addition was some glittery mini poinsettias placed in my rosemary topiary. Definitely a little quirky. It kind of reminds me of the back of the Grinch's head, with some flowers stuck on. Maybe it's Mrs. Grinch.

We survived ya'all. Christmas is here, and we can take a breather from crafting, shopping, and pinning for one afternoon and ENJOY the fruit of our labors. 

I'm so blessed to have my sweet guy and little guy in my life. I'm so thankful for the life we have and for Jesus who makes this season so sweet!

Be safe, and have a wonderful Christmas!

Ah Christmas, That Sneaky time of Year

Happy Saturday!
I'm squeezing in a few minutes on the blog before I gird up my skirts for some serious house cleaning and prepping for our Christmas party.

Are you surviving? Are you glad that there's only 2 more shopping days til Christmas, or does that fact send shivers down your spine like it does mine?

Hang in there! We'll make it through, and hopefully enjoying some family, friends, and good times with the ones we love too along the way.

Jason was talking about his Christmas shopping, (which mainly consists of boxes showing up at our door) and we discovered one interesting aspect about this season of love and goodwill toward men.

Here's my very own Christmas ecard to you.

It's true! I'm an open book the rest of the year. No secrets, no undisclosed credit cards (do department stores count? no.). And yet, now at the time to celebrate Jesus, you know, the guy who is generally agreed to be AGAINST sneaky business and such, we are encouraged to bust out the covert ops behind our husbands' backs!

In fact, we're actually measured by our prowess at lying, misleading, and otherwise throwing them off our scent. "Does your husband know? No? Wow, you are amazing! And it's hidden where? right under his nose? You're the man!"

We go about buying and hiding, sneaking and fibbing like it's another Martha Stewart skill to master for the holiday season, like tri level gingerbread houses with working AC in them.

That's just not fair.

Not to say I can't buy expensive things and hide them in the house and tell a bold faced lie to my husband if I had to. It's the other 11 months of the year I'm worried about.

Jason says it's ok, as long as on Christmas day all the secrets come out of the closet, literally.

I'll try to be back on Christmas Eve with a house tour. Ok, time to wrap my cleaning bandana around my head and strapping my dust rags to my belt.


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