Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Month in review: November 2011

I like memories and numbers. Why not combine them for a look back at the month that was November 2011.

On the blog front, OliveObserver had:
—4,017 page views and 41 Google followers, both double my all-time numbers. Thanks to everyone for visiting, following and leaving awesome and encouraging comments.
—66 posts, including this one, which was the most popular, and this one, which was my personal favorite

olive observer button copy 3 200 x 200
—A new blog banner and buttons designed by the Paper Mama.

On the home front, I:
—Took more than 2,000 photographs.

My favorite

—Adopted a kitten.

—Read only two books. (Better luck next month, brain)

—had 97 Pinterest followers.

—And 380 Twitter followers.

How was your month?

WardrobeWednesday: DIY shoe projects

Most of my shoes are of the cheaper variety from Forever 21, Target or H&M. The mass retailers make cute shoes in large quantities, but there are a few ideas floating around out there on how to make them you-nique.

These chevron moccasins from sincerely kinsey play into my latest obsession, but they're also a great way to dress up a plain old pair of slippers.

I'd love to dress up a pair of flats like this by adding a bow and strap to turn them into some adorable mary janes.

Even just a touch a glitter can turn some plan old Forever 21 wedges into something special.

Miss out on all the good Missoni stuff at Target? Start your own craze with this take on a plain pair of canvas shoes.

And don't forget this pair of jimmy choo inspired gold-tips from say yes to hoboken.

Got any ideas of your own? I'd love some more links or ideas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TopTenTuesday: My Christmas wishlist


1. "The Marriage Plot" by Jeffrey Eugenides
2. Teak Carved Wine Rack from Gaiam
3. Minnesota love ring by Dreaming Tree Creations
4. Wood Camera iPhone 4/ iPhone 4S case from Photojojo
5. Color Bug by Kevin Murphy
6. Camera bag by Jo Totes 
7. Twig bobby pins by Woodland Belle 
8. Katja cap by Anthropologie (This was the winner from WhichOneWednesday a few weeks back) 
9. Custom return address stamp from Primele
10. North Dakota is almost a perfect parallelogram T-shirt by Raygun

Monday, November 28, 2011

Think positive thoughts

We must be having a bad year for pets. First Jimmy ran away and now I'm sitting at the animal ER because Trudy swallowed some string and it has to be surgically removed. My poor kitten!

Please send your positive thoughts and good vibes our way.

My littlest patient:

I heart faces: Bust a gut


Photo Challenges & Photography Tutorials

ScavengerHuntSunday via Ramblings and Photos







Knife / Fork / Spoon:


Rule of thirds:


Photo Challenge: "Smile" via The Paper Mama


My nephew Nate, with his sheepish grin. :)

The Paper Mama

MondayMust: Crazy for chevron

Like seemingly everyone else in the blogosphere, I'm crazy for chevron right now. I find myself doodling it. I buy knitting patterns in it. Almost bought a chevron handbag the other day. And my Pinterest is filled with all things chevron.

I especially love this DIY chevron stamp post. I want to make one and stamp the edges of my Christmas cards. What do you think?

Or check out this fabulous DIY chevron tote bag. Yes, please.

My next knitting project will involve the herringbone stitch, which creates a chevron pattern.

Or how about See Kate Sew's amazing chevron clutch. It's also on my project list.

And wouldn't this be a great DIY stocking stuffer for the coffee or tea lover in your life?

I'm also making one of these chevron mats for under the kitlets' litter boxes.

I haven't made a friendship bracelet in probably 15 years, but this post might just entice me to pick up the threads again.

And keeping with the chevron craze, Chelsey at The Paper Mama designed some great new buttons and a banner for my blogo. I'll be getting these up and running in the next day or so, but wanted to share them because I'm in love.

See. I told you I was crazy for chevron.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Introductions: Skinny Runner

Skinny Runner has one of my favorite blogs. Though she's much more dedicated to the sport of running, I still enjoy reading her posts daily. SR, who lives in southern California, but works on her dad's fishing boat in Alaska, was recently in my home state of North Dakota, so I caught up with her through email to see what she thought.

Date and reason for last trip to North Dakota?  
I flew out to North Dakota (ok, I admit South Dakota too) in October to go pheasant hunting with my dad.

How many times have you been to North Dakota?  
This is the 3rd time I've been.

Skinny Runner at Scheel's (a Midwestern sporting goods store for those of you who are unfamiliar).
What were your initial thoughts?  
Wow, Scheels is a big deal here!  And there's so much camo!
Everyone here talks about the weather, so it's required that I ask this question: What was the weather like when you were here?  
This year the weather was super mild, in the 50s-60s but the first year my husband and I went, it was snowing and freezing cold!
Most surprising thing about your trip?  
How friendly everyone is.  It's amazing, coming from CA where if you talk to someone they think you're either trying to rob them or swindle them.  EVERYONE was so nice and friendly in both North and South Dakota. I accidentally left my camera at the airport in Bismarck and the airport called UPS for me and had it sent right away.  In CA that baby woulda been long gone and in Mexico before I knew it was missing.

You're from SoCal; could you ever see yourself living in NoDak? Why or why not?  
I don't think it's in my future to live there.  Of course, I'll go where ever my husband's job is and where God leads us, but I love living on the West Coast and most importantly, closer to my family who are in Oregon and Washington.

Did the wide open spaces do anything for your running?  
Errrr no, since I didn't run once when I was there!  We did hike/walk about 24 miles while hunting so I guess that counts for something...

Where did you stay?  
In years past we've stayed at hotels in Linton, but this year I stayed with my parents in their motorhome that they drove from Oregon.

Do you plan to come back?  
I'm sure we will be back next year for me to attempt shooting something other than a cloud.  I'm a fantastically awful shot. 

Fargo has a big marathon every May, ever consider running it?  
I would love to!  I've heard only good things about it, I just haven't made it out that way in May and usually by then I'm heading up to Alaska to commercial fish for the summer.
Thanks for playing 20 (or so) questions, SkinnyRunner. And here's to hoping you make another stop in North Dakota some time.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sneak Peek Saturday: Crafternoon with Cristen


Can you guess what will result in a crafternoon with my bff Cristen when you start with a table full of this? Stay tuned for a DIY Friday project next week.

SaturdayObsessions: Candy cane Tootsie Pops

My mom first started buying these for me when I was in high school and has continued the tradition for well beyond a decade. And I still love them. In some ways it's probably that seasonal appeal that always makes me buy a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks every September. But these suckers (is that a Midwest thing? What do you call them?) are AAAWESOME.

Any other holiday snackeroos I'm missing out on?

As you read this, I'm headed out to western North Dakota for a belated Thanksgiving with the huz' family. I'm going to attempt mobile blogging, but we'll see how that goes.

Story Time Saturday: The wedding photos (Part 3)

This is a weekly, eight-part series where I'm going to share just a small part of my wedding with you: the invitations, the photos, the decor, my dress, my makeup, my wedding party, the music and the dance. Part 1 | Part 2

My college friend, Chris Franz, who is an amazing photographer, took picture for our wedding. He did such an amazing job.

Here are a few of our favorites:



It was — no lie — 20-below-zero the day of our wedding. And look at all that frickin' snow.








Friday, November 25, 2011

FridayConfession: My Black Friday purchases

There were definitely times last night during the Black Friday chaos that I wondered why anyone would do it. In some ways though, it is exciting and festive.

At the end of the night, at about 5 a.m I broke down and purchased these three items from Gap. I was so tired at the time that I don't even know if I grabbed the right sizes. It was all for myself, but hey, I earned it right? ;) Those sound like the words of someone who needs to be on "Intervention."

And just for the record, most of this stuff was under $20, not the original prices listed on Polyvore.

FridayinFargo: Unglued Christmas Market

New to downtown Fargo this week is a store that will be open the five weeks from now until Christmas. The Unglued Christmas Market was started by a couple that organized and indie / alternative craft fair last winter. I got a peek inside for this article I wrote at work, and it's full of some truly unique gift ideas. Unglued will also host five craft workshops, which you can sign up for on their website.

Where do you go for some one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Up all night

I've never done the crazy Black Friday shopping before, so I will get my first taste of it when I cover it live for the newspaper I work for.

Photo on 2011-11-24 at 19.05 #3
Anyone going to be up and want to follow me on Twitter as I chase down the crowds? Follow me on Twitter: HeidiShaffer.

GiveThanksThursday: thanksgiving

Today is the epitome of Give Thanks Thursday!

We are about to go walk some of that turkey and mashed potatoes off.

Crazy Cat Lady Thursday: Climbing the Christmas tree

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Can you believe it was two years ago that our big guy was this little guy? We got him right before Thanksgiving that year.

We put up our tree a little early this year, and our kitten, Trudy, enjoying our tree quite a lot.