Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday

I'm linking up with Five on Friday for real this week, y'all. Not sure what's going on with the bottom half of the logo... (Update: And now it looks fine.)


{one} Sorry about the lack of posts this week. It was crazy busy at work, and then I hurried home to cook a wholesome meal for Husband, do the laundry, and dust the baseboards collapse on the couch and watch Criminal Minds. Does anyone else have a weird fascination with Criminal Minds? It's such an engaging show, but I'm worried that there might be something wrong with me because I like it so much.

{two} I've been eating lots of this Greek yogurt (it was on sale at Kroger, and I love it!) and drinking Snapple tea and lemonade this week. My lunch typically consists of some sort of peanut butter sandwich, fruit, and yogurt. In other news, I like eating like a five-year-old.

This particular day the Snapple didn't make it until lunchtime, so I refilled the bottle with water for the picture. It is that good.

{three} I made a book paper leaf wreath this week and found pumpkin doilies at the dollar store, so be looking for a fall mantle post coming next week. I, like all other bloggers ever, am so excited for autumn, and I'm ready for the inside of my house to reek of fall even if the temperatures outside are still soaring.

{four} We got to go to a baseball game last weekend courtesy of my generous in-laws, and it was a lot of fun. I enjoy junky stadium food (just not the inflated prices), the home team won, and it was free jersey night, so I officially have a hometown jersey now. I guess I really live here. :)

{five} And my big news from last week is that starting September 9, I will only be working part-time. I am so looking forward to having more hours in the week to devote to taking care of the things I'm passionate about: Husband, our home, and writing on this blog!

Have an awesome long weekend, and fill it up with things you're passionate about.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Husband Juggles Fire

Our church had an end-of-summer bash last week, which included bounce houses, free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, and Husband juggling fire. It got rained out early, but the first couple hours were a lot of fun.

Here's photographic proof that my Husband is awesome. Photo provided by one of the ministers at church because I fail at bringing my camera anywhere ever.

The head directly behind the cow is mine. I am thinking, "Why is the person in the cow costume standing so near the juggling torches? Is his or her vision so obstructed inside that cow head that they don't know what's happening? Dear goodness, please don't let the cow costume catch on fire. That would scar these children for life."

I was also concerned about small children running around near the torches. Apparently I am a worry-wort. But, thankfully all's well that ends well, and no one got in the line of fire (literally). Husband rocked it because he's awesome like that, and I finally got to see him juggle fire.

Keeping those juggling torches in our closet all this time was totally worth it. Have a safe (and fun) day!

Long, blessed week

It's been a busy week filled with lots of intrigue, but all ended well. This scripture has been on our chalkboard the last couple weeks, and it's been a blessing as I tried to figure out where God wanted me to go. I'll share my good news soon (it does not include a baby, grandma), but I need to wait a bit.

Suffice it to say, we ordered pizza last night, and I opened the door in yoga pants and paid the delivery guy with a roll of quarters. It was that kind of week. I couldn't remember how much cash I had in my wallet, and I changed into comfy clothes as soon as I walked in the door from work.

Anyway, Husband and I are excited to go to a baseball game tonight with our sister and brother-in-law. The weekend is shaping up to be the perfect combination of relaxation and fun.

Since my brain is mush, I'll just share a few links that I found worth reading/viewing this week.

Real Simple Smart Decorating Tricks for Any Space

Husband and his music friends have been sharing this on facebook. It has been viewed at least a dozen times in our home. Just watch it, and thank me later.

I'm not secretly an introvert; I'm very upfront about it. (Read this post.) But, this article is a great read.

As is this one I saw on Cup of Jo.

Have a rejuvenating weekend!

Monday, August 19, 2013

August Birthdays

It seems like everybody in our family has a birthday in August. What's nine months before August? Just kidding. I don't want to know. Why would you ask that? Awkward.

Anyway, I also love the dollar store. Seems unrelated, right? Not since I found knock-off washi tape at our local store and decided to make birthday cards with it. I went to the dollar store with Husband since he needed puzzles for a team-building exercise and I needed more hot glue sticks. See this post for the reason why. (Why I needed hot glue sticks, not why he wanted to make people be more team-like.)

Lo and behold (did I use that right?), I found pseudo-washi tape and grabbed a couple rolls for a dollar. Washi tape is buzzing right now in the blogosphere and Pinterest. It's like chevron patterns and those striped paper straws: everywhere.

So, I grabbed it and crafted some oh-so-easy birthday cards to mail out for some of those impending birthdays.

Confession: I am the worst at remembering and acknowledging birthdays, so I have already let a few slip by this month without a card. I'm looking at you, Rainey. Happy super belated birthday, cousin who is entirely too old for her own good.

Confession #2: My dollar store tape was more like scotch tape (very shiny and plastic-like) than real washi tape, but I am cheap, and it totally worked for these cards.

Here are the results. All of these cards use the "washi" tape and a few other scrapbooking supplies I had lying around. Total cost: $1, and I have quite a bit of tape left.

I made a few that didn't live up my standards of just how something made by me should look, so I ripped off the tape and started over. Inspiration for these designs is courtesy of Pinterest, and then I added my own twist to each card. Feel free to pin these if you want to make your own or want to encourage me. Also, please excuse the fact that I am obviously not a photographer and used my iPhone to take these pictures.
Happy August, y'all, whether it's your birthday or not!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Five on Friday, er, Saturday

I had the best intentions to post this yesterday and link up with the Five on Friday group, but then life happened. And it's Saturday. Oh well. I'll try again next week.

Here are some of the things I'm enjoying this week:
    1. Antenna TV shows Gidget on weekends, and Sally Field always manages to get herself into delightful scrapes. Some of her "morals" at the end of the episodes are laughable, but I enjoy watching her antics on the beach and at school dances, and everything always works out in the end because it's an old TV show, and that's how TV worked back then.

    2. Husband is learning how to make balloon animals because being a cellist who can unicycle and juggle fire doesn't make him awesome enough.  Yes, he can do all of the things listed in the previous sentence. In fact he has done all of these things this week (except for riding a unicyle, as far as I know.)

    Jealous? He's pretty much the best, and I'm excited to see what other carnival tricks he learns as the years go on. :)

    3. I've replaced coffee with tea for the time being, and I'm loving this iced tea I make with the Keurig. Anything that I can make with the Keurig and shorten the time between me and a delicious drink is a winner in my book. I add a few shots of lemon, and it's awesome anytime of day. Especially since it's approximately one million degrees outside right now.

    4. Also, since it's approximately one million degrees outside, I am spending a lot of time indoors dreaming about fall. Fall is awesome because it gets cooler, I get a year older (in October, in case you want to start shopping), I can wear some of my favorite clothes, and I drink pumpkin spice lattes. Anyone else love pumpkin spice and gingerbread lattes? I like the Starbucks variety, but to be budget-friendly I might need to search Pinterest for a recipe I can make at home.

    5. I'm reading Anna Karenina on my Kindle. I've never read it before. I know, bad English major; you can stop shaking your head and furrowing your brow at me. It's taking a while because it is approximately one million pages long (sensing a theme here? maybe that I'm crazy impatient and tend to exaggerate), but I like it so far, and like Moby Dick, I feel like it's on a not-so-short list of books I should read since I claim to be educated and a lover of the written word.

    That's all for now. Happy weekend, y'all!

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Polka Dot Wall Displays

    One of the trends I'm into right now is any sort of three-dimensional wall display that looks like polka dots or bubbles. I also really like polka dots and bubbles generally, like on cardigans or in the backyard. I used to keep a bottle of bubbles in my car in case of emergency/opportunity for blowing bubbles. True story.

    I wanted to exit into a sea of bubbles at our wedding, but Husband thinks if you stay to the end of a wedding you should be rewarded by getting to throw something. Hence, he has thrown several bubble bottles at unsuspecting couples, so that was out since I didn't want vengeful brides throwing the little bottles at me. Sigh.

    Back to wall displays. I've been seeing some beautiful inspirations using plates and embroidery hoops (both of which I think I can pick up gradually at thrift stores for cheap). Since our house is still new to us, I have lots of wall space to play around with, and there's a wall in my kitchen that's just begging for a display of plates.

    There's another wall in my craft/puzzle room (Yes, I am that cool. I have a puzzle room.) that will someday be beautifully covered with embroidery hoop/fabric art.

    Here are some of my favorite inspiration displays:

    I love the single color display with lots of interest added with the various shapes and patterns of the plates. White looks clean, and if I paint my kitchen walls teal like I'm planning to, the white will pop.

    The symmetry and personalized address in the middle are beautiful here. The single pattern blue/white plates mixed with the white palette cohere without being uniform.

    I'm a sucker for greens and blues, and this display manages to be eclectic without looking like she just stuck random plates on the wall. Hooray for using color as a unifying element!

    I'm kind of newly in love with her blog. The parties and sewing projects and recipes all make my mouth water. And how delightful is this wall from her daughter's nursery?

    via Aedrial
    This beautifully simple display uses fabric scraps that tie in with the other fabrics used in the room, and I really like the name as the center of the circles.

    What my walls end up looking like will depend on what I find at my local thrift stores and how patient I can be in building my collection, but with such brilliant inspiration, I'm excited to get started.
    Have a bubbly day!

    Monday, August 12, 2013

    Trying to Show Up

    Hey, y'all.

    In case you were wondering, I'm assuming there is more than one person out there reading this; I do not use y'all as a singular noun. Inquiring minds want to know, and I aim to please. End tangent.

    I'm going to try to show up more often around here (read: at least once a week). Maybe I'll write about my favorite recipes or the awesome crafts I enjoy whipping up, or maybe I'll just muse about life and faith and the hilarity that will inevitably ensue.

    We shall see. But, I'll be trying to do it less sporadically. Consider this your warning, or invitation to check in more frequently, or whatever.

    And if you have any requests or suggestions about what you'd like to hear from me, please let me know.

    Have a blessed day!

    Saturday, August 10, 2013

    Crafty Saturday

    I've been feeling extra crafty lately and we've been recommitting to live on a budget, so buying a side table to refinish or a canvas to decoupage every time I want to make something isn't an option.

    So this morning I made something for free with stuff that's been cluttering up my craft room.

    I used:

    • an old 81/2 by 11 frame
    • moss from the dollar store
    • a page from an old atlas
    • cardboard
    • lots of hot glue
    • some Mod Podge
    • a paintbrush (to apply the Mod Podge)
    • scissors

    And I made this:

    Warning: This project used lots more hot glue than I was expecting, and I will be making a trip to the dollar store soon to replenish my glue sticks.

    I saw the inspiration for this project on another blog and decided I could make my own without buying anything. (She has a lot of cute projects, so you should check out her blog.) She used a wooden letter, moss strips and burlap for the background, but I didn't have those, so I mixed it up and made it cheaper 'cause I'm cheap like that customized the project just for me.

    First, I made my letter out of cardboard scraps. I just cut freehand and then layered the cardboard to get the right dimensions. If you want to make a less boxy letter, it might help to cut out a pattern.

    Then, I assembled the letter and hot glued the cardboard pieces together. I did this in layers, and the middle of the cardboard letter is hollow.
    In the meantime, I disassembled my frame. I ended up using a different frame than the picture above because it is frame mecca in my house right now, and I had lots of choices.

    So I went in another direction because the frame pictured above is assembled with staples, and taking out the staples would mean there was nothing to hold the background in the frame. Which would defeat the purpose of completing a simple craft project...that's too much troubleshooting for a picture frame, and I like Norman Rockwell, so I left it as is and picked another frame.

    The next step (phew, glad that frame rant is over) is to start hot gluing moss to the letter. I found that it works best if you put a little bit of hot glue in a small area and then apply a lot of moss and layer it as you go.
    Don't worry if it looks patchy or if the moss is out of control along the edges and you can't see the shape of the letter. We'll fix that later.

    Also, please be careful not to burn your fingers too often while pressing the moss into the hot glue. Or, at least don't blame me if your fingertips are blistered. I'm a hot glue/Mod Podge savant, so these things don't usually slow me down when crafting.

    After the front is covered, add hot glue to the sides of the letter, and fill in the border of the letter with more moss.

    You'll end up with something that looks scraggly and messy, but don't worry. Just use some scissors to trim excess moss from the edges and then use the trimmed scraps to fill in any holes on the front of the letter.

    Next, I grabbed a sheet of cardstock, and picked out a page from the atlas index to be my background. I cut the cardstock to fit in the back of the frame and then folded the atlas page around the cardstock. I grabbed my trusted Mod Podge (from the living room since I used it last week to create something for my sister-in-law) and layered it on the background page. Note to self: Get more Mod Podge.

    Then, I wrote most of this blog while the Mod Podge dried. I layered it on a little thick, but once it dried, I just secured it in the frame, and hot glued the letter to the background.

    I think it turned out great, and now my fancy-smancy moss letter frame is hanging out on a table in the front room of my house. (Please excuse the lighting in the picture. It's rainy here, and I'm impatient.) And if I decide I want to repurpose the frame later, I can just add back the glass and call it a day.

    Craft completed before lunch on Saturday = success in my book. Have a beautiful weekend, and find joy in the simple (free) things in life!