Thursday, February 20, 2014

Change: The Living Room Is Almost Done (finally)

I picked up this painting from a yard sale that benefits the local historical society.
I'm even into the chipping.

It has finally happened. After being in my house for 4 years the living room has been painted. And all I can say is: why did I wait so long? I can't believe that I lived with that horrid light and color sucking purple for so long. Over the last 4 years I've painted swatches of light green, grays and buttery creams on the walls, but in the end I settled on a slightly warm white, Sherwin Williams Marshmallow. It is amazing how much better my living room looks now, it makes me happy every time I walk in the room. And because this room is the center of my home, I feel like it has made the rest of the house look better too.

The mood board I made a while ago finally coming to life. 

Of course there are still a few changes left to be made. The trim still needs to be painted, I want to redo the club chairs in a navy velvet (so they look a little more like the one above from West Elm) and I think that the wall with the Hi-Fi needs some art. But over all things are really looking good over here. Don't cha think?!?

P.S. The big before post if you want to know what the house looked like the day I bought it.

P.P.S. A whole lot more house-y stuff.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Eat: Donut Shop Cake

Happy Galentine's Day Friends! I made you a cake (well okay, I made myself a cake, but I'm going to tell you about it)! This is what I like to call a cheater cake, in other words a dressed up box cake. And it tastes just like dipping a glazed cake donut into a cup of coffee, so if that is your thing you are going to really love my Donut Shop Cake. But first we should talk about how wonderful it is to have friends you love so much you wish there was a day to celebrate your friend-love. I have been blessed with some really fantastic friends, but today I'm thinking about my Girls Night friends. Every Wednesday after the sun goes down a group of my friends get together for a night of chatting, bonding and snack eating. Over the years the group has ebbed and flowed, but at the heart there has always been my cousin Lydia, our BFF Mel and me these days Lydia's sister in-law Amanda, my sister in-law Kelsey and our cousin Naomi join us too. We have spent close to ten years laughing and sometimes crying, snuggling new babies and listen to one another's problems, its a place to share good news and process frustration, we care for, challenge and encourage one another. So today on this day that is all about celebrating Ladyfriends, the girls I'm thinking of are my sweet Girls Night crew. Happy Galentine's Day Lyd, Mel, Amanda, Kelsey and Naomi - I love you all bunches!

Now for some cake!

What you need:
Box White Cake Mix
1 cup of room temp coffee
4 tablespoons of half & half
1/4 cup powdered sugar

What you'll do:
1. Bake your cake - I just used a large round pan (you can make some cup cakes with the left over batter)
2. Mix your cream and coffee
3. Divide your coffee and cream in half, slowly mix in half with your powdered sugar to create a glaze
4. Once cake is somewhat cool pour the other half of your coffee mix over the cake (I popped the cake back into to pan so that the coffee could really soak in
5. Wait about 10 minutes, then put your cake on your plate and pour your glaze over the top
6. Top with heart shaped sprinkles, because you know Galentine's day is all about love!

Now invite a few of your closest gal-pals over, brew a pot of coffee and spread the love!!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Share: Blogs I Love - Food Blog Edition

Happy Friday friends! Maybe you've reached the end of your week and your brain is a little fried or maybe you are up in the middle of the night with a cranky baby or maybe you are curled up on the couch avoiding the cold. wherever you are this Friday I hope you are well. I thought I'd help you ease into the weekend by sharing a few of my favorite food/cooking blogs, you know the really good kind with pictures and recipes that make your mouth water and writing that makes you giggle. Who knows you might even find some inspiration for some weekend cooking.

Joy The Baker - My sister in-law makes her French Onion Pastry Puffs and they are Ahh-Mazing!

Shutterbean - I have made her Spinach Tortellini Soup twice and love it, easy to make and so tasty.

Take A Megabite - I'm new to Megan's site, but I already have my heart set on making her White Pizza with Lemony Greens (I mean come on!).

Sprinkle Bakes - Okay I've never made anything that she posts, it is all a little more than I have patience for, but sometimes you just need to look at pretty pictures of cake (right?), like this Cherry Vanilla Layer Cake.

Smitten Kitchen - This is how I can tell that Deb is a lady after my own heart, she has an entire section of Pumpkin and Winter Squash recipes!

P.S. I'm on the look out for a great Vegetarian Thai Soup recipe, so let me know if you have one.

P.P.S. You can always find more recipes I'm interested in on my Yummy Pinterest board.

P.P.P.S. My fave Building Something Good recipes are Watermelon Salsa and Farmers Market Bruschetta!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Make:: Tassel Keychain

This past week I ended up at the mall with my mom and realized that these tassels are everywhere so it seemed like a good time to pull out this project from back in November. This is a fun, quick and easy project that you can shop for and make in an afternoon.

Faux Leather
Large Split Ring
Glue (I just used some super glue I already had)

Step 1:
Cut fabric into one 2 in by 12 in strip and 2 in by 1/4 in strip
Cut fringe into larger strip of fabric, about a 1/4 in wide

Step 2:
Loop smaller strip of fabric around split ring and glue ends together.

Step 3:
Glue ends of small strip of fabric to the wrong side of the fringed fabric.

Step 4:
Glue and roll the fringe around the small strip until you reach the end.
** I found that it was easiest to put glue on a few inches and then roll it up until I reached the end. At the end I glued across the entire end so that you don't have any edges coming up.

Hook your keys on and enjoy!

P.S. I'm working on a project to make with the rest of your faux leather!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Read, Walk, Make, Live or Hello 2014!

Okay friends lets just get this out of the way, 2013 was not my favorite. Let's just say that I think I cried more days than not last year, so I'm really glad to let it go. But as Mr. Lewis wrote "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind" (my January theme). So it is onward and upward to better things for 2014. This year I'm being intentional and setting focus attainable goals for myself.

I knew that if I really wanted to be successful this year I needed to be focused in my goal setting. After thinking it through I came up with my 2014 plan, I'm setting 4 monthly goals based on the following words.
Read: For me read is a way of summing up learning. So it could be taking a class, learning a new skill or actually reading a book.

Walk: My word to encompass health and fitness. Working out, meditating or eating raw all fall into this category.
Make: The catch all project goal. Maybe I'll make a quilt or build a shelf or organize the heck out of my closets.
Live: It is about creating a better happier life. Visiting a friend, trips to the park or sister dates to the movies.

Ahh it feels good to have a plan. I'm sure a huge part of why I couldn't get ahead in 2013 is that I didn't set concrete goals and was kinda just floating along. And let me tell you folks the time for floating along is gone!

Finally this blog and you my readers are part of the plan. The first Sunday of every month is share the goals day. So to get things started here are my January goals
Read - Sewing class. I spent hours and hours helping my mom sew costumes in November and December and to return the favor she is going to help me up my sewing game, were talking zippers and pockets and darts. Oh My!
Walk - I'm 30 and it is time to figure out a vitamin plan (and stick to it) so this month I'm trying to build the foundation for the rest of my life and really get into the vitamin habit. And for good measure I'm going to toss a little detox in there too, not sure yet if I'll do a one, three or seven day one.
Make - This month is all about getting my house in order. I've been in my house for almost 4 years now and it is time to dejunk, so my January project is to get each room in my house down to a good base to build on.
Live - I'm taking myself on a trip to the Art Museum! It has been ages and what better time to go than when it is to cold to play outside?

Well there you have it, my plan to OWN 2014!

P.S. A few resources to help you get your 2014 off to a great start.
- 53 Inspiring Quotes
- 8 Ideas for a More Authentic, Joyful Home This Year (I really like #1 & #7)
- The Unstuck App
- Personal Victory Starter Kit (similar idea as my 2014 plan)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Live: Lost

Sunday night, as I was driving home from my mom and dad's house, I was thinking about how pleased I was with my weekend. I didn't get everything on my to do list done, but I got close. I mostly finished my of my Christmas shopping, I had set up the tree and done a little more decorating, I had spent hours helping my mom sew costumes, I'd had a few great meals with family, I enjoyed sleeping in a couple days and not changing out of my pjs until noon. I was running through a little get your week started right to do list in my mind, you know before I go to bed I'll do the dishes, wipe down the bathroom, figure out what to have to lunch tomorrow and maybe do a load of laundry. Over all I was pretty up. But then . . .

I arrived home to find; an ajar back door, scattered belongings, dumped drawers, open jewelry boxes, a smashed window and missing belongings. My heart was racing, my cheeks were flushed, it felt like a violation and I was just mad. But here's the thing, I realized pretty quickly that I wasn't really mad about the over turned drawers, the stolen gems or even the broken window. Sure it would have been nice to pass down the pearls I was given for my 21st birthday to a younger family member and yes it isn't fun to be forced into buying a new computer a few months before you are ready and I'm not really crazy about spending my home repair budget on a window when I really wanted to have water run for an ice maker. All of that is just stuff, stuff I liked, but not stuff that I need. As I was cleaning up broken glass I thought about this sermon I heard a few weeks ago. The pastor challenged us to think about the question; "if I lost this (whatever this may be) would I be okay?". Here I was faced with on a very small scale that illustration come to life. I lost things, just things and I was absolutely, completely okay.

So why was I mad? I was mad, actually mad isn't even the right word, I was disappointed. I was disappointed because I knew that someone was out there (with a backpack full of my stuff) that didn't get it. The couple hundred dollars they would get from pawning the things from my house wasn't going to make life any better. Maybe it would make things a little more okay for a short while, but not for long and surely spending your life taking what doesn't belong to you must make you so much more less okay than having the things makes like more okay. And that just makes me sad. Sad that there are people who feel like they need to do things like break into the homes of others and sad that there are times when I think that all the stuff is important and that the having of the stuff is what makes me okay.

Finally, I'm going to leave you with maybe the most surprising turn of event in this whole ordeal. I've been feeling really inspired to let go of some of the stuff I've just been hanging on to. I think it is time to pass along unworn necklaces and say good bye to ever used purses, because I really just don't need that stuff.

P.S. To lighten the mood; Enjoy this great cover from Tuesday's episode of The Voice.

P.P.S. I loved this article about why people invite you to come to church. And would you like to come to church with me?

P.P.P.S. Buzzinga, what a way to get back into blogging. I promise I have more fun posts coming very soon!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Make: All Of My Days Baby Blanket

I keep trucking along when it comes to making baby blankets for the baby boom happening around me this year. I am kinda behind and have (let's face facts) kinda given up on finishing any of them before a baby is born, but I'm rather pleased with the way the 2013 blankets have been turning out. I worked this one up for my cousin Hannah's baby boy and it was delivered to him way back in June, so I'm glad I've finally gotten around to writing about it!

For this blanket I used on of my go to made up patterns. I think even an inexperienced crocheter could make this as you only really need to know how to do single crochet (sc), half double crochet(hdc) and double crochet (dc).

Pattons Classic Wool in Lemon Grass and Aren
Lion Brand WoolEase in Navy (I think, it was left over from a frogged project, but I can't seem to find it on the Lion Brand website)

Body of Blanket:
Work in Color 1 (Lemongrass)
Row 1: chain in multiples of 2 until you have reached your desired length.
Row 2 - end: dc in first stitch (st), cross stitch (skip st, dc into next st, dc into skipped st - here is a good video showing how to do this.) until 2nd to last st, dc into last st, chain 3, turn.
Row 3-? repeat row 2 until the blanket is this size that you desire.
Border of Blanket:
Work in Color 2 (Navy)
hdc around edge of blanket
Work in Color 3 (Aren)
sc, hdc, 3dc into same st, hdc - repeat around edge of blanket.

As is my want, I have named this baby blanket after a song I like - please take a listen.

All My Days by Alexi Murdoch on Grooveshark
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