Burlap Clip Frame

Hi!

It’s been awhile, but today felt like a great day to blog. It’s kind of thunderstormy outside, so why not craft!? With all of the tornado warnings we have been getting lately anyway, I prefer to stay home (because I’m a huge baby when it comes to wind). Besides, the other day I was driving in my car and all the music on the radio was so miserably terrible. Literally every station. You know the music sucks when you are flipping through channels and stop on a jingle to a commercial.

I also wanted to tell you something ridiculously stupid I thought to myself yesterday while I was driving. I was leaving the gym and in such a hurry to get home because I was going to be late for an appointment, and the light in front of me turned yellow, and I thought to myself, “I don’t have time for yellow lights!”…Now first off, I think what I wouldn’t have time for is in fact red lights, not yellows. Secondly, what a stupid thing to think to yourself haha. I just started laughing by myself because it seemed like a really pathetic thing to think. You with me?…no?

Burlap Clip Frame

So this is a simple and inexpensive way to make a fun frame! You get to pick whatever color, or colors, you want it to be and it will be different from your other frames! Plus, you don’t have to just use it for pictures, you can put your kid’s artwork in it, reminder notes, a letter or poem etc.

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What You Need:

  • Frame (with or without glass- you will be discarding the glass, but do want a backing) – Goodwill is a great place to get these frames for cheap
  • Burplap (they have these in the scrapbooking section at craft stores in 8 x 10″ sizes- otherwise you can buy a large burlap sheet and cut out the size you need)
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Alligator Clip
  • Hot glue

Directions:

Step 1: If you are shopping for a frame, keep in mind that it can be an artwork frame or any other kind of frame you find. Take the, more than likely, ugly centerpiece out of your frame. Look at what was in mine:

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Step 2: Accept that some people like certain things that you will NEVER understand.

Step 3: My frame was an old ugly brown type of wood. Because it was wood though, I didn’t need to sand it. If yours has some sort of finish or gloss on top, you may need to sand it to get the new coat of paint to stick. I liked the unfinished wood look that it looked like after I painted it, so I left mine that way.

Step 4: Take the backing and everything out of the frame and lay it on newspaper to paint. Paint!

Step 5: Take the burlap and cut it to the size of the backing. Hot glue it to the backing. Put glue around all the edges, and a little in the center. You don’t want to use too much because it will seep through or shows bumps.

Step 6: Once everything is dry, put the backing with the burlap glued on, back into the frame. Glue a little strip of hot glue on the back of the alligator clip.

All done!

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Jewelry Box Pillow

Heyo!

Have you ever noticed that no matter how you put your headphones away, the cord is always tangled? I think about this everyday at the gym. I normally take my time wrapping the cord around my ipod so that it doesn’t get tangled and I even leave a little bit of slack around where the headphones plug in so I don’t ruin the cord around the plug. But it’s all for nothing. I honestly could just throw them in a ball in my bag and they would come out just the same. It just doesn’t make sense..!

..Similar, actually, to how I siphon my dads eye drops when I’m running low instead of just buying a new bottle. I’ve been doing this for years with my same little bottle that fits so nicely in my makeup bag. But, it too just doesn’t make sense..

Something that does make sense though is turning music up in the car loud enough that I can’t hear myself sing! 🙂

Jewelry Box Pillow

If you’re like me, you might take your wedding/engagement (what do I call it?!) ring off to shower every now and then, or maybe it’s your earrings, or a nice necklace, or perhaps its just a cheap blingy ring you got at Forever 21 that will turn your finger green if you get it wet. Either way your jewelry sometimes ends up on the bathroom counter because you forgot to leave it in your room. Based on the fact that I once slide something down the bathroom counter which accidentally knocked my cell phone into the toilet, I know that accidents can happen. And important things can get lost in the sink drain, or the toilet as the case may be. So. I came up with a simple little storage idea for my rings, earrings and necklaces for when I shower!

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What you need:

  • Jewelry box – I got mine at Michaels for $2
  • Fabric- only a few inches…depending on the size of your jewelry box (I used 3 different colors)
  • Tissue paper for stuffing
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors

Instructables:

Step 1: Measure your box.

Step 2: Cut strips of fabric that are slightly longer than your box. This is so that the fabric can form the vertical edges of the pillow as well.

Step 3: Lay the strips out flat (I used three different kinds). Sew strip 1 and strip 2 together on one edge. Then sew strip 3 to the now large strip of 1&2 on one edge. They should be laying flat in a row.

Step 4: Repeat which three new strips. This will form the bottom of the pillow.

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Step 5: Sew the outer edges of the top three strips to the outer edges of the bottom three strips. Once you’re done you should have a full circle of fabric that you could stick your hand through like a bracelet.

Step 6: Sew one end of the gap closed. Sew the strip 1 on the top to strip 1 on the bottom, etc. Repeat with 2 and 3.

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Step 7: Sew the other end of the gap closed, ONLY ON strip 1 on the top to strip 1 on the bottom and strip 2 on the top to strip 2 on the bottom. Do not sew strip 3 on the top to strip 3 on the bottom yet. Leave your needle and thread attached.

Step 8: Stuff some tissue paper inside. Use scissors to help pack it in. You can use cotton, plastic bags, stuffing…anything. I liked the tissue paper so I could compress it down if it was too tall for my box.

Step 9: Finish sewing strip 3 on the top to strip 3 on the bottom.

Step 10: Insert your new pillow into your jewelry box and rest assured that your jewelry is now safe when you leave it in the bathroom.

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Easter Planter Display

Morning!

So the next thing that I tell you will either go completely over your head, or you may be able to relate. Have you seen Les Miserables? Have you heard One Day More? Does it randomly get stuck in your head? I wake up singing it sometimes, it pops into my head at random times throughout random days, and then it stays put for awhile. It seems to always be ‘one day more’ of One Day More.

I haven’t been able to decide if it’s a good or a bad thing yet. It could be a much worse song. I went through a phase of having this song from Land Before Time stuck in my head all day every day for about a week and I actually got scared that it would never go away and I would slowly lose my mind. So. One Day More. I like the song. I mean, come on, it really is a great one. But. Even too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. I’ll let you know if it becomes a problem. In the meantime though, try your hardest not to worry about this extreme situation I’m in 😉

Easter Planter Display

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I have been wanting to do this planter display for so long, and finally the time has come. Easter! My pastor makes such a good point every year: don’t rush over Good Friday, it’s an important part, but as Christians we definitely look forward to Easter Sunday! This planter is something neat you can leave out over Passion Week to see the grass grow and serve as a

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important reminder of what Jesus did for us!! He gave His life for ours. He paid our debt with His blood. I encourage you to take a minute (AT LEAST) to think about the reality of that. I think we all get so used to hearing this piece of history that we can become desensitized to what it actually means for Him to love us so much!

Have you ever needed forgiveness? Have you ever sinned? Have you ever given up on somebody after their 5th, 10th, 100th chance? Jesus doesn’t. And in fact, knowing all of our faults, and mistakes, and flaws He still chose to trade His life for ours. He loves all of us that much.

Have you accepted Him as your Savior? It’s free, thanks to Him!

What You Need:

  • Large Terra Cotta bowl (or a wanna-be one from the $1 store made out of plastic)
  • Mini Terra Cotta pot
  • Medium sized round-ish rock that is approximately the size of the mini terra cotta pot’s opening
  • Lots of little rocks
  • Dirt
  • Chia pet kit, or some ‘grow-grass yourself kit’ that contains the following (you could also try acquiring the 2 items separately, however, I have not done it that way):
    • Vermiculite (supports root growth)
    • Grass Seeds
  • Sticks from a tree for the crosses
  • Thick sting
  • Glue gun (optional)

Instructions:

Step 1: Scoop a bunch of dirt in the large pot. Half way through, set the mini terra cotta pot on its side and build a mound of dirt over it. Don’t cover the opening. Leave half of the large pot (the part outside of the mini terra cotta pot’s opening) at a lower level of dirt. Also, leave a few inches from the top.

Step 2: Add the medium sized rocks to the side of the mini terra cotta pot’s opening (this represents the rock the angel rolled away from the entrance of Jesus’ tomb). Add all the small rocks to the lower level of dirt area (the part outside of the mini terra cotta pot’s opening).

Step 3: Spread the vermiculite generously over the rest of the exposed dirt area (i.e. the mound).

Step 4:  Break the branches into 6 pieces for the 3 crosses. You want the vertical pieces to be longer than the horizontal pieces. I made the cross in the center a little larger than the other two (these represent Jesus the two thieves on the cross). Put a dab of hot glue to glue the pieces together and then wrap the string around where the pieces intersect and stick them into the dirt.

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Step 5: Sprinkle the grass seeds all over the vermiculite. Make sure to water the seeds everyday.

Step 6: Let it grow! <– another song that always gets stuck in my head from The Lorax (it’s worth it though)


 

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Love In A Bottle

So today I’ve decided I’m going to start off by sharing with you something I love and something I’m afraid of (other than snakes…and car washes):

Fear:

Opening champagne bottles. I recently had a fun movie night with a friend, and intended to bring some wine, but instead I grabbed champagne. Which was fine. It was good. But opening it was my least favorite part. It’s actually scarier than opening cinnamon rolls because you risk the cork flying into your eye. And normally when champagne is had there are lots of people around, one of which might be a guy, or a less scaredy-cat girl who could have stepped in. But not this day. Fortunately, all disasters were adverted. My first time opening champagne was a success! Hooray! Although that doesn’t mean I learned from this experience and will be any less scared next time…

Love:

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Method hand soap in Waterfall. Not only do I love the color, but I actually get excited to wash my hands because of how much I love the scent. They aren’t paying me to say this, not in money nor hand soap (unfortunately), but I just felt compelled to let everyone know about how much I love this soap. Do not be disillusioned that this smells like that cliche “water” scent that candles take on. It’s much better. I haven’t been this excited to wash my hands since I bought Tom a cool oil can mechanism soap dispenser for his apartment. Can you imagine anything better than this hand soap IN that dispenser??? oh my..

Love In A Bottle

Speaking of love, how about a little love in a bottle? 

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What You Need:

  • Clear bottle- $1.50 from Michaels
  • Wine cork + knife (if it doesn’t have a stopper)
  • String
  • Hot Glue
  • Pink or red paper – or color on white paper
  • Gift tag

Instructables:

Step 1: To make a cork if you don’t have one- Get a wine cork, hopefully one that is close to fitting. Using a knife carefully cut down the outside of the cork. Once you have it thin enough to fit, slice the height of the cork down to fit your bottle.

Step 2: Fold the colored paper in half and cut a heart shape out, so you end up with two identical pieces. Crumple a little bit of the remaining colored paper in between the two pieces so it becomes 3D. Glue everything together. Gently fold the edges of the heart around the crumpled paper so you can’t see it. You can also just go the route of making an origami heart, but I felt like doing it my way 🙂

Step 3: Depending on what color string you have you may have to color it with a sharpie to

make it visible. Mine was light gray so I had to color it. Measure on the outside approximately how far down you want the heart to dangle, and add a tiny bit extra to account of gluing.

Step 4: Put a tiny bit of glue at the middle of the heart and gently stick your piece of string into it. Do the same thing with the center of the cork, and stick the string to it.

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Step 5: Decorate your tag.

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Fabric Strip Banner

Thanks for stopping by!

Before we get to craft time, I have to complain about car washes.

Car wasssshhhesss. Ugh. I hate getting my car washed!! Don’t get me wrong, I like a clean car, but it’s hardly worth it to me to deal with the car wash places. They are all different and I don’t feel like there is clear direction. So. Most recently when I went to wash my car (one day before it snowed of course), I drove in to the parking lot, stressed out, but obviously thinking I was overreacting. Nope. I start to pull up to one of the lanes to pay, and the lanes were labeled on which service you picked, but of course I can’t see the paragraph long list of the “menu” items until I’m super close. So I start reversing because I’m in the wrong lane (which I’ll find out later doesn’t actually matter). On my way backwards, I’m trying to veer to the side so I didn’t block any lanes, and I run over the curb. Stupid. I sure hope everyone saw it.

I finally pick the specific service I’m going to do and go through the wash. I liked this part, because I literally have to do nothing and have no chance of screwing anything up, as long as I do nothing. So then I reach the end and find out there are more lanes I have to pull into for the vacuuming and cleaning of the inside. The light that tells you which lane to pull into is really far away and you would never know to look there unless you got your car washed there before, which I hadn’t, and will probably forget by the next time I wash my car. So I just pull into a random lane behind a couple cars, and am confused out of mind. “Am I supposed to wait in the car til I pull up to the vacuum position?” “Do I just stand on this awkward curb by the workers vacuuming and let them move my car?” “Why does everyone else know what to do here?!” “Do I leave my car on and go to the waiting area that I just now saw?” “How do I know when they’re done, I pulled into the lane farthest away blocked by other lanes of cars!?” “I hate this.”

In case you’re wondering which of those things I did, I did all of them. I sat in my car for awhile. Then I got out and stood on the awkward curb by the workers vacuuming. Then I walked over to the waiting area, where I panicked the whole time that they were waiting for me to come get my car and I couldn’t see. And lastly, I panicked some more when they wanted to double check my receipt (I must’ve given them the impression that I didn’t know what I was doing….), and I couldn’t find it. Of course I couldn’t find it, I had only had it in my possession for about five mintues!!! This whole experience made me feel like I was in Breaking Bad, and instead of freaking out about laundering drug money at the car wash, I was just a customer with a dirty car.

Anyway. I’m never washing my car again.

Fabric Strip Banner

You may or may not have noticed that I love mint. I do. And I also love making things that could double as decorations for the wedding! My banner is about 5-6ft.

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What You Need:

  • Twine
  • Fabric glue (optional)
  • Scissors (fabric scissors, or any that work well on fabric)
  • Different sections of fabric; I used 5 different colors/patterns:
    • 1 yd of bright mint
    • 1 yd of bright seafoam blue
    • 1/2 yd of letter print
    • 1/2 yd white
    • 1/2 yd of doctor’s scrub blue (I made up these names myself)

Instructables:

Step 1: Cut all your fabric into about 1 1/2 inch strips; cut lengthwise so you have long pieces.

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Step 2: Cut the twine to about 5-6ft and double it over to ensure it does not break. Tie a knot at each end, leaving some excess twine on the outer side of the knot.

Step 3: Fold the strip in half (to get varying lengths like mine, don’t fold in half, but instead fold so that one end is a lot shorter than the other).

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Grab the two ends…

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And pull through. Make it tight.

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Step 4: Repeat with all the strips.

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Step 5: Tie a loop in the excess twine on the outer ends. Make sure it is tight, and cover your knot with fabric glue so it doesn’t slide or come undone.

Step 6: Hang up your new banner and smile! This can be used as a backdrop for a photobooth, a banner to hang on a wall, a banner to hang on the front of a table, a wedding decoration, or anything else clever that you think of! If you have some good ideas, share them in the comments!

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Coffee Filter Garland

Hi there!

So remember a few weeks ago when I confessed to you that I was drawing centerpiece designs in my workout journal at the gym, and we agreed that it was not pathetic? Well I had another not-pathetic gym moment. I should probably start calling this blog “Gym Diaries of an Insane Girl.”

So I just got done watching the series finale of this BBC show called Arthur Merlin (without fail I always accidentally call it Arthur [one of the main characters on the show], why would typing be any different). So I’ve watched all 5 seasons on Netflix, and it was always entertaining enough, made me laugh at the very least, but Tom dipped out around season 2. Before I get to my point, I should probably let you know that I always get really attached to characters in my show and start feeling like we’re friends. And when they go on season breaks, I always start missing my friends. So I tuned back into Arthur Merlin once I got back on Netflix and my friends and I had had a long hiatus from one another so I was so excited to see how they were doing in Camelot. I was very pleasantly surprised that I was totally addicted to the last season. And then came the series finale… **Spoiler alert!** and Arthur dies!! My favorite character friend! And I was devastated. I cried. I called Tom to tell him about it and due to the pathetic-ness of that statement of me crying being true, I spoke into the phone strategically so as not to imply I was crying. Because that would be embarrassing…………

The next day rolled around and I was able to put it behind me. Until I was at the gym. For some reason I started thinking about my character friend’s death, and how sad my other character friend Merlin was. And my eyes started watering up in between my sets of deadlifts. And I had to walk over to the window and pull myself together. Honestly, what the heck?! I mean seriously. And by the way, nothing kills your motivation at the gym faster than being on the verge of crying in public.

Coffee Filter Garland

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up! I’m mostly excited for corn beef and cabbage, and I mostly made this garland because mint is one of my wedding colors, but it would be a perfect St. Patrick’s Day decoration!

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What you need:

  • Acrylic paint
  • Large bowl
  • Sponge brush
  • White coffee filters- I used 400 3″ filters
  • Twine
  • Pointed tip screwdriver
  • Tin foil
  • Baking sheet
  • Few pieces of scotch tape
  • Fabric glue (optional)

Instructables:

Step 1: You will be using several different mixes to get all the different colors. Fill the bowl with some water, a couple inches. Add some paint, and using the sponge brush, mix it in, being sure to sweep the bottom to make sure you get all the globs of paint. The more water, the lighter the color. The more paint the darker the color. Obvious enough.

Step 2: Lay some tin foil on the baking sheets and set the oven to 220 degrees. I stayed in the kitchen the whole time, precautions to not burn the house down.

Step 3: Grab about 25 filters at a time in a bunch and dip them in the bowl of paint and water. Make sure they all get drenched. Squeeze out just a little bit of the water from the filters when you pick them up. In about sets of 10 (guesstimate), lay them on the tin foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Check every so often.

Step 4: Repeat this process.

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Step 5: Once they are all dry, take a small stack and push the screwdriver through the middle. Before you pull the screwdriver back out, tape the end of the twine to the top of the screwdriver right below the handle (you will be taping it to the thin metal stick so you can get the twine through the filters). As alluded to, you will re-push the screwdriver through the filters so that the taped twine ends up all the way through too. Then untape the twine and pull it through. You can now fully remove the screwdriver from the middles of the filters.

Step 6: Repeat this step. Once all the filters are on the twine, tie a large knot at each end of the garland, and tie a loop shortly after that knot (moving outward). The first knot will keep the filters from going anywhere and the second knot/loop is what you can use to hang the garland (both knots pictured below).

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Step 7: Cover both knots with the fabric glue to ensure they don’t come undone. When you hang the garland, fluff out the pieces by gently sliding them and swishing your fingers through them.

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Here is another coffee filter garland I made slightly different. This one also has book pages, and music sheets.

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LASTLY. I made this wreath below out of coffee filters as well. Check back in the future for a tutorial on this one!

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Healthy Morning Protein Shake

Hello!!

It’s been a while since we’ve talked! The last two weeks flew by. I’ve been trying to make it up skiing a bunch and have had some fun random events to go to. One of them was the Denver Street School Evening of Stars gala that I went to with K-Love at Mile High Stadium (yes, I am going to call it by it’s REAL NAME).

Anyway, it was so fantastic because it is such a neat cause! If you are looking for an organization to get involved with by volunteering or donating to, I encourage you to look into this school. Essentially what they do is they give at-risk kids a second chance. It is a privately funded school that meets the specific needs of these kids and creates a unique environment to help them succeed. It was amazing to hear some of the stories the kids shared, from where they came from, to where they are now! Definitely takes the blinders off your eyes to hear what they went through. One boy talked about how he got his first tattoo at age 10 and joined a gang around that time too, stuff we never think happens “where I live.”

While we were there we also got shown a tour of the place. My favorite part was the frequent reminders around the visiting team locker room and entrance to the field, to all the visiting teams that they can’t breathe. haha

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It was so cold that day, that I more or less was happy with spending under 120 seconds on the field. They were reseeding the field anyway, so there was no need to be running around outside for hours (slight exaggeration!).

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And last but not least, how much do you want this fireplace in your house?!?! I was tempted to spend the whole evening by this thing. However, there was a silent auction going on so I had to continually check to see if I had been outbid. Unfortunately, I was outbid on everything. Everytime. I went home with nothing. Except the piece of mind that all the money went to supporting Denver Street School. Other people’s money. Because did I mention I didn’t win anything?

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Healthy Morning Protein Shake

I woke up this morning craving this and thought it was the perfect time to share it with you. It’s so easy to make. Excuse me a minute while I go see what my dogs are getting in to..

No need to worry, Aspen was just eating the other dogs food. She has a steady 100+ pounds of weight to maintain……….!

Anyway, I have to give credit where credit is due, and this was Tom’s idea. It is delicious, easy, healthy, and only requires 3 actual ingredients!!

What You Need:

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  • 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter (if you have never used this before, don’t be alarmed at all the oil on top when you first get it. Stir it up, then refrigerate it)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops of chocolate whey protein (the brand in the picture is my favorite)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 cup of water

Instructables:

Step 1: Combine in blender. If your blender is as old as ours is, you might want to insert a step to “plug ears.”

Step 2: Blend! omg who would have thought that was the next step??!

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Etched Dish Soap Bottle

Hope you all had a fantastic Valentine’s Day, and to those of you who hate it: Happy-Valentines-Day-Is-Over-Day! At least for those of you who hate it, you had the Olympics to preoccupy your attention this year! I’ve sort of been keeping up, but the skiing and snowboarding events are normally what capture most of my attention. Did you know that we have an Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs? It’s mostly a training center for the summer Olympic events, but I got a chance to go down there recently.

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 It was a cool experience, especially since everyone is caught up in all the buzz while they are going on in Sochi right now. On a totally random side note, has anyone noticed the awesome jacket that the USA snowboard team is wearing? I love them! Here is one in case you haven’t seen it:  

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The Olympic training center also has this amazing gym! I mostly took this picture below for Tom, but I think I actually am a little envious of this workout space too. However, with wedding planning, I have actually stuck to entertaining myself while waiting for things to open up and in between sets by drawing “center piece” layouts in my workout notebook. Is that totally pathetic? You can tell me. But you don’t actually have to, because I know the answer….

…Which is obviously, NO NOT PATHETIC AT ALL! 🙂

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I was more or less just impressed at my photographic genius by snapping the following picture and thought I should share it with you too.

Go Team USA!! woohoo!

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Etched Dish Soap Bottle

I’ve been wanting to make this for awhile, and got really excited to finally do it and give it to Tom for his new apartment!

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What You Need:

  • Vinegar/oil bottle (you can use any bottle though and find a spout for it)
  • Etching gel
  • Foam brush
  • Contact paper (or you can buy stick on stencils)
  • Scissors

Instructables:

Step 1: Cut out the words you want to inscribe on the bottle. I chose to use contact paper since it’s cheaper than buying stencils. You can draw on the letters and then cut them out. Remember to take into account the way the paper will actually stick to the bottle, otherwise you might end up cutting the letters out backward.

Step 2: When you cut out each letter, you will essentially be sticking on a square of contact paper, with the letter missing. You will have to cut out a little half moon to stick in the middle for the “D,” “O,” “A,” and “P.” You want the contact paper squares to overlap slightly so that the gap between the letters isn’t too large; and you definitely do want to make sure that there is contact paper in between each letter, otherwise it will all just blend together once you add the gel.

Step 3: Note: do not get the gel on your hands, see bottle for handling instructions. Using the foam brush, generously dab the gel on the open spots of the letters in between the pieces of the contact paper. Be sure not to get any on the bottle outside of where the letters are, otherwise it will leave etched marks that you won’t be able to remove. Let gel sit on for 1 hour. You can do it for less, but I like to do a whole hour to ensure solid, thick etching.

Step 4: After the hour has passed, put the bottle under the running faucet and gently rub the gel off and peel the contact paper off. Make sure you get all the gel off and wash your hands when you’re done.

Step 5: Depending on the spout that you have with your bottle, you may want to dilute the soap. I had never done that in the past, but I actually love it diluted. It comes out faster than squeezing the regular bottle, and you don’t have to use as much each time, since the soap is so concentrated anyway. I did equal parts soap and water.

Get cleaning! (just kidding)

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Hello lovelies!

I am so excited for today’s post for a few reasons! The first is that I get to show you this wonderful shop that one of my closest friends just opened on Etsy! It can best be described in one word: supercalifragilisticexpialidoscious (in case you were wondering, Spell Check does not recognize that as a word- I feel like it’s commonly accepted as a word nowadays- maybe I spelled it wrong..) The second is this delicious Roasted Butternut Squash Soup that is PERFECT for winter!

SO. The name of the shop is BEpaperie and she specializes in paper flowers and greeting cards. She has cards for all occasions and they are absolutely worth your time to check out! Who wouldn’t laugh if they got this card:

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The paper flowers she makes are perfect for any occasions, especially weddings! She made all her own flowers for her wedding, including the bouquets. I showed you guys a picture around the time of the wedding, but here is another look of her and I with our handmade bouquets. I loved having a keepsake from her special day!

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Visit BEpaperie if you like making good choices!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This is the perfect winter soup! It comes from CHOW, and it only requires a minimal amount of ingredients and attention. I broke it into a lot of steps, but it’s really not much in each step, just easier to follow in my mind. I have listed the full recipe below, but I cut it in half when I made it, which made about 4 servings.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Salt, plus more as needed
  • Ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the butternut squash in half, long ways, and scrape out the seeds. Place the halves cut-side up on tin foil on a baking sheet.

Step 2: Melt 1 tbsp of butter and brush over the butternut squash. By the way, everytime I use butter I turn into an entrepreneur and think of a better way to wrap and unwrap butter so it doesn’t get all over your hands. Still working on it.

Step 3: Season the halves with salt and pepper. Place in the oven til the centers are soft, about 50 minutes. To test, gently push on the squash with a knife

Step 4: Place a medium sized pot on medium heat and add 1 tbsp of butter.

Step 5: Peel the apple, remove the core, and cut up the apple into about 1″ sections (approx). Cut the onion in 1″ sections (approx) as well.

Step 6: Add the apple and onion slices, along with the sage (I used about 1/2 – 1 tbsp of sage powder since they were out of fresh sage at the store), to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Leave for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once it’s done, remove from heat and set aside.

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Step 7: When the squash is done, wait for it to cool, and then scrape out the insides and add them to the pot with the apples and onions. Throw away the skins.

Step 8: Turn the burner to medium high heat and add the water, broth, salt and pepper to the pot. Bring it to a boil, and then turn heat to medium. Let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Try and break up any big pieces of squash as you stir.

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Step 9: After 15 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Do you ever drink those little heavy cream cups at restaurants? They’re so good! I couldn’t resist but to have a sip from the carton. shhh.

Step 10: Get out the blender! Puree the mixture in batches, about 2 cups at a time. You WILL be tempted to skip the “batches” part and pour it all in. But don’t do it. I’ve done it before and I always want to punch myself in the face for jumping the gun. So don’t do it. Take out the middle cap on the top of the lid and place a towel there. That allows the steam to get out.

Pour and enjoy!

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Lint Roller Stamp

Hello.

So last weekend was Tom’s birthday, and I think he is enjoying having two families to share it with, because it now has turned into birth week 🙂 Anyway, it got me thinking about some of my birthday cards I used to save, well, all cards I used to save, and I started going back through them. I found Christmas cards, Easter cards, birthday cards, and even graduation cards…all the way from high school. It was fun to read through them, until I got to this one card in specific. It was a very nice card, and even after reading through it again, I hardly remember what it said, because that’s not the part that stood out to me. What stood out to me was, the check in the card that I never deposited. Are we sure I should have graduated high school?! How surprised do you think they would have been if I deposited it now, 7 1/2 yrs later? I guess this is one of those times where “better late than never” does NOT apply. I think it’s best to go with “never” on this one to avoid any awkward conversations. You know how I feel about awkward.

Lint Roller Stamp

What you need:

  • lint roller (I got some small ones at Target for $1 each)
  • A foam sheet
  • Paint or ink pad

Instructions:

Step 1: Measure how tall your lint roller is and make sure you don’t cut your shapes out too tall. Also, measure how much horizontal space you have around the whole lint roller.

Step 2: Cut out your shapes. Peel off the sticky backing on the roller and the foam sheet and stick your shapes on.

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Step 3: Roll in paint or on the ink pad, and start rolling. Easy peezy lemon squeezy!

Note: If you don’t want those little “smudge lines” make sure you don’t leave any parts of your roller (horizontally) without any shapes on them. I didn’t mind so I left mine how it was.

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I made a matching card since I used my roller on wrapping paper. You could just make cards, or decorate any amount of things.

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