Mason Jar Lid Wreath

Hi everyone!

So I’ve been spending a lot of time researching vendors for this wedding shindig. We have spent a lot of time going over the photography piece of it recently, and I remembered this video I had stumbled on a while ago that I thought was so cool. It really didn’t help at all with figuring out what photographer we’re going to use, but it gave me a nice distraction and gave me another reason why I love photos and photography so much. I wanted to share it with you, it’s only 2 & 1/2 min..I KNOW you have that much time to spare, especially if you landed here from Pinterest or Facebook…! Click HERE to watch!

How cool is it to “meet” strangers this way? I just think it’s so interesting that everyone you pass has this entire story and life that you know nothing about. Every single person has all these complexities, and talents, and heartbreaks, and relationships, and friends, and struggles, and embarrassing moments (maybe not as many as me), and accomplishments, and things that make them laugh. I think it is always so fascinating to meet new people, because you never know what path they’re on or what path they have come from. Even though we live in a society that is continually veering away from interaction with other human beings, I hope something changes that, and I hope we go back to noticing people around us. And I don’t just hope those things because my flip phone makes it impossible for me to electronically connect with everyone.

Mason Jar Lid Wreath

The wreath that we’re doing today is originally from Tater Tots & Jello and I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. She used it for Halloween decoration, but I think it looks good for all year round! It’s size fits perfect in a kitchen.

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What you need:

  • 36 wide mouth mason jar canning lids (you can buy just lids at the store, unless you want 36 jars too)
  • Washi tape, 4 patterns
  • White spray paint
  • Coral and gray paint (use spray paint in these colors instead if you want to purchase it)
  • Ribbon

Instructions:

Step 1: Lay 23 of the lids out and spray paint them white.

Step 2: Paint 8 lids coral and paint 5 lids gray.

Step 3: Let them all dry. Next you will be adding the washi tape to the outside of the lids you painted white. I put one kind of washi tape on 5 lids, and each other kind of washi tape on 6 lids each.

Step 4: String them onto some ribbon and tie some bows!

*Some of the spray paint and regular paint might chip a little bit when they rub as you string them, but I think this is a more rustic looking craft anyway, so I don’t think it takes away from it at all. If you don’t want them to chip, you could try spraying an acrylic coat on top of the paint before you add the tape.

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Old Blinking Light

Morning!

So this made me smile, and maybe it will make you smile too. Which I personally think is a great way to start your day.

I was driving home from the gym a couple days ago and I was behind this Subaru. Mostly doing my own thing and not actually paying much attention to that car in front of me, I noticed 5 heads. Full car. Nothing unique here. And then, as I was looking straight through their back window, I see the side profile silhouette of a big snout and long dangling tongue. A puppy!! (It was a full grown dog, a lab to be exact, but if you know me at all, dogs are puppies forever in my book). That wasn’t the part that made me smile. The part that made me smile was that while everyone else was crammed into the back seat, the dog had shotgun and was comfortably enjoying his spacious, superior, front seat! It actually makes me “lol” picturing what I imagine are vacant expressions on the faces of the 3 backseat passengers about being passed over for front seat by their dog. Awesome.

I’m pretty sure my dad would do something like that to us, considering our dogs “will not wear collars, they don’t like them. They want to be free and comfortable,” he says.

Chelo, Dog Whisperer.

Old Blinking Light

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I saw a Groupon for this restaurant several months ago in Highlands Ranch, CO (Lucent and C470) called Old Blinking Light. I had driven past it on my way to get my allergy shots one time and had been wanting to try it. So to my pleasant surprise, they had a Groupon for it shortly after that. The Groupon was a prix fixe (pre-set items to choose from) meal for two, with two appetizers, two entrees, and one dessert.

Before I get to the food though, let me “show-and-tell” you about the neat atmosphere! If you’ve heard me talk about restaurants, or read any of my other restaurant reviews, then you’ll know atmosphere is big to me. Regardless of the food, if a place has a great feel to it and an enticing atmosphere, it always makes it on my go-to list of happy hour or grab-a-drink spots! If you remember from a minute ago, I said the thing that first drew me to this restaurant was how neat (man, I use the word “neat” so much. I’ll hit the thesaurus next time) it looked on the outside. The patio out front has a giant fire pit, which diners can enjoy dinner around, as well as a swank “Southwestern soul” feel to the place.

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When we went to eat here it was just before Christmas, so they had some Christmas decorations up, which complimented the modern and rusty interior.

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It was really cozy inside, without the quiet, elegant, fancy touch.

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Despite the fact that most things inside were pretty marvelous and unique, my favorite was the standing wall fire place. In the picture below, you will see a round seating couch, in the waiting area, and then a bright grow on the mid right part in the picture. That was a tall stone wall, which at the top had a long slender row of flames. It was such a stunning way to separate off the rest of the restaurant from the waiting area, without disconnecting it completely, or inserting some ugly separator.

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All the decorations had a modern industrial take to them, and really spiced up the place! I haven’t seen this style of decor anywhere else that I’ve been. I love the chains below. Another inventive way to separate the hallway to the bathroom without actually throwing up a wall. Tactics like that really opened up the place, which otherwise could have felt too condensed.

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We sat in the back seating area, which would be a perfect spot for a birthday dinner, rehearsal dinner, group happy hour etc. I imagine those doors can shut to give you privacy, with a flirty glow. Unless there is a special party that reserved it, it appears to just be used as an extension of the dining area. This room is toward the back and is a little quieter. In fact, we were able to learn all about the people at the table next to us. She is pregnant. How exciting. Her co-workers were so supportive (admittedly we were eavesdropping and they were being loud).

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Let’s start at the beginning of the 3 courses. Apps first. I ordered a fried avocado served on a corn tostada with pico de gallo and creme fraiche. I have recently been overly obsessed with avocados, and everything and anything that has that word mentioned is a done deal for me. I was moderately pleased with this appetizer, but not incredibly impressed. It was a different type of appetizer, so it gets points for individuality and presentation, but I wasn’t blown away by the flavor. I thought it tasted good but could have used a little more ‘something-something.’

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Tom on the other hand ordered the sweet-and-spicy chile-dusted popcorn shrimp with chipotle aioli and honey. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Him and I both wanted to ordered 5 more plates of this. It was an explosion of flavor that was very perfectly balanced. If you aren’t a big shrimp person, don’t let that deter you. The shrimp itself wasn’t a strong flavor, it just blended well with the sauce and dustings. I actually wanted to dip my fried avocado in this sauce…but unfortunately Tom scraped his plate clean.

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The main entree for me was the New Mexico red-chili-crusted salmon with cilantro green rice, calabacitas, pico de gallo, and lime. Several of the items in this entree were rare, and things I haven’t had before. I liked the uniqueness and special blend of flavors. I definitely want to make a note that this food does in NO way shape or form taste like gross tex-mex. It’s much more artful than that.

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Tom ordered the herb-garden half-chicken served in a lemon-chicken au jus with mashed potatoes and house vegetables. He ate it all. And it actually filled him up, shockingly enough. Again, they did a very good job of creating different types of flavor combinations that only compliment one another, as opposed to any specific one being overwhelming.

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And finally, for dessert we split the chocolate drizzle–a warm chocolate ganache drizzled over bruléed bananas with ganache-covered strawberries and whipped cream. I feel like based on that description I don’t really need to explain how fantastic this was. I loved that the strawberries were covered in thick chocolate that was still melty, so you could actually eat them without the whole shell falling apart. Surely I’m not the only one who has that problem with chocolate covered strawberries?? Bruléed bananas= heavenly.

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SO. What does this all mean for you? I would recommend you try this place. It really is quite different than any other place you’ve been atmospherically and flavor-wise. This place is affordable, on the higher end of affordable, but with just an entree you could get out of there around $15-$20/person. From there it will steadily increase, especially if you’re ordering seafood and apps/desserts. For me, I am looking forward to going back in for a happy hour, in which I’ll grab one glass of wine, the sweet and spicy popcorn shrimp, and if I’m up for it, the bruleed bananas. I’m looking forward to going back in for that visit to hang out in such a snazzy (at least I didn’t use the word “neat”) environment. Hope to see you there!

P.S. I just bought a LivingSocial deal to Shells and Sauce, a chic restaurant in Denver. The offer is being sold for 9 more days (from 1/13/14) if you’re interested. I’ll be doing a review on the place sometime in the next couple months. Just wanted to inform you of the places I think sound good to try and let you get in on the offer if you want!

Prayer Jar

Happy New Year!!

I’m not sure if you have this problem, but I can be pretty certain, as we are creatures of habit, that it’s going to take me a few weeks, or maybe months, before I remember to write 2014 instead of 2013. Especially since last month I accidentally wrote 2012 on a check.

Speaking of nothing related, I got a call recently that was from a number I didn’t know, so I answer it and a recording says, “Please hold.” Umm. You can’t call me and tell me to hold. If I call you I feel like that’s fair to put me on hold, but not the other way around. Turned out to be from my gym. And a nice woman gets on to tell me that they actually didn’t need to call me. So I get a call, that I have to hold for, only to be told they don’t need anything. That was fun. Pray for me and my patience 😉 ….and what a good opportunity today’s craft is for that!

 Prayer Jar

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So I’m kind of cheating and doing three craft posts back to back, but it’s my blog so I can do what I want. New Years is a great time to start new habits and I think this is one that is actually realistic to stick to since you don’t have to do it everyday. Well sort of.

So how this works is that we all have things we want to pray about in our own lives, or other people’s lives, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming to make sure you pray about them all. The idea of the jar is that you are putting it from your hands to His, which is where it belongs. Psalm 55:22 says, “Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you.” When we realize that God has His hand in the situation, it is so much easier to give things to Him, and stop trying to control the outcomes. So you write the prayer on a slip of paper, pray about it, and then drop it in the jar.

At the end of the year, on New Years Eve, a neat tradition would be to go back through and read all of them to see what all God has done with each of your prayers. Often, at the time of the event, it is hard to see what God is doing and how He is working, but many times in hindsight the bigger picture is so clear.

What You Need:

  • Jar (you can use a jar with a lid, or a mason jar and cut a slit in the top)
  • Hot glue
  • A few different types of scrapbook paper
  • Decorative items -as always you can use my ideas or go in your own direction- I used:
    • burlap ribbon
    • silver chipboard letters
    • white poster paint pen
    • chalkboard gift tag
    • rhinestone gems
    • twine
    • thread
    • clothes pin
    • button
    • wood tag
    • sticker
    • business card sized happy note

I don’t want to insult your intelligence by telling you how to hot glue things to a jar, but I’m going to add brief directional captions to the pictures of my jar below to help you out in case you want the help.

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I started with the twine under the rim and tied a double knotted bow. Next I added the burlap ribbon. I glued one end of ribbon to the jar, and slowly glued and wrapped the rest of it around. I did the same thing with the sparkly white glitter paper, and the gray paper.

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I then cut out banner flags in different scrap book paper and glued them to a few pieces of thread. I then glued one end of the thread to the jar, dangled the banner flags as low as I wanted, and glued the other end of the thread to the jar. I did the same thing with the word “PRAYER” but I used the chipboard letters and twine.

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Under that, with the white poster paint pen I wrote “JAR” and added some little rhinestone gems and an arrow cut from the leftovers of the white sparkly glitter paper.

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On this side I glued on a clothes pin and clipped in a happy note. I used the final remnants of the glitter paper, because part of my soul died at the thought of throwing away even a speck of it, to make a cross and a little arrow dash design.

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To make the pocket for the slips of paper, I folded a piece of brown paper, sewed dashes along the edges (for decoration) and then pinned the button. After you do those three things, then you can glue the pocket together, and then glue it to the jar. Don’t reverse that order, otherwise it will be a pain to sew and attach the button. I may or may not have accidentally done it that way. And it may or may not have sucked.

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“you are loved” button that I got from a shop at the holiday convention. Because you are loved.

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I added more rhinestone gems in different sizes around the knob on the lid and wrote “From your hands to His” on the chalkboard gift tag with the white poster paint pen. I glued the wood tag that says, “especially for you” to the chalkboard tag so that it didn’t cover anything when it dangled. I tied them around the knob and added a little hot glue to the ties to make sure they stayed put.

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Lastly, I put a sticker at the center of the bottom of the jar. I thought this was a nice friendly message to see at when you’re dropping slips of paper in. I also needed to cover up the price sticker from the very bottom that wouldn’t peel all the way off.

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