Archives for February 2014

Month: February 2014

High five for Friday

Of course I had a stellar week! What more is there to say . . .

Sometimes we as women get emotional for no reason at all . . . I try to remember this on those days . . .

photo 1 (2)

 

We’ve sort of gotten into a habit of having gluten free pancakes on Saturday mornings . . . sometimes instead of syrup I spread some peanut butter or nutella on top . . . aaahhhh weekends . . .

photo 2 (3)

For Christmas the hubs got me a sewing machine . . . and I finally got my sewing kit together. I’m more excited than I should be, as usual. Look for lots of sewing projects here on the blog soon.

photo 3 (3)

Right along with sewing, I made some pin cushions for mom and I. Tutorial coming soon . . .

photo 5 (3)

Lastly, I was looking through old wedding pictures to fill some new frames, and came across this one. I just really loved my bouquet  . . .

photo 4 (3)

This weekend we’re off to Ohio to visit the closet ikea! I keep repeating this mantra : I am not Liz Lemon I am not Liz Lemon . . . now go google 30 rock and ikea if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Thank me later 😉

Dirty 30- volunteering

I hesitate to even write this one because I don’t want it to seem like I did these things for attention. Soooo I’m writing in the hopes that somewhere people will get the idea to do something helpful for their community. For this months dirty 30 list I wanted to do something for others (I was actually doing it back in December around Christmas time)  . . . to be honest it took me awhile to find something and it was a little frustrating, but in the end it was better than I expected.

My thought was to volunteer at a soup kitchen or serve Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner at a homeless shelter. I looked into it, but I found nothing that was available . . . that’s a good thing actually since they were all full of volunteers. The only thing available was behind the scences and you had to be cleared in order to do it since you’d be making the food . . . I wanted to see people and I didn’t have the time to go through the process of being cleared because of my work schedule.

After that I spent half a day on the phone with the salvation army . . . I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating that was. I’ve heard bad things about them before . . . like how they keep most of the money or they separate gifts you give on the angel tree’s . . . but I thought it might be a good start. Nope, I got nowhere. The only thing I had after 3 hours on the phone was where an angel tree was . . . but when I drove there on my lunch break, but when I got there  . . . yup, no angel tree.

Right after stopping where the angel tree was supposed to be . . . and feeling extra frustrated. I went to Walgreens, and right there in front of the store was a little tree with names on it . . . hallelujah! This tree wasn’t for kids  . . . it was actually for older people who have home care through Home Instead. I was leary because I really wanted to do something for kids, but when I saw the things they were asking for I knew I had to do it. The one I picked was a lady named Mary and she asked for ‘bodywash, shampoo, deo, and something to make her feel pretty’ So I spent $25 on beauty supplies for her! I even called my grandma for tips on what older ladies would like . . .

After that I just wanted to do more, my heart was so full . . . so I bought the persons coffee behind me in line at starbucks . . . and then I bought 3 starbucks gift cards when I got to the window to pass out to some of the women at church with lots of kids (everybody needs a treat and I think moms forget to take care of themselves sometimes) . . . then I paid for someone’s dinner . . . it was just at mcdonalds as I ran in to get a drink – easiest thing in the world and didn’t cost me that much. . . Once the holiday season was over, I decided I needed to do that more often even if just to feel the rush of happiness I got from helping others. I also finally realized I had made helping others much harder than it needed to be. 2013 had been wonderful for me and I needed to repay some of that love  … I also didn’t really get to do anything for the kids like I wanted . . . so I signed up to be a CASA volunteer. You can find out all about casa here. My training sessions should start in April – as long as enough people sign up to hold the classes – and after that I will officially start getting some cases.

I’m excited to see where this takes me and help some kids! I encourage you to just do something  . . . anything to help someone else. I promise it will make your life so full . . .

Clothes line art

Having nieces and nephews is probably the best feeling ever. I’m sure that will change when I have kids of my own, but for now this is what I got to work with. It’s pretty stellar. I am totally the aunt who when I meet new people and they ask if I have kids my response is “no, but look at the 500 pictures of my nieces and nephews I have on my iphone – and have you seen the new videos on facebook”. My favorite pictures change on the daily, and the little ones have gotten into the habit of drawing Scott and I pictures of how we look on certain days. It’s magical.

With this in mind, I decided I needed a place to put some of these pictures and drawings. My only requirement was that it was easy to switch them out. If you pin then I’m sure you’ve seen the clothes lines of art and pictures. So I used that as inspiration to create my own.

final

I have this piece of pallet art in our bedroom that I made a couple months ago. I still have fond feelings for it, but it didn’t fill the wall completely. And since I would see them all first thing in the morning I knew it was the perfect place to put my clothes line.

photo 1 (2)

The art is simply 2 slats from a pallet with two wooden brackets on the back to hold it together and hold it to the wall. I started with my wood piece, a stapler, and some galvanized steel wire leftover from another project. My thought was to just staple the wire to the bottom of the wood brackets, but the staples weren’t going thru. I’m sure it’s just because of my cheap stapler, but I wasn’t going to buy a new one just for this. I had put picture frame brackets at the top of the wood to hang it on the wall. So I took my galvanized wire and wrapped it around each one to secure it; then put a little piece of masking tape at the bottom just so it would stay where I wanted it.

and side two for your viewing pleasure
and side two for your viewing pleasure

that’s how simple it is . . . I put it back on the wall, attached some clothes pins that I got here, and put up my art. that particular picture is me on a Saturday morning drawn by my littlest niece!

photo 4 (2)

Our fan, that blows while we sleep, goes directly on it every night, but it’s all staying put and lookin’ good  . . . just like my hair in that picture! I love it.

 

 

 

 

Elf Bb Cream

BB creams were a big thing a few months back, and I tried one out that I received in my birchbox. I loved it! But my little sample is far past gone so I decided to try out a new one. The one in my birchbox was $24 for the full size . . . I decided to try and find a drug store one that worked just as well. I started with my go to cheapo drugstore makeup . . . elf. All of elf products are $1 to $5, and so far I have no complaints with what I’ve used so it was a good place to start. And it had spf in it so that took out a step in my routine . . . even better! Just in case you have been in a whole or forgot or dont’ care, bb creams are there to prime, hydrate, smooth and perfect your skin all while providing a little tint. So it’s like a tinted moisturizer, primer, age fighter all in one.

bb

 

so far, so good with the elf cream. I really like it and can tell my skin is getting smoother since my little break when my sample ran out. I can however tell a difference in the consistency in the cream, but there’s a $20 difference here between the two. And it’s not clumpy or runny just not as smooth and consistence as the more expensive. no biggie to me.

What about you . . . do you use a bb cream? or maybe a cc or dd cream (those are real things)?

high five for Friday

This week was just a usual week for us here in Nap town. We had both winter and spring type weather and my husband and I started our search for a new mattress!

I have finally started researching sewing projects to use my Christmas gift to good use – it was a sewing machine! Along the way I found this . . .

cowl

My mother is an excellent knitter . . . ?  . . . so she said she’d make me one. I love the look of Katniss’ cowl over her leather jacket in the movie.

himym

One of our favorite shows, how I met your mother, comes to an end in a few short weeks. I’m a little nostalgic about it all so I made some art to make myself feel better. Feel free to save it and print it off for yourself if you’d like! It’s sized for a 5×7 frame.

mantel

I also got a new chalk board print and made the ‘do good’ art that I switched out on the mantel. this may be my favorite little spot in the house  . . . for now.

pb

I really think that explains it all. I’ve had a major craving for peanut butter lately.

reminders

 

Found this on ‘Fitness motivation’ twitter the other day. It has some good reminders that I need to keep on hand. The turtles are just extra . . .

 

I hope your week was as good as mine and that we all have a groovy weekend.

XxB

The perfect ski jacket

I have a lovely wool coat . . . I just love it. I can’t get enough of it. Here I am in it . . .

coat

See the look of love on my face . . . that’s not just for Olaf. I got it at Target, and they still have it on their website. I was a little worried about the quality because I’d never bought a coat at Target, and I was depending on this to be a nice coat that I could keep for 2-3 years. And it is so much more than that. I’m on my 2nd year with it, and it is still in the great condition. It has no stains and believe me it could be extremely dirty by now. I did have it dry cleaned once at the beginning of this year just to get it freshened up not because of stains. And it keeps me sooo warm.

But as you can see from the title this is about ski jackets . . . and a ski jacket it was not. I don’t have a big need for a ski jacket, but occassionally on the weekends my beautiful, wool, fashion foward jacket got in my way. And if I wanted to play in the snow I had nothing. So I took what I knew about my style, my shape, and my price point and did some research on line. The hardest thing of course was price. Here in Indiana we wear jackets for warmth anywhere from October – April if we’re lucky.  And this winter has been one of our worst ever on record . . . since this won’t be my primary winter coat I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, and that narrowed the choices quite a bit. BUT I got it down to 3 . . .

ski

 

1. This is from Old Navy. This one gave me a few color choices (down to navy and green now). I liked that it was just a basic coat with no frills since I wouldn’t be using it much. But I worried it wouldn’t be warm enough or long enough.

2. This is also from old Navy. I like that it’s longer, and the draw string in the middle will still give me some shape. It also comes in a lot of different colors, but I have an affair going on with cognac-ish colors so this was my first choice.

3. This is from Target, and also comes in an array of colors. The red pulled at me although I would probably go much more basic if I pulled the string on this one. It’s very similar to #2, but the buttons/zipper are a little different and it has more pockets which drew me to it. It’s also considered an actual parka so the warmth factor def drew me in since this Indiana winter has been brutally cold (like -20 on a few days).

 

What do you think? Which one would you choose?

Purple velvet cupcakes

I really wanted some cupcakes this past weekend. Don’t know why,  I just did. I also had some purple food coloring that was calling my name to experiment with. So I whipped up some ‘red velvet cake’ mix, and used purple instead of red. I must give props where props are due first. My husband ‘started’ getting the dry ingredients for me while I finished cooking our lunch for that day. Next thing we knew he had made my cupcakes for me. . . Here’s the recipe he used.

2 ½ cups of all purpose flour

1 ½ cup of sugar

1 tspn of baking soda

1tspn of salt

1tspn of cocoa powder

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

1 cup almond milk

2 large eggs

1 tspn vanilla

2TBspns food coloring.

First and most importantly he put all the dry ingredients together and sifted them together with his hands. Then one at a time he added the wet ingredients and mixed together before adding the next one.

 

cupcakes1

 

Once everything was good and mixed and staining our counters purple. I preheated the oven to 350 and lined 2 cupcake tins then I filled each one 2/3rds full and baked for 20 minutes – turning the tins at the half way point.

 

cupcakes2

 

I LOVE THE PURPLE CUPCAKES!!!

 

After they cooled completely I used a simple powdered sugar and butter mixture for the icing and we ate them.

 

cupcakes3

 

They were so good guys! This makes me so happy that I can color cupcakes any color I want!

highest of fives on this valentines day!

This week has been pretty magic! My husband and I have been corny and lovey-dovey all week and I’ve got some great projects started! Here’s the best moments . . .

photo 1

My husband and I went to an art exhibit this week to bring awareness to our new soccer team. It was pretty fun! There were several things we both saw and said we wanted to have in our house. Buuut this is the only picture I was allowed to take . . .

photo 2

We took 1 niece and 2 nephews to see the lego movie this weekend. This picture is everything they . . . big brother is annoyed and wants to do his own thing . . . little sister is a diva and wants to cuddle.

photo 3

The next day we got to see their little brother! He’s starting to smile now and has chubby baby cheeks 🙂

photo 4

One of the fun projects I’m working on . . .diy zinc anthropologie letters! They turned out awesome . . . much better than expected!

photo 5

favorite moment from the week was Wednesday . . . my husband comes in the door and says “can we do our valentines day gifts now” and this was mine! I love it so much! A pretty basket, a purple unicorn, some chocolate, a real coke, some exfoliating wipes, and some washi tape! He didn’t decorate it like an elementary valentine like I did, but it was so cute in the little basket!

h54f Don’t forget to link up!

Xxb

February Birchbox

My February birchbox finally arrived, and I’m excited to tell you guys all about it.

birchbox

 

Protect & Oil beauty protector- I’m all about healthy hair, and I’ve never tried an oil before. So I’m super excited to try this one. I’m a bit nervous though that it will make my hair feel oily so I’ve hesitated on using it just yet.

Coola tinted matte spf 30- Birchbox seems to give me a lot of face moisturizers. I love it, but I would like something a little different. This one did have a tint to it which I enjoyed and it really was shine-free

Ruby wing color changing nail polish – the color I got was kitten heels which is a hot pink – not really a winter color. It’s also fairly dark and dreary around here these days (as I say that it’s actually sunny outside for once). So I’m excited to try this in the spring. I did test it out on one nail though and I think I’ll like it.

Smashbox mascara – I wasn’t overly impressed with this mascara after one use, but I did need a new one. So I’m going to use this full sample before I give my full review.

Birchbox also gave me a sample of a smashbox palette. I made a nice neutral smokey eye out of it today 🙂

XxB

Valentines day giftbasket

Valentines day is this week! I love all holidays even the ones made up by Hallmark, so I’m pumped! My husband and I have actually celebrated valentines day differently every year we’ve been together which is strange for us because we really like having ‘our tradition’ for every holiday. We did realize that the past 2 years I’ve made a nice meal at home (like 3 courses and we eat on the china . . . schmancy!). So we’ve decided to do the same thing this year and make each other gift baskets!

I’m really excited to see what he puts in mine, but mostly I want to see how he puts it together. I told him it has to be pretty . . . and of course I’ll share with all of you! While we wait here’s what I put together for him (this is where you stop reading boo), I took a page straight from one of my favorite blogs – Little Baby Garvin. Seriously this is one cool mom blog, I love it even though I’m not a mom yet. Last year she made this for her husband at Easter and I’m putting my own valentine’s day spin on it.

basket2

 

I try get a good array of things in gift baskets that I make so I came up with a few different categories I wanted to be sure to include.

 

  1. Drink – the fancy beer obvs
  2. Clothes – socks (just some regular brown ones because he needed them)
  3. Funny-a belly button cleaner (google it or go on etsy, seriously, do it)
  4. Gum – because he loves gum
  5. food – his favorite candies
  6. corny –some ‘love coupons’ examples: $1 bowling night where I will bowl (this is big), he gets to pick the movie on date night:no deals, and most will not be mentioned 😉
  7. beauty – let me explain this one, he’s a typical man and before me he used the same soap for all parts of his body except his hair, bought the cheapest shaving cream, and never used lotion unless his skin was so dry it hurt. Obviously, he attracted me so what he was doing was working and I’m not here to change him, but taking care of your skin is a pet peeve of mine. I also believe that most people don’t do near what they should be doing. Sooooo everytime I have an excuse to buy him something of this category I do so. It’s small things like adding conditioner to his shampoo, a soap made for just his face, things for a better shave, etc. This time around I got him some face soap because he needed it and some chapstick because the air is soooooo dry in this brutal winter I knew he probably needed it.

basket1

 

To put it together, I just took out 3 of the beers and added some tissue paper to the bottom of those sections. Then I arranged my other items just where they fit and I thought it looked nice/creative. To finish it off, I added some curly stings, heart stickers, etc that I had in my craft collection to make it look like a valentine from elementary school. I’m pretty proud of it, and I know he’s gonna love it!

how do you celebrate valentines day?

Xx, B