Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Recap

I'm bringing in the new year with a cold.  Woohoo!

Let's just do a quick little recap of this past year.  What a year it has been!

...graduated from college married!!!
...tried substitute teaching (not for me)
...started this blog (yay!)
...made new friends
...tried new things

Thinking back over this year I've noticed that a lot of things have happened.  I wouldn't change anything!  I'm so happy to have started a life with the one man I love to death (cue awwws).  Happy New Year everyone! 

Where has the time gone?

Well hello there!

It has been a little too long since I've blogged.  Life has been a little busy!  First of all, we've been with family this whole week and enjoying the time we've been spending with them.  So internet hasn't really been apart of our lives this week.  Second, I just got a new job and so we are now in the process of moving!

Crazy, crazy!  We're heading back over the mountains today to head home, so I'll try and make a proper blog post once we get settled in.

Until then..

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone has a fabulous new years!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sunburst Mirror

My mom has been asking for a mirror for over a year now.  I thought about buying a cute mirror from some place, but then I stumbled upon this sunburst mirror idea from Our Humble A{Bowe}dand I had to do it!  It was a lot of fun, frustrating, and time consuming, but definitely well worth it!  This is how I did it.

You'll need:
  - Paint (I picked two different shades, brown & gold)
  - about 50 paint sticks
  - saw
  - circle mirror (ours had a 8" diameter)
  - gorilla glue (or some other super duper glue)
  - hot glue gun
  - picture hanger

The first thing you'll need to do is saw off the paint sticks.  I would suggest only sawing off the top layer paint sticks.  You can find out how many you need on the top & second layer by placing them around the mirror (look below for more guidance) in the way you want them to look.
The curve part doesn't look good.  I had my husband saw off right at the end of the curve (I love having a man around!).  It's okay if it's not perfect because it'll go on the back and be hidden.  My husband just used a hand saw because that's all we have.

Once they're cut you can start painting!  If you're doing two colors you will want your top layer sticks (the sawed off ones) to be one color and the second layer another color. 
Get some good music or a movie going and start painting.  Unfortunately I don't have pictures of every single step (I'm still getting used to documenting everything and I was very excited to be working on the project), but you can still get the idea.
I got my movie ready!

I painted them all the brown color and went back to touch up the top layer and did the 2nd layer with a coat of gold.  It didn't look like much when it was wet, but after it dried it looked great!

Then, you may want to find the center of your circle mirror.  We found it and used it to keep the paint sticks going at the same angle.  I then hot glued them on once I found how I wanted them to look.  I've heard of some people using gorilla glue here.  You can choose to do whatever you like.  I was pretty emotional/frustrated because the gorilla glue takes awhile to dry and the sticks kept moving on me.  So I used a glue gun to get rid of the extra frustration.

Looking good so far!  That's the top layer (the brown that I chose).   Once they are all dry and you like the way it looks, start the second layer.

I accidentally sawed off all of our sticks and so we didn't have that much of a contrast between the two layers.  That's why you should have not sawed off the second layer.  Learn from my mistakes!  I glued on 1/4 of the sticks and turned it over to see how it looks.

I like it so far!  I went around the enter mirror, putting a second layer stick in the middle of the top layer paint sticks while eyeballing to make sure they are sticking out around the same length. 

Once I finished gluing it all on, I went back to put on my picture hanger.  I used gorilla glue and put it (by measuring) on so that the mirror would hang perfectly.  Once again, I got too excited about this project and didn't get pictures of EVERYTHING.  I'll be sure to take one of the back and when it's hung up later.

I put a heavy book on the hanger and let it dry for about 2 days.  Then it was stuck on there and my mirror was ready to go!

I hope the mirror turns out for you!  Let me know if you decide to do it.  I love to here about other people's projects!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pillowcase = Bag

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you are having a fabulous holiday! Once we get back to our home and we're not spending time with families, I will have to do a Christmas post of some kind.  For now, I want to share this project with you.

I got a sewing machine from my grandma not too long ago and I thought I would make a few things for Christmas.  I found this idea from Spider Woman Knits and decided that it would be a great gift!  It's a bag made from a pillowcase!

What you'll need:
Sewing machine

Get your pillowcase ready and here we go!

First, cut the the hemmed edge of the pillowcase (the opening side) right next to the factory stitch.  Be careful not to cut it though.

Put the top part aside.  You'll need it later.  Turn the pillowcase inside out sew the opening, but leave about 4 inches left of it open.

 Turn the pillowcase right side out now and sew the opening that you left (don't freak out, it'll look okay in the end).

Now, take your hemmed edge and pull the the two sides away from each other, separating each side.     While doing this tuck the hemmed edge down into the bottom so that you are now forming a bag.  It should look like the picture on the right (or somewhat similar).

 The hemmed edge will now be the base of your bag.  Now that you just turned it right side out, turn it inside out.  The hemmed edge should be on the outside.  Make sure that your bag is still even and the corners are fully tucked into each other.  What you're going to do now is stick your hand in the corner and get the corner in the middle to get a triangle shape.   Look at the picture for help if you need it.  You're going to sew straight across to close off the triangle.  This will help form the base of your bag.  Do the same thing on both sides.

When you have finished sewing both sides, turn the bag right side out and you should have a nice base for your bag.

Now we'll put the bag to the side for awhile.  Let's get to the top part of our pillowcase.  This will now become the straps for our cute bag.  Cut the strip on the factory seam.  This will give you one long strip (or tube).  Cut this long strip in half.

You should now have two strips (tubes) of equal length.

You'll probably want to iron them so that they are nice and flat before moving on.  Take one tube and fold the edge over twice.  You can either pin it straight onto your bag from here or you can sew it.  I decided to sew it to make it a little easier for me.

Fold all of the edges of your strips  and pin them to your bag where you want the handles.

You're then going to sew all the way around the bag TWICE.  You'll want to make sure that you go over the handles each time to ensure that it's nice and secure.

THAT'S IT!  You have successfully made a cute bag from a pillowcase.  Mine isn't perfect because I'm still a newbie sewer.  I hope yours turned out well.  It was really fun and easy to make.  I think I'll do it again some day.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 7: Four Books

Christmas Eve is tomorrow?!  When did this happen?  This month has gone by so fast!  We don't have any plans until tomorrow night since Nick has to work until the afternoon.  Anyways, gifts are wrapped and now I need to finish this post and clean house. 

Today it's four books.  This was really hard.  I love reading and there are a lot of books that I like, but I wanted to make sure that I put books that I loved on here. 

1.  Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I just finished reading this book and I was pretty bummed that I was done.  It is so well written, funny, witty, and cute.  If you don't know about it, it's about Elizabeth's travels in Italy, India, and Bali in search of inner peace.  Read it!  :)

2.  The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks.  I could put all of Nicholas Sparks' books (I love cheesy romance novels), but this is my favorite of his.  I was completely caught of guard at the end and it's a beautiful sequel to The Notebook.

3.  The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman.  I had to read this book in my Children's Lit. class at school.  It's like a modern day Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  It's meant for young adults, but I thought it was a lot of fun to read.  It's really good!

4.  Calvin & Hobbes: The Day Are Just Packed by Bill Watterson.  I never read Calvin & Hobbes until I went to Nick's house.  Those comics are some of the funniest things I've ever seen/read.  If you haven't read them before, I suggest you do.  Very funny.

What about you?

Coffee Bean & Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband and I were craving sweets and so we decided to make some cookies.  We didn't want your average chocolate chip cookies so we found this awesome recipe for Coffee Bean & Chocolate Chip Cookies at Sprinkle Bakes.

I'm going to attempt to share with you the recipe!

You'll need:
 - 1 cup butter
 - 3/4 cup granulated sugar
 - 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
 - 2 eggs
 - 1 tsp vanilla extract
 - 2 1/4 cups of flour
 - 1 tsp baking soda
 - 1 tsp salt
 - 2/3 cup chocolate covered coffee beans
 - 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beat the butter with the sugars until well blended.  
Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Combine the flour, soda, and salt.  
Add to the butter mixture.

Mix in the coffee beans and the chocolate chips.  

You'll want to cover the dough and chill it for 15-20 minutes.  This makes it easier for you to make cookie dough balls.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Drop the dough by the teaspoons onto a cookie sheet.  
Don't put them too close together.  They spread out quite a bit.
Bake for 10-11 minutes or until golden.

Let them cool on cookie sheets and then enjoy. 

They went well with a nice cup of tea!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 8: Three Films

I'm posting right now because my husband is at work and my house is clean.  Yay!  I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas Eve.  We're heading out tonight to Nick's parent's house and church.  I'm so excited to get my Christmas holiday started! 

I won't be posting until after Christmas some time.  Thank you to all of my wonderful readers!  You have made this blog into something a lot more than what I first thought it would be.

Onto the challenge!  I'll pick up where I left off when I get time :)

Today is three films.  Today was super easy for me.  I love movies and these are my favorites hands down.

1.  Lord of the Rings.  Best movies ever.  Did you know The Hobbit is coming out next December?!  Same director.  Same actors.

2.  The Holiday.  My favorite chick flick!

3.  Planet Earth.  This is my favorite documentary.  If you haven't seen it, you should!  Every time I watch it I find out new things. 

What are your favorite movies?

Day 6: Five Foods

Christmas is upon us! I have spent today doing more Christmas-y crafts & stuff. I can't wait to share with you all what I've done! Onto the challenge...
Today we have five foods. Don't get too hungry now.

1. Guacamole. This sounds silly, right? But it's so good!! I could eat this everyday. *my husband agrees*

2. Steak. A really good steak is always one of my all-time favorites.

3. Sweet potato fries. My husband and I have become addicted and make them all the time! So good!

4. Homemade pizza. I LOVE a homemade pizza with fresh dough, fresh veggies, really good cheese, and yummy herbs. (This is one my husband made with sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions, asiago cheese, and various herbs & spices)

5. Ice cream! Need I say more?

What are some of your favorite foods?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 5: Six Places

Today has been hectic/crazy with all of my Christmas crafts and gifts.  You'll see them once Christmas has come and gone.  For right now I'm going to continue with the 10 Day You Challenge.  I don't want to be behind on a day!

Today is six places.  Woohoo!

1.  Lake Samish.  This was my favorite place to go to when I was growing up and I still find it so peaceful and cozy.

2.  Home.  This includes our home, my parents', and my in-laws'.  You can never go wrong with home.

3.  Greece.  I want to visit Greece so so much!  I mean, come on, look at these pictures!

4.  Italy.  This may have been heightened a little more on my top places to visit because of the book Eat, Pray, Love, but I want to eat food here and just see all of the history involved with this country.

5.  New Zealand.  Have you seen pictures of this place?!  I want to explore all of the mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, etc!  I also want to see the Shire.  You knew that I am a LOTR nerd, right?

6.  Africa.  I think it would be so much fun to explore a different world.  Go on a safari, stay in a hut, listen to the music.  Everything!