Sunday, April 29, 2012

In with the Old

The Mr. was quite a doll yesterday and volunteered to take me antique store hopping. While I know he was bored out of his mind, he knows just how much I enjoy looking things over from decades/centuries past.  We had a few stops and ended at a revamped and completely wonderful store in my childhood hometown of Schwenksville, PA and I think I have found my new favorite shop.

Not only was there a wide selection of items, but the layout of the pieces was so inspiring for new uses for old things in our own home. They used to have an old shop only a block or so down the road, but it had been so cramped that it was difficult to see the beauty in each of the pieces which was not the case in this new location. This place is AMAZING and they have this cute country store attached that really brings the old in with the new. If I had to pick a rustic heaven on earth, this place would surely be it.

By the smile on my face, you know it had to be good. I was so excited to rummage around :)

I loved the little clothespins arranged like that. So simple yet so interesting.

This as a centerpiece is so awesome. Imagine a single bloom in a few of those bottles.

Not sure if you could tell, but those are old door hinges arranged as wall art... ideas ideas.

This I thought was really unique. Threading ribbon through the holes of old hardware to make new cabinet pulls.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kid-erview Interview

As I mentioned in my last post, yesterday was Bring Your Daughter (Son/Child) to Work Day. I'm not sure about everyone else in the office, but I had a ball... it must have been the nanny in me coming out. The kids (and my coworkers) gobbled down the Cookie Dough Crispix! I work in a  professional office as a recruiter, so it was nice to have all that silliness around even just for a day. Generally my days are full of sourcing candidates for various positions but I got to put my skills to good use creating resumes and interviewing each of the kids.

Kids really do say the darndest things! Getting together their "work experience" and "educational background" for their resumes was a hoot. The interview portion was even better. We had a business card exchange (they got to decorate their own) and then I sat and asked them age appropriate interview questions. My favorite response for the day from my manager's 6 year old daughter after being asked what she wants to do when she grows up: "I want to be just like Mommy and run this office. Her job is easy peasy - she gets to sit in her office and visit her friends for lunch (our clients). I would like us to work near the beach though if that's okay." Yes, that is definitely okay with me. 

I cannot wait until I have kids and they are old enough to actively participate in this event. It was such a great experience (for the young and for the old!). Whether you're a parent who just wants to do something similar at home every year or maybe a teacher who wants to do an interview at the beginning and end of the year to track changes, I would highly recommend the activity. Just be prepared to chuckle at the little ones and their silly responses.

Kid-erview Interview:
  • What's your name sweetie?
  • How old are you?
  • How old do you think I am?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • What is your favorite thing about you?
  • What would you do with a million dollars?
  • What is your favorite subject at school?
  • If you had a day off from school, what would you want to do?
  • How do you help mommy and daddy at home?
  • What do you like to do when you're at home?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • Tell me about Mommy:
  • What does she do at work?
  • Tell me about Daddy:
  • What does he do at work?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
  • Who is your best friend?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • If you could ask me anything, what would you ask?
Afterwards, include a snapshot, a signature (scribbles and all), and a hand print. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Crispix Mix

Tomorrow is Bring Your Daughter to Work Day! I"m really excited because even though I can't bring Aubrey (BOO!!!), there will be a few little ones hanging around the office and I love the kiddies. Even better yet is they aren't mine so I get to load em up on sweet treats, tee-hee!

My inspiration came from these Funfetti Chex Buddies that I found on Pinterest (where else?) Unlike the rest of the world, I hate funfetti cake. Well, honestly, I don't think I like any cakes... I'm a cookie girl for sure. I went the chocolate chip cookie dough route and this is what I got:
How scrumptious? Can you believe those are CRISPIX and not little mini cookies?!

  • 2 cups of white melting chips (at the bulk food section this was 3/4 of a pound)
  • 6 cups of Crispix (feel free use Chex, I just prefer the shape of Crispix more)
  • 3/4 cup of powdered chocolate chip cookie dough mix (most pouches have at least 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips

  1. Using a double boiler, melt the white melting chips until smooth
  2. Pour the melted white chocolate over the cereal in a large mixing bowl
  3. Carefully mix together until the cereal pieces are coated in the white chocolate
  4. Add the mini chocolate chips and stir until combined (they will stick better if you mix them in at this step)
  5. Sprinkle the cookie dough mix over the pieces and stir until completely coated
  6. Chill in the fridge for about 6 minutes and store in a sealed container
They are super duper sweet and incredibly addictive. Whip them up and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pick-me-up... Please.

Do you ever just not feel like yourself? It downright sucks. I think the worst part about it is that you're left drained in spite of feeling as though you've done nothing important. Personally, having no energy or time to create feels wrong. The Mr and I even went antique-ing last week to get some primitive things and I rummaged through some lovely fabrics... and even with all these super things, the juices just aren't flowing.

If you're feeling a little off, please remember how important it is to spend time (even as little as 5 minutes) doing something just for you. I'm trying to remind myself of this daily.

Little pick-me-ups that will do the trick:

  1. Kiss Your Spouse: It seems too simple, but some physical connection with the person you love can turn your frown upside down (After all, can you kiss with a sad face? I didn't think so.)
  2. Snuggle with Your Pet: We've been discussing adding a dog to our family (which could not make me happier!!). My favorite part of the morning is getting some alone time with Aubs. Usually she's shadowing the Mr., but when I get some furry-purry lovin', it gets my day off on the right foot.
  3. Drink Tea: I've always been a tea drinker (Lemon Zinger anyone?). Tension Tamer has been my go-to lately. It might be purely placebo, but taking a few minutes to slowly sip a hot cop of tea can do wonders for your mindset. Sometimes I'm not sure how I get through the days without this stuff and my favorite coworker always manages to share (thank you <3)
  4. Page through Your Favorite Catalogs: I love magazines, but I need to be able to read them cover to cover and there is hardly enough time for that. Instead, getting to flip through the newest Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Potting Shed (etc. etc.) catalogs can be an even better stand-in. They are full of dreamy products and to die for inspiration and you can do it in as much or as little time as you like.
  5. Subscribe to Blogs: I might be biased, but reading through the ideas of wonderful ladies each and everyday can do your mind good. I follow so many great blogs via email and I look forward to certain parts of the day because the email subscriptions are like clockwork - I know an email will be coming through with the updates at the same time each day. Getting this regular time-out is refreshing.
  6. Exercise: If I could recommend one thing that will  help just about anyone, it would DEFINITELY be exercise. I've been doing pilates since a little after Christmas and I can't say enough good things about it. For that hour, I think about nothing except what my body is doing and it's the most relaxing yet invigorating experience. Pick something you love, and stick with it.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get some projects done and post soon. Anyhow, it's late and I need to get to sleep :) Hmm.. I should have added that to the list as well!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2 Minute Friendship Bracelet

Need a super simple idea for your next fundraising event? Want a quick gift to throw in the party bags for the kids at your little one's next sleepover? Or maybe you're ready to dive into the the cute woven bracelet trend seen here, here, here, here, and here?

Well, try this on for size:

Yep, you read that right. Two minutes. MAX.

  • Various colors of embroidery thread, yarn, twine, hemp, etc (think school colors, favorite colors, party color scheme, or anything else you can dream up)
  • Appropriate sized crochet hook for your threads (I used an H)
  • Beads (optional)

Are you ready for the easiest directions ever?
Get your threads together and crochet a chain. Voila you're done!

1. Choose your threads (2 to 5) in an assortment of colors and gather each in an equal length as so:

2. Starting 3 inches in, crochet about 4 inches of chain stitches, then cut leaving another 3 inch tail:
Don't know how? Simple instructions here

3. Knot the tails on each side to make a pretty, finished end. This would be a great time to use some spare beads [I just didn't have any :(]:

And there you have it. In two minutes flat and less than $0.25 a piece, you have an adorable accessory for you or your little princess / tween queen. You can jazz them up with metallic threads, or glass beads (added similarly to the buttons on this) and they'll look even better. These are perfect for a fundraiser/pep rally because you can make a ton of them in no time at all and in the colors of your choice. Plus, if you consider selling them at even at a minimal price of $.50-1.00, you're profit margin is going to be insane!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Some BUNNY loves you!

Happy Easter, everyone! We're going to be seeing the in-laws later this afternoon and I cannot wait to see our nephew. Julian is a bit shy of 2 years old and such a little cutie. His parents are trying to limit his candy intake, so rather than a normal chocolate bunny, I decided it would be nice to make him a teeny tiny little stuffed animal.

It seems like those stuffed peep bunnies are all the rage but personally, I don't like to gift something that is so holiday-centric. It's like giving someone a stocking on Christmas... it's thoughtful, but what do you do with it for the next year?? I was toying with making my own pattern but figured I'd search around a bit to see if there were any cutesy bunnies hopping around on the web. I ended up finding this great tutorial on Revoluzzza for a super simple bunny (probably took me all of 20 minutes to do) and it was easily made without being too Eastery

As you'll see by the link, she used some really poppy prints, but since this was for the little guy, I wanted something a bit masculine. Luckily for me, the Mr. was going to trash some really hunky dress shirts and I was able to grab a great gray and white striped number.
Close up of the print: 

I honestly followed the tutorial pretty much exactly. The only difference was that I embroidered happy eyes and added a button nose on the white felt face. Rather than using a blanket stitch to hand-stitch the face to the body, I used a similar stitch on my machine.

Hopefully he loves it! I think it's oh so cute. What do you think?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

One Man's Trash

We have started the accessorizing aspect of decorating the house and I thought this was as good time as any to do a "green" decor craft since Earth Day is only right around the corner. I've been loving the rustic containers that are all over Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware but rather than spend $100 on something so simple, I turned to our recycling bin. It's amazing how trash can be revitalized and seen in a whole new way.

1. The wine bottle was covered with natural colored coffee filter pieces using a sepia mod-podge.
2. The beer bottle was covered with ripped book pages and the sepia mod-podge as well.
3. The oatmeal container was wrapped with twine and secured with double-sided tape and a vintage lace knot.
4. The smaller bottles were sponge-painted with a thick coat of acrylic paint to give them a mottled / textured look.
5. The frame was just a spare frame with a scrap of chalkboard paper that I was prepared to trash.

the processes were all really simple, but if you need directions or tips, let me know!

Spring Manicure on the Cheap!

While I would generally consider myself one of the artsy-fartsy types, I have yet to be able to master any aspects of nail art. I wistfully admire other bloggers who come up with the cutest nail designs ever and even with instructions I'm hopeless... These lades must all be ambidextrous goddesses with endless beauty budgets to afford all of the pricey tools/colors that they get. Thankfully as I was browsing Target a few days ago I saw that they had the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails on sale for $2 a piece and the little french manicure strips for only a buck! (Now, I admit, I'm generally an OPI snob, but $8.99 vs $2 was kind of a no-brainer.) I had been loving on some lilac polish that two of my coworkers sported this past week so I quickly picked that up as well as a salmon shade because it's my favorite summer color.

I wanted to do something fun but I wanted it to be easy too. Geometric patterns are totally in so I decided to do color on a diagonal. Now I definitely don't have a steady hand, especially when using my left hand so those french tip strips were the bomb!

Check it out:
Paint a base coat, let it dry completely... a good 15 minutes or more. Apply the french tip strips on a diagonal (I'm not sure what else would work just as well, but I'm thinking small pieces of painters tape would be great)

Apply the second color being sure not to go completely over the strip

Carefully remove the strip when the color has set for about a minute or so. There will be a tell-tale line that has a bit of an indent, but no worries about that. Apply 1-2 coats of a top coat and it'll all be glistening and smooth!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Apologies and a Quick Update

Lately, work has been insane to the membrane, insane to the brain. What that translates to is a complete mental shutdown by the time I get home and no ability whatsoever to create, workout, or do anything besides more work. Perfect example of how my personal life has gone to the wayside? I completely mixed up the days and missed my own best friend's birthday! Obviously, this girl needed a serious time out and to beg for forgiveness.

Rather than punish myself, I decided to spend 30 minutes doing something relaxing just for me... Pinterest. I really am addicted to this site and have been for months. Anyhow, I'm just perusing around and what do I find but a picture of myself!!! Weird much? Haha.

After the initial shock wore off (I actually screamed for the Mr. to come and see), I was so excited that Real Simple had moved our makeover story from the magazine to their website.... AHHHH, I am so happy! Check it out! Love it? Questions? Comments?

By the way -- I cannot stress enough that the Mr. and I are NOT messy. I get so embarrassed thinking that the general public would believe that he and I just throw things on the floor in the spare bedrooms in the house... I promise that we don't! (Well... He doesn't... If it weren't for him I probably would be a wreck).  We were just very indecisive about how to utilize all of the extra space once we finished decorating the main living spaces. I learned so much from the design team and they included tons of great tips in the article. Enjoy :)

I plan to get some great projects done this weekend, I promise!
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