Thursday, May 31, 2012

DIY Necklace

When I posted my dress for the Squadron Ball, I got so many sweet comments saying I should go ahead with the white. However, the consensus was that I should get a chunky necklace to off-set the bridal tone of the dress. So I decided to make one. 

I strung blue and whites beads onto floral wire which I measured into three separate lengths. I then made a little circle of white beads at the top for the ribbon. I attached the three pieces of wire and wrapped white ribbon around the top of the necklace to cover the exposed wire. I tied the ribbon in a knot behind the circle and cut off the bit that still showed. This cost about $9.00 for all the beads, but I got WAY more than I needed. Michaels had a great clearance on beads so I got a bunch for a good deal. 

I really like how it turned out and hope that it doesn't fall apart at the ball. I will post pictures this weekend of the entire outfit. 

One last thing; My wonderful fabulous chalkboard has a fatal flaw. I have been looking at this thing for weeks. I posted it here. My husband looks at it all the time. How did NO ONE  tell me that I put 3 P's in Happier. Lane noticed it last night, and I was mortified. I will post one with the correct spelling after I fix my spelling error. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pinterest Party Ideas

Whew this week is just getting the best of me. The long weekend was amazing, but it has been so difficult to get anything done this week. My kitchen looks like a bomb went off. I meant to post this morning, but here it is at 5:00.

Before I get to my favorite link-ups I wanted to share something. I saw this video on a few blogs, and since it was for Mother's Day I am WAY behind. However, it is amazing and made me cry like a little girl. Y'all, I am so excited for the Olympics.

Link-up Time! First I am linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I am Loving Wednesday. 

This week I Am Loving that the warm weather has held. It was almost too hot yesterday, but I can't get enough of soaking up the sun. 
I Am Loving that we are taking concrete steps toward getting a dog. We visited the SPCA yesterday, and plan to keep checking back. I would love to adopt a dog from them as opposed to a breeder or a pet store. 
I Am Loving that the drive-in and farmers market are officially open for the summer. I need to borrow a pick-up truck so I can lie in the back and enjoy the movie. 

I haven't really been on Pinterest very much recently. With the four day weekend we were out and about to so much. However, I do have some fun finds that I want to share. Now that the house is pretty much done, I am excited to do more entertaining. We have had lots of people over for dinner, but I love the idea of having  more elaborate parties. I have been toying around with the idea of having a party for our one year anniversary. I know these are usually more private, but I think it could be really fun. Here are some of my ideas. I am linking up with Michelle at The Vintage Apple

Sweet birthday cake
Molly's Entertaining Pinterest Board
I love this idea for cake decoration. We didn't save the top of our cake, so I will be ordering another one ( or two) from the bakery in Atlanta. I like the idea of doing a message rather than a number, but a 1 could be pretty cute. 

Love the glittery hearts for a cake topper
Molly's Entertaining Pinterest Board
Ah I wish I had seen this when I was still figuring out cake toppers. It is such a cute idea and would be super easy. It is possible that my main motivation to have a party is the cake. 

Cute banner idea
Molly's Entertaining Pinterest Board
I really like this cute banner. 

Molly's Entertaining Pinterest Board
I will definitely do something like this. I can print of pictures from the past year and make a number 1.

Pinned Image
Molly's Lovely Pinterest Board
I love the idea of drawing our monogram onto my framed chalkboard.

I have been totally sucked in by this blog and it has absolutely inspired me to think more about how to celebrate my marriage. I have such amazing memories of my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary and would love to start celebrating our milestones too. Would y'all have people over for an anniversary party?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Green

Today is one of those days where I woke up tired and it hasn't gotten any better. I have a terrible habit of not eating enough during the first part of the day and then I am starving by dinner. I have been trying to work on it, but sleeping-in is so much more appealing than making breakfast. 

kermit - [jim + kermit].
via Also this picture makes me tear up every time 
Today's ( or really tonight's) post is about my one (or two) area (s) in which I cannot go totally eco-friendly. Most of the time, Lane and I are really good. We use reusable bags and buy local when we can. However, I run my dishwasher way more than is good for the environment. I hate washing dishes and it is so much easier to load it up and let it run. We cook constantly, so I usually have a semi-full dishwasher. There are nights though, when I just throw in my cutting boards or stove burners so I don't feel so guilty about the half-full dishwasher. 
Recycle!  Recycle!  Recycle!
I also cannot get away from paper towels. I really try to use my dish towels, but I don't know any other method  to clean cast iron skillets. We probably only use a roll once every two weeks or so, but I had a goal of being a paper towel free house. If anyone has a better way to clean cast iron I would LOVE to hear it. 

Do y'all have those one or two areas where you just can't go totally green? Please tell me I'm not the only one ruining our planet for future generations. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

When I was younger Memorial Day was just another day off from school. Now however, I have a deeper appreciation for the holiday. I hope that in between the margaritas and time at the beach, everyone can take a moment to remember the sacrifice made by so many service-members throughout American history.

“Let us form one body, one heart, and defend to the last warrior our country, our homes, our liberty, and the graves of our fathers.”
The first time a KIA hit home was my Junior year of high school when Marine 1st LT Andrew K Stern was killed in Iraq. He wasn't that much older than me and had shared so many of the same experiences. It was so strange that someone so similar to me could be killed while serving our country. Although I didn't know LT. Stern, I felt a connection to him and his family. A few years ago Lane and I went to Arlington Cemetery. I happened to mention that it would be nice to visit LT. Stern's grave. Not five minutes later we happened to walk directly in front of it.

Still the best
There are so many ways to help service members and their families. The USO is a wonderful organization and you can help send care packages overseas here. My Memorial Day will be spent with my wonderful soldier husband in Syracuse. I love being a part of the Army family, and feel blessed to experience the military in a way which is unknown to so many Americans.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hooray For The Long Weekend

Happy Friday! I am linking up with Lauren at My Grey Desk for High Five Friday. Here are five things that made my week a little happier. 

1. My update to my framed chalkboard. I have many talents, but good handwriting is not one of them. I got a stencil at Michaels and it looks much better.

2. My luck in finding great things at Walmart. Y'all, that is a sentence this city girl NEVER thought she would write. I have been getting great stuff there like my gorgeous cobalt blue bowls. We had friends over for chili and realized that we didn't have any bowls. Luckily there was enough time for a quick trip to Walmart. I saw these and actually loved them. Also, this salsa verde is the best I have ever had. It is super cheap and absolutely delicious.

3. The season finale of Sherlock on PBS. I might have been yelling at the TV by the end of it. I cannot overemphasize how good this show is. Lane and I had delicious burgers while watching the exploits of Sherlock and Moriarty. I am pretty sure this was on my list last week, but it is just THAT good.

4. This amazing weather. It has been in the 70's-80's all week and it is glorious.

5. Our couch was delivered! The wonderful delivery guys showed up an hour early on Wednesday and dropped off my lovely leather couch.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Where I Pretend to Be Monet

I was in Michaels the other day buying a stencil for an upcoming DIY project. Their canvases were on sale so I grabbed one without knowing exactly what I was going to use it for. I have been thinking that I want to make something to hang above our new ( gorgeous) leather couch. It would be another great way to coordinate all the different colors going on in this room. I love the pinks, blues and yellows and want to keep going in that direction.  I purchased a couple acrylic paints, but will probably have to go back for some more. I know I want it to be abstract, but am thinking of including some type of pattern. Here are some of my inspirations. 

I love pretty much everything from Michelle over at Armas Designs and that post in particular has some gorgeous work. 

I love the balance of patterns within a generally abstract painting. 

These are all from my Lovely Board on Pinterest. 

Abstract oil painting

The texture on this is amazing. 

love this

I love the use of shading in this. I love the idea of staying in mainly one color pallet, but very different shades. There is already a decent about of blue in the room so I may go with a more pink/yellow theme for the painting. 

Have any of y'all done any original art work for your house? I am thinking that we will make a date night out of it. Drink some wine and just start putting color on the canvas. My mantra for the last few weeks has been the Henri Mattise quote, "Creativity takes courage". I haven't painted in a very long time and I can't wait to get started. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oh How Pinteresting

Happy Wednesday to all! The weather has been so wonderful this week, and I have been soaking it up. I am always excited for Wednesday's link-ups because there are such great Pinterest finds. 

Firstly, I am linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I Am Loving Wednesday. 

This week I Am Loving my new framed chalkboard. I am so happy with how it turned out. I went ahead and redid the letters with a stencil and it looks much better. It was the perfect DIY project, not too difficult and not too time consuming.

I Am Loving that our couch will be delivered today. I can't wait to stretch out on our new gorgeous leather couch. We are slowly but surely checking items off our to-buy list. I think a couch is such a central piece of furniture. It is where you sit with friends and lounge with your husband.

I Am Loving that Lane has a long weekend for Memorial Day. I can't wait to spend time together and enjoy the gorgeous weather.

I Am Loving the Lord of The Rings nerd-fest I have been enjoying this week. I put on one of the special features disks while I am cleaning or working on a project.

I Am Loving that my unemployment ends two weeks from yesterday. I will start training in the advising office, and start actually working a week later. I can't wait to break out my office clothes which have been languishing in a plastic bin for almost a year.

It wouldn't be Wednesday without linking up with Michelle at The Vintage Apple
Today's theme is "Things That Make You Smile" I am very happy this week, and hope that some of these pins will put a smile on your face. 

From Molly's Favorite Stuff Board
That little face is so cute.
I think my house needs a pink chair
From Molly's New House Board
I really love this chair. Our house has so much blue that I am starting to look for ways to add more bright colors. If I can find a chair like this I am absolutely going for a bright color. 

Pinned Image
From Molly's Lovely Board
This makes me cry and laugh simultaneously. I love their identical faces. 

finally home
From Molly's Lovely Board
I am loving the homecoming pictures today. I spent about thirty minutes scrolling through homecoming tumblr's last and was in tears by the end of it. 

This would such a cute Mother's or Father's Day Present. 

I hope some of these made you smile. Happy Wednesday! 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Milspouses- I Need Help

I was so excited to find so many amazing milspouse blogs through the blog hop earlier this month. I am hoping that some of y'all will help me out. I am trying to figure out what I will wear to the Squadron Ball. I am planning on wearing a white dress, and was told in the protocol class that white was perfectly acceptable. However, I don't want to look like a wanna-be bride. Here is the dress: 



Oh and here is me in the dress. Man I look so young even though it was less than three years ago. 

I fell in love with this dress years ago, and purchased it for VMI's Ring Figure Ball. I got it during an incredible sale from Bluefly. It fits me perfectly, and I only wore it once. Question, is it too bridal-ly for the Ball? Have y'all worn white or seen other women wear white? 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Framed Chalkboard

I have had this frame for almost a year, and still found nothing to do with it. I originally purchased it for Lane's diploma, but the matting wasn't quite right. I found it at Goodwill for like 9 bucks, so I just kept it around hoping it would work for something. 

Finally inspiration struck earlier last week; I would turn it into a framed chalkboard. I found an awesome tutorial  for using chalkboard spray paint on glass. I pretty much followed her directions to the letter so I won't include them all here. I will say, spray painting is much harder than I thought it would be. I had drips going everywhere. Luckily my husband was apparently a graffiti artist in his past life and is an expert spray painter. He did the last three coats and made it look exponentially better. 

Glass on my pallet ( which is now in pieces pending my next DIY project) 

After the first coat. Oh look at the horrible patches. 

Oh and the splotches. 

Slightly better once Lane took over. 

And the finished product. I saw this pin on Pinterest forever ago, and modified it slightly for the chalkboard's first saying. I primed the frame with two coats of basic white primer and then Lane spray painted it with gold metallic spray paint. My bubble handwriting isn't the best, but it will do for now. 

And there it is across from the pie safe in the breakfast room. This whole DIY cost about $15.00 but if you consider that I already had the frame, it was really only $6.00. 

I am really happy with it, and love that I finally used that darn frame for something. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Book Boxes

When we were in the midst of wedding planning, I really wanted to use a carved out book for our vows and rings. Lane and I are such bibliophiles, I thought it would be perfect. I bought some super cheap $1.00 journal on clearance from Barnes and Noble to practice.

cut-out books

 Using a razor blade, I started cutting out a square through the pages. However, about halfway through I started to feel really bad about what I was doing. I couldn't even finish cutting a gaudy pink journal, much less an actual book.

book box
Has anyone else made a box from an old book? I don't think there is anything wrong with cutting out pages and I was completely surprised by my own reaction. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

How's It Hanging?

I have been trying to get more stuff hung up in our house. To me, hanging pictures has always been a sign that where you are is permanent. Yes we will be moving again in three years, but I will take what I can get. Here are a few pictures to give you an update. 

This is in the corner of our living room. The frames are from Ikea and I hung a few different pieces. 

One side has a picture of Lane and I from our high school graduation, a painting I bought in Italy and a cross stitch I made. 

Painting from Florence, Italy. 

The other side has another cross stitch, a picture of Lane and I from the wedding, and a second graduation picture. 

I love these pictures of Lane and I from graduation. We were no where near each other during the ceremony. My godmother took these pictures right after we found each other. I really like how the cross stitch and the graduation pictures mirror each other. The colors in the Florence painting match my Jasper John's print perfectly. 

One of my favorite wedding presents. I have talked about this painting about a million times, but it looks gorgeous in our dining room. 

Here is the start of a little gallery wall on our stairs. I don't know why they look slightly crooked, but I promise they are straight. It has my burlap/ key DIY, a wrought iron P, a mirror, and pressed Queen Anne's Lace. 

I love this photo series. This is from almost the end of our reception, and depicts Lane offering me a cigar. It looks kind of like those middle school posters where the evil drug dealer offers the poor naive kid a joint, but in a good way. My godmother is in the background, and you can see her shocked reaction when I take a puff on the cigar. This is at the very top of our stairs. 

I have a bunch more stuff to hang up, and will have even more once I go on a big framing spree. I am in the midst of a DIY framed chalkboard which I will post about next week. This is my inspiration to give you an idea of what I am going for: 

Gold Chalkboard Frame

I gotta tell you, chalkboard spray paint is nearly impossible to get out from under your nails. Happy weekend to all! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

High Five Friday

Well hello Friday. This week completely flew by in a blur of a spot of sickness ( boo changing weather's effect on my sinuses), cooking, job applications, and general happiness. I am linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk for High Five Friday.

1. Yesterday I had one of those thrifting moments that I have dreamed about. I found my own lovely globe for $1.75. There was a $10.00 minimum for credit cards, so I picked up a side table that needs a little TLC. I am excited to see what will work going forward. The top has some paint stains, so if they don't come off with sanding I will have to paint it.

2. My workouts have all gone really well this week. I have this whole post about women lifting heavy weights floating around in my head, but I haven't actually written anything. To summarize what I will eventually write; I have never seen such improvement in my physical health since I started doing the Starting Strength workouts. I am stronger, feel better, and have lost weight. I have been doing the the four exercises at least three times a week, supplemented with yoga and zumba.

The EASIEST chocolate mug cake:  1 egg  2 tbsp cocoa powder  1/4 cup (4 tbsp) powdered sugar  (I like to add 1/2 tsp of Nutella)  Whisk well with a fork, and microwave for 50-60 seconds. Top with whatever floats your boat!
3. I successfully made Paleo Chocolate Cake in a cup. It started out as an accident, but turned into something really tasty. I used this recipe and substituted almond flour, and took out the sugar and chocolate chips. I substituted honey for the sugar and added some banana after it was done. Y'all, it was so tasty. It was the perfect afternoon pick-me-up without any of the bad stuff that cake normally entails. It is not very sweet, so if you are used to the regular flavor of chocolate cake, it will seem quite bitter.

4. I got a pallet from behind the PX. They have giant stacks of them back there, and the lovely woman at customer service said I was welcome to take one. I am thinking that I will break it down and then use the wood to create something like this.

Reclaimed wood sign
My ultimate dream is to make two of them. I want to print on the poems from our wedding ceremony. There is a big blank wall opposite our bed, and I think they would look awesome. The only trouble now is breaking apart the darn thing. The nails look pretty rusted out, but man they hold on tight.

5. I love spending evenings with my husband. He has been home a little earlier this week, and we have been working our way through the early James Bond movies. It has been really fun although he tends to fall asleep part way through.
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