Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Days, The Final Day, Day 31

I made it!  I did it! I blogged every day for 31 days straight! And I am proud of it. I may not have chosen the most complicated, intricate, deep topic, but I the point is that I MADE the time to blog and I accomplished my goal.

I once read somewhere that we don't have time for all the things that  we love. But rather, we MAKE time for the things that we love. I certainly was using the excuse of not having enough time to blog, but in reality, I wasn't making the time. What I learned from this 31 Day Challenge was that things we  love don't just sneak into our daily lives to make their pretty appearances, we have to work hard to pull the things that we love closer.

I enjoy blogging, reading blogs, commenting on blogs, you name it, I love it. But I think there was some fear of failure lurking around me for the past few months. A paralyzing fear that told me YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO BLOG or, YOU MIGHT NEVER HAVE A SINGLE READER. And so what? That's not the point. I don't wear purple pants because YOU ALL like them, I wear them because I DO.

And that's the beauty in blogging. Come on in, read my words, look at my photos, if you like it, please stay, and if you don't, that's ok too. I am going to forward this challenge to myself in the coming months and push myself to be present here, to talk about the things that make me happy, the things that I think about, and if you'd like to hang out with me, please do! I'll take some company.

Thank you to The Nester for giving me this opportunity - and congratulations to all the other 1000's of bloggers who participated in the challenge!

So here goes, just in time to get TGI...It's Thursday back on the radar - the last 31 Day Challenge: Encouraging Thoughts.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

31 Days, Day 30

So close being done with the 31 Day Challenge - I can hardly believe it. Tomorrow I'll be talking about what I learned from the Challenge and doing a sort of wrap-up on my thoughts. I hope you'll stop by to read. And, if you haven't done so already, click over to The Nester to see all of the participants of the 31 Day October challenge. 

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

31 Days, Day 21


One of the take-aways that I'm getting from this 31 Day challenge, is to read, think, and apply these quotes to my daily life. I hope that those of you following along are doing the same, because you can read, read, read these quotes all you want, but if you don't take the time to think and apply the meanings of the quotes, then they are nothing but letters on a pretty picture.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

31 Days, Day 20 - DIY: Burlap Headboard

Once a upon a time, my little brother lived in the room....can we just say EW...because that's the only way to describe what the room looked like at that time. I'll let you imagine that for a second....

Ok, done? Now that he's all moved out, we have a legit guest room...only problem was that we had nothing except the mattress and bed frame left in the room. We're slowly but surely making headway towards a crisp and clean, inviting room for our guests, but the bedding was the most important first step.

Today I'd like to share the headboard with ya'll. It's really made a huge difference in setting the tone for the room and making the bed look like it actually belongs on the wall. So let's begin by breaking down the tools and materials needed:

1x2 boards cut to desired length (more on that below)
"L" brackets - 4 of these bad boys
screw driver (you can use a drill if you feel so inclined)
staple gun
upholstery tacks 

1. Measure your bed - this is a full size bed, and I wanted the headboard to stick out a little bit so I added a few inches to my measurement for a width of 60". Then I eyeballed approximately how high I wanted the headboard to be and came up with 40". The headboard doesn't go all the way to the floor, the bottom of it comes to about the bottom of the mattress, just above the box spring. But again, it's really up to you and the size of your bed.

2. Take those measurements to The Home Depot, or wherever you will pick up your 1x2's. I chose this size because it's cheap ($.75 for a 6' length) and it's light which makes hanging easy. Have the nice man at The Home Depot cut your wood to length - I had 2 pieces 60" long, and 2 pieces 38" long - so the final dimensions of the rectangle you'll make in the next step ends up being 40x60"...make sense?

3. Lay out your pieces and if you feel inclined, use a right angle to be sure you have a strong 90 degrees in each corner....I did not do this, and it's fine. (Sorry for the spelling error above...*brackets)

4. Put your "L" brackets in place and screw them in. I did 2 screws on each corner before going back to the the next 2.

5. Lay out your first layer of batting (I did two layers to ensure a soft edge). Turn your frame that you jsut created over so that the "L" brackets are facing the ground, make sure to have enough batting around the edges to begin stapling. 

6. Use your staple gun to secure two opposite sides of your batting - this step doesn't have to be perfect, just be sure there are no saggy wrinkly spots in the center of your frame - pull it fairly tight. 

7. Do the other set of sides - you should have 4 staples total at this point - just to hold everything in place. 

8. Continue stapling until the batting is tight around all edges. Then, repeat steps 5-8 with your second layer of batting.

9. Trim the extra batting, and get ready for the fun part!

10. Depending on big you want your weave pattern to be will determine how many strips of burlap you'll need to cut. I chose to do my 5" wide which meant I needed 12 strips one direction and 8 for the other. I cut the strips about 4" longer than necessary to ensure I had enough to staple over the back. So that's 12 strips 48" long, and 8 strips 68" long. I also cut 2 extras of each length just in case.

11. At this point I was getting excited about the finished product and forgot to take pictures, but you'll want to take your short strips (my 12 strips that are 48" long) and staple them along the long side of yor frame. Make sure to leave enough to staple both edges.

12. Once the those are secure, begin weaving your long strips over/under until you end up with something like the photos below.

13. Once you've woven your heart out, you'll want to start stapling again. Starting with your long piece closest to the stapled short pieces, staple on side then tighten up your weave by pulling everything tight as you move across  the headboard, when you get to the other side, staple it tight. And move on to the next strip. 

14. When you get to the final strip, pull everything as tight as you can and staple all the end pieces around all four edges until the entire headboard is clean and tight. 

15. This is the final step, and it's not mandatory, but I think it adds a great finished look. Mark around the perimeter of the headboard, about 3/4" away from the edge, every 1" with a pen. Hammer in your upholstery tacks and admire your work!

Lastly, there are mutliple methods that can be used to hang your new masterpiece, I had my hubby remove two tacks and drill the headboard right into the wall where I wanted it, then I replaced the tacks to cover the screws. Easy peasy.

Here is how we started the room, and where we are now:

31 Days, Day 19

Have you heard of Birchbox? It's kind of like a magazine subscription...but BETTER because you get a monthly collection of beauty products - sample sized and full sized, delivered in a pretty box and customized just for you. For only $10 a month, it's the perfect gift for yourself or someone else. (You can gift a 3 month subscription to a bestie!)

Last month I got this cute card with the box, and I taped it to my computer at my work, as a reminder that I kick ass...sometimes ;)

To get your own Birchbox click here. And PS - this is not a sponsored post.

Friday, October 18, 2013

31 Days, Day 18


Have you heard of Lisa Leonard? She's an amazingly talented artist from my old stomping grounds - the Central Coast of California. She creates the most meaningful jewelry and pieces for the home. And she just started adding paper and clothe products as well. She is an inspiration to us all - to read more about her, click over to her blog HERE. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 Days, Day 17 - Pinterest Tried and Tested, A Series - Part 3

2 Tbs Olive Oil
1-1/2 lbs Italian sausage – we used Italian bratwursts cut up, but any meat that you would use in lasagna would work
1 chopped onion – I used half an onion
4 garlic cloves – I use 2 big ones
2 tsp dried oregano – didn’t have any this, don’t think it needed it
½ tsp dried red pepper flakes – not 100% necessary but it was a nice added kick
1 can tomato paste 
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves – again probably not 100% necessary but I used them
4-6 cups chicken stock – I used 4 cups of low sodium and it was perfect
Pasta of choice – we used bowtie
Basil – either fresh or dried, we used dried
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan – didn’t have this, didn’t need it.
Extra mozzarella

In a big soup pot, cook your sausage or meat in the olive oil.
Add the chopped onions and let cook til they get soft.
Add garlic, oregano, red pepper. Cook for a minute or so.
Add tomato paste – cook for another 5 minutes or so – stirring every so often.
Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves and chicken stock.
Add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

In a separate pot, cook your pasta.

Serve the soup over the pasta with a big spoonful of ricotta, top with mozzarella and parmesan and basil.

* Recipe originally adapted from here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

31 Days, Day 16

This a a thought that I struggle with daily. The ability to let go and know that it's out of our hands and in the hands of the one who matters most. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

31 Days, Day 15 - the almost halfway point.

Check out this Etsy site, by clicking the link above for lots of inspirational prints.   

Monday, October 14, 2013

31 Days, Day 13 & 14

Whoops, kinda spazzed out there for a second and forgot about Saturday - so here's your words of encouragement for days 13 & 14 of our 31 Day Challenge.

Day 13


Day 14 


Are you thinking about starting something new in your life - whether it's starting a new book, or a new hobby, or even a business, every step counts, so get moving today - even if it's 5 minutes for your book, or making a list of things you'll need for your dream business - start now!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

31 Days, Day 12

Today's post is a little different, today I'd like to share my amazing hubby's blog with you - because as encouraging and motivating as a simple quote can be, most times, the most motivating thing to a person, is a best friend, husband, wife, brother, sister, parent, or grandparent. So I'm sharing Sam and Leah's Adventures with you today, stop by and leave Sam a comment!


Friday, October 11, 2013

31 Days, Day 11


If you're looking for a great blog about running, being a WFHM  (work from home mom) or something in-between, click the link to go over to Work In Sweats Mama.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

31 Days, Day 10

Have you read Jon Acuff's book, "Start"? Seriously, hands down the best way to get motivated, encouraged, and off your chair. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

31 Days, Day 9


The Nester is doing her 31 days based on this concept, click over to see what she has to say about Life being "Uncomplified".

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Tried and Tested - Pinterest Recipe Successes: A 3 Part Series. Part 2.

If ever there was a cookie that screamed fall to me, it would be this one. A huge hit in this house, and it makes about 3 dozen cookies, plenty to eat, and enough to give some away!

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves 
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup pure pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar 

Mix your dry ingredients together - flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinammon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Set aside. 

In a separate bowl mix your wet ingredients - butter, sugar, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. 

Combine the bowls and bake your cookies at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes - until darker brown around the edges. 

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbs milk
1 tsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix it all together, drizzle over cookies once they are cooled.   

Are you following the October 31 Day Challenge? You should be! Read about it, then jump over to here, to see all the other participants! 

31 Days, Day 6


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

31 Days, Day 2

Momentum can do wonders in life. Don't hold back, just keep the pedal spinning. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

31 Days, Day 1

We never know what tomorrow, the next hour, or the next breathe can bring, so don't dwell in the past, be present for the now and for the next.