Tuesday, October 17, 2017

craft: easy DIY fabric coasters and trivet

Purging. I've talked about it before, and I'm always looking for a new project that can create something useful with the overflow of materials in my craft room. I even have loads of Pinterest pins just waiting to accomplish exactly these goals!

Here's a good - and easy - project that cleared out fabric (did I mention that I'm a hoarder?). With less than a yard of fabric, laundry rope, hot glue gun and sewing machine, I had enough to create four coasters and a trivet.

  • First, cut your fabric in 1-inch strips using a cutting board (like the one above) or with scissors. The great thing about this project is that it doesn't have to be perfect because you're wrapping that fabric around the rope. 
  • The online directions tell you to sew the ropes together but that was proving to be a challenge. Instead, I coiled the rope and hot-glued it together. Round and round and round.
  • Once finished, I used the sewing machine to create a (+) and flatten the coasters and trivet. 

Super easy, right? Both projects are in their new home in the mountains. Create a set as a housewarming or hostess gift while clearing out that fabric you so badly wanted to use for a completely different project.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

goals: may round-up

You probably think that I'm failing with my 2017 resolution and not making or keeping any weekly goals, but that's not true. With the Snowpeak Retreat keys in our hands, we've been replacing, updating and searching for the right items to make it both a home and rental. There's been a lot of researching and comparing, and with long work days and travel, just getting there to put it all into place has been all the goals a girl can handle.

The one thing I can share is that I do have inspiration in place, and I put the below together to guide my decor decisions. I purchased the Idea Market Hand-Done pillow at JoAnn one afternoon and it just went from there. I call this: California mid-century modern retreat. 

I've started some fun DIY projects for June just for the retreat space, so stay tuned to see what I'm about to make.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

home: a lasting vacation

We have a fun announcement! April weekly goals were big and they included reviewing, signing and chasing down documents for the purchase of our new ... vacation home! That's right. Two mortgages for the win!

Here's the short story of a decently shortish story. My husband is a fantastic skier (from New England that one) and I spent my winters on a dairy farm not skiing. Four years ago, I took my first ski lesson and last year, I became completely addicted to this ridiculously cold sport. So now we both have this hobby that takes us to the Lake Tahoe area often, and we fell in love. (To clarify, the area. We already loved each other.)

After a few weeks looking, we found an adorable condo in a prime location (we travel from the Bay Area) and potential for rental when we're not there. According to local folklore, there's a creek that runs right in front of our unit but since the area received 700 inches of snow this season, we're likely to see it never. 

As part of the sale, we will keep all of the furniture which is awesome until we can replace with pieces we really want. In the meantime, I'm excited to work on projects to make this place a home ... and a rental! Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

goals: march wrap-up

A quarter of the year is complete and I continue my weekly goals. The important thing is that I have stayed true to my goals and maintained the ones from the week before. For instance, reapplying lipstick has been a challenge but I'm trying my hardest here!! (And it makes me feel more put together which in turn makes me more confident.)

March Week 2: Start a Garden (again)

There were attempts in 2010 and again in 2012, and every year since, I make little attempts to grow basil or calla lilies. Every year, not so successful. But this year and with this California rain, I feel less guilty about growing my own crops. So one Saturday, we pulled out all of the dirt in this garden box (that was the problem) and started over with fresh soil and new vegetables.

squash | red onion | lacinato kale | romaine lettuce | parsley | red peppers | tomatoes | raspberries

I do have a small herb garden that has done decently well but only because I totally neglected it and it rained a lot this year. The truth. And for the first time, I tried those weird things you read on Pinterest where you take food scraps and create new food from them. I have romaine lettuce from scraps - isn't that mind blowing?

March Week 3: Visit a New Place

This may be a silly goal since this trip was already booked and I just have to make my flights. But I've never been to Scottsdale and I'm going to do nothing but check out a new town (and catch a spring training game). So my goal was to unplug (a little), hike, eat, meet people and enjoy our friends. Sometimes, it's a little easier said than done.

Although I'm not a fan of the desert (firmly decided), I am a big fan of having a trip planned. Anything to look forward to that involves little to no pubic transportation and access to fancy coffee! Extra points if I can't get phone service.

March Week 4: Update Skin Regimen

After a long conference week with too much coffee and not enough sleep, I booked an appointment with an esthetician to give me some serious skincare feedback. We chatted about my skincare goals and options for improvement and prevention. 

I needed help, direction and someone to just tell me what to do. The one thing that I did add to my regimen is Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C stimulates new collagen, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, protects the skin from environmental pollutants, reduces visible discolorations on the skin and provides enhanced protection against UV exposure. (source) So instead of using 8 different lotions, I'm hoping this serum is a start (from fixing everything above!).

Monday, March 6, 2017

goals: clear inbox, can't lose

I recently read the most real post on Instagram: being an adult is basically just emailing someone back and forth saying "sorry for the delayed response!" until one of you dies. Wait, it's not just me? There are other people that are too busy/lazy/chicken shit/bored to not respond right away?

So this week, I committed to following-up. All of it.

In a given week, I get a nice assortment of LinkedIn and Facebook messages, blog requests, inquiries about event/creative/wedding support, and the pile of messages in the inbox that I will eventually get around to taking action. Sound familiar? So I started out slow:
  • First, the simple "to do" items that just need a few minutes (save this password, unsubscribe to account, review content as FYI). Little brain power here.
  • Then email responses: LinkedIn and Facebook. Sending thoughtful messages so folks still consider me a reference and friend.
  • Finally, take action tasks. These are the things that are the most time consuming - review bank account, look up documentation, research rental properties - so I really just sat down and worked through these tasks in an afternoon.
Done. My inboxes are shorter, my text messages are cleared out, and my conscience is starting the week a little lighter. And with this renewed feeling, I'm determined to make this habit stick!

Do you also feel overwhelmed with the amount of follow-up you need to do? After a little research, it sounds like this is common and there is help!

Monday, February 27, 2017

clean: squeaky clean

Let me hear it for the hardworking girls out there trying to keep the dust off furniture and floors clean.  Now let's cheer for the hardworking moms out there still able to find clean dishes and clothes every day. God bless you.

So with two heavy work weeks and two free weekends, I made two simple goals: clean the house and get the yard back in order after these California rains. This glamorous lifestyle isn't for everyone, but I like doing it myself because only I can do it really well. Sound familiar? 

This blog post should really finish right here because writing about cleaning toilets and raking the backyard doesn't make for creative writing. But since I promised to share my progress report while writing here on the blog, this is a great opportunity to pull together my favorite quick (surface) cleaning solutions.
  • Washing bath towels: I have to do this technique at least once a month and it miraculously takes away that wet smell deep in the towel. Here's how to do it.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaning Pads: From my glass shower door to the kitchen sink to the scuffs on the floor, this cleaning tool is truly magic. I buy this stuff in bulk. (Coupon Closet has more ideas)
  • Wool Duster : Surface cleaning is all I need to feel like a new person. Every household must have one to dust of the wine bottles, er, picture frames.
  • Scotch-Brite FurFighter Hair Remover Kit: We have our precious Lola and she is really good at shedding. Instead of vacuuming the couches, this tool quickly picks up the cat hair from couches, beds and pillows.
The rest is just dusting, sweeping, vacuuming and throwing stuff in a drawer. And it feels good starting the day with shining floors and a clean front porch. How do you keep your house under control when busy? 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

craft: free "admit one" printable

One of my most requested Etsy orders isn't actually an item that I have listed on the site. It's from a previous post and very popular Pinterest pin with this image:

The requests are always for the small 4 inch by 4 inch painted burlap sign that can be placed inside the shadowbox. It's super easy to make and not a problem to quickly get an order out in a few days. But wouldn't it be so much cooler if you could just do it right now ...
As a special treat for my readers, I created these simple downloads to print and place inside your own shadowbox so that you can organize your movie/concert/festival tickets. Go ahead and copy to a Word document and adjust based on your needed size!


Need a shadowbox to finish this DIY project? Here are some options that you can quickly order today on Amazon.