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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Glossy Ceramic Owl Makeover

Ok, first off - you know I love ceramic animals, right? I think we've already covered this subject, and there's no need to revisit it. But in case you are unaware, I invite you to check out this post and this post. That should prove my point. Moving on, though..after I received the ultimate owl figurine collection from my aunt, I immediately thought about painting them a solid glossy color. If not all, just some of them. However, I was a little torn between painting and leaving them alone for fear the little guys would lose their character. Thus, I decided to just paint one and see how it turned out.

I have to say, I love the result. Here's the Before and After:

It looks a lot more modern now - we had actually started painting him when I painted my wine bottles and jars a while back:

Except it got rainy later that day and we never got to do a second coat. So he sat inside until this weekend, when we finally finished him up!

He looks so handsome on top of the washing machine in the laundry room. So handsome in fact, that he makes doing laundry much more fun just by being there. :)

OK, maybe that last part isn't exactly true - when is doing laundry fun, really?

Still though, he is a pretty cute addition. I still haven't decided if I want to paint any more of these guys though...what do you think?

Do all owl figurines look better with a glossy coat of paint, or just the bigger ones, like the one I painted? Some of these guys are teeny tiny. For now, the jury is still out!

 (images from here and here)

Linked up to: Liz Marie Blog, Tatertots & Jello

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vase Transformation

Hello! Back again to share another little crafty project I did over the weekend. This one was super simple and I had been wanting to do it for a while. All I needed that I didn't have on hand was some twine...and when I bought the sisal rope at Hobby Lobby on Saturday, guess what was wrapped around it....twine. Perfect. Here's how my little vase transformation turned out:

Pretty cute, right? Here's what I did. I had this kinda plain clear vase I got a few years back (It's been a while but I think I just picked it up at Wal-mart). I had filled it with pinecones for a nice fall/winter decor touch, and I've just kind of left it that way for a while. It sits on our end table in the living room. Lately I've been wanting to spruce it up a little.

I have a bag of skeleton keys (Remember when I used some for my skeleton key art project?), so I thought I would just take some twine and wrap it around the vase, then tie a skeleton key to it. Super easy. I even painted the tip of the key with some craft paint I already had for a "dipped" look.

Supplies needed:
- a glass vase with some filler inside
- some twine or string
- an old key
- craft paint and brush

For now it's sitting next to the vacation jar I also made this weekend and shared yesterday (see that post here).

I kinda love how it turned out! And besides the drying time for the painted key (It took 2 light coats of acrylic paint), it was a really quick project that can be done in an afternoon. Ya know, when you're bored sitting at home like me, with a million projects running through your head....

Hope you like it! :)

Linked up to: The Pin Junkie, Domestic Superhero, Liz Marie Blog, Tatertots & Jello

Monday, July 29, 2013

DIY Vacation Jar Memento

It's been a while since I've shared a crafty project, so I'm super excited to say that I have a few to share this week! Even before our Lake Geneva trip, I already had an idea in mind of a vacation memento I wanted to make to remember it. I even looked for inspiration before the trip so I could gather any materials I needed. So this project is a long time in the making! But I finally had the time to get the materials I needed and make it. And here's how it turned out:

As much as I wanted to use a blue mason jar, I passed up the ones I found in the antique stores on the way back from our trip. I regret not buying a couple, since they weren't too much $$, and they have so much character. But after looking a little for a couple of weeks, I wasn't able to find any more of the blue ones, so I just picked up a regular glass one at Hobby Lobby.

It was only about $1, since it was originally like $2.20 and was 50% off. I wanted to use some kind of twine around the top of the jar for a kind of rustic, beachy feel, but all I could find were rolls of hemp for like $5-7 which was a little more than I wanted to pay. Finally at Hobby Lobby I found this roll of Sisal, which is a thin rope usually used for things like rugs.

At only $3.99, I decided to get it, since I figured I could always use it for future projects and I really like the texture of it.

I just filled the mason jar with the sand I collected in a water bottle at Williams Bay beach in Lake Geneva, and then put a few of the mushroom shells I found at the antique store on the way back. Two of the bigger shells didn't fit in the jar, but the rest were small enough to just set inside on top of the sand.

After the jar was filled, I used a label sticker and stuck that on with the label "Lake Geneva July 2013."

Then I glued the sisal rope around the top of the jar. And voila. My vacation jar is complete! I put it on the end table in our living room. It was the perfect spot.

I actually have a couple of other little projects that I completed over the weekend to share soon, so stay tuned! They've also been brewing around in my head for a while, so I'm quite excited to finally share them. LOVE super easy little projects. :)

Linked up to: Domestic Superhero, House of Hepworths

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Keep Calm and Drink Wine

I FINALLY got to go shopping this weekend! And I just happened to find some cute things at TJ Maxx while I was at it. Like this sign for the kitchen which was only $6.00:

And this cute pot holder / oven mitt set for $7:

I think they complement the colors in my mason jars pretty well, don't you think?

I've never climbed aboard the "Keep Calm" train before, but this sign was just too awesome (and appropriate) to pass up.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Turkish Towel Love

Why Hello, my new Turkish friend.....

Yes, I am talking to you, Mr. warm and luxurious Turkish Towel that arrived at my doorstep yesterday! I may have a slight Turkish towel obsession right now. They are just too pretty.

I had been eyeing them for a while, so a week or so ago, when I got an email with $10 off at Serena & Lily, I decided to splurge on one of their bath towels. I can't wait to use it!

It's the Fouta bath towel in Dove Gray. I know it's a little much for a towel, but hopefully it will last a really long time (Probably a lot longer than any cheap towel you would get at Target.)

There was even a cute little card that came in the box, which held the packing slip. Being a graphic design major and all, I appreciate high quality packaging design, and I have to say it was a really lovely way to contain a packing slip!

Here are a few other pretty Turkish towels in case you haven't fallen in love already....

From here, here, and here

I love the ones with the fringe, but it looked like Serena and Lily just had those as beach towels. Not that I know what the difference is (maybe the beach one is larger?)...Either way, it's pretty. I'm done. Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Eating Healthy

So I've decided to write up another health-related post today. This time I'm sharing the foods I try to avoid, and the foods I eat on a regular basis. First of all, I have to mention that yesterday I saw an article posted by USA Today that listed the metro areas in the United States that are at the most risk for a heart attack. Our area, the Quad Cities, was ranked SECOND in the whole country for heart attack risk. (Read the full article here) Crazy! I know anyone can have a heart attack and a lot of it is genetics, but at the same time I really think poor diet and smoking is a big factor. Don't smoke, people! You're setting yourself up for health problems! :)

Anyway, diet is really important and I always try to stay conscious of it everyday. That's why today I am sharing the foods I eat most and what I stay away from. I have written a health-related post before - see it here - and I'll start out by saying I eat junk food from time to time like anyone else. I just try to make healthy choices whenever I can, and I'm a vegetarian, so avoiding red meats is probably a good thing, too. I do eat sweets (almost everyday), but the key is that I just eat them sparingly. I also avoid pop and fast food whenever I can. I can't stand the thought of putting a bunch of trash, or junk food, into my body.

1. Sorry for you McDonald's lovers out there, but fast food = bad. Enough said.
2. I love my potato chips like anyone else. I just try not to overeat them. As in eating a whole bag in one sitting, or eating them for every meal.
3. I haven't eaten meat in a very long time for my own personal reasons when I was a kid (the stuff was nasty to me, what can I say), but ruling out meat hasn't been too bad for me, since I feel pretty healthy. So I'd say it's a pretty good diet.
4. I used to drink energy drinks in college but have since stopped, because Lord knows what bad stuff is in these things...
5. I don't drink pop, like ever, anymore. It has no nutritional value, so why not drink water or tea instead?

So those are the foods I try to avoid. Basically, I'm not going to eat chips and cookies and pop all day. If I do, I am probably destined to be obese and have health problems. My goal everyday is just to get a good balance of nutrients and protein, instead of a bunch of junk and fat. I don't starve myself, either. If I am hungry, I eat!!

So, I'm going to say again, like I did in my last health post, that I really recommend tracking your food on a website like

I use it everyday and I like to see what foods I eat all the time and what my calorie count is everyday. I always keep it between 1000 and 1500. Usually around 1500 calories is my daily goal. Anything less than that and I am hungry! Anything more, and I usually feel like I've eaten a cow. Of course, I am not very active either, so when I do work out, I have to take in more calories than usual.

Like I said, one of my favorite things about this website is seeing what foods I eat the most of out of any others. The following are some my most eaten foods and drinks:

1. Water - This is my most tracked item on I drink water daily, throughout the day.
2. Cheerios - My breakfast cereal of choice. I never get tired of them.
3. Organic Valley 1% Milk. I switched to organic milk a little while back and haven't drank generic milk since. It tastes so much better.
4. Bananas - It's my go-to lunch food. I grab them to take in my lunch almost daily.
5. Almonds - I like Emerald Dry Roasted almonds, and Blue Diamond Honey Roasted.
6. Granola bars - I have a granola bar for breakfast almost every day and prefer Nature Valley, although many of them have a lot of sugar and aren't organic. A sacrifice you have to make for yumminess!

In addition to those foods above, I also like orange juice, green tea, and iced tea to drink, and I eat a lot of Greek yogurt for lunch as well. Usually my lunch is lighter in calories (about 300-350), and I have a larger dinner, with small snacks throughout the day.

So that's my typical diet! Thought I would share in case anyone is struggling to eat healthy out there. I don't do the best at working out, but I definitely try to stay healthy when it comes to my diet. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Garden and Patio Update

The week is almost over already? Crazy! I've been busy lately so haven't had much time for blogging, but I do have some more pictures to share and will have some legit posts up soon as well!

First of all, we're still keeping busy in the garden. I helped Trent pull weeds the other day, and here's an update of the plants that are still growing.

Below is Lettuce and then Cabbage below that. Those are the rows I weeded. :) The clusters you see in the photos are pretty much the only plants that sprouted, so we weeded in the area around the plants and left the rest.

The picture below on the left is broccoli, on the right is the jalepenos.

Our sweet corn (not very tall for late in the season, but we got started late. Don't know if we'll have much of a harvest. Ha.)

Cucumber harvest - we have way too many cucumbers and most probably got too big! There's no way we're going to eat all these...

Trent is trying to pick one of the carrots in the picture below. We have no way of knowing when the carrots are "ripe" as far as we we decided to try and pull one out and see. Haha. It ended up being a tiny orange carrot and it smelled really good and fresh! But we decided to quickly put it back in the ground and see if it would grow even bigger. A little experiment if you will. I'm excited for carrots, though!

Once again the tiny cayenne peppers! I have yet to try these, but we better get to making that salsa soon...

And some pasta sauce. Check out all of these Roma tomatoes! These things spring up like crazy.

Meanwhile, while Trent continued to weed the garden, I set up a little place setting on the patio table.

Saleen helped. Kind of.

A closer view. We need to get on with some new patio furniture and lay a new patio like pronto. But it's looking like next summer for that now, since the foundation is getting fixed in October.

Most likely the only outdoor project that is going to get done soon (I hope!) is landscaping the side yard (on the west side of the house). Just as soon as I get to Lowe's to get plants. I swear.

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