Wednesday, May 30, 2012


The Hubby's favorite Avenger is Thor. His middle school self was also a huge fan of Pokemon. Thus, this cartoon made us laugh so hard.

Source: via Min on Pinterest

Last Weekend

This past weekend basically consisted of a lot of sitting and eating.

I failed the donut challenge. Since one Texas Size Donut from Round Rock Donuts is the equivalent of a dozen donuts I thought it would be easier to tackle one giant thing rather than twelve donuts. After the first bite I decided that I didn't really want to do it. I finished half of it and probably could have finished the entire thing if I truly pushed myself, but who would that benefit? We won't be having donuts again for a long long time.

Our television wasn't working properly so The Hubby and I played a lot of video games. I am absolutely terrible at three dimensional games. At least I've finally learned how to get myself out of a corner instead of running into it repeatedly. There are attack dogs in the game and the first time I saw The Hubby snap a poor puppy's neck in the game I almost started crying.

We traveled to a nearby town called Salado which has antique shops, little boutiques, and wineries. Unfortunately, everything was highly overpriced. Our little bag of candy full of gummies, yogurt covered pretzels, and sour candies cost over $7! 

Martin and Lola will be house guests for awhile. There's been a lot of sleeping around here.

Instead of going to our usual farmers market we tried the one in Round Rock on Sunday morning. There were no seats so we sat in the trunk of our Subaru eating our tamales and spinach paratha. I made that red and white cover myself to protect the back seats from Bella's fur. Even The Hubby admitted that it looks professional because it fits perfectly. Too bad it's really girly.

Last year we discovered the Summer Classic Film Series at the Paramount Theater and watched The Grapes of Wrath and Breakfast at Tiffany's. This year we watched To Kill a Mockingbird. It's amazing to see these films on the big screen.

Our new favorite place to eat is at the original Whole Foods Market. It's enormous and there are so many options to choose from. We love the fresh ingredients and their sandwiches are very reasonably priced. They also had the best tater tots we've ever eaten. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Let's Make: Pretty Blog Pictures!

An awesome reader commented on my craft room post asking me how I add my tape captions on my blog pictures. It's actually really easy! I used to embellish my blog pictures all the time during my pre-MacBook days when I still had my PowerPoint program. I'm too cheap to purchase the real Microsoft Office program since I'm out of school and use Open Office instead. Unfortunately, I can't quite figure out how to use that program as efficiently. 

Luckily for me (and now you), PicMonkey is up and running and kicks Picnik's booty in ways to customize pictures. One of the best functions is the ability to add your own overlays. Plus, they just put up their collage function. Score! 

Ready to make your own pretty blog pictures? Let's do this!

Step 1: Download free tape strips from Pugly Pixel.
Katrina is so generous with her downloads that include clip arts, textures, blog layouts, and more. She also has awesome tutorials and is crazy talented and creative. I've used her scallop and starburst medallions and paper buffet before.

Save your tape strips to a spot you'll remember. I have a folder just for my blog.

Pugly Pixel Free Tape Strips

Step 2: Head to PicMonkey and upload your picture. Then click on "Overlays" and add your own.
In the picture below, I've already edited it and rounded my corners. I'll then upload the tape strip that I want for my caption.

Step 3: Size your overlay and place it where you think looks best.

Step 4: Add your caption.

Step 5: Save your picture. Admire your awesomeness.

You can also play around with collages or make your own layout by using this tutorial from Something Swanky like I did here.

If you ever have any questions for me, please let me know! And if you find my tutorial handy, I would love to see what you've done. Happy blogging!

P.S. Click here for a tutorial on how to make custom gift tags.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

For the Love of Chevron (and a Bow Tie)

I've been keeping myself fairly busy recently since quitting my job. I basically lock myself in my craft room and sew away. I found this awesome gray chevron fabric at Hobby Lobby in the clearance bin for about $4 for 3/4 a yard, which is such a steal. I used it to make a cell phone wallet to have while I'm on the go.

I've seen these adorable wallets before on Etsy and at the Renegade Craft Fair, but $22 is a little too steep for me. I found this great tutorial for an organizer wallet by LBG Studio and adjusted it so that I had extra slots for credit cards and a little hook for keys or a wristlet.

I'm in love with it! It was definitely a more challenging project for me, but when I made a second one for a friend I was able to finish the project in two hours from start to finish. I'll have to make a sturdier wristlet than the one I have now. I wasn't able to do the topstitching on it because the fabric was too thick to fit under my foot. Any suggestions on that would be most welcome!

I also made a pillow case for my craft room chair out of the chevron print fabric. The Hubby makes fun of my love for all things chevron. It looks tons better than my first pillow case. I think it's because I used a fuller pillow form (50 cents at a garage sale, brand new!). This tutorial was really straightforward and the measurements were spot on. 

I also made a fabric bow tie attachment for a dog collar for a friend by following this tutorial. Bella was just a model for the bow. I think she looks like a boy. If you can't make your own, Etsy has several adorable options.

I'm sorry this has recently become a craft blog. I guess that's my true passion!

Bloody Hell!

I want a Kinect before Autumn 2012.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Craft Room Reveal

This is the room I've been lucky enough to do all of my sewing projects in. I actually finished putting it all together quite some time ago, but it is rarely tidy and the lighting for the room is awful so I can never get any decent pictures. I was able to take a few decent shots yesterday and I am really excited to show you my workspace.

For the most part, I stuck with my plans and have created a pretty efficient and organized space for myself. I have several lidded boxes placed in my book case from Ikea and have labeled them with blue paint chips to add some color. I have two boxes for fabric alone. I love knowing where everything is.

The most functional part of the room is probably the wire drawers I have behind my desk. I keep my trusty sewing machine on top of it so it's hidden in the corner. I also love the clear drawer inserts so that I have a place for everything. (1. zippers, bias tape, 2. thread, 3. elastic, iron-on hemming, 4. cutting tools, 5. bobbins, 6. pins, measuring tape, 7. notebooks, 8. tumblers, 9. decorative tape, 10. post-its, lip gloss, lotion, 11. eraser, glue stick, clips)

Instead of using a traditional trash can, I use a large potholder and I tuck it in one of the bottom shelves (seen over the word "good").

My desktop is also pretty organized as well. I use cute mugs and small potholders to hold markers, scissors, rulers, and other writing utensils. Next to those is a small desktop drawer where I hold my stamps, inks, and adhesives. I send a lot of mail so it's nice to have these items handy.

The compartment right next to my seat holds scratch paper, sewing patterns, and catalogues with inspirational layouts such as West Elm and Urban Outfitters. I framed a picture of the peonies I bought for myself last year because I just adore them so much. If you see them for sale at your local grocery store please let me know!

I also have a coaster permanently in place for any water I have so that any condensation doesn't ruin my projects. I make sure to keep my cell phone there as well because I hate it when I lose my phone under a pile of fabric and scraps.

My craft room is also full of less functional things such as framed pictures and quotes.

My sister gave me these scrapbook overlays last year. I decided to place them over a couple of my favorite quotes and frame them as cheap yet meaningful art for the room. 

They sandwich a beautiful print I won as a prize from one of my favorite Etsy sellers, Little Things Studio. I wish I had a better picture of this as it looks really nice on the wall.

Next to my closet (don't ask to look in there) is another print from Little Things Studio. I made those curtains myself using fabric I purchased from the Crate and Barrel Outlet last year. Again, these pictures don't do them justice.

One of my last additions to the room is a magnetic whiteboard from Ikea. I love that nothing is permanent so I've attached my current favorite pictures, quotes, and random things I've picked up over the years.

I received this beautiful free postcard from Ann Shen. "Sea of Love"is one of my all-time favorite songs. I think my fabric covered clothespin magnets add a nice touch.

And that's it!

This is what my craft room looks like 99% of the time, by the way:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Let's Make: A Slow Feed Dog Bowl!

Bella is a typical Lab. She loves food. She loves food more than she loves us. It's true. She's sprints to her cage when she spots her treats because she knows that's the only time we give them to her. She hates her cage, but she loves food more. She hates us leaving, but she loves food more. Basically, food is the most amazing thing on the planet for her. Unfortunately, she also swallows her food whole without chewing at all, which is terrible for her stomach.

We typically feed her kibble by filling an empty Gatorade bottle, but sometimes we don't have time to funnel every piece in the bottle. She's also such a pro at dumping out all of her food in one move by now. 

I got this idea after seeing slow feed dog bowls and pacer balls. I just filled up Bella's bowl with a bunch of untouched toys and spread the kibble around them. 

Now this technique probably won't work for dogs who actually enjoy playing with toys (or dogs who are smart enough to remove all the toys before eating). This trick works like a charm for Bella though because she only chews on stuffed toys and never bothers with anything else unless it's filled with food. Plus, she's definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed.

The only toy that she ever removes from her bowl is the red one because sometimes it holds kibble. We've tried the Kibble Nibble and the Tug-A-Jug. Neither have lasted very long in our household with a dog who won't let anything get in between her and sustenance.

Overheard in our household:
Hubby: Bella won't get her bottle. We need to leave and she won't get it.
[I look under the couch, which is where you can find her bottle  99% of the time. I grab it and hand it over to him.]
Hubby: Hey! How did you find it?
Me: Maybe because I looked for it myself rather than asking a dog to find it.

I See Something!

Did you guys try to catch the solar eclipse yesterday? At the last minute, The Hubby and I each made a pinhole projector. We ran outside to try to catch it.

But we didn't see anything at all. The Hubby was bored.

After the third try, we finally saw a difference in the sun.

Don't worry, I didn't stare at the sun to capture this picture. I just hope I didn't damage my camera.

Bella didn't know what was happening, but she somehow knew to look away from the sun.

The Hubby couldn't resist the bright light and peeked several times and complained of headaches. We are definitely going to find safe viewing glasses in 2017.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Doggies Galore

We had FOUR DOGS in our house on Friday. FOUR! Martin and Lola's parents were going to Six Flags so we watched them for the day. I received a text later in the afternoon from The Hubby asking if we could watch Shiloh for a couple of days. I agreed because Martin and Lola were not staying the night and we absolutely adore Shiloh. 

Waiting for The Hubby to drop some food.

All of these dogs are furniture-loving pups so it was interesting sharing the couch with them while watching "Grey's Anatomy." Bella, ever faithful, was by my side while Lola found her place on my lap. Shiloh sat next to her favorite person, The Hubby.

Martin stayed on the floor next to my legs. We were surrounded by so much furry love! 

The Hubby was dying to take a nap as he worked from 6am Thursday morning to 3pm Friday afternoon with zero sleep. As soon as he hit the bed, he fell asleep. He didn't care that the four dogs neglected to leave me any room for me to sleep, too.

I texted a picture of this madness to my sister asking her where I could fit and she sent me this drawing. Apparently, I was supposed to curl up like a dog as well. Bella knew exactly where she belonged.

After som readjusting, I found myself at the edge of the bed with Shiloh and Bella against each other, Lola on The Hubby's pillow, and Martin at the bottom by our feet.

Bella overcame any hesitations she had with Shiloh and didn't mind sleeping right next to her this time around. Can we please please get another dog?

The next morning, I woke up at 0640 to let the dogs out. I went to the bathroom literally for two minutes and found the two brats on the bed sleeping without me. The Hubby had no clue.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Let's Make: A Weekly Dinner Menu!

My mother never allowed us to hang miscellaneous items on our refrigerator. She's not a fan of clutter so report cards or drawings by yours truly never made it on the fridge. Coupons, however, were allowed as long as they remained on the side of the fridge out of sight. I decided to upgrade our fridge decor today as a calendar from 2010 really needed to go. 

My favorite additions include DIY cloth covered clothespin magnets I whipped up weeks ago and a free printable from EatDrinkChic. I took my day off (the first of many) to set up our new wireless printer and went a little crazy.

I spent the majority of my day creating this weekly dinner menu (and blogging about it). I adore it because it was a free project and I think it's extremely practical. I am terrible about planning out my meals for the week and using up all of my fresh produce I purchased thinking I would actually use it all. 

I know there are tons of weekly dinner planners out there that you can print out and use. Martha even has a dry erase version that I was tempted to purchase. I really wanted one that could integrate my pre-existing recipe cards from my giant recipe binder. This way, I can just pull out the card(s) I needed for a specific day instead of fumbling through my binder and it's super flexible. It also makes grocery list making loads easier.

Want to make one? It's so easy! First, grab a plastic page protector and fold in in fourths. I found this to make perfect size pockets for my 3 by 5 index cards.

Insert some pretty cardstock that you wouldn't mind displaying and sew on the folds, using them as a guideline. I chose pink thread because I like the feminine touch. Don't forget to backstitch! Here's a video if you need extra help.

Trim off the end where the existing closing was so that you create openings for the pockets.

Stick in the recipes for the week and you're good to go. I printed out two cards that say "Take a Break Today (Let's Eat Out)" and "Fend for Yourself" for those days you just don't feel like cooking.

"Fend for Yourself" days are usually turkey bacon and egg dinners.

You can put multiple recipe cards in one slot and move them around accordingly.

Voila! I just hope I follow through with my dinner plans! 

This week's dinners: