31 December 2015

I would have to say that this year has been one of the best of my life so far! I can't believe that it's over!  I am really really looking forward to seeing what 2016 brings us - but its always nice to take a look back ;)

This year we really got settled into our house. We moved in at the end of last year and didn't have time to make it very homey with everything else we had going on, but this year we made a huge effort and I'm happy to say that it finally feels like our home.  

We got married!!! 
The wedding itself didn't go as planned, and in truth was a bit of a disaster but in the end I left married to my best friend and that was all that mattered.

We went on some really great vacations! 
Take me back to Mexico asap! 

We watched some of our best friends get married and others get engaged! This really is the season of life where you have 5 weddings a year... no complaints here! I love weddings!

Our nephew was born! He is such a sweet boy and while I love the baby phase I am excited to see how much he grows over the next year. He'll be a wild little toddler before we know it! 

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I don't like making New Years Resolutions because I feel like I'm setting myself up for failure but I do have a lot of goals going into next year that I'm really excited about.

I want to really focus on blogging and get a calendar together to organize posts 5 days a week.
I want to attend a blogging conference so I can learn more about social media and growing an audience. (Again, I think that regular posting is key here ;) If only I could follow my own advice) 

I want to travel so much more! Blake and I have some really big decisions to make about our future this year and what direction we want to take with work and money and blah blah blah. The one thing we know is that we want to get out of Colorado and see everything! 48 state road trip..... maybe??

Organization - this one speaks for itself. I have none, I want to get some. 

We bought a nice camera last year in preparation for some serious blogging and you know what? I still haven't learned how to really use it.  I am going to take a page from Laura's book and learn my way around a DSLR. 

Lastly, I really want to take better care of myself. One thing I really envy about Blake is how dedicated he is to taking care of himself. When he's home alone he doesn't use it as an excuse to eat pizza and taquitos... crazy right? He also works out everyday. I'ma try that.

So, with that - I hope everyone has a wonderful, safe New Years Eve! Happy 2016!!

Happy Christmas Week and Thoughts

21 December 2015

Happy, happy Christmas week everybody! I can barely believe that this year is nearly over. 2015 was so good to us that I will be sad to see it go, but I can't wait to see what happens in 2016! We are traveling to see family this week and I'm so excited! Christmas is the very best.

I'll just tell you now that this post is scatter city. I hope you stick around anyway :) 

I saw this photo today and can't believe he was this tiny. Now, a year a half later, he's the dog equivalent of a snarky grandpa. He's so grumbly and snuggly at the same time. I love him so much that it hurts my heart.

SERIALLLLL Season 2 is out and I got so excited the morning it popped up in my podcast playlist that I listened to it three times. I don't want to miss a single thing. It's so different from last season and I was unsure at first, but now I'm sold. I would like for Sarah Koenig to tell me stories all day.

I worked out 4 days last week! I was so proud of myself and also so sore that I thought my legs would actually fall off. The dogs tried to chase after a bunny during our walk and I barely had the strength to hold them back, especially with all the ice. I saw my life flash before my eyes.

Speaking of bunnies, I really want one. I was looking at them on adoptapet.com the other day before Blake caught me. I saw a gif of four bunnies falling asleep in cups the other day and I needed one. 

I bought pink faux fur last week for a vest I'm making and I got some crazy looks from the ladies at the cutting counter. The woman behind me got the same fabric to make a cat bed.... I don't know what this says about my choice.
Speaking of fabric, I don't like what the holidays have done to the lines at JoAnn's.

We didn't do Christmas cards this year because Blake said he thinks you only do them when you're a real grown up (which we apparently aren't), but I have loved getting everyone else's! They are so cute and I love that they thought of us.

I'll confess that I didn't want a tree originally but we got one anyway and I'm so happy that we did. I'm laying on the couch writing this and the room feels so much cozier with it up. We might not take it down!

We're about to get our second big snow storm tomorrow and I'm pretty excited that everyone here will have a white Christmas!

I plan on posting a few more times before the new year but just in case I don't get to it, I hope that everyone has wonderful, safe holiday!!

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas!!!

DIY Friday: Henley T- Shirt Dress

18 December 2015

Happy Friday Everybody! 
This weekend will thankfully be pretty relaxed around here. I have some last minute Christmas things to figure out but I'm nearly done and I can't wait to get to Arizona and out of the cold for a few days. We had a huge snow storm this week and I loved it, but it will be nice to walk outside without boots and a puffer on. 

I made this dress several weeks ago and I swear I would wear it everyday. It's so comfortable and roomy, and it feels like you're wearing pajamas. It's wonderful. 
There are so many ways to dress this up or down, and I think it's perfect for all of that holiday travelling. You can bet that I'll be throwing on a blanket scarf and some flats with this for our airport day soon.

I have been wanting to make a henley dress for a while because I knew how much use I would get out of it, but I was nervous about the placket piece. The placket is the "henley" part of the top where the buttons are. I wish I could say that I figured this out on my own but I didn't. I looked up a few YouTube videos and found this one by Melly Sews to be super helpful. It wasn't hard at all, just time consuming because I wanted to do it right. Even though this dress is really simple, I love it so much! I want to make one in a few different colors so that I can wear them everyday. 

 If you want to learn how to make your own you can follow the full tutorial at the bottom of this post! I hope you guys like it and give it a try. If you do, be sure to tag me in your photos! I would love to see yours and how you style it! If you aren't so into the sewing, I have linked a few dresses  that are similar below as well :)

Melly Sews Henley Placket Tutorial Video

2 yards light knit fabric
Matching Thread
Thin Interfacing
Pack of 6 snaps

Step 1. Cut all pieces from fabric using a snug fitting tee or tank as a guide. Measure sleeve length and cut. You will want your placket piece to be about 6 inches in length so after watching the video cut the rectangular piece to fit the length you will need for you placket. Cut the same size piece from interfacing.

Step 2.  Sew front and back of the dress together at the sides and shoulders and cut the slit for the placket in the neckline.

Step 3. Sew your sleeves into tubes and attach to the dress. (You can find more detailed instructions for this step in previous tutorial posts.) At this point I also hemmed  the bottom and sleeves of the dress.

Step 4. Follow the video to sew in your placket - install the snaps according to the directions on the packaging and you are ready to go!

I hope you guys all enjoyed this one! Happy sewing - or shopping ;)

Hair Tutorial : Headband Crown Braid

16 December 2015

Hi Guys! Exciting day today - it's my first hair tutorial! 
I have been wanting to make one for a while now but after a filming a few for practice, I was skeptical. It's a little nerve wracking to record yourself... buuuut I can't get over these two Willow Crowns headbands I got recently and finally worked up the courage to film (and post!) a video! 

If you haven't checked out their website yet, you definitely should. Everything is so beautiful - you'll love it all! 

I have been really loving this crown braid lately. I think it's a nice switch up from the regular milk maid style - which I also love, but I have gotten some questions about this braid and whether or not it's a hard one to do.
It's not! 
It's easy with a little practice ;)

Quick disclaimer - I know that parts of this video are super dorky. I thought about re-filming it but really... this is just me, so the next attempt wouldn't be any different. I hope you guys like, let me know what you think!

Happy, Happy Wednesday!

Bonus DIY: Geometric Wooden Wall Hangings

10 December 2015

I told you guys a while ago that I was going to start working on our guest room makeover. Before, I thought the room looked, and felt small with all beige walls and no window treatments. We have this huge platform bed  that my dad built several years ago that is so pretty but I never felt like it really fit anywhere or looked good in the house. 

I saw this paint color recently on Pinterest and the ideas just started flowing! Blake really likes painting (weirdo) so he didn't mind doing it and I got started on some DIY projects that I had in mind. I was afraid that the dark color on the walls would make the room feel smaller, but all of the white accents helped and I think it looks awesome. I need to get started on some bedside tables and add a few more things but its really coming together, and I was so happy about the way my wood project turned out that I just couldn't wait to share!

My inspiration for these walls hangings was this gorgeous flooring from Vintage Revivals. I think I have mentioned them before but I LOVE everything they do and their website is worth scrolling through - warning - you might get sucked in like I did and end up at the hardware store after work with a list for 50 different projects. So be careful. 

I wanted to do the same pattern that they did but smaller so that I could hang them and I wanted three panels to take up a good amount of space on the wall. Unfortunately, the saw that I have doesn't swivel far enough to get the angle for the pattern they had so I improvised. I decided to go with  45 degree cuts for the triangles. It was much different than I pictured in my head but I'm really happy with how it turned out.

If you want to know how to make your own  you can follow the directions below!

I had a lot of scrap wood from other projects laying around at home so I knew I had enough for the backing. (If you don't - grab the thinnest piece of plywood you can find - here is one - and have it cut into 2 equal pieces. We want to keep the final product fairly light.) I also bought (5) 8' 1x4 pine boards for the triangles and (7) 4' 1x2 pine boards for the trim from Lowes.

I used : 
A Jigsaw 
Nail Gun or hammer & nails 
Gorilla Glue 
Tape Measure 
Screw Driver 

1. The first thing I did was get started cutting my triangles. I set my miter saw at 45 degrees and made my first cut. Be careful and definitely use a guide to keep the board straight. If you don't have much experience with power tools it's always nice to have a buddy to help you hold the boards and keep things steady. Wear your safety glasses too, you want to keep your eyeballs. 

Flip the board after each cut so you can quickly line it up and make another cut. Cut all 5 boards into these small triangles. ~This is optional, but I did take about 10 triangles and cut them in half using the same 45 degree cut. You will end up with 20 smaller triangles that I think add some fun dimension once you have them all laid out. 

2. This next step is tedious. Take your sanding block and lightly sand the edges of all of the triangles. This took me soooo long (partly because i was moving at a snails pace but also because there are a lot of triangles.) If you have a friend, recruit them. 

3. Decide how big you want your panels to be. Mine are just over 10 inches wide and about 4 feet long. To determine the size of mine I took my triangles and started playing around with the design. I tried a few different things before landing on the one in the first photo. 

3. After you decide what your design will be, measure the length and width of your finished design. Cut your plywood backing to the dimensions you need using your jigsaw. 

4. Glue your triangles down in the pattern you wanted. Originally I thought I would only want certain triangles to be stained but after seeing it all together, I decided to stain the rest. You can stain them before gluing or after, it's up to you. 

^ Sorry its blurry but I thought it was still worth posting because you can see the design I chose a bit better. 

5. Measure the long sides of your panels again (just to be safe) and cut your 1x2's to the correct length using your miter saw again. Nail them into place after making the plywood backing and the 1x2 flush. You can glue first for extra stability but I didn't. Now measure the short sides of your panels including the trim on the sides and cut those pieces. Attach them the same way.
Stain the edge pieces and let everything dry!

6. I let mine dry in the garage overnight and them brought them inside to attach the D-ring hangers on the backs. Then I measured, and used a level to make sure everything was in line before hammering my nails into the wall. I hung them and viola!

I really love how they turned out and now I have so many other ideas for wall hangings! I hope you guys like it too and if you have any questions please ask! I know it seems very time consuming and expensive but if you already have the tools, the wood isn't bad at all, and it's totally worth it. I feel like it added just the right amount of dimension to the space.

Let me know what you think!

xo - Happy Thursday!

Links || Bedding - old - but I love this one | Curtains | Faux Fur Throw - sold out - similar here | Throw Pillow | Paintings (made by me)

Positivity & New Chalk Print

07 December 2015

Happy Monday everybody! 

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty relaxed. I spent Friday night enjoying a little at home spa experience. I used my fav Que Bella mask and took a bubble bath with Everyone Citrus & Mint Soap  and the Shea Moisture Bath Salts. My brother in law introduced us to the Everyone brand and it's so nice! It smells amazing and was so moisturizing that I was tempted to skip the lotion step - because lets be honest - it's the worst part of the post shower routine. My dogs follow me around trying to lick it off of my legs and I have to find higher ground to avoid them - the floor is lava. 

Saturday I avoided all the projects I had to do and instead laid on my couch and shopped... woo hoooo. All that really did was make Sunday busier, but that's okay. Once Blake got home I finally got some pep in my step and  finished a chalk board which is a rare occurrence these days, and finished a wood working (loose term) project that I have been working on for a while.  It looks so good and I am so happy with how it turned out so I'll be sharing it with you tomorrow!! 

Anyway, I made this chalkboard to cheer myself up a little bit truthfully. I know that I brought this up recently but with all the sadness in the news I have been feeling really down. It's hard to feel safe and to think about the future when there seems to be a new tragedy every day. If I let myself think about it too much I would probably drown in it so I'm choosing to be positive instead. 

So, it may sound silly, but I'm choosing to believe in magic. 

I'm taking a break from Etsy since I haven't been making very many chalkboards lately but if you want this print just shoot me an email and I'll send you the original file for you to print yourself :) 

Have a wonderful week everyone! 

Stocking Stuffers For Him

02 December 2015

I love Christmas shopping! I think it's fun to try and find things for people that they don't know they want. I have so much fun hunting for cool stuff for Blake. We decided not to get big gifts for each other this year but I think that stockings are even more fun because you can get so many fun little things. This year I found some really cool stuff, so I thought I would share a little stocking stuffer gift guide! 

Stocking Stuffers For Him

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9
First, these Horsetooth hot sauces are my very favorite! They are made in Fort Collins and were always at the little local breakfast places we would go. The green one is good on everything and who wouldn't want some fun new hot sauce on their eggs Christmas morning?? I love Bloody Mary's and so does my dad, so we both like finding new tasty mixes and I have seen this one around a lot. And pickles? duh... for your Bloody Mary.
I have seen so many cool whiskey stones and these are no exception! They come in a set of 9 and the shop they are from is a really neat one that Blake found recently. The shop is called Cool Materials and it's the perfect place to find little unique gifts. 
Coffee is always a big winner in our house. We both really love it, and love trying new brands. This Stumptown sampler pack is already in my basket and after trying their cold brew I know I'm sold. We have also been wanting to try a pour over coffee maker and  this is cheap enough that if we like it, it will be awesome but if we don't we aren't out anything (plus, they look pretty on coffee/bar carts, always a plus) I have always been a sucker for nice packaging and enamel mugs so if I end up using this cool one more than Blake that would be fine with me! Lastly, I have never had a water bottle last very long because I lose everything... but Blake doesn't! So, this hot/cold hydro flask would be great for him because he works out in the plains a lot and it can get pretty chilly in the winter! 
What about you guys? What are your go to stocking stuffers? And don't worry, while I put this guide together, I found plenty of cool stuff for the lady in  your life too, so that one is coming your way!  
Happy Wednesday! 

I'm baaaccckkkkk

01 December 2015

Well hello there Holiday crazed blogosphere! I had so much fun reading everyones Thanksgiving  prep are recap posts. If only I had it in me to be prepared enough for a Thanksgiving prep post... maybe one day I'll get it together and stop missing important blog days.
Anyway, we have had a very busy two weeks and it feels like the days all melted together. 

Last weekend we had our third annual Friendsgiving. I have seen the most gorgeous tablescapes on so many other blogs - and man, would I have loved for that to be a thing here - but we were working more of a keg, paper plate operation and I think thats how it will be for a few more years. I can't imagine that we will be using real silverware until everyone turns 30. 

I have no pictures that are internet appropriate but it was a really fun party and we love having everyone at our house for a change. One of the fun things about living this far from everyone is that once they're here they're kinda stuck ;) 

The rest of the week flew by and I stayed up until almost 1 in the morning making these ridiculous turkey sugar cookies. You guys should check out this bakery's Facebook page if you haven't seen it yet! She makes the most beautiful cookies and trust me, after you watch 5 of the short video tutorials you'll be convinced you can do it too. I think that it turned out as a win/fail mix. For my first time decorating sugar cookies, I think it went well, but in comparison to The Flour Box Bakery's cookies - very disappointing. I'm also sorry for the very bad lighting... my sleepy, cookie crazed self took the worst picture ever.

Thanksgiving was awesome and it was really great to have a 4 day weekend. Blake and I hadn't been down to my parents house in a long time so it was fun to be there with them. We always end up eating too much food and drinking too much beer but at least this time I was winning all the games we played. That will teach them to drink tequila during game night! They let the least skilled person win darts. 

Last but not least I went to my first NFL game! I have never been the biggest football fan but after the Broncos v Patriots game I have a new found appreciation. That last half was the most exciting two hours - I barely cared that my toes and fingers were about to fall off!! #brockrocksmysocks 
We also broke the Guinness Book of World Records for most fake mustaches worn at the same time - hence this ridiculous picture.

I was very sad to go back to work this week but it's okay. It's a good way to pass the time until we leave for CHRISTMAS!! My favorite time of year! I can barely wait!!

How are you guys getting ready for the holidays? Did everyone take advantage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales? 

Happy happy Tuesday!
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