Paper Anniversary - One Year Down, Forever To Go.

26 May 2016

Yesterday Blake and I celebrated our first Anniversary! 
I feel lucky all the time to be married to such a fun, smart, thoughtful, handsome weirdo. This year has been kind of tough and stressful and I know that everyone has growing pains - but even with all of that, there is no one I would rather have this experience with. He is truly my favorite person in the world and I'm so thankful for him everyday. 

Blake planned a really fun day for us and I loved every second of it. We started off with massages and let me tell you... I never wanted to leave. I hadn't ever had one before and yesterday I would have given them a million dollars if they said I could get one everyday. I almost wish I hadn't gotten one because now I know what I'm missing. 
Afterwards we did a little shopping around and killed some time before going home and getting ready for dinner. Blake made reservations for this adorable place in Fort Collins called Jessup Farms.

It's very Chip and Joanna Gains and I never wanted to leave! We ate at a restaurant on the property called The Farmhouse which was so cute. All of the buildings on the property are original and they restored them beautifully.  That had also built a brew house, a coffee shop, a barbershop and a few other little boutiques and stores. Outside of The Farmhouse was a huge chicken coop and a sweet little garden that they grow a lot of their veggies in. I really loved it and they have created such a fun atmosphere there.

If you're ever in Fort Collins, definitely go! You'll love it!


^^ Blake surprised me with the sweetest scrapbook of our wedding and first year of marriage. I love it! He was so creative and I am so glad that he much so much time and effort into it... I got him a yoga mat.... so if this was a competition i lose. But I'm not going to think of it that way :) 

Anyway! We had such a fun day and I'm so thankful for everything our first year has brought us - we're looking forward to the next 80!

DIY FRIDAY : Folding Sewing Table

20 May 2016

Hey guys! Happy Friday! 

I am really excited to show you guys today's DIY! I actually finished this project last August but the rest of the room has taken a little longer to come together than I thought it would. I know I have said it before but I LOVE building projects. I think they're so fun and it's so satisfying to build something and have it be functional, and beautiful, and know that you did it all by yourself! 

I drew up the plans for this space because I had been working with our old dining room table as a sewing table for almost a year, and it just wasn't working for me. The room was always a mess and the space just wasn't very workable because of how big the table in comparison to the room. We have a three bedroom house so we needed to keep one as a guest room and find a way to make the other room into everything else we needed it to be. I knew I needed to make it so that the sewing space could be easily stored and put away, and the idea of a 'murphy style' desk was the most practical.

I have been really into concrete counter tops lately and  I loved the idea of making this table look like it's made of concrete but light enough to be secured to the wall and able to fold down and lay on top of the sawhorse without cracking or falling. I did a lot of research on feather coats and watched many, many, many YouTube tutorials on the process and the right tools to use. I'll get into that more in the instructions but I would say that my biggest tip is to be really patient with yourself, work quickly but carefully and know that you can sand out any mistakes you make! I loved the idea of making the outside look like art so i drew a map on it and painted it in gold leaf paint. I love how it turned out and even though it was time consuming, it was totally worth it.

So! Blake was leaving for a two week trip to Canada and I knew it would be  the perfect time for me to get all of this done. When I do projects I explode and there is stuff EVERYWHERE.  I am not a clean as go typa girl and it drives Blake absolutely nuts, so its better if i do these big projects when I'm by myself. This project can definitely be done by only one person if you have the right tools and quite a bit of patience. Lets get started!

*full instructions and materials list below*



Materials
* i linked all materials below - all materials were from Home Depot *

Nail Gun
Drill
Miter Saw
Concrete Trowel
Lumber - 1 pallet in good shape or 3 2x4x8's - I used a Pallet that Blake grabbed from a job site at work
1 saw horse bracket kit - check to make sure it comes with screws or buy them separately
2x2x8 inch boards - improvise if you cant find them but I found mine easily at Home Depot.
1 sheet 1/4 inch plywood
Wood Glue
3 hinges 
hook and eye kit (2 pack)
Henry or Ardex feather finish concrete skim-coat
spray paint in chosen color - I used Rust-Oleum in Weathered Steel 
Wood Stain - I used Minwax in Espresso
Sanding blocks or sand paper


Instructions

Table

Step 1. Cut your wood for the table's bones! I used my miter saw to cut (2) 4 foot pieces and (5) 3 foot pieces. You will also need to cut your plywood to the dimensions you need. In my case this was (2) 48" x 40" pieces. BE SURE TO MEASURE. Don't take my word for it, always measure, measure. If you aren't able to cut your plywood at home yourself, I would hold off on buying it until you know your exact measurements and can have them cut it at the hardware store. Most stores with a lumber yard will make cuts for you free of charge.

Step 2. Look to the first image above and line all of your 2x2's out. Make sure you have the pieces lined up flush with each other. Starting with the outside frame - add a dime size amount of glue to the edge of the wood and then add your screw. Do this with all corners of the outside frame first and then wiggle in the remaining three pieces and do the same. I use screws because they feel much sturdier to me but if you would rather use your nail gun there that's fine too.

Step 3. Look at the second image in the diagram above to see a visual for this but now you're going to add a bead of glue around the whole top of the frame. Set the plywood down on top of it and line it all up. Nail the plywood in place making sure to secure the center and the corners well. Flip it over and do the same thing with the other side.

Step 4. Follow the directions on the Henry feather finish concrete to get it started. I worked in small batches and spread thin layers over the wood like you are frosting a cake. You will likely do several layers so make sure they are thin and be patient. This is definitely the most tedious step of the whole process. I waited about 30  minutes in between coats or at least until there are no dark, wet spots on the top. The corners are tricky too but same applies - just go slowly and make sure the layers are thin and the wood is fully covered. Once the layers are dry, you can sand them down a bit if there are any lumps or weird streaks. You'll get the hang of it though! So have fun!
*Once you have done all sides and corners let the whole thing dry for 24  hours. then sand it down with a very high grit sand paper to even out any weird spots.*

Step 5 - *Refer to image 3 in the diagram* Use a stud finder - or the tappy trick if you know it - to find the studs in the wall where you are planning to hang this. You should be able to hit three (if you're table is 48 inches wide) because they are typically between 16 and 24 inches apart. Mark on the table with a pencil where you need your hinges to go so that you can line them up with the studs on the wall. I spray painted my hinges and let them dry completely first. Use your drill to carefully attach the the hinges to the table. Now mark where you would like the eye hooks to be on the wall (preferably also in a stud) and mark the table to match. Screw in the eye hooks (to the table) and then screw the other half into the wall.

Step 6. You can now hang the table. Its definitely handy to have another person or at least a table chair or ladder to help you stabilize it while screwing the hinges into  the wall.
Yay! You're done!

Saw horse

Step 1. If you are using a pallet, break it down and then choose the sturdiest pieces to use for your saw horse.

Step 2. I used the 2x4 pieces for the whole project and cut them using my miter saw the length I needed after measuring out the height I needed for the table to rest easily on it. You do have the cut the bottoms at an angle so take that into consideration.

Step 3. Stain your wood and let them dry completely.

Step 4. Spray paint your bracket pieces.

Step 5. Read the directions on the bracket package and attach the wood accordingly.
Now you're done with that too!

That's it guys! If you end up trying this please tag me in your photos! I hope you love it and please feel free to ask me any questions!

Happy Happy Weekend everyone!

Love List

18 May 2016


things have been a little wacky around here lately. i don't know if i have some bad karma racked up or what but i have become ultra clumsy. 
right now i have bruises on both of my shins from running into the bed - a scrapped, bruised knee from slamming into the corner of a drawer - a cut from the gas cap on my moms car and just now i bumped into a wall and spilled hot water all over my chest. 
anyone have any ideas? what happened to me? help me. 

to make myself feel a little better i compiled a little list of things i have been loving lately - besides band aids... 

first up! these super cute espadrille wedges from Target. they are so comfortable and i love everything about them. pluuuusss they were on clearance in store and only $14! can't beat it. 

secondly, this No7 foundation.  i mentioned in an earlier post that i had been choosing the wrong color for my skin tone for a while and this one is perfect and goes on so smoothly. its a little pricier than i like for foundation but i'm a real grown up now... i should start buying higher quality makeup. 

i love these stuffed anaheim peppers. they never ever disappoint! i would eat them at least once a week if blake loved them as much as i do. 

this new lighting collection at target is so pretty. i have been wanting to swap out all of the construction grade lighting in our house and these are such a great price!

now lets talk about John Mayer's snapchat. you should really start following him. it's the very best thing. a few weeks ago he and his dog Moose did a jerky review and i loved every second of it. he also always hand washing laundry? which i don't understand, but enjoy. 

lastly! britney spears instagram is hilarious. nothing she posts makes sense and her captions are so weird. the other day, she just posted a picture of a random cat with a backpack on. haha i hope you think its as funny as i do. 

anyway, i hope you guys are all having an awesome week and i'll see you back here on friday! 





Jump Starting a Healthier Routine

17 May 2016


hi guys! 

today's post is a little unusual, but it's something that has definitely been on my mind lately so i thought i would share!

since i was really young, my body has responded terribly to stress. i get breakouts, i get sick, i've had some heart issues in the past and more recently i just feel, and look like crap - tired, achy and completely lacking motivation. we have been in limbo lately - self inflicted, but still - i think we have both kind of felt like we're drowning in options. we want to move out of state, but we would also love to move back to fort collins, we could take time off and just travel? we have at least 6 different 'back up plans' but making any of them actually happen is harder than it sounds. they all sound great and we want to do all of them, but sometimes trying to be practical and responsible makes it hard to pull the trigger.

when i start to get bogged down, i have a hard time getting anything done, or feeling motivated at all which just makes everything worse. when i get this way i basically have to treat myself like a child and put myself on a strict schedule. so! i thought i would share some of things that help me stay on track so i don't melt into a sweat pants wearing, candy binging, loony tune. 

unplug - i feel like my mood is really affected by what's around me and i'm a content junkie. i am always over stimulating myself with podcasts or music or netflix in  the background. i'm almost never without my phone and something in my ear. if you're constantly absorbing new information, you don't give yourself time to process the things that are going on with you. it's nice to take a break from news headlines, docu-series and even friends reruns and just sit with whats going on around you right now. 

write a list and schedule times to get things done - when i feel bogged down by stress i tend to shut down. my mom always called it 'burying my head in the sand.' she's the opposite and is productive which i'm so envious of. so instead of ignoring everything, i have started taking time to sit down with my planner and write out everything i need to do, or have been avoiding. no matter how small the chore, i write it down. then i go through the list and schedule a time to get it done. if i takes less than five minutes, just do it now.  

do something creative -  losing myself in a sewing project, drawing or building project really helps me to unwind. when i feel stressed it's nice to work on something that you are excited about. i love getting really into a project and losing track of time. before you know it - 3 hours have passed, you've made something cool and you might have something to show off!

call a friend - my best friend and i don't get to talk on  the phone that often anymore. we're both so busy during the week with regular life and then the weekends are over before you know it - but every time i talk to her i feel so much better afterward. give yourself an hour or so and just sit and talk to your bestie - no matter what the topic, its good to get some girl time in. 

get outside - this one seems obvious but go do something once a day! if you aren't the type to go to the gym and work out your stress then go for a walk. go for a hike or a swim. go do something active even it's just playing with the dogs in the backyard. the fresh air and sun might give you some new prospective and give you the boost you need to get back on track. 

do a chore you've been avoiding - i'm a serial procrastinator. blake is always so on top of things and even if he just puts my bowl in the dish washer, i instantly feel guilty. something i've learned since living with him is that the only thing worse than doing your chores is watching someone else get fed up and do them for you.

do an at home spa day -  sometimes you just need to relax. sundays are the perfect at home spa day. take an hour or two and take a shower, exfoliate, do a mask or paint you nails while sitting in your bath robe. doing something nice for myself always makes me feel a little better. 

make a meal plan and do some meal prepping - i'm the kind of person who can be a little impulsive if i'm not fully prepared for the day. if i didn't take the time to pack a lunch i may end up eating a donut, a burrito and french fries. that's a bit extreme but you get the point. i have to make it easy for myself to eat healthy. figure out what you want for the week and do all of  your shopping over the weekend. when you get home take the time to split things out for the week and get your snacks and lunches together. i know that if i have a healthy lunch in the fridge, i'm more likely to go for a run at lunch instead of walk around target getting snacks.

i know that everyone is different, but these are the things that work for me. like i said, i can work myself up into a giant stress case if i don't make the effort to get it all straight.

what are some things that work for you guys? or are you more level headed than me and this doesn't happen to you? ;)

happy tuesday!

Summer's Comin

11 May 2016

tonight blake and i were getting ready to go for a walk and i looked out on our back patio and saw all of the sun on the patio chairs and was instantly in such a good mood. our back patio has the best view of the sunsets and in the summer we eat dinner out there almost every night. 

there is really nothing better to me than mexican food on the patio, with a margarita and some good music. since i can barely wait until its warm enough to get back into our summer routine, i put together a little playlist of some of the songs we've already had on repeat lately! 

happy happy wednesday everyone!

DIY Friday : Stretchy Tank Dress

06 May 2016

hi guys! 
this has been the week of technical difficulties. it's 11:35 instead of 6 am.. but it's still friday, so it still counts! this weeks DIY friday makes me miss the beach and the sun! i'm going to make this short and sweet but i made this dress the night before we left for our trip because i was so excited about how the ice dyeing turned out. i bought a dress a few years ago that was this exact same fit and i loved it so this beachy tie dye seemed perfect for another one! 

this one is a little more time consuming than some of the other tutorials because of the edging and the hemming, but apart from that it's a piece of cake! 






Materials 

1.5 yards of stretchy knit 
matching thread 

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Step 1. Use a snug fitting tank top or similarly fitting dress to make your pattern.

Step 2. Sew your bodice pieces, right sides together. 

Step 3. Hem the bottom! 

Step 4. Cute stripes long enough to line the whole top of the dress. my pieces were a little over an inch wide. Iron in half and then fold the excess in towards the half again. Now there will be no raw edges on the fabric stripes. 

Step 5. Pin a strip of fabric over the raw edge and sew. Do this for all raw edges on the top of the dress. If you are worried about the fabric stretching while you sew, you can lay tissue paper underneath the fabric. It will be sewn in afterward but it's not hard to pull it away. I did the small pieces first and then the strap pieces so that they covered the smaller pieces. 

You're done! 

Let me know if you guys have any questions! I would love to see yours if you try, so tag me in your instagrams!


Happy Mothers Day to all the moms and i hope everyone enjoys their weekend!


Blog Problems

05 May 2016


oh my good gracious.

you may notice that the blog looks a little different this morning... that's because yesterday, the whole blog went to hell in a hand basket. 

i usually think that blogger is a pretty simple platform to understand and use, but yesterday i tried to post my favorites from the surprise shopbop sale (which i still have many of and hope you guys shopped your hearts out) and boom! site crashed. i have widgets and gadgets all over the place and no idea how to get them back where they were supposed to me. instead of staying calm and reading through forums to figure it out, i panicked and deleted my entire sidebar. 

oh well! i'm mostly back in action today. i still have a few things to fix, but i had a question for you guys! 

what would you like to see more of? what types of DIY's or sewing tutorials would you like to see? 
i would love any feedback!

anyway, that's all for today but i'll be back tomorrow with a new DIY Friday post so i hope you all have an awesome thirsty thursday! 

annnnndddddd..... HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO! go drink some margs and eat some tacos! 

My 6 Favorite Blogging Apps

03 May 2016

hi everyone! 

at the beginning of the year i made a list for personal and blogging goals that i hoped to reach or stick with through the year. some of them i have managed to keep up with and honestly a few others have fallen off.  the thing i really wanted to focus on though was consistency, and while i haven't been 100%, i have definitely been better. over the past few months i have found a few apps that have been really helpful to me. below is a list of the ones that i have become pretty dependent on, and i thought i would share!


Blog Go - when i got my iPhone i was sad to find out that i couldn't get the blogger app through the iTunes store. i was hesitant to download Blog Go because i didn't think it would compare but it really does. this app makes it so easy to post from my phone on vacations or if we're out of town. 

Latergram - this app is so nice for planning ahead and getting your Instagram posts in line for days when blog posts go live. I like to post a photo to go with every blog post and this makes it easy to get those in order with captions and everything so i don't have to do it when the post goes live at 6 am. i also really like that it makes you approve it in case i rethink my captions ;)

Bloglovin - this is my favorite way to read blogs and discover new ones. i have been following the same list of bloggers for several years and bloglovin opened up a whole new world of blogs. i have found so many new blogs through this app and i have connected with so many new people. 

IF - this may be my very favorite of the new apps that i found. this app allows me to make rules for my social media apps. i get so much inspiration through Instagram and i use IF to save all of the photos i like to my Evernote app. when i like a photo on Instagram, it automatically saves the image in a note that i set up so i never have to look back and try to remember where i saw things. it also automatically posts my new photos to twitter and my new blog posts to Pinterest with the main image as the pin. the second two rules have helped generate a lot of traffic to my blog. win- win! 

Evernote - i already explained a little bit about this app but it's been so great for collecting inspiration. all of my saved Instagram photos are in there and organized according to what i wanted to do with them. i am always day dreaming about blog stuff and thinking of posts i want to work on so Evernote is great for jotting down quick ideas and even snapping photos to save along with the ideas. i love it! i have my blog calendar saved in there and am able to move posts around and add bullet points so that i never forget any details of an upcoming post. 

Google Drive - i'm sure that this one seems self explanatory and it is, but i really love it for saving and moving photos and videos back and forth between my computer and my phone. i don't have a wireless SD card unfortunately and google drive has really simplified the process of getting photos from my computer to my phone. i'm also able to free up space on my iPhone to make room for all of the other stuff that clogs it up. 
  
so there you have it! i know that there are hundreds of awesome apps that help people with productivity and social media. these are just the six that have definitely made my life easier!

what are the apps that you couldn't blog without?


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