Saturday, January 14, 2017

DIY Lace Crown Tutorial


I recently made this for my sister who is expecting her first baby. I'm just a little bit excited to be having a baby niece... just a little... ok I'm flat ecstatic!!

Anyway, I had a lot of requests for how to make this, so here's is my quick attempt at a tutorial, it really is super easy.

First thing you need is supplies:

Gold crochet lace
3/8" grosgrain ribbon of your choice
pretty diamond or button accents
spray starch (heavy)
hot glue gun
hot glue sticks

 I was able to find everything I needed at Hobby Lobby, with the exception of the spray starch (honestly they might have that too, but I forgot to look. I bought mine at the grocery store for 1.69)

the accent pieces were an after thought, I just had some from another project, but they really added a little sumpin sumpin 
Step 1: cut the lace your desired length and lay out on a cookie sheet, I covered mine with parchment paper because I happened to have some around. 

Step 2: Spray the crap outta it with spray starch, I'm talking soaked, flip it over and really soak both sides.
because we're friends, you'll disregard the embarrassing state of my cookie sheet right?
Step 3: The starch has to dry... you could do this and let it sit over night, or you can turn your oven on at 200 degrees and lightly toast it. It's up to you, both methods seem to be effective. 

The goal is to get it stiff enough it can stand on it's own when you make it into a ring, but not so stiff that you could accidentally (or on purpose) shank someone with it. 

Step 4: Once the starch has dried completely remove it from the oven, and now we're going to apply a ribbon trim to the bottom.

Hello hot glue gun, you buddy old pal. Here is where you measure a strip of ribbon that matches the bottom of your crown and with a small bead of hot glue you attach it the bottom of the lace.

I recommend doing on a surface that you will not be upset if hot glue gets stuck to, I glue mine to the table every time. 

Step 5: Now here's where we bring both ends around and create the ring of the crown. You want to run a bead of hot glue here too, and overlap the ends by about a 1/4- 1/2 inch.

Step 6: Create a tiny bow for the front and attach the gemstone of your choice. I took a piece of ribbon about 2" long and glued the ends in to create a small bow, I then glued it to the front of the ribbon trim on the crown. 

step 1: cut ribbon strip

Step 2: fold ends in to create small bow
Step 3: Marvel at the magnitude of your creativity

Step 7: Boom! You are complete! Let the glue cool and enjoy your new crown

If you followed this and loved it please tag me in your pictures on facebook! I would love to see what you create!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Crockpot Greek Chicken with Easy Tzatziki

This is a recipe that I have found many variations of on Pinterest, I've tried a couple different versions and this is what I found came together to make it UH-MAH-ZING!

This is one of my favorite summer meals since it can be light on the stomach. You can toss in a crockpot in the morning then relax outside after work instead of slaving away in the kitchen. The secret is really in the cucumber, under no circumstances should you skip the cukes!


2-3 chicken breasts
3 cups of water or chicken broth
(if you do water, add one bouillon cube)
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1 Pich of Dill
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 yellow onion
1 single serving container of plain greek yogurt

Add all of the contents to the crock pot, except the yogurt... we have other plans for that little guy muahahahaha!

I set my crockpot for eight hours on low so it cooks all day while I work. If you are home during the day you could probably do 4-6 hours. I leave it up to your discretion as I would not want you to burn your house down with a crockpot or eat partially uncooked chicken.

After it's done pull out the chicken and shred, take the remaining juice and add to the Greek yogurt. Mix until it makes a creamy sauce, sprinkle in some dill and a little finely chopped cucumber.

Add chicken, lettuce, and cucumber to pita pocket and drizzle with sauce... munch... crunch... repeat.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Urban Pumpkin Patching

So, the house that we bought in December is on a moderately busy road, actually a we're on a double yellow line road. The neighbor we know the best is the Chinese restaurant two houses down and across the street. So when I say we went Urban Pumpkin Patching know that I mean we walked like four houses down and across a kind of busy intersection.

So let me tell you about pumpkin picking with the kids, from the first second we announced we were going Conner was crying. At almost seven he has a million other things he would rather be doing and they all involve youtube videos of random people opening Easter eggs. Tough shit.

Now Beau, he was ecstatic. He ran to throw on his crocs and jacket and was ready in about three seconds, and the same for Tillie. I grabbed the wagon out of the garage and we started on our way. Conner begged to ride with his sister and wiped away tears as he coped with the unimaginable turn his life had taken.

Everyone not in a wagon held hands, Beau skipped happily along. Now unfortunately happy skipping is does not work out well when you're a middle child who always seems to be in hand me down crocs that are a little on the large side. He lost a shoe twice before we reached the intersection across from the pumpkin patch, and so nonchalantly, I mean we were literally standing at the light and he says "My shoe is back there" pointing 50 feet behind him.

We took a minute to collect shoes and get everyone's head in the game before crossing the street. We realized once at the intersection that there is no crosswalk, because our city is stupid like that. So we had to wait for some kind of break and in traffic and light change combo to run like crazy across this street. Which we totally did, and wouldn't you believe Beau made it to the other side... without a shoe.

Beau had lost his shoe in the middle of the intersection, and there was no way we could immediately go back. We all stood on the sidewalk and watched his hand me down croc get run over three or four times while all the kids screamed and the adults reassured him that crocs are squishy, it would be fine. Spoiler alert, I was right and the croc totally survived... the jibbitz not so much... but he hasn't noticed yet.

We collected ourselves once again and strolled into the pumpkin patch, where everyone's mood was vastly improved with stickers and festive gourds. I took photographic evidence.

Conner not quite in the pumpkin patch spirit yet

Add caption

I think this picture shows their varying levels of excitement perfectly.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The house with the yellow door

I've always wanted to paint my front door red. That was the first thing I promised myself I would do once I owned my own place. I've literally been pinning door painting tutorials for years in anticipation, and finally after being in the new house for six months all my dreams are coming true!

Except... picking a paint color is a difficult task... like pretty much impossible. So I went to the hardware store and picked up a million color sample papers and taped them all over my front door... and decided that red was the color for me.  Definitely red, because as much as I love turquoise it wasn't quite working, and yellow was a little too much. It took weeks to decide, and the papers remained taped and countless innocents were harassed for honest opinions... a winner was picked and that winner was red.

Then I went to the hardware store and saw the most amazing yellow... and bought a pint... and painted both front doors before I could even question my current life decision. You know what? It turned out amazing!

I mean, I wouldn't look super close at the lines if I were you, and it could probably use one more good coat (I feel like every paint job always needs one more coat than I have the patience to give). I would say it is not only good, it is good enough... and isn't that the point of DIY? I figure everyone's DIY is kind of crappy if you look close enough... it's just that some people are photographing it better and have superior lighting.

I added a vinyl sticker to the front door, also a dream fulfilled. So pinterest it hurts. My favorite thing about the new front is getting to tell people things like "We're the third house on the right, the one with the yellow door". I basically have the Mt Rushmore of front doors on our street YOU CAN NOT MISS IT.

My other favorite thing about the front door... it's a nice backdrop for serious cuteness.

Friday, July 10, 2015

4th of July Weekend

To celebrate this fourth this year we spent the weekend at a friend’s lake house. I mean not actually in the house so much as in a camper with Nic’s parents but either way it. Was. Awesome. I seriously could get used to living in nature, and the kids agree, three days spent pretending lake floating qualified as bathing really agreed with us.

I took a ton of pictures, never of all three kids together because that would just be insanity apparently. Actually I completely forgot to photograph one of them whatsoever, so all the cool things Conner did jumping off of boats and docks… not documented. On the plus side of that my middle child can no longer complain that he is always forgotten, I have the pics to prove that is simply not true… at least for this weekend.

Peruse the picture of that awesome middle baby Beau back floating around the pond. Isn’t he awesome? All the little guys got a quick “how to survive in the deeper than you end” training session and the main tool in their belt is the back float. Big shout out to my littlest who waded out too deep within the first 15 minutes of being in the water, thus necessitating the swim lesson.

I’ve saved each kid’s life at least once, if she learns from the first experience she’ll be way ahead of her brothers who I’ve had to rescue multiple times.  Beau seems to be a little less adventurous this year, and it’s about effing time, he mostly took it upon himself to alert us when other children were danger. In a shrill voice that suddenly takes on an accent thicker than Scarlet O’Hara’s he would yell “Mah sistah! Mah sistah, someone halp her! Oh mah goodness she cain’t swem!” Never mind that he was literally a foot from her and had an extra four inches of height she lacked in the shallow water… I guess we’ll have to work on emergency response skills later.

Although I did not get any good pictures of Conner over the weekend he did take like 30 pictures of me, sitting on the deck… apparently suffering from a bad case of Resting Bitch Face. I mean I didn’t even know I suffered from the condition, but I have the photos to prove it now I guess. Did people know this about me? How have I never realized. I’m working on a more pleasant resting face as we speak… maybe something like this…

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

learning to run

Almost exactly a year ago I went shopping with Kohl's cash and picked up a pair of Nike's. My thought was that maybe this time I could start running and things would be different than the last 20 times I tried to start running. I thought maybe with the right shoes on my feet I could wrap my head around a Couch to 5k plan, maybe I could be a runner.

Yeah, I mean I kinda had an excuse to be out of shape, having three kids in four years isn't exactly gentle on the core. Realistically speaking the kids only did half the damaged, I averaged a 15 minute mile in 6th grade so I didn't even have an athletic past to fall back on. I remember having to run a mile every spring as part of our final grade and developing what felt like an allergy to the sport. Pretty much I hated it, it made my teeth hurt, my head ache, and lungs felt like they were on fire and just in general I wanted to die.

So, flash forward all those years and why in the world would I want to get into running? Honestly, because the cool kids were doing it. I watched my friends doing fun 5ks, and eventually going on to do crazier distances. I started thinking maybe that could be me smiling in a sweaty group at the end of a finish line. I feel like half my frantic get healthy spurts stem from some kind of implied peer pressure generated by Facebook and Instagram, but whatever.

Despite the obvious issues I have with stalking the online profiles of friends and acquaintances at least it kind of led to a healthy hobby in the end. I downloaded Couch to 5k on my phone, paid a race entry fee, and got myself a running buddy. You know what, it sucked almost every bit as much as I had expected it to. There were days I actually hated it, there are still days I hate it and question any decision I ever made to start. Sometimes I rationalize quitting, and I do quit for a whole day... or two. For some reason though I come back.

With all my complicated emotions in tow I learned a lot about myself training for that first race. I remember when I ran my first full mile on the treadmill at my work's gym, I threw my arms in the air and cheered like a maniac... and maybe cried a little with pride. That was probably the point at which I became hooked, and definitely the point at which I realized I was a lot stronger than I had ever given myself credit. Over the next several miles of training I learned to be kind, to forgive myself when I sucked and quit halfway through a run because sometimes that whole one foot in front of the other thing just ain't gonna happen. I would pick up the next day and this time do better. Some runs were awesome, I felt like a million bucks after, and some were frustrating and made me hate everything.

I trained and showed up on race day and finished that run with a jubilant display of triumph so intense I peed myself. No really, three kids later my bladder is not what it used to be and I totally did pee myself from dancing around and yelling at the finish. With soggy pants I claimed my participant medal and it was pretty much the best thing ever. I am 100% a fan of participation trophies, especially for myself.

That race was the one that changed everything, and it wasn't just because of the bling. Now I'm looking at a 1/2 marathon training schedule (one that I made myself no less...woopwoop) and prepping for 13.1 miles in September. That may end up being the furthest I go, or maybe not, who knows. I hope if there's anyone out there who's questioning their ability to get running, or walking, or moving whatsoever you stop wondering and just go. Doesn't matter what speed, you're awesome and you can do it, I promise.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

extreme spinning is not for me

This week was a crazy ride. After finishing the first season of Grace and Frankie on Netflix I decided that we have definitely been doing home decor wrong, also I can't wait to be 70. If you haven't seen the show I recommend you check it out, the two characters live in a beach house that obviously cost millions of dollars to decorate. After some googling I found it is a style called "Coastal" I have informed my husband I am changing our decorating theme. I mean our current theme is kind of "mid century mod meets kindergarten classroom and last months birthday decorations" with a whole lot of empty space we hope to someday have enough furniture to fill. I think if I add some deep blues, starfish, and texture we will definitely be pulling. it. off.

Anyway, thinking about decor distracted my mind from all the other things I've been working so hard on lately. I think my brain basically has two directions of focus on any subject 1. completely obsessed and 2. don't give a crap. So if I'm obsessed with decor, that means six weeks into half marathon training I no longer gave a crap about running. Damn it. I've been trying to talk myself back into it... I'm almost there... I think if I just paint a couple walls I can relax and refocus my brain back on running.

I also tried a new spin class this week, because after the Bikram hot yoga fiasco I have for some reason been drawn to extreme fitness classes. I took Spinbata on Monday... and I can still feel it in muscles I didn't know I had.

Let me give you a brief overview. Spinbata is a spin class that seems to focus mostly on the upper body, and that should be your first clue that it is insane. Your legs do not stop moving on that bike for a full hour, unless, like me, your foot accidentally comes flying free of the clip on the pedal and you almost die (but also get a 15 second break while you sort that situation out). While your legs are flying in circles, your arms are doing push ups in all sorts of forms, lots and lots of them. You bend from the front, and from the side, you tap your butt back on the seat, you yell WOOO! when prompted. You watch sweat pool under your bike and wonder if you heard wrong and this class is longer than an hour because surely, surely you have been here for more than 60 minutes!!!!!! 

The last 10 minutes of the class you pick up hand weights and do a series of shoulder exercises that were basically impossible due to the noodle arms I now had attached to my body. It took all my strength not to accidentally punch my coworker next to me off her bike, I was basically pushing weights around with little to no control over where my arms went. I think for the sake of everyone I will stick to my regular spin classes from now on.

I'll finish up the post with some photos, one of which was taken with a selfie stick because that is just how I role and there is no shame in my selfie stick game.

on occasion this rogue mini shopping cart gang roams the local Kroger wreaking havoc on the ankles of innocent shoppers

Oh yeah, it was totally our anniversary on Monday, is it just me or are we getting better looking with age