Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Story of Thanksgiving

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By now I’m sure your newsfeed is jammed up with all the things your 490 Facebook friends are grateful for, #foodporn pictures of Pinterest recipes on your Instagram and all the talk around holiday plans, travel, etc.

But what is it that we’re celebrating again? (Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?)

Need a little refresher on what Thanksgiving is all about as it quickly approaches? Well unfortunately you’re not going to get that from this video, instead you will get some hilarious renditions of what today’s youth think Thanksgiving is all about.

Too ridiculously amazing to not share. Enjoy!

39 DIY Gifts You’d Actually Want to Receive

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It’s almost Thanksgiving, and then it’s almost Christmas – and if you’re anything like me, that means it’s almost time to start figuring out what to make people at this special time of year.

Yep. I’m one of those people. The crafter. The person that hands you a gift that you slowly open because you’re slightly scared and uncomfortable at what you’re about to uncover under the wrapping, because if it came from me, there is a good chance it is homemade. It’s just how it is. I like making them, I like receiving them – they’re special, and unique, and conversation starters, and memory holders, and…well, you get the drift. I likey.

Will it be a homemade macaroni necklace? A felt ornament with mom’s old mis-matched buttons on it? Or if you’re real lucky – a book of homemade coupons that you can use at your disposal for activities I don’t mind doing? It may be. But these days it’s more likely to be a necklace, some earrings, maybe a random book of some sorts, maps from your favorite city turned into coasters – and so on and so on.

Now – though I will still continue to put my heart and soul into my thoughtful gifts (yeah, I said it, they’re thoughtful) – I do realize and can actually appreciate a good, awkward face upon opening said gift, followed up by the “Omg! You made this?” comment. Come on, the jig is up, we both know I made it.

So you can imagine how tickled I was when a friend sent me a link to this blog post today. Hmph. What a concept. DIY gifts that you’d actually want to receive. I know you like receiving mine too (vintage blocks with black/white photos of your favorite person on them much?), but these are pretty rad as well. And I’ve already picked out which ones I want to try.

Can’t wait to smile and scream with excitement with a “Yay! You made me my gift!”when you hand me one of these 39 DIY gifts.

My favorite kind.

Re-blogged from Buzzfeed….http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/39-diy-gifts-youd-actually-want-to-receive

There is nothing worse than when someone opens your gift and is all “Oh! You…made this [backs away slowly].” Avoid that crestfallen look with these awesome crafty ideas.

1. Terrarium Kit

Terrarium Kit

It’s like a tiny jungle you can own. Directions here.

2. Painted Camera Strap

Painted Camera Strap

For the one person in your life who doesn’t just Instagram everything. Directions here.

3. Instagram Coasters

Instagram Coasters

And for everybody else. Find out how here.

4. Studded iPhone Case

Studded iPhone Case

Directions here.

5. Decorated Tea Towels

Decorated Tea Towels

That nobody will ever want to get dirty. Directions here.

6. Nebula Pillow

Nebula Pillow

Because the only thing better than a pillow fight is a SPACE PILLOW FIGHT. Directions here.

7. Geode Ring

Geode Ring

Directions here.

8. Shark Hoodie Towel

Shark Hoodie Towel

Directions here.

9. Fabric Clock

Fabric Clock

Directions here.

10. Personalized Cork Coasters

Personalized Cork Coasters

Find out how here.

11. Artsy Mug

Artsy Mug

Directions here. Again with the German.

You could also make these easily with a Sharpie.

12. Gold-Leaf Papier-Mâché Bowls

Gold-Leaf Papier-Mâché Bowls

FInd out how here.

13. Chalkboard Tray

Chalkboard Tray

Directions here.

14. Catnip Feather Toy

Catnip Feather Toy

For the feline who has everything. Directions here.

15. Painted Pouch

Painted Pouch

You can put ANYTHING YOU WANT IN IT, like an engagement ring or a Snickers. Directions here.

16. Fabric Painted Mousepad

Fabric Painted Mousepad

Adorable baby not included. Directions here.

17. Stamped Tote

Stamped Tote

You can use potatoes as the stamp! Directions here.

18. Gold Bead Bracelets

Gold Bead Bracelets

Directions here (they’re in German, but ay yo, Google Translate).

19. Lace Cement Votive Holders

Lace Cement Votive Holders

Directions here.

20. Homemade Cat Treats

Homemade Cat Treats

Directions here. And here is a recipe for dog biscuits, just to prove that we’re not totally cat-biased.

21. Gold Leaf Notebooks

Gold Leaf Notebooks

For anyone with thoughts they need to jot down. Directions here.

22. Lana-del-Rey-ified Sunglasses

Lana-del-Rey-ified Sunglasses

For divas only. Directions here.

23. Laptop Case

Laptop Case

Directions here.

24. Peppermint Sugar Scrub

Peppermint Sugar Scrub

It looks edible. It is not. Directions here.

25. Honey Lip Balm

Honey Lip Balm

It’s nicer than saying “Your entire mouth is gross and chapped.” Directions here.

26. Magnetic Tote Bag

Magnetic Tote Bag

Spell out a crytic message with alphabet letters. Get the tutorial here.

27. Dip-Dyed Candles

Dip-Dyed Candles

Directions here.

28. Skinny Tie

Skinny Tie

For a dapper dude. Or a dude who you wish were dapper-er. Directions here.

29. Planter Box

Planter Box

Directions here.

30. Travel Art Kit

Travel Art Kit

For long car rides (and short ones too). Find out how here.

31. Printed Leather Jewelry

Printed Leather Jewelry

Because sometimes someone just really loves her cat, and you should acknowledge that. Directions here.

32. Floor Cushion

Floor Cushion

Beanbag chairs for grown-ups! Genius. Directions here.

33. Handmade Soap

Handmade Soap

Everyone will be unbelievably impressed and also they will smell however you would like them to, which is really a great deal of power. Directions here.

34. Tassel Bracelet

Tassel Bracelet

Directions here.

35. Stenciled Jar Vase

Stenciled Jar Vase

Directions here.

36. Glitter Bottle Necklaces

Glitter Bottle Necklaces

Because no matter how many necklaces a person owns, she probably doesn’t have one that’s filled with glitter. Directions here.

37. Jewelry Storage Frame

Jewelry Storage Frame

The perfect place to house all those glitter-filled necklaces. Directions here.

38. Candle Luminaries

Candle Luminaries

These are made from decorative aluminum sheets you can easily find at Home Depot. They’d also make really nice desk organizers or pen holders.

39. Animal Bookends

Animal Bookends

Because nothing says “I love you” like a bright-blue hippo. Directions here.

Overnight Oats – The Hype is Legit

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So I’ve been hearing and wondering about what the heck “Overnight Oats” are for like ever now. Ok maybe only a few months, but seriously, I’m intrigued. I decided to finally see what the hype was all about, so I cooked them up last night (and when I say cook, I mean threw the items into a jar) and tried it out this morning. Um delish! I’m a huge fan. And want you to be too.

It’s super easy to make – requires very few ingredients – encourages you to be creative and make it however you want – and can keep you full and satisifed all morning! Yes. Please.

So you start with some rolled oats (not instant, have to be the real deal), milk (I used almond but you can use any kind you want), yogurt, a fruit of some sort (I chose raspberries) and any other fun stuff you want to throw in. I added in sliced almond slivers and chia seeds. Yes, cha-cha-cha chia! Those seeds. I also finally learned all about the benefits of these little gems and am excited to throw them in all my culinary creations going forward.

overnight oats pic 2(Yes. I’m slightly obssessed with Trader Joe’s if you can’t tell)

Ok here comes the fun! You literally layer them up and put the ingredients in as you wish. There are exact measurements you’re suppose to follow, but if you know me, you know that’s not how I roll. I prefer to throw those delicious ingredients in however I want. (And yes, I mistakenly, regularly leave key ingredients out of recipes because I forget to follow the receipe…butternut squash soup much? A certain someone knows what I’m talking about).

So what are you going to put your delicious overnight oats in? I chose these super cute mini mason jars – but you can do anything! Plastic cups, red solo keg cups, wine glasses, whatever your little heart desires. You’ll need a lid though – so keep that in mind when choosing.

overnight oats pic 3

I tried to layer them in so they’d look pretty but it ended up looking like this instead, fail. Oh well – I will get the hang of it in no time. And why do I want it pretty? Because it will taste better duh.

                            overnight oats pic 4      overnight oats pic 5

Ok. So once you’ve got all your super fun and creative ingredients in, you give your creation a good shake. And voila. You’re ready for the fridge. Somehow the chilly fridge and combo of the liquid ingredients actually cook the oatmeal – crazy concept right? I made 4 jars last night so I could have my breakfast ready each morning  this week in kind of a grab-n-go fashion, but you could just do one at a time too.

overnight oats pic 6I sliced up bananas to put on top of it this morning and enjoyed. Mmmmmm.

overnight oats pic 1

It’s easy to make, keeps you satisfied and is super low cost if you’re trying to stretch your dollars.

I think my next creations will involve chocolate, or peanut butter, maybe some mango – and even possibly a green one with kale, spinach, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy 🙂

 

The Middle

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You know what’s awesome? When you say you’re going to do something and you don’t. When you keep putting it off until you this…or when you finally that…just as soon as you…Oh wait. That’s not really that awesome, but it’s what we all do – or at least it’s what I do.

I haven’t blogged in umteen months for what reason? Because I kept telling myself I would write when this would happen, or when I saw this, or when I reflected on that…but the days kept passing and my writing never started. Like I didn’t know where to start. I write for myself, and because I enjoy it, but sometimes I write for others. I’m constantly learning things from the people around me – because everyone’s experience of the same exact thing can be extremely different. Well it doesn’t matter that I stopped doing something, I guess it just matters that I started again right? Even if it is just jotting down my silly thoughts….silly thoughts that I of course appreciate you reading :).

Since my last post when I quit my job a lot has changed, and maybe that’s why I haven’t written much. We all have the beginnings and the endings in our lives – those moments and memories and chapters that are everything we always wanted, or something we strived for that finally came true. But what about that other part? The in between part? The part that you forgot about, or didn’t expect to happen or didn’t know you’d be in. Well that’s where I think I’m at. Hello middle-in-between-slightly-awkward-and-uncomfortable world, nice to meet you.

You’re not really in a “stuck” kind of place, though really not a “together” place either – just a middle place. And I think I kept feeling like I didn’t have anything to talk about until I was at that next place I should be again. That life I should be living. The place where I should look a certain way, and feel a certain way – but that perfect little should place never came. And is that a bad thing? Most definitely not. Who made up that stupid should world anyway? 🙂

For some reason while walking my crazy dog tonight it all came to me (Dude. Daylight savings has seriously ruined my ability to quickly spot the poo, pick it up and be on my merry way. Damn darkness has me hunting around for minutes). And I digress…I’m at that in between part…the part where you’re just looking to the end and seeing how you want it to end and how you will feel and be and look when you’re in the final stretch…but the in between part is less desirable. You’re a bit of a mess, you’re kind of all over the place and you don’t know whether to look back or look forward. I think whatever makes you feel better is always the best route and way to look – there’s no right or wrong way, there is just your way. And that’s always the best way. I know you know what I’m talking about – that place after the high, and even after the lows. The middle. The awkward, uncomfortable middle spot of wondering what’s next.

Now of course I realize this is no third world problem – and being in the middle is not necessarily a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong – I am so grateful for all that I have and all that I know is to come, I’m just saying that the middle part is a bid weird.

I definitely don’t have it all together, and I’m pretty sure I never will (come on, who does), but I think it’s important that I remember this middle place is just fine. Because it won’t last for me, and it wont last for you. Though the end may not be in sight anymore, you know there will be an end, there always is. This middle place is sometimes what really shapes us and creates us. Think of your most challenging times in life, those times when you just wished they’d be over – what happened when they were? You learned. You overcame. You were proud. And you were so damn grateful it was over with. …but then something else came up and you were back to that middle place. The middle adds something to your life, it’s just how it is and always will be.

It’s inevitable. We all get stuck. We all live in this middle place for a little bit, but it really is temporary. It’s the lull to our low’s and highs. It’s the grey day to our sun and thunderstorms. It’s awkward and uncomfortable but it’s probably one of the most real things we’ll ever experience. Why? Because we didn’t ask for it. We didn’t try to be here – it just happens and we adjust.

My man sent this to me today, out of the blue, and I found my reaction to it so interesting.

Wild Horse

 

At first I didn’t know what to think, but then I really thought about it, and I so appreciated it. What a rad thing to be acknowledged and loved for marching to your own, internal drummer.

 

 

 

 

We’ve all got a little bit of a wild, messy, unpredictable spirit in us and it comes out at various and random times. But we always come back. We always come back to our best selves and what we were meant to be.

I may be stuck in the middle, but I’m not stuck for good. And either are you (told ya I don’t just write for myself).

To quote one of my ALL time favorite songs, I think I just have to let it be. And let it ride. And enjoy the middle.