Friday, March 30, 2012

8 Ways to Find Purpose in Your 20s

On Wednesday, I told you about my life post college in my 20s.  If you missed it, be sure to check it out.  At the end, I identified two things that I felt like I needed to find in my life in order to get out of the funk I was in.  Those things were purpose (or feeling needed), and having something to look forward to.


Hindsight is always 20/20, so now, looking back on that time in my life, there were some things that I did to help me fulfill those needs, and there's also some things that I didn't do, that may have helped.  I wanted to share these with you because I know I had a hard time in my early to mid 20s figuring out life & finding purpose, so I know there must be others of you out there struggling as well.


1) Go somewhere
Do a mission trip with your church.  Go on a volunteer trip abroad somewhere (just google "volunteer abroad" & you'll find tons of options- just make sure you research the company before you go!).  Join the Peace Corps.  I REALLY wish I had done this when I was younger.  It's the perfect time.  You don't have a lot of the responsibilities that you have later in life that could prevent you from doing these things.  Trips abroad can give you perspective, and make you feel like you are making a difference in people's lives.  Plus, they are great experience & resume builders.

Saudi Arabia

2) Learn something
I started my masters degree when I was 23, just 6 months after graduating.  There are some degrees where you can do this, and some where you need to have some good work experience done first.  I am very glad I went to school & got the masters degree done.  It was a lot of work & would have been really hard if I were trying to take care of a family at the same time.  But, getting another degree isn't the only way to learn something.  Maybe you majored in accounting, but you really love photography.  This is a great time to take some fun classes, maybe at your nearby community college, to learn more about your hobby.  There's tons of classes at our community college.  We even have a home improvement course just for women that I've been eyeing recently.  You could also take community education classes.  Or cooking classes.  You could do art or floral arrangements or earn a fitness or building license. I would love to know more about wine.  You could become a tax professional to earn some extra income during tax season.  There's tons of options out there, & you have the time to follow your interests right now.

Graduation!

3) Develop a hobby
I'm sure there are things that you have really found enjoyable at different points in your life that you could find enjoyment in again.  Or, develop a new hobby.  I ran cross-country & track in high school, but pretty much gave up running once I was around 19.  After graduating from college, I took it back up again.  Running was fun & a way to get outside.  I also ran a 5K race here & there.  Whatever your hobby is, you have plenty of time to develop it further now.  Or, take up a ton of hobbies & you'll never get bored :)


4) Participate in regularly scheduled activities
It can be easy to get lazy & "forget" to call your friends up or be continually deciding the couch & tv looks more appealing than getting dressed up to go out.  I found this to be a problem for me.  I found that having regularly scheduled activities helped me get out of the house & meet new people.  The classes you might take from #2 count!  Some things I did was joining a bowling league & a softball league.  You could join a bible study group or a running group.  Book clubs are fun too.  Maybe you really like volunteering at a certain place.  I did some regular scheduled volunteering at a Humane Society for a while.  I found that having something regularly on my calendar made me more likely to participate since I was expected to be there.

Bowling team... yes I am a dork.. no my lips are NOT actually touching that bowling ball

5) Say "yes" & be spontaneous
This one was super hard for me.  But one year I made it my goal to say "yes" as much as possible.  If anyone asked me if I wanted to do something, I said yes.  I did a TON of fun things that year!  I like to know what I've got planned for the day when I wake up in the morning & it's very hard for me to deviate from that plan.  But when I made it my goal to do so, and even at times forced myself to go to things I maybe didn't really want to go to, I found that I had fun, and didn't really miss my couch time.  Sometimes you just gotta trust you'll have a good time.

6) Get a pet
I REALLY wanted a dog for years.  But I lived in apartments that didn't allow them.  I'm a dog person, & we always had a dog when I was growing up.  I really felt like having one would have given my life more purpose.  I would have had an animal that was dependent on me.  Dogs are amazing company.  I did get one as soon as I could, my Mojo!!  I love him & he is awesome.  I'm not a cat person, but I think if you are they'd work the same way.  I don't ever want to be dog-less again.


7) Go on vacation
If you don't have the funds to go somewhere, take a stay-cation, and have some fun locally.  I would rarely use my vacation time in my first jobs because I didn't have any money to go anywhere.  I really wish I would have taken some stay-cations.  When you leave a job, it's not like you get that vacation time back.  Plus having a vacation on the calendar really gives you something to look forward to.  I feel like the planning for and anticipation of the vacation is almost more fun than the vacation itself (almost).  You need a break every once in a while!


8) Take risks with your career
Now's the time to do this.  In 2007 I was working at a law firm.  I didn't like it AT ALL.  I had been there for about 2 years.  I got laid off.  It sucked.  BUT getting laid off gave me the courage to take a TEMPORARY (meaning no benefits, no vacation or sick time, no security) position in the field I actually wanted to work in- higher ed.  I don't think I have done that if I hadn't been laid off.  I met my husband at that temporary job.  It led to a consulting job, which then led to another temporary job, which eventually led to the perm job I have now.  It was seriously totally worth it.  If you want to do something, go for it!  It'll all work out in the end- if it's not okay, it's not the end.


Oh & here's another bonus piece of advice from me.... ask the cute boys out.  Even if it appears they have no interest in you.  It worked for me :)


Obviously, I'm not an expert or anything, so if you've tried all of these things or you just can't seem to dig yourself out, PLEASE seek professional help  :-)  I send hugs your way!


Do you have any other pieces of advice?  Please share if you do!  I'd love to hear them!

Pin It

I'm linking this post here:
My Romantic Home
Happy Go Lucky  
Lolly Jane
Tater Tots & Jello
Positively Splendid
I Heart Nap Time
Home Stories A2Z 
Vintage Wanna Bee
A Diamond in the Stuff 
Organize & Decorate Everything 
The DIY Dreamer 
One Chatty Chic 
Romance on a Dime 
Southern Lovely 
Lil' Luna 
Blue Cricket Design 
Someday Crafts 
My Girlish Whims 
The Taylor House 
Delightful Order 
Crafty Scrappy Happy 
52 Mantels 
Somewhat Simple 
Live Laugh Rowe 
Two Yellow Birds 
Thrifty Decorating 
Allie Makes 
At the Picket Fence 
Chic on a Shoestring 
Making Lemonade 
Nap Time Crafters 
5 Days 5 Ways 
Whipperberry 
Blissful & Domestic 
30 Handmade Days 
Serenity Now 
Simply Designing 
Our DIY Diaries

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Being in Your 20s in the 21st Century - When Life Feels Stagnant

I think that this is a relatively new phenomenon that maybe some of you might relate to.  I know it applies to me & to many (or most) of my friends.  It's about to get a little personal up in here, so please be kind...

Me in 2006 - age 24


I feel like back in our parent's day, or our grandparent's day, there was a typical order to life.  You went to school, graduated from high school, maybe graduated from college, got married soon after, got a job & started having babies soon after that.  A lot of people do still follow that path.  But I didn't, & I know there are lots of others out there that don't as well.  Some like it that way, but some have a hard time with those in between years- I was one of the later.

2006

I don't know what the "best" age to get married & have kids are, I'm sure it's different for everyone, but I'm 30, I got married at age 29 & have not had a kid yet.  What I want to talk about is that time from graduation 'till the marriage & baby-making stuff begins- for those that want those things, but haven't found them yet.  During that time for me, I felt like I was in a bit of limbo.  My friends & I would joke that life was "stagnant".  Where I felt like some people around me were "making progress in life" but I wasn't.  This wasn't the life I was meant to have right?  Has anyone else been through this stage?  Maybe you're in it right now?

College graduation 2004 - I'm second from the right - still thinking life was going to be easy :)


I graduated from college at age 22.  I didn't meet my husband until I was 26.  Crazy that it was only 4 years.  It seemed like forever.  That period between those two milestones were pretty rough at times.  I held some pretty crappy jobs where I barely made enough to get by.  I watched people around me starting families while I lived alone in little apartments eating a lot of toast & Ramen noodles.  I had moved away from where I went to school, back towards where my parents lived, and I missed all of my friends.  When you're in school, you've always got automatic goals.  Small ones, like getting through the next exam, getting through the semester.  Big ones, like graduating.  You are always moving forward, always making progress, but once you graduate, that pretty much comes to a screeching halt.

Source


Everyone's experience is different, but I felt like I was being left behind.  Like all that moving forward that I did before, all that hard work was NOT paying off.  I felt like I was told it would, but it didn't.  I felt like a failure at life.  I didn't really have any regular goals anymore, or at least not ones that seemed at all obtainable.  I wasn't rising up the corporate ladder in leaps & bounds like I had expected.  I wasn't "making a difference".  I was just waking up each day to go to work at a job I didn't like to come home to eat & go to bed to wake up & do the same the next day.  Awesome... Monotony.  I had a really hard time finding things in my life to be thankful for, even though I had plenty to be happy about.  No major catastrophes happened in my life.  Nothing that I REALLY should have been sad over.  I just wasn't happy.

2005

Now looking back, I was pretty selfish & self-absorbed.  But, I was also probably a bit depressed.  I remember going entire weekends without talking to anyone except the lady checking me out at the grocery store, and feeling really bad about it.  I read probably 2-3 books a week from the library during that time.  And for me, reading became a way to escape from the life I was living into a fantasy.  I couldn't afford cable tv, so books it was.

Source

I knew that I needed to be present in the life I was living instead of wishing for things that I wanted to come.  I KNEW, it was just hard to get myself there.  Please tell me there are others who can relate?  I even tried going to counseling once.  (I can't believe I'm admitting this.)  But, I'm waaay better at WRITING about my feelings than I am at TALKING about them, and I spent the entire hour staring at the wall & crying, & no time talking.  I didn't even know what to talk about!  I was angry & left thinking that the lady I met with was a terrible therapist since she didn't tell me what we were supposed to talk about.  I didn't go back.

My parent's dog Pepper & I shortly before they had to put him down- 2007

Upon reflection, I now think that there were two main things that I was lacking in my life at the time, & finding those two things, in some form, would probably have helped a lot.  They are:

1) To be NEEDED or to have PURPOSE

2)To have something to LOOK FORWARD TO

I don't think it's as simple as "finding a man" and/or "finding a good job".  Although those ARE things that can satisfy these needs, if you don't have those yet, there are other ways to get these needs met that could help a lot in making those years more enjoyable.  I do hope you'll come back on Friday, when I plan on sharing some ideas that I have about ways to satisfy these needs, for when your life feels stagnant.

I'm linking this post up to:
Live Laugh Rowe
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Somewhat Simple
Crafty Scrappy Happy
52 Mantels
Two Yellow Birds 
At the Picket Fence 
Chic on a Shoestring
My Repurposed Life
Making Lemonade 
Nap Time Crafters

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Spring Wreath - I'm a Little Obsessed with Pinwheels

I originally shared this post over at Little Green Bow, but I wanted to share it here as well in case anyone missed it.  If you did, see my pretty wreath below, then go check out Deanna's cute blog!

So ever since creating all of the pinwheels I needed to make for the mobile I made for my cousin's baby, I've been somewhat obsessed with pinwheels.  They are just pretty & fun!  I like that they are so colorful & they just scream SPRING! to me.  So when I started thinking about what I wanted to do for a spring wreath for our front door, the first think that came to my mind was more pinwheels.  I rolled with it, as that is what I do :)


BAM!  Isn't it pretty?  I'm in love.  This started out as your everyday stick wreath.  I spray painted the whole thing white.  It took two coats on either side of the wreath to get it all white so I couldn't see any brown peeking out.  Then a week later after it was all dry I got to work making pinwheels & decorating.


I used three different colors of scrapbook paper.  Make sure if you're making pinwheels, your paper is colored on both sides, as both sides will be visible once your pinwheels are made.  The paper I chose was red, pink, and purple, and they were all a liter shade of their colors on their backsides.  The red one had little red hearts on the underside too!  Fun!


To see how I made the pinwheels, check out my post on the mobile here.  I made these the same way, but these are a little smaller.  I used 3 inch square for these ones so that they weren't too big to fit on the wreath.  I also hot glued these together rather than using tape like I did before.  That's because since these were being glued to the wreath, they wouldn't be needing to have the ability to actually turn like a pinwheel.  With the mobile, I wanted them to be able to turn, so they had to have a hole in the center to turn around- thus hot gluing wouldn't have really worked.


Anyway, I made 6 pinwheels & put a small pinkish-peachish colored pearl in the center of each one, then I attached them to the wreath along the bottom.  I had tons of other pearls left, so I also hot-glued a bunch of them around on the remaining portion of the wreath.  I love the cute little extra somethin-somethin that those little pearls give it!


See them?  I just used twine to attach the wreath to my front door.  I cut off a long piece & folded it in half a few times to make a thicker tie.  Then I slipped it through one of the larger twigs in the wreath, tied the ends together & hung it from that.


I really like how this turned out & it makes me so excited for the coming season!  Now I need to get some flowers in my front beds & I'll be good to go!  Thank you so much Deanna for hosting me!

Pin It

I'm linking this post to:
Southern Hospitality
Organize & Decorate Everything 
Southern Lovely 
52 Mantels
Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
Live Laugh Rowe
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Somewhat Simple
Two Yellow Birds 
The CSI Project 
At the Picket Fence 
My Repurposed Life
The Shabby Nest
Chic on a Shoestring
The Taylor House 
Making Lemonade 
Nap Time Crafters
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Addicted 2 Decorating 
My Romantic Home 
Happy Go Lucky 
Tater Tots & Jello
Funky Junk Interiors
Lolly Jane
Home Stories A2Z 
Today's Creative Blog 
Vintage Wanna Bee 
A Diamond in the Stuff 
Our Thrifty Ideas 
Lil' Luna

Using Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix to Increase Garden Production

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Remember how I just recently built my brand new square-foot raised garden?  Well the soil I put into it was pretty much the most generic, cheapest soil that they had at the Home Depot.  I totally realize that it's fairly unlikely that my veggies would grow big & strong in that soil.  I'm sure they'd grow, I'd probably get some vegetables out of it, but I don't think it'd be all that it could be.
EnG Product Shot.png
That's where Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ comes in.  It's specially formulated to help you get big beautiful plants when mixed with any soil, resulting in higher vegetable yields.  This is exactly what I need!  Some of the things that Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ will do for my garden include:
-Up to 3X the Flowers and Vegetables!* *versus native soil
-Significantly improves soil for multiple years
-Concentrated planting mix expands up to 3X when water is added
-Feeds for up to 6 months
-All natural fibers hold up to 50% more water than basic potting soil
Check out this video about the product:
Do you see why I'm so excited about this?  I will be finding some for my garden next weekend & adding it in.  I can't wait to see how the soil itself reacts.  I'm so excited about this garden you have no idea.  I would be very sad if I put in all this work & got poor results, so I'm doing what I can to make the garden successful.  I did buy inexpensive soil to save money, but with a raised garden, I had to buy a ton of soil.  Using this product is a way to make my inexpensive soil work as if I had bought soil that was much more expensive!  Yea for saving money!  If you're building a new garden, this is a great money saving idea, and if you have an old garden, it's a great product for getting it ready for another season.
Give Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ a try along with me & we can share our results in just a few short months! Expand ‘n Gro™ is available at lawn and garden retailers in the Midwest, Northeast and Texas. It's  also available at Amazon.com.  Advertisement
Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dry Sink Easter Decor

I don't have a fireplace, or a mantel in our rental home.  I've never had one, and thus have never been able to do a mantel for the holidays, which kind of bummed me out.  This year though, I'm really trying to love my rental more though, by both making small changes that make a big impact, and also trying to change the way I think about decorating things so that they come together in a way that works for us & our rental space.  We've been in our house for over 3 years, and will be here about another 2.5, so to me, it's worth it to really think about what I can do here to improve my feelings about it.

One way I'm doing this is by using the dry sink I recently refinished for our living room to decorate seasonally as a mantel.  The dry sink is one of the best things that has happened to our living room because of the storage it brings in, as well as the color!  Plus, it turned out to be the perfect space to get a little seasonal decorating fix.  I recently did a little bit of sprucing up for Easter.

Usually, the whole "shop the house" concept doesn't work too well for me.  For one, I'm kind of the opposite of a hoarder, such that whenever I don't think I'll use something anymore, I take it to Salvation Army or one of the resale shops in town & get rid of it.  We just don't have the space or storage area here for things we don't use.  Also, before I got engaged & married, I didn't do a lot of seasonal decorating, it seemed like an expense I couldn't afford.  Actually, I didn't do too much decorating at all, which is why we have a good amount of bare walls in our place that I'm working on filling.  But for this dry sink decorating, I actually used mostly things that I already had in the house, go me!


I like things on the simple & clean side.  What do you think?  On the left we have my wax warmer that my brother got me for Christmas, as well as my little cow creamer, that I blogged about in one of my first posts ever.  On the right we have my ironstone sugar & cream set that I found at a consignment shop a couple of months ago for a steal.


In the middle is my newest acquisitions.  The glass bowl is actually from some of the centerpieces from our wedding.  I've been trying to use materials from our wedding for various projects lately & this was a great bowl for the pretty sparkly Easter eggs I found at JoAnn's Fabric the other day.  I used a coupon for these & got them for about $4.  LOVE them, I love the colors & the sparkle.  Anything sparkly is great in my book.  I didn't have Easter basket grass & didn't feel like buying any, so I just used some shredded paper as the nest.  We have a ton of that in our house, my husband always has something or another that needs to be shredded, and I think it worked perfectly!


Next to that is my little froggy.  This is a new purchase as well.  He is a mossy frog that I got for $8 at a local handmade & antique shop called Found.  They had a few different frogs & I just thought they were so cute & friendly looking.  I saw them a few weeks ago & just had to go back the other day to purchase one.  Isn't he adorable?  I guess he's not as "Easter-y" as a bunny might be, but he's very spring-y & I love him.  He'll certainly be sticking around for my spring decor as well.


So what do you think?  Did I do a good job on my little decorating project?  Do you try to use things from your home to decorate?  Are you also an anti-hoarder who has trouble "shopping the home"?  I'm thinking I might be in the minority on this one, but I think I did pretty good this time!

This was originally written for & posted on It's Overflowing for Aimee's Easter Egg Hunt.  A big thank you hug to Aimee for hosting it!

Pin It

I'm linking this post to:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Vintage Wanna Bee
Today's Creative Blog 
Home Stories A2Z 
A Diamond in the Stuff 
Organize & Decorate Everything 
Southern Lovely 
Somewhat Simple
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Live Laugh Rowe
Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
52 Mantels
Two Yellow Birds 
The CSI Project 
At the Picket Fence 
My Repurposed Life
The Shabby Nest
Chic on a Shoestring
Making Lemonade 
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Nap Time Crafters
Addicted 2 Decorating 
Lolly Jane
Funky Junk Interiors
Tater Tots & Jello

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Raised Garden is Built, But With a Little Change in Plans

On Saturday, my dad & mom came over to help me build & install a raised garden.  My dad was pretty convinced that we wouldn't have to do a raised garden & would be able to just dig up the yard & put a fence around it, but when we started digging, the soil was pretty wet, so I didn't feel comfortable just doing that, and confirmed I really wanted a raised garden.  Granted, there was a heavy heavy unseasonal storm here last Thursday, if you watch the weather channel you might have heard about it.  No tornadoes in my town (although there was a pretty damaging one in the town we got married in) but it did storm here for 2 hours straight resulting in almost 5 inches of precipitation.  So, the soil may have been excessively saturated, but still, I didn't want to take chances.  There were some changes made from what I was originally thinking though.


First, the location.  I was originally going to put it in the "side yard" of our house.  But, upon observing the spot for a few weeks, I was worried that it wouldn't get enough sun there.  So, I started looking at the back yard.  The backyard is typically pretty wet by the house, but out back, the yard slops up a bit & it's not as wet once you get back behind where the garage is (I know, who designs a yard like this?)  So, I thought I could put the garden back there.  The only downside is that I have to walk through the more muddy part of the yard to get there from the house.  I do have a pretty extensive plan of action to carry out though to try to make the backyard more "passable" this summer.  I just have to let it dry out a little more before I get started.


Anyway, after we dug up the space I wanted to put it (ok, mostly my dad dug it up, dirt is heavy!) we made the trip to Home Depot to get supplies to build it up.  I was planning on getting some cedar boards to just cut & assemble myself.  But we came across this kit by Greenes that was just what we needed!  It is 4ft x 4ft x 7inches tall.  Made of cedar & super easy to assemble.  The really cool thing about these is there are a few different sizes, and you can attach them to each other.  So, if next year I decide I want to double my garden space, I can get another Greenes raised garden bed kit & add it right on to the side of my current one.  The kit was only $35, so I thought it'd be worth it to buy that instead of building it from scratch.


When we got it home, my mom & I put it together in about 5 minutes flat.  SUPER easy.  We attached the chicken wire inside the garden, but attaching it to the boards with a staple gun.  Really easy.  We left a little section of it unstapled too so that I can fold it back to hop into the garden for planting & such.  Then we carried it out to the garden location.  It was at that point that we attached the little stakes to the inside of the garden to hold up the chicken wire.  We stapled the posts to the cedar boards, and to the chicken wire as well.  Then we filled 'er up with soil!  We used 9 bags & it seemed to fill it up perfectly.


Now it's sitting, waiting for me to plant in it!  I still have to mark off each square foot with some twine so that I can do my square-foot-garden plan.  I have16 square feet to plant in!  I'm so excited to see how my little garden will turn out!

Pin It

I'm linking this post to:
Addicted 2 Decorating
Tater Tots & Jello 
Funky Junk Interiors 
Positively Splendid
It's Overflowing
I Heart Nap Time
Mad in Crafts 
Vintage Wanna Bee
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Today's Creative Blog 
Home Stories A2Z 
A Diamond in the Stuff 
Organize & Decorate Everything 
Southern Lovely 
52 Mantels
Crafty Scrappy Happy
Live Laugh Rowe
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Somewhat Simple
Two Yellow Birds 
At the Picket Fence 
Chic on a Shoestring
The Shabby Nest
My Repurposed Life
Making Lemonade 
Nap Time Crafters
The Shabby Creek Cottage
My Romantic Home 
Happy Go Lucky 
Centsational Girl's Garden Link Party

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Silhouette Art - A Guest Post from Little Green Bow -

Hello friends!  Yesterday I shared my spring wreath over at Little Green Bow.  Today, Deanna is over here to share her own project with you!  I hope you welcome her :)  Take it away!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Renewed Upon a Dream readers! I am so excited to be guest posting here today. My name is Deanna and my blog, Little Green Bow, is where I chat about projects made, experiments tried, recipes tasted, and other life lessons learned. I invite you to join me on my DIY adventures and find inspiration to create your ideal life too.

Today I want to share a simple yet beautiful Easter print. I love the look of silhouettes and how simple shapes can add just the right touch without going overboard. In fact, I use this same idea at Valentine's day with this simple cutout heart pillow. But, I realize that not everyone likes to sew so I changed it up a bit. This project is so easy anyone can do it. It's framed silhouette art that is perfect for spring and Easter. Isn't it cute and sophisticated all at the same time?


Easter Silhouette Artwork

So, let me show you how I made it so you can too. I found free Easter shapes I liked online and copied them into Photoshop to size them properly. (If you like the ones I chose, I've made them printable and saved them at the bottom of this post. All you have to do is download and print.)

Easter Egg Silhouette Art

Then I printed them out on natural paper, measured them and cut them down to size.

baby chick silhouette art

After they were cut to size, I played around with the placement and decided I liked the eggs best in the middle because they were the widest and gave balance to the piece.


Then I paired it with some colorful plastic eggs and placed it on our mantle.


One of my favorite things about this piece is that it will go with everything!



I think the Tiffany candy dishes help make the plastic eggs look a little more sophisticated too. Am I right? And as promised, here are the printables for each of the silhouettes. They are sized to 5" x 7".


I love how this turned out & think it adds just enough pop for the coming season! Thank you so much Sarah for hosting me today! Deanna http://LittleGreenBow.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wow these look great Deanna.  Your pictures are beautiful as well!  Thanks so much for coming over & sharing this with my readers!

Pin It

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Spring Wreath - I'm Guest Posting Today!

Today I am over at Little Green Bow guest posting for Deanna!  I'm sharing with her readers my new spring obsession with pinwheels!  I made my spring wreath for our front door over the weekend.


Isn't it cute!  Head over to Deanna's site to see how I made it, and come back tomorrow for a project from her!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Blueberry Walnut Smoothie with Spinach

Now that Spring seems to have sprung, I'm more in the mood for smoothies in the morning in stead of oatmeal.  So today I'm bringing you a smoothie recipe.  It is one that I have been making for years!  I tend to be obsessed with it for a few weeks, then I stop making it & forget about it.  Then after a year or so goes by, I start craving it again & bring it back into the breakfast rotation for a while.  This is one of those times.


Blueberry Walnut Smoothie with Spinach

3/4 cup soy or almond milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 a frozen banana (or a full banana if you like them, I don't, so I try to minimize them in my smoothies)
1/4 cup walnuts
handful of fresh baby spinach


I actually usually just wing it now.  I throw handfuls in of everything.  But I tried measuring everything out yesterday & this seems to be about what my "handfuls" consist of.  A hint on the banana, I like to cut mine up & throw the pieces in baggies before putting them in the freezer.  Then when I'm ready to make a smoothie, I can just pull out a baggy & the pieces are there cut up, frozen, and ready to go!  Throw it all in & blend it all up!


This is easily my favorite smoothie.  I made one for my husband last night without telling him what was in it.  I asked him what he thought it consists of & he said, blueberry & banana.  I told him there was also walnuts & spinach in it & he was like "Whaaa?  Spinach?"  You can't tell at all.  I think you can taste the walnuts though, that's why I love putting them in.  But if you don't like them or are allergic you could totally skip them.


Do you have a go-to smoothie for nice days?  What's your favorite fruit to add to them?

Pin It

I'm linking this post to:
Home Stories A2Z
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 
Vintage Wanna Bee 
Today's Creative Blog 
At Home With K
A Diamond in the Stuff
Organize & Decorate Everything 
Southern Lovely 
{Primp} 
Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
52 Mantels
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Somewhat Simple
Delightful Order 
Two Yellow Birds 
At the Picket Fence 
2805 
Every Creative Endeavor 
My Repurposed Life 
Fingerprints on the Fridge
Chic on a Shoestring
The Shabby Nest
Making Lemonade 
Nap Time Crafters 
Addicted 2 Decorating 
Tater Tots & Jello 
Funky Junk Interiors 
Positively Splendid 
I Heart Nap Time
It's Overflowing
Mad in Crafts

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Little Vintage School Desk is Finally Refinished!

I shared this project over at College Hill Renovation as a guest post for Rachel a couple of weeks ago.  I love that Rachel is practically my neighbor!  We live in the same town.  It makes me smile when I find other like-bloggers who live by me.  I also love this project I'm about to show you.  It's now one of my favorite things in my house.

A while back, I wrote about a little school desk that I found at our local consignment shop, that I purchased for myself for my birthday.  Well, that little desk has been sitting in our living room in all it's scratched up, stained, orangey glory for the past couple months & I finally decided what I wanted to do with it, and got around to making it happen.  Sometimes I'm a little slow at these things... it's okay though.  Here is how my little desk looks now!


We use it as a table right next to the front door.  It's a great place to stash the little things we want to drop off, and the little seat is a great place for my husband to sit to put his shoes on so that he doesn't track mud through the house.  Here's how it's been looking for the past couple of months.


I thought about painting the desk, which seemed like the easiest option, but I felt like I'd loose some of the character of it if I did that, and so I wanted to stain it dark to match my coffee table, but I didn't want it to be too plain.  So I decided to do some stripes!  Aren't they fun?

First thing first I had to sand the desk down.  This was the most time consuming part of this project.  I got out my sander & went to town on it, first using a courser sandpaper, then finishing it off with a finer sandpaper.  I made sure to get all of the old finish off, which is why it took so long.  I also made sure to get everything around the edges, as these would need to be re-stained as well.


Next I taped off where I wanted my stripes to be.  I decided that each part of the desk, seat, seat back, desk piece, should have the same stripe.  Once I was sure my tape was secure, I painted one layer of white paint in the stripes, let it dry just a bit, then carefully pulled off the tape.  My lines looked fabulous.  I left them for a couple of hours to dry really well before sanding them a bit to make them a little less perfect.


The next step was to stain.  I used a dark stain because that's what I had, and it is what I have used on other projects.  I love dark wood!  So I wiped on the stain with a sponge brush, and immediately wiped it back off with a rag.  I didn't leave it on very long to penetrate the wood because I didn't want it to be too dark.


After I got the whole thing stained, I was pretty excited with how it looked!  Stain has to be left alone a while to sink in & dry before you can finish it, so I left it for a few days like that.


To seal it, I used a wipe on poly by Minwax.  I find that this is pretty easy to use on these types of projects.  I used 3 coats, applied over 3 days, sanding between coats.

I think it turned out pretty well don't you?  I love that I decided to add the little extra detail of the stripes.  My husband likes that the stripes are just a little different in size.


I think it looks kind of like a race car desk.... no?  Just me?  Ok.


Anyway, I'm SO happy with it.  I can't believe I waited 2 months to get started on it!  What do you think?

Pin It


I'm linking this post here:
 
Lovely Etc.
Tater Tots & Jello 
Funky Junk Interiors 
Lolly Jane 
It's Overflowing 
I Heart Nap Time 
Mad in Crafts 
My 1929 Charmer 
Home Stories A2Z
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia  
Vintage Wanna Bee 
Today's Creative Blog 
A Diamond in the Stuff 
Organize & Decorate Everything 
Southern Lovely 
{Primp} 
52 Mantels
Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
Somewhat Simple
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Delightful Order 
Two Yellow Birds 
At the Picket Fence 
2805 
Every Creative Endeavor 
My Repurposed Life 
Chic on a Shoestring
Miss Mustard Seed
The Shabby Nest
Fingerprints on the Fridge
Making Lemonade 
Naptime Crafters
Blogging tips