Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Handmade gift tags: Re-purposing scrap paper

Since we're talking about weddings here.  If you've been married, you know how many gift bags you accumulate during all the festivities.  And if you're like us, you save all those in great shape after everything and store them away for future use.

I think we all do this, am I right?  But what about when the bag's gift tag clearly has your name on it?  What then?  You get rid of it of course, but then what about a new tag?  Of course, you can use a sticker tag.   Or, you can gather up some scrap paper, and make a totally custom, handmade, thoughtful little tag of your own.

The most recent bag in question is here:

See?  Perfectly good.  And big enough to fit our wedding gifts.  And since I hoard crafts supplies and scrap paper around here, I was well - equipped for this little project.  

After going through everything, I decided on the remnants of this blue scrapbook paper, this pretty dogwood flower cutout from a magazine and plain white construction paper.

I used my paper cutter to cut them each to the correct width, and then used a glue stick (to prevent a mess) to stick them all together.  I used a one hole punch to make a hole for the bag's handle to go through.

Once you've made your tag, simply untie the handle from inside the bag, string the new tag on and viola!  I really love the way this turned out.  

And I especially love being able to use things that we already have here.  :)  Totally justifies my paper craft collection, right?  ;)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wedding Weekend Re-cap

Hey there!  Things have been busy as ever and fun as always around here lately!  Hence, why I missed a full week of blogging over here.  We celebrated Mother's Day with a wonderful day of relaxing with family, we had dinner with friends and small group last week, plus a long and drawn out rainstorm, and a fun filled weekend celebrating the marriage of two of our college friends!

We actually have 3 more weddings this summer (2 more this month!) plus our own anniversary coming up, so I hope you'll be alright if we switch gears over here into all things summer and wedding related for a while.
This wedding was a beautiful, traditional, church wedding and the weather was perfect.  Sunny and 75, almost literally.

Of course I didn't snap photos of the ceremony (should have gotten some pics before it started...I know.), and we were way to busy on the dance floor to get too many reception shots.

But of course, we used the in between time to snap a few fun pictures.  And I got to spend some wonderful quality time with these ladies since all of our guys were groomsmen and busy taking photos during the cocktail hour. 

By the way, that dress if from a local thrift store.  You know I like to keep it thrifty.  :) 
I did manage to get one good shot of the happy bride and groom...and the beautiful cake.  So happy and in love.

Oh!  And if the wedding wasn't gorgeous enough, the groom's family hosted a wonderful rehearsal dinner at a local family vineyard.  And the view was simply breathtaking.  Oh, to have that off of your porch everyday!   

Dear friends, we wish you all the best in the whole world!  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Home Tour 2014: A Year Later: Guest Bedroom

Happy Wednesday!  I'm excited to pick the home tour back up this week with our guest bedroom.  In case you've missed the rest of the tour so far, catch up here and here!  Technically, we have 2 guest bedrooms now, but one is also an office, so this is our official, designated guest bedroom.

At this point, I think we've established that the former owners of our home liked bright paint colors.  So it shouldn't really be any surprise that the guest bedroom looked like this when we moved in:
1 green wall, 1 pink wall and 1 striped wall.  The other wall was painted with the yellow color you see in the stripes.  Basically, this is a little girl's dream room. 

We have let this room sit like this for a while, just with furniture because I hadn't decided what color to paint it yet.  We finally settled on Olympic's Lunar Eclipse, and here are the results:

 It's incredible to me how much difference a coat of paint can make.  Many thanks to the hubs who sanded the whole wall with the stripes to avoid them from showing through.  Another thing that really helped with this room was getting the paint + primer in one, so we were able to cover the bright colors with just one coat of paint.  That made me so happy.

Obviously, we didn't do anything too crazy with the decorating in this room.  I would really love to have a beautiful magazine worthy guest room to show you, but we've stuck to pretty regular and comfy here.  And frankly, I really enjoy it.  The spaces that we use more often - aka living room and master are higher priorities to me.  But I am thrilled to have a place to host guests.

There's not a huge to-do list in this room.  But, I do want to re-do those lamps.  (See above on the book shelf...)  We have 2 of them that were being discarded, so they were free to us and are totally functional and helpful.  But, I'm itching to recover that lamp shade and turn both of them into something beautiful.  That's another post for another day though.  :)

And finally, while we're at it, the guest bathroom:
Actually, the decals don't do it for me, but I liked the teal color on the wall.  In the end though, we decided to cover it with something more neutral: 

We also took down the long towel bar and added shelves.  We are currently using an over the door hanger for towels.  I wanted to be able to hang more than one towel and my original thought about adding hooks above the toilet didn't work out.  When I tried, the hooks ended up having to be so high in order that the towels wouldn't drag on the commode, so I just decided to use the over the door hanger.  It's way better.

I think the kitchen might be next on this little tour.  Stay tuned.  :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bisquick Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!  Do you have any fun plans for the evening?!
We are just relaxing around here...nothing fancy.  How I like to spend my weeknights.  :)

Today, I'm sharing a not so secret fact:  I really like cookies.  Actually, one of the most popular posts on this old blog is "My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies".  I don't know what it is about cookies.  Maybe it's the homemade smell that gets through the house when they're baking.  Maybe it's the fact that they are easy to pick up and eat on the go, and maybe it's that they are super easy to take to get togethers and parties.  Most likely, it's some of all of that.

Last week though, when I wanted to make cookies, I realized that I had about no flour left in the pantry.  What's a girl to do, right?!  Well, luckily, pinterest came to the rescue, and when I saw a bisquick cookie recipe from Plain Chicken (seriously one of my favorite food blogs out there), I knew I could trust it.

And of course, I had plenty of bisquick in the pantry.

I also used the opportunity to try baking on the pizza stone.  HUGE success.  I loved the way they turned out!  

(Original Recipe here)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (I used unsalted butter)
1 cup brown sugar, plus a pinch for good measure ;)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg
2 3/4 cup bisquick baking mix
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)

Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg until smooth.  Slowly mix in baking mix and chocolate chips.  Drop in rounded spoonfuls on baking sheet (or baking stone) and bake for 8-10 minutes.  

These cookies were a big hit.  I took them to the office and they were gone pretty quickly.  I liked that they stayed fluffy during baking and were soft even days later.  There was a hint of pancake flavor that sounds a little bit weird, but was actually quite nice.

What I liked most of all about this recipe was how simple it was.  I made it between commercials of a TV show hubs and I were watching together.  I actually dumped everything in the bowl at once before mixing which made it a little more difficult to mix, but they cookies still turned out just lovely.

So now, there is a competitor in the race for favorite chocolate chip cookies...

On another note, I think my metabolism is slowing down.  Really.  I have got to stop making these cookies.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Psalm 16:9

Don't forget who's in control today.  

"A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps."  Psalm 16:9

Friday, May 2, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!  I can't even believe that it's already May!  Where in the world is this year going?!  It's been a few months since I've posted a Five on Friday post here on the blog and I'm excited that today is the day to get back into the swing of it.
And I'm excited to have so many lovely things with you all today.  

1. Holy Guacamole.  Okay, I know I already shared this one here, but seriously.  It is so yummy!  I am so happy to have a guacamole recipe that I like and look forward to enjoying this little treat often this spring/summer season.  

2.  My hydrangea bushes are growing and growing.  So are all the other flowers in the yard of course, but these are the ones that I have been looking forward to the most.  I want so badly to learn the best way to take care of them this year.  I'm hoping that if I can take care of this one and it has a good summer, I'll be able to plant a few more bushes around our deck.  

3.  This little jewelry tray.  I've been able to complete a few very simple craft projects lately and this is one that I'm most happy about.  It's just as simple as it looks - an old frame with scrapbook paper inserted into it sitting on top of my dresser.

I love how pretty it looks though and that it corrals all the jewelry that I wear most often into one place.

4.  Another quick little craft project:  spray painting those silver (old salsa) jars.  I love the metallic silver and how these little jars complement the other vases on the mantel.  I still need to get flowers for these jars and the vases, but haven't yet decided the colors I want.

5.  And finally, just spring in general.  This is my favorite season.  Hands down.  I just want to play outside all day long, every day of the week.  It doesn't hurt to have good reading, either.  :)

I'm hoping to have another chill and relaxing weekend again this weekend.  We've actually got three weddings in a row coming up so I'm soaking in all of the calm this weekend and hoping to get some gift shopping completed before the wedding season officially kicks off. 

Who am I kidding though, wedding season is just one more reason why I like this time of year the best.  :)