Monday, January 30, 2012

my insta.week party #1

1. got to visit with this cute thing. here is my nephew, ezekiel, eating fruit leather and interrupting a game of ping-pong by crawling onto the ping-pong table!
2. when visiting dallas, found a bakery that sells macarons. look at all the pretty colors!
3. this blueberry macaron was my favorite.
4. here's my pup, quinn, at bedtime. cutie.
5. i've been trying to grow out my bangs for months now, but i woke up one morning and did this to my hair. oh well! i like bangs.
6. there's my hubby setting up for a mid-day wedding. for those of you who don't know, he's a wedding DJ/singer. :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

to whom it may concern: part 5

it's been another pet-peevy day. thanks for listening to my rants! if you couldn't tell already, i get annoyed easily. it is one of my faults. but getting it out makes me feel much better! if you want to learn of my other pet-peeves, click here!

dear new pinterest users:
i can tell you aren't a crafter yourself because of the things you say relating to pinterest. when i see you commenting, "that's SO pinterest" on a picture of a new wreath your friend put up on facebook, i see that as a put-down. why? well, what if they came up with that themselves and you just credited pinterest instead of them?

but even if they DID get the idea off of pinterest, crediting pinterest is still a put-down...to the original crafter. saying, "i just made some amazing pinterest cookies" does NOT make sense. they are not pinterest cookies. someone pinned that originally (probably from a blog) from someone who worked hard to originate those cookies. credit THEM, not pinterest. the pinterest site is merely a cool bookmarking site. so crediting pinterest would be the same as me bookmarking an article written by leslie knope, then saying, "i just read an amazing bookmark article!" does that make sense? no. if i saw that someone made an original craft or recipe of mine and credited pinterest instead of me, i would get mad! (actually, that HAS happened.) if you were a crafter or cook or upcycler yourself, you would understand.

pinterest is an amazing website. we all know that. such a great idea. so credit them for THAT, not for what you pinned on their site. pinterest did not make that valentine's day wreath. crafty-do-dah.net did. credit them.

i'm glad that you have been inspired by what you see on pinterest enough to start creating, crafting, cooking, and doing. keep it up, but give credit where credit is due.

thanksandistillloveyou,
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

exodus 35 creativity party #17

sorry i missed the party again last week! i went out of town and forgot to put the post on auto. oh well. here it is now! and here are the featured projects from two weeks ago:
1. fabric bookmark from craft affection.
2. how to make a facebook landing page from craft whatever.
3. upcycled old entertainment center into a play kitchen from 3krazychics.
4. activity sticks from tales of the scotts.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

AROUNT THE DISTRICT | WASHINGTON, DC

we loved being in DC and seeing all the touristy things. but it was also just awesome to walk around and see the district as locals see it.
  
we found our lodging through home away, and got to stay in a renovated old firehouse. it was so cool!
and the neighborhood we stayed in was awesome. i wouldn't mind jogging on these sidewalks every day. :)
i loved this street, and seeing the washington monument peek out from behind government buildings. (also, DC has some of the best bike lanes i've ever seen! so jealous.)
we also walked by ford's theatre. we didn't go in, but it was sort of surreal to see where lincoln was shot.

we also checked out union station. the architecture here was amazing. and you can get anywhere in and around DC from here! (a side note -- if you visit DC, don't waste money renting a car. the metro, which is DC's underground train, will get you ANYWHERE and fast. even when it is crowded, you're still on the train in a jiffy and across the city in 5 minutes.)
you'll find art everywhere in DC.
we were walking to lunch one day, and passed by this building, which is near the grand army of the republic. i just thought it was pretty, especially with the blooming magnolia tree in front of it.
here's us in front of the pretty trees!
love those magnolias!
and of course, there was a plethora of cherry blossoms. mmm. so gorgeous.

missing the blooms,
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Friday, January 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC MONUMENTS

i love DC! here's some more of our trip. (that we took back in march!)
  
it's time for the monuments!!
  
it was a perfect day to see the washington monument. we wanted to try to go to the top, but apparently you either have to make reservations like 3 months in advance or wait in line starting at around 6 am in case there is someone who missed their reservation time. hah. no way we did that. 
aren't these cherry blossoms gorgeous?! we were so blessed to be there at the time we were. it was a week before the cherry blossom festival, so perfect for the blooms, and right before all the crowds! amazing.

when we first got to the washington monument, the sky was covered with clouds. but about 15 minutes later, the pretty blue sky appeared!

i'm not sure if you can see, but the reflecting pool was under construction. :/
and here's our photo with us and the washington monument (and with the monument growing out of mark's head) and then a photo at the world war II memorial.

later, we rented bikes and toured around the rest of DC. so worth it. saves your feet from aching, and you'll actually be able to see the things you want to see in a few hours instead of a full day or more.
  
we rode around and first went to the white house.

 we then rode around the tidal basin and checked out the thomas jefferson memorial.
after the jefferson memorial, we rode to the vietnam veterans memorial.
but my favorite place was the lincoln memorial. so pretty and white.
  
keep traveling!
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

oil & vinegar

for christmas, my sister got me and some other ladies in my family gift certificates to a store called oil and vinegar. i had never been there nor heard of it, and my sis raved about it. a few of us (my mom, my two sisters, my niece, and a friend) went to the store together.
  
i simply loved it. their flavored oils and vinegars that are on tap (how cool is that?) were all out to taste test. there were so many flavors! at least 20 oils and 20 vinegars. but i was prepared! (i brought my own gluten-free bread for the taste testing.)
  
if i could, i would have bought every flavor of the vinegars. i loved the oils too (with flavors like blood orange olive oil, lemon olive oil, chardonnay garlic grapeseed oil and more), but with the limit on my gift certificate, i decided to go all out with the vinegars.
  
oh man, i loved them all. but, alas, i had to choose five:
from left to right, the flavors are: cassis orange vinegar, passionfruit balsam vinegar, elderflower apple lime vinegar, cherry almond vinegar, and strawberry balsam vinegar.
  
my sister kept saying, "oh, these will last you like six months!"
  
umm...i already beg to differ. all i want to do is pour them on bread and stuff it into my mouth. (i'm sure they would make excellent salad dressings, too. hehe.)
  
oil and vinegar has much more than just oil and vinegar. the store is packed with sauces, spices, pastas, appetizers, honeys, chutneys and jams, and kitchen tools like oil dispensers, dishes, and even mortar and pestles!
  
they are very accommodating to any allergies, and even makes it easy to order allergen-free online! 

the stores are located sporadically across the US (but started overseas). they also have an online store, so go check them out.

by the way, what did you get for christmas? any creative gifts? i'd love to hear.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

exodus 35 creativity party #16

guess what! my creativity party is back!! i know, it's been like a month. but i've had a great break from it, and have spent my holidays with family and friends. i love that i took some time for myself! anyway, we're back on! here are the faves from about a month ago! :)
1. check out these faux snowflakes from the house of bledsoe. great for winter!
2. get crafty and make this cute yet very inexpensive necklace from kerr-afty creations.
3. i love this pillow made from an old sweater! see how the upcycling is done at vixen made!
4. check out part 1 AND 2 of how to make your own knock-off organic bloom frames from amelia bedelia.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

DIY SUGAR SCRUB

if you didn't know from earlier posts, this christmas was my second DIY christmas. since i have so many family members, what i end up doing is making a lot of the same things for several people. like this sugar scrub for the ladies!

this stuff is a great exfoliator, smells and feels and looks so good, and contains ingredients that are amazingly healthy for your skin. it is totally non-toxic; you could even EAT it! though i would recommend not eating it, since it is mainly just sugar. just take a taste after you make it; i did! (super yummy! hehe.)

this is so easy to make, and is such a great gift. and look how pretty!


i love 'em. the blue is an almond scent, then we have grapefruit and lemon. up there in the top right photo, the cream color is also almond.

Sugar Scrub
ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp sea salt, finely ground
3 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted (refined = no coconut aroma)
1/4 cup refined safflower oil (or other mild flavored oil, NOT olive oil)
20-35 drops of essential oil of choice OR a few drops of extract of choice
a few drops of non-toxic food coloring
  
directions:
mix dry ingredients, then add coconut and safflower oil. add in essential oil (or extract), and mix well. scrub should be wet and thick. add more safflower oil by the teaspoon if needed. add food coloring, mix well.
  
makes a little over 2 cups.
  
tips:
- do NOT used unrefined coconut oil. the aroma is too strong and will not go well with the scent you choose, unless you choose coconut, of course!
- do NOT use olive oil. the flavor and aroma is too strong and will not go well with the scent you choose.
- try not to use vegetable oil or canola oil. this is a healthy scrub, meant to add good oils to your skin. if you cannot find safflower oil, try grapeseed oil or flaxseed oil.
- you might need even more essential oil than recipe calls for. i used about 35 drops (big drops), but i wanted the scrub's aroma to be very strong.

what scents could you add?
try these essential oils: almond, juniper, cinnamon, ginger, guava, peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen, lavendar, rose, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, or tangerine.
(find out more about essential oils and their benefits here, here, or here.) 
or try these extracts: vanilla, pineapple, strawberry, coconut, banana, cherry, lemon, lime, orange, almond, mint, or root beer (hehe)!