Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Light and refreshing: Summer Fruit Salad

 Doesn't that look delicious?!
If not for this fruit salad, I'd still be going through life thinking of fruit salad as grapes, crushed pineapple with tons of juice, bananas, and marshmallows...you know, the fruit salad you'd find at a hot, summer family reunion. Thus, I'd tell you that NO, I did not like fruit salad!
This one is so fresh, colorful and tasty, I feel the need to tell you about it! I wanted to share it because I know many of you are into health and fitness and trying to eat well (most of the time...there's always a time for a delicious chocolate cake or something)!

You will need the following:
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
    (There were no fresh pineapples & this was probably easier anyway)
Wanna know a secret?
When shopping for these ingredients...I realized I had NO IDEA what I was looking for in a mango. I was too embarrassed to ask so I just walked around till I found it! ha

Also, if you aren't sure how to peel a kiwi (I wasn't), this is an excellent demo:

Now, this is super simple -- just wash and chop up all your fruits (except blueberries) to the size you most prefer, mix together, and chill. SO EASY! 
Fruit Collage
It's worth noting...I only used one kiwi, but I think next time I will use two. I will also use a little less mango. You can vary the amount of the fruits based on your personal preferences!

You can eat the fruit as is, or you can make yourself a little parfait, like I did.
Fruit Collage 2
I used two big tablespoons of Chobani on top of the fruit, and 1/8 of a cup of the granola. Based on the ingredients I entered on MyFitnessPal, I estimate this little cup (above) was ~160 calories.

In the spirit of honesty, I cannot take full credit for this recipe. The first time I had this fruit salad was following a BarreAmped class, when one of our clients (Brigitte Nguyen) brought this in for us as a quick, healthy snack. She added a delicious homemade coconut granola, but I have yet to make that.

If you make this yummy fruit salad, I hope you love it!
I have a feeling it will become a summer staple in my house!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

DIY: Chevron Table Runner -- Saw It. Pinned It. Did It

Welcome back to the blogging world, Saw It Pinned It Did It! :) So this week's SPD project has actually been complete for awhile, which you know if you follow me on Instagram. And it is super easy so I don't have pictures of the process, really.

This pin was my inspiration:

After seeing some gray chevron fabric at Hobby Lobby, I decided I wanted to make something for my table. I have a sewing machine so I should be able to figure this out, right? Let's just say I won't be a professional seamstress anytime soon.

I had to google how to properly load the thread onto my sewing machine. It had been QUITE awhile...

 I purchased 2 yards of fabric. You may not need that much, but I did not know how to properly determine the amount needed and didn't bother to figure it out before I went to the store. Oops. I also purchased some grey thread for my top-stitch

I don't have my actual measurements, and yours might be different anyway. It all depends on the width and length of your table, and the size of your desired table runner!
I determined the width by first measuring the round placemat I typically use in the center of my table. I added an inch to either side to get the width of fabric I needed to cut. Once cut, I folded the long edges in about 1/4 of an inch, ironed them flat, and pinned. Then I sewed it in place. 

On a roll, I quickly pinned and ironed the short edges, and sewed those in place. In my excitement I failed to cut any of the fabric from the ends...whoops. When I laid the table runner on my table, I realized it was way too long. The people sitting in the chairs would have had a built in napkin for their lap! (Nancy J says she likes when I admit my Pinterest fails and mess ups, haha)
So I cut a chunk of fabric from one of the ends...sewed the ragged edge and called it good!

I still had fabric left to use, so I decided to make a miniature runner for the table/plant stand you see in the corner. The table is an antique, and belonged to my great-grandmother Mary. My mom had it for many years before giving it to me. I wanted to cover the table so it didn't get damaged. I should have made the small one first, for sewing practice, because the lines on it are MUCH straighter than the big runner. I hope no one inspects it closely.
Probably the fastest, and easiest, SPD project yet. Cheap, too! :)

  Now that SPD is back, don't forget to link up with Stephanie and Katie
to show us what you did this week!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

DIY: Crate & Barrel Wall Hangings -- Saw It. Pinned It. Did It.

In February, I went to California for a work trip. At my hotel, I saw these prints, which I posted on Instagram hoping to glean some information!
I got exactly what I was looking for when "megspow" told me they were from Crate and Barrel. But with them being 3 years old, I'd either never find them, or they'd be a bajillion dollars.

So naturally I took to google, and found this, which I promptly pinned. I was going to make these bad boys!

I have a very big, very blank wall in my living room. For the past three years, I've been trying to find the "right" thing for the wall. See below. And please ignore the "lived in look." The squares on the wall are me trying to "envision" if this was going to work. Neither of us were really satisfied...
...so I changed my original plan a little and got to work.

 You will need the following:
  • 12 x 12 x 2 board, cut into 8 squares. The squares are more like 11 1/8 inches, because the wood shrunk. (At least that's what the guy told me...but he cut them into squares with equal sides) If you can find a shorter board, that's great, but I couldn't. This was about $14 at Lowe's.
  • Sandpaper. Free from TJ :)
  • Paint for your squares. I chose a dark brown color (appx $10)
  • Mod Podge or some other adhesive ($4)
  • Some type of glaze. I chose Valspar tinted glaze (appx $10)
  • Paper trimmer or scissors (and a really steady hand).
  • Picture hangers (appx $8 for 10)
  • Square Decals. I chose these, which are 11x11 and why I needed the trimmer. ($22)
    If I'd looked harder, I would have found these, which are 10.5 x 10.5 and included 9. If you don't like the geometric look, they have several others: venetian look, vintage butterflies, or any of these :)  (I actually might buy the venetian looking ones, for when I tire of the geometric look!)
If you have a lot of patience and don't wish to buy the decals, you can probably achieve the same look using various paint colors and painters tape. I am not that patient though.
 1 - After sanding the edges and surfaces, paint your squares. Choose whatever color you want!
2 - Apply the decals. Attempt to put them on as straight as possible. They are not very sticky. After you've got them laid, lift up one edge at a time and brush on some mod podge to help them stick to the wood. Be sure to completely smooth the decals back down on the wood to avoid any air bubbles or wrinkles. Go over the edges too. Allow them to dry.
After they've dried,  apply mod podge to the top. Do not do what I did and brush it on because it is streaky (see photo!) Instead, bunch up a paper towel and "blot" the glue on. Use a really light hand! Too much will cause bubbling after they've dried.
3 - After the glue is dry, do your "finishing" technique. I guess this step is not absolutely necessary, but I didn't like the stark white background of the decals. Again, I used a bunched up paper towel to blot the glaze on to avoid streaks. It is darker in some places than others and that's okay. I barely used any glaze.

The next step is to add your picture hangers to the back. I don't have a picture of this step, but I placed them about one inch down and in the center of the squares. Thankfully, I'd left the squares of cardstock on the wall, so I measured this same spot on them and used it to get my nail started. This technique worked pretty well because I only ended up with one extra hole in the wall. If that doesn't work for you, try Stephanie's toothpaste trick.

This is my final result:

Total DIY Cost: About $68
The mirror is what I meant when I said I "changed my original plan a bit." TJ and I both felt like the 8 squares alone would still be a little overwhelmed by the size of the wall, so I found the mirror and decided to add it to the mix. It is available on Overstock, and shipped quickly.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the final outcome! This was the most expensive DIY I'd ever taken on, so I was really nervous and tried to take my time. A few notes...
  • I mentioned the decals might bubble up. This DID happen to me. However, I pulled them up enough to smooth out the bubbling, and smoothed them back down and brushed a tiny bit of glue around the edges. I am somewhat concerned this might be an ongoing problem... :-/
  • The first batch of decals I ordered from Lot 26 had damage to three of the squares. I contacted them, and they sent a replacement set, no questions asked. YAY for awesome customer service! This delayed me on the project because I had to wait, but that's okay. It turned out in the end!
Don't forget to link up with Stephanie and Katie to show us what you did this week!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

DIY: Burlap and Burns -- Saw It. Pinned It. Did It.

Well here it is, 10:17 p.m. on Wednesday night, and I'm writing this post. Nothing like a little last minute posty for you girls, right?! Right!

First things first -- can I just tell you how giddy this made me?
I know, I know...it isn't anything huge, I'm not a 3000 follower blog,
but hey...considering my posting schedule isn't FAB...it made me smile! :)

Now, back to how it's pretty late the night before the SPD Linkup....oh yeah,
I definitely have burns from the hot glue gun all over my fingers. Owie!

You will need:
-Styrofoam wreath form
-1 roll of burlap (depending on how full you want your wreath)
-Hot glue gun
-Wooden letter
-Acrylic paint
 (this may have been a pic I texted my mom...ha)

I got my original idea from none other than Miss Katie herself:

Sadly, I started this wreath almost 3 weeks ago. Following directions from Katie, I cut many, many pieces of burlap appx. 8 inches long. I started pulling an end string from the middle of the strip, creating "gathers" in the burlap. It required pulling several of the strings to get the burlap strips scrunched up quite how I liked them.
Now, unfortunately, I failed to read Katie's directions thoroughly on the next step, when I started gluing on my bunches of burlap. She glued on two rings, one somewhat closer to the center and layering another around it. I overlooked that step (oops) and started off just gluing my bunches to the face of the wreath.
(Evidently I am tired. I just typed "glying" for gluing, and "reach" for wreath)

Even with just one ring of burlap, it still looked pretty decent. 
 And it was at this point that I cleaned off my table and walked away from the wreath for nearly three weeks. Oopsie.
Tonight I came back to it, so I'd have something to post tomorrow.  Yeah I said it.
I cut some more burlap strips, created the bunches, and started gluing them closer to the outer edge. I had to put them close to the existing burlap because, as I said, I failed to read instructions and do it right the first time.
 You'll notice I cut many of the loose strings from the burlap, though I think Katie left some of hers. I chose not to do this, because my wreath will be outside (we don't have a glass storm door), and there's a bird that likes to build a nest on my porch. I figured a bunch of loose burlap strings would encourage her to pull them loose for her nest!

After this, I glued on my painted letter. It's a light turquoise/aqua blue color, nice for spring?
There weren't a ton of font choices, so I decided to go with this...
(In looking at these pictures, I can't decide if my wreath is fuller on the right side, or if
my letter is just a bit catty-wompus...)
This wreath is super easy and fast. Fast, assuming you don't leave it half-finished for 3 weeks ;)

Go forth my crafty bloggies! Make something fun,
and don't forget to link up with Stephanie and Katie!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

DIY: Coffee Lovers Printable -- Saw it. Pinned it. Did it.

Welcome back, SPD'ers!

I had a lot of fun with last week's post and was excited to participate again this week!
(Even if I did wait till the last minute)
From the moment I saw this (below) on Pinterest, I loved it.
However, it's only an image. And not a very high quality one, at that.

I thought this would be adorable, framed of course, in my kitchen.
So I set about to make something similar!

I knew I needed to "replicate" the coffee stains, so I googled "Coffee Stain Brushes, Photoshop" until I found a free set of brushes. Unfortunately, because I downloaded several brush sets, I'm not sure exactly where they came from in order to link to the source. Free brushes are pretty easy to find, and as long as you run a virus scan on the file you download, you should be okay.
Ultimately, here is what I created, which I printed at home on kraft cardstock.

I stopped by Michael's for an inexpensive frame, with the original idea to paint it. I picked up a light robin's egg blue shade of acrylic paint, and a cheap brush. Here's what happened that made me understand just WHY EXACTLY my dad always uses spray paint!

 Try as I might, I couldn't really get rid of the streaks, or make them look "intentional" enough to live with it. So I scrapped the plan of paint (at least for this project) and scrounged around my house until I found another frame I could use.

I knew I wanted to put this near my coffeemaker, preferably on the wall, but our backsplash is tiled. I was not about to hammer or screw into that and ruin it. So I found (and by found, I mean I asked TJ) some adhesive velcro. I cut 4 small squares and placed them in each of the corners of the frame. I tried to line it up fairly well before sticking it to the wall. Here is the end result...
What do you think? I'm pretty happy with it! TJ even thought it was kinda neat!
(I expected he would think it was kinda silly, ha)
Also, I forgot to mention that this frame is for a 5x7 print (if you hadn't already guessed).
But that's not all, bloggies! I thought I would be kind and generous this week.
Are you a fellow coffee lover? Interested, perhaps, in the "coffee" print I made?
Like I mentioned, it is not an entirely original idea.
That said, I thought I'd share the link with you.
Download my "Coffee" printable here (pdf)!

If you have any questions - don't hesitate to ask!
Did you do a Pinterest or other DIY/craft project this week? If so...
be sure to link up with Stephanie and Katie for Saw it Pinned it Did It! I can't wait to see your projects!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

DIY: Printing on Burlap -- Saw it, Pinned it, Did it. Success!

This week, I'm back for my second installment of Saw it. Pinned It. Did It.
And this time, ladies, I have a success story! Whoop Whoop!
My original inspiration came from this pin:

However, my first attempt was a total flop, which you can read about here: Saw it, Pinned it, Did it. Almost. Following that "success," I decided to try the printing on burlap tutorial found here:
First things first....you'll need:
-Burlap (8.5x11 for this project)
-Computer & ink-jet printer
-Freezer paper
This is the freezer paper I used, which I purchased via Amazon:

Let's get started then, shall we? Set up your iPad tutorial and ironing board and get to work!

There are two "sides" to freezer paper. One side is a bit more dull dull and the other side is more slick/shiny. Place the shiny side "down," touching the burlap (or the fabric you want the paper to adhere to). Once the paper is in place, run a medium-hot iron over the paper a few times, concentrating on the corners to ensure they are adequately adhered.

After you've ironed the freezer paper to the burlap, cut the excess from the edges, following the shape of the freezer paper. Remember, it has to be pretty close because it needs to fit into your printer. You don't want any loose edges to 'catch' on anything!
Once your burlap paper is ready, hey, now we're cookin' with peanut oil, Jack!
(Two points for those of you who got the reference to the best show on TV!)

In my original burlap monogram post, I told you to flip your letter. Forget everything we talked about last week, because this method is a lot easier! With this technique you don't need a mirror image--what you see on screen is exactly what prints out!

(Also, not shown below, but I put the burlap "face down" in my printer. The feed tray on your printer should help you determine the optimal way to load the burlap paper.)
Once you're ready, hit print, cross your fingers, say a prayer, and hope for the best!
The black is not as dark or as saturated as I might have IDEALLY liked....but I can live with it!

I've yet to decide where this will ultimately "live," but for the time being, I placed it on this trunk with my little birdie. It's easily visible upon walking in the front door of my house.
Notice the difference in the photos above? iPhone vs. Canon digital SLR. I've been trying to use my Canon a little more lately. Even if it is just for blogging! :)

I hope this "tutorial" of sorts helps you out if you decide to try printing on burlap. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer!
Don't forget to link up with Stephanie and Katie for Saw it Pinned it Did It!