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Friday, September 18, 2015

Burlap Wreath!

I am extremely excited to share that my husband and I bought a house yesterday!  Fun story...In our purchase agreement, the owners asked for additional time past closing since we put an offer in not long after they put the house on the market. After all negotiations had been had, it was determined that they would get an additional 30 days once we signed the paper work. We were fine with it. They were fine with it. All hunky dory! Well, more exciting news. After signing the papers, they informed us that they had already found a place and should be out this weekend, leaving us 4 days to pack. Mind you, we have only just begun throwing some stuff in boxes, thinking we were getting ahead of the curve. Be prepared. This will be a breeze we said. Ha!  
Anyway, we came home from work all determined to get a bunch packed. Unfortunately, my husband had to run in to work- disaster averted, but he was gone the majority of the night, leaving me to pack alone. Unmotivated as I was, I found myself stalling. After finally convincing myself I had to do something, I packed both bathrooms. Don't worry, I left necessities. Then I remembered I had to do my post. So, telling myself I will be very motivated's coming on the weekend...we have plenty of time...I decided to finish my first house project and do my post! 
I WILL be motivated tomorrow!

Now, as for the project, I am not going to give step by step only because I tried following the ones I saw online and I just started to get frustrated. I will tell you some things I found helpful.  Also, buy a lot of burlap. I went through much more than I thought I would. The other piece of advice is to twist the ribbon before starting your next loop. 

Quick tutorial:

1. Gather your supplies. 
2. Paint letter. Set aside to dry. 
3. Using wire, secure the ribbon to the inside of your wreath.
4. Slip the ribbon in the first loop. 
5. Behind, twist the ribbon and then feed through the second loop.
6. Again, in the the third loop.
7. Twist a couple times and bring the ribbon back down to the inside of the wreath and repeat.
8. Once you get to the end, secure with wire. 
9. Make bow.
10. Weave color of your choice in between.
11. Secure letter & bow and...

TA DA! :)

I know it sounds a little confusing. I hope the pictures will help some, but I found you just need to play with it. Keep in mind, it doesn't look great right away. Have some patience (thank goodness my friend was around when I started it! She kept me going. ; ) and have fun!

What you need:

90 ft of wired burlap ribbon- Yes, I used all 90 ft!
Accent color ribbon of choice
wire wreath
paint colors
wooden letter
ribbon or string to attach letter
paint brushes 
QTips (I used these to make the dots on the M)


Monday, September 7, 2015

Popsicle Stick Puzzles

If you are looking for a fun and creative craft, look no further!  After spending an evening at a "Paint Night" party with my cousins and aunt, I was still in the mood to paint. :)   

When I realized we needed to come up with a craft to do at work the next day, my eye landed on an ice cream bucket filled with these craft sticks.  I remembered seeing popsicle stick puzzles all over pinterest, so we decided to go with it!  Rather than pasting a photo over the sticks we decided to pull out our selection of acrylic paints instead.

1. First we arranged the amount of sticks we wanted to use snugly together, then carefully taped them with some masking tape.

2. Then we flipped them over to have the clean slate for our "art."

3. Next, we painted them!

4. They dried pretty quickly so we separated them once we were done painting so that they wouldn't be stuck together when fully dried.

5.  When the puzzle is completely dry, you mix up the sticks and put it together!

Here are the puzzles we made (& named!), from left to right:

Alaskan White Out
Summer Breeze
Autumn Bliss
Japanese Sunset
Four Seasons
Japanese Cherry Blossom
Love Birds
Apple Orchard

***To make it fun, we took a picture of each puzzle then printed a color copy of it.  We stored each puzzle with the picture so that we would know what we were trying to achieve when playing with these puzzles! So much fun! :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Healthy Zucchini Muffins

Once of the best things about the end of summer is collecting all of the wonderful fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden and orchard.  The hubs and I live in an apartment so we don't have our own garden, but we have been lucky enough to get fresh produce from my parents and grandparents.  They have been stocking us up with raspberries, cherries, green beans, peas, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, and sweet corn!

We had a large zucchini sitting on the counter so, while Tony was out golfing, I decided to do some baking with it.  I absolutely love zucchini bread, but I didn't want to load it with oil or butter like most recipes call for.  I tweaked a few recipes that I found to make this healthier version of the beloved zucchini bread.  The pictures really don't do them justice!  They are so flavorful and moist!

Don't be afraid to make substitutions if you don't have certain ingredients.  You could replace the chia egg with a regular egg, the almond milk with cows milk, whole wheat pastry flour with all-purpose flour, etc.  They are great served warm with a little butter or cooled.


Dry Ingredients:
1 2/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. oats 

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. almond milk
1/4 c. applesauce
1 chia egg*
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. loosely packed, grated zucchini


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, and wet ingredients in another.
Pour dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture and stir just until combined.
Scoop into lined or greased muffin tins.
Sprinkle a little oats on top for fun, if you'd like.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

*To make a chia egg: Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, then let rest to "gel up" for about 15 minutes before using.

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