Monday, August 27, 2012

Leftovers to Riches

... that's how that saying goes, right?

Regardless, did I have a fabulous meal tonight!
Dave has his first day/night of classes today so instead of cooking one of the meals I had planned for the week, I decided to search my fridge for leftovers and random ingredients to make myself dinner. We don't like to waste even the smallest bit of food, so luckily I was able to find leftover:

Grilled Chicken
Basmati Rice, cooked but plain 
& a bit of a Red Onion.

Instantly, my gears started spinning and I grabbed the quarter bag of spinach I had, tossed some olive oil and thinly sliced red onion into a pan to sauté.

Then, I grabbed some balsamic vinegar (a staple in our house), poured it over the basmati rice, and cut up the grilled chicken

I tossed all of that in the microwave to reheat while the spinach finished cooking and finally I mixed it all together on one plate. 


Happy Cooking!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

DIY Wall Art

Here's a simple DIY that I just made a few hours ago:

First, grab a medium-sized wood panel or small pallet
This one here is from IKEA - my all time favorite store.
 It came from their clearance room and cost me $1
(Needless to say, you can find pretty great things there!)

Then, grab some post-it letters and a favorite quote:
Since they only stick on the top, you'll also need some rubber cement glue (the most magical glue, in my opinion), so the paint doesn't creep under the letters.
Next, glue down your letters quickly as not to let the rubber cement dry too long.

After you have your words glued in place, grab some paint and a sponge brush and get to work. I recommend putting the paint directly on the sponge brush first, and twisting it around to even out the amount of paint on it.

Finally, after waiting a bit to let the paint dry, peel off the letters and touch-up the corners or sides that may have gotten paint under them. 
Nail polish remover on a Q-tip works very well.

Now find a home for it and enjoy!

Happy Painting,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

DIY "Cork" Board

Here's a simple, chic, and eco-friendly DIY to help you get a bit more organized.

Grab some old corks (corks are one of those things I always save!)

Line them up in a way you like best (I had some repeat corks, so I made sure to separate them... sorry, that was my OCD talking.) Then hot glue them one at a time. Be sure to line them up against something so they don't roll away as you're trying to glue them together.

Finally, mount it to your wall/doorway where you will notice it. I actually asked my husband where he would take notice of it most, and I put it there. (Love notes and "to do lists" are vital to any marriage hehe)

By the way, this project took me less than 10 minutes.

P.S. You can always add corks as you go along. I only had so many, but you can bet this baby will grow with every cork that crosses my path!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, August 20, 2012

We All Matter

 "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body..."

Last night I was reading 1 Corinthians 12 and although I've read/heard it many times before, it was a great reminder about how important we all are. The message I received from this was two-fold. 

1) I am important and I am a vital part of the body. Many times I catch myself being my toughest critic. I think most girls/women are like this, no matter their age, but it's not healthy, and worst of all, none of it's true! We're all matter - every bit of us.
Every love handle, every freckle, every ounce of us is important to the body (the world as a whole) and above all, to God.

2) We can't all be great at the same thing. Verse 17 of the same chapter says; "If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?" As I mentioned above, I am a tough critic, but unfortunately it's not just me I'm criticizing most times. (Now, I think most people do this, male and female. We get angry, we get jealous, we just can't get enough.) That being said, I often find myself bitter when I find or consider other people to be talented in ways that I desire to be. That's not cool. (Don't worry though, I've been working on it.)
Anyways, I often don't recognize the flip side of that.
Yesterday I was finally able to rejoice in it, fully and truly. Dave and I were at church (our second visit since we just moved) and a young couple we had met the week before invited us to dinner that evening, at their house with another young married couple. They had taken the time to meet us the previous week, and ask us questions, and get to know us, and it really made a great impact. 

Last night after we got home and I read this chapter, I couldn't stop thinking about how important it was for Dave and I to meet this couple, and how thankful I was for the gifts that they brought to the world. Their outgoing, friendly, and thoughtful personalities meant a lot.  I am glad that instead of comparing or being jealous, I was finally able to open my eyes and recognize that they are so important. 
And I am so important.
And you are so important.
To the world, and above all, to God.

With Love,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Two Years Married To My Best Friend

Wednesday, August 15th was our two year anniversary.
 It was simple, fun, yummy, & totally "us".
Here's how we spent the day:
We're truly blessed to have a life filled with so much love. 
Of course we fight like cats and dogs sometimes, 
but the sweet moments far outweigh the rough times we have.

With Love,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tea Canister Upcycle

Upcycling items is one of my favorite things to do. I like to save random items here and there because I know that I'll come up with a use for them now or later. This craft is actually about two things that I was able to "upcycle" (or "repurpose", if you prefer). And unlike most things I've saved, this one didn't sit in my craft pile very long, it had it's revival nearly immediately! 

(On a side note, I my idea of saving things for future uses does not include hoarding in any way, shape, or form. It's all neatly organized into a small craft bin, of course!)
 (On another side note, hoarding is extremely heart breaking and I am really great at getting rid of things that are no longer useful/needed - so if you ever need an organizing buddy/encourager, I may be your gal!)

That being said, grab an old ice tea or lemonade container, some random crafting supplies, and get to work!

My crafting supplies included everything you see here (old tissue boxes are great as scrapbooking paper, too!), plus some markers and mod podge.

And here's how it turned out!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, August 13, 2012


We're officially all moved in and (almost) all unpacked! It has been a busy, crazy, fun, & tiring past few weeks but we're finally settling in to our new home in Pittsburgh and enjoying what's left of our summer before I start working as a nanny for two boys and Dave starts his PhD program! We're really enjoying our new neighborhood, the city, and all the kind people we've meet - but I think we love our apartment and the location we chose, best of all. 

In addition to moving, well before moving actually, we had a lovely vacation in beautiful North Carolina. I had mentioned some of our pre-NC adventures here but boy, does this vacation deserve an individual shout out. We flew down with my family, to stay in my moms house, and besides the eating marathon I participated in all week (not literally, but probably close), we did a ton of awesome things. We took a trip to Asheville to visit the Biltmore Estate, toured gardens, went to a winery, and had a picnic -just Dave and I- and as you can see there was a checkered blanket, a basket, and ants (though you probably can't see them in the photo) 
I do have another half of a face, and no, Dave isn't winking - it was quite sunny 
We also went to the U.S. National Whitewater Center where we went whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, zip-lining, obstacle course climbing, and even managed to find time to eat again. (Like I said, we did that a lot.)

Later in the week we went to a fabulous restaurant where, yup, you guessed it, we ate some more!
Thankfully I was able to squeeze in a run and a couple of walks during the week as well. 

Best of all, we were able to spend some quality time with both of our families! 

I'll be posting some pictures of our new place and sharing more of the perks about living in Pitt, so keep an eye out!

Until then,