Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Sweets: Happy Ice Cream Day!

I so agree! :) Did you know that we have a National Ice Cream Day?? How awesome is that?? and it's TODAY!!!! :) So, Happy Ice Cream Day everyone!

If you sign up for Cold Stone's email list/My Cold Stone Membership (it's free, don't worry), you can get a coupon this week to buy one get one free on ice cream--ice cream is my favorite dessert, and right now I have a small (okay, maybe not so small) obsession with Cold Stone's Oreo Filling Ice Cream--oh my goodness, it's the best! So you know where I'll be going this week. ;)


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Welcome to My Home

I love decorating and making things "homey," but sometimes that costs A LOT more money than we can afford as "starving college students." I have seen these monogram wreaths all over lately, and really wanted one to make our apartment more welcoming--but it was far outside of our budget. However, as with anything in life, being told no has never stopped me. ;) 

My parents happen to have just pruned their grape vines one week when I stopped by for a visit, so I grabbed an armful and went to work shaping them into a nice round wreath. Next, I used my Cricut to cut out various shapes, sizes, and colors of flowers:


I also used my Cricut to cut out a giant monogram "M" (also to celebrate that I finally "officially" changed my last name--two years later...). I traced my "M" on a piece of cardboard for a more dimensional effect, and cut it out with an exacto knife. I put it all together, and I must say that for something that was so ridiculously inexpensive (aka FREE!), I am extremely pleased with the result:



MUCH more homey and welcoming than just a generic dark apartment door. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What I Found While Watering the Flowers

While we live in a beautiful area up on the mountain and thus enjoy all the natural wonders around us--we also live on the third floor of an apartment complex, and so there isn't always a lot of natural flora and fauna to experience while in the apartment. My husband has been very helpful in building planter boxes for our porch, so I am able to entertain my own albeit little flower garden--that is as much of a garden as one can create on a third floor balcony. ;) I am quite proud of my little balcony garden actually, and quite enjoy spending time out with my little baby flowers.

Every morning I take a few minutes to check on my flowers--watering as needed, pruning, etc.--just as part of my daily routine. It is during this time I can hear the little hungry baby birdies crying for their breakfast (there is a hidden little black bird nest somewhere above our patio, deep in a crevice of the building, so you can't see it). I believe this is the second or third batch of birds this summer, and this past week they have sounded as if they are almost nearly old enough to leave the nest. 

However, a few days ago I took down a hanging flower basket outside from our patio in order to water it, and found something I definitely was NOT expecting...



This little guy just chillin' among my petunias--Well Good Morning indeed! I'm surprised, not just because it's not something I tend to find every day (I haven't really had many run-ins with snakes), but also because we are three stories off the ground in an apartment complex. Poor little guy must have been rather startled as well, because as soon as I saw him I dropped the basket and he crashed to the patio. 



Once my heart started beating again I suddenly began to realize that I couldn't hear the birds chirping as I generally do during my morning routine, and as my new little snake friend began to slink away I saw that he appeared to have recently eaten... which made me feel much less bad when I trapped him in a bucket to examine and determine his species (Gopher Snake by the way--for being named after a burrowing animal, it sure is good at scaling tall buildings) and show my husband.


Hopefully no more reptiles will be frequenting my flowers.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rufus the Hawk

This time of year makes my hsuband VERY antsy--it's the time of year when several species of baby hawks are fleding, and time for us to begin our falconry season. I have always LOVED animals, but will admit that I never thought I could call myself a "falconer"--yet, thanks to an amazingly talented husband, last year we both received Falconry Licenses so now I can add falconry to my list of hobbies!

Knowing how much we love falconry, my dad showed me an interesting Wimbleton fact the other day that I bet you didn't know:  Rufus the Harris Hawk. The famous Wimbleton courts are carefully maintained within the millimeter with perennial ryegrass, a delicious treat that attracts numerous pigeon visitors--who understandably disrupt games and cause problems. What to do with so many pesky birds? That's where Rufus comes in.

Rufus is an absolutely gorgeous Harris Hawk who has been on pigeon control at Wimbleton since 2000. Read about him on KSL or just Google Rufus and Wimbleton--he is so awesome!

My favorite part about Rufus is this commercial--very entertaining in my opinion:



Sunday, June 15, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Matching Serger Cover to Complete the Set

It took a while to get to (seems like I always have repairs or other projects that need me before I can get to the fun stuff!), I have finally completed my Serger Cover to match my original Sewing Machine Cover! Again, I didn't really have a pattern (although, in retrospect I believe I shall make one, as a serger is most definitely shaped quite differently from a sewing machine!), so I just went with the shape of my serger as best I could, and and voila! The finished product:


Complete with side pocket for scissors, tweezers, and accessories:


Once again I used a paper piecing pattern from sewhooked.com--I love the paper piecing, because I can utilize all those little scraps that I don't have much use for. I'm the sentimental type, so of course I still had a few scraps leftover from my sewing machine cover, and couldn't wait to use them to create a matching set! :)


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pretty Pillows

Over the past several months we have been slowly collecting things for our new little apartment to make it feel more like "Home Sweet Home." Since we are of course your typical newly-wed-struggling-college-students, many of our additions come courtesy of DI and/or homemade. After we found our lovely little couch at DI, my younger brother decided it needed some pillows and was kind enough to purchase some for me (also from DI, we're big fans if you couldn't tell). I dug through my fabric bins to find some home decor fabric and I got right to work on recovering my new pillows!

The first pillow was tricky, as I attempted to recreate "The Easiest Pillow Cover Ever" that I have seen floating around Pinterest, but sadly for me it wasn't so easy... Here's what it's supposed to look like:



However, in retrospect, I think my decorator fabric was much to thick for this particular design, no matter how hard I tried to tie that blasted knot. I gave up and just bunched the fabric together in an effort to strangle the pillow, and one of those miraculous "happy accidents" of creating happened--it actually looked really good like that! So I quickly grabbed a needle and thread and tacked the fabric all around to create a lovely little flower!


For the remaining two pillows I kept it simple, although I did end use extra fabric from the first pillow and made matching piping. The best part was that I made one of these pillows completely wrong-side out, but didn't notice until I was totally finished and admiring them on the couch! I was so bummed out, and probably would have just left it that way, but since it didn't match its twin I had to fix it (my perfectionist gene). In the end though, I am quite pleased with the result:


Home Sweet Home! :)


Oh, and of course I can't forget to mention, my brother actually got me FOUR pillows, but I just couldn't recover the last one--it is perfect just the way it is. ;)


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Dabbles with Flowers

Back in high school I was the very proud president of our school FFA! (Future Farmers of America, in case you didn't know) Yes, I still have the jacket and everything--one of these days I will have to pull it out for Halloween of something. :) Anyway... what actually got me into the FFA was my wonderful Floral Design teacher, Charles Bigo--that was by far my favorite class! We made all sorts of arrangements for holidays, weddings, or just for fun. I did the flowers for my sisters' wedding a few years back, as well as the flowers for my own wedding--while I don't do flowers all that often these days, it's still one of my favorite things to do. Fortunately, I have had a younger brother or two in high school the past few years, so when Prom or Homecoming comes around, I get to reminisce and get back to work! :)

This year for Prom, my instructions for the floral wristlet were simply: "Her dress is sky blue with silver accents." Not many flower options to match that description, but I took the challenge and was quite pleased to find that the local flower shop had some absolutely STUNNING orchids, and having never worked with orchids I just had to give it a try.




My little brother, all grown up! :)


Thursday, May 8, 2014

May the Fourth Be With You...

I was recently introduced to a wonderful new holiday by the Big Bang Theory--Star Wars Day!!

"It's not May the third...

And it's not May the fifth...

It's May the Fourth--May the Fourth Be With You." 

Totally made my day--how clever! So this past weekend we decided to celebrate this holiday by watching all six Star Wars movies.


That's 15+ hours, by the way, and man were my joints sore afterwards--but totally worth it! As suggested by one of my favorite blogs, The Dating Divas, My husband and I turned it into an extended date night, and it was so much fun! We even had Star Wars themed snacks of course--although, since it wasn't planned with a great deal of advance notice, I didn't quite go all out like Bernadette and Amy on the Big Bang Theory--sorry, no fondant Death Star this year.


However, we did enjoy a variety of intergalactic snacks:


My personal favorite was the Yoda Soda, complete with R2D2 cups I made the night before.


And of course, what would Star Wars Day be without some Princess Leia Buns?? ;)


As they say, May the force be with you! :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Christmas catch-up--back online! :)

It's been such a LONG time! For the fourth time since we've been married (which has only been about a year and a half), we moved AGAIN! Haha, this time, however, we plan on staying for at least an entire year--for which I am EXTREMELY happy about. :) 

Anyway, because of our move and financial reasons, we have been without internet since October! I didn't think it would be such a big deal--I mean, I grew up without internet, I don't NEED it, right? However, turns out that these days internet is rather necessary in our lives, and at the very least, it is extremely helpful to have. We have been holding out for free internet from Google Fiber (we see the trucks around town all the time!), but they have yet to make an appearance at our apartment complex, so this past week we re-budgeted and made some changes, and now we're finally online! :)

Okay, so after that long explanation (and partial venting on my part, haha), time for a little look at Christmas this past year!

Having our very own apartment this year, you know I was SUPER excited to decorate! I mean, decorating is at least half the fun of Christmas, right?? ;)

Our lovely little sparkly tree:


The weekend before Christmas my husband got SUPER sick, which is very unusual for him, and had to stay in bed all day. I still had some ornaments to finish from a Relief Society crafting activity I had attended with my mother (and of course I didn't actually finish the projects during the activity--haha, I never do!), so I stayed with him and worked on my ornaments. If not for 12+ hours of nothing else to do, I'm not sure I couldn't have gotten them done--thank goodness for silver linings! ;) 



And, funny story, at the time I bought my Christmas tree several years ago, I also bought several things to put together a matching Christmas wreath. Sadly though, I never got around to making it, and had all but given up on the endeavor. This year, however, I decided it was time--I started working on it early in December, but admittedly didn't finish until just a few days before Christmas--but I did finish! (I'm like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, I can't NOT finish things, even if it takes me a few years :P)


Along with our tree and Christmas wreath, we continued our tradition (well, decided it would be our tradition now, haha) of getting a new nativity for our collection. Throughout the years I have collected a few nativities from around the world (we love exploring the different cultures). 

My mini-nativity from Mexico (this one fits in the palm of your hand!):


Olive wood from Israel:


Hand-painted from Mexico:


 Last year my husband and I were pursuing at Deseret Book and fell in love with this strange little Celtic Nativity, as well as an Eskimo Nativity; we couldn't afford to get both, so we drew straws and the Celtic won (remind you of FROZEN?):


But this year I finally got to go back and get the Eskimo one! (I have been waiting all year for this).


And now, last but not least, my FAVORITE Christmas decorations from this past year--stockings that my mother MADE for us! Aren't they so beautiful?? They even have our names embroidered on them--I have the best mom in the world! :)


On Christmas morning, Vera was the first to find her gifts under the Christmas tree--and didn't let them out of her sight the rest of the day!