11.30.2010

Creative. Custom. Calendars.

Let's organize!


I've tried all sorts of calendars. Dry erase boards are too messy, the paper kind you buy at the local grocery/book store don't give enough room to write and those wallet/planner calendars are never where I need them when I need to jot an important something down. Then, genius struck! (Well, sorta).
 
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I came upon this neatest little article entitled 'Customed Calendars' in the Home section of the January 2010 edition of the Real Simple magazine.

I was inspired!

I like the idea of making a calendar that is all my own which is not only a peg board, but a place where I can quickly jot down the next doctor's appt, etc.

Functional and fabulous!


All That You'll Need:

-Ribbon (2 rolls of 15 feet will leave you with a little left over)

-Tacks (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby but will look for some smaller ones for the future)

-Scissors

-Measuring Tape

-Pen/Pencil

-Cork Board (mine has a white wooden frame!)

-White Paper (or any color of your choosing)

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1. Measure the length of one ribbon against the height of your board and then cut five more to match. These will be placed vertically on your calendar with a tack at each end, thus making the “seven days of the week”. They should be just long enough to fit the board, don't give them much slack... we don't want a sloppy looking work of art!

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2. Remember to measure ahead of time for a crisp display. For the size of my board and ribbon, each row needed to be three inches apart.

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3. Ta-da! You're almost there!

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4. This project was impossible for me to do in one sitting with my four month old baby girl, so several 'nap times' later :), this was what I had. The whole endeavor took two weeks! But no worries, without interruptions this is a cinch.

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5. Six vertical and five horizontal rows of cute red and white checkered ribbon (I thought it was fitting for my Fall/Winter theme). Now, onto the tacks! You'll need to secure the ribbon to place, but placing a tack at every 'intersection' would be too much. See how I did it instead? It works great!

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6. I'm planning on giving my calendar a fun new look every month (new ribbon, new paper) and I hope to get more creative with every try, but for now, I'm using white paper for my days of the month.

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7. After a while, I decided to cut my paper down so that I could see the cork board, you don't have to but I just like the look of it.

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Voila!
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8. Finally, write your numbers, days of the week and month, then add a little flair!


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9. Don't buy decorations, use what you have laying around! Its more affordable and lots more fun. I cut up an old Christmas card to frame my 'December' and picture of the Holy Family, as well. Actually, all of my decorations were from last year's Christmas cards I had received from family and friends. I'm so glad I saved them!

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We can't forget that Christmas is all about the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth, the true reason for our holiday festivities. Do you see my 25th of December? =)

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And the angel said to the sheperds, “ Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all the people; for today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, who is Christ the Lord.” -The Gospel of Luke 2:10-11

~~~

There it is! My little work of art. Tell us about yours!

*** BONUS POINTS***


To anyone who can tell us what the red heart on the 28th of my calendar stands for!

11.25.2010

My Love Affair with Letters- Guest Post

I came across my friend Amber’s note a few weeks back, and asked if she would mind if I posted it. I think she speaks more to the heart and along the same idea as my previous post The Lost Art of Letter Writing. I feel that especially today, Thanksgiving Day it’s a special way of showing someone you’re grateful for their friendship.

As many of you know, I love letters. My life story could be told in the letters that I have written and received. The other day I finally wrote down some reasons why in the midst of this fast-paced, self-absorbed, utilitarian, texting world of ours I continue to advocate snail mail. Maybe after reading this you will be inspired to write some letters of your own.

1. Letters are a chance to actualize/materialize your love for your friends. Its not enough to have friends in your head or your memory.

2. Anything worth loving demands sacrifice. A letter is proof that someone stopped what they were doing and dedicated their thoughts and words to you. They are not transient and effortless like email.

3. They leave a historical record; a treasure for people to find years from now.

4. They are a channel for creativity.

5. Its a tragedy to keep your happiness to yourself and heartbreaking to not allow your friends to help you bear your sorrows.

6. It costs 44 cents--or very little compared to a Starbucks latte.

7. Letters are a vehicle for deep conversations. Correspondence is a wonderful forum for revealing who you are, what you believe, what you love and care for, how you observe the world.....

8. Because one reads and writes letters slowly, one can really stop and think. A letter should place you in a different state of mind than you would be if you were rushing through an email. They encourage leisure.

9. They help your friends who are far away feel included -let in- to your busy life.

10. Everyone loves receiving letters.

11. I find it much easier to spill my heart with complete sincerity in letters. When my uncle was dying I had a hard time speaking with him on the phone, the words would not come. But as soon as I hung up I was able to say what I really wanted in a letter.

12. Somehow letters seem to come at the best times.

13. Ironically we all like having friends but often do not know how to be good friends. True friendship is arguably one of the greatest treasures and blessing we have. Friendship enriches our lives and helps us to see ourselves and the world in new and illuminating ways. A heartfelt letter is something to be cherished because it is as if an authentic part of someone's soul has journeyed a great distance to arrive in your hands.

amber

This may seem super sappy but that's why I write about 70 letters a year. If only I got that many letters in return. I have never regretted writing a letter. Please feel free to add to the list.

*Amber is an amazing freelance photographer and has shot several of our friends’  weddings. Check out her portfolio here.

11.21.2010

Chickens in the Kitchen

What’s a French Country/ Modern Country kitchen theme without a pair of chickens? There’s just something about a hen that says kitchen to me.
When I walked by this pair at Goodwill, I just couldn’t pass them up!

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IMG_2436                                                            I loved the black silhouette, but when we put the first one up we realized uhhhh this looks a little scary. . . in such a small apartment, there’s only few things that work on the limited wall space, and these ghostly-looking chickens were not on that A-list.


No problem! I’ll paint them white! White paint solves everything for me!

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MUCH better. Seriously, with the toile, painted furniture and the lavender, I had to have the chickens to pull it all together.  (Ok, I know this picture is awful but you get the idea).


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I love how they frame the tile- Sarah Anne gave it to us as a wedding present. She painted it herself! Isn’t she talented?
I’ll probably paint them black again one day when I find a good spot in my future house.  Spray paint is God’s gift for indecisive people!

11.17.2010

It’s still Fall, see?

What’s with all the Christmas lights and snow decor all over? Umm. . . last time I checked Thanksgiving has not come and gone yet.  And it’s Christmas already? What?! Christmas Season doesn’t start for another 7  weeks!  Nooo way man am I letting anyone stiff me of my Fall!

Chronology:

1. Thanksgiving (Harvest Season a.k.a. keep your Fall decor!)

2. Advent Season (4 weeks long starting Nov. 28th!)

3. theeennn Christmas Season which starts on Dec. 25th and lasts until Epiphany (you know, the 12th Day of Christmas).

So, since it’s November and just past peak around here,  I’m still enjoying Fall inside our home.

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Here are some of the simple ways I decorated my small space with what I had lying around.

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While they’re waiting to be eaten apples can serve a decorative purpose. . .

Don’t have any fresh apples? Paint an ugly fake one!

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Grab some cute Fall stuff like gourds or leaves and fill those empty vases!

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Lanterns work well, too.

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Don’t buy stuff! Grab it from outside!

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When the berries dry they look rustic and double as Winter decor.

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Fake plants work, too.

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Play with textures!

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Spruce up pillar candles and add details to bookshelves or tables.IMG_3029  IMG_3058

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Got any Fall prints you can frame?

We go this watercolor print from a street artist in Rome, Italy back in the college days on our semester abroad when we first began dating. I love that it reminds me of that special time in the beginning!

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And don’t forget to pull out your favorite Fall back issues for more inspiration!

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Until I see snow on the ground I’m not going to accept that Winter is just around the corner. . . really, it’s not! . . . And no, that wasn’t frost on my car. . . I’m serious! . . . You’re just imagining it! . . . uh, um, *grumbles*.

11.14.2010

We’re so Crunchy Con

Birthday weeks have come and gone- Three family birthdays in a week and a half span!

And we got some cool gifts! Among them:

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His

 

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Hers

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOOOOVE Birkenstocks and my conversion story? Oh yeah- here.

I’ve successfully converted my husband! I got him a pair and he can’t take them off now! We spent 1 hour and a half at the" “hippie store” as we like to call it. They are the nicest people and they KNOW Birkenstocks. They made sure we had the perfect fit. Since they’re hand-made, different styles and sometimes even pairs of the same style can vary a tad. The freaky part (which I knew would sell my husband on these shoes) came when she made us pull our socks off, examine our arches and then step down on them to see how the arch collapses as the foot twists to one end with ones weight. FREAAAKKY! That’s what almost every shoe out there doesn’t prevent!

I could NOT decide on what color for my birthday gift- and I’m so glad I went with black! They look cute- as in- I know Birks aren’t the most stylish shoe out there, but the black kinda blends in nice and doesn’t stand out screaming CASUAL-ness! I was so picky about my cow, too. The floor was lined with black Birks my size. Some of those “black” cows were kinda blue.. others too gray. . .

And for Tommy we went with the oiled leather instead of a suede. The saleslady took one look at him (he always dresses nice :) ) and said he seemed more of a leather, more dressy type. She proceeded to convince him how he WILL end up wearing these to work. He was skeptical- a manager can’t wear casual shoes. . . I told him- you’re going to end up wanting to. I know I have plans to wear these at the office on my low-key days. (I always keep dress shoes in my drawer to pull out at a moment’s notice). 

We also got SMART WOOL SOCKS! If you’ve never tried these- do so! They are so cozy and it’s a thin type of wool that’s NOT itchy!

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And then came the biggest surprise-

WE WERE GIVEN A BIG BERKEY! ! !

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Do you know what this amazing thing DOES?

It will remove harmful pathogenic bacteria such as E-coli, Cholera Salmonella Typhi, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. The filters remove and reduce unwanted chemicals such as Chlorine, lead, rust, sediment, pesticides, herbicides, organic solvents, VOC’s, SOC’s, Trihalomethanes and foul tastes and odors.

(We also got the FLOURIDE filter for it!)

They used these for Hurricane Katrina and recently for post earthquakes in Haiti.

 

The reason we are so excited about this is because our water- let’s just say is pink, smells funny, and even with a Brita filter tastes awful! Our flat is in an old house and those pipes are rusty. I wouldn’t trust any tap water anyway, especially living by a big city.

What we had been doing for months is filling up a 5 gal. tank once a week at my inlaws’ from their well.  But even still we knew we were drinking “dead” water from the reverse osmosis process.

Don’t want to bore you with too much info- but if you’re wondering why this instead of distillation or reverse osmosis systems, read this.

Big Berkey is amazing because it’s:

Healthful.

The Big Berkey is far superior to other filters because it removes harmful pathogenic bacteria. Its unique filtering system reduces unhealthy organic chemical contaminates and impurities while leaving in the beneficial minerals your body needs from water. It’s simply the most healthful, clean, and delicious water available.
 
Convenient.
Berkey filters assemble in minutes without tools, electricity, water pressure, or plumbing. What’s more, they are simple to operate, understand, and maintain.
 
Economical.
The Berkey is easily the most economical water filtration system you can own. Its unique design allows you to easily remove and clean the ceramic filters over and over again.
 
Powerful.
The powerful Big Berkey easily cleans ordinary tap water, yet it is so powerful, it effectively handles even raw, untreated water from lakes and streams. What’s more, the Berkey is the ideal water filtration system to have on hand in the event of an emergency or natural disaster such as blackouts, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, when tap water is not available.
 
Flexible.
The Berkey is so convenient and easy to use, you can take it with you anywhere: a vacation, hunting & camping trips, college dorms, and use it in your RV or boat.
 
Elegant.
The Berkey is made of durable, high-grade polished stainless steel. Its attractive, high quality design makes it a beautiful addition to your kitchen and home.
 
Proven History.
The Big Berkey Water Filter’s high quality and effectiveness has stood the test of time. First ordered by the Royal House in England, it’s also been used by relief organizations such as Unicef, the Peace Corps, and Red Cross Societies internationally. What’s more, British Berkefeld systems have been used for over 150 years by missionaries, explorers, and relief workers in over 140 countries around the world.

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Here he is in all his glory!

Do you KNOW what’s in YOUR water?

 

crunchycon

. . . in case you didn’t catch the allusion in the title.

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