In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Downtown Indy during the Super Bowl

            It’s finally arrived! After years in the making, Super Bowl week in Indy is finally here.  Now as a native to Indy, I may be a little biased when I say that I think Indianapolis is a great city to host the Super Bowl.  While some might say Indy is too small of a city, the very fact that everything in Indy is compact makes all of the Super Bowl activities conveniently close together and easy to navigate.  The hubs and I live only a twenty-five minute drive away from the heart of the city, so we spent Saturday enjoying all of the Super Bowl festivities.  I have to say that I think the city did a great job putting everything together.  It was very well organized, and there was lots of stuff to see and do for every age group.  The Super Bowl Village is free, so other than food and parking (which you need to plan before arrival), expect to spend $10 and a long wait in line for the zip line (if you think a three hour wait is worth, not so much) and $25 for an all day pass to the NFL  Experience.   To fully experience a day in Indy during Super Bowl week, one could easily spend $100 for two people.   Most of us locals justify the cost, because how many times does one really get the chance to live in the city that is hosting such a great event?  It certainly is a first for us, and hopefully it won’t be the last;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DIY Canisters from Recycled Holiday Tins

I mentioned in my last post (Labeling Glass Canisters) that I had a DIY canister project I wanted to share with you.  Well, here it is.  After several years of using small, glass Ikea canisters for my baking needs, I've moved on to these large, repurposed canisters….and it only cost me $10 to do it:)

I was inspired by these canisters that I saw at Hobby Lobby.  In need of the large canisters, I priced them only to discover they were $15 a piece.  I needed eight canisters for the following items: flour, sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, stevia, tea, coffee and hot chocolate.  I really didn't want to spend one hundred-plus dollars on canisters, so I decided that I was just gonna have to get creative.

Here's what my canisters  looked like before their makeover.  I recently found these holiday tins at Hobby Lobby, and the best part is that they were clearanced at 90% off.  While these tins met my storage needs, the festive decorations on them....well, not so much.  To fix that little problem,  I got my craft on and spruced them up a bit.

These are the way my canisters turned out after they received their makeover.   Obviously my version of these canisters is not dishwasher safe.  Since they are only holding flour and sugar, a quick wipe down of the inside of the canisters is sufficient when they need to be cleaned.  Supplies needed for this project are as follows: recycled tins, paper, Mod Podge, letters, and spray paint.  Here's how I gave eight holiday tins a practical makeover.

First, I took off all of the lids off and painted the tops of them only.  I did not paint the bottom of the lids for obvious reasons.

While the lids were drying, I began to transform the outside of the tins with paper and Mod Podge.  I measured my paper to fit each container.  It took two pieces of scrapbook paper to fit around one container.

Once the paper was ready to be assembled, I brushed a layer of Mod Podge onto one half of the container.

Then, I placed one of my pieces of paper onto the glued surface.  Once the first piece was secure, I Mod Podged the other side and applied the second piece of paper.

Here's a helpful tip when working with Mod Podge.  To avoid those pesky bumps, air bubbles and wrinkles that tend to form as the Mod Podge dries, use some sort of flat tool to even them out before they dry.  I use my pizza scraper, and it does wonders.  And since the pizza scraper is  only being used on the paper, not the glue, there isn't any crafting damage done to my kitchen tool.  Multi-purpose, now that's what I'm talkin' about;)

Once the paper has been applied around the perimeter of the container, a second layer of Mod Podge needs to be applied to the paper to give  a sealed, finished look to the containers.

After my containers were dry, I decided that I wanted to make labels for each container.  To do this, I simply used Word.  I printed out my labels and cut out each individual letter for the canisters.  I then applied the letters to the paper using the same Mod Podge technique that I used to apply the paper to the canisters.  Stickers would have saved me a lot of time, but it would have also cost me more money.  My money was worth more than my time, so I chose the tedious way of making labels for this project;) The font that I used was Cooper Black.  I used 120 font size for the larger containers and 100 font size for the smaller ones. 

After I made the five large canisters, I made these three smaller ones for coffee, hot chocolate and tea.  I used the same Mod Podge  methods to make these as I did the other five.   If Mod Podge isn't your thing, recycled tins can receive a simple makeover with a coat of paint and some stickers for labels.   If you can find a pattern that suites your taste, contact paper could even be an alternative for this project. 
So that's it!  Recycled and repurposed, these newly revamped canisters represent my style in a practical and inexpensive way.  Does it really get better than that:)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Labeling Glass Canisters

          I’ve been working on organizing my pantry this week, and I’m in the process of making new canisters.  Before I post the new ones, I decided to write a post on the labels I put on the old ones.  This was a really simple idea that helped the canisters pop a little.

            I got these glass canisters at Ikea when I got my first apartment years ago. I didn’t do a lot of baking when I was single.  No need to make a pan of brownies for myself, right? These canisters were a great size for a single gal.  They were inexpensive, so that was a plus.  They also looked nice on my counters without cluttering up the space.  To spruce them up a little, I simply applied some scrapbook stickers to label the canisters.

            Now these canisters have been around for six years and have been through three different house moves.  They’ve held up pretty good considering, but the stickers have started peeling off a little.  I could easily fix the sticker issue, but I do a lot more baking now that I’m married.  I find myself having a lot more flour and sugar to store….especially around the holidays.  It’s just time to face the facts and get larger canisters for my baking needs.  In doing so, I’m repurposing the Ikea canisters for some different baking ingredients.  I used to never have these ingredients on hand, but  they somehow keeping popping up in my pantry;)  The Ikea canisters have become their new home. 

          Stay tuned to my blog this week, because I should be posting my new canisters in the next day or so.  They are all most finished....and have to tell ya that I really, really like them!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mod Podge Laundry Room Sign

           Like my floor lamp project that I posted about on Tuesday, I completed this project a few months ago but am just now getting around to posting it.  I love the way this laundry room sign turned out!  I can't take the credit for this creative idea.  I was inspired by another blog that I follow called Dittle Dattle.  She made a "family" sign that inspired me to make the above sign.  You can find her tutorial here
         This project can be used in a variety of ways.  It could be a welcome sign, a holiday sign or a child's name sign.  In my case, I wanted to make something to go on the laundry room wall, and this project looked easy and inexpensive.  Using supplies that I already had, this project cost me less than $7.  Here's how I did it.

1.   a piece of craft wood for each letter -  I got mine at Hobby Lobby for 50 cents each. 
2.  a variety of scrapbook paper  
3. paint, if desired
4.  Mod Podge 
 5.  letters -  I made mine on the computer.
6.  ribbon 
 7.  curtain rod -  If you don't have an extra one that isn't being use, yard sales and thrift stores are great places to find curtain rods. I found mine half off at Goodwill  for $1.

Step One:  Cut the paper to the desired size.  I made mine a little smaller than the wood.
Step Two:  Paint the wood if desired.  I used spray paint that I had on hand, and I only painted the outside of the wood to save time and supplies.
Step Three:  Cut out letters and arrange paper onto wood and letters onto paper.
Step Four:  Mod Podge the paper to the wood and let dry.  Once dry, Mod Podge the letters to the paper and let dry.
Step Five:  Cut even strips of ribbon and hot glue them to the back of the wood.
Step Six:  Hang Letters on curtain rod and hang curtain rod to wall:)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Home: A Place to Unwind

         After two months of job hunting, my husband has gone back to the work place.  Obviously, we are very grateful to have lifted from us the financial stress of a job loss, but I have to tell ya….. I am also relieved to simply have my old routine back! You see, I am a girl who really enjoys a small amount of alone time throughout the week.  I don’t really need it every day, but a couple hours a week is kind of nice.  I can’t explain it really….I just occasionally need that time to myself to unwind and de-stress.  Now don’t get me wrong…..I love my husband, and I do love spending time with him.  But the thing is……when he was home, by no fault of his own of course, I wasn’t able to have any real alone time in the house to unwind from my day.   Yes, we do have enough space in our house to separate ourselves and do our own things, but there is just something about having the house completely to myself that brings a sense of reflection, relaxation and retreat.  
            As the two of us have found ourselves getting back into a somewhat normal routine this week, I have found one of the perks to this normal routine is simply being able to come home for my lunch break and not walk into a manned-up space.  What’s a manned-up space you ask?  Well, that’s a term that Matt and I jokingly use to define the way he keeps the house when he is home.  You see, the hubs and I don’t see eye to eye on comfortable living.  I happen to love relaxing in a space with lots of natural light, scented candles, a cup of coffee, relaxing music and pretty throws and throw pillows.  Overall, my ideal space needs to look and feel beautiful for me to fully enjoy it.  My husband, on the other hand, finds comfort being in dark spaces, curled up in messy looking blankets, watching ESPN loudly, and having all things of necessity nearby (ie: remote, food and drink) even if it doesn’t look very pretty!!!  He doesn’t necessarily dislike the way I keep the home.  He just doesn’t need it to look beautiful in order to be comfortable.   Seeing as how I love my husband and clearly felt bad that the misfortune of a job loss fell upon him, I have gladly let him have his manned-up space for the past two months.  All the while, I was silently looking forward to the day when I could once again walk into a house that wasn’t manned-up;)
            Today was the first day in a long time that I was able to come home for lunch, open the blinds, let the sunshine in (or lack there of today due to a snow storm), light my scented candles, watch an episode of my beloved Gilmore Girls while eating my lunch, curl up on the couch with the computer, then quietly write a blog post with a cup of coffee nearby while listening to  the quiet sounds of relaxing music in the background.   I have to tell ya, it felt pretty good! 
            To me, that’s what a home should be.  It should be a place to relax.   It should be a retreat.  It should be a place that blocks all unwanted stress from the outside world the moment you walk through its doors.  I believe the home should be a place to unwind…..and that’s exactly what I’ve done during today’s lunch break;) 

The view from my bedroom window today as the snow was falling....beautiful!  Although, you can't really tell it's beautiful, because my camera isn't that good.  But trust was beautiful:)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ribbon Lampshade and Spray Painted Goodwill Lamp

I feel like I have been slacking off on my blog posts lately.  It's the seventeenth of January, and I only have three blog posts up.  Not ONE of those post has been a house-related  project.  To be honest, we had to cut home projects out of our budget when Matt lost his job this past Novemeber.   However, he starts his new job this week, so hopefully we can get back into the the full swing of things in the next month or two.   In the meantime, I have a quick and easy project to share today.  I completed it months ago but never got around to posting it.

Do you recall this $6 floor lamp that I got at Goodwill?  I mentioned it in the following November post:  The First Saturday of the Month at Goodwill

Well, $6 was a score for the floor lamp, but it needed a little dressing up to work in the space I planned to put it in.   With two easy steps, this floor lamp was beautifully revamped!  First, I painted the lamp with some leftover chrome spray paint that I had from a previous project.....

.....then I dressed it up by hot gluing some coordinating ribbon to the shade. 

Tip:  You don't want to glue the strips of ribbon directly onto the front of the shade.  The glue could be visible through the ribbon once the light is turned on.  To avoid messy glue streaks, only use a drop of hot glue on the underside of the lamp shade where the ribbon meets the shade.  

I hope I'm not making this really easy step sound complicated.  Note to time take pictures of progressing project. 

And that's it folks!  Now I have a nice floor lamp for our sitting area, and it only  cost me a few bucks and a little creativity! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Worth It All.....

           It’s hard to believe that one year ago today we moved into our new home.  What a stressful day that was!  I hope we never have to move again!  It was January 12, 2011.  I packed our belongings from the previous house on the 10th and 11th while Matt was at work,  and on the 12th the two of us rented a truck and moved all of our belongings into a house that I fell in love with from the moment I walked through its doors.  It was a large home that we could grow in, and with a little TLC could be the home of our dreams.   It needed some work, but I saw its potential….and with the right price tag on it, the hubs saw its potential too;) 
            We had twenty-four hours to move out of the old home and into the new one.  My brother came to help us in between his classes that day, but for the most part it was just the two of us….well, the two of us and a lot of snow.  Yes, we moved in a snow storm!  What are the odds of that?!?  It wasn’t fun, that’s for sure.  We were slipping and sliding all over the place as the snow from our boots began to ice over on the hard, cold metal floors of the moving truck.   And then there was the obstacle of moving furniture in knee-deep snow….NOT FUN!  But as I’m sitting here in our bedroom drinking a cup of coffee a year later, on yet another snowy January day, I can’t help but think that the entire moving process was worth it….yes, it was worth every bit of the hassle!  It was worth moving in a snow storm.  It was worth only having two days to pack.  It was worth the headaches that the bank we purchased the home put us through.  It was worth all of the unknowns that came along with house hunting.  It was worth the last minute house showings that we thought were going nowhere.  It was worth every penny that we saved for the down payment and every penny that we continue to spend to make it our own.  It was worth it all!  It was even worth saying goodbye to our starter home…..a  house that we both put precious time, hard work and abundant love into making our own…..a house where Matt proposed and wonderful memories were made as we began our journey of marriage….a house that while I couldn’t wait to get out of, brought tears to my eyes as I alone gave its empty space one final late night cleaning before giving the key to the new home owner.  Yes, it was even worth that bitter-sweet moment of saying goodbye to something so special, because saying goodbye meant moving forward to something new and exciting for our family. 
                        Most days I look around our home and am reminded of the many projects that still need to be completed within these walls before Matt and I enter the next step of our married journey….creating a family.  And most days that thought saddens me, because I so very badly want to move onto that next step.  However, I'm overwhelmed with the awareness of the many unexpected financial setbacks that have occurred since we bought this house one year ago.  While those thoughts have the tendancy to weigh me down, today I can’t help but look around and thank the Lord for this home….unfinished projects and all! Today I am reminded of the progress that we have made in one year's time.  The progress on this home may not be moving as fast as this impatient girl would like it to, but we have seen progress.  In the right time this house will be finished!  It will be the house that I envisioned it to be when I first walked through its doors!  In the right time, not my time, we will have the new floors, the white picket fence and the finished basement.  In the mean time, we have what we have… today I'm reminded to be thankful for all that we do have.  So while most days my “glass-half-empty” spirit walks through this house and only sees the projects that we can’t afford to do at the this time, today I can only see a house that we are slowly but surely turning into our home.....and today, I am reminded that it was and still is worth it all!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Quick Update....

         I feel as though I haven’t blogged in forever, even though it’s only been a week. I’ve been very busy this week, and I thought I’d post a quick update tonight before heading to bed. 
            I have a bit of good news to report tonight.  Last week we found out that Matt will be starting a new job on Tuesday, and for that we are very thankful.  It’s a similar job with similar pay to what he was doing, so we have no complaints about that.  After being out of work for two months, the idea of a steady income seems like we’ve just won the lottery.  We still don’t understand why the Lord allowed the whole job loss situation to happen, but we don’t have to know why.  We just have to trust and rely on the promise that all things will work together for good in His time.
            On a lighter note, we’ve had a crazy warm spell the past five days with beautiful sunshine, blue skies and temps in the mid fifties!  It seems unheard of for January.  It’s been kind of nice as it’s felt and looked like early April.  The weather has certainly put me in a spring cleaning mood.   I put the Christmas away over the weekend, cleaned my house from top to bottom and washed the windows inside and out.  It’s felt great to get so much accomplished, but alas cold, dreary January weather awaits us in the weekend forecast.  That means that my burst of spring-like energy will return to the normal sluggish sit-on-couch-and-eat-too-many-carbs “January blahs”  in the coming days.  But I don't think the "January blahs" will stay too long this year with Matt going back to work and house projects getting back to a steady pace.  Yep, things are starting to feel a little bit more like normal around here….and that is definitely a good thing;)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Can Only Wish.....

The cold has found us…..I drove to work in what felt like single digit temps this morning, and I found myself wishing that I was where I was one year ago, basking in the Caribbean sun.  A year ago, I would have been sailing away from Jamaica and preparing myself to wake up to the white, sandy beaches of the Cayman Islands.  Oh how glorious it would be to wake up to that again!  I can only wish!  While I wish I was soaking up the tropical sunshine, I am only able soak up the memories;)  And I have to tell ya, that's not necessarily a bad thing:)