Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday's Top Ten: DIY Projects

{I may or may not complete... in a lifetime ;)}

In my very first post, I admitted to my lack of skill in all things domestic. I wasn't completely forthcoming about the topic, so I'm going to get this off my chest. You see, I wasn't born un-domestic. Quite the opposite, in fact.

-I sewed my first pillow at the age of three. Hand stitched.
-By kindergarten, I had patched together a quilt. {I went to a sewing group with both of my babysitters. I was the only one under the age of 75.}
-My sweet, {seemingly} understanding brothers received personally puff painted sweatshirts as birthday presents in their teen years. Football themed for my oldest brother and a trumpet {with musical notes} for my middle brother. Sparkle was involved.
-You should have seen the Valentine's Day mailbox my mom and I made for my second grade class contest. It won first place. Ithink it's still in the storage room. {sheesh.}
-I learned to crochet before I was a 'tween.
-I decorated cakes through most of my middle school years. One lady actually paid me. {She most definitely should not have done so.} I even learned how to sugar-ize {?} edible flowers for pizazz.
-There was a needle-point phase during some part of my adolescence, but I can't remember where it fits in the timeline.
-I baked {edible goods} from scratch.

As I grew older, though, something happened. I don't know when exactly, but at some point I turned into the girl who forgets to drain the macaroni before she adds the cheese and can't manage to sew on a button to save her life.

So in my dream world, I am going to rekindle the craftiness of my youth and ... make something. Like crafty people do. And if I can't, I'm going to fake it {because this is the internet...who's gonna know, right? :)}. I'm totally kidding. I won't do that.

Top Ten DIY Projects:
{Sources/Credits linked below each picture}

{10}Painted Wallpaper
I am not hardcore enough to do an entire room, but an accent wall is a maybe.

{9}Upholstered Headboard
Full disclosure: this ain't happ'nin'. But it is an impressive undertaking and deserved a mention. The shape and the nailheads are just lovely.

I love silhouettes. I think they are one of the coolest and most timeless accessories, and I want to silhouette every single person I know and love.

{7}Book Page Wreath
I saw a project similar to this one a long time ago done with sheet music, and it was really fabulous. For a minute I thought that pages from the Bible would be neat, but I'm not about to tear one up. That would be a poor decision.

{6}Mini Polaroid Magnets
Stop It. I'm such a sucker for anything miniature.

via my high school friend Emily {The Pilot's Wife} via ambrosiagirl on Pinterest

{5}Monogram Block Letter
I think I would like it better with just the letters or maybe the letters and the date. I feel like I could actually pull this one off.

{4}Napkin Snowball
Napkins? Got 'em. Christmas decoration? Yes, please. It will be so thriftily beautiful.

{3}No Sew Roman Shade
I need this in a modern gray and white fabric hanging over the window in the kitchen. Need is a stretch- want is more accurate.

{2}Painted Furniture
If I ever get my hands on some spray paint, watch out. I am ready to paint some furniture. And you know what?...I probably won't sand it first. It could be disasterous. Or it could be fabulous.

Live the Home Life {an Arkansas girl...I love that!}

{1}Organized Pantry Makeover
It's awe-inspiring. I don't feel like words can do it justice. Just click the link below and discover for yourself.

I'll let you know if any DIY dream turns into reality...even if it bites ;)

Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday's Top Ten

I am not an extreme person. In fact, I am the opposite of extreme…as moderate as they come. {We’re talking lifestyle here…not personality… ;)}With these tendencies in mind, I am always looking for un-extreme ways to be a little healthier. I really like nuggets of information to help me fight off becoming a statistic, so I've compiled a list of ten health facts that aren't always talked about but can be used moderately and regularly to impact health. Some of them I do already, some I would like to add, a couple I just learned today. I am by no means an expert on these topics {just a disclaimer ;)}, but I would like to remember the information for myself, so I'm documenting. This post is wordy {not that shocking, I know}, so consider yourself warned!


It is important to know your family health history without a doubt. Huge. But in terms of how you age, newer studies show that how gracefully or not-so-gracefully you age is only about 20% your genes and a whopping 80% your lifestyle. In other words, I can’t lean on my Mama’s beautiful skin to hope mine will be the same in a few years. So I wear a hat in the sun. A big one.

{9}Colon Cleanse
In my home growing up, we used a lot of potty talk. No, not foul language in the sense of four letter words - my parents don’t even say butt. I mean literal potty…toilet…talk. I can’t count the number of times one of my friends was asking for advice on some health issue, and my dad’s first imploring question was “When was your last bowel movement?” Somehow it was always relevant. Therefore, it is an unusually comfortable subject for me to bring up, much to my mother’s chagrin. I will keep this clean so as to honor her, though, and suffice to say this: there are healthy colon cleanse techniques that are good ways to periodically rid your body of toxins and reset your system. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR and don’t do anything extreme…or stupid.

{8}Reading burns more calories than watching TV
When you are as short as I am, you have to be aware of every calorie because you can see exactly where it goes. Reading, on average, burns 30% more calories than watching TV. If anything would motivate me to read, that would be it. And just think how many more calories typing burns. Burn burn burn burn burn. I think I just earned a cookie…crumb. ;)

Ingredient substitution in meals we eat often is my favorite way to increase nutrition and decrease empty calories. My general rule is to replace any carb with its whole grain version and decrease calories from high fat/high cholesterol foods. Oh, and I like Smart Balance Buttery Spread {and Smart Balance peanut butter} because it provides omega fatty acids that are heart healthy instead of artery-clogging.

{6}Lefty loosey
And wrinkly. The left side of our faces is actually more wrinkled and aged than the right side because of UV exposure while we drive. Isn’t that nuts? Kathie Lee and Hota told me this morning. Tinting your windows {with a broad spectrum UV blocking tint…not to be cool} can significantly decrease the effects, especially if you’re a commuter.

{5}SPF myth
You cannot apply SPF 150 and be done for the week. It doesn’t work like that. Your best bet is to apply SPF 15-30 {any SPF over 30 is just advertising} every morning and every 2-4 hours while you’re outside depending on your activity level and how much time you spend in the water. And on that note, water-proof sunscreen cannot be clinically tested accurately, so don’t count on it. The FDA is actually mandating new packaging for sunscreen next year because there are so many unfounded claims on the current packaging.

Did you know that magnesium deficiency makes your heart rate higher? I didn’t until this week. And a lower heart rate is associated with better cardiovascular health and lower rates of heart attack. You have to be careful with supplementing magnesium because having too much is no bueno for your GI system or for your heart in extreme cases. I use a type of magnesium supplement that also helps you wind down and sleep more soundly, but I don't use it every night.

{3}Dirty mouth? Clean it up.
A clean mouth leads to a healthy heart. I hate flossing. It is gross. But I make myself do it now because there’s no denying its necessity. Sometimes I use a WaterPik and mouthwash instead. Sometimes I still skip it, but those times are decreasing. Back off, bacteria.

{2}Little Bits
This fits two categories. I feel like we all know that several small meals a day is a healthier way to fuel the body. I recently read that little spurts of exercise are good, too, though. If you get bored or tired doing a long exercise routine, break it up into two or three smaller ones. It doesn’t give you as much of a cardiovascular workout, but it’s still a benefit overall.

{1}Pets make you healthier
I’m not gonna lie - this one is my favorite! They love unconditionally, yes, and they are as excited to see me walk in the door if I walked out three minutes before as if I had been gone all day. But the benefit of owning a pet is scientifically proven. They lower blood pressure spikes better than medication. They decrease stress, improve mood, and encourage physical activity. And they are cu-uu-uuute.

Here’s to a healthier us!

Next week - more pictures, less words :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday's Top Ten

I have posted 3 times in all of 2011. Three. Who knows what chronicles I won't remember because I didn't ... well, chronicle them.

Cue Tuesday's Top Ten. I'm doing it. Every tuesday {or at least most Tuesdays ;)}. And I am starting today with:

The Top Ten Things I Haven't Blogged About
{note: Mom, I know that the grammatically correct title is The Top Ten Things About Which I Have Not Blogged, but that sounds snooty, and I just can't do it. ;)}

{10} I got a new job!
Don't get me wrong- I loved my old job, but an opportunity came up that allows waaaaay more balance in my life, and I am so incredibly excited and thankful!

{9} I discovered Pinterest.
Whoa. It is both fabulous and addicting, and I really like getting emails from "Ben and the Pinterest team!" I feel like they are really nice, and I would like to get to know them.

{8}Engagement Central!
Two of my best friends from college and one of my technicians at work have all gotten engaged in the last few weeks. Sooooooo exciting!!! They are all precious girls, and I am so excited about all the festivities to come.

{7}Garage {Yard} Sale
We are having one. We are purging. Out with the old, and in with some cash...50 cents at a time :). Our office is currently a storage room which would be fine if we lived in a huge house with lots of rooms, but we live in a small house, and we need that room. So we are selling the junk {treasures} currently residing in it...and our attic...and our storage building. Stay tuned.

{6}Family Photos
I recently realized that just because we haven't had kids doesn't mean we don't need to document our lives! My friend Amy's friend, Amy, {read it again if you need to...it's confusing} is a very talented photographer, and she's going to do some pictures for our little family {puppies included, of course}. I can't wait!

Here are Amy and Amy {Amy Hough, photographer, on the right} - obviously she didn't take this picture because she's in it, but aren't they pretty? :)

{5}There's this woman named Beth.
Beth Moore, have you heard of her? {I'm kidding, I know I'm like decades behind.} I just discovered her books, and in combination with the Amplified Bible, her books/studies are life changing. Praying out loud? It is so much better than just praying in your head. I'm pretty sure I've never finished a complete sentence inside my head. Anyway, I won't deify her, but I did pray for her the other day and thank the Lord for her and that she followed/is following His calling on her life. If anyone on Beth's ministry team out there googles her {people really do that kind of stuff...} and finds this post, please tell her I said so. Thanks!


This pattern will make it into my home, one way or the other, as will several other lovelies I have found lately. I am even considering DIYing. {Watch out, world. It could get dangerous!}

{3}The Twins Made Their Appearance!
Griffin and Bailey, my cousin's twins, arrived just 10 minutes apart a little over a month ago. They are beautiful and so is their Mama who doesn't even look like she carried one baby in her belly, let alone two! Melanie had some adorable squishy pictures {that's what I call them, anyway - you know because they squish babies into all sorts of forms that look impossible} taken of the babies, but I don't want to mess with copyright business, so I'll have to wait to share.

{2} 31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way
This little book{let} is a genius combination of Biblical principles and practical ideas for keeping a clean, cozy and peaceful, albeit imperfect, home. I have to modify it because I am not home everyday, but it is as useful as all get out. And it is five bucks for the PDF. Spring for it ;).

{1} This bad boy is getting a makeover!
No, not me {although that wouldn't be a bad idea...}. This blog! It is coming soon, courtesy of Danielle Moss takin' it up a notch. I'm already super impressed with her {she's so nice, too!}, and she hasn't even gotten all my information yet. This blog is going legit'.

See you next Tuesday! {at the latest ;)}