Monday, April 30, 2012

What I'm into {April}

It's been two months since I did my last currently post, so I thought it would be a good time for an update on day-to-day life happenings.

what I want to read.
+ more articles via Zite. The iPad magazine is better than Flipboard. I find it easier to keep up with news and other kinds of content I'm interested in. ((I just don't have the attention span for books lately))

TV show worth watching.
+ How I Met Your Mother -we've been watching via Netflix and loving it.

what i'm wearing.+ layers...it's still chilly enough to need a cardigan and scarf, but they haven't turned off the heat in my office, so I end up shedding those layers by 10am.
+ nail polish: corals, lavender, pinks
+ bangs...I had grown them out and then cut them about a month ago.
+ scarves as belts

movie I've seen.
+ The Descendants -we used our FREE rental from Redbox a few weeks ago on this one. It was sadder than I anticipated, but it was cool to imagine life in Hawaii.

in my kitchen.
+ we discovered Pillsbury sugar free brownies and they're pretty tasty
+ smoothies ((made with assorted fruit, spinach or kale, crushed ice and almond milk))
+ eating vegetarian meals 3-4 times per week
in my ears.
+ Pandora oldies radio
+ Needtobreathe and Josh Garrels
items of note.
+ the new blog look...anyone notice? I took some time over the weekend to change it up with a new header, colors and buttons. Special thanks to the mister for his HTML expertise...he always bails me out when I get in over my head!
+ my husband will begin interning with our church this summer. We're excited for him to get pastoral experience while he's in seminary.
+ I've had my iPad for almost month and I'm loving it more and more each day. I use it for so many things at work that make life easier.

what I'm looking forward to.
+ 16 weeks of summer at work...it sounds long, but I'm pretty sure it will fly by!
+ eating less sugar ((the mister and I plan to stop eating processed sugar in May...gulp)).
+ planning a summer road trip

Tell me, what are you into lately?

Friday, April 27, 2012

coffee date {marprilay}

As much as I want to share a fashionable post of my cute outfits of the week because somehow I did remember to snap a few pics of my creative ensembles, I thought I'd be honest and share my outfits of the day #ootd ((I learned that from Jen earlier this week)) today. Notice I was too lazy to change tops when I came home and threw on my sweats and slippers? Yep, it's been that kind of week...
jacket: Target // jeans: Old Navy // top: thrifted // necklace: street vendor in Guatemala City // earrings: pretties by meg // hoodie: thrifted

If we met for coffee today, you may notice I look a bit worn out. You might be polite and avoid mentioning I look more tired than usual. Or you might make the connection between my somewhat dis-shelved state and the absent blog posts this month. It wouldn't take long for me to volunteer the reasons why I look exhausted and feel like the only things that keep me going are sugar and caffeine. I'd be quick to confess I struggled to keep up with blogging this month because of my hectic work schedule.

It's the end of the academic year and I work on a college campus, so this past work week was filled with awards ceremonies, end of the year banquets, and all those things that make up the marathon that I have come to know as marprilay.

Yes, I made up a word. Well, I didn't make it up. You see, the spring semester on an American college campus has more events than the fall semester and most events take place between the student's return from spring break and commencement. Since it typically spans about six weeks from the middle or end of March to mid-May, we combine the three months into one word: marprilay.

How do I know this time of year is upon me?
+ The work days are longer and are not limited to Monday thru Friday
+ I find myself at the vending machine buying Pepsi ((terrifying since I don't drink much soda to begin with and if I have one I want a coke))
+ I have to put on my sweatpants as soon as I'm home from work
+ I find myself eating lunch at my desk
+ I wait days between moves on Words with Friends and Draw Something ((because I mostly play with my colleagues who are super-busy too))

Please don't take this as a complaint or knock on my job because that's not what I'm saying. I love my job. I love working with college students and watching them grow and mature. It's truly a rewarding job and this time of year, though exhausting, is also my favorite as I go to recognition ceremonies and get ready to congratulate another class on finishing their college experience.

Have a great weekend...I'm headed to a fraternity ball for the chapter I advise!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

guest post {granola}




Hey everyone! My name’s Elizabeth and I blog over at Shenanigans. I started this blog, like many other newlywed couples, to document my husband’s and my life after moving to Hawaii. We’ve kept it ever since, and have moved to Idaho and are now in AZ. (Let’s just say we get around J)








I wanted to share a simple recipe for you. I try to eat healthy and have found a new passion for cooking. I grew up on take-out and cereal so cooking and baking has been a trialing but rewarding experience. We all know breakfast is the most important meal and how it’s super duper important to jump start our metabolism and get that brain food. Here’s my recipe granola that’s healthy AND delicious. Eat with milk or pour over some greek yogurt. The oats will keep you feeling full without getting the greasy bloating feeling. Careful though, it can be very addicting!

Enjoy the recipe and come stop by Shenanigans and see what we’re up to!


Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice ( i used cinnamon )
  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (didn't add)
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, rolled oats, almonds, and pecans in a large bowl. Mix the applesauce, honey, and vanilla in a separate large bowl. Stir the oat mixture into the applesauce mixture, until granola begins to gather in clusters. Spoon granola evenly onto prepared baking sheets.
  3. Bake in preheated oven, stirring every 20 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove from oven; cool to room temperature. Stir in raisins and cranberries; store in an airtight container.
* I changed the oven settings to 350 and stirred every 10 minuts for a total of 35 minutes. Recipe from allrecipes.com

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

breaking it down {klout}

Have you seen mentioned of klout via Twitter? Did you wonder what they were referring to or worse yet, "Oh dear, another thing I don't have time to figure out?" Yes, it is another thing, but it's not the same kind of thing you have to monitor like Twitter or Facebook.

Klout measures your influence according to the information it's connected to. You can link it to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Blogger accounts ((and more)). It gives you choices as to what you want it linked to ((i.e. where it should pull info about your usage)). Then it figures out what you are influential about via social media based on the networks you've provided and linked it too. It tells you about your network, true reach and amplification.
Quick definitions:
  • true reach- number of people you influence
  • amplification- how much you influence people
  • network- the influence of the people in your true reach

Below is a screen shot of the page that allows you to link it to multiple social + information networks:
Based on the things you share via social networks linked to klout, it determines what you are influential about. This includes the types of things you share, retweet or comment on. As you can see from my profile, it believes I'm influential about 20 topics, but lists three that are the most influential. It's interesting to check up on this and see how it changes from week to week. You can share the info on Facebook or Twitter using the links below and ask others to rate you, asking them to +k ((meaning to agree you're influential about a topic)).
Klout also shows who you influence and who influences you. You can award +k to others. It allows you to give +k in 5 to 10 times per day. That means you can give +k to one person in five topics or give it to five different influencers.
A few things to know about klout:
  • Sign in using either your Twitter or Facebook account ((read: good news, you don't have to create yet another account))
  • You select which networks you want to link it to ((you don't have to choose them all)) and the navigation bar is on the left column ((it's gray)).
  • The score you are assigned is between 1 and 100. For a more in-depth explanation, read this.
  • Don't miss the Score Analysis tab. It gives info you may find helpful to see how you relate to others.
A word of caution: please don't obsess over the number klout assigns you. It is simply meant as a tool for you to see how social networks view you. Yes, there is an option to compare yourself, but that's not necessary and probably not helpful. I share this info with you so you know what klout is and you can learn from your own social network habits.


Have you used klout before?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

april sponsors + looking ahead

Thankfully, I'm not alone when it comes to blogging. I've met a lot of great bloggers along the journey and this month is no exception. Last week, we met Lindsay and I'm excited to introduce the rest of this month's lineup to you today.

I post a lot of pictures. I blog about almost anything and love to keep my blog as a positive outlook on life.

blog // instagram
Simply Add Coffee: The story of a Work and Home wife.
blog // twitter
Hello there, I'm Alli. Wife, mommy to one, simple, lover of outdoors, green, clean freak, workaholic, rejoices the little things.
blog // twitter
Hi! I’m Hannah. I’m a wife and mother of two girls under the age of two. A typical day in my life involves changing a lot of diapers and writing at www.groundedparenting.com. My blog is about the things that are important to me: faith, family, health, happiness, and home. I also have a Etsy shop, where you can find some pretty, clever things. I’d love to get to know you so join me on Fridays for My Cup of Tea!
blog // twitter
In the past, I have solely done swaps for ad space and I've loved it. I've also been fortunate enough to grow the blog a bit in the past few months and I'm grateful to all of you I have been able to swap ad space with. I've decided to take the plunge and start charging a small fee for ad space. Check out my sponsor page for rates and sign up there.

And since it's new and I appreciate your loyal readership + support, I am sharing a discount code:
just enter DOTREADER to get free ad space for 30 days!

Monday, April 23, 2012

weekend recap

I don't know if I've officially "announced" I'm on Instagram via the blog, but I've definitely tweeted about it and shared an image or two via Facebook. You can find me  under username: dotinthecity

cauliflower crust pizza using this crust recipe ((toppings changed))
smoothie time, I've been drinking these almost daily!
a little outfit inspiration
Over the weekend, I caught up on some blog and other internet reading. So I thought I'd share a little reading list:
And the winner of the Pen & Paints Giveaway is Sarah B! Congrats & Happy Monday!

Friday, April 20, 2012

going green with Erika

Happy Friday! I have another treat for you...a guest post from Erika of Rouge & Whimsy. Earth Day is on Sunday and I thought it most appropriate to hear from someone who lives in one of the greenest cities in America ((source))

When Beth asked me to write a post about going green, I was stumped. (pun not intended)

You see in Seattle, where I live, being "green" is just a part of the lifestyle. We have combined recycling and composting services weekly. Plastic bags will be illegal within city limits in June. (i.e. you'll have to pay to get them at the store.) Our mayor rides his bike to City Hall.

But I know that this lifestyle isn't true in every city. I know someplaces it's a pain to recycle; you have to sort it and then drive it to the recycling plant yourself.

However, there are few things you can do to go "green."

1. use reusable bags for grocery shopping -- like this cute one from the knotted pineapple
2. buy reusable bags for your lunch-- I love the prints of these from the preppy owl boutique
3. garden! even in an apartment, you can plant veggies in containers and mark them with these!

other green tips:
- turn off lights when you're not in the room & unplug electronics (this can save you money, too)
- use pasta jars, yogurt containers, etc for leftovers, desserts or a future craft project!
- thrift shop when you can instead of buying something brand new
- if you have a green bin for garden clippings that gets picked up weekly, you can add stuff from your kitchen to it like veggie peels, egg shells, food-stained paper or cardboard and coffee grinds.

thanks, Beth, for having me! I hope these are some realistic ways to "go green." :)

you can find me hanging out at rougeandwhimsy.blogspot.com and rougeandwhimsy.etsy.com.

I'm also pretty chatty on twitter as @rougeandwhimsy and on facebook.com/rougeandwhimsy

P.S. Today is the last day to enter the Pen and Paints Giveaway!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

garden to go

Hi everyone!
I'm Alli and I blog over at Life on LeRoy.  I'm so excited Beth has allowed me to take over her blog for the day to share a fun project with all of you for one of my favorite holidays - Earth Day - coming up on April 22nd!

I really am a big Earth Day fan, I think it's a great opportunity to raise awareness around the importance of protecting our natural resources.  If we don't do it, no one will.  I've got a great project to share today that would be fun for anyone at any age!

-Garden to Go-

Materials
  • Small clear glass jar with lid, clean
  • Assorted seeds
  • Vintage costume earrings and/or small pins
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Super glue
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Small hang tags
  • String or embroidery thread


Directions

Step 1: The first thing you will want to do is decide on which seeds to give. There are 2 things to consider here: one is which plants grow best together and the other, purely for aesthetic reasons, is which seeds are interesting to look at. So gather your seeds and choose, choose, choose away. A mix of herbs and flowers make for a pretty easy garden to start. You will want to have a balance of small and not-so-small seeds; otherwise you'll end up with a jar that looks like it's filled with debris.

Step 2: Wash and dry your jar and lid. A dust-free lid makes a better home for your glue. If your lid is cluttered with a logo or a not-so-happy color, sand it a little to give it some tack and add a coat or two of paint. You can also blast it with some spray paint, if you choose.



Step 3: Select a few favorite pieces of the costume jewelry, buttons or anything else you want. Pins and earrings work best. If you have something with a larger lid, you may wish to use a couple of pieces. Use pliers to twist and remove the pin and earring backs of your selected pieces. I used the pliers to grasp and twist away until the earring hinge popped off. Any tiny screws or pieces that are left behind should be okay — a thick glob of glue will help balance the piece out

Step 4: Make sure your lid is dry and dust-free. Squeeze a glob of super glue to the back of your jewelry and press down onto your lid. Repeat for the remaining lids and pieces you have gathered. Set aside to dry for at least 4 hours.




Step 5: List the seeds you used on a small piece of paper. You can get fancy and pretty this up any way you choose, use a typewriter, or simply print them out with a thin-tipped marker. I added each seed next to its name here just so you can see which seed is which. Roll your list up like a tiny scroll and tie with a bit of string or embroidery thread, leaving a tail about 6" long.



Step 6: Pop your tiny scroll into the jar with the tail of thread hanging out over the edge. Next, add the seeds you selected. Give a little shake here or there until the seeds are settled in a pleasing way. Set aside.

Step 7: Gather your small hang tags and decorate as you please. Tuck the tail end of the tag's string into the center of the scroll and gently hang outside the lip of the jar.



Step 8: Once the glue is dry on your lid, seal up your garden to go and get ready to give! Happy planting!

Project idea found here.
These would be so fun to give to neighbors, teachers, friends, babysitters, anyone!
Happy Earth Day everyone!
Be the change!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

home inspirations {bed + bath}

Last week, I shared some inspirations I've been eyeing for the kitchen and living room. This week, I'm sharing some ideas I have my eye on for the master bedroom and upstairs bathroom ((it's a 90 year old house and there's no such thing as a master bath)).

Storage is often an issue in the bathroom, especially when there's not much room for a large vanity. I love these shallow wall-mount crates. They can be functional and decorative depending on what you store in them.
{HGTV: 12 Clever Bathroom Storage Ideas}
I love this idea for storing other items, and would like one for our toothbrushes.
{Lovely Little Details: Mason Jar Caddy}
How about this combination shelf + towel rack from an old chair?

{Recyclart: DIY Bathroom shelf}
For our bedroom, I'd love to have matching night stands. Mine is currently a stack of large bins I also keep clothes in and my husband has a very small stand next to his bed with simple shelves. I found this idea and can't wait to track down the right desk we can transform!
{Sugar Bee Crafts: Nightstands from a Desk}
I love the colors of this room. Our bedspread has similar tones (light green, robin's egg blue, pale yellow and khaki), so it's not unreasonable to think we could eventually accomplish this feel. The walls are currently olive green and the room just feels dark.
{BHG: Get Fresh this Spring}
This arrangement inspires me. I love painted, weathered furniture for the bedroom.
{The Pleated Poppy}
I am thinking I'd like a collage containing some of these ideas above our bed.
{Elise Blaha: Decorative Ampersand}
{Jones Design Company: Our Bedroom}

Where do you draw your inspiration for the bed + bath?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

finishing what I start

It's been a while since I've shared a 'get real' kind of post. Life has been so full and I was grateful for a weekend to relax a bit, get some things done around the house, and dream up some projects. That's what made me think I should let you in on a secret...

I am terrible at finishing projects I start. I am great at coming up with projects. My list of projects is never-ending. And there are times that I'm sure my husband thinks his project list will never end thanks to my ideas. Even before Pinterest came along, I had bookmarked blog posts of DIYs I wanted to do and clipped recipes from magazines I planned to cook or bake. Heck, I had a folder of wedding inspiration years before I even my my husband!

I just had four days off from work and I had plans to do all kinds of things. I made a list in my head...ideas came and went. Last week, a friend asked me if I wanted to get together to do something crafty on Saturday, so we setup a time and thought of ideas for what to make. We had a plan. I brought along my fabric stash, a pile of shoe box lids and some other craft necessities and she pulled out hers. We came up with our vision and each went to work on creating some new wall art thanks to the pin shown below.
via BeachBright's Home Ideas
I picked out the boxes and fabrics, decided which fabric would go with which box top. But I didn't have enough time to start assembling them because I had to go on to the next thing. So, I packed up and brought everything home. The next day, I pulled out the box tops and fabric pieces and decided I should spray paint the box tops white, so I wouldn't have to add a layer of interfacing under each fabric.

While the tops were drying, I got pulled into a project with the mister. We went to Home Depot to pick up a few things for the garden, including a forsythia bush. It was a  beautiful day and I was craving time outside, so it didn't really seem like an excuse to put off finishing the project ((below is the project in its unfinished state)).
Why didn't the project get done on the fourth and final day of my extended weekend? I wish I had a good reason other than our over-flowing hamper, dinner that needed to be prepared and errands to be ran. By the time I finished my tasks, I just wanted to sit for a bit and catch up on blog reading I had missed. I'm telling you this because I had planned to share the completed collage of fabric covered shoe boxes, but instead I have to be honest and say maybe next week. The pile of fabric needs to be ironed and I need to have the patience for gluing it. In the meantime, here are some pics of our newly planted forsythia and pruned azalea bush.

P.S. Have you entered the Pen & Paints Giveaway yet?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sponsor Love + Giveaway {Pen & Paints}

Meet Lindsay of Pen & Paints blog & shop!
Hi, I am Lindsay, a busy mama of two silly little boys. I am a southern girl with a loud laugh, a sensitive heart and a little bit of sarcasm on the side. I like to draw and paint, a lot.

After taking a bit of a break from the blogging and handmade world to refocus on myself and my family I picked up a sketchbook, an ink pen and started drawing. I began sharing my work mainly through Instagram and had a wonderfully positive response. The more I drew, the more ideas I developed, and I saw the need to make a change in the name of my blog and shop of almost three years from Paint Me a Picture to Pen and Paint. I still love to create with paint and will continue to create art in that medium, but for now drawing and creating prints from my sketches is much more functional for me as a stay-at-home mama.
I continue to gather inspiration from the handmade community, like creating a print for people who love to sew, from things people "heart" like photography and coffee, and from designs that are trending like geometric shapes.
My favorite thing about having a handmade shop is being able to share my work with people I encounter in social media on a daily basis. When one of my URL friends makes a purchase from my shop it means the world to me knowing a piece of something I created is going to be enjoyed by them.
And now, for the giveaway! Win $25 shop credit to Lindsay's amazing shop...

Friday, April 13, 2012

friday favorites

I came across this video last week and just had to share. I love wearing my Funky Vintage Lovely necklace with the Keep Calm and Carry On saying. If you're a fan of the posters, stationary and more, you'll appreciate learning the history of the saying in just three minutes..


Blog posts I'm loving this week:
  • Have you been asked to write a guest post recently? Amy compiled a some resources for doing so over here
  • Do you ever go more then 24 hours without washing your hear? I'm an every-other-day kind of wash my hair gal. And often use baby powder to absorb the oil, but this homemade dry shampoo recipe has me wanting to give it a whirl!
  • I love hearing how The No Brainer Wardrobe ebook has changed other's outlooks on clothing. Manda shared an inspiring post, Redefining My Style.
  • It's no secret I love looking at home design and decor. This week, I drooled over MommyDesign's feature: Living With Kids: Kelly Rae Roberts ((I don't read MommyDesign regularly and it wouldn't be terrible if I did))
  • Have you noticed the wave of bloggers using GIFs in their blog posts? Erika has embraced it and I love seeing what's next, plus I love watching her dog getting swallowed into the ground!
Have a wonderful weekend! What are your plans? I'm looking forward to getting crafty with my neighbor and make some wall hanging decor!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

stylin' the homefront {kitchen + living}

I love my house, I really do. And I know we're extremely blessed to own a house.  Next week, we will celebrate one year of living in it and making the house into a home. Earlier this week, a friend asked me to define my decorating style. Without thinking I said "not matching..." and then tried to explain myself. I used words like eclectic and vintage. I also kind of apologized, telling her I didn't think there was anything wrong with matching, it just wasn't my taste. I like things to look pulled together, but I would never go to a home store and buy a room set. Thankfully, understood ((or at least said she did)) and it didn't seem like I offended her. Below are some inspiring photos of home ideas I've bookmarked or pinned in the past few months.

I love color and mixing textures. The tray on the table with multiple sets of salt and pepper shakers is perfect. I also love the colorful chairs. One the sideboard, I love the vintage Coca-cola tray and globe.
{Sugar and Dots Kitchen Makeover}
I also love the kitchen table upcycled here. They simply made a new table top and I've been scanning Craigslist for a free kitchen table set so we can do this one. The wall decor behind the table is also lovely with the bunting, artwork and shelves.
{A Girl with a Gluegun Table How To}
We've chosen to go with white cupboards from Ikea. I love a shiplap ceiling with lots of white & gray for other colors to stand out against. Note there are more globes displayed! 
{The Pleated Poppy Kitchen}
For the entryway and stairwell, I've been considering ideas for a collage of artwork, photos and more. There are so many ideas I've found.
{Art/Chalkboard Wall}
{Kelly Rae Roberts Home Tour}
{Homebody Pottery Barn Style}
For the living room, I am especially excited since we just picked out the paint color last week. We are still installing the ceiling so it will be a few weeks before the room is painted. But these living rooms are just lovely.
{The Nester Fall Mantel}
I can't put my finger on what exactly captures my attention here. It may be the windows and red chairs in the background. But this looks so inviting and comfortable.
{Windsor Smith}
I don't consider myself a white coach kind of person, but this sectional seems perfect and thanks to Hayley ((see link below)), I'm convinced we could do it. I also love the painted brick fireplace!
{The Tiny Twig}
Next week, I'll share some images for bedrooms and bathrooms.
How would you describe your home decor style?