Wednesday, October 31, 2012

fall decor

Every season I try and decorate our little apartment accordingly.  I know I posted about fall decor last year but I thought I would touch on it again.  I love using gold in the fall and the color carries over into the winter holiday seasons.

My favorite decoration?  Well that would be the wreath on our front door.  I bought a grapevine wreath {buy one here}  last year and it has turned into a staple for every season.  I simply change the decor on my wreath {ribbon, dried lavender, etc.} depending on the season.  It hangs on our front door and it makes me quite happy every time I come home from work and see something festive right away.

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

DIY : picture frame tray

I have been on a real tray kick lately.  We have one on our coffee table, I have one on my nightstand, and now there is one in our dining room.  I was searching high and low for the perfect tray to display our bar essentials.  When I couldn't find one I decided to make my own using a picture frame that was collecting dust without a photo in it.

So here is your how to:

Choose a picture frame you want to use.  Obviously there are a million options depending on how big you want your tray, what color, and so on.  Then hit up the craft store for some decorative paper.  I went here and bought a white textured paper for the tray I made.  But again the sky is the limit!  You could use fabric, scraps of wallpaper or wrapping paper. The picture frame I used already had handles on it but you may want to pick up two matching drawer pulls to attach as handles.

Next I removed the glass and paper insert from my frame and used that as a pattern to cut my decorative paper with.  This way I knew the paper would fit perfectly into the frame I was using.  If you are planning on painting the frame do it now while the glass is out.  When your frame is ready you simply place the decorative paper in the frame under the glass like you would a photo and attach the back.  Then attach your drawer pulls on the short side of the frame for handles. 

Here are a few resources for step by step picture instructions that you may find helpful.

Lemon Tree Creations
Better Homes and Gardens

It fits just perfect on our bar don't you think?  
Happy weekend!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

and a beautiful year is has been...

Just about a year ago I was seeing my {now} husband for the first time in 10 months.  It was a time that I bubbled up with appreciation for love and life.  Something that I have tried to hold onto.  There is nothing like seeing the man your about to marry after such a long time and I truly cherish this past year with him.  

This weekend, almost to the date, my husband brought me back the to farm we went to the first weekend he had gotten home from deployment last year.  The day was beautiful.  Boston is starting to show stunning fall colors around every corner. We picked pumpkins, ate cider donuts, and fed all the farm animals.  But truly just spending time with Dan is the part I love the most.  The whole day was a humbling reminder of how blessed we are to have been able to spend this past year together. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

glitter chocolate covered strawberries

I love chocolate covered fruit.  Like a lot.  It satisfies my sweet tooth but I also don't feel as guilty because I am eating fruit gosh darn it!  This weekend I made made a giant batch of chocolate covered strawberries.  You can find my recipe for them here.  Dip the strawberry in the melted chocolate and right away sprinkle the glitter over the chocolate.  With this slew of yummy treats I couldn't help but add a little glitter.  Don't worry the glitter was edible {buy it here or here} and made these babies look even more heavenly.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the greatest life

I thought a lot this weekend about living the greatest life.  We all have dreams and aspirations to live everyday completely but so often we lose sight of them.  I have a great life; a wonderful life.  But I know I could have the greatest life.  I could love more, smile more, and be more productive and patient.  I could make the change to go back to school and do something I truly love.  I could follow those dreams I have of traveling, doing yoga, saving whales, starting a skin care line, painting, being my own boss, having a family, owning a house, and making sure I see the ocean everyday.  I know I have the ability to cultivate all of that in my life.
So what stops me from living the greatest life?

I am so inspired by stories of people making the change and taking the leap of faith to live the life they have dreamed about living.  Everyday I have the same beautiful spark of inspiration and then it seems to be lost with my to do lists and responsibilities.  I know I can have both; I know that it is attainable to love your life everyday, live your dreams while still finishing your to do lists.  And we should strive for that.  At the risk of sounding to cliche we don't know what tomorrow holds or how long we will grace this world with our presence so we should always live a full life.    

I have talked about my big dreams before {here}.  They are always changing and getting bigger.  And I have realized that I am a dreamer.  Plain and simple.  The hard part is knowing how to live those dreams.

I read this passage this morning from Bob Goff's book Love Does.  I can't say enough about how it rings so true in my life.  I get stuck on dreaming and planning that I don't actually do anything.  That is what stops me from living the greatest life.  And fear...yes fear of having all the things you have dreamed of fall apart.  Slowly I am learning to take a leap of faith and live a life that I love.

Friday, October 12, 2012

homemade applesauce

In the Northeast apple season is among us.  We had a whole bowl of apples that Dan's parents had picked for us.  Just about the sweetest gift.  Well, we weren't about to eat all of them so I turned them into homemade applesauce.  This recipe is a great one for the holidays months and is makes your house smell delicious.

Place 8 to 9 small to medium peeled and sliced apples into a sauce pan.  Add 1 and 1/2 cups of water to the apples and place over medium heat.  Then add about 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.  Heat the mixture for about 15 minutes.  The apples will soften enough that you can mix them to desired consistency.

I promise you will love it.  This applesauce freezes great if you don't eat it all or just want to save some for later.  If you like this recipe for fall try my cream cheese toffee apple dip
Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

a first as newlyweds

This weekend Dan and I had a first as newly weds.  We ran a 5K together.  Ya we run together on occasion and head to the gym together but usually go our separate ways once we are in the door.  Never have we run a race together.

Dan actually had never run a race before.  It was quite entertaining to see him smile as we ran past people cheering us on.  The poor guy stayed right with me even though he runs much faster than I ever will.  I also totally embarrassed him while I took all the free stuff.  What can I say I like free stuff...even if I don't need it.  Wholefoods was there with all kinds of treats and then some of the best restaurants in Davis Square catered the event.
Bananas, apples, and water oh my!  Plus they were giving away the cutest reusable bags.  Who doesn't need more of those?  Thank you Wholefoods!
And here we are post race.  Just gorgeous!  Not really.
I really love firsts with my husband.  Every time I think we don't have anymore, we always do.

Monday, October 8, 2012

bloom theory : camera straps

This weekend I stumbled on Bloom Theory.  Theses two ladies make fabulous camera straps and accessories.  I was drooling over all of them.  And I think it is about time to get rid of the camera strap I have now {it came with my camera years ago}.  
Just take a look at these babies.

Aren't they just gorgeous?  Be sure to check Bloom Theory out.  This is a perfect way to accessorize while you are getting your photography on.  

Saturday, October 6, 2012

DIY : dried hydrangeas

Drying flowers always seemed like such a hassle.  Petals falling off, having to hang them upside down, moldy stems and leaves but hydrangeas are a different story.  This is one of my favorite do it yourself projects because you don't really have to do a whole lot.  And as much as I like having fresh flowers in the house I love having those no fuss dried hydrangeas in our built in hutch. 

What you need:

-a vase or something to put hydrangeas in

What you do:

Cut the hydrangeas from the bush.  Try and keep the stems long, you can cut them to fit in the vase later.  If you don't have a hydrangea bush around you can usually pick these up at your local grocery store or florist {Trader Joes always has them in the summer/fall}.  Once you have the desired amount of flowers pull off all the leaves on the stem.  If you add water to the vase the leaves will get moldy.  The leaves closest to the flowers are fine to keep and can add a little extra foliage and color.  Now arrange the flowers in the vase cutting the stems to the appropriate length.  There are two ways you can dry these flowers.  If you want them to dry quicker you can simply leave the flowers in the vase with no water.  What I usually do is fill the vase about half full of water after I have arranged the flowers.  I don't refill the water and in a week or so it is gone and the flowers start to dry.  

Happy weekend everyone!