Friday, August 29, 2014

Feeling Nifty in Niagra

We are in Toronto this weekend for a cousin's wedding - another first for me!  Today we took a day trip to Niagra Falls, and it was gorgeous.  Hard to believe that something so beautiful is entirely natural, and has been around for hundreds of years.  

To be honest, I have personally heard the most about Niagra Falls in old movies from the 1950's - apparently it had quite the reputation as THE place to go on your honeymoon around that time.  (Which is so funny to me - I guess over 50 years ago there was not as much entertainment that could compete with a very large - and tall - body of water.)

Overall it was quite lovely; we saw several rainbows and got misted on to the point of being soaked.  Also, there are tons of amazing wineries on the way to Niagra Falls from Toronto.  Just take my word for it - make sure you have plenty of time for your drive back to the city if you happen to be traveling from Toronto!  We only got to hit 4 wineries in 2 hours!  

Otherwise, we are having a fun trip!  Toronto has a TON of TRAFFIC (and I'm from Seattle) - but nothing we can't handle.  ;)

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It's All in the Details...

So I know I haven’t been writing… which is the cardinal rule of blogging.  (ALWAYS POST REGULARLY!) I am aware of this, and I apologize… but the truth is, as every blogger knows, life gets in the way!

As much as I hate to be generic, getting engaged has actually taken up a great deal of my time.  Whereas I used to spend my spare time looking up and pinning new craft projects to possibly blog about, I suddenly have a seemingly endless supply of things look up and think about:  what color should the tablecloths be on one of the most memorable days of my life?  (I’m still thinking about this!)  Will people notice if I use different shades of purple on the invitations than on the programs?  (Answer:  No they won’t, but I WILL NOTICE!)  Is there a limit to the number of Glassybaby one can have on each table?  (Hint:  The answer to this is the same as to the question “can a woman own too many shoes?”)
FYI:  The answer is "no". 
For anyone who has been following me on Pinterest, you are likely getting tired of my many pins involving “Asian fusion” themes, wedding ettiquite and seemingly random flower arrangements.  I apologize, but rather than be too apologetic, you should know that I intend to embrace this newfound obsession for the next year or so.  After all, planning a wedding is a crafter’s paradise! 

To that end, if anyone has any recommendations for unique touches you have incorporated or have seen incorporated in weddings, please let me know!  Otherwise, I’ve done a quick round up of fun DIY wedding touches that I admire.  Not all of these will be incorporated in my wedding, but one can certainly dream, can’t they??

Otherwise, enjoy!

1.  Lace Doily Envelopes by Curly Girl.  What a an easy way to make a big statement on your invitations!

2.  Dollar Store Tiered Trays by Dollar Store Crafts - No need to break the bank to display your wedding treats.

3.  Paper Flower Escort Cards by Project Wedding - Nothing makes a guest feel special like a little unexpected something.  Well worth the extra assembly time!

4.  Lucky Bamboo Arrangement by Wedding Flowers Made Easy - An easy (and non-wilting) way to make your own centerpieces or wedding favors.  

5.  Watercolor Escort Cards by OnceWed - Continuing with my watercolor obsession… these are a perfectly understated way to make a big impact on your guests.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What I've Been Listening to Lately: May 2014

My theme for this month seems to be mostly love songs.  It's pretty funny how I can look at the songs I've been listening to and notice a totally subconscious similarity… it's really pretty telling, I think!  I guess that's what an engagement will do to you.  In any case, I've certainly had my moments of listening to melancholy music as well!  Why not love songs for a change.  :)  Anywho, enjoy!

1.  Cop Car by Keith Urban - I think this song is so fun.  I'm drawn to songs that tell a story (which is probably why I'm unconsciously drawn to Country music), and this one tells a fun, light hearted story about falling in love in a unique circumstance.  It makes me happy.

2.  Gold Dust Woman by Karen Elson - I watch Revenge, and I heard this song on an episode recently.  I believe it is a Fleetwood Mac cover.  It's a good song to have on in the background when you're cooking dinner in the evening.  :)

3.  Arms of a Woman by Amos Lee - Amos Lee reminds me of another favorite singer/songwriter of mine - Ray LaMontagne, who I have included a song by in this same playlist!  They both seem to write thoughtful, acoustic songs with memorable lyricisms, and this song is no exception.  I love how he sings the simple line: "when she wakes me, she takes me back home."  

4.  In Your Shoes by Sarah McLachlan - Sarah McLachlan is one of my favorite singers, and she has a new album coming out this month - meaning there will probably be more of her songs on my next playlist…!  This is one of her new singles.

5.  Higher Love by James Vincent McMorrow - Love this cover!  Especially the beginning.

6.  You've Lost the Loving Feeling by The Righteous Brothers - I watched Top Gun recently (I hadn't seen it in a lonnnnng time), and the final scene with the Jukebox is SO GOOD!  Him hearing this song playing in the background, and then there she is…  ::sigh::.  

7.  Not a Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake - A current song on the radio that I find myself turning up whenever it plays.  Gotta love JT.

8.  Shelter by Ray LaMontagne -  Another example of a lovely acoustic love song.  :)  

Saturday, May 3, 2014

An Overdue Update...

Okay, so I know I haven't posted in awhile…  (As in not once in the month of April, awhile…!)  No excuses.  The first rule of blogging is to post regularly, and I blew it this month.  Still, sometimes life just gets in the way… and I must admit that I've had a couple of other priorities lately.  

Speaking of which, this happened while I was in San Francisco last month…!

Jon and I got engaged!  He surprised me with a beautiful proposal at the Palace of Fine Arts at sunset - it was perfect.  I hate to admit that I have become "that girl" who has been momentarily blinded by the prospect of marriage, a wedding, and and all that jazz… but it really is a ton to think about, and I've really been enjoying my first month of being engaged.  

The wedding won't be for awhile yet, but maybe you can look forward to a few wedding DIY tutorials at some point… who knows!  Otherwise, I've been doing a lot of jewelry making lately as well, and have been planning to expand my Etsy shop.  (Mostly bracelets and wire rings.)  Keep an eye out!

Otherwise, that's what has been happening with me lately!  I hope everyone else has been doing well, and you didn't have too many April Showers last month.  :)  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Smiling in San Francisco!

We're taking a long weekend in San Francisco!  Gorgeous weather so far - such a nice change from the rainy Seattle weather we've had this March.  ( Look!  The sky can be blue...!) ;)

More later - bye for now, and happy Sunday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Perfect Treat for Any Holiday: Sparkling Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

My favorite thing about these is how festive they are.  It's such an easy way to turn a generic snack into something exciting.  (Note how I found a way to add "sparkling" into the title!  Isn't anything that sparkles 10 times more exciting than something that doesn't?)  :)  

I feel like I am always in need of something quick to bring whenever we are invited to someone's house.  Jon and I usually bring a bottle of wine, but there is something so personable about actually making something for your host - whether it is an edible treat, or even something else they can enjoy.  (Side note - a friend of mine recently brought me homemade lipgloss - how nice is that!)  I also have a tutorial for some easy DIY Wine Charms which would be another great host gift!  

This quick treat is simple enough to whip up on a whim, and is unique enough to set you apart from anyone else bringing the usual bottle of wine.  I made these for a St. Patricks Day get together at my cousins house - hence the green - but you can make them festive for any occasion by changing the color of the sprinkles.

Meltable white chocolate 
Colored sprinkles
Parchment paper 

Melt the white chocolate - you can use a double boiler or the microwave.  I used the double boiler method the first time I did these, and a bit of the steam got into the chocolate and it seized up on me... TWICE.  I didn't even know chocolate could do that!  I used the microwave after that and it was much easier…even though I had to go out buy more chocolate unexpectedly…  it happens, right?

Dip half of the pretzel into the melted chocolate, and gently shake the excess away.  Scrape one side of the pretzel against the side of the bowl so you will be able to lay the clean side down on the parchment paper.  Holding the chocolate dipped pretzel over a bowl, sprinkle a generous amount of sprinkles over the melted chocolate until well coated.  Lay on the parchment paper to harden, clean side down.

You can also try using different kinds of sprinkles to liven these up even more - multicolor, perhaps?  Different shapes?  The sky is the limit!

Inspiration:  Love From the Oven

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What I've Been Listening to Lately… March 2014

Now that I have compiled all of my songs together for this month, I'm realizing that they are mostly very acoustic-y and slow… I'm not sure what the says about me this month!  At least there is still The Script in there to liven things up, not to mention Phoenix.  Anywho, enjoy!  

This March, 2014, I have been listening to:

1.  1901 by Phoenix - This is such a fun song.  It's a really good one to drive to on a sunny day - put your sunglasses on, roll down the windows (if it's not too cold…) and feel GOOD!  Love it!

2.  1901 by Birdy - As I've mentioned before, I love covers.  I came across this cover of the previous 1901 by Phoenix, and it's a perfect example of how a well done cover can completely change a song. Whereas Phoenix's version is fun and upbeat, Birdy's is thoughtful and almost melancholy.  Fascinating - I can't get enough.

3.  Ho Hey by The Cast of Nashville - Yes, I watch Nashville.  If you like music (especially if you like country music), or even just some old fashioned dramatic television with some music thrown in, you might want to check it out.  This song was featured in one of the first episodes, and so far I think it's one of the best songs of the show.  Have I mentioned that I love a well-done cover version of any song?

4.  Big in Japan by Ane Brun - Every once in awhile, Spotify randomly plays a song for me that knocks my socks off.  This was a song like that.  I was immediately drawn in by how she sings this - rhythmically and with an undercurrent of emotion.  It's subtly powerful.

5.  Hall of Fame by The Script and - I've started playing this song when I get off the bus, and am walking through the streets of downtown Seattle on my way to the office in the morning.  It's inspiring and motivating - nothing better to start off your day than something upbeat!

6.  Clown by Emili Sande - I LOVE her voice in this song!  It's like you can't help but listen to the story she's telling.  Apparently she wrote this song about her experience with the music industry, and losing control of her art.  It's a poignant story, and I've enjoyed listening.

7.  Dirty Rain by Ryan Adams - I have a soft spot for Ryan Adams.  The emotion and lyrics in his songs kill me.  This one is no exception.  The images his lyrics build along with the slightly jazzy melody is simply dazzling.  His music (a song like this), a craft project and a good cup of tea is my idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon.

8.  California by Joni Mitchell - Yes, I may be on a Joni Mitchell kick at the moment.  More specifically, a Joni Mitchell "Blue" kick.  Well, I am now of the opinion that there is a reason this album is said to be "one of the single greatest album's of all time."  This is my favorite line, in reference to the state of California:  "Will you take me as I am, strung out on another man…"  Good songwriting!