Friday, March 25, 2011

Kool with a Capital "K"

I did it -- I jumped on the moss-covered-letter bandwagon. I’ve been seeing them all over the blogging world and in the catalogues of my favorite retailers lately and I just love the natural warmth they exude.  I think it’s a great way to introduce some outdoor elements in your home without any of the maintenance or up-keep -- I’m not the greatest at keeping things alive so this is perfect. EXCEPT when it comes to Shiloh and Nolan; I promise they’re happy and healthy!
Anyway, after seeing these letters popping up everywhere and quickly discovering the pre-made ones were most definitely out of my price range, I knew it’d be a quick and inexpensive project I could do all my own. 
Here’s what I started with -- I did mine late last night so please forgive the dark photos!
I used sheet moss because I desired a more flat looking letter but I have seen puffy, three-dimensional letters put together with loose pieces of moss that also look great -- totally depends on the style you’re going for.
When you see what I started with and what the end result looks like, I think it’s pretty self-explanatory and most likely has more than one way to get there.  So, in pictures with very few words, this is what I did start-to-finish in about 30 minutes.
I decided to hang mine in front of a mirror which I have in my entry way but you could hang it anywhere, set it on a shelf or table and lean it against any wall. The only downside I’ve discovered with hanging in front of a mirror -- as you can see from the last picture -- is from certain angles, you can see the exposed letter on the back side.  After about 12 hours of hanging, this has bothered me enough that I’m going to take mine down and add some moss to the back so that none of the white is showing.  Very simple fix if you choose to hang in front of a mirror -- just easier to do prior to display! 

I am loving this super easy project -- I smile every time I walk out the door!  If you want more step-by-step instructions or examples to view, these blogs were two of my favorite sources of inspiration.

I'm linking up at Sugar and Dots!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Just for Fun

I adore flowers! I know they don't last forever and can be expensive, but I think fresh flowers instantly make any space feel warmer and more welcoming.
I received lilies -- my absolute favorite! -- and roses from someone special and couldn’t resist having a little fun and photographing them.
With the warmer weather and Spring on it's way in, I'm ready for more to put on my table :)
Happy Friday -- Hope y'all have some fun weekend plans!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Evolution of a Lunchbox

It’s no secret to those around me that I am a picky eater.   Don’t get me wrong -- I love to eat, especially desserts -- I’m just very particular about what I put in my mouth.  I will always try something and usually more than once, but if I don’t love it, I just won’t eat it. It’s because of this trait that I started making and bringing my own lunch at a very young age -- it only took a week in the school cafeteria for me to realize it just wouldn’t work.  Sadly, through the years, what I pack really hasn’t changed too much but I've noticed the packaging has evolved quite a bit.

I LOVED this Popples lunchbox! Does anyone else remember these? The weird little stuffed animals that roll up into a ball inside their kangaroo-like pouch. Well, I loved them and carried them with me all through elementary school.
As I got older and outgrew the character themed lunch boxes, I switched to a more simple lunch sack. I went through a purple phase during many of my younger years and sported this beauty all through middle school. 
By high school, my food palate had not expanded by much and I was still bringing lunch to school every day -- except the occasstional Chick-fil-A day which is seriously one of my worst guilty pleasures. Anyway, by this time, I insisted on the standard brown lunch bags. There was no way I was going to be seen carrying a purple lunch box to and from the cafeteria -- I just wanted to bring it in and throw it out!
During college, the amazing, wonderful and always flexible class schedule allowed me to either eat out or from home before or after class. No lunch sack needed during those 5 years -- and yes, I did a ‘victory’ lap in college, but it was for my Masters, so don’t be thinking I partied too hard and wanted just one more year :) 
My first couple years in the working world were completely foreign and unpredictible to me in the lunch department. I worked as an auditor for a Big Four company and lunch for that week, month, or months was completely dependent on the team you were working with at the time. Some teams religiously brought their lunch every day while others religiously went out every day.  The client I spent most of my years on, had a “let’s get out of the office for at least an hour” attitude and we went out 99% of the time. During these dark years, I very rarely brought my lunch.
When I saw the light and quit my job, I found myself working in an environment that had  complete opposite lunch views.  The current mentality is, “if I eat lunch at my desk and keep working, I can get through more work and hopefully leave sooner.”  I quickly adopted this mentality and began packing a lunch every day -- which I must say, has done wonders for my bank account and my bum! 
After a few months of bringing my lunch, it got me thinking about the best way to transport my goodies. I had been using small shopping bags, but these wore out quickly and didn’t close to hold everything in -- or hide my embarrassing 5 year-old food choices. I decided I wanted a reusable lunch case of some sort, but it needed to close, and had to be something cute that I would be proud to pull out of the community fridge at noon every day.  Best way to get exactly what you want -- DIY!  So, one particular night when I needed a serious distraction, I whipped up this little cutie.

It was perfect -- it could be washed if something spilled, it closed at the top to keep everything in and it’s an attractive bag to pull out of the fridge each day.  One admiring coworker asked if I’d make her one, so I knew I’d done something right. Since my first one, I’ve whipped up a couple extras and made this one just the other night.

I’m not going to lie, the first couple lunch boxes were pretty challenging to me -- just ask Kim who waited many months to receive hers! I have since tweaked a few of the steps to make them easier and even better looking/constructed and get pretty giddy at the thought of making more. I have a lot of fun ideas with coordinating fabrics and color choices and am guessing that just about everyone around me will eventually end up with one!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I’m Noticing a Pattern

This one is not design related but does concern something I equally love. While scrolling through pictures on my phone one night, I noticed that this little guy has developed some unique sleeping patterns.
On a typical weekend day, he loves to follow his momma everywhere. When I take a few moments to be still or work on a project, he takes the opportunity to get a little rest. On days like this, I have found him snuggled up next to the coffee table, half buried under the couch for some darker and more cozy sleeping arrangements, or taking advantage of a rarely open shelf.

At night, when he has a couple lucky hours on the couch, he takes full advantage of the pillows in a typical Nolan, very non-traditional way.

Rather than pushing the pillows over and sleeping on the large, open, flat surface, he likes to wrap himself around them or lay right over the top while they stay upright.

This last photo is by far the most unusual and my personal favorite.

I'd like to think he was just wanting to look out the window, but it was dark and the curtains were closed, so the most likely explanation is that he just found this to be the most comfortable sleeping arrangement that night. 
None of these photos were action shots snapped at just the right moment to make him look like an awkward little boy. I’ve discovered, he genuinely enjoys laying in all these unique positions and stays in each one while he takes a little siesta. He truly is a goofy little pup and I hope he never changes!