Inspire. Lately.

What’s inspiring me lately? Well let me show you…

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1. I love this wood burned art.  I’ve seen this quote before and every time I read it, it inspires me. Timmy and I decided this year would be our summer of yes. Saying yes to things more often and taking advantage of opportunities.  When we are invited out to things, just say yes!  Source: here

2. First off, i hope to one day have an outdoor dinner party that looks like this. But in the meantime I want to spend time outdoors, with friends and enjoy life. Source: here

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 3. I just plain love this watercolor. I’ve been keeping any eye out for some art pieces for our home. I really want to get a couple of great pieces that I know we will have in our house for a long time. Source: here

4. What a great idea to display pictures.  I love the idea of displaying old photos of our parents and grandparents around our house. This would be such a great way to do this. Source: here

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4. Ain’t that the truth.  That’s something that this year is teaching me. Be my own best friend. I’ve mentioned before the transition we’ve had of getting used to Timmy’s new crazy work schedule and I’ve had to learn to spend some time with myself, and truthfully I’m ok with that.  I don’t mind evenings sitting out on the couch and watch stupid TV or Saturdays running around town. Just last week I ended up going to the movies by myself and it’s actually quite enjoyable. It’s not that weird! Source: here

5. This just a really cool entry way. We don’t have a great spot in house for something like this but maybe something like this for the bedroom would be cool. Source: here

{DIY} Crochet Floor Pouf

Knitting and crocheting are usually winter activities for me, but after the weather turned warm I was still in the mood for some yarn crafts. I’ve always wanted to get a floor pouf/pillow for our living room and thought I would try to make my own!

I used the pattern from here, but slightly altered it.  I’ve never put together my own crochet pattern, so I’ll do my best to describe what changes I made. 

Supplies:

  • Size 13 (9mm) crochet hook
  • 9 skeins of super bulky yarn – I used 8 skeins of white and 1 grey of Red Heart’s Grande Yarn.
  • 5 bags of shredded foam
  • Fabric for insert in a coordinating color
  • Needle & thread

I followed the pattern to row 9 and then stopped increasing and did 14 rows then began to decrease. Once I got to a few rows into decreasing I stopped and made my insert out of muslin fabric. You can really use anything that you have that matches in color to your yarn, since you can slightly see the fabric you want to be sure to use a similar color. Cut two circles the circumference of your pouf and then measure the height of it and cut a rectangle piece and sew the side together to create a cylinder and then sew one circle around.  Take the second circle and sew about 3/4th of the way around leave room to stuff it.

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Insert your muslin pouch into the pouf and begin filling with stuffing or foam. I bought shredded foam from Jo-Ann Fabrics, I ended up using 5 bags.  It will make  HUGE mess, just an FYI 🙂

After you have all your stuffing in, sew up the opening in the muslin,  it will be bulky so I hand sewed it closed, don’t worry about it being super neat since it will be inside the pouf but make sure its fairly tight so you don’t lose your stuffing over time.

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Finally, continue crocheting around to close up the circle. Once I to the end and couldn’t decrease any more, I still had a bit of a wide hole in the center, I did 2 rows of single crochet stitches so that there was just a small hole in the center, weave in your ends and you’re done ! All you have to do now is put your feet up and relax!

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Also, if you have a cat they will love this pouf. This is where Denison spends most of his evenings. 

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Life Lately // 05.13.15

How is it May already? Weren’t we just celebrating Christmas and wishing away the cold and snow? Now we are in 70+ degree days and enjoying the sunshine and the great outdoors! I’ve always loved fall, but I think my new favorite is late spring/early summer. When its that perfect weather for short sleeves and no jacket until the evenings, sandals with jeans and getting your skin turning a little pink after sitting outside for a bit. ah… love it!

This past weekend I went up to Michigan for a quick weekend to hang out with the family.  I flew into Indianapolis (where Kate lives) and drove up to Michigan with her and her family to my parents house.   It was a wonderful, crazy busy, fun filled weekend!  I really do have the best family.  Unfortunately Mandy was out of town herself, so I didn’t get to hang out with her….But she was enjoying a weekend in Florida with her sisters!

Watching lately: It may be the nerd in us, but Timmy and I LOVE Marvel and superhero movies and shows.  The new Netflix show Daredevil just started and we are loving it.  Its a bit darker and has a great story line.  Last week end we walked down to our local movie theater to see the new Avengers movie, which was great, one of the best so far! I also have to say I just love our little neighborhood and the fact that we can walk to the movies! {its all very Stars Hallow-esque}

Reading lately: I keep meaning to pick up some good “life” books, something to challenge me or to teach me something new or better my life. But instead I’ve been reading The Maze Runner books. We watched the movie after it came out on DVD and it was a decent movie and both Timmy and I thought the books would probably be good, so I downloaded them. I’m still on the first one but Timmy’s already made it half way through the third!

Drinking lately: I can’t get enough of iced coffee drinks right now.  My current favorite is a simple iced vanilla latte from The Roasterie Cafe. It’s the perfect afternoon pick-me-up!

{Life Lately in Photos}

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 {Pictures from my trip to Michigan!}

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{travel} Des Moines Food Guide

I had mentioned in an earlier post  {check it out here} about the restaurants we went to on our trip to Des Moines. So I thought I’d share the places we went for any of you that might be in the Des Moines area or might be traveling there anytime soon.

Des Moines is probably not the first place you think of when it comes to the ultimate dining experience, but they have some great restaurants with some great food.  I of course am so bad at taking pictures when we are out that I didn’t get pictures at every place…

Our first stop was a late night dinner at  Centro – great Italian food. It’s a very nice place, the kind of place that you could get dressed up for a fancy dinner with your spouse but with an relaxed atmosphere that you could roll into in jeans with a group of friends as well {we were the latter as we didn’t get to the restaurant until about 9pm}

The next morning, we grabbed breakfast at Jethro’s BBQ, which you would not think of for a brunch place, but it was a fun bar and grill with some great breakfast foods. Although we didn’t try it this time, Sarah says the waffle fry nachos are great!

For the afternoon, the boys hit up Firetrucker brewery and then  Tacopacalypse for lunch on their own and said both were amazing.  While us girls, after shopping at a just opened home decor store {which we spent a good portion of the morning browsing and trying not to spend too much money} ended up at Jasper’s Winery, where we didn’t have much to eat, but did enjoy some great wine tastings and finally settling on a bottle of their “Edelweiss” wine.  But don’t worry we did end up ordering some cheese and chocolate to go with it!

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That evening for dinner we went to Proof – this was my favorite meal of the weekend.  This place has a great atmosphere, and amazing food. They had a special prix-fixe menu that night, so we ended up all ordering that. Since there were two choices for each course, we order the opposite from each other.  We ordered the bone marrow to start, I was the only one at the table that had not tried it yet and I wasn’t sure what to expect. It really is not as bad it sounds… or looks.

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{The Menu. Bone Marrow.}

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{First Course: Clams and Chorizo. Asparagus Salad.}

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{Second Course: Spring Linguini. Duck Breast.}

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{Third Course: Oatmeal Caramel Cake. Muscato Poached Pear.}

Every thing we had was delicious! Definitely a place to check out!

Lastly, we went to our traditional brunch place The Cafe in Ames, IA.  We go here for Sunday brunch every year we come to Des Moines.  Best brunch you may ever eat.  But you are going to wait for it…. they don’t take reservations so on a busy Sunday you’re going to wait for good 45min – 1 hour. I love their seasonal menu and fresh ingredients.  I don’t think I have ever had the same meal in all the years we’ve been going.

Well, there you have it. If you make it up to Des Moines (or live there) these are some great places to check out!  Enjoy!

A little organization.

When we redid our bathroom recently we put in a pedestal sink, which I LOVE but it eliminated any under the sink storage.  We have this big cabinet above the toilet which now has to hold  everything. The  small mirror medicine cabinet only holds the few everyday essentials so I have to store most of our stuff in the cabinet. Over time it has become SO disorganize,  it was time for an major overhaul.  

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I had picked up some bins here and there and just found these cute wood and wire baskets at this home decor store in Des Moines but I still needed some other things to help me get organized. So I searched my house looking for things that weren’t being used that could be repurposed.  I ended up with a ceramic bowl, a box from a candle, and a cigar box (we found a bunch of these in our garage when we bought out house!),  I had a couple white plastic bins that weren’t very cute, so I used some scrap material and a glue gun and re-covered them, a pretty easy and cheap upgrade! 

bathroomcabinet2It’s amazing what a little clean up like this can do for a person. I feel so much better about getting ready in the morning when I can see everything and know where everything is.  I still don’t love the top shelf… I guess there will always be “that stuff” that has no place and not easy to hid… I will be on the look out for some closed bins that can maybe hid that stuff a little better, but for now I am happy!

 

Friends for the Journey

This weekend was our 7th annual Easter weekend trip with our best friends, Travis and Sarah. {ok so this weekend wasn’t actually Easter, but we couldn’t make it up there this Easter so we had to postpone a couple of weeks}

Our weekend was filled with laughter, wine, terrible movies, and more food than 4 people should eat. We love trying new restaurants, they always have new places for us to try, so we spend most of the time eating! We discovered this year that we have yet to repeat a restaurant in all the years we’ve been going up there. {more to come on that in a later post!}

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{Sarah and I at Jasper’s Winery}

This weekend really got me thinking on life and how far we have come in both Timmy and I’s relationship as well as our relationship with Travis and Sarah.  The boys had figured out that this year marked 10 years since Timmy and Travis  first met, which soon followed with me meeting Timmy and then just a year or so later Travis met Sarah and then it was the 4 of us.  Travis and Sarah moved to Des Moines after they got married but it didn’t stop us from getting together both here in Kansas City and making a trip to Des Moines at least annually. They were the ones that encouraged us along in our finances, paying off debt, getting on a budget and are always our go to for advice before making large purchases. I don’t think we could have done it or stuck with it without their help.

We are now both ready to start families. They have had some set backs and are now starting down the adoption road and we couldn’t be more excited for them. We just can’t wait for a little baby to become theirs.  It’s so wonderful to have people in our lives that are going through the same things.  We have been trying to get pregnant for a while and it is so nice to talk it through with someone that has been going through it was well. They understand the frustrations and the disappointments. We can be real with each other. We are on this journey together and whatever the reasons are that life does not turn out the way we had planned or hoped, we have each other to lean on.

This couple is so special to us, they have amazing hearts and are such giving people. They challenge us and encourage us to be better people.  I’m amazed at the work they do within their church and the time they give to helping others. It’s amazing what life is like when y ou have friends for the journey. 

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Challenges.

I have come to realize that I am a bit of a lazy person. And I have finally come to a place where I know i need to make some serious changes.  I get caught up in excuses of being unmotivated or telling myself I deserve to have a lazy Saturday and the go to of “I don’t have enough time”…. when in reality all of those things are lies I tell myself. Yes, I think an occasional lazy Saturday is needed for rest and revival, and I am fully in support of binge watching TV shows or staying in your PJs and sitting around the living room until noon on the one Saturday a month that your husband actually has off. But that has become my norm, not the exception.

So I am giving myself some challenges… and I figured if I put it out in the universe of this blog, then it will help me keep these goals. I figure if I’m already like this and haven’t even brought kids into my life then I’m in real trouble!

1. Read – I’ve always struggled with keeping a daily time with God. It’s something that I know I NEED in my life but it always takes the back burner, its the first thing I skip when I don’t feel like i have time, but really, i can take 10 minutes to look through Facebook that I just looked at less than 12 hours ago, but I can open my Bible??  I learned of a blog/daily reading site out there called SheReadTruth and it is exceptional.  I’ve only been reading it for about a week, but its a group of women that share scripture and a short blog post. It’s been a great way to start my morning, even if its less than 10 minutes. I need to make this a priority in my life.

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2. Exercise – Ok this is a big one for me.  I hate working out…. I love the idea of working out and wish I was one of those people that LOVED to work out, but I just don’t, I never have… I will get started on a workout and do it for a week or so and then quit. I’ve never joined a gym because I’m always fearful that I would pay all this money and never go… So I’m challenging myself to workout at least 3 days a week for the month of April. I’m using some DVDs I got from the library and I’m also going to add in some yoga as well.  If I make it through that I will consider joining a gym or taking up some yoga classes. Or better yet I’ll buy myself some new workout clothes, now that will get me motivated!

3. House – I love our house, we’ve been in our house for almost 2 years and I have yet to do a lot to it.  It looks great and there wan’t a lot of work that had to go into it. But I still haven’t hung anything on the walls or painted any of the rooms that I’ve wanted to paint.  We’ve worked on the bathroom (but we were a bit forced into that because the floor had rotted out!) But even that project has not been completely finished yet.  So this year I want to get some stuff done. Turn this house into our home, make it cozy and warm.  I think the way to do this is to start small. work on one room, or one corner and just get started.

I found this quote on Pinterest, which sums it up pretty well.

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Scrapbook Sunday

OK, yes, you are probably reading this on Wednesday, not Sunday, but Scrapbook Wednesday just doesn’t sound as good, plus the actual scrapbooking did take place on Sunday.

A year ago Christmas, my Mom got me this Project Life Scrapbook, pages and papers… a year and a half (almost) I am finally getting around to starting it.

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I’ve had the goal for the past few years to get back into documenting, scrapbooking and printing pictures. My biggest excuse tends to be the overwhelming amount of pictures on my computer that I have yet to print. Sorting through and deciding on what prints to order is a daunting task and I keep putting it off. So this week I decided that I would take the pictures I already had printed that have been sitting in a box, in a closet and just start.  All that I had printed were pictures from years ago, but it was fun to go through those and start with some of our early dating years! Here are my first few pages:

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It’s been fun to get back into scrapbooking, I’m challenging myself to get this book completed this year, even if each page is random or out of order, at least I’ll have snippets in time documented.  To be continued…

Chicago

The beginning of the week I took a short trip to Chicago with my office for a conference.  I very much enjoy “business” trips. I think its fun to get away for a couple of days and even though its for work, its nice to be outside of the office on occasion.  Plus who doesn’t like Chicago??  Although, we left Kansas City’s 70+ degree weather and spent 2 days in the freezing, windy cold of Chicago, that was not fun.  I even had to pack my winter coat! It was quite the shift from the spring weather we’ve had for the last couple of weeks.

Since we spent most of our time in conferences, we didn’t get to see a lot of the city (plus it was freezing!) so I only snapped a few pictures.

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 We stayed at The Westin on Michigan Ave

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My coworkers – enjoying a glass of wine before dinner

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So. Much. Food. I felt as though all we did we eat on this trip.

Left: Bacon appetizer. yes, those are slices of bacon. And it was an appetizer before eating steak.

Center: More wine!

Right: That is a SINGLE piece of cake my co-worker ordered. Don’t worry, it was shared by about 6 people.

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A little bit of sight-seeing – Hancock Building

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After dinner jazz club outings. This is at Pops for Champagne! My boss is a huge jazz fan so we went out each night to a jazz club.

IMG_4952I came across this amazing display of vintage sewing machines.  I didn’t pay attention to what building it was on, but absolutely love it.

{life} 2015

It is the middle of march and it is currently 70 degrees out. This is one of the reason I love Kansas City, early, warm spring. I can sit outside on this beautiful sunny day and write.

I’m excited for 2015, I have goals and ambitions for this year. Sure we’re already 3 months in, but I have a good feeling about this year.  Last year was decent, but I want this year to be great.  By the end of 2014 I was feeling very lost and disconnected in my life.  Work was in a weird place, I was still trying to get use to Timmy’s crazy restaurant work schedule, holiday plans had to be changed, and a big thing was that we weren’t pregnant yet. I felt unfulfilled and negative towards everything.

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{winter}

At the start of 2015, work finally took a {good} turn and I got a new sense of direction and felt much more appreciated and settled in my career. I finally feel as though I’m in the role{s} I’m supposed to be in and was given new and more defined responsibilities. I no longer felt unappreciated and overlooked. With that also came a pay raise, which always helps in motivating one to strive and do better.    Timmy’s schedule is still a little crazy, but I’ve learned how to deal with my time and accept the change. Plus it helps me appreciate the time we do have together and take advantage of our days off and do more with them.  Although we are still not pregnant, and of course it is still hard to deal with, I feel much more at peace about it and learning to be fine with our situation and not let it  make be a jealous crazy person, {which is not always an easy thing}.  Each month is hard and the constant in your face social media of friends and family is not always easy to deal with, but I know I’m not the only one out there that didn’t get pregnant right away, and there are others that have much harder situations. It plainly sucks, but all I have to go on is trust, so that’s all I can do.

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{spring}

So, this is 2015, the year I want to makes plans and stick with them. Fill my time productively and intentionally. We will tackle those house projects that need to be done, that we’ve been talking about for a year now. We are finally in a better position to make those happen, now its just getting it done.  I want this year to involved travel, I want to see some places and take some adventures. I want this year to have some impact for good. I’ll look for a places and people to serve and to give generously.

2015, let’s be good to each other.

~erin