Drab to Fab: Flowerpots

I rarely attempt any kind of DIY project, because quite frankly, they intimidate me! But as I was Pinterest-ing the other day, I came across a link to 40 Ideas to Dress up Terra Cotta Flower Pots featured on a cool crafty blog called Under the Table and Dreaming. Well, it just so happens that I have several boring, drab, terra cotta flower pots occupying a corner of my backyard patio. Without any blooms yet to brighten things up, these babies are serious plain janes!

I knew I was going to have to head to Michaels asap. Of course, me being me, I didn't actually read any of the flowerpot how-to's, I just ooohed and ahhhed at the colorful pics and then ran out to get my shop on. Here's what I ended up with:

The project was a little challenging, since the pots I was dressing up were already inhabited by hibernating begonias and Gerber daisies. I decided to start with a super simple idea: for the first pot, I cut out some hearts from a back issue of Elle magazine and stuck 'em right on with Mod Podge. After both the inner and outer coats dried, I sealed them with acrylic spray gloss.

The next pot was a little more labor-intensive. I painted a yellow edge with acrylic craft paint. Next I cut a strip of bright-colored fabric I found (conveniently hidden in the guest-room closet) and Mod Podged it around the base. I finished by lightly sanding the painted edge to give it a slightly weathered look.

This little guy got a single row of glass tiles held in place by mosaic tile glue. Reminds me of a diamond bracelet. Nothing wrong with a little bling!

The last pot I painted bright blue with acrylic patio paint, sealing it with the spray gloss. And voila! Four dressed-up flowerpots!

I may be a total novice when it comes to crafting, but I had a great time with this project and I'm pretty happy with the end result of my Drab to Fab flowerpots!

Do you DIY? Visit Sugar and Spice every Friday for the fabulous D2F link-up!


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After a busy week at work, it felt so good to have a relaxing Saturday afternoon!

Today has been one of the best kinds of Saturdays. Lunch at a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant where Travis and I enjoyed crispy fried polenta and to-die-for roast pork and swiss chard ravioli in a tomato-basil cream sauce...I was waaay too focused on stuffing myself to actually take any pictures of the food!

Then, since it was such a beautiful sunshiny day, we spent some time exploring Jack London State Park, a gorgeous piece of land where the famous author ran a working ranch at the beginning of the 20th century.

We hiked around a lake on the property (an easy 2 miles or so) and then had a look around the Jack London museum where I found my new favorite quote:

                                     "I would rather be ashes than dust!
                                      I would rather that my spark should
                                      burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should
                                      be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a
                                      superb meteor, every atom in me a
                                      magnificent glow, than a sleepy and
                                      permanent planet. The proper function
                                      of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not
                                      waste my days in trying to prolong them.
                                      I shall use my time."  ~ Jack London

How did you spend your Saturday?

Thursday 13: The Last 13 Things I...

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The Last 13 Things
I decided to try something new this week and link up with Annelise of the fabulous Aunie Sauce for her Thursday 13. How fun!

Presenting: The Last 13 Things I....

1.  Ate:  Half a leftover Ribeye when I got home from work at 1am. Kind of a weird midnight snack but yummmmm.

2. Drank: Water. Hardcore. No excuses. I am trying to quit cutting back on my Coke Zero addiction.

3. Watched on TV:  Golf  (blech)

4. Actually wanted to watch on TV:  The Bachelor. I'm a little ashamed to admit how much I adore bad reality TV.

My TV nemesis!

5. Read:  A news article about a 9 y/o girl who died of dehydration after her parents forced her to go on a 3 hour run for "lying." Talk about a buzz-kill way to start the morning!

6. Bought online:  Fun new flats for summer. Yay!

7. Did for exercise:  The Brazilian Butt-Lift Workout. Yes, I bought it from an infomercial. Yes, it works. :-)

8. Costume I wore:  The Black Widow...with, of course, my Dead Groom

9. Was thankful for:  That Travis left the porchlight on for me this morning. Sooo much easier to get the key in the lock when you can see what you're doing. Sometimes, it really is the little things!

10. Wished for:  Drooling over the Canon Rebel. A serious upgrade from my point-and-shoot.

11. Listened to:  Katy Perry "Part of Me"...such an angry/catchy break-up song!  And "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri. Total opposite.

12. Cried about:  I honestly have no idea! Probably a sappy movie scene or sad song. I can't help myself!

13  Made me laugh:  A darling, elderly, super-sassy nun with a great sense of humor.  I meet some awesome people at work!

The End (or as Travis likes to say, Fin!)

Happy Almost-Friday! Be sure to check out Aunie Sauce  for other fab links!

Mardi Gras Challenge

Have you ever been to a Carnival celebration?

This week's Diva Challenge is a Mardi Gras theme. When I think Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday or Carnival, I picture parades, drunken revelers, an air of excess, and of course glittering masks and shiny beads in a riot of colors! But Mardi Gras also has a deeper meaning that you may not be familiar with (I wasn't, until I did a little research!) The holiday's tradition is actually based in French Catholicisim,  a night of complete and utter decadence before it's time to get penitent for Lent. Several countries celebrate versions of Carnival, but I don't know if anyone does it better than New Orleans! This is definitely one for the bucket list!

Tangles: bales, jetties, ibex, chainlette, florz

Happy Mardi Gras!

First Zentangle Challenge

In a previous post I mentioned that I would be taking a Zentangle class from Erin at The Bright Owl. Mission accomplished! At this point I've barely hit the tip of the iceberg and still have a lot to learn, but what I've discovered is that Zentangle really does provide a great avenue for relaxing and expressing creativity. Since the drawings are done in pen and ink, the perfectionist in me has to accept and work with my mistakes (also known as being organic) rather than erasing "bad" lines and starting over umpteen times. Which is both painful and liberating. Sometimes, really painful. Immediately after class I went home and made this tile:

...and have absolutely no idea which patterns I used. I was so focused!

Erin also introduced me to a fabulous blog by The Diva who provides a weekly Zentangle challenge. This week's challenge is to make a tile using diamonds, more specifically, the Four Diamonds logo representative of a fund of the same name, which raises money to fight pediatric cancer. The four diamonds stand for the traits needed to defeat cancer: Courage, Wisdom, Honesty and Strength. You can read more about the story behind the fund here on the Diva's page. This is my first week attempting to participate in the challenge...and, well...go easy. The tangle ended up being a tad -ok, a lot- busier than I intended. But hey, it's organic, right??

tangles: arrowheads, click clack, dutch hourglass, diamonds & squares, tipple

Honorable Mention

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The other day I received an email from a friend who is considering entering the field I currently work in. She asked all kinds of questions: about what I love, what I hate, whether I enjoy my job or have any regrets in not finishing my nursing degree years ago. (It's a work in progress.) Her letter made me realize how much perspective I've lost doing the same thing day in and day out. It's been a really long time since I've asked myself any of those questions, and initially I didn't know how to respond. I don't want my entire identity to be wrapped up in what I do for a living, so I think I have a tendency to go too far in the other direction and not give my job the credit it deserves. I suppose that means its past time I gave it a little extra contemplation and a blog shout-out. (Or at least an honorable mention.) Especially as it occupies -at minimum- 48 hrs of any given week. 

So what happens when a girl who is painfully shy, quiet, and reserved (Hey, I was homeschooled mmkay? Graduating class: 1) with an uber religious upbringing (sorta goes with the homeschooling) jumps into the world of Emergency Medicine and gets her first job on an ambulance? Culture shock. Big time. I was what those in the ambulance business refer to as "green." In laymen's terms: completely lost. I couldn't map my way out of a paper sack, had never driven anything bigger than a Toyota Tercel (do they even make those anymore?) and may have been ever-so-slightly scared of my own shadow.
Fast forward a few (ok...13) years and said girl has grown up: evolved -some might say devolved- into a sometimes  bossy, generally fiesty, opinionated Type A with a mouth like a sailor. And a closet with an entire section devoted to navy blue polyester. The unassuming, go-with-the-flow girl inside has been forced to give up a little elbow room.

Over the years my job has dragged me (kicking, screaming, and cussing on occasion) waaay outside my comfort zone. It has given me the gifts of cynicism, dark humor, (and a touch of sciatica) but also of critical thinking, compassion and the ability to act under stress. It has given me friendships formed from partnerships and surrounded me with people I can respect and learn from (hint hint Erin...Chris...). EMS has provided me with a front row seat to the comic/tragic/sometimes beautiful/sometimes horrific theatre of human nature. I have never laughed -or cried- so hard.  It's a love/hate relationship.

So do I enjoy my job? Yes, usually. Some days and some calls more than others. But it's deeper than that. For better or worse the job has made me who I am. And I'm okay with that.

D2F: Quickie Breakfast

For Drab to Fab @ Sugar and Spice this week I'm going in a slightly different direction and featuring...wait for it...my fave quickie breakfast! It's simple, healthy sandwich packed with protein, vitamins and nutrients, and perfect when you're on the go.

-1 egg
-1 slice reduced fat cheese
-1 oz sliced ham
-1 multi grain light english muffin

Fry egg over medium heat using Smart Balance 0 calorie cooking spray. Place english muffin open-faced under broiler set on high until it begins to crisp. Layer egg, ham and cheese on muffin and place back under broiler just until cheese is melted. Voila! You can change it up with turkey sausage or bacon, or add an egg for an extra filling breakfast.

Calories: 263, Protein: 22g, Carbs: 29g, Fat: 10g

Be sure to visit Sugar and Spice every Friday for a weekly dose of creative DIY, recipes and fashion!

Wedding Fever

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Ok. I've really never wanted to be one of those girls who is all wedding all the time. Which is why I've held off on updating my posts recently. I'm obsessed! But realistically, the past few days have been so over-flowing with wedding-ness that my compulsive nature is not going to let me get away with leaving it all off the blog. I'm so excited that we finally got to cross some big things off our to-do list, like officially booking our venue (MGM Grand) and restaurant reception, as well as finding and (rush) ordering The Dress and some really beautiful bridesmaid dresses for my lovely ladies. Several trips to a local bridal salon over the past week has taught me a thing or two:

1. I really like to play dress-up. (And by like I mean love.) Especially when satin, lace and Swarovski crystals are involved. (Ok, I already knew that one. I adore Halloween, and not just for the sugar high.)

This Essense of Australia dress was a front-runner, but ultimately, not The One

2. I am in love with bridal shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti. Sadly, neither my wallet nor my conscience are in love with the $1200 price tag attached to my favorite pair. Happily, Ivanka Trump's line has some great options that won't put me on the I'm-totally-broke-and-only-eating-top-ramen diet.


3. Veils make me claustrophobic. Weird, right??
4. Last (and most importantly!) I am incredibly lucky to have some amazing girls and a fabulous future mother-in-law in my life, making this the absolute funnest experience ever!

So that's pretty much my week, but I promise I have a variety of non-wedding related posts coming up over the next few days. Until then...hope you all are having a fabulous and fun-filled week!
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