Thursday, February 28, 2013

Our Living Room

Today's late post is brought to you by our living room.  It's nowhere near where we'd like it to be, but I'm saving the kitchen for last because it's awesome, so you're stuck with our living room.  We didn't change the color yet, although we're eventually planning on Benjamin Moore's Medieval Times.

In this corner, we'd eventually like to put my piano.  Right now it lives at my parents's house, but both of my siblings have stopped taking lessons, so we'd like to move it here.  For now, it holds the Rock Band drum set, our CDs, a lamp, my guitar, a chair, and a computer Caleb is fixing.  Classy, I know.

On top of our fireplace is nearly every framed photo/artwork we own.  We haven't figured out yet where we  want to put them, so for now, they sit there.  And while the fireplace has been wiped off, it's still pretty gross looking.  I'd like to try stripping the paint from the stone, but if that doesn't work (or is way too difficult) we'll paint it the same off-white as the trim.

Next we have our TV atop our 6-cube shelf.  I believe we're getting a filing cabinet thing about the same size from Caleb's parents; that will replace the 6-cube shelf.  Next to it are our very stylish and organized cardboard boxes of cords, DVDs, and games.

Against the wall, you can see the 25-photo frame our friends gave us.  We're planning on hanging it above the couch, but it's pretty heavy so we need to use my dad's stud finder to hang it.  The couch and recliner were given to us by my wonderful uncle and aunt, and the coffee table used to be my parents.

The cool red afghan was made my Caleb's sister, Becca, and the blanket on the couch is the one my mom made for me for Christmas.

Here's a closer-up shot of the picture frame in case you were wondering what pictures we used.  You should know that frames like this intimidate me and overwhelm me, but I'd rather just get it up, even if it's not the pictures I really want, than have it sitting unused.  We had several 4x6 photos from a few of those deals where you can get 24 free.  The only problem is that we didn't have the right amount in the correct orientations, and we had nothing bigger or smaller.  So I improvised, created my own matting (by tearing up an old Atlas!), and doubled up in a few spots.  Plus, one of the pictures is actually part of the original frame.  :)  We liked it.

So that's our living room.  The office should be up next week.  It's really messy and bad, so we'll see if we can fix it up this week for you to see.

Love and Teleportation,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

101 Things Update - Feb 27

Sorry I'm late today; I haven't been pre-writing these like I usually do, and and that means late posts!

Here's what I finished this week:

3. Pizza braid.  

The Original:

My version:

I had to cut it open to see if it was done inside.
This was really yummy and beautiful, but also felt a bit wasteful.  I could get a lot more pizza if I just rolled it out and left it, instead of folding it up and braiding it.  However, we both really liked it, especially Caleb. :)

4. Make biscotti.  

The Original:

My Version:

I used this recipe, which has a picture of chocolate chip biscotti, but it's actually double chocolate chip biscotti.  And no, I didn't use all Fair Trade or Organic ingredients because I'm poor.  I had made this for an event we were having at our house over a two-day period.  This was going to be the treat for the 2nd day, but then no one could come that day, so instead, I brought it to my mom's birthday party, where it was well loved!

26. Lampshade!  

The Original:

My Version:

Many moons ago, I bought a ton of t-shirts at Salvation Army for a scarf project.  I still have some scraps, plus my sister has scraps from the rag rug she made for me, and that's what I used.  It took a long time, but I think it's worth it.  It's not really the right size for my lamp, but it'll work until I find a lamp it does fit.  And it's much cuter when the lamp isn't on. :)

45. Homemade soft pretzels.  

The Original:

My Version:

These are amazing, but eat them fresh.  The next day they weren't quite as good.  It's a rather involved process, but very very worth it.  Instead of making 8 giant ones as the recipe suggested, I split the dough further and made tiny and medium ones.  I think I got about 24 pretzels of varying sizes.  There was a little learning curve to shaping the pretzels (can you guess which pan I started with?) but even funny shaped ones taste delicious!  Here are the pretzels before I baked them:

Love and Salt,
Leah Joy

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Earring Update - Feb 26

Feb 17 - These are some of the pop tab earrings I've made.  These are the oversized tabs that come on certain drinks.

Feb 18 - My friend Cara made me these.  I got to pick from a few options of words for the charm, and I chose "Inspire".

Feb 19 - These always get a laugh when I wear them.  One is a little tube of toothpaste; the other is the head of a toothbrush.  These came in as a donation while I was working at Salvation Army.  My boss thought they were too weird to sell, but she said I could have them if I wanted.  Duh.  :)

Feb 23 - My parents picked these out for me.  It's hard to tell in this picture, but there's a peace sign in every color of the rainbow (including indigo).

Feb 24 - I picked these out at Claire's during a 10 for $10 clearance event.  That's about it. :)

I'm really loving my new jewelry organization - and so far I have actually used it to stay tidy!  How about that?!

Love and Peace,
Leah Joy

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Monday Rant: Curtain Length

I have never been swayed by trends.  If I don't like what is "in", I don't wear it, buy it, use it, whatever.  If I do, well, the good news is I'll more likely be able to find exactly what I want.

Like stretch pants.  Why did we all wear those in elementary school?  I don't know, but I liked them, so I wore them.  And scrunchies.  And windbreakers.  And windbreaker pants.  And bandanna scarves.

But I never really got into the poofy vest phase.  Or the low rise jeans phase (pretty sure that one is still in).  Or ripped/distressed jeans.  Or belly shirts or belly button piercing.  Or those plastic/rubbery bracelets (Livestrong, etc.).  Or sweatpants with words on the butt.  Or Uggs.  Or tube tops.  Or peasant shirts.

Lately, my trend-radar has switched from fashion (haha, just kidding, I never really pay attention to that, except in hindsight or to make fun of it) to home fashion.  Now that we've been living here for about two months, I'm to the point where I'm starting to figure out how I want to decorate my home.  One of my big inner debates is window treatments.  I've already decided that I want curtains, at least in most rooms.  But then there are a thousand options just in that category!

I've never had to buy/make curtains before, so I've never thought about what styles I like or don't like, but suddenly I have a dozen windows begging for curtains!  And I have half as many very reasonable questions:

Long or short curtains?
Or even cafe style?
Curtain rod on outside of window, or tension rod inside window frame?
Tab curtains, rod-pocket curtains, grommet curtains, clip-and-ring curtains?
Sheer fabric or regular?
Thermal lining or affordable?

And the way my brain works, I need to see pictures to know what I want.  I got on Google images and Pinterest and did some searching for short curtains.  Try that and see how well it works for you.  There are very few images!  I even found a few websites ranting against the usage of short curtains in any situation.  Like the use of short curtains will mark you as a safe house for the Antichrist or something.

But let me tell you, under every single window in my house, there is either a heating vent, a cold air return, a sink, a couch, a table, a desk, or a towel rack.  I very quickly realized that long curtains are not an option for any window in my house.  They're simply not practical.  Besides, many of our windows have crown molding underneath them and I want that to show because it's so beautiful!

And so I want to know why people hate on short curtains so much!  I think they can look really great.  Even in that article, all the example pictures the author was bashing - I thought they looked great!  I mean, look at this:

You're telling me that's not cute or fashionable?

The bottom line is this: I don't give a flying fart in space about what is or is not fashionable.  I like what I like, and there's no sense in having something in my house that I don't like just because "they" tell me it's trendy.  Trends and fashion come and go.  And sure, my style can and will change, too, but I'd rather change my curtains because I want to, not because I feel pressured by the Pinterest gods.

Now I just have to learn how to sew, because I'm pretty sure I won't find the curtains I want anywhere.

Love and Paisley,
Leah Joy

Friday, February 22, 2013

Orange Slippers!

When making these slippers, I combined these two patterns to make my own.  So while the combination below is technically from my head, I can't take credit for it.  Also, the strap is my sister's creation.  She thinks it's no big deal, but I refuse to take credit for her adorable addition.

As I mentioned before, I made my slippers this way and thought they were perfect:

My sister loved them, too, and asked for the pattern.  She made her own pair, but added a strap.  After seeing that, I had to add a strap to my pair, too!

So cute!

Here's the pattern:

US Terminology
Worsted Weight Yarn
I used an H-8 hook.

Chain 2
Rd 1: 6sc in 1st chain.  Slip stitch to join
Rd 2: Increase in each stitch (2sc in each sc)
Rd 3: *Sc, 2sc (repeat from * around)
Rd 4: *Sc, Sc, 2sc (repeat from * around)
Rd 5: Sc around
Rd 6: Sc around
Rd 7: *Sc, Sc, Sc, 2sc (repeat from * around)
Rd 8-22: sc around 
Row 23: Sc 2tog, sc 21, sc 2 tog
Row 24: Turn, ch1, sc 22
Row 25-32: Turn, ch 1, sc across
Row 33: turn, chain 1, 2sc in first stitch, sc 20, 2sc in last stitch
Row 34: Turn, ch 1, sc acroos
Row 35: turn, chain 1, 2sc in first stitch, sc 22, 2 sc in last stitch
Row 36: Turn, ch 1, sc across
Row 37: Turn, ch 1, 2 sc in first stitch, sc 24, 2 sc in last stitch
Rows 38-40: Turn, chain 1, sc across

Finish off, leaving a tail. 

Turn the "heel" inside out and stitch up with tail.  (This way, the seam will be on the inside.)

Tie off and weave in ends.

Notes: I made this to fit my size 9 foot.  I made it a little tight on my foot to help it stay on.  My sister has a size 7 foot and hardly decreased the size of hers at all.  Rounds 8-22 are from your toe to where the top part of the slipper stops.  Rows 25-32 are the length from where the top part stops to where the heel starts to get taller.  Both of these sections are good places to decrease or increase rounds/rows.

These are my sisters instructions for a strap.  Depending on your foot you might want to make this bigger or smaller:

Ch 23
Row 1: Turn, Sc across (22)
Row 2: Turn, ch 1, sc across until 5 from end, ch 4, sc in last stitch of row
Row 3: Turn, ch 1, sc across (including the 4 chains)

Finish off and leave a tail.  Use the tail to attach strap to slipper.  Sew a button on the other side.

These are the hooks I use:

I like that they're color-coded, because that's the way my brain works.

I love my slippers and wear them around the house a lot.  I love that I can just toss them in the wash if they can get dirty.  And once I make my legwarmers, I won't need to wear socks on days I stay home.  (And I don't like to wear socks.)

Love and Bells,
Leah Joy

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Valentine's Day

This year was our second Valentine's Day as a married couple.  We're not the kind of people who buy cards, flowers, and chocolates and make fancy reservations.  But we're not Valentine's Day haters, either.  We think it's as good an excuse as any to celebrate how much we love each other.  So, before I share what we did this year, I'd like to tell you about last year's fiasco.

About a week or so before Valentine's Day, I asked Caleb if he had made any plans.  He told me that he hadn't, and I said that was okay.  I don't expect anything big or grand.  So, a few days later at church, I had a fantastic idea.  Dick and Ruth, an older couple we love to spend time with, were free on Valentine's Day and I thought it would be so much fun to bring dinner over to their house and spend the evening together.  We can learn so much from them - and I know they love company!  I asked Ruth about it and she said she'd consult with her husband, but she was pretty sure he'd like the idea.  I ran over to Caleb announcing, "I have Valentine's Day plans for us!"  To which he replied, "Oh... I guess I can cancel mine."  

I was so confused!  I thought he hadn't made plans, but apparently I had just reminded him to do so.  He decided we could still do dinner with Dick and Ruth and he cancelled his plans.  Amusingly enough, they had to call and cancel the day before because of a doctor's visit, but we were unable to uncancel Caleb's original plan.  I ended up making Caleb blueberry waffles for dinner in an attempt to make it up and we eventually had our dinner with Dick and Ruth, but it was certainly a lesson in communication.

This year, I asked Caleb if he wanted to make plans, and, as he's looking for a second job and working hard at his other job, he said I could make plans.  I decided on something very simple: homemade pizza and smoothies for dinner over a movie at home.  I planned it all out for Thursday night.  On Tuesday, Caleb had a meeting about a potential new job and came home to tell me that he had another meeting on Thursday night!  I had to reschedule for Saturday (since we had some plans for Friday early afternoon and I didn't know how long they'd take).  Then we had a phone call on Wednesday telling us about something going on for Saturday - so I'd have to make it work Friday evening or not until next week!

Well, in the end I made it work on Friday.  We had strawberry-blueberry-pomegranate smoothies and this pizza:

(Half regular pepperoni for me and half turkey pepperoni for Caleb [regular gives him heartburn].)

And Caleb picked out the movie "Love Actually" which we enjoyed but might not recommend.

All in all, though it wasn't what I originally planned, it was a lovely evening.

What did you do for Valentine's Day?  Do you have any plans-gone-awry stories to share?

Love and Pizza,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

101 Things Update - Feb 20

I'm afraid I was not very productive this week.  I spent much of it preparing for our church's Ash Wednesday service, in practices for Sunday services and a Sunday night hour of worship, and preparing for Valentine's Day.  Here are the two things I actually did this week:

19. Anne of Green Gables Lemonade Syrup - freeze it.  I have a jar in the freezer.  Once it was cool enough to put into jars, I put them in the fridge to get even cooler, then I took the lid off of one of them and placed it in the freezer.  Once it was solid, I put the lid back on.  I'm excited to try it this summer!

48. Chocolate Lava Cake.  I made these in my new ramekins (and I used a glass container since I was seeing if it worked in those, too).  My mom came over to help me make these since we wanted to do them for her birthday this coming weekend.  We halved this recipe.  Now, we used two Hershey's Bliss chocolates as the truffles, and I think I pushed them in too far, because when we took the cakes out of their containers, the chocolates were stuck to the bottom of the ramekins, instead of in the middle of the cake.  Also, I think we need to get an oven thermometer, because even after 24 minutes in the oven, these weren't done.  However, the cake tasted fantastic, and I'm sure that if you're more competent than I am (or at least learn from my mistakes) you could make these, too!  As for my mom's birthday, we'll be trying something different, as I only have enough ramekins to make 8 and she wants cake for more people.

Love and Powdered Sugar,
Leah Joy

P.S.  I have the following projects started:

16. Start a cleaning schedule/routine
26. Lampshade with fabric strips (halfway done!)
39. Make legwarmers (I'm making them from a sweater)
43. Find containers for perpetual calendars.  I found one, but I need one more.
51. Flannel Infinity Scarf - We have pants; I just need to sew them.
82. Wreath is started!
90.  Our Princess Party is being planned!
95. Lemonade with Raspberry Ice Cubes (I have all the ingredients; I just need to make it!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Earring Update - Feb 19

Feb 10 - Last time, I told you about how my roommates got me earrings they hoped were "weird" enough.  This is the other pair.

Feb 11 - This is another set my little brother picked out.  There are actually three sets like this, in different combinations of pink, green, and blue.  They come with matching studs.

Feb 12 - I don't remember the exact occasion, but I picked these up to go with a costume for something.  I'm still not convinced I'm going to keep them.

Feb 15 - These are ones I made with my sister's Shrinky Dinks kit.  I wanted them to say "Love" in Chinese.  Her kit had the symbol to trace, but I wrote it on the wrong side, so what you can see is actually backwards.  :)  I'm wearing them with studs from a set I bought when I had my cartilage pierced.  They're little red cubes, and they came with 8 other colors.  I've since let my cartilage piercing grow over because it was never not infected or painful.  I'm not sure I'll be keeping this set, either.

Feb 16 - These are some of my favorite earrings, but I can never wear them when I work because they're so big and make annoying noises on the phone (a lot of my earrings meet these qualifications; I'll be wearing them on non-work days).  I got these when I was in Boston with a group of friends.  We went to the H&M there, and I found these for $6.  I love the colors and the fact that they're larger than my ears.  Plus, they're not even heavy.

At first I was a little disappointed because I only wore 5 pairs, and last time I had 6, but then I remembered that last time was over more than 2 weeks!

Also, you saw yesterday that I had hung up my necklaces next to our mirror:

I was going to use pushpins, but they're not sturdy enough to push into our wall (I think I may have been attempting to push them into a stud), so I found some nails.  On the third shelf from the top, I created a station for the rest of my jewelry:

I first put down some shelf liner (this is also what we're using in the kitchen).  I'm using our coin jars as bookends on either side, and I have a bunch of little baskets, bowls, and containers to corral things.  The bowls with the colored squares on them are temporary; I'm using them to hold the earrings I haven't worn yet.  The ones I have worn go on the CD rack.  Eventually the bowls will go back to the kitchen.

I love this space and it keeps me so organized!

Love and P-I-N-K,
Leah Joy

Monday, February 18, 2013

Our Master Bedroom

I'm so excited to share our master bedroom updates with you.  I worked really hard to get this room tidy and organized enough to photograph, and I'm hoping it sticks!  Caleb even helped organize his clothes to get them off the dresser.  So, without further ado:

When we bought the house, our bedroom was the same neutral tan as most of the house.  Because of Caleb's allergies, we knew if we had plans to paint the bedroom in the next 5 years, we better do it before we moved in.  I spent hours agonizing over the color choice.  I researched 'best bedroom colors', chose dozens of colors on online color preview programs, and gathered many opinions.  Each time I thought I had it figured out, I'd change my mind.  I finally settled on Benjamin Moore's Saybrook Sage (but we used Valspar paint), and we both LOVE it.  It's a grayish green, with a few hints of blue, and it shows up differently in different lights.  It's so relaxing, matches our favorite decorating colors (blue and green), and is not overwhelming.  Our bedroom feels light and airy, but not overly feminine or masculine.  

The door is to the left of this picture.  Next is our dresser, which I picked up at Goodwill for $30.  We both LOVE the color of the wood and it looks like it was made for our bedroom.  It's so beautiful - and it was pretty clean, too!  On top are several odds and ends, but I hope to eventually put the pictures on the wall.  This is the humidifier we have:

The chair covered in clothes is Caleb's.  We're trying the same system my mom and dad use.  Caleb and my dad both wear certain things a couple times before putting them in the hamper, which makes sense, since they don't get really dirty.  Caleb used to just throw these all on top of the dresser, but not only did I not like it, it didn't really work even for him.  Some clothes just stayed on the bottom and never surfaced.  On the chair, he can put anything he likes.  It's big enough to hold what he wants on there, but small enough so that nothing gets lost.  

The next chair is his current nightstand.  I have hopes of eventually finding the perfect matching nightstands (perfect = reasonably priced and exactly how I want them to look OR extremely cheap and easily made over into exactly how I want them to look), but for now he has a chair and I have a shelf thingy.

Our bed - decked out in sheets, a down comforter, and two big blankets each, because it's winter.  I know the extension cord is unsightly, but that'll soon be gone.  Caleb's dad and uncle are helping us with the electrical.

This is my side of the bed.  My sister Chloe made me the rag rug, and I love it!  Caleb doesn't as much, because, as he says (and I quote), "It reminds me of something my sisters used to make."  (Whatever that means.)

Our closet (rarely shut, but there you go).  It won't shut any farther because of the over-the-door hanger you can see below.

Inside our closet.  We're trying out the hampers in the closet.  I really don't like them anywhere in the room I've tried to put them.  They seem in the way, or they're blocking a heating vent or something.

My side, in rainbow order of course.

And Caleb's side.

And finally, my favorite part of our room: the bookshelves!  I just hung up the mirror, and left space on the right to hang my necklaces.  Come back tomorrow to get a close up of my new jewelry storage!

Love and Sage,
Leah Joy

Friday, February 15, 2013

Treasure Box Book

At a recent library book sale, my mom, sister, husband, and I snagged the "Bag of Books for $2" deal.  You get to fill a big brown grocery bag as full as you want.  At that point, it feels like every book is practically free, since we get at least 25 books in there!  

Chloe picked up this cute Reader's Digest book there.  We're not big on condensed/abridged books, but it was really cute, pink, and had Little Women as one of the volumes in it!  So, I made a box out of it.  You may have seen these on Pinterest.  The standard tutorial is this: glue the last few pages down to the back of the book.  Wrap the cover and any front pages you want saved in wax paper, then Mod Podge along the outside of the rest of the pages.  (I would recommend pressing it under a few big books at this point and letting it dry.)  Once dry, mark with a ruler where you want to cut, then start cutting down with an Xacto knife.  This part was far more strenuous on my fingers than I imagined, but I eventually made it to the end!  Then I Mod Podged inside, and then outside again for good measure, then pressed it beneath the books to dry again.

I even saved many of the pages I cut out (I recycled the rest) for future projects.

The inside isn't even close to perfect, but I think it looks cool.

I'd definitely recommend this project.  It was a lot of fun!

Love and Marco Polo,
Leah Joy

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lemon Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day!  Here's a sweet recipe for you!

Two weeks ago I shared the Anne of Green Gables Lemonade Recipe.  Here's what I did with the leftover lemon juice.  

The Original:

I followed the directions nearly to a t, but I did use extra powdered sugar for rolling.  Maybe I used too much?

And I made a mess:

And mine didn't quite look like the original:

They tasted pretty good, but I wish I had read the comments before I made them.  So many people mentioned that they added more lemon juice and I would have done the same.  If something is going to be lemony, it better be super lemony!  These needed more kick.

Love and Sugar,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

101 Things Update - February 13

I'm afraid I haven't gotten a lot done.  I still have many projects started, and have the supplies purchased for others, but this is all I have accomplished since the last update:

12. Learn a new crochet stitch.  I made a pink/purple/blue infinity scarf out of the pavement stitch.  I followed this pattern, but I used Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn! (which is a worsted weight yarn, so I added more stitches to keep it to a nice width).  I ended up giving it to my mom and sister because I'm not sure yet how I feel about wearing infinity scarves.  My  mom loves it.

21. Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies.  Please make them.  They are awesome.  We had to microwave them for a few seconds to move the caramel from teeth-breaking to chewy.

83.  The grocery list.  I didn't actually end up using this model.  I've seen so many free printable options, but none of them quite fit all my desires.  Then I remembered, "I'm an office manager.  I have rock star Excel skills.  I can make my own and it will be exactly how I want it - and rainbow."  

At the top is my meal planning.  Underneath that is a spot to write needed ingredients.  I only write ones that I don't always have on hand.  For example, flour and sugar wouldn't make it to that part of the list.  Cheese and meat would.   Underneath that is my grocery list.  This part was inspired by my mom, who separates her grocery list into store sections so she can be the most efficient.  I included a notes section, because sometimes I want to check the price on something while I'm at the store.  This section is where I can write that. 

Finally, I slipped it all into a page protector and grabbed a wet erase marker.  This worked so well and was so organized... and then it rained the day I went shopping!  My hands had black smudges all over them!  Thankfully, the rain didn't completely ruin my list (it was in my purse), but it definitely made it messy.  I'm thinking of finding some sort of zipper pouch I can put it in (folded in half), along with the marker and my coupons.

Regardless, I still really like the idea of using a wet erase marker.  There are things I check for sales on every single week, and it got very annoying to write them down over and over each week.  I put a check mark in front of the item, and then I know that's something I'm checking, and not to erase it unless it was on sale and I purchased it.

Also, here are the pictures of the ring-hanger project I talked about last time.  I took the original idea and made my own thrifty spin on it.

First of all, who has "very thin cork board" just sitting around?  If you do, congratulations - but I'm a cheapskate.  Here's my how-to:

Hot glue gun
Small frame
Small piece of corrugated cardboard
Pretty fabric
Cute pin (cute part is optional)

Take the glass out of the frame, and cut out a piece of cardboard the same size.  Cut a piece of fabric a little bit bigger (maybe an extra 1/2"-1" on each side).

Wrap the fabric around the cardboard and secure with hot glue on the back.  Place in frame (without glass), and replace and secure the back part.

Put a pin in it!

This is the one I made for my mom:

This was a completely free project for her, because she had the frame, the pin, and the scrap fabric (from an old dress) just sitting around.  She ended up embellishing it with a little flower button in the bottom right corner.

This is mine:

I, too, had the fabric (from one of Chloe's old shirts) and the pin sitting around, but I bought the frame at Salvation Army for 99 cents.  

The best thing is that I actually use it, so I always know where my ring is.  I'm thinking of making another one for the kitchen for when I process raw meat (that's where my mom uses hers), but for now, this one sits in the bedroom (by my other jewelry on the bookshelf).  I take my engagement ring off at night so I don't kill anyone, so this is the perfect place to keep it.  Plus it's cute!

Love and Cheese,
Leah Joy

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Earring Update - Feb 12

Since I started the project, I've only worn 6 pairs of earrings, but here they are:

Jan 28: I made these earrings.  I used to make tons of these (and pop tab ones, too) and sell them at our local Farmers's Market.  Eventually I realized that if I liked something I had made, I was allowed to keep it and wear it.  :)  So I grabbed a pink pair, a yellow pair, and a green pair.  (Also, one of my favorite scarves! Rainbow and glitter!)

Jan 29: My brother had done everything he could do to save an old computer, but it was pretty bad.  So he let me take it apart and I made these earrings from two capacitors I found in it.

Jan 31: While my sister and I were selling stuff at the Farmers's Market, these other jewelry makers had a booth next to us.  They told us we could each pick out a pair of earrings for free if we wanted.  These are what I picked.

Feb 2: If I asked you to guess who picks out the best earrings for me, you'd probably guess my sister or my mom, maybe my husband.  Nope.  My little brother Jacob - the sports fanatic.  The kid who hates all things girly.  He picked these out, along with several other fantastic pairs.

Feb 3: Boring story: Meijer clearance.  But they're so pretty and make clinky noises when I move!  And check out my new 69-cent sweater!! :)

Feb 4: The one year I lived at Cornerstone, two of my roommates really wanted to celebrate a roommate Christmas.  These two both picked out earrings for me, saying, "I hope they're weird enough for you!"  These are one of those pairs.  :)

As far as my organization goes, I picked up a wire CD rack for 99 cents, and added a couple of baskets and bowls.  Surprisingly, I'm putting them on my bookshelf, not the wall.  I haven't figured out the final layout yet, but it's a temporary, functional solution.

Love and Sprinkles (Under my laptop keyboard),
Leah Joy

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our 2nd Bedroom

None of the other rooms was clean enough this week to take pictures, so I thought I'd share our 2nd Bedroom.  Is it clean?  No, it's currently the room we shove everything into when we have company.  But I'm not ashamed of that, and the color is so beautiful!

One of our friends is giving us a bed for this room, but we have no idea when (they're in the process of moving), so this will eventually be a guest room.  It will also double as my craft room until it becomes a kid's room.

The color turned out weird in that last picture, but I wanted to show our new windows!  Yay!

Love and Yellow!,
Leah Joy

Monday, February 4, 2013

Unforeseen Hiatus

Dear Friends,

If you follow this blog closely, you may have noticed I didn't update this morning.  Yes, I was incredibly busy this last week, and didn't write any posts for this week ahead of time.  And this week, I'm feeling pretty poorly (just regular girl stuff, but it's hitting me pretty hard) so I really don't know when I'll be feeling up to writing again.  I had posts planned, but only general topics, nothing actually written out.

So, I may or may not be feeling better tomorrow and up to writing, but you'll certainly hear from me next week, if not before.

Love and Blessings,
Leah Joy

Friday, February 1, 2013

Mason Jar To-Go Cup

EDIT - April 2014 - I may have thrown the lid in the dishwasher or I may have just hand washed it (honestly can't remember), but it has been rusting for several months.  I'm considering trying this again and looking for some sort of food-safe sealer to apply.

This is my new favorite project for so many reasons:

1. Cheap.  I bought the jar at Hobby Lobby for $1, but I'm sure you could find one cheaper, or you may already have one.  I bought the grommets at Lowe's for $1, and it's a two-pack.  Those are the only ingredients, aside from a drill bit, a drill, and straws.  I borrowed the drill bit from my dad; I have a drill; and you can get 180 straws at the Dollar Tree for $1.

2. Cute.

3. Quick and easy.  Other than the time it took to find the parts, this took 5 minutes.  Drill a hole, pop the grommet in, wash, and go!

4. Practical.  Now I can take lemonade from home to work without spilling.

5. Earth-friendly.  You could make dozens of these and use them for a party instead of paper or plastic cups.  You could make labels to tie on, so people would know which one was what one and what one was whose. And it'd be so cute!

Anyway, enough rambling.  Check out the original directions from AdelynSTONE for a great tutorial.

Mason Jar and Lid
9/16"-1/4" Rubber Grommet
3/8" Drill bit
Electric Drill

The drill bit is not in this picture because I didn't have it yet.
Here's what the grommet package looks like.
 My dad always taught me to drill over a block of wood, but in this case, the original tutorial is correct.  Drill over the cup, because otherwise the bit won't go through.  Now, I realized that in my collection of drill bits, and even in the box my dad had left at our house, the largest size I had was 1/4".  I thought I could make it work.  Watch me fail.

This is a 1/4" hole.  
 Now, the inside of the grommet is 1/4", but the outside is bigger and will not fit.

I tried anyway:

And in doing so, destroyed this grommet!
To get the straw in, I had to twist and fold the end and thread it in.  Kind of not practical or pretty: 

So, I borrowed a 3/8" bit from my dad, made the hole bigger, and then the 2nd grommet popped in no problem.  So I mixed up some Kool-Aid strawberry lemonade (which is not worth the 10-cents or your cup of sugar - but if you happen to make it anyway, add a dash of lemon juice to make it taste better) and here she is:

So cute!  I want to make a million more and give them to everyone I know!  And final cost for me, since I sacrificed the first grommet to the name of science and determination, was $2 for this cup.  Not bad for something very reusable!

Love and Kool-Aid,
Leah Joy