Coral Inspiration

I am loving everything coral right now.  Here are some of my favorite coral inspiration pieces with great shades and uses of the color coral:

Pinned Image


Nursery Inspiration

I may only have half a room to decorate for the baby, but there are so many cute things that I want to do.  Here is some inspiration for the nursery area:

+Globe with name/birthdate like this.
+Art that includes maps and a quote like this.
+I love everything from this photo... globe, maps, giraffes.
+I am obsessed with this quilt and is on the top of my list to make.

I have a couple projects planned using some old maps I got from my dad.  I also have quite a few sewing projects that I want to make.  I will definitely share those whenever I get around to them.


Desk :: Part II

Check out Part I if you missed it.
I decided I would hold off on putting a clear coat on the desk because a) it is getting too cold outside and I don't want all the fumes in the house and b) I am thinking of doing a little more distressing and may just wait to see what happens naturally to it as well.

Purchased some glass knobs at Hobby Lobby.  I originally was looking for something round, but these squarish ones just spoke to me.
Put the casters back on.  Moved it into it's new spot in the living room and loaded some stuff on to it.
Here are some final pictures:
It is perfect!  The finished project has added a couple things to my to do list:
1. find a better chair or a cushion since the chair I painted isn't very comfy
2. figure out a way to camouflage the abundance of wires
3. paint the filing cabinet that is next to the desk.  color suggestions?
4. make a sewing machine cover since it mostly sits to the side collecting dust.
5. get glass cut for that bird picture... and possibly re-mat
6. come up with drawer organization


DIY Ultrasound Ornament

I recently announced that I am pregnant!  At the beginning of December, we went for an ultrasound and it was revealed that we would be having a girl(!!!).  We immediately took the ultrasound pictures to Walgreens and got a bunch of copies so we can share them with people... I also hate only having one copy of stuff like this because things just break or get ruined when I'm near them. (seriously)

I wanted to make a special 'reveal' without having a party or some kind of baked good, so I embraced the holiday season and made an ornament.
+Ornament - these plastic ornaments are from Michael's (50% off!) for about $0.75 each.
+pink (or blue) ribbon
+copies of the ultrasound <$.50 each
Total cost of each ornament: $1.25

1. Cut the ultrasound to the desired size
2. Trace ultrasound cutout on a plain piece of paper
3. Put the child's name and/or year on the paper  (I made several copies of this)
4. Glue the name/date paper to the back of the photo and trim excess
5. After drying, roll up the picture and put it in the ornament.  Use eraser end of pencil to flatten out.
6. Replace the top of the ornament and tie ribbon around the top.  (I also chose to add a paperclip hook)
7. Wrap and give to family & friends and wait for their awesome reactions

I only made a couple of these.  I gave one to my parents, one to my Godmother, and one to Ben's aunt.  My Godmother's reaction was by far my favorite.  I hadn't told her I had gone to the doctor and found out the gender yet so she was very surprised and excited for the news.

Update: It looks like this post is pretty popular right now (thanks to Pinterest) and I just wanted to share a picture of the backside of the ornament. It is a little curled up so it is hard to see from this angle, but it just says 'Cora Jean Dec 2012'

Also, I found some options on Amazon. This one is most like the ones I used, but these look great as well.


Just Another DIY Infinity Scarf Tutorial

This Christmas was a semi-DIY Christmas for me.  I made these infinity scarves for my mom, sister, and a couple of friends.  I had been thinking about trying to make some infinity scarves for a while, but Christmas gave me the motivation I needed.  I found some great posts that helped with my research including here, here, and here.  Ultimately, I made up my own process when making my scarves (especially with the closure of the tube).

I bought some fabric that coordinates with some of my African fabric (can you tell I'm obsessed with this fabric?!) so the scarves weren't completely overwhelming with pattern.  The first scarf took me about 1.5 hours and the final scarf took me about 20 minutes.  So there is definitely a learning curve... that and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it all one finished tube for a majority of that 1.5 hours.  Here we go...

1. cut fabric about 2 yards long and about 10-12" wide (I held up one of my favorite scarfs for width reference).
2. iron out.

3. sew lengths together.  You should have one long tube at this point.
4. flip tube right side out
this is where it gets tricky and using two different colors/pattern really helped out...
5. pin two sides together right next to each other (i.e. color to color) and sew.  continue to sew onto the other panels (pattern) until you are unable to flip it inside out.
color panels are pinned together and I started sewing around the seam
6. flip everything right side out and sew up the hole (always ended up being about 3-5").
the binder clip is just to hold the crease tight while sewing
Here are the final scarves (4):
I also love how you can have as much or as little of the pattern and/or color showing as you want depending on how you arrange it. 


Pistachio Bark

12 squares (12 oz) of semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup of pistachio nuts, shelled and toasted

1. microwave chocolate on high for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute
2. stir in pistachio nuts
3. spread out mixture onto wax paper lined baking sheet
4. refrigerate for 1 hour
5. break into bite-size pieces
I am obsessed with pistachio bark!  I always look forward to when my aunt makes this during the holidays.  It is so easy and it literally takes 5 minutes of prep plus an hour of waiting.

Dining Room Table

I finally have a dining room table!!!  You have no idea how excited I am to finally have a table to eat at.  My sister had her friend bring the table back the weekend before Thanksgiving (I was expecting it mid December) and dropped it off at my parents house.  I didn't get any before pictures.
The weekend it got dropped off, I enlisted my mom to help with the painting.  We sanded, primed, and painted the first coat Sunday afternoon.  I chose Glidden's Antique White so it will coordinate with the dining room and/or kitchen wherever I move to in the future while still going well in the current dining nook.  My mom was awesome enough to do the second coat and two coats of poly by herself.

Here it is the dining nook (without the leaf):
I am in love with the final result!  I left the chairs as is because I plan on getting some new chairs in the near future.  No need to waste our time redoing it when they aren't going to be sticking around for long.


New Camera & Snow

Christmas was good to me this year.  Ben got me a DSLR camera!!!  We have both been separately looking at purchasing one for a while (years) and he decided to take the plunge and get me one for Christmas... He is the best!  After some research, we decided on an entry level one that wouldn't break the bank and fits my needs.  I got a Nikon D3100.
sidenote: We drew an eyebrow on Clove (thanks for the idea Pinterest) and this is the first picture that was taken on the camera.  Photo credit to Ben.
I took Clove out on a walk on one of Cincinnati's first snowy days/one of my sick days and took some pictures of her, our alleyway, and the golf course behind my apartment.  All of the pictures are unedited and uncropped since I still haven't gotten my computer fixed.
I have only played with it a little and mostly taken some pictures on the automatic mode, but I'm really looking forward to spending some more time learning about all the features that this camera offers and taking good pictures in general.  I know I have a lot to learn.
Isn't Clove just precious?!  I love dogs playing in the snow and she seemed to really like it.
Look forward to lots of pictures... especially of my dog : ]

Christmas Extras

I may be a little late with this Christmas-related post, but who cares... I have some cute little things to share and I always like to extend the holiday season as long as I can.  I got Clove a couple sweaters at Target, but I underestimated how big she is.  Here she is in the sweater we were able to get on her.
Fat dog in a little coat
She had to suck up to Ben so he would take it off
I received an awesome package from Jazz.  It contained a card, Christmas cd, infinity scarf (perfect color since I've been trying to expand my wardrobe into the yellow hues), candy, and ornaments that made everything smell amazing.  You can read more about it on Jazz's blog.
Following tradition, my aunt and uncle bought me a poinsettia for my apartment.  I love having the festive plant since I didn't have a tree this year.  Unfortunately, I'm not very good at keeping plants alive so it is pretty much dead at this point.  At least it lasted through the holidays and I got some good pictures of it while it was alive.
We had to scrap Clove's sweater idea and found this Santa Outfit (also at Target) and bought a size larger.  Finally... Holiday outfit success!  She loves it and wore it the entire day on Christmas without fidgeting.
They love each other!
 And here are a bunch of pictures showing how cute my dog is in her Santa outfit:
I love this on her!  I took her out on a lot of rides wearing this outfit and the reactions from people were priceless.


2013 Goals

I have spent the last week reflecting on all of the changes that have happened in my life in 2012.  At the beginning of the year, I was (permanent) jobless, had my worst roommate yet, and I was just overall unhappy.  One year later, I am now extremely happy, I have a permanent job, all of my relationships are flourishing, I've accomplished one of my life goals of getting my own dog, I'm purging my life (and apartment) of clutter and things I don't need, and I have a lot of hope for my upcoming year.  That being said, I have been constantly making goals for myself through out the past 3-6 months.

Here are a couple that I've recently made for myself that are rolling over to 2013 resolutions:

1. Meal Planning - plan out meals for the week.  I find myself getting too tired to cook meals so I turn to the fast option of eating out.  I've started to accumulate a lot of crockpot recipes so I want to start trying those out.  I also want to pack my lunch more often so I save a little more money. 

2.  Saving Money - (going along with number 1) going out to eat takes a large chunk out of my wallet so the meal planning will help that out a little.  I also find myself shopping so I want to take that down a notch and limit myself to a certain amount (still to be determined, but probably in the $100 range a month) for things that I want (i.e. pretty things for around the house).  I've also been considering doing a no-spend month or maybe three no-spend weeks a month.  I'm still thinking the details through.

3. Walking Clove - I'm a lazy dog owner and only take Clove for short walks or out to the bathroom and then play a little inside.  I want to make a point of walking her more to benefit both of us health-wise and take down her energy levels a little.

4. Organize, Organize, Organize - This is one I've been working on a lot in the last couple months and am still struggling.  Ideally I would have this finished up in the next 2-3 months.  I want to get all of my storage, art stuff, clothes, important papers, etc under control so everything looks nice and I know where it all is.  This also includes getting rid of a lot of things I don't need.

5. Exploring - I want to explore around Cincinnati some more.  There are lot of places around the city I haven't been since I was younger or at all (museums, Findlay market, parks).  I'm also including some day and weekend trips under this category.  I want to try and get out and do some fun things.  My sister just moved to St. Louis, so a weekend trip there is on my to-do list.

Happy New Year!!!

PS. I promise to actually post my recent finished projects.  I was sick from Christmas to New Years so that kind of fell on the back burner.
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