DIY Fall Decor: “Thankful” Flag Banner

How many of you love to decorate for the seasons, but don’t have much extra to spend on decor? Or maybe would just rather add that personal touch and make them yourself? I know I definitely fall into the first category, and usually into the second as well. I would love to have that wonderfully decorated, Pintrest-ready home, but I definitely don’t have the funds for that!

I try to get inspiration from a lot of places, and I’ve seen DIY burlap banners many times. When I wanted to make a fall banner like the ones I had seen, I didn’t have any burlap, but those are definitely what inspired this piece.

Continue on to see how I created a beautiful fall banner with only materials I had on hand!

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On the top, I measured out a dot every 4 inches. On the bottom, I first measured 2 inches in, then followed by measuring every 4 inches again. This allowed for roughly the same size and nice looking triangles.
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My 8 triangles after I cut them!
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Using a hot glue gun, I stretched deep purple fabric over the triangles. I glued down the long sides first and finished with the top. trimming the backs once I was done.
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Stencils were used to create the letters in bright red scrapbooking paper. I found another piece of scrapping paper that had a fall-colored lined design for the circles. I think they look pretty nice together! I was thrilled when I refound that circle cutter in my scrapbooking supplies too! I had completely forgot about it and it made cutting the circles so much easier!
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After lining them all up, I glued each set one by one. It took me a bit to figure out how to make sure the lines stayed where I wanted. I ended up holding the paper steady, turning them over and then tracing the triangle on the back of the circle. This allowed me to glue along the drawn lines, which kept the lines where I wanted them on the triangles!
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After tying a loop on the end of the twine, I glued it on to each corner of the triangle. This was probably the quickest part of this process!

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The finished product!

I really like how this turned out! I think I’m going to make a smaller one for the doorway, but I’m not sure what I want it to say yet. Any ideas?

Have you made any of your decor this year? Tried any new projects?

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Sunday Meal Prep (A Day Late!)

Ever have one of those days where everything is going perfect…until right at the end, when life decides to throw a curveball? Sunday was one of those days. I promise there is a good reason for this post being a day late!

I seem to have been even more accident-prone than normal lately and yesterday was no exception! After I had finished up my meal prep and was making a post-workout smoothie, I managed to cut my ring finger on my right hand rather deeply. After some wavering, Boyfriend and I decided to go to the ER to be on the safe side. The second ER visit in two months!

It’s a good thing we did. I ended up needing 5 stitches and a tetanus shot as well! By the time we got home I was exhausted and didn’t have the energy to write and publish my post. So here it is, just a day late!

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Our favorite snacks! I am really loving this cheese-grape combo right now. It’s my favorite snack for my first break at work!
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Island-Style Pulled Pork, Spicy Chicken in Tomatoes with Roasted Asparagus, some cut red onion for random use (I love adding red onion to sandwiches), and some cut veggies to steaming later. The chicken is a new recipe and turned out delicious!
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Another comfort food fav: Turkey Chili Mac with Jalapenos! I love this twist on the classic and it’s one of my go-to recipes for mac and cheese!
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These are the same ingredients of the taco and shredded buffalo chicken salads show in my last post, with one exception. I added some red bell pepper and green onions to the veggie mix for the taco salad. I really like those additions!

And that’s it for this week! Hopefully there will be no more ER-related delays anytime soon! I’m getting pretty tired of being continually injured for roughly the past two months! 🙂

What are you cooking this week? Did you do any meal prep this weekend? Any new recipes?

Sara (1)

Want to get started meal prepping yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

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Bingeable Podcasts

How do you entertain yourself? Radio, Pandora, TV? Podcasts maybe?

While I do love Pandora and probably would go crazy without my daily dose of jazz, I listen to a lot of podcasts almost every day. A LOT…like 5-7 hrs a day most days. My real-world job is pretty much menial tasks and doesn’t require a whole lot of thought. Enter podcasts!

I actually only started listening to podcasts at all about 6-8 months ago. I know, I’m really behind on the times! So instead of being bored, or just daydreaming (though I do a fair amount of daydreaming anyways), I can use the time to learn new things, listen to interviews, be inspired, or just be entertained!

So without further ado, here are some of my favorites!

History:

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  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History – This is by far my favorite podcast! I have listened to many of his episodes multiple times. I just recently finished up re-listening to his series on World War I. His use of first-person accounts really makes me connect with the events he’s telling about.
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class – This one is a lot of fun and so random sometimes! I have learned about so many different topics that I would never have even thought to look up or find out about. Just today I listened to ones on Mary Ann Cotton, the Amazons of Dahomey and an interview with the author of “The Billion Dollar Spy”.
  • The Egyptian History Podcast – I have been into Egyptian history for as long as I can remember (at one point I could write my name in hieroglypics) and this one has been so fun to listen to!
  • The History of Rome – I am actually planning on re-listening to this one soon. There was so much detail and I would like to absorb more of it!

Entertainment:

  • The Art of Slaying – My guilty pleasure…Buffy the Vampire Slayer! This podcast is an episode-by-episode analysis and discussion. I have not finished this one yet, but I loved what I have listened to!

Art:

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  • Artists Helping Artists – While I am not a painter (though I wish I was!), this podcast has inspired me artistically, entertained me, and helped jumpstart my putting my studio together.
  • The Potter’s Cast – This podcast makes me wish that I had my kiln already! I am planning on getting one soonish, but these interviews are just so inspiring and motivating! (And as a complete side-note, this podcast helped confirm that the brand of kiln I’m planning on is the right one to go with)

Fitness:

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  • The FitCast – So many good interviews and information! I can’t say enough good things about this podcast. It’s entertaining, informative, and motivating! Every time my motivation is lagging, The FitCast gives me a boost!

Humanistic:

  • TED Radio Hour – One of the top podcasts (to me) on this list! I have listened to so many episodes, on so many topics. I have smiled, laughed, cried…so many emotions have been inspired by this podcast. I have heard amazing stories from incredible people. The episodes are thought-provoking and moving. Their most recent 2-part episodes called “Screen Time” was fascinating!
  • On Being – A very spiritually-based podcast, she interviews so many amazing people. Their stories, their messages, and their lives are so beautiful to listen to. There have been episodes that have inspired changes in my life, especially to try to be more mindful in my daily life.
  • Invisibilia – Another NPR production (like TED Radio Hour), this podcast is still pretty early on. Only one season in, I am eagerly anticipating their new episodes. With episodes like “How to be Batman,” “Fearless,” and “Our Computers, Ourselves” this podcast is not to be missed!

That’s all for now! Do you have any favorite podcasts? Have you listened to any of these ones? If you have, what is your favorite one?

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Sunday Meal Prep

Hey everyone! So….you know how a couple weeks ago I said I didn’t see myself changing up my salads anytime soon? I was wrong 🙂 I don’t know if it’s the limited activity level or what, but I definitely had the itch to try out some new stuff this week! Since I made multiple types of salads, I have put together some infographic-style pictures to break down how I put our salads together.

Enjoy!

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Snacks and Sweets! I am loving the addition of cubed cheese with my grapes, which is my first snack of each day. This one is a white cheddar with Habanero and is delicious!
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Along with our breakfast burritos, I decided to experiment with freezing Tuna Quinoa Cakes and cooked quinoa. Hopefully it turns out well!
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I decided that I have been having a little bit too much to eat for my breakfast, so decided to reduce the size of my breakfast burritos. I also switched from white to wheat tortillas.
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The full spread of meals…plus two photobombing pups!
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Balsamic Pork Chops with Roasted Balsamic Asparagus and Chili con Carne with Brown & Wild Rice.
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Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken with Saucy Green Beans, some leftover taco meat and tuna quinoa cake, and a couple hardboiled eggs!
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The Chili con Carne again, with brown & wild rice and steamed veggies. I wanted to add a little extra about this dish….This is the first recipe I have made from this new cookbook and I love it! I am so impressed and thrilled that these ladies put out their cookbook. I found them on Instagram through the BBG community and they are a constant inspiration to me! It looks great ladies! Check out their site for more information!

And now for the salads!

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For those of you that have been here for a while, this is the original jar salad that I started off with. It’s as delicious as I remember!
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Salad with Loaded Turkey Meatballs. I just discovered this site and I love it already!
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Taco Salad! I honestly wasn’t sure about this one when I put it together. I wasn’t sure if I would like the taco meat cold, but it turned out wonderful! Both this salad and the turkey meatball salad are inspired by this post.
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Both of these are Boyfriend’s salads. The Shredded Buffalo Chicken is another one that you have seen for weeks. It’s definitely still one of our favorites. He also had some with the Loaded Turkey Meatballs.

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And that’s it for this week! What are you cooking up this week? Anything new?

Sara (1)

Want to get started meal prepping yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

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Sunday Meal Prep

Hey everyone! So….you know how a couple weeks ago I said I didn’t see myself changing up my salads anytime soon? I was wrong 🙂 I don’t know if it’s the limited activity level or what, but I definitely had the itch to try out some new stuff this week! Since I made multiple types of salads, I have put together some infographic-style pictures to break down how I put our salads together.

Enjoy!

DSCN0908_picmonkeyed
Snacks and Sweets! I am loving the addition of cubed cheese with my grapes, which is my first snack of each day. This one is a white cheddar with Habanero and is delicious!
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Along with our breakfast burritos, I decided to experiment with freezing Tuna Quinoa Cakes and cooked quinoa. Hopefully it turns out well!
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I decided that I have been having a little bit too much to eat for my breakfast, so decided to reduce the size of my breakfast burritos. I also switched from white to wheat tortillas.
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The full spread of meals…plus two photobombing pups!
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Balsamic Pork Chops with Roasted Balsamic Asparagus and Chili con Carne with Brown & Wild Rice.
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Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken with Saucy Green Beans, some leftover taco meat and tuna quinoa cake, and a couple hardboiled eggs!
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The Chili con Carne again, with brown & wild rice and steamed veggies. I wanted to add a little extra about this dish….This is the first recipe I have made from this new cookbook and I love it! I am so impressed and thrilled that these ladies put out their cookbook. I found them on Instagram through the BBG community and they are a constant inspiration to me! It looks great ladies! Check out their site for more information!

And now for the salads!

TunaJarSalad
For those of you that have been here for a while, this is the original jar salad that I started off with. It’s as delicious as I remember!
TurkeyJarSalad
Salad with Loaded Turkey Meatballs. I just discovered this site and I love it already!
TacoJarSalad
Taco Salad! I honestly wasn’t sure about this one when I put it together. I wasn’t sure if I would like the taco meat cold, but it turned out wonderful! Both this salad and the turkey meatball salad are inspired by this post.
IsaacJarSalad
Both of these are Boyfriend’s salads. The Shredded Buffalo Chicken is another one that you have seen for weeks. It’s definitely still one of our favorites. He also had some with the Loaded Turkey Meatballs.

BalsamicAsparagus

SaucyGreenBeans

And that’s it for this week! What are you cooking up this week? Anything new?

Sara (1)

Want to get started meal prepping yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

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Lessons in Gardening: The Conclusion

This year has been a year of exploration for me…one of trying new things and pushing my boundaries. One of those things I pushed myself on was learning to garden. Something that I’ve always wanted to do but never tried. Gardening intimidated me. It still does.

That being said, I am super excited about how this first foray into gardening went! I still have a HUGE amount to learn, but I did manage to grow some tasty veggies and herbs in the backyard and some pretty impatiens in the front.

Here is how they are looking now:

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There are a few little tomatoes still growing, but overall the plants seem done. That’s ok though. We did get some veggies out of them (like the ones pictured below!) and it was a fun experience!

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Just for some perspective, here is how the garden progressed over the summer:

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I do need to do some more research between now and when we plant next year. Things like when to harvest, how often to water, etc were all things that were beyond my knowledge this year. For example, I really struggled with getting the impatiens to grow originally. Thankfully I have a very patient dad who dealt with my calls asking if my plants were dying (they weren’t) and if the veggies were ready to harvest (they were actually past due on that one 🙂 )

With this initial experiment in gardening a success, I can’t wait to plan out our garden for next year! We are tentatively planning on one raised garden bed instead of the pots for the veggies and herbs. In the front, I am hoping to find some more shade-lovin’ plants to put up there and really overhaul patchy yard.

Oh, and check out this little guy I found crawling around when I took these last photographs! Anyone know what type of caterpillar it is? It’s pretty cute and fluffy!

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What about you? How is your garden growing? Are you a first-timer like me, or more experienced? If you are a first-timer, are you planning on doing it again next year? I would love to hear about your experiences and any tips you might have for me!

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Sunday Meal Prep

Hey everyone! Welcome to this week’s meal prep! This is probably the least amount of meal prep I have done in a very long time. Reminder: these post’s are staggered by one week, so the cooking shown in this post is from last week, and so on. As you read in this post, I’ve been having some issues with my back, so instead of doing much meal prep, we mostly used meals we already had prepared and meals we had frozen. As a result, there was very little cooked this week. Even so, I do have a new recipe for you!

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Buffalo Shredded Chicken (most of which was frozen for use later), Meatballs in Burgundy Sauce with egg noodles, Cinnamon Bread and some mixed grapes and cubed cheese for an at-work snack.

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That’s it! I know it wasn’t much this week, but I hope you enjoy the new recipe 🙂 Keep an eye out for next week’s meal prep, where I have a bunch of new recipes planned, including some new Mason Jar Salads!

Sara (1)

Want to get started meal prepping yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

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Spray Painted Tray: Adding a Pop of Color to Your Decor!

Hey everyone! Do you like having a pretty display tray for your perfume, jewelry, or other such items? I know I do! I’ve had one tray for years for just that. I don’t remember where I got it, but I ended up putting it on top of my jewelry armoire and used it to corral my then-larger perfume collection. I’ve since pared that down quite a bit, but I still love that tray!

Well, mostly love that tray. I do love having a decorative glass tray, and the design of the tray is pretty. What I don’t love so much: the color. It’s this kinda off-gold, weird metal color.

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See!? Not the prettiest color, or at least not my preferred color. It looks silver-ish in some light, off-gold in others, but never very pretty. Anyone have any idea what color I could call this?

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Not only am I not fond of the color, but it definitely doesn’t go with the planned colors for our closet remodel (currently underway)!

Enter spray paint! I seriously have a new-found love for spray paint and all of the awesome things it can do. In this case, purple spray paint! DSCN0860_picmonkeyed But I’m getting ahead of myself…

So before painting, it’s important to tape off any areas that you don’t want the spray paint to, well, paint. I wanted to make sure that I got a good seal on the glass right up to the edge, so I started off with the tape actually over the edge and pressed it into the edge.

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I then took an Exacto knife and cut off the excess tape.

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And we are caught back up! Ok, so now that both glass and base (not pictured) are taped off, it’s time to spray paint with that lovely purple color!

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Since the sides of the tray are angled outwards, I sprayed the inside edge first and let it dry. Then I flipped the tray over and painted the outer edge. And it’s done! This really is a quick and simple fix that made such a big impact!

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I love it! The color is so fun and really adds that pop of color that I’m looking for! I can’t wait til I can show you the whole closet remodel, but I think it is going to look great!

What do you think? Have you used spray paint to change a liked item into a loved item? I would love to hear what neat projects you have used it on!

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Dealing with Setbacks: A Fitness Update

Hey everyone! This is not the fitness update I was planning on giving you this week. I was looking forward to telling you all how my first month of Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide went, post some progress pics and overall be excited and positive! Well, that’s not going to be exactly how this post is going to go.

Sometimes things don’t go the way you plan, no matter what you do. This has been the case for the last few weeks for me. First, as you may remember, I took a pretty nasty fall a few weeks ago, resulting in a trip to the ER, a head suture, some serious soreness and some healing time.

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So I took it easy for Week 3 workouts and then repeated Week 3 the following week. No worries and I was feeling pretty positive.

Fast forward a few days, to last Wednesday. I woke up feeling pretty stiff and sore, a feeling which rapidly worsened as the day went on. By Thursday morning, the right side of my back was mostly locked up, I couldn’t really move my neck and was in pain no matter what position I tried.

Before I continue, I need to add in that this is not the first time this has happened. So while very uncomfortable, pretty painful and overall a hassle, I was not and am not freaking out too much.

I went to the doctor, who prescribed me some medications to help and physical therapy. The first I expected, the second was VERY unexpected. However, my doctor believes that since this is a reacurring problem, I most likely need a least some physical therapy to help keep in from continuing to happen. I have my initial physical therapy appointment tomorrow and will find out more then. I am doing much better now, with some lingering stiffness. But overall much better.

So my BBG journey is on hold, probably for a least a week or two. I am hoping it won’t be longer than that. I can’t wait to get back to it! I have decided though, with the fall and now this, that I am going to restart from Week 1 once I am cleared by the doctors to start again.

That’s it for this update! I know, not the happiest one in the world, but I’m still thinking positively and am excited to get back to my workouts soon!

How have you dealt with setbacks? Any tips for getting back into your routine after something like this throws it off? I would love to hear from you!

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Sunday Meal Prep

Hey everyone and welcome back for this week’s meal prep! This week was pretty quick with a lot of really tasty dishes, so let’s get to it!

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As always, our salads are pretty much a requirement. I’m still in love with the Buffalo Shredded Chicken, so I don’t think our salads will be changing up anytime soon, though if you have any other great protein sources for Jar Salads I would love to give them a try!

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I made enough breakfast burritos to last us a little over two weeks! We have just recently changed up the ingredients a little and I love the difference of adding in sautéed onion and bell peppers.

As always, the Sweet Potato Banana Bites are a favorite snack. I would love to hear your ideas for some new snacks to add in to the rotation!

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Root Veggie Bake with Andouille Sausage and Italian Sausage Kale Ziti are my two repeat dishes this week. As for the new dish of the week, this Jalapeno Popper Chicken came together great and smelled delicious!

That’s it for this week! What are you cooking this week? I would love some new ideas as I’ve been in a little bit of a rut and would love to add some new food to our regular rotation of dishes.

Sara (1)

Want to get started meal prepping yourself? Check out these posts for my top tips and my staple recipes!

Need some extra inspiration? Check out last week’s meal prep for other recipes and ideas!

 

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