Blog link up

Friday Favs: February 26, 2016

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had an amazing week. This week was pretty awesome here! Between vacation, starting my workouts again full force and just feeling in a great mood, this week has been pretty great. I have still been working on my newest photography project too, and this week’s photo is from that.

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Day 7 – “Rest” 

And to make it even better, there have been a lot of really interesting posts that I found for this Friday Favs! Enjoy!

Recipes

Spicy Red Lentil Curry from Minimalist Baker – Um, yes please?! This sounds so tasty! And my curry obsession may be kickstarted again by seeing this. I want it. Now

Home and Decor

The Impact of Negative Space from Censtational Girl – This is something I struggle with. I have a tendency to clutter up spaces, especially bookshelves!

Art and DIY

Scrape Wood Wine Holder from Pretty Handy Girl – Such a cute idea for scrape wood! And as I’m still just starting my wood DIY projects, I appreciate that it is relatively simple with great directions.

Life and Family

Black Lives Matter + Feminism from Uncustomary Art – This. Just this. This article is amazing, beautiful and thought provoking. I can’t possibly have said this better than she did here. If you only read one article from my list today, make it this one.

30 Ways to Show Love from The Freckled Fox – A great post from Emily! Sometimes day-to-day life can overwhelm and we can forget to show the ones we love just how much we love them. I love this list, especially because it’s not about grand gestures, but little things to do on a more regular basis.

Things You Have to Remember in Your Twenties from dizzybrunette3 – It really is good to hear sometimes that others are experiencing the same feelings that I am as I have gone through my twenties! Love this!

Blogging and Business

Switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen – This is actually something I have been considering lately and Lexi lays out the process in a clear and simple way. Love it!

Blogging without Boundaries from A Girl, Obsessed – An interesting read! Do you hold back from certain topics when you blog? I know it’s a topic I have thought about a lot and I love her take on it!

Pros and Cons of Running a Small Business from Our Freaking Budget – Since I am working towards starting my own small business, this article caught my attention. I love the way she lays outs the pros and cons! Great article!

Feeling Jealous on the Internet from Pinch of Yum – This is a seriously wonderful article! While I try to keep this in check, I can struggle with this a lot. Especially since I am just in the early stages of this blog, and even more so in my (soon-to-be) business, yet have a tendency to compare myself to people that have been blogging and/or running their businesses for years! Great read, and a great reminder to spend more time creating and less time comparing.

Blog link up

Friday Favorites: February 19, 2016

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week 🙂

I’m really excited to share these links with you..I found quite a few that look really great! But first: I started my 365 Photography Project! This is my favorite picture from this week (today actually)

The photo prompt for today was “Cover.” Now, you might be wondering why I photographed an old notebook. Well…this notebook is actually one of my most prized possessions. It is a recipe book, handwritten by my mom. It was started in 1993 and has every recipe she cooked that I liked, from then (age 5) to when I moved out right before I turned 17! It’s pretty amazing and I absolutely love it. I actually plan on doing the same thing when I have kids. Just looking at it makes me smile, makes me feel loved.

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Day 4 – “Cover”

And now, on to the awesome links from this week! Enjoy!

Recipes
Cabbage Ginger Noodles from Naturally Ella – I have just recently started cooking with fresh ginger and I love it! I can’t wait to try this!
Lemony Soup with White Beans, Kale and Pasta from A Cup of Jo – This sounds delicious! And I have to agree with her…I love any soup with beans 🙂
Pineapple Coconut Smoothie from The Iron You – This smoothie makes me wish for summer. I really want to try this one! I have never used pineapple or coconut in my smoothies, so I’m looking forward to trying something new!

Home and Decor
Water Gardens from Robinne Weiss – Their water garden turned out wonderful!
LZM Home: Photo Wall Collages from Le Zoe Musings – I love how they pulled the two collages together! We have a lot of empty walls in our home that I’m currently trying to pull together and would love if ours turned out this nice!
A New Home (And a New Bed) from A Cup of Jo – Can I just say how much I love her style!? While we are not currently looking at getting a new bed, I never thought to order one online. I will have to keep that in mind when we do look at getting a new mattress 🙂

Art and DIY

Creations, Magnolia & Cotton Wreath from The Painted Apron – I love making wreaths, but I haven’t made one of this style before. I love how she breaks down how she put it together and it looks beautiful!

The Problem Of a Creative Creature from The Richness of a Simple Life – The search for creative outlets in life can be difficult and I love Niki’s take on it!
DIY Diamond Shaped Book Shelves from A Beautiful Mess – I absolutely love this bookcase! I have wanted built-ins pretty much forever, but there is no way that we can put those in here. These though?! These we could do! Would it be overkill to put these in two rooms? Cause I kinda want to 🙂
Take a Seat: How to Make a Budget-Friendly Bench in Under an Hour from Paper & Stitch – So cute! And I love the idea of using a carpet piece on part of the bench!

Fitness

Top 10 Fitness Bloggers to Follow from Semi-Sweet Tooth – A couple of these I’ve heard of, but most are brand new to me and sound great! I’m looking forward to checking them out more!
Health & Fitness: Splurge & Save from The Fitnessista – Love this list! I pretty much agree with everything on here. 🙂

Life and Family

You Don’t See My Sad – That Doesn’t Make My Happy Fake from This House Is Our Home – I really love this! I have always been bothered by the idea that someone is being “fake” by only showing the positive or not getting involved in hot topic debates online. I hate getting into those things and I am definitely not going to complain about my less-happy stuff online. Anna does a great job talking about this!

Blogging and Business
A Color Story Filters: Shifting Colors from A Beautiful Mess – I’m still learning a lot about photography and photo editing, so this was a great read!

Have a great weekend!

Sara (1)

Friday Favorites: January 22, 2016

Hey everyone! Welcome to my new (hopefully) weekly series: Friday Favorites! This will be a weekly roundup of my favorite blog posts and articles that I find throughout that week. I hope you like them!

Fitness

7 Tips for Working Out In The Morning by Oddly Lovely

Getting Back Into Fitness by A Girl, Obsessed

Recipes

Gluten-Free Chicken Marsala by The Lean Green Bean

Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken by The Recipe Critic

Slow Cooker Cheese Stuffed Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles by Persnickety Plates

Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burritos by Pinch of Yum

Easy Quinoa Pizza Bowls by Gimme Some Oven

Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Onion by Naturally Ella

Slow Cooker Mongolian Chicken by The Recipe Critic

Art & DIY

DIY Brass Handle Marble Tray by I Heart Organizing

Home & Family

52 Dates to do This Year by Friday We’re In Love

Currently by Iowa Girl Eats (this is a really cute idea for a post!)

The Coffee Bar by The Small Things Blog

Friday Eye Candy: Closet Organization by A Thoughtful Place

Life and Blogging

16 Steps to Make This Year the Best Year Ever by A Fresh Start on a Budget

Cheers to Two by Venus Trapped in Mars

What IS the Value of a Blog? by Venus Trapped in Mars

Enjoy! Not many links this week, but I hope to do a bigger link up most Fridays. What do you guys think of this new series? Have you found any really great links this week?

I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment below!

Sara (1)

Exploring Grandma’s Attic: Adventures in Jewelry Making

Confession time: I love jewelry! Like, seriously love jewelry. It might be a problem….but it’s one I’m okay with. Even more so if it is unique jewelry, and at Grandma’s Attic there is plenty of that!

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Grandma’s Attic is a store in Ames, Iowa and has so many awesome offerings including handmade jewelry, belly dancing scarves, incense, jewelry repair and custom pieces! This shop is not a new one for me, but instead an old favorite.  I’ve only made jewelry here a couple times, though I’ve shopped here many times. Some of my favorite jewelry is from here! This time was especially fun because I got to introduce one of my friends to the joys of jewelry making!

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Christy going over the basics of jewelry making with Salina before we got started.

Salina and I decided to spend a Saturday afternoon in the store exploring the beads and making some new jewelry. It was so much fun!

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Just a few of the THOUSANDS of beads available! Aren’t they pretty?!

Narrowing down the choices and deciding what style I wanted to make was so hard! I knew I wanted a necklace, but I went in with no idea of what style/colors to put into that necklace. On the other hand, Salina seemed to know right off she wanted to make a bright, colorful bracelet.

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Bracelet in progress!

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Not only was I apparently very intent on what I was doing, but Salina is very sneaky with the camera!

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Once we had our beads selected and laid out in the pattern we wanted, it was time to start stringing them!

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Starting the beading process

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Almost done stringing the beads!

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Stringing the beads for my necklace.

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Once we were done stringing the beads and making sure the fit was what we wanted, Christy would finish off the pieces, adding the clasp and other necessary things to turn it into actual jewelry. And voila! A beautiful piece of jewelry, ready to take home!

Here is how our pieces turned out!

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Review of Experience:

This is probably one of my favorite ways to spend some time with a friend! Not only is it fun and relaxing, but you get something unique to take home and wear! Plus I love that unlike going to a movie or something similar, the conversation just flowed all throughout our time at Grandma’s Attic. We had a great time!

Christy is great with both beginners and repeat visitors. Whether someone needs a rundown of how to start, feedback on a design or help when stuck, she’s always there to help!

Approximate Cost:

This is the other great thing about Grandma’s Attic. You pretty much choose the cost. Beads are priced individually and are wide-ranging. You can make something to suit any budget! You saw a few of the beads available above, but here are a few more!

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Other Services Offered:

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of different offerings at this store! In addition to offering the make-your-own-jewelry, Christy does jewelry repairs, custom designs and her own jewelry is there for sale too. In fact, her jewelry is usually the case I head straight for! All of the pieces I have bought over the years are ones she has made herself, but she also carries a large inventory of other jewelry as well. Some of it is antique, others just unique, but all of them are pretty awesome!

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Other items for sale include, but in no way are limited to, belly dance scarves, a few wall tapestries, incense, perfume bottles, Egyptian-themed artwork and statuary, along with wooden boxes. There is more, but it would be impossible to list them all!

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Have you ever made your own jewelry? Did you go to a store like this one, or make it at home? Do you have any stores like this near you? Let me know what you think!

Ledges State Park: Discovering Local Treasures and Being a Tourist in Your Own Town

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Have you ever acted like a tourist in your own community? Or at least not like a local? Sometimes there are some amazing places right in your own backyard! Places that you may have overlooked or even forgotten about, because they have always been there.

For many years, this was how Ledges State Park was for me. I knew it was there, and even had been out there a couple times. But for the most part, I forgot about it. I had lived less than 10 miles away for over 6 years before I started going there regularly! 
Continue reading “Ledges State Park: Discovering Local Treasures and Being a Tourist in Your Own Town”

Family Time with Kil’n Time Studio!

Family traditions can come from just about anything, and in this case it started over 10 years ago at a (different) paint-your-own pottery studio in Des Moines, Iowa. One of my cousins was getting married and the women on my mom’s side of the family decided that we would go have a pottery painting party as a different style of “bachelorette” party. Except instead of painting for ourselves, we painted things for the happy couple! It was so much fun! And when the next cousin was getting married, we decided to do it again. Voila, a family tradition was born!

Continue reading “Family Time with Kil’n Time Studio!”

Ciccotti Art Glass and Our Anniversary!

Hey all! This is the first post in a new monthly series on this blog spotlighting (mostly) local places that I think are neat, awesome and more! This will give you a look into a great local place, an overview of my experience, and general estimated costs (if there are any). While I realize that most people will not be local to central Iowa, I hope that maybe this will give you some ideas for new businesses and places to search out in your areas as well!

Now that the rundown of the series plan is over, I can get on to the fun stuff! 😉 The BF and I just celebrated our 1 year anniversary! To celebrate, we took some time off of work, relaxed at home together and wanted to do something fun, new and memorable for our anniversary date. We decided on taking a workshop at Ciccotti Art Glass. Continue reading “Ciccotti Art Glass and Our Anniversary!”