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Thursday, January 31

FRUITY KALE SMOOTHIE




I've been feeling really sluggish lately and at first just attributed it to the pregnancy. Then recently at my doctor's appointment, I was told that my iron count was WAY too low. I knew that the prenatals I was taking didn't have iron, but I didn't really consider it to be a big deal. Guess I was wrong... :( 

Hearing that I was anemic kind of freaked me out, so the second we left the doctor's, we went straight to our nearest grocery store. After checking out this helpful site and getting some recommendations from my doctor, I picked up a few items:
  • red meat
  • raisins
  • kale
  • spinach
  • lots of fruit (vitamin C increases iron absorption)
Because I'm so low, I'll have to be on iron supplements and will need to be more aware of what I'm eating everyday. So in attempt to get on a good start yesterday, I threw together this quick smoothie for E and I. 



Ingredients
3/4 C of orange mango nectar 
1/2 C of strawberries
1/4 C of raspberries
1/4 C plain Greek yogurt
half of a frozen ripe banana
1/2 C of chopped kale

*optional: add a tablespoon of agave or honey if you prefer it sweeter


Tonight steak is what's for dinner. Hey it's not bad having an excuse to eat more steak...;)

Talk to you all soon,

Wednesday, January 30

HEALTHY CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE







If you haven't come across her blog yet, you definitely need to go over and meet Sarah at Dwell on Joy. She is one of the nicest people I've "met" from blogging and yesterday she shared a story that left me laughing so hard that it inspired me to share mine today. ;)

Back in high school, I joined track for one season. Although I enjoy watching and sometimes playing sports, I am not athletic by any means and mainly joined to appear more "well-rounded" when it came to applying for colleges. One day after practice, my friend and I were getting ready to head back home. Unfortunately the way we usually took was locked up that afternoon. We decided to jump the wired fence since it was only a couple of feet high. (Translation: We were just too lazy tired to walk to the other side of the field to get out.) Anyways, my friend went first, climbed up with ease and made the jump down like a pro. Nothing to it right? Then I climbed up. Just as I jumped off, all of a sudden I heard a "rrrrriiiiiipppppppp" on my way down. My sweatpants had somehow gotten caught by the wires and it left me with a nice BIG gaping hole.

"OH MY GOODNESS, I JUST TORE THE BIGGEST HOLE IN MY PANTS!" I screamed out in horror. 

Then in those same couple of seconds, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that our boys softball team was practicing just a few yards away. 

ALL OF THEM staring in my direction...

MOST OF THEM with a huge smile plastered on their face...

Like Sarah, I pretended like nothing happened, took off my sweatshirt, wrapped it around my waist and took the walk of shame past the whole team with my friend. My sweet friend who was trying so hard to hold back from bursting out laughing...

Do you think that softball team still remember that traumatizing moment of mine? Perhaps not. But I probably will have that moment forever engraved in my mind. 

Have Sarah and I motivated you to share YOUR most embarrassing moment? Please do! ;)


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With this pregnancy, I've been craving a lot more sweets than usual. Unfortunately those cravings always creep in right before bedtime. What a thoughtful baby I have, huh? ;) So when I saw this super healthy and easy cake recipe from Delighted Momma, I knew I had to try it out. I made a few slight changes, because I found the cake to be a little dry. However once I topped on my ice cream, it really didn't seem to matter anymore and the combination was just perfect!



Ingredients
3 T almond meal
3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T honey
2 T milk
1 T coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
few dashes of salt

*Optional: few dashes of cinnamon, cayenne and semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
Mix everything together in a mug and pop it in the microwave for 1.5 minutes. Top it with a few scoops of ice cream and enjoy!

Thursday, January 24

DIY KITCHEN MAT




I've been wanting to replace our ratty old kitchen mat for awhile now.  Although I really liked our old one, I wanted something a little more playful this time and preferably easier to clean.  


When I ended up having extra fabric leftover from the runner, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to give my mat a little makeover. ;) The duck fabric was perfect too because it was nice and sturdy. 


Since I didn't have exactly the right "width" left, I cut my fabric apart and then sewed it together to have a better fit. 


I ironed down the seams so that they would lay flat. 


Next, I sprayed some adhesive on top of the mat and then started wrapping my fabric over it. 
  

Oh the wonders of duct tape... hehe. 




Make sure you pull all the edges of the fabric tight before taping them down. 




Finally paint on a layer of water-based polycrylic and let the mat dry for a few hours. This will help protect the fabric from yellowing and provide you a wipe-able surface!



That's it! Wasn't that super easy? :D Have you ever tried covering your old mats before?

Wednesday, January 23

DIY TABLE RUNNER



Hi everyone! I wanted to pop in and share this cute duck fabric I found at Hobby Lobby this week. :) From just two yards of material, I was able to make a table runner AND a wipe-able kitchen mat (instructions tomorrow). I simply cut the fabric straight down the middle lengthwise, took one piece for the runner, sewed up the sides to give it a clean edge and then used some Heat'n Bond adhesive for the ends.  


 Pressing down the sides first made it easier when it came time to sew.




Be back tomorrow to share how I used the other piece!

Until then,

Friday, January 18

FRIDAY TREATS + OH HOW SWEET IT IS



Something about new bedding just makes me really really happy. :) Not at all in my price range, but these graphic stripe duvet sets from Dwell Studio totally make my heart skip. 



I love browsing stores like World Market, T.J.Maxx and Marshalls for interesting snacks. I found this one for my husband who's a huge dark chocolate cookie lover.  They were super yummy paired with a large cup of earl grey milk tea latte.




Free Printable 2013 Wall Calendars from Toffee Magazine


I usually just throw our stuffed animals in the washer and dryer (even though it's not recommended)... how do you all clean yours? Here's a helpful tip from Mama's Laundry Talk.

Pinned Image


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Oh how sweet it is just to know my Christ!
Knowing Him’s the goal of my whole life.
Gaining Him supplies me, day by day,
He’s rich, He’s excellent in every way.
I’m fully captured by Him, my All in all,
He fills my heart with faith to love Him when I call.
Every day He grows more as faith in me
As I dwell one with Him organically.

As a stream of love, how His life flows in!
Motivating us to just love Him.
So we give ourselves; Lord, do grow in us
May we know You in Your preciousness.
O Lord, do make us one as we run toward You,
Pursuing corporately in everything we do
With the saints until full maturity
As Your loving counterpart eternally.




Much grace,

DIY METALLIC CANVAS ART




So yesterday I decided to update a canvas that I had painted a long time ago but never really finished. It looked quite sad and just sat in the corner of our bedroom collecting dust.


To give it some new life, I started by painting on some white stripes over it and then applied painter's tape in the design I wanted....


took it outside and gave it a few light coats of metallic spray paint...


and was left with this after I pulled the tape off.


Now it's happily hanging in our bedroom above the headboard we made last year. :)


Monday, January 14

THE REVEAL: FAUX CHENILLE BLANKET



Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all are well rested. :) Over the weekend, I attended a lovely baby shower for a good friend of mine and fellow blogging buddy. She's having a girl next month and we all are so excited for her! 



As I mentioned last week, I was working on a little project for the baby. I've been wanting to make this fun chenille blanket for quite a while now. Aesthetic Nest and Made already have the most AMAZING and detailed tutorials, so I recommend just following theirs.   


I do have some tips to share though from making mine that hopefully you'll find helpful...


  • Lay the color you want to show up most on top and separate the darker colors with a lighter color in the middle. Make sure to also use a washable spray adhesive to keep all the fabrics together. I skipped that step and ended up with a lot of my fabric shifting. I lost a few inches to my blanket due to that.  
  • When sewing the diagonal lines, make sure to sew on the back fabric and not on the flannels. I didn't at first and ended up with bunched up fabric. 
  • If you're only planning on making one or two of the blankets, make sure you find a good pair of ergonomic scissors. If you plan on making more, I definitely recommend purchasing an Olfa chenille cutter. Cramped fingers are not good...
  • Yes this process will be very long and tedious, but don't give up! It's definitely worth it at the end! Make sure to give yourself at least 3 - 4 days for this project. 

  • Trim the uneven edges AFTER all the diagonal lines are cut. 
  • Use a plate to create the rounded corners.
  • Make your tag ahead of time if you'd like to attach one to your blanket. 

I purchased a satin blanket binding from Jo-Ann's and it was the perfect length. The only difficult part was creating the double fold binding. 


Here's the cool transformation after I washed it and threw it in the dryer!



This seriously has to be one of my favorite projects! Even my husband was amazed by the results and that rarely happens... ;) What do you all think? Have any of you ever made a chenille blanket? I'd love to hear from you!

  Daisy Cottage Designs