Category Archives: DIY

DIY

DIY the common acronym for, well, ‘Do(ing) It Yourself’ has become immensely popular with sites like Pinterest and all the various blogs out there. However, they are not the only ones encouraging you to take matters into your own hands. Yesterday, the Supreme Court made a ruling on whether or not Hobby Lobby should have to comply with the full extent of Obamacare and supply all types of birth control. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby- leaving you to find certain birth control coverage yourself.

Opinions on both sides of the spectrum take form in comics from various artists. Found by a Google search of "hobby lobby cartoons".
Opinions on both sides of the spectrum take form in comics from various artists. Found by doing a Google search of “hobby lobby cartoons”.

I’m going to start with what was my closing paragraph because I think it makes a good disclaimer before you start reading the rest of this. So here goes: These opinions aren’t God’s- they’re mine. They are what I think, and where I am in my faith. They are what I think is right, and how I interpret the Bible- years and years after it’s writing- and the invention of birth control. I think God didn’t comment on every single hot topic that would come up in the future because he gave us enough sense, and the ability to discern what’s right- and that should be enough. And, just like you and I have the choice to work at Hobby Lobby or not based on their convictions, and they have a choice of whether to offer certain types birth control as a benefit based on their convictions. They also have a choice on how literally they will take the Bible, and how they will portray it. Just as much as I do- and this is my belief.

I have mixed feelings on the situation. I love Hobby Lobby, let me just get that out there. You send me in there with lots of time and dangerous things happen. I come out as the crazy craft lady.
However, on a broader & larger scale I feel conflicted.

I think any company, especially a family owned one should be able to hold and express their views- even or especially when it comes down to how they conduct their business. I don’t like going to Wal-Mart because I have heard of (hearsay– I have not done extensive research so please don’t try to recite 100 facts to me about how great they are- I can’t do the same in return) the negative effects it has on the economy, it’s workers, and the like. However, I’m not trying to bust down the Walton’s door to tell them they should be doing a better job. I simply do not shop there. I think the free market should be respected, and part of that falls into a company choosing how they conduct their business. Except for the common set of standards (i.e. not ripping people off, doing illegal things, monopoly, etc.)- the government shouldn’t be able to control all aspects of a company. You wouldn’t walk into a vegan restaurant and order a bacon cheeseburger and demand they serve it to you because it’s your right to eat meat. Just like you probably wouldn’t go into Hobby Lobby for a job if you want certain types of birth control coverage because it’s your right. I don’t think the decision of how Hobby Lobby chooses to run their company should specifically be based on a religious argument- but also an argument of this- they are an independent company that the government should not be able to enforce or control them (unless of course they are doing the things I listed above and being scammy).

HOWEVER (again). I take issue with Hobby Lobby and this whole debate, long before it turns into a Supreme Court case and sociological fodder for every feminist and church goer alike. I hesitate to say I am a Christian because I think that that is a term which has been sullied by things like this. But I am. I believe in God, and heaven, and hell, and sins, and forgiveness. I also believe God gave us some sense, and logic, and reasoning to employ- not just to have. YES, the Bible does say “Go forth and multiply...” however, if you read it within context- God is saying that in the Garden of Eden (a place of perfection, at this point) as a blessing. In the very next verse he is listing off all the provisions the Garden of Eden has for them. They weren’t exactly having to worry about how to pay the electric bill. If we continue reading Eve goes and makes a mess of things, and Adam isn’t much help and then world changes from there. Part of that change is the fact that they now have to work, the world is no longer a perfect place, and Eve basically cursed all us ladies with periods and menopause and all things gross and awkward about being a woman (at least I’m blaming her for it). However, God still wants them to multiply- otherwise all His handiwork would end there.

So now, lots and lots of years later- we have fancy magic that can prevent us from having children when we are not prepared because we live in an imperfect world and can’t just pop out 96 kids at any time like the Duggars. I believe this is where God expects us to use some sense. If you can barely afford to feed yourself- probably don’t have kids. If you know you are too impatient, immature, and selfish to have kids- probably don’t have kids. At least not yet. While Hobby Lobby isn’t trying to ban all birth control– they are trying to ban some in the name of Christianity and classic values. I do not think abortion and birth control are the same thing. I do not think the morning after pill is an abortion. I do not think birth control is a sin. This being said, it pains me to see a company with such exposure, standing behind faith and Christianity, take the national spotlight and do a poor job at explaining the differences between those things.

Ultimately- my beef isn’t about why or if they should or should not have to pay for specific types of birth control. If you are a person that is trying to family plan or simply not trying to get pregnant, note the fact that Hobby Lobby probably isn’t the place for you to be working. You have a choice, choose to work somewhere else. I don’t think the solution is forcing a group or company to do or not do something. They, just like you should be afforded a choice. Yours is if you want to work there, and theirs is the extent of the benefits they want to offer.

This ultimately, is an argument that opens a bunch of debate because Hobby Lobby doesn’t want to provide the morning after pill and IUD’s (for those of you who don’t know the differences between these things and ‘the pill’ it’s simply that they prevent pregnancy after an egg is fertilized, where the pill prevents eggs from being fertilized in the first place). So- this then opens the argument- when is a person a person- and that is simply an argument this post doesn’t have time to address. I will simply reiterate what I said above: I do not think abortion and birth control are the same thing. I do not think the morning after pill is an abortion. I do not think birth control is a sin.

In the end, I think people are getting all sorts of worked up over a company “who won’t offer birth control”- which isn’t really the case. I myself, had to dig a little deeper to get to the bottom of things, because after seeing all these tweets about women’s rights being taken away, I was a little fired up. After taking a closer look- women’s right’s are there just as much as the Green’s rights.

 

Show Some Love

VALENTINES DAY IS COMING. And I don’t care what you say about this being a “Hallmark Holiday” or being totally commercialized, blah blah blah- all I’m sayin’ is- don’t rain on my parade. The one time of the year that everything is covered in pink and red and sparkles and hearts- how can you be mad at that!? Unless of course, you are the Grinch of Valentine’s Day and your heart is two sizes too small. Then by all means, continue grouching.

grinch heart

Now that we cleared the air on that topic- I wanted to show you a great DIY Valentine’s Day gift (or if you really refuse to celebrate this holiday- it works as a birthday, mother’s/father’s day gift, etc.) that is thoughtful, budget friendly, and fun to work on! I made this a few years back for the mister and it still is one of my most favorite gifts I’ve made/bought for him.

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I don’t really have a name for this- and everything I thought up for a name was really corny, so I’m just going to give you pictures and directions and you can name it whatever you want!

What You’ll Need:

  • A dictionary/encyclopedia (I found a really cool vintage one from  a used book store- you can use a new one if you want, I just wanted something that looked cool on the outside)
  • A Glue Stick
  • Clippings from magazines/newspapers/stickers etc.
  • Decorative Paper Fasteners (See below)
  • Stamp pad & stamps (or if you have nice handwriting you can just write)
  • Fancy paper/card-stock
  • Fancy scissors
    (the last four things on this list are optional, you can get away with using regular paper/scissors and just writing the words- it’s up to you how fancy/involved you want to get)

 

So, what I did was this. I made a list of all sorts of character traits, or things I think of when I think of my husband; I.E. strength, youthfulness, loving, caring, smart, etc. I then looked through a bunch of magazines/newspapers/stickers to find words that said those things, or related to those characteristics and cut them out.

In the first few pages of the book I made a cover page that looked like this:

image
(My husband’s nickname is “Flik”)

 

Then every few pages I would make a collage with one of the character traits I had written down. Like this:

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Because it would take a long time, and a lot of words,  I didn’t do one on every page- so I fastened pages together with the paper fasteners like so: PicMonkey Collage

 

I also just glued some of the pages together with a glue stick.

image (1)
(This page theme was “Character”)

image (4)Add in little quotes, or love notes, or whatever comes to mind! 

image (5)

 

20140206-_DSC1327The End!

Do you have any great Valentine’s Day gift or DIY ideas?
What is the best Valentine’s Day gift you’ve given or received?

This post is a part of Helene & Sarah’s Valentine’s Day Link-up!

Helene in Between

 

 

The Pinterest Minefield

***First let me put a disclaimer out there- this is purely meant to be funny- don’t get your undee’s in a bundle. I’m mean no harm, and love seeing people’s ideas on Pinterest. Sorry there is no photo cred- none of them had original sources/watermarks when I found them on pinterest.***

So I was being very productive at work scrolling through Pinterest today and saw this photo that made me laugh and than shudder.

pinterestport

But it got me thinking about the funny photos you see on Pinterest- more specifically, the ones that seem weird/self-explanatory/or just bad ideas in general.

COME ON YOU GUYS!! I want to know who in the family was like; “I have the best family portrait idea. First we all get naked, and then we lay on each other. It won’t be weird and uncomfortable as we do it. It will look awesome in that antique frame grandma gave us. We will want to show all our friends how we managed to scar all of our children in one photo-shoot cute we are as a family- such togetherness.”

Honestly, I feel the worst for that little guy in the front- he doesn’t even know what the heck is going on. This photo is going to haunt him when he’s old enough to get how absolutely weird their family photo is. Also, I wonder what the next family photo idea was for these guys…er, maybe its best we don’t know.

MOVING ON…Can we talk about this? Please? Unless you have 12 children who all compete like Olympians in sports/dance or get real serious about dodge ball day in gym class- and who also need more than one refillable/reusable water bottle a day…who really has THIS MANY water bottles? This is bananas. I got a DIY: Water bottle storage Idea for ya: It’s called the garbage can/donation center. Improves storage problems by 87%.

water

I’m sorry- but this is about as good of a DIY Project as making a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese is a gourmet meal. THIS IS NOT A BOOKMARK, I REPEAT- this is not a bookmark. That’s a paint sample. Please stop encouraging my creativity then throwing this nonsense at me Pinterest. It offends my sensibilities (apparently, I’m Jane Austen today…me and all my sensibilities).

books

Split level flooring…. First of all- this is a lovely photo. Let’s start with a compliment. Now, let’s get honest with each other for a moment. That’s a pallet on the ground with plywood over it. That’s NOT split level- that’s about 1,000 stubbed toes and curses, right there.

split level

You know what happens when you paint PVC pipe? IT STILL LOOKS LIKE PVC PIPE (especially when you don’t do the inside of it). Come on guys- be like the rest of us and let those cords drive you crazy and get all knotted up. Throw that blow dryer into a drawer it hardly fits in and call it a day.

PVC

I think this one takes the cake- Those are “fire starters”- wanna know what they’re made out of? You don’t? Well I’m tellin’ ya anyways. DRYER LINT (Belly button lint will suffice in a jam) AND PETROLEUM JELLY.

fires
STOP. Probably two of the grossest things brought together. Can you imagine what the process for making those is?

Step 1: Go to laundry room, grab all that icky lint from the lint trap and make cute little piles with it.
Step 2: Grab a handful of Petroleum Jelly and mix it with those cute little piles you made. Your hands may get a little greasy and linty- but don’t worry! You’ve just made your first fire starter.
I just want to tap this person on the shoulder- “HEY, HEY YOU! Someone beat you to this whole “fire starter” idea- it’s called a match & newspaper. Works wonders.”

The high-waisted Camel toe pant. It’s going to be all the rage in 2014. Seriously, how do some designers get away with selling us the things they come up with? I can’t even say anything more about this- I don’t even know where to begin.

stahppp

 

Have you seen any funny pins like this? Have you ever attempted a Pinterest project that went horribly wrong?! If so, I wanna hear about it!

How to eat like the French

So earlier this summer I planned what was supposed to be a surprise dinner party for one of my bests. She’s too dang sneaky and figured it out. However, the theme itself and the menu turned out great! We all dressed up, and even bought a dress for the birthday girl so it was waiting when she came over (she thought she was coming for girls night…low key, yoga pants kind of thing…rightttt)

Screenshot 2014-01-06 17.08.50

Her birthday was in September when Chicago weather is still iffy and can be a nice Indian Summer type night or a chilly night resembling nothing of summer. We gambled that it would be nice out and it was. So we set up an 8ft folding table and threw some bedsheets (they were clean- don’t judge) nice linen tablecloths on. Put out candles galore, and my favorite touch was the Bistro style lights which one of our friends and Mr. Flik put up. They hung nicely above the table and gave off nice light, but mostly just set the theme perfectly.

Inside, we set out appetizers. We did cheese trays with fruits, nuts, and bread. You can check out an example of this style tray on my Instagram account: Cheese

The Dinner Menu:
Starters – French Onion Soup (made from scratch, recipe here)
French Garden Salad: Mixed greens, with very thinly sliced radishes and carrots*, grilled asparagus, goat cheese, lemon zest, salt & pepper and a garlic vinaigrette.
*(I used an Oxo Mandoline Slicer for this- or what my sister’s call the “Eight ways to cut yourself tool’)

As you can see below, we did place cards with French prefixes, and a menu with “Joyeux Anniversaire” (Happy Birthday in French) at the top with the rest of the menu and and icon that said “Paris is always a good idea” at the bottom.

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Then to be extra fancy we did a citrus sorbet palate cleanser before serving the main course.

Mains:
Champagne & Herb Roasted Cornish Game Hens (I combined a few recipes so there really isn’t an exact recipe. But I put them all in a turkey roasting pan, melted a bunch of butter and poured that all over them until they were well covered. Then I doused them in champagne, stuffed a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme in the cavity of each one, bunch of garlic (like a bunch), salt & pepper, and squeezed lemon all over that. Toss in the oven at 350 for an hour. Baste them once, if they’re getting too browned on top put a little foil over each one.

Sides:
Haricots Verts (which are ever so similar to green beans) just butter those babies up and throw some salt and pepper on ’em and you’re good.
Potatoes Au Gratin (our friend made them, they were super yummy – but I don’t have his recipe – I’m pretty sure it’s a big secret, so here’s one that seems good.)

Dessert:
Along with our group of friends, the birthday girl’s mom and aunt helped us pull the whole thing off! They brought desserts from a local bakery. Chocolate filled croissants and some cookies. And what birthday would be complete without a cake?! We had a yellow cake filled with Grand Marnier chocolate buttercream, frosted with chocolate ganache.  Talk about delightful!

I was going for a warm and romantic feel so we put a lot of flowers and candles out along with some cute Paris/French themed signs.

Screenshot 2014-01-06 16.07.25

 

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The top left is us enjoying dinner. Top right is the Champagne bar we set up with different kinds of champagne/wines to try.
The bottom left is of one of the cheese trays, and bottom right is the apps/dessert table.

Other small touches were napkins from the party store with French sayings and flowers on them, a cute Eiffel Tower miniature for the table, and lace table runners. For more ideas check out the Pinterest board we made while planning.

Here’s a fun little time lapse of our dinner!

Have any other fun French Dinner Party ideas? Comment below!