DIY Marbled Glass Vases

I have been in a crafting funk lately.  I’ve been wanting to try one of the marbling tutorials I’ve seen on Pinterest, but I was thinking I would need to buy stuff for it.  Namely an object to marble. It seemed like all of the tutorials I saw were done on white objects, white cups, white plates, white paper…  And I didn’t have anything laying around that was solid white.  Tonight I decided, to heck with it, I’m going to try marbling on glass.  What’s the worst that could happen?

DIY MARBLED GLASS VASES

I can tell you that the worst that will happen is that you will mess up on your first few tries and have to clean your glass vases and start over.  No biggie, right?

Materials for DIY Marbled Glass Vases:

Glass vases or other non-food/drink vessel (mine are from the dollar store)

Various colors of nail polish

A disposable pan, pot, etc that you can pour hot water and nail polish in (I ended up using an old chip & dip bowl that I don’t like)

Toothpick or skewer

Hot water

DIY Marbled Glass Vase Pink and Gold

1.  Fill up your pan, pot or, in my case, unwanted chip & dip bowl, with HOT water from the tap.  You want the water to be hot so you give yourself a little time before the nail polish starts to harden.  I added more hot water with each round of dipping the glass into the water/nail polish mix so that it stayed hot.

2.  Pour a few drops of nail polish into the hot water. Pour it close to the surface of the water so that it doesn’t sink.  Pour a few drops of a second color of nail polish in next to the first color.

3.  Using a toothpick or skewer, swirl the two colors together.   I used hot pink and a cream color and hot pink and gold nail polish.

4.  Quickly (!) dip your glass vase into the water/nail polish mixture.  I laid mine on it’s side in the bowl so that one side got covered.  Quickly (!) take the vase out of the water and stand it up to allow it to dry.

5.  Allow the vase to drip dry for a few minutes and then repeat the process, laying the un-marbled side of the vase into the water/nail polish mix.  Two dips covered my entire vase, but if you’re vase needs more, then repeat it again.

6.  Allow to dry.  NOTE!  These are definitely NOT dishwasher safe.  They will need to be very gently hand washed.

Special Note:  Notice the lack of pictures of the steps in this post?  That’s because you HAVE to move very quickly on this project.  If you don’t, things get goopy and yucky.  And then you have to start all over again.

DIY Marbled Glass Vase - Pink

If you Liked “Girl on a Train”…

I read “Girl on a Train”. It was good-ish.  I RARELY buy an e-book that costs more than $2.99 and I spent more than that on “Girl on a Train”.  I splurged on this book because the reviews were great.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t awful, I just didn’t think it was amazing.  I was left with that feeling of disenchantment and longing for something really good to read.  Good news!  I found it.

If You Liked Girl on a Train

One Step Too Far – Tina Seskis

There are a lot of similarities between “One Step Too Far” and “Girl on a Train”.  They are both set in England.  They both follow a non-linear timeline and they both have vaguely unlikeable protagonists.

In “One Step Too Far”, we jump into the life of Cat Brown who has just run away from home and left her family behind.  The story takes us, agonizingly, through her attempts to build, from nearly nothing, a new life for herself.  The great mystery here is why Cat fled in the first place.  And Seskis does a great job of never revealing the tragic surprise.

In the meandering story, we get to meet Cat and her husband, her unbalanced sister and wonderfully flawed friend, Angel.  Each character is well developed and interesting and you feel a bit sorry for the family that  Cat has abandoned, but still you root for her because she is likeable in her mournful struggle for a new life.

“One Step Too Far” is well written, but not in an unapproachable way.  It strikes that balance that I like between being entertaining and still leaning toward literature.  There are thinly veiled themes of baptism and rebirth for the English major in me to work out, but the story moves along quickly and could just be read as a good beach book.  The winding path of the story is laid out perfectly.  It holds your interest, but never leaves you wondering where you are and who are these people again?  I did find myself getting that slightly lost feeling with “Girl on a Train” which tells me that the characters weren’t interesting enough to capture my attention.

So, if you liked “Girl on a Train”, or, if you just kind of liked it, read “One Step Too Far” next.  And let me know if you liked it as much as I did!

The Great Tapestry Debate

I have a question to pose to you all.  Has the tapestry gradated from the dorm room?  I have a room in my house that is very dark and I’m feeling much too lazy to paint it.  I’d like to inject some color with something big, bright and lightweight.  I present to you my tapestry picks.  Let me know yea or nay on the great tapestry debate in the comments.  All of these tapestries are from Society 6.  Click the pics to purchase.

This is my favorite and I would be placing the order if it weren’t for the dark, saturated colors.

 

This abstract mountainscape is closer to what I’m looking for.  The colors aren’t too loud and there is a lot of light and bright here.

And this pastel floral is too pretty for words.  I don’t think I could put this in the room next to the dining room wallpaper, though.

 Seriously?  Where can I put this guy?  Probably not the right option for the first wall you see when you enter the house, but there’s got to be a spot somewhere, right??

And I like this moody blue, but not exactly what I’m looking for.

These are my colors, but again, not right for the spot I have in mind.

The Tapestry DebateSo, what say you?  Has the tapestry graduated from the Dorm Room?

 

Chicken Enchilada Salad

I’ve been trying a lot harder to eat healthier the last two weeks.  That means I’ve had to plan ahead lunches so that I’m not eating cheeseburgers everyday.  Tonight I put together a salad that I’ll be eating for lunch over the next few days.

Enchilada Chicken Salad

It was going to be an Enchilada Cauliflower Rice bowl, but I had a little mishap with the cauliflower rice.  I’ll give it a try again some other time.  When I have a grater that has normal size holes and not teeny tiny ones.

Chicken Enchilada Salad

1lb Boneless Skinless Chicken

1/2 bag of Baby Spinach

1 c black beans

1 small can sliced black olives

1 red bell pepper

1 can enchilada sauce

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 c shredded Mexican cheese

Ranch dressing

1.  In a slow cooker, combine chicken, can of enchilada sauce and chili powder.  Cook on low for 2-4 hours

2.  Remove chicken from sauce and shred, then return to sauce and allow to cool

3.  Chop red pepper

4.  Rinse black beans

5.  Assemble salad, add baby spinach, chopped red peppers, black beans, black olives and cooled chicken

6.  Top with shredded cheese and ranch dressing

This came out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.  I only added half the bag of spinach because I plan to add more as I eat it over the next couple of days.  That way the spinach won’t get too wilty.  It helps to stick to healthy eating if you have something you look forward to eating!

Four Binge Worthy Shows for this Summer

I made nothing this weekend, no fun projects, no recipes, no crafts, nada. This left me with lots of time to check out some new shows on television.  Good news, the shows I watched were AWESOME!  And you should be watching them, too!

Reality TV

Stop watching the Housewives and the Kardashians and start watching Bomb Patrol Afghanistan.    It airs on G4, but I caught a few episodes of a marathon on Esquire this weekend.   This show is high stress.  You are riding along with the guys who are patrolling for bombs in Afghanistan.  The juxtaposition of these every day American dudes in this hyper-intense setting is gripping.  It gives a tiny glimpse into the world that our soldiers are living in and a frame of reference for why it is so difficult to readjust to life at home.

Drama

I love me some BBC mysteries.  Sherlock?  Check.  Luther?  Check.  My newest obsession is Tatau.  It’s a mystery, set in the Cook Islands with some British humor thrown in.  The episodes are quick and this is totally binge-worthy.  I’m almost looking forward to a rainy Sunday so I can veg out and finish this mini-series.

Home Décor

Tired of HGTV’s Fixer Upper?  Ok, me neither, but when you have no new episodes of Joanna and Chip to entertain you, flip to the DIY Network and watch Salvage Dawgs.  Robert and Mike are almost as cute a couple and the premise is fascinating.  They salvage beautiful woodwork, hardware, windows and whatever else they can find of value from old homes and buildings.  I love it for many reasons.  I love that they are preserving history.  I love watching them uninstall this stuff that has been standing for hundreds of years.  And I love to see how they transform some of the pieces they find.  They are pretty funny in a hokey way, too.  Its good wholesome fun!

Comedy

If you’re not watching Odd Mom Out, put your phone down, click On Demand, go to Bravo and watch the first episode.  I’ll wait for you.

Back?  Ok, I hope you laughed as much as I did.  I totally relate to Jill.  My life is a watered down version of hers.  I’m totally that mom that is never able to quite pull it all together.  But, in the end, I’m kind of fine with that.  And I’m obsessed with her ridiculous sister-in-law.  She’s totally over the top, but then suddenly she’s kind of exactly right on about certain things.

Alright, what are you watching that I’m missing out on??

Four Binge Worthy Shows for this Summer

 

 

 

Tips for a (mostly) No Sew Reupholstered Chair

I love a project that improves upon something that is important to me.  I have this chair.  It’s a very comfy little wing back chair. It was a hand me down from my husband’s great aunt Pal (that was her name, Pal.  Awesome, right?) who passed away several years ago.  Wait, more than several.  In fact, I’ve had this chair for at least a couple of years before my daughter was born and she’s 10!  It first came to live in my husbands apartment, moved with us to our first home, our second home and our third home.  It’s the chair I nursed my baby girl in when she was a baby. I spent many sleepless nights in that chair in the summer of 2004 watching the Olympics.  Live from Athens, cause babies don’t know about time zones.  I swear I saw every event of that Olympics.  So, tons of sentimental value packed into this cozy chair.  The only problem was that the upholstery was not my favorite.  I’ve used a Surefit  cover in white on it for years, but I’ve been itching to try upholstering it.  So guess what I did? I upholstered it!

Tips for a (mostly) No Sew Reupholstered Chair

Now, I’m not going to tell you that I can write you a tutorial on how to this.  But, I do have a few tips to share.  If you want a full tutorial, I would strongly suggest checking this one out from Four Generations One Roof.  It was really helpful and it gave me the courage to try this project!

Before and After No Sew Reupholstered Chair

Tips for a (mostly) No Sew Reupholstered Chair

1.  Pick the right chair – My chair is probably not the easiest chair to pick for this project.  If I were to go scavenging for a chair to reupholster, I would check the likely spots that I would be stapling fabric to to make sure there was some wood in that spot for the staple to grab on to. The back cushion of my chair is, well, cushiony and it was tough to find places to staple into.

2.  Speaking of staples, get a good staple gun.  I started with a  mechanical one.  Forget it.  It’s not worth the pain and effort.  I bought an electric staple gun from Home Depot and it did the trick, however, it petered out at the end of the project and I had to suffer through with the mechanical stapler for a few spots.  The electric will be getting returned.

3.  Pick the right pattern – I would strongly advise against using anything that is geometric or would otherwise require matching up patterns.  Unless you’re some kind of math wizard. I’m not, in case you are wondering.  The bird pattern I used (which you might remember from my DIY Curtains.  They aren’t curtains anymore.  A girl can change her mind, right?  Actually, that’s a post for another day) is sort of random.  Well, not random exactly, but there is no up or down or any straight lines to match up.  Also, I used maybe 8 yards of fabric.  And I had a lot of scrap left over.

4.  If you’re chair has a skirt, cut it off.  Show off those beautiful legs!

5. Start with the small curves – I started with the front facing, curved portion of the arm.  Basically, I held a piece of fabric up to that part, added a bunch of staples and then trimmed off the excess.  I then did the actual arm rest portion of the arm, then the wingback parts of the chair. The trick to smooth fabric on these curvy parts of the chair is to deal with small, flat surfaces. So for instance, on the wingback portion of the chair, I did the two sides of the chair first, and then went back and did the front facing portion with nice folded edges.  These were the toughest and once they were done, things moved much more quickly.

6.  Strategically hide your staples.  There are a couple of ways to do this.  Any time it’s possible, hide them on an underside part of the chair.  The other thing I did was hide the staples in the folded seams.  In order to get a clean looking seam in conspicuous spots on the chair, like that front facing part of the arm, you will fold the fabric in about an inch or two, lay the fold down on the chair, but wrong side up, so that you have only the fold on the chair, all the other fabric is  unfolded and off of the chair and then staple the fold so that you can then fold the fabric back over the arm and you won’t see the staples when you are done.

7.  Don’t be afraid of the glue gun. – Ok, before you have a crafting heart attack, I didn’t use the glue gun to replace staples.  All of the fabric is secured to the chair with staples.  But, if a I had a folded seam that wasn’t in a high traffic area, I used a little hot glue to seal those seams.  Strictly cosmetic, I swear.  Time will tell if the glue will hold up.

8.  One little bit of sewing – I don’t sew.  I took a sewing class in 7th grade.  I made a stuffed animal and a  pillow. I had no idea how I was going to get the seat cushion covered without asking for help from my mother.  Which is lame when you are 40.  Then I had a stroke of genius and decided to just sew the fabric directly onto the cushion.  I basically did a whip stitch around the perimeter of the cushion where there is a little bit of a corded detail.

DIY mostly No Sew Reupholstered ChairThar she is!  The take away from this post, is I hope, sometimes you can just kind of jump into a project and learn as you go!

 

 

10 Reasons to Visit Lake Winnipesaukee

I am fresh off a 4 day mini vacation to my absolute favorite place in the world, Lake Winnipesaukee in the Live Free or Die state of New Hampshire.  I am obsessed with this place and I think you should be, too.

10 Reasons to Visit Lake Winnipesaukee

1.  It’s drop dead gorgeous. Beautiful Lake WinniEven on a bad weather day it’s stunning.  We happened to have a lot of bad weather on this short trip.  Here’s another pic from last years trip with some sunshine: Sunset from the Condo 2.  No worries if it rains. Funspot Dear Nerds, if you haven’t made your pilgrimage to Funspot, you may need to turn in your nerd card.  Fun Spot is the worlds largest video game arcade and home to the American Classic Arcade Museum.  There are hundreds of retro arcade games and pinball machines that you can play for hours on end.  There are also tons of ticket games for those of you who may be into more of the Dave & Buster’s style arcade, indoor mini golf and bowling.

3.  Griddle in the Middle Griddle in the Middle Griddle in the Middle is like breakfast meets hibachi.  Basically, you are seated at a table with a griddle built into the middle of it.  You get all you can eat pancakes with your choice of fillings.  Then you cook your pancakes on the griddle!  I know what you’re thinking, I didn’t go out to breakfast to make my own breakfast.  I get it.  But we had a lot of fun with this!  And the pancakes were delicious.  They also had amazing homemade maple syrup.

4.  Jump in the lake! Go Jump in a Lake Even at the end of June, the water was only chilly. My kids had no trouble jumping right in!

5. Catch some fireworks.   Fireworks

I’ve never been a huge fireworks fan.  The noise is a little much for me.  However, the fireworks we saw from the deck of our little condo were amazing.  The show was put on by the hotel next door and we were literally right underneath the fireworks.  It was absolutely incredible.

6.  Stay here.

Condo outsideSpeaking of our little rental condo, it is the best location, bar none, in Laconia.  It’s right on the water with a nice sandy beach and a dock.  The interior is well appointed and modern (not a wisp of knotty pine) and it’s just right for our family, plus one.  Well, maybe a tiny bit small for five people, but very cozy.  There is a beautiful deck for watching the boats parade past as they head through the channel and out into the open lake.  And it’s about a 7 minute walk to the boardwalk at Weirs Beach. Click the pic for more info.

7.  Stroll down the boardwalk.

Boardwalk

The boardwalk is a classic.  There are old school arcades, souvenir shops, restaurants and a gorgeous view of the lake and mountains.

8.  Brunch Aboard the Mt. Washington

M/S Mount Washington on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Sunday was a yucky weather day and we decided it would be a nice day to cruise the lake while brunching on the Mount Washington and listening to some live jazz.  Sounds fancy, right?  Slightly fancy, but still very low key in true Winnipesaukee style.  In addition to the food and tunes, you will be treated to views of some jaw dropping vacation homes.

9.  Kellerhaus

Kellerhaus is my favorite gift & candy shop. Ever.  It’s not *just* the espresso fudge, either.  They have locally made goods and specialty cheeses and homemade candy and it’s all set inside this super cool former vacation home.  Don’t miss it, but skip the make your own sundae and save your calories for the fudge.  Trust me.  And, on a side a note, if you have a chance, strike up a conversation with someone that works there.  Most of the workers are here from other countries just for the summer and they are fascinating people.

10.  Sit. Relax. Breathe.

Repeat.

Easy Vacation Meal Plan

I’m leaving for my favorite place on Friday!  Lake Winnepesaukee. I’m already there in my head.  I’m day dreaming about what we’ll do, where we’ll go, what we’ll eat and, notably, what we WON’T do. As in, think about work, worry about schedules, be in a rush.  You get the picture.

I am kind of obsessing about what we will eat. I love to go out to eat, but I don’t want to do it all the time on vacation. For me, cooking on the grill and having special treats is part of the fun of vacation.  I have a rough plan of what to bring and what to make ahead of time.

Breakfast

Lunches

  • Roll Up Sandwiches
  • Pizza on the Grill, like this one from Uno’s. It’s not frozen and it cooks in 10 minutes. We can add some fun toppings, too.

UNO Cheese Pizza 2pk

 

  • Burgers and dogs!

Snacks

18 Easy Slow Cooker Snacks That Will Feed A Crowd. I'm so excited about the fudge and the buffalo meat balls!

  • Veggies and dip
  • Chips and Peach salsa
  • Nuts
  • Crackers and cheese

Dinners

Corn & Cucumber Picnic Salad. A very simple yet great tasting salad

Desserts

Gluten Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Stacked

Knock Out Your Sweet Tooth Gluten Free Dessert

 

I seriously cannot wait.

Easy Vacation Meal Plann

 

 

Don’t Miss this Sale – Anthropologie

Guys, it’s the 50% off Tag Sale at Anthropologie.  Here are the things I will seriously, seriously consider buying, but then delete from my cart because I will still feel guilty cause even at 50% off it’s still a little pricey, but I bet they would be so worth every penny!

Geoda Wrap Skirt #anthropologie

Geoda Wrap Skirt – $79.95

Striped Weekend Tee #anthropologie

Striped Weekend Tee – $49.95

Avie Tunic #anthropologie

Avie Tunic – $49.95

Seafolly Field Trip Maillot #anthropologie

Seafolly Field Trip Maillot – $79.95

Level 99 Linen Wide-Legs  #anthropologie

Level 99 Linen Wide Leg Pants – $49.95

Peaseblossom Earrings #anthropologie

Peaseblossom Earrings – $29.95

Indigo Filigree Headband #anthropologie

Indigo Filigree Headband – $19.95

Gluten Free Cookie Mix from Among Friends

I have an on again off again relationship with gluten.  I should stay off of it, but I just love the bread and the cookies and the cake so much that I always end up back on it.  That’s why I was so excited when I stumbled upon gluten free cookie mix from Among Friends in a catalog from a school fundraiser.  I bought the Phil ‘Em Up Chocolate Cranberry cookie mix.

Gluten Free Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies were delicious!  They are sort of like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie with cranberries added into the mix.  It’s a really great flavor combo. And I don’t know how the good people at Among Friends figured it out, but I couldn’t tell these were gluten free.

What makes me almost as happy as how delicious these are is how easy they are to make.  Other than the mix, all you need is vanilla, an egg and some butter.  Mix it together and pop ‘em in the oven and you are about 9 minutes away from guilt free cookie heaven.

Among Friends Gluten Free Bake Mix

And the third best thing about these cookies?  They are made by two moms.  Two moms who wanted to make healthy and delicious sweets.  I say, Mission Accomplished!  Head over to the Among Friends website and check out their inspiring story and all of their baking mixes!