How to Move Like a Pro // Essentials

Moving Day Essentials

Between the two of us combined, Ryan and I have moved a total of 12 times since we graduated college. Some of them were just a few blocks away, like when we moved from 184th to 181st in NYC. And some of them were across state lines (or across the country… twice). Suffice it to say we have nailed down our moving system and refined it pretty well. For this last move, I gotta say I was pretty impressed with us — we had a list of essentials that we kept out until the very end, packed all in one box, and tossed in the back of the car. It was perfect. Even on our last day in the house, with all of our belongings packed and in a truck, we were comfy and had everything we need. When we arrived at our new spot, this box was the first to come with us to give us a head start in the new place. If you’ve got a move coming, here’s our list of essentials.

Personal Items. This one kind of covers anything you’d put in your suitcase — a few sets of clothes, your toiletries, any meds, and the like. Think of it like you’re packing a weekend bag.

Moving Day Essentials

Tech. This is always a major one for us because our jobs basically revolve around having access to the internet! We always hold on to our router for as long as possible, or in this latest case, borrow internet for a couple of days from a nice neighbor. Also be sure you have a charger for every device you have, and some music or movies loaded and handy.

Bedding. Make yourself comfy, y’all! We spent our last night on a big ol’ air mattress with our own sheets and pillows. It helps a bunch to get a good nights’ sleep. And then you have your sheets handy when you move into the new place.

Tissues. Crucial! Tissues can serve a million purposes in your final days when things are packed! They’re towels, napkins, toilet paper, and obviously useful when you shed a tear or two because you’re stressed out that not all of your stuff is going to make it to the new town. The Puffs SoftPack is perfect for moving because it’s a full-sized pack of tissues but the packaging is soft so you can shove it anywhere! Stuff it in a box, in your bag, in a suitcase, or in your glove box, and it’s all good. These are now my go-to tissues for travel. I’ve got packages stuffed everywhere (and they’re cute too).

Moving Day Essentials

Cleaner. We keep out one all-purpose bottle of cleaner to give the house one final wipe-down after all of the boxes are gone. The best kind is the spray-on/wipe-off, so you don’t have to rinse. Just spritz everything and use your Puffs tissues to wipe down so the house is fresh and clean. (Particularly good for apartments, when you’re trying to get a cleaning deposit back!)

Disposable Plates & Utensils. We had our kitchen packed up about three days before we moved, but didn’t want to eat out for every meal. So we set aside one frying pan and a bunch of disposable plates and ate homecooked meals all week. Easy peasy.

Snacks. Duh. This pregnant girl gets cranky if there’s not a sensible granola bar around for an afternoon snack.

What about you? Are you a moving pro? I gotta say, the storage room with all of our stuff in it stacked in boxes makes me super glad we have our essentials handy. I’d love to know how you tackle the final few days in an old place and the first few in a new place. What are your essentials? xoxo

This post was brought to you by the makers of Puffs® facial tissues. I received compensation to write this post through the Puffs® SoftPack™ program. All opinions expressed are my own.

DIY Copper Leaf Candles

DIY Copper Leaf Candles

DIY Copper Leaf CandlesI know what you’re thinking. Copper leaf? Are we jumping ship from gold?!  Surely not, guys. You know that gold leaf and I are in it together for the long haul. But I thought for fall, a little copper could shake things up a bit. Yeah, I’m just crazy like that. I was toodling around in Michaels recently, through all of the fun fall stuff for a little inspiration, and I all of a sudden got a major itch to up my candle game. So these copper leaf guys came to life.

Materials

  • plain white candles
  • Martha Steward Copper Leaf
  • ModPodge
  • small paintbrush

Make Time: 30 Minutes

Paint a very thin layer of ModPodge around the bottom of the candle. It can be as wide or as narrow as you like. Try not to let a lot of the glue pool.

DIY Copper Leaf Candles

DIY Copper Leaf Candles

Let the ModPodge sit for about a minute to get tacky. In the meantime, cut a strip of copper leaf that’s slightly wider than the strip of ModPodge that you painted.

 

DIY Copper Leaf CandlesCheck that the ModPodge is tacky but not wet, and wrap the strip of leaf around the tacky part of the candle. Smooth the copper leaf onto the glue by pressing firmly and rubbing all the surface area into the glue.

DIY Copper Leaf Candles

Pull the backing of the leaf away so that the copper leaf remains on the candle. If there are any spots that need retouching, add a bit of glue and repeat the leafing process.

DIY Copper Leaf Candles

Dust away any excess leaf with a clean, dry paintbrush and you’re good to go! These shiny little babes will look so cool on a fall tabletop or mantle. Or make a zillion of them and give them as gifts! You can’t go wrong. And now I’m just as in love with copper leaf as I am with gold. Be sure to check out the rest of the #MichaelsMakers posts, links are below! xoxo

DIY Copper Leaf Candles

DIY Copper Leaf Candles

DIY Copper Leaf Candles

DIY Copper Leaf Candles


Insta-Approval

Yellow Flower Backdrop

Guys, I have thoughts today and I’m gonna share. There’s this thing that’s been happening to me lately (or a thing I’ve been doing to myself?) where I get weirdly obsessed when I think about posting an Instagram photo.

It’s starting to weigh on my mind. While I’m out taking photos, I almost get too caught up in taking the perfect photo for Instagram. And then when I edit the photo I think too hard about it. And then when I post the photo I start feeling terrible if I think not enough people are liking it. What?! It’s madness! I’ve descended into a social media-induced search for approval. And I don’t like it.

Mine is Instagram. Maybe yours is Facebook or Twitter or whatever else. But do you ever find yourself feeling the same way? Putting way too much energy into finding the perfect 140 characters, so people will like or follow or pin or retweet or whatever the heck they’re supposed to do? I don’t like it. But the thing is, I love social media. I don’t want to abandon it. I think that it is so incredible to be able to keep in touch and reach people, and particularly with Instagram I find that it’s a really fun, exciting creative outlet.

So how do you do it? How do you not obsess over your number of followers and likes but still participate in the social world? Particularly as a blogger, where we value and love our social followers so much because we enjoy sharing things with them, I think it’s a slippery slope. It’s easy to forget that it’s about sharing thoughts and discoveries, and that it’s not about who has the most followers or which photo got the most likes. And for that matter, is that really approval? Somebody clicking a little follow button shouldn’t have any bearing on my self-worth as a creative, and yet sometimes it comes dangerously close to feeling that way.

Hit me with your words of wisdom, guys. Do you ever feel this way? Do you think that we place too much importance on liking/tweeting/following/blah blah blah? Maybe it weighs on your mind and maybe not, but I’d love to know where you stand on the whole thing.

That, and have a great weekend. xoxo

Baby Stuff // 5

Baby Stuff

Woah you guys. Third trimester! This is happening, like for real. Time is flying and I feel like baby’s going to be here before we know it. The kid got real big, real quick. At least, that’s what it feels like. All of a sudden I’m catching glimpses of myself in the mirror and I’m shocked at the big pregnant lady staring back at me. I’m also feeling like the largeness is finally really starting to impede my movements. I’m not necessarily waddling around, but I’m not turning pirouettes, either. And if I’m sitting on the floor there better be somebody offering me a hand to get up. That’s all I have to say about that.

My only other comments? It’s hot. Oh my gosh. I tend to run hot under normal circumstances, but this baby keeps me in a permanent state of meltdown. Add to that the temps in the high 90’s still and I just don’t want to go outside or do anything. Gimme that AC, all day long. Here’s more! xoxo

WEEK 29.

EATING frozen yogurt like it’s my job.

DRINKING certainly not the delicious-looking gin & tonics that my husband has been making all week. That showoff.

READING all the blogs. Blogs about home improvement, blogs about baby nurseries, blogs about whether that pain in my abdomen is normal.

WANTING some weather that’s below the 80 degree mark.

SLEEPING meh. Every night, without fail, the kiddo and I are up having quality time from 3 am to 5 am. At 5 I just magically fall back to sleep. It’s bizarre.

WEARING anything that won’t make me sweat.

FEELING large. Also, grateful for all of the love that’s surrounding Baby Foy already.

LOVING my sweet husband for all of the little things he’s doing to make life easier.

P.S. See more Baby Stuff right here!

Blogging // Coming Up with Inspiration (Part 2)

Finding Inspiration for Blogging

I can’t tell you how many people have asked me over the years whether I have trouble coming up with things to write about or share here on the blog. And for the most part (aside from the odd dry spell or creative rut — we all get ‘em), the answer is no. What I’ve always loved about this space is that it’s essentially just a journal of the things that Mr. Lovely and I like to do or include in our every day lives. We travel, we eat, we make things, we have deep convos. And all of that gets shared here. I think life is just the greatest inspiration. But there are definitely times when I have a more focused intent on creating posts to share, and that’s when I go to my tried and true methods of stirring up some inspiration.

Noticing a Need Oftentimes if I’m feeling like I want to make something and just don’t know what, I’ll check out my surroundings to see if there’s anything I need. The day I realized that my mousepad was old and tired, I accidentally made one of my very favorite DIYs! Similarly, if I feel like there’s an empty space on the internet where there could be a great conversation, I’ll put together a blog post (or series) that addresses it. That’s why I started writing about Married Life.

Window Shopping Mr. Lovely and I are notoriously frugal, but it don’t cost nothin’ to window shop baby! I love going to beautiful shops that have either gorgeous merchandising or really lovely things for sale (or both!) and getting inspired. Sometimes just seeing the way that other people organize or create is enough to get me inspired.

Local Adventures Go somewhere new! Every town has a whole mess of spots to explore, whether it’s a restaurant, a park, a shop, or an event. I love finding things in town that I didn’t know existed — and that’s a blog post in and of itself right there!

Travel I’ve had wanderlust my whole life. And traveling is one of the things that inspires me most. Sometimes our worlds are so small, and we travel in the same paths every day, and we forget that there are places, communities, cultures, vistas, roads we’ve never seen. Go see that stuff if you have the chance. Notice everything you can and see how it enhances your creative vibes.

Talking with Pals Inspiration doesn’t have to cost a dime. I’ve had more than a few creative lightning bolts strike while I’ve been brainstorming or just talking shop with friends. And sometimes I find that the best ideas come from chatting with people in an entirely different industry than mine! It’s so refreshing to get a totally new perspective, and it can sometimes open your eyes to an idea that was sitting right in front of you.

I’d love to know how you get inspired to do what you do! Whether you’re a blogger, teacher, doctor, or anything in between — where do you go or what do you do when you’re in a rut? xoxo

P.S. After I wrote this I realized I wrote something similar about a year ago — and interestingly enough, it’s a little different! See more tips for getting inspired from last year.

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

I’ve been wanting to try this forever and hallelujah it worked! I recently found this new transfer paper that works like gangbusters, so I really wanted to see how it would look with some of my favorite Instagram photos emblazoned on a t-shirt (or a tiny onesie for our little dude!). As it turns out, it looks pretty rad. And now I want to make one for everybody I know.

Materials

Make Time: 30 Minutes

If you like the photos I used from my own Instagram feed, you’re in luck! I’ve got them right here for a freebie download that you can just click and use. There’s some ocean waves for a little person and a camera for a big person. If you’d like to use mine, just download and print onto your transfer paper according to the instructions on the packaging.

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

If you’d like to use your own photos, you’ll need to export one of your Instagrams from your iPhoto program. Open it in Photoshop and crop it into a circle in the right size for the shirt that you’ll be using. Save and print on the transfer paper.

Once your photos are printed, carefully cut around the edges.

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

Lay down a pillowcase on a flat surface like a table (not an ironing board — too soft). Be sure that the pillowcase and your shirt are both ironed and free of wrinkles.

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

Peel the backing off of the transfer and lay the transfer printed side up. Place the tissue paper from the transfer packet over the transfer, and with an iron on high heat, press firmly on the image, moving the iron slowly around it for about a minute.

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

Let the transfer cool for a couple of minutes and gently remove the tissue paper. Booooom! Super cool shirts for everyone.

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

Definitely follow the washing directions on the packaging to keep the transfer in great condition. We’ll see how the onesie fares once baby comes along and covers it with who knows what. But until then, I’m pretty stoked on this project. They’d make awesome baby shower gifts for a funky mom, or personalized presents for your pals. Hope you try it out! xoxo

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

DIY Instagram Transfer T-Shirt & Onesie

New House Sneak Peek Before Photos

Okay, gang. It’s just a big empty space right now. And there’s dust everywhere and no doors on any rooms and the bathroom doesn’t have a floor. But its ours and I love it. I wanted to share some of these crazy (and maybe slightly terrifying) peeks at the new house in its current state! It’s very much in the middle of a mini-renovation — we decided to do a few things to it before we move all of our stuff in. Here’s the lowdown.

We put a coat of white paint on the whole inside of the house, so we’d be starting with a clean slate. I loooove how it’s just a big white box right now. So bright and so many possibilities. These are the two living rooms (slash dining rooms? We don’t really know yet.). The big project right this minute is that all the original hardwood in the house is getting sanded and refinished. Fingers crossed that it’ll be good.

New House Sneak Peek Before Photos

New House Sneak Peek Before Photos

The kitchen cabinets got some paint, too — white on top and black on bottom. That mega-fabulous tile straight out of the 1950’s will be going soon. We’re hitching up our britches and going to see if we can DIY a new countertop and backsplash. Yikes. (Anyone have experience with that? Would love to know how it went!) Also new flooring coming in the kitch.

New House Sneak Peek Before Photos

Laundry porch view. Just because.

New House Sneak Peek Before Photos

More 1950’s tile. I know. Some of you are like, “Yaaaayyy!” And some of you are like, “….”. I don’t know what camp I’m in yet. But we’ll be living with the mint green tile for a while. In the meantime, we’re putting new tile on the floor.

New House Sneak Peek Before Photos

A hallway with so many closets and drawers I could just die. New hardware is on the way — I’m having a hard time not choosing gold everything.

New House Sneak Peek Before Photos

And the three bedrooms all look like some variation of the one below. There’ll be a master, a nursery, and an office. A whole office space, with a door on it and everything! You can’t imagine my happiness. Oy.

New House Sneak Peek Before PhotosSo! We have just a little bit of work cut out for us. But it’s the good kind of work, where at the end you get to sit back and survey your DIY kingdom and wiggle your toes because you are exhausted and it’s rad. Stay tuned for lots of projects and updates. And have a great week! xoxo