Thursday, January 28, 2016

Make This: Wine Cork Wreath

For the last several weeks, I've been participating in A Bowl Full of Lemons Home Organization Challenge.  To date, I've purged the kitchen, pantry and most recently our dining room.  The idea is to go through everrrryythinnnggg and rid your house of excess!  Challengers have a facebook page where organizational/functionality ideas are shared and it helps keep many of us accountable.  Sunday after I checked all the items off the list of things to do, I posted a picture on Instagram and in the facebook group to mark my weekly achievement. 

Fellow Challengers posted lovely comments about the room and the decorating style (which I'd sum up as: farmhouse, rustic and country) that we've chosen for our home.  I had questions about how I redid the chairs, the A-frame wine rack and if I had made the placemats, but folks were gaga over the wine cork wreath! Since there was such a genuine interest in how it was made, I promised a tutorial would appear on the blog this week.  So as promised....

Make This: Wine Cork Wreath

Items Needed:
Straw Wreath
Wine Corks

First and foremost, do yourself a favor and leave the plastic wrapping on the wreath!  Your wreath will be full of corks and you won't even see it.  It's not worth the mess you'll have if you remove it. 

Cut a rather long piece of jute (or cord or some other heavy string), that will be how your wreath is hung up.  The length is purely your decision.  The jute in the tutorial was 22 inches long.  You'll double it up and lay it underneath your straw wreath.  Feed the tails through the loop at the top and finish by knotting the tails together, as shown.

Now, grab a wine cork and a toothpick.  You will carefully pierce the toothpick into one end of your cork.  You may have to wiggle the toothpick and hold your mouth just so to get it started...  Once you've got the toothpick attached to the cork, start placing the toothpicks into the straw wreath. 

You will continue the process of attaching the toothpick to the cork and place them into the wreath.  Place each cork close to it's neighbor so that you see very little of the straw wreath.  

Inevitably, you will have a toothpick break on you.  Just pull it out and start again.

As you continue to place the cork/toothpicks into the wreath you'll want to remember to fill in the middle and outside edge of the wreath. 

As I was creating this wreath several years ago, I had a couple friends saving corks for me.  I solemnly swear I didn't drink every bottle associated with each cork!  There was a point that I just started sticking the corks in the wreath and added to it as I came across more.  Just last week I added a few corks to a spot or two that was thin.  My wreath is always evolving!  I'd encourage you to jump right in and not wait until you have enough corks.  Honestly, I have no idea how many are enough...

Oh oh!!  Something else that's noteworthy... Depending on the size of your wreath it can get really HEAVY!!!  Seriously.  If you decide to hang it on your wall use an anchor or double-check it's hanging from a stud.  It would be really sad for your wall and your wreath if it came crashing down!

Go collect your supplies, open a bottle of wine because you'll need the cork and get crafting!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 Christmas in the Country Gift Reveal

After keeping quiet for several weeks, I can finally reveal my Christmas in the Country swap partner!  I received a box of goodies from Miss Amanda of The Good Stuff.

Amanda is currently working in DC and utilizing her degree in Ag Communication that she received from Kansas State University.  #EMAW, isn't that y'all's hashtag?  I see it all over my social media sites because I'm friends with a host of alumni.  And the school's primary color is purple.  I can dig it!

In addition to being professionals (haha!) in the agriculture community, we share an affinity for turquoise, mason jars and wine!  What I need her to teach me... How do you create and rock that messy hair look?!  Amanda has also inspired me to get my butt in gear and create/post my 101 in 1001 that I talked about way back when...

To my swap partner I sent some cute measuring spoons and rubber spatulas from Crate and Barrel; along with a pad of notepaper.  She creates recipes and I thought that she'd be able to put those three things to good use.  In addition to the kitchen inspired goodies, I sent her a snowman figurine/photo display and some loose leaf tea.  The tea, oh the tea... What a calamity!  Unbeknownst to me, Miss Haddie got into the box of goodies I was sending and it was only after talking with some of the co-hosts did I realize that someone covered up Haddie's indiscretions.  Long story short, the tea was undrinkable.  Talk about a huge embarrassment, I felt terrible!  The best laid plans.

Okay, back to task at hand here's the scoop on the gifts Amanda sent!

First off... those caramels.  Y'all they have rum IN THEM!  Hello, delicious.  I'm also totally stoked about the glass nail file and the fact that it has a case to keep it in!  I can't tell you how many pairs of sunglasses I've ruined because they get scratched up in my purse.  And the notepad, I'm a list maker from way back and this is perfect!  Amanda also sent some really cute bev naps and a deck of wine cards that help you pair wine with your favorite foods.  Sold.  The four little jars?  They're spice containers!  They remind me of the ones my grandparents kept on their kitchen table when I was a little girl.  I love them!

Amanda did a bang up job and I hope that one day our paths cross!  The agricultural community is pretty small and I'd be willing to bet there's a good chance that us meeting IRL might truly happen!

I want to thank all the hosts (Laurie, Jamie, Kirby and Lara) of this year's Christmas in the Country swap for organizing such an undertaking!  Thanks for dreaming up this event that connects like-minded gals, that hopefully lead to great friendships despite the many miles that can separate us!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Our 2015 Christmas Card

Confession: Today is December 23 and our Christmas cards went out yesterday. 

Thankfully I just happened to choose a card that tacks on "and Happy New Year", so I'm in the clear right?!  This year's Christmas card may have went out way (way, way) later than I typically prefer sending, but they did get mailed.  And they're probably one of my favorite cards to date! 

The fact that our outfits are totally. on. point. may have something to do with that...

And that I was having a good hair day thanks to my Beauty Swap goodies doesn't hurt either!

Again this year, I created our Christmas card using Shutterfly.  They have SO MANY templates that I spent hours (not kidding) designing options for this year's card.  I got to the point where I was saving them things like "Christmas Card # no idea" and "Christmas Card what number am I on".  Matt and I had to narrow down our options twenty-freakin'-six to one!  The barnwood and coordinating red design sorted itself quickly to the top of our list of options.

I hope you all get to spend this holiday season with the ones you love the most! 

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's Like Christmas! Beauty Swap Reveal.

I genuinely love participating in Crystal Cattle's Beauty Swap! My favorite part is connecting with and staying in touch with past partners.  I've had some great ones!  Thanks to Crystal for creating such a fun event and allowing me to co-host with her for the 2nd anniversary of the Beauty Swap!

This Swap I was paired with Sara Hewitt of Faith, Farming & Cowboy Boots.  Sara is a farmer's daughter, who is working on getting a Master's degree in Agricultural Education.  She's also a cowboy boot wearing garage sale lover with a passion for horses.

Sound familiar?!!?  Two peas in a pod we are!  Sara and her hubby do have an adorable little girl, Harper; while Matt and I are only parents to two fur babies!

The package of goodies Sara sent arrived while I was in Chicago for our Illinois Farm Bureau annual meeting (Another commonality between the two of us!  Sara and Mark are active in the Minnesota Farm Bureau), but I literally ripped open the box when I got home Monday night!  Inside were some great items:

Beauty Swap

Throughout the string of emails getting to know each other, we talked a lot of about likes/dislikes and products that we'd be wanting to try.  First on my list was The Detangler hairbrush, which is as fantastic as every says!  I've used it on dry hair and again this morning after my shower.  Love!  I'm typically a comb user out of the shower, but this has be seriously reconsidering.
The two lip crayons were included by Sara because they're some of her favorite steals from Ulta.  I received Love Spell and Hazy Pink, which is a matte finish.  I've got on Love Story right now and it's definitely got me under some sort of spell!

See the Brow Power up there??  It's epic.  I've struggled with whether my current brow pencil is too dark for my brow color and this little ditty rectifies that problem.  It's UNIVERSAL!  The darker you press the dark it appears and the brush that's included helps to feather for a natural look.

The It Cosmetics Hello Lashes mascara has taken some getting used to.  The applicator end is different configured differently than what I've used in the past, but I'm getting the hang of it after a few days.  

I've yet to try the Powder Play, but I do love me some big Texas hair and can't wait to 'tease it to Jesus'!  Our Christmas pictures are scheduled for Friday and plan to jack my hair!

Sara also included several sample products and I'm loving the CC+ cream by It Cosmetics.  I've used it the last two mornings and really like to look and feel.  And now a shameless bathroom selfie featuring several of my Beauty Swap items...

Beauty Swap

I can't wait to see what everyone else received in their Swap boxes and hopefully connect with some more amazing women!  Don't forget to link upyour blog posts on Crystal's page!