friday I’m in love.

welcome back friday! be sure to pop over to kendra’s blog too to see what she’s up to. we would love for you to join us! leave a comment and we’ll come check out what you’re loving each week!

{one} the waterlogue app.

I rarely, read: never buy apps. all of my favorites – instagram, feedly, pinterest – are all free! however, when I started hearing rumblings about the waterlogue app, I had to look into it. you open up a picture in the app & it transforms it into a beautiful watercolor piece of art! seriously, it is amazing. I’m in love…

here are a few of my favs from my own pics:

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{two} seahawks victory parade.

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in case you missed it, the seahawks crushed beat the broncos in the superbowl last weekend. just yesterday there was a team parade downtown where the players & the team piled into the Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicles & cruised down fourth avenue to century link field. early estimates were that 300,000 people would end up downtown. turns out 700,000 {!} people ended up downtown cheering on the hawks. seriously. on a wednesday morning. if that isn’t pride, I don’t know what is!

{three} polar bear family.

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family photos of polar bears? melts my heart. a mama & her triplet cubs. #savethepolarbears

what are you loving this week?

M

highlights of 2013.

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{via}

happy 2014!

i’ve said it before, & i’ll say it again!, yearly recaps are always my favorite kinds of blog posts. its a small way to sum up your year & to see how much the last 365 days have brought. as i look forward to the New Year, i am humbled & grateful by all of the wondrous events of 2013. here’s the rundown of ours:

january: I started out the new year with a bout of the flu. we hosted our first blog giveaway! we installed the west elm hanging capiz chandelier over our dining room table. I framed my diy polaroids for our bedroom walls. amanda & I met john & sherry from young house love during their book signing tour! I diy-ed campaign dressers for our bedroom.

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february: I did lots of diy-ing for valentine’s day {here, here, & here} I celebrated my birthday! we bought a kitchen island. I tried to be better about getting in front of the camera!

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march: I tried my hand at painting an antler {& was so impressed with the results!}. we took my 91-year-old grandmother to target for the first time! amanda & I diy-ed framed house keys on maps. we sold jez the jetta & bought a new car.

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april: we updated our bathroom vanity with a converted antique sideboard. we updated the closet doors by stripping off the old paint in a crock pot. we celebrated our one year anniversary in our house & I reviewed all of the house diys!

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may: we finally got some good weather in seattle! I painted the ceiling & hallway walls. we celebrated aaron’s thirtieth birthday with a beer tasting party! we had a fun-filled memorial day weekend. we were featured in west elm’s blog front & main.

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front and main

june: aaron replaced our toilet. sadie was featured in the seattle dog spot blog. my parents visited for a long weekend en route to the olympic peninsula. my diy his & hers maps were featured. we finally got some summer weather!

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seattle dog blog thank you

july: we celebrated the long Fourth of July weekend with a holiday parade, fireworks, & time with friends. I made a nine layer ombre cake! we replaced our kitchen track lights with globe pendants from west elm. we road-tripped to idaho for my ten-year high school reunion. we started growing our first eggplant.

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august: we celebrated our three year wedding anniversary. the blog got a Liebster Award Nomination. I diy-ed the tiniest baby hats for our friends’ new baby. we road-tripped to hood river, oregon to celebrate my cousin’s wedding.

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september: we went to the husky vs. bronco game to kick-off labor day weekend complete with husky-style tailgating {via boat}. we took advantage of the warm weather & cleaned up the front yard with a fun game called love it or lose it. we celebrated sadie’s ninth birthday! I attended the Alt Summit for Everyone blog conference.

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october: I attempted to start doing fashion posts again. we celebrated our two year blog anniversary at emerald city diaries! I finished up with the #embracethecamera challenge. we went to the pumpkin patch & carved pumpkins with friends.

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november: aaron joined a team for movember 2013. we snuck off to hawaii for thanksgiving.

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december: I reviewed some of my favorite weekend in pictures pics. I participated in A Pinterest Christmas for the third year {see this year’s projects here, here, here, here, & here}! we celebrated Christmas in indiana with aaron’s family.

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reflecting back on this year, i am reminded how blessed we are & also how different this year has been than the year previous. it has been such a wonderful year & ringing in a new one is a bit bittersweet.

how was your 2013 – was it a year to remember, or are you itching to start 2014 already?

M

see past yearly highlights for 2011 & 2012.

a pinterest christmas: glitter letter garland & chalkboard wreath.

welcome to week three {& the final project} of a pinterest christmas! {see the first two weeks of projects here, here, here, & here} i have been eyeing the glitter letter garlands that have been floating around Pinterest & the inter-webs for some time now, waiting for the perfect occasion to make one {if christmas isn’t the perfect occasion for glitter, i don’t know what is!}. i also wanted to make use of our chalkboard entry again & found a fun way to marry these two projects.

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{original pinterest link – glitter letters}

supplies:

  • letter stencils – i made my own in Word

  • glitter cardstock – i got mine from Michael’s

  • scissors

  • exacto knife – i highly recommend this for cutting out the inside of the “a”

  • plastic straw – {optional} i used to string the letters onto ribbon

  • ribbon/twine/string

  • glue – {optional to use with straw} i used tacky craft glue

first i chose the phrase i wanted to use. “fa la la la” seemed like a fun choice! then i made my stencils using Word. i just typed in the letters i needed – F, L, A – & played with the fonts & sizes until i found something i liked.

then i cut out my stencils, traced them backwards onto the back {non-glitter} side of the cardstock, & cut out the letters.

in order to string the letters onto the ribbon i chose, i decided to give a straw a try. i cut a plastic straw into small pieces, about an inch or so {less than the width of the top of the letter to disguise it} & glued the side of the straw to the back of the top of each letter.

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i then strung each letter onto the ribbon.

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for the chalkboard wreath, i decided on the empty wall where i drew last year’s festive chalkboard art {see here} as it is the first thing you see when you walk thru our front door. my main goal for this wreath was to create a simple backdrop for the glittery garland.

Christmas Chalkboard Wreath

{original pinterest link – no original link}

i started by softly outlining the shape of the wreath in chalk so that it was big enough for the garland to stretch across. then I erased the lines I drew with a wet washcloth in the circle shape that I wanted. i started to add white dots within the wet area, followed by red & green ones. I added dots somewhat randomly & then stepped back to see where I needed to fill in. it wasn’t a very scientific process & I liked that it didn’t need to be perfect {which is a lot if you know me!}.

i hung the garland across using push pins after I had the basic shape in place so I could use it for reference.

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ready for some more {p}inspiration? check out these ladies:

amanda @ Without A Doubt

maggi @ Greg, Maggi, & Rodney

abbi @ The Pena Family

kendra @ The Gilbertson Family

{also, catch up on the last two years on my diy tutorials page here.}

 

have you been {p}inspired by any christmas projects this year?

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{on friday we did dinner & a movie with my grandmother. her choice was the butler which was very good. highly recommend it!}

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{saturday morning i started a painting project. the details are a secret for now but i should be able to share soon!}

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{amanda & i had a crafternoon date on saturday. she brought over these gorgeous antique keys. now i need to find a fun project for them. any ideas?}

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{i peeled lots of potatoes this weekend since we have been getting so many with our CSA each week. i peeled, boiled, & mashed some up to freeze – you can freeze potatoes, right?}

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{we found a dog groomer close by & took sadie in for a much-needed grooming. she even got a bandana to wear with her new look.}

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{saturday night was a double date night with our neighbors, the friends. i kept it classy with black & white.}

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{aaron & i continued date night on saturday after dinner with some molly moon’s. the summer is nearly over & this marks only the second time we have been. #makingupforlosttime}

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{this morning i met a girlfriend for breakfast at the market. it was crazy busy, per usual on a sunday, but so fun.}

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{i can never resist picking up a beautiful {& cheap} bouquet when i am down at pike place. this month the dahlias are in bloom!}

we had a great weekend full of catching up with friends we have been meaning to get together with all summer. does that happen to you where you plan on seeing someone {or a couple} & then it takes months to get together? i have been forcing myself to just get something on the calendar & make time every weekend to catch up! it has been lovely. the weekend went so quickly {doesn’t it always?} but we are looking forward to a short work week, though i am at a loss to believe that next weekend is labor day. seriously, where did the summer go? how was your weekend?

M

thirty before i am thirty: {ombre 4th of july cake}

number twenty-nine: bake a cake.

it is hard to believe but i made it to 28 without ever baking a cake. seriously. it is something that i have always wanted to do, but i just never found the time. when i was flipping through my new InStyle mag last month & saw a nine layer ombre cake in blue & red, i knew i had to make this cake! #gobigorgohome ideally i would have wanted to make the cake & frosting from scratch, but let’s be honest, the ombre colors & nine layers more than made up for that!

we were attending a fourth of july party at our friend jerry’s house which was lucky since this cake turned out enormous. seriously. it was 9 inches wide & eleven inches tall. such a beaut! i knew this would be a lot to take on being my first cake and everything, but it was fun & i had such a great support system thanks to aaron & local friends cheering me on!

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{ingredient prep. see the full list & recipe below.}

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{dying three sets of cakes.}

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{baking, frosting, & stacking.}

{two other things: my sister taught me a trick years ago to use pieces of parchment paper underneath the first cake layer to keep the plate or cake stand clean – at the end you carefully pull the papers out. also, i didn’t cut any of the layers flat before stacking since they were all thin; as i built up the layers there was some curve on the tops of the top layers & i used a little extra frosting as glue.}

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{that is my “hey i made a cake & i am super excited” face. & that is our wonderful friend jerry behind me – thanks for hosting a fab party jerry!}

ombre cake – recipe from InStyle magazine July 2013

makes one 9-inch cake {stands 11 inches tall}

ingredients:

  • 3 boxes white cake mix
  • 6 egg whites
  • 4 1/2 cups Sprite
  • Blue gel food coloring {i used Americolor gel pastes from Amazon – royal blue}
  • Red gel food coloring {i used Americolor gel pastes from Amazon – super red}
  • 5 12 oz. tubs of whipped vanilla frosting
  • cooking spray/butter
  • parchment paper
  • 3 9-inch cake pans

one. preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

two. mix one box of cake mix with 2 egg whites and 1 1/2 cups Sprite; divide evenly among 3 bowls.

three. create three shares of blue: add 2 drops of coloring to one bowl, four to the second, and 8 to the third.

four. coat three 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray {i rubbed butter on the edges of the pan instead}; line bottoms with parchment paper cut to size. pour each batter into its own pan.

five. bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. let layers cool; remove from pans. if needed, use a serrated knife to trim tops so they are level.

six. place darkest blue layer on a plate {or cake stand!}; cover with a thin layer of frosting. repeat with remaining layers, from darkest to lightest. chill cake in fridge. {definitely put the cake in the fridge every three layers, this helps tremendously with the cake stability!}

seven. repeat step two.

eight. add one drop of blue coloring to one bowl and one drop of red to another. do not tint the last bowl.

nine. repeat steps four and five.

ten. keep building cake with blue, then white, then red layers, frosting after each. chill cake in fridge.

eleven. repeat steps two to fie using red coloring instead of blue.

twelve. keep building cake with red layers, going from lightest to darkest, frosting after each

thirteen. coat outside of cake with thin layer of frosting. chill for 15 minutes.

fourteen. use remaining frosting to generously coat outside of cake. chill for at least one hour before cutting.

have you baked anything recently? anything ombre or layered?

M

diy his & hers maps.

one of the gifts i made for aaron’s birthday was a framed his & hers map set. i had vintage maps of indiana & idaho that i picked up when i was antique shopping with amanda a few months ago. i had seen a lot of things pinterest, like here, here, & here, but i came up with a little something different.

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supplies:

  • cardstock to make heart & banners
  • scissors
  • colored cardstock for background
  • maps – vintage optional
  • ruler
  • gluestick
  • letter stamps or pen
  • pencil

first i cut out two 5 x 7 inch pieces to fit into my frames. then i cut out a heart that was just a 1/2 inch or so smaller on each side than the 5 inch width. {sidenote: i find that when cutting out hearts, it is easier to fold the paper in half & draw & cut one side of the heart out. this way you have a perfectly symmetrical heart. think elementary school.} i opened up my maps & found the towns that aaron & i are from on each – alexandria for aaron & meridian/eagle for me. then i centered the heart on the town, traced around it, & cut out the heart.

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to make the little banners, i cut out two strips of white cardstock that were 3 inches by 3/4 inches. i stamped “him” & “her” on each strip {being the stamping novice that i am, i got some ink on the edge of the stamp that showed up. i thought it looked sort of vintage-y so i left it}. then i cut out little triangles on each end of the strip. i glued one heart on one background & the other heart on the other background, & then glued on the banners to each piece.

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have you made anything with {vintage} maps?

M