Archive of ‘Homemade’ category

Spring Favorites

By Natalie

Happy Spring! We’ve been dusting off the pollen that’s been finding it’s way onto our outdoor furniture. We’re spending every day outside we can before the humidity hits because nature is proven to boost your mood. Aren’t you glad the sun is out?

Here’s a list of my Spring favorites! (more…)


A Work in Progress

By Natalie

I’ve always hoped to plant a garden one day. I’m not so great with plants, but I love the way they look and I try my hardest to keep them alive. I have a peace lily upstairs that’s on it’s last leg. I’ve had dozens of succulents die on my watch and even a cactus that once toppled right over from overwatering. I tend to forget about my plants and then drown them in hopes to make up the days they went without nourishment.

This house has given me a fresh start. If you’d call this that.

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Baby Fried Rice

By Natalie

I had to share this easy 3 ingredient recipe I came up with for the babe. Fried rice is a staple in our household. It’s one of Brandon’s favorite meals to make. He usually fries it up with chicken, but it’s easily converted to vegetarian. In this recipe I subbed rice for cauliflower rice and I suppose it’s not technically fried but it looks like fried rice! Felicity loves each of these veggies on their own so much that I decided to combine them all and call it baby fried rice! (more…)

Fall Favorites

By Natalie

The cooler weather is here! We’re welcoming it with smiles and Pom Pom bonnets. My sister made that bonnet. Isn’t it precious? For more cool weather items check out her Etsy shop here. It’s never too early to shop for Christmas. In fact you might even be a little late to the game. Get on it. Christmas is only 7 weeks away.

I wanted to share some of my Fall favorites with you today! Just a few things that have made this season a little cozier. I may make this a seasonal recurrence if I can plan my life and blog out that well. No promises. (more…)

DIY: Fabric Scrap Mobile

By Natalie

I found my inspiration for this mobile on Pinterest. There’s tons of different variations with either fabric, yarn, or ribbon. Look through your stash first to see what you can come up with. Or stop by your favorite craft store to grab the minimal supplies you need for this easy peasy DIY project. (more…)

DIY: Christmas Bunting

By Natalie

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Here’s what you’ll need…

  • 2-3 feet of Fabric (Depending on how long you want your bunting to be.)
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Pinking Shears
  • Double Fold Bias Tape
  • Matching Thread
  • Pencil
  • Iron
  • Stencil
  • Sewing Machine

I have been sewing for about three years, and I still make some serious rookie mistakes. Since I purchased pinking shears, buntings have been my favorite easy sewing project. I found this fabric, and thought I was being conscious of getting only as much as I needed, only to find out that once I cut out my triangles, half of them would reveal upside down christmas trees! Apparently I’d never used a print that it mattered which way I cut. Rookie mistakes.

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Sometimes even the easiest of DIYs can turn out to be a headache. Don’t fret! You are not alone.

I made a stencil a while back out of a piece of cardstock, and would highly recommend doing so, as it makes your tracing much quicker. I simply used a straight edge to measure out how large of a triangle I wanted, and cut my piece of cardstock.

Once you’ve made a stencil lay it on the back of your fabric and trace away. (This is where I bring the ironing board into the living room, and start a netflix show)

When you’ve finished tracing, use your pinking shears to cut the triangles out. Pinking shears keep your fabric from fraying. Which is why you won’t need to sew a front and back piece together for this type of bunting. At some point I’m sure the fabric cut with the shears would fray after a little wear and tear, but since buntings are merely decorative, and I swap them out through the seasons, I’ve never felt the need to make them double sided. It should take a long time for them to actually start fraying.

imageOnce you’ve cut out your triangles you’ll want to iron out any wrinkles or folds before you place them in the double fold bias tape. Bias tape can be found in most craft stores near the threads, zippers, and other bindings. Just a tip I could have used when I found myself walking up and down the ribbon aisle looking for whatever that stinking bias tape was.

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Pin your work together like so, and carefully carry it over to your sewing machine.

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I like to use a zig zag stitch, to match the look of the cut outs, and just because I feel like it holds better.

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Keep your pin cushion close to discard each pin as you go. You may need to readjust as you go, and be sure to keep your cut outs pushed all the way up to the bias tape fold.

Once you’ve finished your work should look something like this↓image

Hang it up, and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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DIY: Side Table

By Natalie

Last summer Brandon and I found ourselves walking through the aisles of Home Depot to find materials for our latest project. We had collected all of our wood, and were looking for the best set of nails when an older man passed by us chuckling. He said something along the lines of this project being my vision, and contracting my honey to create it. He was exactly right. I found a picture of a side table that I liked, and it seemed easy enough for my craftsman to put together.

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B had this project finished in just a few hours. Sawing, sanding, and drilling together this magnificent table with measurements of his own liking.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 inch Wood Planks
  • 4 Wood Posts
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Sander, or Sandpaper to smooth the edges
  • Tape Measure
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Saw, or have the planks cut into the sizes of your liking
  • Stain

And then put it all together however tall, and spaced apart as you’d like. All you’ve really got to do after sanding the edges is screw the wood planks to the side, front, and top of the 4 wood posts. Then apply your stain. We actually had a stain that we were hoping to apply but never got around to it since I’ve loved the look of the natural wood.

Here she is…

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Blue Apron

By Natalie

imageBrandon recently discovered this meal delivery service going by the name of Blue Apron. He sent me this honest review to look over, and we decided we should give it a shot. The service offers a 2 person plan with 3 meals a week, and a 4 person plan with 2 meals a week, charging 9.99 a person, per meal. The thought of 3 less meals to plan and shop for was intriguing enough for me, because time is money, and my least favorite chore is meal planning. I fall back on the same recipes often, stick to the same meat and veggies, cooked the same way, and blah blah blah blah blah. I made a pretty good crockpot chili recently, so two weeks later I made it again. And this crockpot chili.. it made A LOT of chili. So here we were eating chili two days in a row for lunch and dinner two weeks apart. Worse things have happened at dinner time I absolutely realize this, but after four years of cooking for two I am fresh out of ideas.

I signed up for Blue Apron after I found a $20 off coupon from a Facebook ad. I was sold. Half the time wracking my brain for yummy meal ideas I hated cooking, and slicing off some time in the grocery store. Absolutely I’m in.

With Blue Apron you can view the menu for the week before it ships, and you choose the day it ships to you.. What the what? We buy everything we can on Amazon, and that’s not a big deal. We order Bingley’s food from Chewy, because it’s not sold just anywhere, and it’s cheaper online! So sure I’ll take a 28lb bag of dog food autoshipped straight to my DOORSTEP every 6 weeks.. because hello? Convenient. Why on earth have we not ordered dinner straight to our door that’s not take out sooner? Beats me! You can also check off certain meats you do not want to receive, opt for the vegetarian meals.. And you can cancel at anytime. Sold. Right?

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A few days ago I recieved my first box, and I have never been so excited to see a box full of vegetables in my life! Our ingredients came in a refrigerated box, along with step by step photo recipe cards, and a letter stating where the vegetables had been grown. I started pulling out these vegetables I had never cooked or even heard of before like Celeriac, or Celery Root, Fennel Bulb, and Fronds. I placed the veggies in the fridge unsure if I was going to be a fan of the mushrooms, and mostly certain I’d be in over my head with those radishes.

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After putting the veggies away I placed the ice packs that covered the meat in the freezer, cause they fit perfect in our cooler, and once we start to collect too many Blue Apron suggests that you recycle them, or donate them to boy scout troops, or food shelters.

Saturday night I made our first meal and it was fantastic! Hello tastebuds, I never knew Salmon I cooked with these two hands would ever taste so good!

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Dukkah-Spiced Salmon

I always thought that I hated cooking. Hated the planning. Hated the shopping. Hated the preparing, and measureing, and figuring what veggies go well together, and with what meats. I’ll admit the majority of meals lately have been chicken, and pork chops, baked with some generic seasonings, and breadcrumbs. Salad, frozen steamable veggies, sweet potato, or asparagus on the side. Zucchini is about as exciting as it got with veggies in the kitchen. Simply roasted on the stovetop with some salt, pepper, and olive oil. Cause.. I don’t know.. what else do you do with a zucchini? I’m a twenty three year old wife trying to cook an appealing dinner. I need to learn these things like what on earth else to do with that zucchini.

…So I’ve hated cooking for a long long time. Settling for Breakfast for dinner way too often, or eating out more than is necessary, or Brandon’s personal favorite, griping and complaining about how now I have to make dinner because it’s already 5:30, and that’s about dinner time, and never mind the fact that I was perfectly comfortable on the couch, I have a husband to cook for.

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But now… Blue Apron has made me appreciative. I have a husband to cook for. I have a husband I get to show off my fancy meals to.. And he delights in their flavor, and sends compliments across the table. Giving kisses when his plate is clean, and his belly is full.

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Sirloin Tip Steak with new potato, asparagus, and radish hash

I realized in the midst of this meal prep that a diced red onion, fresh green parsley, finely chopped pistachios, and freshly squeezed lemon juice all smells pretty dang good together. So good my eyes were watering from the potency. Those smells are welcome to stay in my kitchen forever.

When I signed up for Blue Apron I was only expecting to have a few meals a week taken care of. But it’s been so much more. Not only is their website an excellent resource for recipes, but I’m also familiarizing myself with several different foods, and spices I’ve never heard of, or would have tried otherwise. Which I hope will allow me to eventually create my own new recipes.

I understand meal delivery plans are not for everyone, but I had to share our positive results. Just keep in mind they’re not particularly cost effective, but they are super tasty, and a great kick start if you have a bad case of the meal planning blahs.

And guess what? I was a fan of the mushrooms.

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