Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Journey Of A Thousand Miles...Starts Today

I have never liked to exercise. Never ever. Not even the teeniest bit. I know it's not politically correct to admit that, but it's true. My secret is out.

I listen to people talk about running highs and endorphins, feeling euphoric and alive ~ blah blah blah.  No offense, but all I have ever been after exercise is breathless. And I don't like it.

I used to dance, kickline, ballet. I have the tattered pointe shoes and pom poms in the attic to prove it, but that was many years ago, before kids, an aging parent and a deep desire to remain sedentary settled in. Now my only form of exercise comes from pushing laundry baskets around and apparently, that doesn't really count. I need to move deliberately and for a certain amount of time each day to get points.

That sounds unappetizing.

I've decided to start that 10,000 steps a day challenge, mainly because it seems to be the least exercisy-exercise out there. I have done it before and easily hit that magical 10,000 by lunch. Of course, that was  a long time ago, when I used to move a lot. Nervous energy...toddlers, they keep you from sitting down. However now, I write, carpool, shop online, heck, even my groceries come to the house sometimes. I'm not sure I hit 10,000 steps in a week. 

I found my old pedometer in the junk drawer, strapped it on and was sure I had hit 10,000 steps by dinner last weekend. I tried really hard to move whenever possible. I opted for the furthest parking spot, took the stairs, I even checked for the mail when I knew it wasn't there. I was exhausted by early evening and still about 8,000 steps short.  I am so completely out of shape, this goal seems unrealistic and utterly impossible. I'm tired just thinking about getting up.

However, like the quote says...the journey of a thousand miles...so I started today with one step and then another. It wasn't really as bad as I thought. Until I realized I have to do it again tomorrow. Yay.

Speaking of tomorrow, I am moving my little blog over to a WordPress format. I have enjoyed Blogger since day one, I'm just ready to try something new and spread my wings creatively. The move feels right.

The idea of learning a new platform is a bit overwhelming, more steps, leaving me breathless yet again...but it's ok, change is good.

As a matter of fact, it's my resolution word for 2014 and as a former teacher, September serves as a sort of second New Year's, a time for new beginnings.

I'm not exactly sure where either one of these new paths will lead me, frankly, I'm not really sure I know where I want to go. I do know, however, that whether I end up around the block or around the world as a media maven, the only way to get there from here is step by step.

But who's counting?

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Six Super Easy Crafts For Fall

 Feed your need to craft with these six super easy projects for fall!  
Here are six of my most favorite fall craft projects. They are inexpensive, super easy and will have your home looking elegant and festive in no time flat!


Don't throw those old puzzle pieces away! Craft yourself a unique frame that can be used as an elegant home décor accent or a Halloween picture frame. This one is fun for adults and kids alike!  

Grab a package of fabric leaves at the dollar store and a bit of paint and this sweet Tom Turkey can be yours. He looks great on a front door, a mantle or a wall! If you can draw a number eight, you can make this guy in a flash!

Updating your home for fall doesn't have to be an expensive or labor intensive proposition. A few appropriately dressed candles can cozy up the mood in no time flat. Check out a few of my easiest ideas.
Love the look of a handmade wooden sign, but not great at lettering...and don't own a fancy machine? Well, check out my cheat ~ perfect results every single time and a price tag that will make you smile.

Halloween may not be my favorite holiday, but who wouldn't love to have a few of these cuties hanging around? A little paint and a lot of imagination can transform any pumpkin into a sweet holiday character.

Looks like we're right back where we started, aren't we? I am a master of recycling! Take those pumpkin piece puzzles, add a cardstock name and you have a fabulously original place card for your Thanksgiving or harvest party guests!
I may not be quite ready to say goodbye to summer, but at least I have a few fun ways to make fall a little less....cold!
How do you usher in the season?

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Easy DIY: Train Your Climbing Vines On A Trellis

Train your climbing vine to maximize its beauty, while keeping it in line!

easy diy gardening

Last year, I wrote about my gorgeous Morning Glory plant. My husband has been growing this cottage beauty on the garage wall for years in an effort to keep me quiet! You see that large, bare, ugly white wall is directly across from my kitchen and a very large bank of windows. I was considering some potentially pricey solutions to decorate it, when he decided to take matters into his own hands, for just a few pennies, with a packet of seeds.

His quick thinking worked out very well for both of us. He got off cheap and I got a gorgeous addition to my cottage garden.

Of course, many people who saw my original post, commented that Morning Glory can be very invasive. This is true, but I have to say that it has been a very well behaved resident in my garden all these years, perhaps because we have given it a very specific area in which to grow.  Every spring, my husband strings up his trellis. Once the shoots pop up, the plant takes off on its predetermined path.
If Morning Glory is not your cup of gardening tea, you can use this method with any similar type of vine.
We start by anchoring a premade trellis, both in the ground and to the wall. We picked ours up at a local garden center for about ten bucks. We screw it into the wall, so it will support the weight of the full grown plant.


Next, small nails are put in the siding trim. Nails can also be put directly into the siding of the house if you are not going all the way to the top of your structure. Just make sure you use the proper nail for your surface.
You will need to add nails across your surface, based upon the space you have to fill and the design your are looking to achieve. We opted for a "V"~ had we extended the nails out horizontally from the trellis as well, creating a grid, the entire wall could be covered with leaves. Hmm...maybe next year! 
Once the nails are in place, string is tied from the trellis to the nail. As the plant grows and the tendrils reach the end of  the trellis, we simply guide it, by hand, to the strings. The plant does the rest on its own. Smart little sucker.  

Eventually it reaches the roof. In most areas it just stops growing or grows back down the vine onto itself again. Sometimes, it finds one of the clips from our solar panel and it grows on the roof for a bit. That it ok, the vines are very superficial, but we could just clip them if we wanted to keep them in check.  
There you go, an easy DIY to train your vine and decorate your outside space with a bit of cottage flair. This is how last year's plant looked in July. It was just getting started.

This is how my plant looks today, in September. It is very full, blooming like mad, covering my garage with gorgeous purple flowers and still, very well behaved. It casually mingles with the zinnias, but does not invade their space.

You can see now why we anchor the trellis to the house. You can also see that as a bit of cooler air has come our way, the Morning Glory is starting to degrade.

That's ok, I will miss my beautiful wall of color, but I am armed and ready for next year with my  trellis design...and now so are you! Any flat outdoor wall will do! Just imagine how cute this would look on a potting shed or better yet, your husband's tool shed! Fabulous!

Now if I could just figure out a way to get my kids to walk the line this well, I'd really be in business!

Is your garden well behaved? 

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Flower Pot Fruit Bowl

Easy and elegant DIY: Turn any flower pot into a decorative fruit bowl!
When it comes to design, I am a huge fan of the unexpected. Whether it be fashion or home décor, I am not likely to follow the crowd. I did not put granite in my kitchen, deliberately, and I don't own anything with a designer logo on it. I also know that slipcovers are all the rage, but my den couch is floral...and no, it's not old, I just like flowers. 
Originality excites me.
So when the plant I had purchased in this gorgeous green, crackle pot was moved outside (to save it from me and my black thumb), I started thinking outside the box.
I wanted to keep my pretty planter in the house, but I am a terrible gardener. I kill most things. Really. It's not on purpose, I am just no good with plants. So, I started brainstorming, came up with a few other ways I could use it and settled on a fruit bowl. It was really very easy to make and I think the fruit looks so good against the lime green color and rustic texture. Plus it's completely unexpected and original.
I honestly could've left the pot alone, but I thought it needed a bit of embellishment and a tiny bow did the trick.
I glued a ribbon around the top of the pot just under the rim. Then I added a sweet bow. A drop of hot glue secured it in place. 

Next, I popped a brand new liner into the pot...and poof! I had just created a safe place to store and display my fruit. I bought my liner at a local nursery during a 50% off sale, I paid less than a buck for it. I actually got a lot of great bargains there that day! I'm kind of a sucker for a sale.

That's it! That's the whole how-to...super simple, super cheap and super good looking!! Of course, if I had a bigger pot, I could display bananas or pineapples or even a watermelon! Not that I would...but I could and that would be really unexpected!

For now, I just have lemons in my flower pot fruit bowl. They may not be the most original choice, but they look great, they're handy when I need one for my hot water and let's face it...even I can't kill a lemon!

 Are you an original?

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