summer sangria

By popular demand, here is my summer sangria recipe!

First of all, this photograph is completely unedited. My phone camera RULES.

Now, when I say sangria 'recipe', what I really mean is I throw a bunch of shit in there and cross my fingers. I mean, it's wine, so it can't really go wrong, right? I'll even bullet this out for you.

  • Grab a pitcher. I used a kind of smallish one, 64oz, but just adjust for whatever size you use.
  • Squeeze four oranges in there. Squeeze 'em real good. I slice mine up into eight pieces to make sure I get maximum juiceage. I keep one oranges (so eight) peels to put into the pitcher.
  • Squeeze one lemon in there. I put this one through a strainer to cut down on seeds sneakin' in there. I slice my lemon in quarters, and put two peels in there.
  • One lime! Slice it up, squeeze it, put all the peels in there.
  • Now get creative. Add whatever fruit you want, I guess. I used strawberries. I sliced up probably five or six and dumped 'em in.
  • Add your wine. I use one of the big bottles. A fine $7 Liberty Creek chardonnay from Wal-Mart. Get as fancy as you want, but out of all the more expensive ones I've tried, I still like this one the best for sangria. I use probably 3/4 of the bottle.
  • Add rum! Yeah, I sub the brandy for this. I added about 4 oz.
  • Take a swig from the rum bottle. Hey, you've squeezed A LOT of fruit at this point. Sort of. Whatever.
  • Chill it in the fridge.
  • When you serve, do about half a glass of the sangria and top with ginger ale. Trust me.

And now you have a summer sangria to take to the lake, on the boat, a picnic, by the pool, sitting on the couch watching tv, whatever. It compliments just about any situation. 

funny enough...

Funny enough, it seems my last post might have been some kind of chisel to get through my thick skull.

You may have noticed a new button at the top of my page labeled 'shop'. Well, I started doing these little watercolor doodles for fun. It started as a way for me to be like, "I wanna paint! I don't know what to paint..." A few got posted on Instagram, and I received a handful of messages suggesting I open an Etsy shop! So I did!

Y'all. I've already sold three paintings. I'm selling hand painted 'prints' (i.e. originals) because honestly? This is a lot of fun and gives me something to work on every day. Hopefully, I get to a point where I need to do prints, but for now, this is much more fun for me. People can even commission this way, and  I can whip 'em up right quick!

For example, my friend Cynthia (yo girl!) posted these two really cute photos of her kids at the lake today. I'm in the (very long) process of putting together a little box of gifties for her and her fam, so I decided, "Hey! I can add a piece for them!" When I saw these posts, I wanted to sketch it out right away.

I'm having so much fun, and I'm really enjoying the fact that other people are enjoying them too. I never thought anyone would want any of these, but I put it out there anyway.

I'd, of course, appreciate it if you cruised through my shop. It's a little bare bones right now, but I'm making new stuff every day, and re-painting pieces that have sold.

Cheers to just going for it!

P.S. I made a bomb sangria. I'm cheers-ing with that. I would post a recipe, but I pretty much just threw a bunch of shit in there until it was delicious. And extra boozy.

starting to begin

Sometimes, you need to start in order to begin, you know?

Does that make sense to you? No? Me either, but let's give it a shot together, ok?

Creativity ebbs and flows for me. There is no steady stream, bottomless well, nothing like that. I know that creativity needs exercise, just as our bodies do. I know that to you have to flex those ingenuity muscles so they don't atrophy.

If I know this, why is it so difficult?

Why do I receive these tiny compulsions of needing to make something, but have no idea what manifestation needs to take place? Should I write something? My fingers itch to make marks on paper, but what shape do I attempt? Color would make everything clearer, but what color is it that I want? I don't think it has a name yet, and I can't name it when I don't know what hue my eyes are looking for.

My peers are inventing brilliant arrangements of words, fabrics, color, sounds... Did they just start to begin? Do their inventions come after feeling becomes too much? Would I be able to feel more by emptying a little?

And is that how it works? You know, like, you can't figure out how to pour a little bit into a different glass, so what's there is still from when Hannah was mean to you in the fourth grade and you didn't get the job in Germany you wanted when you were 20 years old. What other processes could have taken place if there had been a little breathing room?

Sometimes I think my creativity is only able to stretch it's arms through restriction. I need someone to tell me to write an essay, about one specific topic, and keep it to three pages. What I end up with is a character for a novel, magazine clippings to collage, and lyrics to hum into the recorder of my cell phone, so I don't forget the melody later.

Maybe this post will be it. Maybe my big breakthrough is right around the corner, and I'm still jobless in this new city because I was meant for something great right. now. and I'm on the cusp of it. Maybe it's just because the market is saturated, and I need to try waitressing.

Maybe on my walk to the convenience store, because my muscles are gasping for a little air, I'll spot the unnamed hue that is waiting for me to name it. 

around here

Time for a little update, don't ya think?

First of all, congrats to Kenny who won the JORD contest!

A lot has been happening around the ol' den lately.

B received the job offer of a lifetime, and well, we couldn't refuse. So we picked up everything and set it back down in Nashville, Tennessee. We found a cute little place (the housing market is uh, much different and more expensive than St. Louis) right outside of the city, and have been settling in for the past month and half.

We live near a lake, and are surrounded by trees. Little raccoon friends visit frequently, and we find deer antler pieces in our driveway. About five minutes away, we found a little home in a dive bar that has karaoke every night of the week. Life is good.

Our place is small, but cozy, and I can't wait to share our interior aesthetic and on-going projects. I'm still exploring the new soil to sink my roots into and interviewing for jobs, but as I get settled in, I'll share the things and places that become familiar and favorite.

I'm homesick, not gonna lie. St. Louis is home, and I miss it everyday. The constant group text with my besties makes me feel better though. I'll always maintain my connection to the people that make St. Louis home. Also, the zoo here costs money and doesn't even have elephants. Uh, what's with that?

My little corner of the internet has been bare lately, but I'm feeling new inspiration, and I hope you're still with me. I spend a lot of time writing and thinking and learning, and I'm looking forward to sharing what's cookin'.

Now, send me all of your Nashville recommendations! I need restaurants and bars and parks and events!

JORD: Frankie 35

I'm back!

And I'm stoked to share what's been going on lately. But first, I gotta share a dope giftie I received not too long ago. If you've been following me on Instagram, then you probably already know!

JORD Watches sent me a Frankie 35 watch about a month ago, and I wanted to take it for a test drive before I brought it to y'all. 

I'm going to be real with y'all, I was never really a 'watch' person. I liked them, but it's something I used to forget to put on in the morning. When I received the Frankie 35 form JORD, it sounds cheesy, but that all changed. These wood watches are so unique and eye catching, it's an accessory I am so excited to wear every day. I also love that it's lightweight, without being too delicate.

I like to wear a lot of turquoise jewelry and other natural elements too, so the wood accent works well with all of my other stuff. Sometimes, I feel a little more simple jeans-and-tee vibe, and it works beautifully as a statement piece on it's own as well. I can't wait to add another JORD piece to my collection soon!

Now here comes the great news!

You can enter to win $100 off your favorite style here! And just for entering, you get a $25 off code, because we like you. This contest only runs until 11:59 p.m. May 21st, THIS SUNDAY, so get on it! I'm sure you've probably entered already, because I'm been posting about this watch like a madwoman, but if you haven't, you still have time!

After you enter, let me know which style is your favorite!

 

 

This Won't Be A Wedding Blog

Ok. I'm gonna talk about my upcoming wedding BUT I promise this isn't going to be a 'wedding blog'.

There's nothing wrong with having a wedding blog, really, but this isn't going to be it. This might even be the only time I even mention my wedding, who knows.

We have a date set (September 30th), and a lot of stuff decided, but we're also still planning all of the smaller details. We're DIYing pretty much everything, and our venue is 'booked'. FYI, our venue is his parents house, so... we can kinda do whatever we want. One thing that is important to us: This is a wedding. This is not our marriage. And our marriage matters more to us.

We don't want to spend more than we can afford, and even if we could, we're just not big-fancy-wedding kind of people. I already have my dress ($14, what up!) and we're not having bridesmaids or groomsmen.

To say this is going to be non-traditional is an understatement.

I will, however, leave this Polyvore collage with you to show you my vibe. Surely, some of you will think to yourselves 'ugh typical and basic' and I say to you, good thing you will plan your own wedding : ) We like what we like, and trends come and go all the time. Plus, the food is going to be the dopest.

 

 

17 in '17

I usually make sweeping statements about allll of the things I'm gonna do in the new year, and about 3:00 p.m. on January 2nd, all is lost. One year is a lot of time, but man! It flies by. With work and responsibilities, sometimes you use up all your minutes in the day and remember you still have to get six hours of sleep somehow.

So this year, I'm picking 17 things. Some of them definitively measurable, some of them not. This list is the skeleton of my new year, but the muscles are built throughout the cross-fit session that is life, and the fat is accumulated from what is consumed.

I want to make 2017 strong and lean.

  1. Read at least a book a month.
  2. Pare down our possessions and de-clutter our home
  3. Make the gym a frequent habit again. I don't have to kill it every time, but I do need to make the effort to show up for myself.
  4. Delete time wasting/distracting apps on my phone, with the exception of Twitter and Instagram, because I love to use these as a time capsule while traveling.
  5. Become one of those women who has a daily skincare routine (I am the worst about taking care of my skin)
  6. Stop smoking (This terrifies me. It's ridiculous how much I depend on this vice.)
  7. Actually consume all of the produce that I purchase/we grow, which leads me to...
  8. Cut our waste in half, at least. Compost what we can. Recycle everything recyclable.
  9. Exercise my creativity. Whether doodling, writing, painting, whatever, just do it. No 'I'm not good at that' excuses. It's for sanity, not for show.
  10. When I have to shop at Target, just buy what I need... and leave. NO DOLLAR AISLE.
  11. Practice patience. Daily. Hourly. Ok, I'm a very impatient person.
  12. Spend more quality time with B. Have coffee in the morning together instead of yelling at each other whose turn it is to let the dogs out. Put the phones away when we rest in the evenings. That sort of thing.
  13. Develop a 'bedtime routine' to practice better sleep hygiene.
  14. Budget, stick with it, and save money.
  15. Drink more water. This sounds stupid, but water is not usually what I reach for. Typically, all I drink is coffee. Which is made with water, so I don't know why I'm that worried about it. (jk)
  16. Stop bailing on social things. I'm a bit of an anxious introvert, so it's easy for me to make plans outside of my house, and very difficult to keep them.
  17. When I question something, or get interested in something, go beyond a quick Wikipedia entry. Really, thoroughly research and become knowledgeable on whatever it is. A new dish I want to make, why a tradition became such, how something works, etc. Hey, maybe I can even find a book about it.

Please share some of your resolutions/goals/etc with me in the comments! Do you have any from the past that you've been successful with?

diy no-sew grocery bag

I apologize for the crap pictures in advance.  I got excited and wanted to share this, so I wasn't very professional. 

When you don't have a lot of extraneous income, every little bit counts. When you have a large wardrobe, anything you can get rid of helps. Enter one stone, two birds, you're pickin' up what I'm puttin' down.

We all have a ton of those promotional t-shirts laying around, or maybe even old tops from your favorite band in high school. Ya know, the shirt you never wear, but you can't bear to toss. And I know you are like me, and want to bring reusable bags when you go to the grocery store, but aren't about to shell out $5 for some fancy plastic-y one.

Grocery bags out of t-shirts! That's it! That's the solution!

I saw this DIY on the web, and needed to share it with y'all.

Step One: Get a tshirt. Find some scissors. 

Oh, it's wrinkly? Do you need for your grocery bags to be starched and pressed? Ok. Let's move on.

Step Two: Cut out the neck. I ended up cutting it a little deeper than you see here, because I underestimated the size of my shoulders.

Step Three: Cut a sleeve off, from shoulder to armpit. Be sure to leave a hefty amount of fabric like you see above, 'cause that's  a handle!

Step Four: Do it to the other side. Boom, two handles.

*Keep in mind NOT to cut along the shoulder seam. Leave that in tact, like if you were cutting up a tee for a tank top.*

Step Five: Cut little fringies along the bottom hem, like you did for spirit week in high school. 

:::Step Five and a Half: If you want the design on the tee on the *OUTSIDE* of your bag, turn it inside out here.:::

I wanted this one hidden, so I just left it right side out.

Step Six: Tie the little pieces that are across from each other. Make sure to double knot! Groceries are heavy. It'll end up kinda bunchy, and that's perfect.

Step Seven: See all your ties lined up next to each other? See 'em? Got 'em?

Step Eight: Tie the side-by-side ones together. For extra security, you know. Don't forget to double knot these ones too.

Turn your back inside out so the knots are on the inside, then take your bag shopping with you! Something spills? Just toss it in the wash. 

I'm making a bunch of these to keep in the back of my trunk for groceries, picnics, all kinds of stuff.

Gonna try this? Wanna see more easy DIY? Let me know what you think!

patio dreamin'

A collection of inspiration photos, and a 'vision board' are all I can really do right now, being that it's early February. But the chilly air won't keep me from dreaming!

We love to entertain and people tend to just drop by the house on occasion. I want to be sure we're taking advantage of every single beautiful day that will be more of a regular occurrence here in St. Louis pretty soon. Being outside is one of my favorite things, and life gets so busy it's hard to find time for picnics or hikes. My solution to this is to attempt a small back yard oasis for the little moments in between the craziness.

We have a modest backyard behind our rented home. There is no lake, no fancy gazebo. But we have projects in mind, just a few small ways we can make it our own.

First up, the fire pit. We found a metal one ridiculously cheap during the pre-holiday season sales. Bradley's going to build up around it with some bricks, so it looks a little more permanent.  During our thrifting adventures, we've been keeping an eye out for outdoor furniture. I wouldn't mind refinishing and painting a set, but we haven't found anything we like yet. Fingers crossed we can find something before spring sets in! 

String lights, lanterns and patterned pillows will tie together our little outdoor bohemian spot. Succulents are going to be key plants in our backyard space, as I have a hard time remembering to take care of plants. Low water i.e. maintenance is the way to go for me!

While most things in this vision board are expensive, as I've previously mentioned, we'll be DIYing everything. Rarely do we purchase anything 'new', so I'm interested to see what we can come up with!

patio

patio by denvy featuring garden decor