DIY Blanket Ladder

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Last week, Paper and Stitch made this ladder that did not require any power tools and I loved it. My husband would never let anything in our house that was completely held together by hot glue…. so we had to use some power tools. Our use of tools was not really professional or recommended, soooo I’m not going to post photos of that.


  • 4 – 16″ segments of 1″ dowel (I bought two 3ft 1″ dowels and cut them down)
  • 2 – 1×2 5ft  pieces of wood (you will probably need to have 6ft pieces cut down to 5ft)
  • hot glue
  • 1-inch drill bit

We drilled the holes for the rungs 1-foot apart, with the top rung only 6-inches from the top.

Once the rungs were in place, I just used the hot glue to made sure they didn’t move around.

Just hang the blankets, and we’re done!

Super easy, and it looks great!

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T-Shirt Quilt Part 3: Completed!

It’s finally finished! This project has been a lot of fun, and I see myself making more of these in the future (already planning to make one for my sister).

You can see posts on the rest of the process here:

Here’s the finished product!!
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This quilt is so great since I don’t really wear that many t-shirts and they take up so much space in my drawer! great way to keep all my camp, orchestra, sorority, and race memories in one place!

Ok, now on to the process…

First, I layered the quilt – This was difficult because all the layers stuck to each other (flannel, batting, cotton jersey knit), so i ended up taping each layer to the floor to keep it in place and centered.

I chose to use the flip-the-quilt-inside-out-so-you-don’t-need-a-binding method. Bindings/ mitered edges are not my favorite part of quilting – once I learned I could avoid it, I did.

So batting on the bottom, then backing and quilt top with right sides together.

tshirt quilt ||

can you even see the clear packing tape?? I tried to take a better picture, but it’s practically invisible!!

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Next, I pinned around the edge of the quilt top and trimmed the excess (I really thought I took a picture of this… but I can’t find it on my phone. Sorry for skipping a step).

Then came the time to sew around the edges. Leave about a 12-inch gap between the starting and ending point so you have room to pull the quilt inside out.

Here’s a photo of my sewing setup (just chillin, watchin Friends…):
 photo 2 1 tshirt-5_zps5frwptka.jpgNote: I don’t recommend this sewing machine for the amount of quilting/sewing I do. It really struggles sometimes, but it’s all I have. I’ll just say – all of this is possible on a sewing machine you bought from Sam’s Club, but it’s probably more fun if you have a better one.

Now you can flip the quilt inside out and begin actual quilting:
 photo 2 1 tshirt-6_zpsxzrq1kzj.jpgI was actually really happy with the quilt even without the finishing quilting. I started with some stitches in the middle of the quilt to hold everything in place, but I didn’t really feel much else was necessary. And it’s a huge quilt, so I can’t fit it easily in my machine.

Just hand-stitch the side opening, and you’re done!
 photo 2 1 tshirt-11_zpsei2ngyg7.jpgAnd here are some fun photos of my family and me enjoying the quilt:

tshirt quilt ||

Love my Bando coffee thermos… and my comfy quilt!

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tshirt quilt ||

the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl was past our bedtime… even if that’s when all the interesting stuff happened. Please note the demolished tray of brownies and glass of milk..

And I’m just going to post this in case you missed it somehow – Nationwide’s GOOD commercial.


We’re super excited that we finally booked our trip to Europe this weekend – bought those plane tickets and everything! We’re going in June, and still working out some of the details.

Eric has family friends who live in Madrid, so we’ll be staying with them for the first few days. Then we’re driving to Barcelona for a day – we found out that any train to Paris (!!) requires a transfer at Barcelona, so we decided to spend a day there and explore the city / beach. After that, we’ll take the train to Paris (apparently Paris hates rental cars, so the price to drop off a car there was a little crazy) and stay there for a few days.

We’re using AIRBNB for the Barcelona & Paris nights – so so so much cheaper than a hotel. I’ve found several beautiful places either on the beach or under the Eiffel Tower for less than $150/night. Once we book those nights, I will definitely let you know how we came to the decisions.

We really don’t want to check bags (stupid extra fees & we have no problem packing light), so I’m already planning the most versatile wardrobe. Many of the AIRBNB apartments have a washer/dryer, and we’ll be staying with friends, so we’ll be able to clean our clothes.

Anyway, here are some things I’m looking forward to:
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  1. Paris Flea Markets || Not sure how we’ll pack the stuff, but I really want to check one out :)
  2. Madrid || so beautiful!
  3. Barcelona || I can’t believe the architecture here
  4. Laduree in Paris || obsessed with macarons already, and I can’t wait to visit this tea shop
  5. More architecture in Barcelona :)
  6. Churros con chocolate in Spain || yummmm
  7. Ok, so a little tourist-y, but we’ll definitely be picnicking under the Eiffel Tower. I also found really great airbnb places right next to  the tower.
  8. The Crystal Palace in Madrid || this building looks beautiful!

DIY Tufted Headboard

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So Stefanie wanted a tufted headboard, but they are usually around $500. We only spent $100 (plus several hours of labor)… Costs detailed below:

First of all, this project is not as easy as all the tutorials make it sound…

We decided to follow this one, because the pegboard sounded like a good idea. Turns out, you can’t staple through pegboard because it’s too dense. We ended screwing the strips of wood to the pegboard, and stapling into those. The pegboard was still wobbly, so we need to add some extra pieces of wood to try and stabilize…

We cut the batting and fabric to size and layered under the wood…

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Stapling the fabric to the wood…  photo 122headboard-3_zps7cf69dde.jpg

Then we added the nailhead trim, which was pretty difficult because of pegboard being impossible to nail/staple. The tacks would just bend and we wouldn’t be able to use them. So we ended up buying extras… It turned out nice eventually :)

 photo 122headboard-8_zps998f3484.jpgSo we marked all the spots where the buttons are supposed to go with chalk…

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We threaded the buttons through and used a half-stapled staple to hold it in place.  This was kind of challenging. The thread would break as we were tying the knots :p

 photo 122headboard-11_zps550999be.jpgThen we decided the back was messy/ugly, and it was still kind of wobbled. So I found a piece of wood in our garage – left over from the sellers, actually – and covered it in some of the leftover fabric.

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Then screwed it into the back, and it looked great!

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Finished product!  photo 122headboard-7_zps88556e60.jpgWe slid it into the standard bedframe, and it worked! Some tutorials said to hang on the wall, but we really didn’t want to mess with the apartment walls… photo 122headboard-1_zps700eb2fe.jpg

organizing the scrapbook supplies…

I’ve been following the “scrapbooking sunday” category on A Beautiful Mess, and was inspired by the fact that she only has 1 cart for all her supplies! I have supplies everywhere! 2 boxes of paper, a scrapbook bag, a drawer full of stickers….

I have this cart… so I decided to consolidate all my supplies into one place.

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Part of the problem is having a couple boxes of all the things that need to be put in a scrapbook… So I sorted all of that into one big box too…

Here are all the supplies… well not all of the supplies…

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I put all the stickers in the top drawer, stencils & stamps in the middle, and all the paper in the bottom compartment.

Then I was able to stack all my albums on top of the cart…

Now I have to actually scrapbook everything…

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I’m going to start with my 2 years (!!) of marriage… and then try to work my way through all my college years. I have so much stuff from college!! ugh this is going to take a while… Maybe I need to start a Scrapbook Sunday theme…

Table Scape Inspiration

After my Thanksgiving table complications, I’ve been looking for table inspiration everywhere. I want to make sure I have some good basics for when another couple visits  (bought some napkins at Pottery Barn and placemats similar to these) and that work well when I have a holiday dinner.

Here are some of my favorite table settings :) I love natural elements and muted colors.

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  1.  Napkins with Flowers - very simple way to dress up a casual dinner
  2. Polaroid Placecards – I just think these are cute and wanted to remember them
  3. Plaid and Burlap – I have plenty of burlap, and I love the plaid, especially for the holidays
  4. Pumpkin Place Card Holders – definitely making these for a fall party
  5. Driftwood and Succulents – this is perfect for a summer party

First Attempt at Weaving

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A few days ago, I showed a picture of the pink and gold wall hanging I made for Stef for Christmas.

If you’re questioning the trendiness of this item, just search pinterest for “woven wall hanging” and you’ll see a million other tutorials on how to make these. I wanted to share a couple of the mistakes I made along the way, so hopefully you won’t make them as well.

First of all, I read this tutorial and thought I would be able to use a picture frame ( I also found this concept on pinterest). But it definitely does not work. The main threads all bunch together and the piece will not be as wide as you’re planning. It pretty difficult to tell which thread comes next in the “warp” (sugar and charm provides a glossary of terms in her weaving post. very helpful) because it’s not spaced evenly.

The point is – just buy a loom if you’re going to make something.

 photo 18weaving-4_zpsf455f23c.jpgAnother problem I had involved the yarn being too thin. While I wasn’t using a particularly thick yarn, I just thought it would show up better. I found myself using the soumak stitch (step 28 in the A Beautiful Mess tutorial ) often just to keep it interesting.

I added some thick yarn in grey and black, as well as some cool gold sequins, for some texture.

It probably took a few hours – I can’t exactly remember how many Gilmore Girls episodes I watched while working on it….

Here’s the ugly almost-finished product:

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I didn’t have a dowel available, so I pulled out a knitting needle that was missing it’s mate :)

I was a little overwhelmed at this point because I didn’t know how I was going to tie in ALL THOSE LOOSE ENDS. There’s so many of them!! I just went one by one around the edges, threading everything in until it was over….

Then I trimmed the bottom into a point, and I was done!

Here’s a pic of it hanging in her apartment :)

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The tutorial from A Beautiful Mess is my favorite, and they even show how to make a loom if you don’t feel like buying one (I don’t know why I didn’t make a loom… it’s not that hard).

Fabric Book Covers

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I’ve had this tutorial pinned for a while now. I hate book sleeves, so covering books in fabric is my preferred option :)

This is the tutorial I followed from pinterest….

This mostly just requires some spray glue :)

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spray the front cover and spine and press to adhere. Then spray the back cover and roll the book over to glue the other side. Smooth out any wrinkles at this stage while the glue is only tacky.

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cut a slit at the crease where the cover meets the spine

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Spray the edges of the fabric and fold over the inside of the book

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push the tab into the spine with a butter knife (I used a flat head screwdriver…)

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I chose coordinating fat quarters to cover the books in :) Love this little stack!

What I Made for Christmas…

I had some great intentions starting out this holiday season. I had a plan written out in April, I think, of what we would buy for each person. I really wanted to avoid spending all that money at one time. This plan sort of worked. Unfortunately, I lost 2 of the gifts…. they’re around here somewhere…. so whenever I find them, those will be moved to bday gifts for the recipients :)

I wanted to give more handmade gifts this Christmas, but I just didn’t know what to make!! Literally 4 days before Christmas, I came up with a plan. I do not like to be this rushed on things.

My sister suggested getting a canvas print from our wedding for mom (2 years later and apparently they didn’t have any full sized prints?? I didn’t realize I only gave them the books :/). Unfortunately, these things take a few days to order and sometimes cost over $60 :/  Walmart does same-day canvas prints for $30 (yay!!), but when I went to pick up the order, they handed me a canvas roll and said they didn’t have the wood to stretch it. WHAT?? WHY DID YOU TELL ME THE ORDER WAS READY IF IT WASN’T???

New plan – Walgreens also does same-day prints. found a coupon on RetailMeNot. phew. done.

For my fathers, I knit some hats :) I made a hat for my dad when I was 14 and he didn’t take it off for 2 years… and since he and Eric’s dad are buddies, I made them matching hats. They love them. I was working on these 2 days before Christmas. I’ve never knit so fast in my life.

I also made this really cool weaving for my sister’s new apt :) more on that later.

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Now, what was my plan before all the frantic days of DIY-ing you might ask. I was going to make candles. Please see list below of posts explaining how cool and easy handmade candles are.

While I still love all of these, no one mentioned how expensive the bag of wax is. One candle can cost over $13 just in supplies. I left Michael’s empty handed (sort of, they were having a Christmas sale on Washi tape) and went to HomeGoods to buy candles for $7 each. I bought several….

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Anyway, everything turned out fine and my family loved the candles I gave them, I just wasn’t able to say that I made them.

Most of the gift-making happened within 4 days before Christmas… but the point is that it was finished. And now I’m prepared for next year.

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Did you have any dramatic gift-giving experiences this year? Please share :)


Welcome to my annual resolution post!

I’m sad to report that I did not fulfill all my resolutions from last year – specifically, the yoga handstand that I’ve been talking about for 2 years now. Seriously, get your act together, Danielle. However, I did manage to eat less pizza (some weeks we wouldn’t eat it at all!!) and blog more often.

Let’s move on to 2015!

I’m making fewer resolutions that I really think I can handle. And since there’s no time like the present, I started some of these in December.

  • Cook || one thing I realized that was inhibiting my progress – I only own dessert cook books. I bought some real-food books and have already made some attempts at meal planning and new things. Even went to the grocery store at 9am on a Saturday to make sure I found everything I needed. Go me!
  • Be a better friend || I actually mentioned this back in 2013… still having this problem. I really need to keep in touch with friends. Maybe with a new house, people will want to visit me more often :)
  • Read through the Bible in a year || have you heard about She Reads Truth?? Well, they put together a reading plan on the app, and I’m going to do it! Here’s the PDF version of the guide.
  • Run more || I’m signing up for several local half marathons throughout the year so I stay in shape :) I loved being able to run 13 miles, but I fell out of the routine after my half in April. Need to keep it going all year.
  • Yoga || Guys, I just need to be able to touch my toes. It’s embarrassing. And did you know there’s usually a 5 minute nap at the end of every class? There’s a fancy word for it that I can’t remember, but it’s amazing.

Happy New Year! Here’s a thought from the great She Reads Truth blog :)

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