Glitter and Ribbon Matting

Matting, not mating. Not that I wrote mating the first time around or anything.

I found a great hemisphere map at my favorite paper goods store – in my favorite blues and greens – and needed a frame large enough for it. My husband volunteered a frame he had, which was the perfect size, except the mat color didn’t really go with my map.

I had also purchased gold glitter wrap paper and decided to tape it over the existing map. This frame does not have glass so it’s just the backing, the map, and the mat over it.

The strips were cut wide enough to go a little beyond the original mat:

As a finishing touch, I added teal ribbon from my sewing stash:

The finished product:

The wedding picture you see above is also matted with lovely wrapping paper, in a music note pattern.

I hope you like this craft, it was an inexpensive way to use something we have and give it the exact look I wanted. Now the frame coordinates with the map print and has a bit of glam, which my office can always use ;D

I’m a convert!

Okay, so the subject of grape jelly is one that has been hotly debated in our household for the past decade. Steve, my husband, LOVES it. I think it’s bleh. So when he came up with the idea of using our Concord grapes to make jelly instead of just eating them fresh off the vine, I was all “what the . . . ?” Seriously, you can get grape jelly at WalMart for under two bucks, why go through the whole production of making grape jelly?

I watched him harvest about half of the grapes on the vine. The rest were still greenish and have been maturing these last few days. He came back into the kitchen with this:

which I looked at kind of like this:

Undeterred, Steve found a recipe (or three, he scanned a few, got the idea and then did his own thing) and began cooking it down – and oh my goodness it smelled SO GOOD!!!
I kept looking over and over, and finally he gave me a taste of super hot jammy goodness.

I told him that even though it looked like the remains of a vamp on True Blood, it was Oh. So. Fricking. Delicious!

So, yes, I now love grape jelly. But not the store-bought kind. So I guess we’re going to plant some more Concords next year ;D

Fall accent craft

Recently I decided to make a little something something for the bathroom — I was walking around Daiso and saw plain wood boxes, so I grabbed one and decided to fall-ify it a bit.

Two coats of dark brown paint later — this was the bit that took the longest, waiting for the paint to dry — I added a lovely dark orange bit of ribbon I have had for a while. I used yellow ribbon to make a little flower accent and added the year in a cardstock circle.

I had leftover brown cardstock so I made a little tag and added glittery chipboard letters to spell out “autumn”. The filler apples, scented cinnamon sticks and candle were also in part of our fall decor bin, so this was a super cheap craft, I paid less than $2 for the little box and everything else I already had.

So there you have it, a little piece of fall for not much money — hope you have a wonderful week!

A bit of fall in the kitchen

Last week I decided to bring some autumnal bits and bobs into our kitchen.

I purchased some lovely mums destined for some baskets we have hanging outside the front door — aren’t these gorgeous?

These red cup and spoon measures were much needed, we have had the same measuring cups and spoons forever, are, in fact, missing a few, and a couple are even cracked, so I got these super cheap ones at WalMart, and love the pop of color they bring:

Those plastic bins with handles are from the Container Store, but HELLO!!! I just found similar (i.e. practically the same) bins at a Daiso store — sort of a Japanese dollar store, except most things are $1.50 — and I bought three there. If they have more next time, I will be getting some more because I love them.

Snack bowls in chartreuse are stacked on the lower shelf – these don’t go in the microwave but are so useful for quick after-school snacks:

My morning coffee tray is ready so waking up goes as smoothly as possible 😀

My dear friend J got me hooked on Torani Sugar-Free Salted Caramel syrup – so good! My usual Vanilla and Hazelnut are taking a break for now.

I also got a mat for the area in front of the sink and my feet are loving it while I do dishes, but it didn’t make for a very exciting photo, ha!

The dining room is getting fall-i-fied soon!!

Art & Wine Festival

We spent this past Saturday morning at the Santa Clara Art & Wine Festival.  We walked from our friends’ home to the park where the festival was taking place and spent a few hours browsing through all the crafty booths, doing a lot of people watching, and finally, enjoying some yummy food.

My husband and our friends M&J stop at the beer and wine booths:

There were lots of lovely creations and M treated herself to some beautiful earrings

The pretty duckies were enjoying the warm morning

We got to the festival early so we could avoid the later heat and crowds.

The food smelled great – my husband and I chose cheesesteak sandwiches and J&M had some portuguese meat sandwiches:

We ended our meal with some funnel cakes – we split one of the plain ones:

and then headed home – my awesome mother-in-law was watching the boys so we could have some fun grown-up time.

The rest of our weekend was pretty mellow, I made a little fall accent and switched some summer decorations for fall ones. I am pretty much over this hot weather. I know, I know, 80 is not that bad, but when it’s almost 9pm and I’m still sweating, it’s too hot for me.

Fall is almost here and I am soooo ready to welcome it! Have a great Monday!

I’ve been chopped

I had been thinking about cutting my hair for a while.

This is how long my hair was last week – I had gotten it trimmed after our friends’ wedding in April but it had been a couple of months since so I figured it was back to this length:

I had this inspiration pic saved for a while, I loved that the cut was short but still soft and bouncy:


I tracked down the original source of the pic – Stephanie from, isn’t she gorgeous!? – and found a few more on her haircut post.

My fab stylist did a wonderful job!

This was my waaaaa! moment ;D

This was my hair after I left the salon on Thursday:

And, can I tell you something?

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It feels so much healthier, bouncy and full of body. I’ve styled it straight as in the picture, and I’ve let it dry naturally so it has some waves and it looks great both ways. If a stray curl flips the other way, it just makes it quirky. Love, love, love it.

Off to another adventure-filled week – hope yours is wonderful!

Girl Crush: Alison Pill

I first saw actress Alison Pill in The Pillars of the Earth, playing Princess Maud/Empress Matilda:

I thought her portrayal was gutsy, and a highlight of the production. Then I watched one of my all time favorite movies, Midnight in Paris, and was delighted to see her, completely transformed, as Zelda Fitzgerald:

Her accent was spot on, and her performance, which could have been over the top, was instead very nuanced and bittersweet. And yes, that’s Loki as F. Scott Fitzgerald.

A week ago, I decided to check out The Newsroom, the fabulous new (to me) show from Aaron Sorkin. You must understand that I am hopelessly behind on new TV shows so please indulge me in my fantasy that this show is brand new.

Luckily, HBO ran a marathon — which showed me just how behind I really am — of episodes and I was able to catch up and wonder, I guess along with others, if Jim Harper was purposely named as such, given his Jim Halpert -like role. Anyway, to my surprise, there was talented Miss Alison as earnest production assistant Maggie Jordan, torn between arrogant and hot producer Don “eat me” Kiefer and rumpled good guy Jim Halpert. Sorry, Jim Harper. And no, I’m probably not caught up yet so don’t spoil it for me, please!

Another “The Office ” tie in is that the actress playing Lisa, Maggie’s roommate and Jim’s unwanted girlfriend, played Dwight Schrute’s one time love interest Isabel.

Okay, so I’m not the only one thinking this Jim Halpert/Jim Harper thing is weird/confusing/intentional? Gotta love Google.

Dear Miss Alison, I am sorry this post that was intended to be All About You got derailed by the Jims Conspiracy. I think you are a brilliant actress and look forward to seeing you in many more awesome projects. Sincerely, Me.