Posey, packing, and the best way to fold your shirts.

Hello, my name is Alaina. This colorful disaster is how my room looks when I pack. Yes, every time. I will say this time it seemed a little extra chaotic this time because I happen to be packing for a 3 week adventure in Australia.

Yes. Australia. Down Under type of Australia.

I leave Sunday. I’m a little bit excited.

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Rainy days are for british tea and listening to Les Miserables.

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Oh, you havent met bunny yet. Well this lop-eared fluff ball is called Posey. She joined our crew last Saturday and she is settling in beautifully. Technically, she belongs to mom but we are buds and I’m still going to miss her when I’m gone. She’s a sweetheart.

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She’s still fairly little as you can see… oh and apparently she likes to hang out in my closet.

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Time for a new soundtrack… this time, Tangled. On repeat. And I sang. And danced. And sort of packed. Pascal is very little help with packing, by the way.

So that was my day. To be honest, I enjoyed it. Everything is still a mess but most of my packing is done and I just have odds and ends to finish up before leaving on Sunday.

If you’re interested in absolutely the best way in the entire world to pack shirts… keep reading… if not, then enjoy the rest of your Thursday and…

Stay beautiful,
~Alaina

The Best Way to Fold Shirts :: DIY Wednesday… only it’s Thursday.

{this is how the Army teaches recruits to fold their shirts, by the way. My brother Gabriel taught me =) }

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See how neat it is? And nothing comes unfolded.

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Step 1: Lay the shirt out flat.

Step 2: Fold the hem under 2-3″

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Step 3: Fold in both sides and sleeves.

Step 4: Now fold into thirds.

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Step 4: Roll it up!

Step 5: Tuck the roll into the folded end to secure.

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See? Neat, tidy, and so awesome. I love it for globetrotting, but also for keeping my drawers neat at home. It will save space, keep you organized, and they double as an excellent substitute for snowballs if you need something to throw at someone. πŸ˜‰

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Upcycle Luggage Tag {DIY Wednesday}

A couple weeks ago I found myself in need of a luggage tag, with none of my usual ones currently available I decided to make one.

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Who else thinks it’s a shame to waste pretty bags from nice stores? Well now you dont have to.

I just cut a squareish shape out of the top of one side of the bag, I wanted to be able to use the nice brass grommets to reenforce the ribbon attachment.

Then just fold in half, matching the holes up, and tape it up.

Oh and you’re going to need to undo the knots on one of the bag handles.

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Fold the ribbon in half and pull the loop through the grommet, then the tails through the loop and knot the ends securely.

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Write your name and intel on with a Sharpie. πŸ™‚

There ya go, it’s just that easy. Remember that necessity is the mother of invention, and one must be resourceful when one has limited resources. πŸ˜‰

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Posted in DIY

Iced Cube Coffee {DIY Wednesday}

I saw this idea somewhere and wanted to try it and thought I would share it with you. It’s super easy, and pretty tasty for a hot summer afternoon [and yes, we are still having those, but it’s almost September.] Not quite as strong as I might like πŸ˜‰ but still a yummy treat.

You need some cold strong coffee, an ice cube tray, milk of choice, and something to sweeten.

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Just freeze the coffee into ice cubes [mine took about 2 hours to harden fully] then pop them out and store them in the freezer. When you’re ready for some coffee, add the cubes to any kind of milk and sweeten as desired.

I am currently loving this vanilla flavored agave. It’s really delicious.

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Since I’m supposed to be dairy free right now I figured it would be good to start thinking up ways to make my own coffee drinks at home.Β I had run out of almond milk when I made this so I used cows milk, but I really want to try it with almond milk soon, and maybe some other flavor combinations. πŸ™‚

Do you have any coffee drinks you like to make at home?

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Quote Mug {DIY Wednesday}

Oh my dear. It is hot outside. As in, 55 thousand degrees hot.

Okay, maybe it’s more like 100, but it’s still hot.

And you might be wondering why in the world I am talking about coffee mugs at a time like this, but the fact of the matter remains that I never lose my love of hot tea and coffee. Regardless of the weather, I like hot drinks in the morning and at night.

I also have a bad case of fall fever… it’s like spring fever only it’s worse because you cant wear your hoodies yet.

But [hopefully] it will be fall soon and wont you want a smashing personalized mug to drink your tea out of, or to give as an awesome and super easy gift?

The answer is yes, you will. πŸ˜‰

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You’ll need a ceramic mug and a sharpie and an oven. That’s all. Except maybe some artistic ability… I dont have any but somedays I like to pretend. Today I am pretending.

I found these mugs at Target in the dollar section. They’re blue, adorable, and cheap, what’s not to love? Oh! And they stack too!

[I also love how retro they look]

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Decorate as desired and bake them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350′

By the way, you will need to handwash them.

I decided to write a quote on mine.

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5 points if you know what quote this is and who said it. πŸ˜‰

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That’s it really. I kept mine simple but I would like to get some more and do line designs or filigree on them.

What would YOU like to put on a mug for sipping something lovely?

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Original link here.

Mixed Media Wall Canvas {DIY Wednesday}

This is so easy it’s absurd. A little bit time consuming [and by that I mean you have to wait for things to dry… anything over 10 minutes is time consuming to me] but can be as simple or complex as you wish, and could be used for any number of occasions.

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You’ll need:

A canvas:: mine is a cheap one from Michaels

Some ripped up pages of a book:: I picked up a junky book at the thrift story for a dollar because ripping up a book that I love would be unbearable.

Mod-Podge

Odds and ends for decoration:: die cuts, pretty paper, ribbon, stickers, ect.

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Paste the pieces of book paper to the canvas with the Mod-Podge.

Make sure the whole canvas is covered and then paste over the entire thing with Mod-Podge.

Let dry about 10-15 minutes.

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You can paste the paper on over the edges but I decided to paste ribbon on instead.

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Then embellish as desired. πŸ™‚

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I decided that mine would be hanging so I found a wide piece of ribbon and cut two pieces approximately 16″ [or whatever length you want] and tack them to the back. Then tie the two pieces together in an overhand knot for hanging on a hook.

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I really like how it turned out.

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I did my initials and hung it on the door of my room, but I think the possibilities are endless… a name wall hanging for a baby’s room, a favorite quote, a picture. Use your imagination. πŸ™‚

Have fun!

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Cherry Almond Breakfast Cookies {DIY Wednesdays}

Okay, okay… using the word “cookie” might be a bit of a stretch, but these little numbers are fantastic, healthful, very easy, and they taste pretty good too. πŸ˜‰

I used this recipe, but made several modifications {minor ones} so I will just tell you what I did. My yield was 12 large cookies.

You will need:

1.5 cups rolled oats {I used GF rolled oats}
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup of almond meal
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup dried cherries {mine were tart cherries}, chopped

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

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Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then inhale very deeply because that will probably be the most amazing thing you smell all day.

Once you’re done enjoying that heavenly aroma… combine all the wet ingredients into another bowl, being sure to mash up the bananas.

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Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix thoroughly.

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Press the batter into a cookie cutter, I used a heart shape for fun and because we dont have a round cookie cutter anymore. πŸ˜‰

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Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes to start out. Leaving them in longer depending on how thick your cookies are. Mine were pretty thick and I ended up baking them for 35 minutes total, but my oven is rather stupid and temperamental so just keep an eye on them.

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They should be a lovely golden brown, but take them out before the edges burn. And there you go, a lovely, healthy, pre-made breakfast that everyone can enjoy.

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Β Burlap RosetteΒ {DIY Wednesday}

I decided to make one of these lovely little rosettes [from a blog post over at Oh Hello Friend Blog] this afternoon for DIY Wednesday.

However I wanted to change it up a bit by making it a lot bigger [finished, mine is 2.5″ diameter] and by making it out of some brown burlap I had on hand to add a rougher texture. It was great fun and I think it turned out well.

I will let you read the original tutorial here, and then just note what I changed.

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To start off, my burlap was 3″ wide and approximately 45″ long.

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After forming and gluing the rosette, it was a bit too shredded looking.

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So trim up the longer loose fibers.

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And I used a scrap piece of burlap to glue to the back instead of sewing felt. Hot glue is much faster than needle and thread. πŸ˜‰ Then I glued on an alligator clip and a pin for some attachment options when wearing the rosette.

[note: my alligator clip is 1″ and the pin is 3/4″ I used them because it’s what I had, but next time I think I would use a longer one.]

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And there you go, a cute little accent with a lot of character.

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I think it’s going to be fantastic for fall.

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Almost a DIY Wednesday ;)

Okay okay, this isnt quiet a DIY, but I wanted to share this with you anyway. Personally, I think this is one of the most fantastic things I’ve seen in a long time.

Magnets from Instagram Pictures.

http://stickygram.com/

Now you can take all those Walden and Earlybird edited memories and post them on your wall… your fridge wall, that is, I expect they’re already posted on your Facebook. πŸ˜‰

I havent ordered any yet, but I’m sure that I will be using this handy dandy site in the not too distant future.

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina

Posted in DIY

Upcycled Flip Flops {DIY Wednesday}

My feet do not like cheap flip flops. The rubber hurts my feet and gives me blisters, and I’d rather be barefoot anyway.

So I decided to upcycle this pair I had them into these cute little summer sandals. I have to say, now they are much better. Cotton trumps rubber any day. And I really like how customizable they are, you could use any color flip flop and fabric you like.

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You’ll need a piece of scrap fabric wide enough to tear into 4 strips, mine is 7″ by 45″, and a pair of cheap flip flops [I think mine were on clearance at Target, but I cant remember.]

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Cut off the strap things.

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Now you just have a pair of soles.

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Use a pair of scissors to poke a hole 1/4″ down from the previously existing holes.

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Like this.

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Cut the fabric into 4, 1.5″ strips. Take two of the strips and fold them in half, laying them next to each other, use the point of the scissors to poke them through the top hole of the flip flop.

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Using an overhand knot, knot the ends securely together on both the underside and the topside of the flip flop.

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Arrange the straps and pull down through the next set of hole. Knot securely on the underside.

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Pull ends back up through the last set of holes.

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Lace them up and you’re ready to go.

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There you go: an easy, cute, comfy project that will use up scrap fabric and old flip flops, and help keep your feet cool and happy during the hot summer. πŸ™‚

Stay Beautiful,

~Alaina

Posted in DIY

Summer Iced Herbal Tea {DIY Wednesday}

You have probably noticed that it’s hotter than the dickens outside. If you didnt, it means you live somewhere a lot cooler than Broken Arrow Oklahoma and I may move in with you before summer is over.

Iced drinks are one of my favorite ways to survive the summer, and since I seem to be stuck here for a while I thought I would share with you my basic iced herbal tea recipe.

You can probably use most any flavor of herbal tea with the same results. For this batch I chose Orange Blossom Hibiscus because, well, it sounded good and I wanted to try it.

[I dont have a picture of the box to show you, mom got a little excited with cleaning out the pantry and tossed it so if you want to buy some here’s what it looks like:

http://www.liptontea.com/product/detail/141476/orange-blossom-hibiscus-herbal-teaΒ ]

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I used 9 tea bags [there are 18 bags in a box so this will make two batches]

And boil 4 cups of water.

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I just like to put the tea bags in a 4 cup measuring cup and pour the boiling water over. I think it’s easier.

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Wait patiently for 12 minutes… or longer if you like stronger tea =)

Strain into a half gallon pitcher, and add 4 more cups of [cold] water, and stick it in the fridge to cool off.

Some days I wish I could climb into a fridge…

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Now you can sweeten the tea or leave it plain. I am trying to like and drink more unsweetened tea because it’s better for me, but I really like a splash of this vanilla syrup in my tea. It sweetens it up a little and adds a nice flavor. It’s delicious.

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There you have it. An easy and refreshing way to beat the summer heat and stay hydrated!

Do you have a particular tea that you enjoy iced in the summer? I’d love to hear what kind. Someday I think I am going to create my own iced tea blend… I’ll let you know if I ever get around to it. πŸ˜‰

Stay beautiful,

~Alaina