Paper Chains (a Wedding Countdown)

Time for a little backstory- One year when I was in college, I lived in an apartment with 4 other girls (we had a 4 bedroom apartment so it wasn’t cramped at all) and they were all in various stages of relationships throughout our year living together. Ashley was engaged when we all moved in, Courtney got engaged to her boyfriend toward the end of our lease, Lauren got engaged to her boyfriend during the winter, and Abby was dating Nate. For all of the engaged girls, I made them a paper chain to count down the days until their wedding- and they were so fun to make! We had them strung around the hallway and the living room, which made great cheap decorations since we were all in school and broke.

Now years later, Abby and Nate are getting MARRIED! I’m so incredibly excited for them and I can’t wait to help them celebrate at the wedding! But as a former roommate, there is something I must do first… make her a wedding countdown paper chain!!! I sent this off and I hope that she enjoys ripping off each chain, one day at a time, as her wedding day approaches.

The steps to make your very own paper chain are so simple! Pick your paper and cut into strips.

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Write dates or number of days until the wedding on the strips.

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Tape the strips together and you’re done!

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This is seriously such a fun gift to make and such a fun gift to give! It’s unique, thoughtful, interactive, and there are a TON of options for how you want to make them. You can get beautiful paper, paper to go with the bride-to-be’s decor, you can get really inspired and write quotes about love on some of the strips (I did this for my sister’s wedding countdown chain!), the possibilities are endless. What’s your favorite gift to give a bride-to-be?

BLOGLOVIN

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My New Favorite Place and a $3 Lunch!

One of my favorite things about living in Dallas is the fact that I work downtown. I don’t know what it is, but I love all the big buildings, all the people walking around in business clothes, the surprising amount of flowers everywhere outside- it’s all great! I try and go on a walk every day, just to get some fresh air and stretch my legs, and now that it isn’t raining anymore I have been able to get out and explore some more areas around my building. I headed North out of my building a few weeks ago, walked a few blocks, and found my new favorite place… Klyde Warren Park.

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It’s a tiny little park that is over the freeway, and this place is awesome! They have food trucks every single day, they have free fitness classes most days (tai chi, yoga, pilates, Zumba, it’s great!), there are restaurants, a yard area where you can play, a children’s play area, games you can play, and on top of that, it is BEAUTIFUL!

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The walkways are lined with small arches complete with lighted globes (a nice little reminder of St. Louis) and the park is small enough that a walk around it is the perfect quick escape from my desk without being gone for too long.

I went there with some coworkers for lunch (to choose from the 10-ish rotating food trucks that are there daily!) and decided that I wanted a grilled cheese patty melt from Ruthie’s (a grilled cheese food truck. Delish). While ordering, I decided that sure, I would splurge and get chips and a bottle of water, too. Why not? I got out my card to pay, expecting the total to be about $11 (MAN food trucks are EXPENSIVE!) and the total was $3. “Ummm, I ordered a patty melt, too.” “Did you get the chips and water in there?” “Are you sure it’s only $3?” Apparently it was national cheese day, so the food truck was selling ALL sandwiches for only $1! What a great surprise! And that sweet deal made it all extra delicious!

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THREE DOLLARS!!!! It seriously made my whole entire day!

 

Summer Capsule Wardrobe- Part 2

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Last time, I wrote about my current capsule wardrobe and the specific items that I included. Did you read it? Was it helpful? I sure hope so! And if you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should give the whole capsule wardrobe thing a try (you totally should), I hope that this post will be even more encouraging!

I went through and tried to come up with every possible outfit combination (I probably missed a few) and with just the 37 items I have kept out to wear over the next 3 months, I can make 90 different outfits!!!!! 90! At least! That’s basically going to get me through the whole summer season without repeating an outfit! (I know that realistically I will because of laundry or spills or forgetfulness, but still). 90! Here are some of my favorites that I can’t wait to wear!

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Why yes, I DID just put the clothes on my living room floor. How on earth did you know?!? A bit ghetto, yes, but it got the job done. So are any of you going to give this a go with me?!?

 

How to Fake Calligraphy and Make Beautiful Things

Hand lettering is all over the internet… and I LOVE it! It seems like a good chunk of the things I see on Pinterest and Etsy have beautiful script and gorgeous calligraphy and I wanted to do it, too! There is only one problem… I don’t know how to do calligraphy. I don’t own calligraphy pens. I don’t have any plans to by calligraphy pens. So what did that leave me with? Fake it till you make it. And that’s what I did! I started practicing and after lots of trial and error, I found a method that worked for me. Here is what I do!

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I start out doodling with pencil. It usually takes a lot of practice, multiple tries, and I use my eraser. A lot. You don’t have to use graph paper, but I find that it can be helpful.

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Next I draw in thicker lines in the loops and where a downward pen stroke would be. This is what gives it that ‘calligraphy’ look.

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Now, I start to trace with a thin Sharpie pen!

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Once you’re done, you can go on to whatever your next steps are! Last summer I put my Sharpie outline under doilies and traced to make pretty place cards for a dinner party. I plan on scanning this and making some fun projects with Illustrator!

So now it’s your turn! Get your pencil and start doodling! Don’t worry if you mess up, my doodles have parts crossed out all the time! Also I’ve realized that I really only have one style of hand lettering so far… I need to practice more and get some more variety! But I do love the loops and curls!

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I Love Sweet Potato Fries!

Seriously. I love sweet potato fries so much. I could have them with every single meal and be a very happy camper (in fact I did have them with dinner every night this past week…. not even sorry). It’s pretty much a given that whenever they are an option at a restaurant, I will shell out the extra dollar to upgrade to sweet potato fries. Totally worth it. One of my favorite things about them, besides their deliciousness, is that they are SO easy to make at home! There are a few ways that you can make these bad boys, but here is my usual method!

1. Pour a little bit of EVOO into a bowl (just enough to lightly coat the fries. Better to have too little at first and have to add a little bit more later.)

2. Add some spices in your bowl and mix it all up. I usually put in a little bit of garlic powder, cumin, and parsley flakes, but there are LOTS of combos that would be delicious!

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3. Peel your sweet potatoes and cut them into your desired shapes. Sometimes I go with wedges, sometimes I make little sweet potato chips! (You don’t want them to be too thick or they won’t cook thoroughly, but you don’t want them to be too thin or they will BURN and your whole house will smell disgusting.)

4. Plop your fries into the oil mixture and toss to coat.

5. Spread the fries onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Be sure that your fries aren’t touching!

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6. Bake the fries at 450 degrees for 20 minutes (you might need a little more or less, depending on your oven, the thickness of your fries, etc.) Be sure to flip your fries at least once- I flip mine every 5 minutes.

7. Wait for them to cool and then eat your heart out!!

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