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August 2012

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Aug. 28th, 2012

This blog has moved!

This blog has moved to jerricajaneen.typepad.com. I apologize to any of my faithful followers! Read all of the latest at the new home of JERRICAJANEEN!

Aug. 18th, 2012

DIY: Bear Skin Rug (College Dorm Edition!)

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We move my little sister into her college apartment tomorrow! She recruited me to do the interior design, so for the past couple weeks I've been busy gathering and creating decor for her room. Last night I stayed up entirely too late working on this faux bear skin rug. Who wants a plain old square, when you can add something a little quirky to the space? This rug was simple to make, and I'll show you how to make your own!

Items you will need:

- 2-4 yards of faux fur fabric (I purchased mine at Jo-Ann Fabrics with a coupon)
- Masking tape or chalk
- Scissors
- Hot glue gun

To begin, lay the fabric out right-side up. Fold the fabric in half hot-dog style, so you can still see the entire length. The fabric should be right-sides together, with the wrong side facing up. We will cut through boths sides of the fabric so the design will be symetrical. 

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From here, decide what shape you map out onto the fabric before cutting. I browsed the web for awhile looking at different skin rugs to decide what shape I wanted. For bear skins, there are muted, stubby patterns that lack heads, and the real ones are large with full limbs and heads. I drew out a pattern that would meet in the middle. You can use the shape I created below. I folded the paper, again, hot-dog style and drew out one-half of the design.

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Next, use the masking tape or chalk to mimic the shape above. This will make the cutting easier. Keep two things in mind: 1. It's easier to cut off a little now and little more later, rather than cutting too much at first and ruining the rug. 2. Make the design at least a half-inch larger than you want the finished produce to be, as we will hem the sides at the end.

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Then cut around the tape or chalk, making sure to cut through both sides of fabric, and making sure NOT to cut along the centerline.

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Open up the rug, and lay it wrong side up. Inspect the shape, and trim where needed. Also, you should remove any loose "fur" from all edges.

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Finally, use the hot glue gun to fold over a half-inch all the way around the rug. This will help lessen future shedding and make the ride-side have a finished look.

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Lastly, flip it over and enjoy! I think my sister is going to love this. I'm contemplating stealing it for my own apartment.This rug turned out great. They never said it was ALWAYS hip to be a square, right?

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Aug. 17th, 2012

Design On A Dime - College Dorms (Wall Art!)

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I recently saw an easy DIY blog post at How About Orange showing how to create beautiful, yet budget friendly wall art. Today, I sat down and created my own version of this art piece (above). I plan on taking this as a surprise (well, surprise officially ruined, as she reads my blog) for my sister when she moves into her college apartment this weekend. 

To create the project, I used one-sided patterned craft paper. I cut out (32) 5x5inch squares, (16) would make one finished art piece. I then folded each square using the technique below:







(photos borrowed from How About Orange)

After using the simple folding technique, I used roll-on adhesive to stick each folded square to a large piece of cardboard. I plan on attaching it to the wall with a couple Command Strips!

I already had this paper sitting around the apartment, so this project was free for me. Dig through the items you have laying around!

Happy crafting!


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Aug. 16th, 2012

Summer 2012 Bucket List - Bradfors Public Pool, Take One

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Yesterday we crossed another item off the list. We made our way to the little village of Bradford to visit the public pool! Just so we wouldn’t get bored being by ourselves, we invited my little brother and sister to go with us; they jumped at the opportunity, but that may be because Jordan said he’d buy us all Pat’s Whip ice cream on the way home. There wasn’t too much excitement going on at the pool, but I think we missed the busy part of the season… we might’ve held off a little too long, as the daily temperatures have been dropping, and yesterday was our first of three visits to the pool. Yikes.

I made the mistake of dipping my feet into the pool to feel how frigid it was; frigid was correct. I hesitated, but I finally took the plunge. Jordan and Jakob enjoyed doing their Olympic-worthy dives off of the diving board, Jeanna swam in the deep end, and I slowly made my way out to find the comfort of a dry towel. Take two will be this Friday after work, weather permitting… but we need to make it priority, as the pool closes next Wednesday. Again, yikes.
 
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Aug. 15th, 2012

Design On A Dime - College Dorms

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My little sister, Jolene will be moving away to college this weekend. She has recruited me to do some interior decorating for her room, all elements will be an eclectic mix of indie-meets-modern; a vibe that I love so much. Since she told me about her apartment, I have been on the lookout for budget-friendly items (she will be a starving college student, after all). I have found old record covers for wall decor, some abstract art to set on a modern end table, all found at various thrift and consignment stores. While those pieces area all ready to be placed in the room as-is, I did find a few fixer-upers. 

A look we want to achieve is a massive pile of pillows to be thrown across the bed; pillows of all sizes, colors and patterns. Okay, maybe not massive, but I am aiming for about 6 or 7. Poly-fill stuffing can get pricey, especially when you are making more than several large, firm pillows. I started scouring consignment shops for pillows, as the stuffing is already there. While shopping, I kept in mind three things: 1. Price, 2. Cleanliness, 3. Potential. I found many ready-to-be-used as is, and quite a few ugly ducklings that would need a face lift. Here is how I spruced up two of the pillows for under a couple dollars each.

I found each of these pillows for $0.99 each. The one on the left is some type of green patterned pillow that I realized had potential - a stretch, but doable. Pillows that are all around ugly can be covered by a pillow case. The one on the right is plain white. At first glance, it was boring, but this is a perfect blank canvas. 

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At home, I had two vintage placemats that I had purchased for under a dollar at a thrift store that I knew would make for an easy pillow case. I also had some scrap black felt.

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I put the two placemats together and sewed three sides shut. I then placed the pillow inside and sewed the remaining side closed. First pillow, done. Easy. For the blank canvas pillow, I cut out a trendy mustache and simply hot-glued it on the middle of the pillow. Second pillow, done; just as easy!

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These budget-friendly items can now be placed with some budget-breaking pieces; all hopefully without breaking the bank :) While I do enjoy buying cute brand-new items, I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have an opportunity to put my creativity into something.
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Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow – Three Recipes for the Busy Housewife

I am desperately trying to become a better housewife. Jordan and I were married in April, so I have had almost 4 months of house cleaning, laundry and cooking done perfectly each day. NOT. I work full time at an office, and I usually race home only to continue working on a craft project. Jordan has always supported me and all of my hobbies, but I have always felt guilty that a home cooked meal is rarely made anymore. I grew up in a traditional home: my dad worked long hours while my stay-at-home mom cleaned spotlessly and cooked delicious meals each and every day. Granted, my mom had five children to take care of while I don’t have any kids (yet). I will hopefully work myself up to be a professional in the home, but meanwhile; I haven’t shown much effort in taking the steps to get there.

Yesterday was the beginning of a new era (insert heavenly singing here)! After work, I went straight to the grocery store in town and made a beeline home to start on some food. For last night’s meal, I picked an easy favorite. It’s hardly a five course meal, but I needed something easy if I planned to get anything else done that night. I made my Taco Dip that friends have come over specifically to eat (while the meat browned, I made dessert). After we ate, I threw together a Pot Roast in record time. Today, I found a recipe that I will serve for tomorrow’s dinner!

Find all three recipes below:

 
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Jerrica’s Taco Dip

1lb ground beef

1 packet taco seasoning

2/3 cups water

½ cup favorite salsa

 1/8 cup jalapeno peppers, chopped (optional)

Sour cream

Shredded cheese

Cover the bottom of a pie plate in your desired amount of sour cream. I usually spread it out to an even half inch depth. In a medium sized skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain. Add water and taco seasoning, stir and set to simmer until the water evaporates. Add the salsa and jalapeno peppers (optional, I just like the added kick) and stir until the salsa heats and the jalapenos soften. Pour this mixture directly on top of the sour cream in the pie plate, and even out. Top it off with your desired amount of shredded cheese (the more the better in our opinion). Serve with tortilla chips.

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Beyond Easy Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

2 lbs Pork Roast

1 bag Petite Carrots

¼ Onion, chopped

1 large potato, skin on, cubed

McCormick Bag n’ Season Pot Roast seasoning packet

¼ cup water

Place pork roast(s) into the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the bag of carrots, potatos and onions. Mix the packet of Pot Roast seasoning with the water and pour over the contents of the slow cooker. Refrigerate until morning, or start the slow cooker to bake for eight hours.

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Slow Cooker Barbeque Ribs

 

2-3 pounds pork baby back ribs

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup favorite barbeque sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 dash hot sauce

Rub the ribs with salt and pepper, then place ribs in the bottom of the slow cooker. In a bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients and pour on top of the ribs. Refrigerate until morning, or start the slow cooker to bake for eight hours.

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Aug. 14th, 2012

Fashionspiration - Fall Jackets

If I see another pea coat this year, I may go on a rampage. Trust me, they're great-looking coats, but around the area I live they are completely unoriginal. Every girl and their sister wore a black pea coat last fall and winter. I always saw the coats unfortunately styled with jeans and Ugg boots. Ugg boots top my winter no-go list. Don't do it!

For awhile now, I have been on the lookout for some great fall jackets/coats. I'm wanting a couple jackets to reflect my style, and be both fresh & trendy.

I found some photos while perusing the internet to be my eye candy and inspiration as I shop:


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Upcycled Crop Top

Inspired by a photo she saw, a close friend of mine asked me to customize a shirt for her. The picture consisted of a shirt with an open panel centered down the back, held together with strips of fabric (pinched in the center to create the look of a bow). She left the colors and details to me, but she explained that she preferred it to be a crop top and have the "bows" closer to the top.

It was a simple DIY project, as I already had a beige crop top I never wore from H & M and old ivory lace curtains, and there was minimal sewing. See the end product:

Side view:

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Back:

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Front:

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Aug. 13th, 2012

Deadmau5 Adult-sized Hat

I'm back up and running, crocheting my little life away. I probably should've started early-Summer, but better late than never. Breaking out my crochet hooks reminds me so much of Fall and Winter, I'm catching some type of longing for cool-weather & the crafts that go along with it.

I made this hat for a close friend; I made Jordan channel his inner Deadmau5 to get the vibe for the photos ;)

As a reminder, I'll do any custom hats - $10 for newborns-toddlers, $20 for adult sized ($5 for shipping, no extra cost if you live close enough to pick it up!) Email me at jerricajaneen@gmail.com
 
Deadmau5 Hat:

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Aug. 10th, 2012

Bottle Turned Soap Dispenser

Just popping in to share a quick photo! Hopefully I can get a few projects done this weekend. With all of this cooler weather coming quickly, I'm afraid I've pushed off crocheting a little too long. I started to crochet a surprise project for a friend who will be leaving the end of this month to live in the big land of Chicago. It's an adult size version of something I've made previous...

Also, my sister is moving into her new apartment next weekend... and she recruited me as her interior designer, with a strict college-student budget. A lot of DIY this weekend; pillowcases, curtains...

This week, I hand painted an empty Crown Royal bottle for a friend so she can turn it into a soap dispenser.

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Jul. 13th, 2012

Summer 2012 Bucket List - Spoon River Float

We were invited by a good friend to join a group on a floating trip last Saturday! While I looked forward to it all week, I had some worries. We are going through quite the heat wave here in central Illinois - and I was pretty nervous about the Spoon River's water level and also our group's safety regarding dehydration. Anything heat-related basically. As the day came closer we bought neccessities such snacks, inner tubes, and plenty of water for the trip.

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That morning we packed the cooler and inflated the tubes. We made a trip to the general store in town to buy our ice, and then we were off! A group of sixteen all met up at one of our close friends' house, and we piled into two trucks, filling the seats and the truck beds with bodies & tire tubes.

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In tube

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At a little after 10am, we entered the river under a bridge that leads out of town, and began the four-hour float! To my surprise, the water cooled us down (I was afraid it would be bathtub temperature).

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We did have to walk across rocks a lot of the way (due to the low water level), which man were unhappy about, but it's all apart of the experience.

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Some of the men in the group dug around the banks or logs looking for holes & catfish.

At some point along the way, several of us got to witness Asian Carp flopping out of the water. A couple people were hit, including Jordan who (not surprisingly) tried to catch it. I get really nervous being in cloudy water that I know houses fish of all sizes, but I made it through.

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We went with a fun group, I'm glad we went!

Jun. 28th, 2012

DIY: Event Countdown Frame



I'm on a roll with DIYs these days. I recently saw a cute & creative Countdown Frame on Pinterest (on which I waste my days away). I have a stack of picture frames we received as gifts from the wedding, that haven't been given a good use yet. I chose one that would fit a 5x7 photo and got to work recreating the project! Here's my version of the tutorial:

Items you will need:
- Photo frame (I used a 5x7, but you may use a larger or smaller one. Keep in mind that if you are using playing cards for the countdown numbers, the frame will need to be large enough for the card)
- Playing cards
- Clothespin (I used a mini "paper-clip" clothespin that I found a while back at Walmart)
- Fabric
- Scissors
- Name plate
- Cardstock (for the back & inside of the name plate)
- Hot glue gun & glue sticks



First plug in the hot glue gun, as it will take a little time to heat up. Then, cut a piece of fabric to fit inside of the picture frame. I used the included "photo" that comes in most new frames as a template. 



Next, open up the back of the photo frame and place the piece of fabric inside. Close up the back and take a look at it; adjust if needed.



Placing the frame aside for now, hot glue the back of the name plate and affix to the the pre-cut piece of card stock. I had previously cut a piece of black card stock that will be covering the words on the photo frame. Be careful not to hot glue the top of name plate to the card stock, as you will need to keep this open to be able to add and change future events.

 

Next, hot glue the card stock to the front of the frame.



For the next step, place a playing card in the clothespin. Center the card in the frame, and adjust to your liking. Then, hot glue the back of the clothespin to the glass on the front of the frame.



Write an event on a slip of paper and slide it into the name plate. Adjust the playing card each morning to count down the days until the event. Change the event name when a new one is coming up!



Hmmmm... camping trip in eight days? Sounds like another Summer Bucket List activity coming up ;)


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DIY: Contrast Collar Necklace



Yesterday I posted about the current and upcoming Fall trend of Contrast Collars. I got crafty last night and created an easy-DIY project to share with you! Here we go...

Items you will need:
- Collared shirt in a pattern/color of your choice
- Chain link bracelet that has a clasp (I just found one that had been lying around)
- Diagonal pliers (or something that will cut through the bracelet)
- Sewing needle
- Thread
- Iron
- Scissors



To begin, cut off the collar of the shirt, making sure to cut below where the collar is stitched onto the shirt (this will ensure your Collar will not fall apart in the future). I cut about a quarter inch below the stitching. After the collar is detatched from the shirt, remove any tags, and iron it flat.



Cut off any tags, choose which side you want to use and iron

Next, cut the collar in half.

I used darker side, cute right down the center

Then, you will fold over each raw edge and iron. Finish each piece by stitching down the raw edge. You may do this by hand sewing, but I just ran it quickly through the sewing machine.

Fold over the raw edges and iron

 Finish each edge either by hand stitch or sewing machine

Next, iron each piece to create the look of a folded collar.

Iron each piece to create the look of a folded collar

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Put the two pieces together, forming the front of the collar, and sew together. The small amount of hand sewing will be done just right at the the top, where the collar-pieces touch.

Put the two pieces together, forming the front of the collar, and sewing together

Setting the collar aside, cut the bracelet into two pieces, leaving the clasp attached. This will be used as the closure for the back of the Collar necklace.

Cut the bracelet into two pieces, leaving the clasp attached

To finish up, sew each end of the bracelet on the back ends of the collar. This is done with just a small amount of hand stitching.

Sew each end of the bracelet on the back ends of the collar

Cut off any stray threads, and then you have the finished product!

Front:



Back:

And youre done - back

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Jun. 27th, 2012

Fashionspiration - Contrasting Collars

The runways for Fall 2012 were full of dresses and tops embellished with contrasting collars. Collars are back in the spotlight this year! Choose a shape that flatters your face: rounded edges for angular faces, and pointy tips for softer features.


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Gold sequin contrast peter pan collar necklace

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Jun. 26th, 2012

Updating Thrifted Shorts

BEFORE:



When Jolene and I went thrifting last week, I actually found two pairs of high-waist shorts that fit me like a glove. Although they both fit my waist and hips perfectly, the 80's & 90's lengths aren't nearly as short as I'm used to with modern hemlines. Along with trend issues, the longer length really doesn't flatter my short legs. 

To update the look, knew I wanted to shorten the length of the shorts. I also wanted to add subtle detail. I cut the length,  and distressed the edges to start. I put them back on, and they were okay. Good not great. They were still a little longer than wanted, and seemed a little plain. They also just looked cut-off. Sad. The finishing touch did the trick - folding them up once; showing the fringe & distress, while also fixing the fit.

AFTER:



I love these - even more than the lace ones I made last week! 








Jordan wonders why I'm trying to become Kelly Kapowski. Silly men.

Date Night - What I Wore

Yesterday was a stressful Monday (when aren’t they?), and it started when my dreams of a long weekend died at the sound of the alarm at 6am. As the fun doesn’t have to stop as soon as the work-week starts, I decided to rekindle the weekend flame by asking Jordan out on a Monday-night date. We had a few errands to run anyways, so why not throw some adventures in the evening as well? We stopped at Target to do the few purchases we needed, one of which was a storage tub to store all of those Christmas gifts we bought over the weekend! And who can walk through Target without looking at the clothing section? Okay, Jordan would’ve been happy skipping that part, but he wasn’t so lucky. From there we headed to the mall and just enjoyed the walk around and I bought a few items of clothing. Before we headed home for the night, we ate at Monical’s, and split a large pizza as usual.

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What I wore: A dress that is more special than it looks; it is from a little boutique in Armand’s Circle, Sarasota, FL. That is where Jordan and I went for our Honeymoon in April! Clog/heels, Charlotte Russe. Rose & Gold bracelet, Charlotte Russe. Copper bracelet, thrifted. Gold chain necklace, thrifted.

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I received so many compliments on my dress last night! It was my first time wearing it since I tried it on at the boutique on our honeymoon. I felt beautiful. I just hope my date thought so, too! ;)

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Jun. 24th, 2012

Summer Bucket List - Baseball Game!

Last weekend for Father's day, my sisters and I combined our budgets and gave our dad an All-Expense-Paid Day At the Ballpark. We purchased the tickets ahead of time so we could present them to him as his gift. The tickets were for the Peoria Chiefs vs. the Quad City River Bandits game on June 23rd. We paid for enough tickets to allow the whole family to spend time together! If giving the gift of 'time' wasn't perfect enough for my dad, I don't know what would've been. He really enjoyed receiving the thoughtful gift from us; I think we were all proud to get a gift that was more than "last minute". 















At 5:15pm yesterday, Jordan and I drove over to pick up some of the family. One of my other sisters offered to drive the rest. The game was set to start at about 6:30pm, so we arrived in Peoria just in time to find our seats and get settled before the first pitch.



Thankfully, buying the tickets in advance got us some decent seats near first base. We had a good view of the action.



A little while into the game, quite a few of us broke down and went to buy the food. As expected, you had to pay "stadium prices" for a simple meal. My $7.50 pulled pork sandwich was... alright. All part of the experience, right? 





We found other food vendors and indulged in the baseball-fan favorites.







Three times through the game, in between innings, some of the stadium workers ran around the field and threw souvenirs into the crowd. Two out of three times, Jordan was lucky enough to snatch the prizes! A Frisbee that held a surprise Taco Bell voucher on the underside, and a Peoria Chiefs T-shirt.





And the game went on, and on. The farther along the game went, the more the family got into it! The cute Corn Cobs came out and danced after each time the home team scored.





Again, my favorite part came - Jordan and I were able to cross off the item on our Bucket List. This lead a few people in the rows behind us to ask about the Bucket List, and I loved chatting with them! I learned that the lady directly behind us has family in our hometown, and another lady down the row is originally from the area we live. The part where everyone reads the list is my favorite. Everyone shares their own experiences about the places in the list, and I love to hear all of the tips and stories!





The team my dad was rooting for won! The Quad Cities River Bandits, 4-2. The River Bandits are the single A team for the St. Louis Cardinals, my dad's favorite professional baseball team.





The ended with a kiss while watching the fireworks. Who could resist the romantic moment? I can't wait until we get to do the next item!

Summer Bucket List - Christmas Shopping!





I'm pleased to announce the Bucket List started off wonderfully with a full day yesterday! Jordan and I woke up bright and early on Saturday to get a few things done before taking off to Moline, IL. I was excited to put on the T-shirt and match my man, and mainly just antsy to put an 'X' through the first check-box :)





And we were off! Sort of... we took a much needed breakfast pit-stop in Kewanee. French Toast sticks for me & a Whopper for Jordan if you must know; but then, we were back on track. Moline is a little bit over an hour away from where we live, and quite a few people from our County travel there to shop. On the way to the mall, Jordan and I went through and completed our list of what to buy for our friends and family for Christmas. I wanted to be very thorough, although our Bucket List said "majority" I wanted to get ALL Christmas shopping done and over with. It's June! I want to be able to say I've done this!



As soon as we walked into the mall we got right down to business, walked into the first store and completed six people on the list! We weren't at the mall for as long as I figured we would be. When I think of 'completing all Christmas shopping' it just sound so daunting. It sound like a day-long, stressful task. Honestly, I had some of the Christmas shopping done before yesterday. I have done it throughout the year, just as I see things when I am out shopping. And I already had a rough draft of who to buy for, and what to buy for them. I think those two things saved us time and stress yesterday!



I carried that list with my everywhere! It was the key to sanity.



Jordan did his share of the shopping, I was proud.



No Christmas designs? I guess it's not time for Christmas wrapping and bagging yet.



We completed so much of the list! All we have left to do is purchase a couple gift cards, and we will be able to say it is perfectly done and final. We're going to say it's done at this point, because we know exactly what we still need to get, and because we want that label of victory NOW. :)



I'm very sure crossing off the item on the checklist was the best part of the day. We had several people stop and look at our shirts, and couple asked about the shirts (which was my reason to get the shirts; I love to cause a good scene). It is just nice to finally have something to show the people who ask in the future! I crossed off Jordan's and he crossed off mine.



The first event of the Summer 2012 Bucket List was a success!



Jun. 22nd, 2012

Fashionspiration - Red, White & Blue



Fashionspiration? With the upcoming holiday just around the corner, I need some classic pieces to wear to the cookouts & fireworks! Red, white and blue Americana fashion trends always seem to come back into the current trends. Timeless treasures (each photo is linked to the source):


Gorgeous meets casual sneakers.




I have no words for how beautiful these photos are; I love every detail, and I would wear this outfit in a heart beat!

Perfect summer menswear. I feel like Jordan and I could share some of these pieces, happily.


These feel glam rock and roll to me. Give me a  black fringe tee and some barely there denim shorts.


Classic beauty.

Are you still rocking the red, white and blue trend?

DIY: Peak-a-boo Lace Shorts

I’ve wanted a nice pair of retro high-waisted shorts for some time now. I found a pair while thrifting last night and decided to DIY! This tutorial also works well with other styles of denim shorts. 



Items you will need: A pair of shorts, scissors, sand paper, lace (the material I am using is an old curtain), a needle and thread.



First, cut the hem off of the shorts. This is a good time to adjust the length of the shorts. You can easily turn an old pair of jeans or long Bermuda-style shorts into some flirty Daisy Dukes!



Second, use the sand paper to rough up and distress the freshly cut hem. Fraying is fine, it’s even encouraged!



Next, cut long strips of the lace in any desired width (include an extra 5/8’’ for attaching them to the inside of the shorts). For my style, it is fine that the lace will have an unfinished hem, it will fringe and fray, adding to the character of the shorts. Pin this to the underside of the shorts, all the way around the hem. My sister, Jolene, did her own version of this DIY and she only put lace on the front half of the shorts; proving this step is very customizable.



Finally, hand-sew the lace to the shorts. Viola! Jolene plans on pairing hers with a white tuxedo shirt. How do you plan on styling yours?
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