Weekly Wishes #22

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Happy Monday! I’m linking up with Melyssa and lots of others over at The Nectar Collective to share my weekly goals for this week, as well as the progress I made last week. Come join us and set some goals for yourself! This has been a really wonderful way to keep myself accountable for the things I’d like to get done each week. It’s also fun to look back and see what my goals have been in recent months.

This last week was really wonderful. I feel like I got a lot accomplished and I got to see a few people I love but don’t ordinarily get to see. And my taxes are done and filed. So, it was quite great! Not much else to report. Oh, except that I broke my laptop charger and had to design the above photo on paint on my dad’s computer. Real cute.

Last weeks goals…

1. Write most posts than last week. I think I did!

2. Sit down and figure out our plans for our produce farm. We’re gettin’ there! I’ve got a stinkin’ house full of started seeds and little baby plants.

3. Exercise. I did get some really awesome workouts in this week. I’m excited that it’s getting warm enough to start running outside soon.

4. Start a new book. Started and almost finished a book! Woooohooo!!

5. Create something new. I don’t think I did. Well, I did design wedding programs for one of my brides, so that’s something.

This week’s goals

1. Write some letters and postcards. It’s been a good while since I’ve done so!

2. Decide what to make for Easter with the family. What to make? I just can’t decide.

3. Finish reading Yes Please. I almost finished it today already!

4. Get outside. It’s supposed to be nice-ish for a few days this week. I need to get out and enjoy it.

5. Write at least one DIY post, 1 recipe, and both my Weekly Wishes and Friday Favorites this week. That’s all there is to that goal.

What are your goals for the week?!

DIY Messy Dreamcatcher

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I had a DIY dream catcher post in my drafts for six months. I made one before winter and I just never quite loved it. It was fun to make, but it was all sorts of different colors and just didn’t look right in my room. I just couldn’t write a post about a project I didn’t love. So I started over. I disassembled the one I had and tried again. And, well, I’m in love with this one. For Valentines day, my boss and his wife gave me a little gift basket with a beautiful piece of quartz on a chain, and I immediately thought about using it in my dreamcatcher re-do. I used a bunch of other stuff I had laying around my craft room/office (which is actually basically a walk-in closet sized room that is our basement walk-out haha), so I don’t have any sort of exact directions about the supplies I used to decorate. DIY projects are all about personalization, am I right?!

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Supplies

  • Four embroidery hoops- one large, one medium, 2 small – remove the outer portion with the metal adjuster
  • Paint and paintbrush (unless you want the color of the wood to remain!)
  • Embroidery floss – used 1 and a half skeins
  • Feathers (I used random feathers I found lying around my yard!), beads, yarn, string, crystals

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After gathering all your supplies, paint your hoops. I chose black. I like neutrals. Especially since I have a giant tapestry on my bedroom wall and any color that’s not dark purple or maroon clashes.

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Let the hoops dry and paint beads to coordinate if they don’t already. I used some old wood beads from two bracelets I had in 2nd grade. No lie… I keep craft supplies that long.

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I’ll do my best to explain this process. It’s a little time consuming and I’m probably going to struggle to find the exact words to make it seem simpler… but once you get it, it’s easy to get on a roll. Start by tying the end of a skein of embroidery floss around the hoop. About an inch to an inch and a half around the hoop, loop the floss around the hoop and pull it back through the loop you just made. See how in the photo above, the first row of loops have a double twist where they come together? That’s what pulling the thread through the space of the loop you just made will do. Leave a small amount of slack in the line. Continue this all the way around. Once you’ve gotten all the way around, do the same thing, but pull the thread through the loopholes you just made and continue the same process as before. You can pull these tighter than the initial row of loops.

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Continue all the way around. The space in the very middle will get smaller and smaller. When you’ve got it as small as you want it (I left space to hang a beautiful piece of quartz in the middle – you could hang a feather or a bead here too), tie it off in a knot. I made a slipknot, then pulled the end of the thread through the knot and tightened it all the way. Trim excess embroidery floss.

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If you’re hanging something in the middle, just tie it on with the same embroidery floss.

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Do the same for the smaller hoops.

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Lay the hoops out and tie the smaller ones to the large one in the way you’d like them to look when they’re hanging.

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Tie a piece of yarn for hanging at the top of the large hoop.

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If you’re using feathers, tie the thread to the shaft of the feather closer toward the, well, feathery part. Wrap the thread around the shaft of the feather toward the tip. Tie off the string and use the excess to tie the feather to the hoops.

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Tie a bunch of yarn, braided yarn, string with beads, feathers, embroidery floss to the three smaller hoops. Let them be different lengths. Embrace the imperfection!

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That’s really all there is to it. Hang it up above your bed and have sweet dreams.

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Friday Favorites

friday favorites | arthealth&happiness

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Happy Friday!!! I just finished up what might be the final draft of one of my bride‘s wedding programs. See photo of the adorable couple above. Their wedding is just two short weeks away and I’m soooooo excited to photograph it. It’s so much fun to shoot such a special day for people you love. It’s going to be greaaaat!

Onto my Friday faves… Starting to seriously think about gardening, despite the fact that it’s 30 degrees currently.

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I planted some strawberry plants last year… This would make it so much easier to keep the strawberries from getting super dirty and eaten by ants.

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I love the idea of using something like this rather than sprinklers.. I feel like it would be more efficient this way and water more evenly.

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I currently use a plastic five gallon bucket that sits on the back deck for my compost until I carry it back to my compost pile. This is wayyyyy cuter and I wouldn’t have to fill up a bowl with my food scraps while cooking, then take it out to the bucket immediately.

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This looks like Oreos without filling haha but they’re actually carbon filters for the aforementioned compost crock. Not gonna lie, compost does get stinky when it’s sitting in a container on the countertop.

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I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of overalls for a few months now… Something slightly fitted but still practical. It’s pretty easy for me to end up accidentally looking like a first grader. These come darn close except that I’d have a hard time spending eighty dollar on clothes that are already ripped. If I found them in the thrift store for a few bucks, I’d get them for sure.

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This towel is gorgeous!!! Project idea perhaps?

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Another project idea! How nice would it be to have a slightly padded camera strap cover than you can take on and off and wash? Not gonna lie, shooting bridal portraits on a 90+ degree day while carrying forty-ish pounds of equipment = my neck gets sweaty and my camera strap gets gross. I might have to make me one of these, or just buy this one!

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Still searching for the perfect dressy nose ring. This is adorable, no?

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So I was looking at Frida-related stuff on etsy a few weeks back and Etsy recommended this the other day. I stinkin love this tee!

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A gal I follow on Instagram was wearing this tank the other day… Isn’t it freakin awesome?! Though, I can guarantee I’d end up wearing it outside all day one day and getting ridiculous tan lines from it. Two summers ago, I got some ridiculous racerback tank tan lines… and thennnnn was in one of my best friend’s weddings in a dress that showed off my wonderful x-shaped patch of pale skin. Those tan lines stayed all darn summer too. Nevertheless, awesome tank.

Happy weekend, friends! I hope you’ve got some wonderful plans. Don’t forget to decompress and relax, too!

Sweet and Sour Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

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Pretty much every Saturday night in the off season for both mine and my dad’s jobs, my sister, brother in law, nieces, my dad, and I get together and make dinner. It’s usually the highlight of my week every week.

They’re all omnivores (although one of my nieces picked all the meat out of her spaghetti the other night and announced that she was vegan… but then she ate a big old bowl of dairy ice cream haha gotta start somewhere, right?! I can only push so much info about veganism on a four year old that’s not my child without steppin’ on toes.). When I started this journey 3+ years ago, I was cooking alllll my food separately from theirs for family dinners. I mean half the potatoes with butter, half with olive oil, their meals on the grill, mine in the oven… But after they realized that my new eating habits weren’t just a phase, making meals together has gotten easier. Now we roast allll the potatoes in olive oil and the brussels sprouts get served with butter on the side. It’s a pretty darn cool change that I honestly didn’t think they’d adapt to.

Pretty much every single Saturday night, we have brussels sprouts with our dinner. We all love them. Loooove them. This is a new recipe we came up with last Saturday… My sister worked in various kitchens for 10-ish years and she’s always been a foodie. She’s sort of a super genius in the kitchen. Give that girl damn near any combination of ingredients and she’ll find a way to make it work. So, after we trimmed up our brussels last Saturday, I asked, “Steam them? Roast them?” She threw them in a frying pan and we started pulling ingredients out of the pantry to make a quick sweet, sour, and slightly spicy sauce to caramelize them in. They turned out soooooo tasty. Lilly, my 20-ish month old niece kept asking for “more bussel spout!”. I’d say that’s a win.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp Mirin
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup (or organic brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flake
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Wash and trim the brussels sprouts and cut them in half.
  2. Pour the water and brussels sprouts into a pan and cover. Simmer/steam until just tender, adding more water if needed. Remove cover.
  3. Pour in acv, mirin, maple syrup, and seasonings.
  4. Sautee until it begins to caramelize.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

IMG_6544It’s been a while since I’ve hopped over to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.. I gotta get back on it! Come check it out!

Weekly Wishes #21

weeklywishes-arthealthandhappiness

Happy Monday! I’m linking up with Melyssa and lots of others over at The Nectar Collective to share my weekly goals for this week, as well as the progress I made last week. Come join us and set some goals for yourself! This has been a really wonderful way to keep myself accountable for the things I’d like to get done each week. It’s also fun to look back and see what my goals have been in recent months.

This week, thus far, doesn’t seem like it will be abnormally busy. I had an amazing weekend this last weekend… Movie night with my sister, her husband, and my nieces on Friday, girls night in with some of the lovely ladies I’ve been friends with since childhood, and my sister, her husband, and the girls showed up yesterday and we visited the new sheep at the farm across the road. Good weekends = happy start to the week, right?!

Last weeks goals…

1. Start building my bookshelf. I got a start but needed to go to the hardware store and haven’t yet.

2. Finish an embroidery project. I made a good dent in one. Hoping to finish it tonight.

3. Sort out my paperwork for taxes. It’s all ready to go!

4. Do a little spring cleaning. I really didn’t even think for a minute about deep cleaning anything..

5. Meet up with my first wedding client of the year to get our final details sorted before the big day. Sure did!

This weeks goals…

1. Write most posts than last week. I got tangled up in being busy last week and hardly wrote anything at all. I just finished a project I’m really excited to share this week!! It felt good to get some blog content finished this weekend so I don’t have to worry about creating anything new during the week this week.

2. Sit down and figure out our plans for our produce farm. If you’ve been around here the last few months, you might know I’m starting a small scale organic/heirloom produce farm this year with my neighbor/dear friend. We’ve got some seeds started and a planting calendar done… We just need to sit down and get some details sorted out. I’m so so so so so excited to be thinking about fresh from the garden produce.

3. Exercise. I did zero exercise last week other than two days of yoga… Eeek. Working a desk job instead of running around working in a kitchen now makes it so much more important for me to be aware of getting some movement in my day outside of work.

4. Start a new book. One of my darling friends leant me her copy of Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and I’m really excited to read it.

5. Create something new. I worked on a painting for a while last night… I don’t know if it’s one I’ll put up in my shop or not, but remember in my Friday Favorites post last week, I had found some gold mica powder for painting? I was a super genius last night and grabbed my Just Pure Minerals gold loose powder eyeshadow and tossed it in the painting I was doing. SOOOO excited such a cool effect.

What are your goals for the week?!

DIY Natural All Purpose Cleaner with Essential Oils

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In the spirit of spring cleaning, I decided to make some simple homemade all purpose cleaner. It works well for cleaning darn near anything. I even used it on windows, no prob. Any my windows were covered in my niece’s fingerprints… Not easy to clean, but this did it.

I’ve been working toward creating homemade cleaners and beauty products for the last few years in order to help reduce the amount of chemicals that I consume and come in contact with… I’ve done Homemade Laundry Detergent, Homemade Essential Oil Soaps, Natural Fabric Softener, and Yoga Mat Cleaner. I loveeee cooking up a big batch of Homemade Laundry Detergent. And you can get so creative making homemade soap!

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Ingredients and supplies

  • 4 oz. spray bottle made of glass or metal (essential oils can break down plastic)
  • About 4 oz. filtered water
  • 1 tsp castile soap
  • 10-15 drops lemon essential oil

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  1. Pour ingredients into a spray bottle
  2. Shake before use to combine.
  3. Spray and use!

Note: if you use a clear glass bottle, store out of sunlight so the essential oils don’t oxidize.

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Friday Favorites

friday favorites | arthealth&happiness

Soooo, I’ve been learning lately that if I don’t write my blog content during the weekend… I just don’t have time during the week. It’s been since Monday since I’ve written anything. Not good. I really need to write a content schedule and stick to it. I’ll get back into the groove! This was a good week.. busy but good. I have lovely plans for the weekend and the house to myself so I’m looking forward to some peace and quiet and spending time with good friends. I hope you all have lovely weekend plans as well!

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This camera bag is gorgeous. It’s water resistant.. It’s vegan… There’s plenty of room. It looks way cuter than my big clunky black Canon bag.

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I found this fabric online. I adore cats, if you didn’t already know. This is organic cotton, too! This would be soooo adorable for a cat bed… Or any crazy cat lady’s sewing project.

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This earrings are amazing. I could easily hang them in my steel tunnels.

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I love wolves. Wolves on leggings? Even better. I think I just might need these leggings.

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I have a hard time finding vegan sandals that I like that look like they might last a while. I try to constantly be aware of owning as few possessions as possible… I only owned one single pair of sandals for 5 years and they broke last year. I found a pair that I love to replace them, but they’re brown, and I typically wear black and gray… So a black pair would be nice! These are adorable!

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I’ve been tossing this in my smoothies in the morning. It goes great in banana smoothies and is a nice added boost.

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I haven’t owned nail polish for five or six years since I first became really aware of chemicals in the products I eat and use. Every year when I break out my (one pair of) sandals, I think about buying some and never do. I’ve been looking for some good vegan/not so chemical laden nail polish brands… there are quite a few. I looove this nail color by Pacifica!

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This book has been my bedside reading at night. Super gardening nerd? I think so!

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I love this nose stud. I’ve got a double piercing in my nose, so I think I’d have to wear a hoop in my second piercing to wear this one. But it’s freakin gorgeous!!!! I’d love to have a few for dressing up.

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More jewelry for dressing up.. I wouldn’t say I regrettttt stretching my ears yet (they’re at a 1/2 inch), but I do miss cute dangly earrings… I’ll sometimes wear them through my tunnels, but these would be freakin awesome!

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So, this photo totally looks like eyeshadow, but this is actually gold mica power to add to paintings. Ohhhh man would this look good mixed into an oil painting with lots of sunlight or moonlight.

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I bought some new plants, and I’ve really been wanting a bell jar like this to put one of my plants in. Maybe my air plant? Maybe my new cactus? I dunno, but I love the look of bell jars.

Happy Friday, friends!